1 Tuesday, 16 February 2010
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 [The accused Petkovic takes the stand]
5 --- Upon commencing at 2.17 p.m.
6 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Registrar, could you please
7 call the case.
8 THE REGISTRAR: Good afternoon, Your Honours. Good afternoon,
9 everyone in and around the courtroom.
10 This is case number IT-04-74-T, the Prosecutor versus Prlic et
11 al. Thank you, Your Honours.
12 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you, Registrar.
13 This is Tuesday, February 16th, 2010, and I greet everyone here;
14 first our witness, General Petkovic, the accused, Defence counsel, all
15 members of the OTP, and everyone helping us.
16 I believe Mr. Scott wants to take the floor.
17 MR. SCOTT: Yes, Your Honour, very briefly, I hope.
18 Good afternoon, Mr. President. Good afternoon to each of
19 Your Honours, Counsel, all those helping us around the courtroom.
20 Just two procedural matters, Your Honour, really about
22 First, the Chamber may recall that there are a number of motions,
23 I believe, outstanding in connection with the proposed 92 ter witnesses
24 of the Coric Defence. The questions relate to the amount of time to be
25 taken for examination -- courtroom examination by various -- not just the
1 Prosecution, but various of the parties, including some of the
2 co-accused. We're now a little bit more than halfway through the month
3 of February. It becomes, Your Honours, very difficult for anyone to make
4 schedule or calender the month of March without knowing more about the --
5 I'm been signaled to slow down. Sorry, Judge Prandler. Let me rephrase
6 the last part.
7 I believe it's in everyone's interest, certainly the
8 Prosecution's, certainly, well, I believe, the Chamber's and the Defence,
9 to be able to plan everyone's calendars and schedules. Since we don't
10 know how much time will be allocated for each of the witnesses, it's
11 virtually impossible to sit down with a calender and try to plan out the
12 month, so we just simply bring that forward a bit to the Chamber's
13 attention. It would be helpful if we could get some further guidance
14 from the Chamber on those matters, because that first witness will appear
15 in approximately two weeks or so. That's point number 1, Your Honour.
16 A second scheduling point. The Chamber may recall that some
17 weeks ago, Mr. Karnavas raised the question of the Easter recess. The
18 Chamber had at least preliminarily indicated a plan to take some break
19 toward the end of April. Mr. Karnavas, quite rightly, in my view, raised
20 the question of how that might affect or not an Easter break, and the
21 Chamber had taken that under advisement. But, again, I don't think,
22 unless I'm mistaken, that there's been any further direction on that.
23 Of course, the Chamber can maintain the schedule it announced.
24 We all understand that. But I hope the Chamber will also understand -- I
25 think I can speak for the Defence, perhaps rarely, but maybe on this
1 occasion, people would like to plan personal and family schedules and
2 holidays. So if the Chamber might be minded to give us a bit more
3 guidance on that, that would be appreciated. Thank you.
4 MR. STEWART: Since we're dealing with procedural matters, first
5 of all, Mr. Scott certainly speaks for me on that last point. I can't
6 speak for anybody else.
7 I wasn't going to raise this point, but could I just ask for some
8 technical assistance, because I'm not getting my LiveNote. That's just
9 since I decided to stand up and say something.
10 But, no, what I'm asking for, Your Honour, you may recall the
11 other day we asked for -- the Petkovic asked for and were given leave to
12 reply to a response from the Coric Defence in relation to our application
13 for additional time to cross-examine viva voce witnesses. We've since
14 put in a motion to ask for additional time to cross-examine their 92 ter
15 witnesses or four of their 92 ter witnesses. We have a response. In a
16 similar way, Your Honour, a couple of points do arise which we would like
17 to deal with by way of reply.
18 I notified -- I'm not saying she agreed, but I notified Coric
19 counsel that I would be making this application. Your Honour, it's
20 ready. We could file it today. It's pretty short. I ask for leave to
21 put in a reply under Rule 126 bis.
22 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] If I understood you correctly,
23 you're asking for additional time.
24 MR. STEWART: That's what our motion asks for, Your Honour, but
25 that's -- as with the viva voce witnesses, where we got to, our motion
1 for additional time, the Coric response was filed on, well, Sunday or
2 Monday, and we are now asking for leave to reply, which, of course, we do
3 need. And that's ready to file, and then Your Honours will have the
4 complete batch of pleadings on that application.
5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Let me ask my colleagues
6 whether they agree.
7 [Trial Chamber confers]
8 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes, everyone agrees for once.
9 MR. STEWART: Your Honours, I should say thank you, plural.
10 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well.
11 Ms. Alaburic, you have the floor.
12 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Good afternoon, Your Honours.
13 Good afternoon to my colleagues from the OTP and from the Defence teams.
14 Good afternoon, Mr. Petkovic, and good afternoon to everybody who's with
16 Before we continue our examination, I ask for your leave,
17 Your Honours, to address you for two or three minutes with the following
19 Yesterday, after approximately one hour of examining Mr. Petkovic
20 about what he learned about combat activities in the areas of Sovici and
21 Doljani and about the burning of some Muslim houses a few days
22 subsequently, about how he drafted the report for the commander-in-chief,
23 about how he spoke to the supreme commander about the events at Sovici
24 and Doljani, and about this being a topic for discussion between the
25 delegations of Bosnia-Herzegovina and Croatia in Zagreb
1 25th of April, 1993, the meeting was held in the presence of the
2 co-chairman for the former Yugoslavia
3 meeting at Citluk was mentioned, a meeting of the highest bodies of
4 Herceg-Bosna, on the 29th of April, 1993. After dealing with all this, I
5 tried to sum up Mr. Petkovic's answers, upon which the OTP objected to
7 Since I and everybody else in this courtroom know that Mr. Scott
8 is very familiar with this case, and there is no doubt that Mr. Scott
9 would raise an issue merely to interrupt the examination, so I believe
10 that his objection was sincere, and that prompted me to wonder what was
11 wrong about my intention. And my analysis of the transcript showed the
12 following: The objective of my examination of Mr. Petkovic had totally
13 disappeared after a series of questions asked by the Judges, so that it
14 was very difficult to conclude what the Defence tries to argue and what
15 the crucial positions of the Defence are with regard to the topics the
16 Defence chose to present to the Judges, considering them being the most
17 important ones. As we are pleading our case for your sake, Your Honours,
18 so that you may get to know General Petkovic and so that you may ask him
19 as many questions as you want, including questions of your choice,
20 whichever questions you want, I would like to suggest to you to find a
22 It is the interest of the Defence to clearly and continuously
23 present their case, enabling also you, Your Honours, to ask questions
24 about any topic. That's why I ask your leave to allow us to complete our
25 examination about an individual topic.
1 All topics we want to deal with are mentioned at the beginning of
2 the first binder. The topics are separated by coloured sheets of paper,
3 and a heading can be found at the beginning of each such tab, so I
4 believe there will be no problem for you to return to any topic if you
5 should consider it necessary to clarify it, additionally -- and if you
6 should like to additionally examine General Petkovic about any of these
7 topics. So I ask you to be permitted to complete my examination about a
8 certain topic without Your Honours asking questions, whereupon you will
9 have the chance to ask any questions you like, and the Petkovic Defence
10 certainly will not object to that.
11 And one more thing. We have established that 20 to 25 per cent
12 of the time are used for follow-up questions to the questions of the
13 Judges. That is why we decided not to put any follow-up questions during
14 our examination-in-chief, but, rather, anything that we consider very
15 important will be left for our redirect examination.
16 I would now ask you, Your Honours, to consider this proposal, and
17 if you should deem it rational or well-founded, then I would like to
18 proceed that way.
19 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] We haven't discussed this among
21 MR. STEWART: Excuse me, Your Honour. Could I just add -- I
22 didn't want to interrupt my lead counsel, but the problem with LiveNote
23 is reasonably widespread. I know there are several others in the court
24 who are not able to get to LiveNote, and we must stress, Your Honour, it
25 is a really vital tool for us to -- apparently the problem is a bit more
1 widespread even than I thought, it affects the other side, so I'm now
2 speaking for them, after they've spoken for me. What a nice day, anyway,
3 apart from the difficulty with the LiveNote, of course.
4 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. Well, you need
5 LiveNote. I don't need LiveNote, but everyone works the way they want
7 Now, as to Ms. Alaburic's application, it's an important one. I
8 note that because Mr. Scott had not understood the Defence case, that he
9 put questions, you know, and then the Judges are victim to this, and
10 I can agree to that.
11 You know, when I put a question, I always do that from a
12 document, because the document is part and parcel of the question. And
13 so coming back after that to that, that's a problem. So, personally, I
14 cannot agree with what you are saying and what you're proposing.
15 However, I do congratulate you on the excellence of your file.
16 It's extremely well organised, according to different topics, and the
17 document you gave us on the dates is absolutely excellent because it
18 really helps us follow the events. When you talked about this meeting
19 held with the representatives of the international community after
20 Sovici-Doljani, I looked at your document, and I saw traces of all this.
21 So it's really well made. Thank you.
22 Now, as far as I'm concerned, I will try to refrain from
23 interrupting you during your demonstration. I'll do my best, but I can't
24 guarantee that when there's a document that sounds -- that looks
25 essential -- and you know that all the questions that I put to the
1 witness now are -- you know, we're almost at the end of the trial now, so
2 all my questions are core questions, they go to the core of the matter,
3 and I think it would be a pity if I had to wait for the end of
4 everything, because anything can happen in the meanwhile and I can just
5 forget my question and not put it, whereas it's an essential question.
6 But I'll do my best. I promise I'll do my best.
7 JUDGE TRECHSEL: I'm sorry. I want to react, because I do not
8 want it to appear as if it was only Mr. Antonetti who asks a lot of
9 questions, because I have been rather active during your examination,
10 too. And I think it is not really possible to put stringent restraints
11 on the Judges, but I have, as I have stated before, full understanding
12 for your plight, and I will also try to refrain from asking questions
14 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I thank you very
15 much for your understanding, and I wish to reiterate that it is certainly
16 not my intention to prevent you from asking questions which you consider
17 necessary, because what we're doing here, we're doing for you. So we
18 appreciate your interest and your desire to clarify all details, because
19 that's the very reason why we're here.
20 I suggest that we continue our examination, if you agree.
21 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] You have the agreement of the
22 Judges. You know, my fellow Judge and myself are going to try to do our
23 best not to interrupt you. But let me give you an example.
24 Yesterday, 4D1355 was an interview with General Petkovic. When I
25 saw this document, which we had already seen because it had already been
1 shown, but at the time I hadn't put any questions on this document
2 because I didn't feel that was the right moment to do so. But now,
3 yesterday, when I looked at this document again, and you did not ask any
4 questions -- or the question I wanted to ask, i.e., that General Petkovic
5 has said that an investigation was underway, an investigation carried out
6 by the military prosecutor, I suddenly found out that -- decided that I
7 had to put the question, because it was important; notably, regarding
8 Article 7.3 of the Statute. So I did take the floor when you were
9 talking about something else, that's true, but that's very difficult
10 because I thought it was so important to put this question.
11 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, there is absolutely
12 no doubt we fully agree that all these questions are very important, and,
13 frankly speaking, as we have -- as after these four years we know you
14 rather well, we all expect you, actually, to ask some questions.
15 WITNESS: MILIVOJ PETKOVIC [Resumed]
16 [The witness answered through interpreter]
17 Examination by Ms. Alaburic: [Continued]
18 Q. Now, General -- I've been told that LiveNote still isn't working,
19 but we have the transcript on our center screens, so I believe that we
20 can proceed.
21 General, we were dealing with combat activities in 1993.
22 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] The Registrar is telling me
23 that it should be fixed in about 10 minutes -- within 10 minutes.
24 [Trial Chamber and registrar confer]
25 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] And the Registrar also had an
1 IC number, and he didn't want to forget that.
2 Registrar, you have the floor.
3 THE REGISTRAR: Thank you, Your Honour.
4 I just have one IC number. The Prosecution has submitted their
5 response to 4D and 2D's objection to their request for admission of
6 documents via Witness 4D-AA. This list shall be given Exhibit IC01178.
7 Thank you, Your Honours.
8 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you. I also want to say
9 for the Defence counsel and for the Prosecutor that LiveNote is not
10 effected -- is down in every courtroom, not just this one, but it's a
11 general problem. But normally, within about 10 minutes, it should be up
13 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation]
14 Q. General, if you remember, yesterday we broke off while you were
15 looking at a map of Mostar on the 30th of June, 1993. I'm not going to
16 ask any questions about that map now. I'll do that in the redirect
18 But please let's see map 4D622 now. It's a map of the same area,
19 that is, Mostar and the surrounding areas, after the 30th of June, 1993.
20 Have you found it, General?
21 A. Yes, I have.
22 Q. Tell us, what kind of event is that, due to which the area of
23 Eastern Mostar is connected to the Jablanica area on the left bank of the
25 A. Your Honours, this situation came about on the 30th of June, when
1 some elements of the HVO of Muslim ethnicity, aided and abetted by the
2 ABiH, attacked some formations of the HVO to the north and south of
3 Mostar, and, assisted by the ABiH, gained full control over areas in the
4 north of Mostar, thus establishing a corridor with Jablanica and Konjic,
5 and to the south of Mostar establishing a corridor towards Blagoje.
6 Q. General, based on the maps that we saw yesterday and today, who
7 is enlarging the area under their control in 1993, the ABiH or the HVO?
8 A. Well, it is clear from all this that the ABiH was enlarging the
9 territory under their control.
10 Q. General, the OTP claims in the indictment that the combat
11 activities of the HVO in mid-April 1993, are the beginning of the
12 implementation, I quote, "a criminal plan of prosecution, arrest, and
13 eviction of Muslims." In accordance with your understanding of the
14 situation on the ground, is that statement correct?
15 A. No, that statement is completely false and construed.
16 Q. How would you qualify the activities of the HVO from mid-April
17 1993 to the end of that year, or even up to the signing of the
18 Washington Agreement?
19 A. All activities of the HVO at that time were exclusively of a
20 defensive nature, the purpose being to preserve as much territory
21 inhabited by Croats as possible.
22 Q. Thus we have completed this topic. We'll pass on to another, and
23 that is Sovici and Doljani.
24 Judge Trechsel, yesterday you expressed the wish to ask a
25 question about Sovici and Doljani. That is why I would like to tell you
1 that now I'm about to deal with the evacuation of civilians, because, to
2 my mind, we fully clarified yesterday the issue of combat activities
3 around Sovici and Doljani. So if your question refers to that, I would
4 kindly ask you to put your question now.
