Tribunal Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia

Page 45427

 1                           Wednesday, 30 September 2009

 2                           [Open session]

 3                           [The accused entered court]

 4                           [The accused Coric not]

 5                           [The witness takes the stand]

 6                           --- Upon commencing at 9.00 a.m.

 7             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Registrar, could you please

 8     call the case.

 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, Mr. Registrar.

14             This is Wednesday, September 30th, 2009, and I greet Mr. Prlic,

15     Mr. Stojic, Mr. Praljak, Mr. Petkovic, and Mr. Pusic.  I also greet

16     Mr. Coric, who is not with us for the moment.  Let me also greet the

17     Defence counsels, the eminent members of the OTP, Mr. Kruger and

18     Mr. Stringer, as well as their case manager.  And I also greet everyone

19     helping us.

20             Let me first give the floor to our Registrar.  He has two IC

21     numbers for us.

22             THE REGISTRAR:  Thank you, Your Honour.

23             The Praljak Defence has submitted its response to the

24     Prosecution's objections to documents tendered through Witness

25     Slobodan Praljak.  This list shall be given Exhibit IC1062.  And the

Page 45428

 1     Prosecution has submitted its objections to the list of documents

 2     tendered for admission by 4D through Witness Zvonimir Skender.  This list

 3     shall be given Exhibit IC1063.

 4             Thank you, Your Honours.

 5             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. Registrar.

 6             I have two oral decisions to render, and of course I also greet

 7     our witness, because I'd forgotten to welcome him.

 8             First oral decision on the motion to tender evidence through

 9     Witness Alojz Arbutina.

10             The Praljak Defence filed a motion for the admission of evidence

11     placed on list IC1050 through Witness Alojz Arbutina, who testified on

12     September 22nd, 2009, according to Rule 92 ter.

13             The Trial Chamber notes that neither the Prosecution nor any

14     Defence team -- any other Defence team filed any motion to tender

15     evidence through this witness and that no objection was raised against

16     the Praljak motion.  The Trial Chamber thus decides to admit

17     Exhibit 3D03699, tendered through the IC list, on the grounds that it

18     seems to have sufficient probative value, relevance, and reliability,

19     since it is the written statement of Rule 92 ter Witness Alojz Arbutina,

20     statement.

21             Second oral decision.  This decision relates to the motion filed

22     by the Praljak Defence to be granted leave to file a response.

23             On 23rd of September, 2009, the Praljak Defence has filed a

24     request with a view to seeking leave to respond.  A preliminary response

25     was filed by the Prosecution on the Praljak Defence's request to have

Page 45429

 1     written statements tendered into evidence pursuant to Rule 92 bis of the

 2     Rules of Procedure and Evidence.  The Praljak Defence would like to file

 3     its response within 7 days as of the 28th of October, 2009, onwards.

 4             In its decision of the 22nd of September, 2009, the Trial Chamber

 5     granted all the parties an extension of time until the 29th of October,

 6     2009, to reply to the request on admission filed by the Praljak Defence

 7     on the 14th of September, 2009.

 8             The Trial Chamber recalls that the responses are only permitted

 9     insofar as the moving party specifies and states that the circumstances

10     are sufficiently compelling and exceptional for the Trial Chamber to

11     grant this request.  Consequently, the Trial Chamber holds that the Trial

12     Chamber, as well as the Praljak Defence, must have been made aware of all

13     the potential responses filed by the parties at the request of the

14     Praljak Defence of the 14th of September, 2009, to assess whether or not

15     a response is needed.  Therefore, the request to reply to the Praljak

16     motion is premature at this stage.

17             The Trial Chamber asks the Praljak Defence to seize the Trial

18     Chamber of a single motion to seek leave to file a consolidated response

19     to all potential responses by the 29th of October, 2009.

20             In addition, with a view to upholding judicial economy, the Trial

21     Chamber invites the Prosecution to file a single consolidated response in

22     which it will include all the arguments submitted in its preliminary

23     response.  The Trial Chamber and all the other parties will only consider

24     this second consolidated reply filed by the Prosecution.

25             This oral decision is a very long decision, but, in short, the

Page 45430

 1     Prosecution is being asked to file a single consolidated response, and

 2     after that the Praljak Defence, if it deems it is necessary, will file a

 3     motion with a view to being granted permission to reply, and the Trial

 4     Chamber will rule on the matter with all the elements at hand.

 5             The initial request to be granted leave to reply is, as it

 6     stands, dismissed.

 7             Mr. Kovacic, have you understood me well?

 8             MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour, for your

 9     decision.  We have fully understood it, and I'm sure you understand why

10     we had to file this motion at this early stage.  So now this decision

11     covers it.

12             However, I feel -- and just if we look at page 3, line 18, there

13     seems to be a mistake in the translation there.  It's only in the last

14     portion that you mention that you summarise the decision, and that makes

15     it clear now.  But from the previous paragraph, it follows, and I'll read

16     it:

17             [In English] "The Trial Chamber asks the Praljak Defence to seize

18     the Trial Chamber of a single motion to seek to file a consolidated

19     response to all potential responses by the 29 October."

20             This is obviously some mistake, because we cannot do it on that

21     day because other parties has -- but from the last paragraph, where you

22     summarise everything, I think it is now clear.  Thank you.

23             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I shall read this part again.

24     The mistake stems from the fact that the interpreters did not have the

25     document in question, the decision, which explains why there might be a

Page 45431

 1     mistake.

 2             Let me read this out slowly.

 3             The Trial Chamber invites the Praljak Defence to seize the

 4     Chamber of a single request to be permitted to file a consolidated

 5     response to all potential responses after the 28th of October, 2009,

 6     after the 28th of October, 2009.

 7             MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.  There are

 8     no more dilemmas.  Everything is crystal clear.  Thank you.

 9             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Stewart, I'd like to greet

10     you once again.  I haven't heard you for a long time, and I was beginning

11     to miss that.

12             MR. STEWART:  Well, I'm very delighted to hear that, Your Honour,

13     and of course it's reciprocated.

14             And, Your Honour, wherever I sit in the courtroom, I always seem

15     to be a disembodied pillar, as far as Judge Prandler is concerned.  My

16     apologies to Judge Prandler for that, but I know he's there.

17             Your Honour, I have a very brief application on behalf of the

18     Stojic, Praljak and Petkovic Defences.  Your Honours gave us leave to put

19     in a reply in relation to a motion which we'd filed for further

20     disclosure under Rule 68.  Your Honour, it's ready to file, but it's at

21     around approaching 1800 words.  Your Honour knows -- Your Honours know

22     that the word limit is 1500.  It's not, I believe, in the discursive

23     style at the moment, Your Honour, so I do ask for an extension by 300

24     words, and then we are, for practical purposes, ready to file.

25             MR. STRINGER:  Excuse me, Mr. President.  Could we be heard on

Page 45432

 1     this, because it was quite a lengthy motion that was filed initially, and

 2     if I recall correctly, the Trial Chamber granted all of the Defence teams

 3     leave to file an initial motion that exceeded by several hundred the word

 4     limit, and now we're going over by several hundred more words again on

 5     the reply.  So there's a lot of information and a lot of content that

 6     appears to be coming in, much more so that's envisioned under the Rules.

 7             Once we see this, and I'm not going to take a position on whether

 8     the Trial Chamber should grant the requested extension or not, but it may

 9     be that based on the very large volume of information that's come in, the

10     Prosecution might request to file some sort of a surrebuttal to this,

11     because, really, it's something that is now quite excessive, in terms of

12     the Rules.

13             Thank you.

14             MR. STEWART:  Just call it -- briefly, I don't want to get into a

15     big squabble, I appreciate Mr. Stringer's position.  Your Honour, he --

16     no doubt, he can reserve his position on this.  We just make the point

17     that the number of words is really a separate issue from whether it is

18     genuinely a reply, and so far as the points in the reply are genuinely a

19     matter of reply, then there wouldn't be any real room for any further

20     filing in relation to this matter.  But, Your Honour, it's pointless.

21     Like Mr. Stringer, I'd say let's then see what happens and see what

22     application he might make.

23                           [Trial Chamber confers]

24             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] The Trial Chamber, after having

25     deliberated, grants the request filed by Mr. Stewart and accords you 180

Page 45433

 1     words -- 1.800 words.

 2             MR. STEWART:  Thank you, Your Honour.

 3             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] 1.800 words.

 4             MR. STEWART:  So I understood.  Thank you, Your Honours.

 5             THE INTERPRETER:  Microphone, Your Honour, please.

 6             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Ms. Nozica, I'd like to greet

 7     you once again.

 8             Let me remind you that you have 16 minutes left.

 9                           WITNESS:  ZRINKO TOKIC [Resumed]

10                           [The witness answered through interpreter]

11             MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation] Good morning, Your Honours, and good

12     morning to everybody else in the courtroom.

13                           Cross-examination by Ms. Nozica: [Continued]

14        Q.   [Interpretation] Good morning, Witness.  I'm going to try, within

15     my time-limit, to complete my cross-examination, but I might need a

16     little more time to finish this document, and I agree to that time being

17     deducted from the time allotted to me.

18             And I wanted to ask the usher, yes, for his help.  Thank you.

19             MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I apologise, but with

20     respect to what my colleague Ms. Nozica just said, so that it goes down

21     in the record, I'd like to present the Petkovic Defence's position.

22             Since during the Defence of Mr. Bruno Stojic, for an additional

23     second of examination of the witness, we needed to file a special request

24     and explain the reasons for which we were requesting additional time.

25     I'd just like it to go down on the record that any other decision and any

Page 45434

 1     other rules during the Petkovic -- during the Petkovic Defence we will

 2     consider to be an upset in the equality of rights at this trial.

 3             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Ms. Nozica, can you tell us why

 4     you need some extra time?  Could you detail this for us, please?

 5             MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honour, I can explain in

 6     greater detail, but I'd like to ask the usher to provide the new binder

 7     of documents to the Court.

 8             I just need the additional time because of an answer given by the

 9     witness yesterday, the answers related to mobilisation in Gornji Vakuf,

10     in actual fact.  There are documents which speak differently to the

11     answer given by the witness yesterday, so I have prepared documents which

12     speak of the existence of an administration and office in Gornji Vakuf.

13     And yesterday's answers by this witness were the reason why I requested

14     additional time.

15             I will do my very best to make use of the 16 minutes I have at my

16     disposal wisely, but I'd just like to mention that regardless of the

17     position taken by the Petkovic Defence team - I cannot object, everybody

18     has the right to raise an objection - but I think that with all the

19     witnesses so far in the Praljak Defence, the Praljak Defence, including

20     the Petkovic Defence, did receive additional time if they needed it from

21     the overall time they were allotted.

22             Now, if we're going to change the rules again, I am going to

23     adhere to that, and every time I'm going to explain in great detail why I

24     need extra time.  I'm doing this today because yesterday the answers

25     given by the witness gave rise to the necessity for an additional five

Page 45435

 1     minutes of examination.

 2             Thank you.

 3             THE INTERPRETER:  Could the speakers kindly be asked to slow

 4     down.  Thank you.

 5             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] We have understood.  At least I

 6     have understood.

 7             JUDGE TRECHSEL:  Ms. Nozica, unfortunately, during my studies I

 8     did not pay full attention to accounting, but you probably will be in a

 9     state of telling us how much your reserve is in time.  How much time

10     allotted to you have you not yet exhausted?

11             MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I think at least seven

12     hours.

13             JUDGE TRECHSEL:  Well, thank you very much.  That's the issue.

14     You will not get additional time.  No one got any so far.  And that's

15     fine, then.  Please go ahead.

16             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Ms. Nozica.

17             MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.

18        Q.   Mr. Tokic, I showed you a document yesterday.  It was 4D308, and

19     it's in that larger binder that we were dealing with yesterday.  4D308 is

20     the number, and I said yesterday that it was also 3D796.  Therefore, it

21     has two numbers, and it was under the latter number that it was made an

22     exhibit.  It's a report from a meeting of commanders from the Military

23     District of North-West Herzegovina of the 26th of October, 2003.

24             Have you found the document?

25        A.   No.

Page 45436

 1        Q.   What did you say?

 2        A.   Yes, I have found the document.

 3        Q.   Yes.  We discussed it yesterday.  Anyway, in point 2,

 4     mobilisation is discussed, and in point 4, deserters are mentioned.

 5             Now, Mr. Tokic, from this text, and you can read through it, it

 6     says to deal with the status of deserters and, in that connection,

 7     elaborate uniform criteria which will be applied to all military

 8     conscripts who fled or who are still avoiding their responsibilities in

 9     the homeland war.

10             Now, Mr. Tokic, from this text, we can conclude that those

11     participating in the meeting, you among them, considered deserters to be

12     military conscripts who failed to respond to the mobilisation call-up.

13     Am I right in saying that?

14        A.   Counsel, allow me to say good morning to Their Honours and

15     everybody else in the courtroom first.

16             But you're not right, it does not refer to military conscripts

17     who were not mobilised.  It refers to those military conscripts who were

18     members of units and later on left the area of Gornji Vakuf-Uskoplje of

19     their own free will.

20        Q.   I don't know whether there's an error in the transcript, but I

21     was told that I said it was document 4D308, whereas it is document 3D803.

22     So I got that wrong.  Thank you.

23             Now, you know what I don't understand here?  It's this -- 803 is

24     the number, 4D803.  That's right.

25             Now, in point 4, it says:

Page 45437

 1             "Military conscripts who are still avoiding to comply with their

 2     responsibilities."

 3             That is why I thought you referred to the latter.  Now,

 4     Mr. Tokic, tell me, please, following a request from the brigade, the

 5     Administration for Mobilisation mobilises a soldier and sends him to a

 6     unit, and he is given a military ID and becomes a full-fledged member of

 7     the brigade.  If, after that, that person deserts, isn't it the brigade

 8     command which is supposed to take the necessary steps to take him into

 9     custody through the brigade military police, and if they fail to do so,

10     then that they should file a criminal report against him?  Wasn't that

11     the procedure?

12        A.   Counsel, from my conduct as a commander, and you see that there

13     were 279 persons who -- against whom criminal reports were filed, now,

14     the problem that a commander has when he's in the field is when he

15     contacts the military police or the security service of the military

16     police, the military conscript already at that time is not in the area of

17     Gornji Vakuf-Uskoplje, he is inaccessible, they can't reach him.  And for

18     us, who were soldiers, regardless of our assignments and posts, that was

19     a difficult situation, and that is why we asked that the authorities of

20     the Croatian Republic of Herceg-Bosna should take steps to prevent people

21     being able to escape through a border that was as hollow as a Swiss

22     cheese.

23        Q.   Thank you.  I just wanted us to clear that up.  That is to say,

24     it was the command of the unit that decides on these matters.  You've

25     just explained that.

Page 45438

 1             Can we now take a look at document P6017 again, please.

 2             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] One moment.

 3             Witness, please, if you will allow me, we will continue looking

 4     at document 4D803.  I would like you to look at paragraph 11, please.

 5             Registrar, could you show us paragraph 11, please, because for

 6     the time being we can only see paragraph 6 in English, paragraph 8 in

 7     B/C/S.

 8             So we've got paragraph 11 in English.  I'd like to see

 9     paragraph 11 in B/C/S as well, please.  In your language, you can see

10     paragraph 11 now.

11             This meeting which was held, which you attended, since your name

12     is mentioned here, as well as Siljeg's, Glasnovic, Suskar [phoen],

13     Sikic [phoen], Tokic, you, Pavlovic, Djeric, and two other people, you

14     are asking for the Government of the Republic of Croatia to hand out no

15     more refugee cards to the conscripts who have left the municipalities in

16     Herceg-Bosna.  They could then return to the brigades.  You are saying

17     that it is important for the Croatian government to stop handing out

18     refugee cards.  When I saw this mentioned in the text, I set this against

19     the backdrop of a notion which you are familiar with and which the

20     lawyers and the Prosecution have in mind; that is, that of the JCE, the

21     joint criminal enterprise.

