1 Monday, 18 January 2010
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 2.16 p.m.
5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Registrar, could you please
6 call the case.
7 THE REGISTRAR: Good afternoon, Your Honours. Good afternoon,
8 everyone in and around the courtroom. This is case number IT-04-74-T,
9 the Prosecutor versus Prlic et al. Thank you, Your Honours.
10 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you, Registrar.
11 This is Monday, January 18, 2010, and I greet our accused,
12 Defence counsel, all members of the OTP in this courtroom, as well as
13 everyone helping us. We are going to hear a witness. He's scheduled for
14 six hours examination-in-chief, which will provide six -- three hours for
15 the other Defences and six hours for the Prosecution, which means that we
16 will be hearing this person for two weeks.
17 Furthermore ...
18 [Trial Chamber and Registrar confer]
19 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Furthermore, I would like to
20 say that the Trial Chamber will issue a written decision regarding the
21 request made last week to start the hearing of Mr. Petkovic as February
22 11. A written decision will be issued and it is a decision that grants
23 the motion made by the Prosecution.
24 I would like to thank Mr. Coric's Defence for having sent us the
25 provisional schedule for March as far as their witnesses are concerned.
1 They will start being called as of March [as interpreted] 22nd, but
2 because of the hearing of Mr. Petkovic starting in -- on February 11,
3 there might be a shift as far as the first witness is concerned, the
4 first witness being planned for March [as interpreted] 22nd.
5 Furthermore, in the written decision the Trial Chamber will
6 invite the Petkovic Defence to call early in February the witness that we
7 could not hear last week. He could come in the time slot made available
8 between February 1st and February 11, and the Trial Chamber is inviting
9 the Petkovic Defence to make all the necessary arrangements to make sure
10 that this witness could be heard before we hear General Petkovic.
11 Ms. Tomasegovic Tomic.
12 MS. TOMASEGOVIC TOMIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I think that
13 there has been a mistake in the transcript or in the translation. The
14 22nd of February is the date we gave, not March. Therefore, we move on
15 to the end of February or the beginning of March.
16 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Absolutely you're right. Your
17 provisional schedule -- in your provisional schedule it was February 22nd
18 and there will be an automatic shift.
19 I'll still take the opportunity to tell the Coric Defence that
20 the Trial Chamber will not sit on April 19, 20, 21, and 22nd, so make
21 sure that you don't schedule witnesses for these four days.
22 I believe the Registrar has two IC numbers for us.
23 THE REGISTRAR: Yes, Your Honour. Two parties have submitted
24 their lists of documents to be tendered through witness Vinko Maric. The
25 list submitted by 4D shall be given Exhibit Number IC01157 and the list
1 submitted by the OTP shall be given Exhibit Number IC01158. Thank you,
2 Your Honours.
3 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you, Registrar.
4 Mr. Scott, do you have anything to add?
5 MR. SCOTT: Yes, Your Honours. Good morning, Mr. -- good
6 afternoon, Mr. President, each of Your Honours. Thank you for giving me
7 the floor. I will start by -- I won't belabour it, as perhaps unseemly,
8 but I do appreciate and thank the Chamber for the additional time granted
9 in connection with the written order in connection with the Petkovic
10 testimony. The Prosecution is most grateful for that order.
11 Mr. President, Your Honours, I regret, especially in light of
12 that, I regret having to take a bit more of the Chamber's time on a
13 procedural matter, but feel that it is under the circumstances absolutely
14 necessary that I do so. I have prepared in this regard a copy of some
15 materials in the same fashion that we had received them from the Petkovic
16 Defence this weekend. I provided those to the Registry. Perhaps the
17 Chamber has those. And have those been distributed, too?
18 And to the usher, if I can provide one item for the ELMO, please,
19 if you could help us in kind of going through that.
20 Mr. President, each of Your Honours, in connection with the next
21 witness I don't believe there are any protective measures requested, so
22 we could use the name, but in any event it's regarding this next witness
23 who is about to start. As the Chamber well knows, back on the 24th of
24 April, 2008, this Trial Chamber adopted certain guide-lines for the
25 presentation of the Defence evidence. Paragraph 28 of that decision as
1 provided and as is on the ELMO in front of Your Honours provides:
2 "The party presenting the witness must disclose to the other
3 parties and the Chamber a list of all the evidence it intends to present
4 in connection with this witness's testimony two weeks before the said
5 witness appears."
6 Consistent with that in this respect, Your Honours, on about the
7 4th of January of this year, 2010, the Prosecution received from the
8 Petkovic Defence a spreadsheet or table of exhibits for this next witness
9 with 190 documents on that list. Now, I've provided a copy just now to
10 the Chamber of the spreadsheet of all the exhibits in the form that
11 actually includes a number of things which I'll explain momentarily.
12 That is the list that we received -- or we received the list of the 190
13 exhibits on the 4th of January, which would have been the approximately
14 two weeks before the beginning of this witness as required by this
15 Chamber's 24 April 2008 decision.
16 However, Your Honour, what happened this past weekend is that in
17 the course of the weekend and I think on Saturday afternoon the
18 Prosecution received a new list, this list totalling 160 exhibits, as
19 you'll see also on the ELMO presentation in front of you. Of that -- of
20 those 160 exhibits, out of the 190 documents that have been identified
21 and listed consistent with the two-week rule on the 4th of January, of
22 those 190 documents only 29 remained the same, only 29 out of 190
23 remained the same. All the new documents, the balance of 131 documents
24 making up the new total of 160 documents were first provided and first
25 identified to the Prosecution on Saturday afternoon.
1 Your Honour, the Prosecution fully appreciates and would not be
2 on its feet if it was a matter of reducing a larger list to a smaller
3 list because we know that happens, we would not be on our feet if it was
4 a matter of adding two or three or four new exhibits that might have come
5 up in the course of preparing the witness. We understand that happens.
6 It's happened with Prosecution witnesses and if that were the case I
7 would not be on my feet. But what we have in this situation,
8 Your Honours, this is virtually an entirely new list. We get a list of
9 190 documents two weeks in advance, as required by the Chamber's ruling,
10 and on the Saturday before a Monday start we get for all practical
11 purposes a brand new list.
12 Of 160 documents, only 29 are the same. It's a whole new list.
13 Over the past two weeks the Prosecution office, as we are diligent to try
14 to do, has prepared to meet the evidence of this witness and to assist
15 the Trial Chamber as best we can in cross-examining the witness and
16 providing this Chamber with as much information and assistance as
17 possible. We prepared on the basis of the 190 documents, Mr. Kruger and
18 others read every single document of those 190 documents prepared on that
19 basis. Now on Saturday we are presented with essentially an entirely new
20 list of 160 documents, save 29.
21 It violates the Court's decision of 24 April 2008. It is unfair
22 to the Prosecution, it does not assist the Chamber in getting at the
23 truth, it is an unacceptable practice. I felt compelled to bring it to
24 the Chamber's attention. I know this is scheduled to be a two-week
25 witness and I think the very least, the very least that the Prosecution
1 can ask in this situation is to be ensured -- and maybe that would be the
2 result in any event given this particular schedule, and we might benefit
3 from the particular schedule, but in any event we would ask that the
4 Prosecution cross-examination not start any earlier than next Monday
5 given these circumstances. That might be the case in any event, but the
6 Prosecution only a day -- only less than two business days -- well, not
7 even business days, but less than two calendar days before the beginning
8 of this witness has been hit with essentially an entirely new list of
9 exhibits. Thank you, Your Honours.
10 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Ms. Alaburic, I listened to
11 what Mr. Scott was saying and I'm a bit flabbergasted, just like he is.
12 What do you have to say?
13 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, good afternoon to
14 you, and I would like to greet all in this courtroom. Your Honours, in
15 relation to that I have the following to say: The facts that Mr. Scott
16 refer to here are correct indeed. I would like to remind you that it did
17 not happen seldom -- as a matter of fact, it was a rule during the
18 Prosecution case and during the case of the other Defence teams that
19 certain documents be added to the exhibit list or that the parties are
20 notified of new events that a witness would speak of. I wish to remind
21 you that the Prosecution used to notify us during their case of new facts
22 that their witnesses would speak of ten minutes before we would walk into
23 the courtroom.
24 The Defence of General Petkovic never protested because of that
25 in any way, in the belief that we would have enough time during the
1 direct examination to carry out additional investigations and that we
2 would be in a position to cross-examine. I fully agree with Mr. Scott
3 that that could be relatively drastic in the case of today's witness, but
4 I would like to say that the reason may be the fact that this witness was
5 supposed to be heard for six hours, that is to say two or three times
6 longer than other witnesses were heard. So it would be logical that
7 there is a proportional increase in the number of documents that are
9 In this entire situation I think that one thing really matters,
10 and that is the following. I'm waiting for my case manager to give me
11 information about this, but I think there are only two documents that are
12 not exhibits involved here. So all these new documents are actually
13 documents that are Prosecution documents to a large extent and also, to a
14 large extent, Petkovic Defence documents. And they have been exhibits
15 for several months or several years. These are documents that were
16 referred to in the opening statement of General Petkovic's Defence, and
17 in this opening statement it was stated quite clearly that the subjects
18 referred to in the opening statement would be discussed by some witnesses
19 and then only certain witnesses would speak about some particular
20 subjects in this regard.
21 Your Honours, I believe that the Defence of General Petkovic did
22 not diminish the possibility for the Prosecution to prepare properly for
23 cross-examination. First of all, these are documents that our colleagues
24 from the OTP are certainly fully aware of; if they're not fully aware of
25 them, they should have become familiar with them by now. Also, since
1 this witness was envisaged for six hours and before the cross-examination
2 there will be the direct examination by the Defence and also
3 cross-examination by the Defence, so it is likely that the Prosecution
4 cross-examination will start only on Monday. So if our colleagues
5 believe that they nevertheless need additional time to study documents
6 that are already exhibits, documents that they have used so far in
7 supporting their own case, I'm not opposed to that. Can the
8 cross-examination of the OTP start on Monday? That would be fine by me.
9 If we have caused any kind of trouble by this and if we are making them
10 work harder, I do apologise, but I have to present my own point of view.
11 I believe that as far as exhibits are concerned, any party can use them
12 at any point in time during the proceedings. If I've made a mistake, I
13 sincerely do apologise. If you think an additional explanation is
14 required, then I'm here to answer any question you may have.
15 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Well, given the six hours, the
16 three hours, and the questions from the Bench, I'm fairly sure that the
17 Prosecution will not start its cross-examination before next Monday.
18 So Mr. Scott shouldn't run into any problems in this respect.
19 However, personally I would like to state the following. 190 plus 160 is
20 350 documents, which is a huge number of documents. There are a number
21 of cases here that were judged -- that were actually tried without the
22 same amount of documents, and just for one witness you have 350
23 documents. That's huge. I note that a great number of these documents
24 have already been seen or commented with other witnesses. So
25 theoretically the Prosecutor should not run into too many problems
1 regarding his questions. He knows most of these documents, but it's
2 still a great number of documents, 350.
3 Mr. -- Ms. Alaburic, I'm a bit surprised. You know, I was in
4 Mr. Scott's shoes at one point in time as well as in your shoes at one
5 point in time, so I know how things work. I'm a bit surprised that you
6 should draft a first list with 190 documents and then suddenly add 160 at
7 the last minute. Normally when you prepare for a witness you should have
8 everything at hand in the first place, but here you added 160 documents
9 after having drafted a first list. To me it's very surprising. Now,
10 since Mr. Scott told us that he would like his cross-examination to start
11 on Monday, I believe that this will happen given the number of hours
12 allotted to the Defences.
13 JUDGE TRECHSEL: [Interpretation] I'm not really sure that the
14 computation was correct, the computation by the President. If I
15 understood Mr. Scott right we have 160 documents. So we have 160
16 documents replacing the 190 documents. Is that it or did I misunderstand
17 you? The second list is replacing the first one and there is -- there
18 are 29 documents from the first list that are in the second list. So you
19 have 160 documents to show to the witness, and all the others you just
20 gave up. Is that it?
21 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Ms. Alaburic?
22 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, since Judge Trechsel
23 spoke in French, I had to listen to the interpretation. So that is
24 exactly the case. The old list of 100 documents is what we replaced by
25 this new list consisting of 160 documents. That is to say that we are
1 going to show the witness only 160 documents. In view of our experience
2 with witnesses and in view of the fact that these are documents that have
3 been seen many times by now in this courtroom, we believe that we can
4 manage that without any problem whatsoever.
5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well.
6 Ms. Alaburic, if I understood you correctly, with the math done
7 by Mr. Trechsel, we have 131 new documents which were not in the first
8 list, the 190 list? Is that it? So there's 131 new documents that were
9 disclosed to the Prosecution on Saturday?
10 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] That's right, Your Honours. Out
11 of these 131 documents about 100 of them have the status of exhibits.
12 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well.
13 If we add the two lists it would have ended up with 350
14 documents, but you will only use 160, 131 being new and not on the first
15 list of 190.
16 Mr. Scott.
17 MR. SCOTT: Thank you, Mr. President. I'm not going to belabour
18 the matter under the circumstances. We are -- the circumstances may be
19 in some respects a happy one, if I can describe it in that way, in these
20 circumstances because of the particular time-limit. If the witness
21 was -- if the cross was likely to start the next day or two --
22 MS. PINTER: [Interpretation] I beg your pardon, Mr. Scott, but
23 there seems to be no interpretation. The gentlemen, the accused do not
24 have any interpretation.
25 MR. SCOTT: Thank you for that, counsel. Can you hear me now?
1 Thank you, counsel, for that assistance.
2 I'll begin again, Your Honours. The circumstances here may be
3 pleasant ones in the sense that given the relief requested and the time
4 schedule of this witness, it may very well be that the cross-examination
5 would not have started until Monday in any event. If that's the case,
6 then it is simply fortuitous that more relief might not have been
7 required. I'm happy for that if that's the case. I do want to correct
8 one shortcomings on my first presentation. I failed to explain to the
9 Chamber - and I do think the Chamber should appreciate this with great
10 respect - concerning the spreadsheet or table that I put before each of
11 Your Honours: The items in yellow or the items that were added; the
12 items marked in red are the items that were removed; and the items in
13 white, if you will, the items that are neither red nor yellow are the
14 only items from the original list that remain the same. All the items
15 marked in yellow are the 131 new items.
16 Once again, Your Honours, as you scan your eyes through that list
17 looking at the colours, you will see that what the Prosecution and in
18 fact now the Chamber has in front of it now is a list substantially
19 different than the one the Prosecution received two weeks ago.
20 I just want to address one other comment by Ms. Alaburic briefly,
21 Your Honours. Every time these issues are raised, the standard
22 response -- and I understand her reasons for making it, but the standard
23 response is well the Prosecution has had all these exhibits for a long
24 time, the Prosecution should know the exhibits. Well, Your Honours,
25 President Antonetti, as you said a few minutes ago, there are tens of
1 thousands of documents in this case, literally tens of thousands. I'm
2 proud of the Prosecution team. I think we know them fairly well. I
3 think I know them fairly well, but I certainly do not have 10.000 or more
4 documents committed to memory. Beyond that, beyond that, the Prosecution
5 is entitled, again, to have a list, not to guess which of the 10.000
6 might come up, which might be used, but to have the list of -- the
7 Chamber's 24 April 2008 decision requires two weeks in advance.
8 It makes no difference how many times counsel wants to stand up
9 and say well some of them are Prosecution exhibits, some of them are
10 already admitted, some of them are from other co-accused, it doesn't
11 matter. It doesn't matter. We cannot be required to guess from out of a
12 collection of 10.000 or so documents which ones might be used with this
13 witness. I'm grateful for the time already given and I thank the Court
14 for this attention. Thank you.
