Tribunal Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia

Page 52423

 1                           Thursday, 17 February 2011

 2                           [Praljak Defence Closing Statement]

 3                           [Open session]

 4                           [The accused entered court]

 5                           [The Accused Pusic not present]

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

 7             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Madam Registrar, kindly call

 8     the case.

 9             THE REGISTRAR:  Good morning, everyone in and around the

10     courtroom.

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

12     Prlic et al.

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

14             Today is Thursday, 17th of February, 2011.

15             Let me first greet the accused, the Defence counsel, and also all

16     the OTP members present here and the people assisting us.

17             I'll say, without further adieu to the Praljak Defence, that we

18     got in touch with the Tolimir Chamber, and we were told that it was not

19     possible to extend our sitting by 15 minutes because they have witnesses

20     to hear.  So you have two possibilities; either General Praljak will have

21     30 minutes on Monday or you reduce your time and he can speak today,

22     because we have four hours today and you still have a credit of four

23     hours and thirty minutes.  So it's up to you, Mr. Kovacic.

24             MR. KOVACIC:  Thank you, Your Honour.

25             We will decide during the day, and we will advise you.

Page 52424

 1             Good morning, everybody.

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

 3             Mr. Scott, did you want to take the floor?

 4             MR. SCOTT:  For one moment, Your Honour.  I apologise.  I said to

 5     the Registry if I could just have one moment, in an effort to be as

 6     little disruptive as possible, rather than getting on my feet later

 7     today.

 8             Your Honour, the whole intervention will take less than one

 9     minute.

10             I've been carrying around this note for some days now.

11             During Mr. Kruger's closing submissions, he, unfortunately, as we

12     all sometimes do, mis-cited an exhibit.  At page 51151 of the transcript,

13     he mentioned Exhibit P05889.  The correct exhibit reference should be

14     P05884, and I wanted to correct that, Your Honour.

15             While I'm on my feet, I just wanted to assure both Ms. Nozica and

16     the Chamber I certainly did not intend to be discourteous to her

17     yesterday.  There are some things that are just so deeply embedded in our

18     own legal cultures, sometimes it's hard not to react, but I regret that

19     it was taken as any sort of personal affront to Ms. Nozica or the

20     Chamber.

21             Thank you for that.

22             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. Scott.

23             We take due note of what you've just said.

24             Yes, Ms. Nozica, do you have anything to say?

25             MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I'm glad that you gave

Page 52425

 1     me the opportunity to thank my learned friend.  I didn't understand his

 2     words as an attack on me or our Defence, but I wouldn't have risen just

 3     to express my gratitude.  I also have a correction of the transcript.

 4             On the 16th of February, 2010, page 30, line 9, instead of

 5     "5P5259," it should be "P --"

 6             THE INTERPRETER:  Could counsel please repeat the number.

 7             MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation] I repeat.

 8             Instead of "P5259," it should be "P5249."

 9             Your Honours, I just want to say that we, too, will listen to the

10     tape with a recording of our final brief, so possibly on Monday we will

11     make additional corrections if we made any mistakes.

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

13             You may proceed, Mr. Kovacic.

14             MR. KOVACIC:  I would like to say a few words about the nexus

15     between the alleged existence of an international armed conflict and the

16     crimes from Article 2 of the Statute.  In our submission, the Prosecution

17     failed to prove the existence of this nexus.

18             Instead of explaining the nexus between the crimes and the

19     international armed conflict, the Prosecution simplified things and just

20     say that General Praljak was present in Bosnia-Herzegovina, and seems to

21     consider that fact to be sufficient.  An explanation is missing, and so

22     is concrete evidence to show that there undoubtedly is a nexus between

23     the crimes from Article 2 of the Statute and the international armed

24     conflict.  The mere presence of General Praljak in Bosnia-Herzegovina is

25     not sufficient grounds for such a conclusion.

Page 52426

 1             Concerning the Prosecution's allegation in paragraph 78 of their

 2     final brief, in other words, the mens rea in connection with the

 3     international armed conflict, I would like to say the following:

 4             The Prosecution claimed that all the accused were fully aware of

 5     the intensive involvement of the Republic of Croatia in the conflict in

 6     Bosnia and Herzegovina.  They base this claim on alleged regular contacts

 7     with the relevant bodies or persons in the Republic of Croatia, and go on

 8     to claim that the intervention of Croatia was so intensive in the period

 9     in question that it would be impossible to believe that the accused were

10     unaware of the existence of links and the involvement of the Republic of

11     Croatia in the Croatian-Muslim conflict.  So the only thesis is indirect

12     conclusions, they can't have failed -- they can't have failed to do this

13     and that.  It is true that Croatia was involved in the war in

14     Bosnia-Herzegovina, but it was involved in the war in which the

15     aggressor, the JNA, waged against Bosnia-Herzegovina and in which the

16     HVO, and later the BH Army, opposed this aggression, but not with the

17     intention to help one party to that conflict.

18             The Republic of Croatia is a necessary participant in this war,

19     but not a willing participant.  There is no safety for the Republic of

20     Croatia as long as the un-safety in Bosnia-Herzegovina exists because

21     their mutual border is over 1.000 kilometres long.  There is no safety

22     for Croatia while the JNA, or the Serbs, are attacking Bosnia-Herzegovina

23     but, simultaneously, they're also attacking Croatia with the same plan,

24     to conquer territories in both countries regardless of the border between

25     them.  There is no safety for Croatia while it is a point of transit for

Page 52427

 1     the supply of Bosnia-Herzegovina, in general, for the supply of

 2     humanitarian aid, and while 300.000 refugees from Bosnia-Herzegovina are

 3     present in Croatia, to leave it at that.

 4             All that shows that the Republic of Croatia is a necessary

 5     participant in that war, but it isn't involved in the war of its own

 6     will.

 7             The Republic of Croatia is a subject and a victim in that war, if

 8     it wishes that were not.  It's not a result of will or the policy of

 9     Croatia, it's a result of the acts of others; specifically, the

10     Yugoslav People's Army and the Serbs, which is beyond the control of

11     Croatia.  The Republic of Croatia thus had a legitimate interest in the

12     situation in Bosnia-Herzegovina, and it was its duty to take measures to

13     prevent chaos, measures to put up a defence in Bosnia-Herzegovina, and

14     co-operation with the HVO to be able to defend its own territory; first

15     of all, the southern front, but also the Croatian Posavina,

16     Slavonski Brod, and other areas that were directly threatened or attacked

17     from the territory of Bosnia-Herzegovina.

18             I can refer to the testimony of General Praljak and that of

19     General Petkovic.  In the case of General Petkovic, the transcript page

20     is 49702 through 49704.  The date is 18 February 2010.  In Praljak's

21     case, the motives are even more obvious than in Petkovic's, but many

22     other people, just like General Praljak, also went to Bosnia-Herzegovina

23     to defend their native area.

24             It's a relevant question, whether Croatia had the intention to

25     help one party in one of the additional conflicts in Bosnia-Herzegovina;

Page 52428

 1     specifically, the conflict between the BH Army and the HVO, which came

 2     about as a consequence of the aggression of the JNA.  That was a conflict

 3     that nobody planned or foresaw except, probably -- this is speculation

 4     now -- except probably the JNA, which contributed to that conflict to

 5     weaken the resistance that the BH Army and the HVO put up to prevent it

 6     from achieving its objectives.

 7             There is no evidence to indicate that General Praljak or any

 8     other accused were in a position to know or foresee what the Republic of

 9     Croatia, or the Presidency of Bosnia-Herzegovina, or the VRS, or the

10     international community, or anybody would do in the days or weeks to

11     come.  All these I mentioned were players there, and nobody could know

12     what any of these players would do on the following day.

13             The Prosecution implicitly claims that General Praljak was so

14     much smarter than anybody else that he could know with certainty and he

15     could foresee future events which, by the way, nobody foresaw.

16             As for the awareness of the participants of the alleged

17     international armed conflict, the Defence reiterates that throughout the

18     conflicts -- sorry, throughout the alleged conflict or throughout the war

19     in Bosnia-Herzegovina in general, not one party, especially the

20     representative Bosnia-Herzegovina, never once publicly and unambiguously

21     stated that they see the other side, that is, Croatia and

22     Bosnia-Herzegovina, as an enemy, or not even as a rival.  So there were

23     no two enemy countries, which is certainly a precondition for the

24     existence of an international armed conflict.

25             The political representatives of Bosnia-Herzegovina and the

Page 52429

 1     Republic of Croatia, and we have dealt with this extensively, had their

 2     own positions which sometimes were not harmonised, but, simultaneously,

 3     they participated in peace talks, patiently and very long, to find

 4     acceptable solutions, and it was Croatia which was the first to sign any

 5     solution that was offered, any plan.

 6             About the Prosecution's claim that the accused certainly knew and

 7     understood that Croatia was intensively involved in the conflict in BiH,

 8     among others, because there were regular contacts with the relevant

 9     bodies and persons in the Republic of Croatia, that is, based on the fact

10     that there were such contacts with bodies and persons in Croatia, the

11     Defence thinks it necessary to point out this information:  The president

12     of BiH, Alija Izetbegovic, was President Tudjman's guest more often than

13     all these accused together, if they had a chance to ever meet

14     President Tudjman.  We made this analysis based on all presidential

15     transcripts, both those that were admitted here and those that weren't,

16     and the result is always the same.  Then we may draw the same conclusion

17     with regard to President Izetbegovic.  He must have known what was going

18     on.  He was with Tudjman all the time.  So this Prosecution claim

19     certainly does not take us to the desired conclusion.

20             The Defence wishes to show by this that the mere existence of

21     contacts with Croatian officials is not sufficient ground for the

22     conclusion that there was a single-mindedness about something only

23     because there were contacts.

24             With regard to the claim that there was mens rea in

25     General Praljak with regard to the international armed conflict or, to

Page 52430

 1     quote paragraph 78 of their final brief, "his awareness of the

 2     involvement of Croatia in the conflict in BiH."

 3             [In English] The Prosecution has not made concrete efforts to

 4     specifically contradict Praljak's assertions and the assertions of the

 5     Praljak Defence.  Regarding his motive to defend the people and state of

 6     the BiH, the Prosecution does not point to the various quotes from

 7     Praljak about his presence in BiH, the Banovina, et cetera, but it does

 8     not actually make the argument that Praljak was not there to defend

 9     against the Serbs, as the Defence asserted.  We want to pose the

10     following question to the Bench:  What does it mean if our assertions

11     with respect to Praljak's motive are correct?  What does it mean if

12     Praljak was there to defend BiH and her people?  The answer should

13     ultimately be, if our assertions are true, then this honourable Chamber

14     cannot find proof of the requisite mens rea beyond a reasonable doubt.

15     Then we should ask:  Has the Prosecution proven that Praljak did not wish

16     to defend BiH and her people?  Was there no threat?  Did the JNA

17     aggression not exist ?  Does the Prosecution deny the role of the

18     JNA/VRS?  Did Praljak lack a connection to BiH?  Was he not born there?

19     Did his family not living there?  Finally, we should ask:  If there are

20     any doubt that had the HVO not been organised, the JNA would have killed

21     and victimised countless more BiH citizens?  Does this not demonstrate

22     the motivation of Praljak and others like him more concretely than

23     twisted interpretations, cherry-picked evidence?  In the very last

24     section of the Prosecution's oral argument last week, the Prosecution

25     asked the honourable Trial Chamber to render a judgement that would

Page 52431

 1     sanction the war, generally, in the judgement that would somehow prevent

 2     future wars.  At the heart of modern International Humanitarian Law is

 3     the principle of autonomy between questions of jus in bello and jus ad

 4     bellum.  One aspect of that autonomy is that even if you do not agree

 5     with the reasons a party participated in a conflict, that does not change

 6     the criteria needed to prove a jus in bello violation.

 7             To the Prosecution, every casualty is inculpatory.  The

 8     Prosecution, throughout the indictment, the trial, their final brief and

 9     closing argument, refers to the killing and wounding of Bosnian Muslims

10     as though those tragedies were inherently criminal.  Very frequently, no

11     evidence is given as to the combat status of the casualties.  The only

12     possible deduction that can be made from this approach is that, to the

13     Prosecution, the principle of autonomy does not apply.  By effectively

14     claiming that all tragedies are crimes, that all aid to the HVO was

15     criminal, the Prosecution seeks to functionally destroy the principle of

16     autonomy through pushing JCE theory to its outer-most extremes.  Even if

17     the Prosecution alleges the HVO was somehow a bad actor with respect to

18     participating in a conflict, which would be a question of jus ad bellum,

19     the Prosecution must still prove specifically every element of alleged

20     violations of jus in bello.  Unless the Prosecution could prove that the

21     casualty was connected to a crime, not just the tragedy of war, then the

22     fact of that casualty never should have been included in the indictment,

23     and evidence on those casualties should never have been led.

24             As Your Honours review the evidence, any evidence that shows the

25     ills of war, rather than a crime, must be pointedly disregarded, lest the

Page 52432

 1     Trial Chamber be seen to follow the Prosecution's lead in disregarding

 2     the principle of autonomy between jus ad bellum and jus in bello.  Such

 3     disregard is not only contrary to law, it is extremely dangerous,

 4     striking at the heart of the modern system of International Humanitarian

 5     Law.

 6             Just a moment, Your Honour.

 7             Your Honour, because of the time, I will skip now one subject

 8     which I planned to raise.

 9             Okay, then I will not, sorry.  I will not, because it will be

10     difficult to cover -- to cover all the details.

11             [Interpretation] Greater Croatia:

12             The Prosecution develops a thesis about an alleged plan of the

13     Republic of Croatia to create a Greater Croatia within its historical

14     borders, and essentially uses this thesis to explain the alleged motives

15     and political plans of the Republic of Croatia, on which then, logically,

16     a conclusion about the existence of a joint criminal enterprise can be

17     based, as well as in the context of an international armed conflict.

18     Thus, the Prosecution, in paragraphs 164 through 167, presents the

19     political discussions of the president of the Republic of Croatia,

20     Franjo Tudjman, which, according to the Prosecution, show the existence

21     of political and territorial claims of Croatia against the BiH.

22             It's interesting to note immediately that in these paragraphs,

23     the Prosecutor refers to the discussions of the Croatian political

24     leaders that were held on the 8th of June, 1991, and the

25     27th of December, 1991, which is significantly earlier than the moment at

Page 52433

 1     which Bosnia-Herzegovina became a sovereign state, or just to be aware of

 2     the period, at the time when the break-up of the previous joint state of

 3     Yugoslavia began.  This argument of the Prosecution is obviously

 4     irrelevant.  Namely, these were the talks which President Tudjman had

 5     with his close associates at the time when the SFRY was breaking up, and

 6     neither the Republic of Croatia nor Bosnia-Herzegovina were, as yet,

 7     independent states.  The SFRY was still in existence.  So were the

 8     republics, the future independent states.  All possible scenarios and

 9     options were considered.

10             To provide the context of the thesis, I recall that the JNA,

11     together with the local Serbs, occupied almost one-third of the territory

12     of the Republic of Croatia in late 1991, and the war in Bosnia and

13     Herzegovina had not broken out as yet, although it was quite certain that

14     it would.

15             The Prosecution simply ignores the fact that what follow after

16     such discussions or thoughts which politicians expressed out loud, were

17     specific actions.  Thus, after such talks in March 1992, Tudjman and the

18     HDZ took some specific steps to stimulate the Croats in the BiH to cast

19     their votes at the referendum on the independence of BiH and to vote in

20     favour of independence, that is to say, the creation of the new state of

21     BiH, which I already mentioned.

22             Therefore, considering possible political options or moves of the

23     Republic of Croatia at this stage - that was the stage of the break-up of

24     the Yugoslavia - resulted in the position that a contribution ought to be

25     made to the creation of the new and independent state of

Page 52434

 1     Bosnia-Herzegovina, and this is a fact.

 2             Considering political options or the possibilities which are at

 3     the disposal of a republic in relation to the federal Republic of

 4     Yugoslavia and other republics, under the circumstances of the break-up

 5     of the SFRY, is not just a legitimate right of the political leadership

 6     of a country, but also their duty; namely, to ascertain all the existing

 7     options and to select the one which is in the interest of this country.

