1 Tuesday, 20 May 2008
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 2.16 p.m.
5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Registrar, please call the
7 THE REGISTRAR: Good afternoon, Your Honours. Good afternoon,
8 everyone in and around the courtroom. This is case number IT-04-74-T,
9 the Prosecutor versus Prlic et al. Thank you, Your Honours.
10 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. Today's the 20th of
11 May, 2008. Good afternoon, Witness.
12 Good afternoon, Defence counsel.
13 My greetings to the accused and to all the people helping us out.
14 And my greetings to the Prosecution as well.
15 I'm going to read out three oral rulings, they are numbered.
16 Ruling number one, in relation to the status of the statement by Accused
17 Prlic. On 6th of May, 2008, the Prosecution asked the Trial Chamber to
18 lift the confidentiality of Exhibit P 09078, the statement made by the
19 accused Prlic. It was admitted by the Trial Chamber on the 22nd of
20 August, 2007. There was no objection from the Defence teams.
21 In as much as the Trial Chamber has never ordered the said
22 exhibit to be under seal, the request is moot. The Trial Chamber will
23 ask the registrar to make sure that in the e-court database Exhibit
24 P 09078 is, indeed, a public exhibit.
25 Ruling number two, oral ruling in relation to the application by
1 the Prosecution regarding 65 ter (G) summaries. On the 6th and on the
2 19th of May, 2008, the Prosecution firstly asked for the Prlic Defence to
3 provide written statements of Defence witnesses. Secondly, that the
4 summaries provided further to Rule 65 ter (G) be completed. The Prlic
5 Defence objected. Firstly, the Trial Chamber recalls that unlike the
6 Prosecution, the Defence is under no obligation to obtain written
7 statements from witnesses it plans to call for their Defence case.
8 Further to Rule 67 (A), the only obligation for the Defence is to
9 disclose statements it has in its possession. Therefore, the
10 Trial Chamber denies the first application.
11 With regard to summaries under Rule 65 ter (G), the Trial Chamber
12 points out that the Prosecution had an opportunity to make submissions
13 during the pre-Defence Conference on the 21st of April, 2008. It recalls
14 that the Prosecution offered an agenda for specific items to be discussed
15 that were connected with the filing of Rule 65 ter (G) lists without,
16 however, raising the issue of which the Trial Chamber has now been
18 The Trial Chamber also points out that the quality of the
19 summaries differs from one witness to the other. Therefore, there is no
20 need to ask for further information on a systematic basis with regard to
21 all or any statements provided under Rule 65 ter (G). The Trial Chamber
22 therefore denies the second application.
23 This being said, the Trial Chamber will on a case-by-case basis
24 require further information and additional information in relation to
25 summaries if it so deems necessary, which is going to be the case in
1 ruling number three.
2 Oral ruling related to Witness Zdravko Sancevic and requests for
3 further information to be obtained from the Prlic Defence. In view of
4 the testimony on the 26th to the 29th of April -- of May, 2008, the
5 Trial Chamber examined the summary of the testimony by Zdravko Sancevic,
6 a Prlic Defence witness. The Trial Chamber is of the view that some of
7 the information provided in the summary is vague and lack precision. For
8 instance, the summary says that the witness moved from Medjugorje to
10 with the BiH authorities. The summary fails to specify the purpose of
11 the meeting or meetings, how often they took place or when they took
12 place exactly. On the other hand, the witness was -- apparently attended
13 a meeting in Medjugorje on the 18th of May or July --
14 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreter is not sure.
15 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] -- in which Mr. Prlic
16 allegedly -- I shall repeat.
17 On the 18th of May, meeting at which Mr. Prlic was regarded as:
18 "The perfect candidate for the three parties."
19 Following the meeting, the witness is purported to have had
20 contacts with Mr. Prlic as the representative of BiH. The Prlic Defence
21 has, however, failed to state when the meeting took place exactly. It
22 only said that it took place on the 18th of May. The Prlic Defence did
23 not either mention the positions Mr. Prlic would have been appointed to.
24 The Trial Chamber is of the view that additional information
25 would make it possible for the Trial Chamber to be better prepared for
1 the future testimony of the witness and would make it possible for the
2 Prosecution and the other Defence teams to prepare for their
3 cross-examination. Therefore, further to or in keeping with the oral
4 ruling issued today, the Trial Chamber invites the Prlic Defence to
5 provide the necessary additional information to complement the
6 statement -- the summary of the testimony of Zdravko Sancevic.
7 No further ruling.
8 Mr. Karnavas, you may proceed. You have two hours and one minute
10 MR. KARNAVAS: I'm told that we don't have e-court for my
11 colleague here and she's probably the most valuable member of the Defence
12 team, much more than I am. So if we could have some assistance from the
13 technical booth.
14 While that's being done, Your Honour, by Thursday we hope to
15 provide the additional information requested with respect to the
16 following witness.
17 Good afternoon, everyone.
18 WITNESS: ADALBERT REBIC [Resumed]
19 [Witness answered through interpreter]
20 Examination by Mr. Karnavas: [Continued]
21 Q. Good afternoon, Dr. Rebic.
22 A. Good afternoon to you too, Mr. Karnavas, and to everybody else.
23 Q. We have only two hours. I had asked for an additional hour, but
24 hopefully in two hours we will be able to do our work. So I would ask
25 you to please, please keep your answers rather short, direct, and then if
1 I need more clarification I'll ask for that.
2 If we could go now to the next document, 1D 02624, 2624. As
3 everyone recalls from yesterday we left off when we were speaking about
4 reports, the fact that you had prepared reports and indeed that you did
5 prepare reports which were shared with the international community and
6 others. So if we look at 2624, for the record we see that this is a
7 report dated 14th of October 1994. On the first page we see your name,
8 and then later on if we look through the report again we see at the end
9 of the text, before we get to the charts, we see your name again.
10 My first question is: Are you aware of this document? Have you
11 seen it before? I'll wait for you to get it. 26 --
12 A. Yes, I'm aware of this document and I've seen it before, yes.
13 Q. All right. And we see in this document lots of data. Can you
14 tell us how this data was collected and how this report was compiled?
15 A. This report was compiled by the Office for Refugees and Displaced
16 Persons -- actually, this is the final analysis based on the census of
17 all the refugees and displaced persons containing all the most important
18 elements that concern the care for all of our refugees and displaced
19 persons. The report was sent to the Ministry of Labour and Social
20 Welfare, with which we had a very close cooperation.
21 Q. And would this report have also been shared with UNHCR, the EU,
22 and others, to your knowledge and understanding?
23 A. This report was sent to the President of the Republic of Croatia
24 Dr. Franjo Tudjman; to the Prime Minister, Mr. Nikica Valentic; and the
25 Deputy Prime Minister, Dr. Nikola Kostovic. I only assume but I'm not
1 absolutely sure that it was also copied to UNHCR. As soon as UNHCR found
2 out that there was a report of that sort they would ask for it, so I
3 assume that they would be copied. When it comes to the official sending
4 of the report, it was done to the first three addressees that I mentioned
5 because they were the ones most concerned.
6 Q. Okay. And then yesterday we touched upon this, but who paid for
7 this report to be done? Was this money from the government or did you
8 get also money from outside agencies, if you recall?
9 A. This report was done by the Office for Refugees and Displaced
10 Persons in which there were persons who compiled it who were on the
11 payroll by the Government of the Republic of Croatia
12 that the lists of all refugees and displaced persons on that year as well
13 as the year before were funded by the UNHCR and the Government of the
14 Republic of Croatia
15 Q. All right. Thank you. Now if we go to the next document,
16 1D 02628, 2628, that's the very next document in your binder, do you
17 recognise this document, sir?
18 A. I recognise it, Mr. Karnavas. This is a document that was
19 published in our gazette, that we occasionally published. It was done
20 other annually or twice every year, and this gazette was dispatched to
21 all humanitarian organizations, to the media, and to all the government
22 offices. It was a public document featuring data to inform our general
23 public as to what we were doing, how we were doing it, how many refugees
24 and displaced persons we had, and how much it all cost and how the costs
25 were borne by the Government of the Republic of Croatia
1 and how it was financed from the funds provided to us from the UNHCR and
2 the European Union. This document also provides detailed data as to how
3 many males, how many females, how many children were among the refugees
4 and displaced persons, how many were children, how many were sick, how
5 many were able-bodied, how many were not. A lot of data that the general
6 public might find useful.
7 Q. Okay. And just a couple of points, and again very quickly
8 because the Judges may have some questions on this report. But if we
9 look at -- it's the page after page number 4, Your Honours. It doesn't
10 have a page number but it would be found after page number 4. At the top
11 we see it says: "Status and rights of displaced persons and refugees."
12 Do you see that, sir? Have you found that page?
13 A. Yes, I can see that. I have the page in front of me.
14 Q. And what this page is referring to, if I'm correct, if we look at
15 this is the law that was being applied by your office at the time with
16 respect to granting status to both displaced persons and refugees coming
17 from BiH, and this place obviously generated from the Republic of
19 A. You are absolutely right, Mr. Karnavas. This is precisely so.
20 Q. All right. Now, if we could turn to another page, it's toward
21 the latter part of the or the middle of the report and I'll just read
22 these -- I guess it's an ERN number, it's 1D 34 and it's 0596, so the
23 last four numbers, Your Honours, 0596, where we see at the top -- we'll
24 have to turn the document over.
25 Usher, if we could have the assistance of the usher and we'll be
1 requesting your assistance throughout the afternoon. So if you could --
2 but we have it here for the -- because of the time constraints, I
3 appreciate your assistance.
4 If we see at the top it says -- if we turn it over -- turn it
5 around: "Number of registered displaced persons and refugees since the
6 beginning of 1995."
7 And on this very same page we see 1993 and we have broken it down
8 into months. So we're able to see displaced persons, refugees, and the
9 total number.
10 My first question regarding this, Dr. Rebic, is: Where do these
11 numbers come from?
12 A. These numbers, Mr. Karnavas, come from the different censuses of
13 refugees and displaced persons done on various years. We had a census in
14 1992, 1993, and 1994. Our regional offices and centres for social
15 welfare regularly sent data every month to the central office at the
16 government so that we knew exactly how the numbers of refugees and
17 displaced persons changed from one month to another. We published that.
18 First we informed the government and the ministry that we cooperated with
19 on these issues, but then we also provided the data to the media and to
20 the general public.
21 Q. All right. Thank you. And I point this out for Your Honours so
22 you can trace whether the borders were closed and to see the in-flow of
23 refugees and what have you. Unless there are any questions I'm going to
24 move on to other documents.
25 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I do have a follow-up question,
1 Witness. Please look at this chart just pointed out to us by
2 Mr. Karnavas, the ERN number ends with 0596. We see the chart for 1992,
3 1993, and then 1994 and 1995. It's a very interesting chart because it
4 sums up the situation with regard to displaced persons and refugees.
5 Indeed, we have a column devoted to displaced persons and another to
6 refugees. Look at the refugee column, that's what I'm interested in,
7 because if you go by the definition of a refugee it is a person who's not
8 of Croatian nationality and enters the territory of Croatia
9 I have questions because of the figures between the numbers and
10 the flows. There is a rise, as we can see, as to the flow because in
11 1992 in January we have 872 refugees and then around 1200 in February, in
12 March it goes up to 16.000, and then there's a peak in April, 193.000.
13 And then we have a number that keeps increasing until it sort of
14 stagnates around 350.000 and above. And then curiously enough, in 1993
15 we have a base of 400.000 in January, and that amount is going to drop as
16 months go by. Look at December, indeed, then there are only 281.318
18 So I guess we have to read these numbers in terms of stocks and
19 flows. For somebody who knows about statistics, who knows about stocks
20 and flows, one has the impression that the situation as of July 1992
21 stabilizing in terms of stocks and that there's not going to be any new
22 refugees. On the contrary, we're going to see a drop in the number of
24 Do you have any comments of your own, because after all you are
25 the specialist in this matter since you were the head of the office. So
1 I suppose -- I guess this didn't escape you. So what can you say as to
2 the interpretation that can be given of these figures?
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, in 1992, in the month
4 of April, was the beginning of a very fierce aggression of the former JNA
5 commanded by the Serb officers, and this is the time when the population
6 of Bosnia and Herzegovina residing in the occupied territory started
7 fleeing in large numbers. And that's why in the month of April all of a
8 sudden we had such a high figure, all of a sudden 193.000. The
9 aggression was stepped up and the army managed to occupy large parts of
10 Bosnia and Herzegovina very quickly. That's why every month we had an
11 increasing number of refugees coming from Bosnia and Herzegovina
12 The largest number of refugees was recorded towards the end of
13 that year, in November and December, and then in 1993 in January,
14 February, and March. With the beginning of spring 1993, some of the
15 refugees managed to return to their homes and some were taken on by third
16 countries, for example, Germany
18 270.000, but then again in May, June, and July the number went up again
19 because we again saw refugees coming from Central Bosnia and Herzegovina
20 so that the number was on the rise again all the way up to the end of
21 1993. And then in 1994, after the month of April, again in spring, the
22 number started falling. And as the situation in the Republic of Bosnia
23 and Herzegovina
24 the Bosnian refugees started going back home so that towards the end of
25 1994 the number of refugees stabilized around 180 or 190.000 and that
1 number remained constant up to the Operation Storm as of September and
2 October 1994.
3 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Let me stop you here. I've had
4 a look at tables 1994 and 1995, and apparently there is a stock of, a
5 minimum of 100.000 to 200.000 refugees because in June 1995 we have
6 188.606, that's roughly 200.000 people. If we deduct that from the
7 period at the heart of the indictment, from January to December 1993,
8 with a stock of roughly 300.000, if we assume that there is a stock,
9 basic stock, of 200.000 and refugees of -- amounting to 270.000 to
10 300.000 people, does it mean that in 1993 we have 100.000 refugees who
11 came to Croatia
12 figures that actually 100.000 refugees arrived in 1993?
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] In the course of 1993 the number of
14 refugees decreased, contrary to what you're saying, so that the 400.000
15 refugees in January started dwindling. In the month of May and June, the
16 numbers increased again from 269.000 in the month of April to 271.000 in
17 May, and then in June to 272.000, and then in July to 277. So again in
18 the course of these months the number didn't go down but it gradually
19 went up. This also refers to the refugees who arrived in the Republic of
21 Republic of Croatia
22 And finally, the number stabilized somewhat around the 180.000
23 mark in 1994, in the month of August, that was displaced persons; and
24 296.000 was the number of refugees, and those numbers remained constant
25 up to Operation Storm in August 1995.
1 After Operation Storm a huge number of both refugees and
2 displaced persons managed to return home.
3 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] All right. We'll stop here
4 because we could spend hours on these tables. I just wanted you to
5 confirm for us that in 1993 the number of refugees gradually decreased.
6 Mr. Karnavas.
7 MR. KARNAVAS: Thank you, Mr. President.
8 Q. Now, picking up from that, during that period were refugees and
9 displaced persons also leaving from the Republic of Croatia
10 countries? In other words, we have these figures, but do these figures
11 also reflect whether during that period you have refugees leaving so that
12 some leave, others are coming in, taking up those spots, hence we have
13 these particular figures? Can you help us out on that?