15 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I think we -- everybody
16 expressed their opinion.
17 Mr. Karnavas, do you have anything to add?
18 MR. KARNAVAS: Well, I do, just a minor point on this because I
19 can sympathise with the Prosecution and I can sympathise with the
20 Defence. Be that as it may, when we get a list, we print it out.
21 Somebody has to print it out. Somebody has to number these documents.
22 We read them. And so when we do get a new list, an entirely new list on
23 a Saturday, a staff member has to work on the weekend to re-print a whole
24 set of documents - two, because there's two of us here - and then
25 somebody has to sit -- well, two lawyers have to sit and re-read the
1 documents. And so even though we are familiar with our own documents and
2 the Prosecution documents, there is a great deal of added work. Be that
3 as it may, I understand the Defence also -- somebody comes, they see
4 things from a different point of view, so both sides do have legitimate
5 reasons. My concern is that too much time is being spent on these
6 procedural issues, way too much time, and I would appreciate it if
7 somehow the parties, including ourselves, endeavoured to just limit the
8 amount of procedural matters and we can -- you know, because we're
9 wasting valuable time. So far we've wasted some 20 minutes. So that was
10 my first point. And I don't mean to be lecturing to anybody, but it's
11 just frustrating sitting here. And trust me, I had to work extra hard
12 this weekend to read all these documents, so I'm not very happy either,
13 but I understand putting a Defence case how difficult it is, so I
14 understand what Ms. Alaburic has to go through.
15 Earlier, Your Honours, you indicated in April we would have
16 several days off. I don't know whether the Trial Chamber has already
17 considered or is thinking about it, but the Easter holiday, both for the
18 Catholics and for the Orthodox, is -- I believe it's April the 3rd. I'm
19 only saying that because those of us who are practicing kind of keep
20 track of those things. In the Orthodox religion we usually spend the
21 entire week celebrating that. I was wondering whether at some point the
22 Trial Chamber would be considering whether we would be getting any time
23 because some of us would like to travel to our homes for the holiday
24 season. Thank you.
25 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. We'll look into
2 Let's bring the witness into the courtroom, please.
3 JUDGE TRECHSEL: In the meantime, having consulted with the
4 President, I just want to make clear that the Chamber accepts the demand
5 of Mr. Scott and grants the Prosecution a delay until Monday to start
6 with cross-examination, unless of course on Thursday they say, "Well,
7 we've seen it and we can start immediately."
8 MR. SCOTT: Thank you, Your Honour.
9 [The witness entered court]
10 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Good afternoon, sir. Can you
11 please give me your name, surname, and date of birth.
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Radmilo Jasak, the 13th of October,
14 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] And what is your profession and
15 what do you do at the moment?
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I'm an officer of the armed forces
17 of the Republic of Croatia, head of the section for support and finances
18 in the Croatian military academy.
19 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] What is your rank?
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I'm a brigadier in the Croatian
21 Army. As far as my civilian education, I hold a degree in engineering.
22 I also went to the officer's school of the Croatian Army and I completed
23 a course for strategic management as well as a course in human resources.
24 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. I would like to
25 know whether you've already testified in a trial about anything that
1 happened in the former Yugoslavia or was that the first time that you
2 testified in such a trial?
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] This is the first time.
4 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] And can you please read the
5 declaration before you.
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will
7 speak the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
8 WITNESS: RADMILO JASAK
9 [Witness answered through interpreter]
10 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] You may sit down.
11 THE WITNESS: Thank you.
12 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Witness, a few explanations in
13 order to make sure that this hearing goes very smoothly. You are going
14 to answer questions from counsel Alaburic, whom you met this weekend.
15 She will put forward some documents, they are about 160 documents. Once
16 she will have completed her examination, the other counsels representing
17 the interests of the other accused will also have several hours to ask
18 questions, in fact they will have three hours. Once this part of the
19 questions will be finished, from next Monday the Prosecutor, who is on
20 your right-hand side, will ask questions and they will have the same
21 allotted time as counsel Alaburic. The four Judges before you will ask
22 questions based on documents. Every time or when we see some documents
23 we may take the floor, it might not be automatic, but sometimes we may
24 ask questions based on the documents that have been put before us.
25 Since you are a high-ranking officer, you know that you have to
1 be very concise and very precise, so please be sure that you do so when
2 you answer when dealing with the questions from the Defence or from the
3 Prosecution. If you do not understand questions, do not hesitate to ask
4 the question to be rephrased, even if it's a Judge because Judges can
5 also make mistakes, and you find in their questions that there are some
6 inaccuracies, please feel free to say so. You will testify for about two
7 weeks given the time that has been allotted, which means that from today
8 you should not have any further contacts the Defence team of General
9 Petkovic or with the Prosecutor or any other counsel in this courtroom
10 until the end of your testimony which will be at the end of next week.
11 Please also be discreet with any contacts that you may have with any
12 other person outside of this courtroom. Of course you can tell members
13 of your family your impressions, but it should not go beyond the family
15 I should also like to draw your attention on -- and the specific
16 nature of those proceedings. The Defence represented by Counsel Alaburic
17 will ask neutral questions, but the Prosecutor will be entitled to ask
18 very leading questions, asking you, for instance, whether you agree with
19 their case or not; and if you don't agree you say no and you wait for the
20 next question. We have often had incidents between witnesses and the
21 Prosecutors because witnesses did not understand that the Prosecutor
22 could actually question what had been put forward by the witness, but
23 this is actually the role of the Prosecutor. So you will have to listen
24 to the question of the Prosecutor. If you agree with their question, you
25 say yes; and if you don't agree, you say no, and then you wait for the
1 next question to be asked following your answers to the previous
2 questions. Because the Prosecutor plays a role which is different from
3 that of the counsels from the Defence.
4 So this is what I wanted to say, and if at any time you do not
5 feel well, please just raise your hand and say that you are not feeling
6 very well or that you want to have an extra break. We have breaks of 20
7 minutes every hour and a half in order to have some changes and in order
8 for you to rest as well because you will see that after two weeks you
9 will be absolutely drained, because it is very tiring to answer to
10 questions for over -- for several hours, but this is the way it works
11 here. So make sure that you have good rests and listen carefully to all
12 the questions that will be put to you. So this is what I wanted to say
13 to you.
14 Counsel Alaburic, you have the floor.
15 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I thank you for
16 these instructions.
17 Examination by Ms. Alaburic:
18 Q. [Interpretation] Sir, good day to you.
19 A. Good afternoon.
20 Q. You have stated part of your CV for the benefit of the
21 Trial Chamber already. Let us run through a couple more details. We
22 have heard about your date of birth. I'll press on now. Please listen
23 to me and confirm the accuracy of what I'm saying. If I get anything
24 wrong, please by all means correct me. As you said, you were born on the
25 13th of October, 1967, in Imotski, Croatia. You did, however, spend a
1 part of your life in Bosnia-Herzegovina. You hold a degree in
2 engineering. You also completed the staff command school in Zagreb. You
3 started there in September 1993 and remained there until August 1994.
4 You also gave us a list of courses that you completed. Now a number of
5 details concerning your career.
6 Late in 1991 you were involved in organising the Mostar defence.
7 You were a member of the HVO since its establishment in April 1992. Up
8 until the 15th of June, 1992, you worked as the deputy commander of a
9 battalion, and then up until October 1992 you were a battalion commander
10 with the HVO?
11 A. If I may just correct one thing, it was the 16th of May, not the
12 15th of June.
13 Q. I obviously misrecorded this particular detail. 16th of May,
14 deputy battalion commander; right?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. Battalion commander, that was your next duty, you remained in
17 that position until October 1992. After that, you worked with the VOS at
18 the HVO Main Staff. You continued in that position until August 1993.
19 In July and August 1993, however, you worked with Sector North, which is
20 South-East Herzegovina Operation Zone, the Mostar area, and you spent a
21 year in Zagreb pursuing another course, after which you got a job with
22 the Croatian Army in August 1994. You started working in the operative
23 section in the southern front of the Croatian Army. From May 1995 you
24 worked as an assistant head of personnel in the Ston recruitment area.
25 On the 1st of August, 2000, you went back to Zagreb and got a job with
1 the defence ministry as head of the technology section. In October 2004
2 you took over as department head in the defence inspectorate. On the 1st
3 of March, 2006, you took up the post of head of the IT and logistics
4 department in the military school. On the 1st of May, 2007, you took up
5 your position as the head of a department in the Croatian military
6 college, the department for support and finances. Also, as you said, you
7 hold the rank of brigadier.
8 Mr. Jasak, is all this information correct?
9 A. Yes.
10 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I listened to the various items
11 on your CV by Counsel Alaburic, and I see that you joined the Croatian
12 Army in August 1994. And so today you are brigadier or colonel?
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] That's right, Your Honour.
14 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I was wondering, I would like
15 to know whether the Croatian Army took into account when working out your
16 seniority the years that you spent within the HVO; or when you joined the
17 Croatian Army in August 1994, did you start at zero years of seniority?
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] That's right, I started from
19 scratch. And my professional -- the record reflects that I started on
20 the 4th of August, 1994, that was the starting date.
21 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] But the Croatian Army did not
22 take into account your military past in the HVO. That is what I wanted
23 to ascertain, and you have confirmed this. Thank you.
24 JUDGE TRECHSEL: I would like to have more clarity on your actual
25 position. Head of the Department of Administration and Finance, does
1 that mean that you teach administration and finance or that you are the
2 administrator in financial matters and others of the school. Are you
3 mainly teaching or administering?
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I am department head
5 for support, finances, and budget. As far as support is concerned, you
6 might perhaps better understand the term "logistics." We organise
7 support for all the schools that are part of the Croatian military
8 academy, and that is the section that I'm in charge of.
9 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Thank you.
10 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation]
11 Q. His Honour asked you whether your job had more to do with
12 teaching or administration. The short answer to that question would be
14 A. I don't do teaching. My job is about administration.
15 Q. Mr. Jasak, which day is considered to mark the beginning of war
16 in Bosnia and Herzegovina?
17 A. The 18th of September, 1991.
18 Q. Who recognised that date as the day marking the beginning of war?
19 A. The BH authorities, or rather, the authorities of the BH
21 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Witness, in the French
22 translation it says 18th of September, 1992. I would like to know
23 whether there is a mistake there in the French or in English. So which
24 year are we talking about, 1991 or 1992?
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] 1991.
1 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation]
2 Q. What happened on that day?
3 A. The Yugoslav Army arrived in the Mostar area, in Herzegovina,
4 more specifically the Uzice Corps and the Podgorica Corps. Those two
5 corps reinforced by the units of Serb volunteers.
6 Q. The village of Ravno, does that ring a bell?
7 A. Yes, of course it does. It's a village in east Herzegovina,
8 mostly populated by Croats. In October of that same year, 1991, this
9 village was practically razed to the ground by these units that had
10 previously arrived in the general area.
11 Q. Which date is considered to mark the end of war in
13 A. The day the Dayton Agreement was signed, the 23rd of December,
15 Q. If my math is correct, this would imply that, at least in terms
16 of what the Bosnian authorities actually concluded, the duration of the
17 war was a total of 51 months, four years and three months. Would that
18 make sense to you mathematically?
19 A. Yes, arithmetically I think that makes sense.
20 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Just a second. We're not going
21 to go into the details, calculations; however, you said that the Yugoslav
22 Army arrived in the Mostar area with the Uzice and Podgorica Corps
23 reinforced by units of Serb volunteers, and you said that this happened
24 in 1991. But if I'm not mistaken in 1991, I would like to know whether
25 Yugoslavia still existed as an international state that was still
1 acknowledged as such.
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honour, that's true.
3 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. So this means that
4 as -- Serbs arrived on the territory of the Federative Socialist
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] That's true.
7 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well.
8 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation]
9 Q. Mr. Jasak, this date that you mentioned under the existing laws
10 of Bosnia and Herzegovina, is that date considered to officially mark the
11 beginning of war in Bosnia-Herzegovina?
12 A. Yes, officially.
13 Q. More about that.
14 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I would like to
15 refer to a Stojic Defence document which has been exhibited, 2D1183.
16 This is precisely how the duration of the war is defined in terms of
17 time-line. The document is not in this binder, Your Honours. I have no
18 particular intentions of using this document. We might bring the
19 document up in e-court, but other than that I just wanted to say that
20 this was actually defined by law in Bosnia and Herzegovina, and that's
21 all I was trying to say. My further questions will not have anything to
22 do with that.
23 Q. Mr. Jasak, as we said, officially the duration of the war was a
24 total of 51 months. Let us try and see how the relations evolved between
25 Muslims and Croats in Bosnia-Herzegovina. In 1991 were the Muslim side
1 and the Croat side working together or were there hostilities between the
3 A. Back in 1991 both sides were working together. There were no
4 hostilities between them.
5 Q. What about the situation in 1992?
6 A. In 1992, again the two sides were co-operating.
7 Q. Mr. Jasak, we know about some clashes between the BH army and the
8 HVO in 1992. Did you know about those too?
9 A. I know that there was some minor skirmishes that would normally
10 be dealt with within a 24-hour period.
11 Q. Fine. And what about 1993, co-operation or hostilities?
12 A. For the most part we can say that there was co-operation up until
13 March 1993; after that, there were hostilities, particularly on the 30th
14 of June, 1993.
15 Q. Can you please repeat the date. We have the wrong date here.
16 A. The 30th of June, 1993.
17 Q. Thank you. What about these hostilities that erupted between the
18 HVO and the BH army, did that spread throughout the free territory of
19 Bosnia and Herzegovina?
20 A. No.
21 Q. When we say the free territory of Bosnia and Herzegovina, what is
22 the area that we have in mind?
23 A. The territory under the control of the Croat and Muslim forces,
24 rather, the territory under the control of the HVO or the BH army.
25 Q. Do you know how long the hostilities between the two went on for?
1 A. This went on until the Washington Agreement was signed.
2 Q. Do you remember when that occurred?
3 A. March 1994.
4 Q. If we were to sum this up, Mr. Jasak, these hostilities between
5 the BH army and the HVO, and if I were to ask you if this went on for
6 most of the war, what would you say?
7 A. No, not for most of the war. I would say this covered a minor
8 part of the duration of the war itself.
9 Q. Between 20 per cent and 23 per cent of the entire duration?
10 A. Roughly about a year I would say.
11 Q. Mr. Jasak, what exactly was VOS mean?
12 A. This is the military intelligence service of the Main Staff of
13 the HVO.
14 Q. What exactly do they do there?
15 A. They gather intelligence on the enemy.
16 Q. If you were expected to explain in the simplest of terms the
17 difference between the SIS on the one hand and the VOS on the other, how
18 would you do that?
19 A. The VOS gathers intelligence on external enemies. The SIS deals
20 with internal issues across units, internal problems within the army
22 Q. Could you explain to the Chamber how exactly you went on
23 gathering information or intelligence in the VOS?
24 A. In much the same way as this appears to be done in any army
25 across the world, operative work, reconnaissance, electronically, or by
1 media analysis.
2 Q. When you say "electronically," what exactly do you mean by that?
3 A. Gathering any kind of intelligence whatsoever that is on the air,
4 so to speak, anything at all that is available. And then this
5 information or intelligence is used when and if needed.
6 Q. Eavesdropping or intercepting would be a simpler term covering
7 this area of activity; right?
8 A. Yes, you could put it that way.
9 Q. Does that cover the tapping of land-lines or not?
10 A. No. This would only have been possible by using radio relay
12 Q. What intelligence service in Herceg-Bosna was in charge of
13 tapping land-lines? Who dealt with that and who had the power to impose
14 any measures?
