Tribunal Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia

Page 42092

 1                           Monday, 29 June 2009

 2                           [Open session]

 3                           [The accused entered court]

 4                           [The accused Prlic and Coric not present]

 5                           [The witness takes the stand]

 6                           --- Upon commencing at 2.17 p.m.

 7             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Registrar, could you please

 8     call the case.

 9             THE REGISTRAR:  Good afternoon, Your Honours.  Good afternoon,

10     everyone in and around the courtroom.  This is case number IT-04-74-T,

11     the Prosecutor versus Prlic et al.  Thank you, Your Honours.

12             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you, Registrar.

13             This is Monday, June 29th, 2009, and I first and foremost greet

14     our witness, General Praljak.  Then I welcome Mr. Pusic, Mr. Petkovic,

15     and Mr. -- also the accused who are not with us for various reasons, as

16     well Mr. Stojic.  I welcome the counsels for Defence, Mr. Stringer from

17     the Prosecution and his associates, as well as everyone helping us.

18             I will now give the floor to our Registrar.  I believe he has a

19     few IC numbers to give us.

20                           [Trial Chamber and registrar confer]

21             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Before giving the floor to

22     Mr. Stringer, I have administrative information for you.

23             We are sitting in the afternoon this week.  However, on Thursday

24     we will be sitting in the morning because there is a free courtroom, and

25     we will, therefore, sit at 9.00 a.m. 'til 1.45 p.m.

Page 42093

 1             I have an oral decision to read.

 2             Oral decision on the Petkovic Defence's motion aiming at

 3     obtaining additional time for its cross-examination of Slobodan Praljak.

 4             During the hearings of June 24 and 25, 2009, the Petkovic Defence

 5     requested two additional hours for its cross-examination of Witness

 6     Slobodan Praljak.  During the hearing of June 24th, 2009, the Trial

 7     Chamber told the Defence teams that altogether they would be given 20

 8     hours for cross-examination of the witness, which represents four hours

 9     per team.  On the same day, the Pusic Defence said that it would only

10     require one hour and thirty minutes for its cross-examination, and

11     invited the Trial Chamber to allocate the remaining time with the others,

12     i.e., two hours and thirty minutes.

13             During the hearing of June 25th, 2009, the Trial Chamber decided

14     the following:  It will allocate 15 minutes of the additional time to the

15     Prlic Defence, after the Prlic Defence made a request to this end.  In

16     order to allow the Coric and Stojic Defence to request, if need be,

17     additional time, the Trial Chamber decides to allocate 45 additional

18     minutes to the Petkovic Defence for its cross-examination of

19     Slobodan Praljak.  The Petkovic Defence will thus have, all in all, four

20     hours and forty-five minutes.

21             Ms. Alaburic, quickly, obviously the Trial Chamber did not

22     provide you with two hours, but could give you 45 minutes.

23             MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation]  Your Honour, good afternoon to

24     everybody in the courtroom.

25             I thank you for giving me additional time, and I'm pleased to see

Page 42094

 1     that my colleagues from the Stojic Defence team and Valentin Coric

 2     Defence team will have time, too, if they need it.  And if they don't,

 3     then I'm sure we'll be able to distribute the time equally and justly.

 4             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Stringer, you have the

 5     floor.

 6             MR. STRINGER:  Thank you, Mr. President.

 7             Good afternoon.  Good afternoon, Your Honours, Counsel, and to

 8     everyone else around the courtroom.

 9             One small matter.  I observed on Friday afternoon, and then again

10     today when the witness returned, that he had taken the Defence exhibits

11     that are being used by the Stojic team for cross-examination back to the

12     Detention Unit with him over the weekend, and I'm not -- I'm not

13     criticising that, I think it was with the agreement of the Defence team,

14     but I thought maybe I should raise this now just so the Trial Chamber

15     knows and the parties know and the witness knows that the Prosecution

16     position will be that the witness cannot take the Prosecution exhibits

17     away with him.  We want to maintain the same procedure that's been in

18     place throughout the trial in the use of exhibits on cross-examination.

19     And I thought I would raise that now.  I don't know if it will be

20     controversial or not, but I thought I would raise it now so that we could

21     get the issue resolved before we begin our cross-examination.

22             Thank you.

23             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well, Mr. Stringer.  The

24     Trial Chamber took due note of this and we'll deliberate on this.

25             But I will now give the floor to Mr. Kovacic.  Whatever the case

Page 42095

 1     may be, Mr. Stringer, you will give us the list of the Prosecution

 2     exhibits, probably about ten binders, I guess, but since most of the

 3     exhibits have already been tendered and are in, and have been admitted

 4     with P numbers, I'm sure that Mr. Praljak already has all these exhibits.

 5     So before your cross-examination starts, it is true that he will have had

 6     all the documents that you will probably show him.  Normally, he should

 7     have them somewhere in his cell.  But we took your request into account,

 8     and we will render a decision on this.  Your cross-examination is not

 9     going to start tomorrow, so we have some time before it starts.

10             Mr. Kovacic.

11             MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation] Good afternoon, Your Honours, and

12     everybody else in the courtroom.

13             I don't want to take up any time, but we don't oppose the

14     proposal made by the Prosecutor, especially in view of what you said.

15     And I assume that the accused will have either all the documents or all

16     the documents that the -- or most of them that the Prosecution wishes to

17     examine him on.  And the ones he took away with him during the weekend,

18     I think that that contributes to speeding up the trial, because if the

19     accused can see what documents are in the folder and in the binder, he'll

20     find it easier to find them when he's asked a question.  And he's already

21     seen all those documents, he's seen them before, so I don't think that it

22     has any practical effect.

23             Thank you.

24             MR. STRINGER:  Thank you, Mr. President.

25             Perhaps, in light of what you just said, I should probably tell

Page 42096

 1     the Trial Chamber how we are proposing to handle the exhibits during our

 2     cross-examination, because as I think the Trial Chamber will appreciate,

 3     as well as the parties, it's rather unusual, maybe I could even suggest

 4     unprecedented, in terms of the amount of time that the witness has been

 5     testifying on direct examination.  I think this is week number 8 now that

 6     he's been on the stand for direct examination, the questions from the

 7     President, and now beginning with cross-examination.  And as was the case

 8     with the direct examination, I mean, there are potentially hundreds of

 9     exhibits that could be used or might be used during the

10     cross-examination, and because of the volume that's unusual, as well as

11     the fact that it's likely -- I think quite likely, Mr. President, that

12     the Prosecution's cross-examination will continue after we begin again

13     following the summer recess, that what we are going to propose, in terms

14     of the documents, is to -- I'm breaking them up into topics, and we are

15     going to be able to produce hard copies for everyone, including the

16     Judges, obviously, by those topics, and we're going to be able to do this

17     with the topics in the order in the binders.  They'll be in the order

18     that we're going to be using them on cross-examination, which is the

19     first time we've done this, and it's highly -- there are a lot of reasons

20     why we don't like to do it.  But because we're able or planning to divide

21     the cross up into sort of bite-sized chunks or topics, we're going to be

22     able to assemble them by topic, then to assemble them in order that we'll

23     be using them, more or less, to facilitate everyone's following along,

24     and then to distribute those topics sort of on a rolling basis, because

25     if we had to produce everything at the very beginning, we won't be able

Page 42097

 1     to -- we wouldn't be able to do that, and so what we're proposing or what

 2     we're planning to do is to distribute them for a week or so in advance,

 3     so that everybody has them in advance.  And in doing it that way, our

 4     team will be able to work with such a huge amount of documentation,

 5     putting them in the order that we're going to be using them.

 6             So that's how we are proposing to go, and again I hope that

 7     facilitates -- I believe it will facilitate the cross as well as

 8     everyone's ability to follow along.  But it's not going to be a

 9     distribution -- it can't be, if I may say it, Mr. President.  We simply

10     can't distribute ten binders to everyone in advance.  I think it would be

11     highly wasteful, and we certainly wouldn't be able to do it with

12     documents in order.

13             So we're proposing to go by topics on a rolling basis, with

14     plenty of advanced disclosure by the week or by the two weeks, and

15     I think that that will ultimately be more efficient and facilitate the

16     cross-examination.

17             Thank you.

18             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Well, I thank you,

19     Mr. Stringer.  This is great news, very good news.  We took due note of

20     this.  So you will cross-examine General Praljak according to topics.  We

21     believe this is an excellent idea, because it will be much easier to

22     follow.

23             Personally, I don't know if General Petkovic will testify, but if

24     he does, I will also prepare my questions according to topics, similarly,

25     just like you will do, and I'm sure that will be very helpful for

Page 42098

 1     everyone.

 2             Thank you very much.  This is very good news, and I'm sure that

 3     it will be a landmark in this -- in the history of this Tribunal.

 4             This is an extraordinary trial, with a great number of accused,

 5     with a huge number of exhibits, and because of this we have to find

 6     innovative solutions to make sure that we can be as effective as possible

 7     in our work.  So I really thank you for this great initiative, and

 8     personally I thank you.

 9             Let's now continue with the cross-examination, and Ms. Nozica.

10                           WITNESS:  SLOBODAN PRALJAK [Resumed]

11                           [The witness answered through interpreter]

12             MS. NOZICA:  Thank you, Your Honour.  Good afternoon, Your

13     Honours, and good afternoon to everybody else in the courtroom.

14             I would just like to make a few remarks before we continue, since

15     my learned friend of the Prosecution said something with respect to the

16     documents that Mr. Praljak looked at over the weekend.  They were

17     documents handed over by our Defence team.  I'd like to inform the

18     Prosecutor that we didn't agree about anything behind his back; that is

19     to say, the Stojic Defence did not take part in any agreement as to

20     whether documents would be given to Mr. Praljak to have a look at.  But

21     I'd also like to stress that I consider that, in this particular case,

22     it's very useful for the Stojic Defence to have Mr. Praljak look through

23     the documents.  We're glad he had this opportunity, because we have a

24     great many documents and very little time.  And I think that this will

25     facilitate our work during the cross-examination.

Page 42099

 1             The second point I wanted to make is this:  I would also like to

 2     say, in advance, that I am grateful to the Trial Chamber for the decision

 3     with respect to giving extra time for cross-examination, and I'll

 4     probably be in a position, at the end of the day today, to tell the Court

 5     whether we're going to need more time within the frameworks of the time

 6     that was allotted to the Defence teams.  I can't make that assessment

 7     right now because it depends how we progress during the day.

 8             And the third point is this:  This cross-examination has been

 9     prepared within the frameworks of topics and areas of discussion, so

10     we're going to emphasise every time we move on to another area.

11                           Cross-examination by Mr. Nozica:

12        Q.   And we're now discussing, Mr. Praljak, are we not, the topic of

13     Thursday; that is to say, the appointments in the military structure of

14     the HVO.

15             Good afternoon to you, Mr. Praljak.  I hope you feel well.

16        A.   Good afternoon to you, Ms. Nozica.

17        Q.   Now, Mr. Praljak, this part of my cross-examination, well, I'd

18     like to tell you what I'm going to show you, and you can confirm this or

19     not, that the proposals into the commanding staff of the HVO, whether the

20     initiative mostly - mostly, we're talking about - came from the unit

21     where the individual was to be appointed, and that that went to the

22     Defence Department or the Main Staff, and that the Main Staff then - I'm

23     talking about, for the most part - agreed to the appointments, and then

24     these people were appointed in the way in which you have explained to us.

25     You explained this on Thursday, I believe, for the appointments below the

Page 42100

 1     level of brigade commander, and Bruno Stojic or individuals authorised by

 2     him gave permission for that.  So we'll go through the technology of

 3     this, to look at some exhibits and other documents which are not exhibits

 4     but which demonstrate the system which was in place.

 5             Now, shall I ask you first whether you accept what I've said,

 6     that that was how it was done, for the most part?

 7        A.   Yes, for the most part, that was the system that was applied,

 8     although many people -- many others interfered and meddled.  But let's

 9     leave that to one side for the moment.

10        Q.   Yes, Mr. Praljak.  We showed the first document, and for the

11     record I'll say that it is 2D3003, so 2D3003 is the document number, and

12     it was the municipality putting forward the names there.  That's what you

13     meant; is that right?

14        A.   Yes.

15        Q.   Very well, thank you.  So we can get through this quite quickly.

16             The next document is 2D00989.  I think that it is the 11th

17     document in your binder, document number 11.  I hope you'll find it.

18        A.   What did you say, 2D?

19        Q.   Yes, 2D00989 is the number.

20             Mr. Praljak, we have it on e-court.  It's on e-court.

21        A.   Yes, I found it.

22        Q.   So this is a proposal for the appointment pursuant to military

23     establishment the first HVO brigade called Knez Domagoj, and under

24     number 1, assistant for IPD, it doesn't matter who; item number 2,

25     somebody is being relieved of duty, the document is signed by

Page 42101

 1     Mr. Obradovic.  And finally from the Main Staff we have a stamp, and it

 2     says "Agreed, authorised."  So rather than me testifying, can you just

 3     confirm that this is in agreement with the Main Staff with that stamp on

 4     the last page?

 5        A.   Yes, this is Mr. Petkovic's signature, but as far as I know his

 6     signature, that was the 18th of March, he was the chief, and this is his

 7     signature.

 8        Q.   All right, fine.  Now let's look at document

 9     P0576 [as interpreted].  Have you found that?

10        A.   Yes.

11        Q.   Very well.  We can move faster now.  This is a proposal for

12     Stanko Sopta, and it is the 2nd of October, 1993.  That is the date; is

13     that right?

14        A.   Yes.

15        Q.   Is this a set form for appointment proposals or posting

16     proposals, as it says?  Is that the customary form that was used?

17        A.   Yes.

18        Q.   Now let's go on to the next document, which is P01596.

19             JUDGE TRECHSEL:  Ms. Nozica, it might be useful to have the right

20     number in the transcript.  It says "P0576," but I think it's P05576.

21             MS. NOZICA:  Thank you, Your Honour.  Yes, I always welcome your

22     assistance.  I do apologise.  I didn't notice that in the transcript.

23     Yes, there's a "5" missing, and I'll take care that that is put right in

24     future.  Thank you.

25        Q.   Now, the next document I think has been recorded correctly, and I

Page 42102

 1     said it correctly.  Yes, the document is P01596.  We have it on e-court

 2     up on our screens, and this is also March, when you weren't there, but we

 3     can see how it was done, the technology of it, the procedure.  And here

 4     the proposal has come from the deputy commander, Ante Govorusic.  He was

 5     the commander of the Operative Zone of North-West Herzegovina, and he was

 6     adviser for intelligence affairs; is that right?

 7        A.   Yes, but let me say that I wasn't there at the time, so in fact I

 8     testified that this was customary, that these were the sort of documents

 9     that we usually used when I was there previously.  So with that proviso,

10     yes, indeed that is what it says in the document.

11             THE INTERPRETER:  Could all the microphones be turned off if they

12     are not in use.  Thank you.

13             MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation]

14        Q.   Yes.  Thank you, Mr. Praljak, that's what I thought.

15             Now, the next document is P00598; and it is the commander of the

16     Herceg Stjepan Brigade, the proposal, appointment, sent to the Defence

17     Department on the 18th of October, 1992.  You had contact with this

18     brigade, I believe, because during your examination-in-chief you spoke

19     about Konjic and that you went there; right?

20        A.   Yes.

21        Q.   So this is a proposal written by the Commander Zdravko Sagolj,

22     somebody signed for him, and he proposes the brigade command and the

23     members of the entire command; is that right?

24        A.   Yes.

25        Q.   Thank you.  Our next document is P00616.  This is another

Page 42103

 1     proposal issued by Mr. Zeljko Siljeg, submitted to the Defence Department

 2     and to the Main Staff on the 22nd of October, and this proposal is for

 3     the appointment of an officer in the Krajl Tomislav Brigade.  And it says

 4     here:  "Pursuant to the proposal of the staffing commission of the

 5     brigade, this appointment is proposed."

 6             This was in the month of October when you had contact with the

 7     area?

 8        A.   Yes.  That was during the time while I was there.  I've never

 9     heard before that they had a staffing commission, but it's neither here

10     nor there, I suppose.

11        Q.   Very well.  Our next document is also identical to the previous

12     one.  It is P00620.  There is also reference made to the staffing

13     commission of the brigade, Commander Colonel Zeljko Siljeg, and the

14     proposal is for the Krajl Tomislav; correct?

15        A.   Yes.

16        Q.   The name of the brigade is Krajl Tomislav, just for the

17     transcript.  And now we have a document, P4 --

18             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] General Praljak, look at this

19     document which has to do with Filip Zrno, son of Karlo.  It seems that he

20     is being attached -- he's been sent elsewhere.  What's going to happen of

21     him?

22             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] He was discharged of his duties,

23     and he has to be reassigned either in the same unit or there should be

24     some information as to why he was discharged, whether it was because he

25     was not up to the task or maybe he did something for which he has to be

Page 42104

 1     either punished or disciplined in some other way.  It is not clear from

 2     the document.  Its further lot depends on the reasons for which he was

 3     discharged from his duties.