14 A. Precisely so, Mr. Karnavas. There was a constant movement of
15 both refugees and displaced persons from the Republic of Croatia
16 countries. UNHCR in 1993 largely took it upon themselves to deal with
17 people from Bosnia and Herzegovina with our help and they took them to
18 third countries with our transit visa. Those were people whom UNHCR
19 helped directly in Bosnia and Herzegovina, took them over, and sent them
20 to third
21 In 1993 UNHCR also helped people in the Republic of Croatia
22 took some refugees and displaced persons to third countries with a desire
23 to facilitate the burden upon the Republic of Croatia
24 were simply exhausted, our resources were lacking and we were exhausted
25 with the care.
1 Q. Thank you. Now, I'm going to go through very quickly a series of
2 other documents. We've seen them last week with Mr. Zoric, but I just
3 want some confirmation from you.
4 MR. KARNAVAS: And these documents, I'm going to read them and
5 then we're going to go just very briefly with one or two questions.
6 Q. It's 1D 02585, if you could just look at that to start with. Do
7 you recognise this document? We see your name at the bottom, although by
8 now all of us will be able to recognise that this is not your signature.
9 A. Mr. Karnavas, that is correct. I recognise the document. The
10 document was signed by the secretary of the Office of Refugees and
11 Displaced Persons, Mr. Josip Esterajher, who himself was a displaced
12 person from Vukovar, a journalist by trade. In the Office for Refugees
13 and Displaced Persons he was dealing with informing and acted as a
14 liaison officer with the media. From time to time he also reported
15 the -- to the media about the situation concerning refugees and displaced
16 persons, especially their numbers, how many they are, where they are
17 accommodated, in which county, in which towns, and so on and so forth.
18 Q. Thank you. Now, let's go to the next document, 1D 02590. And
19 the first thing I would like you to do is go to the third page, page
20 number 3. You will see at the end of the text, the typed text, there
21 seems to be something handwritten. Do you recognise that, what's
22 handwritten on page 3? It looked like initials.
23 A. I recognise, this is a facsimile of my name and family name which
24 I usually used when I signed the students' books. Instead of always
25 signing by hand I had a facsimile of my signature that I used to sign my
1 students' books with. I'm familiar with the document. This must have
2 been part of my report or a presentation, and it deals with the issues of
3 welfare and looking after refugees and displaced persons.
4 Q. Now, we don't have a date for this document, but if I could focus
5 your attention on the first paragraph on page 1, we see that it relates
6 to August 14th to September 23, we admitted 21.000 refugees from BH and
7 FRY, F-R-Y.
8 Now, based on that --
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. Because FRY stands for the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, can
11 you give us an approximation what year might this document was generated?
12 A. This document was probably compiled towards the end of 1992.
13 Q. Okay. Thank you. If we go to the next document --
14 MR. SCOTT: Excuse me, Your Honour, but just counsel could -- the
15 document itself on the first page refers to 1994. So I'm not sure how it
16 could be written in 1992. In 1994 390.000, 9 per cent information,
17 that's -- I'm not sure how the document could have been created in 1992
18 if that assists the witness or he can assist us further.
19 MR. KARNAVAS:
20 Q. In the paper -- that's in the third paragraph, but with relation
21 to the first paragraph I guess these figures are related too -- this
22 would be 1992, the first paragraph, that is, these figures because we're
23 talking about FRY.
24 A. That's correct.
25 Q. Okay.
1 A. Obviously the year is mentioned here [In English] 1992.
2 Q. All right. If we go to the next document, 1D 0 --
3 A. [Interpretation] But you are right, sir, there's also reference
4 made to 1993 and 1994. So this is a summary which I suppose must have
5 been compiled in 1994, you're right. Since there is no date, this was
6 not an official document which may be seen from my signature and which I
7 only used to confirm that this was my document and the document was
8 probably used during my -- one of my lectures. I often appeared on TV,
9 on radio, I appeared at various conferences and congresses abroad, and I
10 would take one of these reports with me that I had compiled and that I
11 then kept in my private files. So from the integrity of the report one
12 can conclude that this was the end of 1994, but the document concerns the
13 entire duration of the refugee crisis starting with the beginning of 1992
14 to the end of 1994.
15 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Witness, something came to my
16 mind listening to you. We have a large number of refugees were
17 accommodated in various centres. Did the media have access easily to
18 these refugees? Were they interviewed? Were they able to tell their
19 stories? Or did the office or the Government of the Republic of Croatia
20 restrict access by the media to refugees, or did the media have access to
21 the refugees without any problem?
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The media were supposed to have a
23 permit from our office to go and visit refugee camps and do interviews
24 there. It would, however, happen every now and then that they went there
25 without such a permit. We did not create any problems as a result of
1 that, and that's how some media would do similar interviews that would
2 then create certain tensions in the press, be it Croatian or foreign
3 press, because sometimes they would interview those refugees or those
4 displaced persons who were particularly vulnerable, particularly stressed
5 out, and such persons - I've had experiences of that sort myself - such
6 persons would provide not only subjective statements about the situation
7 but also they would paint a whole picture in very negative colours.
8 I can give you a number of examples of the experiences that I had
9 with my own co-citizens, refugees, they would complain about soup not
10 being good, bread being hard, meat being of not good quality. This is
11 all very much understandable when you know that you are dealing with
12 people who are stressed out and who had had negative experiences before
13 they first arrived there.
14 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes, but I was not talking
15 about any restrictions with respect to their life in Croatia. My
16 question related to what could have happened to them in Bosnia and
18 exercise any control on interviews given by these people when talking
19 about what happened to them before?
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] There was, but let me start by
21 first things first. When the refugees and displaced persons were
22 registered in 1994 [as interpreted], each person was interviewed, asking
23 them to provide their personal data, and also statements were taken from
24 them as to what they had been through in the Republic of Bosnia
1 And there is also a survey carried out by the PULS agency, a survey done
2 in the media and among the refugees about the situation among the
3 refugees and especially among the citizens of Croatia and their attitude
4 towards refugees and displaced persons. This was also done without
5 permit because that agency had asked for our permission to carry out such
6 a survey. However, people would enter refugee and displaced persons
7 centres even without our permission because we just could not exercise a
8 firm control. So representatives of different media, German television,
9 Arabic television, entered those centres. They were supposed to report
10 to the head of such a centre first, they did, and then they interviewed
11 people, but it was impossible to control who was being interviewed and
12 what they said.
13 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well.
14 MR. KARNAVAS: Thank you, Mr. President.
15 Q. One correction and then some follow-up on that. I believe on
16 line -- page 16, line 20 it should be 1991 as opposed to 1994, where they
17 began taking the census.
18 Following up on the questions asked of you, having lived through
19 the former Yugoslavia
20 some extent or controlled by the state, did you in any way try to censor
21 what the media, the free media, at the time was writing? Did you try to
22 control what they were publishing as a result of interviews that they
23 might have had with displaced persons or refugees?
24 A. No, never, it was simply impossible.
25 Q. Was the permission ever granted to enter these centres on the
1 condition that they had to publish positive news or at least allow you or
2 your staff or your office or some government official to look at the
3 material, what was going to be published, before it could actually go to
4 press and to the public?
5 A. No. We trusted the media, including those coming from abroad as
6 well as those who were in the Republic of Croatia
7 trust and we let them choose whether they would paint a favourable
8 picture or a negative one. We never put any conditions before them or
9 asked them to do anything.
10 Q. All right. You indicated yesterday that you often went abroad
11 and on some occasions you had visited sites where refugees were being
12 held, such as in Hungary
13 those sites, could you just go there unannounced or did you need
14 permission from the particular government that was running the centre?
15 A. Yes, Mr. Karnavas. Each time I went there on behalf of the
16 Office for Displaced Persons and on behalf of the Government of the
17 Republic of Croatia
19 understandable. And in such cases I usually received an escort, without
20 which I wouldn't have been able to enter any refugee centres. I always
21 had an escort with me and they would explain to me how they went about
22 taking care of the people, and I find it only logical.
23 Q. Now, yesterday also, just one last follow-up question on this
24 whole topic, yesterday you indicated that there were times when you
25 visited centres in the Republic of Croatia
1 believe you indicated on one occasion it was the head of UNHCR. On those
2 occasions, did you restrict movement of those dignitaries? Did you
3 prevent them at any point on visiting whatever sites they wanted to visit
4 and whatever sites inside the particular centres? In other words, was it
5 choreographed so that in advance you could paint a rosy picture?
6 MR. SCOTT: Excuse me, Your Honour, I'm going to continue to
7 object, I haven't this afternoon yet, but continuous leading questions
8 and suggestive questions, Your Honour. There's a very easy to ask this
9 question in a proper way and that is: What was the policy of your office
10 in connection with press access to so and so? What was the policy of
11 your office in connection with visits by certain officials? But these
12 questions over and over and over again are directive, suggesting, they're
13 argumentive, and I wish the Chamber would intervene so that I wouldn't
14 have to intervene all the time.
15 MR. KARNAVAS: If I may respond. Normally in many situations in
16 other Chambers, questions from the Bench come at the very end. Here we
17 welcome these sorts of questions at times because they're relevant to the
18 topic. When a series of questions is requested from the Bench they're
19 required further follow-up, in essence the line of questioning amounts to
20 re-direct; hence, there is in the process of re-direct a certain amount
21 of leading.
22 However, if it bothers the Prosecution I will try to refrain from
23 that approach. But I don't see any purpose how that is served -- the
24 purpose that is -- because yesterday the gentleman indicated on direct
25 that Mrs. Ogata went to a particular location with him. Now the
1 follow-up was: Was she restricted once she got there? How is that in
2 any way leading?
3 MR. SCOTT: Your Honour, it's not re-direct, it's not re-direct.
4 This is direct examination in any event. For an example, and it's about
5 to leave the screen, Mr. Karnavas after a long directive speech then
6 concludes with: "In other words, was it choreographed so that in advance
7 you could paint a rosy picture?"
8 Now, that is clearly argumentive, there's no reason for it. If I
9 have to object every time, then that's what I'll do, Your Honour.
10 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Karnavas, to avoid
11 objections, you should have asked -- with respect to the visits by
12 foreign officials, you should have asked whether foreign officials had
13 visited these centres with the witness, he would have said, and then you
14 moved on to something else. Please proceed.
15 MR. KARNAVAS: Very well, Mr. President.
16 Q. Let's go on to the next series of documents -- I'm told that we
17 are -- we should get an answer from the witness.
18 Can you please tell us, I know you said yesterday, but can you
19 re-tell us, did foreign dignitaries visit centres in the Republic of
21 Prosecution: What was the procedure once they got the there?
22 A. Your Honours, Mr. Karnavas, Mr. Scott, we had frequent visits by
23 diplomats, politicians, senior humanitarian officials. They would come
24 and visit our refugee centres. Among those high officials, for example,
25 was President Demirel, Mrs. Ogata, and other prime ministers and
1 ministers. I was always with them, and in case I was absent they would
2 be escorted by Mr. Granic. They were free to move about the refugee
3 centre. The only point when they needed me was at the gate. I had to
4 introduce them into the camp, otherwise they would have had to jump the
5 fence. Frequently I would tell them, Now we're inside, feel free to walk
6 around and ask questions of anyone you meet. I remember that Ms. Sadako
7 Ogata at a refugee centre near Kutina, and I think it was Sweden
9 I showed her the buildings there. And finally she told me, Now I would
10 like to address some people, to talk to them, but I want to choose the
11 bungalow and I want to speak to whoever I want to. And she picked one
12 bungalow and went inside.
13 In that particular bungalow we had displaced persons alongside
14 some refugees. She accidentally came upon a Vukovar family. There was
15 an elderly lady there with a son of hers who was about 40 years old and
16 had suffered severe stress. Ms. Ogata asked that old lady whether she
17 hated the Serbs for what they had done to her, and she said, Ma'am,
18 definitely not. I pray that my son will never find it necessary to
19 revenge his father's and his brothers' death so that I can face God with
20 a clean conscience. I also remember Mr. Zimmerman, who was the US
21 ambassador to the former Yugoslavia
22 centre. He also asked questions of people he met along the way. I
23 didn't try to prompt him to address this person or any other. He merely
24 talked to the people there and regularly such people were completely free
25 to talk to whoever people they wanted to.
1 JUDGE TRECHSEL: I think you've answered this question. Just a
2 small precision you can easily answer. Were you always present when the
3 witnesses talked to refugees or displaced persons?
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I was frequently
5 present; however, I needed rest from time to time, whereby I would
6 withdraw and leave my guests to talk to the displaced persons or
7 refugees, especially if there was an interpreter in attendance.
8 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Witness, you have said that either you went or
9 Mr. Granic went and perhaps you went not all alone. When you couldn't go
10 with them, would some deputy of yours accompany them?
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Certainly, Your Honour.
12 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Thank you. Thank you.
13 Excuse me, Mr. Karnavas.
14 MR. KARNAVAS:
15 Q. Just to make sure, because you indicated that at times when you
16 weren't there, you needed some rest, and you would withdraw and allow
17 your guests. Now, was it then when you would withdraw that they were
18 accompanied by somebody as well? In other words, were they free by
19 themselves or did they always have a chaperon?
20 A. There were cases when some of those visitors expressly stated,
21 This is where I want to be left alone, and then I would withdraw and
22 there were cases like that. And they would usually stay there with an
23 interpreter and they would usually bring an interpreter of their own.
24 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Let me ask you a follow-up
25 question about something that is very important in this case. We've seen
1 pictures, videos, of people who were detained for days or months on end.
2 And when they left these sites some of these people had lost 10 to 20
3 kilos, some people had lost a lot of weight. Afterwards, these people
4 went to Croatia
5 persons, people, who had lost a lot of weight, who were sick? Do you
6 remember them telling you their stories? Did they have access to the
7 media, to the UNHCR, to foreign officials, and so on and so forth?
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, we received such
9 people as well. If possible, if they could stay in a displaced persons
10 or refugee centre, they would receive all necessary supplies and health
11 care. If such people were coming from Bosnia-Herzegovina and they were
12 so exhausted that they couldn't stay in a refugee centre, they would be
13 hospitalised for a short period of time. Of course hospital care was
14 free of charge for displaced persons as well as refugees.
15 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] In other words, you were made
16 aware of some cases of this type?
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I am aware of some such cases,
18 especially when it comes to persons from Bosnia-Herzegovina and the
19 occupied part of Croatia
20 own, save for a plastic bag, and even that would frequently be taken away
21 from them when moving from the occupied territory into the free
22 territory. Those on the other side would do that. There were numerous
23 violations of human rights in such instances.
24 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you.
25 Please proceed, Mr. Karnavas.
1 MR. KARNAVAS: Thank you.
2 Q. If we could move rather quickly now with the next set of
3 documents, 1D 02586, we see your name at the bottom again with somebody
4 else's signature. Again, can you confirm that this was a document that
5 you would have seen at the time?
6 A. I saw this document. It was drafted in late November 1992.
7 Q. Okay. If we go to the next one, 1D 02613 is a very similar
8 document, as is 1D 02614, 2612, 2611, if you can -- and then 2615. These
9 are all 1D 0 documents. If you could look at all of those, and could you
10 please tell us whether these are the documents -- these documents were
11 generated by your office and whether you were familiar with them at the
12 time they were drafted.
13 A. Mr. Karnavas, looking at the documents before me, I can tell you
14 that I knew of them during the time I worked in the office. These were
15 regular reports aimed at the public and the media. The media kept asking
16 data from us. This concerns April 1994, October 1994, December 1994.
