1 Monday, 22 February 2010
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 [The accused Petkovic takes the stand]
5 --- Upon commencing at 2.16 p.m.
6 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Could the Registrar please call
7 the case number.
8 THE REGISTRAR: Good afternoon, Your Honours. Good afternoon,
9 everyone in and around the courtroom.
10 This is case number IT-04-74-T, the Prosecutor versus Prlic
11 et al. Thank you, Your Honours.
12 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you.
13 Today, on this Monday, I would like to first of all greet
14 General Petkovic, who is our witness this week, and will be our witness
15 over the following weeks. I would like to greet the accused as well, the
16 Defence teams, Mr. Scott and all his colleagues and assistants, and I
17 would also like to greet everyone else assisting us.
18 First of all, I would like to provide you with a piece of
19 information of an administrative nature that concerns April, the month of
21 First of all, as I have already said, there will be no hearing on
22 Monday, the 19th of April; on Tuesday, the 20th; on Wednesday, the 21st
23 of April; and on Thursday, the 22nd of April.
24 In addition, the Chamber has taken into account Mr. Karnavas'
25 intervention last time, and we have also taken into account the comments
1 that Mr. Scott made. And, therefore, the Chamber has also decided that
2 on Tuesday, the 6th of April, and Wednesday, the 7th of April, no
3 hearings will be held. So the 6th and 7th of April. And this means that
4 the Coric Defence should schedule its witness in accordance with these
5 decisions. They should take these dates into account when compiling
6 their schedule. We will resume on the 8th of April, for example, and on
7 the 8th of April you could call a witness, who will witness on that day.
8 It's for you to see. I know this is an extremely complicated exercise,
9 calling witnesses is a complicated exercise, but it's best to be aware of
10 these facts in advance. That's what I wanted to inform you of.
11 General Petkovic, I am now going to continue putting my questions
12 to you. Last week, I said that I would deal with the issue of a criminal
14 WITNESS: MILIVOJ PETKOVIC [Resumed]
15 [The witness answered through interpreter]
16 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes, General Petkovic. Is
17 there something you wanted to say? You raised your hand.
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honour Antonetti. With
19 your leave, I'd like a minute to add certain things to what I said the
20 previous day. I think it's very important. So with your leave, before
21 you continue, I'd like to add a few things.
22 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Please go ahead.
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Judge Antonetti, this has to do
24 with the subject of my testimony on the first two cases. I would like to
25 inform you of the fact that as a witness of the Chamber, it was my duty
1 to fill in a form, state the conditions, and provide the Chamber with
2 information. The Chamber would answer the request and say they accept
3 this, and then they would set a date for my testimony. That's all I
4 wanted to say.
5 In one case, in accordance with the law and the Court's
6 regulations, I personally had to inform the Chamber of certain things. I
7 did that in both cases, and I think that these documents form part of the
9 That's all I wanted to do say. We can now proceed.
10 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. With regard to what
11 we said last week, there are two follow-up questions I would like to put
12 to you before I deal with the issue of joint criminal enterprise.
13 Questioned by the Court: [Continued]
14 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] First of all, General Petkovic,
15 I would like to know whether at any point in time --
16 MS. TOMANOVIC: We don't have translation, Judge.
17 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I'll start again.
18 General Petkovic, can you hear me?
19 A. Yes.
20 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. It's strange,
21 because whenever I want to put an important question, we have an
22 interpretation problem. It's quite extraordinary.
23 So listen to my question carefully. I would like to know,
24 General Petkovic, before the indictment was drawn up by this Tribunal,
25 had you been interviewed by the OTP or not?
1 A. No, Your Honour, no one interviewed me.
2 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Which means that when you came
3 to testify in the Blaskic case, no one had put questions of any kind to
5 A. I don't know which questions you have in mind. The questions put
6 by the Chamber, the Prosecution, and the Defence, and afterwards no other
7 questions were put to me.
8 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] No. What I wanted to say is
9 that before you came to testify in the Blaskic case, the OTP hadn't
10 established contact with you.
11 A. That's correct, they hadn't established contact with me.
12 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. Over the weekend, I
13 thought about putting the following question to you. We know that you
14 were a member of three armies, the JNA, the Croatian Army, and the HVO.
15 We know that for sure. And perhaps you were also a member of the ABiH
16 army, but we'll see about that in the judgement. What I'd like to know,
17 as you were a member of these various armies, did you find any
18 differences between these various armies? And if so, what kind of
20 For example, I was in a certain functioning within a legal system
21 of a certain kind. When I came here, I noted that there were certain
22 differences. In my system, for example, I had the impression that we
23 were a lot more rigorous. And, secondly, in my system the other judges
24 don't put questions. It's only the presiding judge who puts questions.
25 So those are two main differences. When I came here, I noted that the
1 system was different. So what I would like to know is whether you,
2 yourself, when you moved from the JNA and joined the Croatian Army and
3 then the HVO, did you notice any differences? And if so, what kind of
5 A. Yes, Your Honours, there were differences. The JNA was an
6 institution that had been formed throughout the war. It established a
7 structure of its own. It had a certain continuity. It had its officers,
8 non-commissioned officers. It had a system for operative deployment
9 which had been developed. That was for the entire JNA. There was a
10 system of territorial defence, and everyone else included in this, and in
11 a certain system one knew exactly who the commander was of the
12 1st Detachment, for example, of the 3rd Company, of the 1st Battalion in
13 a certain partisan brigade. He knew it, his family knew it, and so on
14 and so forth. So it was a very organised system that had been developed.
15 For many years, people knew each other, and it had a basis of its own.
16 I'd also like to add, however, that when the war broke out in
17 that area and when that system -- when that structure started losing
18 certain members, Slovenians, Croats, and later Muslims, Bosniaks, it had
19 certain organisational problems and problems of different kinds. When a
20 certain structure or system starts losing a certain number of members,
21 it's hard to bring it back up to strength. But, nevertheless, it was a
22 system from the lowest unit up until a state which was completely
23 integrated; it had its developed plans, plans that had been fully
24 developed. Whereas, on the other hand, the Croatian Army couldn't
25 structure itself while Croatia
1 territorial defence. Croatia
2 was strongest and best-equipped territorial defences in the former
3 republics. However, that system was a system it lost in its entirety.
4 Not a single brigade, as far as I know, or reserve brigade or territorial
5 brigade from that time, not a single such brigade remained as a whole
6 within the Croatian Army, as part of the Croatian Army. All of them,
7 with some of the men and with all the equipment, were moved to the JNA
8 side. And that's what happened in Bosnia-Herzegovina, too, when the
9 Territorial Defence of Bosnia
10 So the Croatian Army, and later the HVO and then the BiH -- well,
11 combat had already started. The JNA had already taken its positions, and
12 they had to gather men, organise themselves, although they had no
13 developed commands or staffs. They had to decide who would command whom,
14 and when. So one went to war without having any sort of a system. One
15 went to war against an army that had developed its structure over many
17 So the differences were enormous. In the JNA, you knew that if a
18 brigade consists of 2.500 men, then it will be there throughout the war.
19 Perhaps it will be brought up to strength, 30 per cent will be
20 reinforced. But in the HVO, the Croatian Army and the ABiH knew their
21 system of working was brought in. To maintain a brigade of 3.000 -- or
22 2.000 men, you had to mobilise 10.000 men over a three-month period,
23 because had you to take into account the social dimension, you had to
24 take into account the fact that people couldn't be separated from their
25 families for a very long time. They had to remain in contact with their
1 way the life, so such were the conditions. The differences were great;
2 you can't compare the JNA, which was an organised army at the time, with
3 the armies that were being formed. The Croatian Army became developed in
4 front -- just before the Operations Storm and the other operation. The
5 Croatian Army had a stage when, in 1992, UNPROFOR came, and also the
6 forces were minimal at the time at the UNPROFOR lines, the lines
7 separated by UNPROFOR, and the other forces could train. And that's how
8 the Croatian Guards Brigades were formed, and later they demonstrated
9 that they were stronger than the JNA brigades and the brigades of the
10 Army of Republika Srpska or the brigades of the Bosnian Serbs.
11 The HVO and the ABiH didn't have a single day to rest in order to
12 gather formed units and work with them and train them, so that was the
13 difference. It was a significant difference, if you're familiar with
14 military structure. So the Croatian Army started to develop before the
15 two operations, Flash and Storm.
16 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] With your leave, Your Honour, I'd
17 like to correct the transcript. Page 7, line 3, it says that the general
18 said that the Croatian Army became a developed army just before the
19 Operations Flash and Storm. It hasn't been correctly transcribed.
20 I think it's important, because it was in 1995. So we want to know which
21 operations he had in mind.
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, that's quite correct.
23 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you for that answer,
24 which will help us to take into account these differences.
25 One last question before I deal with the joint criminal
1 enterprise issue.
2 Last week, you provided us with details of the dates when you
3 were in Geneva
4 times. I don't have the transcript before me, however. I would like to
5 know where the conference was being held. Was it in a hotel, or was it
6 in the International Geneva Conference Centre, or was it somewhere else?
7 A. Your Honours, it was in the facilities of the International --
8 well, I don't know if these facilities are UN facilities. It was in the
9 centre, as you called it. It was a fairly large complex a few minutes
10 from Hotel International or Inter-Continental, whatever it is. I thought
11 it was a complex that belonged to the UN or something like that. So
12 that's where the conference was held. It wasn't held in a hotel.
13 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. Were all the
14 delegations staying in the same hotel, or did they stay in different
16 A. No, Your Honours. It depended on the reservations one managed to
17 make. I was in the Hotel International on the first occasion and then I
18 spent time in some other mid-range hotels in the vicinity. Well, you
19 know, in Geneva
20 occasion you'd be in one hotel, on another occasion in another hotel, but
21 the delegations weren't always in the same place.
22 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. The delegation led
23 by Mate Boban, was that delegation in a hotel on its own, or were you
24 there together with a delegation from the Republic of Bosnia
1 A. Your Honour, the first time when I went there, I was in that
2 hotel. I think we were on the 13th floor; myself, Mr. Boban,
3 Bila Mandzic, and two others who accompanied Mate Boban. On the second
4 occasion, I was there, Mr. Mandzic and another professor from Sarajevo
5 There was no place there, and it was also expensive, you know, so I don't
6 really remember the name, but there was a small hotel perhaps 15 minutes
7 away from the hotel we had previously stayed in, on foot, that's where we
8 stayed. I don't know whether there's a hotel called Hotel President or
9 something like that. Mr. Izetbegovic would sometimes be there. The
10 Serbs were also there on one or two occasions -- or, rather, in the
11 Hotel International. On the second occasion, I don't know where they
12 stayed. And if we stayed in Hotel International, then there were two or
13 three floors that separated the delegations, and there was security that
14 was present. They were in civilian clothing. There was security for
15 each delegation present there.
16 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] And now for my last question.
17 When you would meet with the delegations, was there a little flag on the
18 desk, or no flag, just the names saying "The Republic of
19 Bosnia-Herzegovina," "Croatian Defence Council," and so on and so forth?
20 A. Judge Antonetti, these were plenary sessions. The only
21 information provided concerned the identity of the people sitting at
22 certain places. There was the delegation from Yugoslavia at the first
23 table. Then there was the delegation from Croatia. And then we, from
24 the HVO, were there. Next to me there was Mr. Izetbegovic's delegation.
25 So we were sitting in a circular fashion. Representatives were in front
1 of us, and no one had flags or signs of any kind in front of them.
2 I think that all we had were names in front of each individual.
3 Sometimes we would go to the chairman's office. He would call
4 the delegation to talk about constitutional principles or maps. The
5 discussion would last for an hour or two, and then a second delegation
6 would go there, and during that time others would remain in some other
7 office, a small office. That's where they would wait.
8 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] General Petkovic, I'm putting a
9 very technical question to you. I, myself, participated in such
10 international conferences, and I know how things can proceed. I'll
11 conclude with a minor technical detail.
12 Did you have a badge on you that allowed you freedom of movement,
13 or were there no badges for anyone?
14 A. Your Honours, we didn't have any badges, signs of any kind, but
15 we were told in which areas we could move around in. As far as I can
16 remember, the halls where plenary sessions were held and about
17 ten officers were concerned, there was a large hall and beyond those
18 premises it wasn't possible to go, no one could go anywhere else. There
19 were sandwiches, there were drinks that were provided. One could help
20 oneself to these things. And we'd stay there until 4.00, 5.00, or 6.00
21 in the afternoon, but no one could go out and walk around in other areas
22 of that complex.
23 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] When the president of the
24 conference addressed you, Mate Boban, President Izetbegovic, Karadzic - I
25 assume he was there too - what would he say? Would he say, Mr. Boban, or
1 would he also add the title of the person he was addressing and his
3 A. Your Honours, as far as I can remember, as far as I can remember,
4 it was just "Mr.," and the name of the person he was addressing. But
5 I think President Tudjman, Cosic -- once, I think, President Cosic was
6 there, too, Milosevic, and Izetbegovic, he would use the expression
7 "Mr. President." But it depended. Mostly, he would say, Gentlemen, but
8 there was no direct communication. It would be the first delegation
9 would start speaking, and then the next, and after that we would have
10 bilateral contacts. The military section went with General Nambiar to a
11 special room and would continue the discussion there.
12 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. General Petkovic,
13 I'm now going to address the question of joint criminal enterprise
14 appearing in paragraph 15 of the indictment.
15 First of all, I wish to ask you, however, whether you had the
16 totality of the indictment in your own language.
17 A. Yes, Your Honour, I did receive it.
18 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. Did you also have
19 the pre-trial document in your own language?
20 A. Yes, I was informed with the pre-trial brief, through the
21 intermediary of my counsel.
22 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. As you know, as you
23 must have read and re-read this document, you know this, and I will
24 address the same -- I addressed it also to General Praljak, and you will
25 know that the Prosecutor says that from or before the 18th of November,
1 this word "before" is important, 1991 to about April 1994 and thereafter,
2 again an important word, various persons in the [indiscernible]
3 established a joint criminal enterprise and participated in it in order
4 to politically and militarily subjugate the Bosnian Muslims and other
5 known Croats who lived in areas on the territory of the Republic of
6 Bosnia and Herzegovina which were claimed to be part of the Croatian
7 Community, and in brackets "(and later Republic of Herceg-Bosna)," and to
8 permanently remove and to ethnically cleanse these areas, and to rally
9 these in the short term or the long term, within a Greater Croatia,
10 either by annexation to the Republic of Croatia
11 with it, and to do so by force, fear, or threat of force, persecution,
12 imprisonment, and detention, forcible transfer and deportation,
13 appropriation and destruction of property, and other means which
14 constituted or involved the commission of crimes which are punishable
15 under Articles 2, 3, and 5 of the Tribunal's Statute. The joint criminal
16 enterprise had, as its ambition, to establish a Croatian territory with
17 the borders of the Croatian Banovina, a territorial entity that existed
18 from 1939 to 1941. It was part of the joint criminal enterprise to
19 engineer the political and ethnic map of these areas so that they would
20 be Croat-dominated, both politically and demographically. That is what
21 the Prosecutor says with respect to this joint criminal enterprise.