15 A. I don't know who had the power to impose any measures in that
16 area, but in any democratic state this would have been something for a
17 civilian service normally attached to the Ministry of the Interior.
18 Q. Did you work as an analyst with the VOS?
19 A. Yes, that too.
20 Q. Which --
21 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Witness, on the topic of
22 wire-tapping is of the utmost interest for me because we saw a document
23 that was the result of wire-tapping, so that's why I'm interested in
24 this. I fully understood that the VOS was dealing with external forces
25 and the SIS was dealing with internal forces. And you stated that there
1 were operational activities, reconnaissance activities, and electronical
2 surveillance of or media analysis. When doing wire-tapping or when
3 looking for electronically monitored communications, you are testifying
4 under oath so you have to say the whole truth, I was wondering whether
5 you wire-tapped international organisations, such as observers of the
6 European Community who were very often staying in hotels or in buildings
7 that could have been wire-tapped very easily or people from UNPROFOR such
8 as the Spanish Battalion because they had communication means, whether
9 they were secured or not secured. I was wondering whether you
10 wire-tapped those people?
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] We did not eavesdrop on people like
12 that. I never came across that sort of intelligence within the
13 intelligence service. I don't think anything like that ever came our
14 way. The people who were actually manning the equipment that was used
15 for intercepting and eavesdropping were not fluent in any foreign
17 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] And I assume that you were
18 listening to conversations of the ABiH as well as part of your
19 eavesdropping activities.
20 THE WITNESS: [Previous translation continues] ...
21 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Were you also eavesdropping of
22 the conversation of the VRS or the Republika Srpska, the VRS to be more
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
25 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I was wondering whether you
1 would be eavesdropping on the highest representatives of the ABiH, of the
2 VRS, I was wondering whether Mr. Halilovic would be eavesdropped on or
3 Mr. Delic or General Mladic or other high-ranking representative of that
4 sort, were they being eavesdropped on?
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Everyone and anyone that was on the
6 air, anything that seemed useful. An analysis would then be drawn up and
7 it would be forwarded from the electronics department to the central
8 intelligence department, and then a report was normally drawn up and
10 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] So you're saying that you could
11 eavesdrop on everything. That was possible. I was wondering whether you
12 would be eavesdropping on not only the military staff of the ABiH, but
13 political representatives, so civilians. So there would be political
14 figures. Let's take an example, Dr. Karadzic, for instance, I was
15 wondering whether political figures were also subject of eavesdropping by
16 your services.
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] You're mentioning Mr. Karadzic and
18 other high officials. They obviously communicated over secure
19 communication lines that were not accessible to us. So it is mostly in
20 the field that our service obtained information, not through intercepting
22 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. Thank you.
23 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation]
24 Q. I am sorry, I am just so ignorant as far as technical things are
25 concerned. When you eavesdrop, do you have the possibility of listening
1 to a particular person or do you simply catch a conversation in the air
2 and then you try to detect in some way who it is that is talking?
3 A. Well, it wasn't a specific person who was monitored. What was
4 monitored was a conversation that could be intercepted in the air but
5 during combat operations or when combat operations were expected, since
6 that is when eavesdropping was heightened. On the basis of a
7 conversation, one could assume who was taking part in the conversation
8 even if the interlocutors would not introduce themselves. If people
9 introduced themselves, then it was obvious who it was taking part in the
11 Q. What would you do if a conversation seemed noteworthy and if the
12 persons concerned had not introduced themselves or if you could not even
13 infer who it was, what do you do then?
14 A. Then we would say at such and such a time persons A and B
15 conversed and that such and such information was obtained in such and
16 such an area.
17 Q. Very well. What you're telling us now seems considerably
18 different from what we know in the case of the civilian police in terms
19 of tapping telephone conversations of ordinary citizens. So was there
20 this substantive difference?
21 A. You are right in concluding that because these were short-wave
22 military communications, open communications for the most part. Higher
23 commanders were involved in these conversations or on high frequency
25 Q. Tell us now, Mr. Jasak, when you analyse all the information that
1 is accessible to you, do you prepare some reports or what is the result
2 of your endeavours?
3 A. Do you mean electronic activity or general activity?
4 Q. General activity. If there is a difference, could you please
5 explain both to us?
6 A. There is no particular difference. However, reports that were
7 compiled electronically are selected at the very outset. If nothing
8 really matters, then no reports are submitted.
9 Q. Could you please speak slower.
10 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Just a minute. Ms. Alaburic is
11 putting a very interesting question. She is asking you how you managed
12 to make summaries of all this. What she had in mind was that there was
13 probably a co-ordination of all information and you actually answered
14 this. Earlier I heard you say we were also involved in operational
15 activities, and when you said that I wondered the following. Did you
16 have agents planted within the BH army or even planted within the VRS,
17 plant that would be giving you first-hand information without the ones
18 that they were working with knowing about your -- the fact that -- so
19 were there any moles? Did you have moles planted within any forces? Did
20 you have such activities?
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] We did have such activities, the
22 operative part that has been referred to only really has to do with our
23 persons who had their officials in the field. So information could be
24 obtained in the field and then it was sent to the Main Staff through the
25 operative zones to the VOS, where we worked on analysing this. We
1 included in our reports what we deemed relevant.
2 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, may I just react to
3 the transcript.
4 Q. Mr. Jasak, at the beginning of your answer you were not very
5 clear and that's why it was misinterpreted. So could you please tell us
6 whether you had any moles in the Army of Republika Srpska or in the BH
8 A. No, we did not have any moles in the Army of Republika Srpska or
9 the BH army.
10 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] [Previous translation
11 continues] ... did you have these moles? I mean, it's the basics of your
12 job, isn't it?
13 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's correction: Why didn't you have
14 these moles?
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] We hadn't reached such a stage of
16 development to have something like that.
17 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Ms. Alaburic.
18 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation]
19 Q. Nevertheless, did you sometimes receive some information from
20 persons who were close to the BH Army or the Army of Republika Srpska?
21 A. Well, such information was received from the ground, but how they
22 reached us I don't know. I don't know how this information was obtained.
23 Q. You explained to us now how reports were compiled in this centre
24 for electronic operations. Tell us now, were there any reports that
25 brought together all the reports that were received from the ground?
1 A. There were reports of the VOS.
2 Q. Tell us, what were the dynamics of these reports?
3 A. These reports were compiled once a day; if necessary, even more
4 often than that if there was more extensive activity going on.
5 Q. Can you tell us who these reports were sent to?
6 A. As a rule, they were sent to the president of the Croatian
7 Community of Herceg-Bosna, the head of the defence department, the head
8 of the Main Staff, and others who we thought would find them useful every
9 now and then.
10 Q. In HVO units -- or rather, did the VOS exist in other HVO units?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. Tell us, was the Main Staff an independent body or was it within
13 a broader body?
14 A. The Main Staff was within the defence department.
15 Q. Mr. Jasak, in this courtroom we saw the plan of the building in
16 Mostar where the Main Staff was. This was the ground floor of that
17 building. Tell me, did I show you that plan that witness Bozo Peric drew
18 for us?
19 A. Yes, you did.
20 Q. Can you tell us what is the area roughly covered by the ground
21 floor of that building?
22 A. Approximately 150 to 200 square metres.
23 Q. Tell us, did the Main Staff use any space in the neighbouring
25 A. In the neighbouring building there was only one room that was
1 used for the communications centre, and that's where reports were sent to
2 and from; that is to say, where there was the packet communication and
3 where two officials operated in shifts.
4 Q. Tell us now, Mr. Jasak, if someone from Vitez, for instance,
5 wants to send by packet radio something to Mate Boban, the supreme
6 commander, who would receive that message in Vitez?
7 A. It would be received by these officials operating the packet
8 radio of the communications centre.
9 Q. So at the Main Staff in Mostar; right?
10 A. That's right.
11 Q. Tell us, what stamp would be on this message from Vitez?
12 A. The receiving stamp that they used.
13 MR. SCOTT: Excuse me, Mr. President, for the intervention, but
14 unless I misunderstood there seems to be an error in either the
15 translation or the answer or perhaps both. I understood the question to
16 be that, on line 21 of page 31, tell us, Mr. Jasak, if someone from
17 Vitez, for instance, wants to send by packet radio something to
18 Mr. Boban, the supreme commander, who would receive that message in
19 Vitez? And the operative term being "who would receive that message in
20 Vitez." And then following on the answer of Ms. Alaburic's next
21 question, she says: "So at the Main Staff in Mostar ..." it's not clear
22 to me how the Main Staff in Mostar would be receiving a message in Vitez.
23 Perhaps that could just be clarified.
24 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] I would like to thank my colleague
25 Mr. Scott, he is quite right. We are talking about a message that was
1 being sent from Vitez to Mate Boban. It is not defined where Mate Boban
2 actually is. So Mr. Scott's objection is fully justified and I wish to
3 thank him for it.
4 Q. So the message would be received at the Main Staff in Mostar by
5 packet radio, and then my question was: What stamp would be placed on
6 that document that had arrived from Vitez?
7 A. The receiving stamp that was used by officials at the
8 communications centre, just like for all other documents.
9 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Colonel, Ms. Alaburic is
10 starting from the assumption that all messages from Vitez to Mr. Boban
11 would be channelled through the Main Staff and you're answering in that
12 respect also. But as far as you know, did Mate Boban personally have a
13 receiver that could enable him to receive directly by packet transmission
14 or by fax any information from the terrain without having to go through
15 the Main Staff? I assume, to supplement my question, that Mr. Mate Boban
16 probably had a fax number. As far as you know, could you tell us whether
17 he could obtain direct information without the Main Staff being made
18 aware of it or the DOD, or did the information absolutely have to go
19 through either the Main Staff or the DOD?
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I understood
21 Ms. Alaburic's question to be as follows. If someone wanted to send
22 something from Vitez to Mate Boban via packet radio, what kind of a stamp
23 would be placed there? It would be the stamp of the receiving post. As
24 far as I understood her, she did not ask whether all the post would be
25 brought in. It is certain that that was not the case. However, if
1 someone had sent that, then it would be there. There would be a stamp
2 there. There would be the stamp of that post depending on the code that
3 it had, and in other cases it would be for the Main Staff like everything
5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. You're answering my
6 question in part and I thank you for that, but let me give you an
7 example, a very practical example. Let's imagine that Tuta's unit,
8 Mr. Naletilic's unit, is involved. Could he directly send his report to
9 Mate Boban without the Main Staff or the DOD knowing about it? This is
10 very technical, very specific, and I believe it's also essential.
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] In response to your question, he
12 certainly could have sent it because as a rule direct information did not
13 go to Mate Boban through the Main Staff because he had an office of his
14 own. However, as regards packet radio, that receiving stamp would be
15 placed there if that was the case.
16 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] You say that it was possible,
17 but you're adding that it had to go through the Main Staff -- at least
18 that's what I understand from what you answered.
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No. In response to the
20 hypothetical question put by Ms. Alaburic, my answer was as follows. If
21 someone from Vitez was sending something to a specific radio station,
22 then it had to be sent there; however, it could also be sent elsewhere,
23 not necessarily to that specific post.
24 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Technically speaking, let's
25 take unit X, Tuta's unit, for example, because I believe it's important
1 to use Tuta as an example. Tuta is reporting on an operation, but he
2 only wants to report to Mate Boban and no one else. He does not want
3 Mr. Petkovic or Mr. Praljak or Mr. Stojic to be made aware of the report.
4 Can he do it technically?
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I have never heard of any report
6 for Mate Boban that was sent by Mr. Tuta through the Main Staff. He
7 probably had his own line of communication if he wanted to send that
8 report because I never saw any report from Mr. Tuta at the Main Staff.
9 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, by your leave, all of
10 this will be clarified.
11 Q. Mr. Jasak, now we're going to move away from packet radio. I
12 thought that all other communications were well-known to all and that we
13 only had to deal with packet radio. So let's talk about Tuta, Boban.
14 Tuta and --
15 MR. SCOTT: Excuse me, Counsel. I apologise for the
16 interruption, but if we're moving off that topic, Your Honour, I do think
17 it's important and I would like to make an observation and request that
18 perhaps counsel can assist us when she says she'll come back to that. I
19 don't think there's been any foundation laid with this witness yet that
20 he's in a position to give this testimony as to how the communications
21 office worked.
22 Today, unless I've missed it, which is very possible, we've only
23 heard the most general description of what his duties were, something in
24 connection with intelligence, something in connection with the Main Staff
25 from October 1992 until August 1993. We really don't know what he was
1 doing. We don't know if he was ever even in the communications room. We
2 don't know if he ever operated a packet machine. We don't know if he's
3 ever seen the packet communication log. So there are a number of
4 questions that have been put to the witness, Your Honour, that I
5 respectfully submit there's no indication yet that this witness has any
6 foundation to answer those questions beyond the mere speculation.
7 I'm reminded -- excuse me, counsel, let me finish my comments.
8 I'm reminded of Judge Trechsel's comments to the witness last week when
9 he purported to know what every possible officer -- artillery officer
10 throughout Herceg-Bosna had ever seen or done. I suggest that that can't
11 possibly be the case, it couldn't possibly be the case for the witness
12 last week, and this witness so far has provided no foundation for
13 suggesting that he could provide that information. Thank you.
14 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Ms. Alaburic, take what
15 Mr. Scott just said into account, please. I was assuming that he had
16 this knowledge, but obviously Mr. Scott is not convinced of that. So
17 please try and shed some light on this.
18 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Certainly, Your Honour.
19 Q. Let's do it like this. We're talking about the communication
20 options generally speaking. Let us talk about the Tuta-Boban avenue of
21 communication to simplify matters. If those two wanted to communicate,
22 were they able to simply meet and talk, and thereby keep each other
23 up-to-date, issue orders, or anything like that?
24 A. That certainly would have been an option.
25 Q. What if Tuta wanted to send a note through to Mr. Boban, could he
1 have done this by courier?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. What about communication by courier, was that confidential and
4 direct as a rule?
5 A. That would have been the most confidential form of communication
6 as a rule.
7 Q. What if Mr. Tuta wanted to communicate to Mr. Boban about
8 something or other, could they have used the phone?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. What if Tuta wanted to dispatch a letter to Mr. Boban, could he
11 have done this by mail?
12 A. Yes, why not?
13 Q. If Tuta wanted to send a letter to Mr. Boban by fax, could he
14 have done that?
15 A. Yes, why not?
16 JUDGE TRECHSEL: I'm sorry, it just occurred to me that at least
17 earlier in armies pigeons were also used for communications. Were any
18 pigeons used in the HVO? Near where I live there was the centre of the
19 Swiss Army's pigeons, so I saw them often [realtime transcript recorded
20 in error "off"]. It may sound like a fairytale to the youngsters
21 [realtime transcript recorded in error "young centres"] here, but ...
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I never heard of
23 anything like that going on. I don't think that was used.
24 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Thank you.
25 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation]
1 Q. Mr. Jasak, this is what you've just told us. It was possible to
2 communicate directly, orally, by phone, by courier, by fax. Therefore,
3 could you also tell us what exactly you are basing your answers on? How
4 on earth do you know what forms of communication were possible in
6 A. This would have been feasible for any two persons.
7 Q. What about the equipment that we referred to, the phones and the
8 faxes, were such things around?
9 A. Yes, by all means.
10 Q. Let us move on to the --
11 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Colonel, you're saying that
12 this was possible. But earlier Mr. Scott made a very relevant
13 observation. He wanted to know how you know this. Where did you get
14 your knowledge from? Let me give you an example. Let's imagine
15 President Obama and the connections he may have with a general in
16 Afghanistan. Everyone can say, just like you said, they were in contact
17 by fax or by phone but they might have a private line also. That's what
18 we would -- that's what we want to know. How did you get this
19 information? Are you just thinking out loud, giving us your answer, or
20 do you know for a fact that Mr. Mate Boban and Tuta could be in contact
21 through couriers? We'd like to know whether you saw these couriers, for
22 example, which is why Mr. Scott actually took the floor. He wanted to
23 know on what you base yourself to answer all these questions. Are you
24 answering Ms. Alaburic's question using common sense or do you have very
25 specific information regarding all of this?