17 Your Honours, one can conclude from that that basically every month we
18 informed the public about the situation concerning displaced persons and
19 refugees. Our public was interested in that. We tried to raise the
20 level of sensitivity of our public so as to contribute in terms of money
21 and food and so that we could accommodate displaced persons and refugees
22 in a better way.
23 Q. Now, if you could look at another very large document, this is a
24 report, and it's 3D 01030, it's 3D 01030. And I'm going to ask you if
25 you could just look through it and see whether you recognise it and
1 whether you recognise the content in this document and how so. The usher
2 will help you, sir. It's 3D 01030. Have you found it?
3 A. [In English] Yes. [Interpretation] I've found it. I have it in
4 front of me.
5 Q. And do you recognise it?
6 A. It has to do with refugees who had been driven out of
7 Bosnia-Herzegovina during the war, which lasted between 1991 and 1995.
8 It is a detailed report that can be used by anyone who had any interest
9 in it in order to acquaint themselves with the refugee and displaced
10 persons situation in the Republic of Croatia
11 document with detailed information on all refugees and displaced persons
12 as well as individual locations, such as Velika Kladusa and Kupljensko
13 which represented a separate problem in 1995.
14 Q. And do you know who generated this document; and if so, how is it
15 that you know that?
16 A. This document came out of the Office of Displaced Persons and
17 Refugees as well. It was drafted by the department of information --
18 Q. If I could stop you there. Let me show you the first page which
19 is in B/C/S. If I could have the usher's attention here to help us out.
20 The first -- it's -- the first page in B/C/S.
21 A. I don't have that page.
22 Q. You don't have it. It's not in English, but you have it, it's
23 just very difficult to find. If you could just look at that. This is
24 the first page to the document in the original language.
25 A. Yes, I can see it now. This is not our office's document,
1 judging by the cover page, which is of course very important. It can
2 tell you something more about who put that data together. That data is
3 probably based upon the information provided by our office to the public
4 and to the media as well as to other humanitarian organizations. But the
5 report as such was not drafted by our office.
6 Q. Okay. Can you tell from looking at the front page who drafted
7 the report?
8 A. I can see here that it was done by Mr. Slobodan Praljak.
9 Q. Now -- excuse me, let me just -- I'm going to lead you through
10 this. Did General Praljak ever come to you asking for archival material
11 in order to put this report together?
12 A. Mr. Karnavas, Mr. Slobodan Praljak came to me after having called
13 me by telephone. We talked and he asked me to give him any documents I
14 might have on the activities of our office in terms of data and numbers.
15 I told him I had such documents and that I was willing to hand them over
16 that day. He sent another person to my office to whom I handed over many
17 files and documents. It was a pile this high. Mr. Praljak studied all
18 the papers I had given him, and they were only a part of the large
19 archives we had at our office, and I mostly gave him copies. I told
20 Mr. Praljak to go to the Office for Displaced Persons and Refugees where
21 in addition to the papers I had given him he can find much more data.
22 Mr. Praljak did, indeed, go to the office and I asked the head to
23 provide him with the documents --
24 Q. Let me stop you there. There may be an objection.
25 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes, Mr. Scott.
1 MR. SCOTT: [Microphone not activated]
2 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone for Mr. Scott.
3 MR. SCOTT: My apology.
4 Once again, Your Honour, if we could first of all, number one,
5 get a date for when these conversations with Mr. Praljak occurred. I'll
6 start with that and then I have a follow-up.
7 MR. KARNAVAS: If I could -- I haven't left the topic.
8 MR. SCOTT: Well, Your Honour --
9 MR. KARNAVAS: It may be --
10 MR. SCOTT: Excuse me then, if that's the case, Mr. Karnavas, let
11 me continue to respond to what --
12 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Karnavas, if you haven't
13 left the topic, ask the witness to tell you on what day Mr. Praljak came
14 because that's important.
15 MR. KARNAVAS: Well, there are a series of other questions that I
16 was about to ask and I'm getting interrupted. It seems a bit premature.
17 But let's hear the rest of the objection so maybe I can deal with all of
18 them at once.
19 MR. SCOTT: Well, it appears to me, Your Honour, and based on
20 this situation I'm acting, admittedly, since we don't have any data
21 information -- haven't been provided data information, but I'm required
22 at this point to engage in a certain amount of conjecture, which I prefer
23 not to do, if we could just simply get a date. But it appears to me
24 likely just looking at some of the material this is a document which was
25 prepared by Mr. Praljak specifically for the purposes of this litigation.
1 It's his own self-serving expert report, apparently, that's what it looks
2 like; if I'm wrong, I'll be corrected, that's what it looks like. And I
3 would object to the examination of it -- of the witness. If Mr. Praljak
4 wants to take the stand and defend his own work and be subject to
5 cross-examination, then that might be one way to do it; but for
6 Mr. Praljak to create a self-serving "expert report" and then have this
7 witness opine about it I think is objectionable. And that's our
8 objection, and my question about the timing stands.
9 MR. KARNAVAS: Now, just to -- first of all, the document has
10 already been admitted, that's number 1. Number two, as far as I
11 understand it has been admitted on previous occasions or at least it's
12 been referenced. Number two, the question is whether the gentleman who
13 generated this particular document came and got certain information that
14 is now in the document itself. Now, we have Dr. Rebic, who indicated at
15 one point General Praljak came to him and asked for archival material.
16 So I don't know whether General Praljak is going to testify and whether
17 he's going to go into this report. I'm merely asking this particular
18 gentleman because there's a follow-up question in addition to this
19 report, which I'll get to in a moment.
20 Q. Let me ask you, Dr. Rebic, do you recall about what time was it,
21 what period was it, that Dr. -- that General Praljak came to see you,
22 asking for documents so he could prepare the report that -- or the book
23 that he prepared? Do you recall a year?
24 A. Mr. Karnavas, I cannot recall the year because a lot of time has
25 passed. It could have been four or six years ago, but I can't tell you
1 any precise dates.
2 Q. Okay. Now, there are two photographs in this report. Maybe we
3 can put them on the ELMO. The ERN number is 3D 260191 and 192, 191 and
4 192. If you could page through the report and we can put this on the
5 ELMO, it may be quicker for everyone unless you have it on the e-court.
6 I'm labouring under severe time pressures. Okay.
7 Now, do you recognise -- this should be on the screen. Do you
8 recognise this photograph?
9 A. Mr. Karnavas, I do have the photo on the screen and before me in
10 the binder. These are the archives of our Office for Refugees and
11 Displaced Persons.
12 Q. All right.
13 A. There are a lot of documents contained in there, a lot of data,
14 all the first names and family names of all the refugees and displaced
15 persons who have ever been registered in our office.
16 Q. If we could look at the next document which would be 3D 0260192,
17 that's the very next page, we'll see another photograph. Now, it's on
18 the screen. Now, do you see this? Do you recognise what's in this
20 A. I recognise it. Again, this is the same place, the archives of
21 the Office for Refugees and Displaced Persons. This place is really
22 huge. A few people could spend a lot of time, years maybe, in studying
23 the situation that we had with refugees and displaced persons in our
25 Q. All right. Well, indeed you indicate in your report, the report
1 that you made yesterday, Dr. Rebic, if I could get your attention. Don't
2 worry about the binder, sir, don't worry about it. I just want to -- in
3 your report, in your report that we went through yesterday --
4 MR. KARNAVAS: Mr. Usher, could you kindly assist us.
5 Q. Yesterday we looked at your report, 1D 02921. We don't need to
6 look at it, but on page 25 it does indicate that early September you
7 received a delegation from ICTY in The Hague, and this would have been
8 September 1994. And you describe a Mr. Antonius Kempenaars, head of the
9 delegation, and you gave them all the data the office disposed of. Is
10 that correct, sir, that as early as 1994 the ICTY had a delegation which
11 had access to all of this data of which you've been talking about?
12 A. Correct.
13 Q. Okay. Thank you.
14 MR. KARNAVAS: Now, Your Honours, in light of the -- and I'm
15 going into another topic, it might be good if we can take a break at this
16 point, otherwise I can go on. It doesn't matter to me. I can go on for
17 another ten minutes. Okay.
18 MR. SCOTT: Sorry, Your Honour, while we're at a pause then, on
19 the last document that we were talking about before, and I didn't want to
20 interrupt before Mr. Karnavas was finished with that document, I'm
21 referring for the record 3D 01030, our record -- just so the record is
22 clear, our records show that there were three pages, three individual
23 pages of that document which appear to have been admitted to date.
24 3D 26-0211, 3D 26-0256, and 3D 26-0258. The date information that we've
25 been provided - and all I can say is that's what we've been
1 provided - was the document was created on the 15th of June, 2007
2 since -- in the course of this trial.
3 MR. KARNAVAS: The question was by the Prosecutor, and I don't
4 want to get into a situation where we're debating points here, was when
5 General Praljak visited the gentleman, that's what started all of this.
6 It's going to be up to the Trial Chamber, which we're constantly reminded
7 by our professional Judges who can decipher through all of this, what to
8 make of this particular resort. The purpose of the questioning was, one,
9 we went through a series of reports. What I'm trying to demonstrate here
10 is that, one, there was total transparency. Two, there you have a
11 documented archive that was available to everyone, including the ICTY,
12 the Prosecution had access to all of this as early as 1994, and perhaps
13 had they looked through these documents part of the indictment would have
14 been written slightly differently.
15 MR. SCOTT: [Microphone not activated]
16 MR. KARNAVAS: Especially with respect to their representation of
17 what the Republic of Croatia
19 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] We're not going to spend hours
20 on this.
21 Witness, you said it yourself, the OTP went in 1994, and you said
22 that they could access all the documents. Here's my question: Did
23 Mr. Praljak come after or before the OTP?
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] After.
25 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] After.
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, after, yes.
2 MR. SCOTT: Well, Your Honour, there's no good reason for
3 Mr. Karnavas's argument. I simply was trying to assist the Chamber and
4 provide the Chamber with as much information as possible. I've asked for
5 date information repeatedly. I don't think there's anything improper
6 about that, and I just simply -- and the representation was also made
7 about admission, and I simply wanted to provide the Chamber with as much
8 information as possible as to the three pages that had previously been
9 admitted and with the date associated with the document which is
10 according -- as far as we can tell was June 2007, which does tend to
11 confirm what I indicated to the Chamber was my belief a few minutes ago;
12 and that is, this is a document that was apparently prepared by
13 Mr. Praljak for the purposes of this litigation. And I just want the
14 record to reflect that. That's all.
15 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes, Mr. Praljak, since you've
16 been named, what do you have to say?
17 THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation] A distinction should be
18 made between the time when the document was compiled and when it was
19 issued. Those are two different times. There's one time when the
20 document was compiled and another time when the publisher found the funds
21 to actually publish it and put it on the market.
22 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Well.
23 MR. KARNAVAS: Your Honours, if the Prosecution continues to
24 engage in these sorts of tactics, I do reserve the right to also engage
25 in these tactics as well. I know how to be combative in court. I don't
1 want to give the impression that simply because I'm being rather kind and
2 comforting to the Prosecutor today that I will continue to be -- to do so
3 in the future.
4 Q. If we go on to the next set of documents. Now, if we could go to
5 1D 02587, 2587, and if you could look at this document and there's a
6 series of documents that we will be going through, basically it's the
7 same topic, the topic as we will see deals with guarantees. This one --
8 I'm sorry, this one deals with the financing, this set of topics. Are
9 you familiar with Mr. Jozo Martinovic? I believe he's passed away since.
10 A. Mr. Karnavas, I'm familiar with Mr. Jozo Martinovic. He was the
11 minister of finance at the time when I was appointed the head of the
12 Office for Refugees and Displaced Persons.
13 Q. Okay.
14 A. And since he was involved with finances, we had a lot of
15 contacts; and yes, you're right, in the meantime he has died.
16 Q. There was a question -- do you recognise, first of all, this
18 A. I recognise the document. This was the Crisis Staff for
19 Bosnia-Herzegovina which received $30 million US from the Republic of
21 humanitarian purposes, to help people in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
22 Q. Now, do you know - because this question came up last
23 week - whether this was a loan to be paid back or was this a gift?
24 A. According to what I know and according to what I remember, this
25 was a gift which was never repaid.
1 Q. All right. Now, if you could look at very quickly 1D 02606, and
2 we've gone through this last week so we don't need a lot of discussion on
3 this. But do you recognise this document; and if so, what do you
4 recognise it to be?
5 A. I recognise this document. This is about the purchase of oil
6 stores that we bought for our refugee centres which did not have any
7 other forms of heating. Those were mainly places on the coast or the
8 places or former military centres or barracks without any systematic
9 source of heating, and we had to provide something because we had
10 constant objections from the refugees who were accommodated there.
11 Q. If we go to the next document, 1D 02608, and then let's look at
12 this very quickly. We see at the second page, we see your name and we
13 see where this information was sent to. The subject matter is:
14 "One-time financial assistance to hosts of refugees from Bosnia
16 Could you please explain to us exactly what was this document for
17 and how was it used?
18 A. The purpose of this document was a one-off financial aid to the
19 refugees from Bosnia and Herzegovina and families that accommodated them.
20 This type of assistance was provided on several occasions. I sent this
21 report to Dr. Mate Granic, the Deputy Prime Minister, who was in charge
22 of all social issues, as well as to the minister of labour and social
23 welfare because this ministry was in charge of the social welfare of all
24 our citizens.
25 Q. All right. The next document 1D 02607, we see again the subject
1 matter: "One-time financial assistance for refugees from
2 Bosnia-Herzegovina, who organized their lives independently and for their
4 And again we see your name at the end or the second page. This
5 is a similar document which covers basically the same sort of costs as
6 you've indicated; correct?
7 A. Correct. This is another one-time financial assistance which was
8 given in February 1993 to the refugees from Bosnia and Herzegovina
9 organized their life independently or were accommodated with families,
10 which points to the fact that many -- the refugees from
11 Bosnia-Herzegovina were accommodated with Croatian citizens and their
13 Q. All right. 1D 02778, we saw this last week but if you could look
14 at this again and please tell us if you recognise this document and tell
15 us who generated it.
16 A. It says here the Government of the Republic of Croatia
17 for Displaced Persons and Refugees, which points to the fact clearly that
18 this document was issued by our office. I recognise this document
19 because this was a letter that we dispatched from our office to our
20 general public, appealing to the citizens to help as much as they could
21 in food, in money that would go towards the care of our displaced persons
22 and refugees from Bosnia-Herzegovina. This was the way I tried to appeal
23 for the solidarity of our citizens.
24 Q. All right. 1D 026 --
25 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] One moment, Mr. Karnavas, we
1 may as well take the break now, it's quarter to 4.00.
2 MR. KARNAVAS: Very well. Very well. This would be a good time.
3 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. We're going to have
4 a break. In terms of time, I believe you have another hour and 15
6 --- Recess taken at 3.44 p.m.
7 --- On resuming at 4.06 p.m.
8 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] The hearing is resumed.
9 MR. KARNAVAS: Thank you, Mr. President, Your Honours.
10 Q. Dr. Rebic, very very quickly, very quickly, we're going to go
11 through some documents because we need to get to the second binder -- or
12 my next binder, but the next document is 1D 02625, 2625. Over here this
13 document -- first of all, do you recognise this document?
