1 Thursday, 24 August 2006
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 2.19 p.m.
5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Registrar, can you please
6 call the case.
7 THE REGISTRAR: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President. Good
8 afternoon to everyone. Case number IT-04-74-T, the Prosecutor versus Prlic
9 et al.
10 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. Today is Thursday,
11 the 24th of August. I'd like to say good afternoon to everyone, especially
12 to the person from CMSS who is with us today. And I'd like to thank her
13 for all the things she does for these proceedings to go on smoothly.
14 I'd like to move on to an item related to the hearings and
15 hearings management. I know that the Prosecution is worried about the 24th
16 of October. That is bank holiday, UN bank holiday, and therefore the
17 question arose whether we should have a hearing on the Monday, 23rd of
18 October. We spoke about the matter as Judges, and we believe that we
19 should ask for the position of the Defence, but if the Defence is not
20 opposed to that solution, we could decide not to sits on Monday the 23rd
21 and postpone that hearing to Friday, the 27th, in the morning. In other
22 words, we would have the same amount of hearing time, of sitting time, but
23 the only difference would be that the hearing of Monday would be postponed
24 until Friday. Therefore, if we have a witness who testifies for several
25 days, that witness would not have to wait between Monday and Friday -- and
2 Does the Defence have any objections about that matter? Since
3 there aren't any objections, the Trial Chamber would like to invite the
4 person who is in charge of the hearings and sitting management for us to
5 have a hearing on the 27th in the morning, and I'd like to invite the
6 Prosecution to adapt its witness list in accordance with that new decision.
7 I'm now going to issue two oral rulings, the first one in
8 private session.
9 Mr. Registrar, can we move into private session.
10 [Private session]
21 [Open session]
22 THE REGISTRAR: [Interpretation] We're in open session.
23 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] The Trial Chamber issues an
24 oral ruling in addition to a previous decision rendered orally by the Trial
25 Chamber. During the hearing of the 21st of August, 2006, the Trial Chamber
1 ruled about the exhibits submitted to the witness on the 17th of August.
2 In order to avoid any misunderstanding, the Trial Chamber would like to
3 specify the numbers of the exhibits it ruled upon on the 21st of August.
4 The Trial Chamber has decided to admit the following exhibits. I'm going
5 to give you the numbers of these exhibits because this was not done the
6 previous time. P 03249; P 08588; P 09413, page 4, 11 and 12; IC 00027; IC
7 00028; 2D 00083; 2D 00084; 5D 00515.
8 Let me remind you that the Chamber had decided not to admit
9 Exhibit 4D 00071, and that the Trial Chamber has decided that Exhibit P
10 08534 would be marked for identification whilst expecting a copy of a
11 better quality from the Prosecution.
12 After the break, we'll issue two further decisions orally. One
13 of these rulings has to do with the issue raised by Mr. Murphy about an
14 expert witness, and the second decision is related to the submissions made
15 yesterday by Mr. Karnavas and by Mr. Prlic with respect to the length of
16 cross-examination. We'll issue these two rulings later on. These
17 decisions have been taken, but we're currently working on the wording of
18 the decision.
19 We'll now proceed with the hearing, and we'll continue with the
20 testimony of the witness. There was also the issue about the exhibits
21 related to Witness Beese. I had asked the parties to let us know about
22 their requests in terms of exhibits to be tendered. I'm now turning to the
24 Mr. Mundis, are you in a position to give us a list of the
25 relevant exhibits?
1 MR. MUNDIS: Thank you, Mr. President. We have prepared a chart
2 and a cover motion that is being reviewed as I speak. We would hope to
3 file something either later today or tomorrow morning with respect to the
4 documents concerning the witness Beese.
5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Now, for the Defence, Ms.
7 MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honours. I need to
8 make a correction in yesterday's transcript during my examination and
9 because I wish to tender the tables and photographs of the tables into
10 evidence. May I briefly explain for the record?
11 Yesterday, on page 4, that is the record of the 23rd of August,
12 on page 4 in lines 23, 24, and 25, or more precisely in line 24, I made a
13 mistake. It's not the court reporter. Instead of "attack on the army of
14 BH," it should say, "Attack on the HVO."
15 I wish to tender the following into evidence: 2D 00093; 2D
16 0090; 2D 0048; 2D 0095; 2D 0111, 111; and 2D 0112. Also, I wish number 2D
17 019, the licence plates, to be admitted into evidence, the HV Croatian
18 military number plate --
19 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Ms. Nozica, if I remember
20 properly, you had three plates yesterday. I remember that there was one
21 for civilian vehicles. There was the licence plates used for HV vehicles
22 and for HVO vehicles. My memory's standing, and I remember that you had
23 three plates and now we have only two plates left. But it's -- you're
24 perfectly entitled to offer only two of these plates in evidence, of
1 MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honours. I'm very
2 glad that your memory's so good. Yes, there were three and I will tender
3 three. I thought the civilian one was unnecessary, but I will tender all
4 three. I present these licence plates physically as evidence, but we will
5 also have a photograph of these licence plates that they can be entered
6 into e-court. Thank you.
7 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Karnavas.
8 MR. KARNAVAS: Good afternoon, Mr. President, Your Honours. We
9 wish to tender the following documents, that would be: 1D 00814. That was
10 Lord Owen's speech. 1D 00815. That was Sir Martin Garrod's end of tour
11 report. 1D 00817. Those were the minutes of the meeting from the Citluk
12 that we confronted Mr. Beese with. 1D 00818. That's the HVO HDZ minute
13 meetings. 1D 00189. That's the Petkovic-Pasalic order. 1D 00820. That
14 was Boban's handwritten note to Mr. Prlic. And then 1D 00821, the HVO HZ
15 HB decision based on the note, on the previous exhibit. Thank you.
16 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you. Thank you, Mr.
17 Karnavas for this additional information.
18 Mr. Kovacic.
19 MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honours, and good
20 day to you. The Defence of Mr. Slobodan Praljak wishes to tender the
21 following into evidence, these were used with Witness Christopher Beese, 3D
22 00332. This is the video concerning the Mujahedin. 3D 00322, where only
23 eight pages were used. They all bear the mark 3D 13- the first is 0164,
24 the next is 0180, the next one is 0181, the next one is 0182, the next one
25 0183, then 0184, 0242, and finally 0243. They all begin with 3D 13, and
1 they're all pages in document 3D 00322. And then again from book 3D 00321,
2 only the following three pages: 3D 13-0030. The next one is 3D 13-0031,
3 and the last one is 3D 13-0053. Then 3D 00333, 3D 0034, 3D 00335, and I
4 wish to mention that this is Prosecution document P 3827, but as we don't
5 know whether it will be tendered into evidence or not, I tender it under
6 the number I have. The next one is 3D 00336. That's P 2692, and again I
7 don't know whether it will be tendered or not. And finally the video from
8 Guca Gora in the form of a transcript and a DVD, number 3D 00337. But we
9 have yet to write out the transcript, so I'm just reserving the number for
10 it now. These are the exhibits we wish to tender into evidence.
11 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you. Ms. Alaburic.
12 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honours. The
13 documents which the Defence of General Petkovic showed to Witness Beese are
14 documents which the witness saw for the first time. Therefore, we feel
15 they do not meet the conditions set by Your Honours. For this reason, we
16 do not tender any of these documents at this stage of the proceedings.
17 MS. TOMASEGOVIC TOMIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honours.
18 The Defence of Mr. Valentin Coric wishes to tender the following documents
19 into evidence: 5D 00523, 5D 00534, 5D 00528, 5D 00529, 5D 00524, 5D 00525,
20 5D 00526, and finally 5D 00527. Thank you.
21 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you. Mr. Registrar has
22 just told me that there might be a mistake on page 7, line 6 about 3D
23 00034. It should be 3D 00334.
24 MR. KOVACIC: Sorry. [Interpretation] I have to check this.
25 Your Honour, if you'll give me two minutes to check, please.
1 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] All right.
2 MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation] Excuse me. Yesterday and today, I
3 kept repeating that I showed a yellow HV licence plate. The word "yellow"
4 has not entered the transcript either yesterday or today. I wish it to
5 enter the transcript now. And the white HVO and white MO licence plate.
6 This is for those who will be reading the transcript without looking at the
7 licence plates. Thank you.
8 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well.
9 MR. KARNAVAS: If I could register a correction, Your Honour on
10 page 6, line 11, it should read 1D 00814 rather than 2D.
11 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. Mr. Kovacic, you
12 had two minutes.
13 MR. KOVACIC: Sorry, Your Honour. I need some time because the
14 paper was prepared by my staff. I have to control it now through the
16 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well.
17 MR. KOVACIC: [Previous translation continues] ... as the
18 registry says.
19 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes, probably. I think so.
20 Yes, but please check it. We'll issue a ruling about this matter later on,
21 because we now have to bring in the witness. We'll go back into session
22 that allows protective measures to be in place.
23 [Closed session]
8 [Open session]
9 THE REGISTRAR: [Interpretation] We are back in open session, Mr.
11 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. Registrar. I
12 now call upon the Prosecution to begin.
13 MR. KRUGER: Thank you, Your Honour. Good afternoon, Your
14 Honours, everybody else.
15 Examination by Mr. Kruger: [Continued]
17 Q. Good afternoon, Witness. Have they at least found your baggage
18 at last?
19 A. Yes, they have.
20 Q. That's good news.
21 Q. Witness --
22 A. Thank you.
23 Q. [Previous translation continues] ... if I may quickly return to
24 two matters yesterday to just correct them. I asked you yesterday whether
25 your youngest child was born in 1993. That was a mistake on my part, I
1 think. Your child born in 1993 was indeed your first child and therefore
2 your oldest child?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. The second matter that I'd like to clear up, when we spoke about
5 Papak yesterday, is that perhaps the same village as Papci?
6 A. Papci. Yes, the same.
7 Q. Thank you. We concluded yesterday when you said that in June,
8 1993, you went to Mount Tolovac. Now, just before proceeding on that
9 point, in the time that you stayed in Gracanica, was there any or were
10 there any Muslim armed forces in that immediate area, or Muslim military
12 A. No.
13 Q. When you went to Mount Tolovac in June, 1993, why did you decide
14 to go there?
15 A. I decided to go there because it was safer there than in
16 Gracanica. Since it was a mountain, we thought that nobody could get to
18 Q. And if you say nobody could get to it, whom did you not want to
19 get to that, or whom did you want to get away from?
20 A. Well, we wanted to escape the HVO army.
21 Q. Now, I'll ask you in a few moments who "we" is that you are
22 referring to, but I'd first like to say -- ask where on Mount Tolovac did
23 you go to?
24 A. I didn't understand the question. Could you repeat it, please?
25 Q. Yes, certainly. Where on Mount Tolovac did you go to?
1 A. I went to a barn that was empty, and we put up there.
2 Q. This barn, were there other buildings in the immediate vicinity?
3 A. No, just sheds, five or six, with cattle. People would go up the
4 mountains and that's where they kept their cattle.
5 Q. Your father, is it correct that his cattle was also brought there
6 and kept there?
