Tribunal Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia

Page 43859

 1                           Wednesday, 26 August 2009

 2                           [Open session]

 3                           [The accused entered court]

 4                           [The accused Coric not present]

 5                           [The witness takes the stand]

 6                           --- Upon commencing at 2.14 p.m.

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

 8     the case, please.

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

10     everyone in and around the courtroom.

11             This is case number IT-04-74-T, the Prosecutor versus Prlic et

12     al.  Thank you, Your Honours.

13             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. Registrar.

14             I would like to greet today Mr. Praljak, Mr. Prlic, and

15     Mr. Stojic, Mr. Petkovic, and Mr. Pusic.  I wouldn't like to forget to

16     greet those who are absent as well.  I would also like to greet Defence

17     counsel, Mr. Stringer and his assistants, and everyone else assisting us

18     in the courtroom.

19             One administrative announcement I would first like to make.  As

20     the Gotovina Chamber won't be sitting tomorrow morning, tomorrow, the

21     hearing will be held in the morning instead of in the afternoon.  So we

22     will start with the hearing tomorrow morning.  I, personally, I think

23     this is also the opinion of others, prefer the morning.  I know that

24     Mr. Praljak prefers to have lunch first, but it will be necessary for him

25     to have a substantial breakfast on this occasion.  However the case may

Page 43860

 1     be, we will be sitting tomorrow morning.

 2             Next week, there will be the appointment of new Judges.  There's

 3     a former lawyer among them, there are rumours to that effect, or there

 4     has been rumours to that effect, for sure.  These Judges will be taking

 5     their oath on the 2nd of December [as interpreted] in this courtroom, and

 6     as a result we will have to complete our hearing at 1.00 p.m. and not at

 7     1.45.  So the hearing will end at 1.00 p.m. because they need one hour to

 8     prepare the courtroom to place the Judges here.  So as they will be

 9     taking their oath at 2.00 p.m., it will be necessary for us to end at

10     1.00 p.m.  That's what I wanted to inform you of.

11             Mr. Stringer, I'd like to greet you once again.

12             Yes, Mr. Kovacic.

13             MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I do apologise.  I

14     thought you had completed what you wanted to say.

15             Perhaps towards the end of the day, I could be granted a few

16     minutes so that I could make sure we all have the same information with

17     regard to our schedule for our forthcoming witnesses, the witnesses who

18     will be testifying after Mr. Praljak, because I can foresee certain

19     scheduling problems and I'd like to spend a few minutes on this matter

20     later on.  Mr. Stringer and myself have been exchanging information to

21     that effect, but nevertheless ...

22             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Ten minutes, would you need

23     about ten minutes, so we could end ten minutes earlier?

24             MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation] Yes, I need a few minutes, but I

25     don't know to what extent others will be taking the floor.

Page 43861

 1             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well.  Thank you.  In

 2     fact, I was concerned about this matter as well, so it would be good if

 3     you informed us of any problems that you might encounter.

 4             Mr. Stringer, I greet you once again and I give you the floor.

 5             MR. STRINGER:  Thank you, Mr. President, and, Your Honours,

 6     Counsel, and everyone else in and around the courtroom.

 7             Mr. President, I hate to say this, but it turns out that I've got

 8     a personal matter scheduled for tomorrow morning, and we do have lives

 9     outside of this trial and this courtroom that we have to arrange around

10     the court hours.  If I could maybe just have some time to sort of think

11     about it over the break and see if perhaps I can find a way to

12     accommodate things.  I'd at least like to have the possibility to come

13     back to the Trial Chamber later today about the situation.  I would be

14     grateful.

15             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well.

16                           WITNESS:  SLOBODAN PRALJAK: [Resumed]

17                           Cross-examination by Mr. Stringer:  [Continued]

18        Q.   General, good afternoon.

19        A.   Good afternoon, Mr. Stringer.

20        Q.   I see that you do not have the binder that we were working with

21     yesterday, so I'll ask that the usher provide that to you.  This is the

22     list number 6 of documents.

23             And the next exhibit, General, as we continue talking about

24     Prozor is Exhibit P00640 [realtime transcript read in error "P00460"].

25     General, do you want to take a moment to look that document over?  This

Page 43862

 1     is a list of -- I believe it's prepared by the SDA of Prozor

 2     municipality.  It's entitled "List of Vehicles Confiscated in Prozor

 3     Municipality Since the HVO and HV Aggression Begun ...," in other words,

 4     from 23 October, 1993.

 5             Now, General, I know that you subsequently to this date of 23

 6     October -- oh, Mr. President, I'm told the document is under seal and

 7     that we need to go into private session for this one.

 8             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] We'll move into private

 9     session.

10                           [Private session]

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Page 43869

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19                           [Open session]

20             THE REGISTRAR:  Your Honours, we're back in open session.  Thank

21     you.

22             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Just a minute.

23             Mr. Praljak, I'd like to go back to the issues of the vehicles.

24     First of all, and this is something you have pointed out, there were

25     three vehicles that belonged to the ABiH, so they could be considered as

Page 43870

 1     falling under the category of war booty.  Perhaps you noted, but perhaps

 2     you didn't have the time, that in fact there were 161 individuals

 3     concerned, because the five vehicles that were confiscated in August, not

 4     on the 24th of October, but on the 20th of August.  It's in the list, and

 5     then there were individuals who had or owned a number of vehicles.  But

 6     this isn't what my question relates to.

 7             It seems that there might be three situations, three possible

 8     situations: war booty; legitimate confiscation by an army, with receipts

 9     delivered and the signature of the owner; and, thirdly, the theft, pure

10     and simple, of vehicles by X, Y, or Z.  At the level of the HVO, did you

11     consider these various cases, these various situations?

12             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honour.  In the HVO, a

13     vehicle could be commandeered for war needs in certain situations, but

14     then a receipt would be issued to the owner.  It would contain

15     information on the make of the car, the date of the car, and so on and so

16     forth.  And on the base of the receipt or signatures issued to him, the

17     owner could then request that the vehicle be returned to him or that he

18     be compensated for the damage, and so on and so forth.  Naturally, there

19     was also the case of classical or traditional war booty.  The enemy unit

20     fled and left equipment of any kind, military equipment or a car, well,

21     then naturally that would be listed as war booty for the unit concerned.

22     And naturally there were cases of theft, too.  All I can say is that I

23     very much doubt that the number of cars was so high, as I doubt that they

24     were attacked by the HV, and in any war there's a lot of propaganda.  You

25     want to tarnish the reputation of the other side.  But I participated in

Page 43871

 1     taking away a vehicle from someone who had stolen a vehicle.  A witness

 2     testified to that effect here.  My pistol was drawn, as in the usual Wild

 3     West films, so whoever has better nerves is the person who is victorious,

 4     usually.  But apart from the HVO, there was a wild HOS unit, a savage HOS

 5     unit.  Their members were quite numerous.  It was difficult to control

 6     them, impossible to control them.  I made many attempts to control the

 7     situation.  It's too long to explain, this story is too long to explain.

 8     They weren't under control, and a lot of time passed before they left the

 9     town.

10             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Stringer.

11             JUDGE TRECHSEL:  Excuse me.  Just to make sure, on line 21 --

12     20-21, you are reported as saying:

13             "... that I very much doubt, that the number of cars was so high,

14     as I doubt that they were attacked by the HV ..."

15             Just to make sure, you wanted to say "HV" and not "HVO" here?

16             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, Your Honour Judge Trechsel.

17     They say in the document that an aggression was conducted against them by

18     the HVO and the HV, which is simply false, it's a lie.  Let me be quite

19     frank about it.  And then one lie follows another, and they are

20     accumulated.

21             JUDGE TRECHSEL:  Thank you.  I don't see the link to any other

22     lies, but this I take.  Thank you.

23             MR. STRINGER:

24        Q.   General, the next exhibit in your binder is P00662 [realtime

25     transcript read in error "P06622"], 6622.  Now, this is a document dated

Page 43872

 1     28 October 1992.  It's signed for Ilija Franjic, and, General, is it

 2     correct that this is the same Ilija Franjic that we talked about

 3     yesterday on the list of people who were appointed to positions in the

 4     municipal HVO of Prozor by Mate Boban in the document that was signed for

 5     him by Dario Kordic?

 6        A.   Mr. Stringer, with a high degree of certainty, yes, but I can't

 7     tell you 100 per cent.  I do know one Ilija Franjic.

 8        Q.   Now, the Ilija Franjic that you know, was he a brigade commander

 9     of the Rama Brigade, as is indicated in this document?

10        A.   At the time I was in Rama, he was commander of the Rama Brigade.

11     At the time of this event, he was brigade commander.

12             JUDGE TRECHSEL:  Sorry.  Again, the number, P00662 is the number

13     of the document, as I see it.  In the record, line 21 of page 13, it

14     says, wrongly, "P06622."  So the correct number would be P00662.

15             MR. STRINGER:  Thank you, Your Honour.  I'll try to be more -- I

16     think I got that one right, but if I didn't, I'll be more careful with

17     the next ones.

18             JUDGE TRECHSEL:  No criticism here.

19             MR. STRINGER:

20        Q.   General, now this one is dated the 28th of October.  Were you in

21     Prozor by the 28th of October, again if our reference is that Jajce fell

22     on or about that day?

23        A.   It is highly, highly probable that on the 28th of October, I was

24     in Rama.  A day later, perhaps, or a day earlier.  And then I went to

25     Konjic, Jablanica.  Mr. Stringer, I'm trying -- I was moving around from

Page 43873

 1     one meeting to another, but I simply am unable to say exactly that on

 2     that particular day I was in Rama.  I didn't keep any notes, nor did I

 3     have any time to do that.  And though I'm doing my best, I can't tell

 4     you.

 5        Q.   Now, in this document the commander of the Rama Brigade is

 6     ordering the release of some prisoners who were being held at a place

 7     called Ripci so that they can be used to load MTS.  General, during this

 8     period of time, recognising that you were in Prozor, but that you were

 9     moving elsewhere as well, were you aware of the presence of HVO prisoners

10     at a place called Ripci?

11        A.   First of all, it says "detainees" and not "prisoners."  I think

12     there's a difference there.  That's number 1.  And, number 2, it is true

13     that when I learnt that there were detainees as a result of this

14     conflict, I asked, and my request was met, that they should all be

15     released, and they were released.  Now, whether this was on the 29th or

16     the 30th, I can't tell you exactly, but I insisted and requested, and my

17     request was met and they were all sent home.

18        Q.   And did you request that they be released because they were --

19     there were no proper grounds for holding them?

20        A.   I wouldn't agree with that.  I had the people who were opposed to

21     such a position, and quite logically, actually.  And on the basis of the

22     documents confiscated by the HVO, it was clear that these members of the

23     ABiH army were preparing an attack.  They had detailed plans as to how

24     and when they would attack.  These people needed to be interrogated and,

25     if there was a basis, then processed.  However, as it was far more

Page 43874

 1     important at that point in time to deal with the situation, I requested

 2     that all this be put aside, that people be sent home so that confidence

 3     could be rebuilt, because the common enemy had already captured Jajce,

 4     and according to my knowledge there was no good defence between Travnik

 5     and Sarajevo.  So in view of such a situation, the people had to be sent

 6     home and the situation dealt with.

 7        Q.   Did you ever go to this detention facility and see any of the

 8     people who were being held there?

 9        A.   No, I didn't go there.  But immediately after that, I spoke to

10     their commander, Zutic or something like that, that was his name, that he

11     should go and see his people, that we should have another meeting, that

12     the elders of the village should come, and so on and so on.  It was all

13     very complicated, you see.

14        Q.   And, General, and I know that you're using the word "request,"

15     the fact is that as an assistant minister of defence for the Republic of

16     Croatia and as someone who is at this time a major general in the

17     Croatian Army, the fact is that whether you call it a request or an

18     order, the fact is that your authority is the reason why those people

19     were released when you wanted them released; isn't that true?

20        A.   No, sir, if someone were to send an assistant minister from

21     Zagreb, that simply is not true.  As you saw in the case of the

22     humanitarian convoy that was stopped at Citluk, a representative of the

23     international community spoke, the former minister of Croatia, Granic,

24     and Prlic, and they wouldn't listen to them.  So my authority at that

25     time emanated from the fact that I had certain successes, in the military

Page 43875

 1     sense, in liberating Mostar and halting the Army of Republika Srpska and

 2     the Yugoslav Army in the spring and summer of 1992, and not simply

 3     because somebody may have sent someone from Zagreb to be -- or hand out

 4     wise advice.

 5        Q.   So that based on your prior experience and military activities in

 6     other theaters of battle, they recognised your authority and they did

 7     what you told them to do; isn't that true?

 8        A.   Mr. Stringer, I think I know how to talk to people.  I can talk

 9     to them passionately, I don't lie to them, and I think that is the basis

10     on account of which they listened to me, nothing else, and the fact that

11     I explained to them that Central Bosnia would fall, that we have to calm

12     down, that units have to head towards Travnik to save that, and so on and

13     so forth.  I think the Muslims trusted me, too, and you saw this from the

14     witnesses, because I wasn't partial.  I treated both Croats and Muslims

15     equally.  I didn't lie to them.  I told them the facts, I told them what

16     could be done, I told them that things could not be resolved overnight.

17        Q.   And based on all of these things, then, General, that you're

18     telling us, the HVO in Prozor at this time recognised your authority, and

19     they did what you told them to do, correct, for all the reasons that

20     you've been giving us?

21        A.   I made a request, and they acted upon it.  Now, why they did

22     that, I wouldn't like to enter into that.  I don't know.  You can call

23     them and ask them.

24        Q.   General, I want to take you back to the testimony of Mr. Hujdur,

25     Omer Hujdur, who we talked about yesterday.

Page 43876

 1             JUDGE TRECHSEL:  Excuse me.

 2             MR. STRINGER:  Yes.

 3             JUDGE TRECHSEL:  It seems, Mr. Stringer, that you are leaving

 4     this document and this issue of the prisoners.

 5             MR. STRINGER:  I'm leaving the document, but not the issue of the

 6     prisoners.

 7             JUDGE TRECHSEL:  Anyway, I would like to ask two questions, raise

 8     two points.

 9             The first is, and I think I know the answer, but I would like to

10     hear it from you, anyway:  How many prisoners were there at that moment,

11     28 October 1992, in Ripci, how many detained persons?

12             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I don't know, Your Honour, I don't

13     know.

14             JUDGE TRECHSEL:  Thank you.  That is, in fact, the answer that I

15     expected.

16             The second point is:  You seem to read this document as some sort

17     of evidence that you had persons who had been detained in the context of

18     operations in Prozor released in order to reconcile things and so forth.

19     I find it not easy to reconcile this document with such a thesis, because

20     this does not say that the prisoners were to be released to go home, but

21     they were to be released and put at the disposal of Ante Simunovic, I'm

22     quoting, "for loading MTS."

23             So this might even be similar to what we have seen with prisoners

24     from Heliodrom, to take but one example, where prisoners are taken and

25     then put to work somewhere.  I'm not commenting whether that would have

Page 43877

 1     been the work and putting them to work in this way would have been or not

 2     in conformity with the 3rd, I think, Geneva Conventions, but why should

 3     we suppose that these people were really left to go home, or did I

 4     misunderstand you, that you were saying that your intervention had the

 5     scope of letting them go home and be really free.

 6             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour Judge Trechsel, the

 7     release came after this.  There's no doubt at all that there were

 8     detainees and members of the ABiH who were detained, and that they

 9     considered themselves detainees.  And someone here asked them to load

10     MTS, which I think is permissible.  It's not up to me to judge.  But I do

11     know that I released them all home; not I, but I asked that they all be

12     released, and they were released.  So this must have been before my

13     request and before my request was heeded, so that is the time sequence.

