1 Tuesday, 24 June 2008
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 9.02 a.m.
5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Registrar, please call the
7 THE REGISTRAR: Good morning, Your Honours, good morning everyone
8 in and around the courtroom. This is IT-04-74-T, the Prosecutor versus
9 Jadranko Prlic et al. Thank you, Your Honours.
10 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. Registrar.
11 Today is Tuesday. I'd like to greet the accused, their Defence counsel,
12 the OTP representatives, as well as everybody assisting us. I believe
13 that Mr. Scott has a housekeeping matter to raise. Mr. Scott, you may
15 MR. SCOTT: Thank you, Mr. President. Good morning,
16 Your Honours. I'm once again hidden from Judge Trechsel behind the pole.
17 Good morning to everyone else in the courtroom.
18 Your Honours, I feel I must perhaps try the Chamber's patience
19 just a bit this morning in the following respect: I spent a good deal of
20 last evening going through my outline on this witness and reviewing again
21 the various materials that the Prosecution prepared to use with this
22 witness. I can tell the Chamber that as a result of my work last
23 evening, I have reduced my outline considerably and, in fact, I will
24 forgo a number of documents that I think are significant and of course I
25 would prefer to put them before the Chamber but nonetheless given the
1 time constraints, I have eliminated a significant number of them.
2 Having said this, Your Honour, and given the number of topics
3 that have been raised in the Defence examinations, I believe again as a
4 result of my review that at bare minimum that I can responsibly deal with
5 this witness, I'm asking the Chamber for an additional one hour of time
6 to complete -- to complete my cross-examination. I thought it,
7 Your Honours, important with this witness and I hope Your Honours agree
8 that given a number of the issues that have been raised in particular
9 with this witness, and his position at the relevant time that there were
10 some issues that had to be dealt with at some length. And the Chamber
11 will note that with the exception of yesterday afternoon which I do agree
12 that I intervened more with the witness than in the afternoon but
13 primarily during his examination I have not intervened extensively with
14 the witness and I've let him give the full answers for the most part that
15 he wanted to give.
16 I cite as one example something that I thought should be put
17 before the Chamber but took a fair amount of time was dealing with the
18 rules of procedure of the Presidency yesterday which under the
19 circumstances required that the witness read those out for translation.
20 I think -- I hope the Chamber found that to be helpful and that
21 information and to have that information -- evidence in front of it.
22 That did take a considerable amount of the Prosecution's time.
23 The Defence, Your Honours, with this witness had according to the
24 registry 8 hours and 11 minutes and with the greatest respect, I don't
25 see why the Prosecution's time should be considerably less than that.
1 And I note because I went back and again reviewed this trial's statistics
2 this morning, I note that during the Prosecution case there were a
3 significant number of occasions where the Defence cross-examinations were
4 not only equal to but in fact substantially longer than the Prosecution
6 For all those reasons, Your Honour, I am asking the Chamber for
7 additional time. I think even with the additional time, and I think
8 allowing for a reasonable time for any redirect by Mr. Karnavas, I
9 believe that we can still finish this witness today. Thank you.
10 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] One moment.
11 Mr. Scott, I thought you had one hour and 31 minutes left, unless
12 I'm mistaken. You told us that you only needed one hour. So you don't
13 need any additional hour.
14 MR. SCOTT: My apologies, you were, I thought I was clear. I'm
15 asking the Chamber for an additional hour above the time that I have
17 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Karnavas.
18 MR. KARNAVAS: Good morning, Mr. President, good morning,
19 Your Honours, good morning everyone in and around the courtroom.
20 While I can sympathise with the Prosecution for wishing to spend
21 additional time with this particular witness, I must confess that at
22 times, I felt that he did not appropriately use his time. There were
23 matters that were not terribly relevant, matters that were already
24 established and nonetheless he went over them again and again and matters
25 that are not necessarily relevant for this particular witness. Had the
1 Prosecution been more efficient, I probably would be a little more
2 generous that's number one.
3 Number two, it's not a matter of whether we can finish this
4 witness today. I have another witness who is very busy who can only be
5 here this week. I cannot bring him back next week and I cannot bring him
6 back some other point in time. He's been here since Friday. And I'm
7 willing to reduce my time in that witness to make sure that he can finish
8 this week so we can go back on schedule, on track, but I must object to
9 the Prosecution having additional time.
10 Now, if, for instance, the Prosecution were to make some sort of
11 case as to exactly what were the areas, what are the areas that they need
12 to go into specifically, it might help you and it might help me assess
13 whether that additional time is warranted but thus far, all I've heard is
14 they've reduced the scope of what they want to discuss and they need
15 still an additional hour and I think we all have to manage our time.
16 I also wish to point out that there were times when I wanted
17 witnesses and one witness that still bothers me almost on a daily basis,
18 it really gets under my skin, is the one ambassador that we had who was
19 with the Mr. Vance and was with Mr. Owen taking all those notes, I was
20 limited to 3 hours. I needed an additional day with that gentleman. I
21 wasn't given any additional time. And that witness was here for only
22 four days. This gentleman has been here five, he's going to be here
23 another session, I think that's sufficient.
24 There comes a point in time when we all need to manage our time
25 as best as we can and I think we're doing that on this side and while I
1 sympathise with the Prosecution, they haven't made a case yet that would
2 warrant reconsideration of the time that you've provided to them. Thank
4 MS. ALABURIC: [No interpretation]
5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] It seems there's no
6 interpretation into English.
7 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] The colleague said that the
8 translation is on the B/C/S channel.
9 THE INTERPRETER: Can you hear us now, the English channel?
10 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Are you receiving the
11 interpretation into the B/C/S?
12 I first greeted everyone in the courtroom and then I proceeded to
13 say the following. The Petkovic Defence has a lot of understanding for
14 the needs of all of the parties in these proceedings. We understand that
15 everybody must be given sufficient time to hear the witnesses and this
16 should also be beneficial to the Chamber. In that sense, we backed every
17 application by the OTP to be granted more time for their own witnesses.
18 We also believe they should be granted as much time as they can use for
19 cross-examining Defence witnesses. However, the Petkovic Defence must in
20 this case oppose the application by the Prosecution to be granted another
21 hour for the present witness because the Prosecutor explains their
22 application by their understanding of the other cross-examinations by the
23 other Defences which is an approach that I consider to be entirely
25 We do not think it should be an established practice here that
1 the cross-examinations by the other Defence teams should be seen as the
2 same thing as the examination in chief by whichever Defence calls the
3 witness. Should the OTP application be admitted, however, the
4 Petkovic Defence will be requiring additional time to hear the witness on
5 some circumstances that the Prosecutor has raised on their
6 cross-examination of the witness as well as additional documents that
7 they have introduced. The circumstances in these documents are of
8 exceptional importance to the Petkovic Defence and we must shed light on
9 them, therefore, we shall be applying for additional time to examine
10 Mr. Akmadzic should this application by the Prosecution be granted.
11 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Khan, you will have the
12 floor in a minute.
13 Mr. Scott, you're asking for an additional hour, again we're
14 going to spend an hour on the issue but never mind.
15 Mr. Scott, what are the topics that you would like to deal with
16 in this additional hour? Which are the documents that you wanted to use?
17 MR. SCOTT: Your Honour, there are a few clean-up items from
18 yesterday including one additional document about the events in January
19 of 1993. That was the last topic we were on yesterday. There was an
20 important meeting that this witness was directly involved in at Citluk on
21 the 29th of April, 1993, which I think was very important to put before
22 the Chamber.
23 The witness's previous testimony is short but nonetheless very
24 important statement about the provision of military assistance and
25 ammunition to the Muslims which has been raised in this courtroom -- by
1 the Croat side which has been raised in this courtroom a number of times.
2 The man -- the Defence spent a considerable amount of time on a
3 man named Fikret Abdic which under the circumstances I would only take
4 only in the most brief way but I think cannot be given the total
5 amount -- given the amount of time spent by the Defence, I don't think I
6 can completely leave this topic ignored.
7 There are a number of different additional documents about
8 Mr. Akmadzic's role in various meetings and events. And finally, there
9 are about five or six parts of presidential transcripts to put to the
10 witness in which he was directly involved. And he was a participant in
11 those meetings, Your Honour.
12 With respect, with a brief response to Ms. Alaburic, whatever
13 issues she may feel that she needs to raise as with -- as relates to her
14 client, Mr. Petkovic, I don't anticipate any additional issues in today's
15 examination at all, as far as I can recall, involving Mr. Petkovic. And
16 so to that extent, I mean to the extent that Ms. Alaburic has any issues
17 or puts any requests before the Chamber about that, that stands
18 completely independent of whether the Chamber grants the additional time
19 or not because I don't expect to touch upon, I don't recall in looking
20 through my notes again, my folders again, any involvement by Mr. Petkovic
21 in any of the material that I would cover this morning. So that matter
22 stands independent of this issue. Thank you.
23 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Khan.
24 MR. KHAN: Your Honour, I think I'll take the lead from your
25 learned brother, Judge Trechsel, I think Your Honours have heard enough
1 on the matter.
2 [Trial Chamber confers]
3 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Following deliberations, the
4 Trial Chamber decides to add 30 minutes to the remaining time, so you
5 will have two hours, Mr. Scott, in order to finish.
6 MR. SCOTT: I'm grateful, Your Honour. I'll do my best. Thank
8 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Let's have the witness brought
10 Yes, Ms. Alaburic, we'll see depending on the answers provided by
11 the witness whether the Trial Chamber, I, personally, I have my own
12 opinion, but whether the Trial Chamber will grant you additional time or
14 [The witness entered court]
15 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, given the time that
16 was granted for my cross-examination, there was something -- it was one
17 of the things that gave rise to Mr. Scott's request then you partially
18 granted that request, I will be asking for another five minutes and I
19 will explain what the three topics are in which I would like to hear this
20 witness; however, I think it might be a good idea for us to deal with
21 this at the end of this witness's cross-examination so that then we can
22 see what we do about it. Thank you very much.
23 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Good morning, sir.
24 WITNESS: MILE AKMADZIC [Resumed]
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Good morning.
1 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I'm sorry you had to wait for
2 20 minutes. I we had to deal with a point of procedure. Mr. Scott, you
3 have the floor.
4 Cross-examination by Mr. Scott: [Continued]
5 Q. Thank you, Your Honours. Once again, good morning to everyone in
6 the courtroom.
7 Sir, our time is very limited today and everyone wants to get you
8 back home hopefully at the end of the day depending on the travel
9 schedule. So I'll appreciate if we can both move as efficiently as
10 possible, I'll try and if you try to give your concise answers, that
11 would be helpful.
12 Sir, you've repeatedly stated -- just to bring us back up to
13 speed from the last few days, you've repeatedly told us, if I understand
14 your testimony correctly, that the HVO was considered an integral part of
15 the armed forces of the state of Bosnia and Herzegovina under the
16 Supreme Command of the BiH Presidency in principle; correct?
17 A. That's true.
18 Q. And as the President Judge Antonetti correctly said yesterday at
19 page 71, in the military there has to be one Supreme Commander and then
20 there is a hierarchy in the chain of command and I take it you would
21 agree with that, wouldn't you?
22 A. Yes, in Bosnia and Herzegovina, it was a bit peculiar if the
23 Supreme Command is the Presidency then it's 7, or rather, during the war,
24 7 plus 3 equals 10.
25 Q. And sir, I think you would agree with me that at no time between
1 April of 1992, which was the beginning point for most of the questions
2 that I've been putting to you, and approximately January of 1994, there
3 was no time during that period that Mate Boban was a member of the BiH
4 Presidency; correct?
5 A. That's correct.
6 Q. And so, sir, if the HVO was an integral part of the armed forces
7 of the state of Bosnia and Herzegovina under the Supreme Command of the
8 BiH Presidency, in principle, it was not then under the command of
9 Mate Boban; is that correct?
10 A. I don't think I understand your question. I apologise.
11 Q. Well, if, as you've told us, the HVO was an integral part of the
12 armed forces of the state of Bosnia and Herzegovina, and if the
13 Supreme Command of those armed forces was in the BiH Presidency, then it
14 was not -- it could not be the case, could it, that Mr. Boban was the
15 Supreme Commander of those forces.
16 A. Mr. Boban could not have been the Supreme Commander of the armed
17 forces of Bosnia and Herzegovina; however, he could have been the
18 commander of one of their segments.
19 Q. Well, in what way -- are you suggesting that Mr. Boban, then,
20 himself in turn, would be subject to the Supreme Command of the
21 Presidency of Bosnia and Herzegovina?
22 A. All of the armed forces of Bosnia and Herzegovina were under the
23 Supreme Command of the Presidency of Bosnia and Herzegovina as a civilian
24 body, the Supreme Command as head of state.
25 Q. Well, going back to, again, what President Antonetti said
1 yesterday, there had been one Supreme Commander. I put to you, sir, that
2 the HVO couldn't have two Supreme Commanders. It couldn't be one and the
3 same time that the Supreme Commander was the Presidency of Bosnia and
5 Supreme Commander; correct?
6 A. I explained yesterday when the Chamber asked that the Presidency
7 as the Supreme Commander of the armed forces was one thing and the other
8 thing was the joint command of all three components making up the
9 BH army; one was the BH army, and the other was the HVO. I explained to
10 the Trial Chamber yesterday that even in the joint command there could
11 have been a number of people, five, seven, three, whatever, but I really
12 don't know much about that, how many people exactly but the joint command
13 could possibly have more people in the -- in that command.
14 Q. Excuse me. If you can please look at Exhibit P 01312, which
15 should be in the second binder, please. P 01312. While you're looking
16 for that, sir, at the same time, for the record I will say that this
17 appears to be a letter or communication by Bruno Stojic dated the 26th of
18 January, 1993, touching on the issues that we discussed yesterday in
19 connection with the decision issued on the 15th of January, 1993, for the
20 subordination or relocation of certain forces. 1312. All right.
21 Sir, if you will look at the last page of that document, in the
22 paragraph, the last paragraph over the name of Mr. Stojic. About halfway
23 through that paragraph, in response to a letter that we looked at
24 yesterday by Mr. Halilovic, Mr. Stojic says, "For our part, we are
25 unconditionally prepared to carry out the order of our Supreme Commander,
1 Mr. Boban."
2 So again I ask you sir, this could not be correct, could it if in
3 fact the Presidency of Bosnia and Herzegovina was the Supreme Commander,
4 collectively the Supreme Commander of the HVO; correct?
5 A. Yes, sir, we must see who we are, Mr. Bruno Stojic. We are
6 certainly the HVO. A segment of the HVO according to his opinion here is
7 Mr. Boban, meaning Mr. Boban is the civilian Supreme Commander of the
8 HVO, according to what we are looking at here. But not of all the armed
9 forces such as the Presidency of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
10 Q. So I put it to you again, sir, that subject to -- consistent with
11 the testimony you've given so far, are you suggesting, then, that if the
12 HVO was one integral part of the armed forces of the state of Bosnia
14 in Chief of one particular segment, are you telling this Chamber then
15 that Mr. Boban was subject to and reported to the BiH Presidency as the
16 Supreme Command?
17 A. I don't know that Mr. Boban was submitting reports to the BH
18 Presidency but I know that the BH Presidency had information about the
19 functioning of the HVO as a segment of the armed forces.
20 Q. Let me direct your attention back to the previous page or the
21 previous paragraph above the one that I've been looking at. In the
22 English version it is the bottom of page 3. Mr. Stojic also makes this
23 statement, "I am head of the Defence department of the Croatian Community
24 of Herceg-Bosna" and in line with the questions I've been putting to you
25 in the last few moments, do you agree that there is no basis whatsoever
1 to suggest that during this time from approximately the middle of 1992 to
2 January 1994, Mr. Stojic as the head of the Herceg-Bosna Defence
3 department was reporting to or taking direction from the BiH Presidency
4 as the Supreme Commander, was he?
5 A. I must say that at the time that we were at the negotiations and
6 the BH Presidency was meeting abroad we were exchanging whatever
7 information was available but there was no reporting in writing, as such.
8 We would reach any agreements at the meetings of the Presidency.
9 Therefore, I am unable to answer your last question with any degree of
10 precision whatsoever.