7 A. Yes, that is correct. We lived in Gracanica, my mother and
8 sisters and brothers and father, but we took the cattle up there so we
9 could milk the animals and so that my little son would have something to
11 MR. KRUGER: Your Honour, if we could go into private session
12 for a few moments.
13 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Registrar.
14 [Private session]
22 [Open session]
23 THE REGISTRAR: [Interpretation] We're in open session, Mr.
25 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you.
1 MR. KRUGER: Thank you, Your Honour.
2 Q. Madam, your father, you said that he had only one leg. Did he
3 have an artificial leg?
4 A. He did have an artificial leg and two crutches. He would put his
5 artificial leg on sometimes, but he couldn't wear it all the time because
6 he had some sores, so he would use his crutches to walk mostly.
7 Q. When you and your family arrived on Mount Tolovac, is it correct
8 that the Munikoza family were already there?
9 A. Yes, they were already there. That's where they were.
10 Q. Did any of the people with you on the mountain at that stage wear
11 uniforms, military uniforms?
12 A. No.
13 Q. Did any of you have any weapons, firearms?
14 A. No. We were bare-handed.
15 Q. Were there any military installations in that area?
16 A. No.
17 Q. Is it correct that you gave birth to your son in this cattle
18 stable on the 19th of June, 1993?
19 A. That is correct, yes.
20 Q. If we can move a month on from that moment, around about or on
21 the 18th of July, 1993. Tell us about who came or who arrived at the
22 cattle stable.
23 A. First of all, Mujo Selimovic came to see where we were and what
24 we were doing. He asked my father whether we were sleeping there. My
25 father said no, we weren't.
1 Q. If I could stop you there for a moment. Do you know why Mujo
2 Selimovic came to ask this?
3 A. I'm sure that the HVO army paid him and that they had prepared
4 it. I'm sure of that.
5 Q. And why are you sure of that? Tell us what happened after his
7 A. I heard from the people that he was paid that they paid him to go
8 and see where they were and what we were doing. I didn't see it myself but
9 I heard it from others.
10 Q. On the morning of 19 July, 1993, very early in the morning, tell
11 the Court what happened at this cattle stable.
12 A. We were sleeping, and the HVO soldiers arrived at the door. They
13 bashed down the door with their legs. They forced us outside and lined us
14 up and threatened us.
15 Q. At this stage, can you tell us about what time did this occur?
16 A. At about 2.30 until 4.00 thereabouts.
17 Q. And all the people that you had mentioned earlier as being in
18 your group, were all of them still in the cattle stable at that moment?
19 A. No. We'd just gone outside because there was nothing that we
20 could have waited for there.
21 Q. Was Saban Munikoza still at the stable?
22 A. No. Several minutes before that he said he had a strange feeling
23 that the HVO would catch him alive, so he left the house and went off
25 Q. The HVO soldiers who arrived there, how were they dressed? How
1 did they look?
2 A. They wore uniforms. On their left arms they had the HVO
3 insignia. They had black paint on their faces.
4 Q. Could you recognise or did you know which HVO soldiers these
6 A. Well, I did know. Milicevic Ivcan and Papak Ivica.
7 Q. Could you perhaps repeat those names just for the record? I
8 didn't hear them clearly.
9 A. The first person's name was Milicevic, Ivcan Milicevic and Papak
11 Q. And these men, do you know where they came from?
12 A. Well, I don't know that exactly. All I know is that they were
13 from Pavci, the village of Pavci.
14 Q. Were these the same soldiers whom you had seen or who had
15 frightened you while you were staying in Gracanica?
16 A. That's right, they were the same ones.
17 Q. Could you see whether any of these soldiers was in command or
18 issuing orders to the others?
19 A. Ivica Papak. He led them. Now, who exactly was that person in
20 command I don't know, but I know that he commanded them.
21 Q. So the soldiers, they ordered you to go outside the barn, and
22 they lined you up or --
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. So what happened then once you were outside the barn?
25 A. They sent us off to another barn and said they would kill us down
1 there, set fire to us, things like that. They tried to make us afraid.
2 Q. If you say "they," are you still referring to the HVO soldiers?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. And were you afraid?
5 A. Yes, we were frightened. Of course we were frightened because
6 they were armed and we were civilians. We didn't have anything with us,
7 and that's how it was.
8 Q. You were ordered to walk to another barn. Did you walk to this,
9 you and the group, to the other barn?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. At that stage when you arrived at the other barn, was Bajro
12 Munikoza still with you or with the group?
13 A. No, he wasn't with us. He stayed up there somewhere on the path,
14 and then the HVO soldiers pushed them -- pushed him and hit him with their
15 rifle butts and everything else. I don't know what happened after that,
16 where they took him, but after a few moments we heard the sounds of
17 shooting, gunshots, and I know he never returned to us there on Tolovac
19 Q. Did you see when the soldiers were beating him?
20 A. Yes, I did. I saw that myself when they pushed and shoved him
21 and hit him with their rifles in the back.
22 Q. At the second stable, tell us what happened to his wife, Saha
24 A. Well, in that second stable I think she asked to go outside, to
25 be allowed to go outside, and they let her go out, and then they took her
1 off somewhere and she never returned.
2 Q. The people who took her from the stable, did -- was that an HVO
3 soldier or soldiers?
4 A. HVO soldiers, two soldiers.
5 Q. And those two soldiers, did they return after having taken Saha
7 A. Yes, they did return. That's true, they did return. But she
8 wasn't there any more. And when we set off, we found her on -- lying down
9 on the path. I knew she was dead. I was frightened myself when I saw the
10 woman lying down. I'd never seen a dead body before. That was the first
11 time, and I was terrified.
12 Q. When -- when you saw her body, was this at a stage after the
13 soldiers had left?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. When you saw the body of Saha Munikoza, there what did you
16 recognise that as being Saha?
17 A. Well, I saw the blood on her back. I assume they shot a bullet
18 at her. I know for certain that it was her, nobody else.
19 Q. Now, if we can return to the events at the barn, can you tell us
20 what happened to your father?
21 A. May I just have a little rest, please? I feel a little sick.
23 MR. KRUGER: Thank you, Your Honour.
24 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes. Madam, if we -- if you
25 wish us to take a break, we can do that, or do you want us just to wait a
1 few minutes? How long would you like us to make a break for?
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] About ten minutes, please, if
3 that's possible.
4 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. We're going to
5 adjourn the hearing for 10 minutes, but we'll stay in the courtroom.
6 [The witness stands down]
7 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Counsel Kovacic, during this
9 MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation] I apologise, Your Honour, but
10 perhaps this would be a good time to address what you said and the
11 registrar just noted about the error on the transcript, page 7, line 6.
12 The number should read 3D 00334. I apologise for that, and thank you for
14 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. Kovacic. I'd
15 just like to add that because of the emotional state of the witness, I'd
16 like to ask the Prosecution to ask only strictly necessary questions or,
17 rather, the Defence during the cross-examination as well so that we don't
18 upset the witness.
19 MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, on behalf of my own
20 Defence certainly and I think I can speak on behalf of all Defence counsel
21 that nobody will be asking the witness any questions at all. But perhaps I
22 could just say a few words theoretically.
23 The only thing that I could ask was with respect to two
24 documents put forward, P 02294, and P 9401 presented through this witness.
25 I do believe that you've seen the documents, and it would be my proposal
1 that the Prosecution does not tender those documents through this witness.
2 There will be perhaps another opportunity.
3 Do you want me to explain why or shall I cede the floor to my
4 colleague? Perhaps I could just explain. (redacted)
8 according to that list, there are 12 vehicles, and for each of them it
9 stipulates the alleged owner, the type of vehicle, and the date of
11 From her previous statement we see that she spent least time in
12 the village itself.
13 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] We'll go back into private
14 session, because we were in open session just then.
15 [Private session]
8 [Open session]
9 THE REGISTRAR: [Interpretation] We are back in open session, Mr.
11 MR. KARNAVAS: Thank you, Mr. President. And this is perhaps in
12 keeping with our discussion that we had yesterday and how to make the
13 process more efficient. There was another ruling in another case by Judge
14 Bonomy from the Bench again. It was on Tuesday, the 22nd of August. The
15 issue hasn't quite come up before us, but in almost every trial it does
16 come up because of the nature of these cases, and that had to do with the
17 Prosecution attempting to introduce additional evidence that they came
18 across through a proofing session, and there was an objection raised by Mr.
19 O'Sullivan, a lawyer who has been around since almost the inception of this
20 institution and a very fine lawyer he is, and he objected often the grounds
21 that it would be unfair to the Defence, and of course Judge Bonomy, being
22 an excellent Judge himself, indicated, well, what do we do when the
23 information that comes in is rather relevant and important? How can you
24 necessarily try to keep it out? And of course the response was that there
25 should be some showing on the part of the Prosecution that they exercise
1 due diligence and despite due diligence this information was unavailable to
2 them. And if it's terribly important, of course, do it through written, if
3 not at least an oral application. In other words, before attempting to
4 introduce this information, this new evidence into court, they should make
5 an application to the Court and make a showing as to why this new
6 information was not available to them in spite of their due diligence.
7 The rule is tangentially connected with Rule 115 when it comes
8 to appeals and I think it's a fair ruling. It's something that Your Honour
9 should keep in mind. I think it's something that you may wish to consider
10 and issue a similar decision. I -- the information is on page 2130,
11 transcript page 2130, starting on line 16, to 2133, transcript of 22nd
12 August, 2006. And I have a copy of it here if the Court wishes, but I'm
13 sure Mr. Registrar will be able to find it quite easily. Thank you.
14 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Praljak.
15 THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation] Your Honour, with the
16 victims of this war when they -- their memories are brought back to what
17 happened to them during the war it's very difficult to examine witnesses
18 like this, but just for the record, I'd like to say that the word "Croatian
19 soldier" or "HVO soldier," keeps being used, that phrase. That implies
20 that he went there in an organised fashion, that he was on assignment
21 following orders. All we know is that we have heard two names and that
22 they were wearing uniforms. When we come to other witnesses, we're going
23 to be able to ask explicit questions to see what they mean when they say
24 the army other soldiers, especially soldiers that were not in barracks,
25 that did not -- that carried their weapons home when they weren't on the
1 battlefield. So they were, in fact, citizens with rifles that they very
2 often bought from their own money. These rifles were procured by
4 Now, I'm not going to ask that of this witness, of course, but
5 in future.
6 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. That's an
7 important point. The Prosecution did not complete its examination-in-chief
8 to determine who those soldiers were, so let's not put the cart before the
9 horse. And I, too, will be asking questions along those lines of the
11 Now, with respect to what Mr. Karnavas just said, you, it
12 appears, have read our thoughts, because this morning we prepared a ruling
13 on precisely the point that you've just raised, and I'd like to assure you
14 that after the break we will be rendering that ruling. We did not know
15 about the Bomomy decision and ruling because each Trial Chamber works
16 completely independently, and we have enough to be getting on with with our
17 own case not to occupy ourselves with other people's cases, but we always
18 tend to keep abreast of what is interesting going on -- what interesting
19 things are going on elsewhere. But your preoccupations will receive a
20 solution from us. It is integrated within the decision or ruling that
21 we're going to give later on which have to do with new elements arising
22 from proofing sessions with the witnesses and how the Prosecution intends
23 to use it.
