1 Wednesday, 17 September 2008
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 [The witness entered court]
5 --- Upon commencing at 9.00 a.m.
6 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Registrar, please, could you
7 call the case?
8 THE REGISTRAR: Good morning, Your Honours. Good morning to
9 everyone in and around the courtroom. This is case number IT-04-74-T,
10 the Prosecutor versus Prlic et al.
11 Thank you, Your Honours.
12 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. Registrar.
13 This is Wednesday, September 17. I want to welcome the accused,
14 the Defence counsels, Mr. Stringer and his colleagues, our witness, and
15 everyone helping us around this courtroom.
16 We'll now continue the cross-examination. I welcome Ms. Novica
17 once again and I will give her the floor.
18 WITNESS: BORISLAV PULJIC [Resumed]
19 [The witness answered through interpreter]
20 MS. NOZICA: Good morning, Your Honours. Good morning to
21 everyone in the courtroom.
22 Cross-examination by Ms. Nozica: [Continued]
23 Q. Good morning, Witness. Please look at 2D 01421. That was the
24 document we looked at yesterday, just before breaking. For the sake of
25 the transcript, let me state that at page 98, line 9, of yesterday's
1 transcript, instead of the word "munare" used by the witness, which also
2 means "minaret," it was interpreted as "well." So it should read
4 Witness, I hope you have found the document.
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. This is a list or document of the Islamic community facilities
7 destroyed during the war. This list was sent by the committee of the
8 Islamic community of Mostar and it is signed by the chief imam of that
9 community. Did you know the gentleman?
10 A. No.
11 Q. Very well. Yesterday, I wanted to ask you to look at all these
12 buildings, namely, mosques and mesjids, which, according to this list
13 sent to Bishop Peric in January 1993, damaged during the conflict with
14 Serbs. Is that right? Does this correspond to what you remember of the
15 period? This was something that was the subject of your study, was it
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. I am saying this for the benefit of Their Honours and everyone
19 else, including the Prosecutors, that at the front of the binder that I
20 prepared, you have an excerpt of the indictment, which I prepared for
21 everyone. That's paragraph 116 of the indictment, and let me read the
22 beginning of it:
23 "During and within the siege of Eastern Mostar, the forces of
24 Herceg-Bosna HVO have deliberately destroyed or heavily damaged the
25 following mosques or places of worship in East Mostar."
1 What follows is a list of roughly nine such buildings. I will be
2 reading from the indictment, and you will try and identify, among the
3 mosques or buildings in the list, the ones that you know of.
4 The first one is Yavuz Selimov [as interpreted] Mosque, known
5 as --
6 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreters note that we don't have the
7 original of the indictment or the text of the indictment. It's very
8 difficult to follow at this pace.
9 MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation] Yes, we do have this difficulty. I
10 will have to give the list to the interpreters subsequently, and then we
11 will have to correct the transcript. Otherwise, it's going to take up
12 too much time.
13 Q. Therefore, the Sultan Yavuz Selimova Mosque, from the indictment,
14 can it be found under the list of mesjids?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. And does it not say that the damage was major?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. Let us go on. Hadzi Mehmed-Beg Karadjozeva Mosque,
19 Hadzi Mehmed-Beg Karadjozeva Mosque. Can you look at the list and more
20 closely under number 2 of the list. Is that the same mosque?
21 A. Yes, it is.
22 Q. Let's go on. Koski Mehmed-Pasha Mosque. Please look under
23 number 7 of the list of that particular document. Is that the same name
24 of the mosque, but shortened?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. Nesuh Aga Vucjakovic Mosque, Nesuh Aga Vucjakovic Mosque. Can
2 you please look at number 3 on the list. Is that the same mosque?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. Hadzi Ahmed Aga Lakisic Mosque -- Hadzi Ahmed Aga Lakisic Mosque.
5 Witness, is that the mosque listed under number 14?
6 A. Yes, that's the shortened name of the same mosque.
7 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreters note, can any of the extra
8 microphones please be switched off.
9 MS. NOZICA:
10 Q. The next one is Cosa Jahja -- I think my microphone is on. Is
11 there a problem? Somebody's microphone was on?
12 Let us repeat this last one. Cosa Jahja Hodza Mosque, also known
13 as the Cosa Jahja Hodzina Mosque. Please look at the mesjid listed under
14 number 2. Is that the same one? Under number 2, it says "Jahja Hodza,"
15 whereas what I read out was Cosa Jahja Hodza Mosque." Is that the same
16 one? Or rather it's a mesjid, is it not?
17 A. It might well be, but --
18 Q. What is it that confuses you there?
19 A. Well, what I find confusing is that the list you're reading from,
20 as well as on this particular list, very often what is used are both the
21 names that are popularly used, used among the folk, and then officially
23 Q. But can you confirm for me that Cosa Jahja Hodza Mosque, or
24 evidently a mesjid, something that is called Jahja Hodza Mesjid or Mosque
1 A. Yes, that's true.
2 Q. We will not be focusing specifically on the official names, but
3 just confirm for me whether the one that I'm reading does correspond to
4 the one that is listed there under a colloquial, popular name, which was
5 normally shortened, was it not?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. Let us go on. Hadji Kurta or Tabacica Mosque, and please direct
8 your attention to number 6 on the list. Is that Kurtova Tabacica Mosque
9 the same one as the one I've read out?
10 A. Yes, it's the same.
11 Q. And finally Hadzi Memija Cernica Mosque, does it correspond to
12 the mosque listed under number 5?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. Can you confirm for me that you are fully in agreement with the
15 letter sent by the Islamic Community of Mostar from January 1993, that
16 the mosques were damaged, to a lesser or a greater degree, in Mostar
17 during the conflict with the Serbs?
18 A. I can confirm that, yes, since the engineers of the enterprise
19 for the construction and reconstruction made an assessment of the damage
20 on these mosques, and they were, in fact, referenced in the book called
22 Q. Let us move on to another topic and another document, which is
23 2D 00017, so triple 0, 17, and you can find it right behind the document
24 we've just been looking at in your binder. This is the decision of the
25 Crisis Staff of the municipality of Mostar
1 also as P 00170, and it was exhibited under both numbers.
2 By way of a reminder of what I'm going to ask you about, this
3 decision, under item 3, established the Croatian Defence Council, which
4 consisted of members of Muslim and Croat peoples. Your answer to the
5 question about the Muslim people was that they had a unit of their own
6 which was called the Independent Battalion; is that right?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. You also told us how it came about that the Crisis Staff of the
9 municipality ceased to operate, but let us briefly look at document
10 1D 1572, which was provided to everyone in the courtroom at a later date,
11 so it was copied and distributed subsequently. This is a public rally of
12 the fighters of the Independent Battalion of Mostar, held on the 12th of
13 July, 1992. The document was published in the Mostar Jutro [phoen]
14 publication. Are you aware of it being a bulletin or some sort of a
15 publication of the Mostar Independent Battalion?
16 A. Yes, I'm aware of it.
17 Q. In this first column, the seventh line of the second paragraph in
18 English, I believe. The end of the second paragraph:
19 "With the start of the fighting in the first skirmishes with a
20 better-equipped and armed Chetnik units, what was noted was that the way
21 the TO units had so far been organised was not suitable for that sort of
22 warfare for such a rigid and ruthless war. The cooperation with HVO
23 units at the beginning of the fighting caused the organisation of the
24 unit to change, and on the 12th of April, 1992, the Independent Battalion
25 of the defence of Mostar was established, which became part of the HVO
2 Mr. Puljic, this is fully consistent with what you've said, is it
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. The Independent Battalion itself says that upon its
6 establishment, it became part of the HVO, did it not?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. Let us skip one paragraph and move on to the point where the
9 Independent Battalion confirms its unity with the HVO, and it says:
10 "Upon the loss of the left bank of the Neretva, the battalion
11 consolidated its ranks and companies, composed of some 200 men, and upon
12 the order of the Municipal Staff of the HVO, dated the 21st of May, they
13 carried out tasks in the sector of Raska Gora until the 11th of June,
14 where they demonstrated the -- an adequate level of organisation and
15 combat readiness."
