1 Wednesday, 26 April 2006
2 [Prosecution Opening Statement]
3 [Open session]
4 [The accused entered court]
5 --- Upon commencing at 2.24 p.m.
6 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] So, this is the first day of
7 trial, and I would like to ask the Prosecution, hidden behind the pillar,
8 to introduce themselves. Can we have the appearances, please.
9 MR. SCOTT: Good afternoon, Your Honour. Ken Scott appearing on
10 behalf of the Prosecution; and with me today are Ms. Josee D'Aoust,
11 Mr. Daryl Mundis, Mr. Pieter Kruger, Mr. Vassily Proyvaev, Tonia Gillett,
12 Miguel Longone, and our case manager Skye Winner. Thank you.
13 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. Scott. I would
14 like all Defence counsel to introduce themselves, each in turn, please.
15 MR. KARNAVAS: Good morning, Mr. President, Your Honours. I'm
16 Michael Karnavas, I'm here on behalf of Dr. Prlic. With me is Suzana
17 Tomanovic, co-counsel, and Ana Vlahovic as our legal assistant and case
18 manager. Thank you.
19 MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation] Good afternoon, Your Honours. My
20 name is Senka Nozica, and I appear for Mr. Bruno Stojic. With me today
21 are co-counsel Mr. Peter Murphy and case manager Mr. Slonje Valent. Thank
23 MR. KOVACIC: Good afternoon, Your Honours. Bozidar Kovacic,
24 Defence counsel for Mr. Slobodan Praljak, with co-counsel Ms. Nika Pinter.
25 Thank you.
1 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Good afternoon, Your Honours. I'm
2 Vesna Alaburic, counsel for Milivoj Petkovic; and with me is Mr. Davor
3 Lazic, our case manager.
4 MR. JONJIC: [Interpretation] Good afternoon, Your Honours.
5 Tomislav Jonjic, court-appointed attorney for Mr. Coric. With me are
6 Ms. Krystyna Grinberg, and Ms. Ida Jurkovic, the case manager.
7 MR. IBRISIMOVIC: [Interpretation] Good afternoon, Your Honour.
8 Appearing for Mr. Pusic, Roger Sahota and Fahrudin Ibrisimovic, with
9 Nermin Mulalic, our legal assistant.
10 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] On behalf of the Bench who make
11 up the Bench presiding over this Trial Chamber, I would like to welcome
12 all the representatives of the Prosecution here in full force today. I
13 would also like to welcome all the Defence counsel and co-counsel and
14 legal assistants who are going to be helping them during the trial.
15 I would like to also welcome the accused. I would also like to
16 greet, welcome all these people who will be giving us a helping hand over
17 the next few days and months and years. The registrar, as well as all of
18 his associates; the usher, who very often is -- plays the role of a
19 go-between. I would also like to greet the legal officer and all her
20 assistants, notwithstanding the interpreters, who will be translating
21 everything that is said in the two official languages of the Tribunal,
22 namely English and French. I would also like to welcome all the security
23 officers present in this courtroom.
24 Today we will spend our entire hearing to the presentation of the
25 Prosecution case. But before giving the Prosecution the floor, I would
1 like the Prosecution team to tell me whether it has any intention of
2 filing any submissions in the event of a conflict of interest between a
3 co-counsel pursuant to an oral decision that was rendered yesterday. I
4 would like you, if you intend to make such filings, to make them quickly.
5 We -- our hearing will continue until 7.00 p.m. Of course we will
6 have a technical break every hour and a half, but we will today listen to
7 the representatives of the Prosecution, so let me right away give them the
9 MR. SCOTT: Good afternoon, Mr. President. To answer Your
10 Honour's questions, the filing concerning conflict of interest was made
11 this morning, and we also made a filing in connection with the issue of
12 questions or questioning put by the accused. And so those have been
13 filed. Thank you.
14 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. We shall read this
15 as soon as the Registry will have handed over the copies to us.
16 Mr. Scott, you now officially have the floor to give us an overall
17 view of the Prosecution case.
18 MR. SCOTT: May it please the Court, Mr. President, Your Honours,
19 counsel. It is time, gentlemen, that we take the opportunity to gather
20 the Croatian people inside the broadest, widest possible borders.
21 On the 27th of December, 1991, in Zagreb, Croatia's then
22 president, Franjo Tudjman, told an assembled group of Croat and Bosnian
23 Croat leaders: "The State of Croatia cannot survive such as it is, but a
24 Croatian State, even within the borders of the banovina could, not to
25 mention if these borders were improved on."
1 "It seems to me, therefore, that just as we have taken advantage
2 of this historic moment to establish an independent, internationally
3 recognised Croatia, I believe that it is time that we take the opportunity
4 to gather the Croatian people inside the widest possible borders ..."
5 Turning to the 4th of August, 1993, a woman who we'll call, for
6 today's purposes, Samira, she must have started that day like many other
7 days --
8 THE INTERPRETER: Could you speak into the microphone, Mr. Scott,
10 MR. SCOTT: Can you hear me now?
11 THE INTERPRETER: I'm afraid not.
12 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] You may resume.
13 MR. SCOTT: On the 27th of December, 1991, Your Honours, Franjo
14 Tudjman said that it was time to gather the Croatian people inside the
15 widest possible borders.
16 Moving ahead to the 4th of August, 1993, a woman who we will call
17 Samira must have started that day like any other day during that time.
18 Probably with some anxiety about what had already happened in the previous
19 days, what was going on in her area where she lived, but without any
20 reason to know that on that particular day what would happen to her and
21 her children and her elderly mother. By that day, the 4th of August, her
22 husband had already been arrested and taken away by HVO soldiers, Muslim
23 houses in her area had been burned, several mosques had been destroyed,
24 and Muslim women were being mistreated. But then on the 4th of August,
25 1993, her world was turned even more upside-down. HVO soldiers came to
1 Samira's house and gave Samira, her children, and her elderly mother five
2 minutes to leave the home. They were then taken to a collection point in
3 Stolac and detained there with 400 other Muslim women and children. HVO
4 soldiers robbed them of their valuables and they were then expelled from
5 Stolac municipality altogether, when the HVO took them in vehicles to
6 Buna, south of Mostar, and told the women and children to walk, under
7 gunfire, in the direction of Blagaj.
8 By September of 1993, Your Honours, all of the Muslims had been
9 expelled from Stolac municipality.
10 One might be inclined to describe such behaviour, such violence as
11 senseless, and it surely was in the sense of being without any real
12 justification. But on the other hand, in another sense, it was not
13 senseless at all, because it was based on a sense of things, however
14 misguided or wrong, and was done with a purpose. In short, it was not
15 senseless, it was purposeful and plainly foreseeable. To see this, we
16 must only look at the words of President Tudjman and others around this
17 same time, September 1993.
18 On the 21st of September, President Tudjman told a group of Croat
19 and Bosnian Croat leaders: "Stolac. I know the strategic importance of
20 Stolac, both as the president of Croatia and, if you will, as a soldier.
21 I know that Stolac and the entire former Jablanicki Kotar and Konjic were
22 included in the Croatian Banovina in 1939. These are arguments I have
23 upheld since the first day."
24 At the same meeting, a Bosnian Croat leader proudly reported to
25 Tudjman: "Today there is not a single Muslim in Stolac. We have
1 populated Stolac with our refugees from Bosnia." To which Tudjman
2 responded, "... I know all that. I know all that."
3 It is good, Your Honour, to start by looking at the words of the
4 indictment in connection with the charges in this case, in connection with
5 the joint criminal enterprise that is charged, which is stated in
6 paragraph 15 of the indictment. And we need a technical moment here, Your
7 Honour. The technical systems do not seem to be functioning very well
8 today, Your Honour, I'm afraid. Now we have it.
9 Paragraph 15 of the indictment: "From on or before the 18th of
10 November, 1991, to about April 1994 and thereafter, various persons
11 established and participated in a joint criminal enterprise to politically
12 and militarily subjugate, permanently remove and ethnically cleanse
13 Bosnian Muslims and other non-Croats who lived in areas on the territory
14 of the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina which were claimed to be part of
15 the Croatian Community (and later Republic) of Herceg-Bosna, and to join
16 these areas as part of a 'Greater Croatia,' whether in the short run or
17 over time and whether as part of the Republic of Croatia or in close
18 association with it, by force, fear, or threat of force, persecution,
19 imprisonment and detention, forcible transfer and deportation,
20 appropriation and destruction of property and other means, which
21 constituted or involved the commission of crimes which are punishable
22 under Articles 2, 3, and 5 of the Tribunal Statute. The territorial
23 ambition of this joint criminal enterprise, Mr. President, Your Honours,
24 was to establish a Croatian territory with the borders of the Croatian
25 Banovina, a territorial entity that existed from 1939 to 1941. It was
1 part of the joint criminal enterprise to engineer the political and ethnic
2 map of these areas so that they would be Croat-dominated, both politically
3 and demographically."
4 Now, in terms of the membership or the make-up of this joint
5 criminal enterprise and those who assisted it, we can look at paragraphs
6 16, and 16.1 of the indictment, which states that: "A number of persons
7 joined, participated in and contributed to the joint criminal enterprise,
8 including Franjo Tudjman, the President of the Republic of Croatia -" who
9 is deceased - "Mr. Gojko Susak, the minister of defence of the Republic of
10 Croatia, (deceased...); Janko Bobetko, a senior general in the army of the
11 Republic of Croatia, (deceased ...); Mate Boban, the president of the
12 Croatian Community (and later Republic) of Herceg-Bosna, (deceased ...);
13 Jadranko Prlic; Bruno Stojic; Slobodan Praljak; Milivoj Petkovic; Valentin
14 Coric; Berislav Pusic; Dario Kordic; Tihomir Blaskic; Mladen Naletilic
15 (also known as 'Tuta') and others."
16 These persons planned, prepared and implemented the objectives of
17 the joint criminal enterprise together, in other words, as members of or
18 participants in the enterprise and or through as agents or instruments,
19 either directly or indirectly, members of the Croatian Community or
20 Republic of Herceg-Bosna, the Croatian Defence Council or HVO, and the
21 leadership and authorities of those bodies, including various officials
22 and members of the government and political structures at all levels, as
23 well as leaders and members of the Croatian Democratic Union, a political
24 party, and the Croatian Democratic Union of Bosnia and Herzegovina, the
25 Bosnian branch, if you will, of the party in Zagreb, at all levels,
1 various officers and members of the Herceg-Bosna HVO forces, and various
2 members of the armed forces, police, security and intelligence services of
3 the Republic of Croatia and other persons both known and unknown.
4 Your Honours, the events charged in this case occurred as part of
5 the dissolution of the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. During
6 or about this time, in 1989, Franjo Tudjman and others formed a political
7 party in Croatia called the Croatian Democratic Union, or HDZ. Tudjman
8 was elected president of Croatia in 1990 and remained in this position as
9 president of the country until he died in December 1999.
10 The Republic of Croatia declared its existence -- or, excuse me,
11 its independence from Yugoslavia on the 25th of June, 1991, and by
12 September of 1991, the Republic of Croatia was at war with nationalist
13 Serb forces attempting to incorporate parts of Croatia into a Greater
14 Serbia. The European Community recognised the Republic of Croatia as an
15 independent state on the 15th of January, 1992, and the United Nations
16 admitted Croatia as a member state on the 22nd of May, 1992.
17 The evidence will show, Your Honours, that long before the HDZ
18 came into existence, Franjo Tudjman had given voice to his views
19 concerning Croatia's acquisition of, or rights to certain parts of Bosnia
20 and Herzegovina. As early as 1981, Tudjman, in his own published work,
21 described Bosnia and Croatia as a "indivisible geographic and economic
22 entity." He advocated and supported Croatia's claims to large parts of
23 Bosnia and Herzegovina which had been part of the Croatian Banovina, a
24 territorial and administrative entity agreed to by Croats -- Croat and
25 Serb leaders in 1939.
1 With the dissolution of Yugoslavia, both Serbia and Croatia saw
2 opportunities for territorial expansion in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
3 Discussions aimed toward the division of Bosnia and Herzegovina were held
4 between Franjo Tudjman and Slobodan Milosevic at Karadjordjevo in Serbia
5 in March of 1991, and were initially so successful - at least, Franjo
6 Tudjman thought they were so successful - that he thought that he and
7 Milosevic could "solve" the reorganisation of Yugoslavia, including the
8 division or partition of Bosnia without Milosevic being a military threat
9 to Croatia.
10 Indeed, on the eve of Croatia breaking free of Yugoslavia, Tudjman
11 made his ambitions toward Bosnian territory clear at a meeting of the
12 Supreme State Council of Croatia on the 8th of June, 1991. Tudjman said:
13 "... if we opt for Croatia's independence, either within an alliance or
14 total independence, Croatia's borders, such as they are today, are absurd,
15 they are impossible, in the sense of administration and trade, let alone
16 as regards any kind of protection of these borders of Croatia. Therefore,
17 from our point of view no less than from the Serbian, there is the problem
18 of - there is a need to find an essential solution to the problem, isn't
19 that so, because the establishment of Bosnia, the borders of Bosnia and
20 Herzegovina after World War II are historically absurd ..."
21 We'll start by showing, just by way of overall orientation, a map
22 of the former Yugoslavia showing the -- showing both Serbia, Croatia,
23 Bosnia and Herzegovina, and some of the main cities and towns -- or towns
24 in those areas to give the Court a general overview of the region that
25 we're talking about. Of course, toward the upper left-hand portion of the
1 screen we see the capital of Croatia, Zagreb. Toward approximately the
2 middle part of Bosnia and Herzegovina, you see the city of Sarajevo; and
3 to the south of Sarajevo you see the city of Mostar, a city which will
4 feature prominently throughout this case and in which the Bosnian Croats
5 -- which the Herceg-Bosna leadership declared the capital of
7 Tudjman was clear in his view that the survival of Bosnia and
8 Herzegovina, at least in the form that then existed, was against Croatia's
10 He said on the 27th of December, 1991, meeting: "The survival of
11 Bosnia and Herzegovina as an independent and sovereign state, even if
12 possible, is in any case against the interests of the Croatian state and
13 makes impossible the normal territorial establishment of the Croatian
14 state and creates conditions for the disappearance of what remains of the
15 Croatian people in Bosnia and Herzegovina today.
16 "All of history has shown that Bosnia and Herzegovina is no
17 solution for the Croatian people."
18 "Bosnia and Herzegovina should not be taken as something God
19 given which must be preserved, and we must especially not forget how
20 harmful it is. Because of the creation of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia
21 has been put in an impossible situation regarding its territory."
22 Later in that same meeting, a very important meeting which the
23 Chamber will hear evidence of, the leadership of the Bosnian Croats, the
24 leadership of Tudjman and his close associates in that meeting where all
25 these things were discussed, Tudjman said, made the statement which I
1 referred to earlier: The State of Croatia could not survive within its
2 current borders but within the banovina it very well could, or indeed
3 those borders might even be improved on. And it was at that meeting at
4 that time that Tudjman made the statement: "... I believe that it is time
5 that we take the opportunity to gather the Croatian people inside the
6 widest possible borders ..."
7 Tudjman told his senior advisors in late 1992 that "on the Bosnia
8 and Herzegovina question," we have stated in the preamble to the Croatian
9 Constitution "that the preservation of Croatian statehood implies also the
10 Croatian Banovina."
11 On the 17th of September, 1992, Tudjman said: "Therefore, on ...
12 this question, we have stated in the preface, or as lawyers say, the
13 preamble, to the Croatian constitution, one point: That the preservation
14 of Croatian statehood implies also the Croatian Banovina. This remark was
15 not lightly made, or on the spur of a moment, or just in passing, but
16 rather on the basis of the assessment of the totality of historical facts,
17 after long discussions of this nature in smaller or larger circles."
18 Now, I've mentioned, Your Honour, so far several times the
19 Croatian Banovina of 1939, and what we've now put on the display is a map
20 showing the borders of the banovina as they existed at that time. And as
21 you will see, not only on the existing borders or existing territory of
22 Croatia but then - and various places will become clear in a moment -
23 reaching well into the centre of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
24 This next map is a -- simply a map of Bosnia and Herzegovina
25 showing the municipalities. Some might call them counties or states or
1 municipalities or opstinas, but these are the subdivisions of the state of
2 Bosnia and Herzegovina as they existed in 1991.
3 If you go to the next slide. Now you will see the overlay of the
4 banovina on Bosnia and Herzegovina. And these were the territorial claims
5 made by Croatia, made by Tudjman and others, and you will see the borders
6 of those claims outlined in red reaching far into Central Bosnia from the
7 south, and also in the upper northern side of the country you will also
8 see the borders of the banovina encroaching into Bosnia and Herzegovina.
9 At this moment, Your Honours, we would like to play the first
10 clip. If we could have the assistance of the technical booth, please.
11 [Videotape played]
12 MR. SCOTT: Only a few days after the 17th of September, 1992,
13 meeting, Tudjman again made it clear that the territory in Bosnia and
14 Herzegovina that was within the banovina was part of Croatia and that the
15 Bosnian government, the government of the state of Bosnia and Herzegovina,
16 could make no claim - I repeat - could make no claim to any part of it.
17 Tudjman said: "There exist worrying developments, desires, to
18 take control even over those areas, in those Croatian areas that the
19 HVO -" that is, the Croatian Defence Council - "liberated and has power."
20 "We will openly tell Izetbegovic --" the president of Bosnia. "We
21 will openly tell Izetbegovic when he comes here what we said in the
22 beginning. There can be no discussion about them establishing military
23 and civilian government in areas that used to be within the Croatian
25 At which point Defence Minister Gojko Susak added: "... the
1 Croats would never allow Muslims to form military units in Mostar,
2 Capljina and Stolac, saying that the Croats had already 'liberated' these
4 Now, we have some adjudicated facts that have been established by
5 other Tribunal judgements that the Chamber, with all respect, we believe,
6 should take note of. Adjudicated fact number 77 as found by the Trial
7 Chamber: "President Tudjman, as the leader of the HDZ, sought to promote
8 a Croatian identity by appealing to Croatia as a distinct and historically
9 continuous entity."