 8             After the independent BiH was declared, there was not a single

 9     occasion on which the Croatian political leadership considered any

10     options that would include a break-up of BiH or a change of the exterior

11     borders of the BiH.  Quite the contrary, when Izetbegovic offered to

12     Tudjman to annex a part of the BiH territory, Tudjman refused that

13     because he knew that this was not a solution, considering a series of new

14     circumstances.

15             The political leadership of the Republic of Croatia discussed a

16     peaceful resolution to the war in BiH, which is, of course, quite

17     legitimate because the BiH is a neighbouring country, and the

18     Republic of Croatia cannot have any security without a stable

19     Bosnia-Herzegovina.

20             In the talks which were conducted at the time after the

21     referendum, what was discussed was an internal division or internal

22     configuration of Bosnia-Herzegovina, the various forms of a possible

23     confederate Bosnia-Herzegovina or cantons, as we've often heard.  Such

24     initiatives also came from international mediators.  The proposals for

25     such a solution within Bosnia-Herzegovina were included in all peace

Page 52435

 1     plans, from the so-called Cutileiro Plan, to the Vance-Owen Plan, the

 2     Owen-Stoltenberg Plan, and to the Dayton Accords, which eventually did

 3     include one such solution.  However, the Prosecution interprets such

 4     discussions, which can be found in various presidential transcripts that

 5     we have seen during the trial, as something that demonstrates the

 6     intention of the Republic of Croatia to divide Bosnia and Herzegovina.

 7     This is a thesis, and other options are simply not considered.  However,

 8     this interpretation is completely wrong, because this division has to do

 9     only with the modus of the internal configuration and system of

10     government within Bosnia-Herzegovina.

11             Why was the Republic of Croatia actively involved in this issue?

12     It was not just the political interest of the Republic of Croatia,

13     considering its security, as I already noted.  There was also the

14     insistence on part of the Western countries that the Republic of Croatia,

15     that is to say, President Tudjman, by his personal authority which he

16     enjoyed among the Croats in Bosnia-Herzegovina, should influence them to

17     accept the Western countries' proposed solutions or ideas, should the

18     president of the Republic of Croatia have refused the requests of

19     international officials and let the situation in Bosnia-Herzegovina

20     develop without any attempt to find solutions acceptable to the peoples

21     of Bosnia-Herzegovina.

22             In paragraphs 177 through 206, the Prosecution presents arguments

23     about the presence of the Croatian Army in Bosnia-Herzegovina.  In spite

24     of an extremely creative interpretation of evidence, the Prosecution has

25     not managed to indicate a single direct piece of evidence which would

Page 52436

 1     undoubtedly demonstrate that a particular unit of the Croatian Army was

 2     present in Bosnia-Herzegovina and engaged in combat with the

 3     Army of Bosnia-Herzegovina.  The Prosecution has not presented such

 4     evidence, simply because such evidence does not exist, because this never

 5     happened.

 6             The Prosecution completely disregards the fact that the HVO was a

 7     component of the defence forces of BiH.  The Prosecutor also completely

 8     disregards the fact that there is no single piece of evidence

 9     demonstrating that the HV units participated in combat against the ABiH.

10     The Prosecution also completely disregards the fact that there were much

11     more members of the Croatian Army who were members of the ABiH rather

12     than of HVO, which is shown by the analysis of all documents providing

13     data about the volunteers who left the Republic of Croatia in order to

14     enlist with the HVO in the beginning, and then later on, when the Army of

15     Bosnia-Herzegovina was formed, they transferred into that army because

16     there were ethnic Muslims and this was an army which defended the BiH

17     from JNA, just like the HVO did.  However, this requests a bit of

18     analysis of all documents, and there are many documents, and numbers can

19     be drawn from them.

20             There is no doubt that the president, Franjo Tudjman, had a

21     political influence on the Croatian community in Bosnia-Herzegovina and

22     the HVO.  It's natural and logical.  The Croats in Bosnia-Herzegovina

23     were aware that the interests of the Republic of Croatia and the Croats

24     in Bosnia-Herzegovina were identical.  Everyone knew that the priority

25     was to defend themselves against the Serbian aggression, and that was

Page 52437

 1     also the interest of the Muslim leadership.  To defend oneself against

 2     the Serbian aggression meant defending the battle-field; that is to say,

 3     the territories in both the Republic of Croatia and the Republic of

 4     Bosnia-Herzegovina.  The aggressor was trying to occupy the areas which

 5     were covered by his plan, regardless of the existence of the borders

 6     between Bosnia-Herzegovina and the Republic of Croatia.  Therefore, this

 7     fact does not allow one to find some hidden motives that the Republic of

 8     Croatia had to take a part of Bosnia-Herzegovina and then draw from that

 9     conclusion that the Republic of Croatia assisted the HVO in its conflict

10     with the Army of Bosnia-Herzegovina.

11             I would now also like to deal with the existence of occupation,

12     as the Prosecution claims in its final brief.

13             The introduction:

14             [In English] With respect to the alleged culpability of

15     Slobodan Praljak, due to the alleged occupation of parts of

16     Bosnia-Herzegovina by Croatia, the Prosecution errs in their legal and

17     factual analysis.  Before examining those errors in detail, I would like

18     to pause a moment and reflect on what the Prosecution is asking the

19     Trial Chamber to say, from the perspective of an ordinary citizen of BiH.

20             To the family of the volunteer who was born in Bosnia and

21     Herzegovina, whose multi-ethnic family is from Bosnia-Herzegovina, who

22     took note of the Serbian aggression threatening their family and their

23     community, who voted in local elections in which the local HDZ-BiH party

24     won, who volunteered in one of the local multi-ethnic armed forces of

25     Bosnia-Herzegovina, who fought and died protecting their family from the

Page 52438

 1     Serb aggression, to the family of that fallen veteran the Prosecution

 2     would have this Trial Chamber say, Your son was an occupier, he is merely

 3     part of a foreign -- he was merely part of a foreign occupation of

 4     Bosnia-Herzegovina.  If he happened to volunteer for the HVO, then he was

 5     Croatian occupier.  It does not matter if he has never been to Croatia,

 6     for example.  It does not matter if he or his family is ethnically Muslim

 7     or Croatian or mixed.  It does not matter if his municipal force fought

 8     purely for the defence of his municipality, was organised and paid

 9     locally, and paid little regard to the orders from above the municipal

10     level.  It does not matter what he thought, or who he fought, or how he

11     died, even if his only intent until his end was merely the defence of his

12     own village, or perhaps a little bit broader, his municipality, from the

13     Serb aggression, of course.

14             The Prosecution would have Your Honours say because the evils

15     that occur in war must be pinned on someone, and because the law and

16     common sense are so malleable to some, your son must be found in a

17     criminal court to be an occupier.  Thousands like him must be considered

18     foreign occupiers of their own land, the land they died for, the land

19     they now lay beneath.  Your Honours, this is not a reasonable thing for

20     the Prosecution to ask you to say.

21             If the same son, or his brother in a neighbouring village, had

22     happened to volunteer for the ABiH rather than the HVO, he would not be

23     branded as a foreign occupier by the Prosecution, despite of the foreign

24     arms, despite of the foreign soldiers, despite the foreign influence upon

25     the ABiH.  And the Prosecution is right not to label the ABiH a foreign

Page 52439

 1     occupier, despite all of this.  But the Prosecution is wrong to label the

 2     dead veterans of Bosnia and Herzegovina occupiers if they happen to

 3     volunteer for the armed forces of Bosnia-Herzegovina, whom they do not

 4     favour at this particular trial.  And we, of course, know who the

 5     Prosecutor does not favour.

 6             I think this is also errors of law.  The Prosecution errs with

 7     regard to the law.  It effectively assumes that because, in their

 8     mistaken opinion, they have demonstrated international armed conflict.

 9     They have also established foreign armed occupation in Croatia at the

10     time and places where the alleged crimes occurred.  This is a clear

11     error.  The existence of an international armed conflict and the

12     existence of an occupation are separate questions.

13             In the Naletilic trial judgement, paragraph 214, it is

14     established that the further degree of control, then overall control, is

15     required to establish occupation.  In paragraph 218, it establishes that

16     the Prosecution must prove beyond all reasonable doubt that the foreign

17     power had actual control and actual authority at the relevant times and

18     places.  Influence is not merely sufficient.

19             The Praljak Defence respectfully submits that the Government of

20     the Republic of Croatia may have had a certain influence on both the ABiH

21     and the HVO, given its aid to both, but the Republic of Croatia did not

22     occupy Bosnia and Herzegovina through the HVO or, for that matter,

23     through the ABiH.

24             The Prosecution relies on a dissenting opinion at the

25     International Court of Justice, Korman's separate and dissenting opinion

Page 52440

 1     in the Republic of Congo versus Uganda.

 2             International law, as reflected in the actual judgements of the

 3     International Court of Justice, applies stricter requirements than the

 4     dissenting opinion the Prosecution relies on.  In the cited case,

 5     Congo versus Uganda, 205, paragraph 177, the ICJ held that either the

 6     state needs to have effective control over rebel groups or it needs to

 7     have direct effective control, itself, over the area.  This is the proper

 8     standard.  The HVO must be proved to have been effectively identical to

 9     the Croatian Army in terms of the Croatian Government's control.  This

10     cannot be proven because it was not true.

11             The Praljak Defence respectfully refers the Trial Chamber to

12     other important rulings on state responsibility and control of domestic

13     armed forces, including the case Nicaragua versus the United States and

14     Bosnia-Herzegovina versus Serbia and Montenegro.

15             There are severe consequence if this Trial Chamber continues the

16     fragmentation of International Law encouraged by the Prosecution.

17             As recognised by the International Law Commission in their 2006

18     report on the fragmentation of International Law, on page 36, such

19     fragmentation reduces legal security by making the law unpredictable and

20     reduces justice because the rights of individuals depends on which

21     jurisdiction is enforcing those rights.

22             It is also important to emphasise the clear legal requirement

23     that the Prosecution avoids, that in situations where fighting is still

24     ongoing, the law of occupation does not apply.  This will be addressed as

25     I now turn to the Prosecution's errors of fact.

Page 52441

 1             The Prosecution erred with respect to the application of law to

 2     the facts of this case.  It is characteristic of the Prosecution's

 3     approach that their final brief does not even plainly explain who the

 4     alleged occupying power is.  One searches their final brief in vain for a

 5     clear phrase such as would be "the Republic of Croatia occupied

 6     Herzegovina."  Perhaps it is embarrassing to actually enumerate the

 7     words.  In any case, this implied, but never properly alleged, statement

 8     is clearly unproven.

 9             The Prosecution's factual analysis is based on two criteria for

10     which, incidentally, it provides no citation in support.  The first

11     criterion is that the occupying power has rendered the occupied

12     authorities incapable of functioning publicly or of controlling the area.

13     This criterion happens to be the same as the first guide-line in

14     Naletilic.  Most of those guide-lines the Prosecution ignores because

15     they do not support their allegations and they certainly cannot proven

16     them.  The second criterion is that the occupying power is in a position

17     to exercise its authority over the territory.  An objective application

18     of the Prosecution's own criteria demonstrates that the Prosecution's

19     assertion that Croatia occupied Bosnia-Herzegovina is in error.  It

20     certainly has not proven that Croatia occupied Bosnia-Herzegovina

21     throughout the relevant time and did so everywhere where crimes were

22     allegedly committed.

23             With respect to the first criterion, that the occupying power has

24     rendered the occupation authorities incapable of functioning publicly or

25     of controlling the area, a few observations must be made.

Page 52442

 1             If we, only for the sake of discussion, imagine that the

 2     Republic of Croatia actually occupied certain territory, the question

 3     would be:  Who are the occupied authorities that were rendered incapable

 4     of functioning?  As said earlier, there were no functioning governmental

 5     authorities in the area.  The HVO organised and gained local authority

 6     primarily because there was no effective government at all.  The

 7     Prosecution, in fact, simply presumes that since the HVO established some

 8     control over certain territory within BiH borders, that it is -- that

 9     this territory was governed until then by the Sarajevo government before

10     being taken over by the HVO.  Your Honours, this presumption is wrong.

11     There was no functioning governmental structure of BiH in those areas.

12     The old socialist government ceased to exist or function.  The new

13     independent BiH government was not able to impose any real functional

14     governance.

15             The Prosecution characteristically assumes, without any actual

16     facts or analysis, that for any particular municipality, the elected HVO

17     government and multi-ethnic municipal defence force is the occupying

18     power.  Similarly, the party that lost the municipal elections and which

19     actively discriminated against ethnic Croats is the, quote, "occupied

20     power."

21             The Praljak Defence respectfully submits that the elected HVO

22     municipal governments, the municipal defence forces, and the institutions

23     set up to co-ordinate between them, as best as could be managed, cannot

24     be considered an occupying power.  They were domestic, and domestic

25     organisations do not occupy.  Simple as that.

Page 52443

 1             It is worth bearing in mind that Slobodan Praljak was a member of

 2     both the Army of Bosnia and Herzegovina and the HVO.  You have seen the

 3     evidence.  One might ask whether the Prosecution assumes he was somehow

 4     occupying, himself, just as the local volunteers were apparently staging

 5     a foreign occupation of their own homes.  The power of the HVO did not

 6     spring from foreign invasion by Croatia, as would happen in an

 7     occupation.  It sprang from local grassroots efforts to

 8     manage [indiscernible].

 9             With respect to erroneous suggestion that Croatia caused the

10     Sarajevo government incapacity of functioning publicly or controlling the

11     area, the Praljak Defence respectfully submits that, but for Croatia, the

12     Sarajevo government would not have even retained the municipality --

13     quote, "municipality of Sarajevo," de facto power it retained during the

14     conflict -- the only de facto power it retained during the conflict.

15     Without Croatia's active support, the Sarajevo government would have been

16     entirely overrun.  Croatia was the anti-occupier of Bosnia and

17     Herzegovina in the face of the very real Serb aggression.  Any capacity

18     the Sarajevo government had in the face of the Serbian onslaught was

19     primarily because the Croatian Government provided and facilitated aid to

20     the two co-equal BiH defence forces, the ABiH and the HVO.  If one is

21     desperate to establish the cause of the Sarajevo government's incapacity,

22     the evidence clearly points away from Zagreb.  There are obvious causes

23     for the Sarajevo government's incapacity conspicuously absent from the

24     Prosecution's blinkered focus on Zagreb.  The Sarajevo government lacked

25     capacity because of Belgrade, not because of Zagreb.  The Sarajevo

Page 52444

 1     government lacked capacity because of its own failings and

 2     ethnically-biased policies.  The Sarajevo government lacked capacity

 3     because the international community put it under an embargo and stood by

 4     while the Serbian aggression continued.

 5             The suggestion that the Republic of Croatia occupied

 6     Bosnia and Herzegovina at the same time that it armed and aided

 7     Bosnia-Herzegovina, should be disregarded as absurd.

 8             Similarly, even if the Prosecution proved, which it did not, that

 9     the HVO was functionally identical to the Croatian Army, which it

10     certainly has not, does the Prosecution seriously suggest that if the

11     local Bosnian HVO units had not formed, those areas would not have been

12     overrun by the JNA or VRS?  Had the HVO disbanded at any point, the ABiH

13     would have been entirely overwhelmed by the JNA/VRS.  The HVO was part of

14     the BiH armed forces.  This is proven, for example, by Exhibits 1D507,

15     2D628, 4D410, and others.  The HVO saved BiH from being overrun.  It did

16     not occupy the country it saved.

