1 Tuesday, 8 December 2009
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 9.00 a.m.
5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Registrar, could you please
6 call the case.
7 THE REGISTRAR: Good morning, Your Honours. Good morning,
9 This is case number IT-04-74-T, the Prosecutor versus Prlic et
10 al. Thank you, Your Honours.
11 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you, Registrar.
12 This is Tuesday, December 8th, 2009, and I greet our accused, the
13 Defence counsel, all members of the OTP in this courtroom, as well as
14 everyone helping us.
15 Let me first give the floor to our Registrar, who has some IC
16 numbers for us.
17 THE REGISTRAR: Thank you, Your Honour.
18 Two parties have submitted lists of documents to be tendered
19 through Witness Filip Filipovic. The list submitted by 2D shall be given
20 Exhibit IC01144, and the list submitted by 3D shall be given
21 Exhibit IC01145. Thank you, Your Honours.
22 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you, Registrar.
23 Mr. Praljak is here in the courtroom, and I will read an oral
24 decision which we were to render yesterday, but we decided to postpone it
25 until today, since he wasn't in court yesterday.
1 Oral decision on the behaviour of the accused Praljak during
3 During the hearing of December 3rd, 2009, the accused Praljak
4 once again took the floor in a totally uncontrolled and disproportionate
5 fashion, thus hampering the correct course of the hearing. The Trial
6 Chamber reminds the accused Praljak that in its order of November 17,
7 2009, on call to order, it had already warned the accused that his
8 behaviour during hearings was unacceptable and that if such behaviour
9 continued, the Trial Chamber would apply Rule 80 of the Rules.
10 The Trial Chamber has noted that this warning did not prevent the
11 accused Praljak from continuing to such attitude. The Trial Chamber thus
12 informs the accused that next time he behaves in such fashion, it will,
13 according to Rule 80(B) of the Rules, exclude him from the courtroom
15 Very well. Mr. Praljak.
16 THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation] Your Honours, good morning
17 to you.
18 I fully understand. There was no real intention on my part when
19 I did what I did. I did not mean to demean the Trial Chamber or anything
20 like that. I'm not trying to justify myself, but the reaction tells you
21 that I'm still alive, that I'm still fully conscious and very emotional
22 about everything that goes on here. It tells you that I'm a human being,
23 one that is not ill-intentioned at all. I am what I am. Sometimes this
24 causes me to jump into a torrent to save a person's life, into a wild
25 torrent. I tried to get some rest, because I'm sure that I'm getting
1 slightly too tense about some things here in this courtroom. I'll try to
2 not do this again. Nevertheless, if it happens and if you punish me, I
3 will accept your punishment for what it is.
4 And that is as much as I can say. Thank you.
5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. We took note of
6 what you said.
7 It is true that it is sometimes difficult to stay collected, and
8 actually it happened to me three times already in this courtroom, once
9 after an objection made by Mr. Karnavas, when I had asked a question
10 regarding the meeting -- HVO meetings. Mr. Karnavas had raised an
11 objection which I thought was totally out of proportion, but I tried to
12 stay cool. Then another time, it was after something said by Mr. Scott,
13 something that I really did not understand, and I also tried to -- I
14 refrained myself. And the last time had to do with a translation
15 problem. And there, again, I had really kept my cool. But you have to
16 keep your cool and stay collected, and it's very difficult. But that's
17 the rule of the game. You just have to stay cool.
18 It's true that if we were in a procedure where things are easier
19 for the accused and the lawyers, where the accused is next to his lawyer,
20 so whenever there is a problem the accused can talk quietly to the lawyer
21 in order to say what the problem is, it's easier, but you're very far
22 from your lawyers and things are difficult. I believe that if yesterday
23 Ms. Pinter and Mr. Kovacic had been next to you, this would not have
24 happened, but that's not the way it is here.
25 But we took due note of what you said. Please understand that
1 the Judges have to make sure that the hearing runs smoothly. This is
2 because of the Rules I have to do this. And if things get out of order,
3 then they can use Rule 80 in order to control the proceedings.
4 General Praljak.
5 THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation] I would like the Chamber to
6 please understand fully two things.
7 Firstly, there is no ill intention at all on my part, when I act
8 like that, to demean the Trial Chamber. Secondly, should I be punished,
9 I would fully understand the need to protect the dignity of the Trial
10 Chamber, and I would fully comply with any punishment that may or may not
11 come my way.
12 Thank you.
13 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Now, two more things before we
14 bring the witness into the courtroom.
15 I would like to tell the Petkovic Defence that it already used 22
16 hours and 3 minutes. Our Registrar just told us that. That's the time
17 elapsed so far.
18 Secondly, Ms. Alaburic, when you can, please give us information
19 on document 1D2664. I looked at it overnight. Actually, I scrutinised
20 it overnight, and it seems that the words "Izetbegovic" or "president" is
21 not in the document in B/C/S, nor in its English version. Of course, the
22 important version is the B/C/S version, the original version. But here
23 we have a gap, there's a void. This was a 207th session of the
24 Presidency, and I would really like to know what happened. It started at
25 1.30 p.m.
1 morning, which might explain why there was another transcript for the
2 morning and then they had a new transcript for the afternoon session, or
3 maybe it's the person who actually transcribed the audiotape who forgot
4 to mention the name of the speaker, i.e., Izetbegovic. Should it be
5 Izetbegovic, of course. Or maybe this person did not understand who took
6 the floor at the time. But I noted in the document that when the speaker
7 is not identified, he is identified with an X. Maybe somebody decided to
8 deliberately erase "Izetbegovic," but I would like to know whether this
9 document was handed over by the OTP or whether you obtained it directly.
10 I'm asking all these questions for a simple reason. I assume
11 that in your IC lists, you're going to include this document, if it
12 hasn't been admitted yet, and there will be objections raised, of course.
13 And then we'll have a debate within the Bench. In order to make a
14 decision, I absolutely need to have all this information, if you can
15 provide it to me, of course.
16 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, good morning.
17 What I can tell you about this document is as follows: This is a
18 document proposed by the Prlic Defence, and it has been admitted already.
19 We have been using it as such. It is a Prlic Defence document. I think
20 it might be more appropriate for my learned friend Ms. Tomanovic to
21 provide an explanation. I do have my view of these things, but I think
22 she's probably better placed than I am to tell you about it.
23 MS. TOMANOVIC: [Interpretation] Good morning to everyone in and
24 around the courtroom.
25 If you look at the local version of this document, you have the
1 ERN number, the Prosecution's ERN number in the upper right corner. We
2 received the document in this condition from the OTP, and that is about
3 as much as I can say. I can't say where the OTP got the document from.
4 Nevertheless, we can ask around, work with the Prosecution to identify a
5 source, and then we shall be better placed to answer your query.
6 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Scott, it seems that this
7 document comes from the OTP. You must have looked into this, because the
8 opening sentence is a very important one. But maybe you know nothing
9 about this. I don't know.
10 MR. SCOTT: Thank you, Mr. President.
11 Good morning, Mr. President. Good morning, Judge Trechsel,
12 Judge Prandler, Judge Mindua. Good morning to all those in and around
13 the courtroom.
14 If you would allow me just one deviation for a moment, I'd like
15 to introduce an intern who's been working with us who has not been in the
16 courtroom before. This is Ms. Ophelia Claude. She is an intern who has
17 been with us for some time and has not had the opportunity to sit in on a
18 session and will joining us today and probably tomorrow, and I would like
19 to present her to the Chamber.
20 In response to your question, Your Honour, it is indeed from the
21 OTP. It was part of the disclosures that we made, of course, sometime
22 ago to all the Defence. We had made preliminary inquiries and had not
23 yet obtained -- been able to find any additional information about that
24 particular record. However, in light of the testimony over the last
25 couple of days, we have re-initiated additional inquiries. I have no
1 additional information to provide to the Chamber at this time, but we are
2 pursuing it.
3 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you very much.
4 Let's bring the witness into the courtroom.
5 Of course, I agree to the new intern from the OTP, and I wish her
6 the best for her internship with our Tribunal.
7 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I would like to ask
8 your permission for my assistant, Davor Lazic, to take a list of names
9 through to the court reporter to avoid any problems over the course of
10 the hearing.
11 [The witness entered court]
12 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Good morning, sir.
13 Can you hear the translation? I hope you can hear the
15 Could you please give us your last name, first name, and date of
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] My name is Bozo Peric, born on the
18 30th of June, 1954, in Mostar.
19 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] What is your occupation at the
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I'm retired. I retired as a
22 brigadier of the Federation Army, but currently I don't do anything in
23 particular for a living.
24 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Colonel, have you already
25 testified in court or is this the first time that you're testifying?
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] This is my first time, but I did
2 testify in Sarajevo
3 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] You testified in Sarajevo
4 Could you tell us in which case, regarding which accused?
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Maka Radic et al. I was a Defence
7 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Could you read the solemn
8 declaration, please.
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will
10 speak the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
11 WITNESS: BOZO PERIC
12 [The witness answered through interpreter]
13 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Colonel, you may sit down.
14 Let me give you some information before we start.
15 In order for this hearing to run smoothly, you've already
16 testified in a court, so you will not be too surprised with the way this
17 hearing will unfold. You will be answering questions put to you by
18 Ms. Alaburic. I'm sure she already told you all this. She met with you,
19 and she will deal with a number of issues that you have talked about, and
20 she will show you documents that are in a binder. Then after her
21 questions, the other Defence counsel, representing the other accused,
22 might also put questions to you. Ms. Alaburic will use two hours for her
23 examination-in-chief, and the Trial Chamber gave the other Defence teams
24 one hour for questions. Then after this phase, Ms. West, the Prosecutor
25 sitting on your right, will also put questions to you during her
1 cross-examination. The four Judges on the Bench in front of you can
2 intervene at any moment to put questions. Usually, they ask questions
3 regarding the documents that are on the screen.
4 You're a former serviceman, so I know that you will be very brief
5 in your answers. Please be brief. If you do not understand the question
6 put to you, just ask the person asking the question to reformulate it,
7 even if it's a Judge. Even if you believe that the question is wrong or
8 there's an error in the question, just say so, because you must
9 absolutely answer, and your answer will be cast in stone. It will
10 actually be transcribed on the screen in front of you in the transcript.
11 You'll see that questions are put in different fashions. The
12 Defence has a certain way of putting questions, the Judges have another
13 way of putting questions, and the Prosecutor, Ms. West, will also put
14 questions to you in a fashion that you might deem difficult, but that's
15 the rule of the game. The Prosecutor can put questions to you by telling
16 you what her position is, and then you can agree with it or not, but
17 don't get all head up when you have questions by the Prosecutor. The
18 Prosecutor is doing his job.
19 Sometimes there are court incidents because of the way the
20 questions are put by the Prosecutor. The witnesses don't really
21 understand the role played by the Prosecutor and the leeway that the
22 procedure provides to the Prosecutor to put these kind of questions. So
23 please listen carefully to the question and just answer.
24 We break every hour and a half.
25 You have made the solemn declaration, which means that you are
1 now the witness of the Court. You are no longer to contact the Defence
2 until your hearing is over, which should normally -- and this hearing
3 should normally be over tomorrow, given the schedule.
4 That's all I had to say.
5 Ms. Alaburic, you have the floor.
6 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Thank you. Once again, good
7 morning to everyone, my learned friends from the OTP, and in particular
8 my learned friend Ms. West, whose examinations we always follow with
9 particular attention. Good morning to the accused and to the witness,
10 Mr. Peric, good morning to you.
11 Examination by Ms. Alaburic:
12 Q. [Interpretation] Let us try and start this off with some
13 information on your life and work in order to better acquaint the Trial
14 Chamber with your education and your career.
15 You said you were born on the 30th of June, 1954?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. In Kuti Livac?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. In Bosnia-Herzegovina?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. You went to a school for electronics in Mostar. That was your
22 secondary education; right?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. Then you got a job with the PTT, Post Telegraph Telephone, a
25 state-run and state-owned company, where you stayed until 1984. 1984,
1 that's right. In 1985, you set up a private telecommunications company.
2 You designed telephone switch boards, telephone networks, and telephone
3 lines, external ones; right?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. How were you doing? How was your private business doing at the
7 A. Very well. Thanks for asking.
8 Q. In October 1992, you arrived at the HVO Main Staff, where you
9 took up the post of assistant chief for communications?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. For wire communications; right?
12 A. Yes, that's right.
13 Q. In April 1994, you started working with the VOS at the
14 Main Staff; right?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. 1999, you went to work with the Defence Ministry of the
17 Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina, the Signals Department or the
18 Communications Department. In 2001, you were retired, holding the rank
19 of brigadier of the BH Federation Army. Mr. Peric, is all this
20 information correct?
21 A. Yes, it is.
22 Q. Can you please tell the Trial Chamber, Mr. Peric, what were the
23 components of the BH Federation Army, and how did that army come into
25 A. Two components were united. One was the BH Army and the other
1 one was the HVO. We used to refer to this as the H component and the B
2 component when we spoke about it in shorthand.
3 Q. Can you please repeat this? And please try to speak a little
4 more clearly, because the first letter was mis-recorded. How did you
5 refer to these components?
6 A. Component H and component B.
7 Q. What about the component H? That stood for the Croat component,
8 and the B stood for the Bosniak; right?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. The Bosniak component. Up until about 1994, it used to be
11 referred to as the Muslim component, and then the name was turned into
12 the Bosniak component; right?
13 A. Around about that time, they started using their own name for
14 their nation and started referring to themselves as Bosniaks.
15 Q. Mr. Peric, were your years of service with the HVO taken into
16 account when your overall years of service were calculated in your new
18 A. Yes, under the rules of retirement. The war, itself, up until
19 the end of 1995, counted for double, and the rest is as usual.
20 Q. Did the same rule apply to the soldiers and officers of the
21 BH Army, Mr. Peric?
22 A. Yes, exactly the same.
23 Q. When, in October 1992, you came to the HVO Main Staff, how many
24 people were working at the Main Staff at the time?
25 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Colonel, we note the question
1 of the pensions because it's been mentioned on several occasions, and
2 you're not the first one talking about this, but let's be clear about
3 this. You said that the years of service before 1995 counted for double.
4 Does this mean that an HVO soldier - I'm talking about an HVO
5 soldier - who was in an HVO unit, let's say an HVO brigade in 1993, does
6 this mean that 1993 will count double for him, which means that when his
7 pension will be computed, if he was in service in 1993, 1992 will count
8 double? Is that the way it worked?
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I'm afraid I don't quite
10 understand. When the war stopped, ended, each soldier who spent the war
11 between 1992 and 1995 in active service had each of the years spent there
12 counted for double, but only in relation to that period. But that's only
13 for retirement purposes, whether one has enough years of service in order
14 to retire.
