Tribunal Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia

Page 49374

 1                           Monday, 15 February 2010

 2                           [Open session]

 3                           [The accused entered court]

 4                           [The accused Petkovic takes the stand]

 5                           --- Upon commencing at 2.16 p.m.

 6             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Registrar, could you please

 7     call the case, please.

 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

11     et al.  Thank you, Your Honours.

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

13             Today is Monday, the 15th of January [sic], 2010.  I would like

14     to welcome our witness, General Petkovic.  I would also like to greet the

15     accused, as well as all the counsels and all the members of the OTP, as

16     well as everyone helping us around this courtroom.

17             Before handing down an oral decision, I would like to give the

18     floor to the Registrar, who is going to give us two IC numbers.

19             THE REGISTRAR:  Thank you, Your Honour.  4D and 2D have submitted

20     their objections to the Prosecution's list of documents tendered via

21     Witness 4D-AA.  This list shall be given Exhibit IC01176 and 001177

22     respectively.  Thank you, Your Honours.

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

24             Oral decision dealing with a motion from the Petkovic Defence to

25     add 16 documents on the 65 ter list, dated 15th of February, 2010.

Page 49375

 1             On the 10th of February, 2010, the Petkovic Defence has filed a

 2     motion in which it asks the Chamber to add, on its 65 ter list, 16

 3     documents which they intend to bring forward during the testimony of

 4     Milivoj Petkovic.  During the hearing of the 11th of February, 2010, the

 5     Trial Chamber invited the Prosecution, as well as all other Defence

 6     teams, to send their response today.

 7             The Prosecution informed the Chamber, as well as the parties,

 8     that it was not going to be against the motion of the Petkovic Defence.

 9     The other teams from the Defence side have not issued any response.

10             The Trial Chamber notes that the motion from the Petkovic Defence

11     is extremely late, insofar as it happened one day before the testimony of

12     Milivoj Petkovic.  The Trial Chamber notes, however, that neither the

13     Prosecution nor other Defence teams have brought forward any prejudice

14     linked to this tardiness.  The Trial Chamber has, therefore, reviewed

15     this motion and feels that the 16 documents identified display

16     prima facie indicia of reliability, probative value, and relevance.

17     Consequently, the Trial Chamber decides to grant the motion and

18     authorises those documents to be added.  And I'm going to quote them:

19     3D02408, P03027, P05573, P06027, P06397, 4D01300, 4D01346, 4D01671,

20     P01341, 4D02026, P02599, 3D00526, P00166, P02114, 4D02024, and 4D02025.

21     These documents will be added on the 65 ter list of the Defence Petkovic.

22             Judge Antonetti is adding a separate opinion to the current

23     decision, and here is the separate opinion:

24             The Trial Chamber decided to add on the 65 ter list 16 documents.

25     I share fully this decision.  However, I have a different opinion as to

Page 49376

 1     the third paragraph dealing with the tardiness of the motion, because as

 2     far as I'm concerned, this means that we don't really take into account

 3     the needs of the Defence, which requires constant interviews between an

 4     accused and their counsel, and it could well be that during those

 5     interviews the need could have arisen at the last minute to introduce a

 6     document for the needs of the case, because until now neither the counsel

 7     nor the accused would have felt the need or would have seen any interest

 8     in lodging this document, and during the interview this could have come

 9     about.

10             As far as I'm concerned, Judges could not demand for all

11     documents to be mentioned on the 65 ter list before a witness comes to

12     testify because this would actually deny the rights of the Defence, which

13     are enjoyed from the beginning of the trial to the end of the trial, and

14     also during the phase where interviews are allowed between the accused

15     and his or her counsel.  This comment is also valid for the Prosecutor,

16     who can also feel the need to introduce, at the last minute, a document

17     for which a new interest has been identified during the proofing phase,

18     as we call it.  Therefore, in a criminal trial before an international

19     jurisdiction, it could well be that the parties, namely, the Prosecution

20     or the Defence, could feel the need, at the last minute, to bring forward

21     a new witness, and, in fact, this document would not have been mentioned

22     in the 65 ter list.  And in this case, I do not feel that we should

23     mention any criteria of tardiness which was mentioned in paragraph 3 of

24     this above-mentioned decision.

25             I feel that a Trial Chamber should display flexibility in case

Page 49377

 1     that it is faced with exceptional circumstances, and I believe that

 2     interviews between the Prosecutor and its witnesses or interviews between

 3     a counsel and his or her client, the accused, could lead to the need to

 4     introduce, at the last minute, an additional document.  This is my

 5     separate opinion, bearing in mind that I fully agree with the fact that

 6     we've agreed with adding those 16 additional documents.

 7             Ms. Alaburic, the Registrar told me that you already used an hour

 8     and 19 minutes, so you have the floor.

 9             MR. KHAN:  Mr. President, perhaps before my learned friend

10     addresses the Court, firstly, good afternoon.  A very quick matter.

11     Perhaps Your Honours could request the Registrar to contact the computer

12     help desk.  I did notify the Court that there was a problem before we

13     sat, and that hasn't been rectified, so perhaps I could have some

14     assistance.  I would be very grateful.

15             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Registrar, please make sure

16     that Mr. Khan can have access very quickly to everything on his computer.

17             Very well.  Mr. Khan, it will be dealt with.  We have a very

18     sufficient Registrar, so he's done everything that's required.

19             Ms. Alaburic, you have the floor.

20             MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Good afternoon to you,

21     Your Honours, and to the Prosecution, all the Defence teams.  Good

22     afternoon do you, General, and everybody else in the courtroom.

23             I thank the Trial Chamber for its decision, and we can move on,

24     General, with our discussions.

25                           WITNESS:  MILIVOJ PETKOVIC [Resumed]

Page 49378

 1                           Examination by Ms. Alaburic:  [Continued]

 2        Q.   The next section I'd like to deal with is the place of the

 3     Main Staff of the HVO in the armed forces of Herceg-Bosna, and let's

 4     start off with the documents.  They're in the first binder, the second

 5     set of documents, and we're dealing with organisation and establishment.

 6             The first document is P289.  It is a Decree on the Armed Forces

 7     of the HZ-HB, passed on the 3rd of July, 1992.

 8             My first question to you, General, is this:  Did you take part in

 9     the preparation of this decree?

10        A.   No, I did not take part in the immediate drafting of this decree.

11        Q.   Tell us, please, General, did you present your views to anyone

12     and say that the armed forces should be organised and what the role of

13     the Main Staff of the HVO should be like?

14        A.   As far as I remember, the team working on this document did not

15     ask for any opinion from the Main Staff about any issue.

16        Q.   In Article 2 of this decree, it says that:

17             "The defence system of Herceg-Bosna shall be a unified form of

18     organisation of the armed forces, administrative bodies, and legal

19     entities, with a view to ensuring the timely and organised prevention of

20     attack, or any other form of danger to the HZ-HB."

21             Now, tell us, please, General, how do you understand this

22     article?  Does it mean that all the bodies of Herceg-Bosna play some role

23     in defence, in the defence of Herceg-Bosna and Herceg-Bosna in general?

24        A.   Yes, that's precisely what it means.  That's quite -- that's a

25     very normal and realistic article, and in other points the role of each

Page 49379

 1     body is set out for the defence of Herceg-Bosna, because all the bodies

 2     were established for one primary task, which was the defence of

 3     Herceg-Bosna or the defence of Croats living on the territory of

 4     Bosnia-Herzegovina.

 5        Q.   Tell us, please, General, was defence the reason for which

 6     Herceg-Bosna, itself, was established in the first place?

 7        A.   As far as I know and according to what it says in the documents,

 8     Herceg-Bosna was established in order to defend the Croats and everybody

 9     else living in those parts, once an aggression against that area was

10     expected.

11        Q.   Now, in Article 10 of this decree, it says that:

12             "The Defence Department shall perform staff and other

13     professional work for the needs of the Presidency of the HZ-HB."

14             And in Article 11, it goes on to say that for the performance of

15     these duties within the Defence Department, the Main Staff shall be

16     established.

17             Tell us, please, General, to the best of your knowledge about

18     this decree and its contents, except for the staff and other professional

19     affairs mentioned here in this decree, were any other duties given to the

20     Main Staff?

21        A.   Your Honours, just this portion of the duties were placed under

22     the responsibility of the Main Staff, that it be a staff organ of the

23     president of the Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna.

24        Q.   Several months later, the decree was amended, and we come to the

25     next document, P588, where we have these amendments of the 17th of

Page 49380

 1     October, 1992.  Let me put right the number of the document.  It is P588.

 2     So the amendments were adopted, and we have a new text of this decree.

 3     And we've already said that there was a misinterpretation of Article 10.2

 4     of this decree, which relates to staff and other professional duties for

 5     the purposes of the Presidency of the HZ-HB.

 6             So, General, could you read out Article 10, item 2?

 7             MS. ALABURIC:  May we have Article 10, please, and for the

 8     English as well, please.

 9             THE WITNESS:  It says:

10             "The Defence Department shall perform staff and other

11     professional duties for the needs of the Presidency of the

12     Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna within the frameworks of his remit in

13     the area of Defence except for professional duties from the remit of

14     other administrative bodies."

15        Q.   And the mistranslation was that "staff duties" was translated as

16     "command duties" in the first instance, and with that we have corrected

17     that mistranslation.

18             Now, in Article 9, we see that it refers to the tasks of the

19     Croatian Defence Council, or later on, the Government of Herceg-Bosna.

20     In your opinion, what was the most important task that the Government of

21     Herceg-Bosna had?

22        A.   The Government of Herceg-Bosna, as indeed other bodies, within

23     the frameworks of its duties and responsibilities, was the organiser and

24     a body which, in a way, implemented the defence system.  Its prime task,

25     the one mentioned here, was to enact a defence plan for the

Page 49381

 1     Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna, which means that the government

 2     participated directly in the planning process.  That's the first and most

 3     important duty.  And let me say straight away that the defence plan, as a

 4     document, was never adopted, but there were partial documents which,

 5     during that war period, represented elements of that defence plan.

 6     Therefore, planning for the needs of defence is set here at the level of

 7     the Croatian Defence Council.

 8        Q.   Tell us, please, General, what is your position on the importance

 9     of the affairs and duties within the Defence Department?  Of these many

10     duties, which would you set aside as being the most important?

11        A.   Well, Article 10 sets out 24 very broad responsibilities and

12     duties as tasks for the Defence Department, and I'd like to focus and set

13     aside several of those.  The first one is monitoring and co-ordinating

14     activities aimed at achieving the agreed policy of the defence system;

15     secondly, assessing the possibility of wartime and other dangers.  And

16     I'd like to add there that point 2 says "during wartime," and during a

17     war it becomes an item which could read and would read as follows:

18             "A reporting on the military security situation on the territory

19     of the HZ-HB."  The third point is making plans on the use of the armed

20     forces.  Point 4, setting up the system of leading and commanding of the

21     armed forces in such a way whereby the system should be built up by

22     passing the necessary acts and documents, and once these documents -- the

23     first one was the Decree on the Armed Forces.  And also the Defence

24     Department adopted a number of documents and instructions which put

25     things in their proper place, if I can put it that way, and thus

Page 49382

 1     influenced the control and command system.

 2             Furthermore --

 3        Q.   Just a moment, General.  If I might interrupt you there.  There's

 4     no need for us to read all the various items.  I asked you what you

 5     thought was most important.  So according to this decree, the remit of

 6     the Main Staff, did it remain the same, that is to say, that it should

 7     perform staff and other professional duties for the requirements of the

 8     Presidency of the HZ-HB?

 9        A.   Yes, with respect to these amendments that were passed in

10     October 1992, everything remained the same; that is to say, that the

11     Main Staff should perform staff and professional duties for the supreme

12     commander.

13        Q.   Look at the next document now, please, General, 4D12 --

14             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] General Petkovic, when I look

15     at this document, there are two articles, Article 9 and Article 10, that

16     articles have to be interpreted according to their heading, and the

17     heading is "The competencies of the HVO, administrative bodies of the

18     HZ-HB."  So a legal expert reading this may have the feeling that

19     Article 9 deals, as far as the HVO is concerned, with everything that is

20     listed from point 1 to point 8, and especially what is of the utmost

21     interest is point 7; namely:

22             "Draw up plans for preparation of the terrain for combat."

23             So here we have the HVO, probably its military component, but at

24     the same time I do not have any other details regarding this.  So one

25     could think that we have Mr. Mate Boban and perhaps others.  And then you

Page 49383

 1     have Article 10, which is of a more administrative nature, and it has to

 2     do with the Defence Department or perhaps what we could call the Ministry

 3     of Defence, and here this is more technical or more administrative.  We

 4     talk about the various measures and so on and so forth.  And in

 5     Article 10, when we look at the Defence Department, we do not have the

 6     feeling that it has any operational role.  As far as the operational area

 7     is concerned, it is point 7 of Article 9.

 8             So since you were on the ground, I was wondering whether

 9     Article 9 was giving Mate Boban the authority and perhaps giving the

10     authority to others, and whether Article 10 is only dealing with the

11     Defence Department, but it's in its administrative component and only

12     that.

13             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honours, Article 9 does not

14     refer to Mate Boban as the supreme commander.  Article 9 refers to the

15     executive authority of the HVO.  That's the first point.

16             And point 7 that you mentioned, it says "should establish

17     plans -- draw up plans for the preparation of the terrain for combat,"

18     not for defence.  I think you read it out as being for defence.

19             MS. TOMANOVIC: [Interpretation] There might be a problem of

20     translation there.  Could you read out paragraph 7 in your language.

21             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes, I wondering whether you

22     could read paragraph 7 of Article 9 in your language, not in Article 10.

23             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, I am reading out Article 9.7.

24     It says "Determines plans for preparing the territories."

25             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Well, in the English

Page 49384

 1     translation, Mr. Karnavas, since you are an expert in the English

 2     language, is there not a problem in the translation?

 3             MR. KARNAVAS:  There's nothing about combat, so obviously whoever

 4     translated this into English wanted to put a burden on the government.

 5     And I don't know who is responsible for that, but the word "combat" is

 6     not in there, and I think it should be corrected.

 7             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well.  So there was a

 8     problem in the written translation.  It's not going to be the only one.

 9     I'm sure there will be others.  Given the problem with the written

10     translation, my question is irrelevant.

11             Ms. Alaburic, please proceed.

12             MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation]

13        Q.   General, let's look at the next document, 4D1287, which is the

14     Law on Defence of the Republic of Croatia from 2002.

15             Tell us, please, General, to the best of your knowledge, at the

16     beginning of the 1990s in Herceg-Bosna, were the laws or decrees prepared

17     in such a way that they were -- that laws adopted and used from the

18     Republic of Croatia with certain amendments and modifications?

19        A.   Your Honours, as far as I know, the existing laws in the Republic

20     of Croatia were used, and they were adapted to the situation in

21     Herceg-Bosna.

22        Q.   Now let's look at Article 11 of this document, General, to see

23     how this was defined as far as the Main Staff was concerned in 2002, for

24     the Armed Forces of the Republic of Croatia.  And we'll see here that

25     mention is made of 31 tasks for the Main Staff, and among those tasks,

Page 49385

 1     under item 6 we have:

 2             "Command of the armed forces in conformity with the orders given

 3     by the supreme commander and the minister of defence and his documents,

 4     and the promotion of the system for command and control of the armed

 5     forces," et cetera.

 6             My question to you, General, is this:  If we compare these two

 7     decrees on the Law on the Defence of the Republic of Croatia, dated back

 8     to 2002, and the decree we saw a moment ago, which provision wants the

 9     Main Staff commander to be strong and have the main competencies?

10        A.   This is a provision passed by the Republic of Croatia, compared

11     to the decree passed by Herceg-Bosna, so these tasks were not defined in

12     the Decree on the Armed Forces of Herceg-Bosna at all.

13        Q.   Let's look at the next document, General.  P586 is the number.

14     This a decision on the establishment of the Defence Department, and I'd

15     like us to focus on item 9, which deals with the Main Staff and its

16     organisation and establishment.

17             We've read through this particular excerpt many times in this

18     courtroom, and we've analysed it many times, but I'd like to hear your

19     opinion.  It says the chief is the head of the Main Staff and that the

20     chief is responsible to the head of the Defence Department for certain

21     duties and the president of the Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna for

22     other duties, and the responsibility of the head of the

23     Defence Department relates to all the administrative affairs and the

24     question of budget and materiel resources and consumption, and the

25     general establishment and life in peacetime and wartime organisation for

Page 49386

 1     the armed forces, and responsibility to the president of Herceg-Bosna, as

 2     the supreme commander.  And it relates to all questions of supreme

 3     command, establishment, strategic and operational plans, and the use and

 4     deployment of the armed forces both in peacetime and in wartime.

 5             Tell us, please, General, according to your understanding of

 6     this, the chief of the Main Staff of the HVO, was he really that

 7     responsible to the head of the Defence Department or, rather, the

 8     minister of Defence Department and for certain affairs to the supreme

 9     commander?

10        A.   Yes, Your Honours, that is precisely how it was, whether it's

11     Article 9, item 9, but it doesn't speak about duties, but

12     responsibilities, and that's how the responsibilities were set out.