24 Since we have a few more minutes left before the witness enters,
25 and I have a few more minutes, and I think my colleagues would have said
1 the same thing, do not forget that witness statements are compiled
2 sometimes many years before the witness comes, and as you know, those
3 statements are compiled by the Prosecutor's office, OTP, and so they are --
4 information is collected in that way. Then several years later when the
5 witness comes into court there's a discussion between the Prosecutor and
6 the witness, and in certain cases the witness can spontaneously recall
7 events that he happens to remember that he forgot to or didn't see the need
8 to tell the investigator about, and then the Prosecutor can -- can question
9 the witness in the interests of justice on that matter.
10 So that is the kind of situation that can arise. And we have
11 taken note of the possibility of such situations arising, and that is why
12 we're going to render a ruling which I hope the Defence will find
13 satisfactory. So you must wait patiently for the ruling to be rendered.
14 Mr. Mundis.
15 MR. MUNDIS: Thank you, Mr. President and Your Honours. Just
16 one point on the last issue that the Presiding Judge just -- just discussed
17 with respect to the process of proofing and statement-taking. Let me
18 again, for the benefit of everyone so that there's full understanding of
19 some of the -- some of the difficulties inherent in this process, let me
20 also remind Your Honours and my learned colleagues that our statements --
21 the Office of the Prosecutor takes statements in either English or French,
22 and the witnesses sign those statements based on an oral read-back that
23 they receive at the time those statements are prepared and taken, which as
24 Your Honour rightly points out in some instances is many years ago.
25 Those statements then for purposes of disclosure and other
1 purposes are translated back into B/C/S for the benefit of the Defence and
2 the accused. It is quite often, although not always, but quite often the
3 case that the first time the witness actually sees the statement in their
4 own language is the day before they testify when they are brought here for
5 proofing, and it is quite often at that stage, also many years after the
6 statement was given, that the witness reads the statement in their own
7 language, not only maybe as Your Honour rightly points out, remembers
8 additional items but also has an opportunity to say, "That sentence or at
9 that statement or that paragraph is not quite correct. It needs to be
10 changed." And at that point in time, the investigator or lawyer who are
11 proofing the witness make a note of that and disclose it to the Defence.
12 That disclosure often occurs either the evening before or in some
13 instances, if the proofing went on until late in the evening, the very
14 morning the witness comes into court and testifies.
15 And again, I just wanted to put that out so that everybody
16 understands some of the problems that are inherent in this process where
17 we're dealing in name of different languages and number of years have
18 elapsed in some instances between the time the statement is originally
19 given and the time the witness comes into court to testify. Thank you.
20 MR. KARNAVAS: Mr. -- Mr. President --
21 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well.
22 MR. KARNAVAS: -- I fully appreciate the process. I'm well
23 aware of it, and we face the same challenges. But this is sort of my first
24 step to the next issue, which is: I don't want them bringing in now new
25 witnesses and adding new witnesses to their case if they see their case
1 perhaps weak here or there, all of sudden they're going out there trying to
2 interview witnesses to bolster their case, because if those witnesses were
3 out there and known to them and they didn't exercise due diligence, don't
4 come crying in and saying, "We need to bring in more witnesses to elongate,
5 to enlarge our case." That's the real purpose behind my -- of this -- of
6 this request. I was just taking -- putting my toe into the water. But the
7 real reason is I want to make sure the Trial Chamber issues a decision that
8 whatever their case is is what's already on their 65 ter list.
9 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes, Mr. Karnavas. We take
10 good note of what you've said, but experience has taught me here in this
11 case and in other cases that sometimes when a witness answers a question
12 put to him or her by the Prosecution or the Defence, the witness says
13 spontaneously something that is completely new and that is new to everyone
14 in the courtroom. That happens quite often. And sometimes I look at you
15 on both sides and I can see that you are surprised, nobody was expecting
16 such a response from the witness. And then quite logically, for the
17 Prosecution or the Defence, this new piece of information, this new piece
18 of evidence will require additional questioning, additional investigation
19 maybe. And that might explain what you regret, is that sometimes new
20 witnesses are requested or put on the list. But that's the way the
21 judicial process goes. But even in civil law countries it happens that you
22 have witnesses who come to testify it and who reveal new developments, new
23 information at the last minute, and then you have to call additional
24 witnesses, whereas the trial has already started. These things happen.
25 Very well. We've just been told that the witness is now in a
1 position to resume the testimony. We'll pull the blinds down and have the
2 witness brought in.
3 [Closed session]
11 [Open session]
12 THE REGISTRAR: [Interpretation] We are back into open session,
13 Mr. President.
14 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. I'll now give the
15 floor to the Prosecutor.
16 MR. KRUGER: Thank you, Mr. President.
17 Q. Madam, I'm sorry that I have to put you or have to cause you to
18 relive these moments, and I truly do understand your grief.
19 Could you tell us, just before we proceed, how many men there
20 were, approximately, on Mount Tolovac that evening with HVO uniforms?
21 A. There were 15 HVO soldiers.
22 Q. Now, could you tell us what happened to your father that morning?
23 A. We were in that stable. They made us come out, and then my
24 father started releasing the cattle from one stable to the next. I asked
25 the soldiers to let me go and fetch some extra clothing for my son. They
1 told me I could go. I set out with him. In the meantime, my father wanted
2 to take some bread for my child from one of the stables and asked for
3 permission to do that.
4 JUDGE TRECHSEL: I'm sorry. If I may -- if may intervene. I'm
5 a bit confused, because I thought that on that day you were giving birth to
6 your first child. Maybe there was a misunderstanding.
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It was a month afterwards when my
8 father was killed. My son was born on the 19th of June, and my father was
9 killed on the 19th of July, precisely a month later.
10 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Hvala.
11 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Madam, sorry for interrupting.
12 You've just stated that you were allowed to give bread to your -- to your
13 child, but when a child is one month old, he doesn't eat bread.
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No. I was referring to my sister-
15 in-law's son. She stayed behind in the stable. It was my sister-in-law's
17 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. Very well. Thank
18 you for this explanation.
19 MR. KRUGER: Thank you, Your Honour.
20 Q. Witness, the -- when you and your father -- when you went with
21 your father when he released the cattle, was this going back to the very
22 first stable where the events had started that morning?
23 A. Yes. That's where we went back, right there.
24 Q. And the other people in your group, did they remain at the second
25 stable where you had been?
1 A. Yes, they did. They remained at the second stable.
2 Q. So in this first stable, your father, he then wanted to find some
3 bread. Tell us what happened then.
4 A. Well, what happened was a soldier said to him, "There's no
5 salvation for you any more." I was pushed out by two HVO soldiers. They
6 killed him. They fired a whole round into him. In the meantime, they
7 poured some liquid over him and set him on fire. When the two men left, I
8 saw the fire spreading to the whole stable. There was nothing I could do.
9 I was weeping.
10 Q. The soldiers, they left you at the stable?
11 A. They left me there. They went off, and I stayed there. I left
12 all the things I had taken. I didn't have the strength to pick them up and
13 carry them away. I had no change of clothing for my child. My child was
14 always wet and hungry.
15 Q. The -- do you know which soldier shot your father?
16 A. Well, I do. The two of them were Ivica Papak and Ivcan
18 Q. Thank you, madam. After this happened and when the soldiers had
19 left, is it correct that your family was also left and they fled into the
20 forest, or they hid in the forest?
21 A. Yes, they did hide in the forest. I found my sister crying on
22 the road. I asked her what was going on. She was frightened. I have no
23 words to describe it. I know how we felt and what had happened to us up
25 Q. And you and your family, is it correct that you then went to the
1 hamlet of Paros, which is a little distance away?
2 A. Yes, we did. We went there. We found refuge with an elderly
3 woman. We stayed there for two or three days. After that, two HVO
4 soldiers arrived and asked us to surrender. I decided there was nothing I
5 could do but surrender. My child was always hungry. So were all us, but I
6 cared most about my son. I had nothing to feed him with. I convinced my
7 mother and my sisters that we should all go, that we should all surrender.
8 I was the first to surrender, and then they all followed me, and that's how
9 we came to Crni Most, the black bridge. A bus came along and picked us up.
10 We arrived in Prozor, in Podgradze, a small village mostly inhabited by
12 Q. The menfolk in your group, well,your husband, I think, did he
13 accompany you or did he go elsewhere?
14 A. No, they went to the forest. They were hiding in the woods.
15 Think didn't want to surrender.
16 Q. And if you say surrender, what do you mean by surrender? To
18 A. We surrender to the HVO. We had to give ourselves up. We had no
19 choice but to do so.
20 Q. Was it possible for you to instead go to territory under the
21 control of the ABiH?
22 A. No, it wasn't possible. It was all cut off. It was all held by
23 the HVO.
24 Q. In Podgradze when you and your family arrived there, what did you
25 find there?
1 A. We found an abandoned house where we moved in. We asked the
2 woman to give us the house keys. The man who owned the house and his wife
3 were somewhere in Germany. This woman gave us the key. There were about
4 90 of us there. I stayed there with my son. There was nowhere to put him
5 down. I had no change of clothes for him, no food. I had nothing.
6 Q. Just to place this in time, was this during the last week of
7 July, 1993, that you moved into this house in Podgradze?
8 A. Yes.
1 A. Well, let me tell you. No, I didn't. The main reason I
2 surrendered was that none of us had anything to eat. But I didn't feel
3 good about it. I had had to surrender. My parents, myself, my sisters, my
4 sister-in-law, we were all there. We had to give ourselves up.
5 Q. Were you threatened in any way while living there?
6 A. HVO soldiers came along and threatened us. They took away girls
7 and young women. They raped them. I heard about this, but I didn't see
11 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Registrar will now issue
12 an order to remove the name.
13 MR. KRUGER: Thank you, Your Honour. Your Honour, if we could
14 perhaps go into private session for a moment to deal with this specific
16 [Private session]
6 [Open session]
7 THE REGISTRAR: [Interpretation] We're in open session.
8 MR. KRUGER: Thank you, Your Honour.
9 Q. Witness, without mentioning the name, what was it that you heard
10 about this girl, what had happened to her?
11 A. I heard from the people in that house that she was taken to the
12 firefighters' home and raped. Soldiers would come to get her. She was the
13 one most often arrested and taken to Prozor and other places.
14 Q. You and your sisters and your sister-in-law, none of you were
15 raped; is that correct?
16 A. Thank God, no. As soon as night fell, we would go into the woods
17 and spend the night there. And there was someone always watching, awake,
18 to make sure that no HVO men arrive.