11 Q. Sir, can you inform this Chamber of any occasion that you recall
12 concerning a meeting of the BiH Presidency, and in the past week or so
13 we've looked at a number of the minutes of those meetings, can you recall
14 a single meeting where Bruno Stojic directly or indirectly gave a report
15 about the workings of his department to the Presidency of Bosnia and
17 A. I don't know. But what I can say is this: By virtue, his
18 position at the time, Bruno Stojic was not directly in touch with the
19 BH Presidency. There were segments between him and the BH Presidency
20 that he might have reported to, for example, the Defence Minister.
21 Q. I'd like you to turn next, please, to Exhibit P -- in the first
22 binder, P 00042 [Realtime transcript read in error "P 000402"]. It
23 should be the first document in the first binder. 42, sorry, the
24 transcript says 402, if I misspoke, I'm sorry. P 00042. Exhibit 42.
25 Sir, I just want to touch briefly again and to conclude on this
1 particular topic that we've discussed building on some of your evidence
2 you gave yesterday. Isn't it correct, sir, that throughout the period
3 from even the middle of 1991 and continuing until late 1992, there were
4 extensive division of views and dissent among even the leadership of the
5 HDZ-BiH which was not finally overcome until November 1992 and I put it
6 to you, sir, by which time all or most of the moderates of that party
7 including Mr. Kljuic, Mr. Brkic and others had left the party or had been
8 thrown out of the party or had been marginalised; correct?
9 A. Not correct.
10 Q. Let me ask you to look at Exhibit P 00042, a record of a meeting
11 of the Croatian Democratic Union, HDZ-BiH in the Travnik region on the
12 21st of, July, 1991, and I direct your attention in particular to
13 paragraph number 5. In that paragraph, it says, "If President
14 Stjepan Kljuic is unable to leave the HDZ-BiH Presidency because of his
15 position as a member of the BiH Presidency," look at that, I next direct
16 your attention to -- and I'll put a question to you to paragraph numbered
17 13 which reports among other things "HDZ deputies," I take it in the BiH
18 assembly in the -- in reference to the previous sentence, "had become
19 puppets of the SDA policies"; do you see that?
20 MR. KARNAVAS: Your Honour, I wish to raise an objection at this
21 point. If you look at number five, this is a clever way of trying to
22 piece together something to fit the Prosecution's aims. If you look at
23 paragraph 5, "Because of his position as a member," it goes, "it is
24 recommended that the sessions be presided over by the other
25 vice-presidents or another authorised member of the Presidency." What
1 does that mean? Maybe he has functions and he cannot attend the meeting.
2 Not because of his political views which is what the Prosecution is
3 suggesting. So I would object to this first and foremost; and secondly,
4 what does this have to do with the price of eggs in China. Why is this
5 relevant? Or tea. I just don't see what the relevance is. He's asked
6 for 30 additional minutes or an hour and now we're wasting our time on
7 this. Why is this relevant with this gentleman?
8 MR. SCOTT: Your Honour, in response, number one, I don't have
9 time to put all -- as again, I don't have time to put all the documents
10 in front of this witness to demonstrate this point. I can ask the
11 witness, I think, it would be -- I would be surprised if it would be
12 disputed in this courtroom at this point that there was a significant
13 difference of views between Mr. Kljuic and Mr. Boban, Mr. Kostroman and
14 others. I think that seems to be pretty well known in the courtroom at
15 this particular point in time.
16 Secondly, Your Honour, I think the directly and highly relevant
17 because there are continued -- it's the Prosecution case that there are
18 continued references in the documentation and continued pretense that the
19 HDZ spoke for all Croats, spoke for all parts of that party and that in
20 fact, the HDZ in its earlier period included a wide range of opinions and
21 that the party that existed and was most relevant at the end of 1992
22 leads us into the core events of this indictment. That HDZ at the end of
23 1992 was a substantially different HDZ than the one that started in 1990
24 and 1991. And if the Defence says that's not disputed, then we'll take
25 that as an established fact and go forward. If it is disputed then the
1 Prosecution should be allowed to put its case.
2 MR. KARNAVAS: Your Honour, as in any political party, there are
3 divergent opinions. You can see that now going on in the elections in
4 the United States, can you see in Croatia
5 or in Bosnia
6 over. Number one.
7 Number two, Kljuic resigned, let's be clear on that. He
8 resigned. He can put the question to him whether he resigned or whether
9 he was forced out. Kljuic resigned. That's a fact that has been
10 established in this courtroom. Now, whether he came under pressure,
11 whether he was being criticised and resigned, it doesn't matter. He
12 resigned. But what does this have to do -- are we prosecuting HDZ, is
13 this what this case is about? Let us focus on the case, Your Honours. I
14 truly plead with you to keep this focus on what is at stake. Otherwise
15 we are prosecuting everything. And then we have to defend everything.
16 MR. SCOTT: Your Honour that's simply not true and if it's --
17 again, I invite Mr. --
18 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Scott, please proceed
19 because the Chamber is of the view that this has a relevance with regard
20 to the joint criminal enterprise.
21 Mr. Kljuic, according to the Prosecution, left the leadership of
22 the HDZ, that's the Prosecution case so the Prosecution can confront the
23 witness with that. You may proceed with your question, Mr. Scott.
24 MR. SCOTT: Thank you, Mr. President.
25 Q. Mr. Akmadzic, it may be that counsel's partly right that I may
1 not have picked perhaps the very best document of the various dozens of
2 documents on this point to put in front of you, but you know, don't you,
3 that even by mid-1991 by the fall 1991, by the time of a very important
4 meeting in Zagreb
5 division of views in the HDZ-BiH personified if you will, at that time,
6 the division of the conflict between Mr. Boban and the people like
7 Mr. Boban and Mr. Kordic on one hand and people like Mr. Kljuic on the
8 other; correct?
9 A. Your Honours, I would like us to deal with this subject once and
10 for all and could I please not answer questions on this topic any longer.
11 The HDZ won the elections in Bosnia and Herzegovina with the vast
12 majority and to this day, the HDZ is in power in Bosnia and Herzegovina
13 in the segment that relates to the Croatian people. The HDZ was not
14 always unanimous and we never considered that to be a smart thing or a
15 good thing.
16 In socialism, we used to call that single-mindedness and we
17 decided to fight against that at all levels and among all three peoples.
18 That is to say that in 1990, and further on when we carried out elections
19 and when we had a change of government, we said that we had a democratic
20 government in which all people had the right to present their own views.
21 At this point in time, I disagree with the Prosecutor on the
22 following. Namely, he considers Mr. Kljuic and some others to be
23 moderates and then he probably considers others to be immoderates or
24 extremists or whatever. I cannot agree with that at all because I first
25 and foremost do not think that Mr. Kljuic is all that moderate.
1 The most moderate almost among all of them was myself, that is
2 what was generally believed and therefore please respect my views. These
3 views were expressed democratically. Mr. Kljuic resigned because he did
4 not agree with the majority, that is his right and that is a possibility
5 that he had. I agree that --
6 Q. If the Chamber is going to grant me more time, I'm going to cut
7 you off and go on. You've stated your position. I would like for you to
8 look at P 00743. P 00743 which should be in the second binder. 743.
9 Sir, this is the record of a meeting of the HDZ-BiH second
10 general assembly held in Mostar on the 14th of November, 1992. There are
11 actually a large number of points raised in this document but time does
12 not allow us to go through many of them.
13 In the first page, I will just direct your attention ever so
14 briefly to item number 3 indicating the so-called distinguished guest
15 from the Republic of Croatia
16 Perica Juric. The distinguished guest from BiH and BiH organs, number 5,
17 Mile Akmadzic, Miro Lasic, Franjo Boras and others including
18 Jadranko Prlic.
19 Stopping briefly on item number 7, it said it began with a salute
20 with the home land by striking up the anthem. And with my apologies I
21 may say it, Lijepa Nasa. That is the national anthem of the Republic of
23 A. Sir, that is the anthem of the Croatian people, that the Croatian
24 state took as its own; however, the Croats of Bosnia and Herzegovina
25 sing that anthem. While I'm on the subject, allow me to tell you that
1 there are also two flags that are very similar, one is the flag of the
2 Republic of Croatia
3 and Hercegovina.
4 Q. You're right, sir, the flags are very, very similar. If I can
5 ask you then to go to specifically to item number 22 in the English
6 version, it is the bottom of page 5. To touch on and confirm by
7 documentation something we discussed yesterday, it's correct, sir, that
8 it was at this meeting, as reflected in item 22, that Mate Boban was
9 elected president of the HDZ-BiH; correct?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. And then in item 23, several vice-presidents were elected at the
12 proposition of Mate Boban: You; Mr. Dario Kordic; Mr. Jadranko Topic,
13 who was the HVO mayor or president of Mostar; and Mr. Ivo Zivkovic. And
14 the four of you were put forward if you will nominated by Mr. Boban;
16 A. That is absolutely incorrect. We were proposed and elected by
17 the parliament.
18 Q. When it says, "At the proposition of Mate Boban ..." you're
19 saying that's not correct?
20 A. Proposition and election is not one and the same thing. I am a
21 linguist, at least I know about that. They were elected by the HDZ and
22 the parliament and it's not one and the same thing.
23 Q. Perhaps you misheard me or there was a translation difference,
24 sir. The point, the question that I put to you was not who voted but
25 at -- but by who you were proposed or nominated and I take it, then, you
1 agree with me that you were nominated by Mr. Boban; correct?
2 A. That is not correct. We've already discussed that in this
3 courtroom that nomination or, rather, appointment and election is not one
4 and the same thing. The word used here is "elected," "izabrani."
5 Q. In item 24 similarly at the proposition of Mate Boban, 40 people
6 were elected to the BiH central board and do I take it that the central
7 board was like the principal or executive board of the party?
8 A. I cannot discuss the party here and now. We don't have the
9 Statute of the party before us so we cannot see how elections take place
10 in accordance with the Statute of the party. We discussed some other
11 matters yesterday and we said that the rules of procedure of the
12 Presidency were somewhat different in respect of what we had discussed
13 earlier on or rather if you look at what it was that I claimed.
14 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Judge Mindua would like to ask
15 a question.
16 JUDGE MINDUA: [Interpretation] Mr. Scott, excuse me.
17 Witness, I would like to come back to the issue of nominations
18 and elections. Let's have a look at paragraph 23 where it mentions the
19 election of the vice-president and following the interpretation into
20 French, I heard -- that's what I heard at the proposition of Mate Boban,
21 those persons were elected. Elected, fine. But what about that
22 proposition? You were nominated by Mr. Boban or were you proposed by
23 Mr. Boban to be part of a list that comprised more than four people?
24 In other words, Mr. Boban proposed four persons, nominated four
25 persons and those four persons were elected or did he propose more
1 persons, five, six or ten persons, for instance?
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I cannot remember. I think that
3 Mr. Boban proposed these five persons who were indeed elected and I think
4 there were other proposals made by other members of the party but at this
5 point, I cannot confirm that or deny it. The fact remains that Mr. Boban
6 made the proposal and that all the members who were there as delegates
7 elected this leadership.
8 JUDGE MINDUA: [Interpretation] One last question. The assembly
9 had the authority to accept or refuse those persons; right?
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] All four persons could have been
11 refused, also the election of Mate Boban and the president could have
12 been refused. The assembly is the top body of the party; was then, is
14 JUDGE MINDUA: [Interpretation] Thank you very much.
15 MR. SCOTT:
16 Q. Sir, if we could next go to Exhibit P 02142 which should be in
17 the second binder, please. P 02142. Sir, this is a report concerning a
18 meeting in Citluk on the 29th of April, 1993, of the Presidency
19 apparently of -- well, a number of people. It's indicated at the top of
20 the page the Presidency, the government of the HZ HB, HVO, et cetera.
21 During -- about halfway down the first page, you're indicated as being
22 present, Mr. Mile Akmadzic.
23 Down below your name, several items down, past the what we might
24 call the bulleted items, there is a statement attributed under your
25 section, if you will, of the record, you say, "Suggested officially
1 disputing the mandate of Mr. A. Izetbegovic in the capacity of president
2 (of 2 November 1992
3 Now, sir, are we to take it from that, the way I would read it
4 and I'm giving you the chance, of course, to disagree with me, but is it
5 correct then that up to that point in time since you're suggesting this
6 is something to be done, that up until that point in time,
7 Mr. Izetbegovic's capacity as president had not been "officially
9 A. We discussed that yesterday. Mr. Izetbegovic's Presidency was
10 disputed as of the 20th of December, 1992. For the sake of compromise,
11 he was accepted after that because he was a member of the Presidency and
12 he led the majority people of Bosnia and Herzegovina in the negotiations.
13 We cannot disregard that fact but as president of the Presidency, we
14 challenged him, disputed him.
15 Q. Prior to the Citluk meeting on the 29th April, 1993, had the HDZ
16 leadership, Mr. Boban, yourself, Mr. Kordic, others, had any of you --
17 had the party "officially disputed" Mr. Izetbegovic's mandate as
18 president? Prior to the 29th of April?
19 A. Could we please separate the party from the state now although
20 its representatives are in the state government. The mandate of
21 Mr. Izetbegovic was disputed by members of the Presidency of Bosnia and
23 officials. The party can only have a consultative link in that respect,
24 not more than that.
25 Q. Can you please go to Exhibit P 10482 in the third binder,
1 please. P 10482. Sir, this is a report of a interview that it indicates
2 you gave on the 4th of May, 1993, to a Zagreb
3 Vecernji List. Excuse me if I mispronounce it but I believe that's
4 close. It indicates that you gave an interview which was then published
5 in this Zagreb
6 Citluk meeting on the 29th of April.
7 In the third paragraph of that it attributes the statement to
8 you, "He says that he does not rule out the Croatian members of the
9 government based in the southern town of Mostar proclaiming themselves
10 government of Bosnia-Herzegovina."
11 Is that an accurate report of the statement of the interview you
12 gave on the 4th of May, 1993?
13 A. I cannot find what you read out to me now, but I can confirm the
14 following: I did not authorise this interview which would be normal.
15 Secondly, the meetings you referred to just now -- well, I think the
16 dates are not correct. And I don't know whether this matters altogether.
17 I would not look at this newspaper interview, this is not an official
18 paper. I did not authorise this and I cannot remember now what it was
19 that I had said in the first place.
20 Q. I don't know what you mean by authorise, sir. Did you give an
21 interview sometime around the 4th of May, 1993, or not? Let's start with
22 that and then we'll go forward. Did you give an interview around this
23 time or did this Zagreb
24 A. First of all, let me explain what I mean by the word
25 "authorisation." When one gives an interview ...
1 Q. Did you give an interview?
2 A. I don't remember. Probably -- I can't remember. I gave many
4 MR. KARNAVAS: Again, Mr. President, the question from Mr. Scott
5 "I don't know what you mean by authorise, sir." So now he's trying to
6 give an explanation of what he means by authorise. You can see that. Of
7 course Mr. Scott goes on with his question ending with a rather sarcastic
8 note but nonetheless, he begins by saying, "I don't know what you mean by
9 authorise." So now the gentleman is trying to explain what he means by
10 authorise. Now he can't have it both ways. He can't ask a question and
11 then slap him down when he tries to answer the question.
12 MR. SCOTT: It's not slapping down, Your Honour. As Mr. Karnavas
13 likes to say, it's trying to proceed step by step. I rephrased, I gave
14 priority to establishing the first point first and that is, one, was
15 there an interview; if we can establish that there was an interview, then
16 we can talk about whether it was authorised or not and that's all that
17 was, Your Honour. There's no reason to take time on this.
18 Q. So you say you don't recall giving an interview, is that your
20 A. I don't remember. I said that I gave a great many interviews.
21 As for this specific interview, I do not remember it. However, I'm not
22 claiming that I did not give it.