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, the question by
2 Ms. Alaburic was hypothetical. Would they have been able to do this or
3 that. No reason they would not have. I have no actual knowledge of
4 their communications.
5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] So you're saying that you have
6 no information regarding this. Let me press this a little further. As
7 far as you know, within the HVO did the supreme commander of the HVO,
8 Mr. Mate Boban, have a satellite phone and can you tell us whether a unit
9 such as Tuta's unit also had a satellite telephone so that those two
10 could contact each other directly, through these satellite links. Do you
11 know whether they had this -- these devices, yes or no?
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I don't know that.
13 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well.
14 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation]
15 Q. So packet radio, there was a single fact that I wanted to clarify
16 about packet radio communication --
17 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Excuse me, Ms. Alaburic, I would like to propose
18 a correction in the transcript. On page 37, line 5, I am reported as
19 saying with regard to the pigeons: So I saw them off. That would be
20 like I went with them to the door, I said bye-bye, but I think I said I
21 saw them often, which is not the same. And then I did not speak of the
22 young centres here, but of the young gentlemen here or ladies and
23 gentlemen. Thank you. Excuse me for the interruption.
24 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, this was all
25 actually very amusing. I do have to say that.
1 Q. Mr. Jasak, packet radio communications, let's try to clarify
2 that. Someone from Vitez, for example, I'm sorry for mentioning any
3 names at all because we got tangled up in these facts. All of my
4 questions are purely hypothetical. Let's assume someone from Vitez wants
5 to send a message through to chief commander Boban. This person knows
6 that Boban is in Grude. Can he now use packet radio communications to
7 send this message through to the Grude packet radio setup?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. If this person from Vitez believes that Mate Boban is in Mostar
10 or this person simply doesn't know his whereabouts, so he decides to send
11 it through to Mostar, where would this message from Vitez end up?
12 A. The communications centre of the Main Staff, the section in which
13 all the messages were being stored.
14 MR. SCOTT: Excuse me, Your Honour. I'm sorry to have to come
15 back to this, but I don't see that we've made any progression on this.
16 The witness has still given us no foundation as to how he would know
17 that. We still have nothing further other than mere surmise. I can
18 mere -- I can surmise based on general common sense that probably during
19 World War II there were probably telephone communications in most of
20 Germany. I don't know that but it's a pretty good guess, but we still
21 have no information from this witness that he was ever in the
22 communications room, that he ever operated a packet communication, that
23 he's ever seen the log, that he knows the exhaustive means of all HVO
24 Main Staff communications and can sit here and make these answers to
25 Your Honours under oath that these are the exclusive means that it would
1 have gone through the Main Staff. I'm happy to receive whatever evidence
2 the witness wants to give in response to Ms. Alaburic's questions, but
3 there should be some foundation for it.
4 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I'm sorry, but this
5 is how I would summarise this remark. Two persons are talking on the
6 phone. Does each of them in that case have a phone? I believed it to be
7 patently obvious that a person needs to be in the possession of a packet
8 communications set in order to send a message and the same applies to a
9 person receiving a message in this way. I think that is perfectly
11 Q. Mr. Jasak, if you believe I'm wrong, if you believe specialised
12 knowledge is required to actually state this, to ascertain this, that one
13 needs appropriate equipment to send a message via packet radio, please
15 A. A packet radio message can only be dispatched from a place where
16 such equipment exists, and the same applies to receiving a message like
17 that. All the HVO units from the brigade level up had packet radio
18 equipment, and that was how they communicated. For example, military
19 intelligence service used the same kind of packet radio equipment in the
20 Main Staff. Packet radio was being used by the VOS too in order to
21 receive and dispatch reports. The same packet radio set was used by
22 everyone in the Main Staff and the defence department. All the
23 intelligence would end up there on a daily basis. We used this equipment
24 to both receive and dispatch reports.
25 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] We're going to have a 20-minute
2 --- Recess taken at 3.49 p.m.
3 --- On resuming at 4.13 p.m.
4 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Court is back in session.
5 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation]
6 Q. Mr. Jasak, another couple of questions about packet radio
7 communications. We've spent too much time on this already. We saw when
8 looking at your CV that in the ministry department of Republic of Croatia
9 you were head of the IT and technology department. We also realise that
10 you were head of the IT department in the military school. We also know
11 that you hold a degree in engineering. We might therefore conclude that
12 you know a thing or two about technology; right?
13 A. Yes, that's right.
14 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Colonel, could you please speak
15 closer to the mike because interpreters said that they have difficulties
16 hearing you. So please try to speak closer to the mike. Thank you.
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] That's right.
18 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation]
19 Q. So you know a thing or two about technology. Do you also know
20 about the communications equipment?
21 A. Yes, I do.
22 Q. Have you ever seen a packet radio set in your life?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. Do you know how it works?
25 A. Yes, I do.
1 Q. Did you ever use that kind of equipment in the VOS to receive
2 reports from the field?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. Did you in the VOS ever send any reports or anything like that by
5 packet radio?
6 A. Yes, at least once a day.
7 JUDGE PRANDLER: I'm sorry to interrupt you, but the usual kind
8 of request to both of you that please kindly have a certain pause between
9 the questions and the answers. Thank you.
10 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Thank you for this caution,
11 Your Honour. I do apologise on my own behalf and on behalf of the
12 witness too.
13 Q. Mr. Jasak, we have a packet radio set that is in the Main Staff.
14 A letter arrives addressed to the president of Herceg-Bosna, Mate Boban.
15 This letter, this document, in writing, this written document, it leaves
16 the packet radio room and who does it go to next?
17 A. It is forwarded to whoever it is addressed to, in this case
18 Mate Boban or his office.
19 Q. Directly?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. Fine. We shall now be moving on to a new topic.
22 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, if you have any
23 questions remaining about radio communications, please go ahead; if not,
24 we'll just press on.
25 Q. Mr. Jasak, a couple of words about how the Mostar defence was
1 organised. Can you tell us when the first activities began in terms of
2 organising the Mostar defence?
3 A. The whole thing got off the ground sometime late in 1991 by
4 setting up what we used to call village guards.
5 Q. City guards in this case; right?
6 A. Yes, you might call them that too.
7 Q. What about those groups, were they unified under a single body, a
8 single authority in Mostar?
9 A. They were under the Mostar Crisis Staff later on. At first it
10 was only across the local communities. Later on they were all under the
11 Crisis Staff.
12 Q. Did these defence groups have anything to do with the HVO, which
13 as we know was established in April 1992?
14 A. Yes. The HVO was established based on those very groups at a
15 later stage.
16 Q. Was the HVO organised along territorial lines?
17 A. Yes. The principle used was territorial and the same applied to
18 municipal staffs as well.
19 Q. What was the task of those municipal staffs of the HVO?
20 A. The task was to defend their respective municipalities.
21 Q. What about these HVO municipal staffs, were they intended to be
22 used for the purposes of defending other municipalities too?
23 A. No. They were only to be used to defend their own territories,
24 local communes at the outset and then municipalities.
25 Q. What about these HVO municipal staffs, were they at one point
1 reorganised as brigades?
2 A. Late in 1992 they were reorganised and became municipal brigades
3 to all practical intent. If there was a municipality that could not
4 provide for an entire brigade, then a number of different municipalities
5 would be pulled together as it were.
6 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Scott.
7 MR. SCOTT: Excuse me, Mr. President, again I apologise for the
8 interruption. But I'm going to have to come back to the previous -- to
9 the principle I raised earlier today. I have to tell the Chamber and
10 counsel that I'm going to -- I may do this more regularly than not
11 because I think we've lost a little bit of the thread in the courtroom.
12 Before the witness can give testimony, he has to provide us some
13 foundation for it. Has he ever been to a Crisis Staff? Was he ever in a
14 Crisis Staff in any municipality, let alone speculating as to what all
15 municipal Crisis Staffs did in all municipalities during this entire
16 period of time. That's what he purports to talk about so far. Was he
17 ever in a Crisis Staff? Was he a member of one? Which municipality?
18 What practices did they have or not? What was the policy in that
19 particular municipality? These are gross generalisations, gross
20 speculations by a witness for which there is no foundation yet - maybe
21 there will be - but no foundation yet that he can provide this testimony.
22 I don't think the Chamber is assisted by receiving with due respect to
23 the witness, mere speculation.
24 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Ms. Alaburic, when you ask a
25 question, I wanted to actually to take the floor in the same way as
1 Mr. Scott just did. The witness states that the HVO was organised
2 according to the territorial principle. But I thought you were going to
3 ask the following question: How do you know about this? What allows you
4 to put this to us? But you say nothing and you carry on. So we are
5 wondering whether this is just general information that he has acquired
6 or has he had -- does he have a personal knowledge of the way a Crisis
7 Staff works? Because your questions go to the heart of how the HVO was
8 set up and they also deal with a joint criminal enterprise. So we would
9 need to know how -- what is the foundation which will avoid Mr. Scott to
10 say what he's already said before.
11 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I believe that the
12 remark by my learned friend Mr. Scott is entirely unfounded. Had he been
13 following closely the part where we talked about the witness's CV, he
14 would have realised that all my questions were stemming from what the
15 witness told us he was doing late in 1991 up until October 1992 when he
16 came to the Main Staff. If you look at the witness's CV, you will see
17 that as of late 1991 he was involved in the Mostar defence. He was a
18 member of the HVO since its establishment in April 1992. We also go on
19 to point out that he was a deputy commander of an HVO battalion in
20 Mostar. We also say that at one point in time he became commander of
21 that same HVO battalion in Mostar. All these facts were clearly stated
22 at the beginning of today's hearing in relation to the witness's CV,
23 which I believe provides more than sufficient foundation for asking these
25 If my learned friend still believes that the witness does not
1 have appropriate information and knowledge to answer these questions,
2 then may I please ask him to try and overturn this witness's testimony in
4 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] [Previous translation
5 continues] ...
6 MR. SCOTT: Thank you, Your Honour. I listened carefully to the
7 questions and answers -- excuse me, the statements by Ms. Alaburic just
8 now starting at line -- page 45, line 19, and continuing through most of
9 page 46. We heard about battalions, we heard about HVO defence. I still
10 don't see, Your Honour, with the greatest of respect, I see no reference
11 to any experience touching on a Crisis Staff whatsoever. I also -- this
12 witness has also not been tendered as an expert. This is not an expert
13 like some people who have prepared a written report and come to give
14 expert opinion over certain structures or certain processes.
15 With the greatest respect to this gentleman, and I have no reason
16 to -- I won't get -- I won't compete. I won't compete with comments from
17 the other side. With the greatest of respect to this gentleman, who I've
18 never had the pleasure of meeting before, all we know so far is that --
19 and again with the utmost respect, at the time, at the time, not now, but
20 at the time he was an approximately 26-year-old individual who had
21 something to do, something to do, with intelligence in the HVO during a
22 period between October 1992 and August 1993. After that he went to
23 Zagreb and obtained some additional training, et cetera, et cetera. We
24 have not the slightest foundation in my submission that this witness can
25 tell us anything about Crisis Staffs or how they functioned.
1 Thank you, Your Honour.
2 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Witness, you were 26 years of
3 age -- or perhaps actually 24, so you were even younger. For some when
4 they are 24 they run empires, but you were not part of the Napoleonic
5 empire or army, so one could wonder whether you were in a position from a
6 political point of view to understand how the HVO had been set up. And
7 the counsel asking questions said that you were a battalion commander.
8 It's not because you're a battalion commander that you have an extensive
9 political knowledge. As Judges, we will have to assess your credibility.
10 When you say that the HVO was set up on the territorial principle, could
11 you perhaps explain how you know this.
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I believe that I
13 could. Mostar comprised a number of local communes. There was a local
14 commune called Zahum, the Balinovac area which is along one of the roads
15 approaching Mostar. The people there organised themselves without
16 anyone's assistance. We tried to get all the people we knew there to set
17 up a night guard system to keep the same thing from happening as had
18 occurred in Ravno previously.
19 At a distance of under 100 metres as the crow flies, from there
20 the Yugoslav army and the volunteers had their positions. We to all
21 practical intents secretly organised ourselves in that particular local
22 commune, and this was the case in other local communes too with our
23 friends elsewhere. These groups later became battalions of the Mostar
24 HVO and they were all united under the municipal staffs along territorial
25 lines, Balinovac, Ilici, Cim, Bijelo Polje, Krusevo, Jasenica and other
1 municipalities too. When the HVO was established, Mostar had a total of
2 nine independent battalions and four independent companies.
3 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you. I see more clearly
4 because you had hands-on experience. You are basically saying that units
5 constituted themselves. You are giving the example of Balinovac because
6 you were there, so you took part in the creation of this unit, and
7 thereafter nine battalions that were autonomous joined the HVO.
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] That's right. That's right,
9 Your Honour. This worked along territorial lines in these local
10 communes, and then they all came together at one point and made up the
11 Mostar area.
12 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. And as for the way
13 the municipal headquarters was working, what sort of knowledge do you
14 have on that?
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I can tell you that the municipal
16 staffs provided guide-lines and tried to make them all work together,
17 these battalions that had been set up along territorial lines.
18 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour --
19 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Excuse me, Ms. Alaburic, but I would like to dig
20 a bit deeper to the foundations.
21 Mr. Jasak, you have several times now said "we did this," "we did
22 that." Who is "we"? And could you perhaps tell the Chamber why you went
23 to Mostar in the first place and what happened there? Who did you join?
24 What was your function, your idea? Because there we are a bit blind at
25 the moment.
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I came to Mostar in
2 1987. I went to the Mostar engineering school. At the time I was living
3 in Zahum local commune. When the JNA reservists arrived in 1991, I
4 realised that some of my Serb colleagues were among them, specifically
5 from the Nevesinje and Gacko areas. I saw them every now and then back
6 in 1991 wearing a uniform at the university.
7 As to what happened in Ravno municipality, imagine me seeing some
8 of my fellow students wearing the uniform of the army that caused this
9 whole thing to happen. I can tell you what this did to me. It caused in
10 me a desire to join a defence effort to defend from these enemies.
11 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Witness, if I understand
12 correctly, in 1987 you were 20 because you were born in 1967. So you
13 studied at the faculty of mechanics and you had fellow students like
14 yourself - and if I understood correctly they were of Serbian origin.
15 And in 1991 when the JNA arrived, you saw your friends, your "Serbian
16 friends" who lived in Gacko and you saw your colleagues or your fellow
17 students joining the volunteers of the JNA units. Is that what you're
18 saying here?
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] You understand me correctly,
20 Your Honour.
21 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Okay. I understood that
22 correctly. So those volunteers would join the JNA. Were they coming
23 from Serbia or from the Socialist Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina? Where
24 were they coming from?
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] From the Republic of Bosnia and
1 Herzegovina, Your Honour.
2 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well, thank you.
3 JUDGE TRECHSEL: I'm sorry, I think the witness was interrupted
4 while answering my question. You have made an interesting account of
5 what happened at the beginning. The last thing you said was that you had
6 a desire to do something for the defence of Mostar against the J -- and
7 now the Serbs I suppose. Now, could you tell us what you did, whom you
8 contacted, what were the next steps?
