1 Tuesday, 19 January 2010
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 [The witness takes the stand]
5 --- Upon commencing at 2.16 p.m.
6 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Registrar, could you please
7 call the case.
8 THE REGISTRAR: Good afternoon, Your Honours. Good afternoon,
9 everyone in and around the courtroom.
10 This is case number IT-04-74-T, the Prosecutor versus Prlic et
11 al. Thank you, Your Honours.
12 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you, Registrar.
13 This is Tuesday, January 19, 2010, and I welcome our witness,
14 first and foremost, then the accused, the counsel for Defence, and all
15 members of the OTP in the courtroom, as well as everyone helping us.
16 The Registrar has three IC numbers for us, I believe.
17 THE REGISTRAR: Thank you, Your Honour.
18 Some parties have submitted lists of documents to be tendered
19 through Witness Vinko Maric. The list submitted by 4D shall be given
20 Exhibit IC01157. The list submitted by the OTP has already been given
21 Exhibit IC01158, and 4D and 2D have also submitted their objections to
22 the Prosecution's list of documents tendered via Witness Vinko Maric.
23 This list shall be given Exhibit IC01159 and 1160 respectively. The
24 Prosecution has also submitted its objections to the lists of documents
25 tendered by the Petkovic Defence team via Witness Vinko Maric. This list
1 shall be given Exhibit IC01161. Thank you, Your Honours.
2 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you, Registrar.
3 Let me now give the floor to Ms. Alaburic for the rest of her
5 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Thank you very much, Your Honour.
6 WITNESS: RADMILO JASAK [Resumed]
7 [The witness answered through interpreter]
8 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Good afternoon to everyone in the
9 courtroom. A very good afternoon to you, Mr. Jasak.
10 Just to remind everyone, we started discussing Muslims as
11 soldiers of the HVO yesterday. We said that there were Muslim soldiers
12 in the units, that they were free to become members of the HVO, and there
13 was no discrimination against them. I'll take it from there now.
14 Examination by Ms. Alaburic: [Continued]
15 Q. Mr. Jasak, when the first serious clashes broke out between the
16 HVO and the BH Army, do you know what combat assignments Muslim soldiers
17 of the HVO were primarily given?
18 A. Yes. The primary assignment was to defend from the VRS. They
19 were deployed along the lines facing the VRS.
20 Q. How do you know that, given the fact that at the time you were
21 already with the VOS of the Main Staff?
22 A. I know because my former colleagues, whenever we met somewhere
23 about town, having coffee together, or back at the Main Staff, would talk
24 to me about it.
25 Q. At one point in 1993, did the Muslim soldiers of the HVO start
1 leaving the HVO in considerable numbers?
2 A. Yes, that's right. That was after the 9th of May.
3 Q. How did the HVO treat the Muslim soldiers who remained in the HVO
4 after that?
5 A. The treatment that the Muslim soldiers in the HVO received after
6 that was the same as everyone else. There was a great deal of
7 appreciation for their decision to remain and to stick it out with their
8 fellow fighters with whom they had been fighting the VRS from Day 1.
9 Q. Let us now look at a number of documents now covering these
10 topics. The first one up is P1083 -- P10180 [as interpreted] -- 180.
11 Mr. Jasak, have you ever heard of this decision or, indeed, seen
13 A. Yes, I heard of it, and I saw it too.
14 Q. I want to know about paragraph 3 of this decision. The first
15 section states that the HVO is made up by members of the Muslim and Croat
16 peoples and other ethnicities, recognising the legal authorities of the
17 Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina and pledging allegiance to them. If
18 we look at this definition of multi-ethnicity as it applied to the HVO,
19 would you say that that was the actual reality?
20 A. Yes, if you look at this definition, you could say that that was
21 how it worked out in practice too.
22 Q. If we move down to the next paragraph, it says that the Muslims
23 were free to set up their own armed units, which would then be placed
24 under the single command of the HVO, specifically the Mostar Municipal
25 Staff. My first question: Did the Muslims in Mostar, in fact, set up
1 their own units or forces?
2 A. Yes, they did. They set up an independent battalion in Mostar.
3 Q. How did that battalion evolve?
4 A. It grew and eventually ended up as a brigade, and the brigade was
5 then transformed into the 4th Corps.
6 Q. Are we talking about the BH Army?
7 A. Yes, that's right, we're talking about the BH Army, the 4th Corps
8 of the BH Army.
9 Q. Mr. Jasak, this battalion that later became a brigade, was it
10 really under the single command of the Mostar HVO?
11 A. Yes, it was. The battalion, which later became a brigade, were
12 under the single command of the Mostar HVO.
13 Q. Did you hear about the HVO being subordinated, in an operative
14 sense, to the BH Army Command in any local area across
16 A. I heard that this was, in fact, the case in Sarajevo, Tuzla
17 I believe, Zenica.
18 Q. Let's move on to the next document, 4D75. This is a letter
19 written by the chief of the Main Staff, Milivoj Petkovic, and dispatched
20 to Sefer Halilovic in February 1993. Mr. Jasak, I will read back to you
21 a sentence from this document and ask you to please comment on it in your
22 capacity as a former employee of the Main Staff at a time when
23 Milivoj Petkovic was, in fact, chief of the Main Staff.
24 So what we see happening here is Milivoj Petkovic telling his
25 colleague, his counterpart in the BH Army, as follows, and I quote:
1 "I was looking forward to every new fighter, be it a Croat or a
2 Muslim, since I know that they shared an objective. The HVO has never
3 changed its attitude towards the BH Army or its position regarding the
4 BH Army. We are fully aware that neither the BH Army nor the HVO, as
5 they are right now, can ever ultimately defeat the Chetniks."
6 Mr. Jasak, what exactly would you say? What we see here in
7 writing, was that a truthfully-expressed position by Milivoj Petkovic or
8 was he actually trying to sell some lies to his counterpart in the
9 BH Army, his colleague in the BH Army?
10 A. He meant this truthfully. There was a long front-line facing the
11 VRS or, rather, in the area that was liberated following fighting against
12 the VRS. We needed men to actually man that line, and each new fighter
13 was a welcome addition.
14 Q. Did General Petkovic see the Muslim soldiers in the HVO as a
15 factor of stability or as an element disrupting the stability of the HVO?
16 MR. SCOTT: Excuse me, Your Honour.
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] General Petkovic --
18 MR. SCOTT: I guess it didn't take too long. I raise the same
19 question, the issues I raised yesterday as to foundation. What is the
20 foundation of this evidence? Did this witness talk to Mr. Petkovic, did
21 they talk? Did they go to church together and go to confession together
22 and say, I really, really believe this to be true? I mean, what's the
23 basis for expressing opinions about Mr. Petkovic's beliefs and feelings?
24 There's no evidence in the record so far that provides any basis for
25 this. Any witness can be asked this, essentially, which means that
1 there's no basis for it.
2 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Ms. Alaburic, in order to
3 prevent these kind of objections, which are a waste of time, as far as
4 I'm concerned - I have more important things to do than listen to
5 objections - please try to be more professional in the way you put your
6 questions. You could have asked your witness, Did you meet Mr. Petkovic?
7 Answer, Yes, No. If he says, Yes, go on. You can ask further ask him
8 whether he talked with him. Answer, Yes. Then you can press on and say,
9 Did you think the man had any qualities? And he says, Yes, and you can
10 continue, and then the Prosecutor will not have to be on his feet and
11 raise objections.
12 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I believe that the
13 objection by Mr. Scott was entirely unfounded. He was listening -- or,
14 rather, had he been listening closely to my question, he would not have
15 objected at all.
16 In terms of your instructions to me to be professional, which
17 would then probably mean that I'm being unprofessional, is just as
18 unfounded. I think that sort of caution should have been addressed to
19 Mr. Scott and not to me.
20 If you look at the very beginning of my question about this, I
21 said that I was asking Mr. Jasak this as a person who worked with
22 General Petkovic back at the Main Staff. We have all seen his CV. We
23 know that they spent time working together at the Main Staff; about eight
24 months, in fact. I simply do not believe that I have to repeat that
25 every single time I --
1 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Ms. Alaburic, you might know
2 it, but the Prosecutor does not know it, obviously, and that is why he is
3 raising to his feet. That's where the problem lies. Things are obvious
4 for you, maybe, but you have four seconds to ask him to confirm what you
5 know. You've worked with General Petkovic? Yes. And then you can go
6 on. I'm not here to say he's wrong, he's right, or you're right, he's
7 wrong. Absolutely not. We could do that, of course, but it will not
8 be -- it's not what I'm going to have to decide on as far as the
9 judgement is concerned. I'm going to have to decide on the individual
10 liability of your client and not on Mr. Scott's objection. Sometimes
11 they're justified, it's true, but sometimes I believe that it's just a
12 waste of time. Maybe my colleagues don't feel like I do, but I do.
13 I'm not saying you're not a professional, of course not, but I
14 would rather that make sure that you prevent these kind of problems by
15 putting your question in a different way. Establish a link between the
16 witness and General Petkovic, and then when the connection is
17 established, just further on, just press on, and we have no objection.
18 Mr. Scott.
19 JUDGE PRANDLER: Sorry. Excuse me.
20 I would like only to make a correction which is in this context,
21 rather important, that in line 12 it is now written that when you spoke
22 to Ms. Alaburic, that, I am not saying you are a professional, of course
23 not. I believe that you wanted to say that, I am not saying that you are
24 not a professional. But, therefore, I believe that it is a quite
25 important difference, so this line should be corrected accordingly.
1 Thank you.
2 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Scott.
3 MR. SCOTT: Your Honours, it's --
4 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone for Mr. Scott, please.
5 MR. SCOTT: My apologies.
6 Mr. President, Your Honours, I certainly don't -- it's certainly
7 not my intention to try the Chamber's patience, and I wouldn't be on my
8 feet unless I felt -- at least I felt professionally and in good faith
9 that there was an objection that needed to be raised.
10 To pick up on what you said, Mr. President, I don't think it's
11 only what I don't know, and with the greatest respect, I don't think the
12 Chamber can know, either, because of the basis of what's in the record so
14 My colleagues and I last night, you know, read yesterday's
15 testimony from top to bottom as to what this witness has told us so far
16 since beginning his testimony yesterday about what he was doing at these
17 various times, and, frankly, we know almost nothing. And Judge Trechsel
18 at one point yesterday began to pick up on it. The witness went off on a
19 bit of a tangent, gave, well, at best a partial answer, and then it went
20 on from there.
21 All we know is this man says he was in VOS, having something to
22 do with the Main Staff, based somewhere in Mostar, between the period
23 October 1992 and June 1993. In July and August 1993, he took on some
24 other undefined responsibilities in Sector North, and in August of 1993
25 went to Zagreb
1 Now, I submit to Your Honours, unless I'm mistaken, which is
2 always possible - I'm a human being, I am fallible - but my colleagues
3 and I reviewed the testimony last night and that's all we know about this
4 man. We don't know if he was sitting in a basement in Mostar with
5 headsets on, listening to intercept communications. We don't know if he
6 was Mr. Petkovic's aide-de-camp sitting at his elbow every day. We don't
7 know if they ever talked during the war.
8 To say that he worked for the Main Staff, a lot of people worked
9 for the Main Staff in one respect or another, but may have never had a
10 single conversation with Mr. Petkovic, may have never seen Mr. Petkovic.
11 Now, that may be unlikely, but we don't know. And I think after at least
12 one full day's testimony, with the greatest submission, and the reason
13 I'm on my feet, is that there's still been no foundation by which we can
14 judge the evidence of this witness.
15 What is the point of spending two weeks listening to this witness
16 if at the last -- two weeks from now we find out, Well, you know, I was
17 sitting in my cubicle in the basement in West Mostar for three or four
18 months writing reports, I never saw Mr. Petkovic, I was never out, I was
19 never in Stolac, I was never here, I was never there. We don't know. It
20 would be very simple, with the greatest respect to my colleague, who I
21 have the great respect and affection for, it would be easy for her to
22 tell us that.
23 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, Your Honours, may I?
24 May I say the following, please?
25 I think we cannot do this with each and every witness who enters
1 the courtroom, start with pre-history and then produce evidence to every
2 single fact. We do believe that a number of facts have been sufficiently
3 established so far. We are simply pressing on with our case.
4 As for the cubicle in the basement and the unidentified location
5 at which Mr. Jasak was working in Mostar, I do wish to draw your
6 attention to one thing, and that is the evidence in this case, as
7 follows: The ground plan of the building in Mostar where the Main Staff
8 was actually based up until July 1993, room number 2 on that ground plan
9 is clearly marked -- no, no, no, no, Your Honour, no. I am responding to
10 Mr. Scott's objection.
11 What I'm trying to say is this: Back then, we defined the exact
12 location of the VOS. I can't be expected to go through this time and
13 again with every single witness. I have the right to assume that
14 Mr. Scott is familiar with the evidence as admitted. I'm at liberty to
15 assume that Mr. Scott knows the exact location of the VOS. If he doesn't
16 know that, if he's suspicious about anything at all, he will get a chance
17 during his cross-examination to check this with the witness.
18 There is one thing I'd like to check. I did establish a link
19 with his ground plan, EC1146. I specifically asked the witness whether
20 he had a chance to see it, to look at the ground plan. I asked him about
21 the surface covered by this building. I asked him whether this was the
22 building in which he, too, was working at the time, all of which he
23 confirmed. I am pressing on. I am continuing with this story, assuming
24 everyone now knows that the witness and his boss were sitting in that
25 particular room of the Main Staff.
1 Please, if I may be allowed to finish, Your Honours. I'm just
2 trying to remind everyone that my question about this topic was on
3 page 4, lines 22, 23, as follows: The witness, as an official of the
4 Main Staff at the time that Milivoj Petkovic was there, should answer
5 these questions, given his knowledge of General Petkovic, his
6 acquaintance with General Petkovic. If this witness comes across
7 something that he simply doesn't know, he will specify that.
8 If Mr. Scott has any specific questions, he always has the
9 cross-examination to try it out. Everything that Mr. Scott has been
10 raising should have been raised on cross-examination and not now.
11 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Ms. Alaburic, you've talked at
12 length, but you didn't say anything. Your case is the following: You're
13 saying that you started from the ground plan that establishes where VOS
14 was located, and then, I have my link, my connection. But it's not
15 enough, and this is why Mr. Scott is right, because this person maybe was
16 just, you know, cleaning the premises in the VOS or he was maybe just
17 rank and file, and he was there, you know, placing the tapes so people
18 could do the wire-tapping. I know he worked at the VOS, but what exactly
19 was his job. This is what we need to know.
20 This is what Mr. Scott asking you to find out, and you could have
21 the answer in just two minutes. Just ask him: Did you supervise anyone,
22 were you an officer? Answer, Yes. Did you meet Mr. Petkovic? Answer,
23 Yes. Did you talk to Mr. Petkovic? Answer, Yes. And then you have your
24 connection and your foundation, and then you could press on, because
25 Mr. Scott is telling us, rightly so, that he has no idea who this man --
1 what this man was doing. It's a question that he has, and everyone could
2 have the same question in mind. But it only takes a few questions to get
3 the answer, and you don't have to use the document of the ground plan,
4 this ground plan, because that's not sufficient as far as I'm concerned.
5 He could have been just, you know, the cleaning person in that building.
6 We need to know exactly what his job was.
7 Put a few questions and solve the problem and find the
8 connection, and that way we will prevent objections. That's the way to
9 do the job.
