1 Wednesday, 29 May 2013
3 [Open session]
4 [The accused entered court]
5 --- Upon commencing at 10.00 a.m.
6 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Madam Registrar, please call
7 the case.
8 THE REGISTRAR: Good morning, Your Honours. Case number
9 IT-04-74-T, the Prosecutor versus Jadranko Prlic, Bruno Stojic, Slobodan
10 Praljak, Milivoj Petkovic, Valentin Coric, and Berislav Pusic.
11 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Can you hear me? Very well.
12 And may the parties -- can we have the appearances, please.
13 MR. SCOTT: Yes, Your Honour. Ken Scott for the Prosecution.
14 I'm glad to be back in court before Your Honours and thank you for seeing
16 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well.
17 Let's turn to the Defence.
18 MR. KARNAVAS: Good morning. Michael Karnavas for Dr. Jadranko
19 Prlic along with Suzana Tomanovic and Ida Jurkovic.
20 MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation] Good morning, Your Honours. Senka
21 Nozica, together with Karim Khan and our legal assistant Anna Katulu.
22 MS. FAUVEAU IVANOVIC: [Interpretation] Good morning,
23 Your Honours. Natacha Fauveau Ivanovic and Nika Pinter representing
24 General Praljak.
25 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Good morning, Your Honours.
1 Guenael Mettreaux and Vesna Alaburic, counsel for Milivoj Petkovic, and
2 our associates, Natalija Labavic and Slavko Mateskovic. Thank you.
3 MS. TOMASEGOVIC TOMIC: [Interpretation] Good morning,
4 Your Honours. Representing Valentin Coric, Dijana Tomasegovic Tomic;
5 co-counsel, Drazen Plavec; and legal assistant, Ester Kirs. Thank you.
6 MR. IBRISIMOVIC: [Interpretation] Good morning, Your Honours.
7 Mr. Fahrudin Ibrisimovic from Sarajevo and Mr. Sahota, on behalf of
8 Berislav Pusic.
9 MR. SCOTT: Your Honours, I apologise. I didn't know if the
10 Court would take individual appearances, but I was -- I improperly forgot
11 to introduce my good colleague Mr. Stringer, for the Prosecution,
12 Mr. Roeland Bos, and our case manager Mr. Thomas Laugel. Thank you.
13 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you.
14 The Trial Chamber is sitting today to deliver its judgement in
15 the case the Prosecution versus Jadranko Prlic, Bruno Stojic, Slobodan
16 Praljak, Milivoj Petkovic, Valentin Coric, and Berislav Pusic. I shall
17 now read out a summary of the Chamber's findings. The only authoritative
18 account of these findings is contained in the written judgements, copies
19 of which will be made available to the parties and the public at the end
20 of this hearing.
21 The Chamber would first of all like to thank all those people who
22 have contributed to the smooth conduct of the trial since it commenced on
23 26 of April, 2006, including the Legal Officers of the Chambers. During
24 the proceedings, which ended on 2nd of March, 2011, the Chamber admitted
25 approximately 10.000 exhibits into evidence and heard 145 Prosecution
1 witnesses, seven of whom were expert witnesses, as well as 61 Defence
2 witnesses, seven of whom were expert witnesses. The judgement is a
3 2.629-pages-long document divided into six volumes, including four
4 annexes and partially dissenting or separate opinions by Judge Trechsel
5 and myself that reflect the complexity of this case.
6 The case is based in particular on the allegations contained in
7 the indictment. The Prosecution charges the six accused with having
8 participated in a joint criminal enterprise between the 18th of November,
9 1991, and April 1994 that was designed to subjugate the Muslims and other
10 non-Croats living in areas of the territory of the Republic of Bosnia and
11 Herzegovina, which the Croatian Community, and later Republic, of
12 Herceg-Bosna claimed as its own in order to permanently remove them and
13 to create a Croatian territory along the borders of the Croatian
14 Banovina. The six accused are accused of having committed crimes in
15 eight municipalities and a whole network of detention centres over a
16 period that lasted for almost two and a half years, crimes that coincide
17 with 26 counts of the indictment.
18 It is alleged more specifically that as part of the joint
19 criminal enterprise the accused committed the crimes of persecution,
20 Count 1; murder, Count 2; rape, Count 4; deportation, Count 6; forcible
21 transfer, Count 8; imprisonment, Count 10; and inhumane acts, Counts 12
22 and 15 as crimes against humanity. They are also accused of having
23 committed grave breaches of the Geneva Conventions of 1949 in the form of
24 wilful killing, Count 3; sexual assault, Count 5; unlawful deportation,
25 transfer, and confinement of civilians, Counts 7, 9, and 11; inhumane
1 treatment, Counts 13 and 16; and extensive destruction and appropriation
2 of property not justified by military necessity and carried out
3 unlawfully and wantonly, Counts 19 and 22. Finally, they are also
4 accused of cruel treatment, Counts 14 and 17; unlawful labour, Count 18;
5 wanton destruction of cities, towns, or villages, Count 20; destruction
6 or wilful damage to institutions dedicated to religion or education,
7 Count 21; and plunder of public or private property, Count 23, as
8 violations of the laws or customs of war. With regard to the
9 municipality of Mostar, the Prosecution alleges that the six accused
10 carried out unlawful attacks on civilians, Count 24; that they unlawfully
11 inflicted terror on civilians, Count 25; and that they inflicted cruel
12 treatment by besieging East Mostar, Count 26, which constitute violations
13 of the laws or customs of war.
14 I will initially deal with the findings of the Chamber concerning
15 the crimes committed by members of the HVO.
16 In the municipality of Mostar as early as 1992, the municipal HVO
17 assisted by the HVO of the Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna embarked
18 upon a policy aimed at placing Muslims living in the municipality at a
19 disadvantage. Tensions between Croats and Muslims increased throughout
20 1992, in particular in the municipality of Prozor. On 23rd of October,
21 1992, the HVO attacked the town of Prozor and its surroundings. When it
22 took over the town of Prozor and the village of Paljike on 24th of
23 October, 1992, the HVO destroyed many Muslim homes and vehicles in the
24 town and burnt down one house and killed two people in Paljike.
25 THE INTERPRETER: Your Honour, would you kindly slow down a
1 little, please. Thank you.
2 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] The first clashes between the
3 HVO and the ABiH took place on 11 and 12th of January, 1993, in the
4 municipality of Gornji Vakuf. On 16th of January, 1993, pursuant to an
5 order issued the day before, the Main Staff of the HVO demanded that the
6 ABiH in Gornji Vakuf subordinate its troops to the HVO. The ABiH
7 rejected this demand.
8 On 18th of January, 1993, the HVO attacked the town of Gornji
9 Vakuf and several neighbouring villages. Fighting between the HVO and
10 the ABiH continued for several days. During these attacks, the HVO
11 destroyed Muslim homes in Gornji Vakuf. The HVO fired several shells on
12 the village of Dusa, which led to the destruction of Muslim homes and the
13 deaths of seven persons. During this same attack on the 18th of January,
14 1993, several houses were destroyed in the villages of Hrasnica, Uzricje,
15 and Zdrimci. HVO soldiers set fire to Muslim houses when they took these
16 villages and Dusa. In Hrasnica, Uzricje, and Zdrimci, members of the HVO
17 stole property belonging to Muslims. HVO forces arrested the women,
18 children, and elderly persons in the four villages, held them, and
19 expelled them from their villages to territory under the control of the
20 ABiH. Some of the inhabitants of Uzricje were beaten or threatened by
21 HVO soldiers while in detention, and the inhabitants of Zdrimci were
22 harassed and forced to recite Christian prayers in front of the Mekteb.
23 From the 18th of January, 1993, onwards, the HVO held 40 to 60 Muslim men
24 at the furniture factory in Trnovaca, which is located in the
25 municipality of Gornji Vakuf. Some of them were beaten up and/or
1 suffered abuse from HVO soldiers. For example, two HVO soldiers cut off
2 Hasan Behlo's ear and trampled on the wound. These Muslim men were
3 exchanged or deported after two weeks of detention.