19 Q. Now, you stayed in this house for a few weeks until around the
20 end of August, 1993. Could you tell the Court how it came that you left
22 A. Quite simply HVO soldiers came up to us and said, "You have five
23 minutes to pack up and get out." They said trucks would arrive to take us
24 away. We were glad to be leaving, wherever they would take us. In the
25 meantime, we went to the village of Kucani where they unloaded us, and then
1 they escorted us a little way, and then they started shooting. I know a
2 woman from Lapsunj Prozor was killed there. I know they killed her.
3 Q. The people that you -- can you hear me?
4 A. Yes, I can.
5 Q. Are you okay? Can we proceed?
6 A. Yes, we can.
7 Q. Thank you. If you say you went to Kucani, were you taken there
8 by truck?
9 A. No -- by truck. We were taken there by truck. There were
11 Q. And if you refer to "we," is that the 6.000 people you were
12 referring to who were staying in Prozor and Podgradze?
13 A. Six thousand Muslims were expelled in that night, women,
14 children, some elderly men, but there weren't many of those.
15 Q. Now, if you say expelled from Celina, where did you go to?
16 Sorry, my mistake. If I could correct that. Is it correct that you walked
17 towards Celina?
18 A. Yes, yes.
19 Q. And what is the distance between Kucani and Celina, if you could
20 give us an idea?
21 A. I couldn't tell you precisely. About three or four kilometres,
22 but I'm not sure. I don't know exactly.
23 Q. Celina, is that in territory held by the ABiH at that stage?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. Okay. Now, shortly or a while after arriving in Celina, is it
1 correct that you and your husband returned to Dreznica?
2 A. Yes. Yes, it's true. It's correct. We went across one night,
3 and the next day my husband came through the woods, but I couldn't
4 recognise him when I saw him. He was all dirty. He had a beard. I
5 remember that well. It looked as if he hadn't had a bath for a year.
6 Q. Thank you. Your mother, was she able to return to Gracanica?
7 A. Yes. Yes, she was.
8 Q. [Previous translation continues] ...
9 A. I don't know exactly when, but she was brought back. The
10 international community helped. A house was built. My brother and sisters
11 and mother live there now.
12 Q. What had happened to the opened house that you stayed in
14 A. It was burnt to the ground. Nothing was left. Everything of use
15 was taken away and what was left was burnt down.
16 Q. And what about the other houses in Gracanica? Were they also
17 burnt in a similar way?
18 A. Yes, all of them. Some have been repaired and some have still
19 not been rebuilt. Three or four houses have not been rebuilt.
20 Q. And is it correct you don't know specifically when the houses
21 were burnt or destroyed?
22 A. I don't know. I can't recall. My head is so full of all this.
23 I can't remember everything any more.
24 MR. KRUGER: Now, I would, in conclusion, like to deal with you
25 with two documents, Your Honour, but this may be -- I see the time. It is
1 time for the break.
2 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I think it's better to have
3 the break now in order to allow the witness to have a rest. It's a quarter
4 to 4.00. We'll resume at five past 4.00.
5 --- Recess taken at 3.45 p.m.
6 --- On resuming at 4.16 p.m.
7 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] We're in open session, and
8 we'll stay in open session until we resume the testimony of the witness,
9 because as I have announced it earlier on, the Trial Chamber is going to
10 issue two rulings. The first one rendered orally has to do with Witness
11 Tomljanovich from the Prosecution.
12 The Chamber has received an oral motion from the accused Cosic
13 dated 23rd of August, 2006. The accused Cosic through his lawyer Mr.
14 Murphy, would request -- requests the Trial Chamber to reconsider its oral
15 decision rendered on the 26th of June, 2006, that grants expert status to
16 Witness Tomljanovich. His motion is found on an order or a decision
17 rendered in the Milutinovic case on the 13th of July about the expert
18 status of a staff member of the Office of the Prosecutor.
19 The Trial Chamber would like to recall that it has already ruled
20 on the expert status of Witness Tomljanovich based on the inspection of his
21 expert report, his CV, and that the Chamber has also taken into account the
22 fact that the witness is a staff member of the Office of the Prosecutor.
23 As a result, the Trial Chamber has no reason and sees no reason
24 to reconsider its previous decision. Furthermore, the Trial Chamber would
25 like to recall that the Defence, during the cross-examination of the
1 witness, will be in a position to challenge the credibility of the witness
2 as well as the expert report submitted by the witness.
3 Second oral ruling. This is only the fourth decision rendered
4 orally today. This is a ruling modifying the decision of the 3rd of July,
6 During the hearing of the 23rd of August, 2006, the Accused
7 Prlic stated that during the examination of the witnesses the Prosecution
8 covers issues that have not been the summaries prepared in accordance with
9 Rule 65 ter. The Chamber would like to refer the parties to its oral
10 decision of the 3rd of July, 2006, pages 42 to 48 and 48 to 49.
11 In its decision, the Trial Chamber decided as follows, and I
12 quote: "The Prosecutor, as far as possible, shall limit the examination of
13 witness to the issues mentioned in the summaries prepared in accordance
14 with Rule 65 ter."
15 The Chamber had admitted that, and I quote again: "The
16 Prosecutor might expand the examination to issues not mentioned in the
17 summaries, but issues that would have been raised during the proofing
18 session of the witnesses, but this provided for that the Defence be
19 notified as quickly as possible through any technical means available in
20 order to allow the Defence to prepare itself properly for the cross-
21 examination of the witness."
22 Let me now tell you what's new in this decision with respect to
23 the previous decision.
24 Considering that the Chamber has to make sure that the rights of
25 the accused are complied with, that the accused are in a position to
1 prepare their cross-examinations properly, the Trial Chamber hereby decides
2 today, and I would like to ask the Prosecution to listen very carefully,
3 the Prosecution has to disclose to the legal officers of the Chamber any
4 new information based or due to the proofing of a witness and this at the
5 same time, at the same time, as this same information is being disclosed to
6 the Defence. This will allow the Chamber to rule knowingly about any
7 possible objections raised by the Defence with regard to these new matters.
8 So to sum up, if, during the proofing session, the Prosecution
9 finds out that there are new items arising, new evidence that is going to
10 be raised during the examination of the witness, then the Prosecution has
11 to inform the Defence - that's always been the case - but the Prosecution
12 also has the obligation to notify the legal officer of the Trial Chamber,
13 and thus the legal officer will be informed, let's say, at 3.00 a.m. by e-
14 mail that such-and-such item will be raised and it's new, and thereafter
15 the Judges will be informed of the same and we will then be in a position
16 to consider the matter and rule on any objections.
17 So if we compare this to the decision of the 3rd July, 2006,
18 we've streamlined this previous decision, including this scheme, this
19 mechanism that should be satisfactory to everyone. And this is once again
20 in the interest of justice here.
21 I have spent a few minutes on these decisions, but now I'm going
22 to give the floor to Mr. Mundis.
23 MR. MUNDIS: Thank you, Mr. President. Perhaps just one issue
24 for purposes of clarification would be very helpful to the Prosecution in
25 order to comply with this order. Perhaps we could be informed in advance
1 of which legal officer is responsible for which witness or to whom we are
2 to provide this information as there are a number of legal officers
3 assigned to this case, so as to avoid confusion or perhaps us informing a
4 legal officer who happens to be on leave on that day. If there is duty
5 roster or if you want to sent to the same legal officer or all of them or
6 which ones, that would be very helpful.
7 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes. Very well. So
8 theoretically speaking or practically speaking, the legal officer are P4
9 staff member, P3 staff member plus their assistants but you know all of
10 them, of course. The main actor here is Tatjana Maikowski, the Trial
11 Chamber's legal officer who is available 24/7. She is your privilege
12 "intelliputer," and if she's not available, and that can happen, of course
13 then you can get in touch with the other assistants that will replace her.
14 So in other words, there is always someone available. So for any reason
15 she's not available, then she has to make sure that the lines of
16 communication remain open with someone else.
17 So don't about worry. The Judges shall be informed without any
18 problem. I hope I have put your mind at rest, Mr. Mundis. Up until now,
19 things have worked fine. So far the communication has been fine.
20 Sometimes there are hiccups in communication but until now things have been
21 going smoothly. And you have to think that I'm very often here at the
22 Tribunal as early as 6.00 a.m., so if need be you can always try to get in
23 touch with me. And my assistants have mobile phones that are always
24 accessible, so you can always get in touch with them. Don't forget the
25 computer systems here at the Tribunal, the e-mail system whereby you can
1 disclose the necessary information.
2 Witness, please accept our apologies. We had to deal with
3 matters of procedure because the Defence was expecting our decisions.
4 Now I'm going to give the floor to the Prosecution.
5 MR. KRUGER: Thank you, Mr. President, Your Honours.
6 Q. Witness, a few final things, then. You have referred a number of
7 times during your evidence to Ivica Papak as being one of the soldiers. Is
8 this his real name or is this a nickname?
9 A. Well, I can't say really.
10 Q. I'd like to ask you about somebody else. Do you know an Ivan
12 A. No. No. I don't know him.
13 Q. Okay. Ivica Papak, where did you --
14 A. Ah, I do know Ivica Papak. I apologise. I do know Ivica Papak.
15 Q. Where do you know Ivica Papak from?
16 A. Well, I've known him since childhood. He went to school in
17 Gracanica. I know him very well. He would come to my house countless time
18 when we were children. We would even go to school together in Gracanica
19 because there was no school in Papci but in Gracanica.
20 Q. Papak, was that his surname?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. Okay. Thank you.
23 A. You're welcome.
24 Q. Your father, his body was never recovered; is that correct?
25 A. That is correct. It was never found. And I would like to find
1 it so that I can go to his grave and put some flowers on his grave just
2 like everybody else, to put flowers of the grave of my nearest and dearest.
3 MR. KRUGER: Your Honour, if we could go into private session
4 for purposes of dealing with the first document I wish to show the witness.
5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes. Mr. Registrar, please.
6 [Private session]
11 Pages 5508-5509 redacted. Private session.
18 [Open session]
19 THE REGISTRAR: [Interpretation] We're back in open session, Mr.
21 MR. KRUGER: Thank you, Your Honour.
22 Q. Witness, I would like to show you a final document which is
23 similar to the one you have just seen, and that is Exhibit 8608. I don't
24 know whether it would be easier to once again show the hard-copy version on
25 the ELMO. Yes. Thank you. That is the correct document?
1 Witness, this is a similar document than the previous one you've
2 seen, and it is also an extract from the register of deaths, and it's page
3 64. Do you see that --
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. And do you see that the first certificate relates to Bajro
7 A. I see that, yes.
8 Q. Now, in regard to this, it says that the day, month, and year of
9 death, that's just above where you see his name, was 29 July, 1993, and it
10 was at Skrobucani. According to your information, is that correct?
11 A. Well, yes, it is correct, because he was taken off certainly. I
12 heard about that. I didn't see it, but I heard he was taken to Skrobucani.
13 Q. Is this the same Bajro Munikoza that you had testified about
15 A. Well, I think it is, yes. It couldn't be anybody else.
16 Q. If we move down to the second half of the document. This
17 certificate or extract from the death register relates to Saha Munikoza.