14 A. 625 [In English] Government of the Republic of Croatia
15 [Interpretation] I recognise the document. This was compiled by the
16 government and it was sent to the Ministry of Finance, the Ministry Of
17 Tourism, and the Office for Refugees and Displaced Persons. This
18 document was compiled by the government in order to define how much the
19 office should pay for the care of refugees and displaced persons in
20 different types of accommodation, including hotels and others. This sets
21 the price per person at 6.7 German marks for a whole day board and
22 lodging in the hotel and this is further broken down.
23 Q. Thank you. If we look to the next document -- I don't mean to
24 rush you, sir, but just -- we're under tremendous time pressures here,
25 2589. We see your name at the bottom. Do you recognise this document
1 and very briefly what is this document?
2 A. I recognise the document. This is my authentic signature. This
3 is payment of financial reimbursement, refugees from Vojvodina and Bosnia
4 and Herzegovina
5 use, and the same went for the assets provided to them by the Government
6 of the Republic of Croatia
7 Q. All right. Now, the next set of documents relate to some
8 documents that were either generated for or came from the internationals.
9 The first one is 1D 02609. If we look at the second page we see your
10 signature and we see the date, 3 February 1993. It says here this is a
11 letter of mutual intent to conclude an agreement, this is with the United
12 Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, and we see that it has been
13 signed on their behalf by Mr. Jacques Mouchet. Did you know Mr. Mouchet?
14 A. Mr. Karnavas, I know Mr. Jacques Mouchet very well indeed. He
15 was the head of the UNHCR mission in 1993. I had a very close
16 cooperation with him. Together we dealt with the problems that arose,
17 especially when it came to the care for refugees from Bosnia and
19 As you have rightly told us, this document is an agreement or a
20 letter of understanding as to how we would distribute the $30 million
21 that the UNHCR provided for refugees and displaced persons. This was
22 assistance to the families that looked after the refugees and displaced
23 persons and also other programmes that need not be mentioned in any
24 particular details because all the details are provided herein. So
25 whoever is interested in learning about them may avail themselves of the
2 Q. All right.
3 JUDGE TRECHSEL: May I just inquire for a clarification. We had
4 a document where $30 million, exactly the same sum here, was promised by
5 the Croatian government to the ODPR. I would assume it is something
6 entirely different as compared to this sum, but maybe you can explain.
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, there are two things
8 at stake. The 30 million that we mentioned just a while ago was a gift
9 by the Croatian government to the Crisis Staff which was supposed to help
10 the Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina
11 dealing with some very important issues in Bosnia and Herzegovina
12 other 30 million is the money that we received from UNHCR as assistance
13 for various programmes, one of them being helping families who cared for
14 the refugees and other programmes --
15 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Excuse me for interrupting, but that's quite
17 Mr. Karnavas.
18 MR. KARNAVAS: Thank you.
19 And, Your Honours, you will have noticed that the first document
20 that you made reference to which is 1D 02587, the date is May 13th, 1992,
21 whereas this one is in 1993.
22 Q. Now, if we could go to -- August of 1993. It's February, I'm
23 sorry, February 1993.
24 Now, if we could go to the next document, 1D 02592, and we look
25 at the second page of this document we see your signature, and this is
1 addressed to Mr. Mouchet. Do you recognise this document?
2 A. I recognise the document. It was signed by myself. The
3 signature is absolutely authentic. This is a letter that I wrote to
4 Mr. Jacques Mouchet with regard to the humanitarian aid to Croats in
5 Bosnia and Herzegovina which was provided at the request of Cardinal
6 Vinko Puljic, the Archbishop of Sarajevo
7 Q. Thank you. The next document 1D 02605, 2605, we see your name at
8 the bottom, we see your signature, and yesterday you did mention VIP
9 company and a Mr. Binenfeld, you mentioned that individual, Binenfeld.
10 Thank you. Now, could you -- do you recognise this document and what
11 is -- what are we talking about in this document?
12 A. Mr. Karnavas, I recognise this document. The document mentions a
13 sum of money which was spent on the census of refugees and displaced
14 persons in 1994 and for the computer data analysis. The sum in question
15 is 404.000 USD plus 20.000 USD. This is the money which was spent for
16 the registration of the refugees and displaced persons, and this is a
17 sort of confirmation that I received the money from UNHCR and spent it
18 for the given purpose.
19 Q. Thank you. The next document is 1D 02604, it's dated June 1,
20 1994. We see your signature at the bottom with your name. This is again
21 addressed to Mr. Mouchet. Again, all of this is for confirmation to the
22 Trial Chamber as far as your cooperation with UNHCR. Can you please tell
23 us what this document is about.
24 A. This document is a letter that I sent to UNHCR, to Mr. Jacques
25 Mouchet, regarding the financial assistance that was provided to our
1 office in October 1993. The money that was left over, which was
2 originally intended for 1994, we asked them to be able to spend it in
3 1993 because we had huge expenses and outlays.
4 Q. All right. If we look at 1D 02603, now, this is dated June 7th,
5 1994. Again we see your signature and we see a second signature as well,
6 and this is again addressed to Mr. Mouchet. This is a similar document,
7 is it not, to the one that we just spoke about?
8 A. It's a similar document to the one that we've just discussed, I
9 signed it myself, and the co-signatory was Dr. Maja Kurent, and who was
10 in charge of cooperation with international humanitarian organizations.
11 She was as -- our minister of foreign affairs, to put it that way.
12 Q. All right. And now the last document related to this particular
13 topic is 1D 02602, 2602. This is September 27, 1994, again we see your
14 name at the bottom, we see the signature.
15 MR. KARNAVAS: And for everyone's attention, on paragraph number
16 2 it talks about, "The Republic of Croatia has become entirely exhausted
17 through the long-lasting care of refugees and DPs, and is unfortunately
18 no longer able to cover the refugees' organized accommodation costs."
19 Then if we skip a paragraph we see that there is a summary with
20 respect to some camps, some centres and a hotel, but we also see -- I
21 want to draw everyone's attention to Obonjan and Gasinci. And if we look
22 at the next page --
23 Q. If you could just look at this and please tell us what this is
24 because these are -- those two particular centres have been mentioned by
25 a Ms. Azra Krajsek as being troublesome centres where the Muslims were
1 apparently not being treated in a very favourable manner. So can you
2 comment on that?
3 A. As regards the issue of whether the treatment was equal for
4 everyone, the treatment of refugees and displaced persons was more or
5 less the same. However, there were instances in which displaced persons
6 were accommodated in a better way or sometimes in a worse way than
7 refugees. It is difficult, however, to say something for each of the
8 refugee centres individually. However, you can see here as regards
9 Obonjan that in the first seven months of 1994, $345.000 USD were spent.
10 As regards Gasinci, during this same period, the first half of
11 1994, $3 million and almost $500.000 USD were spent. You can see from
12 there that Gasinci was the most expensive centre to maintain. We wanted
13 the refugees there to be taken care of in as good way as possible under
14 the circumstances. Then we see all the other centres which housed
15 refugees as well.
16 Q. All right. And the purpose of that document was to show the
17 transparency involved. Now, if you flip the page you'll see there's
18 another document, and it is not numbered but by accident it was attached
19 to this, and this is dated September 6th, 1994. --
20 JUDGE TRECHSEL: May I just ask a little complementary question
21 to the previous list.
22 Can you give us indications, sir, on the number of refugees and
23 displaced persons that were accommodated in Gasinci and Obonjan?
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, at this moment I
25 cannot remember any precise figures, therefore I will approximate. In
1 Gasinci at the time the figure was around 4.000 refugees, up to 4 and a
2 half thousand. In Obonjan there were less. On the island at the time
3 there were between 2 and 2 and a half thousand refugees. I don't think
4 we ever exceeded that number; however, at times there were less refugees.
5 This is a -- sort of a general piece of information that I can recall off
6 the cuff.
7 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Thank you very much.
8 MR. KARNAVAS:
9 Q. And attached to this document is another document which is rather
10 separate and probably deserves a separate number but it's been attached
11 to it. And I just want confirmation, this is September 6th, 1994. We
12 see your name but we don't see a signature under your name. We do see a
13 signature for a Dr. Maja Kurent, but it looks like somebody signed for
14 this individual. Do you recognise this document? It's the last -- yes,
15 yes, that one.
16 A. I recognise the document. I did not sign it, however, it was
17 signed by Maja Kurent, who is a physician by profession, and she would
18 usually sign Dr., D-r, although she held a master's degree in medical
19 science. She had the right to sign documents on my behalf concerning
20 UNHCR issues.
21 Q. That's fine. All right. Now we're going to switch to another
22 topic and we probably need to get you the next binder, if you could be
23 assisted, and we're going to focus on something different. The document
24 that we're going to be -- that I will refer you to is P 00336. We see
25 this document, it's a Prosecution document, commonly referred to as a
1 presidential transcript, it's 21 July 1992. And it would appear, if
2 question go to page 3 of this document, which is 3 of 184 pages, that you
3 would have been present there, your name being mentioned, Dr. Rebic,
4 chief of the Main Staff of the Croatian -- I mean secretary of the Office
5 for Refugees, Dr. Rebic. Do you see that?
6 A. I do.
7 Q. Have you had a chance to review this document?
8 A. I can see my name there, and I recall the discussion which took
9 place on that occasion and I also remember the document.
10 Q. All right. Now, I don't want to go into the substance because we
11 can all read this and we've had other witnesses, but very briefly if you
12 could tell us if you remember the occasion and if you can give us an
13 impression of what transpired, what was the atmosphere like during this
14 rather lengthy discussion of 184 pages?
15 A. Mr. Karnavas, it was a meeting between a Croatian governmental
16 delegation headed by the president of the republic, Dr. Franjo Tudjman,
17 and a Bosnia-Herzegovina delegation headed by Dr. Izetbegovic. The
18 meeting was held on the 21st of July, 1992, in the office of the
19 president. I remember it was a very long discussion, it lasted from noon
20 until 10.00 p.m.
21 In my view, it was a very open discussion. The people involved
22 expressed their views, expressed their concerns and problems, the
23 Croatian side to the Bosnian side and the other way around. They were
24 being honest and they tried to deal with very serious issues, that is,
25 the responsibility of Croats in Bosnia-Herzegovina, in the defence of
1 their homeland of Bosnia-Herzegovina. President Tudjman had a firm
2 position that Bosnia-Herzegovina needs to remain as a whole country with
3 three constituent peoples and that the relations among them should be
4 arranged. He invited Izetbegovic, as the president of
5 Bosnia-Herzegovina, to do his utmost so that in those difficult wartime
6 conditions that war in Bosnia-Herzegovina be finished as soon as
7 possible, through joint cooperation of the Bosnian Muslims and Croats.
8 On the Croatian side what was promised was assistance to the
9 extent to that the Republic of Croatia
10 provide to another independent country, this being Bosnia-Herzegovina.
11 Occasionally tension rose since the topics discussed were very important
12 ones; however, the discussion would always be calmed down and it resulted
13 in a document being signed by Dr. Franjo Tudjman on the Croatian side and
14 Mr. Izetbegovic on the Bosnia-Herzegovinian side. It was called document
15 on friendship and cooperation of two sovereign states in the defence of
17 Q. Thank you, thank you very much. And if I can just -- and just
18 for the record I believe on page 43, line 9, Dr. Rebic said the Bosnian
19 and Herzegovinian side, as opposed to the Bosnian side. In any event, if
20 we look at the next document which is P 00339, P 00339, it's a
21 Prosecution document, we've seen it before, and you've just mentioned
22 that an agreement was signed and indeed we have this dated 21 July 1992.
23 And if I could just focus your attention to paragraph number 3. Okay.
24 Do you have it?
25 A. Yes, I do.
1 Q. Okay. Where it talks -- we can see the state delegation of
2 Bosnia-Herzegovina expresses their gratitude to the Republic of Croatia
3 for having received and provided for refugees -- have you found that
5 A. I have, it is item 3 [In English] "Bosnia-Herzegovina express
6 their gratitude to the Republic of Croatia
7 provided for refugees from the Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina
8 capacity of the Republic of Croatia
9 Q. Let me stop you there. Now if -- we don't need to read the
10 entire next paragraph, but if you look at the last sentence of the next
11 paragraph, it talks about a separate protocol on cooperation will be
12 signed for the purpose," and it talks of -- and if we read the entire
13 paragraph it talks about the purpose for providing for humanitarian
14 assistance, financial aid, construction of refugee centres. Do you see
16 A. [Interpretation] I do, that is correct.
17 Q. All right.
18 A. And this is what the gist of the document was. I could only wish
19 that all the sides implemented the document in full. The war would have
20 been over much sooner, and when I say "all the sides involved," I mean
21 the third side as well which was the JNA and unfortunately it was not one
22 of the signatories.
23 Q. And to your knowledge did the Republic of Croatia
24 its promise to provide humanitarian assistance, financial aid, and
25 constructing, for instance, refugee centres since you were the head of
1 the Office of Displaced Persons and Refugees?
2 A. Yes. To my knowledge, the Republic of Croatia
3 construction of refugee centres provided enormous assistance in terms of
4 accommodating refugees from Bosnia-Herzegovina. It was the Government of
5 the Republic of Croatia
6 helped by the UNHCR, I have to say that, but most of the expenses were
7 paid for by the Government of the Republic of Croatia
8 Q. Okay. Now, we saw the last sentence of the second paragraph, of
9 paragraph number 3, which talked about the signing of a protocol.
10 Keeping in mind that this agreement was 21 July 1992. Now, if we could
11 flip to the next document, and we saw this last week, the next document
12 which is 3D 02710, 3D 02710, that's the very next document, and we see a
13 protocol. And if we look at the second page we see that it's signed in
15 First of all, do you know who will Jure Pelivan is?
16 A. I do, Mr. Karnavas. I know who Jure Pelivan is. He was the
17 then-president. He signed it on behalf of the Government of the Republic
18 of Bosnia-Herzegovina, the same as Franjo Greguric who signed the
19 document on behalf of the Croatian government. I met Mr. Jure Pelivan
20 for the first time in late January 1992, when together with Minister
21 Jurlina I went to Bosnia-Herzegovina to visit our Croatian refugees who
22 were then accommodated in Bosnia-Herzegovina, since by that time we were
23 at war with the JNA. First there was the aggression against Croatia
24 Bosnia-Herzegovina at that time was still a free country.
25 Q. Right.
1 A. On that occasion, together with Jurlina, I was received by
2 President Jure Pelivan.
3 Q. And this protocol, if we look at it, can you tell us whether it
4 relates to the protocol that's being referenced in the agreement that was
5 signed one day earlier in Zagreb
6 Cooperation Agreement?
7 A. Yes, it is a part of the document on friendship and cooperation.
8 That document was supposed to be signed by both governments in order for
9 the document to be legally valid and so that it could be implemented.
10 Q. All right. Now, if we could go to point 4 very briefly which is
11 on page 2, and it reads: "The Government of the Republic of Croatia
12 the Government of the Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina
13 humanitarian aid from international community, especially for Bosnia
15 new refugees, who will not be taken care of in Bosnia-Herzegovina. The
16 Government of the Republic of Croatia
17 transportation of international humanitarian aid, which is sent directly
18 to Bosnia and Herzegovina."
