2 Tuesday, 16 September 2008
3 [Open session]
4 [The accused entered court]
5 [The witness entered court]
6 --- Upon commencing at 9.00 a.m.
7 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Registrar, would you
8 please call the case.
9 THE REGISTRAR: Good morning, Your Honours. Good morning,
10 everyone in and around the courtroom. This is case number IT-04-74-T,
11 the Prosecutor versus Prlic et al.
12 Thank you, Your Honours.
13 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. Registrar.
14 Today is Tuesday, September the 16th, 2008. I would like to
15 greet the accused, the Defence teams, Mr. Stringer and his colleagues
16 from the Prosecution, and I would like also to greet everybody else
17 assisting us in this proceedings, Mr. Registrar and Madam Usher.
18 I would like to give a very short oral decision, but before that
19 I would like to give the floor to Mr. Registrar, who is going to give us
20 an IC number.
21 THE REGISTRAR: Thank you, Your Honour.
22 The Prosecution has submitted an amended version of documents
23 tendered via Martin Raguz. This corrigendum shall be given Exhibit
24 number IC00842.
25 Thank you, Your Honours.
1 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. Registrar.
2 Very well. A short decision, oral decision, as I said, following
3 a decision by the Appeals Chamber on translation problems.
4 The Chamber by an order of 11th September, 2008, has ordered the
5 translation service of the Registry, CLSS, that a review of the
6 translation be transmitted to it by the 15th of September, 2008. Given
7 the fact that this review can only be transmitted to it today, the
8 Chamber permits the Praljak Defence and, if necessary, the other Defence
9 teams to transmit to the Chamber their observations by the 22nd of
10 September and not by the 18th of September, as initially requested, via
11 our decision of 11 September 2008, which means that you have until the
12 22nd of September to submit your observations.
13 The examination-in-chief will continue. The Prlic Defence has
14 used up two hours and thirty-five minutes.
15 WITNESS: BORISLAV PULJIC [Resumed]
16 [The witness answered through interpreter]
17 MR. KARNAVAS: Good morning, Your Honours. Good morning to
18 everyone in the courtroom. And it may be necessary to go beyond the
19 three hours projected, which, of course, will be taken out of our overall
20 time. We'll just have to make some further adjustments.
21 Examination by Mr. Karnavas: [Continued]
22 Q. Good morning, Mr. Puljic. How are you?
23 A. Good morning.
24 Q. Let's look at 1D 01217. That's the next document. 1D 01217.
25 We're going to move rather quickly through these documents. This is
1 dated June 1992 in Mostar, and this is a report on the realisation of the
2 civilian protection task in the territory of the town of Mostar during 60
3 days of war. Do you have the document in front of you, sir?
4 A. I do.
5 Q. Now, if we could look at page 2 in the English version. This
6 would be under item number 1. It's sort of the fifth paragraph. I'm
7 just going to read parts of it and ask you whether you can help us out
8 here. It says that:
9 "Since the work of the civilian authorities was not organised at
10 the beginning of the war, the municipal civilian protection staff took
11 over some powers in order to protect personnel and material and technical
12 goods, and for this reason it formed special-purpose units, which rallied
13 certain profiles of professional staff, especially craftsmen. The
14 purpose was to provide adequate services to all town structures, and this
15 proved to be a very functional and rational move."
16 Do you know whether this is accurate?
17 A. This is accurate.
18 Q. All right. And then if we go -- at the very last paragraph under
19 item 1, it says:
20 "However, in spite of these achievements, it must be said that
21 its work especially at the beginning of the war, these appeared to be" --
22 "there appeared to be confusion, lack of coordination, inadequate level
23 of equipment," which is still the case, "poor connectivity and lack of
24 subordination, et cetera. However, all these problems were eliminated as
25 time went by, resulting in more complete functioning of the overall
1 system of civilian protection."
2 Is that accurate, sir?
3 A. That is correct.
4 Q. Very well. If we look at the very last page, is there a
5 signature there, and if so, can you recognise it?
6 A. I don't recognize the signature, but I assume that it's the
7 commander or the deputy commander of the Civilian Protection.
8 Q. All right. Thank you. If we go on to the next document, which
9 is 1D 0579, and along with this document we will go through a series of
10 other documents related to appointments, and this may be useful
11 concerning one of the questions posed to you yesterday. 1D 00579. This
12 is a decision on the establishment and tasks of the Mostar municipal HVO
13 commissioners in setting up managing functions of the socially-owned
14 companies and institutions in the Mostar municipality under wartime
16 Are you familiar with this decision, sir?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. All right. And I won't go into -- I won't ask you what is a
19 commissioner since it's laid out in this document, and of course, the
20 members of the Bench can ask you questions on that. But if we look at
21 Article 5, we can see the following spheres. Would you confirm that this
22 actually was implemented, this decision, and commissioners were set up
23 for the various spheres as reflected in Article 5?
24 A. Yes, I can confirm that.
25 Q. Okay. And of course, if you go to Article 7, it talks about the
1 management organs of the socially-owned companies and institutions in
2 Mostar municipality shall propose candidates for management positions.
3 And then if we look at number 9, it says:
4 "The company manager shall carry out all activities necessary for
5 the Mostar municipal HVO commissioner to carry out his obligation as
6 determined under Article 2."
7 What exactly did a company manager do, if you could help us out
8 here, just very briefly.
9 A. He was responsible for the work and the functioning of the
10 company. He would take all steps so that the company would carry out its
11 function. In view of the fact that many directors fled, it was necessary
12 to replace them with other people so that the companies could function.
13 Q. All right. Now, let's look at some appointments, and we'll go
14 very quickly. 1D 00445, this is a decision on appointing of temporary
15 director of the agricultural cooperative Blagaj, and we see the name. Is
16 this individual being appointed, is he a Croat or Muslim or Serb?
17 A. He's a Muslim.
18 Q. All right. Now, again, if I may ask you, because I don't want to
19 repeat the question, this is a temporary appointment. Do you know why
20 the appointment is temporary and not permanent?
21 A. Because the expectation was that once the war was over, permanent
22 managerial posts would be set up in the usual, regular way.
23 Q. Thank you. 1D 00659. 1D 00659, a decision to appoint -- this is
24 to the Blagaj fish farm, that individual being appointed on 3 November
25 1992, of what nationality?
1 A. Muslim.
2 Q. 1D 00450. This is 1 December 1992
3 director of Unis, E.L. Company Mostar. First of all, what kind of
4 company is this?
5 A. It's a socially-owned company, a very important one, and it's a
6 company with a large profit.
7 Q. What does it do, if you recall?
8 A. They used to manufacture calculator boards or parts for
9 calculators for the Swedish Erickson company.
10 Q. All right. And the individual being appointed, what is he?
11 A. Muslim.
12 Q. 1D 00452. Again, this is 1 December 1992. This is for the
13 Fashion Clothing Company, a decision appointing a director, a temporary
14 director. And what nationality?
15 A. Muslim.
16 Q. Okay. 1D 00454, again, December 1. This is temporary director
17 of the D.P. Rad Company. What kind of company is this, by the way; do
18 you know?
19 A. It's a construction company that used to perform artisan works
20 mostly on publicly-owned or socially-owned apartments.
21 Q. All right. And this individual?
22 A. Muslim.
23 Q. 1D 00456. This is a decision dated 2 December 1992. This is a
24 director of D.P. Clothing Company, and of what nationality is this
1 A. Muslim.
2 Q. 1D 00460. This is a decision appointing a temporary director of
3 Sipad Door Factory, 11 December 1992
4 A. Muslim.
5 Q. 1D 00461. This is 11 December 1992
6 appointment, director of Air Industry, RKT Firm. First of all, what kind
7 of industry is this? I know we see the name of it, but what exactly does
8 it do, and how important is it in that area?
9 A. It's the first or second company by its importance in Mostar. We
10 had two major companies, Soko and Aluminium. Soko manufactured airplanes
11 and helicopters, and besides that, it manufactured other products such as
12 car parts and parts for cooling equipment and so on and so forth. In any
13 case, they employed 5.000 people.
14 Q. All right. And this individual, is he a Muslim or a Croat?
15 A. Muslim.
16 Q. All right. 1D 00685. 5 January 1993. This is the acting
17 manager of the Toplana Public Enterprise. First of all, what kind of
18 enterprise is this? I mean, what does it do, and how important is it?
19 A. This is a public company owned by the municipality, and in view
20 of the fact that practically the entire apartment stock in the buildings
21 had central heating and district heating, joint heating plants, this
22 company was responsible for providing heat to the town in wintertime to
23 make sure that all the apartments were being heated, that the equipment
24 was functioning.
25 Q. And this individual, is he a Croat or a Muslim?
1 A. Muslim, since the director left. The original director fled from
2 the company.
3 Q. All right. 1D 00701. This is dated 19 January 1993. This is
4 appointing an acting director of Herzegovina, Drustveni Standard. I
5 can't pronounce the name. I think I did okay. What does this company
6 do, and who is this individual?
7 A. Mostar had a large construction company called "Herzegovina
8 it included or it was made up of a number of smaller companies, and one
9 of those companies provided food for the workers. And in work
10 conditions, when conditions were regular, the company provided food and
11 meals for the city and public cafeteria or a canteen where all those who
12 did not have food were able to come and eat.
13 Q. All right. Is this individual a Croat or Muslim?
14 A. It's a Muslim person. He was my neighbour.
15 Q. All right. 1D 00706. This is a decision on appointing temporary
16 director of Herzegovina
17 is this person a Croat or a Muslim?
18 A. I've already said that G.P. Herzegovina was a concern comprising
19 a number of companies, and one of those companies was a company that
20 designed that facility or facilities.
21 Q. Is he a Croat or a Muslim?
22 A. Muslim.
23 Q. 1D 00463. This is a decision, 3 February 1993, temporary
24 director, Herzegovina
25 or less told us about the company. Is this individual a Croat or a
2 A. He is a Muslim. Unfortunately, he was killed a few days after
3 his appointment in shelling.
4 Q. Okay. And who was responsible for the shelling?
5 A. The shell came from Serb positions.
6 Q. 1D 00464.
7 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Wait a second, Witness. What
8 you've just said is interesting. We are on the 3rd of February, 1993
9 Mr. Seadin Jahic has been appointed to this position. You've just said
10 he's a Muslim, and you added that five days later he was killed in
11 shelling. The Defence counsel asked you who was responsible for the
12 shelling, and you said the Serbs.
13 In February 1993, there is shelling on Mostar and the Serbs are
14 responsible for such shellings?
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
16 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] How did you know it was the
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] There was nobody else to shell the
19 town. We wouldn't have been shelling ourselves, our own city. Serb
20 positions were at Podvelezje, and they were shelling Mostar from there
21 every day.
22 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Fine. And to your knowledge,
23 those Serb shellings lasted until when?
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] There wasn't a rule. There would
25 be one, two, three days without shelling. Then there would be shelling.
1 Then a few days after that, there would be no shelling, and that's how it
3 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Okay. And did it last the
4 whole year of 1993? Do you have a date to give us when they stopped?
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I cannot give you an exact date,
6 but the shelling lasted until March or -- February or March 1993.
7 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] February or March 1993. And
8 after March 1993, did the Serbs leave the positions they formerly
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, the Serbs stayed at those
11 positions, but that's when the conflict between Muslims and Croats broke
13 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] When there was fighting
14 between the Croats and the Muslims, to your knowledge would the Serbs
15 occasionally shell, as well, the area, or did they stop doing anything?
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I think that they stopped. I'm not
17 entirely sure, but I think that for a while they did stop their shelling.
18 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Okay.
19 MR. KARNAVAS:
20 Q. And then the last document that relates to these appointments, at
21 least for now, is 1D 00464, and we can see this is 11 February 1993. Is
22 this individual being appointed as the executive principal of the
23 elementary school in Blagaj, is he a Croat or is he a Muslim?
24 A. He's a Muslim.
25 Q. All right. And before I go to any more documents, just another
1 point I want to try to cover.
2 Did the municipal employees, the employees that worked for the
3 municipality, were they fired by the Croats or the HVO in order to rehire
4 an entire new workforce for the municipality? Did that ever occur?
5 A. This never happened. The HVO never dismissed workers or
6 employees of the municipality.
7 Q. All right. 1D 0 --
8 JUDGE TRECHSEL: I'm sorry. Witness, I mean, you had a specific
9 function in the municipality, but you were not the head of the
10 municipality, nor were you head of personnel or some such position. How
11 can you be so affirmative about what you have just said? Why are you so
12 sure that never a Muslim was - [French spoken] - sent away?
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I'm absolutely sure. In my
14 service, there were 72 municipal employees. Most of the other employees,
15 I knew. We would meet in the corridors. We worked on different jobs
16 jointly. I was in Mostar throughout that whole period, and I was with
17 those people. I didn't see or hear and no one ever complained of those
18 people, that they were dismissed from their job, not even a Serb.
19 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] There were 72 municipal
20 employees in your department. Out of the 72, how many were Croats, and
21 how many were Muslims, and how many were Serbs, as the case may be?
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] There was approximately the same
23 number of Serbs and Croats -- of Croats and Muslims.
24 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's correction.
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] There was the same number of Croats
1 and Muslims and a little bit fewer Serbs.
2 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] If there are as many Croats as
3 Serbs, there must have been between 20 and 30 Muslims. During that
4 period of time, those 20 to 30 Muslims were never fired? They were
5 always there? Please, what did you want to say?
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Perhaps I misspoke or you
7 misunderstood. More or less, there was approximately the same number of
8 Muslims and Croats and fewer Serbs. That's how it was. I might have
9 misspoken, or perhaps I was misunderstood. That's one thing.
10 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] No, no, I understood you well.
11 You said there were 72 employees. I assume that if there is half-half,
12 they'll be 30 to 35 Croats, 30 to 35 Muslims, and then what's left are
13 between 20 and 30 Muslims [as interpreted]. I was asking you how many
14 Muslims there were, but you can't give me an accurate figure, it seems.
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, I can say that there were
16 either 25 or 30 Croats or 25 or 30 Muslims.
17 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Fine. Very well, between 25
18 and 30 Muslims. So there were 25 or 30 Muslims. They were there for the
19 whole duration of 1993?
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The whole service left the building
21 in 1992, early 1992, and moved to a business space on the west bank of
22 the town. I went to the Crisis Staff and was replaced at my original
23 post by Mr. Rozic. Every day, the service was getting smaller and
24 smaller. People were leaving on a daily basis, and so I think in the
25 end, there was maybe a maximum of 15 to 20 persons who actually remained
1 to work in the service. Many women worked there, and they had to leave
2 the town with their children because of the shelling. All the employees
3 who stayed in the service would meet approximately at 9.00 in the
4 morning. They would spend an hour or two at work, and then they would
5 all go their own way.
