1 Wednesday, 27 August 2008
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 [The witness entered court]
5 --- Upon commencing at 2.18 p.m.
6 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Registrar, could you call
7 the case number, please.
8 THE REGISTRAR: Good afternoon, Your Honours. Good afternoon to
9 everyone in and around the courtroom. This is case number IT-04-74-T,
10 the Prosecutor versus Prlic et al. Thank you, Your Honours.
11 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. Registrar.
12 On Wednesday, the 27th of August, 2008, I'd like to greet the
13 Prosecution, Defence counsel, the witness, Mr. Stringer and his
14 associates, and everyone else assisting us.
15 The cross-examination will now continue, and I give the floor to
16 Mr. Stringer.
17 MR. STRINGER: Thank you, Mr. President, good afternoon. Good
18 afternoon, Your Honours, Counsel, and all the others in and around the
20 WITNESS: MARTIN RAGUZ
21 [Witness answered through interpreter]
22 Cross-examination by Mr. Stringer: [Continued]
23 Q. Good afternoon, Mr. Raguz.
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. When we finished talking yesterday, after our very brief
1 beginning, I was asking you about a report, which was Exhibit P 07500,
2 and you were explaining how you -- it was not a report of the ODPR,
3 per se; rather, you indicated it was a report of a different body which
4 I think was the working group or the group on social welfare. Is that
5 roughly correct?
6 A. I don't have the document in front of me right now, but I would
7 like to ask Mr. President that since it wasn't possible for me to have
8 the documents yesterday, although I requested them, and since I answered
9 a number of questions put to me by the Prosecution with regard to
10 information obtained and how this information was obtained by the office,
11 I would like to ask Mr. President to allow me to say something about that
12 document and about the context within which the Prosecution is placing
13 that document. I would also like to say something about the manner in
14 which the indictment was prepared in this area. I think this is of
15 crucial importance for my testimony and for those who are accused here.
16 MR. STRINGER: Well, excuse me.
17 Mr. President, this is cross-examination. It's not time for the
18 witness to make statements, and so if the Trial Chamber -- my first
19 request is that the Trial Chamber -- that we simply proceed with the
20 cross-examination, which is what we do with every witness. If the Trial
21 Chamber is inclined to hear the witness's statement, I'd suggest that it
22 do so at the end of his cross-examination or at the end of his testimony,
23 or that, in any event, that it take Mr. Raguz' statement at a time when
24 it's not being counted against the Prosecution time.
25 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes. Witness, with regard to
1 what you have just said, the procedure we are following here might seem a
2 little strange to you, since this isn't a customary procedure in your
3 country. The procedure we are following is one in which the party who
4 calls you first puts questions to you. Mr. Karnavas did that, and now
5 the Prosecution is cross-examining you. So with regard your request
6 concerning the first report, Mr. Stringer put questions to you about that
7 report, but in addition to your answer you can provide answers with
8 regard to that field.
9 As far as the second part of your intervention is concerned that
10 relates to your possible status of a suspect to the statement that you
11 may have given to the Prosecution, well, the party who called you,
12 Mr. Karnavas, should have if necessary put questions to you about that,
13 and yesterday when I heard that Mr. Karnavas said at one point in time
14 that you had been questioned as a suspect, I wondered whether I should
15 put any questions to you about this. I didn't, in the end, and I let the
16 examination-in-chief continue.
17 Now, the procedure we are following involves Mr. Stringer putting
18 questions to you, and you should answer the questions that he puts to
19 you. Afterwards, Mr. Karnavas might have -- or will have additional
20 questions, and perhaps he will not fail to return to certain issues. So
21 that's the situation.
22 Mr. Stringer, please proceed.
23 MR. STRINGER: Thank you, Mr. President.
24 Q. And just to follow up on that, Mr. Raguz, before we -- before we
25 really begin, it's possible that there will be other documents I show you
1 that you haven't seen before. It may be that it's of relevance that
2 you're not familiar with the document or that, like this one, you wish to
3 disassociate yourself with other documents, and so I don't want you to
4 think that you're being tricked or that I'm trying to trick you by
5 showing you something that you haven't seen before. That's the only
6 point I'm trying to make.
7 MR. KARNAVAS: Your Honour, for the record, I wish to lodge an
9 First, he's not trying to disassociate himself. Obviously,
10 Mr. Stringer wishes at the get-go to try to impugn the gentleman's
11 integrity. That's number 1.
12 Number 2, I didn't object - I was planning to - the form of the
13 question, the first question, because it mischaracterizes yesterday's
14 testimony. The gentleman indicated that not only he had not seen this
15 report, but this report does not comport to be an official report, that
16 it may be something that these gentlemen, on their own, wrote. It seems
17 a sort of a hobby in that part of the world for everybody to write books
18 and write memoirs and write reports, but this was not such a report that
19 was sanctioned by any particular institution, at least a factual
20 background, the predicate has not been established, which is something
21 that Mr. Stringer should do or is planning on doing with other witnesses,
22 if so we need to know how.
23 Thus, the first question is objectionable on the grounds that it
24 assumes facts that are not in evidence and it mischaracterizes the
25 gentleman's evidence.
1 I further object to the use of this document at all unless a
2 foundation can be established. But as of this moment, if these
3 individuals wrote this report on their own, what does this have to do --
4 and if this is their personal opinion, what does this have to do with
5 this particular case and these particular individuals that are accused
6 here? Nothing. If it was from an official body and it can be
7 established, fine, but until such time I would object to this document
8 being used further with this particular gentleman or any other witness in
9 this case.
10 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Stringer, the report that
11 the Judges became familiar with yesterday is a report that was already
12 communicated to the Defence pursuant to Rule 68 or 66, or is it a
13 document that has only recently arrived?
14 MR. STRINGER: Oh, no, Mr. President, it's been disclosed as part
15 of all of the disclosure in this case. I don't think there are any
16 disclosure issues in respect of the document. I believe that, in fact,
17 it was among the documents that was at one point included on the Defence
18 exhibit list for this witness, and it just wasn't used by the Defence in
19 the direct. But -- so I don't think counsel is raising a disclosure
21 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. I'll confer with
22 my colleagues to see whether you will be authorised to put questions in
23 relation to this document.
24 [Trial Chamber confers]
25 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Before the Trial Chamber
1 authorises you to use it or doesn't, the Chamber would like to know the
2 purpose for which you would like to use this document. In your opinion,
3 is this a relevant document? These are the questions we are putting to
5 MR. STRINGER: Yes, Mr. President. And, in fact, if the Trial
6 Chamber will allow me, I have -- I'm not going to ask -- it wasn't my
7 intention to ask the witness questions about that document right now. I
8 want to put some other documents to the witness that I think will lay
9 more of a foundation in terms of the origin of the document and the
10 people that made it and their connection to ODPR. So if I could be
11 allowed to do that, it may put the Trial Chamber in a better position to
12 rule on the ultimate issue when we get back to the actual report itself.
13 [Trial Chamber confers]
14 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. At this point in
15 time, Mr. Karnavas' request has no reason because you are not going to be
16 using this document, you will move on to other documents which will allow
17 one to authenticate the two authors of this document and show the link
18 between those who drafted the document with the ODPR, so please continue.
19 MR. STRINGER: Okay.
20 Q. Mr. Raguz, before we started today, we placed what should be a
21 document marked as 1D 01826 in front of you in the binder there. We had
22 originally --
23 A. I haven't got it.
24 Q. Well, just look for tab number -- it's going to be in the back.
25 It's actually the one with the small green tab in the back. That's it.
1 Can you turn to that document or -- if you want to just look off the
2 screen, it's fine. Whatever you prefer.
3 A. I'll try to follow it on the screen, because I can't really get
4 my bearings when you skip from one thing to another.
5 Q. We'll be skipping for the remainder of the day, so as you wish.
6 A. Well, it would be easier if I could have seen what I had to skip.
7 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes. Tell the witness that he
8 can find it in binder number 2, because --
9 MR. STRINGER: Binder number 2, it's in front of the witness,
10 Mr. President. I don't think he's trying very hard to go to it. It's
11 the small green tab at the back of the binder, sir. We've had some other
12 witnesses before. They seem to be able to navigate with tabs. I don't
13 know what the problem is with this particular ...
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I'll do my best to cooperate and to
15 save time. I just want to have the document in front of me, the document
16 we're discussing. That's all.
17 MR. STRINGER: That's fine. Okay. If you want, why don't you
18 take a few minutes to look at the document, and I'll ask you a few
19 questions about it.
20 Q. Sir, is this a document dated the 3rd of June, 1993? It's on the
21 letterhead of the Office for Expelled Persons and Refugees, related --
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. -- related to a working body for the social welfare of refugees
24 expelled and displaced persons in the municipality of Mostar
25 that? I'm still looking at the heading.
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. And then this is actually a report of that working body, and it's
3 signed at the end by the president of the working body, who is
4 Mr. Nevenko Herceg. Do you see that?
5 A. I do.
6 Q. And then this document indicates who the members of this working
7 body are, and it has a number of names there, and it has Mr. Herceg's
8 name, indicating that he's secretary of the HZ-HB Office for Expelled
9 Persons and Refugees. There's a Mr. Bevanda, and then we see the name
10 "Ante Aleksic," has his position as the supervisor of the office's
11 department for international cooperation. And then it continues with
12 other names. So just a couple of questions about this document.
13 Yesterday, when we were talking about the other report that was
14 made by Mr. Aleksic and Mr. Alilovic, I believe you indicated they may
15 have been making that report in connection with or pursuant to their role
16 in a different body, a different group, if you will, so my question is
17 whether this is the group that you were referring to yesterday, this
18 working body for social welfare of refugees expelled and displaced
20 A. I didn't have this body in mind, but rather the Centre for Social
21 Care in Mostar, and we can see that this meeting was held in that Centre
22 for Social Work and Care in Mostar. It says that on the 1st of June in
23 the Centre for Social Work in Mostar, the first meeting of this body was
24 held. That centre and the office acted in coordination and there were
25 ties between them. I had explained this for two days, so I think that I
1 explained the kind of relations that were in force.
2 Q. All right. And is it correct, sir, that this -- this body, this
3 group here, the scope of its work is going to relate to refugees and
4 displaced persons in the Mostar municipality?
5 A. The time period concerned was the 3rd of June. That's the date.
6 When I arrived as deputy, I had only just been appointed as the deputy
7 head of the office, and as far as I can remember only one or two meetings
8 of this working body had been held. This is a working body, in fact. I
9 have to be very precise. This wasn't an official body with authority of
10 any kind which enabled it to take decisions. This is a body that would
11 process information.
12 Q. All right. And the body was composed of different people, some
13 of whom were linked or a part of ODPR, and others who were part of the
14 Mostar municipality government; is that a correct statement?
15 A. That's true.
16 Q. So that Mr. Aleksic here, Ante Aleksic, in addition to working on
17 this working body, he was at the time supervisor of the Department for
18 International Cooperation at ODPR; correct?
19 A. That's what it says here, but when I took over the office, he did
20 not hold this position.