4 In the spring of 1993, tensions between the ABiH and the HVO grew
5 in the municipalities of Mostar, Prozor, Stolac, and Jablanica. In April
6 1993, the HVO issued a new order, expiring on 15th of April, 1993, for
7 the ABiH to be subordinated to the HVO in the municipality of Jablanica.
8 When the ABiH refused to obey, on the 17th of April, 1993, the
9 HVO launched attacks on the municipalities of Prozor and Jablanica.
10 Between the 17th and the 19th of April, 1993, the HVO attacked the
11 villages of Parcani, Lizoperci, and Toscanica in the municipality of
12 Prozor where they burnt down Muslim homes and killed two people. On the
13 17th of April, the HVO shelled the villages of Sovici and Doljani in the
14 municipality of Jablanica. After the fighting and continuing up to the
15 23rd of April, 1993, the HVO arrested ABiH soldiers, Muslim men of
16 military age, women, children, and elderly persons in these villages and
17 took them to Sovici school where many of them were held until the 5th of
18 May, 1993, in very difficult conditions. The HVO soldiers beat and
19 abused the detainees including the women, and killed four ABiH soldiers.
20 Some of the detainees were made to perform labour at HVO positions.
21 While some of the male detainees were being taken to the Ljubuski prison
22 on the 18th of April, 1993, they were severely beaten and humiliated by
23 HVO soldiers, including members of the Convicts Battalion.
24 From the 19th of April, 1993, HVO soldiers assembled
25 approximately 400 women, children, and elderly persons from the villages
1 of Sovici and Doljani in the houses in Junuzovici in the municipality of
2 Jablanica where they held them until the 4th or 5th of May, 1993, and
3 treated some of them very cruelly. On the 5th of May, 1993, following a
4 visit from a joint HVO and ABiH delegation, including Milivoj Petkovic
5 and Berislav Pusic, as well as several representatives of international
6 organisations, the HVO moved the detainees held at the Sovici school and
7 in the houses of Junuzovici to Gornji Vakuf.
8 On the 20th of April, 1993, members of the HVO, including Mladen
9 Naletilic, held several ABiH soldiers at a fish farm near Doljani in the
10 municipality of Jablanica, where the latter were severely beaten,
11 insulted, humiliated, and threatened with death. The same day the HVO
12 arrested Muslim civilians in the municipality of Capljina including some
13 prominent figures and held them at the barracks in Grabovina and at the
14 Dretelj prison.
15 On the 9th of May, 1993, the HVO launched a major attack on the
16 ABiH in Mostar, during which it took the residential neighbourhood of
17 Vranica in which the headquarters of the ABiH were located. During this
18 operation that lasted several days, HVO soldiers blew up the Baba Besir
19 mosque. HVO soldiers conducted mass arrests of Muslims in West Mostar
20 and separated the men from the women, children, and elderly persons. The
21 men belonging to the ABiH were held in the MUP building and at the
22 tobacco institute, where they were savagely beaten. Other men, some
23 belonging to the ABiH and others not, were held and beaten up at the
24 faculty of mechanical engineering. Ten ABiH soldiers died as a result of
25 the violence exerted upon them. The women, children, and elderly persons
1 of West Mostar were sent to the Heliodrom where they were held for
2 several days before being able to return home.
3 Also in Mostar, HVO soldiers systematically expelled the Muslims
4 from West Mostar between May 1993 and February 1994, in particular by
5 means of major operations to evict them in mid-May, mid-June, early July,
6 and September 1993. The men were detained at the Heliodrom and their
7 families were expelled to East Mostar. No distinction was made between
8 civilians and combatants in detention. In July 1993, the HVO briefly
9 detained some of these men at the faculty of mechanical engineering,
10 where they were savagely beaten. Two of them died after being beaten a
11 whole night long.
12 The HVO besieged East Mostar between June 1993 and April 1994.
13 During this period, the eastern part of the town and the neighbourhood of
14 Donja Mahala in the west were subjected to a prolonged military assault
15 by the HVO, including intense and uninterrupted gun-fire and shelling.
16 This firing and shelling caused many casualties, including the deaths of
17 many civilians and representatives of international organisations. Ten
18 mosques were also badly damaged or destroyed. The HVO impeded and at
19 times even completely cut off the passage of international aid. The
20 Muslim population was thus forced to live in extremely difficult
21 conditions, deprived as it was of food, water, electricity, and enough
23 On the 8th of November, 1993, as part of the offensive, an HVO
24 tank fired all day long at the Old Bridge until it was unusable and on
25 the verge of collapse. The bridge then collapsed on the morning of the
1 9th of November, 1993. The majority concluded, with me dissenting, that
2 although the bridge was utilised by the ABiH and thus constituted a
3 legitimate military target for the HVO, its destruction did
4 disproportionately damage the Muslim civilian population of Mostar.
5 HVO soldiers used extreme violence in their operations to evict
6 the population of Mostar. The Muslims were awakened in the middle of the
7 night or early in the morning, beaten and forced out of their homes,
8 often in their pyjamas. Many women, including a 16-year-old girl, were
9 raped by HVO soldiers before being forced across the front line to East
10 Mostar. The HVO soldiers also confiscated the keys to Muslim apartments
11 and stole the valuables in them. Some soldiers even made use of
12 Heliodrom detainees to pillage the apartments of Muslims who had been
13 driven out of them.
14 The HVO conducted similar operations in other municipalities of
15 Herceg-Bosna in the summer of 1993. To begin with, the HVO arrested the
16 Muslim men, whether they were Muslim HVO soldiers, ABiH soldiers, or men
17 of military ages, and placed them in detention in the prisons of Dretelj,
18 Gabela, Ljubljanska, and at the Heliodrom, or in other detention centres
19 where they were often victims of grave abuse. Then the HVO carried out
20 mass campaigns to arrest the women, children, and elderly persons in
21 these municipalities, and then sent them to territory under the control
22 of the ABiH, often after having held them under appalling conditions for
23 various periods of time.
24 This was the case in the municipality of Capljina where the HVO
25 carried out a mass campaign to arrest Muslim men from the 30th of June to
1 mid-July 1993. On or around mid-July 1993, members of the HVO set fire
2 to houses belonging to Muslims in Bivolje Brdo, stole their property, and
3 destroyed the mosques of Lokve and Visici. Between July and September
4 1993, members of the HVO moved the women, children, and elderly people
5 from the villages of Domanovici, Bivolje Brdo, and Pocitelj, and from the
6 town of Capljina to the Capljina silos or to the territory under the
7 control of the ABiH. The Chamber concluded, or the majority concluded
8 with me dissenting, that on the 13th of July, 1993, two young Muslim
9 women were killed by HVO gun-fire in Domanovici. In Bivolje Brdo, the
10 HVO killed a crippled 83-year-old man. Several days later, on the 16th
11 of July, 1993, members of the HVO took part in the arrest of 12 Muslim
12 men from the village of Bivolje Brdo, killed them, burned them, and
13 buried their bodies near a former bauxite mine at the village. The men,
14 women, children, and elderly persons held by the HVO at the Capljina
15 silos between July and October 1993 were can kept under very difficult
16 conditions, sleeping on the floor without blankets although it was very
17 cold, with very little food and with no sanitary facilities. The HVO
18 then transferred these persons to territory under the control of the
20 In early July 1993 in the municipality of Stolac, the HVO also
21 conducted a mass and systematic campaign to disarm and arrest Muslim
22 members of the HVO, ABiH soldiers and Muslim men of military age, and
23 held them in the Dretelj, Gabela, Ljubuski prisons and at the Heliodrom.
24 Then in July and August 1993, the HVO conducted a campaign to arrest and
25 imprison the women, children, and elderly persons and transfer them from
1 the municipality of Stolac. During these arrests, a 17-year-old girl was
2 killed by an HVO soldier in a burst of gun-fire. Several hundred persons
3 thus arrested were held at various sites, in particular at the Aladinici
4 school, where the conditions of confinement were extremely precarious.