6 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] If I understood correctly, the
7 service moved to West Mostar. The staff number decreased because given
8 the events which were taking place, some people preferred to leave.
9 However, it would be interesting to know whether in West Mostar during
10 1993 there were still a few employees who were also Muslims, Muslims who
11 were still working under the authority of your successor, Mr. Rozic.
12 That's what I would like to know, or if there were only Croats, if all
13 the Muslims had gone.
14 A. Not all Muslims left. Both Muslims and Croats still worked.
15 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. Thank you.
16 JUDGE TRECHSEL: I would like to come back to my question.
17 Mr. Puljic, Mr. Karnavas, and this is the first lines of page 11,
18 asked you whether the employees that worked for the municipality were
19 fired by Croats, and the understanding is Muslim employees for the
20 municipality. You were quite categorical and said that never happened.
21 I asked you, "How do you know?" Your answer was, "I was together with 72
22 of my service." Now, I absolutely understand that you knew very well
23 what happened there, but what about the rest of the administration? Your
24 service was not the whole administration of the town or even the district
25 of Mostar, I understand. How do you know that in other services it was
1 exactly the same as in your own?
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I had worked for the municipality
3 before the war and knew a great many people who were municipality
4 employees. I'd meet them out in the street, including Muslims. Nobody
5 had ever complained to me of having been sent away from work or about
6 having come into difficulties simply for the fact that he or she was a
7 Muslim. Had such an incident occurred, somebody would have known about
8 it, and I would have heard about it because I was moving in those
9 circles, you see.
10 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Thank you.
11 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Karnavas.
12 MR. KARNAVAS: Thank you, Mr. President, Your Honours.
13 1D 00590. We see this is dated 3 July 1992. We're on to another
14 subject now, a decision to setting up a public kitchen for indigents in
15 Mostar municipality. We did hear testimony in here where one particular
16 gentleman for the Prosecution had indicated that this reminded -- that
17 even the thought of setting up a public kitchen was sort of a demeaning
18 event, and it reminded him of certain events that occurred in World War
20 Q. What was the purpose of setting up this public kitchen, and how
21 long did it last, and was it restricted to one particular nationality?
22 A. In peacetime, too, there are people who are indigent. Of course,
23 in times of war the numbers of such people increase greatly. At the time
24 in Mostar, there were many people, refugees, who had come to town
25 carrying only a parcel. They either came from Eastern Herzegovina or
1 from the left bank. All of them had to be fed. For this reason, the
2 government launched the action of setting up public kitchens where
3 everybody would have equal access to. Some of those kitchens are still
4 open today. Everyone got a meal in those kitchens. I know that it must
5 have been hard for some people who were quite affluent and then at one
6 point lost all their property and all their belongings and work. It must
7 have been quite difficult to stoop down and to go into one of those
8 kitchens, but it was definitely independent of any ethnic principles.
9 I used to come across a former municipal employee who was a
10 well-reputed land surveyor who used to go to one of those public kitchens
11 every day.
12 Q. All right. 1D 00594. We see this is a decision -- it's a 24
13 July 1992 decision to create the post of deputy head in each office of
14 the Croatian Defence Council of the Mostar municipality. Do you know
15 what was the purpose for this particular decision?
16 A. I do. I know.
17 Q. Can you tell us? And we need to move faster, so please tell us.
18 A. I know what this is about. Since we lived in a multiethnic
19 community, in order to ensure ethnic equality, the HVO decided that in
20 addition to heads of offices, all the offices would also have deputies,
21 which made it possible for, let's say, the head of the office to be a
22 Muslim and then his deputy a Croat, or vice versa. All the ethnicities
23 were thus represented as a result of this decision.
24 Q. All right. 1D 00601. 25 July 1992. This is a decision on
25 setting up the Mostar municipality Office for Cooperation with Benelux
1 When I saw this decision, I was wondering, you know, what on earth is
2 this office all about? Could you please help us out here?
3 A. Many people left -- left the area during the war and got a job
4 abroad, found themselves in a position to be able to send humanitarian
5 aid to Mostar. This office was set up in order to deal with the incoming
6 humanitarian aid and in order to provide a legal framework for this
8 Q. All right. And to your knowledge, were offices set up elsewhere?
9 A. I believe so.
10 Q. All right. 1D 00604. This is a conclusion dated 25 July 1992 on
11 the preparation of a report on illegally-constructed buildings in Mostar.
12 Why was this necessary?
13 A. Many persons started building structures without a legally-issued
14 permit because the municipal offices weren't working properly. That's
15 why the HVO asked that a plan be drawn up of the buildings that can be
16 issued with a permit and those which could not. So this was something
17 that fell into the field of construction.
18 Q. 1D 00608. This is a conclusion on the opening of necessary shops
19 that would provide supplies to the population. This is dated 25 July
20 1992. Why was this necessary?
21 A. Since the HVO battalions were territorially deployed and belonged
22 to certain parts of town, members of these battalions knew best which
23 sort of shops were required or needed. So in order to, let's say,
24 prevent furniture shops from being opened where they're not needed and
25 instead ensuring that food shops be opened, this recommendation was made
1 in order to make sure that the situation on the ground was under control.
2 Q. 1D 018 --
3 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
4 MR. KARNAVAS:
5 Q. 1D 01804, and this is dated 5 August 1992. And this is regarding
6 the establishment of electoral "priveda" public enterprise of the
7 Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna. If we look at the end of this
8 document, we see Vladimir Soljic, who is the head of the Department of
9 Economy. Did you know this gentleman? Do you know the gentleman?
10 A. I know Mr. Soljic.
11 Q. All right. Now, if we look at -- after the first paragraph, it
12 says here:
13 "All organised economic activities and payment transactions in
14 the area of BH have ceased."
15 Is that correct?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. "The war is still continuing without an end in sight."
18 Is that correct at that time?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. "The BH government is unable to communicate with, let alone act,
21 on a large part of BH territory."
22 Was that correct? I'm looking at the document. This is --
23 A. All of it is accurate.
24 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Mr. Karnavas, I understand you want to economise
25 time, but it seems to me that this is leading question upon leading
1 question all the way.
2 MR. KARNAVAS: Well, I beg to differ with you, and see, this is
3 part of the problem, you see.
4 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Yeah, well, I tell you what my opinion is, and I
6 MR. KARNAVAS: Well, I understand, so -- well, first I haven't
7 heard it in objection, but you're raising it. Fine. But here's the
8 problem that -- for the record for the umpteenth time. During the
9 Prosecution's case, I was not allowed to cross-examination properly.
10 During my case, I don't have sufficient time to put on my evidence. How
11 on earth is Dr. Prlic going to get a fair trial? So I have to resort to
12 these sorts of mechanisms. Now, I'm asking him if this was -- if this
13 accurately reflects the situation. Why do I have to do that? Because
14 you have adopted, along with everyone else, mechanisms for the
15 introduction of documents.
16 In other trials, which I pointed out yesterday in the pleading,
17 in other trials where there seems to be more procedural equality among
18 the accused, they can merely introduce documents very easily. In this
19 particular Chamber, however, the problem is that we get twice -- fewer
20 documents in because of the restrictive measures that you impose. It
21 seems that during the Prosecution's case, I was not allowed to put in
22 evidence, and I filed motion after motion for reconsideration. I was
23 told, "No, put on your case," even though I thought at the time and I
24 still think that it was a violation of my client's rights because he does
25 not have to put on a case, but we're putting on a case.
1 Now that I'm putting on a case, I asked for 150 hours. I was
2 given 97 or whatever. It is virtually impossible for me to defend, and
3 so the perception - and I'm talking about perception - is that when the
4 Defence is not properly allowed to put on its case, the end result can
5 only be a conviction.
6 Now, Mr. Mundis in the Delic case early on, when it began, he
7 moved to have that case transferred to Bosnia and Herzegovina
8 11 bis because he was not given sufficient time to put on his Prosecution
9 case, claiming - and rightfully so - that if not given sufficient time to
10 put on his case, it would guarantee an acquittal as opposed to letting
11 the facts speak for themselves. So that's the problem that I'm having.
12 Now, I have no other way. I've been doing this for a long period
13 of time. I don't know what the experience is of the Trial Bench of
14 actually trying cases, but I would welcome some pointers on how to better
15 manage my time and put on all this -- these documents in because without
16 the documents, you cannot assess the events. That's the whole problem.
17 The Prosecution is alleging that there's this whole Croatisation
18 of Mostar, that everybody was fired, that positions were changed, that at
19 the top level all the Muslims were removed in order to Croatise these
20 positions. I'm now presenting evidence, hard evidence, from published
21 documents, such as the Official Gazettes, which demonstrate quite to the
22 contrary, albeit it's up to a certain point in time, before the
23 Muslim-Croat conflict in the area, keeping in mind, however, that we have
24 a joint criminal enterprise, what they're alleging that as early as 1991
25 the process of Croatisation began.
1 So we can't have it both ways, Judge Trechsel. Now, I would
2 welcome some pointers, seriously. How can I do my job better if I have
3 all these documents? What's the sense of me reading all of these
4 documents, selecting the best, going over them with the witness, in order
5 to make your job as efficient as possible, but I cannot do it any other
7 Now, you say it's leading. How is it leading? I fail to see how
8 it's leading when I'm asking the gentleman to confirm whether the
9 document reflects the truth because I need that in order for you to
10 accept it. And I must say, with all due regret, that when the
11 Prosecution was putting on its case, it seemed the standard for
12 introduction and admission of evidence to have been slightly lower, and I
13 have to jump much higher. And I can see this because continually my
14 documents are being rejected, even when witnesses are testifying, keeping
15 in mind that we have a procedure here that is based on the continental
16 process where basically it all comes in for you to figure out at the end.
17 We've never had to worry about that, but now when I'm putting on my case,
18 we are, and it's a clarion call to the other accused because they're
19 going to face similar situations as I'm facing.
20 So I'm really at a loss, so help me out here, Judge Trechsel.
21 What can I do to get my documents in within my time period?
22 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Karnavas --
23 MR. STRINGER: If I could just make one brief comment. I'm not
24 going to get into the details. We reject much of what Mr. Karnavas has
25 said, particularly the assertion that there's any disparity in the levels
1 or the standards being applied by the Trial Chamber in respect of the
2 procedure or the standards for disability. We reject that.
3 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Karnavas, I agree with
4 what you just said. I agree with it. It is true that the Trial Chamber
5 did reject a few documents that you had tendered through some witnesses;
6 and in its decision, the Trial Chamber decided that they would not be
7 admitted as such, but you could re-show them, re-present them to other
8 witnesses because the Trial Chamber estimated that the witness in
9 question had not been able to provide enough information that would allow
10 for the document to be admitted. However, for this witness here, this
11 person who worked at the municipality, as far as Croatisation is
12 concerned, he did say that the municipal employees had not been fired
13 because they were Muslims. You presented a whole series of documents on
14 the appointments, and he did confirm all that. So as far as I'm
15 concerned, there will be no problem regarding this kind of document.
16 But you do have a wealth of documents, so I think that this is
17 the procedure you should follow. You should -- during the proofing
18 session, you should tell the witness, "Okay, we saw 25 documents sitting
19 with one topic. You told me you knew these documents. You knew what
20 their content is," and so forth and so on. "I will show them three or
21 four documents illustrating the whole series." You present them to the
22 witness, ask questions. You see that the Judges systematically also ask
23 questions, sometimes even ask questions that have to do with other topics
24 that you have not dealt with. That's the way it went. And then the 23
25 documents that you did not present who are in the series and who are
1 identical to the two or three documents that you actually showed the
2 witness should be admitted, as far as I'm concerned.
3 If, unfortunately, these documents end up being rejected, you
4 still have a possibility. You could file a written motion in view of
5 admitting these documents based on our guidelines. But at the end of the
6 case, when the Prosecution will write its final brief and you will write
7 your final brief, in this final brief you can say that as far as
8 Croatisation is concerned, you are challenging this point for the
9 different reasons. You will present your arguments, and as a footnote
10 you will refer to all the documents which actually seem to back what
11 you're saying. And then the Trial Judges will have the two cases in
12 front of them, and then they will verify everything and check everything
13 by looking at the documents that were admitted.
14 Of course, when you ask for important documents to be admitted,
15 please tell us, you know, which ones are totally relevant. It would be
16 impossible to think that documents would not be admitted in this trial
17 even though they have a probative value and back your case because this
18 would be a denial of justice, and of course, I would never allow for this
19 to happen.
20 We're all -- you know, we have no time, of course. None of us
21 have time. You could show us thousands of documents, hundreds of
22 appointments. You could be doing that, but you don't have time for it,
23 unfortunately. So limit yourself, please. Take advantage of the fact
24 that you have this witness that was in such a post, to ask him, "We've
25 seen a good number of documents," and then ask your questions, and there
1 will be a fair trial in the end.
2 JUDGE PRANDLER: I would like to say a few words too.
3 It is, of course -- you're right, Mr. Karnavas, to raise some
4 issues where you disagree with us, with the Chamber, and of course there
5 are issues which are sometimes not very favourable to the Defence or on
6 the other day to the Prosecution, et cetera. There are issues which are,
7 of course, totally debated.
8 On the other hand, I have to say that all major decisions on
9 procedural matters in this Trial Chamber have been also examined and, in
10 a way, adopted by and confirmed by the Appeals Chamber. So therefore, I
11 would like to disagree with you when you said that there is no equality
12 of arms. I definitely have to state that in this Trial Chamber, all the
13 parties are given equal time, equal facilities to work with.
14 And it is what I want to say, and although we may disagree on
15 certain points, we cannot allege -- you cannot allege that here there is
16 a kind of detrimental approach towards the Defence by the Trial Chamber.
17 It is really -- it would lead nowhere to accuse ourselves with this or
18 that kind of behaviour.
19 I would like to call you and call all the parties to go along
20 with the adopted rules and not to raise issues which are not appropriate.
21 Thank you.
22 JUDGE TRECHSEL: A quick response.
23 MR. KARNAVAS: And I wish to respond, especially to
24 Judge Prandler.
25 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Yes. I regret, Mr. Karnavas, that whenever
1 I think that I have to recall some basic rules, you react very
2 defensively and speak as if I wanted to hinder the Defence. I do not. I
3 understand the difficulties you have with these documents, and I'm even
4 prepared to say that we accept the way you put the questions. I just
5 would like it to be clear that it is exceptional, and I would grant the
6 exception, Mr. Karnavas. I absolutely see that it is legitimate for you
7 to present us with these documents, and I also agree that we have created
8 a bit of a difficult system by following the Anglo-Saxon rule that
9 documents should be introduced via witnesses. This is something that is
10 strange to Continental proceedings. I tried to find a compromise there,
11 but please believe me, I do not in any way want to hinder the Defence.
