1 Wednesday, 24 February 2010
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 [The accused Petkovic takes the stand]
5 --- Upon commencing at 9.02 a.m.
6 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Could the Registrar please call
7 the case.
8 THE REGISTRAR: Good morning, Your Honours. Good morning,
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, Mr. Registrar.
13 Today, this Wednesday. I'd first like to greet Mr. Petkovic, the
14 other accused, the Defence, representatives of the OTP, my colleagues,
15 and everyone else assisting us.
16 The Chamber has two oral decisions it would like to render.
17 Oral decision on the Petkovic Defence's request and the
18 Prosecution's request to have additional time for the cross-examination
19 of the witness Miroslav Desnica.
20 In a request dated the 4th of February, 2010, the Petkovic
21 Defence requested to be granted 15 minutes to conduct its
22 cross-examination of the witness Miroslav Desnica, who will be appearing
23 pursuant to Rule 92 ter of the Rules, scheduled for the 2nd of March,
24 2010. This hearing is scheduled for the 2nd of March, 2010.
25 The Coric Defence responded to the request on the 15th of
1 February, 2010. The Chamber granted the Petkovic Defence leave to reply
2 in an oral decision of the 16th of February. This response was filed on
3 the 17th of February, 2010.
4 In addition, in a request dated the 1st of February, 2010, the
5 Prosecution requested to be granted one hour to examine the witness
6 Miroslav Desnica. The Coric and Praljak Defence responded to the request
7 on the 4th of February, 2010
8 leave to respond and filed its response on the 4th of February, 2010
9 The witness Miroslav Desnica, called by the Coric Defence, is to
10 appear pursuant to 92 ter of the Rules on the 2nd of March, 2010. The
11 Coric Defence informed the Chamber and the parties of its intention of
12 conducting an examination-in-chief, the length of which would be 30
14 In view of the submissions filed by the parties, the Chamber
15 hereby grants the Petkovic Defence's request to have 15 additional
16 minutes for its cross-examination, to the extent that this request is not
17 a disproportionate one and is in accordance with the practice of the
18 Chamber with regard to allocating time for the cross-examination of a
19 witness who is appearing pursuant to Rule 92 ter.
20 The Chamber hereby decides, for the very same reasons, to grant
21 the Prosecution request and to grant it one hour for the conduct of its
23 The Prlic Defence, the Stojic, Praljak, and Pusic Defence have
24 not filed any requests in particular, but will have 30 minutes at their
25 disposal which are to be divided amongst themselves in case they should
1 wish to conduct their cross-examination.
2 Second oral decision concerning Witness Andabak.
3 Witness Janko Andabak, called by the Coric Defence, is to appear
4 as a viva voce witness from the 2nd to the 4th of March, 2010. The Coric
5 Defence has informed the Chamber and the parties of its intention to use
6 two hours for the examination-in-chief of this witness and for any
7 re-examination they might wish to conduct.
8 In a request dated the 1st of February, 2010, the Petkovic
9 Defence requested leave to be granted an hour, which means that they
10 would be granted 45 additional minutes in relation to the time they would
11 allocated in accordance with Guide-line 5. They have requested this
12 additional time for the examination of the witness Andabak. The Coric
13 Defence responded on the 5th of February, 2010, to this request. The
14 Chamber authorised the Petkovic Defence to file a response, which was
15 done on the 12th of February, 2010.
16 Then on the 2nd of February, 2010, the Praljak Defence filed a
17 request and asked the Chamber for 20 additional minutes to conduct its
18 cross-examination of this witness. And, finally, in a brief of the 10th
19 of February, 2010, the Stojic Defence requested that the Chamber grant it
20 20 additional minutes to conduct its cross-examination of the witness.
21 In addition, it requested that this additional time be allocated to the
22 total time granted to it by the Chamber -- be deducted from the total
24 Concerning the 65 ter summary of the witness Andabak, the Chamber
25 believes that the requests for additional time filed by the
1 Praljak Defence and the Stojic Defence have a good basis and are not
2 disproportionate. The Chamber hereby decides that they be, therefore,
3 granted 20 additional minutes for each team in order to cross-examine the
4 witness. The Chamber also takes notes of the Stojic Defence request to
5 have the additional time of 20 minutes added to its total time.
6 As far as the Petkovic Defence team is concerned, the Chamber
7 believes that an hour for its cross-examination is disproportionate,
8 given the elements in the 65 ter summary for the witness Janko Andabak.
9 The Chamber believes that 20 additional minutes is sufficient for counsel
10 to protect its client's interests.
11 As a result, time will be allocated as follows: The
12 Coric Defence will have two hours for its examination-in-chief and for
13 re-examination, if any. The Stojic Defence, the Praljak and Petkovic
14 Defence, will have 32 minutes respectively for their cross-examination.
15 Given that there are no particular requests from the Prlic and
16 Pusic Defence teams, they will have 12 minutes respectively for any
17 cross-examination they may have. And, finally, the Prosecution will
18 have, pursuant to Guide-line 5, two hours for its cross-examination.
19 WITNESS: MILIVOJ PETKOVIC [Resumed]
20 [The witness answered through interpreter]
21 Questioned by the Court: [Continued]
22 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] General Petkovic, with regard
23 to the questions I will be putting to you concerning the list of exhibits
24 dealt with on the first day and given the time taken yesterday that was
25 spent on clarifying the oral decision that was handed down, in light of
1 all those elements, I'll put questions to you with regard to two
2 elements, the video of the bridge and I'll put questions to you on the
3 document on a meeting that was held in Zagreb. Then I will put questions
4 to you on the basis of documents from your own Defence team and will only
5 be referring to 4D documents. That means to your documents. I will then
6 conclude today. That is my intention. I won't be putting any questions
7 to you tomorrow. Tomorrow, the D1 Defence team will conduct its
9 Mr. Registrar, let's now see the video on the Old Bridge
10 view it carefully, General Petkovic.
11 [Video-clip played]
12 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] We can stop there.
13 General Petkovic, I've seen this video ten times, at least. As I
14 did, you must have come to the conclusion that shots were fired. You can
15 see the bridge being hit, and you can see that when the shell -- or when
16 a shell hits the bridge, there's a sort of red bubble -- red effect that
17 is produced, a red ball. Whereas you were in the JNA, in the unit that
18 had artillery and missiles, shells, at one point in time, perhaps you
19 could tell me what this red ball is when the shell hits the bridge.
20 A. Your Honour, when any shell hits a target, the red ball means
21 that there was an explosion, because the explosive in the shell is being
22 activated at the point of impact. So it's a red ball effect, which
23 means, as I said, that the explosive in the shell has been activated, and
24 it's when the detonator sets off the explosion and the fill. So if you
25 were to set alight an explosive yourself, when it explodes you have this
1 red ball flash effect.
2 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. That's a very
3 precise answer.
4 MR. KOVACIC: Excuse me, Your Honour, but it would be maybe
5 useful to have the number of that video in the transcript. I think you
6 mentioned it, but it was not in the transcript.
7 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes, we'll have a number. It's
8 Exhibit IC00574.
9 General Petkovic, one can also see the third hit -- when the
10 third shell hits the bridge, the red ball is on the other side of the
11 bridge. How do you explain this? If you like, we can have a look at the
12 video one more time. Would you like us to do that?
13 A. No, there's no need. I've seen it. The red ball or red ball
14 effect is the tracer that you can see, so it's a projectile that was
15 fired from the opposite side of the bridge, so not from the southern
16 side. It came somewhere from the north, that is to say, from the other
17 side of the bridge. If we divide it into north and south, it came from
18 the south [as interpreted] side, which means that there was something
19 else which fired this one or more projectiles targeting the bridge, but
20 from the opposite side of the bridge, from the other side.
21 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. Listen to me
22 carefully now, General Petkovic.
23 On the other side, when it comes from the north, who was present
24 on the other side in the north? Who could have fired on the bridge from
25 that side?
1 A. Your Honours, the question now is of locality, location. The
2 Neretva River
3 area were held by the BH Army forces. So from the bridge, the Old Bridge
4 itself, right up until I think it was called Tito's Bridge and the
5 barracks, that was held by -- well, along the Neretva River
7 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Given the importance of what
8 you have just said, namely, that -- yes?
9 MR. KOVACIC: I'm awfully sorry to interrupt, but I think that
10 the transcript, on lines from 12 to 18, does not really reflect what the
11 witness said. The witness explicitly mentioned projectile coming from
12 the north side. It is -- I don't think it is reflected here. I would
13 kindly ask the Court to repeat this question.
14 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. In the French
15 interpretation, my understanding was that the projectile came from the
16 north. I'll put my question to you again, because it's important in the
17 video we saw.
18 But before I put the question again, I will first ask the
19 Registrar to show it again so that everyone can see this very clearly and
20 so that the Prosecution can see this very clearly.
21 [Video-clip played]
22 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Stop.
23 We have just seen a shell that hit the bridge on the other side,
24 and we saw a tyre fall on the other side of the bridge.
25 General Petkovic, the shell that we have all just seen came from
1 which direction?
2 A. Your Honours, that shell came from the north, from the northern
3 side of the bridge.
4 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. And my last
5 question: Which forces were present to the north of the bridge?
6 A. To the north of the bridge, including both banks of the
7 Neretva River
8 northerly, the area of South Camp and Rastan, this area of Rastan was
9 held by the BH Army, that area. So both sides of the Neretva, including
10 North Camp, the area of North Camp. That's where members of the BH Army
12 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I apologise, but
13 let's clear something up, an imprecision.
14 The general, first of all, said "South Camp and Rastani," and
15 then later he said "North Camp." So just to avoid misunderstanding.
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honours, that is
17 North Camp. Yes, South Camp is elsewhere. So we're dealing with
18 North Camp, and the BH Army took control of North Camp in June, which
19 means that this entire area from north camp was held by the BH army right
20 up to the Old Bridge
21 the bridge to the north, that's North Camp and the entire area up to the
23 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I'll move on to the last
24 document, P07475. You must have it. It's the record of the meeting that
25 was held on the 4th of January, 1994, in the Presidential Palace from
1 10.50 to 11.40. It's necessary to be extremely precise. And this
2 meeting was attended by Mr. Tudjman, Mr. Susak, and Mr. Bobetko.
3 General Petkovic, have you had the time to read this document,
4 have a look at this document?
5 A. Yes, Your Honour, I have looked through this document in its
7 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. Could the Registrar
8 put page 12 of the English version on the screen, and the identical page
9 in the B/C/S version.
10 A. Your Honours, might I be allowed to say something about this
11 document, briefly?
12 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes, go ahead.
13 I have page 12 in your version. What did you want to say,
14 General Petkovic?
15 A. I thought you would be asking me first how this meeting came
16 about in the first place.
17 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] This meeting -- or, rather,
18 this is a record of the meeting. It's a Prosecution exhibit, as you are
19 well aware. The presidential transcripts have been translated by using a
20 recording that we don't have, we no longer have. The Judges never had
21 it. We have an English version and a B/C/S version of these transcripts,
22 so that's the document. This is not the first transcript, because a
23 number of them have been admitted.
24 Are there any comments you would like to make about this?
25 A. Well, Your Honours, what I want to say is this: This
1 conversation took place after Geneva
2 and 23rd of December, 1993, in Brussels
3 agreement about a union of three republics in Bosnia-Herzegovina, at
4 which a framework was set. And according to that, 33 per cent would have
5 been Muslims, 17.5 would have been the Croats, and 49.2 per cent would
6 have been given to the Serbs.
7 Now, this meeting on the 4th of January, 1994, between Tudjman,
8 Susak and Bobetko, was prompted by that situation and what had happened
9 prior to that in Brussels
10 plan for the setup of Bosnia-Herzegovina, which defined the size of the
11 territory, but also essentially -- if you look at the draft plan, it
12 actually defines the different areas and regions that had previously been
13 defined by the Vance-Owen Peace Plan. So there were certain deviations
14 to that plan, where he accepted a part occupied by the army, and he added
15 another part, if I can put it this way, to the Muslim side, because the
16 HVO -- where the HVO had previously had control, which was the whole of
17 Stolac municipality and a large portion of the Neretva River Valley
18 so that's what they were discussing here in Zagreb at this meeting.
19 Similarly, in the document we also see mention of the request to
20 come out to the sea, to the coast, an exit to the sea. And on the basis
21 of that, the Republic of Croatia
22 three men, were discussing the fact that that part was threatened, and
23 the border, meaning the border of the Republic of Croatia
24 intentions of these others to reach the sea; not to Neum, but another
25 location, which was Klek. So that was what was discussed.
1 And also another thing that was discussed was a very difficult
2 situation in which the Croatian Defence Council found itself in the
3 Central Bosnia
4 other areas to be wiped out completely, as far as the Croatian Defence
5 Council was concerned. That means that the BH Army should take control
6 of that area, too, and in that way the Croatian Defence Council and the
7 Croats, themselves, quite simply wouldn't have 17 and a half per cent,
8 they wouldn't even have 5 per cent. And the South Mostar area was
9 questionable, too, because you had 100.000 BH Army forces joining up, and
10 from Central Bosnia they could be deployed along the Neretva River
11 towards the Republic of Croatia
12 reach the sea, have an outlet to the sea.
13 So that is the substance of these talks, and they were looking
14 into ways and means of dealing with the situation, what they could advise
15 the Croatian leadership in Bosnia-Herzegovina, what they should tell them
16 to do, and what would be the best option given the circumstances. And
17 here we see that there are three options, three variants, put on the
18 table, and then the worst-case scenario was if they jeopardise the
19 Croatian borders down south, then Croatia
20 actively and stop that kind of breakthrough.
21 And then they looked into this northern part in relation to the
22 area that should be the Republic of Herceg-Bosna, which is the area of
23 Travnik, Vitez, Busovaca, Kiseljak, and so forth, and how to assist the
24 Croats and the HVO in that part to prevent it falling into the hands of
25 the BH Army, because it was under siege and that's where the most -- the
1 heaviest fighting took place, including the beginning of 1994, when the
2 fighting was fiercest. So it was in that context that the situation in
3 the area was being reviewed.
4 So that, in my opinion, was the substance of the talks and
5 negotiations held, which is evidenced in this transcript between these
6 three individuals.
7 And now we can go on to other questions, if you have any.
8 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. You have given us
9 the background to this document, so I can focus on the questions that I
10 have in mind.