22             What I would like to know from you, Witness, is this:  Is it

23     logical in any way that the Croatian government let's the Croatian

24     deserters come in, give them refugee cards, when, on the other hand, the

25     Croatian government is helping the Community of Herceg-Bosna by providing

Page 45439

 1     them with soldiers?  Does this make sense to you?

 2             If you don't understand my question, I can rephrase it.

 3             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, please, Your Honour, could you

 4     rephrase that?

 5             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Let me rephrase my question.

 6             We have a situation in which the soldiers, the conscripts, are

 7     deserting and go to the Republic of Croatia.  In the Republic of Croatia,

 8     they're handed out refugee cards.  In other words, they don't come back

 9     again.  And in addition, we are being told that the Republic of Croatia

10     is helping the forces of Herceg-Bosna directly.  I would like to know

11     from you whether there is not a contradiction here.

12             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, when we discuss the

13     situation as commanders, we address the government first of the Croatian

14     Republic of Herceg-Bosna, with the task of undertaking the necessary

15     measures.  We ask them to take the necessary measures so that the

16     out-flow of military conscripts from Bosnia-Herzegovina, who were

17     soldiers in the units of the Croatian Defence Council, should be stopped.

18     At the same time, we asked them to act as mediators to see that the

19     Government of the Republic of Croatia, when they see these people coming

20     in without the necessary papers and procedure, does not provide them and

21     accord them refugee status.  That is what soldiers can do and must do so

22     as to retain the number of conscripts necessary for the units, which

23     guarantees that they will be able to fulfill their tasks as a unit.

24             Now, when it comes to the second half of your question, what

25     I can say is this:  I don't know that the Republic of Croatia helped us

Page 45440

 1     by sending their soldiers to us in Bosnia-Herzegovina.  I don't know that

 2     they offered that assistance.  So you asked me to conclude whether it's

 3     contradictory.  I really can't say.  I know what I signed and subscribed

 4     to, as a commander, and who I contacted in that regard.

 5             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well.  The second question

 6     now.

 7             When you were fighting, since you were a commander, at some point

 8     did you have the feeling or the proof that the Croatian government out of

 9     Zagreb was controlling your military operation?

10             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, absolutely not.

11             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well.

12             Ms. Nozica.

13             MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation]

14        Q.   Mr. Tokic, let us look again at document P6017.  This is the data

15     breakdown per municipalities, and I'm going to ask you to look at this

16     portion that refers to Uskoplje municipality.  That's page 3 in Croatian

17     and page 5 in English.

18             It says here, Mr. Tokic, that Uskoplje municipality had 10.700

19     inhabitants, that there were 1.020 military conscripts in operative

20     units, there were 273 of them in home guards, and it also said that 256

21     criminal reports had been filed.  Yesterday, in response to my question

22     whether you can confirm this data, you said yesterday that you were not

23     sure whether these figures are correct.

24             Mr. Tokic, in your statement given to Mr. Praljak's Defence in

25     2005, November 2005, you said something different about this subject, and

Page 45441

 1     that was the underlying reason for all my questions relating to

 2     mobilisation.  So, therefore, let us look at this portion from your

 3     statement, which is document 3D3712.  It's a new binder that I've given

 4     you today.  It's on page 28, and I'm going to read only this specific

 5     portion, page 28, the very top of it, and I'm talking about the Croatian

 6     version, and in the English it's page 26.  I'm going to read only this

 7     particular portion:

 8             "At one point, the mobilisation rate of this unit was

 9     18.6 per cent.  We, in the army, say that the standard mobilisation rate

10     is 10 per cent.  If you apply this to 10.700 Croats, according to the

11     census, 10 per cent is 1.070, and our unit had 1300 men, a brigade, plus

12     military police, plus MUP, plus the battalion of Bruno Busic."

13             So in total around 1600.

14             Mr. Tokic, as we can see from this statement of yours, all this

15     information stated in the document presented by me to you, which is

16     document P6017, are identical.  It says here that there was a total of

17     10.709 inhabitants, and the total of operational units and home guard

18     units makes 1300 men.  That was actually the reason why I asked you

19     yesterday whether, in your municipality and your brigades, the

20     mobilisation was successful.  That was, by the way, my conclusion.

21             Let me first ask you this:  Did you prepare and did you make this

22     statement?

23        A.   Yes, that's my statement.

24        Q.   And you stand behind this particular paragraph?  I'm insisting on

25     that.

Page 45442

 1        A.   Yes, I do.

 2        Q.   All the figures that you provided in 2005, in November, are

 3     almost identical to those given in document P6017?

 4        A.   I have to clarify this.  When we were conducting mobilisation,

 5     there was no Defence office of Uskoplje.  The mobilisation was carried

 6     out by the HVO.

 7        Q.   Mr. Tokic, we'll come to the office.  What I am focused here

 8     on --

 9        A.   So that was the situation at the time --

10        Q.   I apologise to the interpreters, but I had to intervene.  I only

11     asked you about this particular portion which I found somewhat confusing

12     when you said that you were not sure about the veracity of this

13     information.  On the other hand, I found identical information in your

14     statement.  As to when the office was set up and how it started working

15     is a different matter.

16             My question was whether the information provided by you, in your

17     statement, is almost identical to the information contained in the

18     document that I showed to you.  One could have gained an impression that

19     I'm showing you something that was incorrect or something that you were

20     not familiar with.

21        A.   Madam counsel, if I may answer and provide clarification.  I was

22     one of those who took part in the meeting of the North-West Operation

23     Zone.  My views are known.  However, certain municipalities had more

24     serious problems than my municipality.  I described the situation in my

25     municipality, and I said that I was dissatisfied how those who left the

Page 45443

 1     units of their own volition were treated and who were not accessible to

 2     my military police.

 3             THE INTERPRETER:  Could the speakers please pause between

 4     questions and answers.  Thank you.

 5             MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation] This is exactly the clarification

 6     that I needed.

 7             JUDGE PRANDLER:  I'm really ashamed that I have to say this again

 8     and again and again, but I would like to draw your attention to the fact

 9     that the interpretation asked you and, of course, the witness to slow

10     down, number 1, and then to hold a pause between the question and the

11     answer, as number 2.  Please kindly follow this.  I know that you are

12     pressed by time pressure, but, anyway, please try to comply with this

13     request.

14             Thank you.

15             MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.  I apologise

16     to the Chamber.  You can only imagine, honourable Judge, how shameful it

17     is for me to be reminded by you so many times, but this is a problem that

18     stems from the fact that we speak the same language.  It goes well when

19     we have slow speak, but when it comes to some clarifications, it creates

20     problems.

21        Q.   Sir, another question concerning mobilisation.  You said that you

22     were not aware of the existence of the Defence office in Uskoplje.  They

23     were established there and they were in charge of conducting

24     mobilisation.  I'm going to show you a number of documents who are also

25     in this new binder, and we shall see whether you remember whether this

Page 45444

 1     office really existed.

 2             For that purpose, could you please look at document P700.  That's

 3     a proposal made by Mr. Bruno Stojic to adopt a decision on the number and

 4     the seats of Defence offices.  On the other side -- on the other page,

 5     you see the Tomislavgrad Administration, and under 8, within Tomislavgrad

 6     Administration, you can see which area it covers.  This decision was

 7     taken on the 18th November 1992, at the meeting of the HVO HZ-HB, and

 8     that's P700.

 9             Let us just look now at the final document, which is P767, so

10     that's the minutes of the HVO meeting, 767.  And please look at document

11     2D3055.

12             Have you found it?  You can find it in this additional binder

13     that you received, and it's the last document.  You did.  Thank you.

14             Here, Mr. Brano Matijanic has been appointed by Mr. Stojic, the

15     chief of the Office for Defence in Gornji Vakuf.  Were you familiar with

16     this gentleman and did you know that he was working at this office?  I

17     would just like to refresh your memory about this issue.

18        A.   Yes, I did.  He had an office in Pidris.

19        Q.   That was the Defence office of Uskoplje municipality?

20        A.   Yes, with one member of staff only.

21        Q.   Yes.  But, nevertheless, a Defence office?

22        A.   Yes, but you can see and judge for yourself whether one person

23     could have done the job.

24        Q.   Mr. Tokic, in the statement of yours that I read out to you, this

25     job was done very satisfactorily, because a high percentage of citizens

Page 45445

 1     were mobilised to your unit?

 2        A.   I have to tell this to you for the second time.  Mobilisation was

 3     carried out by the Municipal Staff of the HVO.

 4        Q.   But the Defence office was part of that staff?

 5        A.   No, it wasn't.

 6        Q.   Okay, let's move to another topic.

 7             Can we now go back to document 4D803.  I would just like to

 8     address two items from this document.  And the next one we're going to

 9     look at is item 7.

10             You say here:

11             "Create a single disciplinary book to comply with the

12     conditions --"

13             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Ms. Nozica, if I understand

14     correctly, you are no longer talking about mobilisation.  Is that it?

15             MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation] No, Your Honours, I have only two

16     topics to ask this witness about regarding this meeting.

17             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well.  But do these

18     questions still address mobilisation?

19             MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation] No, not about mobilisation.

20             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well.

21             Witness, I have a follow-up question regarding mobilisation.  I

22     know that you are a professor and that you teach defence matters, so you

23     obviously seem to be a specialist in this area.

24             In the interview you gave, you explained that there were 1.070

25     Croats, and with a 10 per cent mobilisation you should end up with about

Page 45446

 1     1.000, but altogether you ended up being 1.600, whereas the others in the

 2     TO were 2.100, and you seem to be fairly satisfied with the situation.

 3     However, when I look at all this and when I note that during war you can

 4     only mobilise 10 per cent of the troops, I can only draw from this that

 5     there must be a huge problem.  If I compare this with other conflicts,

 6     for example, modern conflicts like World War I, mobilisation was almost

 7     100 per cent of troops, at least in some countries, but here, in your

 8     conflict, you only ended up with 10 per cent.  I can only draw from this

 9     that there must have been reasons for this.  So is it that these

10     so-called conscripts who deserted just deserted because they thought it

11     wasn't their war, they didn't want to wage this -- they didn't want to

12     fight for this cause, or was it because there was no state and that they

13     didn't feel that they were soldiers of a specific state; that they felt

14     that if they were conscripted, they were more like private militiamen and

15     it was not their war?  Were they afraid of the Serbs, maybe, because the

16     Serbs were a daunting force and they thought that the war was lost before

17     even being waged?

18             These are all reasons I'm giving you.  You know, there might be

19     others, but can you tell us how you can explain that you only ended up

20     with this 10 per cent ratio, when it came to mobilisation, that only

21     10 per cent of the men actually volunteered and that the others were very

22     hard to mobilise?  Were there any far-reaching reasons behind this, and

23     if so, could you tell us which ones?

24             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honours, speaking about

25     mobilisation, I was familiar with some of the aspects of this particular

Page 45447

 1     area.  I'm not saying that I'm an expert, but the fact is, quite simply,

 2     that in the area of Gornji Vakuf and Uskoplje municipalities, of the

 3     10.700 potential military conscripts, about 18 per cent of them were

 4     mobilised.  What we tried to do was to make maximum effort, because a

 5     number of our soldiers were out of actions as a result of military

 6     operations that we had had, a number of soldiers --

 7             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Praljak, is there a

 8     problem?

 9             THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation] No, there's no problem.

10     What I would like to tell you, Your Honour Judge Antonetti, with all due

11     respect, that your information about 100 per cent success mobilisation is

12     wrong.  There is no single war that one can achieve that high percentage

13     of mobilisation.

14             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Fair enough.  I note this down.

15             Could you please continue, Witness.

16             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Now, speaking about the efforts

17     that we were making in the municipality where I was the commander, it

18     proved to be satisfactory, at least in theoretical terms.  The problem

19     was with the additional reinforcements, and this is where the Defence

20     office comes into play.

21             When a unit asks for additional manpower, according to the

22     assignment, then the Defence office should provide new conscripts,

23     provided they have them ready on the field, but with that you have to

24     take into account a supposition that they might flee, because we say only

25     fools are not afraid of death and war.  Some people managed to control

Page 45448

 1     their fear better, some didn't.

 2             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well.

 3             MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I think there was a

 4     mistake.  So not to elaborate further, perhaps you could ask the witness

 5     was the interpretation wrong or did I hear wrong, but at the beginning,

 6     in response to your question, on page 20, line 24, he said that in

 7     Uskoplje, out of 10.700 potential military conscripts, about 18 per cent.

 8     So obviously this figure, 10.700, refers to the number of inhabitants,

 9     the population.  So there's some short-circuit there, some

10     misunderstanding, because the mistakes can multiply if we let that go.

11             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well.

12             Witness, when you said that there were 10.700 potential soldiers,

13     you know, when I made reference to countries where mobilisation was at

14     100 per cent, it was only potential soldiers.  Of course, you're not

15     going to mobilise the sick, the mad-men, those who are in hospital, and

16     so forth.  So when I talk about the potential soldiers, those who are

17     able-bodied -- so when you talked about 10.700 potential conscripts, were

18     you referring to the population, as a whole, or only to the able-bodied

19     men who could have borne a weapon?

20             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I was referring to the

21     overall population.

22             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well.  So you're talking

23     about the entire population.  Very well.

24             Ms. Nozica, you may resume.

25             MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.

Page 45449

 1        Q.   I'd just like to confirm something.  I was going to do this at

 2     the end, but I'd like to do it now.

 3             In document 3D3712 - it is a statement, the statement by

 4     Mr. Tokic, in fact - and in document P6017, is it right that the number

 5     there is 10.700 Croats, it says, so the overall population?  There was no

 6     mention of the number of potential military conscripts, just to make that

 7     point clear.

 8             Now, Mr. Tokic, I asked you something related to point 7 of

 9     document 803, and that is it reads:

10             "Make universal disciplinary book for the units ..."

11             Now, you know that there was a book of rules on discipline in the

12     HZ-HB HVO; you knew that, did you not?

13        A.   Yes.

14        Q.   So can we look at the document?  It is P293 in your binder.

15     I think it's the next document in line.  And in those rules on discipline

16     adopted by Mr. Mate Boban, president of the HZ-HB, from Article 101 we

17     have the wartime situation.

18             Now, can you remember why, at the meeting, this conclusion was

19     made whereby a uniform rules of military discipline should be passed?

20     Because we see that this is one, one it says that should be in line with

21     wartime conditions.  Now, were there any comments made about that at the

22     meeting or why this observation was made, if you can remember?  If not,

23     we can move on.

24        A.   I can't remember, but, in principle, these -- these rules on

25     military --

Page 45450

 1             JUDGE TRECHSEL:  Witness, did you listen when Judge Prandler

 2     spoke?  He said, Wait until the question is translated.  You have shot

 3     along long before that.  Please start your answer again, and please keep

 4     this in mind.

 5             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, I will bear that in mind, and

 6     I do apologise, Your Honour.

 7             MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation] Yes.  Let me repeat the question.

 8        Q.   I asked you whether you could remember why this conclusion on the

 9     rules governing military discipline were passed at this meeting and

10     adopted at this meeting.

11        A.   Because the units, quite simply, did not receive any book of

12     rules in the field, so we couldn't apply it if we didn't have it in the

13     first place in sufficient copies and distributed to those to whom it

14     referred, and the role to implement rules goes from company commanders

15     onwards.

16        Q.   Now, this meeting, Mr. Tokic, was held on the 26th of October,

17     1993, and you now say that the commanders didn't have this set of rules.

18     Did you apply the rules, yourself, while you were commander, even before

19     this meeting was held?