12 MR. KARNAVAS: Just very briefly, because Judge Prandler talks
13 about procedural fairness.
14 We did not appeal the one issue - and maybe in retrospect, I
15 should have - where repeatedly we said we needed to get our documents in
16 through the Prosecution's case. It's done universally because many times
17 a Defence may choose not to put on a case. Their case is put on through
18 the Prosecution case. And if the Prosecution hasn't put on a case to
19 meet, there's nothing to do. Haradinaj is a very good example where the
20 Defence chose not to put on a case, and Mr. Haradinaj was acquitted. So
21 there is an example.
22 But let me point to one particular example which I find very
23 troublesome, which is why I tried to constantly find ways to get my
24 documents in. There is a series of documents where Mr. Prlic was
25 appointed as the prime minister, after the Medjugorje agreement, where
1 he's making nominations, there are exchanges, and we've heard from
2 numerous witnesses. We've heard from witnesses for the Prosecution side.
3 We also brought in Mr. Akmadzic. We heard it from Mr. Buntic, and
4 repeatedly these same documents, even though they're talking about the
5 events, these witnesses are well aware, repeatedly the Bench rejects
6 them. Frankly, in another setting, in another courtroom in this
7 building, they would accept those. And that's why I talk about
8 procedural inequality, and I find it fundamentally unfair if, in another
9 courtroom, somebody else is getting more procedural rights than my
11 Now, it happens to be the nature of the beast of this particular
12 institution that we don't have quite a uniform process because we have
13 Judges coming from all over, different traditions, and each case poses
14 its own individual challenges, and I understand that. But I am
15 concerned, and I take to heart the President's remarks. But what if,
16 after I can't get my documents in through the witness and then I put it
17 through a motion and I still get rejected, how do I make my record? Upon
18 what can I then cite in my final brief if it's not in? If I know
19 anything, and if I learned anything over the last quarter of a century
20 practicing criminal defence work, is I need my record for a variety of
21 reasons, especially for the appeal process because it's well known that
22 lawyers do lose cases. So that's why we tried to do it this way.
23 Now, I'm trying to get -- we have selected what we believe are
24 the best of the best. Frankly, I'm only sharing about 10 per cent of
25 what we go through, and it seems like a lot. But this is, after all, a
1 document case, and Mr. Scott told us that from the very, very beginning,
2 that this is a heavily document-oriented case. It's not so much as to
3 whether this incident happened or that incident, but a lot of this stuff
4 has to do with documents.
5 So if I could just proceed, and I'll try to be a little bit more
6 officious and less leading, if that is the case, and I would welcome
7 further interventions if it appears that my questioning would devalue the
9 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Go ahead.
10 MR. KARNAVAS: We were speaking about 1D 01804.
11 Q. If I could just ask you, at that point -- if you could just look
12 at the very last paragraph of this document. It says:
13 "Lastly, it should be pointed out that the observations about the
14 real situation in BH, the identical task of linking power grid segments
15 in the region of HZ-BH and the fact that the power grid in HZ will be
16 connected to the entire power grid of RBH, do not prejudice any political
17 solution after the war and that all that is being done is for the benefit
18 of all citizens of the Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna."
19 And I guess my question is: Can you please help us out here?
20 What is he talking about when he says "linking up in the power grid"?
21 How -- do you have sufficient knowledge to help us out on this particular
23 A. I do. I'm an architect by profession, but my specialty is space
24 planning, and I spent a large part of my life planning physical areas,
25 including the energy grid.
1 When the war started in Bosnia and Herzegovina, the energy supply
2 network simply fell apart because many transmission lines were destroyed.
3 They were physically destroyed, the transmission lines that linked the
5 enterprise could no longer function as such as a single entity, and
6 that's why it was necessary to find provisional temporary solutions so
7 that people could continue to have an energy supply and to keep up the
8 regular production levels. And this is exactly what Mr. Soljic was
9 trying to do.
10 As for all of this that he mentions, I was familiar through the
11 engineers in my company who were involved in planning the energy network
12 system and supply.
13 Q. Very quickly, if we could go through some of these other
15 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Wait a second. I have a
16 question to show that the Judges take an interest in your documents.
17 Witness, you said you were a specialist in space planning and
18 that you had some knowledge regarding energy. We have here a document on
19 the issue of power supply. We understood that before the events, there
20 was one single company which was in charge of the power supply at the
21 level of the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina and that after the events
22 there were power cuts and that you had to find solutions at your own
24 I listened to what you said, and I'm wondering if, in 1991, 1992,
25 and 1993, as far as power supply was concerned, you also needed
1 electricity coming from other countries - Germany, Croatia
2 or if the energy supply system was dependent and working on its own
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The first task that had to be
5 completed in that sense was to organise the system in such a way, the
6 transmission line system, to fully utilise our own resources, and that
7 means the transmission of energy which was unified in the whole country
8 had to be organised in a different way so as to use our own resources.
9 For example, one hydroelectric power plant that was on our territory
10 perhaps provided energy to a broader area. Now, this was not possible,
11 so all of that energy had to be redirected to us in the same way other
12 power plants that produced energy produced it for who knows which area.
13 So it was a single unified system, and then we had to redirect that,
14 also, that we would direct some for our own area.
15 When there were power cuts, this had to be taken care of. I
16 assume that we exported energy and imported energy, so then this power
17 grid had to be organised in a proper, logical way in the new
19 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] The document we have before
20 us, if there hadn't been any agreement with the Republic of Bosnia
22 the territories under Mr. Izetbegovic's control? Those territories were
23 also dependent upon you and the decisions you were making, or as far as
24 the power supply for Sarajevo
25 of energy? In other words, weren't you all interdependent?
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, in terms of the energy
2 network. Yes.
3 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] This was my question. I think
4 it's a major issue. You were all interdependent. Very well.
5 Let's move on. Mr. Karnavas.
6 MR. KARNAVAS: Okay. Well, just -- I'm going to skip through
7 some documents to save some time.
8 Q. If you look at -- the next document will be 1D 00629, so look for
9 629. It's right in front of you. This is a decision. It's on 16th
10 September, formally agreeing to the analysis of the consequences,
11 measures and actions to overcome the situation imposed by the war, and
12 essentially if we look at number 2, it says:
13 "The Office of Civilian Protection is hereby tasked with
14 forwarding the approved analysis under item number 1 to all Mostar
15 municipal HVO commissioners ..."
16 Can you please tell us, what was this about?
17 A. The Civilian Protection here made an analysis and proposed
18 measures in this analysis to surmount the situation imposed by conditions
19 of war, and simply the HVO is transferring these assignments to a lower
20 level throughout the municipality.
21 Q. All right. 1D 00634. This is a decision on providing funds for
22 heating on the hospital to the city. I'm most interested because this is
23 16 September 1992
24 hereby allocated."
25 Now, there's been an issue here that one of the methods of
1 Croatising the area was introducing the Croatian dinar. Here we have
2 German marks. Can you please explain to us the situation in Mostar at
3 the time, as you understood it, having lived through the period? Why was
4 German marks being used? Why not use the good old Bosnian dinar,
5 assuming it existed at the time?
6 A. The Yugoslav dinar was not being used at that time.
7 Q. What about the Bosnian dinar?
8 A. Bosnian dinar?
9 Q. Wasn't there a currency coming out of Mostar, the central bank?
10 Why use German marks? From Sarajevo
11 A. This money was not available in the Mostar area. It couldn't --
12 we couldn't get to it. That money was not used. Physically, it could
13 not reach Mostar from Sarajevo
15 Q. All right. 1D 00442. This is the last document dealing with
16 this segment, and this is a decision on giving the approval of the
17 decision on appointing of management in the Department of Communal
18 Housing Affairs and Reconstruction. And if you could please tell us, are
19 there any Muslims being appointed to this, based on this decision, and
20 who they are?
21 A. Yes. Nedzad Zvonic, that's number 1; number 3, Ekrem Curic;
22 number 4, Mirza Trbonja; and number -- no, Zora, so three are being
24 Q. Please just explain very briefly the significance of these
25 appointments, just in a sentence.
1 A. These are assistants of the chief of this department, and they
2 would carry out the most important work, complete everything. They
3 communicate with the clients, and then together with the desk officers,
4 they would accept the problem, resolve it, and then just go to their boss
5 for the signature. So they are the ones who bear the brunt of the work
6 in the Secretariat.
7 Q. All right. Let's move on to another section, and we're going to
8 be dealing primarily with the issue of accommodations. And I want to
9 look first at 1D 0 --
10 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Before we move to
11 accommodations: Witness, in many decisions I've noticed that the
12 municipality was concerned with rebuilding destroyed houses, destroyed
13 during the conflict or conflicts. To your knowledge, the implementation
14 of all those decisions, did it take place during the conflict - in
15 particular, during 1993 - or did the rebuilding in the municipality of
16 Mostar, for example, did it start after the Washington Agreements? Were
17 there any measures which started during the conflict, rebuilding
18 measures, that is, during the year 1993, and do you have one or several
19 examples in which Muslims who had their shops or houses destroyed would
20 have come to the municipality for help, financial help, for instance, so
21 that they could repair their houses or their flats? Do you have such
22 examples to give? Are there any, to your knowledge? Maybe you don't
23 have them, but if you do, please let us know.
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I don't know any examples. I don't
25 know any specific examples, but I do know one thing, and that is that
1 people were repairing their homes as the shells were falling because they
2 had to live somewhere, but the actual true reconstruction began later,
3 after the Washington Agreement, and the municipality tried to monitor the
4 warehouses of construction material and the humanitarian aid that came
5 that consisted of construction material and tried to help that this
6 material is distributed to where it was most needed, to set up a
7 priority, to use the least amount of material to achieve the most effect.
8 I don't know that there was any differentiation along ethnic lines in the
9 delivery of this construction material.
10 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Let's move on to the issue of
11 accommodations now.
12 MR. KARNAVAS: All right. If we look at 1D 02647, this is --
13 seems to be a report.
14 Q. Do you recognise it, sir?
15 A. I do.
16 Q. In fact, if we look into the second page in English, we see that
17 you're mentioned there as director. Could you please tell us what this
18 study is all about?
19 A. As the director of the public company for the reconstruction and
20 construction of Mostar, I issued an order to a group of engineers to
21 assess the current situation of the destruction in town of habitable
22 facilities and public facilities and to propose measures and means to
23 restore these buildings in order to be able to accommodate refugees and
24 displaced persons there, and that's what they did. This study and this
25 material we used in order to be able to know what to do within the
1 municipality, so it was for us but also as a kind of map to see where we
2 could get help.
3 Q. All right. Just very briefly, the Judges may have some questions
4 on this, but if we look at under -- it would be on page 6 in the English
5 version. It's 2.1, the second -- if you look at under number 2, review
6 of the situation after the destruction of Mostar municipality. So that
7 would be Chapter 2; I guess you could call it that, and we see some
8 figures here. And for instance, you see where it talks about public
9 buildings, 80 per cent. These figures, what do these figures represent,
11 A. The engineers for the -- from the public company for the
12 reconstruction and construction of Mostar went into the field. They
13 inspected the buildings and made an initial quick assessment of the
14 damage and categorised the buildings. Then they processed the
15 information, and they put it in this table.
16 Q. All right. Now, if we look at 2.2.1, the degree of damage on the
17 housing stock, and we have a table there, and do you see it, sir?
18 A. I do.
19 Q. Okay. I'm going to ask you to slow down a little bit and
20 articulate your thoughts as best as possible. Could you please explain
21 to us, what exactly does this table represent? And give us -- break it
22 down for us so we can understand it better.
23 A. We divided the damage into six categories according to the
24 degree. Then we have the whole housing stock of the town of Mostar
25 then we established that in categories 1 to 3, 9.300 apartments in
1 buildings, collective facilities, were destroyed; and in categories 4 to
2 6 means that they were uninhabitable. There were 700 such apartments.
3 Then houses in the category 1 to 3, 8.300 houses were damaged, while
4 6.200 houses were unfit for use. And you can say that overall 17.600
5 housing units in total in the city of Mostar were damaged and 6.900 were
6 destroyed and were absolutely uninhabitable. A large number of the
7 damaged apartments or houses were also unfit for use.
8 Q. All right. Now, are we speaking on the west side, the left side,
9 or the entire city?
10 A. We're talking about the entire city.
11 Q. All right. And then, because we don't have enough time to go
12 through this entire report, if we could just focus on page 14, at the
13 very top. It actually begins on page 13. It says:
14 "Minimum necessary intervention and means. Basic costs."
15 It's under 3. -- 3.1. Do you see, you list number 1:
16 "Construction of temporary bridge, construction of temporary pedestrian
17 bridge, and restoration of source Studenac."
18 Could you please explain, what do you mean by that?
19 A. All our efforts were directed towards rebuilding housing so that
20 people would have somewhere to live. In order for them to be able to
21 live but, also, to be able for themselves to help to rebuild, it was
22 necessary to provide electricity, water to these people too. So our
23 assessment here was how much money we needed to build temporary bridges
24 so that the buildings on the left bank would have water and electricity.
25 Q. All right. And one question I failed to ask you before, but it's
1 a question that has come up with another witness. If you could explain
2 to us - if you know, that is - the percentage of private apartments,
3 privately-owned apartments in Mostar. You know, what is that percentage
4 as opposed to socially owned? And we're talking about at that point in
6 A. Apartments could be in houses, or they could be in collective
7 buildings. The apartments in houses are 100 per cent privately owned.
8 As for the collective facilities, at that point in time you could have
9 had 1 to 2 per cent of apartments that were privately owned.
10 Q. All right. Thank you. The next document, 1D 0 --
11 JUDGE TRECHSEL: If I may ask you a question.
12 You have just said it was important to build bridges, so -- or at
13 least one bridge so that water and electricity could be brought to the
14 east bank. Are you saying that the only access of electricity and water
15 to the east bank was across the Neretva?
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, that was the only way to get
17 to the east side, to cross the Neretva.
18 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Thank you.
19 MR. KARNAVAS: We'll be covering that, Your Honour, in another
21 1D 00641. This is just, by way of an example, a decision to
22 grant temporary use of flat, and we see that this is being given to a
23 Maja Cupina -- Majda.
24 Q. Does this -- was this sort of a decision a requisite in order for
25 someone to be granted temporary use of a flat? Because yesterday we
1 spoke about the rationalisation of the limited space available.
2 A. This decision was essential, and this was the only legal way to
3 get an apartment.
4 Q. All right. 1D 00755. This is a decision to provide shelter for
5 refugees, so skip one document, and just go to 1D 00755. If you could
6 just skip a document, Mr. Puljic, please. My time is valuable. I'm
7 asking you to go to 755. Okay.