15 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Let's take the case of an HVO
16 soldier who was in the ranks of the HVO from 1992 to 1995. So 1992,
17 1993, 1994, and 1995, four years altogether. Does this mean that when
18 his pension was calculated, these four years counted for eight, for eight
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, but when he tabled his request
21 for retirement, then. Then, in the retirement fund, his years of service
22 are taken into consideration, and if he put in a request those four years
23 he spent during the war he would count as double, he would get double
24 credit, and this would count for eight years. So he could retire earlier
25 than he would otherwise had those years not been counted as double.
1 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well, it's crystal clear.
2 Thank you.
3 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation]
4 Q. Mr. Peric, when, in October 1992, you arrived in the Main Staff,
5 how many people were working there; in the Main Staff, that is?
6 A. There were about 15 to 20 people. I don't think there were more
7 than that.
8 Q. Tell me, please, where was the Main Staff located, what premises?
9 A. It was located in a building which we referred to as the
10 Agricultural Institute before the war.
11 Q. And tell us what floor the Main Staff was on.
12 A. The Main Staff was on the ground floor of that building.
13 Q. Tell us, please, did the building have several storeys?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. Which institution was on the first floor?
16 A. The Ministry of Defence.
17 Q. And what about the second floor?
18 A. As far as I remember, I think there was an accounts department
19 and the SIS.
20 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Okay. Could the usher now help us
21 out and hand this diagram over and place it on the ELMO. The diagram was
22 drawn by Mr. Peric during the proofing session, and we also have copies
23 for the Trial Chamber.
24 Q. Now, Mr. Peric, let's try and describe these premises used by the
25 Main Staff, although we have visited the building, but we didn't go
1 inside the premises of the Main Staff, we went up to the first floor,
2 when in 2006, June, we travelled to Bosnia-Herzegovina.
3 Now we can see the sketch, the diagram. Since this is in
4 English, under number 1 is the office used by the chief of the Main
5 Staff. Number 2 is the office of the chief of VOS and the other staff of
6 the VOS. Room number 3 was the Communications Sector offices.
7 So, Mr. Peric, you used office number 3, did you not?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. Office number 4 was where the chiefs of the various sectors of
10 the Main Staff were located. Number 5 was the Anti-Aircraft Defence, and
11 there was a bed there, too, so that the person who had to spend the night
12 there would have somewhere to sleep. Number 6 was the office in which
13 the staff from the Operative and Training Department were located. Room
14 number 7 was used by the secretary of the chief of the Main Staff, and
15 room number 8 was the toilet. The staircase leading up to the first
16 floor can also be seen.
17 So tell us, Mr. Peric, is that what the building looked like on
18 the ground floor; is that right?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. Could you sign that document now, please, and put today's date on
21 it? And it's the 8th of December today. Have you got a pen?
22 A. [Marks]
23 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] An IC number, Registrar.
24 THE REGISTRAR: Yes, Your Honour.
25 The document just signed by the witness shall be given
1 Exhibit IC01146. Thank you, Your Honours.
2 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation]
3 Q. Who was the communications -- what was the Communications
4 Department made up of? Did it have any subsections?
5 A. Yes. It was composed of -- well, there was the chief of
6 communications, and he had his assistants for wire telecommunication,
7 radio relay systems, and encryption.
8 Q. Tell us, what was the customary modus operandi. What would you
9 do when you came in to work in the morning?
10 A. We would come in in the morning at around 7.00 a.m.
11 Q. Could you approach the microphone, please. You're very far away.
12 A. As I was saying, I arrived at about 7.00 a.m., as did everybody
13 else. We would sit down in that one room, one office. There was a
14 communal table. The chief would be sitting at the head of the table, and
15 we would sit around the table. We would have coffee or tea, and we would
16 report, brief everybody about our work on the previous day. If there
17 were any problems, or if a task wasn't carried out, or anything like
18 that, we had to state the reasons for that, why we failed to carry out
19 the assignment. And if there was some objective problems, then we would
20 resolve them together. We would try and find the best way of solving the
22 After that, the chief would go off to a briefing, himself.
23 Q. Who did he go to see?
24 A. To the Operations and Training Department. Who the person was
25 there, I don't know, because I didn't go. I wasn't his deputy or
1 anything. But I assume he went to see his superior and to brief him, or
2 to attend a briefing.
3 We waited for him to return, and during that time we would finish
4 drinking coffee. We would wait for him to receive new instructions for
5 the day.
6 Q. Tell us, please --
7 A. Well, that would be it.
8 Q. Were there duty shifts organised in the Main Staff?
9 A. Yes, there were, and everybody had to do duty work from time to
11 Q. So what was considered to be this duty time?
12 A. That would be the time when the secretary went home, left the
13 office, which means from 1600 hours to the following morning.
14 Q. Okay. Tell us now, was there a duty log-book of any kind?
15 A. Yes, there was a duty log-book in which the basic entries were
16 recorded briefly. Information received by the duty officer during his
17 shift would be recorded in the log-book.
18 Q. Tell us, please, during the shifts, did reports come in from the
19 operations zones about the situation in those zones?
20 A. Sometimes they came in orally, sometimes in written form, and
21 then that went to the Operations and Training Department. And that
22 department summarised all those reports into one report, one
23 comprehensive report, which was then handed and sent over to the chief.
24 Q. Very well. Now, tell us, Mr. Peric, in January 1993, after the
25 representatives of the Croats from Bosnia-Herzegovina signed, in Geneva
1 the Vance-Owen peace agreement, peace plan, what was the atmosphere like
2 in the Main Staff and in the environments in which you moved?
3 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Ms. Alaburic, you don't want to
4 ask any more questions about duty shifts? Because if you don't, I do
5 have some follow-up questions for him.
6 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] No, Your Honour, that was not my
7 intention, so please go ahead.
8 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you.
9 Sir, with this chart we can understand that you were in office
10 number 3, that there was duty service only from 4.00 p.m. because that
11 was the time when the secretary would leave. So the one who was on duty
12 from that time on, from 4.00, where was he? In which office was he?
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I haven't got the diagram before
14 me, but the office where the chief of staff's secretary occupied.
15 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] The one on duty would be in
16 office number 7, is that right, based on the diagram? And as I
17 understand, this individual was there from 4.00 p.m. until the next
18 morning, until such time as the secretary would arrive.
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
20 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] What time did the secretary
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, she would be in the office by
23 8.00. Everybody would.
24 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] And would there be people on
25 duty on Saturdays, Sundays, on holidays?
1 Let me take a specific example. Let us imagine that at 2.00 in
2 the morning, a commander from the operative zone calls the person on
3 duty. This call, will it arrive in office number 7 or in the
4 communications office, in office number 3?
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] At 2.00 a.m., no commander would
6 call up, as a rule. His duty officer would do that. Now, where the
7 person is going to call depends where they're calling from, and that
8 means that if they're calling from the Operative Zone of South-East
10 duty officer at the Main Staff.
11 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Let us imagine the case of
12 Jablanica. Imagine there's a problem there at 2.00 a.m. and the head of
13 staff has to be informed of it. Does the brigade commander in Jablanica
14 or the duty officer call the duty officer located in office number 7?
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I don't think you chose a good
16 example, because the BH Army was in Jablanica, so they didn't call us up.
17 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Let's take another location
18 where the HVO was. You pick the example. Would the HVO brigade
19 commander call the duty officer in office number 7?
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, let's take the example of
21 Tomislavgrad. The Military District of Tomislavgrad would act in that
23 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. Let us imagine that
24 this is about very important information. The duty officer in office
25 number 7, can he straight away call the chief of staff, Mr. Petkovic or
1 later on Mr. Praljak? Is there a direct chain of communication with him?
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] In our duty log-books, we had the
3 numbers -- the number of the mobile phone of the chief. It was written
4 in the log-book. And that mobile phone wasn't like the mobile phones you
5 have today. It was fixed to a vehicle, a car, and we had the fixed
6 telephone number in the Logistics Centre in Grude, a land line in Grude.
7 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] And let us imagine that
8 General Praljak, in August 1993, is asleep and something major happens.
9 Can General Praljak be woken up straight away?
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes. If you manage to reach him,
11 then there would be no problem.
12 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] You say "if you manage to reach
13 him." Were there cases when he could not be found, nor could
14 General Petkovic be found?
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] There were.
16 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] In such cases, the duty officer
17 in office number 7 finds out that there is nobody picking up in
18 General Praljak's office, do you have a procedure to call somebody else
19 then? It could be that General Praljak is somewhere else, is ill, or
20 dead; you never know. Was there another procedure to call his assistant,
21 somebody else?
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Of course there was. His assistant
23 was there, who would stand in for him when he physically couldn't make
25 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Let me dig a little deeper,
1 because this is important.
2 General Petkovic at times attended meetings in Geneva or
3 elsewhere, so physically he was not in his office, office number 1. In
4 such cases, as far as you can remember, was there someone standing in for
5 General Petkovic or was it so that General Petkovic could be reached no
6 matter where he was in the world, including in Geneva?
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] At the Main Staff, if the chief was
8 absent and there was something that he had to be told, the person
9 informed was the chief of the Training Department, Training and
10 Operations Department. I'm not sure if anyone could have got through to
11 General Petkovic in Geneva
12 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] You're telling us that if
13 General Petkovic was somewhere else, it was, as a rule, the officer from
14 the Training and Operation Department who was the one replacing him. But
15 then within the Main Staff, as such, was there a document saying that
16 the -- in the event that the chief of staff was absent, he would be
17 replaced by the head of the Training and Operations Department, who,
18 unless I'm mistaken, was Ivan Primorac at some point in time?
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I know about the Signals Department
20 or the Communications Department, where I was. We had a head, and we had
21 an assistant head who was also the deputy head. There were other
22 assistants who were not his deputies. I suppose it worked like that in
23 all the other departments too. Chief of the Main Staff, the chief had a
24 deputy who was also the head of a certain department.
25 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well, thank you.
1 Please proceed, Ms. Alaburic.
2 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation]
3 Q. Mr. Peric, I asked you about January 1993. The representatives
4 of the Bosnian Croats signed the Vance-Owen Plan in Geneva. You,
5 personally, and anyone else you knew at the Main Staff and elsewhere, how
6 did you view the war in Bosnia and Herzegovina and the option of
7 continuing to live side by side in Bosnia and Herzegovina?
8 A. I thought it was done, the war had ended. It was time to start
9 preparing for life returning to normal. I was assuming throughout that I
10 would simply go back to my previous job. I was not a professional
11 officer. I was what we call a newfangled officer. I thought I would
12 continue in my old job, as most of my other friends who had jobs before
13 the war. Very few of us, if any, had any serious intention of staying in
14 the army for the rest of their lives.
15 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] You did remain in the Main Staff,
16 after all, and unfortunately the war did not end. Let us see a number of
17 documents about that.
18 Let's look at the first one now. I suppose it's the first
19 document in your folder. It's 4D1600. This is a list of persons who
20 worked in the Main Staff. You see the names of the people occupying all
21 the top posts in the Main Staff. We can see that General Praljak was
23 Mr. Peric, we see the Department of Communications and
24 Encryption, and --
25 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Ms. Alaburic, did you not make
1 a mistake? Because I can see in the transcript and also in French it is
2 said that's the time when General Praljak was commander, but this
3 document shows -- oh, yes, I see, the deputy was Mr. Petkovic. Sorry,
4 sorry, you were right. The deputy was then Petkovic. Therefore, the
5 commander was Mr. Praljak, but it's not stated as such in the document.
6 Thank you.
7 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] The name is missing, where it says
8 "Commander," but we know, because of everything that happened afterwards,
9 Mr. Praljak was the commander. But we can ask the witness too.
10 Q. Mr. Peric, are you the Bozo Peric here in this document?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. If we go to the very end of this document --
13 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] One moment, please.
14 Witness, we understood, through Ms. Alaburic's question, that
15 office number 1 was the office of the chief of staff. We also understood
16 that Mr. Petkovic was chief of staff, and then he was replaced by
17 General Praljak. Now, where was General Praljak's office and where was
18 General Petkovic's office?
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I'm afraid we are talking about two
20 different places. The ground plan that you were looking at a minute ago
21 was about the Main Staff in Mostar, and what we're looking at now, the
22 number you specified, that Main Staff was moved to Citluk, to an entirely
23 different building.
24 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] So you see that it was a good
25 idea to ask you that.
1 Now, you drew up a map or a plan. That was when the Main Staff
2 was in Mostar, so that was when General Petkovic was the chief of the
3 Main Staff, but he was sent to Citluk. Can you tell us when, exactly;
4 what month, what year?
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] They went to Citluk in 1993.
6 I think it was in September or October 1993, but I can't be certain for
7 quite another reason.
8 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] You're now bringing in a
9 problem. From what we know, General Praljak took office officially on
10 the 27th of July, 1993, which means that on the 27th of July, 1993
11 must have sat down in office number 1, if, as you say, the Main Staff was
12 moved to Citluk in September. If it is so, then where did Mr. Petkovic
13 sort of settle in in August 1993?
14 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, if I may assist.
15 This ground plan states the exact time until which the Main Staff
16 remained in that building, and that also is the date when the Main Staff
17 moved to Citluk.
18 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Ms. Alaburic, does this mean
19 that the Main Staff moved in July?
20 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Yes, the 18th of July, 1993
21 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. Ms. Alaburic is
22 saying that the move was on July 18th, 1993
23 Why didn't you draw the ground plan of the Main Staff in Citluk?
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No one ever asked. I'm not a
25 construction expert by profession, and I don't think I would be able to
1 draw a ground plan.
2 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. But when you were
3 in Citluk, did you have an office? Did the Communications Centre have an
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I know that most of the departments
6 were in a large -- well, not really a basement; more like the ground
7 floor of that building. And then the offices had partitions dividing
8 them, all of them with a -- in practical terms, and there was always a
9 corner that one could withdraw to for some silence and quiet.
10 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. Ms. Alaburic.
11 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, neither I nor any
12 members of my team are construction experts, but we like to do ground
13 plans, and we'd love to do a ground plan of the Citluk building for you.
14 Nevertheless, this witness is here only for the purpose of everything
15 that happened up until the 30th of June, 1993, that being the reason why
16 we don't have any ground plans for these later buildings.
17 Q. Mr. Peric, may we now go back to the list of persons who worked
18 for the Main Staff at the time.
19 If you look at the names who were working there at the time, can
20 you tell us, more specifically, which month this list might be in
21 relation to?