 4             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] General Praljak, officers that

 5     are relieved of their post, when they're posted somewhere else do they

 6     get the same rank or are they back to being privates?  This one, for

 7     example, is being discharged.  He can go where he wants, he can go abroad

 8     if he wants to, he can go back to his fields if he wants to go back to

 9     farming?  What's going to happen of him?

10             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honours, as far as I know, on

11     the 22nd of October - one should actually establish the correct date -

12     there was still no ranks in the HVO.  Some people did append a rank to

13     their name.  For example, Zeljko Siljeg was a colonel because he

14     transferred his rank from the JNA.  He was the former officer of the

15     Yugoslav People's Army.  As far as whether he had to go abroad, I repeat,

16     unfortunately everybody could go abroad without any consequences.  It was

17     up to Mr. Filip Zrno himself to decide whether to desert or go abroad

18     without any consequences, or whether to stay with his men as a foot

19     soldier or a commander of a lower-ranking unit, or maybe he did something

20     for which he had to be punished, but it is not clear from the document

21     whether that was the case.

22             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] One last follow-up question.

23     You already said this several times, but it might have escaped me, like

24     it might have escaped others.  You say he might not be sanctioned, but

25     there is one thing I don't understand.  There was a state of war.  War

Page 42105

 1     had been proclaimed.  Therefore, a soldier who has been posted and who is

 2     discharged from duty, is he going to become a civilian or is he still

 3     under military obligation?

 4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] If he remained in the territory with the Kupres

 5 Battalion, and I know that many people had left abroad and only very few men

 6 remained with the unit, he could become a civilian. And then when he received

 7 mobilisation paper, he could respond or he could be looked up by the military

 8 police.  I already explained this with precision. Unless he had gone to

 9  Croatia or a third country.  Nobody was ever disciplined if they decided to

10  go abroad. It did happen, Your Honours, that some Croats, soldiers or

11 civilians, whatever the case may have been, in some parts of the territory,

12 for example, near Ljubuski, and I know that it happened near Rama, that

13 Croats would torch such a person's house.  They were angry that nothing could

14 be done against the deserters, and it was a major source of embitterment

15 among the soldiers.  And that's why a lot of houses were burned during the

16 night, the houses that belonged to such deserters.

17             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you.

18             MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation]

19        Q.   Mr. Praljak, to follow up on Judge Antonetti's question:  Would

20     he still remain a conscript?

21        A.   Yes, he would still be a conscript, but that didn't mean much.

22        Q.   Just for clarification, to follow up on Judge Antonetti's

23     questions, Mr. Praljak, can we go back to the previous document, which

24     was P00616.  We can see from the two documents that on the same day,

25     Mr. Siljeg issued a proposal for the discharge of the former commander of

Page 42106

 1     the Kupres Battalion and the appointment of a new commander?

 2        A.   Yes.

 3        Q.   So the proposals were drafted on the same day.

 4             And now we are going to look at P4037.  Mr. Praljak, you signed

 5     this document, and you actually explained, in this document, everything

 6     that I am questioning you about today.  This is the submission of a

 7     proposal on appointment, and you say in the first sentence of this

 8     document:

 9             "Pursuant to proposal of the commander of the Lasva Battalion, a

10     request is to be sent to the Defence Department ..."

11        A.   Yes.

12        Q.   So you're following the customary procedure?

13        A.   Yes, I did that because the battalion was in a terrible

14     condition.  I spoke to the commander.  I asked him to deal with the

15     situation.  He issued his proposal, and I issued my proposal the way I

16     did.

17        Q.   Very well.  And now let's look at P2523, which will partly be the

18     follow-up on the questions put to you by His Honour Judge Antonetti.

19     This is a proposal for the discharge of duties in the operation zone

20     Western Herzegovina, signed by Mr. Siljeg, and this is a proposal for the

21     discharge of duties.  However, when we're talking about these three

22     positions, below that there is an explanation as to why the three

23     individuals were being discharged of their duties; isn't that correct?

24        A.   Yes.

25        Q.   The first reason is personal.  The fact that he left the command

Page 42107

 1     does not mean that he remained in the unit as a soldier?

 2        A.   But it doesn't also mean that he did remain in the unit as a

 3     soldier.

 4        Q.   Thank you very much.  And again we see Mr. Siljeg's signature.

 5     It seems to me that the signature is identical to the one that we saw

 6     before.  This is Mr. Petkovic's signature?

 7        A.   Yes, but Mr. Petkovic would react, and I don't think this is

 8     correct.

 9        Q.   Very well.  And I'm going to show you several documents signed by

10     Mr. Stojic, he -- submitted by him to the Main Staff --

11             JUDGE TRECHSEL:  Excuse me, Mr. Praljak.  Your last answer is not

12     quite clear to me.  The question was:

13             "This is Mr. Petkovic's signature?"

14             And you say:

15             "Yes, but Mr. Petkovic would react, and I don't think this is

16     correct."

17             I don't understand what you're saying.  Perhaps it's a matter of

18     translation.

19             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] If I'm wrong when I say that this

20     is Mr. Petkovic's signature and it is not, then Mr. Petkovic would react

21     and he would say that this is not his signature.

22             JUDGE TRECHSEL:  Thank you.  I've got it now.

23             MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation]

24        Q.   Now I'm going to show you the next three documents signed by

25     Mr. Stojic.  The first one is 2D3005 [realtime transcript read in error

Page 42108

 1     "2D3035"], 2D3005.  This is a letter by Mr. Stojic to the Main Staff on

 2     the 27th of August, and attached is his proposal for the appointment or

 3     discharges in the Bruno Busic Regiment.  And it says here:

 4             "Could you please consider aforementioned and send us your

 5     opinion."

 6             Are you aware of the fact that Mr. Stojic submitted his proposals

 7     in this particular way?

 8        A.   Yes.

 9        Q.   The next document is 2D3006.  The same question, Mr. Praljak.

10     The date is 11 September.  You were the commander at the time.  This is

11     another proposal received by Mr. Stojic and in which he is seeking

12     opinion from the Main Staff?

13        A.   Yes.

14        Q.   And the last document in the series is number --

15             JUDGE TRECHSEL:  Excuse me.  I'm afraid I'm a bit of a nuisance,

16     but the previous document which you said the number was 2D3035, is it not

17     the one which, in my binder, at least, has the number 2D3005?

18     [B/C/S spoken].

19             MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honour, you're right,

20     you're absolutely right.  I asked my assistants not to interrupt me

21     during the cross-examination, and I was going to make all the corrections

22     during the break.  In any case, I'm very grateful to you, you're

23     absolutely right.

24             We have seen the last document.  I believe I called up the

25     document, did I, or did I not?

Page 42109

 1             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Ms. Nozica, sorry to interrupt,

 2     but I do believe that we need to clarify a point that is somewhat obscure

 3     to me.

 4             General Praljak, look at the last document, 2D3006, which is on

 5     the screen.  Now, if I understood properly, the commander of the

 6     operational zone is sending a proposal to the minister for defence, who

 7     happens to be Bruno Stojic, who's here with us in the courtroom.

 8     Mr. Stojic receives the proposal, and what he does is to ask the opinion

 9     of the staff, General Staff.  And now here there is something that I

10     don't understand in the way the administrative procedure takes place.  In

11     a conventional army, the military line of command would be as follows:

12     Commander for the operational zone, goes to the General Staff, and then

13     it goes up to the minister for defence.  Why, then, in the Republic of

14     Herceg-Bosna is a different line of command being used?  In other words,

15     in the first place, the command of the operational zone reports directly

16     to the minister for defence without going via the General Staff, and then

17     the minister asks for an opinion.  Could you please explain to us why

18     this is happening?

19             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] To a certain extent, I can.  It is

20     true that one should have followed a certain hierarchy and then every

21     next level should provide an opinion.  However, that would apply to a

22     well-regulated army which has documentation about every soldier,

23     non-commissioned officer, officer.  There's a file for each and every one

24     of them, which shows his career work, capabilities.  Your Honours, we did

25     not have that.  We did not even have an embryo of something like that.

Page 42110

 1             Mr. Stojic was not in a position to have -- or maybe I don't

 2     know.  He did not have a personnel base, and he had to approach the

 3     Main Staff with regard to appointments that he was in charge of, and he

 4     would ask them something to the effect, Do you know anything that would

 5     prevent me from signing this?  And people on the ground were best

 6     equipped to provide information about every individual, and it would

 7     happen very rarely that somebody actually said, I have different

 8     information.  And if they did have different information, they would

 9     convey that information directly.  So this was actually part of a

10     not-well-organised system.

11             I agree that this should have been done differently, but things

12     went directly to Mr. Stojic, who then asked the Main Staff whether there

13     was anything negative that could be pinned to that person.

14             Let me summarise and say that we did not have a good staffing

15     policy.  We did not have an organised staffing policy.  We relied largely

16     on the opinion of those who issued proposals.  That's how we did things.

17             MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation] I would kindly ask [as interpreted]

18     Judge Antonetti, and now I would like to call up the last document

19     pertaining to this area, and then we will come back to Judge Antonetti's

20     questions.

21             Let's now look at 2D3007.  That will be one last document in this

22     series, which illustrates the way things happened in practice.

23        Q.   Am I right, sir?

24        A.   Yes, you are.

25        Q.   And this is -- all pertains to your period.  And now,

Page 42111

 1     Mr. Praljak, you have explained very well and answered Judge Antonetti's

 2     questions as to how things happened in practice.  We've seen in the

 3     courtroom and we've discussed this at great length.  When we're talking

 4     about Article 34 of the Decree on the Armed Forces, which envisaged the

 5     appointments in the HVO, and who were the persons in charge of the

 6     appointments, who Mr. -- Mr. Boban was in charge of, who Mr. Stojic was

 7     in charge of, and so on and so forth.

 8             Would you agree with me that this method was never prescribed as

 9     being the product of experience and work; it was just the way that people

10     saw to be the most effective procedure?

11        A.   Ms. Nozica, in a well-organised military that Judge Antonetti's

12     often mentioning, there is, from the very outset, for every soldier, for

13     every officer, there is a binder, a file which contains all the

14     information about that particular person, whether he was ever drunk,

15     whether he was ever involved in a disciplinary matter.  A psychologist is

16     called to talk to everybody and to assess their psychological profile.

17     If they were engaged in combat, then there is an assessment on their

18     performance.  This file contains a study on every individual, and based

19     on that each individual's career is followed.

20             In Bosnia-Herzegovina, that thing did not exist.  The situation

21     was somewhat better in the Croatian Army because there were a few more

22     psychologists and things in place, and down there there was nothing.  And

23     this meant most -- and signified most in combat to know whether somebody

24     was courageous and whether somebody was a good combatant.  One would

25     assume that if he proved himself in combat and made decisions, then

Page 42112

 1     people who knew him, people in the municipality, would then propose such

 2     a person.

 3             The screening of the true values of such a man was not possible.

 4     Such an evaluation was done on the job, and if that person didn't do the

 5     job properly, like, for example, the person in the Kupres Battalion, then

 6     the commander would ask for his removal and propose somebody new.  This

 7     was not the staff policy -- the staffing policy that would be similar to

 8     anything that exists in an organised military.

 9        Q.   Precisely to confirm that, and as a follow-up to

10     Judge Antonetti's question, could we please look at document in

11     e-court -- you don't have to go back.  We have three documents.  Let us

12     look at what procedure was followed.  Let us look at the document that

13     we've already seen.  It's P2523.  Yes, we'll have it on our screens in

14     e-court.

15             Yes, we see what His Honour Judge Antonetti has just said.  We

16     have a proposal by the commander of the Operational Zone of North-Western

17     Herzegovina which is sent directly to the Main Staff, so I'm just trying

18     to show that there were various approaches, so there was not a unified

19     procedure?

20        A.   Yes, you could take one channel or another.

21        Q.   And again this is from Mr. Siljeg, two documents, P620 -- let's

22     just look at it in e-court.  It's the third way in which proposals were

23     submitted, and you can see that this is sent both to the Main Staff and

24     to the Defence Department?

25        A.   That's correct.

Page 42113

 1        Q.   And we don't have to look at this document because it's the same

 2     as the previous one.  It's P616.  If you want to look at it, you can do

 3     that later.

 4             So, Mr. Praljak --

 5             JUDGE TRECHSEL:  The document we have just been talking about has

 6     the signature of General Milivoj Petkovic added underneath in the end.

 7     Does that mean that the chief of the General Staff has agreed, and did it

 8     then go on with this signature to the Department of Defence?

 9             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] That is correct.

10             JUDGE TRECHSEL:  Thank you.

11             THE INTERPRETER:  Interpreters note, the counsel and witnesses

12     are kindly asked to not overlap and to speak a little more slowly for the

13     benefit of the interpreters.

14             MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation] Thank you.  Your Honours, this is

15     just a reminder.  In fact, these are the tasks that Mr. Stojic was

16     authorised to do under Article 34 of the Decree on the Armed Forces.

17        Q.   Mr. Praljak, let us move on to a new topic, which could generally

18     be called "Commendations."  You were asked about that in the course of

19     your examination-in-chief.  I have a reason, because there is a document

20     that Mr. Stojic signed, why I want to clarify things.  But since

21     commendations for soldiers were -- this is something that both you and

22     Mr. Stojic are charged with, and that's paragraph 17(2)(r), and in your

23     case it's paragraph 17(3)(m) in the very same indictment, it is stated in

24     the indictment that you issued commendations to soldiers, including two

25     persons who may have committed crimes.  So we'll look at document P5303.

Page 42114

 1     5303.

 2             Okay, have you found it?

 3        A.   Yes.

 4        Q.   This is a commendation or citation.  It's an exhibit.  Let us now

 5     recall what happened on those days, the 23rd of September, 1993, on or

 6     about that date.  What we can see, that here Mr. Bruno Stojic commends a

 7     soldier for extraordinary valour and combat skill displayed during combat

 8     in Rastani and in the Mostar hydroelectric power-plant.  It's actually

 9     the Convict Battalion, and it's Commander Tuta, for extraordinary

10     contribution to the battle for the strategic important elevation of Vrdi.

11     The commendation here goes to the Vitez Zdranko Boban Brigade, and for

12     the contribution to the liberation of Rastani, it is the 13th Battalion,

13     and for the professional conduct of operations, I cite the military

14     district Commander Brigadier Milenko Lasic.  That's what it says in the

15     order.

16             Mr. Praljak, did it ever happen, so to speak, and is this

17     something that was only to be expected, that the head -- His Honour

18     Judge Antonetti uses the term "minister," but he never was appointed the

19     minister, so we are insisting on this term "head."  So in extraordinary

20     circumstances, and we will see if this qualifies as such, that

21     Mr. Bruno Stojic, as the head of the Defence Department, might cite or

22     commend when it was really important and warranted for HVO members?

23        A.   I think that the head of the department had the power to do that,

24     to cite a unit.  That's how I see it.

25        Q.   Mr. Praljak, now I would like us to look at the next document

Page 42115

 1     just to remind ourselves about what was happening immediately before the

 2     23rd of September.  And the reason why I'm asking you this is because the

 3     fighting around Rastani, as you know, there was fighting on two occasions

 4     in August and September, and now, because this citation has to do with

 5     the events in September, could we please look at 2D338.

 6        A.   Well, Ms. Nozica, I know what was happening, because at Vrdi I

 7     actually fought.  I myself fought there together with the lads, so it was

 8     a fierce attack by the BH Army.  They thought it would be the conclusive

 9     assault to complete their offensive, and the fighting was very hard, we

10     had many casualties.  So I was not in my office at the time.  I was right

11     there at Vrdi with the lads, so I know what it looked like.

12        Q.   Mr. Praljak, in the previous document, Rastani is mentioned?

13        A.   Yes.  I know about Rastani, too.  Of course, I issued the order

14     to liberate Rastani.

15        Q.   In this document that I'm showing you, 2D338, you can see that,

16     it's a report signed by Mr. Ciro Grubesic, where it says at the bottom of

17     the first page:

18             "Rastani are now under the control of the MOS."

19             So that was on the 21st of September, 1993?

20        A.   Yes.

21        Q.   And later on Rastani were recaptured by the HVO; you know that?

22        A.   Yes.

23        Q.   Mr. Praljak, you spoke -- well, I'll use this opportunity, and we

24     will then -- we are off this topic, and we will go back to IPD and SIS,

25     which you were talking about.  But now I would like to ask you, since I

Page 42116

 1     showed this document at one point to Mr. Veso Vegar in this courtroom,

 2     can you tell us, Ciro Grubesic, what was he during that month in the

 3     Main Staff, because it says here "IZM," the head of the PU PD HVO, and

 4     you were the chief of the Main Staff at that time?  Can you clarify?

 5        A.   Yes.  Well, I can't do it, because I don't know when Ciro

 6     Grubesic arrived and for what reason, so I don't know.  Well, I don't

 7     recall that he was the head of the Political Administration for Political

 8     Affairs in the HVO.  He may have been, but because of fighting, I was not

 9     really familiar with it.