19 Now, does this accurately reflect the situation as it was back
21 A. Mr. Karnavas, it does reflect the situation precisely as it was
22 at the time and as it was about to become. Bosnia and Herzegovina
23 together with the Republic of Croatia
24 terms of accommodation for the refugees from Bosnia-Herzegovina. Since
1 expenses involved, Bosnia-Herzegovina and Croatia agreed to send out an
2 appeal to other countries to assist not only in terms of humanitarian
3 aid, that is, food, but also to receive some refugees from
4 Bosnia-Herzegovina. Such reception of Bosnian and Herzegovinian refugees
5 in cooperation with the UNHCR was in keeping with the document on
6 cooperation and friendship which had been signed so that the refugees
7 could be sent onwards to other countries.
8 Q. Okay. All right. Now, were they supposed to take some of the
9 refugees or all of the refugees? We're talking about these European
10 countries with the assistance of UNHCR.
11 A. Only some countries because most of the countries did not even
12 respond to the appeal for help. Those that did in cooperation with the
13 UNHCR received a smaller number of Bosnian and Herzegovinian refugees who
14 went via Croatia
15 would leave for another country. It was a rather small number whilst
16 most of them remained in Croatia
17 Q. All right. Now, let's go through a series of other documents
18 that are related somewhat to what we just talked about. The next
19 document is 1D 02008, 2008. We see it's dated 21 November 1992, and if
20 you just look through this document, please tell us whether you know
21 anything about what's contained in this document. We know that your
22 document was --
23 JUDGE TRECHSEL: [Microphone not activated]
24 MR. KARNAVAS: We all are, Your Honour, we all are, trust me.
25 Q. -- we see that Mate Granic attended a particular meeting. Can
1 you please tell us whether you recognise this document, what's contained
2 inside the document.
3 A. I am familiar with the contents of the document, and the
4 information of Mate Granic when he returned from the meeting in
5 Bosnia-Herzegovina where he visited Grude to meet some representatives of
6 the Bosnian and Herzegovinian government as well as local Croatian
7 authorities. The discussion they held concerned the problems which came
8 about towards the end of 1992 in Bosnia-Herzegovina. The Republic of
10 that is all I know about it.
11 Q. Let's focus on some of these paragraphs, and first I'm going to
12 go to paragraph number 6. It says here: "At the request of
13 Herceg-Bosna, it is necessary to resolve as soon as possible the issue of
14 military conscripts located in Croatia
15 Herceg-Bosna from becoming employed in Croatia."
16 Can you comment on this? Why was it necessary?
17 A. I know well that we in the Republic of Croatia
18 displaced persons who were male of military age, we tried to persuade
19 them to take part in the defence of the country. Most men between 20 and
20 40 years of age were at the front lines in Croatia defending their
21 country. It was only understandable that Bosnia and Herzegovina
22 to say not only Herceg-Bosna but also the Bosnian Muslim side,
23 occasionally asked the Republic of Croatia
24 males who can take part in the defence. It was also asked from us on
25 occasion by the Embassy of the Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina. It was a
1 matter of cooperation and friendship between the Republic of Croatia
3 In the events that followed, I did not come across any
4 significant problems, and the office as such was not involved in it. As
5 the Office for Displaced Persons and Refugees, we abided by the
6 instructions and we worked within the framework of the Geneva Conventions
7 pertaining to the accommodation of displaced persons and refugees.
8 Q. Okay. All right. I'm going to have to ask you to have shorter
9 answers because we've covered a lot of this in the narrative yesterday.
10 Very briefly, if we look at --
11 JUDGE PRANDLER: Mr. Karnavas, Mr. Karnavas, I'm sorry for
12 interrupting you. I would like to ask a question from Dr. -- from our
13 witness that -- concerning paragraph 1 and paragraph 1 of this letter,
14 and other kind of [indiscernible] of the talks. And here we can read
15 that, and I quote: "In connection with refugees, it was stressed that
17 receive a new wave of refugees from Bosnia and Herzegovina that is
19 And then it continues: "The only possibility is transit to other
21 Now my question is, Dr. Rebic, is the following: First of all,
22 to which street -- or which kind of people refers to in that very much in
23 that paragraph, is it only about, let's say men or those who are likely
24 to also discussed a few minutes ago in paragraph 6, that is the military
25 conscripts, et cetera, or does it mean a general confirmation or
1 acceptance that no more refugees could be allowed to go to Croatia
2 because there was no physical possibilities to take them as far as the
3 scarcity of the resources? And it is number one question.
4 The number two question is that: What kind of measures, if any,
5 were taken to make a possibility of a transit of those persons to other
6 countries, and if you have some numerical way of telling us how many
7 people in that epoch in 1992, late 1992 and early 1993, were transferred
8 or allowed to leave Croatia
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] First of all, let me tell you that
10 I was not present during that meeting, so I can only speak from my memory
11 and based on what was confirmed by this document. It is true that Granic
12 asked from the Bosnian and Herzegovinian side to take more involvement in
13 the accommodation of their displaced persons instead of sending them all
14 to the Republic of Croatia
15 the moment. When you ask me about the number, I can tell you that at
16 that moment there were approximately 250.000 refugees from
17 Bosnia-Herzegovina residing in Croatia
18 talk to people in Bosnia and Herzegovina, in this particular case in
20 similar office to the one in Croatia
21 borders of Bosnia and Herzegovina of displaced persons instead of
22 dispatching them all to Croatia
23 As far as the number of people who were sent to us -- who were
24 sent to third countries at that time, I must say that it was not on a
25 very large scale. This only started in the course of 1993 when the
1 number of those refugees who were sent to third countries
2 [as interpreted] from the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina surpassed
3 all our abilities. We were talking yesterday about the numbers in
4 comparison between the number of refugees and the population of Croatia
5 and I believe that you understood the scope of the problem. And that's
6 why Prlic was asked -- or Prlic offered or asked Granic himself to help
7 with the work of such an office, and this was also done for the Bosniak
8 Muslim side.
9 At that time, Mrs. Omersoftic arrived in Sarajevo -- from
11 instruction as to how an office of that sort could be established. Mrs.
12 Omersoftic from Sarajevo
13 to how to care for refugees and displaced persons. In a nutshell
14 attempts were made to help Bosnia and Herzegovina to look after its own
15 displaced persons wherever it could, wherever the area was threat-free,
16 and there were such areas in Bosnia and Herzegovina at the time.
17 JUDGE PRANDLER: Thank you, Dr. Rebic.
18 MR. KARNAVAS: One point to clarify on page 51, line 8, it should
19 say -- it was referring to 1993 when the refugees in Croatia were sent to
20 third countries, so "in Croatia
21 Q. But just following up on the question that was asked by Judge
22 Prandler we see that this is 20 November 1992, and if I could get you to
23 reflect back then --
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. -- and tell us whether the hotels where the refugees were being
1 accommodated at and displaced persons, especially at the Adriatic
2 whether they were capable at the time of having such refugees there
3 during the winter months.
4 A. You mean the Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina?
5 Q. No, I'm saying in -- we're back to 20 November 1992. Dr. Prlic
6 is meeting with Dr. Granic.
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. With respect to paragraph number 1, we see that the Republic of
11 A. That's clear.
12 Q. Now, some of us haven't been to the Adriatic coast, some of us
13 have. At that period of time, would those facilities that were being
14 used to house refugees and displaced persons, did they have the
15 capabilities, the facilities, for winter accommodation?
16 A. No, they didn't have capabilities for winter accommodation. The
17 hotels and workers' holiday resorts were primarily intended for tourists
18 and citizens of Croatia
19 keep these people in such hotels in winter-time. November is the time
20 when winter starts, but I will say just briefly that the situation was
21 analogous to Croatia
22 for its own displaced persons. It was supposed at the time that Bosnia
23 and Herzegovina
24 parts of its territories there is still free territories where it could
25 care for its displaced persons and the actions went along that channel.
1 Q. All right. Now, just -- and then briefly one more paragraph to
2 focus on because we have to move along. Paragraph number 5, it says:
3 "Full coordination should be effected concerning the status of refugees
4 from Herceg-Bosna. Inform the Herceg-Bosna HVO of the underlying ideas
5 behind the suggested protocols between the Republic of Croatia
6 Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina in relation to the education of
7 refugees, health protection, and opening logistical centres for
8 humanitarian aid."
9 Now, could you comment on that.
10 A. Yes. Based on the letter of understanding signed between the
11 Republic of Croatia
12 based on the international laws on looking after refugees and displaced
13 persons, Croatia
14 health care, and that it will provide Bosnia and Herzegovina with
15 logistical centres for humanitarian aid, and these centres were indeed
16 organized in Croatia
17 Q. All right. Okay. If we go to the next document, 1D 02283. Now
18 we're into 25 February 1993
19 starting with the meeting that was had, the friendship agreement, the
20 protocol. Now we see here 25 February 1993
21 this is for the establishment of logistic centres in the Republic of
23 the Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina. Were you aware of this protocol,
25 A. I was aware of this protocol, and I also knew that within that
1 protocol in Croatia
2 aid. There were logistical centres of that kind in Croatia, and from
3 there help was sent to Bosnia and Herzegovina and Bosnia-Herzegovina was
4 helped with the humanitarian aid from those centres.
5 Q. All right. Now if we go to another document, this is 2D 00454,
6 2D 00454. The issue of transfers to third countries and guarantees has
7 come up at some point. If we could look at this particular document,
8 it's dated Sarajevo
9 page, we see who signed it, Smajic --
10 A. Hajrudin Smajic signed this.
11 Q. Right. And we also see at the very top of the very first page,
12 it's UNPROFOR at Sarajevo
13 "Request for safe exit from Sarajevo
14 Now, if we could look at -- unfortunately we don't have too much
15 time to dwell on this too much, but look at the third paragraph on the
16 first page, and it says and I'll read it slowly: "Most of these
17 individuals are travelling towards Split
18 of individual guarantees from other countries that they are going to be
19 taken care of within those countries. Some individuals are leaving for
20 other parts of Republic of BiH
21 from the lists you can determine that among individuals to be evacuated
22 there is a major number of Croatian citizens, as well as individuals with
23 necessary guarantees from the Republic of Croatia
24 Now, attached to this we see that there is a list, and it would
25 appear that the list is rather extensive.
1 A. 108 people.
2 Q. Okay. All right. Well, if you look at the list you will see --
3 my colleague tells me here that it's approximately 1.200 people, but we
4 could be wrong. But in any event, could you please tell us a little bit
5 about this, about letters of guarantee and what have you. Did your
6 office have anything to do with issuing letters of guarantee for citizens
7 of Bosnia-Herzegovina to go to third countries through Croatia?
8 A. When it came to transfer to third countries through Croatia
9 office could not issue any papers. What our office could do and could
10 provide the refugees from Bosnia and Herzegovina with was the so-called
11 entry visa, but this was not a visa in the legal sense of the word. It
12 was just a piece of paper issued by our office to people from Bosnia
14 passport or any other document, to enter the Republic of Croatia
15 police had to let them cross the border because they were obviously
16 enjoying some sort of a refugee status and the Republic of Croatia
17 guaranteed that they would provide them with the proper refugee status.
18 At that time those were usually people of Croatian ethnicity who had
19 relatives in Croatia
20 You have to know that a lot of citizens of Croatia, of the
21 Republic of Croatia
22 of the day, I originate from one such family that had to leave Bosnia
24 the citizens of the Republic of Croatia
25 and Herzegovina
1 from Bosnia and Herzegovina.
2 Q. Dr. Rebic, I want to focus you on the topic that we're dealing
3 with, and I'm going to ask you to please just answer my questions
4 directly. And then if the Court wishes or anyone else wishes for
5 additional information, they can do so. But with respect to this list,
6 if you look at this list, on this -- from looking at the names, are we
7 looking at Croats? Are we looking at Muslims? Are we looking at both?
8 Can you just take a look at some of the names.
9 A. Mr. Karnavas --
10 Q. -- you don't have to give me the names just tell me, does this
11 list have both Croats and Muslims?
12 A. Correct, the list has both Croats and Muslims. There are Ismets,
13 Zeljkos, Marijas, Samiras, Lejlas, and Fadilas. All of them.
14 Q. Let's go to the next document P 10048, this is dated 16 July
15 1993. We see your name. If we look at the Croatian version, it doesn't
16 appear, at least from the naked eye, it doesn't appear to be your
17 signature. Is that your signature, sir?
18 A. This is not my signature. I wouldn't be able to tell you exactly
19 whose signature it may be.
20 Q. All right. By looking at this document can you help us because
21 it says here on the subject: "Approval for entry and temporary stay in
22 Republic Croatia
23 temporarily accommodating in Gasinci centre in Djakovo. To your
24 knowledge, is this an authentic document?
25 A. Judging from what I see, this should be an authentic document.
1 Such documents were issued at request of citizens of Bosnia and
4 As you can see, this document was sent to the police station in
5 Vrgorac, to the border police, and to the border crossing in Banja Luka
6 In other words, the police, the Croatian police, had to have a document
7 from our office at the border in order to allow them to cross the border
8 and to be sure that the Office for Refugees and Displaced Persons
9 guaranteed to provide them with care and that the office would bear the
10 cost of their living if they remained in Croatia or if they left for
11 third countries then it would be some third country who would bear the
12 expenses of their stay there.
13 Q. All right. So once they came in, they would be your
14 responsibility, your office's responsibility?
15 A. Correct.
16 Q. Okay. Now, if we look at the next document --
17 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Witness, let me return to this
18 document, it's a document of some importance. According to this
19 document, 500 persons from Mostar will not enjoy refugee status. They
20 will have to leave for a third country. Furthermore, these persons will
21 be on board buses and will be escorted by the police. How long did it
22 take you to process 500 files, the 500 files of these persons? The date
23 is the 16th of July 1993
24 What would have prevented Mostar resident coming to Croatia
25 applying for refugee status? Something that is completely impossible
1 according to this document.
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] According to my information, those
3 were people who I suppose had a previous agreement with UNHCR, which at
4 that time was involved in the care for Bosnian refugees in third
5 countries. What these persons had asked for was to spend some time in
6 the Republic of Croatia
7 that they would proceed travelling towards third countries. Based on
8 that, these persons were provided with temporary accommodation in Gasinci
9 near Djakovo and in some other centres, because a number like that could
10 not have been accommodated in Gasinci alone. And some of them obviously
11 found accommodation with friends and family, and then after a certain
12 while they would ask UNHCR or some other international organization or
13 embassy to provide them with documents to go to a third country and ask
14 for temporary accommodation there. Most often those were people who had
15 friends or family members in Germany
17 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Witness, do not start
18 digressing. The -- this case we are very familiar with it of course.
19 What you're telling us is that these 500 persons were taken care of by
20 the UNHCR, and if I understand correctly you were in charge of logistics.
21 And if I understand correctly, the UNHCR was in charge of the entire
22 operation. What you did was just provide accommodation before these
23 people finally left, but you had absolutely no responsibility when it
24 came to what would happen to them later because that was the remit of the
25 UNHCR and of other countries. Is that the way I should understand your
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, no. As soon as they were taken
3 into our care by our refugee centres, whether they got official papers on
4 their status or not, as soon as these persons were in refugee centres
5 ipso facto they were in our care. For as long as they stayed in the
6 Republic of Croatia
7 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Witness, please do not stray;
8 my question was very specific. We have a document here that shows that
9 500 persons from Mostar are going to leave for third countries --
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes and no, it all depended.
