1 Wednesday, 21 June 2006
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 [The witness entered court]
5 --- Upon commencing at 9.03 a.m.
6 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Registrar, would you call
7 the case, please.
8 THE REGISTRAR: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President, and good
9 morning to one and all. Case IT-04-74-T, the Prosecutor versus Prlic et
11 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Well, this is Wednesday, the
12 21st of June, 2006. I'd like to welcome everybody in the courtroom. As
13 you know, we're going to continue our proceedings. Just before the break
14 yesterday, I asked the witness a few questions for him to be able to say
15 specifically what the context was when he met a number of people in
16 Prozor, and so we can now continue. I'm going to give the floor to the
17 Prosecution to do so.
18 MR. KRUGER: Thank you, Mr. President.
19 WITNESS: OMER HUJDUR [Resumed]
20 [Witness answered through interpreter]
21 Examination by Mr. Kruger: [Continued]
22 Q. Just to conclude with this meeting, Mr. Hujdur, yesterday during
23 the questioning by the President, you at one stage said, and I refer in
24 the transcript to page 135, line 25 -- from line 25. It says: "And at
25 one point he said to his commanders, 'If you go on doing what you're
1 doing, you will no longer get assistance from Croatia.'"
2 I just want to confirm that I heard correctly, because this came
3 at the end of a session.
4 A. Mr. President, Your Honours, ladies and gentlemen, that is how I
5 understood that sentence, precisely that way. I think today, as I thought
6 then, that it was lack of obedience towards an order and conduct towards a
7 captured officer of the BH army, and perhaps also based on the situation
8 he saw prevailing in town. And the general did in fact utter that
9 sentence in an angry tone. He used swear words and words which, out of a
10 sense of dignity towards my religion, and generally, I don't wish to
11 repeat his exact words, but he really was very angry when he uttered that
13 Q. Thank you. And you are referring to General Praljak.
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. Regarding the conclusion of the meeting, in the transcript at page
16 136, from line 6, you say: "Unfortunately, there was a promise that the
17 talks would continue, but the talks never continued."
18 In the decision that was taken, was there any decision or anything
19 concerning disarmament? What was decided regarding disarmament?
20 A. The promised meeting never took place, that's true. We returned
21 towards Jablanica ourselves. The general remained. He stayed to talk to
22 his subordinates and the other people present there.
23 As to further developments, they were such that at that time the
24 Croatian forces just entered Prozor and in several hamlets in the vicinity
25 of Prozor, whereas the rest of the terrain remained -- well, shall we say
1 remained free. And in the coming period that other area was under the
2 constant -- how shall I put this? It was faced with constant ultimatums
3 to hand over weapons and to be subordinated and attached -- or, rather, to
4 accept the new authorities.
5 Q. These villages, were they Bosnian or Croat villages?
6 A. Of course we're speaking of exclusively Bosniak villages which are
7 to be found in this area south of Prozor on the road to Jablanica, along
8 the road towards Jablanica both on the left-hand side and the right-hand
9 side of the road. All those hamlets and villages, just like those who --
10 which were to the west of Prozor.
11 JUDGE TRECHSEL: If I may. Just one question to make sure. You
12 have spoken of "the Croat forces." Did you mean military of the army of
13 Croatia or do you mean HV -- HOV -- HVO, I'm sorry.
14 THE WITNESS: I think that the operatives were the HVO, but
15 everything was done pursuant to commands of representatives of the HV, the
16 Croatian army.
17 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Thank you.
18 MR. KRUGER:
19 Q. The villages that you refer to, can you name them?
20 A. Yes, of course. South of Prozor there was Duge, Lug, Gornja Lug,
21 Donja Lug, Gornji Visnjani, Donji Visnjani, Parcani, Paros, Klek, Heldovi,
22 Lizoperci, Grevici, Toscanica. That is in the south. And to the west,
23 west of Prozor, Lapsunj, Varvara, Kovacevo Polje. Two villages east or
24 north-east, that is Blace and Memici. They are -- they were to all
25 intents and purposes eliminated or, rather, taken control of. And when
1 they entered Prozor, then those settlements or hamlets were taken over.
2 So they were already under the control of those forces.
3 Q. And just once again for the record, which forces are you referring
5 A. In the operation, this was done by the local HVO but with full
6 control and by the command of the representatives of the Croatian army.
7 And I should like to add there that there were attempts to disarm the
8 larger Bosniak villages east and north-east of Prozor - Here, Kute, and
9 Scipe - which were their greatest problem, and that's where they made
10 their ultimatums to -- for the people to hand over their weapons, and
11 these ultimatums were not accepted. So those were the Bosniak villages
12 where the -- the ultimatums were not accepted and the villagers did not
13 hand over their weapons.
14 Q. Thank you. Mr. Hujdur, before leaving this topic, this was the
15 first time that you had returned to Prozor since the 24th of October,
16 1992, when you left. You have mentioned in your previous testimony that
17 there was destruction which had taken place in Prozor. Did you see any of
18 this destruction with your own eyes, or the results of the destruction in
20 A. Yes. While the general stayed on at the meeting with the people
21 in the motel, we, on our journey back, and since all those facilities are
22 on the main road and we passed by all these buildings on our way and were
23 able to see that what we had written was actually how things stood.
24 Q. Can you give the Court an idea of the level of destruction or what
25 kind of destruction you saw.
1 A. What we saw was burnt houses, very eerie looking. We saw shop
2 windows broken, everything looted, devastated, untidy. Everything was
3 wrecked, and it was a terrible sight to behold compared to the situation
4 before the attack.
5 Q. Thank you. If we can move on to the documents, and I think, in
6 view of the time, we, unfortunately, cannot deal with them in great
7 detail, but I would like to touch upon some aspects of them. The first
8 aspect relates to - and if I can refer to the transcript of yesterday,
9 page 119, at line 13 - you referred to it was a board for the return of
10 expulsed persons which you were a member of.
11 The first document that I would like to show you in this regard is
12 Exhibit number 01542. If we can show that on the e-court system.
13 Do you see the document in front of you?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. Now, this document, it consists of two pages. If we can perhaps
16 -- let's deal with this page first. The title of this document is, or
17 the subject of this document is? If you can tell the Court.
18 A. Just an addition here. The Board for the Return of Legal Organs
19 and Displaced Persons, or expulsed persons, and it says Prozor, Jablanica,
20 which means that we were in Jablanica at that town and acted -- at that
21 time and acted from Jablanica, because this was our attempt to have the
22 legal organs return after everything that had happened. And this document
23 is dated February, and in the meantime a series of other events took
24 place; the January attack on Vakuf, the situation deteriorated generally.
25 And we asked the legal organs of the Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina and
1 the Presidency and the government of Bosnia-Herzegovina on the basis of
2 information sent out previously and on the basis of the contents of this
3 document that they should define the status for our future work so that we
4 knew what we had to do and to give us full legitimacy in our work.
5 Q. Do you know who the author of this document was?
6 A. The author of this document is our team. The team compiled the
7 document on the basis of a joint effort, and so that's the heading.
8 Perhaps that isn't my signature. It is the signature, I believe, of one
9 of the members. For your information, this is the signature of one of the
10 members who was aware of all the events. It is authentic, and I can state
11 that it is as authentic as if I had signed it, because we had decided that
12 several members had equal right to sign documents of this kind if the
13 others were absent or if the number one man was absent.
14 Q. If we could go to the second page of this document and just go to
15 the area where the author's name appears or where the signature normally
16 appears. If we can go down a bit further. Thank you.
17 Your name appears there as the president of the organisation, and
18 it's signed Omer Hujdur, diploma in engineering. The fact that your name
19 appears there without any signature, do you have any comments regarding
21 A. What I can say is that this is not my signature. That is true.
22 Quite possibly the original text might have gone with the signature, but
23 the contents of this letter, they are authentic as we sent it to the
24 Presidency and the government. And the signature that you see there is
25 equally valid, as valid as would have been my own, because it says above
1 that "Signed and certified by a stamp." So this isn't something that
2 someone could have just written on his own bat and sent out. The last
3 sentence of the document says, "Signed and certified with a stamp." So
4 this is an authentic document. This might be a copy from the archive.
5 But I can say with full responsibility that the contents are authentic and
6 that it contains all the elements of a public document. It has everything
7 a public document should have.
8 Q. Thank you. Just with regard to the date that appears next to that
9 signature, it's the 17th of February, 2000. Do you have any comments
10 regarding that, or any idea?
11 A. Well, assumptions are probably not very valuable in court, but all
12 I can do is assume that this man, in giving his own statement, might have
13 placed this date and his signature there, his certification, if I could
14 put it that way, of the authenticity of this text. So that might be it.
15 Perhaps he didn't have access to the archives at that point and could not
16 come by a signed document, but he found a copy and probably certified it
17 in that way. So that is what I assume. Perhaps some of you know what
18 actually happened, but that is my assumption.
19 Q. On that page, if we can very briefly look at paragraph 2 in the
20 B/C/S version. And in the English version it is paragraph 3. And it says
21 there: "... we formed, in a democratic manner, a Committee for the
22 Returning of Legal Organs of Displaced Persons, consisting of nine
23 members. Our proposals were that this body worked under the name of the
24 War Presidency," and then it goes on.
25 Is this the committee that you were referring to earlier and --
1 sorry, I don't have the text in front of me.
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. Thank you. And in the fourth last paragraph on that same page,
4 there is reference to: "Apart from forming a commission for the
5 investigation of all relevant facts." Do you see that? Which commission
6 does this refer to?
7 A. Yesterday, when we spoke about the first document that we wrote,
8 the first information or report sent out, we mentioned that we hadn't been
9 -- that we hadn't established or selected this board. So that was a
10 forum at the time. And the first document that was sent out was under the
11 heading of a forum for displaced persons. And we asked that on the basis
12 of the information we were sending out and on the basis of their
13 knowledge, that an urgent commission should be established to investigate
14 all the relevant facts and proposed measures for overcoming the situation.
15 And that's what we reiterate here. We repeat that. We say that both from
16 a military and political aspect or, rather, from those aspects and also
17 from other aspects, political, military, and everything else, all the
18 damage done there, the people killed, that the overall situation should be
19 investigated. That's what we meant. To gather all the relevant data and
20 information, to conduct an investigation, and to ascertain what actually
21 happened over there. When I say "there," I mean Prozor. So that's what
22 we repeated several times.
23 Q. Finally on this document, if we can turn to page 1 very briefly,
24 and if we can look at paragraph 5 on page 1.
25 In that paragraph it states: "In spite of everything that
1 occurred in Prozor, we initiated talks which were aimed at creating
2 tolerable living conditions." Which talks does this refer to?
3 A. This refers to talks held in Prozor with the general and the
4 others. Those are the talks meant.
5 Q. The talks on the 1st of December that we spoke about yesterday?
6 A. Yes. Yes. That's right.
7 MR. KRUGER: If we could go to the next document. And this is
8 Exhibit 01564. This is a long document, Your Honour, or a longer
9 document, and if we could show the first page on the ELMO, but if I could
10 show a hard copy and ask the usher's assistance, we do have a hard copy
11 available for the witness.
12 And in the e-court system, if we could go to the next page. Thank
14 Q. Mr. Hujdur, do you recognise this document?
15 A. Yes, I do recognise it.
16 Q. Can you tell us what the document is?
17 A. This document is an attempt on our part or continuity in our work
18 along the lines of sending out relevant documents and information to the
19 appropriate republican organs and bodies and institutions so that they
20 should bear in mind this material and take necessary measures.
21 Q. Now, in relation to how you described yesterday how your board
22 compiled documents and reports, could you give an idea how this report was
23 compiled, or this document, the information contained in it.
24 A. This information was gathered -- or, rather, it was building on
25 previous information gathered, updating it compared to what had already
1 taken place. So we took statements -- or, rather, statements were taken.
2 There was a separate commission in charge of taking statements, and later
3 on that commission would become the commission or centre for investigating
4 war crimes. But anyway, at this time a group of people, on the basis of
5 standard procedure, would take statements from people who had -- who gave
6 their statements to the commission first-hand. And some of the
7 information would come from the police structures, and the police gathered
8 their own information through their own channels and sources.
9 So all this information was gathered together, and all of it is
10 based on mostly authentic statements by the witnesses, and they were
11 stored and kept.
12 Q. Could you give the Court an idea of how many -- a rough idea of
13 how many people contributed information to the commission in order to
14 prepare these reports? Are we talking about 10 or 20 or hundreds?
15 A. After our first information or report, each new piece of
16 information was authentically recorded. So you would have to calculate
17 the difference between what we had at the beginning and now. So every new
18 case, for instance, of a house being burnt down, would be recorded, and it
19 would be the owner of the house that had been burnt down who would have
20 given us that information.
21 Q. Okay. We'll come back to this in a moment. At the bottom of that
22 first page, it says: "Signed on behalf of the president of the board,
23 Mr. Omer Hujdur." Is that your signature? Sorry. Obviously it's not.
24 My mistake. What I want to ask is do you know who signed on your behalf?
25 A. Yes, I do know. He was a member our board.
1 Q. Can you identify him for the Court?
2 A. As I said yesterday, I can tell you his name, Atif Fejzic, but ...
3 Q. Thank you. If you --
4 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] You say yes, but ... But what?
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] But I didn't fully understand the
6 liberty you gave me not to say names publicly. This name, however, I
7 believe does not belong to a person who might have problems.
8 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] You would like this not to be
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, I don't think that this name
11 is important. But if it is important for the Court, I can tell you that
12 his name is Atif Fejzic. However, my understanding was that we would not
13 be mentioning names, that there would not be a need to mention names.
14 [Trial Chamber confers]
15 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] We shall leave the name in
16 there. Please proceed.
17 MR. KRUGER: Thank you, Mr. President.
18 Q. Mr. Hujdur, item 2 on this first page of the document says: "List
19 of houses that have been burnt after the entry of Croatian forces in
20 Prozor on 24 October, 1992."
21 If you turn to the next page of the document - and if we could
22 have that on the e-court system, perhaps - after having had a look at that
23 part very briefly, can you tell us what the next part of the document
24 consists of?
25 A. I'm afraid I didn't understand your question very well. Are you
1 referring to the document about houses?
2 Q. Yes, indeed.
3 A. This document consists of a number of houses burnt, with the name
4 of the owner and a brief description of the size and value of the house,
5 and so on. At the end, as you see, there is a stamp, and the list has
6 been verified. The last ordinal number is 75.
7 Q. On which page of your document is that, sir?
8 A. On page 5.
9 Q. Page 5. If we could have page 5 up on the ELMO perhaps.
10 While we're waiting for that, could you tell the Court how many
11 houses are listed in this document as being destroyed or damaged.
12 A. Seventy-five.
13 Q. The fact that 75 houses are listed, and with the names of owners
14 as well, was each of these people approached to give a statement or
15 approached with regard to their houses?
16 A. I'll give you a specific example. Ibro Daguda, the owner of one
17 of these houses, a beautiful house with business premises. While his
18 house was burning, he was inside the house. He managed to get out at the
19 last moment. And it was these authentic experiences and actual statements
20 about the condition of those houses on the basis of which this list and
21 short description was compiled.
22 Q. But once again, with regard to each of these 75 incidents, did you
23 actually speak to -- not you personally, but members of the committee or
24 people working for it, did they actually speak to these people? You shook
25 your head. Could you just reply.
1 A. Yes, yes.
2 Q. In your own mind, being involved in this commission, do you have
3 any comments or feeling with regard to - and this is from your own
4 involvement with this commission - on the reliability of the information
5 that has been compiled here?
6 MR. KARNAVAS: Your Honour. Excuse me, sir, before you answer
7 that question. I object to that question. If he can say concretely, you
8 know, what he knows specifically, that's fine. If he can say to some
9 degree of reasonableness that he -- out of these 70-some houses. But I
10 think now we're going into feelings. He can testify, as he has already,
11 that individuals came and gave their -- gave their information. I think
12 that's fine. As to whether he checked all this information out, that's
13 something different.
14 MR. KRUGER: Your Honour, if I may respond.
15 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. Just something I
16 would like to clarify. On line 11, page 13, I can see the figure 70
17 appear, I think the right figure is 75.
18 MR. KRUGER: Thank you, Your Honour.
19 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Witness, could you answer the
20 questions clearly without sharing with us your personal feelings. These
21 might be important, but I would like you to first and foremost answer the
22 question. And before giving the floor back to you, I'm a little bit
23 puzzled. You mentioned the case of somebody called Ibro -- the name is no
24 longer on the screen -- and I looked at the 75 names and I don't find his
25 name on the list. Whom were you referring to when you mentioned the list
1 of names? Which number were you referring to?
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Daguda Ibro, a member of our
3 commission. He should be on the list. If he's not, it's an error.
4 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Fine.
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] But I was trying to say that the
6 first information we drew up --
7 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Because I realise that Daguda
8 Ibro is not on the list. Unless I've made a mistake. I don't see his
9 name on the list.
10 MR. KRUGER: Your Honour, if I may suggest that the witness look
11 at number 24.
12 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Let's look at number 24. Yes.
13 I can see the name Ibro, but it's not very legible. It's number 24. Very
14 well, then.
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes. Your Honour, may I say
17 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Kruger, I think you were
18 about to put a question, and -- to the witness and you were expecting an
19 answer, so please put the question again.
20 MR. KRUGER: Thank you, Your Honour.
21 Q. Mr. Hujdur, in light of your name appearing at the bottom of this
22 document and that this document therefore went out under your name, were
23 you satisfied that the information contained in this document was
24 reasonably reliable, that you could therefore send it out under your name?
25 A. I still owe an answer to a question put by the President of the
1 Chamber concerning the discrepancy. On entry into town, a number of
2 houses were torched, and according to the initial information, that number
3 is smaller than the number found here. Why? Because this list was
4 compiled in February, and between November and February a number of bad
5 things happened. One of them was the attack on Gornji Vakuf on the 13th
6 of January, 1993. And whenever there was an attack, a failed attack on
7 Gornji Vakuf, the soldiers vented their anger by torching more houses.
8 As for the authenticity of the document, it is authentic, and I
9 would sign it right now because it was compiled on the basis of reliable
10 information which we gathered in the way I have described. The difference
11 or the discrepancy seen here is because the number of burnt houses and all
12 the other misfortunes increased and grew. There was more and more
13 destruction, killing, maltreatment, and everything else.
14 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I'm sorry if I interrupt, but
15 the Judges will have to assess all of this in a very accurate manner.
16 If I've understood you correctly, you said as far as this list of
17 75 houses is concerned, some were destroyed in October when you yourself
18 were in the cellar and then you left, and then after the month of October,
19 because there had been this attack on Gornji Vakuf. As a result, a number
20 of other houses were burnt down. And these house are also on this list of
21 75 houses; is that correct?
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Until that period, yes. Until the
23 period when we learned about the destruction.
24 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] All right. Then maybe this
25 escaped the Prosecution, but just very briefly, if you remember, on this
1 list of 75 houses, do you have clear instances of houses that were burnt
2 down on the 24th of October, 1992?
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Just a moment, please. There's an
4 error here. All these houses, all these houses were burnt when the
5 Croatian forces entered Prozor. The list of houses burnt during the
6 attack on Gornji Vakuf is under number 7 in this document. So I wish to
7 correct this now.
8 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well.
9 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Can I ask a number of questions regarding this
10 list. A technical question: Is there any sense behind the order in which
11 the houses are listed? It is not alphabetic, I can see. Is there some
12 other order behind it or is it more or less put down at random?
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] One might say at random or as the
14 information arrived or as information was learnt. That's how the list was
16 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Then I notice a difference in language. This
17 document - and I'm bound to use the translation - speaks of houses burnt,
18 and in one of your last replies you have used the term "torched." The
19 result is the same, but "torch," the term "torch," at least in the English
20 language, I seem to understand, means put to fire intentionally by
21 someone. Are you saying that this is what happened to all of these houses
22 or to some of them, that they were burnt down intentionally?
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] There is reliable information that
24 speaks of intentional burning of houses, and this man who spoke about how
25 his house was burnt is an example of this. A special kind of powder was
1 used, but I can't recall now what it was called.
2 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Did you hear a more precise description on what
3 was done, how this happened?
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes. This man described in great
5 detail to us how it happened.
6 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Could you tell the Bench and all present.
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I don't know how authentic it will
8 be if I tell you. It might be best to call the man who experienced this.
9 If you're asking me to interpret his statement, the way they entered the
10 houses was special. Some people were guarding the entrance, others were
11 sprinkling the powder around, a third group was setting fire to it. They
12 would start on the ground floor and then go on to the next floor up, and
13 so on until they reached the attic. That's what I can tell you based on
14 what the man told us, but it would be best to hear authentic testimony
15 from the person who experienced and survived all this.
16 JUDGE TRECHSEL: The Court certainly would not disagree with that.
3 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] [Previous translation continues]
4 ... private session.
5 [Private session]
11 Page 3550 redacted. Private session.
14 [Open session]
15 THE REGISTRAR: [No interpretation].
16 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] We are back into open session.
17 So let's resume now as we are back in open session.
18 MR. KRUGER: Thank you, Mr. President.
19 Q. To conclude on this document, Mr. Hujdur, on the first page of the
20 document there is reference to eight items. However, looking at the
21 annex, it seems to me as if not all of the annexes or not all of the
22 information relating to these eight items appears. Is this document
24 A. No, evidently not. All the annexes are not here.
25 Q. When the document was originally sent out, to your knowledge were
1 all the annexes attached?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. Thank you. If we can move on. Yesterday, at -- in the transcript
4 at page 123, line 20 onwards, you said: "In this information we described
5 the situation before the attack, during the attack as we experienced it,
6 the information we had available from the most responsible people and from
7 our own personal experience. On the basis of this, we drew up this
8 information signed by three people."
9 Now, in light of this, I would like to show you the next exhibit,
10 which is Exhibit number 01656.
11 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Just a minute, please. Before
12 moving on to the next exhibit, could we perhaps see the B/C/S version of
13 annex 2, please. Here in this document we can see the date 31st of
14 August, 2000. There is a signature on there. Who signed this document?
15 In the B/C/S document, the other pages also have the same signature and
16 the same date, so somebody must have authenticated this document. And the
17 Prosecution said a while ago that this document had been sent in. Can you
18 provide an explanation for this?