14             JUDGE TRECHSEL:  Thank you.  That would lead me, then -- thank

15     you.  That would lead me, then, to conclude that this document actually

16     is practically irrelevant.  Would you agree to that?

17             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I don't know what is it relevant

18     for.  That there were detainees?  Of course there were detainees.  Who

19     would I release if there weren't any detainees?

20             JUDGE TRECHSEL:  Thank you.

21             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Praljak, I'm going to move

22     on to another area which has nothing to do with prisoners.

23             I'm looking at the document, and I'm going to compare this

24     document which is in your binder, P1327, but for the moment let's keep to

25     this document.  What do I see:  "Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna,

Page 43878

 1     Prozor Municipality, Rama Brigade," and then a number.  And reading this

 2     document by a strict jurist would lead to the conclusion that the person

 3     issuing the order is, in fact, a part of the Rama municipality and that

 4     the Rama Brigade is a municipal brigade with a military task, but

 5     certainly municipal.  Why?  Because it doesn't say "Republic of

 6     Bosnia-Herzegovina" in the heading, and also it doesn't say the "Croatian

 7     Defence Council."  Now, when we look at document P1327 - could the

 8     Registrar find it, please - look at this document, please.  I want to see

 9     the header.  You see a change there.  Here, we have the words "Republic

10     of Bosnia and Herzegovina," then the "Croatian Community of

11     Herceg-Bosna," and unlike the previous document, "Croatian Defence

12     Council" and "Command of the Rama Brigade."  And this is a document from

13     January, and the other is from October.  On that basis, I am asking the

14     following question, and that is why I'm asking you this:  In October,

15     what we qualified as the HVO, were they not forces of a municipal origin

16     and after the events when the Croatian Defence Council took control and

17     militarised these units, which would explain that this document is of an

18     absolutely military nature, which is not the case with the number

19     appearing on the previous document?

20             So the people who were at Prozor, some belonging to the HOS, was

21     this an armed force under municipal control, or the people who were in

22     Prozor, were they directly linked by a chain of command to

23     General Petkovic, who was the military commander of the HVO?

24             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The worst thing, Your Honour

25     Judge Antonetti, is that one could say both.  They were a municipal

Page 43879

 1     force, but the HVO and the Main Staff endeavoured to put it all under

 2     military control, and unfortunately this varied.  At the beginning, they

 3     were more municipal, but then gradually more order would be put into it.

 4     Then, due to lack of funds or some other reason, they would return to the

 5     control -- municipal control, and again it's not the same for every

 6     brigade.  For instance, the Livno Brigade was more its own than the

 7     Ljubuski Brigade, so the situation varied.  The influence of the

 8     municipality and the influence borne by the Main Staff varied.  There's

 9     no equation that can be put between municipalities, between brigades, and

10     also things changed in time.

11             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] But for Prozor, who had more

12     control, the municipality over the military or the military over the

13     municipality?

14             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I think at this point in time, the

15     municipality was more important than General Petkovic's command and order

16     that the conflict should be calmed down.  Such an order coming from the

17     chief of staff over there didn't have too much impact.  One could just go

18     there, and with the force of one's will, personality, shouting, ability

19     to deal with people, you could achieve something.  But an order, in the

20     military sense, you send an order and it has to be carried out, that

21     didn't function.  Not even Siljeg could achieve that.

22             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] General Praljak, the fact that

23     I note that in the month of January the documents change in nature, does

24     this show that the military structure of the HVO had greater control over

25     these brigades then?  Because here we have a document which is fully in

Page 43880

 1     accord with military criteria.

 2             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I'm not quite sure about that.

 3     There is mention of the Croatian Defence Council.  I don't know

 4     Simun Zutic, who is the signatory.  All I can say is that 11 commanders

 5     of the Rama Brigade changed, for various reasons.  Two were killed,

 6     I think, and the others were replaced in an effort to be more successful,

 7     up until Ante Pavelic, who was there, whom I brought from the Croatian

 8     Army to try and influence the situation, because the influence of

 9     villages and clans, local clans, is very difficult in relation to what we

10     call the army.

11             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well.

12             MR. STRINGER:

13        Q.   General, just to follow up on the last question from

14     Judge Antonetti, let's turn back to P00647, which is one of the documents

15     we looked at yesterday; 647.  This is dated October 24, 1992, so it's a

16     few days earlier.  Do you have 647?

17        A.   Yes.

18        Q.   Now, this one is the report written by Jure Smidt, the gentleman

19     you smoke about yesterday, and here he's reporting directly to Colonel

20     Siljeg.  Now, is it true that at this period of time, the 24th of

21     October, 1992, the Rama Brigade was a part of the North-West Herzegovina

22     Operative Zone, which was under the command of Colonel Siljeg?

23        A.   Yes.

24        Q.   Let me just follow up my question and then you can comment.  So

25     what we're seeing in this document, then, is a report from a member of

Page 43881

 1     the Rama Brigade up to the operative zone commander, and there's nothing

 2     particularly unusual or remarkable about that reporting chain of command,

 3     is there?

 4        A.   Yes, Mr. Stringer.  The Jure Smidt says "Commander."  It doesn't

 5     say what he's commander of.  As far as I know, he was not commander of

 6     anything in Rama, and yesterday I found a document, a report sent to

 7     General Petkovic, which was obviously copied by Jure Smidt, so a report

 8     sent to General Petkovic which Jure Smidt copied out and sent to Siljeg.

 9     Of what he was commander, I'm sure of nothing in Rama.  So obviously he's

10     copied a report here where there's no mention of ethnic cleansing, but a

11     completely different word is used, and he sent something to Siljeg.  He's

12     not the commander of a brigade or a battalion or anything in Rama.  I

13     don't know what exactly he was doing, but he certainly didn't have a

14     command position in Rama.

15        Q.   Nevertheless, this tells us that a member -- a commander, as is

16     indicated here - and I know you challenge his position - of the Rama

17     Brigade is reporting directly to the commander of the operative zone;

18     isn't that what this tells us?

19        A.   That is true that that is what the report says, but I don't know

20     what position he held to write that report.  He obviously did this at his

21     own initiative.  I'm quite certain that in Rama, he didn't have any

22     position, because I would rally those people together and speak to them

23     at least ten times.

24        Q.   General, I want to go back to my outline now and recall some of

25     the testimony from an earlier witness in this case, Omer Hujdur, who came

Page 43882

 1     and testified about the events in Prozor during October of 1992.  And

 2     specifically on the 20th of June, 2006, at page 3520 of the transcript,

 3     he gives us the following testimony about events that followed in the

 4     wake of the military operations in Prozor.  It's page 3520, and I think

 5     we can put it up on sanction, on line 17.

 6             He's asked a question about whether a lot of the people did,

 7     indeed, go back to Prozor after the conflict there.  He's asked about

 8     whether a lot of Bosniaks returned to Prozor who had left, and Hujdur

 9     says:

10             "Yes, but this is was some 10 or 11 days later when, probably at

11     some high level, but to this day I don't know at what level and with

12     whom, an agreement was reached that the population should be allowed to

13     go back to Prozor.  But terrible things had happened in the town of

14     Prozor itself.  Over 70 houses, Bosniak houses, were torched, houses

15     belonging to the more prosperous Bosniaks.  About ten civilians were

16     killed as a result of the entry into and conquest of the town.

17             "All the homes and houses that had been left empty because the

18     population had been moved to a safer part of town were looted."

19             It continues on on the next page:

20             "All vehicles were stolen.  All the private businesses were

21     destroyed.  In these 10 to 11 days, there was intense destructive

22     activity in the town, destruction of property.  And after a certain

23     period of time, the people at the high level said that the population

24     should go back.  However, it's important to say that the men were

25     separated from the women, and the men were taken to the Ripci primary

Page 43883

 1     school, which is 12 kilometres to the west of Prozor, and there all the

 2     men had to sign statements to the effect that everything that had

 3     happened in Prozor had happened as a result of Bosnian extremists and

 4     that they were to blame for this."

 5             Now, General, you arrived and you were in the Prozor region

 6     during this period of time, some 10 to 11 days after the conflict

 7     occurred there.  His description of the destruction and the crimes that

 8     occurred in Prozor after the HVO took the town, it's an accurate

 9     description, isn't it?  These are the things that you saw, when you were

10     there, that were taking place; isn't that true?

11        A.   No, not in the way described here by a man who fled from Rama.

12     He cannot know what was going on in Rama.  Ten dead civilians, there

13     weren't.  That is not true.  There are documents signed by both parties

14     on the number of soldiers killed and the rest, and you will see from

15     those numbers that this was a conflict between more or less equal forces,

16     because there was roughly an equal number of casualties on both sides,

17     six or seven on the Bosnian side and four or five on the HVO.  And then

18     he says a part of the town, not the whole town, was occupied, and for 10

19     or 11 days it was necessary -- that time was necessary for the situation

20     to be calmed down.  I never heard of such a statement being signed in

21     prison.  And that the people who were sent back, that they should be

22     detained, that was absolutely not true.

23        Q.   You are aware, General, that as he indicates here, scores of

24     houses of Muslims, Bosniaks, were torched and were looted after they had

25     fled and after the HVO took the town; that is a true statement, isn't it?

Page 43884

 1        A.   No, sir.  From the time that I arrived up there, there was no

 2     more torching, for certain, no more destruction, nothing that could be

 3     attributed to the HVO.  As to what happened in the course of the fighting

 4     itself, well, it certainly has nothing to do with the number referred to

 5     by this gentleman.  That is completely erroneous.

 6        Q.   Well, I'm putting to you, General, that in fact the damage -- the

 7     destruction that he's talking about here is not collateral damage; that

 8     this was damage that was inflicted deliberately by HVO soldiers after

 9     they'd taken the town, after the military conflict was completed.  Isn't

10     that what happened?  And you were there while it was happening; isn't

11     that true?

12        A.   Sir, according to all the information I had, this information was

13     incorrect, and that concerns the ten individuals.  That was a lie.  You

14     need to have the first and last names.  And then to use such numbers and

15     say there were ten of them and tons of houses were torched, that's wrong.

16     I won't claim that there weren't units such as the HOS units that were

17     out of control.  I won't say that they didn't do anything.  But it is

18     necessary to be quite precise about this.

19             The HVO up there, after the completion of the action, didn't do

20     anything that could be considered as a dishonourable military act.  And

21     when I arrived in Rama, a group was roasting some lamb on the spit,

22     raising a flag.  I tried to oppose them, and that didn't go well, but I

23     managed to solve the situation on the following day, but in a different

24     manner.

25        Q.   I want to take you now to some other testimony, the testimony of

Page 43885

 1     the "Guardian" journalist, Edward Vulliamy, who testified on the 8th of

 2     August, 2006, about what he observed when he drove into Prozor in late

 3     19 -- late October 1992.  This would be page 1534 of the transcript.  And

 4     I'm not going to read all of it, General.  I'm going to put it on the

 5     screen.  I know that it's not in your language.  I'll read parts of it to

 6     you.

 7             He's talking about when they were driving towards Prozor.  He

 8     says, and this is on line 6:

 9             "... but before we got to Prozor, on the junction we saw some

10     women straggling - it was raining - up a road turning off to the left,

11     and stopped to talk to them."

12             And I'm going to skip down a few lines, where he talks about that

13     it was late morning.  And then he's asked to describe what happened when

14     he encountered these women walking along, and he says, on line 18:

15             "Yes.  We asked them what happened.  One of them, I noticed, was

16     wearing bedroom slippers.  They looked frightened, they looked

17     bedraggled, and one of them said that they'd spent the night looking for

18     caves, that soldiers were out killing people and looking for them.  And

19     as we were having this conversation, a mini-cab pulled up."

20             And he goes on, General, in his testimony, and I'm not going to

21     read it all, to talk about how he, Mr. Vulliamy, and the person who was

22     driving this cab gave these women a ride, and he continues and he says:

23             "A little way up this road and then turning off to the right up a

24     track mountain track, and the track rose up through, I think, some wooded

25     country and then opened out into open country, and there was this amazing

Page 43886

 1     sight of large numbers of people wandering the fields in groups or

 2     standing, looking to get away, looking for somewhere.  I don't know what

 3     they were looking for.  They were wandering the open country."

 4             And he goes on in his testimony to estimate, with difficulty,

 5     that it was scores if not hundreds of people that he saw, and he said

 6     that they were wandering in the direction of Jablanica.

 7             Now, General, recognising that we don't know the exact date and

 8     time that Mr. Vulliamy encountered this group of people, General, you

 9     wouldn't dispute this testimony, I take it.  You don't dispute that there

10     were large numbers of Muslims who were trying to make their way down to

11     Jablanica in the wake of the conflict in Prozor; correct?

12        A.   Mr. Stringer, as a child who, from the age of six to ten, lived

13     in Rama, well, I used that road from Rama to Jablanica, I went down that

14     road.  Because it was iced over in the winter, I would use a sled to go

15     down there.  There are no -- there are no fields there, no fields that

16     can be seen.  This man doesn't know what he's saying.

17        Q.   So you dispute -- you don't accept his testimony?  You deny that

18     there were hundreds of people out there, as he described, on the road

19     making their way down to Jablanica?

20        A.   Mr. Stringer, if a journalist says something like that, there are

21     no fields there, there's just a precipice to the left and a precipice to

22     the right, and the Murgere [phoen] Italian Division came to harm there in

23     the Second World War.  They were thrown into the ravine.  So if this

24     journalist is saying that he saw a field there, he's lying.  There is no

25     field there.  You can't turn either to the left or to the right.

Page 43887

 1        Q.   Earlier today, General, you've told us about the Muslims whom you

 2     met in Jablanica, who had come down there after the conflict in Prozor.

 3     So the fact is, as you've already indicated, there were large numbers of

 4     Muslims on the move, trying to make their way to Jablanica from Prozor;

 5     isn't that correct?

 6        A.   I've told you very precisely.  The people had fled from Rama --

 7     some of them had fled from Rama and arrived in Jablanica.  I spoke to

 8     them.  But that doesn't mean that there were fields there, and -- and

 9     what this gentleman has described is something that doesn't exist.  You

10     don't have anything of that kind on that road.

11             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] General Praljak, if we admit

12     that what you are saying is true and that there are no fields, there is

13     no field, very well, I don't know.  If the journalist says that or he

14     said that when he was sitting in your place, well, he said that, but one

15     should bear in mind the fact that he was remembering everything that

16     happened 15 years ago.  It's very difficult.  I'm sure the journalist saw

17     many things.  Perhaps he was confused, he mixed up the road with a field,

18     but nevertheless there's something that is important.  He says that he

19     saw Muslims, columns of Muslims, and these people were heading in the

20     direction of Jablanica, and this is what is important.  This is what

21     needs to be explained to us.  Why were these people heading in the

22     direction of Jablanica?  There could be two reasons for this.  Either

23     they were forced to do that or they were afraid and, as a result, set off

24     in that direction.  You said, I spoke to them in Jablanica.  What did

25     they tell you?

Page 43888

 1             You should tell us about this, rather than dispute the existence

 2     of the field.  It's as if you, 15 years later, were to talk about the

 3     hearing that is taking place today, and you might say that Mr. Scott was

 4     present, but he's not present.  So there we have it.

 5             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honours, the people I spoke to

 6     in Jablanica, well, in the hall there were perhaps between 80 and 100

 7     individuals who had arrived from Rama.  They've told me precisely what I

 8     have told you: that they had been attacked, that there was fighting, that

 9     they had fled.  And we spoke about the matter for two or three hours in

10     this manner.  But many villages from Jablanica to Rama are Muslim

11     villages, and you saw in the report the HVO was up at -- was as far as

12     Jasen, and then further on the area was under the control of the ABiH.

13     As far as Jasen, the village, the dam, there are no fields.  There's just

14     a precipice to the left and to the right.  I don't know what the

15     gentleman saw over there, but there are no fields.