20        A.   Counsel, there were several guide-lines and instructions, and we

21     applied them, but this book of rules just consolidated all those

22     guide-lines and instructions.

23        Q.   This was passed on the 3rd of July, 1992, Witness.  It could not

24     consolidate anything.  It was a basic act and was passed and adopted on

25     the 3rd of July, 1992.

Page 45451

 1             But let's move on to the next document, which is 5D2022, and

 2     that's a letter signed by the deputy commander of the military district,

 3     Mr. Ante Govorusic, and he refers to an order there from the commander of

 4     the Main Staff, dated the 17th of September, 1993, with respect to

 5     implementing the disciplinary measures taken, and here against a member

 6     of the armed forces of the HZ-HB on the basis of the rules governing

 7     military discipline and the mistakes made, and that these measures of

 8     custody will be enforced if Dretelj prison.

 9             THE INTERPRETER:  Could counsel kindly slow down.  It is not

10     possible to interpret at this rate.  Thank you.  And a reference to where

11     the counsel is reading from.

12             MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation] Yes.  The number of the document is

13     right, 5D5022.

14        Q.   So on the 23rd of September, 10 days before this meeting, each

15     and every commander in the field received this order, which speaks of the

16     way and where the perpetrators of misdemeanors and crimes will serve

17     their sentence.  Do you agree with me that at least at that time all the

18     commanders knew about this and that there was a set of rules, and they

19     knew how those rules should be implemented; right?

20        A.   I don't know whether the -- if the other commanders knew about

21     this, but I received this order, myself, and I applied these rules.

22        Q.   Thank you.  I'm now going to ask, in closing, to broach just one

23     topic referring to the meeting.  It is 4D803, the document I'd like to

24     refer to once again, 4D803, the conclusions from your meeting.  And we're

25     going to take a look at conclusion number 13 there, the last line.  It

Page 45452

 1     says:

 2             "To determine authorisation and manner in which appointments are

 3     to be proposed, and the establishment of SIS, itself."

 4             Now, Mr. Tokic, you, as a commander, did you know in what way the

 5     officers of SIS in your brigade are proposed and appointed?

 6        A.   No, I did not know the manner in which this was done, what the

 7     procedure was.

 8        Q.   What about you, yourself, Mr. Tokic?  Did you propose any members

 9     for SIS from your brigade?  Did you put them forward, did you take part

10     in the selection process?

11        A.   Could you be more specific?  Could you give me some names of the

12     SIS person?  In the case of Zvonko Katovic, yes, I did.

13        Q.   Could you explain to the Trial Chamber in what way you did this?

14     In what way did you go about it?

15        A.   We were asked our opinion.  The commander of the unit was asked

16     his opinion about somebody, whether they had the necessary qualifications

17     for the job and other necessary knowledge for them to be -- become a

18     member of the Security Department.

19        Q.   And who asked for this information?

20        A.   It was the Security Service that required that information,

21     itself.

22        Q.   While you were the commander, did you ever receive a decision to

23     appoint somebody, Mr. Katovic, or anybody else, for that matter?  Did you

24     see the process of somebody being appointed and a document to that

25     effect?  But just wait for me to finish and then you can continue with

Page 45453

 1     your answer.  Thank you.

 2        A.   I received a decision on paper for Mr. Josip Sen [phoen].

 3        Q.   And who signed that decision?

 4        A.   I can't remember whose signature was on the document.

 5        Q.   Well, what institution, then?

 6        A.   The institution was the Security Service from the Ministry of

 7     Defence.

 8        Q.   Very well.  The Administration for Security, in actual fact.

 9     That's what it was called, I think.  Thank you.

10             Now, I've prepared two more documents.  I'll show the first one,

11     which is 2D567.  It is a decision on the internal establishment of the

12     Defence Department, and you need not have been fully informed about that,

13     but it, too, speaks of the manner in which people were elected and

14     forces, and it says the assistant commanders of the brigades for security

15     are appointed by the head of the Defence Department.  That is to be found

16     in item 4, at the proposal of the assistant head for security.  And it

17     says for all other operatives and officials in the Sector for Security,

18     it is the assistant head for security who disposes of them, along with

19     previous agreement from the representative of the Defence Department or

20     an individual whom he authorises.

21             Now, since you said that you received a decision of that kind on

22     paper, it was probably a decision signed by the head of the department,

23     the administration, so you knew how this worked in practice.  Now we have

24     the next decision, which is slightly amended, but we won't go into that.

25             And now linked to the situation of how people proposed

Page 45454

 1     individuals from the ground, from the field, the last document we'll look

 2     at is 2D3053.  It's a report dated the 5th of November, 1993, and it is

 3     signed precisely by Mr. Katovic, as you told us.  It is sent by GSRHB,

 4     Ivan Lucic, or, rather, the Main Staff of the Croatian Republic of

 5     Herceg-Bosna personally to Ivan Lucic, and it says here that the SIS in

 6     the brigade does not have a single heavy-duty vehicle, or any other

 7     vehicle, and it was difficult to inspect the defence lines, but they did

 8     their best to tour the defence lines and talk to the soldiers there.

 9     This was done by members of SIS in their part of the terrain, and it says

10     the touring of the terrain was carried out by the brigade commander, he

11     inspected the terrain.

12             Now, what I'm interested here is whether the situation was as it

13     is described here, that you had a shortage of vehicles and everything

14     else, as it says here.

15        A.   Counsel, the unit plans its tasks and assignments, and if it can

16     do -- carry out a number of them with just one vehicle, then it does so,

17     and the vehicle is provided by the Logistics Department.  There's usually

18     one vehicle, and everybody else, if they need more, have to apply for

19     more vehicles.

20        Q.   Thank you.  So the answer is that this situation was correctly

21     described here.

22             Now, going on to the next paragraph, it says:

23             "I, as head of SIS in the brigade, was taken up with negotiations

24     with the Muslim side, discussing the exchange of bodies and soldiers

25     killed."

Page 45455

 1             And then the next paragraph goes on to say with the departure of

 2     Ivica Crnov to the brigade's 1st Battalion, there was no SIS member for a

 3     month because nobody wanted to take up that duty, and those who did want

 4     to were not suitable -- were not found suitable by the brigade commander,

 5     Zrinko Tokic, or the president of the HVO, Ivan Saric.

 6             Now, Mr. Tokic, is that what you were telling us?  Is that what

 7     you were saying, that you were asked to provide your opinion as to

 8     whether somebody was suitable or not?

 9        A.   Well, yes, we were asked for our opinion.  That's true.

10        Q.   All right, fine.  Now, it goes on to say that the SIS clerk in

11     the brigade, Zdravko Alvir, was late on his return from a private trip to

12     Zagreb, so the brigade commander ordered that he be reassigned to the

13     infantry, and nobody replaced him, so that this made the work of the

14     service impossible.  Do you remember that?

15        A.   This is an -- is a lie.

16        Q.   You mean the last sentence is not correct?

17        A.   Yes, that's right.

18        Q.   Now let's move on to page 2 of that same document.  Do you

19     remember -- it says:

20             "I, as chief of SIS in the brigade, have been asked to move to

21     the Rama SIS Centre, and although I received an oral approval from the

22     brigade commander and the president of the HVO, both oral and written

23     approvals, I still have not taken up my duties there because the two

24     aforementioned men cannot agree who to choose to become the SIS chief in

25     the brigade, and so this makes the work of the service even more

Page 45456

 1     difficult."

 2             Is that correct, sir?  Do you remember?  Do you remember that you

 3     gave your oral approval?

 4        A.   As a rule, when any officer was to be promoted, you would give

 5     approval.

 6        Q.   Thank you.  And now I come to my last question.

 7             When your brigade -- when it came to your brigade, then this

 8     conclusion wouldn't have been made, right, because obviously you knew the

 9     way in which --

10             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Before Ms. Nozica's last

11     question, and this will be deducted from her time, anyway, because she

12     ran over her 45-minute allotment, I have a question.

13             On this document, we see that in order to appoint an SIS -- a

14     person for the SIS, the brigade commander had to intervene, as well as

15     the HV [as interpreted] president, the local HV [as interpreted]

16     president, and here it was Mr. Ceric.

17             Now, this is what I would like to know.  In exercising your

18     military command, were you constrained by a control coming from the HVO

19     president or were you fully independent and did you only report to the

20     commander of the HVO in the operational zone, or was there some kind of

21     supervision exercised by the political -- municipal political authority

22     of the HV [as interpreted]?

23             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honours, a brigade commander

24     in the hierarchy is responsible to the commander of the West Herzegovina

25     Operation Zone.  However, within the brigade there are sections that sent

Page 45457

 1     out reports along different channels, and I'm talking about the security

 2     section and the information and propaganda section.  These two operated

 3     outside of the remit of the commander, but, however, in order to provide

 4     good-quality communication they should have provided information

 5     horizontally, that is to say, to the commander as well, but they also

 6     were requested to send reports to their superiors as well.  So there was

 7     a certain kind of supervision imposed on a commander.

 8             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Witness, you haven't answered

 9     my question.  My question was an extremely precise question.  I'm asking

10     you this:  As you exercised your command, I wanted to know if in any way

11     you were controlled, supervised, by the political authority in the

12     municipality.  This is an extremely precise question, and you are telling

13     me that in the brigade there were units, there were various channels.

14     You quote Information and Propaganda.  If that's the case, you should

15     have told me that this depended on the president of the local HVO.  And

16     you are giving us a speech.  I'm wanting you to answer my question.

17             My question is extremely precise, and when I put a question, it

18     is because it is an important question.  I don't put a question for the

19     sake of putting a question, and I set it against the backdrop of this

20     entire case.

21             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honours, speaking about the

22     appointment of these officers, this was more within the responsibility of

23     the president of the local HVO and all the command duties were in the

24     hands of a commander.

25             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] So in your answer, you say when

Page 45458

 1     it came to choosing some of the officers, the local president gave his

 2     advice, but as far as exercising the command was concerned, this came

 3     under the responsibility of the military authorities?  This is exactly

 4     what you're telling us?

 5             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] That's right, Your Honours.

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

 7             MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honours.

 8             I have finished my cross-examination.  Nevertheless, I would like

 9     to ask one more question in regard to his last answer.

10        Q.   The heads of SIS and the IPD, were they within the scope of your

11     command?  You said that they provided information.  I'm only asking you

12     whether they were part of the command of your brigade.

13        A.   They were my assistants, and they were part of the chain of

14     command.

15             MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation] Thank you.  I have no further

16     questions.

17             Thank you, Your Honour.

18             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I was about to put a question

19     to Mr. Karnavas, but my colleague would like to take the floor.

20             JUDGE TRECHSEL:  Witness, I have a question regarding this same

21     document.

22             At one point, the passage regarding Zdravko Alvir was put to you,

23     a person who returned belatedly and then was ordered to serve in the

24     infantry.  The report here says that, therefore, the work Alvir was

25     supposed to do, the clerk work, was not done by someone else, and this

Page 45459

 1     hindered the work of SIS.  You have simply brushed this away by saying

 2     it's a lie.  That's not really, in itself, convincing.

 3             Could you be more precise?  What do you mean, "is a lie"?  Is it

 4     a lie that Zdravko Alvir was late on his return from a private trip?  Is

 5     that a lie?

 6             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honours, if you allow me to

 7     give you an explanation.

 8             Zdravko Alvir --

 9             JUDGE TRECHSEL:  I asked you a very precise question, a yes-or-no

10     question.  When you said this is a lie, does this refer to the fact that

11     Zdravko Alvir returned belatedly; yes or no?

12             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I cannot answer this

13     question with yes or no.  You have to allow me to explain why

14     Zdravko Alvir was transferred to the infantry.

15             JUDGE TRECHSEL:  Normally, the rules here are is that someone

16     puts a question and the witness is invited to answer that question.  I do

17     not think it is impossible to answer this question.  I will go on.  It's

18     not the only question, but it seems that your answer is negative.  You

19     say it is not a lie that Zdravko Alvir returned late?

20             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] That's not a lie.

21             JUDGE TRECHSEL:  Okay, thank you.

22             Then is it a lie that you ordered him to be reassigned to

23     infantry?  And here I allow you to give an explanation, why you did so,

24     if you did.

25             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.

Page 45460

 1             Zdravko Alvir was in the brigade staff during combat operations

 2     on the line in the town between the post office and MUP and bus depot.

 3     Since I had received information that BH Army units were deployed in two

 4     positions or, actually, broke through these lines in two places, I asked

 5     a security officer to take certain direction in order to survey the

 6     situation at the post office feature, and that the focus of defence, I

 7     decided as a brigade commander, would be to go on.  After having

 8     consolidated the defence line, I tried -- started looking for reasons why

 9     Zdravko Alvir failed to go into the direction that he had been ordered to

10     go.  He said that he didn't dare do that because he had never been in

11     town while shooting was on.  After that, I decided that because he was

12     late and he performed poorly on the line, to transfer him to the

13     infantry, and that is the truth.

14             JUDGE TRECHSEL:  Thank you.  Then there is a last limb of this

15     chain of information in the paragraph to be answered.

16             The report says that the fact that Zdravko Alvir was removed from

17     his work for SIS, I quote, "seriously impaired" the work of the service.

18     Is that a lie?

19             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] This is the assessment made by this

20     officer.

21             JUDGE TRECHSEL:  So you are not saying that the assessment is

22     wrong, or are you?

23             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I'm not saying it's wrong.

24             JUDGE TRECHSEL:  Well, thank you.  I think that has brought some

25     clarity in this.  Thank you.

Page 45461

 1             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Karnavas, you had 15

 2     minutes.

 3             MR. KARNAVAS:  I'm going to use them, Your Honour.  I'm going to

 4     use them, and this last demonstration by Judge Trechsel sort of gives us

 5     a good impression as to why sometimes explanations need to be given after

 6     a yes or no or a very brief answer, such as, It's a lie, because it may

 7     contain lots of information.

 8                           Cross-examination by Mr. Karnavas:

 9        Q.   Sir, I want to just discuss with you very briefly the events in

10     general, because I'm not sure that we really have been able to, at least

11     from your point of view, develop the narrative of the events that were

12     unfolding starting, say, from the spring to -- late spring or early

13     summer of 1992 onwards in that particular area.

14             So if you could take a couple of minutes and please describe to

15     us what was the atmosphere like in that area, because the follow-up

16     question to that is going to be, and I'll just put it to you right now,

17     is:  Looking back now on the events, would it have been possible at the

18     time to do things differently to avoid any conflicts between the Muslims

19     and the Croats living in that area?

20        A.   Counsel, if I may start with the conflict which took place in

21     June 1992.  After that, we signed an agreement on the 27th of June, 1992,

22     and quite simply pulled out our units from any combat contact.  We

23     established communication lines with the command of the BH Army in order

24     to create conditions for them to return to the positions that they had

25     abandoned on Radusa Hill facing the Army of Republika Srpska.  We have

Page 45462

 1     linked up check-points of military police set up at the entry point to

 2     the town from Prozor and Novi Travnik respectively, as well as from the

 3     direction of Bugojno.  I managed to reassure the army commander that he

 4     should as well take out his unit by the end of July to the defence line

 5     in the area of Bugojno municipality, facing the Army of Republika Srpska

 6     on the positions Humac, Jazvenik, and Skrtsko Brdo.  So we did everything

 7     possible in order to normalise the situation.

 8             On the 15th of August, 1992, when the Army of Republika Srpska

 9     launched an attack on our lines in Gornji Vakuf, Uskoplje, and Bugojno,

10     we acted in concert and repelled this attack.  My scouting company, along

11     with the Anti-Sabotage Detachment of the Bugojno Brigade, defended Rusac

12     and managed to stop the Serbian attack on the line facing Crvena Zemlja.

13     However, a situation emerged in which HVO units and the army units

14     clashed in Prozor.  This all put us back in the old positions when we

15     were looking at each other with mistrust.