10 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I would like to
11 remind you that we covered this witness's CV. It was stated, with
12 perfect clarity, that the witness first worked as a battalion commander
13 and then came to the VOS at the Main Staff. He was an analyst, and he
14 was in charge of the Eastern Herzegovina Operation Zone. Therefore,
15 there is no doubt as to whether he was a cleaner at the building or not.
16 His position is perfectly clear. The answers were addressed regarding
17 certain documents. I went through that time and again, and I simply fail
18 to understand how there could be anyone in this courtroom who still
19 doesn't get it.
20 As for the ground plan in the building and mentioning that,
21 Your Honour, Judge Antonetti, I would like to say the following: That
22 was my response to Mr. Scott's objection, when he said that the witness
23 may as well have been working in a cubicle somewhere in the basement. I
24 have to say that I find an objection or remark like that as entirely
25 unfounded and perhaps not sufficiently serious.
1 I regret that you fail to protect me this time around, as the
2 Prosecutor is normally protected from any objections raised by one of the
3 Defence teams. I do believe that we now can press --
4 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Ms. Alaburic, I'm protecting no
5 one. I'm not here to protect anyone, the Prosecutor or anyone. All I
6 want is the job to be done professionally so that there are no
7 objections, because what's interesting for myself, as a Judge, and for
8 the entire Bench, I believe, is to take a look at the documents and see
9 what is written in the documents. That's the important thing. And if he
10 knows what's in the document, we need to know why it is that he knows
11 what is in this document. Did he see documents written by Mr. Petkovic
12 at the time? Did he see any political analysis drafted by Mr. Petkovic
13 at the time? That is what we are interested in, that's all.
14 Now, you can use your time as you want, and if Mr. Scott raises
15 to his feet, fine, he will.
16 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, Your Honour, I
17 believe that my learned friend Mr. Scott has every right to object, which
18 doesn't solely mean that each and every objection he raises is well
19 founded. I don't know what his objection will be about. He decided to
20 do that, and that's why he is in this courtroom. After so many months, I
21 have no idea why, just to be perfectly open and sincere about that.
22 As far as any further examination that I may or may not have on
23 this document, you haven't given me a chance to ask my questions. I
24 started to ask my first question about that, and then Mr. Scott objected,
25 and then now we spend the rest of the time talking about that. Had you
1 allowed meet to begin with to complete my examination based on that
2 particular document and had there been anything relevant that remained to
3 be clarified, I would have been entirely in agreement with this
4 statement. Nevertheless, I was never given a chance to start examining
5 the witness on this document, and I realise now that my learned friend
6 Mr. Karnavas has something to say.
7 MR. KARNAVAS: If I may be of some assistance in this instance.
8 I think perhaps some foundation was laid, but not the entire
9 foundation which would be satisfying Mr. Scott. I think what needs to be
10 done is for the next 10 or 15 minutes, go back a little bit and then ask
11 certain details that would then allow the linkage that you are saying --
12 that you are suggesting, Judge Antonetti. I think Mr. Scott would be
13 satisfied with that. I think that's what's missing here. So rather than
14 spending the next 15 or 20 minutes discussing this, I think a series of 5
15 or 10 questions, as far as the detailing of exactly the gentleman's work,
16 what exactly he did, when, where, how, and with whom, that might be of
17 assistance and then we can move on, and I'm sure that Mr. Scott would not
18 be objecting, because these are fundamental issues to the foundation
19 which, in all due fairness to him, he's entitled to make these sort of
20 objections, although under all the circumstances, you know, they may not
21 be warranted.
22 So, in any event, I just want to make sure that we can go
23 forward, because we're just wasting time, and some of us are sitting here
24 just wondering where are we going with this.
25 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation]
1 Q. Mr. Jasak, what exactly were you doing during your time with the
3 A. I was an adviser to the chief of the Military Intelligence
4 Service, the VOS, at the HVO Main Staff. My work was normally assigned
5 to me by the chief of service. I analysed the situation in South-Eastern
7 Q. I'm spending my time asking you about these questions. What
8 exactly do you mean when you say that you were into analysis work, that
9 you worked as an analyst?
10 A. What that means is that any reports coming from the field that
11 had to do with this area that I specified were analysed by me. I would
12 then draw up a section of the report that was later dispatched by the
13 Military Intelligence Service to the recipients that I mentioned before;
14 chief of the Defence Department, chief of the Main Staff, president of
15 the Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna, and possibly other addressees as
16 well whenever necessary.
17 Q. Based on these reports from the ground, would you envisage what
18 the BH Army might do next?
19 A. Yes, that's right.
20 Q. Tell us, were you able, based on certain information you
21 received, to gain an overview of an event and to predict further
23 A. Yes, I was.
24 Q. Tell us, were the reports made by you and your service the basis
25 on which the commander of the Main Staff made decisions?
1 A. Yes, of course they were.
2 Q. Based on your reports, did the chief and later the command of the
3 Main Staff draw up his reports, for example, on work or on a current
5 A. Yes, that is the part relating to enemy activities.
6 Q. Did you know General Petkovic personally?
7 A. Yes, I did know General Petkovic from the time before I joined
8 the Main Staff. Since early October to mid-July, I collaborated with
9 General Petkovic in the Main Staff. We worked together.
10 Q. Were you able to form an opinion as to what sort of man he was,
11 what his priorities were, what he wanted to happen in Bosnia-Herzegovina?
12 A. General Petkovic's priority was to defend the area from the Army
13 of Republika Srpska.
14 Q. I didn't ask you that, but I asked you whether you were able to
15 get to know him as a man and as an officer.
16 A. Absolutely, yes. When you are working together in such a small
17 area, such a small space, and the entire Main Staff numbered some 15
18 people, of course we all knew each other well.
19 Q. Is that the source of your knowledge about General Petkovic, on
20 the basis of which you responded to the question about the document we
21 just saw?
22 A. Yes, the basis was my personal contacts with General Petkovic.
23 Q. Mr. Jasak, let's look at the next document, 2D150. This is a
24 document issued by the Personnel Department of the Defence Department.
25 The date is June 1993. That's very important. Let's look at the summary
1 information about the national breakdown of members of the HVO.
2 At that time, according to this document, there were
3 16.19 per cent Muslims in the HVO. In the 1st Brigade, there were
4 35 per cent Muslims, in the 2nd Brigade 20, in the 3rd Brigade 13.6. In
5 view of the fact that this was an operative zone you were in charge of in
6 the VOS, telling us, according to your information, is this information
7 here correct?
8 A. Yes, this information is correct.
9 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Excuse me, Ms. Alaburic.
10 Witness, I would like to insist again on foundation, because your
11 task was to gather information about the enemy, not about the HVO, was
12 it? Did you have a double function? Did you also gather information
13 about what went on within the HVO, what the mood was, what the relation
14 between Muslims and Croats within the HVO was, and so forth?
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, the information listed
16 here for the 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and 4th Brigade of the South-East Herzegovina
17 Operative Zone was common knowledge. You can see here that this document
18 was dated the 9th of June. In the 3rd Brigade, for example, it says "201
19 men." Before that, there were many more men. But after the 9th of May,
20 two battalions left this brigade.
21 JUDGE TRECHSEL: You say this is common knowledge. Here, we have
22 very detailed figures with two figures after the comma in percentage.
23 Can I take your answer as meaning that you roughly know this, as common
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I can't be precise up to two
1 decimal points, but more or less those were the figures.
2 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Thank you.
3 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, my next question
4 would have been, How do you know this? But the witness has just said
6 Q. You said that the number of Muslims in the 3rd Brigade was much
7 larger before the 9th of May. What can you tell us about the 2nd
9 A. This number is correct. A smaller number left the 2nd Brigade
10 than the number that left the 3rd Brigade, so that most of the Muslims in
11 the 2nd Brigade stayed there.
12 Q. Mr. Jasak, did the VOS and the SIS co-operate?
13 A. As for the co-operation between the VOS and the SIS, all I know
14 is that the chiefs collaborated at their level. But I, myself, did not
15 collaborate with anyone at mine.
16 Q. I was asking you about the institutional level. Did VOS
17 co-operate with the Department of the Interior and the civilian Secret
19 A. At the highest levels, all the security and intelligence services
20 co-operated and exchanged information.
21 Q. When you say that they exchanged information, does that mean that
22 you, in the VOS, had information which you did not receive directly from
23 the ground, but you received them from other security and intelligence
25 A. Exchange of information means that if one service finds out
1 something belonging to the purview of another, that information should be
2 forwarded to that service. So we would get that sort of information from
3 the other services.
4 Q. His Honour Judge Trechsel asked you if you, in the VOS, dealt
5 with the enemy. How did it come about that you had information
6 concerning internal matters within the HVO? You said that these things
7 were common knowledge, but my question now is: Did VOS have official
8 information about this coming from other institutions in Herceg-Bosna?
9 A. Yes, that was possible.
10 JUDGE TRECHSEL: I find that not quite precise. You say "it was
11 possible." Are you saying that VOS had knowledge of this list here or do
12 you just say it may be that it had knowledge of this list?
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I said "maybe," but --
14 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Thank you. That's all I wanted to be sure
16 And the second point. You have talked about the exchange of
17 information, and you have said that one service, let's say SIS, would
18 inform another service, let's say VOS, if it gained information that was
19 important for VOS. Now, this is an internal matter -- information, so
20 according to what you have told us just now, this is not something that
21 SIS would share with VOS because it was not something that entered the
22 realm of activity of VOS? Have I understood this correctly?
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] This is not a SIS document,
24 Your Honour.
25 JUDGE TRECHSEL: That is -- I wasn't actually saying that. But
1 it could be, could it not? Let's say, SIS would, for instance, say that
2 in the 108th Brigade there are tensions between Muslims and Croats. That
3 is an information they would not forward to VOS, if I have understood you
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I don't know what SIS
6 would do in a situation of that sort.
7 JUDGE TRECHSEL: I leave it at that.
8 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation]
9 Q. Mr. Jasak, if a certain number of soldiers of Muslim ethnicity
10 left the HVO and joined the Army of Bosnia-Herzegovina, does the fact of
11 strengthening the Army of Bosnia-Herzegovina have any meaning for you in
13 A. Absolutely, yes.
14 Q. The fact of transferring to the Army of Bosnia-Herzegovina, does
15 this information become relevant as information on a possibly hostile
17 A. The information becomes relevant.
18 Q. In the Main Staff, was there ever a meeting which you attended or
19 which was attended by your chief and then he passed the information on to
20 you? Was there ever any discussion at any such meeting about the
21 departure of large numbers of Muslims from the HVO?
22 A. Well, at the level of our service, there was talk about the large
23 numbers of Muslims going over to the Army of Bosnia-Herzegovina.
24 Q. I will now show you two witness statements, and I will ask you to
25 comment on them.
3 (redacted). To the best of your
4 knowledge, Stolac is the area of the 1st Brigade. Was there really a
5 significant percentage of Muslim soldiers in that brigade?
6 A. Yes, there certainly was a significant number of Muslim soldiers
8 Q. Another witness, CJ, said that he didn't know of a single example
9 of discrimination against Muslims in the HVO in April or May 1993.
10 That's on page 10952. Tell us, Mr. Jasak, if you know whether, according
11 to your knowledge, there were any examples of discrimination against
12 Muslims in the HVO in the operative zone you analysed.
13 A. I had no such information or, rather, no information indicating
14 that there was any sort of discrimination.
15 Q. Let's look at some documents now. 4D16 --
16 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Witness, let's stay with this
17 document. I know that your field of specialty at the time was to conduct
18 analysis from documents about the BiH, and hence the question by my
19 colleague as to whether you knew anything about the JV [as interpreted].
20 I have the same question. I have a Congolese Judge, a Swiss Judge, and a
21 fourth Judge, and I know how the other Chambers are made of. For that
22 reason, from the document which I have here, there's one thing which I
23 find surprising, and maybe you can help me here.
24 Look at 36, the battalion of -- Convicts Battalion. That's at
25 the very end of the document. Had you heard about the
1 Convicts Battalion? I'm going to try and lay the foundation.
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I have heard about the
3 Convicts Battalion.
4 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] So you are aware of that, so
5 there will be no objections about that. Okay. So this document states
6 there are 280 of them: Croats, 164; Muslims, 116, almost 41.42 per cent.
7 I'm just finding out that the Convicts Battalion that we talk a lot about
8 here in this trial is almost, for half of it, made up of Muslims. Some
9 state that the Convicts Battalion was directly connected to Mate Boban in
10 a specific chain of command. If this assumption is true -- I don't know
11 about that, we'll see about that at the end of the trial, but if it is
12 true, that would mean that Mate Boban had at his disposal a striking
13 power made up of 50 per cent of Muslims, a striking power that he would
14 have used in military operations against Muslims, particularly in
15 Sovici-Doljani. So according to you, from a military standpoint, how do
16 you analyse that?
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, this question is a
18 little bit too broad. As for the percentage here, I did not have any
19 direct contact with that unit. I did have direct contact with the units
20 in the South-East Herzegovina Operative Zone. I knew some commanders who
21 had been in the Convicts Battalion; for example, Zijo Orucevic , who
22 later went over to the Army of Bosnia-Herzegovina. I knew there were
23 Muslims, but I am now speaking about the men I knew who were in units in
24 the South-East Herzegovina Operative Zone.
25 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] It is dated 9th of June. It
1 comes from the Department of Defence, Office of the Human Resource
2 Administration. 6th of June. No, sorry, 9th of June, sorry about that.
3 So before the 30th of June, so before Muslims started leaving the HVO.
4 As far as you know -- and if you don't know, tell us so. As far
5 as you know, after the 30th of June, did Muslims leave the
6 Convicts Battalion in order to join the BiH Army?
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I don't know how many
8 Muslims from the Convicts Battalion went over to the Army of
9 Bosnia-Herzegovina, but here number 36 on page 1 -- well, it doesn't say
10 that, it doesn't contain the information for this unit, so I don't know
11 what the situation was.
12 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] All right. So you don't know
13 exactly what the situation was. Thank you very much. You've answered my
15 You may proceed.
16 JUDGE TRECHSEL: I would like to stay another moment with this
17 table. It lists also high-level units, perhaps within quotes: The
18 Department of Defence, 3.6 per cent; Main Staff, 1.5 per cent;
19 Posavina Command, 15; JIH Command, 8.88; Command of Central Bosnia, 1.12;
20 Command of the Operation Zone SZH, 0.00.
21 Now, you have affirmed that there was no discrimination against
22 Muslims. It is -- however, it appears that in the higher units, Muslims
23 are in very small number, much smaller than on the top level. Wouldn't
24 that sort of suggest that perhaps in the area of promotions and calling
25 for higher command, Croats are clearly preferred in comparison to
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, to the best of my
3 knowledge, I have no knowledge of any kind of discrimination. Promotions
4 depended on ability shown on the ground.
5 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Thank you.
6 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Prosecutor, you were
7 standing up.
8 MR. KRUGER: Good afternoon, Mr. President, Your Honours.
9 I just want to make a point for the record, Your Honour.
10 On transcript page 20, from line 17, there was a reference to a
11 pseudonym witness. It's the first pseudonym witness that was referred
12 to, and in the transcript reference, and I just need to point out that
13 these pages were in private session, Your Honour, with this testimony, so
14 that may require redaction.
15 Thank you, Your Honour.
16 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Registrar, could you please
17 look into it with the Legal Officer.