16             It's a fact that the soldiers who lost or fled, those who had

17     arms, those who didn't, people were certainly afraid.  There were people

18     who had been captured or were being held in detention.  The reports show

19     that in many villages the Muslims said, Fine, we'll surrender our

20     weapons, but please leave us in peace.  And that is what happened.

21             The first thing doesn't exclude the other.  I'm not saying

22     that -- well, I can't exclude all the details, but I'm telling you about

23     the information I had.  There was a fight, a conflict.  People were

24     detained or released, people returned.  There were dead on both sides.

25     We know the precise numbers.  There were houses that were damaged, for

Page 43889

 1     sure.  There were houses that were torched.  As to what was done in the

 2     course of the fighting, well, the numbers that these people have provided

 3     are incorrect.

 4             Later, very precise lists were compiled, precise information;

 5     each person who was dead, the side the person belonged to, the first and

 6     last name.  We needed to have a list of the houses so that we could know

 7     where shooting was opened from, whether ABiH had machine-gun nests, and

 8     the whole town hadn't been conquered.  Part of the town was still under

 9     the control of the ABiH.  This wasn't an attempt to expel the Muslims.

10     There are certainly always individuals who will try to do certain things

11     that violate international -- the International Law of War, International

12     Humanitarian Law, any kind of law, but these are completely different

13     matters; two entirely different matters.

14             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well, thank you.

15             MR. KARNAVAS:  If I may just for one second, and here is where I

16     believe that there is some confusion at times.

17             When the Prosecution reads from a transcript, where there are

18     numerous facts in a particular passage, and then requests a yes-or-no

19     answer, it requires the person who's answering the question -- if the

20     answer is "yes," it has to be "yes" to all the facts, "no" to all the

21     facts.

22             Yesterday, there was quite a good observation by Judge Trechsel

23     when there was a compound question.  The answer was, you know, is it

24     "yes" to the first part, to the second part, to both parts.  The record

25     wouldn't reflect that.

Page 43890

 1             I believe General Praljak was attempting to answer the question

 2     by at least looking at one part of the facts within that passage that he

 3     believed was in error.  So I think the better approach might be to have

 4     questions that are much more focused.  I think when the Prosecutor came

 5     back on the follow-up question, he got to the essence of the question

 6     that he wanted to ask, but the way it was couched the first time, where

 7     people are in the fields, wandering about, and so on and so forth, the

 8     general was trying to make an observation, and that's why I believe if

 9     we're going to, you know, sojourn on through this particular

10     cross-examination, we'll only going to get through it if the questions

11     are much more focused and fact oriented.

12             Thank you.

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

14        Q.   General, I'm going to skip over a few pages.  I'm going to stay

15     with the testimony of Mr. Vulliamy for just a couple more minutes,

16     because on page 1539 of his --

17             JUDGE TRECHSEL:  Mr. Stringer, it would assist us in finding the

18     place in our transcripts if you could indicate the date of the testimony.

19             MR. STRINGER:  Yes, Your Honour.  This is the 8th of May, 2006,

20     and it's now at page 1539, starting on line 21.

21        Q.   He's talking about when they were trying to file their story, and

22     they were heading for a telephone which was in Tomislavgrad, and they

23     reached Tomislavgrad, and it was in Tomislavgrad that Mr. Vulliamy then

24     had the meeting or a meeting with Colonel Siljeg, and I'd like to ask you

25     a few questions about that.  And you may or may not recall this

Page 43891

 1     testimony, General.  Vulliamy spoke about a dinner he had with Colonel

 2     Siljeg, and so he is asked to recall the details of his long conversation

 3     with Siljeg.  And this is what Vulliamy says at page 1540, line 6.  He

 4     says:

 5             "I can recall a few details.  Well, I can recall one important

 6     detail.  He said that Prozor was now clean.  He made a reference to

 7     the -- the rather drunken celebrations outside as night games, as boys

 8     will sort of way.  And then he got out a -- he got out a series of maps

 9     of Croatia down the centuries, 1 to 12, as I recall, arduously went

10     through each map as Croatia expanded and shrunk, and the last one I

11     remember was labelled "Future Croatian Federation," and had Croatia

12     extending all the way almost to Belgrade and to a place called Zume.  And

13     it was the 1941 so-called Banovina Croatia.  That was not actually HVO

14     policy at all.  It was, if anything, that of its old rival HOS.  But it

15     was a long, long lecture about history, as one had got quite used to."

16             General, the -- Colonel Siljeg -- and I'm going to use this to

17     ask you a couple of questions about Colonel Siljeg.  You were with him

18     there in the Prozor-Tomislavgrad during late October of 1993, upon your

19     arrival there, and, as I understand, you stayed largely in that area,

20     including Travnik, Gornji Vakuf, and other places, until just before

21     Christmas 1992; correct?

22        A.   Correct.

23        Q.   So throughout that period of time, almost two months, you were

24     present and working on a frequent basis in the Siljeg operative zone;

25     correct?

Page 43892

 1        A.   Well, we would meet, but not really that frequently.  Work in the

 2     operative zone?  I didn't really work that frequently in the operative

 3     zone, to be quite frank.  But I'd be interested in knowing which

 4     direction Vulliamy came from and then went to Tomislavgrad.  It would be

 5     good to see this in the transcript, if it's there, to see if there was

 6     anything he could see in the direction of Jablanica, because if he came

 7     from Makljen and then turned off towards Tomislavgrad, well, that's in

 8     the town.

 9        Q.   Well, General, your counsel can ask you questions about that when

10     you have your redirect exam.

11             Staying will Colonel Siljeg and the North-West Herzegovina

12     Operative Zone, you've indicated already in your testimony that during

13     August and September of 1993, after you took command of the HVO

14     Main Staff, you also spent a good deal of your time then in the

15     North-West Herzegovina Operative Zone; isn't that correct?

16        A.   Correct.

17        Q.   And yesterday we spoke briefly about the division of labour, as

18     we're calling it, that was in place as between yourself and

19     General Petkovic and --

20             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Just a minute.

21             Mr. Registrar, could you please leave the document on the screen,

22     the Vulliamy testimony, where he speaks about Colonel Siljeg, because

23     it's not there anymore and I had a question I wanted to put.  I do

24     apologise for interrupting you.

25             Mr. Praljak, Mr. Stringer has reminded us of what the journalist

Page 43893

 1     said before us, and he has shown us this document in English.  You don't

 2     know English, but that's not what is at stake.  As far as I understand

 3     the matter, Vulliamy says he had a lengthy conversation with Siljeg, and

 4     apparently Colonel Siljeg gave him a lesson in history on Croatia and

 5     showed him maps, et cetera.  And as far as the journalist can remember,

 6     he saw a map apparently entitled "Future Croatian Federation."  And in

 7     line 14, I see that the journalist said that it was not actually HVO

 8     policy at all, but rather it was the policy of its old rival, the HOS,

 9     and this appears important to me.

10             There was a conversation between Siljeg and Vulliamy.  Siljeg

11     showed him some maps, and then one might perhaps have the impression that

12     Siljeg was in favour of this Greater Croatia.  He showed him maps,

13     something on the federation, but then the journalist gives his own

14     personal assessment.  He has other information at his disposal, and he

15     says that, Siljeg, it's not HVO policy, it's HOS policy.  When I see this

16     on the screen, I tell myself, well, perhaps matters are more complicated

17     than one might believe.  Siljeg was perhaps passing off personal ideas of

18     his own, or HOS ideas, but ideas which, according to the journalist, were

19     not HVO ideas.

20             You, who know Siljeg, would you say that this is possible or not?

21     How is it that a colonel in the operations zone, who has other things to

22     deal with, has an entire series of maps, historical and other maps?  How

23     is it that he has said this?  If the journalist said this under oath, so

24     we can assume that this is the truth, there's no reason to think that he

25     said anything else, apparently his memory is quite precise.

Page 43894

 1             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honours, when someone says

 2     something under oath, it doesn't mean that he's lying.  But as to whether

 3     his memory is reliable with regard to his conversation with Siljeg, well,

 4     I'm afraid that that might not be true.  Siljeg was not conducting HVO

 5     policies.  He was a military policeman in the JNA.  I think he was a

 6     major; perhaps he had that rank.  He was a professional.  As to whether

 7     he showed this gentleman how history in the Balkans developed, whether he

 8     showed how conquests took place with ten significant forces, I don't

 9     know, but Siljeg wasn't in charge of policies and he couldn't say to

10     Vulliamy that Prozor had been cleansed for the simple reason that those

11     who had left -- out of those who had left, 90 per cent of them returned

12     also as a result of attempts made by Mr. Siljeg.  So this would

13     contradict any logic.

14             As far as I know, from people who came from the outside, they

15     want to understand the history of a certain area in two days' time.  As a

16     rule, the area is a small area, it's a small state, so they think they

17     can learn about the history of the state rapidly.  You know, between a

18     fly and a man, the DNA of a fly and a man is different.  Well, the

19     difference is 3 per cent.

20             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] General Praljak, I'll interrupt

21     you there because I don't believe you have understood my question.  You

22     haven't understood the importance of my question.  All the questions I

23     put are important; otherwise, I remain silent, I don't put questions.  So

24     when I do put a question, believe me, it's important.  It's a result of

25     something I have thought through.  I'm trying to see matters in a clear

Page 43895

 1     manner.  Things are very complicated.

 2             I have the testimony of a witness in front of me.  He testified

 3     under oath, and he is supposed to tell the truth to the best of his

 4     ability.  And what is it that this witness claims?  He says that he had a

 5     lengthy conversation with Siljeg, Siljeg showed him numerous maps, and he

 6     showed him something that related to the Croatian Banovina, and this is

 7     at the heart of the Prosecution case, in fact.  The journalist then adds,

 8     while sitting in the place you are now occupying, and he adds this in

 9     line 14, he says that this was not HVO policy at all.  We don't know why

10     he made such a claim, but this is what he claimed.

11             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] That's not true.

12             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] He continues to say that these

13     policies were policies pursued by its rival, the HOS.  So this foreigner,

14     who had contact with Siljeg, listened to Siljeg, who spoke to him perhaps

15     about the Banovina, and this foreigner said that this was not HVO policy,

16     and this is what I'm trying to understand.  I'm asking myself, Siljeg,

17     who was he?  Did he share the ideas of the HOS or did he just take the

18     maps out to give this journalist a lesson in history, or was Siljeg in

19     favour of a banovina, but that did not necessarily imply that the HVO was

20     also involved in this?  The journalist says that the HVO didn't pursue

21     such policies or support such policies, so I'm trying to understand the

22     matter.

23             Have you understood my question more fully now?

24             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, I have.  The answer is the HVO

25     didn't pursue any policies that supported the Banovina, not at any point

Page 43896

 1     in time.  It recognised Bosnia-Herzegovina, it was part of the Army of

 2     Bosnia-Herzegovina, and so on and so forth.  Siljeg couldn't represent

 3     the policies of the Banovina because he was a commander in the operative

 4     zone and he had absolutely nothing to do with this.  The HOS [realtime

 5     transcript read in error "HVO"] did support policies of an entirely

 6     different kind; not only policies that supported a banovina, they wanted

 7     a Croatia that reached as far as the Drina River, Your Honours, a Croatia

 8     as far as the Drina.  I don't know how this was to be done -- I

 9     apologise.

10             MS. TOMANOVIC: [Interpretation] I apologise.  I think there has

11     been a significant error in the transcript.  Page 37, line 24, the

12     General said the "HOS supported entirely different policies," not "the

13     HVO supported entirely different policies."  I think this has to be

14     corrected.

15             General, could you perhaps confirm that?

16             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.  The HOS wanted to pursue the

17     policies enforced in the Second World War, policies of the then

18     independent state of Croatia, which claimed that the Croatian state

19     should extend as far as the Drina River.  They said that Muslims were

20     Croats of Islamic faith.  In the worst-case scenario, well,

21     Bosnia-Herzegovina was to be a confederation -- or at least

22     Bosnia-Herzegovina should be in Federation with Croatia and reach as far

23     as the Drina, but in these extreme policies the idea was that the Serbs

24     should leave Bosnia and Herzegovina, they should be expelled.

25     Unfortunately, such HOS policies, not of everyone in the HOS - there are

Page 43897

 1     many honest fighters who later transferred to the HVO - but unfortunately

 2     commanders of the ABiH accepted such policies while it suited them, and

 3     this is what was ugly in this entire story.

 4             MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, if I may paraphrase

 5     my client, General Petkovic, could you please put the following question

 6     to General Praljak with regard to this transcript that reflects

 7     Vulliamy's testimony?  If we have a look at line 12, a reference is made

 8     to the future Croatian Federation.  Line 13, it says that it was a

 9     Croatia that extended almost as far as Belgrade.  The name of a town is

10     mentioned, but it's not correct.  The town is, in fact, Zemun, it should

11     say "Zemun."  It's the town of Zemun.  And then it says that this is a

12     state that existed in 1941 and that it's a state that was also supported

13     by the HOS.

14             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Correct.

15             MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] So perhaps General Praljak could

16     tell us which state is, in fact, concerned and whether the description

17     provided by Vulliamy, that it's a Croatian banovina, is that correct, or

18     is it a different state that is concerned?

19             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] There is an objection that the

20     Prosecution would like to make.

21             MR. STRINGER:  Well, Mr. President, I know it doesn't seem that

22     way, but actually this is the Prosecution cross-examination, or at least

23     it was a half hour ago.  And, you know, I will say, Mr. President, there

24     is a bit of frustration on my part.  I feel as though the level of

25     intervention is increasing.  An observation has been made that the

Page 43898

 1     questions could be more focused.  It's probably a correct observation.

 2     I can only say that it's really hard to do this when you're having to do

 3     it in fits and starts.  And I know -- and, I mean, we're obviously

 4     grateful and the Trial Chamber's highly attentive and interested, and

 5     these issues about the HVO and the HOS were clearly significant enough, I

 6     was going to raise them myself before moving on.  But while we're here,

 7     if I could respectfully request, perhaps, if I could flag for the Trial

 8     Chamber when I've finished a particular document, and then --

 9             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes.  To make a -- we're going

10     to have a break now.  Finish with this document.

11             Madam Alaburic, your comments were not absolutely necessary

12     because I saw, myself, that there was lines 14 and 15 and that we need to

13     understand it better.  Unfortunately, I have to say that when Vulliamy

14     came, we didn't have all the documents that arrived later, so when he

15     said this, this escaped me, I didn't think it was so interesting, but

16     now, with hindsight, of course it requires further precision.  If

17     Vulliamy were here, I would ask him to explain, How could you, as a

18     journalist, make the distinction between the HOS and the HVO, et cetera.

19     But at the time he came, we didn't have all the documents, and that is

20     why we wanted to specify this.

21             It is time for the break.  Mr. Stringer will see if he can be

22     here tomorrow morning, and he will tell us later on.  Thank you.

23                           --- Recess taken at 3.50 p.m.

24                           --- On resuming at 4.14 p.m.

25             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] The hearing is resumed.

Page 43899

 1             We'll go into closed session because counsel for Mr. Coric has

 2     something to tell us.

 3                           [Private session]

 4   (redacted)

 5   (redacted)

 6   (redacted)

 7   (redacted)

 8   (redacted)

 9   (redacted)

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)

24   (redacted)

25   (redacted)

Page 43900

 1   (redacted)

 2   (redacted)

 3   (redacted)

 4   (redacted)

 5   (redacted)

 6   (redacted)

 7   (redacted)

 8   (redacted)

 9                           [Open session]

10             THE REGISTRAR:  Your Honours, we're back in open session.  Thank

11     you.

12             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes, Mr. Praljak.

13             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I have lost one of

14     the lenses from my glasses, so I will not be able to see properly.

