Tribunal Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia

Page 47247

 1                           Wednesday, 25 November 2009

 2                           [Open session]

 3                           [The accused entered court]

 4                           [The witness takes the stand]

 5                           --- Upon commencing at 9.01 a.m.

 6             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Registrar, kindly call the

 7     case.

 8             THE REGISTRAR:  Good morning, Your Honours.  Good morning,

 9     everyone in and around the courtroom.

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

11     et al.  Thank you, Your Honours.

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

13             Today is Wednesday, 25th of November, 2009.  Let me first greet

14     the accused, the witness, the Defence counsel, Mr. Bos, Mr. Scott, and

15     their case manager, and all the people assisting us.

16             You have an IC number for us, Mr. Registrar.

17             THE REGISTRAR:  Yes, Your Honour.  Thank you.

18             The Petkovic Defence have submitted their objections to documents

19     tendered by the Prosecution for admission through Witness Bozo Pavlovic.

20     This list shall be given Exhibit number IC01128.  Thank you,

21     Your Honours.

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

23             Let me use these few moments to thank the usher.  He's told us

24     that he's leaving us as of next week for a new job, and I want to express

25     my sincere thanks for his very good work, done in the interests of

Page 47248

 1     everybody, whilst he was working as an usher in this Trial Chamber.  On

 2     my behalf, on behalf of my colleagues, I wish him the best in his new

 3     job, and I note that once again the best are leaving, one after the

 4     other.  I'm rather worried about it.  Who's going to be the next one out?

 5     Whatever the case, I really thank you, Mr. Usher.  I wish you all the

 6     best in your new job.

 7             Yes, Mr. Kovacic.

 8             MR. KOVACIC:  Good morning to everybody and Your Honours.

 9             Your Honour, if I may join on behalf of the Defence also with our

10     deepest respect and wishes for a new success on the new job to our usher.

11     Thank you so much.

12             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. Kovacic.

13             Mr. Karnavas, I believe -- yes, you had something to tell us.

14             MR. KARNAVAS:  Yes.

15             Good morning, Mr. President.  Good morning, Your Honours.  Good

16     morning to everyone in and around the courtroom.  I'll take 30 seconds,

17     approximately.

18             On November 19th, the Trial Chamber issued a decision concerning

19     certain videos, and based on that decision we now have some rather very

20     clear guidance from the Trial Chamber which we, unfortunately, didn't

21     have prior to that because we were relying on the standards that -- or

22     the way the Prosecution had introduced its videos or similar-type

23     evidence.  Based on that, we would like to have the opportunity to go to

24     HTV and actually get the necessary criteria, or at least make the attempt

25     to do so, as far as dates, times, with precision, and then have another

Page 47249

 1     opportunity for you to consider that evidence.  And as I understand it,

 2     we have seven days to file for reconsideration.  Given the task that is

 3     involved, we would need a little more time.  We would ask that we be

 4     given until December the 7th, that would be a week from this Monday, to

 5     have all that arranged with the Croatian government, to go to the HTV, to

 6     get the documentation hopefully with a notarised statement documenting

 7     with precision the dates and what have you where all these interviews --

 8     television interviews took place.  So that would be my request.  And, of

 9     course, we would have no objections if the Prosecution wanted to seek

10     similar leave for its evidence as well.  Thank you.

11             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Scott, do you have any

12     observations?

13             MR. SCOTT:  Thank you, Your Honour.

14             Good morning to you, Mr. President, all those in and around the

15     courtroom.

16             In fact, the Prosecution filed a motion yesterday seeking exactly

17     that relief.  We've tendered some additional video material, or we

18     tendering video material with initial information to hopefully satisfy

19     the Chamber's requirements.  So, indeed, consistent -- anticipating

20     Mr. Karnavas' position, we have filed our motion yesterday.  Thank you.

21                           [Trial Chamber confers]

22             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] After discussing the matter,

23     the Trial Chamber grants this dead-line until the 7th of December to the

24     Defence, by which date they will be able to file their submissions.

25             We are going to continue with the cross-examination by Mr. Bos.

Page 47250

 1     You may proceed.

 2                           WITNESS:  WITNESS 4D-AB [Resumed]

 3                           [The witness answered through interpreter]

 4             MR. BOS:  Thank you, Your Honour, and good morning to everyone in

 5     the courtroom.  Good morning, Witness.

 6             Your Honours, I would like to start in private session for the

 7     first part of cross.

 8             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Registrar, please.

 9                           [Private session]

10   (redacted)

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Page 47251











11 Pages 47251-47262 redacted. Private session.















Page 47263

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14                           [Open session]

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

16     you.

17             MR. BOS:

18        Q.   Sir, is it correct that the parallel of executive authorities of

19     the HVO were set up in Konjic and Jablanica municipality around May/June

20     1992 and that Mr. Dragutin Peric became the president of the HVO Konjic?

21        A.   In June, the president of the HVO of Konjic, that position was

22     transferred to Ivica Azimovic, and Dragutin Peric was the president of

23     the HDZ of Konjic municipality.

24        Q.   Be that as it may, it's correct that there was an executive HVO

25     authority set up in Konjic in June 1992; correct?

Page 47264

 1             MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I just have one

 2     remark.  I believe that the Prosecutor has gone beyond the limits of the

 3     direct examination with this question.  I, personally, am not opposed to

 4     your allowing him to ask this question, but I want to point out that this

 5     goes beyond the scope of the examination-in-chief.

 6             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] It goes without saying,

 7     Ms. Alaburic, these Judges are professional judges.  They are not

 8     sleeping here at the hearing.  They are listening.  They know exactly

 9     what is going on, unless you think that they are brainless, and then, of

10     course, your objection would be legitimate.

11             Please pursue.

12             MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I apologise.  This

13     wasn't the point of my remark.  But if I should ask for a redirect, I

14     wanted to point out that this goes beyond the scope of the

15     examination-in-chief.  That's the only reason.

16             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Witness, the Prosecutor put an

17     important question to you.  You probably don't really see the reasons

18     behind the question, but he said the following:  The HVO set up a

19     parallel authority.  You rectified, saying that Dragutin Peric was the

20     president of the HDZ, and you mentioned Ivica Azimovic, who was president

21     of the municipality, but I don't think that the problem stems from this.

22     The problem comes from the words used by the Prosecutor, a "parallel

23     authority."  Now, there might have been a parallel authority, but I would

24     like to know, as far as you're concerned, whether it is because the

25     Muslims didn't want to share authority with the HVO, because of this the

Page 47265

 1     HVO decided to set up a parallel authority, or whether Muslims wanted the

 2     HVO to join in with them, but it was the HVO who turned them down.  You

 3     see, it's a complex situation, and in both cases, whatever the case may

 4     be, you know, this might have repercussions on other parameters.

 5             Now, of course, you knew what was going on at the time because

 6     you were there, so could you tell us exactly what this parallel authority

 7     was all about?

 8             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] In this case, the HVO, that is, the

 9     structures of power of the HVO, wanted to protect the interests of the

10     Croatian members of the armed forces, that is, the Territorial Defence at

11     the time.  They wanted to protect the interests of Croatian soldiers and

12     the Croatian people in this case.

13             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] But could you tell us why this

14     protection could not have occurred within a joint authority?

15             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] There was such a mixed instance in

16     which there was a dis-balance in some things and the taking of some

17     decisions.  If that had continued, we would have lost our function, and

18     clearly somebody had to protect the Croats who at the time were members

19     of the units that had defended the Konjic municipality.

20             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] If I understand you correctly,

21     the HVO, on its own, decided to set up a parallel structure in order to

22     defend the interests of the Croats.

23             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] If somebody is threatened, then

24     they must somehow see to it that their interests are defended at that

25     moment, so we were fighting for our interests at that moment in time.

Page 47266

 1             MR. BOS:

 2        Q.   Just some follow-up questions on this.

 3             You said that there was a dis-balance in the authority that

 4     existed at the time.  Now, I think at that time there was a war

 5     presidency --

 6             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Just a minute.  General Praljak

 7     had a problem?

 8             THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation] Your Honours, just a

 9     technical question.

10             It's been the second day already.  In order to understand you,

11     when you speak French, and then the response, we have to switch between

12     channels.  My patience has come to an end.  I'm losing half of what is

13     being said.  I do ask you that in the following break, you see to it that

14     a technician come and fix this, because this is a disgrace.

15             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] The Registrar will do what

16     needs to be done, and let's keep our fingers crossed and hope it will be

17     solved.

18             MR. BOS:

19        Q.   Sir, you said that there was an imbalance in the political

20     authority that existed in Konjic at the time, and we're talking about

21     May/June 1992.  Now, at that time there was a war presidency, and isn't

22     it correct that the Muslims and Croats were equally represented in this

23     war presidency?

24        A.   Yes, they were, initially.  In April and May, there was equal

25     representation, and the decision-making was made on that basis.  But as I

Page 47267

 1     said yesterday, there was later out-voting, and the direction of combat

 2     activity was no longer what had been agreed upon, but everything was

 3     moving into the direction that the members of the Muslim ethnicity

 4     wanted.

 5        Q.   Well, we're talking about May/June 1992.  I think at that time

 6     you were allies and were co-operating quite well against -- you know, in

 7     your fight against the Serbs.  Didn't you?

 8        A.   Yes, that's correct.  And I said yesterday, with regard to the

 9     liberation of the communication towards Sarajevo, that the liberation of

10     the village of Bradina was a demand put forward exclusively by Muslim

11     representatives.  But in order to avoid problems, we took part in that

12     action and conducted it together with the Muslims.

13        Q.   Sir, is it not true that the real reason why the HVO set up a

14     parallel executive authority in Konjic was because Konjic was to become

15     part of the territory of the Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna, even

16     though the existing authorities were working fine and it was very

17     unlikely that the Muslims would ever hand over control to the Croats in

18     this area?

19        A.   I think that it wasn't like that at the time.

20        Q.   Let's move on to another topic.

21             Sir, is it correct that after the HVO authorities were

22     established in Konjic that -- and also in Jablanica, that every person in

23     the municipality that wanted to travel in the area of Herceg-Bosna, that

24     they needed a pass with a stamp that was issued by an HVO authority in

25     order to travel through the territory of Herceg-Bosna?

Page 47268

 1        A.   These passes that you mention, I know that in the early days, in

 2     April and May, they were issued by the Municipal Staff of the

 3     Territorial Defence.  They issued permits for travel throughout

 4     Herzegovina and even for going to Croatia.  After that, once the HVO had

 5     been established, for crossing some check-points controlled by the HVO,

 6     such a permit was needed.  And as for check-points controlled by ABiH

 7     members, you needed a permit to pass there.  I personally had a pass

 8     issued by the Territorial Defence to pass the check-points controlled by

 9     ABiH members.

10        Q.   Sir, could I ask you to take a look at Exhibit P581, P00581.

11     It's at the beginning of the binder, Witness.  It's, I think, the -- it's

12     the second document in the binder.

13             P00581, Witness, is a document dated 15 October 1992, and it's a

14     signed order from the Stjepan Herceg Brigade commander, Sagolj, referring

15     to all people, persons in the territory of Konjic and Jablanica to have

16     their freedom of movement passes authenticated.  Now, have a read through

17     this document, and then after you've read it, I would also ask you to

18     look at P00582, which is also related to this document.

19             Does P00581 confirm what we just said, that -- what I just asked

20     you, that if people needed to travel through the territory of

21     Herceg-Bosna, and that they needed an HVO pass, and that that pass had to

22     be signed by the Stjepan Herceg Brigade?

23        A.   This is an order by Zdravko Sagolj saying that only the stamp of

24     the Herceg Stjepan Brigade is acknowledged on such passes, which means

25     that passes issued in the battalions to soldiers from those battalions

Page 47269

 1     who wanted to visit their families who were refugees in Croatia, and that

 2     would happen, and sometimes the battalions would issue many such passes,

 3     so -- and that detrimentally affected our combat readiness.  So there

 4     weren't enough soldiers there to man a complete shift, and that's why the

 5     commander, Zdravko Sagolj, issued this order to the military police not

 6     to allow soldiers from Konjic to leave the municipality without this

 7     stamp, this brigade stamp.

 8        Q.   Thank you for that explanation.  And if we can now move to 50082

 9     [sic] -- 00582, my apologies, and we'll see it's a document -- the next

10     document, and it's related to the document that we just saw.  And here

11     Mr. Sagolj -- Commander Sagolj is writing a report to Mr. Boban,

12     Mr. Prlic, Mr. Stojic, and Mr. Siljeg, informing him about the problems

13     that you've just mentioned, and he takes a fairly firm position and he

14     says:

15             "I was forced, due to their failure to carry out orders, to

16     disband the 3rd Battalion Command from the Herceg Stjepan Brigade,

17     Konjic, as well as the HVO Municipal Staff Command, Jablanica."

18             And then reading the last paragraph of this report, it says:

19             "It is necessary in this situation to appoint, without delay, a

20     new HVO Municipal Staff Command and its president, as well as other

21     military and civilian bodies in Jablanica.  We therefore kindly ask you

22     to take appropriate action on your part so that this can be done as soon

23     as possible."

24             Now, sir, why do you think would Sagolj have asked for a complete

25     replacement of the HVO military and civilian bodies in Jablanica?  That's

Page 47270

 1     quite a dramatic thing to ask.