5 Having been held for several days to several months, some detainees were
6 held until November 1993, the Muslims were transferred to Blagaj. In
7 July 1993, the HVO burned down the Sultan Selim mosque in Stolac,
8 plundered and set fire to numerous Muslim homes in the village of
9 Borojevici, and stole property belonging to Muslims in the village of
10 Pjesivac Greda.
11 Moreover, as early as May 1993, the HVO requisitioned the Kostana
12 hospital in order to detain there until October 1993 Muslim men arrested
13 in the municipality of Stolac. Five of them died following severe
14 beatings and brutal mistreatment inflicted on them by members of the HVO.
15 Other detainees were subjected to extremely violent abuse and still
16 suffer the consequences of it to this day.
17 On the 14th of July, 1993, in Buna, HVO military police took away
18 a young Muslim, aged 16, and his grandfather to the military police
19 building. They beat the young man violently, kicking and punching him
20 and striking him with an electrical cable. They then took the two men to
21 the edge of a cliff along the Neretva and shot them in the back, severely
22 wounding the young man and killing his grandfather.
23 Between June and mid-August 1993, the HVO attacked around a dozen
24 villages in the municipality of Prozor. The HVO members destroyed
25 property belonging to Muslims and a mosque in Skrobucani. They set fire
1 to several houses in Lug and damaged property belonging to Muslims in the
2 village of Podanis. On the 19th of July, 1993, HVO soldiers killed three
3 men after severely beating them in the village of Prajine as well as two
4 men and a woman on Mount Tolavac.
5 Between June and August 1993, the HVO arrested Muslim men,
6 including minors, elderly and sick persons in the municipality of Prozor
7 and detained them for several weeks in various locations. The HVO thus
8 detained for several weeks these people. The HVO thus detained between
9 400 and 500 Muslim men in the Prozor secondary school in the summer of
10 1993 where they were violently abused and forced to work on the front
11 line during which time some of them were wounded or killed. The HVO also
12 detained Muslim men at the technical school and at the fire station, in
13 the Unis building where some of them were beaten. In July 1993, Muslim
14 men detained by the HVO in the MUP building were forced to work on the
15 front line during which time some of them were mistreated.
16 Some detainees also suffered cruelty, including sexual assault.
17 Moreover, 11 detainees were shot dead by HVO soldiers in Crni Vrh on the
18 31st of July, 1993, while they were tied to each other with telephone
19 cables around their necks and forced to march in the direction of the
20 ABiH serving as human shields.
21 The HVO also arrested Muslim women, children, and elderly people
22 in the municipality of Prozor and detained them in houses in Podgradje,
23 Lapsunj and Duge where they lived in a climate of terror and in very poor
24 conditions, suffering mistreatments, threats, rapes, and some of the
25 women were the victims of sexual abuse by members of the HVO and at times
1 on a daily basis. On the 28th of August, 1993, the HVO transferred these
2 persons to territory under the control of the ABiH and at the time fired
3 at some of them, wounding them.
4 Some of these women, children, and elderly people returned to the
5 municipality of Prozor some time later. The HVO once more arrested and
6 detained them at Duge, where they were subjected to psychological and
7 physical violence, but also sexual assault until December 1993.
8 When Rastani was captured on the 24th of August, 1993, HVO
9 soldiers killed four men even though they had surrendered. They then
10 threatened the women and children who were there and stole all of their
11 valuables. After this, the women and children had no other choice but to
12 return to the territory under the control of the ABiH.
13 Finally, in the municipality of Ljubuski, in July and August
14 1993, the HVO listed, disarmed, and regulated the movement of men of
15 military age and then carried out mass arrests of hundreds of them and
16 imprisoned them in the Ljubuski prison and at the Heliodrom. Numerous
17 Muslim homes became vacant in the municipality of Ljubuski and were then
18 occupied by Croats from Central Bosnia.
19 At the same time as the mass arrests, the HVO created and managed
20 a whole network of detention centres for Muslims. Thus, the HVO military
21 police in June 1992 created a detention centre in the grounds of a former
22 police station in the town of Ljubuski. Three months later, the HVO
23 opened the Heliodrom, a former military facility of the JNA, to the south
24 of the town of Mostar and turned it into a detention centre. The prisons
25 of Dretelj and Gabela housed in former JNA barracks started functioning
1 as of April 1993. The Vojno detention centre operated at least between
2 August 1993 and January 1994. The setting up of these detention centres
3 allowed the HVO to detain thousands of Muslim civilians and soldiers
4 without any distinction.
5 The Chamber was able to find, especially from the testimony of
6 former detainees, that the detention conditions in these centres were
7 especially harsh. The premises were not adequate to detain so many
8 persons and overcrowding became particularly noticeable in the summer of
9 1993, following large waves of arrests in May and July 1993. Detainees
10 at the Ljubuski prison had barely any room to sit down on the ground.
11 Those in Dretelj prison were crammed into hangars and underground
12 tunnels. Detainees in all the detention centres were undernourished and
13 the sanitary conditions were appalling. Some didn't even have access to
14 toilets and had to relieve themselves in makeshift containers. Most of
15 the time they had no access to medical care adequate enough to treat the
16 illnesses resulting from the insanitary conditions and the injuries
17 caused by mistreatment that they suffered at the hands of the HVO. Some
18 of them are marked for life. The Trial Chamber noted that the detention
19 conditions in some isolation cells at the Heliodrom and at the Dretelj
20 prison were extremely harsh, lacking water, food, sanitary facilities,
21 and even lighting.
22 The Muslims in these detention centres were also mistreated. HVO
23 members regularly beat them and subjected them to very grave
24 mistreatment. Members of the HVO used cigarettes to burn detainees at
25 the Vojno detention centre. Ivica Kraljevic, a member of the military
1 police and commander of the Ljubuski prison, and two other men subjected
2 a detainee to electric shocks until he blacked out. People who came from
3 the outside, such as military policemen, were authorised, in particular
4 by the commander of the 1st Brigade of the HVO, to enter the prisons of
5 Dretelj and Gabela in order to beat the detainees. Bosko Previsic,
6 warden of the Gabela prison, personally shot dead a BH army soldier. At
7 least two detainees at the Dretelj prison died after having been
8 mistreated. Military policemen also shot dead three detainees by firing
9 at the hangars in which the detainees were locked up. Mario Mihalj, in
10 charge of the Vojno detention centre beat severely and then shot dead a
11 Muslim detained at the centre. Members of the HVO also regularly
12 insulted and humiliated detainees. At Dretelj prison, detainees had to
13 eat using utensils that were never washed and only had a few seconds to
14 finish their meager rations under threat of punishment. The detainees
15 who did not eat fast enough had to lie down on the blazing hot Tarmac and
16 to roll on the ground without their shirts on. A detainee at the
17 Heliodrom was forced to lick his own blood so that "the blood of a balija
18 does not remain on Croatian soil," according to his jailers who were
19 members of the military police.
20 Detainees at the Heliodrom, at the Vojno detention centre, and
21 the Ljubuski prison were forced to carry out dangerous work at the front
22 line, during which some of them were wounded or killed in the exchange of
23 fire between the ABiH and the HVO. Detainees at the Heliodrom were
24 wounded or killed when they were used as human shields on the front line.
25 When the Dretelj prison closed in early October 1993, the
1 detainees were transferred to other detention centres, including the
2 Gabela prison and the Heliodrom. The Vojno detention centre continued to
3 operate until January 1994. The Heliodrom and the prisons of Ljubuski
4 and Gabela closed in April 1994.
5 From December 1993, following a decision by Mate Boban, the
6 then-president of the Croatian Republic of Herceg-Bosna, to close all the
7 detention centres, the HVO emptied its detention centres. It ensured
8 that the detainees promised to leave Herceg-Bosna with their families by
9 providing letters of guarantee from third countries willing to accept
10 them. Detainees were then transferred to Croatia while awaiting
11 departure to third countries. Other detainees and their families had to
12 move to territories under ABiH control. Finally, the HVO used some
13 detainees as part of the exchange policy with the ABiH.
14 In the municipality of Vares in Central Bosnia, the HVO
15 endeavoured to encourage and even put pressure on the Croatian population
16 to leave the municipality and go to Herceg-Bosna. The HVO also committed
17 numerous crimes against Muslims in that municipality.