15     However, as I envisaged that this might happen, I left a reserve pair of

16     spectacles here in a cupboard.  So could somebody fetch them for me, that

17     is, my reserve spectacles, because I expected this to happen?  But in the

18     meantime, I can manage.

19             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Go and fetch them yourself.  Is

20     it nearby?

21             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] In the Defence locker.  I keep them

22     there.

23             MS. PINTER: [Interpretation] We have already informed the Case

24     Manager and told him to fetch it for us.

25             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] So I'll give the floor to

Page 43901

 1     Mr. Stringer.  He can continue, and he will try and avoid asking you to

 2     look at documents until your glasses arrive.

 3             So, Mr. Stringer, you have the floor.

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

 5        Q.   If you don't feel comfortable answering my questions until you

 6     have your glasses, General, just tell me and I'll stop.  I want to come

 7     back to this -- the testimony of Mr. Vulliamy that we were talking about

 8     before the break.

 9             Now -- and I was asking you about the periods of time and the

10     division of labour which made Mr. Siljeg's area of responsibility sort of

11     your top priority, if I could put it that way, during the time that you

12     were the commander of the HVO Main Staff.  Is that an acceptable way of

13     putting it, that your priority was the North-West Herzegovina

14     Operative Zone, at least during August and September of 1993?

15        A.   Correct.  Because of the operations of the ABiH, this was the

16     priority issue.  Their operation started from Bugojno, and it was

17     militarily the most sensitive and most difficult section.

18        Q.   So you were in the Prozor area or that operative zone

19     August/September 1993.  We know that you were also in that area

20     previously from late October until about the 24th of December, 1993.  So

21     is it fair to say, General, that you had -- and I know that you say you

22     didn't work closely with him.  Did you have frequent dealings and

23     interactions with Colonel Siljeg?

24        A.   At the time I was there in 1993, yes, we cooperated very closely.

25        Q.   Now, during 1992, during late October until Christmas of 1992,

Page 43902

 1     when you were in Prozor, Tomislavgrad, Gornji Vakuf --

 2        A.   I wasn't in Tomislavgrad.

 3        Q.   When you were in Prozor, did you work out of the headquarters

 4     where Colonel Siljeg was located?

 5        A.   Very, very rarely, because it was just an effort to calm the

 6     situation in Rama.  After that, I went on to Travnik.  Most of the rest

 7     of this period I spent between Travnik and Vitez.  Then I would go back

 8     to Konjic, which -- in view of an operation there which the armija later

 9     cancelled, then the operation at Komar, et cetera.  Please don't be

10     offended, but your questions are too general.

11        Q.   The reference in the transcript here from Mr. Vulliamy, where

12     Colonel Siljeg told him that Prozor was now clean, General, this was, in

13     fact, one of the purposes and results of the HVO operation in Prozor in

14     late October; isn't that true?

15        A.   Incorrect, Mr. Stringer.  First, I don't know what Siljeg said to

16     Vulliamy, but I do know what I was doing and what was the position of the

17     political structures of the HVO, because I was in contact with them.  For

18     heaven's sake, if they didn't agree with the policy of return and calming

19     down of the situation, they would have sent me away.  The HVO in those

20     days, in 20 or 25 days, could have defeated the still weak Army of

21     Bosnia-Herzegovina and disarm them, so what you are trying to achieve is

22     not correct.

23        Q.   Would you agree with me, General, that when Siljeg referred to

24     the drunken celebrations outside as sort of a "boys will be boys" sort of

25     conduct, if, in fact, that was his attitude, it would set a command

Page 43903

 1     climate in his operative zone that would not be appropriate and would, in

 2     fact, lead to unprofessional conduct on the part of subordinates; is that

 3     true?

 4             MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation] If I may intervene for the

 5     transcript.  I didn't hear it.  Whether the transcript is incorrect or

 6     not, but in the question was when Siljeg spoke about the drunken

 7     celebrations.  In the document, it's Vulliamy who's talking about it and

 8     not Siljeg, so I think we have to be more precise.

 9             MR. STRINGER:  Well, I'll read the transcript again.

10             Vulliamy says:

11             "He made a reference to the rather drunken celebrations outside

12     as night games, as boys will sort of way."

13        Q.   So, General, what Vulliamy is telling us is Siljeg was tolerating

14     drunken behaviour by his subordinates, that he was aware of; isn't that

15     true?

16        A.   Sir, that is what Vulliamy says.  I cannot comment on this in any

17     other way but to say that I know that Siljeg, nor anyone else in the HVO,

18     tolerated this.  There were hundreds of documents, including my own;

19     close all the bars, introduce a curfew.  As far as this is concerned, it

20     is true, from the report of the Army of Bosnia and Herzegovina and their

21     representatives that I contacted in Rama, there were drunken soldiers of

22     the HOS who, I repeat, were roasting that lamb.  And the report says that

23     Praljak was astonished, he tried to deal with it, they didn't respect

24     him.  In the final analysis, I managed to deal with it.  That's what

25     I can tell you.

Page 43904

 1        Q.   I'm asking you about Colonel Siljeg's attitude in respect of this

 2     conduct.  And if Vulliamy is to be believed, then what we have is a

 3     situation where the operative zone commander is tolerating or shows no

 4     discomfort with sort of drunken celebration, unprofessional military

 5     conduct that is being -- that he's referring to; isn't that true?

 6        A.   And to the best of my ability, I don't know what to tell you.

 7     Siljeg, in all the contacts we had, did not tolerate these things that

 8     Vulliamy is talking about.  Now, what Vulliamy says that he heard Siljeg

 9     telling him, how can I guess?  As commander of the operative zone, Siljeg

10     never tolerated -- neither did he tolerate, nor was this permissible.

11             Throughout the war, I didn't take a single glass of alcohol, not

12     even a glass of wine.  And, believe me, I like wine.

13        Q.   General, the reference here on the Banovina, the HVO, and the HOS

14     policy.  Now, Vulliamy is a journalist from the United Kingdom, he works

15     for the "Guardian," he's arrived in this area, Prozor area, and in his

16     testimony he tells us about his conversation with Siljeg, and Vulliamy

17     makes reference to the so-called banovina, the Banovina Croatia.  Now,

18     the fact is that Vulliamy would only have gotten that word -- those

19     words, "Banovina for Croatia," from Siljeg in the context of such a

20     conversation; right?

21             MR. KARNAVAS:  Objection.  Objection to the form of the question.

22     I think this is totally improper, and I believe it is time -- high time,

23     I would say, that the Trial Chamber take control over this

24     cross-examination and limit it to its scope and nature.

25             First of all, how can this question be possibly answered?

Page 43905

 1     Assuming that Vulliamy is what he claims to be, and might I remind

 2     everyone that we -- I tendered testimony by way of Dr. Schindler's book

 3     where Vulliamy indicated in an interview that he must take sides in a

 4     war, meaning that he's not an objective observer, but how can --

 5             MR. STRINGER:  Mr. President, I'm going to object to --

 6             MR. KARNAVAS:  This person, if he is what he is, can certainly

 7     read, and this is a historical fact, and anybody can know about this.  To

 8     now ask this question as if -- this is only through this person

 9     individual, that is Siljeg, that someone who is as internationally

10     renowned as Vulliamy could have gotten this information is pure and

11     unadulterated poppycock, and I don't think this is proper

12     cross-examinations, none of this is.

13             Now, the Prosecution put on its case.  They had every

14     opportunity, if they wished to, to bring Siljeg into this courtroom and

15     impeach him, and to try to validate what Siljeg has told, supposedly, to

16     Vulliamy through this particular witness is utterly improper.  I have

17     never seen any of this sort of cross-examination in a courtroom, and I

18     don't think that as relaxed as we are in this particular system, that

19     this sort of cross-examination should be tolerated.  It has no value

20     whatsoever.

21             MR. STRINGER:  Mr. President, can I respond?

22             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes, of course.

23             MR. STRINGER:  Thank you.

24             The general's challenged the testimony of Ed Vulliamy.  I'm

25     asking him questions about Siljeg and the conversation.  I'm putting the

Page 43906

 1     Prosecution case to the witness.  The witness is free to disregard and to

 2     disagree with me, as he has on numerous occasions.  Now, there is

 3     questions -- there is obviously interest on the part of the Trial Chamber

 4     about this part of the conversation, and I think I'm entitled to put the

 5     cross-examination case on it to the witness.  If he disagrees with me,

 6     that's fine, but I don't know that this is terribly different than

 7     anything that's been happening in this courtroom.

 8             MR. KARNAVAS:  The problem, Your Honour, is that General Praljak

 9     was not present.  We don't even know how this conversation took place.

10     And might I remind everyone in this courtroom, because I certainly

11     haven't forgotten it, that when Mr. Vulliamy was here we had very tight

12     dead-lines as far as being able to cross-examine the gentleman.  And so

13     now to somehow try to bolster Vulliamy's testimony through this witness,

14     I don't see how you can possibly place any weight on it.  You can accept

15     Vulliamy's testimony as you wish, but to suggest that somehow

16     General Praljak can opine as to what was in Siljeg's mind when,

17     supposedly, he made these comments, which are counter-intuitive, by the

18     general's remarks thus far, I don't see how it benefits the Trial

19     Chamber.  We are not getting anywhere.

20             What I am seeing, however, is the abuse of allowing either side

21     an enormous amount of time for cross-examination, which is why we're

22     spending two or three hours to try to make one point that, in the end of

23     the day, is rather mindless.

24             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I am going to consult with my

25     colleagues.

Page 43907

 1                           [Trial Chamber confers]

 2             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] The Chamber, after

 3     deliberation, would like to learn from Mr. Stringer the precise questions

 4     that he wishes to put to General Praljak concerning the words of

 5     Mr. Vulliamy and what he told us when he was testifying.  Before the

 6     Chamber being able to say anything, we would like to know the area of the

 7     questions that you're going to put, because we are a bit in the dark.

 8             MR. STRINGER:  The question would be this, Mr. President, whether

 9     the witness agrees with me that when Siljeg spoke of the banovina, he

10     was, in fact, telling Vulliamy what precisely was HVO policy.

11             MR. KARNAVAS:  Mr. President, how do we know that he actually

12     spoke?  Do we have a tape of -- yes.

13             JUDGE TRECHSEL:  Because I think that this is a question which

14     really calls for speculation.  It calls for the witness to say what he

15     thinks that Mr. Siljeg thought, and I do not think that it is proper to

16     ask that kind of question.  I hope you also agree, Mr. Karnavas.

17             MR. KARNAVAS:  I do agree.

18             JUDGE TRECHSEL:  Okay.

19             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Judge Trechsel has responded,

20     so, Mr. Stringer, please move on.  If you wish to stay on this subject,

21     approach it differently, because it is very difficult, as my colleague

22     has said, talking about a witness who was not present during a

23     conversation, to enter into the thoughts of the two participants at that

24     meeting.  That is rather complicated.

25             MR. STRINGER:  I'll move on, Mr. President.

Page 43908

 1             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] It's best to move on to

 2     something else.  I, personally, when I asked a question about what

 3     Mr. Vulliamy might have said, and I noted that Vulliamy said that that

 4     was not the policy of the HVO, but rather of the HOS.  That is as far as

 5     I went.  I didn't go into the thoughts of either of the two.  So please

 6     move on.

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

 8        Q.   General, the next exhibit is P00721, and it is a report of the

 9     SIS, Municipal Staff, Prozor, 8th of November, 1992.  There are initials

10     that appear at the bottom of it.  One of those is "LM."  General, we've

11     talked -- you've talked a fair amount or at various times in your

12     testimony you've spoken about reports -- SIS reports of Luka Markesic.

13     Do you agree with me that possible or, indeed, even likely that he's the

14     "LM" that's referred to here?

15        A.   It's possible and highly probable.

16        Q.   Now, he's reporting on the situation in the town following the

17     conflict between the HVO and the ABiH, and he says that:

18             "A large number of the civilian population fled.  Due to

19     extensive material damage, the town has been largely deserted.  However,

20     over the past couple of days, the situation has begun to normalise and

21     people started to return to their homes and repair the damaged

22     facilities."

23             And I'm going to skip the next paragraph, and he says:

24             "Large-scale thefts of both private and community properties have

25     taken place, including goods, vehicles, and even arms."

Page 43909

 1             And then he says:

 2             "The military police have done nothing in that respect, neither

 3     have it issued receipts on seised items, which enabled a certain number

 4     of military policemen to take possession of the seised items and arms."

 5             Now, General, just a few questions there on these last two

 6     paragraphs.

 7             Based on what you saw and observed during your time in Prozor

 8     here, do you agree with this statement that there were, in fact,

 9     large-scale thefts of both private and community properties?

10        A.   All that I have already said was that I confirmed that there were

11     thefts, and that is true.  The only problem is when we talk about the

12     amounts or the quantity, unfortunately, nobody indicates a number.  Now,

13     what Luka Markesic means when he says "large-scale," I don't know.  Is 10

14     or 50 for him "large-scale"?  Unfortunately, reports are not precise

15     enough determining the quantity or the numbers of what is being reported.

16        Q.   And then when he says in the next paragraph that:  "The military

17     police have done nothing in that respect ...," do you agree with that

18     statement as well, that the military police, in fact, did nothing to

19     prevent the large-scale thefts that he referred to?

20        A.   I don't know, sir.  SIS and the military police should have

21     collaborated.  I know with certainty, because I spoke about it, and that

22     is that Valentin Coric did issue an order, and I saw it here, that the

23     cars should be collected.  To what extent they succeeded, I don't know,

24     because after the release of prisoners and after the population returned,

25     I left to go to Travnik because Central Bosnia was in danger.

Page 43910

 1        Q.   And then he says that the Command is working on appointing a new

 2     military police commander, and then he continues -- or the reports

 3     continues and it says:

 4             "The conflict was followed by introduction of curfew, which is

 5     not adhered to in most of the cases and, as a result, drunk armed

 6     individuals, members of our units, frequently fire their weapons.  They

 7     even steal and burn private facilities, in spite of the fact that the

 8     conflict is over and that the situation is calming down."

 9             Now, General, is that, indeed, the situation that you observed

10     when you were in Prozor, following the conflict there, when you arrived?

11        A.   Certainly there were such problems, Mr. Stringer.  There's no

12     doubt about it.  But this person's duty is to say -- this is the Security

13     Service.  He should say, Such and such a soldier, at such and such a

14     time, in such and such a place, did such and such a thing, and then,

15     according to my information, these people torched this building.  So this

16     is a general story, and then when you ask someone, Who are we going to

17     arrest and who are we going to prosecute, then this paper means nothing

18     at all.  And then he also says that 90 per cent of those who had done

19     what they did had already fled the territory of the municipality.

20        Q.   Now, he continues on to say:

21             "A great number of those who are responsible for the conflict,

22     about 90 per cent of them, are at large and out of our municipality,

23     while those less responsible either do not feel responsible at all or

24     they report to the military police themselves, and some of them are

25     forcefully brought in and disarmed by the military police.  We have to

Page 43911

 1     admit that the military police are more or less powerless when it comes

 2     to seizing and returning the taken property, and therefore we deem that

 3     the only solution is engaging a military police unit from elsewhere."

 4             Now, General, the fact is that a big part of the problem in

 5     Prozor was the military police, itself; isn't that true?

 6        A.   That is what the man who, according to establishment, should have

 7     authority over.  The military police has written that.  Now, who is he

 8     writing to?  The military police, according to establishment, should have

 9     been a part of the SIS, S-I-S.  I don't know.  I know that there were

10     problems.  I know how dealt with them.  Of course, I couldn't run from

11     one bar to another, nor did I have such authority, nor is it physically

12     possible.  I calmed the situation down in that area to the best of my

13     ability with the assistance of many people, Siljeg and others, not on my

14     own.  Not that there were problems; there were, certainly.