16        Q.   Let me stop you right here.  Why did the clash occur?  Because

17     it's important for us to have context.  I mean, you have a common enemy,

18     but now two allied forces or peoples are clashing among themselves, so

19     what is happening, why it's happening?  Please explain that to us, who

20     were not there and don't know the dynamics at that period of time.

21        A.   It is very difficult to know the details of the context in which

22     it happened.  In most cases, the situation in the neighbouring

23     municipalities reflected and had its impact on the situation in

24     Gornji Vakuf and Uskoplje.  We were bound, along the chain of command, to

25     carry out the task given to us by superior commands.  Therefore, Mr. Agic

Page 45463

 1     asked me to let through an anti-sabotage Detachment commanded by Goran

 2     Cizic [phoen] from the staff in Gornji Vakuf and Uskoplje and allow it to

 3     link up with the 2nd Battalion simply in order to provide defence of

 4     Pridvorci and Crni Vrh, or that is how he put it.  I had to respond by

 5     saying that I couldn't do that and I wouldn't allow that.  After that,

 6     they put their units on full combat readiness.

 7        Q.   Let me stop you right here, because again you indicated that

 8     there was some mistrust in your previous answer, and now you're being

 9     asked specifically what would appear, at least to some of us, to be a

10     reasonable request, and you respond rather unreasonably at the time.

11     That's the impression that one might get.  So if you could explain, why

12     was there this mistrust between the Muslims and the Croats at that time,

13     in that area, and why you, in effect, would deny access which then

14     caused, you know, the ABiH to go on full alert?

15        A.   Probably the fundamental misunderstanding lies in the structure

16     of Bosnia-Herzegovina and the position of the three peoples living there.

17     And in military terms, because I was performing military duties of a

18     commander, and that is something that I had to do, and it is not normal

19     for a commander to let through his combat lines somebody who can

20     jeopardise or even effectively cause losses to the units of the Rama

21     Brigade.

22        Q.   But, again, let me stop you here.  Why would -- I mean, assuming

23     that you're both working in conjunction with each other, coordinating

24     your efforts against a common enemy, why would you then -- why are you

25     saying what you just told us, that you're worried that they may even

Page 45464

 1     cause -- or jeopardise or cause losses?  I mean, this is something that

 2     we need to understand.

 3        A.   On the 22nd of October, you had the conflict in Rama, and that

 4     was a conflict in which the BH Army forces and the HVO forces took part.

 5     Now, other people taking part in the conflict was the 2nd Battalion,

 6     forces from outside of the 317th Brigade, for example, from

 7     Gornji Vakuf-Uskoplje.  The commander assessed that the 2nd Battalion

 8     troops weren't sufficient for him to carry out his assignment.  Now, I

 9     couldn't block the forces of the 2nd Battalion because I -- they were

10     outside the area in which I was organised and my men, so for that reason

11     it is clear that the conflict could flare up and spill over into another

12     municipality, regardless of what I did or Mr. Agic did.

13             So on that day, too, we were in the hotel together with 22 other

14     citizens or intellectuals, if you will, from the Croatian and Bosniak

15     side.  We were sitting there and organising a peace march.  But it did

16     not bear fruit, and on the 23rd, the shooting started.  So that simply is

17     something that the army was not able to resolve on its own.

18             The problem didn't lie with the army.  The army was established

19     and set up to take up its positions in that given area and, first of all,

20     to put up an active defence in defending the Gornji Vakuf-Uskoplje area

21     from the Army of Republika Srpska.

22        Q.   Well, if the army isn't responsible -- we might want to take the

23     break at this point, and I'll pick up from there.  And I believe I do

24     have about seven or eight minutes left, Your Honours, but I will pick up

25     from that point.

Page 45465

 1                           [Trial Chamber confers]

 2             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Karnavas, you have five

 3     minutes left, but I think the best is to finish now, before the break,

 4     and then we'll have the break once you're done.

 5             MR. KARNAVAS:  Fine.

 6             JUDGE TRECHSEL:  I would have liked to be put back in the

 7     picture, as it were.

 8             Your initial question, Mr. Karnavas, as I recorded it, was:  What

 9     was the atmosphere in late spring/summer of -- now we are in October, and

10     I just wonder whether this is in the line you were asking or --

11             MR. KARNAVAS:  It is.  What I'm trying -- what I wish to do is

12     paint a picture of what is happening throughout -- because there is a

13     continuum, and then we'll get to the point that he is testifying, so --

14             JUDGE TRECHSEL:  Go ahead.

15             MR. KARNAVAS:  -- I don't want to give any answers or suggestions

16     to the witness.

17        Q.   But you've indicated that the army wasn't the problem, and, very

18     briefly, because they were told to go there and take up these positions.

19     If the army wasn't the problem, who was the problem, then?

20        A.   Counsel, I didn't say that in the Gornji Vakuf-Uskoplje area the

21     army was the problem.  We cooperated on a local level.

22        Q.   Excuse me, you said that it wasn't the problem, that it was not

23     the problem, and I'm asking you:  If the army was not the problem, who

24     was, or what caused the problem?

25        A.   I tried to answer by saying that there were different

Page 45466

 1     expectations with respect to Bosnia-Herzegovina's establishment and that

 2     this was reflected in the field, on the ground, and that it was a

 3     problem.  It was a problem of how to position the municipality of

 4     Gornji Vakuf-Uskoplje.

 5        Q.   I think I understand where you're going because I've been in the

 6     case for four years, but we need concrete answers.  So you're talking --

 7     let's say you're talking to somebody who doesn't know the events.  What

 8     does that answer mean?  Give me, specifically, what is the problem, who

 9     is the problem, who's causing the problem?  You're saying the expectation

10     of Bosnia-Herzegovina.  That's a dissertation.  That's worth 10 hours of

11     discussion.  Give me, concretely, what do you think was the problem at

12     that point in time in that area?

13        A.   Well, Counsel, the problem at the time was this:  There was a

14     conflict between the HVO and BH Army in Prozor municipality, and it spilt

15     over into Gornji Vakuf-Uskoplje.  And taking part in that conflict were

16     units of the 2nd Battalion, the 317th Mountain Brigade, in actual fact,

17     and if we had a map before us, you would be able to see that this is the

18     settlement of Voljevac, Pridvorci, et cetera, and that they were

19     attacking along the axis of Najnik [phoen] and Jurici, together with the

20     units from Konjic.

21        Q.   Thank you.  That gets us -- that helps us.  Now, we're in

22     October.  I only have a couple of minutes.  From late October, we go into

23     January.  What's happening there?  And tell us exactly when is it that

24     the conflict in January begins, because the Prosecution has the theory,

25     we've presented evidence to the contrary, but you can tell us, very

Page 45467

 1     briefly, what happens during that short period of time and when the

 2     conflict begins in earnest.

 3        A.   The conflict began in January, towards evening on the 11th, in

 4     fact, the 11th of January, 1993, a little before 7.00 p.m.

 5        Q.   And why did it begin?  Because you have October, things calm

 6     down, and then from October to January, things pick up again.  Why --

 7     what's happening in that area in Gornji Vakuf?  And then the last

 8     question that goes with that is if you could tell us when the HVO

 9     civilian government actually begins to function.

10        A.   When it comes to the reasons for the conflict beginning in

11     January, the BH Army brought in 305 members of the Jajce Brigade, and

12     from December onwards they deployed these men along the Gornji Vakuf

13     area.  After that, there was the Christmas break and the Christmas

14     holidays, and we decorated the part of town inhabited by the Croats, and

15     the Croats, on their houses, put up the Christmas decorations.

16        Q.   Let me stop you right there.

17        A.   Now, some people didn't --

18        Q.   Was that done specifically to provoke and to initiate a war,

19     because we had a Prosecutor here just only a couple of days ago saying

20     that the Croats were looking for a war and were pursuing a war?  Is that

21     the reason, yes or no?

22        A.   Absolutely not.

23        Q.   And, finally, we have to take the break.  When did the civilian

24     government begin to function in earnest in that area?

25        A.   I'm not quite sure, but I think that right up to -- well,

Page 45468

 1     Zdravko Batinic, as president of the Municipal Assembly, went on the 11th

 2     to take up his duties, so that means that in January the Croats were

 3     still in the bodies of power and authority in the Gornji Vakuf

 4     municipality, as it was at the time.

 5        Q.   We're talking about the HVO.  When you say that -- when he was --

 6     when Batinic was president of the Municipal Assembly, but that was not --

 7     it had nothing to do with the HVO; correct?

 8        A.   The Croatian Defence Council was set up by a decision of the 8th

 9     of April, 1992.

10        Q.   I understand, but I'm asking you when it began to function as a

11     government, because the impression that you may be leaving is that as of

12     that date, there was a Croatian HVO government in place in Gornji Vakuf,

13     throughout that period, functioning as a government.

14        A.   No, no.  Counsel, I said that the Croats were present in the

15     joint bodies of authority in Gornji Vakuf up until January 1993.

16             MR. KARNAVAS:  Thank you.  I have no further questions.

17             I want to thank you very, very much for coming here to give your

18     evidence.

19             Thank you, Your Honours, and I thank the interpreters for their

20     extra time and effort.

21             THE INTERPRETER:  You're welcome.

22             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well.  We'll break for 20

23     minutes, and then after the break we will give the floor to Mr. Kruger

24     for further cross-examination.

25                           --- Recess taken at 10.41 a.m.

Page 45469

 1                           --- On resuming at 11.06 a.m.

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

 3             I welcome Mr. Scott, who's with us.

 4             Before giving the floor to Mr. Kruger, the Trial Chamber would

 5     like to ask Mr. Stringer to confirm that for the last two witnesses of

 6     the Praljak Defence, that for his cross-examination he wants two hours

 7     for each of these witnesses.  Is that it, Mr. Stringer?  These are

 8     Witnesses Juric and Witness Curcic?

 9             MR. STRINGER:  Yes, that's correct, Mr. President.  I apologise

10     if the letter wasn't clear on that.  The Prosecution is requesting two

11     hours for each of them, so it would be two hours for Juric and then two

12     hours for Curcic.

13             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well, the Trial Chamber

14     will render its decision.

15             Ms. Alaburic.

16             MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, thank you.

17             I would just like to take this opportunity to inform the Trial

18     Chamber that the Petkovic Defence will have a request for additional time

19     to examine Witness Curcic because we consider that he has some very

20     relevant knowledge of benefit to the Trial Chamber and everyone.  And if

21     that is important for the planning and scheduling of the courtroom, I

22     wanted to inform you of that.  And we assume that 45 minutes, up to an

23     hour, would be the time we needed, that the Petkovic Defence will need.

24     We don't think he is a hostile witness, and we do believe that it would

25     be fair to deduct that time from the overall time allotted to the

Page 45470

 1     Petkovic Defence.

 2             Thank you.

 3             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well.  Your request is

 4     noted down on the transcript.

 5             Mr. Kruger.

 6             MR. KRUGER:  Thank you, Your Honour.

 7             Good morning, Your Honours.  Good morning, colleagues, everybody

 8     else in and around the courtroom.

 9             Your Honour, if I could just make certain that the Coric Defence

10     weren't going to use their 15 minutes.

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

12             I have already said that I'm not going to use those 15 minutes,

13     and I have already stated that if there's no need, then I won't be

14     conducting a cross-examination.  And as I see now, I'll stand by that.

15             MR. KRUGER:  Thank you, Your Honour.

16                           Cross-examination by Mr. Kruger:

17        Q.   Good morning, Mr. Tokic.  Sir, I'd first like to ask you a few

18     general questions about General Praljak.

19             During January 1993, is it correct that General Praljak was

20     referred to in Gornji Vakuf by the name of Brada?

21        A.   Mr. Prosecutor, yes, it's true that General Praljak was called

22     "Brada," among other things.

23        Q.   Thank you.  Now, in January, from your evidence thus far, it's

24     clear that you were aware of the presence of General Praljak in the

25     Gornji Vakuf region or Uskoplje region; is that correct?

Page 45471

 1        A.   Yes.

 2        Q.   You were aware at that stage, I suppose, that General Praljak was

 3     not officially a member of the HVO.

 4        A.   I was not aware of that, no.

 5        Q.   Isn't it correct that he only became commander of the Main Staff

 6     in July of 1993?

 7        A.   As for those details, I really don't know.

 8        Q.   You were aware, of course, that in January 1993, General Petkovic

 9     was the Chief of the Main Staff?

10        A.   Yes.

11        Q.   Be that as it may, General Praljak, you did not doubt his

12     authority, in January 1993, to also issue orders and commands to you and

13     your unit?

14        A.   Mr. Prosecutor, the commander of the Military District of

15     Tomislavgrad issued orders to me.  In this case, that was Mr. Siljeg.

16        Q.   Did you have anything to do with General Praljak, personally,

17     during January 1993?  I recall that you and he issued a joint command at

18     some stage.

19        A.   Sir, when I went to attend the briefings at the forward command

20     post of the operative zone in Prozor, that is, I would see

21     General Praljak.

22        Q.   And these briefings that you attended, was that in January 1993?

23        A.   In part, yes, up until the 13th, while I was able to move around

24     freely along the Gornji Vakuf-Uskoplje area.

25        Q.   Now, we'll get to those briefings in a moment.  From your

Page 45472

 1     statement -- I'd just like to refer you to your statement, and it's, in

 2     the English version, on page 27.  Unfortunately, I didn't check in which

 3     part it is in your section, but I will read to you what you stated.  And

 4     I would just like you to confirm whether this is actually accurate:

 5             "He would get to --" talking about General Praljak, this is:

 6             "He would get to know how things were at the front.  He would

 7     survey the terrain, and he would personally go to see the defence

 8     facilities, so I don't think that any of the Uskoplje soldiers or

 9     commanders could have anything negative to say about communication with

10     the general."

11             Do you agree with that?  Is that -- do you stand by what you said

12     in your statement?

13        A.   Yes, I stand fully by what I said in my statement.

14        Q.   You also said in your statement - I think it's the same page -

15     you say:

16             "I, being commander of a unit, would have to go to daily

17     briefings, and I had to come either to the forward commanding post of

18     Tomislavgrad gathering place at Dekorativ or to the forward command post

19     here at Pidris.  Anyway, during those briefings led by General Praljak,

20     all unit commanders that had been engaged in actions at Uskoplje front or

21     at Rama front were present at those briefings.  So when it comes to that

22     kind of communication, it was immediate in terms of superiors to

23     subordinates as well."

24             What you're referring to here would be the daily briefings you

25     already referred to a few moments ago; is that correct?

Page 45473

 1        A.   No, I meant the briefings convened by Colonel Siljeg.

 2             MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation] I would suggest that the witness be

 3     provided with a copy of the text in Croatian, because both with this

 4     question and the previous question, the relevant element of the

 5     time-period is in question.  So from the quotations, we can't gain an

 6     insight into what period of time is being referred to.

 7             Thank you.

 8             MR. KRUGER:  Thank you.

 9             Your Honour, for reference purposes, this is contained -- and the

10     statement, if we can provide it - I think the witness actually has it -

11     is numbered as Exhibit 3D03712, and it's in the binder that Ms. Nozica

12     has provided to the Chamber, the second binder from her.

13             MS. PINTER: [Interpretation] May I help?  It's page 28/29 in the

14     B/C/S, if I've got it right.  But I would also like to suggest that the

15     time of the briefing be established.

16             MR. KRUGER:  Thank you very much for that help, to Ms. Pinter.

17        Q.   Witness, do you have the place in the statement; it's page 28 and

18     29?  I'd just like to return to what you say:

19             "Anyway, during those briefings led by General Praljak ..."

20             So is it correct that General Praljak also led certain briefings

21     or conducted certain briefings for the commanders in your area?