10        Q.   Yes, but could it have been that he was appointed and you did not

11     receive information about that?

12        A.   Yes, it's possible, but I have no idea about it at all.

13        Q.   Very well.

14             THE INTERPRETER:  Interpreters note, the witness and counsel are

15     kindly asked to slow down.

16             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] But for him to come to the

17     Main Staff, I would have had to approve it.  But, yeah, be that as it

18     may.

19             MS. NOZICA:  Let us look at the next document.  That's --

20             JUDGE PRANDLER:  I'm sorry to interrupt you, but I would like

21     only to convey the request of the interpreters again and again, that

22     please kindly slow down and have a pause between the questions and

23     answers.  I thank you also on their behalf.

24             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] General Praljak, I attach a lot

25     of importance to the words that are used in military documents because a

Page 42117

 1     word can mean a lot of things.  Here, concerning Rastani, we see that

 2     Rastani is now under the control of the MOS, M-O-S.  Now, you are better

 3     placed than anyone else.  At the time, the state was the Republic of

 4     Bosnia-Herzegovina, so the controlling army should have been the BiH.

 5     Now, we are talk about the MOS, and this is coming from your own side.

 6     Now, when the word "MOS" is used, do you mean that you do not recognise

 7     them as being the Army of the Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina, or simply

 8     as a component on the same level as the HVO?  In the final analysis, the

 9     use of the word "MOS," did it characterize a particular situation that

10     reflected the fact that according to Mr. Izetbegovic's view of things,

11     the state should be an Islamic one, supported by an army that wasn't the

12     BiH in the broad sense, with the three components, Serb, Croatian and

13     Muslim, but only comprising Muslim soldiers, which would be why the word

14     "MOS" in this particular case was used?

15             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] That's correct.  It could not have

16     been the BH Army any more, and it could no longer have this title.  It

17     was a Muslim military in that area, and it was conducting exclusively

18     offensive operations, and the exclusive objective was to capture

19     territory inhabited for the most part by Croats and to create a state

20     which had nothing to do with what we advocated two years before.  And it

21     is true, although in some documents I, myself, used the term "BH Army," I

22     did not have anything against the use of the term "Muslim armed forces,"

23     because that's what they were, Muslim armed forces, and they were

24     offensive in nature.  It was good to use this term, "the Muslim armed

25     forces," because they had nothing to do with Bosnia-Herzegovina anymore.

Page 42118

 1             JUDGE TRECHSEL:  Ms. Nozica, if I may just add a question.

 2             Can this be interpreted the other way around; that whenever one

 3     speaks of ABiH, one does not mean an instrument of Islamisation, but the

 4     Army of Bosnia-Herzegovina?

 5             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour Judge Trechsel, as you

 6     have seen, we were hoping that there would be a BH Army and the HVO as

 7     the armed forces of Bosnia-Herzegovina, but as of the spring of 1993,

 8     this was not the case anymore, from the time of the horrible attacks on

 9     Konjic and so on.  And we were hoping it would be the case, and it wasn't

10     the case, but we were still trying to find some common ground.  But at

11     this time, we're talking about the Muslim armed forces.  All hope was

12     gone.  It was crystal clear.  They were just attacking, as you can see

13     here, and their goal was to reach the western borders of

14 Bosnia-Herzegovina, following the Neretva River, and expand their territory,

15 and their political goal was to arrange a deal with the Serbs without the

16 Croats. They perhaps were prepared to offer us to remain in Western

17     Herzegovina because this was what President Izetbegovic proposed on

18     several occasions.  Everything else was to be theirs, and they -- except

19     for the parts of their territory that they couldn't reclaim from the

20     Serbs because they didn't fight with the Serbs, or very little.  All

21     those units were supposed to try to lift the siege of Sarajevo, to fight

22     in Srebrenica and Gorazde, and what they did instead was to fight the

23     HVO, and that's why they were the MOS and not the BH Army.

24             JUDGE TRECHSEL:  Mr. Praljak, you have said that as from spring

25     1993, what presented itself as ABiH, in fact, was all MOS, so the

Page 42119

 1     difference in terminology, logically, in September is of no relevance

 2     because there is only HVO and MOS?

 3             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, the part of the BH Army in

 4     Tuzla could still be termed "the BH Army," you know, but these elements

 5     and this operation from the events in Konjic in March 1993, when they

 6     cleansed Konjic without any rhyme or reason, in military terms, and from

 7     the perspective of Bosnia-Herzegovina, there was no logic to attack the

 8     HVO in Konjic.  It's a completely different policy.  It's not

 9     Bosnia-Herzegovina any more; it's an attempt to create a Muslim state.

10     Well, Tuzla was different.  It didn't opt for that, and cooperation

11     continued there, as it did in parts of Posavina, but --

12             JUDGE TRECHSEL:  I was just going to suggest to you that probably

13     this also applied to the Posavina, and you have just confirmed that

14     answer to my question before I put it.  Thank you.

15             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] General Praljak, I have a

16     follow-up question for you, but only if you read the Kordic judgement in

17     your own language.  If you didn't read the Kordic judgement in your own

18     language, I won't give you the -- I won't put that question to you.

19             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No.

20             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Ms. Nozica.

21             MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honours.

22        Q.   Mr. Praljak, you've just explained to us why you think that this

23     part of the BH Army could be termed "MOS."  We both agree that officially

24     they were termed "the BH Army"?

25        A.   Yes, officially, that was the case.

Page 42120

 1        Q.   Mr. Praljak, you probably remember this.  Remember the fact that

 2     the Herzegovina mufti, Smajkic --

 3        A.   Yes.

 4        Q.   I'm just checking the transcript.  The Herzegovina mufti, Sejid

 5     Efendija Smajkic.  If we are able to get it in the transcript, if not

 6     we'll fix it during the break.

 7             So, Mr. Praljak, do you remember that I showed him a document,

 8     and then in the course of the break we'll find the number of the

 9     document, where he appoints people to the MOS, so he uses the term "MOS"

10     for the BH Army units, so Muslim armed forces?  Do you know -- do you

11     remember that?

12        A.   Yes.  In addition to the BH Army, Ms. Nozica, there were special

13     units that were called "the Muslim armed forces," "MOS," there were such

14     units and quite a few of them.  It was a parallel army in

15     Bosnia-Herzegovina.

16        Q.   I'm just checking whether your answer is in the transcript.

17             To the best of your knowledge, did they become incorporated into

18     the BH Army or did they remain as a separate army throughout this time?

19        A.   Well, these were select units.  Religion was also looked at.

20     Only true Muslims could be part of the MOS.  They in -- they did checks

21     of those people, particularly stringent checks.  But just as the case was

22     with the Mujahedin, in the end all of this was the BH Army.

23        Q.   Very well.  Let us go back to --

24             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] General Praljak, Ms. Nozica

25     just mentioned the appointments made by the mufti in the Muslim units of

Page 42121

 1     the BH Army.  You know better than anyone that the Muslim units always

 2     had an imam who had been appointed by the mufti.  Let me draw a parallel

 3     with the HVO.

 4             You were in command of the HVO.  Could you tell us whether, in

 5     the major units, for example, in the brigades, the major HVO brigades,

 6     did you appoint a chaplain, a Catholic priest, among these units, and who

 7     appointed them if it was the case; was it yourself, or was it the

 8     cardinal, or the bishop of Mostar, Sarajevo, or Zagreb?

 9             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, we didn't have any of it in the

10     Croatian Army.  It was only later that military priests were appointed.

11     But there were not just Catholic priests; there were also Muslim clerics

12     and other religions represented too.  That was done at a later stage, but

13     in the HVO there were no priests in brigades.

14             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well.  So in the Croatian

15     Army, there were Catholic priests, maybe there were also imams if there

16     were any Muslims, but at HVO level there were no representatives of the

17     major religions ?

18             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, in the Croatian Army

19     there was no BH Army.  Towards the very end, and I know for sure after

20     the war, but during the war there was the Military Priest Department or

21     unit, including all the confessions, whose soldiers were in the Croatian

22     Army.  There was no BH Army; it was all the Croatian Army at that time.

23     But in the barracks care was taken that the food for the Muslims would be

24     prepared according to Islam and the customs of Islam, and so religious

25     life was the same just as you have the military priest sections in other

Page 42122

 1     areas.

 2             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] One last question.

 3             As a deputy minister for defence in the Republic of Croatia, and

 4     later on as a soldier in the field, and then as a commander of HVO, when

 5     you found out that there were imams in the fighting units of the ABiH,

 6     how did you politically use this information?  What did it mean, to have

 7     imams within Muslim units?  And, as a matter of fact, in the former

 8     Yugoslavia, in the JNA, were there any imams present?

 9             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No.  In the former Yugoslav

10     People's Army, there was no religious affiliation, and religion had

11     nothing to do with the state or the army.  That's the first answer.

12             Now, with regard to your second question, we indicated that there

13     was major Islamisation of the BH Army going on, and I don't know how

14     nobody reacts.  Even today, those people were first called -- well, first

15     of all, they would greet each other by saying, "Allahu Akbar," that is,

16     the Allah greeting.  All the units would do that, and it was with those

17     cries that they went into a battle, "Allahu Akbar."

18             Now, the people who were killed in the BH Army, to the present

19     day, call themselves the shehid or martyrs, and the shehid were the

20     fighters who laid down their lives for Islam.  In the official of

21     Bosnia-Herzegovina, there are shehid cemeteries, martyr cemeteries, and

22     that's how this whole thing is treated.  And even if they laid down their

23     lives and were killed for a secular Bosnia-Herzegovina, they were

24     religious fighters, religious combatants.  Everybody considers that to be

25     normal today; I don't.  The fighters of the HVO are not called "God's

Page 42123

 1     fighters," or anything like that, nor did they lay down their lives for

 2     that.

 3             Now, of course, as people who had rosaries -- people did have

 4     rosaries, but only priests, and at mass, and recognition must be given to

 5     them for that, that the fight should be just, that there should be no

 6     hatred, and the sermons were always in the spirit of the religion to

 7     which they belonged; the archbishop of Sarajevo, Puljic, bishop Komarica

 8     in Banja Luka, bishop Peric in Mostar, did this without exception,

 9     but they had no points in common, nothing to do with the army.

10             MS. NOZICA:  Thank you, Your Honour.

11        Q.   And now my colleague -- my learned friend Ms. Tomanovic provided

12     me with a number of the document that I wanted to call up and look for

13     during the break, but let's have a look at the document now.  It is

14     1D00473, and that is the document that I referred to earlier on.  I think

15     it has a "2D" number as well and that it is an exhibit, but it's an

16     interesting document anyway.

17             I am not well versed in Islam, and I don't pretend to be, but

18     this isn't a priest; this is some other function, some other post.  But I

19     don't want to interpret what this is.

20             Anyway, Mr. Smajkic has confirmed it is one of their documents,

21     where it says:

22             "Pursuant to the authorisation of the chief emir of the

23     Armed Forces for Bosnia and Herzegovina issued on" such and such a date,

24     "I hereby appoint," so and so, "as emir in Mostar ..."

25             And the date is the 28th of November, 1992.  So that means,

Page 42124

 1     Mr. Praljak, it is not the imam in the classical sense, but it is the

 2     individual who is to deal with propaganda and political work.  Do you

 3     know about that?  If so, tell us.

 4        A.   Yes.  They took over the posts and functions that we called the

 5     Information and Psychological Service.  Of course, they did not have

 6     sufficient staff for that, but the BH Army, anyway, Ms. Nozica,

 7     unfortunately for many reasons was becoming more and more an Islamic

 8     army; that is to say, an army that waged the war in the name of the

 9     religious sentiments that prevailed, and that a state should be

10     established in which Islam should be the dominant religion.

11        Q.   All right.  Now let's go back to the topic of commendations.

12             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] General Praljak, take a look at

13     the document on the screen.  I note that it is written "Republic of

14     Bosnia and Herzegovina," and then "Islamic Community."  Can we draw a

15     parallel with the Croatian Community of Bosnia-Herzegovina?

16             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No.  The Islamic Community was a

17     religious association, a religious society, and it was composed of all

18     the Muslim hierarchy, individuals dealing in religion.  The Islamic

19     Community exists to this day in Bosnia-Herzegovina, and it has the

20     number-one man, a Mr. Ceric, the Reis El-Ulema and then we go down the

21     chain.  So it's a community of religious employees, if I can put it that

22     way.

23             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well.  How can you explain

24     that the Republic of Bosnia's emblem is not there, but we see a star and

25     a crescent instead?

Page 42125

 1             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, that's simple.  It's the

 2     emblem of the religious community, and they appoint their religious

 3     personages.  It was the BH Army's aspiration towards Islamisation, and in

 4     certain areas that was complete; in other areas, such as Tuzla, it wasn't

 5     as marked as that.  But you had units that were exclusively in the

 6     service of Islam, from the Mujahedin that came in to disseminate Islam to

 7     the brigades -- that brigade from Jablanica.  And I showed a video of

 8     that and that was a unit for -- fighting for Islam, not for

 9     Bosnia-Herzegovina but purely for Islam.

10             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] One last question.

11             During the times of the former Yugoslavia, was it possible to use

12     documents like the one we have -- was it possible to use Arabic in

13     official documents, like the one we have here?  Was it tolerated, was it

14     allowed, or was it just banned, and was it only Serbo-Croatian or

15     Croatian-Serbian that was allowed?  Could you tell us at what point in

16     time Arabic started to be used in Bosnia and Herzegovina?  Here we have a

17     text with obviously some text in Arabic.

18             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I couldn't give you an exact answer

19     to that question, but I do know that the Koran was written, of course, in

20     Arabic, and in the religious schools, in the Islamic religious schools,

21     it was taught in Arabic and Arabic was spoken, and there were people

22     there -- you had people who knew the whole Koran off by heart.  Now, I

23     don't know about official documents, but Arabic was used in religious

24     facilities, as far as I know.

25             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Ms. Nozica.

Page 42126

 1             MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.

 2        Q.   Now, Mr. Praljak, for the record, let's just say that we're going

 3     back to a topic we moved away from, and that was the topic of

 4     commendations.  And for that, let's look at the next document.  P5239 is

 5     the number.

 6             Have you found it?

 7        A.   Yes, I have.

 8        Q.   Now, this is a commendation from Mr. Stojic, commending Miljenko

 9     Basic and the Mario Hrkac [phoen] Cikota Brigade, and it says for

10     exceptional courage and exemplary military morale in combat against the

11     Muslim aggressor in the Vrdi sector.  Are these the events that we've

12     been discussing?

13        A.   Yes, that's right.

14        Q.   Now let's move on to the next document.  This is one of your own

15     and deals with the same period and the same event.  It is P5365.

16             May we have your comments, without my saying anything?  You see

17     the date there, 24th of September, let's have your comments.

18        A.   Well, I sent all the soldiers the Croatian Republic of

19     Herceg-Bosna this document, and I informed them for purposes of the

20     truth, so that the truth be known.  We managed to break the Muslim

21     offensive.  There were many battles and many casualties, and I wanted to

22     tell them that all the soldiers in Posavina and in Bihac and in

23     Tomislavgrad -- I wanted to inform all those soldiers that the Muslim

24     forces failed to break through Vrdi and reach the Neretva river valley,

25     that we were able to prevent that.  So I wanted to boost their morale a

Page 42127

 1     bit.

 2             We were in a better position after this, although they continued

 3     to launch attacks, but morale was better.

 4        Q.   Yes.  There are not many commendations, so let me ask, with

 5     respect to Rastani and the events, what was the situation that the HVO

 6     was in when the BH Army took control of Rastani, strategically speaking?

 7     Where is Rastani, and what did that mean for the HVO at that point in

 8     time?  And then how important were the actions and operations to take

 9     back control of Rastani?

10        A.   Well, we've already seen that Rastani is on the right bank of

11     Neretva River at the entrance to North Mostar, and Mostar could no longer

12     be defended with the possible downfall of Vrdi.  You had Hum Hill and all

13     the rest of it.  The situation was quite difficult, because if the main

14     commander took part in the fighting, and I did take part, then that means

15     that the situation was no easy one.  You know, quite different to those

16     generals sitting in some offices and so on, I went to fight.

17        Q.   Now let's go on to the next document about commendation.  It is

18     2D -- just let me have a moment to check the number.  2D1028 is the

19     number, and we move on to something that we could say was extremely

20     important.  It was a very important situation.  2D1028 is the document

21     number, let me repeat.  It was a very important but very difficult

22     situation, the events around Jajce.  And here, Bruno Stojic, on the 27th

23     of October, 1992, is sending a telegram of support.  He says:

24             "We wish to thank you and congratulate you for your superhuman

25     efforts and courage.  We are convinced that you will contend with all the

Page 42128

 1     hell that the Chetniks have given you and that you will prevail.  In

 2     Novi Travnik and Central Bosnia, we were not able to supply you with the

 3     necessary resources.  Now we have dealt with the obstacles, so we are

 4     able to send you reinforcement in terms of manpower, technology, medical

 5     supplies, and other forms of aid and assistance, and we hope that this

 6     will arrive soon.  We congratulate you once again for your heroic stand."