11 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] And this document establishes
12 that these persons will not obtain refugee status; that's what we can
13 read in the third paragraph of the document. You have told us that all
14 this was happening under the control of the UNHCR that took care of the
15 reception in third countries, of letters of guarantee, and so on and so
16 forth. I'm quite ready to accept your explanation, but that would mean
17 that your office only has a logistical role to play, your only function
18 is to accommodate these refugees for a short period of time. That's an
19 interpretation, a possible interpretation, of this document. But if we
20 assume that the UNHCR does not play any role because these 500 persons
21 have managed to go to a third country of their own accord, and if the
22 UNHCR does not play any role here, then I wonder about the role played by
23 the ODPR because you are supposed to be in charge of refugees and
24 apparently you were not ready to grant refugee status to these persons.
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Under the assumptions that you have
1 just presented, although I myself did not write that letter, but I assume
2 that based on that letter the office was also supposed to take these
3 people in its care. But again - and I assume again because I was not
4 privy to any such case, I know that there were such cases - those were
5 people who already at the border stated that they wanted to proceed
6 towards third countries and that they only asked for temporary stay in
8 accommodation in the Republic of Croatia
9 persons stayed in Croatia
10 cases - then the office would issue them with a certificate on the
11 refugee status that they would then enjoy. There were such cases.
12 In other words, I would say that this is more an anomaly than a
13 rule and it could not be used to draw a conclusion that the Office of
14 Refugees refused to take in such persons only because those people had
15 stated for various reasons that they want to proceed towards third
17 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes, but we have 500 persons
18 coming from Mostar. It's an important event and that should have caught
19 your attention.
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Certainly, yes.
21 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] So it caught your attention.
22 But now we find that these 500 persons have only received an
23 authorisation for entry and temporary stay in Croatia; in other words,
24 these persons are not going to stay in Croatia. It's obvious, and you
25 stress that by adding that they will not obtain refugee status --
1 although some of these people may have wanted to remain in Croatia
2 of them may not have wanted to go to Hungary, Switzerland, or another
3 country. That's the reason why I wonder about the actual role of your
4 office. Were you just a tool used to make sure that these people carried
5 on to other countries, or were you just charged with accommodating them
6 for a short period of time, because the entire thing was not your
7 problem, it was the problem of UNHCR. That's what I'm trying to
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Not only because it was only
10 UNHCR's problem, it was also a problem of the Republic of Croatia
11 people who arrived from Bosnia and Herzegovina, if they didn't want to
12 receive the status of refugee in the Republic of Croatia
13 stated that they wanted to proceed towards third countries, then such
14 persons - and there were many such cases, this is not the only
15 one - those persons were issued with a temporary refugee status and they
16 could then remain in the Republic of Croatia
17 countries. In other words, they themselves wanted to leave. They
18 themselves did not want to receive full refugee status. They only wanted
19 to receive temporary refugee status and for Croatia to be their point of
20 transit on their route to third countries. Croatia could not refuse
21 anybody the right to use it as a transit country. It was a transit
22 country for all the refugees en route to third countries.
23 One should not, therefore, draw a conclusion that the office did
24 not want to take these persons in. If these persons had stated that they
25 wanted to leave for third countries, that they didn't want a permanent
1 refugee status, then these persons did not have the right to ask for a
2 permanent refugee status. It would be a deceit on the part of these
3 persons, if they received such false status.
4 I believe I was clear. We had to respect the rights of those
5 refugees. We could not force them to stay if they didn't wish to do so;
6 we had to rather allow them and help them in their intention to proceed
7 towards third countries. Croatia
8 country because simply enough no other country would receive them. So
10 only assume that these persons really did not want to stay in Croatia
11 longer time. They wanted to use Croatia
12 to a third country.
13 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] One last question. If a Muslim
14 resident from Mostar had arrived at the border without any guarantee,
15 without anything, and if he had requested under the Geneva Conventions to
16 obtain refugee status, then what would have happened at the office, at
17 the ODPR?
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] If the person wanted to accept
19 refugee status in the Republic of Croatia
20 given that status by the country.
21 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Fine.
22 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Sorry, if I add a question.
23 Mr. Rebic, we have seen the documents, the decree and laws on the
24 basis of your office. They state the conditions under which a person is
25 taken in charge by the ODPR. Two categories are mentioned, namely, the
1 displaced persons and refugees. Now, here we have 500 persons who are
2 neither one nor the other. Was there any legal basis on which,
3 nevertheless, you say that your office was in charge of them? Or was
4 that an event extra legum?
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] As I said, and I can repeat, these
6 people, had they wanted to receive the status of refugee in the Republic
7 of Croatia
8 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Excuse me, Witness. That is not at all an
9 answer to my question. My question was: These persons were not
10 refugees. I'm not interested in whether they could have been or not
11 been, and there is another request in that respect too. The question is:
12 Was there a legal basis for your office taking charge of a third category
13 of persons or was it done ad hoc, perhaps out of a warm heart?
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Our office acted within the legal
15 framework. If in this case the people concerned were refugees, they had
16 the right to the status of a refugee. Today I cannot remember exactly
17 whether these were 500 refugees or 500 tourists --
18 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Mr. Rebic, Mr. Rebic, I have to stop you. I
19 must simply note that you do not want to ask [sic] the question that I
20 put to you but go into another hypothesis. But I leave it at that. I
21 don't want to insist.
22 I'm sorry, Mr. Karnavas.
23 MR. KARNAVAS: Maybe I can assist --
24 JUDGE TRECHSEL: I'm sorry, the question was to the witness and I
25 don't think counsel should testify.
1 MR. KARNAVAS: I'm not testifying, Your Honour, but obviously you
2 seem to lack a certain understanding. These people, 500 of them, cannot
3 go to Hungary
5 How do they get to where they want to go. Now, you've assumed some
7 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Which, could you be more precise? What facts
8 as --
9 MR. KARNAVAS: That they don't have a status, that they don't
10 have status.
11 JUDGE TRECHSEL: It says so expressly in the document, it says
12 they are not refugees and they are certainly not displaced persons, so
13 they are something else.
14 MR. KARNAVAS: Well, Your Honour, if I have to go through a
15 country where I have to make a stop and I'm in transit, it appears that
16 they're in transit. Croatia
17 would appear. But if I'm allowed to continue, but I think that you're
18 assuming that I'm somehow trying to testify.
19 Q. Now --
20 MR. KARNAVAS: I beg your pardon. Is there another objection?
21 MR. SCOTT: Yes, Your Honour, there is.
22 MR. KARNAVAS: And for the record, the gentleman did try to
23 answer your question, Judge Trechsel, and you interrupted him several
24 times. So there is perhaps something in there that he was trying to
25 explain, albeit maybe he was taking a longer time to get to it.
1 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Scott.
2 MR. SCOTT: Just to point out for the record, Your Honour,
3 there's been a number of references to assumptions just in the last
4 couple of lines of the transcript. Just so the record is clear, the
5 entire last 15 or 20 minutes of the witness's testimony has been based on
6 assumption. This whole thing started out by saying: "Assuming there was
7 an agreement with the UNHCR, assuming, assuming, assuming. We have no
8 basis. He apparently doesn't know, doesn't understand, or doesn't want
9 to answer Judge Trechsel's question, but it's been assumption,
10 assumption, assumption, and no one seems to have picked up on that, but
11 it's gone off on these rabbit trails as if they are facts in evidence and
12 they're not. There is no evidence in the record that there was any
13 agreement with UNHCR, and to assume that UNHCR had any role here is pure
15 MR. KARNAVAS: We're not suggesting in this particular case. But
16 let me ask this question, Dr. Rebic, and far be it from me to be
17 testifying as I have been accused of by the Bench on numerous occasions.
18 Q. If the 500 people here on this list, if all of them had arrived
19 and requested refugee status, whatever the status might have been,
20 travellers, visitors, tourists, if they had come to the border and asked
21 for refugee status, what would you have done? What would the office have
22 done? What would Croatia
23 Trial Chamber.
24 A. The Office for Displaced Persons of the Republic of Croatia
25 have given them refugee status. I guarantee that absolutely. Had they
1 asked for refugee status in the Republic of Croatia
2 received it in the Republic of Croatia
3 Republic of Croatia
4 come up with means and possibilities to accommodate. However, in this
5 case these people wanted to transit Croatia
7 Q. Now, assuming somebody was coming over land from Bosnia
8 wanted to go to, say, Germany
9 conditions could they go without going through Croatia? We're talking
10 about going over land, not flying. Because this is important for those
11 of us who don't know the terrain and the circumstances.
12 A. In no case could refugees from Bosnia-Herzegovina or people from
13 Bosnia-Herzegovina go to third countries without passing through the
14 territory of the Republic of Croatia
15 transit to anyone who wanted to transit through it. If they requested to
16 stay in Croatia
17 them to do so; however, we could not force them to receive refugee status
18 if they did not want that for any reason whatsoever --
19 Q. Let me stop you here --
20 A. -- say that they had secured passage and means to get to any
21 third country.
22 Q. Yesterday -- again I just want to --
23 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] One moment, Mr. Karnavas.
24 MR. KARNAVAS: But, Your Honour, can I finish this line of
25 questioning -- direct examination --
1 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Karnavas, Mr. Karnavas --
2 MR. KARNAVAS: Very well, very well, very well --
3 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] My question is in keeping --
4 MR. KARNAVAS: I've asked for five hours, you've given me four,
5 and now I'm being interrupted. I need to finish this line of thought.
6 I'm being prevented. And then you take the witness in another direction,
7 it makes it virtually impossible for me to focus back. So that's why --
8 what I'm insisting, I have one more question to this line, I think I
9 should be given deference from the Court. Take as much time as you want,
10 Mr. President, but I think that I'm on my direct examination. There are
11 some accusations that are being lodged at this point; I need to clarify
13 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Karnavas, you will have
14 enough time, do not worry, because of course the time taken by my
15 question will not -- will be deducted from your time.
16 Secondly, what I'm saying is in keeping with what you're saying
17 yourself, and it is also in line with the issue addressed by my fellow
18 Judge earlier on.
19 Witness, let's assume we have someone transiting through your
20 country. In this particular case they were people from Mostar, but they
21 could have been people from China
22 You told us, you explained very clearly, that when you cross a country
23 you need an authorisation. You've travelled the world over. You're very
24 familiar with this, and that's not the problem. The only question the
25 Judges have is the following. What's the role of your office in the
1 transit of these persons? Why is the Ministry of the Interior not taking
2 care of these people? Why isn't it the social affair ministry? Why is
3 the ODPR, an office with a very specific role outlined by legislation,
4 why is the ODPR taking care of these persons? Because these persons were
5 in transit only and they could have been dealt with by other
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I don't see how anyone
8 else could have dealt with such great numbers of those people. There was
9 no possibility to accommodate them for short intervals. Only the ODPR
10 had that ability. It was presumed that those people were refugees. They
11 went on to third countries as refugees. They were free to stay in
13 another million of people from Bosnia and Herzegovina had been. One
14 needs to remember how many people from Bosnia-Herzegovina went through
15 the territory of the Republic of Croatia
16 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Let me stop you here. You've
17 answered my question. You've told us who else should have taken care of
18 them. I take note of this.
19 Mr. Karnavas, I hope I have not obstructed your examination. My
20 question was a follow-up question.
21 MR. KARNAVAS:
22 Q. Let's assume somebody comes into Croatia and now is declared a
23 refugee. Can you then just deport that person to, say, Slovenia or
25 Because you told us yesterday of how the Slovenians treated the folks who
1 were at the border for two days and they would not allow them. So could
2 you kindly explain to the Trial Chamber what it was like. Because in
3 order to get to Slovenia
4 those days by land.
5 A. Mr. Karnavas, as I said, the Republic of Croatia
6 was not allowed to send anyone to any third countries without papers and
7 agreements, be it directly or through the UNHCR. When refugees are in
8 question, no other neighbouring country wanted to take them from Croatia
9 in case Croatia
10 wanted to remain in Croatia
11 third countries, Croatia
12 refugee status, and would have taken care of them, irrespective of where
13 they had come from and irrespective of what their status had been.
14 Q. Thank you. Let's go now to the next document, 1D 01710 [Realtime
15 transcript read in error "1D 0170"], because you've made reference of the
16 UNHCR. 1D 01710, and there are a series of documents that I want to go
17 through. This is dated 30 November 1993
18 bottom, and it says here: "At the request of the Office of the High
19 Commissioner for Refugees, the Office for Expelled Persons and Refugees
20 hereby issues its permission for the transit of foreign nationals through
21 the Republic of Croatia
22 attached list," and here we have a list of 14, "will be relocated by the
23 UNHCR to the Kingdom of Denmark
25 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Sorry, Mr. Karnavas, just to assist, it is
1 document 1D 01710, and it's not quite correctly in the record here.
2 MR. KARNAVAS: Okay. It's 1710.
3 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Yeah.
4 MR. KARNAVAS:
5 Q. This was -- are you familiar with this kind of a document? And I
6 think if you look at it -- if you look at the original one we see your
7 signature or what appears to be your signature.
8 A. Mr. Karnavas, this is my signature, it is authentic. The text of
9 the request is correct. Upon request by the UNHCR, I provided my
10 agreement for transit of foreign nationals through the territory of the
11 Republic of Croatia
12 transit citizens through our territory, otherwise they would not have
13 been let in by our police without a letter of this nature. At the time
14 it wasn't the Ministry of Foreign Affairs that was in charge of refugee
15 issues, but rather our office. That is why the UNHCR turned to us and
16 they received permission.
17 Q. All right. Now, let's look at another document, 1D 01 --
18 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] One moment, please.
19 Witness, we've just seen a document that confirms the
20 explanations you gave us earlier on and we are not talking here about
21 assumptions. We have evidence that the UNHCR was requesting transit
22 visas from the office -- yes, yes, Witness?
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, had I been given this
24 document earlier, it would have been clearer sooner.
25 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Well, but with regard to the
1 500 people from Mostar, did you have a document from the UNHCR?
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I can't know that since I did not
3 sign that document. I probably wasn't even in Zagreb even. I was either
4 abroad attending a meeting in Geneva
5 office in that period for whatever reason.
6 MR. SCOTT: The witness has clarified it, Your Honour. There's
7 no connection between this transaction and the 500 people from Mostar, so
8 it's a complete -- still an assumption. Thanks.
9 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Karnavas.
10 MR. KARNAVAS: Thank you. I'm going to skip one document and
11 just to pick up where you left off, Mr. President.
12 Q. If we look at the next series of documents 1D 02601, we see at
13 the very top, and this is dated 26th September 1994 at the request of the
14 United Nations High Commissioner. The next document, 1D 02600, 29
15 September 1994 at the request of the United Nations High Commissioner,
16 again we see your name at the bottom. 1D 02599, at the request of the
17 United Nations High Commissioner, again we see your name, this is dated 5
18 October 1994. 1D 02598, 17 October 1994
19 Nations High Commissioner, we see your name again there and we see that
20 this is I think 56 people. 1D 02597, this is 18 October 1994, at the
21 request of the United Nations High Commissioner, again we see your name
22 there. 1D 02596, at the request of the United Nations High Commissioner,
23 this is dated 20 October 1994
24 1994, at the request of the United Nations High Commissioner for
25 Refugees. Then we go to again 31 October 1994, this is document 1D
1 02595. And lastly we see 2 November 1994
2 your name again.