17             With respect to the second criterion identified by the

18     Prosecution, that the so-called occupying power is in a position to

19     exercise its authority over the territory, the Praljak Defence

20     respectfully submits that the Prosecution simply assumes, without proof,

21     without proof, that because the Sarajevo government was incapable, the

22     Republic of Croatia must have had clear command and control of all areas

23     and at all times where the alleged crimes occurred.  One does not follow

24     from the other.  Just because the Sarajevo government may have been

25     incapable at times does not mean that the Republic of Croatia was in the

Page 52445

 1     position to exercise its authority over the territory at the relevant

 2     places and times.  Had the Prosecution intended to proven this fact,

 3     rather than assume it, the Prosecution should have proven at least two

 4     facts in each situation.  First, the Prosecution should have proven that

 5     there was no fighting in the supposedly occupied territory not only

 6     between the ABiH and HVO, but also between HVO and JNA.  It is not the

 7     responsibility of the Praljak Defence to demonstrate ongoing fighting,

 8     although it has.  Rather, it is the obligation of the Prosecution to show

 9     that fighting has ceased in the areas it asserts were occupied.

10             The JNA/VRS never stopped fighting.  Many of the crimes alleged

11     occurred when the ABiH attacks upon the HVO were intense.  The

12     Prosecution tends to assume conflict between the ABiH and the HVO as the

13     norm, despite the obvious contradiction between that assumption and the

14     assumption that there was no conflict and that the HVO was occupying in a

15     conflict-free environment.  The Prosecution failed to specifically allege

16     or prove there was no fighting at the time crimes -- at the time crimes

17     were allegedly committed.  Accordingly, the Prosecution failed to prove

18     occupation.

19             Second, the Prosecution must prove that there was an unbroken

20     chain of effective control between the Government of the Republic of

21     Croatia to the leadership of the HVO, to the municipal governments who,

22     themselves, were in position to exercise authority over the territory.

23     Only then would the so-called occupying power of Croatia be able to

24     exercise authority over the territory.  Every link in that chain is

25     broken.  Influence is not command.  The Republic of Croatia influenced

Page 52446

 1     but did not control the leadership of the HVO.  The municipal forces

 2     co-operated with the top HVO leadership only when they wished to.  It was

 3     not a formal, professional military with effective command, control and

 4     communication.  The municipal governments, themselves, only had spotty,

 5     irregular, partial control over the essentially chaotic situation.  There

 6     was no occupation here.

 7             Conclusion:

 8             Finally, the Praljak Defence must respectfully ask what this

 9     question has to do with General Slobodan Praljak.  Slobodan Praljak was

10     not king of the allegedly occupied areas.  He has no criminal liability

11     for the periods outside of his military command.  During his brief period

12     of military command, his forces were stretched to the utmost along the

13     confrontation line, and he had no effective control outside where he was

14     present.  To place an operationally front-line commander under a regime

15     of effective strict liability for anywhere the ABiH and JNA had not

16     overrun would be an absurd abuse of criminal law.  The Trial Chamber

17     should resist the Prosecution efforts to push the law in this direction.

18             Whether from the perspective of the individual Bosnian soldier,

19     defamed as a foreign occupier, or the perspective of a volunteer member

20     of both the HVO and the ABiH, who briefly served as a commander on the

21     front-lines, or from the grand questions of state responsibility, the

22     Praljak Defence respectfully submits that factual findings with respect

23     to the subject of occupation must be approached with extreme caution.

24     This is not only due to principles of the presumptions of innocence or in

25     dubio pro reo.  This Trial Chamber may reasonably ask itself whether the

Page 52447

 1     Prosecution is, in effect, putting the Republic of Croatia on trial

 2     without allowing this state to represent itself.  This is a Tribunal

 3     charged with evaluating criminal culpability of natural persons, not the

 4     responsibilities of the states.  It is designed to evaluate whether the

 5     Prosecution has proved a specific theory of individual criminal

 6     responsibility over specifically alleged crimes, not to ratify,

 7     broad-brush, historical generalisations which may be convenient, for

 8     technical legal reasons, for those willing to bend the law to the desired

 9     outcome.

10             In this setting, if the Prosecution wishes to allege occupation,

11     its allegation must be specific, and its proof must be iron-clad.

12     Instead, the Prosecution asks this Trial Chamber to transform itself into

13     a tribunal concerned with the responsibility of states based on rogue

14     assertions and mostly unidentified flimsy evidence.  The Prosecution asks

15     too much of the Trial Chamber.  It has failed to prove the alleged

16     occupation of Bosnia and Herzegovina and the international armed conflict

17     and occupation by Republic of Croatia.  It has certainly failed to prove

18     any derivative criminal culpability of Slobodan Praljak from his false

19     allegation of a foreign occupation.  The Prosecution's allegations with

20     respect to occupation and international armed conflict should be

21     discarded.

22             Your Honour, if you will allow us, my partner, Ms. Pinter, will

23     now continue.  And then, on the end, Mr. Praljak would use his 30 minutes

24     as granted.  And if you -- by your leave, we would decide on whether

25     General Praljak will start today or on Monday.  Probably, I think it

Page 52448

 1     would be Monday, not to pressure the things, but we'll see as the day

 2     will develop.

 3             Thank you so much.

 4             MS. PINTER: [Interpretation] Good morning, Your Honours.  Good

 5     morning to everybody in the courtroom and around the courtroom.

 6             As Mr. Kovacic has said, in my part of the closing arguments I

 7     will analyse the Prosecution final brief.  I will point out the

 8     Prosecution's erroneous interpretations and the paragraphs of their final

 9     brief that contain false allegations about the contents of documents,

10     based on which these allegations are made, and the allegations which the

11     Prosecution puts forward, based on quotes outside of a context, which all

12     result in misrepresentation of the facts.

13             I can only agree with the Prosecution in one thing, and that is

14     their own assessment that they have not presented their case so well,

15     because the Prosecution totally neglects the fact that the acts of which

16     General Praljak is accused happened during a war, and the war presupposes

17     at least two armed forces in conflict.  General Praljak, who was the head

18     of the Main Staff of the HVO, didn't wage war on the Muslim population,

19     but with the BH Army.

20             About what war is, and what it does to people, and how people

21     change in war, we see what Rudy Gerritsen says in 3D991.  The acts,

22     possibilities, and the words of General Praljak must be assessed in

23     accordance with that.

24             The document reference is 3D991.

25             I wish to point out the wrong interpretation of the

Page 52449

 1     Praljak Defence final brief.

 2             The Defence, never once, in its final brief or throughout the

 3     trial, accepted the existence of a JCE.  On the contrary, the first

 4     sentence of the Defence final brief is the statement that there's no such

 5     thing as a JCE, or there was no such thing.

 6             The Defence never assumed the role of the Prosecutor and never

 7     pointed their finger at the co-accused or any other persons, shifting the

 8     blame on them.

 9             The Defence replied to the paragraphs of the indictment and

10     pointed to documents which challenge the allegations in those paragraphs.

11     If a paragraph of the indictment states that the authorities of the HZ-HB

12     are responsible, according to the Prosecution, the Defence replied to

13     that position of the Prosecution.

14             The Defence founded its claim that General Praljak is not

15     responsible on documents, rather than pointing their fingers at -- their

16     finger at persons, which everybody was able to read in our final brief.

17     General Praljak, in his testimony, never said that either Dr. Prlic or

18     civilians were responsible for caps.

19             And now I'll move on to the analysis of the individual paragraphs

20     that referred to General Praljak, but I must immediately add that in this

21     short time, I cannot deal with each and every paragraph, although each

22     and every paragraph certainly deserves a very close review and analysis.

23             In paragraph 42, the Prosecution implies that Praljak ordered

24     that prisoners be withdrawn from labour on the day when he spoke to the

25     representative of an international organisation, but immediately after

Page 52450

 1     that conversation, the prisoners were returned to continue labour.  This

 2     is about Prozor.  Siljeg, the commander of the operative zone, on

 3     8 September 1993, ordered that prisoners be used in that way, and Praljak

 4     supposedly did nothing to make sure that this doesn't happen.  The

 5     Prosecution, in this respect, cite P4256.  This is a document dated

 6     17 August 1993, although at the top of the page there's a note that it

 7     was sent by fax on 15 August 1993; in other words, two days before it was

 8     created.  There is no mention in that document that the author of the

 9     document in any way spoke to General Praljak about the topic of forced

10     labour.  The Prosecution merely speculates that General Praljak's order,

11     dated 17 August 1993, is a consequence of his meeting with the author of

12     the document, and that, therefore, cannot be valid ground for any court

13     decision or an assessment of General Praljak's personality.

14             The next document is P4517, and it does not show that the author

15     of the document spoke to General Praljak and acquainted him with the fact

16     that prisoners have to do labour.  The author of the report does not

17     point out the status of the prisoners.  The Trial Chamber has not seen

18     evidence about the status of the detainees, whether they were prisoners

19     of war, or detained persons, remand prisoners, military conscripts who

20     have been isolated, civilians, or HVO members, and the status of the

21     persons who did labour is important for the legal qualification.

22             P9736 is another document that was supposed to corroborate the

23     allegations of paragraph 42.  This is a list of persons who worked, but

24     the only information the Trial Chamber can draw from this document is

25     that 20 persons worked at Jurici, and that a Muslim was in charge of

Page 52451

 1     these persons, and it was this Muslim who also filed a report about this

 2     event.  What kind of labour this is about, we don't know.  There is no

 3     evidence that on 1 September 1993, when the document was created, there

 4     were any military operations in or around Jurici.

 5             The following document that was supposed to corroborate the

 6     allegations of paragraph 42 is P4877.  In no way does this document

 7     indicate that Siljeg's order was passed pursuant to General Praljak's

 8     order, nor that this document was forwarded to the Main Staff of the HVO.

 9     So how can you say that General Praljak must have known about the

10     prisoners' or detainees' work?

11             Document P4235, according to the Prosecution, proves that they

12     had to use Muslims because of problems with mobilising Croats.  This

13     conclusion of the Prosecution is false.  No evidence has been led that

14     unambiguously shows that General Praljak, A, ordered, B, condoned, C,

15     knew and failed to react to the fact that prisoners or detainees had to

16     do work.  In his testimony, General Praljak never said that any prisoner

17     or detainee is allowed to work, nor did he say that about BH Army members

18     who were taken prisoner.

19             The following paragraph is 211.  I would also give the reference

20     to transcript page 51952, where the Prosecution alleges that Praljak lied

21     with regard to the agreement with Izetbegovic and the agreement about

22     re-subordination in connection with the decision of 15 January 1993,

23     which has the working title, "The Ultimatum of 15 January 1993."  The

24     Prosecution failed to show evidence for the allegation that

25     General Praljak lied.  They only say that it isn't really likely that

Page 52452

 1     this was an oral agreement.  The Prosecution says that Izetbegovic called

 2     it a potential misunderstanding which supposedly proves that

 3     General Praljak lies.

 4             The Defence would like to draw the Trial Chamber's attention to

 5     document P1158.  It's dated 15 January 1993.  These are the minutes from

 6     the office of President Tudjman.  The Prosecution also cites these

 7     minutes, but what is important, with regard to General Praljak and his

 8     testimony here, can be found on page 20 of the English translation, where

 9     Gojko Susak addresses Alija Izetbegovic about talks, about

10     re-subordination, and the reasons why he was changing his mind.  I'm sure

11     that the Trial Chamber will read these minutes and not be satisfied with

12     the fragments that the Prosecution offers.

13             Paragraph 233:  Among other things, the Prosecution here claims

14     that Susak threatened Izetbegovic and said that BiH would not get weapons

15     unless Izetbegovic signs the statement.  They cite document P1739 and

16     page 26 and 27 in these minutes.  There's nothing in these minutes about

17     hostility toward the Muslims.  What can be seen in these minutes is the

18     fact that Praljak, in Bosnia-Herzegovina, with the knowledge and approval

19     of Mr. Izetbegovic -- that Praljak is in Bosnia-Herzegovina.  The

20     documents show that Jaganjac and Praljak are together in

21     Bosnia-Herzegovina, that they held meetings and tried to calm down the

22     situation to prevent a conflict between allies.  They are reducing

23     tensions.  Praljak had done that since late October 1992, while he was in

24     and around Prozor, Vakuf and Travnik.  We also mention this in our final

25     brief.

Page 52453

 1             With regard to the threat, according to the Prosecution, I must

 2     say that the threat was not about signing the agreement on

 3     re-subordination, but about Konjic, which can be seen from P1739 again.

 4     At that time, attacks on the HVO started in Konjic, and on 20 March 1993

 5     the representatives of the BH Army strike an agreement that they don't

 6     want to be together with the HVO again.  The document reference is

 7     2D00253.

 8             In paragraph 242, which refers to the second ultimatum of

 9     15 April 1993, the Prosecution cite document P1942, dated 19 April 1993.

10     This exhibit was led through Witness Okun, and I would like to point out

11     the conclusion of that document, which says:

12             "The situation is critical, and while the highest -- or before

13     the highest civilian authorities in BiH take action to resolve the

14     situation, there can be no hope of a peaceful solution in the near

15     future."

16             Document P2458, which is the Mazowiecki report of 19 May 1993,

17     under item 7, says:

18             "The strategic importance of the Lasva Valley, in accordance to

19     the planned Province 10, Croatian majority administrative centre in

20     Travnik, the Muslims are not willing to accept that."

21             So the documents of the Prosecution side show that the peace

22     between the Muslims and the Croats depended on the Muslims.

23             "The displacement of Bosnian Croats orchestrated by Tudjman,"

24     that's the heading from the final brief of the Prosecution.  In

25     paragraph 262 through 293, they deal with this.  My learned friend

Page 52454

 1     Mr. Karnavas dealt with this topic and analysed the witnesses.  I want to

 2     analyse the documents on which the Prosecution base their allegations.

 3             Paragraph 276 through 292 speak about the HVO propaganda

 4     that Muslim crimes have been committed, whereas reports from the ground

 5     state that there has been a little bit of firing, with few casualties.

 6     Reports speak that thousands of Croats from Travnik were being

 7     transferred at night and clandestinely.  There's a footnote reference to

 8     Azra Krajsek.  The transcript page is 20114, and it says that nobody

 9     confirmed having seen any Mujahedin.  But the UN reports, the reports of

10     observers and other documents, clearly show that Mujahedins did very much

11     take part in the operation.

12             Witness Filipovic, upon the questions of Judge Antonetti,

13     confirmed their presence, and the transcript page is 47561 and the

14     following, as well as 47 -- sorry.

15             THE INTERPRETER:  Interpreter's correction:  47561, line 2

16     through line 21.

17             MS. PINTER: [Interpretation] The relevant documents are 2D1407;

18     2D1262; P6697, page 7, paragraphs 29 and 30; 3D1914; 4D597; 3D331.  And I

19     repeat the number that wasn't recorded, 2D1407.

20             The consequences of defensive activities of the BH Army were the

21     following:  The fall of Bugojno and a river of Croats who had fled

22     Bugojno and, before that, the Croats who had fled Kakanj and Travnik.

23     They didn't come to Prozor, or Rama, or Vares, and later to Herzegovina,

24     because that was a result of propaganda, but they were saving their bare

25     lives, which was also described by Witness Filipovic.  The Prosecution

Page 52455

 1     mention Filipovic's answer in paragraph 292.  However, the answer that

 2     the Prosecution cite to confirm their thesis is Filipovic's answer to the

 3     question about document 4D567, which was recorded on page 47556.  That's

 4     a map which was showed to him depicting the situation in November 1993

 5     and the refugees.  General Filipovic's answer was:

 6             "Don't abandon your homes unless your lives are in danger."

 7             General Filipovic's answer to the question -- to that question

 8     cannot be a plausible argument for the Prosecution and can by no means be

 9     linked to the retreat of the Croats due to propaganda and orchestrated

10     reverse ethnic cleansing.

11             Starting from June 1993, during the BH Army offensive, the

12     population of Croats in Travnik was reduced by 20.000; in Kakanj, by

13     15.000 [Realtime transcript read in error "20.000"]; in Bugojno, by

14     15.000.  The Croats didn't leave Central Bosnia to implement the policy

15     of the JCE, but due to the fierce offensive of the BH Army against areas

16     inhabited by Croats.  The fear of the BH Army and its operations, rather

17     than the HVO propaganda, caused the escape of the Croats.