19 The Prosecution, answer this question, please. Mr. Kruger.
20 MR. KRUGER: Thank you, Your Honour. Your Honour, I think it
21 would assist in perhaps clarifying some potential confusion. This
22 document with the signature dated in 2000, as well as some of the other
23 annexes or documents which may we see which have later dates on them,
24 those dates generally refer to -- or were placed on the documents when
25 these documents were handed to the Prosecution and -- in the course of
1 investigations. And that is most likely also the reason for this
2 particular date and signature. At this stage I can't be more precise than
3 that, unfortunately.
4 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] So you don't know whether the
5 date and the signature meet that of one of your investigators or whether
6 it's a member of this commission who would have authenticated this
7 document. You have no explanation to give us, do you?
8 MR. KRUGER: Your Honour, this would be whichever witness handed
9 the document to us. That witness would have signed this. And that would
10 also explain the addition of an annex 2 page to the B/C/S version, the
11 annex 2 most likely relating to this was the second annex handed by a
13 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. Witness, let's try
14 to understand what's going on here. Did you hand over to one of the
15 investigators of this Tribunal a set of documents? You personally. The
16 documents we have here, did you hand over some of these documents
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I did not hand over this document to
19 the Tribunal, but somebody from the board did.
20 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well.
21 MR. KARNAVAS: Mr. President, if he knows who it is it, because
22 he's saying somebody from the board, so obviously he must know, I would
23 like to know who that person is. The Prosecution should keep track of
24 these -- these documents, especially if they're going to be tendering them
25 as being authentic, accurate, and complete.
1 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. Mr. Ibrisimovic
2 should know, because he just stood up.
3 MR. IBRISIMOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President. I
4 think that on the list of documents we saw that the person who did this
5 was 290 on the Prosecution's witness list and that he will be coming into
6 the Tribunal. I think that my learned colleagues of the Prosecution can
7 check that out, but I think that that is the person who supplied the
8 Tribunal or, rather, the Prosecution with the document.
9 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. So there would be
10 another witness.
11 MR. KRUGER: Thank you, Your Honour, and I do thank my learned
12 colleague for that bit of information.
13 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. Please proceed.
14 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Nevertheless, Mr. Hujdur, do you recognise the
15 signature that has been the object of the last few minutes' debate? On
16 the top page.
17 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please. Microphone for the witness,
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I would like to ask you that this
20 document be dealt with in greater detail when the witness to whom this
21 refers comes in.
22 JUDGE TRECHSEL: You are not answering my question. I asked you
23 whether you recognise this signature, and you must, I recall, answer
24 truthfully, because you are under oath.
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I do recognise it, but please, may I
1 not -- may I be allowed not to state who that is, not to answer the
2 question now?
3 MR. KRUGER: Your Honour, may I suggest that we go into private
5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes, private session, please. I
6 anticipated that.
7 [Private session]
11 Page 3556 redacted. Private session.
14 [Open session]
15 THE REGISTRAR: [Interpretation] Mr. President, we are back in open
17 MR. KRUGER: Thank you, Your Honour.
18 Q. Mr. Hujdur, if we can now turn to Exhibit number 01656. And in
19 the -- I would like to show you the hard copy of this as well. You
20 already have this document in the package in front of you. You will see
21 the tab 0 -- or 1656. You first have the translation, but -- perhaps the
22 usher could help Mr. Hujdur if he needs assistance. Thank you.
23 Now, Mr. Hujdur, yesterday we talked about -- or you referred to
24 information that was compiled and, "On the basis of this, we drew up this
25 information signed by three people." Looking at this document in the
1 light of what I've just said, do you recognise this document?
2 A. Yes, I do recognise it, but may I be allowed to say that the other
3 documents were authentic, too, regardless of who signed them. I do
4 recognise this document, yes.
5 Q. What is this document?
6 A. This is an information or report on the situation in Prozor
7 municipality before and after the brutal aggression by the HVO and HV on
8 the 23rd and 24th of October, 1992, and the position of the Muslim people
9 in connection with these events.
10 Q. And if we can look at the last page, or page 12 of the document.
11 And in the English version it is page 12 and page 13. If we can just move
12 down a little bit. Just a little bit up.
13 And there you see lines with the names of three people, and your
14 own name also appears there. Is that correct?
15 A. Yes, that's right. The original of this document was signed by
16 all three individuals. On this document, we have one of the signatories
17 of us three, and it is the person under number 2 who signed it. Probably
18 during this period of time he signed his name there to certify the
19 authenticity, but the document is authentic because it was signed by all
20 three of the people whose names are listed here in the corner.
21 Q. Thank you. Now, the -- or this document, if we can very, very
22 briefly look at page 2 of the document. And in the very first paragraph
23 it starts with: "The extensive series of extreme incident causing and
24 perfidious activities carried out by representatives of the Croatian
25 people and after that by members of the HOS and the HVO preceded the
1 aggression," et cetera. And then there are a number of bulleted points
2 over the next series of pages. What do these bulleted points relate to?
3 A. Those bullet points relate to the overall events, as it says in
4 the title, before, during, and after the attack on Prozor.
5 Q. What is the source of your information, once again, for compiling
6 this report and the information contained in it?
7 A. All the events in the course of 2002 in our joint work, a number
8 of my colleagues from the board, and it's not only the three men that
9 stand behind this piece of information. They are the signatories, but
10 there's a whole team of people behind this document. So a number of
11 members of the board kept the documents and their notes and all other
12 relevant documents which helped us to compile what happened before the --
13 before the attack. As for what happened during the attack, we were able
14 to compile that on the basis of the elements that I spoke about earlier
15 on, as well as the things that took place -- or, rather, influenced the
16 attack on Gornji Vakuf, Jablanica, and so on when the conflict escalated,
17 the escalation of the attacks.
18 Q. Did you sign the original of this document?
19 A. Yes, I did.
20 Q. [Previous translation continues] ... people, did they also sign
21 the original?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. You personally, having read the contents of this document and
24 having contributed, then, to the creation, were you comfortable in your
25 own mind about the reliability of the information contained in the
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. I want to refer you to one aspect of the document. If we go, in
4 the B/C/S version, to page 6 --
5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Just to clarify one point
6 between the B/C/S version and the English version. Witness, could you
7 turn to the beginning of the document which you can see on your screen.
8 Could you read in your own language what you can see here. I'd like you
9 to read the beginning of the text, and I want to check and see whether the
10 translation into English is -- is right. It starts off with
11 "Agresiji ..." Please read it out so that our interpreters can translate
12 what you're saying.
13 A. "In the aggression of the units of the Croatian Defence Council,
14 the so-called Herceg-Bosna and the Croatian army on the -- between the
15 23rd and 24th of October, 1992, at 1520 -- 1525 hours on the town of
16 Prozor where 70 per cent of the Muslims live, citizens and members of the
17 army of Bosnia-Herzegovina, a series of extremists incidents and
18 perfidious activities took place carried out by the representatives of the
19 Croatian people and afterwards the members of HOS and HVO which we mention
20 within the context of this information and which we will endeavour to
21 present chronologically with the taking over of power by the -- when the
22 first multi-party elections were held and power was taken over," et
24 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. So I can see that
25 the last few words in the English text have been put in a reverse order.
1 MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation] I do apologise, but just in order to
2 be correct. I read this out in Bosnian, and it says 80 per cent Muslims
3 there, and it said 70 per cent in the transcript. So the witness read
4 this out wrong, because both in the English version and in the Bosnian
5 version it says 80 per cent, and in the transcript, based on what the
6 witness said, it said 70 per cent.
7 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Okay. Very well. Is it 70 per
8 cent or 80 per cent?
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes. Yes. I couldn't see the
10 figure very well. So you should take what it says in the text. I'm
11 afraid I didn't see the figure properly, and I didn't read it out
13 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well.
14 MR. KRUGER: Thank you, Your Honour.
15 Q. If we can turn to page 6 of the B/C/S version. And just before --
16 it's the next page. My apologies. I'm going according to the numbering
17 on top of the document.
18 At the bottom, just before the paragraph numbered paragraph 1. If
19 we can move down. In the English version, or the translated version, this
20 is on page 7, also just before item 1.
21 Yesterday, you referred to -- or you said the following, and this
22 was at page 130, line 1, and this was with regard to the delegation that
23 was present at the meeting of the 1st of December, 1992: "In this
24 delegation were people whose names you can read in that report ..."
25 Now, from this place where I've referred you to in this document,
1 a description of a report appears which goes on for the next two pages.
2 Which report is being referred to in this document -- or which meeting -
3 my apologies - is being referred to?
4 A. The report on this document refers to the meeting of the 23rd of
5 October, 1992, when we had lengthy talks and when we thought that we had
6 reached a good agreement, so that's the date this report refers to.
7 Q. My apologies, I had the date wrong. How comprehensive is the
8 description of this -- of the meeting contained in this document? If you
9 could give us an idea on that.
10 A. I don't know how much time I have, but this is the essence,
11 although the meeting went on for five and half hours. And I, of course,
12 took part in the meeting. And if the President of the Trial Chamber will
13 allow me just a minute and a half to explain what I said at the time, and
14 the rest of us who tried in all manner of ways to overcome the
15 difficulties in a peaceful and responsible manner without thinking of
16 global solutions, because our presidents didn't even know what global
17 solutions they could make. And I remember the sentence I uttered at the
18 time: If somebody can promise us tomorrow a joint state such as Austria,
19 for example, then if I were in that situation I would agree to that. But
20 don't do that, gentlemen, representatives of the Croats, by force. Don't
21 proceed that way, and don't hamper us in following what the world has
22 already done, that is to say recognise the Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina
23 as an independent state. So we're following the world. We're following
24 the legal organs of the Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina. So allow us to
25 act on a platform that is on a par with the work of the Presidency of
1 Bosnia-Herzegovina given the prevailing conditions.
2 So there were speeches of that kind on both sides. But as I say,
3 the meeting went on for five and a half hours, and it's difficult to
4 record everything that was said. But I do think that the contents of this
5 are the backbone of the meeting, the succous of it, and I think that you
6 can recognise everything that went on at the meeting; our endeavours and
7 the endeavours of those who did not accept reasonable proposals.
8 Q. In conclusion on this document, to whom was it sent?
9 A. I said in conclusion, that is to say on the basis of all that was
10 said at the meeting, the conclusions that had been agreed upon should have
11 been sent on to the War Presidency for it to verify all the matters that
12 come under its competence and authority, and apart from that, the other
13 organs -- apart from the Presidency, the other organs should have gone
14 about their own business; the political parties, the army staffs, the
15 police and everything. All of them had their part in our discussions. So
16 it was supposed to be sent out to all those addresses whose competence and
17 authority it was to deal with issues of that kind.
18 Q. In conclusion, I -- if I understood you correctly yesterday, this
19 document would not have been the final report that was issued; is that
20 correct? Was this a work in progress?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. When was this report eventually finalised, or the final version
24 A. Could you be more specific, please? I don't think I've understood
25 you. How do you mean "when was the report finalised"? Do you mean the
1 reports that we sent out during that period of time or do you mean this
2 particular report from the meeting that we had? I didn't quite follow you
4 Q. My apology. The report from this commission regarding the events
5 in Prozor. So I'm not referring only specifically to this meeting.
6 A. We sent out information on a continual basis with our requests, if
7 I can put it that way. But this particular report or piece of information
8 relates to the developments in the Prozor municipality or in and around
9 the Prozor municipality. It was a continuous report, updated with new
10 knowledge, new events, new facts, and as such it was sent on to the
11 appropriate addresses. It's not final, but everything that happened up
12 until that date was in there. Everything, all our demands and requests
13 and all the rest of it.
14 Q. And when was the final report eventually produced? Do you know?
15 A. I can't give you a specific answer when that was. There were a
16 lot of documents, many. So as to the final report, well, it's not
17 possible to compile that yet, not even at this point in time. But -- and
18 here's why: Throughout that period, through our reports we informed about
19 the people who were killed, captured, taken to camps, and those who went
20 missing. And today, at this point in Prozor municipality, there are 62
21 persons, citizens of Prozor, who are still missing. We don't know
22 anything about that. And it is the Croatian side that is responsible for
23 them. So we can't complete the report until we learn of their fate and
24 destiny, and that's why I say that the report is not a final one but needs
25 to be constantly updated with that information included.
1 Q. Thank you.
2 MR. KRUGER: Your Honour, this is perhaps a time to break.
3 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I think the time has come to
4 take a break. We shall resume at ten to eleven.
5 --- Recess taken at 10.30 a.m.
6 --- On resuming at 11.01 a.m.
7 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Fine. Just before we resume, I
8 have a few questions concerning our timing. As you know, there's a
9 witness who is supposed to testify this afternoon or tomorrow - I'm not
10 sure - for four hours. I don't know how much time you still need, but
11 this morning I told you that you had already had three hours, and if the
12 Defence team need the same amount of time, there's a fair chance that we
13 will dedicate this entire day to this witness. So we -- so we have four
14 and a half hours left. How much time do you still need?
15 MR. KRUGER: Your Honour, I have three documents that I wish to
16 still show to the witness. I anticipate that these documents will not
17 take much time, or as long as the other three that have been shown
19 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes, Mr. Kovacic.
20 MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, for the purposes of
21 planning, we will certainly use all the time you give us, that is the same
22 time given to the Prosecution, but we may need a little more. I don't
23 want to burden the Chamber in advance, but perhaps half an hour. The
24 Defence tried to agree among themselves, but some topics are not very
25 precisely defined. Only my colleague Ms. Nozica and I will examine the
1 witness, and the other Defence teams may have just a question or two for
3 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Fine, but if I look at the
4 English transcript, I did hear the French translation, and you said that
5 you need the same amount of time. From what I understood, you need the
6 same time as the Prosecution that has already had three hours, and from
7 what I understood, you need an additional 30 minutes; is that right?
8 MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation] That's right, yes. Your Honour,
9 please don't hold me to my word and take it as half an hour precisely, but
10 it's a little more than the Prosecutor took. I can only promise that what
11 we ask will be relevant.
12 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. So we should be able
13 to finish this afternoon. I have just one question, and I would like to
14 be brief.
15 Registrar, could you show us on the screen the B/C/S page number
16 00920369, please. This is the last document we have seen on page 5.
17 Registrar, this is not the right document. So this is document number 69.
18 So here, it's up on the screen. Witness, could you read the
19 beginning of the second paragraph, which starts off with the numbers
20 27/28. Could you just read out the first line, please. Could you read it
21 out aloud, please.
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] "On the 27th to the 28th of August,
23 1992, members of the HVO and HOS attacked buildings belonging to more
24 prominent and prosperous Muslims. On that occasion, 14 buildings were
1 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. In the report you
2 signed, it is specified that members of the HVO and members of HOS -- of
3 the HOS attacked. How did you establish the distinction between the
4 members of the HVO and the members of the HOS? What was this distinction
5 based on? So my question is a very specific question.
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Mr. President, we were still in
7 Prozor at the time, and our delegations cooperated with representatives of
8 the Croatian side. Their representatives said that the extreme part of
9 the HOS and the HVO did this. That's what their own representatives told
10 us at a meeting we had. After this, the damage was partly compensated for
11 from the municipal budget. The authorities recognised this, and they
12 promised to do their best to prevent it happening again.
13 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] In the English transcript and
14 the French translation, on the basis of that you said that at the meeting
15 with the Croatian delegation, you were told that these were extreme
16 members of the HOS and the HVO that launched the attack. Is that what you
17 said? Because in the report, nobody mentions extremists in the HVO or the
18 HOS. Could you please clarify this point.
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] That's what we were told orally.
20 However, in our report we said members of the HOS because that's what we
21 were told, and of the HVO.
22 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. Just a minute,
24 JUDGE TRECHSEL: To the -- to the same passage. It is striking
25 that this is 27, 28 August of 1992. So it falls quite outside the period
1 of the events on which we have heard hitherto, but it is correct, it is
2 that date. This is an isolated incident that was quite some time before
3 the events of late October?
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, to the Prosecutor's
5 question I responded yesterday by saying there were at least two isolated
6 incidents. The first was on the 26th of June, and the second is the one
7 we are talking about now. These both took place before the events of the
8 23rd of October.
9 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Thank you.
10 MR. KRUGER: Thank you, Your Honour.
11 Q. Witness, if we may turn to a next document. I would like to show
12 you Exhibit 03020. And it is in the bundle of documents that you have at
13 the moment. If we can have the first page up on the e-court system,
15 This document dated the 30th of June, 1993, at the end also has
16 your name to it, but I think that somebody has signed on your behalf.
17 Could you -- do you recognise this document, or know about it?
18 A. Yes. That's the same person who signed the previous document.
19 Q. Thank you. Could you very briefly comment on what this document
20 is and what its purpose is.
21 A. Very briefly, if you look at the date, it's the end of June, 2002
22 [as interpreted]. This was a time when there were intensive attacks on
23 Jablanica and Konjic municipalities, as well as Gornji Vakuf. The
24 situation in Central Bosnia is known to you, but Mostar was also under
25 intense attack. Various armies arrived in Prozor, and all their failures
1 on these battle fronts, especially in the Gornji Vakuf area, led to the
2 men venting their anger, because of their failures at the battlefront, on
3 their return to Prozor. According to our information, very bad things
5 JUDGE TRECHSEL: It needs to be a correction somewhere. It is
6 certainly not 2002. In the transcript it reads -- or in the document,
7 1993. I'm referring to line 3. Page 38, line 3.
8 MR. KRUGER: Thank you, Your Honour. That is indeed my mistake.
9 It's a slip of the tongue.
10 Q. Witness, I said -- I referred to the date incorrectly. It is
11 indeed -- or could you confirm that it is dated the 30th of June, 1993, in
12 the document?
13 A. Yes. That's the original date. I'm referring to events of that
15 Q. Thank you. If I may ask you once again, because this was sent out
16 in your name, do you have any views or were you comfortable with the
17 reliability of the contents of this document, the information it
19 A. As in the case of the previous document, it is a result of
20 teamwork, and I can say it's authentic or, rather, that it's contents are
21 authentic. There is a signature and a stamp, and the content of the
22 document is authentic.
23 Q. Thank you very much. Mr. Hujdur, if we can move on to the next
24 document. That would be document 03 -- or Exhibit 03907. And this is a
25 one-page document. If we may have it on the e-court system, please.
1 Could we have the next page, please. Thank you.
2 Witness, once again -- sorry, this is the English version which is
3 up on the screen. Thank you.
4 If we can go to the bottom of the screen, where the signature and
5 the name is. It is unclear, but can you see in whose name the document
6 was produced?
7 A. Could you please return it to the beginning.
8 Q. Let me ask you if you recognise this document.
9 A. Yes. Yes. It's a poor copy, so I had problems deciphering it,
10 but I do recognise what I see now. Could you please assist me by showing
11 me the date in the English version, because the date is not clear here.
12 Is it August? I think it's the 3rd of August, but I'm not sure. I think
13 it is the 3rd of August. If it's different in the English version --
14 Q. Thank you. Actually, the English version didn't have the 3rd, but
15 thank you.
16 Could you tell us what this document is, very briefly.
17 A. This is a document in which a request is made to the highest
18 command of the army of the Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina to save the
19 Bosniak men who were then on the territory of Prozor municipality, which
20 was being held by the Croatian forces as there were large-scale arrests
21 and men were taken to camps, all men between the ages of 16 and 60. This
22 document is actually a request addressed to the command of the army of the
23 Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina, asking them to do something about this
24 situation. There was a war on.
25 MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour. Your Honour, if you
1 recall a few days ago, there was some discussion of the documents and
2 topics to be dealt with through this witness because there were
3 discrepancies in the proofing charts, and we were told quite clearly that
4 the witness would not testify to events in 1993. However, we know that
5 the witness left Prozor after the events of the 23rd and 24th of October
6 and returned to Prozor only later.
7 Now, however, through this document, indirectly we are coming to
8 the events of 1993. This was not presented in the proofing chart in this
9 manner. It is in the proofing chart, but the Prosecutor did say that the
10 witness would not be asked to deal with the events of 1993 because he
11 wasn't in Prozor at the time. So we are not prepared to deal with this
13 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes, Mr. Kruger. Defence
14 counsel has objected to the fact that from the outset we had agreed that
15 we would only talk about 1992. Now, this document pertains to events that
16 unfolded in 1993.
17 MR. KRUGER: Your Honour, personally I'm not aware of the exact
18 information that Mr. Kovacic is referring to. Does he perhaps have the --
19 the exact -- Your Honour, I've just had a message with regard to this,
20 that our understanding is that this was not the agreement, that there were
21 indeed certain aspects relating to 1993 which we -- which we undertook to
22 -- or which we indicated would be dealt with by this witness, and this is
23 indeed indicated in the proofing chart summary.
24 MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation] Yes, it was indicated in the
25 proofing chart, but because of the lack of clarity in referring to
1 particular paragraphs, I raised this issue with Mr. Ken Scott, and in this
2 courtroom we raised the issue on the first or second day after you
3 returned from Bosnia, and we were told that the paragraphs in the proofing
4 chart were there in error and that the witness would be examined only
5 about events in 1992. We were told that the scope of his testimony with
6 reference to the statement given to the OTP in February, 1992, will not
7 include the events of 1993.
8 Let me remind the Chamber, when we saw the discrepancy we checked
9 this with the Office of the Prosecutor, and this was also said. We asked
10 whether there was another statement by this witness, because when we
11 looked at the statement, we saw that the witness was speaking about the
12 events of 1992. However, when we saw the proofing chart, we realised that
13 events of 1993 might be raised. So we asked whether there was another
14 statement, because this is often the case, to see whether the witness had
15 made any statements about the events of 1993. We were told there was no
16 such statement, and then we asked why there are references in the proofing
17 chart to paragraphs dealing with 1993. We were told that this would not
18 be the topic of examination. Now, however, we see that 1993 is being
19 referred to. This has taken us by surprise.
20 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes. If I remember correctly --
21 so Mr. Scott has just walked in, and he -- as he follows the proceedings
22 from his office, he is able to know where we stand at the moment.
23 The Defence counsel has just stood up because Mr. Kruger wanted to
24 put questions to the witness about a document numbered 03907 and relating
25 to events that took place in 1993. Mr. Kovacic stipulated that when we
1 returned from Bosnia, he had raised the issue because he had realised that
2 in this witness's statement he only talked about what had happened in
3 1992, and on looking at the proofing chart, he had noticed that questions
4 might be put relating to the year 1993, and the Defence counsel has said
5 that they have not been able to do their preparation work and they had
6 only prepared for the year 1992.
7 I think this was the case, if I remember correctly. Maybe you
8 could corroborate this. You said that you would only address issues that
9 related to 1992. As you are here in the courtroom, you will be able to
10 clarify this matter for us.