16 Is that right?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. According to this, the Independent Battalion was formally part of
19 the HVO, just as you said in item 3 of your decision, and this, in fact,
20 proves that this was indeed the case during the fighting against the
21 Serbs. Sir, do you know that the Independent Battalion, upon -- or,
22 rather, when the Crisis Staff stopped functioning, continued to remain
23 part of the HVO? What's more, they continued to rely on them for
24 logistic support, in terms of material and technical equipment and so on?
25 A. Yes, I know that, and that's the truth.
1 Q. Then we will cover the next document only cursorily. The first
2 document is 2D 00522.
3 Sir, we see a significant point here, and that's that it says in
4 the heading: "Croatian Defence Council, Independent Battalion, Mostar
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. Somebody signed on behalf of Commander Arif Pasalic. You knew
8 that Arif Pasalic was commander of that battalion, did you not?
9 A. Yes, that's true.
10 Q. And it says:
11 "Considering the fact that we have completely run out of
12 ammunition, please provide us with the same so that we could continue
13 executing combat activities."
14 And he is addressing the Municipal Staff of the HVO on the 13th
15 of July, 1992. Does this tally with your knowledge of how things worked?
16 A. Yes. And you can also look at the seal, which is quite interesting.
17 Q. Yes. We have been analysing the seal previously, and we will
18 continue to do so.
19 There is quite a number of them. But I have a great
20 many documents still to cover, and I have to do that.
21 Q. Let us now look at the next document, that is 2D 00523.
22 2D 00523. Have you found it?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. Again, you can see that it's the 1st Mostar Brigade, and we're
25 talking about the transformation. It states the Command of the
1 Mostar Brigade. The date is very interesting. That's the 31st of
2 October, 1992. Again, it's a request for ammunition, supplies. It's
3 again signed personally by the commander, Mr. Arif Pasalic. The seal is
4 different, and it states: "HVO Mostar, County Headquarters
5 Department for Technical Services." Did you have information that this
6 went on?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. We can see the document is from the month of October 1992?
9 A. Yes, I did have that information.
10 Q. We're going to look at the last document because of the date. I
11 picked several because of the date. That is 2D 524. This is signed by
12 Commander Midhat Hujdur. You probably knew him or had heard of him.
13 A. I had heard of him.
14 Q. To the municipal county headquarters on the 12th of December,
15 1992. This is a request for equipment and materiel; is that correct?
16 A. Yes, it is.
17 Q. Mr. Puljic, did you know that at the time you formed the
18 Crisis Staff, at least two groups existed among the Muslims? I know that
19 now they are called "Bosniaks," but that's what they were called then.
20 So within the SDA, there was one group which took part in the
21 participation of those documents, and there was another one which was in
22 a way linked with the Islamic community. Did you know that they were
23 opponents, that one group was in favour of the HVO and the other group
24 was opposed to cooperation with HVO structures?
25 A. Yes, I knew about that.
1 Q. Now I'm going to ask you to look at another document, that is,
2 2D 00007. It's a document that I assume you haven't seen before, and
3 perhaps you did. That is information about the situation and problems in
4 Mostar and Herzegovina
5 drafted by the Muslim Cultural Circle as part of the Islamic community;
6 is that correct?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. Can you agree with me that that was precisely the group that was
9 opposed to any kind of cooperation with the HVO?
10 A. Yes.
11 MS. NOZICA: Your Honours, I would like to ask you -- I would
12 like to interrupt myself, because according to the calculations of the
13 Registrar, which are absolutely correct, I have 25 minutes left for my
14 cross. I would like, when this time runs out, to deduct the rest of the
15 time from my time for my Defence, because perhaps I would like to have
16 another ten minutes at the most to complete another two topics with this
17 witness very briefly.
18 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Madam Nozica, the
19 Trial Chamber said yesterday you had two hours for the entire Defence
20 teams, and you were supposed to find an arrangement among yourselves, and
21 you said that you did find an arrangement, and so that the three teams
22 that would take the floor would use up these two hours. All we want is
23 to make sure that the three Defence teams don't take more than two hours,
24 because if we go beyond those two hours, then we're going to create a new
25 problem, which will have consequences on further work. So it was up to
1 you to find an arrangement with your colleagues.
2 MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation] We agreed. I am just waiting for
3 this consultation. We agreed we all needed 45 minutes each. That's what
4 we agreed on. I'm going to see, with my colleague Ms. Pinter, if they
5 need all their time or if they could give us ten minutes. I didn't wish
6 to go to the harm of anyone, so I thought perhaps I could be granted ten
7 more of those minutes. Well, obviously they're not able to give me that
8 time, so if you permit, I would like to take another ten minutes so that
9 I could complete this topic. I would like to use my time for this; no
10 other Defence. General Praljak's Defence has provided this time for me.
11 All right, thank you. The general has decided I have ten minutes, so
12 I can continue.
13 Q. Since I have ten minutes, I would like to ask you very quickly to
14 go through this document, only as much as your memory serves you. I'm
15 going to ask you to look at the introductory part, and in the
16 introductory part, look at the paragraph at the bottom. This is page 3
17 in the English. It says:
18 "In the first days of the war, when there was fighting over the
19 part of the city on the left bank of the Neretva River, the chairman of
20 the regional board of the SDA announced publicly in the media that the TO
21 units of the city of Mostar
22 the HVO."
23 And he says that decision, made by a small circle of people, had
24 far-reaching consequences for Mostar and the region.
25 Sir, this is an assessment of the document's drafters. From
1 previous documents we were able to see that units under the control of
2 the B and H Army, in December, two or three months after this writing,
3 are still acting within the HVO and are asking it for logistical support
4 or to provide them with weapons, and that is what the HVO did; is that
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. Now I'm going to ask you to look at -- we don't have time to look
8 at anything else from this. Let's look at item 9 of this report. Please
9 look at it. This is page 0017. 0017, its titled: "Finances," that
11 In this part, he talks about the breakup of the financial system,
12 the fact that the banks did not work anymore. In response to my learned
13 friend Mr. Karnavas' question yesterday, you said that had -- the BH
14 dinar or any other dinar that existed at the time was not physically able
15 to reach your area from Sarajevo
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. I would now like you to look at the next page, that is, page 18,
18 and it's under the heading: "Traffic." Can you confirm that in this
19 report, the situation, as reported, was exceptionally difficult because
20 of the destruction of the bridges, and that this part of the information
21 provided is absolutely accurate?
22 Well, you just follow what I have said. Is this stated here?
23 A. Yes, yes, I think that the text here is accurate.
24 Q. Yes, this is precisely what we want to see, that from the
25 document which was drafted by the Cultural Circles, which are part of the
1 Islamic community, affirms what you said yesterday.
2 Can you look at the next page? This is PTT, and this is page 19
3 in the English, and that's where it is stated that the PTT traffic has
4 stopped, and Mostar, as the main postal centre for the aforementioned
5 areas, have ceased to operate. On the 29th of April, 1991, all financial
6 flows via the PTT have stopped.
7 Does that reflect the situation as you know it?
8 A. Yes. This is correct in view of the fact that the PTT was on the
9 edge of the conflicts and people were killed.
10 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreter has missed the first part of
11 the question.
12 Q. -- it is said here that -- we're talking about railway traffic
13 here, and it is said that the damaged railway lines are there, and
14 precisely because of that, the traffic -- the railway traffic is not
15 proceeding and it has to be done in a combined way, using roads and
16 trucks. Does that accord with what your information about what happened
17 in 1992 with the railway traffic?
18 A. Yes, it does. The traffic was not really possible to organise,
19 even in a combined manner.
20 Q. At the end, we have a passage that is called: "Urban Planning
21 and Reconstruction." In English, that is page 22, which talks precisely
22 about what I asked you about the first time, how the Serbs in fact -- or
23 the Greater Serbian ideology was destroying all the cultural facilities
24 and urban centres that the Muslims had built over the centuries and gave
25 them its specific outlook, and this, of course, includes the destruction
1 of mosques and mesjids; can you agree with that?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. Can you now look at the one-but-last paragraph on the next page,
4 and it says:
5 "The failure to observe existing republican regulations with
6 regard to abandoned flats and unauthorised activities in relation to
7 these flats, may objectively result in major problems and tension. The
8 destruction of immovable property is leading to a further reduction in
9 housing units and business space, which are badly needed by the city and
11 Mr. Puljic, from this document, which is written by the Cultural
12 Circle as part of the Islamic community, precisely talks about what you
13 talked about, that there was no -- or that the Republic of Bosnia
15 affirmed here that there was willful entry into these apartments, which
16 created chaos in that situation. Is that something that accords with
17 what you know?