10 Adjudicated fact number 81: "The view that President Tudjman
11 harboured territorial ambitions in respect of Bosnia and Herzegovina,
12 despite his official position to the contrary, is strengthened by reports
13 of discussions held between Tudjman and Milosevic against the backdrop of
14 the break-up of the Yugoslav federation in 1991."
15 It might be noted before we go on that the model, if you will, or
16 the concept of the banovina was not the only territorial precedent that
17 Franjo Tudjman and others might have appealed to. Although revival, for
18 example, of the World War II borders of the Independent State of Croatia
19 was advocated by some, it held no appeal for Tudjman since it included too
20 many non-Croats.
21 Tudjman said again on the 17th of September, he told Mate Boban
22 and including Jadranko Prlic, who sits in this courtroom, on the 17th of
23 September, 1992: "And you know, even if they gave us, we must be alert,
24 if they gave us a border on the Drina with two million Muslims and one and
25 a half million Serbs, whose state would that be?"
1 Having said this, the fact that substantial parts of Bosnia and
2 Herzegovina that Tudjman encompassed within the banovina were
3 Muslim-majority or Muslim-plurality areas did not stop him from claiming
4 those areas. Tudjman told a group of Herzegovina representatives in
5 September 1993, in connection with the HVO having taken control of Stolac
6 municipality and by September of 1993 having expelled every Muslim from
7 the municipality, "I know the importance of Stolac, and I have made these
8 arguments since the first day."
9 Now, if you look, by way of orientation on the map, you will see
10 Stolac down toward the bottom part of the map of the country. If you find
11 Mostar, Stolac is the municipality immediately to the south of Mostar,
12 again almost in the bottom part of the map there. That will show you the
13 municipality of Stolac within the borders of the banovina.
14 Now, the problem with Bosnia and Herzegovina, and I say the
15 problem, it's a problem from the perspective of anyone trying to divide up
16 the country into a small number of largely homogenous ethnic or national
17 groups, the problem is that Bosnia and Herzegovina, in 1990 and 1991, was
18 comprised of the various ethnic groups spread out all over the country, in
19 larger and smaller pockets and enclaves, making a demographic map of
20 Bosnia and Herzegovina in 1991 look like, as has been famously described,
21 leopard spots.
22 If you look at the map that is now on the display, map number 9,
23 you will get a sense of the ethnic composition of Bosnia and Herzegovina
24 as it existed in 1991. And you'll see that in virtually -- while there
25 are some predominant areas where one ethnic group may have been in a
1 majority, you will see that throughout the country from corner to corner,
2 from border to border, there were Muslims everywhere, there were Croats
3 everywhere, there were Serbs everywhere.
4 You can see the same thing in a map showing the demographic --
5 demographic characteristics of the municipality of Mostar. In this map
6 you will see that the Croat areas are marked in red, the Serb areas in
7 blue, and the Muslim areas in green.
8 Once again, you see even in one municipality the intermixture of
9 the various ethnic and national groups. And indeed the Tribunal's already
10 established this basic fact in adjudicated fact number 10: "Bosnia, in
11 addition to hosting the most ethnically diverse population, was unique
12 among the republics -" that is the republics of the former Yugoslavia -
13 "in that it had no majority ethnic population."
14 A major consequence of this fact for someone trying to
15 re-establish the Croatian Banovina, such as the accused in this case, and
16 bring Bosnia's Croats into Croatia was that this not only involved
17 redrawing lines on the map, but moving populations, moving large
18 populations, sometimes your population, your own population, and sometimes
19 somebody else's population.
20 One instance which illustrates this was a meeting on the 8th of
21 January, 1992, during which Tudjman, Susak, a Bosnian Croat leader named
22 Franjo Boras, a Bosnian Serb leader named Nikola Koljevic, met together
23 with no Muslims present and discussed Bosnia's partition and a
24 resettlement of the populations. And the Serb Koljevic described in that
25 meeting -- he talked about Bosnia's ethnic population again being a
1 leopard skin and said that the three ethnic groups, Croats, Serbs, and
2 Muslims, should have the opportunity for "normal development" with the
3 nations living "next to each other but not on top of each other."
4 Koljevic went on to say: "Yes, the homogeneity of certain areas.
5 We even thought about it because we noticed that people are already simply
6 moving, they are exchanging flats on their own, that it would be a good
7 idea to establish an agency which would regulate the exchange of property
8 and raise this to a civilised level ... It is not so impossible to divide
9 Bosnia. You know, everything is possible ... Look at that leopard's
10 skin ..."
11 To which Tudjman replied: "... such a principled agreement means
12 that we should be forthcoming with respect to territorial delimitation,
13 and that is acceptable because in this regard history shows that not only
14 was such understanding necessary, but also population exchanges, and so
16 "Wherever national problems so conceived emerged as they did with
17 us, that was resolved, from World War I and World War II, that was brought
18 to a conclusion by exchanges ..." Exchanges of population.
19 Indeed, only a few days earlier, Tudjman had talked about a map
20 redrawing the ethnic areas.
21 "Why not accept an offer of demarcation when it is in the interest
22 of the Croatian people ... because I do not see a single reason, a serious
23 reason against it. ... one of our people in Bosnia drafted a proposal for
24 demarcation whereby the Croatian areas and those that you have included in
25 this Community of Herceg-Bosna and the Community of the Croatian
1 Posavina ... in the event of demarcation, Croatia would not only -- would
2 get not only those two communities, but also, for geopolitical reasons,
3 Cazinska and Bihacka Krajina which would satisfy almost ideally the
4 Croatian national interest, not only present but also for the future ...
5 And to create a statelet, therefore, out of the remaining part around
6 Sarajevo where mostly Muslims and some Catholic Croats would stay which
7 would resemble the small historical land of Bosnia. It would, therefore,
8 be a buffer zone in the demarcation of Serbia and Croatia and in such
9 conditions it would have to rely on Croatia to a large extent."
10 Now, with all that in mind, if you look at map 8 which is now
11 displayed, this once again shows the municipalities of Bosnia and
12 Herzegovina with the borders of the Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna,
13 and will not feature prominently in this case but at the same time, in
14 parallel fashion as the Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna was created,
15 the Croatian Community of Bosanski Posavina in the northern corner of
16 Bosnia-Herzegovina was created using the same methods and again following
17 closely the borders of the banovina of 1939 as they encroached into that
18 part of Bosnia.
19 But focusing our attention now on Herceg-Bosna, you will see --
20 and you can see the legend. The areas that are in a solid light blue are
21 those areas with a Croatian majority. That is more than 50 per cent of
22 the population was Croat. Then you see areas which you might say are
23 hatched with blue and this buff or yellow colour, and those are the areas
24 that there was a relative Croat majority. They didn't have a majority but
25 they had what some would call a plurality, more than the next large
1 percentage group.
2 Now, what you see, what this map makes clear, is that within the
3 borders claimed by Herceg-Bosna, there were indeed probably almost half
4 but certainly many municipalities and areas that were not Croat areas at
5 all. They were not Croat majority areas. They were not Croat plurality
6 areas. In fact, they were areas in which Muslims had a plurality or
8 If you go to the next map. Again, you just see the borders. But
9 if this is what you want, if this is your goal, to carve out and create
10 the Herceg-Bosna as it's defined here, all blue, but what you really have
11 is this. You see, if you will, "the problem." You want it all. You want
12 all the areas in blue but you don't have it all, and you have this problem
13 with Muslims who, in fact, live in these areas that are not either light
14 blue or hatched in the way that they are. Therein, if you will, lies the
16 It was in this situation that Mate Boban became the president of
17 Herceg-Bosna, stated a key component of the Greater Croatia Herceg-Bosna
18 plan that would be carried out with so much violence and so much
19 destruction over the next two or three years.
20 Boban: "The founding municipalities of the Croatian community of
21 Herceg-Bosna, the HZ HB, now have a population which according to the
22 census is 55 per cent Croatian, 27 per cent Muslim, 9 per cent Serbia and
23 the rest are none of the above. However, because municipalities in Bosnia
24 and Herzegovina were created, similarly as in Croatia, by composing
25 Serbian and Muslim populations in the territory of Croatia or vice versa,
1 by cleansing the border areas, practically the border areas of
2 Herceg-Bosna, this creates approximately 65 per cent of the Croatian
3 population in Herceg-Bosna."
4 In fact, even as early as June of 1991, Tudjman had indicated that
5 inevitably the Muslim leadership would have to accept Bosnia's division.
6 "I think we shall achieve it because this is equally in the
7 interests of Serbia and Croatia, while the Muslim component has no other
8 exit than to accept this solution, although it will not be easy to find
9 the solution, but, essentially, that is it."
10 Now, another component of what this -- what the evidence will show
11 is that as to the areas of Bosnia and Herzegovina most related to this
12 case, there was in fact very little disagreement between the Croats and
13 Serbs on their basic territorial claims. And we will come back to that
14 later in the opening statement, but I will show you one map now.
15 This is a map of the claims made, territorial claims or borders
16 claimed by the Bosnian Serb autonomous areas as of January 1992. And the
17 Serbs at that time are claiming these five different, if you will,
18 districts or autonomous areas, SAOs, in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
19 And when you look at that map, and there again you have the
20 borders in bright blue of so-called Herceg-Bosna, you will note that by
21 and large there is very little overlap or conflict between the Croat
22 claims and the Serb claims with the exception of a few -- the municipality
23 of Kupres up toward the -- roughly to the left of the middle of the map,
24 up north and Kotor Varos, and down south there was a little bit of overlap
25 in the area of Trebinje. But by and large, there was no great dispute.
1 The Croats had their claims on Bosnia, and the Serbs had their claims on
3 In early May of 1992, the Bosnian Croat leader Mate Boban, and
4 Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic held secret meetings at Graz,
5 Austria, to confirm agreement on the Croats' and Serbs' territorial
6 claims. A press release was issued as a result of this meeting which set
7 out the broad areas of agreement and reserved several areas of
9 In the public statement that was issued on the 6th of May, 1992:
10 "In the city of Mostar, the Serbian side considers the Neretva River -"
11 which runs through the city of Mostar - "to be the borderline, while the
12 Croatian side considers the entire city of Mostar to be within the
13 Croatian constituent unit."
14 "South of Mostar the Croatian side considers the entire area
15 delineated in 1939, in other words, the borders of the Hrvatska Banovina,
16 to be within the Croatian constituent unit. The Serbian side considers
17 the Neretva River to be the borderline between the Croatian and Serbian
18 constituent units."
19 Now, these statements and statements like it around this time in
20 1992 on the carve-up of the state of Bosnia by Serbs and Croats begged the
21 obvious question: "Where do these borders leave the Muslims?" If the
22 Serbs have everything on one side of the Neretva and the Croats have
23 everything on the other side of the Neretva, then where was the kind of
24 dark humour, the dark answer, the question that was circulated around that
25 time among the Muslims in Herzegovina and the answer was: In the Neretva.
1 That is, the Muslims would be in the river.
2 In September of 1992, Tudjman reminded Susak and the accused
3 Slobodan Praljak that the banovina was already part of Croatia and not to
4 go beyond the banovina. In considering Tudjman's statement, let's look
5 again at this map, showing the overlay of the banovina extending well into
6 Bosnia and Herzegovina.
7 Tudjman to Praljak and Susak on the 11th of September:
8 "Gentlemen, gentlemen ... we have nothing to conquer, let's defend those
9 Croatian ..."
10 Praljak: "Nowhere, Mr. President, it is impossible to pass
12 Tudjman: "And let's get ready to cleanse them out of Croatia. As
13 I said, -- do not get involved in conquering Bosnia."
14 Praljak: "No, Mr. President, believe me, the attacks have
16 Susak: "Nothing out of the banovina, we did not trespass, not
17 even one metre.
18 Tudjman: "Don't, because -- listen, we have, let's be realistic,
19 we have hardly escaped, both, the Islamic government and the world, to
20 have sanctions imposed on us -- because we are, allegedly, also aggressors
21 in Bosnia, those who are conquering Bosnia. Accordingly, don't do it.
22 Susak: "President, here we were disciplined to the maximum."
23 Tudjman's territorial ambitions did not go away even after the
24 Washington Agreement that resolved at least the large-scale open fighting
25 between the Croats and Muslims.
1 And in May of 1994, Tudjman told Herceg-Bosna leaders, including
2 one of our accused, Mr. Prlic, and Dario Kordic, the convicted war
3 criminal, convicted at this ICTY, and others: " ... we must pursue our
4 policy in such a way as to take control of Bosnia without imposing
5 [ourselves] in a way which would provoke the Muslims and drive them to
6 revolt, see? We will conduct a smart policy. We have to be seen as
7 siding with the Muslims, but we don't want them to create their Muslim
8 state and that poses a problem."
9 Tudjman told the Herceg-Bosna leaders to get the Muslims to
10 declare themselves "Croats of Muslim faith ..." "Get down to it right
11 now, we have no other choice."
12 As I have made reference to already, the events leading to the
13 establishment and operation of the Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna on
14 the territory of Bosnia and Herzegovina -- Herzegovina began not in Bosnia
15 but in Croatia, in a series of meetings in Zagreb. By 1990 and 1991,
16 Tudjman and his party, the HDZ, had established and organised a branch of
17 that same party in Bosnia called the HDZ of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
18 Tudjman and the Zagreb party controlled the Bosnian branch of the party.
19 High-ranking HDZ officials and members from Zagreb were almost always in
20 attendance at HDZ meetings in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
21 Again, a number these meetings have been established by Tribunal
22 judgements. A meeting on the 26th of August, 1991, steps being taken to
23 link the HDZ Municipal Boards together, adjudicated fact number 47, a
24 meeting again about linking the municipalities with majority Croat
25 populations and of a "special plan." Adjudicated fact number 48,
1 referring to a meeting involving several of the leaders and the
2 establishment of the regional communities, including the Travnik regional
3 community in Central Bosnia.
4 In a further record of one of these meetings, the August -- the
5 August 1991 meeting, which it was stated in the records of that meeting
6 which was called a proposal for the regionalisation of the municipal
7 committees of the Croatian Democratic Union: "In keeping with these
8 conclusions -- the conclusions passed by the Bosnia-Herzegovina HDZ Main
9 Board on the 6th of August, we propose a regionalisation of the BH HDZ
10 Municipal Boards. The purpose of this regionalisation is to create the
11 best possible links between the BH HDZ Municipal Boards on a territorial
12 principle which is a prerequisite for the creation of the political and
13 territorial linking of the Croatian people, for which purpose special
14 programmes will have to be drawn up."
15 The next step toward creating Herceg-Bosna was to then combine
16 these regional communities into one single entity. Tudjman himself set
17 out this process in a meeting on the 12th of November, 1991.
18 Tudjman: "The Croatian people in general expect the directions
19 from us on what to do ... We have been holding back until now. We said,
20 'Wait, we cannot question, we cannot endanger the borders of Bosnia and
21 Herzegovina because of the defence of the Republic of Croatia borders' ...
22 but it seems to me that we have reached a phase when certain steps should
23 be made ...
24 "Therefore, I believe if that they want us, they want me to state
25 my opinion immediately. A certain delegation should come to visit me and
1 I think that at this moment that we should tell them, to say that they
2 exist as a the regional community of Croatian municipalities."
3 Now, that is on the 12th of November, 1991. It cannot have a been
4 a coincidence, Mr. President and Your Honours, it cannot have been a
5 coincidence that on this very same day, the 12th of November, 1991, at an
6 HDZ party leadership meeting called by the Herzegovina and Travnik
7 regional communities headed by Mate Boban and Dario Kordic respectively,
8 the stage was set for the actual decision a few days later, to in fact
9 establish the Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna.
10 You will see on the slide that is before you now which comes from
11 Exhibit 71, P71 part of the records of that meeting. Directing your
12 attention to those parts that are emphasised: "We must finally carry out
13 a decisive and active policy which should lead to the realisation of our
14 centuries-old dream - a joint Croatian state."
15 And at the end: " ... and the creation of a sovereign Croatia in
16 its ethnic and historical (now possible) borders."
17 Then only a few days later on the 18th of November, 1991, six days
18 later, the HDZ party, or at least the more nationalist elements of that
19 party, including again Boban, Kordic and others, declared the existence of
20 the Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna as a separate "political, cultural,
21 economic, and territorial whole." Stating in its decision the declaration
22 establishing the so-called Herceg-Bosna, being deeply aware that their
23 future lies with the future of the entire Croatian people, referring to
24 the right of people to self-determination and sovereignty, and
25 rejecting -- or that is indicating the unacceptability of the unitary
1 state model, that based on these things the Croatian Community of
2 Herceg-Bosna is hereby established.
3 In that same document there is a listing of the municipalities
4 included. I'm not going to read them all to you now, but they're on the
5 map and they will be shown in the documents and evidence that you will
6 have. But again we now have here the borders of what was declared in
7 November 1991 as the Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna. And once again
8 you put on the banovina overlay. There's Herceg-Bosna. There's the
9 banovina. No coincidence, Your Honours. No coincidence that the borders
10 of the Herceg-Bosna were almost identical to the borders of the banovina
11 of 1939.
12 The establishment of the Croatian community of Herceg-Bosna and
13 its intention to succeed from Bosnia and Herzegovina are again established
14 by adjudicated facts at this Tribunal. Adjudicated fact number 58. "The
15 Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna consisted of 30 municipalities
16 (including those in Central Bosnia) and was described as a 'political,
17 economic and territorial integrity.'"
18 And adjudicated fact number 59: "... the HZ HB was founded with
19 the intention that it should secede from Bosnia and Herzegovina and with a
20 view to unification with Croatia."
21 The substance of the earlier pleadings going back to at least June
22 1991, the meetings in Zagreb, was summarised by the leader Dario Kordic at
23 the 27 December meeting with Tudjman and others. Kordic told
24 Tudjman: "For six months we have been sweating blood, deliberating over
25 the idea that you presented to us on the 13th and 20th of June. For six
1 months we've been dealing with this."