15        Q.   General, we're going to be talking sometime soon, maybe tomorrow,

16     about Gornji Vakuf and the events that happened there in January of 1993.

17     Based on the experience in Prozor, General, would you agree with me that

18     you and any HVO commander, who is commanding HVO units at Gornji Vakuf in

19     January, should have been well aware of the possibility that HVO units

20     and soldiers would get involved in criminal activities as part of or

21     following military operations?

22        A.   I don't know how I could answer that.  Naturally, every civilian

23     in every town, in any place, can be involved in some sort of a crime.  I

24     don't know how I could answer such a conditional question.  Anyone can

25     become a criminal at any point in time.  No one is immune to this.  No

Page 43912

 1     one can claim for certain that such a thing might never occur.

 2        Q.   And based on the events in Prozor, where the HVO committed a

 3     number of crimes, thefts, looting, at the very least, that we've been

 4     talking about, you and Siljeg were on notice that, in fact, the same

 5     sorts of crimes were likely to occur when military operations were

 6     conducted in Gornji Vakuf; isn't that true?

 7        A.   Mr. Stringer, the HVO never committed any crimes.  Individuals

 8     commit crimes.  For the HVO to commit crimes, it would have been

 9     necessary to issue orders -- for orders to have been issued, for this to

10     have been authorised or suggested, but this was never done, from

11     Mate Boban to Petkovic to myself and so on.  Individuals can do such

12     things.  They're held to account.  There are investigations, charges,

13     convictions.

14        Q.   You knew that a significant number of HVO individuals committed

15     crimes in Prozor; correct?

16        A.   No.  A significant number of HVO individuals didn't commit

17     crimes.  I didn't know about that, I didn't know which individuals were

18     concerned, which municipalities they had came from, where they came from,

19     because 90 per cent of them, according to the report, fled, so it's

20     certain that in that area there were a certain number of criminals who

21     were present.  This wasn't written on their foreheads, naturally.

22        Q.   And you knew and Colonel Siljeg knew, Brigadier Petkovic knew,

23     that it would be necessary to closely monitor and to implement measures

24     to prevent similar crimes from taking place in Gornji Vakuf; correct?

25        A.   First of all, you have the assumption that crimes were

Page 43913

 1     perpetrated in Gornji Vakuf.  I'm not aware of that.  The first thing is

 2     correct.  In each and every place, we referred to continual training, to

 3     rules, to duties, preparation for operations.  Whenever there were

 4     preparations for operations, we spoke about military conduct.  Whatever a

 5     commander could do, did it in the HVO.  If there were any violations,

 6     this would be noted after an investigation and the procedure would be

 7     followed such as it was.

 8        Q.   General, the next exhibit --

 9             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] A technical question,

10     General Praljak.

11             I have noticed that this report was drafted -- when it was

12     drafted, there were two copies.  It's the last sentence in the document,

13     so there are two copies.  We don't know where the copies were sent to.

14     Where was the document found, the one we have in B/C/S?  We can see the

15     stamp from the archives, but where was it found?  So I have a series of

16     questions there.

17             Nevertheless, in your opinion, in technical terms, the SIS report

18     is usually addressed to whom, exactly?

19             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I think there was -- what was it

20     called?  There was part of the SIS for the operative zone.  I don't know

21     whether it was in Tomislavgrad or Livno.  And there's a SIS

22     administration that sends the second document.  I think those two copies

23     were sent to the person responsible.  I don't know.  Stojic, don't

24     intervene.  I'm talking about what is possible.

25             THE ACCUSED STOJIC: [Interpretation] May I say something?

Page 43914

 1             Where does it say that it went somewhere, that it was sent

 2     somewhere?

 3             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] You say "I think."  I'm not

 4     asking you about what you think.  Usually, in military terms, an SIS

 5     report should be addressed to whom, exactly?  To whom is such a report

 6     sent?

 7             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I won't express any

 8     opinions, I won't say what I think, so in that case I don't know.  The

 9     SIS wasn't part of the Main Staff, so you should bring someone from the

10     SIS here to answer the question so that I don't have to speculate.

11             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] So you can't answer the

12     question.  That's sufficient for me.

13             Ms. Nozica.

14             MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I would just like to

15     draw your attention to what you already noticed in the case of a

16     document.  You asked whether the document was a military one.  I'd like

17     to draw your attention to the fact that in the heading of this document

18     it says the "Stozer Municipal Staff," and within that staff, the SIS,

19     within that framework, the SIS.  So when we have a look at all the SIS

20     reports, I believe it's very difficult to speculate, and I don't think it

21     would be a good thing to speculate as to whom these documents were

22     addressed to, because as part of the Municipal Staff there were a number

23     of addressees to whom this report could have been sent.

24             Thank you very much.

25             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, I apologise, although, I was

Page 43915

 1     asked to express my opinion, but it could be completely false --

 2     completely wrong.

 3             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well.

 4             Mr. Praljak, this is just a hypothesis, but let's take the

 5     following hypothesis:  This SIS report is sent to the Defence Department,

 6     but I have no proof for this, of course.  Given such a hypothesis, I put

 7     the following question to myself with regard to criminal enterprise, of

 8     which Mr. Stojic and others are a part:  If there is a criminal

 9     enterprise that includes the whole series of individuals, would the

10     department of the person who is part of the criminal enterprise draft a

11     report to say, This is what is happening?  I'm trying to find a logic

12     behind all of this, because I have already raised this issue.  As far as

13     I can remember, there was a military document that said that there were

14     cases of people being rounded up in Mostar, and so on and so forth, so I

15     already raised the issue.  I'm raising it once more now, and I'm saying

16     that if this report is sent to the Department of Defence - we don't know

17     whether that is the case or not, I have no evidence - but in that case

18     would the subordinate inform the superior and say, Look, this is what has

19     been happening?  I'm trying to be logical here.

20             So you, without speculating, in purely logical terms, would you

21     say that something of this kind would be done, but as there's a

22     Department X, for example -- well, Ms. Nozica said, It could be the

23     Municipal Staff, please pay attention to this.  Everything is possible,

24     but in logical terms, if you have a military administrative structure,

25     would the subordinate inform his superior of what was being done?

Page 43916

 1             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, Your Honour.  If this

 2     hypothesis is accepted, you could call Mr. Markesic, you could call his

 3     superior, or whoever else may have been concerned.  This wouldn't have

 4     been done.  It wouldn't be logical, for example, for me to allow a TV

 5     team to go to a prison to show what I had done as a criminal.  That would

 6     be crazy.  One would conceal that.  If anyone had wanted to do anything,

 7     not even a madman would have written down, Look, we have such and such an

 8     intention, and, urbi et orbi, he would say what was happening.

 9             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] So this report, and we don't

10     know to whom it is addressed because there's no information about that,

11     and as a result a criminal judge has to proceed by creating a number of

12     hypotheses, but is this report drafted for the military prosecutor?  If

13     that is the case, the military prosecutor has to react.  Is it for the

14     civilian prosecutor?  If so, the civilian prosecutor has to react to it.

15     If the report is intended for the commander of the Prozor-Rama Brigade -

16     well, then there's this matter of disarmed individuals - well, should the

17     brigade commander then have to react or not?

18             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] A brigade commander can't react,

19     because it's not his job.  Judge Antonetti, I know Luka Markesic fairly

20     well.  He's a very honest, good man, in a certain way.  But when you have

21     such information, information that he provided to me up there, well, my

22     question to Markesic was, Give me a name, a first and last name.  Who,

23     where, when?  Of what use is it to relay information that you obtain

24     someone?  You can take action if you have a first and last name.  Who

25     stole things, who opened fire, and so on and so forth.  There were

Page 43917

 1     difficulties, naturally, when it comes to bringing people in.  This is

 2     all noted here.

 3             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] At that point in time, the

 4     person who received this report, shouldn't he have asked for an

 5     additional report in order to have the perpetrators identified, in your

 6     opinion?

 7             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Given this is an organisation that

 8     was separate from what I was involved in in 1993, well, I would refrain

 9     from answering a question by speculating as to what should have been

10     done, that probably should have been done.  However --

11             MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I apologise, I

12     apologise.  I didn't want to intervene, but -- and I apologise to my

13     colleague, but I would like to draw your attention to a paragraph in this

14     document which is a partial answer that doesn't involve speculation, a

15     partial answer to a series of your questions, because here it says many

16     of those guilty for this conflict, about 90 per cent of them have fled,

17     they have left our municipality, whereas those who are less guilty or not

18     considered to be guilty have handed themselves in, to a large extent, to

19     the military police.  A smaller number of them have been brought in by

20     force and disarmed by the military police.  Without speculating in any

21     way, I can draw the conclusion from this paragraph that this does not

22     concern unidentified individuals.  Someone, the SIS or the commander of

23     the brigade, of the military police, identified these individuals and

24     took action against them.  So we know that there are 90 per cent who have

25     fled, and those they have access to are the subject of investigations, of

Page 43918

 1     actions.  So this is information on the event and on action taken, if you

 2     read through the entire document.

 3             Thank you.

 4             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes.  Mr. Praljak, Ms. Nozica

 5     is perfectly right, and I did notice that 10 per cent of them had been

 6     identified because they had been disarmed.  But my question concerns the

 7     90 per cent who are elsewhere.  The person who drafted the report said

 8     that this wasn't within his remit, so in that case, with regard to those

 9     who are elsewhere, the 90 per cent who hadn't been identified, who should

10     have been responsible for dealing with this matter, in your opinion?

11             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, if they were soldiers, then

12     the SIS has to investigate the matter.  If they were civilians or weren't

13     part of the military structure, for example, if it was the HOS, in that

14     case the civilian police would have been responsible for the matter.

15             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well.  We won't go any

16     further because we've spent a lot of time on the subject, but my

17     colleague has a question or some questions.

18             JUDGE TRECHSEL:  One rather brief question.

19             Mr. Praljak, on page 58, lines 6 to 9, you have said that

20     Mr. Markesic was an honest, good man, and then you say:

21             "My question to Markesic was, Give me a name, a first and a last

22     name, who were they, who, where, when."

23             Now, this could give the idea that you have actually seen this

24     report, the one that we do not know to whom it was sent.  Did you see a

25     copy of it?

Page 43919

 1             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No.  No, no, Judge Trechsel.  When

 2     I was up there, when I noticed this breakdown of order, I spoke to him.

 3     But as far as I know, he only had one other man in that department with

 4     him, and then on one or two occasions he came to see me with similar

 5     information, and I said, Well, look -- the rest you know.

 6             JUDGE TRECHSEL:  Thank you.  I thought this should be clarified.

 7             Please, Mr. Stringer.

 8             MR. STRINGER:  Thank you, Your Honour.

 9        Q.   General, the next exhibit is 3D00424.  This is one of your

10     documents.  You've talked about it already in your direct examination.

11     This is a document issued jointly by yourself and Valentin Coric on

12     ordering that the cars taken away from the people at Prozor be returned

13     to them.  Just a couple of questions about this.

14             The order, General, in the heading or the letterhead part is

15     dated the 14th of November, 1992, but then there are notations to the

16     left of Mr. Coric's signature, which are above your signature, which

17     indicate that the order's being directed to Colonel Siljeg and that the

18     dead-line for implementation of the order is 2000 hours on the 19th of

19     December, 1992.  So there is more than a month between the date of the

20     order and the date of its implementation, and I was just wondering if you

21     could shed some light on that for us.  Was it your intention to allow for

22     about five weeks for the implementation of this order to take place?

23        A.   No, no, sir.  This order obviously consists of two parts.  This

24     is an order to the Military Police Administration, signed by Mr. Coric,

25     or someone signed on his behalf.  He's put it in the present tense.  He

Page 43920

 1     says the vehicles that were confiscated from those who had confiscated

 2     them, those vehicles are located in a certain place, they have to be

 3     given to Ante Alilovic, who will ensure that the vehicles are returned to

 4     their owners.  This order has to be implemented by the 17th of November,

 5     so from the -- between the 14th and 17th of November, up until 1200

 6     hours, and this is to be done by Zdenko Andabak.

 7             But the order to Siljeg, as to what that concerns, I have no

 8     idea, but it's not the same thing.  Something was sent to him, and he had

 9     to take action, and I signed all of this.

10        Q.   General, did you -- assuming that Mr. Coric signed this order on

11     the 14th of November, 1992, did you also sign it on the 14th of November?

12        A.   Yes.

13        Q.   So you didn't add your signature later on or about sometime in

14     December, directing it specific to Mr. Siljeg?

15        A.   No, I think we drafted this together.  I didn't add anything to

16     the order.

17        Q.   Now, this order does not contain any reference to investigation

18     or punishing people responsible for taking all the vehicles.  General,

19     did you, yourself, issue any orders requiring investigation or

20     prosecution of individuals responsible for taking all the cars that are

21     the subject of this order?

22        A.   Mr. Stringer, I didn't.  I co-signed this order, I gave it a

23     certain weight.  I didn't have the right to issue orders to what you are

24     saying.  I made requests.  The order on returning doesn't also have to

25     contain information on action to be taken against those who are guilty.

Page 43921

 1     This is the responsibility of the military police, and then punishment is

 2     meted out on the basis of the person who has been captured.  Here, this

 3     has to do with returning -- this order has to do with returning the cars

 4     by the 17th of November, the cars that were confiscated.

 5        Q.   Now, it says here the cars were located at the stations of the

 6     2nd Military Police Battalion and that they have to be transported and

 7     handed over to this person in Ljubuski.  General, do you know where the

 8     cars were located on or about the 14th of November, when this order was

 9     issued?  Where's the location of the 2nd Military Police Battalion?

10        A.   I don't know, sir.  It says what it says here.  Apart from very

11     normal conversations about the issue -- about the issue that they should

12     be returned, and this was Coric's desire as well, and what was seised was

13     seised, apart from that...

14        Q.   So assuming that all of these vehicles went from Prozor, where

15     the owners lived, and ultimately ended up in Ljubuski, as referenced in

16     this order, you don't know how they would have gotten from Prozor to

17     Ljubuski or down into the Ljubuski area?

18        A.   I don't know.  But as people were captured, well, then this was

19     obviously taken to two places.  Zdenko Andabak was to -- well, I think

20     the 2nd Battalion was in Livno or Tomislavgrad, so the vehicles have to

21     be gathered and someone had to process them.  And then once they had been

22     gathered, they would be transported.

23        Q.   It just seems to me it would have been quite a logistical effort

24     to transport all these cars down to Ljubuski, and I'm wondering whether

25     you have any information about that aspect of this.

Page 43922

 1        A.   Mr. Stringer, no one transported them to Ljubuski.  As the car

 2     would be seised, you had to take the car to a place that was protected,

 3     and naturally that was a place where the military police had some sort of

 4     parking space which they could supervise.  And once they had gathered

 5     them, they'd be transported to their owners.  That's what it says here.

 6        Q.   General, the next exhibit, unless there are questions on this --

 7             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] General, General Praljak, I've

 8     been listening to you and I have been wondering about the following.  You

 9     will tell me whether this is realistic or not.

10             We know that there are a certain number of vehicles that were

11     "confiscated," in inverted commas.  In the previous document, we saw that

12     10 per cent of the perpetrators were identified, so one might think that

13     the police were doing their work.  The police gathered the vehicles, and

14     they were all gathered in Ljubuski.  That took a certain amount of time.

15     On the 14th of November, Mr. Coric issues an order according to which

16     these vehicles are to be returned by the 17th of November, by 1200 hours

17     on the 17th of November.  So this is an order on returning the vehicles.