21 Q. And then Mirko Alilovic, he's secretary, according to this
22 anyway, he's secretary of the office, that being, it's my understanding,
23 the Office for Displaced Persons and Refugees. Was that his position?
24 A. No, the office secretary was Mr. Herceg, and you can see in his
25 signature in the document here. We've been through a number of
1 documents, and we all know that Mr. Nevenko Herceg was the secretary of
2 the office. Perhaps he was the secretary of the Mostar office.
3 Q. Do you know what the position of Mr. Alilovic was in the ODPR, if
4 he had one?
5 A. At the time on the 3rd of June, well, I can't really say, because
6 this wasn't my field of responsibility. I had no authority in the matter
7 at the time.
8 Q. At any later time during 1993, do you know if Mr. Mirko Alilovic
9 held a position within ODPR?
10 A. I think that they were involved in care and other issues that
11 related to expelled persons in Mostar. And as far as these activities
12 are concerned, they had links to the office.
13 Q. All right. And then Davor Cordas, it says here he was supervisor
14 of the Department for Analysis. Was that for the ODPR; was that his
15 position, as far as you know?
16 A. Yes, that's correct.
17 Q. And then one last person I'll ask you about is at the bottom,
18 Biljana N ikic. This indicates she was commissioner of the office for
19 the municipality of Mostar
20 A. She was an official in the Centre for Social Work in Mostar, and
21 we coordinated our work with the other centres and with the Red Cross
22 offices in municipalities, and there were individuals who represented
23 those institutions and cooperated with the office. I think that that is
24 the role that Biljana Nikic played, too.
25 Q. You talked yesterday about the rules of the ODPR that were
1 written by Mr. Tadic, and is it true that those rules of ODPR actually
2 make provision for a commissioner, someone who I would -- I think of as
3 someone who perhaps acts as a liaison between a municipality and ODPR?
4 Maybe that's not a correct characterization, but was Ms. Nikic one of the
5 commissioners, as that role is defined in the rules of the ODPR?
6 A. The rules of the ODPR define the institutional connections and
7 the positions of these municipal centres for social care and of the
8 municipal Red Cross offices. They define them as municipal bodies with
9 which the office coordinates its activities. And we know that in this
10 manner, we had contact -- there was contact with all the municipalities,
11 and in a certain sense the municipalities decided who would represent
12 those bodies when working with the office.
13 Q. Okay. So then just to bring it down to a specific individual,
14 perhaps for Mostar, for Mostar it was Ms. Nikic who was selected to
15 perform that role and to coordinate with ODPR, as a commissioner?
16 A. I assume so. At the time, I wasn't there, I wasn't at the
17 meeting, so I can't say for sure. I'm looking at this document now, and
18 I have tried to answer your questions about it as precisely as possible.
19 Q. Okay. Just sitting on top of the binder, on the side, there are
20 three loose documents, Mr. Raguz. I'm sorry. These are the ones that
21 are just sitting on top of the machine that's next to you. These are
22 some other documents that we went and found. There are three, they are
23 Exhibits P 04697, P 06981, and P 10578, and these relate to the periods
24 of September/December 1993 and then March 1994 respectively.
25 Mr. Raguz, do you recognise these as payroll records or payroll
1 sheets for the Office of Displaced Persons and Refugees for HZ-HB or
3 A. I assume that that's what they are.
4 Q. And in looking at these, I just wanted to very quickly, if
5 possible, indicate -- well, first of all, this is the group of people who
6 were the actual employees or salaried employees of ODPR during this
7 period of time, so only about 20 or 30 people, I think. Is that true?
8 A. I'm not sure that they were all staff members of the office
9 alone. For example, Darinko Tadic who was outside Bosnia and Herzegovina
10 at the time. I think that perhaps they were involved in certain
11 activities that had something to do with the office and that the office
12 financed. That's also possible, but I can't confirm that they were all
13 staff members of the office.
14 Q. Well, let's go to the one from December of 1993, which is 6981,
15 because this is at the period of time in which you were appointed to be
16 the head of ODPR. Do you have that one?
17 A. That's the next document, is it?
18 Q. P 06981. It relates to December of 1993.
19 A. I have on the screen --
20 Q. You have it. I think it's the third one in your hand. That's
22 So here we see --
23 JUDGE PRANDLER: Mr. Stringer, please kindly indicate whether it
24 is the binder 1 or 2, and so it --
25 MR. STRINGER: Sorry, Judge. Actually, this one is a loose
1 document that was just added today, and so it's not in any of the
2 binders. I apologise for that.
3 Q. Okay. So, Mr. Raguz, this document here, this is since -- you
4 see your name here as number 1, and then is that your signature or your
5 initials next to your name at the far right?
6 A. [No interpretation]
7 Q. I didn't get a -- could you say that again, your answer? I
8 didn't hear it.
9 A. Yes, I do see my signature, yes.
10 Q. So this indicates these are the people working at ODPR who were
11 receiving payment, and then they're signing this sheet just to give proof
12 that they've received their payment; is that correct?
13 A. It is correct that they are on a list of names of persons who
14 received a certain kind of remuneration for their work, but I cannot
15 confirm that they -- all of them were exclusively employees of the
16 office. They may have been linked to the office by doing various
17 activities for them and being paid for that, and that is -- that was
18 frequently the case. I had only just arrived. The 1st of December was
19 the date when I took over, and this was a list prepared which I signed.
20 Q. Well, at least as of this time, again we see Mr. Herceg as
21 number 2. I take it he's still the secretary.
22 A. Correct.
23 Q. Mr. Cordas, number 3, is still in charge of the Analysis
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. Number 5 is Ante Aleksic?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. And then on the next page --
4 A. But --
5 Q. Go ahead.
6 A. But you see here the amount, that it couldn't be the head of the
7 Department for International Relations, judging by the amount Mr. Aleksic
8 received. You see the coefficients given for the heads of departments
9 and how they were paid. Mr. Cordas, Mr. Ljubic, Mr. Herceg.
10 Q. And then number 22, we see Mr. Mirko Alilovic, and he appears to
11 be receiving the same amount as Mr. Aleksic; correct?
12 A. Probably.
13 Q. And then if we look at the next sheet, which is for March of
14 1994, that's the one that's marked P 10578, again we have you are
15 number 1, Mr. Herceg is number 2, Mr. Aleksic number 5, Mr. Alilovic
16 number 22; correct?
17 A. Yes. According to what I see here, yes.
18 Q. So they were still receiving some form of compensation from ODPR
19 as of March of 1994 ?
20 A. Judging by this list, they were, and it is quite possible that
21 they received some kind of remuneration.
22 MR. STRINGER: So that, then, Mr. President, brings me back to
23 the report which we started with yesterday, which is P 7500, which was
24 written over the signatures of Mirko Alilovic and Ante Aleksic, whose
25 names appear on these documents we've just gone through, and so again on
1 the basis -- on that basis, and again -- well, I think that on that
2 basis, it's fair to -- for the Prosecution simply to put parts of this to
3 him and ask him to comment on it.
4 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Mr. Stringer, I would like to put an
5 intermediate question to the witness, and it relates to the document in
6 the binder where he we had remained, namely, 1D 01826. That is this
7 meeting of the special working body. And you have told us that this was
8 a body without any authority, something unofficial, yet what we see here
9 is a letterhead of the official of Expelled Persons and Refugees, and I
10 wonder if you have some comment on this.
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Absolutely. I didn't see that --
12 say that it wasn't linked to the office. I said it was a working body
13 which was meant to prepare certain information for the office to make
14 decisions. It was not authorised, itself, to make any decisions. That
15 was the comment that I made, and I repeat it now.
16 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Witness, you have just seen a
17 number of documents which seem to establish the fact that these two
18 persons who are authors of the report were employees of the office on a
19 similar level as you, and we see that for the personnel of this office,
20 there is a coefficient for remuneration. They have coefficient 2 and you
21 have 4.4. So looking at this document, one has the feeling that these
22 two persons are, indeed, members of the office. Yesterday, you claimed
23 the opposite. Do you still abide by your position, in spite of the
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I said yesterday that I know these
1 people and that they were linked to the office, but that they were not
2 authorised to make this type of report. And as we see, according to the
3 distribution of the positions and in relation to the overall structure
4 and the rules regulating the work of the office, their duty was not to
5 submit this type of report in the way in which this report is being
6 treated. And at the end of this document, I have just managed to see
7 that they, themselves, say that the document may serve for certain
8 activities, nor do they say which, nor what the assignment was that they
9 were given. And when this report was compiled, that is, January 1994, an
10 agreement had already been reached for Mostar in Vienna on the 4th and
11 5th of January, that Mostar should be placed under international
13 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I will consult with my
14 colleagues to see whether the Prosecutor can ask questions about the
16 [Trial Chamber confers]
17 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] All the Judges feel that the
18 Prosecutor may ask questions about the report. So please continue,
19 Mr. Stringer.
20 MR. KARNAVAS: I just want the record to reflect I do have a
21 standing objection to this. That's all.
22 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. Thank you.
23 MR. STRINGER:
24 Q. Mr. Raguz, if you could take binder number 1, which is the other
25 binder, and we will go back to Exhibit P 07500. 7500.
1 A. 7500?
2 Q. Yes, I apologise. We have a lot of paper for a paperless office.
3 Okay. I actually just have a limited number of questions to ask
4 you about this, recognising that you did not make it and you did not sign
5 off on it.
6 First of all, just looking at the first page of the report after
7 the map, and there are some tables there in which --
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. -- these gentlemen are describing the ethnic composition of
10 Mostar, the municipality, as between the left side of the river, the
11 Neretva River
12 rural areas and urban areas, and I'm not going to ask you to comment on
13 any of the data that they're putting in there --
14 A. Allow me. This is very important.
15 Q. Okay. Well, let me ask you --
16 A. I would like to comment.
17 Q. Let me ask you my question first, which is this: This
18 information, this initial information which relates to the population of
19 Mostar in 1991, appears to be based upon census data from 1991, and my
20 first question is: Would you agree with me on that? Are you able to
21 tell whether the 1991 census data for Bosnia-Herzegovina is something
22 that ODPR relied upon as the basis for its own statistics?
23 A. It would be much easier for me to answer your questions if I had
24 had occasion to look at the documents, as I said, in answering all your
25 questions, and perhaps some questions left over from yesterday can be
1 attributed to this. And I am ready to answer any questions.
2 I see now that these are figures based on the official census of
3 1991, and that 1991 census was the last relevant census done in the
4 territory of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
5 Q. Do you know how --
6 A. I must say, Mr. President, this relates to the figures for
7 Mostar, and if I may add something about that, just linked to the
8 figures, the figures we have here about which you have asked me.
9 Q. Let me ask you my questions, and it's possible I'll cover yours.
10 And I'll give you a moment to make your comment, Mr. Raguz. I want to be
11 sure to get my questions in, though, and it's a simple one, I think.