23 Q. Was it your position around this time in May -- late April, early
24 May 1993, was it your position that -- is it something that you were
25 considering that the Croat members of the government based in the
1 southern town of Mostar might proclaim themselves the government of
3 MR. KARNAVAS: Mr. President, if I may interject here for a
4 second. I'm told by my colleague who reads Croatian, I don't, that when
5 you compare the text what has been translated and when you compare it to
6 the actual document, they're not the same. And that this text here that
7 we have in our hands is not the interview or this article from this
8 newspaper. One is not connected to the other. It might be a montage, it
9 might be an interpretation, but this is -- this document here which is in
10 Croatian which is from the newspaper itself has not been interpreted.
11 That's what I am told. So perhaps that may be the reason -- so we have
12 an agency interpreting what was said and that may be the cause of the
14 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Scott, that had not escaped
15 me. The first document is a document from the AFP which is a French
16 agency so this is already a translation. Secondly, we have an article
17 with the witness's picture. Maybe you should show the article to the
18 witness. I'm looking at the article and it seems to me that there are
19 questions and answers. The question is in black and the answer in grey.
20 You have a B/C/S speaking assistant, maybe she can show you where
21 is the question that is then mentioned by AFP.
22 MR. SCOTT: I don't have that assistance in the courtroom,
23 Your Honour, if the Chamber wants me to do that, I will pursue it outside
24 the courtroom.
25 The question is -- I see that the witness has the article. He
1 has a larger version, a much larger version, fold-out version of the
2 article which hopefully makes it more legible.
3 Your Honour, I would like Mr. Karnavas -- unfortunately, I can't
4 claim to be able to read the original document; I can only stand here and
5 say that this is the translation that I was given of the document. It
6 may be there is a part of the document, a part of the interview that has
7 been republished, and if the witness can look at the original interview
8 in the item which gives -- includes his picture, if you recognise the
9 picture of a bit younger man, as we all were 15 years ago, but I can't
10 read, Your Honour, the document either. So unless the witness can assist
11 us, we will have to get somebody from outside the courtroom to assist us.
12 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Maybe you could come back to
13 that issue after the break.
14 Please proceed.
15 MR. SCOTT: Thank you, Your Honour, I will do that. Let me just
16 have a moment. Thank you, Mr. President, we'll try to sort that out.
17 Although I must say, if the witness says he doesn't deny the interview
18 but he doesn't specifically remember it, I'm not sure how much it helps
19 us, frankly, and I would just simply put the questions to him that the --
20 the outstanding question that I had in fact put to him whether he recalls
21 the interview or not.
22 Q. Was it, nonetheless, his position around this time, the end April
23 1993, early May 1993 that the Croatian members of the government based in
24 the southern town of Mostar
25 themselves the government of Bosnia-Herzegovina. I believe the witness
1 can still answer that question with or without the interview.
2 Was that your position at the time, sir?
3 A. Can we please leave the newspapers aside and maybe I can give you
4 my position. I didn't think then, nor indeed --
5 Q. That's exactly what I just said. If you don't remember the
6 particular interview then just answer my question which you were just
7 about to do. So we both said the same thing. So was that your position
8 at the time or not?
9 A. I didn't believe then nor do I believe now that we Croats could
10 have set up the BH government on our own. That is nonsense. If that is
11 what the papers say, then this is a misinterpretation of my words. I
12 must add this too --
13 Q. Was it your position at the time, sir, that it's also reported in
14 this article but whether you remember it or not I will just put the
15 proposition to you. Do you remember holding this position at the time
16 that as of that same period of time, Bosnia-Herzegovina no longer exists
17 as a legal entity as it no longer controls all of its territory even
18 though it is recognised by the international community? Was that your
19 position at this time?
20 A. That wasn't my position either. In this courtroom, everybody
21 should know what my position was by now. The Presidency given its
22 function did not have full legitimacy, control over the territory is a
23 different matter altogether. You can have a country that is occupied but
24 still an internationally recognised country.
25 Q. Was it your position that Bosnia and Herzegovina as of April and
1 May 1993, no longer existed as a legal entity?
2 MR. KARNAVAS: Objection. Asked and answered. He just answered
3 the question. Now we can do this over and over again and this is why I'm
4 a little bit upset with the Trial Chamber this morning for granting
5 additional time without first allowing him to exhaust the present time
6 that he was given. He's abusing your indulgence.
7 MR. SCOTT: No, Your Honour, I'm trying to get a straight answer.
8 What the witness said was - and it's on the page in front of us - he came
9 back and answered in terms of the legitimacy of the Presidency. My
10 question was a different one and it's not limited just to the issue of
11 the Presidency. I'm putting what is reported -- what is reported to be a
12 statement by this man which said, at the time, Bosnia-Herzegovina no
13 longer exists as a legal entity.
14 MR. KARNAVAS: Your Honour.
15 MR. SCOTT: I'm asking him whether he confirms that position or
17 MR. KARNAVAS: You've indicated that the Prosecutor, who does not
18 read B/C/S or does not read Croatian, should take the time to read it
19 over the break. We put our case that this is either an interpretation of
20 an interview or simply a montage. Now, until that is established, I
21 think it's highly improper for the gentleman to stand here and say, "This
22 was your position." He can ask him the question, which he has done.
23 But to say that we have this interview here and this is what he held back
24 then and I'm putting it to him now, we don't know that. This is -- yes,
25 Judge Trechsel.
1 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Mr. Karnavas, I haven't heard the Prosecutor put
2 it to him that it was his position but asking him an almost open question
3 whether -- whether, whether it was his position or not, independent of
4 the article. And the witness himself says let's forget about the article
5 and speak about the issues. I thought this was what was going on.
6 MR. KARNAVAS: But then he -- then Mr. Scott goes back into the
7 article. He can ask those questions, what were your positions on this
8 and this and this and this, irrespective of what the article says, but
9 then to ground the question and say, well, this is what was in the
10 article and that's what I heard; so he's having it both ways. He can put
11 only his -- he can put his case squarely and fairly to the witness all
12 day long; I will not object.
13 MR. SCOTT: Your Honour, Judge Trechsel, you're exactly right. I
14 didn't have to put this document even into evidence. I can have it in
15 front of me as a basis for putting questions to the witness.
16 JUDGE TRECHSEL: You did.
17 MR. SCOTT: That's exactly where you are.
18 JUDGE TRECHSEL: You did refer to the statement, actually.
19 MR. SCOTT: I will restate it, Your Honour.
20 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Yes, please.
21 MR. SCOTT:
22 Q. Sir, I'll ask you again. Was it your position in April-May 1993,
23 was it your position that Bosnia-Herzegovina did not exist at that time
24 as a legal entity?
25 A. The position of Bosnia-Herzegovina existed as a state. As for
1 legal or legal, I think lawyers should shed light on that, because I
2 don't know what that means. Bosnia-Herzegovina at the time you specified
3 existed as an international entity and as a state, quite regardless of
4 any internal problems that it may or may not have been facing.
5 Q. Had you, sir, and a majority of the Croatian members of the
6 government of Bosnia and Herzegovina left Sarajevo
7 A. Your Honours, our proposal was for the government to move out of
9 Q. Sir, that wasn't my question what the proposal was. My question
10 was had you, had you and a majority of the Croat members in fact moved
11 out of Sarajevo
12 that question. Yes or no, had you moved out of Sarajevo as of December
14 A. Members were leaving at various points in time. They didn't all
15 leave in December 1992 and they would then return to Sarajevo. And then
16 they met again. You have transcripts showing me our Presidency meetings
17 both in Sarajevo
18 Q. [Previous translation continues] ... as of December 1992 and
19 except for perhaps coming back to Sarajevo
20 remained out of Sarajevo
21 A. Sir, back in 1992, after Christmas, between Christmas and
22 New Year's Eve actually, on or about the 28th of December.
23 Q. Sir, that's not my question --
24 A. Yes, but that was your question, wasn't it?
25 Q. I said, sir, did you leave Sarajevo
1 except for going back on some limited occasions, you remained out of
3 for perhaps, perhaps coming back on some occasions; yes or no?
4 A. I can't say yes or no, I'm sorry. I can't say because I was off
5 to the Geneva
6 Q. You don't know where you lived in 1993?
7 A. Sir, my flat in Sarajevo
8 back to Sarajevo
9 meetings and I took part in negotiations abroad. My flat was all looted
10 and I had absolutely no access to it. I want to make that perfectly
12 Q. So the answer to my question is yes, you were not in Sarajevo
13 except on some occasions after December 1992.
14 A. That seems to be your conclusion. Draw any conclusion that you
15 like, as far as I'm concerned.
16 Q. Sir, you touched on --
17 JUDGE TRECHSEL: I'm sorry, Witness, I'm a bit frustrated because
18 the Prosecutor legitimately asked you questions that can be answered by
19 yes or no. There may always be explanations but you have always avoided
20 answering the question and started giving explanations and this makes us
21 lose a lot of time. It is a simple question that it cannot be seen that
22 it could not be answered by yes or no and you have not been able to show
23 why it could not be answered by yes or no. So I would ask you to comply
24 with your duty as a witness to answer questions that can be answered yes
25 or no by yes and no. Thank you.
1 MR. KARNAVAS: Judge Trechsel, with all due respect, some
2 questions are rather tricky. If he says yes --
3 JUDGE TRECHSEL: I know that, Mr. Karnavas. This question is not
4 one of those.
5 MR. KARNAVAS: This is where and here is where I fundamentally
6 disagree with you and perhaps because you may not have listened or picked
7 up on what he was trying to say at a moment ago. If he's out on official
8 duties and negotiations, so the answer is yes. But for the Prosecution's
9 purposes, he's abandoned Sarajevo
10 draw a conclusion that he left Sarajevo
12 He was trying to give an explanation and I do think that he's
13 entitled to that. He's not here as a trained seal to say yes or no and I
14 cannot explain. In this instance, he was trying to say exactly the
15 circumstance under which he left and if he's on official duty, it's
16 rather different than saying he's abandoned the city. That's what he was
17 trying to do. And I thought that had he been given some leeway, he might
18 have been able to answer and get to the question -- and I do disagree
19 with you that when you say he is never or he is not answering the
20 questions. He's trying. Maybe he's not doing it our way but he is
21 making an attempt to be fair so you can make and draw the proper
23 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Mr. Karnavas, it is you who have drawn a
24 conclusion that he had abandoned Sarajevo. I did not take this
25 conclusion. And it's not what I think. I find this is a typical case
1 where the witness answers yes or no and in redirect, you solicit the
2 explanation and you put it in the light which is the right light in the
3 view of the Defence. That's how I understand the rules of the games and
4 I think we should all try to abide by that.
5 MR. KARNAVAS: I'm trying but -- I will just -- I will sit down
6 because I think that -- I don't want to get into polemics with the
7 Trial Chamber. I do believe that the gentleman was attempting to answer
8 the question. I'm trying -- I don't want you to draw the wrong
9 conclusion hence why I said perhaps had he been given the opportunity to
10 explain why he's not there. And if you're going to say -- if the burden
11 is going to be on redirect then I'm going to have be spending a lot of my
12 time on redirect.
13 MR. STEWART: Your Honour, we must say, the Petkovic Defence,
14 with the greatest respect we do support Mr. Karnavas on this. It wasn't
15 a simple yes or no question and in fact if we look at the question at
16 page 30, lines 15 to 18, it's not put in an absolutely simple form.
17 There are in fact two or three very slightly differently -expressed
18 questions there and to ask somebody to say: Did you live somewhere
19 except for leaving going back on some limited occasions? We all live our
20 lives like that and drawing the line between living permanently in a
21 place and you're bound to go out of the place from time to time and being
22 away for longer, it's not simple yes or no and the chances of a simple
23 yes or no being the appropriate answer would be significantly enhanced if
24 the question were put in one single, simple form.
25 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Witness, it is a very clear
1 problem nothing to do with respect for one or the other. We have an
2 article in B/C/S. We don't know its contents because it has not been
3 translated. We have a dispatch from the French agency, press agency AFP
4 which seems to relate totally to your interview or your statement. We
5 don't know exactly what it is, but in reference to the article and the
6 AFP dispatch seems to say that you said that Bosnia and Herzegovina
7 longer existed as an entity and the last paragraph of the dispatch says
8 that you continued to act as a prime minister although the majority of
9 the Croat members in the government had left Sarajevo in December.
10 So this is what the dispatch conveys and the Prosecutor seems to
11 rely on this dispatch because he doesn't know exactly what there is in
12 the article itself.
13 In December, you were the prime minister. A prime minister has
14 ministers as work sessions, meetings. In December, did you keep meeting
15 with the other ministers?
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
17 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Where did you, in Sarajevo
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] In Sarajevo in the government's
21 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] You said your flat was looted.
22 When you would go back to Sarajevo
23 another apartment?
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I would go back the same day and
25 UNPROFOR helped with that.
1 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] So if you had work meetings at
2 the government level, you would go back with the UNPROFOR -- or you would
3 go to Sarajevo
4 Please proceed, Mr. Scott.
5 MR. SCOTT: Thank you, Mr. President. Just to --
6 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Praljak, I think I sorted
7 out the problem so we may continue.
8 Yes, you had a follow-up question, Mr. Scott.
9 MR. SCOTT:
10 Q. Just to follow-up on the President's question, sir. When you
11 said you would go back the same day, where would you go back to?
12 A. I would first go back to Herzegovina
13 Q. Where in Herzegovina
14 A. Drinovci, the place called Drinovci. My brother owns a house
15 there and that's where I would go. My family was there, my wife and my
17 Q. To assist the courtroom for those of us who may not be
18 particularly familiar with that location, I admit that I'm not, where was
19 that located in reference to Mostar, for example?
20 A. The distance from Mostar is about 50 or 60 kilometres.
21 Q. And then when you said that you would go to attend some meetings
22 in Sarajevo
23 UNPROFOR, approximately how many times in 1993 did you do that?
24 A. I would go to important meetings, especially the Presidency
1 Q. And the important meetings, how many times did you go, sir?
2 A. Five or six. I can't be more specific, I'm afraid.
3 Q. Now, moving to another topic then. The -- you also touched upon
4 in your earlier questioning by Mr. Karnavas and perhaps others the
5 provision of military assistance, ammunition, equipment, what have you,
6 from the Croat side to the Muslims and it's correct, sir, is it not, that
7 that happened -- there were certainly times when the Croat side whether
8 that be people in Grude or people in Zagreb provided aid or -- military
9 aid or assistance to the Muslim side but that was during -- those were
10 during times -- that assistance was given during times when there was not
11 a war going on between the Croats and the Muslims; correct?
12 A. I'm really unable to distinguish. I'm unable to confirm and I'm
13 unable to deny. What's more, I think there were always some clashes or,
14 rather, it -- just some didn't escalate or they escalated to a greater or
15 lesser extent. There were ongoing clashes and the aid was always on its
17 Q. Sir, you testified in the Kordic case at page 20480 to 481 on the
18 6th of June, 2000, you testified under oath as follows: "As for the
19 ammunition which the Muslims received or did not receive from Croats, it
20 depended on the political situation so that it is possible when the
21 political relations were better, then it could have happened; but when
22 the conflicts escalated, then it was prevented so the whole situation was
23 a zigzag situation."
24 That's the testimony you gave in the Kordic case; correct?
25 A. I think that is roughly what I've been saying now. It's very
1 difficult to repeat myself word for word because this was, after all,
2 eight years ago. I think the gist remains the same then as now.
3 Q. All right. Now, sir, we don't have time to discuss this man at
4 any length but perhaps it will suffice for now, and I say "for now."
5 Concerning this man Fikret Abdic, he was and is a convicted war criminal;
7 A. I read that in the papers. I think that's correct.
8 Q. He was convicted in July 2002 and sentenced to 20 years
9 imprisonment for the crimes involving camps and detention centres which
10 were operated under his leadership. He was convicted for inhumane
11 treatment of prisoners and civilians including torture and forced labour.
12 Do you recall that?
13 A. I don't remember that. I wasn't there. I did read in the papers
14 at the time that Mr. Fikret Abdic was convicted of some crimes or other,
15 but I can't tell you more about something that went on in Bihac or
17 Q. In the papers that you read, you recall reading it being reported
18 that the sentencing judge said that the prisoners who were tortured the
19 most were Abdic's political opponents?
20 A. I don't remember that.
21 Q. If you could turn, please, to Exhibit P 10468 which should be in
22 the third binder, binder number three. P 10468.
