1 Tuesday, 24 February 2009
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 [The Accused Prlic not present]
5 [The Accused Petkovic not present]
6 [The accused Coric not present]
7 [The witness entered court]
8 --- Upon commencing at 2.18 p.m.
9 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes, Mr. Registrar, could you
10 call the case, please.
11 THE REGISTRAR: Good afternoon, Your Honours. Good afternoon
12 everyone in and around the courtroom. This is case number IT-04-74-T,
13 the Prosecutor versus Prlic et al. Thank you, Your Honours.
14 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. Registrar.
15 This is the 24th of February. I would like to say hello to
16 Mr. Stojic, Mr. Praljak, and I can see that Mr. Prlic, Mr. Petkovic and
17 Mr. Coric are not here. So, of the three absent, two of them are not
18 here because of ill health. I'd also like to pay tribute to the counsels
19 and the other members here that are part of the Registrar and help us in
20 the courtroom. I think Mr. Scott has something to say to us.
21 MR. SCOTT: Yes, Your Honour. Good afternoon, Mr. President,
22 each of Your Honours, counsel.
23 Your Honour, we are afraid it's the second day in the row but
24 with the power outage this morning and the computers being down,
25 Prosecution needs to ask to have until tomorrow to file its responses to
1 the Defence exhibits tendered for Mr. Vegar. We'd ask to have until
2 tomorrow. Thank you.
3 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Fine. Yes, there was a problem
4 with our electricity. I was supposed to start a hearing at half past 8
5 this morning, everything stopped. We took the accused back to the
6 detention centre and all the hearings were cancelled. That will have
7 consequence and of course we accept your request.
8 Mr. Khan.
9 MR. KHAN: Mr. President, Your Honours. First of all good
10 afternoon. I rose in support of the Prosecution application and indeed
11 to intimate that we may well be in a similar position. We were due to
12 file today a response to the Prosecution's motion seeking to exclude what
13 they describe as irrelevant evidence to be offered by our case, a motion
14 they filed on the 19th of February. Because of the servers crashing,
15 we've lost some time and it may well be that we ask that we be allowed to
16 file tomorrow in a similar manner. I'm grateful.
17 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Fine. The same applies to you,
18 Mr. Khan. Your dead-line is deferred to tomorrow. Let me ask Defence
19 counsel for Mr. Prlic. Mr. Karnavas hasn't been here for several days.
20 Is there any reason for his absence, because the main Defence counsels I
21 expected to be here all the time unless there is some serious
22 consideration to be looked at.
23 MS. TOMANOVIC: [Interpretation] I thought that it was common
24 knowledge and I thought that Mr. Karnavas has informed the Chamber about
25 that. He is in Cambodia
1 release of his client Iang Sary, and he is Defence counsel for Iang Sary
2 at the Special Court in Cambodia
3 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. I didn't know that.
4 I had heard that he had gone abroad and lately I saw Mr. Khan in Cambodia
5 on TV, but I didn't know that for Mr. Karnavas was there too. We look
6 forward to his return next week. Thank you very much.
7 MS. TOMANOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you.
8 JUDGE TRECHSEL: May I just ask the question, I take it Mr. Prlic
9 is informed of this state of affairs.
10 MS. TOMANOVIC: [Interpretation] Of course Mr. Karnavas, before
11 he agreed to be Defence counsel for Iang Sary who asked for Mr. Karnavas
12 specifically, he first consulted Mr. Prlic and then with the Registrar of
13 the Tribunal as well. So he was granted permission both by the Registrar
14 and by Dr. Prlic.
15 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Actually my question was much narrower.
16 Mr. Prlic is aware that now he is not in the courtroom and his lead
17 counsel also is not in the courtroom.
18 MS. TOMANOVIC: [Interpretation] Of course. I am in contact with
19 Dr. Prlic every day and he is kept abreast of all the proceedings in
20 detail in the courtroom, and he said that if I were present, then he
21 would be fine with that.
22 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Thank you. This was not a question of distrust.
23 I'm not surprised at all by your answer, but it is our duty to see to it
24 that these things go fine. Thank you very much.
25 MS. TOMANOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you too.
1 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Kruger.
2 WITNESS: BRUNO PINJUH [Resumed]
3 [Witness answered through interpreter]
4 Cross-examination by Mr. Kruger: [Continued]
5 Q. Good afternoon, Your Honours. Good afternoon everybody inside
6 and outside the courtroom. And, Mr. Pinjuh, good afternoon to you too.
7 Sir, I'd like to focus at the beginning today once again on the
8 Decree on the Armed Forces of the Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna.
9 And for this purpose I'd like you to turn, and this is in the 2D Defence
10 binder, to document 2D 00588. 2D 00588.
11 MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation] I apologise, but maybe I could be
12 of assistance to my learned friend. Is he sure of the number? Is it 2D?
13 If you are talking about the Decree on the Armed Forces, it should be a
14 P document. P 588.
15 MR. KRUGER: My apology. That's indeed incorrect. P 00588.
16 Apologies to everyone for the confusion.
17 Q. Mr. Pinjuh, you have the document in front of you now. Now, sir,
18 this document, this is the version that was adopted by the HVO HZ-HB on
19 17 October 1992
20 correct? It's right at the top, it says:
21 "Decree on the Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna Armed Forces
22 was changed and amended at the session of the Croatian Community of
23 Herceg-Bosna presidency of 17 October 1992
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. Now, sir, this edited version follows upon the previous version
1 which you also had the opportunity to look at yesterday, and that was
2 P 00587. We are only going to focus on this version today, but the
3 questions that I'm asking would be equally applicable to that earlier
4 version because the provisions we are referring to are identical in both
6 The first thing I'd like you to look at is Article 2. And you
7 see that Article 2 starts off with:
8 "The HZ-HB defence system is a unified form of organisation of
9 armed forces, administrative bodies and legal entities with the purpose
10 of ensuring timely and organised prevention of attacks and other dangers
11 confronting the Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna."
12 So, sir, this being -- the HZ-HB system being a unit -- or
13 defence system being a unified form of organisation, that means that the
14 whole defence system is comprised of many units, each one forming a
15 little cog in a larger defence machine; correct?
16 A. Well, you could put it that way, yes.
17 Q. And the defence office in Citluk of which you were the head,
18 would then also be a little cog in this big machine?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. Okay. Now, it says that the unified system consists of armed
21 forces administrative bodies. Let's focus on administrative bodies for a
22 moment. If we look at Article 10 of the decree. Can you turn to
23 Article 10. Right beneath Article 10 it says, "The HZ-HB administrative
24 bodies are as follows," and then it starts off with the Defence
25 Department. So stating the obvious, the Defence Department of the HZ-HB
1 is seen as -- or sorry, of the HVO is seen as an administrative body;
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. Then let's turn to Article 12. It says -- and this is still
5 under the heading of administrative bodies, it says:
6 "Defence tasks as described under Article 10, item 1, of this
7 decree shall be entrusted to defence administrations and defence offices
8 established within the Defence Department."
9 So in other words, defence administrations and defence offices,
10 they are part of the Defence Department; correct?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. And in the performance of your functions, therefore, you were not
13 in competition with the Defence Department but you were actually part of
14 the Defence Department; correct?
15 A. Yes, that's right.
16 Q. And, sir, if we take that a step further perhaps, if we look at
17 all the other little cogs of this machine and including municipal HVO
18 organisations, they would also be part of this whole system, not in
19 competition with the Defence Department?
20 A. Could you explain that, what organs did you have in mind?
21 Q. I was thinking of municipal HVOs. The municipal HVO in Citluk,
22 for instance, which you referred to yesterday, that would also be part of
23 this whole defence -- unified defence system?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. And the Citluk HVO would not be in competition with the
1 Department of Defence in defence matters?
2 MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I really have to
3 object here. I think the question is too broad and I don't think such a
4 broad question is useful to us if the witness has to speculate. So could
5 we have a better definition of what is actually wanted because these
6 questions related to general organisation, we are going to have a witness
7 about that, but I think that it would be better if the Prosecutor were to
8 specify and say which areas the Citluk HVO would have been in competition
9 with the Defence Department or not.
10 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Ms. Nozica, if there is a need,
11 the Chamber will interrupt the OTP and if we don't do that, it seem that
12 is we understand what he is saying. So please go on.
13 MR. KRUGER: Thank you, Your Honour.
14 Q. So, Mr. Pinjuh, would you agree that the Citluk HVO would not be
15 in competition in defence matters with the Defence Department?
16 A. I'll try and answer that in the best way possible as I understood
17 the question. The HVO of Citluk municipality had its civilian section
18 which related to the municipal assembly, as it was called previously, and
19 it had its HVO Main Staff which worked exclusively on matters which you
20 are in fact asking me about, I assume.
21 Q. Okay. The point, sir, is that all the organs of the HVO in
22 defence matters were playing on the same team and working towards the
23 same goal; would you agree with that?
24 A. Yes, I would.
25 Q. One more aspect on this concerning municipalities. If we look at
1 the heading of this decree and it says at the top, second paragraph
2 basically, "Pursuant" -- just above where it says decree:
3 "Pursuant to Article 7 of the decision on establishing the
4 Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna, Narodni List 1 of 92, the presidency
5 of the Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna issued the following." Then
6 follows the decree.
7 Now, sir, do you know what the presidency or who the presidency
8 of the Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna was or how it was constituted?
9 A. I really don't know that. It would be pure speculation on my
10 part if I were to hazard an answer. Perhaps I do know some names, and I
11 do recollect some, but I don't really know who was elected.
12 Q. I'm not talking about specific individual people, but who were
13 these people? They were representatives of the municipalities
14 constituting the territory of the HZ-HB, weren't they?
15 A. I'm not sure of that either.
16 Q. Okay. Sir, yesterday -- let's move on to something else.
17 Yesterday you stated that as far as mobilisation is concerned,
18 mobilisation was the preserve of Mate Boban. He was the only one to
19 declare mobilisation and on 1 June 1992
20 issued, and basically in para-phrasing your further evidence, this single
21 order served as a one-time continual order for mobilisation throughout
22 the rest of 1992 and 1993. Do you recall that evidence of yours?
23 A. As far as I remember, yes.
24 MR. KRUGER: Just for the record, the document we are referring
25 to, and we don't need to look at it now, was 2D 01364.
1 Q. Now, sir, I'd like you to have a look at Article 9 of this
2 decree. Article 9 of the decree says:
3 "The Croatian Defence Council shall," and then if we go down to
4 point 6, "decide on conducting mobilisation."
5 So, sir, if we look at this decree which comes from October 1992,
6 your statement on mobilisation being the preserve of Mate Boban
7 exclusively is not quite accurate, is it?
8 A. I stand by what I said earlier. I'm not a lawyer myself, but it
9 says here "shall decide about conducting," that is to say, how to
10 implement mobilisation. That's what it says, who does what. That's how
11 I understand this article.
12 Q. Let's look at Article 38. Article 38:
13 "Persons responsible for preparation and execution of
14 mobilisation of the armed forces shall be," and then 1:
15 "The head of the Defence Department preparation and execution of
16 mobilisation of the armed forces."
17 So we see that the head of the Defence Department, which was at
18 that stage Mr. Bruno Stojic, he had a very important role to play
19 regarding mobilisation.
20 A. Well, since the Defence Department is a professional body and a
21 body of management and organisation then it would be logical that these
22 two bodies actually implement this task.