11 You have page 12 on the screen, and Bobetko says the following:
12 "I have contacts with Petkovic. He was away, and I told him that
13 there has to be a person responsible within the Command. That's the very
14 principle of war-making. Orders are given to those capable of carrying
15 them out, and they have to be consolidated within the Command. One may
16 be absent, but not all of them, day and night."
17 When I read this sentence, my impression was that General Bobetko
18 had difficulty in reaching you, and apparently he was not the only one.
19 How do you explain that it was hardly ever possible to get in touch with
21 A. Your Honours, this was the period around the new year, when I had
22 some serious health problems. I had to go -- I don't know how you call
23 it. We called it "hot shots." These were cocktail shots of various
24 vitamins, B-6, B-12, for people with problems with their spine, and I had
25 to have those shots daily. And I was keeping my back warm, I had massage
1 and what is known as galvanisation of both shoulders, so over a period of
2 some ten days, as long as this treatment lasted, I was absent from my
3 command post. And General Bobetko had probably tried to reach me during
4 that period, and he failed to reach me. That is the only problem.
5 Otherwise, it was normal, if General Roso was absent, I would be at the
6 command post or nearby. The only problem was that he called me and he
7 couldn't reach me because I was absent.
8 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I would like to ask the
9 Registrar to show us page 10 of the English version.
10 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, if I may, I'm
11 reading the English text of this transcript now. Could we go back to
12 page 12, please. And I can see that it wasn't correctly translated. The
13 word "the same" is missing.
14 "I have contacts with Petkovic. He was also away now, and I told
15 him ...," et cetera.
16 The word "also" is missing, which significantly changes the
17 meaning. In the Croatian text, it is clear that Bobetko tried to reach
18 General Roso, but that he also tried to reach Petkovic and he couldn't
19 find him either. So from the English translation, that doesn't emerge
20 and it is not correct.
21 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Page 10, please. Page 10,
22 please. That's it.
23 General Petkovic, you see, in the middle of page 10, there's
24 Mr. Susak who says:
25 "We are having dinner with Galbraith on Wednesday."
1 But just before that, there's Mr. Tudjman, who says the
2 following, and I quote:
3 "Who told him to ask for a visa for him to be able to travel, so
4 that we may cleanse our image in the eyes of the world, though I keep
5 repeating, and I will continue repeating, and again in this letter to
6 Izetbegovic, that Boban is a product of the Serb aggression."
7 And Tudjman then, after Susak's comment, says the following:
8 "Then you repeat this directly, Boban might be held partly
9 politically responsible, and here is what happened to him. They knocked
10 the bridge down, but that is the war, and he emerged as part of the
11 resistance to the Serb aggression, and therefore we wished him -- to have
12 him so as to be able to reach an agreement with the Muslims."
13 So have you seen this sentence where Tudjman talks about Boban
14 and says that Boban is a product of the Serb aggression? What would be
15 your comment?
16 A. Your Honours, President Tudjman is trying to say that had it not
17 been for the Serb aggression, Mate Boban would certainly not be in the
18 post he was. He was the organiser of the rallying of the Croats and the
19 organiser of the resistance against the Serb aggression, the aggression
20 in April 1992 and onwards.
21 So here Galbraith and many others are bringing pressure to bear
22 on President Tudjman, saying that Mate Boban's time is over and that
23 certain measures should be taken for Mate Boban to leave that position
24 and for someone else to be found to replace him. And towards the end,
25 President Tudjman says, We want him to be able to reach an agreement with
1 the Muslims. What he means is, We want to remove Mate Boban or for him
2 to leave so that an agreement could be reached with the Muslims, if
3 Mate Boban is the one who is to blame. Therefore, after this meeting,
4 shortly after this meeting, at the beginning of February Mate Boban will
5 officially be removed from his position and replaced by someone else.
6 So these reflections were under pressure of Galbraith, who is
7 asking for Mr. Boban to withdraw and for someone else to be found for
8 this position. That is the substance of this discussion between them.
9 And this, in fact, happened. I don't remember the exact date when
10 Mr. Boban left and Zubak came in his place.
11 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I have two other questions with
12 this document.
13 Page 14, please. I wish to see page 14 in the English and B/C/S
14 version on the screen, please. Here we have it.
15 Third line, I'm going to read, and then you're going to tell me
16 what you think. Line 3:
17 "I said to Petkovic today," and this is Bobetko speaking, "that
18 now, today, a new mobilisation should commence, and I ordered that this
19 8th Light holding positions at Ogulin as a reserve be transferred down
20 there for manoeuvre or that we go up there towards this part in the
21 direction of Travnik."
22 General Petkovic, that is what Bobetko is saying. And when I
23 read this, I could come to the following conclusion, for as you know, the
24 Rules make it my obligation, as well as the jurisprudence of this
25 Tribunal, to establish the truth. That is my moral obligation that is
1 imposed upon me. And when I read this text, I could conclude that
2 General Bobetko is calling on you and asking you for a new mobilisation,
3 and I seem to understand that the 8th Light is holding positions at
4 Ogulin and there appears to be the possibility of moving them towards
5 Travnik. Does the 8th Light come from the Croatian Army? If so, that
6 means that you are associated with a movement of troops involving the
7 Croatian Army. I may be wrong. What is your comment?
8 A. Your Honours, if General Bobetko says, I told Petkovic today, and
9 we saw that he couldn't find Petkovic, so there's some contradiction
10 here. Furthermore, I will say, without insulting General Bobetko, as
11 he's an elderly gentleman, that this is a nice story that he served on
12 President Tudjman. The 8th Light Brigade never came to Vakuf, nor was
13 that brigade of the Croatian Army moved towards Gornji Vakuf. And I can
14 prove this by showing a document. When there is reference to the forces,
15 you will not be able to find the 8th Light Brigade anywhere.
16 I'm sorry I have to say this here, but these are stories in the
17 presence of President Tudjman, and that they are unfounded. And I
18 repeat, the 8th Light Brigade never, never came to the territory of
19 Gornji Vakuf, and I will refer to a document where you will see not that
20 there is no 8th Light Brigade, there's none at all.
21 Now, why such a story is served on President Tudjman, I wasn't
22 present at the meeting, so I couldn't have -- I couldn't say, You can't
23 say these things, because I wasn't there.
24 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] General Petkovic, I take note
25 that for you, the 8th Light Brigade was not, as one might conclude from
1 the document, in Travnik, and it was not present in the
2 Bosnia-Herzegovina, and that this, a fable, a story, for
3 President Tudjman. I take note of this.
4 I come to my last question on this document. Page 19, please.
5 It will be a purely technical question regarding aerosol bombs.
6 We have page 19. It's Bobetko who's speaking. He says the
8 "One cluster bomb was fished out from the seas at Lopud. It came
9 down the Neretva River
10 who let it float down the river. It had a 36-hour Swiss mechanism. We
11 gave them this bomb, but we don't know where it came from. Did they
12 capture it, or did someone throw it into the water?"
13 For me, this is absolutely unclear.
14 This cluster bomb, was it given to the HVO or the Croat Army?
15 And where is Lopud; is it in Croatia
16 A. Your Honour, Lopud is a small island close to Dubrovnik in the
17 south of Croatia
18 This is not a cluster bomb. It is an anti-navy bomb, a floating
19 bomb or a diving one that is put into the sea and waits for an enemy ship
20 to come across it. Those are bombs that are dropped into the sea. I
21 don't know how it came to the Neretva River
22 rather, the JNA did not leave such bombs. Whether, upon leaving the port
23 of Ploce, the JNA may have left some of those bombs in front of the port
24 of Ploce, and they may have floated towards Dubrovnik, which is about
25 150 kilometres, the sea current may have carried it, and the former units
1 for mine-laying of the JNA was based in Ploce. There was no base on the
2 Neretva for such naval bombs to be found there. These are naval bombs
3 whereby one prevents the possible movement of enemy vessels. They float
4 in the sea and may be encountered by an enemy ship. And one knows what
5 happens then. And one such bomb reached as far as Dubrovnik.
6 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. Thank you for this
8 General Petkovic, I'm going now to refer to all the documents --
9 JUDGE TRECHSEL: If I may, I would like to ask two questions.
10 One relates to what you have said a while ago. It is page 14, line 25,
11 and the next line. You said:
12 "... shortly after this meeting, at the beginning of February,
13 Mate Boban will officially be removed from his position."
14 And my question is: Who will remove him, or who did remove him,
15 and how was that done?
16 A. Your Honour Judge Trechsel, in Livno, I think it was, a meeting
17 of the Presidency of the Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna and all the
18 other political factors of Herceg-Bosna attended a meeting, and they made
19 the decision to relief Mate Boban of his duties. So it was in February.
20 I don't know the exact date. I'm not sure. There was a session of the
21 Presidency of the Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna, and all other
22 relevant political factors in Herceg-Bosna attended, and they decide to
23 relieve Mate Boban of his duties. And Mr. Zubak was appointed in his
25 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Thank you. And the second question relates to
1 the document we have just seen and to something Mr. Bobetko said just
2 after the passage the President has quoted on page 14. He says, and I
4 "Secondly, we got some arms so that we can control the entire
5 Neretva Valley
6 rocket-launchers, thence this is what we can guarantee completely, that
7 not a single bird would escape us."
8 This looks as if General Bobetko were saying it is easy, with two
9 or three multi-rocket-launchers, to control the access to the north from
10 Mostar and lock in the Muslims of Eastern Mostar. I may misunderstood
11 even this. I would like you to comment on it.
12 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, before the answer,
13 let me say that the text refers to the area north of the Neretva and not
14 north of Mostar.
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Let me just see which page this is.
16 JUDGE TRECHSEL: It's page 14 in the English version.
17 Ms. Alaburic, could you explain? I was of the opinion that the
18 Neretva was a river that came from the north to Mostar. And, of course,
19 north-east of the Neretva was HVO territory, but north-west, as I seem to
20 remember, would have been the territory where the Defences always say it
21 was no problem to get to and from Mostar.
22 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, unfortunately I'm not
23 an expert for the area. But the situation isn't that simple, because
24 part of the Neretva Valley
25 continuation of the Neretva Valley
1 forces on both sides of the river, on the left and the right side, and
2 then to the north of Mostar, the right bank is under the Croatian forces
3 and the left bank under the Muslim forces. And then the positions get
4 mixed up and both have the left and right bank. It's not that easy.
5 I just want to do say that Mostar, as a town, isn't mentioned at
6 all. So I just want to avoid confusion about the territory concerned.
7 If I was mistaken, could someone correct me?
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I can answer that question.
9 JUDGE TRECHSEL: You have confused me a bit, and that is your
10 role. I don't really understand whether you want to interpret
11 General Bobetko or whether you just want to say that his statement is
13 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, my role is to help
14 you to fully understand the situation, at least to the extent that I can
15 understand the situation, and I really would like you to take my efforts
16 in that sense.
17 I wanted to avoid any confusion, because you referred to the
18 passage that starts with the words "Other," but then it was almost a
19 quote when you mentioned the territory to the north of Mostar. All I
20 wanted to say is that the words Bobetko used were "to the north of the
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] If I may --
23 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Yes, Ms. Alaburic, if you have listened
24 carefully, I have read exactly these words. Then I have asked
25 Mr. Petkovic about what they actually mean, and I would like him to
2 A. Your Honours, General Bobetko -- well, if we have a look at the
3 bottom part, General Bobetko says that he will secure reserve forces. He
4 mentions Marinovic and 700 men, and they would have fire support. And he
5 says they can be on the one of the axis or second axis or third axis
6 according to need. General Bobetko will bring into the territory of the
7 lower part of the Neretva forces 700-men strong. They will be provided
8 with fire support, and they will control any breakthrough to the south of
9 Mostar towards the border with Croatia
10 forces were brought to the territory of the Valley of Neretva
11 territory of the Republic of Croatia
12 these forces in. I can't say whether that was done, but he's thinking of
13 moving 700 men to the lower part of the Neretva, which is in the Republic
14 of Croatia
15 south of Mostar they can put up resistance if an attempt is made to break
16 through to Croatia
17 reference to two or three VBRs means. And Gojko is supposed to bring in
18 a group, too. So these are all forces that were to be used to secure
19 Klek, Neum, Ploce, to secure these territories. And when he says "to the
20 south," he means to the south of the Croatian border. The Neretva flows
21 through Croatia
22 south of Mostar. So if you head south from Mostar in the direction of
24 them with the artillery that he had secured.
25 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] I'd just like to correct the
2 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Yes.
3 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] In line 13 and 12, the term
4 "south" is used. The general said, when Bobetko says "to the north," he
5 means to the north of the border, so it should say "north" and not
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Bobetko was expecting the ABiH from
8 the Dubrava Plateau to enter the territory of Croatia
9 was planning to use reserve forces that he would deploy in the Metkovic,
10 Ploce, Opuzen area, and in such a case he would prevent the breakthrough
11 of Muslim forces from the plateau -- of the Dubrava Plateau. And he used
12 two or three VBRs for this purpose, multiple rocket-launchers. We can
13 see the mortars he has referred to, et cetera. So he's giving
14 Nojko [phoen] support, fire support, and he won't allow the ABiH to enter
15 the Republic of Croatia
16 was his intention, and he formed these intervention forces for such a
18 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Thank you for this clarification. I was,
19 indeed, misled, it seems, by the text, and you have set this clear.
20 Thank you.
21 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] General Petkovic, I'm going to
22 put some questions to you on the basis of documents. Before I do so: I
23 carefully read the submissions filed by your counsel on the 15th of
24 February, 2006. This is your pre-trial brief. I read through it. It
25 consists of more than 35 pages. I read through it carefully in order to
1 understand what the Petkovic Defence's view was. I also read with great
2 interest the entire file provided to us by Ms. Alaburic with regard to
3 the opening statement. I congratulate her, because it's very well
4 drafted and composed. It was very easy for me to check up certain
5 things. On that basis, I have selected a series of documents, and I will
6 put some questions to you on the basis of those documents.
7 The first one is 4D1700. It should be the first document in your
8 binder. I'm waiting to see the document before I put the question to
9 you, out of courtesy towards the other accused who don't have the binder.
10 We have the text in B/C/S, and in English, too.
11 As you can see, it is a document that was drafted by
12 Colonel Blaskic. It's an order which you approved of, because we have
13 that reference, "I approve." I'm interested in the first word, where
14 Colonel Blaskic speaks about the area of Central Bosnia, and he says that
15 the enemy has conducted offensive operations.
16 To be very careful and to fully understand the idea of offensive
17 and defensive operations, tell me, what does General Blaskic mean when he
18 says that the ABiH is conducting offensive operations?