2 Kordic made it clear that he was discussing the partition of
3 Bosnia: "I think that any other option would be considered treason, save
4 the clear demarcation of Croatian soil in the territory of
5 Herceg-Bosna ..."
6 Going further in that same meeting to the next slide. I just
7 mention briefly, in the interests of time, that as part of -- again, the
8 records, the minutes of the meeting that was held on the 23rd of December,
9 a few days before the December meeting, talking about the creation of
10 Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna "... which serves as a legal basis for
11 the entry of these territories into the Republic of Croatia." And
12 further, rejecting -- you can see toward the end of the slide, rejecting
13 -- "The legitimacy of Alija Izetbegovic, the president of Bosnia and
14 Herzegovina, to represent the Croatian people ... is hereby revoked ..."
15 We want to be part of Croatia. We reject the Bosnian government.
16 We reject the leadership. We are no part of it.
17 Tudjman gave his full support to the Herceg-Bosna strategy as
18 indeed it was largely his plan or a plan that he and others had developed
19 and then implemented. It was at this same 27 December meeting that I
20 mentioned earlier where Tudjman indicated that the banovina borders could
21 be accomplished with the Muslims being left with a small statelet around
22 Sarajevo and where Boban made the statements how Herceg-Bosna could be
23 further strengthened or accomplished by cleansing the border areas.
24 I'll make a short reference to the referendum on Bosnia and
25 Herzegovina independence in February of 1992. There was indeed a
1 referendum in February of that year to determine whether Bosnia and
2 Herzegovina should be declared independent of the former Yugoslavia, which
3 had this question on the ballot: "Are you for a sovereign and independent
4 Bosnia and Herzegovina, a state of citizens and peoples of Bosnia and
5 Herzegovina with equal rights, Muslims, Serbs, Croats, and members of
6 other peoples who live in it?"
7 While most Bosnian Serbs boycotted the referendum and Bosnian
8 Croat voting on the first day of the referendum of the two days of voting
9 was light, ultimately Bosnian Croat appears -- Bosnian Croat population
10 largely supported the referendum and voted yes, and in fact the referendum
12 Now, there is sometimes a reference to this as establishing -- as
13 being somehow an indication that indeed the Croats supported
14 Bosnia-Herzegovina. Your Honours, as you consider the facts and the
15 evidence in the case, consider the alternative. The alternative of not
16 voting for independence was to remain in Milosevic's Yugoslavia, and at
17 least getting -- taking it one step at a time, better to establish the
18 independence of Bosnia-Herzegovina as a step toward Greater Croatia than
19 to remain in Milosevic's Yugoslavia.
20 Thereafter that, Your Honours, began series of steps that were
21 taken to put fully into place the Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna and
22 to establish what became known as the Croatian Defence Council, or the
23 HVO. That was declared on the 8th of April, 1992. It was declared as
24 Herceg-Bosna's supreme defence body.
25 Note the language of the declaration. "To defend the sovereignty
1 of the territories." It did not say to defend parts of Bosnia and
2 Herzegovina. It did not say to defend a club or association or grouping
3 of people. It said "the sovereignty of the territories." Giving a full
4 indication of the intent behind this declaration and the goals and
5 objectives of the Croatian Defence Council, or HVO.
6 Two days later, on the 10th of April, 1992, the Herceg-Bosna
7 authorities went even further. Not only was the HVO the supreme defence
8 body, it was the only legal armed force on the territories claimed by
9 Herceg-Bosna, and all others, including the armed forces of the
10 internationally recognised sovereign state of Bosnia and Herzegovina, that
11 is the government forces, were illegal and enemy formations. They are the
12 enemy, and we do not recognise them.
13 Further, on the 15th of May, 1992, the Croatian Defence Council,
14 it said, "shall be established as the supreme executive and administrative
15 body in the territory of the Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna." In
16 effect what you had, Your Honours, what the evidence will show is the
17 Croatian Defence Council, the HVO, which combined political,
18 administrative, executive and military power. You had an executive form
19 of government, which the evidence will show how it operated, effectively
20 combining and putting the hands of power -- or putting power into the
21 hands of a few select people, including many of the accused in this case.
22 In the course of the evidence, as you've heard already this
23 afternoon, Mr. President, Your Honours, you will hear the reference to
24 Herceg-Bosna or to the HVO. Typically, the entity, if you will, the
25 country or the so-called state, was referred to as Herceg-Bosna, whereas
1 the structures or the government or the military was commonly referred to
2 as the Croatian Defence Council, or HVO.
3 From the very beginning Herceg-Bosna acted as a state and the HVO
4 acted as a government, complete with laws, armed forces, police, customs
5 and taxes in direct opposition to the government of Bosnia and
6 Herzegovina. Even by the 17th of September, 1992, less than year after
7 the declaration in November of 1991, Jadranko Prlic reported to Tudjman:
8 "We have organised the authorities. This is only starting. We have an
9 Official Gazette. We are passing the necessary decrees, and we are trying
10 to take care of -- to take care of that aspect in the liberated
12 Now, as the evidence will show that, as a further consolidation of
13 governmental or administrative power, military power, in August of 1993,
14 the Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna was then declared to be not the
15 Community but the Republic of Herceg-Bosna on the 28th of August, 1993.
16 In most respects not a substantial change for our purposes or for purposes
17 of the case. Most of the governmental processes remained largely the same
18 but again even a further indication to claims of statehood, being the
19 Croatian Republic of Herceg-Bosna.
20 The evidence will show that in fact Tudjman and his fellow
21 travellers in Zagreb controlled the Herceg-Bosna government just as much
22 as they controlled the political part of the HDZ. On the 30th of
23 September of 1993, Susak himself indicated "that Zagreb controlled Mate
24 Boban even when it came to the selection of a Prime Minister and members
25 of a government ..."
1 "Susak: Boban has not composed the government yet, and I have
2 told him to nominate the Premier today, so the parliament can adopt him
3 and then the Premier can nominate the government. Today, he will
4 designate Prlic before the parliament for the adoption."
5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] We're going to have a break so
6 that Mr. Prlic can also have a rest. It is 3.30. We shall resume at ten
7 to four.
8 --- Recess taken at 3.30 p.m.
9 --- On resuming at 4.00 p.m.
10 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] The hearing has resumed.
11 Mr. Scott, you have the floor.
12 MR. SCOTT: Thank you, Mr. President.
13 In discussing again the creation of the Herceg-Bosna state and its
14 advancement as such, we would also refer to a statement by Mr. Prlic on
15 the 13th of February, 1994. "... we have created a state in Herceg-Bosna
16 with all systems, including customs and finance. People are born and die
17 with Herceg-Bosna documents. I think we should weigh all the elements
18 carefully. Absolutely no solution is acceptable without a Croatian
19 Republic of Herceg-Bosna, in other words, a Croatian Republic, and the
20 borders should encompass as many areas as possible in the whole of Central
21 Bosnia. I believe we can achieve this, by military means if necessary, in
22 order to make sure that things are developing the way they are
23 developing ..."
24 And indeed by even much earlier than February 1994, by the latter
25 part of 1992, Herceg-Bosna was acting, for all intents and purposes, as an
1 extension of Croatia on Bosnia's territory. In May 1993, a high-level
2 report by the European Community Monitoring Mission stated, in fact what I
3 just said, to all intents and purposes, much of Herceg-Bosna was by late
4 1992 behaving as an integral part of Croatia.
5 It might be noted here before continuing on, Mr. President, that
6 neither the sovereign state of Bosnia and Herzegovina nor the
7 international community itself ever recognised Herceg-Bosna as a legal
8 state or legal entity. In fact, the Constitutional Court of Bosnia and
9 Herzegovina declared both the Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna and later
10 the Croatian Republic of Herceg-Bosna illegal on or about the 14th of
11 September, 1992, and the 20th of January, 1994, respectively.
12 Following Herceg-Bosna's establishment in November 1991, and
13 especially from May 1992 forward, the Herceg-Bosna HVO leadership,
14 including the accused and other leaders and members of the joint criminal
15 enterprise, engaged in continuing and coordinated efforts to dominate and,
16 if you will, Croatise the municipalities which they claimed as part of
17 Herceg-Bosna with increasing persecution and discrimination directed
18 against the Bosnian Muslim population.
19 The HVO took control of many municipal governments and services,
20 removing or marginalising Muslim leaders. They took control of the media,
21 and they imposed Croatian ideas and propaganda. Croatian symbols and
22 currency were introduced, Croatian curricula in the schools, and "the
23 so-called Croatian language" was introduced in schools. Many Bosnian
24 Muslims were removed from positions in government and private business.
25 Humanitarian aid was managed and manipulated in such a way to the Muslims'
1 disadvantage, and Muslims in general were increasingly harassed.
2 As I indicated earlier, the Herceg-Bosna leadership declared
3 Mostar as Herceg-Bosna's capital and set about making or attempting to
4 make Mostar into a Croat city, despite the fact, despite the important
5 fact that Croats comprised only a little over a third of its population in
6 the city of Mostar itself as its second largest ethnic group.
7 While the defence of Mostar against the Serbs was initially
8 contemplated as a joint Croat-Muslim effort and indeed a 29 April 1992
9 agreement providing for the HVO to lead the town's military defence based
10 on Joint Command structure existed, it was by no means permission or
11 approval for the HVO seizing all power, including all government,
12 military, and political power. The HVO, however, quickly asserted overall
13 control, and most of the multi-ethnic command staff was either removed or
15 If I could have the assistance of the technical booth, please, in
16 showing the next clip.
17 [Videotape played]
18 "Croats mount an all-out assault in Mostar. The Bosnian forces
20 "Have you always seen Mostar as the capital of Herceg-Bosna?
21 "Yes, all the time.
22 "Even though it was a majority Muslim ...
23 "No, there are no majority in Mostar, of any nation. Before the
24 war, the equal number of inhabitants were Muslims and Croats. Difference
25 was only few hundred.
1 "But still you saw it as the capital of the Croatian part of
5 "Yes, it is. Because this republic must have a capital, must
6 have one centre, must have university, must have other things which makes
7 republic a republic on one civilisation level, the theatre, the symphonic
8 orchestra and so on."
9 MR. SCOTT: The self-declared Herceg-Bosna HVO institutions
10 demanded and seized power in one municipality after another. And you will
11 see documents ultimately showing the assertion of HVO control over one
12 municipality after another, almost like a series of dominoes coming under
13 the control of the HVO. But not only that, but the HVO systematic taking
14 of power largely followed a set pattern, a recognisable pattern. There
15 was often an initial pretext that shared multi-ethnic bodies under joint
16 control or command where possible in resisting the so-called Serb
17 aggressor, but in a short time most previously elected officials, duly
18 elected officials, in multi-ethnic institutions were replaced by HVO
19 appointed officials.
20 Indeed, early on the Herceg-Bosna HVO leadership contemplated and
21 foresaw from the beginning that most Bosnian Muslims would resist
22 Herceg-Bosna being imposed on them. Again, at the important 27 December
23 1991 meeting in Zagreb, Boban said, "I think that the Muslim people are
24 practically -- I'm not defending them, when it comes to my personal
25 opinion, I would also want Croatia, the one in the borders of 50-60 years
1 ago -" the banovina - "but I think that it is hard to divide them. They
2 are a people with their own firm positions and I think it will be very
3 hard. As soon as Herceg-Bosna emerged there were objections from
4 Jablanica, for instance, and from other places, which are not accepting
5 such conceptions."
6 In fact, and as Boban predicted, and as the others must have
7 plainly foreseen, most Bosnian Muslims did not accept HVO control even
8 when it was thrust upon them against their will. It was patently clear
9 that Tudjman's and the Herceg-Bosna leadership's Greater Croatia could not
10 be achieved by only political or peaceful means. Instead, clearly
11 necessary components and plainly foreseeable results and aspects of the
12 enterprise were political and religious persecution, ethnic violence,
13 armed conflict, and forcible -- forcible involuntary population transfers.
14 In short, what unfortunately became known in the 1990s as "ethnic
16 Once it became apparent that the Muslims would not go quietly into
17 that good night which was the partition of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Tudjman
18 and his Herceg-Bosna collaborators formulated and carried out a policy to
19 take the territories by force and population displacement. The
20 establishment and implementation of this programme plainly demonstrates
21 the existence and workings of the joint criminal enterprise, the existence
22 of an international armed conflict involving the Republic of Croatia on
23 the sovereign territory of Bosnia and Herzegovina, and the widespread and
24 systematic nature of the persecutions, attacks, and other conduct directed
25 against the Bosnian Muslim population.
1 Some forms of persecution were a simple or subtle, or perhaps not
2 so subtle, as the use of symbols, flags, songs, and similar devices. All
3 of this know, Mr. President and Your Honours, that symbols can have a
4 powerful effect on people. They can be powerful forces for good or they
5 can be powerful forces for evil or for bad. Symbols can play a very, very
6 telling role in a culture and in a society, and in this instance
7 Herceg-Bosna was no different. The Herceg-Bosna leadership right away
8 went on to impose and create their own symbols and flags and insignia to
9 make sure it was very clear that this was Croatian territory.
10 We'll show you a couple of slides. What you see now on the screen
11 is the flag of the Republic of Croatia itself, the State of Croatia.
12 Go to the next. This is the -- just a part of the flag,
13 essentially part of the flag, the coat of arms, and you'll see some icons
14 on top of the chequerboard.
15 Now you can see the Herceg-Bosna or HVO flag. Identical,
16 virtually identical, except that instead of having the icons that we saw
17 earlier on top of the chequerboard portion, we have these symbols that you
18 see here.
19 Likewise in terms of military insignia, here you have a patch of
20 the Croatian army, the HV, the army of the Republic of Croatia, and the
21 next slide you have the patch of the HVO.
22 Not only were these -- were symbols and flags and such things used
23 but Croatian money, the dinar, was introduced and clearly encouraged or
24 required by the Herceg-Bosna HVO authorities even though the dinar, the
25 Croatian dinar, was an extremely weak currency at the time.
1 One of the first areas in which the HVO demonstrated its early
2 intention to create a purely Croat space in Herceg-Bosna was education.
3 They renamed the Mostar university, which had been multi-ethnic and had
4 been named after Dzemal Bijedic to the Croat -- instead to the Croat
5 University in Mostar. The university board was stacked with Croat members
6 along with a small number of hand-picked acceptable Muslims. The Croatian
7 -- "Croatian language" was introduced in schools.
8 As early as June of 1992, the HVO commander and accused Milivoj
9 Petkovic reported to the municipal leadership and commanders of the HVO
10 units: "Today we have under control almost the entire territory of the
11 Croatian municipalities (Neum, Ravno, Stolac, Capljina, Ljubuski, Citluk,
12 Siroki Brijeg and Mostar). Admittedly, there are still part of the
13 territory, mostly in Mostar and Stolac municipalities, that are not under
14 control of HVO forces. Therefore, we have four main tasks in front of us:
15 One, to put under control the remaining area of Croatian municipalities;
16 two, to secure and fortify the achieved line; three, to carry out the
17 reorganisation of the existing HVO forces; and four, to establish Croatian
18 rule over all municipalities."
19 Now, a basic blueprint, virtually an HVO blueprint for taking over
20 municipal governments and power can be seen in the minutes of a 22nd of
21 September, 1992, meeting in which various municipalities give virtually a
22 progress report on the HVO takeover municipality by municipality. You'll
23 see just some excerpts from this record, the minutes of a meeting where
24 various municipalities give a report.
25 "Novi Travnik: It is estimated the HVO holds about 70 per cent
1 of the power ... The HVO is charging 50 per cent retail tax immediately
2 when using trading permits. State tax -- in Fojnica state tax is
3 collected by the HVO. Schools have not started operating in the Croatian
4 language. Bugojno: The Croatian dinar is accepted means of payment.
5 Kiseljak: The HVO is in complete control. Television centre is under
6 construction in Kiseljak. Elementary and secondary schools have started
7 working in the Croatian language." Et cetera, et cetera.
8 Takeover of one municipality after another by the HVO and the
9 imposition of Croat culture and ideas and symbols on the Muslim
11 Indeed, by September 1994, Mr. Prlic told the president -- told
12 President Tudjman: "Mr. President, every Croat in Bosnia and Herzegovina
13 is a paid Croat. Everyone is on the salary of the Herceg-Bosna budget
14 except for the part that is in Serbian territory."
15 Now, on the question of Serbian territory, I'm going to begin to
16 abbreviate some of the topics that I had hoped to discuss in the opening
17 statement, but I'll just cover it a bit more quickly. But as I said
18 earlier, in fact the evidence will show -- and this will be important,
19 Your Honours, and the reason I'm taking the time to address it is because
20 I believe it will be important as you hear the evidence from both sides.
21 The evidence will show that for the most part, again, there was no
22 fundamental conflict between the Croats and Serbs in 1992 and 1993 in the
23 areas of Bosnia and Herzegovina most relevant to this case. I'm not
24 talking about other parts of Bosnia. I'm not talking about Eastern
25 Bosnia, around Tuzla or those portions, I'm talking about the portions of
1 the Mostar region in Herzegovina.
2 Now, again let me be clear: I'm not saying -- the Prosecution
3 does not -- does not contend that there were not some local skirmishes
4 between Serb and Croat units, and indeed, unfortunately, I'm sure persons
5 on both sides lost their lives in some conflict, but that was not the
6 fundamental situation. Instead, and much more substantially, this was a
7 time of extensive Croat and Serb cooperation and indeed collusion to the
8 disadvantage of the Muslims.
9 In fact, the Croats and Serbs continued to accommodate --
10 accommodate each other's principal territorial needs, with Tudjman
11 recognising, for example, that the Serbs had a reasonable need for a
12 corridor through the Posavina in north-east Bosnia-Herzegovina, that it
13 was part of the Serbs' basic conditions and it was of vital importance to
14 them and it should be allowed. Now, note that. Tudjman saying it should
15 be allowed. Well, who was Tudjman to say what should be allowed, a
16 territory belonging to the state of Bosnia and Herzegovina? But according
17 to Tudjman, it was okay for the Serbs to make those claims.
18 In a similar fashion, Slobodan Milosevic supported the Croats'
19 demands in late 1993 to have a corridor through Gornji Vakuf to link the
20 claimed Croat territories in Herzegovina and Central Bosnia. Tudjman also
21 claimed that the Serbs had recognised Kupres as Croat territory, and the
22 Croats would have to give the Serbs something in return. The Croats and
23 Serbs carving up Bosnia and Herzegovina, each for their own interest.
24 Indeed, when under international pressure, the possibility of
25 peace with the Bosnian Muslims was considered by Tudjman and his advisors
1 in late September 1993. Serious concerns were expressed on how this
2 changed relationship with the Muslims would affect the Croats' good
3 cooperation with the Serbs. Mr. Praljak, as a party to this conversation,
4 expressed his great concern, saying, "The relations between the Croats and
5 the Serbs have improved, especially on the military plain, because our
6 whole units depend on cooperation with the Serbs. In Bosnia-Herzegovina,
7 this agreement," that is the agreement with the Muslims, "will aggravate
8 that a lot. Therefore, Zepca, Kiseljak, and thus Vitez, the battalion
9 below Konjic and Vares, it will now be difficult for us to provide them
10 with supplies.