18 You may proceed, Ms. Alaburic.
19 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation]
20 Q. Mr. Jasak, let's look at 4D1633. As we can see, this is issued
21 by the commander of the 2nd Brigade on the 16th of July, 1993, and it's
22 his approval for the de-mobilisation of a soldier. Judging by his name,
23 this was a Muslim, and he was being de-mobilised at his own request. It
24 says that he returned the equipment he had been issued with and his
25 military identity card and weapons.
1 Did you know anything about the procedure for demobilisation,
3 A. Yes, I did.
4 Q. Does this document show in what way a soldier was de-mobilised on
5 personal request?
6 A. Regardless of the name of the soldier, this document shows the
7 procedure whereby any soldier of the HVO might be demobilised.
8 Q. The brigade in question here is the 2nd Brigade, Mr. Jasak. Did
9 you know that a certain number of soldiers of Muslim ethnicity left the
10 2nd Brigade and asked to be demobilised?
11 A. I did know there were such requests after the 9th of May.
12 Q. The next document is 4D1223. It was issued by the commander of
13 the 2nd Brigade of the HVO. It's dated the 18th of June, 1993. It's a
14 proposal for demobilisation of 25 soldiers. Judging by their names, they
15 were Muslims. And the reason is: Failure to turn up in their unit from
16 the 9th of May, 1993.
17 Mr. Jasak, did know that some soldiers of Muslim ethnicity simply
18 failed to show up in their units after the 9th of May?
19 A. Yes, I did know of that. Such soldiers were then demobilised, so
20 they were no longer members of those units.
21 Q. From this document, it follows that the brigade commander
22 submitted the proposal for demobilisation. Was this the rule?
23 A. The rule was that commanders of battalions should submit their
24 proposals to the brigade commander, and the brigade commander would
25 forward these to the South-East Herzegovina Operative Zone.
1 Q. Let's look at the next document, 4D1224. Again, it's issued by
2 the commander of the 2nd Brigade, and he's proposing the demobilisation
3 of 41 soldiers because they had not turned up in their units from the 9th
4 of May, 1993, onwards. So does this show the same situation we've just
5 been talking about?
6 A. Yes, this document confirms what we just said. This is another
7 battalion of the same brigade.
8 Q. You told us that the brigade commander forwarded the proposals to
9 the command of the operative zone. Judging by the stamp here, to whom
10 was this proposal sent?
11 A. It says that this was received in the Operations Zone of
12 South-East Herzegovina on the 18th of June, 1993, on the same day it was
14 Q. So it was forwarded in the manner you described?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. The next document is 4D1639. And this is consent from the
17 commander of the 2nd Brigade for the demobilisation of soldiers, at their
18 personal request. Judging by the name of the soldier, he was a Muslim.
19 The consent was issued on the 22nd of June, 1993. Mr. Jasak, did you
20 know that in June, in the Operations Zone of South-East Herzegovina,
21 Muslim soldiers were leaving their units following the proper procedure
22 and being demobilised?
23 A. Yes, I did have such information.
24 Q. From the stamp showing receipt of the documents, it follows that
25 this was forwarded to the Operations Zone of South-East Herzegovina. Is
1 that the proper procedure, to the best of your knowledge?
2 A. Yes, yes, that was precisely the proper procedure.
3 Q. Another document about this, 4D1634, the 2nd Brigade commander's
4 consent to demobilise for personal reasons. Judging by the name, this
5 soldier was an ethnic Muslim. Tell us, please, who this consent was
6 addressed to.
7 A. This consent by the brigade commander was sent to the Eastern
8 Herzegovina Operations Zone.
9 Q. If we look at the left-hand bottom side of the document, who this
10 was addressed to, the section for structure and personnel, was this the
11 section that was then supposed to complete the demobilisation procedure?
12 A. Yes, it was down to them, and they were supposed to work with the
13 defence office on this.
14 Q. Mr. Jasak, when you were with the HVO, which country did you
15 believe you were defending?
16 A. As a soldier of the HVO, I believed I was defending Bosnia
18 Q. Did you believe yourself to be a member of the armed forces of
19 Bosnia-Herzegovina as a country, as a state?
20 A. Most certainly.
21 Q. P274 is our next document. This is a decision by the Presidency
22 of Bosnia-Herzegovina to declare a state of war. Mr. Jasak, did you have
23 any information indicating that the BH Presidency had declared a state of
24 war in Bosnia-Herzegovina?
25 A. Yes, I knew that.
1 Q. Let us have a look together at how they define the aggressor.
2 Based on paragraph 1 of this decision, who appears to be the aggressor,
3 or the enemy, if you like?
4 A. An act of aggression was carried out by the Republic of
5 Serbia-Montenegro, the Yugoslav Army, and the terrorist of the Serbian
6 Democratic Party.
7 Q. Can you look at the second-to-last bullet, please, saying that
8 the aggressor has occupied over 70 per cent of the territory of the state
9 of Bosnia-Herzegovina, and the aggressor is refusing to halt their
10 aggression. I want to know about how this 70 per cent breaks down.
11 Mr. Jasak, if the aggressor, indeed, occupied 70 per cent of the
12 territory, how much of the BH territory remained free?
13 A. 30 per cent.
14 Q. This decision was issued on the 20th of June, 1992. At the time,
15 was part of the BH territory under the control of the HVO Army?
16 A. Yes, that's right, a considerable portion of the free territory
17 was HVO controlled. We are looking at 30 per cent free territory. The
18 HVO was holding about 70 per cent of that territory, meaning about
19 21 per cent of the overall BH territory.
20 Q. Mr. Jasak, let's assume you're an analyst working with an
21 intelligence service. If you were to analyse this document in that
22 official capacity, what could you tell us? What is the position of the
23 BH Presidency concerning the territory being held by the HVO? Is that
24 considered to be occupied territory or free territory of Bosnia
1 A. Beyond a shadow of a doubt, it is considered free territory of
2 Bosnia and Herzegovina.
3 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Next document, please.
4 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Witness, there are two
5 important questions that I must put to you from this document. Now, to
6 lay the foundation, I will put a very simple question to you.
7 First, you know how to read? Can you read? I know it sounds
8 stupid, but it's important.
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honour.
10 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well, you can read. When
11 you read something, do you understand what you read?
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honour.
13 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. You understand what
14 you read. Now, take a look at number 2. It says:
15 "The proclamation of the state of war aims at, based on the
16 individual and collective right of citizens to self-defence..."
17 This is written black and white. This is written by
18 Mr. Izetbegovic on June 20th, 1992
19 of Sarajevo
20 an army, so when saying this, does this mean that Mr. Izetbegovic is
21 asking all citizens, whoever they may be, to defend themselves, either
22 individually or collectively? Is this what this sentence means?
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, yes, that's what it
24 says, and this applies to all citizens.
25 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. As far as you're
1 concerned now, could you tell us that this is why Croat citizens believed
2 that it was their duty to join the HVO, just like Muslim citizens
3 believed that it was also their duty to join the HVO?
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, that's right. Each
5 citizen who wished to defend against the aggressor joined the HVO. The
6 HVO was established before the 20th of June, 1992. It was, in fact,
7 established in April of that year.
8 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. Please read
9 number 3 in your own language. Could you tell us what is written under
10 number 3? Could you please read it out loud so that the interpreters can
11 interpret what you are saying?
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] "The armed forces of Bosnia
14 a general national resistance in order to reach such goals as have been
16 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. I asked you to read
17 this out loud in your own language for a simple reason, because I see
18 that there is a plural being used, "the armed forces," plural. It's not
19 "the Army of the Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina." What is written here
20 is "the armed forces," plural. Why is there a plural? Could you tell us
21 what this plural means, as far as you're concerned?
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, what that means to me
23 is the BH Army and the HVO.
24 JUDGE TRECHSEL: If I may. Witness, what is the singular of "the
25 armed forces"? If there is just one army in a country, how are they
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] "Oruzana snaga" or a particular
3 army would simply be named.
4 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Excuse me. I should not have asked you the
5 question, because it's a linguistic one. I think that in English, "the
6 armed forces" are the army. The army is referred to as "armed forces"
7 because usually it has terrestrial and others, but I stand to be
9 MR. STEWART: Well, I, with respect, I believe I would correct
10 you, Your Honour. "The armed forces" we would understand to be the army,
11 the navy, the air force. The air force is a force. Certainly, I --
12 that's what I've -- I've never been in any of them, but --
13 JUDGE TRECHSEL: That's exactly what I was saying.
14 MR. STEWART: Yes.
15 JUDGE TRECHSEL: That's exactly what I was saying. But it does
16 not -- "armed forces" does not mean that they are really entities under a
17 different top head.
18 MR. STEWART: Well, Your Honour, I'm not an expert. I'm just a
19 true-born Englishman.
20 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Okay. I think I -- best to drop this
22 Mr. Prlic, as a linguistic expert in English --
23 THE ACCUSED PRLIC: This is simply grammatic. And on the part
24 which Judge Prandler [sic] started, if you compare translation from
25 Croatian to English, in Croatian language word "armed forces" is written
1 with not capital letters, it was written with small letters, which means
2 that it is not just one armed force. If you look at the English version,
3 a sentence started "The armed forces," and I think this is the reason why
4 Judge Trechsel, if I may say, put this question, because this is
5 absolutely plural. "Armed forces" in Croat language, it is not capital.
6 If it is capital letter, it means that this is going to be one army.
7 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Thank you very much. That is -- I think when
8 you first spoke of Judge Prandler, perhaps you also meant me, whose name
9 is Trechsel, as you know.
10 THE ACCUSED PRLIC: Excuse me.
11 JUDGE TRECHSEL: That's okay. I think it was really a linguistic
12 intermezzo, and I don't think there are any consequences to be drawn from
14 MR. KOVACIC: Your Honours.
15 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Kovacic, go ahead.
16 MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation] I'm afraid that we have another
17 linguistic problem there. The interpretation at page 30, line 3.
18 Paragraph 3, as interpreted, and the witness read it out carefully, the
19 original, and I'll re-read this, runs as follows:
20 "The armed forces of Bosnia and Herzegovina are hereby authorised
21 to take necessary measures ..."
22 This verb, "prevzeti," that's how the Croatian reads, which has
23 been translated as "to take necessary measures," and that wouldn't quite
24 be it, because "prevzeti" means take over from someone; in other words,
25 something already exists and that is now meant to be taken over by
1 someone else. Nevertheless, I can't be categorical about this. That's
2 why I called it a linguistic problem to begin with.
3 Are we talking about Serbian or Croatian? In Serbian, it could
4 possibly mean this, but at any rate, this term, "prevzeti" in my opinion
5 implies that they are supposed to take over something, take over an
6 existing defence or something, but not necessarily, as I said. This is a
7 problem that we have with Serbian as opposed to Croatian.
8 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Colonel, let's not spend too
9 much time on these linguistic problems, but I believe there are two
10 interpretations: Either the force armies are made up of the BH Army and
11 the HVO, which is what you told us, or they are made up of the navy, the
12 air force, and land forces, the army. Now, at the time in June 1992, the
13 Republic of -- could you tell us whether the Republic of
14 Bosnia-Herzegovina had a navy and an air force? Did they?
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honours, they had maybe one or
16 two helicopters but nothing that you could refer to as an air force. And
17 the same applied to the HVO, they were land forces, for the most part.
18 The BH Army and the HVO, the two components of the Armed Forces of Bosnia
19 and Herzegovina
20 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well.
21 Ms. Alaburic.
22 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] The next document, P339, the
23 agreement on friendship and co-operation. On the 1st [as interpreted] of
24 July, 1992, the agreement was signed by Franjo Tudjman and
25 Alija Izetbegovic in Zagreb
1 this agreement. I quote:
2 "The armed component of the HVO is an integral component of the
3 armed forces of Bosnia and Herzegovina."
4 Let's stop right there. They say that I should correct the date.
5 The 21st of July, and not the 1st of July, as recorded.
6 Q. Mr. Jasak, since we have now assured ourselves that you can read,
7 you're able to read this, you worked as an analyst, what is your
8 interpretation of this sentence? What is the relationship between the
9 HVO and the BH Army?
10 A. This clearly shows that the armed component of the HVO is a
11 component of the joint armed forces of the Republic of Bosnia
13 Q. What was your personal view at the time in mid-1992, say, on this
15 A. The same as here, the way it's written here. The HVO was a
16 component of the armed forces of Bosnia-Herzegovina.
17 Q. Mr. Jasak, do you have any information indicating that anyone at
18 any point in time tried to abolish the HVO Army?
19 A. No, I have no information indicating anything like that.
20 Q. Next document, please, P476, a decision by the
21 Constitutional Court of Bosnia-Herzegovina. The date is the 14th of
22 September, 1992.
23 Mr. Jasak, I will not be asking you any legal questions about
24 this document. Nevertheless, please have a look. There is a total of
25 nine paragraphs contained in this decision, and a number of legal
1 documents are abolished or declared null and void. Does the list include
2 the decision to establish the HVO?
3 A. No, that is not one of the documents that were quashed by the
4 Constitutional Court of Bosnia-Herzegovina.
5 Q. Next document, P151. Can you tell us what this document is
6 about, Mr. Jasak?
7 A. It's this is a decision to establish the HVO.
8 Q. Was the army known as the HVO, in fact, established based on this
10 A. Yes, that's right.
11 Q. Do you have any knowledge indicating that anyone at any time
12 overturned, abolished, or declared this decision null and void?
13 A. No, no knowledge of that at all.
14 Q. Next document, 4D410, a decree on the Armed Forces of
15 Bosnia-Herzegovina -- on the Armed Forces of the Republic of
16 Bosnia-Herzegovina. We have here a copy that was published in the
17 "Official Gazette" of the BH Army. Paragraph or Article 1 reads:
18 "The republic's armed forces shall comprise the Croatian Defence
20 Mr. Jasak, would this document seem to confirm or deny that the
21 HVO was, indeed, a component of the Armed Forces of the Republic of
23 A. This document clearly confirms that the HVO was a component of
24 the Armed Forces of the Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina.
25 Q. Next document, 4D --
1 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Witness, earlier I asked you a
2 question on the plural, and we had a debate on -- a semantic debate on --
3 between some of us in this courtroom, but I didn't have this decree at
4 hand. This is a decree written by Mr. Izetbegovic, himself. It's not a
5 decree written by the HVO. This was written by the president of the
6 Presidency of the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina on August 6th, 1992.
7 In Article 1, we see that there is a plural used again, and we
8 see that there is mention of the BH Army and the HVO. What's your take
9 on this?
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] That's right, Your Honour. Bosnia
11 and Herzegovina
12 two components, the BH Army and the HVO.
13 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I know you're not a legal
14 expert and you were an analyst within the VOS, which is why I asked you
15 if you can read, write, and understand a sentence. Anyone, you know,
16 with a high school degree, and I'm not talking about a faculty professor
17 or anything, but anyone who can read and write, when they see that it's
18 written, black and white, that the HVO is part of the Armed Forces of the
19 Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina, does this mean that there are two
20 components to the army; the BH Army, on the one hand, and the HVO, on the
21 other hand? I mean, I believe any child could answer this question.
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] That's right, Your Honour, two
23 components of the Armed Forces of Bosnia and Herzegovina, one being the
24 BH Army, the other being the HVO.
25 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. Would you agree
1 with me to note that this document was not written by the HVO, but by
2 Mr. Izetbegovic, himself?
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, this document was
4 signed by the president of the Presidency of the Republic of Bosnia
6 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Fair enough.