22 What would be your reaction to this?
23 A. My response, Your Honour, is that that is not true, and that it
24 doesn't correspond to the truth, and that the Croats in Bosnia and
1 against anyone in any way. There was no intention on the part of the
2 Croats in Bosnia and Herzegovina to divide or cut up Bosnia
4 intention of preserving Bosnia and Herzegovina, as they supported it as
5 an independent state. Therefore, I reject these statements in the
7 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. The persons who,
8 according to the Prosecutor, participated in this enterprise, I'm going
9 to tell you their name, and then I'm going to ask you about each one of
10 them. The persons are the following: Franjo Tudjman, president of the
11 Republic of Croatia
12 Bosko [as interpreted] Susak, who died on the 3rd of May, 1998;
13 Janko Bobetko, general of the Croatian Army, who died on the 29th of
14 April, 2002; Mate Boban, president of the Croatian Community of
15 Herceg-Bosna and the Republic of Herceg-Bosna, who died in July 1997.
16 These are the people who are dead. Now the living: Jadranko Prlic,
17 Bruno Stojic, Slobodan Praljak, yourself, Valentin Coric, Berislav Pusic,
18 Dario Kordic, Tihomir Blaskic, and Mladen Naletilic.
19 We're going to cover all of them to see whether you knew them.
20 Mr. Tudjman, did you know him? And if so, when did you meet him?
21 A. Your Honours, of course I knew Mr. Tudjman, because I knew that
22 he wanted the elections in the Republic of Croatia
23 started the election campaign, the first elections in the Republic of
25 1993, never before that date. President Tudjman never came to Dalmatia
1 to visit the army there, for me to meet him there. My position in the
2 Croatian Army was such that I didn't go to Zagreb, to the
3 Main Headquarters, nor was I invited in any sense which would enable me
4 to have contact with President Franjo Tudjman. Therefore, my first
5 contact with President Tudjman, when I was close to him, was when we were
6 called by the co-chairman, and this meeting happened on the 2nd of
7 January, 1993, in Geneva
8 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] So if I am understanding you
9 correctly, before the 2nd of January, 1993, you had no conversation with
10 President Tudjman?
11 A. I did not, Your Honours. I didn't have any conversations with
12 him. I didn't have occasion to meet President Tudjman and to be anywhere
13 in his vicinity before that.
14 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Which means that before the 2nd
15 of January, 1993, if President Tudjman had an idea of creating a
16 Greater Croatia
17 1993, because you hadn't seen him before that date?
18 A. Yes, quite so. I hadn't seen him, I had no contact with him, nor
19 did I read anywhere that President Tudjman had any such intentions,
20 potential intentions.
21 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. Let us move on to
22 Mr. Gojko Susak.
23 When did you meet him, and under which circumstances?
24 A. Your Honour, also in Geneva
25 Gojko Susak at the time was a member of the delegation of the Republic of
2 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Now, the same question. Before
3 the 2nd of January, 1993, so you were unable to discuss with Mr. Susak
4 the Banovina, Greater Croatia, et cetera?
5 A. No, Your Honour.
6 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Let us move on to number 3,
7 General Bobetko. When did you meet him for the first time?
8 A. Your Honours, on the 10th of April, 1992, in Ploce, in the
9 Republic of Croatia
10 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] And the 10th of April, 1992
11 what did he tell you on that date?
12 A. On the 10th of April, 1992, I and General Bobetko discussed the
13 situation after the JNA and the VRS had attacked HVO in the
14 municipalities of Kupres, as a whole, a part of the municipality of
15 Tomislavgrad, a part of the municipality of Livno
16 consequences of the defeat of the HVO regarding further developments in
18 because of this situation which was developing especially in Kupres,
19 General Bobetko travelled to the southern part of the Republic of
21 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] When you met General Bobetko in
22 April 1992, did he discuss with you the issue of a Greater Croatia, the
23 Banovina, the plan to redesign the ethnic map of this region so that the
24 Croats would dominate? Did he speak to you about all this?
25 A. No, Your Honour Judge Antonetti. He made no mention of any such
1 things. As I said, he mentioned developments in Western Herzegovina
2 situation east of the Neretva, around the Neretva River
3 liberate the part leading to the south of the Republic of Croatia
4 direction of Dubrovnik
5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] So my understanding is that the
6 meeting that you had with General Bobetko was focused exclusively on the
7 defence of the Republic of Croatia
9 A. Quite so, Your Honour, that is what we discussed, and how to halt
10 the Serb offensive -- or, rather, to launch a counter-offensive and
11 liberate the south of the Republic of Croatia
12 were not deployed there. So Croatia
13 liberate the southern part of Croatia
14 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I move on to Mate Boban. You
15 already told us last week, but as the transcript would be read in its
16 entirety, let me ask you the same question. Can you tell me, once again,
17 when exactly you met Mate Boban?
18 A. Your Honour, that was at the end of March 1992. It was in
19 Metkovici, in the Narona Hotel, when I and my assistant for logistics
20 were meant to sign a contract with this hotel on the preparation of food
21 for the Croatian Army that was in the south of Croatia, and then a man
22 approached me, and I was later told and introduced to him as Mate Boban.
23 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. Did Mate Boban
24 address you, talking to you, or was he just there and you didn't have any
25 discussions between the two of you?
1 A. Your Honour Judge Antonetti, my assistant for logistics before
2 the war was a commander of a large tourist settlement in the area of
4 Imotski, which is the hinterland of Split
5 business relations throughout the period that Mr. Boban was the manager
6 of this company, so they knew each other. And that was how he introduced
7 me to Mr. Boban. That is how we met in that hotel.
8 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I see. So your assistant for
9 logistics, as you told us last week, introduced you to Mate Boban. And
10 on that occasion is Mate Boban going to say to you, Look here, I want to
11 re-establish the Banovina, I want a Greater Croatia, I want the Croats to
12 be the majority, et cetera, et cetera? Did he tell you that?
13 A. No, Your Honour Judge Antonetti. Mr. Boban asked me to tell him
14 whether Neum was safe, because the Croatian Army had stopped the advance
15 of the JNA just in front of Neum, and whether Metkovic and the
16 Neretva River Valley
17 defend these areas. And I provided him with information to the effect
18 that for several months now the Croatian Army was holding positions there
19 and that the Serb forces had not managed to break through, and I said
20 that we hoped that we would continue to do so.
21 And then we talked about the situation in the Neretva River
22 Valley, because it was normal that we depended on developments in the
23 territory from Capljina to Mostar. And he told us what he knew about the
24 forces which had already gained control over certain JNA facilities, and
25 we already heard about that from General Praljak.
1 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] So Mate Boban was the supreme
2 commander of the HVO, and you were the chief of staff of the HV, the
3 Croatian Army. So these two positions, his own and yours, were you led
4 to meet, and how frequently, and were there any witnesses, or were you
5 just tete-a-tete, just the two of you alone?
6 There's an error in the transcript. I don't usually look at the
7 transcript, but at the witness. But in line 25, you were the chief of
8 staff of the HVO and not the HV.
9 Very well. Could you answer, please.
10 A. Your Honours, let me say first that Mate Boban was not the
11 supreme commander at the time. These were just the beginnings of those
12 local units in the territory of Herzegovina
13 officer in the headquarters of the Operative Zone of Split. Those were
14 our respective positions.
15 And I never spoke to Boban tete-a-tete. I think that our next
16 meeting or conversation occurred either on the 1st of April or between
17 the 1st and the 3rd of April, when he wanted to pass on that the JNA and
18 the VRS were definitely launching an offensive in the area of Kupres,
19 parts of Livno, and Tomislavgrad, and he asked me what the operative zone
20 would do, because the area of Cim and everything south of Split would be
21 at risk. So I simply told him that the operative zone would monitor the
22 situation and that at this point in time the operative zone could not do
23 anything more than that. But should combat operations start, we would
24 see what the Main Staff of the Croatian Army would do.
25 He then cautioned that it would be a good thing if the HVO were
1 to be assisted in organisational terms, as it had no organisational
2 structure yet, and that he really feared a forceful breakthrough from
3 Western Herzegovina
4 Republic of Croatia
5 And I don't know whether on the 4th, when the attack started,
6 whether he called the operative zone in Split to inform it about it,
7 because at that point in time I was in the Neretva Valley
8 Split when the attack on Kupres started.
9 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] So during this period of time
10 until April 1992, you were in the Croatian Army's operative zone, but
11 could you now tell me, very precisely, when exactly you had a meeting
12 with Mate Boban, he as the supreme commander of the HVO, and you as the
13 chief of staff of the HVO. When did this meeting -- this interview take
15 A. Your Honours, there was a meeting on the 12th of April, 1992
16 a point in time when the JNA managed to take control of the whole area;
17 that is to say, of Western Herzegovina. And Mr. Boban arrived in Ploce
18 to ask General Bobetko whether somebody was really going to assist the
19 organisation of the defence to prevent Livno, Tomislavgrad, Prozor, and
20 other places from falling, and I wasn't the chief of the Main Staff at
21 the time.
22 Now, the next meeting was on the 14th of April, that is to say,
23 two days later, when I arrived in Grude. And there was a -- and I got to
24 know Boban again for the third time, I met him again.
25 And on the 15th of April, 1992, you saw the order from
1 General Bobetko to set up a forward command post in Grude. And from that
2 time on, I brought in -- on the 14th of April -- I was brought in on the
3 14th of April. I was only there three hours and returned to Ploce. But
4 in official terms, the document was written on the 15th of April, 1992
5 when -- and you saw my appointment as head of the forward command post
6 with several other people from the HVO.
7 And from that time on, I spent time on the territory of
9 days prior to that date the HVO was established, had been established.
10 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. So if we have
11 understood this correctly, in your opinion it's from the 15th of April,
12 1992, that you were the chief of staff of the HVO. At that point in
13 time, was your immediate superior Mr. Mate Boban, from the military point
14 of view?
15 A. That is correct, but in 1992, not 1991.
16 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. So you say that it
17 is correct. In military operations of a defensive or "offensive," in
18 inverted commas, nature - I won't deal with the nuances now - in such
19 operations everything you did as the chief of staff, was everything you
20 did in that capacity strictly under the control of Mate Boban, the
21 supreme commander?
22 A. If Mate Boban was the supreme commander, then nothing could be
23 done without his knowledge, without him giving the okay. And they were
24 defence operations towards Livno and Tomislavgrad to begin with, and then
25 later on operations to liberate -- that is to say, in June 1992, to
1 liberate the eastern bank of the Neretva River
2 And General Bobetko issued that part of the order.
3 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. So as far as the
4 Livno and Tomislavgrad areas are concerned, you say that at the time the
5 orders were issued by General Bobetko, a general of the Croatian Army.
6 But in your opinion, when exactly did Mate Boban don his supreme
7 commander uniform, the uniform of the supreme commander of the HVO? When
8 did he assume this role independently of the Croatian Army? Or perhaps
9 he wasn't independent.
10 A. Your Honours, Mate Boban took on that function for the first time
11 on the 3rd of July, 1992, when the decree was passed governing the armed
12 forces. Up until then, Mate Boban assigned himself as the president of
13 the HVO and president of the HZ-HB, and not as the supreme commander.
14 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. So you say that the
15 key date is the 3rd of July, 1992. If I have understood you correctly,
16 it is from that date onwards that Mate Boban assumed the role of the
17 supreme commander of the military HVO. You have taken a solemn
18 declaration. Please think about this carefully before answering. But
19 could you tell me whether, from the 3rd of July, 1992, military
20 operations conducted by the HVO, under your authority of the chief of
21 staff of the HVO, could you tell me whether these operations were
22 strictly controlled by Mate Boban, or were these operations under the
23 control of the Croatian Army?
24 A. Judge Antonetti, Your Honour, I've already answered that and said
25 that the first time the post of supreme commander was mentioned was in
1 that decree. Up until that time, Mate Boban did pass certain acts, but
2 he didn't sign, himself, as the supreme commander, because that was
3 implied. As the president of the HZ-HB, he could pass certain acts, and
4 it was understood that he was the person in command. But as a post, the
5 post of supreme commander, the date mentioned is the 3rd of July, 1992.
6 Now, in the border belt along the Neretva River Valley
7 towards Tomislavgrad, in those first three months, the orders were issued
8 by General Bobetko. Mate Boban, and you saw this in some of the
9 documents we looked at, dealt with other issues and other situations, but
10 he was also politically involved in respect of these orders.
11 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] So could you tell me, and it's
12 very important, when, as far as you know, General Bobetko ceased issuing
13 orders to troops in the field?
14 A. Your Honours, that was in September 1992. That was the
15 definitive date. His last order was on the 13th of July, 1992, when he
16 issued an order according to which parts of the Croatian Army which were
17 located in the border belt should pull out towards the territory of the
18 Republic of Croatia
19 September 1992, and then the entire command on the territory of the
20 HVO -- well, the Main Staff of the HVO came to command the entire area
21 and the whole of the HVO.
22 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. So we are making
23 progress, because you were very precise there. You said that as of
24 September 1992, General Bobetko ceased to issue orders.
25 I will now deal with a very specific case to verify what you have
1 just said. I'll take the situation in Prozor, Rama, as you wish, in
2 October 1992. There were problems. I won't go into the details, because
3 we spent hours discussing them. General Praljak explained to us that he
4 went to the field to solve those problems. But you are testifying now,
5 not General Praljak.
6 When these events occurred, could you tell me whether at any
7 point in time you, your subordinates, and even General Praljak, before
8 doing anything else, before taking decisions of any other kind, did you
9 pick up the phone, phone Zagreb
10 order to ask them what you should do; or were the Prozor events dealt
11 with entirely by the HVO in a fully independent manner?
12 A. Your Honours, let me first say this: General Bobetko at this
13 point in time was dealing with the problem that he faced with the
14 Yugoslav People's Army, which, on the basis of an agreement between
15 Bobetko, Strugar and General Morillon, of the 15th of October, was
16 supposed to pull out of the southern reaches of the Republic of Croatia
17 east of Dubrovnik
18 was the former Yugoslavia
19 into this area, least of all did anybody call Franjo Tudjman up, or
20 Gojko Susak. And I think it was three days before that that I already
21 started to prepare the operation in the Neretva River Valley
22 Serbs which, from the Republic of Croatia
23 from that territory. And on the 18th, I think it was, I had already
24 started to take up resources from the Operative Zone of South-West
1 Howitzers of 122 millimetres, that's what I took. Yes, three Howitzers
2 of 122 millimetres. And I think that was on the 17th or 18th of October.