11 "Tudjman: But fighting against the Muslims should stop.
12 "Praljak: It will stop, but this is going to be different. A
13 year ago we thought we could not hold talks with the Serbs at all. We
14 have reached some agreement with the Serbs, and now we should start a war
15 against them in order to ease the tensions with the Muslims. It will
16 probably take time to turn things around psychologically."
17 Indeed, by the 220th of December 1993 the UN itself had recognised
18 the collusion. I direct your attention in the interests of time to the
19 highlighted language of this UN General Assembly document referring to
20 the "Collusion between Serbian forces and extremist Bosnian Croat elements
21 and others to seek the dismemberment of the Republic of Bosnia and
22 Herzegovina ..."
23 This takes us then forward to the first major clash, the first
24 major armed clash between the Croats and Muslims in October of 1992 in
25 Prozor and Novi Travnik as charged in the indictment.
1 Despite some cooperation in the spring and summer of 1992, you
2 will probably understand, I hope, in fact in connection with what I have
3 said so far this afternoon that tensions and conflicts between the
4 Herceg-Bosna HVO structures and the Bosnian Muslims continued and
5 increased or, putting it a different way, their relationship deteriorated
6 over time.
7 By mid-September 1992, the Croats were preparing for a war with
8 the Muslims. In fact, on the 11th of September, Praljak said: "War with
9 the Muslims can be anticipated."
10 And Susak answered: "We have been aware of that for over a week
11 now and we have made preparations on what needs to be done."
12 And it was only about approximately a month or five weeks later
13 after Susak says, we've already known about that, we've already put the
14 preparations in place, but the fighting and conflict broke out in the
15 Prozor-Novi Travnik area around the 19th of October, 1992.
16 If we can look at the next slide. Again, you'll find Prozor, if
17 you look -- if you see the Herceg-Bosna blue area, approximately the
18 middle of that you will see the municipality of Prozor, to give you some
19 orientation. With Jablanica immediately to the south and Gornji Vakuf to
20 the north.
21 If you go on, please. This will show a -- it's the overall map
22 and diagram of Prozor municipality and some of the principal towns and
23 locations in Prozor. And the red stars -- the red stars being areas where
24 crimes occurred according to the indictment and according to the case that
25 the evidence will show where various crimes charged in the indictment
2 Next you will see again a map showing the ethnic or demographic
3 characteristics of Prozor based on the 1991 census. Largely a mixture, as
4 you will see, of the red Croat areas and green Muslim areas.
5 On the morning of the 23rd of October, 1992, the HVO president in
6 Prozor told the Bosnian Muslims that the increasing Croat-Muslim tensions
7 would be solved by the Muslims immediately accepting Herceg-Bosna HVO
8 political and military control. "You want peace? You want to avoid
9 conflict? Then just give in to our demands. Accept our power. Accept
10 our control, and you won't have any problems." Unfortunately, the Muslims
11 declined to go voluntarily.
12 Later that day on the 23rd of October, in the afternoon,
13 Herceg-Bosna HVO forces attacked the Muslims in Prozor town. On the 23rd
14 and 24th of October, 1992, after they had taken control of Prozor, the
15 Herceg-Bosna HVO forces plundered, burned, and destroyed Bosnian Muslim
16 homes and other properties.
17 On the 24th of October, the HVO forces rounded up Muslims in the
18 area promising that no harm would come to them. In fact, the HVO forces
19 arrested the Bosnian Muslim men and detained them in the Ripci primary
20 school. Some of the Muslim men were kept for several days while others
21 were kept for several weeks. HVO forces severely beat a number of the
22 Muslim detainees.
23 Also on the 24th of October, HVO forces attacked a nearby Muslim
24 village of Paljike, one kilometre south of Prozor town. They deliberately
25 destroyed Bosnian Muslim homes and property killing a number of Muslim
2 By the evening of the 24th of October, the HVO reported that
3 Prozor town was "ethnically pure," the Muslim population having either
4 been detained or fled.
5 You'll see part of that report in the slide that was there. "The
6 two areas are ethnically pure. The Muslim population has been detained or
7 has fled."
8 On October the 26th of 1992, Bruno Stojic, Milivoj Petkovic, Janko
9 Bobetko and others were informed the HVO had taken control of Prozor on
10 the 25th of October with many casualties on the Muslim side.
11 The HVO now controls the entire area around lake Rama, the town of
12 Prozor, the dam at the lake, the hydroelectric power plant and the road to
13 Jablanica up until the Jasna settlement.
14 As a precursor of things to come and as already repeatedly
15 demonstrated in the armed conflict and ethnic violence in the former
16 Yugoslavia that had already occurred by October 1992, the HVO actions in
17 Prozor in October involved the widespread burning of Muslim houses and a
18 number of killings. Slobodan Praljak, who was then also Croatia's
19 assistant minister of defence, joined the HVO celebrations in Prozor and
20 said that the conflict "didn't bode well for the Bosniaks in Herzegovina."
21 That is, the Muslims.
22 Now, we're proceeding, Mr. President, roughly chronologically.
23 Around this time, by the fall of 1992, late 1992, there were various
24 international peace efforts to stop the fighting and the violence and
25 conflict in Bosnia-Herzegovina, and around this time and by early January
1 1993 what was being discussed was the so-called Vance-Owen Peace Plan.
2 In January, United Nations and European Community peace
3 negotiators met in Geneva with Croat, Serb, and Muslim representatives and
4 discussed a proposed peace agreement. While neither the Serbs nor Muslims
5 had agreed to the Vance-Owen proposals, by mid-January 1993 Franjo
6 Tudjman, Gojko Susak and the Herceg-Bosna HVO leadership found the plan as
7 they envisioned and interpreted it much to their favour essentially giving
8 them the Croatian Banovina and even additional territory covered by the
9 proposed Vance-Owen provinces, 3, 8, and 10, despite the fact, once again,
10 that many of these areas included provinces that had a majority or at
11 least equal Muslim populations and were controlled or occupied by the
12 Bosnian government armed forces. Indeed, the Vance-Owen proposal appeared
13 to give the Croats, who comprised at that time approximately not in one
14 particular area but overall approximately 17.5 per cent of the
15 Bosnia-Herzegovina population, approximately 28 per cent of the overall
16 territory. Once again, in a map configuration which substantially
17 corresponded to the banovina or even more.
18 And you'll see on the display now a -- the proposed Vance-Owen
19 Peace Plan map, at least as it existed as of January of 1993, and the
20 assignment or proposed assignment of various provinces to various
21 principal ethnic groups. And you will see that the province, proposed
22 provinces 10 and 8 in Herzegovina being proposed as Croat areas, and
23 you'll see that that again roughly very closely corresponds to both
24 Herceg-Bosna and to the territory claimed by the banovina on the maps that
25 we saw earlier.
1 And in fact Tudjman himself confirmed that the territorial
2 provision of the Vance-Owen Plan roughly accomplished the banovina.
3 Tudjman said in June 1993: "This is roughly what in 1939," that is the
4 provinces 3, 8, and 10, "this is roughly what in 1939 became part of the
5 banovina of Croatia." There is no mistake about that.
6 In mid-January of 1993, the Herceg-Bosna HVO leadership was so
7 eager to implement their vision of this very favourable plan in their view
8 and as interpreted by them that they refused to wait for the Muslims and
9 Serbs to accept it and instead took unilateral action to implement it on
10 their own. This, even though the Vance-Owen talks at that particular time
11 in Geneva were that and only that, talks. No agreement, no signed plan,
12 simply talks. And in fact and in looking ahead, the Vance-Owen Plan was
13 never agreed or never implemented. Unfortunately later in 1993, it died
14 for lack of agreement. The Serbs never did agree to it, and there were
15 always continuing conflicts about it.
16 At a meeting in Zagreb on the 15th of January, 1993, Tudjman,
17 Susak, and Boban failed to convince Izetbegovic to accept their views.
18 15th of January, Izetbegovic says: "The Herceg-Bosna HVO authorities had
19 disenfranchised the Muslims of Mostar, who comprised half of the city's
20 population, and that the authorities had elsewhere dissolved legal
21 governments whose members had been freely elected."
22 Further in that paragraph, Izetbegovic says: "That's not how I
23 understood the papers, and I don't know whether this was the intention of
24 those documents. Because I do not see that they define who has what
25 territories, whose armies these are, you know. So I'm afraid that what is
1 now going on in Gornji Vakuf may have been caused by a misunderstanding of
2 this item of these agreements ... it was not foreseen that the army of
3 Bosnia-Herzegovina should leave either the Travnik province or Mostar.
4 That's not how I understand these papers."
5 Now, Mr. President, please note that date, 15th of January, 1993,
6 and on that date President Izetbegovic had made it very clear to the
7 assembled Croat and Bosnian-Croat leadership that he did not accept or
8 endorse their views. He did not agree these were Croat territories. It
9 was very clear. Despite that, despite knowing that, on that very same
10 day, the 15th of January, 1993, the HVO President Jadranko Prlic signed a
11 decision that: "All units of the army of Bosnia and Herzegovina, which at
12 this moment are stationed in provinces 3, 8, and 10, which have been
13 declared Croatian provinces under the Geneva Accords -" accords that
14 didn't exist yet - "shall be subordinated to the command of the Main Staff
15 of the HVO armed forces. The deadline for implementing this decision is
16 hereby set at five days starting from today, 15th of January, 1993."
17 Now, look at the sequence of events. On the 15th of January
18 Izetbegovic is meeting in Zagreb with Tudjman, Boban, and others, and
19 says, "Your views are not acceptable. I do not agree to them." On the
20 very same day, the 15th of January, Jadranko Prlic issues a decision, an
21 ultimatum, saying, "If you don't subordinate Muslim forces to us within
22 five --" You have five days to do so, essentially, or leave the
24 The Prlic decision was then followed -- handed down the HVO chain
25 of command, with the Defence Minister Bruno Stojic issuing a similar
1 order, the minister of defence. Again you can read the language there for
2 yourself. "Members of the units who do not leave the territory of the
3 province and do not wish to subordinate themselves to the relevant command
4 shall be treated as members of paramilitary units who shall be disarmed
5 and taken into custody." The deadline the 20th of January, 1993.
6 And from the minister of defence, the order then went down to the
7 head of the army, the senior military commander, Milivoj Petkovic, who
8 again on the same day, 15th of January, 1993, issued an order implementing
9 the order -- the decision of Jadranko Prlic and implementing the orders of
10 his immediate superior, Bruno Stojic, the minister of defence.
11 As the 20th of January deadline approached and passed, the first
12 major armed conflict between the HVO and the Muslims since Prozor in
13 October 1992 broke out in several parts of Bosnia and Herzegovina,
14 including at Gornji Vakuf and Busovaca. Which brings us to the next set
15 of crimes charged in the indictment, the crimes occurring in Gornji Vakuf
16 in January of 1993.
17 Now, here again to orient the Chamber, you will see on the map up
18 in the -- toward the top -- top middle portion of the blue area of
19 Herceg-Bosna, you will see the municipality of Gornji Vakuf, then with
20 Prozor to the south and Novi Travnik to the north. And again you'll see a
21 map of the Gornji Vakuf municipality. And the red stars being areas of
22 alleged crimes. And also a demographic map of the municipality showing
23 the demographic composition of the municipality as it existed in the 1991
25 What we've seen, then, is by the 15th of January, 1993, Prlic,
1 Stojic, and Petkovic had all issued their decisions and orders directing
2 that the Bosnian army, or ABiH forces, the army of Bosnia and Herzegovina,
3 in large parts of Bosnia and Herzegovina, including Gornji Vakuf, either
4 subordinate themselves to the HVO or withdraw from these areas. In
5 addition to this general ultimatum, on the 16th of January the following
6 day, the HVO issued a specific ultimatum to the Muslims in Gornji Vakuf
7 demanding that they withdraw from the area by midnight on the 17th of
8 January. Again, the Muslims rejected the HVO ultimatum.
9 Slobodan Praljak, commanding the HVO forces at the time, then sent
10 a message to the ABiH that they would be "annihilated if they
11 do not accept the decisions of the HZ HB."
12 By the 18th of January, 1993, following the expiration of the
13 deadline at midnight on the 17th, HVO forces, true to the ultimatum,
14 immediately attacked the Bosnian Muslims in Gornji Vakuf. In Gornji Vakuf
15 town and in several surrounding villages, including Duse, Hrasnica,
16 Uzricja, and Zdrimci. HVO attacks and artillery killed a number of Muslim
17 civilians and destroyed or damaged a substantial amount of Muslim
18 property, which is further set out in the indictment and in the annex to
19 the indictment.
20 Following the HVO attack on Duse and these other villages, the HVO
21 plundered and burned Bosnian Muslim houses and property in and around
22 these villages. The HVO robbed hundreds of arrested or captured Bosnian
23 Muslims, separated the Muslim men from the Muslim women, children, and
24 elderly. In most instances, the Herceg-Bosna HVO forces took the Muslim
25 men away to HVO detention facilities while they detained the women,
1 children, and elderly in one or two houses in the village. During their
2 detention, Muslim men, women, children, and elderly were kept in harsh
3 conditions, often mistreated or abused. The net result of these actions
4 is hundreds of Muslim civilians leaving the Gornji Vakuf area.
5 If we could have the assistance of the technical booth to show the
6 next video clip, please.
7 [Videotape played]
8 MR. SCOTT: Now, among other things in that clip, Your Honours,
9 note that Mr. Praljak said, "I wanted to direction on what to do. I
10 wanted to know what to do in these circumstances." And who did he go to?
11 He went to the minister of defence of the Republic of Croatia and to the
12 president of the Republic of Croatia, Susak and Tudjman respectively.
13 When he needed a decision on what should be done in fighting a battle on
14 the sovereign territory of Bosnia and Herzegovina, who did he ask for
15 orders and direction? Susak and Tudjman.
16 Who was directing the implementation of the Vance-Owen Plan? Who
17 was telling the Croats what to do and how to go about it? Susak and
19 On the 25th of January, 1993, after the expiration of the HVO
20 ultimatum issued on the 15th, Tudjman specifically stated that
21 Izetbegovic's position on Bosnia's future did not agree with Croatia's
22 state interest or the interests of the Croatian leaders in Bosnia and
24 On the 9th of February, he went on to say, "The problem was that
25 the Muslims did not agree that Croat authority be established in the
1 provinces designated as Croatian." In other words, the problem is the
2 Muslims aren't going along with it. Susak: "Izetbegovic must turn up
3 with a statement that provinces between Croats and Serbs are indisputable
4 and that must be prerequisite."
5 Now, by this time in Bosnia-Herzegovina there were a number of
6 international organisations and monitoring forces on the ground, including
7 the UN protection force called UNPROFOR, and including such other bodies
8 as the United Nations Military Observers, or UNMOs, are the European
9 Community Monitoring Mission, known as ECMM. They saw and they reported
10 on these developments as they saw them on the ground at that time.
11 In an UNPROFOR report on the 24th of January, 1993, this is what
12 UNPROFOR said about what they saw occurring in Bosnia during this time:
13 "Since the Geneva talks in early January, tensions have suddenly increased
14 between elements of both the Croat HVO and the principally Muslim army of
15 BH in central and southern Bosnia-Herzegovina. "Over the past week -"
16 that is the week prior to the 24th of January - "the political and
17 military leaders of the Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna have begun to
18 implement their 'understanding' of the proposed settlement. This
19 premature and imperfect grab for control of provinces 3, 8 and 10 has
20 resulted in extremely high tensions and heavy fighting."
21 In a similar report on the 1st of February, 1993, UNPROFOR
22 reported: "The HVO continues to show strong resolution to control the
23 future Croat provinces 8 and 10. Without the prospect of a near-term
24 settlement, the basis for the HVO's assertion of control over proposed
25 provinces 3, 8 and 10 is seriously diminished. Their premature grab for
1 power clearly displayed to all concerned the Croatian Community's
3 The evidence will show that a number of the accused were directly
4 involved in these events in January 1993, and you've already seen the
5 recording of Mr. Praljak. Likewise, on the 27th of January, Susak
6 reported that he had received updates from Kordic and Stojic on the
7 fighting in Busovaca which included assertions that the Croats had
8 suffered 39 dead and 48 wounded and that the Muslims had amassed 8.500
9 troops before Busovaca. Susak says: "Praljak and Stojic 'organised
10 everything they could down there in the south.'"
11 Although local cease-fires were declared by late January and early
12 February, Tudjman, Boban and the others had no intention on giving up on
13 the Greater Croatia projects. On the 8th of March Boban said to Tudjman,
14 Susak and a group of Bosnian Croat leaders, "If Bosnia-Herzegovina exists
15 at all we shall have a border. We know exactly how. We have a plan
16 prepared in advance. Herceg-Bosna will never cease to exist. Even within
17 the framework of anything else, there will still be Herceg-Bosna."
18 By February -- by early February of 1993, things had begun to calm
19 down a bit. This fighting in Gornji Vakuf had, under international
20 pressure, had died down and there was a period of a few weeks of what
21 might pass during that time as relative peace. While tensions remained
22 high, there were local skirmishes but no major additional conflicts for
23 several weeks.
24 On the 25th of March, 1993, President Izetbegovic, following
25 further negotiations, provisionally accepted the Vance-Owen Plan, which
1 again the Serbs never accepted, with certain military aspects of the plan
2 still to be resolved.
3 Now, what's important here, Your Honours, what the Prosecution
4 submits is important here is you once again are going to see the exact
5 same pattern of what happened in January. You have talk about a plan
6 being accepted but with conditions and provisions not yet agreed, and the
7 HVO and -- the HVO leadership and those persons, the accused sitting in
8 this courtroom, deciding that, "We're not going to wait for agreement.