13     According to the tasks that came under the head of the

14     Defence Department, the chief of the Main Staff was responsible to the

15     head of the Defence Department.  And the duties that came under the

16     domain of the supreme commander, then he would be responsible to the

17     supreme commander, everything that comes under his authority and

18     responsibility.  So from this it follows that the chief of the Main Staff

19     has a dual responsibility.  One is administrative affairs, vis-à-vis the

20     Defence Department, and the other is vis-à-vis the supreme commander.

21        Q.   In the following item, it is defined in which respects the

22     Main Staff is superior to the command of the HVO, and it reads that it is

23     superior in the -- within the scope of general and specific powers vested

24     in him by the president of the HZ-HB.

25        A.   Yes, that's what it says, that this is about the general and the

Page 49387

 1     specific powers vested in him by the president, that is, the supreme

 2     commander, which means that the specific powers of the chief of staff are

 3     never outlined, but it's only defined in terms of vested in him by the

 4     supreme commander.

 5        Q.   And the next item deals with the responsibility of brigade

 6     commanders, so it says that brigade commanders shall be subordinate and

 7     responsible to the supreme commander or, alternatively, the head of the

 8     Department of Defence and the chief of Main Staff, within the scope of

 9     their responsibility and in accordance with the powers described above.

10             Tell us, General, does this provision mean that direct

11     communication between the commander-in-chief and brigade commanders is

12     allowed or with the commanders of the zones of operations?

13        A.   Yes.  It is mentioned here that the commanders of the brigades

14     are subordinate to the president of the HZ-HB, as far as command

15     responsibilities go, but the --

16             THE INTERPRETER:  Could the witness please repeat the second

17     sentence.

18             MS. ALABURIC: [No interpretation]

19        Q.   [Interpretation] General, could you please repeat your answer?

20        A.   I'm saying that this says that the brigade commanders are

21     subordinate and responsible to the president of the HZ-HB, as their

22     supreme commander, and they are at the same time subordinate to the head

23     for his responsibilities, his powers, and to the chief of Main Staff if

24     these are the powers transferred to him by the commander-in-chief.

25        Q.   When you say --

Page 49388

 1             MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Just a minute, Your Honour.  I

 2     would like to clarify something.

 3        Q.   You said "the head," and in order to make it very clear, the head

 4     of what?

 5        A.   The head of the Department of Defence.

 6             MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] I apologise.

 7             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] General Petkovic, we have here

 8     the last paragraph in the English version, which says that the brigade

 9     command are subordinated to the president of the Croatian Community, and

10     they're also responsible to him, and the president of the

11     Croatian Community is the supreme commander.  Now, this, of course, has

12     consequences regarding the command liability -- command responsibility

13     and responsibility of a superior.

14             Now, let's imagine that a brigade commander, Mr. X, directly

15     calls Mate Boban and tells him, President, let me report to you on such

16     and such situation.  For example, unfortunately we shot at a house where

17     there were civilians, and unfortunately these civilians were killed, and

18     so forth and so on.  And the president says, Well, it's nothing, no

19     problem.  You will be covered.  So the commander of the brigade does not

20     report this to the commander of his operational zone, nor to the chief of

21     staff, because the information went from the commander of the brigade

22     directly to Mate Boban, by passing the chain of command, and thus the

23     chain of command is not aware of the problem, if we look at this text.

24             Now, could you tell us whether things occurred in such a manner

25     within the HVO or whether what is written here was only theoretical and

Page 49389

 1     was not applied practically on the field?

 2             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, this order wasn't

 3     issued without a reason.  It wasn't phrased this way by chance.  The

 4     commander-in-chief was supposed to have direct communication with the

 5     brigades, and the reason is because, at the level of Herceg-Bosna in

 6     connection with these instructions, there were no strictly-defined duties

 7     of the Main Staff or the commander of the zone of operations.  And the

 8     same applies to brigade commanders.  This should all be contained in one

 9     document of the type -- as the same type as the document Croatia passed

10     in 2000.  So there were cases of brigade commanders addressing directly

11     the commander-in-chief, or direct communication from the zone of

12     operations commander to the commander-in-chief.  So documents that were

13     made at such times are not possible today, because everybody's role would

14     have to be strictly defined from the chief of General Staff to the lower

15     levels of command.

16             I repeat that there was a document passed in the Republic of

17     Croatia in 2000.  There was a list of 30 duties.  Under those,

18     exhaustively defined the responsibilities and powers of that commander.

19     In Herceg-Bosna, that was never done, or wasn't done at the time.  Until

20     1994 or 1995, the Decree on the Armed Forces was not even amended.  This

21     was made in October 1992, and that's how it stayed until the end.

22             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well.  I understand that

23     you are confirming that even in the Republic of Croatia, brigade

24     commanders could directly report to the president.  And any reasonable

25     trier of fact could infer from this, just like I do, that sometimes the

Page 49390

 1     chief of staff or the commander of the operational zone was not made

 2     aware of certain situations, he was bypassed given this system.

 3             Now, the following question:  The text that we have here on

 4     brigade commanders, can it also be applied to the commander of

 5     professional units?  To mention one, Mr. Naletilic.  Does Mr. Naletilic

 6     belong to this whole system, i.e., he would report directly to the

 7     president, so he would be directly subordinated to the president of

 8     Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna and only be liable to him?

 9             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honours, you have so far been

10     able to see that that was, indeed, the case.  He was directly subordinate

11     to the commander-in-chief, and he was responsible exclusively to him.

12     Only with the approval of the commander-in-chief could he be used

13     elsewhere, irrespective of the actual size of the unit at the time.  But

14     he was able to give his unit such a status, and he behaved that way

15     throughout the war.

16             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you.  I believe my fellow

17     Judge has questions for you also.

18             JUDGE TRECHSEL:  Yes, please.  It does not refer to Naletilic,

19     but to the general rule.  I must say I find it extremely confusing that

20     there was a regulation according to which brigade commanders were

21     submitted to the chief of the operation zone and, at the same time, also

22     directly to the commander-in-chief.  You have explained this by saying

23     that the duties of the General Staff and its head were not strictly

24     defined.  I cannot understand why, in such a situation, one does not

25     strictly define these duties so as to have clear structures.  I would

Page 49391

 1     fear, if I put myself in the shoes of the persons concerned there, that

 2     such double line of command to brigade commanders risks creating the

 3     greatest insecurity.

 4             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour Judge Trechsel, well,

 5     that's not really the way it was allowed to happen.  Let's assume that

 6     the commander-in-chief issued an order which obliged other people.  So

 7     lower-level commanders, that is, brigade or operative zone commanders,

 8     are responsible to him who issued the order.  That's normal.  In another

 9     situation, if the commander-in-chief transfers powers to the chief of

10     General Staff and says, You will prepare and conduct some combat activity

11     in some area, then these are concrete tasks given to the chief, and the

12     brigade commander will be responsible to the chief of staff.  But I agree

13     that this should have been put into writing much better, but it wasn't.

14             You will have noticed that nobody mentions the operative zone

15     here; only brigades.  So the author of the document even left out the

16     operative zone.  We will see several such documents which were amended,

17     but nobody ever added the operative zone, so it looks like we worked

18     without the operative zone all the time.  So this was somebody's omission

19     which was never rectified.

20             JUDGE TRECHSEL:  Thank you.  I must admit or I will admit that I

21     am much more interested in what actually happened than in what was in the

22     books.  Could you tell the Chamber whether Mate Boban made use of the

23     possibility to order brigades directly in many cases or in few cases?

24             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, I can't really say how many

25     such situations there were, but there were situations in which they were

Page 49392

 1     issued an order from the commander-in-chief.  Sometimes the

 2     commander-in-chief summoned them to him for a briefing about the

 3     situation in the brigade, and sometimes the Main Staff, on behalf of the

 4     commander-in-chief, would issue orders to the brigades or the operative

 5     zones.  So there were situations of both types.

 6             JUDGE TRECHSEL:  I don't find the second eventuality you

 7     mentioned problematic.  If the supreme commander does this via the

 8     General Staff, that, to me, seems normal.  If he does bypass the

 9     General Staff, would he at least serve the General Staff with a copy of

10     his order or in some other way inform it properly of what he does with a

11     unit that belongs to the Main Staff, actually?

12             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honours, all units are

13     subordinate to the commander-in-chief.  They're all his units.  And then

14     there are also units of the Main Staff and others down the chain of

15     command.  It is normal for the commander-in-chief to do what he deems

16     appropriate.  That's his right.  But the commander-in-chief need not

17     monitor the situation.  He can issue an order, but he assigns the duty to

18     the Main Staff to monitor a situation, because the commander-in-chief is

19     an individual and cannot monitor the overall situation, whereas the

20     Main Staff and the zone of operations are a group of people that can

21     monitor the implementation of the supreme commander's orders.  That's why

22     it is said that the Main Staff is a staff organ of the supreme commander.

23     That is to say that the Main Staff does all the work, because the supreme

24     commander has nobody else to work for him except for the personnel of the

25     Main Staff.

Page 49393

 1             JUDGE TRECHSEL:  Thank you.

 2             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] And if I may add this:  Each unit,

 3     from the brigade to the -- or the operative zone up to the supreme

 4     commander has its staff, and superior to the staff there is the

 5     commander.  It's like this in the brigade and in the operative zone, and

 6     at the highest level, too, there is also a staff which is much bigger

 7     than lower-level staffs.  And at the peak of the pyramid, there is always

 8     the commander.

 9             So much by way of clarification.

10             JUDGE TRECHSEL:  Thank you.  Not just not to hide, I confess or I

11     state that I have served on the staffs of a division of what, in

12     Switzerland, is called an army corps, three-star general, and in the

13     General Staff of the army, so this corresponds to my experience also,

14     whereas the other organisation does not.  It is special, this possibility

15     of a supreme commander giving directly orders to more than one step

16     below.  Thank you.

17             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] General Petkovic, you have

18     answered in an extremely detailed way to a great number of questions, and

19     I must ask a follow-up question, and I believe it's important.

20             We see the system as you describe it, but this -- we must put

21     this system in contrast with the indictment.  So as an assumption, I

22     would like to know whether it would have been possible that as of May 9

23     and the following days in 1993, Mate Boban would have given direct

24     instructions to Naletilic.  All words here are important.  So did he give

25     Naletilic a direct instruction, instructing him to collect the entire

Page 49394

 1     Muslim population of Mostar, to take them to the Velez Stadium and then

 2     to the Heliodrom, and could it be possible that Naletilic got the order

 3     and implemented the order without, and I insist on this "without,"

 4     without the chief of staff -- the current chief of staff and the

 5     commander of the operational zone of Mostar being made aware of this?

 6     What's your take on this?

 7             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honours, it is difficult for

 8     me to answer a question like that, because in the morning, at 5.00 a.m.,

 9     I wasn't in Mostar, myself, for me to be able to know who was given what

10     assignment.  I arrived eight or eight and a half hours after the initial

11     combat operations had started.

12             Now, as regards the relationship between Naletilic and

13     Mate Boban, what I can tell you is this:  From mid-November 1992 onwards,

14     they had the following relationships:  Mate Boban accepted the

15     Convicts Battalion, he accepted Mladen Naletilic as his adviser through

16     whom all relations with the Convicts Battalion and any possible

17     beneficiaries of its services were solved by Mr. Naletilic in

18     consultation with Mr. Mate Boban.

19             And we'll come to why I mention mid-November 1992 as a date,

20     because as of that date the Convicts Battalion was outside the Main Staff

21     and outside any influence -- any Main Staff influence, that the

22     Main Staff did not have any influence on the Convicts Battalion as of

23     that time.  And except for in July, the order that mentions them, there's

24     not a single other order from the Main Staff which makes mention of the

25     Convicts Battalion.  And you were able to see the Ludvig Pavlovic and

Page 49395

 1     Bruno Busic and all the other ones were mentioned, and that is not

 2     without reason.  And I hope that through our further discussions, we'll

 3     come to that subject, not to have to deal with it now.  We'll deal with

 4     it in due course.

 5             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well.  General Petkovic, I

 6     put this question to you because when earlier you answered my fellow

 7     Judge - the page is no longer on the screen, but I will quote your answer

 8     from memory - you said that Mate Boban would give an order to a brigade

 9     commander, but that he could or he must - I don't remember whether you

10     said he could or he must - make sure that the chief of staff actually

11     carries out the order, as far as he's concerned.  When I heard you saying

12     this, I immediately thought about May 9th, with Naletilic collecting the

13     Muslim population.  And I wonder whether General Petkovic, if he wasn't

14     there at 5.00 a.m. and arrived eight hours later, I really wondered

15     whether General Petkovic had been made aware of what was going on,

16     because this is what you said.  And we now come to the core of the

17     subject.  I would like to know whether you were made aware of the fact

18     that Naletilic was conducting an operation aimed at "isolating" -- I'm

19     using this word in quotes, so to isolate a number of people -- a number

20     of Muslims from Mostar, to isolate them at the Heliodrom.  Were you made

21     aware of this?  And if so, could you tell us when, exactly at what time,

22     to the minute.

23             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, just one sentence

24     before that.

25             When I mentioned the brigade, I was not thinking of the

Page 49396

 1     Convicts Battalion, which didn't have the status of a brigade.  It was

 2     50 or 60 men.  It was an independent unit, and it was given the name

 3     "battalion," but it wasn't actually a battalion.  It was more a company.

 4     So when I spoke about a brigade, I certainly excluded that unit.  I

 5     wasn't referring to that unit.

 6             And, secondly, when you're asking about Mostar and about my

 7     response, what I can tell you is that I did not receive an answer from

 8     the commander of the operative zone when we met in Mostar, telling me

 9     that somebody had done those acts towards the civilians, as you've just

10     presented it here.  The information that I received, when I asked whether

11     there were any killed in Mostar and what happened to the civilians, the

12     answer I was given was that the civilian population had been evacuated

13     from the most threatened parts of town which were closest to the

14     separation line, and you all know what that was - that was the Bulevar

15     and the other part - and that such civilians were taken over by the

16     civilian structures.  Mention was made of three men who, at Heliodrom,

17     took them in and took care of them and accommodated them.  So as far as I

18     was concerned, at that point in time it did not represent ethnic

19     cleansing or any arrests or anything like that, anything that would be in

20     violation of any conventions.  As far as I was concerned, it was a piece

21     of information received that, from the confrontation line in town, part

22     of the population was pulled out and provisionally put up, but not under

23     the administration of any segment of the army, but under the command of

24     those who were in charge of social care for persons like that.  And these

25     were three individuals who took care of those people throughout who were

Page 49397

 1     put up at Heliodrom.

 2             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well.  This was a very

 3     important question, and you answered me in a very detailed way.  However,

 4     you did not tell me at what time exactly you were told about this.  When

 5     did you hear about it?  Can I have a time?  If you remember, of course.

 6     I fully understand that this was 15 years ago, so it could be difficult

 7     to remember such a detail.

 8             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I arrived quite

 9     certainly in Mostar sometime after 1.00, by 1.30 at the latest.  And by

10     the time I contacted my operative zone commander and by the time I told

11     him to come and see me, and when we started our talks, it could not have

12     been later than 2.00.  So during the half hour that I was there, I had to

13     speak to the people whom I encountered down there, who knew what was

14     going on, and then I told the operative zone commander to come in and

15     give me -- and report to me and give me the information he had; that is

16     to say, what I was interested in at that moment.  So we can put it at

17     sometime around 2.00 p.m., 1400 hours.

18             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you very much.  I got the

19     answer to my question, but I believe my colleague also has a couple of

20     questions to ask.

21             JUDGE TRECHSEL:  Right.  It's actually not a question of my own.

22             We have a lot of text here, but I do not think that you have

23     really answered the question Judge Antonetti put to you at the beginning

24     of this series.  It was a theoretical question.

25             Do you consider it possible or absolutely impossible that

Page 49398

 1     Mr. Boban gave an order to Mr. Naletilic to the effect that he should

 2     take certain Muslims away from Mostar?  I try to put it neutrally.  And

 3     it's actually a yes-or-no question.  You think it's absolutely excluded,

 4     even theoretically; or you think that perhaps theoretically it's not

 5     absolutely excluded, although perhaps quite unlikely?  But the likelihood

 6     is not what I'm asking, just the abstract possibility or impossibility.

 7             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honours, if we said that Boban

 8     sent Tuta to Mostar, he couldn't have envisaged what was going to happen,

 9     and there's no reason for him to start out from thinking that some people

10     had to be sent somewhere.  Reason tells you whether you're going to do

11     something or not.  Now, when there was firing at residential buildings

12     and when there was firing coming from balconies, people left their homes

13     and went to take shelter and refuge in the entrances.  And at that point

14     in time these people had to be moved from those areas to some safer place

15     or places.  I do not believe that somebody in the morning could have

16     thought along the lines of the fact that the operation could have

17     escalated to such an extent and that what happened would have actually

18     happened.  I don't think they could have foreseen this in advance.

19             As far as I know, the first evacuation of civilians, as far as I

20     now remember, began at around 8.00.

21             JUDGE TRECHSEL:  Thank you.

22             MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, may we just ask the

23     general to repeat the first sentence of his answer, if you remember it,

24     General, because as it is recorded in the transcript, it doesn't reflect

25     what you said.  So could you repeat that.

Page 49399

 1        Q.   The question was about the theoretical abstract possibility of

 2     Boban really ordering Tuta to collect up the Muslims in Mostar.

 3        A.   I do not believe that he issued the order -- well, to issue the

 4     order to go to Mostar and round up the Muslims of Mostar.  Nobody thought

 5     about any rounding up of Muslims in Mostar.  So even had he given him a

 6     command on a theoretical level, it would not have been that kind of

 7     order, if that is an answer to the question.