23 Q. Okay. And then once again harking back to Article 2, because
24 this is all part of a unified defence system, all these little
25 organisations or all these bodies; is that correct?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. Now, sir, let's look briefly at Article 12 again. Article 12
4 "Defence tasks," and this deals with the defence administrations
5 and defence offices. "Defence tasks as described under Article 10, item
6 1, shall be entrusted to the defence administrations and defence offices
7 established within the Defence Department."
8 So, sir, is it correct that you took your instructions, you, as a
9 member of a defence office, took your instructions from the Defence
10 Department ultimately? Or they came from there?
11 A. No. I received instructions and orders from the chief of the
12 department above me that was responsible for defence, the immediate
13 superior department.
14 Q. Would that be the Mostar defence administration?
15 A. Correct.
16 Q. And they would receive their instructions from the Department of
17 Defence itself?
18 A. You could put it that way, although, the administration has under
19 its responsibility tasks and frameworks of work in cooperation with the
20 territorial commands and administrations within the Defence Department.
21 First of all, I mean this administration for organisational matters.
22 Q. And in regard to that, let's look at the very final paragraph of
23 Article 10 of this decree:
24 "The head of the Defence Department issues regulations pertaining
25 to his authority and technical instructions for conducting affairs as
1 defined under items 1 and 2 of this article."
2 You see that?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. So are you aware of instructions or regulations by Mr. Stojic
5 regarding how Article 10(1) would be implemented?
6 A. I have to say that I didn't understand your question. Could you
7 put it in more precise terms. What sort of instructions are you
8 referring to?
9 Q. I'm thinking of the specific mechanics of implementing
10 Article 10(1). Do you know whether Mr. Stojic issued any instructions or
11 regulations, guide-lines? How Article 10(1) would be implemented.
12 Chains of command, reporting structures, et cetera.
13 A. I think he did.
14 Q. Sir, is it safe to say that ultimately your superior at the very
15 top of this defence structure would have been Mr. Stojic? I'm talking
16 about you personally.
17 A. When it comes to the Defence Department, yes.
18 Q. Okay. Now, sir, something interesting, if we look at
19 Article 10(1), it says, the Defence Department, it's work is related to
20 "monitoring and coordinating activities aimed at achieving the agreed
21 policy of the defence system." What is this agreed policy which is being
22 referred to? What would that refer to? Who would set it? If you know.
23 A. I think this has to do with the mobilisation plan which was
24 worked out based on assessments made by the territorial commands and the
25 Main Staff while the department for mobilisation affairs after receiving
1 the same kind of plan for the maintenance of manpower levels of the units
2 based on assessments of the threat and the possibilities of mobilisation,
3 they developed a mobilisation plan which would include, first of all, a
4 numerical framework, and this was the work and the tasks I was interested
5 in as the chief of the defence office.
6 Q. We are going to come back to this aspect later, and I would like
7 you to just remember our discussion now because we will be seeing some
8 other bodies which were also setting policy, perhaps, which was
9 implemented in this way. But before we go there let's look at a few
10 other provisions.
11 If we could just quickly turn to Article 11, just the next
12 article. And this is still within the section dealing with
13 administrative bodies. It says:
14 "The General Staff shall be founded within the Defence Department
15 in order to carry out tasks prescribed" -- or "described under
16 Article 10, paragraph 2 ..."
17 So, sir, is it correct that the General Staff, or the Main Staff
18 as it is also referred to, of the HVO, is part of the Defence Department?
19 A. That's correct, and in my previous reply I said it was they who
20 made the assessment of the situation on the ground.
21 Q. Okay. So the Main Staff would also be ultimately subordinate to
22 Mr. Stojic as the head of the Defence Department?
23 A. He was part of the Defence Department but in some of the articles
24 you can see also that they are responsible directly to the president of
25 the Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna, Mr. Boban.
1 Q. That's fair enough. Sir, now, just we've been dealing with
2 administrative matters. Before stepping off this document, let's turn to
3 Article 30 of the document. And now we've stepped off from the section
4 dealing with administrative matters or organs, and we are now dealing
5 with leading and commanding the armed forces, which you will see just
6 written above Article 29.
7 But looking at Article 30, it says, second paragraph:
8 "The Supreme Command of the armed forces may delegate certain
9 tasks of leading and commanding the armed forces to the head of the
10 Defence Department."
11 So, sir, from this you will agree that the functions and powers
12 of the head of the Defence Department, and that was Mr. Stojic at the
13 time, was not only limited to administrative affairs, he could also, if
14 such powers were delegated to him, command the army and issue commands
15 and orders, or lead the army?
16 A. I can't say what exactly Mr. Boban delegated to whom.
17 Q. But in terms of this, it was possible?
18 A. It's highly unlikely.
19 Q. Sir, if we look at all these provisions that we've dealt with so
20 far in this decree, it seems that the head of the Defence Department
21 features quite prominently in the whole defence setup envisaged in this
22 decree. Would you agree that Bruno Stojic as the head of the Defence
23 Department was key to the functioning of the defence system in the HZ-HB?
24 A. I would say that the function of head is a very important one,
25 regardless of what name is attached to it.
1 Q. Thank you, sir. Let's step off this decree.
2 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I have a question. I've been
3 listening both to your questions and to the responses. When you say to
4 the witness, for example, that Mr. Stojic plays a key role in the
5 functioning of the defence system, are you insinuating that he is also
6 involved in military operations, because Mr. Kruger, I don't know if you
7 were in the army, but when you talk about the defence system there are
8 several components. You have the civilian component, you have the
9 mobilisation component, and you have the administrative component, and
10 also the operational components. When you asked your question a moment
11 ago, were you including that the supreme commander, Mr. Boban, could
12 delegate to the head of the Defence Department, that is Mr. Stojic,
13 certain powers in terms of operational matters? That's the question that
14 comes to mind.
15 MR. KRUGER: Thank you, Your Honour. Your Honour, I was putting
16 the proposition to the witness more in a general sense to gauge his
17 reaction. In the context of his answers, the focus was mainly on the
18 administrative functions of Mr. Boban -- Mr. Stojic in light of that the
19 witness had said that he was not aware of any powers being delegated, if
20 any, by Mr. Boban. So I wasn't particularly focused on that aspect in my
21 question. May I proceed?
22 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you.
23 MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation] Your Honour, by your leave, I
24 didn't want to intervene before my learned friend had completed his
25 examination concerning this decree, but I would like to read out
1 Article 10(1)(1) because my learned friend was asking about establishing
2 policy. I think that this article clearly states what sort of policy is
3 referred to, so as to avoid misunderstanding it says here:
4 "... Following and harmonizing activities in implementing the
5 established policy of the defence system."
6 So from Article 1 it does not follow that the Defence Department
7 actually established the policy, but it only followed and harmonised
8 activities in the implementation of a policy that had already been
9 established. This is a policy of the defence system, not any other kind
10 of policy.
11 I felt I had to read this out because I thought that
12 inadvertently things had been taken out of context and might be
13 misunderstood. Thank you.
14 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] In fact, I wanted to ask you a
15 question but I was waiting for Mr. Kruger to finish.
16 You, in fact, worked under the control of the Defence Department,
17 we all know that, that's not the issue here. But as regards the policy
18 of the Defence Department, to your knowledge, and perhaps you don't know
19 the answer to this question, but according to your knowledge, was it
20 Mr. Boban who defined the policy and then the Defence Department simply
21 implemented the policy; or according to your knowledge again, was it
22 Mr. Stojic who defined the policy and then you implemented it? What can
23 you tell us about that?
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I can't really answer questions
25 about any sort of policy because I am afraid of what it might imply. All
1 I can talk about is the implementation of the tasks assigned to my office
2 by the superior administration.
3 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] If I understand correctly, as
4 regarding the policy and the definition of the policy, you really don't
5 know who decided on the policy? You implemented the policy, if I
6 understand correctly?
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] That's correct, yes.
8 MR. KRUGER: Thank you, Your Honour.
9 Q. Now, sir, if we can now turn to the Prosecution binder, which is
10 the binder on the table next to you, to look at a series of documents.
11 Yes, that one. I'd like to go through a number of documents signed or
12 authored by Mr. Stojic, with you. And the first one is Exhibit P 00517.
13 P 00517.
14 Now, sir, this is a command on 22 September 1992, by Bruno Stojic
15 as head of the Defence Department to the OS Mostar, Siroki Brijeg, the
16 HVO Main Staff, and the operational zone south-east Herzegovina. And if
17 we look at this command, we see it says:
18 Number 1: "Establish sector of Mostar as an operations group,"
19 et cetera.
20 Number 2: "From existing battalions of the Mostar municipal
21 office form two reserve battalions."
22 Number 3: "Mostar municipality staff to be transformed into a
23 command of Mostar sector."
24 Number 5, if you look at that: "Siroki Brijeg municipal staff to
25 form a independent battalion and mixed artillery battalion." And so it
1 goes on.
2 Now, sir, my first question on this is: You would agree that
3 this is an order going to the operations of the HVO military?
4 Constituting military organs?
5 MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I really don't see in
6 the document be -- I do have to object. What operations? It mentions
7 the system here, the organisation, so if operations are mentioned, this
8 is a trap for the witness. The word "operation" is being used in a very
9 too facile manner. It says here organisation, not operation.
10 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I really don't think that
11 Mr. Kruger is setting a trap. We've known him for many years and he is
12 not the kind of person who would set a trap for the witness. Let him ask
13 his questions and the Judges will intervene if need be in order to make
14 things more precise.
15 Mr. Kruger, please proceed.
16 MR. KRUGER: Thank you, Your Honour. Also for the trust placed
17 in me.
18 Q. Mr. Pinjuh, this command --
19 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] You know, I trust everyone. I
20 trust the Defence counsel, I trust the OTP, and when a witness has been
21 sworn in, I trust the witness as well. I trust everyone. Go ahead.
22 MR. KRUGER: Thank you, Your Honour.
23 Q. Mr. Pinjuh, this command, it seems to be quite an important
24 command going to certain structures and creation of certain units. Now,
25 the first thing to notice from this order is, do you notice that there is
1 no indication in terms of which legislation or legal authority Mr. Stojic
2 is issuing this order? You agree? There is nothing.
3 A. I didn't understand your question.
4 Q. There's no provision in this order or command stating in terms of
5 section or article so and so of this law or that decree I order, there's
6 nothing like that; correct?
7 A. I think there is, if I remember correctly. It could fall under
8 point 8 in the Decree on Armed Forces. This concerns re-organisation and
9 I see it's addressed to the municipal staff of Mostar and Siroki Brijeg,
10 the Main Staff which will carry out this reorganisation and municipal
11 staffs are being abolished, so all this fell under the purview of
12 Mr. Stojic.
13 Q. Okay. But there's nothing in the document saying referring to
14 those provisions?
15 A. I agree, I'm not a lawyer but I can agree that it doesn't say
16 here pursuant to article such and such and so on, but everything else is
17 as I said before.
18 Q. And sir, it's also so that there is no indication in this
19 document that Mr. Stojic was acting on the advice or pursuant to somebody
20 else's decision?
21 A. Well, you can't see that from this order. It must be in some
22 other document.