18             And I would like to correct what has been recorded.  The figure

19     for Kakanj was 15.000.

20             The Croats did not leave Travnik, Kakanj, Bugojno and Vares of

21     their own free will.  They were saving their lives, escaping before the

22     attacks of the BH Army, not to implement Franjo Tudjman's and

23     Slobodan Praljak's objective, which would also be their own objective,

24     because if they were leaving of their own free will, then they would also

25     be protagonists of the JCE.  The evidence shows something else, though:

Page 52456

 1     Exhibit 1D1654, the third amended indictment in the Hadzihasanovic case,

 2     P3337, 3D837, 3D1731, 2D1407, 3D2632, 3D2775.

 3             With regard to that part of the final brief of the Prosecution

 4     about Ljubuski, Stolac and Capljina, I would like to point to

 5     paragraph 353 and an allegation in it about the establishment of Croatian

 6     rule, language, school curriculums, and flying the Croatian flag.  This

 7     is a description of the conduct of the HVO toward the Muslims, and it's

 8     about Croat-isation.

 9             Let me first say that the flag in question was not the flag of

10     the Republic of Croatia.  It was the flag of the Croatian people in

11     Bosnia-Herzegovina.  I would like to draw the Chamber's attention to

12     document 3D3228, "Hercegovacki Vojnik," or "Herzegovinian Soldier."  That

13     was a publication of the 4th Corps BH Army from February 1993.  The

14     document number is 3228.  The document describes the events of 1993, the

15     shelling of Mostar and Stolac; 23 January 1993, Stolac shelled by VRS; 24

16     January 1993, Stolac shelled by VRS; 1 February, attacks on Stolac, over

17     500 shells fired on the lines and 20 on the town of Stolac; 2 February

18     1993, a continuation of the attack on Stolac.  They were able to defend

19     Stolac together with the HVO.  That's what the publication says.  They

20     also mention Pocitelj and 12.000 civilians who were transferred.  We

21     listened -- we heard about that during the trial.  Fierce fighting

22     ensued, and on Bajram the lily flag flew from the mosque.  Luburic, a

23     Croat, brought the first lilies.  That's what the 4th Corps says.  I

24     kindly ask the Trial Chamber to review this document, too, when it

25     analyses the testimonies of the witnesses in this Trial Chamber about the

Page 52457

 1     HVO attacking Stolac, shelling it, destroying it, and Croat-ising it.

 2             Your Honours, I will now move on to the criminal responsibilities

 3     of Slobodan Praljak from Chapter 11 of the Prosecution final brief, so

 4     this may be a convenient moment for a break.

 5             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes, we're going to break for

 6     20 minutes.

 7                           --- Recess taken at 10.30 a.m.

 8                           --- On resuming at 10.53 a.m.

 9             JUDGE ANTONETTI:  [No interpretation]

10             MS. PINTER: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honours.

11             I stopped at the criminal responsibility of General Praljak,

12     which is described in Chapter 11 of the Prosecution final brief, and the

13     paragraphs are 614 through 860.  I will only discuss the elements which I

14     believe are important.

15             In paragraph 649, the Prosecution claims that the

16     Convicts Battalion was also known under the title ATG Tuta and that

17     General Praljak commanded the Convicts Battalion.  The claim is supported

18     with P4134 and 4131.  However, considering the ATG Tuta and the

19     Convicts Battalion as one and the same is something that the Prosecution

20     also states in paragraph 296 of the final brief.

21             The documents do not confirm that it's possible to consider the

22     Convicts Battalion and the ATG Tuta as one and the same.  Not a single

23     piece of evidence originating from the time when General Praljak was the

24     commander of the Main Staff of the HVO indicate that, by his orders, he

25     issued any task to the Convicts Battalion.  The Prosecution has not

Page 52458

 1     presented evidence that would demonstrate that the Convicts Battalion was

 2     in Rastani on the orders of the Main Staff of the HVO, nor did it present

 3     a single piece of evidence which would rebut the Defence claim that

 4     Mladen Naletilic was not the commander of the ATG Tuta.  On the contrary,

 5     Exhibit 4D01356 is an interview with Ivan Andabak, who confirmed that the

 6     Convicts Battalion, when it was engaged in war in the Croatian Community

 7     of Herceg-Bosna, was only subordinated to Mate Boban, and evidence to the

 8     contrary has not been presented to the Court.

 9             In the document P05226, and the date is the 20th of September,

10     1993, a letter of the chief of Security Sector of the Defence Department,

11     addressed to Mate Boban and concerning a serious incident caused by the

12     members of the Convicts Battalion, it is noted that the convicts --

13             THE INTERPRETER:  Interpreter's correction.

14             MS. PINTER: [Interpretation] If the Convicts Battalion was under

15     the command of the Main Staff of the HVO, then this letter would have

16     been addressed to the Main Staff of the HVO, rather than to Mate Boban.

17     If the chief of the Security Sector had been under the command of the

18     Main Staff of the HVO, i.e., Slobodan Praljak, then he would have

19     addressed the letter to Slobodan Praljak, as his commander, rather than

20     write to Mate Boban, side-stepping his own commander.  The Main Staff

21     never received this document.  The Prosecutor has not presented a single

22     piece of evidence on the basis of which the Trial Chamber could establish

23     with certainty that Slobodan Praljak was informed with the events in

24     Ljubuski which are referred to in the document.  The document undoubtedly

25     demonstrates that the Convicts Battalion was under the command of

Page 52459

 1     Mate Boban, as General Praljak, indeed, claimed in his testimony.

 2             Document P7009 is a payroll for the month of November 1993, for

 3     the members of the Convicts Battalion and the ATG.  These were the

 4     anti-terrorist units.  It shows that ATG Tuta is not mentioned as a unit

 5     that was a part of the Convicts Battalion or that the Convicts Battalion

 6     was one and the same as the ATG Tuta.  The conclusion that the ATG Tuta

 7     was one and the same as the Convicts Battalion cannot be drawn from the

 8     contents of the document that the Prosecution refers to.  The Prosecution

 9     did not provide a single piece of evidence that would indicate that the

10     Convicts Battalion and the ATG Tuta can be considered one and the same.

11     No evidence was presented indicating that this was the same military

12     unit, and a criminal procedure cannot include any assumptions or

13     speculation.

14             Contrary to the allegations made in paragraph 654 and in

15     transcript page 51880 - the date is Tuesday, the 8th of February,

16     2011 - in which the Prosecution expressly relies on the testimony of

17     Generals Petkovic and Filipovic and claims that there was no problems

18     with command, control and communications within the HVO, the one page,

19     51935, it adds that there were also no problems within the chain of

20     command, the Defence points to the claims from its final brief,

21     Chapter 16, in which the Defence of General Praljak shows, in the

22     documents and witness testimonies, that command, control, and the system

23     of communications within the HVO were insufficient and not fully

24     established.  The testimony of General Petkovic, which the Prosecution

25     disregards, and which is recorded on page 40363 of the transcript,

Page 52460

 1     confirms the arguments of General Praljak's Defence.  This is recorded, I

 2     mean, General Praljak's testimony, on page 44121 and 41138.

 3             A very precise picture about the existence of 3C elements within

 4     the HVO was provided to the Trial Chamber by Witness Skender, and this is

 5     something that he experienced personally, and the same thing follows from

 6     his statement, 3D3710.  As for the quality of the communications,

 7     document P4698A, page 86, talks about this.

 8             In paragraph 661, it is noted that Dr. Tudjman appointed Praljak

 9     to be one of those who would relay the policy of Herceg-Bosna, that is to

10     say, the Croatian Government about the Banovina, to Izetbegovic until the

11     exclusion of the government in Sarajevo.  The Prosecution incorrectly

12     mentions this claim, because in paragraph -- in document P00 -- P00524,

13     on page 23, there is no such text.  It has been added.  When the

14     transcript is read in its entirety, it can be established that it has to

15     do with talks about the annex to the agreement about co-operation with

16     the BiH, and on page 23, appointment of persons on the Croatian side is

17     mentioned to the joint committee charged with the implementation of this

18     agreement.  Praljak and Bobetko have been proposed.  However, on page 23

19     that the Prosecution refers to, President Tudjman said:

20             "As for Izetbegovic, we'll tell him openly, when he comes here,

21     what we said at the very beginning."

22             Sarajevo is never mentioned, nor is it ever mentioned that

23     General Praljak will relay to Alija Izetbegovic what was said, as the

24     Prosecution claims.  President Tudjman is, rather, the person who will

25     talk with Mr. Izetbegovic, whereas General Praljak has not been appointed

Page 52461

 1     to relay any message.

 2             For the sake of argument, I want to note that if General Praljak

 3     was a member of the committee charged with the implementation of the

 4     annex to the agreement, then it's only logical that he should advocate

 5     the positions of the side which he is representing, and there is no

 6     criminal activity in this.  This document shows that there was no

 7     hypocritical policy from the Croatian side in relation to

 8     Alija Izetbegovic, because Dr. Tudjman decided to inform Mr. Izetbegovic

 9     about the position of the Republic of Croatia.

10             In the next sentence of paragraph 661, it is noted that at the

11     meeting held on the 5th of November, 1993, Praljak confirmed that the

12     goal was to secure the area within the borders of the Banovina that would

13     be controlled by the Croats, and the Prosecution conclusion, on the basis

14     of this document, is that it is out of the question that achieving this

15     goal did not request movement of the population and, in particular,

16     reducing the number of the Muslim population in a large part of

17     Herceg-Bosna.

18             Document P6454 that the Prosecution refers to, page 50 - it's one

19     of the presidential transcripts - shows that this sentence which is

20     quoted in the above paragraph has been taken out of the context of the

21     whole speech and also out of the context of the events which preceded.

22     The speech should be read in its entirety, and it's recorded on pages 47

23     through to 57 of the English translation.  When you read the entire text,

24     you can conclude that General Praljak is describing the military

25     situation, and discusses military positions, and analyses events in Vakuf

Page 52462

 1     and Central Bosnia in connection with the offensive launched by the

 2     Army of BiH, its military power and political ideas to create a Muslim

 3     state.  It can be concluded from the text of this speech that the

 4     Prosecution claim from the above paragraph is an assumption which cannot

 5     be included in the criminal procedure because nothing confirms it.

 6             As for the context in which these talks were held, I wish to

 7     indicate the document P04027.  That's the agreement on humanitarian

 8     convoys from Makarska.  The HVO authorities were facing the refugees and

 9     displaced persons from Central Bosnia.  42.000 of them and another 8.000

10     were expected to arrive from Kakanj and Vares.  As the Defence already

11     emphasised a number of times, the events cannot be considered in

12     isolation, but in their entirety, and we should not forget for a moment

13     that everything is taking place in the context of at least two wars which

14     are being waged simultaneously.

15             In paragraph 262, there is a claim that Praljak advocated a

16     policy in relation to BiH which implied a joint criminal enterprise, and

17     what is noted here is a secret meeting in Hungary held on the 5th of

18     October, 1992, with Ratko Mladic, and another meeting with Ratko Mladic

19     three weeks after that, as well as a meeting which General Praljak had

20     with a French delegation in January 1993, and, finally, a meeting held on

21     the 2nd of April, 1993, where Praljak briefed the military commanders in

22     an authoritarian manner, according to what is stated in this paragraph.

23     The documents that the Prosecution refers to -- that is to say, some

24     parts of these documents that it refers to, cannot prove these claims,

25     because they are taken out of context and they lead to a wrong

Page 52463

 1     conclusion.

 2             The Prosecutor also refers to the document P11376 and P11380,

 3     Mladic's diary.  As for these exhibits, the Trial Chamber was not told

 4     whether General Praljak was present or whether he participated in these

 5     discussions, and if he did, with what status, because, supposedly, what

 6     was discussed during the meeting was the Republic of Croatia ending the

 7     attack on Slavonski Brod and ending war operations in the

 8     Republic of Croatia.  General Praljak did not have the opportunity to

 9     face the author of this note and hear his testimony or cross-examine him,

10     nor did he have an opportunity to testify about the contents of these

11     notes from the meeting which was supposedly held.  Therefore, the Defence

12     notes that these documents have no probative value because they were not

13     tested by examination.  This is hearsay evidence, mainly the monologues

14     of one side in the talks, whereas there is no information about what the

15     other side in these talks stated.  The Defence wrote in detail about

16     these exhibits in its final brief, so I will not talk about them anymore.

17             In paragraph 662, document P9447 is also mentioned.  It is

18     page 8, and it is an interview which General Praljak gave after the war.

19     The Prosecution claims that the general said that the policy of Serbs in

20     Bosnia-Herzegovina was closer to Croats than the Muslim policy; unity is

21     out of the question.  During the trial, the Prosecution also played the

22     video-recording of this interview.  In this way, the Prosecution wanted

23     to connect General Praljak with the Army of Republika Srpska and a

24     criminal agreement with Mladic.  But as the Prosecutor wrote, it was not

25     to the detriment of Bosnia-Herzegovina, but to the detriment of the

Page 52464

 1     Muslims.  It was said several times already that Bosnia-Herzegovina was

 2     not the property of Muslims; it is a state which belongs equally to the

 3     Muslims, Croats and Serbs.

 4             The allegation made in the footnote does not exist in the

 5     original document and has not been recorded in the trial transcript of

 6     the 8th of February, 2011, during the oral presentation of my learned

 7     friend Mr. Scott, during which he also played the video with interview

 8     given by General Praljak.  The text of the transcript of the video in

 9     Croatian is recorded on page 11 of document P9447, and the sentence,

10     "Unity is out of the question," is never mentioned in it.

11             Correction of the translation:  Had been requested so it would be

12     harmonised with the original text.

13             The sentences that the Prosecution refers to are taken out of

14     context, and the full answer, as it is recorded in the text, mentions the

15     military alliance with Muslims before the war, but differences with

16     regard to political options and configuring the joint state.  The

17     Prosecution claim that Praljak co-operated with Mladic is arbitrary,

18     unfounded and incorrect.

19             Footnote 1538 includes the reference that in January 1993,

20     General Praljak informed the French delegation that the Banovina is an

21     area which belongs to the Croats.  Incorrect.  3D482, which is the

22     document that the Prosecution refers to, says the following: that

23     General Praljak said this:

24             "The territory which belongs to the Croats corresponds with the

25     borders of the Banovina Hrvatska from the configuration of Yugoslavia in

Page 52465

 1     1939 and is in harmony with the census from 1981, because the 1991 census

 2     has not been recognised.  Croats advocate a single and unified BiH as a

 3     state and for the rights of Croats as a constitutive people.  The

 4     problems between the Muslims and Croats in Bosnia-Herzegovina are a

 5     result of different goals of political struggle.  The Croats are

 6     struggling for the state of BiH, with autonomy for the Croats, whereas

 7     the Muslims are struggling for a civil state."

 8             The Defence wishes to refer to the document P10463.  It is an

 9     interview given by Mr. Izetbegovic in which he says:

10             "We only have the possibility to achieve the ideal of a civil

11     republic or a civil war."

12             Document 1D2479 explains what a civil state means, according to

13     the proposal of the SDA and Mr. Izetbegovic.  One vote per one man.  This

14     position completely disregards the constitutive peoples in

15     Bosnia-Herzegovina.

16             And, finally, the last document which is supposed to confirm an

17     allegation, paragraph 662, that Praljak exerted authority on briefing HVO

18     commanders is document P1788, pages 1 through 3.  The Prosecutor quotes

19     from the document, but we encounter a problem here.  The quote, as a

20     compilation of two different generals, provided by General Praljak to two

21     different questions - one of them was about Vares and the other one about

22     Posavina - the mere fact that General Praljak confirmed that he, indeed,

23     had attended that meeting does not confirm the credibility of the minutes

24     and the contents thereof.  I would permittedly like to point out the

25     probative value of this document, which we highlighted during trial every

Page 52466

 1     time when the document came up.  We don't know who drafted the minutes.