8 Now, this is, in view of the prevailing situation, the Mostar
9 Hotel - it says "Motel" in English, but it should be "Hotel" - is being
10 used. Where was Hotel Mostar located, on which side?
11 A. On the west side.
12 Q. And who was being housed there as refugees? Was it -- did you
13 have to belong to one particular ethnicity in order to be housed there?
14 A. If you were a refugee, you were given accommodation regardless of
15 your ethnicity.
16 Q. All right. 1D 01826. Here we see a report on a working body,
17 and what I'm mostly interested in is under item 3. It talks about
18 University Hall of Residence and Hotel Sokol, that these facilities are
19 available for collective accommodation of expelled persons, refugees and
20 displaced persons, and then, of course, we see the capacity. Did you
21 know these two facilities, and if so, how?
22 A. I know because the Hotel Sokol and the orphans' hall were
23 reconstructed by a public company. They were responsible for rebuilding
24 of these facilities, also the university hall.
25 Q. Okay. You need to repeat your answer. I'm told that everything
1 was not caught by the interpreters because you were probably speaking too
3 A. I know about these two facilities because the reconstruction
4 projects of the university hall and the Hotel Sokol as well as the
5 overseeing of their reconstruction was conducted by the public company
6 for construction and reconstruction in Mostar, and I know that refugees
7 were accommodated in both of these buildings.
8 Q. All right. And you were personally involved? That's the public
9 company that you were managing at the time?
10 A. Yes, I and my engineers.
11 Q. All right. And finally, P02897. We've seen this document
12 before, and we know that it's been prepared by Mr. Cupina. It's dated 21
13 June 1993, and what I want you to do is look at, on the first page, under
14 (a), he's proposing certain places for temporary accommodation. Now,
15 before commenting on these places that are listed on the very first page
16 under (a), could you please tell us, what is the situation like in Mostar
17 at this time, June 21, 1993
19 A. Along the line of the boulevard, a front was -- a frontline was
20 established, and the two warring sides were in conflict, and it was not
21 possible to cross from one side to the other.
22 Q. Who are the two warring sides?
23 A. The Croatian Defence Council and the Army of Bosnia-Herzegovina.
24 Q. All right. Well, let's look at the list that's being proposed by
25 Mr. Cupina to the Command of the 4th Corps, the Command of the 31st
1 Glorious Motorised Brigade. And we know from testimony that that's the
2 Muslim armed forces. If we look at this list, and I'm going to go very
3 quickly, the first one, "Aluminium apartment," whose -- under which --
4 whose side is controlling this, the HVO or the --
5 A. HVO.
6 Q. Buna Hotel?
7 A. HVO.
8 Q. Buna Motel?
9 A. HVO.
10 Q. Buna workers' centre?
11 A. HVO.
12 Q. Bacevici?
13 A. HVO.
14 Q. Hidrogradnja workers' residential area?
15 A. Muslim forces.
16 Q. Pupils' centre, Mostar?
17 A. HVO.
18 Q. Index students' centre?
19 A. HVO.
20 Q. Soko Hotel?
21 A. HVO.
22 Q. Cernica children's centre?
23 A. Muslim military forces.
24 Q. I'm not going through the next list, which is on page 2 in the
25 English, but having looked at this document, can you please -- and
1 knowing the situation, can you please comment very briefly?
2 A. I can only say that some of the facilities mentioned herein do
3 not exist. For instance, at the time the Energoinvest Hotel didn't
4 exist, practically, because it burned down.
5 Q. All right. How realistic is this proposal that he's making to
6 the 4th Corps, that they set up temporary accommodation on territory that
7 is across the boulevard?
8 A. Well, absolutely unrealistic.
9 Q. All right. Okay, we can move on.
10 MR. KARNAVAS: And for the Court, number 3, we note that he's
11 also proposing soup kitchens, and I mention that because of the testimony
12 of that one particular witness I spoke of.
13 Now we're going to go to -- it might be time for the break,
14 Mr. President, and I'll try to --
15 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Absolutely, time for the
17 We'll have a 20-minute break.
18 --- Recess taken at 10.32 a.m.
19 --- On resuming at 10.58 a.m.
20 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] The Court is back in session.
21 Mr. Karnavas.
22 MR. KARNAVAS: Thank you.
23 We're going to go to the next topic, which deals with bridges.
24 And I won't go into any great detail with respect to the water and the
25 bridges, but we will discuss that in the next segment of the testimony.
1 1D 00571, and this is dated 26 June 1992. This is to build -- a
2 decision to build bridges. And if I could focus your attention on
3 Article number 2. It says:
4 "All solutions shall be temporary, pending the creation of
5 conditions for a long-term and effective solution to the problem."
6 Q. Can you please explain, why was it necessary to have temporary
8 A. Because under war circumstances and with the shortage of money
9 and resources, you have to find a way of solving a problem in as short a
10 time possible and with as little resources as possible.
11 Q. Now, we're going to -- at some point, we are going to see some
12 documentation concerning much of the reconstruction that was done,
13 including the bridges, but could you please tell us how many bridges are
14 just in the Mostar city area?
15 A. The municipality of Mostar
16 proper, on the other hand, had seven.
17 Q. And of the seven, do you know offhand how many of them were
18 damaged as a result of the initial conflict with the Serbs?
19 A. All the bridges were damaged -- destroyed, rather. One was
20 damaged, and that was the pedestrian bridge, the old bridge. And another
21 bridge that was outside the town itself remained intact but could not be
22 used because the approach roads to that bridge were destroyed. The
23 terrain -- there was a landslide into the river, and the same workers who
24 had been engaged in the maintenance and the repairing of the bridges were
25 the ones to be selected for this job.
1 Q. All right. Now, before the conflict between the Muslims and the
2 Croats broke out, when you had the boulevard as the confrontation line,
3 could you please tell us how many of the bridges in the Mostar city were
4 actually repaired?
5 A. Before the conflict broke out, not a single bridge had been
7 Q. All right. Were efforts being made to repair them?
8 A. Yes. The Tito's Bridge at Musala was almost fully repaired, and
9 only the stretch of road of a metre or two needed to be finished. And
10 the Carinski Bridge
11 prepared, but then as the conflict broke out, none of the two projects
12 could be finished.
13 Q. All right. And are these all cement bridges, or are there metal
14 bridges, as well, that you can put together?
15 A. The permanent cement bridges were destroyed, and the two were
16 provisional bridges made of steel.
17 Q. All right.
18 A. That's to say the two bridges that we attempted to repair.
19 Q. Okay. And did you -- well, we'll cover that at some other point.
20 At I understand, Zenica, some parts were -- or portions of the bridge
21 were ordered from Zenica. Is that correct?
22 A. Part of the Customs Bridge
23 were supposed to be made based on our designs. In addition to that, in
24 Masala, next to Tito's Bridge, we designed a traditional steel bridge,
25 which was to serve as a pedestrian bridge only, and it was also to serve
1 as the passageway for the electrical and gas fittings that were to be
2 placed beneath it. We had made the designs and completed the contract --
3 or concluded the contract with the Zenica manufacturing company, and had
4 the Zenica manufacturing company done their part of the deal, the bridge
5 would have been repaired.
6 Q. Okay. Now, the transcript says -- on line 16, it refers to gas
7 fittings. Are we talking about electrical and gas fittings or electrical
8 and water fittings?
9 A. Electricity and water. No, Mostar didn't have gas pipelines.
10 Q. All right. Now, very quickly, 1D 00676. This is a decision for
11 payment of funds of the Mostara Mostar. Just quickly, if you could tell
12 us what is this about. This is December 22nd, 1992.
13 A. A humanitarian concert was organised in Split, which served to
14 raise funds for the reconstruction of the bridges of Mostar. The funds
15 were paid to the HVO in Mostar, who in turn transferred the funds to the
16 public enterprise for that specific purpose of the reconstruction of
18 Q. Thank you. 1D 02119. This is the last document related to this
19 document, dated April 4, 1993
20 appears to be a "thank you" letter. There is an explanation. It talks
21 about Beily or Beily bridges - I don't know how to pronounce this, Beily
22 bridges - on the Neretva River
23 you could tell us what sort of bridges these are - that's number 1 - and,
24 number 2, where are these locations, and who stands to benefit by
25 installing these bridges?
1 A. What is being referred to here are Beily bridges. These are
2 military bridges of the type used by all the armies worldwide. They
3 consist simply of a steel structure, which is prefabricated and then
4 fitted together like Lego, and of course, the whole structure serves to
5 span rivers. They are called Beily according to the English engineer who
6 was the first to design that type of bridges. They can be found in the
7 area of Mostar. Avijaticarski Most Bridge
8 the town; and then there's Musala in the center of town, that's formerly
9 the Tito's Bridge; and then the Potoci Bridge
10 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter notes there was another bridge, I
11 didn't catch the name, in the south.
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] In this way, we covered the entire
13 territory or area of the town in order to bring together the two banks.
14 Q. All right. Now, again, you need to speak slowly. How many
15 bridges are we talking about? Are there three or four? And if you just
16 tell us the locations slowly so we can get it on the record.
17 A. These were four bridges: Zitomislici, Aerodrom, we call it the
18 Aviator's Bridge, in fact; Musala, formerly Tito's Bridge; and the bridge
19 at Potoci.
20 Q. All right. Now, are you familiar with this document, and if so,
21 how? Because we don't know to whom this letter is going to. If you look
22 at it, it says "thank you," but we don't have an address. Do you know --
23 do you have any prior knowledge about this particular document?
24 A. These bridges were donated to us by the representatives of the
25 American Embassy. A representative of the American Embassy arrived in
1 Mostar and offered from the NATO warehouses in Germany to have bridges
2 transported to the Ploce port in order to connect the two banks of the
3 river. I requested Mr. Prlic to write this letter on our behalf to
4 express our thankfulness to the American Embassy. I took the letter from
5 Mr. Prlic and handed it to the representative of the American Embassy.
6 Q. And if you could tell us when did -- when was it that the
7 American Embassy first made the offer for these bridges?
8 A. The representative of the American Embassy came to Mostar in
9 August or September 1992.
10 Q. All right. Okay, thank you.
11 MR. KARNAVAS: Now, if we could go into private session just very
13 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Registrar, could we please
14 move to private session.
15 [Private session]
11 Pages 32219-32221 redacted. Private session.
15 [Open session]
16 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, we're back in open session.
17 MR. KARNAVAS: If we could switch now to a topic dealing with
18 water. I'm just going to show you two documents. The Judges may have
19 some questions on this, but the one -- the first one is 1D 01569, and
20 this is addressed to, I see, Jadranko Prlic, July 26, 1993.
21 Q. And have you had a chance to look at this document?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. And any other document that is related, the same subject matter,
24 more or less, is August 4, 1993
25 01566. Now, having looked at these documents, first let me ask you: Are
1 you familiar with how water is supplied to the city of Mostar?
2 A. The company I managed was not the company supplying the town of
3 Mostar with water. However, the company did make urban plans, including
4 water supply and the water supply grid, so that I do have an idea of what
5 the water supply system of Mostar was like.
6 Q. All right. Now, you were asked a question about water going to
7 the east side. We talked briefly about the bridges and how they would
8 have the water pipes, and I take it from your answers is that the water
9 has to flow into the west side in order to go into the east side. Is
10 that correct?
11 A. Yes, that's correct.
12 Q. Now, having reviewed these documents, first of all, do you know
13 the gentleman that authored these letters, a Mario Salavarda?
14 A. I do.
15 Q. Who is he?
16 A. He's also an architect, and he was the head of the municipal
17 department concerned with urbanism and infrastructure.
18 Q. All right. And having reviewed these documents, can you please
19 in a phrase or two tell us, what is Mr. Salavarda trying to convey to
20 Dr. Prlic? What seems to be the problem?
21 A. He conveyed the information indicating the gravity of the
22 problem. He tried to explain to him that they were practically unable to
23 supply even the right bank with water due to the poor piping - the pipes
24 were failing - and due to the problems with the water source at Studenac.
25 However, in order to comprehend the gravity of the system, one needs to
1 be familiar with the whole system.
2 Mostar has two sources of water. One of it is gravitational, and
3 the other are wells where pumps are used to pump the water up and to push
4 it under pressure into town. The source of the River Radivoje [phoen]
5 normally dries out in the summertime so that the system is unable to
6 supply a fraction of town with water, which is why the other source,
7 where the pumps are used, has to be brought in.
8 In a word, he was pointing to the problems that they were
9 constantly dealing with, with the shortcomings of the system, if you
10 want. Generally speaking, both systems can be used to supply water to
11 the town up until the level of the fourth floor.
12 Q. All right. Well, why weren't they able to simply make the
13 repairs, if you know?
14 A. The main town pipeline bringing the water from the source to town
15 passes through the settlement of Rastani, and along its entire length the
16 pipeline was exposed to the fire coming from the Muslim army. Even
17 across on the other bank of the river the pipeline was being damaged, and
18 this is what happened. If at one point there is no more water in a
19 section of the pipeline, and if you switch the water on to flow and you
20 can't control the pipelines, then the great pressure that builds up
21 within the piping causes the pipes to break, to rupture, because you
22 don't have any control over the valves that should ease the pressure
23 building up within. If you are unable to control all these various
24 factors, and if you let the water flow through the piping without any
25 control, the result of it is that the pipes rupture. This is why we had
1 the constant problem of water supply.
2 MR. KARNAVAS: All right. Thank you. Unless there are any
3 questions --
4 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes, I have a question. This
5 is at the very heart of the matter.
6 This topic has already been addressed on several occasions,
7 notably by the Defence of General Praljak. Let me sum up what you just
9 Mostar is supplied by two sources, but in the summer there is a
10 problem with one of them because the river is dry. The second source is
11 then used to supply Mostar -- supply water to Mostar, but the supply has
12 to go through pipes, and these pipes absolutely must be controlled by
13 valves. As you said, if there is also air in the pipes, the water
14 pressure can rupture the pipe in the end, and you also said that these
15 pipes go through Rastani. So everything is crystal clear for me.
16 If the BiH Army controls the source from which the pipelines
17 start to supply water to Mostar, then they're probably able to cut the
18 water supply whenever they want to. Is that it?
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The BH Army held Rastani under its
20 control for only a brief period of time. What I wanted to say was that a
21 large stretch of the pipeline was under potential fire from the other
22 side. I came across waterworks workers quite often, and I saw them
23 taking the manholes off. This was in the town. They would take these
24 manholes and took them with them to use as shelter from the fire while
25 they were repairing the pipeline, and I'm talking about the period --
1 this was in the period when this was under the control of the BH Army.
2 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Fine. I understand what
3 you've just said, but as far as you know, did the ABiH use those
4 pipelines by firing on people to prevent repair for strategy purposes?