22        A.   Mr. Prosecutor, General Praljak, and I'm speaking on the basis of

23     my recollections, began to hold briefings after the January conflict,

24     when I was able to communicate with the forward command post of the

25     military district in Prozor, and the location was Dekorativa, which was a

Page 45474

 1     textile factory, the premises of a textile factory, and that's where the

 2     headquarters were put up.  So that the answer to that is when I was able

 3     to leave Gornji Vakuf-Uskoplje sometime after the 20th, those briefings

 4     were presided over by General Praljak.

 5        Q.   And were these daily briefings at that stage?

 6        A.   The briefings were with the unit commanders, and they were mostly

 7     a summary of the daily activities.

 8        Q.   Now, until when did these briefings basically last that you're

 9     referring to?  If you could just give the Court an idea of the time

10     range.

11        A.   These briefings started sometime on the 10th of January, 1993,

12     and ended sometime in early March.

13        Q.   Okay.  And those conducted by General Praljak, did they also go

14     straight through to the period in early March?

15        A.   I think that General Praljak joined these briefings after the

16     25th of January, and I don't know if it was him who chaired the

17     briefings.  For the most part or most often, it was done by Colonel

18     Siljeg, the commander of the military district.

19        Q.   Okay.  But in your statement, you say:

20             "Anyway, during those briefings led by General Praljak --"

21             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Just a minute, Mr. Kruger.

22             A follow-up question, Witness.  You said that you went to these

23     briefings.  I would like to know whether these briefings were headed by

24     Siljeg and whether -- and Mr. Praljak was sitting aside, or whether the

25     briefing was headed by Mr. Praljak and Siljeg was just attending, if you

Page 45475

 1     see the difference between the two situations.  Could you tell me which

 2     one prevailed as to who headed these meetings, these briefings?

 3             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I believe that it was

 4     Colonel Siljeg who chaired the majority of the briefings.

 5             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Where was General Praljak

 6     sitting; on his right or just anywhere?

 7             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, he would be sitting next to

 8     some of the commanders on the right-hand side [as interpreted].

 9             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] If I understood you correctly,

10     Colonel Siljeg was chairing the meetings.

11             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, Colonel Siljeg conducted the

12     briefings.

13             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well.

14             JUDGE TRECHSEL:  Excuse me.  I'm sorry.  You are slightly

15     changing your testimony.  First you said you believe -- you believe that,

16     which cannot be understood in any other way than you're not quite sure.

17     Now you have been affirmative.  Are you quite sure or you still believe?

18             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I am sure that Colonel Siljeg

19     conducted the briefings, but quite simply General Praljak was in the room

20     starting from after the 20th of January, if I remember correctly.

21             MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I have an objection

22     to the translation or the record.

23             When Your Honour, on page 48, lines 20-21, is the answer -- when

24     you asked the witness, he said:

25             [In English] "Well, he would be sitting next to some of the

Page 45476

 1     commanders on the right-hand side."

 2             [Interpretation] The witness actually said:

 3             [In English] "He would be sitting next to some of the commanders

 4     or on the right-hand side," obviously referring to your question of

 5     Siljeg right side.  But perhaps that would be cleared.  And somehow that

 6     reflects also in that recent response of the Prosecutor on the additional

 7     question of Judge Trechsel, but maybe it should be checked.

 8             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Kruger.

 9             MR. KRUGER:

10        Q.   Now, Mr. Tokic, General Praljak's presence at those briefings,

11     did he participate in those briefings, also impart information, give

12     instructions?

13        A.   I think that he did join in into the briefings, and I think he

14     was a good motivator.  And he also would come up with proposals, to put

15     it simply.

16        Q.   And a good motivator, in the sense of inspiring you, as

17     commanders?

18        A.   No.  He quite simply encouraged us to gain strength and not to

19     make unreasonable requests, and that we should approach our tasks as

20     professional soldiers and responsible soldiers.

21        Q.   In your statement, I think it's the second statement that you

22     made, in the English version it is page 34, and I think it is actually

23     the last page of that statement, you're referring -- you were asked about

24     General Praljak's style of communication, and I think that this refers to

25     a meeting in October 1993, and you say:  "Look --" do you have that

Page 45477

 1     question where you were asked about General Praljak's style of

 2     communication?  Let me read to you:

 3             "Look, it's very hard to extract details from that meeting and

 4     say how General Praljak behaves in such conditions.  The fact is

 5     General Praljak has a very specific way of communicating, he is sharp,

 6     curses a lot while he communicates.  I don't think that meeting or

 7     communication was much different."

 8             Does this describe, to your mind, General Praljak's style of

 9     communication?  Do you stand by that?

10        A.   Yes, I stand by what I said.

11             MS. PINTER: [Interpretation] For your information only, pages 8

12     to 9, this is 3D --

13             THE INTERPRETER:  Could counsel please repeat the number of the

14     document.

15             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Ms. Pinter, you're saying "3D,"

16     but what 3D?

17             MS. PINTER: [Interpretation] 3D42-5351.

18             MR. KRUGER:  Your Honour, if I may perhaps help.  I think the

19     exhibit number referred to is 3D03712, and I think Ms. Pinter has given

20     the page number, if I'm not mistaken.

21        Q.   Sir, I have only one more question at this stage regarding

22     General Praljak's communication, and that refers to your statement.

23             On page 18 of the English version, and I don't know if Ms. Pinter

24     can help us to identify exactly where in the B/C/S version it is, but

25     you're commenting on the 1st of August, 1993, where General Praljak

Page 45478

 1     issues a command for units to return to Uskoplje from the front-lines,

 2     and I'll just read to you very briefly:

 3             "On July 31, part of the HVO units retreated from

 4     Gornji Vakuf-Uskoplje county, that is, from ...," and then certain

 5     locations are mentioned.  "In the morning hours of August 1, all of these

 6     units were on the territory of Pidris.  In that moment, General Praljak

 7     issued a command for units to return to Uskoplje front-lines."

 8             Now, my first question to you is:  Do you recall receiving such

 9     an order from General Praljak which you mentioned in your statement?

10        A.   Sir, General Praljak climbed the tank and said, Follow me to

11     Uskoplje.

12        Q.   I think you've answered my second question.  I wanted to ask:

13     How was this order issued, written or verbally?  But it seems that it was

14     verbally and by example; is that correct?

15        A.   Yes, orally and by example.

16        Q.   Now, when General Praljak issued an order, they were obeyed?  You

17     had no qualms about obeying an order which came from General Praljak; is

18     that correct?

19        A.   Sir, this took place on the 1st of August, 1993, and within all

20     this mayhem and chaos, any commander with the rank of general would be

21     obeyed who was willing to risk his own life.  Any general who would climb

22     a tank and, by example, call the army and the troops to follow him, that

23     would be abided by.

24        Q.   Okay.  So you did not question his authority?

25        A.   Sir, a commander, at a tactical level, never asks his superiors

Page 45479

 1     whether they have the appropriate authority for command and control.

 2     That's rule number 1.  It is simply accepted as such on the ground.

 3        Q.   So let's step on to another topic.

 4             I'd now like to explore with you the relations between you and

 5     Mr. Fahrudin Agic, and then perhaps also more broadly you -- or, sorry,

 6     the HVO and the Territorial Defence, or later the armija of the ABiH.

 7             Now, before starting on that, the Chamber has heard evidence

 8     already that a hot-line existed at UNPROFOR connecting the HVO and the

 9     ABiH units in Gornji Vakuf.  Are you aware of that?  Sir, I'm not

10     referring to any document yet, so you needn't look in the binder yet.

11        A.   Mr. Prosecutor, between myself and the commander of the

12     1317th [as interpreted] Brigade, Mr. Agic, was a wire connection, and we

13     were able to talk to each other.

14        Q.   And this capability of talking to each other, did that serve to

15     also diffuse situations during that period, tensions between the two

16     sides, or did it contribute to it, at least?

17        A.   We have established this communication line in order to exchange

18     information and inform each other about all the events taking place in

19     the area of Gornji Vakuf-Uskoplje municipality.

20        Q.   Now, let's move on.  First, just look at something very general,

21     and I'm referring to your statement once again.  And in the English

22     version, it's page 25 of your statement.  I'll just read to you, and you

23     needn't look at that.  You can leave it.

24             You were asked, in your statement, about whether it was difficult

25     to maintain discipline, and I think this was with reference to the period

Page 45480

 1     surrounding October 1992, and your answer to this, what you responded

 2     was:

 3             "Yes, yes, because lower-ranking officers, to start with, they

 4     didn't want to run afoul of their neighbours with whom they lived just

 5     yesterday.  They didn't want to take responsibility for construction of a

 6     system."

 7             Now, sir, is that correct, what you stated there, that in the

 8     ABiH units, comprised of local people from Gornji Vakuf, and in the HVO

 9     unit, comprised of locals from Gornji Vakuf, these people had previously

10     been neighbours and friends?

11        A.   Sir, you either don't have a proper translation here or you are

12     trying to say something that I never said in my statement.  My statement

13     referred to my low-ranking officers who were in command of adjacent units

14     in HVO and were unwilling to report them, so that higher-ranking officers

15     would take disciplinary measures against them.  And the rule book,

16     disciplinary rule book, stipulates that the lowest-ranking officer that

17     can impose disciplinary measures, such as detention or transfer, was

18     company commander; therefore, I never mentioned anywhere my Bosniak

19     neighbours.

20        Q.   Thank you.  I now understand that.

21             Let's move on to, then, you --

22             JUDGE TRECHSEL:  Excuse me, Mr. Kruger.

23             There is one element which makes me doubt about your answer,

24     Witness.  It's true that this passage does not speak of Muslims, but it

25     speaks of neighbours, friends, "with whom they lived just yesterday."

Page 45481

 1     Now, if this were referring to their own men, the "yesterday" would not

 2     make sense, because they are still living, of course, with the men.  They

 3     were supposed to report if they were undisciplined.  Could you explain

 4     that, or is that a mistake of translation, the "yesterday"?

 5             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I'm talking about

 6     discipline in my units, and my commanders of squad platoons and companies

 7     are requested to carry out their tasks.  They're also requested to

 8     implement, both on their neighbours and their troops, the Rules of

 9     Service, and if they fail to do so, they should suffer consequences.  And

10     this is what my statement is about.

11             JUDGE TRECHSEL:  I fail to understand something.  Why are they

12     requested to implement Rules of Service on their neighbours?  On their

13     troops, yes, but why on their neighbours?  That's what the translation

14     says.

15             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honours, bearing in mind the

16     time-frame that we are talking about, my units were engaged in

17     implementing orders on the front-line facing the Army of Republika

18     Srpska.  Each time when I have to carry out the rotation or replacement

19     of my troops, I issue an order which regulates the terms, saying that 48

20     hours prior to being sent out to carry out tasks, the troops, who are at

21     the moment in civilian clothes and working the land, should be served a

22     written summons to come and carry out the tasks.  This is followed then

23     by lining the men up, counting them, a medical examination to confirm

24     whether they are fit or not fit for carrying out these tasks, checking

25     the medical certificates, et cetera.  Only the company commander is

Page 45482

 1     entitled to justify an absence of a soldier, but without, by doing so,

 2     diminishing the capability of the unit for carrying out the specific

 3     tasks.  Everything else is simply subject to disciplinary measures.  You

 4     either bring your troops for interview -- and in order to bring the

 5     soldier for interview, he has to be reported to the battalion commander

 6     who was being tasked with carrying out the rotation of troops, and in

 7     that context I'm talking about discipline in units.

 8             There were incidents in which a company commander or a platoon

 9     commander failed to report a soldier who never appeared because the

10     soldier was his relative, a friend, or a neighbour.

11             JUDGE TRECHSEL:  So what you are saying, if I understand you

12     correctly, is that the Rules of Service apply also to persons who at a

13     certain moment are at home, milking their cows, ploughing their fields,

14     whatever, if they are susceptible to come back to service.  The Rules of

15     Service also apply to civilians who are not soldiers at the moment, but

16     potential and previous soldiers?

17             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honours, let me make it clear.

18             A brigade has its mobilisation schedule, more than

19     300 [as interpreted] soldiers.  We have no barracks where we can keep the

20     soldiers in training and preparation.  We have a front-line facing the

21     Army of Republika Srpska for which, for one shift, we needed up to 350

22     troops.  We are keeping a smaller number of troops on standby in the

23     event of a sudden attack by the enemy on the front-line.  Over

24     50 per cent of these soldiers were engaged in their regular daily work in

25     the field or on the farm or in a private business.  That is why they are

Page 45483

 1     called up 48 hours in advance, so that it would give them ample time to

 2     receive information about the impending task.

 3             JUDGE TRECHSEL:  Thank you.

 4             MR. KRUGER:

 5        Q.   Now, Mr. Tokic --

 6             MR. KOVACIC:  Maybe just a transcript correction.  Page 56, line

 7     6, the witness said, if I'm not wrong - this is what I heard - 1.300

 8     soldiers, total number of members in the brigade, and the transcript

 9     reflects only 300.  So ...

10             MR. KRUGER:

11        Q.   Now, Mr. Tokic, just before stepping off this idea, the notion,

12     however, of neighbours and friends having an impact on the relationship

13     between the two conflicting parties or the atmosphere in Gornji Vakuf,

14     I'd just like to ask you, the fact -- it is a fact that Muslims and

15     Croats had been living harmoniously in Gornji Vakuf for some time prior

16     to 1992 and 1993; isn't that correct?

17        A.   Yes, that's a fact, and that still is a fact up to this date.

18        Q.   And that being a fact, it means that probably many Muslims had

19     Croat friends and many Croats had Muslim friends prior to that, to 1992

20     and 1993, and they even have these friends until now, and neighbours, for

21     that matter; isn't that also correct?

22        A.   That is correct.

23        Q.   So when a conflict broke out in Novi Travnik and in Prozor at a

24     later stage, isn't it also safe to say, then, that the local Croats and

25     the local Muslims in Gornji Vakuf, they weren't very keen on fighting

Page 45484

 1     each other?

 2        A.   Well, we were in constant communication when we were talking

 3     about this region, and we were talking to each other all the time.  I

 4     also had a number of Muslims in my unit as well.

 5        Q.   Let's look at a document which we've already looked at previously

 6     during your evidence.  And if you go to the Prosecution document binder,

 7     it's Exhibit P00778.  You'll see tabs along the side of the binder, and

 8     if you go to P000778, the second document, you'll see that it starts with

 9     the English version, but you can look at the original language version

10     which will appeared second.

11             Now, sir, this is your letter to the Gornji Vakuf Territorial

12     Defence, and it's the letter concerning the gruesome murder of citizen

13     Salih Grizic.  That's the case or the incident where a soldier,

14     Vlatko Rajic, had beheaded a Muslim, and this is of the 19th of November,

15     1992.  Now, what I'd like to refer you to is the -- in your first

16     paragraph -- well, it's only the second paragraph, then, and a few lines

17     down, you say:

18             "We sincerely sympathise with the relatives, acquaintances and

19     friends of the late Salih Grizic."

20             And further down you say:

21             "We address all Muslims and members of the Territorial Defence in

22     Gornji Vakuf municipality, hoping and wishing that this murder will not

23     be used to further widen the gap that appeared between Croatian and

24     Muslim people in the territory of Gornji Vakuf.  Those who are trying to

25     use this murder as a political means with the purpose of stirring up

Page 45485

 1     hatred between Croats and Muslims are not doing a favour to Croats or

 2     Muslims."

 3             Now, my first question to you is:  When you wrote these words and

 4     sent this letter, were you absolutely sincere in your hope that the

 5     conflict between Croats and Muslims, that that gap would not further

 6     widen?  And we're speaking about the gap between Croat and Muslim people

 7     in Gornji Vakuf.