22 A. This is a list that came about when I came back to Citluk.
23 I think it might have been around the 1st of September. These persons
24 probably filled some posts in the Main Staff, all of which had gone on
25 while I was away because I had a duty to discharge elsewhere. I returned
1 to the staff sometime around October, mid-September or October. I'm
2 looking at the names of these persons, and some of these persons, not all
3 by any means, but some, had been appointed before I returned; for
4 example, Ivica Tutsa [phoen] from my department, I find him there, and
5 then when I left to work elsewhere -- when I first left, he wasn't there
7 Q. You mentioned that you returned to the Main Staff. You were an
8 employee or an officer of the Main Staff throughout, as a matter of fact;
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. But for a while you had work to do elsewhere, specifically Sector
12 North in Mostar; right?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. If we look at the information towards the end of this overview,
15 we see that the total number of persons working there was 114 under the
16 establishment; 43 per cent Main Staff, or, rather, the replenishment
17 levels in the Main Staff -- the manning levels were 43 per cent, 51
18 persons working there, and it says without the command itself, 37 persons
19 working there.
20 Mr. Peric, the Command Centre, what exactly do they mean by the
21 Command Centre?
22 A. A group of people who are providing for the technical needs of
23 the Main Staff, supplying all sorts of equipment that was required and
24 that sort of thing.
25 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] I'm just -- Your Honours, if I may
1 just correct one thing. "The Command Centre," I don't think that is a
2 good interpretation. It might cause some confusion. The command --
3 "domiza povatnistva" [phoen] is an auxiliary service, general-purpose
4 clerks, janitors, cleaning ladies, drivers. I don't think it should be
5 called the Command Centre, but I really don't know what we should call
6 it. I think "Housekeeping," "Command Housekeeping," would be a good
7 idea, or some sort of service here.
8 General Praljak is suggesting that we use the word "service."
9 I think that would be the best option. I'm sorry for needing to clarify
11 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Witness, I find it difficult to
12 follow. Ms. Alaburic told us that you would testify on the period before
13 June 30th, but the document we have here represents the Citluk Main Staff
14 which was set up as of July 18th.
15 Now, regarding the figures, we see that there were 114 people
16 altogether. That was the establishment. But, in fact, there was only 51
17 people working there.
18 Early in the morning, when you started testifying, you told us
19 that Main Staff in Mostar, there were 15 to 20 people only, and now I
20 have a document which shows that there were five times more people. So
21 why is it that the manpower was multiplied by almost five when the
22 Main Staff moved from Mostar to Grude -- I mean, to Citluk? Sorry. Is
23 there a reason for that?
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] That is a perfectly logical
25 explanation. First of all, the number has doubled or maybe been
1 multiplied by a factor of 2.5, perhaps even less. You see the number of
2 officers. Under the establishment book, that is how many officers should
3 have been there. Furthermore, you have the number of officers who were
4 actually there, which is over 50 per cent fewer officers than there
5 should have been.
6 Why were between 15 and 20 of them in Mostar? Well, I think for
7 two reasons, but this is just my opinion. I'm not stating a fact here.
8 The area in Mostar was quite a lot smaller, the other reason being this:
9 the other reason being at the time we didn't have too many
10 properly-trained professional officers. The few that we did have and the
11 few that we could use to fill posts in the Main Staff we would normally
12 dispatch to operations zones because those were the most important areas
13 during the clashes against the VRS. We believed it was a better idea to
14 have our operations zones filled properly, manned properly, rather than
15 the Main
16 With the departure to Citluk, the area was enlarged, and so the
17 number of staff increased, too, but that's my opinion. I didn't read
18 that anywhere, but I consider that that is roughly how things were.
19 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you.
20 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation]
21 Q. Mr. Peric, since you're giving us your opinion about the increase
22 in staff members in the Main Staff compared to October 1992 and that
23 period, let me ask this: In your opinion, was it a fact that the
24 conflict with the BH Army was something that the HVO did not expect to
25 see in 1992, and that with the development of the war -- all right, I'll
1 rephrase that question.
2 Tell us, Mr. Peric, in your opinion, the war situation during
3 1993, was it different compared to what it was like in 1992 or could they
4 be said to be roughly the same?
5 A. No, they couldn't be said to be the same at all. I said a moment
6 ago that at the beginning of 1993, I and many of my friends and
7 associates were thinking about civilian life in Bosnia in the various
8 civilian sectors of life after the war. It was only later on that we
9 realised that the war had, in fact, just begun.
10 Q. Tell us, please, if you happen to remember, whether with the
11 complex war situation that developed, that there were more and more
12 people in the Main Staff, or was there no correlation between the number
13 of people and the strength of the Main Staff and the situation on the
15 A. Well, I think while we had the conflict in 1992 and the beginning
16 of 1993, during that period, the Main Staff could perform its functions
17 fairly well. However, once the conflict with the BH Army broke out,
18 well, I'm not the right person to make an assessment about that, I
19 suppose, but probably there was more work, requiring greater involvement
20 and more manpower.
21 Q. All right. Now, Mr. Peric, take a look at the next document,
22 please, which is 4D324, and it is an information put out by Arif Pasalic
23 to the Main Staff and the Mostar Operation Zone. And in this document,
24 in point 3, it says that the line of separation has been agreed upon at
25 Bijela Bridge
1 says that the 2nd Brigade will lay a telephone cable connecting the units
2 of the BH Army to the command post of the 4th Battalion of the BH Army.
3 Tell us, please, Mr. Peric, do you have any knowledge about this
4 laying of a telephone cable?
5 A. Yes, I do. Because this area is a region where I come from, so
6 the communications chiefs in the brigade or battalion knew me very well,
7 and they asked me to help them procure about 10 kilometres of this PTK
8 cable. And you see that that is what is written in brackets, "PTK field
9 telephone cable." And as far as I remember, I managed to find 8
10 kilometres of this PTK cable, but that seemed to suffice.
11 Q. Mr. Peric, from this document it would follow that on the 12th of
12 April, 1993, which is a very important date for us, the HVO was laying
13 telephone cables for the units of the BH Army to link up with the Command
14 of the BH Army; is that what was happening?
15 A. Yes, I can conclude that from what it says here. I wasn't on the
16 site, myself, and I wasn't involved in laying the cables. I just
17 procured the cables and means for them to be able to do that.
18 MS. WEST: Good afternoon, Mr. President. Kim West for the
19 Office of the Prosecution.
20 The last question, again, is a very leading question. I would
21 just ask counsel to refine the form of her questions.
22 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Ms. Alaburic, please put
23 neutral questions to the witness and let him answer. Don't prompt the
24 answers, please.
25 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I don't agree that
1 it's a leading question this time, because I was reading the contents of
2 this document, and then, after having read them, I asked whether that was
3 actually what happened. Did the HVO lay telephone cables linking a unit
4 of the BH Army with the Command of the BH Army? So my question to the
5 witness was, Did this actually happen? And the witness answered the
7 Now, I have another question when we're talking about these
8 events in general terms.
9 Q. At this time, and we're dealing with April 1993 -- up until that
10 time, did a shell fall on Mostar, East or West, from the positions of the
12 A. Very, very often, both on Mostar and the broader area around
13 Mostar, including, for example, my own village, the place I'm from.
14 Q. Tell us, Mr. Peric, what place is that?
15 A. Well, I have two answers. One is the village, itself,
16 Kuti Livac, and the area around it which is referred to and called
17 Bijelo Polje.
18 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Witness, let me return to these
19 8 PTK kilometres. I'm interested in that.
20 You told us that these telephone lines were laid in order to make
21 sure that there could be communication between the BH Army and the HVO;
22 is that it or not?
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, yes. I've already said that.
24 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. It's to make sure
25 that the HVO and the BH Army could communicate; is that it.
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, if need be, I will clarify
2 that, but it's sufficient to say that they set out communication points
3 in the Command of the BH Army and the HVO. Now, whether they lifted the
4 receiver to sing songs to each other or to convey something else, I don't
5 know. I wasn't there.
6 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. You are saying that
7 there was a device that existed to make sure that the two sides could
8 communicate. The question that Ms. Alaburic should have put to you, and
9 I'm going to put to you, is why such a link was set up. Why did people
10 believe it was necessary to place a communication line between the
11 BH Army and the HVO?
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Because those two units joined at
13 that point, and they had to have communication amongst themselves and
14 with their commands. So we're talking about a small NATO system, when
15 you have two armies, two commands, a joint command which commands both
16 these two commands, subordinated to them -- to it. That's why they
17 needed the cable, to convey the orders and not to be intercepted on the
18 radio relay connection.
19 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Well, you anticipated my next
20 question, but I'll still put it to you.
21 When this kind of technical operation is carried out, is it done
22 between friendly armies or enemy armies?
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Between allies.
24 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] May I give you an example in
25 history and there are many that I could use, but I'll pick one. In
2 Army. I don't think they had set up a communication line in order to
3 communicate; right?
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I don't think they did either, but
5 I'm not sure. Perhaps they did. Who knows?
6 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well, thank you.
7 Ms. Alaburic.
8 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I do thank you for
9 your questions, because they made me look at the entire text in English,
10 and I see that it wasn't an integral one. My questions related to a part
11 of item 4 which talks about laying down a cable from the units of the
12 BH Army to the Command of the BH Army, and now I see that in the English
13 text, after the word "4th Battalion," it doesn't say that it's the
14 BH Army, so I'd like to go back to the document and summarise.
15 Q. Witness, when we look at this portion --
16 JUDGE TRECHSEL: I'm sorry, Ms. Alaburic.
17 I had also been misled, perhaps, perhaps. But the 2nd Brigade
18 here, that is the HVO 2nd Brigade, isn't it?
19 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Yes.
20 Q. Let's try, Mr. Peric, to clarify this. Looking at the original
21 language, B/C/S, who is doing the laying of the telephone cables, who's
22 laying the telephone cables?
23 A. Soldiers are laying the cable who are in the Communications
24 Section of the brigade.
25 Q. Of which army?
1 A. In this case, the 2nd Brigade of the HVO.
2 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] I'd like to correct my question in
3 line 25. I did not ask in which area. I asked in which army. And the
4 witness said the HVO.
5 Q. So the HVO brigade is laying down cables. Let's see where it's
6 laying them down from. It says:
7 "From the command post of the battalion commander to the BH Army
8 units at Bijela."
9 Tell us, please, Mr. Peric, which armies, by laying down this
10 cable, are being linked?
11 A. Well, the 2nd Brigade, which is made up of battalions.
12 Q. Of which army, though?
13 A. The HVO. The 2nd Brigade of the HVO is being linked up with a
14 military unit of the BH Army at Bijela Bridge
15 down to that point.
16 Q. Now let's see where the cables are being laid down further. So
17 from this unit of the BH Army, from the BH Army unit at Bijela Bridge
18 they are laying a cable to the Command Post of the 4th Battalion of the
19 BH Army?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. So this second laying of cables, within whose army is that?
22 A. Within the BH Army, and they're being laid -- the cable is being
23 laid that are in the Communications Department of the BH Army. I don't
24 see what is being challenged or is contentious there.
25 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Okay. I think we've clarified the
1 situation, Your Honours, and we can move on now.
2 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Witness, this means that the
3 Command of the 2nd Brigade and the Command of the 4th Battalion of the
4 BH Army could communicate through this cable; right?
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
6 May I just draw your attention to something here? The
7 2nd Brigade appears very often here, is mentioned often here, without
8 HVO. That's because the HVO took over the terminology of NATO, and the
9 BH Army retains the terms used in the JNA. So there it's "battalion,"
10 "company." With us it's -- with the HVO, a company is "satnija," a
11 battalion is "bojna," but I'm sure that somebody has already explained
12 all that to you.
13 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Witness, before we move on to
14 another document, could you look at paragraph 4 in the B/C/S, where
15 Mr. Pasalic is explaining why there is a need to lay this cable. He says
16 that it is to have co-ordination among forces and to defend the area.
17 Was that the motivation?
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Precisely.
19 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well.
20 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I'm now moving on to
21 another area, the 9th of May, 1993, and I think it would be a good idea
22 to take the break now.
23 I apologise, but I'd just like to -- my colleague has drawn my
24 attention to the fact that the witness's answer to you, Judge Antonetti,
25 was not recorded.
1 Could you repeat your answer, please, Witness?
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, I said a lot. It was a long
4 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation]
5 Q. You said "precisely," I believe.
6 A. Yes, "precisely."
7 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Just a minute.
8 Witness, I asked you to take a look at paragraph 4, where
9 Mr. Pasalic is explaining why there was a need to lay this cable, and he
10 says it's for co-ordination between the forces and to defend the sector.
11 I asked you whether that was the motivation behind the laying of the
12 cable. What's your answer?
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I said that was precisely the
14 reason. I said "precisely." I didn't say "the reason," I just said
16 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. Your answer is now
17 on the transcript.
18 I trust everyone helping us here, I don't check things, and it's
19 a good thing that the lawyers are checking everything, because your
20 answer was not noted on the transcript. I don't have my eyes, you know,
21 on the transcript. I'd rather look at the witness.
22 But now let's break for 20 minutes.
23 --- Recess taken at 10.30 a.m.
24 --- On resuming at 10.54 a.m.
25 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] The court is back in session.
1 Ms. Alaburic.
2 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation]
3 Q. Mr. Peric, before we start talking about the 9th of May, 1993,
4 there is one clarification that I will be needing from you.
5 When you were asked by Judge Antonetti -- I'll just dwell on
6 General Petkovic for the moment. Say you are the duty officer. Did you
7 have any information as to what the right telephone numbers were to reach
8 Petkovic, as chief of the Main Staff? You say you had his mobile phone,
9 and you say you could also call the operations duty officer in Grude?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. This operation duty officer in Grude, why is he important, in
12 terms of your duty roster and in terms of your ability to reach
13 General Petkovic?
14 A. Because the general would sometimes sleep in Grude, he would
15 spend the night there, and the operations duty officer at the Logistics
16 Centre probably knew his whereabouts. I didn't know the exact building
17 in which he slept, and he probably did. I didn't know the extension for
18 that particular building, and I don't think any of the other duty
19 officers knew; at least officially they didn't know.
20 Q. So let's suppose that General Petkovic was not in his vehicle and
21 you were unable to reach him on his mobile phone that was stationary in
22 his car. You would call the duty operations officer in Grude, and then
23 he would try to track down General Petkovic somewhere in Grude; right?
24 A. We'd call the duty officer. We'd tell him that we needed to
25 speak to General Petkovic. He'd say, All right, if he's around, I'll let
1 him know. That sort of thing. The duty officer says he's not around,
2 then we ask him to try and track him down and please ask him to get back
3 in touch. Why should he get in touch? Because we have no idea how much
4 time it will take him to track him down for him to call us back.