9 We're going to enforce this plan whether the Muslims like it or not."
10 By April of 1993, in fact the first few days, Izetbegovic had not
11 made any further agreement, had not resolved additional issues, and there
12 was no final agreement. This is confirmed by a report -- the report of
13 the -- of the peace negotiators to the Secretary-General of the United
15 If you look at Appendix I, section (e), the section titled
16 "Withdrawal of Forces," what the agreement that Izetbegovic had signed
17 said was: "Both --" not one or the other. "Both Bosnian Muslim army and
18 HVO forces shall be deployed in provinces 5, 8, 9 and 10 under
19 arrangements agreed between them. The process of demilitarisation shall
20 apply to all forces in all these nine provinces and shall be carried out
21 under the supervision of UNPROFOR and in accordance with the detailed
22 arrangements and timetables in the agreement or as negotiated in the
23 military -- Mixed Military Working Group."
24 Again, Mr. President, there was not a final agreement. The
25 Muslims had not agreed to subordinate or withdraw their forces. This was
1 all a matter for further discussion and further negotiation but the HVO
2 would not wait.
3 Tudjman immediately pressed Izetbegovic to sign a statement
4 providing for the HVO's immediate takeover in the so-called Croat
5 provinces. In fact, Tudjman pressed Izetbegovic to meet with Slobodan
6 Praljak to issue a joint statement agreeing to the HVO takeover of the
7 so-called Croat provinces and the removal or subordination of the Muslim
8 army in those provinces. And in fact, once again, the Zagreb Herceg-Bosna
9 leadership acted quickly to enforce their -- [French on English channel].
10 To enforce their views of the -- [French on English channel].
11 We're getting mixed translation, Mr. President.
12 Slide 91 -- or the next slide that I will show you, the HVO
13 proposed a 2nd of April, 1993, joint statement for Izetbegovic to sign.
14 This was the language of that statement which you will see in Prosecution
15 Exhibit P1792, and the relevant particular language of the proposed joint
16 statement. However, President Izetbegovic did not sign the joint
17 statement and never agreed to its terms.
18 The top Herceg-Bosna HVO political and military leaders, including
19 some of the accused, were then called to an important special meeting in
20 Mostar on the 3rd of April, 1993, which is also confirmed by adjudicated
21 fact number 155. Adjudicated fact number 155 says -- it's not on the
22 slide. It says on 3 April 1993, the HVO leadership met in Mostar to
23 discuss the implementation of the Vance-Owen Peace Plan.
24 The records of that meeting, which we have and which we'll show
25 you, the records of this meeting, chaired by Jadranko Prlic and attended
1 by Mate Boban, Bruno Stojic, and other top officials, made clear both the
2 Croat leadership's plain knowledge, once again, that Izetbegovic and the
3 Muslims had not agreed to the proposed statement and that the Croat
4 leadership clearly intended to go forward with enforcing their position
5 and demands whether Izetbegovic signed or not.
6 You'll see in front of you a portion of the records of that
7 meeting. "We hope that Mr. Izetbegovic will sign the document. However,
8 if the joint statement is not implemented, the appropriate military and
9 other authorities of the HVO HZ HB shall implement this provision in
10 regions numbers 3, 8, and 10."
11 At the same time as part of a coordinated approach and a
12 coordinated campaign, at the same time when Jadranko Prlic, Mate Boban,
13 Bruno Stojic and others were meeting in Mostar on the 3rd of April,
14 Mr. Praljak, Slobodan Praljak and Valentin Coric had travelled to Central
15 Bosnia to meet with the HVO leadership in Central Bosnia the day before,
16 on the 2nd of April, 1993.
17 So you can see, Your Honours, the evidence will show you have one
18 group of the Bosnian Croat leadership meeting in Mostar, including some of
19 our accused. We have another set of our accused going to Central Bosnia
20 to meet with the Croat leadership in Central Bosnia.
21 In that meeting in Central Bosnia on the 2nd of April, the records
22 indicate what happened there. Praljak says: "This declaration
23 establishes the immutability of the borders of the Republic of Croatia.
24 The Muslim provinces will be overpopulated. Religious fanaticism will
25 emerge in them. That is inevitable. There will be moving out and
1 resettlement, and the population will homogenise."
2 Then Colonel Tihomir Blaskic, also convicted before this Tribunal,
3 intervened in the meeting, opened the discussion with the other military
4 commanders one of whom asked a question about Vares. General Praljak
5 said: "There is no policy that can enable us to have everything. If you
6 think there is, tell us. The fastest way for Croatia to go down would be
7 to have a state territory extending all way to the Drina. We have never
8 got anything out of that nor ever would. In such a Croatia, around 49 per
9 cent Croats have nothing to seek. This is a classical piece of stupidity.
10 There is no state without a nation. And in that state, where would we
12 "Now, we have got what we want, the homogenisation of our
13 population continues. We can only fence off what is ours and build there
14 our own space and our own state. Territorially speaking, we shall take
15 what continues to be Croatian. What use is a territory where there are no
16 Croats? We need the territory and the borders that we inhabit."
17 And then Kordic goes on to say: "Instructions have also been
18 given to the Croats in Zenica." Essentially they had their opportunity to
19 act, to take control and they didn't do it. "They received their
20 instructions. Now it will be harder for them. Those along the border
21 will be in the Travnik province."
22 The new deadline is now set for the 15th of April, 1993, for the
23 Muslims to comply with the HVO's unilateral plan.
24 Once again, as in January when the deadline passed, the HVO acted
25 immediately, launching a series of attacks all through the territory
1 claimed by Herceg-Bosna, including the massacre and atrocities committed
2 at Ahmici, well known to this Tribunal, on the 16th of April,
3 immediately -- the day after the ultimatum ran, and then in Sovici and
4 Doljani charged in this case on the 17th of April, and in other towns and
5 villages throughout the period, the 17th to the 19th of April. The HVO
6 made a demand. The Muslims didn't comply. The HVO attacked and destroyed
7 and killed.
8 Numerous reports from international observers, including the
9 United Nations, UNPROFOR and ECMM made it abundantly clear that the HVO
10 attacks and war crimes committed in Central Bosnia and Herzegovina during
11 this time were a continuing part of the Herceg-Bosna HVO efforts to
12 implement their view of Vance-Owen.
13 You see in front of you a portion of an ECMM report on the 18th of
14 April. "With both the Bosnian Muslims and Croats signed up to the peace
15 plan but the Croats are now demanding that the Muslims turn control of the
16 Croat provinces over to them. This was to include the removal of BiH army
17 elements or to put them under command of the Croats. Of course, this is
18 totally unacceptable to the Muslims."
19 Another ECMM report of this type a few weeks later is similar.
20 A report written by the head of the ECMM mission in Central Bosnia
21 says: "The latest meeting of the authorities of Herceg-Bosna in Citluk on
22 the 30th of April, 1993, has revealed the political side of the last
23 military events. And it is time now, or never, to express the common,
24 clear feeling of the 23 ECMM monitors of Bosnia-Herzegovina. The Bosnian
25 Croats continue to complain that they are attacked by the Muslim forces on
1 all fronts, despite the evidence that they are entirely responsible for
2 the opening of the conflict on the 14th of April and, largely, for its
3 continuation. The fighting began without doubt on the initiative of the
4 HVO, claiming that it was only answering a systematic anti-Croat attitude.
5 It was obviously an attempt to secure and -- to seize and secure
6 the 'Croat provinces.'"
7 The Chamber will hear fairly extensive evidence in the case, the
8 Prosecution case about crimes committed in Sovici, in Doljani, in Prozor
9 and other parts of the so-called Herceg-Bosna in the middle and second
10 half of April of 1993 in connection with these events.
11 Following the Herceg-Bosna attacks, arrests and expulsions in the
12 second half of April of 1993, things begin to pick up speed, if you will.
13 There was once again -- maybe a few short days when there was some hope,
14 some short and unfortunately hollow hope that peace could be obtained, but
15 only a few days later in fact the huge conflict and problems besieged --
16 all the problems began in Mostar on the 9th and 10th of May, only a few
17 days later.
18 Indeed, it had become clearer and clearer to Tudjman and the
19 Herceg-Bosna HVO leadership from an early date that a Greater Croatia, now
20 having seen repeatedly that the Muslims were not about to go voluntarily
21 or peacefully, that implementing a Greater Croatia would require military
22 force and violence, expulsions, and population displacements. Even as
23 early as January of 1992, you will recall the conversations between
24 Koljevic and Tudjman about the leopard spots and about the homogenisation
25 of populations and how previous historical problems had been solved by
1 population exchanges. A similar statement was made by Tudjman on the 21st
2 of September, 1993: "After World War I a million people were resettled
3 between Greece and Turkey until 1920 and even later. After World War II,
4 12 million people in Europe were moved or exiled. Therefore, that
5 terrible war, that tragedy for man, family, certain regions, the greatest
6 tragedy in the sense of demarcation between nations creates even more
7 favourable circumstances for the survival of certain nations in the
9 In looking ahead where all this would take the people in Bosnia
10 and Herzegovina, Your Honours, during the period now from April 1993 to
11 March 1994, the roughly one-year period, one may consider a high-level
12 report prepared by the European Community Monitoring Mission in June 1993,
13 which aptly summarises what was happening during this period of time.
14 "Relations between Croat and Muslim peoples have deteriorated
15 since January from occasional isolated conflict to the present widespread
16 confrontation. Presently the conflict involves three separate areas:
17 Mostar city, Jablanica/Konjic, and the Travnik to Kiseljak road. In
18 Mostar the HVO are trying to bring the Muslims under total control. The
19 HVO assault is aimed at cleaning all non-Croats from the west bank and
20 eventually moving all Muslims out of the city. The Muslims are now
21 encircled on the east bank without water, electricity or communications.
22 Heavy fighting in Jablanica/Konjic area involves HVO attempts to eliminate
23 Muslim influence in the area. The HVO have suffered losses resulting in
24 withdrawal and loss of influence in both towns. The HVO aims appear to be
25 (a), militarily establish a front line between provinces 8 and 10 and the
1 Muslim province 9; eliminate all Muslim resistance to their plans within
2 provinces 8 and 10; (c), eventually cleanse provinces 8 and 10 of Muslims
3 in pursuit of their dream of Herceg-Bosna; and (d), establish a loose
4 confederation with Croatia in due course."
5 As I said earlier, there was a few days of some peace negotiations
6 and talks involving Franjo Tudjman, Izetbegovic, and others. There were
7 some statements being signed and calls for peace, but it was short-lived.
8 And even a few days later, on the 9th and 10th of May, 1993, the HVO
9 forces attacked the Bosnian Muslims as we just read in Herceg-Bosna's
10 self-declared capital city Mostar.
11 The Herceg-Bosna HVO forces rounded up hundreds if not thousands
12 of Bosnian Muslim men, women, children, and elderly. Large numbers of
13 Muslims were expelled in East Mostar while hundreds of others were
14 detained at the Heliodrom prison.
15 One ECMM report from the 17th of May confirms these events. "The
16 fighting in Mostar began on Sunday, the 9th of May, with an HVO strong
17 attack. Even if the Bosnian Croats claimed that they had been provoked,
18 there is no doubt for all observers - UNPROFOR and ECMM - that the attack
19 was planned, precisely organised and conducted."
20 At the time, the HVO tried to give an excuse, and we may hear at
21 some point in this courtroom how the mass arrest of Muslims was done for
22 their own good, for their own safety. But why was it, Mr. President, that
23 only the Muslims had to be arrested for their own safety? Why was it that
24 the Muslims in one flat were arrested while the Croat next door was not
25 arrested? Why was it only the Muslims had to be protected and not the
1 Croat next-door neighbours?
2 On the 11th of May, 1993, Tudjman met again with senior Croatian
3 government and military officials and confirmed his understanding. Once
4 again confirming his understanding that Izetbegovic had not gone along
5 with the plan. Tudjman: "When the Muslim leadership accepted the
6 Vance-Owen Plan, they did it only formally. Izetbegovic never accepted
7 that Vance-Owen Plan because these provinces should have been Croat."
8 On the 20th of May a similar statement. Tudjman says that he told
9 Izetbegovic: "Croats surely cannot agree to lose some areas that used to
10 be part of the Banovina of Croatia, even though 140 thousands of refugees
11 are accommodated in those provinces out of what number of Muslims is 100
12 thousands. Croatia as a country cannot accept the change in the
13 demographic structure of those areas." And again note the reference to
14 "the Banovina of Croatia."
15 The expulsion of Muslims in Mostar continued in late May and early
16 into June of 1993 with the later expulsions becoming even more widespread,
17 more systematic, and more violent than the earlier ones. The UN's
18 reaction to the HVO attacks in Mostar was immediate. On the 10th of May,
19 the second day of the attack, the Security Council, recalling its
20 statement earlier on the 21st of April concerning the atrocities and
21 killings that occurred in the April violence, the time in the second half
22 of April after the HVO deadline ultimatum ran in April, noting that its
23 earlier concerns about what happened there in the areas north and west of
24 Sarajevo, including Ahmici, the Security Council expresses its grave
25 concern that the major new military offensive launched by Bosnian Croat
1 paramilitary units in the areas of Mostar, Jablanica, and Dreznica. The
2 Security Council strongly condemns this major military offensive launched
3 by Bosnian Croat paramilitary units.
4 It goes on to indicate that: "The Security Council also expresses
5 its deep concern that the UNPROFOR battalion in the area has been forced
6 under fire to redeploy as a result of this latest offensive and condemns
7 the refusal of Bosnian Croat paramilitary units to allow the presence of
8 United Nations military observers in particular in the city of Mostar.
9 The Security Council calls upon the Republic of Croatia, in accordance
10 with the commitments under the Zagreb agreement of 25 April, to exert all
11 its influence on the Bosnian Croat leadership and military units with a
12 view to ceasing immediately their attacks, particularly in the areas of
13 Mostar, Jablanica and Dreznica."
14 However, the attacks and the actions did not stop, and the
15 expulsions in Mostar continued throughout the month of June 1993, as you
16 will hear evidence. You will hear the victims themselves who will come
17 into this courtroom, Your Honours, and tell you how they were evicted from
18 their homes in June 1993 by HVO soldiers and forces.
19 After the army of Bosnia and Herzegovina attacked an HVO military
20 position just north of Mostar town on the 30th of June, 1993, Jadranko
21 Prlic and Bruno Stojic, two of the accused in this case, issued a
22 proclamation calling to -- calling all Croats essentially to arms, saying
23 that they were threatened with extermination, that the very existence of
24 Croats in Bosnia-Herzegovina was an extreme and imminent danger and that
25 Mostar was and would remain a Croatian town. Further inflaming, further
1 aggravating, further instigating Muslim persecution, discrimination and
3 On the 2nd of July, 1993, criminal enterprise leader Franjo
4 Tudjman told Susak and others at a meeting in Zagreb that it was:
5 "Important to put pressure on the Muslim units on the Neretva front," the
6 Neretva front being a reference to the Neretva River flowing throw through
7 Herzegovina. In fact, by June and July of 1993, the Herceg-Bosna forces
8 had commence a siege against East Mostar, which continued until April of
9 1994 and involved continual shelling, sniper fire, blocking of
10 humanitarian aid, and horrible deprivations directed against the Bosnian
11 Muslims in East Mostar. And we will come back to that later when we talk
12 about the Mostar aspects of the case in more detail.
13 The Chamber will hear evidence that at this time by early July
14 1993, the full expulsion of the Muslims in Herzegovina starts in really
15 full force. In Prozor municipality, in Capljina, in Stolac and Ljubuski,
16 throughout the region, you will see from July and August -- in July and
17 August 1993 massive arrests and expulsions of Muslims by the HVO forces,
18 all in a systematic, well-organised, well-planned, concerted basis.
19 This situation, in fact, just to cut through some of my other
20 notes, and I'll only refer to it quickly for the record and so the Chamber
21 can look at these exhibits in the future, these events are summarised in
22 an ECMM report on the 16th of June, 1993, talking about these events in
23 great detail.
24 I'll just mention down to the second half, point number 12 in that
25 report: "The HVO siege of the Muslim areas in Mostar since early May is
1 designed to force a total surrender, followed by ethnic cleansing. In
2 Croat parts of the city, life has returned to normal and the Croats
3 display a self-confident and brash attitude. The Muslim part of Mostar,
4 representing over 20.000 people, is totally besieged by HVO. There is
5 very little food, no water, and no electricity. It is not known how many
6 refugees are in the city."
7 You will also see at the end of that in item 29 again a reference
8 to the collusion between Croats and Serbs against the Muslims.
9 There is a similar report by a UN Special Rapporteur Mazowiecki
10 who wrote a number of records about what was happening in Bosnia during
11 1993, late 1992, continued into 1994. Those reports, Your Honours, are
12 extremely informative. You will have those in evidence, and they provide
13 a detailed summary of what happened in Bosnia-Herzegovina during this
15 In one such report, on the -- for the 6th of September, 1993,
16 again you will see - I won't take the time to go into it here - a detailed
17 report of what's happening, including the mass arrest, the mass
18 imprisonment of Muslim men in such places as Gabela, Dretelj, Capljina;
19 all places and locations charged in the indictment.
20 I want to briefly touch on, for present purposes, Your Honours,
21 another aspect of ethnic cleansing, one which may come perhaps as even
22 more of a surprise but one that you will hear about in this case, which
23 the Prosecution submits really confirms just how calculated and just how,
24 to use the words of one French diplomat, just how Machiavellian this
25 entire situation really was, and that is what some might call reverse
1 ethnic cleansing, or self-cleansing. Not directed at the Muslims but
2 directed against Bosnian Croats themselves. For you see, Your Honours,
3 removal of Muslims from HVO-controlled or claimed territories was only
4 part of the task in creating a Croat Herceg-Bosna. By a number of means,
5 Croats from other parts of Bosnia-Herzegovina were also prodded or
6 "encouraged" to their leave their homes in order to establish or
7 reinforce or consolidate a Croat majority in the municipalities more at
8 the core of the banovina in Herceg-Bosna. Remember again Boban's words
9 "Cleanse the border areas." "Not only do we move Croats and Muslims out,
10 but if we move Croats from other parts of Bosnia in, parts that we know we
11 can't hold, we can't expect to hold onto, but if we move Croats into our
12 area we reinforce our control and our claims on these areas."