 2     We don't know how capable the note-taker was to understand the topic.

 3     And General Praljak, who spoke about the Vance-Owen Peace Plan and

 4     presented his positions and analysis of what might happen in the future

 5     as a result of that plan, we don't know whether he managed to catch all

 6     of the general's words.  We don't know whether the minutes are just a

 7     summary of all the interventions.  We don't know anything about how the

 8     document came to be.  The text is illegible, and when shown to

 9     General Praljak, General Praljak, himself, said that he could not read

10     the document, and that the text which was shown to him does not reflect

11     any of his words.

12             During trial, the general stated his position and challenged the

13     accuracy of the minutes; i.e., he said that his words were not properly

14     noted.  The Defence would like to point out that General Praljak

15     described and interpreted what was said at the meeting.  He repeated that

16     before the Trial Chamber in response to the honourable Judge Antonetti's

17     questions, as well as in response to the Prosecutor's question.

18     Everything that was said about the credibility of the document and the

19     contents thereof is recorded on the transcript pages 43381 through 43410,

20     that is, Mr. Slobodan Praljak's testimony, as well as 43675, again

21     General Praljak's testimony.  This was also recorded on transcript pages

22     when Witness EA testified on pages 24363 through 24376, as well as on the

23     transcripts of Witness William Tomljanovich's words, the pages are 6062

24     through 6072 on the 19th of September, 2006.  A suggested, implied, an

25     erroneous interpretation of any document must not be allowed to lead to

Page 52467

 1     erroneous conclusions on the part of the Trial Chamber in criminal

 2     proceedings.

 3             In paragraph 663, to corroborate the claim that Praljak

 4     complained about the fact that achieving a Croatian state in the HR-HB

 5     fades and weakens, the Prosecution refers to document P6454.  This is the

 6     Split minutes, a meeting with President Tudjman, but again we have an

 7     erroneous interpretation on the part of the Prosecutor.  General Praljak

 8     did not speak about the achievement of a Croatian state in the HR-HB,

 9     which is the liberal interpretation on the part of the Prosecution, but

10     here, intrinsically and exclusively to the text, we can establish that

11     the general made a comparison between the leaderships of the Serbs,

12     Muslims and Croats from Bosnia and Herzegovina.  And when he came to

13     describe the Croats, he concluded, and I quote it:

14             "In that respect, Mr. President, we started resembling, all of us

15     together, a collective of farmers."

16             The text has to be presented as a whole, not as fragments.  I

17     expect that the Trial Chamber will not reduce evidence to its mere

18     fragments.

19             In paragraph 664, the Prosecution claims that Praljak, himself,

20     recognised that he had the de facto command power even before he was

21     appointed commander.  The Prosecution refers to General Praljak's

22     testimony recorded on the transcript pages quoted in the footnote.

23     However, the quoted pages do not confirm the allegations in that

24     paragraph.  On those pages, Praljak did not admit that he was the

25     de facto commander.  Actually, he expressly said that he did not have any

Page 52468

 1     command authorities, and while he was not a commander, he had authority

 2     while assisting HVO units.  The Prosecutor refers to document P8838 when

 3     describing General Praljak's command authorities, and he is referring to

 4     page 4.  This is a document which was created on the 2nd of April, 1998,

 5     in Sarajevo on OBN Television.  In a TV studio, General Praljak gave an

 6     interview.  However, when we look at the interview, we will not see that

 7     a reference was made to General Praljak's authorities.  We can only hear

 8     that Praljak said that his lads respected him and loved him, but that has

 9     nothing to do with his command authorities.

10             In paragraph 664, Praljak's high position in the HVO and close

11     relationship with Tudjman provided him with de facto power.  That's not

12     correct.  Praljak did not have authority in HVO among soldiers because of

13     his close relations with President Tudjman.  He had built his authority

14     and respect himself.  I would be curious to know how closeness may be

15     considered as an element of a crime, and what legal category would that

16     constitute?

17             In paragraph 665, numerous documents show that Praljak was, from

18     October 1992 to July 1993, the de facto commander of the HVO units'

19     commanders and civilian leaders as their superior.  Documents to which

20     the Prosecutor refers do not confirm this allegation, because the

21     generals co-signed those documents together with somebody who, indeed,

22     had the authority.

23             When we talk about the role of General Praljak in Bosnia and

24     Herzegovina, that is something that we have been listening to for five

25     years in this courtroom, from Praljak and the Prosecutor's witnesses.  I

Page 52469

 1     would like to point to a document, 3D3510, which is General Praljak's

 2     military booklet that he received from Arif Pasalic, and based on which

 3     he was a member of the BiH Army.

 4             The Prosecutor refers to document P9838, talking about the

 5     de facto command authority of Mr. Praljak.  This document is under seal.

 6     I'm not going to say what's in the document.  I'm just going to mention

 7     the initials of the witness.

 8             Document 9838 is the transcript of Witness Z's testimony in the

 9     Martinovic/Naletilic case.  The same witness appeared in our case under

10     pseudonym CU.  The Prosecution refers to P9838, and we have to say that

11     General Praljak did not participate in that case as an accused, he did

12     not have a possibility to cross-examine the witness and challenge his

13     testimony.  This witness did testify in our case, he was cross-examined,

14     and if the Prosecutor believes that the witness provided a testimony

15     which was relevant for this case, then he should have referred to the

16     relevant pages of the transcript.

17             In paragraph 666, the Prosecution speaks about Coric, who had

18     accepted as a fait accompli Praljak's appointment of a higher HVO officer

19     of the military police.  And the reference for that is document P00927.

20     This document speaks about the de jure and not the de facto authority,

21     because it speaks about the appointment -- or the appointment of a person

22     which, in the month of April 1992, arrived in Bosnia-Herzegovina and was

23     appointed as a commander of the military police in the

24     OG South-East Herzegovina.  At that time, General Praljak was the chief

25     of staff of the OG.  At that time, General Praljak was the chief of the

Page 52470

 1     South-East Herzegovina OG, so this document cannot confirm the

 2     allegations in the paragraph about the de facto authorities.  It was

 3     just -- it was the de jure authority.  Praljak never denied that he

 4     arrived even before his formal appointment.  What General Praljak said

 5     was that he was not a commander with all the authorities pertaining to a

 6     commander, but rather he assisted, and he had an ability to influence

 7     troops because of a relationship that he had built before.

 8             In paragraph 668, Praljak is portrayed as being centrally

 9     involved in planning, and with his authority, as a senior commander, he

10     contributed to the important meetings of his subordinates.  To

11     corroborate that, the Prosecution proposes document P01350, the meeting

12     that was held on the 29th of January, 1993, with the military police.

13     Praljak did not chair that meeting.  He merely responded to the questions

14     about Vakuf, Central Bosnia.  He was at the meeting -- or he was in Vakuf

15     and Central Bosnia because of the problems there.  And he also spoke

16     about the situation in Croatia, about Zadar, Maslenica.  Praljak was not

17     in a position to receive reports from the military police, as the

18     paragraph suggests, so the military police never reported to Praljak.

19             Paragraph 669 says that the official communications of the HVO

20     recognised Praljak's pivotal role in the chain of command even before the

21     24th of July, 1993.  This should be corroborated by document P1311.  I

22     will kindly ask the Trial Chamber to read the document in its entirety,

23     especially when they decide about the part of the indictment that

24     concerns Gornji Vakuf, because the document reads:

25             "The BiH Army forces in Vakuf in the January conflict made up

Page 52471

 1     4.300 members of the BiH Army which participated in the conflict."

 2             And then there is a list of all the units which had arrived in

 3     Gornji Vakuf.  This is 5(L) in the document.

 4             On page 3 of the document, it says:

 5             "During the writing of the report, I was informed about the

 6     instructions that Zrinko Tokic received from Brada, and I shall act

 7     accordingly."

 8             Based on this sentence alone, the Trial Chamber cannot conclude

 9     that General Praljak had a pivotal role in command.  The role of

10     General Praljak was explained in our final brief and concerns the area of

11     Gornji Vakuf and Uskoplje.

12             The following document that the Prosecution proposes to prove the

13     pivotal role of General Praljak in the command chain is P02039.  This is

14     Mico Lasic's report about the condition in Konjic and Jablanica on the

15     22nd of April, 1993.  It was submitted to the Main Staff and to

16     General Praljak as well.  Praljak testified that he had been in Mostar to

17     attend reconciliation talks in April 1993.  He attended talks at the SDA,

18     and he also spoke to Pasalic.  The Trial Chamber was shown

19     Mustafa Hadrovic's photos.  He took photos of General Praljak together

20     with Arif Pasalic, and that's on pages 14613 through 14616 of the

21     transcript.

22             General Praljak came to Mostar to appease tensions between

23     Muslims and Croats.  This is illustrated by 3D3261, which is

24     Slobodan Bozic's statement.  He spoke about General Praljak's arrival in

25     Mostar in order to appease tensions.

Page 52472

 1             The following document that corroborates the allegations in the

 2     paragraph according to the Prosecution is P02092.  Brada asked for Tuta

 3     to come back to him.  What conclusions can be made about Praljak's

 4     pivotal role in the chain of command as we read this document?  If he

 5     had, indeed, had a central role in the command, then he would not use a

 6     mediator to ask Tuta to come back to him.  There is no data whatsoever as

 7     to what that document refers to, and that document cannot be used to

 8     establish either a positive or a negative fact.

 9             The international community was -- filed a formal complaint with

10     regard to Praljak's authorities on 23rd April 1993.  This is what the

11     Prosecution claims, and this is supported by document P02043.

12     Arif Pasalic filed a complaint on the 23rd of April, 1993, immediately

13     before he had taken a stroll along the east bank of Mostar and had a cup

14     of coffee in a bar in East Mostar.  He filed that complaint, where he

15     says that due to the stay of General Praljak, the complaint is being

16     filed, but that didn't bother him then, that didn't bother him in 1993.

17     Documents IC443 and IC444 are documents which were received from

18     Witness Hadrovic, and they depict General Praljak in the company of

19     Arif Pasalic and other members both of the HVO and the BiH Army in Mostar

20     in the month of April 1993.

21             On the 14th of November, 1992, Arif Pasalic writes:

22             "Units of the ABiH and the HVO Herceg Stjepan unit elaborated a

23     plan of action in very great detail against the Army of

24     Republika Srpska."

25             They are waiting for an order to arrive from Mr. Praljak.  We can

Page 52473

 1     conclude from this document that Praljak was in command of both the HVO

 2     and the ABiH units.  And this document also challenges the allegation

 3     that Praljak considerably contributed and participated in the joint

 4     criminal enterprise in Herceg-Bosna.

 5             Paragraph 673 is in the chapter entitled "Praljak's

 6     Transformation from De Facto Commander to De Jure Commander."

 7             That paragraph says:

 8             "It has been decided to change Praljak's status in an attempt to

 9     cover up his role of a Croatian agent in the support of the Herceg-Bosna

10     JCE."

11             Before analysing the document, let me just point out that at no

12     time the stay of General Praljak in Bosnia-Herzegovina was hidden or kept

13     secret, and that international representatives and, of course,

14     Alija Izetbegovic knew of his presence.  By the way, upon Izetbegovic's

15     request, Praljak came to BiH, and he had met with him before he became

16     commander of the Main Staff of the HVO.  General Praljak never denied his

17     involvement with the HZ-HB, but we must look at the time when this

18     conversation happened comparatively.

19             In mid-June, the BH Army, which now openly advances against the

20     HVO and attacks Kakanj and Travnik, the possibility of joint action is no

21     more there.  The international community exerts pressure on the

22     Republic of Croatia because of the events in Bosnia-Herzegovina, but not

23     on those who are advancing, whose offensive it is.  The Muslims, except

24     for a military offensive, have also launched a propaganda and political

25     offensive.  They turned against their allies because they are now ready

Page 52474

 1     for the Croats.  This is shown in document P1325 of 27 January 1993,

 2     page 5.  It is for this very propaganda and political offensive that

 3     there is whining about the presence of the HV and BiH.  In that

 4     situation, although General Praljak, until that time, had for eight

 5     months tried to prevent the war with the BH Army, he became a person

 6     being pointed at -- just like now in the indictment, the person pointed

 7     at, as the representative of Croatian BiH, to rule out objections,

 8     General Praljak couldn't be forbidden to defend his country, and to

 9     prevent him from being used as a proof of the involvement of Croatia in

10     the conflict with the BH Army, his release from the Croatian Army would

11     resolve his status in BiH.  But it is important to point out that there

12     can be no talk of a retroactive appointment, because General Praljak

13     became commander on 24 July 1993, and the aforementioned meeting took

14     part in June, which means a month earlier.

15             Once again, let me point out that nobody ever tried to cover up

16     General Praljak's presence in Bosnia-Herzegovina, in Central Bosnia, or

17     in Herzegovina before his formal appointment, nor did anyone -- Praljak.

18     There was no reason for that.

19             In paragraph 675, it is alleged that there were regular contacts

20     with Tudjman and Susak so that he may inform them of the conflict between

21     the HVO and the BH Army, and for him to get instructions for him about

22     the JCE and its implementation.  But the Prosecution doesn't offer any

23     documents or any citations to substantiate this allegation, for the

24     simple reason that there are no documents of this kind.  Then it says he

25     was the channel for information, demands, policies and feedback between

Page 52475

 1     the Croatian leadership and the HVO/HZ-HB with regard to the JCE.  The

 2     document mentioned in this context is P1622, dated 9 March 1993.  The

 3     pages are 18, 42, 36 of the presidential transcript.  Susak speaks to the

 4     representatives of Central Bosnia, who want Praljak to return to

 5     introduce order again, and Susak says that Praljak will return.

 6             In March, Praljak was in Bosnia-Herzegovina with the knowledge of

 7     Izetbegovic, who never once demanded that Praljak be withdrawn from

 8     HZ-HB.  If he was sent to BiH to appease the situation, then it's normal

 9     that he should inform those who sent him there.  General Praljak was in

10     contact with Izetbegovic, which follows from General Praljak's testimony

11     but also from the minutes of 27 March 1993, which is P1739.  Praljak

12     exercised de jure command and control after 24 July 1993.

13             In paragraph 681, the Prosecution say:

14             "Praljak said that he was responsible if he failed to react to

15     wrong acts by Petkovic and Tole, as well as anybody else's."

16             And there is a reference to a transcript page.  However, on these

17     pages, General Praljak actually said:

18             "Under the conditions that we had, and considering the

19     communication that we had and the type of war that went on, if anybody

20     proves that I violated any provision of International Law, I am willing

21     to bear full responsibility for it, as I said at the very beginning."

22             That's what General Praljak said, and it's up to the Prosecution

23     to prove that the general did not react to wrongdoings or failures,

24     although he knew that they were committed.

25             In paragraph 683, it says, Praljak's subordinates recognised his

Page 52476

 1     command authority, which extended to the HVO MP and the civilian police.

 2     What would an army be like if it were not to recognise or acknowledge the

 3     command authority of the commander of the Main Staff, which is proved by

 4     that claim?  It would be -- it would have been fortunate if Praljak's

 5     subordinate had obeyed and fully respected the orders issued by

 6     General Praljak.  More detail about this is in our final brief, "Command

 7     Responsibility 3C."

 8             The following document is P5405 of 26 September 1993, information

 9     for Mr. Praljak about the civilian convoy from Vares being halted, but

10     this document doesn't belong with this footnote, nor does it have

11     anything to do with General Praljak, because this is about civilian

12     affairs.

13             Document P6095, also cited by the Prosecution, does not confirm

14     the allegations in the paragraph, because it isn't about either the

15     civilian or the military police.

16             Document P6360 of 2 November 1993, an attack order, has nothing

17     to do with the military police or the civilian police.  They are not

18     involved in combat activities, nor are they mentioned in the order.  This

19     document refers to an area not covered by the indictment, at a time after

20     General Praljak had become commander, so even in this respect it is

21     irrelevant.  The command authority of the commander of the Main Staff, in

22     itself, cannot be considered an element of the commission of a criminal

23     offence unless it is linked with an illegal act.  General Praljak or his

24     Defence never denied that General Praljak had command authority, but they

25     did deny the allegation that this command authority was used to commit

Page 52477

 1     crimes.  But whatever the Prosecution have to add -- to show during the

 2     trial or with these documents does not refute this claim of the Defence.