5 Q. Let's assume General Petkovic is not sleeping in Grude. Let's
6 say he's off to see his family in Split or is elsewhere; for example, in
7 Kiseljak. In your duty register, is that actually indicated, that he
8 would be spending that day in Kiseljak or in Split? Is that something
9 you'd be aware of?
10 A. If he's away somewhere on business, the chief, he normally
11 informs us where he's off to. If it's a private matter, we normally have
12 nothing to do with it and remain in the dark. This is the sort of
13 information that he would be leaving with the Grude Logistics Centre in
14 case he was off on some sort of private business.
15 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] One moment, Witness.
16 Thank you, Ms. Alaburic, for asking the question, because earlier
17 on I was a bit in the dark. When we were looking at the building of the
18 Main Staff with the seven offices in it, I wondered where the duty
19 operation officer was, because I kept in mind that in modern armies,
20 everything is sort of located together at the Main Staff and there's
21 always somebody with the maps in front of him who receives faxes and
22 telex messages and encrypted messages, and here I find out that there was
23 also an operation officer in Grude. That's what you say.
24 So this duty operation officer in Grude, in which building was
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It was a former factory. It used
2 to be a factory before the war. I think it was a plastic factory which
3 stopped operating at the beginning of the war, and the factory itself and
4 the administrative buildings were now used as a logistics base. The duty
5 officer was there. I'm not sure which office exactly he occupied. But
6 they did have a duty officer. I know that.
7 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Let's take a theoretical case.
8 Let us imagine that Colonel Blaskic, the commander of the operative zone,
9 sends an encrypted report with mention saying "Urgent." As I understand
10 it, this encrypted message may arrive, let's say, at 3.00 a.m., and it
11 arrives in office number 3, if all goes well, and it is then decoded.
12 Now, how do you make the connection from there with the duty operation
13 officer in Grude?
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It's probably that we weren't
15 sufficiently clear, or perhaps I wasn't. The messages would arrive in a
16 different building that was close to the other building housing the
17 Main Staff. The packet radio equipment was in that building, too, and
18 that is normally where reports from all of our operations zones would
19 arrive. The packet radio equipment operated around the clock. It would
20 receive and decode all sorts of incoming messages.
21 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Sir, you see it was a good idea
22 to ask these questions, because we do find things out. You say that
23 packet messages would not arrive in office number 3. They would go to
24 another building where they were processed. Now, what about this other
25 building? Was it also a Main Staff building?
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] That building was not used by the
2 Main Staff, but there was a part of that building where we had the packet
3 radio equipment, as we called it. I explained about who was working in
4 the Communications Department. I said there was a person in charge of
5 encryption. This is precisely something that was part of his work. His
6 communication was precisely about that. There was this room where we
7 kept the packet radio equipment, and he was supposed to communicate with
8 everyone. He was supposed to decode any incoming message and then
9 forward it depending on who it was addressed to. None of the messages
10 reached office number 3. I think the head of the Communications
11 Department was there.
12 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. So the building
13 where the packet messages would get, where was it?
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Quite near the building housing the
15 Main Staff, the distance between the two being no more than 20 metres,
16 give or take a metre or two.
17 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] You see, I'm trying to
18 reconstruct it all, but it is extremely complicated. I learn now that
19 there was the building on the ground floor with the seven offices, where
20 there's a duty service and where the secretary arrives in the morning and
21 leaves at 4.00. So there's a duty service operating there. And there's
22 office number 3, where you were, where you would decode messages, among
23 other things. And then 20 metres from there, there's another building
24 where all the radio communication gets to. And then in Grude, we have
25 the duty officer who's located in that former factory. Is that how it
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I believe you
3 misunderstood, with all due respect.
4 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Well, then make it clear for
5 me, because I'm really trying to understand.
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I think I was quite clear about
7 office number 3. There was nothing that was being decoded there, no
8 incoming mail at all. It was an office that we used, but there was the
9 other building at a distance of about 20 metres from this building, and
10 there was another room there, about 15 or 16 square metres, where we kept
11 the packet radio equipment. There were persons there who were there
12 around the clock receiving all the incoming communication. The
13 encryption and the decoding of any messages was done there.
14 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I understood as much, but I
15 seem to understand something else, and I stand to be corrected, of
16 course. But when General Petkovic takes the stand, he will be able to
17 explain it all to us.
18 But as I understand it, whenever something happens somewhere, the
19 commander of the operative zone sends an encrypted report that will get
20 to a building -- will arrive in a building that is 20 metres from your
21 building, and that is where the encrypted message is decoded. Your own
22 service is located on the ground floor of the building, where there's a
23 duty service and where you can call the chief of the Main Staff. And
24 then in Grude, there's the operations officer who's located in the
25 factory. So is this the way it worked?
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] You said it just right, but I don't
2 see any connection between there being an operations duty officer in
3 Grude and the decoding process for these messages. I'm not sure why you
4 seem to be somehow linking these two or what the context is or the need
5 for that.
6 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] You have a question. I'll
7 answer it.
8 Let us imagine that something happened, there is a really
9 extraordinary event that takes place. This is in theory. Let us suppose
10 that the BH Army is attacking and the HVO is losing the battle, so
11 general panic and disorder prevails. Let us imagine that Colonel Blaskic
12 sends a very sensitive report to say that, Our lines have been broken, we
13 are now fleeing. All this is being encrypted. So in this case, this
14 message would reach the building that is 20 metres from yours, and there
15 it would be decoded. And I suppose that the operations officer in Grude
16 would be informed of it straight away. You see, that's the link I'm
17 trying to ascertain.
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, by no means. Let's do it this
19 way: Let's say your hypothetical case occurs, which is very much like
20 reality. Then the decoded message would not be forwarded to Grude. It
21 would go to whoever it was addressed to. Was it the chief of the Main
22 Staff? In that case, it would go straight to the chief of the Main
23 Staff. If the chief of the Main Staff was away and we were unable to
24 trace him on his mobile phone or the one that he kept in his car, then we
25 would go to the duty operations officer in Grude. We'd ask for him to
1 try and get in touch with General Petkovic and whether he knew his
2 whereabouts. That was the extent of the role of the duty officer in
3 Grude, to check whether he knew where he was and to see if he could
4 perhaps track him down, and to send the message through to him to get
5 back in touch with the Main Staff.
6 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] To go back to my example,
7 I think I'm starting to understand. Back to my example.
8 Colonel Blaskic would send his report to the chief of staff, and
9 the report would have reached straight away the duty operation officer in
10 Grude; is that what you're telling us?
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No. Your Honours --
12 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I'm asking you these questions.
13 I'm trying to understand how information is forwarded from the field to
14 the chief of staff. I'm trying to find out how the chief of staff is
15 informed of an event that is taking place on the ground. I'm trying to
16 understand how the information circulates.
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Allow me to explain.
18 You understood everything, you got it all right, except you don't
19 go to the Logistics Centre in Grude, because in 99 per cent of the cases
20 the chief is there. The remaining 1 or 2 per cent of cases are the
21 moments when he's physically away, and in such cases, very rare ones, we
22 talked to the man in Grude to see if he knew where General Petkovic was.
23 He receives a transcript or a decoded message. He doesn't know about
24 this, nor indeed does he know why we want to speak to the general. We
25 simply talk to him to see if he can trace the general, in case he's
1 anywhere in Grude. If he's not, he's bound to tell us, I don't know,
2 either. I have no idea where he is, and I can't track him down.
3 You understood everything up to the moment where you start
4 asking, Why does the message go through to the duty officer in Grude? It
5 actually doesn't, and he never gets to he see it, and he doesn't know
6 that it's there. He doesn't know the message has arrived.
7 MS. TOMANOVIC: [Interpretation] I'm not sure how it was
8 interpreted into French because I've been monitoring the transcript. I'm
9 quite sure there's a misunderstanding there. Page 43, line 21 and line
10 22, the witness says about the duty officer in Grude, and he says he does
11 not receive a decoded message, he does not know what the message says,
12 and the transcript states that he does know. That may be a source of the
13 misunderstanding, and maybe even previously, although I must say I wasn't
15 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you.
16 So we understand that the duty officer in Grude does not know the
17 contents of the encrypted message because the latter is going to arrive
18 in the building that is at a distance of 20 metres in relation to yours;
19 is that right?
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes. It arrives there because that
21 is where the packet radio equipment is. The packet radio equipment is in
22 that building that is 20 metres away from our building, the Main Staff
24 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you. It is extremely
1 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation]
2 Q. Mr. Peric, let's try and clarify things. This duty officer in
3 Grude, he wasn't a member of the Main Staff, or was he?
4 A. No. The Logistics Centre does not belong to the Main Staff,
6 Q. Tell us, please, in that Logistics Centre in Grude, were duty
7 shifts organised around the clock, 24 hours?
8 A. Yes, around the clock. Who was on duty, I don't know, and how
9 this was organised, I don't know, but you could reach them at a given
10 telephone number 24 hours.
11 Q. Except for this Logistics Centre in Grude, was there some other
12 daily shift in Grude or was the Logistics Base the only sure place where
13 you would always find someone on duty?
14 A. I know about the Logistics Base. There's always someone there.
15 Now, for other institutions, I don't know. Probably the police have a
16 round-the-clock duty officer.
17 Q. All right. Now, tell me, when did you try to reach someone
18 through the Logistics Base in Grude if you couldn't reach them directly
19 on their mobile phone or land line?
20 A. Well, usually we would ask whether General Petkovic was there.
21 When it was indispensable that he be informed, then we tried to reach him
22 in that way. And if we can't reach him in that way, then we try and
23 reach him in a hundred other ways.
24 Q. Okay. Now, tell us, why were you trying to reach
25 General Petkovic precisely in Grude?
1 A. Because the general often spent the night in Grude. I don't know
2 in which building.
3 Q. All right. Now, if General Petkovic had decided to spend the
4 night in Medjugorje, for example, and if you knew about that, would you
5 then call the Logistics Centre in Grude at all?
6 A. No, no way.
7 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] I don't know, Judge Antonetti,
8 whether the situation is a bit clearer to you now and the position of
9 this Logistics Centre in Grude.
10 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Just one follow-up question.
11 As to this Logistics Centre in Grude, is that part or under the
12 Defence Department?
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It was like this: It belongs -- it
14 is under the auspices of --
15 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, can we secure the
16 witness's seat, because it's wobbly, so can we do something to keep the
17 backrest in an upright position?
18 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Take another chair.
19 Witness, I'm going to ask my question again about the
20 Logistics Centre in Grude. I asked you whether it was part of or under
21 the Defence Department.
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, it comes under the Ministry of
23 Defence, or the Department of Defence, as you said.
24 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you.
25 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation]
1 Q. Now, Mr. Peric, when this duty officer in Grude goes off to fetch
2 General Petkovic, who's in Grude then, what does this duty officer in
3 Grude -- what can this duty officer in Grude tell General Petkovic?
4 A. Well, he can tell him that he was called up by the Main Staff and
5 that he should call them back, call the Main Staff back.
6 Q. Very well, okay. I think that is a good foundation for our
7 discussion next.
8 Now, I'm going to begin with the 8th of May, 1993. So could you
9 please tell me, what was the working day like at the Main Staff? Did
10 anything happen that was different to the previous days? Were there any
11 different, unusual messages coming in, or a lot of commotion, or
12 whatever? Describe that day to us.
13 A. Well, I'll describe it to the best of my recollections. I'll try
14 and give you some details, too, if I can remember. Anyway, on the 8th it
15 was just like any other day. Nothing indicated that something special
16 was happening. We were given our regular assignments, and I was on duty
17 from 4.00 onwards. Nobody liked doing duty work much, so that was the
18 only slightly unusual thing compared to other days.
19 Q. Tell us, please, when you started your duty shifts, did you move
20 to the office where the secretary of the chief of the Main Staff usually
22 A. Yes, I went to her, and she briefly told me -- conveyed the daily
23 messages that I should send out to someone, or with respect to the
24 general's stay, whether he was there or not, whether we could reach him
25 in Grude or not. Anyway, she would orally impart this information to us.
1 Now, through the duty log-book, the duty roster, this would be
2 recorded in writing. An entry would be made as to what we should pay
3 attention to, what I should pay attention to during my shift, and things
4 like that.
5 Q. Tell us, please, on that particular day, in the log-book was
6 there an entry about General Petkovic's movements at all?
7 A. Yes, it was recorded and conveyed to me in the way in which I
8 have described. It said that General Petkovic, with the minister, would
9 tour the Military District of Tomislavgrad. Of course, the telephone
10 numbers would be recorded, too, where they could be reached.
11 Q. Mr. Peric, you said "with the minister." Now, at that time there
12 was still no ministers. They were representatives of departments. But
13 tell us which department in particular here. Which did you mean?
14 A. Yes, you're quite right, there weren't any ministries. There was
15 this Department for Defence, so the head of the Defence Department.
16 Q. Okay. Tell us, please, was it customary that in the VOS,
17 somebody was on duty? Was there a duty officer in VOS?
18 A. Do you want me to explain what the VOS was?
19 Q. No.
20 A. Yes, there was a duty officer in VOS too.
21 Q. All right. Who was the duty officer in VOS on that particular
23 A. As far as I remember, it was Nikola Mikulic.
24 Q. Okay. Tell me, please, was there anybody else on duty?
25 A. There was another man on duty in the ONO Department.
1 Q. What was his name?
2 A. I think it was Miro Lovric.
3 Q. Okay. Now, tell us, where were these two men on that day? Were
4 they in the VOS offices?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. The question was: Were they in the VOS offices and the ONO, the
7 Operations and Training Department? Yes, that's right now.
8 Now, tell us, Mr. Peric, what happened during the evening and
9 night? What was different while you were on duty compared to the
10 previous days and months?
11 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Excuse me, please. The previous question and
12 answer is not quite clear.
13 Where were the offices? Were they in the VOS offices, you asked.
14 The answer, Yes. And then the question is, Were they in the VOS offices
15 and the ONO? And again, Yes. That would mean one in one office and the
16 other in the other one?
17 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, my first question was
18 recorded on page 49, lines 1 and 2. That wasn't correct. I didn't ask
19 about the VOS offices. I said "in the VOS offices and ONO, the
20 Operations and Training Department," because one of the duty offices was
21 from VOS and the other duty officer was from the ONO, the Operations and
22 Training Department, and I just wished to clarify that each of them was
23 in the offices of each of the services.
24 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Thank you.
25 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation]
1 Q. So, Mr. Peric, when did something happen that was different to
2 the regular events, and what was that?
3 A. Something that happened that was very different was in the early
4 hours of the morning, when we heard explosions and shooting in the town
6 Q. What were you doing at that point in time?
7 A. Well, I was doing what every duty officer would do. I sort of
8 was shaken by it.