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I don't know what the reasons were,
6 but I know that they were repairing ruptured pipes.
7 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Okay. Another aspect of my
8 question is the following: To your knowledge, the HVO, whether its
9 military aspect or its civilian aspect - I don't know, I won't go into
10 detail - do you think that the HVO tried to prevent water from being
11 supplied to the residents of Mostar and in particular to the residents of
12 East Mostar?
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The HVO was trying to set up the
14 whole water supply system. Since the bridges were knocked down, there
15 were no technical possibilities for the left bank to be supplied with
16 water, even if they wished to do it. There was no way of doing it. How
17 could they do it? In order to get it to the other bank, you would have
18 to do something, either build bridges or some other construction, which
19 would allow us to place the pipes across the river.
20 MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, perhaps this would be
21 a proper moment. I didn't want to interrupt.
22 To your previous question, your previous question was [In
24 "As far as you know, did the ABiH use those pipelines by firing
25 on people to prevent repair, for strategy purposes?"
1 And then the witness, as it is recorded, responded:
2 "I don't know what the reasons were, but I know that they were
3 repairing ruptured pipes."
4 On the Croatian language, as I understood, the witness said, "I
5 don't know what the reasons were, but they were shooting on those
6 people." [No interpretation]
7 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Prlic, you wanted to take
8 the floor.
9 THE ACCUSED PRLIC: [Interpretation] Thank you. Other than that,
10 I lost it on the screen. This is page 51, line 12. The witness said
11 that the workers who went to repair carried or wore the -- were taking
12 the protective metal covers at the time when Rastani were not under the
13 B and H Army control, but here it seems as if they were carrying them
14 when Rastani were under the control, but that doesn't make sense. They
15 did it when it was possible for them to do it. So it was mistranslated
16 on line 18 -- on line 12 of that page and on line 18, as noted by
17 Mr. Kovacic just now.
18 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Witness, could you please
19 confirm what you said about those metal covers being taken away by the
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, I can confirm that. I can
22 even give you the names of people from the water utility because I saw
23 them in the evening as they were going, once it got dark, so that they
24 wouldn't be seen, and how they are taking the covers from manholes in
25 town in order to protect themselves from shooting by the other side.
1 I remember Mr. Kresic, who was the foreman of that team, and he
2 was also foreman in the water utility in Mostar called Vodovod.
3 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Which means that the ABiH was
4 firing at them in order to prevent them from repairing the water pipes?
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
6 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well.
7 Mr. Karnavas.
8 MR. KARNAVAS: Thank you. I was planning on covering those
9 errors, so there was no need for anyone to stand up and get excited.
10 All right. We can now move on to another segment. The next
11 document is 1D 00572, and this is June 26th, 1992. This is a decision to
12 establish a municipal commission for the assessment of war damage.
13 Q. My question is: Were you involved in any way with this
15 A. The first assessment of the war damage was carried out from the
16 Office for Communal and Housing Affairs and Reconstruction.
17 Q. I'm going to ask you to slow down, and I'm going to ask you to
18 listen to my question and try to answer it as briefly and concisely as
19 possible, but please slow down. Otherwise, we make errors, and then
20 people get excited, they jump up, and then, you know, we lose more time.
21 So please.
22 So --
23 A. Would you please repeat your question?
24 Q. All right. Were you involved in any way with the commission that
25 was making the assessments on the war damage?
1 A. I was.
2 Q. All right. Let's go to the next document, 1D 00891.
3 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Could you perhaps, Witness, be a bit more
4 precise in what way you were involved --
5 MR. KARNAVAS: Yeah, we will --
6 JUDGE TRECHSEL: -- unless it's on the next document.
7 MR. KARNAVAS: We will develop --
8 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Okay. Thank you.
9 MR. KARNAVAS: -- this whole --
10 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Excuse me. I withdraw. Go ahead.
11 MR. KARNAVAS:
12 Q. The next document is 1D 00891. This is a decision on 30th of
13 June to establish a public enterprise for reconstruction and building of
14 the municipality of Mostar
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. And how are you familiar with it?
17 A. I participated in its drafting.
18 Q. Okay. Now, if we go on to the next document, 1D 00437. This is
19 a decision of 16 September 1992 to appoint members to the Municipal
20 Commission for War Damage Assessment, and of course, if you could look at
21 the names. We do see your name on number 14, but very briefly, are there
22 any Muslims appointed to this particular commission? And I might draw
23 your attention to number 5, number 9, and number 13. That may help speed
24 up the process.
25 A. All of them are Muslims, and they are people that I know.
1 Q. Okay. The ones that I -- the numbers that I read out?
2 A. Yes, yes.
3 Q. Okay. Go on to the next document, 1D 02644. This is a decision.
4 We see your name at the bottom of it. It's dated 24 September 1992
5 of course, you're asking:
6 "The following shall be appointed to this member of committee for
7 temporary protection of cultural heritage buildings."
8 And by looking at it, it would appear that at least number 1 and
9 number 2, they're Muslims, a construction supervisor and a
10 contractor super -- supervision -- construction supervision and
11 contractor supervision, those two engineers?
12 A. Number 1, that's a Muslim; under number 2 is a Muslim; and
13 number 3 is a Serb.
14 Q. Okay. And of course under Article number 3, Roman number III,
15 you say that "The commission may hire external consultants, professionals
16 in specific fields, and they shall have the freedom of authority to hire
17 contractors for specific work."
18 What did you mean by that?
19 A. These are the engineers who can provide consultations or advisory
20 services and who were supposed to assist the group for the restoration of
21 monuments, which was part of the office that I worked in, in making the
22 assessment about the damage of the old bridge. But also, they were able
23 to perhaps use some funds to do something to protect the old bridge or
24 some other institutions that were also trying to protect the old bridge.
25 They could have assisted them by providing advise and expertise.
1 Q. All right. Before we move on -- before we move on to the next
2 document, can you tell us whether the old bridge -- whether attempts had
3 been made to protect it during the events with the Serbs?
4 A. You couldn't approach the old bridge at that time because it was
5 under fire.
6 Q. What about afterwards?
7 A. Afterwards, the bridge was shelled. Shells were hitting the
8 bridge, and in order to be able to still use the bridge as a pedestrian
9 bridge, I think the engineers or somebody else perhaps could have
10 assisted there, but I think it was the HVO engineers protected it by
11 placing tyres and planks on it. As far as I can recall, these people
12 from -- who are mentioned here as engineers provided advice to the
13 engineers, the military engineers, on the best way to protect the bridge.
14 Q. All right. Do you know who the engineers were, the military --
15 the HVO engineers, and who was under -- who were they subordinated to?
16 A. These were not engineers by profession. They were people in the
17 engineering section of the military. I think one of them was called Bozo
18 Pehar, but they were part of the HVO.
19 Q. All right, thank you. If we look at the next document, 1D 00116,
20 and this is dated December 1992. If we see at the bottom of -- or at the
21 end of this document, this is generated by Dr. Jadranko Prlic. It's a
22 decision on identifying spacial planning, environmental protection, and
23 protection of buildings and their cultural and historical heritage as
24 projects of special importance in the territory of the Croatian Community
25 of Herceg-Bosna. Are you familiar with this decision, and if so, how?
1 A. Yes. This is a decision that was adopted in reference to the
2 company where I was the director.
3 Q. All right. What was the purpose of the decision? If you could
4 give us a couple of words.
5 A. There were two main reasons. The first and more important reason
6 was to begin to restore the area in an organised manner, in a planned
7 manner, and cover the other areas of Herzegovina, as well, not just
8 Mostar. Other towns were damaged, as well, and the other settlements,
9 these other municipalities didn't have a company that would be dealing
10 with these issues in order to begin their rebuilding, and Mr. Prlic
11 wanted us to begin reconstruction in other municipalities. The other
12 reason was that I expected that we could make some money in this way
13 outside of Mostar and pay our workers some salary because we didn't
14 receive any salaries from the municipality of Mostar
15 of assistance so that we could continue to work.
16 Q. All right. If we look at the next document, which is 3D 00784,
17 if you could just look at that briefly, and then I'm going to refer you
18 to 1D 02951.
19 MR. KARNAVAS: As I understand it, Your Honours, you have it in a
20 separate binder. It is a rather lengthy document. It's approximately
21 250 pages.
22 Q. Well, first of all, would you confirm -- do you recognise 3D
23 00784? Do you recognise these pages?
24 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Karnavas, the document 3D
25 784, which one is it? Is it the big one, this one?
1 MR. KARNAVAS: Yes -- no, it's the smaller one. This was
2 introduced a while back, and I will try to -- while the gentleman is
3 looking for it, which should be right -- it's identified as 3D 00798.
4 This is an excerpt, Your Honour, from 1D 02951.
5 Q. Do you have 1D 02951, sir? If I could get the usher's
6 assistance --
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. Okay. Well, it's good if you would tell us so I know.
9 First of all, if you look at -- let's just deal with 1D 02951.
10 What is this? Mostar '92, Urbicide. What is it?
11 A. This is a book called "Urbicide," "Urbici," "Mostar, 1992."
12 Q. And were you involved in the creation of this book?
13 A. I wrote a part of the book, and I organised and oversaw the whole
15 Q. What was the purpose of the book?
16 A. The purpose of the book was to assess the situation in town and
17 also to show it to the world.
18 Q. All right. And where was this exhibited?
19 A. There was an exhibition along with the book as well as a film,
20 "Urbicide 1992." We made a project, Urbicide 1992, consisting of the
21 book, an exhibition, posters, and a film. The entire project toured
22 [Realtime transcript read in error, "toward"] Split, Zagreb
23 and the -- was exhibited at the UNESCO Centre in Paris.
24 Q. All right. And -- I don't have --
25 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Excuse me, Mr. Karnavas. If I look at the
1 record, the sentence doesn't make sense:
2 "The whole project toward Split, Zagreb
3 at UNESCO Centre in Paris
4 After the other towns or --
5 MR. KARNAVAS: Okay. The problem is, Your Honour, is the
6 gentleman is speaking rather quickly, and the translators are doing their
7 level best to keep up with the gentleman.
8 JUDGE TRECHSEL: I don't blame anybody. I'd just like to know.
9 MR. KARNAVAS: Yeah.
10 Q. Okay, sir, Mr. Puljic, if I could -- we could take it step by
11 step. After this book was created, along with -- this was exhibited
12 along with other material, as I understand it, in various cities. Is
13 that correct?
14 A. Correct.
15 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreters would like to note, instead of
16 "toward," actually I had said "toured," T-O-U-R-E-D.
17 MR. KARNAVAS: All right.
18 Q. Now, the -- where was this exhibit shown? Where was this book
20 A. In Split, in Zagreb
21 Q. All right. And I understand that you were involved in the
22 creation of this book, but who else was involved, and if you could tell
23 us how it was compiled, because we see various photographs of different
24 buildings, monuments, mosques, bridges.
25 A. Actually, many engineers from the town of Mostar divided
1 themselves in groups according to topics. They were given the assignment
2 of going around the town, inspecting, and writing something about their
3 particular subject. At the same time, we also employed a number of
4 photographers to take pictures.
5 After that, we made a group that put the whole work together.
6 And as I said, the different parts of the project were put together.
7 Posters were made that were supposed to be put up all over town. A book
8 was made. An exhibition of photographs was created, as well as a film.
9 Q. All right, thank you.
10 MR. KARNAVAS: And just for technical purposes, Your Honour, a
11 segment of this book was introduced as 3D 00784. We, the Prlic Defence,
12 were under the impression that the entire book at the time had already
13 been introduced. It had not, and we did not put this 1D 02951 on our
14 65 ter list. So at this point in time or after the witness finishes, we
15 would be tendering this to be added to our list of exhibits, and I
16 understand that the Praljak Defence team may also be doing the same in
17 the eventuality that the Trial Chamber denies our request.
18 All right. If we can move on to just one last document in this
19 segment, 1D 02237.
20 Q. Now, we don't have a date on this particular document. It talks
21 about -- we see a headline: "Love is a reflection of the world." It's
22 from a newspaper clipping, and it's an exhibition of paintings by Mostar
23 artists. Do you know what this is being referenced to, and about what
24 time are we talking about?
25 A. Yes, I do.
1 Q. Can you help us out?
2 A. During the Urbicide exhibition in Split, a concert was organised
3 at the same time at the Stadium Lud [phoen] and also an exhibition of
4 Mostar painters. This whole event was used to collect funds for the
5 rebuilding of Mostar bridges, and it included the exhibition Urbicide,
6 the exhibition of Mostar painters, and the concert at the stadium.
7 Q. All right. And these artists that are noted in the article, from
8 what particular nationality are they?
9 A. Of all nationalities, but for the most part, Muslim.
10 Q. All right. If we go on to the next topic and last topic, and
11 it's just --
12 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Before we move to the last
13 topic, Witness, I'd like to go back to the old bridge.
14 We've seen documents establishing that the HVO had taken the
15 necessary measures to protect the old bridge, and you also provided a
16 detail that I didn't know; that it was your employees under the
17 supervision of your engineers who protected the old bridge with tyres,
18 planks, and so on. We know, in document 1D 2951 -- we learn in that
19 document that you've shown the world, at least to the UNESCO organisation
20 in Paris
21 This leads me to the following question: In 1993, there was a conflict
22 in Mostar between the HVO and the ABiH, and at one stage we heard
23 evidence according to which, via a video excerpt, a tank apparently under
24 HVO control fired in the direction of the old bridge. The old bridge
25 collapsed. We're trying to determine why the bridge collapsed.
1 But at any rate, at one particular stage we see a tank belonging
2 apparently to the HVO shooting at the bridge. How can you explain this
3 particular event?
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I also saw the tank on television.
5 Perhaps I saw it on television. I don't know. In what sense are you
6 seeking my explanation?
7 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Just like everyone else, you
8 saw this tank shooting at the bridge. You saw this on television.
9 According to you -- I mean, you were living in Mostar at the time. Are
10 there any reasons to fire at that bridge? Was there a reason behind
11 this, or was it just madness? Was it totally illogical?
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I was sorry that they fired at the
13 old bridge.
14 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] So you have no comments to
15 make. Okay, fine.
16 Let's move on to this last topic, Mr. Karnavas. Let me tell you
17 that you've used four hours and thirteen minutes so far.
18 MR. KARNAVAS: Thank you, Mr. President.
19 Just one -- I need to go back and make one correction.
20 Apparently on page 53, line 18, Mr. President, you had asked a question,
21 and the question was -- says:
22 "Which means that the HVO --"
23 THE INTERPRETER: Mr. Karnavas, please speak into the microphone.
24 MR. KARNAVAS: "Which means that the HVO was firing at them in
25 order to stop them from repairing the water pipes." And I want to make
1 sure that we hear it from the witness.