5 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Unless you want to deal with Sovici-Doljani,
6 there is one point in particular in the indictment which refers to
7 persons having been held at the school of Doljani. I wonder if that -- I
8 could imagine that it is in your programme, and I will let you have
10 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Before that, we have a map here
11 on the screen. General Petkovic, this is the situation after June 30th,
12 1993. I think that's what's on the caption. You will probably remember
13 that Ms. West spent a great deal of time on the roads, trying to see if
14 you could be exposed to fire when you were driving on certain roads. But
15 independently of the roads, according to me, the entire area in green,
16 which is the area controlled by the BH Army, or allegedly, I see that
17 East Mostar is under control, so I have a very straightforward question.
18 A child could put this question to you, actually. There's no need for a
19 judge or a professor to put this question.
20 In this area in green, controlled by the ABiH, could a Muslim
21 citizen, by night, to avoid fire or shots, could this citizen of
22 East Mostar, walking away, could he leave Mostar by foot towards the
23 north, or maybe going towards the south? Would that have been possible?
24 Could you walk away, go by foot, or was it totally impossible because the
25 VRS maybe had night sights on their rifles, on their guns, maybe the HVO
1 had the same thing, so maybe it was impossible not to be hit even at
2 night because of these night-vision rifles? So what can you say to that?
3 Was there a possibility to escape by foot?
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honours, when you speak about
5 walking, it was absolutely possible to move about on foot because there
6 are many paths, and you could reach almost any house on a tarmac road.
7 But nobody has mentioned that the area is an agricultural one in which
8 there are orchards and vineyards, so you may even fail to notice a bus
9 moving down the M-17 road. So I repeat that whoever wanted to go
10 somewhere could walk out of Mostar and go to Jablanica and further
11 without being noticed by anyone or, indeed, harmed.
12 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] And by saying this, you are
13 positive about that?
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I am saying, Yes, in the
16 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] As far as you can recollect,
17 and it might be complicated, but I was wondering whether you had received
18 reports or information according to which a given civilian could have
19 been killed in the area that is depicted in green on the map during the
20 day or during the night because he or she was fleeing. Did you receive
21 this sort of information?
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I had no information
23 about the killing of any civilian along that road from East Mostar
24 running north. We didn't have any such information, nor did any member
25 of the army -- BH Army ever complain, because they contacted UNPROFOR
1 quite frequently, ever complain that any civilian had lost his life along
2 that stretch.
3 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation]
4 Q. Now we're going to deal with the topic of Sovici and Doljani as
5 of the 4th of May, 1993.
6 Let's look at a document straight away. 4D447 is the number.
7 This is a report from the chief of the Security Centre of the
8 44th Mountain Brigade, and his name was Zajko Sihirlic. Tell us, please,
9 General, on the 4th of May were you attending a meeting at Jablanica with
10 a delegation of the BH Army?
11 A. Yes, I did attend that meeting.
12 Q. At that meeting, did you agree that an HVO delegation and a
13 BH Army delegation would tour Sovici and Doljani?
14 A. Yes, it was agreed that the destination would be Sovici and
15 Doljani and two others north towards Konjic.
16 Q. The BH Army commanders at the meeting in Jablanica, did they
17 present any information about any crimes committed in the Sovici and
18 Doljani area?
19 A. I gained the impression from them that they couldn't wait to get
20 there, because rumours were going 'round about 1.000 Muslims killed in
21 the area.
22 Q. Tell us, please, in the BH Army delegation, was the author of
23 this document one of its members?
24 A. He was one of the members of the delegation. I remember him
25 because he was with a cameraman, and he just gave the cameraman
1 instructions. He said, Film this, film that. It was a cameraman from
2 army television, but attached to the studio, a television studio in
4 Q. So he says in this report of his, dated the 4th of May, 1993,
6 "For tomorrow, an unconditional evacuation of the civilian
7 population from Doljani and Sovici was agreed."
8 Tell us, please, General, in view of the situation on the ground
9 and your knowledge of the author of this document, is there a single
10 reason why he should use the term "evacuation of the civilian population"
11 if it was a case of any violent expulsion of people from their homes?
12 A. No, the author of this document was well aware of the situation.
13 He kept Pasalic and Halilovic, and he also advised and instructed the
14 cameraman as to what he should film.
15 Q. Tell us, please, in Sovici, did you visit the school there in
16 which there were men, younger and old ones, if I remember?
17 A. Yes, we did visit the school in Sovici.
18 Q. Tell us, please, on behalf of the BH Army, did the school -- did
19 Halilovic and Pasalic and other commanders visit the school in Sovici?
20 A. Yes, both Pasalic, Halilovic, and several other of their men from
21 the Command of the 44th Brigade visited.
22 Q. Tell us, please, did any of those people say that their houses
23 had been burnt?
24 A. Some of those people did say that their houses had been burnt.
25 Q. To the best of your knowledge, General, did those people express
1 the desire to leave Sovici?
2 A. Yes, because I told them that by 4.00 we would allow all those
3 who could to return. A part of them asked temporarily to relocate to
4 Jablanica and wait and see how the situation would develop.
5 Q. Tell us, please, General, who agreed -- who reached an agreement
6 with these people to have them evacuated from Sovici?
7 A. Well, Arif Pasalic remained with them afterwards, and another
8 man. I can't remember his -- or two other men. I can't remember their
9 names. They stayed with them, once we had left the school. And Pasalic
10 came up to me and Halilovic and said that he wanted to have all the
11 people evacuated towards Jablanica. They separated a bit, stood apart.
12 Halilovic supported this. And so with that, with this position and
13 decision, we set out towards Kostajnica.
14 Q. Tell us, please, General, who were you with in the UNPROFOR APC?
15 A. Halilovic and I were in the UNPROFOR transporter together -- APC
17 Q. On that occasion, did you discuss the question of the civilians'
18 evacuation from Sovici with Halilovic?
19 A. Well, they'd already reached the decision when they were in front
20 of the school and said that they would evacuate the civilians from Sovici
21 and Doljani. So they were just looking into the ways and means of how to
22 ensure the means for this transportation; buses and so on. So when we
23 left Sovici and Doljani -- actually, while we were waiting to leave, they
24 made this definite decision, said, That's our decision, and will you help
25 us by providing transport for these people because we don't have the
1 necessary number of buses?
2 Q. And what did you do in that respect, General, when you reached
4 A. Already in Sovici and Doljani, I told Mr. Pula, the commander of
5 our battalion -- or, rather, I asked him whether, at the positions at
6 Sovici and Doljani, there were any free buses. And then from Sovici and
7 Doljani, we called up Mostar to see if they could provide any buses,
8 because the request was for five buses. And the answer we were given was
9 that they would find five buses.
10 Q. Tell us, please, Halilovic and Pasic [as interpreted], did they
11 expect anything else from you except for the buses? Pasalic.
12 A. I don't remember that there was anything else required except for
13 the buses for Sovici and Doljani that they wanted us to procure.
14 Q. Very well. Now, let's finish with this document. To the best of
15 your knowledge, this observation about an agreement for the secure and
16 safe evacuation of the civilian population from Sovici and Doljani, is
17 that correct or not?
18 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] General Petkovic, I'm taking
19 the floor not to touch upon another issue, but I would like to talk about
20 the school. We talked about that school.
21 I see that in all cases brought before this Tribunal, because as
22 you are aware, I was a Pre-Trial Judge, or I was in other trials as well,
23 I was in confirmation hearings as well, so I watch what is happening. As
24 far as schools are concerned I am struck by the fact that in the former
25 Yugoslavia, when there was a conflict somewhere, civilians, men, women,
1 children, would be gathered together in schools. Everyone did that; the
2 Croats, the Serbs, and the Muslims. So I was wondering why school
3 buildings were used. Do you have an explanation for that?
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honours, in small places like
5 Sovici and Doljani, if you look at the socially-owned buildings
6 available, there are only schools. In some places, you might find some
7 sort of centre, if the place had something like it - perhaps tourists
8 came in and they had a community centre of some kind - but otherwise all
9 you would find would be a school building in all these small places;
10 nothing else, just the school building.
11 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] So your answer is that it was
12 the only building which could host a certain number of people. And as
13 far as you know, was everyone doing the same?
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, let me put it this way: When
15 I went 'round Central Bosnia with Halilovic on the 20th -- or, rather,
16 the 21st, more than the 20th, mostly in all the places that we stopped by
17 in, you had school buildings, premises, except for one place which was in
18 Kaonik, and they had a gas station there. And in Vitez, you had a cinema
19 called the Partisans Cinema. But all the other places, Kruscica,
20 Podgorica, I can't remember all the names of these small places, all they
21 had was a school building -- a primary school building for the first four
22 classes of primary school. So that would make it five rooms, or possibly
23 four rooms, possibly five.
24 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation]
25 Q. General, let's look at the next document, which is P2182. This
1 is a document which bears your name on it. It's not signed. Tell us,
2 please, General, before this trial did you ever see this document before
4 A. No, Your Honours, I never saw this document before. And this
5 document has been placed on its head. It's topsy-turvy, if you look at
6 my name there, because in the upper left-hand corner you wouldn't have a
7 heading like that. And if somebody were to say that it was from the
8 Main Staff, not even the most illiterate person within the Main Staff
9 would have written it up this way. I don't know what all this is and how
10 it was compiled this way.
11 And, secondly, the date that was subsequently written in here,
12 and this alleged letter of mine, would not be needed at all, because I
13 left at 2.00 -- I left Sovici and Doljani. I knew what was going on
14 there. So when I saw this document, I asked myself, Who could have
15 written it, and put my name there, to boot? So I'm afraid that somebody
16 needed this document. Who needed it and for what purpose, I really can't
18 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] General Petkovic, a question
19 that I would like to put to you, which is not linked to this document.
20 When you were not here, General Praljak testified, and you may
21 have actually been here sometimes. I can't quite recollect.
22 General Praljak argued that some people have produced false documents,
23 and those false documents were actually introduced in the archives. And
24 General Praljak was actually very clear. He said that those who would
25 have any interest in doing so would try to, therefore, not be held
1 responsible. I can't quite remember what he said. But when I heard
2 that, I also made a mental note that I would ask this question to you, so
3 I'm putting this to you now.
4 What do you think? What is your take on this?
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, Your Honours, a document like
6 this, written in my name, in the Main Staff is a document that nobody
7 could have written that way, because, I mean, just look at the heading.
8 It has nothing whatsoever to do with the Main Staff.
9 Now, in the Herceg Stjepan Brigade -- in the Mijat Tomic
10 Battalion, well, for about two and a half hours or three hours that day,
11 I -- well, I left Mr. Stipe Polo and asked him what had been agreed with
12 Pasalic and Halilovic, and he knew all about it. I asked him about it,
13 and he knew all about it. So there was no logic in writing a document of
14 this kind at all. So that quite simply I, too, feel that somebody needed
15 to write this kind of document and did so. And if you look at it,
16 there's no stamp. It doesn't say which archive it was stored in, where
17 it was found. It has absolutely nothing to indicate that it was the
18 Main Staff, except for the fact that somebody wrote at the bottom "Chief
19 of the HVO Main Staff, Milivoj Petkovic." So as I say, I cannot link
20 this document in any way to the Main Staff, because it has absolutely
21 nothing to do with it, nor were the contents of this document necessary
22 at all. Why write it?
23 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] General Petkovic, you have not
24 answered my question, which was of a different type. I wanted to know
25 whether what had been put forward by General Praljak, namely, that some
1 people, and we don't know who those people would be, some people would
2 have made up false documents and would have introduced those documents in
3 the archives in order for those documents to be then produced in a court
4 of law. Do you think that this may have happened, or do you think that
5 General Praljak has made up false assertions?
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] General Praljak is right when he
7 said what he did, and I support him there, especially looking at a
8 document like this. If the document had "Main Staff" as a title, as a
9 heading, then I might even feel that maybe it was a proper document. But
10 written this way, it leads me to believe that it was used for somebody
11 else's interest, and certainly not mine or, least of all, anybody else's
12 in this courtroom, so I consider it to be a forgery.
13 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Well, thank you. Your answer
14 is very clear.
15 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation]
16 Q. General, tell us, please, the next day, from Sovici and Doljani,
17 was everybody evacuated who wanted to leave or were the military-able men
18 kept back?
19 A. Well, no, everybody went -- left Sovici when the people -- they
20 were in the school when the decision to evacuate them was made, and they
21 all left the next day.
22 Q. Now let's look at the next document, General, which is P2203.
23 And this is a question asking whether the buses had been sent, and this
24 question was sent on the 5th of May. General Filip Filipovic said that
25 he was the author of this letter with this question and that it was sent
1 at the beginning of the meeting which was held on the 5th of May, 1993,
2 in Jablanica. Tell us, please, General, is what General Filipovic said
4 A. Yes, it is, because on the footage you can see me giving him the
5 number that he was supposed to call.
6 Q. Tell me, please, General, at the beginning of the meeting did you
7 have any information at all about the fact that the evacuation had been
8 carried out?
9 A. No, neither Halilovic nor I had any information telling us that
10 the evacuation had taken place, and that was strange.
11 Q. Now let's look at the next document, P2191. It's a report --
12 JUDGE TRECHSEL: I'm sorry. This relates immediately to this. I
13 probably misunderstood something, because I thought that Mr. Petkovic had
14 said he had called on Mostar for five buses in order to make transport
15 for evacuation possible, and now he says -- you say you didn't know about
16 the evacuation. Can you put me right, please.
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, I can, Your Honour.
18 On the 4th of May, 1993, when we returned from Sovici, Halilovic,
19 Pasalic, and everybody else, upon their request to procure five buses, we
20 called up Mostar from Jablanica and told them to send five buses to
21 Doljani in the morning. When we met again on the following day in the
22 tent of the Spanish Battalion, I believe it was General Pasalic who
23 raised the issue and inquired about the buses. It was then that I gave
24 General Filipovic the number to call, and he put down the number in his
25 notebook. And in a minute or so, he called Mostar and asked whether they
1 had sent the buses. And from Mostar, they sent an urgent dispatch to
2 Jablanica, because we didn't have direct phone communication with
3 Doljani. We had to call Doljani -- sorry, Mostar, and they would call
4 Doljani. That was how we communicated.
5 On the following morning, Pasalic started asking questions about
6 whether or not the buses would come, and I ordered Filipovic to check.
7 And we were all waiting for the buses, but later we saw from the
8 documents that the buses had already evacuated the civilians in the
9 morning without us in Jablanica, that is, Halilovic and me, ever knowing
10 about it, because nobody could call us on the phone from Sovici or
11 Doljani. They couldn't call us up at the UNPROFOR base in Jablanica.
12 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Thank you. That has fully clarified for me.
13 Excuse me, Ms. Alaburic.
14 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] General Petkovic, in this
15 document, I'm looking at the B/C/S version. Unfortunately, we only have
16 copies. Sometimes when we have the original, we may have some surprises
17 because we realise that on the flip side there were stamps which do not
18 appear or have not been photocopied. Anyway, this being said, I see that
19 there is a stamp, "Institute for Crime Investigation," or "Investigation
20 for Crimes Against Humanity as International Law, Republic of
21 Bosnia-Herzegovina." I can assume, therefore, that this document was
22 within this institute in charge of investigating those crimes. What do
23 you think, and were you aware of that?