18 On the 23rd of October, 1993, members of the HVO proceeded to
19 arrest and detain Muslim men in the town of Vares. Most of them were
20 detained at the Vares high school and the Vares elementary school where
21 the detention conditions were very harsh and where members of the HVO
22 beat them. Between the 23rd of October and the 4th of November, 1993,
23 Muslim men were also detained at the prison in Vares-Majdan. HVO
24 soldiers subjected them to violence and humiliation. For instance, one
25 of the detainees was forced to cut his own beard and eat it.
1 On or around the 3rd of November, HVO troops withdrew from the
2 town of Vares in the direction of Kiseljak. The HVO thus left its
3 detention centres around that date, abandoning the detainees who were
4 able to identify themselves, at least some of them, to UNPROFOR. Before
5 leaving the town of Vares, members of the HVO raped two Muslim women from
6 Vares. HVO soldiers also engaged in looting shops and houses belonging
7 to Muslims.
8 Moreover, HVO armed forces launched an offensive on the village
9 of Stupni Do inhabited by Muslims on the morning of the 23rd of October,
10 1993. Soldiers from the Maturice and Apostoli special units raped and
11 sexually abused three women from the village. During the attack they
12 also killed 36 people, including three children aged 13, 8, and 3 years
13 old respectively. The entire village was destroyed and the villagers
14 were stripped of their belongings.
15 The Chamber found that the highest HVO authorities tried to
16 convince the international community that investigations of the crimes
17 were under way, when in fact they were never carried out. Moreover,
18 Ivica Rajic, commander of the HVO troops at Vares, continued in his
19 position under the pseudonym of Viktor Andric and he was never
21 The Chamber found by a majority, with me dissenting, that the
22 conflict between the HVO and the ABiH during this period of time was of
23 an international character. Indeed, evidence has shown that troops of
24 the Croatian army fought alongside the HVO against the ABiH and that the
25 Republic of Croatia had overall control over the armed forces and the
1 civilian authorities of the Croatian Community and then the Republic of
3 Applying the legal elements of the crimes alleged in the
4 indictment to the facts found proved in relation to each of the
5 municipalities and each of the detention centres, the Trial Chamber finds
6 that the following crimes were committed:
7 Crimes against humanity: persecution on political, racial, or
8 religious grounds, murder, rape, deportation, forcible transfer as
9 inhumane acts, imprisonment, inhumane acts;
10 Grave breaches of the Geneva Conventions of 1949: wilful
11 killing, sexual assault as inhumane treatment, unlawful deportation of a
12 civilian, unlawful transfer of a civilian, unlawful confinement of a
13 civilian, inhumane treatment, extensive destruction of property not
14 justified by military necessity and carried out unlawfully and wantonly,
15 appropriation of property not justified by military necessity and carried
16 out unlawfully and wantonly; and
17 Violation of the laws or customs of war: cruel treatment,
18 unlawful labour, wanton destruction of cities, towns or villages, or
19 devastation not justified by military necessity, destruction or wilful
20 damage done to institutions dedicated to religion or education, plunder
21 of public or private property, and specifically with respect to Mostar:
22 Unlawful attack on civilians and unlawful infliction of terror on
24 The Chamber decided not to address Count 26, cruel treatment,
25 Mostar siege, for reasons set out in Volume 3 of the judgement, and
1 analysed the events that occurred between June 1993 and April 1994 in
2 Mostar, in East Mostar, as cruel treatment under Count 17.
3 Having described the findings of the Chamber with regard to the
4 crimes committed in the municipalities in the detention centres listed in
5 the indictment, I will now summarise the findings of the Chamber with
6 respect to the responsibility of the accused as set out in the
8 The accused are charged under every form of liability set out in
9 Article 7(1) of the Statute, including commission through participation
10 in a joint criminal enterprise, and command responsibility under Article
11 7(3) of the Statute. Considering the extent of the crimes charged
12 against the six accused and found proved by the Chamber, the Chamber
13 finds by a majority, with me dissenting, that analysing their
14 responsibility by virtue of their participation in a joint criminal
15 enterprise is the obvious legal approach. Consequently, the other modes
16 of participation alleged in the indictment have only been considered for
17 those crimes that do not come under the joint criminal enterprise.
18 Therefore, the Trial Chamber finds by a majority that a joint
19 criminal enterprise existed and had as its ultimate goal the
20 establishment of a Croatian territorial entity with part of the borders
21 of the Croatian Banovina from 1939 to enable a reunification of the
22 Croatian people. This Croatian territorial entity in Bosnia and
23 Herzegovina was to either unite with Croatia following the prospective
24 dissolution of Bosnia and Herzegovina or become an Independent State
25 within Bosnia and Herzegovina with direct ties to Croatia.
1 The Chamber finds, again by a majority, that as early as December
2 1991, the leadership of the Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna, which
3 included Mate Boban, President of the Croatian Community, later Republic,
4 of Herceg-Bosna, and Croatian leaders, including Franjo Tudjman, the
5 President of Croatia, deemed that in order to achieve the ultimate goal,
6 namely, the establishment of a Croatian territorial entity as I have just
7 described, it was necessary to modify the ethnic composition of the
8 territories claimed to be part of the Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna.
9 From at least the end of October 1992, Jadranko Prlic, Bruno Stojic,
10 Milivoj Petkovic, and Slobodan Praljak were aware that achieving this
11 goal went against the peace talks conducted in Geneva and would entail
12 moving Muslim populations out of the territory of Herceg-Bosna.
13 Evidence establishes that as of mid-January 1993, the HVO
14 leadership and certain Croatian leaders had the intention of
15 consolidating HVO control over the provinces claimed to be Croatian and
16 to proceed with the ethnic cleansing of these provinces to ensure that
17 they had either a majority or an exclusively Croatian population.
18 Therefore, the joint criminal enterprise was established as of
19 mid-January 1993. The HVO conducted the military campaigns I described
20 previously in the provinces it considered to be Croatian for the purpose
21 of consolidating its presence. These military campaigns were accompanied
22 by the displacement of the Muslim population. The HVO also organised the
23 displacement of Croatian population from Central Bosnia towards
24 Herzegovina. The aim of this displacement was to protect a part of the
25 Croatian population in Central Bosnia from combat taking place in the
1 area, but also to strengthen the presence of Croats in Herceg-Bosna. The
2 goal of this was to shift the balance of power in favour of the Croats.
3 Consequently, one part of the Croatian population in Central Bosnia
4 voluntarily left whilst others were forcibly displaced by the HVO.
5 The Chamber finds that the many crimes committed by HVO forces
6 against the Muslims between January 1993 and April 1994 followed, for the
7 most part, a clear pattern of conduct. In the majority of cases, the
8 crimes committed were not the random acts of a few unruly soldiers. On
9 the contrary, these crimes were the result of a plan drawn up by members
10 of the JCE whose goal it was to permanently remove the Muslim population
11 from Herceg-Bosna.
12 The Chamber is satisfied that the members of the joint criminal
13 enterprise were directing and co-ordinating events on the ground in order
14 to commit the crimes described above. They implemented a system to expel
15 the Muslim population living in the territory of Herceg-Bosna, which
16 consisted of the following: Displacement and/or detention of civilians,
17 murder and destruction of property during attacks, ill-treatment and
18 destruction during eviction operations, ill-treatment and poor conditions
19 in detention, the widespread and almost systematic use of detainees to
20 carry out work on the front line and even to serve as human shields at
21 times, as well as the murders and maltreatment associated with this work
22 and the use of human shields, and finally, the displacement of detainees
23 and their families from the territory of Herceg-Bosna following their
25 Consequently, as part of the joint criminal enterprise we have
1 the crimes charged in Counts 1, 2, 3, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15,
2 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 24, and 25.