18     And then you, on the 18th of December, perhaps on the 17th, but on the

19     18th, and you'll see why, you discover the problem, because perhaps you

20     heard about the fact that some vehicles weren't returned.  At that point

21     in time, you write on the document that you had a little note stating

22     that by the 19th of December, at 2000 hours, the order that apparently

23     hasn't been implemented should be implemented.  It's on the 18th of

24     December that you come to this realisation.

25             But have a look at the document.  You can see that there's a fax.

Page 43923

 1     It says the 18th of December, noon, 1200 hours.  Perhaps one should have

 2     identified this number, 38, 58, et cetera.  You discover there's still a

 3     problem, and you do what is necessary, and you say, Return them.  And the

 4     following day -- noon of the following day is the dead-line, because

 5     otherwise how could one explain the following?  You sign on the 14th of

 6     November, and you give them five weeks to return vehicles that were

 7     already -- or that had already been gathered.  So what I am saying:

 8     Would you say that this is possible, impossible?  I don't know.  What

 9     would you say?

10             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation]I don't know either, Your Honour.

11     However much I try, I can't remember all the details.  I know our

12     position was that vehicles should be returned, but as to what this means,

13     I don't know.

14             JUDGE TRECHSEL:  Mr. Praljak, I think a different reading of the

15     document is possible.  I read it slightly differently.

16             I think that the dead-line -- this order must be implemented by

17     1200 hours on 17 November, refers to the order to transfer the cars to

18     the deputy chief of the General and Traffic Military Police, Ante

19     Alilovic.  This transfer must occur before the 17th, and this something

20     which can easily be done because you know where you're going.  Whereas, I

21     can imagine that it is not so easy, even if you have the car, to find all

22     the owners and get them to come and pick up their cars, and that would

23     explain that the second phase, namely, the first [indiscernible] is a car

24     from one place within the HVO to another place within the HVO, the second

25     phase is from the HVO to owner, and that second phase, I could imagine,

Page 43924

 1     was not so easily performed as the first phase, and therefore a longer

 2     period was provided for the implementation.  How does that appear to you

 3     as a hypothesis, Mr. Praljak?

 4             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] All I can say is, once again, that

 5     the number of events and problems, from the moment I arrived until

 6     Christmas, the defence of Travnik, meetings, there were so many events

 7     that I can accept this, and I can't say more than that the vehicles had

 8     to be returned.  And I think that the government even made a decision to

 9     financially compensate the owners, but Mr. Prlic could tell you more

10     about that than me.  I simply can't claim with any certainty what was

11     really happened [as interpreted].  Maybe there was a problem with

12     returning those vehicles to their owners, and then I'm addressing myself

13     to Siljeg.  I simply can't say with certainty, Your Honours.

14             JUDGE TRECHSEL:  Thank you.

15             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Praljak, there is a more

16     important subject than the question of vehicles, and which appears in the

17     document.

18             You know that the Prosecutor's case is that you were the

19     commander prior to the 27th of July.  On the 19th of December, you issue

20     this order, you write a comment, but I note that there is a stamp with

21     number "1" on it.  Look at it.

22             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, I see it.

23             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] You know, like me, that stamps

24     are used under very precise conditions.  It's not anyone that is entitled

25     to use a stamp, et cetera.  So the person who put the stamp on the

Page 43925

 1     document, after your signature, it could be you, a secretary, or anyone,

 2     but anyone who has stamped the document "Praljak number 1," he must think

 3     that you have the authority given by this stamp.  What do you think about

 4     that?

 5             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Nothing.  It is for the first time

 6     here in court that I heard that stamps have a number that has any

 7     importance.  Let me say, for the hundredth time, I was not the commander,

 8     I was the assistant.  I didn't pay any attention to stamps at all, nor

 9     did I know who was stamping what.  The -- 99.9 per cent of my energy, my

10     thoughts, my intelligence was focused on what I have said; to calm the

11     situation down, to reconcile people, to help in establishing joint

12     command, to defend Travnik.  Even there I assumed a role that I shouldn't

13     have had.  When no one else is reacting and the whole valley is going to

14     fall, I didn't have the authority of a commander, but I did command in

15     Travnik.  So what else could I do?

16             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] General Praljak, I'm going to

17     stop you there because you have given a long answer.  You say that it was

18     for the first time in this Tribunal that you discovered the importance

19     and the existence of stamps.  That's what you are saying.  You are saying

20     this under oath, so I may believe you and I may also have my doubts.  But

21     this means that the HVO commander did not know that stamps had a certain

22     significance.  And you are telling us that only when you got here did you

23     realise that?

24             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Quite so, Your Honours.  I am

25     saying it under oath, that I discovered the importance of these numbers

Page 43926

 1     only when I got here to -- in the Tribunal.  That's how it was, and

 2     nothing more.

 3             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well.  According to my

 4     recollection, documents from the JNA, and this must apply also to the

 5     ABiH and the HVO - they had the same rules - stamps have numbers.  And

 6     there aren't 36 stamps, so a stamp that was put, where was it physically?

 7     When you signed, in which office did you sign this document?

 8             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I don't know.

 9             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well.  There's no point in

10     pursuing my question any further.

11             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Probably where General Petkovic

12     was.  I can't remember just now, but if the stamp was in the Main Staff,

13     then I must have done it in the Main Staff, in Petkovic's office or -- I

14     don't know, I can't remember.  I repeat, under oath, stamps did not mean

15     anything to me.  Whether that is wrong or not, that is how it was.

16             MS. TOMASEGOVIC TOMIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, with your

17     permission, I should like to return briefly to the issue prior to this

18     one with the stamps.

19             Though the stamp is illegible, perhaps it would be useful, as

20     this is a document of the 3D Defence, that we look at the original

21     document, and we see that there is certain commas, and at the top it says

22     "aorist," the past perfect tense.  So it would be useful to ask the

23     general whether he knows who put these markings on the document and what

24     does this word in the upper right-hand corner mean?

25             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Praljak, I noticed that

Page 43927

 1     "aorist" was indicated on the text, and I was wondering what this is.

 2     Perhaps you can tell us.  How would you interpret this, "aorist" and then

 3     a line, what does all this mean?

 4             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It says "aorist," which is a tense

 5     which, in the Croatian language, is the past perfect text.  So we can

 6     again engage in guess-work and say this was Siljeg or someone else.

 7     Anyway, he said "aorist," which would mean, according to the Croatian

 8     language, what is being required by this order has already been carried

 9     out.  It's a verb, an action.  "Aorist" is a verb tense which indicates

10     that the action was completed in the past, so it's the past perfect.  The

11     order has been fulfilled, that is what this person wants to indicate.

12             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you for this

13     clarification.

14             Mr. Stringer, we took some time, but it was necessary to fully

15     exhaust this document.

16             MR. STRINGER:  Yes, Mr. President.

17        Q.   General, the next document is P01327, 1327, and this one is dated

18     the 27th of January.  It's addressed to the military police from the

19     brigade commander, Simun Zutic.  And, General, the first question is

20     this, because we looked earlier at an order or a document of the brigade

21     commander of the Rama Brigade, and that was Mr. Franjo --

22        A.   Franjic.

23        Q.   Franjic.

24        A.   Not Franjo Franjic; Ilija Franjic.

25        Q.   Now, does this -- does this indicate now that the Rama Brigade

Page 43928

 1     has a different commander and his name is Zutic?

 2             JUDGE TRECHSEL:  If I may.

 3             I seem to recall that in the document where Mr. Franjic signed,

 4     it was indicated "for the commander, Franjic."  Maybe we could -- if you

 5     recall the number, we could look at it.  It is document 00 -- P00662.

 6             MR. STRINGER:  That's correct, yes, 662.

 7             JUDGE TRECHSEL:  And you have -- I read the English, handwritten,

 8     "for brigade commander," which would indicate that Ilija Franjic is not

 9     the brigade commander, because he is the one who writes.  In the

10     original, it is "Za," in handwriting before the name, "Za Zapovjednik

11     Brigade."

12             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No.  I think, Your Honour

13     Judge Trechsel, the brigade commander is Ilija Franjic, but as he was not

14     there to sign the document, it was signed by Zutic on his behalf.

15             JUDGE TRECHSEL:  Thank you.  That is not excluded.  I can take it

16     that the signature is Zutic.

17             MR. STRINGER:

18        Q.   Let me just ask it this way, General.  Perhaps you can just tell

19     us.  Do you know --

20        A.   I don't know.

21        Q.   January 27, 1993, do you know who is the brigade commander of the

22     Rama Brigade at that time?

23        A.   I don't know.  I wouldn't like to guess.  I don't know.

24        Q.   The earlier document, which was from October of 1992, the Ilija

25     Franjic document --

Page 43929

 1        A.   I don't know about that, either.  I can't say with any certainty.

 2     All this is guess-work.  I don't feel well when I am guessing.  I don't

 3     know.

 4        Q.   In any event, in this report, and now we're back to P01327, in

 5     this report to the military police, the author of this is informing the

 6     members of the military police at the check-points in the Prozor

 7     municipality of the following:

 8             1.  No Muslims are allowed to go through the area of this

 9     municipality.

10             2.  Check buses going through the area of our municipality --"

11             MS. TOMASEGOVIC TOMIC: [Interpretation] I apologise to my learned

12     friend, but maybe an error in the translation or maybe he misspoke, but

13     on page 70, line 16 and 17, the question speaks about a report, and from

14     the document we see that it is not a report, but an order.  And I think

15     the distinction is important.

16             MR. STRINGER:  Thank you.  Yes, it's an order, clearly, not a

17     report, and the order is that, as is indicated here:

18             "No Muslims are allowed to go through the municipality."

19             Secondly, that buses should be checked, and that Muslims on the

20     buses should be removed, and that the goods and cargo that Muslims try to

21     take through the area of Prozor should be confiscated.  And then the

22     order is that this takes effect immediately and all of the military

23     police check-points should be informed of it.

24        Q.   General, first question:  Would you agree with me that this is an

25     illegal order, in that it makes no distinction between Muslim civilians,

Page 43930

 1     combatants, military reasons why people would be treated in this way

 2     versus --

 3        A.   I agree with you.

 4        Q.   Were you aware of this order, which was issued in the couple of

 5     weeks or so after the events in Gornji Vakuf?

 6        A.   No.

 7        Q.   And I take it from what you've said, General, then, that you

 8     would not approve of such an order or approve of a practice or the

 9     practices that are being required in this order?

10        A.   Absolutely not.

11        Q.   Do you know whether or not the military police in Prozor carried

12     out this order?

13        A.   I have no idea, because on the 23rd of January, I left the area.

14     I could have even been there without knowing everything that was going

15     on.  It doesn't mean that if you're in a certain area, you know

16     everything that someone might do.

17             MR. STRINGER:  I have nothing further on that document,

18     Mr. President.

19             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Praljak --

20             MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation] I just wanted briefly to draw

21     attention to something.

22             I don't know whether there were any errors in the transcript;

23     I think not.  But when I read through twice, what I see, there was a

24     certain misunderstanding.  And as these are your questions, Your Honour,

25     perhaps it would be best if you could clarify this.

Page 43931

 1             On page 66, line 9, there is the question, and then line 17 the

 2     answer, and it's almost identical; that is, repeated on page 67, line 2,

 3     when your question starts, and line 10, Praljak's answer.  It's about the

 4     conversation about the stamp.  You're asking Praljak about the stamps,

 5     and Mr. Praljak obviously is answering about the number appearing within

 6     that stamp, so as if you were not on the same frequency, so it emerges

 7     that Praljak was not aware of the significance of stamps.  What he really

 8     was saying is, I never realised that the numbers within the stamp are of

 9     significance.  Perhaps you could clarify this, because in this way it

10     will be quite unclear.

11             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Praljak, let us specify.

12             When an officer signs a document, there is a stamp, and in

13     ex-Yugoslavia these stamps carried numbers, and the numbers corresponded

14     to position, number 1 being the highest, 2 below that, et cetera.  When

15     you answered my questions, your reply included the stamp and the number

16     or exclusively the number within the stamp?

17             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Give me a minute, please.  I never

18     took a stamp and stamped a document with it.  In the former Yugoslavia,

19     there were millions of stamps on hundreds of papers, on documents.  This

20     was something I didn't like.  I always admired the Americans, who would

21     sign a diploma and there would never be a stamp, whereas in our country

22     there were millions of stamps and the papers meant nothing.  In view of

23     this, and the fact that I had a different job, I knew nothing about

24     stamps or the numbers on the stamps.  It was the first time, at this

25     Tribunal, that I realised that a number on the stamp meant something.  So

Page 43932

 1     I would sign a document, and somebody would stamp it and forward it.

 2     Those were my understandings.

 3             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Concerning the document which

 4     is on the screen, in this document one can again give it two readings,

 5     which complicates our task.  I'm trying to analyse this document, and the

 6     request is that those controlling check-points should verify whether the

 7     Muslims have any goods on them, and to confiscate them, and to remove

 8     them if they are in the vehicles.  That is one understanding.  However,

 9     what is not clear in the document is whether these are vehicles which are

10     entering the zone or which are leaving the municipality, because the two

11     are quite different.  If the order applies to vehicles which are leaving

12     the municipality, one could read into that that the Muslims are being

13     prevented from leaving the municipality, and, due to that, this could

14     have a certain impact on the enterprise, that is, the wish to have the

15     Muslims leave.  The situation is different if the Muslims are coming from

16     outside and who wish to enter the municipality.  Why are they being

17     prevented, for what reason?  Is it because they are bringing aid to those

18     who are already in the municipality, or are they going to reinforce the

19     number of Muslims in the municipality?  I don't know.

20             So this document, for a Judge who reads it, poses a number of

21     problems; hence my question.  You have condemned this document, you have

22     already said that, but according to you, who has full control of the

23     language, what was the purpose of this document; to prevent the Muslims

24     from entering, to make them leave?  What was the actual aim of this

25     document, if there was an objective behind it?

Page 43933

 1             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] From this document, I cannot give

 2     this document a single interpretation.  It is a semi-literate document

 3     which one cannot interpret simply and clearly; at least I cannot.

 4             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Stringer, perhaps it's time

 5     for the break.  I see it's already 20 to 6.00.

 6             We're going to have a 20-minute break.

 7                           --- Recess taken at 5.39 p.m.

 8                           --- Upon commencing at 6.03 p.m.

 9             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well.  We will now resume.

10             You have until 10 to 7.00, because we shouldn't forget that

11     Counsel Kovacic needs a few minutes.

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

13        Q.   General, the next exhibit is P02526, 2526.  Now, we're still in

14     Prozor municipality, but we're moving forward in time.  This is an order

15     from General Petkovic to the Ljubuski Brigade regarding sending of units

16     to Prozor, and he's saying due to the exceptionally complex situation

17     around Bugojno and the threat to Vakuf and Prozor, he orders that

18     company-strength forces are immediately to be prepared and sent to

19     Prozor.  The company commander is to report to General Slobodan Praljak.

20             General, this is from May of 1993, the 26th of May, so this is

21     after the conflict between ABiH and HVO forces in Mostar that broke out

22     on the 9th/10th of May.  General, is it correct, as is indicated or as

23     suggested here, that at this time you were in Prozor?

24        A.   Yes, that's correct, at the time I was briefly in Prozor.

25        Q.   Where, precisely -- when you say you were in Prozor, just --

Page 43934

 1     again just to be clear -- well, tell me first, what were you doing in

 2     Prozor or what was the purpose for your being there at that time?

 3        A.   Well, the assistant for General Petkovic that was ordered -- I

 4     issued an order about this, as a volunteer.  Well, after the attack of

 5     the ABiH on the 9th of May in Mostar, after the situation had been calmed

 6     down in Mostar, well, similarly it was necessary to calm the situation

 7     down on the Bugojno-Uskoplje-Gornji Vakuf axis, and to this effect there

 8     were very -- there was very clear information about the fact that the

 9     ABiH had already begun to prepare for what was subsequently to happen.

10        Q.   When you say you were --

11             MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] I apologise to my learned friend

12     Mr. Stringer.  Could we perhaps correct something in the transcript?  It

13     might be important.