12 Do you know how the ODPR acquired the census data from 1991, from
13 the official census?
14 A. Like all other institutions, it's an official document that could
15 be used and was used by institutions.
16 Q. Do you know when ODPR received the official census data from
18 A. I don't know that. You know well when I joined the work of the
19 office, but I don't see that there can be any open issues about that,
20 because these are figures, data, which are in the public domain and which
21 were made to be used rather than kept away somewhere. And on the basis
22 of those data, you can see that between the census of 1981 and 1991, by
23 administrative revision of borders in the former Republic of Bosnia
25 that is why it is important to discuss the document. I asked for that
1 last night, and I'm asking today. And if documents of this kind are
2 being tendered, they can have serious implications for the entire
3 proceedings linked to this issue. I'm ready to answer all questions. I
4 wish to repeat that, Mr. President. But also I cannot give answers out
5 of context.
6 Q. Okay. So if I understand correctly, and I think this is
7 information that the Trial Chamber's heard previously --
8 A. No, I said this for the first time.
9 Q. Well, no, from other witnesses. If I understand correctly, what
10 you're telling us is that previously the borders of the Mostar
11 municipality and perhaps other municipalities were changed, and that
12 resulted in a reduction of the Croat population living in Mostar
13 municipality, which of course affected then the demographic or ethnic
14 composition of the municipality?
15 A. Yes, that is correct, and it's interesting to note that this
16 should have happened in Mostar between the two censuses, and we're
17 talking about Mostar. You opened the question of Mostar.
18 Q. If I could ask you to turn to page 12 of this report in your --
19 page 12 of the original language version, page 14 of the English
20 translation. And I believe for you, Mr. Raguz, it's -- I'm going to ask
21 you to look at the first full paragraph on page 12 of your version. Let
22 me read a part to you that's written here:
23 "Even though today Croatian population is the majority in the
24 Mostar municipality under control of the HVO, they make 73 --"
25 Are you with me? I don't want to read until you're able to
1 follow. This is page 12 of yours.
2 A. [No interpretation]
3 Q. Okay:
4 "Even though today Croatian population is the majority in the
5 Mostar municipality under control of the HVO, they make 73.3 per cent of
6 the entire population and they make 74 per cent of the domicile
7 population. That fact cannot deceive us, because the situation is a
8 result of the removal of a large number of Serbs just before the war
9 started on 6 April 1992
10 at the removal of a large number of Muslims to Croatia, Slovenia
11 other European countries."
12 So my first question on that, Mr. Raguz, recognising that you did
13 not come into ODPR until late May or actually early June 1993, are you
14 aware, sir, that in fact a large number of Muslims had been removed from
15 Mostar during the course of the conflict between the Croats and the
16 Muslims in Mostar during 1993?
17 A. I do know, and we saw yesterday, from the data of the UNHCR, that
18 more than 25.000 were expelled by the Serbs of Bosnia-Herzegovina from
19 Eastern Herzegovina
20 Q. I'm asking you now about 1993 and the Croat-Muslim conflict. Was
21 a large number of Muslims, both residents of Mostar as well as refugees
22 and displaced persons, were a lot of Muslims expelled from Mostar by the
23 Croatian or HVO forces in 1993?
24 A. All I can say is that as a consequence of the conflict in Mostar,
25 a significant number of both Croats and Muslims had the status of
1 refugees or displaced persons, on both sides.
2 Q. So you do not know, then, if Muslims were expelled forcibly from
3 Mostar during 1993 by Croatian HVO forces?
4 A. I said that at the time, I was still formally a member of the
5 government of the republic and that I arrived later. All I can say is
6 that there was a war in Mostar involving both parties and that there were
7 casualties on both sides.
8 Q. And if I understand correctly, in fact, when you arrived to take
9 up your position with ODPR in late May of 1993, you based -- I would
10 assume you based yourself in Siroki Brijeg, which is where the ODPR
11 offices were, and you were not physically living in Mostar. Is that a
12 correct assumption?
13 A. Yes, the office was based in Siroki Brijeg.
14 Q. I just want to continue with some of the text here:
15 "In the certain political situations that they might get back to
16 Mostar, all of them or the majority of them, but one cannot disregard the
17 fact that a large number of inhabitants declared themselves Yugoslavs and
18 others, which was quantified in details before, and without a doubt there
19 is the least number of Croats among them, so in the future Croats cannot
20 expect the numerical growth of the aforementioned categories of the
21 population. In order for Mostar to remain a Croatian town, cultural, and
22 economic centre, it is not sufficient just to declare it and to live and
23 hope that it will happen. All those who left it when the first grenades
24 fell in the town should be returned over there; first of all, the
25 educated and highly-skilled personnel should be returned, especially the
1 ones from the health services, educational system, and culture. Our
2 people invested a lot of material assets in them. Only reasonable and
3 timely Croatian politics can make Mostar stay the Croatian town, and one
4 should not expect someone else to do it instead of us."
5 Now, sir, this report having been written by these two gentlemen
6 who were working for ODPR and would also have been assigned to this
7 working group that we've discussed, it would seem to me, sir, that at
8 least in their view, the role of ODPR was to use the demographic data in
9 order to preserve a Croatian majority in Mostar. Is that your view of
10 what was the role of ODPR?
11 A. Absolutely. I absolutely reject that, and I have already said
12 the context within which the Prosecution is endeavouring to make
13 assessments which may have historic significance, and that is why I
14 wanted to see these documents. I was not allowed to do so last night,
15 and following these proceedings the Prosecution is endeavouring, on the
16 basis of a document that was never officially used, to say that that was
17 the official policy of the office. I emphatically reject that. The
18 official policy of the office was the one presented in public through the
19 census of refugees and displaced persons compiled together with the
20 government in Sarajevo
21 is media evidence and my statements that have been disclosed to the
22 Court. And we were very active in that respect in Mostar and throughout
23 the federation, and today Mostar is the most multiethnic town in
24 Bosnia-Herzegovina. You can check that out. It is very important, and
25 this is the only town where a municipality in which the Croats constitute
1 the majority, with 26.000 voters, according to the statute of the town,
2 has the same number of deputies in the Assembly as the Muslim
3 municipality, which only has 3.000 voters.
4 And, Your Honours, it is very important to review the situation
5 in Mostar with arguments and evidence, instead of taking fragments from
6 non-official documents and attributing this to being the official policy
7 of the office, and I reject that with emphasis.
8 MR. KARNAVAS: A technical point, Your Honour. I don't mean to
9 disrupt the cross, but when Mr. Stringer indicated earlier on page 14 on
10 the English, page 12 on the B/C/S version, the word "removal," I
11 purposely looked at it, because I know that the translation are sometimes
12 off, and if he especially -- when done by certain individuals, it would
13 appear, at least, the word "removal" does not appear in the original
14 language. It says "moved out." Perhaps that can be clarified at this
15 point or at least before we move off this document.
16 My colleagues who do come from that region or do speak B/C/S or
17 Croatian can look at that and verify, or we can just have the gentleman
18 read that portion and get a proper translation, and I'm told he did
19 receive a proper translation from the booth, which was that they moved
20 out and not that they were removed.
21 MR. STRINGER:
22 Q. The views that are expressed in this report, Mr. Raguz, do you
23 know if those are the views that were held by the person who was the head
24 of ODPR prior to you, Mr. Tadic?
25 A. I can't speak for him, but I think, judging by what he did and
1 extending assistance to everyone, that that was not his view.
2 Q. Okay. I'm going to take you to one last part of this report and
3 then we're going to move on.
4 If I could direct your attention, sir, to page 6 of your version,
5 paragraph 3. This is page 8 of the English, Mr. President. And again
6 they're writing:
7 "In the near future ..."
8 This is about four or five lines into the paragraph, second full
9 paragraph of the English version --
10 A. I apologise, but could you tell me which page it is?
11 Q. Page 6.
12 A. In the Croatian version? I have it in front of me.
13 Q. Yes.
14 A. I found it, I found it.
15 Q. Okay. It's the paragraph that begins: "We find important to
16 point out ...," and it's talking about the number of Yugoslavs who
17 declared themselves in the census. And they write:
18 "In the near future, the following census, in the pluralist and
19 democratic conditions, it is very possible that a large number of
20 Yugoslavs will declare themselves in accordance with the mother nation
21 they used to belong to. If this prediction came true, which is probable,
22 the Croatian people in the town of Mostar
23 order to prevent that from becoming a reality, it is important to start
24 thinking and taking all the civilizing measures today, if it's not
25 already too late, so that Croatian people don't move from the urban and
1 rural areas of the municipality, but to stay in the capital of their
2 state, in Mostar and the Mostar municipality and all the former parts of
3 that municipality that were administratively separated from Mostar by the
4 anti-Croatian authorities."
5 So the last part that I read there, that's a reference to the
6 re-districting or the changing of the boundaries of Mostar in the prior
7 years that you'd made reference to earlier; am I correct on that?
8 A. This is a well-known thing to the public at large and to
10 Q. So is it true, sir, that -- I know you've talked about ODPR
11 policy. Certainly this would indicate to me that there were individuals
12 within ODPR who sought to use the demographic information and political
13 means, if necessary, to preserve a majority of Croatian people in Mostar.
14 Would you agree with me on that? That's what these gentlemen are
16 A. All I can do is repeat that those weren't the policies pursued by
17 the office or by myself, as the head of the office, nor was this ever
18 used as a document from the office when it comes to policies pursued by
19 staff members of the office. I said that yesterday, and I stand by that
20 today. I also stand by my claim that to use personal opinions and
21 characterize them as official policies is not a good thing for this
22 entire case.
23 Q. Mr. Raguz, before we move to the next document, I'd like to ask
24 you to take that same binder and go to Exhibit P 10562, 10562.
25 MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, before we move on to
1 the following document, I didn't want to interrupt, but after the
2 intervention of my colleague, Mr. Karnavas, I also checked the text and
3 believe that I know Croatian well enough, and I'm good at English, too,
4 it's certainly mistakenly translated. The key word is mistakenly
5 translated. We're talking about P 07500, on page 14 in the English
6 version in the sentence in question. It says that these changes are
7 [Previous translation continued] ... [In English] of a large number.
8 [Interpretation] The result of the removal of a large number, and my
9 colleague Stringer used that verb. But the original document states that
10 those changes were the result of the fact that a large number of
11 individuals moved out, that is to say, left. As my colleague
12 Mr. Karnavas said, they moved out, they weren't removed. So this is
13 quite obviously a translation mistake and changes the substance quite
15 Thank you very much.
16 MR. STRINGER: Mr. President, I've got the text in front of me in
17 B/C/S. I'm happy just to ask the witness to read it in his language, and
18 we can take the translation from the booth, if that would make everyone
19 feel more at ease.