18 A. Yes, it does. There were people in the streets who had no roof
19 over their heads, and there were empty apartments, but at the same time I
20 said that the municipal services that were supposed to apply these
21 regulations absolutely and completely had fallen apart at that point in
22 time, which means had you even wanted to apply any regulations, you were
23 unable to do so because there were no desk officers or there was no
24 personnel who could establish, during that time, which apartment was
25 empty, who could issue a decision and make it possible for somebody to
1 move in there.
2 Q. Well, this circle here that is part of the Islamic community
3 complains about the lack of regulations of the Republic of Bosnia
6 A. Yes, that is correct.
7 Q. Well, we are going to move to our last document. I'm going to
8 finish here.
9 I would like you to look at document in my binder that is
10 2D 1420, and we don't have enough time so let us finish with that
12 Have you looked at this document? It's the last document in my
13 binder, a document to the 4th Corps of the Army of Bosnia and
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. All right. Very well. Let's see what this is. It's a
17 document -- it's a report of the 3rd of March, 1993, which is submitted
18 by the deputy commander for legal affairs, Mr. Temin Semir, and it is
19 being sent to the Army of Bosnia and Herzegovina, 4th Corps, and it says:
20 "In order to consider jurisdictional regulation of life and
21 employment, for the members of the Army of the Republic of Bosnia
23 Legal Department of the 1st Mostar Brigade."
24 Article 2 talks about the activities over the past period, and
25 they talk about housing problems. I cannot manage to read everything. I
1 just would like to draw your attention to specific points here.
2 Under 3, it talks about problems in work, and then it says:
3 "Relations with the HVO." And then under 2: "Non-functioning of
4 civilian authorities," and this is something that you talked about.
5 We're talking about the territory under the control of the Army of Bosnia
6 and Herzegovina
8 No army legal activities. They are talking about the usurpation
9 of the military housing stocks by the HVO.
10 First let me ask you this: What they're saying here, there is no
11 civilian authority, no judicial bodies, and there are no
12 Official Gazettes, directives and so on, does that correspond with what
13 you know? Let me first ask you that.
14 A. As of the 30th of March, 1993, there were civilian organs.
15 Q. I'm talking about the area under the control of the Army of the
16 Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
17 A. Yes, yes, I absolutely agree with you.
18 Q. Yes, yes, please concentrate.
19 A. Yes, yes, I absolutely agree with you.
20 Q. So it says here usurpation of the military housing stock of the
21 HVO. Didn't we see yesterday that the HVO of the municipality or the
22 civilian authorities in Mostar did allocate military apartments to
23 members of the Muslim ethnicity?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. We saw that yesterday in the document, and this was something
1 that Mr. Karnavas asked you about.
2 Now let's move to item 4. There is one thing we have, and that
3 is very important. What was specifically done to resolve the status of
4 fighters? Salaries distributed for December and January in DM. Please,
5 Mr. Puljic, it follows from this document that the army, also the armija,
6 received salaries in DM?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. The document is of the 3rd of March, 1993. Can you please tell
9 the Trial Chamber what the reason for this was? Was any money able to
10 reach Mostar in any other way, any possible way?
11 A. No, it wasn't.
12 Q. So you agree with me that members of the armija and all citizens
13 in Mostar at that point in time were using German marks?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. Thank you very much. And now for the transcript, we saw
16 yesterday that Majda Cupina was given a military apartment on the 16th of
17 September, 1992, and this was noted in document 1D 00641.
18 Thank you very much, sir, for your replies.
19 MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation] Thank you to Your Honours. I have
20 finished with my questions.
21 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well.
22 Mr. Praljak's Defence team now.
23 MS. PINTER: [Interpretation] Good morning, Your Honours. Good
24 morning to everyone in the courtroom.
25 Let me immediately take up on what my colleague Nozica was just
1 discussing, so I'll rearrange my plan a bit.
2 Can the witness be handed -- yes, right, the book. And can we
3 call up document 3D 010207. This part of my cross-examination has to do
4 with the document that the Defence for Dr. Prlic used in direct. That's
5 1D 02647. At the same time, it also takes the examination from the point
6 where Ms. Nozica stopped.
7 Cross-examination by Ms. Pinter:
8 Q. Please look at the large book you have in front of you.
9 Their Honours and the Prosecution have the printed version of the book in
10 e-court. First of all, are you familiar with the company called Urbin?
11 A. Yes. It was the name that was given to the public enterprise for
12 the construction and reconstruction in Mostar.
13 Q. Do you mean that it's the legal successor of that company?
14 A. No. It's just that the company at some point changed its name.
15 Q. My colleague Kovacic tells me to repeat the number of the
16 document the Prlic Defence used. This is 1D 02647, and the document of
17 the Defence of General Praljak is 3D 01027.
18 Mr. Puljic, are you familiar with Staka Matkovic?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. Who is she?
21 A. She is an employee in the housing department of the public
22 enterprise for the construction and reconstruction in Mostar, which was
23 subsequently renamed Urbin.
24 Q. Very well. Now please can you flip through the book now and look
25 at some of the pages that are more legible, and then you'll see in the
1 top left-hand corner a heading which says: "Public Enterprise for the
2 Construction and Reconstruction of Mostar." This confirms that the
3 documents were produced by that public company in September 1992; is that
4 right, because we have the date on the right-hand side?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. What does this book represent?
7 A. The book is the basic document, a book of records of all the
8 socially-owned flats in the municipality of Mostar
9 Q. If one were to make certain analyses on the basis of this book,
10 the analysis would be based on facts that were ascertained at the time
11 the data was collected. The data contained in the book can be considered
12 reliable, can it not?
13 A. Yes. All the data contained in this book can be considered
15 Q. Very well, thank you. Yesterday, during the examination-in-chief
16 and in response to His Honour Judge Antonetti's question, you gave an
17 answer that I believe needs clarification.
18 When we're talking about the protection of the old bridge, and
19 I'm referring to document of the Prlic Defence 1D 02644, who was it who
20 physically placed the board work on the bridge, including the rubber?
21 A. It was the HVO engineering troops.
22 Q. At page 61 of yesterday's transcript, it followed from the
23 question put by His Honour Judge Antonetti that these were the employees
24 of the public enterprise for the construction and reconstruction of
25 Mostar who did that. You're saying it wasn't them, that it was in fact
1 the HVO engineering troops?
2 A. When we're talking about the physical works on the site, it was
3 done by the HVO engineering troops.
4 Q. Do you know who it was who ordered that this job be done in the
6 A. I don't know who gave the order. I know who executed the task.
7 Q. Do you know the name Ljubo Peric?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. Who was he?
10 A. He discharged certain jobs in the logistics at the time.
11 THE INTERPRETER: Can the question please be repeated, and can,
12 please, the speakers break between question and answer.
13 MS. PINTER: [Interpretation] And all this because I'm rushing to
14 save time. I apologise.
15 Q. Mr. Puljic, tell me, who was it who provided the planks, the
16 rubber material and everything else that was needed for the protection of
17 the bridge?
18 A. It was the HVO engineering troops.
19 Q. Mr. Kovacic told me to repeat my previous question, who was
20 Mr. Anto Ivankovic, but because I was rushing, it was not recorded in the
22 Do you know Mr. Ivankovic? I was waiting for the transcript to
23 appear. Can you please repeat your answer?
24 A. Yes, I do know Mr. Anto Ivankovic.
25 Q. Thank you. Yesterday, you were shown 1D 01804. It discusses the
1 establishment of the public company of Elektroprivreda of the Community
2 of Herceg-Bosna. Do you recall this? There's no need for us to look at
3 the document now?