9 Q. Well, were you sleeping, were you on the point of going to sleep?
10 What were you doing when you heard this shooting?
11 A. Well, as I say, it sort of shook me. At around 4.00 or
12 5.00 a.m.
13 morning, especially if there's nothing going on, if it's all quiet and
14 calm, so I was shaken from this semi-sleep. I had dozed off, and I tried
15 to see what was happening, what was -- what the shooting was. And then
16 when it continued, when I felt that the explosions were strong ones and
17 that there was heavy shooting, I tried to call the general. That's a
18 sort of rule, that we call the general to ask him what was going on, to
19 ask him, What's this happening?
20 Am I talking too fast?
21 Q. I'm going to ask you something before you go on to describe the
22 situation further.
23 When you heard the shooting, and you had two of your colleagues
24 in the adjoining rooms, did you communicate with them first? Did it wake
25 them up? Do you know what they did? Did the three of you gather
1 together in one place?
2 A. Of course we did, yes. Each one of us ran out of his room and
3 asked what was going on.
4 Q. And now you've already told us that the first thing you decided
5 to do was to call up General Petkovic. Now, tell us, how did you reach
6 him, how did you call him up?
7 A. You mean how I dialed the numbers? I called him up on the phone.
8 I called up his mobile phone number.
9 Q. So you rang him on a Mobitel?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. Did you reach him?
12 A. Well, the telephone rang, but nobody answered.
13 Q. And what did you do then?
14 A. After that, I tried -- or, rather, I managed to get through to
15 the duty officer at the Logistics Centre and asked him whether he knew
16 where the general was, because I said I couldn't reach him on his mobile
17 phone, or, rather, the mobile telephone that was located in his car. You
18 can't carry it around with you. It was fixed in the car.
19 Q. All right, fine. And what did he reply? Did he say something
20 straight away, or did he ring you back later?
21 A. This is what he said: He said he didn't know where the general
22 was, either, but that he knew that his car was parked in front of the
23 building, and that he would try to reach him at one of the numbers that
24 he probably had. So I said to him straight away, If you manage to reach
25 him, call us back straight away, let us know.
1 Q. Okay. And what did you do next?
2 A. After that, we rang up the duty officer in the South-East
3 Operative Zone to try and learn from him.
4 Q. What?
5 A. Well, the number was engaged two or three times, but we did
6 manage to reach him fairly quickly and asked him what was going on over
7 there, and he said, quite simply -- I'm going to speak officially now.
8 He said the BH Army has attacked in the direction of
9 Uliska [phoen] Street and Edo Bajram's house. So I assumed that the duty
10 officer was a local from Mostar, using these expressions which were not
11 official expressions and terms used, but everybody who knew Mostar knew
12 which streets these referred to and what directions were involved.
13 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Now, before we continue, I would
14 like to ask the usher's assistance. Could he distribute this map of
16 Your Honours, you have the map prepared for you, but could we
17 hand this one to the witness on the overhead projector. I hope that our
18 generals won't be angry at us for using a tourist map. We thought that
19 for these purposes, it would be sufficiently simple and clear for us to
20 be able to use it and that it would help us understand the situation.
21 Q. Tell us, please, to start off with, Mr. Peric, did we prepare
22 this map during your proofing session? Is that when you saw this map?
23 A. Yes, that's right, but I can't see the picture very clearly.
24 It's not very clear, and I can't read the street names. So can I pick it
25 up, please?
1 Q. Yes, you can. The map is in English. Nevertheless, Mr. Peric,
2 you shouldn't have any difficulties identifying certain facilities.
3 Number 1, the building housing the Main Staff and the Defence
4 Department. Number 2, the Mostar HVO Operations Zone Command. Number 3,
5 the Command of the 4th Corps and 41st Brigade of the BH Army. Number 4,
6 the house of Edo Bajram, which you mentioned a minute ago. Number 5,
7 Mostar Hotel. Number 6, the Glass Bank. Number 7, the HIT building.
8 Number 8, the secondary school building.
9 Mr. Peric, is that correct?
10 Mr. Peric, time flies. I'm running out.
11 A. Yes, yes, yes. I just couldn't see the street numbers. I wanted
12 to make sure I did nothing wrong.
13 Q. Do we not try to use the blue line and the green line to mark the
14 confrontation line between the HVO and the BH Army?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. Could we briefly define this as the Bulevar and Santic Street?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. Fine. Before we press on, let us try to explain how the
19 confrontation line came about, although in point of fact I think we've
20 said enough about this in this trial.
21 Look at the next document, 4D557, the next document in your
22 binder, Mr. Peric.
23 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Could we give a number of the
25 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, we'll be coming back
1 to this map. I'll just try to specify where the confrontation line came
2 about, and then we shall use further documents to see the projected axes
3 of operations of the BH Army.
4 I'll ask the witness to try to point that out for our benefit on
5 this map. Therefore, let's go back to 4D557. This is a notification on
6 the 20th of April, 1993, by Arif Pasalic, which he sent to
7 Alija Izetbegovic and the BH Army Staff.
8 Item 1 says that a confrontation line was agreed.
9 Sehovac-Bulevar-Mosa Pijade. Fine, we'll correct that later on as we go
11 Q. Mr. Peric, is it not exactly the line that we marked in green and
13 A. Yes, indeed.
14 Q. Mr. Peric, I will now inform you and remind the Trial Chamber of
15 Mr. Pellnas's evidence. I do hope that he was not a protected witness;
16 at least not that I'm aware. At the transcript pages 19759. The
17 question was for him to say, to the best his recollection, based on the
18 document that we were looking at a minute ago, whether this specifically
19 was the confrontation line agreed back in April 1993. Witness Pellnas
20 answered: "Yes, I believe so." There, I now consider this beyond
22 The next one is P1978. This is in evidence already. It's an
23 order by Midhat Hujdur, the commander of the 41st BH Army Brigade. We
24 will just be referring to a single portion, 1.2, paragraph 1.2 of the
25 order defines positions around Mostar, itself, positions to be taken by
1 the BH Army. This document talks about the following defence line:
2 Cekrk, main road to Semovac, Bulevar, and so on and so forth.
3 Let me phrase my question in the following way: Is it the same
4 confrontation line, at least in part, that we were talking about a minute
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. The Vaha Cafe, the garrison infirmary, the old hospital, the
8 Centar 2 Dairy, is that to the east or to the west of the confrontation
9 line or does this, in fact, straddle the confrontation line?
10 A. It's to the west of the confrontation line. Quite far away from
11 it, actually.
12 Q. Can we please go back to the ELMO. Mr. Peric, you don't need to
13 do this in detail, but please refer to the line referred to by
14 Midhad Hujdur in this part of his order.
15 A. [Indicated]
16 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I don't think
17 there's any need to mark anything. It should be easy to compare and
18 identify the specific streets.
19 Q. And what about this portion of the order? Some elements of the
20 4th Company are to be sent towards the Command of the 41st Motorised
21 Brigade to reinforce the defence efforts. Can you point out, between the
22 confrontation line, this reinforcement? Where exactly is it supposed to
23 go to, which building?
24 A. The line is like this [indicating].
25 Q. Fine. You mentioned a while ago that you were notified by the
1 operations zone that the BH Army was moving along the following axis:
2 Liska Street and then on to Edo Bajram's house. Can you draw on the map
3 for us the exact axis that is specified here?
4 A. I think you misspoke. It was going down Liska Street and Lenin's
5 Promenade down towards Edo Bajram's house [indicating].
6 Q. Can you then mark the movement down Liska Street and put the
7 letter A there, or try to draw an arrow to indicate movement.
8 A. [Marks]
9 Q. And then Lenin Street.
10 A. [Marks]
11 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Witness, could you please
12 change from your own pen, because this might identify the hotel where
13 protected witnesses usually stay. So please don't use that pen here in
14 the courtroom. The name of the hotel is on the pen, so use the pen that
15 the usher is giving you.
16 THE WITNESS: [Marks]
17 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation]
18 Q. Please put a letter B there.
19 A. [Marks]
20 Q. Now, please just listen to me, Mr. Peric. We'll be moving on to
21 a new document, 4D89 --
22 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Excuse me.
23 Ms. Alaburic, a short while ago the witness indicated an area on
24 the right-hand side of this map where a would-be defence line or
25 preventive defence line went between Spanski Tornot Kolodvorska [phoen],
1 but the street that goes more to the left if you come to Spanski Trg. It
2 goes a bit up. And you said it's not necessary to sign it, but I think
3 it would be useful, because otherwise it gets lost, we don't have it in
4 the transcript.
5 And I see Mr. Stewart in full agreement.
6 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Okay. Your Honours, just one
8 What is shown here -- my question was as follows. I'm referring
9 to a part of the document, saying that one must strive to take up a
10 defence line, and now the desirable line of defence is defined. My
11 question: What about a portion of this desirable defence line; does
12 it tally with the defence line as defined on this map? The witness
13 answered in the affirmative, and then we were talking about the other
14 locations. I talked about the Vaha Cafe, the garrison infirmary, the old
15 hospital, and so on and so forth, and the witness said that this was to
16 the west of the defence line.
17 Q. Was it like that, Mr. Peric?
18 A. Yes, that was my understanding of your question.
19 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Ms. Alaburic, we do not see on this map where
20 the Vaha cafe is.
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Perhaps if I may be allowed to mark
23 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I'm looking at this
24 from my own point of view and from the Petkovic Defence point of view.
25 We want it to be known that a portion of this defence line is to the west
1 of the confrontation line as agreed at the time, which clearly indicates
2 an ambition on the part of the BH Army to seize certain areas to the west
3 of the confrontation line that was agreed. If you deem it necessary for
4 me to specify the locations, we can as well do that. But if I remember
5 correctly, in addition to this document, we already located and specified
6 all of these facilities and axes. I think the Praljak Defence drew a
7 large-scale map in relation to this document. That's why I did not deem
8 it necessary to go into too much detail over this. I was just trying to
9 show a number of documents showing the direction of the attack being
10 carried out by the BH Army. If you think more detail is required, I
11 would, of course, oblige. Nevertheless, for our purposes right now --
12 MR. STEWART: Can I just make it clear, because there's not the
13 slightest disagreement. I don't wish that to be thought. Not the
14 slightest disagreement between my lead counsel and myself over this, but
15 my name came on the transcript signifying agreement with Judge Trechsel.
16 And all I'm actually saying is that, as I have said in relation to many
17 other witnesses and counsel, that when a witness indicates something, if
18 he doesn't at the same time mark it, then subsequently we're not able to
19 see what he's indicated. So I wasn't getting into any sort of debate
20 about this, that, or the other and so on. It's just that when the
21 witness waves a pen at something and indicates something, if we don't get
22 a marking of what he's indicating, we don't know later what it is. It's
23 just that -- excuse me, Ms. Alaburic. It's just that very simple point I
24 was trying to get across again.
25 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, at this point in
1 time it is not essential for our purposes to know the location of a cafe.
2 What is important is to know for sure that all the places are to the west
3 of the confrontation line. The witness's answer is quite sufficient for
4 our purposes. All these places are to the west of the confrontation line
5 as agreed. We don't care whether it's 500 metres away or a full
6 kilometre away, at least for the time being.
7 Q. Witness, 4D89 is the next document up. This has been exhibited
8 already. It's also an order by Midhad Hujdur. Paragraph 2 says that
9 people should be prepared for a decisive defence effort in the area that
10 was taken and in order to carry out an attack in the direction of
11 Mostar Hotel and the Command of the 41st Motorised Brigade. On the map,
12 Hotel Mostar is number 5. The Command of the 41st Motorised Brigade is
13 number 3.
14 Although it's self-evident, Witness, but just tell us, these two
15 facilities, are they west of the agreed separation line?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. And the next document is 2D478.
18 Now, in the transcript, line 12 -- it's fine. The next document
19 is 2D478. The document is an exhibit. It's an order once again from
20 Midhad Hujdur defining certain localities again. Point 2, it says that
21 preparation and support to the units of the 2nd Battalion should be
22 ensured in the new bank-gymnasium area.
23 Tell us, Mr. Peric, these two buildings, are they marked on this
24 map of Mostar?
25 A. Yes, they are.
1 Q. Are they numbers 6 and 8?
2 A. Six and 8, yes, they are, except there's something else here.
3 May I be allowed to explain?
4 Q. I said, Yes. Yes, you didn't answer my question. Let's just
5 stay with the document. It says that the Avenue and Rudnik directions
6 should be used. Now, are these Mostar areas to the west of the
7 separation line?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. And then we have the parking at the Rondo, Bijeli Brijeg, and the
10 university is a parking-lot area. Now, tell us, Witness, is that also
11 west of the agreed separation line?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. In item 2, the new localities that are mentioned are now the top
14 of the avenue, and then the garrison clinic is mentioned and the
15 pensioners' lodge. Is that along the separation line too?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. Now, Mr. Peric, what do you think we need to add to that?
18 A. This direction, new bank-gymnasium, or secondary school was
19 mentioned, but there is a new secondary school, so there are two
20 secondary school buildings, in actual fact, in Mostar. And that new
21 secondary school or gymnasium is quite a long distance from the
22 separation line, in the direction of the new bank. So it might be that
23 bank, but it might refer to the old secondary school building or the old
25 Q. There's no mention of a new gymnasium, it's just "new bank."
1 A. Well, that's why I'm saying this. No mention is made of the new
2 secondary school or the old secondary school, which are what these two
3 schools -- which is what these two schools are called, the new one and
4 the old one.
5 Q. All right, fine. Now, Mr. Peric, would you sign the document
6 there and place today's date, and then I'd like an IC number, please.
7 A. [Marks]
8 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] IC number, please,
9 Mr. Registrar.
10 THE REGISTRAR: Yes, Your Honour.
11 The document just marked by the witness named "Street map,
12 Mostar," shall be given Exhibit IC01147. Thank you, Your Honours.
13 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation]
14 Q. Tell us, please, Mr. Peric, in trying to contact -- or, rather,
15 did you try to contact anybody else? You tried to reach
16 General Petkovic, and after you spoke to the duty officer in the Mostar
17 Operative Zone did you try to contact anybody else? Did you ring your
18 boss or somebody else?
19 A. I and the other two men called all those people whom we were able
20 to reach by phone. So you call your own chiefs first, if you can reach
21 them, but then there was a general rule -- I never read it spelt out, but
22 it was an unwritten rule that you had to obey, and it was this: that at
23 any moment if something extraordinary was happening, then everybody was
24 duty-bound to go to their work post as soon as possible. So if anybody
25 learns, either through the media or hears strong -- heavy shooting or
1 whatever, they all have to go to their work posts immediately. That's
2 the general rule.