23 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Witness, Mr. Kruger is dealing
24 with a very complicated matter that I'm endeavouring to understand in
25 relationship to paragraph 9. Based on what we can understand, and
1 Mr. Kruger is quite right to indicate that this text mentions no
2 particular other text, and you've just recognised that yourself, but
3 can't we say here that there is a document that says that in September of
4 1992, the HVO decided to put all of the units into the Main Staff of the
5 HVO, that is all of the municipalities that came thus far under the
6 Territorial Defence, which enables us to better understand paragraph 9
7 which it states that is all of the existing seals because we know because
8 we have examined all of the JNA documents and all of the BiH and HVO
9 documentation, we know that this issue of the seals is a very important
10 one. And here, under 9, it states that the existing seals of the
11 municipal staff shall be used as official seals until new ones are made.
12 So doesn't this document in fact state that the military component of HVO
13 grants -- has full authority over all of the units that come under the
14 municipalities? Can you confirm what I've just said, or on the contrary,
15 perhaps my understanding is wrong.
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I said that this concerned
17 re-organisation of all combat units and the municipal staff ceases to
18 exist pursuant to this decision. The units remain and above them are the
19 zones of operations and the Main Staff. So this is a re-organisation,
20 probably the same people from these staffs who were sent to the zones of
21 operations to the higher commands or some of them became reservists until
22 needed by the wartime units.
23 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Fine.
24 MR. KRUGER: Thank you, Your Honour.
25 Q. Sir, the point I -- the final question I have on this document
1 is, the signature of Mr. Bruno Stojic as head of the Defence Department,
2 and the stamp of the Defence Department, that would be sufficient for
3 people receiving this command to implement it?
4 A. It ought to be implemented by those to whom it is addressed.
5 Q. And they'd recognise -- they would recognise the authority of
6 Mr. Stojic; correct?
7 A. If you are referring to these units, there is a route through
8 which an excerpt from the order is supposed to reach them. From the Main
9 Staff an excerpt of the order is forwarded down to the line to those it
10 refers to.
11 Q. Okay. Let's --
12 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I am afraid things are becoming
13 a bit confused. You have said that the municipal units were seized by
14 the Main
15 Main Staff or the HVO Main Staff?
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The Main Staff of the HVO. The
17 municipal staffs are being abolished by this decision.
18 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Witness, could you please take
19 a look at who this document is being sent to. I'd like to try to
20 understand this with you. Mr. Stojic has sent this document to the
21 municipal staff of Mostar, to the OS of Siroki Brijeg, to the HVO Main
22 Staff, and to the operational zones of the south-east of Herzegovina
23 which this seems to mean that this document is being sent directly to the
24 municipal Main Staff and it does not go through the HVO Main Staff. What
25 can you say about that?
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I see the HVO Main Staff mentioned
2 here. I cannot comment on whether they went directly, whether they were
3 sent directly or through the Main Staff.
4 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] In the B/C/S version we can see
5 that there are a series of dashes and a list, OS Mostar, OS Siroki
6 Brijeg, GS HVO, and OZJ/I Herzegovina
7 receiving this order, and I believe that this is the original that in
8 fact was sent to Siroki Brijeg and that's why OS Siroki Brijeg is
9 underlined, and as proof, if you take a look at the stamp, the document
10 has been registered in Siroki Brijeg. I'm not a member of the HVO
11 military, but I'm trying to understand the document.
12 A. I see that the municipal assembly of Siroki Brijeg, the municipal
13 staff of Territorial Defence are mentioned here. This might be for their
14 information, but the implementation of the order will be done by the
15 units it refers to.
16 MR. KRUGER: Thank you, Your Honour. Let's turn to document
17 P 00779. It's in the same binder.
18 Q. Now, sir, this document is an order by Bruno Stojic of
19 19 November 1992
20 "All units of the HVO, especially the military police, must
21 ensure free passage without any hold-ups of the special-purpose unit that
22 will be moving along the Mostar-Travnik route. I hereby order all
23 members of the HVO on this route to be ready to provide any kind of
24 assistance to the members of the special-purpose unit."
25 Now, once again there's no indication which power -- under which
1 power Mr. Stojic is ordering this; correct?
2 A. I've never seen this order before, so I can't really comment on
4 Q. But, sir, if you had received an order like this from Mr. Stojic,
5 would you have executed such an order?
6 A. I was at the head of an office and here it says "unit" so I
7 couldn't have been.
8 Q. You have no reason to think that an order like this would not be
9 honoured by the units it is addressed to, in your experience?
10 A. I really can't comment.
11 Q. Sir, interesting, you will agree that the order contained here is
12 for specific action by units. So this is not merely an administrative
13 command or order, do you agree?
14 A. No, I don't agree with that. No mention is made of any action
15 here. It's just some route that is mentioned, nothing more.
16 Q. Sir, it says, "I hereby order all members of the HVO to ensure"
17 and especially the military police, "they must ensure free passage
18 without any hold-ups." That's certainly an order to act in a particular
19 way, isn't it?
20 A. Well, I've already said that I really can't comment.
21 Q. Sir, I put it to you that this document, if we need to think
22 about what provision or under what legal authority Mr. Stojic is acting,
23 this is an ideal example of perhaps where he is acting under Article 30
24 of the Decree of Armed Forces, exercising command delegated by
25 Mr. Stojic -- by Mr. Boban, isn't that possible?
1 A. I don't agree with that because command and control is something
2 that the Main Staff does. It's their authority to do that and the
3 lowerly [as interpreted] units too.
4 Q. Sir, finally on this document --
5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Witness, I, like you, am
6 looking at this document that has been issued by Mr. Stojic, that is not
7 disputed, and the registration number is 02 for the Department of
8 Defence, and then number 1 that shows Mr. -- it's Mr. Stojic who, in
9 1992, drafted 210 documents of various types. It comes from Mostar,
10 19th of November, 1993, and he is asking all the HVO units, in particular
11 the military police, to allow free passage and there seems to be a
12 special unit that is going to be travelling on the road from Mostar to
13 Travnik. What is this special unit, according to you? Perhaps you don't
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I don't know that.
16 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. We don't know.
18 Mr. Kruger, the witness doesn't know what this special unit is.
19 Perhaps this order concerns some particular unit, but we don't know.
20 MR. KRUGER:
21 Q. Sir, I do have one more question on this document, and this
22 doesn't concern whether this document is accurate or not. It says:
23 "All units of the HVO, especially the military police, must
25 To your knowledge, isn't it correct that Mr. Stojic also could
1 issue orders or exert authority over the military police?
2 A. Well, I don't see it that way.
3 Q. Okay. Sir, let's turn to P 00875. P 00875.
4 Now, sir, this is a document dated 15 January 1993, and it was
5 issued by Mr. Bruno Stojic. Sorry, sorry, I turned too far, Your Honour.
6 My apologies.
7 This is a 7 December 1992
8 Slobodan Praljak, and Valentin Coric. And this order deals with
9 checkpoints, military checkpoints. It states:
10 "Based on the order by General Slobodan Praljak and the head of
11 the Department of Defence, Bruno Stojic, stipulating the appearance of
12 checkpoints of the military police of the HVO, insignia on checkpoints
13 and of military police officers as well as the procedure in conducting
14 control at the checkpoints, we hereby issue a common order."
15 And then follows what is in essence is a set of regulations and
16 instructions on how to proceed and how to conduct military checkpoints.
17 My first question to you is, do you know whether this order was
18 also received within Citluk?
19 A. No, I don't.
20 Q. Okay. Now, once again with regard to Mr. Stojic, will you agree,
21 as there is no indication of what legal provision he is exercising his
22 authority under, his authority is recognized by the people who received
23 this order, and they would implement this order or recognise his
24 authority then? Would you agree with that?
25 A. What this is about is what the soldiers looked like mostly. In
1 this case a military policeman, what he should look like, how he should
2 behave, and we know that in the Defence Department there is a security
3 department too, where there is a military police administration, so I see
4 nothing to be challenged here, and in the signatures too.
5 Q. Okay. But I think you don't disagree that Mr. Stojic has clear
6 authority to issue an instruction or an order like this, but let's turn
7 to Mr. Praljak. Based on what authority would he be able to issue this
8 command, to your mind?
9 A. I really can't answer a question like that because it's at a
10 level above me. It's beyond me. So if you could ask me something linked
11 to my job and the work I did at the time, if possible.
12 Q. Sir, in November 1992, if you received an order from General
13 Praljak, would you have obeyed that order or carried out that order?
14 A. I really can't say now. I don't know.
15 Q. Were you aware that General Praljak was performing certain
16 functions, defence functions within the HZ-HB during 1992?
17 A. He was present in the defence of the Croatian Community of
18 Herceg-Bosna. Now, what posts he occupied, what functions he had, I
19 really don't know. I can't remember.
20 Q. Okay. Sir --
21 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Witness, when the General
22 Praljak will testify I can always present this document to him and ask
23 him questions, but let me ask you a question now. Is it normal, in the
24 documents that you laid your eyes on at the time, was it normal to see
25 General Praljak signing but no stamp appears? Is that normal procedure?
1 General Praljak, when you testify, you will be able to answer
2 that, so let's not lose any more time. Let me take up this document and
3 put it into my own file and I will present it to you when the time comes.
4 Very well.
5 Witness, could you answer my question. Was it normal practice
6 for somebody to sign the document, but not affix a stamp to it?
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I can't answer that question.
8 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] General Praljak, I told you --
9 THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation] No, I'm not going to
10 answer, Your Honour. All I wanted to say is that the previous document,
11 you can take that aside, too, and put in your file to ask me
12 subsequently. Thank you.
13 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Quite true.
14 MR. KRUGER:
15 Q. Now, sir, let's move on then to document P 01140, which is just
16 the next document.
17 Now, sir, this document is dated 15 January 1993. It's an order
18 by Mr. Bruno Stojic as head of the Defence Department, and it is sent to
19 the Main Staff, and the minister of defence of BH, military police
20 administration and files. This document is basically an order which is
21 to the Main Staff of the armed forces of the HVO. They shall
22 "immediately establish direct contact with all operation zones and
23 commands of the army of BiH, or BH, in the territory of provinces 3, 8,
24 10, and 1, 5, and 9, in order to make the decision of the HVO of
25 15 January" -- sorry, "the decision of the HVO HZ-HB of 15 January,
1 specific for its implementation".
2 And what this order basically says is all units within the
3 territories -- or within provinces 3, 8, and 10 must subordinate
4 themselves to the HVO, and all units in the other provinces have to
5 subordinate themselves of course to the ABiH. Goes on to say that those
6 units which do not subordinate themselves to the HVO will then be seen as
7 para-military formations.
8 Now, sir, first of all, this order must have been received in
9 Citluk as well for implementation, isn't that so?
10 A. I just looked at this document hastily and I don't see any
11 reason why Citluk should have received it, nor have I ever seen this
12 document before. And if you look at who it was addressed to on the back,
13 then you can see that there was absolutely no chance that this document
14 could have reached Citluk.
15 Q. Okay. Sir, maybe not this document, but at any stage were you
16 aware of -- sorry, let me ask you a different question.
17 Apart from -- or were there any HVO units stationed on the
18 territory of Citluk?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. Were there any units from any other military organisation, the
21 ABiH, for instance, stationed in Citluk or on the territory of Citluk
22 A. In the HVO units, as far as I remember, there were a couple of
23 members who were Muslims who later, as far as I know, joined the BH Army,
24 but there were never any BH Army units.
25 Q. Okay. So we've established that this order would not have
1 applied to Citluk then, probably. But I'm still interested in one aspect
2 of this order. Now, it says that this order is pursuant to a decision of
3 the HVO HZ-HB of 15 January 1993
4 what body that was?