4 A. Yes, I do remember that.
5 Q. Before the public company of Elektroprivreda of Herceg-Bosna came
6 into existence, another company was active in Herceg-Bosna. Do you know
7 the name of it? It was Elektrohercegovina, was it not?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. Do you know who the manager of Elektrohercegovina was?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. Can I assist you? Edin Omeragic?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. Omeragic. Do you know the gentleman? I don't mean personally,
14 but did you hear of him?
15 A. I know him personally, too. I know Mr. Edin Omeragic personally.
16 Q. Thank you. Document 1D 01987 is the document the Defence for
17 Mr. Prlic used, and this is a report on the activities of the
18 European Community and Observers and UNPROFOR in Mostar, and up until
19 they left Mostar. And I will ask Their Honours to allow General Praljak
20 to put questions in relation to this document, and I kindly ask you to
21 take that document, because you'll be needing it.
22 And while you're doing that, please focus on the following dates:
23 The 3rd of May, 1992, and that's 1D 01987. The date is the 3rd of May,
24 1992, the 6th of May, 1992 - that's page 10 in Croatian - 12 and 14, all
25 in the Croatian version.
1 Under those dates, General Praljak is mentioned. Do you know if
2 General Praljak was in the area of Mostar, and I'm talking about
3 mid-1992, the months of May and June?
4 A. I heard about him.
5 Q. But you didn't see him at the time?
6 A. No.
7 Q. Did you know or did you hear who was it who was in command of the
8 liberation of the left bank of Mostar, the so-called [indiscernible]?
9 A. To my knowledge, it was General Praljak.
10 MS. PINTER: [Interpretation] Thank you. My part of the
11 cross-examination is finished, Your Honours, and now I will give the
12 floor to General Praljak to do -- to examine on the matters he, himself,
13 participated in.
14 THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation] Good morning, Your Honours.
15 Good morning, Witness.
16 How much time do I have left, please, so that I know how to
17 organise myself?
18 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] 4D had 42 minutes, 2D had 39
19 minutes -- rather, 50 minutes, so you had 30 minutes left, at most, for
20 you. Mrs. Pinter must have used some 10 to 15 minutes, so you must have
21 15 minutes left, I think.
22 Cross-examination by Accused Praljak:
23 Q. Please look for document 1D 01567. 1D 01567. That's a document
24 that Mr. Karnavas had in his binder, and it concerns water. While you're
25 looking for it, can I ask that this piece of paper be placed on the ELMO.
1 It's a small diagram.
2 Mr. Puljic, 1D 01567. We'll only be looking at two documents on
3 the issue of water.
4 Have you found the document?
5 A. No.
6 THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation] 1567. Can he please be
7 assisted in finding the document.
8 Q. Oh, it isn't there?
9 A. I don't have it.
10 Q. You have it on the screen, then. It's the 14th of September,
11 1993. Marko Vidacek signed the document. Do you know him?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. The document clearly describes -- or, rather, describes all the
14 problems concerning water in 1993 in clear terms. Look at the first --
15 second paragraph, which says -- or rather, fourth paragraph:
16 "Because of damages caused by shelling of Studenac water source
17 in May 1992 ..."
18 First of all, did you know that in May 1992, the Studenac and
19 Radobolja water sources were badly damaged by shelling?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. Thank you. In view of the damage inflicted on Mostar over the
22 months that it was shelled, the months of April, May and June, did
23 hundreds, thousands, or tens of thousands of shells land on Mostar?
24 A. Tens of thousands of shells.
25 Q. Were there children killed in the shelling?
1 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Excuse me, Witness. How do you know this? How
2 can you affirm that it's tens of thousands? Where did you get this
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] General Praljak offered me three
5 possibilities. Had he said one hundred -- hundreds of thousands, or
6 200.000, I would have confirmed that, because a shell landed every second
7 and one could hear that. I could say that it was shelling with countless
8 shells, or with no beginning or end, and with no evident purpose. You
9 could never tell when the next shell would land.
10 JUDGE TRECHSEL: So it is more or less guesswork? You do not
11 have -- you have never seen any statistics or anything like that, it's
12 just your impression, which is, I mean, okay.
13 THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation] Your Honour,
14 Judge Trechsel --
15 JUDGE TRECHSEL: I asked a question of the witness, and the
16 witness should answer it.
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, let me try.
18 If we say that, on average, there was one shell landing every
19 five minutes, then you have to count how many five minutes you have in a
20 day, and then you count the days and you'll get to the number. But if
21 you gave me any three figures, I'd always opt for the highest. But we
22 could eventually arrive at a number. Of course, it would be an
24 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Thank you. I think that's enough.
25 Please, Mr. Praljak, continue.
1 THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
2 Q. I invoked a very simple example. You gave us statistics of the
3 destruction in the town. Can a tank shell destroy a mosque? And I'm
4 asking you to respond from your expertise as an architect.
5 A. Well, not very likely, but it could.
6 Q. So from the extent of the damage, one could easily arrive at the
7 number of shells that caused the damage in the first place?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. Very well. In this document -- or, rather, first look at the
10 diagram that I've drawn. It's on the ELMO. Is that an accurate picture
11 of the situation in and outside Mostar, the position of the Radobolja and
12 Studenac water sources, the lines -- the water lines as they ran?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. Did both water lines from East Mostar pass across the bridges?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. When the bridges were destroyed, so were the water pipes
17 supplying water to East Mostar, were they not?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. Could the Radobolja water source, due to the law of communicating
20 vessels, reach only the fourth floor of the buildings in Mostar?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. Was the Studenac water source on the zero level and could only
23 pump water when electricity was provided to the strength of 300
25 A. Yes, electricity was a precondition for the Studenac water source
1 to provide water.
2 Q. In other words, no electricity, no --
3 A. Water.
4 Q. Above the fourth floor, the buildings had -- if they had more
5 than four floors, then they had to have their own pumps, did they not?
6 A. Yes.
7 THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation] Because of the shortage of
8 time, I'm unable to cover everything I wanted.
9 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Witness, I'm looking at the
10 drawing by Mr. Praljak. We can see both sources. We can see the supply
11 of East Mostar passing through West Mostar, and we can see that if both
12 bridges were destroyed, of course, the water supply could not reach the
13 other side. However, the Studenac source passes through a bridge as
14 well. Was that bridge destroyed or not? The Zeljeznicki Most bridge,
15 yes, was it destroyed?
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes. The railway bridge was also
18 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. Which means that
19 if the three bridges were destroyed, there was no water supply anymore
20 for East Mostar?
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
22 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well.
23 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
24 THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation] .
25 Q. Please look at 1D 01568. That's the next document we're looking
1 at. You have it on the screen.
2 Do you know Messrs. Vidacek and Vucic?
3 A. Yes, both of them.
4 Q. The same issues are mentioned in this document. What is talked
5 about, who should buy what from whom and who should buy the electrical
6 cables so that the water can be pumped from the Studenac water source.
7 Were you aware of the fact that there was no electricity at the Studenac
8 source because the power lines were down and the transformer station
9 could not be relied upon?
10 A. Yes.
11 THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation] Can we now look at
12 document 1D 1987, specifically page 17.
13 I think that there was a confusion, perhaps caused by His Honour
14 Judge Antonetti. When we were talking about the international
15 organisation that wanted to bring women and children out of Mostar, it
16 was referred to as the UNHCR.
17 Q. Was it the UNHCR or the UNPROFOR that we were talking about at
18 that time?
19 A. I don't know.
20 Q. All right. Well, it does say here what that was.
21 Please, when the attempt was made -- first of all, tell me, in
22 Mostar, when these meetings were held, Topic, Jaganjac, myself, would it
23 be found out quickly, what we talked about? It would be known all over
24 Mostar very quickly?
25 A. Yes, it would. Everything in Mostar is found out very quickly.
1 Q. When the first attempt was made by UNPROFOR to evacuate those
2 women and children, what was the only road that they could use to leave
3 the city?
4 A. The one and only road --
5 Q. Through Goranci?
6 A. Through Goranci.
7 Q. Somebody who was going along the road via Goranci -- well, you
8 said "through Goranci"?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. That road and the person or those moving on that road, were they
11 subject to Serbian artillery?