 3             The Prosecution seek to confirm the allegation that Praljak's

 4     command authority was extended to include the military police.  It is

 5     based on some documents.  But the Praljak Defence never denied that when

 6     the military police was under the Main Staff or the operative zone, that

 7     they were under their command.

 8             In this part of the Prosecution brief about Praljak's authority

 9     over the military police, they mention document P3829.

10             I am now shortening because I have no time to go into the details

11     of each and all documents.

12             They say that Praljak reacts to unlawful acts when he learns of

13     them, and he asks to be informed of them.

14             Praljak has contacts with representatives of international

15     organisations, which is also mentioned by the Prosecution.  He also has

16     contacts with the UNPROFOR and certainly must have information about

17     measures taken to be able to forward that information.  By his request

18     and warning, Praljak only showed that at all times he demanded

19     disciplinary proceedings to be launched and discipline to be implemented

20     from those who can -- who are in a position to do so.

21             In paragraph 688, the Prosecution claim that when Boban issued

22     the order of 15 September 1993 to the armed forces to comply with

23     International Law, Praljak implemented Boban's order and sent it to the

24     chief of the Military Police Administration.  Two paragraphs refer to the

25     entire military police.  That is a misinterpretation of document P5104.

Page 52478

 1     This document was first -- was addressed first to the Department of

 2     Defence and then, secondly, to the Main Staff.  With regard to this

 3     document, I would like to say that the correct translation of this

 4     document can be found on transcript page 44309.  During General Praljak's

 5     testimony, the correct translation of the document was verified.  And

 6     Slobodan Praljak included Boban's order in his order, and it can be found

 7     in document P5188.  General Praljak again orders that International Law

 8     be complied with.

 9             Document P5104 shows that possibly some detention centres do not

10     provide adequate conditions, but this document does not inform

11     Slobodan Praljak of any breaches of International Humanitarian Law.

12             On 9 February 2011, the Prosecution puts forward its allegations

13     with regard to their evidence.  They say that General Praljak knew

14     everything at all times.  This was recorded on transcript page 51925.  To

15     prove their allegations, the Prosecution identifies three documents, but

16     if we read these documents, we see that General Praljak was not the one

17     who had information about the events about which these documents speak.

18     These documents do not refer to Slobodan Praljak, nor do they indicate

19     any concrete knowledge of specific mis-treatment.  The Prosecution never

20     precisely showed -- identified a document that shows that Praljak must

21     have known any specific fact at any point in time.

22             In their final brief, the Prosecution sought to show that

23     General Praljak knew some facts by showing maps, which is very unusual in

24     criminal proceedings, I must say.  What does the Prosecution say?

25     Praljak was probably in command in Prozor a few days before and a few

Page 52479

 1     days after the representative of an international organisation was there.

 2     He must have been there when the representative of that international

 3     organisation was there, and he must have known what the representative of

 4     that organisation knew.  They cite document 3D981 and 3D979 in that

 5     context.  These documents only show that representatives of international

 6     organisations were allowed access to prisons.

 7             The Prosecution claim that the military police were deployed in

 8     Prozor to implement the objectives of the JCE, but that claim is

 9     unfounded.  The Prosecution says the battalions were deployed in various

10     areas where HVO forces committed various crimes from the indictment.

11             It is uncontested that military police battalions were

12     re-subordinated to the commander of the operations zone in combat

13     operations.  We discussed that in the final brief.  Mr. Coric could

14     deploy them and order their re-subordination.  However, these documents

15     do not deal with the crime which was committed in the territory where

16     these units were engaged, nor does the Prosecution indicate which crime

17     this would be.  In Prozor and Vakuf, the HVO defended itself from the

18     attack of the Army of BiH, so it is difficult to connect their defensive

19     position with the advancement of a joint criminal enterprise.

20             In paragraph 690, the Prosecution claims that Praljak issued

21     orders to the military police units on the 4th of August, 1993, and the

22     20th of September, 1993, throughout the relevant period, or immediately

23     before the commission of the crimes listed in the indictment.  Context

24     should be given for the documents listed in the footnote to this

25     paragraph.

Page 52480

 1             Document 3D2613, dated the 20th of September, 1993, talks about

 2     the duration of the offensive called "Neretva 93" in the area of

 3     Prozor/Rama.  Axes of ABiH operations are described.  The document was

 4     created just a few days after the massacre in Uzdol, in which 29

 5     civilians were killed by the BiH Army.

 6             Another document that talks about the duration of the offensive

 7     in the Rama area is 1D00541, "Sefer Halilovic's Cunning Strategy:  The

 8     Truth About Uzdol."  In it, a direct participant in the offensive

 9     describes the axis of attack, the actions that were carried out, the

10     units which were involved, and claims that Neretva 93 was not a private

11     operation, but an operation planned by the General Staff and personally

12     approved by General Rasim Delic.  One of the axes in this operation was

13     Here-Uzdol, and it was led by the Independent Prozor Battalion, commanded

14     by Buzo, who was awarded for this operation by being promoted.

15             In view of the consequences of this offensive of the Army of BiH,

16     in view of the casualties which were a consequence of this action in

17     Uzdol, General Praljak, in order to prevent the further killing of

18     civilians, and to successfully repel a fierce offensive, requested that

19     military police should also be engaged, but the question here is:  What

20     crimes did the HVO commit in defending itself against the attack, as the

21     Prosecution provides no answers?  The Defence points to document P5162,

22     dated the 17th of September, 1993, which says that in spite of the

23     massacre in Uzdol, the Croats in Prozor did not abuse Muslims.

24             Document P4260, quoted in footnote 1604 -- it says the following:

25             "Praljak ordered the military police, on the 17th of August,

Page 52481

 1     1993, to withdraw prisoners from the works in Prozor and bring them back,

 2     by which he showed that he commanded the military police, in terms of

 3     prisoner issues."

 4             Praljak's order, dated the 17th of August, 1993, according to the

 5     Prosecutor, indicates that Slobodan Praljak was aware of the possibility

 6     that the prisoners were working in Rama from that date onwards.  The

 7     order shows his will to try and eliminate the possibility of having the

 8     prisoners work, even though this was not his responsibility, particularly

 9     with regard to document P04285, which is the reply of Ante Pavlovic dated

10     the 18th of August, 1993.  It is a response to the order of

11     General Praljak.  It could not show him in any way that forced labour was

12     still going on.  The Prosecutor has not managed to prove that

13     Slobodan Praljak was aware that prisoners did any work.  Indeed, he had

14     no reason to think so, but rather had reason to think, as he was

15     informed, that they did not.  The Prosecutor does not accept the

16     possibility that this practice could have been concealed from

17     Slobodan Praljak, as he had prohibited such practice.

18             In paragraph 710, the Prosecution refers to an interview by

19     General Praljak and says that Praljak admitted that he consulted the

20     political leaders of the Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna.  According

21     to the Prosecution, this is confirmed by document P8765.  The author is

22     Nebojsa Taraba, who interviewed Slobodan Praljak, and the title of this

23     article is "I'm Not Responsible."  The Prosecution refers to page 4.

24     However, in page 4, on the first sentence of the paragraph, there is

25     nothing to indicate any unlawful activity.  The Defence, however, points

Page 52482

 1     out that this is an interview for which we do not know whether it was

 2     authorised, and whether the words of General Praljak were correctly

 3     recorded, and whether his words unseen are correct.  There is nothing

 4     unlawful in consultation with leaders of the Croatian Community of

 5     Herceg-Bosna.  What the Prosecution lacks, if any weight is to be given

 6     to this claim, is evidence that in these statements any crime was ever

 7     agreed or planned.

 8             The claim from the second sentence of this paragraph, namely,

 9     that Praljak took part in the meetings in top leadership of the

10     Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna, showing that his acts and decisions

11     fit the broader picture of the general HVO and HZ-HB policy, is a

12     Prosecution claim not supported by evidence.  There is even no reference

13     given to support the claim.

14             In footnote 1648, the following claim is included:  The soldiers

15     which joined the HVO remained on the payroll of the Croatian Army.  And

16     reference is given to the page of transcript.

17             THE INTERPRETER:  Could the counsel please repeat the number of

18     the transcript page.

19             MS. PINTER: [Interpretation] I wish to say the following here,

20     and point to the general's testimony which is recorded on page 43039,

21     that the volunteers from the Croatian Army were treated in the same way

22     if they enlisted with the BiH Army, the Muslims, which is confirmed by

23     document 3D00299.

24             Another document is used by the Prosecution in order to show the

25     presence of the Croatian Army in Bosnia-Herzegovina or, more

Page 52483

 1     particularly, in Herceg-Bosna.  I have to refer to it because it is a

 2     completely wrong interpretation.  The Prosecution refers to the document

 3     P03917, and the footnote is 1648, where the Prosecution says that this

 4     document confirms the presence of the Croatian Army, but this is, rather,

 5     the unit Hrvoje Vukcic Hrvatinic and the return of the unit

 6     Hrvoje Vukcic Hrvatinic from Jajce.  "HV," as written before "Hrvatinic,"

 7     does not stand for "Croatian Army."  During all these years that we have

 8     been sitting in this courtroom, and we have seen so many documents on the

 9     basis of which the Prosecution may have realised that once you say

10     "Croatian Army," and put the abbreviation "HV," there are never any full

11     stops in this abbreviation.  In this document, however, the "HV,"

12     "Hrvatinic," there is a full stop after the "H", because the "H" stands

13     for the name "Hrvoje."  Therefore, proving something by this document,

14     the Prosecution could in no way have proved the presence of the Croatian

15     Army in Herceg-Bosna.

16             In paragraph 718, the Prosecution claims that on 16th of January,

17     1993, the commander of the North-Western Operations Zone reported that

18     Praljak had sent a message to the Army of BiH that they would be

19     destroyed unless they accept the decision of the Croatian Community of

20     Herceg-Bosna.  The HVO negotiators in Gornji Vakuf also consulted Praljak

21     before they formulated the HVO requests.  The document that the

22     Prosecution refers to is P1162.  It is a report from General Siljeg,

23     dated the 16th of January and addressed to the Main Staff, and the

24     document says that a meeting was held and that Praljak sent a message

25     that they would be overrun.  General Praljak stated his view of the

Page 52484

 1     allegation from this document on the following page of the transcript,

 2     43698, where he said that he did not address such words, nor were

 3     instructions for Siljeg formulated in this way.

 4             If you have a look at document P1174, page 1, paragraph 2, it is

 5     a document originating from the Army of Bosnia and Herzegovina, and it is

 6     never mentioned in it that the message was that they would be

 7     overwhelmed.  The document discusses in detail the HVO requests, and

 8     there is not a single word that would indicate that they received a

 9     threat.  Page 2 of this document says the following:

10             "In a contrary case, we shall not bear any responsibility for the

11     consequences that may follow from the refusal of this request, which is

12     intended to ease the tensions and the conflict and impose public law and

13     order in the area where there is unrest."

14             Document P1236 from Hadzihasanovic also does not mention any

15     threat from the HVO that they would be overwhelmed.  It is certain that

16     this would be included if it had ever been expressed.

17             In the oral presentation, the Prosecutor referred to document

18     P1163, page 3, indicating that General Praljak was in Mostar before he

19     came to Prozor, and that he issued an order to Miro Andric.  The

20     Prosecutor found his conclusion on the fact that a general is mentioned

21     in the text of this document.  However, the general's name is not

22     mentioned.  But, in any case, the Prosecution concludes that the general

23     is Slobodan Praljak and that he was the one who issued the order in

24     Mostar because General Petkovic was in Geneva.  However, on the 15th and

25     16th of January, 1993, General Petkovic was not in Geneva.  There is a

Page 52485

 1     series of documents which testify to that.  I'm not going to enumerate

 2     them all, but 2D00471 is one that I will mention.  It is the minutes on

 3     the reception of high officials of UNPROFOR to the Main Staff Command on

 4     the 16th of January, 1993, at 1500 hours, and one of those present was

 5     Milivoj Petkovic.  So the Prosecution erroneously refers to this document

 6     so that the Trial Chamber would also draw a wrong conclusion from it.

 7             With regard to Gornji Vakuf, I just want to note as well that

 8     conflicts broke out before the 15th of January, 1993, so that referring

 9     to the decision on re-subordination as a trigger of conflict is

10     unfounded, because the conflicts broke out on the 11th of January, before

11     the decision on the re-subordination was made.  And the goal of this

12     decision was, as you will see from the documents, i.e., the presidential

13     transcripts, to ease tensions and to end the conflict.  So quite the

14     contrary from what the Prosecution claims.

15             And while we are still dealing with Gornji Vakuf, I also want to

16     note what the Prosecution did in footnote 1559, in which they base their

17     claim on a note of Witness Agic, which is page of transcript 9479, and it

18     was not possible to do this; namely, the Prosecution should not have

19     presented this transcript because this was the cross-examination of

20     General Praljak.  And the quoted text was the examination of Witness Agic

21     when he examined General Praljak, and this also should not have been

22     allowed.  Therefore, what General Praljak answered to the witness, when

23     replying to the question which he was asked, and General Praljak was the

24     one who was doing the examination, this is something that cannot be taken

25     as evidence.  General Praljak never denied that he was present in Mostar

Page 52486

 1     on the 16th of January --

 2             THE INTERPRETER:  On the 15th of January, interpreter's

 3     correction.

 4             MS. PINTER: [Interpretation] And that he arrived in Prozor on the

 5     16th of January.

 6             In paragraph 720 through 728, the Prosecution claims that Praljak

 7     commanded and was involved in military operations in which crimes were

 8     committed against Muslims in order to achieve the goals of a joint

 9     criminal enterprise.  It is not contested that General Praljak issued

10     orders.  That was his main and principal task as the commander of the

11     Main Staff.  He did issue orders to HVO units, including those to

12     participate in military operations.  That was also his task.  The orders

13     which General Praljak issued were issued during a violent offensive

14     launched by the Army of BiH.  And throughout the trial the Prosecution

15     did not present a single order of General Praljak which implied offensive

16     operations or the taking of territories where the HVO had not been before

17     such military actions.  Throughout the period since June 1993 onwards,

18     the HVO was defending itself from a violent attack.  The Prosecution does

19     not accept that, but the Trial Chamber cannot disregard it.

20             The Prosecutor neither presented evidence nor pointed to any to

21     confirm the allegation that crimes were committed by persons subordinated

22     to Praljak.  The case file contains testimonies by Prosecution witnesses

23     who described those who ill-treated them as wearing both military

24     uniforms and civilian clothes.  We know that at the time, everybody wore

25     uniforms, everybody and their uncle.  They may have been soldiers in the

Page 52487

 1     HVO or the BiH Army, or they may have been civilians.

 2             I'm now pointing to document 3D03205, which is a statement by

 3     Witness 1D-AA, who spoke about those people who ill-treated other people

 4     in Mostar.  I'm also pointing to Witness BN's testimony, which confirms

 5     that those persons wore civilian clothes.

 6             The Prosecution did not prove that crimes were committed by

 7     individuals subordinated to General Praljak, nor that General Praljak

 8     knew that crimes had been committed.  It was the Prosecutor's duty to

 9     establish a link between every crime that General Praljak is charged

10     with, and a soldier who allegedly committed it.  He was not supposed to

11     leave any possibility that those were civilians or members of another

12     unit which was not subordinated to General Praljak.  Conclusions based on

13     indicia, if there is an alternative possibility, cannot serve as grounds

14     for conviction here, because the circle of indicia has not been closed.

15             Document P4399:  I'm highlighting this document because the

16     Prosecutor refers to it.  What I'm saying about the document, however, is

17     this:  When Praljak arrived back from Prozor, order was restored, the

18     situation was improved, and Praljak inspected the front-lines there.  The

19     Prosecutor, in order to show that General Praljak's orders caused the

20     commission of crimes, refers to document P5365, which is a report on HVO

21     successes in the course of the Muslim offensive in the month of

22     September.  However, the Prosecutor ignores the fact that that, indeed,

23     was a Muslim offensive which had started on the 14th of September.  He

24     just gingerly points out that the situation in Rastani in September is

25     not in the indictment; therefore, he could not refer to that situation

Page 52488

 1     either in the final brief or in the final argument because that situation

 2     goes beyond the scope of the temporal scope of the indictment.