5 A. The Croatian Defence Council was the assembly or parliament of
6 the Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna.
7 Q. But this specific body here, isn't that the body which was headed
8 by or chaired by Mr. Jadranko Prlic and on which the heads of the various
9 Departments of Defence, of Finance, of Internal Affairs, sat and that
10 they took decisions?
11 A. I really can't speak about the composition.
12 Q. Well, sir, regardless then of whom this body was which is being
13 referred to, if you think back to Article 10(1) of the Decree of the
14 Armed Forces, I flagged to you that we'd come back to this, we don't need
15 to go to it, but Article 10(1). Do you remember it said that the
16 Department of Defence performs work related to, then 1, monitoring and
17 coordinating activities aimed at achieving the agreed policy of the
18 defence system.
19 Would you agree, sir, that this decision by the HVO HZ-HB would
20 seem to fall right in that, a policy decision which is now to be
21 implemented by the Defence Department and within the defence system?
22 A. I have no comment to that.
23 MR. KRUGER: Your Honour, as I am stepping on to a new document,
24 perhaps this would be a time to take the break. Thank you.
25 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes, you are quite right. Yes,
1 Ms. Nozica.
2 MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I would like to take
3 advantage of this opportunity to apologise to my learned friend
4 Mr. Kruger if my previous comment was understood as his intention to
5 impute something or to interpret something falsely to the witness.
6 Now, I have great sympathies for my colleague Mr. Kruger, I know
7 that he would never do that, and has never done that, but I think that
8 sometimes unintentionally some mistakes might be made, and as I always
9 react temperamentally, then this was one such case.
10 There was a mistake that was made when the document was shown,
11 P 1140, that document, on page 26 in line 16 to 17 with the addressees --
12 where the addressees were mentioned who received this order, I think it
13 was through pure oversight that my colleague Mr. Kruger omitted to say
14 the staff of the BH Army which was also supposed to receive this decision
15 and was one of the addressees. I think that that is fairly important,
16 because when we look at all the people and instances who received the
17 order then we can understand the order in a proper light, so I apologise
18 to my colleague. Thank you.
19 MR. KRUGER: That's correct, Your Honour. And it is indeed so
21 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well, thank you
22 Mr. Kruger. Right. We shall now have a 20-minute break.
23 --- Recess taken at 3.38 p.m.
24 --- On resuming at 4.06 p.m.
25 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Kruger, please proceed.
1 MR. KRUGER: Thank you, Your Honour.
2 Q. Mr. Pinjuh, we don't have much time left. I'm going to show you
3 five more documents. Now, the first one I'm going to call on your
4 experience from 1994 onwards as the head of the personnel administration
5 in the Department of Defence. And I'd like to show you a document and
6 get your comments on that, and the document is P 10336. 10336.
7 Now, sir, this document is by Mr. Bruno Stojic. It's dated the
8 10th of March, and you'll see that it's addressed to Mr. Gojko Susak
9 personally at the Ministry of Defence Republic of Croatia. He says
11 "Please find attached the proposal for Brigadier Milivoj Petkovic
12 to be given a rank in the armed forces of the Republic of Croatia
13 supplementary proposal to be given a rank of higher officer in the armed
14 forces of the Republic of Croatia
15 Now, sir, my first question is: Mr. Stojic is directing this
16 request to the minister of foreign affairs of another country, the
17 Republic of Croatia
18 have to issue such a request?
19 A. I have no comment to make on this. As I said, this is a level
20 far above the level at which I was, so I'm really unable to comment.
21 Q. Let's then look at the practicalities of the document. If you
22 turn the page, you will see on the next page -- sorry, for you it would
23 be the next page after that, the one you are looking at. This is the
24 page which has a whole series of points on it saying recommendation for
25 rank in the OSRH, armed forces of the Republic of Croatia
1 says number 1, commission; 2, promotion; 3, posting. Sir, if you could
2 turn one ... Yes, I think you now have the correct page.
3 Now, sir, this contains information on General Petkovic's career.
4 And if you look at point 9, it says date of leaving the JNA, or the
5 Yugoslav Army, was 25 July 1991
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. And point 10, it says the date of joining the HV, or the Croatian
8 army, was the very next day, 26 July 1991. You see that?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. If we go down to point 17, it says, length of service before
11 joining the HV, that was 19 years. You see that, too?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. And then it says years of pensionable service is 21 years. So if
14 we make the sum from 25 July 1991
15 service, and after that you add two more years' service, that brings you
16 to 1993, and if we look at the date of this letter, this is
17 10 March 1993
18 So, sir, my question to you is: From this would you agree or
19 does it appear, at least, that in March 1993 General Petkovic was still
20 in the employ of the HV, or was still accumulating pensionable service in
21 the HV?
22 A. I'm not sure I understand your question. As pensionable service,
23 I think that it's calculated differently in the army. In the army they
24 have an accelerated pension plan which might be the reason for these
25 numbers, so military pensionable service is calculated as being longer
1 than the actual time served.
2 Q. Okay. Thank you. That helps, and we can step off that point.
3 There's another interesting point that I'd like to look at, and
4 that is if you go two pages further --
5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] If you haven't finished, I will
6 let you finish before I intervene. Go ahead.
7 MR. KRUGER: Thank you, Your Honour.
8 Q. If we can go to the page starting with "28, Statement of
9 Reasons." This is reasons based on which the mentioned proposal was
10 presented. Do you have that page?
11 A. Yes, I see that, item 28.
12 Q. That's right. And this is signed by Bruno Stojic at the bottom;
14 A. Yes, I see that.
15 Q. Now, this being a proposal to the Croatian army or at least this
16 is to convince the Croatian army or authorities in the Republic of
18 "From the political perspective, Mr. Petkovic has a clearly
19 defined opinion and he puts into practice, with an absolute consistency,
20 the general Croatian political conception as well as specific conception
21 regarding circumstances in Bosnia and Herzegovina."
22 Now, sir, this is by -- a letter by Bruno Stojic. He is the
23 minister -- or well, head of the Department of Defence of the Croatian
24 Community of Herceg-Bosna. He is writing this letter to the minister of
25 defence of the Republic of Croatia
1 reference to putting into practice the general Croatian political
2 conception, which Croatian political conception is this, the one of the
3 Republic of Croatia
5 A. I don't see here what there is for me to comment on. It says
6 what it says. I really have no comment.
7 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Sorry, I didn't see you. I was
8 reading the document.
9 MS. TOMANOVIC: [Interpretation] I just wish to assist pursuant
10 to instructions by His Honour Judge Antonetti when there is a discrepancy
11 between the original and the translation. I think it should be pointed
12 out that in the original Croatian document when it says carry out the
13 general Croatian political conception, Croatian is not written with a
14 capital letter. And it is therefore an adjective which does not refer to
15 the state policy of the Republic of Croatia
16 Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna which might exist, but to Croatian
17 policy in general terms which might refer to Croats in Canada, in the USA
18 or anywhere else. In the English text, this word is capitalized, it has
19 a capital C, which I think does not correspond to its meaning. For this
20 reason, the witness is probably unable to answer this question.
21 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Kruger, I imagine you've
22 heard that information.
23 MR. KRUGER: Thank you to my colleague.
24 Q. Sir, I would still like to ask you what was your understanding in
25 the last sentence when there is reference to, as well as specific
1 conception regarding circumstances in Bosnia and Herzegovina
2 now in reference to the political -- the general Croatian political
3 conception in general. What does that mean, putting that in place with
4 regard to the circumstances in Bosnia and Herzegovina?
5 A. It refers to the territorial part where the Croatian corpus is.
6 That's all, nothing else.
7 Q. Why would it be important for the Republic of Croatia
8 that somebody, which they are going to give a rank in their army,
9 implements or is good at implementing a general Croat conception or a
10 general Croatian political conception?
11 A. I think this is a highly generalised expression. It would be the
12 same if they were contemplating a lower officer's rank, but it's very
13 difficult for me to comment on the correspondence between two states.
14 This is way above my head. Please bear that in mind.
15 Q. Sir, let's have a look at Exhibit P 04646. One moment.
16 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Witness, I have three questions
17 on this document. First of all, I'm not absolutely certain that you are
18 the most appropriate witness to answer these questions but let's set that
19 aside. In the very first document, which dealt with Mr. Petkovic's CV,
20 we know he was born October 11th, 1949, in Sibenik, that he joined the
21 Croatian army on July 26th, 1991
22 question, Did he sign a contract and the answer is yes. What exactly
23 does that mean for you, did he sign a contract with the HVO? And then,
24 it states that it's a two-year contract. What do you have to say to
25 that? If you can't answer, just say, I don't know.
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I don't know.
2 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] On the next page, amongst the
3 reasons for granting the promotion to General Petkovic, I see something
4 under paragraph 4, it states the following: The major portion of the HZ
5 and the Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina
6 Petkovic. Does that mean that General Petkovic defended also the
7 Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I agree with this formulation and
10 we have already mentioned who it was that committed aggression not only
11 against Bosnia-Herzegovina, but against all the other peoples as well.
12 So it's quite clear that defending part of the territory they are
13 defending the entire state.
14 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Well, perhaps a bit like
15 Sherlock Holmes we will be able to clarify a mystery.
16 Please look at the various posts, the various jobs that
17 General Petkovic has occupied. He was the deputy to the commander of the
18 113th Brigade of the Croatian army, he commanded the 130th Brigade, and
19 then he was the chief of artillery in Split, in the OZ of Split, and then
20 he was the head of training operations in the OZ in Split as of -- from
21 January 21st to the 14th of April, 1992. And it seems that he also
22 became the Main Staff head in June of 1992. Have I -- is that exactly
23 what it written here, Witness?
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] That's what it says here.
25 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Which means, then, that
1 General Petkovic joined the HVO on April 14th. Please turn the page
2 again. And if you look at the end, this document is signed by
3 Mr. Stojic. The document is dated Mostar, March 10th. In other words, a
4 month before that. How can you explain this mystery? Well, because on
5 March 10th, General Petkovic was in Split
6 least apparently.
7 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, if we may draw your
8 attention to the years. The document signed by Mr. Stojic was dated
9 1993, whereas General Petkovic was appointed the Chief of the Main Staff
10 in June 1992, according to this document.
11 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I don't agree with what counsel
12 has just said. We have a stamp and a signature. Mr. Stojic signed the
13 document. I have my glasses on so I can see, and it says Mostar,
14 March 10th. Well, there was a 2 and there's been a handwritten 3, it was
15 corrected by hand. It's strange.
16 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Would you please look at the
17 original document in the Croatian language and also look at the first
18 page of this document, and then it will be quite clear that this is a
19 document from March 1993.
20 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Fine. Well, for the purposes
21 of the transcript, under the reasons -- in fact we have two documents.
22 There were two B/C/S documents translated into English. The first
23 document -- and I agree with what was said a moment ago. There is a 3
24 written over the 2, but there's another document which is almost
25 identical and the date is 1992. There is no 3 there. Perhaps the
1 document was indeed originated in 1993, that is possible. Of course,
2 Witness, you can't say much about that.
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I also see the number 3 here above
4 the 2, and I think that what one can see here is logical.
5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] It must be the secretary who
6 mistyped or who typed or perhaps used a pre-prepared form and in this
7 pre-prepared form the date was 1992, that could been explanation, and
8 they didn't pay attention to the fact that the date was incorrect.