 2        A.   This doesn't refer to the whole town, only the Command of the

 3     3rd Battalion.  And if you remember well, the 3rd Jablanica Battalion

 4     belonged to our brigade, that is the Herceg Stjepan Brigade, and it can

 5     be seen that they weren't acting in accordance with the commander's

 6     instructions and they continued to issue such passes stamped by the

 7     battalion so that members of HVO from Jablanica were able to go to

 8     Croatia and so affect the combat readiness of the battalion.  So since

 9     they had refused the first order, the commander, Zdravko Sagolj, saw

10     himself forced to replace the command which didn't carry out his orders.

11        Q.   But, sir, doesn't it go further than just the military part,

12     because it also says to replace the civilian HVO bodies in Jablanica,

13     which makes sense, because the document is also addressed to

14     Mr. Jadranko Prlic?

15             MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, objection.

16             Could the Prosecutor please point out to us where mention is made

17     in this document of replacing the civilian authorities at Jablanica,

18     because I admit I cannot see it.

19             MR. BOS:  Well, if you read the last paragraph, it says:

20             "If necessary in this situation, to appoint, without due delay, a

21     new HVO Municipal Staff Command and its president, as well as other

22     military and civilian bodies in Jablanica."

23             So there is a reference here to civilian bodies, and the fact

24     that the report is addressed to Jadranko Prlic, who was -- it seems to me

25     that that would insinuate that it was also -- relates to civilian bodies;

Page 47271

 1     doesn't it, Witness?

 2             MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] I would like to draw everybody's

 3     attention that the entire document shows that people should be replaced

 4     in the Municipal Staff of the HVO, and the Municipal Staff of the HVO was

 5     the military part of the HVO which was transformed into a brigade about

 6     that time.  And the part that concerns the military and civilian bodies,

 7     as the sentence goes on, is the appointment of totally new people, not

 8     the replacement of the old people.

 9             MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, since we have

10     interrupted, I believe that the witness has not been given enough time.

11     The witness has not been given enough time, and I don't see a reason why

12     we should persist in avoiding the penultimate paragraph which clearly

13     explains the whole document.  We have been playing games.  We are putting

14     questions which imply things, and the penultimate paragraph, just like in

15     the last document, provides a very clear answer to all the questions.

16     Thank you.

17             MR. SCOTT:  Excuse me, Your Honour.

18             I object to these ongoing interventions.  These are the same sort

19     of things that have been going on now for some weeks.  It's completely

20     inappropriate.  There's no point and no proper purpose for counsel to get

21     up, make speeches, argue their case in front of the witness, clue the

22     witness in to where they're going, the answers that the witness should

23     give.  There are absolutely no reasons for these interventions.  The

24     Prosecution is going to increasingly be on its feet to object to it as

25     many times as it takes.  This is improper, it's a waste of time, in a

Page 47272

 1     case that is already taking a great deal of time.

 2             MR. KOVACIC:  I'm sorry, Your Honour.

 3             My objection was clear.  It was:  Give the witness the time.  And

 4     the Prosecutor is purposely putting the questions constructing and

 5     discussing various paragraphs in that document, meaning the witness is

 6     following those questions, without giving him a proper time to read the

 7     document.  That is my point, only this.

 8             MR. SCOTT:  Excuse me, Your Honour.  Excuse me, Your Honour, but

 9     that's never been the practice for the last three and a half years.

10     Unfortunately, because of the limitations of time, there is rarely --

11     there is rarely the opportunity to have a witness read an entire document

12     while he's sitting in the courtroom.  That's nothing new.  I don't think

13     we're inventing new rules for the first time, three and a half years

14     after trial.  If Mr. Bos is being accused of misleading the witness and

15     he's acting unethically, then let counsel give support for that.

16     Otherwise, counsel should remain seated.

17             If Ms. Alaburic wants to raise issues for clarification on

18     redirect, of course, and use her time that way, of course, that's her

19     prerogative, if the Chamber thinks it's appropriate.

20             MR. KOVACIC:  If I may, just this point, Your Honour.

21             It was always the rule, always, whenever the witness was dealing

22     with a short document, that the witness was provided time to see the

23     document, to understand the context of the document.  I agree when it was

24     multi-page documents, then probably it wasn't possible.  But this is a

25     short document.  Thank you.

Page 47273

 1             MR. STEWART:  Your Honour, can I observe, Mr. Scott appears to be

 2     saying that it's been the practice in this court over the last three and

 3     a half years not to give the witness the proper time to read the

 4     document.  Now, that does happen from time to time, but we must reserve

 5     the right not just to jump up every time an entire document has not been

 6     read - of course we accept that, that would be wasteful - but we must

 7     reserve the right to observe when it really is necessary, in fairness to

 8     the witness, for him to answer the questions, that he should have proper

 9     time.  And if there is a practice -- if there has been a practice that

10     witnesses do not have proper time, then that practice needs changing

11     immediately, because evidence should not be given on the basis that a

12     witness does not have proper time to look at the document before he

13     answers.

14             JUDGE TRECHSEL:  I think by this time we could really end this

15     discussion.  The witness has had the time to read the document 10 times

16     in the meantime during these discussions.

17             Please continue, Mr. Bos.

18             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Witness, you have had time to

19     read the document during these exchanges by the parties.  Mr. Bos is

20     putting a question to you.  He wants to know why there was a change in

21     the HVO Municipal Staff Command, both at the military level and at

22     civilian level, among other things, in Jablanica.  He's asking you this

23     question because, well, he has a reason for asking it.  You may not be

24     aware of the Prosecutor's reasons, but the Judges have been sitting here

25     for several years, and as soon as asks a question, the Judges put the

Page 47274

 1     question into its proper context of the case.  Based on this, you're

 2     supposed to answer the question, but when you do, you must be aware of

 3     the context, which may elude you, but you must know the contents of the

 4     document.

 5             Look at the third paragraph.  It looks as if there were changes

 6     because of what is said in this third paragraph.  And as I understood

 7     your previous answers, you explained what the problem was about.  So

 8     there are two possibilities.  One is that the change was connected to

 9     major political reasons; namely, the taking over of HVO for ideological

10     or other reasons, and then people are replaced.  Second possibility, a

11     take-over that is going to take place by changing officials, but that is

12     linked to other technical reasons; for instance, the fact that stamps are

13     going to be used, that steps are going to be taken that have nothing to

14     do, meaning that there's a need for adjustment.

15             So what is your answer?  Did it happen for ideological reasons,

16     why the HVO changed people, or was it to meet specific local

17     circumstances which resulted from individual behaviour and that had to be

18     adjusted ?

19             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I think that I was very clear when

20     presenting my position.  The 3rd Battalion, despite the order issued by

21     Commander Sagolj, did not act upon his order as issued.  In other words,

22     they continued to use the stamp of the 3rd Battalion, and they continued

23     to use the stamp of the Municipal HVO Council of Jablanica when issuing

24     certificates to the members of the unit who were going to Croatia, and

25     this had a huge affect on the combat readiness in Jablanica.  That's why

Page 47275

 1     he says that he is going to remove the commander of the 3rd Battalion and

 2     replace him, and then he goes on to propose the replacement of the

 3     civilian structures in Jablanica municipality.  And this is just a

 4     proposal.  He's not the one doing things.  He's just proposing that they

 5     should be done.

 6             MR. BOS:

 7        Q.   Sir, let me put it to you that Commander Sagolj asked for their

 8     replacement because he considered that the local HVO authorities in

 9     Jablanica were too weak to pursue the goals of the Croatian community.

10     If I put that to you, what do you say?

11        A.   I believe that this is not correct.  We saw in the previous

12     document that our commander, Zdravko Sagolj, put a ban on using the stamp

13     on those certificates that did not hail from the Herceg Stjepan Brigade,

14     so also certificates issued by the battalions could not be used and were

15     not valid if members of the brigade were going to Croatia for family

16     visits and for other reasons, because such departures had a negative

17     effect on the combat readiness of the brigade.  Despite all that, despite

18     him being very clear about all that, the 3rd Battalion went against his

19     order.  They went on to willfully certify such certificate with the

20     stamp, and so did the Municipal Council of Jablanica.  That's why he says

21     in this document that he's going to replace Mijat Tomic, the Jablanica

22     Battalion commander.  And he also requested for the responsible civilian

23     structures in the territory of Jablanica to be removed and replaced.  And

24     all that was the result of the disobedience of those structures which

25     concerned the visits of the members of those units to their family

Page 47276

 1     members who were refugees in Croatia, and so on and so forth.

 2        Q.   Thank you, Witness.  Let's move to another topic.

 3             Besides the military information that you received through your

 4     position in the army, what kind of public information sources were

 5     available in Konjic at the time in 1992 and early 1993?  Was there

 6     television, was there radio, were there newspapers?

 7        A.   There was Radio Konjic.  We couldn't watch TV because the

 8     repeater which was giving the TV signal was in the hands of the JNA and

 9     it was switched off.  There was no transmission in Konjic.  Radio Konjic

10     was in the hands of the Muslims.

11        Q.   A little while ago, you said that you would also receive media

12     reports.  What kind of media reports would you receive?

13        A.   I said that this was done by Radio Konjic.

14             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Witness, while we were

15     listening to you, one could get the impression that you were perfectly

16     isolated.  The television relay was in the hands of the Serbs, and maybe

17     it broadcasted TV Belgrade.  Radio Konjic was held by the Muslims, so are

18     you saying that there was no Croatian media to broadcast information?  Is

19     that your testimony?

20             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.

21             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Now, your fellow citizens

22     living in Jablanica or Konjic probably had radio sets; 1993 is not the

23     Middle Ages.  And on these radio sets you can obtain Radio Zagreb, or was

24     it not possible to get that radio on a radio set?

25             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Jablanica could receive signals

Page 47277

 1     from Radio Zagreb and others because the repeater existed for their

 2     transmission.  I was talking only about Konjic.

 3             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] What about Konjic?  Wasn't

 4     there even one person that had a radio set that could listen to

 5     Radio Zagreb on the shortwave radio?

 6             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I suppose so.  I wouldn't know.  I

 7     was a member of the military, and I was always on missions in the field,

 8     and I often found myself in the areas where there was not even

 9     electricity as a result of the previous shelling which destroyed the

10     entire electrical network at the very beginning.

11             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well.

12             MR. BOS:

13        Q.   Sir, in the last few days there's been some talks about this

14     Constitutional Court decision declaring the Croatian Community of

15     Herceg-Bosna illegal.  That decision was rendered on 18 September 1992.

16     Did you learn about this decision when you were in Konjic?

17        A.   Please repeat your question.

18        Q.   There's no need to look at a document.  I think it was on Monday

19     that there has been a reference to the Constitutional Court decision in

20     Sarajevo about a decision in which they rendered -- in which they

21     declared the Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna illegal.  Do you remember

22     that, there was talk about this decision?

23        A.   [No verbal response]

24        Q.   Now, that decision was rendered on 18 September 1992, and my

25     question is:  Did you learn about that decision at the time?

Page 47278

 1        A.   I heard about that decision.  However, that decision was rendered

 2     only by the representatives of the Muslim people.

 3        Q.   And how did you learn about that decision?

 4        A.   I said that I heard about the decision on Radio Konjic.  All the

 5     decisions that came from Sarajevo were broadcast on Radio Konjic.  And

 6     also I heard that at our political information briefings in the brigade.

 7        Q.   Thank you.  Now, sir, in October 1992, there were armed clashes

 8     between the HVO and the ABiH in Prozor.  Now, in light of your function,

 9     I take it that you would have received some information about what went

10     on between the Muslims and Croats in your neighbouring municipality.

11     What did you learn about this conflict?

12        A.   It was only then that I was appointed that function.  I believe

13     that at that time I was attending military intelligence training in

14     Medjugorje just about that time, so I did not know much about the

15     developments in Prozor.

16        Q.   Well, you may have been in training, but I take it that when you

17     came back, you must have heard what went on, because it had quite an

18     affect on the region, what happened there.  Are you telling me that you

19     don't know anything about what happened in Prozor in October?

20        A.   I heard, but I wouldn't be able to discuss any details.  I did

21     hear about conflicts in Prozor, of course I did.

22        Q.   Now, sir, let me quote from a UN report that was -- from a

23     Mazowiecki UN report, these were UN observers who were in the region, and

24     they reported about these events in Prozor in the following way, and I'm

25     quoting from Exhibit P01462, and I'll just read out to you what is said

Page 47279

 1     in this report:

 2             "There are accounts of ethnic cleansing being carried out by

 3     Croat forces in the area of Prozor towards the end of 1992.  Clashes

 4     between Muslim and Croats forces resulted in as many as 3.000 Muslims

 5     fleeing into the mountains in October 1992.  There are reports of

 6     large-scale arbitrary detention of Muslim men, women, and children by

 7     Croat forces.  Muslim detainees were also reportedly asked to sign an

 8     oath of allegiance to the Croat authorities.  It is estimated that 60 to

 9     80 Muslim homes were destroyed in Prozor even after combat had stopped.

10     Non-violent attempts by Muslim residents to return to the town after the

11     fighting were reportedly blocked by Croats.  The freedom of movement of

12     those Muslims who remained in Prozor has reportedly been severely

13     restricted."

14             Now, sir, this is a UN report about the situation.  Did any of

15     the information that I just read out, did you receive any of this

16     information as well?

17        A.   I am familiar with the situation in Prozor later, but as I said,

18     I don't know what initiated those conflicts in Prozor.

19        Q.   Now, sir, the Trial Chamber has heard evidence that thousands of

20     Muslims -- Muslim refugees from Prozor were moving to the neighbouring

21     municipalities, including Konjic; it was Jablanica, Bugojno, but also

22     Konjic.  Is it correct that Muslim refugees were moving into Konjic

23     around November -- late October, early November 1992 from Prozor?