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour Judge Antonetti, I
25 didn't know that. I read it here, the same way you did. But above that,
1 you see that the source of this document is the TO Staff of Jablanica, so
2 it was the TO Staff that first laid its hands on this document and
3 forwarded it to the Commission for Crime Investigation.
4 Now, the question is how the Jablanica staff came by this
5 document that was sent to the HVO at Sovici and Doljani. I suppose that
6 once the ABiH, in late June and early July, took Sovici and Doljani, they
7 raided the command and took all the documents they found there, all the
8 HVO documents, and that's how this documentation got there.
9 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation]
10 Q. General, let us look at the two following documents. The first
11 one is P2191, and this is a report of the president of the HVO of
12 Gornji Vakuf, who says that:
13 "Today," that is, on the 5th of May, 1993, "at 9.00, 300 persons,
14 approximately, were brought to the Sicaja petrol station in Pidris, these
15 persons hailing from Doljani and Sovici."
16 So this is a report of their arrival at Gornji Vakuf at
17 0900 [realtime transcript read in error "1700"] hours.
18 The next document, 4D458 -- correction, not 1700 hours,
19 0900 hours, that is, 9:00 a.m. So the report reads that they arrived at
20 Gornji Vakuf at 9.00 in the morning.
21 The following document is 4D458. This is a report of the chief
22 of Staff of the Command of the 4th Corps of the ABiH,
23 Mr. Sulejman Budakovic, who also says that he has a report according to
24 which civilians from Sovici were brought to Gornji Vakuf at 9:00 a.m.
25 It follows from these two documents, General, that the people
1 from Sovici were evacuated early in the morning on the 5th of May and
2 that at 9.00 a.m. they were already at Gornji Vakuf. Did you and
3 Sefer Halilovic, as well as the members of your delegations, have this
4 information when you met at Jablanica on that same day in the morning?
5 A. No, Your Honours. We started our meeting at 9.00 and began to
6 speak about the buses, but here we see that the evacuation had already
7 been performed at that time.
8 Q. Did the commanders of the ABiH agree with the inhabitants of
9 Sovici to be evacuated to Jablanica or Gornji Vakuf?
10 A. The agreement was that they should be evacuated to Jablanica.
11 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] We will now look at a part of a
12 video that we have already seen in this courtroom. It's about the
13 meeting in Jablanica. The document is P2187, 2187. We are going to show
14 you a clip from 42 minutes, 31 seconds, until -- that's the start, 42:31,
15 up until 44 minutes, 7 seconds.
16 As there is no description of the situation in this video-clip, I
17 would like to draw your attention to the following: This is a convoy of
18 UNPROFOR vehicles which, with the delegations of the ABiH and the HVO,
19 went from Jablanica to Doljani, and on the way there they -- there were
20 some obstacles. They couldn't continue until the obstacles were removed.
21 We will show the clip showing how these obstacles were removed.
22 We can start.
23 [Video-clip played]
24 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation]
25 Q. Did you personally see these obstacles on the road, General?
1 A. Yes, I did. I was waiting in the APC for the obstacles to be
2 removed, and this was the area of Kosna Luka on the road from Jablanica
3 to Doljani. This was a check-point of the ABiH.
4 Q. Do you know, General, what happened to that check-point once the
5 UNPROFOR vehicles had passed?
6 A. The check-point was supposed to be reconstructed into its
7 original state.
8 Q. Whose demand was that?
9 A. It was the demand of the ABiH, both those at the check-point and
10 those in our escort.
11 Q. When, on the following day, buses transported the people from
12 Sovici toward Jablanica, did they have to take the same road?
13 A. Yes. That's the only road they could take to go to Jablanica.
14 Q. If the buses couldn't pass by that check-point, what could the
15 bus drivers have done?
16 A. They had two options, either to return the persons they were
17 driving back to their point of departure or to take the road to Vakuf.
18 Q. We have seen in the report that the drivers decided to go to
19 Vakuf. Now let's take a look at document 4D1079.
20 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Excuse me. This is again a question immediately
21 relating to this video.
22 Would it be possible to show the Chamber on a map where this
23 obstacle was located?
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honours, we can show the
25 location of these obstacles on the map.
1 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation]
2 Q. Would the map of the Jablanica area be suitable, General?
3 A. Yes, it would.
4 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, it seems that we can
5 use Map 4D2025.
6 I'm merely reminding everybody that this is related to
7 Judge Trechsel's question, so this shouldn't count against my time.
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Could you enlarge this some more,
9 because it's difficult to read the place names. We must find Kosna Luka.
10 I still cannot read it, but I can mark the approximate location [marks].
11 This is where you enter an area known as Kosna Luka, and this was the
12 last check-point of the ABiH facing Doljani.
13 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Thank you very much.
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Now, you may have difficulty
15 discerning the road to Doljani because of the arrow marked here, but it
16 can be seen.
17 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Registrar, could we have an
18 IC number.
19 THE REGISTRAR: Yes, Your Honour.
20 The marked version of 4D02025 shall be given Exhibit IC01179.
21 Thank you, Your Honours.
22 MR. SCOTT: Mr. Praljak is on his feet, Your Honour.
23 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes, Mr. Praljak.
24 THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I have maps
25 in the Detention Unit, so tomorrow I can provide a better map which is
1 more easily legible, and I can show that to you.
2 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Thank you. Thank you, but if you take Map IC
3 1124, which is also in the first binder, you can actually read
4 "Kosta Luka," you can actually see where the location is, and I can
5 confirm that it is where Mr. Petkovic has marked it.
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I have difficulties
7 with my eyesight, so I may have missed the exact location by a couple of
8 hundred metres, but it must be thereabouts.
9 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Judge Trechsel, for
10 this clarification. I believe this was very useful.
11 THE INTERPRETER: Could, please, the judge's microphone be
12 switched off.
13 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation]
14 Q. The following document about this topic is 4D1079. It's a report
15 about the situation in the territory of Jablanica and Konjic which, on
16 May 5th, 1993, was sent to the HVO General Staff and signed by the
17 members of the commission, Stanko Maric and Bozo Raguz. Tell us,
18 General, did you have the chance to see the report at the time when it
19 was sent there?
20 A. Yes, Your Honours. These two persons were with me. They drafted
21 a report for me, although I was with them all the time, and I knew all
23 Q. A correction of the document reference. It is 4D1079.
24 General, in item 1 of this report we can read that one of the
25 commissions visited the areas of Sovici, Doljani, and Slatina in the
1 presence of General Petkovic and Halilovic. And it goes on to say:
2 "Everything that was requested has been taken care of or
4 Does this refer to the evacuation of civilians from Sovici and
6 A. Yes, it does.
7 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I'm now done with
8 the topic of the evacuation of Sovici and Doljani. If you have further
9 questions, this is the right time.
10 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] General Petkovic, regarding the
11 last document, I have a small technical question to ask you.
12 There is mention of Mr. Pusic. Was he with you?
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honours, yes, Mr. Pusic was in
14 the other group. I had two groups, two teams. I represented the
15 Main Staff. There was Colonel Filipovic, there was Zebic,
16 Sergeant Zebic -- Captain Zebic, Maric and Raguz from the operative zone.
17 And Mr. Pusic belonged to another group led by Dr. Bagaric and the
18 others, and they arrived with 15 ambulances, and they were to be divided
19 into three groups for pulling out the wounded, sick, the fatalities, and
20 so on.
21 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Looking at this document, I
22 note that Colonel Morales was there. Do you remember his presence?
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honours.
24 Now, you asked about the meeting in the tent. The colonel who
25 was there was Colonel Morales, the commander of SpaBat at the time.
1 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] In this document, we can see
2 that yourself, Pasalic, and Halilovic were discussing things, and at one
3 point in time Pasalic said that Mostar was a concentration camp for
4 Muslims. When he was saying that, what was Colonel Morales saying? Did
5 he agree with that, or did he tell Pasalic, Come on, you're exaggerating?
6 As far as you remember, what was his reaction? What happened?
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honours, Colonel Morales did
8 not react in any way. And if you recall the beginning of that
9 conversation, when General Halilovic asked the UNPROFOR representatives
10 to allow us to communicate amongst ourselves, I'm sure you'll remember
11 that and the beginning of the footage, Mr. Halilovic asked that they let
12 us communicate amongst ourselves. And if they want to listen to our
13 communications, they could do so, so that Colonel Morales didn't meddle
14 in our discussions at all.
15 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Wasn't there sometimes a
16 tendency to exaggerate? Here, I note that it says that there are 5.000
17 people imprisoned in Zenica, and Sefer, i.e., Sefer Halilovic, says that
18 there are 5.000. Are you sure of that? Sefer holds 5.000.
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] In Zenica, there were about
20 45 per cent incarcerated from two of our brigades, which would be about
21 1.300 men. We had two brigades in Zenica. However, neither of them were
22 very large in numbers. And according to our information, there were
23 about 1300 people -- members of the HVO in those two brigades who were
24 incarcerated. The largest portion was in Zenica prison. I forget the
25 name of the prison. Anyway, 500 people were there, and others were held
1 in schools and other facilities.
2 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] But that doesn't add up to
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No. I didn't write this number,
5 "5.000." Either the gentleman didn't understand me when I was talking
6 about the numbers and knew that there were 500 people in the Zenica
7 prison, so all I can assume is that one knot was added there by mistake.
8 So I can put that right straight right away.
9 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well.
10 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation]
11 Q. General, let's move on to the next area and see --
12 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Do you think this would be a convenient moment
13 for me asking the question on Sovici and Doljani? Thank you, I see that
14 you --
15 MS. ALABURIC: Perfect.
16 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Mr. Petkovic, I would like to confront you with
17 what I find in paragraphs 76, 77, 78, and following in the indictment,
18 which speaks about detainees, some 70 to 80 military-aged Bosnian
19 Muslims, in the school of Sovici, to which you have already referred, and
20 alleges that at least four people were killed there and others were
22 I can imagine what your answer to this is, but I would like to
23 give you the opportunity to state your position on this.
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honours, in the school in
25 Sovici, there are about 50 people, and those people were put in that
1 school about two days or three days before we arrived in the area.
2 According to the commander, it was for security reasons, because certain
3 groups were coming into the Sovici and Doljani area, and the only way in
4 which these people could be protected was that.
5 I don't accept that this was a concentration camp or anything
6 else, given the situation that prevailed -- or a camp of any kind, for
7 that matter. People were simply put up there in that way, and they were
8 under security, and nobody could reach them.
9 As far as the fatalities are concerned, what I know about that is
10 that in Sovici it was in combat that about seven people were killed, as
11 far as I remember, and that all of them had the status of members of the
12 4th Battalion, the 44th Brigade from Jablanica. I don't know of a single
13 civilian being killed in any way.
14 Similarly, I had no report coming in from Sovici and Doljani
15 about any abuse or mistreatment of these people. No report of that kind
16 reached the Main Staff. And there were people, mostly women, that were
17 working around their houses, cultivating the land around their homes,
18 their own backyards. So that would be my answer to your question.
19 JUDGE TRECHSEL: You said, Mr. Petkovic, they were detained for
20 security. Could you specify what you mean by saying that?
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honours, the commander of the
22 battalion in Sovici, after what had happened on the 21st, quite simply
23 was afraid that some groups would turn up again and take it out on the
24 civilians, so all these people, when they entered Sovici, they didn't
25 have any weapons and they were all left in Sovici. Otherwise, they would
1 have joined up with the group of 85, I think it was, soldiers who were
2 relocated as soldiers who surrendered to the Military Investigative
4 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Thank you. Perhaps I was not sufficiently
5 precise in my question.
6 The indictment says that these 70 to 90 -- and you say it was 50,
7 and let's see whether we talk about the same people, in the first place.
8 You said that they were detained after the events of the 20-21st April to
9 protect them against attacks by uncontrolled elements. According to the
10 indictment, they were detained on the 17th-18th of April, that is, before
11 these events. Also, it is specified that they were military-aged Bosnian
12 Muslim men. This does not quite fit with the explanation you have given,
13 and perhaps you now want to give another explanation and also clarify,
14 perhaps, why a misunderstanding may have arisen.
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Judge Trechsel, Your Honour, I
16 understand your question better now. I was wondering whether you had in
17 mind a number of 85 -- the figure of 85 people who, on the 17th and 18th,
18 surrendered. Those were BH Army soldiers, and on the 17th, in the
19 afternoon, they surrendered, and on the 18th, too. And after talking to
20 them and providing transport for them, they were, indeed, transported to
21 the Military Investigative Prison from Sovici. They were transferred to
22 the prison from Sovici. Now, as far as I'm concerned, that is normal
23 military procedure. These were soldiers. They surrendered in proper
24 fashion, surrendered their weapons. A list of those people was compiled,
25 and they had nothing but to surrender and be handed over to the military
1 prison. So that's as far as these 85 people are concerned, and I stand
2 by the fact that on the 18th that is the way they were relocated from
3 Sovici to Ljubuski. They were soldiers of the BH Army, belonging to the
4 4th Battalion, led by their commander, Mr. Ovnovic, and that is standard
6 Now, whether somebody was mistreated or not, I wasn't there,
7 Judge Trechsel, so I can't claim either way.
8 JUDGE TRECHSEL: I am not quite convinced that we are talking
9 about the same. But I will leave it at that, and if the Prosecution
10 wants to take this up, I will let them. I just wanted to give you an
11 opportunity to state your view. Thank you.
12 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Petkovic --
13 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Judge Trechsel, Your Honour, could
14 you look at the exact wording of the indictment, and then you'll see that
15 General Petkovic gave you the answer precisely as it is put in the
16 indictment. In paras 76, 77, and 79, they relate to members of the
17 BH Army who were incarcerated between the 17th and 18th of April and who,
18 on the 18th of April, were transferred to Ljubuski, so they were detained
19 then. Now, this group of various detainees has nothing to do with a
20 group of men -- with the group of men who were in the school on the 4th
21 of May, 1993, when the delegation arrived, including General Petkovic.
22 JUDGE TRECHSEL: I'm afraid you're testifying now. I'm afraid
23 you're testifying, Ms. Alaburic, and --
24 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] No, no, Your Honour. I'm just
25 reading the indictment, that's all I'm doing, and it's quite clear there.
1 And we are discussing Sovici and Doljani precisely for the
2 Trial Chamber's benefit, so it's -- so we do want you to understand and
3 to avoid any misunderstanding.
4 So look at what the rest of the indictment says. It goes on to
5 speak about the burning of houses and people who were put up in Sovici
6 and Doljani, but these others were a group of detainees, and that is an
7 undisputed fact. And on the 18th of April, they were, indeed,
8 transferred to Ljubuski.