18 Is that the same, to your knowledge, Saha whom you testified about?
19 A. Yes, it is.
20 Q. With regard to her, it says that she died on 29 July, 1993. To
21 your knowledge, is that correct?
22 A. No. No, it's not correct. Not correct.
23 Q. When did she die?
24 A. Well, she died on the 19th of July, the same day when my father
25 was killed. That same day.
1 Q. And when it says Skrobucani, is that --
2 A. Yes, Skrobucani is right. That's correct.
3 Q. And why would you say that --
4 A. It's five minutes' difference. What did you say? Correct.
5 Skrobucani is correct.
6 Q. And what about Tolovac? Is Skrobucani and Tolovac, are they
7 close by or ...
8 A. Yes, they are close.
9 MR. KRUGER: Thank you.
10 Your Honour, I have no further questions of this witness.
11 JUDGE TRECHSEL: May I add a question? You said that the date
12 of 29th July for the death of Bajro Munikoza was probably correct. Earlier
13 today, you have told us that on the 19th July, they took him away, and then
14 you heard a number of shots.
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, yes. That's right. That's
16 correct. Yes.
17 JUDGE TRECHSEL: So would you agree that perhaps this date is
18 also wrong, as is the other date?
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes. Yes, it is wrong. I've just
20 noticed that now.
21 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Hvala.
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] You're welcome.
23 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] That completes the
24 examination-in-chief of the Prosecution. The Judges have a number of
25 questions to ask about the persons who killed your father, and my colleague
1 wants to ask a question first, and I will be asking some questions to
2 complete his afterwards.
3 Questioned by the Court:
4 JUDGE MINDUA: [Interpretation] Madam Witness, I would like some
5 clarification on who the assassins of your father were, who perpetrated the
6 act. You said that on the 19th of July, two soldiers of the HVO, and you
7 gave us their names, you said that. Now, my first question: You said that
8 you knew those soldiers, that you went to the same school together; is that
10 A. Yes, that's right. Precisely.
11 JUDGE MINDUA: [Interpretation] So probably those soldiers were
12 from your village or the neighbouring village.
13 A. Yes, near my village. About half an hour away. Their village
14 was half an hour away from mine.
15 JUDGE MINDUA: [Interpretation] Thank you. Now, you said that
16 they belonged to the HVO. How could you know that those soldiers were HVO
17 soldiers? Can you tell us what you base that on?
18 A. Well, they -- on their left arm they had the HVO patches, and
19 camouflage uniforms.
20 JUDGE MINDUA: [Interpretation] After the war, did those soldiers
21 stay in the area or did they go elsewhere?
22 A. Well, I can't really say. I don't know, because I went to
23 Dreznica. So I can't say whether they stayed there or not.
24 JUDGE MINDUA: [Interpretation] And one more question, madam. Do
25 you know if there were any court proceedings against those soldiers with
1 respect to those criminal acts that they perpetrated or with respect to
2 other criminal acts that they might have perpetrated? Were these two
3 soldiers prosecuted?
4 A. I don't know that. I can't say. I don't really know, because as
5 I said, I went to Dreznica. I left, so I don't know anything more about
7 JUDGE MINDUA: [Interpretation] Thank you.
8 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you. Madam, I also have
9 a series of questions to ask you about those HVO soldiers, and we've come
10 to the heart of the matter now, because the Judges have to make decisions.
11 Now, you told us that there were 15, approximately 15 of them, I
12 suppose, and that according to you, they seemed to be under the command of
13 the person you went to school with, and his first name was Ivica. Now, the
14 15 soldiers, 15 HVO soldiers, were they all wearing -- dressed in the same
15 way, wearing the same clothes?
16 A. Well, yes. They were all wearing HVO uniforms, of course.
17 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Now, since you were an
18 eyewitness, you were there yourself, in your recollections this group, did
19 you feel that they were an organised group? Did they give the impression
20 of being an organised group commanded by your ex-fellow classmate, or do
21 you remember them as being a disparate group?
22 A. Well, that's what it was like. They stormed the house quickly.
23 I didn't know what was going on. That's what it was like.
24 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] You said on their left arm
25 they had the HVO insignia. In your recollection were there other signs,
1 other insignias they were wearing or was this the only insignia you could
2 see on them?
3 A. That was the only insignia.
4 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Could you please describe us
5 how -- what they were wearing? They had trousers, a jacket, a hat. You
6 gave a very specific piece of information. You said they had markings on
7 their faces, their faces painted. But apart from this, if you think back
8 of that time, can you -- what can you tell us about their clothes?
9 A. I only remember they had jackets, trousers, shirts. That's all I
10 remember. I can't remember anything else. They had boots on their feet.
11 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] As far as their weapons are
12 concerned, you're probably not a specialist in the matter, but as far as
13 you can recollect, did -- was each one of them carrying a weapon? What can
14 you tell us about that?
15 A. Well, yes, of course. They all had rifles. I don't know what
16 the names of the rifles are. I'd seen them for the first time. All I know
17 is that they all carried rifles.
18 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Please allow me the following
19 question, because this is very important for us Judges. Please allow me to
20 go back to this very painful moment you had to go through.
21 According to what you've told us, it seems that one of the
22 soldiers spoke to your father before shooting him. What about the other
23 soldiers? Were they around them, or were there only one or two soldiers
24 there, one or two soldiers who shot on your father, who opened fire on your
25 father, or were all the soldiers present when that happened?
1 A. There were only two soldiers there. The others were standing
2 around the stable as if they were standing guard. I don't know.
3 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Later on throughout these
4 years, did you ever wonder why your father was killed by these two
5 soldiers? Why not you? Why did they choose to kill your father? Did you
6 manage to find an explanation or an answer to that question?
7 A. Well, there's nothing I can say. Quite simply, I don't know why
8 he was killed. He didn't hurt anyone. He was an invalid. He couldn't go
9 anywhere. He couldn't walk properly.
7 A. Yes.
8 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] In the following years,
9 putting aside the interviews you had with the Office of the Prosecutor, you
10 did not report this crime to the judicial authorities in your region, did
11 you? I'm talking about you personally or any other member of your family.
12 Did anyone in your family circle go to the police to report what had
14 A. I didn't myself, but my mother did. She wanted his body to be
15 found and buried properly, but nothing has been found yet.
16 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. You are saying
17 that your mother tried to do something about it, but unfortunately that --
18 this was to no avail because the body of your father was never recovered.
19 A. That's correct, yes.
20 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] In the village where you
21 lived, you told us that in that village the majority of the population was
22 Muslim. Throughout that period, throughout the period before the 19th of
23 July, during the month of May and during the month of June, the HVO, as you
24 see it, was this HVO -- was the HVO army present in the area? Did you know
25 whether the HVO was around there or the ABiH? In other words, did you know
1 if -- there were military personnel or soldiers in that area?
2 A. There were soldiers there, but I don't know what soldiers.
3 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] So you were aware that there
4 were soldiers in the area, and you're telling us that on the 19th of July,
5 you could tell they were from the HVO because you had a look at their
7 A. Yes.
8 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. I'm now going to
9 give the floor to the Defence for the cross-examination of the witness, but
10 my fellow Judges might have additional questions to put to the witness.
16 A. There was more than one vehicle. There was soldiers from Jajce
17 who did nothing to us, didn't mistreat anyone. I know that well.
18 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Do you know how many vehicles?
19 A. I don't know. I couldn't tell you precisely how many.
20 JUDGE TRECHSEL: And can you describe any of the vehicles?
21 A. Well, I can't accept that I know they had camouflage colours on
22 them, like leaves. They were mostly trucks.
23 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Thank you.
24 A. You're welcome.
25 JUDGE TRECHSEL: I suppose you did not pay any attention to the
1 licence plates, or did you per chance?
2 A. No. No, I didn't.
3 JUDGE TRECHSEL: I can understand that. It was dark anyway, at
4 least when they arrived, wasn't it?
5 A. Yes, it was.
6 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Did they in some way illuminate the scene, for
7 instance, by the headlights of the cars?
8 A. No, they didn't. I don't know. I don't know that they did, no.
9 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Now, we have two more incidents at least where
10 you mentioned soldiers. One is when you were picked up. I think it was in
11 Crni Most. Those soldiers, I think -- you said that they were from HVO; is
12 that correct?
13 A. Yes, that's correct.
14 JUDGE TRECHSEL: And you also recognised them by the insignia on
15 the arm?
16 A. That's correct, yes.
17 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Can you say whether these were soldiers that
18 had also been involved on the 19th of July, or were they knew to you?
19 A. I can't remember all the details any more. I don't know any
20 more. But I know there was Ivica from Rumboci. I don't know his last
21 name. He had a red Golf, I know that. But I don't know his last name now.
22 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Can you tell the Chamber how many soldiers had
23 turned up on that day?
24 A. I can't tell you that. It's not all in my head any more.
25 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Yes. I fully understand this. Was it two or
1 was it a bigger group? Can you say that much?
2 A. There -- it was a bigger group, but I can't tell you exactly how
3 many there were, no.
4 JUDGE TRECHSEL: That's already a good answer. Thank you. You
5 were then taken away in a vehicle from Crni Most?
6 A. In a bus. There was a bus.
7 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Bus. Did you by any chance -- have you any
8 memory of the licence plates of that bus?
10 A. No, I don't remember.
11 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Okay. I would then like to go one step on to
12 the time when you were held in Podgradze, I think it was. There you
13 described to us that HVO soldiers picked up girls and young women and took
14 them away, and they were then sexually abused. Who were those soldiers?
15 What did they look like? Were there any that you knew?
16 A. I didn't know any of them, but I do know they were HVO soldiers
17 and that they took away girls and young women. I know that. As soon as
18 night fell, they would burst into the house and take away whoever they
19 could catch.
20 JUDGE TRECHSEL: You had witnessed other engagements of these --
21 of HVO soldiers. You have told us that on the 19th of July they seemed to
22 be organised. Did you have the impression that when they stormed the
23 houses, as you just said, they were also in some way organised?
24 A. Yes. They said all kinds of things.
25 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Were they by any chance drunk, mostly, or
1 sometimes, or never?
2 A. Mostly. Mostly they were drunk, yes.
3 JUDGE TRECHSEL: And did they mostly come during the day or did
4 they come at a time when you had the impression it was their time off?
5 A. They didn't come by day. Mostly when night fell. That's when
6 they would come and burst in.
7 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Thank you very much. That will be all from me.
8 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Fine. An additional
9 question following to an answer you've given to my fellow Judge.
10 These young ladies who were taken away by these drunken soldiers
11 and then abused sexually, later on, did you talk to some of them? Did you
12 ever talk to a young lady who was taken away by the soldiers who then told
13 you about what happened to her, or did you -- or do you know about this
14 because you were told about it by others?
15 A. I heard that. I didn't see it.
16 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] You heard it. But who told
17 you about it, the victims themselves or other people?
18 A. I heard it from the women who were abused and raped.
19 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Therefore, what you are
20 stating now, is that these women who were raped told you about it later on,
21 told you about it yourself.
22 A. They would talk in the room while we all slept, so I heard them
23 talking about it. They told all of us what had happened. They didn't say
24 that just to me but to all of us.