3 The Chamber finds furthermore that during the eviction campaigns
4 against the Muslims by the HVO or their detention, HVO members committed
5 other crimes which were not within the objective of the joint criminal
6 enterprise but were the natural and foreseeable consequence of its
7 implementation. These were crimes of theft, rape, and sexual violence as
8 well as a number of murders during the eviction campaigns and murders
9 resulting from harsh detention conditions or ill-treatment in detention
10 centres and the destruction of mosques in Sovici and Doljani in April
12 It should be noted that the Chamber has not included the crimes
13 committed in the Prozor municipality in October 1992 in the joint
14 criminal enterprise. As I will describe subsequently, the Trial Chamber
15 considered the possible responsibility of the accused for these crimes
16 under the other forms of responsibility set out in the Statute.
17 In order to design and implement this joint criminal purpose, a
18 group of key Croatian figures including Franjo Tudjman, Gojko Susak,
19 Janko Bobetko, Mate Boban, Jadranko Prlic, Bruno Stojic, Slobodan
20 Praljak, Milivoj Petkovic, Valentin Coric, and Berislav Pusic
21 co-ordinated with each other. It also emerges from the Chamber's factual
22 and legal findings that the HVO's operational mechanisms, structures, and
23 forces were used to implement the different aspects of the common
24 criminal purpose.
25 After having identified the ultimate goal and criminal purpose of
1 the JCE, the Chamber considered whether each of the accused had knowingly
2 participated in the joint criminal enterprise, significantly contributed
3 to it, and shared the intention of committing crimes in order to
4 implement the common criminal purpose of the JCE.
5 Let me start with Jadranko Prlic.
6 From the 14th of August, 1992, until late April 1994, Jadranko
7 Prlic, as the President of the HVO and later the President of the
8 Government of the Croatian Republic of Herceg-Bosna, exercised
9 significant de jure and de facto power to co-ordinate and direct the
10 activities of the HVO and the government. He also had authority of HVO
11 detention centres and had notably the power to open and close them.
12 Lastly, he played a key role in relations between the HVO and the
13 Croatian Community, later Republic, of Herceg-Bosna and the Government of
15 It was through his position that Jadranko Prlic drafted the
16 ultimatums of January 1993 and April 1993 directing the ABiH to
17 subordinate itself to the HVO in the territory of Herceg-Bosna. These
18 ultimatums materialised through military campaigns, as I described
19 earlier, in the municipalities of Gornji Vakuf, Prozor, and Jablanica,
20 which entailed the commission of numerous crimes against the Muslim
21 population. The Chamber is satisfied that Jadranko Prlic significantly
22 contributed to the implementation of this plan in these municipalities by
23 planning, aiding and abetting the crimes committed by members of the HVO.
24 Jadranko Prlic also endorsed the arrests and detentions carried
25 out by the HVO in Mostar as of the 9th of May, 1993, and knowingly turned
1 a blind eye to the increasingly violent ethnic cleansing operations in
2 Mostar during the summer of 1993. On the 30th of June, 1993, Jadranko
3 Prlic issued a further call to arms to the Croats against the Muslims and
4 accepted the simultaneous and systematic mass detentions of Muslims by
5 the HVO in several municipalities considered to be Croatian by the
6 leadership of the Croatian Community, later Republic, of Herceg-Bosna.
7 Jadranko Prlic endorsed the siege of Mostar by the HVO. Although the
8 besieged Muslim population lived under horrible deprivation and constant
9 firing and shelling by the HVO, Jadranko Prlic personally contributed to
10 blocking the arrival of humanitarian aid to this area of the town for
12 Furthermore, Jadranko Prlic had knowledge of numerous crimes
13 committed by members of the armed forces of the Croatian Community, and
14 later Republic, of Herceg-Bosna. He was also aware of the difficult
15 conditions under which Muslims arrested by the HVO were detained in the
16 Dretelj, Gabela, and Heliodrom prisons. Nevertheless, he justified the
17 detention of Muslim civilians and refused to consider the reality of
18 their situation. By doing so, Jadranko Prlic accepted and abetted the
19 extremely precarious conditions and ill-treatment of the detainees in
20 several HVO detention centres.
21 He was also informed that detainees from the Heliodrom and Vojno
22 were being used on the front line and knew of the abuse suffered by these
23 detainees while they worked on the front line or while they were used as
24 human shields. By failing to intervene when he had the ability to do so
25 and by remaining in power whilst aware that crimes were being committed,
1 the Trial Chamber finds that the only reasonable inference it can draw is
2 that Jadranko Prlic aided and accepted the commission of crimes against
3 Muslims resulting from their systematic detention by the HVO.
4 Jadranko Prlic also endorsed the policy of deportation of the
5 detained Muslims and their families to third countries via Croatia and
6 participated in the virtually simultaneous displacement of Croats in
7 Central Bosnia to populate those territories claimed by Herceg-Bosna.
8 The Trial Chamber finds that the only reasonable inference it can draw is
9 that Jadranko Prlic had the intention to displace the Muslim population
10 from the territory claimed by Herceg-Bosna and replace it with Croats
11 from Central Bosnia.
12 The Trial Chamber, by a majority, with me dissenting on this form
13 of responsibility, is satisfied beyond all reasonable doubt that Jadranko
14 Prlic made a significant contribution to the joint criminal enterprise
15 and was one of its principal members. It is clear from his contribution
16 that he had the intention to carry out the common criminal purpose of
17 driving out the Muslim population and to commit the above-mentioned
18 crimes to achieve this purpose. The Trial Chamber finds, furthermore,
19 that by virtue of his involvement in achieving the common criminal
20 purpose and his knowledge of the facts could have reasonably anticipated
21 the crimes of murder and sexual abuse committed during the operations to
22 evict Muslims from West Mostar, the looting committed during the
23 evacuation operations in Gornji Vakuf, Jablanica, and West Mostar, the
24 murders related to the detentions in Sovici and the destruction of the
25 two mosques in Sovici and Doljani. He accepted and assumed the risk that
1 these crimes could be committed.
2 I shall now look into the responsibility of Bruno Stojic.
3 From the 3rd of July, 1993, to the 15th of November, 1993, Bruno
4 Stojic, as the head of the Department of Defence, exercised significant
5 de jure and de facto authority over the majority of the armed forces and
6 military police of the Croatian Community, and later Republic, of
7 Herceg-Bosna. Therefore, he commanded and exercised effective control
8 over the HVO armed forces and the military police, notably by making
9 decisions on military operations which he implemented through the chain
10 of command and by issuing orders to the chief of the Military Police
11 Administration, including orders directly linked to operations on the
12 ground. Bruno Stojic also took part in the setting up of the defence
13 policy of the Croatian Community, and later Republic, of Herceg-Bosna by
14 taking part in decisive meetings of the HVO. Furthermore, he represented
15 the HVO at high-level peace talks.
16 As part of his duties, Bruno Stojic facilitated the military
17 operations of the HVO in Gornji Vakuf in January 1993. He participated
18 in the planning of HVO military operations in Mostar on the 9th of May,
19 1993, and in the days that followed. He participated in the organisation
20 and implementation of campaigns to evict Muslims in West Mostar in the
21 summer of 1993. Lastly, he participated in the planning of the military
22 operations in Vares in October 1993 and as a consequence took part in the
23 numerous crimes that were likely to be committed in the course of these
25 Bruno Stojic was informed of the crimes committed by the HVO
1 during the military operations in Gornji Vakuf in January 1993 and in
2 Jablanica in April 1993, the evictions of the Muslim population in
3 Capljina in July 1993, the shelling and attacks against members of
4 international organisations and the poor living conditions that the
5 Muslim population in East Mostar was subjected to.
6 He was also informed of the fact that the detention of Muslims by
7 the HVO did not meet the standards of international law in the Ljubuski,
8 Dretelj, and Gabela prisons and at the Heliodrom.
9 Nevertheless, Bruno Stojic continued to exercise effective
10 control over the armed forces and the military police for the duration of
11 his mandate as the head of the Department of Defence. Furthermore, Bruno
12 Stojic did not make any serious efforts to put an end to the crimes that
13 were being committed, although he had the authority and the duty to do
14 so. He also attempted to renege on his responsibility before
15 representatives of international organisations. The Trial Chamber finds
16 that the only inference it can draw is that Bruno Stojic accepted the
17 commission of these crimes.