7 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Witness, still on this document and this fact,
8 were there one or two commands of the two armies? You've said there were
9 two armies. Did each army have its own command; do you know?
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I do know that. Each
11 of the armies had its own command. Nevertheless, there was an attempt --
12 a lasting attempt throughout to create a single command.
13 JUDGE TRECHSEL: If you look at the decree, Article 1, there is a
14 part then that is in inverted commas. And in the second part, does it
15 not say that the HVO places themselves, both parties -- both parts of the
16 army place themselves under the single command of the army?
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, which portion of the
18 document are you referring to exactly; Article 1?
19 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Yes, as I have indicated, Article 1, which has
20 two parts, one which is a small three-line text without quotation marks,
21 and then there come quotation marks, and then there are three
22 subparagraphs, and I'm talking about the second one.
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, it says here "the
24 army." Nevertheless, if you look at the title, itself, "Decree Law on
25 Amendments to the Decree Law on the Armed Forces of the Republic of
1 Bosnia-Herzegovina," I see the HVO - and that was the case years ago as
2 well - as a component of the Armed Forces of the Republic of Bosnia
4 JUDGE TRECHSEL: But I asked you a different question. I asked
5 you about the single command. Did you see that, that there should be a
6 single command, and who has the single command?
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, the single command was
8 supposed to comprise the BH Army and the HVO. Nevertheless, at the time
9 this was produced, both components were still being organised. Attempts
10 had been made earlier to set up a single command at the highest level.
11 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Please proceed, Ms. Alaburic.
12 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour Judge Trechsel, if I
13 may, we shall be dealing with this at quite some length in our briefs.
14 We believe that this is a question of legal interpretation. This
15 section, the sentence saying "being placed under the single command of
16 the army," it's about the position of the comma in that sentence, and the
17 question is whether that applies to other armed units, too, in additional
18 to the HVO, but we'll be shedding more light on that matter further down
19 the road.
20 The next document is --
21 JUDGE TRECHSEL: I'm sure you will, Ms. Alaburic, but I have not
22 taken this document before this witness, who apparently has a bit
23 difficulties in reading a legal document, so you will definitely discuss
24 this at length. I'm interested and looking forward to reading you.
25 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour Judge Trechsel, if I
1 may explain one thing which I believe is very important.
2 I asked this witness questions about this document in much the
3 same way as Judge Antonetti phrased his question. This witness holds a
4 degree in engineering. I'm not expecting from this witness any
5 sophisticated legal interpretations in terms of whether a comma should be
6 there or elsewhere, in terms of whether a particular section or a
7 particular sentence refers to the HVO or someone else as well. All I
8 wish to raise with this witness is issues regarding the relationship
9 between the HVO and the BH Army within the Armed Forces of the Republic
10 of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
11 The next document is 4D1524.
12 JUDGE TRECHSEL: I think we'll probably have a break.
13 I just want to say no need to explain or justify. It's perfectly
14 all right, what you did. I was just trying to explain why I went into
15 this and that I did not have the idea to take up such questions with this
16 witness originally. But I think probably it's time for the break.
17 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes, it's almost 10 to 4.00.
18 We're going to take a 20-minute break.
19 --- Recess taken at 3.48 p.m.
20 --- On resuming at 4.10 p.m.
21 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Ms. Alaburic, you may proceed.
22 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation]
23 Q. The next document, Mr. Jasak, is 4D1524. This is a letter
24 containing information sent by Sefer Halilovic to the Main HVO Staff in
25 Grudica [as interpreted] on the 8th of August, 1992. In item 1, I'm
1 interested in only the following part. It says that something is not
2 favourable to the Army of Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina, which also
3 comprises the armed formations of the HVO, and it's not to the advantage
4 of the Croatian people either. So how would you comment on this,
6 A. This can only be interpreted as follows: The armed formations of
7 the HVO are an integral part of the Armed Forces of the Republic of
9 Q. Let's look at the next document, 1D14 -- 2432.
10 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's correction, 2432.
11 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation]
12 Q. This is an order issued by the Presidency of Bosnia-Herzegovina,
13 signed by President Alija Izetbegovic on the 16th of October, 1992
14 1 reads as follows:
15 "The Armed Forces of Bosnia-Herzegovina (the Army of BH and the
16 HVO) ..."
17 Tell us, Mr. Jasak, had this document reached your intelligence
18 service, what would you have said? What was the standpoint of the
19 Presidency of Bosnia-Herzegovina in October 1992 as to the component
20 parts of the Armed Forces of BH?
21 A. Well, this is common knowledge. The Armed Forces of
22 Bosnia-Herzegovina had two components, the Army of Bosnia-Herzegovina and
23 the HVO.
24 Q. The next document, 2D1470. 2D470, correction. This is an
25 agreement reached in Zenica on the 20th of April, 1993, by
1 Sefer Halilovic and Milivoj Petkovic, who signed the document. In item 1
2 of this document, it says:
3 "The BH Army and the HVO are legal military forces of the
4 Republic of Bosnia
5 Had this document reached your intelligence service, what would
6 you have said about the equality of the Army of BH and the HVO in
8 A. It clearly follows from this document that the Army of
9 Bosnia-Herzegovina and the HVO are legal military forces of the Republic
10 of Bosnia-Herzegovina, that they are treated equally, that they have the
11 same rights and the same obligations.
12 MR. SCOTT: Sorry, Your Honours, but I was hoping we were moving
13 on to something else, but I'll have to go back to where we were before.
14 What additional value is this witness adding to the document?
15 There's been periods in the case where we've simply had the document --
16 the witness reading documents. I think we can all agree that if I read
17 the words on the page, that is what they say, and we can all read that
18 and it says whatever it says. But what additional value has this --
19 evidentiary value has this witness added to that, other than to say
20 that's what the document says?
21 Before the break, there was a number of interventions and
22 comments by both the Judges and others that the man's not a lawyer. He
23 might have been an analyst. I don't recall him being qualified as a
24 constitutional lawyer. In fact, I don't recall him being qualified as an
25 expert on anything.
1 Your Honour, let me make the Prosecution point abundantly
2 transparent, if it's not already. There's two fundamental problems with
3 this witness. One, he's been brought to address a number of things that
4 he has no foundation to address. He was a lower-level analyst at the
5 time, and yet they want to make him an all-purpose -- know-everything
6 witness, number 1, without foundation, number 1. Number 2, they want to
7 use him as an expert. We didn't get an expert report. There is
8 nothing -- he's not being tendered to qualify as an expert, and yet they
9 want him to address -- now we're talking about an expert on legal
10 matters. He just said, Undoubtedly shows it's a legal organisation, a
11 legal part of the armed forces. That is purely and simply a legal
12 conclusion. It cannot be characterised any other way.
13 Now, that's the problem with this witness. He's being addressed,
14 talked about, asked about things he has no foundation to address, and
15 they want to use him as an expert without complying with the rules on an
16 expert. If they want to make him an expert under Rule 94, they could
17 have tendered him as such, they could have given us a report just as
18 Mr. Tomljanovich and others, and we could have treated him as an expert,
19 but they haven't done that. And those are two of the fundamental
20 problems with this witness and why the Prosecution, in this instance --
21 why I have been on my feet so much.
22 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Ms. Alaburic, do you still want
23 to answer to this? If not, I'd like to ask the witness a question.
24 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I think there's no
25 need to respond to the objection raised by my learned friend Mr. Scott.
1 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Witness, we have looked at a
2 number of documents from various sources, BH Army, the HVO,
3 Alija Izetbegovic, including the international community, and including
4 the international community that was shown in the last document. As we
5 read the documents, if you're a reasonable Judge, you may reach the
6 conclusion that there were two armies, HVO and the BH Army, that there
7 could be one single command, and that these two armies, as is stated in
8 the last document signed by the international community, by its two high
9 representatives, recognised that these two armies were to be treated on
10 an equal footing, treated equally.
11 So you've heard the Prosecutor, but it's the Prosecutor who
12 intervened. What's the connection between you and these documents?
13 According to you, were you in a legal army or were you in an army which
14 was illegal? That's the basic question, really, that I'm asking you.
15 What's your answer on this?
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
17 I was a member of a legal army which was one of the components of
18 the Armed Forces of Bosnia-Herzegovina, and that was the HVO.
19 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Fine. You heard the
20 Prosecutor. He said you're not a legal expert, you're not a lawyer. How
21 can you say that you were in a legal army, I mean, from your point of
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] An army fighting for
24 Bosnia-Herzegovina, as a whole, against an aggressor can only be legal.
25 It cannot be anything else. That was the basis.
1 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] So if I understand you
2 correctly, you had the strong conviction that you belonged to an army
3 from the Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina
4 this entity, Herceg-Bosna, the HVO community -- the Croat Defence
5 Community, the Republic of Herceg-Bosna? I mean, what was the entity
6 which was in your -- for which there was -- referring to?
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I belonged -- Your Honour, I
8 belonged to the HVO, which was fighting for a united, unitary
9 Bosnia-Herzegovina, so it was part of the Armed Forces of
11 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, thank you for your
12 question. You really realised what I was getting at.
13 I just want to correct the transcript to avoid problems.
14 Q. When you say you were fighting for Bosnia-Herzegovina, tell us,
15 what sort of Bosnia-Herzegovina were you fighting for? What did you say?
16 A. For Bosnia-Herzegovina, a republic which is unitary, which is
17 whole, which is the republic of all its citizens. So we were fighting
18 only against the aggressor.
19 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] I'm not a legal expert. I'm
20 afraid the word "unitary" might refer to unitarism. Is it all right?
21 No, my colleague is saying the interpretation is not good, that it's not
22 good to say "unitary" for the word "jedinstven." "Jedinstven" should
23 mean territorial [realtime transcript read in error "military"]
24 integrity, because unitarism is an issue of internal organisation. The
25 witness did not say he was fighting for a unitary Bosnia-Herzegovina.
1 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Now it says that "Jedinstven."
2 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone for Judge Trechsel, please.
3 JUDGE TRECHSEL: "Jedinstven" should mean military unity, but you
4 said "territorial unity," I think.
5 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] It's wrongly recorded. I did not
6 say "military unity." I said "territorial integrity."
7 "Territorially," single, means territorial integrity.
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] A whole Bosnia-Herzegovina, within
9 its borders, the borders of AVNOJ.
10 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] We now have a problem, because
11 part of the witness's answer is recorded as if I was the speaker.
12 Q. Could you please repeat what you said, Witness?
13 A. Bosnia-Herzegovina, in its entirety within the borders of AVNOJ.
14 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Very well. I think now it's
16 Your Honour Judge Antonetti, thank you for your questions about
17 this document. My intention was to establish the mens rea, which is why
18 I am using this document.
19 Document P2078, 2078. This is a joint statement which, on the
20 25th of April, 1993, was signed in Zagreb by Mate Boban and
21 Alija Izetbegovic, and co-signed by Dr. Franjo Tudjman.
22 Q. Mr. Jasak, let us try to analyse not as lawyers, but as you would
23 have analysed this document in the Intelligence Service. It says:
24 "The co-signatories of this statement call upon all the members
25 of the armed forces to respect all the agreements reached to date between
1 the representatives of the Muslim and Croatian people in the Republic of
3 And they now refer to the previous order, and we can see that
4 from the content of the agreement in Zenica in April 1993.
5 My question, Mr. Jasak, is as follows: Who signed these military
6 [as interpreted] agreements as the representative of the Croatian people?
7 A. The representative of the Croatian people who signed this
8 agreement was Mate Boban.
9 MS. TOMANOVIC: [Interpretation] I do apologise, but again we have
10 an error in the transcript. Page 45, line 9, I think my colleague did
11 not say "military agreements," she just spoke about agreements.
12 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Correct, I spoke about agreements,
13 and I said -- so I was referring to all the agreements signed up to that
14 point, all the previous agreements. And when referring to the
15 agreement --
16 JUDGE TRECHSEL: I'm sorry, Ms. Alaburic, I don't think that's
17 proper. "All the previous agreements"? Which agreements? Was the
18 witness shown these agreements, is he aware of them? I find this really
19 too vague, "all previous agreements ."
20 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, please look at the
21 next sentence. I really don't have time to read every sentence from all
22 these old documents. I've been through all these sentences with the
23 witness. But if you look at the continuation of the sentence, you can
24 see that the Army of BH and the HVO are equally legal units. And if we
25 recall the previous document we looked at, or, rather, a document we
1 looked at previously, and that's 2D470, a careful analyst, looking at the
2 legal and intelligence aspects of this, there's no problem in referring
3 to this agreement as well as all previous agreements.
4 What I'm interested in right now is defining all these agreements
5 as agreements between the Croatian and Muslim peoples.
6 Q. So the previous agreement, the one from Zenica, was signed by
7 Petkovic and Halilovic? Who signed on behalf of the Croatian people?
8 A. Milivoj Petkovic, the chief of the Main Staff of the HVO, signed
9 on behalf of the Croatian people.
10 Q. And who is the signatory on behalf of the Muslim people?
11 A. On behalf of the Muslim people, the signatory is the chief of the
12 Staff of the Supreme Command of the Army of BH, Sefer Halilovic.
13 Q. If you were to analyse this paragraph as an intelligence officer,
14 how would you define Mate Boban's and Alija Izetbegovic's positions? On
15 whose behalf were they signing an agreement?
16 A. This shows that Mate Boban was signing this on behalf of the
17 Croats and Alija Izetbegovic on behalf of the Muslims.
18 Q. Next document, P20 --
19 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Witness, this is a document
20 which comes from the accusation, the number -- I mean, it comes from the
21 Office of the Prosecutor, itself. This is an important document, a
22 document from the accusation, a document that we have seen on numerous
23 occasions already.
24 Witness, this document states that there was first, before that,
25 on the 3rd of March, 1993
1 not know - that there was an agreement that was signed between
2 Izetbegovic, Halilovic, Boban, and Akmadzic, and six members, the names
3 of whom were quoted, were to co-ordinate and prepare for something. On
4 the 24th of April, with the presence of the international community,
5 represented by its very best representatives, by the elite, Lord Owen,
6 Ambassador Peter Hall, Mr. Okun, whom we met here. So all of the
7 Croatian elite and the elite from Bosnia-Herzegovina, the ambassador in
9 highest political representatives, Mate Boban, Tudjman, and Izetbegovic.
10 So I see this document -- well, unless I don't understand
11 anything, but I'm reading what I see, and I see that there are two
12 armies, the BH Army and the HVO, that there are conflicts, and so it is
13 requested that these conflicts be ended immediately. It is requested
14 also that there be an agreement about the legality of both armies and
15 about the establishment of a joint command, all this with the agreement
16 of the international community.
17 And Appendix 1 now, which was not presented to you by
18 Ms. Alaburic, but which is appended, Annex 1 shows, and this is written
19 black on white - I'm not making it up, I'm just reading what I see - that
20 the BH Army and the HVO are two separate entities in their command
21 structures, that these two identities are in charge of personnel,
22 logistics, administration, training, morale, and identity matters; that
23 there must be a joint command for an operational control of the military
24 districts, and that this joint command will consist of General Halilovic
25 and General Petkovic, who is here sitting in this courtroom. And,
1 actually, I will also ask him questions when he's on the witness stand.
2 So, Mr. Witness, did you -- at your level at the time, and we're
3 in the month of April, were you aware that there had been an agreement
4 between all of these personalities and that this agreement was about a
5 joint command which was to be made both by Halilovic and Petkovic? Were
6 you aware of that, yes or no?