3 And I transferred them from that operative zone, that is to say,
4 North-West Herzegovina, to the Neretva River Valley
5 with the ammunition, and all the other equipment. So at that point in
6 time, all of us were engaged in preparing the operation in the
7 Neretva River Valley
8 volunteer forces from the south of Croatia were pulling out, they were
9 withdrawing to Eastern Herzegovina, and their attempt was that if they
10 had lost the coast, they could return to the Neretva River Valley
11 were all geared towards this part and focused on the Neretva River
13 So nobody at that point in time gave any thought to Prozor or any
14 events -- or thought that anybody would be happening in Prozor. The only
15 thing we did think about was Jajce, which, to all intents and purposes,
16 had all but fallen.
17 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. So you're saying
18 that in October, the HVO's concern and the concern of the Croatian Army
19 was the Neretva Valley
20 where there was a Serb presence, so we should, therefore, conclude that
21 the Croatian Army wasn't concerned at that point in time with the
22 HVO-ABiH issue; is that correct?
23 A. Yes, that's right, Your Honour. Just one correction.
24 The Croatian Army at that time was not in the Neretva Valley
25 The Croatian Army was at the border between the Republic of
1 Bosnia-Herzegovina and Croatia
2 where Vojislav Seselj was born, stretching towards the border with
4 River Neretva, Stolac municipality; not the whole of it, but 80 per cent
5 of it, Eastern Mostar, Bijelo Polje, and so on, and was preparing for the
6 operation I mentioned because of the concentration of Serb forces which,
7 when they were pulling out of Croatia
8 were coming in to the Trebinje-Nevesinje area and these municipalities to
9 go back to the Neretva River
10 defeated in Southern Croatia, but they wanted to seek satisfaction by
11 going back to the Neretva River Valley
12 preparations for such an attack, and that was done at the beginning of
13 November; 1992, that is.
14 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. General Petkovic,
15 I'm putting these questions to you because in a certain manner I'm
16 handicapped. I don't have at my disposal all the military documents from
17 the Croatian Army. Similarly, I don't have at my disposal all the HVO
18 military documents, and I don't have all the Serbian forces' documents at
19 my disposal either. If I had all these documents at my disposal, I would
20 place them before me, and I would compare these documents and try to
21 determine whether, in Prozor-Rama, there was contact between the HVO and
22 the Croatian Army, because there may have been orders, summaries,
23 telephone intercepts. The Serbs may have certainly intercepted certain
24 calls, and the truth would have come out. But as I don't have these
25 documents, I'm putting these questions to you in this blind manner, and
1 you are answering them under oath.
2 So if I have understood matters correctly, in October 1992, when
3 the Prozor events transpired, the Croatian Army, according to what you
4 have said, was not at all concerned, not at all involved. So you have
5 said this to me under oath. Perhaps the Prosecution will produce a
6 telephone intercept or a document from his hat. I don't know. But you
7 are saying that in October 1992, Serbs were one's main preoccupation, not
8 the tensions between the HVO and the ABiH.
9 A. That is correct, Your Honours, the Serbs were the Republic of
10 Croatian's main preoccupation in October 1992, because Dubrovnik
11 de-blocked, the south of Croatia
12 be done was to wait for the Yugoslav Army and parts of the Serb forces to
13 pull out of the territory of the Republic of Croatia
14 border -- along the border belt, that the UN observers should take up
15 their positions.
16 So that was the time and area when General Bobetko and the
17 Croatian Army -- where the Croatian Army did not have any other
18 possibility. It sent all its forces to Dubrovnik to liberate the south
19 of the Republic of Croatia
21 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. So I'm not going to
22 insist on the Prozor municipality, but to remind everyone of the
23 following. The events in Prozor are mentioned in paragraph 43, 44, 45,
24 46, 47, 48, 49, and in the following paragraphs, but mainly in those
25 paragraphs. But I will read to you paragraph 49, and you will answer the
1 question I will then put to you. Listen to me carefully:
2 "On the evening of the 24th of October, 1992, an area HVO
3 commander reported that Prozor town was 'ethnically pure,' the Muslim
4 population having been detained or having fled."
5 And listen to what follows carefully:
6 "On the 26th of October, 1992, Bruno Stojic, Milivoj Petkovic,
7 Janko Bobetko and others were informed that the HVO had taken control of
8 Prozor on the 25th of October, with many casualties on the Muslim side."
9 So the Prosecution is stating very clearly that Mr. Bobetko was
10 familiar with these facts. What do you say about that? He was familiar
11 because he was informed of them?
12 A. Your Honours, first of all, I don't know where this man gets the
13 right, who did not command anything in Prozor, to write something like
14 that, to write a report like that to Janko Bobetko. So let's see what
15 rank that person held, this Mr. Schmidt in Prozor. And he enumerates
16 what he does and sends out this information to Janko Bobetko. Why he did
17 that, I really don't know. But I maintain that Janko Bobetko has nothing
18 to do with Prozor. Now, why this person mentions him in this regard, I'm
19 really not quite clear on that. And I don't know where they sent this
20 report. I don't have the document in front of me, but I have seen it.
21 And I can also say that if you compare two documents, where it says
22 "ethnically pure," "ethnically cleansed," it was somebody who did not
23 know Croatian properly and copied it out from a document. I think it was
24 from a document of the Rama Brigade, and it doesn't say "ethnically
25 cleansed," it says something quite different there. And perhaps we can
1 compare the two documents in due course and see.
2 Anyway, this person had absolutely no reason for that -- to
3 contact General Bobetko. General Bobetko had his assignment in the south
4 of Croatia
5 chief of the Main Staff, and other people who are mentioned don't feel
6 the need to report this to General Bobetko, I don't know why this
7 particular officer, holding that rank, took it upon himself to write to
8 General Bobetko, and to write to me, or Stojic, or whoever else he was
9 writing to, because he was not in the chain of command in Rama. He was
10 just passing by, so it wasn't his job to do anything like that or write
11 any reports at all. He was supposed to go to Bugojno, which was his
13 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. I'll now move on
14 and deal with other members of the joint criminal enterprise, members who
15 are alive.
16 In the list, the first person mentioned is Mr. Prlic. Could you
17 tell me when you met Mr. Prlic for the first time?
18 A. Your Honour, I don't think I met him before this meeting was held
19 on the 3rd of July, 1992, because up until then, to be quite frank, apart
20 from Mr. Boban and apart from the people who were in Grude municipality,
21 I did not meet any other officers who were in Herceg-Bosna. And as far
22 as I know, the government there and the authorities there, as of the
23 3rd -- they were formed on the 3rd of September [as interpreted], after
24 that date, and then they began functioning. So I never met Mr. Prlic
25 before that. I think that he was -- whether he was in Mostar or
1 somewhere else, I'm not quite sure, but -- the 3rd of July. So -- and
2 perhaps August when he became president of the HVO, but not frequently.
3 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's correction: 3rd of July.
4 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I'd just like to
5 correct the transcript. In line 19, the word "officers" was used. The
6 general spoke about officials, officials whom he had not met. So not
7 "officers," but "officials." Yes, that's right now, "officials."
8 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. You say that you
9 met Mr. Prlic on the 3rd of July, 1992, for the first time. When you met
10 him, what was your impression of him, if you remember?
11 A. Well, if I can joke about it, I thought it was my double, because
12 we were sort of -- had the same haircuts. So people would say
13 "Mr. Prlic," and "Mr. Petkovic," so I was very happy to see that there
14 was somebody else who looked like me, who resembled me.
15 But joking apart, I heard from others about Mr. Prlic first. And
16 people said, as far as I knew, that he was the director, whether up until
17 the war or before the war, the director of a large agricultural concern
18 in the Neretva Valley
20 company was called Apro Herzegovina
21 agricultural concern. It had vineyards, fruit, processing plants, and so
22 on and so forth. So that's what I had heard about him before I met him.
23 And I think I also knew he was already working as a professor, whether at
24 the university or at some other schools in Mostar.
25 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] As you must have met him on
1 several occasions after the month of July 1992, I won't enter into any
2 details. In the conversations that you had with Mr. Prlic, did he tell
3 you that he was there to recreate the Banovina, that he was there for the
4 Greater Croatia
5 et cetera, et cetera? Did he tell you all those things in order to share
6 with you this -- a common project, in a sense?
7 A. No, Your Honours. In my first contact with Mr. Prlic, except for
8 the introduction, saying who I was, where I came from, et cetera, we
9 didn't discuss anything else. And I can tell you that I did not meet
10 Mr. Prlic so frequently, because his position was such that he had a
11 group of people he was working with, whereas I, until August or
12 September, stayed in Grude, then I moved to Mostar, but even in Mostar we
13 were not close to one another, except when there was a concrete
14 invitation to attend a government meeting.
15 Let me just tell you that the only time I sat down to have lunch
16 with Mr. Prlic was the day when I was leaving Herceg-Bosna on the 5th of
17 August, 1994. Never before that did we sit down to have a drink, or have
18 lunch, or anything like that.
19 So I didn't have conversations with various officials of
20 Herceg-Bosna. And as far as I can remember, Mr. Prlic did not come
21 frequently to Grude. Where he went after his working hours, was it
22 Citluk, Makarska, I don't know where his parents or his family were
24 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] You said at a certain point
25 that you didn't frequently meet with him, except when there were meetings
1 of the government; page 30, line 12. Could you tell me, what were these
2 government meetings?
3 A. Your Honours, you have seen documents that have been admitted
4 into evidence here. Was it three times that I was invited to attend a
5 government meeting to present the military situation in certain areas?
6 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Could you tell me what, for
7 you, the president of the HVO represented, the function that Mr. Prlic
8 exercised? What was it, in fact, this position president of the HVO?
9 A. For me, or at least that was the interpretation, that it was a
10 provisional executive body which was intended to assist lower-level
11 bodies of authorities; that is, municipal organs of authority.
12 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] So you're telling us this is a
13 provisional executive body. Those were the words you used. This
14 provisional executive body --
15 A. Yes, quite.
16 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] -- by what was it later
17 replaced, to the best of your knowledge?
18 A. On the 28th of July, or maybe the 27th of August - I don't want
19 to guess - it became the Government of the Croatian Republic
20 Herceg-Bosna, when there were discussions about the union of republics of
21 Bosnia-Herzegovina as a possible structure of Bosnia-Herzegovina.
22 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] You're saying that the Republic
23 of Herceg-Bosna came into existence on the 27th or 28th of July, 1993,
24 which is not in the transcript, but I think that is the correct date.
25 And in this Republic of Herceg-Bosna, what was the role of Mr. Prlic?
1 Was it the same role that he played before, or had his role evolved,
3 A. Yes, it was the same role. It was a provisional organ of
4 authority in the Croatian Republic of Herceg-Bosna, though it was at the
5 time called the government.
6 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. I shall come back
7 to my question once again. You are saying that the Republic of
8 Herceg-Bosna was a temporary or provisional body. Could you tell me, by
9 whom was this -- by what was this provisional body substituted?
10 A. Your Honour, when I say "provisional body," we had to wait for
11 the end of negotiations on the Owen-Stoltenberg Plan and the
12 establishment of a union of Bosnia-Herzegovina. That was the solution
13 suggested by the international community, and I believe that all those
14 who held certain positions at the time did so on a provisional basis.
15 And once a signature had been placed on the document as a result of
16 agreement of all parties, the situation would change. And until such a
17 document was signed, in my view, all this was temporary.
18 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. Here again we come
19 to an extremely important question. When I put important questions, I
20 issue a warning first.
21 Could you tell me if Mr. Prlic, in his capacity as president of
22 the HVO and later within the Republic of Herceg-Bosna
23 organ, did Mr. Prlic give you orders of a military nature; that is,
24 offensive action, defensive action, control of your acts and movements,
25 from the military standpoint?
1 A. Your Honours, the government is no operative commander, and it
2 does not issue commands. The government, at its meetings, discusses
3 military issues, takes decisions, makes conclusions which later on,
4 through the Defence Department and the Main Staff, may be transformed
5 into certain orders. But the government is not an operative commander,
6 but it does have the right to adopt decisions, conclusions, and
7 recommendations at its meetings, even when matters of defensive -- of a
8 defensive character are discussed. But it does not have the right to
9 issue direct orders.
10 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] So your reply is in the
11 transcript, and you say that in your view, the government does not have
12 the competence to issue orders of a military nature?
13 A. Yes, Your Honour. I said that the government does not have the
14 competence to issue military orders, but the government, when reviewing
15 certain issues, may adopt conclusions, decisions, recommendations which,
16 through the institutions such as the Defence Department, could reach the
17 Main Staff or could be addressed for consideration by the supreme
19 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Mr. Petkovic, you have told us last week that
20 the military were under the control of the political authorities. Now, I
21 wonder how this is to be reconciled, what you are telling us today;
22 namely, that in a way the civil authorities had no authority over the
24 A. Your Honour Judge Trechsel, that is not what I said. I said that
25 they could not issue operative orders. But within the framework of the
1 executive authority, be it provisional or a government, there is a
2 defence department, and through the Defence Department the civilian
3 authorities do have influence, within certain limits, on the defence
4 structure, that is, the army, the armed forces. On the other hand, at
5 government meetings there were briefings about the situation on the
6 battle-field, and the government would pass recommendations or
7 conclusions or decisions as to what should be done. After all, the
8 government received six-monthly reports on these activities, so this
9 could be viewed as civilian supervision or monitoring of the army.
10 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Thank you.
11 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] General Petkovic, thanks to my
12 colleague's question, I may perhaps refine a question further.
13 If my understanding is correct, the government could make
14 suggestions, or recommendations, or assessments of a situation, but the
15 taking -- the final taking of a decision would fall upon either the
16 headquarters or the supreme commander, either the Main Staff or the
17 supreme commander, but under no circumstances would it be the government.
18 Is that how we should understand your answer?
19 A. Yes, Your Honours. When we are talking about direct operative
20 commands, those are not done by the government. But if we are talking
21 about recommendations, decisions, or conclusions, they can either go
22 through the Defence Department to the Main Staff or such recommendations
23 may, through a different channel, be addressed to the supreme commander.
24 And we have seen several such documents.
25 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Let me take a theoretical
1 example, which does not relate to any particular situation, to understand
2 properly what you're saying, because this is -- it is extremely difficult
3 and complicated.