20 MR. KARNAVAS: I do find it rather odd that my colleague has to
21 stand up, after I intervene, for the Prosecutor to react, and I was
22 wondering when the Bench would react on this. I must say I'm a little
23 troubled. This is rather important. If an issue concerning translation
24 arises, at the time, based on good faith, they should react, not wait for
25 my colleague, who's a B/C/S speaker, to then say, "Well, now," as an
1 after thought, "let's try to get it read into the record." I just think
2 this is not the way a proper international tribunal should be held.
3 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Stringer, two things. I
4 believe that in future, when using documents that you have had translated
5 into English in which there are elements that are inculpatory, for
6 example, "removal," whilst you have assistants who know B/C/S, it would
7 be good to check, first of all, with those assistants in another language
8 whether the English term corresponds to the B/C/S term so that we can
9 avoid these problems, because this is not the first time that we have
10 noticed that there are significant discrepancies, because to leave
11 voluntarily has nothing to do with to leave because one is forced to
13 Mr. Karnavas is surprised by the fact that the Judges haven't
14 reacted, but I wasn't waiting for us to exhaust the subject before asking
15 the witness to read out the sentence in his own language, and the
16 interpreters will then interpret that sentence. If any ambiguity
17 remains, we will ask CLSS to have an official translation done, because
18 words are important. Leaving voluntarily and leaving because one is
19 forced to leave, well, these two things are not identical, and so
20 therefore it would be best for the witness read out the sentence in his
21 own language and the interpreters will translate it for us.
22 So, witness, if you have had found this sentence in your text,
23 read it out, and the interpreters will translate the sentence into the
24 official languages of the Tribunal.
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Could you please tell me where it
1 is? I had already been asked to turn to another binder. That's page 6;
2 is that right?
3 MR. STRINGER: Page 12.
4 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I think it's page 12 in your
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I found page 12.
7 MR. STRINGER: It's the paragraph that begins about one-third of
8 the way down with the words: "Iako danas." Read slowly.
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Mr. President:
10 "Although today in the municipality of Mostar
11 control of the HVO, the Croatian population is in the majority and they
12 make up 73.30 per cent of the entire population, of the domicile
13 population, and the Croats make up 74 per cent of the local population,
14 but although that is a fact, this must not deceive us, because this
15 situation is the result of the fact that a large number of Serbs have
16 moved out or, rather, moved out just before the war started, was then on
17 the 6th of April, 1992. And at the beginning of that war, as well as of
18 the fact that a large number of Muslims moved out to Croatia, Slovenia
19 and other European countries."
20 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] In the French translation, the
21 term was used "a result," or it is a result of the fact that a lot of
22 people moved. In French, this means that people have moved out, they
23 haven't been forced to move out. It must be the same in English.
24 JUDGE TRECHSEL: In English, the term is "moved out," which is a
25 very neutral term, indeed, and establishes that the objections raised by
1 the Defence were absolutely justified.
2 I have an additional question, Mr. Stringer. Who made this
4 MR. STRINGER: It's an official translation, Mr. President. It's
5 not a working translation, draft translation. It's not made by the
6 Office of the Prosecutor.
7 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Thank you.
8 MR. STRINGER: I don't go behind the translations. We accept
9 them as coming from the people who know. That's all we can do.
10 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Stringer, you say it's an
11 official translation, but "official" means what? From whom, by whom?
12 MR. KARNAVAS: It appears to be OTP translation, at the very
14 MR. STRINGER: Yeah, I'm seeing, Mr. President, at the bottom it
15 says "OTP/DVU," which is the people at the beach building. Apparently
16 it's not CLSS, so I stand corrected on that. But in any event, again I
17 have this as a final translation or a full -- not a draft or a partial,
18 and so I don't know what more I can say, Mr. President. Everybody in
19 this courtroom is working off of translations that are coming from any
20 number of sources, including their own teams at times. We do the best we
21 can do.
22 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. Everyone is doing
23 the best they can, and I'd like to thank Mr. Kovacic and Mr. Karnavas and
24 the witness, and Mr. Stringer. Please proceed. I won't thank myself.
25 That goes -- that's natural. Judge Trechsel, if you'd like, I would be
1 quite happy to thank you.
2 Mr. Stringer, please proceed.
3 MR. STRINGER:
4 Q. The next document that I was just starting to take you to,
5 Mr. Raguz, is 10562 in the binder, the second binder, 10562.
6 While you're reaching for that, I can tell you that this is a
7 resume or a CV for you that we found on the web site of the European
9 A. It's possible. Which document is concerned?
10 Q. 10562, P 01056 -- perhaps the usher could help you. We're never
11 going to get done if we can't move through the documents.
12 A. I can see it.
13 Q. Okay. Just a few quick questions about your background, both
14 personal and professional.
15 Do you recognise this as your CV that's been posted on the web
16 site of the European Parliament?
17 A. I think so.
18 Q. Indicating that originally you're from the municipality of
20 A. That's correct. That's what I said yesterday or the day before,
21 rather, when I introduced myself.
22 Q. And you attended the primary and secondary school there before
23 going off to university in Zagreb
24 A. Correct.
25 Q. And then just continuing down a couple of lines, this
1 indicates -- well, after we have the University of Zagreb
2 Department, and then it goes into your various positions beginning in
3 1992 with the government in Sarajevo
4 the record that at the time you came to the ODPR, you did not have a
5 background in demographics or statistics, per se; that's not your field.
6 Rather, your field was in the political realm, or at least your education
7 was more in terms of political science?
8 A. I haven't fully understood your question. I do apologise. Was
9 my profession supposed to be that of someone involved in statistics?
10 Could you please repeat that question.
11 Q. I'm just asking you: Is it true that your background and
12 training, from an educational standpoint, was not in the area of
13 statistics or demographic research?
14 A. Demographic research and statistics mean different things. At
15 the Faculty of Political Science, I had a certain subject -- a department
16 that was involved in statistics. That's the subject that I had to take
17 an exam in, so I followed a professional course and it was necessary to
18 have fundamental knowledge with regard to that field, too. But it is
19 true to say that I was not professionally involved in statistics.
20 Q. Just making the point that in terms of the statistics and the
21 analysis, you relied on the information of others, perhaps in the ODPR,
22 such as Mr. Cordas, who I understand was in charge of that, more
24 A. That's what I have already said. The office relied on such
25 indicators, such information, but I also said that the office strove to
1 determine the exact situation and keep a precise record of expelled
2 persons. But while I was at the head of the office, the office would
3 engage professors in demographics at the Universities of Sarajevo and
4 Mostar to deal with these issues, and there was an expert witness who
5 testified before this Court, Professor Markovic, who unfortunately he
6 died two years ago. I can tell you something about this, too, because
7 this was also within my field of responsibility.
8 Q. I think that's enough. My last question on this, sir, is that
9 the CV here indicates that you were the head of the Office for Refugees
10 and Displaced Persons of Bosnia and Herzegovina during 1993 and 1994.
11 Sir, that seems to be -- to me to be rather inaccurate, in that it should
12 indicate that you were the head of Refugees and Displaced Persons for
13 either the Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna or the Croatian Republic
14 Herceg-Bosna during that time. Would you agree with me that that's not
16 A. In my official CV that is on the internet, in the Parliament of
18 that I was the head of the Office for Refugees of the Croatian Community
19 and Croatian Republic
20 Q. So this one's not correct, in other words?
21 A. No, it's not correct. It should say the Office for refugees of
22 the Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna. Everything else is correct. I
23 don't know why that isn't here. I never tried to hide this fact.
24 MR. STRINGER: Mr. President, for the next exhibit we need to go
25 into private session, because the document is a document under seal.
1 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. Mr. Registrar.
2 [Private session]
11 Pages 31455-31458 redacted. Private session.
15 [Open session]
16 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, we're back in open session.
17 MR. STRINGER:
18 Q. Mr. Raguz, just before the break we were looking at some tables,
19 and I'm going to ask you some questions about those. And maybe it would
20 be easier, because we're going to be moving between the three of them, if
21 maybe you could just take the three tables out of the -- out of the
22 binder, and it might make it faster to move around. So these would be
23 the three ODPR tables that you were asked about before the break.
24 Okay. And now, as I understand it, you recognise these as --
25 these three tables as documents from ODPR. Is that correct?
1 A. I have recognised it, only I would object to the time, and
2 I think the objection stands.
3 Q. Yes. And I understand that you have that objection, that you do
4 not accept the time period indicated on the first table.
5 If you would turn to the second table, at the top it says
6 "Attachment 2." Okay, see, yeah, there are three. So, now, on one of
7 them at the top it's handwritten, it says "September 1993," and then in
8 printing there is -- it says "Mostar, 15 of September, 1993." Do you see
10 A. I see it.
11 Q. Would you accept, sir, that then this would be the time frame
12 relevant to this table, September 15th of 1993?
13 A. Probably, I think.
14 Q. The next table. Again, this has got some handwriting at the top,
15 but it also has some printing which says "Mostar, 25 October 1993," in
16 the upper left-hand corner. Do you see that?
17 A. I do.
18 Q. Okay. So would you accept that this would appear to be an ODPR
19 table relevant to the period or as of, as it were, the 25th of October,
21 A. That is what the tables of the office looked like, but as many
22 things were added, I cannot confirm the authenticity. But tables were
23 prepared in this way by the office.
24 Q. Okay. And ultimately it will be for the Judges to decide how
25 much they want to accept these tables and the data.
1 I want to ask you about some of the numbers that are contained in
2 these three tables. And to assist, we've prepared some tables of our
3 own, Mr. Raguz, which I'm going to ask the usher to hand you, and also
4 I think we have some extras for counsel and for the Trial Chamber as well
5 for distribution.
6 What I want to do, and I want to try to do this quickly,
7 Mr. Raguz - I don't know if that's possible - but I would like to try to
8 lead you through these various tables and focus on four municipalities at
9 the different periods of time that are referred to in these tables,
10 recognising what you've said about the periods of time, themselves.
11 There are two tables. One relates to displaced persons, and then the
12 other one relates to domicile population. And what we've done is to take
13 numbers out of the tables and to put them here, with respect to these
14 four municipalities, and with your assistance I'm hoping we can show the
15 Trial Chamber how that's been done.
16 So on the chart that I just handed you that relates to displaced
17 persons, that's the one I want to first focus on, displaced persons,
18 because each of the three ODPR charts has numbers relevant to residents
19 or indigenous population, and it also has numbers related to displaced
20 persons; is that correct? That's the big dividing line, if you will,
21 between the two groups of people who were being shown here?
22 A. I can just confirm that in this table that I have seen so far,
23 that is how it was. I'm just now looking at what you've given me. It's
24 a bit unusual for me that something should be taken out of documents and
25 formed in this way, and it's very difficult to follow.
1 Q. I understand that. Perhaps I can -- we can walk through this
3 Let's look at the first of the ODPR tables, okay, the one that
4 appears to relate to January to April 1993. And then if you look at that
5 table focusing on the municipality of Ljubuski
6 then, according to the ODPR table, at this period of time there were
7 1.524 Croat displaced people in Ljubuski municipality; is that correct?