11 MR. SCOTT: Thank you, Mr. President. No, that is absolutely not
12 correct. And if we go back to the transcript, at the time what I had
13 indicated in response to questions put to me by Mr. Kovacic, both inside
14 the courtroom and outside the courtroom, was that while the majority,
15 substantial majority of this witness's testimony would go to 1992, there
16 were indeed a few items in 1993. And I'm disappointed that my colleague
17 does not recall that accurately. But I'm sure that if we go back, if
18 necessary, to the transcript from the previous -- it would have been the
19 Wednesday that we returned, I believe is when it was raised, and we were
20 quite specific and I quite specifically mentioned to Mr. Kovacic why the
21 proofing chart was different and why the additional paragraphs of the
22 indictment had been mentioned that go into indeed 1993, and I'm confident
23 the transcript will show that. I'm afraid, Your Honour, that there's been
24 at least a misunderstanding.
25 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. Notwithstanding this
1 misunderstanding, the witness's written statement only related to 1992.
2 On those facts which unfolded in 1993 and which are described in document
3 number 03907, this was not mentioned in the written statement.
4 MR. SCOTT: It was not mentioned in the original written statement
5 -- sorry, Your Honour. Your Honour, you're absolutely correct. It was
6 not mentioned in the original statement and that was indeed what caused
7 the original discussion between Mr. Kovacic and I. Mr. Kovacic, in
8 fairness - I believe I have this accurately - Mr. Kovacic contacted me, we
9 discussed it, and I indeed said yes, that's correct, but my understanding
10 was there were some limited aspect issues in 1993 that would be addressed
11 which is in the proofing chart. The proofing chart comes after the
12 statement. The statement was taken some years ago. In the process of the
13 proofing and preparing the evidence for presentation in court, these
14 additional aspects were noted, and they were indeed. And I believe if I
15 heard Mr. Kovacic correctly a few minutes ago, he -- he concurs that the
16 proofing chart did indeed indicate there were aspects as to 1993, if I
17 heard that correctly. And we -- when we presented the bundle of exhibits
18 to be presented through this witness, the 1993 documents were included as
19 part of the bundle of documents to be presented. So I disagree that
20 there's any surprise here.
21 [Trial Chamber confers]
22 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] So the Judges who have just
23 deliberated feel that the events of 1993 are to be found in paragraph 54
24 of the indictment. Therefore, the Defence team knew for some time that
25 those events that took place in 1993 in Prozor would be mentioned. So to
1 all intents and purposes, they should have prepared for that.
2 We have mentioned a number of documents this morning. These
3 documents have been authenticated by the witness, so there is no reason
4 why we shouldn't continue putting questions to him.
5 Mr. Kruger, so you may put your questions to the witness on this
6 document, and in due course the Defence counsel will -- can cross-examine
7 the witness.
8 MR. KRUGER: Thank you, Your Honour.
9 Q. Mr. Hujdur, with regard to the document we are now dealing with,
10 which is Exhibit 03907, it is still up on e-court system, this document,
11 you mentioned that after looking at it that you then knew what this
12 document was about, and you were --
13 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] There's a mistake in the
14 transcript. It's the number is 03907. We seem to always have problems
15 with numbers.
16 MR. KRUGER: Thank you, Your Honour.
17 Q. You were busy just briefly describing to the Court what this
18 document was. If you could just conclude on that.
19 A. In June and July, the situation in Prozor on the territory
20 controlled by the Croatian forces dramatically deteriorated because the
21 male civilians were arrested, from ages ranging from 16 to 65, and they
22 were sent to camps in Prozor first of all, and then to camps Heliodrom,
23 Dretelj, and the other camps in Southern Herzegovina, and according to our
24 knowledge, all the lack of success experienced by the Croatian forces on
25 the front, all their failures, were reflected in very brutal terms on the
1 civilian population on the territory that I spoke about. And with that
2 knowledge, we wanted, through this document -- we called for all measures
3 to be taken to ensure that the fate of those people should be a reasonable
4 one, should be -- that their situation be improved. And to the end of
5 August there was total persecution and expulsion of women and children
6 from the territory, almost complete ethnic cleansing, and of course all
7 this was followed by killings, planned executions, and other types of
8 torture and uncivilised conduct where all conventions were violated, all
9 conventions governing the codes of conduct and rules of behaviour in
10 situations of that kind. So that was what our requests were, going up to
11 the higher command.
12 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes. Thank you. You have now
13 broached judicial problems about conventions. If you're a legal man
14 yourself, then that would be fine, we would welcome your point of view.
15 But if not, then please limit your testimony to the contents of the
16 document without making other evaluations which might be interesting for
17 you but, as far as we're concerned, they will be dealt with in due course.
18 Mr. Kruger, please proceed.
19 MR. KRUGER:
20 Q. In conclusion on this document, it's perhaps not very clear. If
21 we can go to the top of the document. If you could tell us to whom this
22 document was addressed.
23 A. This document isn't very legible. My copy is a bad -- I have a
24 bad copy. But it was addressed to the commander of the army of the
25 Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina because this concerned the capture of
1 males, of men. So it was addressed to the commander of the army of the
2 Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina.
3 Q. Finally, in conclusion on this document, to your knowledge and
4 having participated in this committee, or this board, what was your
5 feeling on the reliability of the information contained in this document?
6 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Well, I'm -- I'm sorry, Mr. Kruger. You are
7 again asking about feeling, and I will not take the seat of Mr. Karnavas,
8 but I think he had a point when he raised this objection.
9 MR. KRUGER: Thank you, Your Honour. I take the point.
10 Q. What -- how was the information in this document compiled, just
11 for the record?
12 A. On the basis of having listened to witnesses who told us,
13 recounted what the situation was like, and also from other sources which
14 can be considered reliable.
15 Q. If we may turn to the final document, and this is Exhibit number
16 04247. Once again, Mr. Hujdur, this document has your name at the bottom
17 but it appears not to be signed by you; is that correct? So if we could
18 have the next page on the -- thank you.
19 A. This is the document that relates to -- or, rather, is addressed
20 to the International Red Cross and their representative offices in
21 Jablanica. That's the document.
22 Q. And do you recall this document?
23 A. Yes, I do.
24 Q. What was the purpose of this document?
25 A. The purpose of this document was to inform the International Red
1 Cross about what we knew and the information that we sent on, and we sent
2 on to them as well, and that once they become apprised of the situation
3 that they could take steps to do what they could to improve the situation.
4 Q. You did not sign this document. Did you participate in the
5 compilation of this document?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. Sorry. My question was perhaps two-barrelled. When you shook
8 your head, was that with regard to that you did not sign the document?
9 A. No. The contents of the document and its authenticity, the
10 veracity of the information contained in it.
11 Q. Thank you very much.
12 MR. KRUGER: Your Honour, I have no further questions.
13 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Sorry. Mr. Hujdur, it is a bit strange that you
14 have now looked at about half a dozen documents. On every document you
15 are typed as the author, and in none of them you have signed. If these
16 were copies that were filed somewhere, that's natural. One doesn't sign
17 these. But someone else signed. Can you explain this fact?
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] There are two reasons for that -- at
19 least two reasons. All these documents, authentically sent to the
20 addressees, were mostly signed -- were mostly signed by people who had the
21 authorisation to do so. I signed many of those documents myself, but I
22 don't know how it happens that these documents were pulled out, ones which
23 I hadn't signed. I was very often in the field. I went travelling. But
24 of course I -- everything was done with a previous agreement and
25 consultation. So certain documents that are signed here, and they are
1 dated 2000, were probably handed over to the investigators. So these are
2 probably copies. They were copies, not originals. So you can check the
3 authenticity of the documents in the original archives, and I can now
4 confirm that they are indeed authentic documents.
5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes. We understood that they
6 were copies. But the question that comes to my mind, as it did indeed to
7 my colleague's mind, did you one day sign a document? So this kind of
8 report or information or whatever we call it, was it personally signed by
9 your hand?
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes. Many of the reports. In fact,
11 the majority of reports I signed myself. And you'll be able to check that
12 out if you look into the archives.
13 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes, but this last document,
14 addressed to the International Red Cross, which is a worldwide
15 organisation, very well known to everyone, this is a request to ensure the
16 safety of the Muslim population of Prozor and surrounding villages in the
17 Prozor municipality, that particular document, the one we have before us.
18 That document has not been signed by you. It is signed, but it is signed
19 for you, not by you. Why is that? Weren't you there on the 17th of
20 August? Were you occupied elsewhere? Because you were, after all, the
21 president of a commission, and if one is president of a commission one
22 does have certain responsibilities that one must respect. For example, as
23 I am the President of the Trial Chamber, I have to sign all the Chamber's
24 documents, except if I am absent, and then my colleague will step in and
25 sign for me, but otherwise, it is my job to sign the documents. That is
1 the function of a president, to sign documents. So do you have any
2 material reason for not having signed this one? Can you tell us I wasn't
3 there, I was absent, so wasn't able to sign the document, or some other
4 reason perhaps? Do you have an explanation to give us for that?
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, Mr. President. Throughout this
6 time we had a territory which we referred to as the free territory of
7 Prozor municipality, with Scipe, Here, and Kute as the largest
8 settlements, and on that territory, since it was under siege, under a
9 total blockade, there was a great shortage of food and all other
10 supplies. And so we had to ensure food and supplies and see that the
11 school year goes ahead properly, and we had to go there very often, but to
12 go there we had to go via Konjic and cross mountains, and it took us a
13 whole day to travel to these outlying places because it was impossible to
14 reach them through Prozor. So very often when I was going there, my
15 deputy would sign, or the authorised person would sign instead of me. So
16 those are the reasons for which some documents or these particular
17 documents that have been chosen as examples were not signed by me.
18 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. Thank you.
19 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Still on the question of -- of signature, which
20 -- which is a bit strange. If you look at what we see on the e-court
21 screen, there is a hand sign left of the word "Predsjednik" and this sign,
22 a very similar one, you find in the previous document 3020 and you also
23 find it also in the document 01564. Do you recognise this sign? It's not
24 on the top of the page. I'm sorry, it's on the bottom of the page on the
25 left of the word "Predsjednik." Do you recognise this sign? Can you tell
1 us who put it there and what its meaning is?
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes. This person, and I've already
3 mentioned that, I gave you their name today --
4 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] May we go into private session,
6 [Private session]
4 [Open session]
5 THE REGISTRAR: [Interpretation] We're back in open session,
6 Mr. President.
7 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. Mr. Kruger, in open
8 session, please proceed.
9 MR. KRUGER: Thank you, Your Honour. Thank you, Witness. I have
10 no further questions for the witness at this time. Thank you, Your
12 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. So that completes
13 the examination-in-chief, and we have 40 minutes to the break, very
14 precious 40 minutes, and I'm going to give the floor straight away to the
15 Defence. I don't know who is going to start off with the
16 cross-examination. I can see Mr. Murphy looking at me. Counsel Nozica?
17 MR. MURPHY: [Previous translation continues] ... one thing. If
18 -- I would like to briefly come to the defence of my colleague
19 Mr. Kovacic. I was able to locate the passage in the transcript that
20 Mr. Scott referred to. It's on the 15th of June, at page 3293, between
21 lines 1 and 21, and I need not take the time to read that to the Court,
22 but I think if the Trial Chamber will take the time to look at it, I think
23 you would agree that it gives a very clear impression that, and there are
24 the words there "the vast majority" of the witness's statement goes to
25 1992, and there is a casual reference to the witness possibly at some
1 point mentioning something in 1993. We have had now three reports in the
2 latter stages of the witness's direct evidence dealing with the year 1993
3 in considerable detail, and in my submission Mr. Kovacic's point was well
4 taken and the implication given by Mr. Scott that the Trial Chamber was
5 being misled was unfounded.
6 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes. We will take note of that,
7 the difference between what was said and what was written, and we will
8 draw the conclusions.
9 Now, who is going to start off? I forgot one point. Just a
10 moment, please. Mr. Registrar has just reminded me. He's always
11 vigilant. What exhibits would the Prosecution like to tender?
12 MR. KRUGER: Thank you, Your Honour. The Prosecution wishes to
13 tender as exhibits number 01542, 01564, 01656, 03020, 03907, and 04247.
14 Thank you, Your Honour.
15 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you. We'll give you our
16 ruling in due course later on. Who is going to start off? We have two
17 counsel on their feet. That's going to be a problem.
18 MR. KOVACIC: No, Your Honour. I just wanted to tell that, under
19 the agreement, Ms. Nozica will start and then Praljak Defence will
20 continue, and if I may immediately inform you, Mr. Praljak will start with
21 only two issues very shortly, and then I will continue in detail. That is
22 the plan. The other Defences asked us only to left them couple of minutes
23 on the end just as a reserve, if we don't cover something, they may raise
24 one or two questions altogether.
25 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Fine. Thank you. So
1 Mr. Praljak will be asking two questions very shortly.
2 Counsel Nozica.
3 MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour. Before I
4 begin, I would like the Chamber's guidelines. In the cross-examination it
5 is my intention to mention names which are contained in the documents
6 provided to us by the Prosecutor. I don't think there's any need that
7 before I mention any names I ask to go into private session, but if the
8 witness has problems with this, when he wants to say something, he can ask
9 for private session. I would just like to make this point clear with
10 respect to the transcript.
11 The documents tendered by the -- presented by the Prosecution are
12 the documents that I will deal with.
13 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Well, it would be a good idea
14 not to cite names that were cited in private session. I don't think those
15 names ought to appear on the public transcript or record, the names that
16 were uttered by the witness when we went into private session. So please
17 don't mention those names. That was for very brief moments, but that
18 applies to those names. And rest assured that as I am listening to what
19 you're saying, I always have the time to ask that we go into private
20 session if the need arises. Having said that, go ahead, please.
21 MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour. All I wanted
22 to say is this: The reason why I asked to be able to mention all the
23 names in open session, publicly, is for the following reason: We saw that
24 the Prosecution presented a series of documents which, as the witness
25 said, were addressed to the official organs of Bosnia-Herzegovina, the
1 Presidency, the other organisations, international organisations, and so
2 on and so forth, and if it wasn't a problem for those names to be
3 mentioned then, then I see no reason why there should be a problem in me
4 mentioning them here in court today, especially as I am taking this risk
5 upon myself. I'll do myself -- my best to take care not to mention any
6 other names publicly, of course.
7 Cross-examination by Ms. Nozica:
8 Q. [Interpretation] Mr. Hujdur, my name is Senka Nozica. I am
9 Defence counsel for Bruno Stojic.
10 THE INTERPRETER: Could counsel speak into the microphone, please.
11 Thank you.
12 MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation]
13 Q. I'm going to ask you a few questions, mostly on what you said
14 yesterday and today during your testimony in examination-in-chief. May we
15 start off by establishing very specifically or, rather, can you tell me to
16 the best of your recollections when the HVO was established in Prozor, or
17 when do you know that the HVO was established in Prozor?
18 A. According to my knowledge, I would say that the official promotion
19 was conducted in August, but everything they did and the term they used --
20 Q. I asked you when do you know that the HVO was officially
21 established. You explain this in your statement. You say that that was
22 the 5th of August, do you, 1992? Am I right?
23 A. Yes. Officially speaking. But that term came to be used much
24 earlier on, straight after the 10th of April.
25 Q. I see. After the 10th of April. Now, can you explain this to us:
1 I must admit that there are many things that are not quite clear to me.
2 When was the Crisis Staff of the Muslim people established? If I may,
3 yesterday you spoke -- you said that sometime in April or May you were
4 invited -- I think it was March or April -- that you were invited to go to
5 the Crisis Staff although you were not a member of the SDA. Can you tell
6 me precisely when the Crisis Staff of the Muslim people in Prozor
7 municipality was formed?
8 A. To the best of my knowledge, at the end of February and beginning
9 of March, 1992.
10 Q. I see. The end of February and beginning of March, 1992. Were
11 you a member of the Crisis Staff at all?
12 A. I was not a member, but at the beginning of April, from the 10th
13 of April, I was invited to attend the meetings that I spoke about.
14 Q. Can you tell me, please, when the staff of the Territorial Defence
15 of Prozor municipality was established, to the best of your recollections,
16 and who formed it?
17 A. The staff, the first staff of Territorial Defence of Prozor
18 municipality was formed on the 20th -- or, rather, 28th of March, and I
19 think the Crisis Staff set it up. Yes, the Crisis Staff set up the
20 Territorial Defence Staff.
21 Q. You mean the Crisis Staff of the Muslim people?
22 A. Yes, that's right.
23 Q. As far as I'm able to understand you, you say for the first time,
24 the first staff. Well, did the Territorial Defence Staff, was it set up
25 again at some other time?
1 A. Yes. Yes. Yes. After that date, the 15th of April, which was
2 the deadline for a united defence staff of Prozor municipality be set up.
3 The decision was taken between the 15th and 16th, and that's what was
4 supposed to happen over the next few months. We were supposed to work
5 towards that end. But as we did not, then the Territorial Defence Staff
6 had to be established again. A new organisation with a new man at the
8 Q. Can you tell us who the first commander of the Territorial Defence
9 Staff was and who the second commander was, and when did that second --
10 when was that second staff elected and did it change its structure or was
11 it to all intents and purposes the same composition and structure as the
12 first initial staff?
13 A. The commander of the first staff was Salih Ruvic, and the second
14 commander was Sabic Muharem, Muharem Sabic. We can say that the structure
15 of the previous staff was maintained, but there was an addition to the new
16 staff. More people were added. I can't tell you of any more -- about
17 this in more detail, but the structure remained the same with new people
18 added on. So the new staff had a new commander and new people.
19 Q. When did that happen? You didn't tell me when the new staff was
21 A. I think that this happened after the one-month deadline expired,
22 during which time a joint staff of Prozor municipality was supposed to
23 have been formed after the joint decision that was taken.
24 Q. A month after the 15th of April; is that correct?
25 A. The 16th of April. It was a day late.
1 Q. So it had to be later.
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. Were you involved in these two bodies in any way? If I understood
4 you correctly, the Crisis Staff of the Muslim people was in fact a
5 political body.
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. And the Territorial Defence Staff would be a military body, or
8 would you tell me what the Territorial Defence Staff was supposed to do,
9 what its task was.
10 A. At that point in time --
11 Q. Could you tell me what point in time precisely, what you mean by
13 A. You are right when you say that the Crisis Staff was supposed to
14 be a political body. The Territorial Staff, as there was no army at the
15 time, it hadn't been established, was to take over part of the defence
16 preparations, bearing in mind the political situation prevailing in the
17 area. So that in addition to the people who had military leanings in that
18 staff, there were also political representatives and eminent people.
19 Q. What was the relationship between the War Presidency, which was
20 supposed to be the legitimate organ at a time when an imminent threat of
21 war was being declared, what was the relationship between the War
22 Presidency and the Crisis Staff of the Muslim people? Was it the War
23 Presidency that elected the Crisis Staff of the Muslim people?
24 A. I cannot answer with precision because it wouldn't be logical, but
25 also under normal circumstances it would not be superfluous for the War
1 Presidency to suggest who should be part of that body in view of their
2 political office or government office, so that's how it should be. The
3 structure of the Crisis Staff of the Muslim people was such that there was
4 a representative of the party, a representative of the governmental
5 organs. In other words, people who had political power in the
6 municipality, so to speak.
7 Q. Would you agree with me that this was a self-appointed body, if I
8 can call it that, to the best of your knowledge? Nobody appointed it, as
9 you say. But you participated. You were invited to participate in that
10 body in late March, early April.
11 A. These may have been political decisions and agreements among the
12 leading parties, because to the best of my knowledge, the same situation
13 prevailed among the Croats and the HDZ representatives. To be quite
14 honest, I never entered into the genesis of this nor did the issue of
15 their legality interest me. I was more interested in the contribution
16 they could make and what had to be done.
17 Q. We are talking now about February, 1992, so please don't speak of
18 two staffs. You say August, early April. We are now talking about the
19 Crisis Staff of the Muslim people in February. The legitimacy and
20 legality is something I am referring to because yesterday you often said
21 these were legitimate organs. Therefore, I am trying by my questions to
22 see whether these actually were legal and legitimate organs, and I will
23 continue putting my questions in connection with the Crisis Staff. There
24 is a TO Crisis Staff and there is also a Crisis Staff of the Muslim
1 With respect to mobilisation and the political situation of the
2 Muslim people, the status of the Muslim people, at this time I'm referring
3 to March and April, was yet another institution or organisation
4 established which had similar powers in the domain of preparing the people
5 for what, as you say, you felt was about to happen?
6 A. Mrs. Nozica, you asked me something and you didn't let me reply.
7 Q. Please remind me what it was.
8 A. You asked about the Crisis Staff of the Muslim people and whether
9 it was a self-appointed body. I tried to tell you that I did not delve
10 into the issues of its legitimacy and legality, so please take note of
12 Secondly, you used some expressions which I feel were not
13 expressions uttered by me, or if I did, I wish to correct myself. There
14 was a Crisis Staff of the Muslim people, not the Crisis Staff of the
15 Territorial Defence. These were two quite different bodies, so let's
16 clarify this.
17 Q. I know this very well. It may have been a slip. There was a TO
18 staff which you say was established on the 28th of March, 1992, and in
19 early February or --
20 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Stop. This is again the situation where both the
21 witness and the lawyer - I should put it the other way around, first the
22 lawyer and the witness - speak the same language, and there's always the
23 same problem: You overlap, and it is terrible for the interpreters. They
24 do their best, and I want to pay homage to their efforts, but it's
25 impossible to give a correct translation on that. So you must both wait
1 some time after the other has finished before you start. This is a
2 difficult exercise in patience and in self-control, but it is necessary
3 because otherwise we cannot really follow. I'm sorry to be so -- such a
4 schoolmaster, but it is really in the interests of everyone. Thank you.
5 MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour. In my
6 cross-examination, I do sometimes have to interrupt the witness and
7 explain something. Thank you for saying what you said. We do have the
8 problem of speaking the same language.
9 Q. But, Witness, in your examination-in-chief, you gave extensive
10 explanations. In cross-examination you will only answer the questions I'm
11 interested in. If you feel you need to clarify further, you can do so
12 during redirect. So please just answer my question.
13 I would now like to go back to something you said which I think
14 has not entered the record. You said that the Crisis Staff was
15 established in late February or early March. Is that right?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. The Crisis Staff of the Muslim people. That's what you said.
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. Very well. Please, I have already put this question but I'll go
20 back to it because you didn't reply. At that time - I'm referring to
21 April and May - was any other political body established in Prozor
22 municipality? Did you participate in any other body which had some sort
23 of authority over the Crisis Staff and the TO staff?