 7             Now, Mr. Praljak, we've all said this many times, but let me

 8     repeat.  This was the struggle and fighting against the Army of Republika

 9     Srpska, which the HVO and BH Army launched together; right?

10        A.   More the HVO than the BH Army, that is correct.  And Mr. Stojic

11     is quite right, he was head of the Defence Department and he has the

12     right to issue a commendation and express his support.  So I see nothing

13     unusual in a document of this kind.

14        Q.   Mr. Praljak, during the examination-in-chief, you spoke about

15     this aid and assistance that had been sent from Jajce, and you said that

16     Mr. Stojic took part in these activities, and the report by

17     Mr. Ante Prkacin testifies to that.  We're not going to look at it now.

18     I'll just give the number.  It is 3D00484.  To the best of your

19     knowledge, does Mr. Stojic speak about that aid and assistance that had

20     already started out for Jajce?

21        A.   Yes, but unfortunately that was the first clear sign of the

22     BH Army's different way of thinking, or at least some of their

23     commanders, and what they actually wanted to achieve in Central Bosnia.

24        Q.   I see, thank you.  Now, in the pink binder -- I'm going to use

25     some additional documents that I put into that pink binder, because I

Page 42129

 1     liked Mr. Stringer's idea of dealing with the matters topic by topic.

 2             This is a document that you've already seen, but you can look at

 3     it on e-court, on your screens.  It is P00670, as a continuation of this

 4     story about the situation in Jajce.  This is a document signed by

 5     yourself and by Mr. Stojic, and the date is 29 October 1992.  The

 6     previous document was dated 27 October.  And this document reflects the

 7     efforts invested in sending the assistance to Jajce.  It says here:

 8             "Earlier today, I made arrangements for the assistance to reach

 9     Jajce in order to deal with the problems, and I kindly ask you to allow

10     our group unhindered movement towards Jajce."

11             Mr. Praljak, could you please tell me what happened with the aid

12     and assistance that was on its way to Jajce and that Mr. Stojic is

13     referring to in the previous document, and you and Mr. Stojic in this

14     particular document?

15        A.   You can find it in Mr. Prkacin's report.  After several days and

16     the ill treatment, they'd to go back.  Prkacin and I went through, but it

17     says very clearly here that the forces on the ground and the commanders

18     of the BH Army prevented the passage of the troops, despite all the

19     arrangements that had been made, despite all the telephone conversations

20     with Sarajevo.  No aid was let through to help Jajce.  This was

21     inconceivable, politically and militarily, in view of what they had been

22     saying and what we saw as our joint struggle.  It was very difficult to

23     accept the whole situation.  We couldn't accept that those men that were

24     on their way to fight against the Army of Republika Srpska were not let

25     through.

Page 42130

 1        Q.   Mr. Praljak, I believe that before the break we are going to be

 2     able to show just two more documents dealing with the topic.  One was

 3     signed by yourself, and the other one does not have a signature.

 4             THE INTERPRETER:  Could the counsel please repeat the number.

 5             MS. NOZICA:

 6        Q.   P5266.

 7        A.   Yes, I have the document.

 8        Q.   I repeat.  The interpreters have asked me to do so.  P5266.

 9     Could you please tell yourself whether you remember the commendation that

10     bears a stamp but no signatures, either by you or Mr. Stojic, so maybe

11     you are best suited to say something about this document?

12        A.   The things are simple, Ms. Nozica.  There's no signature, my

13     signature is not there, so as I sit here today I really don't know

14     whether Mr. Stojic and I ever signed it.  There are no signatures.  It

15     was not sent by electronic mail.  But there was no reason not to commend

16     those men.  I may have received the report.  Maybe there is a document

17     with my signature.

18             I did not find it easy to issue any commendations.  I suppose

19     that they deserve my commendation, but I don't commend people easily.

20     You know, I would commend them verbally.  I would tell them, You are

21     good.  But when it came to writing commendations, there were a lot of

22     commendations during the socialist era, so that's probably why I was

23     bothered and why I found it hard.  But there was no reason not to commend

24     them.  If somebody does something good, of course you should commend

25     them.

Page 42131

 1        Q.   Yes, Mr. Praljak, you said it on your direct examination.  I

 2     really can't remember whether you issued any commendations.  Now you've

 3     explained why.  Maybe it's not such a good treat.  Maybe you should

 4     commend people when they deserve commendation.

 5             Let's move on to the last document, which is P3937.  Let's see

 6     when commendations were issued and how often this was done.  P3937 is the

 7     number of the document that I would like to call up.  This is yet another

 8     commendation.  Let me just ask you about the event that preceded the

 9     commendation.

10             Do you remember what was the reason why that happened on the 4th

11     of August, 1993, why Mr. Stojic commended the Krajl Tomislav Brigade,

12     headed by Mr. Glasnovic, and also the Hrvoje Vukcic-Hrvatinic Brigade

13     from Jajce, as well as the Kupres Battalion?

14        A.   I know what happened, I know exactly.  There were fightings

15     around Vakuf, and honestly they deserved this, especially Glasnovic.  But

16     again I repeat, Mr. Stojic believed they had to be commended, and I

17     totally agree with that, but as for myself, I had my own reasons to do

18     things my own way.  But I am sure that people who fought up there at the

19     beginning of August had to be commended.  I was with them every day.  I

20     boosted their morale in every other way, so I did not find it necessary

21     to issue written commendations.

22             MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I believe that the

23     time has come for our first break.  I'm moving on to another topic, so

24     maybe this, indeed, is a good time for our first break.

25             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Well, we shall have a 20-minute

Page 42132

 1     break now and then return here.

 2                           --- Recess taken at 3.46 p.m.

 3                           --- On resuming at 4.11 p.m.

 4             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] The hearing is resumed.

 5             Ms. Alaburic, you wanted the floor.

 6             MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation]  Our learned friend Mr. Stringer

 7     has told us that he has no objection to Mr. Praljak looking at documents

 8     that other Defence teams have prepared for cross-examination, and it

 9     seems to me that it is indeed very useful for the witnesses to know what

10     documents will be used, to avoid wasting time on reading documents and

11     familiarising ourselves with them.  I would kindly ask your leave for us

12     to prepare our documentation and hand it over during the next break.

13     This would allow General Praljak to read as many documents as possible

14     during the evening and tomorrow morning.  Thank you.

15             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I shall consult with my

16     colleagues on this question.

17                           [Trial Chamber confers]

18             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well.  The Chamber has

19     deliberated, and if Mr. Kovacevic doesn't consider this to be a

20     disadvantage, well, the Chamber is willing to go along with this idea of

21     Ms. Alaburic handing over the documents to Mr. Praljak, the documents

22     that she's going to use during her cross-examination.  This will allow

23     Mr. Praljak this evening and tomorrow and during the night to take a look

24     at those documents.  There we are.

25             Ms. Nozica.

Page 42133

 1             MS. NOZICA:  Thank you, Your Honours.

 2             And now we move to a different topic, and the first document is

 3     under seal.  I would kindly ask the Court to move into private session.

 4                           [Private session]

 5   (redacted)

 6   (redacted)

 7   (redacted)

 8   (redacted)

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10   (redacted)

11   (redacted)

12   (redacted)

13   (redacted)

14   (redacted)

15   (redacted)

16   (redacted)

17   (redacted)

18   (redacted)

19   (redacted)

20   (redacted)

21   (redacted)

22   (redacted)

23   (redacted)

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Page 42134











11 Pages 42134-42137 redacted. Private session.















Page 42138

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 6   (redacted)

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 8   (redacted)

 9   (redacted)

10   (redacted)

11   (redacted)

12   (redacted)

13   (redacted)

14   (redacted)

15   (redacted)

16   (redacted)

17                           [Open session]

18             THE REGISTRAR:  Your Honours, we're back in open session.

19             MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honours.

20        Q.   Mr. Praljak, let's just briefly deal with the following document,

21     and the number is P3026.  It's the next document in your binder.

22             Let me just remind you that this is a led by Mr. Siljeg in which

23     he evokes an order on mobilisation.  The date is 30th June, and my

24     learned friend Karnavas asked you about the document.  This is just by

25     way of introducing the following document that was also shown to you by

Page 42139

 1     my learned friend, Mr. Karnavas, and the number is P3038, 3038.

 2             Very well.  You've already provided a lot of comment about this

 3     particular document, but I would like to voice just one remark about the

 4     document.  At the end of the document, you can see who this was sent to.

 5     Is there any dispute about the fact that this document was never sent to

 6     either Mr. Siljeg or other operation zone?  Is there any dispute about

 7     that?

 8        A.   No, none whatsoever.

 9        Q.   And now, Mr. Praljak, I'm moving on to a new topic which I would

10     like to call "assistance to the BiH Army."  And the first document that I

11     would like to show you is a long transcript.  But since I'm going to show

12     you just one sentence that you've already seen, I'm sure that it will be

13     easier for you, in order to leaf through the transcript, to look at the

14     e-court.  This is document number P336.

15             Your Honours, this is a transcript which is not in the binder.

16     It's a lengthy, thick transcript, but since Judge Antonetti put a

17     question to Mr. Praljak about this transcript, I'm going to show

18     page number 50, by way of introducing my following documents.

19             We can now see page 1.  This shows us that the transcript is from

20     a meeting attended by Mr. Izetbegovic and Mr. Tudjman on the 21st of

21     July, 1992.  We have to remember this, because it's important.

22             And now let's look at page 50, 5-0, in translation, and in the

23     Croatian version it would be our ERN number -- I believe that we have it

24     on the screen.  Yes.  In the Croatian version, I'm referring to the part

25     on which Judge Antonetti questioned you.  This is what Mr. Izetbegovic is

Page 42140

 1     saying, and he says:

 2             "Let us say that in Central Bosnia, the HVO is now trying to take

 3     over power in the parts where Croats constitute 20 to 30 per cent of the

 4     population."

 5             And then the following passage:

 6             "Let us say that it can do that because it's armed or has

 7     received assistance from Croatia.  All we have are rifles, and they

 8     actually have machine-guns, mortars, et cetera, so let us say that this

 9     can be done."

10             Mr. Praljak, could you please now look at 2D577, which will show

11     us what kind of weapons were held by different armies at the time and how

12     true this claim by Mr. Izetbegovic is.

13             Did you find the document?

14        A.   Yes, yes.

15        Q.   I don't know whether you're familiar with the document.  This is

16     already an exhibit, but let me provide you with a short introduction.

17     This is a document issued by the staff of the Supreme Command, or rather

18     it was sent to the staff of the Supreme Command in Visoko on the 23rd of

19     November.  In the command of the Central Bosnia, there was an agreement

20     on the distribution of the MTS, and those were manufactured in the BTN

21     factory in Novi Travnik.  People who are at the meeting are mentioned

22     here, and on the first page of this document you can see the explanation

23     of the distribution between the HVO and the BiH Army, but also there is a

24     reference to the period between 27 November 1992, 30th of December, and

25     so on, and we can see that during that period of time, the distribution

Page 42141

 1     was equitable.  This is what I wanted to show you.  Actually, what I want

 2     to show you is page 3 of the document, which is a table.

 3             Let us see what weapons did the BiH Army have in the month of

 4     July, and this is in connection with Mr. Izetbegovic's statement and the

 5     area of Central Bosnia.  This is a document which is page 3, and the ERN

 6     number is 0058-7756 in the Croatian version.  We have it, yes.

 7             Mr. Praljak, the letters are small, so you will allow me to read

 8     to you.  The date is 24 June 1992, and it says further up "Proposal for

 9     the delivered material and equipment for NVO."  Do you agree that "NVO"

10     stands for "weapons and military equipment"?

11        A.   Yes.

12        Q.   And here you have Sarajevo, Travnik, Novi Travnik, Vitez,

13     Busovaca, Visoko, with the relevant weapons.  To begin with, Mr. Praljak,

14     can you tell me, at this point in time, so in June, and later on in July,

15     as Mr. Izetbegovic said, but this is the end of June, where is the

16     BH Army in those municipal staffs?  Where is the BH Army set up, and

17     where is the HVO set up, to the best of your recollection and knowledge?

18        A.   Well, at that time, well, the units were barely set up because

19     those were the beginnings, but in this breakdown or distribution of a

20     relatively large number of items, well, I actually supported it while I

21     was there, and it was actually done, for the large part, because of my

22     mediation between the parties.  And the distribution was 50:50, in a

23     brotherly fashion.  Well, not in a brotherly fashion, but 50:50, because

24     brothers don't share and share alike always.  So you can see there is a

25     23-millimetre cannon, 23 pieces.  That's not few such pieces.  Please

Page 42142

 1     look at the number of mortars.  I don't want to go through all that.  So

 2     these are sizeable quantities of weapons.

 3             Believe me, the BH Army, which was not the BH Army at the time at

 4     all, did not have less weapons than the HVO.  It had 152-millimetre

 5     cannon and so on, and not negligible quantities, either.

 6        Q.   Mr. Praljak, here we can see "Sarajevo, Travnik, Novi Travnik,

 7     Vitez, Busovaca."  Let us look at that.  I just wanted to say -- well,

 8     Mr. Izetbegovic is speaking about the BH Army in July 1992, so that's

 9     what he terms it, and there's no reason for us not to use the same term

10     for the end of June.  So the BH Army was in Sarajevo?

11        A.   Yes.

12        Q.   In Travnik?

13        A.   Yes.

14        Q.   In Novi Travnik?

15        A.   Yes, everywhere.  You don't have to go through all the places

16     listed here.  It was there.

17        Q.   And Mr. Izetbegovic said that in Central Bosnia they only had

18     rifles, and the weapon that is listed here under number 1, would that be

19     a light machine-gun?

20        A.   Yes.

21        Q.   A light mortar?

22        A.   Yes.

23        Q.   And then it's a 60-millimetre mortar?

24        A.   Yes.

25        Q.   Under number 3, we have a light machine-gun?

Page 42143

 1        A.   Well, not light machine-gun.  It's listed under number 4, a 12,7

 2     calibre.  I don't see what's there.

 3        Q.   It's MB-60?

 4        A.   That would be a 60-millimetre mortars.

 5             THE INTERPRETER:  Interpreter's remark:  The witness and counsel

 6     are kindly asked not to overlap.

 7             MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation]

 8        Q.   And could you just tell me what is it that's listed here under

 9     11?

10        A.   It's a 122-millimetre howitzer.  There are four, six, ten,

11     eighteen -- nineteen pieces.

12        Q.   Mr. Praljak, can we then say -- can we then conclude that at this

13     meeting, the 21st of July, 1992, that Mr. Izetbegovic was not telling the

14     truth when he was talking about the quantity of weapons that the BH Army

15     had in Bosnia and Herzegovina and that we can see that on the basis of

16     this document?

17        A.   No, he was not telling the truth.  The BH Army in Central Bosnia

18     was certainly as well armed as the HVO; perhaps even better.

19        Q.   Now I would like you to look at the next document.  We are still

20     on this situation regarding the weapons from the Novi Travnik factory,

21     because you told us that you are familiar with it.  So could you please

22     look at 2D3038.  It's an order.

23             Have you found it?

24        A.   Yes.

25 Q. This is an order form and the entity placing the order is Republic of

Page 42144

 1 Bosnia and Herzegovina, the Main Staff of the Supreme Command, the Visoko

 2 Logistics Centre.  The date is the 29th of September, 1992.  Mr. Mirsad

 3 Cupina is to take delivery of the goods, and what are the weapons that are

 4 listed here?  A.   Artillery.  For instance, 60-millimetre mortars are not,

 5 strictly speaking, artillery, but they are asking for two howitzers, D-122,

 6 two pieces, and they also ordered four 120-millimetre mortars, one

 7     82-millimetre recoilless gun, and two LRLs, 128-millimetre.  So these are

 8     a sizeable quantity of artillery weapons.

 9        Q.   And here, when it says:  "Cupina, Mirsad, personally, the Mostar

10     Main Staff," is that correct?

11        A.   Yes, it was supposed to be delivered to the BH Army in Mostar.

12        Q.   Let us look at the next document on the same topic.  That's

13     2D3039.

14             Well, we'll see it.  This is a record of issued items.  Again,

15     it's the BH Army.  The date is the 29th of September, 1992.  The weapons

16     are delivered to the armed forces in Mostar, the 1st Mostar Brigade.

17     Well, it's quite clear here?

18        A.   Yes.

19        Q.   And here we have a list of weapons.  Could you please tell me,

20     what kind of weapons are we talking about here?