8 Is that what's indicated there? Yes, it's -- I'm sorry.
9 A. I will truly try to be helpful, but I have two things to say.
10 First of all, I was not in the office at the time. I didn't hold
11 any position. So I have to be very cautious. I've also been given some
12 new tables, and now I see these figures in this form in these documents.
13 So all I can do is make some general comments.
14 Q. Let me -- with the usher's assistance, I want to make sure you're
15 looking at the correct ODPR table, because I can see from my position
16 here that you're not. I want to look at the first in time of the ODPR
17 tables, the one that has the pen writing on, on the left-hand side,
18 regarding Davor Cordas. That's it. So this is the one that appears to
19 relate to January to April 1993.
20 And then, again, Mr. Raguz, looking at the ODPR table, for
21 Ljubuski, what we see is there are 5.077 displaced people in Ljubuski as
22 of this period; is that correct?
23 A. According to these figures here, that is what is written.
24 Q. And of those 5.077, then we have 1.524 Croats and 3.553 Muslims;
1 A. That is what it says, which means that both had the status of
2 refugees, that there was no discrimination.
3 Q. And for Capljina, we had 5.019 displaced persons, and that was
4 made up of --
5 A. No, no, that's not right. It says "5.000" here.
6 Q. Yes. I think I said "5.000," but maybe --
7 A. You said "15." We can check.
8 Q. 5.019.
9 A. So it was my intervention.
10 Q. -- of which 1.436 are Croats; correct?
11 A. That is what it says here.
12 Q. And then 3.581 Muslims; correct?
13 A. Yes, that is what is written here.
14 Q. Now, Siroki Brijeg, there were 3.100 displaced persons?
15 A. It says "3.027" here.
16 Q. Yes, 3.027 displaced Croats and 69 displaced Muslims; correct?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. And now for Stolac, we don't have a number for displaced persons,
19 and I believe this indicates that this was a conflict zone, 6.000 Croats
20 were expelled. Is that a correct way to interpret the data for Stolac?
21 A. All the Croats from Stolac at the time were expelled.
22 Q. Okay. So we left those numbers blank, then, on the table that we
23 gave you.
24 Okay. Let me ask you now to turn to the next ODPR table that
25 relates to September of 1993, and we'll just move across again. And,
1 again, we've got -- we've got a column for the displaced persons, and
2 then we've also got a column for the local population or the domicile
3 population. So again with Ljubuski, for displaced persons, we had --
4 yeah, we had 5.497 displaced Croats in Ljubuski during this period?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. And 750 displaced Muslims?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. In Capljina, 5.300 displaced Croats, 3.325 displaced Muslims?
9 A. Yes, yes, that is what it says.
10 Q. Siroki Brijeg, 7.531 displaced Croats, 79 displaced Muslims?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. And now for Stolac, we do have some data, 1.400 displaced Croats
13 and no displaced Muslims; correct?
14 A. Yes, that is what is written here.
15 Q. And then finally turning to the third of the ODPR tables, the one
16 that relates to the 25th of October, 1993, for Ljubuski we have 12.107
17 displaced -- I'm sorry, 6.135 displaced Croats at this time and zero
18 displaced Muslims; is that correct?
19 A. There's no figures for the Muslims here, so that is what it says
20 here, yes.
21 Q. All right. And then for Capljina, we have 9.098 displaced
22 Croats, and no Muslim displaced people are indicated. Do you see that?
23 A. Yes, I do.
24 Q. Siroki Brijeg, we're now up to 8.741 displaced Croats and 18
25 displaced Muslims; correct?
1 A. Let me just find Siroki. Yes, yes.
2 Q. And then for Stolac, 958 displaced Croats and no displaced
3 Muslims; do you see that?
4 A. I do.
5 Q. Now, if you can go back to the first of the tables, and I just
6 want to try to do the same thing now with the other group, which was the
7 domicile or the indigenous population. So, again, for the first ODPR
8 table in this period January to April 1993, you'll notice that we start
9 with the domicile population for each of the municipalities according to
10 the 1991 census, but it does not give us the breakdown for each
11 municipality as between Croat and Muslim for the domicile population. Do
12 you see that?
13 A. Yes, I do.
14 Q. Okay. And so, Mr. Raguz, and this is for everyone else, what
15 we've done - and if you accept this, tell me, and if you don't accept
16 this, tell me - what we've done on the chart that I've given you is to
17 simply insert the numbers, Muslim and Croat, for those municipalities
18 that come from the 1991 census. And I can show you those numbers, if
19 you'd like, or if you'll accept my representation that those are the
20 numbers from the 1991 census, then we can move on.
21 A. It's really difficult to follow, though I'm doing my very best.
22 Q. I understand.
23 A. I do wish to be precise. And, secondly, regarding this issue, we
24 cannot speak objectively if we look at data for three or four
25 municipalities only. We don't have Konjic and Jablanica that I talked
1 about yesterday and we took in, and we don't have the figures for those
2 municipalities and what the situation was like there at the time. I
3 really cannot accept, without an overall insight and an assessment of the
4 overall situation, rather than selecting two or three locations, and I
5 fear that this is a reduced view of the very serious situation we were
6 in. And as a witness, I wish to disassociate myself from any assessment
7 that may be made on the basis of such a reduced overview.
8 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Perhaps it is useful to inform the witness of
9 the fact that the assessment is done neither by the Prosecution, nor by
10 the Defence, nor by the witnesses, but exclusively by the Chamber. And
11 I think you can feel easy in answering the questions that are put to you,
12 and leave it to the Chamber, in the end, to see whether they make sense,
13 whether they are confirmed by others or not, whether they fit in the
14 context. I think you can trust the Chamber to do that and feel relaxed
15 in answering the questions of whoever puts them.
16 Thank you.
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you.
18 MR. STRINGER:
19 Q. Now, with that --
20 A. I wish to thank you, too.
21 Q. With that qualification, if we can just continue with this, and
22 recognising that any of us could do the same analysis for any of the
23 municipalities that are -- or all the municipalities here, not just the
24 four that have been chosen.
25 Let's move to the -- I didn't get an answer, Mr. Raguz, to my
1 last question, and I'll leave it to you to tell me. Are you willing to
2 accept that the numbers appearing in the domicile population chart for
3 this first period of January through to April are coming from the 1991
5 A. I assume so, but one will have to compare, because it is very
6 difficult to confirm without looking it up. But I assume that they are
7 correct, because I just don't have the figures in front of me to be able
8 to compare.
9 Q. And in the interest of time, I'm going to move on from that point
10 and skip, then, to the next table, which is the September 1993 table,
11 which does give us a breakdown as between the Croat and the Muslim
12 population for the domicile population in these municipalities.
13 So, again, for Ljubuski, according to this table, in September we
14 had 25.279 Croats, Croat domicile, that is, residents of Ljubuski, and
15 1.631 Muslim residents of Ljubuski; correct?
16 A. Yes, that is what is written here.
17 Q. And then Capljina, 17.092 Croatian residents, 10.760 Muslim
18 residents; correct?
19 A. Yes, those are the figures here.
20 Q. Siroki Brijeg, 26.437 Croatian residents, and no Muslim residents
21 are indicated?
22 A. You see, those are the indicators which remain open. Now,
23 whether that was so according to the census or not, we need to have the
24 census figures before us to be able to tell.
25 Q. And just finish this all off, and then I'll come back to that,
1 for Stolac we have 6.113 Croat residents indicated and 8.093 Muslim
2 residents indicated in Stolac?
3 A. That is what is indicated.
4 Q. Now, why don't we just take a moment and I can provide you with
5 some of the census data so that you can check the census numbers against
6 the census figures that are contained on this table. That is contained
7 at Exhibit P 10519, which is in the second binder. And, actually, to
8 save time, if there's no objection, I could simply hand the witness my
9 hard copy rather than asking him to move through the binders for it.
10 I've highlighted a couple of the --
11 A. I think I found it. I found it.
12 Q. Those appear to be the census figures per municipality, according
13 to the 1991 census?
14 A. Yes, that is what it appears to be.
15 Q. Okay. And then just so you know, perhaps if you can turn to
16 page 20 of that document. The very first municipality that's indicated
17 is Ljubuski?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. And so then for Ljubuski, you see the composition as 26.127
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. And then 1.592 Muslims?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. Okay. So we can do that for the other three municipalities, but
25 does that provide you with enough assurance that the census figures in
1 these tables are the correct ones?
2 A. They are approximate, you see, approximately correct. To a large
3 extent, the figures do tally.
4 Q. Okay. So, now if I could direct you to the third of the ODPR
5 tables, which is the one relating to October. Now, according to this
6 ODPR table, for Ljubuski during this period, we have 25.279 Croat
7 residents living in Ljubuski and 826 Muslim residents living in Ljubuski;
9 A. That's what it says here.
10 Q. And then for Capljina, 15.007 Croatian residents, 3.852 Muslim
12 A. That's what it says.
13 Q. For Siroki Brijeg, 26.437 Croatian residents and no Muslim
14 residents are indicated?
15 A. That was the situation according to the information from the
17 Q. Can we agree that for Siroki Brijeg, there were virtually no
18 Muslims who were living there in 1991, at the time of the census, so it
19 was virtually 100 per cent of the population of Siroki Brijeg being
21 A. I assume so.
22 Q. And then for Stolac, finally --
23 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Mr. Stringer, did you want to say "1991"?
24 MR. STRINGER: At the time of the census. I was asking about --
25 I believe I did intend to say "1991."
1 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Because the table we have refers to 1993.
2 MR. STRINGER: Yes. I'm sorry, Judge Trechsel. I was referring
3 to the census figures of Siroki Brijeg from 1991, which indicate only
4 nine Muslims living there at that time.
5 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Thank you.
6 MR. STRINGER:
7 Q. Okay. And then just to conclude with this, Mr. Raguz, for Stolac
8 now on this table, we have 6.113 Croat residents living in Stolac, and
9 no -- there's a blank there. No Muslim residents are indicated for
10 Stolac. Do you see that?
11 A. That's what it says here. This column is empty.
12 Q. Okay. So, actually, what we can do now is we can set aside the
13 ODPR tables, you can set aside the binder, and I just want to talk about
14 these two tables for a minute, and I'm not going to take you to any of
15 the other documents anymore.
16 First, the one on displaced persons, because I want to see if we
17 can draw -- or what kind of conclusions we can draw about this data and
18 what it means, at least for these four municipalities. And let me just
19 put a couple points to you, and you can tell me whether you agree or
20 disagree. Okay?
21 A. I'll tell you straight away that this table doesn't contain
22 everything you have asked me about, and I have answered those questions.
23 In the first table you asked me about for the period from the
24 first -- from January to April 1993, you asked me about Stolac, all your
25 questions had to do with Stolac, and in your table, which you extracted
1 from all of these other tables, I don't think you transposed or copied
2 out all the information.