3 Q. So did you report to your boss?
4 A. Yes, I did.
5 Q. Tell us, Mr. Peric, did you call the commanders of any military
6 unit of the HVO to come to Mostar?
7 A. No, I didn't do that.
8 Q. At some point, in the Main Staff building did people begin to
9 come in? Did your boss come in, did other staff members of the
10 Main Staff come in?
11 A. Well, after an hour, an hour and a half, I would say, people
12 began to come in. Ivica Drmac spent the night in Mostar, but he came in
13 very quickly. Then Adem Zulovic, he also slept in Mostar. And then a
14 little later on, the chief, Zadro, Lukenda, turned up. They're from the
15 same place. And I saw the chief of VOS. There was a five-minute
16 difference. I couldn't actually record who came in when, but generally
17 they came in around that time.
18 Q. Now, Mr. Peric, try briefly to describe the situation and
19 atmosphere that prevailed.
20 A. When the three of us duty officers rushed out into the hallway,
21 all three of us didn't have any weapons on us, not counting the pistols,
22 and with us there, there were three, four, or five military policemen
23 that were providing security for the building, but they were outside.
24 Then there was heavy shelling and shooting, and some of them rushed into
25 the hallway, and we discussed the situation, what we should do and so on.
1 I can't say that there was general panic at that point, because you can't
2 think properly when you're in a panic, but the situation was certainly
3 tense and you had to pause and think what you were going to do next. So
4 we did pause, and we reacted in the way we thought best, given the
6 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] May we move into private session
7 for a moment, please, Your Honours.
8 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Registrar.
9 [Private session]
11 Pages 47922-47925 redacted. Private session.
21 [Open session]
22 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, we're back in open session. Thank
24 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation]
25 Q. Mr. Peric, did you at the time see any other military commander
1 anywhere near the Main Staff building?
2 A. No, none at all.
3 Q. My time is running out, and running out real fast. I will
4 briefly ask you now about some relevant developments on that day.
5 Mr. Peric, tell us, please, at the time on the 9th of May, at the
6 Main Staff, did you have any information at all indicating that anyone
7 was trying to evacuate - and that's the word I'll be using, regardless of
8 its legal connotation - the civilian population of one part of West
10 A. No, I knew nothing about that.
11 Q. What about the area just outside the Main Staff building? Is
12 there an open line of sight all the way to the Velez Football Stadium?
13 A. No, there isn't.
14 Q. Did you sometime during that day, the 9th of May, find out that
15 some of the citizens of West Mostar were evacuated or taken away from
17 A. On the 9th of May, that evening, I did find out, yes.
18 Q. Can you tell us what, exactly, and how you learned it?
19 A. Could I please have my monitor back on, if the usher could assist
20 me. I'm unable to follow.
21 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] I would like to ask the usher if
22 he could switch the witness's screen back on. The witness is following
23 the transcript. He has been so instructed. He has been instructed not
24 to start his answers before the transcript comes to a halt.
25 Q. Mr. Peric, what exactly did you find out, and how?
1 A. I found out -- as a matter of fact, I saw when a colleague of
2 mine called me and said, Come over to see what is going on. It was on
3 TV. I took some time to get there, and I saw a convoy taking a road to
4 Citluk, footage of that convoy. I couldn't see who was part of that
5 convoy, I couldn't see who led the convoy. All I saw was that the road
6 they were taking was the road to Citluk.
7 Q. Fine. On the 9th of May, at any point in time did
8 General Petkovic call you at the Main Staff?
9 A. Yes, he got in touch. It must have been about 12.30 or 1.00 p.m.
10 He called, he phoned us. The line was noisy, and I assumed that he was
11 calling from his car. He briefly asked what was going on, and I said,
12 All sorts of things going on over here. He said, I'll be there in an
13 hour. And that's when our conversation ended. Normally, you say no more
14 when using devices like that to communicate.
15 Q. Because someone might be listening in; right?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. So did General Petkovic make it to the Main Staff in about an
19 A. I can't be quite specific. It may have taken 45 minutes, 50, the
20 full hour perhaps, but it was like that. Roughly speaking, that's what
22 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] One moment.
23 Witness, you are under oath, which means that everything you say
24 is according to the truth. You say that Petkovic called you around 12.30
25 or 1.00 p.m. Did he seem to have a question mark in his voice when he
1 said, Explain what's happening, tell me what's going on? Given the tone
2 of his voice, did you think that he was somebody who discovered that
3 something had happened, or did he just say, I'll be there in an hour?
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I'm sure it was General Petkovic.
5 His voice, when he speaks on the phone, is quite easy to identify.
6 Secondly, he's too experienced a person and too experienced an officer to
7 ask me about the developments. And, thirdly it's the sort of question
8 that we use when we talk to one another, What's up, what's going on? You
9 meet anyone, it's more like a phrase, a set phrase. It's not that they
10 really mean to find out exactly what's going on. It's just a
11 conversational thing, and that was how I understood his question. I
12 said, Well, there are all sorts of things going on. And then he said,
13 Okay, I'll be there in about an hour. I don't know whether he was upset
14 or not. I didn't actually see him upset. He was always composed,
16 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] You told me that he told you,
17 What's new? Just because he had woken up just then and he said, What's
18 up, or was it because he never got any information before about what had
19 happened and he's just asking you what's news?
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I tried to explain. It seems that
21 I have failed.
22 Someone calls -- phones somebody else. For example, I phone you.
23 You're at home, and I phone you. Anyone from Herzegovina and those areas
24 over there, the first question they're likely to ask is, What's up,
25 what's going on? It doesn't necessarily refer to you making an important
1 new purchase, such as a car, or any major developments like that. It's
2 just a conversational thing. It's a set phrase. It's what people ask
3 one another. It doesn't really mean that I'm earnestly inquiring about
4 what exactly is going on. It's not like I was expected to tell him that
5 there was shoot-outs all over Mostar, that someone was attacking somebody
6 else, or anything like that. What's up? All right, I'll be over there
7 in about an hour. And that's what the conversation was about, and we did
8 have a clear understanding. The essential thing was for the two of us to
9 have a clear understanding.
10 Now, I really don't know what you are about to make of this, but
11 I don't know how else to put this.
12 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] And when you told him that
13 there was shooting and shelling, what was his first reaction?
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, I didn't tell him that there
15 was shooting. I said, All sorts of things going on.
16 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] You say that all sorts of
17 things were going on. What did he then answer?
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Nothing else.
19 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I'll be there in an hour?
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] He said, I'll be over in an hour.
21 He said, Okay, I'll be there in an hour.
22 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you.
23 Ms. Alaburic.
24 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Just to --
25 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Just a follow-up question.
1 Witness, do you have any idea whether you were the first person
2 to whom General Petkovic spoke on that morning or whether he had spoken
3 to someone else before?
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] This is a logical question, but I
5 can't tell you either way because I couldn't judge based on his voice.
6 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Thank you. That's fine, that's a clear answer
8 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation]
9 Q. Just to restate this, Mr. Peric: The line of communication that
10 you used when talking to General Petkovic was a line of communication
11 that could easily be eavesdropped on by the BH Army; is that what you're
12 trying to say?
13 A. Yes, that would have been easy enough, anyone who had 100 or 200
14 German marks to spare to buy appropriate equipment to eavesdrop.
15 Q. Was there a rule, for that reason, to disclose nothing at all
16 while using this line of communication, a mobile phone like that, such as
17 specific developments, people's names, or anything that might prove to be
18 of relevance?
19 A. The rule was if you had to use a radio relay equipment, whenever
20 there was the slightest chance for you to use a land line, you were
21 expected to use a land line. Then we would say, Let's switch to the land
23 Q. Mr. Peric, you said that General Petkovic was always composed and
24 that he was not showing any signs of being upset, as far as I understand.
25 Quite regardless of this particular development, what was normally
1 General Petkovic's reaction in some situations? When he had a problem to
2 deal with, tensions among the men there, how did he normally go about
3 this, resolving these problems?
4 A. If the problems did not require a person to be court-martialed,
5 for example, if the problems were relatively mild, he would use a low
6 voice, soft spoken, and try to be humorous; British humour rather than
7 our local humour, if I may say. I can tell you that this was extremely
8 effective, and normally it would help to allay any tensions that arose.
9 By virtue of his position, he enjoyed a degree of credibility that none
10 of us, his inferiors, ever tried to challenge or question.
11 Q. Did General Petkovic come eventually to the Main Staff building
12 on the 9th of May?
13 A. Yes, he did.
14 Q. You say the situation was on the verge of panic. What was
15 General Petkovic's reaction?
16 A. Well, he came in and he said, Come on, calm down, everyone.
17 Quiet, please. Everyone, go back to your work, go back and do your jobs.
18 Q. Did he try to bring order to this situation or bring about more
19 focus, generally speaking?
20 A. Yes, that's what I'm trying to say. He walked into that room,
21 and the way he spoke to us was a calming influence. He said, Quiet down,
22 everyone. Go back to your work, get on with it.
23 Q. Mr. Peric, as far as you know, who was the first person that
24 Mr. Petkovic tried to speak to on the phone?
25 A. Maybe it's not a good question for me.
1 Q. Well, that's as far as you know.
2 A. When the general walked into that office, I don't know who the
3 first person was he called, but I know that the head of communications
4 came to me and said, Is there any way we could get through to the
5 commander of the BH Army? We tried out several things. It was a job
6 that was very much like my job, but we couldn't get through.
7 Q. Which BH Army commander are we talking about?
8 A. Arif.
9 Q. Pasalic?
11 Q. So you couldn't get through, could you?
12 A. No, we couldn't.
13 Q. Did you personally have any further contacts with
14 General Petkovic? Did you try to phone anyone else, anyone Petkovic
15 wanted to talk to?
16 A. I did not have any further contacts. The head of communications
17 was there as well. I don't know who else Petkovic may or may not have
18 spoken to. The communications system is designed in such a way that he
19 can dial, himself, or the secretary can dial for him the numbers of all
20 those who were under our control in the town of Mostar. The switchboard
21 was operating perfectly well. It's just that he couldn't get through to
22 anyone on the BH Army side by phone. That was when I got this task to
23 try and think about it, whether there was still any way -- anything we
24 could try for us to get through to their commander.
25 Q. Mr. Peric, I'm running out of time. I'm unable to show you
1 certain documents. Let me just say that on the 10th of May,
2 Mr. Mate Boban and Alija Izetbegovic issued an order on a cease-fire.
3 They ordered a cease-fire, and they ordered
4 General Milivoj Petkovic [as interpreted] to meet and to agree on all the
5 details to do with their order. This has been exhibited already, these
6 documents, and they're in the binders that we have distributed to the
7 Trial Chamber. The document numbers are 4D456 and 4D457.
8 Mr. Peric, did you know that right after the outbreak of clashes
9 in Mostar, the next day intense talks were in progress to put a stop to
10 those clashes and to restore peace? Did you know anything about that?
11 A. On the 10th of May?
12 Q. One of those days.
13 A. Yes. Well, everyone was talking about it, saying that
14 General Petkovic would be on his way to Kiseljak to attend a meeting with
15 the BH Army commanders. Did he go at all or when he went, I don't know.
16 I don't even know if the meeting was held:
17 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] I wish to correct the transcript.
18 Page 75, line 20 and 21, I said Mate Boban and Alija Izetbegovic ordered
19 General Petkovic and Sefer Halilovic to meet and agree on all the
20 details, in terms of the implementation, implementation of that order.
21 The transcript does not contain the name Sefer Halilovic.
22 Q. Mr. Peric, look at P2352, 2352. This is an agreement dated the
23 12th of May, 1993, and signed by Sefer Halilovic and Milivoj Petkovic, in
24 the presence of General Morillon and Ambassador Thebault. Mr. Peric, is
25 this the agreement that you knew was being prepared as early as the 11th
1 of May?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. Very well. To the best of your recollection and your knowledge,
4 Mr. Peric, did the clashes abate in Mostar at the time? Did the clashes
5 come to a halt?
6 A. The fighting started to subside on the evening of the 9th and the
7 10th. There was never a complete lull without a single shot being fired,
8 but every time there's a war on, there are sporadic shots that might be
9 the result of the fear of individual soldiers, being scared by something
10 or other, and then they fire a shot. But you can certainly say that the
11 intensity of the fighting in Mostar was brought down to a bare minimum.
12 Q. So if we define this as a relative peace, what can you,
13 Mr. Peric, tell us? How long did this state of relative peace continue
15 A. If you ask me, it went on until the 13th [as interpreted] of
16 June, 1993.
17 Q. Would you repeat that date? It wasn't properly recorded.
18 A. The 30th of June, 1993.
19 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Okay.
20 Now, Your Honours, we're moving on to a new topic now and I think
21 it's time for the break, so perhaps we could take the break now.
22 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. Let's break.
23 Ms. Alaburic, I believe that you have about 25 minutes left.
24 --- Recess taken at 12.35 p.m.
25 --- On resuming at 12.54 p.m.
1 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Ms. Alaburic, you have the
3 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation]
4 Q. Mr. Peric, we're going to talk about the 30th of June, 1993
5 for a bit. Tell us, please, the 30th of June, that's your birthday,
6 isn't it?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. So on that 30th of June, 1993, did you go to work that morning?
9 What happened to you that morning? Describe it to us, please.
10 A. It was like this: On the 30th of June, in the morning, at about
11 6.00 a.m.
12 my wife and two children. I had spent the evening with them, and I said
13 I was going to work and that I wouldn't be returning in the evening, but
14 that I would stay with my parents in Bijelo Polje. The village is
15 Kuti Livac.
16 Q. Just a moment. To clear this up, did you spend the night in
17 Medjugorje, did you sleep there?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. So you went to work on the 30th, in the morning. What happened
21 A. I reached the parking-lot in front of the Main Staff building,
22 where we would park our cars, those of us who had a car. And I saw a
23 relative of mine there whose house is in Bijelo Polje, where mine is too.
24 I'm going to use the place name "Bijelo Polje," but I've already told you
25 the name of the village itself. So I met this person, and while I was
1 getting out of my car he asked me whether I knew what had happened up
2 there. That's what he said, What had happened up there? And "up there"
3 was north. I said, I have no idea.
4 Q. Just a moment, please. There's something missing from the
5 transcript. When you say "north," you said north meant Bijelo Polje;
6 right? That's what you said?
7 A. Yes. When he said, Up there, that meant at our place in
8 Bijelo Polje.
9 Q. Very well. Go ahead, go on.
10 A. And I said, Have you really -- or he said, Have you really not
11 heard anything? And I used some words that might not have been
12 appropriate, but I said, No, I hadn't heard about anything and that he
13 should tell me what had happened. He told me then that there was an
14 attack on Bijelo Polje, that that's what had happened, and that my
15 parents had been a fatality. Well, actually, I asked that -- that my
16 parents were involved, and I asked him, Were they wounded or have they
17 been killed? And he showed me, through his body language, that they had
18 actually been killed.