21        A.   Well, these are 84-millimetre, 60-millimetre mortars.  Then there

22     are shells for a 122-millimetre cannon, some rounds, so from the Central

23     Logistics Base of the BH Army in Visoko.  It was issued there.

24        Q.   Very well.  And we have just one delivery note.  That's document

25     2D3040.  It pertains to the same factory.  The date is the 30th of

Page 42145

 1     September, 1992.  It's about the delivery of two different kinds of

 2     mortars, and as indicated above, it was -- the delivery was taken

 3     personally by Mirsad Cupina.  "OS Mostar," that would be Armed Forces

 4     Mostar; is that correct?

 5        A.   Yes.

 6        Q.   Mr. Praljak, here in court we have had a lot of debate in the

 7     course of the Stojic Defence case, and also when you showed some

 8     documents that pertained to the assistance to the BH Army, and those

 9     questions mostly focused, with the Prosecutor's objections, whether some

10     weapons that were meant for Tuzla could have ended in some other place.

11     And your answer was that there were no guarantees, there could have been

12     no guarantees.  But since this is of particular importance for the

13     Defence, now I would like you to look at document 2D3036.

14             Mr. Praljak, I think that you are familiar with this document.

15     It is part of a document that you drafted.  I don't want to confuse the

16     Judges by telling them what document that is, but we need only this page.

17     And please look at the date.  Is the 22nd of March, 1993, and I'm

18     deliberately now showing you this document from 1993.  I will not be

19     going back to 1992, just so that we can see how this process of arming

20     went on.  It says here: "The Supreme Staff of the Armed Forces of

21     Bosnia-Herzegovina in Sarajevo, the Chief of Staff, Mr. Sefer Halilovic."

22     This is from the commander, Rasim Delic, and he says:

23             "I hereby submit a proposal for the unloading of the TMS which is

24     supposed to head out from Zagreb, a total quantity of MTS reduced by

25     25 per cent, which was supposed to be taken by Croatia or in Grude."

Page 42146

 1             And then he goes on to say:

 2             "The assets for Tuzla would be partially brought back to Visoko

 3     upon their arrival in Tuzla in order to be distributed to the 3rd Corps

 4     and other units."

 5             And now it is indicated how the distribution would be actually

 6     done.  Mr. Praljak, I'm not going to ask you whether you knew at the time

 7     about that, but I am asking you whether this document unequivocally shows

 8     that the assets that were supposed to reach Tuzla in March, due to this

 9     redistribution within the BH Army, actually were then headed to the

10     3rd Corps.

11        A.   Well, counsellor, let me say this clearly and so on.  I've

12     already said it a couple of times.

13             First of all, the BH Army got 90 per cent of the overall weapons

14     it had at least from Croatia and from the HVO throughout the war.

15             Secondly, as soon as a convoy approved by anyone would cross the

16     line and enter the territory controlled by the BH Army, the convoy went

17     where the BH Army commanders wanted it to go.

18             The Prosecutor's argument is that we distributed the weapons at

19     will, saying, We'll give those that.  But, of course, yes, sometimes we

20     would write, This is for Gorazde, in Zagreb, when we heard all the

21     moaning about where it was needed.  But once it crossed the line, it was

22     under the control of the BH Army, and they distributed the consignments

23     as they saw fit.  Now, perhaps some commanders might have complained, but

24     it was their internal affair.

25        Q.   Mr. Praljak, you have said this before.  I just wanted to confirm

Page 42147

 1     that through some documents, because through the questions of the Judges

 2     I believe that it was not clarified fully.

 3             We have our next document, that's 3D1870, which shows this even

 4     more clearly.  3D1870.  So this is a document from the 1st of April,

 5     1993, and it originated from the Main Staff of the Armed Forces of Bosnia

 6     and Herzegovina.  It says "Visoko Department."  It was addressed to

 7     Mr. Sefer Halilovic, this request, and it says:

 8             "Attached to this document is a proposal for possible

 9     distribution of the MTS, materiel and equipment, that is to reach Pasalic

10     or Tuzla."

11             Mr. Praljak, well, here we see how the proposed distribution --

12     what is to go to the 1st Corps, the 4th Corps, 2nd Corps and 3rd Corps.

13             I'm sorry, don't be mad with me, please.  I'm just -- I just want

14     you to tell me, once and for all.  Could you please tell me whether this

15     document clearly shows that the BH Army redistributed the assets that

16     were sent in and that were supposed to reach Tuzla?

17        A.   Well, Ms. Nozica and Your Honours, what would the 4th Corps in

18     Mostar use to shoot at us?  They did not have any defence industry.  Even

19     if we didn't have those documents, a logical question would be:  What did

20     they use to shoot at the HVO there?

21             Weapons, and look at the quantities, RPG-7, that's seven and a

22     half thousand, a total of seven and a half thousand.  Well, they killed

23     500 of my soldiers with those RPGs, at least.

24        Q.   Mr. Praljak, now regarding the previous document, let us look at

25     how the assets headed out from Croatia so that we can establish a link

Page 42148

 1     and prove that the weapons came from Croatia.

 2             Let us look at 3D9 [as interpreted].  That's our next document.

 3     It's already exhibited.  Let us just establish a link with the previous

 4     document.  The 26th of March, 1993.  The Zagreb Ministry of Defence

 5     issues an order for the issuing of the assets -- materiel and equipment

 6     for the purposes of the BH Army, through the Grude Logistics Base.  And

 7     these are all the weapons that are listed in the previous document,

 8     3D1870, where we can see that a proposal is made how to distribute it

 9     among the various corps?

10        A.   Well, yes, you can see the quantities: the RPGs, seven

11     pieces of -- seven and a half thousand, and also the rounds that are used

12     by RPGs, 7 and 600.000.

13             JUDGE TRECHSEL:  Thank you.

14             Page 56, line -- where the number -- it's 17, 3D9, that's the way

15     I heard the translation, but it is, of course, 3D00309.

16             MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation] Your Honour, the document is 3D0009,

17     just "9."  I abridged it by dropping the 0s.

18             JUDGE TRECHSEL:  But it has a different number written on its

19     front page in our documents.  There, it is "309."  Oh, it says "3D,"

20     probably.  Probably what looks like a 0 is a D, in fact.  Thank you.

21             MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation] Yes.  This document is in e-court

22     under that number.  I can see it.  Now you have me confused.  And in

23     e-court, it's precisely under this number that I used, but we can go on.

24        Q.   So, Mr. Praljak, because of everything that has been said in the

25     courtroom, I'm not going to talk about 1992, although it is quite

Page 42149

 1     relevant because the largest quantities were delivered from Croatia to

 2     the BH Army in 1992.  But let us look at our next document which confirms

 3     this, and that's 2D3008.

 4             This is a report from the SIS.  I don't know whether you had

 5     enough time to go through all the documents that you received.

 6        A.   Yes.

 7        Q.   This is the assistant commander for security in the Stjepan

 8     Tomasevic Brigade.  It's submitted to the assistant commander for

 9     security in the operational zone, Mr. Tomasevic.  And now I'm interested

10     in the first part.  It says:

11             "On the 31st of December, 1992, at 1600 hours, near the

12     Novi Travnik firehouse, two trucks were noted, one of which was carrying

13     a 122-millimetre howitzer, and the other one was carrying two mortars.

14     We dispatched the military police patrol to check.  The leader of the

15     transport said that the equipment belonged to the 4th Corps and it was

16     being transported from Visoko to Mostar.  All the necessary documentation

17     was in place."

18             Signed by Mr. Petkovic and by Mr. Coric, and that these are the

19     assets that were taken from the Bratstvo company in Visoko.  And

20     according to the documentation, it was likely transported to Mostar.

21             Mr. Praljak, would it follow from this document not only that we

22     have the paper trail, but we can see that this actually happened, that

23     the assets were moved in this manner to Mostar, as we can see from the

24     document 2D00577?

25        A.   It is true that the 4th Corps and the 6th Corps had artillery,

Page 42150

 1     real artillery, and the assistant for artillery and shells and all that.

 2        Q.   Very well.  Let us look at the next document.  That's 2D197.

 3     Again, it's 1993.

 4             Have you been able to find it?

 5        A.   Yes.

 6        Q.   It's not in e-court, but we'll have it here.  Again, this

 7     confirms our argument.  This is the authorisation for the transportation

 8     of weapons for the needs of the BH Army to the Visoko Logistics Centre

 9     from Zagreb to Metkovic and then further on to the Republic of Bosnia and

10     Herzegovina.

11             Mr. Praljak, I have to ask you this in this manner:  Are these

12     the weapons that were headed for Mostar to Posavina, or rather Tuzla,

13     Posavina, or did they go to Visoko and then they were distributed as the

14     BH Army decided?

15        A.   Yes.  These are, for the most part, warm coats because it was

16     winter-time, so it's military equipment and materiel for Bosnia and

17     Herzegovina.  Everything from uniforms to bullets went to

18     Bosnia-Herzegovina from Croatia under the signature of some of the people

19     present here in the dock.

20        Q.   Let's now look at the next document, which is 2D3041.  The date

21     here is the 26th of March, 1993, the consignment order.  It's a delivery

22     of 7.62-millimetre bullets, and the goods will be taken over by Seta

23     Sujab.  Mr. Praljak, was this also for the BH Army?

24        A.   Yes.

25        Q.   The next document is 2D3042.  That's the 30th of March, 1993,

Page 42151

 1     once again?

 2        A.   Yes.

 3        Q.   And they are -- and it is MTS, and Seta Sujab is mentioned again,

 4     that name is mentioned again.  And was this intended for the BH Army?

 5        A.   Yes.  Mostly weapons for destroying bunkers, the Maljutka-type

 6     rockets and RPG-7 launchers.

 7        Q.   Now look at the next document, which is 2D3043.  The document is

 8     the 30th of March, 1993; that's the date.  We have hand-held launchers,

 9     bullets for automatic rifles.  3D3043 [as interpreted] is the correct

10     number, 3043.  Have you found that, Mr. Praljak?

11        A.   Yes.

12        Q.   Was this MTS intended for the BH Army?

13        A.   Yes, 3.000 rifles, automatic ones.

14        Q.   Just one more document and then I'll ask you some questions.

15     2D960 is the document number.  My colleagues -- well, I seem to be a bit

16     tired.  The previous number was 2D3043.  The last document is 2D960.  The

17     date is, once again, the 8th of March, 1993, and we're dealing with 630

18     bullets to be taken over by Sujab, Seta?

19        A.   These aren't bullets.  I can't see this very well, but it's

20     artillery pieces, artillery shells.  They're not really bullets, because

21     the number's too few there.  Can anybody see what it says?

22        Q.   Mr. Praljak, as far as I can see, it says "Bullet MTT364K-43."

23     We'll zoom in there.  There you go.

24        A.   Well, Petkovic -- it's not up to Petkovic to answer, but he

25     could --

Page 42152

 1        Q.   Well, we've zoomed in and it says --

 2        A.   Well, bullets refer to everything, but they're not bullets for

 3     rifles, they're something else.  But never mind.

 4        Q.   Now, Mr. Praljak, we've seen a number of consignment orders or

 5     delivery orders for weapons that were sent out from the Ministry of

 6     Defence of the Republic of Croatia for the purposes of the BH Army.  Now

 7     we're dealing with the beginning of 1993.  Did you have any direct

 8     knowledge and information, in view of the posts you occupied, that these

 9     weapons were going to the BH Army, and whether you had any information

10     whereby the BH Army did, in fact, receive those weapons?

11        A.   Ms. Nozica, I took direct part in that.  Not only did I have

12     knowledge of it, but I was one of the people -- one of the few people who

13     decided upon that.  It was a state decision that had been taken in

14     Zagreb, and this went on the whole time.  How many more times do you need

15     me to repeat that?

16             Throughout the war, later on this was more difficult because we

17     had to hide this from our own people later on, hide the fact that we were

18     letting weapons go through to the BH Army.  The situation was completely

19     historically incomprehensible and very troubling.  A commander letting

20     ammunition and weapons go through to an army which was at the same time

21     attacking him and his men is something that is incomprehensible, but that

22     is the situation we found ourselves in, and despite that we seemed to be

23     guilty and blamed for everything.  That's incomprehensible.  Nobody can

24     understand that, and nobody else did that in the history of warfare

25     except for the Croats, nobody else anywhere.

Page 42153

 1             JUDGE TRECHSEL:  If I may ask a question.

 2             Mr. Praljak, do you think, retrospectively, that this was a good

 3     idea, to let all that through?

 4             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Ah, well, it was.  In spite of

 5     everything, Your Honour.  Had we not let it all through, Tuzla would have

 6     fallen, Gorazde would have fallen, Sarajevo would have fallen, Bihac

 7     would have fallen, and what --

 8             JUDGE TRECHSEL:  Fallen to whom, Mr. Praljak?  To who would it

 9     have fallen?

10             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Into the hands of the Army of

11     Republika Srpska, into Mladic's hands, and then you would have had two

12     million more refugees leaving.  The Muslims would have lost everything,

13     the Croats would have lost, too, they would have lost out, and it would

14     have been a complete catastrophe.  This way, it was a lesser catastrophe.

15     Let me put it that way.

16             JUDGE TRECHSEL:  Thank you.

17             MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation]

18        Q.   Mr. Praljak, I've received a suggestion to the effect that this

19     document, 2D960, was ammunition for a cannon of 150 millimetres, the

20     M-43.

21        A.   Yes, that's right, and that was a large number of rounds for that

22     cannon.  So they're not bullets, because it's for the 150 -millimetre

23     cannon.  But General Petkovic knows that much better than me because he's

24     an artilleryman.

25             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] General Praljak, we have seen a

Page 42154

 1     series of documents, and we've already seen many of them, but they do

 2     show formally that the Republic of Croatia sent weapons to the Republic

 3     of Bosnia and Herzegovina via the HVO.  Documents speak for themselves,

 4     but the question is different.

 5             Those weapons that were sent to the ABiH, were these weapons that

 6     were in the inventory of the Republic of Croatia or were these weapons

 7     that the Republic of Croatia bought outside its territory, but from other

 8     countries like the US, Germany, or whatnot, and that who were then sent

 9     to the BH Army?

10             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Until the spring of 1993, we would

11     supply them with this.  We would purchase it and gave it to them as an

12     incentive for our joint struggle.  Now, after that there was some flights

13     coming in from other countries, and then we would let that through.

14             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well.  Up until the spring

15     of 1993, you say that these were weapons that you were buying abroad.

16     Very well.  The Republic of Croatia was operating with a budget, a yearly

17     budget, like any other country.  There are funds that are earmarked

18     towards the Ministry of Defence, and each ministry gets a specific

19     allocation; yes or no?

20             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Partially, yes.  But in the war,

21     the Ministry of Defence has -- well, you can't calculate the budget.

22     Yes, you can, you can say so many soldiers and so on and so forth, but as

23     to the needs and requirements, they are determined by the Ministry of

24     Defence budget and resources and funds.

25             Now, Franjo Tudjman was complaining that we should reduce the

Page 42155

 1     army, that there should be mobilisation and so on, but we had to purchase

 2     weapons for Bosnia-Herzegovina and we had to run into debt, to be quite

 3     honest.  We went to the commercial bank, a large bank, and we brought it

 4     to the brink of bankruptcy, to actual bankruptcy.

 5             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well.  You're saying that

 6     you were just going into debt and borrowing from banks.  Now, did the

 7     Croatian MPs know about this?  Did they know that the Republic of Croatia

 8     was supplying the ABiH with weapons or was it done behind their back?

 9     Was it Mr. Tudjman and a small core of people, including you, who knew

10     about this or was this done in the open, with the MPs knowing about it?

11             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The whole government certainly

12     knew, the national unity government from 1992 to 1993, and later on the

13     government presided over by Nikica Valentic.  They knew fully what was

14     going on.  I can say with a great degree of certainty that 90 per cent of

15     the MPs also knew.  Probably not everybody knew what quantities were

16     involved.  Perhaps they didn't know about the quantities, except for the

17     government, because the government knew about the quantities and

18     everything else.

19             JUDGE PRANDLER:  I would like to have a follow-up question, and

20     of course the issue of the arms transfer has been already many times

21     treated here and discussed.  And I would like to, as also my fellow

22     Judges have done before me, to ask you about the following:

23             When you answered first to the question raised by Judge Trechsel,

24     you, among other arguments, you mentioned that if there wasn't this kind

25     of arms transfer and cooperation with the BiH Army, then it was probably

Page 42156

 1     that region, I believe it was the Posavina, would have fallen into the

 2     Republika Srpska hands, and which would have resulted in two million more

 3     refugees.  It is what you said, if I recollect properly.  Now, my

 4     question is, therefore, as we already spoke about it before, that:  That

 5     wasn't it characterised -- I mean, the arms transfer, couldn't it be

 6     characterised by, on your part, as choosing the lesser evil in that

 7     particular time and situation, and therefore you actually had done it

 8     with a view also to have your own interests met and defended, and it was,

 9     in other terms, if I may use this one, a kind of marriage of convenience

10     that between the two parties you acted because of your interest, although

11     you knew that it was also, to a certain degree, against your interests on

12     another level?  So it is my question.