 8        A.   Mr. Prosecutor, I wrote this letter at the time this happened,

 9     and in my letter I express my feelings and sentiments, emotions, and my

10     wishes to prevent the situation from becoming politicised, and I went on,

11     on internal television, together with Mr. Agic, with this information,

12     and we wanted to clarify this by means of direct communication.  So,

13     quite simply, my intentions were sincere.

14        Q.   And what you do express here, that would be pretty representative

15     of the view generally held by the local Croats and the local Muslims

16     residing in Gornji Vakuf; would you agree?

17        A.   Look, only somebody who does not wish goodwill to himself would

18     be happy to see a conflict break out.  We all wanted to prevent a

19     conflict, and that was true of every soldier, every inhabitant of our

20     municipality.

21        Q.   Now, we'll look in a few moments about who the people were who

22     were then fostering the conflict or fanning the flames, but you mentioned

23     that you and Mr. Agic, that you then went on the local TV to appeal to

24     the people to calm down, the people of Gornji Vakuf.

25             Now, we had the evidence before the Court of Colour Sergeant

Page 45486

 1     Andrew Williams who was the information officer with the Cheshire

 2     Regiment.  That was BritBat.  Did you know or do you recall Mr. Williams,

 3     Andrew Williams?

 4        A.   Major James, and with all due respect to the person, I don't

 5     remember him and the captain.

 6        Q.   Okay.  I'd just like to read you a short excerpt from his

 7     testimony, and this is an excerpt he testified on the 6th --

 8        A.   Just a moment, please.  What document number is that?  I don't

 9     seem to have it.

10        Q.   This won't be a document.  This was just evidence that has been

11     presented in court.

12             Just for the record, it's the transcript of the 16th of October,

13     2006, and it's transcript page 8448 from lines 3 to 10.  The witness

14     said:

15             "Initially, during the early part --" he's referring to October

16     and then later January.  "Initially, during the early part of our tour, a

17     tour such as this particular -- such as this particular moment in time,

18     the local commanders used to sort it out between themselves with the

19     assistance of Major Roux.  They were -- both of the local commanders knew

20     each other and tried -- whenever their soldiers were starting to become a

21     problem, they did actually try to stop it.  Very rarely did they have to

22     at this stage, did they ever ask a higher level or were constrained by a

23     higher level in what --" and this is an error in the transcript, "in what

24     they did or said."

25             Now, sir, this essentially confirms that you and your counterpart

Page 45487

 1     were often involved in diffusing potential conflict between the two

 2     sides; is that correct?

 3        A.   Well, Mr. Agic and I had to intervene very frequently.  I would

 4     go into the field and he would mostly stay in his office.

 5        Q.   Did the two of you trust each other?

 6        A.   Well, I'm not sure that we trusted each other, but we cooperated

 7     mutually.

 8        Q.   Okay.  Now, sir, if we can move on to an exhibit in the

 9     Prosecution binder, Exhibit 1D00947.

10             Do you have the document?

11        A.   Would you repeat the number, please?

12        Q.   Certainly.  It's 1D00947.  It's in the last third of your binder.

13             Now, sir, this is a report of the 6th of November by

14     Mr. Ivan Saric on events in Gornji Vakuf from the 19th to the 31st of

15     October, 1992.  And the first question:  Did you know Mr. Saric?

16        A.   Yes.  Mr. Ivan Saric was the president of the Croatian Defence

17     Council in Gornji Vakuf-Uskoplje municipality.

18        Q.   Now, in the second paragraph, in the middle of that paragraph, it

19     says:

20             "On Monday, 19 October 1992, a member of Gornji Vakuf HVO had a

21     conversation with the commander of BiH Army and the president of SDA for

22     Gornji Vakuf, when it was concluded that the events in Novi Travnik must

23     not and would not spread ... and that the situation would be manageable."

24             The report then goes on to describe some tensions in

25     Gornji Vakuf, and with well-armed HVO and ABiH soldiers present in every

Page 45488

 1     part of town, and then it says that Mr. Agic ascribes the tension to the

 2     movement of an HVO unit through Gornji Vakuf from Prozor to Novi Travnik.

 3             On page 2 in the English, it then says:

 4             "In agreement with the commander of the HVO Gornji Vakuf armed

 5     forces, they convened a meeting of all responsible people in the

 6     municipality of Gornji Vakuf."

 7             And then this bit:

 8             "The mere announcement of the meeting in a composition like this,

 9     and the knowledge thereof, gave hope to many, restored peace and even

10     prevented possible conflict on that day."

11             So, sir, from this -- well, first of all, the commanders being

12     referred to of the HVO Gornji Vakuf, that would be you?

13        A.   No, that wouldn't be me.

14        Q.   Who was that?

15        A.   It doesn't say that the commander convened it, but the president

16     of the HVO.

17        Q.   My question, however, it doesn't matter whether you were present

18     at that meeting or not, but it concerns this part:

19             "The mere announcement of the meeting in a composition like this

20     and the knowledge thereof gave hope to many."

21             Would you agree that this confirms what we've been talking about

22     earlier, that the locals in Gornji Vakuf, they weren't out for a fight,

23     they didn't want to fight each other, they wanted peace in Gornji Vakuf?

24        A.   Mr. Prosecutor, I can't give you a yes-or-no answer.  We know

25     from before that Mr. Saric and Mr. Abdulah Topcic, for all intents and

Page 45489

 1     purposes, did not communicate well and that, quite simply, they were

 2     obstructing command and control of the commanders of units, especially

 3     when it came to the BH Army.  Mr. Agic, for instance, always made a

 4     pretext and said that the Patriotic League units, which already on the

 5     10th of May, 1992, had taken control of the hotel, were not under his

 6     supervision, nor were the Green Berets who were commanded by

 7     Hanefija Prijic.  So the question now arises as to who was in command of

 8     these units, so that if you looked at the document, you'll probably have

 9     seen that Mr. Topcic did not actually want to attend that meeting because

10     Mr. Saric had convened it, and he didn't recognise Mr. Saric or the HVO,

11     so he didn't want to come.

12        Q.   That's correct.  We'll be looking at the -- or exploring --

13             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Witness, early this morning I

14     asked you what the relationship was between the army and the political

15     authorities, and you answered by saying the army was doing its job and

16     the political authorities were doing other things, and now you're saying

17     exactly the opposite.  So I have a hard time reconciling this.  Either

18     you did not understand my question correctly, which is a possibility, of

19     course, but now you're telling us that Mr. Saric interfered in the

20     control and command of the army, which is exactly what I was trying to

21     elicit this morning.  But this morning, you said, No, but now you're

22     saying, Yes.  I'm having a hard time with your answers.

23             Mr. Kruger.

24             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, with your permission,

25     may I provide an explanation?

Page 45490

 1             You asked me about the relationship between the commander of the

 2     HVO and a BH Army commander.  You didn't ask me about communications

 3     between the political structures, between Mr. Topcic and Mr. Saric, for

 4     instance.  The communication between me and Commander Agic was good.

 5     However, their communication was not functioning properly.

 6             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes, you had not understood my

 7     question.  My question dealt with the relationship between you, as

 8     commander of the HVO, so a military man, and Mr. Ceric, president of the

 9     municipality.  This is what I wanted to know about this morning, and you

10     answered by saying, I was do what I had to do.  And I drew the conclusion

11     that there was no interference whatsoever, and now it seems that there

12     were, so I'm trying to understand.  I'm just noting this down.  I'm not

13     drawing any conclusions.

14             MR. KARNAVAS:  Your Honour, I would appreciate a direct answer to

15     that question, because I understand Mr. Saric at one point was -- not

16     only was he deposed, but also he was put on the front-line by the HVO,

17     which clearly shows that if he was any person of authority, certainly he

18     would not be on the front-line, dodging bullets.  So I would appreciate

19     an answer to this question.

20             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Can you answer?

21             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, Mr. Saric had no

22     authority in terms of control and command, command and control.

23             MR. KRUGER:  Thank you, Your Honour.

24        Q.   Sir, let's look, in the same document, page 2, the third

25     paragraph, also in your version the third paragraph, I think.  And here

Page 45491

 1     it reports that:

 2             "According to the commander of the army, Fahrudin Agic, he had

 3     issued an order for his units to be in a state of readiness and to take

 4     the previously-determined points in and around the town because of the

 5     passage of the HVO unit going from Prozor towards Novi Travnik.  On the

 6     other side, Zrinko Tokic, the staff commander, in his own words, had to

 7     respond to that with similar moves in order to prevent possible

 8     unpleasant surprises.  In that way, the units found themselves in a

 9     stalemate situation, the situation of tension and anticipation, which

10     could be turned into a destructive avalanche by anyone or anything."

11             Now, sir, doesn't this actually sum up quite nicely the situation

12     in Gornji Vakuf, that there's no real reason for conflict, but the ABiH

13     feels threatened and then they take certain measures, defensive posturing

14     measures, and then you, on the HVO side, have to respond thereto, or

15     thought you had to respond thereto?

16        A.   Mr. Prosecutor, feelings are subjective, but according to

17     military principles, 3.000 members of the BH Army and 1.700

18     members [as interpreted] of the HVO in Gornji Vakuf-Uskoplje, do they

19     have the same force, and which side should be concerned and fearful of

20     their position?

21             MS. TOMANOVIC: [Interpretation] I apologise, but I think we

22     should correct the transcript on page 65, line 5.  It says that the HVO

23     had 1.700 members or, rather, soldiers.  Can the witness put that right?

24     I think it would be a good idea.

25             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, thank you.  1.700 HVO members.

Page 45492

 1             THE INTERPRETER:  Interpreters note:  [B/C/S spoken], "1.700"

 2     [realtime transcript read in error "2.700"].

 3             MR. KRUGER:

 4        Q.   Sir, in short, the sides were watching each other very closely,

 5     and each side thought it had to respond the other side's actions, in

 6     short, without judging the right or wrong of it at this stage?

 7             Okay, I see you're kind of shaking your head.  You agree with

 8     that -- or you don't disagree, at least, with that statement?

 9        A.   I agree that both sides, quite simply, were on the alert.

10        Q.   On page 3 of the English -- I'm sorry, page 2 of the English

11     version, right at the bottom -- sorry, my mistake.  Page 3 of the English

12     version, and it would be probably the fifth or the sixth-to-last

13     paragraph in the B/C/S version, just briefly, it says:

14             "Owing to the HVO staff commander and probably the ABiH staff

15     commander for Gornji Vakuf, the conflict did not spread to the

16     surrounding villages, except for ..."

17             So once again you and Mr. Agic, you solved the problem or

18     diffused the tension; correct?

19        A.   Well, Mr. Prosecutor, I did have direct communication with

20     Mr. Agic over the wire, but when we had to go out into the field, I was

21     in the field, myself, to all intents and purposes, and Mr. Agic would

22     send a battalion commander or somebody else.

23             MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation] I apologise for stepping in, but

24     after Ms. Tomanovic intervened and raised the question of the record and

25     "1.700," now we have a worse situation according to which the witness

Page 45493

 1     confirmed that the number was 1.700 HVO members, and afterwards the

 2     interpreter's note was -- the record says "2.700."  I think that's a

 3     mistake in the transcript.  Which figure did the witness say, and what

 4     did the interpreter say, and were they all his soldiers or not?  Because

 5     now we have a confusion.

 6             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Witness, can you specify?

 7             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, yes, I can.  The

 8     Ante Starcevic Brigade numbered approximately 1.300, [B/C/S spoken].  The

 9     home guards had about 270.  The MUP members of the military police and

10     military conscripts who were in the Bruno Busic Brigade, now, when you

11     add all that up, you should get 1.700, [B/C/S spoken].  They were

12     domicile members from Gornji Vakuf-Uskoplje.

13             MR. KRUGER:  Thank you for clearing that up.

14        Q.   Now, sir, remaining with this document, you've already referred

15     to Mr. Topcic, Mr. Abdulah Topcic, who was the president of the SDA, and

16     at the end of this report excerpts from Mr. Topcic's speech are reported,

17     and this is the fourth-last paragraph of the document and, it says here,

18     are examples from his speech.  And then quotation marks:

19             "What the gentleman and that imbecile Boban have in mind will not

20     come true.  We do not recognise the Croatian Defence Council.  We won't

21     be part of the HZ-HB," or the Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna.  "We

22     won't be Croats with Muslim religion.  We will get prepared and we will

23     fight against HZ-HB until the last man."

24             Now, on this -- oh, sorry, let me just go a little bit further:

25             "We note that other representatives of the Muslim people did not

Page 45494

 1     affirm his words, but they did not condemn him either."

 2             Now, on this I'd like to ask you:  The Court has heard evidence,

 3     so you don't disagree, that Gornji Vakuf was being claimed as part of the

 4     HZ-HB or the Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna; the intention was to

 5     include it in the HZ-HB?

 6        A.   As far as I know, that's a fact.

 7        Q.   And you knew it at that stage as well?  We're talking about

 8     October 1992.

 9        A.   I knew in October 1992 as well.

10        Q.   So if we look at what Mr. Topcic is saying, basically, it was

11     also known in October 1992 that at least some of the Muslims were not

12     pleased with the idea of including Gornji Vakuf within the HZ-HB.  Would

13     you agree?

14        A.   Well, I agree that most of the Muslims saw the organisation for

15     Gornji Vakuf-Uskoplje municipality in Bosnia-Herzegovina differently.

16        Q.   And it's also correct that the Muslims were actually in the

17     majority in Gornji Vakuf, so it was unlikely that the aim could be

18     achieved of including Gornji Vakuf in the HZ-HB?

19        A.   The 1991 population census showed that 56 per cent were Bosniaks

20     and 43 per cent were Croats.

21        Q.   Okay.  Would you agree with the notion that to include

22     Gornji Vakuf within the Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna, given its

23     reluctant Muslim majority, that it wasn't going to happen, it wouldn't be

24     possible?  Would you agree with that?

25        A.   It's very difficult for me, as a commander, to make political

Page 45495

 1     assessments as to what is possible and what is not possible.  There were

 2     two different conceptions, places and positions, Gornji Vakuf-Uskoplje

 3     within the state of Bosnia-Herzegovina, and each side, in the political

 4     sense, advocated its own concept.

 5        Q.   Okay, we'll come back to that point at a later stage.

 6             I think the next document I'm leaving.

 7             Sir, just very briefly, if you could look at document -- I had a

 8     few other documents in here which also tracks the cooperation or the

 9     efforts by you and Mr. Agic to diffuse situations, but have a look for a

10     moment at 3D00508.  This is a joint order by Mr. Siljeg, and signature --

11     the other signature is illegible.  It's dated the 30th of January.  Do

12     you have it?  You're looking at the wrong document.  3D --

13        A.   Would you tell me again?

14        Q.   3D00508.  Right, now you have it.

15             The 30th of January, a joint order from Mr. Siljeg, and then the

16     other signature is illegible.  Would you know who the other signee is,

17     the one on the right-hand side?  Do you recognise that signature?

18        A.   Well, as chance would have it, I do know who the person who

19     signed there is.  I think it's Mr. Emir Bijedic.

20        Q.   This is to the HVO Gornji Vakuf Command and the BH Army

21     Gornji Vakuf Command, and it says:

22             "Pursuant to the existing situation in the area of Gornji Vakuf

23     municipality, after the combat actions, in order to avert consequences

24     and normalise life of citizens, we order to both HVO and BH Army:

25             "To form joint expert teams to restore ..."

Page 45496

 1             Point 1, electricity; number 2, water; number 3 would be garbage

 2     cartage, et cetera.  Number 5:

 3             "As responsible men for the realisation, I appoint Fahrudin Agic

 4     and Zrinko Tokic."

 5             At that stage, were you and Mr. Agic serious and sincere in your

 6     intention to perform this order?

 7        A.   Not only that we were serious, but we did, indeed, carry out this

 8     order.

 9        Q.   Right.  Now, sir, if we could go to Exhibit 4D00421.  It's

10     further on from where you are now, about three documents further on.