3 Dr. Rebic, having looked at all of these documents where your
4 name is mentioned, are you familiar with these documents and --
5 A. I am familiar with these documents, although some were signed for
6 me. All those documents were sent to important figures, such as the vice
7 prime minister of Croatia
8 deputy head for the UNHCR; it was sent to the Ministry of Foreign
9 Affairs; the Ministry of the Interior in the border area; and to the
10 archives. These documents prove as to the lawful conduct of the office
11 which acted within the international and domestic legislation. We were
12 allowed to give permission for transit of those people before their
13 removal to third countries and to accommodate them in the interim.
14 Before going there, they had to transit via Croatia, and in that case the
15 UNHCR sought permission from our office.
16 Q. Now, I would like you to turn your attention to one document that
17 we did skip, purposely, that is, 1D 01582, so you have to go back a
18 little bit, sir, 1582. This is dated 26 -- April 26, 1994. We see your
19 name at the bottom. This is a letter from the Government of Republic of
22 A. Yes, I see that, Mr. Karnavas, I see the document. Mr. Fischer
23 dealt with relocation of the citizens of Bosnia-Herzegovina to third
24 countries. They always transited through Croatia, since there was no
25 other possibility. Since the embassy of Bosnia-Herzegovina in our
1 conversations mentioned it to me, and they told me that this gentleman
2 should be warned, I told Mr. Fischer that in the future when removing
3 citizens of the Republic of Croatia
4 THE INTERPRETER: Says the witness.
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] -- through our territory they need
6 to ask permission through the embassy of Bosnia-Herzegovina, whereupon I
7 would issue permission for transit. This document proves --
8 MR. KARNAVAS:
9 Q. Let me stop you here because I want to go slowly step by step.
10 Paragraph number 2, let's focus here for a second. It says: "Namely,
11 due to the frequent complaints from the Bosnian and Herzegovinian
12 authorities, claiming that this office together with international
13 humanitarian organizations is helping the Serbians in the 'ethnic
14 cleansing' of Bosnia-Herzegovina, and in accordance with the Embassy of
15 Bosnia and Herzegovina in Zagreb, international humanitarian
16 organizations must submit with the request for acquiring permits for
17 transit through the Republic of Croatia
18 Embassy of Bosnia and Herzegovina in Zagreb."
19 Why was that necessary?
20 A. It was necessary in order to avoid such misunderstandings as the
21 ones we could just see concerning the ODPR. Thanks to the Embassy of
22 Bosnia-Herzegovina and their complaints and in cooperation with them, we
23 acted upon it. As much as we could, we tried to control the citizens of
24 Bosnia-Herzegovina transiting through Croatia on to third countries. I
25 can say that there were many people who were doing it without our
1 knowledge, and at the border our police would stop such people whereupon
2 I had to intervene in order to either allow them transit or to keep them
3 in the Republic of Croatia
4 countries would not receive them. Slovenia
5 cases in which the Slovenian police would not receive them but return
6 them to Croatia
7 Q. And if we look at -- if we skip --
8 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Karnavas, we'll have to
9 have a break.
10 MR. KARNAVAS: I just need one question and then the break.
11 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Okay.
12 MR. KARNAVAS:
13 Q. If we skip one paragraph: "We would like to point out that it
14 would also be necessary as it has been up to now that you submit a valid
15 letter of guarantee for each person individually as well as pay the
16 administrative tax."
17 Why was that necessary, for him to submit a valid letter of
19 A. It was necessary so that the office would know who should be paid
20 expenses since there were many people appearing who asked the office to
21 pay for certain expenses without the office knowing who they were. That
22 is why this was asked for.
23 Q. Had there been abuses as far as letters of guarantees, in other
24 words, phoney ones? Had there been that had come to your attention?
25 A. Unfortunately, there had been abuses. There were forgeries.
1 There was one person from the ODPR whom I fired because that person
2 worked with an institution in Banja Luka. He or she forged my signature
3 and illegally used the stamp; therefore, I had to fire that person. I
4 was sorry to do that, but that person acted illegally. Unfortunately,
5 there were abuses which were difficult to deal with. On occasion,
6 however, we sometimes succeeded.
7 Q. And so just one final point. If the letter of guarantee was
8 forged, then it would mean that once they came into Croatia, Croatia
9 stuck with them? Is that what you've been telling us?
10 A. That is correct. Croatia
11 them; there was no other way.
12 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Well, we shall check the time
13 you have left. We shall resume in 20 minutes' time.
14 --- Recess taken at 5.46 p.m.
15 --- On resuming at 6.05 p.m.
16 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] The hearing's resumed. The
17 registrar is telling me that you have 27 minutes left. So failing any
18 procedural matters or over-lengthy questions by the Judges, you may be
19 able to complete your direct today.
20 MR. KARNAVAS: I believe so, Mr. President.
21 Q. If we could go to binder number 3 for you, sir, and I'm looking
22 at P 03765, P 03765. And in order to fully appreciate this, everyone
23 should be looking also -- should look at or glance at P 03708, which is
24 what is being referred to in the letter by Ms. Turkovic. Focusing on
25 P 03765, she indicated to you, she says in the third paragraph:
1 "Mr. Rebic, you are reproaching me that, I as Ambassador Of the Republic
2 of Bosnia-Herzegovina, did not show any interest in Croat people expelled
3 from the Lasva valley, whereby you again used wrong information.
4 "With regard to that, I would like to stress that immediately
5 after the arrival of refugees from the Central Bosnia, I went to Poljud
6 to visit them, I issued order to secure supplies for those people from
7 the Logistic Centre in Split
8 hard to enable their transfer to a better accommodation facility."
9 Now, with respect to the expelled people, the Croats that were
10 expelled from the Lasva valley, to your knowledge and understanding, is
11 Ms. Turkovic correct when she said she had visited them?
12 A. Mr. Karnavas, I don't remember that Ms. Bisera Turkovic, with
13 whom I had a very good relationship, was ever in Split to receive these
14 refugees from Lasva valley, but I know well that I had to urgently take a
15 flight -- a private flight on a Croatian army aircraft to Split in order
16 to deal with the issue of these refugees.
17 To cut a long story short, they had been expelled from Lasva
18 valley in the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina and arrived in Split
19 And in Split
20 them on the island -- on the peninsula of Peljesac
21 of defence to provide us with a military accommodation there, and they
22 gave us a military holiday resort called Perma [phoen] on the peninsula
23 of Peljesac. They didn't want to go there, they wanted to remain in
24 Split, but there was no room in Split
25 accommodated in a hotel but the hotels, they were all full.
1 There was a tug of war. I spent some very difficult hours with
2 them. There was a Franciscan monk with them who kept on insisting that
3 the people remain in Split
4 conscience. I appealed to his sense and sensibility. He finally caved
5 in, and all these refugees were sent to Perma. At that moment, nobody in
7 Ms. Bisera Turkovic, so there was no way for me to know that she had been
8 down there. And I have serious doubts about the fact that she may have
10 Q. And how far is the place where they went from Split?
11 A. By ferry it takes approximately three-quarters of an hour, 45
12 minutes approximately, depending on weather conditions. By road it takes
13 a bit longer because you have to go from Split towards Dubrovnik
14 then cross to the peninsula of Peljesac
15 hour and a half. The accommodation there was okay, but it's a good
16 illustration to show that sometimes people were dissatisfied with
17 accommodation irrespective of their origin. I had occasional problems
18 with both Muslims and Croats, refugees from Bosnia and Herzegovina
19 Q. In this instance it appears, at least from you are telling us,
20 the Franciscan was the one that was -- that you were negotiating with?
21 A. Yes, I implored with him to understand the situation, to
22 understand the seriousness of the situation, and to try and talk to
23 people and lead them to Perma to the military holiday resort and finally
24 they accepted that, and they all headed for Perma in quite a good mood
25 and peacefully.
1 Q. All right. Now, if we look at the next document, 1D 01432. You
2 have to skip a few documents because due to time we're going to skip
3 through some of these documents. It's 1D 01432.
4 A. Not 932?
5 Q. 1432. It looks -- it may look like a 9 but it should be a 4.
6 A. [In English] Okay, okay, okay, okay, okay.
7 Q. All right. And we see that -- are you familiar with this
8 document, sir?
9 A. [Interpretation] I'm familiar with this document, indeed. It was
10 sent by Bosnia and Herzegovina -- actually, by the Croatian Republic
11 Herceg-Bosna to the Government of the Republic of Croatia
12 Minister Mr. Kostovic and other responsible persons, including myself.
13 And this document is actually a request to register a representative
14 office of the Office for Expelled Persons and Refugees of the Croatian
15 Republic of Herceg-Bosna. Darinko Tadic requested that in order to
16 register a representative office of the Office for Expelled Persons and
17 Refugees of the Croatian republic of Herceg-Bosna
18 Q. Now, let me stop you here. At a time there was an embassy for
19 Bosnia-Herzegovina, presumably for all citizens of Bosnia-Herzegovina, in
21 complaining about one ethnicity primarily in respect to two particular
22 sites. Why would it be necessary to open up such a representative office
23 for the Croats if you had an embassy in Zagreb for Bosnia-Herzegovina,
24 presumably for everybody?
25 A. I didn't know why such a representative office should be
1 registered. The Office for Expelled Persons and Refugees with the
2 Government of the Republic of Croatia
3 dealing with refugees from Bosnia and Herzegovina of Croatian ethnic
4 origin, it was the Embassy of the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina that
5 was competent. When it came to the refugee issues of refugees of
6 Croatian ethnicity, we dealt with them in the same way as we did in the
7 case of Bosniak Muslims. This was all done in our office, so I'm really
8 not sure what the purpose would have been of registering an office of
9 that kind.
10 And on top of that, in Herceg-Bosna there was an Office for
11 Displaced Persons and Refugees that was already mentioned earlier today.
12 We tried to support that office logistically to get the people there
13 started in their new job. In the same way I helped citizens of Bosnia
14 and Herzegovina of Muslim origin. Mrs. Omerbasic spent several days in
15 my office and she was introduced to the job. She was told how to
16 establish such an office in Sarajevo
17 sides, I helped the ones as I did the others.
18 Q. Thank you. If we could go to the next document, as 1D 02277.
19 And at the very top we see: "Refugee settlement Pineta," and look at the
20 third paragraph -- or fourth, it says: "12.000 Croats were forced to
21 leave Kakanj municipality and they are now in Capljina, Stolac, Pocitelj,
22 Ljubusko, Lipovljani, Bjelolasica, Klana," and so on and then we see
23 Pineta. And it says: "There are 1300 of us in Pineta where we have
24 organized our lives ..."
25 Could you please tell us what Pineta was?
1 A. Pineta is or was a holiday complex with bungalows near Novi Grad
2 in the vicinity of Slovenian border, and it was owned by a Slovenian
3 company. This is where refugees of Bosnia-Herzegovina, mostly from Vares
4 and Kakanj, were accommodated in the bungalows there. They were also
5 accommodated in other places because there was a huge number of them,
6 maybe 12.000 of them, who were Croats from Bosnia-Herzegovina and who had
7 been forced to come to Croatia
8 Therefore, they were accommodated in other refugee centres, in
9 Bjelolasica, Lipovljani, and Klana near Rijeka, and Selce, and in Pineta,
10 as you said it yourself.
11 Q. [Microphone not activated]
12 THE INTERPRETER: Counsel's microphone is off.
13 MR. KARNAVAS:
14 Q. Was there ever a problem with the refugees that were staying in
16 A. Mr. Karnavas, there was a problem, a rather big one for the
17 refugees themselves, the problem that made the refugees very nervous and
18 was a constant source of stress. The Slovenian company asked us to move
19 the refugees out from that holiday complex so that their guests could be
20 accommodated there as tourists. I would reply to the Slovenians, telling
21 them that I wasn't able to do that because there was no other way for me
22 to accommodate these people. Pineta was my only solution. I proposed
23 that they should take the refugees over and accommodate them in Slovenia
24 and look after them there, but they were adamant in saying, No, no way.
25 Then I asked them to help us build something as a temporary solution and
1 then they refused that as well. I asked what then? They said, Move them
2 out. I said, How can I move them out? I can't just have them end up in
3 the street. That was the problem in Pineta.
4 Q. All right. Well, let me stop you here. If I understand it
5 correctly, this is a private enterprise owned by private individuals, not
6 the Government of Slovenia
7 A. This was a company, yes, but it was not a corporation but it was
8 a legal subject with a lot of employees and workers who had been used to
9 spending their summer holidays there. As I sit here today I really can't
10 remember what the name of that enterprise was.
11 Q. All right. Now, let's set aside the entrepreneurs who have to
12 make a profit through the use of these enterprises. Did the Government
13 of Slovenia
14 Croatian government to evict the refugees that were located in Pineta?
15 A. As far as I can remember today, 12 or 13 years after the event,
16 the company appealed to the Government of the Republic of Slovenia
17 asking them to take steps. I received a proposal by the Government of
18 the Republic of Slovenia
19 the company.
20 If there was no other way to deal with it, that I should reach an
21 agreement with the company and put a time bar on the use of Pineta by
22 refugees. It all ended by us signing an agreement with the company, but
23 we were not able to meet any dead-lines because at the time all of our
24 possibilities had been exhausted and we could not accommodate the
25 refugees anywhere else. There were just no other possibilities. That's
1 why we kept them there for a little while longer, and I believe that this
2 issue dragged on even after I left the office and it was finally solved
3 only five or six years ago. People simply could not return to
4 Bosnia-Herzegovina. Their houses in Kakanj and Vares had been destroyed.
5 I visited them. They all pleaded stress, terrible events, and they had
6 seen the Mujahedin there, that they had been slaughtered by the soldiers
7 of the Bosnian army. In other words, all these people were stressed out
8 and their stories were not the easiest and the nicest stories to listen
10 Q. All right. Now, if we go to 1D 00927, 927, and it would appear
11 that this -- if we look at page 2 that this -- this letter was delivered
12 to the Office of Refugees and Displaced Persons of the Government of the
13 Republic of Croatia
14 letter from Dr. Jadranko Prlic?
15 A. As far as I can remember, I received the letter at the time. It
16 was copied to me, and I was prepared to receive him just like I did
17 everybody else from the Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina, should that be
18 necessary. In the letter Dr. Prlic states that the Croatian Republic
19 Herceg-Bosna could not provide for such a large number of people, and in
20 that case if they could not care for the people they would send them to
21 us and we were supposed to look for them because we were the first
22 country point where they sought protection and we were obliged to provide
23 it to them.
24 Q. I see. Okay. Now, do you recall whether they -- these folks
25 came to the Republic of Croatia
1 A. These are precisely those people that we have just discussed.
2 Those people came from Kakanj and Vares and were accommodated in the
3 Republic of Croatia
4 other refugee centres depending on the available accommodation. We had
5 one in Pula
6 Q. All right. We're going to need on to the next topic, and I would
7 direct your attention to 1D 01320, 1D 01320. And if you find it, I'm
8 interested in the second page, of course. We see from the cover page
9 it's from the Ivo Komsic's book: "Who, when, and where divided BiH."