25 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] So you heard it yourself.
1 A. I heard it with my own ears.
2 JUDGE TRECHSEL: If I may go on on the same problem. You were
3 in that house for about a month, if I'm -- is that correct?
4 A. That's correct.
5 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Now, did this taking away of girls and young
6 women occur one, two, or three times, or did it occur almost every night?
7 Can you tell us something about the frequency of that?
8 A. I couldn't be precise now, but in a week it would be once or
9 twice at least. I can't tell you exactly how many times.
10 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Hvala.
11 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you, Witness.
12 Now I'm going to give the floor to the Defence.
13 MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honours. I will
14 look at my colleagues first to see if they object to my starting. It's not
15 my turn, but I'll be very brief, but Your Honour happened to look at me and
16 I happened to have questions for the witness.
17 Cross-examination by Ms. Nozica:
18 Q. [Interpretation] I will first introduce myself, Witness. My name
19 is Senka Nozica, and I am the Defence counsel of Mr. Bruno Stojic.
20 Please, my first question to you is: Did you make any
21 statements to any investigating organs in Bosnia and Herzegovina about the
22 events you have described here in the court?
23 A. No.
24 MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation] Could the usher please show the
25 witness document -- it's a record, and it contains her statement before the
1 agency for investigation and documentation in Mostar in 1997. I haven't
2 prepared it for e-court. I don't know whether I will tender it, but it's a
3 Prosecution document given to us. Could the witness look at it, please,
4 and then please put it on the ELMO. Put the front page on the ELMO.
5 Can the witness take a look at the signature.
6 Your Honours, do we have to go into closed session?
7 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes, we do. Mr. Registrar,
8 you have been kept very busy, but we have to go into private session now.
9 [Private session]
11 Pages 5524-5525 redacted. Private session.
22 [Open session]
23 THE REGISTRAR: [Interpretation] We're back in open session, Mr.
25 MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation]
1 Q. All I want to do is confirm that in 1997 when you gave the
2 statement to the Agency for Investigation and Documentation, the Mostar
3 sector, made no mention of the fact that anybody disturbed you at night.
4 You said that nobody touched you, and then you said, "Six months later we
5 were expelled to Buturovic Polje." Is that right? Is that right?
6 A. Yes, it is.
7 Q. I just have two more questions for you. How do you know that at
8 that point, 6.000 people started out towards Buturovic Polje? I'm asking
9 you, because based on all the statements that we were provided by the
10 Prosecution, we never heard of that figure. Did you know that personally,
11 or did somebody tell you that later, that in the column there was 6.000
13 A. It's true there were 6.000 of us.
14 Q. Did you know that on that day?
15 A. Yes, I knew it from before, because we were all there, all
16 Muslims there in the village of Podgradze. We were all put up there.
17 Q. In the village of Podgradze, as you say, there were 6.000 people;
18 is that right?
19 A. Yes, that's right.
20 Q. And you all set out together on that day?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. Now, link to the detail when you said, "We surrendered" or "Gave
23 ourselves up to the HVO," the bus, it's the detail when you say you got
24 into the bus, did I hear you correctly, did you say you stopped the bus and
25 it took you in?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. You said you hitchhiked the bus?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. Well, I insist -- I am insisting on that, because Judge Trechsel
5 asked whether you were taken up, so I wanted to clarify that point. But I
6 have no more questions. Thank you.
7 A. Thank you.
8 Questioned by the Court:
9 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Before I give the
10 floor to Counsel Alaburic, counsel has just raised the matter of a
11 statement that you made where you made no mention of the fact that some
12 women were, at night, the object of soldiers' attentions. Now, why didn't
13 you say that in 1997 when you told us this a moment ago?
14 A. Well, I didn't say so because I had a sick son. He had a brain
15 inflammation. My child was in hospital in Sarajevo all the time. So
16 that's why. And when I went back from Sarajevo, my other son became ill
17 too. There was something wrong with his stomach. So that's why. I can't
18 say anything else.
23 JUDGE TRECHSEL: When you were shown the statement given by you,
24 signed by you some time ago in 1997 in Mostar, you said you could not
25 remember. In the meantime, did the memory come back? Do you remember that
1 you made such a statement?
2 A. Well, that's the statement I gave, but I can't remember. My son
3 was ill. My husband was ill. I seemed to have got the worst part of life
4 to deal with. My husband was operated on twice. He's a diabetic. I have
5 seven children. I just can't remember anything. It just won't fit into my
6 head any more. So I have to -- the -- all my family relies on me.
7 JUDGE TRECHSEL: You have all my sympathy, madam. Still, do you
8 perhaps remember whether you went to Mostar on your own initiative or
9 whether you were called to go there?
10 A. Well, they called me to go there and I went, quite simply.
11 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Thank you. This is what I would have liked to
13 A. You're welcome.
14 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
15 Cross-examination by Ms. Alaburic:
16 Q. Madam Witness, my name is Vesna Alaburic. I'm an attorney from
17 Zagreb and I'm here as Defence counsel for General Milivoj Petkovic. I
18 apologise for having to ask you some questions, but I consider that it is
19 our duty to try and clarify certain points, and that's what I'm going to
21 I'd like to ask the usher, please, to put that same statement of
22 the witness on the ELMO, and I'd also like to ask that we go into private
24 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Registrar, private
25 session, please.
1 [Private session]
11 Pages 5531-5532 redacted. Private session.
19 [Open session]
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you.
1 MS. TOMASEGOVIC TOMIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honours.
2 The Defence of Mr. Valentin Coric has no questions for this witness. Thank
4 MR. IBRISIMOVIC: [Interpretation] No questions. Thank you, Your
6 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Praljak.
7 MR. MUNDIS: Mr. President.
8 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Mundis.
9 MR. MUNDIS: Thank you. Sorry to interrupt, but Mr. President
10 and Your Honours, the Prosecution would object to the accused or any of the
11 accused cross-examining crime base witnesses such as the current witness.
12 The Trial Chamber's revised guidelines from 26 -- or 28 April are very
13 clear that when these -- because these accused are represented by counsel,
14 that the accused may put questions to witnesses only in exceptional
15 circumstances, whereas perhaps due to certain witness's testimony
16 concerning technical matters or technical military matters there might be
17 exceptional circumstances, the Prosecution believes it's inappropriate for
18 any of the accused to be cross-examining crime base witnesses.
19 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I suppose that if Mr. Praljak
20 is on his feet, that's because he wants to ask technical questions to the
21 witness about the HVO soldiers, and that's at the heart of the case.
22 I suppose, Mr. Kovacic, that what your client intends to do is
23 to deal only with technical issues about the units these soldiers belonged
24 to, an HVO unit.
25 MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, according to my
1 conversation with my client, the question would be yes, but I wish to
2 respond to what my learned friend has said. I feel that these
3 circumstances are exceptional and that his special knowledge is required.
4 He will explain what the special circumstances are, why he feels he needs
5 to put questions, and Your Honours will decide.
6 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Because you, yourself, you're
7 not in a position to ask these questions?
8 MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation] In view of the way my client wants
9 to puts the questions, because he was there, I feel that his approach is
10 different. You will hear his arguments, and he is prepared to face the
12 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] But you say that he was there.
13 He was not there on the spot. Where was he?
14 MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation] No, but he was in the area.
15 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] He was in the area. Okay.
16 [Trial Chamber confers]
17 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Praljak, why can't you put
18 these questions to the witness through your counsel?
13 [Private session]
11 Page 5539 redacted. Private session.
3 [Open session]
4 THE REGISTRAR: [Interpretation] We're back in open session, Mr.
6 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you.
7 MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation]
8 Q. Madam, you know the area, Gracanica, Dreznica and all the places
9 you described to us. Their Honours and some of us weren't there so they
10 don't know the places. For us to gain a better understanding of the
11 situation could you tell us please how far is Gracanica far from Rama and
12 its position, generally speaking?
13 A. About seven or eight kilometres.
14 Q. Is it on a hill, in a valley?
15 A. It's in a valley.
16 Q. And it's on the main road, is it not, between Rama and Bugojno;
17 is that right?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. Thank you. I beg your pardon. I made the mistake. Rama and
20 Jablanica. It's halfway between Rama and Jablanica; is that right?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. When you were fleeing to the mountains, at that time there was
23 heavy fighting going on between the HV army [as interpreted] at Bakov.
24 That was a generally known fact. Did you know about it?
25 A. No, I didn't know about it.
1 Q. Did -- now, in July and in June in the places where you were, did
2 refugees come in from other areas?
3 A. No.
4 Q. And there was no -- no meaning of fighting around Vakuf?
5 A. No, I don't know about that.
6 Q. Tell us, please, if you look towards Jablanica from Rama,
7 Topolovac the place you mentioned --
8 A. It's Tolovac.
9 Q. Yes, Tolovac, the place you mentioned. If we're looking towards
10 Jablanica from Rama, the is it on the right-hand side of the main road?
11 Would that be correct?
12 A. Well, I can't say really whether it's on the left or the right.
13 Q. Try to put yourself in the situation. Looking towards Jablanica
14 from Rama. You're in Rama and you want to go to Topolovac [sic], where
15 would you go?
16 A. I would go in the direction of Jablanica.
17 Q. So would it be -- would Topolovac -- Tolovac be on the right-hand
18 side? I keep getting this name mixed up. I mean Tolovac. Is it on the
19 right-hand side of the road? And the other place mentioned, Skrobucani, it
20 was in the register of deaths, that's in the same direction, is it, on that
21 same road from Rama going towards Jablanica, and it's on the left-hand
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. Can you say how far walking, how far?
25 A. Well, it's half an hour to an hour.
1 Q. So between Skrobucani and Tolovac, that would be how much? What
3 A. I don't know.
4 Q. It would take you about 20 minutes, wouldn't it?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. So they're not right next to each other, those two places?
7 A. Well, no, they're not.
8 Q. Thank you. Now, did you hear about refugees or perhaps see them
9 who came from Kostajnica at that time?
10 A. No.
11 Q. No? You also mentioned your departure to Buturovic Polje. You
12 spoke about that, when you went to Buturovic Polje.
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. Tell us, please, was there anyone who was killed there by the
16 A. Well, yes, at Kucani there was a house from Ovsunj when we were
17 on our bay to Buturovic Polje.
18 Q. You mean before you left your place?
19 A. Yes, she was killed in the stream.
20 Q. Do you know the name of that woman?
21 A. No, I don't.
22 Q. Did you know her?
23 A. No, I didn't. I just heard the women say that she was from
24 Lapsunj, this woman who was killed was from Lapsunj.
25 Q. Did you see when she was killed?
1 A. I didn't have time to look. I was so frightened of everything.
2 I was just bent on crossing over and resting.
3 Q. There was a large group. You mentioned 6.000.
4 A. Yes, there was large group, and it was difficult for us to move
5 in such large numbers.
6 Q. The killing that you said took place, did it here -- did it take
7 police in front of you, behind you? Did you hear the shots, or did you
8 just hear the story told afterwards?