14             At line 16 of the page we are now on, it says that the general --

15     it says that General Praljak said, "I issued an order about this."

16     General Praljak said that he was assisting General Petkovic and that

17     General Petkovic issued an order.  I just wanted to avoid any confusion.

18             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] General Petkovic issued orders to

19     me.

20             MR. STRINGER:

21        Q.   Now, you say you were briefly in Prozor at this time.  Can you

22     tell us approximately how much time you spent in Prozor during this

23     period, 26th of May, 1993?

24        A.   I can't -- couldn't say so, but I wasn't there for long, because

25     after the situation stabilised in Mostar and in that area, after that I

Page 43935

 1     returned to Zagreb.  As for the date, well, give or take a day, it was a

 2     very short period, but no matter how much I would like to, I can't give

 3     you precise dates.

 4        Q.   And the fact that these units are going to be sent from Ljubuski

 5     and are to report to you, General, suggests that even though you didn't

 6     have a formal position in the HVO at this time, you did exercise command

 7     authority over HVO units.  Would you agree with me on that?

 8        A.   Not command authority, but a certain amount of authority when it

 9     comes to assistance, yes.

10        Q.   So it's like the prisoners we spoke about earlier who were at

11     that place in Prozor, the primary school at Ripci.  By virtue of your

12     experience and your attributes, you had authority, and the soldiers --

13     the HVO soldiers there did what you told them to do.  But the same

14     situation then applies in respect of these soldiers, then, coming from

15     Ljubuski?

16        A.   I wouldn't agree that they did what I said.  The commander of the

17     company would contact me.  The men who came from Ljubuski, and I was on

18     good terms with them from the beginning because we had been in combat in

19     1992 together, I knew them very well.  They had to be persuaded about the

20     necessity of leaving or abandoning the territorial war.  The necessity of

21     assisting Siljeg.  It was assistance, and it wasn't as you described it.

22     It was different.

23        Q.   So you had fought with these soldiers or these units previously,

24     and it was thought that you could exercise some influence and authority

25     over them; is that what you're telling us?

Page 43936

 1        A.   That's correct, yes.

 2        Q.   And now if General Petkovic is telling them to report to you,

 3     then from their point of view, what that means, in military terms, is

 4     that you're going to be their commander; is that correct?

 5        A.   No, no.  I was to assist with their reception, with explaining to

 6     them the reasons for their arrival there, why they had left their

 7     municipalities, with regard to assisting Siljeg, to incorporate them in

 8     the command structure.  It was a matter of assistance.

 9        Q.   So that after reporting to you, they were -- they became part of

10     the operative zone command structure under Colonel Siljeg; is that what

11     you're saying?

12        A.   Yes.

13        Q.   Very well.  General, the next exhibit is P --

14             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] General Praljak, the

15     Prosecution has just put a question to you that you answered in negative

16     terms.  The Prosecution would like to know whether this document made you

17     the commander of the units that were sent from Ljubuski to go to the

18     Prozor area and the Vakuf area, given the situation that prevailed.  You

19     said, No.  When we have a look at the order, and I'll put the questions

20     that come to me - I'm quite open about this, I have nothing to hide - the

21     first legal question I have is as follows:  In the chain of command, did

22     Mr. Petkovic have the right to directly appoint the superiors of the

23     Ljubuski Brigade?  That's my first question.

24             The second question:  The order of control, command,

25     communication, the three Cs, this order seems to apply to this because --

Page 43937

 1     applies to this order, because under 3, under item 3, General Petkovic is

 2     requesting a report, and if you are taking command, you have to be asked

 3     to provide a report, but this is for the Ljubuski Brigade in this case?

 4     That's a question that also occurred to me.

 5             General Praljak, this order makes you someone who will contribute

 6     to the unit or does it integrate you within the chain of command?  Does

 7     it make you the superior commander of the units sent to Prozor?

 8             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, no, Your Honour.  No,

 9     Judge Antonetti.  That's my answer to the first question.

10             General Petkovic didn't have the authority to appoint brigade

11     commanders.  That was Mate Boban's authority.  He could have asked for a

12     replacement, he could have suggested certain appointments, but as far as

13     I know, and I know this in my case, Mate Boban would appoint brigade

14     commanders and relieve them of their duties.

15             Secondly, the Ljubuski Brigade, in item 3 -- under item 3, was to

16     inform him of when they had sent men in and also whether the men had

17     arrived in the area.  The Ljubuski Brigade, that's what it says under

18     item 3.

19             There was a significant problem in the HVO, when it came to

20     sending units, as you're well aware, outside of the municipality or the

21     vicinity of the municipality.  My relationship with the brigade -- the

22     Ljubuski Brigade commander, Tomic, was taken advantage here.  At the very

23     beginning of the war or, in fact, when I arrived in 1992, I met this

24     young man.  This brigade was involved in the defence of Capljina, Stolac,

25     et cetera, to a large extent, and I had to incorporate this brigade in

Page 43938

 1     the chain of command of Mr. Siljeg.  It was a matter of assistance.  I

 2     was assisting.  I had a certain amount of authority.  I had the force of

 3     persuasion, to a certain extent.  But as for the chain of command, as for

 4     my ability to issue orders, no, I didn't have such authority, although

 5     sometimes I violated this rule.  If there was no other way, I'd write

 6     something down, and if it worked, it worked; in Travnik, for example, and

 7     so on.  This wasn't really official, but it was a matter of urgency to

 8     avoid a terrible situation.

 9             JUDGE TRECHSEL:  Mr. Praljak, I would be interested simply to

10     know, factually, and specifically, "concretno," what you did; I went here

11     and told them to do this, and so forth.  Would you do that?

12             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.  I received them, I gave them

13     the political speech.  I said that we were under threat, that they had to

14     leave their municipality, that they had to reinforce the lines up there.

15     I said that the ABiH might take action, and I placed them in the chain of

16     command that was Siljeg's or, rather, they were part of the sector that

17     they were to be in.

18             With your leave, Judge Trechsel, Colonel Blaskic, in Travnik,

19     issued, for example, a certain order.  The director of a factory that had

20     to produce ammunition wouldn't abide by the order, wouldn't implement the

21     order.  General Blaskic didn't know how to implement the order.  In that

22     case, since everything was going to fall, I used my force, the fact that

23     I'm corpulent, that I have certain knowledge, that I'm a man of the

24     theatre, and I took things into my own hands.  As you saw, that was the

25     case when I had to deal with returning units to their positions.  I used

Page 43939

 1     my verbal skills.  When there was no other way out of the situation, I

 2     would do such things.

 3             JUDGE TRECHSEL:  I'm sorry.  You have started being pretty

 4     specific, and then you have switched off to general and other incidents

 5     and so forth.

 6             The last thing we know is you integrated these newly-arrived

 7     troops into the -- I think it was the Rama Brigade, probably.  Did you

 8     divide them up, did you take them to the front, did you take them to a

 9     commander and give them over to the commander of the brigade?

10     Afterwards, what did you do?  This is the kind of information I would be

11     interested in hearing.

12             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, it's not the Rama Brigade, it's

13     the Ljubuski Brigade, and that's why this was necessary, because it was

14     100 kilometres from Rama.  That's why it was necessary for me to explain

15     to them the purpose of their arrival there.

16             JUDGE TRECHSEL:  I'm sorry, excuse me.  The order says:  "Send

17     them immediately to Prozor."  Prozor, I thought, was an area which was

18     not under control of the Ljubuski Brigade but of the Rama Brigade, but

19     maybe I get this wrong.

20             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, no, the area of Rama, but they

21     didn't go to Rama but in the direction of Gornji Vakuf.  And Siljeg was

22     in command of this, so --

23             JUDGE TRECHSEL:  So did you take them to Siljeg or to a

24     sub-commander of Siljeg?

25             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Judge Trechsel, I didn't take them

Page 43940

 1     there.  They arrived there.  They were provided with accommodation.  I

 2     gave them explanations, and then they received orders from Siljeg as to

 3     where they were to go.

 4             JUDGE TRECHSEL:  And was that the end of your contribution?  You

 5     received them, you gave a speech, and then they were left to Siljeg, and

 6     you went away, that was the end of your mission?  If not, what else did

 7     you do?

 8             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Nothing.  I was helping Siljeg.  I

 9     was helping Siljeg.  I spoke to the men.  I spoke to them.  Much could be

10     achieved through speaking to them.  It wasn't necessary to always use

11     orders.  They could think of a hundred reasons not to leave Ljubuski, and

12     General Petkovic at the time couldn't do anything that a normal army

13     would do in order to go up there.  And you have seen this in the

14     documents.  Someone can quite simply leave the territory and not suffer

15     any consequences.  You don't know what to do to them.  You don't have any

16     other troops.  I'm trying to answer to the best of my ability by just

17     providing you with factual answers.

18             JUDGE TRECHSEL:  Well, first of all, they had left Ljubuski,

19     because they were now in Gornji Vakuf.  So they had already left

20     Ljubuski.  So the question whether they liked to do that.  And you say, I

21     assisted Colonel Siljeg, I talked to them.  I find that it is not clear

22     to me.  I cannot imagine how this actually happened.  Did you go around

23     and talk to these people individually, or did you assemble sub-groups,

24     or -- I mean, to assist someone is not a very precise description of

25     activity.

Page 43941

 1             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] If at the time, after what had

 2     happened in Mostar, General Petkovic hadn't written down that they should

 3     report to Praljak, I'm not sure that they would have gone there, because

 4     they respected me.  It says here, Go up there, General Praljak will

 5     receive you, and I'm claiming that that was perhaps the only real reason

 6     for which they actually set off on this trip.

 7             MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, with your leave,

 8     could I draw your attention to item 4 of the order with regard to this

 9     subject?  It might assist us in understanding this situation.

10             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Of course, Judge Trechsel, in which

11     order would a commander write -- try and understand this, Prozor and

12     Vakuf under threat?  It says, Please try and understand what is at stake.

13     Which army and which state would write something like this?  It says, Go

14     and report to General Praljak.  This is how the HVO functioned to a large

15     extent.  Try and understand.  Who, in the American or French Army, would

16     write down, Please, such and such a company should go down there, they

17     are under threat, so if possible, please go there?  That's what I'm

18     trying to explain to you.  He's pleading.  He's trying to make them feel

19     they should go.  It's not a military order, if you can understand what I

20     am trying to say.  That's how it was.

21             JUDGE TRECHSEL:  I see that I do not really get an answer to my

22     question, which is quite specific.

23             I had noted number 4.  It was absolutely not necessary to draw

24     our attention to it, Ms. Alaburic.  And it is -- it strikes me as a

25     highly unprofessional military order, I must say.  You are right, this is

Page 43942

 1     not a normal military order, but it seems to me -- I mean, the technique

 2     of giving orders seems not to have been very developed in the HVO, which

 3     is fully in agreement with much that you have told us.  So this is --

 4     this is just evidenced here again.  But I think I will not insist, and

 5     let Mr. Stringer continue.

 6             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Just a minute.

 7     General Praljak, just a minute.

 8             General Praljak, I don't want to linger on this issue, but when

 9     you provide an answer and we have a document, I try to regard this in the

10     context of all the evidence that we have seen to date.  As a result, I

11     have to perform a sort of intellectual gymnastics so that I have all the

12     information at my disposal.  As a result, I'm totally exhausted at the

13     end of each and every hearing.

14             The order that we have before us, I link it to what you have told

15     us, but not only you; others have said the same thing.  You said that the

16     military component of the HVO was, in fact -- well, they were, in fact,

17     municipal brigades.  They were located in municipalities.  And you said

18     that the soldiers, they didn't want to leave their municipalities and

19     they didn't want to go and fight elsewhere.  Fine, this stuck in my

20     memory.  And here we see that Prozor and Vakuf were in danger.  That's

21     under item 4.  General Petkovic, who realised the nature of the

22     situation, wanted to send reinforcements to the area, but apparently he

23     hadn't had the Ljubuski Brigade at your disposal.  And you said a minute

24     ago that Ljubuski was a hundred kilometres away.  And as a result,

25     according to everything you have already said, the men from Ljubuski

Page 43943

 1     hesitated to go to Prozor, and this explains the fact that -- or could

 2     explain the fact that under item 2 you are attributed a certain role.

 3     And you said that this role -- you said this in response to a question

 4     from my colleague.  You said that this role meant that you had to go

 5     there.  You gave them a speech, you told them that Prozor and Vakuf were

 6     in danger and that they were needed.  And, finally, as far as I

 7     understood the matter, they accepted to go, they agreed to go, and they

 8     placed themselves under the authority of Colonel Siljeg.  Is that, in

 9     fact, the situation?

10             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] In essence, yes.  General Petkovic

11     is a high-ranking professional officer in the JNA.  He has issued

12     thousands of perfect orders.  The fact that this one isn't a perfect

13     order shows that we weren't dealing with an army in which orders are

14     issued in the usual way.  He was aware of the fact that men and units

15     refused to obey orders for many reasons, and that is why item 4 says:

16     "Do realise that ..." item 2 says report to Praljak, and because I knew

17     the men, I knew half of them very well -- well, because that, they would

18     go and he'd be informed of it.  They arrived.  I spoke to them, I went

19     into the field with them.  I -- Siljeg was there, too, and they were

20     incorporated within the normal chain of command.  What can I do?  That's

21     what the army was like.  It's not my fault that I or, rather, Petkovic

22     didn't have the 101st American Marine Division.

23             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] According to what you say,

24     there's a small issue.  Look at the stamp next to the signature of

25     General Petkovic.  You see there number 2, a number "2" on the stamp.  As

Page 43944

 1     far as I know, General Petkovic was not the number 2.  How come that

 2     there's the number "2" here?  You're going to tell me, perhaps, that, I

 3     can't give you an answer.  Well, tell me that you can't answer the

 4     question.  When General Petkovic testifies, I will ask him.  But as far

 5     as you are concerned, can you give me an answer?

 6             Tell me.  It's not in the transcript unless you say it.

 7             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I don't know, I don't know.

 8             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well.  Let us imagine that

 9     I am an officer in the HVO and I receive this order, and I am polarised

10     by the stamps.  I look at the order and I see that General Petkovic has

11     the number 2.  Can I legitimately ask myself whether number 1 is not

12     Slobodan Praljak, especially so if I am familiar with the document on the

13     vehicles?

14             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] But on that stamp, we don't see the

15     Main Staff and everything.  I don't know where it came from.  On that

16     one, you can't see everything.  You can't see that it is the Main Staff

17     at the bottom.  And I think General Petkovic is very familiar with these

18     things, and you will be able to ask him these things.

19             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Okay.  When the time comes,

20     we'll look into that.

21             MR. STRINGER:

22        Q.   General, the next exhibit --

23        A.   [No interpretation].

24        Q.   Excuse me, General.  Thank you.

25        A.   Let me just answer.

Page 43945

 1        Q.   I have the floor.  We've exhausted --

 2        A.   Very well.

 3        Q.   We've exhausted this issue and this document, in my submission,

 4     and I think it's time to move on.

 5             P03887, 3887.  General, this one is dated the 2nd of August,

 6     1993.  We have a signature, "Ilija Franjic," who in this document is

 7     indicated to be the military police commander in Rama-Prozor at this

 8     time.  Do you know whether, in fact, Mr. Franjic was the military police

 9     commander in Prozor on the 2nd of August, 1993?

10        A.   I think he was, yes.

11        Q.   Do you know who appointed him to that position?

12        A.   I don't know.

13        Q.   Under the structure of the Military Police Administration, would

14     he have been appointed to that position by Mr. Coric?