 8             Can you read out that first sentence?  Which first sentence do

 9     you mean?

10        Q.   Well, the essence is that you put it in the conditional, even if

11     Boban had sent Tuta to Mostar, it did not mean that he would issued an

12     order to him to round up the Muslims, because in the early morning nobody

13     knew how -- what the developments would be, roughly?

14        A.   Well, yes, that's it, that's it.  If he sent him, nobody could

15     have known what was going to happen.  Something happened three or four

16     hours after that.

17        Q.   Let's go back to our analysis of the various provisions.

18             We're going to skip over two documents because time is flying,

19     and let's look at P7236 now, please, 7236.  It is a decision on the

20     establishment of the Ministry of Defence, and the date is December 1993.

21     And let's see whether the relationships were the same.  It is regulated

22     by Articles 11 to 13, where repeated mention is made of the fact that the

23     chief of the Main Staff shall be responsible to the minister of defence

24     for certain affairs and to the president of Herceg-Bosna for other

25     affairs, and also in para 2 of Article 13, that the chief of the

Page 49400

 1     Main Staff shall be superior to the commands of the armed forces within

 2     the competence of the chief and specific authorisations from the

 3     president of the Republic.

 4             Now, to the best of your recollections, General, in the

 5     provisions governing the position and role of the chief of staff and the

 6     armed forces, did anything change while you were in Herceg-Bosna?

 7        A.   No, nothing essential changed in those provisions, and in this

 8     particular document this is divided into several articles.  Otherwise,

 9     the text is almost completely the same or similar to the ones we looked

10     at previously.

11        Q.   Now look at the next document, which is 4D1605, and this is a

12     command or order from December 1993 again from the then minister of

13     defence, Perica Jukic, in which the chief of the Main Staff of the HVO,

14     it says, shall report to him, and what those reports should be like is

15     set out in the document; that regular meetings should be held with his

16     assistants and commanders of the military districts.

17             Now, tell us, please, General, are you familiar with this

18     document?  Have you seen it before?

19        A.   Yes, I have.  It's a document signed by the new minister or,

20     rather, Minister Perica Jukic, perhaps a month after he took up his

21     position as minister.

22        Q.   Tell us, please, who was the chief of the Main Staff at the time?

23        A.   Your Honours, the chief of the Main Staff at the time was

24     General Ante Roso.

25        Q.   And do you happen to know, General, whether Ante Roso actually

Page 49401

 1     did report to the minister of defence in this way?

 2        A.   Yes, I do know about that, because the defence minister gave

 3     specific tasks both to the Main Staff, with respect to work and analyses

 4     and meetings in the Main Staff, and with respect to its duties -- or his

 5     duty to travel around the military district.  So the minister made full

 6     use of his powers, regardless of the fact that nothing had changed under

 7     the law.  The minister did have the right to order something like that

 8     because the minister had to receive reports about the situation in the

 9     units.

10        Q.   Let's look at the next document now, please.  It is P4699, and it

11     is a report on work for the first half of 1993.

12             JUDGE TRECHSEL:  Forgive me, Ms. Alaburic.  I have a question of

13     translation.

14             In the first line, under the heading "Command," it is said:

15             "Each Monday of the month, the head of the General Staff shall

16     report ..."

17             Is that the correct translation or should it say "each first

18     Monday of the month," because the words "of the month" make no sense if

19     it should be each Monday?

20             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Under item 1, I read:

21             "The head of -- the chief of General Staff of the Croatian

22     Defence Council shall, on each Monday of the month, report to me on

23     operational/tactical situation with proposals for improvement in work

24     procedures and in accordance with the following points:"

25             And then the points follow.  It does not say "every first

Page 49402

 1     Monday."  Actually, reports were sent to the minister four times a month.

 2             JUDGE TRECHSEL:  Okay, thank you.

 3             MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, during our analysis

 4     of these documents please bear in mind that those were times of war and

 5     that these documents were not written by persons who were linguistically

 6     very apt, so this causes problems to us lawyers.  But these were mostly

 7     not written by lawyers.

 8        Q.   P4699, we said this is a report on activities.  In the

 9     introductory remarks or notes, in paragraph 4 we see that the military

10     and security situation on the territory of the HZ-HB was a priority in

11     the work of the HVO HZ-HB and was given special treatment.  As far as you

12     know, General, did the individual bodies of Herceg-Bosna do their utmost

13     for that part of Herceg-Bosna to defend itself against the aggression?

14        A.   Yes, most certainly that was the priority and everybody's work.

15     The military and security situation on the territory of the HZ-HB was the

16     factor that determined everything else there.  And this is June 1993,

17     which was the most difficult period.

18        Q.   Do you know this document, General?

19        A.   Yes, I do, because I also submitted part of this document,

20     contributed part of this document.

21        Q.   This part of the document, when you say that, you mean the report

22     on the activity of the Main Staff of the HVO?

23        A.   Yes.  That was an integral part of such a document.

24        Q.   As far as you know, does this document faithfully reflect the

25     remit of the individual bodies of Herceg-Bosna in dealing with issues of

Page 49403

 1     various types?

 2        A.   Yes.  Everybody was duty-bound to draft reports about the things

 3     from his remit.

 4        Q.   It follows from this report that the Department of the Interior

 5     was in charge of public security, law and order.  As far as you know, was

 6     it really the case?

 7        A.   Yes, that was the foremost task of the Department of the

 8     Interior.

 9        Q.   Let's look at the following document, P3642.  This is your

10     condensed report for six months, which, on the 22nd of July, 1993, you

11     submitted to the head of the Department of Defence.  You have seen this

12     document in this courtroom frequently, and the Judges had numerous

13     questions about it.  I just wish you to explain to us item 4-6.  When you

14     speak about problems, you say, I quote:

15             "The expectation that the HVO army will resolve everything by

16     itself militarily and on the front-line, that is to be expected and that

17     is, indeed, the task of the army.  We still do not have such an army with

18     a modern organisation that is technically well equipped, with a dedicated

19     command system.  In order to create such an army, the authorities must do

20     far more at all levels, and this must be their primary task.  Practice

21     teaches us that the army is becoming privatised.  Every municipality,

22     every town and village, have their 'own' army.  It isn't possible to move

23     a municipal army from the area of the municipality, and by that very fact

24     the deployment of stronger forces adequate to the task is not possible."

25             As far as you know, General, in mid-1993, can the military of the

Page 49404

 1     HVO be considered a well-organised and well-trained army in which the

 2     chain of command, the chain of reporting functioned well, and which would

 3     be comparable to the military of a more highly-developed country, say one

 4     from Western Europe?

 5        A.   Most certainly not.  This was written 15 months after the

 6     establishment of the HVO.  Fifteen months are not enough to establish the

 7     kind of army you have described; organised, trained, ready to carry out

 8     its duties.  But work was being invested for the army to be better every

 9     day, but of course it wasn't possible to achieve that in 15 months.  I'm

10     not saying, however, that from the beginning to that time, no progress

11     was made, but that progress was not sufficient for us to be able to call

12     that army well trained, organised, and well equipped, especially the

13     latter part.  In spite of all efforts to take that military out of the

14     hands of some local forces, we were unable to do much.  I'm not saying

15     that all municipalities were a problem, but in the more important

16     municipalities, which were financially stronger, we were unable to

17     achieve anything.

18        Q.   General, if I remember well, the Prlic Defence tried, during

19     their defence case, to show what difficulties the Herceg-Bosna

20     authorities were facing to get insight into the situation on the ground

21     at all, because the municipalities were there, they had been there from

22     former times, and they were very powerful, and the presidents of the

23     municipalities were members of the legislative body that had the power to

24     appoint and to dismiss the members of the HVO, that is, the Cabinet, so

25     these were all problems the civilian authorities were facing.  Tell us,

Page 49405

 1     did the situation affect the army too?

 2        A.   Yes, it most certainly did.  The civilian authorities at the

 3     level of Herceg-Bosna were not able to assert themselves in all issues to

 4     the local authorities, because the civilian authorities didn't have money

 5     or anything and everything took place at the level of one municipality,

 6     and the municipality would say, We do that ourselves and we have to

 7     decide about all that ourselves.  And their position was, We are

 8     defending our municipality, so why don't you let us do so?  And in such a

 9     situation, the executive structures were powerless.  Financially -- or,

10     rather, it may sound funny if I say that the municipalities were

11     financially stronger than you were, but they were.  And they were able to

12     do much more for their soldiers, such as paying them, providing

13     health-care, et cetera; whereas at the level of Herceg-Bosna you didn't

14     have that kind of money, and even if you did have some money, you

15     couldn't exert such an influence.

16             And then you also said that they were members of the Presidency.

17     That was another problem, because some people would say, You're not

18     talking to me as the president of the municipality, but be aware that I

19     also have a second hat, that of a member of the HZ-HB, so that the

20     Cabinet actually couldn't go about its work.  And some people,

21     individuals, made use of that; not all of them, but some did in their

22     respective municipalities.

23        Q.   General, I will now skip what is very clear from the decree, but

24     let's take a look at the following document, P293.  It's a rule book, the

25     Rules of Military Discipline.  Tell us, in one sentence, did these rules

Page 49406

 1     enable military commanders to punish their soldiers fast and efficiently,

 2     and also NCOs and officers, if they were breaking the law?

 3        A.   No.  There are some provisions to that effect, but these rules

 4     were not implemented as they should have been.  The most important

 5     element, namely, military tribunals, were not established in

 6     Herceg-Bosna.

 7        Q.   General, now we'll be brief; short questions, short answers.

 8     What was the term used for slight breaches of military discipline?

 9        A.   They were called "disciplinary infringements."

10        Q.   And what were more serious breaches of military discipline

11     called?

12        A.   Disciplinary offences.

13        Q.   Who had the right to decide about holding somebody responsible

14     for these disciplinary offences?

15        A.   The supreme commander had that authority for all officers.  Well,

16     actually, it was the Court for Military Discipline.  That Court was in

17     charge.

18        Q.   What kind of breaches of military discipline were within the

19     remit of military commanders?

20        A.   Military commanders decided about slight breaches of military

21     discipline, and the disciplinary measures they imposed were very mild and

22     actually inappropriate for wartime.  They may have been appropriate in

23     peacetime.

24        Q.   Could military commanders place an officer or NCO of theirs in

25     military detention for breaches of military discipline?

Page 49407

 1        A.   Your Honours, military detention is for soldiers and reserve

 2     soldiers, these two categories only.  They were susceptible to being

 3     placed in military detention.  But officers and NCOs were not.  They

 4     could be reprimanded.

 5        Q.   General, Article 67 of this document stipulates who can pass the

 6     decision to bring the offender before the Military Disciplinary Court,

 7     and it says, under 1:

 8             "The commander of the armed forces for higher-ranking officers."

 9             And, secondly:

10             "The commander of the operative zone for non-commissioned

11     officers and officers up to a certain rank."

12             General, it follows from this that the chief of Main Staff was

13     not in the position to issue a decision to bring an offender before a

14     military disciplinary court.

15        A.   Yes, indeed, that is what this provision says.

16        Q.   Take a look at the following document now, 4D1346.  It's a rule

17     book on military discipline that was in force for the Armed Forces of the

18     Republic of Croatia.  It is from 1992.  Let us look at Article 69 to see

19     how it was regulated in Croatia.

20             In Croatia, these powers were vested in:  One, the chief of the

21     Main Staff for higher-ranking officers; and, secondly, the commander of

22     the operative zone for non-commissioned officers and officers.  These two

23     documents are almost identical, except in this part, because in

24     Herceg-Bosna the chief of Main Staff does -- explicitly does not have the

25     right to bring offenders to a military court, and that right is vested in

Page 49408

 1     the commander of the armed forces.

 2             Do you think, General, that this legal provision was meant to

 3     strengthen or weaken the position of the chief of Main Staff?

 4        A.   In Croatia, the position of chief of General Staff was certainly

 5     strengthened, but in Herceg-Bosna it was weakened.

 6        Q.   Now I have a number of short questions about remit.

 7             As far as you know, General, was the chief of Main Staff involved

 8     in taking decisions about the organisation and the powers of the military

 9     police?

10        A.   No.

11        Q.   Was the chief -- or did the chief of Main Staff have the power to

12     decide about using military or civilian police for combat purposes?

13        A.   No, he did not.

14        Q.   As far as you know, did the chief of Main Staff have the power to

15     decide about issues within the remit of the military police?

16        A.   No.

17        Q.   Could the chief of Main Staff decide about issues from the remit

18     of the SIS?

19        A.   No.

20        Q.   Could the chief of Main Staff decide about issues within the

21     remit of the IPD?

22        A.   No, he didn't have that power.

23        Q.   Could the chief of Main Staff decide about -- decide about

24     criminal proceedings, prosecution, and other issues having to do with

25     military jurisdiction?

Page 49409

 1        A.   No.

 2        Q.   As far as you know, could the chief of Main Staff decide about

 3     establishing prisons, or detention facilities, or any other facilities

 4     for detaining persons?

 5        A.   No, he didn't have that power.

 6        Q.   Did the chief of Main Staff have the power to decide about

 7     managing and controlling prisons, detention facilities, and other

 8     detention centres?

 9        A.   No, he didn't have those powers, nor did he exercise them.

10        Q.   Could the chief of Main Staff take measures and decide about

11     issues that have to do with public law and order?

12        A.   No, public law and order is not part of the authority of the

13     Main Staff.

14             MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I have done -- I'm

15     done with this part.  Perhaps we could have the break now.

16             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] We will break for 20 minutes.

17                           --- Recess taken at 3.46 p.m.

18                           --- On resuming at 4.08 p.m.

19             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] The court is back in session.

20             MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.

21        Q.   General, we've just been speaking about what was not under the

22     remit of the chief of the Main Staff.  Now we're going to deal with what

23     was under the authority of the Main Staff or were linked to the authority

24     and remit of the Main Staff, and we're going to start off with the crime

25     base situation.

Page 49410

 1             And let's look at the first document.  4D1355 is the number to

 2     start off with.  This is your interview which appeared in the

 3     "Vecernji List" in August 1994, when you were leaving Herceg-Bosna.

 4     Before I ask my questions based on this document, just a question.

 5             In your response here to the second question, you say that in

 6     coming to Herceg-Bosna, or, rather, Bosnia-Herzegovina, you thought that

 7     you would stay for about a month while the problem at Kupres and Livno

 8     was resolved, but that, nonetheless, you stayed for more than two years.

 9     Now, tell us, was that your intention in April 1992?

10        A.   Yes, in principle, that's what I thought.  I thought that it

11     would last for a brief period, because in the neighbouring municipality

12     in the Republic of Croatia, UNPROFOR forces had already deployed, and it

13     was to be expected that with the proclamation of the independence of

14     Bosnia-Herzegovina, that the UNPROFOR forces would be deployed there,

15     too, in similar fashion.  That's what we expected, but it never came

16     about.

17        Q.   Now, in this interview, General, in answer to a question about

18     the results of the war with the Muslims, that they were worse than the

19     results of the war with the Serbs, you say that you did not prepare to go

20     to war against the Muslims.  Now, today, General, when you're here at

21     this Tribunal and in this courtroom, could you tell the Trial Chamber

22     whether the HVO really did not prepare for war with the Muslims?

23        A.   No, it didn't.  The HVO did not prepare at all for a war against

24     the Muslims.  The HVO wanted the Muslims and Croats to unite as far as

25     possible and to stop the Serb attack or to extend the free territory,

Page 49411

 1     depending on the political will of the leaders of Bosnia-Herzegovina of

 2     the day.

 3        Q.   Now let's look at the next document, which is 1D2340.

 4             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] In this document, in this

 5     interview which you gave at the time, were you answering questions put to

 6     you by a reporter?  Obviously, through his questions, he seemed to be

 7     well informed of the situation.  In this interview, you explained that at

 8     one point in time there was also General Praljak, and you talk about the

 9     areas covered.  General Praljak told us on several occasions that there

10     had been an allocation of territory between you and him, so could you

11     tell us what exactly was your territorial competence?  What was your area

12     of competence, in terms of territory?

13             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honours, we didn't divide up

14     the territory in any way so that we could say that one person was

15     responsible for this and the other for that.  The situation, itself, in

16     Central Bosnia, and the fact that instead of General Praljak, I went to

17     the negotiations, imposed the need for me at that time, while spending

18     time in Central Bosnia, to use the opportunity to learn as much as

19     possible about the events in Central Bosnia, to try and contact the

20     people as much as possible, because I was the only person who, with the

21     help of UNPROFOR, was able to reach Central Bosnia and the Kiseljak area

22     alone.  Everything else was -- well, the UNPROFOR could -- well, except

23     in one case they refused to help me to go to Busovaca, Travnik, Vitez,

24     and so on, and in that context General Praljak passed on the authority to

25     me, following talks, and I went to Central Bosnia quite often.  And

Page 49412

 1     therefore it was normal that apart from the tripartite or bilateral

 2     talks, that I take care of the situation with the HVO in that area, to

 3     deal with that too.

 4             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well, you've answered my

 5     question.

 6             In this interview, you seem to express surprise, as well as

 7     General Praljak was also surprised, when Ante Roso replaced

 8     General Praljak.  Do you confirm that you were surprised by this?

 9             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, to be quite frank, I

10     did not expect General Roso to arrive at the place he arrived at, and

11     that news and the appointment of Ante Roso took me by surprise.  I don't

12     know whether General Praljak knew or did not know.  If he did know, he

13     couldn't have known one or two days before -- before one or two days

14     before.  I don't assume that there was talk of this 10 days before and

15     that, therefore -- because if that had been the case, I would have known

16     about it.  But we didn't expect Ante Roso to come, no.