24 A. Yes, Mrs. Nozica. After the electoral committee of the Party of
25 Democratic Action, on the 20th of June I was elected a member of the
1 Executive Board, and six days later, pursuant to the conclusions reached
2 at that meeting, a Coordination Committee for the Protection of the
3 Interests of the Muslim People was established, and I was its first
4 president. But there is a mistake in what you have said. This body was
5 not superior to any other body. Its only role was to coordinate
6 activities and to search for solutions for a peaceful co-existence and
7 respect for the laws of the Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina.
8 Q. I don't see on the record what day you say this body was
9 established. The 20th of June?
10 A. The 30th of June, 1992.
11 Q. So the 30th of June.
12 A. Yes.
13 MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation] I apologise, I have omitted to do
14 something, but I will do it now. If the usher could assist me, I wish to
15 hand these documents to the Prosecution. I intend to refer to them now.
16 Please, could we have on e-court Defence Exhibit 2D 0056. If it
17 is not in e-court, I have prepared a copy for the ELMO, and this seems to
18 be a more practical solution.
19 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please. Microphone.
20 MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation]
21 Q. 3D 0030, this is also a document of Mr. Praljak's Defence. I have
22 their agreement to refer to this document if my document is not in
23 e-court. The document is dated the 9th of July, 1992, and it is an
24 opinion on information about the work of the Coordinating Committee of the
25 Muslim People. We have here a version. There are minutes here of a
1 meeting of this Coordinating Committee of the Muslim People. Do you
2 recognise this document?
3 A. I would need to see the whole document, if possible.
4 Q. No problem. I'll ask the technicians to scroll down or to place
5 the document on the ELMO. Your signature is on page 2. Could we see page
6 2. Yes. Here we are. Thank you.
7 Do you recognise the document now?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. Is this a document which, as you say, is authentic? And,
10 unfortunately, your signature is missing here, but is this a document
11 compiled by you?
12 Can we go back to page 1, and could you take a look at the content
13 of the document so you can affirm whether it's authentic or not. You can
14 keep the front page. Is this a document?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. I asked you just a while ago whether this Coordinating Committee
17 of the Muslim People had any kind of competence or jurisdiction over the
18 Territorial Defence and over the Crisis Staff. I will read the first
19 sentence here. Please follow and we'll see whether it's correct.
20 "Opinion on the information about work." That's the title. And the text
21 reads as follows: "At its session of the 6th of July, 1992, the Committee
22 for the Coordination of Activities of Implementing the Interests of the
23 Muslim People in Prozor Municipality considered the information on the
24 work of the Territorial Defence Staff over the previous current period.
25 In a broad and comprehensive discussion, the participants agreed in their
1 assessment that the activities of this body in the sense of maintaining
2 the identity of the Muslim people in its competence deserves a high
3 assessment, and it deserves the praise and necessary support."
4 This all happened in July, 1992, and you said that this body was
5 established --
6 A. On the 30th of June.
7 Q. Yes. That's important. So this is obviously the first or the
8 second meeting of that body. Can it be concluded from what I have read
9 out that you were evaluating information about the work of the Territorial
10 Defence Staff, as it says here, and can you tell me what your competencies
11 were in relation to the staff? I'm referring to this Coordinating
13 A. The title speaks for itself. I was the coordinator. As an
14 experienced lawyer, Mrs. Nozica, you know more than I do, but I do know
15 something. We are not asking these organs to report to us. They are
16 reporting to their own commands. We are simply seeking information about
17 their work and activities.
18 Q. Mr. Hujdur, I asked you quite precisely what your relationship was
19 to the Territorial Defence Staff. Was there any official relationship,
20 whether superior or subordinate? You can answer very briefly, and then we
21 can move on. So what was the relationship of this Coordination and the TO
22 staff? The question is a simple one.
23 A. Mrs. Nozica, however long you ask me this question, I would not
24 react, even if I was right in doing so. At these sessions we invited the
25 commander to attend, we asked him for information, and we conveyed to him
1 our standpoints, asking him to avoid incidents and excesses. If there is
2 further need to explain, then there are some other reasons for that.
3 Q. I do have to remind you of the fact that you are duty-bound to
4 answer my questions. And we will now proceed, so --
5 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Mrs. Nozica, I think your question was whether
6 the witness had some organic relation to the Territorial Defence.
7 And this is a question you must answer. What was your personal
8 relation to the Territorial Defence organisation? Were you a member?
9 Were you -- did you have any role there? We are entitled to know this.
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No. Not as a member of the
11 Territorial Defence. Only as a political person asking for information
12 and coordinating activities, as part of searching for the best possible
14 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Even though I don't see how
15 relevant this is as it is part of the cross-examination, but you were
16 asked to establish the connection - legal connection, of course - between
17 this Coordinating Committee for the Muslim People, which is stemmed or was
18 formed out of the -- in the municipality of Prozor. The Prozor
19 municipality is a legal entity, and what has been called Territorial
20 Defence, the Territorial Defence is also a legal entity. So is there a
21 connection between this Coordinating Committee and the Territorial
22 Defence? I think this is what was meant by the question. If there is no
23 connection, were you able to give instructions or orders to the
24 Territorial Defence? I think you have some understanding of legal
25 matters, so you should be able to understand my question.
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President. No legal
2 link or connection between the Coordinating Committee and the Territorial
3 Defence Staff, and we weren't able to issue any orders to them, but we
4 were able to convey our opinions and views and requests and demands that
5 they do everything not to make a mistake.
6 MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour. That was
7 very important for me precisely because of the following question.
8 Q. May we scroll down the document until we get to point (c), which
9 should be the conclusions of this body. That's fine. Thank you.
10 Now, if we look at this document, then under (c) it says: "Our
11 concrete activity would be contained in the following," and then it says
12 to elaborate: "The necessary minimum of weapon supplies and equipment
13 supplies (according to some specifications). The wearing of weapons,
14 maintaining them, using weapons and equipment."
15 Then the third bullet point, not quite clear there, the formation
16 of an information service. The deployment of our units outside or use of
17 our units outside the territory of our municipality. The elaboration of
18 criteria for mobilisation, a completing action, and stating what weapons
19 were procured with people's resources, with the resources belonging to us;
20 forming units for the defence of the town, and the training of recruits,
21 young men.
22 I don't think that we need to be a legal expert to conclude that
23 you did nonetheless deal with questions that come under the military
24 realm, because you say here that you're going to elaborate or give
25 instructions about very concrete action that is to be implemented by the
1 Territorial Defence. Am I right in saying that?
2 A. Yes, you're right if you were to look at only one side of the
4 Q. Well, I'm afraid I'm not interested in the other side of the coin
5 at present, so let's leave that alone.
6 A. But for the purposes of truth we'll have to look at both sides of
7 the medal.
8 Q. The Prosecutor will ask you if he wants to hear.
9 A. Well, this is all done on assumption --
10 THE INTERPRETER: Could the speakers kindly slow down and make
11 pauses between question and answer. Thank you.
12 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Mr. Hujdur, I can very well understand that you
13 feel an urge to point to things which the lawyer does not ask of you, but
14 it is for us to see that the balance is finally established, and at this
15 moment the phase of the proceedings of the trial is a bit unilateral, and
16 I'm afraid that you are obliged to accept this and really just to answer
17 the questions that are put to you. You must have confidence in those who
18 run the trial, which is the Prosecutor mainly, and also in the Bench, that
19 in the end a balance is established. But we do not get along if you
20 constantly try to take this opportunity to state your personal views and
21 to give in to your urge to explain. It is difficult, I know, because I
22 have also been in that situation, but I must ask you to put up with this.
23 It is the rules, and we must abide by the rules.
24 Please continue, Mrs. Nozica.
25 MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour. As far as I
1 understand, I still have five more minutes. Is that the case? Do I have
2 five more minutes and then I can round off this part of my questioning?
3 Very well. Fine.
4 Q. Mr. Hujdur, we now see that, at the latest, by the 30th of June,
5 as you said, three bodies were set up by the members of the Muslim people;
6 the Crisis Staff of the Defence of the Muslim people, the Territorial
7 Defence Staff, and this Coordinating Committee of the Muslim People. Can
8 you tell me whether you consider -- I'm just interested in hearing your
9 opinion -- that these were legal and legitimately elected organs.
10 A. With the formation of the coordinating body and Territorial
11 Defence Staff, the Crisis Staff of the Muslim people disappeared, and with
12 the formation of those two bodies, yes, that was considered to be legal
13 and legitimate.
14 Q. All right. Thank you. You also state that the Crisis Staff
15 disappeared. What took over its role?
16 A. In the political portion, the Executive Board of the party --
17 Q. Which party?
18 A. The Party of Democratic Action. Which was elected at the Assembly
19 of the 24th of June. That's when the elections were held. And the
20 Coordinating Board, or committee, took this over, and what was up to the
21 Territorial Defence is what they did. They did -- saw to questions under
22 their realm. Yes, go ahead.
23 Q. May I conclude, then, that the Party of Democratic Action and this
24 Coordinating Board of the Muslim People took over the political role and
25 the TO staff remained as the military section; is that right?
1 A. That's how it should have been.
2 Q. Well, is that how it was, according to you? Was that legitimate
3 and legal? Does it say anywhere in our rules and regulations -- and let
4 me remind you of what you know and what I know: When Bosnia-Herzegovina
5 was recognised, that that was on the 6th of April, 1992. Before and after
6 that, at any time did political power and authority over the army, was
7 that the coordinating body and political party? Could that have been what
8 -- who was in charge, or in the Republic -- in the Socialist Republic of
9 Bosnia-Herzegovina and later on in the Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina that
10 it was a legal organs?
11 A. I don't know what prevailed before, but I know that was the case
13 THE INTERPRETER: Could the speakers kindly slow down. Thank you.
14 MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation]
15 Q. I said I don't know. I'm asking the witness. I don't know what
16 "there" and "here" means. What does he mean?
17 A. Well, I understood you to say that in Bosnia-Herzegovina, the rest
18 of Bosnia-Herzegovina, there were cases where there was political control.
19 That's how I understood you. And I claim there was none here, whereas
20 over there, where you had in mind, I don't know.
21 Q. I don't understand what you're saying. What do you mean by
22 political control? Where? You said a moment ago that the HDZ and the
23 Coordinating Board had political -- I made a mistake, a slip of the
24 tongue, yes, the SDA, had political control over the Territorial Defence.
25 That's what you said.
1 A. The coordinating role. Not a political role, but a coordinating
3 Q. Coordinating role can be anything; physical labour, singing,
4 whatever. I'm talking about the political role. Was that the
5 coordinating role?
6 A. No, it was not and it could not have been, and do you know why?
7 Because the Coordinating Board was formed on a very broad basis, on the
8 basis upon which the platform of the Presidency was also established, and
9 in the Coordinating Board you had people from all the other parties, very
10 prominent figures, not only SDA members, and that's a great difference.
11 Q. Now I'm in a complete quandary. A moment ago you said that the
12 Crisis Staff replaced -- was replaced by the legally elected
13 representatives of the SDA and Coordinating Board of the Muslims; is that
14 right? Let's move on quicker, otherwise we can go round and round in
15 circles, and then we can move on to another area.
16 A. Part of the work of the Crisis Staff was transferred to these
17 institutions, the ones we're talking about, or these bodies.
18 Q. And what about the rest of the business?
19 A. Well, nothing else remained. What remains? There's nothing else
21 Q. Then your precise answer would be that all the authorisations of
22 the Crisis Staff was passed on to these institutions. You say a part, and
23 then you say there's nothing left, but if there's nothing left, then it's
24 all of them. Am I right?
25 A. If the Crisis Staff of the Muslim people no longer exists, then
1 that would be logical that in the political sense part of the work would
2 be done by the SDA party. What the army should do was done by the
3 Territorial Defence Staff, and what you had to coordinate, that was taken
4 over by the coordinating body, the Coordinating Committee.
5 MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour. I think that
6 it's time to take a break, and I'll continue after we reconvene.
7 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] It's 12.30. We're going to take
8 a break for an hour and a half and reconvene at 2.00.
9 --- Luncheon recess taken at 12.30 p.m.
10 --- On resuming at 2.03 p.m.
11 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] The hearing is resumed. I give
12 the floor to Counsel Nozica once again.
13 MR. MURPHY: Your Honour, before my colleague Ms. Nozica resumes
14 her cross-examination, we did observe just before Your Honours entered
15 that the witness appeared to be referring to some documents. I'm not sure
16 whether these were documents contained in his briefcase or otherwise, but
17 we are concerned, and I would ask Your Honour to make some inquiry about
19 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. Sir, we've just been
20 told that you were consulting some documents. What are the documents that
21 you have before you?
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The platform for the actions of
23 Bosnia-Herzegovina -- for the activities of Bosnia-Herzegovina in wartime
25 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] And that's the document that you
1 were looking at? Do you have any others there?
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I was just brought a document that
3 we finished discussing. So I was just brought that document prior to the
4 beginning of the session.
5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] You said that you were brought
6 it. Who brought it to you? Who handed you the document? Who gave you
7 that document?
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The registrar or the secretary, or I
9 am not quite sure what the official title of the person who gave it to me
10 is. It's the document that I was questioned on. I was asked whether it
11 was an authentic document and whether I had signed it. It's the document
12 we discussed before the break.
13 MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour. I'd like to
14 ask that the witness take away all the documents except the document that
15 we've discussing and that was handed to him for the cross-examination, so
16 that we can continue. Thank you.
17 Now, as you're already there, would you show the witness document
18 2D 0055, Defence document, and it's a report on the work of the staff of
19 defence of Bosnia-Herzegovina, Prozor, the date is the 16th of September,
20 1992. I don't know whether we have it in e-court, but I think it will be
21 quicker if we place it on the overhead projector.
22 Q. We have the document before us, and it's on e-court too. Can you
23 recognise the document? Do you recognise it? Whose document is this,
24 judging by the name and date when it was compiled?
25 A. The date I can see is the 16th of September, 1992.
1 Q. And would you look at the bottom of the document and tell us who
2 signed it. Do you know the person who signed it, and was the person
3 occupying this post that it says they were?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. Thank you.
6 A. That has nothing to do with our Coordination Board. This was
8 Q. I didn't say that. May we have the first page again, please, on
9 our screens. Thank you.
10 Before the break we spoke about legality, the legality of both the
11 Crisis Staff and the TO staff. I'm going to read out the first paragraph
12 and please tell me if that's what it says: "The staff of the Territorial
13 Defence of Prozor municipality was formed on the 2nd of April, 1992, by
14 the Crisis Staff of the Muslim people. The staff of the TO of Prozor
15 achieved its legitimacy by the acts and documents of the Main Staff of the
16 armed forces, number 02/507-3, dated the 5th of July, 1992, on the
17 appointment of the commanders or commander of the Municipal Staff of
18 Prozor Defence." And the number is 02/583-1, "dated the 17th of July,
19 1992, the order on a provisional subordination of the Municipal Staff of
20 Prozor to the District Staff of the Zenica region." Is that what it says
21 in this document?
22 A. Yes, that's what it says.
23 Q. Thank you. That will suffice. I don't need any more comments
24 from you. We can just observe that, with respect to the date, the TO
25 staff -- the date of the formation of the TO staff is somewhat different
1 here than you said in your testimony and is different from what it says in
2 the information describing the situation in the municipality of Prozor
3 before and after the brutal aggression to which the Prosecution referred.
4 Let's move on. A different area but it's the same document.
5 On page 104 of yesterday's transcript, lines 23 to page 105 up to
6 line 12, you spoke about an HVO attack on the 28th of August, 1992, on
7 part of the town where the more prosperous inhabitants lived, and on that
8 occasion you said that a member of the TO was wounded, and that is what
9 you said: "We did not respond from our side." That means --
10 THE INTERPRETER: Could counsel repeat what she just said about an
11 attack and conflict.
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes. It was an attack from one
13 side. He was wounded by a bomb or by a bullet.
14 MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation]
15 Q. May we now look at the report that we have in front of us, on page
16 2. And it is 2D 060021, the translation. And the paragraph begins --
17 that's fine. Leave it there. Linked to that same event, Mr. Muharem
18 Sabic says something quite different, so we're just going to take note of
19 that. The paragraph begins in this way, it is the fifth paragraph:
20 "Relations with the HVO were not at an enviable level, and this was
21 evidenced in the night between the 27th and 28th of August, 1992, where on
22 the occasion there was a conflict in the town of Prozor in which there
23 were wounded on both sides."
24 The next part is not important. Perhaps for another occasion but
25 not just now.
1 So the commander of the municipal defence staff says that there
2 were wounded on both sides. Are you aware of that?
3 A. No. And we were never presented with a report of that kind.
4 Q. Thank you. Your answer was no, you don't know. I'm not going to
5 ask you about who presented you with any reports or information. Thank
7 So we agree that the commander of the Municipal Staff of the
8 defence of Prozor was the relevant person to convey information. Would
9 you agree with me on that score?
10 A. Of course.
11 Q. All right. Thank you.
12 A. But it's not proper if he conveyed different information.
13 Q. I don't know who conveyed different information. It's up to the
14 Court to establish that and decide.
15 On page 111, and we are staying with the same document for the
16 time being, lines 11 onwards, lines 11 to 18, you spoke about the number
17 of members of the armed forces of Bosnia-Herzegovina, the TO, or the
18 Municipal Staff of the defence of Prozor, and you said that there was a
19 total of 100 plus or -- well, 150, 100 towards the Chetnik front and 100
20 to 150 in Prozor; is that correct?
21 A. According to the data that we had at your disposal, that's what I
22 could have said on the basis of that, but we didn't have any more detailed
24 Q. What time are we talking about? When did you have this
25 information and when did you dispose of these figures and data? Yesterday
1 you were saying that within the framework of the context of the events
2 prior to October, 1992. Are we referring to the same period of time?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. All right. Let's go back to the first page of this report then,
5 please. And I'm going to read out the portion where it says that: "The
6 Municipal Staff --" second paragraph, first page: "The Municipal Staff of
7 the defence of Prozor has engaged 800 fighters, and these fighters are
8 deployed to perform functions in 10-day-shifts of which 300 fighters are
9 permanently engaged on the Prozor-Kupres battlefront of which 100 fighters
10 are located in joint units with the HVO, the crew operating heavy weapons,
11 howitzers, tanks, mortars, PAMs and PATs, whereas 200 members of our army
12 are located on the front line at the following localities:
13 Idovac-Kik-Kicelj-Kriz-Straza-Rosulje-Zvirnjaca. The fighters are
14 equipped with good artillery and infantry weapons mostly."
15 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Are you sure you have "artillery" in the original
16 version? Because in the translation it does not figure. The word
17 "artillery" does not figure in the translation. I just want to avoid
19 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's correction: "Infantry."
20 MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation] Yes. I'm not sure I used the word.
21 Is that all right now? Yes.
22 Q. So I was referring to machine-guns. AP would be an automatic
23 rifle. Light machine-guns, automatic rifles, then PAP would be a
24 semi-automatic rifle, and RB would be hand grenade. Is that what it says
25 in this report?
1 A. I can't guarantee for the third. It's smudged over the third
2 letter, PAP, P-A-P.
3 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Again, I'm sorry, but I'm looking at the
4 translation, and the translation speaks of rocket launcher, and that would
5 be a bit different from hand grenade.
6 MS. NOZICA: [No interpretation]. [Interpretation] Rocket
7 launcher, RB. RB, rocket launcher. No. I misspoke. [In English] Okay.
8 Sorry. [Interpretation] Hand-held mortar, "rucni bacac," hand-held
10 Q. Now, my question related to the number of members of the municipal
11 defence staff of Prozor. So this is a report, not quite a direct one, but
12 several months before the conflict. Is that what it says?
13 A. I'm sorry, madam, but the way in which you're reading this, you're
14 only looking at it partially, only what suits you.
15 Q. Well, I'm not looking at the whole text.
16 A. Well, I can't answer what you want to hear. If the president of
17 the Trial Chamber will let me clear this matter up. It needs
18 clarification, perhaps at a different date.
19 Q. Can you tell me whether it says 800 fighters?
20 A. But you want to question and challenge the number I mentioned, and
21 I spoke about the number of fighters in town whereas this, the number of
22 800, is fighters from all over town, all over the area.
23 Q. We'll get to fighters in town, but you said a total number of men
24 in Prozor, there was a maximum of 250 fighters.
25 A. On that particular night.
1 Q. You didn't say on that particular night.
2 A. Well, there we go, I'm saying it now.
3 Q. All right, fine, but you didn't say 250 fighters that night
4 initially. That's very interesting, it's interesting for me to note
5 that. But I'm not going to dwell on that now. Let's move on.
6 It goes on to say: "The position at the Kupres-Prozor battlefield
7 were holding together with the HVO from the -- and we have been doing so
8 from the beginning of April, so that we are applying a 10-day schedule --
10 And then the next sentence begins: "In addition to the
11 above-mentioned, 300 members of the BH army of the Prozor municipality is
12 engaged in securing the Municipal Staff of defence, the communications
13 centre, and the important facilities as well as security for the town
14 itself, for the other village watches, and mostly they have very poor
16 Now, I don't want to say what the PPS, the MAP 48 - I know what
17 that is, that's a rifle - and a carbine - I know what that is too. Does
18 it say here that 300 members of the Municipal Staff of the defence of
19 Prozor were engaged in the town itself? Is that what it says? So if we
20 add these 300, we're still missing 200 because there are a total of 800.
21 Is that what it says in this document?
22 A. I don't understand your arithmetic.
23 Q. I'm not doing arithmetic. I'm reading. I'm reading out a piece
24 of information supplied by the commander of the municipal defence staff of
25 Prozor dated the 16th of September, 1992. As we have no reason to doubt
1 the correctness of this data, or maybe we do but you will tell us if the
2 data is incorrect or if you believe it to be incorrect.
3 A. I think that this data has to be clarified with the authors of
4 these reports. I cannot assert that they are correct nor can I accept
5 that they are incorrect, because according to the calculation you're
6 using, you're talking about Prozor and the entire municipality, and from
7 what you read I don't think it's clear. I think it should be clarified
8 with those who wrote these reports, with the authors. This is the first
9 time I've seen this document, so I cannot comment on it in detail.