13             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, Your Honour Judge Prandler, our

14     interests could have been quite simple; that I sit down with

15     Mr. Karadzic, or that Petkovic sit down with Karadzic, and then we say,

16     Listen here, Karadzic, 70 per cent of Bosnia-Herzegovina goes to you,

17     we'll take 30 per cent.  I'll turn the tap off, as far as the Muslims are

18     concerned, and then a month later they will have to surrender because

19     they won't have a single bullet.  So that could have been the interest.

20     And had that been our interest, then it would have been resolved in five

21     minutes.  He would have been satisfied with 70 per cent, and, to be quite

22     frank, we could be quite pleased with 30 per cent.

23             However, when you have dozens of people coming to Zagreb,

24     hundreds of people coming to Zagreb, honest people, decent people, who

25     were attacked from Gorazde, from Sarajevo, from Tuzla, from Bihac, Usora,

Page 42157

 1     who want to defend themselves, then you forget about politics for a time

 2     or reduce its significance, and you forget that in time those politics

 3     will turn against you.  Well, it was a desire -- you can say "interest,"

 4     but it was a desire.  Well, if you look at anything in life and that what

 5     one does in life, it serves some interest.  If you give somebody in the

 6     street a Euro, it makes you feel good, giving a beggar a Euro.  But I

 7     can't characterise it that way.  We did so for humanitarian reasons,

 8     humane reasons, state reasons.  We wanted to have Bosnia-Herzegovina

 9     survive.  We don't -- didn't want to have two million people on the move.

10     We could have sent them to HungaryHungary was a mutual country.  We

11     were at war.  We could have allowed them to go through a corridor and

12     say, Here you are.  So I don't think one can simplify matters in that

13     way.

14             When I and Mr. Stojic gave, say, half a million or a million

15     marks worth of weapons to Sarajevo, I didn't even ask anyone.  I didn't

16     ask any of ambassadors or whoever whether they would approve that or not.

17     There were people dieing over there, somebody was attacking them, and

18     they're asking you to provide them with a truckload of weapons, and you

19     do that, you give them a truckload of weapons without thinking about

20     interests of any kind.

21             JUDGE PRANDLER:  Thank you.

22             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] General Praljak, you that with

23     all the questions -- you can see that the Judges are asking a lot of

24     questions on this because we're at the very heart of this notion and

25     concept of joint criminal enterprise, which is why the Judges are putting

Page 42158

 1     so many questions to try to see some light into this.

 2             If you allow me, I will envisage a situation under different

 3     angles; firstly, the presence of the Serbs jeopardising the very

 4     integrity of the Republic of Croatia.  The Serbs are in Bosnia and

 5     Herzegovina, but they can very well attack and march on Zagreb, since

 6     they're already in Krajina.  Now, seen from this angle, the Republic of

 7     Croatia has an interest in providing weapons to all those fighting the

 8     Serbs, with the idea of defending the territory -- the final idea of

 9     defending the territory of the Republic of Croatia, without taking into

10     account the interest of the Croats living in Herzegovina.

11             Do you believe that a reasonable politician or reasonable

12     high-ranking military men might have been integrated in the political

13     decision made by Mr. Tudjman, with the tacit agreement of his government,

14     to send weapons to Bosnia and Herzegovina?  Was this the main reason for

15     supplying weapons, in order to make sure -- to preempt any attack from

16     the Serbs?

17             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] First of all, Your Honours, I'm

18     grateful for any question you put to me, any.  Let's be clear on that.

19             When Milosevic realised that a Greater Serbia within the borders

20     that he wanted was out of the question, and when Croatia was already a

21     member of the United Nations, and when its borders were clearly defined,

22     the only question remained was when we would be allowed to carry out an

23     operation to liberate Croatia.  Once the borders of Croatia were

24     recognised and once Croatia became a member of the United Nations, the

25     Serbs, in the occupied territories of the Republic of Croatia, knew it in

Page 42159

 1     their minds that they had lost their war, that the war, as far as they

 2     were concerned, was over.  The president of the state and the government

 3     allowed for the UNPROFOR to arrive in Croatia and for Slovenia to be

 4     reintegrated peacefully, just to show that we were against the war and

 5     that we could wait for years.  Your Honours, we were prepared to liberate

 6     those areas even before, in military terms.

 7             Let's now start from this assumption:  If we had an arrangement

 8     with Mladic to take 70 per cent of Bosnia-Herzegovina and to conquer

 9     Sarajevo and Srebrenica, not would they have attacked us, but they would

10     have had a very easy time filling those areas with their own men, like

11     they did with the area of Kosovo.  And if we had been thinking along

12     those lines, we would have resolved the situation sooner.

13             You could see from the dozens of conversations that there was a

14     desire to reach an agreement with Izetbegovic to organise Bosnia and

15     Herzegovina and to allow Muslims to defend themselves.  The cold

16     political logic -- when I say "cold," I don't know what else to call it,

17     maybe mathematically called "logic," would have certainly opted for

18     another route.  This was a principled consistent -- and principled

19     policy, and that's why despite the RPGs and the shells for the

20     120-millimetre cannon were killing my own men, the men that I commanded

21     in an area, and despite that the arms went on being shipped to Bihac,

22     Tuzla, Gorazde, Sarajevo, well, we were hoping all that time that the

23     leadership would finally understand that Croats in Bosnia-Herzegovina

24     wanted only one thing, and that was an autonomy in the area that could

25     have been 17 or 18 per cent of the territory of Bosnia-Herzegovina, an

Page 42160

 1     area in which they were an absolute or relative majority, equal to

 2     anybody else, and that was all; nothing else, only that, and there were

 3     also some human connections.

 4             It is useless to try and explain everything in mathematical

 5     terms.  For example, you have people who come to ask you for medicines,

 6     people who want to fight, and you cannot sit and watch them being killed.

 7     And despite of any politics that were in place, you give them weapons,

 8     even if you know that it may be turned against you, yourself, one day.

 9             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] The second aspect of my

10     question -- I now see a different aspect.  I saw the first.  So the

11     second aspect is this:  Mr. Tudjman and all the members of the criminal

12     enterprise, of which you are a part, that is, according to the

13     Prosecution, know that to be successful with annexing the territory,

14     there were only two ways of going about it; either invading the part of

15     Bosnia-Herzegovina that was formerly Banovina from -- in 1929 to 1939,

16     and then the international community is obviously going to be against it

17     and, in fact, remember what the deputy secretary for defence said, Ralph

18     Johnson, saying to Tudjman, that there had to be a final recognition

19     given to the borders of Bosnia-Herzegovina, or else hope on the part of

20     the HVO that they would gain victories against the Muslims through

21     military offensives - the 9th of May, the month of June, et cetera - and

22     then the Republic of Herceg-Bosna, in the framework of a confederation

23     with the Republic of Croatia, would achieve the dream of restoring

24     Banovina.

25             Now, in this second -- from this second angle, aspect, sending

Page 42161

 1     weapons, was there not a risk - and in fact Judge Trechsel asked you a

 2     question about this - was there not a risk that you would be reinforcing

 3     the fire-power of the Muslims and thereby preventing victories being

 4     gained by the HVO because, as you said yourself, the forces -- well, the

 5     ratio was 1:10, in terms of personnel, manpower, and we saw the documents

 6     proving that, and you give them arms, in spite of there being 10 times

 7     more of them, and it seems to be totally unreasonable?  So what do you

 8     think?

 9             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, I think what you're saying is

10     correct, and I suggest that the Trial Chamber brings in a psychologist

11     who would test my IQ.  But how can you want to conquer something?  Well,

12     let's put it this way:  In 1992, after the conquests in East and West

13     Mostar, all it took was to disarm or not allow any kind of establishment

14     of the BiH Army.  All it took was for somebody to say, Here you have the

15     HVO, well, they're much stronger then.  And it was at that particular

16     time, you saw it, weapons -- well, Luburic, you saw him.  I had Luburic

17     distributing the insignia among them, and I had created the insignia

18     myself in Zagreb.  He was my commander in Capljina.  The population

19     returned to Stolac, and we trained and armed their brigade in Stolac; and

20     all that in order to carve a piece of their territory.

21             Your Honours, do you really think that we are that kind of

22     idiots?  Not even a cat would think along these lines.  I really can't

23     comprehend this.

24             Let's put it in a nutshell.  There was no -- nothing of that

25     sort.  Towards the -- 1992, there were those soldiers, and for five

Page 42162

 1     months later, I was -- let me not mention his name, the gentleman's name,

 2     although his name is public.  Of course, in the Parliament, we were

 3     sending a delegation to say, Please calm the situation down.  We were

 4     running all over Central Bosnia.  We were making suggestions of a joint

 5     command.  We pushed it to the limits.  I took -- I grovelled up to those

 6     men to ask them to do something normal finally.  Only when they lost in

 7     an attack against us, when they did not realise their goals, it was only

 8     then when the normal way of thinking about the Army of Bosnia-Herzegovina

 9     started.  If they had succeeded, then take my word for it, what you are

10     saying -- what the international community and the Americans said, all of

11     them adjusted day in day out to the prevailing military situation on the

12     ground.

13             The fact that what the Z-4 group was offering to the Serbs in

14     Croatia as a national minority right is not even 10 per cent of the

15     rights that they enjoy in the Croatian state where they are a constituent

16     people.  That's as regards the international community.  All they cared

17     about was for the pictures and images not to be shown on the news from

18     Bosnia and Herzegovina as they were.

19             As for the principles, please, Your Honours, let's not --

20             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you.

21             MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honours.

22             I will two more documents which will round off the topic.

23        Q.   But before that, Mr. Praljak, I would like us to go back to the

24     questions --

25        A.   Let me just say this:  In that Z-4 plan Mr. Grbak [phoen], who

Page 42163

 1     was sitting here, was offering the Serbs a judiciary in Croatia,

 2     elections, parliament, money, a state in a state, and they were rebels at

 3     the time and they were a national minority.  And Croats in

 4     Bosnia-Herzegovina, who are a constituent and sovereign people, there's

 5     no cat's chance in hell to have all that, because that would be contrary

 6     to some other interests that prevailed there.

 7             And there you have him talking -- speaking about principles.

 8     Please.

 9        Q.   Mr. Praljak, just for a moment let's discuss a few more details.

10             You said that people came from Bihac, Tuzla, Sarajevo, Gorazde,

11     and they wanted an opportunity to defend themselves.  We've shown a

12     document today, which is 2D3008, which shows clearly that the HVO, in the

13     month of January 1993 - that's the SIS report, you don't have to look for

14     it - provided their concern for the arrival weapons for the 4th Corps.

15     Please allow me to put my question to you.

16             I would kindly ask you to explain to the Trial Chamber what --

17     which operations were conducted before the end of 1992 and the beginning

18     of 1993 jointly by the BiH Army and the HVO against the Serbs, and

19     whether that was the reason why you and those who were decision-makers at

20     the time delivered weapons to the BiH Army, was you had a common military

21     objective.  What I mean by that is Mostar, in the summer of 1992, Jajce,

22     the Operation Bura, and other operations.

23        A.   It was not like that, Ms. Nozica.  We did have our joint

24     operations, but if I had wanted to keep two howitzers for myself, then I

25     could have given them to my own crews, not to the BiH Army.  Bura was

Page 42164

 1     primarily an HVO operation.  The fact that some small BiH Army units

 2     participated in it was negligible.  There were Muslim soldiers as members

 3     of the HVO, but that was primarily an HVO operation, and I was not

 4     obliged to provide howitzers and mortars to another army if I didn't want

 5     to do so.  I could have kept them for myself.  I could have told them, If

 6     you have a crew for that operation, you can give us our crew and we will

 7     carry out a joint operation, but the howitzers would remain on my

 8     inventory list.

 9             Petkovic, Stojic, and everybody else thought that the arming of

10     the BiH Army would create the joint armed forces of the

11     Bosnia-Herzegovina, i.e., the BH Army and the HVO, which would have a

12     joint command and plan operations together.  That's why we acted the way

13     we did.

14        Q.   Mr. Praljak, this is exactly what I asked you, sir.  I asked you

15     about the joint military, and I'm happy with your answer because it

16     answered my question.  But just one more question about that topic.

17             When His Honour Judge Antonetti asked you about the money and the

18     justification for the government, can you tell us whether you know

19     anything about the immigrants hailing from Bosnia and Herzegovina paying

20     a considerable amount of money and that Croatia used those resources for

21     the purchase of weapons that was then channeled towards the BiH Army?

22        A.   In percentage terms, not in absolute terms because there are not

23     that many Croats in Bosnia-Herzegovina, in percentage terms the biggest

24     number of people working abroad were Croats from Bosnia and Herzegovina.

25     And again in percentage terms, the highest numbers were Herzegovinians.

Page 42165

 1     Half of the Herzegovinians were working abroad because Herzegovina is a

 2     very poor region, and after the Second World War nothing was being built

 3     or manufactured there, and they were the ones who paid most money because

 4     they wanted to be the masters of their own destiny, they wanted freedom.

 5     And all that was channeled into the joint budget and Minister Susak had

 6     it at his disposal, and, therefrom, the resources for purchasing weapons,

 7     and they paid much more money than Croatia gave us weapons, according to

 8     my modest estimates, but I can't be 100 per cent sure that my estimates

 9     are absolutely correct.

10        Q.   And now let's look at two more documents just briefly.  If you

11     look in your pink binder, and you can also rely on the e-court, where you

12     will see the document immediately, the document number is 2D01251.  This

13     is a letter sent to Mr. Susak which was written by Mr. Jelavic, and on

14     the 1st of May -- March 1993, and provides an overview of the MTS

15     confiscated by the BiH Army, the MTS that had been sent for Central

16     Bosnia.  The quantity is huge.  Do you know, Mr. Praljak, that such

17     things did, indeed, happen?

18        A.   Of course I do.

19        Q.   At the time?

20        A.   Yes, at the time.

21        Q.   And this is the time, as we have seen, when the arms were sent

22     from Zagreb for the BiH Army?

23        A.   Yes, but there were also attacks, and at that time there were

24     raids, and the team in Zenica, who was in charge of the entire area, and

25     the Mujahedin, had already in place a clear plan as to what they wanted

Page 42166

 1     to do.  I was there in the month of March.  There are documents

 2     testifying to that.  There are some things that were written at some

 3     meetings.  This was an attempt on my behalf to calm the situation down.

 4     The Vance-Owen agreement was signed.  However, when I saw the situation

 5     on the ground, when I saw the appearance of Travnik and the 7th Muslim --

 6     and the 17 brigades, then I realised that the story was over and that it

 7     was just a matter of time when the HVO would be in -- just erased from

 8     the face of the earth.

 9        Q.   And now let's look at another document in your pink binder.  This

10     is 2D --

11             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] General Praljak, when we look

12     at the document 2D01251, if I've understood you properly, where

13     apparently this is also intended for the ABiH, well, at the end of this

14     document we see that food is being mentioned: cheese, 1.200 kilos; sugar,

15     2.050; spaghetti, beans, and so on.  So this food, was it intended for

16     the HVO, for the ABiH, or for both?

17             MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation]

18        Q.   Mr. Praljak, I do apologise.  If I may, it's my document, and

19     then I made a mistake.  Your Honour, it says "Proposal:  Review of the

20     MTS seized by the BH Army."

21        A.   Well, to cut a long story short, they stole it.

22        Q.   And it was sent to the Central Bosnia Operational Zone from

23     Croatia; is that so, Mr. Praljak?

24        A.   Yes, of course.  They stole it.

25             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Fine.  Go ahead.

Page 42167

 1             MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation] My mistake.  Let me correct it.

 2     This document was sent to Mr. Susak in Croatia, and the document was

 3     signed by Mr. Jelavic.

 4        Q.   He was the assistant chief for logistics in the Main Staff at the

 5     time; is that correct?

 6        A.   Yes, this is HVO logistics.  They sent it to the HVO in the

 7     Operational Zone Central Bosnia, and the army stole it, full stop.

 8        Q.   Could you please look at 2D0008 [as interpreted].  It's in the

 9     pink folder.

10        A.   Yes, yes.

11        Q.   Mr. Praljak, this is a report about materiel and military

12     equipment that the BH Army, in February 1993 -- 2D00008.  So that's four

13     0s and then 8.

14        A.   Yes, I have it.

15        Q.   So it's four 0s.  So this transport was stopped.  It was

16     humanitarian aid for Gorazde-Merhamet.  And when search was conducted, it

17     was determined that in addition to the humanitarian aid, there was a

18     double-bottom concealing a huge quantity of weapons.  This document has

19     already been exhibited, but I remember that at one point when I was

20     showing this document, you intervened saying -- I heard you say - I don't

21     know whether it was on the transcript - that you were familiar with some

22     of the circumstances regarding this weapons?

23        A.   Yes, I was aware of this case.  I was informed about it.  Well,

24     it was simply unclear why, in addition to everything that we were giving

25     to them, they were also smuggling the weapons in.  They could have

Page 42168

 1     obtained a "laissez passer" for all of it, authorisation to pass.  So in

 2     addition to all the authorisations and all the signatures that they got,

 3     they used humanitarian aid convoys to smuggle weapons in.  If they didn't

 4     have the requisite papers, then the military police would stop them and

 5     seize the transports.  But I think that in the end, they got them.