2 Q. Was it the HVO that was firing at the repairmen, or was it the
3 ABiH that was firing at the repairmen who were trying to fix the water
5 A. The Army of Bosnia-Herzegovina.
6 Q. Thank you. Okay, now if we turn --
7 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes. In my question, it was
8 ABiH. It wasn't the HVO.
9 MR. KARNAVAS: But it's in the record, and, you know, we do panic
10 about things like this.
11 Q. The last topic deals with a seminar that was held in Neum. If we
12 could look at 1D 02703. If you could -- 1D 02703, and there are a series
13 of documents that actually relate to this seminar.
14 Do you have it, sir?
15 A. I do.
16 Q. We see that it was held on 22nd and 23rd April, 1993, and from
17 the top -- at the top of the page, we see "University of Mostar
18 time, sir, was that the name of the university in Mostar?
19 A. Yes, that's what it was called, university in Mostar.
20 Q. Well, okay. University of Mostar
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. Okay. Now, prior to that, did it have a name, a different name?
23 A. Yes. It was called Dzemal Bijedic.
24 Q. All right. Now, we see that there was this seminar, and if we
25 look at number -- page 2, we don't see your name on this list, but do you
1 know the individuals that are listed as the board of organisers and the
2 editorial board?
3 A. I know most of them.
4 Q. All right. And are there any Muslims on either the board of
5 organisers or the editorial board?
6 A. Among the organisers, under number 3, Professor/Dr. Faruk
7 Pavlovic. Under number 7, Professor Mehmed Behmen. I think he was the
8 dean of the Mechanical Engineering Faculty. Under number 8, Professor
9 Nerkez Mackic, who was, I believe, the dean of the Construction
10 Engineering College
11 editorial board, there was Professor Himzo Djukic and Professor Elvedin
13 Q. Now, in this particular seminar, did you participate?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. And just briefly, and if you could confirm whether you were
16 familiar with the documents that were presented at this seminar. Let's
17 look at 1D 02704. This is by Jadranko Prlic, "Fundamental Guidelines for
18 the Global Economic Developments in Herceg-Bosna."
19 Next, 1D 02705. This is by a Mr. Dziho and Miscevic [phoen],
20 "Wartime Damage and Instructions for the Reconstruction of the
21 Architectural Heritage of Mostar." These two individuals, are they
22 Croat, Muslim, Serb, or what are they?
23 A. You're referring to document number -- Dziho is a Muslim, and
24 Tanja, I don't know how she declared herself, but her father is a Serb
25 and her mother a Croat.
1 Q. And then we see 1D 02706, "Overview of the Problems of
2 Destruction, Reconstruction, and Development of Towns in Herceg-Bosna,"
3 and we see "Urbicide," and then we see at the top your name. Is this
4 your -- the paper that you prepared?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. Now, if we just look at page 2 in the English version, under
7 table 1, we do see -- you have some figures there. For instance, if we
8 were to go to "Bridges," and it says that before the war, there are 13;
9 damaged, 1; destroyed, 11; intact, 1. And then you give a percentage of
10 92. Were those figures correct?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. Okay. And would you stand by the other figures related to the
13 hotels, municipal buildings? For instance, municipal buildings, we see
14 none are intact. Is that correct?
15 A. First of all, I stand by all the figures listed here. And,
16 second of all, let me correct you. Municipal buildings, before the war,
17 there were five of them. One of them was damaged, and four of them were
18 absolutely destroyed, and none of them were intact.
19 Q. Okay. Apparently I was mistranslated, so sorry, but I'm glad to
20 see that you're paying attention.
21 All right. Would you confirm to us whether these documents,
22 these presentations were made in Neum on the 22nd and 23rd of April,
23 1993, having participated at this seminar?
24 A. Yes. The documents were all compiled in a book, which we
25 received at the seminar as part of the proceedings.
1 Q. Do you know what the purpose of the seminar was?
2 A. The country was destroyed, and the purpose of the seminar was to
3 gather all the individuals who had expertise in certain areas, primarily
4 members of universities but also outside of universities, in order to
5 think about the direction the future development of the country should
6 take, or the directions.
7 Q. All right. And I just want to go through one last document.
8 It's not related to the seminar, but its 1D 02065, because we see the
9 seminar was held on the 22nd and 23rd of April, 1993. This document
10 relates to 6 May 1993 or shortly thereafter, and this is a statement from
11 a Mr. Lasic. Do you know Mr. Lasic?
12 A. I do know Mr. Lasic.
13 Q. And perhaps you can provide us with a comment or two. It says
14 here at the very top:
15 "Despite all agreements at the highest level between
16 General Petkovic and Halilovic and at the level of the Southeastern
18 representatives of the BH Army want at all costs to cause a conflict
19 between HVO and the BH Army, i.e., between the Croatian and Muslim
20 people, which is evident from the following examples:"
21 And they give one example on 5 May 1993. Now -- related to two
22 individuals. Are you familiar with the events that are being described
23 here that had occurred on 5 May 1993
24 A. At the time, TV broadcasts reported on certain negotiations or
25 agreements, and this is what the situation was like on the ground. I do
1 recall this particular event when the two young men were arrested.
2 That's what the situation was like throughout the period.
3 Q. All right. Now, in paragraph number 2, there is a mentioning of
4 a Zuka. Do you know that person? Who was he?
5 A. I met him once.
6 Q. And -- okay, do you know who he was?
7 A. I do.
8 Q. Can you tell us?
9 A. One of the commanders of the BH Army, which was, in effect, a
10 Muslim army. When I got to know him, he wore very expensive clothes, he
11 had expensive glasses, and an expensive Jeep. He had a large flag that
12 was flaunting from his Jeep. This took place in Konjic 'round about this
13 time, I believe.
14 Q. What did the flag look like?
15 A. It was a green flag with some Arabic writing I couldn't decipher.
16 Q. Were those the coat of arms of the ABiH?
17 A. No.
18 Q. All right.
19 A. Negotiations were taking place at the time. I was part of a
20 delegation going for negotiations to Jablanica and Konjic. A member of
21 the delegation was Mr. Pusic. With us, there were also representatives
22 of the BH Army from Mostar. The purpose of our trip was to try and
23 conduct negotiations in order to reintroduce peace, to introduce a
25 Q. When was that, about what month and year?
1 A. I don't remember the date. It was, let's say, in May 1993,
2 precisely at the time this document was drafted.
3 Q. Now, just as a vignette, because I think the story is rather
4 interesting, could you please describe exactly what happened at that
5 meeting? And I mean, go into the details, before Mr. Zuka arrives and
6 what happens when he arrives.
7 A. Mr. Petar Zelenika tasked me with being a member of a delegation,
8 the purpose of which was to conduct negotiations in Jablanica and Konjic.
9 The delegation included Mr. Pusic, Mr. Raguz, and me on the Croat side.
10 On the Muslim side, there were two officers of their army. Those of us
11 from Mostar were supposed to go to Jablanica and Konjic to try as a mixed
12 delegation to bring about the calming down of the situation.
13 As we reached Jablanica under the escort of the Spanish members
14 of UNPROFOR, we stayed there for a while, negotiating. Mr. Blago Pusic
15 joined a member of the BH Army and went to Doljani to try and calm the
16 situation down through negotiations, and we carried on in the direction
17 of Konjic. Having got there, we got out of the APC and were immediately
18 surrounded by throngs of people. It was an unruly crowd led by a
19 soldier, Zuka. I recall him very well because he spoke the Ekavian
20 version, E-K. And they were shouting at us, jeering at us, throwing
21 stones at us, and this soldier took out a knife and threatened to cut our
23 There were only two members of the Spanish unit of UNPROFOR
24 standing between us and the crowd. One of the two officers went to the
25 APC in order to radio for reinforcements. At the point this man was
1 approaching me - when I say "me," I mean me and Mr. Raguz and other
2 members of the BH Army and this officer with his knife - the car I've
3 just described to you arrived. There was this large green flag with
4 Arabic writing attached to the car, and it was so big that it was
5 dragging along the road. The person who subsequently introduced himself
6 as Zuka got out of the car. As his car showed up, everybody stood in
7 their tracks. We were backing up a wall, and then there was this Spanish
8 soldier in front of us, and as Zuka arrived he cast a glance at the
9 crowd, which suddenly fell completely silent. Not a word was uttered.
10 The crowd dispersed, and the soldier returned his knife to the sheath.
11 At that point, Spanish UNPROFOR troops appeared, and then
12 Mr. Zuka asked us and the Spaniards to join him in his headquarters in
14 We then -- they then started to talk. The conversation was
15 conducted in Spanish.
16 Let me point out this as an interesting thing. The BH Army
17 officer at that point took out a piece of paper from his pocket, which
18 read, and this is something that he read aloud: "Mr. Zuka, I am here
19 according to the command of Mr. Arif Pasalic, commander of the 4th Corps
20 of the Army of Bosnia-Herzegovina." Zuka took the note and theatrically
21 ripped it into small pieces. He then said, "By the order of the
22 commander-in-chief, Mr. Alija Izetbegovic, I hereby command all of the
23 army from" --
24 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreter didn't catch the name.
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] ... "all the way to Neum."
1 MR. KARNAVAS:
2 Q. From where to where?
3 A. From Igman, meaning from Sarajevo
4 MR. KARNAVAS: All right. Thank you, Mr. Puljic. With that, I
5 have no further questions. I want to thank you very, very much, and I
6 take it you will be equally as forthcoming in your answers to all
7 questions coming from whichever direction. Thank you again.
8 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well.
9 Before moving forward, I think we should have a second break, so
10 we will break for 20 minutes.
11 --- Recess taken at 12.20 p.m.
12 --- On resuming at 12.43 p.m.
13 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] The Court is back in session,
14 and I will ask the other Defence teams whether they have any questions to
15 ask during cross-examination.
16 Did you, Ms. Nozica, any questions? No questions?
17 MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation] Good afternoon, Your Honours. Good
18 afternoon to everyone in the courtroom. The Defence for Mr. Stojic will
19 have questions for this witness, but the Defence -- or, rather, my
20 learned friend Madam Alaburic will start first.
21 But before that, Your Honours, since the direct examination by my
22 learned friend Mr. Karnavas has been prolonged, can you tell the total
23 time the Defence might have in excess to what they have been allowed so
24 far? I know that three Defence teams are interested in examining --
25 cross-examining the witness.
1 [Trial Chamber confers]
2 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well.
3 As we said in the guidelines, Defence will have 50 per cent of
4 the time, so you have two hours altogether. Since there are three of
5 you, you have two hours for the three of you. The Prosecution will be
6 granted four hours for its cross-examination, and it's going to be a very
7 tight schedule given the time left if we want to make sure our witness
8 doesn't stay over the weekend.
9 So it's Ms. Alaburic, Ms. Nozica. Who is the third that wanted
10 to take the floor?
11 MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, the third Defence is
12 the Defence for Mr. Praljak. My colleague, Madam Nika Pinter, will have
13 some questions to ask, and then my client, Mr. Praljak, will have a few
14 questions as well.
15 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Did you distribute the time
16 among yourselves; yes or no?
17 MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation] Your Honours, by your leave, I
18 should first like to greet you, Mr. Puljic, and all the colleagues in the
20 We have agreed in principle about the distribution of time, and I
21 believe that the two hours will suffice for the three Defence teams. We
22 decided to divide the time in equal shares, and should the situation
23 change, we will consult in the meantime.
24 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. You have one hour.
25 Cross-examination by Ms. Alaburic:
1 Q. Mr. Puljic, hello to you once more. Let me ask you at the
2 outset -- I would kindly ask the interpreter that we are starting with
3 the cross-examination of Vesna Alaburic.
4 Mr. Puljic, let us first acquaint Their Honours with our personal
5 relationship. Have you ever met me? Have we ever talked to each other?
6 Have I taken a part in the preparations for your testimony here?
7 A. This is the first time I see you, and I've never spoken to you.
8 Q. Thank you. Let me first inform you of the topics I should like
9 to discuss with you. All these topics were the subject of the direct
10 examination conducted by the Prlic Defence. If need be, I will present
11 you with certain documents. All these documents were either used by the
12 Defence team for Mr. Prlic or were prepared by that same Defence team for
13 your testimony. In this way, you will not be surprised by any of these
15 The topics will be as follows: Your explanation about the
16 civilian and military authorities in Mostar between March and June 1992;
17 next, I should like the two of us to analyse a decision of the
18 Crisis Staff taken on the 29th of April, 1992, whereby the Defence tasks
19 are entrusted with the HVO. Then I will have a question about your
20 statement concerning mobilisation and war hospital.
21 Let us start with the topic of the civilian and military
22 authorities. Yesterday, you told us that the civilian authorities in
23 Mostar did not function, this is at page 65 of the transcript; that the
24 Crisis Staff de facto was unable to do anything, pages 18 and 69 of the
25 transcript; that neither -- that -- or, rather, that the special-purpose
1 council was not able to do anything, either, that's at page 69; and that
2 in the prevailing situation of chaos, the only functioning body was the
3 HVO, that's page 78 of yesterday's transcript.
4 Tell me, Mr. Puljic, did I -- is this a fair understanding -- a
5 correct understanding of what you'd been saying yesterday?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. Let us closely define the terms "civilian" and "military
8 authorities," and let us define what the situation was like in the
9 individual months of the period we're interested in. I don't think it's
10 contested that as of March 1992 -- as at March 1992, Bosnia-Herzegovina
11 was one of the states forming part of the former Yugoslavia.
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. Can you explain which were the civilian authorities that existed
14 in Bosnia-Herzegovina, including those, of course, in Mostar?
15 A. Just as in any other state, there existed three levels of
16 authority; legislative, executive and judicial.
17 Q. These are not levels of authority. These are types of authority.
18 Would you agree with me that there existed three levels, the federative,
19 republican and municipal?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. Tell us, at the municipal level, who was vested with the role of
22 the legislative body?
23 A. The Assembly was the legislative body.
24 Q. Who had the role of the government at municipal level?
25 A. The Executive Committee or Board of the municipality.
1 Q. What was the colloquial term used for the president of the
2 Executive Board of the municipality?
3 A. President of the Municipal Board.
4 Q. Was that person sometimes referred to as mayor, regardless of the
5 fact that officially such a title or such a role did not exist?
6 A. No.
7 Q. Very well. That was the case, for instance, in Croatia. That's
8 why I asked. When we're talking about the military authorities of the
9 time, can you tell me, what is your understanding of the term "military
11 A. When you say "authority," you think of someone who has clout,
12 power. Let me give you a small detail that might illustrate --
13 Q. No, no, please. We won't have time for that. When you say that
14 in your understanding "military authority" implies someone who has power,
15 power to do what?