4 Let us imagine, in a certain situation, that there is a
5 government meeting. You're attending that meeting, and the
6 Defence Department says, for instance, the following: In such and such a
7 municipality, we have so many soldiers. We are in an inferior position
8 in relation to the ABiH. It would be highly desirable to mobilise
9 further, even to bring professional military units, even to
10 re-subordinate certain brigades. That would be the best solution, from
11 the logistic point of view, so as not to lose ground, militarily, and to
12 safe-guard the interests of Herceg-Bosna. The Defence Department
13 provides such an analysis and makes a proposition or a recommendation.
14 Does this mean that in this case that I have just described, the final
15 decision will be up to you, as chief of the Main Staff, or would it be up
16 to Mr. Boban; that is, that you and Mr. Boban may be in agreement with
17 the recommendation, but it is you who would decide, or maybe you are not
18 in agreement, and in that event the decision may be a different one?
19 A. Your Honour Judge Antonetti, in your question there are things
20 that the chief of staff could do and also things that the supreme
21 commander should do. For instance, if certain brigades needed to be
22 pulled out from a certain territory, then such a request would be
23 addressed to the supreme commander for him to decide that such and such a
24 brigade should leave a certain terrain and move to another. However, if
25 the decision would be to request additional mobilisation to reinforce the
1 forces, then the Main Staff needs to establish the defences and to
2 protect the interests of the Croats in that area.
3 In one's work, one has to be very precise as to whom one should
4 address. It's not possible to ask a question and leave it up to either
5 the Main Staff or the supreme commander to decide.
6 You have seen here in the proceedings that there was a request to
7 move certain brigades, and this was addressed to the supreme commander.
8 So some things that were reviewed were directly addressed to the supreme
9 commander, and there were other things, other requests, that were
10 addressed to the Main Staff for it to protect the Croatian territory in a
11 certain area that was at risk, specifically, the situation in Konjic, or
12 decisions of the 17th of April by the government to protect the Croatian
13 areas, but also to engage in negotiations with the other side to deal
14 with it by peaceful means. So these things had to be addressed either --
15 or proposed either to the supreme commander or the Main Staff, but not to
16 leave it up to someone to choose who would be the one to make the
18 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] On the basis of this
19 theoretical example and your answer, I have to conclude that, in any
20 event, it is either the supreme commander or the chief of staff who would
21 decide, and never the government.
22 A. Quite. I said that the government proposes, and I have mentioned
23 two specific examples from June 1993, addressed to the supreme commander,
24 and another one from April that was addressed to the Main Staff, to
25 strengthen the defences of certain Croatian areas, but also to engage in
1 political discussions with the other party.
2 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. So we'll have the
3 break now. I'll leave the subject of Mr. Prlic now, and after the break
4 we'll address the subject of Mr. Stojic.
5 --- Recess taken at 3.51 p.m.
6 --- On resuming at 4.15 p.m.
7 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] We'll now resume.
8 Mr. Stewart, there's something you'd like to say?
9 MR. STEWART: Yes, thank you, Your Honour.
10 It's just this: that the Prosecution has responded to a motion
11 from the accused Coric, or motions -- requests from the accused Coric and
12 the accused Praljak. Their request, those co-accused, was to directly
13 cross-examine Mr. Petkovic. The Prosecution response includes a request
14 that if that application on behalf of Coric and Praljak is granted, they
15 should have additional time, by reference to the guide-lines, to
16 cross-examine Mr. Petkovic. Your Honours, we were not the people who --
17 we were not the Defence who filed the original motion or, of course,
18 responded, but we would ask leave to reply on that particular point.
19 Clearly, that affects us and the Petkovic Defence, but, in a sense, we've
20 not yet participated in this particular exercise. So may we have leave,
21 under 126 bis, to put in a reply dealing with that particular point in
22 the Prosecution response?
23 [Trial Chamber confers]
24 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Stewart, I will hand down
25 an oral decision. You will listen to it, and then you can see whether
1 there are any other submissions you would like to make.
2 MR. STEWART: Very well, Your Honour.
3 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] The Trial Chamber hereby hands
4 down an oral decision on the requests made by the Coric and Praljak
5 Defence teams, requests for the participation of the accused
6 Valentin Coric and Slobodan Praljak in the cross-examination of
7 Milivoj Petkovic. It's a unanimous oral decision.
8 The Coric and Praljak Defence have filed two requests on the
9 participation of the accused Valentin Coric and Slobodan Praljak in the
10 cross-examination of Milivoj Petkovic. This was done on the 9th and 15th
11 of February, 2010, respectively.
12 On the 19th of February, 2010, the Petkovic Defence and the
13 Prosecution informed the parties that they did not object to the accused
14 Valentin Coric and Slobodan Praljak participating in the
15 cross-examination of Milivoj Petkovic. In its response, the Prosecution,
16 nevertheless, pointed out that it did not object to the requests,
17 provided that the points dealt with by the accused Valentin Coric and
18 Slobodan Praljak in the course of the cross-examination of
19 Milivoj Petkovic, were part of their specific expertise, in the sense of
20 what was stated in the Appeal Chamber's decision of the 11th of
21 September, 2008. The Trial Chamber would like to point out that the
22 other parties did not file any responses to these two requests.
23 The Chamber would like to point out that paragraph 3 of
24 Guide-lines 1 of the decision of the 24th of April, 2008, authorises an
25 accused, represented by counsel, to directly address a witness in the
1 course of that witness's cross-examination in exceptional circumstances
2 and provided that this has been authorised by the Chamber.
3 The Chamber, in addition, stated in its guide-lines, as it had
4 already done in its decision of the 10th of May, 2007, that exceptional
5 circumstances are linked either to examining issues with regard to which
6 the accused has specific knowledge or to the examination of issues that
7 concern events that the person personally participated in.
8 The Chamber notes that in its decision of the 11th of September,
9 2008, the Appeals Chamber pointed out that the assessment of the specific
10 competence of an accused by the Chamber should be carried out on a
11 case-by-case basis and should be done in a flexible manner.
12 As a result, the Chamber hereby decides to authorise the accused
13 Valentin Coric and Slobodan Praljak to participate in the
14 cross-examination of Milivoj Petkovic, provided that in the course of
15 their cross-examination, the accused address the issue of events that
16 they personally participated in or deal with certain matters for which
17 they have specific competence.
18 So this is our oral decision, which grants Mr. Praljak and
19 Mr. Coric leave to put questions to General Petkovic at an appropriate
20 time, but there are two conditions which have been set. First of all,
21 the questions put must relate to specific competence that they may have
22 to military issues, or it is necessary for Mr. Coric and Mr. Praljak to
23 have participated in certain events, and in such a case they may put
24 questions to General Petkovic. That is, therefore, our decision.
25 Mr. Stewart, in the light of what has just been said, is there
1 anything you would like to ask us?
2 MR. STEWART: Well, Your Honour, thank you, I certainly see, with
3 respect, the sense of hearing Your Honour's oral decision first in
4 relation to that.
5 The question which arises is whether it does -- whether it does
6 leave alive the issue which we wished to address. One view is that
7 since -- since Your Honours, in giving a ruling on this motion by the
8 Coric and the Praljak Defenses, and therefore, by the same token, on the
9 Prosecution response, have not actually said anything about the
10 Prosecution request for additional time, that implicitly, Your Honours,
11 have not granted that request. If that's correct, if Your Honours have,
12 in effect, implicitly rejected the Prosecution request in its response
13 for additional time, then I'll just sit down because there's nothing to
14 reply to. But if that remains a live issue and is not yet firmly
15 resolved, then I do ask for leave to reply and deal specifically with
16 that point. So I just need some clarification as to where we stand.
17 Well, Mr. Scott is literally standing, so he can tell me where he
18 metaphorically stands as well, and then we can proceed.
19 MR. SCOTT: If I may, Your Honour.
20 I think there's not a major issue here. The Prosecution's
21 position was, I think, that to the extent that the request otherwise
22 satisfy the jurisprudence of the Tribunal and the rulings this Chamber in
23 terms of allowing an accused to conduct cross-examine personally, we said
24 as long as it meets the usual rules, we have no further objection beyond
1 Secondly, we said that to the extent that on cross-examination
2 new topics were raised, again keeping with the regular rules that if a
3 new topic is raised, that it becomes direct examination, that direct
4 examination has to time -- has to be charged against some sort of bank of
5 available time, and no leading questions will be asked. In the usual
6 rule, no special favours, no special privileges being asked by the
7 Prosecution. But if that's the case and if there is additional direct
8 examination under those rules, then the Prosecution gets the equivalent
9 amount of time to cross on that -- on those points. Those are the rules
10 of the Chamber for a long time. That's all we said, was, depending on
11 what happens, we, of course, reserve the opportunity to request that the
12 normal rules apply.
13 Thank you.
14 MR. STEWART: Your Honour, that does leave an issue. It's a
15 narrow issue; it's not unimportant. But the issues of no leading
16 questions and time counting against the bank of time for other accused,
17 those don't concern us. We're not squabbling about those. And to a
18 considerable extent, they're clear under the guide-lines. But the very
19 last issue, and it's the only point on which we wanted leave to reply,
20 it's the only live point as far as we're concerned, is the very last
21 thing Mr. Scott said; that then he wants to have additional time. That's
22 additional to what is the standard allocation under the guide-lines,
23 additional time equivalent to the time spent by Mr. Coric or Mr. Praljak
24 personally in cross-examining on topics which have not been raised on
25 direct examination by Ms. Alaburic in examining Mr. Petkovic. So it's
1 that single live issue, but it does apparently remain live. And we have
2 not yet -- without leave to reply, we have had no opportunity to deal
3 with that -- we would have had no opportunity to deal with a point which
4 does directly affect us.
5 So that's the basis of my application, Your Honours.
6 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you. The Chamber will
7 meet tomorrow afternoon, and we will respond to what you have said, and
8 we will also respond to what the Prosecution has submitted.
9 MR. STEWART: To what I've said, Your Honour, or to what we would
10 file by way of reply on the basis of the leave that I'm requesting?
11 That's -- is Your Honour giving -- our reply is -- well, for practical
12 purposes -- Ms. Alaburic will want to have a look at it. It's for
13 practical purposes going to be ready to file. So is Your Honour -- are
14 Your Honours giving me leave and then inviting me to file that pretty
15 much straight away so that Your Honours will be able to consider
16 everything in time to rule tomorrow?
17 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well, file your
18 submissions, then.
19 MR. STEWART: Thank you.
20 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] General Petkovic, we will now
21 continue and talk about Mr. Bruno Stojic. We know that you met him. You
22 returned by car with him on the 9th of May. But we'll start from the
23 beginning again.
24 On which day, exactly, did you meet Mr. Stojic for the first time
25 in your life?
1 A. Your Honours, the first time I met Mr. Stojic was on the 14th of
2 April, 1992
3 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] So prior to the 14th of April,
4 1992, you had never seen him. As in the case of Mr. Prlic, my question
5 is: What impression did you have of him?
6 A. No, Your Honours.
7 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] No. So that means he didn't
8 leave an impression of any kind?
9 A. I don't know who you are referring to now. Prlic or to Stojic?
10 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] To Mr. Stojic. When you met
11 Mr. Stojic, what was your impression of him?
12 A. Your Honours, it's impossible to decide what one's impression is
13 at the first meeting. From the 15th of April, 1992, Mr. Stojic and I
14 worked together in the separate composition of the forward command post,
15 but Mr. Stojic was responsible for the logistics needs within that
16 forward command post. And that's what we did until the 3rd of July,
17 1992, which is when Mr. Stojic was appointed by Mr. Boban to the position
18 of the head of the Defence Department.
19 As far as his duties are concerned, at the time he performed his
20 duties very well and to the extent that it was possible, logistically,
21 for him to do so.
22 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] You say from the 14th of April,
23 1992, until the 13th of July, 1992, so for about three months, you had
24 contact with Mr. Stojic because he dealt with logistic matters. When you
25 would meet, did Mr. Stojic express his personal political views, did he
1 speak to you about the Banovina, Greater Croatia, about a Croatian
2 majority that should be established, about the expulsion of Muslims, and
3 so on and so forth? Did he address all these matters, or did you talk
4 about other things?
5 A. Your Honours, he didn't address such subjects because there were
6 other issues at the time that had to be urgently dealt with, and I never
7 spoke to Mr. Stojic or to anyone else about the issues that you have just
9 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. Mr. Stojic became
10 the head of the Defence Department in July 1992. In that capacity, at
11 the end of 1992 and in the course of 1993, and in 1994 too, would he tell
12 you, I have in mind, the desire to see once more a Croatian banovina, a
13 Greater Croatia
14 things or not?
15 A. No, Your Honours.
16 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I have another important
17 question for you. Please listen carefully. It's a new warning.
18 As head of the Defence Department and then as minister of defence
19 of the Republic of Herceg-Bosna, did Mr. Stojic give you orders,
20 instructions, relating to ongoing military operations or relating to
21 military operations that should be undertaken?
22 A. Your Honours, Mr. Stojic, first of all, had to establish the
23 Defence Department as a body of the temporary executive authorities, and
24 together with that body, and they're responsible for the defence of the
25 Croats and areas inhabited by Croats and other peoples. So that was the
1 first task to be dealt with. Mr. Stojic was at the head of a
2 professional body which was part of the executive authorities, and he was
3 a link between those authorities and the Main Staff, or, rather, the
4 Armed Forces of the Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna. Mr. Stojic, in
5 the course of his work, had recourse to orders, decisions, solutions. It
6 depended on the situation that had to be dealt with. He would deal with
7 problems that were legally his responsibility, his responsibility
8 pursuant to decrees. Other decisions were matters that came under the
9 administrative part of his work. Mr. Bruno Stojic did not issue an
10 operative order to commence with operations of any kind in the territory
11 of the HZ-HB. Such operations, apart from in 1992 -- well, there were no
12 such operations in the territory of the HZ-HB, apart from in 1992.
13 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. So you have just
14 said that Mr. Stojic did not issue orders of an operational nature. Let
15 me take an example.
16 Let us imagine that for an Operation X, you informed the minister
17 of defence that you need five tanks, artillery pieces, tonnes of food, so
18 many doctors, and you ask him that he take the necessary steps. Let us
19 imagine that he says to you, It is out of the question, General Petkovic,
20 to engage in such a military operation, because I, as the defence
21 minister, believe that it should not take place for such and such a
22 reason. Therefore, I will not allow it.
23 Is that possible or not?
24 A. Well, it is possible, because he was the head of the
25 Defence Department, and so if he found that an operation -- well, we're
1 speaking in principle, of course. He could have put a stop to any
2 operation of this kind if it was not considered to be in the interests of
3 the defence of the territory on which the Croats were living, and others.