24        A.   Refugees from Prozor did not arrive in Konjic.  Maybe they ended

25     up in the outskirts, where our 1st Battalion was, but they did not arrive

Page 47280

 1     in Konjic as such.  Most were accommodated in Jablanica.

 2        Q.   Well, we have a report which says that there were about

 3     912 Muslims arriving in the village of Kruscica in Konjic municipality.

 4     Does that ring a bell if I give you that information?

 5        A.   I've just said that this is one part of Konjic bordering on

 6     Prozor where our 1st Bojna was.  It's part of the outskirts.  There were

 7     no refugees in Konjic, itself, which was under the control of our 2nd

 8     Battalion.

 9        Q.   So when you refer to Konjic, itself, you refer to Konjic town; is

10     that what you're saying?

11        A.   Yes, but I said that when it comes to Konjic municipality, they

12     arrived only in the villages which were closer to Prozor, and that

13     applies to that village of Kruscica, which is very near Prozor.

14        Q.   Let's move on to January 1993.

15             Now, sir, is it correct that armed clashes between the HVO and

16     ABiH broke out in Gornji Vakuf in January 1993?  What can you tell us

17     about that conflict?  What did you learn about it?

18        A.   I didn't hear much.  I only know that conflicts broke out.

19        Q.   So was the HVO in Konjic in any way involved in the operations in

20     Gornji Vakuf?

21        A.   I don't think so.

22        Q.   Let's have a look at another exhibit, which is P01153.

23             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I have a small question for

24     you, Witness, but I'm going to put it in private session, please.

25                           [Private session]

Page 47281











11 Page 47281 redacted. Private session.















Page 47282

 1   (redacted)

 2   (redacted)

 3   (redacted)

 4   (redacted)

 5   (redacted)

 6   (redacted)

 7   (redacted)

 8   (redacted)

 9   (redacted)

10   (redacted)

11   (redacted)

12   (redacted)

13                           [Open session]

14             MR. BOS:  Your Honours, it's 10.30, so maybe a good time for the

15     break.

16             THE REGISTRAR:  Your Honours, for the record, we're back in open

17     session.  Thank you.

18             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Let's have a 20-minute break.

19                           --- Recess taken at 10.29 a.m.

20                           --- On resuming at 10.54 a.m.

21             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] The court is back in session.

22             Mr. Bos.

23             MR. BOS:  Thank you, Your Honours.

24        Q.   Witness, we had left off at Gornji Vakuf.  And I had asked you

25     whether you thought that the HVO in Konjic was in any way involved in

Page 47283

 1     Gornji Vakuf, and you said you didn't think so.

 2             Can you have a look at P01153.  I don't know if you have it in

 3     front of you or not, but this is a report dated the 15th of January,

 4     1993, from Brigadier Petkovic, and it's an order of Brigadier Petkovic to

 5     the HVO in Prozor, Gornji Vakuf, Bugojno, and Konjic.

 6             Now, as to what he orders to the municipality of Konjic, it can

 7     be read in the third paragraph.  He says:

 8             "Block all communication and roads towards --"

 9        A.   Which one?  Which number?

10        Q.   My apologies.  P01153.

11             Witness, I think you're too far -- you're too far down in the

12     binder.  It's about the sixth document in the binder.  Maybe the usher

13     can help you find it.  P01153.  So, in fact, you have the document right

14     in front of you.

15             So I was saying so this is an order from Brigadier Petkovic

16     addressed to the HVO in Prozor, Gornji Vakuf, Bugojno, and Konjic.  And

17     as far as Konjic is concerned, he orders Konjic to block all

18     communications and roads towards Prozor and Vakuf.  Now --

19             MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I object to lack of

20     precision.  This is not an order.  This is an instruction.

21             MR. BOS:  Very well, an instruction.  It does read "an

22     instruction for further procedure."

23        Q.   Now, sir, do you recall that such instructions were received from

24     Mr. Petkovic on the 15th of January, 1993, to the HVO in Konjic, that you

25     had to block all communications and roads towards Prozor and Vakuf?

Page 47284

 1        A.   I do not know this document.  If anyone got it, then probably the

 2     unit commander.  And I don't think that there were any obstacles or

 3     barricades or anything.

 4        Q.   So as far as you're concerned, the HVO Konjic was not at all

 5     involved in any operations relating to Gornji Vakuf?

 6        A.   That is correct.

 7        Q.   Let's have a look at another document, which is P01911, and this

 8     is an ECMM report dated the 16th of April, 1993.  Now, sir, I'm going to

 9     refer extensively to this document, but for now I'm going to just stick

10     with the first two paragraphs of this report, and then later on I'll deal

11     with a couple of other parts of this report.  But for now, I would like

12     you to look at Chapter 1, which is called "General Background," and I'm

13     going to read out to you the first two paragraphs of this report:

14             "In January 1993, violent clashes broke out between HVO and BiH

15     forces in the Gornji Vakuf region.  The cause of the conflict was

16     initially unclear, yet the fact that forces external to the region were

17     involved suggested something out of the ordinary."

18             "At the time, military commanders from the HVO (Colonel Siljeg)

19     stated that they were on the verge of a major military victory and no one

20     was going to stop them.  Indeed, only days before the ECMM secured a

21     cease-fire, the mayor of Siroki was televised on the hills surrounding

22     Gornji Vakuf, urging on his troops to take the town.  The HVO clearly

23     wanted control of this town."

24             Now, sir, is it not true that around January 1993, the HVO

25     attacked Gornji Vakuf with the aim of taking military control over this

Page 47285

 1     municipality, in the same way as they had done with Prozor two months

 2     earlier?

 3        A.   I'm really unable to comment this, because I was a member of a

 4     unit that never went outside Konjic.  I have no information about this,

 5     and I didn't know about these events when they went on.

 6        Q.   Sir, is it not true that these HVO military actions in Prozor and

 7     Gornji Vakuf caused great anxiety amongst the Muslims in the neighbouring

 8     villages of Konjic and Jablanica, and also Mostar?

 9        A.   In the area where I was, no such anxiety could be felt either in

10     the Croatian or the Muslim members at Konjic, because the events were far

11     removed from Konjic.

12        Q.   Well, you say "far removed from Konjic," but aren't Prozor and

13     Gornji Vakuf neighbouring municipalities of Konjic?

14        A.   Prozor is, but Gornji Vakuf is more removed.

15        Q.   Sir, let me ask you to show -- let me ask you to look at another

16     document, which is a Defence exhibit which --

17             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Just a minute.

18             You know that when there's a document shown, I always look at it

19     very carefully.  I'm not just obsessed with what the Defence or the

20     Prosecution -- the case that they're trying to put.  But I checked the

21     document, and I note there's a paragraph called "Regional Importance" on

22     this document.  It's right after the "General Background" chapter, and he

23     mentions Prozor, Jablanica, Konjic.  There is mention also of the

24     Vance-Owen Plan, of Provinces 8 and 10, but what I'm interested in is

25     what comes after that.  It says that the reasons for all this is quite

Page 47286

 1     clear; it's the electrical power for Herceg Bosnia and -- comes from this

 2     area because there's a number of dams and so forth and so on in that

 3     area.

 4             The international community, represented by the person writing

 5     this report, is giving a strategic, economic, and financial reason for

 6     these military actions.  It seems that it has to do with electrical power

 7     and to know who exactly is going to be in control of the electrical

 8     generation facility.

 9             So you were in that area, so you knew about this.  Do you think

10     that this matter of electrical power was essential for this area?

11             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, I agree with that statement.

12             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well.  At the time early

13     in January, could you tell us who was in control of the electrical power

14     generation facilities?

15             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] At Jablanica, it was controlled by

16     persons of Muslim ethnicity.

17             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I wanted to check this with you

18     because it might be important later on.

19             Mr. Bos.

20             MR. BOS:

21        Q.   Witness, could I ask you to look at Exhibit 4D01591, 4D01591.

22     4D01591.

23             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] It's the last document in the

24     folder, in the binder.

25             MR. BOS:

Page 47287

 1        Q.   This is an intelligence report from Mr. Branko Kvesic to

 2     Mate Boban, dated the 11th of March, 1993, and I'd like you to look at

 3     this document in relation to the first two paragraphs of this report.

 4     And maybe I'll just read out the paragraphs:

 5             "We have reliable intelligence that in February this year, in

 6     Konjic municipality, at the proposal of Muslim organisations, MOOK was

 7     formed and that a number of meetings were held where the political

 8     situation in this and neighbouring municipalities was discussed.  At this

 9     organisation initiative, a number of meetings were held with HVO

10     representatives where it was stressed that they did not recognise HVO

11     civilian authorities, dubbing them 'para-government' and 'para-civilian

12     authorities.'"

13             Let me just ask you about this first paragraph.  Did you know

14     about this organisation, what's called MOOK, and their views on what was

15     going on?

16        A.   I don't know their name, but I knew of the existence of these

17     Muslim organisations, which certainly had different positions from the

18     local Muslims.  They were more extreme, and they took such decisions,

19     because you can see further down who was a member of that organisation.

20     Nezim Halilovic is mentioned, and so it becomes clear why they decided

21     not to co-operate with the Croats.  And we spoke a lot about

22     Nezim Halilovic yesterday.  If you forgot it, let me repeat that it was

23     the mufti who led the Muderiz formation.

24        Q.   Yes, I remember that, Witness.  Let me read out the second

25     paragraph of this document as well:

Page 47288

 1             "On 27 February this year, at the proposal of religious

 2     officials, an extended meeting of Croatian and Muslim intellectuals was

 3     held.  At the meeting, Nusret Secibovic (SDA) and Halil Gagula

 4     (representative of Muslim intellectuals) stated that they did not

 5     recognise the HVO government or the Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna

 6     policies."

 7             Now comes the following sentence, which says:

 8             "The incidents in Prozor and Gornji Vakuf were brought up, and it

 9     was stressed that the situation in Konjic could not be seen in

10     isolation."

11             Now, sir, would you agree with me that here we see very clearly a

12     link about the events Prozor and Gornji Vakuf and the effect it had on

13     the municipality of Konjic?

14        A.   I think that there was no close link, but that the intellectuals

15     of Konjic municipality wanted to set up such a link so they could deny

16     the Croatian people in the Konjic municipality and react to some events

17     that had happened or were happening outside our municipality.

18        Q.   So, sir, is it your evidence that the Muslims in Konjic not at

19     all felt threatened about what was going on in their neighbouring

20     municipalities of Prozor and Gornji Vakuf, that the Muslim population in

21     Konjic did not feel threatened?

22        A.   Not as far as I know, because nothing happened on the territory

23     of Konjic municipality, and the local conflicts up there had been

24     stopped, and there was no need for anybody to feel fear.

25        Q.   But something did happen in Jablanica, didn't it, because in the

Page 47289

 1     beginning of today's session we saw a report that you drafted in which

 2     you said that the situation in Jablanica was becoming more complex and

 3     that a conflict could begin at any moment?  You remember saying that in

 4     January 1993?

 5        A.   Yes, and I also said that the displaced persons from Prozor had

 6     come to Jablanica and that there had been provocations, such as throwing

 7     explosive devices at the premises of the 3rd Battalion and the guards

 8     guarding it.  And as far as Konjic is concerned, except for these three

 9     villages that were closer to Prozor, there weren't any displaced persons,

10     and so no tensions arose.

11        Q.   Now, sir, despite the HVO threat coming from Prozor and

12     Gornji Vakuf, is it not true that the ABiH 4th Corps was still trying to

13     avoid, at any cost, of getting into an armed conflict with the HVO in

14     January 1993?

15             Maybe in order to clarify what I just said here, have a look at

16     Exhibit 4D00421 in the binder.

17             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Before we follow you,

18     Prosecutor, I still want to examine this document.  As I said already,

19     this is a very complex case, and the more documents we see, as far as

20     I can see, the more complicated it gets.

21             Some time ago earlier on today, you spoke about Dragutin Peric,

22     and then you mentioned the name of the HVO presidents, and I wondered why

23     you made a distinction between the HDZ and the HVO.  But I didn't put any

24     question to you because it wasn't quite clear to me.  And I now discover

25     this document, in which it is written clearly that there are problems

Page 47290

 1     between the HVO and the HDZ.  Until today, through a set of documents, I

 2     believed then those who were in the HVO, be it in the military structure

 3     or in the civilian structure of it, were basically all HDZ members and

 4     that there was, therefore, no difference, no distinction.  And I now see

 5     this document which indicates that there is a problem between the HVO and

 6     the HDZ.

 7             And by looking further into this document, Witness, I realise,

 8     upon reading it, that the HVO represents possibly a political municipal

 9     entity or possibly even a military one, whilst the HDZ is the political

10     movement.  And since there are differences in opinion at the level of the

11     Konjic municipality, but it may be so elsewhere, too - I don't know - the

12     author of the document seizes Mate Boban of the issue in person in order

13     to try and find a solution to the problem, because it is said that the

14     dissensions between the HDZ and the HVO in that time may have

15     catastrophic consequences for the Croat population in Konjic.

16             You were there in that municipality.  Did you experience

17     differences in the way the political party, the HDZ, assessed the

18     situation and the way the HVO authority saw it?  Did you experience that,

19     as seems to transpire from this document?