9 JUDGE TRECHSEL: I read what I found -- what I see in the
10 indictment, and it's paragraph 77:
11 "On 17 to 18 April 1993, the HVO collected and detained
12 approximately 70 to 90 military-aged Bosnian Muslim men at a school in
14 It does not say that soldiers of the ABiH who had surrendered
15 were placed there. Perhaps that is what the case was, but it does not
16 say so here. The soldiers of the ABiH are mentioned, I think, in the
17 previous paragraphs, which refers to Bosnian men, I quote, "attempting to
18 defend the villages," which again does not mention, as you have said,
19 members of the ABiH. So I reject your observation that I have not
20 taken -- looked at the indictment, but I do not want to argue this point
21 with you now, nor with the witness.
22 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Maybe I can contribute.
23 General Petkovic, my fellow Judge read out the paragraphs in the
24 indictment, and they were very clear. You have 70 to 90 men, and of
25 military age - I insist on that - and they were detained in that school.
1 When reading this, you immediately think these are not ABiH soldiers.
2 However, at the time there was -- the imminent state of war had been
3 proclaimed in the Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina, I believe. I believe
4 that there were also documents in the Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna
5 providing that any person -- any able-bodied man or person was meant or
6 supposed to take part in the war effort. So these, quote/unquote,
7 "civilians" who were defending their village, according to you, as
8 commander of the HVO, as actually a head of staff of the HVO, these
9 people were potentially ABiH soldiers who possibly or desirably should be
10 detained, or watched, or kept under guard, so forth and so on. What's
11 your take on this?
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Judge Antonetti, Your Honour, and
13 Your Honours, these were soldiers of the BH Army, and if we were to look
14 at the indictment, we would only find five BH Army soldiers for the whole
15 war. In this indictment, there are no BH Army soldiers, except Halilovic
16 and Izetbegovic. That is the Prosecution's position. (redacted)
18 (redacted). After three hours of fighting at the
19 Sovici gates, he withdrew his forces to Sovici proper. And when he saw
20 that he could not put up a resistance, he acted as a true battalion
21 commander and handed over his soldiers, had his soldiers surrender. No
22 unarmed civilians. They were soldiers of the BH Army who, on the evening
23 of the 15th, placed under complete siege Doljani and the battalion of the
24 HVO. They were no civilians. They were soldiers. And throughout the
25 indictment, mention is made of civilians. No commanders are mentioned.
1 There's nobody here in court. That is the tactics of the OTP. I claim
2 that they were all BH Army soldiers, they were all recorded, they all
3 returned their rifles. We know the number of the rifle, et cetera. So
4 they weren't civilians. The 44th Brigade was formed far before that and
5 existed as such. Therefore, they were soldiers of the BH Army who, three
6 hours prior to their surrender, had been fighting at the Sovici gates,
7 and their commander, faced with a situation he could not contend with,
8 surrendered. And they were soldiers of the Army of the Republic of
9 Bosnia-Herzegovina. If they weren't, who was it that we were fighting
10 against, six soldiers of the BH Army throughout? And Halilovic said that
11 there were 24.000 [as interpreted] of them, so is it possible the HVO had
12 soldiers and not the HV Army -- or not the BH Army?
13 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's correction: BH Army.
14 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] General Petkovic, in this type
15 of conflict, is it not difficult to make a distinction between civilians
16 and soldiers? And I will follow up.
17 Yesterday, I was looking into a complaint from
18 Amnesty International against the chief of staff of the Canadian forces
19 in Afghanistan
20 civilians on the Kandahar Base, and at the moment a legal action has been
21 launched against General Hillier, H-i-l-l-i-e-r. I assume that this
22 Canadian general was able to make a distinction between civilians and
23 military men. But all the same, I was wondering whether it was easy or
24 not to make a distinction between civilians and military men. And I will
25 follow in on that.
1 When the Vranica building was taken, some soldiers from the ABiH
2 had dressed up as civilians. Some witnesses testified on that. So
3 according to you, was it easy to make a distinction between a civilian
4 and a military person?
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour Judge Antonetti, let me
6 first return to Sovici and Doljani. Over there, there were no
7 difficulties -- rather, there was no problem to tell civilians from
8 soldiers. The commander lined up his soldiers and started to surrender
9 his units. They all wore uniforms, they all had their weapons, and they
10 were registered accordingly. Only -- they were only kept at the school
11 from the 17th through the 18th because it was impossible to conduct an
12 interview with everybody and do everything necessary to take them to
13 detention. They were soldiers of the ABiH, its 44th Brigade commanded by
14 their commander, Mr. Ovnovic. There were no civilians, because that
15 brigade didn't consist of 2.000 civilians, but of 2.000 soldiers.
16 At Vranica and anywhere, if you see somebody in civilian clothes
17 you can say, Well, he's a soldier, or, He's not a soldier. But if you
18 find -- or, He has an adequate ID on him, then he's a soldier. And if
19 he's able to give pertinent information about his unit, he's also a
20 soldier. And the very fact of their leaving Vranica and changing clothes
21 clearly shows that they were soldiers rather than civilians.
22 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Excuse me. Just to dispel any misunderstanding
23 possible, I was not taking any issue with that. But what you are saying
24 shows that these persons were not detained so that they be protected from
25 any further individuals that would come and revenge the death of Cikota,
1 I think was his name, but they were rather detained because they were
2 considered a danger. And that, I think, is also what is the meaning in
3 the indictment, so this point is clarified, and I would not like to be
4 understood as having taken a position on the issue of who is a military
5 and who is not. That was not the purpose of my question.
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I said immediately
7 that there had been a misunderstanding. When you asked your question, I
8 thought you meant the persons I found there. But when you mentioned the
9 dates of the 17th and the 18th, it became clear to me who exactly you
10 meant. Initially, I meant the other group that had stayed at Sovici and
12 MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation] I have a remark to the transcript
13 before we go too far, and there might be a question about it.
14 At page 37, line 7, it reads that General Petkovic said that
15 General Halilovic said that they were 240.000 in all, whereas the
16 transcript reads "24.000." I believe the general can confirm.
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, 240.000, that's what he states
18 in his book, and he also said to me, person to person, how many soldiers
19 they had carrying arms, approximately.
20 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] We're going to have our first
21 break. We'll have a 20 minutes' break.
22 --- Recess taken at 3.54 p.m.
23 --- On resuming at 4.15 p.m.
24 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] The court is back in session.
25 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, before we continue,
1 I would like to say the following: The topic raised by Judge Trechsel is
2 very important, and it's a comprehensive topic, and we will deal with it
3 in the redirect.
4 I would like to voice the concern of the Petkovic Defence and
5 some other colleagues to whom I spoke during the break, and it has to do
6 with our understanding of Judge Trechsel's comment. We understood that
7 comment to mean that some claims in the indictment are considered true
8 unless proven otherwise, and that that was the reason why the Petkovic
9 Defence's argument that these were two separate groups of men held at the
10 Sovici school were not believed, only for the reason that this differed
11 from the statements in the indictment. We would like to remind of the
12 fact that it is up to the OTP to prove the claims in the indictment and
13 that these are to be considered -- are not to be considered true unless
14 proven so. So we would like to avoid any such misunderstanding in the
15 future, and that is why we will deal with this topic in depth in the
16 redirect. I believe that we will be able to clarify all dilemmas and
17 that the state of affairs was, indeed, as described by General Petkovic
18 rather than as put forward in the indictment.
19 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Ms. Alaburic, I think your suspicion is
20 nonsense. This is a strong word, but that's really how I feel. And I
21 would like you to look at page 38, line 25. The question I put was to
22 give an opportunity to state a view, and that is all, and there is most
23 definitely no presumption of anything being true or not. It is really
24 helpful assistance to the Defence, in fact. That is what it is intended
25 to be, and nothing else.
1 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I wanted to add one
2 more sentence.
3 If my understanding and that of my colleagues, who understood
4 your comment to mean the same as I did, if that understanding is wrong, I
5 wish to apologise. I appreciate your efforts to state your opinion
6 clearly, whether any Defence likes it or not, and we consider it our duty
7 to be just as frank as you are. And we apologise if anything we say may
8 cause lack of understanding on any part. We would like to continue our
9 co-operation in the spirit of good understanding.
10 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Coric.
11 THE INTERPRETER: We cannot hear the accused. Sorry.
12 THE ACCUSED CORIC: [Interpretation] I will start from the
13 beginning again. Can you hear me now?
14 THE INTERPRETER: Yes, the interpreters can hear you.
15 We can no longer hear anything.
16 THE ACCUSED CORIC: [Interpretation] I'm not a lawyer, but I
17 believe that I've learned something in these four years. As far as I
18 know, in the redirect only such issues can be dealt with if any Defence
19 or the Prosecutor or the Judges raised that issue before. How can a
20 Defence counsel know in advance that anybody will, indeed --
21 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone is switched off. The microphone is
23 THE ACCUSED CORIC: [Interpretation] But saying things out openly,
24 without anybody reacting except me --
25 THE INTERPRETER: We cannot hear.
1 THE ACCUSED CORIC: [Interpretation] How can my Defence be
2 deprived of the right to --
3 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Coric, there is a problem
4 with the microphone, so perhaps you could use another microphone. There
5 seems to be a problem with the one just in front of you. Can you perhaps
6 speak in the mike in front of Mr. Prlic.
7 THE ACCUSED CORIC: [Interpretation] Can you hear me now?
8 THE INTERPRETER: We can hear you.
9 THE ACCUSED CORIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, the Defence
10 counsel said several times today that she wouldn't deal with some issues
11 in the examination-in-chief, but would instead deal with them in the
12 redirect. My question is: How does counsel know that anybody from the
13 OTP or from the Defence teams or any Judge will raise the issue to give
14 her the right to deal with that in the redirect?
15 Secondly, I noticed some time ago that crucial issues are left
16 for the redirect to prevent the Defence teams from dealing with some
17 issues that worried them in the cross-examination. It is a sad fact that
18 I, as an accused person, have to react to that, because there are others
19 who should do that in my stead, because I'm not a lawyer. And I needn't
20 be right, but I believe that I am on this issue.
21 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] If I may answer Mr. Coric.
22 I have said several times in this courtroom that 20 to
23 25 per cent of the time earmarked for direct examination is used by the
24 questions of the Judges. This morning, I said that because of the
25 shortage of time, I would not like to continue that way. Instead, the
1 Judges' questions are -- that I will deal with such matters in the
2 redirect. So this referred exclusively to issues raised by the questions
3 of the Judges. My last mention of the redirect was prompted by the
4 question asked by Judge Trechsel about item 76 through 79 of the
5 indictment. I believe the accused remembers that much evidence was
6 submitted with regard to that, and that it is clear to the Judges what
7 has been proven with regard to that or not. At no time did it enter my
8 mind to deal in the redirect with any topic that wasn't raised by the
9 questions of the Judges or anybody else in the courtroom. However, if
10 such topics as haven't been covered in the examination-in-chief, in the
11 cross-examination, I preserve the right to deal with that in the
13 I believe that now Mr. Coric understands my position better. It
14 was never my intention to do anything in the redirect that is not
15 provided for by the Rules of this Tribunal, and the attorney of Mr. Coric
16 is a very good lawyer, and she certainly wouldn't allow any such thing to
17 happen. And, besides, the Judges know the Rules very well, too, and
18 wouldn't allow that to happen either.
19 MS. TOMASEGOVIC TOMIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honours.
20 As a discussion has started that may be premature, but as we have
21 it on our hands now, I would like to support Mr. Coric's words, but it is
22 too early because we will have to wait to see whether, in the redirect,
23 issues will be raised that have not been dealt -- haven't been dealt with
25 I understand Ms. Alaburic's problems with the allotted time, but
1 irrespective of that, the topics raised by the Judges during the
2 examination-in-chief, that is, the questions they ask, are dealt with in
3 the examination-in-chief. They cannot be left for the redirect. And
4 it's another matter if, during the cross-examination, the Judges ask
5 questions about issues that were not dealt with in the
6 examination-in-chief. At that time, the Defence team who had the
7 examination-in-chief has the right to object or, rather, to take up the
8 issue itself.
9 Now, at this time we, of course, cannot know what Ms. Alaburic
10 wants to deal with in the redirect. We may be faced with new information
11 about which everybody here may wish to cross-examine once more. It is
12 clear that the redirect can only refer to the cross-examination and the
13 topics dealt with there.
14 I'm very sorry that my colleague has problems with time, but
15 everybody else has such -- the same problems.
16 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, allow me just one
17 more sentence about this.
18 The right of any Defence team for a redirect after the Judge's
19 question was something that was decided upon in this courtroom before.
20 We submitted a motion about that, and there is a relevant decision of the
21 Trial Chamber. I believe that we must simply adhere to the decision of
22 the Trial Chamber.
23 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] We will proceed. I wanted to
24 say something, because I want it to be in the transcript.
25 When I personally ask a question, but I believe that it's the
1 same for my colleagues -- when a Judge asks a question, the question has
2 to be fully rounded, and the witness has to answer fully to the question,
3 which means that there is no need for a follow-up question or any
4 additional question. If a need arises, it would mean that the Judge did
5 not put the question properly, either because he did not understand the
6 problem or he has a few things that are missing in his documentation.
7 But usually a Judge who understands the problem well, a Judge who is
8 listening, who has the documents before him, when such a Judge asks a
9 question, the witness should answer fully to the question and there
10 should not be any follow-up question, because the witness has said what
11 he had to say. And this is why sometimes I'm surprised that there are
12 some follow-up questions. But, of course, I can make a mistake, like
13 everybody else, but be aware that when I ask a question, I have carefully
14 thought of the question before. It doesn't come off the cuff, and it is
15 part of all the evidence that we have heard until now, 50.000 pages of
16 transcript as well as 10.000 exhibits. So all my questions are asked
17 through those filters, so to say. But, of course, a counsel may feel
18 that the answer from the witness is not sufficient and, therefore, ask
19 for follow-up questions, but usually I have to say I am surprised that
20 follow-up questions are asked. I find that rather strange.
21 For instance, when I asked questions to General Petkovic on the
22 investigation made by the military prosecutor, he answered, and I didn't
23 feel that any follow-up question needed to be asked, because what was
24 important was to know that an investigation had been carried out. But at
25 the same time, I can also make mistakes.
1 Ms. Alaburic, you have the floor.
2 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
3 Before we continue, I'd like to tell you that we have handed over
4 a document, information about Petkovic's movements for 1993, principally,
5 so that you can look at the most important months, that is to say, April,
6 May, and June 1993. You can see where General Petkovic was from one day
7 to the next. 2027 -- 4D2027 is the document number, and you can all use
8 it, and we might be using it during further examination.
9 Q. Now, General, if the conflict was a broader one and a more
10 lasting one between the HVO and BH Army, and if it began in mid-April
11 1993, tell us, please, how long did the conflict between the two armies
12 actually last?
13 A. The conflict between these two armies lasted until about the
14 beginning of May. There was a brief lull, and then it continued.