13 First it was clear that some municipalities and areas claimed by
14 Herceg-Bosna were more Croat than others, and one again only has to look
15 back at some of the maps we've looked at so far today. Areas that did not
16 even have any claim to having a strong Croat majority or even plurality.
17 A judgement was made or evolved over time that it was ultimately more
18 important to Herceg-Bosna's success to move the Croat population from more
19 marginal areas into the core area where the Croat majority could therefore
20 be consolidated or reinforced.
21 A French diplomat Tebault said it best, "It may sound
22 Machiavellian, but it is only Balkan."
23 You will see that in ECMM report on the 19th of June, 1993.
24 "Some people could wonder how Croats could accept desperate their
25 own people for political purposes. The answer has constantly been given
1 by this RC or ECMM Regional Centre. The Bosnian Croats who have today the
2 power in Mostar as in Zagreb and abroad are the Herzegovinian one having
3 great Herceg-Bosna, all middle Bosnia would have been --" excuse me --
4 "would have been the best solution for them and it remains their official
5 political line but they are realists and they at least understand that
6 they will never be allowed to take -- to make completely disappear
7 Muslims -- millions of Muslims whatever is their wish and temptation to
8 follow the example of the Serbs. The Vance-Owen Plan with its ethnic
9 mixed provinces did not give enough guarantees for maintaining a Croat
10 domination because the national belonging of the provinces was not
11 secured, and the demography was against the Croats if they had to respect
12 the democratic principles, especially one man one vote. They slowly
13 discovered it and it was a real displeasure for them in their talks with
14 us upon the Vance-Owen Plan implementation."
15 Again, in the next paragraph the ECMM report talks about the need
16 to reinforce the Croat population in Herzegovina, and goes on to talk
17 about that. And then the paragraph with these words: "It seems
18 Machiavellic, but it is only Balkan and everybody who has met regularly
19 the top Bosnian Croat leaders, Boban, Stojic, Kordic, Valenta, in various
20 situations and on various subjects where their paranoia and their
21 extremism were not hidden, can easily believe it."
22 Tudjman himself recognised the benefits to be gained by moving
23 Croats out of their homes even though that would be difficult. On the 6th
24 of November, Tudjman: "Of course it is painful - apart from that, 200.000
25 Croats have already been driven out of their areas. There will probably
1 be another 100.000 of them. It is awful for them but even, looked at
2 historically, you know, we shall have these 100.000 to 200.000 Croats will
3 firm up the Croatian territory here from Istria to Baranja, you
4 understand, when we finish that and so on. So every bad thing is not just
5 bad but we have to make use of it here."
6 The second reasons for this so-called reverse ethnic cleansing or
7 self-cleansing was a matter of political, military and economic
8 practicalities and as part of the ultimate horse trading, if you will, for
9 the Serbs and the Muslims. Tudjman and the Herceg-Bosna leaders knew that
10 sooner or later they would have to trade some territories off against
11 others in order to maintain the core claims to the banovina territory.
12 Perhaps the best example would be the municipality of Vares which we will
13 come to eventually, and I will show you on the map when we come back to
14 one of the municipality maps.
15 You will see when you look at Vares -- keep in mind, Mr. President
16 and Your, keep in mind the municipality of Vares. The next time we have a
17 map of Herceg-Bosna on the screen, look at the situation concerning Vares.
18 And it basically became known to the Herceg-Bosna leadership that they had
19 very little hope, if any, of holding on to Vares as part of Herceg-Bosna.
20 Third and equally important, relocating Croats from other parts of
21 Bosnia and moving them into houses and flats that have been seized from or
22 abandoned by Muslims families, the very Muslims who had been evicted, the
23 very Muslims that had been expelled from their homes. If you put Croat
24 families, if you put Croat people in those houses, the Muslims can't come
1 Tudjman said this again as early as September 1993. Tudjman: "I
2 too have told our people, please settle these refugees in those areas,
3 Tasovici, Stolac, et cetera, to be Croats so that Croatian people are
4 present there," not Muslims but so that the Croat are present there.
5 In the same meeting Tudjman told his Herzegovinian followers not
6 to fall prey "to the idea that the left bank of the Neretva River would
7 become part of the Bosnian Republic but do the opposite and 'settle in
8 those areas Ravno, Capljina, Neum and Stolac, and then we shall insist on
10 Even as late as the 31st of May, 1994 with reference to Croats
11 living in Croat areas and the issues of demographics, Tudjman: "Well,
12 that's clear. Between ourselves it's good that they have stayed down
13 there. I said that there's Ravno, Tasovici, et cetera, and that you
14 should not give territory to the Muslims."
15 Your Honour, that takes us in a broad way through the summer of
16 1993 and into the fall of 1993, and the problems and the conflict
17 continues, and we will talk about -- the case will tell you about the
18 continued expulsion of Muslims from these areas into the fall of 1993 and
19 the increasing problems with these -- the HVO concentration camps where
20 Muslims were kept under deplorable conditions, and the attacks in Vares
21 and Stupni Do at the end of October 1993. Those will all be features of
22 our case which I will not touch on particularly now in the interest of
24 What's the result of all this? What happened as a result of these
25 systematic and well-orchestrated campaigns by the Zagreb and Herceg-Bosna
1 leadership against the Muslims? The result was this: The Bosnian Muslim
2 population in many parts of Herceg-Bosna was substantially reduced if not
3 eliminated altogether. And those who did remain, those Muslims who for
4 whatever reason did remain were plainly dominated by the Herceg-Bosna HVO
5 authorities and forces as planned and intended by the joint criminal
7 For example, while in September 1993, there were still 8.000
8 Muslims in Stolac and 14.000 Muslims in Capljina; by November, just a few
9 weeks later, there were no Muslims in Stolac and only 3.852 in Capljina.
10 The HVO leaders, including the accused, had conducted their work with
11 great efficiency.
12 The full extent and success of their efforts was clearly known to
13 the Herceg-Bosna HVO leadership even much earlier, months earlier. In
14 March 1993, a Bosnian Croat leader bragged to Tudjman, "At the moment
15 there are very few Muslims in Busovaca. Many wished to return but we put
16 Croats in their houses."
17 Likewise in September 1993, the Bosnian Croat leader Markovic
18 informed Tudjman, as I mentioned much earlier this afternoon: "Today,
19 there is not a single Muslim in Stolac. We have populated Stolac with our
20 refugees from Bosnia."
21 And how does Tudjman respond? Does he say, "I'm surprised? I'm
22 shocked? How can you say this?" No. Tudjman's response, "I know all
23 that. You're not telling me anything I don't already know." Tudjman goes
24 on to say, "Well, wait, I said the containers too and that too."
25 Markovic: "We have about a hundred cottages. We have already filled the
1 Stolac area to capacity."
2 On March the 1st, running to the end of this period and concluding
3 this overview of the case, by March the 1st of 1994, Franjo Tudjman and
4 the Herceg-Bosna HVO leadership had entered into the Washington Agreement
5 which established the Croat-Muslim federation and ended at least the
6 large-scale open armed conflict between the two sides.
7 So, Mr. President and Your Honours, we're talking about the period
8 of time that we're primarily focusing on here is from the first Prozor
9 conflict in October 1992 but with a view toward all of the events leading
10 up to it, the creation of Herceg-Bosna, the creation -- the taking of all
11 these steps to persecute, control, and dominate the Muslims up to finally
12 the period October of 1992 to early 1994, and then the signing of the
13 Washington Agreement in about March of 1994.
14 To go back to the words, Your Honour, that I mentioned at the
15 beginning of my opening statement, "It is time that we take the
16 opportunity to gather the Croatian people inside the widest possible
17 borders." Followed by the statement, "Today, there is not a single Muslim
18 in Stolac." Followed by Tudjman's response, "I know all that."
19 In those few sentences, in those short statements, Your Honours,
20 you have it all, cause, effect and knowledge. It is time that we take the
21 opportunity; that's the cause and intent. Today there is not a single
22 Muslim in Stolac; that's the effect. Tudjman's statement, "I know all
23 that," that's the knowledge.
24 Mr. President, I'm about to start a different topic, and I don't
25 know what your plans are for taking the next break. I'm happy to proceed
1 either way. I'll either continue, or if you want to take the break now,
2 I'm in your hands.
3 JUDGE ANTOINETTI: [Interpretation] Yes, indeed. It is now 20
4 past 5. Let's have a 20-minute break, and we shall resume around 20 to 6.
5 --- Recess taken at 5.23 p.m.
6 --- On resuming at 5.48 p.m.
7 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Scott, you have the floor
9 MR. SCOTT: Mr. President, Your Honours, I will now turn for a few
10 minutes to a bit about each of the accused in the case. Because of the
11 constraints of time, I have limited what I've said about -- going to say
12 about each one, but it will provide an overview for Your Honours as we
13 begin the case.
14 Concerning the accused Jadranko Prlic, a quick summary. As
15 indicated on this slide, he was the head of the HVO government at all
16 times most relevant to the indictment, including in his role as a head of
17 the government, including his supervision of the Ministries or departments
18 of defence and the police or ministry of interior. He was a major HVO
19 policy and decision-maker. This is the man who more than any other
20 controlled the levers of government power or what Herceg-Bosna would have
21 called state power. He presided over HVO law making, an apparatus used to
22 persecute and disadvantage Muslims. He was responsible for all
23 authorities involved in and running the prisons, the HVO prisons and
24 concentration camps, responsible for all authorities involved in
25 expulsions, transfers, and deportations, and as you've already seen from
1 some of the evidence we've touched on this afternoon, a participant in
2 high-level meetings with Tudjman and other senior Croat leaders.
3 A little bit more on background. On 15th of May, 1992, Mate Boban
4 appointed Jadranko Prlic as head of the HVO department of finance, and on
5 the 14th of August, 1992, Boban appointed Prlic to the top and most
6 powerful position in the HVO government as president of Herceg-Bosna's
7 supreme executive, administrative and defence body, the HVO. After the
8 Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna became the Croatian Republic of
9 Herceg-Bosna in August 1993, Jadranko Prlic's title changed from president
10 to Prime Minister, although it is our submission that his functions
11 remained largely, if not completely, the same. He continued in this
12 position, that is as Prime Minister, throughout the time covered by the
14 As Mr. Prlic said yesterday, in fact, he'd said he's held about
15 every possible government position you can imagine. I think he said
16 something, if you put the word "former" in front of any title or
17 position -- government title or position, he's held it. That would be
18 him. He was subsequently the vice-president of the government and Defence
19 Minister of the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina and deputy Prime
20 Minister and Defence Minister of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina
21 from June 1994 to January 1996. He was the Minister of Foreign Affairs of
22 Bosnia-Herzegovina from January 1996 until February 2001.
23 Mr. President, the evidence will show that for most of 1992 and
24 continuing into 1994, Jadranko Prlic was, other than Mate Boban and indeed
25 perhaps even equal to Mate Boban in many respects, the most powerful
1 official in the Herceg-Bosna HVO political and governmental structure. By
2 late 1993, in fact, he effectively eclipsed Mate Boban. Under tremendous
3 international pressure by late 1993, Tudjman had to essentially remove
4 Boban. Some might consider that as a bit of a sacrificial lamb.
5 Something had to be done in the eyes of the international community, and
6 when Boban was removed, Jadranko Prlic became even more powerful than he
7 already was.
8 He had -- he had both de jure and de facto control, power, and
9 substantial influence over the entire Herceg-Bosna HVO government and
10 military. He directed the work of and was responsible for the HVO
11 government including military matters. He approved and signed decisions
12 and decrees that comprise the HVO's official policy, including the policy
13 concerning the Muslims. He had the power to appoint and dismiss in
14 positions of significant authority persons in civilian, military, and
15 judicial organs of Herceg-Bosna and the HVO. He possessed the authority
16 to establish, appoint wardens and close HVO prisons and concentration
18 He was at the top apart again with the possible exception of Mate
19 Boban, Your Honour, he was at the top of the power pyramid.
20 Bruno Stojic. Bruno Stojic was the head of the HVO defence
21 department, including the military police and the military intelligence.
22 He mobilised, organised, and directed and supported HVO armed forces in
23 every respect. His Defence Department was involved in massive crimes,
24 including expulsions, deportation, and forced labour. He was responsible
25 for the HVO military police, which was involved in extensive criminal
1 activity. And had major responsibility for the HVO prisons and
2 concentration camps.
3 A bit more on Mr. Stojic. On or about the 16th of April, 1992,
4 the army of the Republic of Croatia, that is the Croatian army or HV, by
5 its top commanding officer, Bobetko, assigned Stojic as acting officer in
6 charge of logistical support at the Croatian army's forward command post.
7 Now, again note there, not the HVO army but the Croatian army, the
8 army of the Republic of Croatia at their forward command post on the
9 territory of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
10 On the 3rd of July, 1992, Mate Boban named Bruno Stojic head of
11 the HVO department and then later called Ministry of Defence, and he
12 remained in this position until November 1993.
13 On 16th of December, 1993, Bruno Stojic was named head of the
14 Croatian Republic of Herceg-Bosna's office for the production of sales of
15 weapons and military equipment. As head of the Ministry of Defence, Your
16 Honours, he was the most senior political manager and official of the
17 Department of Defence or Ministry of Defence and had extensive involvement
18 in all matters of that department.
19 Slobodan Praljak. I apologise for a technical problem we may
20 have, but I will just tell you.
21 You will see Mr. Praljak was, as you've heard already, in the
22 early summer of 1991, Mr. Praljak joined the army of the Republic of
23 Croatia and by the 3rd of April, 1992, he held the rank of major general
24 in the Croatian army. On about the 14th of March of 1992, Slobodan
25 Praljak became the assistant -- an assistant minister of defence for the
1 Republic of Croatia, working closely with the Minister of Defence Susak.
2 On the 10th of September, 1992, Croatian President Franjo Tudjman
3 appointed Slobodan Praljak to be one of 14 members of the Republic of
4 Croatia's Council of National Defence. He remained in that position until
5 at least 15th of June, 1993. From approximately the 24th of July, 1993,
6 to 9 November, 1993, Slobodan Praljak served as the military head of the
7 Herceg-Bosna armed forces with the title Commander of the Main Staff.
8 The evidence will show that throughout this period Slobodan
9 Praljak served in these various capacities simultaneously as assistant
10 minister of defence and as head of the Croatian HVO armed forces. He
11 served as a principal conduit for orders, communications and instructions
12 from Tudjman and Susak in Zagreb to the Herceg-Bosna HVO leadership in
13 Mostar and Bosnia-Herzegovina. During this period and throughout this
14 period, he played a prominent role in all aspects of the Herceg-Bosna HVO
15 armed forces and operations.
16 Mr. Petkovic was a Croatian army general, professional army
17 officer. He was the top HVO commander for much of the indictment period,
18 and for those months in 1993 when Slobodan Praljak became the senior top
19 -- or senior commander, Mr. Petkovic continued as essentially the number
20 2 or deputy commander. So at all times relevant to the indictment,
21 Mr. Petkovic was either number 1 or number 2 in the HVO armed forces.
22 He was assigned early in 1992 as -- by Bobetko to the command of
23 the Croatian army's forward command post in Grude, again in
24 Bosnia-Herzegovina, which -- many of which-- many of that forward command
25 post eventually evolved into or became the senior command staff of the HVO
1 armed forces. From April of 1992 until about July of 1993, at the end of
2 July, Mr. Petkovic, as we said, served as the military head of the HVO
3 armed forces, with the title Chief of the HVO Main Staff.
4 As I mentioned a moment ago, when Mr. Praljak became the head,
5 Mr. Petkovic essentially became -- not essentially, he was the deputy or
6 number two commander. In fact, later, on the 26th of April, 1994, Milivoj
7 Petkovic again rose to the number one position and continued in that
8 position until the 5th of August, 1994.
9 The evidence will show that Mr. Petkovic exercised again both de
10 jure and de facto command and control over the Herceg-Bosna armed forces.
11 At times relevant to the indictment he exercised effective control and
12 substantial influence over the HVO forces. He was responsible for the
13 management, organisation, planning, preparation, training, discipline,
14 supply and deployment and operations of the HVO armed forces. He was
15 closely involved in all aspects of military planning and operations, and
16 he issued organisational, strategic, and combat orders.
17 Valentin Coric at all times relevant to the indictment, or until
18 at least November of 1993, was the head of the HVO military police. He
19 directed and was responsible for the HVO military police, and the evidence
20 in this case, Your Honours, will show the HVO military police itself was
21 involved in extensive criminal activity, often being, unfortunately, at
22 the forefront of the criminal activity, including the mass arrest,
23 expulsions, and looting of Muslim property. Also, he had major
24 responsibility for the HVO prisons and concentration camps.
25 Here again in April 1992, Mate Boban appointed Mr. Coric as the
1 deputy for security and commander of the HVO military police. His
2 position was later changed -- the title of his position was later changed
3 to chief of the military police administration, and he continued in this
4 position until approximately the 20th of November of 1993, at which time
5 he was appointed the minister of interior of the Croatian Republic of
7 Mr. Pusic. Mr. Pusic was a member of the HVO military police and
8 a military police official, again extensively involved in the detention,
9 movement, exchange, and release of Muslim prisoners and detained persons.
10 He was the head -- he was either the head or a member of various HVO
11 services and organisations dealing with the concentration camps. He
12 supervised and approved the use of Muslim prisoners in forced labour. He
13 played an important role in the HVO system for cleansing and deporting
14 Muslims from Herceg-Bosna.
15 A bit more background on Mr. Pusic: In 1992, he became an officer
16 in the HVO military police in Mostar, held a command position in 1993. By
17 an order dated the 22nd of April, 1993, Mr. Coric assigned Berislav Pusic
18 to act on behalf of the HVO military police in exchanging Bosnian Muslim
19 and detainees held by the HVO. On the 11th of May, Bruno Stojic appointed
20 Berislav Pusic as an HVO liaison officer to the UN Protection Force. On
21 the 5th of July, 1993, Jadranko Prlic appointed Berislav Pusic as head of
22 the service for the exchange of prisoners and other persons. On the 6th
23 of August, 1993, Bruno Stojic appointed Berislav Pusic as president of the
24 commission to take charge of all HVO prisons and detention facilities
25 holding prisoners of war and detainees. During 1993, he was also a member
1 of an HVO Commission for Exchange of Prisoners.