20             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Konjic was a special case, in that

21     the president of the HDZ was not also the president of the HVO, because a

22     president of the HDZ, at the time when it was clear that there would be a

23     conflict between the JNA and the members of the Serbian people, at that

24     time Dragutin Peric did not engage in preparations for the defence of the

25     Croatian people, but, on the contrary, left Konjic with his family, and

Page 47291

 1     Ivan Azinovic took over the role of coordinator.  And once the situation

 2     calmed down to some extent, when Dragutin Peric returned to Konjic

 3     municipality, problems arose, because he, as president of the HDZ,

 4     logically should have been the representative of the HVO too.  So we --

 5     when I say "we," I'm not referring to myself, but the other persons in

 6     the Croatian leadership, as it were, proposed Ivan Azinovic and logically

 7     elected him president of the HVO of the Konjic municipality.

 8             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] In your view, when you're an

 9     HVO member, you automatically must have your membership in the HDZ?

10             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Not necessarily.  I was a member of

11     the HVO, but didn't belong to any political organisation.

12             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] You were a member of the HVO,

13     but you were not an HDZ member.  But if I understand properly, those who

14     hold positions of responsibility had better be HDZ and HVO members?

15             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] That's for every individual to

16     decide, whether they want to belong to a political party or not.  I

17     personally considered it unnecessary for me to join a political party.

18             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well.

19             Mr. Bos.

20             MR. BOS:

21        Q.   Witness, could I ask you to look at Exhibit 4D00421.  This is an

22     exhibit that you have seen also, I think, on Monday or Tuesday.  It's a

23     Defence exhibit.  And I'd like you to read -- I'll read out to you

24     paragraph 3 of this decision -- of this document.  It's an order by

25     Mr. Pasalic dated the 14th of January, 1993.  And paragraph 3 of this

Page 47292

 1     order, which is -- and the order is addressed to various brigades,

 2     including the brigades in Konjic and Jablanica.  Paragraph 3 reads:

 3             "Avoid conflicts with the HVO at any cost, regardless of the

 4     attempts of extremist factions doing everything to ensure that the

 5     relations between Muslims and Croats deteriorate.  Only in the case of an

 6     armed conflict against members of the BiH armed forces should there be an

 7     equally energetic response, meaning that fire-arms should be used.  This

 8     relates especially to the situation around Jablanica and Konjic, where

 9     all forces of the ABiH are to be put into full combat readiness and HVO

10     forces are to be prevented from taking over Jablanica and Konjic and from

11     establishing their own authorities."

12             Sir, isn't it correct that here the ABiH in Konjic and Jablanica

13     were prepared for defensive actions, as they expected an HVO attack on

14     their territory?

15        A.   This is what it says.  But if we remember the documents that we

16     went through yesterday, we were able to read that defence positions are

17     to be taken until orders are given for subsequent attack actions.  They

18     want to avoid conflicts, they say, but there weren't any conflicts at the

19     time.  There were minor provocations, but they raised their combat

20     readiness.

21        Q.   Let's look at another document, which is 4 --

22             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] One moment, please.

23             Witness, this is a document that mentions extremist factions.

24     This is not the first time we hear about this.  There are many documents

25     from both sides, from the ABiH and from the HVO.  And here it is very

Page 47293

 1     clear.  Mr. Pasalic, he may be lying, I don't know.  I'm just reading

 2     what is written.  He says that there are extremist factions and that this

 3     could be so that the relations between Muslims and Croats could

 4     deteriorate.  This is not the first document I see about this, and the

 5     impression is that on both sides, on the Croat and the Muslim sides,

 6     there are agreements between both, but there are individuals that play a

 7     game that is such that it causes incidents.  This is what Pasalic says,

 8     but we have similar documents to this effect by the HVO.

 9             You were on the ground.  Did you experience this type of

10     situation in which the relations with the Muslims were good - it may be

11     that you went to school together, you knew each other very well - and

12     then there are other individuals who are really in muddy waters, playing

13     dubious games - we don't know what for - and they cause problems?  This

14     is what the document seems to say.  Do you agree with Mr. Pasalic or not?

15             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, yesterday I said that

16     Pasalic had in mind the extremists who were members of the BiH Army

17     units.  I said yesterday that during that period of time, refugees and

18     displaced persons came from Eastern Bosnia, from the direction of

19     Mount Igman, and that they were more extreme than the locals.  I also

20     said yesterday that we could co-operate with the locals, and we manned

21     the defence lines facing the Serbs together with them, without any

22     problem whatsoever, or at least for a while, until the conflict broke

23     out.

24             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Bos.

25             MR. BOS:

Page 47294

 1        Q.   Sir, could I ask you to look at 4D00374.  4D00374.  This is an

 2     order dated 19 January 1993, and it's an order by Halilovic, addressed to

 3     the Command of the 4th Corps and the Konjic Municipal Defence Staff.

 4             Now, what I would like you to look at is paragraph 2, and I'll

 5     read it out.  It says, paragraph 2:

 6             "BiH Army units in the area of Jablanica and Konjic should be at

 7     full combat readiness and prepared for persistent defence in case of an

 8     attack."

 9             Now, sir, isn't it very clear in this document that the HVO in

10     Konjic and Jablanica were expecting an attack of -- well, that the ABiH

11     in Konjic and Jablanica were expecting an HVO attack on their territory?

12        A.   Again, I am repeating that most reports referred to defence at

13     the beginning.  Later on, they referred to attacks.  And in this case,

14     the activities are geared towards defence.  I don't see the danger for

15     the HVO, in the territory of Jablanica and Konjic, to attack members of

16     the BH Army.

17             We know that in Jablanica, there was just one battalion of the

18     Croatian Defence Council which had about 150 men, so what kind of danger

19     could there have been in Jablanica?  What threat was there for them in

20     Jablanica at the time?

21        Q.   Well, Witness, I'll tell you what threat was coming.  I'm not

22     talking about maybe the local units within Konjic and Jablanica, but I'm

23     talking about units from Prozor and from Gornji Vakuf who were causing a

24     threat to ABiH units in Konjic and Jablanica.  It was not only the local

25     HVO unit, but also units from outside the territory that were threatening

Page 47295

 1     the territory of Konjic and Jablanica.

 2        A.   I don't see a threat coming from Prozor.  All the conflicts in

 3     Prozor and Vakuf had already stopped, and there were no concentrations of

 4     HVO members in the territories of Prozor and Vakuf, which means that

 5     there were no soldiers in any large concentrations there.

 6        Q.   Let's look at one other Defence exhibit, which is 4D00433.  Now,

 7     sir, this is a document dated the 20th of January, and this is an order

 8     by Brigadier Petkovic, addressed to the Konjic HVO.  And it reads:

 9             "Establish contact with the BiH Army in Konjic and work on

10     calming down the situation."

11             "We have information that the Chetniks are planning to enter and

12     take control of Konjic."

13             Now, sir, isn't it correct that the information of a potential

14     Serb attack on Konjic may have prevented the HVO from attacking Konjic in

15     January 1993?

16        A.   No.  We discussed this document yesterday.  It says here that

17     Juka's units, which were deployed on Mount Igman, were engaged with the

18     BiH Army, and they, themselves, were members of the BH Army.  The

19     Zulfikar Brigade, much more extreme than Juka's brigade, expelled that

20     brigade and incarcerated them in Ovcari.  Then they were released, and

21     they came and joined our brigade.  There were some tensions as a result

22     of us taking them on.  General Milivoj Petkovic ordered that the brigade

23     should be moved from Konjic Brigade to avoid any possible conflicts,

24     because at that moment we needed co-operation, as we had intelligence

25     that an attack was being prepared against Konjic municipality.

Page 47296

 1             MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, just a minor

 2     correction.  On page 49, line 7, the witness said "more extreme."

 3             MR. BOS:

 4        Q.   Sir, did you know that around this same period of time, we're

 5     talking here about mid-January 1993, that the HVO authorities issued

 6     orders to the effect that the ABiH units in a number of municipalities,

 7     including Konjic and Jablanica, were to submit their commands to the HVO

 8     Main Staff?  It's been referred to in this case as the ultimatum orders.

 9     Have you heard about these orders?

10        A.   I'm not aware of that.  I didn't know that the BH Army was

11     supposed to subordinate itself to the HVO.

12        Q.   Let's have a look at P01139.

13             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Juka's men, we're talking about

14     Juka or Zuka Prazina?

15             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Juka Prazina, and Zuka is

16     Zulfikar Alispago.

17             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] The unit that was there, who

18     did it belong to, the HVO or to the ABiH?

19             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Juka's unit belonged to the

20     BiH Army, and throughout 1992 it was deployed on Mount Igman, and it

21     controlled entrance into Sarajevo.  Once the Zulfikar Brigade was

22     established, Zulfikar wanted to move that unit because for some reason

23     that brigade -- unit did not suit him.  In any case, both units belonged

24     to the BiH Army.

25             Zulfikar Alispago and his men engaged in an armed conflict with

Page 47297

 1     members of Juka's unit, and they disarmed that unit and they expelled

 2     that unit from Mount Igman.  Then they transferred them to the territory

 3     of Konjic municipality, or to be more precise, they were incarcerated in

 4     Ovcari.  Whether somebody released them from prison or whether they fled,

 5     I don't know.  In any case, they came to us and sought our protection.

 6     We accepted them, we received them.  And in order to avoid any

 7     misunderstandings, we didn't want our members of the BiH Army who were in

 8     Konjic to hold that against us and to start saying that we were

 9     cooperating with the enemy.  General Milivoj Petkovic ordered for that

10     unit to be moved from Konjic in order to avoid any conflicts, any

11     discords, any misunderstandings with the BiH Army in Konjic.  This was,

12     indeed, done, and we forwarded that brigade in the direction of Mostar.

13     Actually, some units of that brigade.

14             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] As to members of

15     Zulfikar Alispago's brigade, were -- they were Muslims, weren't they?

16             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.  We spoke quite extensively

17     about them yesterday, and the Zulfikar unit that was established on

18     Mount Igman and was acting in conquering the territories that we were

19     talking about yesterday.

20             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] You are telling us that this

21     unit got into conflict with the unit headed by Juka Prazina, that it was

22     taken in by the HVO, and that General Petkovic ordered for that unit to

23     be moved to Mostar.  Did I understand you properly?  And if so, does this

24     mean that by the 20th of January, 1993, the HVO could have some form of

25     military authority over a fighting unit that had belonged to the BH Army

Page 47298

 1     and that may have still been part of it, but that did not agree with

 2     Prazina, and that therefore the HVO had some degree of control over that

 3     unit?  Is that how the situation was?

 4             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I believe that there has been a

 5     misunderstanding.  This is what I said.  I believe there has been a

 6     misunderstanding.  Maybe you did not understand me properly.  I said that

 7     that brigade -- actually, Juka Prazina's unit conflicted with

 8     Zulfikar Alispago's brigade.  Both of them were members of the BiH Army.

 9     Zulfikar Alispago and his unit disarmed Juka Prazina's unit and chased it

10     away from Mount Igman.  Some of Juka Prazina's troops were incarcerated

11     in Ovcari, near Konjic.  I don't know whether they fled from the prison,

12     whether they were released by somebody.  I wouldn't know that.  However,

13     during the night they arrived in the command of our brigade to seek our

14     protection.  They wanted our side to protect them or to allow them to

15     join us.  We kept them maybe for a day, maybe 24 hours, and there were

16     already objections on the part of the BiH Army which was deployed in

17     Konjic and on the part of the entire 4th Corps.  In order to avoid any

18     tensions mounting in this territory, which was the territory of Konjic

19     municipality, General Milivoj Petkovic ordered men from that unit, not

20     the entire unit, but just men who had arrived and applied to become

21     members of our brigade, headed by Juka Prazina, to move from the

22     municipality Konjic sector, and we transferred them in the direction of

23     Mostar.

24             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] To your knowledge -- I mean,

25     what you're saying is very clear.  I have nothing to say about it.  Later

Page 47299

 1     on, what command did Prazina's unit remain?  Was it part of the HVO, or

 2     did it return to the 4th Corps?

 3             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] When they arrived in Mostar, I

 4     believe that they joined the HVO units there.

 5             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] So you tell us that then they

 6     joined the HVO units.  In other words, after January there were Muslims

 7     who joined the HVO.  Do I understand properly?

 8             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I believe that this is an

 9     exception.  It is only about those men who had been in conflict with

10     Zulfikar Alispago and the BiH Army.

11             JUDGE TRECHSEL:  Witness, we have heard many times that in the

12     HVO there were a number, sometimes considerable, of Muslim soldiers.  Did

13     the reverse also happen?  Were there members of Catholic faith and Croat

14     origin in the ABiH?

15             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.

16             JUDGE TRECHSEL:  Could it then be that members of Juka's unit who

17     joined the HVO were such Croats?

18             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, it is possible.

19             JUDGE TRECHSEL:  Thank you.

20             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Witness, was Zulfikar Alispago

21     a Croat or a Muslim?

22             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Zulfikar Alispago was a Muslim.

23             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Now, Juka Prazina, was he a

24     Muslim or a Croat?

25             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Muslim.

Page 47300

 1             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Had you heard of a colonel

 2     called Siber who was a Croat and he was in the ABiH army?

 3             MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, just an

 4     intervention.

 5             In the interpretation, we heard the word "Siljeg," and I

 6     understand you mentioned a person called Siber.  I am just saying this to

 7     avoid any misunderstandings.