4 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] So he did have the ability to
5 prohibit an operation if, at his level, he felt that the interests of the
6 defence of the territory did not require such an operation. So you're
7 telling me this. Did this happen at all, or did it never happen?
8 A. Your Honours, something like that never happened. Mr. Stojic
9 would brief the authorities about a situation, and if tanks were
10 mentioned and so on, and if need be, he would make the requests that the
11 army needed. He would ask the authorities, whether it be weapons, or
12 financial resources, or other materiel, or material resources, or
13 whatever. So he also had to consult the authorities.
14 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] So this brings me to
15 General Praljak.
16 When did you meet General Praljak for the first time?
17 A. I think that was on the 19th of April, 1992, when I went to
18 Citluk and visited him there. He was the commander of the Operative
19 Group of South-East Herzegovina, I believe, at the time. So it was the
20 fifth day -- the fourth or fifth day after my arrival in the HVO.
21 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] So he was commander of the
22 Operative Zone of South-East Herzegovina
23 A. The HVO, Your Honour.
24 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Before the 19th of April, 1992
25 you heard General Praljak mentioned.
1 A. No, I'm sorry. I hope General Praljak won't mind -- won't be
2 angry with me if I say that I didn't hear anything about General Praljak
3 at all, because he was in quite another part of the Republic of Croatia
4 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] So the same question as for the
5 others. When you met him for the first time, what was the impression he
6 gave you?
7 A. Well, I met a man who was very eloquent when speaking. He was
8 very demanding towards those whom he commanded. He didn't like talking
9 about certain matters much, and he had his very own way of going about
10 things; issuing orders, dispatching people, giving advice, counselling,
11 and so on.
12 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] When you met him, did you know
13 that he had done some studies in the sciences, that he "converted," in
14 inverted commas, to theatrical art, that he engaged in politics, for he
15 was even a candidate in an important election, that he was assistant
16 defence minister in the Republic of Croatia
17 volunteer to --
18 THE INTERPRETER: Sorry, the interpreter didn't hear this.
19 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] S-u-n-j-a, Sunja. The
20 interpreter should know all the localities.
21 Well, General Petkovic?
22 A. Your Honours, not straight away, but after a time I learnt that
23 General Praljak was, indeed, in Sunja. I didn't know that at the
24 beginning, because Sunja is quite a long way away from Dalmatia, and at
25 that time rest assured that the commander in one place wouldn't know who
1 was in command in another, another part of the Republic of Croatia
2 because these were all people who were not military men to begin with and
3 found themselves in a position whereby they were commanding, so you
4 couldn't know who they were. If you went to school, to a military
5 academy with somebody, of course you would know them, but these weren't
6 such people. So until he introduced himself and told me, I didn't know
7 that he was in Sunja and that he had been there for several months.
8 But, anyway, we discussed his having worked in Germany, I think,
9 as a young man, and that he had graduated from two or three faculties, or
10 however many. And I also learnt - I can't tell you at what particular
11 time, but, anyway - that one of the jobs he did and one of his tasks was
12 as a film director. That was one of his jobs. He worked as a film
13 director, producer, and so forth. So that that's the impression I
14 gained, learning about what he did.
15 I didn't know that he had taken part in any elections because
16 that was the time that I was in the JNA, and we didn't have the lists of
17 candidates, the nominations for the various parties or whatever. But I
18 did learn later on from people, talking to people, that he had the
19 courage to put his name forward, to nominate himself.
20 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] In the conversations that you
21 had with him when you met with him - that must have been several
22 times - did he talk to you about his project of participating in the
23 creation of a Greater Croatia, in the sense of creating a Croatian
24 territory within the boundaries of the former Banovina, and to achieve
25 that that it would be necessary to ethnically cleanse regions, that it
1 would also be necessary to use force, persecution, imprisonment,
2 detention, et cetera? In a word, did he tell you that he had a project?
3 A. No, Your Honours, certainly not, no project, nor did he have his
4 own project. The first information that he gave me was when he talked to
5 me at the beginning of April about taking in many people, Croats and
6 Muslims, from the Dubrava Plateau and the problems he had had before
7 that, and finally he told me of the Muslims he had in his units, and the
8 preparations in Medjugorje, across the Neretva, and so on and so forth.
9 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] General Petkovic, the
10 Prosecutor reproached your Defence of glossing over or keeping quiet
11 about Prozor. I will not do that. We have heard -- let me start again.
12 It's always when I have important questions that there are
13 problems. It's unbelievable.
14 General Petkovic, can you hear me?
15 A. Yes, I can hear you now, Your Honour.
16 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. Let me start again.
17 The Prosecutor last week, you remember, said that your counsel
18 did not address the question of Prozor. I'm going to address it, but I'm
19 not going to spend all my time in Prozor.
20 We have had a large number of witnesses here who came to speak
21 about Prozor. General Praljak, who was in the witness box, explained
22 what was happening.
23 In October 1992, when General Praljak went to Prozor, did you
24 know that, and did you give your permission for it?
25 A. I learnt -- I can't remember what date it was that
1 General Praljak had been sent to Prozor by Mr. Boban, and that he had
2 arrived with the assignment of dealing with the situation in the Prozor
3 area. Mr. Praljak and I at the time did not communicate -- we did not
4 discuss Prozor. I was in the Neretva River Valley
5 Capljina area, and General Praljak was given his assignment. And as he
6 testified, he was involved in the Prozor municipality to help calm the
7 situation down and to bring the situation back to what it was like before
8 the incident broke out.
9 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] So your answer points a finger
10 at a problem that I must have misunderstood; that is, your sphere of
12 You say that, In October 1992, I was busy in the Neretva River
13 Valley, and Mate Boban asked him to go to Prozor to deal with the problem
14 there. When you tell me that, I have in mind the fact that the chief of
15 staff, in October 1992, was you, that you were the number 1. Why didn't
16 you, yourself, deal with the problem of Prozor? Why leave it to
17 General Praljak ? Is the reason for this that Mate Boban, himself,
18 decided that it would take place in this way?
19 A. It is information which I received that that was why Praljak had
20 come. And Praljak had lived for a time in the Prozor area, so he knew
21 the mentality of the people there, more or less, and he knew what the
22 situation was like in that part of the territory. So as such, he was
23 given the assignment of going there, so he came to Prozor to deal with
24 the situation, along with Colonel Siljeg, and later on I think they were
25 joined by Bozo Rajic and members of the BH Army who became involved later
2 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. We know that
3 General Praljak replaced you, and he did so, unless I'm mistaken, on the
4 27th of July, 1993. When did you learn that you were being replaced?
5 Because, in fact, instead of being number 1, you became number 2, what
6 was your reaction? Was it a sanction against you, was it a decision of a
7 political nature which was beyond you, or was it the fact they did not
8 know how to compensate you properly by keeping you in your post, or was
9 it Mr. Mate Boban who had a reorientation in mind of military activities?
10 There may be other reasons, too, but I'm just listing some of them off
11 the bat.
12 A. Your Honour, on the 24th of July the hand-over of duty took
13 place, although Mr. Boban, in writing the order three days later, put the
14 date as the 27th, whereas on the 24th we informed the units that a
15 hand-over of duty had taken place.
16 Now, during my brief testimony, when asked by my own counsel, I
17 said, in response, that the decision made by Mr. Boban to undertake
18 Operation South and not to listen to my recommendations to the effect
19 that the HVO was incapable of undertaking such an operation at that time,
20 and his decision to bring in Mr. Dzanko and a whole team of some 20 men
21 together with Dzanko, and to give him -- beside me, to give him the 1st
22 and 3rd Brigade and an operative group which Dzanko brought with him,
23 made up of volunteers, had an influence on me. Well, influenced me to
24 tell Mr. Boban that, Obviously the time has come for somebody else to
25 head the Croatian Defence Council and not me, in a situation of this
2 Let me just mention, in this regard, that there was a situation
3 in mid-June when the two of us discussed a possible rotation for the head
4 of the Main Staff. I told Mr. Boban very courteously -- I said, Ten days
5 will be sufficient for you to find a solution and to have somebody come
6 in to take up that post, to replace me. And depending on who is coming
7 in, I shall decide whether I'm going to stay on and help or whether I
8 will leave the territory, because, to be quite honest, Boban could not
9 have forced me to remain in the area.
10 On the 21st, I think it was, of July, I was informed that
11 Mr. Praljak would be coming to replace me, that he would be appointed
12 chief of the Main Staff. And faced with this situation, he asked me
13 whether I would stay on to ensure continuity. And as I knew that Praljak
14 didn't heed any post or position, but was -- his main aim was to help
15 out, and that this was my objective too, I decided to stay on. And
16 that's how Praljak and I continued working together. And on the 24th of
17 July, we informed Mr. Boban that we were ready and willing to hand over
18 duty on that day, that I was to hand over my duty to him.
19 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] General Petkovic, you've told
20 us something that has not emerged up to now, and that is that talking to
21 Mr. Boban, you realised that perhaps, regarding strategy or options, you
22 were not in agreement with him. And then you told him to replace you,
23 which he did. So if my understanding is right, and I'm listening to
24 everything you are saying, the appointment of General Praljak was the
25 result of your own decision not to continue as number 1, and then
1 Mr. Boban nominated General Praljak to take your place, with the
2 assurances that you would be a tandem, that you would work with
3 General Praljak. Is that how things evolved?
4 A. Judge Antonetti, Your Honour, yes, precisely like that. But let
5 me also add that, well, I was a little taken aback when he said that he
6 would bring in a team. I was offended when he said he would bring in a
7 team to command if I didn't want to. And Luka Dzanko, as I said,
8 appeared in the area, and then what happened happened. After that, I
9 thanked Mr. Boban and said that I could no longer continue to be the
10 number 1 man, but depending on who he's going to bring in to replace me,
11 I will decide whether I want to continue working or not. And then he put
12 forward Mr. Praljak, and I agreed to remain and work together with
13 General Praljak so that we could undertake a reorganisation of the
14 command structure, which Mr. Boban accepted.
15 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] General Petkovic, you, who were
16 a Croat, as you were born in Croatia
17 as General Praljak, who is from Herzegovina
18 didn't you take advantage of this opportunity to return to the Croatian
19 Army and make a nice career, even perhaps - I don't know - becoming one
20 day chief of staff, like Marshal Tito? Why stay? Why did you not return
21 to Croatia
22 THE INTERPRETER: I'm sorry, "head of state" and not "chief of
24 A. Your Honours, the first reason was that General Praljak arrived,
25 and I had known him for several months, him being in the area. The
1 second reason was that I considered that it would be a bad thing on my
2 part if I were to leave those people altogether and the area altogether,
3 because we were in a very difficult situation; the HVO, I mean, after a
4 large-scale offensive by the BH Army, the fall of Bugojno, and everything
5 else that happened to me and General Praljak. And that's why I remained,
6 and I was not bent on making a career and having a position in Croatia
7 and so on and so forth. And, anyway, it's not easy to come by a
8 prominent position in Croatia
9 for each post.
10 I thought that while the war was still on in the area, it wasn't
11 a very opportune time to run after positions and careers, but that it
12 would be better to do the job -- your job properly where you were, and
13 then after the war anybody who wanted to could think about their careers
14 and the posts they wished to hold.
15 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. As you know,
16 General Praljak left his position in November 1993. General Praljak told
17 us, when he was testifying like you are now, that he wanted to leave this
18 post for various reasons which could be linked to the fact that he didn't
19 have at his disposal all the material means, the men he needed, also for
20 reasons of health, et cetera, and so in the month of November 1993, he
21 left. Some people linked his departure to the destruction of the
22 Old Bridge
23 When he went, he was replaced by Ante Roso, not by you. Was this
24 a replacement that was natural, or was it not you who should have come
25 back as number 1?
1 A. Your Honour, I know that Praljak talked to Mr. Boban and that he
2 told him of the possibility of his leaving shortly. Now, on that 8th,
3 when the order was written, Mr. Boban's order to the effect that Praljak
4 would hand over his duty, that also on the 9th I wasn't in the area of
6 What happened was that General Matic rang me up and asked me if I knew
7 what was happening. I said -- I told him, Well, I don't know. You tell
8 me. And he said, Praljak is leaving, Roso is coming. That's one piece
9 of news. And the other piece of news is that Roso has said that in the
10 space of 20 hours we should all move from Citluk to Posusje. And he
11 says, I don't know what I'm going to do if Praljak leaves tomorrow. I
12 don't know how I'm going to be able to do that. And I told him, Well, if
13 there's no need, then I will be in Posusje myself tomorrow, and we'll
14 agree how we're going to relocate from Citluk to Posusje. So that was
15 the information I received.
16 Now, before that, I had never heard that General Roso was in any
17 combination that he was supposed to come in. It was just on the
18 afternoon of the 8th that I learnt that General Roso was, indeed, coming
19 in to take up his duty, and I don't know why he asked to go to Posusje
20 and didn't want to remain in Citluk. So on the 9th, the whole
21 Main Staff, to all intents and purposes, relocated to Posusje.
22 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I could continue, but I have to
23 be brief.
24 I'll move on to Valentin Coric now. Could you tell me when you
25 met him for the first time?
1 A. Your Honours, it was at the same time that I arrived in Grude. I
2 can't remember the date, whether it was on the first, second, or third
3 day I was there, but that's when I met Mr. Coric and found out that he
4 was responsible for the HVO police. And, in fact, at the time he made
5 the detachment in Grude responsible for partially securing the command,
6 which is where I was, as well as the forward command post.
7 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] What was your impression of him
8 when you started having contact with him?
9 A. Well, my impression of Mr. Coric was that he was a very peaceful
10 man, a stable man, who had made efforts within his field of competence to
11 do the utmost, to do everything that was possible at the time. I never
12 saw him in a situation -- I never saw him reacting in a given situation
13 in a noisy way. I never saw him expressing himself in a manner that was
14 not appropriate. I never saw him shouting, and so on and so forth.
15 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Should one take it that he had
16 a personality that was somewhat different to that of General Praljak's?
17 A. Well, General Praljak is a little more explosive. In two or
18 three words, he wants to say what he wants to say, and that's why his
19 manner of communicating is different from Coric's manner of
21 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] When you spoke -- or when you
22 had the opportunity to speak to Mr. Valentin Coric, did he ever mention a
23 plan to re-establish the Banovina, to create a Greater Croatia, to
24 ethnically cleanse certain regions, and so on and so forth? Did he ever
25 speak to you about such matters?
1 A. No, Your Honours, such issues were never on the agenda, so to
2 speak. When Mr. Coric and I spoke to each other, we would usually
3 discuss organisational concerns. We'd discuss the structure of the
4 police and of the army. We would discuss how well developed they were.