15 Q. No, you didn't understand me, General.
16 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] General Praljak -- or, rather,
17 General Petkovic, in the question put by Ms. Alaburic there is a problem.
18 She says if the conflict started around mid-April, if it began in
19 mid-April, but I understood that the ABiH had launched an attack in
20 January. So I'm rather lost here. Does that mean that the HVO-ABiH
21 conflict happened in mid-April and nothing happened in January? This is
22 where I am at a loss, and perhaps you can shed some light by answering
23 very precisely to this question.
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, the conflict between
25 the HVO and the BH Army occurred in January 1993, and it was definitely
1 completed on the 29th of February, 1993. Those are the dates we counted
2 as -- we count as being the period. And General Halilovic and I
3 undertook steps in the area, Busovaca and so on, in Central Bosnia to
4 bring about an end, and then there was for a time a lull when the
5 situation was calm, until the 23rd of March, 1993, when the conflict
6 began in the Konjic municipality with the attack by the BH Army on the
7 HVO. Now --
8 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Excuse me, Mr. Petkovic. There was no 29th of
9 February in 1993. You want to correct that date.
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, I apologise, Judge Trechsel,
11 Your Honour. Well, the last day. Well, the conflict lasted until the
12 27th -- 26th, 27th. You're quite right.
13 As I said, in March, the 23rd of March, in fact, 1993, we have a
14 situation in Konjic whereby the BH Army launched an attack against the
15 HVO. And on the 25th, in my opinion, we managed to contain the conflict
16 and left teams to supervise -- to monitor the conflict which, from one
17 day to the next, well, it changed in intensity, weaker or stronger. But,
18 anyway, we considered that we had it under control right up until the
19 13th of April, 1993, when I considered that the conflict took on greater
20 scope; in Konjic municipality, taking on Jablanica. And, as such, it
21 reached full intensity in that area until the 10th of July. At the same
22 time, the conflict spilled over in April to Central Bosnia.
23 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Ms. Alaburic, General Petkovic
24 gave us some dates, and I believe these are important dates.
25 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honour. Those are all
1 dates that we mentioned yesterday when we discussed the conflicts in
3 Q. The next area, General, is: How were these conflicts stopped in
5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] You know that the French
6 language, like the B/C/S, is a very precise language, and when I said
7 General Petkovic gave us dates that were important, I'm not saying that I
8 believe that they are important; this is what General Petkovic believes.
9 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] That's how I understood it,
10 Your Honour, because these are precisely dates that we mentioned in our
11 opening statement as being the most important ones for an understanding
12 of the situation in Bosnia-Herzegovina, at least with respect to the
13 relationship between the Muslims and the Croats.
14 Q. Now, General, let's see how these conflicts were stopped in
15 April. Ahmici occurred on the 16th of April. In Sovici and Doljani, the
16 fighting was on the 17th of April, 1993.
17 And now let's look at the first document dealing with this area.
18 2D89 is the number. This is an agreement between Alija Izetbegovic and
19 Mate Boban, dated the 18th of April, 1993, on a cessation to all
20 conflicts and the need to resolve all misunderstandings through political
21 means, to free prisoners, release prisoners, and to determine the
22 responsibility of individuals and units for the start of the
24 Now, tell me, General, did you know of this agreement when it was
1 A. Yes, I did know of this agreement.
2 Q. Tell us, please, who informed you about the agreement?
3 A. I was informed about this agreement by Mr. Boban, personally, and
4 he said that on the 18th a delegation with Mr. Thebault, General Pellnas
5 and so on, Mr. Ganic -- yes, and Mr. Ganic, was supposed to leave and
6 that General Morillon would bring to Mostar Mr. Halilovic too, and that
7 linked to this agreement we would continue to do everything to calm the
8 situation down in the meantime.
9 Q. Tell us, please, General, on that day, if we look at this
10 breakdown of your movements - it is 4D2027, the document - for the 18th
11 of April, your meeting in Mostar is mentioned, organised by the
12 European Observers. Tell us, please, was the meeting actually held in
14 A. Yes, it was.
15 Q. Tell us, please, what was the purpose of the meeting?
16 A. The purpose of this meeting was that we should, with the help of
17 the international community, UNPROFOR, the Military Observers and
18 Monitoring Mission, that I and General Halilovic should have a meeting
19 and issue joint orders and move towards the actual areas where the
20 conflicts were taking place and to put them under control.
21 Q. Now look at the next document, P1959, General, please, which is
22 an order of yours dated the 18th of April, 1993.
23 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Let me put an ancillary
24 question, but which has to do with this document.
25 This is a document signed by Izetbegovic and Boban. According to
1 the Prosecution's case, as you know, Herceg-Bosna, the
2 Croatian Community, and the HVO are illegal entities, and there is a
3 decision by the Constitutional Court. I have here a document where the
4 president of the Presidency has signed a document together with
5 Mr. Mate Boban, which is, at first glance, a person that would be,
6 quote/unquote, "illegal." So when you were negotiating in the
7 international negotiations in Geneva, you told us yesterday that you
8 actually went up in the plane with Mr. Izetbegovic to go to Geneva. We
9 weren't there, we Judges were not there, so we don't know what was said
10 or what happened, but we are all -- we all know that international
11 negotiations were going on. Among the four Judges, two of them were
12 ambassadors and the two others also attended these kind of international
13 meetings. So you have here on the Bench Judges who actually know what
14 international negotiations are all about.
15 And this is where you can contribute: In the discussions that
16 you were having -- in the informal discussions you were having with all
17 those involved in these kind of negotiations, well, how was Mr. Boban
18 perceived; as an intruder, as someone who was illegal, or as someone
19 worthy of respect, whose word was taken into account to the extent that
20 he could actually sign an important document, et cetera? So what image
21 did Mr. Mate Boban convey among all the others that you were with?
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, let me answer your
23 first question first.
24 The Constitutional Court never annulled the military part of the
25 Croatian Defence Council. The military part of the Croatian Defence
1 Council entered within the composition of the BH Army. What the
2 Constitution did was to annul the Decree on the Armed Forces, which is
3 something quite different.
4 Furthermore, at the negotiations in Geneva, we had the
5 representatives of the three constituent peoples in Bosnia-Herzegovina.
6 Mate Boban was viewed as the elected representative of the Croatian
7 people, completely legally, just like the representative of the Serbian
8 people, Mr. Karadzic; and the Muslim Bosniak people,
9 Mr. Alija Izetbegovic. And in the talks and the negotiations, they
10 enjoyed the same status and were treated the same way, and their
11 positions and views were respected and taken on board.
12 Now, as far as the Geneva negotiations are concerned, Mr. Boban,
13 I would say, was favourable to the negotiators' efforts, because he
14 recognised Mr. Owen's plan, the Vance-Owen Plan, first among the three,
15 and as such, placed his signature on the plan and, thus, encouraged them
16 to continue the negotiations with the other two representatives or the
17 representatives of the other two nations from Bosnia-Herzegovina. So
18 Mate Boban enjoyed a status of equality with everybody else. Mate Boban,
19 even outside Geneva, had quite a lot of contacts with the representatives
20 of the international community, co-chairmen, with meetings in Zagreb and
21 so on, so Mate Boban was accepted as a completely legal representative of
22 the Croats of Bosnia-Herzegovina.
23 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you.
24 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation]
25 Q. General, the next document is P1959, and it is your order also
1 dated the 18th of April, 1993, on a cessation of hostilities between the
2 BH Army and the HVO. And as it says in the introduction, you issued this
3 order on the basis of the conclusions reached in talks between Mate Boban
4 and Alija Izetbegovic and their agreement. So tell us, General, did you
5 actually sign this order, yourself, or was it signed for you by somebody
7 A. This order followed on from the agreement, and the signature is
8 that of Mr. Zeljko Arkan [as interpreted], and the reason is very simple.
9 The order was finished but hadn't been typed out yet, and I had to hurry
10 to the Mostar Hospital because Mr. Thebault was waiting there, as well as
11 General Pellnas and the delegation which arrived. So to be encoded, it
12 had to have a signature, and then Mr. Akrap signed for me.
13 Q. Now, General, in point 5 we see that you are ordering the
14 establishment and contacts with the BH Army command, and you're asking
15 them to implement the same order. Tell us, please, General, as far as
16 personal contacts are concerned between the BH Army and HVO, did you
17 consider them to be important for the establishment of a cease-fire and
18 for maintaining law and order and resolving the dispute and conflict?
19 A. Certainly, I did, yes, because without mutual personal contact
20 between commanders on the ground, it was impossible to implement any
21 order or document.
22 Q. Now let's go on to the next document, which is P2036, and it is
23 once again one of your orders on measures to deal with self-will and
24 arbitrary behaviour on behalf of individuals and groups, and you sent it
25 to all the zones on the 22nd of April, 1993. And you say here, and I'll
1 summarise, that the most extreme individuals and groups who are out of
2 control and who are destroying civilian facilities and so on and so
3 forth, they must be stopped by all means, including the use of force.
4 Now, tell us, please, General, was this just your own personal
5 position, or was that the position taken by the leadership of
6 Herceg-Bosna as a whole?
7 A. It was a joint position taken that we should put a stop to this
8 kind of behaviour on the part of individuals and groups, working off
9 their own bat. Otherwise, the document came into being two days after I
10 arrived in Central Bosnia and returned to Mostar.
11 Q. Tell us your opinion, General. Did HVO commanders, to the best
12 of your knowledge, ever have the intention to achieve military,
13 political, or other goals by burning buildings, driving civilians out of
14 their homes, et cetera?
16 Q. Let us look at the following document, P2038. It's a demand of
17 yours, dated the 22nd of April.
18 JUDGE PRANDLER: Ms. Alaburic, I'm sorry again to interrupt you,
19 but I really feel that your question was rather, in a way, a leading one,
20 because I believe that nobody would think that the answer should be other
21 than, Yes. So, therefore, I think that in the future you may have a look
22 at it, how to put your questions. Thank you.
23 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I appreciate your
24 opinion that this was a leading question, but I respectfully disagree
25 because this is one of the allegations in the indictment. It is very
1 important for us to know the position of the accused on that issue. He
2 may have answered that he knew some commanders who, in their area of
3 responsibility, instigated or tolerated or tried to achieve some
4 objectives by illegitimate means.
5 Q. General, if you have anything to add, we can do this later, but
6 we can also do it while discussing the following document, P2036.
7 Tell us, General, about the position of the commanders of the HVO
8 and the supreme commander of the HVO.
9 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Ms. Alaburic, the interpreters
10 are breathless. You're going too fast. Could you please slow down.
11 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] I will, Your Honours.
12 To start with, let me correct the document reference. P2038.
13 Q. This is a demand you made, General, which was sent to the
14 operative zones about conduct towards civilians and prisoners. Can you
15 tell us the position of the supreme commander of the HVO and lower-level
16 commanders about how the military is supposed to treat civilians and
17 prisoners of war, respectively? Very briefly, if you can.
18 A. All levels, from the supreme commander downward, demanded that
19 the civilian population be respected, that they should not be involved in
20 the combat activities, and this was demanded of all commands at all
21 levels. Likewise, arrested soldiers and detained civilians must be
22 provided adequate protection. The ICRC must be granted access -- and not
23 only granted access, but they must also be informed of the presence of
24 such persons at any location.
25 Q. The following document, General, is 4D1082. This is a demand of
1 yours, sent to the Central Bosnia Operative Zone and the Herceg Stjepan
2 Brigade at Konjic. You request information about the events in these
3 areas, and you are mentioning that this information is intended for
4 Mate Boban. Is this your document, General?
5 A. Yes, it is.
6 Q. Is this the document we spoke about yesterday and based on which
7 you received information from the ground, including Sovici and Doljani?
8 A. Yes, that's the very document we spoke about yesterday, and it
9 was drafted after my talks with Mr. Boban and his request for additional
11 Q. Let's take a look at the two following documents. 4D576, this is
12 a letter dated October 13th, 1993, which Tihomir Blaskic sent to
13 Mate Boban, and in this letter he speaks about assignments he received in
14 the office of the supreme commander on the 28th of September, 1993.
15 Tell us, General, what does this document tell us about the
16 communication between the commander-in-chief and Tihomir Blaskic?
17 A. Your Honours, it says that the supreme commander received
18 Colonel Blaskic personally, and he spoke to him for four hours without
19 requesting the presence of anybody from the Main Staff. So they spoke in
20 private for all these four hours, and they never informed anybody of the
21 contents of their conversation.
22 Q. In the Main Staff, although you weren't chief of Main Staff at
23 the time, did you know that the supreme commander had direct
24 communication with individual military commanders, bypassing the
25 Main Staff?
1 A. Yes, we did. We knew that Mr. Boban had this weakness of
2 granting private conversations to anybody upon their request, ignoring
3 the fact that the presence of someone from the Main Staff was actually
4 required, or somebody from the zone of operations.
5 Q. The transcript reads "private conversation." Tell us, based on
6 this letter, is this a conversation about private matters?
7 A. No, it isn't about private matters. It's an official
8 conversation between the supreme commander and Colonel Blaskic, so they
9 discussed matters of interest to the supreme commander.
10 Q. Item 3 of this letter reads:
11 "The Ahmici case will be finished according to the instructions
12 given. The activity is underway, but most of the task has been carried
14 The following document follows up directly, so let's take a look
15 at it. It's document 4D575.
16 On the 6th of December, 1993, Tihomir Blaskic reports to
17 Mate Boban directly about the carrying out of the assignments received in
18 the supreme commander's office, and he says:
19 "The Ahmici case has been completed according to our
20 instructions ..."
21 Tell us, how do you understand these two letters, written by
22 Tihomir Blaskic, from today's vantage point?
23 A. Here's how I understand this to mean: That the
24 commander-in-chief personally got involved in the investigation about
25 Ahmici. And all subsequent steps taken by Tihomir Blaskic were based on
1 an agreement reached between these two persons.
2 Q. Let us now go briefly into your activities in the month of April
3 after signing the cease-fire agreement.
4 In document 4D2027, it is recorded that on the 20th of April, you
5 were in Zenica, and talked to Halilovic in the presence of
6 representatives of the international community. On the following day, on
7 the 21st of April, you were in Vitez also with Halilovic, in the presence
8 of Ambassador Thebault. Then, on the 24th and 25th of April, you were in
9 Zagreb at a meeting of the Croatian and Muslim delegations with the
10 co-chairman for the former Yugoslavia. There, an agreement was reached
11 which we have seen zillions of times here in this courtroom.
12 After Zagreb, on the 28th, you were in Zenica with Halilovic
13 again. On the same day, you also visited Jablanica. On the following
14 day, the 29th of April, you were in Vitez and Zenica, again with
15 Halilovic and the representatives of the international community.
16 On the 30th of April, you were in Zenica with Halilovic again,
17 and thus we reach May. Then there's a brief interval during which you
18 didn't meet Halilovic, but you met him again on the 4th of May in
19 Jablanica. We spoke a lot about that today and yesterday. Then on the
20 5th of May, again.