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] At the time I was living near the
10 house of my late commander, Tihomir Misic. We were introduced and that's
11 how the whole thing started for me. Quite simply, people who lived there
12 talked to one another, talked to those whom they trusted, saying that we
13 should organise ourselves in order to prevent the same kind of thing from
14 happening as had previously happened at Ravno. In 1991 at the foot of
15 Hum hill and near Maslenica cemetery, even though we were unarmed we
16 stood guard to make sure we saw any movements from the surrounding hills
17 in the direction of our village, and if there was danger these guards
18 were meant to avert that.
19 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Thank you.
20 Excuse me, Ms. Alaburic.
21 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honours.
22 Q. Tell us, Mr. Jasak, towards the end of 199 [as interpreted] was
23 it only the Croats who organised themselves that way or not?
24 A. Only the Croats organised themselves in that way, I mean the
25 Croats were the protagonists of the organisation. A very large number of
1 Muslims from that area were with us.
2 Q. When you told us that these groups then became the HVO in April
3 1992, when the HVO was actually established, were Muslim soldiers with
4 you in the HVO at the time?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. Tell us, now that we're discussing the HVO, were you organised as
7 a professional army? Did you have 24-hour duty or were you organised in
8 some other way?
9 A. We could not be organised as a professional army, round the
10 clock; we worked in shifts. When soldiers were not on the front line,
11 they were nearby at their homes, and their respective company leaders,
12 for instance, knew where each and every soldier was so that everyone
13 could be called up quickly.
14 Q. In October 1992 while you were still commander of an HVO
15 battalion, was the activity of that battalion of yours organised in
16 shifts or not?
17 A. While I was commander the battalion operated in shifts.
18 Q. Mr. Jasak, do you know what professional manoeuvre military units
20 A. Yes, I do know.
21 Q. Tell us, what is that?
22 A. These are units that can carry out attacks outside their domicile
24 Q. Tell us, as a rule are soldiers in such units organised 24 hours
25 a day or not?
1 A. As a rule, they are.
2 Q. Now, Mr. Jasak, in view of your experience and knowledge as a
3 military officer, if you wanted to organise your army, particularly for
4 defence purposes, would you have more territorial units or manoeuvre
6 A. If we are to defend an area, then it would be territorial units.
7 Q. If --
8 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Colonel, I thought that
9 Ms. Alaburic would ask the question, but actually she didn't. As we go
10 along with your testimony we realise that you were studying at the
11 faculty of mechanics and then you joined the HVO because a territorial
12 unit was set up. I can fully understand that. But what you didn't say
13 is why at the time you did not go to Croatia to join the Croat army
14 because you only did that in 1994, which means that if you stayed there
15 you will have to ask us why -- you will have to tell us why. Was it to
16 defend the city of Mostar? Was it to defend the Croats? Was it to
17 defend what was motivating Mate Boban's actions or to defend your house?
18 Why did you stay there at the time?
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, in 1991 I happened to
20 be at the university in Mostar and I saw all of that. I stayed with
21 those people because my parents live in Bosnia-Herzegovina to this day.
22 That is to say, I stayed on to defend Bosnia-Herzegovina, both Croats and
23 Muslims in Bosnia-Herzegovina, because we were organised jointly. In
24 1994 I joined the Croatian Army due to certain circumstances because I
25 had not managed to get an apartment in Mostar and I got married then and
1 had a child. Since I was not very well off, if I would sleep at home
2 then my sister wouldn't have a bed to sleep in. So then I moved from
3 Zagreb to Dubrovnik and I was put up at a hotel.
4 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, now I actually
5 understand the big mistake I made at the very outset.
6 Q. Witness, you told us just now that your home, your parents' home,
7 is in Bosnia-Herzegovina and we said at the beginning that you were born
8 in Imotski in Croatia. Could you explain that to us now?
9 A. Well, I was just born in Imotski because the village of Sovici,
10 where my parents live to this day, that is to say the municipality of
11 Grude, is in Bosnia-Herzegovina. Since in the territory of the
12 municipality of Grude there wasn't a maternity hospital, then my mother
13 gave birth in Imotski, in Croatia, and then brought me as a baby to
14 Sovici. From then onwards I lived there up until 1994, I mean in the
15 area of Bosnia-Herzegovina.
16 Q. So you were a citizen of Bosnia-Herzegovina. From the day you
17 were born, you attended primary school there, secondary school?
18 A. That's right. I completed elementary school in Sovici. Then I
19 completed the high school for engineering in Grude and the faculty of
20 engineering at the university of Mostar.
21 Q. Let's just explain these Sovici. Is it the Sovici near Grude or
22 the Sovici near Jablanica?
23 A. Sovici, municipality of Grude.
24 Q. All right. Let us go back to our territorial and manoeuvre
25 units. P907 is the document we should look at now. This is a draft
1 report for 1992 that was prepared by the head of the Main Staff. We have
2 already seen this document a great many times. For starters, let us look
3 at paragraph 3.
4 Mr. Jasak, we see in paragraph 3 that towards the end of 1992 the
5 Main Staff was manned by 30 per cent and that, for example, the command
6 of the Operative Zone of South-East Herzegovina with headquarters in
7 Mostar was manned 95 per cent. Tell us, Mr. Jasak, does your knowledge
8 and experience allow you to give us your comment on these particular
10 A. Yes, because I was in the Mostar at the time. So the Main Staff
11 was manned by 30 per cent because the HVO had a high deficit in terms of
12 commanding personnel. If the -- if the Main Staff were to be fully
13 manned, then lower-ranking units would not be properly manned and defence
14 activities could not be carried out in the right way.
15 Q. Can you explain to us why it was necessary for lower-ranking
16 commands to be fully manned?
17 A. It was very important because it was important not to make it
18 possible for the forces of the Army of Republika Srpska to return to
19 Mostar. So that was very important in order to defend and protect the
20 citizens of Mostar.
21 Q. Tell us, Mr. Jasak, in view of your knowledge and experience, if
22 you want to pursue defence operations is it necessary to be familiar with
23 the situation on the ground and to have the ability to react rapidly to
24 enemy activities?
25 A. In order to successfully carry out defence operations, it is very
1 important to be familiar with the ground, that is to say that the
2 commanders of these units were locals, from that area.
3 Q. Tell us, such defence tasks, can they be carried out more
4 successfully by locals, the local population [as interpreted], or the
5 General Staff for the entire territory? Let me just correct the
6 transcript. I did not say the local population. I said the local
7 command. That's right.
8 A. Yes, it is certain that a local command can do better because
9 they would know everyone very well, each and every individual and what
10 kind of problems they had. So at the time when this report was written
11 there were a lot of discussions going on and people were being talked
12 into doing things.
13 Q. Mr. Jasak, the transcript does not reflect what you said. What
14 command? What did you say?
15 A. I said local command.
16 Q. Could you please repeat it once again. Again it hasn't been
17 recorded properly.
18 A. Local command.
19 Q. Very well. Thank you. Now let us move on and look at the rest
20 of this report. After the HVO brigades, according to municipalities, the
21 report says that there are 45.000 men in the HVO units, and in the
22 professional units there are 855 members. On the basis of these numbers,
23 what would you infer, Mr. Jasak, was the HVO a defensive army or not?
24 A. The HVO was a defensive army exclusively.
25 Q. Let us look at the handwritten sentence. It says that the
1 establishment of brigades led to the disbanding of all the municipal
2 staffs and the units became more mobile. Can you tell us when these
3 municipal staffs were re-established in the sense of becoming brigades?
4 A. That was towards the end of 1992 when municipal staffs were
5 re-formulated, or rather, re-established as local brigades.
6 Q. At the very end of the report it says that as they were creating
7 their forces in the territory of the HZ HB, the Croatian people defended
8 themselves and the majority of the Muslims. What is your personal view,
9 Mr. Jasak? Did you think that the HVO was defending the Croatian people
10 and the Muslim people?
11 A. I thought that the HVO was defending both the Croatian and Muslim
12 people and all other peoples in that area who were not hostile towards
14 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Colonel, let me return on the
15 prominent figures, page 56, line 2, my fellow Judge Trechsel had already
16 dealt with this, but I want to be very clear on this because I believe
17 it's important. We have in evidence a document from General Petkovic, a
18 document he wrote himself, which says that there were 85 officers, 85.
19 Could you please tell us whether these are 85 officers meant to supervise
20 and lead the 45.000 men in the HVO or are these 85 officers among the
21 professional units who are 850 but that there were other officers who
22 were non-professional officers? I would really like to know the
23 following. When General Petkovic said that there were 85 officers, does
24 this encompass all officers within the HVO or only professional officers,
25 career officers? If this is the case, then you would not be considered
1 as a professional officer because you didn't graduate from the military
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I think that these are
4 85 officers and 91 NCOs and 685 soldiers. That is a unit of
5 professionals. These 85 officers were not trained officers. They were
6 just in that professional unit. Some were trained officers, but very few
7 of them who had come from the Yugoslav People's Army, then a very small
8 number of them had completed JNA school for reserve officers.
9 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Please tell us whether you are
10 part of these 85 or not?
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, I was not among these 85
12 because I was not a member of professional unit.
13 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. So you're not part
14 of these 85 professional officers. Now, as far as you're concerned, this
15 45.000-troop-strong HVO army, how many officers were there within this
16 army? And I'm talking about career officers and non-career officers.
17 Could you tell us the breakdown between the two?
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] During this time there weren't any
19 officers whose permanent job this was, if we can put it that way, who had
20 this by way of employment and who had it registered officially. So all
21 of this was on a voluntary basis. You see this figure of 45.000 people.
22 These were people who had grown from the grass roots, who had proven
23 themselves to be leaders, who had 10 or 50 or 100 men of their own at the
24 outset and who proved to be able and courageous. These people were given
25 the duty of officers, that is to say that they had not been formally
1 trained but learned during the war.
2 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] You're not answering my
3 question, but I will ask you one last question. I'm sure I'll get my
4 answer. Out of those 45.000 troops, the cadres, you know, normally in an
5 army these cadres are either officers or NCOs, could you tell us how many
6 people were there for -- to supervise and lead the basic -- the soldiers,
7 the troops, how many were there, a thousand? 2.000?
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The soldiers were under the
9 supervision of their commanders who at one point or other became
10 officers. For example, I was an officer too, but I was not a properly
11 trained officer. I was a commander, hence an officer and a battalion
12 commander, but I had not received any formal military training. But I
13 displayed certain abilities during the war and I was appointed to that
14 position when commander Tihomir Misic was killed. That was my
15 experience. There were very few men who had received proper military
16 training, those who came from the JNA. There weren't many men like that
17 in our units. For the most part the men who proved to be natural leaders
18 were then selected.
19 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I must infer from this that you
20 cannot answer my question. You can only tell us about your personal
21 experience, but when I'm asking you whether there are 500 or a thousand
22 officers, you can't give us a specific answer. Very well.
23 JUDGE TRECHSEL: I wonder whether everything went well here
24 because when Judge Antonetti asked you about the 45.000 troops, page 58,
25 line 10 -- no, further up I think. Yeah. Page 58, line 2, following.
1 You said:
2 "You see this figure of 45.000 people. These were people who had
3 grown from the grass roots, who had proven themselves to be leaders, who
4 had 10 or 50 or 100 men of their own at the outset ..." and so forth.
5 Now, you start talking about 45.000 and then you say they were
6 leaders and hundred men of their own. There's something that went wrong,
7 I'm sure, perhaps it's a translation. But could you explain what you
8 meant, who you were referring to when you spoke of the people who had
9 grown from the grass roots. Who did you refer to?
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, 45.000 men comprises
11 officers, NCOs, and privates, ordinary soldiers. Officers were
12 commanders, members of commands, brigade commands, battalion commands.
13 These men were appointed also company commanders. Platoon commanders,
14 for example, those were considered to be officers. For example, you have
15 a platoon numbering 35 men. They would have a single officer who was its
16 commander. Nevertheless, this officer normally would not be a person who
17 had received previous, formal military training. They simply proved to
18 be sufficiently skilful and able to control a certain area, to be
19 assigned a line to hold on to and preserve; and that is how certain men
20 became or were turned into officers.
21 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Thank you. Now it's clear the reference to the
22 cadres was lost up there.
23 If you look again at the document, the Brigadier Petkovic reports
24 855 members in professional army units, 85 officers, 91 non-commissioned
25 officers, and 607 privates. If you add that up, you get 846 [sic] in
1 total. So probably it's just a bit superficial calculation or do you
2 have an explanation for this?
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, the original document
4 has this last figure here which is not perfectly legible, really,
5 670-something, it's difficult to read. I'll give it a try, though.
6 For example, let's assume the last digit is nine, in which case
7 it adds up.
8 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Yeah. That would be right, except that it
9 doesn't look like a nine at all but more like the lower part of an eight.
10 But it's probably a negligent error and you would agree that the reading
11 here is the 855 are composed by 670 and some privates, 91
12 non-commissioned officers, and 85 officers.
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] That's right, Your Honour.
14 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Thank you.
15 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation]
16 Q. Let us move on to the next document, Mr. Jasak, 4D1463. This is
17 a report by the head of the SIS administration, one that he sent to the
18 assistant commander for security. The date is January 1994. We know
19 where you were at that time and I'll be asking you a question about your
20 time with the HVO. A peaceful protest by the soldiers is here announced.
21 They want to know about the salaries, about the salary lists, and about
22 the status of Mostar. In January 1994 the soldiers rallied, requesting
23 an explanation. Did any situation such as this occur during your time
24 with the HVO?
25 A. Yes, there were a number of situations like that.
1 Q. How did you deal with these? Did you simply issue orders and
2 force people to comply or did you do something else altogether?
3 A. In situations such as these, the only course of action was to
4 mingle with the soldiers and try to talk to them in order to convince
5 them that what they were doing was not right.
6 Q. Did military commanders in fact try this, try to talk to these
7 soldiers, try to win them over, the HVO military commanders I mean?
8 A. Up until October 1992, during my time there as battalion
9 commander I came across situations such as these myself. The only thing
10 to do was to talk, to persuade, to discuss. Later on I had a number of
11 friends who remained there as commanders and they told me that they were
12 coming across similar problems.
13 Q. As far as that is concerned, what could you tell us? In the HVO
14 was there a real opportunity to exercise effective command?
15 A. No. In the HVO at the time there was no real opportunity to
16 exercise effective command.
17 Q. Let's move on to the next document, 4D1328.
18 JUDGE PRANDLER: I believe that the witness, Mr. Jasak, has
19 mentioned a very important point when he said, and I quote, that:
20 "In the HVO at the time there was no real opportunity to exercise
21 effective command."
22 I believe that the question was also of course rather general in
23 my view, what was asked by Ms. Alaburic, and also the answer. Can we
24 take it that during the whole time and during the -- those years when the
25 witness was there, do you think that your position that in the HVO there
1 was no real opportunity to exercise effective command has been valid for
2 the whole time or are you keep in mind the particular point or a
3 particular timing? If it is so, please tell us. Thank you.
4 MR. SCOTT: Mr. President, with the greatest of respect to
5 Judge Prandler, if he might allow me to just intervene with my
6 apologies -- but before the witness answers the questions, I think we're
7 back to where we were earlier today as to foundation. I completely
8 endorse Judge Prandler's position, in fact I was about to get up and he
9 beat me to it this time.