19 As I knew that that evening, that is to say, the evening before,
20 on the 29th of June, my younger brother had gone to my parents' house
21 with his family, with his wife, who was pregnant, and his two children,
22 the eldest of which was five and a half years old, and the other child
23 was three years old, three years and a few months - I can't be
24 precise - I knew that they had gone to my parents' place and that they
25 would spend the night at my parents. And, of course, on that next day, I
1 would have gone there, too, after work; perhaps not at 4.00 p.m. I might
2 have left at 3.00 p.m.
3 that day.
4 Q. Let's just explain. That you would have gone there the next day,
5 which day did you plan to go; that same 30th of June?
6 A. Yes, the 30th of June. They went on the 29th, and I thought that
7 the next day, that is to say, on the 30th, that I would go and join them
8 there at my parents' place. And I asked what had happened to the others,
9 meaning my brother and his family, and the man told me, They are alive.
10 Just the fact that he had said, They are alive, meant that something was
11 not altogether all right with them. So I asked, What happened to them?
12 Don't just say they are alive. And he said, They were wound, but they
13 are in hospital and are being taken of, and they are alive. And when I
14 asked him about the children, what had happened to the children, my
15 brother's children, he said that, Nothing happened to the children and
16 that they are being taken care of not in the hospital, but with some
17 relatives. Otherwise, most of our relatives were living in Mostar, in
18 flats there.
19 So after that first piece of information, I went into the
20 Main Staff building, went into my office there, and I came across my
21 chief, Zadro, who already knew what had happened up there. And he said,
22 Sit down for a bit. We'll order a cup of coffee, we'll have a cup of
23 coffee, so that you can calm down. And I said, Well, you can order a
24 coffee, but I'm just going to go to the hospital to see how my brother
25 and sister-in-law are doing. And that's what I did, I got into my car
1 again, drove off to the hospital. The hospital is about a kilometre away
2 at Bijeli Brijeg. And when I arrived in front of the hospital, there
3 were a lot of people there. We like to say that there was a big crowd,
4 and we usual a special term, but a big crowd in front of the hospital.
5 And in the hospital, itself, in the orthopaedics ward, traumatology and
6 orthopaedics, I knew quite a few of the nurses there, and I happened to
7 see one passing by who was at my bedside when I was operated on before
8 the war, in 1983 or thereabouts, and I knew her well. And when she saw
9 me, she said, Don't go in there, please, because we've got a lot of
10 people there, and they're working on your brother. He sustained an
11 entrance/exit wound or several wounds in his right arm. But she said, He
12 has been wounded, but he's all right. And I asked, What about his wife?
13 And the nurse said, The doctors have told us that she's well, too, but
14 she was wounded in the head with two bullets here up on her forehead, so
15 that her bone was shattered, and her skin, too, and a part of the brain,
16 membrane. But the brain has two membranes, and they said that this
17 second membrane hadn't been affected. And they said they guaranteed that
18 she would be completely fine and that she wouldn't have any problems with
19 her pregnancy or anything else; that she required a lot of rest. But
20 even to this day, she's missing a part of her cranial bone.
21 Q. Tell us, Witness, was everything all right with your brother's
23 A. Yes, everything was fine with them, and he told me that they had
24 gone to stay with my sister-in-law's sister, my sister-in-law's family.
25 Q. Tell us, please, did your brother ever describe what actually
1 happened that night or that day?
2 A. Well, yes, he did. Of course he did.
3 Q. Tell the Trial Chamber, briefly, what happened that night.
4 A. That night between the 29th and 30th of June, when they were up
5 there staying with my parents and theirs -- and his, they were sitting
6 around until midnight
7 yogurt and things like that, some milk, and then we went off to bed. The
8 house had been destroyed, but you could live in it. It had a roof, it
9 had water, it had electricity. The electricity had been returned, so
10 there was electricity; not all the time, but from time to time. So they
11 went off to sleep, and at about 2.00 a.m., according to what my brother
12 said, you could hear shooting.
13 Several minutes later, one of our neighbours, who lives very
14 close to us, close by, and he was there with a car, but he came by and
15 said, Let's escape across the fields. He said, It's nearer across the
16 field, but you can't go by car. And my brother said that he couldn't go
17 without a car because his wife was there and his children were there, and
18 so were my parents. The car was a Polo, a Volkswagen Polo-type car.
19 It's a small car with sharp edges and not too much room inside, so that
20 they got in. My brother drove. In front -- next to him on the right was
21 my father. Behind my father on the right-hand side was my mother, and
22 next to my mother were the two children. And behind my brother, behind
23 the driver, was my sister-in-law, my brother's wife.
24 Now, when you pack all those people into a small car like that,
25 it's like sardines in a can. And they tried to drive from our house,
1 past the nunnery, to arrive at a macadam road leading down to the Neretva
2 River, because my brother knew that at the river, itself, at Neretva,
3 there were two metal pipes which were four or five metres long and that
4 you could cross over that area on foot. So he took that road, tried to
5 reach the river and -- the Neretva, and to cross over onto the right bank
6 of the Neretva. But as he was turning off the access road, the M-17, he
7 turned towards the north, and at that moment, according to what his elder
8 son said, he said, I saw some yellow fire and I heard a strong explosion.
9 Well, as I knew about weapons and things like that, it was clear
10 to me. And as I knew what could be used, I knew that it was a Zolja that
11 had been fired at the car, a Zolja being a hand-held rocket-launcher.
12 And if a Zolja hit the car, then that was the end of the story. You
13 didn't -- everything was destroyed; bones flying and so on. But luckily
14 it didn't hit them, and 30 or 40 metres later, when I reconstructed all
15 this, I saw the ditch by the M-17, this channel or ditch which is half a
16 metre high -- I don't know what it's called, actually, this embankment.
17 It was covered in grass because there the road maintenance works were no
18 longer functioning. Two or three jumped out, my brother said he saw two
19 of them, whether there were three, I don't know. Anyway, they shot a
20 burst of gun-fire at them from a distance of one to one and a half metres
21 at most. And he was hit in both his arms as he was driving holding the
22 driving wheel. One of his arms, the right-hand one, was shattered, and
23 the other bullet hit him in his palm.
24 My father and mother --
25 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
1 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation]
2 Q. I still have just nine minutes to go through this topic.
3 A. I'll bury them quickly. All right.
4 Q. So could you please try and be as short as possible?
5 A. Well, he managed to reach this place, and he came across people
6 whom he recognised, whom he knew, and he saw that the HVO was still
7 there. They evacuated him out of the car, him, his wife and his
8 children. But they realised that my parents didn't need to be taken
9 anywhere else, so they just took them to behind a house, along a wall.
10 So that's what happened.
11 Q. Tell us when you arrived on that place on the 30th of June.
12 A. When I returned from hospital that morning, I went back to the
13 Main Staff building and told Jure, I have to go up there. And he said he
14 knew I had to go, he realised that, but he said, As you're going and when
15 you're up there, take a look at the communications system again, because
16 everything had been disrupted and a new wire communications system had to
17 be set up again. So I went to the location where the command post was
18 supposed to be.
19 Q. Mr. Peric, tell me when you arrived -- when did you arrive at
20 that place?
21 A. It might have been around 10.00 in the morning, and then I went
22 further down at noon
23 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreter did not hear from where.
24 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation]
25 Q. Did you manage to bury your parents that day?
1 A. Not that day, but I did manage to carry them across the lake in
2 the evening. It's an accumulation lake with a dam, water from the
3 Neretva River
4 Q. So you buried them the next day, did you?
5 A. Yes, the next day, towards evening.
6 Q. Did you talk to the local population about what had actually
7 happened on the 30th of June in Bijelo Polje?
8 A. Well, of course I did. I talked to the soldiers who happened to
9 be there from the HVO. I didn't talk to any other civilians because the
10 rest had been arrested, captured.
11 Q. Tell us, please, on the basis of all the conversations you had
12 about the event with anyone, how would you, in the briefest terms,
13 describe to the Trial Chamber what it was that happened in Bijelo Polje
14 on the 30th of June?
15 A. Well, I have thought about that long and hard, and all I can say,
16 that it was high treason. From the military point of view, it was high
18 Q. By whom?
19 A. The members -- the soldiers of the HVO who -- HVO soldiers of the
20 1st Battalion of Bijelo Polje who were Muslims by ethnicity.
21 Q. And what did they do?
22 A. They were members of the Bijelo Polje Battalion, and their
23 task -- not all of them, but some of them had the task of disarming the
24 entire line facing the VRS.
25 Q. When you say "to disarm," to disarm which soldiers, in
2 A. To disarm the soldiers of the 1st HVO Battalion, the non-Muslims,
3 meaning the Croats, and there were a handful of Serbs there, too.
4 Q. Did that, in fact, happen? Did the Muslim soldiers of the HVO do
5 this? In other words, did they betray their own Croat fellow fighters
6 and disarm them?
7 A. Along the entire front-line under the control of the 1st
8 Battalion, yes, that did happen, as I found out.
9 Q. This action by the Muslim soldiers of the HVO, is this something
10 they did on their own, or did they do this jointly with the BH Army?
11 A. This was part of a BH Army operation. The other part of the
12 army, soldiers who had been brought in to Bijelo Polje from somewhere
13 else, was carrying out an attack down the depth of the territory under
14 the control of the Bijelo Polje 1st Battalion, such as the command, such
15 as the house that we refer to as Smaj, where we had an ammunition depot,
16 the military police command of the HVO, the infirmary. That was what
17 they focused on, these five points, as well as the communications. The
18 communications were in the same building as the command, so that could
19 have been considered an attack on the command building, the HQ.
20 Q. Mr. Peric, when that action occurred, did the entire territory
21 north of East Mostar not fall under the control of the BH Army and then
22 stretching on towards Jablanica?
23 A. No, even up to the Neretva River
24 the other side of the river.
25 Q. I'm talking about north of East Mostar.
1 A. Well, that was a territory under that battalion, too, but even
2 those on the left-hand riverbank of the Neretva River
3 Mostar, it's not like the BH Army took all of that territory.
4 Q. Rather?
5 A. It was some sort of a bridge-head. We managed to hold on to
6 that. The 1st Battalion managed to defend that area. In a military
7 sense, that would have been considered a bridge-head.
8 Q. Can you please look at 4D1217. This shows the situation
9 following the military operation by the BH Army in co-operation with the
10 Muslim soldiers of the HVO.
11 Mr. Peric, is this representation accurate?
12 A. Taking into account the scale, this can be considered as very
14 Q. Mr. Peric, based on this map, one could conclude that it was
15 possible to communicate with Jablanica from East Mostar, across this
16 territory under the control of the Muslim authorities. To your
17 knowledge, did it, in fact, work that way?
18 A. Yes. Communication was possible at any point in time.
19 Q. All right. Let's please move on to 4D1056. This is an Official
20 Note of the SIS concerning a conversation with Mr. Dario Raic about
21 developments that occurred on the 30th of June, 1993.
22 Mr. Peric, did you know Mr. Raic?
23 A. Djerdjevinca [phoen], maybe it was my mistake. What did you say
24 the number was?
25 Q. 4D1056.
1 A. 1056, all right. 1062 --
2 Q. Mr. Peric, please focus on the screen in front of you, the
3 e-court. You will be seeing all the documents on your screen. There is
4 no need for us to waste any time.
5 A. Yes, I know this man.
6 Q. Do you know Dario Raic?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. Did you discuss with him the developments on the 30th of June,
10 A. Yes, yes, after he left captivity.
11 Q. What about this Official Note; did you read it while you were
12 being proofed for your testimony here?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. Did Dario Raic describe accurately what happened? Is the
15 statement that he makes here in keeping with what he told you in person?
16 A. What it says here is precisely what I heard from him.
17 Q. The next document is 4D1058, another Official Note of the SIS
18 about the interview of Mr. Boro Zovko, Boro Zovko. Mr. Peric, did you
19 know Mr. Zovko?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. Did you talk to him about this?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. Did you read the notes as you were being proofed?
24 A. Yes.
25 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Ms. Alaburic, your time is up.
1 This is going to be his last answer.
2 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] All right, Your Honour. Just an
3 answer to this last question, and then I'll ask my final question, if
4 that's okay.
5 Q. Is this note consistent with what the witness told you?
6 A. Yes, it is.
7 Q. All right. We have now run out of time, Mr. Peric. My final
8 question: Today in Bijelo Polje, what is the ethnic make-up if you
9 compare it to how the population was described back in 1992, according to
10 the census? The Croats, the Serbs, and the Muslims all lived there.
11 Which part of the population grew and which part of the population
12 decreased in Bijelo Polje?
13 A. The number of Serbs went down, most of all; by a large margin, in
14 fact, followed by the Croats, reduced by about a half. The number of
15 Bosniaks grew considerably in relation to the numbers just before the
16 1991 census.
17 Q. My final question: What about the Croats in Bijelo Polje today;
18 how do they see the action taken by the Muslim soldiers in Bijelo Polje
19 on the 30th of June, 1993?
20 A. They feel they were stabbed in the back. They feel that this was
21 high treason. They feel that something happened that should never have
22 been allowed to happen, but it did. We're trying to get on with it,
23 we're trying to live with it.
24 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Thank you very much, Mr. Peric,
25 thank you for your answers.
1 Your Honours, thank you very much.
2 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Before I give the floor to the
3 other Defence teams, we have an extremely urgent procedural question, and
4 I'll give the floor to the Prlic Defence because they're going to tell us
5 what the problem was regarding filing of submissions.
6 MS. TOMANOVIC: [Interpretation] In keeping with the permission of
7 the Trial Chamber, yesterday, on the 7th of December, we had a dead-line
8 to submit our motion to review the decision on the admission of video
9 material. We submitted the motion yesterday, as dictated by the
10 dead-line. We also attached a CD with a confidential annex. This CD is
11 also dated yesterday.
12 Up until this time, the rule that applied was as follows: If a
13 confidential annex is not submitted during working hours, it should be
14 submitted to the Registrar the following day. In the meantime, the rule
15 has been changed, of which we had not been informed. Now the rule states
16 that the CD is to be handed over to the Tribunal's security.
17 I would like to ask the Trial Chamber to accept our filing of
18 this confidential annex on CD, in view of this technical problem, as if
19 it had been, in fact, submitted by the dead-line with the rest of our
21 I do have to point out also that there was a message that was
22 attached to the motion, specifying that the CD containing this
23 confidential annex would be submitted this morning.