16 A. To do any sort of activity. In order to do something, you not
17 only have to wish to do that, but you also have to have the power to do
18 it. For instance, the JNA was able to do things because it had power.
19 Q. Could we then say that in some way, when it comes to the military
20 aspect, the Yugoslav People's Army had a certain power and certain
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. Tell us, the JNA was under the control of the Federation, of the
24 federal state of Yugoslavia
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. Likewise, did the Territorial Defence have a certain power to
3 A. In peacetime, it didn't have any power. It had potential power,
5 Q. Tell us, was the Territorial Defence under the control of the
6 republics or some other sociopolitical organisation?
7 A. Everything you've been asking me about so far is beyond the field
8 of my expertise and falls under the headline of, let's say, general
9 knowledge. And from what I know about it, as general knowledge, the
10 Territorial Defence was within the framework of republics.
11 Q. Tell us, did republican secretariats for national defence exist
12 within individual republics?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. Did there exist municipal secretariats for national defence in
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. Were they civilian bodies dealing with certain affairs from the
18 field of national defence?
19 A. Yes, they were civilian bodies concerned with certain matters.
20 Q. Did these civilian bodies have certain powers in relation to the
21 issue of defence?
22 A. They didn't have power or authority. They executed the tasks
23 that they received from the JNA. This is an assumption on my part. I
24 cannot give you a full answer to the question as I understand it.
25 I think that they were there to execute certain tasks.
1 Q. Tell us, who could order them to carry out certain tasks? The
2 republican -- when we're talking about the republican and municipal
3 secretariats for national defence, are you sure that the JNA had the
4 power to order them to carry out any sort of task?
5 A. This is outside my knowledge. However, as the people viewed it,
6 the JNA was omnipotent.
7 Q. Do you recall whether on the 3rd of March, 1992,
8 Bosnia-Herzegovina declared its independence?
9 A. Yes, I do recall that.
10 Q. Can we take that day to be the start of an open war against the
11 JNA, or rather, between the JNA and the Army of the -- rather, yes,
12 against the JNA and against the army of Bosnian-Herzegovinian Serbs?
13 A. Yes, I believe that we can.
14 Q. Is that the time when complete chaos started to reign across the
15 territory of Bosnia-Herzegovina?
16 A. There was chaos before that, as well, but it intensified at the
17 time, which is quite clear and obvious.
18 Q. In the month of March 1992, there yet did not exist a body that
19 would be called the Croatian Defence Council?
20 A. Can you please repeat your question?
21 Q. In March 1992 --
22 A. I can't tell you that. I would have to see the document stating
23 when the Croatian Defence Council was set up.
24 Q. I've prepared these documents for you. There's no need to look
25 at that. I can only refer Their Honours to P151, a document dated the
1 8th of April, 1992, and document P155, dated the 10th of April, 1992
2 decision taken by Mate Boban about the HVO becoming the supreme body of
3 defence. We will not be going into that now, but in April 1992, the
4 first bodies bearing the name of the Croatian Defence Council were set
6 Mr. Puljic, you were discussing P135, dated the 12th of March,
7 1992. This is an invitation of the president -- or this is an invitation
8 to the president of the Presidency -- rather, the president of the
9 Assembly of Mostar, which was scheduled for the 3rd of March, this
10 session. You said that it was decided at the time, due to chaos and the
11 impossibility of work, the Assembly should be dissolved and the
12 Crisis Staff of Mostar set up instead; is that right?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. Can you tell us, the Crisis Staff in Mostar, was it civilian or
15 military authority?
16 A. Civilian.
17 Q. Can you please tell us, at that time in mid-March 1992,
18 constituted the military authority in Mostar [as interpreted]?
19 A. It was a time of chaos. Anyone who held a certain territory
20 constituted a military authority.
21 Q. Mr. Puljic, when you say "military authority," that has to be a
22 body or a person or a group of people who have the power to do something.
23 And as you spoke about the military power in Mostar at that period, I'm
24 asking you: Who did you mean? Which body is this? Who are these people
25 who had the military power?
1 A. The JNA had the military power on the left bank, and to the north
2 in the barracks of the JNA the army had the military power. And in the
3 other areas, you had local units of the HVO, which at that time, in the
4 military sense, controlled the territory.
5 Q. Are you sure that all of these units were called "HVO"? I'm
6 talking about March 1992.
7 A. Yes, I think that they did, they did.
8 Q. In your opinion, did the Independent Battalion exist at that
9 time, the one that we talked about?
10 A. Yes, it did exist.
11 Q. Now, I would just like to remind you of documents shown to you by
12 the Prlic Defence. This is document 1D -- no need to look. You will
13 remember. 1D 1572. That is that report by Arif Pasalic, "100 Days of
14 War," which states that the Independent Battalion was founded on the 12th
15 of April. You, as far as I can recall, confirmed the accuracy of the
16 information in that report, and it turns out on the basis of what is said
17 in that battalion -- that report that the battalion did not exist in
18 March. So in your opinion and in view of the circumstances, what do you
19 think? Did the battalion, the Independent Battalion, exist or not in
20 March 1992?
21 A. You're asking me about details that I cannot know anything about.
22 What I do know is that the SDA also was arming a part of its people, that
23 there were organised small groups, and all of these units were organised
24 locally in neighbourhoods, in villages. So you can say that the
25 Independent Battalion was organised somewhere in the area of the old
2 Q. Can you name anyone who would be representing this military
3 authority, a person that would have that kind of military power? Can you
4 think of anyone at that time? I'm talking about March 1992. If you
5 don't remember, we can just move on. It was a long time ago.
6 Can I conclude that you don't remember, that you don't know?
7 A. I know a lot of people. I know a lot of people in town, and I
8 know that a lot of them were in the HVO. I mean, I cannot really mention
9 all of their names, who at that time had joined the defence of the town.
10 Q. Well, that is not controversial. I'm talking about military
11 authority, people who had military authority. You mentioned that term,
12 that concept, and I wanted to describe that or go into it in more detail.
13 So can we now conclude that you are not aware of any people who had that
14 sort of military authority in Mostar at that time?
15 A. The commanders of the HVO at the time had military authority.
16 Q. Can you please tell us who the HVO commanders were, some names?
17 A. Jadran Topic, Petar Zelenika, Rade Bosnjak, Slavko Puljic.
18 Q. All right. Very well. Tell us, Jadran Topic, which military
19 unit was he in command of?
20 A. I don't know.
21 Q. Can you please tell us, if you know, whether he was in command of
22 any military unit?
23 A. Well, I think he was one of the main people in the staff, and he
24 simply was not in a position to control a -- to command a specific
25 military formation or unit.
1 Q. Let us look at document 1D 2389. You also have it in my set of
2 documents. This is a document appointing the council for the special
3 purposes of the Mostar Municipal Staff.
4 Can we look at the person who signed the document? That is
5 Jadran Topic. He signed the document, and his post or function is named
6 "President." Do you see that, Mr. Puljic? It's the last document in my
7 set of documents, and they have been arranged, and you can also see it on
8 the screen.
9 A. Yes, yes.
10 Q. So his post is named "President." And now, Mr. Puljic, can you
11 please explain to us, the functions entitled "President," were they
12 functions of the civilian authority or of the military authority?
13 A. Functions called -- with the title "President" are functions of
14 the civilian authority.
15 Q. So based on the signature and the name of the post, can we
16 conclude that Jadranko Topic as president of the Municipal Staff of
17 Mostar was a representative of the civilian authority?
18 A. Well, it's hard to conclude that. In order to conclude that, I
19 would need to know how literate were the people who were drafting all
20 these things.
21 Q. All right. We will look at some of the documents, and then we
22 will see.
23 A. The people who were preparing these documents.
24 Q. The documents where somebody signs themselves with the title
25 "Commander," "zapovjednik," or, for example, "Chief of the Main Staff,"
1 according to what you know, are these signatures of persons carrying out
2 some sort of military function?
3 A. Can you please repeat the question in view of the fact that all
4 the questions are at a theoretical level where one would need to be
5 precise. And we're speaking about a specific situation.
6 Q. Yes, I'm also referring to a very specific situation. I'm asking
7 you about documents that somebody would sign as a commander of the 1st
8 Brigade, for example. Is that a concept or a term of a commander, and is
9 that related to some sort of military function?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. Well, let us now look at the next document, document P209. That
12 is also a document that you have already seen, the document brought by
13 Jadranko Topic as the president of the Crisis Staff. The document says
14 that the Crisis Staff is being disbanded, thereby ending all of its
15 functions as a representative of the civilian power. Can you please tell
16 us, well, does this document confirm your thesis that the Crisis Staff
17 was a civilian authority; is that correct?
18 A. The Crisis Staff was a civilian authority.
19 Q. Under item 2, the formation of a civilian wartime government is
20 being announced; is that correct?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. From the time of the disbanding of the Crisis Staff until the
23 formation of the civilian war government, the functions of the civilian
24 authority were supposed to be carried out by the special-purposes council
25 of the HVO of the Municipal Staff of Mostar as stated in Article -- or
1 paragraph 3; is that correct?
2 A. Yes, that is what it states.
3 Q. And then we have a decision of the 21st of May, 1992, and that is
4 a document P221, which appoints members of the Croatian Defence Council
5 of the municipality of Mostar
6 talking about the Croatian Defence Council of the municipality of Mostar
7 and they are civilian authorities; is that correct?
8 A. Please, just let me find this decision. Just one moment.
9 Q. You can see it on the screen. You can recognise that document.
10 You talked about them, so there is no need to lose time in looking for
11 the document.
12 A. Yes, this is the decision on the formation of the civilian
14 Q. Can we look at item 12, Jasmin Jaganjac, who is the head of the
15 defence department; is that correct?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. So from this decision, it follows that Jasmin Jaganjac is a
18 member of the civilian authority?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. I would now, Mr. Puljic, like us to correct the erroneous
21 translation of a document which you discussed with the Defence of
22 Mr. Prlic today, so I would like to ask you in their segment of documents
23 to find document 1D 1217. It's a report of the Municipal Staff for
24 Civilian Protection about the implementation of tasks in the sphere of
25 civilian protection in the region of the town of Mostar for the 60 days
1 of the war.
2 On page 3, lines 9 to 15 of today's [as interpreted] report, the
3 question of Mr. Karnavas was noted down which was quite correctly based
4 on the translation, but the translation is incorrect. So in the English
5 text, and that is what the question states, it is said -- I'm going to
6 read it in English:
7 [In English] "Since the work of the civilian authorities was not
8 organised at the beginning of the war... "
9 [Interpretation] And so on and so forth, end of quotation.
10 Mr. Puljic, I would now like you to look at this text in the
11 Croatian language. This is on page 2, beginning of the second whole
12 paragraph. I would like you to read that, to read the beginning of that
14 A. "In view of the fact that the civilian authority in the early
15 period of the war functioned in an unorganised manner ... "
16 Q. Very well. Can we agree, then, that the civilian authority did
17 exist at the beginning of the war, but it functioned in a disorganized
18 way? That is what it says in this report; is that correct?
19 A. Yes, that is correct.
20 Q. So we cannot say that in June 1992, there was no civilian
21 authority in Mostar; is that correct?
22 A. We cannot say that for June.
23 Q. Yes. This report is from June, and we see that the civilian
24 authority was organised on the 21st of May. It adopted a series of
25 decisions, and then we could see that it would be wrong to conclude, and
1 we can see that on the basis of this report, to say that there was no
2 civilian authority in Mostar in June 1992?
3 A. The civilian authority did exist in the month of June.
4 Q. Very well. I would now like you to explain this. Jadran Topic
5 was the first-ranking person of the civilian authority in Mostar; is that
7 A. Yes, it is.
8 Q. Can you please look at document P485. It's a document signed by
9 Jadran Topic dated the 16th of September, 1992. In the document, there
10 is a decision that all documents that refer to the words "Territorial
11 Defence," these words should be substituted for the term "Croatian
12 Defence Council," and then it is established that the Independent
13 Battalion, which is active in the Mostar municipality area, is part, by
14 establishment, of the formations of the Croatian Defence Council. Did
15 you find that document?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. Can you please tell us whether -- we apologise to the
18 interpreters. Mr. Puljic, can you please tell us based on the first
19 paragraph of this decision it follows that the municipal civilian
20 authority made some decisions that had to do with territorial defence, or
21 rather, the Croatian Defence Council; is that correct?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. Very well. And then the second segment indicates that the
24 civilian authority in Mostar makes decisions on which battalion will be
25 in the establishment formation of the HVO of the municipality of Mostar
1 A. Yes, that is what it states here.
2 Q. Very well. I'm now going to remind you of three documents which
3 were shown to you yesterday by Mr. Prlic's Defence. There is no need for
4 you to look because I'm going to just tell you about it. I'm only
5 interested in one thing. These are documents 1D 583, a decision of the
6 30th of June, 1992, signed by Jadran Topic on the temporary suspension of
7 work of catering establishment; the second document is 1D 584, same
8 person issued it on the same date, on the work hours of companies and
9 retail establishments, the same person, on the same day. And then we
10 have the third document, 1D 586, decision issued by the same person on
11 the same date about a curfew.
12 In each of these decisions, it is said that the military police,
13 among other bodies, will be responsible for the implementation of this
14 decision. What I would like you to do for us, Mr. Puljic, is to explain
15 to us if Mr. Jadran Topic was authorised to issue tasks to the military
16 police in terms of implementing certain aspects of municipal decisions or
17 whether he was able to give assignments to the HVO.
18 A. What you're asking me here is something that you would need to
19 call in experts in this field who will give you an opinion. I see my
20 role as a witness who will testify about facts, so I would kindly like to
21 ask the Court not to be asked to provide my opinions or to think about
22 anything that has to do with Mr. Topic. Please ask me about facts.
23 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreter did not catch the question by
24 the Defence counsel.
25 JUDGE TRECHSEL: I'm sorry. I have to repeat what my learned
1 friend promptly and normally says. As you both speak the same language,
2 you have a tendency to overlap; that is to say, when one has heard the
3 answer, she or he goes on speaking. And now, for instance, your question
4 has gotten lost to the interpreters, and we lose time because they have
5 to -- you have to repeat it. It's an old story. Temperament carries one
7 Please, thank you.
8 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour, for your
9 caution. I think that Mr. Puljic and I are both trying to pause and to
10 slow down, but I hope this will not happen again.
11 Q. Mr. Puljic, as an individual who drafted the decision of the
12 Crisis Staff of the municipality of Mostar
13 which is P180, please provide us a couple of explanations in relation to
14 the decision, which you do recall, don't you?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. You told us that you drafted the decision, that you saw the HVO's
17 attempts to protect and defend the town, which was the reason why you
18 wanted to make an assessment of the current situation, put it on paper,
19 and ask the HVO to defend your town; is this a fair interpretation of
20 your words?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. Let us try to analyse the decision together, if we can. I
23 suppose we shall agree that in item 1, you wanted to define the enemy.