 3             In paragraph 721, the Prosecutor refers to a number of documents

 4     in order to confirm the allegations.  However, documents referred to in

 5     this paragraph fail to prove that General Praljak issued an order for

 6     crimes to be committed, nor does it prove that they were, indeed,

 7     committed.  In order to indict General Praljak, and particularly in order

 8     to convict him, the Prosecutor was supposed to collect and then present

 9     direct proof that showed that:  A, Praljak issued orders that crimes were

10     committed by members of units subordinated directly to General Praljak;

11     that he was informed about the crimes; and that he didn't do anything

12     within his powers to punish those crimes.

13             I would like to point out for the benefit of the Trial Chamber

14     that paragraph 721 of the Prosecutor's final brief refers to Vakuf in

15     1993, again beyond the territorial scope of the indictment.  That's why I

16     will not belabour the point.

17             In proving his case about the crimes committed by Praljak, in

18     paragraph 72, the Prosecutor refers to the developments in Rastani.  The

19     Prosecutor states that crimes were committed.  However, he does not

20     establish any link between the crimes and General Praljak.  The fact that

21     Praljak appointed Stamper as commander of the Rastani front-line does not

22     link the former with any crimes as a fact.  The Prosecutor did not show

23     any proof that Praljak received any report about the crimes in Rastani

24     before the operation was launched on the 23rd of August, 1993 -- or,

25     rather, during the operation on the 23rd of August, 1993.

Page 52489

 1             I have just been alerted to the time.  It seems to be the time

 2     for our next break, or maybe not.  Okay.

 3             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] It has been nearly one hour and

 4     thirty minutes, but we could go for another ten minutes until 12.30 or we

 5     can break now, as you wish.

 6             MS. PINTER: [Interpretation] As far as I'm concerned, I can

 7     continue.  I believe that General Praljak had -- or, rather, no, okay,

 8     I'll go on.

 9             The Prosecutor refers to document P4719 in his footnote 1663, and

10     it says that General Praljak issued an order about the organisation of

11     command system and attacks and defence activities in

12     South-East Herzegovina Zone of Responsibility; and, furthermore, he

13     quotes a document that proves that that order was, indeed, implemented.

14     In a war, every order issued by a commander is meant to be executed, and

15     that cannot constitute an element of any crime.  If the Prosecutor

16     accepted evidence on file, if the Prosecutor accepted the fact that the

17     HVO waged a war against the BiH Army and not against the entire Muslim

18     population, he would not claim what he did in his final brief.

19             The Prosecutor was supposed to offer evidence to the effect that

20     the HVO attacked the entire Muslim population.  The Prosecutor did not

21     point to any piece of evidence that would establish a link between

22     General Praljak and any crime.  He doesn't show that he may be charged

23     with a failure to punish perpetrators within the scope of his powers.

24     The Prosecutor has to prove beyond any reasonable doubt that Praljak

25     commanded his subordinates, that he issued orders to them to attack

Page 52490

 1     civilian population, that he provided his subordinates with instructions

 2     to commit crimes, that he approved crimes, and when he learned of the

 3     crimes, that he did everything possible to cover them up.  Proof based on

 4     indicia can be taken into account only in a case when only one reasonable

 5     conclusion may be drawn from them, and that was -- that should be that

 6     General Praljak approved crimes and condoned crimes.  I'm certain and I

 7     claim that the Trial Chamber cannot draw such inferences from the

 8     evidence in the case.

 9             The Prosecutor did not show a single piece of evidence that

10     Praljak ever received a SIS report.  As this was an organisation that was

11     tasked with monitoring the conduct of HVO soldiers, such reports were

12     never submitted or sent to the Main Staff of the HVO.  The chief of staff

13     does not engage in crime investigations, he does not interview witnesses,

14     he doesn't file criminal reports, he doesn't issue indictments, he does

15     not issue convictions.  Only under those conditions could General Praljak

16     discipline or sentence those who perpetrated crimes.

17             When we're talking about the model of General Praljak's

18     behaviour, and when we talk about his authority to call people to task,

19     let's remind ourselves, he was not a prosecutor, he was not a judge; he

20     could only discipline soldiers.  We are referring to documents P3829,

21     P4260, P5530, 3D3316, P8889 -- P8889, P7035, P2860, P5621.

22             Due to the brevity of time at my disposal, I'm going to skip the

23     part dealing with Humanitarian Law, because I believe that there is so

24     much evidence on this case file testifying to the attempts undertaken by

25     General Praljak to instruct his soldiers about the Humanitarian Law and

Page 52491

 1     provisions regarding the soldierly conduct.  I will skip all that, and I

 2     will go straight to paragraph 728.  This is the Prosecutor's conclusion

 3     about Praljak's alleged tolerance of crimes and support of crimes.

 4             The Defence of General Praljak states that General Praljak never

 5     condoned crimes, which we have managed to demonstrate clearly during the

 6     trial.  As we follow his conduct from Sunje, testified by

 7     Witness Arbutina on transcript page 45091 as well as Witness Crnkovic,

 8     transcript page 45106, 3D3679, which is a statement by Dr. Mahmoud Eid,

 9     document 3D2860, as well as 3D3361, both generated by the Ministry of

10     Defence of the Republic of Croatia, issued by General Praljak, so when we

11     follow the conduct of General Praljak with regard to the protection of

12     Serbs in Grabovina and Capljina, we have a witness statement under

13     3D3666.  We also have Witness Curcic's testimony during trial and his

14     statement, 3D3759.  The pages in question are 3, 5 and 8, which show the

15     model of an established conduct towards detainees.  Witness BM was

16     released, as he stated himself, in Exhibit P5530.  This is another way to

17     establish the model of behaviour which calls for discipline.  The lack of

18     discipline is punished, there is a ban on looting, ill-treatment, and

19     there is an instruction on how to care for civilians.  The Prosecution

20     did not provide any proof that soldiers subordinate to General Praljak

21     burned Muslim houses, that they stole their property, that they illegally

22     detained Muslims and terrorised them, and, finally, deported them.  The

23     Prosecutor failed to prove that Praljak tolerated any such behaviour, if

24     there was any, or that he was ever informed of any such conduct.

25             Your Honours, I've just been told that the time has come for our

Page 52492

 1     next break.

 2             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] It is now time to have a break.

 3     You have had three hours and thirty minutes.  We will have a break of 20

 4     minutes' time.

 5                           --- Recess taken at 12.31 p.m.

 6                           --- On resuming at 12.52 p.m.

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

 8             MS. PINTER: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honours.

 9             In paragraph 730, the Prosecutor quotes the alleged allegation

10     from document P8765 and says that a subordinate reported about Praljak's

11     command style.  That subordinate said this:

12             "General Praljak at the time said that Croats had to learn how to

13     hate Muslims because hatred is a precondition for success in war."

14             This is incorrect, this is misinterpretation.  The text quoted by

15     the Prosecutor is actually a journalist's text.  It is not a text of any

16     soldier that was subordinated to General Praljak.

17             A question may be asked here:  Why would General Praljak change

18     his position and his conduct in 1993?  His conduct throughout all that

19     time was this:  Crimes cannot be pardoned, crimes have to be punished;

20     however, he could not react if he didn't know about any crimes committed.

21             Paragraph 732 refers to a document, document P5530.  The

22     Prosecutor wants to demonstrate that the state of lawlessness reigned

23     supreme in HVO units.  We heard about this document during trial, and

24     this document is a report of a unit which was returning from Vakuf back

25     to the Republic of Croatia, after having spent a lot of time in the Vakuf

Page 52493

 1     theatre of war.  They were on their way back to Croatia, yes, just like I

 2     said it.  They were Croatian volunteers.  The report in question says:

 3             "Our unit was charged with having looted houses in the Uskoplje

 4     front-line.  We were stopped at the toll booth, allegedly pursuant to

 5     General Praljak's order.  The military police inspected us, and the

 6     following appliances were found:  A freezer, a fridge, an electric stove

 7     and a TV set.  Those appliances were seized from those on whom they were

 8     found."

 9             This document shows that General Praljak, despite the fact that

10     those troops had spent a long time on the front-line, he still did not

11     tolerate looting, he did not tolerate plunder.  As soon as he learned

12     that things like that may have happened, he reacted immediately.

13             When we speak about General Praljak's conduct and his attitude

14     towards crime, we can quote 3D3316.  This document was issued on the

15     1st of October, 1992.  This is information about the crimes committed

16     regularly by members of the Croatian Army.  Pre-emptive action has to be

17     based on the rule of law.  Nobody, either former or present members of

18     the Croatian Army can break the law unpunished.  Nobody has acquired a

19     possibility to be pardoned for a crime committed.  Citizens' property,

20     state property, and enemy property are protected by law.  That's page 8

21     of the document.  No one Croatian soldier can expect a crime to be

22     forgiven to him or that criminal proceedings will not be launched.  This

23     document shows General Praljak's attitude toward crime and toward

24     intolerable behaviour.  However, General Praljak couldn't try soldiers,

25     he couldn't press charges, nor could he convict or acquit them.  There

Page 52494

 1     were other bodies in charge of that.

 2             I want to show that General Praljak said several times that

 3     knowing that due to the use of military police in combat activity, he

 4     will not be able to react immediately to intolerable behaviour because

 5     those responsible for crime could only later be called to responsibility,

 6     that this is true, that it was possible to hold responsible those -- hold

 7     accountable those responsible for crimes shown by the following

 8     documents:  1D2577, Operation Spider.  It says that persons were deprived

 9     of liberty, who were suspected of that, in 1993 and 1994, in the area of

10     Rama municipality, they committed crimes.  The document is from 1994,

11     document 1D1252, information about the perpetrators of crimes.  Crimes

12     are mentioned that were committed in June 1993, in September 1993, in

13     August 1993, in November 1993, and the evidence we have led which was

14     admitted into evidence by the Trial Chamber shows that a crime was not

15     condoned and were not part of a plan at any time.

16             In paragraph 751, the Prosecution say that Praljak was familiar

17     with the expulsion of Muslims.  They base their claim on Witness E's

18     testimony.  However, the contents of General Praljak's speech on the

19     transcript page cited by the Prosecution cannot be evidence because that

20     was not testimony under oath.  It was the Prosecution that insisted that

21     General Praljak's speeches should not be admitted as evidence.

22             Paragraph 753:  On 24 September 1993, Praljak spoke to the

23     fighters of HR-HB and spoke about the situation in the Mostar theatre and

24     the HVO victories at Rastani and elsewhere.  He was encouraging the HVO

25     soldiers to continue their -- continue with victories.  According to the

Page 52495

 1     Prosecution, the situation is as follows:  Praljak is attacking, and he

 2     is being successful; however, for that he needs another side.  In our

 3     trial brief, under the heading "BH Army," we showed documents until

 4     October 1993 which speak about the offensive of the BH Army.  When this

 5     document that the Prosecution cites was drafted, Doljani had already

 6     happened on the 27th of July, 1993; Grabovica, too, 8 September 1993;

 7     Uzdol, 14 September; and the forcefulness of the offensive was recorded

 8     in the documents of the UNPROFOR unit which was in the area of Mostar and

 9     Jablanica as well as south of Mostar.  If the HVO was able to slow down

10     the BH Army offensive, clearly, the soldiers had to be informed.  They

11     had -- it was necessary to instill optimism in them and hope that the

12     Croats will not be expelled from the areas where they lived.  It was

13     necessary to make public the fact that the HVO is being successful in

14     slowing down or stopping the Muslim offensive, and the Prosecution act as

15     if there had never been an offensive.

16             About the siege of Mostar, we spoke extensively about that in our

17     final brief, dealing with all allegations of the Prosecution; water,

18     electricity, shelling, sniping, leaving Mostar by way of Bijela Bridge.

19     So that for reasons of time, although I would have much to comment about

20     that, I will move on to paragraph 761, "Convoys."

21             I claim that the allegations made in this paragraph are refuted

22     by evidence.  It is not recorded anywhere, nor was it established during

23     the trial, that Praljak was obstructing the convoys.  Quite the contrary,

24     when I say that, I do not have just in mind the convoy which was stopped

25     in Citluk when General Praljak boarded an APC, and with his presence of

Page 52496

 1     mind when no one else managed to do that, those who were supposed to do

 2     it made it possible for this convoy to pass through to Eastern Mostar.

 3     I'm talking, rather, about all convoys which were headed to

 4     Central Bosnia and were meant to bring supplies to Muslims in Zenica

 5     throughout 1993.  Document 3D00921 talks about this.  The list of convoys

 6     of the 1st of June, 1993, up until the 10th of December, 1993, is to be

 7     found there.  So throughout the time during which General Praljak was the

 8     commander but also before and after that time, the convoys were passing

 9     through.  Of course, when the offensive of the Army of BiH was in full

10     swing in the area of the South-Eastern Herzegovina Operation Zone when

11     movement was dangerous, international representatives or organisations

12     decided themselves that they would rather not pass through with their

13     convoys.  This was not prohibited by the HVO.  The very same

14     international representatives, however, did not do anything to stop the

15     attacks launched by the Army of Bosnia-Herzegovina.

16             Document P5926 is the protocol about the transit of humanitarian

17     convoys, dated the 17th of October, 1993.  What follows from it is that

18     the Main Staff was not in charge of allowing the transit of the convoys.

19     Therefore, General Praljak cannot be taken to account for the convoys,

20     but he did allow convoys to pass through.  He never prohibited a single

21     one from transiting.

22             Document P4027 is the Makarska Agreement about the free passage

23     of humanitarian convoys.  No one from the Main Staff was present, because

24     the Main Staff was not responsible.  The Prosecution failed to show that

25     General Praljak obstructed convoys, and we have shown that when those

Page 52497

 1     responsible did not manage to secure a convoy that would go to

 2     Eastern Mostar, General Praljak did this.

 3             In paragraph 767 and 768, the Prosecution claims that

 4     General Praljak expressed his vision during the cross-examination and

 5     agreed that he advocated the separateness of peoples of Bosnia and

 6     Herzegovina.  But what crime is that, to advocate the autonomy of a

 7     constituent people in Bosnia and Herzegovina?  The autonomy would not be

 8     the only case in the world where there would be an autonomous unit within

 9     a given country.  Praljak never mentioned the separation of areas where

10     Croats had lived since time immemorial, their separation from

11     Bosnia-Herzegovina.  What he did advocate was the autonomy of the Croats

12     within Bosnia-Herzegovina so that they could achieve their full

13     constituent nation's rights.

14             Which element of any crime defined in the Statute is a political

15     thought, a wish, or a proposal of a political order?  For such a wish to

16     become an element of criminal responsibility of General Praljak, the

17     Prosecution would have to prove that the events developed in such a way

18     that this wish was achieved by force.  However, the evidence shows the

19     contrary.

20             In paragraph 770, the Prosecution claims that Praljak advocated

21     expulsion of Muslims in order to secure a majority Croatian population in

22     the Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna and refers to document P00524,

23     which is one of the presidential transcripts.  General Praljak did not

24     advocate the expulsion of Muslims.  He talked about people who were

25     expelled by Serbs and who had come to Travnik.  That resulted in a change

Page 52498

 1     of the ethnic composition.  If they were to remain in Travnik, these

 2     people who had been expelled and who had been expelled by the VRS and the

 3     JNA, then the ethnic cleansing carried out by the VRS would be awarded.

 4     What the influx of refugees to Central Bosnia meant is also recorded by

 5     Margaret Thatcher in her book, and the relevant passage is under 3D2642.

 6     It is page 169.  The burden of taking care of so many people, in

 7     particular, in Croatia and Bosnia, was unsupportable.  The waves of

 8     refugees created instability, and that was their purpose.  The arrival of

 9     thousands of Muslim refugees to Central Bosnia which disrupted the ethnic

10     balance between the Muslims and the Croats is an important factor which

11     contributed to the open war which broke out between the two sides in

12     March 1993.

13             3D02637.  Schrader also confirms that refugees were the cause of

14     conflict.  The Defence explained its arguments in relation to Prozor in

15     detail in the final brief.  We just want to point out here that the

16     Trial Chamber does not have any evidence that could confirm the

17     Prosecution thesis that General Praljak was aware of the crimes and

18     condoned them.  Quite the contrary, he punished them, which we have

19     shown.