21 From these documents -- or, rather, it follows from this
22 information that roughly from the 18th of April, 1993, until the 5th of
23 May, you continuously, almost daily except for a brief interval around
24 the 1st of May, had meetings with Halilovic and visited forces on the
25 ground. Was it really like that?
1 A. Yes, it was, and it had to do with the initial agreement between
2 Boban and Izetbegovic of the 17th and the Zagreb agreement of the 25th of
3 April, 1993.
4 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, we will now deal
5 with the issue of May 1993 in Mostar.
6 Q. When you returned from the area of Jablanica, where you were with
7 Halilovic --
8 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Earlier, you mentioned Ahmici.
9 Ahmici is mentioned in the pre-trial brief, but is not blamed on the
10 accused. But it was mentioned to explain that the HVO had been launching
11 a general offensive, according to the Prosecution's case, anyway.
12 Now, I would like to know the following, General Petkovic:
13 Within international negotiations, the negotiations you attended, was
14 Ahmici mentioned often, this issue of Ahmici, or was it just a very
15 unfortunate event, a dramatic event, but that was sort of not really
16 mentioned by those who were involved in the international negotiations;
17 otherwise, they would have had to also deal with Trusina and other
18 municipalities? So as far as you remember, was Ahmici a central issue
19 that led to many consequences, or was it just not taken into account, at
20 least not in all of its aspects?
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I believe that the
22 latter is the case, and I'll try to explain.
23 On the 20th, we were in Zenica and talked all afternoon. You saw
24 the agreements. No one of the ABiH representatives mentioned Ahmici at
25 all. Nobody from the international community did either. On the
1 following day, the 21st, Halilovic and I went to at least 10 locations to
2 separate forces. Never once did ABiH personnel raise the issue of
3 Ahmici, nor did they suggest that we go there. Likewise, the talks that
4 we had at the British Battalion was an occasion where nobody ever
5 mentioned Ahmici. We spoke about the area of Central Bosnia, about all
6 events of the time, but nobody mentioned Ahmici.
7 On the 24th and 25th, during the talks in Zagreb, nobody made
8 specific mention of Ahmici. All talks were general, at the general
9 level, things that happened in Central Bosnia and Western Herzegovina.
10 That's what our conversations were like.
11 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Fair enough.
12 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation]
13 Q. The first weekend after you returned from your meetings with
14 Halilovic, what did you do on that weekend?
15 A. Halilovic and I departed in Jablanica in the afternoon of the
16 5th, because he said to me that he had to go to Sarajevo, he had some
17 important business there, and we agreed to meet on the next Monday. I
18 believe that was the 10th. I used the time available to me to go home to
19 see my family in Split on Friday.
20 Q. Which month is that?
21 A. It is May 1993.
22 Q. That Friday, which date was that?
23 A. I believe the 7th, the 7th of May, 1993.
24 Q. That weekend, in the Main Staff, as far as you know, was it a
25 regular weekend, or were there any differences when you compare it to the
1 previous weekends?
2 A. Your Honours, I would call it a more relaxed weekend, because
3 while I was at those meetings from the 18th I required the presence of
4 five to six people in the Main Staff. Once I returned, I said, Well,
5 let's have three people, which was the minimum number of officers on duty
6 required, and everybody else was allowed to go home because they had been
7 away from their families for a long time, so that only three persons
8 stayed there who were on duty on the 8th and 9th. And you see that
9 Mr. Peric was the highest-ranking duty officer, but he was -- he wasn't a
10 chief or a commander. He was merely an officer in charge of
12 Q. You said that you returned to Mostar on the 9th of May, in the
13 early afternoon hours, between 1.00 and 1.30.
14 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Before you answer to this
15 question, I have a technical question which is not going to hamper, I
16 hope, Ms. Alaburic's questions.
17 You left for Split on the 7th of May. The 7th of May is a
18 Friday, because we know that the 9th of May is a Sunday. So you are
19 leaving for Split. Split, unless I'm mistaken, is in Croatia.
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] That's right, Your Honour, Split is
21 in Croatia.
22 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. When you are
23 setting off for Croatia, what is the means of communication that you have
24 available with your staff? Is it a satellite telephone, is it your land
25 line, was it means from the Croatian Army? How can you stay in touch
1 with your Main Staff if anything happens? What was a technical way or
2 means of communication?
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I had a standard
4 telephone and my telephone number while I lived in Split temporarily, and
5 my family lived there. And I left the number with the duty officers,
6 where I was supposed to leave it. And, secondly, I had - what was it
7 called? - a Benefon, or, anyway, a mobile phone which was built into the
8 car, because it was a box that weighed one kilo, so you couldn't carry it
9 around with you. It was built into the car. And the car I used -- well,
10 I used a heavy-duty vehicle, and I also used a passenger vehicle. So if
11 it was in the heavy-duty vehicle and I wasn't riding in that, then they
12 couldn't establish a mobile telephone connection with me in any way. So
13 that was the only possible communication. That was the only way they
14 could reach me or that I could reach the Main Staff. There were no other
15 ways of communicating, especially not satellite communication.
16 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I was wondering if you had a
17 driver in this vehicle where you had this Benefon.
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I did have a driver. And if this
19 off-road vehicle needed to be driven, then the driver would drive it, and
20 he would also drive the passenger vehicle.
21 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] If, on Sunday, the 9th of
22 February [as interpreted], your wife asks you to buy a kilo of tomatoes
23 at the market-place which is a kilometre away from your home, you go and
24 set off to buy those tomatoes on foot, how can we get hold of you if
25 there are no more means of communications between you and the Main Staff?
1 How is that possible, given that you are chief of staff of the HVO?
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honours, the technical
3 feasibility was such had there been a mobile phone at the time, I would
4 have carried it 'round with me all the time. But to go to a shop and to
5 come back doesn't take too much time, so it would only require 15 minutes
6 or half an hour. And, of course, there's a team of people. There are
7 lower-level commands who can deal with the problems and situations in the
9 MR. STEWART: Your Honour, I think we all understood that at
10 line 17 you meant May and not February. You talked about the 9th of. In
11 the English interpretation, we got "February," anyway, and I'm sure
12 Your Honour was talking about May.
13 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes, you are fully right,
14 Mr. Stewart. I didn't notice, but indeed I meant the 9th of May.
15 Very well. So you're saying that the only means of communication
16 was your land line at home or this Benefon on board this vehicle. But if
17 there was any problem, there would be people in a position to answer
18 whatever request or meet any needs. So I take note of what you're
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honour. Well, the three
21 men in the command could react. The commander of the operative zone is
22 closer to his operative zone than I was, and it's his duty to react at
23 any given point in time. So there are a whole series of people who have
24 the duty to react under certain circumstances.
25 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation]
1 Q. Tell us -- General, you returned to Mostar in the early
2 afternoon. Did you return alone or were you with someone?
3 A. I and Mr. Stojic returned together.
4 Q. And, tell us, did you return in a vehicle of any kind?
5 A. With Mr. Stojic. He drove the vehicle that he had.
6 Q. Tell us why you and Mr. Stojic happened to be in the same car
7 that day.
8 A. Because we were on our way to Tomislavgrad and the operative
9 zone, according to an agreement, to visit Siljeg. And upon receiving
10 information stating that something was happening in Mostar, we did an
11 about-turn and drove back to Mostar, and arrived between 1.00 and 1.30;
12 certainly after 1.00, but not long afterwards. And each of us went to
13 take up his post upon arrival.
14 Q. Tell us, General, during that day, the 9th of May, did you meet
15 Mr. Stojic again at any time that day?
16 A. I think that Mr. Stojic, at around 5.00, called and that he left
17 Mostar. I think it was 'round about 5.00 p.m.
18 Q. Tell us, please, General, when you reached the Main Staff, what
19 did they tell you? What was it that was happening in Mostar?
20 A. When I arrived at the Main Staff, I called some of the people I
21 needed to see, and the first thing I asked them was -- because when I
22 entered the headquarters, I heard some shooting at a distance of some
23 500 metres up at the confrontation line between the BH Army and the HVO,
24 so the first thing I wanted to know from them was whether they knew where
25 we were and where the BH Army was in town, and the lines in town, and
1 they tried to provide me with the right answer, to the best of their
2 knowledge. And I also asked them to find Mr. Lasic for me, that he
3 should report to me at headquarters. And I think that some 35 minutes
4 later, Mr. Lasic arrived at the Main Staff.
5 Q. Tell us, please, General, did you try to contact somebody in the
6 BH Army?
7 A. Yes. I had the telephone numbers -- well, I had two or three
8 telephones used by the members of the 4th Corps and the 41st Brigade, and
9 I gave the communications people instructions to try and contact somebody
10 from the 41st Brigade or 4th Corps because I said I'd like to speak to
12 Q. Tell us, please, General, why did you wish to contact the
13 BH Army?
14 A. Well, the conflict had to be stopped, and you can't have one side
15 stopping a conflict, especially when there's fighting in a built-up area.
16 You could do so perhaps in a mountainous area, and then you say, Well,
17 I'll stop shooting and see what happens. But when you're in town, it's
18 very difficult to do that. So to put a stop to the conflict, the other
19 side -- the other party to the conflict must be of the same mind and
20 receive orders to stop the conflict, and then try to implement this on
21 the ground through the various levels of command.
22 Q. Tell us, please, did you finally manage to reach someone from the
23 4th BH Army Corps?
24 A. No, we didn't reach anybody, but we did manage to ring two
25 telephone numbers. One was from South Camp, and the other was from Konak
1 [phoen] or whatever the name was. But when they heard that it was the
2 HVO calling, they cut the line, so I was not -- and I was not able to
3 establish communication with anybody from the 4th Corps Command.
4 Q. Tell us, please, General, when the commander of the operative
5 zone, Mr. Lasic, arrived at headquarters, and you said that this was
6 towards 2.00 in the afternoon, what did he tell you? What was going on
7 in Mostar, according to him?
8 A. Well, Your Honours, I asked him questions. I asked him what I
9 was most interested in, and that was to see what our positions were in
10 town. And Mr. Lasic told me that at 2.00 the positions were the same as
11 they were at the start along the Bulevar and the other streets, that at
12 2.00 p.m. the situation was the same as it was at the beginning, but that
13 there were certain skirmishes of the BH Army towards the Rondo and some
14 other streets leading to that part of town.
15 Q. Just a moment, please. When you speak about incidents created by
16 the BH Army, if we look at the separation line in April 1993, were these
17 incidents to the west of the separation line or to the east of it?
18 A. To the west, to the western part of town. So they crossed the
19 separation line at several points and entrenched in the western parts,
20 and then there was fighting there to try and regain the initial
22 Q. Tell us, please, General, did Commander Lasic tell you which
23 units were involved in the fighting against the BH Army in Mostar?
24 A. Yes, I asked him that. I asked him what forces he had at his
25 disposal and whether he had sufficient men to hold the line, and he went
1 on to enumerate the forces he had, the parts of the unit, beginning with
2 parts of the 2nd Brigade, which was deployed in a smaller part of town,
3 then the 3rd Brigade, which was from Hum towards town, and then there was
4 the Convicts Battalion, part of the Bruno Busic Brigade, part of the
5 Ludvig Pavlovic Brigade, and the military police.
6 Q. Did he mention the civilian police?
7 A. Yes, he did. Part of the civilian police, too, was deployed, but
8 that was a small group of the civilian policemen.
9 Q. Tell us, please, General, did any of these units take part at
10 your request? Was it deployed at your request or pursuant to your
12 A. No, none of them could have been deployed on the basis of any of
13 my orders. All those units had already been in combat for a period of
14 eight hours.
15 Q. But, General, you could have used a telephone, for example, or
16 you might have issued an order earlier on, so it's not only important
17 where you were on that morning of the 9th of May, but what you were doing
18 on previous days, in general terms. So tell us whether you perhaps
19 issued an order previously or made a request for the engagement of these
20 or any other units for fighting and combat in Mostar.
21 A. No, there were no orders issued, nor was there any need for that,
22 one, two, or three days beforehand, to issue any orders linked to the
23 town of Mostar.
24 Q. Now, General, in this courtroom we have seen a number of orders
25 from Miljenko Lasic on the deployment and engagement of additional units
1 because of the situation in Mostar, so tell us now, please, what your
2 understanding of the situation is, the situation at that time. Were
3 these military units engaged for combat because of the BH Army?
4 A. Yes, exclusively because of the action of the BH Army units and
5 the need for part of the units to be rotated after the urban fighting,
6 and that's why he tried to write orders to bring in other units,
7 reinforcements. However, the writing of orders is one thing, and the
8 arrival of units is another.
9 Q. Tell us, please, General, at that point in time did Lasic have
10 information about the number of casualties?
11 A. As far as I remember, the report about the number of casualties
12 arrived -- well, no, he didn't know at the time. He didn't have the
13 exact figures at the time. I think that he thought that one or two HVO
14 members had been killed and that there were several others wounded. But
15 towards evening, a report arrived from Lasic, and the figures there were
16 six fatalities and, I think, seventeen wounded, if that incorporated all
17 the units, but that's what it said in the report.
18 Q. General, the Judges have already asked you about the evacuation
19 of civilians from this operation zone in Mostar, and I have one
20 additional question on that subject.
21 When did you learn about the ethnic composition of the people who
22 were evacuated and put up at Heliodrom?
23 A. I think that was on the 12th, in the afternoon, after the signing
24 of an agreement in Medjugorje.
25 Q. Tell us, please, are we talking about May; is that still May?
1 A. Yes, the 12th of May, after the agreement had been signed calling
2 for the release of these individuals. And through the operative zone
3 from Medjugorje I called up to have information collected about the
4 people who were at Heliodrom, and that's when I learnt what it was all
6 Q. And, tell us, was the vast majority of these people Muslim by
8 A. Yes, absolutely correct. However, I'd like to add here that
9 along with the fighting, which started in Mostar, Lasic was confronted
10 with another problem, and that was the need to take in Croats from
11 East Mostar. A part of them were transported across Tito's Bridge,
12 I think was the name of the bridge, and the other section -- the other
13 Croats expelled from East Mostar were moving towards the Buna, and a
14 small group set out from something called the Aviator's Bridge by the
15 Heliodrom, in that same direction, so that he had a problem. He had the
16 problem of evacuating both those from the west bank, who were right by
17 the lines of combat, and also those who were in the area from North Camp,
18 Zalik, towards the east. And I think that area was called Dvojnica
20 Q. Did you communicate with the supreme commander that afternoon?
21 A. Yes, I talked to him.
22 Q. Did the supreme commander have any information about the events
23 in Mostar at that time?
24 A. I think that he had communicated with - what was his name? - the
25 president of the HVO of Mostar, Mr. Topic, and tried to elicit
1 information from him. Having talked to Lasic, I called him up and
2 relayed the information I received from Lasic to him.