9 A. The shot came in front of us.
10 Q. But you didn't see who was shooting at whom?
11 A. No, I didn't see who did the shooting.
12 MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation] Thank you. I have no further
13 questions, Your Honour. Oh, yes. I apologise. Just one moment, please.
14 My colleague has pointed out something on page 74, line 21, something was
15 wrong in the transcript. It should have been HVO and BH army, HVO and BH
16 army, not HV as it says. Line 74 -- or, rather, page 74, line 21.
17 Thank you, that completes my cross-examination.
18 MR. KARNAVAS: Mr. President, Your Honours, we have no
20 We'd like to thank you for coming and giving your evidence.
21 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you. Anybody else? The
22 other Defence counsel? No questions?
23 Additional questions from the Prosecution now that you have the
25 MR. KRUGER: Thank you, Your Honour. I would like to just
1 clarify one issue.
2 Re-examination by Mr. Kruger:
3 Q. You mentioned that you went from -- from Kucani to Celina. We've
4 also heard a few moments ago that you went to Buturovic Polje. Could you
5 tell us when you arrived in Celina at what stage you went to Buturovic
7 A. The day they expelled us, the HVO soldiers expelled us, we
8 crossed to Celina where the army of Bosnia-Herzegovina was located, and
9 then they took us in. I went to my uncle, and we were put up there.
10 MR. KRUGER: Thank you. No further questions, Your Honour.
11 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. Madam, as I told
12 you earlier on, you're going to be able to go back to your country. You
13 have completed your testimony here. I would like to thank you, and I speak
14 on behalf of the Defence counsel. We thank you for coming, and we wish you
15 bon voyage back to your country.
16 I'm going to ask the registrar to ask that the blinds be drawn,
17 and they are being lowered as I speak.
18 The blinds have been lowered. So, madam, you're free to leave
19 the courtroom now. I'll ask Madam Usher to escort you out of the
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you too. Thank you to
22 everyone who welcomed me so nicely here.
23 [The witness withdrew]
24 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Registrar, may we now go
25 back into open session. Ah, we were in open session. What I mean when I
1 say open session is to raise the blinds.
2 In open session. Mr. Praljak is on his feet and wants to say
4 THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation] Your Honours, it is
5 without question that in Bosnia-Herzegovina, even by people wearing HVO
6 uniforms, that crimes were committed. Crimes happened. That is quite
7 certain. But it is also quite certain and indisputable that the vast
8 majority of those crimes -- that HVO services existed, the SIS principally,
9 to deal with those cases and they did so very precisely and diligently.
10 They did their best to investigate crimes of that kind under the
11 circumstances, and those documents are -- furnish the basis of what the
12 Prosecution has at its disposal and on the basis of which they were able to
13 raise an indictment of this kind.
14 It is true that it is difficult for victims to have to think
15 back to those times. It is very painful for them and terrible for them to
16 go through it all again, but it is also true that the links are established
17 between an unfortunate sorry destiny and event of this kind that links
18 between -- vague links have been established, and it's impossible to do so,
19 I think. And it's not a good idea. I don't think they have the right,
20 regardless of the pain that the witness goes through, just to allow
21 everything to pass without allowing questions to be asked.
22 Unfortunately, nobody can ask questions as well as we can do so,
23 because there were great distances, the shapes of hills, the type of
24 dwellings, the stables, the house, what it all looked like. It's
25 impossible for anyone else to know about this and explain to the Defence
1 counsel. Where Tolovac lies, what the distance is between different place,
2 the hills and how many villages there are around Rama, for example. So I
3 need, for example, information which tells me whether there are 50 villages
4 around Rama or perhaps a hundred villages and how those villages -- how the
5 population is mixed, Muslims and Croats, so that we can arrive at the
6 question of how it was possible to control the territory, the area,
7 especially at night, how you can control something that is called the army.
8 And then this term "army," is used in different ways. You
9 have the American army, the British army. They're all different. Those
10 people there, of course, had their own weapons. They stayed and slept in
11 their own houses. So to control 50 villages, to supervise 50 villages in
12 Prozor, at night, for example, would -- is quite unimaginable. It's
13 impossible to do that. So necessarily one could have to investigate
14 matters and examine matters in the way we know best how to do, not to upset
15 a witness in any way.
16 So it was through the best intentions that I wanted to confront
17 the victim, because on the evening of the 25th, I was up there, Your
18 Honours. I was the main commander, the commander-in-chief of that army.
19 And so the question of whether I knew and how I reacted when this expulsion
20 took place, where the blame lies, what the different strengths and powers
21 were, we have to reconstruct all this both on a global scale and in every
23 Now, if we are prevented in doing so, then with all due respect
24 to the witness, my rights have been infringed upon, and possibly if
25 something is not properly examined and investigated it will mean 20 years
1 in prison for me for just one of those events. So I have to ask these
2 questions and why people weren't prosecuted, if we know their names. Why
3 the people whose names we know were not prosecuted. So we don't prosecute
4 the perpetrators of the crimes. Crimes did happen. We go to the top, to
5 the head.
6 Now, if the Prosecutor fails to show us where the link is
7 between that crime and Slobodan Praljak and why this particular witness
8 came here at all to testify in the trial against me or my trial when the
9 witness should have been engaged in the proceedings against the people whom
10 she says committed the crime. And if it turns out that they received any
11 written or oral order, then you should rightly prosecute us.
12 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Just a minute, Mr. Coric.
13 Before I give you the floor, I want to respond to what Mr. Praljak has just
14 said and then I'll give the floor to you afterwards.
15 Mr. Praljak, you took note of the fact that the Judges allowed
16 you to speak, so we didn't stop you from saying what you felt you needed to
17 say, and you raised a series of problems in doing so. You have told us
18 that as the man in charge of the HVO in the area, it -- you found it useful
19 to ask the witness questions, especially as there might have been some
20 technical problems such as knowing the distances between villages and hills
21 and mountains and so on, and that you are best placed to intervene on
22 matters of that kind in this courtroom, because as you said, you were there
23 on the spot. So -- and you went to school there.
24 So we listened to you, and I don't want you to think for one
25 second that we're not listening to you and that we're not allowing you to
1 defend yourself. You have explained that in wanting to ask your questions
2 -- or, rather, you wanted to pose questions in order to establish the link
3 that the Prosecutor wants to make between the victims and you, and of
4 course your Defence counsel is there to do that for you as well. You will
5 have the opportunity, when the time comes, to bring in your own witnesses,
6 and then they will be able to explain what happened in the area. If you
7 were the commander, there was a whole chain of command, paramilitaries,
8 people out of your control. You can show all that during the Defence case,
9 but you can't demonstrate it here through a person like the lady who was
10 here, as she said, was witness to a murder committed by individuals, that
11 is to say, the murder of her father.
12 So in these proceedings, and this is not something that the
13 system that I have devised, it is the Anglo Saxon system where the
14 Prosecution is free to examine and the Defence cross-examines, and we as
15 the Judges do our best to clarify certain points through the witness
16 because it is up to us to determine those links as you yourself said, the
17 links between yourself and what happened in theatre, and that is why we ask
18 our own questions.
19 I would suggest that you meet with your counsel, that you
20 discuss all these problems, and that you ensure that the witnesses you
21 bring in will be within your defence case. And as I have said to the other
22 accused, as far as possible we're here to listen to you and -- it's just
23 that we have time constraints and other constraints, but we said that you
24 could ask questions if they are of a technical nature.
25 A moment ago, the technical questions that you wanted to ask
1 with respect to those two localities, we saw one of them mentioned in the
2 register of deaths, and through your questions you wanted to establish that
3 those two places weren't as close as they appeared at first glance. But as
4 I say, your counsel could raise that problem and sort that out.
5 So that's what I wanted to tell you. I don't know if my
6 colleagues would like to intervene and say something.
7 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Just add a word to disclose our state of mind.
8 Mr. Praljak, and also the other accused, we are very well aware of the
9 difference between the level of the accused, which is a very high level,
10 and the level of these events before us. It is not for you and it is not
11 for us to establish a link. It is for the Prosecution. And we are
12 observing how they try, and in the end, having heard your view fully, we
13 will come to a conclusion either they have or they have not. But be aware
14 of the fact that the Bench is looking at this from some distance, and we
15 are between -- we are not only seated between you and them, but our state
16 of mind is between you and them, and we're constantly trying to find out.
17 We also have a duty towards victims, and it turned out that this
18 woman is vulnerable. She had to have a break in between, and we had the
19 feeling that she was not up to be technically questioned. And that's why
20 we said Mr. Kovacic, who perhaps has more experience in cross-examination
21 and bit more distance, is better placed to put the questions. But this is
22 in no way anything which betrays a negative it state of behind of the
23 Chamber. I can assure you of that.
24 THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honours.
25 I am a well-disciplined person, but thank you for your explanations, but
1 please understand how we feel as well.
2 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Coric.
3 THE ACCUSED CORIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour. If
4 I was sitting next to my Defence team, I wouldn't take the floor now, but
5 unfortunately this is the only way that I can react.
6 Mr. Praljak said something, and I'd like to ask him something
7 now, whether I understood him correctly and whether that was recorded that
9 Mr. Praljak said that the SIS very pedantically recorded all the
10 crimes that took place, and that on the basis of that, this indictment was
11 raised. I think we should check that out, or here on the spot. I would
12 like to ask Mr. Praljak whether he actually said that and whether that was
13 what he meant and that was recorded, and I think I'm right, it was. I
14 would like to hear his comments.
15 MR. KARNAVAS: Your Honour, if I may intervene at this point,
16 and I understood Mr. Praljak perhaps better than Mr. Coric understood. I
17 believe what Mr. Praljak said that investigations were conducted. The
18 Prosecution has obtained evidence, based on some of the investigations that
19 were done, in order to figure out who committed certain crimes in the
20 field, and based on those, indictments were drafted. And I think we should
21 leave the matter left where it is. I think that's what Mr. Praljak meant.
22 And while I'm on my feet, I just want to raise one other point.
23 I think the -- this sort of crime base witness demonstrates the
24 difficulties the Defence has sometimes in seeing whether they should just
25 concede and allow crime base evidence to just simply come in or whether to
1 challenge, particularly when a witness over and over again says, "HVO
2 soldier." It conjures up that this individual who is wearing a uniform,
3 with perhaps an identifiable emblem, is in fact a soldier at that time,
4 recognising that in many of these areas because of the Territorial Defence
5 there were citizen soldiers, two weeks on, two weeks off, sometimes wearing
6 their uniform, carrying their weapon because it was their personal weapon,
7 but not necessarily on duty.
8 So I think for the Defence it poses a problem. To what extent
9 should we concede and allow their statements to come in or to challenge?
10 Obviously it's for the Prosecution to demonstrate that these soldiers were
11 in fact soldiering at the time, who the commanders were, and so on and so
12 forth. I believe that up to the Prosecution to decide how and when and, if
13 so, they will be able to do so.