17             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] One last item.  Well, I could

18     ask a great number of questions, of course, but time is of the essence.

19             So this reporter seems to be well aware of things, and he's

20     asking you some questions about the Old Bridge and the destruction of the

21     Old Bridge.  You answer his questions, and I'm interested in his last

22     question on this topic and your answer:

23             "Let Mr. Military Prosecutor continue his job."

24             I checked to see the date of this interview.  It was on

25     August 2nd, 1994, early in August 1994.  The Old Bridge had been

Page 49413

 1     destroyed for several months already.  So when you answered this, did you

 2     know -- obviously, you knew that there was a military investigation

 3     underway and the military prosecutor was in charge of investigating this

 4     and trying to find the truth?  Did you know that?

 5             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honours, we did know --

 6     or, rather, it was known that the military prosecutor had raised an

 7     indictment against three or four soldiers, and that he conducted an

 8     investigation, and the investigation went along the lines -- well, the

 9     military prosecutor kept the investigation to himself.  How far he got, I

10     don't know.  But apart from those three or four, I don't think he got any

11     further.

12             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Within this investigation led

13     by the military prosecutor, were you summoned to be heard as a witness or

14     did anyone think it was useless to put any questions to you?  I'm talking

15     about the investigation.

16             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honours, nobody summoned me as

17     a witness.  All I know is that the commander of the operative zone's

18     presence was required, and he did state his views.  And everything else,

19     the investigation took place in the Mostar area.

20             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] So the only thing you know is

21     the commander of the operational zone was heard, but you were not heard.

22     Very well.  Thank you very much.

23             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I don't know whether

24     he was heard, his testimony was heard.  All I know is that the operative

25     zone commander said that his presence was required, and the commander of

Page 49414

 1     the operative zone compiled a list of three or four topics and sent them

 2     out to three or four addressees.

 3             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Fair enough.

 4             MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Unless I'm very much mistaken, we

 5     went into that with Vinko Maric, one of our witnesses.

 6        Q.   Now, General, the next document, 1D2340, is the transcript of a

 7     TV programme called "Close-Up."  I'm interested in page 19 of the

 8     Croatian and page 23 of the English text of the transcript of that

 9     programme.  K. Zubak says, with respect to the conflict with the Muslims:

10             "We were absolutely not ready and prepared, and the situation

11     came about without us being prepared to react."

12             Now, tell us, General, we see what Kresimir Zubak says, that the

13     HVO was not preparing to war against the Muslims.  Now, in your opinion

14     and to the best of your knowledge, was that the general position in

15     Herceg-Bosna, or do you know of anybody who did want to have a conflict

16     and was preparing for a conflict with the Muslims?

17        A.   Your Honours, that was the general position.  At no point did we

18     prepare for war against the Muslims.  Quite the contrary, we tried in all

19     manner possible to draw as close to them as possible and unite at all

20     levels, to unite our forces.

21        Q.   General, can you tell us, as you understand the conflict between

22     the Croats and Muslims in Herceg-Bosna, when did the conflict start, when

23     did an all-out conflict start?

24        A.   Your Honours, I have my views on the matter.  After the

25     unsuccessful de-blockade of Sarajevo at the end of December 1992,

Page 49415

 1     according to my information, the Muslim political leadership had a rift,

 2     there were difference of opinion; as existed in the military leadership,

 3     too.  And both the political and the military component was afraid of the

 4     unsuccessful efforts on the part of the Muslims in the conflict with the

 5     Serbs.  And since the de-blockade of Sarajevo was to serve as a major

 6     victory over the Serbs, which would turn the course of the war around and

 7     which, in a way, would dictate negotiations in January in Geneva, that

 8     never happened.  And so ways and means were sought for the BH Army to

 9     score successes to boost the morale of the army in any way possible.

10     However, unfortunately, as far as we were concerned, these conflicts

11     started between the Muslims and Croats.  And confirmation of this is my

12     talks with Mr. Izetbegovic, when, on the 14th of December, 1992, he

13     called me to come to Jablanica and talk to him there, and also to talk to

14     his command, which was preparing to lift the siege of Sarajevo from the

15     outer limits, because the de-blockade of Sarajevo took place externally

16     and internally.  And on that occasion, Mr. Izetbegovic told me that he

17     expected to score a great victory which would reverberate in Europe and

18     the world and which would affect the outcome of future negotiations.  And

19     when I said, Why Sarajevo, Mr. Izetbegovic, it's a big bite in the middle

20     of winter, he said, Well, if I don't liberate the political centre,

21     everything else is less important.  And so they expected a lot to come of

22     that.

23        Q.   Tell us now, please, General, what your answer to my question is.

24     When did the conflict take on a broader scale between the Croats and the

25     Muslims and on a more permanent basis?

Page 49416

 1        A.   Well, it began from the Geneva negotiations in January, and they

 2     burgeoned and took on greater intensity and expanded from Vakuf to

 3     Busovaca and so on.

 4        Q.   And the January conflicts, were they stopped?

 5        A.   The January conflicts were stopped, first of all, in Vakuf, and

 6     then, to everybody's general surprise, they broke out in Busovaca.  And

 7     I can say, quite frankly, that we were defeated and that the HVO, as a

 8     compact part, was separated into two parts:  Kiseljak, Kresevo, and

 9     Fojnica, they were separated from Busovaca, Vitez, Travnik, and

10     Novi Travnik with a corridor which was seven to ten kilometres wide.

11        Q.   I apologise, General, but we don't have time to go into an

12     extensive explanation of the situation.  But tell us, if the conflicts

13     were stopped in January 1993, does that mean that the conflicts weren't

14     any -- weren't lasting, didn't last for a long time?

15        A.   That's right, because the efforts that Halilovic and I invested,

16     they were stopped, and we thought that the problem of the conflict

17     between the Croats and Muslims had been resolved.  However, we then had

18     March and April of 1993 and the events that took place at that time.

19        Q.   When you say March and April happened, March and April of 1993,

20     what event are you thinking of specifically?

21        A.   Well, I'm thinking about the 23rd of March, 1993, and the attack

22     by the BH Army against the HVO in Konjic at a time when the negotiations

23     in Geneva were going on, and two days before Mr. Izetbegovic finally

24     signed the Vance-Owen Peace Plan.

25        Q.   General, repeat the date once again.  It wasn't recorded

Page 49417

 1     properly.

 2        A.   The 23rd of March, 1993.

 3        Q.   We'll deal with the Konjic events in due course, but just one

 4     explanation here.  When you spoke to us about the fact that you had

 5     information to the effect that the Muslim leadership, after the

 6     unsuccessful blockade of Sarajevo, was going to prepare another action

 7     which they hoped would be successful to boost morale in the BH Army, are

 8     you actually referring to the information you obtained after the war?

 9        A.   Well, part of the information was information I received on that

10     14th of December, 1992, when Mr. Izetbegovic called me to go to Jablanica

11     to see him, and in the interim General -- well, they called him -- they

12     referred to him as "Talijan," the Italian, but I think his name was

13     Bajram Hajrulahovic.  He came up to me and said, Petkovic, what we're

14     going to ask of you, please assist me there, because if we don't succeed,

15     it won't be a good situation for either you or us.  And from that, I

16     deduced that success -- the success of the Sarajevo operation could

17     determine the future course of the war in Bosnia-Herzegovina.

18             Now, after this operation had been completed, what happened,

19     quite simply, was that there was a conflict among the Muslim units,

20     themselves, which had taken part in the de-blocking of Sarajevo, and at

21     the same time I met Mr. Hajrulahovic -- or, rather, we had talks again in

22     July 1994.  When I visited Sarajevo, I was reminded of my talks with him.

23        Q.   Tell us, did you then, on the occasion of that visit in 1994,

24     learn that the plan was to achieve that victory in fighting the HVO?

25        A.   Yes.  They wanted a victory over the HVO.  Otherwise, they were

Page 49418

 1     afraid that their system of control and command and their army to start

 2     falling apart.  Their conclusion was, The Serbs are very strong, and we

 3     can't stand up to them, but the Croats are weaker and isolated, and we

 4     can beat them.

 5        Q.   If I understood you well, you learned about that at that meeting

 6     in 1994 in Sarajevo.

 7        A.   Yes.  The man was sincere because he had already fallen from

 8     grace, the grace of the members of the BiH Army and the people of the

 9     1st Corps, because they were singled out as the culprits for the failure

10     of the lifting of the blockade.

11        Q.   How did the conflict at Konjic on the 23rd of March end?

12             JUDGE TRECHSEL:  Excuse me, Ms. Alaburic.  I would like to ask a

13     question relating to the meeting on 14 December in Jablanica.

14             Hearing this and considering the situation, of course, from a

15     great distance, the question occurred to me whether a joint attack to

16     liberate Sarajevo, HVO and Muslims, whether that was ever taken into

17     consideration, and, if so, why it was obviously decided against.

18             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, on the 14th of

19     December it was considered to attack Sarajevo in order to lift the siege,

20     and that is why Mr. Izetbegovic invited me to that meeting.  And I joined

21     the staff of the ABiH, which was preparing that operation.

22     Mr. Izetbegovic and the gentlemen from the staff raised some demands, to

23     call them that, toward the HVO, and we did what they wanted, to some

24     extent.  They wanted our brigade to join them in Sarajevo, which was

25     done, and our forces from Konjic to get involved, which was also done.

Page 49419

 1     They also wanted ammunition from me, and that was also done within two

 2     days, and subsequently in phases.  And they wanted, I think, 500 rifles

 3     for Pasalic to enable him to arm an equal number of men willing to fight,

 4     and they had been -- they had left the municipalities of

 5     Eastern Herzegovina.  And those were their demands toward us.  They were

 6     saying that they had 11 brigades in Sarajevo, that was the strength of

 7     the first brigade.  And they had a number of brigades around Sarajevo on

 8     the -- facing the besieging forces.  And everything was agreed.

 9             On the same evening, after the meeting, I left for Grude.  I

10     informed Mr. Stojic and Mr. Boban on the following day, and Mr. Stojic

11     insisted that we should equip Pasalic to the best of -- as best we could.

12     And I think we gave him some 300 rifles, as many as we had.  We gave him

13     equipment, clothes, and ammunitions, the quantity of ammunition that we

14     had in stock at the time.  What's more, we ordered our brigades to send

15     some of their ammunition toward Jablanica to Konjic from where the

16     operation was supposed to be launched.

17             So Mr. Izetbegovic was surprised by our promises, what we would

18     do for him.  And then he promised he would invite me to the launch of the

19     operation, but he failed to do that.  Obviously, they wanted to surprise

20     me, too.

21             So I was at Sarajevo Airport when the operation started.  There

22     was a tripartite meeting scheduled there, a meeting of Serbs, Croats, and

23     Muslims.  They had already started the lifting of the siege of Sarajevo,

24     and that's exactly the time when they started -- were starting the

25     operation.  And for two days, the fighting went on with full intensity,

Page 49420

 1     and that was the most serious attempt to lift the siege of Sarajevo until

 2     that time.  There was one in October, but that was more of a political

 3     nature, but this one was real, and they really did start lifting the

 4     siege of Sarajevo.

 5             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] General Praljak.

 6             THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I would like

 7     to use my right to pass on this information to my Defence team.  This is

 8     military information about which we could ask General Petkovic.

 9             JUDGE TRECHSEL:  Just an observation on the transcript.

10             On page 45, lines 23 following, I read the following:

11             "They were saying they had 11 brigades in Sarajevo.  That was the

12     strength of their first brigade."

13             This confuses me somewhat.  Could you clarify?  Perhaps lost in

14     translation.

15             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honours, this was a

16     mistranslation.  These 11 brigades in Sarajevo were part of the

17     1st Corps, which had its headquarters in Sarajevo.

18             JUDGE TRECHSEL:  Thank you.

19             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] General Petkovic, there was

20     this meeting with Izetbegovic on December 14th.  Could you tell me which

21     year it was held?  Was it 1993 or 1994?  Maybe 1992?

22             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, 1992.

23             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well, in 1992.  I listened

24     very carefully to what you were saying in order to understand how the

25     events unfolded, and there are several levels that we don't have.  But

Page 49421

 1     you were at the first level, you were at a very high level.  The first

 2     level would be the politicians of the time, President Clinton; the

 3     British prime minister; Mr. Mitterand, the late Mr. Mitterand.  That's

 4     the first level.  The second level is the level of the negotiators in

 5     Geneva, Mr. Cyrus Vance and Lord Owen, but nobody believed that it was

 6     important enough to ask them to come here.  And then there's the third

 7     level, and there's four of you in that third level; yourself, Halilovic,

 8     General Morillon, and Mr. Thebault.  That is the third level that could

 9     be used to try and understand what actually occurred.  In the first

10     level, I did not include those who passed away, Mr. Tudjman and

11     Mr. Izetbegovic.  So you were one of the main actors in this third level.

12             And while you were answering a question put to you by

13     Ms. Alaburic, you said that on December 14th, 1992, you met with

14     Mr. Izetbegovic to try and devise a plan for Sarajevo in order to help

15     lift the blockade of the Serbs over Sarajevo and, therefore, to disengage

16     the ABiH.  I was listening to what you were saying, and if it's true,

17     it's fine.  If it's not, of course, Mr. Scott, during his

18     cross-examination, will, I'm sure, demonstrate this.  But right now,

19     you're under oath and you're supposedly telling the truth.

20             So when you met with Izetbegovic, it is because Izetbegovic

21     believed that you were one of the military components of the Republic of

22     Bosnia-Herzegovina's HVO, and there we're back to the old debate

23     regarding the components of the armed forces of the Republic of

24     Bosnia-Herzegovina.  And earlier you explained at length that there were

25     300 rifles that were handed over, Pasalic, and so on and so forth.  I'll

Page 49422

 1     spare you the details.  And then you say that at that moment, Izetbegovic

 2     understood that he would not be able to gain any results, vis-à-vis the

 3     Serbs, because of the power of the Serbs.  I was trying to read in

 4     between lines there.  And so for him to have better standing in front of

 5     the international community, his only alternative -- his only option was

 6     to attack the HVO, and it's this way around and not the other way around.

 7             So by saying this, of course, you're going against the case of

 8     the Prosecution.  You say that they attacked you, and you say that it was

 9     because the HVO was in an inferior situation as compared to the BH Army;

10     it was easier for the BH Army to win fighting with you than fighting the

11     Serbs.  And I'm finally coming to my question.

12             You were in contact with all these negotiators in Geneva, so when

13     you found this out from Mr. Izetbegovic's mouth, did you convey that

14     message?  Did you say that there was a double deal here; that, on the one

15     hand, seemingly one party wanted peace, but was waging war against you?

16     Did you say that?  And if you did convey that, who did you convey it to?

17             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honours, let me put it this

18     way:  Mr. Izetbegovic really invited me on the 13th, but I wasn't able to

19     come on that day.  A message was left for me to meet him on the 14th in

20     Jablanica, and I really did come to that meeting.  I considered it my

21     duty to respond to his invitation, because he was the president of the

22     Presidency, the commander-in-chief of the armed forces, irrespective of

23     my view of the HVO.

24             Sarajevo was some 150 kilometres away from Jablanica, and still I

25     went off to meet him there.  And Mr. Izetbegovic and his staff told me

Page 49423

 1     what they wanted to achieve and how.  They wanted all possible assistance

 2     and materiel at that moment.  They wanted the HVO to assist them by

 3     giving ammunition of different calibres.  And our neighbour from Mostar,

 4     Mr. Pasalic, asked for a quantity of rifles to be provided to him to

 5     enable as big a number of his soldiers from Mostar as possible to also

 6     take part in lifting the blockade, and that's all we could do.

 7             And in the first 20 minutes of his meeting, in a separate office

 8     while his personnel was preparing the meeting, he was able to explain to

 9     me what he wanted.  He said, Mr. Petkovic, we opted for such a massive

10     and demanding operation of lifting the siege of Sarajevo because we want

11     to come to Geneva with a big victory on our hands, and then we will

12     dictate our conditions for peace negotiations to the Serbs.  And then I

13     asked him, Well, Mr. Izetbegovic, can't you see what the weather's like?

14     Igman and Bjelasnica, where the main axis of attack was to be, there was

15     over a metre of snow there.  But it was their position that they would do

16     it that way.

17             A Prosecution witness from Jablanica confirmed that I was present

18     at the meeting, and he said, with a smile, that they never actually

19     showed me the plans -- the maps with the plans, but the only question

20     that they had for me was how I could assist them, in terms of materiel.

21     And I promised that I would give them everything that we had, and that he

22     was quite surprised by that.  And I think that he actually expressed his

23     gratitude to me and to the HVO for having done that, in spite of the

24     failure of the operation.  And let me prove that by saying that I went

25     with him to Geneva for the talks.  He actually flew me there in his own

Page 49424

 1     aircraft.

 2             After this failure, Your Honours, that resulted in a route, his

 3     units being routed, and there were substantial casualties in the clash on

 4     Mount Igman, and all the reports conveyed the idea that they were in a

 5     difficult situation.  And instead of having a victory under their belt

 6     for the talks, they went there with this massive defeat they had suffered

 7     in the effort to lift the siege of Sarajevo.