2 As a result of these various positions and functions, Your
3 Honours, Mr. Pusic was an important and instrumental official in the
4 Herceg-Bosna HVO system concerning the detention, use, release, exchange,
5 transfer, and deportation of Bosnian Muslims, and the evidence will show
6 that there's hardly any aspect of that that Mr. Pusic was not directly
7 involved in and that he did not, to varying degrees, control and
8 influence. Or, as an example, an Official Note by the Heliodrom warden
9 Stanko Bozic, dated 10 May, 1993, with reference to a decision that "all
10 ethnic Muslim citizens from the right bank of the Neretva were to be
11 quarantined in the central military prison in the Heliodrom. Berislav
12 Pusic, Biljana Nikic, and Marko Bevanda were authorised to release such
13 persons; Berislav Pusic issued an order that persons be released."
14 Another example, this list is indicated here, the ability of
15 Mr. Pusic to order the release and allowed the release of large numbers of
16 persons including in this particular instance individuals at the field
17 hospital who had been taken away from their flats, who had been expelled
18 from their flats on the 11th of May.
19 Another example: Mr. Pusic could give even permission for a
20 Muslim prisoner to be visited by his mother for 15 minutes. Confirmation
21 -- another example: Confirmation of an order by Mr. Pusic to transfer
22 200 detainees from the central military prison in Heliodrom to the prison
23 in Capljina until further notice. He also had the ability to approve the
24 release or use of Muslim prisoners in illegal and unlawful forced labour.
25 On the 23rd of June, workers, for example, workers were checked out. Ten
1 -- ten prisoners were taken on the approval or authorisation of
2 Mr. Pusic, taken from the Heliodrom.
3 Another document indicating that on the 21st of July, in a report
4 to not only Coric and others -- excuse me, to Coric and others, 38
5 detainees sent for work on the order of Berislav Pusic have not been
7 Another final example, a report by the Heliodrom prison warden to
8 Bruno Stojic, three of our accused; Bruno Stojic, Valentin Coric, and
9 Berislav Pusic, dated the 5th of July, 1993, reporting that HVO soldiers
10 fired for two hours at buildings holding detainees with no intervention by
11 the military police to stop them.
12 I'd like to show you and discuss for a few moments an
13 organisational chart which, unfortunately, Your Honours, it will be --
14 it's a bit small for these purposes but we'll provide you a larger hard
15 copy or version of this chart, but will give you some idea of where the
16 various accused in this case fit into the Herceg-Bosna HVO structures.
17 At the top of the chart you will see Mate Boban. Immediately
18 below Mr. Boban you will see Jadranko Prlic as the head of the government
19 and all the executive departments underneath him, including, for example,
20 the economics department, the finance department, the defence department,
21 and Mr. Stojic being the head of that department, the department of the
22 interior, department of justice, department of social welfare. All those
23 departments were directly subordinate to and under the control and
24 authority of Mr. Prlic.
25 Going down that list, as we already mentioned, you see Bruno
1 Stojic as the minister of defence, and you can go down further through the
2 organisational chart. If you follow on down below Mr. Stojic, you'll come
3 to Valentin Coric, who was head of the military police, but in any event,
4 also a subordinate to Mr. Stojic.
5 On the -- on a number of places on the chart -- well, at least two
6 places on this chart you will see Mr. Pusic. You will see him in the
7 Ministry of Defence under the Ministry of Defence as president of the
8 commission for detention centres. You will also see Mr. Pusic in a box
9 over on the left side of the chart which involves various other
10 authorities, agencies and commissions of the HVO governmental structure,
11 in this case showing his involvement in the service for the exchange of
12 prisoners and other persons.
13 As to the accused Petkovic and Praljak, you will see them in the
14 box on the lower right part of the chart in their roles as the overall top
15 commanders, either number one or number two commanders, of the HVO armed
16 forces with essentially two chains of command, if you will, two lines of
17 authority; one leading back to Mate Boban and one working back through the
18 government reporting to Mr. Stojic and being under Mr. Stojic's direction
19 and management and then ultimately back to Mr. Prlic as the president of
20 the government.
21 That will give you, for now at least, an overview of the structure
22 of the government and military and where each of the accused fit into that
23 structure during this time.
24 If we could go to the next slide. A bit more detail on the HVO
25 government, and again essentially you will hear and see documents -- you
1 will hear evidence and you will see documents mentioning the HVO HZ HB.
2 You might -- some people might use the term cabinet or the department --
3 the government, that is of the -- of the HVO, with again Mr. Prlic being
4 the head of that government and the various department heads reporting to
5 him, including in that box again Mr. Stojic as head of the defence
7 You will also see in this chart the relationship between, if you
8 will, the central HVO government and then the municipal governments, the
9 HVO governments that existed in each municipality and the relationship
10 between Mr. Prlic in the central government and these other local or
11 municipal governments.
12 Can we have the next. This chart shows specifically the
13 organisational structure of the HVO armed forces during really all of the
14 most relevant period of the indictment. Again showing Mr. Petkovic and
15 Mr. Praljak at the top of that chart, and then down through the HVO
16 command structure. The HVO operations were essentially -- or armed forces
17 were divided into four operational zones, one for the south-east
18 Herzegovina operative zone, the north-west Herzegovina operative zone, the
19 Central Bosnia zone, and the Bosanski-Posavina zone, which will not really
20 feature in this case.
21 Below, then, in each of the operative zones you have the further
22 structures of military units and formations, including brigade commanders
23 and some -- and others such as -- in some instances there are operations
24 groups, and others, military formations.
25 You also see in this chart down below the operational zone line,
1 if you will, or row, you will see there were certain assets, so-called, or
2 certain operations or functions of the Ministry of Defence or the armed
3 forces that reported and were under the direct control of Petkovic and
4 Praljak but not controlled by the operation zone but directly controlled
5 by the senior HVO commanders, and many of these things will feature in the
7 In the next chart you will see the basic so-called -- the
8 operational zones that I've just mentioned, or military districts. So you
9 have, starting with number one, the south-east Herzegovina operational
10 zone, which includes such places as Mostar and Stolac.
11 You have the north-west Herzegovina zone, which is covered by
12 number 2, including such places as Prozor and Gornji Vakuf.
13 You have the number 3 zone or the Central Bosnia zone, which
14 included places like Novi Travnik, Vitez, Busovaca and Kiseljak and Vares.
15 And then you have number 4, the Posavina operation zone up in the
16 top corner of Bosnia, top right-hand corner, if you will, which again
17 doesn't primarily feature in this case, but there you have it.
18 I just might stop here for a moment to say earlier this afternoon
19 I said remember the next map we see of Bosnia-Herzegovina and the Croatian
20 Community of Herceg-Bosna and remember that we were talking about Vares.
21 You see Vares and Kakanj sticking out there, if you will, by themselves.
22 That goes back to the point, Your Honour, that we made earlier, that it
23 became pretty apparent early on, or at least by mid-1993 that the HVO and
24 Herceg-Bosna authorities had little hope of being able to hold onto that
25 territory indefinitely, and it was far better to move the Croats from
1 there into Herzegovina as opposed to letting them stay out on -- in an
2 area which could not ultimately be held.
3 I anticipate, Your Honours, that in the coming weeks and perhaps
4 as soon as the following speech by Mr. Praljak, or in the assumptions or
5 implications of the Defence questioning of Prosecution witnesses you will
6 hear that these men, these six men, in fact, had no power, had no
7 knowledge of what was happening, or if they did know, that they could not
8 -- somehow they could not do anything about it. In short, that they had
9 then and they have now no responsibility.
10 In saying this or taking such a position, Your Honours, I think
11 they illustrate well what Rudyard Kipling said some years ago: "Power
12 without responsibility, the prerogative of the harlot throughout the
13 ages." That is the power without responsibility; the men who held senior
14 positions with pride of place and prerogative with power but now they want
15 none of that responsibility.
16 I'll stop, Your Honour. I see Mr. Karnavas on his feet, and I
17 will give Your Honour a chance to respond to him, if you wish.
18 MR. KARNAVAS: Mr. President.
19 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes, Mr. Karnavas.
20 MR. KARNAVAS: I apologise for objecting. I normally would not
21 object during an opening, but I think it's improper --
22 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Sorry, Mr. Karnavas, you can't
23 make an objection during an opening statement by the Prosecution. When
24 your time comes, the Prosecution is not going to raise any objection. You
25 will have ample time to challenge everything that is being said. So
1 please sit down.
2 MR. KARNAVAS: Very well, Mr. President.
3 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Please continue, Mr. Scott.
4 MR. SCOTT: Your Honour, these are men, as I've indicated to you
5 this afternoon, these are men who held senior positions in the HVO
6 government. They enjoyed the power that they held at the time, but now,
7 as we submit to you, they do not want to accept the responsibility that
8 was -- that went along with or should have been part of that power and the
9 privileges that they enjoyed. These men were among the most powerful men
10 in the whole Herceg-Bosna project. They had power, plenty of power, and
11 it is now time that they took the responsibility as well.
12 Moving forward, Your Honours, to touch just very briefly on some
13 of the crime base aspects because we won't have time to discuss all these
14 matters in any great detail. But I'd like to mention some of the common
15 features of the crimes charged in the indictment and the conduct that the
16 Chamber will hear evidence about in this case.
17 The evidence will show that on a widespread and systematic basis
18 and in furtherance of a joint criminal enterprise, Jadranko Prlic, Bruno
19 Stojic, Slobodan Praljak, Milivoj Petkovic, Valentin Coric, and Berislav
20 Pusic, together with other leaders and members of the Herceg-Bosna HVO
21 authorities and forces, engaged in the following forms and types of
22 conduct relevant to the indictment: One was the instigation and
23 fomentation of political, ethnic or religious strife, division, and hatred
24 by the use of speeches, propaganda, false information, all directed and
25 intended to foster and create ethnic distrust, ethnic division, and hatred
1 leading to the commission of more serious and terrible crimes that were
2 committed against the Muslims. That's detailed more in our indictment,
3 and I will not go into it now because of the interest of time.
4 A second common feature, the use of force, intimidation and
5 terror, as charged in the indictment. You will hear much evidence about
6 widespread expulsions, the widespread forcible expulsions of people, of
7 Muslims from their homes, widespread stealing and taking of their
8 property, and the terror that was put upon them especially in connection
9 with the siege of East Mostar, the terrible, terrible conditions that
10 existed there in -- in the second half of 1993.
11 Another common feature you will see is the appropriation and
12 destruction of property. From personal property - that is, money, cars,
13 personal property - to homes, businesses, and religious and cultural
14 institutions, including mosques.
15 A further common feature that you will hear about, Your Honours,
16 is detention and imprisonment. The HVO actions and the ethnic cleansing
17 campaigns that they engaged in involved the widespread detention and
18 imprisonment of large numbers, hundreds and thousands of Muslims
19 throughout 1993.
20 You will also hear again about the forcible transfer and
21 deportation of Muslims. Not only did forcible transfer from one place to
22 another in Bosnia-Herzegovina, but you will hear evidence, something we
23 haven't talked about yet today, the deportation of Muslims to third
24 countries and the systems put in place by which even Muslims held in the
25 concentration camps could sometimes be released if they could promise and
1 make arrangements to leave Herceg-Bosna for another country. Of course,
2 these leaders -- these leaders of the HVO leadership did not care as long
3 as they left Herceg-Bosna and didn't come back.
4 Another common feature you will hear is about forced labour, the
5 extensive use of Bosnian Muslim detainees and prisoners in forced labour,
6 often under extremely dangerous conditions, often under exposed-to-combat
7 conditions, carrying sandbags, building fortifications in the midst of
8 combat, carrying ammunition, retrieving bodies during which many Muslim
9 prisoners were either killed or severely wounded.
10 The Chamber will also see in connection with these crimes a
11 certain pattern and practice that was followed, and you will see this over
12 and over again when we look at the crime base and the particular
13 municipalities. It would often follow this pattern: First, most of the
14 Bosnian Muslim military-aged men, including many who had served in the HVO
15 before, were arrested and detained at various HVO prisons and
16 concentration camps. Then with most of the Muslim men effectively out of
17 the picture, the HVO took control of towns and villages and systematically
18 rounded up Bosnian Muslim women, children, and elderly, who were then
19 detained for varying lengths of time and/or transferred to
20 Bosnian-controlled areas or, again, deported to third countries.
21 I would like to focus on this slide that's put up before you now,
22 map number 14, which shows the basic crime base areas in the case, either
23 as places where such things as expulsions, detentions, imprisonment,
24 destruction occurred, or also the various detention facilities and
25 concentration camps that were used to hold people. And you will see that
1 -- I'll just work basically from the upper -- upper right side down
2 through the map. We have Vares, you have Gornji Vakuf, Prozor, Sovici and
3 Doljani, Vojinjo [phoen], Mostar, the Heliodrom camp located just outside
4 Mostar. You have Ljubuski and not only the municipality of Ljubuski but
5 the prison and camp facilities in Ljubuski. You have the Dretelj camp,
6 you have the Gabela camp, and you have crimes committed, expulsion and
7 other crimes committed in Capljina and also in Stolac.
8 Remembering back early this afternoon when we looked at this
9 similar -- a similar map showing these areas of Croatian majority,
10 plurality - again the areas marked in light blue are the areas marked, if
11 you will, hatched areas between the blue and the buff. Note that except
12 for the camps, except for the various HVO detention camps, most of which
13 were located in areas securely controlled by the HVO, that most of the
14 other crime base, with the exception of Vares, happened in areas not
15 having a Croat majority or Croat plurality. Gornji Vakuf. In a -- what
16 -- however we want to describe this colour, buff or light yellow, Gornji
17 Vakuf, Sovici, Doljani, Mostar, Stolac. And when you think about it, Your
18 Honours, the Prosecution submits that's exactly what you would expect
19 because the conflict was in those areas in which the HVO was trying to
20 exert control and discriminate and exert control and ethnic cleansing of
21 the Muslims in these areas. Not in the Croat areas but in the Muslim
22 areas that they claimed.
23 Your Honour, time will not allow me to go through all these crime
24 base areas, the ones that I've just shown you on the map. I can give you
25 some sampling of some of the crimes in some of the areas, and I'm going to
1 try to sort through my notes, if you will, if you allow me, in the next
2 few minutes and just give you a few highlights, if you will.
3 We discussed earlier today the attack on Mostar on the 9th and
4 10th of May, 1993, the evictions and expulsions that continued throughout
5 May and June of that year, and really the full-scale expulsions and the
6 full-scale siege that occurred in Mostar in approximately early July of
7 1993 to early 1994.
8 If I could, I would like to show the next -- if I could have the
9 assistance of the technical booth, if they would show the next clip
10 concerning the siege in Mostar.
11 [Videotape played]
12 "Croatian propaganda echoing over the front line in Mostar, the
13 most vicious theatre of war in Bosnia-Herzegovina. Since May, Bosnian
14 Croats, aided and abetted by the Croatian government, have been laying
15 siege to about 60.000 people in East Mostar. Almost all of them are
16 Muslims, and they're fighting back hard.
17 "Fatima and Sadem Matcitc, have just been thrown out of their
18 home by Croat gunmen. Mr. Matcitc, who is 72, managed to put on three
19 shirts and to grab two umbrellas as he left. His wife, who is 70, was
20 still in her nightclothes.
21 "Their neighbour, 84-year-old Mrs. Almassa Humow, arrived a few
22 minutes later. Don't sit there, they told her, they could kill you. Even
23 if Ms. Humow still cared, she didn't have the strength to move any further
24 on her own.
25 "She said the Croats had slapped her so hard that her cheek still
1 hurt. The soldiers say they're Bosnians first, Muslims second, but all
2 the suffering is sharpening their Muslim identity.
3 "The Croats hate us because our religion, she said, but for the
4 soldiers it's not a religious matter. It's a question of power, of
5 protecting their own people. People like the women and children expelled
6 from West Mostar. This family were lucky. The Croats were only trying to
7 scare them.
8 "These people are refugees. They live in a ruin, like thousands
9 of others in East Mostar. She can't walk. She lies in stinking clothes
10 on a soaking bed. The civilians do as they're told. Organisation begins
11 at the front line. They've set up forward first aid stations. Nusreta
12 Becic [phoen], who used to be a geologist, is in charge of this one. She
13 was treating one of her neighbours when there was another explosion. Two
14 men had been walking down the street. She slapped the man who was most
15 seriously wounded to try to stop him going into shock. He died. They
16 managed to save the other man.
17 "It gets no better at night. 500 Muslims have just been robbed
18 and thrown out of their homes in West Mostar by the Croats. They had to
19 cross the river Neretva to get to comparative safety on a bridge made of
20 ropes and planks. Croats were shooting at the people they'd just made
21 refugees. They were trying to kill old men and women, mothers and their
22 children. She was so frightened she could barely walk, but she tried to
23 calm her sons. The refugees spent their first night in East Mostar in a
24 bombed-out theatre. They talked of persecution, rape and murder. 'We
25 were driven to a small wood. My sons were pulled out of the car. They
1 were taken into that wood. I was told that their throats with slit. What
2 do I know about politics? I've never thought about it. Tonight the Croat
3 soldiers told me to shut up, to be quiet. That's what I did. I've never
4 done anything to anyone.'
5 "Another woman said that ten men raped her and robbed her before
6 she was expelled.
7 "Luckily, they didn't kill me. Or lucky as far as being killed
8 is concerned, but the rape ... Sometimes my brain simply stops working.
9 I can't get my thoughts together. I'm fighting on my own. It's
11 MR. SCOTT: That is an excerpt, Your Honours, of a much longer
12 video, and in the course of the trial we hope to present the entire video
13 to you and you'll see this in part and much, much more.
14 If I can also show you a couple of additional photographs. If we
15 can switch back to the PowerPoint presentation, please.
16 This is an exhibit that will be in the case showing Muslim
17 prisoners being taken to the Heliodrom around the 9th and 10th of May,
18 1993. You'll notice, of course, the HVO soldiers standing on the left
19 side, armed.
20 Again, Muslims being -- walking, being taken to the Heliodrom to
21 be detained there.
22 Again, Muslim men on their way to the Heliodrom. You can see the
23 Heliodrom in the background at the valley -- on the valley floor, the long
24 line of buildings in the middle of the picture, that is the Heliodrom
25 facility, parts of which were converted into an HVO detention camp which
1 held many hundreds and thousands of Muslim prisoners throughout this
2 period, and these men are being taken to that facility.