10 Your Honour, again we go back. This was, we established earlier,
11 something about a 24-, 23-year-old man who had a very junior position at
12 the time, no matter what position he might hold today, and he was never
13 more than a battalion commander at a local level. I mean, I respect him
14 for that. But it's still rather limited in his ability to give such a
15 sweeping generalisation in a case such as this. And again I'm reminded
16 once again of Judge Trechsel's interchange -- exchange with the gentleman
17 last week who pretended to be able to say everything about all HVO
18 artillery officers everywhere. I think it's simply too broad of a
20 And I said I would intervene with my apology to Judge Prandler
21 for doing so, but I think before Judge Prandler's question is answered,
22 with the greatest of respect, the witness should once again give us some
23 foundation for this. Again I've never met the man, but if I was a
24 24-year-old junior officer at the time, I'm not sure I would be in a
25 position to assure this Chamber that at no time during the conflict, at
1 no place that was claimed to be Herceg-Bosna that the HVO could never
2 exercise effective control. It sounds like a rather sweeping
3 generalisation to me by a rather junior officer.
4 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, Your Honours,
5 Your Honours, I believe my learned friend Mr. Scott has just taken a step
6 that we must not allow to pass unnoticed. If we look at his objections
7 today, we shall soon realise that they have nothing to do with
8 Mr. Scott's entitlements at this stage in the hearing in terms of
9 objecting to my questions. What he's presenting is his own positions and
10 explanations for his positions.
11 I would like to remind the Trial Chamber of the time when I
12 raised the same objection three times in a row to a question by the OTP.
13 I was accused of obstructing the proceedings. I was told that we were
14 facing a professional Trial Chamber, well up to its task. I was told my
15 allegations were entirely unfounded, and I received all sorts of remarks
16 in relation to that. I think at this point in time Mr. Scott should
17 clearly be told what his rights and duties are. If he must object, then
18 by all means he should do so. There is no need to explain his objections
19 since we are facing a professional Trial Chamber well up to its task.
20 Mr. Scott rises to his feet with all these lengthy interventions.
21 If the idea is to obstruct my examination, I can tell him right away that
22 I will not lose the plot, that I know exactly what I want to ask this
23 witness, that he is really well and truly wasting his time, his time, my
24 time, the Trial Chamber's time.
25 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Praljak.
1 THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I want to say
2 one thing. A battalion has a battalion commander as its commander. It's
3 a larger unit, it's a major -- the rank of major, which is a higher rank,
4 and this is part of a brigade, a larger unit. Therefore, the OTP
5 misstated that the commander was an NCO. That is simply not true.
6 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Scott.
7 MR. SCOTT: Ever so briefly, Your Honour. Foundation -- these --
8 I'm not interested in obstruction at all, and I think my behaviour over
9 the past three and a half years would confirm that. I am interested in
10 the rules of evidence, however, and I am sure Mr. Karnavas will know, and
11 I won't pretend to know about the practice in the UK, although I might
12 have an educated guess. It is absolutely fundamental for a witness to
13 express -- to give evidence on a topic there has to be some foundation
14 for it. It is a -- I think one of my colleagues across the aisle said at
15 one point it's evidence 101. The witness has to be shown to have
16 personal knowledge and the foundation. Now, to come back to counsel's
17 objection, if she wants a short objection, my objection as I would
18 probably typically make in a United States courtroom is: Objection, lack
19 of foundation. No foundation. Thank you.
20 MR. STEWART: Well, I can say to some extent what the practice is
21 in the UK, whether Your Honours wish to observe the practice in the UK,
22 the practice in the United States, some state or other or a hybrid or
23 something else all together, the basic point is that Mr. Scott spent
24 about a page of the transcript really making a submission which belongs
25 much later in the final brief, which is to why he is saying that this
1 witness doesn't have sufficient authority to be believed, his
2 inexperience, and so on. It's a matter of argument. When you look at
3 what Mr. Scott said a few minutes ago, that's what he's doing. A lot of
4 what he's said today ought to wait until cross-examination. If he's
5 saying that there's just not sufficient authority or there's something
6 missing in what the witness can say about his experience, he does get the
7 chance to cross-examine. He's been abusing the objections this morning
8 to argue his position.
9 MR. SCOTT: Your Honour, ever so briefly just to reply, just to
10 reply very quickly. That's getting the cart before the horse. Before a
11 witness can give evidence, the first prerequisite is that there be a
12 foundation for the witness to give that evidence. There would be no
13 reason for any witness in any courtroom, whether it's in the civil law
14 system presumably or anywhere, to give evidence, to spend hours giving
15 evidence only to come back and say well really we spent the last three
16 days hearing this, but you know what when all is said and done there is
17 really no foundation for it. It's the first step in the process. Before
18 we spend hours, that there is foundation. My objection is: Lack of
20 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, Your Honours, if I
21 may, I would just like to respond. If I may get personal. I have a
22 feeling that Mr. Scott is not sufficiently focused. I have a feeling
23 that he's not closely following this examination. Once this document was
24 displayed to the witness, the witness was asked whether there were any
25 similar situations that he faced during his time there when something
1 needed to be explained to the soldiers. The witness answered that
2 question. He said that a number of situations occurred in which he
3 needed to do some persuading and some talking. Orders themselves would
4 have come to nothing. I don't think we're facing any sort of dilemma
5 there. Could I please ask Mr. Scott to simply go back to that particular
6 portion of the transcript to eliminate any misunderstanding between us.
7 Now, as to whether the witness's answer fits someone's purpose or
8 not, that would call for more extensive analysis if you ask me. Thank
10 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] [Previous translation
11 continues] ... well, you're the one that has the solution. Can you hear
12 me? Colonel, I'm saying that the solution lies in your hands. When
13 Ms. Alaburic is putting a question to you, it's either one way or the
14 other, either you can answer the question or you can't. If you can't,
15 just say: I can't answer. Your question is too general. I cannot
16 answer. But if you have the answer, if you can answer, then say first
17 why you can answer. Lay the foundation, because you were there, because
18 you knew about the document, you knew about the event, you experienced
19 something similar, and that way you can prove and demonstrate that you
20 are able to answer the question. And thanks to this, the Judges will not
21 have to put any questions to you to try and shed light on all of this.
22 So everything is in your hands. According to your answer, the
23 Prosecution will not object because you will either understand that you
24 are well aware of the problem. For example, when we talked about packet
25 communication if you had said at the time: Well, I know packet
1 communication because as battalion commander I used packet
2 communications, then period, everything understood the foundation. Or if
3 you said that as battalion commander I commanded so many men, I know
4 exactly what I'm talking about, then we have the foundation and we know
5 that we are talking to a battalion commander. The difficulty is that we
6 know that you were very young at the time, you were 24. You're older
7 now, unfortunately, but now you're a colonel and one can wonder whether
8 the knowledge that you have now comes from what you acquired after the
9 war or during the war or before the war even. What we want to know is
10 what you knew at the time, what you did.
11 Have you understood this?
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I'm aware of all that.
13 And if I may explain further, I said in relation to this document and
14 what's mentioned in it, I myself faced similar problems in my own unit
15 while I was in command. I'm also able to say that the unit numbered over
16 400 men. It was at the time holding one of the longest lines in Mostar
17 itself at the early stage in the clashes. From the road into Mostar,
18 Ilici, Podhum, stretching all the way as far as the Old Bridge in Mostar.
19 This was the longest line being held throughout the clashes with the VRS
20 in 1992.
21 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] So you are saying in 1992 I'm
22 in charge of 400 men and we are facing the VRS and our front line was
23 going as far as the Old Bridge from the location which I cannot really
24 quote here. I think it's Ilici. So you were heading a 400-men unit and
25 in front of you, you had the Serbs and it was going as far as the
1 Old Bridge?
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] That's right, Your Honour.
3 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. We can see more
4 clearly, but perhaps Ms. Alaburic could have obtained some clarification
5 on this which would have avoided some interventions from here, there, and
7 Yes, Mr. Prlic.
8 THE ACCUSED PRLIC: One sentence. I haven't heard answer on
9 question of Judge Prandler.
10 JUDGE TRECHSEL: That's exactly what I wanted to recall us of. I
11 think first the witness should answer the question of Judge Prandler, and
12 probably my colleague would do good to repeat it; afterwards, I would
13 also like to put a question.
14 JUDGE PRANDLER: Thank you, all of you, including Dr. Prlic.
15 The -- what I would like to ask and now I do not have before me the
16 transcript, but my question was that have we been told by the witness
17 before on which basis he based his knowledge that there was no effective
18 control in the HVO at that time. Of course recently Judge Antonetti
19 mentioned the fact which we know that he was commander of a unit of 400
20 and he had read and was probably drafted packet messages, et cetera. But
21 it is still in my view probably should be a bit enlarged by the fact that
22 on which basis he's telling us that there was no effective control in the
23 HVO during that years when he was commander of a battalion. It is my
25 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, if I may just remind
1 you, you didn't have the transcript in front of you. We were talking
2 about command, not about control.
3 MR. STEWART: Your Honour, would it help because I don't want to
4 be cheeky about it, but we have the transcript. Would it help,
5 Your Honour, if we were simply to read to the witness precisely
6 Your Honour's question. Because the way it was put initially was, with
7 respect, very, very clear. Would that -- I make that offer, Your Honour.
8 Your Honour, I have Your Honour's question in front of me on the screen.
9 JUDGE PRANDLER: Thank you, Mr. Stewart. Actually, I do have
10 also before me.
11 MR. STEWART: Good, thank you, Your Honour.
12 JUDGE PRANDLER: If it will help, then I will repeat and quote
13 what I have said that time.
14 "Can we take it that during the whole time and during those years
15 when the witness was there, does he think that your position is that in
16 the HVO there was no real opportunity to exercise effective command? Has
17 it been, I mean this position, valid for the whole time, or are you
18 keeping it, or do you think that it was in a particular point and a
19 particular timing when there was no control?"
20 It is what I have asked for. Then it is up to the witness to
21 answer to me. Thank you.
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honours, throughout my time
23 with the HVO it was like that. I also said that I experienced things
24 like that in my own battalion. I can specify if you like. Sometime in
25 1992, in the month of September specifically, soldiers assembled in the
1 cultural institute. They wanted to have their commander over. They
2 wanted to talk to their commander. Why is this missing? Why is that
3 missing? There were problems. I had no choice but to go there and talk
4 to these men. I told them: Listen, now, we've got to defend ourselves.
5 If we allow the enemy to penetrate, the city will have nothing to go on
6 any longer. If I had decided to issue orders instead, these orders would
7 have come to nothing. I would have broken up my own unit, whereas on the
8 1st of September, 1993, when I was there I talked to my friends who were
9 there and who remained in command of those battalions. They told me that
10 the problems continued, the same kind of problems. That is what my
11 knowledge is based on.
12 JUDGE PRANDLER: Thank you very much, Mr. Jasak. Frankly, I am
13 not convinced that this particular example which you raised and which you
14 explained to us is a relevant basis for a sweeping comment and a sweeping
15 answer that everything during those years of your fight and work in
16 Herzegovina there was no real control by the HVO, I will say, command.
17 And still I -- frankly, I do not want to make any judgement as far as
18 your position is concerned, but I am not convinced that during those
19 years there was no effective control at all. It would be -- it would
20 have been a disaster for the whole HVO if your statement would be proved
21 as true. But it is up to the issues which have to be further studied and
22 I leave it as it is for the time being. Thank you.
23 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Colonel, Mr. Scott wanted to
24 test your knowledge. So we have a document, 4D1328, dated 20th of
25 December, 1993. The head of the General Staff is Ante Roso. It's no
1 longer General Petkovic and it's no longer General Praljak. It's
2 Mr. Roso. This Colonel Ante Saskor sends a letter of resignation. When
3 a colonel resigns, it means that there are serious matters at stake, so
4 we should try and find out why he has decided to resign. So he's
5 pointing at three directions. He says that he is tired and therefore not
6 able to work anymore, saying: I'm incapable and tired. But what is more
7 striking as far as I'm concerned is paragraph number 2, and he says that
8 and there are local authorities and an informal group of powerful men who
9 in a way stop the brigade and the command from being in charge. And in
10 paragraph 3 he goes further and gives more detail by stating that this
11 group of powerful men are war profiteering and that they are local
13 So I would like to go back to the question from my fellow Judge
14 regarding command. What is very important to ascertain is whether you
15 personally were faced with the same obstacles while in command, the same
16 obstacles as those quoted in this document, namely, that local authority
17 or municipal authority constitutes an obstacle for an officer and
18 therefore this very officer is not in a position to discharge himself of
19 his duties. So this document shows that there is a problem. And you
20 were not here last week, but last week another document was showing that
21 several officers stated that there were problems within the HVO. So when
22 I link this document with a document that we were presented last week, I
23 could provisionally conclude that the command activities were not easy,
24 despite what my colleague may think. But this is his opinion and not
1 So given that you were on the ground, I was wondering whether the
2 situation as it is described in this document is similar to what you
3 experienced; or do you have no idea, in which case you can say to Counsel
4 Alaburic that you cannot really -- that you cannot really have a point of
5 view regarding this very document?
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, as to this document,
7 if need be I can specify a number of matters because some of my own
8 experiences were similar. For example, there's a reference here to
9 powerful locals. This doesn't mean that these persons were necessarily
10 members of local authorities. They could have been other people. For
11 example, local pub owners who simply had a lot of money to use.
12 I had similar experiences myself. For example, a problem that I
13 came across back in 1992 in my battalion, there weren't a sufficient
14 number of uniforms to go around and those that we had were threadbare and
15 worn. We had previously mobilised one of these pub owners, so now he
16 wanted to exact revenge. He managed to obtain 15 US uniforms, those were
17 the most -- the trendiest uniforms at the time. He managed to obtain a
18 large amount of beer, put up a barbecue. There was a lot of joy and
19 festivity in the unit. Some people came, they looked like some mods with
20 all sorts of trendy shades and so on and so forth, and this proved to be
21 a problem. It was a problem before I managed to convince those men to
22 take off those uniforms, regardless of the fact that they looked
23 incredibly trendy and all.
24 Another example from a colleague of mine who still works with one
25 of these units. He was proposed, his name was put forward, to become a
1 command -- to become commander of one of these brigades. And then people
2 came over from a different village altogether, saying: We need someone
3 from our own village at the head of our brigade. It didn't matter to
4 them at all that this particular person had been trained by the JNA as a
5 reserve officer, whereas the other candidate had barely received any
6 primarily education. These are two specific examples for you.
7 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Witness, I'm sorry, witness, the point of
8 departure was it is not possible to exercise effective command in the
9 HVO. Now you have just told us one story, at least the first one, where
10 you told your soldiers to take off uniforms they should not have been
11 wearing and they did take them off you said. You succeeded. So that
12 is -- that was effective command of yours, was it not?
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, that was not command.
14 That meant sitting together for a long time talking and engaging in
15 persuasion. Had I issued an order to that effect, I'm sure that I never
16 would have seen those soldiers again.
17 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Thank you.
18 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation]
19 Q. Tell us now, Mr. Jasak, what can you do to a soldier who you tell
20 to take that uniform off and he says: No, I won't. And then he just
21 walks away. What can you do?
22 A. I can demobilise him, and in that way it will seem that he was
23 awarded and then others would say why wouldn't I do a similar kind of
24 thing so I don't have to go to the front line either?
25 Q. Tell us, if you decide to demobilise someone, is it easy for you
1 to mobilise someone else instead of him?
2 A. Hardly, because there was general mobilisation, we had what we
3 had, there were quite a few who had fled from conscription to the seaside
4 and to third countries.
5 Q. I would like to thank His Honour Judge Antonetti for having
6 examined on document 4D1320 [as interpreted], so I have no additional
7 questions in regard to that document. P3642 is the document I'd like to
8 look at now.
9 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] There's a small mistake, it's
11 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honour, 4D1328. It was
12 probably an error. All right.