19 A. Your Honours, the ABiH wasn't conducting operations of any kind.
20 The Army of Republika Srpska was. The entire front part refers to -- the
21 entire first part refers to units from the Army of -- let me just check
22 this. There are three and a half pages in the Croatian version where
23 General Blaskic describes the intention of the Army of Republika Srpska.
24 After taking Jajce, they arrived in Travnik, and they wanted to continue
25 to take the entire area of Central Bosnia. So Blaskic is talking about
1 potential offensives launched by the Army of Republika Srpska in the
2 Central Bosnian area, which is being defended in a joint manner with the
4 So all these units which you see referred to on pages 1, 2, and 3
5 are units that belonged to the Army of Republika Srpska, units that were
6 deployed in the vicinity of the central area of, let's say, the free
7 Bosnia and Herzegovina.
8 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. The
9 Republika Srpska Army was conducting offensive operations. As far as you
10 know, did the ABiH, in 1992 and 1993, conduct offensive operations?
11 A. Your Honours, as far as this document is concerned, we will later
12 see that Blaskic was planning to prevent an attack launched by the
13 Serbian forces by acting in a joint manner with the ABiH. We're talking
14 about the month of March 1993.
15 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Let's have a look at five --
16 let's have a look at page 10, please. I didn't have the intention of
17 putting this question to you, but as your answer concerned the VRS, I
18 want to go into the ABiH. So let's have a look at page 10. Bobovac --
19 5.10 is the item. "The Bobovac Brigade," is what I'm interested in.
20 You can see that the task is mentioned. A co-ordinated action is
21 to be conducted together with the ABiH. Active operations are to be
22 conducted. Does this mean that at the time the ABiH and the HVO
23 conducted offensive operations against the VRS.
24 A. Your Honours, in this item of the order, Blaskic issued such an
25 order to his brigade. The brigade was to defend the area facing the VRS.
1 The ABiH were in the vicinity, too. And he was requesting [realtime
2 transcript read in error "requested"] that they not remain in the
3 trenches, but that they also engage in certain actions and inflict losses
4 on the VRS. And perhaps they would also manage to liberate part of the
5 occupied territory. That's the terminology -- the JNA terminology that
6 was used. Conduct active operations when you're engaged in defence.
7 So the Bobovac Brigade and the unit from the ABiH, the
8 Vares Brigade and the ABiH, jointly organised defence and prevented enemy
9 forces from breaking through, enemy forces from the VRS.
10 MR. KOVACIC: Your Honour --
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] So at the time the HVO and the ABiH
12 were acting together.
13 MR. KOVACIC: I would like to intervene regarding the transcript.
14 On line 18, the sentence is -- the response is recorded as "and he was
15 requested." It is about Blaskic, "like somebody else requested."
16 General Petkovic clearly said Blaskic requested. It's not that he was
17 requested, but he requested orders. Thank you.
18 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I'll conclude with this
20 In your mind, is there a difference between an offensive action
21 and an active action or active operation, or is it the same thing?
22 A. Your Honours, this entire order is an order for defence. It
23 means that the forces are to defend the territory. That's the main task.
24 But each unit is given the possibility of taking more active -- a more
25 active stance with regard to the enemy, to take part of the territory,
1 and to move the front-line. So this is a defensive order. It's not a --
2 this is a defensive order, not an offensive order. An offensive order
3 would say which axis it should follow, what should be taken, how soon,
4 and so on and so forth. So the title is "Order for Defence," but this
5 defence can't be envisaged in a static manner. If there is an
6 opportunity, one can take action.
7 MR. KOVACIC: Sorry. Mr. Scott, if I may, until we have a page
8 on the screen, but whatever.
9 Your Honour, I did intervene, and it is again repeated, something
10 which is not said. I kindly ask you to ask a direct question to the
11 general, whether the text -- whether he said that Blaskic was requested
12 or whether the testimony is that Blaskic requested the others. I mean,
13 in spite of intervention, it is again the same.
14 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Scott.
15 MR. SCOTT: One moment, Your Honour. Let me check something
16 before I -- yes, Your Honour. If we could get a date for this document.
17 As the Chamber knows well by now, dates are incredibly important, and we
18 have no idea if this is 1991, 1992, 1994, or 1995. Thank you.
19 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, if I may answer.
20 MR. SCOTT: Excuse me, Your Honour. No, excuse me, excuse me.
21 Let's let the witness answer. We don't need Ms. Alaburic testifying.
22 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes, you're quite right.
23 General Petkovic, in your opinion, this order, what is the date
24 of the order?
25 A. It was drafted in March 1993. I can't tell you the exact date.
1 It's not mentioned.
2 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] March 1993?
3 A. Yes, March 1993.
4 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. To understand what
5 you have been saying, to fully understand what you're saying, because
6 it's not the first time we've heard this, when we have "Order" marked in
7 a document, a defence order, order for defence, within the document there
8 may be a reference made to active operations or to offensive operations,
9 but they would come under the heading of defence, they would be labelled
10 as "Defence." Is that how we are to understand this in military terms?
11 I'm not a military man, so I would like you to clarify this for me.
12 A. Your Honours, when an order is issued for defence, an order like
13 the one we have here, its main purpose is for defence, the Serbian forces
14 mustn't break through the defence line. But Blaskic assigns or gives
15 each brigade the possibility of taking action. If they have the
16 opportunity, if they have the forces, then they can engage in active
17 operations. So that means that they can go forward from this line. It
18 wouldn't be significant breakthroughs. Perhaps it would involve an area
19 of 300 or 500 metres. But when you speak about offensive operations,
20 then what one has in mind is really an attack. So under defence, the JNA
21 meant "defence," but also active operations, active operations which
22 involved in smaller areas. It means you don't allow the enemy to attack
23 you. Take action in the direction of the enemy, inflict losses, disrupt
24 the enemy's deployment, and then your defence will be more secure. So
25 the active operations within defence, but "offensive action" means that
1 you plan to carry out an attack, you really plan to carry out an attack.
2 And let me repeat Mr. Kovacic's comment. Blaskic, through his
3 order, asked every brigade -- each and every brigade to be active along
4 the lines it held.
5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. Could the counsel
6 refrain from intervening - I would be extremely grateful - unless there
7 is a monumental error in the transcript. If there's an error in the
8 French version, I'm aware of it.
9 So, General Petkovic, let us look at the document 4D410.
10 JUDGE TRECHSEL: I have still a question on the previous
11 document. As I don't have it before me, I cannot look for indicia
13 Mr. Petkovic, can you tell the Chamber, was this order actually
14 issued, or is it an order that was prepared but did not eventually go to
15 the subordinate units, as one often has?
16 A. Judge Trechsel, Your Honour, this order went down to every
17 brigade, and it was on the basis of this order that every brigade had to
18 draft its own order for further action.
19 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Thank you.
20 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] General Petkovic, the document
21 4D410, which is a decree of law issued by Mr. Izetbegovic personally on
22 the 6th of August, 1992. Look at Article 1. Mr. Izetbegovic says, in
23 November 1992, that the armed forces of the republic comprise the ABiH
24 and, according to my understanding, the HVO is a component of the army.
25 How would you interpreter this article as it is worded and coming from
1 Mr. Izetbegovic?
2 A. Mr. Izetbegovic here was playing a game, himself, but we take it
3 at face value here. What he said is that the armed forces of the
4 republic were comprised of the army, the BH Army, so that was an armed
5 force hereinafter called "the army." But then he went on to say that the
6 a constituent part of the BH Army shall comprise the Croatian Defence
7 Council. So that was how it was, as interpreted by Izetbegovic here.
8 Somebody obviously prepared this document from his legal office. So the
9 HVO was part of the BH Army, and the BH Army was part of the forces. So
10 the logical conclusion is that the HVO was a component part of the
11 Armed Forces of Bosnia-Herzegovina.
12 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] So you say that for
13 Mr. Izetbegovic, the HVO was a part of the Army of the Republic of Bosnia
14 and Herzegovina
15 MR. SCOTT: That's not entirely correct, Your Honour. That's not
16 what's written, because what's written is "such units which place
17 themselves under the command of the BiH government." I don't think we
18 can take one part of the sentence without taking the other part of the
19 sentence. So he is not confirming what is written, because you have not
20 read the entire sentence.
21 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] General Petkovic, could you
22 read, in your own language, Article 1? Read it slowly, please, so that
23 the interpreters into English can translate it properly for Mr. Scott.
24 Go ahead, please.
25 A. "The armed forces of the republic are made up of the Army of the
1 Republic (hereinafter the Army).
2 "A constituent part of the army shall comprise --" or, rather,
3 "the Croatian Defence Council shall constitute part of the army as well
4 as other armed components which place themselves under the single command
5 of the army.
6 "During a state of war, in addition to the Army, the armed forces
7 shall be comprised of the police, units providing physical security to
8 enterprises and other legal entities, units of the Customs Service and
9 other frontier organs which are subordinated to the single command of the
10 armed forces which are re-subordinated."
11 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] So Article 1, as you have read
12 it and as it has been interpreted into English and French, says that the
13 HVO is a part of the Army of the Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina, but the
14 HVO is placed under the single command of the ABiH; is that right?
15 A. Precisely, Your Honour. We were part of the BH Army, and thereby
16 we were a component part of the armed forces, and we were under the
17 single command of the BH Army or, rather, the Armed Forces of
18 Bosnia-Herzegovina, and that supreme single command was the Presidency of
19 the Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina.
20 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. And the unified
21 supreme command depended on the Presidency of the Republic of
22 Bosnia-Herzegovina. You have added this.
23 We are now going to look at the next document, 4D433. It's a
24 document. I wait for it to appear on the screen. There it is.
25 It's a document of the 20th of January, 1993. The dates are
1 important, as Mr. Scott and Mr. Stewart have reminded us on several
2 occasions. We'll always need to indicate the date, and I'm trying to do
3 that. This is a document that you sent to Mr. Sagolj in person in
4 Konjic, and this document relates to the situation. And you're asking
5 him to establish contact with the ABiH.
6 Do you remember this document, and what was the purpose of your
7 request addressed to Sagolj? What is the context of all this, bearing in
8 mind there's reference also to Zuka's men?
9 A. Your Honour, the context of all this is the following: that in
10 the Konjic area, there should be talks between the HVO commander and
11 members of the BH Army, the Army of the Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina
12 to prevent any tensions in the area in Konjic municipality, because we're
13 warning them that the Chetniks are also planning to enter Konjic and take
14 control of it. So they have to discuss the situation, reach an
15 agreement, and do away with any tension. And bear in mind that there was
16 this threat from the Chetniks storming Konjic and taking control of it.
17 Now, Juka is an additional piece of information here, something
18 that we learnt about, that after the conflict with Juka and these others,
19 that he fled to the area of Konjic. And to ensure peace in the area, I
20 ask him to relocate Juka's men from the territory to prevent them from
21 being a cause for tension between them and the BH Army and the HVO,
22 because the army -- BH Army incarcerated Juka, whereas the others
23 considered him a hero and celebrated him. So that was the problem -- and
24 released him from prison.
25 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you for the explanation
1 for this text.
2 As we are talking about January, all the more reason to look at a
3 map. We are going to look at 4D560, which we're going to see on the
4 screen now.
5 Here we are. Let us turn it around. That's it.
6 We see this map now, which is the situation as it was in January
7 1993. Your counsel has said that you, yourself, drew this map and
8 painted the colours indicating the positions of the Serbs, the ABiH, and
9 the HVO, and that is the precise situation as it was in 1993 that was to
10 have been conveyed to those in Geneva
11 This is not the first time we are seeing this map. I have looked
12 at it at great length from all possible angles. I would like you, in
13 military terms, but quite quickly so that we don't spend hours on it,
14 that you explain to me the military position of the HVO as we see it in
15 blue. I note that in blue there are enclaves at Zepce, Vares, Travnik,
16 Vitez, Busovaca, Kiseljak, and then the other part, Jablanica, Livno,
17 Tomislavgrad. So I see the positions of the HVO, and I also see the VRS
18 and the ABiH.
19 Could you please explain for us, from your point of view, what
20 was the military situation, and was it critical or not?
21 A. Your Honours, I'll start off with Vakuf in January 1993, and that
22 is denoted as a place of conflict. There was, indeed, a conflict, and it
23 was stopped by the end of the month. You saw my order from Geneva
24 that's when the conflict in Vakuf municipality was halted.
25 Now, what is important is the arrow between Busovaca and Fojnica,
1 or, rather, Kiseljak. This arrow shows that from the 25th to the 29th of
2 January, 1993, the BH Army cut across the Croatian enclaves which are in
3 blue, it split it in two. So from that time on, we had a separate
4 enclave in Fojnica, Kiseljak, and Kresevo, that was one, and can I add --
5 and the other enclave which was separated was Busovaca, Vitez, and
6 part -- a part belonging to Zenica municipality, Novi Travnik and
7 Travnik. So the Central Bosnian part, where the Croats were a compact
8 entity, in January, that is to say, from the 25th to the 9th of January,
9 the BH Army cut across this enclave, making two enclaves of the Croatian
10 Defence Council, and they remained that way until after the
12 May I have a pen so that I can write in "Enclave 1" and
13 "Enclave 2"? [Marks]
14 So this one enclave was split into two. We have one which was
15 made up of Fojnica, Kiseljak and Kresevo, and number 2, the second
16 enclave, made up of Busovaca, Vitez, Travnik, and Novi Travnik
17 municipalities. And this area here [marks] -- so there's no more blue in
18 this area. This was the area controlled by the BH Army along a line
19 from -- ranging from seven to ten kilometres, and so that was the
20 separation line of the Croatian Defence Council and the Croatian people
21 living there.
22 And that's how the situation remained until after the
24 so that people could go freely from Kiseljak to Busovaca, or vice versa.
25 By this action, the BH Army scored a considerable advantage,
1 because it separated the Croats in this area, and there was no
2 possibility for Vitez, Busovaca, if the need arose, could help,
3 militarily, Kiseljak, Fojnica, and Kresevo.
4 Now, the other areas, Kakanj, Vares, and so on, stayed the same
5 as they had been previously. They were no longer able to communicate
6 with any Croat -- Croatian enclave. Everybody was cut off in his own
8 And there's another piece of information that I failed to tell
9 you for the Konjic area. The arrow there indicates the arrival of units
10 who were not from Konjic proper. They were the Black Swans, and we
11 mentioned Zuka's men previously, part of the Lasta or Swallows, part of
12 the Special Police of the MUP of Bosnia-Herzegovina which were pulling
13 out of Sarajevo
14 smaller units as well which were infiltrating into Konjic. And that is
15 why I am cautioning my commander to talk to the BH Army so that the
16 influx of these forces should not lead to greater tension in Fojnica
17 municipality and Konjic, Konjic municipality.