10 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] ... in paragraph 2, 800 fighters
11 were mentioned. So we have this figure of 800. Then afterwards he said
12 that there were 300 which are on the Kupres-Prozor line. So 800 minus 300
13 leaves 500. The text continues. There are 200 who are on the
14 Idovac-Kik-Kicelj-Kriz et cetera, line. So if I subtract the 200, we have
15 300 left, and I find those 300 in that last paragraph where apparently
16 those 300 were providing security, general security for the OPSO, the
17 communications centre, and so on and so forth. So there you have the
18 figures. Perhaps you have a different vision of the figures.
19 Tell us, please, with respect to this document, what -- are you
20 challenging those figures or not? Because arithmetic is very precise
21 here. We have very clear addition and subtraction.
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Mr. President, these 300 fighters
23 linked to the town, that's the number I was referring to. The overall
24 number covering the territory of the entire municipality which went out in
25 shifts, well, they weren't all there at every point in time. They would
1 spend 10 days there and go back, and so on. The 300 refers to the town
2 and to what I was talking about yesterday. Maybe I misunderstood, which
3 is why I said that the arithmetic was not clear to me. But after Your
4 Honour's clarification, I think that's how it could be.
5 MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation] I would like to thank His Honour, but
6 I will say that I still miss 200, and I'll tell you why. In the first
7 passage it says that 800 were engaged, 300 constantly on the Prozor-Kupres
8 war front. So a hundred are in joint units and 200 in separate units.
9 That's why my view and linguistic interpretation, but that's not so
10 important now.
11 Q. But what you are saying today is quite different from what you
12 said yesterday. Yesterday you said quite precisely that there were a
13 hundred fighters on the line facing the Chetniks. So this could not be
14 the 250 or 300 we're talking about now.
15 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] If you allow me, I would like to
16 intervene. In paragraph 2, 800 are mentioned on the Prozor-Kupres front
17 line, and in English it is specified that amongst those 300, 100 are in
18 joint units together with the HVO. So there are 300 overall on the front
19 line, there are 100 who are side by side with the HVO. Therefore, there
20 are 200 who must be part of the BiH army. That's how we can interpret
21 this. Of course, it could be perceived in another way, or understood in
22 another way.
23 MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation] The purpose of presenting this
24 document was to show -- to show what the total number of fighters was
25 according to the official reports of the Municipal Defence Staff of Prozor
1 at that time. Excuse me, Mr. Praljak.
2 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Praljak, you have the floor.
3 THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation] Your Honour, if you would
4 like this number to be clarified, I can assist. If not, I will sit down.
5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. Could you enlighten
6 us as far as the figure goes, please.
7 THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation] The 300 men who are together
8 on the front line in one shift are divided into two parts. A hundred men
9 from the army of Bosnia and Herzegovina are together with the HVO as tank
10 crews, artillery crews, and the mortar crews. Two hundred men are holding
11 their own part of the front line, which is precisely designated next to
12 the HVO but not together with them. Thank you.
13 MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation] I wish to thank Mr. Praljak. That's
14 how I understood it too.
15 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well.
16 MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation]
17 Q. I would now like to deal with this number of 300 in the town.
18 Tell me, in your experience, what did this line with the Chetniks look
19 like at the time? Was there any serious possibilities that the Chetniks
20 might break through or conduct shelling? I see that you were engaged not
21 only as a politician but also in military terms. So how dangerous was it
22 or what was the threat that the line might be fall and what was the threat
23 to Prozor?
24 A. Well, of course you'd have to ask military experts about this, but
25 as far as I know, the distance was such that the threat was not a great
2 Q. Thank you. Then I will show you on page 2 of this same document
3 what a professional person thought about this, the Staff Commander, that
4 is. That's the first paragraph on page 2 or in the translation 2D 060211:
5 "The Defence line on the Prozor-Kupres war front is not an innocuous one
6 and is strategically very important. The Chetnik infantry is attempting
7 to pierce through the defence line especially on the Idovac elevation
8 1.156 metres from where they would have the possibility of firing from
10 Is that what it says in this report?
11 A. Yes. That's what it said in the report at the time, but this was
12 so far from the town of Prozor that I don't believe that even had the line
13 fallen, the town would not have been under threat because new lines would
14 have been taken up. And to the best of our knowledge, their forces were
15 not sufficient to threaten the town of Prozor itself. But as I said, such
16 military assessments, especially without preparation, is something I would
17 ask you to ask me as little about as possible, because I don't --
18 Q. Mr. Hujdur, my time is very limited, and I would not have asked
19 you anything had you said that you knew nothing about it. But as you
20 yourself embarked on an assessment, saying that this was not a threat to
21 Prozor, that's why I went further into this question. If you don't want
22 me to go into a question any further, tell me that you don't know or that
23 it's beyond your experience. We'll come to the issue of distance and how
24 far this was from Prozor.
25 The reason I'm asking you all this is you, I put it to you, were
1 involved in the Crisis Staff and in all these events as part of your
2 coordinating activities and analysing the activities of the TO staff, so
3 please tell me, why was there a need to have 300 fighters in the town?
4 Can you say anything about this from your own experience?
5 A. With respect to the need for such a large number, I have no
6 experience or knowledge about it.
7 Q. Very well. I will refer to the report which states why this is
8 happening. In paragraph 2, which speaks of the number of men in town, it
9 says: "We are doing this for reasons of prevention."
10 I will now move on to another topic.
11 Yesterday, on page 97 of the transcript, from 9 to 24, you spoke
12 about the unequal relationship between the members of the Bosniak
13 nationality and the HVO, and I'm referring now to the joint lines. You
14 spoke about some 20 Bosniaks who were left without weapons. I would now
15 like to go back to this report. We needn't look at it again --
16 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Excuse me, please. Ms. Nozica, you have quoted,
17 I read, paragraph -- on line 7, page 82. "In paragraph 2, which speaks of
18 the number of men in town, it says: 'We are doing this for reasons of
19 prevention.'" I was trying to find this paragraph and could not. Perhaps
20 you could indicate more precisely where the quotation is to be found. I
21 would not like you to stay in an area of doubt there.
22 MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation] Your Honour, if you're looking on
23 page 7 or 82, you will not find it. I said 97. But I will have a look at
24 the transcript now.
25 MR. KRUGER: Your Honour, if I may assist. If I could direct the
1 attention to the final sentence of the fourth paragraph.
2 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Oh. "For preventive measures." Thank you very
4 MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation] Excuse me, I'm a bit confused now. I
5 was referring to the transcript of yesterday. I would like to thank my
6 learned friend for assisting me. Now I will come back to this.
7 Q. You said that the relationship was not on a footing of equality.
8 Do you abide by that statement now? Because we have information from
9 Mr. Sabic, who is saying that the 200 members of our army who are on the
10 front line, they are equipped with artillery weapons, automatic and
11 semi-automatic rifles, infantry weapons, and a hand-held rocket launcher.
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, allow me to reply by
13 reading the text of the document which clearly confirms what I said, but
14 Mrs. Nozica is skilfully taking only what suits her. [No interpretation].
15 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreters cannot interpret when speakers
16 are overlapping.
17 THE WITNESS: [No interpretation]. [Interpretation] This is all in
18 the document. Why are you skipping over it? It's describing the
19 situation and the equality.
20 MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation]
21 Q. Mr. Hujdur, you are right. It describes precisely the situation
22 of the members of the municipal TO staff of Prozor municipality. I was
23 not going to skip over it. It talks about the attitude of the municipal
24 TO staff towards its members. Am I right?
25 A. No, you're not.
1 Q. Well, let's go back to my question. You cannot answer my
2 questions with a question. At least, I think that's not permissible in
3 these proceedings.
4 Please tell me, these 200 members who held the line independently
5 on their own, as Mr. Praljak explained, were they well-armed, according to
6 this information? Do you challenge this information?
7 A. I can neither challenge nor confirm it. I can only suggest that
8 this should be checked with the people who are competent to answer and who
9 are the authors of this document.
10 Q. Well, can we then take it that your testimony contradicts the
11 document signed by Commander Muharem Sabic?
12 A. No. I would not say that it completely contradicts. It's partly
13 different with regard to the figures relating to the Prozor municipality
14 and Prozor and the numbers of men holding the front lines in shifts. I
15 was not fully informed of that, and it's not important. These are just
17 Q. You may consider that these are just nuances, but here it says,
18 referring to the town of Prozor, they are armed with poor weapons, not not
19 armed at all. These are semi-automatic rifles, carbines, and rifles which
20 I agree are not very good ones, but this is something quite different.
21 I will now move on to another topic so as to leave time for
22 Mr. Kovacic.
23 On page 115 of yesterday's transcript, you spoke about the weapons
24 that the HVO it. Is that correct? And you said, I will quote you, when
25 asked by His Honour, you responded by saying that the Croatian side could
1 not have had heavy weapons or tanks, armoured personnel carriers, and
2 heavy weapons. Is this correct? Did you say that the HVO could not have
3 had - that's what it says - tanks, armoured personnel carriers? And the
4 date we are talking about is the 23rd of October. That's the date you
5 designated as the date of the attack on Prozor. Did you say that?
6 A. Yes. Certainly not in those quantities.
7 Q. What quantities? Now you're adding quantities. You didn't
8 mention that yesterday.
9 A. Please. If there was a blockade of all roads approaching the
10 town, if in front of the police station there were personnel carriers, if
11 there was that number of tanks deployed --
12 Q. How could you have seen all those from a basement?
13 A. I felt this, and I told you personally that I saw two tanks firing
14 when I was pulling out on Saturday morning.
15 Q. Excuse me, Mr. Hujdur. There was a long debate in which the Bench
16 got involved yesterday as to who it was who participated in the fighting
17 around Prozor. There was a long debate, and your purpose was to show that
18 there were members of the HV, the Croatian army, present there. When
19 asked very specifically by Judge Antonetti who you were referring to when
20 you said the Croatian army, you replied, "I'm referring to those who
21 participated in the attack. The HVO could not have had tanks, armoured
22 personnel carriers, and heavy weapons." Did you say that or not? It's
23 very simple: Did you say that yesterday or didn't you?
24 A. Yes, but you have pulled the question out of context.
25 Q. Well, then, please explain the context. I'll tell you let me what
1 the context is. Did it have these weapons and then not have them?
2 A. Well, they couldn't have had weapons in those quantities for that
3 amount of firing.
4 Q. Well, that's completely different from what you said yesterday.
5 I'll come back to this information.
6 This is a report on the work of the Municipal Staff of Prozor. We
7 read out this part several times. I'm going to read it out again: "100
8 fighters -- 100 fighters are found in joint units with the HVO crews on
9 heavy weapons, howitzers, tanks, mortars, and PAM and PATs; is that right?
10 Did you know about that? Did you know that the HVO had this kind of
11 weaponry at the time at the Prozor-Kupres battlefront? I'm not going to
12 ask you what they had in Prozor, but did you know about this?
13 A. Partially, as far as the mortars are concerned. As to the rest,
15 Q. All right. We can agree, then, that you misspoke yesterday when
16 you said the HVO did not have these weapons, that you spoke wrongly, and
17 now you're putting yourself right; is that right?
18 A. No. APC -- the APC that I personally saw in front of the police
19 station was quite certainly not at the front line. Neither that one nor
21 Q. How do you know that?
22 A. Well, it's an enormous APC. It's terrible to look at. It had to
23 use proper roads not go up to the front line along the hills.
24 Q. Can you just tell me how you come to know that? How could you
25 know that?
1 A. Well, do you have to have any special knowledge? When you see
2 this enormous beast of an APC, you know that it can't go up a mountain.
3 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] You've just said that there was
4 this enormous APC, and you saw it with your very own eyes, did you, this
5 enormous vehicle? And in general, the APCs have names, there are signs on
6 it, insignia. Did you see anything, any markings, as far as you remember,
7 on the APC, on this armoured vehicle, or did it just have one colour
8 without any special markings? Do you remember having seen any markings on
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Mr. President, I personally saw the
11 APC in front of the police station, but out of fear I just wasn't able to
12 notice any markings on it, whether it had any or didn't. And that same
13 APC I saw that night, too, around midnight. It was in the lower part of
14 town by a bridge where it managed to turn round, but it's a terrible
15 vehicle. Looks absolutely frightening. I don't have the time or the
16 space to describe just how dreadful and fear inspiring this vehicle
18 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] And were there any cannons on --
19 guns on this APC, any crew, any turret, or anything like that, antennae of
20 any kind, satellite antennae or anything like that? Do you recall seeing
21 anything like that on it?
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, as to barrels or guns and
23 antennae, I did see some, and some small openings, but I really can't
24 remember all the details. Some small openings on the armoured part of the
1 [Trial Chamber confers]
2 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] My colleague was just -- I asked
3 whether there were any tracked, traction or wheels, or was it a tracked
4 vehicle? Because when a tracked vehicle turns, when it's caterpillar-type
5 vehicle, then it makes a noise.
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] With the best will in the world, I'm
7 afraid I can't say whether I noticed any of those details.
8 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. Counsel Nozica,
9 please proceed.
10 MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation] Thank you.
11 Q. Well, as His Honour asked you, you didn't see any licence plates
12 or anything like that, so you still can't say whether this vehicle
13 belonged to the HVO or to someone else. That would be correct, wouldn't
15 A. No. I still say that it could not have been an HVO vehicle.
16 Q. So your doubts and suspicions is one thing, but concrete --
17 something concrete is different. I have every reason to suspect that it
18 was HVO, but I'm asking you again: Can you tell me whether this specific
19 vehicle belonged to the HVO or to the Croatian army, as you said
21 A. I still think that it was owned by the Croatian army.
22 Q. Very well. It's your right to think that, but let's move on and
23 deal with the meeting of the 23rd of October, 1992.
24 Yesterday in your testimony, you said that at one point in time
25 Ilija Petrovic came by and said, "While we're talking, you balijas, you're
1 killing our people. There can be no discussion with you. You have to
2 surrender your weapons within five minutes." And he said that on that day
3 you received information according to which a member of the HVO was killed
4 during the meeting, and you said that you used radio communication to
5 check this out and that nobody had been killed that day but that two or
6 three days earlier on, in Gornji Vakuf, a member of the HVO had been
7 killed. And then you said that all that -- that was all they had -- that
8 everything that they had done had been stage managed.
9 I thought that the next document was in e-court, 2D 00054. I
10 don't know whether it is in e-court. There's -- there's some problems,
11 but ...
12 Can you tell us what this is about? What document is this? Can
13 you tell me before I tell you?
14 A. It's a certification of death.
15 Q. A death certificate for Zadro Franjo; is that right? And is that
16 the fighter that they said was killed on that day, the 23rd of October,
17 when Ilija Petrovic entered the meeting? Did he mention this name?
18 A. No.
19 Q. Did you ever learn that that soldier who was killed was -- was
20 called like that?
21 A. No.
22 Q. Can you take a look at where this person was killed and when. Was
23 he killed on the 23rd of October, 1992, at 1300 hours? Is that what it
24 says on this document? Let me just ask you, is that what it says?
25 A. Yes, but that should be checked out.
1 Q. The person who should check this out will no doubt do so, but if
2 you doubt the authenticity, that's your affair. If the Prosecutor wants
3 me to prove it, then I will prove that the document is authentic.
4 May we scroll down to look at the bottom of the document and see
5 if there's a stamp and who issued it. Yes, it has a stamp. It says in
6 Prozor, the 16th of June, 2006. The number is 41/2006. So it's very easy
7 to check the authenticity of the document. Fine, we can scroll up again
8 now, thank you. Just a minute, please.
9 What does it say about this person? Where was this person killed?
10 Where did they die?
11 A. The date of issuance is not the right one.
12 Q. Never mind. If you have any problems with this document -- just
13 answer my questions. If you doubt the authenticity of the document, I can
14 prove -- I have ways of proving that this is indeed an authentic, original
15 document, but tell me where this person died.
16 A. It says Crni Vrh, but that's not Prozor municipality.
17 Q. Is it territory towards Gornji Vakuf?
18 A. Yes, it might be over there.
19 Q. Is then that the story that you told us yesterday that this could
20 be the individual who you said that three days earlier, before the 23rd,
21 had been killed somewhere towards Gornji Vakuf and that this was used by
22 the HVO to leave the meeting and to launch the attack on the town, as you
24 A. Yes, that's what I said. That's the information that we had, and
25 all that needs to be checked out, as does what it says in this document,
1 with all due respect.
2 Q. Well, how were you able to check whether anybody had been killed?
3 A. In the TO staff we used our communication lines to check out all
4 the lines and front lines and to see whether that was so.
5 Q. You used analytical work. You gathered information. I'm sure you
6 wanted to establish the truth that was important for the Muslim people and
7 all other peoples. After this event, at any time after this event -- you
8 seem to be accusing the HVO of making use of this, of making false use of
9 this to launch an attack. Did you ever check to see whether actually --
10 whether somebody was actually killed on that day, whether this person was
11 actually killed? Did you ever take the trouble to check that out later
13 A. After official information from the TO that this was not true and
14 that it had happened several days before on the territory of another
15 municipality, we didn't check it out because we thought that that was the
16 truth. Of course we would like to establish the truth.
17 Q. If this document is correct and you're challenging its
18 authenticity, whereas I tell you that it is authentic, so if this is
19 indeed from a death certificate, does it change your opinion as to how the
20 conflicts began between the HVO and the TO on that particular day? Do you
21 still maintain what you said, that they left the meeting because something
22 incorrect, a false event had been used as a pretext to leave the meeting
23 and start the attack? Does it change your opinion had you known about
25 A. Yes, of course, but everything had to be checked out first.
1 Q. So do I, but that was your duty. It was your duty to --
2 A. Oh, come on.
3 THE INTERPRETER: Could the speakers kindly slow down and speak
4 one by one, with pauses in between. It's impossible to translate at this
5 rate. Thank you.
6 MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation]
7 Q. Your information on the 12th of March, 1993 - and it is P 01656,
8 that's the number of the document - in that information you describe this
9 event and accuse the HVO of presenting incorrect data. I do not say that
10 it is your fault, but you should have checked out that information. Do
11 you agree with me?
12 A. No, I can't agree.
13 Q. Well, let us agree to disagree.
14 A. We should have checked it altogether.
15 Q. It was checked.
16 A. Oh, come on. If it happened at 1300 hours, how could it have been
17 checked out?
18 Q. All right. The person who informed you about this at the meeting
19 informed you of an event that actually happened. Now, let's move on. I
20 said that I didn't expect you to agree with me but I have to indicate the
21 following, although I'm convinced that the Trial Chamber will bear that in
22 mind: In the information that I referred to earlier on of the 12th of
23 March, 1993, and it is Prosecution Exhibit P 01656, page 9, you describe
24 this event. It is the Bosnian version, and the translation is on page 10.
25 You didn't say that anybody said "balija, five minutes," that bit.
1 You didn't mention that. Do you remember that better today or when you
2 compiled the information? Let me read out what you said. "During the
3 break, the president of the HDZ of Prozor, Ilija Petrovic, in a very
4 brusque way told us that, 'While you're negotiating with us, you're
5 killing our people,' and all the members of the Croatian delegation left
6 the premises of the negotiations."
7 Is it true that he said balija and so on, the five minutes and
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. But you didn't remember that when you were writing, compiling this
11 information or report. I just have two very brief questions to ask you.
12 Yesterday, you spoke about the aggression against Bosnia-Herzegovina, and
13 you said that the beginning of the conflict was April and March, 1992. Am
14 I right? We're talking about the Serbo-Chetnik or Serbian aggression or
15 JNA aggression, or whichever terminology you like to use.
16 A. Yes, in that context, that is how it was.
17 Q. Did you hear that in 1991, for instance, in May, there was an
18 attack on the village of Unista, a Croatian village, in 1991, that it was
19 attacked by the JNA? Did you hear about those events?
20 A. Do you mean the Ravno area?
21 Q. I'll come to Ravno. Let me ask you about Ravno straight away,
22 then. Did you hear of Ravno having been attacked in September, 1991?
23 This is all Bosnia-Herzegovina we're talking about now.
24 A. I think that you should ask somebody else that question. I can't
25 claim --
1 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Witness. Witness. I'm sorry. You are really
2 being extremely undisciplined. I have told you clearly that you have to
3 answer the question and it is not for you to tell the Defence counsel or
4 anybody in this room who they must put a question to. If a question is
5 put to you, you have to answer it, full stop. Please continue.
6 MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
7 Q. I asked this because you said that the aggression began in March
8 and April, 1992. That's why I'm asking you whether you heard about the
9 attacks on the villages of Ravna, Unista, about the arrival of the JNA in
10 Mostar, and the incidents in Bijeljina, which all took place before March
11 and April, 1992. Have you heard about this?
12 A. The first time I heard about the village of Unista which you
13 mentioned was today. As for Ravno, I heard about this, that it happened
14 in September. But when I spoke about the aggression, I was referring to
15 large-scale or open aggression to the definition as defined.
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I apologise to Your Honours. I was
17 trying to say that I was not a person who can answer such a question, and
18 it was in this context I wanted to answer. I'm not trying to be
19 undisciplined. There can only be a misunderstanding or a different
20 understanding, so please take that into consideration.
21 MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation]
22 Q. This information presented to you by the Prosecutor -- can we have
23 the Prosecution document P 01656 put on e-court. P 01656, the last page,
24 where the signatures are.
25 Although we don't see the signatures, we do have the names and
1 titles of the persons. Does it say here that Salih Ruvic is the commander
2 of the Municipal Defence Staff of Prozor, and did he hold that post at the
3 time he signed this information? The information was compiled, let me
4 remind you, on the 12th of March. Today you told me he held that post
5 only very briefly and that he was replaced by Mr. Saric. Was he holding
6 that post at this time?
7 A. Yes. After the fall of Prozor, he was again commander in
9 Q. So in Jablanica he was the staff commander elected later on. When
10 was this staff appointed?
11 A. Well, it has to do with the free area of Scipe, Kute, Here, after
12 the fall of Prozor.
13 Q. It's a temporary territory?
14 A. Not temporary.
15 Q. Dislocated territory? Were you or not in Jablanica municipality
16 -- or, rather, in Prozor municipality, is that correct, when you were
17 compiling this information?
18 A. No, that's not how it was, because we did have communication with
19 that territory, and we went here and there. From Jablanica to that
20 territory, and from that territory to Jablanica.
21 Q. Very well, thank you, you explained that today.
22 MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation] I have no further questions, thank
23 you, Your Honours.
24 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Just one point of clarification
25 regarding this last document. We can see three names; yours, Ruvic, and
1 the president of the SDA. Ahmo Hujdur, is he one of your relatives? What
2 connection is there? Is he your brother or your father? Is he one of
3 your relatives?