 8             And after that, at some points in time the BH Army actually

 9     turned to the HVO to attack it, and after that operation there is no --

10     there are no major operations against the VRS, not even in

11     Eastern Bosnia, where the situation in Zepa and Srebrenica and in other

12     areas was really difficult.  The 2nd Corps was immobile, doing nothing.

13     And from that time onwards, all the activities, in the intervals that we

14     have seen, were all targeting the HVO.  Unfortunately, from March

15     onwards, they were quite successful in their operations against us, and I

16     could even say that we were down to two small enclaves in Central Bosnia.

17     All the rest fell into the hands of the Bosnia and Herzegovina Army.  And

18     the position of their people is, We cannot fight the Serbs, because they

19     are very strong, but we can fight the Croats.  So they were actually

20     looking for space in Bosnia and Herzegovina, in Central Bosnia, and

21     that's how this conflict came into being.

22             We discussed with Mr. Boban, Mr. Akmadzic, who was in the Cabinet

23     at the time, in the government, the situation that developed.  And

24     I think that in late December, even Mr. Prlic sent a letter saying, Why

25     is the BH Army pursuing a different line than the politicians in

Page 49425

 1     Bosnia-Herzegovina at the time?  He issued a warning of sorts in this

 2     letter.

 3             So this is, in brief, what I have to say to you about the lifting

 4     the siege of Sarajevo.  They failed to do that.  And after that, a number

 5     of clashes with the HVO followed.

 6             I can also tell you that on the 20th and the 21st of December,

 7     Mr. Stoltenberg was in Sarajevo - 1992, that's the year I'm talking

 8     about - and that I and the other two commands, Mladic and Halilovic, were

 9     invited, through the good offices of General Morillon, to attend a

10     meeting, a preparatory meeting for the Geneva talks, because they were

11     scheduled to go on within a couple of days.  Mr. Halilovic did not

12     attend, and I, myself, had been blackmailed by General Mladic in the

13     following way:  Mladic was to arrive in the Lukavica Barracks first, and

14     once he was taken by UNPROFOR safely there, then they could take Petkovic

15     to Kiseljak, because there were detonations around the airport at the

16     time, the BH Army was attacking the Serbian forces at the time to no

17     avail, but that was on the 2nd [realtime transcript read in error "22nd"]

18     of December, 1992, when I and the other two commanders were invited to

19     come to Sarajevo for the talks, and we expected Mr. Stoltenberg to arrive

20     for this preparatory meeting for Geneva which was supposed to start in

21     early January 1993.

22             Halilovic did not attend the meeting, so that for all intents and

23     purposes, this attempt to achieve an agreement among the three

24     commanders, which was supposed to speed up the talks on military issues

25     in Geneva, fell through.

Page 49426

 1             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you.  So you've added

 2     some details.  Maybe there is a mistake in the transcript.

 3             Yes, Mr. Karnavas.

 4             MR. KARNAVAS:  I just wanted to make one clarification.

 5             On page 47, line 22, you indicated, Mr. President, that no one

 6     thought it was important to invite certain persons such as Lord Owen.

 7     Let me make it very, very clear for you, Mr. President.  We did make

 8     every effort possible to bring Lord Owen here.  He refused to come and

 9     testify for any side.

10             So I want to make sure the record is rather clear.  We do make

11     efforts, and sometimes we're unsuccessful.  We sought not to have him

12     subpoenaed, because we don't think it's advisable to try to subpoena

13     somebody who doesn't wish to come and testify here, someone at least of

14     that calibre.

15             Thank you.

16             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you for this

17     clarification.  But as far as I'm concerned, I would have had no problem

18     to subpoena him, or anybody else, actually.

19             General Petkovic, you made some clarification, and we discovered

20     that a meeting was planned with Mr. Stoltenberg and General Mladic, as

21     well as Mr. Halilovic, who was supposed to attend, but Mr. Halilovic did

22     not show up.  Does that mean that it would explain that the ABiH, as

23     early as January, would launch an attack in Central Bosnia in some areas

24     that were held by the HVO?  And if so, could you tell me which areas

25     those were, because we were not in the tu quoque here, we are looking at

Page 49427

 1     a diplomatic explanation of an international conference, and we were

 2     trying to see who's playing what here.  So according to you, the ABiH has

 3     launched an attack against which areas; in January, that is?

 4             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honours, we have seen that on

 5     the 6th of January, 1993, the first clashes in Gornji Vakuf erupted.

 6     That was the last day of the conference, the first part of the conference

 7     in January 1993.

 8             Likewise, on the 11th -- the night between the 11th and the 12th

 9     of January, 1993, again the conflicts in Gornji Vakuf were renewed, and

10     the 12th is the first day -- or the last day of the second part of the

11     talks in Geneva.

12             And let me say that on the 26th -- or, rather, from the 23rd and

13     the 26th of January, we went to Geneva again, and from the 25th until the

14     28th, there was an attack on an area between Busovaca and Kiseljak, where

15     the HVO was pushed back from a rather large area, and this resulted in

16     the enclaves of the Croatian population in Central Bosnia.  Those clashes

17     were stopped thanks to the efforts of myself and Mr. Halilovic, but

18     BH Army forces did not pull back to restore the state as it was before.

19     And it is interesting that all those clashes erupted to coincide with the

20     talks, so on the 23rd of January, a couple of days before Mr. Izetbegovic

21     was supposed to affix his signature to the Vance-Owen Plan in New York.

22     He signed it on the 25th.

23             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you.

24             Ms. Alaburic, please proceed.

25             MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Just two corrections.  At page 49,

Page 49428

 1     line 6, the word "Sarajevo" should be erased, and there should be

 2     "Usora," it should read "Usora."  And at page 52 -- "Usora," well, it's

 3     okay.  Page 52, line 9, the date is supposed to be the 22nd of December,

 4     not the 2nd of December.

 5             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, that's correct.

 6             MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Yes, that's what you said, but

 7     it's not been recorded correctly in the transcript.  Now it's been

 8     corrected.

 9        Q.   General, sir, I'd just like to avoid any misunderstandings in an

10     effort to understand what you know about the plans of the BH Army to put

11     a stop to the conflicts with the Serbs or, rather, not to launch any

12     attacks to liberate its territory from the Serbs, but rather to target

13     the HVO.  Correct me if I'm wrong, you learnt that, in 1994, that was how

14     it was formulated in the talks at that time?

15        A.   Yes.  Well, we learnt that already in January 1993, through our

16     intelligence efforts, by monitoring their conversations, and in 1994 I

17     visited Mr. Hajrulahovic in his apartment in Sarajevo, and that's when I

18     learnt that.  In that conversation, actually.

19        Q.   I think that we were at the question of how the conflict that

20     erupted on the 23rd of March, 1993, in the Konjic area was actually

21     stopped.

22        A.   On the 23rd, there was an attack by the BH Army on the HVO units

23     in the Konjic municipality.  I called Mr. Pasalic in the evening of that

24     day to ask him what was going on in the Konjic municipality and why those

25     things were happening, and we wrote a joint order and sent it to Konjic

Page 49429

 1     in order to put a stop to the conflict there.  However, I decided -- and

 2     I agreed with Mr. Stojic that the best thing to do would be to go to the

 3     Konjic area, because we were concerned that the clash in Konjic might

 4     affect the final round of talks in New York.  And on the 25th, we

 5     actually arrived in the municipality of Konjic.  Pasalic was there, too.

 6     So were two SDA members from Mostar.  And there, on the spot, we talked

 7     to their people in Konjic.  Safet Cibo appeared there for the first time,

 8     and he was the one who actually initiated the clashes.  And we managed to

 9     actually put a stop to the clashes on the 25th.

10        Q.   Did clashes again erupt in the same area one month later in April

11     1993?

12        A.   Well, less than a month.  On the 13th of April -- well, I

13     wouldn't say that there was a clash that erupted.  I would say that the

14     conflicts actually escalated, because between the 25th of March and the

15     13th of April, despite the presence of our emissaries there, they did not

16     manage to put a stop to the BH Army attacks everywhere.  So between the

17     25th of March and the 13th, there was still fighting for some villages

18     where the Croats were forced to retreat because they were in the

19     minority, and on the 13th the signal came for them to liberate the

20     municipality of Konjic.

21        Q.   General, could you please tell us, you, as the chief of the

22     Main Staff, did you issue an order to any operational zone or any HVO

23     unit to assist the HVO units in the Konjic area?

24        A.   Yes, of course I did, because the thought that was foremost in my

25     mind was who would be in a position to assist, because the municipality

Page 49430

 1     of Konjic and the HVO in that municipality was not adjacent to any HVO

 2     units in the other municipalities, so between the municipality of Konjic

 3     and the municipality of Prozor, there is a wide area controlled by the

 4     BH Army.  To the north, likewise, from Konjic to Kresevo and Kiseljak,

 5     there is an area -- intermediate area where the HVO units were not

 6     adjacent, that were not controlled by them, so my first thought was, Who

 7     could do it?  At first, I thought that it would be best to engage the

 8     forces in Fojnica and in Kresevo and in Kiseljak from the north, to

 9     launch any kind of "show of force" attack or any kind of "show of force"

10     military activity.  That was on the 15th of April, 1993.

11        Q.   If I understand you correctly, you issued an order to the

12     Operational Zone of Central Bosnia to assist Konjic.  Could you please

13     answer, General.  So did you issue an order to the Central Bosnia

14     Operational Zone?

15        A.   Yes, that is correct, I did issue an order to the Central Bosnia

16     Operational Zone to use an element of its forces from Fojnica, Kresevo,

17     and Kiseljak to engage in any kind of operation they could in the Konjic

18     municipality.  First, they were supposed to reinforce the sector there,

19     and then they were supposed to launch an operation.

20        Q.   General, I would like to ask you to be as brief as you can in

21     your responses.  If there's any need for us to go into any details, I'll

22     be asking you follow-up questions.

23             Tell us, please, General, did you issue an order to help Konjic

24     and the operative zone of Zeljko Siljeg and Miljenko Lasic?

25        A.   No, I didn't issue any specific orders to them at the time

Page 49431

 1     because Miljenko Lasic, himself, took certain steps, because Konjic was

 2     in the South-East Herzegovina Operative Zone, and Zeljko Siljeg, only on

 3     the 16th, that is to say, on the fourth day -- or, rather, four days

 4     after the beginning of the conflict, arrived in Prozor and set about

 5     organising a forward command post to assist Konjic, as the closest.

 6        Q.   Tell us, please, General, did you have information about combat

 7     operations in the Konjic and Jablanica area in mid-April 1993?

 8        A.   Yes, we did, we did have information, and it was daily

 9     information.

10        Q.   Can you tell us what the purpose was of armed engagement in HVO

11     units in the Jablanica area?

12        A.   The purpose was to push back and repel the aggression or an

13     attack by the BH Army against two brigades, Herceg Stjepan -- two

14     Herceg Stjepan brigades in the Konjic municipality.

15        Q.   And tell us what the purpose of combat -- HVO combat was in the

16     Jablanica area.

17        A.   Well, Konjic and Jablanica represent a whole.  You can't separate

18     the two, in military terms.  The same goal, to lift the siege or, rather,

19     to help the HVO forces in Konjic municipality.

20        Q.   General, a question directly related to the indictment now.  The

21     Prosecution's case is that the HVO started combat operations in order to

22     take control of Jablanica.  Can you tell us, to the best of your

23     knowledge, whether the HVO ever planned to take control of Jablanica, and

24     the combat activities, do they have anything at all to do with some idea

25     of taking control of Jablanica?

Page 49432

 1        A.   Your Honours, no, the HVO never planned to take control of

 2     Jablanica, nor did the HVO have the forces and strength to do so.

 3     Everything that the HVO did was in terms of assistance to HVO forces in

 4     Konjic municipality which found themselves in a situation that they

 5     couldn't deal with.

 6        Q.   Now, in view of the explanation you gave earlier on, when you say

 7     "Konjic municipality," that you mean Jablanica municipality as well?

 8        A.   Well, Konjic and Jablanica municipality, you can't separate the

 9     two, you can't say, This is Jablanica municipality and that's Konjic

10     municipality.  You can't separate the two, in military terms, because an

11     HVO brigade on the Konjic-Jablanica territory, the BH Army, with three

12     brigades of the 4th Army [as interpreted], covered the Jablanica-Konjic

13     area, and you can't separate the two in any way, by any measures or

14     anything else.  It is one area, and they are each dependent on the other.

15        Q.   Now, I'm going to ask you to talk about the Jablanica-Konjic area

16     so that we don't have any problems a month to come, whether you're

17     talking about Konjic or Jablanica.

18        A.   Everything that I say refers to Konjic and Jablanica as a whole,

19     as one entity.

20        Q.   Now, General, look at the next document, which is to be found in

21     the next set of documents.  It is 4D2025.  So we're skipping five

22     documents -- or, rather, three documents, and we now come to a map which

23     was prepared on the basis of document 2D246, which is an order of the

24     44th Mountain Brigade of the BH Army, dated the 14th of April, 1993,

25     about combat engagement for certain units.

Page 49433

 1             Now, tell us, please, General, who drew this map?

 2        A.   Your Honours, I did.  I drew the map pursuant to an order from

 3     the 44th Jablanica Brigade.

 4        Q.   Tell us, General, does this map show the situation in mid-April

 5     1993?

 6        A.   This map shows the situation as of the 14th -- between the 14th

 7     and 15th of April and further on, so the 14th, in the evening, and the

 8     15th, in the morning.  This map refers, first of all, to the night

 9     between the 14th and 15th of April, 1993.

10        Q.   Now, General, since we're interested in this map principally

11     because of the indictment as referring to Sovici and Doljani, could you

12     try and explain to us where in the Sovici and Doljani area, or just in

13     one of those places, were the units of the HVO?

14             And can we give the general something to indicate on the map, a

15     pen or pointer?

16        A.   Could we zoom in, please?

17             MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Yes.  Let's zoom in to the central

18     part of the map, where the markings are, the coloured section in the

19     middle.

20        Q.   Is that sufficient or can we zoom in some more?

21        A.   As far as I'm concerned, it's sufficient, but I'm not sure that

22     others will be able to follow.

23        Q.   Time is expiring quickly, so please tell us, General, where the

24     HVO units were.

25        A.   The HVO units were located in the blue area.  I don't know if you

Page 49434

 1     can see it [marks].  It says "HVO," and this is around Doljani and a part

 2     Sovici, in Doljani and part of Sovici.  It was the Mijat Tomic HVO

 3     Battalion.

 4        Q.   Can you explain to us the following:  The HVO forces to the left

 5     of that, and we can see that they're coming in here to an area close to

 6     Sovici and Doljani, what's that, which of those?

 7        A.   These forces over here [marks], and this is what that was about:

 8     On the evening of the 15th, and I'm talking about the 15th of April,

 9     1993, the 44th Brigade of the BH Army in Jablanica placed the HVO in

10     Doljani under a complete siege, and the HVO forces were pulled out in the

11     area of Risovac, with the aim of preventing possible further expansion by

12     the BH Army towards Risovac or, rather, Blidinje Lake or Posusje.

13        Q.   General, can you explain to us what happened on the 17th of

14     April, 1993, in the early-morning hours?

15        A.   Let me just say that on the 16th, in the evening, the Command of

16     the Mijat Tomic Brigade talked to the Command of the 4th Battalion of the

17     BH Army.  They discussed lifting the siege from the Sovici gates.  They

18     refused to do that.  And then in the morning, this left-hand arrow over

19     here [marks] indicates an attack launched at the HVO positions at

20     Risovac.  And at that moment, the HVO responded by attacking the Sovici

21     gates.  And I'll place the number 1 there, which is where the Sovici

22     gates are [marks].  And the fighting went on there, as far as I know, for

23     about three hours, along these axes to the left and right of the Sovici

24     gates.

25             The BH Army, I don't know for what reason, withdrew from the

Page 49435

 1     Sovici gates to Sovici proper, and it found itself in a situation whereby

 2     it didn't know what to do next.  It did not organise a defence in Sovici,

 3     itself, but at the Mijat Tomic Battalion's call to them to surrender, the

 4     commander of the 4th Battalion decided to surrender his forces at Sovici,

 5     so that there was no direct fighting between the HVO and the BH Army for

 6     the town of Sovici, itself, because the BH Army, after its withdrawal

 7     from the Sovici gates, did not succeed in organising a defence for the

 8     town of Sovici.  Some of the people fled to the nearby municipality of

 9     Prozor, and the rest were not ready to organise a defence at that time,

10     and so they surrendered in the classical way.  The BH Army surrendered

11     without any fighting for control of Sovici.

12        Q.   Tell us, please, General, in a word, what happened to Doljani?

13        A.   The HVO in Doljani refuted an attempt by the BH Army from the

14     Jablanica axis to attack, and the forces of the brigade from Jablanica

15     withdrew, they left the area.  And part of the population fled with them,

16     or, rather, left the area with them, so that the forces from Jablanica

17     did nothing.  And they were supposed to be reinforcement to the BH Army

18     in Sovici, so that now Sovici found itself in a situation in which they

19     had the HVO to their rear in Doljani, and the commander, Orlovic, decided

20     to surrender.

21        Q.   Now, if we were to summarise, in the simplest terms, General,

22     could we do it this way:  There was no fighting in Doljani because the

23     BH Army withdrew from Doljani, and in Sovici, itself, there was no

24     fighting, either, because the BH Army surrendered, and the fighting took

25     place around the Sovici gates, where the HVO units broke through the

Page 49436

 1     lines held by the BH Army up until then.  Would those be the three main

 2     points in that summary, in the summary of the situation?