18 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. As you have marked
19 this map, yourself, let us give an IC number to this map.
20 THE REGISTRAR: Yes, Your Honour.
21 The marked portion of document 4D00560 shall be given Exhibit
22 number IC01181. Thank you, Your Honours.
23 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. After the break, we
24 will see document 4D100. So the Registrar can prepare the document.
25 That will be the next document after the break of 20 minutes now.
1 --- Recess taken at 10.29 a.m.
2 --- On resuming at 10.56 a.m.
3 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Can I have the next document,
4 which I think is already on the screen, 4D100.
5 Here we are. It's an interview that you gave on the 16th of
6 February, 1993. The date is February, and you're answering questions put
7 by the reporter.
8 First of all, will you please look at the second paragraph, when
9 the reporter says:
10 "Mr. Petkovic, it is impossible to find you at HVO headquarters
11 in Mostar."
12 So everyone is looking for you, and they can't find you,
13 including reporters. And then you answer:
14 "I am in the field most of the time ..."
15 What would be your comment?
16 A. Your Honours, this was the time of active negotiations in Geneva
17 and it was the duty, after the first half of the meeting, for me to meet
18 with my commanders with respect to the orders issued and the
19 documentation. I had to personally go and take a look at it, examine it,
20 and then briefly to convey what had happened in those first days of
21 negotiations and talks, those that I was able to reach.
22 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I'd like us to look at page 3
23 in the English version. In my document, there are no page numbers, but
24 it is a question being put in connection with Halilovic regarding
25 extremist Muslims. There's no page number.
1 Here we are. We see it, the box, in English, "10.000 Muslim
2 extremists." And the Registrar is doing a miracle, and I'm sure he's
3 going to be able to find the text in your own language.
4 General Petkovic, the reporter is asking you whether
5 Sefer Halilovic is behind the Muslim extremists who are provoking
6 clashes, and you answer at length. We are not in the tu quoque, we are
7 in a military context where we have belligerence, the HVO and the ABiH,
8 and in the ABiH there are certain individuals. So the question put to
9 you by the reporter is being answered by you.
10 Would you, today, give the same answer as you did then?
11 A. Yes, Your Honours, I would give the same answer. The journalist
12 asked the question, and the journalist said that it was 10.000
13 extremists. But I said that it was impossible to have 10.000 extremists,
14 that it was a regular army, and that the situation we looked at a moment
15 ago on the map, when Busovaca was cut off from Kiseljak, that's the area
16 it applied to where the BH Army attacked the Croatian Defence Council,
17 separated the two enclaves, Busovaca from Kiseljak, creating two
18 enclaves. And that's what my answer was. I claim that it was not 10.000
19 extremists, but that it was 10.000 regular soldiers who had been given
20 the assignment to attack the HVO and cut across Busovaca and Kiseljak,
21 and they succeeded in doing that.
22 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] We're going to look at the last
23 page of the interview, when the journalist asks you a question about
24 Mladic and Karadzic.
25 Last page, please. Here it is. I have it in the English
2 The journalist speaks about the negotiations in Geneva
3 you whether you had any meetings or contacts with the criminals Mladic
4 and Karadzic. When the journalist qualifies them as criminals, what was
5 your reply to the journalist's question?
6 A. Well, my reply to the journalist was this: that according to the
8 bilateral talks; that I worked in the military -- well, we all worked in
9 plenary sessions, sitting down at the same table, the Muslims, the
10 Croats, the Serbs, and Mr. Satish Nambiar with his team, who conducted
11 the negotiations and talks. And the journalist was interested in whether
12 during our talks we had individual one-on-one talks. But I said, no, we
13 didn't, that we all discussed matters together sitting down at a single
14 negotiating table.
15 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] In order to assess the weight
16 to be attached to the question and the reply, this interview was in a
17 publication issued in Zagreb
18 was this magazine or newspaper published?
19 A. Your Honours, this is the Zagreb
20 edition was the edition for Bosnia and Herzegovina. So the
21 "Vecernji List" had a publication for Croatia and an additional
22 publication which was intended for Bosnia-Herzegovina.
23 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I'm not aware of that
24 newspaper. Is it a totally independent newspaper in relation to the
25 authorities of Croatia
2 A. As far as I know, it was an independent paper, but I don't know
3 whether they were within the RPH. But as a newspaper, yes, it was
4 independent with respect to the Croatian authorities.
5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] This means that the journalist
6 was quite free to ask you any questions he wanted, and quite independent
7 in doing so?
8 A. Yes, Your Honours. This journalist originated from Herzegovina
9 and he was a correspondent of the "Vecernji List," working for the
10 "Vecernji List," but covering Herzegovina.
11 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Could the Registrar --
12 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Sorry. I have two questions with regard to this
14 The first question is: Did you have a chance to re-read the text
15 before it was published?
16 A. No, Your Honour.
17 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Thank you. And then in the text that figures in
18 the box, you say, on the ABiH, that they are digging bunkers in every
19 village. Digging bunkers, according to you, is it an activity which
20 points to attack, rather, or rather to defence, or neither?
21 A. Your Honours, when I toured the area, I was surprised why they
22 were digging bunkers around each village. Well, the army didn't have any
23 work to do, so to engage them they said, Let's dig the bunkers. So I
24 think that's the simplest answer why bunkers were being built, and
25 probably some other plans too. Every village wanted to protect itself
1 because it didn't know who was going to attack it from where. So there
2 was general hysteria in that sense.
3 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Thank you very much.
4 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] The two following documents
5 relate to Safet Cibo, 4D450 and 4D452. 4D452.
6 You have the text in your own language. This is 450. SDA.
7 Mr. Cibo is going to be appointed at the same time by Halilovic and by
8 the SDA, which is a political party, as a member of the regional
9 committee for Herzegovina
10 Halilovic for a military post 3252. And this is to show what? What did
11 you wish to demonstrate with this type of document?
12 A. Your Honours, if we look at the previous document, we'll see that
13 he was appointed to the post of president of the Wartime Presidency of
14 Konjic municipality and Jablanica, so that was the post he occupied.
15 Now, with this document, Sefer Halilovic is putting him at a high
16 place in the Command of the 4th Corps of the BH Army. That is to say, he
17 was given a military function as well. And then the regional board of
18 the party, incorporating Mostar, Jablanica, Konjic, is co-opting him into
19 the party, so that to all intents and purposes he held all functions --
20 military and political functions in the area. And I think that that was
21 the only man in Bosnia-Herzegovina who had functions of this type.
22 And this "3252" is the VES from the JNA which denotes that he was
23 a physician, a doctor, according to military terminology. Those are the
24 figures and code for physicians, although he was assistant for morale and
25 religious affairs. And he might have also been a commander, too, a
1 shadow commander.
2 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] So you're telling us that
3 Mr. Cibo had a double hat, a military one and a political one, at the
4 same time. To the best of your knowledge, within the HVO were there
5 people who also wore such two hats, who were at the same time military
6 figures and politicians, like Cibo?
7 A. As far as I know, they did not. In the HVO, somebody could have
8 a rank, could hold a rank, but need not have had a military function,
9 because politicians could have been rewarded for their acts by some rank.
10 But that they had a political function in the army, I don't know of any
11 such case in the HVO. He is also the representative of executive power
12 and authority here, which is his third function.
13 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you. We'll have a look
14 at the document from the 4th Corps, 4D438.
15 There it is. In the B/C/S version, it's not very legible. The
16 English version is a lot more legible. It has to do with the 4th Corps.
17 The date is the 24th of March, 1993. We learn that 150 members of the
18 HVO were captured, that a town is blocked, that life in the town is
19 paralysed, and that they're continuing with arrests.
20 In your opinion, what does this document mean?
21 A. Your Honours, the 23rd of March was when the all-out attack of
22 the ABiH started from the area of Konjic. It was launched against two
23 battalions of the HVO in the municipality of Konjic
24 the commander, Commander Cerovac, is a report on what he and his brigade
25 had managed to achieve up until then. And he's reporting to his superior
1 command, his 4th Corps, about that. So this is a report on his offensive
2 operations against the HVO.
3 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. We will have a look
4 at 4D125, which is a document that you signed together with Mr. Pasalic,
5 which is why it is a document of interest, in relation to the other
6 documents that we have already seen that concerned the army and whether
7 it was a joint army or not. There is your signature, and there is also
8 Mr. Pasalic's signature on the document. The heading of the document is
9 "The Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina." Then it says "The
10 Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna, Croatian Defence Council." And it
11 also says "The HVO" and "The 4th Corps Command." So that is what a
12 reasonable Judge can read in this document.
13 If I have a look at item number 1, there is a joint order, HVO
14 and BH Army order, and it says that all action should immediately cease.
15 General Petkovic, it's a Defence document, not a Prosecution
16 document. It was found in the archives of Croatia. What is the meaning
17 of this document, in your opinion?
18 A. Your Honours, this document was drafted after eight or ten hours
19 of combat in Konjic on that day. In the afternoon, I called Mr. Pasalic
20 and asked him about what was going on in the territory of Konjic
21 asked him whether we could put an end to that, whether he had the will
22 and the force to put an end to the fighting in Konjic. He responded to
23 my request. He came to the Main Staff to see me -- to the headquarters.
24 We drafted this joint order and sent it to Konjic, to the HVO and to the
25 ABiH, and we asked them to do what is stated here in this order. But we
1 also told them that the situation in the battle-field of the Tuzla
2 battle-field was difficult. It's in the direction of Zepa, Srebrenica,
3 and so on. We asked them to put an end to the fighting, because at that
4 point in time -- well, a witness appeared, Mr. Mlakar [phoen] here. He
5 had received equipment from the HVO and was waiting for an end to the
6 combat so that he could move the equipment to Tuzla through Jablanica and
8 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] General Petkovic, this document
9 bears a number that you gave it and that he gave it. Does this number,
10 01/508/93 mean that this document emanates from you, who was number 1 in
11 the HVO staff? So it's the 508th document emanating from 01; yes or no.
12 A. Yes, it's 01-508 is a number from my protocol, and to the right
13 you have the number from the 4th Corps protocol.
14 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. You anticipated my
15 following question. To the right, apparently, Mr. Pasalic wrote down the
16 number "01 ," that means him as commander of the 4th Corps, "2.192," so
17 he must work more than you, four times more than you, because there are
18 2.192 documents, whereas you only had 508 documents. Apparently, he was
19 a lot more active than you were. And then we have "/93." What did he
20 do? How is it that he provided this number? That doesn't have a seal or
21 stamp, as you can see, and he was in your office. Did he phone his
22 office to be provided with this number? How was this done, if you can
23 remember? I can't answer such questions because my memory doesn't allow
24 me to do so.
25 A. Your Honours, this was drafted in my office. He phoned his corps
1 command and asked which the following number was. They told him what it
2 was, and he then made a note of this number on the document. The
3 official in charge of protocol told him that the following number was
4 2192, so he made a note of the number, "01-2192," and that's how it was
5 sent later on.
6 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Could you tell me the exact
7 date -- well, in fact, it says the 23rd of March, 1993. Is that correct?
8 Because in the English version, there is no date, but in the B/C/S
9 version there is a date. You see, it's always necessary to have a look
10 at a document in the original version. You can see that the English
11 translation doesn't bear the date.
12 A. Yes, the 23rd of March is the date in the original signed by
13 Pasalic and myself.
14 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. So,
15 General Petkovic, listen to me carefully. If -- as a Judge reads who
16 this document, who sees that it refers to the Republic of Bosnia
18 joint order is being drafted, if I read this, as such a Judge, can I draw
19 the conclusion that on a given date, the 23rd of March, 1993, the HVO and
20 the ABiH were part of the Armed Forces of the Republic of Bosnia
23 A. The conclusion is correct. We were members of the very same
24 army, and that's why we issued an identical order, the same type of
25 order. And let me add, under item 1 we say that we don't want to disrupt
1 the joint combat of the HVO and the ABiH, so there is joint combat. We
2 have a common enemy, and it's necessary to put an end to the situation
3 that had developed between the HVO and the ABiH.
4 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Let's have a look at 4D469.
5 The date is the 30th of March. I'm following the chronology. Sometimes
6 I move from one subject to another, but I'm doing it in chronological
8 It's a report from the HVO Crime Department. Ivica Kraljevic
9 signed the document. I won't deal with the substance of the document,
10 but at the time were you aware of the fact that there was a crime
12 A. A crime department.
13 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes. And what was its main
14 role? What was its main task?
15 A. Yes, it was a crime department within the military police.
16 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Within the military police.
17 This department that was in charge of investigations, was it responsible,
18 as far as you know, to investigate crimes committed by HVO soldiers, or
19 was it only responsible for investigating crimes committed by members of
20 the ABiH, ABiH soldiers?
21 A. Your Honours, they investigated each and every case that occurred
22 in the territory, not only crimes. There were also cases of theft.
23 There was fighting. Certain units would flee. There were accidents, and
24 HVO soldiers guilty of murder. So they investigated all these matters.
25 They weren't only concerned with crimes, as you say. Their scope of
1 activity was very broad.
2 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. We'll have a look
3 at a map that you drafted in April, 4D561, because now we're dealing with
4 the month of April.
5 We saw the January map a while ago, and now we have a map
6 relating to April. With regard to January -- well, now it's April. And
7 with regard to January, what sort of significant changes occurred, in
8 military terms, in the area that we can see in the map?
9 MS. ALABURIC: [No interpretation]
10 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Registrar, I'll start again
11 and check whether we are receiving interpretation. Yes, there is
12 interpretation into English. I'll check to see whether I can hear the
13 B/C/S. Yes, I do, on channel 6.
14 General Petkovic, it's a map dated March-April 1993. A while
15 ago, we saw the map from January. In what way had the military situation
16 changed in relation to the January map?
17 A. Your Honours, the situation changed in the following manner:
18 Under 1, in the territory of the municipality of Konjic
19 ABiH attack against the HVO, and conflict engulfed the entire area of the
20 Konjic municipality. And then there was a minor incident that occurred
21 in the territory of Vakuf
22 spread. And then, thirdly, there was a conflict between the HVO and the
23 ABiH which occurred on the Zenica-Vitez axis. That would be number 3.
24 So that conflict was the conflict that is considered to be an initial
25 conflict in Central Bosnia. So those were the events in April 1993.