11     4D00043 -- sorry, it's -- no, the next.  It's 4D00421.  It's the

12     third-last document in your binder.

13             Now, this is an order from Mr. Arif Pasalic on the 14th of

14     January, and it's an ABiH order which goes to the 1st Mostar Brigade and

15     then a few other ABiH addressees as well.  And just to confirm, you were

16     aware that Mr. Pasalic was the counterpart of General Petkovic at this

17     stage in January?

18             MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Just one minor objection.

19             I think that my learned colleague made a small mistake.  I don't

20     think that they were at the same line of command.  Pasalic was

21     counterpart of Mr. Siljeg, just in order to avoid any confusion.

22             MR. KRUGER:  Thank you for that.  I won't pursue this point in

23     any case.

24        Q.   What I'm interested in is this order of Mr. Pasalic, and it

25     says -- and if we go to the second paragraph:

Page 45497

 1             "Establish close cooperation with HVO brigade commands in the

 2     joint planning, carrying out of large-scale combat activities, especially

 3     along the axis of ...," and then it gives certain locations.

 4             Point 3:

 5             "Avoid conflicts with the HVO at any cost, regardless of the

 6     attempts of extremist factions, doing everything to ensure that the

 7     relations between Muslims and Croats deteriorate."

 8             Now, sir, my question to you is:  Based on this order of the 14th

 9     of January, would you agree that is an indication that the ABiH was

10     actually trying to be reasonable in Gornji Vakuf?  This isn't an

11     aggressive posture being taken?

12             JUDGE PRANDLER:  Mr. Kruger, I'm sorry to interrupt you, but I

13     believe that my question, which I would like to ask from the witness, is

14     about the same thing which you tried to ask him about, and it is about

15     point 1 of the order.  And I would like to ask the witness if the

16     reference to enemy territory in the first line, of what does it mean, in

17     his view?  And let me quote the first point:

18             "Intensify sabotage activities deeper inside enemy territory, at

19     the KM/command post, at the artillery's VP/firing positions, in rear

20     services," et cetera.

21             Do I take it that the "enemy territory" in this case would have

22     meant actually Serbian or Republika Srpska territory?  Because otherwise

23     the rest of the paragraphs are not very convincing, because actually from

24     the second paragraph there is an important -- "appear for close

25     cooperation with the HVO brigade," et cetera, et cetera.  So what is your

Page 45498

 1     view about the "enemy territory" question?  In your view, to which

 2     territory does it refer?

 3             Thank you.

 4             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honours, allow me to note that

 5     this, Arif Pasalic's order, commander of the 4th Corps, does not refer in

 6     any way to Gornji Vakuf-Uskoplje municipality and the ABiH units because

 7     these were directly commanded by the 3rd Corps with headquarters in

 8     Zenica.  If you allow me to respond to your question, then I believe that

 9     under item 1, reference is being made to the Army of Republika Srpska.

10             JUDGE PRANDLER:  Thank you very much.  It is what I also felt.

11     Thank you.  Thank you.

12             MR. KRUGER:  Thank you, Your Honour.

13        Q.   Sir, if I could just clarify.  The 4th Corps, which Mr. Pasalic

14     is referring to, what was their area of responsibility?  It's just that I

15     don't mislead you here.

16        A.   It ended with Prozor municipality, due north.

17        Q.   Okay.  So when there is talk about "establish close cooperation

18     with HVO brigade commands in the joint planning," this "HVO brigade

19     commands," would that include your brigade?

20        A.   No, this was North-Eastern Herzegovina Operations Zone -- I

21     apologise, South-Eastern Herzegovina.

22        Q.   Let's not -- and then -- waste further time on this document.

23     I'd like to return to the -- to the flag incidents which we've heard

24     about over the Christmas period.

25             Now, you mentioned or you also testified yesterday that a HOS

Page 45499

 1     flag was hoisted on a pole or a post, but I'd just like to explore with

 2     you whether there weren't more flag incidents and that we don't get them

 3     all mixed up.

 4             First of all, if I can refer to your statement on page 7, and

 5     that's your first statement.  And then just for the record, that's

 6     Exhibit 3D03712, and the B/C/S version should appear on your screen,

 7     hopefully.  But I'd like to read to you.  You state:

 8             "And this relates to Christmas 1992 in villages of Voljice,

 9     Drazev, Duradbegovic Dolac, Ivica, and Planinica," and you say that these

10     villages were 90 per cent Muslim.  And then I'll quote:

11             "Catholic Croats, according to their tradition, decorate their

12     towns, and there was some problems regarding the decorating of the towns

13     and showing Croatian flags or flags of the Croat people."

14             Now, you don't disagree with this, because you already testified

15     to this, about the custom of decorating and why flags were used.

16     However, what I'd like to ask you, and it bodes on what Mr. Karnavas

17     asked you, whether this was a provocation, these villages which you are

18     referring to, you say were 90 per cent Muslim, so a very small number of

19     Croats, raising -- oh, and at this stage, if we can add, it seems that

20     the situation or the relationships were very sensitive in Gornji Vakuf

21     between the various groups.  There was a lot of tension.  Now, sir, under

22     those circumstances, isn't the mere fact of raising a Croat flag more

23     than only a Christmas celebration; doesn't it have also a political

24     signal?

25        A.   Sir, when we talk about this portion that you have quoted, this

Page 45500

 1     refers to the defence line facing the Army of Republika Srpska, where my

 2     units were in the process of carrying out their tasks.  Passing through

 3     these villages and defending these villages populated by Muslims, or

 4     90 per cent populated by Muslims, when it comes to decorating the town

 5     for Christmas, this is an ancient tradition of the Croatian people

 6     elsewhere, including Bosnia-Herzegovina, and we used to do that back in

 7     1990, 1991, et cetera, and nobody was bothered by that.  Only in 1992

 8     did -- a few people came forward and said that they had a problem with

 9     that.  In a document, it is stated that the MUP or, rather, the police of

10     the army have found three flags and they put them back.  So we were

11     cooperating with the army on this particular issue.  Obviously, they

12     didn't mind seeing the flags hoisted.

13             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Kruger, we shall have the

14     break now because it's time for the break, and the break will last 20

15     minutes.

16                           --- Recess taken at 12.34 p.m.

17                           --- On resuming at 12.58 p.m.

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

19             Mr. Kruger, you've had one hour so far.  You've been granted two

20     hours.  If you make an effort and try and be efficient in your time

21     management, and if there is not much redirect, we will be able to finish

22     today, which would mean that the witness could go back home today.  This

23     is what I have to tell you, Mr. Kruger.

24             Mr. Kovacic.

25             THE INTERPRETER:  Microphone, please.

Page 45501

 1             MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honours.

 2             Before we lose this page from our screens, I'm talking about

 3     page 73, the sentence in line 20.  The witness said, as it reads here:

 4             [In English] "In the document, it is stated that the MUP, or,

 5     rather, the police of the army have found ..."

 6             [Interpretation] The witness said "the military police" rather

 7     than "the police of the army."  That can have multiple meanings.  And the

 8     last sentence in line 23, the witness said, as it is recorded:

 9             [In English] "Obviously, they didn't mind seeing the flags

10     hoisted."

11             [Interpretation] But after that, he added "but the other's

12     minded."  The others thought that it was not a small matter; that the

13     army, obviously they didn't mind seeing the flags hoisted, but others

14     did.

15             [Interpretation] And I can take this opportunity to draw the

16     witness's attention to something that the interpreters told us during the

17     break, is that you be careful when you use the terms "vojska" and

18     "armija."  We understand that when you say "armija" this normally refers

19     to the ABiH, but when we say "vojska," any army would mean that, and we

20     would specify which particular army you had in mind, and this is actually

21     the root of this mistake.

22             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Kruger.

23             MR. KRUGER:  Thank you, Your Honour.

24        Q.   Now, Mr. Tokic, just before the break we were talking about the

25     flag incident, and you mentioned - it was also previously in your

Page 45502

 1     evidence, it's also in your statement - about a flag that was taken -- or

 2     three flags that were taken down, and then they were returned.  They were

 3     returned by your MPs and put back in -- or they were returned by the TO,

 4     and these flags were then put in place again.  And I think they were

 5     thereafter taken down again, but not returned.  Do you recall that

 6     evidence?  That's basically correct, or my paraphrasing of it?

 7        A.   Sir, I said that they had first been taken down, then returned,

 8     then taken down again.  And after that, we had no feedback information as

 9     to what happened with them.

10        Q.   Okay.  Now, sir, this incident, if I'm not mistaken, was on the

11     23rd and 24th of December, 1992; correct?

12        A.   These incidents took place between the 24th and 27th of December,

13     1992.

14        Q.   Would you -- you wouldn't disagree that the fact that the

15     Territorial Defence or the TO returned those flags the first time they

16     were taken down, that was a very conciliatory gesture on their part?

17        A.   I said that the TO or, rather, the ABiH looked benevolently at

18     the Croatian flags, but there were other extremists who didn't see this

19     issue in the same way.

20        Q.   Okay.  Now, the fact that these flags were being taken down, and

21     the fact that the flag had now been returned, it must have been clear to

22     Croats in Gornji Vakuf that the whole issue of a flag -- putting up a

23     flag is sensitive.  So under those circumstances, do you still stick with

24     your story that it was not a provocation to put those flags up again?

25        A.   There was absolutely no provocation.

Page 45503

 1        Q.   Now, just before moving on, in the bit of your statement that I

 2     quoted to you, you mentioned that it was decorating of the town and

 3     showing Croatian flags or flags of the Croat people.  Could you tell us,

 4     what are -- what's the difference between this?  What is a Croatian flag?

 5        A.   The flag of the Croatian people in Bosnia is a tricolour, red,

 6     white and blue, with the Croatian coat of arms, without the crown, if I

 7     may call it the crown on the flag, which symbolises the counties and the

 8     regions in the Republic of Croatia.

 9        Q.   Okay.  But what, then, would the second category be, flags of the

10     Croat people?

11        A.   It would be a flag, in red, white and blue, with the ancient

12     historical Croatian coat of arms in the middle.

13        Q.   Would this be the flag of the Republic of Croatia or not?  Is

14     that a different flag?

15        A.   No.

16        Q.   Sir, having spoken about that flag incident, there was a flag

17     incident on the 4th of January, 1993, which resulted in a Muslim shooting

18     at or over the flag and then, in turn, being shot, himself.  And there

19     was testimony before this Court on that once again from Andrew Williams

20     from the Cheshire Regiment, and he testified about the events, and he

21     said:

22             "Afterwards, on diffusing the situation," and this is his

23     transcript on the 16th of October, 2006, transcript page 8447 from line 8

24     onwards, the question is:

25             "And what was Mr. Tokic's reaction to this incident, because I

Page 45504

 1     presume you sat around a table again with the local commanders to diffuse

 2     the situation?"

 3             And the answer of Mr. Williams was:

 4             "Again, there was a meeting with the two local commanders and

 5     Major Roux, and again they managed to stop the situation spiraling out of

 6     control."

 7             Now, he put you -- according to his evidence, you were

 8     knowledgeable of this incident, but now I'd just like to take you a

 9     little bit earlier in his evidence, when he's talking about the

10     situation, and his testimony is that this flag was being raised at a

11     school in Gornji Vakuf which was being used as an HVO barracks, and he

12     testified that a Croatian television crew had come to film the event, and

13     on that he eventually said:

14             "You would not expect a TV crew from a foreign country to come

15     and watch the raising of a flag outside a school."

16             Now, sir, my question is:  Is it correct that on the 4th of

17     January, there was a flag-raising at a school being used as an HVO

18     barracks which resulted in the shooting incident mentioned?

19        A.   Sir, in my statement and testimony, I precisely describe both the

20     flag and the place where it happened.  That was a HOS flag, the flag of

21     the Croatian Armed Forces which is a small unit which operated in the

22     area of Gornji Vakuf-Uskoplje municipality and had the strength of a

23     platoon.  This particular flag was hoisted up on a lighting pole -- a

24     street lighting pole if front of Radusa Hotel.  When members of the

25     Bosniak ethnic community tried to pull the flag down, one soldier or more

Page 45505

 1     soldiers - I'm not sure - fired shots above the heads of these soldiers,

 2     which made them flee in all directions.  So what you mentioned about the

 3     elementary school and the incident, itself, I know nothing about that.

 4        Q.   Okay.  Now, sir, let's move to another document, P01653.

 5             MR. KOVACIC:  My dear colleague, I'm awfully sorry, but maybe

 6     that could cause a problem.  It is the question of the transcript.

 7             Page 77, line 24, the witness said:

 8             "That was a HOS flag, the flag of," as it is written in the

 9     transcript "the Croatian armed forces."  I don't believe that the witness

10     said such a thing.  I didn't get it in original language, but that simply

11     can be -- I think that he said "Croatian forces."  But, anyway, whatever,

12     I think that should be clarified, because this could mean many other

13     things.

14             MR. KRUGER:  Thank you, Your Honour.

15        Q.   Witness, you've heard that.  Could you clarify what your

16     reference was?

17        A.   HOS was simply a small unit of some 30-odd troops that was formed

18     in the area of Gornji Vakuf-Uskoplje municipality.  It was attached to

19     the 113th Battalion.  I was not in command of that unit, and that was the

20     banner of that particular unit.

21        Q.   Now, sir, when other units caused problems, were you also called

22     upon to solve those problems with Mr. Agic -- yes, Mr. Agic, or were the

23     commanders of those units actually then called upon to solve this

24     problem?

25        A.   In most cases, we endeavoured to resolve this through direct

Page 45506

 1     contacts with Mr. Agic.  Sometimes we would call the commanders of those

 2     concrete units.

 3        Q.   Okay.  And just to be clear, this HOS unit of about 30 men,

 4     platoon strength, they were subordinated or part of the HVO, in essence?

 5        A.   They were not part of my brigade.  They had their own battalion

 6     that was commanding them directly from Tomislavgrad, and I have no

 7     information about whether they were incorporated into the HVO or not.

 8        Q.   Okay.  Now, let's turn to the document that I was referring to,

 9     P01653.  You have the document roughly in the middle of your binder,

10     1653.

11             Now, sir, this document is a report by you, dated the 11th of

12     March, 1993.  It seems you have it now.  It's a report by you, 11th of

13     March, 1993, and it reports on events in Gornji Vakuf between 18 June

14     1992 and 13 January 1993.  In the last paragraph, in the middle, there we

15     see you're reporting on exactly the flag incidents in December 1992, but

16     what I'd like to refer you to is in the second paragraph, towards the end

17     of the second paragraph, after the reference to Mr. Abdulah Topcic and

18     the criminal Salih Cajdin.  It says:

19             "On 11 July 1992, four members of the Garavi Sabotage Unit came

20     from Bugojno to Gornji Vakuf to the coffee bar in Odvudac [phoen] and a

21     fight broke out with guests of Muslim ethnicity."

22             Now, sir, my question to you is:  The Garavi unit, what unit was

23     this?

24        A.   Sir, the unit with that name was active within the brigade called

25     "Elgin Kvaternik" from Bugojno, and it was -- it specialised in sabotage,

Page 45507

 1     diversionary, and reconnaissance work.

 2        Q.   And to which army did this unit originally belong?

 3        A.   It belonged to the Croatian Defence Council unit, the

 4     Dr. Elgin Kvaternik Brigade, in actual fact.

 5        Q.   This Garavi unit, is it correct that they continued -- or they

 6     continued to have a presence in Gornji Vakuf into 1993 as well?