3 Q. Okay. You're looking at the one for displaced persons?
4 A. It would be better to take this step by step so that I don't make
5 rough assessments. I'll answer your questions.
6 Q. I'm trying to go step by step, and on the displaced persons
7 chart, starting with Stolac, you'll see there are blank -- there's no
8 data contained in Stolac for the January-April period, and that's because
9 there's no data contained on the ODPR chart, except the statement that it
10 was a conflict zone and 6.000 Croats were expelled. And so all I can
11 tell you is we weren't sure what to put in the boxes for Stolac there, so
12 we just left them blank. And if you want to make a comment about the
13 situation at that point, feel free to do so.
14 A. All I can confirm is that all the Croats, and we saw the
15 information in the census from 1991, all these Croats were expelled from
16 Stolac during this period. That is stated here, and at that point in
17 time the office did not have an overview of the situation, apart from
18 those who had been expelled. We didn't have information or an overview
19 of the other categories.
20 Q. And so what we know about Stolac, in terms of displaced persons,
21 is that we have 1.400 Croat displaced persons there by September, and
22 that number is reduced to 958 displaced Croats by the late October time
23 frame; is that correct?
24 A. Well, that's what it says here too.
25 Q. Let me -- I just want to ask you about a couple of the other
1 municipalities on this one, this one relating to displaced persons,
2 because maybe you'll disagree with me, maybe you won't. It seems to me,
3 sir, that there are a couple of trends that are shown here, indicated
4 here, and one is that there are large numbers of Croatian or Croat
5 displaced persons coming into these municipalities, at least Ljubuski,
6 Capljina, and Siroki Brijeg, during this period of time, and I'm going to
7 be asking you about that issue, and you've been asked about it already
8 during your direct examination. For example, at the beginning we have
9 1.524 displaced persons living in Ljubuski, and by the October period we
10 have 6.135. For Capljina, we begin with 1.436, and that figure increases
11 to 9.098 displaced Croats in Capljina by the late October period. And
12 then for Siroki Brijeg, again, we have 3.027 as the starting point,
13 ending up with 8.741. So you've testified about this, and I'll ask you
14 about it in the coming hours, but there's this very large number of
15 Croatian displaced people who are coming into these municipalities during
16 the course of the months September-October indicated in this chart; is
17 that correct?
18 A. Well, all I can say is what I said yesterday. In terms of the
19 reception of such individuals, the situation changed on a daily basis,
20 and that's why it would be necessary to follow all the information
21 continually, because yesterday I quite clearly stated which
22 municipalities and which areas the Croats came from.
23 Q. That's right.
24 A. And to give this entire discussion a certain sense, it's
25 necessary to have an overall view, a general picture. I can only repeat
1 this. I have answered all your questions.
2 Q. And the Croats who were coming into these municipalities were
3 coming from the parts of Central Bosnia that you've told us about,
4 Travnik, or Konjic, Kakanj, Bugojno, for example?
5 A. And from Jablanica and Konjic, that's Herzegovina, it's not
6 Central Bosnia
7 Q. Now, let's look at the displaced Muslim persons throughout this
8 period, because we start, for example, with 3.553 displaced Muslims in
9 Ljubuski during this initial period of January to April 1993, which is
10 before the 9th of May, 1993, before the real essence of the conflict
11 between the Croats and the Muslims starts at that period, and what we see
12 in Ljubuski is that that Muslim displaced persons population falls
13 dramatically in the coming months, from some 3.500 down to zero,
14 according to these figures. We see similar movement in Capljina, with
15 3.581 Muslim displaced people is, by late October 1993, down to zero,
16 according to these figures. Siroki Brijeg, there's not much change,
17 I think. We might agree there was never a lot of Muslim displaced people
18 in Siroki Brijeg, so that number went from 69 to 18. And then according
19 to this, there were -- there were not any Muslim displaced people in
20 Stolac during this period of time.
21 So my question to you on the displaced persons, Mr. Raguz, is
22 recognising that you're not the head of the ODPR at this time, and you've
23 told us, I think, about the origin and the reason why the Croatian
24 numbers increase, my question to you is this: Isn't it true that as the
25 Croatian population -- displaced person population was moving in, the
1 Muslim displaced person population was being pushed out, or even
2 expelled, out of these parts of Herceg-Bosna, Western Herzegovina? In
3 other words, the Muslims were going out to make room for the Croats to
4 come in?
5 A. No, I can't agree with that. That was not the case.
6 Q. Do you know where these Muslim displaced people went? Obviously,
7 it's a general question and I'd obviously take a general answer, if you
8 can shed any light on the trend. These are all falling within your area
9 of responsibility or, that is, ODPR's responsibility. Where did the
10 Muslims go?
11 A. They either went to Croatia
12 the status of refugees, or they went to areas under the control of the
13 Armija, such as Mostar. And you haven't provided any information on
14 Eastern Mostar, showing how many Croats were there and how many Croats
15 remained there during this period. So this is what I have been talking
16 about. It was a wartime period and this had been put together. But when
17 you have the entire collection of information for areas under the HVO and
18 the Armija, you will then see how expelled persons and displaced persons
19 moved around, and you'll see what the situation was in these settlements
20 with regard to the local or resident population. But it is for all of us
21 to sort out our ideas on the basis of everything contained in the
22 documents and on the basis of what has been said in examination-in-chief
23 and on the basis of what will be discussed.
24 Q. Let's just look at the other table now on the domicile
25 population. That's the people who were living in these municipalities.
1 You can obviously look at whatever you like. Just -- we can look at
2 specific numbers, but would you agree with me, sir, that the Croatian
3 domicile population in these municipalities remained, according to the
4 figures, fairly constant throughout this period of time, there was no
5 significant reduction in the Croat resident population or domicile
6 population of these four municipalities?
7 A. On the whole.
8 Q. And then there was, however, a significant, substantial reduction
9 in the Muslim population in these same municipalities during the period;
10 would you agree with me on that?
11 A. That's correct.
12 Q. And, I mean, the numbers are there. I should -- just to be
13 absolutely precise, there's no real change in Siroki Brijeg, because
14 there was never a significant Muslim population residing there in the
15 first place, so I think we're focusing here on the other three
17 I want to ask you about your own home municipality of Stolac
18 Because of these municipalities, and I think Stolac was somewhat unique
19 among the municipalities of the south and Western Herzegovina, prior to
20 the conflict, the population as between Croats and Muslims was very --
21 was quite balanced. I think you had a small majority or a relative
22 majority of Muslims, 8.000 or so, but 6.000 Croats living in Stolac,
23 according to the census figures from 1991. And then here there appears
24 to be no Muslims living in Stolac by this period of October 1993. Being
25 from Stolac -- well, let me ask you this: You were working in
1 Siroki Brijeg during this period of time. Where did you live? Did you
2 live in Stolac?
3 A. No, I didn't live in Stolac. And, for your information,
4 Mr. Prosecutor, my family and I -- at the time, I had two children, and
5 later we had four children. Well, we were refugees or displaced persons.
6 We changed our address on 14 occasions during the war and afterwards. I
7 left Stolac in 1975, and I think that your question doesn't have any
8 basis. You have no arguments to link this to me. But I can answer your
9 questions about Stolac, just as I can answer questions about all other
11 Q. If you don't know what happened in Stolac, then just say so. I
12 had the impression that you grew up there and perhaps may have had a lot
13 of contact with all the Muslim population who was living there, and, on
14 the basis of that, whether you were aware there were virtually no Muslims
15 left there by late October of 1993.
16 A. I knew that during a certain period of time, there were no
17 Croats, not a single Croat. The situation was then similar with the
18 Muslims. And now I know -- I worked on enabling people to return, and
19 there is now a similar number of Muslim and Croats in Stolac. But when I
20 had the possibility of creating conditions, appropriate conditions, I did
21 so. You can check to see whether I assisted all the refugees in the same
22 manner, regardless of whether they were Muslims and Croats. And that was
23 also the case for all other staff members in the office.
24 Q. All right. But isn't it true, sir, that during the conflict
25 between the Croats and the Muslims, virtually the entire Muslim
1 population of Stolac was forced out of Stolac by the HVO?
2 A. All I can say is that there was movement of individuals in the
3 manner I have already described. I think I've described this about 15
4 times already.
5 Q. Just a couple last questions on this, in terms of how ODPR
6 classified the various categories of people. During this period of time
7 that's indicated in these tables, beginning in July, in particular, of
8 1993 and continuing throughout the summer, are you aware that there was
9 large-scale arrest of military-aged Muslim men throughout Western
11 detention camps?
12 A. When I arrived in that area, I was present at a meeting of the
13 HVO during which the entire situation concerning refugees, the
14 humanitarian situation, was discussed, and we tried to find a way to find
15 a solution to the problems. That's when I became familiar with the
16 situation. That meeting, that was the first official information I had
17 about the situation. There are records that shows that this was the
19 Q. That's right, and I've got a document on that that I'm going to
20 show you later, and I'll ask you about that. My question for now is
21 this: Do you know how ODPR classified these Muslim males who were
22 arrested and placed in the detention camps for purposes of its statistics
23 and record-keeping within the HVO-held territory? Were they refugees,
24 were they displaced persons, or were they simply not accounted for in any
25 of the statistics kept by your office, or do you know?
1 A. I don't think that the office had any authority in that matter at
2 that point in time, as far as I know, and later, as far as the
3 information is concerned obtained through the International Committee of
4 the Red Cross, most of those people I think ended up with the status of
5 refugees in the Republic of Croatia
6 Q. Okay. All right, Mr. Raguz, we've finished with that whole
7 subject matter, in terms of the tables, the statistics. I've got some
8 other things to move on to, and so let me get right to that.
9 I'm going to ask the usher for some assistance just to put the
10 papers back into the binder to make sure that they don't get shuffled up
11 too much.
12 Oh, Mr. -- excuse me, I meant to --
13 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I have a follow-up
14 question - keep the table on the resident population. We see that for
15 Ljubuski, in October, there were 25.279 Croats and 826 Muslims. Can you
16 see that in the table?
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
18 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. I was
19 intellectually curious and wanted to deduct this figure from the census
20 of 1991. In 1991, in the census, the Croatian population was 26.000 plus
21 and the Muslim 1.592. When we do the calculations, we have the following
22 paradox: It seems that during this period of time, there were more
23 Croats - for them, the figures diminished - than Muslims. When you
24 deduct the numbers, you have a deficit of 848 Croats. And the Muslims,
25 there were 1.592 and now 1.026. When you make the calculations, there is
1 766 Muslims who are no longer there. And paradoxically, there are more
2 Croats who seem to have left than Muslims, whereas there were displaced
3 Croats that -- well, there were 6.000 of them. How do you explain that
4 during this period that goes up to October 1993, there was a reduction in
5 the number of Croat inhabitants in Ljubuski, which exceeded the reduction
6 in the number of Muslims?