1 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. In military
2 terms -- well, I can see "Vitez," and you say that there was a conflict
3 in Vitez. When I have a look at the map, the Zenica area and the part
4 below it, below Novi Travnik, would you say that the ABiH wanted
5 territorial continuity which would establish a new pocket, a
6 Busovaca-Travnik pocket? In military terms, was that the strategic
7 objective that the ABiH was pursuing at the time?
8 A. That was the strategic objective. The entire area of the
9 Lasva Valley
10 Kiseljak and Kresevo, was to be split into a number of small entities.
11 They were to be separated from each other [marks]. The HVO was to be
12 reduced to minor forces, unable to help each other, and then gradually,
13 one by one, the HVO was to be defeated, the population was to be
14 expelled, and in this way a larger area would have been created for the
15 ABiH or, rather, Bosniak area -- a so-called Bosniak area would be
16 created. That is what happened when Travnik was taken. The HVO no
17 longer had a presence there. They were only in Vitez and Busovaca and in
18 this enclave here. So it was a real military objective. They were
19 thinking, in military terms, separate them, reduce them to a number of
20 small entities, and then gradually, one by one, liquidate them, or,
21 rather, take over -- take the troops, or arrest the troops, or expel
22 them. And when you expel them, expel the population together with them.
23 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. We'll give the
24 document an IC number, since the witness has marked some numbers there.
25 THE REGISTRAR: Yes, Your Honour.
1 The marked portion of document 4D00561 shall be given
2 Exhibit IC01182. Thank you, Your Honours.
3 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] 4D83 is the following document
4 I would like to have a look at. It's dated the 15th of April. It's from
5 the ABiH. Esad Ramic is reporting to the 4th Corps. It's a combat
6 report. We'll see it up on the screen, and it is important for perhaps
7 an understanding of the ultimatum. I said "perhaps." I'm not certain of
9 So we have a document of the ABiH in which, as you can see, at
10 the very beginning they say that in the early morning the Herceg Stjepan
11 Brigade had attacked the ABiH at Klis. According to this document, it is
12 you who attacked. Can you explain?
13 A. Mr. Ramic obviously forgot about the 13th and not the 14th. He
14 also forgot about reports in the media that we had attacked them first,
15 for them not to attack us. This is a trick that occurred also on the
16 30th of June, when Pasalic said, They attacked us, and then we responded
17 and took everything around Bijelo Polje.
18 The Herceg Stjepan Brigade, Your Honours, which has no contact
19 with other HVO forces and was in an -- absolutely incapable of
20 undertaking [realtime transcript read in error "understanding"] any
21 military action in the municipality of Konjic
22 forces was absolutely unfavorable for the HVO, and they couldn't attack
23 anyone, because in five or ten days they would have been liquidated and
25 Esad Ramic explained this to his commander, who knows what
1 happened. They attacked us, and then we responded and disarmed them one
2 by one, village by village, until 50 villages were disarmed and the HVO
3 had disappeared from the territory of the municipality of Konjic
4 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I have to make a
5 correction in line 8. Instead of "understanding," the word should be
7 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] General Petkovic, if I
8 understand you correctly, there's an error in this document, and that is
9 that it wasn't the 14th of April, as indicated, but the 13th of April.
10 This document was drafted on the 15th of April, as we can see, and will
11 be registered on the 17th of April in the 4th Corps.
12 So you appear to be saying that Mr. Ramic is presenting a
13 military version which is not totally correct?
14 A. Your Honours, Mr. Ramic -- or maybe we don't have the document.
15 What happened on the 13th of April is not described here, because he
16 begins with the 15th of April, and he says that, On the 14th of April, in
17 the morning hours, we had captured the village of Buscak, but, in fact,
18 the ABiH had attacked that village on the 13th. Now, whether there is a
19 report dated prior to this, we haven't managed to find it. There must be
20 one, because these are daily combat reports.
21 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] We see the next document, which
22 has the same date, 4D453. I'm waiting for it to appear on the screen.
23 Here we are. It is an HVO document dated the 15th of April,
24 because it was received at 12.38 in the headquarters, so one can assume
25 that it is, indeed, from the 15th of April. And it relates to Bradina,
1 Igman, Konjic, et cetera.
2 According to you, what does this document indicate?
3 A. Your Honours, this document by a brigade commander says that
4 Konjic and the rest of Konjic municipality were attacked -- or, rather,
5 the HVO in this area was attacked by units of the ABiH. And now if we
6 compare the two, we will see that the reports are for the 15th of April
7 in both cases.
8 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Let us move on to the 16th of
9 April with the next document. And so thanks to this document, we can
10 follow. It is 4D33, and it is a document of the 4th Corps.
11 It's a document of the 4th Corps drafted by the security chief,
12 Maric, relating to the events of the night between the 15th and 16th of
13 April. And apparently he refers to Sevici [phoen]. In the English
14 version, it says "Sevici." I assume it should be "Sovici."
15 General Petkovic, what is the situation as described by this
17 A. Your Honours, let me just correct. The place is Sevac Njive on
18 the Dubrava Plateau, and it is 50 or more kilometres, as the crow flies,
19 from Sovici. This is quite a different area, the Dubrava Plateau area.
20 And the Bregava Brigade is there; that is, the 42nd Brigade of
21 Bosnia-Herzegovina, known as the Bregava Brigade.
22 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. So we are
23 50 kilometres from Sovici. What is the military situation at this stage,
24 as you knew it, because as the document says, there is an action by the
25 HVO, with the assistance of the Croatian Army, it appears. That is what
1 is written here. What would you say?
2 A. I'm trying to find the reference to the Croatian Army. Could you
3 assist me? In what line is it?
4 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Look at the second paragraph,
5 second paragraph.
6 A. In the second paragraph, it says:
7 "In order to achieve its ultimate aim, that is, the
8 Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna, the HVO has engaged all its forces.
9 With the comprehensive assistance from the Croatian Army, they're
10 attempting to achieve their ultimate goal."
11 Now I see it. I don't know what the Croatian Army was doing at
12 the Dubrava Plateau. Obviously, it wasn't present there. The Croatian
13 Army is far further to the south, close to the borders of Croatia, and
14 not at the Dubrava Plateau. And you will see, from these dates on, that
15 it keeps saying "HV-HVO." These were instructions from the ABiH that in
16 every report they have to say "HV-HVO," and even add to that the extreme
17 section of the HVO. So in all these reports, you will see reference to
19 At the Dubrava Plateau at this time, there were no Croatian Army
20 units. The Croatian Army was along the border of the Republic of Croatia
21 in the direction of Dubrovnik
22 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. The next document
23 is of the 17th of April. It is document 4D -- wait a moment. I
24 apologise. 4D599, 599. It's a bit complicated with all these numbers.
25 It is a document of the 4th Corps, and it is again by Mr. Ramic.
1 There it is. You have the document. And from the beginning, it
2 refers to combats against the HVO in the Konjic area. And then he
3 reviews all the positions of the HVO, Stari Grad, Zlatar, Spiljani,
4 Polje Bijela, et cetera. According to you, what does this document mean,
5 in military terms?
6 A. Your Honour, from the military perspective, this document says
7 that there are seven locations where the HVO was, were simultaneously
8 attacked by the ABiH, and these are all locations immediately next to the
9 town of Konjic. The old town is a part belonging to Konjic. Zlatar is
10 on a hill above Konjic. Polje Bijela is also in this area. Babin Nos is
11 where the famous check-point was that is mentioned in UNPROFOR. And the
12 village of Radisine is also Konjic municipality, but several kilometres
13 from Konjic in the direction of Jablanica. But all this is Konjic
14 municipality and the urban area, itself, the urban area of Konjic and the
15 surrounding localities. As far as I remember, there's only one that may
16 be seven or eight kilometres further away.
17 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Let us look at the end of the
18 document, which may be of some interest. Let us look at the end of the
19 document, please, when Mr. Ramic speaks of a Serb and Croat aggression
20 against the sovereignty of the Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina. At the
21 very end. According to my reading, there were 60 trucks of men, MTS,
22 artillery action from Borak on Muslim villages, and for him there is no
23 doubt there is an open aggression of Serbs and Croats.
24 What is your comment? He even speaks of co-operation between the
25 HVO and the Chetniks.
1 A. That is Mr. Ramic's position. By this attack against the entire
2 territory of the town of Konjic
3 withdraw to the so-called pocket that we have mentioned, and the only
4 contact that the HVO had were the Serb forces on the front-line up there.
5 And Mr. Ramic, instead of explaining why the Croats were attacked at
6 these locations, he finds the excuse that it is now the Serbs and Croats
7 who are attacking Konjic. Actually, from this day on, not a single Croat
8 or HVO soldier was no longer in Konjic or in these locations. From this
9 day on, the so-called pocket was formed in the municipality of Konjic
10 with about 1500 civilians and about 300 soldiers of the HVO, and nothing
11 more than that. And such a force of 300 men cannot attack anyone. On
12 this day, they were pushed into this pocket.
13 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. Let's see the next
14 document, 4D430.
15 Let me check with the screen. It is a document addressed to the
16 4th Corps. It is an interim combat report regarding the 17th of April.
17 You have the document in your own language.
18 And according to what I see at the beginning of the paragraph,
19 there was a request by the HVO for subordination to the HVO of an ABiH
20 unit, and if not, they have to surrender their weapons. And this was
21 refused. That is what it says here.
22 What would be your comment, because this affects what we have
23 already heard about the allegation by the Prosecutor that as of the 15th
24 of April, there was an ultimatum. I won't go into the details. You are
25 familiar with them as well as I am. So this document could go in that
1 direction. What would you say to it?
2 A. I don't know who this Colonel Beglerovic is. And that a
3 battalion from Dreznica is supposed to subordinate itself to the HVO, I
4 don't know anything about that, when four or five days before that you
5 saw that Witness Peric said that there was a joint contact on the
6 Bijela Bridge between the 2nd Brigade and the Dreznica Battalion, so I
7 don't know what this is about. I don't even know who this colonel is,
8 obviously from the ABiH, that he apparently attended a meeting in
9 Bijelo Polje.
10 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] General Petkovic --
11 A. You don't have anyone's order, or Lasic's order, or anyone else's
12 order to do anything. I don't know what this is about between these two
13 units. I just know that contact was established between them three or
14 four days prior to this date, on the 12th or the 13th.
15 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I need to conclude, from what
16 you have said, that you are denying emphatically that there was a request
17 for subordination from the ABiH.
18 MR. SCOTT: Excuse me, Your Honour. That's not what he said at
19 all. He said he doesn't know anything about it. I don't think that's --
20 I think that's a completely incorrect mis-characterisation of the
21 testimony. He said he didn't know.
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I said --
23 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] General Petkovic, when I ask
24 you a question, after 30 years of professional experience, I think over
25 what I'm saying. My question was the following, and I'll repeat it: In
1 view of the reply that you gave, should one conclude from it that you are
2 denying that there was a request for subordination of an ABiH unit to the
3 HVO? That is my question to you.
4 A. Yes, Your Honour, I am denying that, and I'm rejecting such a
5 possibility. Colonel Beglerovic apparently is walking freely in
6 Bijelo Polje, without any fear, and I don't see why the HVO would ask
7 Dreznica to give them weapons. This did not happen in the territory of
8 Mostar and the entire Mostar region.
9 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] General Petkovic, I see a
10 document and I read a sentence. I then ask you whether you agree with
11 what the document states. You say, No, and then I try to understand what
12 your final position is. And you have just explained your final position
13 very clearly.
14 This colonel would move around freely, in your opinion, and the
15 issue of subordination of an ABiH unit was never raised, it was never an
16 issue. That's your position. Perhaps it's true, perhaps it isn't. When
17 deliberating, we'll examine this document, together with other documents,
18 and the Judges will then draw a conclusion. But for the moment, I just
19 take note of your position. I don't have a point of view with regard to
20 it. It is your position, and you have expressed it under oath.
21 4D34 is the next document I would like to have a look at.
22 I'm looking at the document, dated the 18th of April. It's on
23 the screen, dated the 18th of April. The 42nd Mountain Brigade, the
24 ABiH. So it's the other side. Suggestions are made. It appears there
25 are certain security measures that are being proposed, and so on and so
1 forth. It says that co-operation should be established with the Dubrava
2 and Stolac inhabitants, and this should be done through the civilian
4 As this is a document that emanates from your own Defence, this
5 document, in your opinion, has what sort of objective? What is the
6 purpose of this document, in your opinion?
7 A. Your Honours, this document was written by the head of security,
8 and it's up to him to see what should be done. He makes his proposals to
9 the commander. The object of this document is to establish full contact
10 between communications and issuing of assignments to Muslim soldiers in
11 the HVO, the population in the broader area of the Dubrava Plateau. So
12 this whole system, Muslim soldiers in the HVO and civilians, should be
13 tied up into one single system, and the Bregava Brigade would head that
15 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Am I to take it that, according
16 to what you say, this document has its -- wants the ABiH -- or says that
17 the ABiH wants the HVO to be included in certain activities, and this
18 document proves that this is the case, apparently; yes or no?
19 A. Your Honours, this document says that the BH Army organs should
20 contact the Muslims in the Croatian Defence Council, and establish full
21 co-operation with them, and agree at what point in time, if that point
22 arrives, they should cross over and join the BH Army. That's the purpose
23 of this. Negotiations with the Muslims in the HVO. They're telling
24 them, Stay there, but when we're ready, you cross over to the BH Army.
25 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. Another document,
1 the 18th of April. 4D35 is the number of the document, and it is a
2 document from Pizovic, the 42nd Mountain Brigade. It's a three-page
3 document. This document, it seems, has to do with the situation --
4 relates to the situation. There's combat, ongoing combat. There's some
5 very precise items in the document.
6 In your opinion, what does this document prove? What does it
8 A. Your Honours, this document, in the Dubrava Plateau area within
9 the frameworks of the 42nd Brigade, emanates from an order by the
10 4th Corps commander. I don't have it in front of me now. But he issued
11 orders to the entire corps, and, among others, to brigades in Konjic
12 municipality. And the commander of the 42nd Brigade knows what is
13 happening in Konjic municipality, what activities are being launched by
14 the BH Army, and he raises combat readiness for his own unit, probably
15 expecting to be given an assignment from the corps commander for him to
16 try to act militarily vis-ŕ-vis the HVO units. And that is why he
17 undertakes certain steps, when we read about the 2nd Battalion and the
18 3rd Battalion and so on, to extend his forces along the Dubrava Plateau,
19 thereby creating initial positions which will prove advantageous to him.