9 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, in view of the fact
10 that you are quite familiar with the Croatian language now, could you
11 please look at the Croatian document where you can see there is a marking
12 shown that the document was sent by telefax, and you will see that the
13 pages were sent in March, the 10th of March, 1993. So I think that
14 resolves the dilemma.
15 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] The facts states 18 hours 24.
17 JUDGE TRECHSEL: I'm still a bit puzzled and I put it into the
18 record, rather, that I expect, really, the witness to have an
19 explanation, although one never knows. I am struck by the fact that we
20 have the last document twice, and the body of the text seems to be
21 identical. I see no difference in any way. However, the first one has
22 an ingress Oslobodjenje; the second does not have this. The first has an
23 extra line at the bottom where the commander of the OZ would be expected
24 to sign, but there is no such signature. The second one does not have
25 the title, and it does not have this last line but, nevertheless, it is
1 also signed apparently by Mr. Stojic. If one looks at the stamps, one
2 can see that the stamps are at different places, and also the signature
3 is not identical. I wonder, Mr. Pinjuh, can you give an explanation for
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, I can't.
6 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Thank you. I'm not disappointed. I can
7 understand that.
8 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] In any case, it was a minor
9 detail. It's not fundamental. Mr. Kruger, proceed.
10 MR. KRUGER: Thank you, Your Honour.
11 Q. Sir, if we can turn to document P 04646. And I'm going to show
12 you two documents directly after each other which are very similar. Now,
13 sir, you have the document, it's dated the 30th of August, 1993. It's
14 addressed to Major-General Slobodan Praljak, and it's written and signed
15 by Mr. Bruno Stojic. And in the English translation it says this is an
16 "Invitation to a meeting of the collegium of the heads of Department of
17 Defence which will be held," et cetera.
18 Now, if you can hold your finger in at that point and just turn
19 two documents further to document P 05045. Now, for the record, the
20 original B/C/S versions of these two documents have virtually identical
21 wordings but the English translation of this one, which is a letter of
22 14 September to -- 1993, to Major-General Slobodan Praljak from
23 Mr. Bruno Stojic. It says this is a summons. "You are hereby summoned
24 to a session of the collegium of the president of the Defence Department,
25 which will be convened," et cetera, et cetera.
1 Now, sir, from your experience of these matters, could you
2 perhaps help us in understanding this letter, is it a summons or is it an
3 invitation? These two letters.
4 A. I understand this as an invitation because I see it was sent from
5 the office of the president. In wartime the president has his office
6 consisting of the head, the chief of the Main Staff, and people proposed
7 by them and appointed by the president, so that's how I understand it.
8 JUDGE TRECHSEL: I'm sorry, Mr. Kruger, I think we should ask the
9 interpreters to give their interpretation of the word "poziv" which
10 figures both times.
11 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's note: That "poziv" can mean
12 either summons or invitation.
13 MR. KRUGER: Thank you to the interpreters.
14 Now, let's try and clear this up and let's look at another
15 document, and this document is P 04756. P 04756.
16 MR. KOVACIC: Your Honour, I would not intervene for the
17 translation because Ms. Nozica said that she would go back, but, anyway,
18 it may go to very complicated questions. In line 23, on page 38, when we
19 discuss the document which was on table, the translation said it was sent
20 from the office of the president. It is quite wrong. It was sent from
21 office of the "predstojnik" [phoen], meaning head of the office. Thank
22 you. And pardon me, and the witness said exactly the same word.
23 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Witness, I would like to come
24 in here because I was somewhat lost. I thought that it was the office of
25 the president and I was thinking in terms of Mr. Boban, but then I see
1 that the meeting is a meeting of the collegium of the Department of
2 Defence. Now, the office of this president, and the signature is
3 President Bruno Stojic, was Mr. Stojic president of that collegium? I'm
4 talking about the collegium.
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I can't say he was the president of
6 the collegium. I think the members held the same rank. All the members
7 of the collegium were of equal rank.
8 JUDGE TRECHSEL: I'm sorry, are you serious, Mr. Pinjuh? We have
9 a head of department and we have his subordinates and the head of
10 department cannot be of the same rank as his subordinate chiefs of
11 administration, can he? I'm sorry, Ms. Alaburic?
12 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I think there's a
13 huge misunderstanding here caused by interpretation. The witness is
14 talking about the council of the president of Herceg-Bosna which is why I
15 think he said that this was a body in which the members were more or less
16 of the same rank. However, the interpretation seems to be that this is
17 the collegium of the head of the Defence Department.
18 MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I refrained up to now
19 in view of His Honour Judge Antonetti's intervention today who said that
20 we should not be hasty with objections and that we should trust the
21 Court. However, something is happening here now. The witness has said
22 at least three time that this was a very high level far above his head
23 and that he didn't know how all this functioned. If we are showing the
24 witness documents without any sort of introduction, without asking the
25 witness whether he knew that there was a collegium, whether he knew who
1 its members were, there will certainly be this sort of confusion. The
2 witness himself said, quite unprovoked, I was at the follow level, I'm
3 really not aware of all this. So a document is being put to the witness
4 that the witness knows nothing about, and that's the source of the
5 confusion. We are just wasting time here.
6 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Witness, Ms. Nozica has just
7 reminded us of something very important. As Judges, we have learned that
8 on occasions in the Department of Defence there were meetings between the
9 various departments, Mr. Stojic, and this was referred to as the
10 collegium. That's one thing. And we also are aware of the fact that the
11 president, Mr. Boban, brought together people as well. We have a
12 document before us now. The question I ask is whether this document
13 relates to the meetings at the level of the Department of Defence or else
14 at the level of Mr. Boban. Ms. Nozica has just reminded us quite rightly
15 that at your level you are not really cognizant with these matters, so if
16 you are not just answer, Well, I don't know, and Mr. Kruger will go on to
17 a different question.
18 What do you say, Witness?
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I cannot comment on this.
20 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well.
21 MR. KRUGER: Thank you, Your Honour.
22 Q. Sir, I'm not going to ask you to comment on the document, but as
23 a matter of the problem we have with the interpretation of the B/C/S word
24 "poziv," which can mean invitation or it can mean a summons, I'd like to
25 show you this document, which is P 4756, and just ask you whether that
1 would change your assessment that "poziv" means invitation. And what
2 this is, these are the minutes of the heads of Defence Department meeting
3 held on 2 September 1993
4 first document that I showed you, that was P 04646, which said invitation
5 to General Praljak to attend a meeting on the 1st of September. If I'm
6 not mistaken that meeting was then held on the 2nd of September, so these
7 are the minutes of that meeting.
8 And if we look in the very first paragraph, the second sentence,
9 it says:
10 "The deputy chief of the HVO Main Staff sat in for the commander
11 of the HVO Main Staff. The head of the Department of Defence," which is
12 Mr. Stojic, "emphasised that in future the commander of the HVO Main
13 Staff should attend every board meeting."
14 Meaning that -- or do you think or does this affects your
15 interpretation? Isn't the interpretation to be attached to "poziv" that
16 it's actually a binding summons?
17 A. I can't comment on this either.
18 Q. Okay. Sir, if we can step on to another matter, and I'm now
19 going to jump to --
20 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Witness, I get the impression
21 that Mr. Kruger is mixing up apples and pears. Look at the last document
22 not the translation of "poziv" -- well, the first paragraph to me seems
23 to indicate that the collegium of the Department of Defence met on the
24 1st of September, 1993, at 9 a.m.
25 department, and there was an agenda. There was an agenda. So is this --
1 this is the collegium of the Department of Defence, not the collegium of
2 Mr. Boban. Do you agree that the minutes refer to discussions that took
3 place at the Department of Defence, not with Mr. Boban since right in the
4 first paragraph you can see that the meeting took place on the
5 1st September in the offices of the head of the department. What do you
6 say to that?
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] That's what it says here.
8 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Let me come back to the word
9 "poziv," to establish whether it's a invitation or a summons. I assume
10 that Mr. Boban convenes meetings. He is president so he convenes. He
11 doesn't invite, he summons. He is the head. On the other hand,
12 Mr. Stojic, well, does he summon General Praljak or does he invite him?
13 That's what is at issue here. According to you, what's the score? Was
14 it one of Stojic's powers to be able to summon or was it rather to invite
15 Mr. Praljak?
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I would say that this is
17 information about a meeting. Now, at the level of your questioning, I
18 really cannot hazard a guess. I mustn't speculate. I know that the
19 chief of the Main Staff is responsible to the president, that is why I
20 don't dare hazard an answer to that question because I'm not sure.
21 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Kruger, I don't know
22 whether that was helpful to you.
23 MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I apologise, but in
24 the English interpretation the date the 1st of September appeared several
25 times, but let me just say that the meeting was on the 2nd of September
1 to avoid any subsequent problems if referring to this document.
2 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Fine. You are quite right.
3 MR. KRUGER: Thank you, Your Honour.
4 JUDGE TRECHSEL: To get it correct, the invitation, however, is
5 for the 1st. Invitation for the 1st September, I see, and it was
6 actually then held on the 2nd.
7 MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honour, but Judge
8 Antonetti spoke about the minutes and on the minutes it says the 2nd of
9 September, and that's what I wanted to draw your attention to.
10 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well.
11 MR. KRUGER: Thank you, Your Honour.
12 Q. And sir, the final -- and I think this is the final topic that I
13 would like to address with you, and now we are going to move to a time
14 when you were dealing with personnel matters, and that was from
15 July 1994. Is it correct that you were then the head of personnel
16 administration in the Department of Defence?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. And could you perhaps just very briefly tell us what kind of
19 things were you dealing with as the head of the personnel administration?
20 MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I apologise for
21 interrupting, but in view of the time that this question refers to, that
22 is to say a period outside the indictment, and in keeping with your
23 instructions and guide-lines, perhaps my learned friend could explain to
24 us why he is pursuing this line of questioning. It's irrelevant, as far
25 as I'm concerned, but it's up to you to decide, but I would like my
1 learned friend to explain why he is entering a period that goes beyond
2 the indictment period.
3 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Kovacic, when you yourself
4 and General Praljak talk about Trusina, well, the OTP says the same
5 thing, It's not in the indictment, we cannot refer to this. Now what is
6 applied to you, must apply to him, so if he wishes to talk about 1994, he
7 has a reason to do so. So let's wait and see what he wants to show.
8 MR. KRUGER: Thank you, Your Honours, and I think that it will
9 become apparent very soon where this is going.
10 Q. Now, sir, could you perhaps give the Court a very brief idea of
11 what were your functions as head of the personnel administration, just
13 A. We mostly worked on reception and dealing with status issues and
14 information and compiling files and records of people coming into the
15 service, military service.
16 Q. So you would have had access also to all the personnel files of
17 people who had previously been in the forces -- in the armed forces and
18 who were currently at that stage in the armed forces?
19 A. No, that wasn't the type of information we received. In HZ-HB,
20 and that territory, from the 1st of April, 1994, is when the pension
21 system started functioning, and then everybody who was employed in the
22 state services through set procedure, procedure that was prescribed,
23 would send in their data, in personal data to the personnel
24 administration and then they would take this up. And it was our task to
25 deal with matters like health insurance, work booklet, the qualifications
1 of the individuals, and so on. That kind of information is what we were
2 interested in. Health insurance and so on. And there were several of us
3 in the office that dealt with matters like that.
4 Q. And if an inquiry came in that would entail going into the
5 records of people who had previously served in the HVO, who would deal
6 with such inquiries? Would it be your section?