10 And we see if we turn to the first page September 14, 1993, a
11 joint declaration. And if we look at under I, paragraph number 2, it
12 says: "Ensure mutual and unconditional disbandment of all prisoner camps
13 and the release of all prisoners on the territories under the control of
14 the armies of BiH and HVO, immediately and not later than September 21,
15 1993, at 12.00 noon
16 their protection and care."
17 And if we could go to the last page for everyone's attention
18 because the issue has been raised as to why certain individuals were
19 involved, we see here the President, Dr. Franjo Tudjman, had appointed
20 for his commissioner, Dr. Mate Granic, Vice-President of the government
21 and minister of foreign affairs of the Republic of Croatia
22 see that Haris Silajdzic is appointed by Izetbegovic for the Republic of
24 Were you aware of this joint declaration signed September 14,
1 A. I was aware of this declaration. This declaration made it easier
2 upon ourselves because we heard that in keeping with that joint
3 declaration the unwanted conflicts would finally stop between the two
4 victims of the war, between Bosniak Muslims and Bosniak Croats,
6 Q. All right. Now, if we go to the next document, 1D 01936, and we
7 see at the very end on page 3 we see that this is from Dr. Haris
8 Silajdzic, but on the first page we see your name, the visit to Klaka and
9 Varazdin. Do you recall that visit?
10 A. I do indeed, Mr. Karnavas. I remember the visit. I was there on
11 several occasions with Mr. Sevko Omerbasic, the religious leader of
12 Muslims in Croatia
13 mentioned here. Varazdin had two large refugee centres that accommodated
14 Muslims [as interpreted]. Yes, I remember.
15 Q. All right. And if we look at the very first paragraph we see
16 that this is: "In connection with application of the joint declaration
17 by the president of the Presidency of the Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina
18 and the president of the Republic of Croatia
19 Now --
20 A. Correct.
21 Q. And I'm being told that it should say Muslim refugees on page 84,
22 line 1 and 2. Did you ever visit Dretelj? Did you visit Dretelj
24 A. I did once.
25 Q. And when was that?
1 A. That may have been -- I should actually consult my agenda, but
2 this must have been in September 1993.
3 Q. All right. And was this in connection with the joint
5 A. Yes, this was a serious attempt on the part of the Republic of
7 the Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna and deal once and for all with the
8 consequences of that conflict. When we learned in Zagreb that there was
9 some detainees, military prisoners in Dretelj, former members of the
10 either the HVO or the Bosnian army, I can't remember at this point which,
11 then President Tudjman ordered Granic to immediately go there in keeping
12 with the joint declaration and see what was going on down there. A
13 year -- a day or two before Granic had sent some people there to be his
14 scouts, and when they returned they informed him that the situation was,
15 indeed, very serious. Then Stante Pede [phoen], Granic, and I went down
16 there to resolve the problem of Dretelj by a way of ordering Dretelj to
17 be closed down with immediate effect and Granic told people there then
18 that Dretelj should be closed down immediately and that all those who
19 were there would be accepted by the Republic of Croatia
20 given refugee status there. We asked for --
21 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Karnavas, your time is up.
22 MR. KARNAVAS: I understand. I requested an additional hour. I
23 had indicated that I needed five hours with this witness, and also there
24 were two other witnesses to follow where we originally had scheduled for
25 eight hours and I reduced them to six hours. So I would need for the
1 rest of the day to finish up. I have one more topic and it deals with
2 returns because there's been some -- the gentleman was involved with the
3 return situation and there's been an allegation that --
4 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Karnavas, you are aware
5 that the other Defence teams will have two hours and that the Prosecution
6 will have four hours. Considering procedural incidents that are very
7 numerous and considering Judges' questions, the witness is likely to have
8 to come back next week. That's the problem here. That's the risk.
9 MR. KHAN: Your Honour, if it's any assistance, I can say that
10 there would be no cross-examination on behalf of Bruno Stojic. I don't
11 know if that helps the Court in its scheduling.
12 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I can tell you that
13 General Petkovic's Defence will have a few questions for this witness,
14 but very few, so we will not use all of our time. So if it's of any
15 assistance to the Defence of Mr. Prlic, we will only be glad to give him
16 our time.
17 MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, in order to avoid any
18 dilemmas, General Praljak's defence will need 15 minute, not more, unless
19 something else crops up and this will be our cross-examination.
20 MS. TOMASEGOVIC TOMIC: [Interpretation] Mr. Coric's Defence will
21 not have any questions for this witness. Thank you very much.
22 MR. IBRISIMOVIC: [Interpretation] Mr. President, Mr. Pusic's
23 Defence does not intend to examine this witness.
24 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Fine.
25 I see that the other Defence teams will need 20 to 25 minutes.
1 If you are granted 20 additional minutes, the Prosecution will have four
2 hours and 20 minutes to cross-examine the witness, but I'll ask my fellow
3 Judges if they agree.
4 [Trial Chamber confers]
5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] The time you're going to use
6 now will also be granted to the Prosecution in addition to the four hours
7 they had in the beginning.
8 MR. KARNAVAS: That's fine. That's fine, Mr. President. We
9 never objected to the Prosecution having all the time they need.
10 Q. If we go to 1D 02735 --
11 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] My fellow Judge has a question.
12 JUDGE PRANDLER: Mr. Karnavas, I know that we are pressed by
13 time, but the -- since I do not want to ask a question about a document
14 which was just penultimate question asked by you, therefore I would like
15 to ask Dr. Rebic about the following.
16 You presented him with document 1D 01320 which was written, I
17 believe, by Ivo Komsic, I mean the whole book, but you referred to a
18 joint declaration in that document, a joint declaration by Izetbegovic
19 and Tudjman, that is between President Izetbegovic and President Tudjman,
20 on September 14, 1993
21 Now, my question is that when you presented this one to
22 Dr. Rebic, you asked really about the issue of the refugees and displaced
23 persons from BiH and et cetera, and I of course also know and Dr. Rebic
24 has mentioned that he himself was not there and he doesn't seem to be
25 added to the signatories to that declaration, that is from the Croatian
1 side, Hrvoje Sarinic, Zeljko Matic, Miomir Zuzul, and Hidajet Biscevic.
2 My question is frankly the following, I am a bit surprised that
3 in this joint declaration there is not -- there is no reference made to
4 the government or HVO or the government of the -- of that time in
6 anything as far as their cooperation or their role in the presentation of
7 this declaration.
8 So my question is to Dr. Rebic is if he has any knowledge about
9 the implementation of the declaration and about the role which might have
10 been played by the Government of Herceg-Bosna. Officially probably it
11 was not the name at the time in 1993, but anyway they had to play a role
12 in the implementation of the declaration, which is my question,
13 Dr. Rebic. What kind of role should have been played by the HVO and by
14 the Government of Herceg-Bosna, and do you know if there was any
15 involvement by them in the implementation of the declaration?
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, by virtue of my office
17 I was not part of that; therefore, I cannot provide any details in terms
18 of an answer to your question. My field was a different one.
19 JUDGE PRANDLER: Thank you, Dr. Rebic.
20 MR. KARNAVAS: And for the record we see that this is in keeping
21 with the principles of the London Conference, Your Honour, and the
22 purpose, for the record and for your purposes, given that the Prosecution
23 alleges that Croatia
24 questions why they are involved, we see a joint declaration and that's
25 the purpose of this. And of course we're connecting it with 1D 01936
1 because it does say that Mr. Rebic's -- Dr. Rebic's involvement in
2 Dretelj was in connection with the application of the joint declaration.
3 Q. And if I can just now turn to the next document, 1D 02735, we see
4 this is a copy of a newspaper article dated 26th September 1993, it says:
5 "Prisoners become refugees."
6 Are you familiar with -- we see that you're mentioned. Are you
7 familiar with this article and does this article more or less comport
8 with the facts?
9 A. I am familiar with it. This article reflects the facts. This
10 has to do with the people who were in Dretelj through UNHCR mediation and
11 with the assistance of the ICRC they were transferred to Croatia. We
12 received them and accommodate them in Korcula and on the island of
13 Badija. We granted them refugee status immediately and we treated them
14 as refugees.
15 Q. Okay. Thank you. Now, if we go to the final chapter is -- deals
16 with returns. And if you could tell us again what the policy was as far
17 as returning refugees back from the Republic of Croatia
19 A. The process was in keeping with the Geneva Conventions and in
20 agreement with the UNHCR when individual areas, be it in the Republic of
22 Bosnia-Herzegovina when we're talking about refugees, were liberated,
23 when they were free of any threat of war, then we gradually returned DPs
24 and refugees to Bosnia-Herzegovina. The instruction in place by our
25 office was distributed to our regional offices to return only those
1 people who are going back to a safe area in which houses were habitable.
2 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's correction.
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The refugee status is being
4 extended to those who were unable to return to those who were sick, to
5 the parents whose children were attending schools, and that instruction
6 was familiar to my regional office; however, the -- they did not act as
7 strictly uniformly.
8 MR. KARNAVAS:
9 Q. All right. But there was no policy to just simply return people
10 if the conditions were not appropriate?
11 A. Certainly not. If there were no adequate conditions, we were not
12 allowed to return those people. However, it frequently had to do with
13 people who enjoyed refugee status in Croatia and had their homes in
14 Bosnia-Herzegovina in completely safe areas.
15 Q. All right. Before I go to the next document, in your report:
16 "My work at the Office for Displaced Persons and Refugees," and we don't
17 need to get it but this is 1D 02921, you indicate at one point on page
18 33 - and I'll just read it - that on -- let's say: "On 22nd August I met
19 Urs Betschart Swiss, deputy minister for refugees, and Peter Haeller, his
20 associate. They requested that Croatia
21 from Croatia
22 Croatian passports."
23 Do you recall that meeting?
24 A. Yes, I do. Switzerland
25 from Croatia
1 to see them returned to the Republic of Croatia
2 it was a large number of refugees from Bosnia-Herzegovina, out of which a
3 large portion had Croatian passports. They were aware that they had the
4 right to return such refugees to the Republic of Croatia
5 had to take care of its citizens, i.e., of those to whom it had issued
6 passports, irrespective of whether they were Christians or Muslims, or
7 that is to say whether they were Bosniak Muslims or Croatians from
9 Q. All right. Well, let me ask you this though, on this occasion,
10 and I know that you've indicated that Germany was the same, you said that
11 yesterday, but I just want to ask you. Did the representatives from
13 to go back to Bosnia-Herzegovina or was it -- were they leaving it up to
15 Bosnian refugees with Croatian passports would get back to
17 A. They left it to the Republic of Croatia
18 people and to either return them to the Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina
19 or if that proved impossible to keep them in Croatia and take care of
21 Q. All right. If we go to the next document, 1D 01798, we're going
22 to go through several documents rather quickly. This is a letter to the
23 Bosnian and Herzegovinian embassy in Zagreb and it's a report on the
24 implementation of the programme for the return of refugees and expelled
25 persons from the Kingdom of Denmark
1 office by any chance have to get involved with the return of refugees
2 from Bosnia-Herzegovina that had gone to Denmark?
3 A. Yes. Shortly before that the Republic of Croatia
4 Minister Birte Weiss who was a minister in the Danish government. She
5 let us know that the Danish government had decided that it had been
6 taking care of refugees for a sufficient amount of time and that they
7 needed to be returned. She also said that among them there were those
8 who wanted to go back and they were looking for a possibility of doing
10 I agreed with Minister Birte Weiss on that because there was no
11 other way for me. If the Danish government was sending their refugees
12 back, we had to take them in following the same procedure. If they were
13 Croatian citizens, they were to remain in the Republic of Croatia
14 they were citizens of Bosnia-Herzegovina, they were to continue their
15 travel onwards to that country. If unable to return there, they were to
16 stop in Croatia
17 long as their return to Bosnia-Herzegovina is arranged.
18 Q. All right. Now, if we go to the next document, 1D 02591 and if
19 we can recall yesterday you indicated that at some point, I believe it
20 was yesterday that you said, that there was some sort of an agreement
21 that you signed on behalf of the Government of the Republic of Croatia
22 with the -- with Germany
23 A. Yes, that is correct. It had to do with a gradual and organized
24 return of 35 [as interpreted] refugees who were from Croatia
25 and Herzegovina
1 who was the minister of the interior, signed a protocol with me under
2 which the return was to take place. We attached to it a list of all
3 available places to which the citizens could return, but we asked them to
4 keep for a while those refugees who were unable to go back to the
5 locations which we attached as well and which were still under occupation
6 either in Croatia
8 Q. Okay. Now, if we could look at the next three documents very
9 quickly, I just want you to look at them and then I'll have one or two
11 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Um --
12 MR. KARNAVAS: Yes.
13 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Just a little precision again. The witness
14 spoke of 35 refugees and that's what's in the record. If one looks at
15 the document one finds the figure six -- five pages from the bottom of
16 35.000 refugees.
17 MR. KARNAVAS: That's what I thought I heard.
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] That is correct, I said 35.000,
20 MR. KARNAVAS: The transcript will be corrected.
21 JUDGE TRECHSEL: It's page 92, line 14.
22 MR. KARNAVAS: Right.
23 JUDGE TRECHSEL: You find 35 refugees.
24 MR. KARNAVAS: I've heard 35.000 and sometimes --
25 JUDGE TRECHSEL: I heard 35 --
1 MR. KARNAVAS: Okay. If we could look at -- and I appreciate
2 that, Judge Trechsel.
3 Q. 1D 02620, and then with that if you look at 1D 02621 and 1D
4 02619, if you just look at them very quickly, in relation to your
5 previous answer you had indicated, as I understand, that the agreement
6 was that locations that had been designated as safe areas from those --
7 refugees from those areas could be returned on a gradual basis. Is that
9 A. It is.
10 Q. And could you tell us for the record what these documents
11 reflect, that is, 1D 02620, 2621, and 2619?
12 A. This is the list of all places and settlements that was sent to
13 all regional offices, all 21 of them, and to all centres for social
14 welfare of which there were over 200. The list contains the names of all
15 places to which return was possible. That is why the regional offices
16 and centres for social welfare had to abide by it. They were supposed to
17 send only those DPs and refugees who hailed from these locations which
18 were free at the time. It was in October 1995.
19 Q. Dr. Rebic, I want to thank you very, very much for your testimony
20 and for coming here and thank you for being honest and forthright. We
21 would ask that you would do so with the Prosecution and with anyone else
22 asking you any questions while you're here in The Hague. Thank you very,
23 very much.
24 MR. KARNAVAS: That concludes my direct examination, Your
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you as well. Thank you as
2 well, Professor Karnavas.
3 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Fine.
4 Witness, you will return in this courtroom tomorrow afternoon for
5 the rest of your testimony. Questions will be put to you by the Defences
6 of General Praljak and of Mr. Petkovic. The Praljak Defence told us that
7 they would need 15 minutes and the Petkovic Defence will have just a few
8 questions to put to you. After that, the Prosecution will cross-examine
9 you for about four hours and 20 minutes. The registrar will give me the
10 exact time later on. We'll see each other again tomorrow. No need for
11 me to tell you that you're not to have any contact with anyone because
12 you are a witness of the Tribunal. That's something I've already
13 mentioned, I believe.
14 I wish you a very pleasant evening. It's almost 7.00 p.m., and
15 we'll resume the proceedings tomorrow afternoon.
--- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 6.58 p.m.
17 to be reconvened on Wednesday, the 21st day of
18 May, 2008, at 2.15 p.m.