24 That was our motion. Thank you.
25 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] We're going to discuss the
2 [Trial Chamber confers]
3 JUDGE TRECHSEL: May I ask, when were the rules changed?
4 MS. TOMANOVIC: [Interpretation] Believe me, I really don't know.
5 Believe me, I really don't know. The message we got was that during this
6 week, we would receive the rule in writing to see how it applies now. I
7 really don't know. My case manager checked with the case managers of all
8 the other teams, and no one was aware of this new rule.
9 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Thank you.
10 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] On account of exceptional
11 circumstances, the Trial Chamber postpones the dead-line until today,
12 4.00 p.m.
13 confidential annex.
14 The Defence teams have altogether one hour.
15 Let me turn to the Prlic Defence first. Do you have any
16 questions for this witness.
17 MS. TOMANOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you very much, Your
18 Honours. The Prlic Defence has no questions for this witness.
19 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you.
20 As to the Praljak Defence?
21 MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation] The Praljak Defence will have some
22 questions for this witness. Nevertheless, my learned friend Nozica will
23 be taking the floor first, in the usual order. Thank you.
24 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] So, Ms. Nozica.
25 Does the Coric Defence have any questions? Yes, Ms. Nozica, you
1 represent Mr. Stojic. And for Mr. Coric, any questions?
2 MS. TOMASEGOVIC TOMIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honours.
3 The way things look now, we shall have no questions for this witness, but
4 we'll see how the situation evolves. For the time being, none.
5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Ibrisimovic?
6 MR. IBRISIMOVIC: [Interpretation] No questions, Your Honour.
7 Thank you.
8 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Ms. Nozica, we have 15 very
9 valuable minutes left, so you can start with your cross-examination.
10 MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honours.
11 Good afternoon to all. I was reckoning that we would have no
12 more than 12 minutes. I got some from the Prlic Defence, and I will try
13 to wrap things up today.
14 Could the usher please distribute the documents. Thank you.
15 Cross-examination by Ms. Nozica:
16 Q. [Interpretation] Before we start with the documents, Mr. Peric, I
17 have a preliminary question that stems from your evidence today.
18 At page 45 of the transcript today, lines 2 and 3, you said that
19 the Logistics Base was not part of the Main Staff. Mr. Peric, do you
20 know Mr. Tihomir Majic?
21 A. Now that you've mentioned his name, I remember the person.
22 Q. Do you know that he was the logistician there at the base?
23 A. I don't know whether he was the chief logistician, but that's
24 where I saw him.
25 Q. Very well. I would just like to tell you that the gentleman took
1 the stand as a witness on the 9th of March, 2009. The pages are 37823,
2 line 12, through 37824, line 24. He explained the structure as well as
3 who the Logistics Base belonged to. He said, and this can easily be
4 checked, that the Logistics Base belonged to the Main Staff since its
5 very foundation and since the foundation of the Main Staff, itself,
6 sometime in April 1992 all the way up until mid-1993.
7 Mr. Peric, would you be able to challenge the evidence of
8 Mr. Tihomir Majic or do you not think that he might know better than you
9 about these things?
10 A. I can't challenge that, but it should be easy enough to check
11 what the real situation was.
12 MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation] Can we now please move on to the
13 documents from my binder. The foundation of my cross-examination, which
14 is about to follow, is a question by Ms. Alaburic. She asked this about
15 a certain period of time, I think referring to April 1993.
16 Q. Were the Serbs shelling Mostar and the general Mostar area? And
17 you said they were. I saw you during proofing, and I showed you certain
18 documents about the Serbs shelling Mostar and its surroundings between
19 1992 and 1993, or, rather, throughout 1992 and 1993.
20 Can we please go through these documents together now, and please
21 confirm, if you know, whether the documents are true and accurate? The
22 first one up, 2D3070. It should be in the binder.
23 Let me tell you briefly what this is about. This is a report of
24 the brigade commander, Milenko Brkic, dated the 6th of August, 1992
25 says, in paragraph 1, there was gun-fire by the Serbs, the enemy, as he
1 claims, along the Mostar front. He says that some suburbs were targeted,
2 that the town of Mostar
3 He says there wasn't a single area that was not pelted by shells.
4 Paragraph 1 specifies this, as well as the locations.
5 Paragraph 2 says that the HVO fired back.
6 Page 4 of this report says that a Chetnik sabotage group was sent
7 into the Raska Gora-Podogo [phoen] village area. The HVO fought or
8 engaged a part of this sabotage group. It further goes on to state:
9 "We have information that some of the inhabitants in the area may
10 have collaborated with the sabotage group," that is, the Serbs.
11 Finally, there is an order that is issued, a preemptive order to
12 keep these things from happening again.
13 Mr. Peric, can you confirm that there was shelling throughout
14 this area and thus corroborate what the report suggests?
15 A. Yes, I can confirm that. At the time, I was in the 1st Battalion
16 in Bijelo Polje. I was there. I saw it with my own eyes. I heard it
17 with my own ears, I experienced this. Part of the Bijelo Polje
18 front-line where I was, is certainly something that I can confirm this
19 about. I heard about other areas, too, but I was in no position to see,
20 myself. What I saw for myself, I can confirm. I heard other things,
21 which I can also confirm, but I'm telling you about what I heard and what
22 I actually saw for myself.
23 Q. Mr. Peric, had you ever heard about this sabotage group that was
24 infiltrated, because it's not something that happens every day?
25 A. Of course I've heard of that, but the terrain there that is
1 mentioned, the territory is on the right bank of the Neretva, on a
2 plateau, so that we didn't have to intervene. But we heard about this
3 because our daily communication lines led through that part of the
5 Q. Now I'd like to ask you to look at the next document in my
6 binder, which is P638. It's a report, consolidated report for the
7 Main Staff, for the 23rd of October, and I'd like to ask you to look at
8 page 3, which contains data about Mostar, and begins with a report at
9 1800 hours or, rather, 0800 hours. And it says that the report for the
10 22nd -- it says the Chetniks used Bofors to target Mostar from Suva Gora
11 and that shells were falling on the dam, two every half hour. The
12 artillery opened fire around the Vrelo area and the mosque, about 15
13 shells. Then it goes on to say that the Chetniks fired at Fortica, and
14 so on and so forth, and that they fired at the town.
15 And then another report of the 23rd of October, 0800 hours, they
16 talk about Chetnik operations against the hydroelectric power-plant at
18 All I want to ask you is: Do you know -- did you know that the
19 Chetniks launched this kind of operation and these attacks during this
20 period of time?
21 A. I can confirm that, but I can't guarantee whether it was at 1700
22 hours, or 1650 hours, or whatever. But I can confirm that this was a
23 system of shelling, it was systemic shelling, and that the dam was the
24 target. And to us, it represented a road, a communication line, and it
25 was visible to the artillery of the Army of Republika Srpska. They had
1 optic sights trained on it. So one of my relatives was hit. She was in
2 a car by the dam. So that was the system they used, the system of
3 shelling, and everything was the way it was described, although I'm not
4 sure whether it was at 1700 hours or perhaps a few minutes here or there.
5 Q. Mr. Peric, I don't expect you to answer that. But as we're
6 moving on to 1993, staying with the same topic, and looking at new
7 documents, I showed you a report for two days by way of an example. But
8 can you confirm that there was shelling on a daily basis from the
9 positions of the Army of Republika Srpska, shooting at the area you were
10 in or the Mostar area, where you learned that this was going on, and so
11 on? We're talking about 1992.
12 A. Yes, in 1992 there was daily shelling. I can confirm that.
13 Q. Now we're going to look at a series of documents. They're almost
14 identical, all dated 1993. So I'll go through that series and then I'll
15 ask my questions; the first document of which is 2D3071.
16 THE INTERPRETER: Could counsel kindly slow down, please. Thank
18 MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation]
19 Q. It's a precise report, very detailed, dated the 17th of January.
20 The number is 2D3071. It's a precise report about the shelling by the
21 Chetniks, as it says in this report. And Bijelo Polje is mentioned, the
22 number of shells, the time -- the times, and other places are mentioned
23 as well.
24 Now, the next document is identical. It is 3071. I apologise.
25 It's 3072, the next document, and it is a report dated the 19th of
1 February, 1993
2 Just a moment. May I be excused?
3 It doesn't say "2D" in the transcript, but, yes, it's all "2D."
4 2D3072, because it's always 2D, so I just stated the number.
5 It's a report of the 19th of February, mentioning the shelling of
6 Bijelo Polje and the shelling of Rastani, Podvelezje, Sveta Gora, and so
7 on, once again the hydroelectric power-plant of Mostar.
8 And now another similar report. 2D3073 is the number, from a
9 different month -- or, rather, the 27th of February, where Bijelo Polje
10 was shelled, Plocno, Vrapcici, in an identical way. So this document,
11 like the previous two documents, is signed by the commander of the
12 operative zone, Miljenko Lasic.
13 Mr. Peric, can you confirm that, as it says here, both in January
14 and in February shelling continued, shelling by the Serbs, the shelling
15 of the Mostar area and its environs?
16 A. Yes, I can confirm that, and I experienced some of that shelling
17 when I went to see my parents, for example. Now, the system of shelling
18 was the following: They targeted the dam. Then they went the opposite
19 side because -- to surprise us so that we wouldn't think that they would
20 take it in order. It was unselective. So in-depth shelling, not only
21 along the positions held by the army.
22 Q. Let's move on to April now, please. P1879 is the next document I
23 would like us to look at. It's an exhibit already, so I'm just going to
24 focus on page 4 and 5 of this document, which is the report from Mostar
25 for the 14th of April at 1800 hours. And it says here, in the area of
1 responsibility of the 2nd HVO Brigade, that Chetniks violated the truce
2 on several occasions. And then it goes on to list how they shelled the
3 area, and mention all the localities for that day. And on the following
4 day, the last paragraph speaks about the Chetnik shelling during this
5 period of time.
6 Mr. Peric, can you confirm that that's what happened in April
7 1993 as well?
8 A. Yes, I can, because it's the same order. You always see that it
9 says "HZ Mostar," "ZIS," [realtime transcript read in error "SIS"]
10 "Sveta Gora," and so on, that was the beginning. And then they went here
11 and there.
12 Q. Mr. Peric, can you tell us, you said "ZIS" and the transcript
13 says "SIS."
14 A. So "ZIS," and that is artillery weapons.
15 Q. Very well. Now, Mr. Peric, can you tell us how long this
16 artillery fired continued at this intensity coming from the Chetniks
17 targeting HVO positions? How long did it go on for, this intensive
19 A. Well, one side shelled before the other side started, and then
20 the other side would start to launch shells. They would listen to their
21 walkie-talkie stations on a -- well, they all listened in to the same
22 frequency, which is called "Magistrala." And they said, We want to see a
23 show called "Theatre in the House," and they took it quite literally.
24 They were above us, so as far as they were concerned, they were
25 inaccessible to our infantry fire, and they really did experience a
1 theatre in the house. They had their Motorolas, and they would route for
2 various sides.
3 JUDGE PRANDLER: Please slow down.
4 MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation] Kindly slow down. Yes, thank you.
5 I apologise to the Trial Chamber. I'm trying to get through all
6 this today. I have two more questions, that's why I've speeded up.
7 Q. Tell me, Mr. Peric, until when in 1993 was this intensive
8 shelling, and did the situation change later on?
9 A. The Army of Republika Srpska, if that's what you mean?
10 Q. Yes.
11 A. Well, it went on intensively until about the end of June, and
12 I think I described this and said that when one side ceased, the other
13 side started.
14 Q. And you're referring to 1993, are you?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. And what happened after that period?
17 A. Afterwards, it continued, but not as frequently. There were
18 shells coming from the area controlled by the Army of Republika Srpska,
19 and we knew that because of the firing, the sound of the firing. You can
20 tell where it comes from, and we knew that they were shelling. We
21 assumed that they were paid to do that. And later on, through my work, I
22 realised that it had been intentional -- ordered shelling by someone.
23 Q. By who?
24 THE INTERPRETER: Could the speakers kindly slow down and speak
25 one at a time. Thank you.
1 MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation]
2 Q. Now, to round off this topic -- your answer was not recorded.
3 Which third side? You were referring to a third side.
4 A. Do you want me to repeat?
5 Q. Yes.
6 A. The BH Army.
7 Q. Very well, thank you. And, finally, look at document 2636.
8 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Ms. Nozica, we're already three
9 minutes over the time-limit. The Gotovina Trial Chamber is sitting in
10 the morning, so good. If it had been sitting in the afternoon, we would
11 have had a problem. But we don't have anyone sitting in this courtroom
12 after us, so you can finish off your question.
13 MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation] Thank you very much, Your Honours.
14 I knew that. That's why I didn't stop at a quarter to.
15 Q. Finally, can you please look at P2636. That's the last document
16 there. This is a report of the European Community Monitoring Mission,
17 dated the 7th of June, 1993.
18 I would like to draw your attention to -- well, I didn't show you
19 this document previously -- page 1, if you look at A, this is an exhibit.
20 I would just like you to focus on page 1, letter A, where it reads:
21 "On top of everything else, the Bosnian Serbs, who over the last
22 weeks have not missed a single opportunity to sew distrust between the
23 Croats and the Muslims, are now openly attacking very sensitive areas --"
24 Please listen to me, sir:
25 " ... without any consistent international reaction, which
1 further encourages them to try and score some important military goals
2 very fast. The general impression is that the country is now facing a
3 total breakdown."
4 Mr. Peric, this is a report of the European Monitors, and it
5 actually confirms everything that you said about the Serb shelling of
6 Mostar as well as the area controlled by the BH Army and the
7 HVO-controlled area.
8 Can you now finally tell us, do you fully accept this assessment?
9 A. I have nothing to subtract, but I would have a lot of things to
10 add if we had the time.
11 Q. About the shelling; is that what you mean?
12 A. Yes, the relationship between the VRS and the army and the HVO.
13 Now, it really depends on how this is shifted around. Did they like us
14 better or the army?
15 Q. Mr. Peric, I wanted to know about the shelling of HVO positions.
16 You can now finally confirm that that continued throughout in 1992 and
17 1993. There was shelling with varying intensities over time; right?
18 A. Yes.
19 MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation] Thank you very much, Your Honours.
20 I'm done. Thank you.
21 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well.
22 Witness, you will come back tomorrow for the hearing at 9.00 a.m.
23 We'll have a few questions by General Praljak, I'm sure, and then after
24 that you will be cross-examined by the Prosecution. Until then, please,
25 you're not to contact anyone.
1 So thank you all, and see you tomorrow.
2 [The witness stands down]
3 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 1.52 p.m.
4 to be reconvened on Wednesday, the 9th day of
5 December, 2009, at 9.00 a.m.