23 Sir, this is a publication of an interview in the Washington Post
24 on the 16th of February, 1993. And let me just read a couple of portions
25 to you and then I'll put a couple of questions to you.
1 The article says starting at the beginning of the article,
2 "Having a conversation with Mile Akmadzic, the prime minister of
3 Bosnia-Herzegovina, is like talking to three different people. Sometimes
4 he speaks as an official of a sovereign government and lays out its
5 position on civil war and peace. Sometimes he speaks in the voice of a
6 Croat nationalist and rails against the government's stands and against
7 the Serbs and the Muslims."
8 The next paragraph purporting to quote you, "'Sometimes I speak
9 personally,' he said during an interview last week. 'So it can be
11 Now, is that a fair statement, whether you recall, again, the
12 exact interview or not, would you consider that to be an accurate
13 statement of your three different, and I don't mean in any disrespect,
14 sir, your three different personalities or wearing your three different
15 hats? Would you agree with that?
16 A. I wouldn't say three different hats. I would say three different
17 features or something like that. But not hats.
18 Q. The second page of the article about halfway -- a little above
19 halfway down the page, this statement is attributed to you, "Akmadzic,
20 predictably, is of three minds regarding Vance-Owen," and I pause to
21 indicate this is 16 February 1993
22 minds regarding Vance-Owen. 'The government will not accept it as
23 proposed,' he says, 'speaking as prime minister.'"
24 So you knew, sir, as this goes back to what we were talking about
25 yesterday, you knew that even by February, let alone the 15th of January,
1 even by February, the government, the BiH government would not accept and
2 had not accepted the Vance-Owen Plan; correct?
3 A. The negotiations were in progress at the time and they were
4 difficult negotiations. When we say the government here, it's not what
5 it means, you know that when in America
6 something else and this means Presidency. This means negotiators on
7 behalf of the Presidency. That was my opinion because the negotiations
8 were tough going. Eventually the negotiations were successful, well, in
9 a way.
10 MR. SCOTT: Your Honour, I look at the clock, it may be a couple
11 of minutes early but I'm about to start a new topic. This might be a
12 place to break.
13 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Witness, please look at this
14 same document because the last paragraph seems important to me. Indeed,
15 you're saying things here that may be relevant. Have you seen the last
16 paragraph on page 3?
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No. May I now?
18 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes.
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, I see that paragraph.
20 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] You're telling the reporter
21 that you are a Bosnian at heart, that you belong to the Croat people but
22 not to the state of Croatia
23 Is that what you said? You say this to a newspaper that is
24 indeed very famous, the Washington Post.
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, I did say that. Yes. Yes. I
1 did say that. I can't remember. It was a long time ago but I think
2 that's what I said that I was a Bosnian, a citizen of Bosnia and
4 back in Washington
5 From Bosnia
6 a Bosniak as an ethnicity which is what the Muslims chose to term
7 themselves at the time. But there was no such thing at the time.
8 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Now the time has come for the
9 break, a 20-minute break.
10 --- Recess taken at 10.30 a.m.
11 --- On resuming at 10.52 a.m.
12 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] The hearing is resumed.
13 Mr. Scott, you have the floor.
14 MR. SCOTT: Thank you, Mr. President. We have located the full
15 translation of the previous article. That is P 10 -- well, now I have
16 two different numbers, I'm afraid. Is it P 10482 or 483? 482. 10482.
17 Q. Sir, you still have the large version of the Croatian language
18 original and then you should have before you -- and I understand by now
19 that you read at least a fair amount of English so you can refer to
20 either one that assists you the most.
21 If I can refer your attention to either the bottom of page 8 --
22 excuse me, the bottom of page 1, my apologies, the bottom of page 1 of
23 the English version or in the original language version toward the end
24 of -- if you start under your picture and there is what might be called
25 a -- there is a dot and then a dash and after the dash it says, "Za" --
1 it appears to say "Za." And at the end of that same paragraph, it says
2 this, "I left Sarajevo
3 the government to take part in the Geneva
4 organisation of BiH. I did not return to Sarajevo after that."
5 Now do you agree with that? Is that an accurate statement?
6 A. No. I was in Sarajevo
7 with Vance and Owen and attending the sessions of the Presidency.
8 Q. And going to page 2 of the English translation and to -- I think
9 again if you can look in your article if you like, the third -- the
10 fourth dot, if you will, on that left-hand column. There is one, two,
11 three, four toward the bottom of that first left column, you also see
12 this language which is at the bottom of page 2 of the English version,
13 "Unfortunately, I rarely have contacts with members of the government in
15 so I can say that I am not in contact whatsoever with the Muslim members
16 of the government. We, Croat members of the government, are all outside
17 of Sarajevo
18 are in a way involved in activities which may relate to both the BiH
19 government and the HVO."
20 Is that the information that you provided to the Vecernji List on
21 the 4th of May, 1993?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. Can I next ask you, please, to look at P 10472 which again
24 should be in the third binder. P 10472. Sir, this appears to be another
25 interview or article involving or touching upon you, dated the 27th of
1 August, 1993
2 says this, and the article is written, again, the 27th of August, 1993
3 so I suggest to you that when it refers to January, it is referring to
4 January 1993. "In January, Akmadzic travelled to Geneva with the Bosnian
5 delegation but transferred when he got there to the Croat delegation led
6 by Bosnian Croat leader Mate Boban. He has since been based either in
7 the Croatian capital Zagreb
8 southwestern Bosnia
9 Are those statements accurate?
10 A. Yes. That is correct and as you can see, I did not leave
12 Bosnia and Herzegovina. What is inaccurate here is that I was not
13 stationed either in Zagreb
15 Q. Let me next ask you to go to Exhibit P 10473, also in the third
16 binder. It should be pretty close to the -- should be the next document
17 than the one you're looking at now, 10473, which appears to be another
18 article in the Washington Post dated the 24th of December, 1993.
19 Directing your attention to the English version and if you want
20 to find it elsewhere you may, on the second page of the article in the
21 English translation and English -- I guess in this instance original
22 since it's the Washington Post. It says, "Since Haris Silajdzic, the
23 48-year-old foreign minister, took over on October 25 as prime minister
24 from his absentee Croat predecessor Mile Akmadzic, Sarajevo has become a
25 new city
1 A. Unfortunately, I cannot see that but I can answer your question.
2 Q. Is it an accurate statement that you had been "the absentee Croat
3 predecessor" to Mr. Silajdzic?
4 A. Absent in the sense that we've already discussed, yes, so absent
5 and present too. Present from time to time.
6 Q. You testified, sir, in the Kordic case that you were good friends
7 with Mr. Mate Boban, that you had known him since childhood. Is it
8 correct that you were good friends with Mr. Boban and had known him since
10 A. I would kindly ask you to read further on, everything that I
12 Q. Just answer my question, please, sir. Were you good friends with
13 Mr. Boban. Had you known Mr. Boban since childhood?
14 A. I knew him when we were children and then we did not see each
15 other for 30 years or something like that.
16 Q. Were you both born and raised in Grude?
17 A. In the broader sense of the word, yes. Yes, in the municipality.
18 However, we were not born on the same locations.
19 Q. You said in the Kordic case and, counsel, I'm referring to page
20 20409, 20409, on the 5th of June, 2000, "There were quite a few questions
21 on which I did not entirely agree with Mr. Boban because I had also
22 become part of the Sarajevo
23 quarrel over those issues where we disagreed."
24 Can you tell the Chamber any of the issues that you or questions
25 that you can remember being in disagreement -- being in disagreement with
1 Mr. Boban, excuse me?
2 A. We disagreed because I liked Sarajevo
4 Mr. Boban was born. Very often he would say that he didn't like
6 Q. Did you have any disagreements with Mr. Boban on his policies or
7 views in connection with Herceg-Bosna, its establishment and its
9 A. As you know, I was not present when Herceg-Bosna was established
10 but I was more flexible and more moderate than Boban. He was a rather
11 rigid person. I'm not trying to say that he was right or that I was
12 right but we are different persons.
13 Q. Can you give us an example of an issue to use the word you used
14 just now, an issue on where you considered Mr. Boban a hardliner where
15 you disagreed with him?
16 A. I did not say that he was a hardliner. I said that that was his
17 character as a person. I said that I was more moderate, so in that sense
18 we did not always share the same views but we could cooperate.
19 Q. You said just now, sir, and I'm reading back to you line 24, page
20 43, "I said that that was his character as person; that is, that he was a
21 hardliner." So can you give us again an example of an issue which you
22 would attribute to Mr. Boban in his character as a hardliner with which
23 you disagreed; or if you say you never disagreed with him, tell us that?
24 A. Well, in negotiations, he advocated views when it would be hard
25 for him to relent and when we had Mr. Izetbegovic's hard stance and on
1 the other hand, Boban's hard stance, it was very hard to reach agreement.
2 I advocated view points to the effect that there should be more
3 compromise and there should be more true agreements and less
5 Q. Did you disagree with Mr. Boban, for example, on territorial
6 claims as to what territory comprised Herceg-Bosna or what territory
7 should be given to the Croats as a result of negotiations?
8 A. We did not talk about that. I did not want to talk about that at
10 Q. Excuse me, sir, you're saying in all these peace negotiations in
11 which you spent a great deal of time talking to us, Cutileiro,
12 Vance-Owen, Owen-Stoltenberg, Washington
13 negotiations, you and Mr. Boban never had a conversation about
14 territorial matters?
15 A. We talked in general terms not in detail. My understanding of
16 your question was that you were interested in details. I was a major
17 supporter of the Vance-Owen Plan. To this day I'm a supporter of this
18 kind of a set up for Bosnia-Herzegovina and whether the territories will
19 be bigger or smaller or what they will be like, that's a different
20 question altogether. And the third question is that these territories
21 did not only have a national character which is something that we've
22 already established here, these territories, rather, in accordance with
23 the Vance-Owen Plan or, rather, these provinces were the result of
24 several different -- several different characteristics as we said, ethnic
25 geographical, cultural, historical, all of these elements were supposed
1 to be present.
2 Q. Sir, you on many occasions talked with both Boban and Tudjman
3 about the territories claimed by Herceg-Bosna, about what borders should
4 be established. You looked at maps with them. You discussed specific --
5 drafted specific language in proposed negotiation documents, didn't you?
6 A. Yes, that is correct. That is correct, yes.
7 Q. Sir, isn't it correct, in fact, and following on from that that
8 by the fall of 1992, when you became vice-president of the HDZ-BiH and
9 prime minister, that from that time forward and into 1994, you were a
10 right-hand man to both Tudjman and Boban in carrying out their programmes
11 and policies; correct?
12 A. That is not correct, especially not for Tudjman. I never liked
13 having an idol above me, let alone Tudjman who I always considered to be
14 the president of a state that we were not negotiating in then. As for
15 Boban, he was head of a delegation of which I was a member and only so
16 when the internal establishment of Bosnia and Herzegovina
17 discussed. Boban and I visited Canada
18 passport here. I can show you where I travelled, where I was head of --
19 well, it's hard for me to say this but I was head of the delegation in a
21 Q. Sir, throughout 1993 and into 1994 and perhaps thereafter, you
22 worked hand-in-glove with Tudjman to carry out his directions, didn't
24 A. No.
25 Q. Let me ask you, please, to turn to Exhibit P 07480. P 07480 in
1 binder number 2. P 07480. Sir, this is a record of a meeting with
2 President Tudjman on the 5th of January, 1994. You will see on the first
3 page that at least some of the persons participating are listed,
4 Mr. Tudjman, Mr. Akmadzic, Mr. Mate Granic at the presidential residence
5 on the 5th of January, 1994. And for present purposes, I would just like
6 to turn your attention immediately, please, to page 15 and 16.
7 At the bottom of page 15, the statement is attributed to the
8 president "We have a meeting of the VONS," which has been indicated here
9 as the National Security and Defence Council, "tomorrow." Do you agree,
10 sir, because this has come up before, could you just quickly confirm to
11 us that the VONS is accurately described here as the National Security
12 and Defence Council?
13 A. To the best of my knowledge, yes.
14 Q. And can you recall how many times that you participated or
15 attended any meeting of the VONS?
16 A. As far as I can remember, only once.
17 Q. On the top of page 16, after -- I'm going to the end of the
18 transcript in terms of the ongoing talk about the negotiations, the peace
19 negotiations, I think going to Bonn
20 On the top of page 16 it says, Mile Akmadzic, "Mr. President, would it be
21 better if I stayed here until Saturday, should I go on Saturday?"
22 President: "No, no, you are going to Bonn. (So I should say
23 here not go down there and not raise these questions.)
24 Granic: "No, you should inform them about everything that
25 happened. I think it is most important that you inform them about
1 everything that happened.
2 President: "Inform them but stay here. (You must say).
3 Akmadzic: "I will inform Boban by telephone tomorrow. (Yes)."
4 As I said to you a few moments ago, sir, isn't this in fact an
5 illustration of one of many occasions where, as I said, you worked
6 hand-in-glove with President Tudjman even taking specific direction from
7 him as to where you should go or not go?
8 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreter did not hear the answer. Could
9 other microphones please be switched off. There is a lot of background
10 nose, thank you.
11 MR. SCOTT:
12 Q. Can you repeat your answer, please.
13 A. No, I did not answer but you asked me for an explanation with
14 regard to this?
15 Q. Sir, my question to you: Isn't it correct, sir, that this
16 illustrates you working very closely with Mr. Tudjman and to the point of
17 taking direction from him as to what you should do and where you should
18 go or not go?
19 A. In this specific case, Your Honours, and Mr. Prosecutor, it is
20 the beginning of the Washington
21 directly involved at the behest of the international community. These
22 talks started in Frankfurt
23 concerning the so-called Washington
24 community asked for Croatia
25 well. You can see in the text that it is Mate Granic who is in charge of
1 the negotiations.
2 Q. Let me ask you to next go please to P 07516 in the second
3 binder. P 07516. Sir, this is a record of a meeting at the presidential
4 palace on the 7th of January, 1994, a few days later involving among
5 others, perhaps, Mr. Tudjman, Granic, Akmadzic, Mr. Sancevic, and others.
6 I'd like to direct your attention very quickly, please, to page 71.
7 If you look at pages 71 and 72, sir, would you look at those
8 please and would you agree with me that this illustrates you and others
9 having a detailed conversation to actually agree on the language of
10 certain draft documents? In English we might say you were wordsmithing
11 the document, even choosing what particular words should be used;
13 A. I would say, as I've already said, that Croatia was involved here
14 and that the Washington Accords envisaged confederation between Croatia
15 and Bosnia and Herzegovina and it is from that point of view that all
16 aspects of these negotiations are being looked into.
17 Q. And in this particular occasion, you are talking about a scenario
18 by which the Croatian Republic of Herceg-Bosna would have the right to
19 join the Republic of Croatia
20 conversation, in fact at the end of that meeting -- no, I'm sorry, toward
21 the end of the meeting on the bottom of page 72, for example, you even
22 say, Mile Akmadzic: "I wouldn't use that 'whereas.'" Do you see that?
23 A. I haven't found that, regrettably. On what page is that?
24 Q. Page 72, on the bottom of page 72 of the transcript. Again, it
25 should be the same in either the English or the Croatian version.
1 A. It says Mile Akmadzic here: "I wouldn't say, Mr. Matic, that,
3 Q. Now, in reference to the territorial claims that I asked you
4 about a few moments ago, is it correct, sir, that you recall that at
5 least in the earlier phases of your dealings in these matters, that the
6 territory to be claimed by the Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna, the
7 territory that should be -- that it should be encompass was something
8 called the Hrvatska Banovina?
9 A. That is not correct, sir. I can explain that if requested to do
11 Q. Did you testify in the Kordic case on page 20494 to 20495 on the
12 6th of June, 2000, the following: "In the beginning, before the
13 Vance-Owen Plan was signed and before Bosnia and Herzegovina was
14 recognised, and before diplomatic relations were established, that all
15 political solutions that were sought for Bosnia and Herzegovina
16 mentioned that the Croat republic or rather the Croat Community of
17 Herceg-Bosna should in Bosnia and Herzegovina encompass those areas that
18 belonged to" and it was transcribed "belonged to Srpska banovina in
19 Bosnia and Herzegovina. For example," and I'm continuing the quote of
20 your testimony, "For example, I was born in the Banovina Hrvatska. At
21 the time that I was born, it was Banovina Hrvatska." That's the
22 testimony that you gave under oath in the Kordic case; correct?