 8             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes.  Had you heard of a Croat

 9     who was a colonel and called Siber, S-i-b-e-r, who was in the ABiH?

10             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, I've heard of him.

11             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Bos.

12             MR. BOS:

13        Q.   Witness, could you look at Exhibit P01139.  You have to move back

14     in the binder.  P01139.

15             Okay, I think you have it.  Sir, this is an order dated the 15th

16     of January, 1993, and it's an order from Brigadier Petkovic.  And I'll

17     read out a couple of paragraphs from this order.  Paragraph 1:

18             "All units of the HVO Armed Forces and of the BiH Army in

19     Provinces 3, 8, and 10," and Konjic and Jablanica would have fallen under

20     Province 8, "be placed under the command of the HVO Main Headquarters,

21     that is, under the command of the Central Bosnia, North-Western and

22     South-Eastern Herzegovina Operative Zone."

23             Then moving to number 4:

24             "Members and units of the HVO Armed Forces and of the BiH Army

25     who do not submit to the command in items 1 and 2 herein, leave the

Page 47301

 1     provinces where they do not belong.  Otherwise, they will be treated as

 2     paramilitary units and disarmed."

 3             And then if we move to paragraph 8:

 4             "The order shall be carried out by 20 January 1993."

 5             Now, sir, were you aware that Brigadier Petkovic ordered this on

 6     15th of January, 1993?

 7        A.   I've never seen this document before.  I suppose my commander was

 8     informed and didn't do anything, he didn't act upon this order.  No

 9     measures were taken to subordinate those units in the territory of

10     Konjic.  Nothing happened to that effect.

11        Q.   As far as you know?

12        A.   I repeat, I've not seen this order, I've not heard of it.  Maybe

13     my commander, the brigade commander, saw it, but he didn't do anything to

14     act upon the order contained herein.

15        Q.   Let's move again to P01911, which is --

16             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Witness, a question I wanted to

17     put to you, and I thank Mr. Bos for having shown you this document.

18             If I understand correctly, in Konjic there was a majority of

19     Muslims, and Konjic was located in a province which should have been

20     controlled by whom, according to you ?

21             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] If we're talking about the

22     Vance-Owen Plan, then in the province, it would be under the control of

23     the HVO.  But as I say, I have not seen this order.  Maybe my commander,

24     the brigade commander, was privy to this order.

25             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well.  I mean, you're a

Page 47302

 1     local, you lived there, you went to school there.  You're very familiar

 2     with this area.  So according to you, thinking that Konjic could

 3     eventually end up under the HVO control, was that realistic, when we know

 4     that this -- in the town and even in the municipality, there was a

 5     majority of Muslims?  You even told us recently that today there are

 6     90 per cent Muslims living in that area.  So do you believe this idea was

 7     realistic?  Yes or no?

 8             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Whether it was realistic or not, I

 9     don't know.  However, I know that members and representatives of the

10     Croatian people kept on seeking agreements and arrangements with Muslims

11     in Konjic municipality, and they never took decision in haste on their

12     own.  They negotiated until a final and official political solution could

13     be reached for Bosnia and Herzegovina, as far as I know.

14             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] But is that the reason why the

15     brigade commander, Sagolj, didn't carry out the order, because maybe he

16     thought that it would be best to try and find an agreement rather than

17     strictly apply an order which may seem quite unrealistic?  And the

18     brigade commander, Sagolj, might have been a man of experience.  I don't

19     know him, I've not seen him.  But maybe he decided not to carry out the

20     order and decide to find an agreement with the Muslims.  What's your take

21     on this?

22             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I think that Mr. Sagolj -- I can't

23     speak on his behalf.  I can't tell you anything about his meetings,

24     negotiations.  I suppose that he was in consultations with somebody from

25     the top leadership, because he could not say on his own, I'm not going to

Page 47303

 1     carry out this order.  I suppose that he must have received some

 2     instructions for further actions, because those enclaves were established

 3     according to a pattern, and details had to be coordinated, but the big

 4     picture was there.

 5             I believe that representatives of the Croats in Konjic did try to

 6     negotiate and agree on certain things, that they didn't want to do things

 7     on their own.  They kept on insisting on negotiations and agreements in

 8     regard to any of the problems that occurred in the municipality of

 9     Konjic.

10             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] On the Muslim side, if they

11     knew that in the future, with the Vance-Owen Plan, they would be in

12     control of the province, and that the armed forces would be under their

13     own control in a number of Muslim provinces, but when they saw that the

14     HVO wanted to control Konjic, did they tell you about their opinion, say

15     that it would be best to enter into a dialogue, or were you ever in

16     contact with your Muslim counterparts, anyway?

17             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I had contacts with the members of

18     the ABiH who were working -- who were doing the same kind of work as we.

19     We focused on the then enemy, the JNA and the Serbian side.  And as far

20     as these things are concerned, I had no contacts or communication with my

21     colleagues from the ABiH.

22             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Bos.

23             MR. BOS:

24        Q.   Now, although you didn't have contact with Muslim soldiers about

25     this order, and you, in fact, didn't know about this order, would you

Page 47304

 1     agree with me, sir, that if Muslim soldiers would have known about this

 2     order, that it would have -- that the Muslims in -- the Muslim soldiers

 3     in Konjic would have felt a military threat in relation to this order,

 4     that they would consider this order as a military threat?

 5        A.   As far as I know with regard to this order, some structures tried

 6     to strike some agreements, and I think that even Rusmir Hadzihuseinovic

 7     was involved in these negotiations.  And with regard to -- or, rather,

 8     these agreements and this co-ordination with the Croatian people was or

 9     must have been the reason why he was replaced by his own people.

10        Q.   Well, sir, I'm a bit puzzled by your answer, because you've

11     stated that you didn't know about this order, and now you're saying, As

12     far as I know with regard to this order, some structures tried to strike

13     some agreements.  Now, were you aware of this order or not?

14        A.   I didn't say "based on this order."  I said that there were

15     people who tried to strike agreements, and among others there was

16     Rusmir Hadzihuseinovic who spoke to us.  But I didn't say "based on this

17     order."

18        Q.   Very well.  I'd like to now move to another topic, which is a

19     document that we've discussed extensively on Monday, which is 4D00454.

20     And it's in that binder as well.  These are the 20 March 1993 minutes of

21     the joint meeting between the ABiH and the Muslim police stations.

22     4D00454.

23             Now, sir, this document, as I said, it was discussed extensively.

24     If I understood what your conclusion was about this document, it's that

25     you interpreted this document as evidence of an offensive plan of the

Page 47305

 1     ABiH and the Muslim police in Konjic and Jablanica.  Is that correct?

 2        A.   Yes, you're right.

 3        Q.   Now, you went through a number of these items in this order, but

 4     some other paragraphs were skipped, and some of these paragraphs is

 5     something that I want to go through with you.  And it's, in fact,

 6     starting with the first operative paragraph of this protocol, as it

 7     reads, and it starts off by:

 8             "Upon analysis of the military-safety situation in the free

 9     territory of the indicated municipalities, significant deterioration of

10     the relations between HVO and legal government authorities of the

11     Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina and the Army of the Republic of Bosnia

12     and Herzegovina in the recent period, and particularly since continued

13     negotiations in New York began, was established.  The reason thereof lie

14     in the establishment by force of parallel authorities by HVO, which is

15     manifested through ..."

16             And then they are listing a number of acts that they considered

17     as acts from the HVO parallel authority.  They talk about the

18     implementation of a taxation system.  So is it correct that the HVO

19     implemented a taxation system in Konjic?

20        A.   The taxation system at Konjic during the war, I don't know

21     whether it was in existence at all and how it could have been

22     implemented.  I'm not clear about this.

23        Q.   Well, then, the second item:

24             "Control of the flow of goods and persons, whereby unlawful

25     actions of bringing in owners of private shops for enforced taxation are

Page 47306

 1     carried out."

 2             What do you have to say to that?

 3        A.   I don't think that any one private entrepreneur in the

 4     municipality of Konjic was apprehended, because I was a private

 5     entrepreneur, too.  And as far as the flow of goods and persons are

 6     concerned, you have seen the check-points for traffic control in the

 7     municipality of Konjic.  From Aleksin Han and Bradina, on the M-17

 8     highway, they were all held by ABiH members.  They had full control over

 9     them, and they could also enforce some sort of taxation, so they could

10     take away goods from people.  So if you're looking for a taxation system,

11     you can now see who had the power to levy taxes.

12        Q.   Let me ask you about one more, the use of vehicle license plates

13     of the so-called Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna.  Was that occurring

14     in Konjic?

15        A.   At Konjic, there may have been a small number of such license

16     plates that were used during the war.  Most vehicles at Konjic had no

17     license plates at all.  Only the vehicles that would proceed toward

18     Croatia or other countries did have license plates.

19        Q.   If we then continue in the document, then, in the next paragraph

20     there's a reference to the Constitutional Court decision that we

21     discussed earlier.  And then paragraph 1 is one that I would like to -- I

22     would like to read out.  It says:

23             "In the free territories of Jablanica, Konjic, and Hadzici

24     municipalities, implementation of all regulations, as adopted by legal

25     authorities of the Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina and all municipalities,

Page 47307

 1     is to be enforced."

 2             And then what follows are various measures, at least in my

 3     reading, on how these rules need to be enforced.

 4             Now, sir, didn't this document -- in this document, didn't the

 5     ABiH and the civilian police at this meeting simply agree, We are not

 6     going to allow the HVO to take control over Konjic, Jablanica, Hadzici,

 7     and from now on we're going to see to it that only the rules of the

 8     legitimate authorities of the Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina are being

 9     enforced?  Isn't that, in fact, what these minutes are saying?  And don't

10     you think that they also -- that they had a fair point to agree on the

11     enforcement of the rules of the legitimate authorities of the Republic of

12     Bosnia-Herzegovina rather than the rules of the Croatian Community of

13     Herceg-Bosna, who represented, A, a Croatian minority in Konjic?  And --

14             MR. STEWART:  Your Honour, it would be better if questions were

15     asked one at a time, we suggest.

16             MR. BOS:

17        Q.   Well, sir, let me then just say:  Would you agree that this

18     document simply says, We're going to follow the legitimate rules of the

19     Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina, and in order to do so, we're implementing

20     a number of measures?  Isn't that exactly what this document says, and

21     nothing more?

22        A.   It says that measures must be implemented, but who took the

23     decisions about these measures?  Were the decisions made with the

24     participation of the Croatian people, too, or only the Muslim people?

25        Q.   Sir, let me read out paragraph 7.  It's one of the paragraphs

Page 47308

 1     that you also discussed on Monday.  It says:

 2             "Defence lines towards the aggressor are to be strengthened, and

 3     full control of the area in the direction Jablanica-Kute-Here-Scipe is to

 4     be secured, and these forces are to be linked with army forces in

 5     neighbouring municipalities."

 6             Do you recall this paragraph?  And is it correct that you saw

 7     this paragraph as -- well, do you recall it?

 8        A.   Yes, I recall it, and I also marked these directions.

 9        Q.   So the map that we saw and that became an IC document is -- where

10     we saw the lines going up were based on this paragraph.

11             Now, sir, if you read this paragraph, doesn't it read as a

12     defensive action rather than an offensive action?  Doesn't it say defence

13     lines towards the aggressor -- by the way, let me ask you, who is here

14     the aggressor when they refer here to the aggressor?  That would be the

15     HVO, wouldn't it?

16        A.   In the Jablanica municipality, there was no JNA, and there were

17     no Serbian aggressor, because Jablanica was removed from that line.  So

18     when they say "aggressor" here, they mean the HVO.  And when they say

19     full control in the direction Jablanica, et cetera, is to be secured,

20     we're speaking about villages with a mixed Croatian-Muslim population.

21     So they want to set up a communication line from Jablanica towards Kute,

22     Here, and Scipe.  There were no Serbs there, so this can refer only to

23     the Croats.

24        Q.   But they were doing that in order to create a defence line.  You

25     know, that's what this paragraph starts with, defence lines towards the

Page 47309

 1     aggressor.  So isn't it true that they were taking measures in order to

 2     defend themselves against HVO aggression?

 3        A.   In each order of theirs, we can read "take defence positions

 4     until further orders," and these orders can be aggressive or otherwise.

 5     And as far as I can see, it wasn't a defence action that ensued; it was

 6     an attack action.  So when you enter an area, you take a defensive

 7     position, and from that you can launch offensive activities, but you can

 8     also receive an order to retreat.  In this case, you have taken a defence

 9     line, established a defence line and waited for subsequent orders, and

10     these orders were to move the forces in the directions stated.

11        Q.   Let's move to the armed clashes on the 23rd of March, 1993.  Now,

12     you've said that the 23 March clash was a one-sided attack of the ABiH on

13     the HVO in Konjic, and you claim that this attack was sort of the

14     starting point of an ABiH military offensive against the HVO, and that

15     this attack was based on the minutes that we just looked at; correct?

16        A.   Yes, based on these minutes that were drafted, on the 23rd of

17     March the implementation of this agreement started, which affected our

18     1st Battalion with offensive actions and conflict.  And in the town of

19     Konjic, other units were blocked.  We saw the report by Midhat Cerovac

20     about 150 HVO members being captured, and Croats were being disarmed

21     there.

22        Q.   Now, something that puzzled me, and it's something that

23     Judge Antonetti asked you also on Monday, is:  How come that on that same

24     day, on the 23rd of March, Mr. Bruno Stojic and Brigadier Petkovic come

25     to the area and that immediately a cease-fire agreement is arranged?  How

Page 47310

 1     come that's within the day that they could calm down the tensions in that

 2     region?