 7        A.   They lived -- or most of them lived on the territory of the

 8     Gornji Vakuf-Uskoplje municipality in the various settlements around

 9     Plavic [phoen] Polje.

10        Q.   And, sir, is it also correct that -- well, you've already

11     mentioned about another unit from Tomislavgrad which was also present on

12     the territory, but what other HVO units were present on the territory of

13     Gornji Vakuf, apart from the Ante Starcevic Brigade?

14        A.   Sir, apart from the Ante Starcevic Brigade in

15     Gornji Vakuf-Uskoplje, there was also the -- well, a battalion -- well,

16     it was called a battalion, but it had up to 60 men, from the Bruno Busic

17     Regiment, and then the military police, and then there was a platoon-size

18     unit from HOS, the brigade police, which was under my composition.  They

19     were units which had a mobilisation establishment and schedule and was

20     made up of men from Gornji Vakuf.

21        Q.   Okay.  The presence of units and men not from the area of

22     Gornji Vakuf, did that raise or cause tensions or increase -- let's say

23     contribute to the tensions in the municipality between Muslim and Croat?

24        A.   Well, the presence of the 305th Brigade of the BH Army, and later

25     on part of the HVO units from the Tomislavgrad Military District, could

Page 45508

 1     significantly, well, raise tensions and lead to incidents in town, and

 2     the population could look upon this with anxiety.

 3        Q.   Yes.  And what about HVO units or elements of the HVO coming from

 4     Tomislavgrad, for instance; would that also raise tensions amongst

 5     Muslims or concerns amongst Muslims, for instance?

 6        A.   I think so, yes.

 7        Q.   And as we've seen from this document, the members of the Garavi

 8     unit, they also caused problems?

 9        A.   In this particular incident, yes.

10        Q.   Now, sir, a lot of what we've talked about was focused on the

11     local Muslims, the local Croats, in Gornji Vakuf actually wanting to

12     avoid conflict, but the conflict was not avoided.  Yesterday, you told

13     us -- apologies.  Yesterday, you told us, inter alia, that Serbs also

14     provoked and -- or utilised the tensions to promote conflict, it seems

15     that outside units promoted conflict, and then we have some extremists

16     taking down flags, which also raises the tension.  But let's look at some

17     other factors which could also contribute to the raising of the tensions.

18             And now I'd like to refer you to Exhibit P01184.  It's earlier in

19     your binder.  Do you have the document?  It's about the tenth document

20     in, 1184.  Do you have the --

21             MR. KRUGER:  Could I ask the usher to perhaps assist the witness

22     in finding the document, please.  Thank you, sir.

23        Q.   Now, sir, this is a letter by Dr. Jadranko Prlic, and it is

24     from -- if you look at the stamp, there's a date of the 18th of January,

25     so it's around about the 18th of January, 1993.  It's titled

Page 45509

 1     "Gornji Vakuf," and it's addressed to the Croatian Defence Council of the

 2     municipality and to the Croatian population of the Gornji Vakuf

 3     municipality.  And the second paragraph reads:

 4             "From the report of the Defence Section of the HVO of the

 5     Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna, then from the contacts with your

 6     officials and officers, as well as on the basis of reports of objective

 7     media, it's obvious that the Muslim forces are intending to take over the

 8     rule, to enable HVO defensive activities --" or "disable --" sorry, or

 9     "to enable HVO defensive activities, and then, by applying terror, to

10     cause an exodus of the Croat people from that area."

11             Now, sir, in the light of what we've been talking about, what

12     you've testified yesterday and today about attempts to calm the

13     situation, avoid tension, cooperate -- the both sides are to cooperate

14     with each other, wouldn't you agree that this, stating it's obvious that

15     the Muslim forces are intending to take over the rule, it's not obvious

16     at all, is it?

17        A.   Sir, the concentration of forces and the balance of forces speaks

18     of intentions, and as a commander it is my duty to assess the forces

19     being concentrated around the area of Gornji Vakuf and Uskoplje.  And for

20     those reasons, the presence of the 305th Brigade from Jajce is an obvious

21     attempt to change the balance of forces in Gornji Vakuf-Uskoplje

22     municipality.  And as a soldier, I have to express my concern and ask my

23     colleague, Mr. Agic, to have those forces sent back to where they came

24     from.

25        Q.   Okay.  That may be so, but isn't it true that there wasn't an

Page 45510

 1     intention to take over the whole of Gornji Vakuf?  This was all about the

 2     access routes to Central Bosnia, wasn't it?

 3        A.   As in Gornji Vakuf-Uskoplje, there are no barracks, there were no

 4     barracks, and if they wanted to use the barracks, then they would have

 5     used the one in Travnik.  So here, obviously, the intention was to deploy

 6     the units in such a way as to place Gornji Vakuf-Uskoplje under their

 7     control.

 8        Q.   Looking at the statement, where it says that the -- referring to

 9     the ABiH, that what they want to do is, by applying terror, to cause an

10     exodus of the Croat people from that area, isn't it obvious to you that

11     this is an over-statement?  There wasn't an intention to chase Croats

12     from this area, not amongst the local people?

13        A.   Sir, I testified here and said that members of the Green Berets,

14     in October 1992, maltreated Croats in the buildings they lived in or in

15     an area which was 90 per cent Bosniak, and they all fled to the Croatian

16     part of town after that.

17        Q.   Okay.  Now, sir, I put it to you that in view of the fact that

18     the local Muslims, the local Croats, in Gornji Vakuf, that as you've

19     admitted, they were not keen on a conflict, they simply wanted peace and

20     to coexist, I put it to you that what Dr. Prlic is writing here is aimed

21     at stoking up the tensions.

22             MR. KARNAVAS:  I'm going to object at this point, Your Honour.

23     It's not Dr. Prlic who's writing, even though he signed the document.

24     It's rather unclear --

25             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Karnavas, I don't know what

Page 45511

 1     you were going to say, but the Prosecutor is putting a question to the

 2     witness, using a document that was written by your client, so let the

 3     witness answer, and then you'll -- because you are intervening, you're

 4     taking the floor in the midst of the question, and you're exerting

 5     pressure on the witness, and any reasonable trier of fact will

 6     immediately notice that you are interfering.  The Prosecutor is just

 7     asking a question, so let the witness answer, and then you can say the

 8     Prosecutor did not put the question correctly.

 9             MR. KARNAVAS:  Very well, Your Honour.  I will allow the

10     question, and then I will show that you are incorrect in your

11     admonishment, because I'm trying to correct something.

12             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I'm not admonish -- I didn't

13     admonish you.  I just said that the Prosecutor is putting a question and

14     we want to have the answer from the witness, and then you can take the

15     floor and say that the Prosecutor instrumented the question or what not,

16     but later.

17             Witness, before Mr. Karnavas takes the floor, how did you want to

18     answer the Prosecutor's question?

19             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Could the Prosecutor repeat his

20     question, please, because I'm not quite sure of the specifics.

21             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well.

22             MR. KRUGER:  Thank you, Your Honour.

23        Q.   Witness, the question is that:  You've said today -- you've

24     admitted that essentially the local Croats, the local Muslims, in

25     Gornji Vakuf didn't want a conflict; they wanted to -- they wanted peace.

Page 45512

 1     Now, I'm putting it to you, in that context, seeing a letter like this in

 2     the name of Dr. Jadranko Prlic, which mentions Muslims wanting to take

 3     over the rule in Gornji Vakuf and to apply terror to cause an exodus of

 4     Croatian people, I put it to you that this is actually stoking the

 5     tensions.

 6        A.   Sir, I think that this goes in support of the Croatian

 7     population; that is, that they should stay and live in their homes and

 8     that they stay up there, in spite of the terror, and that the Government

 9     of the Croatian Republic of Herceg-Bosna guarantees their safety and

10     security.

11        Q.   Okay.  Now, looking a little bit further -- well, the next line,

12     next paragraph, it says --

13             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Just a minute.

14             Mr. Karnavas, do you want to take the floor?  You have the floor,

15     of course.

16             MR. KARNAVAS:  The only point I wanted to make, Mr. President, is

17     as follows:  The implication is that this is a letter from Dr. Prlic, and

18     clearly that is a misstatement and a mis-characterisation of the

19     document.  If you look very closely, it's from the HVO HZ-HB.  The fact

20     that Dr. Prlic is the one that signs it, it's not his letter.  And so I

21     understand the need to attribute power and authority to Dr. Prlic alone,

22     but this is a communication that is being made on the basis of a meeting

23     that was held by the HVO HZ-HB.  There is a big difference.  I understand

24     I'm dealing with professional judges, but be that as it may, I do feel

25     the need to bring that to the Court's attention and to make my record.

Page 45513

 1     That's all.  I don't want to suggest anything else from that.  The

 2     witness is clear -- can answer whatever other questions.

 3             Thank you.

 4             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well.  Thank you.

 5             MR. KRUGER:  Thank you.

 6        Q.   Now, sir, reading the second paragraph of this letter, it says:

 7             "Giving support to resisting such intentions, the Croatian

 8     Defence Council of the Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna is determined

 9     to provide you with any form of help, including the force and combat

10     readiness of the armed forces of the HVO."

11             Now, sir, at that stage did you know what the HVO of HZ-HB was,

12     the Croatian Defence Council of the Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna?

13        A.   I did know, yes.

14        Q.   And you knew that Dr. Prlic was, as president, basically the most

15     senior person or, shall I say, the -- to use a colloquial term, the

16     prime minister of that body or the chair?

17        A.   I knew that he was president of the Croatian Defence Council of

18     the Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna.  Now, whether he was

19     prime minister or not, I don't know.

20        Q.   It doesn't matter.  Did you also know that Mr. Stojic was a

21     member of that body?

22        A.   I know that Mr. Stojic was the defence minister.

23        Q.   Okay.  So this letter, did you see this letter at that stage in

24     January 1993?

25        A.   No.

Page 45514

 1        Q.   Okay.  If you had seen this letter in January of 1993 and read

 2     this, would this have surprised you, would it have seemed out of the

 3     ordinary, or would you have accepted that, yes, this body does have the

 4     authority to make such a promise, that it will provide us with help,

 5     including the force and combat readiness of the armed forces?

 6        A.   Sir, I think that when a commander receives a letter of this

 7     kind, the letter allays his concern for the fate of the territory which

 8     is under his charge and gives him hope that if the BH forces attack him,

 9     that he won't stand alone.

10        Q.   Yes.  But from what you're saying now, I gather that you would

11     have had no doubt in your mind that the HVO of the Croatian Community of

12     Herceg-Bosna, they possessed the necessary authority to back up a promise

13     like this.

14        A.   Sir, I'm not in a position to judge whether they had the

15     necessary authority to be able to put into practice things like this.  It

16     was sufficient for me to know that I wouldn't be alone if the BH Army

17     were to attack Gornji Vakuf.

18        Q.   Okay.  So this would have assured you or reassured you.  Sir, if

19     I can quickly show or refer to a document which was shown yesterday and

20     today, and it's document 3D00796, and I think it should be towards the

21     end of your binder, about the seventh or the eighth document from the

22     end.  This is the document of 26 October 1993.  And just for the record,

23     it was also presented today under the number of 4D00803.

24             Do you have the document, 3D --

25        A.   May I just take a moment, please?  And may I have some

Page 45515

 1     assistance?

 2        Q.   Now, sir, you've got the document.  You remember we've spoken at

 3     length about this document.  This is the one where various commanders of

 4     the HVO in your operational zone address an appeal to the government

 5     for -- to address and to look into certain problems to keep you going.

 6     What I'm interested in is the final page of the document, and it says,

 7     above the signees, it says:  "Deliver to ..."  You have that?  "Deliver

 8     to the president of the HR-HB, the president of the HR-HB government, the

 9     minister of defence of the HR-HB, and the head of the General Staff of

10     the HVO."

11             Now, sir, this is 26 October 1993.  Could I ask you, the fact

12     that this letter is addressed to this group within the government, does

13     that signify that you and the other signees viewed these people as the

14     leadership with the authority to address your problems of the HVO

15     military?

16        A.   Sir, we simply considered that these were competent individuals

17     able to solve our problems.

18        Q.   And was that based on your experience during the previous year,

19     basically, the whole of 1993?

20        A.   No, we didn't have such experience, absolutely not.

21        Q.   The president of the HR-HB, that would be Mr. Boban?

22        A.   Sir, this is the first time that the commanders sat down and

23     directly addressed the president and representatives of the authorities

24     and government in the Community of Herceg-Bosna with respect to the

25     problems listed in these items here.

Page 45516

 1        Q.   Sir, our time is nearly finished, but just if we can try and

 2     finish on this specific point.  The president of the HR-HB that you're

 3     addressing here, that's Mr. Boban, Mate Boban?

 4        A.   That's right.

 5        Q.   The president of the HR-HB government, who was that?  Is that

 6     Mr. Prlic?

 7        A.   I assume so, although at that point in time I didn't need to

 8     communicate.  Later on, I knew.

 9        Q.   And the minister of defence of the HR-HB, that's Mr. Stojic?

10        A.   That's right.

11        Q.   And the head of the General Staff at that stage, was that

12     Mr. Petkovic or Mr. Praljak that you were addressing?

13        A.   Based on my recollections, it was Mr. Petkovic.

14        Q.   Okay.  Addressing the president of the HR-HB government, was that

15     to him, in his personal capacity, judging from this?

16        A.   We addressed him as president of the Croatian Republic of

17     Herceg-Bosna, as direct person in command of the armed forces of the HVO.

18        Q.   Okay.  And just to conclude on this point, these were the people

19     at that stage, and had been throughout the course of that year, who were

20     responsible and, in the military chain of command, basically at the top?

21        A.   In the operative sense, the chain of command does not go via the

22     government and the Ministry of Defence.

23        Q.   It would go via the head of the Main Staff, would it?

24        A.   Via the Main Staff of the operative zones and the brigades, the

25     independent battalions, and directly to the president.

Page 45517

 1        Q.   Okay.  But ultimately the question stands that:  You, as one of

 2     these HVO commanders, you addressed this letter to these people because

 3     they were the people with the necessary authority to address your

 4     problems?

 5        A.   These people controlled sufficient resources and had the

 6     possibility, in our opinion, of solving the problems, quite simply, which

 7     are listed here.

 8             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Prlic.

 9             THE ACCUSED PRLIC:  There is something in transcript.  This is

10     line 18, page 89.  The Prosecutor asked -- addressed him as -- addressing

11     the president of HR-HB government, was it to him, in his personal

12     capacity, judging from this, and the witness has answered meaning

13     president of Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna, so I think that the

14     witness didn't answer the question or said something which wasn't asked.

15     It's not clear for me at all.

16             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well.

17             MR. KRUGER:

18        Q.   Witness, you've heard the question or the comment.  The reference

19     to president of the HR-HB government in your response, when I asked you

20     was this addressed to the president, personally, in his personal

21     capacity, could you just repeat your answer?

22        A.   Mr. Prosecutor, as commander from the field, I came to attend the

23     meeting.  I signed this document.  Now, as the distribution went, to

24     whom, in what capacity, and all the rest of it, I simply don't have to

25     know that.

Page 45518

 1             MS. TOMANOVIC:  Can I -- sorry.

 2             [Interpretation] I'd just like to be of assistance to the

 3     Prosecutor.  I think the witness is mixing up the functions.  Perhaps the

 4     Prosecutor, when stating a function or position, could name a name, and

 5     then the witness would understand exactly what the Prosecutor was asking

 6     him.

 7             Thank you.

 8             MR. KRUGER:  Do we have time to complete that one now,

 9     Your Honour?

10             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] We can continue tomorrow, but

11     we could also finish right away if the Defence has no redirect and if

12     you're finished, of course.

13             MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, the Defence will have

14     some questions in redirect, so we won't be able to finish.

15             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well.  Then we will resume

16     tomorrow.

17             We'll adjourn, and we'll meet again tomorrow at 9.00.

18                           [The witness stands down]

19                           --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 1.47 p.m.,

20                           to be reconvened on Thursday, the 1st day of

21                           October, 2009, at 9.00 a.m.