20 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] We'll have a look at the
21 following document. The same date is concerned, and it yet again
22 emanates from Pizovic. 4D473 is the number of the document. It is
23 addressed to the commander of the Knez Domagoj Brigade.
24 I re-read this document this morning in order to prepare for the
25 questions I was going to put to you. I've been preparing for this for
1 about two years. However, this morning I re-read the document again, and
2 when I did that, I had the impression that Mr. Pizovic was telling the
3 HVO that he wanted to co-operate, that it wasn't a matter of encroaching
4 on zones of responsibility, and so on and so forth. It says that the
5 ABiH had no ill intentions, that there were many Muslim soldiers who were
6 part of the HVO.
7 So how would you interpret this document?
8 A. Your Honour, this document is a reflection of the situation in
9 which the Bregava Brigade and the 1st Brigade are trying to explain --
10 the 1st Brigade to explain to the Bregava Brigade, Yes, you can move
11 around the Dubrava Plateau, but you must announce your movements
12 beforehand so that we know where you're going and why you're going;
13 nothing more than that.
14 Now, Mr. Pizovic is replying and saying that he doesn't have any
15 special intentions, and he feels quite strong here. He feels he was
16 given a zone from -- or by Mico Lasic, which he was holding, but that he
17 felt the need to move around. And nobody is questioning that need of his
18 to move around, but it is a military rule, Your Honour, that you can't go
19 into another brigade's area without announcing your arrival. If you
20 announce your arrival, you're free to move around. But Mr. Pizovic is
21 not doing that. He's moving around as he sees fit. But if you read
22 documents from the security organs, Mr. Pizovic, in actual fact, is
23 abusing that and is coming into contact with the HVO soldiers, Muslim HVO
24 soldiers, and he is also coming into contact with the population as well
25 and preparing them.
1 And at the end of this document, Mr. Pizovic says to
2 Colonel Obradovic, Now for you to come to Gubavica, you're going to have
3 to announce your arrival, when you intend to come and when you intend to
4 arrive. So there Mr. Pizovic is saying to Mr. Obradovic, If you want to
5 come to Gubavica, you have to give me prior notice, telling me of your
6 arrival. So it's just a question of having both brigades respect the
7 regime in the area of another's brigade, that they should announce what
8 they intend to do and that then there would be no problems.
9 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. The 22nd of April
10 is the same date. 4D90 is the number, a report from Mr. Ramic. We've
11 already seen this in other documents, and it's addressed to the commander
12 of the 4th Corps. I'll check to see that you all have this document.
13 You now have it in the B/C/S version, and the English version
14 will be appearing on the screen. So there is a summary of the situation.
15 It speaks about the liberation of the village of Radesine
16 other locations mentioned, Turije, Zabrdje, and so on and so forth.
17 In your opinion, what does this document mean?
18 A. Your Honour, this is the continuation of attack by the BH Army
19 against the HVO, and an attack on Croatian settlements in Konjic
20 municipality. We showed you the document in this courtroom, and it was
21 the -- and it concerned 24 villages which the BH Army had taken control
22 of. Mention is made here of those three villages, Turije, Zabrdje, and
23 Zaslivlje, and that they should not be taken control of until the village
24 of Radesine has been liberated, which is seven or eight kilometres away
25 from Konjic. So they wanted to take control of Radesine first, and then
1 they would go back to Turije, Zabrdje and Zaslivlje, because apart from
2 these three villages, looking at this date, there was no Croatian village
3 in the vicinity of the town of Konjic
4 taken control of. All that remained was these three villages and the
5 village of Radesine. All the other villages were too close to
6 Kostajnica. But around the town of Konjic
7 remaining villages, including Radesine, and Radesine would be done with
8 within a day or two, and then Turija, Zabrdje, and Zaslivlje would never
9 fall into the hands of the BH Army.
10 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] General Petkovic, have a look
11 at the last paragraph. In technical terms, I have the impression that
12 the ABiH was in a position to intercept conversations of the Serbian
13 forces. Is that true? Was it true, as far as you know?
14 A. Well, of course the BH Army was equipped with devices enabling it
15 to tap in to the Serbs and the HVO, and anybody else, for that matter.
16 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. And you, the HVO,
17 were you in a position to listen to the ABiH and the VRS, to intercept
18 their conversations?
19 A. Yes, Your Honour, we were also able to intercept them, just as
20 they intercepted us. Well, we had the same devices, the same equipment,
21 both the BH Army and the HVO. The Serbs had stronger equipment than we
22 did. And part of those communications, at a tactical level, was
23 something that we were able to intercept.
24 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] General Praljak.
25 THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation] Your Honour
1 Judge Antonetti, I think that when you say "intercept conversations,"
2 that that's too broad. Which conversations can be tapped into and which
3 can't? Because this way it appears that we knew too much about them and
4 they knew too much about us. There was several types of communication
5 and conversations, and I'm sure General Petkovic knows what could be done
6 and what could not be done, what could be intercepted and what couldn't.
7 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] General Petkovic, following
8 General Praljak's technical intervention, when you listened to the ABiH
9 and the VRS, what were you doing, exactly? How were you doing this?
10 A. Your Honours, we intercepted only radio communication. And in
11 military terms, this is called "the tactical depth," which means not
12 further than seven or eight kilometres in depth. Our equipment was not
13 able to intercept conversations further away. So you had this device
14 that chooses its frequencies. When it comes across a certain frequency,
15 it taps in to that conversation. If it's interesting, it listens to the
16 conversation to the end, then records it, and then processes it further.
17 So the tactical level. We intercepted for as much as the tactical level
18 was concerned, which was seven to eight kilometres in depth, not further
19 than that. We weren't able to tap in to conversations further than that.
20 Those were the devices we had that could be used for that depth. For
21 other depths, you would use other devices, or telephone communication
22 devices, et cetera.
23 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. So you were able to
24 engage in tactical interception of conversations.
25 Let's have a look at document 4D1344. It's the 8th of May.
1 The date is the 8th of May. As you know, that's the day prior to
2 the 9th of May. It's a document signed by Mladic and Halilovic, and it
3 confirms the desire to re-establish peace. And as of noon on the 9th of
4 May, there's to be a cease-fire. All of this was done in the presence of
5 General Morillon. You, the HVO, were not associated in this matter --
6 involved in the matter.
7 How do you interpret this document? Is there a link that can be
8 made between the ABiH attack that you supported on the 9th of May in
9 Mostar -- is there a link or not, or is it just a coincidence?
10 A. Your Honour, I learned about this document on the 11th of May,
11 when I went to talk to Halilovic and General Morillon in Kiseljak.
12 Before the beginning of our meeting, General Morillon started first and
13 said that two days previously an agreement had been reached between
14 Mladic and Halilovic, with his presence -- in his presence, and that they
15 dealt with problems with forces in the eastern part of
16 Bosnia-Herzegovina, so that I knew -- or, rather, they told me that an
17 agreement had been reached then between Mladic and Halilovic. I was just
18 angry when I told Halilovic -- I told Halilovic, when he interrupted our
19 stay in Jablanica and Konjic on the 5th, in the evening, he said he had
20 other things to attend to, he could have freely -- frankly told me that
21 he had negotiations with Mladic. But on the 11th of May, they told me
22 quite openly, General Morillon and Halilovic, that is, that this meeting
23 had taken place because of the problems, as they said, between the two
24 armies in eastern -- the eastern part of Bosnia-Herzegovina, so that I
25 had been completely informed of their meeting and that they discussed
2 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well.
3 A. Now, as for the 9th of May, I don't want to speculate or make any
4 conclusions. I learnt about it three days later, three days after the
5 agreement, that they had met and signed the agreement. Nobody hid it
6 from me. And that was the practice, for General Morillon to ask for
7 meetings, both bilateral and tripartite ones, depending on the problem
8 that had to be discussed.
9 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. You say that you
10 learned about this on the 11th of May, but the agreement took place on
11 the 8th of May. At no point in time did General Morillon phone you and
12 tell you, General Petkovic, there's going to be an agreement on a
13 cease-fire between Mladic and Halilovic; we're putting this into place,
14 and it will take place on the 9th of May -- it will come into force on
15 the 9th of May, at noon
16 with Halilovic and Mladic? Didn't he phone you to tell you something of
17 that nature?
18 A. No, Your Honour, he didn't, he didn't phone me. But before the
19 talks between myself and Halilovic, he said, quite frankly, Halilovic and
20 Mladic reached an agreement in my presence.
21 Now, after this agreement, on the 12th, I and Halilovic reached
22 an agreement, and then General Morillon said, Now it would be a good idea
23 if I had a third agreement. And on the 16th of May, he convened a
24 meeting. And we did, in fact, meet, Mladic and I, and signed the
25 agreement, so that at that moment from the 8th to the 16th of May, he had
1 three bilateral agreements signed, because that's what his position was,
2 and we complied.
3 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] General Petkovic, you
4 participated in all those meetings that were held in Geneva. Wouldn't it
5 have been more interesting -- I don't know, it's just a hypothesis I am
6 putting forth. Wouldn't it have been more interesting for there to have
7 been an agreement between Halilovic, Mladic and Petkovic, between these
8 three signatories? Wouldn't that have been better?
9 A. Your Honour, certainly it would have been better. However,
10 General Morillon at that moment felt that it would be better, in view of
11 the overall situation -- and the HVO could not influence the events in
12 Eastern Bosnia
13 only the Bosnian Serb forces and the BH Army forces - although it does
14 say in the agreement that there would be a cease-fire throughout
15 Bosnia-Herzegovina. But, anyway, General Morillon, in talking to them,
16 in consulting them, he wanted to try and calm the situation down, and
17 that is why he convened this bilateral meeting, just as he accepted to
18 chair the meeting between myself and Halilovic on the 11th. And we
19 signed the agreement on the 12th of May and didn't consider it necessary
20 to include Mladic in that. But subsequently he asked, when we already
21 had two agreements in the bag, that we could have a third.
22 And I flew to Sarajevo
23 Mladic, and I've already told you the outcome of that. So he didn't hide
24 this from any of the three of us. He wanted to have an agreement with
25 all three.
1 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. The following
2 document we've already seen, 4D457. 4D457.
3 There's Mr. Izetbegovic's signature, which you can recognise. It
4 emanates from the president of the Presidency.
5 A. Yes, I do recognise it.
6 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] This document says that ABiH
7 units are in conflict with HVO units, and they must respect a cease-fire
8 on the 10th of May, 1993
9 document, because you have been ordered to immediately meet Halilovic in
10 order to establish the details of this order and how it should be
11 implemented, and also in order to return the relationship between the
12 units of the ABiH and the HVO to normal.
13 So in your opinion, what is the meaning of this document?
14 A. Your Honours, this is a document which came into being after the
15 19th of May, on the basis of talks held at about 7.00 or 8.00 in the
16 evening on the 9th of May between Mr. Izetbegovic and Mr. Mate Boban,
17 when they agreed that on the 10th of May, they would issue a command --
18 that each of them would issue a command -- one was in Sarajevo and one
19 was in Grude, so they couldn't have issued a joint command. But the next
20 one is an order from Boban which is identical to this particular order,
21 because we spent three hours harmonising and dovetailing it to make it as
22 similar as possible, both from Mr. Izetbegovic and from Mr. Boban. And
23 it demands that conflicts in Mostar cease, that there should be a
24 cease-fire in Mostar.
25 And let me also add that on the basis of this, that meeting of
1 mine on the 11th of May, which started in Kiseljak, continued on the 12th
2 of May in Medjugorje and went on for three or four days with Halilovic in
3 the Mostar and Medjugorje area.
4 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] The following document is under
5 seal. I don't know why. 4D -- it shouldn't be broadcast to the outside.
6 4D00456. The same date, the 10th of May. It's from Mate Boban. And as
7 you have just said, the two documents are almost identical if you compare
9 What does this document state, General Petkovic? In your
10 opinion, why is this document of interest?
11 A. Judge Antonetti, Your Honour, it's the same document as
12 Mr. Izetbegovic's document, that is to say, for conflicts to cease
13 between the BH Army and the HVO in Mostar, and that I and Halilovic
14 should meet and draw up an agreement to fully bring about a cease-fire
15 and to resolve the situation.
16 Now, this document, if you're interested, let me tell you that I
17 and Mr. Boban were in Grude. We were on the phone with Mr. Izetbegovic,
18 and we started with point 1 and then dovetailed it, fine-tuned it;
19 point 1, item 1, item 2, item 3, and so on. And if you look at the two
20 documents, they're almost identical. The heading is a little different,
21 because we introduced the agreement reached in Zagreb on the 25th of
22 April. But, anyway, this document is the result of a three-hour
23 telephone conversation, because one man was in Sarajevo, the other was in
25 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] General Petkovic, is there a
1 reason for which this document was drafted one second before 1800 hours,
2 because you can see the hour is 1759 hours. Is that quite accidental, or
3 was there a desire to issue this document just a second before
4 1800 hours?
5 A. Your Honours, no, this document was completed sometime around
6 1.00 or 2.00 p.m. This was obviously faxed to someone, and then this is
7 the date when it was faxed. Now, I took part in the compiling of this
8 document, and I had communication with Sarajevo, and I know that by 2.00
9 in the afternoon the two copies had been dovetailed and fine-tuned, and
10 then it was processed further. So at this time, the 10th of May,
11 somebody sent the document to someone at 1759, so it doesn't matter --
12 there's no significance in this one-second difference between 1800 hours
13 and 1759.
14 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Let us see now document
15 4D00307. It's a document by you, and it is 10 days later, that is, the
16 20th of May, 1993. And it is addressed to General Wahlgren and
17 General Morillon, and it regards the Medjugorje Agreement and its
19 Why did you send this document to Zagreb and to Morillon?
20 A. Your Honour, after the agreement and Boban's order, and my
21 agreement with Halilovic, General Wahlgren, who was the commander of all
22 the forces for the former Yugoslavia
23 superior, he joined in at this stage, and he wanted General Morillon and
24 UNPROFOR to assist as much as possible. And that is why I felt it
25 necessary to inform General Wahlgren, who had got involved in the events
1 in this area and who had an interest in dealing with the situation as
2 soon as possible, and of course to General Morillon, as he was a
3 co-signatory of the joint document. And I'm saying here what the HVO had
4 done. I said that it had released all the civilians in the barracks. I
5 didn't say "all captured civilians," but "all civilians." And I indicate
6 everything else that the HVO has done.