 3        A.   During the day, if Milivoj Petkovic, and I don't remember who

 4     else there was with him, they arrived before the conflict had grown

 5     larger, so there was still a significant likelihood for the tensions to

 6     be reduced.  If they had come later, that probably wouldn't have been

 7     possible.  On the 23rd of March, there was adverse weather, too.  That

 8     was also one of the reasons why things stopped.

 9             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes, General Petkovic.  Do not

10     forget that you are going to testify, so keep your ammunition.

11             THE ACCUSED PETKOVIC: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honour.  There

12     is a technical problem.

13             The Prosecutor probably forgot that this was an order and not a

14     visit.  One is an order that you can dispatch, and another thing is to

15     arrive in person.  So the Prosecutor said "visit," whereas you never

16     mentioned a visit.  You said "order."  Thanks.

17             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Bos.

18             MR. BOS:

19        Q.   Sir, could I ask you to take a look at P01911.  It's the ECMM

20     report that we have looked at before.  Sir, this is a document that we've

21     already looked at on a number of occasions, P01911.

22        A.   P1 --

23        Q.   -- 01911.  This is the ECMM report dated the 16th of April, 1993,

24     and I would like now to draw your attention to paragraph 3 of this

25     report.  Do you have it?  P01911.  I think you have the wrong document.

Page 47311

 1             Maybe the usher can help.

 2             Now, sir, I'm going to read out a couple of paragraphs from

 3     Chapter 3 of this report.  Starting at the top:

 4             "The clashes that have occurred in the past months have generally

 5     followed provocation, and it's the experience of ECMM and some UNPROFOR

 6     units that the provocation is usually HVO inspired."

 7             Moving to the third paragraph:

 8             "Furthermore, the HVO have emphasized Muslim aggression.  Any

 9     possible material has been used to their advantage.  An example is the

10     recently published document seized at gunpoint from the kidnapped chief

11     of the police at Konjic.  The document is, in fact, the minutes of a

12     routine BiH municipal --"

13             THE INTERPRETER:  Would you mind reading slowly.  Thank you.

14             MR. BOS:  My apologies to the interpreters.

15        Q.   "The document is, in fact, the minutes of a routine BiH municipal

16     meeting.  The contents are routine and in no way suggest that the

17     military actions should be taken against the HVO, as the HVO might

18     suggest it does."

19             Sir, let me just ask you about this paragraph.  Were you aware

20     about this document that was seized from this kidnapped chief of the

21     police in Konjic?

22             MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I object to this

23     question because we haven't defined which document was seized from the

24     chief of police in Konjic, and who kidnapped him, when, what this is

25     about.  So my request is to lay a foundation for the question first.

Page 47312

 1             MR. BOS:  I'm simply asking whether he knows about this incident,

 2     that the Konjic chief was kidnapped.  Maybe he doesn't know, and then

 3     I'll continue.

 4             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I know that at the check-point

 5     toward Kostajnica, Mr. Jasmin Guska was detained.  He was heading for

 6     Buturovic Polje.

 7             MR. BOS:

 8        Q.   And did you also know that some documents were seized from him,

 9     and did you get a chance of reading these documents?

10        A.   I don't know which documents these are.  I may have read them,

11     but I'm not sure which documents you mean.

12        Q.   Well, let's continue reading.  The fourth paragraph:

13             "The list of incidents comprising provocation are heavily

14     weighted towards the HVO, and it is considered by monitors in the region

15     that any incident initiated by the BiH follows HVO provocation and not

16     the other way around.  The flag issue is another example.  The HVO

17     planted their flags all around Gornji Vakuf and were distraught when some

18     went missing."

19             Moving a few paragraphs down:

20             "ECMM observation concludes that HVO provocation is intense, that

21     their explanations for military action contains no truth, and that there

22     must be a clear requirement from Mostar for much of the aggression to

23     take place."

24             Now, sir, would you agree with me that this ECMM report is very

25     outspoken about the HVO provocations towards the ABiH in this region?

Page 47313

 1        A.   I didn't receive the full interpretation.  Could you repeat,

 2     please.

 3        Q.   Sir, would you agree with me that the ECMM report that I just

 4     read out is very outspoken about the HVO provocations towards the ABiH?

 5        A.   As for my unit, the positions it held, I disagree with the report

 6     these people made because I think that no reasonable man would provoke an

 7     enemy three times stronger than himself.

 8        Q.   Well, sir, is it not true that the armed clashes in Konjic on the

 9     23rd of March were mainly the results of HVO provocations against the

10     Muslims in Konjic?

11        A.   I have already spoken my mind.  How can someone who is three

12     times outnumbered provoke the other side?  I really don't understand

13     these minutes.  I can go on to clarify.

14             If we consider the fact that our unit is holding the line toward

15     the JNA and the Serbs in an equal share with the ABiH, that means that

16     our reserve units, and they were very weak and we know how many units the

17     ABiH had, and any provocation of a much stronger enemy would have been

18     madness, and I don't see how it could have happened at all.

19        Q.   Well, sir, you keep talking about the HVO units within Konjic,

20     but isn't it true that there were also HVO units in the neighbouring

21     municipalities of Prozor and Gornji Vakuf, and that those units were

22     right at the border of Konjic were posing a direct threat to the Muslims

23     in Konjic?

24        A.   But this is about attacks on Konjic on the 23rd of March.

25        Q.   Yes, correct, and I'm -- what I'm saying is that because of the

Page 47314

 1     military threat of the HVO, that there were enormous tensions between the

 2     HVO and the ABiH, and that these tensions were as well caused by all the

 3     provocations of the HVO within Konjic and outside Konjic.  Let's look

 4     again -- let's --

 5        A.   I mean, it's illogical, and I can only repeat that I don't see

 6     how somebody would there provoke somebody so much stronger.

 7             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Witness, you said on several

 8     occasions that there were at times tensions between the Muslims and the

 9     Croats, and several documents go to that, but that's not the issue.  When

10     you found yourself in a situation of tension between two parties, one

11     side is Side A, the other side is Side B, the fact that you create an

12     event or an incident, is that not likely to exacerbate things?  In the

13     current climate, if you hoist a flag, whatever flag it may be - this was

14     here the chequerboard flag - was it not likely to cause among the Muslims

15     some kind of reaction?  That is a question.  You were on the ground.  The

16     fact that a chequerboard flag was hoisted was not going to cause an

17     inconvenience to anybody, or did you think that it might cause reactions?

18     And that's the question by the Prosecutor.  He asks you whether all this

19     amounted to provocations or not.

20             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I believe that hoisting a Croatian

21     flag should not bother anybody.  Hoisting a flag is one thing, and the

22     affiliation to the people is another thing.  Muslims also hoisted their

23     green flags with crescent and the star, and we were not bothered, so I

24     don't see why the chequerboard flag of the Croatian people in

25     Bosnia-Herzegovina should have bothered somebody, by the same token.

Page 47315

 1             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Under Tito's rule, would it

 2     happen that on religious festivals, these types of flags could be

 3     hoisted, like the chequerboard flag, and would that be normal?  I believe

 4     that there were religious festivals when flags were hoisted.  Maybe I

 5     misunderstood, but can you confirm this or not?

 6             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I don't know about the former

 7     regime and about the JNA.  I know that what we had at the time was a

 8     uni-party system, and the only flag that could be hoisted was the flag

 9     with a five-pointed star, which was the state flag of the Socialist

10     Federative of Republic of Yugoslavia.  As for religious events, I don't

11     know whether they were celebrated openly or not, or locally, and in that

12     case people would carry flags of the local population, traditional things

13     that those people have, like their traditional costumes and other

14     symbols.

15             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you.

16             Mr. Bos.

17             MR. BOS:

18        Q.   Maybe just before the break, let's have -- let's continue with

19     the exhibit that we're on, and let's move to Chapter number 4, which is

20     called "Military Activity."  I will read out the second, third, and

21     fourth paragraphs:

22             "The BiH forces lack heavy weapons, and when fortifications are

23     levelled, they are left cradling their Kalashnikov rifles, while the HVO

24     retain their transport armour and artillery.  The local BiH forces

25     appreciate this disadvantage and can no longer reasonably accept further

Page 47316

 1     mediation or compromise in negotiation for peace if it leaves them at

 2     such a disadvantage."

 3             "The BiH and HVO each recognise the other's strengths and

 4     weaknesses.  The HVO strength lies in their organisation, resupply,

 5     communication, armour and artillery; while the BiH have their backs to

 6     the wall and positions in depth."

 7             Sir, would you agree with what the ECMM officer has written here?

 8        A.   No, I wouldn't agree.  It is not true that BH Army members did

 9     not have artillery, as they call it.  If you only remember

10     Sefer Halilovic's order that was carried out by Zejnil Delalic that the

11     artillery from the area of responsibility of Territorial Defence, that

12     Zvekusa should be moved to Igman, those were cannons, Howitzers and

13     mortars, and that was carried out by Zejnil Delalic upon

14     Sefer Halilovic's order.  This is just one of the proofs that they did

15     have artillery.

16        Q.   I don't think it says that they did not have artillery.  They

17     just said that the HVO had an advantage over the ABiH when it came to

18     artillery.  Would you agree with that?

19        A.   I don't agree.  When it comes to Konjic, I believe that they had

20     even more artillery than the HVO members there.

21        Q.   But, again, if we look at the wider region and if we don't focus

22     just on Konjic, if you look just generally at the ABiH and the HVO in the

23     region Konjic-Jablanica-Prozor-Gornji Vakuf, the wider region, would you

24     agree that the HVO had an artillery advantage over the ABiH?

25        A.   I can't say what they had in those areas, but what I had just a

Page 47317

 1     minute ago, I know full certain what they had.  I can't speculate as to

 2     what they had in the territory of Mostar or other areas.  I really

 3     wouldn't be able to do that.  I can't.

 4        Q.   Sir, would you agree with the assessment of the ECMM in

 5     paragraph 3, where he says that when it came to cease-fire agreements in

 6     this period, and I think, you know, we just discussed the 23 March peace

 7     agreement, that such cease-fires would generally be more beneficial to

 8     the Bosnian Croats, who were a minority in the region and who were far

 9     better organised and equipped with heavy weapons and artillery?

10        A.   I have already said it.  It was in our interests to stop all the

11     conflicts in general.  And as far as how well we were equipped and how

12     well members of the BH Army were equipped, I believe that they were well

13     equipped and that they were even better equipped than the HVO, I would

14     say.

15             MR. BOS:  Your Honours, I think it's time for a break.

16             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Quite.  Let's break for

17     20 minutes.

18                           --- Recess taken at 12.30 p.m.

19                           --- On resuming at 12.51 p.m.

20             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I believe Mr. Karnavas has

21     something to say.

22             MR. KARNAVAS:  Yes, Mr. President, Your Honours.  Again, hello to

23     everyone.

24             I just wish to point out that today we got the Prosecution's

25     response to the motion on provisional release.  We are not seeking --

Page 47318

 1             THE REGISTRAR:  Your Honours, I'm sorry to interrupt counsel.  We

 2     are still in open session.

 3             MR. KARNAVAS:  Oh, sorry, okay.

 4             Okay.  Can we go into closed session, then?

 5             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well.

 6             MR. KARNAVAS:  May we?

 7                           [Private session]

 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 47319

 1   (redacted)

 2   (redacted)

 3   (redacted)

 4   (redacted)

 5   (redacted)

 6   (redacted)

 7   (redacted)

 8                           [Open session]

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

10     you.

11             MR. BOS:

12        Q.   Witness, I'd like to stay on -- a little longer on the causes for

13     the 23 March clashes.

14             Could I ask you to look at P01698.  P01698.  This is a BritBat

15     report dated the 22nd of March 1993, and I would be interested in

16     paragraph 5 of the report, which is headed "Gornji Vakuf."

17             Let me read out what the third paragraph under "5.

18     Gornji Vakuf," what it reads.  Halfway through the paragraph:

19             "Approximately 40 soldiers wearing 4th Brigade HV badges were

20     sighted in the town -- "

21             I see you're still trying to find the document.  Do you have it,

22     Witness?  Maybe the usher can help you find it.  It's P01698, and I'm

23     interested in paragraph number 5, Witness.  And it's a chapter called

24     "Gornji Vakuf."  I will read out to you a part of the third paragraph of

25     this chapter:

Page 47320

 1             "Approximately 40 soldiers wearing 4th Brigade HV badges were

 2     sighted in the town hall carrying new 5.56-millimetre Austrian (sic)

 3     assault rifles."

 4             "Comment:  B Coy noted that there have now been four separate

 5     units sighted in Prozor.  They are believed to be the following:  A, Rama

 6     Valley Brigade HVO; B, Jajce Brigade HVO; C, 4th Brigade HV; D,

 7     163rd Brigade HV?"

 8             "B Coy comment that these sightings may be one of the reasons why

 9     the BiH commander in Gornji Vakuf, Hagic [phoen], was claiming that the

10     HVO were concentrating their forces in Prozor."

11             Comments end.

12             Sir, did you know that HVO and HV forces were concentrating in

13     Prozor on the 22nd of March, 1993?

14        A.   No, I didn't know that.  I didn't know that they were

15     concentrating forces there.  I never saw a single member of the Croatian

16     Army in the territory of my municipality.  I went as far as Mostar, and I

17     never saw people wearing HV insignia.