23 A. The word "Serb" here is a mistake, that's a technical mistake.
24 You've just read it out. There is another fact too. I was born on the
25 1st of October, 1939, when the banovina was in existence,
1 Banovina Hrvatska, and that in contrast to that, I say and think, well,
2 it is not a banovina now, it is not going to be a banovina just as it is
3 not true that Mr. Prlic was born in the Socialist Republic of Croatia,
4 rather, he was born in the Republic of Croatia
5 Q. Sir, do you recall a man named Ivo Komsic and what position or
6 functions did he hold in 1993 or if you can just briefly describe his
7 involvement in events in Bosnia and Herzegovina during that time?
8 Ivo Komsic.
9 A. When the Presidency of Bosnia and Herzegovina illegally replaced
10 or dismissed Miro Lasic and Franjo Boras they chose Mr. Kljuic and
11 Mr. Komsic instead of them. That is to say, irrespective of his
12 resignation, Mr. Kljuic returned to the Presidency whereas Mr. Komsic who
13 had not won the election joins the Presidency nevertheless. We have
14 already discussed that during the course of my testimony.
15 Q. And you attended a number of negotiation sessions in various
16 locations including Geneva
17 A. Mr. Komsic often went to attend negotiations not within the
18 delegation but as an accompanying group. He said that he was an expert
19 by virtue of his profession for the political establishment of a state
20 and from time to time, he made constructive suggestions for certain
21 solutions especially for Central Bosnia that he hails from. In actual
22 fact, I believe he was born in Kiseljak.
23 Q. And in addition, then, to the other information you provided -
24 thank you for that - but the answer then is yes, there were a number of
25 occasions where you attended negotiation sessions where Mr. Komsic was
1 also present?
2 A. A few rounds of negotiations, not many.
3 Q. I would like you, please, to look at P 10508 in binder number 3.
4 P 10508. 10508.
5 JUDGE TRECHSEL: I'm afraid, Mr. Scott, we don't have such a
6 number in here.
7 MR. SCOTT: Maybe its loose. Your Honour, I'm informed and I
8 apologise, it's one of the loose documents.
9 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Okay. Thank you.
10 MR. SCOTT: My apology. If the usher would ...
11 To assist everyone it's on e-court now but to assist everyone
12 still looking for it. It's 10508.
13 Q. Sir, I think you have that now. Before I ask you a couple of
14 questions about that document, let me just simply put it to you, sir,
15 that isn't it true that throughout 1993 and into 1994, you continued to
16 advocate a policy of ethnic cleansing, didn't you, of one form or
17 another; that is, to either move Muslims out of so-called Croat areas or
18 to sharply reduce their number?
19 A. No, that's not correct.
20 Q. If you look at Exhibit 10508, and this is an excerpt from
21 Mr. Komsic's book in English translated as the title being "Survived
22 Country, Who, When and Where, Divided BiH." And the Chamber has heard
23 of this book and seen previous excerpts before.
24 In the part that I've given to you, sir, and I think you should
25 have it in both English and in Croatian, for the 27th of July, 1993
1 Mr. Komsic reports that, "We arrived in Geneva yesterday and stayed at
2 the President Hotel. Boras
3 at the airport in Zagreb
4 discussion. Akmadzic and Boras
5 Skipping down because of time to -- toward the end of that first
6 paragraph, "Akmadzic and Boras
7 you that based on the context, the "it" consists of the interest of
8 Croats and Croatia
10 of the so-called Serb-Croat agreement which both Lasic and I challenged."
11 Now, first of all, can you recall and describe to the Chamber
12 what Serb-Croat agreement you were referring to around July 1993?
13 A. I wasn't referring to any agreement at all that involved the
14 Serbs but not the Muslims. Not in that war, not then, not now.
15 Q. Sir, I put to you yesterday and I put to you again now: Do you
16 recall that after the Vance-Owen Plan faded away, that by June of 1993,
17 just a few weeks before this event on the 27th of July, that Tudjman and
18 Izetbegovic had met again and had resurrected a plan to partition Bosnia
19 and Herzegovina
20 A. Tudjman and Izetbegovic met --
21 Q. [Previous translation continues] ... excuse me if I misspoke,
22 Tudjman and Milosevic. Sorry.
23 A. I did not attend that meeting, therefore, I don't know. I do
24 know that Tudjman and Izetbegovic met at least once a month.
25 Q. Then it goes on down -- further down the page and says, in the
1 next paragraph, several sentences down, "Defending their respective
2 positions, Boras
3 ethnic cleansing policy, but it had to be in the form of peaceful and
4 'voluntary moving.' They needed an agreement only for that purpose.
5 They needed peace only to have the processes they had launched finalised
6 in a different circumstances and without any force."
7 Is that what you told Mr. Komsic on the 27th of July, 1993
8 A. Not correct. But I can explain. The policy that existed during
9 the negotiations, and it wasn't just us, there was no ethnic cleansing,
10 there would be no forcible movement and no one was to ban anyone else
11 from moving and selecting their new place of residence. It shows that we
12 weren't there to force anyone to go anywhere. It is obvious that
13 Mr. Komsic misconstrued this meaning of this word here "voluntary." No
14 one is to be banned from going wherever they like and choosing their own
15 place of residence.
16 Q. Can you please go next to P 07260. P 07260 in the second binder.
17 P 07260. I think most everyone has found that by now. Sir, if you can
18 look at this record which is a transcript of a meeting again involving
19 Mr. Tudjman and others at the presidential palace in Zagreb on the
20 19th of December, 1993.
21 By way of just quick reference, let me ask you to go to page 16
22 of the document. Page 16, please.
23 You are mentioned, I point you there because that among other
24 places indicates your involvement in the meeting.
25 Mile Akmadzic: "1.4 around Jajce and 0.5 beneath Stolac,"
1 which we'll come back to in a moment.
2 But this was a meeting, sir, again with President Tudjman that
3 you were involved in on the 19th of December, 1993. In the first part of
4 the first several pages of the document 1 through 4, Mr. Tudjman,
5 President Tudjman and Mr. Boban and others are talking about the release
6 of Muslim prisoners from camps, HVO camps in Bosnia and Herzegovina
7 The middle of page 2, Boban reports among other things, "There isn't
8 isn't a single camp left. It was finished at exactly on the evening of
9 the 17th."
10 President: "Issue a statement about it.
11 Boban: "Reuters took all that news last night and it's been
13 Going on over to page 3, bottom of page 3.
14 Granic: "Mr. President, this is an excellent move, a very strong
15 move which has had an impact and it should be exploited even further,
17 Page 4, Boban: "CNN reported it last night."
18 At the bottom of page 4, it appears that Mr. Tudjman again gives
19 you an assignment. "Mile, write these things down so that you can use
21 That was an instruction that President Tudjman gave to you;
23 A. Should I answer this?
24 Q. That was my question, sir. Was there anyone else named Mile in
25 this meeting?
1 A. No, that was me. The Bosniaks and the Croats put me in charge of
2 this when the negotiations began. The system of solving the Washington
3 system but not that that I should draw up a paper based on which the
4 Croat and the Muslim sides could reach an agreement. The Muslim
5 delegation asked, while Mr. Redman was still the special envoy of the US
6 President, that the Croats and Muslims were clashing, to a smaller
7 extent, and that the Croats and Muslims would reach some common peace
8 before a third party could be called in. It was to that effect that I
9 was putting together a paper ...
10 Q. Yes, sir, and to move on from that. In fact, in this same
11 document if you go to page 15, please, page 15, President Tudjman turns
12 to the topic of the ongoing meetings, negotiation meetings.
13 President: "Let's move on to preparations for the meetings in
15 political agreement, so to speak, but we must review each formulation in
16 detail. The second thing is our views about territorial demarcation.
17 Akmadzic and Matic, have you studied each formulation?"
18 Lower down on that page, "President: Let's agree on what we
19 should first undertake. Perhaps it could be the territorial issue. The
20 troops we need so that we don't all waste time. According to all these
21 reports and what Mr. Sarinic and Mr. Akmadzic heard during these
22 negotiations, Owen and Stoltenberg are conducting negotiations in such a
23 way that they are actually not fulfilling the task that the European
25 should be given to the Muslims at the Serbs' expense. According to what
1 Mr. Sarinic told me that they even wanted 1.9 or 2.3 per cent from
3 Then lower down the page it says, Sarinic looking at maps, and
4 you can tell there everyone seems to be looking at maps, "Look these
5 over, there were various maps."
6 Then Akmadzic: "1.4 around Jajce and 0.5 beneath Stolac."
7 What were though percentage numbers or referenced when you said
8 "1.4 around Jajce and 0.5 beneath Stolac," what were you referring to?
9 A. Sir, we were talking about -- and Your Honours, of course, we
10 were talking about how Croats and Muslims should reach 51 per cent of the
11 territory that they are still holding. This was really about percentage
12 where it would be more convenient for this to be part of the future of
13 the federation, namely, Croats -- based on that international proposal
14 that Croats, conditionally speaking, the territory 17.6 per cent; Muslims
15 33 per cent, and this is how one arrived in the various versions at the
16 figure that was then agreed in Dayton
17 agreement that we'd had in Washington
18 parts of Bosnia and Herzegovina to belong to the federation where the
19 predominantly Croat areas and the predominantly Muslim areas would be
20 together which was about 58 per cent.
21 MR. KARNAVAS: At this point I just wish to make one
22 intervention. In the previous witness that we had, percentages were
23 brought up and there was an objection by the Prosecution and I just
24 wanted to draw this attention to the Court because when I tried to bring
25 it up, the Prosecution claims there are no such discussions and here now
1 he's using the very same piece of evidence that I was trying to do and I
2 just want to show the supreme irony in all of this. Thank you.
3 MR. SCOTT: Well, Mr. President, I don't know what event
4 Mr. Karnavas is talking about. If we have time I'm sure that he and I
5 can talk together and talk about which context he's talking about and I
6 can see whether that's accurate or not.
7 Q. In any event, sir, later on page 16, Mr. Sarinic says, "There are
8 three areas in which they, it's here, 1.4 per cent and 0.5 per cent here,
9 that's the 1.9, or for all practical purposes, the 2 per cent where
10 they're asking us to give up, and this is Caplina down here and here they
11 wanted a corridor ..." And then if you continue over to page 18, top of
12 page 18.
13 President: "Yes, closer to Neum by the harbour by Celevo. The
14 two of you have to have all this in order and present it in a well-argued
15 manner so it is out of the question that Croatia could accept a
16 territorial reduction."
17 Now, do you recall what territorial reduction Mr. Tudjman was
18 talking about in that instance?
19 A. Well, I think what we're looking at here is the 17.6 per cent
20 that had to be found for all the elements to be met that I've been
21 telling you about, the ethnic criterion or the other criterion for
22 determining those territories regardless of whether we're looking at the
23 republic as it was at the time or the provinces later on or later on a
24 joint Croat-Muslim agreement.
25 Q. If you look please next at page 20. At the top of that page,
1 Mile Akmadzic: "Mr. President, the Muslims are not seeking these
2 concessions. They are seeking concessions in western and eastern Bosnia
3 They are placing emphasis on the areas in which their people live. They
4 are not interested in Kresevo ..."
5 Then Sarinic makes a statement and then back to the president,
6 "We are defending what's ours." Do you see that?
7 A. I see that with the Muslims what I stated and I see what the
8 president said.
9 Q. And where were you getting your information at that time in terms
10 of what concessions the Muslims were or were not seeking?
11 A. At the negotiations that were in progress everywhere. There is a
12 reference here in Brussels
13 we were reaching all the those conclusions, what and to whom, in one such
14 I never used the word division of Bosnia. I was saying that Bosnia
17 Q. If you can next please turn to page 24. After the interventions
18 of others, President Tudjman turns back to you, "President: Mile, what
19 do you think?"
20 Mile Akmadzic: "Mr. President, I think the same."
21 This is after an intervention by Mr. Boban.
22 My mistake, my apologies to the courtroom, if we can go back to
23 page 23 so we can put this into context.
24 Page 23, Boban says in the upper part of the page, "I'll tell you
25 what I think and I'll back it up with arguments. This is the first time
1 I'm saying this. There were 45.000 Muslims in Mostar before the war ..."
2 and then he continues on with discussions about that.
3 The next paragraph down he says, "I mean I would never accept
4 that part of Mostar across the Neretva for 45.000 Muslims. Therefore, we
5 can agree to the Neretva being a border."
6 Now, in that context, if we go to page 24, "Mile, what do you
8 Akmadzic: "Mr. President, I think the same. But for proper
9 consideration, we need two versions, one being the Neretva and Celevo and
10 one is that solution down there. If we have the solution as the one down
11 there, then it's acceptable too, provided that the border goes further
12 along towards the Muslims and on towards Stolac from Buna and Blagaj up
13 so we can eliminate them completely at least from Caplina."
14 So what you were proposing in your discussions with
15 President Tudjman is to at least "eliminate the Muslims from Caplina";
17 MR. KARNAVAS: Objection. That's not -- I'll let the witness
18 answer because that's not exactly what I read.
19 MR. SCOTT:
20 Q. Did you say -- is it reported here sir that "... from Buna and
21 Blagaj up, so we can eliminate them completely at least from Caplina."
22 A. No, that wasn't the way I put it. When we read this, it sounds
23 ugly but I'm not that man and I think all the elements here show that I
24 was moderate. Even elimination can have various meanings. However, I
25 didn't use the word. And I return to you, Mr. Prosecutor, you, my
1 testimony yesterday, when I was from Mr. Kordic, if you went through that
2 you will realise that I made a whole lot of amendments. There could be
3 errors that were made in situations such as these, yes.
4 Q. [Previous translation continues] ... top of page 25, Boban in
5 response after you, the president was asking about the town of Mostar
6 president: "Wait a minute. That's one question." So coming back to
8 Mile Akmadzic: "It's better for us to partition the town than
9 have 25 or 30.000 Muslims but we should seek compensation elsewhere."
10 That's what you said, correct?
11 A. I don't remember that. However, the division of Mostar was
12 something that was envisaged in the Owen-Stoltenberg plan. It was always
13 something that was on the agenda. This was something that was being
14 arranged and then what happened happened under the terms of the
16 Q. At the bottom of page 25, Susak comes back in. "Mr. President,
17 the problem is that they won't allow us when -- here you have Mostar and
18 they take the airport. If they allow us a partition it will be along the
19 Neretva; in other words, everything along the other side of the Neretva
20 is in their hands."
21 If you could then go on please to page 48, end of the meeting.
22 President Tudjman gives you again another assignment, sir.
23 Page 48 last entry. President: "All right. Find a formulation.
24 Anything else? No. All right, gentlemen, I think those are the
25 essential questions, but now the two of you, Matic and Akmadzic, each of
1 you should review the formulations. Every comma needs to conform to
2 this, while the rest of you should continue the meeting."
3 Sir, did you then -- you and Mr. Matic after that continue to
4 prepare the formulations giving attention, as President Tudjman told you
5 to, to every comma?
6 A. Absolutely not. At this time I was writing up the papers for our
7 final agreement with the Muslim side, the -- in our lingo we refer to
8 this as the Croat-Muslim agreement.
9 Q. Would you next please go to P 07856 which will be in the second
10 binder, binder number 2. P 07856. This is a meeting, sir, with
11 President Tudjman again and others on the 13th of February, 1994. Just
12 to set the scene, I will refer you to the first intervention or statement
13 by the president on the first page.