 6        Q.   Yes, I remember that you said that they got all the weapons back.

 7     This was the gist of your intervention.

 8             Mr. Praljak, this completes this topic.

 9             Can we now make a break, and then I would like to embark on a new

10     topic which will be a lengthy one, so I don't want to start before the

11     break.

12             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] In fact, it was high time for

13     us to take our break.

14             Let's now take a 20-minute break.

15                           --- Recess taken at 5.37 p.m.

16                           --- On resuming at 5.58 p.m.

17             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] The court is back in session.

18             Ms. Nozica.

19             MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation] Your Honours, Mr. Praljak signaled

20     me across the courtroom that he wishes to raise an issue before I

21     continue.

22             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It was not that I wanted to raise

23     an issue.  I just wanted to add something to what I said previously.

24             The first thing would be about the distribution from the Bratstvo

25     company in Travnik.  I mediated in that situation, and the Croatian Army

Page 42169

 1     bought from Bratstvo a certain number of coastal cannons that could not

 2     be used anywhere else but at the places where the Croatian coastline was

 3     to be defended.  A Bratstvo delegation came to Zagreb,

 4     and the cannons were bought to provide the Bratstvo employees with work

 5     and money.

 6             My second remark is about the weapons in Merhamet, and now --

 7     just now I've remembered those weapons were photographed.  I remember it

 8     well, and I was the one who asked from Mr. Stojic and Valentin Coric and

 9     others to let those through.  The weapons were photographed, and I

10     believe that the people spent a day and or a night there.  They were

11     questioned.  And then on the following day, the convoy with the

12     humanitarian aid and weapons continued on the journey; the following day

13     or the day after.  I don't know how long they stayed.

14             And these would be my two remarks, following your question and

15     following what I already said.

16             MS. NOZICA [Interpretation]

17        Q.   Mr. Praljak, let me just say something.  The last remark refers

18     to document 2D8.

19             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Just a minute, Mr. Praljak.  I

20     listened to what you were saying, and I would like to put a question to

21     you.

22             The two drivers of the truck were interrogated.  We have a copy

23     of their hearing.  One is called "Zanovic [phoen], Zenal," and he says

24     that he had papers for this illegal weapons transport.  At least that's

25     what he claims.  So if he had the necessary documents for this weapons

Page 42170

 1     transport, this must mean that the Croatian authorities, i.e., the

 2     Republic of Croatia, knew that these weapons were to be supplied to the

 3     Muslims, but that they would be transported under the cover of a

 4     humanitarian aid transport; yes or no?

 5             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I did not have that information at

 6     the time, to be quite frank.  But if that's the statement that they gave,

 7     well, I don't know, although at that time it was indicated that they had

 8     only for humanitarian aid, not for weapons.  But to be quite frank --

 9             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Praljak, take a look at the

10     hearing by this Hasanovic person in your own language, the three last

11     lines.  He seems to say that he had the right -- necessary documents.

12             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No.  It says here, I transported

13     weapons earlier, but then earlier I had the papers for the transport of

14     weapons, which was not done this time.  So at that point in time he did

15     not have the relevant paperwork for the transportation of weapons, but he

16     had done that before, and on those previous occasions he had had

17     paperwork.  I don't know how this is translated into English, but he did

18     not have the necessary paperwork for the transportation of weapons.

19             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] But in English, it said:  "But

20     at that time --" he said earlier, he says it's earlier.  Okay.

21             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I can read the sentence in

22     Croatian, and I quote:

23             "I transported weapons on earlier occasions."

24             But at that time, when he was transporting weapons at that time,

25     "I had paperwork necessary to legally transport the weapons, and on this

Page 42171

 1     time -- and this time, this was not done.  I claim that I was not given

 2     any information, was not aware of anything, and as for all those weapons,

 3     only Suad Sagolj, Riza Bukvica [phoen], and Sefer Omerbasic would be the

 4     right persons to talk about it."

 5             So they organised the loading of the weapons without saying

 6     anything to the drivers and without giving the drivers the appropriate

 7     paperwork permissions.  They did not submit a request for this permit to

 8     be issued and signed by whoever was -- had the right to do it.

 9             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well, thank you.

10             MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation] Thank you.

11             Your Honour, I looked at the translation, and it is indicated

12     that in the past, this person had had the paperwork.  But at any rate,

13     it's clear now that Mr. Praljak read it out for the record.

14        Q.   Now, Mr. Praljak, I would like us to move to a topic that we

15     could call "Bosnian Posavina."  Could you please look at document 3D1699.

16        A.   Yes.

17        Q.   3D1699.  This is a document that was shown to you in your

18     examination-in-chief.  It's a memo from Mr. Tus to Mr. Tudjman.  Just a

19     very brief introduction and then I'll be asking you some questions about

20     things that are contentious in this document.  And he says that from the

21     commander of the Slavonian theatre, he received a report which is

22     forwarded in its entirety because of its contents, and then he goes on to

23     say:

24             "Please confirm or modify the task that the command of the

25     Slavonian theatre has been given."

Page 42172

 1             So at the beginning of this report that is forwarded in its

 2     entirety, it was drafted by Mr. Petar Stipetic, it's your document and

 3     you're quite familiar with it, the date is the 29th of October, 1992, and

 4     it says here:

 5             "Report about contact with the coordinator of the Bosnian

 6     Posavina HVO and the presidents of the Supreme Command of the BH Army."

 7             And it says at the beginning that a new coordinator has been

 8     appointed of the Bosnian Posavina HVO, Mr. Ivankovic, and that a meeting

 9     was held with the representatives of the BH Army.  But what I'm

10     interested in is the first passage, the last sentence, where it says:

11             "I was also told by him that Mr. Stojic is expected to arrive any

12     day now from the HVO Main Staff," the Main Staff of the Herceg-Bosna HVO,

13     "as the military coordinator for this area, who will be authorised to

14     reorganise the command and units in the Bosnian Posavina HVO."

15             Mr. Praljak, since you testified about all the positions that

16     Mr. Stojic held from the time of your arrival, and even before that,

17     could you please tell Their Honours whether Mr. Stipetic obviously shows

18     his ignorance of what Mr. Stojic was doing and that Mr. Stojic was

19     obviously not any kind of coordinator for the Bosnian Posavina area at

20     that time or at any point in time later?

21        A.   As far as I know, he was not the coordinator, but I do know that

22     at this time Mr. Alija Izetbegovic did visit the command in

23     Slavonski Brod and that on that occasion he asked how long the HVO could

24     hold on in that area, offering that he would go to Sefer Halilovic and

25     ask for some brigades to be dispatched to that area, which shows either

Page 42173

 1     complete ignorance of the military situation or something else, but it

 2     really makes no sense whatsoever.  Unfortunately, Bosnian Posavina, apart

 3     from its small part, was lost soon afterwards, well, precisely because --

 4     well, for a variety of reasons, because the Republika Srpska Army was

 5     very strong there, much stronger than the HVO units, and this corridor

 6     was of vital importance for Banja Luka and so on, and because the

 7     2nd Corps of the BH Army didn't exert any pressure from the bottom

 8     section or from the east to help the HVO in their difficult defence of

 9     this area which lasted for months with a logistics support from the

10     Croatian Army in some sort of coordination.

11        Q.   This document talks about the OOG, Operational Group Bosnian

12     Posavina, and the setting up of a number of brigades in Bosnian

13     Posavina --

14             THE INTERPRETER:  Interpreters' note:  We did not catch the

15     numbers because of the speed at which counsel is speaking.

16             MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation]

17        Q.   Do you know who were members of these brigades, in terms of their

18     ethnic backgrounds?

19        A.   Each of these brigades is linked with a specific location.  101

20     is from Bosanski Brod; 102 is from I don't know where; 103 is from

21     Derventa, and so on and so forth, and there were Croats and Muslims in

22     their ranks.

23        Q.   Now I would like to ask you --

24             JUDGE TRECHSEL:  You may not have heard this, Ms. Nozica.  I'm

25     speaking to you, not to the witness.  The interpreters have complained

Page 42174

 1     they did not hear what document you were talking about, and therefore we

 2     did not learn either.  The reason was speed, they said.

 3             THE INTERPRETER:  Interpreters note:  The numbers of the

 4     brigades.

 5             MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation] Well, the document is already in the

 6     transcript.  It's document 3D01699.  It's in e-court.  We have it here.

 7             JUDGE TRECHSEL:  No, apparently I have also misunderstood.  It's

 8     the numbers of the brigade that they did not understand, the numbers of

 9     the brigade that you have --

10             MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation] Yes.  Let me just repeat.  It says

11     in the document, we can see in the transcript, 101st, 102nd, 103rd.  Yes,

12     we have it.  I think I'm speaking really clearly now, and 105th Brigade

13     of the HVO, 105.  Yes, now it's correct.

14        Q.   Mr. Praljak, now I would like you to look at 2D1262.  That's our

15     next document.

16        A.   Has it been recorded that 101 was from Bosanski Brod, 103 was

17     from Derventa, and that the brigades were set up on a territorial basis,

18     as was the usual practice in the HVO?  Each location had its own brigade,

19     if there were enough people.

20        Q.   Yes, it is now in the transcript, we can see on this page, lines

21     13, 14, 15 and 16.

22             So the document is 2D1262.  Mr. Praljak, these are minutes from

23     the 5th session of the Presidency of the Croatian Community of

24     Herceg-Bosna, held on the 17th of October in Travnik.  In the course of

25     the examination by my learned friend Mr. Karnavas --

Page 42175

 1             THE INTERPRETER:  Interpreters' note:  Could all the microphones

 2     that are not in use be switched off.

 3             MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation]

 4        Q.   -- regarding the HVO's -- or, rather, the communities of

 5     Herceg-Bosna and Usora, he asked whether the Croatian Community of

 6     Herceg-Bosna ever accepted those communities.  This document -- well,

 7     several pages are already exhibited, page 1 listing persons who were at

 8     the session of the Presidency, but now I would like you to look at

 9     page 15 in the Croatian version.  That would be page 2D79-0056.  We'll

10     find it.  Yes, that's right.

11             So if we could go back to page 15 in e-court, because we have

12     page 16 in Croatian.  And in the English version, we have -- yes, that's

13     right, page 16.  We have item number 18, "Examination of the Decisions on

14     Joining the Unified HZ-HB by Croatian Communities of Bosnian Posavina,

15     Central Bosnia and Usora."

16             Mr. Praljak, we can see here that Bozo Vilusic from Tuzla was the

17     first to take the floor, and he informed those present that in

18     North-Eastern Bosnia, in Tuzla to be more specific, a Croatian Defence

19     Council was set up and the Croatian Community of Sole, and that for

20     objective reasons they have been unable to submit their application for

21     membership, and now they would like to join the unified HZ-HB.  And he

22     also reports that the municipalities of Banovici, Lukavac and Zivinice

23     were part of this community.  And in the community of Sole -- well,

24     rather, we have already talked about this community.

25             And now I would like you to look, after this intervention, at

Page 42176

 1     page 16 in the Croatian text.  It's the very end, and that's 2D79-0057 in

 2     the English version, the last part of this intervention, where it says:

 3     "Proposal for the joining into the unified HZ-HB of the communities of

 4     Bosnian Posavina, Usora, Central Bosnia, the community of Sole, Sarajevo,

 5     has been adopted unanimously."

 6             Mr. Praljak, Mr. Karnavas showed you two documents that pertained

 7     to the community of Usora whereby it exceeds the HZ-HB, and let me say

 8     for the transcript that this is document 1D2255, and the decision on the

 9     accession of Central Bosnia, that's 1D2252.  Mr. Praljak, did you know

10     that all those communities that are listed here at the session of the

11     Presidency on the 17th of October in Travnik actually acceded to the

12     HZ-HB, joined it?

13        A.   Yes, that's what I learned later.  I didn't know that at the time

14     when decisions were adopted, but later on I learned that by talking to

15     people.

16        Q.   Mr. Praljak, now I'm going to be torturing you a little bit, but

17     I think it would be logical to do so.  Could you please look at the map

18     that Mr. Karnavas showed you.  That's 1D2843.  You made some markings.

19     You drew in Central Bosnia and Usora.  1D - yes, it's in the record -

20     2843.  If we could please have that map.  Let us try and mark the

21     communities which you did not mark last time, the community of Sole,

22     Bosnian Posavina, and Sarajevo.

23             Yes, we have it here.  And in this document, it is indicated that

24     Banovici, Lukavac and Zivinice shall comprise the community of Sole,

25     together with Tuzla, so I would like to ask you if you could just mark

Page 42177

 1     those locations.

 2             I wanted to show you a document -- a map of the HZ-HB, but

 3     unfortunately that map does not have the names of other towns indicated,

 4     and it would be very difficult for us to find those, too.  So we're

 5     looking for Tuzla, Lukavac, Banovici and Zivinice.

 6        A.   This doesn't seem to be working.

 7        Q.   You mean your pen?  Okay, okay.

 8        A.   It's not working.  Something seems to be happening with our

 9     technical facilities.

10             MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation] Shall I come back, Your Honours, to

11     that document tomorrow morning, if this -- which will give the

12     technicians time to resolve this issue?

13             JUDGE TRECHSEL:  Can it not be done on the ELMO?  Is there no

14     paper copy of this map?

15             MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation] No, we don't have that on the ELMO

16     because Mr. Praljak was working with the electronic document, so I wanted

17     to apply the same system and procedure throughout.

18        Q.   Can you mark in now?  If not, we'll do it tomorrow morning.  I'll

19     have it printed out.

20             Never mind.  I'll print the map out and we'll come to that

21     tomorrow and place it on the ELMO.

22             But, anyway, staying with that same topic, Mr. Praljak, you

23     confirm that these communities that we mentioned, including Bosanska

24     Posavina, in October 1992 came within the Croatian Community of

25     Herceg-Bosna; right?

Page 42178

 1        A.   Yes.

 2        Q.   Now, Mr. Praljak, here in court, on the 11th of February, 2009,

 3     we had Mr. Stipo Buljan here as a witness.  He worked in the

 4     Operation Zone of Bosanska Posavina.  And on pages 36759 of the

 5     transcript, to 36766 of the transcript, he spoke about documents 2D00605

 6     and in continuation until document 2D00624, he addressed those pages, he

 7     spoke about the national -- the ethnic composition of the HVO units in

 8     Bosanska Posavina, and the HZ-HB took care of those.

 9             Now, these documents, the documents that we put to Mr. Buljan and

10     were admitted into evidence --

11             THE INTERPRETER:  Or, rather, were not admitted into evidence,

12     interpreter's correction.

13             MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation] -- because they were lacking a piece

14     of information, they were lacking the dates when these individuals were

15     killed or wounded, so let's now take a look at the next document -- yes.

16             The usher was so good as to print out the map for us, so maybe we

17     could go back to that now.  And we were looking for Tuzla.  Banovic,

18     Lukavac, from Zivinice.

19        A.   Tuzla, 1; Sarajevo, 2; Zivinice, 3; Banovic, 4; Lukavac, 5, and

20     Posavina, 6, these areas.

21             MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation] May we have an IC number, please.

22             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes.

23             THE REGISTRAR:  Your Honour, that will be Exhibit IC1034.  Thank

24     you, Your Honours.

25             MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation]

Page 42179

 1        Q.   Mr. Praljak, would you now take a look at the next document,

 2     which is 2D01561, the next in order.

 3        A.   Yes.

 4        Q.   We have it on e-court as well, or we will do in just a moment.

 5             Now, Mr. Praljak, this is a letter from the County of Posavina,

 6     the Federation of Bosnia-Herzegovina, dated the 7th of May, 2009.  And at

 7     the request of the Stojic Defence and pursuant to a Trial Chamber

 8     decision about the non-admittance of the documents, Mr. Buljan asks that

 9     this be supplemented -- the document be supplemented with additional

10     information about the killing and wounding of HVO members in this area.

11             So, Mr. Praljak, would you now please tell the Court whether you

12     know, and I've already asked you about this, but as an introduction to

13     the following documents, do you know or did you have contacts with and do

14     you know that in all these units there were members of both ethnicities

15     and that they were casualties and fatalities, too, and that the numbers

16     were similar, and that the HZ-HB took care of them, as Mr. Buljan said

17     during his testimony?

18        A.   Yes.  I was there, too, in the fighting over there for some 10 to

19     12 days at the beginning of July 1992, and I am fully versed with the

20     situation, both then and later on.  So there was a mixed ethnic

21     composition, Croats and Muslims.  There were even some Serbs, a few in

22     number as far as I remember.  But, anyway, and the casualties and

23     fatalities was extremely high in the area, because there was fierce

24     fighting.  The Army of Republika Srpska, well, it was vital for their

25     survival, this area, so the fighting was fierce, and the number of killed

Page 42180

 1     and wounded in all the brigades, or almost all of them, were high,

 2     extremely high, in 1992.