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honour.
8 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] All right, so you were aware of
9 it. And how did you know about it?
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, at the time I was with
11 the Main
12 Intelligence Service, who told me that he had been informed about this by
13 General Petkovic. This was said at one of our meetings within the
14 Military Intelligence Service, and everyone present was told about this.
15 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] All right. And did you know
16 that this agreement had been endorsed, sponsored, under the aegis of the
17 international community?
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, in relation to this
19 agreement, it was something that we knew about, just as we knew about all
20 the other high-level agreements that were reached under the auspices of
21 the international community.
22 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Okay. So this agreement
23 includes a parameter which was not mentioned. The signatories agreed to
24 say that there may have been infringements of rights about the civilian
25 population and that possibly there were crimes which were committed, and
1 that while in order for these crimes to be established, an international
2 commission -- an independent special commission must be established which
3 will define the facts.
4 Did you know that Mr. Izetbegovic, Mr. Boban, Mr. Tudjman, had
5 agreed for such a commission to look into the crimes which may have been
6 perpetrated by the various parties?
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I didn't know about
9 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] All right, so you did not know
10 about that. That's what I wanted to know, because, you know, that refers
11 to part of the document.
12 Okay, Ms. Alaburic, you may proceed.
13 JUDGE TRECHSEL: I would also like to put a question to you with
14 regard to this document.
15 In the first part of it, that is, written in italics and large
16 font, number 3, the second sentence runs like this:
17 "In particular, they," that is, the signatories, "urge military
18 units of the Army of Bosnia and Herzegovina and of the Croatian Defence
19 Council to immediately start implementing the agreement on the legality
20 of both the Army of Bosnia and Herzegovina and the HVO ..."
21 I'm not interested in what comes afterwards. But I would like
22 you to tell me, if you have any view on this, what is meant by
23 implementing the agreement on the legality of these two armies?
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, what that means is
25 that the BH Army and the HVO were equally legal and that they were to set
1 up a joint command. Following this -- or, rather, pursuant to this
2 addendum number 1, steps were taken to achieve this.
3 JUDGE TRECHSEL: I'm not interested in the amendment. Thank you
4 for the answer.
5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Witness, I do not share this
6 point of view, and I must say something. In the English text, there's
7 the word "and," which clearly connects the question of legality to the
8 command -- to the Joint Command. I mean, it's written here in the
9 English text, and this refers to Annex 1. So Annex 1, from my point of
10 view, and I may be wrong on this - I do not know everything - Annex 1
11 complements the question about the Joint Command, and the legality seems
12 to be connected to the two armies. So what do you think about this?
13 You're not a legal expert, you may not be able to read an international
14 agreement, but in your mind is there a connection between this
15 Joint Command and these two armies?
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, there is a connection.
17 One must establish a joint command for these two armies. They exist as
18 such, and now both are to be placed under a joint command.
19 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, if I may say, this
20 was not interpreted correctly, which has not been a problem so far, but I
21 do have to say it now, or, rather, translate it. In Croatian, this reads
22 "for them to start the implementation of the provisions of this agreement
23 to the effect that the BH Army and the HVO are equally legal." The
24 Croatian text does not state the same thing as interpreted or translated.
25 An agreement on legality, that is not mentioned anywhere. You've all
1 learned enough B/C/S to notice that yourselves, I'm sure. This sentence
2 describes the substance of the agreement.
3 If we look at 2D470, which is the document that we were looking
4 at before, the Petkovic-Halilovic agreement from Zenica reached on the
5 20th of April, 1993, the agreement has no title, as such. And Article 1
6 says that the BH Army and the HVO are legal armed forces of the Republic
7 of Bosnia and Herzegovina and that they are to receive the same
9 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] [Previous translation
10 continues]... testify, so she made a comment, but it would have more
11 weight if it came from you.
12 In your language, could you please read paragraph 3, because when
13 they signed this document, it was almost 1.00 a.m., and I presume that
14 Mr. Tudjman, Mr. Izetbegovic, and Mr. Boban did not know -- or did not
15 know English well, that they have signed the document in their own
16 language, which they read and understand, and that they trusted the
17 translators, the English-speaking translators who were there, who made
18 the text in English, and it's important to point out that it's the
19 Croatian version which is binding. That being said, the three
20 politicians also signed the English text, but it does say that the
21 Croatian text applies.
22 So, of course, you know this language very well, and thanks to
23 the help of our interpreters, we're going to hear the translation. Can
24 you please read paragraph 3 in your language?
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you very much, Your Honour.
1 "Co-signatories. The co-signatories of this joint statement call
2 on all commanders and units of the BH Army and the HVO to unconditionally
3 comply with all of the agreements so far reached between the
4 representatives of the Croatian and Muslim peoples in the Republic of
5 Bosnia and Herzegovina."
6 In particular, they call on the military units of the BH Army and
7 the HVO to start implementing, without any further delay, the provisions
8 of the agreement on the fact that the BH Army and the HVO are equally
9 legal units, and on the establishment of a joint command of these forces
10 comprising representatives of both staffs, in parentheses "(Annex 1)."
11 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you very much. I must
12 say that in the French translation I heard, it was very clear, that the
13 fact that the BH Army and the HVO are legal entities. This is absolutely
14 obvious in the interpretation I received from the French booth.
15 Therefore, the ambiguity in the English translation seems to create doubt
16 as to the legality, whereas in the French I received, there is no
17 ambiguity. These two armies are legal, both of them.
18 I believe it was important that you should read this text in your
19 own language so that it could be interpreted by our interpreters, who are
20 extremely experienced and very knowledgeable. Thank you.
21 Ms. Alaburic.
22 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation]
23 Q. Mr. Jasak, you were answering questions by Judge Antonetti about
24 this annex, P2091. You said that you heard about the substance of these
25 agreements from your boss, the VOS chief; right?
1 A. Yes, that's right.
2 Q. During your time with the VOS, did you ever hold briefings or
4 A. Yes, on a regular basis, every day.
5 Q. Would your chief normally inform you of any information received
6 elsewhere, at other meetings or in a different way, pertaining to
7 anything that the service was in charge of?
8 A. He informed us regularly about everything he believed was
9 required for our work.
10 Q. Did the VOS chief ever meet the chief of the Main Staff?
11 A. They met on a regular basis and whenever required.
12 Q. Do you have any information indicating that the chief of the
13 Main Staff sometimes informed the VOS chief of any information that he
14 had obtained at other meetings, or conferences, or something that he had
15 gleaned from reports from the field and that he believed was relevant?
16 A. Whatever was pertinent to the work of our service and the work of
17 the Main Staff was exchanged and forwarded. To all practical intents,
18 the VOS chief's office and the chief of the Main Staff's office were two
19 adjacent rooms with a door connecting them.
20 Q. Where was your room?
21 A. My room was right next to the VOS chief's room, with a connecting
23 Q. His Honour Judge Antonetti asked you everything about P2091. In
24 view of that, I will only have a brief question.
25 These two armies, the chiefs of staff of these two armies, the
1 commanders agreed that the HVO and the BH Army would keep their own
2 separate identities and commands. Nevertheless, they would be setting up
3 a joint command, too. Based on your information, did the HVO, in fact,
4 continue to function as an independent, separate unit and entity?
5 A. Yes, indeed it did.
6 Q. We'll be looking at a document now, a document that's been much
7 discussed in this courtroom, 4D1611. This is an order dated the 14th of
8 June, 1993, signed by president of the BH Presidency, Alija Izetbegovic,
9 and addressed to both the BH Army and the HVO. This is on a memorandum
10 of the HVO.
11 Mr. Jasak, can you please try and explain, as long as you know
12 about how the mail circulated about the Main Staff, how this could
13 possibly happen?
14 A. If there was a document that was faxed a number of times and
15 still not completely legible, and then it was faxed through to a new
16 address, so much along the same lines I see that a copy was made here of
17 an order by the Presidency of the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina,
18 signed by the president of the BH Presidency, Alija Izetbegovic. The
19 only thing missing here that I can notice is a stamp telling us who
20 produced the copy.
21 Q. Did you know about this BH Presidency order from Geneva at the
22 time it was actually delivered, which was in mid-June 1993?
23 A. Yes, I knew about it.
24 Q. Our next document --
25 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Witness, in this Trial Chamber
1 we have discussed this document for hours, and everyone knows this
2 document; Judges, Prosecution, Defence counsel, everyone. Ms. Alaburic
3 asked you for an explanation, and you gave us one, and you seem to say
4 that there must have been an original order by Mr. Izetbegovic which was
5 copied. That's one possibility, but there could be others, including one
6 that I will give you, but it's just a working hypothesis.
7 In Geneva
8 behalf of the Presidency, because you see that on item 4 that the
9 Presidency made this decision unanimously and in its full composition, so
10 he is asking for the cessation of hostilities between the two armies. He
11 says that those responsible for this are Delic and Petkovic, and he's
12 also asking the UNPROFOR to provide its services.
13 I would like to know whether, on June 13th in Geneva,
14 Mr. Izetbegovic told everyone that this was this order, that this order
15 would have been maybe sent by telephone or by another media to the HVO
16 Main Staff, because this would explain why an unidentified officer typed
17 this document and, on the next day, i.e., June 14th, after having
18 recorded this document in the log-book, because we have a reference
19 number 02-2/1, and so forth and so on, this document is -- once typed, is
20 sent to all operational zones. So it seems that there could have been a
21 verbal order transmitted or conveyed by who knows whom, and at the staff
22 the entire order is being retyped. Is this a possibility; yes or no?
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I don't know what was
24 agreed in Geneva
25 came about. Whenever similar documents arrived that were not entirely
1 legible, they would be retyped, and the only thing that remained was for
2 someone to put a stamp there in order to certify that the copy was
3 identical to the original. The kind of paper used for fax messages fades
4 very soon. I don't know if anything was attached to this to certify that
5 the copy was faithful to the original or not.
6 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Our next document - and then later
7 I'll be asking questions about these BH Presidency decisions - 4D1586.
8 It's a decision by the BH Presidency on a Presidency memorandum. The
9 date is the 20th of July, 1993, signed by President Alija Izetbegovic.
10 Paragraph 1, just as in the previous document, the units of the BH Army
11 and of the HVO are called upon to immediately and unconditionally cease
12 any mutual attacks.
13 Q. What I want to know about, Mr. Jasak, is this fact that the BH
14 Presidency is here seen to be issuing orders that apply both to the HVO
15 and to the BH Army. To begin with, let's look at the handwritten
16 portion, which reads: "For Keza." Can you explain what that means?
17 A. Yes, I can. "Keza" is Zarko Keza. He's the VOS chief,
18 Zarko Keza. The signature here belongs to Nikola Mikulic, who was an
19 official of the VOS as well.
20 Q. Tell us, do these signatures mean that this document arrived in
21 the VOS?
22 A. Yes, they do.
23 Q. If we look at the upper part of this document, we can see that
24 the document was sent from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of
25 Bosnia-Herzegovina. Does this follow from the number?
1 A. Yes. And it says here "Ministry of Foreign Affairs," but I can't
2 see the number. It might be by satellite telephone. I can't tell what
3 this is about by the number, but you can see where it came from.
4 Q. To the best of your knowledge, did VOS have information to the
5 effect that the Presidency of Bosnia-Herzegovina was also issuing
6 commands to the Croatian Defence Council?
7 A. VOS had to know this, because it says here, For the chief, and
8 quite a few documents used to arrive in VOS by fax because the fax
9 machine worked better than the other equipment we had.
10 Q. The next document is 4D --
11 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Witness, there is a preamble to
12 this decision, explaining why the decision was actually made, and I note
13 that the province of Sarajevo
14 on July 19, 1993
15 items in this decision. This is what is written.
16 Given this, from Sarajevo
17 we're not sure, but it probably is because on the top of the document we
18 have the wording from Ministry of Foreign Affairs, BH, phone number --
19 with a phone number, and this must have been sent to the staff, which
20 means that between Sarajevo
21 it arrived, your chief and your colleague, Nikolic -- Keza and Nikolic
22 both wrote on this document to prove that they had obtained the document.
23 Now, if this is what happened, could you tell us to whom your
24 chief sent this document? This is July 20th. Mr. Petkovic is still
25 chief of the Main Staff. According to you, what did Keza and Nikolic do
1 with this document, or maybe yourself? Who did they send it to?
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, it's not "Nikolic,"
3 but "Mikulic," Nikola Mikulic, who signed this for Keza. We can see that
4 at the bottom. I can't tell whose handwriting this is, but it may have
5 arrived in VOS from the chief of the Main Staff or it might have been
6 forwarded by VOS to the chief of the Main Staff. Regardless of the fax
7 number it arrived at, the chief of the Main Staff and the chief of the
8 VOS certainly both knew about it.
9 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I have a technical question. I
10 believe that it should have been put to you ages ago, and I apologise for
11 not having thought about it earlier.
12 To your knowledge, could you tell us whether there was a
13 telephone connection or a fax connection between Sarajevo and this
14 building where you were located?
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] In the building where we were,
16 there was a telefax which could be used to communicate with any place
17 that had a telephone, because we had a secure line, and any country in
18 the world, wherever there was a telephone or a fax, messages could be
20 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] You're saying that the entire
21 world could communicate with you by fax, because there's a number. And I
22 saw a document where we had the telephone numbers and the fax numbers.
23 We could take a look at it, if need be. So you do confirm that it was
24 possible to receive documents from anywhere, and since they had
25 communication devices, the Presidency probably sent this text?
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, that's correct.
2 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation]
3 Q. Tell us, Mr. Jasak, as regards the possibility of communicating
4 with Sarajevo
5 could communicate with the whole world, but the question is: Could you
6 communicate with Sarajevo
8 A. It was possible to communicate with Sarajevo if the telephone
9 lines in Sarajevo
10 fighting and in the fighting telephone lines were destroyed, then it
11 would not be possible.
12 Q. Mr. Jasak, I'm asking you about facts. Do you know whether the
13 lines were working the whole time, and did communication with Sarajevo
14 take place?
15 A. I have no information that communications with Sarajevo
16 place. I was speaking hypothetically. We could communicate with the
17 whole world. It was an assumption of mine.
18 Q. Well, it's clear to us, hypothetically, if there are lines, one
19 can communicate. The question is: Do you have any information about the
20 actual facts? Was it really possible to communicate with Sarajevo?
21 A. These are among the first such documents I have seen. I had no
22 knowledge that such documents arrived prior to these.
23 Q. All right. Let's continue with our topic. The next document
24 dealing with the HVO as an integral part of the armed forces is 4D1234.
25 You don't need to look. You can listen to me reading it. This is a
1 draft of the Washington Agreement, and in item 6 the military agreement
2 is defined. Where were you, Mr. Jasak, in March 1994?
3 A. In March 1994, I was in Zagreb
4 Q. Did you know at the time that the Washington Agreement was being
5 signed between the Croatian and Muslim sides in Bosnia-Herzegovina?
6 A. Yes, I did.
7 Q. After the signing of this agreement, were the HVO and the Army of
8 Bosnia-Herzegovina -- or, rather, did they continue to function as
9 separate entities with their own commands?
10 A. Yes, they did.
11 Q. Among the people close to you, was someone appointed the
12 commander of the Main Staff of the HVO?
13 A. Not among the people I was close to, no.
14 Q. Well, maybe I misunderstood you, then. Who was appointed chief
15 of the Main Staff after Tihomir Blaskic?