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No. It's just the same last name,
5 but he's even from a neighbouring village, not the same village.
6 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you for having clarified
8 Mr. Kovacic, we have half an hour before the break.
9 MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, as I have already said,
10 please give my client the floor first. Thank you.
11 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Praljak, you may ask
12 technical questions, and please put your questions in a calm fashion.
13 Cross-examination by the Accused Praljak:
14 Q. [Interpretation] Good day, Mr. Hujdur. In your statement, you
15 said that I had some connection with Prozor because my father had worked
16 there and I had spent part of my childhood there. I'll ask you directly
17 and please answer me quickly so that my brief questioning can be finished
18 soon. Whether my father was the chief of the police service and the
19 secret service there.
20 A. I heard that, but I'm not sure about the details.
21 Q. He -- I lived there for four years. Is it well known that I was a
22 relatively good friend of Mr. Hajrudin Rizvanbegovic, the veterinary
23 surgeon there at the time? Yes or no. Say no if you don't know, and
24 we'll move on.
25 A. Yes, let it be so.
1 Q. Just say you don't know and we can move on.
2 A. I don't know.
3 Q. When I arrived in Rama at the time you are referring to, was I
4 wearing a camouflage uniform at the meeting you mention?
5 A. I think you were.
6 Q. Thank you. And the insignia on this uniform, were they HVO
7 insignia or HV insignia?
8 A. I cannot confirm that.
9 Q. When I arrived, did I introduce myself, and did I say that I had
10 been asked to come quickly to Rama from Zagreb to calm down an incident
11 where -- by two men, Mr. Franjo Tudjman, the president of the Croatian
12 state, and Mr. Alija Izetbegovic, the president of the Presidency of
13 Bosnia-Herzegovina? Did I introduce myself as such?
14 A. You may have introduced yourself in this way but I don't recall
15 that detail.
16 Q. Do you know that before that I had had a meeting in Jablanica,
17 another meeting in Jablanica with Mr. Pasalic and others, followed by a
18 meeting in Konjic, followed by a meeting with 150 Croats from the villages
19 of Rama? Are you aware of all this?
20 A. I only know that on that day you arrived in Konjic when we went to
21 Prozor together and met in Jablanica. That's all I know.
22 Q. Thank you very much. You told Their Honours that you wouldn't
23 speak about the curses you heard from me. I don't mind your testifying
24 that I was swearing and cursing.
25 A. Well, I don't want to talk about that.
1 Q. That I was sometimes very angry; is that correct?
2 A. Yes, that's what it looked like.
3 Q. You have seen me pull out a pistol and point it at people?
4 A. No.
5 Q. Well, did you hear that I slapped some people? Have you at least
6 heard about that?
7 A. No.
8 Q. Thank you. That completes this part of my questioning.
9 Just a purely mathematical matter: You said that in Rama there
10 were 3.655 inhabitants. Then you said that two-thirds of that number, or
11 2.436, were Muslims, Bosniaks. Please, how many people from Rama were
12 Croats -- or, rather, how many Croats and Muslims had left Rama at the
13 time to go and work as migrant workers in France, Germany, Austria and
14 other places? Can we say that at that point in time there were fewer
15 people in Rama than shown by the census?
16 A. Mr. Praljak, just one correction: You're talking about Rama but
17 it's actually Prozor, the seat of the municipality, which still bears the
18 name of Prozor. When I was giving this information, I was talking about
19 the last census. What you say may have been true. There certainly may
20 have been changes, which it is difficult to confirm or deny right now.
21 Q. I'm only trying to say that out of 2.000 Muslim Bosniaks in a
22 place called Rama by the Croats and Prozor by the Bosniaks, there were
23 2.000, and in the nature of things a thousand would have been men and a
24 thousand women. Out of a thousand men, 200 at least would be children.
25 In mathematical terms, this would mean that on the 23rd most probably in
1 Rama there were approximately 800 men, more or less. These 800 grown men,
2 according to you, were attacked by 2.000 HVO troops and 6.000 outsiders,
3 which would be a total of 8.000 armed soldiers, with tanks, heavy
4 artillery weapons, and a whole arsenal of weapons, and they would have
5 been attacking 800 civilian Bosniaks in a town, and the fighting went on
6 from 1525 hours on one day until noon the following day. And now at the
7 end, the people whom fate has led into war, after all this has occurred,
8 it says that the HVO had five killed, you say that the Muslims or the
9 Bosniaks had 10 killed, and there were 18 wounded. Those are the figures
10 put forward here. Thank you very much.
11 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. Could you just let
12 him answer the question and then we'll hear your objection.
13 Mr. Praljak has just demonstrated mathematically how many people
14 were there, 800 according to his calculation, 800 grown men who could
15 carry weapons. According to him, they would have attacked the 2.000
16 people from the HVO in addition to the 6.000 outsiders, in other words
17 those people who would have come from outside. By and large 800 people
18 would have attacked 800 soldiers -- 8.000 soldiers, heavily armed,
19 equipped with weapons and tanks. What do you say to this?
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Mr. President, Your Honours, ladies
21 and gentlemen, I do have a lot to say. I'll try and compress it into five
23 First of all, the name Prozor is still the name of the town. The
24 name of the municipality, Prozor-Rama, is a dual name according to a
25 decision by the arbiter. The figures put forward by General Praljak as to
1 the composition of the population --
2 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes, but my question doesn't
3 really relate to Prozor. This is what has been put forward by Mr. Praljak
4 to indicate how many men were on either side. So I think there is an idea
5 behind this. I don't know whether you agree or disagree. We'd like to
6 know, please.
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, but Mr. Praljak spoke
8 about the name again, so I wanted to further clarify it.
9 As for the figures, that is a changeable category. Mr. Praljak
10 has the advantage here, because he was in possession of this whole
11 situation. And unfortunately, I cannot agree here. I cannot accept this.
12 I deny it for the following reasons, inter alia: Of the 10 who were
13 killed as registered by the Bosniak side, not a single soldier of the army
14 of Bosnia and Herzegovina was killed in Prozor. They were all civilians.
15 The only soldier who was killed was killed while pulling out in a place, I
16 think it's called Kranjcici, when he ran into a unit that was there. But
17 in the town of Prozor itself civilians were killed after the shelling
18 stopped. This is not an equal fight. And the commanders who led the
19 attack should discuss the relative strength of the forces, those who led
20 the attack and those who led the defence, if there was any. So I disagree
21 with the general here.
22 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Kruger, I think you had
23 stood up to say something.
24 MR. KRUGER: Thank you, Your Honour. My objection was just to the
25 length of the question which made it very difficult for the witness, and I
1 think for the Court, to identify. Thank you, Your Honour.
2 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. Last question,
3 Mr. Praljak, because your lawyer would also like to say a few things.
5 THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation]
6 Q. As the lawyers say, for the record, the information I put forward
7 was not any information of mine. I was simply using the information
8 supplied by you, Mr. Hujdur, during your testimony, and I did not say that
9 soldiers were killed. I was just saying that this was the terrible
10 mathematics of death using the figures you gave. I did not provide any
11 figures here. I was only doing the maths. Thank you.
12 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. Mr. Kovacic, you
13 have the floor.
14 MR. KOVACIC: Thank you, Your Honour.
15 Cross-examination by Mr. Kovacic:
16 Q. [Interpretation] Mr. Hujdur, my name is Bozidar Kovacic. I am
17 counsel for General Praljak, and in view of my previous experience, after
18 the cross-examination by my colleague Mrs. Nozica and by General Praljak,
19 I'm simply asking you to show a will to cooperate with this Court.
20 First of all, we speak the same language, so I would like to ask
21 you, even though you understand my question, please wait until you hear in
22 your headset that the interpretation is finished. Otherwise, the
23 interpreters will say they can't hear us. You will understand that there
24 are interpreters sitting behind us who cannot interpret what we say if we
25 both speak at the same time. Therefore, please make a short break after I
1 put my question and I will make a short break after I hear your reply.
2 The problem is simply that we speak the same language, so please bear this
3 in mind.
4 Secondly, I will try to put questions to you which you will be
5 able to answer with a "yes" or "no" or "I don't know," and we can move on.
6 I hope that in this way we will be expeditious.
7 Let's just clarify a few minor facts. First, from your testimony
8 it follows that, inter alia, the inhabitants of your municipality who were
9 liable for military service regardless of the flag under which they served
10 went to certain positions which were held by both Muslims and Croats, and
11 these men came not only from Prozor municipality but other municipalities
12 as well. Is this correct? Yes or no.
13 A. It's both correct and not correct. Kuper, near Travnik, I don't
14 think that has anything to do with this. There's only Kupres facing
16 Q. Very well. I may have been confused about the positions I was
17 mentioning, but it's a hill overlooking Travnik. Well, then, tell me,
18 what lines against the Serbs did you go to? Kupres? Anything else?
19 A. Well, that's it.
20 Q. Only Kupres?
21 A. Well, together with the details mentioned just a while ago, a few
22 elevations were there, not to repeat them again.
23 Q. So you went to that theatre. Both the Croats and the Muslims from
24 Prozor went in a disciplined manner in shifts to hold that front line?
25 A. Yes. Over a certain time period, but whether in a disciplined
1 manner, one could question that.
2 Q. Very well. The weapons for those men who went to the lines, were
3 they provided by the HVO?
4 A. No.
5 Q. Is it correct that most of this was held by the HVO?
6 A. If we look at the overall volume, one might say that.
7 Q. Yes. Would you agree with me -- no. I have to reformulate. Not
8 to weary the Court, the Territorial Defence, from the very beginning of
9 the war, before the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina declared
10 independence, already had had its depots emptied. The former JNA -- well,
11 at that time it was still the JNA, together with other federal and
12 Republican institutions simply emptied the depots of the Territorial
13 Defence; is that correct?
14 A. Are you referring to weapons?
15 Q. Yes.
16 A. Yes, and those weapons were taken to Ljuta near Konjic.
17 Q. And the result was the municipal staffs of the Territorial Defence
18 unfortunately were left without any weapons which they had been purchasing
19 many years before the war in the different municipalities; is that right?
20 A. Well, I can't deny that, but I don't know.
21 Q. Was the TO capable in 1992 of arming its army? Let's put it that
23 A. Yes, that's what it did when it took the weapons from Ljuta near
24 Konjic, which was jointly distributed.
25 Q. So the source of weapons for the TO was what they managed to seize
1 themselves. That was one source. And the second source of the weapons
2 that belonged to the TO was from the HVO; is that right?
3 A. No, it isn't.
4 Q. What, then?
5 A. The weapons from the Ljuta warehouse was equally distributed. It
6 wasn't the weapons from Ljuta that were only given to the Territorial
8 Q. Yes, but that wasn't sufficient for all the requirements and needs
9 of the next few months. It only covered part of the needs and
10 requirements; is that right? "Yes," "no," or "I don't know." There's no
11 other answer.
12 A. I can't claim that that was how it was, that there was sufficient
13 quantities or not sufficient. That would be too much to ask of me.
14 Q. Tell us, please, yesterday during your testimony, on page 106,
15 around about lines 15 and 16, you mentioned that on the 19th of October -
16 of course we're talking about 1992 - according to your information that
17 there was a conflict between the HVO and the BH army in Novi Travnik, and
18 then you went on to say that as of that day onwards, the number of
19 soldiers in Prozor increased. Since you're not saying which army, is it
20 true that the soldiers on both sides increased, both of the armija and the
22 A. As far as the increase is concerned -- well, no, not for the
23 armija, no.
24 Q. But you can't say for certain?
25 A. I cannot say that somebody came from outside to help the
1 Territorial Defence. So in that sense I can't claim that.
2 Q. Were additional men mobilised?
3 A. I don't know.
4 Q. Is it true and correct, and this would emerge from your testimony
5 although I don't think it wasn't specifically and clearly stated anywhere,
6 whether it would be correct to conclude that the tensions between the
7 Bosnian Croats and Bosnian Muslims in Prozor grew and began to burgeon as
8 of August, 1992?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. So those tensions began increasing somewhat earlier, did they not?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. But despite that fact, it is a fact that there wasn't a direct
13 conflict between those two sides right up in the events of the 23rd of
14 October. Would that be right?
15 A. Well, it could be right if you don't skip over the 28th of August.
16 Q. Do you agree that this conflict on the 28th of August can be
17 considered an incident? That's my first point. And my second point is
18 that all the political players, if I can use that term, and military
19 players, used their goodwill -- demonstrated goodwill to quell the
20 conflict or, rather, not to have a conflict take place and to deal with
21 the damages?
22 A. Yes, in part.
23 Q. In other words, do you agree that had there not been goodwill on
24 both sides, matters would have been much worse?
25 A. Well, that would be a logical conclusion that that could have been
1 the case.
2 Q. But you took part in those political negotiations and agreements.
3 Is it true that you all tried to prevent situations of incident -- where
4 incidents took place?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. After this conflict of the 28th of October, which was more
7 serious, judging by its intensity, did not both sides invest efforts to
8 deal with the situation and to try and preserve peace for a certain amount
9 of time?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. And with respect to preserving that peace, you mentioned the
12 meeting attended by General Praljak, did you not? Is it true and correct
13 that quite obviously the object of that meeting was to calm the situation
14 and to show people on both sides that they should avoid any conflict which
15 could only work to the advantage of a joint enemy, the VS, Serbian army?
16 A. No. That might be a strange answer, but if the president will
17 allow me to explain.
18 Q. Go ahead.
19 A. Had that been the case, then we wouldn't have had all the
20 ultimatums for the disarming of the other villages around the town of
21 Prozor, but these ultimatums continue despite those negotiations, and what
22 happened at the meeting really did happen. That is how matters evolved.
23 Q. The incidents to disarm the people didn't happen when my client
24 was there, and the ultimatums.
25 A. Not that day but straight afterwards.
1 Q. All right. Fine. But the fact remains, does it not, that my
2 client insisted and spoke to representatives of both of sides that they
3 preserve the peace, maintain the peace? Yes or no.
4 A. Yes. And he promised a meeting which never came about.
5 Q. I am putting it to you that it wasn't my client who promised to
6 come to the meeting himself. What he said was that the representatives of
7 both sides should maintain regular contacts and meetings, not only in
8 Prozor but further afield as well in order to maintain the peace. He
9 didn't say that he would attend those meetings personally.
10 A. May I be allowed to answer?
11 Q. Yes.
12 A. Yes. But a man of his experience could have concluded that no
13 meetings of that kind would ever take place. So nobody ever understood it
14 that these meetings would not be attended by him or similar figures.
15 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Shall we take a break, a
16 20-minute break, and we will reconvene at ten minutes to four. And we
17 have to finish by 5.15, so as far as possible, the Defence should complete
18 its cross-examination at 5.15. Otherwise, we're going to have to recall
19 the witness in order to continue tomorrow.
20 Mr. Mundis, did you wish to add anything?
21 MR. MUNDIS: Thank you, Mr. President. I believe that, in light
22 of what you've just said, confirms the reason why I went to my feet. I
23 was simply rising to inquire whether we could release the next witness,
24 who's been on standby. It's clear we are not going to get to that witness
25 today, so we would respectfully ask that we can release that witness for
1 today so that he's no longer simply waiting here to testify.
2 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes. We should tell the witness
3 about tomorrow morning, 9.00.
4 So we reconvene exactly in 20 minutes' time, not 21 minutes.
5 --- Recess taken at 3.29 p.m.
6 --- On resuming at 3.51 p.m.
7 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Counsel Kovacic, please
9 MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation]
10 Q. Mr. Hujdur, you recounted your vision yesterday of the situation
11 at the beginning of the conflict on the 23rd of October, 1992, in Prozor.
12 I put it to you that you did not describe the situation correctly or,
13 rather, that maybe you didn't have all the information about the actual
14 state of affairs. And I'm now going to show you a few information -- a
15 few pieces of information and documents so that we can see what it's all
17 First of all, on the 21st of October, 1992, already then according
18 to the information that I have, Prozor was asking for assistance to bring
19 the units up to strength from the neighbouring villages. The HVO had
20 taken the town of Makljen, that there was tension in town, and Jablanica
21 sent a company to the borders of Prozor. All the other forces were placed
22 on full combat alert. That same document says that around 1600 hours,
23 Foroz [phoen] said that military police unit and vehicle was left to pass
24 through Prozor with the intention of going on to Travnik. At 1620 hours
25 in Vakuf, the order was to stop them and send them back where they came
1 from, and so on and so forth.
2 So already on the 21st of October, according to this document,
3 Tactical Group 1 Konjic, it would appear that preparations were underway
4 for some sort of activity. Is it true that the Territorial Defence or,
5 rather, the BH army in Prozor was ready for military action and a conflict
6 with the HVO?
7 A. No.
8 Q. All right. Thank you. Fine.
9 A. Nor did it prepare for that.
10 Q. All right. Fine.
11 MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation] I'd like to ask the usher to have a
12 document placed on the ELMO for the witness. Your Honours, we're going to
13 place it on the overhead projector. We don't have a translation because
14 we managed to locate it late last night. It's a short one.
15 Q. Would you take a look at the document, please. As we can see,
16 it's a document of the Territorial Defence Staff. Unfortunately, we don't
17 have an English translation. Perhaps the best thing would be for me to
18 read it out. We can see that it is the Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina at
19 the top, Prozor municipality, the Territorial Defence Staff. The number
20 of the document and date are stated. The date isn't clear enough, but it
21 would the 1st of September, 1992. The introductory sentence is the
22 standard one: On the basis of the plan of work as well as on the basis of
23 available MTS - that's the usual abbreviation for materiel and technical
24 equipment - the unit full strength and with respect to an assessment of
25 the political and security situation on the territory of the Prozor
1 municipality and in the Republic, the Prozor TO staff brings in the
2 following plan for the defence of Prozor municipality.
3 Then we have the different elements of that plan. The name of the
4 plan comes first, the location of the mobilisation of the formation, the
5 type of formation planned, the actual numbers in manpower, the place of
6 action, locations, the commander of the unit.
7 And then after that it goes on to explain the plan for the defence
8 of Prozor municipality, because of the situation along the border belt of
9 the Prozor and Kupres municipalities, as well as the situation within the
10 municipality of Prozor itself, has two initial variants. And that's what
11 we're interested in.
12 And it says: "The first is the ELIF plan, which is applied in
13 joint action with the units-formations of the HVO, according to the
14 attached document Alpha. The second variant is plan B, which is applied
15 independently or in joint operation with the TO units of the neighbouring
16 municipalities," and in brackets, it says Gornji Vakuf, Konjic,
17 Jablanica, "according to the attached document Beta."
18 Then we have two attached documents, one, in the title, says --
19 may we see the top of the document? Yes, top of the document. Further
20 up. Yes.
21 This document is titled document Alfa. We've just mentioned that.
22 And the next attachment is document Beta, as it says at the top of the
24 I don't think we need enter into the details of those two
25 documents, document Alfa and document Beta, but my next question is this:
1 Have you had a chance to look through the document, Witness? I claim that
2 from the plan signed by the commander, Muharem Sabic - and you mentioned
3 him several times today - that from that document it clearly emerges that
4 the Territorial Defence from the Municipal Staff of Prozor has developed
5 variants in advance in the sense of two plans. One plan where they are
6 going to work together with the HVO, and plan B was the plan to be applied
7 independently and autonomously, either Prozor or jointly with units from
8 other municipalities; Vakuf, Konjic, Jablanica.
9 Now, do you agree that that document does not -- show that the
10 Territorial Defence on the 1st of September, already on the 1st of
11 September has its plan for every situation; a variant on its own
12 independently or with the HVO against the Serbs. Do you agree that that
13 would be the conclusion on the basis of this document?
14 A. I cannot comment.
15 Q. Thank you, you cannot comment.
16 Now, the next document I'd like to show you is in e-court. Madam
17 Usher, [In English] I don't think you will be -- yes. Thank you.
18 [Interpretation] This is our document 3D 00284 or 3D 11004.
19 MR. KRUGER: Your Honour, while we're waiting for the document to
20 appear on the e-court system, if I may just indicate that the Prosecution
21 has not received any copies of these documents.
22 MR. KOVACIC: I'm sorry. I'm really sorry. I thought we gave
23 them the copy. But haven't you got the entire folder? This one. If you
24 would be so kind, you will get it. And this one, because I don't think
25 this one is in the folder. I don't think that this one is in the folder.
1 MR. KRUGER: I thank my learned friend, Your Honour.
2 MR. KOVACIC: I really apologise. I was convinced that we gave it
3 to you. [Interpretation] In any case, all the further documents are in
4 e-court, so there should be no further problems.
5 Q. Mr. Hujdur, I hope you've had a chance to see the document which
6 is now on the screen. This is a document by the security and information
7 service of the HVO in Prozor, dated the 7th of October, 1992. It was
8 compiled and signed by the chief of security in the brigade, Luka
9 Markesic. Here he makes a request of the brigade in order to have some
10 problems solved, and he refers to a person called Rasim Pilav. Is this
11 name familiar to you?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. Will you agree with me that he was a violent man? In fact, there
14 were two brothers that had a group of their own and that they caused quite
15 a lot of damage, to use the most neutral term, and that they were active
16 both within the Territorial Defence and independently. Do you agree?
17 A. I'm seeing this for the first time, so I can't comment on it.
18 Q. Yes, I know that. But you must have heard of this person, Rasim
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. And would you agree that he was a certain force to be reckoned
22 with, that he had a group of his own and that he acted not only within the
23 TO but also on his own initiative? You're not aware of that?
24 A. No. Really, I'm not.
25 Q. This intelligence officer, in the paragraph before the last, says
1 that: "Bearing in mind that he -" this man Pilav - "has a lot of weapons
2 and equipment and also a large group of people who are preparing only for
3 conflicts with the Croats and no measures are being taken against him by
4 the civilian and military police police, we feel that certain action has
5 to be taken urgently to suppress his activity."
6 Have you heard of any efforts to arrest him or anything of that
8 A. I'm not aware of this detail, but let me say a few words about
9 this man. He was the owner of a catering establishment which was halfway
10 between Prozor and Jablanica. When you visited the area, you may have
11 seen that building, which was very badly damaged, razed to the ground and
12 hasn't been rebuilt yet.
13 As an individual, he couldn't have done all this or had a large
14 group of men. So this is the first time I've heard of anything like this.
15 And I don't know, I'm not aware of our having been informed of any
16 incident caused by him. I'm not trying to deny that there may have been
17 incidents of that kind, but the police was a joint police, and it would
18 have been better if they had worked together. I'm not saying this is not
19 the case, but --
20 Q. All right. Let's leave that for the present. This person is
21 mentioned again in other documents. But what matters now is that you have
22 heard of him.