12 A. Yes, and people were killed on that road.
13 Q. People were killed on that road. The first time when the
14 UNPROFOR attempted to organise this evacuation, was this road shelled and
15 the women and children were prevented from leaving?
16 A. I don't remember that first attempt, but that road was always
17 under fire from Serb positions.
18 Q. Are you aware, as it is stated here -- can you look at the end of
19 page 17? Are you aware that Mr. Lundgren suggested that the HVO leaves
20 the left bank and leaves it to the Serbs?
21 A. Can you please repeat your question?
22 Q. Are you aware that Mr. Lundgren suggested to the HVO, after
23 making an agreement with Perisic and that team over there, that the HVO
24 should leave the left bank of the Neretva and cede it to the Serbs?
25 A. I don't recall that. It's possible, it's possible.
1 Q. Please, can you now look at the paragraph on page 18, at the
2 bottom of that page. Mr. Lundgren says that he was conveying the
3 position of the Serb side or is conveying "our position" about the
4 request of the JNA to be in charge of the left bank was not acceptable
5 because the JNA was not a representative of the state, and "our position
6 is that the people should be escorted to the Montenegro."
7 Is it true that it was our position that Mostar should not be
8 divided at any cost?
9 A. Yes, this position is familiar to me, it is.
10 Q. And, finally, I have a few minutes left. Mr. Lundgren says
11 towards the end that he had come with the wish to pull out the civilians
12 and the wounded and to bring the Serb families to the right bank. Are
13 you aware that the request of the Serb side was for the UNPROFOR to bring
14 out Serb civilians to the left bank from the right bank?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. Thank you very much. Just -- just a couple of minutes more. At
17 the time, were the Serbs at Hum and at Orlovac?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. And did they control completely the electrical facilities and
20 transmission station at Cule?
21 A. Yes, absolutely.
22 Q. Are you aware or do you know how much, at that point in time, if
23 it was shut down in the proper way, as French experts recommended that to
24 Mijo Brajkovic, what was the value of aluminium in dollars? How many
25 hundreds of --
1 JUDGE TRECHSEL: I have a follow-up or, rather, a question to
2 what you have answered right now. The question started with: "At the
3 time." "At the time, were the Serbs at Hum," and so forth. What time
4 did you refer to in your answer, at what time?
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] May 1992.
6 JUDGE TRECHSEL: May 1992. And that was also the time you had in
7 mind, Mr. Praljak? Okay, thank you.
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] In response to your question, I
9 don't know how much the aluminium enterprise would be worth in dollars,
10 but I know that 5.000 people are making a living there, and indirectly,
11 20.000 people or more depend on it for their living.
12 THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation]
13 Q. So the aluminium enterprise, if its furnaces were not shut down
14 according to an exact procedure, and all of that -- and if this is not
15 done, would this be completely destroyed, all the installations, without
16 any chance of repair?
17 A. Well, in that case the Mostar enterprise would have the same fate
18 as the Sibenik one which has not been able to be repaired to date.
19 Q. Meaning that you would need hundreds of millions of dollars to
20 clear this ground and start all over from scratch?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. Are you aware, in which way did the HVO make it possible for
23 electricity to be --
24 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Witness, what is your experience in the cost of
25 cleaning up the land of a former aluminium factory? Why can you affirm
1 that it costs hundreds and hundreds of millions of dollars? How many
2 hundreds, and on what basis do you affirm that?
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I didn't mention a single figure in
4 relation to the value of aluminium or these costs. All I know is that it
5 would be much more expensive to repair the factory than to build a new
6 one. You would need to clear the ecological issues created by the
7 old factory first, because if the aluminium enterprises were shut down
8 incorrectly, you would be creating an ecological problem that would need
9 to be resolved before a new factory could be built in its place.
10 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Thank you.
11 THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation] Your Honour
12 Judge Trechsel, this is the case of another aluminium factory in Croatia
13 so these figures just seemed realistic when we were talking about the
14 rebuilding of that plant, so it seemed a bit realistic if we applied it
15 to this example too.
16 JUDGE TRECHSEL: I'm sorry, but this is not correct, because now
17 you were giving testimony, and that's not your task. You can only ask
19 THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation] I did put the question, and
20 the witness did answer it. Well, this is the information that appeared
21 in newspapers, so I thought that the gentleman would be aware of it.
22 Q. And, please, can you please just tell me this: Well, I'm going
23 to stop. Well, can you please look at this sketch that I made, to look
24 at east and west, if that is correct. I marked only two bridges over the
1 them. Are they --
2 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's correction, over the
3 Neretva River
4 THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation] ... and if you agree with
5 the accuracy of the sketch, can you please sign the sketch, and also can
6 you please answer the question about the effort put in by the HVO to
7 bring electricity or restore electricity to the factory so that the
8 aluminium complex could be shut down in the proper way to preserve the
9 installations, in view of the fact that the Serbs were in charge of the
10 Cule and Rastani power stations? If you don't know, you can just tell
12 A. Well, I do know, because you can see on the basis of all the
13 negotiations that there were constant attempts by the HVO to keep the
14 Cule power station working, and that power plant was -- from
15 Mr. Filipovic's report, you can see the efforts invested by the HVO to
16 preserve the Cule power station and its operation. When this power
17 station stopped working, the aluminium complex also stopped working, and
18 it would not be shut down in the proper way, but it would be shut down
19 improperly, and that would mean that it would be impossible to repair the
20 aluminium complex. It was not then shut down, but would -- and it would
21 be impossible to repair. This is something that I know well because it's
22 just how things are.
23 MR. KARNAVAS: Your Honour, the transcript does not seem to be
24 reflecting that there's anything happening. Oh. Okay, now it's moving
25 ahead, so I'm sure the gentleman is typing away.
1 THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation]
2 Q. Are you aware that in May, and the date is mentioned in the
3 report, a representative of the UNPROFOR was killed by the Serbs near the
4 Cule power transmission station? Actually, he was a European observer.
5 A. Yes, I am aware of that. That was the same day when the brother
6 of one of my engineers was seriously wounded.
7 THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation] Sir, thank you for your
8 answers, and I thank you, Your Honours.
9 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well.
10 We will have a break in a few minutes, and Mr. Stringer can start
11 his cross-examination after the break. But I have one question for you.
12 It's in line with the questions that were put to you yesterday.
13 Yesterday, there was mention of three levels of power: the
14 federal power, the power at the level of the republic and the power at
15 the municipal level. I'm sure each and every one understood how things
16 worked before the independence, independence which occurred in March
18 Now, regarding federal power, I would like to know whether before
19 March 1992, before the declaration of independence, federal -- I want to
20 know whether federal authorities had any representatives in Mostar.
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Before I answer this question, I
22 need to inform the Chamber that the answer to this question belongs to
23 the general knowledge category, which can be correct or incorrect.
24 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well, very well.
25 Now, let's stay in your area of competence, in architecture. I
1 would like to know whether you had a counterpart that was reporting to
2 the federal authorities, as far as your area of competence is concerned,
3 before March 1992.
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] As for urbanism and construction,
5 the local municipal authority had no links with the federal authorities
6 in Belgrade
7 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well, thank you. This is
8 crystal clear.
9 Now, at the level of the Socialist Republic
10 Bosnia-Herzegovina, I would like to know whether in the area of urbanism
11 they had a person or representative in Mostar, or whether there was just
12 no one because this was only under the competence of municipal
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The municipality was exclusively in
15 charge with that, but it had a strong communication or link with the
16 ministry in Sarajevo
17 our work to the municipality or the Municipal Assembly under regulations,
18 we were also responsible to the ministry in Sarajevo.
JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] And the ministry at Sarajevo
20 but that means that there was no one in Mostar, in the city of Mostar
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No.
22 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you. You answered my
24 MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, although Mr. Praljak
25 did say it, but the transcript did not register it. Mr. Praljak did ask
1 for an exhibit number for the sketch that the witness signed and placed a
2 date on.