16 A. After Tihomir Blaskic, Zivko Budimir was appointed.
17 Q. Did you know Mr. Budimir personally?
18 A. Yes, I did.
19 Q. I was referring to him. I do apologise if you weren't close
20 friends, so I confused you by saying that. I apologise.
21 The last document dealing with this topic, 4D826, the Law on
22 Defence of the Federation of Bosnia-Herzegovina. The law was enacted by
23 the Constitutional Assembly of the Federation of Bosnia-Herzegovina at a
24 session held on the 9th of July, 1996. In Article 37, item 2, it says
25 that the army of the federation consists of the units of the BH Army and
1 the HVO.
2 To the best of your knowledge, what were the component parts, in
3 reality, of the Army of Bosnia-Herzegovina?
4 A. The HVO and the Army of Bosnia-Herzegovina.
5 Q. Did you have colleagues who were in the HVO and then continued
6 working in the army of the federation?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. Do you have any knowledge as to whether the time they spent in
9 the HVO was recognised in their years of service?
10 A. Yes, I do have such knowledge, and, yes, the time they spent in
11 the HVO was credited to them for their years of service.
12 Q. Did these soldiers and officers who came from the HVO have the
13 same rights as the soldiers and officers of the Army of
14 Bosnia-Herzegovina or was there a distinction between them?
15 A. They had absolutely the same rights. There was no difference
17 Q. Thank you very much. Mr. Jasak, we'll now go back to topics
18 concerning combat in the period from 1992 to 1993.
19 You told us that the Army of Bosnia-Herzegovina and the HVO
20 co-operated in the course of 1992, if you recall, when we were talking
21 about the time of the war in Bosnia-Herzegovina; is that correct?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. Let's look at 4D1700, 4D1700. This is a command for defence of
24 the Central Bosnia Operations Zone. The document was created in March
25 1996 [as interpreted], as confirmed by General Filipovic, who
1 participated in the drafting of this order. Please help us to understand
2 this order.
3 Tell us, Mr. Jasak, in view of your military experience and
4 training, do you know what the structure of a defence order should be?
5 A. Yes, I do.
6 Q. Tell us, what is defined first in such an order?
7 A. In every order, the first thing to be defined is the enemy, and
8 that's done by the VOS.
9 Q. Let's look at this order issued by Tihomir Blaskic. In item 1,
10 in the introductory part of this order, is the enemy defined?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. Who is the enemy, according to this order?
13 A. According to this order, the enemy is the VRS or, rather, the
14 units listed here by number.
15 Q. In item 2 of this order, subparagraph 3, neighbours are defined;
16 to the right, parts of the Army of Bosnia-Herzegovina. Tell us,
17 Mr. Jasak, when you define a neighbour in this way, are you referring to
18 an ally or an enemy?
19 A. We are referring to an ally.
20 Q. In the order, in item 5.1, the task is defined, and it says that
21 it should be carried out in joint action with the Army of
22 Bosnia-Herzegovina. And the same is stated in item 5.3.
23 Mr. Jasak, please tell us, what does it mean when you carry out a
24 combat task in joint action with another army?
25 A. It means to co-ordinate the activities of two units, because the
1 best possibility of breaking through the line is where the two units --
2 or, rather, the line is most vulnerable at the point where two units meet
3 if their action is not co-ordinated.
4 Q. If you, as an intelligence officer, had to explain, based on this
5 document, who was the HVO's enemy in Central Bosnia at this point of
6 time, what would you say?
7 A. I would say that the only enemy was the VRS.
8 Q. Let's look at the next document.
9 JUDGE TRECHSEL: May I ask a question probably of you,
10 Ms. Alaburic.
11 On page 62, line 2 and 3, you are here reported as saying that
12 the document was created in March 1996, and that strikes me as rather
14 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, thank you for your
15 intervention. I regret we didn't spot the error. I said "in 1993," in
16 1993. Yes, we have noted this down as something to be corrected, but
17 it's better like this. In the Croatian language, there was no doubt that
18 we are talking about 1993.
19 Q. Let's look at the next document, 4D475. This is an order for
20 active defence, dated the 23rd of February, 1993. It was issued by
21 Miljenko Lasic, the commander of the South-Eastern Herzegovina Zone --
22 Operative Zone. In item 1, we have information about the enemy. Who is
23 defined as the enemy here, Mr. Jasak?
24 A. The VRS is defined as the enemy, the 4th Herzegovina Corps.
25 Q. In --
1 A. Excuse me. Not the 4th, just the Herzegovina Corps.
2 Q. In item 2 of this order, it says that part of the units of the
3 4th Corps of the Army of Bosnia-Herzegovina has been assigned some tasks.
4 Can you comment on this?
5 A. Yes, I can.
6 Q. Please do.
7 A. The units carrying out defence are defined here, including the
8 Stjepan Radic HVO Brigade, the 1st HVO Brigade, Knez Domagoj, the 3rd HVO
9 Brigade, the 2nd HVO Brigade, and this is not really legible, the
10 Herceg Stjepan Brigade, part of the units of the 4th Corps of the Army of
11 Bosnia and Herzegovina, the Cannon/Rocket Regiment, tank battalion and
12 home defence units, home guard units, and then the task is defined: To
13 organise defence line at current positions. On the right side at
14 Cavaska Gomila.
15 Q. Mr. Jasak, there's no need for you to read us the document.
16 Could you just comment on it, please, from the viewpoint of co-operation
17 and the relations between the HVO and the BH Army?
18 A. The HVO units and the BH Army units here are jointly taking part
19 in defence against the VRS.
20 Q. In item 3, the 4th Corps of the BH Army is defined as "the
21 neighbour," so let's recall how this is to be interpreted. Is a
22 neighbour a friend or an enemy?
23 A. A neighbour is a friend.
24 Q. In item 5.3, we can see that some tasks are assigned to the
25 Bregava Brigade of the BH Army and, in 5.5, to the 1st Mostar Brigade.
1 And another piece of information, and then we'll summarise this. We can
2 see that this order was also sent to the 4th Corps of the BH Army.
3 Mr. Jasak, can you comment on the fact that a confidential piece
4 of information, such as this order for defence, was sent to the 4th Corps
5 of the Army of Bosnia-Herzegovina?
6 A. Yes, I can. This order was sent to all those participating in
7 active defence. This includes two units, the Bregava Brigade and the
8 1st Mostar Brigade, who are participating in the defence, and they were
9 part of the 4th Corps. So together with the HVO, they were opposing the
10 VRS. This sort of document may be forwarded only to the greatest of
11 friends because, on the contrary, if such a document were to fall into
12 enemy hands, it would threaten the entire combat disposition.
13 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Colonel, earlier you said that
14 it was forwarded to the neighbours, so to a friend. I'm not quite
15 convinced about that. Sometimes, well, you have neighbours with whom
16 you're not necessarily very friendly.
17 Now, I see this document for the first time, I must say, and I
18 have noted, without you saying it, that it was forwarded to the
19 4th Corps, so Mr. Pasalic has knowledge of these elements. So I see in
20 this document some information which usually armies keep as top-secret
21 information; number of fighters, means, assets, et cetera. And here the
22 "army," [as interpreted] quote/unquote --
23 THE INTERPRETER: Sorry, the interpreter apologises, "the enemy."
24 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] -- is communicated information
25 which can be used between Pasalic and the HVO, so he's given information,
1 and the person giving the information is Mr. Lasic in person. When it
2 says that given unit has this and that sort of weapons, this or that
3 assets, it means that you actually give information -- military
4 information. For instance, the Motorised Brigade -- the Bileca Motorised
5 Brigade, it says that there are 1400 fighters in this brigade, and that
6 it is reinforced with tanks, with two howitzers, 120-millimetres, and so
7 on and so on.
8 So Mr. Pasalic is given information. So you, as an expert of
9 military intelligence of the time, when you give information of that
10 nature to a military entity which is another entity, do you give that
11 rather to an enemy or to a friend?
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, information is
13 provided to friends exclusively. The brigade you mentioned here, the
14 Bileca Motorised Brigade, was an enemy unit.
15 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Right. Well, when I said that,
16 I was wondering about it. And so it's a BH Army brigade, isn't it?
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, Your Honour. That was a
18 brigade of the VRS.
19 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Fair enough. So when you give
20 this information to the 4th Corps, and this is information which were
21 received from the forces -- about the forces of Republika Srpska, it
22 means that you do not hide anything; isn't that right?
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, there was no
24 concealment. Nothing was being hidden. Information about the enemy was
25 provided and about our own forces.
1 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Now, I'm a Judge, and in my
2 modest capacity I'm trying to understand, and I do not make any headway.
3 We are in February, on the 23rd of February exactly. And as we can see,
4 there are connections between the HVO and the BH Army. But we know that
5 before that, that were problems in January, in October, in Prozor. We
6 know that there were conflicts. So how do you connect those past
7 conflicts, present or future conflicts, with such a document? I mean,
8 what sort of explanation do you have? What does it mean in reality?
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, this means, in
10 reality, that the only enemy both of the HVO and of the BH Army was the
11 VRS, and the conflicts on the ground -- well, within 24 hours everything
12 was done to obtain a truce.
13 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation]
14 Q. Mr. Jasak, His Honour Judge Antonetti is entirely right when he
15 claims that you also had a neighbour with whom you were not entertaining
16 friendly relations. For that reason, I would now like to ask you to
17 define for us the term "neighbour" as it occurs in these military
18 documents, so not generally speaking but in military terms. When, in a
19 military document, we come across the term "neighbour," what exactly does
20 that mean?
21 A. If we define someone as a neighbour, it means this: Each unit
22 has a left neighbour and a right neighbour. These neighbours must be
23 friendly. At all points where two units link up, there has to be the
24 closest possible co-operation in order to prevent the front-line from
25 being penetrated by the enemy.
1 Q. All right. Let us assume we have a unit in a certain area.
2 Right next to this area is an area controlled by the enemy. How, then,
3 will you define this line between your own unit and the territory that is
4 under the control of the enemy?
5 A. The enemy is the enemy. No special marking needs to be done.
6 It's just a line. If we have a defending unit, then there are neighbours
7 both to the left and to the right involved in the same defence effort as
8 neighbouring units; friendly ones, at any rate.
9 Q. May I therefore conclude, and correct me if I'm wrong, you face
10 an area that is under the control of the enemy, in a colloquial sense you
11 are neighbours, in terms of being adjacent; nevertheless, this enemy unit
12 would fall under the heading "Enemy" and not be defined as a neighbour?
13 A. Yes. In military terminology, as far as I know, only a friendly
14 unit can be defined as a neighbour. Everyone else falls under the
15 definition of an enemy.
16 Q. The only thing separating you from the enemy is the front-line;
18 A. Yes, that's right.
19 Q. All right. Mr. Jasak, we've just seen two orders in relation to
20 two operations zones, and we saw what the relationship was like towards
21 the Army of Bosnia-Herzegovina. Based on your knowledge, did the HVO
22 perhaps have any contingency plans for combat operations for the purposes
23 of which the BH Army was defined as an enemy?
24 A. The HVO had no contingency plans for the purposes of which the
25 BH Army was defined as an enemy.
1 Q. Mr. Jasak, to the best of your knowledge as a resident of Mostar,
2 an official of the Main Staff, a person who was directly in touch with
3 soldiers and military commanders, do you know anything about the HVO
4 preparing for clashes with the BH Army?
5 A. I have no knowledge of that at all.
6 Q. Given the English interpretation, it means you know nothing about
7 that, or do you mean the HVO was not preparing for clashes with the
8 BH Army?
9 A. The HVO was not preparing for any clashes with the BH Army.
10 Q. The next document is 4D1355. This is an interview given by
11 General Milivoj Petkovic in mid-1994 on the eve of his departure from
12 Herceg-Bosna. Question number 5 and question number 6 from the end of
13 the document, we see the journalist asking the following question:
14 "The result in the war against the Muslims were somewhat poor?"
15 And the general's reply was:
16 "That's right."
17 The next question:
18 "Were they not the weaker enemy?"
19 And the general's reply:
20 "No, they were not. The distribution of the Croatian population
21 is such that we form enclaves all over the place. The distribution of
22 power was unfavorable, and we had not been preparing to fight them.
23 Everyone took their own decisions at a local level, and everyone assumed
24 nothing would happen over here because our relations are good."
25 Mr. Jasak, given your personal experience and given your
1 knowledge, which I referred to in the introductory part of my previous
2 question, the facts stated in this particular reply by General Petkovic
3 are correct, aren't they?
4 A. In my opinion, these facts are absolutely correct.
5 Q. Can you tell us whether the military commanders and the
6 authorities of Herceg-Bosna were surprised by what happened in mid-April
7 1993? Without for the time being going into such questions as to who
8 attacked whom, were they not surprised by the sheer volume of the
9 fighting and combat on the part of the BH Army? Were they surprised and
10 were they ready to face anything like that.
11 A. They were certainly entirely surprised. The sheer force of the
12 attack that occurred and the units involved were such that they could
13 have been better used to lift the blockade of Sarajevo, had they decided
14 to use the same amount of force for that purpose.
15 Q. Mr. Jasak, do you know anything about how General Petkovic, in
16 his capacity as the chief of the Main Staff, wanted to go about resolving
17 various incidents, innocent misunderstandings, even clashes between the
18 BH Army and the HVO?
19 A. General Petkovic did his best to resolve each and every conflict
20 by negotiating and by peaceful means and methods.
21 Q. Were you to say what General Petkovic focused on in particular
22 during your time with the Main Staff, what could you tell us?
23 A. I could say that for the most part, he focused on negotiations of
24 all different kinds, under the auspices of the international community or
25 without its presence, meaning negotiating directly with BH Army
2 Q. Did you at any point hear that anyone at the Main Staff, or in
3 any of the bodies that you were in touch with, criticised
4 General Petkovic for spending too much time on international
5 negotiations, saying that he was too peaceable, too peace-loving, and
6 that the Main Staff should be run in a different way?
7 A. One could overhear remarks to the effect that the general should
8 be more energetic, more vigorous, and not give way as much as he used to.
9 Q. Let's look at the section of this interview where the general is
10 asked a very similar question about whether he really should have tried
11 to put a stop to each and every conflict. It's the third question from
12 the end of the interview. General Petkovic says:
13 "Some say we could have scored a success immediately over there.
14 Perhaps we could have in Mostar, too. When liberating Mostar, they had
15 nothing apart from a poorly armed, independent battalion. Nevertheless,
16 who at the time would even have considered a conflict with the Muslims?
17 Our own brigades had Muslim members, after all. The clashes around
18 Prozor were what they were. There weren't any civilian casualties. The
19 clashes around Vakuf were stopped from Geneva."
20 General Petkovic says here:
21 "Who could have imagined any clashes with the Muslims at the
23 Sir, as long as your familiarity with General Petkovic allows you
24 to answer the question, please go ahead and answer it. If not, please
25 just say so. The question is this: Could General Petkovic have uttered
1 this sentence, honestly believing that back then nobody had even been
2 able to imagine that the HVO would at some time clash with the Muslims?
3 A. I can honestly confirm that this sentence means what it says, and
4 it is entirely consistent with General Petkovic's actions on the ground.
5 Q. The next sentence:
6 "Our own brigades, after all, comprise Muslim soldiers."