23 I will now ask for the next document, 3D 0046 or 3D 030049.
24 While we are waiting for this document, I will only briefly
25 mention what this document is. The author of the document is the same.
1 It's on the screen now. It was issued on the 16th of October. This is a
2 report on current events on the territory of the municipality, and a lot
3 of observations are mentioned, including an introductory sentence which
4 reads as follows: "On the occasion of the complete division between the
5 HVO and the TO, especially with respect to logistics and the military
6 police, there has been a brief lull in the activity of extremist
7 individuals who are probably taken aback by the problems they're facing
8 after this division."
9 My question to you is the following: Are you aware that the HVO
10 and the TO divided or -- their military police and logistics in October?
11 A. As we were informed at the coordination bodies, we were told that
12 logistics was first denied to the army. After that, there was a division,
13 and after that the military police was divided as well. We were informed
14 about this, but as for the details, we didn't know any more than that.
15 Q. Very well. A few statements are made. First of all, that on the
16 5th of October, 1992, incidents started that the military police from
17 Jablanica, Safet Indic, known as Bozo, took the main elevation above the
18 village of Toscanica. Do you know this person Safet Indic, a military
19 policeman from Jablanica? That's the military police of Bosnia and
20 Herzegovina, of course, as you can tell by the person's name.
21 A. I don't know him personally, but I have heard of this nickname
23 Q. Do you know whether on the 3rd of October, 1992, he and his men
24 took an elevation overlooking the village of Toscanica?
25 A. I don't know.
1 Q. On the 13th of October -- well, that's an incident we need not go
2 into, but then the author goes on, the sentence before the last on this
3 page in the Croatian text, "In the Rama organisation --" this seems to be
4 an abbreviation for an enterprise -- "one of the most important
5 facilities, currently everything is in the hands of members of the Muslim
6 nationality." So this means that a facility is in the hands of the BH
7 army. And several more incidents are described, but no special reference
8 is made to BH army positions.
9 Have you heard of any of these incidents?
10 A. No. And I think it's not true that some facilities, because I
11 worked in the Rama hydroelectric power plant for 15 years and I know each
12 facility in detail. Neither at the dam nor in the power plant or anywhere
13 else were only Muslims employed. So this information is certainly
14 incorrect. I worked in that company and I can assert that this is
15 completely untrue. I can't talk about the others.
16 Q. A question. On page 2 in this document it says that on the 15th
17 of October, 1992, there were incidents in the villages of Huducko and
18 Toscanica. Do you remember that, the 15th of October? Quite a lot has
19 been said about this, and I know about it from some other information.
20 Does this jog your memory?
21 A. No. Unfortunately, I'm not aware of this.
22 Q. The next document is 3D 00285, or for the Court, 3D 11007. This
23 is a request. Yes, that's the document. The author again is the chief of
24 security of the brigade, and he makes a request from the brigade command
25 to urgently establish an intervention unit with its headquarters in the
1 town and to find accommodation for that unit and to have it on the alert
2 constantly. And he explains this by saying that: "Bearing in mind the
3 current situation as well as the tense relations between the HVO and the
4 Municipal Staff of the BH and the possibilities of incidents between them,
5 we must have a unit which will be able to intervene at any point in time.
6 This unit should have as its members mature and serious soldiers and they
7 should be trained properly and equipped with the necessary equipment and
8 materiel. Please deal with this problem in the most serious manner and as
9 soon as possible."
10 Based on this information, I feel that -- or I believe that
11 relations were complex at the time, and this person is proposing that a
12 special unit be established in order to maintain order. It follows from
13 this that there must have been a reason for such a request. Were there
14 any incidents caused by members of both sides?
15 A. I didn't understand the last part of your question.
16 Q. Would you agree with me that in the course of October there were
17 incidents, regardless of which side initiated them?
18 A. I think that in our previous responses we did say that in this
19 period the logistics were separated, the military police were separated,
20 and all this took place without any incident until the flag was taken
21 down. As for this period, I don't recall, and nobody informed us of any
22 such thing. As for this document, it was addressed to the HVO command at
23 a time when in Prozor one could already feel troops and equipment being
24 concentrated. On that day this letter was written and maybe this man had
25 good intentions when he wrote this if he didn't know what the purpose of
1 the increase of the numbers of troops and equipment in Prozor was.
2 Q. Thank you. I would like to ask for the next document, 3D 00287,
3 or 3D 110011 for the Court. While we are waiting for this document to
4 come up on the screen -- here it is. This is what you were mentioning.
5 The same person, the chief of security, the man who is tasked with
6 collecting information and forwarding it, is sending a report to the Main
7 Staff of the HVO of Herceg-Bosna, and his assessment here is that the
8 situation in town is deteriorating. He explains that this is after the
9 Croatian flag was raised on the police station, there is a possibility of
10 a large-scale conflict in town. According to the information from Novi
11 Travnik, the HVO command there was shelled by the army of BH, and the
12 conflict is underway.
13 So on the 19th of October, this person is drawing attention to the
14 deteriorating situation and providing some reasons for this. Would you
15 agree that tensions could really be felt at the time? Will you please
16 just say, "I agree," "I don't know," "Yes," "No," without comments,
17 please. You have commented everything you possibly could today.
18 A. I was just going to say that. I have already repeated several
19 times that this did happen in that period.
20 Q. Thank you very much. So this document confirms that.
21 The next document is 3D 00286, or in the bundle for the Court,
22 3D 110009.
23 This is again the same person. You will see -- now it will come
24 up on the screen. It's only a day later. And he is making a request from
25 the HVO commander to make a defence plan for the town in coordination with
1 the military police, a plan which could be used in case a conflict breaks
2 out with the BH army. So it is evident from this that in his assessment a
3 conflict is possible. You agreed that the situation was tense. Would you
4 agree that this was a reasonable request? "Yes" or "No" or, "I don't
5 know." Or "I can't comment." Whatever you like, just please don't go
6 into further explanations, because we don't have time.
7 A. You don't have a collocutor here who could respond from these
8 military and police structures. This has quite a different dimension.
9 You are representing it one-sidedly, although it can be explained with
10 good intentions.
11 Q. Yes, I agree, but you told us in your previous testimony and today
12 that you did have some information about the situation, because you were
13 the, let's say political advisor to the Territorial Defence. So you were
14 a well-informed person. But let's leave that aside. All my questions are
15 very simple, and you can always reply with "I know," or "I don't know."
16 On that same day, that same person is again drawing the attention
17 of the HVO Brigade command to the fact that the situation is continuing to
18 deteriorate again with reference to the flag, and again he says that
19 large-scale conflicts might break out in the town.
20 This is number 3D 00288, and for the Court 3D 110013.
21 Can we just take a brief look at it, because it's practically
22 identical in content, but I think that if this person insisted on the same
23 facts more than once, he was really trying to draw attention to the
25 I think we can move on to the next document. I'll skip one. I
1 don't think we need deal with that one. 3D 00049 is the next document I'd
2 like, please, or 3D 030058 for the Court.
3 While we're waiting for that document to appear on our screens,
4 I'm going to tell you in advance that the document was issued and signed
5 and compiled by the same person, the chief of security, HVO, on the 22nd
6 of October, just one or two days later than the previous documents.
7 That's his report. And he indicates to the headquarters of the brigade
8 the following: He says that there are eight locations in town for which
9 he feels are strongholds being prepared by the BH army or, rather, the
10 Territorial Defence in town, and then he goes on to say: "On the
11 territory of the towns there are strong forces which are hiding, mostly in
12 civilian facilities and don't appear on the streets much, so that the
13 members of our units gain the impression that they have given up on any
14 kind of conflict, and this is just a trick." And then he specifies. "For
15 the moment, we have noticed that they have strong nests in feature 54,"
16 which is to be -- which is on the map of the town. "They have a group of
17 people on the ground floor, whereas there's another group of people
18 constantly in the attic and have the post office targeted."
19 Then there's another feature, 89. It is in a butcher's shop,
20 Dizdarevic's butcher shop, where there are also sniper nests. And there
21 are strong forces in the new cultural centre as well as throughout the
22 area of Pogradje, Borovnica, and Ogolj, where there are exclusively
23 Muslims. From the Ogolj settlement all the civilian population has been
24 moved out, the women and children. Then he goes on to say that there is
25 another stronghold in Gmici and Kulagici settlements, as well as around
1 the main water reservoir in town at Krcma.
2 Finally, at the bottom, there's an interesting observation in the
3 penultimate sentence where he says that: "We'd like to draw your
4 attention that since according to certain activities of the BiH staff and
5 certain information, we can glean that the OS BiH could start initial
6 conflicts, and according to this information, measures should be taken
7 with respect to organising our units.
8 Now, can you confirm that these formations that he enumerates at
9 these locations were actually hidden there or not? Just say, "Yes, I do
10 know about that," or, "No, I don't know," "They were there," "They were
11 not there."
12 A. I'm quite certain that that was not correct.
13 Q. Let's me now ask you this: Are you quite sure that the command of
14 the Territorial Defence informed you regularly about all their activities
15 and plans? A moment ago when my colleague cross-examined you, you had
16 some reservations with respect to some of the allegations he made in his
17 statements, and you let it be understood that that was his business. Now,
18 do you know that he gave you timely information, truthful information?
19 Can you confirm that?
20 A. I'll answer your first question first, then we'll come to the
21 second part. Gmici is mentioned here. Gmici is a settlement in which 90
22 per cent of the inhabitants are Croats. There are just a few Muslim
23 households, whereas you say that it was a stronghold.
24 Q. I'm asking you for an answer.
25 A. This is not correct, and I'm not quite sure that the commander
1 informed me nor did I ask him to inform me about all the details, but the
2 allegations in this text are absolutely untruthful. Not true.
3 Q. Mr. Hujdur, once again, please answer my questions and nothing
4 else. Let me repeat: So you agree that you didn't need to have all the
5 information. If I can go back to the transcript, I think those were your
6 exact words. You said in line 21, "I'm not quite sure that the command
7 informed me," et cetera."
8 So that was the question, and that was your answer.
9 Q. May we now have the next document, 3D 00048, and for the Court
10 this is 3D 030055. And when it appears on our monitor, you'll be able to
11 see that it was compiled once again by the same individual, that it is the
12 same day, the 22nd of October, so he was very active. And from the title
13 you can see that it is a report with respect to the passing of the OS BiH
14 army through the Menjik checkpoint.
15 To try and save time, I'll just summarise what it says. He says
16 that the HVO was informed that that same night two buses would be passing
17 by with -- of the BH army, returning from positions at Gornji Vakuf and
18 that there should be no obstacles to them at the checkpoint. The buses
19 arrived, and so on. They crossed the checkpoint, and having crossed the
20 checkpoint, one turned towards the village of Pridvorci, escorted by a
21 TAM, a small van, and the second with a police Golf-type car turned in the
22 direction towards Gornji Vakuf, and they later on returned. So it's quite
23 clear that the soldiers in the buses stayed on. And we can see from what
24 he says later on that he considers that these were reinforcements that had
25 been brought in. Is it true and correct that reinforcements and forces
1 from Gornji Vakuf were indeed brought into the Gornji Vakuf area? Did you
2 know anything about that?
3 A. I didn't know, and if the -- I did know something about that, but
4 with the Court's permission, I'd like to explain.
5 Q. No, I'm not going to allow you to do that. Just answer my
6 questions and we'll get to that. Did you know anything about that?
7 A. Yes. But may I be allowed to explain?
8 Q. Please refrain from doing that. Is it true and correct that
9 reinforcements were brought in?
10 A. No, it is not correct.
11 Q. Thank you. Right, you said No, No, it's not correct. That's
12 fine, you've answered my question. You said that that wasn't correct
13 information. Thank you.
14 Now, the next document that I'd like to show the witness is
15 3D 00050, once again of the 22nd of October. For the Court to find its
16 way is 3D 030060.
17 We have the document on our screens. Take a look at it for
18 yourself. You can see once again this same chief of security informing
19 his superiors --
20 A. I've got it in English and it's very small print.
21 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Witness, just a piece of
22 information and explanation: This Mr. Luka Markesic who was chief of
23 security of the Prozor municipality, did you know him? Did you hear about
24 him, his name, or is this the first time that you see this name?
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I did not know him, but I heard his
1 name. I didn't know him personally, though, although I did -- I have
2 heard of him.
3 MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation] May I be allowed to continue?
4 Q. In one of your documents that we looked at today, he was mentioned
5 as occupying that post as a security officer in the HVO, and to make
6 things quite clear, the answer you gave to the President of the Trial
7 Chamber, you said you heard about him. You heard of him. Is that right?
8 A. Well, perhaps you could put it that way.
9 Q. All right. Fine. Thank you. We have the document on the
10 monitor. The chief of security says that strong forces of the OS BiH were
11 noticed by the primary school at Bihanica [phoen] where the staff for the
12 southern area of the territory was located. And he also says that they
13 are fully on -- on full alert. And he also mentions the person from the
14 first document, Rasim Pilav, that his arrival was noted with his family
15 members as well as some other individuals from the Gracanica settlement.
16 And finally - and this is an interesting point - the last sentence
17 of this document says that according to information from Jablanica, there
18 is a unit on full alert if it needs to act as reinforcements to the BH
19 army in Prozor if an incident were to erupt.
20 So this clearly indicates the readiness of the BH army and its
21 preparedness. Can you confirm or refute whether this is the correct
22 information, whether that's how it was?
23 A. Incorrect.
24 Q. Right. Incorrect. So you know that that was incorrect, do you?
25 My colleagues have just drawn my attention to something. In the
1 document that you commented on today presented to you by the Prosecution,
2 number -- the number is P 01656, the number of the document, on page 6 of
3 that document you say that as for Thursday, the 22nd of October, a meeting
4 of the wartime Presidency of the municipality had been scheduled. So
5 quite obviously there must have been some activity in those premises, and
6 you mention there the chief or, rather, the Croatian delegation
7 represented by, and among others, you say a head of SIS HVO Luka Markesic.
8 So you knew him. You knew of him.
9 A. I knew of him, but I didn't know him personally. That's a
11 Q. All right. Fine. Now the next document I'd like to show the
12 witness is 3D 00122, or for the Court, 3D 040006.
13 When it appears on the monitor, you'll be able to see that that is
14 a document issued by the Main Staff of the OS of the BH army. It says IKM
15 Konjic. The 23rd of October, 1992, is the date, and it was signed by
16 Jovan Divjak, the deputy chief the Main Staff of the BiH army.
17 It's rather a long -- but let me ask you this first: Do you know
18 the name of the chief of the Main Staff -- or of the deputy chief of the
19 main staff, Jovan Divjak? Is that a familiar name to you?
20 A. The name is familiar but I didn't know the man. I don't know him
21 personally, I know the name.
22 Q. All right, thank you, but you agree that he was a high-ranking
23 officer in the Main Staff of the BH army.
24 A. Yes, that's right.
25 Q. All right. Now, this is a rather long document. It speaks for
1 itself so I don't think it needs any great comment, but just briefly I'd
2 like to indicate, and you can peruse the document yourself, it was sent to
3 the commands of the Municipal Staff and Territorial Defence of Konjic,
4 Jablanica and Prozor, and in the introductory paragraphs it assesses that
5 the enemy has increased in strength, reinforced its forces throughout
6 Nevesinje and Boracko Jezero, and so an attack can be expected along the
7 axis of Boracko Jezero-Bijela-Konjic, et cetera. So my first question to
8 you is who is the enemy? Does that the refer to the JNA or, rather, the
10 A. Yes.
11 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] The Judges cannot find the
12 document. What is the number at the bottom of the document, the reference
14 MR. KOVACIC: Your Honour, it would be 3D 040006. The appearance
15 is different. It is the army document.
16 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] We don't seem to have it.
17 MR. KRUGER: Your Honour, the Prosecution also cannot find the
18 documents in its --
19 MR. KOVACIC: I'm sorry. We obviously made some mistake. Then I
20 would suggest that we would make a copy during the -- the session. Our
21 case manager would go, because this is a really important document.
22 Q. [Interpretation] In the meantime --
23 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Go ahead. Ask your questions.
24 MR. KOVACIC: There is too much papers.
25 Q. [Interpretation] I'm going to ask the usher to have another
1 document, 3D 00123, placed on the -- on e-court. And it is 3D 040009 for
2 the purposes of the Trial Chamber. And could we have prepared the
3 following document because we're going to take it as a set of documents:
4 3D 00130, 00289, and 00283. And we'll give you the other numbers later
6 [In English] I am afraid that is not the proper document.
7 [Interpretation] The first document should be 3D 00123. [In English] No.
8 No. It is not the proper one. Should be 00123. 3D -- 3D 00013. And for
9 the Judges, that would be 3D 040009. That's the one.
10 [Interpretation] Mr. Hujdur, would you cast your eyes on that
11 document. We see that it says the Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina, the
12 Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna, the Croatian Defence Council, and so
13 on and so forth in the heading. The 23rd of October was when it was
14 compiled, and it was sent out to the military and civilian representative
15 of the Muslims of Prozor municipality.
16 Now, I do believe that you were probably one of the addressees of
17 that document. Have you seen it before?
18 A. I should have been, but unfortunately I wasn't, and this is the
19 first time I see the document.
20 Q. Have you heard anything about it? Do you know anything about it?
21 A. No, unfortunately not.
22 Q. Wasn't that the document discussed at the meeting that was
23 mentioned in your extensive information?
24 A. No, because this calls for an urgent cease-fire, an unconditional
25 cease-fire, whereas at that time there was no action going on.
1 Q. All right. Fine. But the topic of discussion -- the topics of
2 discussion were similar or the same as those set out here?
3 A. Some of them were, yes.
4 Q. All right. Fine. Now, here the Presidency of the HVO of Prozor
5 and the heads of the brigades - we have the addressees as the military and
6 civilian representatives of the Muslims in Prozor municipality - and it
7 says, "Our proposals --" the subject is "Our proposals for overcoming the
8 newly arisen political security situation." That is the day when you said
9 that the meeting was interrupted and that the attack occurred. Is that
11 A. Yes, that's correct, but this document was never disclosed, and it
12 was not disclosed at this meeting either.
13 Q. So you didn't see it there?
14 A. No, nor did anyone talk about it.
15 Q. All right. Let's move on. Could we now please see document --
16 just a moment, please. We might be able to skip this one. No. No, we
17 need it. Document 3D 00130.
18 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] And for the Judges, what number
19 is that?
20 MR. KOVACIC: [Previous translation continues] ... it's not here,
21 but I believe that court officer will help me.
22 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Please proceed.
23 MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation]
24 Q. We have this document on the monitor. Mr. Hujdur, have you seen
1 A. Well, I'm looking at part of it now.
2 Q. This document was compiled in the immediate aftermath of the
3 incidents we have discussed at great length.
4 Could the court officer please scroll up so that the signatures
5 are visible. The signature, yes. Thank you.
6 The 26th of October. It mentions the cease-fire that was
7 established on the 25th of October, and in fact, this refers to an attempt
8 to ensure the passage of a convoy of weapons going to Jajce where the
9 situation is critical, the Chetniks are attacking with full force, and so
10 on. And the signatory is the brigade commander Franjic. He orders a halt
11 to all combat activity until further notice from all weapons and artillery
12 pieces at all points. If attacked by the enemy, offer resistance, prevent
13 looting, burning, and maltreatment of civilians. I believe that the
14 document speaks for itself. Everybody can see it. And he is forwarding
15 it to all the units under his command.
16 So my first question to you is the following: For a long time
17 previous to this, in view of the fact that Prozor is on the main road, the
18 south-north road, there were regular passages of logistics and equipment
19 for the fighting in Jajce along that road. Were you aware of this?
20 A. Yes, in part, in a certain periods there were no problems.
21 Q. And we agree, of course, that the forces the BH army and the
22 forces of the HVO jointly endeavoured in heavy fighting to protect Jajce
23 and prevent the breakthrough and taking of Jajce by the Serbs; is that
25 A. I can't confirm this.
1 Q. I know what you're getting at, but can you confirm that in general
2 both forces fought together?
3 A. For a considerable period of time, yes.
4 Q. Well, now I'll say what you were about to say. One side still
5 accuses the other and blames the other side for the fall of Jajce; is that
7 A. Unfortunately, yes.
8 Q. In view of the fact that Jajce is not in our indictment, I will
9 not go into this, but we agree that there is no understanding about the
10 reasons why Jajce fell, for your consolation I will tell you that a top
11 military expert says it was undefendable. But it's true that convoys
12 passed through on their way to Jajce.
13 A. Yes, in a prior period to the one we are now referring to.
14 Q. So you think that in this document there is an error when it says
15 that there is a convoy going to Jajce? Is that what you're trying to say?
16 A. It couldn't have passed through in this period.
17 Q. I beg your pardon?
18 A. If you're talking about October, it couldn't have passed through
19 in that period. It could only have passed through earlier, a convoy for
21 Q. Very well. That's your opinion. A few days later, or before --
22 and the next document is 3D 00289. [In English] And I will soon advise
23 the number for the Judges. For the Judges, that will be 3D 110015.
24 [Interpretation] We have the document on the screen now.
25 Four days before the previous document, this is a document signed
1 by General Slobodan Praljak and Bruno Stojic -- Major General Praljak, and
2 it's addressed to the commanders of the operative zones in Central Bosnia,
3 Tihomir Blaskic and Stjepan Blazevic, the commander of the sector in
4 Jajce. And it says that: "For 58 hours we have been trying to have an
5 armed HVO formation go in the direction of Jajce consisting of about 400
6 armed soldiers. For now this group has on two occasions been prevented by
7 the Muslim units from passing through in the direction of Jajce. Today I
8 agreed that representatives of the HVO and the SDA should go jointly,
9 together with the units with the HVO and the armed forces of the BH
10 Territorial Defence, in order to solve the problems which have arisen and
11 to enable our group or to pass through to towards Jajce. Please do your
12 very best to calm down all the misunderstandings that have arisen with the
13 Muslims in the areas of Novi Travnik and Fojnica, and use your influence
14 on the Muslims to ensure unimpeded passage in the direction of Jajce."
15 Were you informed by your party or the Territorial Defence about
16 this, because it was widely distributed in a desire to make it possible
17 for the convoy to pass through to Jajce. Were you informed about this?