18 The majority, with me dissenting on the form of responsibility,
19 is satisfied beyond all reasonable doubt that Bruno Stojic made a
20 significant contribution to the joint criminal enterprise by controlling
21 the armed forces and serving as a link between them and the government.
22 It is clear from his contribution that he had the intention to carry out
23 the common criminal purpose of driving out the Muslim population and to
24 commit the above-mentioned crimes to achieve this purpose. The Chamber
25 finds, furthermore, that by virtue of his involvement in the common
1 criminal purpose and his knowledge of the fact could have reasonably
2 foreseen the sexual abuse or assaults committed during the operations to
3 evict Muslims from West Mostar as well as the looting committed during
4 the evacuation operations in Gornji Vakuf in January 1993 and in the
5 municipality of Mostar as of May 1993. He accepted and assumed the risks
6 that these crimes might be committed.
7 I shall now look into the responsibility of Slobodan Praljak.
8 Between autumn 1992 and the 9th of November, 1993, Slobodan
9 Praljak had significant de facto then later de jure and de facto
10 authority over the armed forces and the military police of the HVO.
11 Between autumn 1992 and the 24th of July, 1993, Slobodan Praljak, who at
12 the time held positions in the Ministry of Defence of Croatia, commanded
13 the armed forces of the HVO, specifically by assuming command of certain
14 operations, giving orders to the units, and receiving reports from the
15 commanders in the field, by representing the HVO in its efforts to
16 implement a Joint Command with the ABiH and by commanding some of the
17 units of the HVO military police. He likewise acted as a mediator to
18 ease the tensions between the various elements of the HVO armed forces.
19 Then between the 24th of July, 1993, and the 9th of November, 1993,
20 Slobodan Praljak in his capacity as commander of the HVO Main Staff had
21 effective command authority and control over all the elements of the
22 armed forces. He therefore took decisions with regard to military
23 operations which he had carried out through the chain of command.
24 Slobodan Praljak thus planned, facilitated, and was kept informed
25 of the HVO's military operations in Gornji Vakuf on or around the 18th of
1 January, 1993. He planned and commanded HVO military operations in the
2 municipality of Prozor starting on the 24th of July, 1993. He
3 participated in the command and planning of HVO operations in Mostar in
4 the municipality of Mostar between July and early November 1993,
5 including on the 8th of November, 1993, which resulted in the destruction
6 of the Mostar bridge. Lastly, he participated in the planning and
7 command of HVO operations in Vares in October 1993. He thus participated
8 in crimes that were likely to be committed in the course of these
10 Slobodan Praljak was, moreover, informed of the fact that members
11 of the armed forces were removing, detaining the Muslim population of
12 Prozor from July to August 1993. He knew that crimes would be committed
13 in the municipality of Mostar, including the destruction of buildings in
14 East Mostar, including the mosque and the Old Bridge and the murders, and
15 the wounding and the attacks against members of international
16 organisations. He facilitated the murders of Muslims who did not belong
17 to any armed force and the destruction of property in Stupni Do in
18 October 1993.
19 Slobodan Praljak, however, continued to serve in his positions
20 until the 9th of November, 1993. He did not make any serious efforts
21 either to put an end to the commission of crimes or to the crimes
22 committed by the armed forces of the HVO. On the contrary, he denied
23 that crimes were being committed against the Muslims and helped the
24 perpetrators of these crimes evade prosecution. Slobodan Praljak
25 contributed, inter alia, to the efforts made by the HVO to conceal the
1 HVO's responsibility for the crimes committed at Stupni Do.
2 Slobodan Praljak served, moreover, as a conduit between Croatia
3 and the HVO in order to carry out the criminal purpose of this
4 enterprise. By virtue of the positions he held in the Croatian
5 government and within the HVO, he was made aware of the policies of the
6 most senior Croatian leaders with regard to Herceg-Bosna and demonstrated
7 his willingness to implement these. It is in this context that Slobodan
8 Praljak forwarded orders, communications, and instructions from the
9 leaders of Croatia to those of Herceg-Bosna and participated in obtaining
10 the military support of Croatia on behalf of the armed forces of the HVO.
11 The majority, with me dissenting on the form of responsibility,
12 is satisfied beyond all reasonable doubt that Slobodan Praljak made a
13 significant contribution to the joint criminal enterprise. Furthermore,
14 it is clear from his contribution that he had the intention to carry out
15 the common criminal purpose of driving out the Muslim population and to
16 commit the above-mentioned crimes in order to achieve this purpose. The
17 Chamber finds, moreover, that Slobodan Praljak, because of his
18 contribution to the implementation of the common criminal purpose and his
19 knowledge of the facts, could reasonably foresee that looting would be
20 committed during the eviction operations in Gornji Vakuf in January 1993
21 and during the HVO operation at Rastani in August 1993 and accepted and
22 assumed the risk that these crimes might be committed.
23 I shall now look into the summary concerning the responsibility
24 of Milivoj Petkovic.
25 Between the 14th of April, 1992, and the 26th of April, 1994,
1 Milivoj Petkovic wielded significant command and control authority over
2 every element of the HVO armed forces, first as chief of the Main Staff
3 of the HVO until the 24th of July, 1993, then as deputy commander of the
4 said Main Staff until the 26th of April, 1994. Milivoj Petkovic
5 represented and engaged the HVO during peace negotiations and issued
6 cease-fire orders. Lastly, he forwarded orders and decisions taken by
7 the political and governmental authorities of the Croatian Community,
8 later Republic, of Herceg-Bosna which were being forwarded to him through
9 the head of the Department of Defence, Bruno Stojic, and kept the
10 political organs abreast of the military situation on the ground.
11 Milivoj Petkovic planned and facilitated military operations in
12 in the municipality of Gornji Vakuf in January 1993. He planned and
13 commanded the military operations in the municipality of Jablanica in
14 April 1993; blocked access to international observers in the villages of
15 Sovici and Doljani and then orchestrated the removal of civilians to
16 Gornji Vakuf. He commanded military operations in the municipality of
17 Prozor in April and June 1993 and planned the operations in July and
18 August 1993. He participated in the planning of the shelling of East
19 Mostar. He prevented the Muslim population in East Mostar from gaining
20 access to the humanitarian convoys, planned the military offensive
21 against the old town of Mostar, including the assault on the 8th of
22 November, 1993, which led to the destruction of the Mostar bridge. On
23 the 30th of June, 1993, he ordered the arrest of men who did not belong
24 to any armed force in the municipalities of Mostar, Stolac, and Capljina.
25 He planned the military operations on the town of Vares in October 1993
1 and participated in the implementation of a fake investigation into the
2 incidents at Stupni Do and fictitious sanctions against Ivica Rajic. He
3 thereby took part in the commission of the crimes that were likely to be
4 committed during the course of these operations.
5 Milivoj Petkovic knew that numerous Muslims were detained in the
6 HVO detention facilities and he ordered and authorised detainees from the
7 Heliodrom and the Vitina-Otok camp to work on the front lines.
8 Milivoj Petkovic, however, continued to exercise effective
9 control over the armed forces until April 1994, although he was aware
10 that their members had committed and were committing crimes. Milivoj
11 Petkovic continued to command and control the HVO's units, including the
12 KB, Convicts Battalion, the ATG, and the Bruno Busic Regiment, even
13 though he knew that they had committed numerous crimes. By continuing to
14 deploy them in the theatre of operations or at least by failing to take
15 any measures to prevent the commission of new crimes, he encouraged or he
16 abetted subsequent crimes to be committed.