7 And I draw your attention to the last part of this. It says that
8 the forces of the ABiH have still not withdrawn from the Konjic sector,
9 so UNPROFOR cannot patrol the Vrci village, Seonica-Podhum road, as
10 envisaged by the agreement, because the UNPROFOR said that the same day
11 it entered Mostar, it would enter the Konjic area as well, and they were
12 not able to enter, as we see on the 20th of May. And my request is if
13 General Morillon could do something along those lines in agreement with
14 the other party.
15 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I shall pass on to document
16 948, which may clear up some events connected to the 30th of June.
17 4D948. This is a document by you; hence, the interest of this document.
18 It's an order addressed to the South-East Operational Zone of
20 situation is such that there is a Muslim aggression, and their efforts
21 are to control and occupy the Neretva Valley
22 an order indicating a series of measures. And in point 2, you say that
23 you need to regroup forces in Bijelo Polje to prevent Muslim forces from
25 In military terms, how is one to understand this document.
1 A. Your Honour Judge Antonetti, this document was drafted after
2 intensive combat for Travnik had already been conducted and after the HVO
3 was practically facing defeat in Travnik. This document was then drafted
4 because the HVO was about to be defeated in Konjic, too, and throughout
5 that area. This was also done after it came to light that the ABiH was
6 sending some of its forces in the direction Mostar and as far as
7 Dreznica. At that time, there was no fighting that would be of concern
8 in Bijelo Polje, Mostar, and in that area. But I believed that those
9 Muslim forces might at one point in time have been in a position of
10 attacking the HVO, so I warned the commander of the operative zone in
11 South-Eastern Herzegovina that he should find a way -- if we [as
12 interpreted] attacked from the axis of Jablanica-Bijelo Polje-Mostar, he
13 should find a way to have forces that could deal with it. So it was a
14 warning -- an order in which a warning was given. But at that point in
15 time, there was no fighting in the area. It was just an order, the
16 purpose of which was to warn, given the situation that prevailed a little
17 further to the north of Bijelo Polje and further to the north from
19 MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I apologise, but
20 I think there's a critical error in the transcript. In line 22 on
21 page 67, it says here that General Petkovic said "if we attack from the
22 axis Jablanica-Bijelo Polje-Mostar." He said "if we were to be attacked
23 from the axis Jablanica-Bijelo Polje-Mostar," rather than the HVO
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Quite correct, Your Honour. I said
1 if the army were to attack HVO units in the area of Bijelo Polje, but
2 from the direction of Jablanica-Dreznica towards Bijelo Polje. Of
3 course, I asked the 3rd Brigade also to be on the alert, and also to the
4 2nd Brigade.
5 But I am saying, once again, there's no fighting at this point in
6 time in Bijelo Polje or Mostar. This is a warning order, in view of what
7 was happening to the north of this area.
8 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] You anticipated the question
9 that I was going to put to you, but it should be in the transcript.
10 In this order, there is mention of raising the level of combat;
11 that is, to prepare for a potential event. And I see, in point 8, when
12 you are asking for the fortification of lines, et cetera, so this
13 document is not an attack document. Is it mobilising everyone? "In the
14 event that ...," is that how we should read this document?
15 A. Your Honour, yes. Resources are being mobilised, in the event
16 they are attacked, and that is why it says that some other positions in
17 depth should be prepared, that is, 300 or 400 metres behind, and, Should
18 you be pushed back from that position, you continue the struggle from the
19 next position, which is a normal military procedure.
20 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] General Petkovic, when there is
21 an order for an attack, in the order must there be mention of the time of
22 the attack? Should there also be an indication of a system of
23 communication? Should there also be other technical instructions so that
24 one can consider such an order to be an order for an attack?
25 A. Quite so, Your Honour Judge Antonetti. In an order for an
1 attack, you have to indicate the exact date of the attack, the time of
2 the attack, when you will launch it, will it be 4.00 a.m. or 5.00 a.m.
3 and you must also envisage the dynamics of the attack, how it will
4 evolve. And also in the assault units, the assault units have to be
5 brought there at least 24 hours before the attack, that is, close to the
6 line from which you will attack, and they must be on full combat alert,
7 because it doesn't mean that if you say that you're going to launch the
8 attack at 4.00 a.m.
9 start it earlier. But you have to give the date, the time, also the time
10 when the artillery will provide support by firing at the front end, also
11 the direction of the attack, the dynamics of the attack, and the ultimate
12 target of the attack.
13 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Should one also envisage a
14 reserve force?
15 A. Absolutely so, Your Honours. You don't launch an attack only
16 with the front-line forces. There's the first echelon, then the second
17 echelon, and then there are also forces protecting the wings, and there
18 are also forces that may be infiltrated behind enemy lines to disorganise
19 him so that the front can -- front-lines can more successfully carry out
20 their task.
21 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Before the break: In such an
22 order, should not one also envisage the weapons, a medical corps, food;
23 should not all these things be mentioned in the order?
24 A. Your Honour, such an order is comprehensive. First, you indicate
25 information about the enemy, his deployment. Then you give assignments
1 to your own forces. Then, thirdly, the decision, what it is you wish to
2 achieve. And, fourthly, then you give assignments to each of your units.
3 And then after, if you have tank support, you give tasks to the
4 artillery, what its role is, when it will start to provide support. It
5 must have its own plan of action. I'm surprised you didn't ask me any
6 question about the Toplica diaries. Then regarding the engineers, the
7 communications, the logistics, the medical corps, security, et cetera.
8 An order has more than 20 points covering everything.
9 I hope that in the cross-examination of my counsel, we will show
10 such an order, and then we shall see.
11 Therefore, an order on an attack has a large number of points,
12 and it must cover everything, in terms of time and space.
13 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes, very well. I have focused
14 on a few principal points. I could add also: Should there be a
15 code-name? But I didn't enter into the very minute technical details.
16 Anyway, after the break we'll look at document 4D702. And before
17 the end of the day, that will be my last question, I will have a dozen or
18 so documents, depending on the speed of your answers.
19 So we'll meet again in 20 minutes.
20 --- Recess taken at 12.34 p.m.
21 --- On resuming at 12.57 p.m.
22 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] The hearing is resumed.
23 A small correction of date. As this morning we received planning
24 for the Coric Defence, Mr. Andabak will come from the 8th to the 11th of
25 March. Therefore, the oral decision that we rendered this morning should
1 take into account these dates, that is, the 8th to the 11th of March.
2 General Petkovic, 4D702. It's not on the screen yet.
3 Here it is. It's a document that you sent on the 30th of June -
4 this is an important date - to Mr. Wahlgren and Morillon, and you refer
5 to the issue of Muslims. What I am interested in is on page 2 of the
6 English version, where it appears that according to what you say, you
7 informed General Morillon, on the 26th of June already, of the
8 possibility that the Muslims may organise an attack -- an assault on the
9 town of Mostar. Do you see that? The 26th of June, you told him this
11 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I apologise.
13 On the 26th of June, 1993, General Morillon arrived in
14 Medjugorje, and he called us to come and discuss certain issues with him.
15 And I, among others, warned General Morillon of the possible danger in
16 Mostar, in view of all the events taking place in Central Bosnia and
17 Northern Herzegovina
18 had Kakanj, on the 26th of June, except for a small area in Klis, Turije,
19 and Zabrdje. We didn't have our forces at all in the territory of Konjic
20 municipality, and the forces of the ABiH were approaching Mostar
21 gradually. I warned him of this danger, and suggesting that a meeting
22 could be organised with Halilovic, or for him simply to warn them of
23 this, to bear this in mind. This was on the 26th of June, when he
24 visited Medjugorje. And we had quite a lengthy conversation at the time.
25 And then I wrote a letter to Mr. Wahlgren as well, counting on him to
1 talk to Mr. Izetbegovic and others, if possible, to prevent an attack by
2 the ABiH on Mostar and the areas around it.
3 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. I take note to what
4 you have said.
5 Therefore, this letter that you sent on the 30th of June, was its
6 aim to explain to the international community what the situation was.
7 A. Absolutely so, Your Honour. This was sent to them for them to
8 learn about the situation. And also on the 15th of June, when we signed
9 the tripartite agreement, we took upon ourselves the obligation that,
10 through our officer -- liaison officer, we would immediately inform the
11 operative headquarters of UNPROFOR in Kiseljak on anything happening by
12 the opposing side. This was a major move by the ABiH, and I personally
13 wrote this letter to General Wahlgren and to General Morillon.
14 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I'm looking at the time. We
15 have another 45 minutes. Let us look at all the remaining maps.
17 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Mr. Petkovic, I have a small question on this
19 You write about the, I quote, "so-called Army of Bosnia and
20 Herzegovina (BiH)." Why do you say "so-called"?
21 A. Your Honour Judge Trechsel, after everything that had happened, I
22 asked myself, Is that, indeed, the Army of Bosnia and Herzegovina, or is
23 it not, and whether I belonged to such an army or not.
24 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Thank you.
25 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Registrar,
1 4D502 [as interpreted]. It is a map that you headed "The situation in
2 June 1993," and it is going to appear on the screen.
3 Here it is. Could you, in brief and in military terms, describe
4 the situation, because you were the one who prepared this map.
5 A. Yes, Your Honour Judge Antonetti. With this map, I wanted to
6 show all the things that were happening in June 1993.
7 So let me start with the beginning of June, Travnik, and part of
8 the municipality of Novi Travnik. The ABiH attacked units of the HVO,
9 and by the 12th of June, the ABiH fully controlled Travnik. Thousands of
10 Croats were expelled. Kakanj, the red line is missing around Kakanj,
11 which is meant to indicate that on the 15th of June, Kakanj also fell;
12 that is, the ABiH took control of Kakanj, and 10.000 to 12.000 Croats
13 were expelled and sought refuge in the municipality of Vares.
14 Similarly, in June the ABiH attacked Vakuf. In June, also, there
15 were the first attacks by the ABiH on Fojnica, but they didn't succeed in
16 gaining control of Fojnica. And June was one of the worst months for all
17 the other Croatian enclaves in Bosnia and Herzegovina, starting with
18 Kiseljak, where symbolically I have these two circles, Kresevo, Busovaca,
19 Vitez, this whole series of markings for fierce fighting.
20 June was one of the most difficult months for the HVO in
21 Central Bosnia. I think that was the final decision of the leadership of
22 the ABiH and Mr. Izetbegovic to settle accounts with the HVO in
23 Central Bosnia.
24 MR. STEWART: Your Honour, could we just correct the transcript.
25 At page 73, line 10, this exhibit is given as "4D502," and it is 4D561 --
1 I'm told 562. I did have in mind it was 561, but there were probably two
2 versions of it, then. It's 562, apparently, is the actual one up on the
3 screen. Thank you.
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] And I would like to say that this
5 means that Travnik, where there were HVO units and ABiH units, shows that
6 Travnik was in the hands of the ABiH at the time, and there were no
7 longer any Croats in the territory of the municipality of Travnik
8 also concerns parts of the municipality of Novi Travnik, which is near
9 the line with the Army of Republika Srpska. The Croats were expelled
10 from that area. The ABiH took control of Travnik, of part of
11 Novi Travnik municipality, and they took full control of the Kakanj area
12 too. So this is how I would depict it, symbolically.
13 Our enclave, our HVO enclave, moved in this direction [marks],
14 and this is the enclave -- they didn't take Fojnica at the time, so it
15 was -- the HVO was still present there in June. And Konjic can't even be
16 seen here, apart from a small part in Klis. We've seen that, but Konjic
17 isn't here. These were the first attacks on Vakuf, and it was a
18 preparation for a subsequent attack in July that was launched against
20 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Registrar, could we have an
21 IC number.
22 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honour, the marked portion of document
23 4D00562 shall be given Exhibit IC01183. Thank you, Your Honours.
24 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. We will move on to
25 the Mostar map before the 30th of June. 4D621.
1 We have the map there. General Petkovic, we have Mostar here.
2 Could you comment on the map that you have, that you, yourself, made?
3 A. Your Honour, this was prior to the 30th of June. It's the
4 situation when the HVO and the ABiH were together at a joint line facing
5 the VRS, and that line extended, well, from the 4th Battalion -- from
6 their 4th Battalion - I'll draw it here below this point [marks] - the
7 2nd HVO Brigade is defending this line [indicates], they continue to
8 Mostar, above Mostar. The 1st Brigade of the ABiH comes to the line with
9 its three battalions. Then the HVO 3rd Brigade is at the line facing the
10 Serbs here [indicates], and then we reach Blagaj. There's an independent
11 battalion of the ABiH here. It's called Sargan, and they continue to
12 hold the line facing the Army of Republika Srpska, the VRS. That is the
13 joint line that we held before the 30th of June together with the ABiH.
14 The HVO and the ABiH held that line.
15 If you take this red line here [marks], you could say it's the
16 line of the VRS. I will mark it in this way so that you can see that it
17 is the line of the VRS [marks].
18 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I'll ask the Registrar to
19 provide a number for the document, and then I have a question for you.
20 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honour, the marked version of document
21 4D00621 shall be given Exhibit IC01184. Thank you, Your Honours.
22 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] General Petkovic, you said that
23 there was the 1st ABiH Brigade, the 2nd HVO Brigade, the 3rd HVO Brigade
24 deployed at certain positions, et cetera. What I would like to know is:
25 at the time could a Muslim or Croat civilian move around freely from the
1 north to the south, and in the opposite direction too? Could they do
2 this in the areas that we can see in green and in blue?
3 A. Your Honour Judge Antonetti, green -- the green colour and the
4 blue are symbolical. You're supposed to be able to see the entire area.
5 The army was at the lines that I have already shown. The army wasn't in
6 the depth. Everyone who needed to move from Mostar towards Bijelo Polje
7 and further on could do so, or from Mostar to the south in the direction
8 of Blagaj. They could also move in that direction. It was a joint line,
9 the forces were joint forces, and I see no reason for this not to be
11 Similarly, the HVO could freely enter the barracks, the
12 Northern Camp that is here where I have stated that it's the 1st Brigade.
13 They could enter that area. They could go over Tito's Bridge and enter
14 the Northern Camp. It wasn't a problem. So if it was necessary for
15 someone to go in one direction or another in this area, it was possible
16 for that person to do so quite freely. If the authorities allowed this,
17 organised groups of people could move around. Otherwise, that wouldn't
18 be the case. I mean the authorities in Eastern Mostar.
19 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Try and be concise, because I
20 have other maps and I would like to conclude.