18 A. May I say yes and give a short explanation?
19 Q. You may, but please make it brief.
20 A. Yes, thank you. Even some of the representatives of the HVO from
21 Prozor put this question to us and asked us to go and mediate with the
22 representatives of Gornji Vakuf, because that's where the alleged problem
23 was. But somebody gave us information that these forces were not on their
24 way to Jajce but, rather, to Novi Travnik. Jajce fell four or five days
25 after Prozor. The explanation was that it was too late. But we promised
1 our neighbours and colleagues the Croats that they would try to talk to
2 our colleagues in Vakuf about this issue, too, with reference to Jajce.
3 That's what I know and what we talked about.
4 Q. Very well. So you did not prevent it, and there was an attempt to
5 let it pass, pass through. Is that correct?
6 A. We were willing to discuss it.
7 Q. Thank you. Do you know on the 23rd, when the conflict broke out,
8 were any of these transports to Jajce sent back to Prozor because they
9 couldn't go any further than Gornji Vakuf? Do you know anything about
11 A. I don't know any details. I don't know.
12 Q. For example, that armoured personnel carrier you mentioned.
13 A. It was in front of the police station on the 23rd. I saw it
14 myself. It couldn't have come back, not that particular one.
15 Q. Now let's look at the next document. That's 3D 00126, or for
16 Their Honours, 3D 040020. And let me first ask you, while we're waiting
17 for the document to come up, it was signed by the chief of the brigade on
18 the 23rd or on the 24th of October in Prozor municipality. His name was
19 Petar Kolakusic. Do you know him or anything about him?
20 A. I know about him.
21 Q. Was he a local person from Prozor?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. Thank you. So you know that he actually was the chief in the
24 brigade command at the time? You nodded. For the sake of the record,
25 could you say yes?
1 A. I was trying to look at the contents of the document.
2 Q. Well, I was only asking you about the signature. So you do
3 confirm that you know this person and that he was the chief in the brigade
5 A. Yes, yes, yes.
6 Q. When you nod, it's not recorded in the record.
7 So we see here there is mention first of a murder, unfortunately.
8 This time a member of the HVO, Frano Zadro, was killed. And this is to do
9 with what my colleague asked you about. It was the immediate cause for
10 the interruption of the meeting. You said that no HVO soldier had been
11 killed and that could not have been a reason for the interruption of that
12 meeting, but here again we have a document confirming that information.
13 It's a document reporting on this incident. It says that, "HVO member
14 Frano Zadro, in the area of Crni Vrh, just when the two sides were having
15 talks about resolving the situation such as it is, was perfidiously
17 We have this on the monitor now, and we see that this document was
18 compiled very fast, and it says that the town is under the control of the
19 police forces of the HVO. Assistance is sought in manpower due to
20 exhaustion as well as armoured units to maintain peace in the town. There
21 is no adequate person for negotiations, either military or political.
22 It's currently quiet. There are quite a few prisoners, members of the BH
23 armed forces. On our side one dead, one missing, five slightly wounded.
24 On the other side several killed and wounded. And the prisoners were
25 found to possess arsenals of the most modern weaponry which never was nor
1 would be used against the Chetniks but only against us.
2 Are you aware of any of this?
3 A. Only in part, where it talks about control.
4 Q. Thank you. The next document I wish to show is 3D 00125. It's
5 already an exhibit. And for the Court it's 3D 040107.
6 We have the document on the screen now. It's hard to see the
7 date, but we think it's the 24th of October. It was signed by Brigadier
8 Milivoj Petkovic, here present, and I think it speaks for itself. It
9 concerns a cessation of hostilities and it's an express order, and
10 reporting is required to keep order. Did you hear about such a document
11 arriving in Gornji Vakuf?
12 A. In Prozor, you mean? No.
13 Q. Excuse me?
14 A. You said in Gornji Vakuf. You meant to say Prozor.
15 Q. Yes, I apologise. I did mean Prozor.
16 A. No, I did not hear about this document.
17 Q. We see that this document was sent to all the towns in the area:
18 Prozor, Bugojno, Gornji Vakuf, Vitez, Konjic, Tomislavgrad and Travnik.
19 The next document is 3D 00131, or for Their Honours --
20 JUDGE TRECHSEL: May I just --
21 MR. KOVACIC: Yes, Your Honour.
22 JUDGE TRECHSEL: -- make an observation for the record. The
23 document you have just referred to and you have said was 3D 040107, I
24 refer to line 3 of page 103, we have it under the name 3D 040017. That's
25 why I only found it right now.
1 MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation] Yes, that's the document. As you
2 can see, there are often errors in the record where numbers are concerned.
3 I am trying to read them slowly.
4 Let me get out another document and then we'll come back to the
5 one we sent for copying.
6 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
7 MR. KOVACIC: Oh, I'm sorry. [Interpretation] The document
8 3D 000122, for the Judges 3D 040006 for the Judges. We've just sent it to
9 be copied.
10 Q. Well, the witness knows about this. This is a BH army document
11 signed, once again, by Jovan Divjak. You'll see when we get to that. But
12 I'd just like to indicate certain details. The date is the 23rd of
13 October, in the evening, and according to what we heard, this is while the
14 fighting was going on in Prozor.
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. We have the introduction, introductory remarks telling us about
17 the situation. I don't want to tire you with that now. The only thing
18 I'm interested in is something on the next page, page 2. May I have the
19 next page shown on the monitor. It is point 3.3. And there we have a
20 task relating to the Municipal Staff of the defence of Prozor which must
21 defend the present positions, and when the battalion of the Municipal
22 Staff of the defence of Jablanica arrives should prevent taking control of
23 Prozor and undertake measures that the forces must be repelled from the
24 Prozor municipality territory.
25 So the highest staff of the BH army is issuing instructions about
1 what must be done, and this order presupposes the fact that sufficient
2 forces exist which can fight the HVO on a footing of equality. And if
3 what you told us is correct about the strength of the HVO and the strength
4 of the BH army, and my colleague asked you about that today, no military
5 commander would issue this kind of instruction. Do you agree?
6 A. No, I don't agree. Quite obviously this person didn't have an
7 overall view of the situation. Quite obviously he wasn't on top of the
8 situation, in control of it.
9 Q. So you believe that Divjak did not have sufficient information
10 about the actual deployment of forces in Prozor.
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. All right. Thank you. May I have the next document, please,
13 3D 00131. For the Judges 3D 040032. It's a very short document, two days
14 after the conflict ended. Once again, Petar Kolakusic is the signatory.
15 I think the document speaks for itself.
16 Did you hear that the HVO tried to stop the activities, suppress
17 the activities of those individuals who were -- had escaped control? And
18 this refers to attempts to prevent any burning or infliction of damage.
19 A. Yes. A brief answer, if possible?
20 Q. Well, go on.
21 A. I assume that this was an oral decision also given by General
22 Praljak, and that's a good order. But how events developed in the field
23 is quite different, is a different matter altogether.
24 Q. All right. We can speak about that and the reasons for that later
25 on, but we see that there was an attempt to put things right.
1 Next document, please, 3D 0021. I'm sorry, 291, 00291. I
2 misspoke. And for the Judges, this would be number 3D 110024.
3 This is another report from the chief of security, this time
4 signed or, rather, initialed and somebody else worked with him. He needed
5 some help. And we're in December there, after the conflict and after the
6 meeting of the 1st of December attended by General Praljak that you spoke
7 of earlier on.
8 I'd like to draw your attention to the following -- Have you had
9 a chance to look through the document?
10 A. Well, it's just come up on my screen.
11 Q. Straight at the beginning of the document we see that it says:
12 "In the past couple of days after the arrival General Slobodan Praljak
13 many things have changed in Prozor, or are changing in Prozor. General
14 Praljak, on the 30th of December, 1992, arrived in Prozor and upon his
15 arrival straight away --"
16 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Mr. Kovacic, may I just draw your attention to
17 the fact that this document is dated 8 December and speaks of a visit of
18 General Praljak of 30 December. It's a prophetic document or is something
20 MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation] I was just going to mention that
21 this must be a typing error, because it was written on the 8th of December
22 dealing with the previous week, and from earlier exhibits we saw that
23 General Praljak held a meeting on the 1st of December. So he arrived in
24 Prozor on the evening of the 30th of November. That's what it is, I
1 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Thank you.
2 MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation] And we'll be able to see that later
3 on from the next portion, next paragraph.
4 Q. So everybody -- everybody takes note that General Praljak arrived,
5 and upon his arrival he immediately orders that a group of prisoners be
6 set free, amongst whom was Salih Ruvic, commander of the BH army under
7 whose leadership during the conflict in Prozor the first front line of the
8 OS BiH units left, and a criminal report was filed against him. So that
9 is the person that you mentioned had been brought to the meeting; is that
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. So we can confirm the exactitude of the information there.
13 A. In the section that -- well, there are parts here that don't
14 reflect the truth, but some other parts do. And when it comes to them --
15 when it's a question of the man and the meeting with the general, then
16 that's fine.
17 Q. So you confirm that Praljak -- that Ruvic and the other group of
18 people were released and brought to the meeting; right?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. We can also see further down in the document a brief description
21 of the meeting where mention is made of the second part of the meeting
22 held in the motel. You spoke about that. It says that there were 1 --
23 about 150 people present and that it lasted for -- very briefly, that "The
24 general informed all those present about the factual state of the
25 situation and the interests of the Croatian people. The accent was placed
1 on improving relations between the Croats and Muslims and the return of
2 the Muslim populace to the territory of the municipality."
3 This figure of people attending the meeting at -- the second
4 meeting in the motel, does that correspond to the number of people that
5 were there?
6 A. Well, to tell you the truth, I don't think that many people could
7 have fitted into the room in the motel. I think this figure was
9 Q. Well, when we spoke of the meeting, we omitted a detail. Among
10 other things, would you agree or, rather, did you happen to notice, do you
11 know that at the meeting also present were what we like to say the elders
12 of the village, that is to say wise elderly men and that each of the
13 villages sent two elders to attend this meeting.
14 A. Well, I know about the three or four villagers that I mentioned
15 today, Scipe, Here, and Kute.
16 Q. But you allow that that was true of other villages too?
17 A. Well, I can't deny it.
18 Q. All right, fine. There are some other details but I don't think
19 we need to go into them.
20 Next document, please. 3D 00290. For the Judges, 3D 110019.
21 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Praljak. We have five
22 minutes left.
23 THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation] Your Honour, the -- we're
24 dealing with two meetings, one meeting that was held when the gentleman
25 was there, which I interrupted because they had beaten up Ruvic, and then
1 I convened a meeting for the next day where I invited all the Croats from
2 all the villages, two of them from each village, a large meeting where I
3 tried to explain the situation. Thank you.
4 MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation]
5 Q. Well, we just heard that explanation. You didn't attend the
6 second meeting?
7 A. No.
8 Q. Just the two meetings in UNIS and at the motel on the 12th.
9 A. Yes, that's the truth of it.
10 Q. But do you know about that second meeting?
11 A. No, unfortunately not.
12 Q. You'll see later on from the signature on the next page this
13 document was signed by Major General Slobodan Praljak. It was issued on
14 paper heading of the Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna on the 6th of
15 November, 1992. So that was a little after the conflict. And the reason
16 I'm showing you this document is that it was addressed to all the
17 representatives and members of the HVO and BH army.
18 Now, you in your capacity as member of that board of yours, did
19 you have an opportunity to see the document? Perhaps you were informed of
20 the document. Take a look at its contents. Perhaps it will help jog your
22 According to our information, the Territorial Defence sent it out
23 broadly to everyone, to the army too.
24 A. The 6th of November. That's the 6th of November.
25 Q. Yes, the 6th of November.
1 A. We could not have been physically in a position to receive the
3 Q. I thought you were at Jablanica.
4 A. We were in Jablanica but never received this document. So perhaps
5 that is the result of those activities and the activities of the meeting
6 of the 1st of December.
7 Q. All right. But if you take a look at the document, and you can
8 see it on your screen, the fact is that the convoys and passage of convoys
9 with all logistics for both armies and humanitarian supplies, passed by
10 all the checkpoints unimpeded. Do you remember that the situation was
11 very good at the beginning of November?
12 A. What I remember is the following: During that period of time a
13 convoy of people from Jajce passed by, because Jajce had unfortunately
14 already fallen, and I remember that, because it was a very sad column,
15 just like the column we were in several days before that.
16 Q. Did you perhaps have a chance to read point 4 at the end of page
17 1? And it required certain activities on your part. Perhaps that can
18 remind you. That is to set up mixed patrols for the control of movement
19 and the behaviour of members of the military units. So parity is asked in
20 point 10 on the second page. Look at point 10 where Praljak orders --
21 point 10 is particularly interesting, although it's indicated in point 8
22 as well, that the administration of the military police and HVO police,
23 the army will secure 64 members of the military police of the HVO and army
24 of BH army according to an ethnic parity for the need of working in the
25 Prozor municipality region.
1 A. Well, I can say something briefly about that.
2 Q. Please go ahead.
3 A. All these efforts did give certain results. We heard about this
4 attempt for a joint police from Mostar to Prozor, but unfortunately they
5 didn't supply a flag, and fortunately they returned, but the situation
6 improved until the beginning of January when it began to deteriorate with
7 the attack on Gornji Vakuf.
8 Q. Do you agree that there was less pressure or, rather, there was
9 pressure from General Praljak for peace and that, after that, the
10 situation became out of control?
11 A. The situation certainly became out of control. If General Praljak
12 was less active there, then that would be true. Perhaps they listened to
13 him less.
14 MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I have four or five
15 more documents, but quite obviously our time seems to be up. I consider
16 them to be relevant. Might I be allowed to have an extra 15 minutes
17 tomorrow morning? My colleague wanted to have a few minutes for himself,
18 but he's given up on that idea. Or perhaps I could just tender them as a
19 passage deal.
20 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] You are telling us that the
21 problem that will arise tomorrow is that we have a witness whom we should
22 hear for four hours, and tomorrow we will have four hours and 45 minutes.
23 So the Prosecution will have to cut down on its time. And you yourselves,
24 you will have to make an effort also, because if you need 15 minutes plus
25 I don't know how much time for the other Defence counsel. How much time
1 will the other Defence counsel need?
2 MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation] Well, you can see for yourself all
3 the other Defence counsel say they don't need anything more. They don't
4 want to take up any more time, have nothing to ask.
5 I'll need 15 minutes. The witness is cooperative, so I think that
6 I'll be able to get through some of these documents.
7 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. So ideally we should
8 finish today so that the witness can leave. So we shall continue for
9 another 15 minutes. I think everybody needs to be adaptable here. So we
10 shall stay in court for another 15 minutes.
11 Please make it short. And I hope that the Prosecution has no
12 questions, extra questions to put to the witness. No redirect
14 MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation] 3D 000137 is the next document I'd
15 like to have displayed. And for the Judges, the number is 3D 040064. I
16 do apologise. For Their Honours it will be 0070. 3D 040070 is the number
17 of the document for the Judges.
18 Q. While we're waiting for the document to appear on our screens,
19 Mr. Hujdur -- it's already on the monitor, on the screen. This is once
20 again a document from the Rama headquarters. It is a report, we can see
21 that from the title, to the Main Staff. Pursuant order such-and-such from
22 the Main Staff. So the Main Staff has asked to see what happened exactly
23 in Prozor. Of course we don't have enough time to go through all that and
24 deal with the document in its entirety. I'd just like to draw your
25 attention to page 3 of this document. In the upper right-hand corner you
1 will find the page numbers, ERN number -- yes, that's right. And at the
2 bottom of that page, point 4 is the one I'd like to look at.
3 Inter alia, the document states that as for casualties, 11 were
4 killed on the BH army side, five on the HVO side, 18 HVO members were
5 wounded, an unknown number of members of the TO were wounded. Some TO
6 members were hospitalised in the war hospital in Rumboci. An unidentified
7 number of houses was destroyed, but mostly houses from which HVO troops
8 were attacked. On the other side, the parish house and the Municipal
9 Council building in Prozor were damaged.
10 Would you agree that among those killed and wounded the figures
11 are correct and that this information was checked?
12 A. My brief answer to this is that in the town of Prozor no soldiers
13 on the Bosnian side were killed. All those killed were civilians. The
14 soldier killed here was killed outside the town of Prozor, a few
15 kilometres away. I can't speak about HVO members, but this is completely
16 incorrect and untrue.
17 Q. Very well. One more document. The document is 3D 00292. For
18 Their Honours, 3D 110027.
19 Mr. Hujdur, when you see the document on your screen -- here it
20 is. In the upper right-hand corner we see the date is the 29th of March,
22 You mentioned that when an incident occurred on the 28th of
23 August, damages were paid to people. Here we see a document where we see
24 that Professor Jozic, the president of the HVO, signed the document. You
25 mentioned him. We agree that he was the president of the HVO?
1 A. Yes, but this is the document from 1993. The incident we talked
2 about on the 28th of August took place in 1992.
3 Q. Yes, yes. That's correct. I was just reminding you of that event
4 where the municipality paid damages to people.
5 A. In part, yes.
6 Q. Well, now I'm putting this document to you. It refers to damage
7 caused before the 29th of March, 1993. Commissions were established to
8 determine what the damage was. This was published in the Municipal
9 Gazette. Have you seen this document?
10 A. I cannot deny that it was published, but we did not have access to
11 the Municipal Gazette.
12 Q. Do you know any people who were paid damages based on this?
13 A. Unfortunately, no.
14 Q. Maybe if you take a look at the composition of the municipal
15 commission, if you look at the names, do you see that it was a
16 multi-ethnic commission comprising both Croats and Muslims? Can you
17 confirm that?
18 A. Yes, yes. Also, the expert commission in Article 2.
19 Q. I don't see that. Could the document be scrolled up, please.
20 Could we scroll up a bit? Yes. Thank you.
21 Under Article 2 it says Munereva Hadzic.
22 A. She is a lawyer.
23 Q. Yes, that's right. So we agree that it was multi-ethnic?
24 A. Well, you say expert. She was obviously no expert, but maybe she
25 was able to do the job.
1 Q. Well, if you take a good look at the text, the two commissions
2 have different tasks. But you do agree that both commissions were
3 multi-ethnic and that they dealt with war damage.
4 I would now like to show one more document in connection with
5 this. It's 3D 00138, or for Their Honours, 3D 040078.
6 The Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna, the Official Gazette. On
7 the right-hand side there is a decree on establishing war damage on the
8 territory of the Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna, and that's number 4
9 from August, 1992, and the legal basis of the document we have seen is
10 this decree enacted by the Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna. The
11 municipalities then, based on this decree, issued their own decrees for
12 the compensation of damages when this was needed.
13 Have you seen this decree?
14 A. No.
15 Q. But it was published in the Official Gazette. Thank you very
17 And just one more document since we are so short of time.
18 3D 00136, and for Their Honours, 3D 040064. It's a very brief document,
19 so it won't take up a lot of time.
20 Can we zoom in a bit? This is a document issued by the Croatian
21 Community of Herceg-Bosna, Main Staff of the HVO, HZ HB, 31st of October,
22 1992. The heading is the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina, the Croatian
23 Community, the Croatian Defence Council. It's signed by the chief of the
24 main HVO staff, Brigadier Milivoj Petkovic, and he quite clearly and
25 unambiguously requires discipline, establishes that there is information,
1 that houses are being burnt and destroyed in the Prozor municipality,
2 Muslim houses. He demands that all means be used to prevent such
3 behaviour. He draws attention to the fact that this will cause enormous
4 problems because of international media, and he says that in every place
5 an intervention group of conscientious people should be set up to prevent
6 this because obviously the existing structures don't have the strength to
7 do that.
8 Have you had occasion to see this document?
9 A. Unfortunately, not. But if I were a formalist, I would challenge
10 it because I don't see a stamp or a signature here. However, I will not
11 be such a formalist.
12 Here one can see what legal action should have been taken but was
13 not carried through on the ground.
14 MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation] For Their Honours, this document was
15 found in the national archives of Croatia. This particular copy was found
16 by the Office of the Prosecutor, and we know from other cases that Paket
17 communications were used and all such documents have no stamp or
18 signature. That's what documents sent by Paket communications look like.
19 Your Honours, I have two or three further documents, but in order
20 to contribute to expeditiousness, we will not present them. I have one
21 final question to the witness.
22 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes. Be quick, be quick.
23 MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation]
24 Q. Now that you've seen a lot of new information, would you agree
25 that in fact the distribution of forces in Prozor was such that they were
1 simply waiting for the other side to begin? Just say yes or no.
2 A. No. Never. Neither I nor others in my impression did -- ever
3 wanted or expected such a conflict.
4 Q. Well, do you see any indications in these documents that the army
5 was preparing for a conflict with the HVO and they may have been planning
6 an attack? Were there preparations to this effect on the part of the
8 A. Well, if the Defence of the town is in question, was it ever said
9 that they would not defend the town regardless of who was attacking it?
10 Q. Thank you very much. That's your comment.
11 MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honours. I do
12 apologise, but thank you very much.
13 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. No redirect from the
14 Prosecution, Mr. Kruger?
15 MR. KRUGER: Thank you, Your Honour. If we did have more time I
16 indeed actually did have three questions. However, I think that the
17 responses that would be elicited have actually been dealt with by the
18 witness in other parts of his evidence, so I will not put more questions
19 at this time. Thank you.
20 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. Mr. Kovacic, you
21 would like the exhibits to be tendered into evidence? We won't do this
22 now because we don't have any more time left.
23 MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I intentionally left
24 this for tomorrow morning. We're all tired now. It's 5.30. By your
25 leave, of course, I would prefer to do it tomorrow morning and have the
1 list on a piece of paper. It will be much faster and more expeditious.
2 Thank you.
3 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. So I note that there
4 are no more questions from the Defence, and the Prosecution is not going
5 to ask any additional questions. The Judges have no more questions, and
6 they are not exhausted -- they have not exhausted the questions they
7 wanted to put. So I, on behalf of my fellow Judge and myself, we would
8 like to wish you a safe journey home, and the usher will accompany you out
9 of the courtroom.
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you very much, and all the
11 best to you, although I expected I could address you, but obviously that's
12 not envisioned in the procedure.
13 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I will ask the registrar to move
14 into private session for a few minutes, please.
15 [Private session]
3 [Open session]
4 THE REGISTRAR: [Interpretation] We are currently in open session,
5 Your Honour.
6 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] So in open session I would like
7 to state that the hearing will resume at 9.00 tomorrow morning, and we
8 shall hear a witness testify tomorrow morning. I wish you a nice evening.
9 The court stands adjourned.
10 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 5.33 p.m.,
11 to be reconvened on Thursday, the 22nd day
12 of June, 2006, at 9.00 a.m.