5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Listen to this question very
6 carefully, because this question is at the heart of the matter.
7 If I have understood matters correctly, the text correctly, the
8 testimonies we have listened to correctly, the evidence, and so on and so
9 forth, there's the military police, but the military police has two
10 components. There's the military police that is attached to brigades, or
11 brigade command. The brigade commander has military policemen at his
12 disposal who are responsible for order, for the brigade's security,
13 et cetera. And then we also have military police units, the head of
14 which is Mr. Valentin Coric. These MP units are well equipped, well
15 trained, competent, and if the order is issued, they may be sent in as
16 reinforcements for brigades involved in operations, they may participate
17 in military combat, and we have seen certain documents that show that.
18 There were a lot of wounded and dead in these units. Is that, in fact,
19 the way in which the military police is structured?
20 A. Your Honours, as far as I'm concerned, we had one military
21 police, not two, but some of them were responsible for duties that were
22 performed in brigades within the HVO. The other part of the military
23 police initially was structured in the following manner: You mentioned
24 combat operations, but there's just one military police battalion that
25 was capable of engaging in combat and that was intended for such combat.
1 That was the 1st Light -- the 1st Assault Brigade, Light Assault Brigade,
2 and the Military Police Administration could issue orders according to
3 which they could operate throughout the territory of the HZ-HB. And
4 according to the regulations, they were linked to the MP administration.
5 The situation changed towards the end of July. I couldn't tell
6 you the exact date. It was in 1993, which is when the military police
7 was reorganised in a drastic way. And according to the new structure,
8 the military police had four such battalions, so-called light assault
9 battalions, and their exclusive responsibilities concerned combat in a
10 given area. And the military police had four so-called standard military
11 police battalions that were responsible for carrying out combat tasks,
12 but the military police -- the situation within the military police was
13 dealt with in this way, pursuant to the decisions of the
14 Defence Department in July. This was confirmed in an order from the
15 chief of the Military Police. In certain situations, such units could be
16 subordinated to the commander of the headquarters and to someone who had
17 been authorised by him, and in such cases they would carry out combat
19 Similarly, a decision could be taken - we've seen this
20 already - according to which, at least if it was a matter of defence, if
21 it was a priority matter, some of the units that weren't part of the
22 light assault battalions could be temporarily re-subordinated to an HVO
23 unit to carry out a certain task. Why did the police have so many
24 casualties? Well, the light assault units were -- or battalions were
25 combat battalions, and they were sent into the field, they were
1 considered to be better than the standard HVO units, and as a result they
2 would have more casualties.
3 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, with your leave, I'd
4 like to correct the transcript. I think that in line 6, what the general
5 said about the main task hasn't been corrected noted. The four standard
6 battalions of the military police are concerned, and I don't want to
7 repeat this. Maybe the general could say what the main tasks of the four
8 standard battalions are.
9 A. I said, Your Honours, that these four so-called standard military
10 police battalions had military police tasks to perform, so the classical
11 military police tasks, traditional tasks. But when the situation was of
12 a particular kind, then parts of such battalions, pursuant to a decision
13 from the command, from the Defence Department, from the military police,
14 certain tasks could be assigned temporarily to a certain brigade until
15 the task was completed. So it depended on the situation. Even if these
16 units were not combat units, they could be attached, re-subordinated.
17 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] General Petkovic, you have said
18 that after the reorganisation in July 1993, there was, first of all, one
19 light assault battalion, and then in July there were four such battalions
20 for combat missions.
21 A. Yes, Your Honours, yes.
22 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] So now for my first question.
23 When there is no fighting, these four battalions were under whose
25 A. If there's no ongoing combat, the four battalions are under the
1 Military Police Administration.
2 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] And who is the Military Police
3 Administration under?
4 A. The Military Police Administration is under the deputy chief of
5 the Defence Department for Security, Mr. Lucic in this particular case,
6 and the second -- the second person under whose command it is, is the
7 chief of the Defence Department, the head of the Defence Department.
8 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] And who was the head of the
9 Defence Department?
10 A. The head of the Defence Department, up until the 15th of
11 November, 1993, was Mr. Stojic.
12 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. So when there are
13 no military operations, Mr. Valentin Coric's military police was under
14 the authority of Mr. Bruno Stojic, according to what you have said. And
15 now let me take the example of a military operation.
16 One needs a battalion or two battalions for a military operation,
17 whether of an offensive or defensive kind. I won't go into details. In
18 such a case, the military police battalions are under whose authority
20 A. The MP battalions are under the authority of the chief of the
21 Military Police Administration.
22 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] During combat operations?
23 A. In the course of combat operations, they are subordinated to the
24 commander of a given area. Or, rather, on the 27th of July and the 28th
25 of July, a decision was taken according to which they could be
1 subordinated to the commander of the Main Staff, and then he could
2 subordinate them to a certain commander in a given area.
3 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. Let me take the
4 example of one battalion. Well, there are four. I'll take the example
5 of one battalion. They are given the order to go to a certain area where
6 there is fighting, if I have understood things correctly. The military
7 police is, therefore, placed under the authority of the brigade commander
8 in that area or under the authority of the Main Staff; is that correct?
9 A. The military police -- or, rather, the light assault battalions
10 can, within the chain of command, be subordinated to the commander of an
11 operative zone, for example. And when they carry out a certain task,
12 they are responsible to the commander of an operative zone. When the
13 task is completed, they go back to the usual chain of command.
14 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. That's clear for
15 me. You say that when there is combat, they are in the chain of command.
16 And let me take the case of Mr. Valentin Coric, because that's
17 what I'm interested in. Would he, at such a time, have responsibilities
18 of any kind?
19 A. Valentin Coric, in this specific case, would draft an order
20 according to which a certain battalion should be subordinated in a
21 certain area, and it will enter within the chain of command in that area.
22 Valentin Coric, although he has subordinated the battalion to the
23 commander, doesn't lose his responsibility over that battalion. He
24 doesn't simply dismiss that battalion. He has the right to exercise
25 authority over that battalion. But the commander in the area will issue
1 them with specific tasks and will be in command of that battalion.
2 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. You see that we are
3 now dealing with an issue that is of crucial importance. I'm going to
4 take a very specific example now, very specific.
5 Let's imagine the following: Let's imagine that a military
6 police battalion is subordinated to a brigade. The brigade commander is
7 responsible for the chain of command, and members of the military police
8 commit crimes. Let's take an example, a purely hypothetical example.
9 The military police members in the course of combat burn down a house,
10 although this has no military justification, they engaged in acts of
11 pillaging and do other things. At that point in time, who is
12 responsible; the brigade commander, or Mr. Coric, or both of them?
13 A. Your Honours, taking your hypothetical, and if we add to that
14 that it was a battalion-strong military police unit so that we know what
15 we're talking about and how big it is, in a case like that both the
16 commander of a military police company is duty-bound to take steps
17 vis-à-vis his men, because the law states that the lowest level has to
18 secure the scene of crime, collect the evidence, and inform the
19 commander. So the military police has companies, and there's a company
20 commander, so each level has their responsibility in terms of taking
21 steps. It doesn't have to be the brigade commander that has the
22 responsibility. There were two levels in a military police battalion,
23 and they are duty-bound by law to take steps in cases of that kind. If
24 they fail to take steps or did take steps and sent on the information to
25 the brigade commander, then it is the brigade commander whose
1 responsibility it is to forward the evidence collected to the prosecutor
2 for further processing.
3 So when we speak about the military police, we mustn't skip over
4 two essential levels of the chain of command, the company commander and
5 the battalion commander, two instances. And then the third level is the
6 level of the commander.
7 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. I'm going to give
8 you another example.
9 Let us imagine that there's an Operation X. The brigade
10 commander says to the military police battalion, You're going to station
11 yourself on such a hill, and when I give you the order, you're going to
12 climb down from the hill and take control of the village. You're going
13 to take prisoners, and you will await further orders, but you will take
14 care to avoid affecting the civilians; women, children, and the elderly.
15 Those are very precise orders from the brigade commander. You're taking
16 part in combat, you're taking prisoners, and then you'll await orders --
17 further orders. The operation begins. The military police takes control
18 of the village. And in spite of the orders given, they engage in actions
19 against the civilian population.
20 So what I would like to know from you is whether the brigade
21 commander is accountable, as the superior, for what is happening with the
22 military police, or is it Mr. Coric who is accountable? That is what I
23 would like to know.
24 A. Let's take the assumption that within the military police in that
25 part certain measures have to be taken, but the brigade commander is the
1 person who, if he has issued assignments to the battalion commander, must
2 monitor to see whether he is carrying out his tasks. And according to
3 that, he would be duty-bound to take certain measures. However, that
4 does not release the Military Police Administration, if the brigade
5 commander fails to take steps, for it to take concrete steps, because the
6 military police and the re-subordinated units have not lost the chain of
7 command, especially in the order of re-subordination of the 28th of July.
8 It says that the military police must not, regardless of
9 re-subordination, lose the chain of command of its battalions. So the
10 brigade commander can send this on to the Military Police Administration
11 or he can specifically undertake to inform the prosecutors and so on for
12 them to take the necessary steps.
13 And I'm referring to the document of the 28th of July on
14 re-subordination of the military police, in which it says very precisely
15 that the assistant chiefs of the military police in the operative zones
16 must not, regardless of re-subordination, lose the chain of command
17 between the Military Police Administration and the military police units
18 on the ground. So the chain of command must be respected.
19 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I'm not going to insist on this
20 question, which is an important one, and in the cross-examination of the
21 Prosecutor we will be touching on other points, I'm sure. But I give the
22 floor to my learned colleague.
23 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Just to avoid any misunderstanding, 28th July of
24 which year? The document you were referring to.
25 A. 1993, Your Honour, and it's an exhibit already.
1 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Yes, thank you.
2 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I'm going to pass on to
3 Mr. Pusic now.
4 When did you meet him for the first time?
5 A. Judge Trechsel -- I mean, Judge Antonetti, the Presiding Judge,
6 the first time I had direct contacts with Mr. Pusic, I think, was in
7 Jablanica in -- well, the 4th and 5th of May, when I met with Halilovic
8 in that area. I don't know whether it was perhaps the last contact I had
9 with Mr. Pusic, because, to be quite honest, when I met him here in
10 detention, I didn't recognise him, I didn't know who he was. So the
11 first time that I came into direct contact with him, with Mr. Pusic, was,
12 as I say, when we attended talks in Jablanica with Halilovic. That was
13 the 4th and 5th of May, 1993. And my job was such that I didn't have any
14 contact with Mr. Pusic. And we were separated, anyway, because I went to
15 Citluk, and, to be quite frank, I don't know where Mr. Pusic had his
16 office in Mostar, if he was in Mostar.
17 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. Then there's no
18 point in my asking you whether he referred to Greater Croatia, et cetera,
19 talking to you, because you just said you hardly ever saw him, so the
20 question doesn't arise. So I shall finish with the three other that are
22 Dario Kordic. You testified in the trial of Mr. Kordic. When
23 did you meet him for the first time?
24 A. Your Honours, the first time I met him -- I met Dario Kordic was
25 the 7th of October, 1992, when I went to Sarajevo for talks at the
1 invitation of UNPROFOR, and we were in the Presidency building, the
2 Presidency of Bosnia-Herzegovina together.
3 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] So the same question. What
4 impression did you have of Mr. Kordic?
5 A. I met a man who liked to talk a lot and who, in what he said, in
6 the stories he told, was very loud. It was only later that I learnt that
7 he had some hearing problems, that he didn't hear very well. So I asked
8 him, Are you shouting at me or what? But then later on I realised that
9 he had hearing problems. Anyway, we were together in the Presidency
10 building. And upon our return to Kiseljak, he and Blaskic carried on
11 towards Vitez, and I went to Herzegovina
12 with Kordic.
13 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] So with Mr. Kordic, did he
14 raise the issue of the project of a Greater Croatia, the Banovina, ethnic
15 cleansing, et cetera, et cetera? Did he speak of these things with you?
16 A. No, Your Honours. We discussed our talks in Sarajevo, how we
17 were received in the Presidency of Bosnia-Herzegovina, and how they would
18 later on be working in the mixed commission which, regardless of the fact
19 that there was no tripartite meeting, it was established anyway at the
20 initiative of General Morillon.
21 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. The same question
22 for Mr. Blaskic. When did you meet Mr. Blaskic for the first time?
23 A. Your Honours, as for Blaskic, whether that was at the end of June
24 or beginning of July, mid-1992, as far as I remember, after Boban
25 appointed him, Mr. Boban appointed him, he stopped by in Grude for talks
1 with Mr. Boban, and that's when I met Mr. Blaskic for the first time.
2 Whether it was the end of June or the first half of July, I'm not quite
3 sure, but, as I say, during that general time when he was appointed
4 commander of Central Bosnia, in Central Bosnia.
5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. When you met him
6 and when he was appointed commander of the Operational Zone of Central
8 A. Your Honour, he was a very young man. He did have a certain
9 amount of experience in the JNA. I'm not quite sure, but I think that
10 the highest post he had was deputy battalion commander somewhere in
12 know the area very well and didn't like to enter into discussions about
13 it. He didn't know Central Bosnia very well, and he didn't know the
14 people that he encountered there. And also his approach was the approach
15 of a JNA officer.
16 He said that he was criticised for going to Austria when the war
17 in Croatia
18 there, so he spent some time in Austria
19 Bosnia-Herzegovina. So he was being tested, in a way, and suddenly he
20 was surprised, as he himself said, by the fact that Mr. Boban, without
21 ever having a meeting with him before that, appointed him to the post,
22 and he didn't even know who the man was who put him forward, put his name
23 forward from the Central Bosnian authorities.
24 So in the beginning, he was rather reserved, as I said, because
25 he had to get to know the people and find a way of imposing himself as
1 the commander.
2 And there was Colonel Filipovic over there who was some 10 years
3 older than him, and there was somebody else there too, and they were
4 bypassed in this appointment, so he was given the post, and he didn't
5 actually know how he came to be appointed. So he needed a bit of time to
6 find his bearings, if I can put it that way, and appraise the situation.
7 Otherwise, he liked to write a lot. I can say that about him.
8 He did a lot of writing.
9 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] When you had meetings with him,
10 did he tell you that he had a project of a Greater Croatia, the Banovina,
11 et cetera, or did you never address this type of issue?
12 A. No, we never mentioned any of those issues, especially not
13 Blaskic, as an officer who arrived in the way he did and was received in
14 the way he was. It never entered his head to speak about a project of
15 that kind at all.