3 Q. Did you pass on to the supreme commander your opinion that
4 immediate contact must be established with the Muslim side and agree on a
6 A. Yes, certainly. I said to him that I thought we had to do that,
7 and he gave me support. He even asked me whether I had tried to reach
8 Halilovic, and I replied in the affirmative. Halilovic and I, on the
9 28th of April, had exchanged views, because I had learned his satellite
10 phone number by the time, but I didn't reach him. I suppose that he was
11 somewhere in the Tuzla area.
12 Q. Did Mr. Boban establish contact with anyone on the Muslim side?
13 A. Mr. Boban called me up at 7.00 p.m. to come to Grude as soon as
14 possible, if possible, if the fighting had waned, and he expected a
15 conversation with Mr. Izetbegovic. I believe that it was Mr. Tudjman's
16 office that acted as an intermediary on that process.
17 Q. When did you say that Boban called you?
18 A. Around 1900 hours, and I really left for Grude at that time to
19 see him. In the meantime, he had spoken to Mr. Izetbegovic and agreed
20 that on the following day they would consider an order that both of them
21 would issue.
22 Q. Let us now take a look at the first document in this set, and
23 that is 3D1001. This is a report by Miljenko Lasic, dated the 9th of
24 May, 1993, and it describes the situation at 2000 hours.
25 Is this the report you meant when you mentioned the number of
1 wounded and killed persons?
2 A. Yes, that was the last report that came in on that day, and it
3 stated the number of killed and injured persons. One civilian had been
4 killed, and four were wounded.
5 Q. Take a look at the lower left-hand corner, the list to whom this
6 was delivered. There is a bullet point 2 reads "Grude" and a fax number.
7 Do you know whose fax number that is?
8 A. Yes, it is the fax number of Mr. Boban at Grude, because
9 Mr. Boban wanted reports from the operative zone to be sent to him
10 directly, without need to be edited before it reaches him.
11 Q. As far as you know, did Miljenko Lasic inform Mate Boban, that
12 is, the commander-in-chief of the HVO, directly in the course of that day
13 and on subsequent day concerning the conflicts in Mostar?
14 A. This was the first report, but on the following day there was
15 another, and another report on the 11th, and that's how it continues.
16 But on the 10th -- but from the 10th, in the afternoon hours, I was no
17 longer present in Herzegovina.
18 Q. After the meeting with the commander-in-chief at Grude, in the
19 evening hours of the 9th of May, did you return to Mostar that evening or
20 that night?
21 A. No, I didn't. I stayed at Grude, and I returned in the morning
22 hours, and at 7.00 a.m. I was in Mostar. I stayed until 9.00, 9:00 a.m.
23 That is, I arrived at 7.00 a.m. on the 10th, and I returned at 9.00,
24 because between 10.00 and 11.00, a communication between Mr. Izetbegovic
25 and Mr. Boban was scheduled concerning the order -- the cease-fire order.
1 Q. The next document is 4D456.
2 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I would like to stay on this
3 document, 3D1001. You said that it was a report made at 2000 hours by
4 Mr. Lasic on the situation, and so I looked at this report. It says that
5 the situation in Mostar is very difficult. We see that some people are
6 killed, others are wounded, but I do not see in this report anything
7 about a threat from the ABiH, which would take up positions held by the
8 HVO. There is only mention on the fortification of the Bulevar. So when
9 one reads this document, one could have -- I'm using the conditional
10 tense here. I do not have any opinion. My opinion will be made up after
11 deliberations, and that will happen several months from now. So I'm just
12 looking at the various streams of information and thinking here.
13 So when I go through this document, I do not have the feeling
14 that there is a large-scale offensive from the one side or the other.
15 And if there was an HVO offensive targeting the ABiH, I would not
16 understand why, in paragraph 2, we talk about the Serbs, because the main
17 side would be HVO and ABiH, and the Serbs would be in secondary position.
18 But in this report at 2000 hours, we are talking about the Serbs, and
19 this is what I find puzzling, because I have a feeling that there is a
20 general report on a typical situation on the 9th of May, there is some
21 fighting, and it is quite a difficult situation because there are some
22 killed and wounded, but at the same time it doesn't seem that it is very
24 So according to you, what does this report mean, in the military
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I've already said that
2 in the afternoon hours the situation was calming and that the warring
3 parties were at their -- at the positions from which they had set out,
4 and this is a chronology of events until 2000 hours. Here you can also
5 find certain locations, such as crossing the Rondo, which is a part of
6 Mostar which is to the west of that line, then the area of Celovina.
7 That's a part of town in Mostar, too. Then the Partisan Cinema, then the
8 Ricina Street, the former Santiceva, et cetera, the other locations. And
9 then it reads that the attack at Hum was prevented. So there were some
10 attacks, but they couldn't really jeopardise the western part of Mostar.
11 They were really attempts to enter our territory further, but they didn't
12 come -- they didn't come far.
13 Then when you read the location -- the list of locations, the
14 Ruza Hotel, the Brankovac, et cetera, if we had a map, I could show you
15 the area around the central part. And there was, let's call it, the
16 separation line which was established in April, the Bulevar, the
17 Santiceva Street, and, I believe, Tito's Bridge.
18 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] General Petkovic, there's
19 something that I'm quite concerned with for almost four years, ever since
20 we started this trial. It's the capture of the Vranica building. If
21 this building was captured as alleged in the indictment and the
22 Prosecution's pre-trial brief, i.e., within an offensive of the HVO,
23 well, when looking at the problem we've seen videos of the building,
24 we've seen blueprints, maps. I'm really wondering whether this is the
25 correct thing to do, militarily-wise. On May 7th and 8th, everything is
1 quiet, obviously; some are even absent; General Praljak wasn't even
2 there; Mr. Prlic was somewhere else; you're in Split; and so forth and so
3 on. Still, I wonder the following: If this building must absolutely be
4 captured, can it be captured at night with specialists? You know, you
5 had a number of these specialists in store, and when everybody's
6 sleeping, have a targeted attack, a blitz attack, very fast, very
7 professional, and that way you capture the building of the BH Army
8 without shedding blood, or hardly without any fighting. So
9 militarily-wise, was it absolutely impossible to capture the HQ of the
10 BH Army within a blitz commando action at night, without having to
11 unleash all these troops?
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honours, it wasn't the HVO's
13 intention then to take the ABiH Command and say, Mission accomplished.
14 That wasn't our assignment. Based on how it was presented to me, it all
15 started with the intention to take the northern camp.
16 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I follow you, General, I follow
17 you, but let's assume one thing. Let's assume that the HVO did intend to
18 do so. Let's assume that the HVO had the intention of capturing the HQ
19 of the BH Army, I would like to know whether technically you could have
20 done this with a blitz attack, a commando attack, given the fact that
21 there were only a few soldiers. I'm sure at 3.00 in the morning, more
22 than half of them would be sleeping, and maybe one would be reading a
23 newspaper, and that's it. Technically, was it possible to do it that
24 way, given the layout of all this and given that the HQ was in
25 West Mostar?
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honours, if there had been
2 considerations to take that building, well, that would have been an
3 option, but there were no considerations to take the building in the
4 night between the 8th and the 9th and resolve the problem of that
5 building in Western Mostar, because, finally, it wasn't really a problem
6 for us. But given the overall situation and considering all events, it
7 was a military problem because of the forces that were coming across the
8 Bulevar. And based on the information I had, this building was defended
9 by some 30-odd soldiers in the lower parts of the building, because that
10 building was -- that part was dug in the ground, and there were snipers
11 at the upper storeys, so that the HVO couldn't access the building. The
12 HVO was removed from the building, trying to shoot at the windows and
13 other openings from which they were firing, and they only surrendered
14 once they had run out of ammunition. If they had had more ammunition,
15 the fighting would have been longer because the entire Vranica building
16 was not being attacked. It was the place where the corps command and the
17 command of the 41st Brigade was. They defended it with some 30-odd
18 soldiers in the basement and on the upper storeys, and there were snipers
19 at the top of that building and surrounding buildings, so it was
20 impossible to access the building; only when we overheard their radio
21 communication that they were running out of ammunition and requesting
22 reinforcements. So there was fighting from a distance. The HVO couldn't
23 access the building to say, Try and throw a hand-grenade inside, or
24 perhaps a tear gas grenade. The HVO returned fire at positions from
25 which they were being shot at - balconies, basements, what have you -
1 because we couldn't get near.
2 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. It's time for our
3 break, it's a quarter to 6.00, so we'll break for 20 minutes.
4 --- Recess taken at 5.49 p.m.
5 --- On resuming at 6.11 p.m.
6 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] The court is back in session.
7 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, a technical matter.
8 We have printed out all the documents, Judge Antonetti, that you
9 prepared for General Petkovic's examination, so I'd now like to hand over
10 the documents or, rather, later on, because I think it will be useful for
11 the general to read through the documents and to be able to have his
12 answers ready to your questions, not to have to waste time on reading the
13 documents. So if you agree, I would like to thank you.
14 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. As far as I'm
15 concerned, I have my own binder with all the documents, but you can give
16 your client the list with the documents. I'm sure he has them all, also,
17 and he's had them for some time. But it's true that it would be simpler
18 and will save time. These are all documents that have already been
20 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] I take it, then, that I have
21 permission to hand this binder to the general. Thank you.
22 And as I was criticised during the break by our interpreters, I'd
23 like to use this opportunity, in open session, to apologise to the
24 interpreters for speaking so quickly, and also, General, because we don't
25 seem to be making a pause between question and answer. So let's try and
1 do that now and take into account our interpreters.
2 Q. Anyway, General, we were discussing the 10th of May, and you said
3 that at 10.00 you went to see Mate Boban in Grude, so let's look at the
4 next two documents on that. They are 4D456 and 4D457.
5 Tell us, please, General, do these two documents have anything to
6 do with your stay with Mate Boban in Grude on that day, the 10th of May?
7 A. Yes, Your Honours, they are connected to that. I helped
8 Mr. Boban in compiling this document and in dovetailing it with the other
9 side, that is to say, with Mr. Izetbegovic. So when you look, you'll see
10 that the two documents are almost identical.
11 Q. Let's look at Izetbegovic's order. In point 3, he says that he's
12 going to ask the BH UNPROFOR Command to offer its good services to hold a
13 meeting between you and Sefer Halilovic. Their good offices. Was that
14 meeting actually organised?
15 A. Yes, Your Honours, the meeting was indeed organised, and
16 Mr. Izetbegovic really did take on the responsibility of contacting
17 General Morillon and organising my departure to Kiseljak.
18 Q. Tell us, please, General, when did you, in fact, leave for
20 A. I left on the 10th, sometime around 1730 hours. The helicopter
21 landed at the UNHCR base near Metkovici, and I was taken by helicopter to
23 Q. Let's look at the next document, which is P2461.
24 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Ms. Alaburic, I have a question
25 just out of curiosity.
1 The two documents, 4D456 and 4D457, are these documents that you
2 obtained, yourself, or are these documents that were disclosed by the
3 Prosecutor under Rule 66 and 68?
4 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I cannot, of course,
5 remember each individual document. But looking at the fact that there is
6 not an ERN number here, then I conclude that we procured the documents
7 and didn't receive them through the OTP.
8 Q. General, the next document, which is under seal, we won't be
9 mentioning the author of the document in that case. Anyway, General, in
10 this document -- well, it's a confidential document, that's its status,
11 and under point 3 it says that on the 11th, in Kiseljak, there was a
12 meeting between Halilovic and Petkovic, and that they had decided to tour
13 the town of Mostar together, and that you and Mr. Halilovic were escorted
14 by General Morillon and other international representatives. And then --
15 well, tell us, was it on the 11th of May that you had a meeting with
16 Halilovic in Kiseljak?
17 A. Yes, Your Honours, that is correct. On the 11th of May, we did
18 meet in Kiseljak, and General Morillon was present, along with the other
19 representatives of the international community.
20 Q. Tell us, please, General, is it true and correct, as it says,
21 that on that day, the 11th of May, at 1830 hours, you left Kiseljak
22 together with General Morillon? You and Sefer Halilovic set out towards
23 Mostar; is that correct?
24 A. Yes, Your Honours, the information is correct. And I'd like to
25 add to that that Mr. Benabou was with us as well. As far as I remember,
1 Mr. Benabou flew in from Kiseljak with us to Metkovic, and then we went
2 towards Medjugorje.
3 Q. Tell us, please, General, when did you land in Herzegovina and
4 where did you go after that?
5 A. We did not land in Herzegovina. We landed on Croatian territory,
6 the border belt close to the town of Metkovic, which is where the UNHCR
7 had its base, and that's where the helicopters landed generally when they
8 were flying between Kiseljak and Metkovic. And from there, Halilovic and
9 I were transported in an APC
10 journey towards Medjugorje.
11 Q. Tell us, please, General, that evening, that is to say, the 11th
12 of May, were you in Grude?
13 A. Yes. General Morillon asked if possible for a brief meeting with
14 Mr. Boban, and from Medjugorje I called Mr. Boban's office. And
15 Mr. Boban received General Morillon straight away, who left for Grude to
16 talk to him.
17 Q. Tell us, please, that evening did you have another meeting with
18 Halilovic or not? Did you meet Halilovic again?
19 A. I returned with General Morillon to Medjugorje, and I met
20 Mr. Halilovic briefly. He didn't want to discuss anything before the
21 next day and asked to stay there for the night and talk to Mr. Pasalic.
22 Q. Tell us, please, General, how come Arif Pasalic was in this group
23 of people?
24 A. Your Honours, when we were on the move from Metkovic towards
25 Medjugorje, in the border belt in Bosnia-Herzegovina there's a place
1 called Dracevo, and that's where there was a base for transport or a
2 reinforcement unit to SpaBat. So he we stopped there for a while - I
3 don't know why we stopped - and two minutes later the column continued on
4 its way towards Metkovic.
5 Q. Tell us, please, General, was that on the return from Kiseljak on
6 the 11th of May, in the evening?
7 A. Yes, that was the return journey from Kiseljak. We flew by
8 helicopter, and then at the place where the helicopter landed we
9 transferred to an UNPROFOR vehicle and went on our way to their base --
10 to Medjugorje. And along the way, at Dracevo, we spent a few minutes
11 there. I didn't know why we stopped off there until I reached
13 Q. And what did you see in Medjugorje?
14 A. Your Honours, Mr. Halilovic and I were getting out of the APC,
15 and then we saw an APC
16 coming out of that APC
17 stopped off by Dracevo. They must have joined us at that point.
18 Q. Tell us, please, General, did you learn anything about how
19 come Pasalic and Filipovic were at Dracevo in the first place?
20 A. Your Honours, that was rather a busy evening at the UNPROFOR
21 place, especially on Mr. Halilovic's part. Well, he learnt that Pasalic
22 had come from Jablanica, through East Mostar, and ended up in Dracevo.