7 Naturally, we can make figures to say everything one wants them
8 to say, but I have these figures here which would lead one to believe
9 that the Croats who apparently left Ljubuski, and then other displaced
10 Croats from elsewhere, who came to replace them.
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] That's correct, Mr. President.
12 There were many such cases in that area. I said that all of this
13 information could be interpreted in a different manner, that there were
14 two sides of looking at the -- two ways of looking at the information.
15 And if you have a look at the result of the war that we are discussing,
16 in the Federation and in Republika Srpska, you will notice or you will
17 see who paid the most or the highest price for the conflict, to which
18 areas most people returned, and that's the only serious subject I can
19 discuss. You'll see that the Croats are, in fact, concerned here.
20 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] My last question, which is
21 technical and doesn't require a comment, because a number of witnesses
22 have already answered it. I would like to know what your point of view
23 is, because as my colleague said a while ago, it's for the Judges to
24 assess the importance of these figures, tables, and of other information.
25 In the 1991 census, on the basis of the figures that we have, in Ljubuski
1 there were 26.127 Croats, 1.592 Muslims, but weren't there any Muslims at
2 the time, or Croats, who declared themselves as Yugoslavs, or were there
3 Muslims who declared themselves as Croats when the census was taken.
4 Everyone knows what a census is. Sometimes there are errors.
5 Sometimes there are erroneous attributions, people declare themselves as
6 belonging to one category, whereas they belong to another category.
7 You're a cultivated individual, you have held important positions. In
8 your opinion in this well-known 1991 census, which we have discussed here
9 for hours, in this census might there have been approximate figures?
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] If we're talking about Ljubuski --
11 I think you asked me about Ljubuski. All I can say for sure is that
12 there were very few people there. I won't say not a single person, but
13 there were very few, who would have declared themselves to be Yugoslavs
14 and then would have subsequently stated that they were Croats. Very few
15 Croats declared themselves to be Yugoslavs. Not even minor divergences
16 would have been possible in this case. I think that there may have been
17 Muslims who at the time stated that they were Croats. I don't know the
18 precise number, though.
19 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well.
20 MR. STRINGER: Mr. President, thank you. I was going to ask also
21 for IC numbers for the two tables that the witness has been talking
22 about, that is, the two, one being the domicile population and the other
23 being displaced persons.
24 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes. Mr. Registrar, can you
25 give us numbers, exhibit numbers, for each of the tables.
1 THE REGISTRAR: Yes, Your Honour. The first table shall be given
2 Exhibit number IC 00833, while the second table shall be given Exhibit
3 number IC 00834.
4 Thank you, Your Honours.
5 MR. STRINGER: Thank you, Mr. President.
6 Q. Okay, Mr. Raguz, you can put those papers away. I'm going to ask
7 you to reach for the first binder, with the aid of the usher, P 01894.
9 You were asked about this, I believe, in your direct examination,
10 Mr. Raguz. This is the decision on the status rights of refugees,
11 expelled persons, et cetera, in the Mostar municipality. It's dated the
12 15th of April, 1993, by Mr. Topic, who was the head of the HVO in Mostar
13 at that time. Do you recall seeing this document?
14 A. Yes, I see it.
15 Q. And you actually, I think, talked more about the next one I'll
16 show, which was the revised decision. This decision was revised on or
17 about the 29th of April, and I'll show that document in a minute, but I
18 want to stay with this one, just while we're here on it, for one quick
20 This was the decision that regulated the entitlement of refugees
21 and displaced persons in Mostar, their entitlement to refugee cards and
22 aid in the Mostar municipality; is that -- is that roughly correct?
23 A. Yes, roughly.
24 Q. Because you were talking about the role and the responsibilities
25 of the municipalities in respect of this issue, and if I understood your
1 testimony correctly, you indicated that it was the municipalities that
2 themselves exercised authority in these areas; is that a correct
4 A. It is true that in answer to a question from the Defence, I
5 compared these regulations among various municipalities, from Tuzla
6 other places, and it is true that I confirmed that that was what the
7 situation was both in the territory under the control of the Armija and
8 the HVO.
9 Q. I'm just looking at the heading of this decision, number 1894,
10 and this one indicates that it is being made, in part, on a proposal by
11 the head of the Office for Refugees and Expelled People of the HZ-HB at
12 its session on 15 April 1993
13 weren't yet -- had not yet taken up your position, does this indicate
14 correctly -- am I correct to conclude that it was Mr. Tadic who proposed
15 this decision, as the head of the Office for Refugees and Expelled People
16 of the HZ-HB?
17 A. In this document, I still can't find it, because we are talking
18 about the rights of -- the rights of refugees and displaced persons in
19 the territory of Mostar
20 Q. Yes, that's the decision. It's P 01894, 1894, and it's dated the
21 15th of April, 1993.
22 A. I really cannot tell you who proposed the decision. I can say
23 who passed the decision, but I wasn't there at the time. Everything is
24 written in the decision. The decision is made by the HVO of Mostar.
25 Q. Okay. Then let me take you to the other revised version of this
1 decision, which I think you were shown on your direct examination, which
2 is Exhibit P 02144. 2144.
3 Now, recognising that this is being issued about a month before
4 your arrival, are you able to recognise this as the decision that applied
5 to the refugees in Mostar?
6 A. I cannot confirm that because I wasn't there.
7 Q. Well, all right. Let me just stay with the document, recognising
8 that you weren't there. This decision lays out the criteria for
9 eligibility for refugees and displaced persons to receive humanitarian
10 assistance in Mostar; would you agree with me on that?
11 A. This decision envisages who can be granted that status and who
12 can be given a card.
13 Q. And there's this one part of this that I want to ask you about,
14 because I want to ask you to the extent that this condition applied in
15 other areas or to the extent it may have been consistent or not with
16 policy of ODPR.
17 Directing you to paragraph 1 of the decision, this indicates that
18 in Mostar, a refugee and expellee card shall only be issued to persons
19 between the ages of zero and 18, men over the age of 60, women over the
20 age of 51, except for disabled women and mothers with children up to the
21 age of 7, who are not staying in abandoned flats and who came from
22 occupied areas.
23 My question is this part on not staying in abandoned apartments,
24 is it correct to conclude that the rule in Mostar, and maybe you can say
25 whether it was the rule elsewhere, is that refugees and displaced persons
1 were not, in general, permitted to stay in abandoned flats, that is,
2 flats that had been abandoned by people who lived there previously?
3 A. No, I cannot agree, in view of the number of refugees throughout
4 Bosnia-Herzegovina. An enormous number of displaced persons were
5 accommodated in abandoned apartments.
6 Q. Would you agree with me, sir, that at this period of time in
7 Mostar, that the vast majority of the displaced persons and refugees in
8 Mostar were Muslims?
9 A. I told you that we should have examined those figures --
10 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Witness, just a moment.
11 There's a Defence lawyer who's on his feet.
12 MS. TOMASEGOVIC-TOMIC: [Interpretation] I apologise for the
13 interruption, but I think it would be important for the witness to read
14 the sentence to the end, because it says that the card cannot be given to
15 persons from territories that are not occupied, so the question is
16 whether someone comes from an unoccupied area is a refugee at all,
17 because in that case he can stay in the house he was living in before. I
18 see that the witness hasn't read it through.
19 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Stringer, can you please
20 clarify this?
21 MR. STRINGER: Yes, I'll do that. I'll come back to this issue
22 of the abandoned apartments, because that's the one I want to focus on,
23 but just to address the question that's been raised by counsel:
24 Q. Was it a general policy of ODPR and the various municipalities
25 that people could not live in abandoned flats or they could not come from
1 another area as refugees or displaced persons if their home area was not,
2 in fact, occupied by the enemy?
3 A. I think that that was mostly the case, but the lawyer intervened
4 quite rightly. In order for us who to understand who could be given a
5 card, it is very important to know what is written in Article 1, and that
6 is that cards cannot be given to persons who came to Mostar municipality
7 from unoccupied territories of the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina and
8 the Republic of Croatia
9 Q. So that, for example, if a Muslim person came to Mostar from
11 even though it was in a difficult situation, it was not occupied? I'm
12 just using that as an example.
13 A. I don't know whether I can agree with that. One would have to
14 analyse things.
15 Q. Well, what if a Muslim came from Nevesinje in Eastern
17 person would or could qualify as a refugee, assuming the other criteria
18 were met; would that be true?
19 A. Where would he come to? You didn't say that?
20 Q. Mostar. I'm talking about Mostar in this decision, the criteria
21 set out in this decision.
22 A. In general terms, yes.
23 Q. But --
24 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Witness, example -- the first
25 example given by Mr. Stringer was very eloquent. You haven't answered
1 it. A Muslim who leaves Sarajevo
2 and asks to occupy an apartment. On the basis of this text, he has no
3 right. He's not a refugee, he's not a displaced person, because Sarajevo
4 is not occupied, and that was the meaning of the question of the
5 Prosecutor, if I understood the question properly. If I did not,
6 Mr. Stringer will correct me. What would you do? Would you tell the
7 applicant, "You're coming from a zone which is not occupied," even though
8 he had difficulty to return to Sarajevo
9 he have legal rights or whether one would think over the current
10 situation and make a decision?
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I think that a considerable number
12 of persons from Sarajevo
13 status in this way, and you will see later on that I, myself, urged in
14 favour of granting refugee or displaced persons status on an individual
15 basis. So this specifically applies to Mostar, and the definition is
16 given here, an occupied territory of the Republic of Bosnia
18 could discuss it. I can't tell you with precision now what exactly at
19 that point in time was an occupied area.
20 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I apologise. I have
21 a comment to make.
22 In view of the fact that Nevesinje was mentioned hypothetically,
23 the question related to a Muslim coming to Mostar from Nevesinje and
25 criterion for granting refugee status according to this decision, so the
1 same criteria applied to Croats. So I apologise for intervening.
2 JUDGE TRECHSEL: As a witness, Ms. Alaburic, or as an expert?
3 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I'm saying this as a
4 counsel who has read the decision, and as the question was what would
5 happen to a Muslim if he came to Mostar and applied for refugee status,
6 as a lawyer, I am just saying that the nationality of a person was not a
7 criterion for granting that person refugee status, according to this
9 MR. STRINGER: Thank you, Mr. President.
10 Q. One thing you said, Mr. Raguz, is that whether a particular area
11 is occupied territory, one could discuss that. And would it be correct
12 to say that -- I guess the point here is that for this decision, anyway,
13 it would be the local Mostar authorities who ultimately would decide
14 whether a person, Muslim or Croat, would qualify for refugee status,
15 wherever they came from, and it was the Mostar authorities who would
16 decide whether the place they came from was, in fact, occupied?
17 A. You see, I said that this was difficult because the situation
18 changed on a daily basis. On the ground, we know what the movements were
19 and which forces took control of which areas at the time, and that is why
20 I said, objectively speaking, that it was difficult to say what the
21 occupied territories were. So I think in this case the reference is to
22 the fact that the majority of displaced persons rather than refugees, we
23 have to be very precise, we can only speak about expelled persons here
24 who were expelled from another municipality in Bosnia and Herzegovina
25 That is the status of an expelled person. Or a displaced person is one
1 who has been expelled within the territory of the Mostar municipality,
2 and refugee status if a person comes to Mostar from another state. These
3 are status issues and that is how these are things are regulated.