16 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I'm going to end with
17 Mr. Mladen Naletilic. When did you meet him for the first time?
18 A. Your Honour, it's a difficult question. I think that the first
19 time I met Naletilic was sometime in June 1992. I think it was at a time
20 when he and his unit were supposed to take control of Orlovac or
21 Hum - I'm not quite sure of which feature - because -- anyway, that's the
22 first time I met Naletilic, in Siroki Brijeg, at the command of the
23 Siroki Brijeg command, the Municipal Staff of Siroki Brijeg as it was at
24 the time.
25 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] My second question: What was
1 the impression he left on you when you met him?
2 A. Well, he was somebody who liked talking about the army, military
3 tactics, and various actions, particularly his own specific action. And
4 I'd also say that he was somebody who was trying to find his way rather
5 than knowing exactly what tactics to apply in leading the army. He
6 wasn't a patient man. If you didn't want to talk to him, he would turn
7 his back on you and leave. So if you were listening to him carefully, he
8 would talk to you; if not, he would leave and move on.
9 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. With him, talking
10 to him, did he refer to the project of a Greater Croatia, the restoration
11 of the Banovina, ethnic cleansing, et cetera? Did he touch upon all
12 these issues that are mentioned in the indictment?
13 A. Your Honours, I never discussed anything like that with him.
14 Quite the contrary, I don't know, when I met him and when I talked to
15 him, except on the 14th of November, 1992, I don't remember ever having
16 talked to him on another occasion, and we never -- and on that occasion,
17 we didn't speak about anything very important. He was just -- he
18 threatened me at the command post in Capljina.
19 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] So my last question, and listen
20 carefully. It is an important one concerning Mr. Naletilic and the
21 Convicts Battalion.
22 According to you, he and his men, did they come under a different
23 chain of command from yours; that is, did they have a direct link with
24 Mate Boban, and, therefore, you, up until the 24th or 27th of July, 1993,
25 had no authority over him? Or Mr. Naletilic and the Convicts Battalion,
1 as a professional unit, did they come under the Main Staff of the HVO?
2 In other words, did they come under you?
3 A. Your Honour, as far as the Convicts Battalion is concerned, it
4 wasn't under anybody's command, if I can put it that way, so there was no
5 re-subordination, or attachment, or anything like that. The only person
6 that he believed and communicated with at that time was Mr. Boban. He
7 and I had a difference of opinion, as I said, on the 14th of November,
8 1992, when he -- well, since he lost two of his soldiers in
9 Operation Bura, he stormed into the headquarters with a pistol in his
10 hand and started threatening me, along with swear words which he readily
11 used, saying that he would liquidate me and that he would finish the job
12 with Tito's soldiers once and for all. Thanks to Mr. Dzanko intervening,
13 who happened to be there at the time, the situation calmed down, and he
14 left this locality. Mr. Boban was informed of all this, and he arrived
15 that very same evening. He came to Capljina, to the command post there.
16 And it was his position that Tuta and Tuta's men are his problem, and
17 that Tuta, from that time on, would have nothing to do with anybody
18 else -- no contacts with anybody else, and that he would be exclusively
19 responsible to Mr. Mate Boban. And that's what the situation was like
20 after that.
21 I don't remember, after that 14th of November, 1992, ever having,
22 in an order of mine, except the one in July 1993, any mention of the
23 Convicts Battalion, and this was different to other units to which I
24 issued orders. I gave up on Tuta and Tuta's men. I had nothing to do
25 with them. But I want to say that Tuta's men, both in 1992 and for a
1 significant portion of 1993, were soldiers who did not cause any
2 problems, especially not with respect to relations with the Muslims, for
3 example, because they had many Muslims among them. They made problems
4 for us Croats in certain locations.
5 So that the Convicts Battalion, as a battalion, I do not wish to
6 throw mud on. I don't want to say that it was a bad battalion from day
7 one. Its commander was bad, and luckily it didn't go into operation
8 much. So by April 1993, there was no information to the effect that
9 Tuta's unit did anything bad, except that some of his men might have been
10 engaged in a brawl with some other Croats in a cafe or something like
11 that, or in Ljubuski, or whatever, or somewhere else in Herceg-Bosna.
12 And Mr. Tuta, from that time on, was under the protection of
13 Mr. Boban, in actual fact. He found him a position, and communication
14 went via Tuta to Mr. Boban for anything that needed doing and was linked
15 to the Convicts Battalion. And that's how the situation remained until
16 the end, throughout the time that I was in the area, that is to say, in
18 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. We're going to have
19 the break, and after the break, General Petkovic, I will be asking you
20 questions about paragraph 17(4), and you will give me your opinion about
21 it. And after that, I hope there will be time, and we'll start with the
22 videos and the documents.
23 --- Recess taken at 5.51 p.m.
24 --- On resuming at 6.11 p.m.
25 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] We will now resume.
1 I would like to ask the Defence -- before I continue with my
2 questions for General Petkovic, I would like to ask the Petkovic Defence
3 something about the list of exhibits that I have for the second day. I
4 would like to ask you whether in the list, because I haven't been able to
5 deal with this myself, I would like to ask you whether in the list there
6 are any documents that have not been admitted; KD01520? Could you tell
7 me which documents haven't been admitted, which documents in the list
8 haven't been admitted, so that when I ask questions I can immediately
9 deal with the relevance and the probative value of a given document. I
10 wouldn't like to find myself in a situation in which I have to have a
11 dissenting opinion with 140 documents, and this was the case last time
12 with Mr. Praljak. So I don't know. All these documents, 4D and others,
13 are there any documents that have not yet been admitted?
14 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I have to admit that
15 I haven't had a look at -- or I didn't deal with the list of your
16 documents with the idea of which ones had been admitted and which hadn't,
17 but tomorrow I can inform you of which documents aren't being treated as
18 exhibits. We have nothing against you putting questions about all these
19 documents, but we'll find this information for you.
20 Could I just ask you the following now: Will we have the right,
21 as the Petkovic Defence, to suggest that certain evidence be used that
22 you use, but that doesn't have the status of an exhibit, but a document
23 that we would like to be an exhibit? Judge Antonetti, could this be a
24 basis for a request from the Petkovic Defence to have this document
25 admitted into evidence?
1 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Ms. Alaburic, the list of
2 documents that I have, where I established it with reference to your
3 written submissions during your introductory or opening statement, and it
4 was also on the basis of the documents that were presented as the trial
5 proceeded, I have not now verified the situation. I haven't tried to
6 establish whether the Chamber has rendered decisions about admissibility
7 with regard to these documents, because your witness is testifying, and
8 requests will be made for admission at the end of his testimony. That is
9 the difficulty that we are facing. And in the course of your
10 examination-in-chief, you presented certain documents to him, and these
11 documents have not yet been admitted because no decision has been handed
12 down yet. So if I use a document that you have already produced, shown,
13 but a document that hasn't been admitted yet, I can put questions about
14 the document, although there's no decision on admissibility with regard
15 to that document. I can only use -- or I only use the documents that you
16 have used so far. Nevertheless, I don't know whether these documents
17 have already been admitted, were previously admitted.
18 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, most of these
19 documents already have the status of an exhibit of evidence. I can't
20 provide you with precise information. Certain decisions are still being
21 made with regard to some of the documents. But tomorrow we'll provide
22 you with a precise list and information on the exact status of the
23 documents concerned.
24 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. Why am I putting
25 this question to you? Because in the decision on admissibility, when
1 General Praljak was testifying, there were certain documents that were
2 shown and that, in the end, were not admitted. If I had known that that
3 was going to be the majority decision, I would then have put questions
4 about the relevance, the reliability, and the probative value of the
5 documents. However, as this was not a problem for me, I didn't put such
6 questions. So to make sure that I don't find myself in a similar
7 situation, if a document isn't admitted, I would then prefer the witness
8 to tell me why the document is relevant, why it might be of interest,
9 et cetera, and this is why I wanted to check this with you. But I can
10 ask my trainee, my intern, to do this work for me.
11 Very well. General Petkovic, we will conclude with the
12 indictment. As I said, I was going to put questions to you about the
13 paragraph that concerned you. I proceeded in the same way when
14 General Praljak was testifying. I'll read out the part of the indictment
15 that is concerned, and you will provide me with your point of view.
16 So paragraph 17(4), the Prosecution says that you participated in
17 a criminal enterprise as follows: Under A, it states the following: As a
18 senior commander, you exercised de jure and/or de facto command and
19 control over the Herceg-Bosna HVO armed forces:
20 "While chief of the HVO Main Staff, he directed and operated the
21 HVO armed forces and was responsible for the activities and actions of
22 such forces in furtherance of the joint criminal enterprise and in
23 connection with the crimes charged in this indictment. He also played a
24 central command role in the Herceg-Bosna HVO armed forces during the time
25 that Slobodan Praljak was commander of the HVO Main Staff, as the overall
1 deputy commander."
2 So what do you have to say about that?
3 A. Your Honour, I reject the claim that I participated in a criminal
4 enterprise, as alleged by the Prosecution. I do not deny that I was at
5 the head of the HVO, that I issued orders, and that I was in command in
6 certain fields, in command of HVO units. At the time, I was in charge of
7 the Main
8 responsible to my commander for my work, and I don't see why I should
9 place myself above my commander during that period of time with regard to
10 anything. I don't know why the Prosecution stated that I was a
11 high-ranking deputy. Such position doesn't exist. There are just
12 deputies, and in all the armies throughout the world the duties of
13 deputies are quite clearly defined.
14 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] And now under B, this is what
15 the Prosecution says:
16 "Milivoj Petkovic participated in high-level meetings of the HVO
17 armed forces and also the Herceg-Bosna HVO leadership, and with leaders
18 of the Republic of Croatia
19 operations, and strategies of the Herceg-Bosna HVO leadership in
20 establishing Croat control over the territories claimed to comprise
21 Herceg-Bosna and pursuing the goals and objectives of the joint criminal
23 So what would you say about that?
24 A. Your Honour Judge Antonetti, I think the number of meetings I
25 attended at government sessions is well documented. I think I was at one
1 Presidency meeting, a meeting of the Presidency of Herceg-Bosna, and it
2 can quite clearly be seen what matters I addressed. My concern was to
3 inform the authorities at the time of specific military events in a given
4 area, and this is what I did. At those meetings, this is what I did. As
5 far as policies are concerned and other matters that I'm accused of here,
6 no, I didn't speak about such matters.
7 As far as the Croatian state is concerned, at the level of the
8 Croatian state, when I would meet with officials from the Republic of
10 community that had to do with subjects that had been chosen by the
11 international community. I can provide you with precise information of
12 each and every such meeting.
13 On the 5th of November, 1993, I attended a meeting in Split
14 it was the only occasion when the Croatian leadership was also present.
15 I was there with a group of people from Herceg-Bosna, and the main
16 subject had to do with the events in Central Bosnia. To be more
17 specific, it had to do with events around Vares. I spoke about such
18 matters and about nothing else. I don't remember, and no one has
19 demonstrated this here, either, any other high-level meetings, meetings
20 at the level of the state of Croatia
21 meetings organised by the international community, which were attended by
22 representatives, are well documented and you can see what subjects were
24 MS. TOMANOVIC: [Interpretation] I apologise. I have to correct
25 something in the transcript. On page 75, line 24, when the general,
1 General Petkovic, spoke about meetings of the government, he said that
2 politics was not discussed at those meetings. But what it says here
3 is -- well, it seems that General Petkovic said that he didn't speak
4 about politics. The general can say whether I'm right or not.
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honours, there's an agenda for
6 each and every meeting. I didn't attend a single meeting where politics
7 was discussed. I attended a meeting and entered a meeting when there was
8 an item that I had to provide information about. I would provide the
9 information, thank everyone present, and then leave the meeting. So I
10 didn't attend meetings from the beginning to the end. I came to deal
11 with a specific point, and I appeared at the time I was told to appear.
12 I provided information about events in a certain part of the
13 battle-field, and after that I left the governmental meeting or the HVO
15 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Under C, it states the
17 "Milivoj Petkovic ordered, directed, facilitated, supported, and
18 participated in the Herceg-Bosna HVO subjugation of and commission of
19 crimes against Bosnian Muslims in the territory claimed as Herceg-Bosna
20 by issuing orders, commands, directions, instructions, and ultimatums,
21 such as the ultimatums that he participated in and assisted in January
22 1993 and April 1993, demanding the subordination of ABiH troops to the
23 HVO command."
24 General Petkovic, what do you have to say about this?
25 A. Your Honours, I wrote an order on the 15th of January, as
1 suggested -- recommended by General Praljak from Zagreb on -- at the
2 joint command with members from Bosnia-Herzegovina. I issued the order
3 on the basis of a previous decision taken by the government and on the
4 basis of the head of the Defence Department, on the basis of his
5 decision. When you read the order, it's not an ultimatum; it's an
6 invitation to hold discussions. And if it is such an invitation, there
7 is no ultimatum. I hope we will discuss this and then see to whom an
8 ultimatum is being issued.
9 Under item 4, I think, an ultimatum is first being issued to the
10 HVO, if an ultimatum is being issued at all. So it wasn't an ultimatum
11 of any kind for the ABiH. When we found out that the ABiH wouldn't
12 accept such a method, a decision was quite simply taken on the 19th
13 according to which all of this was to be dismissed and that a joint
14 command order was to be issued together with the ABiH, and
15 General Halilovic and General Pasalic signed this.
16 In April 1993, an ultimatum wasn't issued to the units of the
17 ABiH. There wasn't a conclusion of any kind that might seem like an
18 ultimatum. No such conclusion was adopted by the Government of the
19 HZ-HB. So there are no documents from the Defence Department. As a
20 result of the meeting of the Government of the HZ-HB, there's no document
21 of any kind that was provided to the Main Staff. And I, as the chief of
22 the Main Staff, wasn't invited to the alleged session at the beginning of
23 April 1993. All the written -- all of this is just a matter of
24 allegations or for re-subordination, the HVO and the Main Staff
25 concerned -- or with regard to that matter, the HVO and Main Staff didn't
1 issue any such order. I stand by this claim that no such order was
2 issued, and there was no basis for such an order to be drafted.
3 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I'd just like to
4 correct the transcript. It's a minor correction. Page 77, line 19, the
5 transcript says "command," and the general spoke about a joint meeting
6 with representatives of Bosnia and Herzegovina. So we need the word
7 "meeting" instead of the word "command."
8 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. Listen to D,
9 because there are certain claims that are more or less important. But
10 listen to D very carefully, because we'll be going as far as O. I'll
11 read it out slowly:
12 "Milivoj Petkovic participated in, facilitated, and supported the
13 joint crime enterprise and crimes charged in this indictment in planning,
14 approving, preparing, supporting, ordering, and/or directing military
15 operations and actions during and as a part of which such crimes were
17 I've read this paragraph, paragraph D, out slowly. What do you
18 have to say about that?