14 "Gentlemen, I told Minister Susak to invite Mate and the rest of
15 you -- a summit of the leading people of Herceg-Bosna -- for us to come
16 to an agreement as to how and what to take forward after all that has
17 happened recently: Our general meeting in Livno, the Sarajevo meeting,
18 the current talks in Geneva
19 arising from the initiative taken by the United States with a group of
20 European countries for an ongoing solution to the Bosnia-Herzegovinian
22 The reference to a new situation, that was a reference to the
24 A. Yes. Well, as I said, let's take it step-by-step. Even in the
25 earlier minutes and then onwards from there and now we're going towards
1 the Washington
2 Q. What had happened, sir, is it correct that by the end of 1993, by
3 early 1994, Owen-Stoltenberg was displaced, if you will, or knocked off
4 the table by a new proposal being advocated as stated here by the
5 United States and certain European countries which became known as
7 A. That's true, but there was no clear division between the plans.
8 As soon as we realised that one plan was failing then we would take it
9 from there step-by-step and here we're dealing with the Washington
10 agreement to -- in proper, the future Washington agreement.
11 Q. Could I ask you please to go to page 42. The middle of that page
12 President Tudjman says, "If we do not have them all, for five, then we
13 can say 5.500 and we can go with that." I will pause here and say that
14 in the context of the top part of the page and back to page 41, the topic
15 is the number of Croatians killed as a result of the conflicts with the
16 Muslims and Serbs. The number suggested that in the conflict with the
17 Serbs, approximately 2500 and in the conflicts with the Muslims,
18 approximately 5.500.
19 Tudjman goes on to say, "So more than two times the number with
20 the Serbs and it is likely that these Croatian people of ours would not
21 consent to simply remain in a union with the Muslims, or please, what do
22 you think, would you consent and the people in Herceg-Bosna?"
23 Akmadzic: "I will give my opinion first and then, however, it
24 seems that the direction of world events is such that ..."
25 Tudjman: "Forget about the direction of world events for
1 starters ..."
2 And then you go on to say at the top of page 43, "Our basic goal
3 is Herceg-Bosna with borders, with the war behind us, however we put it
4 but I think there should not be particular problems with not living in
5 the union and here we would back out from this union of three -- so that
6 we can live together with the Muslims, together in the way that I mean --
7 in our own republic, our interests protected, protected from their
8 people, independent but in some relationship, but we cannot be in a
9 relationship like the union. They have a larger population. We thought
10 about that now in Geneva
11 behind them. But our tight connection with Croatia must be present in
12 all variations and our separation from the Muslims in all variations."
13 That was what you stated as your basic goal; is that correct,
15 A. Not quite, but the goal was achieved. For one to keep both one's
16 national rights and not to go into a unitary state but a decentralised
17 Bosnia and Herzegovina together with the Muslims and together with the
18 Serbs, if possible, it is my position, this is our position and it
19 remained unchanged throughout the war.
20 Q. Excuse me. Then if you will go on, please, to page 46. Page 46
21 and 47 there is an intervention by Jadranko Prlic. "Mr. President, the
22 information which was presented today is exceptionally important, and of
23 strategic importance,."
24 And jumping to the end of that paragraph and touching on
25 something that we have discussed in your testimony, Mr. Prlic says, "I
1 mean, it is a fact that the Croats in Bosnia and Herzegovina have
2 different policies, different interests, in fact, depending on where they
4 Going over to page 47, "Despite all the information, we have
5 created a state in Herceg-Bosna with all systems including customs and
6 finance. People are born and die with Herceg-Bosnian documents. I think
7 we should weigh all the elements carefully. Absolutely no solution is
8 acceptable without a Croatian republic of Herceg-Bosna
9 republic, and the borders should encompass as many areas as possible in
10 the whole of Central Bosnia. I believe we can achieve this by military
11 means, if necessary, in order to make sure that these things are
12 developing the way they are developing, but they are developing favorably
13 nonetheless. They have been crushed militarily after all."
14 Now, when Mr. Prlic makes reference to "they have been crushed
15 militarily after all," who was he referring to, if you remember or can
16 assist us with that?
17 A. If Mr. Prlic means the Muslims, then he probably means the
18 Muslims, but I do not realise that they were crushed militarily.
19 Q. In the next paragraph, Mr. Prlic goes on to say that in reference
20 to around this time, Mr. Boban being removed which we haven't touched on
21 yet in these documents although they are part of these transcripts but we
22 don't have time to cover all of the topics. In the reference to that,
23 Mr. Prlic goes on to say, "We are demanding that their symbols, Alija,"
24 which I take it to be a reference to Mr. Izetbegovic "and Silajdzic step
25 down. Only then might different trends emerge among them too. I have
1 prepared some other proposals. The moment is extremely critical. That's
2 my estimate of the situation down there. Let this international thing
3 blow over. I believe we will have -- there won't be an authority that
4 will be able to keep the situation under control. That's my estimate."
5 Do you recall any discussions around this time of again demanding
6 that Izetbegovic and Silajdzic be removed from their positions?
7 A. I do not recall that, but Izetbegovic and Silajdzic were very
8 hardline as far as the Muslim people were concerned. It was very
9 difficult to negotiate with them so I assume that this is what this is
10 all about. I did not attend this meeting. I went to catch a plane in
11 order to get to the negotiations.
12 Q. If we can go please, next to page 68. And this is continuing
13 with Tudjman talking which I think the record will show he began talking
14 on page 66. We're now at page 68. In that first part of the page he
15 says, "... and you, too, and Herceg-Bosna have to be aware of this but
16 this also means that we must not abandon our most essential goals. It
17 means that we cannot abandon the goal of establishing the republic of
18 Herceg-Bosna and we will see how it will be established. In a military
19 sense, it is clear to us that it is in our interest to maintain control
20 over the territory we have at present ..." He goes on to say that this
21 is a matter for further discussion.
22 Now, the meeting then turns to the topic of selecting the new
23 leadership of Herceg-Bosna. On page 69, Boban says, "We're talking about
24 a president and two vice-presidents."
25 Then if you would jump, please, to page 86. There is a
1 continuing discussion of this same topic and Mr. Sancevic intervenes and
2 says, Well, we should have a few Muslims as well. At the end of that
3 intervention by Mr. Sancevic says "We need a few Muslims to show that
4 it's a democratic thing."
5 Then continuing over to page 87, Mr. Pasalic raises what he
6 perceives as a problem because he says, "Well, actually, Mr. Tudjman,
7 President Tudjman, the constitution or fundamental decision of
8 Herceg-Bosna does not allow for this thing called a presidential
10 Do you recall these discussions at which Tudjman and the other
11 representatives from Croatia
12 selecting both the structure and the members of the new government for
14 A. I do not recall that and as I've already said, I don't think I
15 attended this part of the meeting; however, I do know these persons.
16 Q. And if I can direct your attention very quickly, because I want
17 to finish up here in the next few minutes, to page 90. Tudjman concludes
18 this part of the discussion. On page 90, Tudjman says, "Don't try to
19 pull legal tricks. We are at war and just say that the function of the
20 president will be carried out by the presidential council."
21 Do you see that?
22 A. We've already explained that, that at that time, the presidential
23 council had taken over the function that Mr. Boban had had previously.
24 Q. All right. That was my question to you. So in fact, following
25 this meeting, the presidential council was put in place at which a number
1 of people were placed to form the new presidential body, if you will, in
2 place of Mr. Boban; correct?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. If I can next ask you to turn to Exhibit P 08012. It should be
5 in the second binder again, P 08012. Sir, this is another meeting at the
6 presidential palace on the 4th of March, 1994. We see a list of at least
7 some of the people present at the meeting, apparently including yourself.
8 Actually, I should indicate at the top of this page it says it's the 37th
9 session or meeting of the VONS. You said a few minutes ago that the VONS
10 was the security body and that you recalled attending it at least on one
11 occasion. So perhaps you recall this being the one occasion, on the 4th
12 of March, 1994, that you attended.
13 A. I think that I attended two meetings. I couldn't remember but
14 now that I see this, I think I attended two. This one plus another one.
15 Q. And on the bottom of the first -- excuse me, the bottom of the
16 second page, again there is a reference to you and Mr. Zubak coming from
17 the Washington
18 that -- who else was involved, Tudjman says, "I mentioned these two, and
19 Mr. Prlic is also here."
20 Do you see that?
21 A. I see that, sir.
22 Q. On page 4, Tudjman goes on talking and about the middle of that
23 page, he says, "That's what I've been talking about in a message
24 yesterday, and if somebody doesn't understand, I say why did we create
25 the Croat republic of Herceg-Bosnia
1 achieve the results of this politics. If we didn't have and don't have
2 now the Croat republic of Herceg-Bosna
3 federation in Bosnia
4 that Croat-Muslim Bosnia
"In other words, we'll have in the sphere of Croatia
6 say two Croatias
7 Do you see that?
8 A. Yes, I see that.
9 Q. Isn't it correct, sir, that what's happening in this meeting and
10 other meetings around this time is that Tudjman is trying to sell -- he
11 is trying to sell what has been a fairly substantial shift that's no
12 longer Owen-Stoltenberg and it's no longer a separate Croat republic but
13 now it's Washington
14 around him that, well, in fact, this is a good deal. Isn't that what's
15 happening here?
16 A. This is a free interpretation. It can be understood that way
17 too. However, the confederation between Croatia and Bosnia
20 relations as well. Now, there are no special relations or confederation
21 that are functioning.
22 Q. Sir, my time has almost expired. Let me ask you, please, to look
23 at page 23. At the middle of that page, the president intervenes, thanks
24 the previous speaker, "Thank you." Then he turns apparently to you,
1 Mile Akmadzic: "I think we can be happy and satisfied how
2 president of Republic of Croatia
3 Franjo Tudjman had access to the whole depth and essence of this problem
4 with which we are now dealing and about which we are talking. I would
5 also like to say that he was excellent last night -- president's
6 addressing nation was accepted among people with complete trust and
8 Going over to page 24, middle of the page, you continue, "I
9 believe that the most important thing now is that all of us who are
10 directly involved in talks understood and led by President Tudjman, we
11 understand what the world is asking from us."
12 If you go to page 29. This is you talking, sir, you began
13 talking previously on page 23 and continued at the middle of the page,
14 "However, we must know at this moment this is the only solution; in my
15 opinion, the best one so far. I would say here, that I met with some,
16 Mr. Zubak and I, met with some of our Americans in Frankfurt," et cetera.
17 Then jumping a couple of sentences, you say, "We Croats in BH
18 wished and are still wishing to be completely behind Croatia, with
20 of the solution offering confederation, solves that issue at this moment
21 in a best possible way, and there will be Croats both in BH and Croatia
22 and that that's for the well-being of all Croats. Thank you."
23 Sir, when you said this is the best solution solving that issue
24 at this moment, what did you mean by saying "at this moment"? What did
25 you see beyond that?
1 A. I meant the agreement between the Croats and the Muslims, that
2 they should be together in one state and that they should have very close
3 relations with Croatia
4 Q. If you will turn to page 49, please. Mr. Prlic intervenes and
5 says, "First, I think that the agreement is a reasonable solution but, of
6 course, not a final solution." It goes on from there.
7 Can we take it again, sir, that those of you from Herceg-Bosna,
8 you, Mr. Prlic and others, saw this as a stepping stone to something else
9 but not -- did not represent the desired final solution; isn't that
11 THE ACCUSED PRLIC: May I say something?
12 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Prlic.
13 THE ACCUSED PRLIC: [Interpretation] I think that it is
14 impermissible to interpret words in this way. First of all, the
15 Prosecutor is not reading the second sentence out and that sentence
16 clearly states what I meant in the first sentence. He is manipulating
17 something that is very clear. Let me use English or our own language.
18 "First of all, I think that the agreement is a reasonable solution but
19 it's not a final solution." Then the second question. "It is only a
20 basis for an overall solution because at this point in time, we
21 practically have under control almost the entire territory of Bosnia
23 so forth.
24 So a year and a half after that, the Dayton agreement took place
25 and things are quite clear. It is the tenth time today or so that the
1 Prosecutor is distorting the very clear words that I uttered and that are
2 part of the transcript.
3 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] [Previous translation
4 continues] ... transcript, Mr. Scott.
5 MR. SCOTT:
6 Q. As Mr. Prlic indicated second sentence of that particular
7 paragraph goes on too say, "It's only a base for complete solution
8 because we now control almost the whole territory of BH
10 Now, if you could go on to page 55, please, and just concluding,
11 Your Honours, in the next one or two minutes. On page 55, Tudjman then
12 goes on and talks about -- perhaps you can confirm to us that it was
13 known, was it not, that Mr. Mesic and Manolic had had great differences
14 of opinion with President Tudjman about his policy towards Bosnia
15 will see here that Mr. Tudjman turns his attention to them.
16 Before we get to that specific part, though, if you will please
17 look at the bottom of page 55 where Tudjman says, "I was the one who
18 mainly initiated suggestion of Cutileiro's canton solution and took Vance
19 and Owen to the isles of Brijuni in order to obtain such a suggestion for
20 a solution of provinces which would be in this sense and this as well, et
21 cetera and this -- for confederate solution with union, et cetera."
22 Did you understand that to be, based on all your knowledge, sir,
23 and your involvement, your close involvement in these events, that it was
24 Mr. Tudjman who had played this role in Cutileiro as he describes and
25 concerning Vance-Owen?
1 A. I did not take part in the Cutileiro plan, I've already explained
2 that over here. As for the Vance-Owen Plan, it was a plan that first of
3 all involved peace talks in the territory of all of the former
5 Tudjman, Milosevic, Cosic, no, not Cosic but these were peace talks that
6 had to do with the territory of all of the former Yugoslavia.
7 Q. Last page I will refer you to, sir, page 57, please.
8 President Tudjman continues talking and about the middle of that page
9 says, "Therefore, this is the difference and, please, Susak is right. We
10 cannot face our public now due to political reasons, in order to prevent
11 demoralisation among people who sacrificed themselves," et cetera.
12 Sir, I put to you a few moments ago and is it not correct that
13 this is again -- the problem that's being identified here by Tudjman and
14 Susak is, look, this represents a substantial shift from the policy and
15 goals that we've been pursuing and it's going to be -- it's going to
16 cause some difficulty and we're going to have to sell this; correct?
17 A. That is your comment and I am not in a position to comment on
18 that now.
19 Q. Well, do you recall when he said this, "We cannot face our public
20 now due to political reasons ..." What did you understand Mr. Tudjman to
21 be saying?
22 A. Well, on the basis of this here, I could give an interpretation
23 to the effect that the public perhaps believed that they would get a
24 Croatian Republic
25 this agreement and a joint Muslim-Croat federation was being established.
1 MR. SCOTT: Sir, I'd like to thank you for your testimony, for
2 coming to The Hague
3 to thank the Chamber for giving me the additional time. Thank you.
4 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] It's quarter past 12.00. We'll
5 have a 20-minute break.
6 --- Recess taken at 12.15 p.m.
7 --- On resuming at 12.37 p.m.
8 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] First of all, the Trial Chamber
9 would like to deliver an oral decision on the motion made by
10 Ms. Alaburic.
11 Having considered the witness's responses or answers to the
12 questions put by the Prosecutor, the Chamber believes that circumstances
13 are such that there could be -- that there will not be additional
14 questions put by the Petkovic Defence.
15 With respect to additional questions put by the Prlic Defence, of
16 course the Prlic Defence is entitled to put any questions that it wishes
17 to do but that will be taken into account as far as the global time is
19 Mr. Karnavas.
20 MR. KARNAVAS: Thank you, Mr. President. Thank you,
21 Your Honours.
22 Re-examination by Mr. Karnavas:
23 Q. Good afternoon, I should say, Mr. Akmadzic.
24 A. Good afternoon.
25 Q. You were the prime minister of Bosnia and Herzegovina and I want
1 to ask you: Were you ever questioned by the Office of the Prosecution as
2 a suspect for ethnic cleansing or being engaged in a joint criminal
3 enterprise? I put this question to you because today you have been
4 accused of being a war criminal in the sense of ethnically cleansing. So
5 have they ever come and questioned you as a suspect?
6 A. No, not in any way. Not outside the court, not inside this
7 courtroom and not during my evidence in 2000.