7 My conclusion would be that General Petkovic considered the
8 presence of those Muslims in the HVO units to be a factor potentially
9 preventing any clashes between the BH Army and the HVO. Mr. Jasak, in
10 view of your acquaintance with General Petkovic, in view of your opinion
11 regarding General Petkovic, did he, indeed, believe these Muslims in the
12 HVO to be a factor of stability, potentially preventing any clashes with
13 the Muslims, since "we had Muslims within our own ranks," that being the
14 general reasoning?
15 A. Yes, that's right. General Petkovic saw these Muslims as a
16 bridge, a link, if you like, between the BH Army and the HVO. He also
17 honestly believed that this fact alone would stop any clashes from
18 erupting, or at least any serious ones. If there were to be any clashes,
19 they would be minor ones that could easily be put out within a 24-hour
21 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I realise it's time
22 for a break.
23 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes, we're going to take a
24 break. I only have a small question, a very quick one, about this
1 It's an interesting document, this interview of General Petkovic,
2 and I will certainly have the opportunity with him to talk about this
3 document in light of what is included in the interview, but a point of
4 detail that you may be able to confirm or not.
5 At some point, he's asked about the staff and the fact that on
6 two occasions he was head of staff, and General Petkovic explains that
7 with General Praljak there was an agreement to break down the tasks in
8 two areas, Central Bosnia and Rama-Uskoplje. From your standpoint, from
9 your position, did you learn that, in fact, there was no one head of
10 staff, but two, and that they had split among themselves the territory
11 and the competencies relating to those territories?
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I was not aware of
13 there being two chiefs or two commanders. At one point in time, I don't
14 know exactly what it was called, a chief of staff or the staff commander,
15 and I think it was roughly the same time that General Petkovic mentions.
16 At any rate, General Petkovic spent quite some time negotiating in
17 Central Bosnia
18 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] All right. So you don't have
19 any specific knowledge about this.
20 Let's take a 20-minute break.
21 --- Recess taken at 5.46 p.m.
22 --- On resuming at 6.07 p.m.
23 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] The court is back in session.
24 Mr. Stewart.
25 MR. STEWART: Thank you, Your Honours. It's a very short
1 request, Your Honour.
2 Our response to the objections by the Prosecution to our IC list
3 in relation to the witness Maric is due first thing tomorrow morning. We
4 ask, and the Prosecution have no objection to this, I can tell Your
5 Honours, that we ask that in the light of the scheduling, may we have
6 until Thursday to do that? We're sitting tomorrow morning, as Your
7 Honours appreciate.
8 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. The Trial Chamber
9 is granting you leave for that.
10 Ms. Alaburic.
11 MR. SCOTT: Excuse me, Mr. President. If we could while
12 Mr. Stewart is on his feet, or at least after he's been on his feet, make
13 a similar request. I think we also owe -- my apologies. I believe we
14 may owe two responses as well, and I'm not sure we can get them filed by
15 tomorrow. So as I mentioned to Mr. Stewart when he came across, if we
16 could have a similar extension until Thursday, that would be appreciated
17 as well.
18 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. Well, for equality
19 of arms, of course we grant you leave also.
20 Ms. Alaburic, you have two hours and fifty-nine minutes left.
21 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] All right, Your Honours. More on
22 this subject that is related to General Petkovic personally, very
24 4D397 is our next document. This is a letter written by
25 General Petkovic in June 1992 and addressed to the Municipal Staffs of
1 the HVO in Konjic and Gornji Vakuf because of tensions and incidents
2 involving the Territorial Defence. The letter states:
3 "I hope you didn't forget that the TO and the HVO are integral
4 parts of the Armed Forces of Bosnia and Herzegovina. Instead of
5 strengthening their mutual bonds in the fight against our common enemy,
6 standing at the very threshold of your municipality, you are preparing to
7 use weapons against each other. In the name of both Croats and Muslims,
8 I beg you to overcome this situation. As members of the Armed Forces of
9 Bosnia-Herzegovina, you are obliged to do that."
10 Q. Mr. Jasak, regardless of the fact that the document bears no
11 title, do you consider this document to be an order or a simple request?
12 A. It is quite clear that the document is a mere request, or a
13 recommendation, if you like, telling them how they should join forces
14 against their common enemy, and the enemy's already standing, as it were,
15 at the threshold of their home.
16 Q. Did you know General Petkovic back then in June of 1992?
17 A. Yes, I knew him, but not as well as I did later on. I knew that
18 he was the chief or the commander.
19 Q. I won't be asking you any personal questions, then.
20 4D433, that is our next document.
21 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Witness, I have a short
22 follow-up question.
23 We have here a personal document written by Mr. Petkovic and
24 dated June 20th, 1992
25 supposed to forget the TO and HVO are integral parts of the Armed Forces
1 of Bosnia and Herzegovina. This is a statement made by Mr. Petkovic to a
2 political entity. It's a top-secret message, and it's also encoded.
3 Mr. Petkovic is expressing something in this message and is very
4 clear. Now, I would like to know whether this was shared by all HVO
5 soldiers in June 1992.
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, there is no way I can
7 know what all the other soldiers believed. I can tell you what I
8 believed, and I believed this, and this belief was shared by those I
9 actually knew.
10 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well.
11 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation]
12 Q. Mr. Jasak, given the fact that sometimes the distinction between
13 the civilian HVO and the military HVO is unclear based on documents, tell
14 us this: If this was dispatched to the Municipal Staff of the HVO, would
15 that be a civilian body or a military body?
16 A. The staff was a military body.
17 Q. And what was the name of the civilian HVO in Donji Vakuf --
18 Gornji Vakuf?
19 A. I don't know exactly what it was called. Probably "the HVO," no
20 more than that. At the time, municipal staffs comprised the military.
21 Q. Mr. Jasak, if I may be allowed to ask a leading question that is
22 of no particular significance but that might be useful, if I try to look
23 at the signature, and then based on that try and understand whether this
24 was the civilian component or the military component of the HVO, could we
25 say that a document would be signed by a commander on behalf of the
1 military component of the HVO and the president on behalf of the civilian
2 component of the HVO?
3 A. Yes, that would be understood. I have no doubt that this is a
4 military document. It was signed by the commander, and it's addressed to
5 the Municipal Staff. Therefore, it was understood that on the 26th this
6 would be forwarded to the military commands or the municipal staffs.
7 Q. 4D433, instructions by the chief of the Main Staff,
8 Milivoj Petkovic, sent to the Konjic Main Staff, to be delivered to
9 Sagolj personally. The date is the 20th of January, 1993. It's about
10 allaying tensions in Konjic. It reads:
11 "Establish contact with the BH Army in Konjic and make an effort
12 to allay any tensions."
13 Mr. Jasak, by this time you are with the Main Staff already and
14 you are personally acquainted with General Petkovic. If we look at these
15 instructions, is this something that he can be said to have considered an
16 appropriate way of dealing with any problems with the BH Army?
17 A. These instructions, this note, reflect very faithfully
18 General Petkovic's modus operandi.
19 Q. You're trying to say that this is exactly what Petkovic did,
20 himself; right?
21 A. Yes, that's right.
22 Q. Tell us, if you can, in relation to individual municipalities,
23 was the situation in a given municipality in any relation whatsoever to
24 the ability of the municipal commander to establish and maintain good
25 relations with his counterpart in the BH Army?
1 A. By all means, the ability to negotiate was a very important
2 factor. When you have armed men on both sides, it's very easy to soon
3 have incidents occurring or clashes erupting, unless everybody tries to
4 use their common sense.
5 Q. I have a particular question about the operations zone that you
6 were analysing, Mr. Jasak. The 23rd of March, 1993, does that date have
7 any special significance for you?
8 A. The 23rd of March; is that what you asked?
9 Q. Yes, precisely.
10 A. That was when the clashes erupted in Konjic municipality.
11 Q. Did you in the VOS have any information about those clashes?
12 A. Yes, we did.
13 Q. Based on such information as you had, who attacked whom?
14 A. According to our information, it was the BH Army units that
15 attacked the HVO.
16 Q. Look at the next document, 4D125. This is an order dated the
17 23rd of March, 1993, co-signed by Milivoj Petkovic, on behalf of the HVO,
18 and Arif Pasalic, on behalf of the 4th Corps of the BH Army, and this is
19 an order to stop all fighting between the HVO and the BH Army.
20 Mr. Jasak, in the VOS did you have information showing that the conflicts
21 were stopped, based on this order on the same day --
22 A. Yes, we did.
23 Q. -- in Konjic?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. The next two documents I have prepared --
1 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Witness, I was looking at this
2 document jointly signed by Pasalic and Petkovic, and I was quite
3 interested to note that this document is headed with the Republic of
4 Bosnia and Herzegovina and the HVO, Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna.
5 Now, Pasalic is a BH Army officer, but he is signing a document coming
6 from the HVO, on HVO letterhead. Of course, Pasalic cannot tell us why
7 he actually signed this document, since he passed away. But you are a
8 military intelligence specialist, so could you give us an explanation?
9 Could you answer us why the top man in the BH Army in the Mostar area
10 would sign a document on HVO letterhead? Because it's not a neutral
11 document. It is on HVO letterhead. How can you explain this?
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, if we look at the
13 document, underneath the coat of arms of Herceg-Bosna, it says
14 "Main Staff of the HVO," and to the right it says "4th Corps Command,"
15 and this document with the HVO heading, in my view, is the way it is
16 because both sides wanted to halt the conflict quickly. It was drawn up
17 based on an agreement between General Petkovic and Mr. Arif Pasalic in
18 the HVO Main Staff.
19 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. Earlier, you said
20 that the BH Army started attacking the HVO as of March 23, 1993. But if
21 on the same day Pasalic signs a document asking for -- according to which
22 there is an order for a cease-fire, why is it that there's still an
23 attack? How can you reconcile this?
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, there were several
25 instances whereas such cease-fires were signed, but not respected. The
1 conflicts continued. Either it was impossible to keep the troops on the
2 ground under control, or the negotiations on the part of the BH Army were
3 not entered into sincerely.
4 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] So who's responsible for the
5 situation, according to you?
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I think that the leadership of the
7 Army of Bosnia-Herzegovina is responsible.
8 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation].
9 Q. The next two documents, Mr. Jasak, you can just listen. P3805 is
10 an UNPROFOR document. Let me just check whether it's under seal. It
11 doesn't seem to be. And from this document, it transpires that on the
12 30th of July, 1993, an agreement on cessation of all hostilities was
13 signed at Sarajevo Airport
14 sides in Bosnia-Herzegovina, and on behalf of the Croatian side it was
15 signed by Milivoj Petkovic. Based on this agreement, Milivoj Petkovic
16 issued an order on cessation of hostilities. That's P3816. These were
17 activities that took place in 1993.
18 Do you know when General Praljak came to the head of the
19 Main Staff of the HVO?
20 A. I think it was on the 23rd of July, or thereabouts, in 1993, but
21 I don't know whether this is the period when the HVO had both a commander
22 and a chief of the Main Staff.
23 Q. Very well. We'll see that from the documents we'll see shortly.
24 But what I want to know now is the following: Do you know who dealt with
25 issues of co-operation with UNPROFOR and participating in international
1 conferences at the time when General Praljak was the first man in the HVO
2 Main Staff?
3 A. General Petkovic continued dealing with these matters.
4 Q. I will now ask you to look at P --
5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Witness, please tell me if I'm
6 wrong. If I'm wrong, tell me, you know. I won't take offence; of course
7 not. I'm trying to understand, and we have thousands and thousands of
8 documents to look at and it's very difficult to know exactly what
10 Now, we have a document from the international community, and I
11 believe that it shouldn't be contested. Well, you never know. Well, the
12 international community is mentioning the agreement, and Mr. Mladic is
13 mentioned also, the notorious Mladic still at large, and we all hope that
14 sometime he will come to be tried. Anyway, Mr. Mladic is speaking and is
15 talking about the situation of 3.000 Croats who fled from Bugojno towards
16 the Serbian lines. I'm sure you know that there had been a BH Army
17 offensive in Bugojno which led to the Croats fleeing the area.
18 But here we find out that the Croats left for the Serbian lines,
19 which probably means that the Serbs were not shooting at them, and that
20 General Mladic is trying to solve the situation through this document, so
21 maybe through exchange of prisoners, or maybe he believes that these
22 Croats are prisoners. We don't really know exactly what he wants to do.
23 But I always believed, you know, that in order to understand the
24 conflict, you don't just have to say that it's a conflict between Muslims
25 and Croats, but you have to integrate the Serbian component into this in
1 order to understand what exactly unfolded. Now, do you believe that I'm
2 wrong in trying to do so or not?
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, throughout the war the
4 VRS was defined as the enemy. In part, for one year, the Army of
5 Bosnia-Herzegovina was an enemy of the HVO.
6 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] You haven't really answered my
7 question. I understand what you said, but this is what I'm trying to
8 ascertain: If I interpret all the events that unfolded only looking from
9 the angle of what happened between Croats and Muslims, don't you think I
10 would be making a mistake if I forget to include the Serbian component?
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I don't fully
12 understand your question. Do you mean to say that the Serbs had an
13 influence on the conflict between the Croats and the Muslims?
14 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes. To a certain extent, I
15 would say, Yes. I would like to know the following: When looking at the
16 situation on the ground, what happened on the ground, the fact that the
17 BH Army attacked in Bugojno, for example, the fact that 3.000 Croats flee
18 towards the Serb lines, not in another direction, I would like to know
19 whether there's an explanation for this. When there is this conflict
20 between the Muslims and Croats, don't you think we should --
21 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's correction, "do you think."
22 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] -- that we should also take
23 into account the Serbian component? Are we supposed to consider the
24 conflict only from the angle of Croats against Muslims?
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, when the Croats came
1 under attack, they ran every which way, so it's quite possible, because
2 if they fled in one direction, they would be sure to be in danger of
3 their lives, and they weren't sure what would happen if they ran the
4 other way.
5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] You're saying that the enemy
6 was the Serbs, but we have 3.000 Croats fleeing towards the Serbian
7 lines. Why is that? Were they told that nothing would happen to them?
8 Were there agreements that we don't know about? Everything is very
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I don't know of any
11 agreement, but they knew that if they fled in one direction, they would
12 be killed immediately. If they fled in the other direction, they might
13 stay alive somehow. And there was no way they could flee in a third
15 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. I understand you.
16 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Let's try to analyse this more
18 Q. If you had to explain to Their Honours something that's important
19 for the understanding of the war in Bosnia-Herzegovina, would you have to
20 include the Serbian side in your explanation? Would you have to explain
21 that there were also Serbs there, that they had their own authorities,
22 their own army, what their aims were, what their relations with the
23 Muslim army and the HVO were? Are the Serbs a relevant factor for
25 A. As regards the Serbs, they also come from the territory of
2 referendum for the independence of Bosnia-Herzegovina, the Croats and the
3 Muslims voted for independence and the Serbs did not, but they certainly
4 have the right to their own space within Bosnia-Herzegovina.
5 Q. If you wish to understand the events in Bosnia-Herzegovina, or in
6 some parts of Bosnia-Herzegovina, do you have to know something about
7 what the Serbs are doing and what they want?
8 A. Well, yes. The Serbs want to create their own ethnic territory.
9 They want their own area.
10 Q. So you have to know something about the activities of the Serbs
11 in order to understand the situation in Bosnia-Herzegovina? That was the
12 gist of Judge Antonetti's question.