3 Your Honour, there is a number of reports that you will see. Of
4 course, the evidence again -- I submit to Your Honours that some of the
5 best evidence you'll receive are the reports from the UNPROFOR units that
6 were in the area and the UN Military Observers, the UNMOs, from the
7 European Community Monitoring Mission, ECMM, and from some other
8 international organisations who were on the ground. These organisations
9 made detailed daily and weekly reports which covered virtually all of the
10 features of the case and will provide the Chamber with much insight into
11 what was happening during those times. And I've just included a few of
12 them here. We won't go into detail because of the time limitations.
13 If we could go to a few additional photographs concerning Mostar.
14 Another aspect of what was happening in Mostar throughout the second half
15 of 1993 was an extensive shelling and sniping campaign. The continuous
16 shelling of East Mostar killed or wounded hundreds of Muslim civilians of
17 both sexes and all ages. Herceg-Bosna and HVO gunfire killed or wounded
18 at least 135 civilians in East Mostar, including women, children, and
19 elderly, and many of these victims are listed in the annex to the
21 Firemen responding to emergencies, women washing their clothes,
22 family members going out for water, and small children who ventured
23 outside were killed or wounded by HVO snipers. Members of the
24 international organisations themselves were also routinely targeted by HVO
25 fire, and in fact, and sadly, several UN peacekeepers and other
1 international representatives and aid workers were killed or wounded.
2 This picture that's on the display now, a man carrying a bag and
3 two water bottles, going for water and running to avoid sniper fire.
4 Another young man in Mostar running in front of a badly damaged building,
5 shelled building, trying to avoid sniper fire.
6 Next, picture of a woman carrying an injured child in from an
7 ambulance. I'm sure one of the few ambulances that still existed during
8 this time.
9 Victims, including this young, very young person, child, being
10 brought into the hospital in east Mostar.
11 Doctors and nurses trying to give care. No electricity, using
12 candles for light.
13 Next slide, please. Additional victims being carried into the
15 An injured boy back in a flat. Notice the shell hole immediately
16 above his head in the wall of the flat. Continuous shelling and sniping
17 of the Muslim areas in Mostar, primarily in East Mostar throughout this
19 As I said, sniping also extended to the international
20 organisations. The Spanish Battalion, for example, an UNPROFOR unit in
21 this area, reported direct and deliberate sniping at Spanish Battalion
22 units operating in Mostar, noting that in their reports, which you will
23 see, "The HVO is not very happy with the UNPROFOR presence in the city."
24 On the 3rd of November, 1993, a commander of the UN Military
25 Observers once again protested sniping to the HVO main headquarters. "We
1 feel sorry that we are forced to inform you once more about truly
2 deliberate shooting by HVO snipers toward UN Military Observers located on
3 the left bank of the River Neretva in Mostar. This was the fourth
4 confirmed incident within a single week. So we do not believe that it
5 happened by accident or that somebody shot at random. Accuracy and
6 frequency indicate that snipers were shooting in order to kill UN army
7 observers. When the SpaBat, or Spanish Battalion, tried to help, they
8 found themselves exposed to the direct fire of a machine-gun that was
9 shooting upon their transporter."
10 The evidence will show, Your Honour, that in addition to the human
11 casualties, which is certainly the most important by far, but there was
12 also huge property destruction, and the casualties of war economically and
13 again in businesses and the property that were destroyed. A number
14 especially of mosques and religious properties were destroyed which are
15 listed in the indictment and you will see and receive much evidence
16 concerning that. Mosques in particular were intentionally targeted for
17 destruction as symbols of Muslim religion and of Muslim people.
18 On November 9th, 1993, the Herceg-Bosna HVO forces destroyed the
19 Stari Most or the old bridge in Mostar. A truly world class historical
20 site that was another victim of this war.
21 Much of what the Chamber will hear in fact about Mostar has been
22 confirmed as adjudicated facts in other cases. Adjudicated fact number
23 295: "The population of East Mostar increased after the 29th of June,
24 1993, from approximately 30.000 to 55.000."
25 Why is that? How under these circumstances could the population
1 so increase? Because at the very time that all this was happening, the
2 sniping, the shelling, the siege, more and more Muslims from elsewhere
3 were being forced into this enclave by the HVO. Which also had the
4 further effect of making conditions even worse. More and more mouths to
5 feed, more and more persons to be the victims of shelling and sniping, and
6 the loss of humanitarian aid.
7 Adjudicated fact number 296: "The humanitarian situation on the
8 eastern side of Mostar was horrific. There was no running water,
9 electricity, and food. The eastern side was completely encircled. The
10 bombardment was constant."
11 Adjudicated fact number 297: "The humanitarian conditions on the
12 east bank of Mostar were appalling. While the Muslim population was
13 swelling due to the intense expulsions from the west bank, water and
14 electricity services were cut off and humanitarian organisations were
15 denied access for weeks. Crucial public services, such as the hospital,
16 were located on the west bank of Mostar and, thus, no longer accessible to
17 the Muslim civilian population."
18 And adjudicated fact number 298: "The siege of East Mostar
19 continued until the beginning of 1994."
20 Mr. President, if I could ask for the Chamber's guidance on this.
21 I would ask the Court's indulgence to allow me to plan the remainder of my
22 time tonight, if I could have one hour tomorrow to finish my comments, but
23 I would like to know what the Chamber's wishes are so I could make my
24 further statements accordingly.
25 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes, Mr. Scott. We had planned
1 that you would finish today and that Mr. Praljak could then take the floor
2 during the entire day tomorrow. Now, if you need an extra hour, this
3 means that Mr. Praljak will also ask for an extra hour. This means that
4 we will have to come back on Friday.
5 The other alternative, we could perhaps hear you until a quarter
6 past seven, if the interpreters agree to this.
7 MR. SCOTT: Your Honour, I will try to -- I'll try to finish this
8 evening to accommodate the Chamber, but I will cut through a fair amount
9 of material in the interests of time.
10 Obviously, you've only heard about a very small part of the crime
11 base in this case. I took a few minutes to tell you specifically about
12 Mostar, but you also have to -- will consider Prozor, again Gornji Vakuf,
13 Ljubuski, Stolac, Capljina, the Dretelj prison camp, the Gabela prison
14 camp, more on the Heliodrom. All those, of course, will be the subject of
15 extensive evidence that we'll present to you.
16 Perhaps I can point out a few specific items. You can see, Your
17 Honour, that I'm skipping some of the slides, that we're just going past.
18 In particular, in regards to Capljina municipality, Your Honours,
19 just to give you an additional preview of some evidence concerning the
20 expulsions in this municipality in particular, immediately next door to
21 Stolac, which you've already heard a fair amount about, an HVO order from
22 the 4th of August, 1993, this is an order from the HVO command: "Round up
23 the Muslim population from the wider territory in the depth of the area of
24 responsibility. When rounding them up, do not pay attention to age.
25 Gather detained persons in two collection centres. On completion of the
1 task, report to superior command.
2 "5. In case of resistance by them, respond by opening fire from
3 personal weapons," et cetera.
4 These and similar orders throughout the summer and particularly
5 July and August, 1993, you will see repeatedly, leading to the mass arrest
6 of -- and expulsions of Muslim civilians throughout this area.
7 If I could ask for the technical booth to show the next video
8 clip, please.
9 [Videotape played]
10 "Capljina seems to be getting back to normal, but scratch beneath
11 the surface and everything has changed. One in four of the town's
12 population has left. They didn't choose to go.
13 "Six months ago, Capljina was sealed off by the militia. Street
14 by street, block by block, a quarter of the town's people were loaded into
15 buses and driven away. They were all Muslims. This was the final step in
16 a campaign of persecution which began when Muslim cafes and shops were
17 looted and destroyed.
18 "Herceg-Bosna has not emerged by accident. The setting up of
19 this state is the realisation of a long-term plan.
20 "Today, all the players in the Capljina football team are Croats.
21 They play beneath the Croatian chequerboard flag. The story of how the
22 Serbs carved out their chunk of Bosnia is well known. The Croats have now
23 done the same, but their game plan has been overlooked.
24 "Herceg-Bosna owes its existence to one man, Croatian President
25 Franjo Tudjman. For him, the making of a Croat state on Bosnian land has
1 been a personal obsession, an obsession which drove him to bang the final
2 nail into Bosnia's coffin. Tudjman has built this state on concentration
3 camps, ethnic cleansing, torture, starvation, all executed by his henchman
4 Mate Boban.
5 "In July he abandoned any pretense of supporting a unified Bosnia
6 by calling openly for a carve-up. Peace negotiations are now based on a
7 union of republics or mini states. Tudjman has satisfied his obsession.
8 Next on the agenda, the joining of this part of Bosnia with Croatia."
9 MR. SCOTT: Your Honour, if I could focus on just one of the camps
10 in particular, to give the Chamber a bit more of a preview when we talk
11 about the Dretelj camp, one of the five main camps that are charged in the
13 If we can change back to the PowerPoint presentation, please.
14 An aerial photograph of the Dretelj camp, showing some of the
15 buildings that were used. Some of the bunkers that were used to hold
16 prisoners during 1993. And the interior of one of the bunkers.
17 When they were finally released under great international pressure
18 in the fall of 1993, this is what the Muslim -- many of the Muslim
19 prisoners looked like.
20 Hundreds if not thousands of Muslim men were held in such
21 conditions for much of 1993 the evidence will show.
22 And if I could have the technical booth again switch to the video
23 presentation and show the next clip.
24 [Videotape played]
25 "Muslim fighters. Now the Croats interred their former comrades.
1 "Responsibility for the camps went right to the top of the Croat
3 MR. SCOTT: The evidence will show that the Granic that was being
4 referred to was Mate Granic who was the foreign minister of the Republic
5 of Croatia at that time who became substantially involved in the efforts
6 to close the concentration camps under great international pressure.
7 Mr. President, Your Honours, we come back again to what I've said
8 several times this afternoon that ties all of this evidence and all of
9 this account together: "It is time that we take the opportunity to gather
10 the Croatian people inside the widest possible borders." "Today, there is
11 not a single Muslim in Stolac." "I know all that." Cause, effect, and
13 It's important, Your Honours, to note, and the Prosecution team
14 would like to say to the Chamber at this time that of course persons on
15 all sides - Croat, Muslim, and Serb - committed crimes, horrendous crimes,
16 and persons on all sides - Croat, Muslim, and Serb - were victims.
17 Indeed, while we may hear protest against or accounts concerning Muslim
18 perpetrated crimes and bad acts, it is the Office of the Prosecutor of
19 this institution which has brought indictments against persons from all
20 sides, and it is this Tribunal, this Tribunal, which has convicted persons
21 from all sides - Croat, Muslim, and Serb - of crimes and atrocities. And,
22 Your Honour Mr. President is particularly aware of that from your own
23 recent trial experience.
24 Yes, indeed, crimes were committed on all sides. But what the
25 jurisprudence tells us, and in fact what common sense tells us, quid pro
1 quo and tu quoque are not defences. The fact that one side or one person
2 committed a crime is no excuse, no justification, and no defence
3 whatsoever to another person or side committing a crime. The fact that
4 Muslims committed crimes, the fact that Serbs committed crimes, all of
5 which are undoubtedly true, as established by the judgements of this
6 Tribunal, is no defence, no excuse, no justification for the crimes
7 committed by Croats against the Muslims.
8 Let me also take this opportunity, as I conclude my opening
9 statement today, to make something very clear: Contrary to some reports
10 or allegations that we sometimes hear, this case and the indictment in
11 this case is not against Croatia, and it's not against the Croatian people
12 generally. Those are false statements, and I'm sure said simply for the
13 purpose of media hyperbole. Indeed, as I just indicated, Croatian people
14 suffered greatly during the Balkan wars and the crimes committed against
15 Croats have been and are being addressed by this Tribunal as they should
16 and must. This is not a case against Croatia or Croatian people but
17 against a group, against a movement, against an enterprise of persons
18 which took the wrong direction, which engaged in the wrong policies and
19 the wrong practices and inflicted great harm and suffering on large
20 numbers of people. And those are the people who must be held to account.
21 It was under their direction, under their policies, under their practices,
22 under their strategies, under their Greater Croatia plan that these crimes
23 were committed, crimes that most assuredly must be addressed, must be
24 prosecuted, ever so much as the crimes committed against Croatian people.
25 Indeed, if the Court will allow me, Croatia is a beautiful and
1 dynamic country that wants to move forward, and I for one hope that it
2 succeeds. This is not a case against Croatia or the Croatian people.
3 It's a case against people who did bad things.
4 Further, and also contrary to what has been said, and I think it
5 was said as recently as yesterday in the Pre-Trial Conference, Your
6 Honour, this case is not against and is not an indictment of everyone who
7 was in the HVO. Undoubtedly, and without any dispute, there were people,
8 there were individuals who served in the HVO honourably and who acted
9 properly. And if anyone says that everyone in the HVO was a criminal,
10 that's the nature of our case, that is a false statement and it's a
11 mischaracterisation of the Prosecution case.
12 Another aspect of our case, Your Honour, and I will just touch on
13 it ever so briefly because of the hour, is the aspects of the
14 international armed conflict. I think you've heard a great deal about
15 that today, especially on the -- what you might all the political side.
16 But you will also hear, Your Honours, extensive evidence about the direct
17 participation, about the direct involvement of the Croatian army, the
18 Croatian military in Bosnia and Herzegovina. And you will not only the
19 hear that, but you'll hear about concerted efforts to conceal, to conceal
20 their involvement and to deny their involvement, all of which never went
21 anywhere because everyone knew, including the international community,
22 including the United Nations, which issued report after report, Resolution
23 after Resolution, calling on Croatia to remove its troops from
24 Bosnia-Herzegovina, and yet there were efforts to deny and cover up and
25 conceal that involvement. And you will hear direct evidence about the
1 steps taken to do that, including statements and conversations by
2 Mr. Tudjman, President Tudjman, and others talking about how that cover-up
3 would be conducted. And of course Mr. Tudjman says, "We had to do it
4 under the cover of volunteers. We had to call them volunteers but
5 everyone knows that they were not." And you'll see that evidence and
6 you'll see those transcripts and the direct ordering of Croatian units,
7 and you'll see the orders and you'll hear the evidence of Praljak and
8 others talking about the direct sending of Croatian army units into Bosnia
9 and Herzegovina, and you'll see the orders.
10 Your Honours, I'll make my concluding remarks now. This
11 International Tribunal was established to investigate, prosecute, and hold
12 to account the most responsible senior persons concerning the horrific
13 crimes committed in the former Yugoslavia since 1991, and in this
14 particular case concerning the Croat-Muslim part of that conflict from
15 1992 to early 1994.
16 In prosecuting the most responsible senior persons, the type of
17 persons who stand before this Court, this Chamber, these are not people
18 who, if you will, did most of the dirty work themselves. These are not
19 the people who pulled the trigger or who poured the petrol on Muslim
20 houses, who put the dynamite in the mosque, but these are the people who
21 set those policies, who set those practices, who were pursuing a Greater
22 Croatia and a Herceg-Bosna that led to all these things happening. That
23 is the nature of the case. And of course you will not expect in that
24 circumstance for there to be evidence that these particular individuals
25 actually lined up a Muslim individual or group and shot them themselves.
1 They had other people doing that, the evidence will show. The orders that
2 they gave, the policies that they established, the practices that they
3 condoned, that is the nature of the case.
4 Each of the accused charged in this indictment plainly fits the
5 standard of a senior responsible person. Each of them was a senior
6 political or military actor in the Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna and
7 the HVO. The evidence will show that each of them played a key and
8 essential role or roles in or concerning the commission of the crimes
9 charged in the indictment. Each of them is responsible for unimaginable
10 harm to countless victims. While the victims may be countless, and even
11 sometimes no longer known, they cannot be forgotten and the wrongs done to
12 them cannot go unpunished.
13 In a very real and genuine sense, Your Honours, Mr. President, it
14 is not Ken Scott or Daryl Mundis or this Prosecution team that appears at
15 the bar today. As Robert Jackson said at Nuremberg, the real complaining
16 party at your bar is civilisation itself. To this same end, the writ of
17 civilisation in seeking justice must constantly expand in the areas and
18 persons it reaches. The writ of justice. I'm reminded of that in the
19 words of John F. Kennedy in his inaugural address in 1961. Even those
20 years ago, he said: "To that world assembly of sovereign states, the
21 United Nations, our last best hope in an age when the instruments of war
22 have far out-paced the instruments of peace, we renew our pledge of
23 support to strengthen its shield of the new and the weak and to enlarge
24 the area in which its writ may run."
25 The writ of international justice must run everywhere. Justice
1 must know no bounds. No one must be allowed to act with impunity. The
2 writ of justice must reach every person, every corner, every hiding place.
3 John F. Kennedy also said, in June 1963: "But peace does not mean
4 an absence of disputes. It does not even require that each man love his
5 neighbour. It requires only that they live together in mutual tolerance,
6 submitting their disputes to just and peaceful settlement."
7 Kennedy continued: "So let us persevere. Peace need not be
8 impracticable and war need not be inevitable."
9 What happened here, Mr. President, Your Honours, in the situation
10 and facts related to this case, that is the tragedy and crimes represented
11 by this case, is that these men and their associates, these men now
12 charged and seated before you, did exactly the opposite. They made peace
13 impracticable and war inevitable. They must be held to account, Your
14 Honours, and that's what the Prosecution case will attempt to do.
15 Thank you.
16 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. Scott. I had
17 given you some more time. In spite of this, you ended your opening
18 statement at 7.00. Thank you for this.
19 As you know, Mr. Praljak will be free to speak tomorrow. He will
20 have the entire day, the entire court day, from 2.15 until 7.00 p.m., to
21 make his opening statement. Of course, there will be no objections.
22 There is no reason why there should be any objection to what he's about to
23 say. And following Mr. Praljak's opening statement, we shall convene
24 again next week, on Tuesday, to start with the first witness.
25 It is now 7.00. I thank everybody. The hearing stands adjourned.
1 Let's meet again tomorrow at 2.15.
2 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 7.01 p.m.,
3 to be reconvened on Thursday, the 27th day
4 of April, 2006, at 2.15 p.m.