17 The majority, with me dissenting on the form of responsibility,
18 is satisfied beyond all reasonable doubt that Milivoj Petkovic made a
19 significant contribution to the joint criminal enterprise. Furthermore,
20 it is clear from his contribution that he possessed the intention to
21 carry out the common criminal purpose of driving out the Muslim
22 population and to commit the above-mentioned crimes in order to realise
23 this purpose. The Chamber holds, moreover, that Milivoj Petkovic, due to
24 his contribution to the implementation of the common criminal purpose and
25 his knowledge of the facts, could reasonably have foreseen that sexual
1 assaults would be committed during the operations to evict the Muslim
2 population from West Mostar between June 1993 and February 1994 and
3 during the military operations in the town of Vares in late October 1993,
4 that looting would be committed during the eviction operations in the
5 municipality of Gornji Vakuf in January 1993 and in the municipality of
6 Jablanica in April 1993, in the municipality of Mostar between June 1993
7 and February 1994, and during the military operations in the town of
8 Vares in late October 1993, and lastly, that the mosques in Sovici and
9 Doljani would be destroyed during the operations conducted in the
10 municipality of Jablanica in April 1993. He accepted and assumed the
11 risk that these crimes might be committed.
12 Moving on to the responsibility of Valentin Coric.
13 Between June 1992 and the 10th of November, 1993, Valentin Coric
14 in his capacity as head of the Military Police Administration had
15 significant de jure and de facto authority -- there seems to be a
16 problem. I can't hear the translation into B/C/S/. Oh, no, I've got it
17 now. Thank you. So let me start again.
18 Between June 1992 and the 10th of November, 1993, Valentin Coric
19 in his capacity as head of the Military Police Administration had
20 significant de jure and de facto authority over all of the units of the
21 HVO military police. More specifically, Valentin Coric wielded effective
22 command and control authority over the units of the military police,
23 specifically the authority to resubordinate the said units for combat
24 actions. He had the ability to take part in efforts to fight criminal
25 conduct within the HVO. He was able to control the movement of persons
1 and of goods on the territory of Herceg-Bosna and the movement of
2 humanitarian convoys in particular. Lastly, he wielded significant
3 authority over the way the network of HVO detention facilities operated.
4 When he became minister of the interior on 10th of November, 1993, he
5 still retained the ability to take part in fighting criminal conduct
6 within the HVO and he still retained the authority to control the free
7 movement of persons and of goods in the territory of Herceg-Bosna,
8 particularly the movement of humanitarian convoys.
9 In connection with his office, Valentin Coric knowingly committed
10 certain units of the military police to the eviction operations in the
11 municipalities of Gornji Vakuf in January 1993, Stolac and Capljina
12 during the summer of 1993, and at Mostar between May and October 1993.
13 He thereby facilitated the arrest and later the confinement of Muslims
14 from these municipalities, contributing whilst operations were underway
15 to the commission of the crimes I have described above.
16 Valentin Coric played a key part in operating the network of HVO
17 detention facilities until the 10th of November, 1993. He helped keep
18 thousands of Muslims in confinement in harsh conditions, and during that
19 confinement they were beaten, abused, humiliated. He regularly
20 instructed or allowed them to be used to work at the front line.
21 Moreover, despite the alarming information he was receiving, Valentin
22 Coric did nothing to prevent detainees from the Heliodrom from being sent
23 to work at the front line, where many of them were killed or injured. In
24 August 1993 he ordered the forced departure of Muslims from Ljubuski
25 municipality on the territory of Bosnia-Herzegovina by ordering their
1 release conditioned upon their departure abroad with their families via
3 The majority, with me dissenting as to the mode of
4 responsibility, is satisfied beyond reasonable doubt that Valentin Coric
5 made a substantial contribution to the joint criminal enterprise.
6 Moreover, his contribution makes clear that he had the intent to carry
7 out the common criminal purpose of driving out the Muslim population and
8 causing the crimes mentioned above to be committed in order to carry out
9 this purpose. Lastly, the Chamber finds that because he contributed to
10 the implementation of the common criminal purpose and was aware of the
11 facts, Valentin Coric could reasonably foresee that such thefts would be
12 committed during the eviction operations in the municipalities of Gornji
13 Vakuf in January 1993, that acts of sexual brutality and theft would be
14 committed during the eviction operation in West Mostar commencing in May
15 1993, and that finally certain detainees would die in August 1993 at
16 Dretelj prison as a result of mistreatment. He accepted and assumed the
17 risk that these crimes might be committed.
18 We shall now move to Berislav Pusic.
19 Between April 1993 and April 1994, Berislav Pusic held several
20 posts and received an ever-growing share of responsibility from the
21 senior leaders of the HVO. In April 1993, Berislav Pusic was thus the
22 overseeing official at the Department of Criminal Investigations of the
23 Military Police Administration. Starting in May 1993, he was seated on a
24 commission for the exchange of prisoners and other persons, then became
25 the president of its executive body, the exchange service, on 5th of
1 July, 1993. Bruno Stojic, likewise, appointed Berislav Pusic to head the
2 Commission for Prisons and HVO detention facilities on the 6th of August,
3 1993. Finally, Berislav Pusic wielded significant authority representing
4 the HVO to the international community and before the senior officials of
5 Croatia and of Bosnia-Herzegovina which made him a major player in
6 negotiations regarding exchanges and the movement of persons.
7 Berislav Pusic had knowledge of the mass arrests of Muslims from
8 Herceg-Bosna as early as April 1993 with the mass arrests that took place
9 in the Jablanica municipality.
10 He had knowledge of the very harsh conditions in which Muslims
11 were confined at Sovici school and in the prisons at Dretelj, Gabela,
12 Ljubuski, as well as at the Heliodrom, and about the mistreatment
13 inflicted upon the detainees at the Heliodrom and at the Vojno detention
14 facility. The Trial Chamber finds that he never took the necessary
15 measures to improve these conditions or to cause the mistreatment to
16 stop. As he continued to remain in office with the HVO, the Chamber has
17 found that the only permissible inference is that Berislav Pusic accepted
18 these crimes.
19 Berislav Pusic played an important role in the use of Heliodrom
20 detainees for work assignments at the front line, as he was one of the
21 persons who had the authority to allow this. He continued to send
22 detainees to work at the front line when he knew that certain detainees
23 had been there and died or had been injured. Berislav Pusic therefore
24 contributed to the commission of these crimes.
25 When Mate Boban decided to close the HVO detention centres,
1 Berislav Pusic played a major part in organising the closing of the said
2 facilities and did everything to ensure that Muslims would leave the
3 territory of Herceg-Bosna.
4 Berislav Pusic was aware of the destruction in the villages of
5 Sovici and Doljani in April 1993 and of the removal of the population
6 from these villages to ABiH-controlled territories in late May 1993. He
7 also knew that the Muslim populations from Capljina and West Mostar
8 municipalities had been moved to territories controlled by the ABiH. He
9 had knowledge of the disastrous living conditions in East Mostar brought
10 on by the HVO siege, and took part in blocking humanitarian evacuations.
11 Despite the role he had among various officials from the HVO
12 detention centres but also with senior HVO representatives,
13 Berislav Pusic Made no serious effort either to put an end to the crimes
14 that were being committed in the detention facilities or those committed
15 during the arrests of the Muslims or to report them. On the contrary,
16 Berislav Pusic always sought to avoid embarrassing questions from the
17 representatives of international organisations or from his Muslim
18 counterparts and he gave vague or even false information to these
19 representatives and to the press, thereby attempting to deny or minimise
20 the crimes committed by the members of the HVO against Muslims.
21 The majority, with me dissenting as to the form of
22 responsibility, is satisfied beyond reasonable doubt that Berislav Pusic
23 made a substantial contribution to the joint criminal enterprise.
24 Moreover, one discerns from his contribution that his intent was to carry
25 out the common criminal purpose of driving out the Muslim population and
1 of causing the crimes previously mentioned to be committed in order to
2 carry out this purpose.
3 Lastly, as the Chamber decided not to accept the crimes committed
4 in Prozor municipality in October 1992 as constituting part of the joint
5 criminal enterprise, the Chamber analysed the responsibility of each of
6 the accused in virtue of the other modes of participation alleged in the
7 indictment. The evidence admitted to the record enabled the Chamber to
8 make findings in respect of Valentin Coric only pursuant to Article 7(3)
9 of the Statute. Indeed, as of the 25th of October, 1992, he was informed
10 that members of the military police had stolen certain vehicles belonging
11 to Muslims. Even though he knew this, Valentin Coric did nothing to
12 punish the perpetrators of these crimes despite having the capacity and
13 the duty to do so. Moreover, Valentin Coric was advised at the same time
14 that numerous houses had been damaged during the fighting in Prozor town.