23 Q. Tell me, Halilovic, or anybody else on the Muslim side, did he
24 complain to you at all or to anybody else in the HVO with respect to
25 Mr. Pasalic's being in Dracevo?
1 A. No, we weren't transporting Halilovic for him to complain -- or,
2 rather, Pasalic.
3 Q. Now a question about the 11th of May. General, I assume you
4 remember General Praljak, during his testimony, mentioning a meeting on
5 that same day to discuss whether the HVO should leave Mostar or not. Do
6 you remember that part of General Praljak's testimony?
7 A. Yes, Your Honours, I do remember that part of the testimony.
8 Q. Tell us, please, General, did you know about the meeting?
9 A. No, I did not. I could not have known about it.
10 Q. Tell us, General, after the meeting did anybody inform you of the
12 A. Well, I learnt about the meeting, about what General Praljak
13 presented here, I learnt about that on the 13th or 14th. That's when the
14 stories began going around about what happened during that meeting.
15 Q. You mean the incident that General Praljak described?
16 A. Yes, that's right, and I don't want to speak further of the
18 Q. Now, let's move on to the next day, the 12th of May. Where were
19 you, General, on that day, what were you doing?
20 A. Your Honours, on the 12th of May, from 8.00 onwards, I was at the
21 base in Medjugorje of SpaBat together with Mr. Halilovic and UNPROFOR
22 representatives. We were working on the finalisation of a joint
24 Q. Now, General, let's look at document P2344, and tell us, please,
25 is that the agreement that you and Halilovic reached in the presence of
1 General Morillon and Mr. Thebault? Is that the one you signed on the
2 12th of May?
3 A. Yes, Your Honours, that is the agreement.
4 Q. Tell us, please, General, was that the operationalisation of the
5 agreement that Mate Boban and Alija Izetbegovic had reached on the 10th
6 of May?
7 A. Yes, and that's why we were sent for talks to Kiseljak. But in
8 Kiseljak, we didn't manage to reach an agreement about all the details,
9 and General Morillon suggested that the best thing would be for us to go
10 to Herzegovina and Medjugorje straight away. And that's why the meeting
11 in Kiseljak was interrupted and we returned to Herzegovina.
12 Q. General, I'm now going to ask you to give us an explanation with
13 respect to that agreement.
14 In Article 1 of the agreement, it says what the civilian police
15 should do, the tasks of the civilian police. In Article 4 of the
16 agreement, Article 4 deals with the release of prisoners and the exchange
17 of prisoners of war. Article 5 deals with the return of displaced
18 persons, the return to their homes of displaced persons.
19 General, can you explain to us how you, as the chief of the
20 Main Staff of the HVO, came to sign an agreement which has to do with the
21 civilian police, exchanges of prisoners, the release of civilians, and
22 the return of displaced persons?
23 A. Well, the reason for that is a simple one. All these matters
24 were put before General Morillon as subjects for discussion, and for my
25 part, on the part of the HVO, I had the authority to sign an agreement on
1 behalf of the HVO, regardless of which segments of the agreement were
2 being dealt with. Similarly, Mr. Halilovic, for his part, had this
3 authority. And the commander of UNPROFOR, himself, did not like to have
4 large delegations and mixed delegations to negotiate with. What he
5 wanted was to have a person come in who would be able to sign the
6 agreement at the highest level and that it would be binding on the part
7 of all those mentioned and all those who appeared, and that's how these
8 agreements were signed.
9 Q. Tell us, please, General, as far as the implementation of the
10 agreement was concerned, the section relating to the civilian police, the
11 exchange of prisoners, the release of civilians, the return of displaced
12 persons, did you, as the chief of the Main Staff, and the Main Staff in
13 general, play a role there, or were these affairs dealt with by the
14 competent authorities and organs for the individual areas?
15 A. Well, these questions were delegated to those who were -- whose
16 job it was to become acquainted with the agreement and to implement it
18 Q. Tell us, please, General, would you single out a day in May 1993
19 as being the day when the situation in Mostar calmed down?
20 A. Well, we could say that after this agreement and after the
21 establishment of communications between the 4th Corps and the operative
22 zone -- and Halilovic came to Mostar on the 13th, and then -- or on the
23 14th, to show our goodwill, we organised convoys of humanitarian aid from
24 one side to another, and both of us turned up in Mostar with everybody
25 else. And that's when the situation changed significantly.
1 Q. Tell us, General, did you have information about the release of
2 civilians who were evacuated to the Heliodrom?
3 A. I had information that as soon as this order entered into force,
4 individual groups were being released depending on the security of the
5 facilities to which -- or, rather, the buildings to which they were
6 returning. I believe it was on the 19th of May when all civilians were
7 released and returned, always referring to 1993.
8 Q. In accordance with information that was at your disposal, how
9 would you assess the situation in and around Mostar until the end of
10 June 1993?
11 A. That situation, well, it had its ups and downs. It could happen
12 sometimes that there was brief fighting in an area. There could also be
13 provocations. But in spite of all that, I would say that the situation
14 was under control throughout that time, although there were some
15 indications that the ABiH would try to attack the wider area of Mostar
16 from the north.
17 I would like to mention that the communication between the
18 operative zone and the corps was rather good, although there were
19 interruptions, and I would say the situation was under control.
20 Q. If you would have to characterise the situation in a word or two,
21 what would you say?
22 A. Well, the situation was almost stable, with sporadic incidents.
23 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, we are now done with
24 the 9th of May in Mostar, should you have any questions.
25 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] General Petkovic, I've been
1 dying to ask a question for the last four years on this document, P2344,
2 because I believe that it is an important document. Since you are one of
3 the four signatories, perhaps you could answer some of my questions.
4 First of all, this document was drafted by Ambassador Thebault
5 and General Morillon, or was it drafted by you and General Halilovic?
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honours, the document was
7 drafted by the operative staff of the SpaBat, and they would show it to
8 us to be able to make comments or remarks. After the proposals by
9 Mr. Morillon and Mr. Thebault and our amendments, they drafted the final
11 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you. You're giving us
12 information that I was not aware of. You're saying that it was drafted
13 by the operative staff of the SpaBat, who drafted this document, and this
14 document was presented to yourself and to General Halilovic. So if I
15 understand correctly, you have not drafted the various articles of this
16 document. There are six articles in this document. It is someone from
17 the Spanish Battalion; is that what you're saying?
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honours, we discussed every
19 article, and then the operative staff of the SpaBat drafted the final
20 version. You can tell, by the style of this document, that it doesn't
21 really match the style Halilovic and I used, which was the JNA style. It
22 was very brief and concise, whereas our style was more --
23 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you. The officer from
24 the Spanish Battalion, I was wondering whether he was conversant in three
25 languages, namely, Spanish, his native tongue, English, as well as B/C/S,
1 because both documents are signed in English and in your language, but
2 not in Spanish.
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honours, the SpaBat had four
4 or five translators who spoke excellent English and excellent Spanish,
5 translators or interpreters, so there was communication in English, and
6 General Morillon and Mr. Thebault understood that, and there was
7 communication in Spanish, which of course the Spanish would understand,
8 and that was interpreted into a language Mr. Halilovic and I understood.
9 So there was interpretation; not of the type that's used here, but
11 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I was wondering whether
12 yourself, within the HVO, you had a legal expert who oversaw this
13 document, or did you trust the officer from the Spanish Battalion, as
14 well as General Morillon and Mr. Thebault and Mr. Halilovic? Did you
15 have someone going through this document from a legal point of view?
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I'm not receiving interpretation,
17 Your Honour.
18 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I'm going to ask the question
19 again. Do you hear me?
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Now I can hear you.
21 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I was wondering,
22 General Petkovic, whether before you signed the document, you got some
23 advice from a legal expert from the Main Staff or advice from a legal
24 expert from -- a Croat legal expert as to the implications of this
25 document, or did you entirely trust the Spaniards, as well as
1 General Morillon, and Ambassador Thebault, and General Halilovic?
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honours, we didn't have any
3 advisers. There were only the two of us, and we accepted what was put on
4 paper. Of course, we made some corrections.
5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. I'm asking you this
6 question because of Article 4. It says that both parties agree to the
7 immediate release of all civilian detainees, without any conditions, and
8 to be fully completed on the 13th of May, 1993. I was wondering whether
9 you understood, by signing this document, that the signatories
10 acknowledged that civilians were detained, or did you not really realise
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honours, at that time we
13 didn't understand it the same way it is understood today. We knew that
14 people were being taken away and put up someplace else, but we didn't see
15 them as prisoners or detainees. But there were also other aspects.
16 General Halilovic demanded that it be phrased in the document in this
17 very manner, and then a big discussion ensued, whereas I demanded that it
18 be phrased differently. But then both of us accepted what they put on
19 paper, and that was the procedure.
20 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] The two French nationals who
21 were there, and I hope that they had some legal knowledge, because you do
22 not become a general without knowing a bit about the law, those two
23 people were a witness, and they signed. And this puzzles me greatly, but
24 they signed. Did they not say anything about Article 4? Did it seem
25 perfectly normal to them?
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, Your Honours. The article was
2 put to us in this form, and all four of us signed it, and we immediately
3 launched the implementation to the extent possible. Quite frankly,
4 nobody gave great consideration to any individual phrase in this
5 agreement, because we had no such expert in our ranks.
6 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. I was wondering who
7 looked for the various references in the preamble. It talks about the
8 12th of August, 1949. It talks about the Additional Protocol to the
9 Geneva Conventions, and so on and so forth. I was wondering who did the
10 research to find all those documents, because whoever drafted this
11 document had some legal knowledge, to say the least.
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honours, that is precisely why
13 I'm saying that this was done by the members of the international forces,
14 because, in principle, all their documents that we signed began or had an
15 introduction like this.
16 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. You said earlier
17 on, but -- I don't really speak your language, but for a few words, and I
18 can't really tell the difference, but you said that there were
19 differences between the B/C/S version and the English version. When you
20 said that, I assumed that you had something in mind. So which
21 differences were you talking about?
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I cannot compare the translation
23 with the English version, which was considered official. I accepted the
24 translation as it was, without really knowing what the official version
25 was, and that was the English language version.
1 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Well, I'm surprised. You say
2 that the official version was the English version. I did not see
3 anything to that effect. We have two documents signed by four people,
4 and they seem to carry the same weight. So why are you saying that the
5 English version was the official one?
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, we signed both the
7 English version and the Croatian or Bosnian version. We signed both
8 linguistic versions, and we took the version that we understood with us,
9 whereas the internationals took the English version, so that actually we
10 put our signatures on two original documents.
11 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] In the English version, I do
12 not see the header, because it's not very well printed. It says:
13 "Concluded between General Petkovic and General Halilovic."
14 But in the English version, I do not see what is on top. Could
15 you perhaps tell me what it says in the header? It starts with:
16 "Sporazumme" in the B/C/S version.
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] "Agreement about the cessation of
18 hostilities in Bosnia-Herzegovina, concluded between
19 General Milivoj Petkovic and General Sefer Halilovic, on the 12th of May,
20 1993, in the presence of Lieutenant General Philippe Morillon and
21 Ambassador Jean-Pierre Thebault."
22 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you for this
23 contribution, because in the English version I could not read the
25 One last question in this document, and I will not come back to
1 this because we will have discussed it at length. I was wondering why
2 the drafters of this document did not mention that you were chief of
3 staff of the HVO, and why did it not mention that Mr. Halilovic had a
4 certain function or role? Was doesn't it say "Republic of
5 Bosnia-Herzegovina"? Why does it say "Territory of Bosnia-Herzegovina,"
6 and so on and so forth? I could spend a lot of time asking you all these
7 various points. So I was wondering why there was no explicit wording
8 stating that it was an agreement signed within the Republic of
9 Bosnia-Herzegovina between two military authorities, yourself and
10 General Halilovic, while, in fact, there is your name, but, in a way, we
11 don't really know who you are, and we don't know whether you are from the
12 ABiH or from the HVO. Someone who discovered this document for the first
13 time would not really know who you are. So do you think that this was
14 done on purpose, or do you think that it was drafted very quickly?
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Judge Antonetti, Your Honour, I
16 don't think that that was done on purpose, to leave out anything, or
17 anything like that, because the creator of the introductory part of the
18 document wrote it that way. We saw that it was an agreement on the
19 cessation of hostilities. We saw our names mentioned, Halilovic and I,
20 and we saw who else was present, and we just went ahead and signed the
22 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you. One last question,
23 final question.
24 This document seems to mention very clearly the Vance-Owen Plan,
25 because it is mentioned in the document in Article 1. I was wondering
1 why it was not mentioned in this document that it would be c.c.'d to
2 Mr. Vance, Lord Owen, and so on and so forth. Why do you think it was
3 not necessary to c.c. that or to have this sort of mention? Do you think
4 that there is some sort of a reason? Or perhaps there is no reason, I
5 don't know.
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Judge Antonetti Your Honour,
7 I think that the UNPROFOR command sent on a regular basis reports of this
8 kind or agreements of this kind to Lord Owen. They forwarded it to him;
9 and his military adviser, Brigadier Wilson, would take over these
10 agreements. All agreements signed in Bosnia-Herzegovina would end up in
11 Mr. Owen's office, in the Vance-Owen office, regardless of the fact that
12 it didn't specifically say so here, because they were, of course, very
13 interested in calming the situation down in Bosnia-Herzegovina.
14 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you.
15 You have 10 minutes before the end of the session.
16 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I'd first of all like
17 to put the transcript right. On page 79, line 21, the verb "to leave"
18 was recorded, whereas I used the verb "to attack." It was about the
19 meeting of the 11th of May that General Praljak testified about, so to
20 avoid misunderstanding in my interpretation of that.
21 Now, our next area is the 30th of June, 1993, Your Honours, a key
22 area in this trial which marks the beginning of total war, the isolation
23 of Muslim soldiers of the HVO, and the arrest of military-able men of
24 Muslim ethnicity. I think it would be more useful if we were to broach
25 the topic tomorrow, to deal with it tomorrow. But if you wish me to
1 start this evening, I'll do my best to organise myself accordingly.
2 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] You are fully right. And, in
3 fact, given that the clock is slightly behind - it's actually much later
4 than it says on the clock - just in order to give us food for thought
5 over night, General Petkovic, I was wondering whether you agreed with
6 what Ms. Alaburic said; namely, that as far as she's concerned - but I'm
7 sure it's the same for you, and this will be noted in the transcript -
8 the 30th of June, 1993, is the most important date.
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honour, I do agree with
11 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. So you agree with
12 what she said.
13 I don't quite know how long Ms. Alaburic took. The Registrar
14 will tell us that tomorrow, but for once we are not in a rush.
15 [Trial Chamber and registrar confer]
16 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] So you probably have less than
17 two hours.
18 So we are done for the day, and we will resume tomorrow at 2.15.
19 And I wish everyone a very good evening.
20 [The accused stands down]
21 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 6.56 p.m.,
22 to be reconvened on Wednesday, the 17th day of
23 February, 2010, at 2.15 p.m.