21 4D622 is the following map. It's the situation in Mostar after
22 the 30th of June, 1992.
23 Could you comment on this map, since we can see the markings
24 "VRS," "ABiH," "HVO"? What does this map mean?
25 A. Your Honour, in relation to the previous map, this map means that
1 between Eastern Mostar, Bijelo Polje, Dreznica, and Jablanica, there are
2 no HVO units. That entire area is now under the control of members of
3 the ABiH. The HVO has been driven out to the western bank of the
4 Neretva River
6 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. So you're saying
7 that one should conclude that the HVO had been driven back and that the
8 ABiH had control over the entire area depicted in green. My question:
9 Could a civilian from East Mostar go to the north or to the south through
10 territory that was under ABiH control?
11 A. That's correct, Judge Antonetti. A civilian could move through
12 that territory, because in that territory there was no longer an HVO
13 presence. No one was there, apart from the ABiH. The ABiH regulated
14 movement and decided how many people could pass through that area.
15 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. We'll move on to
16 the map on Mostar, Jablanica and Konjic. It's 4D1216. We'll see it in a
17 minute. It depicts the situation up until the 30th of June, and then
18 there's the situation on the 30th of June.
19 There it is, we have the map. Could you comment on this map,
20 which, according to you, depicts the situation in the area prior to the
21 30th of June, or up until the 30th, of June, as you like?
22 A. The positions of the VRS is identical to the positions it had a
23 few months earlier. These are the positions occupied by the VRS. If you
24 start from the south, this line here [indicates] is a line that was under
25 the control of an ABiH battalion, it faced the Serbs. This blue line
1 here [indicates] was held by the 3rd Brigade of the HVO. I don't know
2 why this pencil -- this pen isn't working. This is the line that was
3 held by the 1st Mostar Brigade.
4 Could you please provide --
5 THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation] If the pen doesn't work, we
6 can't see what he is showing.
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I hope that it will work now. I'll
8 try to sign -- no, it's not working.
9 It's probably all right now.
10 It's not working, but I can explain the situation.
11 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Perhaps the map could be put on the ELMO, and
12 another --
13 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] We could place it on the ELMO.
14 Wait, I'll give you my map. Put it on the ELMO.
15 THE WITNESS: Your Honour Judge Antonetti, I'll mark the Serbian
16 line first, the line held by the Serbs [marks]. These are the positions
17 of the VRS, as I have already said. They didn't change for a very long
18 time, and they held these positions here.
19 Now I will mark the positions and the lines under the control of
20 HVO units [marks]. So this double line represents the line occupied by
21 the HVO units, the 2nd Brigade of the HVO.
22 And now I'll show the position of the 3rd Brigade [marks]. To
23 the north, near Konjic, there's a small enclave. I'd like to correct
24 this, because a witness quite rightly observed something. This enclave
25 borders on these positions here [marks], borders on the village of
1 Prevlje, borders on the position of the VRS. So this shows the situation
2 correctly now.
3 Together with the HVO, lines were held by members of the ABiH in
4 areas where their units had been deployed. So I want to show you that
5 situation too. This the Blagaj area [marks]. This is the Mostar area,
6 it's the slopes above Mostar, which is where the 1st Brigade was located
7 together with its three battalions [marks]. This part here was under the
8 control of the 4th Battalion of the 1st Mostar Brigade. We also called
9 it the Dreznica Battalion.
10 MR. STEWART: Your Honour, could I say that, as has often
11 happened in the past, at the moment we're not getting, as we go along,
12 any clear link between the transcript and the map that we're going to be
13 able to follow in the future, because the words "here" and "there" are
14 perfectly comprehensible right now, as we're watching Mr. Petkovic do it,
15 but they won't be when we're later looking at the transcript.
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I'll mark this again once I've
17 completed the line [marks]. This area that I have just marked was under
18 the control of units the Municipality Defence Staff of Jablanica.
19 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] If you mark it with a letter or
20 a number, that will help us find the place in the transcript that is
21 concerned, the relevant place in the transcript.
22 A. Your Honour, I'll start from the south. Number 1 is Blagaj
23 [marks], the battalion of the ABiH in Blagaj. Number 2 [marks], in the
24 area of Mostar, the line towards the Serbs is held by the 1st Mostar
25 Brigade. Number 3 [marks], the front-line towards the Serbs, is held by
1 the 4th Battalion of the 1st Mostar Brigade, or the Dreznica Battalion.
2 Number 4 [marks] is being held by the Municipal Defence Staff of
3 Jablanica of the ABiH. And number 5 [marks], I've put number 5 in two
4 places. That is the front towards the Serbs held by the 7th Brigade of
5 the ABiH.
6 So all the numbers I have indicated refer to the Army of the
7 Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina, and that is the joint front-line held
8 up until the 30th of June by members of the Army of the Republic of
9 Bosnia and Herzegovina and the Croatian Defence Council in the area north
10 of Konjic, across the territory of Jablanica
11 territory of Mostar
12 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. Could you sign the
13 map, please.
14 A. [Marks]
15 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Registrar, take the map,
16 please, and give it a number.
17 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, the marked version of document
18 4D01216 shall be given Exhibit IC01185. Thank you, Your Honours.
19 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] The next map that will be
20 placed under the ELMO is 4D1207 -- 1217, I'm sorry. And using the ELMO,
21 we'll be saving some time.
22 So we're still in the same geographic area on the 30th of June.
23 Could you explain the situation exactly as it was on the 30th of June?
24 A. On the 30th of June, Your Honours, after the Army of Bosnia and
25 Herzegovina captured HVO positions north of Mostar and certain positions
1 south of Mostar, the situation was as follows: The Army of
2 Republika Srpska held the same positions [marks]. I have marked in red
3 the positions of the Army of Republika Srpska. I shall now mark the
4 positions towards the Serbs held by the Army of the Republic of Bosnia
5 and Herzegovina [marks]. This line tells us that facing the Army of
6 Republika Srpska, after the 30th of June, in the area from Konjic, across
7 Jablanica municipality, up to Mostar, Eastern Mostar, and Blagaj, there
8 are no units of the HVO; that is, HVO units in this area have no contact
9 with the Army of Republika Srpska, and they organised a new front-line on
10 the west bank of the Neretva.
11 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Could you sign the map, please.
12 A. [Marks]
13 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Registrar, can we have a
14 number for this map.
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] This colour --
16 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Mr. Petkovic. Mr. Petkovic, just a question of
18 In an earlier map -- can you take the ELMO -- the map a bit down
19 on the ELMO? No, that's up. Down, yes.
20 The enclave of the HVO shown north of the white spot, you have
21 indicated that there was a mistake, because it was actually up to the
22 line of the Serbs. Would that still be true? So I think it would be
23 correct if you also put in this correction. Thank you.
24 A. Yes, Your Honour, thank you [marks]. Let me just strengthen the
25 red line to mark it more visible [marks]. Thank you for your
2 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Registrar, a number.
3 THE REGISTRAR: Yes, Your Honour.
4 The marked portion of document 4D01217 shall be given
5 Exhibit IC01186. Thank you, Your Honours.
6 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well.
7 There are two other maps, the situation in July 1993. Under the
8 ELMO, please. The document -- I don't have the number now. 4D -- I
9 can't remember the number. 563, 563. 4D563, yes.
10 General Petkovic, will you please comment on this map showing the
11 situation in July?
12 A. Your Honours, I can. [Marks]. The Army of Bosnia and
13 Herzegovina, in June, captured Travnik. And in July, the HVO did not
14 return to Travnik, so the HVO has been expelled, the military as well as
15 the civilians, and it is in the hands of the ABiH. [Marks]. The same
16 applies to the municipality of Kakanj.
17 I will sign as soon as I explain.
18 Kakanj and the municipality of Fojnica are fully under the
19 control of the ABiH. And the little blue enclaves that remain, I can
20 mark them with numbers, if you wish. They are the remaining Croat
22 And I forgot to add that Konjic, too, with the exception of a
23 very small area which I will mark in blue [marks], is all that remains of
24 the Croatian enclave, just symbolically. So you see it is next to
25 Konjic. This is the situation as it was in July 1993.
1 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Please sign, and we will have a
3 A. [Marks]. But I wish to point out that 90 per cent of Bugojno had
4 already fell. But if necessary, we can mark that on the next map,
5 because on the 2nd of August Bugojno was left without any Croats. They
6 were expelled.
7 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, the marked portion of document
8 4D00563 shall be given Exhibit IC01187. Thank you, Your Honours.
9 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] We have September, and then we
10 also have November, and that will be the end of it. Yes, the number is
11 564, 4D564.
12 A. Your Honour, the situation was as follows at the time indicated
13 [marks]. I have marked all the places in Central Bosnia and Herzegovina
14 from which, militarily, the HVO was defeated and the Croat inhabitants
15 expelled from these areas. But in the area of Konjic, I have to put a
16 little dot to indicate an enclave [marks].
17 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Registrar.
18 THE REGISTRAR: Yes, Your Honour.
19 The document just marked by the witness, which is 4D00564, shall
20 be given Exhibit IC01188. Thank you, Your Honours.
21 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] And the last map, it is 4D567.
22 A. Your Honours, on this map we have a presentation of everything.
23 I have nothing to add. All the places have been crossed out, Bugojno,
24 Novi Travnik, Travnik, part of Zenica, Vares, Fojnica, Konjic, other
25 places from which the Croats were expelled and no HVO forces are there.
1 The HVO has been defeated by the ABiH. And the little dot remains in
2 Konjic. And we see the number of inhabitants who were in those places,
3 but were expelled by the Army of the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina
4 This is the situation in November [marks].
5 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Could the general tell us which
6 inhabitants he's referring to.
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Croat inhabitants, Croat
8 inhabitants who were expelled from all these places here, and that is the
9 situation in November 1993. These two enclaves in Central Bosnia remain
10 as such.
11 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] The numbers appearing on the
12 map are numbers indicating the Croats who were expelled from the areas.
13 For example, for Travnik, according to you, there were 25.000; Vares,
14 9.000; et cetera. Is that right?
15 A. Yes, Your Honours. Those are roughly accurate data. They are
16 not smaller than this. There may be more. I don't know how many Croats
17 from other areas may have come to Vares and were then expelled. The
18 Croats from Kakanj were no longer in Vares. They went further on and
19 they disappeared from this area. Konjic had about as many Croats who
20 came from other areas, but they left the whole region. They were
21 expelled from this region. So UNPROFOR says that the Croats left, and
22 for the Bosnians, they say that they were expelled. Then there were
23 local Croats plus those who came from Serb-controlled areas. There were
24 25.000 in Travnik, and now there's not a single one left. Unfortunately,
25 even now there are none, with the exception of a few hundred.
1 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] A number, please.
2 THE REGISTRAR: Document 4D00567 just marked by the witness shall
3 be given Exhibit IC01189. Thank you.
4 JUDGE TRECHSEL: A very small question, and you don't need the
6 Mr. Petkovic, how did these figures come about? Are these your
7 estimates, are they in some other official document? Could you tell us,
9 A. Your Honours, Judge Trechsel, these documents and these figures
10 were kept in our Office for Refugees and Displaced Persons, and an
11 analytical team attached to Mr. Boban's office monitored the expulsion of
12 Croats and kept records on the total number of Croats expelled, those who
13 had lived there, those who had earlier on fled from the Serbs and settled
14 there, and then they were expelled together with the locals from that
16 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Thank you.
17 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] General Petkovic, thank you for
18 having answered my questions. I intended to use two days.
19 Unfortunately, it has extended to three days. There were rulings to be
20 handed down, objections, and so on, so I was a bit longer than I had
21 planned. Thank you for answering my questions. I asked you about your
22 positions, specifying things with the help of some documents on some
23 occasions. That is what I wanted to tell you.
24 Before closing, a small precision regarding
25 Witness Miroslav Desnica, who will be testifying on the 8th of March,
1 2010, and not on the 2nd of March.
2 Mr. Prlic.
3 THE ACCUSED PRLIC: Thank you, Mr. President.
4 On the last break, a few of us heard for the party. Since we
5 are, for obvious and understandable reason, are not invited, others who
6 have spent the last four years are, allow me to convey on this, the only
7 way, our best wishes for your 80th birthday, which was actually
8 yesterday, as I heard. So happy birthday, Mr. Prandler, and take care.
9 JUDGE PRANDLER: I'm very much in a situation that it is
10 difficult for me to answer to you, besides thanking you for your very
11 kind words. I am really sorry that you are not invited, but it is the
12 rules of the game, and I cannot alter those rules, of course. But I wish
13 everyone here in the courtroom all the best, and thanking them for their
14 co-operation and their spirit of friendly relations, if at all it exists
15 in a courtroom. So thank you, and I really thank, actually, Mr. Prlic
16 for his nice words.
17 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] General Praljak.
18 THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I have
19 something quite different to raise.
20 It will be probably my turn tomorrow, so I appeal that in view of
21 the hundreds of millions of dollars that are being spent, and that a pen
22 isn't working, and when a film is being shown, it will and will not, and
23 then we give in and you give in, so if we had acted in this way in
24 wartime conditions, there would have been an additional 100.000 dead.
25 Yesterday, I mentioned the word "professionalism," which means,
1 (a), to know your job, and, two, to do it honestly for the salary you
2 receive, so let them act in that way.
3 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Registrar, make sure that
4 tomorrow that the pen is working.
5 Mr. Kovacic.
6 MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I apologise for
7 standing at the last moment. But we tried to deal with it directly in
8 communication with the Detention Unit by e-mail, but we received no
9 reply. So if you could ask from the Registry to make it possible, when
10 the accused return to the Detention Unit, for General Praljak to take two
11 bulbs, because he needs those bulbs to be able to read the documents
12 overnight. We brought those electric bulbs. The guards said we could,
13 and now, according to the Rules, we cannot send them to him. So could
14 the Registrar intervene so that we give those electric bulbs to
15 General Praljak. Of course, the guards would assist us here, but the
16 guards in the Detention Unit do not allow it.
17 Thank you very much.
18 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Would the Registrar please
19 forward this request so that I don't have to go and buy some bulbs
20 myself. It will be done, Mr. Registrar.
21 Tomorrow, we will have the cross-examination by the other Defence
22 counsel. I wish you all a good evening, good afternoon, and we meet
23 again tomorrow at 9:00 a.m.
24 [The accused stands down]
25 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 1.49 p.m.,
1 to be reconvened on Thursday, the 25th day of
2 February, 2010, at 9.00 a.m.