13 A. Well, quite simply, I didn't understand the question.
14 Q. Very well. Tell us, if we wanted to explain to Their Honours how
15 it came about that the Croats were in an enclave in the Konjic
16 municipality, the villages of Turija, Zaslivlje, and Zabrdje, and managed
17 to survive there, would we have to tell Their Honours something about the
18 Serbs as well?
19 A. Yes, the Croats there managed to survive because at the local
20 level they established contacts with the Serbs, and that's how they
21 managed to survive.
22 Q. And now an example that His Honour used, Bugojno. It's outside
23 the operations zone we are discussing, but the principle is the same.
24 THE INTERPRETER: Could the witness repeat the answer, please.
25 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation]
1 Q. For the full understanding --
2 [In English] I surrender.
3 JUDGE TRECHSEL: The interpreters have asked for the witness to
4 repeat the answer. Sorry.
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] To understand the situation, when a
6 specific question was asked which I understood, for example, the Croatian
7 enclave of Turija, Zabrdje, and Zaslivlje managed to survive thanks to
8 the Serbs because they managed to reach an agreement at the local level.
9 It is also possible that something like that happened on the territory of
11 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation]
12 Q. And now the question asked by Judge Antonetti was the following:
13 For the full understanding of the events on the ground, for example, the
14 events in Bugojno, do we have to know something about the activities of
15 the Serbian side; were they co-operating with someone, were they letting
16 civilians pass through, were they supplying someone with weapons, and so
18 A. Absolutely, yes.
19 Q. Well, tell us, why do we have to know that?
20 A. Well, because - and I'm now referring to the area of Turija,
21 Zabrdje, and Zaslivlje - it was only by co-operation that the lives of
22 those people could be saved.
23 Q. Mr. Jasak, I'm not asking you why the Croats co-operated with the
24 Serbs in some areas. I am asking you why we have to know something about
25 the activities and plans of the Serbs in order to understand the
1 situation on the ground.
2 A. I'm sorry. I don't understand your question.
3 Q. The question is: What do we have to know in order to understand
4 properly the situation on the ground? If on the ground you have three
5 armies, three civilian authorities, the question is: Is it enough to
6 know only about what the Muslims and the Croats are doing, or do you have
7 to know what the Serbs are doing and thinking, if possible?
8 A. Well, yes, you have to know about the activities of all three
10 JUDGE TRECHSEL: I'm sorry.
11 Witness, can you explain to the Chamber how you have a general
12 view and a knowledge of the problems the Chamber has to deal with that
13 you can give such an answer? I think it's not a proper question, but how
14 can you tell us -- how can you give us such an answer? Do you know what
15 problems the Chamber has to deal with, what is important, what is not?
16 MR. KARNAVAS: Mr. President, Judge Trechsel, I believe that
17 remark or comment or question was improper, and I'll say why.
18 We have been struggling for the last four years, or nearly four
19 years, to put matters into context. The question of why, obviously, goes
20 for context. Now, we're not dealing with the situation in Iraq,
22 with a situation when none of us were there. You were some place else.
23 Some of us may have been in the region and may think we know what was
24 happening because we were working in certain positions or reading the
25 newspapers, but now we have an individual who was there, and we need to
1 put things in context.
2 Now, I understand that some members of the Trial Bench believe
3 that everything is tu quoque, and we're concerned about that, that
4 everything was done by the Croats against the Muslims, they were the
5 aggressors, there's only one army, and the perception that some of us are
6 getting is we shouldn't even have a trial because, you know, certain
7 minds have already been made up. That's a perception. We're trying to
8 change what we believe is a perception, hopefully not a reality.
9 Now, this gentleman, if he was in the army and if he was there,
10 if he was associated with the general, obviously he would be in a
11 position to know why it is necessary for someone to understand the
12 situation, be it a judge, be it a prosecutor, be it an individual, his
13 neighbour, why it's necessary to know what is happening on the ground and
14 what all three sides are doing. I think that is important.
15 Now, a more relevant question is whether the individual knows.
16 Does he have any personal knowledge upon which he can answer that
17 question? But I don't think that you can possible -- you can possibly
18 begin to fathom and understand what is happening if you're saying, We
19 don't want to hear about the one side. And this is why I'm extremely
20 troubled when, for instance, you -- in our particular case, you have
21 chosen deliberately to exclude official gazettes of other municipalities
22 when we're trying to show what they're doing, not for tu quoque, but to
23 show there are limitations upon which all -- everybody was working under,
24 because it seems to us that if you are isolating everything and you're
25 just looking at one piece of evidence in isolation, it is easy to get to
1 the wrong conclusion.
2 I certainly believe the gentleman can give us an opinion as to
3 why he believes it is necessary for everyone, not just the Judges, for
4 everyone to know what all three sides are doing. Whether he is --
5 whether you want to give any weight to that answer, that's another
7 Now, maybe a predicate needs to be asked. Can the gentleman --
8 is he in a position to give such information? If so, what gives -- on
9 what basis does he -- you know, does he have this information, more
10 details. But I do believe, Your Honour, with the deepest respects, that
11 the manner in which you address the witness and suggesting that he
12 doesn't know anything and shouldn't be commenting, I think, is improper.
13 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Mr. Karnavas, I must really reject this
14 criticism of one and a half pages, almost, of a question. If you believe
15 that the Chamber, after three and three-quarters of years of hearing this
16 case, needs this witness, who was a medium-level officer, to tell the
17 Chamber what is relevant to decide this case, I think it is not a proper
18 question. The Chamber knows what's relevant. That's not the issue,
19 Mr. Karnavas. I'm not -- I have not in any way suggested that this was
20 not something that could be of some interest, but I think it is really
21 not a question this witness, having in mind of what we have heard from
22 him so far, is the person to answer.
23 MR. KARNAVAS: Well, Judge Trechsel, I believe, then, the
24 objection should have been to the counsel, not to the witness. The
25 witness was asked the question. He was merely trying to answer a
2 JUDGE TRECHSEL: That's more or less what I did. I said I
3 thought this was not a proper question for this witness, Mr. Karnavas.
4 MR. KARNAVAS: Well, I apologise if in any way I've offended the
5 Bench, but it seemed to me that perhaps if a counsel asked the wrong
6 question, counsel should be admonished or corrected. The gentleman, in
7 my opinion, was merely trying to give an answer. Now, perhaps he doesn't
8 have the proper foundation or the proper foundation wasn't laid. Perhaps
9 with more foundational questions, he would be in a position to answer
10 that question. But this gentleman doesn't know what we know or what has
11 happened in the last three and a half years.
12 JUDGE TRECHSEL: I have, in fact, asked what his foundation was,
13 Mr. Karnavas. It may have slipped your mind because you were all worked
14 up already, filled with a sort of paranoic fear that the Chamber had all
15 sorts of ideas that you suppose and bring up again and again.
16 But I think we can close it here. Okay?
17 MR. KARNAVAS: Very well.
18 MR. STEWART: Well, I do know Your Honour wishes to close it, but
19 I do wish to go and say something on behalf of the Petkovic Defence, and
20 it's one of those happy occasions where I spoke what Mr. Karnavas has
21 said. I'm in a mildly more awkward position, because so far as it might
22 be said that what Your Honour said to the witness ought to be deflected
23 to counsel, then, of course, it's my lead counsel, but my lead counsel is
24 easily tough enough to deal with any such points that might be raised by
25 one of the learned Judges in relation to her, and I have every confidence
1 in her to deal directly with any point that's put fairly and squarely to
3 But, Your Honour, it was -- and Mr. Karnavas is right. It was,
4 with respect, not fair to put the point to the witness in the way that
5 you did, to be asking a witness, Do you know what problems the Chamber
6 has to deal with, what is important, what is not. Mr. Karnavas is right.
7 The witness just answered the question, and not only did he just answer
8 the question, but as it happens, a question directed to a witness in
9 relation to understanding the situation on the ground goes right to what
10 Mr. Karnavas was saying was -- the witness was there, he was on the
11 ground. This is not purely opinion he's being asked. It's not expert
12 evidence he's being asked. He's being asked to convey what he actually
13 saw and what he experienced and what he knows from being there at the
14 time. And, really, it goes back to -- there's been a lot of stuff about
15 foundation, but if a witness is going to do that, it's entirely fair to
16 ask him, then, whether, based on his knowledge of his being there at the
17 time, whether it -- in fact, to convey that knowledge and to give the
18 Trial Chamber the facts as he sees them, which is his job as a witness,
19 it is enough to know only about what the Muslims and the Croats were
20 doing or did you have to know what the Serbs were doing. He was a
21 soldier, and anybody in these armies -- it's ridiculous to suppose that
22 anybody at his level in the army doesn't have a knowledge and a grasp of
23 what you needed to know and what you needed to understand about what that
24 third party was doing at the time. That must have been part of the --
25 well, I suppose I'm speculating a bit, but the day-to-day conversation
1 amongst soldiers.
2 Your Honour, it wasn't fair to the witness, with respect, and
3 Mr. Karnavas was right.
4 JUDGE TRECHSEL: I object to the interference, that my question
5 and my ideas are ridiculous, Mr. Stewart.
6 MR. STEWART: Well, Your Honour needs to read carefully what I
7 said, but I'm entitled to make my submissions in firm forensic terms and
8 I -- well, it's there on the transcript, Your Honour. We can all read
10 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Witness, well, actually, I'm
11 the origin of the problem, the source of the problem, because I asked a
12 question from the document, and maybe that's where your misunderstanding
13 comes from. I thought I asked a question which was clear. You said, I
14 don't understand the questions. Ms. Alaburic rephrased the question in
15 better terms, and you still told her, I do not understand the question.
16 So I should have told you, sir, we have a document coming from the
17 headquarters of Kiseljak, and this is a document sent by
18 Mr. Victor Andrew to a Cedric Thornberry in charge of civil affairs.
19 This is a document which has two aspects: one a political aspect and one
20 military aspect. The political aspect is about the discussions in
22 an agreement between three people, Mladic, Delic and Petkovic, who are
23 three high-level commanders, military commanders.
24 Now, when I saw those three names and I saw the mention of
25 Bugojno, I wondered whether there were possibly not only two players on
1 the ground, without referring to tu quoque or whatever else, but three
2 players, the Serbs, the Croats, and the Muslims, because everything is
3 connected, and that's why I asked you that question, and I said, If I
4 consider this conflict to be a conflict between two players, am I right
5 in thinking that, or should I consider the context involving three
6 stakeholders or three players? I think it was a clear question. So
7 maybe you knew that or did not know that. Maybe you only dealt with the
8 BH Army and not with the Serbs, and maybe that explains or that can
9 explain a number of things.
10 However, as an analyst working in the VOS, did you have a
11 knowledge about the whole context or did you have a knowledge about only
12 what was happening within the BH Army? That's the gist of my question.
13 So what's your field of competence, only the BH Army or the BH Army and
14 also the Serbs?
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, we had knowledge of
16 both what was happening in the BH Army and in the VRS.
17 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Right. So you had some
18 knowledge about what was happening both within the BH Army and also
19 within the VRS. What about this knowledge; was it an extended sort of
20 knowledge or was it only sketchy or patchy?
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] We had the kind of information that
22 we were able to obtain, we, or, rather, our people on the ground.
23 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Well, there's a whole series of
24 documents, and had I known that it would raise problems, then I would
25 have listed all the documents. But I think that there are documents
1 signed by Mr. Petkovic talking about Serbs shooting. There are also
2 documents stemming from the international community referring to what is
3 done by the Serbs, and so on and so forth. So we have a series of
4 documents showing that the conflict was not amongst two parties, but that
5 all the parties were involved, and that's what I want to know.
6 According to you, was it a conflict purely between Croats and
7 Muslims or did it involve Croats and Muslims against the Serbs, or
8 sometimes Muslims against the Serbs, Croats against the Serbs? So, you
9 know, there are several possible cases.
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] That depends on the period of time
11 we're talking about. There were clashes where the Muslims and the Croats
12 fought the Serbs. That applied to most of the war. And there were
13 certain clashes when the Serbs took steps against the Croats and the
14 Muslims occasionally.
15 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] And possibly could you give us
16 some dates, or don't you have specific dates that you can give us?
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, Your Honour, I'll give it a
19 Specifically in the Mostar area, speaking of an all-out war that
20 broke out on the 30th of June, 1993, up until that point in time both
21 Croats and Muslims, the HVO and the BH Army, had been fighting together
22 against the Serbs. Afterward, Serbs fought the Croats and the Muslims,
23 depending on the point in time, in the Konjic area specifically.
24 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] We have a few minutes left.
25 Ms. Alaburic, you may proceed.
1 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour Judge Antonetti, I
2 sincerely thank you for assuming the responsibility to ask these
3 questions, saying that you were the one who initiated this exchange. It
4 certainly wasn't my intention.
5 Q. I believe we have sufficient time now for the next document on
6 which I will be requiring your brief comments, P2019, 2019. These are
7 minutes from a meeting held on the 21st of April, 1993, attended by
8 representatives of the BH Army and the HVO alike. It was put together --
9 the document was put together by Tihomir Blaskic. What I want to know
10 about is a particular sentence by Sefer Halilovic which was addressed to
11 Petkovic, and Petkovic's reply.
12 This is, roughly speaking, midway through the document.
13 Sefer Halilovic says:
14 "Your leading politicians advocate the creation of a Croat state
15 in BH territory."
16 Petkovic replies, I quote:
17 "Well, you ought to be reasonable enough to know that Croatia
18 cannot go for the annexation of BH territory, in which case it would lose
19 some of its own territory. Nevertheless, you are simply looking for
20 reasons to disagree."
21 Mr. Jasak, given your familiarity with General Petkovic, and the
22 fact that you were an intelligence officer with the Main Staff, can you
23 please comment on General Petkovic's clarification?
24 A. General Petkovic's explanation is perfectly understandable.
1 the territory of the former Yugoslavia
2 that determined the borders, and the borders were not to be changed in
3 any way. The borders as established under AVNOJ, A-V-N-O-J. Croatia
4 perfectly aware that with one-third of its own territory under someone
5 else's control, any attempt it may have made at messing around with the
6 borders would have threatened its very existence.
7 Q. Mr. Jasak, who was controlling this one-third of Croatia's
8 territory that you have just referred to?
9 A. It was the Serb forces.
10 Q. What about these Serbs in Croatia; did they want to carve off
11 this one-third of Croatia
12 A. Yes, that was the plan. It was the plan for a Greater Serbia.
13 The Karlovac-Karlobag border was supposed to mark its western border,
14 western-most border.
15 Q. By raising the issue of Bosnia-Herzegovina's borders, would that
16 not also raise the issue of Croatia
17 in a way, helped the Serbs to achieve their own goal in Croatia, in terms
18 of taking away part of Croatia
19 A. Yes, that avenue would then have been open.
20 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Thank you very much.
21 Your Honours, it's 7.00. I think it's a good time for us to
23 Thank you, Witness.
24 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Indeed.
25 So you'll come tomorrow morning at 9.00, Witness. You'll have a
1 hearing from 9.00 until 1.45, and on Thursday we'll start at
2 4.15 [as interpreted] and we'll most likely end up at 6.00 p.m. I don't
3 think that we will be done with the cross-examinations from the other
4 accused. We'll continue on Monday, and the Prosecutor will get his six
5 hours. Next week, we have four days, so we'll have enough time to
6 conclude. So please do not forget tomorrow to be back here at 9.00.
7 Thank you very much.
8 [The witness stands down]
9 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 7.02 p.m.
10 to be reconvened on Wednesday, the 20th day of
11 January, 2010, at 9.00 a.m.