19 A. Your Honours, it would be a good idea if the Prosecutor had
20 mentioned specific military operations, when they started, when they were
21 completed, and how they evolved. There were no military operations that
22 the HVO carried out against members of the BH Army in the sense of
23 military operations. The HVO did clash with members of the ABiH in a
24 number of locations from Central Bosnia down to the Neretva River Valley
25 and these were not operations that were initiated by the HVO. And in the
1 course of such defensive assignments, I did issue orders and I advised my
2 commanders, which it is my duty to do.
3 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] E:
4 "Milivoj Petkovic mobilised military, logistical, and manpower
5 resources which were used to pursue the political and military goals --"
6 Let me start again. Small (e):
7 "Milivoj Petkovic mobilised military, logistical, and manpower
8 resources which were used to pursue the political and military goals of
9 the Herceg-Bosna HVO leadership, and which included military, logistical,
10 and manpower support from the Republic of Croatia Ministry of Defence and
11 Armed Forces."
12 General Petkovic, what would you say to that?
13 A. Your Honour, I didn't quite understand. Ministry of Defence of
14 the Republic of Croatia
15 translated for me.
16 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes. In this paragraph (e),
17 you mobilised military, logistical, and manpower resources, and
18 specifically logistical and manpower support which was extended by the
19 Republic of Croatia
20 A. Your Honour Judge Antonetti, the mobilisation of personnel and
21 materiel is a component part of any armed struggle in any country in the
22 world. Both the mobilisation within the frameworks that the Main Staff
23 is responsible for, I did carry out in order to strengthen the defence of
24 the Croatian people or, rather, the territory inhabited by Croats, and
25 the defence of those areas at first from attacks by the VRS and later
1 from attacks by members of the Army of the BiH, attacks on the HVO and
2 the Croat people. I could not mobilise nor bring in units from the Army
3 of Croatia
4 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Small (f):
5 "Milivoj Petkovic participated in the financial operations of the
6 HVO armed forces and facilitated them, including the HVO armed forces'
7 budget, payroll, and expenditures."
8 What would be your comment?
9 A. Your Honours, there is just one document that I signed, the
10 payroll list. And I think even here for the Trial Chamber and the
11 Prosecution, somebody has to sign the payrolls. So I did not participate
12 in procurement of financial resources or any other. That was not the
13 responsibility of the Main Staff. My right was to guarantee, with my
14 signature, that for such and such a month, there were 25 or 30 people
15 working in the Main Staff, and that was all that I had to do with respect
16 to finances.
17 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Small (g):
18 "Milivoj Petkovic participated in the seizure of movable and
19 immovable property and transfer of its ownership to the Herceg-Bosna HVO
21 What would you say to that?
22 A. I can say that Milivoj Petkovic did not participate in the
23 seizure of any kind of property, nor did he transfer that property to the
24 HVO. Milivoj Petkovic had the right -- the captured equipment from the
25 VRS and the ABiH, to treat it in the way it is treated in any armies of
1 the world, that is, to proclaim it its own equipment, nor under no
2 circumstances to seize any other kind of equipment if it is not of a
3 military nature.
4 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Small (h):
5 "Milivoj Petkovic facilitated, supported, encouraged, and
6 participated in the joint criminal enterprise and crimes charged in this
7 indictment in planning, approving, preparing, supporting, ordering,
8 and/or directing military operations and actions during and as part of
9 which cultural and religious property, such as mosques, were destroyed,
10 and private property of Bosnian Muslims was looted, burned, or destroyed
11 without any justification or military necessity, and failing to prevent,
12 stop, punish, or redress such destruction and looting."
13 A. Your Honours, I do not deny that there was destruction of certain
14 facilities and even certain properties as a result of combat activities,
15 and even intentional destruction. But Milivoj Petkovic did not in any
16 way encourage such methods, but in his orders Milivoj Petkovic cautioned
17 and warned his subordinates to treat property, civilians, and facilities
18 in accordance with the regulations recognised by international law.
19 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Small (i):
20 "Milivoj Petkovic controlled, directed, facilitated, assisted,
21 and/or participated in a system of ill treatment involving a network of
22 Herceg-Bosna HVO prisons, concentration camps, and other detention
23 facilities which were used to arrest, detain, and imprison thousands of
24 Bosnian Muslims in unlawful and harsh conditions, where they were killed,
25 mistreated, beaten, and abused. In particular, Milivoj Petkovic ordered
1 and directed the widespread and systematic arrest of Bosnian Muslim men
2 in the summer of 1993."
3 Your comment regarding this role that is being attributed to you.
4 A. Your Honour, Milivoj Petkovic and the Main Staff did not direct
5 any locations where persons were detained or imprisoned or put up in any
6 other way; that is, the Muslims. Milivoj Petkovic, availing himself of
7 the rights of a commander, in the event of a security threat to his units
8 and the territory under his control, acted in accordance with the general
9 rules of military organisation of any state and was entitled to disarm
10 members of his own army, to disarm members of the enemy army that was in
11 the area, but Milivoj Petkovic, through his orders, insisted that
12 civilians, elderly, women and children, should be protected.
13 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, Your Honour, please. Microphone.
14 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Let me repeat. (j):
15 "Milivoj Petkovic controlled, authorised, facilitated, condoned,
16 and allowed the use of Bosnian Muslim detainees in unlawful forced
17 labour, during which many of them were killed or injured, and issued
18 specific instructions on the use of Bosnian Muslim detainees in such
20 So this is a paragraph devoted to forced labour which the
21 Prosecutor referred to last week. Your comment, please.
22 A. Your Honours, Milivoj Petkovic issued such orders, but in those
23 orders he ordered that a labour be conducted with the engineers'
24 equipment and that the manpower should be used as auxiliary manpower
25 several kilometres away from the line. So it always says in the orders
1 "use engineering equipment," and we know that when engineering units
2 work -- you need one soldier, not 100. All the others were in a safe
3 place and were completely protected. Milivoj Petkovic issued specific
4 orders. I don't want to get away from that, but through my orders the
5 lives of not a single soldier was under threat, and none of my soldiers
6 were killed, because they were not where the trench-digging was going on.
7 They were either in warehouses -- where resources were later transported
8 by truck to certain positions.
9 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] General Petkovic, on the basis
10 of the documents that I will show you - I'm not going to, therefore,
11 belabour this issue, but I must remind you that we have seen documents
12 and we have heard victims - you say that you did order engineering works
13 that were apparently far removed from the front-line. And when soldiers
14 of the ABiH - if I'm mistaken, please correct me - were placed in
15 conditions that were close -- if they were close to the front-line, they
16 were put in facilities in which they were protected. But,
17 General Petkovic, how would you explain that certain detainees told us
18 that they were placed on the front-line, exposed to ABiH fire? And I
19 quote by heart because I don't have the specific cases in mind because I
20 had not intended to go into this in detail, but there has been evidence
21 whereof persons being killed when they had left prison. How would you
22 explain that?
23 A. Judge Antonetti, Your Honour, I'm talking about specific orders
24 with my signature, and a specific time when this was going on, and
25 specific information which says that engineering equipment would be used
1 and that the manpower would be axillary at positions three to five
2 kilometres away from the front; that they would provide services, but
3 that they wouldn't be up at the front-line. And I claim that pursuant to
4 the orders of the 15th, the 20th, and the 8th, there were no fatalities
5 amongst the soldiers who were taken out. And, on the other hand, if we
6 look at orders, where it says that -- well, my orders, at least, of the
7 15th, it says that my orders were not carried out.
8 So I am not the person responsible for each order issued from the
9 start to the finish of the war. Every period had its own people who were
10 in command positions. And I stand by each of the orders I issued, and I
11 will always be happy to expound and explain them before this Tribunal.
12 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] General Petkovic, for the
13 period when you were commander of the Main Staff, shall we say, until the
14 24th of July, 1993, or, rather, the 27th of July, is it your opinion that
15 when a prisoner leaves the prison on the basis of an order that is not
16 coming from you, but whoever is issuing the order comes under your chain
17 of command, do you believe that in this specific case you are not
19 A. Your Honours, in my order of the 20th, it is stated that the
20 dead-line is the 22nd. From that date on, without my order, nobody was
21 allowed to take any soldier, but anyone who acted differently acted
22 against the law. And I am incapable, in this Tribunal, to elaborate all
23 my orders while I was chief of staff of the Main Staff. I'm ready to
24 analyse each specific case and say, This happened and, This did not
25 happen. And I could mention the orders that I issued, whether it was on
1 the 8th or I don't know when. We can see the dates on the documents.
2 And I wish to compare with what happened then. I claim that such deaths
3 did not occur following my orders, and I don't consider these orders to
4 have authorised everyone to do what they wished. And every order has a
6 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] So, General Petkovic, you're
7 saying -- if I'm mistaken, please correct me. There shouldn't be any
8 ambiguity. You're saying that you assume responsibility for the orders
9 that you gave and signed. But concerning other orders which did not come
10 from you, I should draw the conclusion that they were issued behind your
11 back, without you knowing about it. Is that what you're telling us?
12 A. Your Honours, yes. In this case, there are specific documents
13 for a specific dead-line and period. And when I was at the head of the
14 Main Staff, I'm willing to speak about every specific case while I was
15 head of the Main Staff, every case that occurred, because -- and where I
16 signed. Outside that, I do not accept responsibility, because I did not
17 order it myself, nor did I ask that anything like that be done.
18 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] To understand well what you're
19 saying, I'm going to take a case.
20 Let us imagine -- from abroad, a case from abroad. Let us
21 imagine that in a prison in Iraq
22 forces - let us take such an example - does not issue orders. For him,
23 the prisoners are in prison in accordance with the law. And then a
24 military commander, any military commander, takes some prisoners to
25 engage in certain kinds of labour. In this American case, you would say
1 that the commander of the American forces is not responsible?
2 A. The commander of the American forces might not know that this was
3 going on, to begin with, so one should see who allowed it, who permitted
5 Now, a soldier belonging to the HVO -- if soldiers are in
6 detention, they are used -- I state before this Court that I am willing
7 to analyse each of my orders, compare it to the cases which happened, so
8 that we can see what my responsibility is and what is not my
9 responsibility. I don't want to shed my responsibility in any way.
10 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] You're very precise, so I shall
11 now pass on to the next point, that is, small (k):
12 "Milivoj Petkovic participated in, facilitated, and assisted a
13 system of ill treatment designed and implemented to expel, deport, or
14 forcibly transfer large numbers of Bosnian Muslims by expelling them from
15 Bosnia and Herzegovina into other countries or transferring them to parts
16 of Bosnia and Herzegovina not claimed or controlled by Herceg-Bosna or
17 the HVO, such as the transfer of Bosnian Muslim civilians from the area
18 of Sovici-Doljani in May 1993 and the expulsion of Muslims from Prozor
19 municipality in July 1993."
20 Have you understood well? If not, I can elaborate. What is your
21 comment, please.
22 A. Your Honours, I want each point of the indictment, date by date,
23 location by location, to be placed in the context of command and
24 responsibility. In Sovici and Doljani, the movement of Muslims was
25 something that the local commanders asked for, local people, at meetings
1 with me, at meetings that were attended by international observers too.
2 Therefore, Petkovic did not make the decision for that to be done that
3 way. Petkovic acquiesced to the requests made by the commander of the
4 BH Army and his subordinates in the chain of command, specifically those
5 responsible for those areas.
6 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] To make things quite clear.
7 For the example of Sovici Doljani, you're saying the Muslims who had left
8 these places left these places because there was a request on the part of
9 the ABiH and in the presence of the international community, and that
10 that was why you allowed them to leave, because this was requested of you
11 and because it was approved by the international community? Is that what
12 you're telling us?
13 A. Your Honours, the documents that we have seen here from the
14 BH Army state -- or, rather, talk about the evacuation of Muslim members
15 on the basis of a conversation between Petkovic and Halilovic. On the
16 basis of my stay in the school, if you remember, I promised that
17 everybody would go home by 4.00. However, the BH Army members after that
18 asked that people be relocated from Sovici and Doljani to an area under
19 the control of the BH Army; specifically, in Jablanica. And in their
20 documents, they mention this request. So it was a request from the
21 BH Army, and it was at their request that I offered services. It wasn't
22 my will that they should be relocated from those areas.
23 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. As it is time to
24 close, tomorrow, General Petkovic, I will finish with the four last
25 paragraphs, the L, M, N, and O, and I will do the same thing that I have
1 been saying up to now; I will read it, and you will comment. After that,
2 I will use the documents and the videos, and I will review all the
3 P evidence that has been admitted. And once we have finished with that,
4 I will move on to the documents that your counsel has submitted in a
5 chronological order, starting from the oldest up to the most recent.
6 So have a good rest until tomorrow. As you know, the night will
7 be a short one, because we will be meeting again, all of us, at 9.00 a.m.
8 in the morning.
9 Mr. Karnavas.
10 MR. KARNAVAS: Good afternoon, or I should say good evening,
11 Your Honours.
12 For scheduling purposes, because I'm the first one to do the
13 cross-examination, and I understand you had allotted yourself two
14 days - obviously, we're not going to hold you to that time - but can I
15 rest assured that I will not be doing any cross-examination tomorrow?
16 You're shaking your head. That means, Yes; right?
17 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] You will not be beginning
18 tomorrow, rest assured.
19 MR. KARNAVAS: And one other matter. And let me preface it by
20 saying we're very grateful for the Trial Chamber giving us two days off
21 in April. I wanted to ask the Trial Chamber if it would consider
22 April 1, which is Thursday, also to be given off. And let me explain
23 just very briefly.
24 In the Orthodox religion, it is big or great -- Thursday, it is a
25 very important date for religious purposes. I don't know how the
1 Catholics practice it, but for the Orthodox, we go to church. It's at
2 night. It's a very lengthy sermon. I have to travel to Greece, where my
3 family is. So if it is at all possible to have that day off, I would
4 most appreciate it, thank you, because we go Thursday, Friday, Saturday,
5 Sunday. It's one of those rare occasions where we go every day to
6 church. Thank you.
7 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Karnavas, you can leave on
8 Thursday. Since your co-counsel is here, there shouldn't be any problem.
9 MR. KARNAVAS: Very well, Mr. President.
10 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] So I wish you all a good
11 evening, and we meet again tomorrow at 9.00.
12 [The accused stands down]
13 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 7.01 p.m.
14 to be reconvened on Tuesday, the 23rd day of
15 February, 2010, at 9.00 a.m.