3 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. Let's have an
4 IC number, Mr. Registrar.
5 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honour, the sketch shall be given
6 Exhibit number IC 00843. Thank you, Your Honours.
7 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. We'll have a
8 20-minute break, and Mr. Stringer can get ready for the
10 --- Recess taken at 10.17 a.m.
11 --- On resuming at 10.40 a.m.
12 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] The Court is back in session.
13 Mr. Stringer, you have the floor.
14 MR. STRINGER: Mr. President, Your Honours, my colleague
15 Kimberly West will be conducting the cross-examination.
16 MS. WEST: Good morning, Mr. President, Your Honours, everyone in
17 the courtroom. Kim West for the Office of the Prosecutor.
18 Cross-examination by Ms. West:
19 Q. Good morning, Witness. Now, you indicated that you were on the
20 Crisis Staff for the Mostar Assembly; correct?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. And that in December of 1990, there had been elections for the
23 Mostar Assembly?
24 A. Which year was that?
25 MS. WEST: If I can have a moment, Mr. President.
1 I'm not getting the translation. Let me try this again.
2 Q. Mr. Witness, you indicated that you had been a member of the
3 Crisis Staff in the Mostar Assembly; is that correct?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. And you know that in December of 1990, there had been elections
6 for the Mostar Assembly?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. However, you did not run for one of those places, did you?
9 A. That's right.
10 Q. Thank you. You ultimately became a member by virtue of your
11 position; correct?
12 A. I have never been an assemblyman. I was a member of the
13 Executive Board and the secretary of the Secretariat for Urbanism,
14 Construction and Housing Affairs. However, by law and ex officio, I was
15 duty-bound to attend Assembly meetings.
16 Q. Nonetheless, sir, you were a member of the HDZ Party, were you
18 A. Yes, I was.
19 Q. And when did you originally join?
20 A. A month or two -- or, rather, before the multiparty elections. I
21 don't know the precise date.
22 Q. So in 1991, you were a member of the HDZ Party?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. Now, I'm going to show you P 00302, and that's in the binder in
25 front of you.
1 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Which one?
2 MS. WEST: P 00302, the first binder.
3 Q. Sir, do you have the B/C/S in front of you?
4 A. I do.
5 Q. Now, this is dated 18 November 1991
6 turn to the second page, you'll see that date.
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. And this is the document that established Herceg-Bosna; correct?
9 A. The Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna.
10 MR. KARNAVAS: Your Honour, while it may be that it's 18 November
11 1991, if you look at the preamble, it's 3 July 1992 it was amended. So
12 if we are going to be referring to documents and specifically pointing to
13 dates, I would ask my colleague to be very precise.
14 MS. WEST: May I proceed, Mr. President? This document --
15 MR. KARNAVAS: May I have a ruling? May I have a ruling because
16 the document is 3 July 1992
17 significance, then it can be pointed out to her, but the document was
18 amended. So if the purpose is to go back to 18 November, when in fact
19 we're talking about 3 July 1992
20 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Ms. West, dates are extremely
21 important, so please try to be -- try to ask the witness to specify the
22 date. It may look pointless at first, but it could have an impact in the
23 end, so please, if necessary, you know, ask the witness to help you to
24 specify the date.
25 MS. WEST: Thank you, Mr. President. I'll do so.
1 Q. You indicated that this was the decision on establishing the
2 Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna; right? You understand that to be
3 that decision?
4 A. Yes, but the dates confuse me.
5 Q. Sir, let me ask you another question. Who signed this document?
6 A. There is no signature.
7 Q. Excuse me, you're correct, but whose name is at the bottom of the
8 second page of this document?
9 A. Mate Boban.
10 Q. And Mr. Boban was the president of the -- or he established
11 himself as the president of HZ-HB; correct?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. To the left of that name, there is a date, right, right after
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. What does that date say?
17 A. "18 November 1991
18 Q. Now, if we go back to the first page, under number 1, entitled
19 "Reasons," it's this part where it's established what are the necessary
20 purposes of establishing the community; correct?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. So I'm going to read to you the second paragraph. It says:
23 "Through their party, the Croatian Democratic Union, and through
24 the legally-elected bodies of authority in this republic, Croats in
25 Bosnia and Herzegovina have supported a sovereign Bosnia-Herzegovina but
1 always emphasised that in so doing, they are protecting their own
2 historical territories and the interests of the entire Croatian people."
3 Do you see that part of it?
4 A. I do.
5 Q. Now, you would agree with me that it appears that this language
6 puts the focus on the Croat people and not any other ethnicity; correct?
7 A. This refers to all the ethnic communities in Bosnia-Herzegovina,
8 because it says: "... the Croats in Bosnia-Herzegovina, through their
9 party and through the legally-elected bodies in this republic," and as
10 soon as they are in favour of a sovereign Bosnia-Herzegovina, in my view,
11 since they are in favour of a sovereign Herzegovina, they are in favour
12 of there being all the national communities.
13 Q. Sir, I see where you're pointing to at the beginning of that
14 sentence, but if you focus on the part that says -- after "emphasised,"
15 it says:
16 "... but always emphasised that in so doing, they are protecting
17 their historical territories in the interests of the entire Croatian
19 That does not include the Muslim people, nor the Serb people;
21 A. In the second part of the sentence, the other peoples are not
22 mentioned, indeed. However, the first part of the sentence says that
23 they have supported a sovereign Bosnia-Herzegovina, and
24 Bosnia-Herzegovina is the country of all its peoples.
25 Q. Mr. Puljic, the day before yesterday, Judge Antonetti asked you a
1 question on this very issue, and at that time he asked you:
2 "When the Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna was created, do you
3 think that it was envisaged that within that community there would also
4 be Muslims?"
5 And your answer was:
6 "In my view, yes. That is what I sensed -- I mean, how I felt.
7 That would include all the people who wished to live in peace."
8 And then a little bit later on at page 62 at the bottom, you say:
9 "I'm talking about all the people who lived there, regardless of
10 their ethnicity."
11 Do you remember that testimony?
12 A. I do.
13 Q. And in order to help us answer Judge Antonetti's question
14 regarding whether Herceg-Bosna actually envisioned all ethnicities in it,
15 I'd like to look at another document, and this is P 00071.
16 JUDGE PRANDLER: Excuse me, Ms. West. Is it in binder 1?
17 MS. WEST: It is. Thank you, Your Honour.
18 Sir, it's also on the screen in front of you.
19 Q. Do you see that?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. Do you see on top it's dated 12 November 1991; correct?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. This is just within one week of the 18th. Now, in this document,
24 it shows you conclusions from a meeting of the HDZ that was held in Grude
25 one week before the 18th, and I want to see if it's consistent with your
1 view at the time. If we look at the first paragraph, it's number 1, and
2 towards the end of that paragraph it says that:
3 "These two regional communities," meaning the Herzegovina
4 Regional Community and the Travnik Regional Community, "these two
5 regional communities have jointly and unanimously decided that the
6 Croatian people in Bosnia-Herzegovina must finally carry out a decisive
7 and active policy which would lead to the realisation of our
8 centuries-old dream, a joint Croatian state."
9 Now, you would agree with me that this proclamation -- or this
10 sentence, rather, doesn't mention Muslims in it, does it?
11 A. Before I answer your question, I have to say that this is the
12 first time I'm hearing of the existence of some Herzegovina
13 Regional Community or Travnik Regional Community.
14 Q. Okay. And my question is whether what I just read you mentions
15 other ethnic groups besides Croats.
16 A. In what is today the Republic of Croatia
17 together, just as was the case in Yugoslavia
18 Q. And, again, my question for you is whether, in that sentence,
19 there's any mention of any other ethnicity other than the Croats. Can
20 you answer my question?
21 A. Well, my interpretation of certain texts is my personal matter.
22 My opinion on a matter is personal. The one who authored the text should
23 respond to your question of what was meant by that particular sentence.
24 Q. Sir, that may be the case, but I'm asking you, and so do I take
25 it that you cannot answer that question?
1 A. Only the author of the text can answer this question, and this is
2 some meaningless institution, the name of which I've just learnt now, one
3 which didn't play any role at the time. This is the first time I hear of
4 the existence of the Herzegovina Regional Community, of there having been
5 such a community. I really don't know what the individuals who were part
6 of it did or thought.