18        Q.   Let's move to another document, P01747.  This is an UNPROFOR

19     report, P01747.  UNPROFOR report, and I'm going to read out a section

20     which -- 01747, yes, and I will read out a section.  On the English page,

21     it's page number 3, and I think you will have a B/C/S translation of that

22     part at the end.

23             On page 3, under "B. Gornji Vakuf," it reads the following:

24             "The relationship between the Muslims and the Croats appear to

25     have deteriorated during the past seven days.  On 21 March, according to

Page 47321

 1     BritBat reports, the HVO to the east of Prozor," the area bordering

 2     Konjic, "attacked the Muslim village of Here.  Following the attack,

 3     concentrations of soldiers from both sides were noted in the surrounding

 4     villages and fighting was reported from some of these villages.  Towards

 5     the end of the week, the situation in both Prozor and Gornji Vakuf seem

 6     to have improved with both towns returning to their own degree of

 7     normality.  In retrospect, the majority of the activity in the area

 8     appears to have taken place in the villages to the east of Prozor."

 9             Now, sir, isn't it correct that the east of Prozor directly

10     borders Konjic, the eastern area of Prozor, and that in fact the village

11     of Here is very close to the Konjic border?

12        A.   Yes, Here, Kute, and Scipe are very close to the borders of

13     Konjic municipality.

14             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Witness, I have a technical

15     question for you.

16             We have an UNPROFOR report on screen.  Now, when you were in the

17     field, did you see them in their positions, watching what was happening

18     with their binoculars, taking notes, in order to report that in Here,

19     this and that place, such event happened?  According to your

20     recollection, were they really present?  Were they canvassing the area

21     correctly?  Were they in such a position that they would not be making

22     mistakes when they were reporting the situation?

23             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I did not observe any such thing.

24             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] You're saying, I did not see.

25     You didn't see them?  They weren't there?

Page 47322

 1             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] They could have been there, but I

 2     didn't see them.

 3             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] You were deployed on the field.

 4     Any serviceman on the field, you know, is going to observe the situation

 5     and try and detect what's going on, check whether the enemy is there, for

 6     example.  They were neutral, they were not enemies, so why is it that you

 7     could not detect them?  Were they camouflaged, were they in dug-outs?

 8     You're saying that you couldn't see them.  That's a bit strange.

 9             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I wasn't tasked with observing or

10     watching UN members.  I dealt with completely different things.  I

11     collected intelligence about the enemy and some other things, so I did

12     not pay attention to the things that you just asked me about.

13             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well.  You cannot answer.

14     Fine.

15             Mr. Bos.

16             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] That's correct, yes, and I couldn't

17     see them because it's over 20 kilometres.  And if you were asking me

18     about Vakuf and Prozor, even with a pair of binoculars from my position,

19     you could not see anything.  You couldn't see anything; I couldn't, no

20     other soldier could.

21             MR. BOS:

22        Q.   Sir, could I ask you to look at a document that you have seen

23     also on Monday or Tuesday - I don't remember - P01712.

24             Now, sir, this is a document from the HVO, a special report from

25     the HVO Rama Brigade, dated the 23rd of March, on the situation in

Page 47323

 1     Konjic.  Do you recall having looked at this document in your

 2     examination-in-chief?

 3        A.   Yes, I do.

 4        Q.   So what is being asked is a request from the Rama Brigade

 5     artillery to open fire at the villages of Kruscica, Studencica and

 6     Jasenik, and then on the next page we see that this artillery fire never

 7     took place because of an order of Commander Siljeg; is that correct?

 8        A.   Yes.

 9        Q.   Sir, I'm going to ask you -- I'm going to show you now a map.

10        A.   Yes.

11        Q.   And the map is in your binder, and I would like to request the

12     assistance of the usher.  The map is P11122.  It's the last document in

13     the binder.  And I would ask the usher to take the map out of the binder

14     and place it on the ELMO.

15             Now, sir, this is an UNPROFOR map, and the Office of the

16     Prosecution has made a few markings on this map in order for everyone to

17     find places more easily.  And it also indicates where the various units

18     were stationed.

19             Now, we've been talking here about the village of Here, and what

20     I would like you to do is take a marker and put a circle around the

21     village of Here on this map.  Could you please do that for me.

22        A.   [Marks]

23        Q.   Thank you.  And from the report that we just read, there was a

24     request to shell the villages of Kruscica, Studencica and Jasenik.  Now

25     in order to assist you, we've placed red lines underneath these villages,

Page 47324

 1     but could you please encircle these three villages?  So Kruscica,

 2     Studencica, and Jasenik.  Sorry for the pronunciation.

 3        A.   [Marks]

 4        Q.   Now, sir, would you agree with me that these three villages are

 5     located not far from the village of Here?

 6        A.   Yes, I would agree with that.

 7             THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [No interpretation]

 8             [Interpretation] Your Honours, what is a relative distance or

 9     relative closeness?  In the military, there are kilometres.  Your Honour

10     Trechsel, what is relative distance?  We have 500 such words here,

11     "Relative distance," "relative closeness."  For what?  For throwing a

12     stone, for throwing a bomb, for a cannon, for a mortar?  These are

13     military issues.  There are kilometres, yards, so there is length, width,

14     height.  I really don't know.  I don't know.  I have been patiently

15     refraining myself from many reactions.  The questions are "far away,"

16     "close," "do you see over a hill."  What is that?

17             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] General Praljak, the witness is

18     a serviceman, just like you are.  If he finds out that the question put

19     to him by the Prosecutor creates a problem, he can ask the Prosecutor,

20     Why are you talking about a relative distance?  For example.  So he can

21     put the question to the Prosecutor.  He might not put that question

22     because he is maybe a bit -- feels a bit awkward talking to the

23     Prosecutor.  All you have to do is, you know, send a message to your

24     counsel.  The counsel will stand up, wait for the witness to finish his

25     answer, and then the counsel will take the floor, say, We might have a

Page 47325

 1     problem.  What exactly is this notion of relative distance?  And the four

 2     Judges are also listening and can also wonder about this concept of

 3     relative speed or relative distance.

 4             Please trust the Judges.  You know, they can ask for more

 5     information.  Everybody can make mistakes; you know, the Prosecutor, the

 6     counsel, even Judges, you know, because it's complicated.  So don't think

 7     that just because one person made a mistake, whether it's the Prosecutor

 8     or someone else, this is going to harm your case.  Absolutely not.

 9     Remember, there are a lot of safe-guards in this procedure.

10             THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.

11             First of all, you cannot send a message to Defence counsel,

12     because the guard is not going to give my message to my counsel because

13     that's lowering the security and taking risks.  So the guard gives the

14     message to the first lawyer, and that's members of the Pusic team.  And

15     for a number of years now, Mr. Pusic's lawyer has been acting as a

16     courier, and I feel embarrassed for that reason.  I tried to instruct the

17     guard to take a piece of paper to my own lawyer, but they can't do that.

18             Second of all, it is true that the gentleman is a soldier.  How

19     much of a soldier is a different matter, but still it is impressive.  But

20     we are hearing the 30th question put to the witness, a question which

21     does not seek to go for the truth.  I believe that the Judges will

22     ultimately look at the map and measure.  If I didn't believe that, I

23     would stop coming to the courtroom.  However, it makes me concerned when

24     I hear that the 30th question of the type has not been interrupted, and

25     those questions are not telling us anything about the real distance, the

Page 47326

 1     dates, the number of soldiers.  For years now, we have been having I

 2     don't know what kind of discussion.  It's like us being in medieval ages.

 3     We can't go into the field to see whether there is a road or whether

 4     there is not a road.  We have been dealing with speculations.

 5             I believe that the Trial Chamber will finally take some

 6     measurements, I believe that, but allow me to say that for three and a

 7     half years now, I've been sitting here, and I'm saying I don't mind being

 8     convicted if I'm guilty, but this is --

 9             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well.  As far as the

10     transmission of messages is concerned, I had asked the Registry for the

11     accused to be next to their counsels, like they are in the US, for

12     example, and like they are in many democratic countries.  As far as

13     security is concerned, I don't think you're going to run away.  It seems

14     pretty obvious.  But the Registry, for some reason, decided not to allow

15     this.  And naively, I thought that they could establish some kind of

16     process in order to make sure that messages could be transmitted easily,

17     but this was not set up.  I know that in a courtroom, people are always

18     listening, so I'm sure that Mr. Hocking, our Registrar, is going to be

19     told about this problem quickly, and I hope that he will find a solution.

20     It seems very -- it's incredible to think that the accused cannot have

21     realtime communication with their counsel.  There could have been a

22     solution.  You could have had a computer, and that way you could just

23     send e-mails to your lawyers.  But maybe that's a tall order.

24             So I fully agree with you, because I raised this problem with the

25     Registry already.  I concur with you.  But maybe we are confronted with

Page 47327

 1     administrative inertia, red tape.  And the security, it's easy to blame

 2     -- to use security as a scapegoat.

 3             Now, regarding technical problems that you are raising, remember

 4     that we will have some redirect, and the counsels for General Petkovic

 5     will be able to ask questions in terms of military issues.  And the trial

 6     is not over.  We know that General Petkovic is going to take the stand,

 7     and if huge mistakes have been made, militarily, I'm sure he will correct

 8     them.  And Judges are there.  The Bench is there to check everything.

 9             So this is what I had to say.

10             Mr. Bos wants to take the floor, but my fellow Judge has

11     something to add.

12             JUDGE TRECHSEL:  Perhaps I'm saying something which you would

13     have raised; namely, translate what we see into language.

14             This is a map 1:100.000, which means one centimetre on the map

15     equals one kilometre in the terrain.  There is a net of

16     vertical-horizontal lines that are one centimetre apart.  It is very easy

17     to get a picture of the distances, as I see it.  The longest distance is

18     between Here and Jasenik, and that's 14 and a half to 15 kilometres.  The

19     shortest is between Kute and Studencica and Kruscica, and that is roughly

20     five kilometres.  I don't know what the fuss is about.  This is really

21     open and easy.

22             MR. STEWART:  Well, actually, Your Honour did pretty much take

23     the words out of my mouth.  I was going to suggest a lot of this,

24     Mr. Praljak did have a point, and a lot of the trouble would have headed

25     off if a distance was simply put.  I do 100 per cent agree, even leaving

Page 47328

 1     aside the fact that a village called "Here" is always likely to call

 2     confusion on an English transcript.

 3             MR. BOS:  Well, the map did have a scale, so I think people could

 4     have --

 5             MR. STEWART:  Excuse me, but the point is that it's much easier,

 6     we then don't have to subsequently look at the map to work out what was

 7     actually meant in distance by the rather loose phrase "not far from,"

 8     which I understand to have been His Honour Judge Trechsel's point, and,

 9     well, he made my point for me as well, with respect.  Thank you.

10             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well.

11             Mr. Bos, please resume.

12             MR. BOS:

13        Q.   Sir, if we can just stay with the map for a little longer.  Now,

14     we just read this report from P1712, in which HVO Konjic is asking

15     artillery assistance from the Rama Brigade.  Would you know if these --

16     so there's a request for the shelling of these three villages that you

17     just marked.  From where would the HVO Rama Brigade would have shelled

18     these villages, if it would have happened?  Would you know that?

19        A.   I don't know where the artillery positions were at that moment.

20        Q.   All right.  Well, let's -- I'm going to ask you some few more --

21     to make a few more markings on this map.

22             Yesterday, you've discussed the Boksevica hill, and you were

23     shown a document by the Defence, which was P01887, which discussed the

24     Boksevica hill, and it read something to the effect that whoever holds

25     Boksevica hill had control over almost the entire Neretvica Valley.  Do

Page 47329

 1     you recall that?

 2        A.   Yes, I do.

 3        Q.   And you basically confirmed that statement, that Boksevica hill,

 4     in fact, did control the whole Neretvica River Valley; is that correct?

 5        A.   Yes, correct.

 6        Q.   Sir, could you please mark for me the Boksevica hill, put a

 7     circle around it.

 8        A.   [Marks]

 9        Q.   And then could you please indicate what would be referred to as

10     the Neretvica Valley.

11        A.   [Indicating]

12        Q.   You can indicate it with the marker, please.

13        A.   [Marks]

14        Q.   I'm just seeing a line.  Could you please make a circle around

15     the whole valley.

16        A.   [Marks]

17        Q.   Now, sir, is it correct that the HVO controlled the Boksevica

18     hill up until about mid-July 1993?

19        A.   I don't know if it controlled all of Boksevica.  If you remember

20     the report from the 1st Battalion, it said that there is a communication

21     centre on Boksevica and there are some two or three dozen soldiers on

22     Boksevica.  I don't think that there was a need for more soldiers,

23     because at that time there was no conflict with the ABiH.  But now things

24     are different because there is a conflict between the ABiH and the HVO,

25     and now this is about taking control of Boksevica hill.  Whoever takes it

Page 47330

 1     automatically controls the communications centre and the passage through

 2     the Neretva Valley -- sorry, Neretvica Valley.  And I was also saying

 3     yesterday from Papratsko through the Neretva Valley, all this

 4     way [indicates].  But the inscription "Boksevica" is only in part.  The

 5     map only shows the highest peak.  But this is the entire area of

 6     Boksevica all around it [indicating].

 7        Q.   Now, sir, knowing that Boksevica hill was under the control of

 8     the HVO in March and April 1993, would you agree with me that control

 9     over this very strategic and very important hill caused, you know --

10     caused a serious military threat to the ABiH, especially if the HVO had

11     artillery on Boksevica hill?