15 The information available to Valentin Coric was sufficiently alarming to
16 justify further investigation into this destruction which was not done.
17 As he did not discharge his duties as a superior, the Chamber found by a
18 majority, with me dissenting, that Valentin Coric is responsible pursuant
19 to Article 7(3) of the Statute for the thefts and destruction committed
20 in Prozor municipality in October 1992.
21 I shall now read out the disposition.
22 Will Mr. Prlic please rise.
23 [The accused Prlic stands up]
24 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] For the reasons I have
25 summarised, the Trial Chamber unanimously finds you, Jadranko Prlic, to
1 be guilty pursuant to Article 7(1) of the Statute of Counts 1, 6 to 13,
2 15, 16, 18, 19, and 21 to 25 of the indictment. The majority, the
3 Presiding Judge dissenting, finds you to be guilty pursuant to Article
4 7(1) of the Statute of Counts 2 to 5 of the indictment. On the basis of
5 the principles relating to cumulative convictions, the Trial Chamber will
6 not enter a finding of guilt for Counts 14, 17, and 20 of the indictment.
7 The Trial Chamber, ruling unanimously, hereby sentences you to a
8 single sentence of 25 years of imprisonment to run as of this day, with
9 credit for the time you have already served in detention. Pursuant to
10 Rule 103(C) of the Rules, you shall remain in the custody of the Tribunal
11 pending the finalisation of arrangements for your transfer to the state
12 where you shall serve your sentence.
13 You may be seated.
14 [The accused Prlic sits down]
15 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Will Mr. Stojic please rise.
16 [The accused Stojic stands up]
17 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] For the reasons I have
18 summarised, the Trial Chamber, ruling unanimously, finds you, Bruno
19 Stojic, to be guilty pursuant to Article 7(1) of the Statute of Counts 1,
20 6 to 13, 15, 16, 18, 24, and 25 of the indictment. The majority, the
21 Presiding Judge dissenting, finds you to be guilty pursuant to Article
22 7(1) of the Statute of Counts 2 to 5, 19 and 21 to 23 of the indictment.
23 On the basis of the principles relating to cumulative convictions, the
24 Trial Chamber will not enter a finding of guilt for Counts 14, 17, and 20
25 of the indictment.
1 The Trial Chamber, ruling unanimously, hereby sentences you to a
2 single sentence of 20 years of imprisonment to run as of this day with
3 credit for the time you have already served in detention. Pursuant to
4 Rule 103(C) of the Rules, you shall remain in the custody of the Tribunal
5 pending the finalisation of arrangements for your transfer to the state
6 where you shall serve your sentence.
7 You may be seated.
8 [The accused Stojic sits down]
9 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Will Mr. Praljak please rise.
10 [The accused Praljak stands up]
11 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] For the reasons I have
12 summarised, the Trial Chamber unanimously finds you, Slobodan Praljak, to
13 be guilty of Counts 1, 6 to 13, 15, 16, 18, 19, 21, 24 and 25 of the
14 indictment pursuant to Article 7(1) of the Statute. The majority, the
15 Presiding Judge dissenting, finds you to be guilty pursuant to Article
16 7(1) of the Statute of Counts 2, 3, 22 and 23 of the indictment and
17 enters a judgement of acquittal by a majority, the Presiding Judge
18 dissenting, on Counts 4 and 5 of the indictment. On the basis of the
19 principles relating to cumulative convictions, the Trial Chamber shall
20 not enter a finding of guilt for Counts 14, 17, and 20 of the indictment.
21 The Trial Chamber, ruling unanimously, hereby sentences you to a
22 single sentence of 20 years of imprisonment to run as of this day, with
23 credit for the time you have already served in detention. Pursuant to
24 Rule 103(C) of the Rules, you shall remain in the custody of the Tribunal
25 pending the finalisation of arrangements for your transfer to the state
1 where you shall serve your sentence.
2 You may be seated.
3 [The accused Praljak sits down]
4 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Will Mr. Petkovic please rise.
5 [The accused Petkovic stands up]
6 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] For the reasons I have
7 summarised, the Trial Chamber unanimously finds you, Milivoj Petkovic, to
8 be guilty pursuant to Article 7(1) of the Statute of Counts 1, 6 to 13,
9 15, 16, 18, 19, 21, 24 and 25 of the indictment. The majority, the
10 Presiding Judge dissenting, finds you to be guilty pursuant to Article
11 7(1) of the Statute of Counts 2 to 5, 22 and 23 of the indictment. On
12 the basis of the principles relating to cumulative convictions, the
13 Trial Chamber shall not enter a finding of guilty for Counts 14, 17, and
14 20 of the indictment.
15 The Trial Chamber, ruling unanimously, hereby sentences you to a
16 single sentence of 20 years of imprisonment to run as of this day, with
17 credit for the time you have already served in detention. Pursuant to
18 Rule 103(C) of the Rules, you shall remain in the custody of the Tribunal
19 pending the finalisation of arrangements for your transfer to the state
20 where you shall serve your sentence.
21 You may be seated.
22 [The accused Petkovic sits down]
23 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Will Mr. Coric please rise.
24 [The accused Coric stands up]
25 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] For the reasons I have
1 summarised, the Trial Chamber unanimously finds you, Valentin Coric, to
2 be guilty pursuant to Article 7(1) of the Statute of Counts 1, 6 to 13,
3 15, 16, 18, 24 and 25 of the indictment. The majority, the Presiding
4 Judge dissenting, finds you to be guilty pursuant to Article 7(1) of the
5 Statute, of Counts 2 to 5, 19, 21, 22 and 23 of the indictment. The
6 majority, the Presiding Judge dissenting, finds you to be guilty pursuant
7 to Article 7(3) of the Statute of Counts 15, 16, 19 and 23 of the
8 indictment for the criminal events that took place in Prozor municipality
9 in October 1992. On the basis of the principles relating to cumulative
10 convictions, the Trial Chamber shall not enter a finding of guilt for
11 Counts 14, 17, and 20 of the indictment.
12 The Trial Chamber, ruling unanimously, hereby sentences you to a
13 single sentence of 16 years of imprisonment to run as of this day with
14 credit for the time you have already served in detention. Pursuant to
15 Rule 103(C) of the Rules, you shall remain in the custody of the Tribunal
16 pending the finalisation of arrangements for your transfer to the state
17 where you shall serve your sentence.
18 You may be seated.
19 [The accused Coric sits down]
20 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Will Mr. Pusic please rise.
21 [The accused Pusic stands up]
22 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] For the reasons I have
23 summarised, the Trial Chamber unanimously finds you, Berislav Pusic, to
24 be guilty pursuant to Article 7(1) of the Statute of Counts 6 to 13, 15,
25 16 and 18 of the indictment. The majority, the Presiding Judge
1 dissenting, finds you to be guilty pursuant to Article 7(1) of the
2 Statute of Counts 1 to 3, 19, 21, 24, and 25 of the indictment. The
3 Trial Chamber, ruling unanimously, enters a judgement of acquittal on
4 Counts 4, 5, 22, and 23 of the indictment. On the basis of the
5 principles relating to cumulative convictions, the Trial Chamber shall
6 not enter a finding of guilt for Counts 14, 17, and 20 of the indictment.
7 The Trial Chamber, ruling unanimously, hereby sentences you to a
8 single sentence of 10 years of imprisonment to run as of this day with
9 credit for the time you have already served in detention. Pursuant to
10 Rule 103(C) of the Rules, you shall remain in the custody of the Tribunal
11 pending the finalisation of arrangements for your transfer to the state
12 where you shall serve your sentence.
13 [The accused Pusic sits down]
14 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Judge Trechsel appends a
15 separate opinion and a partial dissenting opinion to this judgement.
16 I, as the Presiding Judge, appends a separate opinion and a
17 partial dissenting opinion to this judgement.
18 Thank you. The hearing is now adjourned.
19 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 11.44 a.m.