4 Therefore, the status of expelled persons in Mostar were granted to all
5 persons, I think, who were expelled from Nevesinje that you mentioned.
6 That is an area under the control of the forces of the Serbs of Bosnia
7 and Herzegovina
8 Q. Just to bring it back to the initial point that I was making or
9 trying to make -- Mr. President, I think there's an intervention.
10 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes, Mr. Prlic.
11 THE ACCUSED PRLIC: [Interpretation] Mr. President, I think
12 there's a problem in the translation, because the people specializing in
13 this area, there are two categories in the English language, refugees and
14 displaced persons. "Refugees" applies to foreigners who come to another
15 state. "Displaced persons" are the persons in that state. However, in
16 the translation, the witness referred to the status of expelled persons,
17 so he mentioned three categories. The first categories are refugees, the
18 second category are expelled persons. These are citizens of Bosnia
20 displaced persons, and that is the correct English translation. These
21 are persons from the territory of the same municipality as the witness
22 has said.
23 So we have terminological confusion, which makes it difficult to
24 understand, because the same translation are used for these two
25 categories, expelled person instead of displaced person.
1 I don't wish to testify. I just wish to assist in the use of the
2 terms here.
3 MR. STRINGER: Mr. President, I think I can clear it up fairly
5 JUDGE PRANDLER: I do not want to prolong the debate on
6 terminology, but in view of what we have heard now from Dr. Prlic, I
7 would like to say the following: That, as a matter of fact, the official
8 designation, official terminology, for the displaced person is, in
9 general, that of internally-displaced persons, which means that within
10 one given state. Now, in my view, internally-displaced persons are meant
11 from one state, and therefore I do not think that they -- that expression
12 refers to only to those who are from one of the municipalities would
13 leave or arrive, but in general, internally-displaced persons coming from
14 various parts of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
15 Now, it is another question that if they were expelled or not,
16 then of course it is an important issue for them, but it is again a kind
17 of subcategory, as also Dr. Prlic mentioned.
18 Thank you.
19 MR. STRINGER: Mr. President, just to clarify and maybe to avoid
20 the translation issues that have been raised, from my purposes it doesn't
21 matter to me, and I'm not distinguishing between displaced persons,
22 expelled persons, refugees.
23 Q. And, Mr. Raguz, maybe for purposes of our discussion, I'll use
24 the words, in English, "domicile," and "non-domicile," that is, the
25 people who were living there before, and then we can talk about
1 non-domicile being a group that encompasses all of them, refugees,
2 displaced persons, and expelled persons. So I'll try to use those two
3 groupings, if that will clarify.
4 A. That is not sufficient for a clear understanding of what we are
5 talking about. I have to say that, because in this decision --
6 Mr. President, if I may be allowed to say this. In the decision we are
7 talking about and about which the Prosecutor is asking me, the heading of
8 the decision refers to status rights of refugees. I said that these were
9 persons who had fled from other countries outside of Bosnia and
11 have been expelled or displaced from other municipalities. And the third
12 category of displaced persons who were displaced within the same
13 municipality, in this case Mostar, from the left to the right bank, from
14 the right to the left bank and so on. And these are very precise
15 categories, and very precise records were kept about them. And this
16 applies not only to this piece of legislation. We have such cases in
17 other countries, too, which apply the same categories. I think this is
18 very important.
19 MR. STRINGER: I just have one more question on this,
20 Mr. President, and then we can --
21 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Just a follow-up question.
22 Witness, let us imagine the following situation: A Croat family,
23 living in Vares, learns that there is an important BH offensive. The
24 father of the family is concerned, and he says to his wife, "Let us pack
25 our bags and we're going to leave with our children." He gets into his
1 car and he leaves, and he goes elsewhere; Mostar, I don't know where.
2 These people, if they address the office, even though they, themselves,
3 had decided to leave, they were not chased out, they heard a rumour about
4 the offensive, would you consider them as refugees, displaced persons, or
5 expelled persons? What category would you put them in?
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] In the second category, if they're
7 going to remain in the territory under the control of the HVO. So they
8 would be expelled persons. If they went to Croatia, they would be
9 refugees. If they stayed in another location within the municipality of
10 which they were residents, then they would be displaced persons.
11 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Witness, you have said that this distinction
12 into three categories was also made in other countries. Could you give a
13 few examples, please?
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I think there are several
15 countries. I can say that it was used in the Republic of Croatia
16 can see that these questions were dealt with similarly in other parts of
17 Bosnia-Herzegovina; similarly, not always in the same way. And under the
18 conditions that we were living in at the time, it was quite logical, in
19 view of the vast number of people, because it was much easier to organise
20 assistance and return of those people -- it's easier if it's within the
21 same municipality rather than another municipality, like Kakanj or Vares,
22 for instance. And this categorisation was accepted by the UNHCR as well,
23 being the leading international organisation for these issues.
24 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Thank you very much.
25 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] We could continue, but
1 nevertheless it's time for the break, even though the questions are all
2 very interesting. So we're going to have a 20-minute break.
3 --- Recess taken at 5.52 p.m.
4 --- On resuming at 6.12 p.m.
5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Stringer, you have the
6 floor. You've used up two hours and twenty-two minutes. You have some
7 more time now and two hours tomorrow, so we should be able to finish.
8 MR. STRINGER: Thank you, Mr. President.
9 Q. Mr. Raguz, we spent much too much time on this last document for
10 the point I wanted to try to make, but let me just try to get it and then
11 move on. This is, again, P 02144, which is that Mostar decision on
12 status rights of refugees, expellees and displaced persons in the
13 territory of Mostar
14 And then we were looking at the first paragraph, and now that
15 we've clarified the status issues, there are several criteria in
16 paragraph 1 which relate to refugees and expelled persons, the criteria
17 for those people to get refugee cards or expellee cards. One of the
18 criteria is a person cannot stay in an abandoned apartment; correct?
19 A. That's how one could interpret it. I don't know. I'm having a
20 look at this again now, at this decision.
21 Q. And I asked you this before. And just to make sure this is
22 clear, the question was whether -- if these people, refugees and expelled
23 persons, can't get a card, if they're prohibited from living in an
24 abandoned apartment, that prohibition is not one that was observed in
25 other parts of your area or the Herceg-Bosna area. I'll just take you
1 back to what you said before. That was a poorly-asked question. I'll
2 take you back to what was asked before. And you said -- I asked you if
3 this was the general rule, that people would be prohibited from staying
4 in an abandoned apartment. You said, "No, I cannot agree. In view of
5 the number of refugees throughout Bosnia-Herzegovina, an enormous number
6 of displaced persons were accommodated in abandoned apartments."
7 Would that be your testimony on this point?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. So this provision in this decision, then, would appear to be
10 contrary to or not in line with the practice in other parts of the
12 A. No, not as I interpret it.
13 Q. Okay.
14 A. There were special rules on how to allocate abandoned flats, and
15 this is something that we have also discussed.
16 Q. Okay. I'm not sure -- I asked you if this prohibition on using
17 abandoned apartments, whether that was in line with the practice
18 elsewhere. I think you're saying, no, it was not in line with the
19 practice elsewhere, but I want to make sure it's clear.
20 A. Yesterday, I told you how you could detect similarities in the
21 rules when it came to allocating abandoned flats from Tuzla
22 There were rules or provisions on those who had illegally moved into
23 flats, and I said that the situation was similar in that sense.
24 Q. But this would indicate that refugees and expelled persons cannot
25 stay in abandoned -- in abandoned apartments; perhaps those people have
1 to stay instead --
2 A. No, quite the contrary. It's quite the contrary, because it says
3 they can't receive cards or, rather, those who haven't left can't receive
5 Q. So they can receive a card if they're not staying in an abandoned
7 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Mr. Stringer, in view of the experience we've
8 had these last few days, I would suggest you let the witness read the
9 original text so that we are sure that this is a correct translation,
10 because it seems now that there is some confusion, and maybe it's a
11 linguistic issue.
12 MR. STRINGER: Okay.
13 Q. Mr. Raguz, can you read paragraph 1 or the first sentence of
14 paragraph 1?
15 A. Card for refugee or an expelled person in the territory of the
16 Mostar municipality can be granted only to an individual aged 0 to 18
17 years, to men over 60 years of age, and to women over 55 years of age,
18 with the exception of invalids and of mothers with children up to 7 years
19 of age, who are not residing in abandoned flats and have arrived from the
20 occupied territory of the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina or from the
21 Republic of Croatia
22 have arrived in the territory of Mostar
23 areas in the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina and in the Republic of
25 certificate obtained through the HVO Medical Commission.
1 And the second item is also important. The card from item 1 is
2 of a temporary character and is valid until the High Commission of the
3 United Nations finds appropriate accommodation for those who have been
4 expelled and who are refugees in countries and areas not affected by war.
5 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Thank you.
6 MR. STRINGER:
7 Q. Mr. Raguz, in your experience could refugees and expelled persons
8 in other municipalities, could they get a refugee or expellee card even
9 if they were staying or residing in an abandoned apartment or house?
10 A. Yes, they could, but I believe that they would receive these
11 cards in Mostar too. I keep saying this.
12 MR. STRINGER: The next exhibit, Mr. President, would need to
13 take us into private session for a few moments.
14 JUDGE TRECHSEL: May I just add one question for clarity.
15 Mr. Raguz, your office was more or less, inter alia, also
16 applying the rules on refugees, expellees, and displaced persons. When
17 you took over in December, was this same decision still in force, was it
18 your guideline, or had it been exchanged for another decision?
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I think that at the time, the same
20 legal provisions were, generally speaking, in force, all legal provisions
21 taken at the level of the HVO. And according to these provisions, the
22 municipal officers would decide on the status issues that we have been --
23 discussed. They would decide about this on an independent basis. We've
24 seen numerous examples in territory under the control of the Armija and
25 of the HVO in which municipalities take -- took independent decisions.
1 That was the case for Jablanica and Livno. We saw when and under what
2 conditions a person's status was terminated, because it's quite logical
3 that the municipal authorities were in the best position to see when it
4 was possible to act in such a way and when not.
5 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Thank you.
6 Excuse me, Mr. Stringer.
7 MR. STRINGER: Thank you, Your Honour.
8 Mr. President, if we can move to private session, please.
9 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Registrar, private
11 [Private session]
11 Page 31497 redacted. Private session.
16 [Open session]
17 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, we are back in open session.
18 MR. STRINGER:
11 Pages 31499-31503 redacted.
9 [Private session]
11 Pages 31505-31509 redacted. Private session.
--- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 7.04 p.m.
1 to be reconvened on Thursday, the 28th day
2 of August, 2008, at 9.00 a.m.