 3        Q.   Mr. Praljak, I'd like now to go back to something.  I'd like to

 4     show you those 20 documents.  So could you tell us whether you know which

 5     the units were?  And you mentioned some of them a moment ago.

 6             So take a look at the first of those documents, which is 2D1541,

 7     yes, 1541.  This is a list of fatalities among the HVO from the

 8     Bosanski Brod municipality who were Croats, and it's the 101st HVO

 9     Brigade.  Now, you said, Mr. Praljak, that they were determined by

10     territory?

11        A.   Yes, I knew that brigade, I knew its -- who its commander was.  I

12     took part in the fighting for a time, and I know that there were

13     exceptionally high fatalities not only in that brigade, but others too.

14        Q.   Now, the column on the date of the fatalities confirms what you

15     said, that most of them were in 1992, most of the people killed were

16     killed in 1992; is that right?

17        A.   Yes.

18        Q.   Now take a look at the next page.  2D82-0055 is the number.  That

19     is the Croatian version, and in English it's simpler.  But, anyway, they

20     are the killed HVO members from the Bosanski Brod municipality who were

21     Bosniaks, of Bosniak ethnicity; is that right?  So the Croatian

22     fatalities are shown first, and then we have the Bosniaks next?

23        A.   Well, 221 Croats and - how many here? - 101 Muslims or Bosniaks,

24     whatever you like to call them.

25        Q.   Yes.  Thank you, Mr. Praljak.  And my questions will be the same

Page 42181

 1     for the next documents, and the next one is 2D1542.  These are the

 2     fatalities in the HVO for Orasje, and we have the Croats first, and it is

 3     the 106th HVO Brigade from Orasje.  Did you know that brigade?

 4        A.   Yes.  When it comes to this brigade, Ms. Nozica, you must bear in

 5     mind the fact that it managed to retain control of part of

 6     Bosanska Posavina, the territory, and the number -- and it continued to

 7     fight, so the number of fatalities was even higher.  And there were a lot

 8     of people who were killed after 1992 as well.

 9        Q.   Yes, you're quite right, and we can see that if we look at the

10     dates, leafing through the dates of the fatalities.  We have 1994 and

11     1995 even.

12             Now take a look at page 2D82-0069 now, please, where we have a

13     list of members of the brigade who were Bosniaks, of Bosniak ethnicity,

14     and who were killed.

15        A.   Yes.  Quite a lot fewer Bosniak fatalities there, for the simple

16     reason that at that time many who had survived and were wounded had gone

17     to Croatia and were refugees there, and Orasje itself was defended by

18     larger numbers of Croats than Muslims than was the case previously.

19        Q.   Thank you.  And now we can look at 2D01543.  That's the next

20     document, and these are the fatalities from the Bihac municipality of

21     Croatian ethnicity.  And the unit's name was ZM Bihac.  And we have the

22     Croats listed first, and on 2D82-0079 we have the Bosniaks listed.  And

23     if you remember, Mr. Buljan said that in this operation zone, there were

24     parts of other brigades, and he mentioned the Bihac Brigade as being one

25     such?

Page 42182

 1        A.   Yes, a small number of Croats and not a very large HVO unit in

 2     Bihac.  Well, for that small brigade, a lot of Croats were killed, fewer

 3     Muslims in the HVO, because the BH Army over there had an entire corps

 4     and there weren't many Muslims in the Croatian brigade.  And I'd like to

 5     mention in that regard that the commander, himself, of that unit, the HVO

 6     unit in Bihac, later on, under very -- his name was Santic, and he was

 7     killed not on the battle-field but in the rear, after a meeting with the

 8     BH Army, under unexplained circumstances, which led to quite a problem,

 9     and the circumstances of his death have not been elucidated to this day.

10        Q.   Now let's look at 2D01544, please, which is a list of HVO members

11     who were killed of Brcko municipality, Croats killed.  This is the 108th

12     HVO Brcko Brigade.  I'll just show you the page which lists the Bosniaks.

13     There are far fewer of them once again, and that is page 2D82-0086.

14        A.   Yes.  This brigade was completely mutilated.  Only if you have

15     such great losses would you not be affected, if you had a marine's

16     brigade or a foreign legion brigade, but these were extremely large

17     fatalities for such a small brigade.

18        Q.   Now look at 2D01545, please, and here it says HVO fatalities who

19     were Croats in Derventa municipality.  And that was the -- let me repeat

20     the number, 2D01545 is the document number, the page number, and it was

21     the 103rd HVO Derventa Brigade, a large brigade.  First of all, we have

22     the Croats who were killed, and then on 2D82-0099 we have listed the

23     Bosniak fatalities.  And here we can see, Mr. Praljak, something very

24     interesting, and you can testify about that.  These were fatalities in

25     1992 mostly; is that right?

Page 42183

 1        A.   Yes.  I could tell you what the battle-front looked like at the

 2     period of time when I was there.  270 fatalities in a brigade of that

 3     type, well, that is an extremely high number, extremely high losses.

 4     They were decimated, in the true sense of the word.  And what it looked

 5     like over there, well, let's leave that alone and let's count the dead.

 6        Q.   Yes.  Unfortunately, we are in a position to have to do that now,

 7     so take a look at the next document, which is 2D01546, once again the

 8     list of HVO dead for Modrica municipality.  It is the 105th HVO Brigade

 9     of Modrica, and on page 2D82-0110 - that's the right number - we have the

10     Bosniak fatalities.  The 105th Modrica Brigade is the one we're talking

11     about.

12        A.   Well, there's nothing to add here, Madam Nozica.  This was the

13     defence of Bosnia-Herzegovina, it was a joint defence set up by the

14     Croats and Muslims jointly.  Croatia offered complete logistical support,

15     because otherwise they wouldn't have been able to survive, and it

16     resulted, unfortunately, apart from loss of territory, there was loss of

17     life, too.  Had a normal relationship existed and ratio of forces existed

18     throughout Bosnia and Herzegovina, the situation wouldn't have been as it

19     was.

20        Q.   Mr. Praljak, can we now take a look at document 2D1547, where we

21     see the Croatian fatalities for Odzak municipality.  It was the 102nd

22     Odzak Brigade, and on page 2D82-0121 we have the list of HVO Bosniak

23     dead, 41 of them.  Did you know that this brigade existed?

24        A.   Yes.

25        Q.   Now, we heard from Mr. Buljan that the HZ-HB took care of some

Page 42184

 1     other brigades in the area, so now take a look at 2D01548, the next

 2     document, please, which is a list of HVO dead for Tuzla municipality;

 3     Croats.  And it was the 115th HVO Brigade called Zrinski from Tuzla, and

 4     we've already mentioned that during this trial, and on page 2D82-0131 you

 5     have the names of the dead who were Bosniaks?

 6        A.   Yes, yet further proof that the HZ -- or the Croats, in fact,

 7     defended Bosnia and Herzegovina and that they did this with great loss of

 8     life and suffering.  So there's no sense in talking about a division of

 9     Bosnia-Herzegovina, and an agreement on that between Milosevic and

10     Tudjman, and then to have so many people dying in the defence of

11     Bosnia-Herzegovina.  And these dead people, these people killed, are best

12     proof and evidence of how the Croats behaved, both in political terms and

13     in military terms, when it came to Bosnia-Herzegovina.

14        Q.   And could you now look at 2D1549.  This is the 107th Brigade of

15     the HVO in Gradacac.  Were you aware of the existence of this unit?

16        A.   Yes.

17        Q.   Very well.

18        A.   But let's look at the number of fallen Bosniaks in the 107th

19     Gradac Brigade.  There were 245 of them.  245 Bosnian Muslims were killed

20     in an HVO brigade, which was the 107th Brigade, and there were some 70 or

21     80 Croats altogether.

22        Q.   Yes.

23        A.   Therefore, I have no comment.  The document speaks for itself.

24        Q.   Could you now look at 2D1550.  This is a list of casualties in

25     Bosanski Samac, first the Croats, and the first brigade listed is 104th

Page 42185

 1     Brigade, and then the 105th Brigade.  You've already told us that the

 2     lists are segregated by the places.

 3             Could you now look at 2D82-0153?

 4        A.   Yes.  These are Muslims, Bosniaks, who were killed in this HVO

 5     brigade.  There were 24 of them, and at the time there were Croats --

 6     unfortunately, we are counting the dead, segregated by their ethnicity,

 7     but in the face of such indictment this is all we are left to do.  There

 8     are 152 people who died.  Unfortunately, there are no military experts

 9     who would be able to tell you how great a loss this is for amateurs --

10     military amateurs who, until a day or two days before that, were common

11     civilians who rose up to defend their country.  And here you see

12     thousands of them.

13        Q.   We are now moving on to something less gruesome, which is the

14     list of people who were wounded in the war.  Mr. Buljan testified about

15     the care extended to the families of the fallen and the wounded that the

16     HZ-HB was in charge of.

17             Now could you please look at 2D01551.  We will use the same

18     methodology.  First, we are looking at Bihac and the list of the wartime

19     military invalids from Bihac, and now on page 2D82-0162 we have Bosniaks

20     who were also invalids?

21        A.   Yes.  In Bihac, which was predominantly inhabited by the Muslims,

22     there were people, Bosniaks, who were simply members of the HVO, and I

23     claim for all of these documents that there was never a distinction made

24     based on the ethnicity of the wounded and the dead, either in the HVO or

25     in Croatia.  And, for example, when I went to the hospital to take the

Page 42186

 1     cigarettes to the wounded, I never made any distinction between the

 2     wounded.  There were people lying there without legs and other

 3     extremities, and I distributed cigarettes among them equally.

 4        Q.   And now we are moving on to Bosanski Brod.  First Croats, the

 5     document number is 2D1552.  There's a large number of invalids both of

 6     Croatian and Bosniak origin, and the list of Bosniaks starts with the

 7     page number 2D82-0175.  This is the 101st HVO Brigade of Bosanski Brod.

 8     We've already spoken about it, but now we are talking about invalids.

 9        A.   What can I say?  There's nothing to say but that these numbers

10     are terrible, so many invalids among the Croats; 150 Muslims, even more

11     among the Croats.  They had fought together, together.

12        Q.   Yes, I understand.

13        A.   And, on the other hand, if anywhere we could have imposed our own

14     will or make distinctions, that could have been it, because of the

15     vicinity of Croatia, but no distinctions were ever made from the

16     perspective of Croatian politics.  The territory was defended jointly, by

17     joint forces, and so on and so forth.

18        Q.   Document 2D01553 is a list of military invalids of the

19     Bosanski Samac municipality, first Croats, and the numbers speak about

20     the 104th Brigade, and we have Bosniaks on page 2D82-0191.

21        A.   Yes, the 345 Croats, or 363, rather, and there are 32 Muslims.

22     However, look, there are also people here who had come, for example,

23     Bernard Hans Pater [phoen], Marijan Kobalid [phoen], who had come to see

24     me in Zagreb, people from Europe, from all over Europe.  Of course, among

25     them there was a number of dogs of war, as one would call them, but a

Page 42187

 1     number of them simply came to fight, to assist people who were fighting.

 2     And I felt sorry, when I was leaving the military, that the lists of

 3     those people were not maintained, because there were a couple of them who

 4     had committed crimes and were criminals, and that's why nobody cared

 5     about maintaining contacts with the rest of them to thank them and to

 6     acknowledge them and tell them how we respected them.

 7             Unfortunately, later on there was a desire to tarnish the image

 8     of the war and for everybody to be proclaimed criminal.  Although,

 9     statistically speaking our war was not worse than any other war before or

10     after.  However, that war was proclaimed as a war that was -- that

11     involved only criminals.  But certainly not so many people would have

12     been killed if all were thugs and hooligans.

13        Q.   There were a lot of national minorities in that area in the

14     north.  It was famous, in the former Yugoslavia, as the territory

15     inhabited by a large number of national minorities?

16        A.   That's true, and the situation has changed drastically since.

17        Q.   I'm saying this because of some names which may be unusual when

18     compared to the names or, rather, last names of the Croats in Bosnia and

19     Herzegovina.

20             Could you now please look at 2D01554.  This is the 108th Brigade

21     of the HVO in Brcko, which also had a number of Croatian military

22     invalids.  Could you please look at 2D82-0204, to look at the Bosniak war

23     invalids.

24        A.   Yes.  There's nothing to say here.  Actually, the number of

25     killed and wounded was proportionate to the national structure of the

Page 42188

 1     brigade, because these people were -- fought together and were wounded

 2     together.  The number of wounded and killed reflects the national

 3     breakdown of the brigade.

 4        Q.   I'm sorry, Mr. Praljak, that I am exposing you to looking at all

 5     of these documents, but there's no other way for me to either confirm or

 6     not confirm this.  The only way I can do it is to introduce documents

 7     through witnesses, and you are somebody who knows about these documents.

 8        A.   Very well, Ms. Nozica.  I can tell you that I have looked at all

 9     of them.

10        Q.   Mr. Praljak, we have another ten minutes, and we will complete

11     this exercise within the next ten minutes.

12             The next document is 2D01555.  This is a list of military

13     invalids in Derventa, first Croats.  This is the 103rd Brigade of the HVO

14     in Derventa.  You already said that you're familiar with that brigade.

15     And the list of military war invalids of Bosniak ethnicity starts on

16     page 2D82-0219.

17        A.   Yes, I am familiar with the document.  Nothing to add.  Huge

18     numbers.  There's nothing else to say.

19        Q.   Document number 2D01556.  This is a list of the HVO invalids in

20     Gracac municipality, again first Croats, the 107th Gracac Brigade.  And

21     then on page 2D82-0231, we have members of the RVA [as interpreted] of

22     Bosniak ethnicity.  We've already spoken about these brigades, have we

23     not?

24        A.   Yes.

25        Q.   The next one is 2D1557.  This is the 105th HVO Brigade in

Page 42189

 1     Modrica, and the first list is -- represents Croats.  And then on

 2     2D82-0236 are Bosniaks.

 3        A.   And again this reflects the national composition of that brigade.

 4        Q.   We have three more documents.  The first one is 2D01558, the

 5     102nd Brigade, Odzak.  The first list is of members of that brigade of

 6     Croatian nationality, and then on page 2D82-0247 gives Bosniak members of

 7     that Brigade.

 8        A.   Yes, I've looked at it.

 9        Q.   And now could you please look at 2D1559.  This the 106th Brigade

10     of the HVO in Orasje, and it also had a huge number of war invalids, both

11     Croats as well as Bosniaks, and the Bosniaks are on page 2D82-0276.

12     You've already spoken about them.

13        A.   Orasje fought until the very end of the war in

14     Bosnia-Herzegovina.  Orasje was that part that managed to defend itself

15     thanks to a good state of organisation, a good commander, less

16     interference from some political structures in the area.  In any case,

17     for them the war lasted for much longer than for some other brigades that

18     pulled out from the territory in the north and for other brigades that

19     remained as elements of the Tuzla Corps and was engaged throughout the

20     war.

21        Q.   Yes, this is shown or is reflected in the list and in the dates

22     when people were wounded, because we can see the years 1992, 1993, 1994

23     and -- is that correct?

24        A.   Yes.

25        Q.   And, finally, the Tuzla municipality, invalids of Croatian

Page 42190

 1     origin.  The document number is 2D1560.  There is first a list of Croats.

 2     Luckily enough, the number is somewhat lower.  And then page number 0289,

 3     Bosniaks?

 4        A.   Yes.  There was somewhat fewer Bosniaks in the HVO because the

 5     BH Army was fighting very close to them, so I suppose that most of them

 6     joined the BiH Army.  But many of them never left the HVO.

 7        Q.   Mr. Praljak, my final question covering all the documents that

 8     I've just shown you:  Do you confirm that it is true that all of these

 9     units were of mixed ethnic composition, and do you know that, as you've

10     told us, but just in conclusion, that the families of the fallen

11     soldiers, irrespective of their ethnicity, the HVO was looking after

12     those families all that time?

13        A.   Both the HVO and the Croatian state as a whole.  The number of

14     wounded and fallen was certainly very high.  I am aware of that.  I knew

15     it at the time, and I knew it after the operations.  And as far as the

16     HVO and the Croatian state are concerned, no distinction was ever made

17     among these people.

18             MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. Praljak.

19             Your Honours, I would like to move on.  And instead of starting

20     it today, could we please stop working for today and continue tomorrow?

21             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Ms. Nozica, as far as the time

22     you have, I must tell you that you've already used up three hours so far.

23             MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation] [Previous translation continues]...

24     I would like to say this because of my learned friend who follows me.  I

25     would kindly ask you to approve the 45 minutes which I am entitled to,

Page 42191

 1     because one hour is simply not going to be enough to do everything I

 2     planned.

 3             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well.

 4             As you know, the hearing will be taking place tomorrow afternoon.

 5     We shall meet here again at a quarter past 2.00 tomorrow.

 6             So have a nice evening.

 7                           [The witness stands down]

 8                           --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 6.57 p.m.,

 9                           to be reconvened on Tuesday, the 30th day of June,

10                           2009, at 2.15 p.m.