20             As in its final brief and oral arguments, the Prosecution

21     repeated that during his testimony, General Praljak said that he wanted

22     victory, the Defence wants to refer to the transcript, and the reference

23     is to page 40985 through 40986 on the 2nd of June, 2009:

24             "At the time, it was important for me not to loose Gornji Vakuf

25     or Rama.  Bugojno was already lost.  I did not want to lose Vakuf and

Page 52499

 1     everything else.  The forces that were attacking us, the Army of Bosnia

 2     and Herzegovina, were about to clean everything all the way to the

 3     Croatian border.  I'm not an occupier in that part."

 4             General Praljak never said that he had to win the war.  He said

 5     that he must not lose the war and must not lose the areas populated by

 6     the Croats.

 7             General Praljak came at the time when the Muslim offensive was in

 8     full swing.  He was at the front all the time.  He had to deal with

 9     thousands upon thousands of Croatians who had left Konjic, Vares, Bugojno

10     and Klis.  Witnesses Skender, Curcic and Gerritsen talked about that.

11     The Prosecution, during the trial, did not provide any evidence about

12     direct perpetrators of the crimes and so as to have the right to claim

13     that they were directly connected with General Praljak.

14             In paragraph 785, the Prosecutor quotes the position of

15     Judge Trechsel in order to support its own claims, and says that the

16     Judge wanted to confirm this attitude:

17             "No, I just note that you confirmed that your policy and your

18     idea is if there is a murder and a victim, you remove the victim, instead

19     of containing the murderer."

20             For General Praljak to approve a forcible movement of a

21     population, he should have known about it in real time.  The Prosecutor

22     had to produce at least one piece of evidence which shows that Praljak

23     either ordered or was informed about that in real time.  That would be

24     the only way to prove that Praljak knew.

25             The Prosecutor cannot refer to an interview given after the war

Page 52500

 1     about the knowledge acquired after the war.  Praljak, himself, explained

 2     that between the two evils, a lesser -- the lesser evil was chosen.

 3     Lives are what matters the most, after all, and we shouldn't forget that

 4     at the time the HR-HB was faced with 50.000 refugees from Central Bosnia

 5     who arrived there not only because they wanted to be in Herzegovina, not

 6     because they were scared by any propaganda, not because they fulfilled

 7     somebody's political goals; they arrived because they wanted to save

 8     their own lives.  Those people were not criminals.  Only if they had been

 9     could this allegation referred to by Judge Trechsel in his remark be used

10     as proof.  Those were people on the run.  They were running from the ABiH

11     offensive after the fall of their cities, and they fled to an area where

12     they felt safer.

13             In a situation when there was sabotage and terrorist groups in

14     the Dubrava Valley, when there was combat going on, and when everybody

15     fully expected that the ABiH will continue advancing along the

16     Neretva Valley, with the presence of a large number of frustrated,

17     wounded, and embittered people, General Praljak, after the war, after the

18     developments, once he was fully familiar with the reasons for the

19     resettlement of Muslims, he said that it had been a good move because it

20     meant that lives were saved.

21             With regard to document P9470, I would like to point to the

22     Trial Chamber that the piece of evidence presented in that evidence as

23     paragraph -- as page 2 was already admitted into evidence as IC01076.

24     When the document is evaluated, please take into account IC01076.

25             The Prosecutor failed to show a single piece of evidence pointing

Page 52501

 1     to the Main Staff or General Praljak having anything to do with the

 2     detention centres.  Document P7064 that the Prosecutor refers to is

 3     Biskic's report about the conditions of accommodation in detention

 4     facilities, and that document doesn't show that anything about the

 5     detention centres was under the authority of the Main Staff of the HVO.

 6             Document P7124, and the previous one was 7064, the second

 7     document, 7124, page 6, dated December 1993, not a single member of the

 8     Main Staff attended a meeting, and the list on the first page gives the

 9     names of all the detainees.  This is the authorisation of Boban's order

10     about the dismantling of all detention centres.  All those that had

11     anything to do with detention centres were there; the Ministry of

12     Defence, the SIS Administration head, the military police, the heads of

13     detention centres in Ljubuski, Heliodrom, Gabela, the Ministry of the

14     Interior, the military prosecutors and judges.  Nobody in the Main Staff

15     was informed or invited to the meeting.

16             In paragraph 813, the Prosecutor speaks about sniping, and he

17     says that the snipers were under General Praljak's authority, and that he

18     was well aware of the sniping activities, and that's why all the victims

19     are down to the HVO, and Praljak is made responsible for the victims.

20     However, the Chamber did not see any evidence to the effect that the

21     victims were, indeed, hit by the HVO soldiers, and that snipers were only

22     exclusively in the hands of the HVO; and that, as such, they were the

23     only ones who could open fire on the positions of those individuals who

24     had been hit by sniper fire.  It had to be demonstrated that only an

25     exclusively -- position in the HVO control of the western part of Mostar

Page 52502

 1     was the only possible position from which those victims could be either

 2     wounded or killed.

 3             The Prosecutor claims that Praljak cross-examined quite

 4     unsuccessful, without any successful argument, about the fact that

 5     snipers were under HVO command.  Before the end of my final argument, I

 6     would like to point to the document P4822.  This is Mazowiecki's report

 7     that the Prosecutor referred to on several occasions in his final

 8     argument.  And I would like to say that it arises from that report that

 9     the constant sniping from the government position, and so far we've seen

10     that the government or the BiH Army was positioned on the east bank of

11     the river, and where their fire was aimed, and we could see that people

12     in Brijeg Hospital were visited by Mazowiecki and his crew, it arises

13     from this document that both the east and west sides of the Mostar lacked

14     water, and it stems from that document that Mostar was destroyed already

15     in 1992, or mostly in 1992, which is clearly demonstrated by document

16     1D1415.

17             I've been informed that my time is up.  Isn't it?  Just a moment,

18     Your Honours.

19             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] You have --

20             MS. PINTER: [Interpretation] I apologise, Your Honours.  I was

21     warned that my time was up and that I had to provide for the half hour

22     for the general, but I have just been -- received corrected information

23     that I still have time.

24             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] You have had four hours until

25     now.  If General Praljak takes the floor, he will take the floor on

Page 52503

 1     Monday, because we must stop at a quarter to 2:00.

 2             MS. PINTER: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I'm not done.  I just

 3     thought that my time was up and I had to stop.  But if I can deal with

 4     another few paragraphs of the Prosecution brief, I'll do that with great

 5     pleasure.

 6             So I broke off when I was speaking about the snipers.

 7             In paragraph 814, the Prosecution speaks about Praljak's

 8     knowledge about snipers in Mostar.  However, the documents they cite

 9     actually say -- speak to the contrary.  I have already mentioned P4822.

10     With regard to document P10047, that's a statement of which I'm not sure

11     at the moment whether it's confidential, so I won't state the name.  The

12     Prosecution refers to paragraphs 47, 44 and 46.  I must point out to the

13     Trial Chamber that paragraph 44 of the statement is not in evidence, so

14     that the Trial Chamber cannot base its decision on that.

15             About General Praljak's knowledge about the snipers, it was the

16     Prosecution's duty to prove that they were HVO snipers and that the

17     victims were hit by their snipers.  Then they had to prove that

18     General Praljak knew of the snipers, and, based on that, draw such

19     conclusions.  As it is, it all rests on the Prosecution's allegations,

20     without any evidence.  In our final brief, we analysed each and every

21     sniping incident and all the victims hit by snipers, and showed that no

22     one victim could have been hit from HVO positions.

23             With regard to the destruction of Mostar and what it looked like,

24     I would like to refer to document 1D01415.  That is the Mostar morning of

25     11 June 1992.  That's a document issued by the 1st Mostar Independent

Page 52504

 1     Battalion, and it's a publication of the BH Army, in which it says:

 2             "June 92:  Raving pyromaniacs have reduced Luka,

 3     Donja Mahala, Main Street and Fejic Street, a large part of Cernica and

 4     Semovac, Cim and Ilici to cinders.  The beastly Greater Serbian and

 5     Greater Montenegrin thirst for blood, the criminal instinct for looting

 6     and killing, the delirious concept of creating a twilight zone on the

 7     banks of the Neretva to draw ethnic borders in -- imagined in the darkest

 8     depths of a disturbed mind have levelled a cultural and historical

 9     heritage which was four centuries' old, devastated Muslim and Catholic

10     shrines, ploughed over graves, and expelled people from their

11     centuries-old homes."

12             So that Mostar was actually destroyed in 1992, and not in 1993,

13     as claimed by the Prosecution witnesses and as alleged by the Prosecution

14     in their final brief.  This was written by Bosniaks in 1992, and I kindly

15     ask the Trial Chamber to take this into consideration.

16             In paragraph 820, the Prosecution says American

17     Ambassador Peter Galbraith has summed up his opinion about Praljak's

18     responsibility not only about the shelling and destruction of

19     Eastern Mostar, but also concerning all of his crimes.  That included the

20     JCE.  This is a general assessment of Ambassador Galbraith.  Of course,

21     it is his right to put forward arbitrary assessments and unconfirmed

22     allegations, but it is up to the Trial Chamber to reach the decision only

23     based on evidence led by both sides, both parties to the proceedings.

24             In paragraphs 839 through 846, the Prosecution claim that

25     Praljak's testimony, with which he wanted to help himself, is not

Page 52505

 1     trustworthy.  Although Mr. Praljak's testimony is not trustworthy, the

 2     final brief is full of lines from his testimony, and the allegations in

 3     57 paragraphs actually cite his testimony.  The Prosecution says when

 4     Praljak did not lie, then he avoided answering.

 5             About the lies:  Praljak, in his testimony, showed a map of

 6     Gornji Vakuf which did not show the HVO artillery positions on

 7     Mount Makljen.  By doing so, he failed to give important information to

 8     the Trial Chamber, and he showed them a wrong map that showed only

 9     BH Army positions.  However, the positions of the HVO artillery with

10     regard to the events in Vakuf was irrelevant, which follows from Tokic's

11     testimony.  Praljak drew a map showing the BH Army positions.  By drawing

12     the map, Praljak showed the BH Army positions.  Because of the

13     Prosecutor's insisting that the HVO attacked the Muslim population,

14     showing a map where the BH Army positions had as its goal to show that

15     there were BH Army forces, and that this wasn't an attack on the Muslim

16     population.  According to the testimony of Witness Tokic, the artillery

17     on Makljen couldn't target the town because it was out of reach.

18             P1162:  Siljeg's report, "Our Forces."  In the description of the

19     activities, it was not mentioned that from the area of Makljen, fire was

20     opened upon Gornji Vakuf/Uskoplje, but rather on Crni Vrh and Voljevac,

21     BH Army positions.  The report points out the BH Army strongholds south

22     of the town of Gornji Vakuf; namely, Uzice, Dusa, Mount Mackovac, and the

23     strengthened lines at Podovi.  The Prosecution's allegations that only

24     civilians were present at Uzice and Dusa, and that, thus, the Muslim

25     population was attacked, is unfounded.

Page 52506

 1             In the direct examination, Praljak said that Eastern Mostar did

 2     not complain to international representatives about shortage of water.

 3     In the cross-examination, he was faced with a document in which he was

 4     informed about the shortage of water in Eastern Mostar.  This is a

 5     misinterpretation, and actually the Prosecution was asking -- was asking

 6     leading questions.

 7             The following lie:  When answering Judge Antonetti's questions

 8     about his possible conversations with Tudjman while he was the chief of

 9     the Main Staff, Praljak lied, because on cross he was faced with evidence

10     showing that on the 15th of September, 1993, he was in Tudjman's office.

11     Praljak said that he never spoke with Tudjman about the way military

12     operations were conducted, and he also said that he didn't receive orders

13     either from Tudjman or even Boban when he came to the planning of defence

14     and commanding operations.  In other words, General Praljak did not lie,

15     whereas the Prosecution erroneously interpreted the contents of the

16     documents and minutes.

17             The following lie:  Praljak lied when he said that the Tudjman

18     and Milosevic agreement was created in 1993, when pressure had to be put

19     on Croats.  He was faced with Filipovic's interview, of whom he said that

20     he was an honourable Muslim.  In the month of June 1991, he spoke about

21     the Tudjman-Milosevic agreement.  Praljak said that the rumours of a

22     division of Bosnia between Tudjman and Milosevic started circulating

23     around Croatia already in 1993 anyway.

24             Alija Izetbegovic was well aware of the meeting between Tudjman

25     and Milosevic.  He was even aware of the alleged topic of the

Page 52507

 1     conversation, which is corroborated by document 3D00295.  The document is

 2     Alija Izetbegovic's letter to Dr. Tudjman, dated 24 March 1991.  And in

 3     the letter, it says:

 4             "I am convinced, Mr. President, and I have certain proof and

 5     information to that effect, that he," "He" with a capital letter and

 6     underlined, "in bilateral talks, will offer you certain partial solutions

 7     which, to a certain extent, would be to the expense of Muslims and Bosnia

 8     and Herzegovina.  Please turn any such offer down, because you know that

 9     those offers accepted would lead to chaos ...," and so on and so forth.

10             However, at that time the rumours about Karadjordjevo did not

11     blow out of proportions, as they did in 1994.  It became particularly

12     absurd when the JNA launched an all-out attack on the Republic of

13     Croatia.  Then the rumours quieted down.  In 1994, when Manolic and Mesic

14     left the HDZ and established their own party and were preparing for a

15     take-over, the story about Karadjordjevo became topical again because it

16     was necessary to destabilise the Republic of Croatia and

17     Dr. Franjo Tudjman.  Therefore, General Praljak didn't lie.

18             Another lie:  Praljak denied knowledge about the tank on Stotina.

19     Under oath, Praljak lied that he didn't know about the tank in Stotina,

20     whereas his book shows the position of the tank on Stotina.  The

21     Prosecutor completely ignores the fact that General Praljak said that at

22     the relevant time in November 1993, he did not know that there was a tank

23     on Stotina.  Only subsequently, when he investigated the circumstances of

24     the destruction of the Old Bridge was he able to establish that there was

25     a tank on Stotina; and then, for the purpose of truthfully representing

Page 52508

 1     all the circumstances surrounding the destruction of the Old Bridge in a

 2     book, which was the result of all that evidence collected, he did show

 3     the position of the tank on Stotina.  It is one thing to know something

 4     in November 1993 and an entirely different thing to have subsequent

 5     information as a result of the collection of data.  This can certainly

 6     not be qualified as a lie.

 7             The Defence claims that the OTP failed to prove that

 8     General Praljak did any violations of the law as a commander.  They

 9     didn't prove that Slobodan Praljak committed a great breach of his

10     duties, that any such possible breach may have been serious, willful and

11     wanton.  Therefore, General Praljak cannot be held responsible pursuant

12     to 7/3.  Only the most serious deviations from the duties of a commander

13     constitute criminal liability, and this Trial Chamber has been deprived

14     of any proof that would demonstrate that General Praljak behaved in a

15     criminal way pursuant to 7/3.

16             For all those reasons, General Praljak's Defence believes that

17     this Trial Chamber [as interpreted] should be acquitted of all charges.

18     Thank you.

19             THE INTERPRETER:  That General Praljak should be acquitted of all

20     charges.

21             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] It is soon going to be time to

22     adjourn.

23             We'll resume on Monday with General Praljak.  Until then, I wish

24     you all a good evening.

25             The hearing stands adjourned.


Page 52509

 1                           --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 1.40 p.m.,

 2                           to be reconvened on Monday, the 21st day of

 3                            February, 2011, at 2.15 p.m.