7 A. The chief of the sector who was in the personnel administration
8 in the hierarchy above, one level above.
9 Q. Okay. And who was that person, if you can remember?
10 A. At that time it was Mr. Matik Rasic [phoen].
11 Q. Now, Mr. Bruno Stojic, in 1995, was he also performing some
12 function with regard to the ministry for personnel?
13 A. As far as I remember, at that time, but I'm not quite sure, it
14 could have been the assistant for personnel affairs.
15 Q. There is documentation, I think, which refers to him as the
16 assistant, and perhaps you could help us here, I don't know if it's the
17 assistant minister for personnel or assistant to the minister of
18 personnel. What, to your recollection, was he? Just an assistant to the
19 minister for personnel?
20 A. As far as I know, assistant. The deputy would be one chain, one
21 link in the chain above.
22 Q. Do you know what functions he performed as assistant?
23 A. The personnel administration had under it several sectors which
24 were within a department, and at the head of that -- well, people who
25 were in charge of the individual sectors for informatics, statistics,
1 record keeping, and so on, they would see to that. They were purely
2 administrative tasks.
3 Q. Now, sir, let's have a look at the final exhibit, and that is
4 P 10783.
5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Before we go on to the last
6 document, Witness, just a question, Mr. Stojic who had been minister for
7 defence, this was an important position. And then later on, in 1995, he
8 was deputy to the minister for defence; in other words, he was
9 downgraded. Is that a normal procedure? Would that be a normal thing,
10 as far as you know? Before you give your answer, on the 24th of May,
11 1995, there was this meeting and we see that Mr. Stojic, who is the
12 assistant to the minister in charge of personnel affairs, and I see that
13 at this meeting there is also Zeljko Siljeg, who is a brigadier. He was
14 promoted, so Siljeg was promoted while Mr. Stojic is the assistant to the
15 minister. Is this a conventional way of doing things? What do you say
16 about this? If you don't know, just say you don't know and I'll stop.
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I don't know, I can't really say
18 anything about that.
19 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you. Go on Mr. Kruger.
20 MR. KRUGER: Thank you, Your Honour.
21 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] You have 12 minutes left,
22 Mr. Kruger.
23 MR. KRUGER: Thank you, Your Honour.
24 Q. Sir, if we can now look at P 10783. Now, sir, this is a document
25 signed by Bruno Stojic, and it says assistant minister for personnel, and
1 it is dated 11 July 1995
2 Security and Information Service Administration, personally to
3 Mr. Zvonko Sesar, and it's in response to a letter by him. It says:
4 "Pursuant to your letter to this administration mentioned above
5 in which you had requested us to send you all available information on
6 Mr. Ivica Rajic, we would like to inform you as follows ..."
7 Now, my first question to you, sir, is: In 1995, did you know
8 who Ivica Rajic was, you personally?
9 A. No.
10 Q. Certain you had heard of the events that took place in Stupni Do
11 in 1993, towards the end, October 1993?
12 A. Just through the media, media speculation, otherwise nothing
14 Q. And in the media speculation, wasn't the name of Ivica Rajic
16 A. I didn't hear of that. Events were mentioned, but as to names, I
17 didn't hear any.
18 Q. Now, sir, regardless of that, if we look at the information
19 contained in this, it gives basically three bits, four bits of
20 information. It says Mr. Rajic was born in 1958 and he was registered
21 with Kiseljak Defence Department. He performed the following duties, and
22 then it says he was intelligence advisor at north-west Herzegovina
23 pursuant to the order of Mr. Bruno Stojic. If we turn over it says he
24 was commander of Kiseljak, Ban Jelacic, dismissed from that position by
25 order of Mate Boban dated 15 January 1993
1 on what happens then apart from saying in the final paragraph it should
2 be noted that the president of the Croatian Republic of Herceg-Bosna
3 Mr. Mate Boban, has presented Ivica Rajic with a decree, with a number,
4 dated 1 November 1993
5 Now, sir, in view of the fact that Mr. Rajic was still in the HVO
6 during -- or after the period of January 1993, and he was involved in a
7 command role in the events of Stupni Do which you had heard about in the
8 media, it's clear that the information in this letter isn't complete.
9 Would you agree?
10 A. I see nothing contentious there, from the dates, the
11 appointments, the duties. So that's something that I can say.
12 Q. Sir, does this document say anything about the service of Mr. --
13 or rather, I shall put it to you, it doesn't say anything really about
14 the service of Mr. Rajic from January 1993, through the rest of 1993,
15 except that he was awarded the rank of colonel?
16 A. I don't see any explanations there except that the positions he
17 occupied are set out.
18 Q. Sir, do you know whether there was a -- I think I'll leave
19 that -- that there. I don't think you'll be able to help us further on
20 that point.
21 MR. KRUGER: Your Honours, that concludes my examination. I have
22 no further questions. Thank you.
23 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Kruger, I would like to say
24 the following: It would have been interesting to have the letter from
25 Mr. Zvonko Sesar, who is responsible for the SIS at the Ministry of
1 Defence, the letter that he sent to Mr. Stojic on July 6. What did that
2 letter request? Was he asking for information about what Rajic was doing
3 during the year 1993, or was he asking something else? We don't really
4 know what was asked in that letter. That could perhaps explain the
5 elements that are missing in this text. Perhaps in your archives you
6 could find that letter dated July 6th.
7 Well, now, Madam Nozica, I'm certain you have some additional
8 questions, but before that, Witness, I have a question. Could you take a
9 look at the map which is on the second to the last page of the
10 Prosecutor's binder. Where we have all those red dots. And you can see
11 that it's almost 100 per cent Croatian in this zone, and around Mostar as
13 According to your knowledge, and of course I'm only asking you to
14 respond if you know this, what is the historical reason which would
15 explain the fact that the Croatians assembled in this zone that can be
16 seen on the map around Citluk?
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I don't know except to say that I
18 was born as a Croat in Citluk, but as to historical reasons, I really
19 can't address that.
20 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] You don't know why? Well, one
21 more question. Yesterday Mr. Kruger asked you a question about the
22 Muslims in Citluk who were imprisoned. It seems that in 1991 there were
23 111 Muslims and, therefore, I am assuming that in 1992, 1993, the number
24 might have been slightly higher or around the same. Amongst those
25 individuals there were women, children, grandparents, that included
1 everyone. So if you divide by two, let's say there were at the most
2 50 men, but if you remove the age group under 18, under 17, and then the
3 elderly men over the age of 60, that leaves you with a fairly small
4 number. You weren't very clear in your answers. According to your
5 knowledge, were there many Muslims, and I'm being very careful in the
6 words I use, were there many Muslims who were displaced, arrested,
7 imprisoned, to your knowledge, were there a number of Muslims who ended
8 up in a place where they were no longer free to come and go?
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I have understood your
10 question and I'll repeat what I know, and I ought to know a great deal or
11 quite a lot, that there was no restriction of freedoms or arrests, and as
12 far as I know, most of those people stayed on in the Citluk region and
13 continued to live there.
14 From my experience, I know a particular situation in a small
15 village where I personally sought protection for part of the population
16 there to avoid any retaliation or revenge because a couple of young guys
17 were killed in the space of a few days and one of them was an only child,
18 an only son. So although the situation was tense, it was resolved
19 successfully. So I really think that as far as Citluk is concerned, and
20 especially the office, there were never any complaints.
21 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Fine. Thank you.
22 Madam Nozica.
23 MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour. I will be
25 Re-examination by Ms. Nozica:
1 Q. Mr. Pinjuh, you were referring to a situation in a particular
2 village, and as far as I understood you, you said that potentially there
3 could be problems with some Muslims and then you intervened --
4 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Madam Nozica, in your
5 supplementary questions, in keeping with directive 3, paragraph 9,
6 there -- you have two hours. You've used those two hours, so the time
7 that you are using now will be deducted from your overall credit of time,
8 the time you are using for this re-examination. You do understand that?
9 MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I do have major
10 problems with that, but I have to agree.
11 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Fine. Thank you.
12 MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation] That's why I'll be very brief.
13 Q. You mentioned a place near Citluk a moment ago where you
14 intervened because of the potential chance of somebody attacking some
15 Muslims; is that right?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. Now, for the record, would you just tell us what the name of that
18 village was and when that happened?
19 A. I don't remember the exact date, but I know that it was the
20 village of Krucevici and that it was a village with a mixed population.
21 Although it was a small village, nonetheless, the inhabitants were
22 ethnically mixed.
23 Q. So it is Krucevici, the name of the village, right? Is that
25 A. Krucevici.
1 Q. Yes, thank you. We'll -- it will be seen in the transcript and
2 I'll see to the proper spelling of the place with the court reporter
3 later on.
4 Now, Judge Antonetti asked you how come that around Citluk, in
5 that area, whether you knew that it was mostly inhabited by Croats,
6 historically speaking. Now, this brought a question to mind, if you can
7 answer it, fine; if not it doesn't matter, but I think it is common
8 knowledge, and it is this: In certain areas of Bosnia-Herzegovina before
9 this war, were there large areas in which the Muslims were the prevailing
10 inhabitants almost 100 per cent and other villages and areas which were
11 almost 100 per cent inhabited by the Serbs.
12 A. I can't remember any large areas.
13 Q. Well let's take Cazinska Krajina for instance?
14 A. They were Muslims. Muslim inhabited.
15 Q. Mr. Pinjuh, I'm appealing to your knowledge as a teacher here
16 because you were a teacher, were you not. Now in Cazinski -- in the
17 Cazin area, which is rather a large area, wasn't it inhabited 100 per
18 cent by Muslims?
19 A. I don't know whether 100 per cent, but I do know that up there in
20 that area there are Croats too.
21 Q. Well, I said almost 100 per cent?
22 A. Yes, you could put it that way.
23 Q. Tell me, in the Romanija area and in eastern Herzegovina, are
24 there areas of similar size, like Citluk and Citluk municipality, which
25 were inhabited almost 100 per cent by the Serbs?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. All right. Fine. Now, I'd like to go back to a question that
3 you were asked by Judge Antonetti earlier on about the invitational
4 summons. And could you take a look at the document once again, or
5 perhaps you don't have to, but the document is P 4646, and let me remind
6 you, perhaps we have it on e-court, P 4646, it is the invitation sent --
7 I'm not going to deal with the contents of the document. This is an
8 invitation signed by Mr. Stojic and sent to Major-General Slobodan
9 Praljak; right?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. Now, take a look at document P 4756. And it is the minutes dated
12 the 2nd of October, 1993. And look at that first sentence there and we
13 see that instead of the commander of the HVO, it was the deputy chief who
14 was present, and on page 2 we see that that was Mr. Matic who was the
15 deputy of the Chief of the Main Staff.
16 Now, within the frameworks of the question asked by
17 Judge Antonetti as to whether this was a summons or an invitation, from
18 these two documents can we see that Mr. Praljak didn't respond to the
19 invitation to the meeting, and I believe that it was for justified
20 reasons. Let's not go into that here, not the reasons.
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. And finally Mr. Pinjuh, you said several times that you were at
23 a -- employed at a low level. Let's see how low that level is in which
24 you were. If we look at the Defence Department, now, the defence office,
25 is that the lowest administrative level within the Defence Department?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. All right. Very well. Now, Mr. Pinjuh, you were shown a series
3 of documents, orders, and so on. You were asked to comment on some rules
4 and regulations. Did you say that you couldn't comment on them because
5 you knew nothing about them because the level was high, high above your
6 level, or because simply you didn't want to comment, you didn't wish to
7 comment, which was it?