8 Q. Thank you.
9 MR. KARNAVAS: At this point, Your Honours, I would ask that the
10 record, to use the Prosecution's phrase, be cleansed or stricken of any
11 insinuation that this man was involved in ethnic cleansing because it was
12 put to him, he was accused, they have a responsibility given his position
13 as prime minister, he would actually hold a high position and if this
14 Tribunal is here to prosecute the most serious and we're talking about
15 ethnic cleansing, then they either had a responsibility to investigate,
16 indict and prosecute or not make such serious allegations before this
17 Tribunal and before Your Honours.
18 So at this point, I put this and you can deliberate at some
20 Q. Next, Mr. Akmadzic, concerning Sarajevo, you were asked when you
21 left. Could you please describe to the Trial Chamber so they can
22 understand what it was like to be in Sarajevo in December or November of
23 1992, and how it was to try to run government sessions, Presidency
24 sessions, how to run a country in that city at that time?
25 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Mr. Karnavas, speaking in your own words, the
1 question is put and answered. It was answered in a very emotional and
2 very impressive way on direct. Really, I remember the witness even
3 taking a cloth to his eyes and I was moved by it.
4 MR. KARNAVAS: And -- precisely and I was wondering why the Bench
5 didn't react and say that's been asked and answered, Mr. Prosecutor.
6 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Maybe they are less emotional.
7 MR. KARNAVAS: All right. Very well, if the Trial Chamber is
8 satisfied, I'll move on.
9 Q. You were asked specifically or the insinuation was that you
10 abandoned Sarajevo
11 was P 10473, where it was a newspaper article where Haris Silajdzic took
12 over your position, the absentee Croat predecessor as the document said.
13 We don't need to look at the document, Mr. Usher, but I want to ask you
14 this question concretely: Could you please explain to the Trial Chamber
15 where was Silajdzic in 1992? How often was he in Sarajevo? What he was
16 doing and how often did he report to you or to his -- to your predecessor
17 when he was Minister of Foreign Affairs?
18 A. Mr. Silajdzic was spending practically all his time abroad. He
19 never came to any government meetings. He never submitted any reports.
20 He once spoke to me but not more than once. I told him he could not not
21 travel abroad without the government's authorisation and without
22 previously conferring with me. He accepted that but the very next day he
23 went to the conference of Islamic countries in Jed [phoen]. So
24 throughout all of 1992 and most of 1993, he was abroad. But he was a
25 party to the negotiations.
1 Q. All right. Now, you were asked some questions and you were shown
2 some documents concerning some discussions about certain percentages, how
3 to reach 33 per cent and so on; do you recall that conversation?
4 A. Yes, I do.
5 Q. And you alluded to it but I want to make sure that we know
6 concretely the facts. Was this discussion also not taking place at
8 A. That's -- I wasn't there but that's where the present percentage
9 was agreed, 49 versus 51. Many of the talks involved figures but the
10 situation on the ground would often change.
11 Q. And was not in trying to reach these magical percentages,
12 wasn't -- it wasn't based on population but it was based on where to draw
13 the lines within Bosnia and Herzegovina; is that correct?
14 A. Yes. As I said, but the population in Bosnia and Herzegovina
15 also taken into account, the respective percentages, what the Croats had,
16 what the others had, and that was one of the criteria, the Croats had
18 Q. And were the internationals aware of this?
19 A. They were the ones positing this. It came from them. They led
20 the negotiations in a way and we were all involved.
21 Q. And did the Muslims, did they, too, look at maps and try to
22 decide what part of the 33 per cent of the territory of Bosnia
24 A. Yes, they were involved as well, but there is another thing that
25 I wish to say here that I have not said so far. Mr. Izetbegovic at one
1 point said that he would agree to a part of Bosnia and Herzegovina
2 falling to Croatia
3 that and we never accepted that. But he was the one actually pondering
4 the possibility.
5 Q. All right. Well, let's look at what Izetbegovic said at one of
6 these meetings. This is a tape recording of a Presidency meeting held on
7 January 14, 1994
8 document on 15 January 2007
9 long -- actualy, it's 2008 is when we saw this.
10 In fact, if we go back to the transcript, it would be on page
11 26.294 but I have the actual document here and I'm going to read a
12 portion to you and ask you to comment on it because it deals with this
13 issue of percentages. The page is marked for you, it's page 19 of the
14 document, Your Honours. Let's see what Izetbegovic said. Page 19. You
15 will see that there is a red sticker, sir, that's the page. We marked it
16 for you so you can find it easily.
17 Here what Izetbegovic said: "Let us all understand, all these
18 talks we had including republics and 33 per cent, et cetera, nothing of
19 it has been determined because Klaus warned me when I talked about some
20 things he said, 'You know, Mr. Izetbegovic, the rule about politics:
21 Until we agree on everything, we agree on nothing.' So, so far we have
22 not agreed on anything. These are all just preconditions for some
23 agreement. Of course, if it suits us, we can go back to the beginning.
24 We only have to ask ourselves if we have better solution. But as soon as
25 we see that we are better off, turn everything back to the beginning."
1 Now, I ask you, Mr. Akmadzic, does this not sound like the
2 negotiating tactics of Izetbegovic that you experienced throughout that
3 period? And I put this question specifically because of the questions
4 put to you yesterday about some opera singing ending the show, and I'm
5 referring to that rather coarse approach of suggesting someone of a
6 healthy weight size not having sung.
7 A. What you're putting to me is correct, I think it is correct.
8 That's precisely how Mr. Izetbegovic was behaving during the talks.
9 MR. KARNAVAS: Your Honours, I have no further redirect.
10 Sir, I want to thank you and I want to apologise for keeping you
11 longer than I had predicted, especially during the European cup season
12 which I know that you are a very big fan of football. Thank you.
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I would like to be given an
14 opportunity to address the Chamber just very briefly with no questions
16 It is my deepest conviction, Your Honours, as a state official of
17 Bosnia and Herzegovina who held a number of different posts that Croats
18 and Muslims fought each other in Bosnia and Herzegovina but it was never
19 termed a war, it was always termed a conflict. The Croats and Muslims in
21 fact that there was a war there and they provided a joint definition of
22 this war. The Croatian democratic community is not, as is sometimes
23 believed in Bosnia and Herzegovina, a branch of Croatia
24 contrary, it's an independent party. And this is often the case with
25 other political parties across Europe
1 to Croatia
2 Bosnia and Herzegovina but there have a -- there is a party called that
3 in Croatia
4 Throughout this war as a whole and throughout the conflict
5 between the Croats and the Muslims there was the Croatian embassy in
6 Bosnia and Herzegovina that kept on operating throughout as did the BH
7 embassy in Croatia
8 Islamic centre that was considered to be the largest of its kind in
11 A year ago, I believe, it was at that Islamic centre that a large
12 conference was held at which the BH raise their -- the highest ranking
13 religious official, Ceric, praised the relations between the Croats and
14 the Muslims in the most complimentary terms. I think Croatia was the
15 first country in Europe
16 enjoying equal rights.
17 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Witness, we gave you an
18 opportunity to speak but just a few words but now you are starting
19 pleadings and I must interrupt you.
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I thank Your Honours all the same.
21 This is what I wanted to say.
22 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] On behalf of my colleagues and
23 myself, I thank you. I join Mr. Karnavas in his thanks. Thank you for
24 coming to testify in The Hague
25 your country and I shall ask the usher to accompany you out of the
2 [The witness withdrew]
3 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Karnavas, can we start the
4 next witness in order to not waste time?
5 MR. KARNAVAS: Yes.
6 [The witness entered court]
7 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Karnavas, we don't have
8 more than one binder? I'm disappointed.
9 MR. KARNAVAS: Wait until the next witness.
10 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Good afternoon, sir. Could you
11 state your first name, surname and date of birth.
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I'm Zarko Primorac, the 15th of
13 September, 1937.
14 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreters are not entirely sure we got
15 the date correct because the witness is standing too far from the
17 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] What is your current occupation
18 or don't you have any.
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I'm an economist, I have a BA in
20 economy. I now work with a company in Zagreb.
21 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Your date of birth, is it the
22 15th of September, 1937?
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] That's right.
24 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Have you had an opportunity to
25 testify before a court of law as to the events that took place in the
1 former Yugoslavia
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] This is my first testimony.
3 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Please read out the solemn
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly swear that I will speak
6 the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth.
7 WITNESS: ZARKO PRIMORAC
8 [Witness answered through interpreter]
9 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you. Please be seated.
10 Some brief explanation from me. You're about to answer questions
11 first by Mr. Karnavas, then you will answer questions possibly by other
12 Defence counsel as part of their cross-examination. Thereafter, the
13 Prosecutor, who is seated to your right-hand side will also ask questions
14 of you as part of the cross-examination. The Judges seated in front of
15 you may also have questions for you but we do it when there is a document
16 that really calls for follow-up questions, mainly.
17 Do endeavour to be concise and brief in your answers.
18 We have breaks every hour and a half. We break for 20 minutes.
19 We only have three-quarters of an hour left because we're going
20 to break at quarter to 2.00. You've just made an oath to testify. You
21 are now a witness of the Court. In other words, you may not contact the
22 Prlic Defence any longer.
23 This being said, you have the floor, Mr. Karnavas, for 45
25 MR. KARNAVAS: Thank you, Mr. President. Thank you,
1 Your Honours.
2 Examination by Mr. Karnavas:
3 Q. Good afternoon, sir, and my apologies for keeping you waiting.
4 I will first begin by asking you some questions about your background and
5 with the Court's permission, I will just lead you through your background
6 and if you could just validate whether what I'm saying is correct and
7 then we will get into the documents.
8 You told us that you were born in 15 September 1937, and as I
9 understand it, you were received a Ph.D in economics in 1976 in Sarajevo
11 A. Correct.
12 Q. Since then, you've attended other international seminars as well
13 as in 1995, you passed the exam to become an authorised auditor as well;
15 A. Correct.
16 Q. Now, during your 35 years of experience in working as an
17 economist you have also been the president of the municipality of
18 assembly in Citluk and that would have been in 1965 to 1969?
19 A. Correct.
20 Q. All right. I'll skip through some of your other accomplishments
21 and go into -- from 1969 to '72 you were a senior advisor of the general
22 director of Energoinvest in Sarajevo
23 A. Correct.
24 Q. You then went on to become the general director for finance in
25 the same company from 1972 to 1974 and then you were also the general
1 director, and this would have been for non-ferrous metals, again for the
2 same company from 1975 to 1981?
3 A. All correct. But it wasn't called the general director, it was
4 called the main director, the position. And the one between 1974 and
5 1981 was about non-ferrous metals, yes.
6 Q. And at one point, you were also involved in the chamber of
7 commerce of -- this would have been the chamber of commerce of what,
9 A. I was a professional head of Sarajevo
10 was 1981 to 1984 but at the same time, I was a member of the Presidency
11 of Yugoslavia
12 chamber of commerce of Bosnia and Herzegovina but not on a professional
13 basis. On a professional basis, I was working only for the Sarajevo
14 chamber of commerce.
15 Q. All right. And then from 1984 to 1998 you were the
16 vice-president of the steering board of Energoinvest and then later on,
17 you became the vice-president of the steering board from 1989 to 1992
18 prior to taking up your post as minister of finance for the Republic of
19 BiH which you held from June to December 1992; is that correct?
20 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Excuse me --
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] There are some dates to correct.
22 Between 1984 and 1989, not 1988. Vice-chairman of steering board,
23 although it was called the business board of the Energoinvest under the
24 rules. And then between 1991 and 1992, I was the deputy president. So
25 it's just the dates about the first job. It wasn't 1988, it was 1989.
1 MR. KARNAVAS: My apologies.
2 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Mr. Karnavas, on page 83, lines 2 and the
3 following, you are reported as asking and I heard it like that, "From
4 1984 to 1998 you were the vice-president of the steering board of
5 Energoinvest and then later on, you became the vice-president of the
6 steering board."
7 MR. KARNAVAS: It should have been 1984 to 1988.
8 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Yes, but twice vice-chairman of the steering
10 MR. KARNAVAS: There were two and we can -- I can ask for
12 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Perhaps. Thank you.
13 MR. KHAN: Your Honour, while we're clarifying, at page 81, line
14 21, the witness states he was born in 1937. I wonder, is that correct?
15 MR. KARNAVAS: Yes. Yes, he has more hair than I do.
16 MR. KHAN: Don't bring hair into it.
17 MR. KARNAVAS:
18 Q. If you could clarify for us the positions that you held with
19 Energoinvest from 1984 to, say, 1992, if you could just tell us that?
20 A. I -- in large companies of Yugoslavia there, the managing body
21 was normally called board. I was the vice chairman between 1984 and 1989
22 and then I was the deputy chairman of the business board or the board
23 between 1989 and 1992.
24 Q. Okay. All right. And then after you became -- after you left
25 the Ministry of Finance in BiH which would have been in December of 1992,
1 as I understand it, you began working for yourself starting an auditing
2 company, auditing consulting company in Zagreb which you later -- which
3 was later bought up by Price Waterhouse. And it was after that period
4 that you became a special advisor and eventually a member of the board of
5 directors of Price Waterhouse Coopers in Zagreb and that would have been
6 in 1998 to 2001 when you became the board member -- member of the board
7 and director in Price Waterhouse; is that correct?
8 A. Too many questions all at once. I'll try to clarify it for you
9 in the following way. I, along with a couple of my fellow colleagues,
10 established a company that did auditing and consulting. The company was
11 then bought up by Price Waterhouse in 1997. I became a special
12 consultant for them. They then merged with Coopers in 1998. And they
13 became Price Waterhouse Coopers. I was a manager in that company up
14 until 2001.
15 Q. All right. But you continued working after that period, and
16 today, in your field that is, and today as I understand it you are the
17 regional chairman in Deloitte, is that correct, in Zagreb?
18 A. That's correct, it's a non-executive position. It's called
19 chairman but it's not an executive position. What I do is market
21 Q. All right. And aside from all of this in the meantime, you've
22 also been a professor of economics, you taught approximately 15 years, as
23 I understand it, in Sarajevo
24 economics systems and policy in Yugoslavia
1 A. Correct.
2 Q. Okay. And I'm not going to list all your accomplishments because
3 they're quite many but in addition to some of the professional activities
4 that you've been involved with, you've been a member of the organising
5 committee of the world banking congress in Dubrovnik in 1989?
6 A. Correct.
7 Q. And as I understand it at some point you might have even been
8 involved in the Winter Olympics that were held in Sarajevo in 1984 in
9 some capacity; is that correct?
10 A. Yes, I was the chairman of the Sarajevo chamber of commerce and I
11 was a member of the Organising Committee of the 14th Winter Olympic
13 Q. Yes. And in addition to this you've published approximately 100
14 articles in your field and, as I understand it, you are an author of a
15 couple of books and have edited the Croatian Financial Guide 1995, 1998,
16 2002; is that right?
17 A. Yes, that is right. A small correction of the interpretation --
18 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreter did not understand the nature
19 of the correction.
20 MR. KARNAVAS:
21 Q. What was the correction, sir, so we have it on the record?
22 A. The interpreter said members instead of articles, apparently.
23 Q. All right. Now, and just a couple more questions about your
24 background. As I understand it, you've never been a member of HDZ; is
25 that correct?
1 A. That's right.
2 Q. But prior to the break-up of Yugoslavia, if we can put it at
3 that, you were a member of the Communist League, is that what it was
5 A. Yes, that's what it was called and yes, I was a member of the
6 Communist League of Yugoslavia
7 Q. All right. Would it be fair to say that based on your experience
8 both as an economist, as a professor and being involved in the various
9 organisations, that you have a pretty good understanding of how a
10 country's economy functions and how the financial institutions work?
11 A. I think I have a pretty good understanding of how Yugoslavia's
12 economy functioned before the war. And I think I have a good
13 understanding of how the economy works today especially in Croatia
14 Q. All right. And finally, if you could just tell us -- because --
15 from our conversation you had indicated that on several occasions,
16 various offers had been -- had come your way concerning positions either
17 at the state level, at the Yugoslav level or at the republic level.
18 Could you just list some of those positions that you were offered and you
19 rejected in order to stay into the private sector?
20 A. Between 1989 and 1990 and 1991, I had several offers to join the
21 work of political organisations, among others, Ante Markovic invited me
22 to nominate me as a member of the federal executive council. I had been
23 nominated officially by Bosnia and Herzegovina for that position. It was
24 for personal reasons that I had to turn this down.