14 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. Thank you. Before
15 I give the floor to Mr. Mundis, I'd just like to respond to Mr. Coric,
16 because Mr. Coric got to his feet to respond to what Mr. Praljak said about
17 the SIS investigations. So, Mr. Coric and Mr. Praljak will have an
18 opportunity of discussing this amongst themselves. The Chamber can't do
19 anything there. It's a problem you must sort out yourselves, between
20 yourselves and then perhaps in due course come back to it.
21 But now with respect to what Counsel Karnavas has just said. As
22 far as I'm concerned -- I don't want to speak for my colleagues, but as far
23 as I'm concerned, as a man of the law, any jurist knows that if one accuses
24 somebody of committing something in a military sense, and this is to be
25 shown by the Prosecution or refuted by the Defence, one must know who the
1 people were, what the locality was, who the commanders were and everything
2 like that. That's how cases before this Tribunal are dealt with.
3 So having said that, I don't want to belabour the point. Those
4 are basics. But, Mr. Mundis, you wanted to say something.
5 MR. MUNDIS: Again very briefly, Mr. President. I am cognisant
6 of the time. The Prosecution, of course, appreciates the numerous bits of
7 advice that we've received here in terms of what we need to do in order to
8 prove our case.
9 Part of the problem that -- that we're faced with in this
10 situation, with all due respect to everyone concerned, is that the system
11 that we have in place at this Tribunal is not one that envisions
12 questioning or commentary by the accused on an ongoing basis. On a number
13 of prior occasions when the issue of accused cross-examining or questioning
14 witnesses arose, the Prosecution submitted that some of these problems were
15 likely to occur. We very well may be at a point where some of these issues
16 are coming to a head and might need to be looked at once again.
17 Clearly the accused have a right to remain silent and have their
18 case put on by their counsel. Conversely, once an accused stands up and
19 begins questioning witnesses or making commentary or making what might be
20 construed to be admissions, one might get to a situation where that right
21 to remain silent has been waived. I'm not saying that we're at that point
22 necessarily, but, for example, just as an example, Mr. Praljak said crimes
23 were committed by the HVO. And if I'm not mistaken, there was another
24 point previously in these proceedings where Mr. Praljak said more or less
25 the same thing.
1 Now, that begs the questions, of course, which crimes? The
2 crimes in our indictment? Other crimes? What precise crimes is Mr.
3 Praljak talking about? Because if, in fact, we have admission that the
4 crimes alleged in our indictment have, in fact, occurred, then that also
5 begs the question as to the necessity of bringing in here before Your
6 Honours dozens and dozens and dozens of victims and witnesses to crimes
7 when, in fact, those crimes might not be at issue.
8 Our concern is not so much necessarily the questioning, it's the
9 comments and the admissions and the speeches and the assertions that come
10 along with that questioning. Is it evidence? Is it evidence before Your
11 Honours that you can rely upon? If so, we are entitled, in our submission,
12 to cross-examine on that, and our view would be at some point, the
13 cumulative nature of everything that Mr. Praljak has said must constitute
14 evidence which we are entitled to cross-examine on. And again, Your
15 Honours, we're probably not -- or maybe not at that point yet, I leave it
16 up to Your Honours, but at some point fairness says we can't allow Mr.
17 Praljak to make statements and speeches and comments about his presence at
18 locations or what he may have seen or heard without that information being
19 challenged. And so that's part of our objection to this type of procedure,
20 which again is not one, in our respectful submission, that is envisioned
21 under the system we have in place here, particularly where the accused have
22 counsel and where the accused can instruct their counsel on what lines of
23 cross-examination might be warranted.
24 Thank you.
25 MR. KARNAVAS: If I may be briefly heard on this.
1 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Wait a moment, please. I will
2 give the floor to Defence counsel.
3 We've heard you, Mr. Mundis. We can either agree or disagree
4 with you.
5 The Defence wants to respond. I'll give the floor to counsel.
6 MR. KARNAVAS: Very briefly, Your Honour. And as you may
7 recall, I filed a motion more or less in order to allow the -- the accused,
8 any one of them, to ask questions in addition to those posed by their own.
9 I believe when Mr. Praljak has indicated that crimes were
10 committed, it's the same as me admitting that the United States military in
11 Iraq commits crimes, it commits crimes every day, I think we see that on
12 television. As in any war, crimes are committed. It's a global statement,
13 and I can understand Mr. Mundis's concerns. And let me just say one thing.
14 I take to heart what he says. They are observations not to be taken
15 lightly. They're very serious ones.
16 I -- in this particular instance, Mr. Praljak, in my
17 understanding, was merely responding to perhaps an objection or what he
18 perceived to be an issue of relevancy as to why he was going into this area
19 so he was responding as any lawyer would respond to an objection to why it
20 is relevant in doing so.
21 Having said that, I do think that Mr. Mundis does raise a
22 legitimate -- a legitimate issue, and of course, as we all know, the Trial
23 Chamber, under the rules, controls the setting, and I'll leave at it that.
24 And I think the decision to my motion was that the Trial Chamber would
25 exercise tight control in determining when and how all counsel, including
1 the accused, you know, would -- would ask questions in these proceedings.
2 So I don't think we need to be alarmed, and I don't think that
3 anybody has waived any rights, because I think when an individual is
4 representing himself or even assisting in his own defence and is asking a
5 question, the question in and of itself, even if it may appear to have
6 information containing what might appear as an admission, it is merely a
7 question, because under the rules of evidence, questions are not evidence.
8 What a lawyer asks a witness is not evidence. It's what the witness
9 responds, which is why you might see me, on occasion, insisting on an
10 answer from the witness, making a very long statement as sometimes some of
11 us do make, but not getting necessarily an answer is nothing. It's just
12 empty words on a piece of paper. Without that answer, the answer is the
13 evidence, not the question. So therefore, even in an accused, when
14 representing himself or assisting in representing himself, when asking the
15 question the question itself cannot be viewed as a waiver of any particular
16 right, including the right against self-incrimination. Thank you.
17 MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, if I may. My
18 esteemed colleague Mr. Karnavas has said much of what I wanted to say, but
19 perhaps I could add a fact in view of the standpoint of my learned friend.
20 The statements that the accused make in the courtroom, and especially those
21 they make when commenting on events such as the comment made by my client
22 today, as well as whatever he says while putting questions to witnesses
23 seen from a procedural point of view cannot be treated as statements by the
24 accused which can be considered as evidence.
25 According to the Rules of Procedure of this Tribunal, there is a
1 difference between a statement made by an accused under oath when he
2 appears in fact as a witness, and therefore, the comments made by accused
3 in a courtroom can only be interpreted as what they really are in view of
4 their intention.
5 The intention of my client on this occasion, and evidently on
6 previous occasions, has always been, as I think was clear to everyone, and
7 I think these comments have been useful, to contribute to an understanding
8 or a faster understanding of the very far-reaching and extensive events and
9 mass of facts we have to deal with in these proceedings.
10 Of course, the Chamber is in charge of proceedings. My client
11 has shown himself to be very disciplined in this respect and is always
12 ready to sit down whenever Your Honours tell him to, but his intention is
13 to contribute to the search for the truth. Perhaps not always strictly
14 within the limits of the procedure that my colleague Mr. Mundis and myself
15 are used to, but these are not always carved in stone, and it is up to Your
16 Honours to decide what to allow and what not to allow.
17 I only wish to assure Your Honours that my client has a deep
18 respect for this Tribunal and that he will never contravene an order issued
19 by Your Honours, but I feel he has never abused either the time he has been
20 allotted or the responsibility he has taken on. Thank you, Your Honours.
21 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. Thank you very
22 much to all those who have spoken on that matter, and I would like to tell
23 Mr. Kovacic that, yes, indeed, I find his client perfectly disciplined. He
24 has always respected all the instructions given to him by the Bench or by
25 yourself. So there's no problem in that respect. But as far as I'm
1 concerned personally, I'm not talking on behalf of the whole Chamber I'm
2 talking on my own behalf, Mr. Mundis raised an issue I deem important
3 however I do not share his point of view at all. According to me, Article
4 21(E) of the Statute, and I'd like Mr. Mundis to read it again, this states
5 that the accused is entitled to question or to have witnesses questioned.
6 This right is enscribed -- enshrined in the Statute of the Tribunal. It is
7 also stated in the Article that the accused can be assisted by counsel, not
8 represented, but assisted by counsel.
9 So for me, personally speaking, it has always led me to the
10 conclusion that the accused is entitled to intervene, to put questions
11 whilst, at the same time, being assisted by counsel who will also ask
12 questions. That's why we've issued a decision whereby we've accused --
13 we've allowed accused to ask questions on technical matters. But this
14 doesn't mean, as Mr. Mundis seems to believe, that these statements or
15 these questions imply that such-and-such crime has been admitted by the
17 Obviously these are issues we discuss on a regular basis, my
18 colleagues and myself, and this issue is at the top of our priorities. But
19 as I've stated, as for myself, but this is a shared -- a view shared by the
20 Judges, we want to have proceedings where everyone has been able to put his
21 or her case where the accused also have been able to contribute to their --
22 to their level with the control of their counsel, of course. Everybody
23 agrees on that.
24 We had some time left. We used it up. Now I have to move on to
25 the issue of the schedule for next week.
1 Mr. Mundis, next week I suppose everything has been prepared?
2 We have to finish very quickly. Mr. Praljak I can give you the floor if
3 it's very brief.
4 THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation] My colleague, Mr. Coric,
5 said he said what he said because of the record. So I have to say it too.
6 He has completed misunderstood me. I just wanted to say that the
7 Prosecution has a lot of documents stemming from the SIS investigations,
8 not that they were the basis of the indictment. Thank you.
9 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. Okay. As far as
10 next week is concerned, Mr. Mundis.
11 MR. MUNDIS: Thank you, Mr. President. Everything is ready to
12 go for next week and we should be fine with respect to the schedule as it
13 was previously filed. I do note my colleague, Mr. Kruger, had some
14 documents that he wished to tender into evidence. We can do that now or we
15 can do that on Monday. We're in your hands as always, Mr. President.
16 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes, we have to resolve the
17 issue of documents, documents produced through this witness. What exhibits
18 would you like to tender into evidence?
19 MR. KRUGER: Thank you, Your Honour. It is only the two
20 documents that were shown to the witness, the first one being P 8436, and
21 which the Prosecution requests be placed under seal. And the second one is
22 document P 8608. Thank you, Your Honour.
23 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Fine. The Chamber has ruled,
24 and these documents are admitted into evidence.
25 Mr. Registrar --
1 MR. KOVACIC: Your Honour.
2 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] -- as for Exhibit P 8436 --
3 yes, Mr. Kovacic?
4 MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I have an objection
5 to P 8436. Shall I tell you right away what it is?
6 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes, please do. Please do.
7 Explain to us.
10 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Please wait -- private
11 session. We have to issue an order.
12 MR. KOVACIC: I'm sorry.
13 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Registrar, let us move
14 into private session.
15 [Private session]
11 Pages 5560-5562 redacted. Private session.
18 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 7.04 p.m.,
19 to be reconvened on Monday, the 28th day
20 of August, 2006, at 2.15 p.m.