7 Q. Okay. So let's just go a little bit further, and we'll try
8 again. I'm going to the second paragraph --
9 MR. KARNAVAS: Your Honour, at this point I'm going to ask that a
10 foundation be laid in order for the gentleman to answer these questions.
11 She referred to -- I mean, the Prosecution referred to a question
12 that was posed by you, President Antonetti. It called for his opinion.
13 He gave the opinion. Now, what is in this document is irrelevant as to
14 what was his opinion at the time, particularly given his answers that he
15 was not at the meeting and he cannot answer the question. Now, the
16 document stands on its own and we can all read it, but I don't think that
17 she has laid a foundation upon which he can now, then, answer these
19 I would like a ruling on this.
20 MS. WEST: Mr. President, may I be heard?
21 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes, go ahead.
22 MS. WEST: Thank you.
23 Two things. The first is the witness has already indicated that
24 he was a member of the HDZ at this period of time. This is the biggest
25 political issue going on, so I think he certainly has a position -- is in
1 a position to share with us his thoughts.
2 The second thing is I would recall the Chamber to Mr. Karnavas'
3 direct testimony with this witness in which he went over a series of
4 meetings with the UNPROFOR and ECMM, where the witness indicated, and I
5 believe it was four meetings, that he was not even there. However, he
6 gave us our -- his views of what they were thinking at the time. So
7 I think I'm in a far better position to get his views on this document.
8 MR. KARNAVAS: First of all, being a member of a political party
9 does not necessarily mean that you know everything that is going on in
10 the party throughout the entire country. One can be a Democrat, and that
11 doesn't necessarily mean that they know what Obama is doing at this
12 particular moment, or Hilary Clinton, for that matter. That's number 1.
13 Number 2, with respect to the gentleman's testimony to meetings
14 with UNPROFOR and ECMM, let's keep in mind that this was about Mostar and
15 where he was. His entire testimony deals with Mostar municipality,
16 primarily Mostar city, for a very discrete period of time.
17 Now, if a foundation can be laid that the gentleman was in a
18 party leadership, that he was a member of the board of HDZ and thus was
19 required to attend certain meetings or was being briefed, if he travelled
20 to such conventions or meetings, then fine. But until such foundation is
21 laid, simply being a member of a political party doesn't necessarily mean
22 that you know the ins and outs of the party's activities.
23 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Ms. West, the person does not
24 know the document because obviously Travnik is not in his area of
25 competence. However, contrary to what Mr. Karnavas is saying, as a
1 member of the HDZ, he may have some inkling of political knowledge, and I
2 believe that you may ask the question. But don't linger on this document
3 too long. This -- you're not here to highlight the document, but only
4 part of this document, if I've -- I believe that what you want to
5 highlight is only part of the document.
6 JUDGE PRANDLER: I would like only to add to what has been said
7 by Presiding Judge Antonetti the following, that, of course, the question
8 is about the authenticity of the document and if it was a kind of only
9 regional one, the document, or something more. Now, I just had a look at
10 the signatories of the document, which is attached to the Croatian text
11 of that regulation, position, and here it is handwritten page, and I
12 found some well-known names, like "Dario Kordic, Zeljko Raguz,
13 Milivoj Gagro" and others. Of course, I cannot read -- I should not read
14 everything, but you may check yourselves, and which shows to me, at
15 least, that it is not a Travnik document, so to say, but a document which
16 was adopted by those people who participated at the given meeting in
18 So thank you.
19 MS. WEST: Thank you, Judge Prandler.
20 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Judge Prandler is perfectly
21 right. Moreover, in the list, and I hadn't noticed this, in the list
22 Mr. Topic is also indicated as having been there. Since Mr. Topic played
23 a role in the Mostar municipality, since he is the vice-president of the
24 HDZ, and that the witness is also a member of the HDZ, maybe Mr. Topic,
25 on his way back from Travnik, had the opportunity to tell the members of
1 the HDZ what happened. So this is the foundation.
2 So please put your question, and let's see if you get what you
4 MS. WEST: Thank you.
5 Q. Now, sir, we'll go back to the first page of this document, under
6 number 1, the second paragraph:
7 "In order for this historical goal to soon become a reality,
8 these two regional communities request the commencement of activities to
9 formulate and issue legal and political documents, the proclamation of a
10 Croatian banovina in BH, a referendum on accession of the Republic of
12 I'm going to stop right there. You see the term "Croatian
13 banovina." Can you tell us what your understanding is of that?
14 A. I can only tell you as much as I was able to learn about the
15 Croatian banovina, just as everybody else, from the history books.
16 Q. And please tell us what that is.
17 A. It's a territory that was set up in 1939 within the process of
18 reorganisation of Yugoslavia
19 Yugoslav politicians.
20 Q. Thank you. And it further says:
21 "A referendum on accession to the Republic of Croatia
22 Now, you understand that to mean potentially joining the Republic
23 of Croatia
24 MR. KARNAVAS: Based on what, Your Honour? Based on what is this
25 assumption being made? Where is the foundation? And again I go back to
1 my earlier question. Even Judge Prandler said, "Okay, we see some
2 names," but where is the foundation that the gentleman was there or, as
3 you noted, Judge Antonetti, that he was briefed thereafter in order for
4 him to be able to answer these questions, and now the question assumes a
5 fact that's not in evidence. So let's go step by step. Lay the
6 foundation -- but look at the question, Your Honour. It's highly potent.
7 I mean, to get a "yes" or "no" to that answer is irrelevant without
8 laying the foundation.
9 MS. WEST: Your Honour, my question, page 45, number 4, I just
10 read the sentence, and my question to him was what was his understanding
11 of that language, and he can answer he doesn't understand it --
12 MR. KARNAVAS: No, you understand that to mean. She is forcing
13 the answer of what he understands that to mean, as opposed to, "What did
14 you understand that to mean?" There is a distinction. I go back. Let's
15 lay a foundation. Was he there, was he briefed, was he aware of this
16 discussion, and only then should he be allowed to be given an opportunity
17 to answer those questions that she wishes to answer -- him to answer.
18 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Madam West, I thought I had
19 been clear enough. First you should have asked the witness if Mr. Topic,
20 on his way back from the meeting, had mentioned what happened to a
21 certain number of people. He could have said "yes" or "no." If he says,
22 "Yes," then you may ask him if they mentioned the issue of the banovina,
23 if they mentioned a possible referendum. If he says, "No, no, we weren't
24 briefed," well, then you continue and say, "Fine, but as a member of the
25 HDZ, within your own party, were such issues discussed?"
1 MS. WEST:
2 Q. Sir, you indicated that you had been a member of the HDZ through
3 1991; correct?
4 A. Correct.
5 Q. And you know that the issue of establishing a community for
6 Herceg-Bosna was something that was discussed among the members; correct?
7 A. You're mentioning Herceg-Bosna now. The document doesn't mention
8 Herceg-Bosna anywhere.
9 Q. No, it's a separate question. The issue of Herceg-Bosna, at the
10 end of 1991, was something that was discussed among the members of the
11 HDZ; is that not right?
12 A. First of all, I should like to explain the notion of
14 Many of the elderly people from Herzegovina used to refer to that
15 particular area as "Herceg-Bosna," historically speaking, so that
16 "Herceg-Bosna" might in a way be synonymous with Bosnia-Herzegovina
18 At the time, I was engaged on my own tasks and I didn't have much
19 knowledge about nor did I discuss Herceg-Bosna with other members of the
20 HDZ in Mostar, in the sense your question seems to imply. If anybody did
21 mention Herceg-Bosna at any point, it would have been taken as synonymous
22 with Bosnia-Herzegovina.
23 If you look at the documentation, historically speaking, you
24 would find that the terms of "Bosnia-Herzegovina" and "Herceg-Bosna" are
1 Q. Sir, if you can go back to P 00302. It was the document you
2 looked at first.