25 At the same time, I received several nominations in Bosnia
2 member of the Presidency of Bosnia and Herzegovina, I refused that too
3 because I wanted to continue to work in my field and in the economy
4 because that had held a far greater interest for me than to go into
6 Q. All right. Now, with that, the first two documents -- and
7 Your Honours, I must apologise they are not in order but just one binder
8 so I think we'll manage.
9 The first two documents, just very quickly, these are
10 housekeeping matters and I will be referring to 1D 02645 if you have it,
11 it's dated 15 June 1992
12 everyone's attention that if we go to page 4, for instance, in English,
13 it says, "Members and ministers of the government of RBH were appointed
14 as follows ..." and we see your name under number 5. So this would have
15 been page 4 in the English section and page 4 in the B/C/S. That's what
16 we call all three languages for convenience sake.
17 So it was on or about 15 June 1992 when you took up your position
18 as -- in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs for Bosnia and Herzegovina
19 that correct? Or finance, I'm sorry, Minister of Finance?
20 A. Correct. But I have another small correction to make about the
21 date. The date here on these minutes says the 15th of June, 1992
22 minutes from a meeting of the Presidency of the Republic of Bosnia
24 solemn vows on the 18th of June, 1992. It was three days later.
25 Q. Okay.
1 A. Following our nominations.
2 Q. Thank you very much.
3 Now, the next document is 1D 01632. Again just for housekeeping
4 purposes, 1632. And that may be towards the end of your binder,
5 Your Honours, because this is dated -- 1D 01632, this is dated
6 23 December 1992
7 your post as a member of the government of the Republic of Bosnia
9 A. Correct. That is the decision. I would prefer to opt for the
10 determine "dismissed" rather than relieved because that is what the
11 document suggests.
12 Q. Okay. All right. So are you suggesting that you were dismissed
13 as opposed to being relieved?
14 A. No, it's the other way around.
15 Q. All right. Now, before we talk about your tenure as the Minister
16 of Finance, I want to deal with three particular documents that were
17 authored by my client and this would have been prior to the break-up or
18 prior to the conflict, I should say.
19 The first document is 1D 02356, I will just sort of read a
20 section or a couple of sentences and ask you to comment in general about
21 the situation to see whether Mr. Prlic's take on the events as he was
22 publicising it to the folks back then were more or less reflective of the
23 time. 1D 02356. Okay.
24 We can see at the top he is a member of the -- he is the
25 vice-president of the republican executive council of Bosnia
2 executive council was?
3 A. Speaking in present-day terms, it was the government of Bosnia
4 and Herzegovina
5 Q. All right. If we look at the second paragraph, he's talking
6 about that there is a problem with liquidity and then he goes on to say,
7 "In this year, 1500 legal entities with about 37.000 employed were unable
8 to meet their obligations."
9 Further down, basically he's talking about the economy as it was
10 back then. Can you tell us whether that more or less reflected the
11 situation as it existed back then? Can you tell us a little bit about
13 A. Yes. The situation was rather difficult. After Markovic was
14 elected federal prime minister, the prime minister of Yugoslavia
15 initiated a reform that was supposed to resolve many problems that had
16 existed in the Yugoslav economy until then. However, as a matter of fact
17 during the first few months, it yielded some good results especially in
18 terms of slowing down or doing away with inflation altogether, if I can
19 put it that way, but after a few months, I can't tell he exactly how many
20 months, at least after six or nine months after he became prime minister,
21 things started getting increasingly complicated. The old problems of the
22 Yugoslav economy returned. The inability of Yugoslav companies to pay
23 their bills was at a very high level so in general terms, that is correct
24 looking at this statement.
25 Q. All right. And -- staying with the same document, if we look at
1 the very last page, he says that, "It would be necessary to strengthen
2 state authorities by radical measures. We have taken over the financing
3 of the judiciary so that the secretary of interior will soon be receiving
4 funds from the budget."
5 Then he goes on to say that the municipalities need to be --
6 shall be divested of certain functions. And then the last paragraph he
7 recommends the establishment of a fund for development.
8 Given the circumstances at the time, were these more or less the
9 sorts of measures that an economist, a progressive economist would be
10 thinking of in trying to deal with the situation as it existed back then,
11 and we're talking prior to the break-up or prior to the conflict?
12 A. Please allow me to read this. Yes, the Bosnian economy, the
13 economy of Bosnia and Herzegovina had greater problems than the economy,
14 say, of Slovenia
15 Yugoslav economy because the Bosnian economy primarily relied on the
16 production of energy resources, timber processing, the so-called primary
17 sector, as it were.
18 According to the rules of the game that were in force in that
19 system, these energy resources were delivered to the more developed
20 republics and the prices of these energy resources were fixed for the
21 most part and that is why the economy of Bosnia and Herzegovina
22 greater difficulties.
23 Mr. Prlic tried to get things moving. The fund for development
24 was a good idea at the time. I don't know but I assume that this idea on
25 the establishment of public companies is motivated by the thesis implying
1 the resolution of the problem of fixed prices of energy and raw
3 Q. All right. And very quickly with the next document, the next two
4 documents again dealing with more or less the same period. This one is
5 dated 11 January 1991
6 reference to his position.
7 Here, Dr. Prlic is asked about --
8 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Mr. Karnavas, you would facilitate us the task
9 of following if you gave the number of the document.
10 MR. KARNAVAS: I apologise. You're absolutely right. 1D 02232.
11 2232. If you look at this document, it says that it's the -- the
12 journalist is asking Dr. Prlic about the Republic of Serbia
13 the Yugoslav payment system and Dr. Prlic says, "I think we can conclude
14 that this is a decision that has been taken, a move that has been made
15 which is unprecedented in monetary history, an act of state crime that is
16 directed at other parts of Yugoslavia
17 It says, "In this regard, I'm recommending that we should send a
18 telex to the federal executive council seeking vigorous measures, i.e.,
19 demanding that the monetary effects on other areas of Yugoslavia be
21 THE INTERPRETER: Would you mind slowing down? Thank you. And
22 one mike is open.
23 MR. KARNAVAS:
24 Q. Do you know what Dr. Prlic is talking about in this occasion?
25 A. I think I do know. This had to do with what we called an
1 incursion into the monetary [Realtime transcript read in error
2 "monastery"] system of Yugoslavia. Now what was this all about? At one
3 point in time, Serbia
4 point in time, could -- Serbia
5 pensions to its pensioners. They simply didn't have the money to do
6 that. Then through the public accounting service, there was a state
7 institution for monetary transactions, Serbia actually made an incursion.
8 I cannot give you the exact figure but I remember that the figure the
9 people talked about was 1.400.000.000. I cannot be sure but it probably
10 had to do with several hundred million dollars. And in this way, the
11 Republic of Serbia
12 at the expense of everybody else in Yugoslavia
13 could say that as a fact this incursion, as it were, into the monetary
14 system was the beginning of the disintegration of the monetary system of
16 Q. I know it will be corrected later on, it's monetary not monastery
17 system as it's -- as the record reflects.
18 If we go on to the next document, 1D 02226. This is dated
19 25 January 1991
20 we know, a publication from Sarajevo
21 this article, we see that the government or the executive council, the
22 assembly of SRBH, the Socialist Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina
23 adopted a bill that would authorise the republic government to clear
24 debts with the federation without its agreement.
25 Then further in the next paragraph, it says, "The government
1 would temporarily prohibit the execution of the federal finance
2 secretary's order for the transfer of funds from the republic budget
3 account for the repayment of international credits for which the
4 federation provided guarantees or super-guarantees."
5 I don't want to -- the very last paragraph on the page also --
6 and going on to the second page says, "Last year, the particular problem
7 was that the federation was late in meeting all of its obligations
8 towards BH and especially its obligation arising from foreign credit --
9 credits, payments of differences in exchange rates, pensions and
10 disability benefits, and obligations arising from the system -- from the
11 citizens' foreign currency savings and social programmes," and here we
12 have the figure of 11.14 billion dinar obligation. The federation paid
13 4.81 billion.
14 Now based on this, can we conclude -- what can we conclude about
15 the Bosnian economy at the time?
16 A. The interpretation was not right. I did not fully follow your
17 speech. If we are not going to repeat this while I did understand the
18 question I can give my comments with regard to this text if allowed to do
20 Q. Yes, if you could be brief.
21 A. This has to do with a proposal of a decision of the executive
22 council, that is to say, the government of Bosnia and Herzegovina. And
23 it is my understanding that the assembly of Bosnia and Herzegovina
24 say supposed to approve the text. That is what it says in the first part
25 of the text.
1 I do not know whether the assembly did indeed approve this kind
2 of proposal made by the government of Bosnia and Herzegovina, however, I
3 would like to remind you of what I said a few moments ago. The incursion
4 into the monetary system of Yugoslavia
5 disintegration of that system. Probably all governments in Bosnia
7 themselves and protect themselves. I assume, I assume that this is part
8 of the policy that the government of Bosnia and Herzegovina tried to
9 adopt when the monetary system of the country as a whole was
11 Q. Thank you. That concludes that section. I just wanted to give
12 the Trial Chamber a sense of what the times were like prior to the
13 relevant events that concern us.
14 Now, if we go to the next document which is 1D 02687, 2687. I
15 know there's going to be a question from the Bench about the timing of
16 this so I will be referring after this document to 1D 02688 which is 6
17 March 1992. And I'm saying that so that -- to alleviate any concerns
18 from anyone in and around the Court.
19 Now, we know from the first document that you were not yet the
20 Minister of Finance at this point in time but would it be fair to say
21 that from your involvement as minister and from your occupation as an
22 economist, you would be able to provide us some insight as far as
23 non-residential accounts and what this document purports to be?
24 A. Two sentences by way of an introduction, if you allow me. All
25 the economies of the republics, that is to say, of Slovenia, Croatia
2 economic system. From 1990 onwards, the states started becoming
3 increasingly independent and every one of them started establishing its
4 own economic system.
5 It is understandable that at a moment when states started
6 separating from Yugoslavia
7 remained unresolved. Many companies from Bosnia and Herzegovina
8 claims vis-a-vis Croatia
9 had enough foreign currency to make the necessary payments. Life had to
10 go on. Economic systems were supposed to continue functioning.
11 The state systems found a solution through this system of
12 non-residential accounts. I would like to look at the next document in
13 article 3, it says that non-residential accounts will be used or rather
14 the relations between and among republics will be resolved by way of
15 payments of goods and services in the domestic currency or in foreign
16 currency. Let me be practical. That meant that a company from Bosnia
17 and Herzegovina
18 not have the appropriate payments paid because Croatia did not have
19 enough foreign currency opened a non-residential account in a Croatian
20 bank and then the Croatian enterprise paid money into this account. In
21 this way, the Bosnian company had Croatian dinars on an account in
23 In this way, this company could buy goods in Croatia and make
24 payments from that account. Non-residential accounts, therefore, were
25 accounts that made it possible to resolve the problem or, rather, bridge
1 the gap as Yugoslavia
2 relations resolved.
3 Q. Okay. Two points. One, the document that you were referring to
4 when you said Article 3, that was 1D 02688; is that correct?
5 A. That is correct.
6 Q. And also we can see from this document that this payment
7 agreement from the very -- from the preamble, we see that the two
8 governments are involved, the government of the Republic of Croatia
9 the government of the Socialist Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina; is
10 that correct?
11 A. According to the agreement, that is correct. According to the
12 document, that is correct.
13 Q. All right. Now, I'm going to have to ask you to slow down a
14 little bit when you give an answer because they have to be translated
15 and --
16 A. [In English] Okay.
17 Q. The interpreters work so hard and I'm going to be held
18 responsible if I don't slow you down.
19 We'll go to the next document, 1D 02686. 2686. This document,
20 if we look at the second page at the bottom, we see your name,
21 Dr. Zarko Primorac. It makes reference to the 6 March -- to that date
22 that we previously saw. Can you tell us what this is? What this payment
23 agreement reflects?
24 A. [Interpretation] The government that I was not in, that is to
25 say, that functioned before the government that I was elected to, had
1 signed a payments agreement with the Republic of Croatia
2 preceding document. The 6th of March, 1992. That is the heading. When
3 I joined the government and became a minister, then we saw that some
4 things in this agreement had to be changed. For example, just to draw
5 your attention to a minor detail, in the preamble of the first document,
6 the document dated the 6th of March, 1992, it is stated that the
7 government of the Republic of Croatia
8 February, 1992, and the government of the Socialist Republic of Bosnia
9 and Herzegovina
10 In the new agreement, we deleted the Socialist Republic of Bosnia
11 and Herzegovina
12 Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
13 As for the content of the agreement, appropriate provisions were
14 taken over from the previous agreement and new provisions were also
15 introduced that were topical at the time. The text of the agreement is
16 one that I negotiated with the Republic of Croatia
17 side, it was Minister Jasic who was authorised to negotiate the text. We
18 did indeed negotiate this and we brought matters to an end, rather, to
19 the signing the agreement. You can see on the document that the Republic
20 of Croatia
21 that time, I did not have the consent of Sarajevo because the government
22 probably had not discussed the matter and did not give me an appropriate
23 signal to have this signed. Therefore, it remained unsigned on my part.
24 MR. KARNAVAS: Thank you.
25 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Mr. Karnavas, you had anticipated before that we
1 would be interested in the date of another document. This also has no
3 Perhaps Dr.
4 unsigned and, finally, not concluded draft agreement.
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] This agreement on payments with
7 September 1992. Probably this was concluded towards the end of October
9 The rule is or, rather, practice is to affix the date when the
10 government approved the agreement. I don't see why there is no date next
11 to Minister Jasic's signature, that is to say the minister of finance of
12 the Republic of Croatia
13 simply, the government had not approved of that agreement in my time.
14 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Thank you very much.
15 MR. KARNAVAS: Okay.
16 Q. If we go on to the next document, 1D 0 -- yes.
17 JUDGE PRANDLER: I'm sorry to interrupt you, Mr. Karnavas. It is
18 only a technical matter. The witness said that according to the
19 practice, the agreements are being referred to according to the date when
20 the government approves them or accepts them.
21 According to my knowledge and experience, it is in a way not
22 correct. Usually, the concluded agreements are being given the date when
23 they are signed by those who are negotiating it and to work them out and,
24 of course, the approval or certification is another cup of tea and it
25 was -- it is -- it should be then later on mentioned but anyway, I --
1 agreement or treaty should be referred to according to the first
2 acceptance of it by the parties concerned. Thank you.
3 MR. KARNAVAS: Okay.
4 Q. Do you take any exception -- did you want to comment on that,
5 His Honour's observations?
6 A. I acknowledge this.
7 Q. Okay. All right. 1D 02689. 2689. This is dated 31 December
8 1991. It's an agreement, if we look at the preamble, we see that it's
9 the Ministry of Finance of the Republic of Croatia
10 Finance of the Socialist Republic
11 is 31 December 1991
13 We see that in Article 2, it says, "In order to conduct payment
14 transactions from Article 1 of this agreement, participants in the
15 payment transaction based in the Republic of Croatia
16 accounts with the public auditing service of Bosnia and Herzegovina
17 the domestic currency which is current in the territory of the
18 Socialist Republic
19 Could you please explain what that means and why it would have
20 been necessary for this agreement?
21 A. Please give me a minute to read this.
22 JUDGE TRECHSEL: In the meantime, Mr. Karnavas, are you sure that
23 31 December is the date of this agreement? It seems to me that there are
24 signatures with dates in March and the 31st December is a date from which
25 certain effects should be taken.
1 MR. KARNAVAS: Right. I stand corrected and maybe because I --
2 I'm a little tired, but -- even though we're not that much into the day,
3 I see that there is an agreement on the manner of conducting payment
4 transactions and that's dated 31 December. And now, because I'm
5 wondering how could I have made such a mistake to, now I see that it's
6 19th of March, 1992, that it's signed on one side, and it looks like it's
7 February 1992
8 Q. If you can't help us we'll move on to the next document?
9 A. That's impossible.
10 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Those after us cannot wait. We
11 have to stop here for today. You will continue tomorrow, Witness. The
12 hearing starts at 9.00. That's when we will resume. Thank you very
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you very much.
15 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 1.45 p.m.
16 to be reconvened on Wednesday, the 25th day of
17 June, 2008 at 9.00 a.m.