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. In item 2, you decide that for the affairs of -- that, rather,
1 the tasks of protection and defence of the city will be entrusted to the
2 Croatian Defence Council, municipal headquarters Mostar, and members of
3 the Ministry of the Interior; is that right?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. In other words, the defence was not only entrusted to the HVO but
6 also to the MUP?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. In item 3, you indicate that the Croatian Defence Council shall
9 consist of the members of Muslim and Croat peoples and members of other
10 peoples and minorities. Is this your stipulation of who can become a
11 member of the HVO? Is this where you say that members of the HVO can
12 become -- or rather, that Croats, Muslims, and everybody else that wishes
13 to can become a member of the HVO; is that right?
14 A. What we were doing here was to make an assessment of the current
16 Q. Tell us, did the HVO, in other -- was the HVO in other parts of
17 Herceg-Bosna, as well, being created at the time as a joint army of
18 Bosnian -- of Muslims and Croats?
19 A. Well, I wouldn't be able to give you an answer to that question
20 because at that time Mostar to me was the entire world.
21 Q. At the time you drafted this decision and earlier on, did it ever
22 occur to you that there might break out a conflict between Muslims and
23 Croats which, in fact, did break out a year later?
24 A. When one drafts a decision, one drafts it on the principles of
25 one's own honesty, and I believe that it was honestly written.
1 Q. I don't think that's been called into doubt by anyone, that this
2 was written honestly, but I suppose at the time you were drafting this
3 decision neither you nor the individuals you consulted in drafting this
4 decision could even have a hunch of what might happen between Muslims and
5 Croats a year later; is that right?
6 A. Yes, that's right.
7 Q. In item 5, you define the task of the Croatian Defence Council;
8 is that right?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. You also set forth that the Croatian Defence Council should make
11 sure that its members act in such a way that the Mostar residents are
12 guaranteed their security and safety. So you're talking about a duty on
13 the part of the Croatian Defence Council; is that right?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. Likewise, you stipulate that this particular role should be
16 played by the military police; is that right?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. In item 6, you indicate the importance of the running of the
19 judiciary; is that right?
20 A. Yes. The decision indicates what should be done in the future.
21 Q. In item 7, you speak of the necessity to coordinate the work of
22 individual bodies in Mostar, which should also work jointly; is that
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. Is it your view, Mr. Puljic, that by this decision on the HVO in
1 Mostar, you set out clearly and precisely the instructions on how the HVO
2 should do what?
3 A. We expressed our wishes as the civilian authority. But on the
4 other side, there should be the HVO to accept that.
5 Q. Tell us, Mr. Puljic, you said that you drafted the decision. If
6 you wanted to express your wishes only, how come you used the following
7 formulations: It is the task of the HVO, the HVO is duty-bound to, and
8 so on and so forth?
9 A. We were giving ourselves airs a bit and overstating our
11 Q. Right. That is one of the possible interpretations. Another is
12 that you did have that significance, but we will not go into that.
13 Let me put a question to you concerning your answer on
14 mobilisation. That's at page 18 of yesterday's transcript. You said
15 that municipalities were unable to conduct mobilisation, although there
16 was a defence office in place. You said that the defence office was able
17 to carry out mobilisation only pursuant to an order from the military
18 bodies. Do you recall that?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. Can you tell us what period this statement of yours refers to?
21 A. The prewar period. From the point the war started and chaos
22 ensued, I can't really give you an answer.
23 Q. "The prewar period" would imply sometime until the month of March
24 1992? Is that right?
25 A. Yes, let's put it that way.
1 Q. Tell us, if you know, was this regulated by a federal piece of
2 legislation on defence or by a BH law on defence?
3 A. I don't know that.
4 Q. Tell us, what is your source of knowledge about the fact that a
5 military body had to issue an order in order for the defence office to
6 carry out mobilisation? Where does this information you have come from?
7 A. We couldn't issue any sort of an order for mobilisation.
8 Q. We're talking about the prewar period, aren't we, prior to March?
9 Who could have issued an order for mobilisation?
10 A. I don't know which state body could have done that, but it must
11 have been a state body or the army.
12 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] I don't have any further
13 questions. Mr. Puljic, I thank you.
14 Thank you, Your Honours.
15 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you. We have 15 minutes
16 left, and I will now give the floor to the second counsel.
17 Ms. Nozica, you have the floor.
18 MS. NOZICA: Thank you, Your Honours. Good afternoon once more.
19 Can I have the usher's assistance in taking these documents to
20 Their Honours, the Prosecutor and the witness.
21 Cross-examination by Ms. Nozica:
22 Q. I should also like to start my examination by greeting you first,
23 Mr. Puljic. Let me also ask you if in the course of your preparation for
24 the current testimony you met anyone from the Defence team of Mr. Stojic,
25 whether you were in touch in any way with me, and whether you are
1 familiar with the documents I'd like to examine you on.
2 A. I've never met you, and this is the first time I see the
3 documents. I know Mr. Stojic because he was the manager of the public
4 utility company in Neum at the time I worked there, and we worked in the
5 same building.
6 Q. Thank you for your answer. Mr. Puljic, I have prepared a binder
7 for you, which I hope will be easy for you to find your way in.
8 Let me inform Their Honours that I will be examining the witness
9 only about the topics that were the subject of direct examination.
10 Mr. Puljic, His Honour Judge Antonetti asked you today during
11 your direct examination - that's at page 31, lines 4 to 17 - he asked you
12 whether the service you were at the head of undertook any sort of
13 activities to repair the buildings which were damaged or destroyed before
14 the start of the conflict between the HVO and the BH Army, that's to say
15 the damage that ensued from Serb activity, and your answer was that you
16 didn't have time to. My question to you is: Did you make sure that you
17 create plans that would cover the entire territory of Mostar
18 A. We were making plans for the reconstruction of many damaged and
19 destroyed buildings, yes.
20 Q. I am waiting for the interpretation. I might even lose sight of
21 that and start rushing, but I believe we should try and take it slowly.
22 I should like you to look at the first document in the binder.
23 This is part of the indictment. You have to forget about it for the time
24 being. Look at document 2D 1422. 2D 1422. This is the SOS for Mostar
25 document. Have you found it?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. Mr. Puljic, tell us first if you remember this document at all.
3 A. This is the first time I see it.
4 Q. Very well. Can we conclude that this is a document of the
5 Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna, Croatian Defence Council, Mostar
6 municipality, is that right? And this is an SOS for Mostar addressed to
7 construction companies, manufacturers of construction materials, food
8 production companies, businessmen, Mostar business partners, friends of
9 Mostar and Herzegovina
10 of Mostar from the Serbian aggression. Paragraph 2 says that a battle is
11 being fought for the temporary repair or reconstruction and the return of
12 citizens. And now it says:
13 "On Thursday, the 17th of September, 1992, at 1500 hours, at the
14 Brijuni Sports Hall, on the first level next to the main entrance to the
15 Zagreb International Fair, a 15-minute footage will be broadcast for the
16 first time, and we're expecting to be invited to this gathering."
17 Mr. Puljic, would this particular invitation have to do with the
18 activity you referred to, which was part of an effort on your part to try
19 and raise funds to reconstruct what had been destroyed in Mostar during
20 the Serb aggression?
21 A. This was not my activity or the activity on the part of the
22 public enterprise for the reconstruction and construction of Mostar. I
23 do know, however, that at the same time various individuals, various
24 institutions were engaged in this particular activity. Everyone was
25 trying to give a contribution of their own.
1 Q. You say "to give a contribution of their own," but to complete
2 the sentence, tell us, to give a contribution in what? In the
3 reconstruction of what had been destroyed in Mostar?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. Let us look at the second document in my binder, 1D 2367. You
6 probably recognise this document.
7 A. I do.
8 Q. Then please tell us what it's all about.
9 A. At the Zagreb Architectural Faculty, we presented an exhibit --
10 the exhibition called "The Mostar Urbicide," along with a book that was
11 published on the same topic. To that exhibition, we invited
12 representatives of the BH Embassy in Zagreb, and we invited the
13 prime minister of Bosnia-Herzegovina. They came to the opening of the
14 exhibition, and I thanked them for it.
15 Q. So was there any interest on the part of the community to help
16 reconstruct Mostar?
17 A. Well, the purpose was to inform them of the extent of the
18 destruction in Mostar, but also to call on the public to give their
20 Q. Let us recall everyone that this took place on the 15th of
21 January, 1993. Is that right?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. Your effort to try and bring about the reconstruction of Mostar
24 carried on into 1993; is that right?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. Mr. Puljic, at that point in time when the book entitled
2 "Urbicide" was made, can we conclude that at that point, the Islam or the
3 Muslim heritage that existed in Mostar had largely, by that time, been
4 destroyed? And I mean the buildings that had to do with the Islamic or
5 Muslim heritage. I'm speaking of cultural monuments.
6 A. You are right, but only partly. On the left bank, next to the
7 Islamic Cultural Heritage, most of the buildings were the legacy of the
8 Austro-Hungarian empire, and these buildings were also destroyed. On the
9 left bank, there was the Serb Orthodox --
10 Q. Yes, I know that. We will get back to that later, to the Serb
11 Orthodox Church. But when you say "on the left bank," let us be more
12 precise, then. On the left bank, a great many facilities were destroyed
13 of great importance to the Islamic region -- religion and culture; is
14 that right?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. Now, I'm going to ask you to move to document 2D 1418, and that
17 is the third document in the binder. It's a letter written by Bishop
18 Peric. I assume that you'd never seen this letter before, but I'm also
19 quite sure that you know what it says. I'm sure you are familiar with
20 these particular circumstances.
21 For the transcript, first of all, you tell me, you knew Bishop
23 A. Yes, I did.
24 Q. Did you have contacts with him during the war?
25 A. Yes, I did.
1 Q. And this letter is written on the 13th of December, 1993, to
2 Mr. Perica Jukic and to Mr. Jozo Maric. Did you know these gentlemen?
3 A. Yes, I did.
4 Q. We don't have the time, unfortunately, to read the whole letter.
5 You can just glance at it, and I'm going to draw your attention to key
6 sections. This is a letter in which Bishop Peric asks Mr. Jukic and
7 Mr. Maric that the following facilities be protected. They are buildings
8 that are important for those of the Islamic faith and those of the
9 Orthodox faith. And in the beginning, they provide the description of
10 occupied counties, and that is on this page listed under paragraphs 1, 2,
11 3. I assume you would need to know that. This is the list of occupied
12 parishes, those religious buildings of the Catholic Church that were
13 burned, torn down, or heavily and lightly damaged; then under 2, a list
14 of destroyed buildings that belonged to the Serbian Orthodox Church, and
15 this is of July 1992, and then it says that: "Our response is in the
16 voice of councils"; and then under 3, photocopy of the list of destroyed
17 buildings that belonged to the Islamic religious community, "which I
18 already received in January of 1993."
19 My question in relation to this document, and then we're going to
20 go through each of these three lists so that you can recall what you know
21 about them. So in terms of this document, my question is: Are you aware
22 that during the war, the whole war, because this is the end of 1993,
23 Bishop Peric advocated the protection of all religious buildings and
24 urged that the truth be established about how those religious-purpose
25 buildings were destroyed?
1 A. Well, this is something that I know about, not only from his
2 public addresses, but also privately he equally advocated the protection
3 of buildings that had a religious use, regardless of who they belonged
5 Q. Can we look at this list of counties and parishes where there was
6 discretion, and this is in paragraph 1, and it's document 2D 01419. Can
7 you please just look at that list, and can you please tell us if you
8 think that this corresponds to what you know about the destroyed
9 buildings from the counties and parishes and that were destroyed during
10 the war in the course of 1993?
11 A. Yes. This does correspond to what I know.
12 Q. Thank you. The third document is of most interest to me, about
13 the Islamic religious buildings and mosques, and that is why we're going
14 to look at 2D 1417. That is the next document in your binder. This is a
15 letter that you perhaps have seen before.
16 First of all, we have a letter from Patriarch Pavle and the
17 Bishop of Mostar, Zanic [phoen], to Boutros-Ghali, and that is the first
18 paragraph in the Croatian version that you have. We also have the second
19 response by Bishop Peric regarding allegations of destroyed Serbian
20 buildings. Can you please look at this?
21 First of all, the Orthodox cathedral in Mostar is being referred
22 to; the reply by Mr. Peric; then we have the Orthodox churches in
23 Capljina and Metkovic. So did these buildings suffer damage in the war?
24 Do you have any information about this?
25 A. Yes, these buildings were damaged in the war.
1 Q. This is one of those letters that Bishop Peric refers to in
2 document 2D 1418. I would now like us all to look at the third list. I
3 probably will not have enough time to go through it in detail. That
4 would be this third list of buildings of the Islamic community that were
5 destroyed during the war. That is document 2D 1421.
6 Have you seen this document?
7 A. I'm looking at it now. I'm seeing it for the first time.
8 Q. Can you just go through the list of ruined or destroyed mosques
9 in Mostar, and there is a description "Major destruction." I am
10 stressing it for the transcript, which you can see on page 2 at the
11 bottom that this is a document from January 1993. Bishop Peric received
12 it in January, which would seem to indicate - and you can confirm if I'm
13 right - that this is destruction that was sustained during the Serb
15 A. All the indicated mesjids were destroyed during the Serbian
17 MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I assume that I need
18 to finish now, so I would like to put one more question to the witness as
19 an introduction on our continued work on this document.
20 Q. Can you please explain to the Trial Chamber the difference
21 between a mosque and a mesjid, if you do know the difference, and I
22 assume that you do.
23 A. A mosque has a mihrab and a mimber.
24 Q. I don't think that you said enough.
25 A. Yes, yes, I'm going to translate. When you enter a mosque, you
1 have the mihrab. That is the section where the priest performs the
2 prayer, And mimber is the place -- actually, it's a staircase that is
3 above the mihrab where you would give a sermon.
4 Q. And does a mosque have a minaret?
5 A. Yes, it does, but this is the main difference. A mesjid does not
6 have a mimber. It only has a mihrab where prayers are performed. There
7 are no sermons. That is the main difference. Most frequently, mosques
8 have wells, and very often mesjids do not.
9 MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honours. I think
10 that I need to stop here.
11 Thank you very much, sir. We will continue tomorrow.
12 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. You have used up
13 16 minutes. 2D has used 16 minutes. It's almost 10 to 2.00.
14 But tomorrow we'll meet at 9.00. Have a nice day.
15 See you tomorrow.
--- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 1.48 p.m.
17 to be reconvened on Wednesday, the 17th day of
18 September, 2008, at 9.00 a.m.