 3        A.   Yes, precisely.

 4        Q.   Tell us, please, General, with that, on the 17th of April, 1993,

 5     did the conflicts and clashes in this Risovac area and the Sovici gates

 6     area cease?

 7        A.   Yes, the fighting ceased on the 17th, as we like to say, in the

 8     area of Sovici and Doljani with very small forces at three small points

 9     up in the hills above Doljani and Sovici from where this group of people

10     tried to fire on Sovici and Doljani, but the fighting ended with the

11     surrender of the 4th Battalion sometime in the afternoon, in late

12     afternoon.

13        Q.   Tell us, please, General, some HVO units, did they try to uncover

14     these BH Army groups that failed to surrender which were in the

15     surrounding hills somewhere?  Is that what they tried to do?

16        A.   Well, I don't know who made this decision to enter into this

17     undertaking, because it was a high altitude, 900 metres above sea level,

18     and it was a tremendous task and not an opportune one, so that HVO

19     soldiers were killed, in my view, needlessly.

20        Q.   Tell us, please, General, in those operations was the commander

21     of the Convicts Battalion killed, Cikota?

22        A.   Yes, Cikota was killed on the 20th, I think, around

23     Elevation 902, on the 20th of April, 1993.

24        Q.   Tell us, please, General, on the basis of the information the

25     Main Staff had, up until that point in time in Sovici and Doljani, those

Page 49437

 1     places, themselves, did any member of the HVO commit anything that could

 2     be considered as --

 3             JUDGE PRANDLER:  Ms. Alaburic, you have been discussing the

 4     question of Doljani and Sovici and the fighting around those villages,

 5     and you may recall that a few days ago -- and also the death of

 6     Convicts Battalion head Cikota was also mentioned, and we saw a document

 7     over there in which it was also pointed out that that event happened

 8     during a kind of cleansing or cleaning, "cistka," of Sovici, so I would

 9     like to ask Mr. Petkovic if he would tell us what kind of actions took

10     place, I mean armed actions, in Sovici, and why the reference to

11     cleaning, cleansing, "cistka ," was mentioned in that part of the

12     document.

13             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Judge Trechsel Your Honour -- I

14     apologise, not Trechsel, Prandler.  In Sovici, there was no fighting to

15     take control of the place of Sovici, itself.  Now, whether there was

16     sporadic fire by a group of individuals, I really don't know.  But

17     Sovici, as such, were handed over without a battle.  They surrendered

18     without a battle.

19             Secondly, when you say "cistka," c-i-s-t-k-a, two or three points

20     which -- at positions in the mountains above Doljani and Sovici, I think

21     they were Feature 902, I think that was Elevation 902, there were two or

22     three members of the army there, BH Army, and as far as I remember now a

23     place called Pisvir, also two or three or five BH Army members.  And from

24     those elevations, they opened fire on Sovici and Doljani.  Mostly

25     Doljani, rather than Sovici.

Page 49438

 1             Now, I don't know who made this mad decision to send a group of

 2     several HVO members to, as we call it, cleanse Pisvir and Feature 902,

 3     because it belonged to the Doljani area, so there was no cleansing in

 4     Doljani.  And in the terminology of the JNA, in JNA terms, "ciscenje,"

 5     "cleansing," means finding stragglers and groups of enemy soldiers, and

 6     nothing more than that.  That's what JNA terminology ascribes to the term

 7     "ciscenje," "cleansing."  So they were killed on those elevations above

 8     Sovici and Doljani, and looking at the map, I think the position was

 9     closer to Doljani than Sovici.  But Cikota wasn't killed in the -- in

10     Doljani, proper, but at a distance of 700 or 900 metres, at an elevation

11     of 700 to 900 metres above Doljani.

12             JUDGE PRANDLER:  Thank you very much, Mr. Petkovic.  Actually, I

13     used the Russian equivalent "cistka" for "ciscenje," but, of course, you

14     understood this as well.  So thank you for your answer.

15             MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, if I may remind you,

16     in this context, that in our expert report, the report of

17     Mr. Milan Gorjanc, one chapter is about this very topic, and we have

18     pointed out that the translation of this term as "cleansing" is wrong,

19     because it should be properly called "mop-up operations," because

20     "cleansing" is associative of ethnic cleansing, but which has nothing to

21     do with what really happened.  Mop-up operations are normal in any army.

22        Q.   General, until the moment Cikota was killed, and according to the

23     information that arrived at the Main Staff, did any HVO soldier do

24     anything irregular, undesired, or illegal in the area of Sovici and

25     Doljani?

Page 49439

 1        A.   No, Your Honours.  Everything that I read that referred to the

 2     19th, 20th, and 21st was to the effect that anything of that kind took

 3     place.

 4        Q.   Tell us about after Cikota's death.

 5        A.   After Cikota's death, a group of members of the

 6     Convicts Battalion and a group of civilians that didn't belong anywhere

 7     returned to Doljani after the funeral, that is, to Sovici and Doljani,

 8     and started burning some Muslim houses as vengeance.  But I must say that

 9     the Convicts Battalion, on the 20th, officially withdrew from the

10     front-line, and nobody counted on it anymore in case there should be

11     additional fighting.

12        Q.   Tell us, General, did you request information about that from the

13     HVO Brigade Herceg Stjepan?

14        A.   Yes.  Let me explain to the Trial Chamber.

15        Q.   But be brief.

16        A.   Yes, I did, on behalf of Mr. Boban.  There is a document which we

17     have already seen here.  He wanted accurate information as to what had

18     happened.

19        Q.   Did you receive such information from the Herceg Stjepan Brigade

20     as to what had happened at Sovici and Doljani?

21        A.   Yes, we received such information from the Herceg Stjepan

22     Brigade, which was in charge of the Konjic municipality, and from the

23     Mijat Tomic unit, which was also active in the areas of Sovici and

24     Doljani.

25        Q.   Did you forward that information to the commander-in-chief,

Page 49440

 1     Mate Boban?

 2        A.   Yes, he demanded that information.  And that information, as well

 3     as the information I had prepared for Central Bosnia, I gave to him when

 4     I went to see him.

 5        Q.   Did you speak to the supreme commander about the measures to take

 6     against these individuals from the Convicts Battalion who had taken part

 7     in the burning of the houses?

 8        A.   Yes, we discussed measures because we were preparing for a

 9     meeting in Zagreb and that was a topic that we had to discuss, so we

10     spoke about measures.  And the report that we received pointed out two

11     names.  One of them was Naletilic, and the other -- what's his name

12     again, his assistant in the battalion?

13        Q.   Ivan Andabak?

14        A.   Yes, Ivan Andabak.

15        Q.   Tell us, General, did Mate Boban say that he would establish the

16     possible responsibility of some individuals and take care of the

17     situation, or did you have any related task?

18             MR. SCOTT:  Excuse me, Your Honour, before the witness answers,

19     I've been letting it go all day, but I'm going to object to leading at

20     this point.  The witness should be allowed to speak for himself on his

21     own memory.

22             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes, you're absolutely right,

23     Mr. Scott.  I was a bit shocked myself.  You know, instead of saying

24     this, you should have said, What did Boban do?  Here, you were prompting

25     the answer.

Page 49441

 1             MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, it was not my

 2     intention to ask the witness what Mr. Boban did.  I wanted to ask him

 3     about his conversation with Boban, because if they spoke about the

 4     establishment of responsibility, what was agreed, whether Mate Boban

 5     would do anything about it or possibly General Petkovic.  My question

 6     contained several options, so, by definition, is not leading.  A third

 7     option in General Petkovic's answer is also possible.

 8             JUDGE TRECHSEL:  This was clearly a leading question,

 9     Ms. Alaburic, and I'm afraid you have to accept this.  No one's perfect.

10     Try to ask what Boban said.

11             MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] All right, Your Honours, although

12     it is very difficult for me to accept that my question was leading.

13        Q.   Well, General, tell us, did you speak with Mate Boban about

14     establishing the individual responsibility of anybody from the

15     Convicts Battalion who took part in burning houses?

16        A.   Yes.  The names from the report were presented to Mate Boban, the

17     names, and it was clear that two individuals were responsible for that

18     behaviour, and the third one, although indirectly, the battalion

19     commander at Doljani, Mr. Stipe Bolo, anyway, confessed that he was also

20     co-responsible, but he couldn't do anything about it.

21        Q.   Would the possible proceedings against Mladen Naletilic and

22     Ivan Andabak be within your authority?

23        A.   No.  We went to Zagreb with this information and this knowledge,

24     to the meeting that I mentioned.

25        Q.   General, do you have any knowledge about Mate Boban initiating

Page 49442

 1     proceedings to establish the responsibility of members of the

 2     Convicts Battalion for the burning of houses in the Sovici and Doljani

 3     area?

 4        A.   Nothing concrete.  I only know that Mr. Boban, at the meeting in

 5     Zagreb, committed himself to do something about it and probe into the

 6     matter in the days to come, the following days.

 7        Q.   All right, General.  Let me now ask you about some events from

 8     April up until the end of 1993.

 9             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] General Petkovic, the question

10     of Sovici and Doljani, as you know, is at the core of things, among

11     others.  Now, according to what you're saying, and I heard you very

12     carefully - you know, as soon as you talk, I am listening - this is how I

13     understood the military situation:  In Doljani, the HVO carried out an

14     action, and you showed that on the map.  The BH Army soldiers did not

15     fight and just withdraw, and they leave for Sovici, they withdraw to

16     Sovici.  The HVO continues fighting, and you say that the soldiers

17     surrendered, and you said that they surrendered without fighting.

18             While you were saying this, I noted a contradiction with the

19     death of Cikota.  Cikota died.  It's probably because there was at least

20     an exchange of fire.  So why did you say that they surrendered without

21     fighting, when Cikota was actually killed?  Can you shed some light on

22     this, because there's something that I probably misunderstood or didn't

23     understand at all.

24             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, you may have

25     misunderstood me, or possibly you haven't understood all I said.

Page 49443

 1             There was fighting at the Sovici gate and at positions to the

 2     left and to the right of the Sovici gate, which is some two or three

 3     kilometres away from the village of Sovici.  That's where the defence

 4     line of the ABiH was.  You weren't there.  If the Sovici gate is taken,

 5     it's like going from the fifth floor to the basement, Sovici and Doljani

 6     are in the basement.  And the fighting at Sovici gate lasted for three

 7     hours, at least.  Once the Sovici gate had fallen, the 4th Battalion of

 8     the ABiH was lost.  They were only able to raise some 80 people or so who

 9     surrendered.  Everybody else fled in all directions.  And when the HVO

10     descended to Sovici and Doljani, the ABiH didn't put up any resistance.

11     They had accepted the order to surrender.  So there was fighting on the

12     route towards Sovici, and when that defence fell, that was the fall of

13     Sovici too.

14             And Cikota, on the 20th - I don't know on whose orders - went to

15     take out two or three enemy firing positions in the hills around that

16     village, and that's where he was killed.

17             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well.  Your answer is very

18     straightforward.  I understood you very well.  I have another question.

19             The military operation on Doljani and Sovici, well, could you

20     tell us under whose command this operation was, whose it was?  Who was in

21     charge of this military operation?

22             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Doljani and Sovici were under the

23     command of the commander of the Zone of Operations of South-East

24     Herzegovina, Mr. Lasic.

25             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Fine.  And you learn that some

Page 49444

 1     houses were torched, civilian houses, so you know that there's a problem,

 2     especially if those houses were not torched because of combat, but for

 3     another reason.  Wasn't it up to Mr. Lasic to live up to this

 4     responsibility?  Wasn't he first in line there?

 5             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honours, as far as I know,

 6     Mr. Lasic, too, was at Mr. Cikota's funeral on that day, and after the

 7     funeral he went to his command post.  He didn't know what happened after

 8     his arrival.  It wasn't the whole Convicts Battalion who went up there,

 9     only a group of people and a group of civilians.

10             After the funeral, Lasic returned to his zone of operations, so

11     that he learned about the event in the early-evening hours, after having

12     received reports from Sovici and Doljani.

13             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] If I understood you correctly,

14     this is your version of the facts, and this is under oath, you say that

15     what happened after Mr. Cikota's funeral was done by part of the

16     Convicts Battalion, not the entire Convicts Battalion, but some of them,

17     with some civilians who at the time were not identified.  Then you talk

18     to Mr. Boban about this, and he tells you, Well, we'll carry out an

19     investigation, but he's not giving you any instructions -- specific

20     instructions on this, so it's quite blurry.

21             Now, you were in Geneva a couple of times.  You were in contact

22     with Halilovic, Izetbegovic, all these senior representatives, and maybe

23     -- it's just an assumption, you know, I'm not in your head, of course

24     not, but maybe you saw what the consequences could be if the foreign

25     media found out about that.  You know, you know what happened at Ahmici,

Page 49445

 1     and maybe you thought that there could be consequences to this.  So did

 2     you envisage all the diplomatic consequences of such acts?

 3             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honours, clearly that was

 4     being taken into consideration, absolutely, how this would reverberate,

 5     and of course it didn't suit the HVO at all, the more so since the

 6     fighting had been over.  Because of the death of one man, no such thing

 7     should have been committed.

 8             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] My final question.  I would

 9     like to know whether it wouldn't have been possible to arrest a few

10     members of the Convicts Battalion, to arrest also a number of civilians,

11     hand them over to either the military prosecutor or the civilian

12     prosecutor to make sure that there would be prosecution in such cases.

13     Wasn't it a possibility just to arrest a few people in order to reassure

14     the victims, the international community, and to prove your good faith,

15     to prove that you, in true good faith, wanted to fight against crime?

16     Why wasn't anybody arrested?

17             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honours, on the day when we

18     received the report, the 23rd, we spoke about all that.  The two persons

19     to whom this referred most were Mr. Naletilic and Mr. Andabak.  With this

20     information, we left for Zagreb on the 24th, to that famous meeting that

21     took place on the 24th and the 25th, and we spoke to Mr. Izetbegovic

22     about everything that had taken place there; not only in Sovici and

23     Doljani, but also Central Bosnia.  There was a discussion about that for

24     the entire evening, and the conclusion was that both sides would start

25     clearing up these things.  And it was signed, and by signing, the sides

Page 49446

 1     committed themselves to that.

 2             Once we returned from Zagreb, we held a meeting on the 29th or

 3     28th - I'm not sure now - and at a meeting of the leading political

 4     figures of Herceg-Bosna a briefing was held about what had been agreed in

 5     Zagreb, and one item said that a commission would be appointed which,

 6     independently from anybody, would investigate the matter and take some

 7     measures, and that's what happened.  I wasn't at the meeting of the 29th

 8     because I was in Zenica with Halilovic, or in Central Bosnia.  But once I

 9     returned, I saw the conclusions from that meeting.

10             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] It is interesting, what you're

11     saying right now.  You've said that in Zagreb, all of this was touched

12     upon, and everyone agreed, including Mr. Izetbegovic, for a commission to

13     look into those "crimes," quote/unquote, and all parties would shed light

14     on what happened, and you did not personally follow that up because you

15     were in Zenica on the 29th.

16             Now, let's talk about the commission.  What were its conclusions?

17             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The commission, which was put into

18     place on the 24th of September [as interpreted], was supposed to take all

19     investigative steps in Herzegovina and Central Bosnia on the part of the

20     Croatian Defence Council, that is, without waiting for the work of a

21     joint commission, or there was talk in Zagreb for a mixed commission with

22     the international community should undertake to resolve the problem.

23     However, the proposal fell through.  Nobody counted on it.  So it

24     remained for everybody to resolve the problem and deal with it at their

25     own level.  And the investigations for certain areas, on the part of the

Page 49447

 1     HVO, were put in place.  They were unleashed, and they went on until

 2     about June, the 10th of June or 12th of June, when, in Central Bosnia,

 3     Travnik happened, with everything that that entailed.  And then

 4     everything slowed down and came to a standstill.  But we have documents

 5     about how this developed for Central Bosnia, but we don't have anything

 6     on how it developed in Northern Herzegovina or, rather, Sovici and

 7     Doljani.

 8             MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, a correction to the

 9     transcript.  On this page, line 5, the date was the 24th of September

10     recorded there, but the witness was talking about the 29th of April, the

11     29th of April, and the meeting that took place, 1993, to avoid any

12     misunderstanding.

13             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you.

14             I didn't look at the clock.  We need to have our second break.

15     We'll have a 20-minute break, and we will resume after that.

16                           --- Recess taken at 5.48 p.m.

17                           --- On resuming at 6.09 p.m.

18             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] The court is back in session.

19             First of all, an administrative announcement.  The Registry

20     announced that the hearing that was planned on the 16th of March, it

21     would be a morning hearing, will be cancelled because there are more

22     trials than there are courtrooms, and so we have to actually have less

23     days per week per trial.  So Tuesday, the 16th of March, there won't be

24     any hearing for this trial.  So I wanted to announce that to you.