15        A.   I don't know.

16        Q.   Now, in this document Mr. Franjic is issuing what he calls an

17     approval regarding freedom of movement, and he says that:

18             "In the capacity of the Rama-Prozor Military Police commander, I

19     personally grant Omer Beric, aka Baja, born on the 2nd of March,

20     1940...," et cetera, "... a member of the HVO and of the HDZ, freedom of

21     movement throughout the Rama municipality, having all the rights that are

22     enjoyed by all other members of the Croatian ethnicity."

23             Before I continue, General, would you agree with me that based on

24     his name, it would appear that Omer Beric was a Muslim person?

25        A.   One could make such a conclusion.

Page 43946

 1        Q.   Then the document continues:

 2             "I also strictly forbid any harassment of the above-mentioned or

 3     belittling of his integrity in any other way.

 4             "The above-mentioned is bound to report to the military police

 5     commander or his deputy on a daily basis.

 6             "This approval regarding freedom of movement for the

 7     above-mentioned is valid indefinitely or until it is revoked."

 8             Now, General, what we have here is a person who appears to be of

 9     Muslim ethnicity, who's a member of the HVO armed forces, because a

10     military identification card is indicated, and he's also a member of the

11     party, the Croatian Democratic Unit, the HDZ.

12             The first question would be, General, whether you're aware of

13     this particular situation or similar situations in which these sorts of

14     freedom of movement documents were issued to Muslim people in Prozor?

15        A.   I was not aware of them.

16        Q.   Because at this period of time, you're commander of the HVO

17     Main Staff, and as we've been discussing, this is taking place right

18     within the area that you spent most of your time and directed most of

19     your attention, Prozor; correct?

20        A.   Yes, this happened in the area where I was, but on the 2nd of

21     August, as far as I am concerned, there was so much shooting along a line

22     30 kilometres long that apart from defending the front-lines, there was

23     nothing else in my mind, nor could there be, from night to night, one

24     night to the next, from one day to the next.

25        Q.   General, would you agree with me, based on the fact that you were

Page 43947

 1     in this region, that it was necessary to issue this sort of document

 2     because members of the Muslim population in Prozor, even by August of

 3     1993, were being terrorised and victimised by the HVO; isn't that true?

 4        A.   I am not familiar with this order, but I did not see, nor did I

 5     have any knowledge about the Muslims being terrorised, not the least

 6     information about that.  On the contrary, I had some contacts with the

 7     hodja.

 8        Q.   General, I'm going to put this to you.  We talked last week -- or

 9     we talked about an autonomous Croatian area that you wanted.  Let me put

10     this to you, that when the sort of thing that's referenced here, where

11     it's necessary to issue passes to people of one ethnicity, directing that

12     they have all the rights to be enjoyed or that are enjoyed by members of

13     another ethnicity, that's the sort of situation that happens when you

14     start carving out territories based on ethnicity; isn't that true?

15        A.   I wouldn't agree with you, sir.  The strength of the attack, the

16     number of people from Bugojno, the dispersed army, the crimes of the Army

17     of Bosnia and Herzegovina, may be the reason for this kind of wording,

18     that you mustn't act against them.  The number of dead HVO people was

19     very high in those days as a result of attacks by the BH Army, so I can't

20     comment on what Mr. Franjic wrote there.  But to have control over those

21     people and the 15.000 refugees and one and a half thousand combatants,

22     the situation was extremely difficult.  You don't have an apparatus to

23     deal with it.  It's mostly talk, talk, talk, and persuasion as to what

24     may be done under what -- and what may not.  Of course, there were things

25     that --

Page 43948

 1        Q.   But the fact is that every Muslim in Prozor was entitled to this

 2     sort of treatment, equal treatment, not just Muslims who happened to be

 3     carrying HVO or HDZ membership cards; isn't that true?

 4        A.   That is true, sir.

 5        Q.   And the military police in Prozor should have been protecting all

 6     of the people, including Muslims, regardless of whether they were members

 7     of the HVO or carried HDZ membership cards.  Would you agree with me

 8     there, too?

 9        A.   I agree with that too, sir, but the military police was mainly

10     involved at the front, both the military and the civilian police, because

11     the BH Army was conducting a terrible aggression.  These are facts.  And

12     I suppose Franjic wanted to emphasise that you must treat him like a

13     Croat, not to distinguish between them, but the people who had left

14     dozens of dead and captured members up in Bugojno -- you see, reprisals

15     are a terrible thing.  Of course, that is a crime, there's no doubt about

16     it, but -- we know that it's a criminal offence, but still people do all

17     kinds of things.  And we know that this was a terribly difficult time for

18     anyone, and one would -- well --

19        Q.   The next document, unless there's a question on this one,

20     Mr. President, the next document is P03458, 3458.  This is going back a

21     few weeks to the 15th of July.  This is a report of SIS Chief Drago

22     Banovic of the North-West Herzegovina Operative Zone SIS, and it's a

23     report to the SIS Administration, HZ-HB, Mostar.  And he's reporting that

24     the military security situation in Prozor has been disturbed by members

25     of the local military police, or civilian police, or members of the Rama

Page 43949

 1     Brigade.  And he says that:

 2             "In Prozor, the military police is the strongest by numbers, with

 3     134 military policemen, who do not answer to anyone for their 'work,' who

 4     raid villages, loot, torch, and so on.  We have pointed to the problems

 5     with the above-mentioned several times already, but nothing has been done

 6     on the matter."

 7             And then he goes on to cite a specific example of an event that

 8     occurred on the 5th of July, where houses were burned, stock was killed,

 9     and we see the rest.

10             He continues, and I'm moving to the next page now in the English:

11             "They are taking from the Muslims gold, money, and more valuable

12     goods which are ending up in the pockets of local thieves (mostly

13     military policemen, whose commander knows about them but is not doing

14     anything).  Many more examples could be cited."

15             Now, General, the first question is this, because we're going to

16     talk about the military police and the military police that you were

17     using when you were in Prozor:  The fact is, first of all, that the

18     looting and the theft and the terrorising of the Muslim population that

19     we've been talking about, as early as October of 1992, the fact is,

20     General, it was continuing here in Prozor in the months that followed

21     here, as late as the 15th of July; isn't that true?

22        A.   What am I expected to reply, that I knew about all this and did

23     nothing?  This is a report I have nothing to do with.  These are reports

24     that have nothing to do with me.  It's a report signed by Mr. Banovic,

25     and you're asking me to testify about it as if I knew that the situation

Page 43950

 1     was like he says.  I've told you what I was aware of, what I did, and I

 2     would stop there.  Mr. Stringer, you could have spoken to Mr. Banovic and

 3     brought him here to tell him -- to ask him about the connections, rather

 4     than asking me about things that --

 5        Q.   You spent August and September of 1993 in Prozor.  I recognise

 6     this is from 15 July, but the fact is, General, and this is my question:

 7     You were aware, weren't you, in August of 1993, that the Muslim

 8     population was being preyed upon by the military police in Prozor?  You

 9     were aware of that, weren't you?

10        A.   I was not.  And I didn't spend the whole of August and September

11     in Prozor.  I spent some time going to Mostar.  On the 15th, I was

12     involved in battles in the south of Mostar.  When I say "most of the

13     time," then you mustn't take that to mean for two months without

14     interruption, because I was also on the hills and to the south of Mostar.

15     But I did spend a good part of the time down there fighting.

16     Unfortunately, fighting on a daily basis.

17        Q.   So you're fighting.  You're the commander of the HVO military --

18     excuse me, the HVO Main Staff, and you're fighting.  Are you telling us,

19     General, that because you're busy fighting, you can legitimately avoid

20     undertaking all of the other responsibilities that fall to the

21     highest-ranking member of the HVO military, responsibilities such as

22     looking after civilian populations in areas under the command of you and

23     your subordinates?

24        A.   The civilian population was not under my command, and I am not

25     responsible for the civilian population.  Other people are responsible

Page 43951

 1     for that.

 2             Secondly, sir, one has 24 hours at one's disposal, and

 3     responsibility doesn't stem -- does stem from the situation one is in.

 4     You cannot be held responsible for something -- well --

 5        Q.   General, we're going to end in just a minute, because I know that

 6     there's a matter to bring up, but let me just conclude with this.

 7             Yesterday, you told us that you didn't have any responsibility or

 8     you bore no responsibility for HVO prisoners of war during the time that

 9     you were commander of the HVO Main Staff.  Now you're telling us that in

10     addition to that, you bear no responsibility -- you have no obligations

11     in respect of civilians who find themselves within zones under HVO

12     military control?  Is that your testimony as well?

13        A.   What is a military zone?  I am not an occupier.  I didn't

14     occupier a certain territory or a captured territory, and then to

15     administer that territory.  A military commander has the defence lines,

16     and the territory behind him is not under his command, as far as I am

17     familiar with international war law.

18        Q.   So you're only responsible for what is happening on the

19     front-line and you're not responsible, as the commander, for the general

20     area that's controlled by the HVO military behind the front-lines; is

21     that what you're telling us?

22        A.   Why are you saying that the HVO military is holding behind the

23     lines?  The HVO is holding the lines.  It has a narrow belt behind it,

24     and it is not controlling the Rama municipality because the positions

25     towards the army are in Uskoplje.  The Rama municipality is not a

Page 43952

 1     military zone, it's not an occupied area.

 2             MR. STRINGER:  Mr. President, perhaps we should come back to this

 3     tomorrow.

 4             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well, thank you.

 5             Mr. Kovacic, we have nine minutes exactly.

 6             MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I shall be very brief.

 7             In view of the schedule that has been distributed prior to the

 8     recess, let me remind you that we had envisaged that General Praljak's

 9     testimony, including the possible redirect, would be completed on Monday,

10     the 31st of August, and that on the 1st of September we can call our

11     first expert witness, our first witness, et cetera.  Of course, I think

12     that in the mail that we have sent, that we cannot envisage with

13     precision how long the cross would take on the part of the Prosecution,

14     and that, therefore, certain leeway must be allowed for in the schedule.

15             I am in touch with my learned friend from the Prosecution

16     regarding the schedule.  We communicate very well.  I am following the

17     number of hours that he has used, but we both agree that it is very

18     difficult to envisage when this cross-examination will be completed

19     because the progress is rather atypical.  I have analysed the amount of

20     time used by the Prosecution compared with the overall time.  It varies a

21     lot, and it is very difficult to plan for the future.

22             I have a clearly technical problem.  It is quite clear that the

23     Prosecution will not be finished at least by mid-week, so if,

24     theoretically, the first day for the first expert is Thursday, the 3rd of

25     September, I must tomorrow, by the latest, inform the Victims and

Page 43953

 1     Witnesses Unit for them to organise their trip.  So what may happen is

 2     that the cross-examination may be completed, you, Your Honours, may also

 3     have certain additional questions.  We do not think that the redirect

 4     will take more than one or two hours, but we cannot be sure.  But I would

 5     like to avoid the situation when we finish our work and the witness isn't

 6     here.  Then, also, there are certain obligations and funds involved.

 7     I can ask for the witness to be brought on the 2nd or the 3rd of

 8     September.  I'm not paying him.  It's the Registry that's paying.  Of

 9     course, I can't do that.  I'm trying to be reasonable, and I'm trying to

10     bring the witness two or three days before his testimony for the minimum

11     proofing that we need to do.

12             At the same time, I do not wish to be in a situation that I could

13     call a witness on Monday and I haven't called him in time.  So could I

14     please ask that perhaps tomorrow, at the end of the day, we try to make

15     some forecasts.

16             I know that it is difficult.  Of course, the closer we are to the

17     end, it will be easier, and my learned friend has agreed with me in that

18     respect, but it's too vague for the moment.

19             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Kovacic, it is almost

20     impossible to forecast, because the Prosecution have 16 hours.  They have

21     used 24 hours.  They have 16 hours left.  Mr. Stringer may tell us now

22     whether he's going to use those 16 hours or not.

23             A second factor that we know, and that is that you're going to

24     use about two hours for the redirect.  As far as I am concerned, I will

25     be very brief.  I will only have some questions to put to Mr. Praljak

Page 43954

 1     regarding the maps, because I wish to see the exact positions of the

 2     units over time.  This will not take long.  But the other Defence

 3     counsels may also have questions to put.  The Chamber is not opposed to

 4     this, but having deliberated, the members of the Chamber feel that if

 5     Madam Alaburic has questions to put -- but this will be taken off her

 6     time.  But we don't know at this stage whether she intends to have

 7     questions or not.  I'm talking about the Stojic Defence.

 8             So, first of all, it's up to Mr. Stringer to tell us how much

 9     time he intends to use, because he still has 16 hours to his credit.

10             MR. STRINGER:  Mr. President, it's really hard for me to say

11     whether the Prosecution will use the entire 16 that's left or not.

12     What's easier for me to think about is the topics and the binders that we

13     have completed versus the topics and the binders that are left, and

14     that's -- all of us can look on the list that we filed prior to the

15     beginning of the proceedings last week, and I would have to take a look

16     to see.  So for me, we are intending to question the general on all the

17     topics that are set out in that list.  If it takes us 16 hours to do it,

18     then that's what we're going to do.  I would be delighted if it took less

19     than the full 40 hours, Mr. President, I can assure you, but at this

20     stage it's really -- I wouldn't want to say about the hours.  What I can

21     say is about the lists and the topics that remain.  And as I've been

22     communicating with counsel for General Praljak, what we are going to be

23     doing is we're going to be informing them, you know, when there are four

24     binders left, and then three binders, and then two, which is for me, at

25     least at the moment, a more accurate way of giving an idea of how the

Page 43955

 1     pace is going, as opposed to trying to anticipate whether we'll use the

 2     full 40 hours.

 3             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well.  In any event, what

 4     appears to be already more or less certain is that your witness,

 5     Mr. Kovacic, will not come next Monday because we won't be finished by

 6     next Monday.  So it's better to see where we stand mid-week.  Perhaps we

 7     will have a clearer idea maybe next Wednesday, and then we will see how

 8     we stand.  But he certainly won't be coming on Monday, so it would be

 9     best for you to raise this issue next Wednesday.  Perhaps we will have a

10     better idea then.

11             MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.

12             I fully agree with this methodology that as we approach the end,

13     it's easier to judge when this will be over.  But for technical reasons,

14     we have to give instructions to the Victims and Witness Unit a minimum

15     seven years [as interpreted] in advance.  We have told the witnesses

16     roughly when they're expected, but that's as much as we can do.

17             JUDGE TRECHSEL:  Seven years in advance?

18             THE INTERPRETER:  Sorry, seven days.  My mistake, the

19     interpreter's mistake, sorry.  Seven days.

20             MR. KOVACIC:  Yes, seven days.

21             [Interpretation] Please bear in mind we will all know better in a

22     couple of days, but don't crucify me if I'm a day late with the witness.

23     But we will see.

24             Thank you.

25             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] That's quite normal, and no one

Page 43956

 1     will blame you for this because everyone knows that court schedules are

 2     difficult.  But it's very good that Mr. Stringer and Mr. Kovacic are

 3     communicating amongst themselves, as you have told us, and this will help

 4     us to see things more clearly.  So if you agree, we will raise the issue

 5     against next Wednesday.

 6             I think Judge Prandler wants to say something.

 7             JUDGE PRANDLER:  Thank you, Mr. President.  I really feel

 8     duty-bound to state the following: that I would like to appeal to

 9     everyone in the "pretoir" [phoen] to exercise self-control in the

10     forthcoming days in order to really let the Prosecution finish its

11     business.  Thank you.

12             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well.

13             We meet again tomorrow at a quarter past 2.00, as you know, and

14     we will finish at 6.00 p.m.

15                           [The witness stands down]

16                           --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 7.02 p.m.,

17                           to be reconvened on Thursday, the 27th day of

18                           August, 2009, at 2.15 p.m.