8 A. I said everything I knew. Whenever I knew the answer, I gave it,
9 but when I didn't know the answer, that's what I said. And that's what
10 the case was, quite simply.
11 Q. Very well. Mr. Pinjuh, thank you.
12 MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation] And Your Honours, that completes my
14 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Witness, sir, on behalf of the
15 Chamber, I'd like to thank you for having come to testify for the Defence
16 of Mr. Stojic. I would like to wish you a safe trip home and I would
17 like to ask the usher to accompany you out of the courtroom.
18 [The witness withdrew]
19 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Madam Nozica, I wanted to say
20 the following: We've received the schedule for the next weeks that you
21 sent us and I'd like to tell you right away that you had scheduled
22 something for April 30th, Mr. Bagaric at 4.00 -- or sorry, for four
23 hours, but that is United Nations holiday on April 30th, so there will be
24 no court session, so you'll have to reschedule that one. We won't be
25 able to finish four hours in three days so we'll have to think about
2 I'd like to also add that several witnesses are scheduled for one
3 hour, March 11th there's Bahto, and then on the 12th, Cengic. There's
4 also April 1st, Prelic; and April 2nd, Mandic; April 8th, Korac; and
5 April 9th, Kresic. Now, that's all fine, however, you must also take
6 account of the fact that if we finish Bahto on the 11th, the 11 of March,
7 that we be able to begin Cengic right away. So please do schedule these
8 things in such a way so that if you only have -- if you only need an
9 hour, that you be able to continue with the next witness. I am assuming
10 this is not going to be a major problem for you, but it would be a good
11 thing if you could do that.
12 Aside from that, at this point in time, I don't have anything
13 else to say to you, but for the witnesses that are only coming for one
14 hour, please do schedule them closer together. For example, tomorrow we
15 have a one-hour witness. If he had been here already, we could have
16 continued this afternoon.
17 MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honour. I will bear that
18 in mind. I'll take care of it. I have been very careful not to waste
19 hours in the courtroom, but I also have a problem with the witnesses.
20 These are people who have their work to do. It was very hard for me to
21 harmonize my agenda and my schedule with theirs. I can't keep them here
22 waiting for three or four days. The next witness who is entering the
23 courtroom tomorrow is the chief of a large clinic in Mostar. I couldn't
24 ask him to come here on Thursday or Friday for proofing. We are having
25 serious problems with that. But as for us in the Defence, we will
1 certainly take care that time is not wasted. However, Your Honours must
2 bear in mind that we must also take into account what our witnesses can
3 do. Sometimes there's nothing we can do about it. Thank you.
4 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Fine. All of your witnesses
5 are not the directors of clinics. Perhaps it's easier for some of them
6 and perhaps amongst the witnesses they might -- some of them might be
7 happy to come here. So it's up to you to work it out. Yes, counsel.
8 MR. KHAN: Mr. President, Your Honours, I'm grateful for the
9 indulgence allowing us to file our response to the Prosecution's motion
10 regarding Dragan Pinjuh tomorrow morning and we will file tomorrow
11 morning. I make a related application, the practice direction limits,
12 ordinarily, responses to 3.000 words. At the moment we require 3.800
13 words. I have communicated with the good officers of the case manager,
14 Ms. Winner, with Mr. Scott and there's no objection, very kindly from the
15 Prosecution, if we are granted by Your Honours an additional 800 words to
16 file our response, and that is my application.
17 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] The Chamber grants that
18 request. No problem.
19 MR. KHAN: I'm much obliged.
20 MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, if I may, just a
21 brief submission. It won't take longer than two minutes, perhaps.
22 Recently there have been some issues concerning my client, and
23 you mentioned more than once that you would ask General Praljak about
24 these things when he testifies. This happened again today. I discussed
25 this topic with General Praljak more than once and an idea came up during
1 our conversations which I will propose to you now. It may not be
2 orthodox, but I don't see that it goes against the rules, and I believe
3 it could certainly contribute to the efficiency of the trial.
4 The idea was the following: There are occasions when it would be
5 useful and practical to hear the response of one of the accused, to hear
6 his testimony right away. Of course, the testimony of the accused has to
7 take a certain form, starting with the solemn declaration. But my
8 proposal is as follows: My client is fully prepared, at your request,
9 when there is a question you wish to put to him, to give a precise
10 response to the best of his recollection.
11 Of course, he is willing to make a solemn declaration which will
12 apply to each such response, a blanket declaration covering all such
13 instances. It would often be really useful if there is a question about
14 a document or a detail cropping up during witness testimony to put a
15 question to the accused who is responding as the accused testifying under
16 oath. And then that would assist the Chamber when putting questions to
17 that witness or other witnesses.
18 This is our proposal which we see as being useful, conducive to
19 expeditiousness and saving time, and also dealing with a topic or an
20 issue as it crops up in the courtroom while it is still of interest and
21 topical. If you so wish, the accused is willing to respond in this way
22 to all your questions. Thank you.
23 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] The Chamber will discuss this
24 matter, because I'm not alone in deciding. All of the Judges will have
25 to give their opinion. I can't give you an immediate answer but we would
1 also have to hear the position of the Prosecution. Mr. Scott.
2 MR. SCOTT: Yes, Your Honour. Thank you. I appreciate the last
3 comment because we, the Prosecution, would certainly want to be heard on
4 that topic. But I can preview -- I think it's fair to say that I can
5 preview our position by saying that we would oppose such a practice as
6 being totally contrary to existing practice at this institution over the
7 past 15 years; but if a written application is filed, then we will
8 certainly respond, make a written response to it.
9 Your Honour, I rise to my feet primarily on another matter.
10 Since it relates to the next witness. Since the weekend, we have
11 reviewed the 92 ter statement for Mr. Kvesic proposed by the Praljak
12 Defence. It is 11 pages long, Your Honours, and would plainly require
13 the Praljak Defence to engage in well more, I'm sure, given the history
14 in this courtroom, well more than an hour of examination if it was
15 conducted, if it was taken viva voce.
16 The Chamber will also recall that the established practice in
17 this case that where a -- one party tenders a witness's evidence on paper
18 by 92 ter, the opposing party is given substantially more time for
19 cross-examination than the time it takes to simply introduce a statement.
20 In reviewing the 11-page statement of Mr. Kvesic, the Prosecution
21 estimates that it will require at least an hour to cross-examine
22 Mr. Kvesic on that statement alone. Therefore, we are requesting that,
23 in addition to the time allowed for cross-examination in response to the
24 Stojic evidence, that then when Mr. Kvesic is taken by the Praljak
25 Defence, the Prosecution will need an hour to cross-examine him on that
1 statement. Thank you.
2 MR. KOVACIC: Your Honour, if I may only briefly respond.
3 [Interpretation] I -- when considering this request by the OTP for
4 additional time in examining witness Kvesic who is testifying under
5 Rule 92 ter, I see no explanation as to why, what this is based on. The
6 statement is not long, the witness will be questioned as Mr. Stojic's
7 Defence witness in direct, and I see no need.
8 And secondly, there is a practical issue because according to
9 plan, the witness should have -- is supposed to complete his testimony
10 tomorrow. As I told you, I will only put the formal questions required
11 to have the 92 ter statement admitted, and there will be just a few more
12 questions because I met the witness this morning and a piece of
13 information came up which I find very important, but this will take three
14 or four minutes at the most.
15 So in total it will take five or six minutes. Therefore, I
16 consider that my learned friend should put forward the real reasons, the
17 real meat of his request so that we can see what it's actually about.
18 Thank you.
19 MR. SCOTT: Your Honour, I'm really quite surprised by counsel's
20 position on this. This is not even a close question. We've had almost
21 three years of trial in which the established practice has been when a
22 92 ter statement is tendered, which can be tendered in a matter of a
23 couple of minutes, Is this your statement, witness, is it your signature,
24 boom, boom, boom, can be done in one minute. There's 11 pages of text.
25 You can't say that cross-examination is limited to the same amount of
1 time to tender the statement nor has the Chamber ever, ever done so.
2 So what Mr. Kovacic says is just simply unfounded, with great
4 Now, the Prosecution is asking for a meaningful time to examine
5 an 11-page statement if it was tendered viva -- and we have no problem
6 with tendering pursuant to 92 ter. Of course, the Prosecution has done
7 the same; other Defence counsel will do the same. But when you tender
8 evidence in that way, the opposing party must be given an opportunity for
9 meaningful cross-examination which obviously takes longer than simply
10 tendering the statement. And that's our position. It's nothing new.
11 The Chamber has followed this procedure many times in the past three
12 years and it's very obvious why. You can't have a cross -- meaningful
13 cross-examination in two minutes.
14 MR. KOVACIC: Your Honour, excuse me, I really apologise.
15 [Interpretation] I may not have spoken precisely enough or I may have
16 misunderstood my learned friend. I understood him to be asking
17 additional time, additional to the proportion we were always granted,
18 because Your Honours always worked out an estimate as to how long such a
19 statement would take had it been introduced in live testimony. So I may
20 have misunderstood. I thought that my learned friend was asking time in
21 addition to this time and for that I see no reason.
22 But there's just one point I think should be made here. The OTP
23 received this statement in the Croatian language, Dr. Kvesic's statement,
24 a few days after we filed the 62 ter list. They received it in English,
25 I think, in January of this year. Therefore, I don't see any reason to
1 refer to the length of the statement or shortage of time because they've
2 evidently had enough time to prepare. Thank you.
3 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Kovacic, the witness is a
4 witness for the Stojic Defence so let us not pollute, so to speak, the
5 Stojic Defence with a 72 ter list which would enable the Prosecutor to --
6 rather, a 92 ter list which would enable the OTP to question in all
7 directions. I don't understand why you are not just asking that this
8 statement be admitted under 92 bis. Perhaps there's no particular value
9 in doing so. Perhaps if the witness is coming to corroborate certain
10 aspects, why don't you just admit it under 92 bis. And as regards,
11 Mr. Scott, who always wants a lot of time, I remember that in the
12 Krajisnik case, Mr. Karadzic came and it was a public testimony, everyone
13 followed it, and I watched the screen, like everybody else, to see how
14 the 92 ter procedure functions. Mr. Karadzic prepared a very long
15 document, several dozens of pages, and at the time, the Appeals Chamber
16 stated that Mr. Karadzic had one hour and the OTP one hour. No more. So
17 you've been talking about longer time and I'm a bit surprised, Mr. Scott.
18 MR. SCOTT: Well, Your Honour, the records in this case are quite
19 clear that the party in this trial, and I mean everyone, including the
20 Judges, of recent months, the party in this trial that takes the least
21 amount of time is the Prosecution. The Registrar's time records indicate
22 that, so I have no reason to offer any apology on behalf of the
23 Prosecution for its use of the time. We use less time than anyone else
24 in the courtroom, so it's -- I have to make that point clear,
25 Your Honour, with the greatest of respect.
1 Now, what we said was, what we asked was, that in this -- for
2 this witness, in addition to whatever other time would be allocated, that
3 we would have it -- for the cross-examination of the Praljak portion of
4 the evidence, that we would have an hour. So whatever the original time
5 was, it's our estimate that in reviewing the 11-page statement that's
6 what we will take -- that's what it will take in total as to that part of
7 the evidence, not concerning the Stojic case, concerning the Praljak
8 evidence. That's our request, Your Honour. Of course the Chamber -- it
9 will be in the Chamber's hands, but that's our request based upon a
10 review and assessment of the statement.