25             Secondly, I understood that General Petkovic's Defence wanted to

Page 49448

 1     know when I would ask my questions.  I am planning to do exactly what I

 2     did when General Praljak took the stand; namely, that I will ask my

 3     questions at the end of the examination-in-chief.  I have planned two

 4     days for that.  The first day, as already mentioned, will be devoted to

 5     questions based on documents from the Prosecution, and I will mainly base

 6     my questions on the pre-trial brief from the Prosecution.  And as for

 7     General Petkovic, I will go through the indictment especially dealing

 8     with the JCE, and then I will show two videos.  The first one is dealing

 9     with the attack against the Vranica building, in order to get the

10     observations from -- or the comments from the general, and the second one

11     will be a video of the destruction of the bridge in Mostar, because I

12     will have very technical questions to ask to General Petkovic based upon

13     this video.  Then I will go through about 100 documents coming from the

14     Prosecution.  Most of those documents start with the letter P.  Those

15     documents will be showed to you in chronological order.  I will start

16     with a document dated 1992, and then I will go closer to today.  For the

17     second day, it will be exactly the same.  There will be documents based

18     on the submissions from the General Petkovic Defence.  There's about 80

19     or 90 documents, 90, that is, and I will also present those documents in

20     chronological order.  So we will scan through 1992, 1993, and 1994, and

21     this should take about two days.  So this is what I can say at this

22     juncture.

23             Also, as early as tomorrow, I will send to all the parties,

24     namely the Prosecutor as well as the General Petkovic Defence, I will

25     send, as I was saying, the list of all documents, so you will have the

Page 49449

 1     various numbers for the first day and for the second day.  That way, you

 2     will know exactly which documents I will base my questions on.  Those

 3     documents have already been looked into and have already been the subject

 4     of discussions, but I may look at them from a different point of view.

 5             So this is what I wanted to say, and I believe this will be

 6     useful for all.

 7             I also should like to point out, since we are in this

 8     administrative part, on Thursday we will finish at 6.00 p.m.

 9             Very well.

10             Ms. Alaburic.

11             MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honours.

12        Q.   General, Judge Antonetti asked you a question, recorded on

13     page 71, about whether you took into consideration the diplomatic

14     circumstances linked to the crimes in Ahmici and Sovici, and you readily

15     answered and said that you did take into account the diplomatic

16     activities.  Now, since I have to recognise that I didn't understand

17     either the question or the answer, does that mean that there was the

18     desire to cover up something for somebody's interests or whether what was

19     wanted was to conduct an investigation into the crime?  So could you

20     please explain your answer.  What diplomatic interests, and in what sense

21     were they taken into account, in care of, or whatever?

22        A.   Your Honours, two or three days later we had a meeting with the

23     top representatives of the community for the former Yugoslavia, and the

24     whole problem was presented to them, that is to say, the events in

25     Central Bosnia and Herzegovina.  Lord Owen, as far as I can remember, had

Page 49450

 1     ten of his people at the meeting, attending the meeting, too, and both

 2     sides frankly presented certain matters and issues, so nobody kept

 3     anything back.  So that's what I meant when I said "diplomatic."  We

 4     didn't ask for ambassadors or anything like that.

 5        Q.   So it wasn't a matter of wanting to cover up any crimes or keep

 6     something back?

 7        A.   No.  And the meeting went on for quite a long time, and everybody

 8     was included.

 9             I'd just like to say that - and perhaps you can find this in the

10     transcripts - Lord Owen said at one point, Take care that none of this

11     should be counterproductive, thinking of the promises made by both sides

12     that they would punish perpetrators and so on.  So I remember him saying

13     that.  And perhaps you can find it somewhere in the transcripts of those

14     meetings.  So, no, nothing was kept hidden.

15        Q.   Tell us, General, when you mentioned the commission and the

16     meeting of the 29th of April [realtime transcript read in error

17     "January"], 1993 -- yes, the 29th of April, 1993, is the date.  I'd like

18     to correct the date.  The 29th of April, 1993.  Yes, that's right.  What

19     meeting was it that was held on that day?

20        A.   Well, Mr. Mate Boban, Your Honours, convened a meeting of all the

21     relevant political factors in Herceg-Bosna, including the representatives

22     of the Croats in the legal organs of authority of Bosnia-Herzegovina, and

23     the meeting discussed the Zagreb meeting, which had adopted -- or,

24     rather, the conclusions of the Zagreb meeting had been adopted.  And then

25     with respect to the item on conducting an investigation, it was agreed

Page 49451

 1     that a commission would be established which, on the HVO side, would

 2     conduct all the investigations for the situations that happened until

 3     that time, whether there are five or six, in the conclusions.

 4        Q.   Tell us again, General, where were you on that day?

 5        A.   On the 28th, I left with Mr. Thebault and Mr. Halilovic to

 6     Jablanica and Konjic and then to Zenica.  On the 29th, I was in Zenica,

 7     and I was in Zenica on the 30th as well, of April, that is, of 1993.

 8        Q.   Let's now summarise this topic of Sovici and Doljani.  During the

 9     combat, itself, General, in the Sovici and Doljani area, to the best of

10     your knowledge --

11             MR. SCOTT:  Excuse me, Your Honour.  I'm going to object to this

12     procedure.  I think it's, again, a form of leading.  There's really no

13     reason for a summary.  The Chamber's heard the evidence.  It's not

14     necessary for Ms. Alaburic to come back and put her spin on it, her

15     summary.  The Chamber has the witness's evidence.  That's all that's

16     necessary.  I would object to this procedure.  Formally, I object that

17     it's a form of leading.

18             MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I'm going to ask

19     questions, but I consider that I do have the right to use the time for

20     our defence by devoting it to one topic, and if I need to clarify it,

21     I can do for as long as I deem necessary.  And I'm doing that because

22     Judge Antonetti said that things were not quite clear to him and that he

23     cannot link up what happened when, and the interrelationships, and so on.

24     So instead of asking in redirect, I have to ask follow-up questions

25     following on from the questions put by Their Honours, and I think it will

Page 49452

 1     be more efficacious for the Judges for us to clear it up straight away

 2     and not wait for the redirect.

 3        Q.   So my question to you, General, is this --

 4             MR. SCOTT:  I'm sorry, Your Honours, that doesn't answer

 5     anything.  The question of time and the question of what's more

 6     efficacious has nothing to do with the Rules of Procedure, the Rules of

 7     Evidence.  If she thinks that clarification is necessary, she can ask

 8     non-leading questions, the general can give answers to non-leading

 9     questions, and we can proceed that way.  That's the proper way to

10     proceed, not by leading questions.  And I continue to object.

11             MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I haven't asked the

12     question yet, so I would like to ask Mr. Scott to be patient enough to

13     hear my question out first, and if it's leading, I'll be happy to

14     apologise and revise it.

15        Q.   General, during the combat operations of the 17th of April, 1993,

16     in the area of Sovici and Doljani, were any houses set fire to, or, to

17     the best of your knowledge, were there any unlawful acts committed by the

18     HVO members?

19        A.   Your Honours, no, there were no acts which would be considered

20     unlawful.

21        Q.   To the best of your knowledge, General, when, in the area around

22     Sovici and Doljani, were houses burnt, the houses of some Muslims?

23        A.   According to my information, that happened on the 21st, in the

24     late afternoon hours, the 21st of April, 1993.

25             MR. SCOTT:  Excuse me, Your Honour.  Could we get some foundation

Page 49453

 1     for this as well?  What's the basis for this information?  We know that

 2     Mr. Petkovic wasn't in the area, apparently, according to his testimony,

 3     so what's the basis of the views that he's expressing now?  Perhaps

 4     counsel can assist us by asking questions, laying a foundation for this

 5     knowledge.

 6             MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I'm asking all these

 7     questions based on adjudicated facts adopted by this Trial Chamber at the

 8     proposal of the Prosecution.

 9             MR. SCOTT:  That's not my question -- that's not my objection,

10     Your Honour.  I don't really care what the basis of her questions are.

11     I'm concerned about the basis for the witness's testimony.  On what basis

12     does this witness express a view?  He wasn't there.  We've talked about

13     investigations.  We don't know if there were any results of the

14     investigation.  He should tell us more.  Did he receive a report, did he

15     receive information, was there an investigation?  Otherwise, this is

16     sheer speculation, with no basis in the record for it.

17             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Ms. Alaburic, in order to avoid

18     problems, please do like I do; namely, ask a general question so that

19     eventually you reach your objective.  You could perhaps ask him what

20     happened on the 21st of April, Do you know of anything that happened?  He

21     could say, I do know, or, I don't know.  If he says, Yes, I do know about

22     something, then you could ask, What do you know?  And therefore the

23     Prosecution will not stand up.

24             MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I have to acknowledge

25     that I'm really surprised, because for an hour already we've been

Page 49454

 1     discussing the fact that General Petkovic, on the basis of a request from

 2     Mate Boban, sent a question to the Herceg Stjepan Brigade about events on

 3     the ground.  The general told us that from the Herceg Stjepan Brigade, he

 4     received information about the events on the ground to the effect that

 5     after the funeral of Commander Cikota, houses belonging to some Muslims

 6     were burnt in Sovici and Doljani, and that it was some of the members of

 7     the Convicts Battalion and civilians took part in this.  And the witness

 8     told us that it was on that basis that he prepared a piece of information

 9     for Mate Boban about that.  The witness next told us about his talks with

10     Mate Boban on the issue.  The witness also said that this was discussed

11     at a meeting in Zagreb on the 24th and 25th of April, and that the

12     meeting was attended by the presiding office for the former Yugoslavia.

13     The witness next told us that this was also discussed at a meeting in

14     Citluk on the 29th of April, 1993, and that because of all these events,

15     it was decided that a commission be established to investigate war

16     crimes.  So I'd just like to advise you to read the transcript from

17     today's session, and it will be quite clear as to what the witness was

18     talking about and what he said.

19             And I wish to round off the topic exclusively, because

20     Judge Antonetti said some things remained unclear to him, so it's my

21     intention now quite simply to repeat that part of the testimony.

22     Otherwise, I think that we have clarified all the points.  With the

23     previous witness, we put documents to him about all that, so I can't put

24     all the documents to every single witness.  I don't have time to do that.

25        Q.   So my question to you, General, is as follows:  According to your

Page 49455

 1     information, the members of which HVO unit took part in the burning of

 2     houses belonging to some Muslims in Doljani and Sovici?

 3        A.   Some members of the Convicts Battalion.

 4        Q.   Tell us, please, General, the Convicts Battalion, was it in the

 5     command sense and in the operational sense, subordinated to the

 6     Main Staff of the HVO?

 7        A.   No, it wasn't subordinated to the Main Staff of the HVO.

 8        Q.   General, on assumption that civilians took part in the burning of

 9     these houses, too, I would like to ask you the following:  Did the

10     Main Staff of the HVO -- was it in charge of prosecuting civilians if

11     they engaged in unlawful acts?

12        A.   No, it was not the Main Staff that was in charge of prosecuting

13     civilians.

14        Q.   General, let's see how the combat operations ensued.  Can you

15     tell us whether anything important happened with the town of Kakanj in

16     June 1993?

17        A.   In June 1993, the BH Army placed the town of Kakanj exclusively

18     under its control.  It disarmed part of the HVO and expelled another part

19     of it, including 12.000 -- approximately 12.000 Croats.

20        Q.   Tell us, please, whether the BH Army took control of Travnik.

21        A.   Yes, the BH Army did take control of Travnik, and that was after

22     the 8th of June -- between the 8th of June and the 12th of June, 1993.

23        Q.   Tell us, please, when did the BH Army take control of the area

24     north of East Mostar or, rather, the Vrapcici-Bijelo Polje area and the

25     other areas towards Jablanica?

Page 49456

 1        A.   That part of Bosnia-Herzegovina was taken control of on the 30th

 2     of June, 1993, by the BH Army.

 3             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] General Petkovic, I've listened

 4     to the question and the answer regarding Kakanj.  You said that 12.000

 5     Croats were expelled.  This is the actual number that struck me.  It

 6     seems to be quite a high number.

 7             The ABiH has launched a military action which will then be

 8     extended to Travnik.  Given what is happening, at your level have you

 9     decided to inform the international community, because all this has

10     consequences on what is happening in Geneva and on the various plans?  As

11     far as you are concerned, are you whistle-blowing, so to say, because

12     this leads to flows of refugees, because 12.000 people, this is quite a

13     huge amount of people on the road?  What are you doing, faced with this

14     situation?  Are you just looking on, or are you acting on this by

15     contacting Thebault, Morillon, Halilovic, and so on and so forth?  What

16     had you decided to do at the time?

17             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour Judge Antonetti, first

18     of all, in Travnik, on the 9th of June, I asked for a meeting with

19     Sefer Halilovic anywhere, either in Sarajevo or in Kiseljak or in Zenica,

20     and on the 9th of June, 1993, I arrived in Kiseljak because I had been

21     informed that the meeting would take place in Kiseljak.  Also coming to

22     the meeting was Colonel Siber.  I asked him, Why him?  And he said, Well,

23     don't you know what's happening in Sarajevo?  And I said, No, I don't.

24     Then I asked him, I said, Do you have the authority to sign a document

25     with me?  And Colonel Siber said, I don't know what my fate will be to

Page 49457

 1     the end of the day.  Or, rather, on that day there was an exchange or

 2     rotation whereby Rasim Delic came to take over from Sefer Halilovic, so

 3     that neither of them arrived on that occasion.  I prepared to return, but

 4     General Morillon asked me to stay on, and said that he would go to

 5     Sarajevo and convince Mr. Izetbegovic and Delic to come to the meeting.

 6     And that's what happened.

 7             The next day, Rasim Delic arrived, and that was his first meeting

 8     since he had become the new man to head the Main Staff of the BH Army.

 9             And on the 10th, Mr. Thebault was there, representing the

10     observer mission, and there was also Brigadier -- I can't remember his

11     name, but he was from UNPROFOR.  And General Morillon remained in

12     Sarajevo.  And then Delic and I signed an agreement, and, among other

13     things, we agreed that the joint command, six of them, should travel to

14     Travnik and to try and stop further fighting in Travnik.  However, the

15     fighting could not be stopped at that point because two HVO brigades had

16     been completely routed, and the inhabitants of Travnik -- and please

17     don't hold me to the number, you can check it out, but in my view there

18     were about 15.000 to 20.000 people who found themselves in the area

19     between Travnik, Novi Travnik, and Vitez.  They stretched across that

20     area.  But a portion of them across Mount Vlasic fled.  They were

21     expelled to the territory of Republika Srpska.  I think it was about 1500

22     of them, civilians; and about 650 soldiers.

23             So that was the situation in April [as interpreted].  And linked

24     to that, Mr. Boban sent a letter to Lord Owen and informed him that he

25     would refuse to come to the Geneva negotiations because things like that

Page 49458

 1     were happening.  And you know that there were negotiations in Geneva, and

 2     you saw the document which Mr. Izetbegovic, on the 15th of June, sent to

 3     me from Geneva.  So that Boban had correspondence with Lord Owen, he

 4     informed him of the situation that was taking place in the Travnik area.

 5             Not long afterwards, suddenly Kakanj occurred.  Just three or

 6     four days after Travnik, you had Kakanj.  Once again, about 12.000 Croats

 7     had to leave the area, and that was what the situation was.  In my view,

 8     it no longer gave any certain hope of stopping these events through

 9     negotiations, the events between -- that were happening between the

10     BH Army and the HVO.

11             And let me just add this:  Mr. Boban put it to Lord Owen that

12     Mr. Izetbegovic had waited for the Serb side to refuse to sign the

13     Vance-Owen Plan, and as soon as the Serbs refused, one or two days later

14     the BH Army launched its operation against Travnik.  So there was no more

15     Vance-Owen Plan, and now, in the interim, before a new plan got underway,

16     they took advantage to take control of new territory and make it appear

17     as them saying, There's nobody else and we're there.

18             And the BH Army attacked the HVO in Travnik.  We were the weaker

19     side there, because the BH Army had a large number of brigades, and we

20     weren't able to defend ourselves in a built-up area.  We were taken by

21     complete surprise.  We simply didn't expect anything like that to happen.

22     And to be quite frank, we didn't have the strength to resist in a town --

23     to defend ourselves in a town with a mixed population.

24             MR. SCOTT:  Excuse me, Your Honour, for interrupting.  But

25     I think before it leaves the screen, or it's about to, there was a

Page 49459

 1     reference on page 84, line 7, to April, and I assume Mr. Petkovic is

 2     referring to June, but, in any event, not April.  Perhaps if that could

 3     be corrected.

 4             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, thank you.  You are right,

 5     it's about June 1993.

 6             MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. Scott, for your

 7     co-operation.

 8        Q.   General, let's see what happened later in various territories.

 9     Did anything happen in July with one of the two Croatian enclaves in

10     Konjic?

11        A.   Yes, Your Honours.  The enclave in the area of Klis, that's the

12     Neretvica Valley.  We've heard about Klis, on the 10th of July,

13     disappeared for good, and along with it 1.000 to 2.000 Croats and about

14     350 soldiers of the HVO.  In the Konjic municipality, what remained is a

15     small enclave, and three smallest villages of Konjic municipality,

16     Turije, Zabrdje, and Zaslivlje, that's that famous pocket outside Konjic.

17             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Petkovic, I'm listening to

18     your version of the facts and how, according to you, they unfolded;

19     Travnik, Kakanj, Klis.  And one can imagine what is happening,

20     militarily-wise.  And while listening to the description you're giving

21     us, I'm wondering the following:  In General Praljak's maps, we saw that

22     the HVO and the BH Army had a joint front-line facing the Serbs.  Maybe

23     we can take a look at that map again, but I'm sure you know exactly which

24     map I'm talking about.  Now, given the actions undertaken by the BH Army,

25     why is it that the HVO, who was on the front-line, didn't decide to

Page 49460

 1     withdraw to reinforce Croat positions that were under jeopardy?  Why

 2     didn't you just withdraw from the front-line, leaving the Serbs facing

 3     the BH Army, in order to position yourself so you could reinforce your

 4     lines and so you could withstand the offensive carried out by the

 5     BH Army?  Why didn't you decide on that line of conduct?

 6             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honours, let me tell you the

 7     way -- how the BH Army took Travnik.  They first attacked those HVO units

 8     that were -- had positions against the VRS, and thus they took positions

 9     against the VRS and the HVO was pushed back.  In such a situation, the

10     HVO has nobody but the BiH Army surrounding them.  So at Travnik, the HVO

11     lost contact with the VRS, and that was the intention of the BH Army.