13 Q. Now, the next document is document P3642. Yet again, a report of
14 the head of the Main Staff. Now, for the first half of July 1993 let us
15 see to what extent the situation had changed. Now, if you have no
16 knowledge or no experience to that effect, please tell us clearly that
17 you cannot give us your comments with regard to a particular section. My
18 first question has to do with the fact that there is a reference to
19 clashes between the Muslim forces and the HVO in the Neretva valley. And
20 now he says -- the head of the Main Staff says:
21 "We can state with certainty the members of the HVO did not cause
22 these conflicts."
23 Mr. Jasak, you as a VOS officer, in view of all the information
24 that the VOS had available, can you tell us whether this sentence is
25 correct or not?
1 A. It is correct.
2 Q. My next question --
3 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] My client seems to be making a
4 suggestion. I haven't exactly understood.
5 Q. My next question in view of the continuation of the report, it's
6 on page 2 of your document, Mr. Jasak. It says in paragraph 2 --
7 actually, I'm not going to ask you about Central Bosnia because you
8 already told us that you analysed eastern Herzegovina. The report says:
9 "In Herzegovina the enemy has taken the area along with the road
10 Jablanica-Dreznica and the left bank of the Neretva River from Dreznica
11 to the southern part of Mostar."
12 To the best of your knowledge as a VOS officer specialised in
13 south-east Herzegovina, can you tell us is this statement correct or not?
14 A. This statement is correct.
15 Q. Can you tell us roughly what the length of the area mentioned
16 here is?
17 A. Well, it's a bit over 30 kilometres, say about 35 kilometres.
18 Q. Very well. In this part of the report the one-but-last part in
19 this section, party XY is referred to. Can you tell us who that might
21 A. XY party would be the Army of Republika Srpska.
22 Q. Could you please give us your comments with regard to this part
23 of the report. It is stated that at present the equipment for the HVO
24 in -- in respect of the localities that are mentioned in the paragraph
25 above is taking place through the areas controlled by the Army of
1 Republika Srpska. How come if the Army of Republika Srpska is our enemy,
2 Mr. Jasak?
3 A. This was during the most difficult moments for the Croatian
4 people. I can tell you specifically about Konjic. The area of Turija,
5 Zabrdje, and Zaslivlje, when they remained fully encircled, then the
6 treatment of the wounded -- or rather, getting the wounded out of there
7 was carried out through the territory of Republika Srpska.
8 Q. Tell us, did the Croats wish to do so or did they have to with
9 the Army of Republika Srpska?
10 A. This was the only way for these people to stay alive or not to
11 end up in camps.
12 Q. In other territories what was the position of the HVO about the
13 Army of Republika Srpska, were they an ally or an enemy?
14 A. The Army of Republika Srpska was an enemy.
15 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I believe that it
16 would be the right time to take a break, so perhaps we could now. We'll
17 be dealing with this document some more.
18 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes, let's have a 20-minute
20 --- Recess taken at 5.40 p.m.
21 --- On resuming at 6.00 p.m.
22 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Ms. Alaburic.
23 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation]
24 Q. Let us look at the same document now, Mr. Jasak, paragraph number
25 4, problems. Let us see what the head of the Main Staff of the HVO is
1 saying in mid-1993. What does he think the problems involved are? I
2 cannot deal with all of them, but let's look at 4.2. It says that:
3 "The non-existence of professional and manoeuvre units for
4 assault and special actions is a problem. The existing units have
5 suffered great losses" --
6 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's note: We can barely hear
7 Ms. Alaburic due to background noise.
8 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, may I ask you to
9 switch off one of your microphones? Thank you.
10 Q. Mid-1993, you're still in the HVO; right?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. Tell me, with regard to the number of professional units and the
13 number of soldiers in these units, was there a significant change in
14 relation to 1992? We've already seen these documents.
15 A. Nothing special.
16 Q. What do you mean, nothing special had changed?
17 A. Nothing special had changed.
18 Q. Or in other words it was roughly the same number of soldiers
20 A. Right.
21 Q. Paragraph 4.4, the following problem is referred to:
22 "Disrupted system of command and mutual co-ordination ..."
23 And now there is an explanation in brackets.
24 "Co-operation among zones, units within zones, and zones with the
25 Main Staff ..."
1 Mr. Jasak, do you have any knowledge about the claim made in this
3 A. The previous documents showed that nothing special had changed in
4 this regard.
5 Q. Let us look at 4.5 now. It says:
6 "Serious shortcomings in the command system and especially
7 unprofessionalism on the level of squad-company-battalion, and let us be
8 honest, on the level of the zone-HVO staff."
9 Tell us, is this statement true that there weren't enough trained
10 and professional soldiers -- officers and NCOs?
11 A. It is absolutely correct.
12 Q. Mr. Jasak, when we say "officer," it doesn't automatically mean
13 that that is someone who is trained as a soldier or as an officer?
14 A. That's right. When we say "officer," we are not saying that the
15 person necessarily has a higher education and that he had completed a
16 particular kind of school.
17 Q. On the basis of what did such a person become an officer and get
18 some kind of rank?
19 A. On the basis of his hitherto-demonstrated abilities in terms of
20 organising the HVO, in terms of what he had proven up until then during
21 the course of the war.
22 Q. All right. Let's look at 4.6 now. The following is a problem as
23 well. I quote:
24 "The expectation that the HVO army will resolve everything by
25 itself militarily and on the front. That is to be expected and that is
1 the task of the army. We still do not have such an army - with a modern
2 organisation that is technically well equipped with a resolved command
4 "In order to create such an army, the authorities must do far
5 more at all levels and this must be their primary task."
6 In view of your experience in the HVO, could you agree with this
8 A. I could and I do agree with what is written here.
9 Q. Let us try to analyse this problem of the command system in a bit
10 more detail. Tell us, on the basis of VOS experience, the units on the
11 ground, did they report regularly, comprehensively, and properly about
12 everything that happened on the ground?
13 A. As for the VOS, the reports that we received that is, we had our
14 own people at the level of the operative zones, that is to say at higher
15 levels, who regularly submitted reports to us.
16 Q. At this point in time, I'm more interested in the content of
17 these reports. Can one speak about reports from the field in terms of
18 brigade commanders, operation zones, et cetera? Did these reports
19 contain complete and accurate information about developments on the
21 A. There were report -- there were problems in reporting from the
23 Q. Did you know of the higher commands giving some kind of
24 instructions as to what reports should be like, what their structure
25 should be?
1 A. Well, some instructions were being provided, but there was the
2 problem of the level of the persons who were supposed to write these
3 reports, for them to be trained enough or educated enough to carry this
4 out in practice.
5 Q. Now the last part of this report says, I quote:
6 "Practice tells us that the army is becoming privatised - every
7 municipality, every town and village have their 'own' army. It is not
8 possible to move a 'municipal' army from the area of the municipality,
9 and by that very fact, the deployment of stronger forces, adequate to the
10 task is not possible."
11 On the basis of your very own experience in 1992 and your
12 knowledge from 1993, while you were in the HVO, are these assessments
14 A. These assessments are correct.
15 Q. Were there any municipalities that from the point of view of
16 finance and logistics supported their municipal brigades respectively?
17 A. There were such municipalities.
18 Q. Tell us now, as an analyst and an intelligence person, the fact
19 that you are providing financial resources and logistics for a brigade,
20 does that affect the influence of municipal leaders over that brigade?
21 What would you conclude?
22 A. Of course such a possibility is open. I mentioned that in the
23 case of the appointment of the brigade commander. It says he's not from
24 our village, no matter how professional he may be. Or in some
25 municipalities where a brigade consisted of personnel from different
1 municipalities, that is to say if there couldn't be enough people from
2 one municipality then it was very important who would command the
3 brigade, a person from which municipality and the like.
4 Q. 3D793, could we have a look at that now --
5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Colonel, we all looked at this
6 document P3642 dated January 22nd, 1993. You might not know that on
7 July 22, 1993, General Praljak replaced General Petkovic at the head of
8 the Main Staff. So this maybe is his -- it's like a testament, you know,
9 he is getting stuck in a situation and reporting on the situation to the
10 head of the DOD.
11 When looking at the document you note that the situation is quite
12 difficult. There are a number of problems. For example, at the last
13 paragraph, according to General Petkovic there are privatised armies and
14 each municipality every time a village have their "own army." So it's a
15 very dire statement made by General Petkovic here. He seems to be saying
16 that he cannot exercise his command. And at item 4.4 he actually says
17 that the system of command is disrupted off and on. This is what he
19 Now, you were an analyst within the VOS. Could you tell us
20 whether on the ground you felt this situation, you experienced this
21 situation, and could you tell us how you actually experienced the change
22 of command, when command shifted from General Petkovic to general command
23 [as interpreted] or was this beyond your -- way beyond your position?
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, paragraph 4.4,
25 disruption in the system of command. I was aware of the fact that there
1 was a situation of that kind in the Ljubusko Brigade and the Operative
2 Zone of South-East Herzegovina. As for the arrival of General Praljak --
3 or rather, the fact that he became head of the Main Staff, I did not feel
4 that anything special had changed, except for the fact that
5 General Praljak was a bit more energetic than General Petkovic in his
6 issuing of commands.
7 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. The third party XY
8 is being mentioned in this document. In this document we see that there
9 is procurement of ammunition, of equipment, and limited quantities.
10 General Petkovic says that this third party is a political puzzle. Now,
11 you were in the field. Did you know that sometimes there were agreements
12 with the Serb side even though it was an open conflict going on, but that
13 sometimes obviously there were agreements on a number of things, for
14 example, the passage of troops, the procurement of weapons, and so on?
15 Did you know about this?
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, as for activities with
17 the Army of Republika Srpska, I only have information about Konjic,
18 Turija, Zaslivlje and Zabrdje, that's the only problem I'm aware of.
19 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] You did not know that there
20 were some agreements with the VRS, you were not aware of this?
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I don't know about any particular
22 agreements with the VRS.
23 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. I have my answer.
24 Thank you.
25 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation]
1 Q. Mr. Jasak, do you know anything about the agreements reached
2 under the auspices of UNPROFOR and the international community in which
3 the Serb side was involved too, the VRS, Mr. Martic?
4 A. I heard about those under the auspices of the international
5 community, but my understanding of His Honour's question was that the
6 question was about Mr. Petkovic's agreement with all of the three warring
7 factions agreeing.
8 Q. 3D793 is our next document. We're still dealing with command and
9 effective control. The date here is the 7th of November, 1993. The
10 document is a list of conclusions from a meeting of military commanders.
11 Mr. Jasak, if you look at the signatures there, what can you tell us?
12 Are these HVO brigade commanders and operation zone commanders?
13 A. These are operation zone commanders, brigade commanders, and
14 other high-ranking officers.
15 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Just for the transcript,
16 earlier we saw a document, the resignation of Colonel Ante Saskor, and
17 then we -- here we see the name of Ante Saskor, he was attending this
18 meeting. It's on the transcript.
19 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I can provide a
20 perfectly simple explanation. Mr. Saskor's resignation on the 22nd of
21 December, 1993, and this meeting actually took place a month and a half
22 before. Therefore, he still occupied the same capacity at this meeting.
23 Q. Mr. Jasak, are these the highest-ranking officers of the HVO, if
24 we leave aside those at the Main Staff who either couldn't attend the
25 meeting or were not on the list?
1 A. These are the highest-ranking officers from these two recruitment
2 areas: Tomislavgrad and Mostar.
3 Q. All right. Say a conclusion is reached at a meeting like this,
4 would this conclusion be based on anything or not? Would you say that
5 these people were familiar with the situation on the ground or not?
6 A. I am looking at the list of names and these are the
7 best-qualified people in terms of judging the situation on the ground.
8 Q. Could you please look at item 6, paragraph 6, of these
9 conclusions. It says that a single line of command should be
10 established. You say you recognise the names and actually know some of
11 the people mentioned there. Would you have any reason to believe that
12 these people didn't in fact know what they were talking about?
13 A. No, no reason at all to do anything less than trust these people.
14 Q. Next document, P3314 --
15 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Witness, I'd like to ask you a
16 few follow-up questions regarding this document. We all know this
17 document. It was mentioned at several occasions. Did you know that
18 high-ranking officers had met on November 7th, 1993, and that they had
19 made seven recommendations for Mr. Boban for parliament, for the
20 government, and for the Main Staff? Were you aware of this?
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I'm looking at this and I see them
22 providing certain recommendations.
23 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I would like to know what you
24 knew at the time, on the ground, as the British say, the Americans, at
25 the time, on the ground, did you know that officers, high-ranking
1 officers had met and had drafted this document addressed to the political
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I know that there was a meeting and
4 I know that a document was written up.
5 JUDGE TRECHSEL: I'm sorry, it would be nice if you would
6 precisely answer the question. You say: I know that. The question was:
7 Did you at the time know before or latest on 7 November 1993?
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Before and on the day itself, no, I
9 did not know. But I found out within that very week that they had met.
10 I didn't know about the substance of the document itself, but I knew that
11 they were facing significant problems and that they addressed the
12 problems at this meeting.
13 JUDGE TRECHSEL: And, if I may, second question. The point
14 number 6, six words is very laconic:
15 "Establish one and only command line."
16 Can you explain -- do you understand, and if so, can you explain
17 what is meant with this?
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I couldn't know at
19 the time what precisely they had in mind.
20 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Now you stress, very correctly, at the time.
21 I'm asking you now: In hindsight, from today looking back or from an
22 earlier point in time looking back, can you explain -- can you explain
23 what this means, what the contents of this is?
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I can't say
25 specifically in relation to this sentence of what it meant. It clearly
1 shows, however, that the line of command was disrupted.
2 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Well, I would not agree to that because it does
3 not say that the command line must be re-established. It says that there
4 should be a single one and there are different explanations as to what
5 the more than single could be, but I will not insist as you have quite
6 correctly said you don't know. Thank you.
7 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Colonel, I am talking --
8 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Would the witness refrain -- would the accused
9 refrain from -- no, I'm not giving you the floor. I'm just telling you
10 that you should not make gestures and start speaking. You could
11 influence the witness and that's not correct.
12 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Colonel, please look at me --
13 THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Microphone not activated]
14 [Interpretation] I should have been asked about what was done at
15 the meeting. It's my meeting, my position, my conclusion. I spent 55
16 days sitting at that meeting. I was never asked what it meant
17 specifically, what it meant about the line of command being disrupted --
18 THE INTERPRETER: And then the interpreters couldn't understand
19 the rest.
20 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Colonel, General Praljak's
21 intervention has just demolished the question I wanted to put to you, but
22 I'll put it to you anyway. When learning of this document I'm trying to
23 place it back in the right time-line. After four years of trial, a Judge
24 as humble as may be, must be able to place a document within the right
25 time-line and the political and military time-line of the time. Here we
1 have a document dated November 7th, 1993. I know also that General
2 Praljak left his position as commander of the HVO at the time. I'm
3 trying to see whether there's a link between these two events.
4 This is a document where General Praljak is leaving his office.
5 When reading the document, we see a certain number of high-ranking
6 officers are challenging the command or actually challenging the fact
7 that there is more than one line of command and so forth and so on. And
8 the highest political authority, i.e., Mr. Boban, finding out that there
9 is a problem is going to solve the problem by replacing his Chief of
10 Staff and appointing Mr. Ante Roso at that post. Then Mr. Praljak is
11 jumping up and saying: I organised the meeting. It's his point of view.
12 It would have been better if he had just remained silent and waited for
13 my question and waited for your answer.
14 Now, you were working within VOS, and your assignment was to
15 analyse the situation relevantly if possible. Do you think that there
16 could be a connection between this meeting of high-ranking officers with
17 these nine recommendations and the departure of General Praljak from his
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I can't allow myself
20 to speculate on that, the VOS analysed the enemy. At the time this
21 document was produced, I had already been in Zagreb for two months being
22 trained --
23 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, there is a
24 misinterpretation here. The witness said that he could not speculate.