11 JUDGE TRECHSEL: I would like to know whether I have
12 misunderstood something or not, because it seems to me that there is not
13 really a contradiction between what Mr. Scott says and what Mr. Kovacic
14 said. Mr. Scott opened this part of his point by saying that this, the
15 subject matter covered by this declaration would take about one hour to
16 extract in direct examination, and therefore, he was asking for one hour
17 for cross-examination, and that is what the Chamber has practiced so far.
18 So I think we do not even have a dispute but we will, of course,
19 deliberate in the Chamber.
20 MR. SCOTT: Thank you, Judge Trechsel. If I can just -- if I can
21 just clarify a couple of things in passing on this point. I do just need
22 to briefly respond. Counsel has indicated that we received the statement
23 sometime ago and therefore shouldn't need the time to -- for
24 cross-examination. That's a complete disconnect. When we received the
25 statement, whether we received it yesterday or two months from now, has
1 nothing to do with the amount of time necessary to put the question to
2 the witness in court, so that's simply a complete non sequitur.
3 Secondly, Your Honour, we do have these specific requests because
4 so far we haven't received this information. I don't know if an exhibit
5 number -- typically what happens is an exhibit number is given for the
6 92 ter statement in advance so that that can be used, or we can use the
7 e-court version if that hasn't -- can't be accomplished, but normally
8 that's been done prior to the appearance of the witness. So we'd either
9 like to have an exhibit number or just confirmation that it is the
10 e-court version that will be used so we can make our final preparations.
11 Secondly, Your Honour, Mr. Kovacic made reference a few moments
12 ago to something -- learning -- having learned something very important
13 from the witness. We are sure, of course, that we'll receive advance
14 notice by further disclosure of that prior to the witness coming into the
15 courtroom. Thank you very much.
16 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Let me tell Mr. Kovacic the
17 following thing. Mr. Kovacic, on several occasions you have presented us
18 with 92 ter versions and I think you have several of those. When the
19 Chamber determined the time allocation for you, we decided on the time we
20 were going to allocate you on the basis of the 65 ter list. Now, if you
21 are going to use this other technique and say such and such a witness,
22 92 ter witness, what is the consequence of that going to be? OTP is
23 going to say, Well, if this was done viva voce, I would have taken one
25 Now, on that basis, OTP will be accumulating hours and hours,
1 whereas you will have very little time since you are keeping your time
2 for other witnesses. And I've already said this because I initiated that
3 article of 92 ter, there's an excessive use of 92 ter, that's quite
4 clear. That is the problem. So if you take twenty 92 ter witnesses and
5 you say, I need two minutes and I'm going to present the 20 statements,
6 they all have 10 or 15 pages, that's going to take you 10 times two
7 minutes, 20 minutes, and OTP will have 50 hours. Now that is a real
9 The Judges will reflect on this, and we'll be informing you of
10 their decision. This is by no means a minor issue because it has huge
11 repercussions on the length of the trial. So if there's nothing else to
12 say, we shall stop there.
13 Ms. Nozica, I think you wanted to say something else.
14 Mr. Kovacic.
15 MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation] I won't respond because there's no
16 point in embarking of this whole discussion, but I do want to put it on
17 record so that it can be given some thought. I believe that in the
18 system we have in this courtroom what is happening is the allocation of a
19 certain number of hours for presenting the Defence case. You have given
20 us a certain quota, and whether we are happy with it or not, we must fit
22 On the other hand, I think it is the absolute right of the
23 Defence to decide whether to call a witness as a viva voce witness or
24 whether it considers it can put up with the damage caused by calling a
25 witness as a 92 ter witness, because you will agree with me that such
1 testimonies are less effective, but we have to put up with that, or
2 whether we will call a witness as a 92 bis and not bring him here at all.
3 The Defence can decide that on its own.
4 But I have to say the following: If a witness is going to
5 testify in any case because he has been called by another Defence team, I
6 cannot put him forward as a 92 bis several months later for more than one
7 reason. First of all, I don't know what stance the OTP will take, I
8 don't know how Your Honours will deal with this. You can reject my
9 suggestion that he be called so I think that 92 bis should be more
10 restrictive than 65 ter because the OTP can cross-examine.
11 Whether a ten-page statement is worth one hour or two hours or
12 half an hour, that is for Your Honours, as professionals, to decide.
13 Whatever you decide will probably be all right. I won't go into it. But
14 please leave us the freedom, which I feel we are entitled to, to choose
15 for ourselves in what form we will call a witness. As a live witness, as
16 a 92 bis or a 65 ter.
17 Of course we must carefully plan for each such witness. This
18 particular witness, Dr. Kvesic, I think should be a 92 ter witness,
19 especially as there is a question which cropped up in the interview, and
20 I do apologise to my learned friend for not having submitted this
21 information yet. I only received it at noon today and I've just started.
22 I had already started writing an e-mail to tell him about it. It's not a
23 long topic and it won't be difficult. Thank you.
24 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Scott, we have given a
25 decision on this question of time and I'm rather surprised that you
1 should come back and question this decision of the Chamber. In the oral
2 decision which I have here before me, it was stated that there will be
3 the examination-in-chief of this witness for one hour, that the other
4 Defence counsels will have 30 minutes, that Mr. Praljak will have
5 20 minutes to present his 92 ter. That the other Defence counsels will
6 have 15 minutes, and that OTP will have 30 minutes.
7 This was decided upon. This was an oral decision given by the
9 MR. SCOTT: Yes, Your Honour. Thank you for that. The only
10 thing that any party can do is make its request to the Chamber based upon
11 our assessment of that statement and that's all we've done. Of course
12 I'm in the Chamber's hands. If the Chamber does not give us the time
13 that we request, that's, of course, a decision the Chamber can make. All
14 we can do is rise to our feet and make the request with great respect.
15 Thank you.
16 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Microphone not activated]
17 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone please. Microphone please, says the
19 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes, I was saying that my
20 colleague is getting impatient. Mr. Coric.
21 MS. TOMASEGOVIC TOMIC: Your Honour, I'll be very brief, but I
22 had to rise to my feet in the interest of the Coric Defence because I
23 don't agree with certain matters that were stated by Mr. Kovacic and this
24 is what it is about. I share the concern with Judge Antonetti with
25 respect to 92 ter statements and the time allotted for cross-examination
1 after that.
2 Now, I differ from Mr. Kovacic because I remember the time
3 allotted during the Prosecution case when the Prosecution entered under
4 92 ter statements also some ten pages, or perhaps a little shorter, and
5 took about ten minutes to do that, and I asked several times just a few
6 more minutes for my cross-examination and I was told that the rule is
7 quite clear and that the economy of the proceedings were paramount and I
8 was given just two minutes. That's why I don't agree with Mr. Kovacic
9 when he says that previously the principle was different in allotting
10 time. I do believe that it can happen to any party that they need more
11 time for a particular witness when you see the statement, but then that
12 they have to say what parts of the statement, what it's about and what it
13 is that is necessary if the Trial Chamber to gain the right impression.
14 It would turn out this way that the Prosecutor needs more time
15 for a 92 ter statement or, rather, equal time as viva voce required by
16 Ms. Nozica. So I don't agree with that.
17 Secondly, and I wasn't able to get to my feet earlier on, you
18 just asked the Prosecutor with respect to Mr. Praljak's testimony. I
19 understand the desire of Mr. Praljak and I don't doubt that he wants to
20 present the truth in this courtroom as soon as possible, but also what
21 can happen is that in presenting that truth, the interests of some of the
22 other accused in this courtroom are violated. And so if you were to
23 permit that motion, then we would have to re-assess all the time spent by
24 Mr. Praljak in saying things in court, and then all of us together,
25 including the Prosecutor, would ask for more time for cross-examination.
1 I think that that is not feasible. I understand everybody's goodwill and
2 everybody's desires and wishes but I think that impractical technically
3 speaking. Thank you.
4 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you, we must come to a
5 stop now. We shall meet again tomorrow afternoon, 2.15 -- sorry,
6 Mr. Scott. I didn't see you. You are hidden behind a pillar.
7 MR. SCOTT: I apologise for being hidden, Your Honour. It's one
8 of the disadvantages of this courtroom. Sorry for that. Your Honour,
9 sorry, but if I could have two more minutes just to be clear on this.
10 The -- Mr. President, you quite properly just reminded me of the
11 Trial Chamber's prior ruling that the Praljak Defence would get upon --
12 for direct examination purposes would get 20 minutes and the Prosecution
13 would get 20 minutes for cross. With the greatest, respect that really
14 makes the very point that we are making. It has not been the past
15 practice of the Chamber to --
16 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mistake, you get 30 minutes,
17 not 20.
18 MR. SCOTT: 30 minutes. Thank you, Your Honour. It has been not
19 been the past practice of the Chamber to act with that kind of close
20 amount of time, with the greatest respect. It is -- what Mr. Kovacic
21 gets to do is put in a written statement and gets 20 minutes. We don't
22 get a written statement and we get 10 minutes more to conduct a
23 cross-examination. That's why we've asked the Chamber, and if the
24 Chamber wants to consider our request to be a request for reconsideration
25 so be it. I think it's completely fitting with past practice that when a
1 witness is tendered through 92 ter, and we can have a wider discussion
2 about 92 ter in the future, and I have also my own views on the practice,
3 but, nonetheless, the established practice has been the opposing party is
4 given a fair chance at meaningful cross-examination and is not measured
5 so closely by the amount of time given to the party tendering the
6 statement. I just wanted the record to be clear on that. I thank you
7 for the extra minute.
8 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Scott, as far as I
9 understood you, Mr. Kovacic will be using two minutes, you will be
10 getting 30 minutes. 15 times more than he will. So the Chamber will
11 discuss this once again and see whether we shall continue with our
12 previous decision or whether there will be a change.
13 Mr. Kovacic.
14 MR. KOVACIC: One small correction. It is really two, three
15 minutes, for all formalities, but I will have additional question to the
16 witness since he -- I bump to one issue which need clarification. But it
17 is -- again, I cannot make a promise, but it is maybe three, four minutes
18 maximum. So really not considerable time.
19 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. Mrs. Nozica.
20 MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I tried to get to my
21 feet several times. I'd just like to ask all parties who are to decide
22 the time to try to complete the witness tomorrow because he has
23 additional obligations and responsibilities, so I don't know if he can
24 stay on until Thursday. But, Your Honour, this is a perfect illustration
25 as to how difficult it to plan Defence time. You say bring in two or
1 three witnesses. Until 15 minutes ago, I was absolutely certain that
2 we'd get through the witness tomorrow, but now I'm not so sure. So, all
3 these problems that we have to face because it's live. Decisions are
4 changed as we go along.
5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] That is why I asked you to get
6 the witness here today and you told me that you couldn't do that. So I
7 had anticipated this problem.
8 MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour, for seeing
9 to that, but I wasn't able to physically. If you can understand that.
10 Physically, I was unable to finish with one witness one day and hold a
11 proofing session with another to preparing to come into court the next.
12 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] We meet again tomorrow at
13 quarter past 2.00. I hope the electricity supply will be up and running.
14 There was a problem today, as you well know.
15 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 5.48 p.m.
16 to be reconvened on Wednesday, the 25th day of
17 February, 2009, at 2.15 p.m.