12     The first attack was along the front-line, take the positions against the

13     VRS, and push back the HVO to make impossible any contact with the VRS,

14     and that's what happened.  Some soldiers and civilians were able to reach

15     Vlasic, but then the area was sealed off.  There, the HVO no longer had

16     contact with the VRS.  Now there was only the BiH Army that had contact

17     with the VRS, and we were pushed back to parts of the Novi Travnik

18     municipality and the municipalities of Vitez and Busovaca.

19             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] You're giving me an answer for

20     Travnik, but what about the other areas where the BH Army and the HVO

21     were side by side?

22             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honours, at that moment the

23     BiH Army no longer sees a common enemy.  It is focused only on the

24     Croats.  At Kakanj, we had lost contact with the VRS, so it was an easy

25     job for the army -- the BiH Army, because there was 700 HVO soldiers.  We

Page 49461

 1     had neglected that brigade because it was very deep in that territory,

 2     and it didn't require special equipment.  And they took Kakanj easily in

 3     three days.

 4             In early July, they took Fojnica, and until the 10th of July, the

 5     municipality of Konjic.  And we were left in that small pocket of Konjic

 6     with some 300 soldiers, and we stayed there until the end of the war.

 7     Not even Silajdzic was able to buy us with 5.000 [as interpreted] marks

 8     and persuade us to leave the area.  That was how the BH Army went about

 9     it.  They didn't want us to have contact with anybody.

10             So that's how we fared in Central Bosnia.  But we weren't strong

11     enough to manoeuvre from one direction to another, because as soon as we

12     would start any movement, we would be faced with BiH Army units that

13     would prevent us from doing so.  So we can't move from one area to

14     another, and we cannot go from Herzegovina to Central Bosnia.  We don't

15     have enough forces to take 40 kilometres of area all the way to

16     Novi Travnik, nor could we go as far as Konjic.

17             The 40.000 soldiers of the HVO cannot take up the BiH Army, the

18     more so as we had 20.000 in one place.  7.000 were in Posavina.  They had

19     nothing to do with all that.  And then there were some -- a few thousand

20     soldiers in Zepce, Tuzla, and elsewhere.  So we didn't even have 40.000

21     soldiers, but maybe 20.000, 22.000, and we couldn't do anything, because

22     over 50 per cent of our men were holding the lines.  So we didn't have a

23     manoeuvring capability.

24             And that was the basis of the assessment of the BH Army, and they

25     had an easy job in Central Bosnia, except for Vitez and Busovaca, where

Page 49462

 1     they made a mistake, so they didn't -- because they didn't leave a

 2     corridor.  If they had left a small corridor, I don't think anybody would

 3     have been able to stay there easily as soon as the first civilian had

 4     left, but they made a complete circle, they encircled our forces, and in

 5     that circle resistance was offered until the end.

 6             MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] A correction.  On page 85, line

 7     23, the transcript shows that the general was speaking about three small

 8     enclaves in the Konjic area, but he was speaking about one enclave with

 9     three small villages.  The names of these villages were recorded

10     correctly.

11        Q.   General, you mentioned Fojnica.

12             JUDGE TRECHSEL:  Another correction to the transcript.  It's

13     really an offensive mistake.  On page 87, line 17, Silajdzic -- "not even

14     Silajdzic was able to buy us with 5.000 marks," that's offensive, because

15     that's really a ridiculous sum.  I think you spoke about 500.000 marks.

16     Is that not what you said?

17             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honours, that is correct.  The

18     document reads that we were offered 500.000 marks.

19             JUDGE TRECHSEL:  Thank you.

20             MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Judge Trechsel.  I

21     didn't care about the figure, because nothing was bought eventually.

22        Q.   General, you mentioned Fojnica.  When did the ABiH take Fojnica?

23        A.   The ABiH took complete control over Fojnica until mid-July 1993.

24             JUDGE TRECHSEL:  Excuse me.  Ms. Alaburic, we had started off in

25     Sovici-Doljani, and I feel that you are getting further and further away

Page 49463

 1     from it.  Do you plan to come back to that area?  If not, I would have

 2     another question.  But if you plan to come back, I can wait.

 3             MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, my intentions differ

 4     greatly from the reality in this courtroom.  I only wanted to show you,

 5     by tackling this topic, what kind of combat activity there was and how

 6     the territory controlled by the ABiH spread.  Triggered by your

 7     questions, and it is you who matters -- who mattered the most here, we

 8     dealt with the topic of Sovici and Doljani and the responsibility for

 9     that, in a very intensive manner.  But if you look at my list of topics

10     at the beginning of my first binder, my next topic is Sovici and Doljani,

11     so you will have the opportunity to ask any questions then.  Now, I would

12     like to finish dealing with the territories controlled by the ABiH.

13             JUDGE TRECHSEL:  For the record, I was in no way criticising you.

14     Sometimes I have been, but this time, certainly not.

15             MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.  We are

16     attentive to your criticism; you can be sure of that.

17        Q.   General, when did the ABiH take Bugojno?

18        A.   Definitively on the 2nd of August, 1993.  That's when the last

19     HVO soldier left Bugojno, and the civilians who were sent off either --

20     over Serb-controlled territory or via Vakuf and Prozor.

21        Q.   When did the ABiH take Vares?

22        A.   In early November 1993.

23        Q.   General, please take a look, in this set of documents, 4D567.

24     4D567, this is the north of Herzegovina and Central Bosnia.  It's the

25     situation in November 1993.  We can see the towns conquered by the ABiH,

Page 49464

 1     and the numbers next to these towns shows the number of Croats expelled

 2     from these areas.

 3             Tell us, General, do you know this map?

 4        A.   Yes, Your Honours, I know it, only I have a correction.  This

 5     isn't about towns, but about entire municipalities.

 6        Q.   Thank you, General.  Let's take a look at the area around Mostar.

 7     The first document is 4D1216.

 8             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] General Petkovic, I don't think

 9     this map has been admitted, unless I'm mistaken.  Those figures, 25.000,

10     15.000, 3.000, 12.000, is it just an estimate, or are you absolutely sure

11     of those figures?

12             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honours, these are the figures

13     that were received through the reports of the commanders in these areas

14     and the rough share of the indigenous population and the population that

15     had moved to those areas earlier from areas controlled by the VRS.  1.000

16     to 2.000 Croats had come to Travnik from VRS-controlled areas, and it was

17     similar with other territories.  So there were some indigenous population

18     there and some recent arrivals.  They were expelled -- who were expelled

19     from their homes to somewhere else.

20             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well.

21             MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation]

22        Q.   General, let us now take a look at the situation in Mostar.

23     Document 4D1216.

24             Tell us, General -- we're about to see the map any moment.  In

25     the period up until the 30th of June, 1993, did this communication

Page 49465

 1     northward to Jablanica, irrespective of the colour we choose to mark it,

 2     was a communication that members of both armies could use?

 3        A.   Yes, fully, because that was the disposition of forces, the

 4     2nd Brigade, and then the ABiH, and so on all the way to Konjic.

 5        Q.   Tell us, General -- I believe you remember that General Praljak

 6     said in this courtroom that on the 30th of June, 1993, total war broke

 7     out in this area between the Muslim and the Croat army in

 8     Bosnia-Herzegovina, and when I say "Croat army," let me make clear that I

 9     mean the BH Croats.  Do you agree with this view of General Praljak?

10        A.   Yes, absolutely, total war broke out, and bearing in mind

11     everything that happened before and everything that ensued immediately

12     after that.

13        Q.   Now take a look at document 4D622.

14             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Regarding this map,

15     General Petkovic, on this map, which you coloured yourself - at least

16     that's what I understood - 4D1216, this the situation before June 30th.

17     I look at Mostar.  I see where the HVO is positioned and where the VRS is

18     positioned.  Is there a corridor?  I already asked this question, anyway,

19     so I don't think it will come to you as a surprise.  But is there a small

20     corridor that would make it possible for a person living in East Mostar

21     to squeeze in between the HVO line and the VRS and move upward toward the

22     north, towards the position held by the BH Army?  Before June 30th, was

23     that possible, when we look at this map?

24             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour Judge Antonetti, it

25     wasn't possible for anyone to pass through the lines.  I believe that you

Page 49466

 1     mean the situation I'm going to show now [indicates] - could I be

 2     assisted - between the positions ...

 3             I can't handle this.  If anyone can assist me.

 4             If you mean this [marks], between the positions, nobody could

 5     move there, because these are two lines of fire with soldiers shooting at

 6     each other, and whoever would be between there would be shot at.  And

 7     this area [marks] was only 400 to 500 metres wide, up there a bit wider

 8     up to 1.2 kilometres.  It was possible to move along arrow number 2, but

 9     not between arrow number 1, between the two separated forces which could

10     open fire at each other at any moment.

11             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well.  You are saying that

12     it was impossible to go through this line which is marked with a 1; but

13     on the line marked with a 2, it was possible.  I have a question dealing

14     with a person living in East Mostar, who would decide to leave

15     East Mostar, was it possible for this person to actually leave

16     East Mostar?

17             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honours, at this moment, yes,

18     because up until the 30th of June free movement was possible northward

19     and southward through the positions of the 2nd HVO Brigade.

20             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well.  You say that a

21     Muslim from East Mostar could move through the positions of the 2nd HVO

22     Brigade, could move up north towards the green areas held by the BH Army.

23     So here comes my question:  Automatically, would this 2nd HVO Brigade let

24     the Muslims pass through, Muslims who were leaving East Mostar?

25             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honours, there was no reason

Page 49467

 1     for this 2nd Brigade to prevent them from doing so because the 2nd

 2     Brigade at that moment was manned by both Muslims and Croats.  And let me

 3     show.  This area [marks] was held by the 4th Battalion of the 1st Mostar

 4     Brigade, the brigade from Mostar, and there was normal communication

 5     between the two areas, although the area was held by the HVO.  And if you

 6     listen to Mr. Peric, my witness, he said that at this spot, which I'll

 7     mark "3" [marks], a telephone connection was set up between the

 8     4th Battalion and the 2nd HVO Brigade, so this was all integrated as a

 9     single system of defence of the HVO and the ABiH, and movement was

10     possible.

11             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well.  Let me sum things

12     up, because it's important for me.

13             You're saying, and you're under oath, that before June 30th a

14     person living in East Mostar could leave East Mostar going through this

15     area controlled by the 2nd HVO Brigade, and you also said that the

16     2nd Brigade of the HVO at the time was made up of Muslims also, so this

17     person could move up north and could reach the area which you encircled

18     and which represents the 4th Battalion of the BH Army.  Let me finish.

19             As far as you know, were there HVO orders that would ban the

20     inhabitants from East Mostar to pass through; yes or no?

21             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, Your Honours, there weren't any

22     such orders, by no means.  I'll add that every command, at their own

23     level, was in a position to decide about how many civilians could move

24     about and in which directions.  In times of war, civilians can move from

25     one municipality to another only with the approval of the civilian

Page 49468

 1     authorities, because there was a mobilisation order in place under which

 2     you were not able to move freely from one municipality to another.

 3             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well.  Given the ethnic

 4     make-up of the 2nd Brigade of the HVO, is that why you coloured this area

 5     both in green and blue?  It struck me that there's not just one colour,

 6     but there's blue mingled with the green.  Is that the reason why you did

 7     that, because it was a dual composition?

 8             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honours, the map couldn't be

 9     marked blue properly, so some areas appear in pure blue and others

10     stained.  I'm sorry, it's for technical reasons I couldn't mark it in

11     pure blue.  But we used blue to mark HVO units.

12             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well.  So if this map was

13     100 per cent exact, the zone with the 2nd Brigade of the HVO should be

14     only in blue.  We see some green, but obviously there were some stains.

15     Very well, I understand.

16             JUDGE TRECHSEL:  Mr. Petkovic, who was the commander of the

17     2nd Brigade?

18             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Ilija Vrljic was the commander of

19     the 2nd Brigade, and after him Mr. Stomp ar [phoen].

20             JUDGE TRECHSEL:  Could you tell the Chamber of which ethnicity

21     these commanders were?

22             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Both were Croats.

23             JUDGE TRECHSEL:  If I understand this map and what you have

24     commented, it seems to show that Muslims from Mostar, from the east, or

25     even the other river, could move north to the extent that it pleased the

Page 49469

 1     Command of the 2nd Brigade.  Is that correct?

 2             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, Your Honour, the commander of

 3     the 2nd Brigade didn't decide whether or not they could go or not.  That

 4     was up to the Wartime Presidency, as it was called, in Eastern Mostar or

 5     the Command of the 4th Corps, or the Mostar Brigade of the ABiH, it goes

 6     without saying.

 7             JUDGE TRECHSEL:  It does not quite go without saying.  How can

 8     the ABiH Command take any decision which would be binding upon an area

 9     which is under the HVO control?

10             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honours, along this line up

11     here [indicates], the brigade kept this communication clear for movement

12     of civilians and all sorts of transportation.  There was a reason for the

13     brigade to prevent traffic.  Where I marked "1," this is the area of the

14     responsibility of the brigade.  The commander will check how many people

15     were sent to pass through this zone, and no more than that.

16             JUDGE TRECHSEL:  What is the map you are talking about when you

17     say "number 1"?

18             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I'm referring to the map on the

19     screen, where I marked -- to the right, I marked this line with the

20     number 1.  I wanted to say that the brigade was responsible for this

21     area, the area in which it held positions against the VRS.  The brigade

22     wasn't allowed to seal off a communication line for those who had a right

23     to move along that communication.

24             JUDGE TRECHSEL:  But, Mr. Petkovic, as I interpret the map, there

25     is no road where you have that fresh number 1.  That is mountainous area,

Page 49470

 1     and it is not a negotiable passage.  There's no road, no nothing.  It's

 2     absolutely theoretical, or am I wrong here?

 3             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Judge Trechsel, Your Honour, what I

 4     tried to tell you is this:  Along the road that exists along the

 5     Neretva river, the M-17, the 2nd Brigade at that time shown here was

 6     not -- did not take up positions, and I'm telling you where the brigade

 7     did have its positions in the hills above.  Behind it was the free area

 8     of communications where people could move around.

 9             JUDGE TRECHSEL:  I cannot see that from the map.  To me, this --

10     on this map, I see roughly your line number 2 is where the roads are, and

11     they are in an area which is painted blue, which means, as you have

12     explained, that it is -- until point 3, it is under HVO control, so the

13     HVO can decide who passes and who does not, unless I have misunderstood

14     this.

15             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honours, at this point it

16     wasn't the HVO who decided who was going to pass and who wasn't.  The

17     4th Corps and the 1st Brigade could say 200 people are going to travel to

18     Jablanica, for instance, and they will be equipped properly, and set out

19     for Jablanica, and at a check-point we'll see that 400 people are

20     travelling to Jablanica for whatever reason, and there are simply going

21     to pass through -- along that communication road.  The brigade has no

22     reason at this point in time to stop anybody, nor was it its task to do

23     so.

24             JUDGE TRECHSEL:  Should I just take your word for it, because I

25     do not see it from any document.  You are just saying that from your

Page 49471

 1     memory, or it's your opinion, or do you have something to support this?

 2             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honours, well, I don't know

 3     how far you remember all the documents that we dealt with.  Until the

 4     30th of June, the communication towards Jablanica and Konjic was open to

 5     everyone, and those who wanted to move along that communication line

 6     could do so, both the BH Army members, in their 4th Battalion, and

 7     members from the army from Jablanica in the 4th Battalion and Mostar.

 8     And at that moment, there were no restrictions, bans, or anything for the

 9     2nd Brigade to say, No, you can't pass.  And, similarly, just like the

10     1st Mostar Brigade, and you see that up here by Mostar, they didn't say

11     the HVO barracks has to leave from this area.  No, the HVO barracks

12     remained in the green area.  And the soldiers entered the HVO barracks

13     and exited the barracks without the BH Army preventing them from doing

14     so.

15             JUDGE TRECHSEL:  Thank you.

16             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] We are going to carry on

17     tomorrow, because it's nearly 10 past 7.00.

18             MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] [Previous translation

19     continues]... linked to this map, because I feel it is important, while

20     we're discussing this, to --

21             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] We will carry on tomorrow,

22     because it's 10 past 7.00, and we'll have plenty of time tomorrow.  So

23     you will be able to take the floor again tomorrow, and I will also ask

24     some questions.

25             So tomorrow we have an afternoon session, so we'll start at

Page 49472

 1     quarter past 2.00.

 2                           [The witness stands down]

 3                           --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 7.08 p.m.,

 4                           to be reconvened on Tuesday, the 16th day of

 5                           February, 2010, at 2.15 p.m.