12             MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I object to this

13     question because my learned friend stated that the HVO controlled all of

14     Boksevica in March and April 1993, which has not yet been established as

15     a fact in the proceedings.  So I would like to ask my colleague to be

16     very precise.

17             MR. BOS:  Well, I understood the evidence from yesterday to say

18     that - and I think the witness said so - that Boksevica hill was taken

19     over -- that the ABiH took over Boksevica hill by mid-July 1993.

20        Q.   Is that correct, Witness?

21             MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] With your leave, I would like to

22     remind you of line 1 on page 83:

23             [In English] "Controlled all of Boksevica."

24             [Interpretation] These are the witnesses words.

25             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I can say that what is marked here

Page 47331

 1     is only the highest peak of Boksevica, but Rodici, Mrakovo,

 2     Mrakove Stijene, all these also belonged to Boksevica.  And further on

 3     toward Zuglici, all these I mentioned, were controlled by the ABiH all

 4     the time.  When we speak about Boksevica and which part of it the HVO

 5     controlled, then what is meant is only the peak of Boksevica, where the

 6     repeater was, the heart of our communications centre.  The HVO at no

 7     moment in time controlled all of Boksevica.

 8             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] In military technique, you've

 9     just gave a detail that was not shown on the map, and I didn't know about

10     it.  You say that next to Boksevica hill, there were ABiH units that were

11     positioned.  And using your pen, you showed those positions, or you're

12     doing that right now.

13             MR. STEWART:  Your Honour, may I also say -- I made the point so

14     many times.  We've got a couple of references already over the last few

15     minutes to the witness indicating.  We see that at line 11 on page 83.

16     We see it again at line 13 on page 83.  He did indicate, but what he did

17     was indicate; he wasn't then invited to mark.  We saw what he indicated,

18     but it doesn't appear on the transcript.  We also now have a number of

19     circles.  Some of them are very obviously related to particular places

20     with names, but we've got that large circle which doesn't coincide with

21     the line which the witness already drew as being the valley, and then we

22     got a smaller circle -- or they're not quite circles; they're oblongs.

23             Once again, Your Honour, I do make the point we end up with these

24     maps that are just in a mess from the point of view of future use of

25     them, when we all get back to them even a few minutes, let alone weeks

Page 47332

 1     and months and so on, after we have actually been sitting in court,

 2     seeing what's happening and what everybody is pointing to.

 3             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Witness, Mr. Stewart is a

 4     stickler for precision, and he's asking you to draw a precise map, so

 5     could you put an "A" on the Boksevica hill, where there were 20 to 30 HVO

 6     soldiers?  Just draw an "A," and this way it will be clear.

 7             THE WITNESS:  [Marks]

 8             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Now, regarding the valley, can

 9     you write in "B," the letter B, and so everybody will know that "B"

10     stands for the valley and "A" for the place where the 20 to 30 HVO

11     soldiers were positioned.

12             THE WITNESS:  [Marks]

13             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Next to "A," you drew three

14     short lines.  They show the ABiH positions.  Maybe you could write a "C"

15     there so that if we match this with the transcript, we will see that they

16     correspond to the ABiH positions.

17             THE WITNESS:  [Marks]

18             MR. STEWART: [Previous translation continues]... of the witness.

19     I do want that to be very clear.  I do accept that there is an implicit

20     criticism in what I said, I don't shrink from that, but it's not directed

21     at the witness at all.  He has done exactly what he's been asked to do.

22             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Witness, let us now come to the

23     technical question.

24             There are ABiH units that are listed or shown under "C."  They

25     are positioned between Boksevica and Jablanica.  Do you agree with this

Page 47333

 1     observation that can be seen by anybody?

 2             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, I agree.

 3             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] To your knowledge, do you know

 4     whether the ABiH units had mortars or not?

 5             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The units of the ABiH had mortars.

 6     Where they were deployed, I'm not sure, but I'm positive that they had

 7     some here in Ostrozac and Poprazac [phoen] [indicates].  And you asked me

 8     yesterday whether it is possible that they had removed their mortars from

 9     the line facing the Serbs to this area, you may remember.

10             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] You're telling us that you're

11     not totally positive, but there may have been mortars.  In the event that

12     they had mortars, could they have fired on Boksevica hill, shown under

13     "A," in order to destroy the 20-odd soldiers that were there, and in so

14     doing in causing or neutralising this threat that the Prosecutor saw in

15     the fact that the 20 soldiers were positioned there?  Militarily

16     speaking, it may have been that the military action was to neutralise the

17     HVO positions through mortar fire so as to reduce the capacity to be

18     dangerous.  Would a serviceman do that, or would you rather attack with

19     footmen to take the hill?  What would be the right military solution?

20             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] From the village of Papratsko and

21     Ostrozac, they were able to open fire on these positions.  They could

22     have also sent sabotage units to this village at Boksevica.  And in the

23     document that was shown yesterday, it was said that a part -- the part of

24     a unit from Jablanica was sent here to assist here around

25     Mrakovo [indicates], at the foot of Boksevica, so that there was an

Page 47334

 1     attack in place on our communications centre on Boksevica.

 2             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yesterday, when we saw the

 3     video with the Muderiz unit that was in Jablanica, I guess that when they

 4     were in Jablanica, it meant that the ABiH had taken control of the hill

 5     shown with letter A.  Is that right or not?

 6             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] At that moment when they were

 7     receiving the plan of combat activities, the ABiH did not control the

 8     Boksevica hill, not fully, so their task was to link up with Here, Kute,

 9     and Scipe as soon as possible; that is this direction [indicates].  And

10     here at the foot of Boksevica, they deployed sabotage units.  I cannot

11     remember which company or which battalion they belonged to.

12             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] One last question.

13             To your knowledge, we see a unit positioned under letter A, these

14     20 to 30 HVO men.  Until when did they stay in that position?

15             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I can't mention a precise date, but

16     probably when everybody retreated; that is, in mid-July, probably,

17     because until then the communications centre was in function and we had

18     contact with the 1st Battalion.  Later, we lost all contact with the

19     1st Battalion because the communication centre in Boksevica was down.

20             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] You are saying that the

21     communication centre was down around mid-July, which would mean that the

22     HVO withdrew.  So it's clear to me.

23             JUDGE TRECHSEL:  An observation regarding the transcript.

24             Around page 87, line 1, it is the witness that starts speaking,

25     but it cannot be seen on the transcript.

Page 47335

 1             MR. BOS:  May I continue?

 2             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes.  We have a few minutes

 3     left.  Do not forget that we have the Gotovina trial -- oh, no, no, no,

 4     they're sitting in Courtroom II today this morning.

 5             Please proceed.

 6             MR. BOS:

 7        Q.   Witness, let me just recap some of the evidence that we've heard

 8     today and which I've showed you today.

 9             I've showed you evidence of HVO offensive actions against the

10     ABiH in the neighbouring municipalities of Prozor in October 1992, and in

11     Gornji Vakuf in 1993.  I'm sure --

12             MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Objection, Your Honours.  I object

13     to the phrasing "offensive actions."

14             MR. BOS:

15        Q.   Well, I've showed you evidence of armed clashes between the

16     Muslims and the Croats in Prozor and Gornji Vakuf.  I showed you a UN

17     report which talks about HVO ethnic cleansing of Muslims in Prozor in

18     October 1992.  I've showed you an HVO ultimatum document issued to the

19     ABiH on the 15th of January, 1993, also addressed to the Konjic

20     municipality, to submit their command to the HVO Main Staff.  And now I

21     just showed you evidence of an HVO attack on the village of Here on the

22     21st of March, which is located right next to the border of Konjic.

23             With all that in mind, is it still your position that the

24     Muslims -- that there was no reason for the ABiH to feel any threat with

25     regard to HVO aggression in Konjic?

Page 47336

 1        A.   Yes, that is still my opinion.

 2        Q.   Let's move to April, then.  And again I would like you to look at

 3     Exhibit P01911, the ECMM report.

 4        A.   P01 --

 5        Q.   P01911.  It's a document we've looked at on a couple of

 6     occasions, and I'm going to read out Chapter 6 to you:

 7             "There is no known plan of either side, save for the apparent and

 8     declared intent of each side to hold their ground."

 9             THE INTERPRETER:  Thank you for slowing down.

10             MR. BOS:

11        Q.   "The HVO have declared their intent to implement the

12     Vance-Owen Plan."

13             "However, analysis of political manoeuvre by the HVO, their

14     military build-up, the ground and strategic importance of the region

15     suggests that the HVO wish to implement the Vance-Owen Plan to their

16     advantage."

17             "The HVO make regular radio broadcast ultimatums to the Muslim

18     forces in Herceg-Bosna (never written), yet seldom follow up the

19     ultimatums, suggesting that the concept is to provoke the Muslims into

20     action that can then be used to justify aggression in the name of

21     defence."

22             "Because the Muslims will now bow to the HVO designs, the HVO

23     will have to use force to subdue the region, and indications are that

24     intense military preparation has taken place to this end.  Much

25     reinforcement has taken place south-west of," and then there's a place

Page 47337

 1     which is not readable, "... from Tomislavgrad."

 2             "The HVO need to secure roads into the disputed area, and Muslim

 3     factions in Gornji Vakuf, Here, Parsovici, and Konjic dominate all four

 4     routes through the region.  These four positions have come under

 5     concentrated military assault, while villages without strategic

 6     importance are left unmolested."

 7             Now, sir, this document talks about immense military preparation

 8     has taken place to this end.  Is it not true that the HVO were preparing

 9     for a large military action in the wider region around mid-April 1993?

10        A.   No, it is not true.

11        Q.   Let me ask you about the broadcast of these ultimatums.  You said

12     that you never saw any written ultimatum, as far as it concerns the

13     15th of April ultimatum.  Did you maybe hear about oral ultimatums being

14     spoken on the radio, or did you ever hear anything about ultimatums

15     around mid-April 1993?

16        A.   I have never heard in any media a direct ultimatum issued by

17     anybody to anybody else.  There was talk in town about some things, but

18     that wasn't the ultimatum, itself.  Those were only individual

19     renderings.

20        Q.   What kind of talks were in town?  Can you be a bit more specific?

21     What was being said?

22        A.   I cannot say.  I said that I have never seen or heard a direct

23     order, the one that you mentioned to --

24             MR. KOVACIC:  Your Honour, I object on this question.

25             The mode of question, and the previous one, the last one, it is a

Page 47338

 1     direct request of the cross-examiner to the witness to speculate.  The

 2     witness clearly said what he does know or he didn't.  He said there were

 3     some stories about that, I have heard something in the village.  And

 4     after that, he is again asked.  This is a clear example of speculation.

 5             Why do we need the witness to speculate?  This is not the

 6     evidence, anyway.

 7             MR. BOS:  I completely disagree.  He is saying he heard talks,

 8     and I'm just asking him to specify.

 9             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] One moment, please.

10             Mr. Kovacic, there's no need for you to intervene.  On line 16,

11     page 90, the witness said, No.  So he provided an answer, he answered.

12     So there's no reason for you to rise on your feet.  He said that there

13     was no ultimatum through the radio, and now you challenge the Prosecutor.

14     He does his job well, less well.  Well, he does his job, anyway.  And by

15     saying what you say, you're challenging him.  He's doing his job, like

16     you do yours, and the witness is the referee, and he says, No, I don't --

17     and then he said something.  The Prosecutor says he doesn't agree, and we

18     have the text in front of us, and we can see.  I can see that there were

19     ultimatums through the radio, but which ones?  It's not stated in the

20     document.  It could be anything.  Let's say, you know, Let's get

21     together, there's a meeting because there's foot-and-mouth disease.

22     Nothing is specific here, so no need to take the floor to say that your

23     learned colleague is manipulating the questions.  The Judges are

24     listening, they're attentive.  They'll correct as needed.

25             JUDGE TRECHSEL:  I want to clarify.  I think there has been

Page 47339

 1     perhaps a slight misunderstanding.

 2             Your objection is to the question, What did people speak about?

 3     And here, what the witness has first said, he never had direct ultimatum,

 4     he never knew about the direct ultimatum.  We are on page 90, line 20.

 5     But then he added, There was talk in town about some things.  And the

 6     Prosecutor asked him, What kind of talks?

 7             MR. KOVACIC:  Exactly, Your Honour.

 8             JUDGE TRECHSEL:  So the witness had not, before that, said he had

 9     no idea what kind of talk it was.  That was still open at that moment, so

10     the question was absolutely correct, and the objection must be overruled.

11             MR. KOVACIC:  Your Honour, I'm sorry.  I wouldn't waste any more

12     time, but please later you can check the transcript.  And he exactly

13     refers to the crucial question and answer, and this was my objection.

14     After that, what you referred on page 90, line 22, then Mr. Bos is going

15     again on the same.  After the answer of the witness on 91, line 1 --

16     sorry, on 90, line 22, it was clear.  He said there was talk in town

17     about some things, but that wasn't ultimatum, those -- and then it

18     continues some.  But I'm sorry, but I think that the objection is --

19             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] You have 40 minutes left,

20     Prosecutor.

21             We shall resume tomorrow.  Witness, we shall reconvene, and

22     you'll come here again tomorrow at 9.00 in the morning.

23                           [The witness stands down]

24                           --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 1.45 p.m.,

25                           to be reconvened on Thursday, the 26th day of

Page 47340

 1                           November, 2009, at 9.00 a.m.