25 Therefore, this is a misinterpretation. The witness said that he cannot
1 allow myself to speculate on that and the VOS analysed the enemy, but the
2 witness might as well repeat the answer.
3 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] [Previous translation
4 continues] ... clear. You are saying that in November you had been in
5 Zagreb for two months already. Therefore, you cannot answer my question.
6 I thank you for your answer, at least it's very specific.
7 But I believe Judge Mindua has a question also.
8 JUDGE MINDUA: [Interpretation] Witness, I'm interested in the
9 form of this document. You're not one of the signatories, but I would
10 like to know the following. We have a list of commanders and officers on
11 the second page. Is this just a list of the people who attended the
12 meeting or is it a list of all people who signed the letter, the
13 signatories to the letter?
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I don't --
15 THE INTERPRETER: Could the witness please be asked to repeat.
16 The interpreter didn't understand the answer. Thank you.
17 JUDGE MINDUA: [Interpretation] Very well. Thank you.
18 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, my apologies. Again
19 the answer was not recorded.
20 Q. Mr. Jasak, could you please repeat. The interpreter says he
21 didn't understand the answer. Can you please repeat.
22 A. I do not know which of the people whose names are here actually
23 signed this. I don't know if all these people were there. I did say,
24 however, that I knew about the meeting when I was back home from
25 training. Over the weekend I would meet people and I knew at the time
1 that they had written some sort of a letter about these problems. I did
2 not, however, know what exactly the letter said.
3 JUDGE MINDUA: [Interpretation] Thank you very much. I'm struck
4 by this document. I know that you're not a legal expert, you're an
5 engineer, but in a lot of countries military law when you have multiple
6 claims there is a sanction about that and especially in the armed forces.
7 And in this document we seem to have some proof that there was some proof
8 or evidence of rebellion. So this is to be -- this seems to be a general
9 claim coming from several people. Is that how you also read this
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I would agree with you
12 that this was an act of rebellion if we were talking about a
13 well-organised system. Since the system was what it was at the time
14 across Herceg-Bosna and in the HVO, I would not qualify this as an act of
16 JUDGE MINDUA: [Interpretation] So this was an army that was
17 working on the basis of civilian organisations. They could fight if they
18 wanted to, they would be answerable to their superiors if they wanted to;
19 is that what you're trying to say here?
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, as far as the army was
21 concerned most of the names here were not qualified to become military
22 officers, which is normally the case in other countries where the rule
23 that prevails is: Carry out the order and then complain. That is why to
24 a certain degree I can understand this. These people have something that
25 was transferred from the previous system.
1 JUDGE MINDUA: [Interpretation] Thank you very much.
2 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [No interpretation]
3 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation]
4 Q. Now that you've mentioned the previous system, is that
5 self-management, is that what you're referring to?
6 A. Yes, roughly speaking.
7 Q. You were 26 at the time. Did you notice among your own soldiers
8 some elements of this self-managing mentality, such as that they felt
9 they had the right to be part of any decision-making progress or being
10 involved in everything that was going on?
11 A. I did mention something along these lines earlier on. They
12 invited me to reach an agreement when they assembled in practical terms.
13 Why should we be on our way there, why not someone else? So the only
14 solution was to meet the soldiers and explain to them why something was
15 the case; otherwise, there would have been total chaos.
16 Q. These soldiers you were talking to like that, when they were not
17 on duty what did they spend their time doing?
18 A. When they weren't on duty, they would go back to their jobs for
19 which they were qualified. Some of them were farmers, some of them
20 pursued other lines of business or activity.
21 Q. Plumbers, mechanics, that sort of thing?
22 A. Yes, all sorts of trades, depending on their professional
24 Q. Next document is P3314. I want to know about this particular
25 circumstance. There were soldiers and civilians leaving Kostajnica. The
1 report claims that the army refused to follow anyone's orders. Likewise,
2 commanders from Kostajnica had no control whatsoever over the soldiers.
3 Mr. Jasak, while you were being proofed did you get a chance to read this
4 report carefully?
5 A. Yes, indeed.
6 Q. Did you personally experience anything similar or did you perhaps
7 hear about anything similar?
8 A. I heard about situations like these happening, when positions
9 were taken by the enemy, for example, when the units were withdrawing.
10 Normally there would be no figure of authority in situations such as
11 these who would be able to exert any influence over them.
12 Q. Do you specifically remember about when certain positions fell
13 and situations in which it was impossible to control the soldiers?
14 A. I see a reference here to Kostajnica that is in the Neretva River
16 Q. What about when Jajce fell, what was the situation like?
17 A. Very much like this. When Jajce fell, this is something that my
18 friends and colleagues told me, when they arrived in Tomislavgrad, they
19 blamed everyone else. Whenever some positions were taken by the enemy,
20 the men were frustrated. Their houses had burned down, they had left
21 their homes, they had left their lives behind. These were, after all,
22 not professional soldiers. They were just ordinary men.
23 Q. 3D1099 is our next document. The Stjepan Radic Brigade head
24 addresses his own superior, the commander of the Mostar recruitment area.
25 We're talking about December 1993. You're no longer with the HVO, but
1 let's take a look at what's going on here. The brigade chief sent the
2 following report to his superior.
3 "In relation to your order dated the 5th of December, 1993, I
4 herewith report: Where do you get the nerve and courage to order
5 anything at all? If I wanted to correspond with you, I should come down
6 to a level which is intellectually and morally adequate to you. You
8 Mr. Jasak, given your knowledge and experience, could you please
9 comment on this from the perspective of communication within the chain of
10 command. Here we see an example of how a commander addressed his
11 superior, the commander of a recruitment area.
12 A. This is a clear disruption in the command and control system.
13 Having seen a letter like this, there can be no further co-operation
14 between these two. If you look at something like this, were something
15 like this to happen in a normal, organised system following the order
16 issued by a commander, it would be severely punished.
17 Q. Mr. Jasak, do you have any personal knowledge about animosities
18 between military commanders within the chain of command or perhaps just
19 in terms of co-ordinating their activities?
20 A. I have no personal knowledge about that, but it was more like
21 everyone did as they saw fit.
22 Q. All right. 4D1298. This is an SIS report from September 1993.
23 It's about the citizens and soldiers from Livno municipality. It says,
24 among other things, that they're not really that interested in
25 Bosnia-Herzegovina [as interpreted], whereas their main concern is their
1 municipality. Their horizon only stretches as far as the borders of
2 their own municipality. They have no will to fight. They are frustrated
3 that they have to send 120 of their soldiers to Uskoplje [realtime
4 transcript read in error "Skoplje"]. They do not agree with the orders
5 of the Main Staff to transfer weapons to active front lines. They also
6 go on to state that their own fire-power in terms of artillery is reduced
7 by this by about 40 per cent, that they also raise their voices against
8 mobilisation and the fact that their machinery is being taken away in
9 order to build roads. They say unless the vehicles -- unless the
10 machines are returned, they will not be able to maintain 200 kilometres
11 of mountain roads leading to the front line. Finally, they believe that
12 all artillery pieces and weapons are the property of Livno. 200
13 kilometres of mountain roads, I'll just repeat this part. All the
14 machinery and equipment belongs to Livno and cannot be transferred to
15 other fronts even by order of the GS, Main Staff. Page 93, line 3, the
16 place name is not Skopje, it's Uskoplje.
17 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Ms. Alaburic, I wonder whether an error or slip
18 of the tongue has not occurred. I read you here reading on the report on
19 page 92, line 24/25: They are not really interested in
20 Bosnia-Herzegovina. If I look at the paper I read HB in both language.
21 Would that not rather be Herceg-Bosna than Bosnia-Herzegovina?
22 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] You're quite right, Your Honour, I
23 did say "Herceg-Bosna."
24 Q. Mr. Jasak, I'm going to ask you the following now. As an
25 intelligence person you received this kind of report and you're supposed
1 to infer some conclusions. What would you think about the possibilities
2 of the Main Staff to command the brigade in Livno?
3 A. There would be a problem here, obviously, because the Main Staff
4 should issue orders through the operative zone, or rather, the military
5 district. What comes to the fore here is something that has already been
6 said. Municipal armies, or, rather, municipal brigades, it is obvious
7 that these people are not prepared to help their neighbours put out a
8 fire, as it were. They waited for their own house to be on fire, and
9 it's only then that they would start putting out the fire.
10 Q. All right. Very well. Mr. Jasak, could you please tell us the
11 following now. In 1992 you were in units for the most part, and in
12 mid-1993 in the Main Staff. As for this period do you have any knowledge
13 whatsoever about military operations or military actions that were
14 planned or carried out under the command of the Main Staff of the HVO?
15 A. As regards military operations and commands of the Main Staff, I
16 only know of an order to defend ourselves as best we could using the
17 resources we had. As for attacks, I'm only aware of one organised
18 operation in November 1992. Bura was its code-name.
19 Q. Now, let us look at 2D12 --
20 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Witness, we have looked at
21 three documents, and those documents have to do with the Stjepan Radic
22 Brigade, the Kresimir IV Brigade, and the Cikota Brigade, and this
23 happened from September to December. Those three documents show that
24 there were problems within those brigades. It seems that we could also
25 do the same thing with other brigades, as we saw with a document
1 regarding the meeting on the 7th of November. It seems that the
2 situation is rather dire within the command structure. There are
3 insults, there are cases of insubordination, there seems to be other
4 cases where political authorities are challenged or involved, and I'm
5 sure that if we looked at other documents we could have countless
6 examples. But of course you were no longer there because you were in
7 Zagreb. What I wanted it know is when you were in charge of this
8 battalion, did you feel that there was a problem within the command
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honours, when I was battalion
11 commander, discussions with company commanders as to what we should do
12 and how we should do it was the kind of thing that I considered to be
13 only natural. I couldn't know how to command otherwise. Command was:
14 Let's discuss it. Let's just go out and do something. Nothing else
15 could have worked otherwise. For you to tell someone that he had to do
16 something, I think that that would have caused a revolt and we would not
17 have attained our objective. Trying to persuade people who had spent a
18 long time at the front line and who were getting a bit of a rest to go
19 back to the front line, is something that you could have done only in
20 that way, by discussing it and by trying to reach a common view.
21 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Counsel Alaburic.
22 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation]
23 Q. Tell us, Mr. Jasak, on the basis of what we've said so far it
24 would seem that the HVO was a sort of wartime army that came into being
25 during the war; is that right?
1 A. Well, as far as the HVO is concerned, it did come into being
2 during the war. It was established out of nothing, so it can be
3 considered to be a wartime army.
4 Q. During your training in these military structures and during
5 contacts with the representatives of foreign armies, NATO, et cetera, did
6 you familiarise yourself with the amount of time needed to establish an
7 army in view of command and control and so on? How long does it take to
8 establish an army that would be called an organised army from that point
9 of view?
10 A. I did come across that, and in a system that was set up to a
11 maximum four years was a minimum; that is to say, to have a system of
12 command and control that was established as is the case in modern
14 Q. Thank you very much. That is one of the topics that is very
15 important for the establishment of the HVO, and that's why I put this
16 question to you. So we said Operation Bura, 2D1935 is the document that
17 I'd like you to look at now. It's -- it's an order for defence.
18 Operation Bura, or Tempest, and the date is -- 2D1295 is actually the
19 number. So I'd like to have that corrected. That's right.
20 I would like to hear your comments about paragraph 5 of this
21 order establishing the tasks of the Mostar Brigade. Can you tell us
22 which army this Mostar Brigade belonged to?
23 A. This brigade of Mostar belonged to the Army of
25 Q. Tell me, was Operation Tempest carried out in co-operation with
1 the members of the Army of Bosnia-Herzegovina?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. Thank you very much. Tell us, Mr. Jasak, was the HVO an
4 exclusively Croat armed force consisting of ethnic Croats only?
5 A. No. The HVO consisted -- or rather, the units of the HVO
6 consisted of Muslims -- or rather, Croats and Muslims and all others who
7 were prepared to oppose the Army of Republika Srpska.
8 Q. Were there any Muslims in your battalion?
9 A. Yes, there were and some held very high commanding positions.
10 Q. To the best of your knowledge, Mr. Jasak, did anyone prevent a
11 Muslim who wished to become a member of the HVO from doing so?
12 A. I have no such knowledge and I don't think that anything like
13 that was ever done. Everyone who wanted to fight the Army of Republika
14 Srpska was welcome.
15 Q. Tell us, HVO soldiers of Muslim ethnicity, were they
16 discriminated against on the basis of any criterion? For example, were
17 they paid less? Did they spend more time at the front or did they have
18 less rest or was there anything else?
19 A. There was absolutely no discrimination --
20 MR. SCOTT: Excuse me, Your Honour, I was hoping not to get back
21 on my feet again, I was trying very hard not to, but we've gone backwards
22 now to calling -- asking broad, speculative questions of this witness
23 with no foundation. He's now speaking for all of the HVO during this
24 entire period. I don't think he can say to the question at line 8 on
25 page 97: To the best of your knowledge, Mr. Jasak, did anyone prevent a
1 Muslim who wished to become a member of the HVO from doing so? There
2 cannot possibly be any basis for the witness to answer other than he can
3 say, to my knowledge I -- to my personal knowledge I don't know. He
4 can't go further than that. The same as to the one just now.
5 "Tell us, HVO soldiers of Muslim ethnicity, were they
6 discriminated on the basis of any criterion," for all of the HVO between
7 1991 and 1994? I don't think the witness can give that answer.
8 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Ms. Alaburic, we will have to
9 conclude because we are running out of time. When you touched upon this
10 question you had asked the witness if there were Muslims under his
11 command and he said yes. And it is from this basis that you should have
12 touched upon other issues which would have avoided Mr. Scott from
13 intervening because he may have had some knowledge when you are in charge
14 of 400 men, and we don't actually know how many of those were Muslim.
15 And as Mr. Karnavas says, you could have proceeded step by step.
16 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I was going step by
17 step, but no matter what I do there is no way of avoiding interventions
18 by my colleague Mr. Scott, because he's really not paying attention to
19 what is going on. I established that he was a commander of a military
20 unit, I established that there were Muslims in that military unit, and I
21 put the question in such a way that he should tell us about his
22 knowledge. I'm not asking him about an objective fact that prevailed in
23 a broader area. I'm asking him whether he had any personal knowledge
24 about anyone being discriminated against. He can have personal knowledge
25 as a commander, as an inhabitant of Mostar, as a person who is studying
1 in Zagreb and who is in contact with other persons. He can have a
2 million sources of information. I think that my question was perfectly
3 proper and that the colleague [as interpreted] by Mr. Scott was totally
4 unfounded, and had he been following things closely he would not have
6 Your Honour, is it time for us to call it a day or shall I put
7 some more questions?
8 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] No, I think we are going to end
9 here today because it's almost 7.00. You have used an hour and 31
10 minutes. You have four hours and 29 minutes left.
11 Witness, you will come back tomorrow for a hearing that will
12 start at 1415. However, be warned, on Wednesday we will have our hearing
13 at 9.00 in the morning and on Thursday it will be again at 1415. So I
14 hope that you have taken note of this. Tomorrow it's at 1415, Wednesday
15 it's at 9.00, and Thursday it's at 1415. And until then, of course,
16 please have no contact with anyone apart from your family.
17 Counsel Alaburic.
18 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, just something for
19 the transcript. My mistake. I did not announce it on time. The
20 document that we used, P3314 is a protected document. So could we please
21 bear that in mind in our further proceedings. Thank you.
22 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. Registrar, document
23 P3314 is under seal.
24 I wish everyone a good evening.
25 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 6.59 p.m.
1 to be reconvened on Tuesday, the 19th day of
2 January, 2010, at 2.15 p.m.