3 JUDGE PRANDLER: I'm sorry to interrupt you, Ms. West. Frankly,
4 I'm a bit surprised when I saw and I listened to the witness, because up
5 to now, at least, I have never heard that Herceg-Bosna and
6 Bosnia-Herzegovina had been and are the same notions, geographically and
7 politically, et cetera, and so -- but it is novel for me, so I will have
8 to study more.
9 Thank you.
10 MS. WEST: Thank you.
11 Q. Sir, if you go back to 302. Witness, I have a question for
12 you --
13 MR. KARNAVAS: The witness wishes to respond to Judge Prandler,
14 because Judge Prandler now is giving his historical views of Herceg-Bosna
15 or Bosnia-Herzegovina, so could you -- the witness has a book, and he can
16 demonstrate to Judge Prandler that Judge Prandler is incorrect. So the
17 gentleman should be --
18 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Mr. Karnavas, I would invite you to stick to the
19 facts. Mr. Prandler has said he has not heard before that these were
20 mixed up. I haven't heard this either. It's the first time, after more
21 than two years, that we are hearing evidence on this case that someone
22 says that this could be mixed up. That's what Justice Prandler said, and
23 I think there is nothing to criticise and it is not stating a historical
24 view. You have distorted what he had said.
25 MR. KARNAVAS: Well, it appeared -- it appeared to be facts from
1 the Bench that did not come from the evidence, and I apologise if I -- if
2 I was misunderstood. But the gentleman did bring a book, and I saw it
3 before he came. I didn't raise it because I didn't think it was an
4 issue. But now that the Prosecution is making an issue, and in light of
5 Judge Prandler's remarks, perhaps the gentleman should be given an
6 opportunity to demonstrate that the term was used.
7 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] The witness had raised his
8 hand to specify further his answer, so please, Mr. Witness, you have the
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I would just like to reply to
11 His Honour.
12 This is a book by Mr. Husein Cisic, who was a long-time mayor of
13 Mostar. Even before World War II, he represented the Mostar citizens in
14 the Belgrade Assembly, and in communist Yugoslavia, he was also a
15 representative of the citizens of Mostar at the Assembly in Belgrade
16 Seventy years ago, he wrote a book, which the Muslim Cultural Society
17 published just before war broke out. This book is called "Mostar in
19 MR. KARNAVAS: Perhaps we could put it on the ELMO and then get
20 an IC number as well. I suspect that the gentleman would like to take
21 his book back. We can also copy it, but I mean just to put it on the
22 ELMO just so perhaps -- plus the inside of the --
23 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Madam Usher, could you please
24 put the book on the ELMO, the first page at least.
25 Very well, everybody can see the title of the book.
1 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
2 MR. KARNAVAS: Could we open up the book so we can see the first
3 page and the date of when it was published?
4 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Let's not go further into this
5 document. We know there is a book written by a Mr. Husein Cisic some 70
6 years ago on the issue of Mostar in Herceg-Bosna. Fine.
7 The main question was whether Bosnia-Herzegovina or Herceg-Bosna
8 were synonymous. The writer of that book indicated that they were,
9 because it seems that's what you were talking about. It's not your own
10 idea; it's the idea expressed by the author of that book. Is that
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Not only just the author of the
13 book, but very often in the history people would, more out of respect
14 towards Herzegovina
15 "Herceg-Bosna," and in Bosnia
16 would say "Bosnia and Herzegovina." If we're going to be polite, then
17 the smaller entity would be put first.
18 In any case, for me still, these two terms are synonymous, they
19 mean the same thing.
20 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. What you've been
21 saying is recorded.
22 Please, Madam West, continue.
23 MS. WEST:
24 Q. Mr. Witness, can you, as I requested, turn to P 00302. That's
25 the document you have in front of you right now.
1 Do you see that? This is the first document we looked at, and if
2 you can go down to Article 2.
3 You've just testified that it's that author's belief, and perhaps
4 your belief, that Herceg-Bosna represented historically all of
5 Bosnia-Herzegovina, but do you see this listing of municipalities under
6 Article 2; correct?
7 A. I see it.
8 Q. And all of the municipalities in Bosnia and Herzegovina
9 included there; right?
10 A. I wouldn't want any longer -- want to be responding to questions
11 put here at this Tribunal that -- do I see something? We can see it.
12 What does that mean, do I see this or that? I mean, if that's what it
13 says, that's what it says.
14 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Witness, there may have been an
15 error in translation. Ms. West was asking you whether you could see, and
16 by that she meant: Are all the municipalities listed under Article 2 all
17 Croat municipalities? When she said "can you see," she didn't mean can
18 you actually visualise the list. She was asking you about the various
19 municipalities, to draw certain conclusions.
20 Am I right, Ms. West?
21 MS. WEST: Yes, thank you.
22 So, sir, I'll repeat my question.
23 Q. Under Article 2 --
24 JUDGE TRECHSEL: I'm sorry. I would make a comment to the
25 witness having said that he didn't want to go on answering to questions
1 like, "You have this document, you see that it's stated there ..." and
2 then you're expected to say "yes" or "no." That was what happened, to a
3 large extent, when you were questioned by attorney for the Defence, and
4 you cannot claim to be dealt with or to behave in a different manner when
5 it's the Prosecution that questions you. So I quite understand that it's
6 often a bit awkward for the witness, I absolutely understand that, but
7 you cannot, of course, claim to react in a different way when it's the
8 Prosecution rather than the Defence that puts the question.
9 MS. WEST: Thank you.
10 Q. Mr. Witness, my question is whether, under Article 2, all the
11 municipalities in Bosnia-Herzegovina are listed there.
12 A. No, they are not.
13 Q. Also, if you look at Article 3, that also indicates that Mostar
14 should be the seat of the Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna. Does "the
15 seat" mean "capital," in your understanding?
16 A. It doesn't mean the capital. It would be the capital of a state.
17 "The seat" would be the seat of an institution, of a company, the seat of
18 a -- I mean, it would state "Glavni Grad, capital," if that's what it
19 was. I mean, what does that mean?
20 MS. WEST: Thank you, we'll move on.
21 THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation] Your Honours.
22 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes, Mr. Praljak.
23 THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation] I would kindly ask for
24 Article 4 to be read, out of correctness.
25 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] If need be in redirect, but for
1 the time being let the Prosecution ask her questions.
2 Ms. West.
3 MS. WEST: Thank you.
4 Q. Mr. Witness, in early 1992, the Mostar Crisis Staff was formed;
5 is that right?
6 A. Your Honour, I would like to correct my answer to the previous
8 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Go ahead.
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] If we read together Article 2 and
10 Article 4, then, putting these two articles together into a unique
11 document, because they are in a unique document, according to that it
12 means that all municipalities of Bosnia and Herzegovina
13 the Community of Herceg-Bosnia.
14 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I have no comment on
15 Mr. Praljak's observation, because with other witnesses we've already
16 examined that issue and we know that problem quite well already.
17 Please proceed.
18 MS. WEST: Thank you.
19 Q. I'll ask you again. In early 1992, was that when the Mostar
20 Municipal Crisis Staff was formed?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. And this was a smaller group of the Municipal Assembly members
23 that was put together during a time of the threat of imminent war;
25 A. This was a group precisely established, in terms of numbers and
1 posts, as provided under the law, and it was formed, it existed.
2 Q. Sir, my question is: It was formed during difficult times;
3 correct? In this case, it was formed because of the possibility of war?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. It was a group that was to be made up of different ethnicities,
6 not just one ethnicity; correct?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. Part of the duties of the Crisis Staff was to ensure that life in
9 Mostar carried on normally as possible; right?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. And for a period of time, at least in 1991, into 1992 -- or at
12 least I'll say just "1991," life in Mostar was like that?
13 A. I think that we could say that life was normal until the
14 reservists came.
15 Q. And when you say "reservists," you mean until the Serbs came?
16 A. Yes, yes, the JNA reservists or, rather, the Uzice Corps from the
17 Republic of Serbia
18 Q. Okay, Mr. Witness, I'm just going to jump ahead a couple months
19 to mid-April. And in mid-April, do you know that to be the time when the
20 HVO was created?
21 A. Which year?
22 Q. 1992.
23 A. The HVO did exist in mid-April.
24 Q. Let's look at P 00151. Witness, do you have that document?
25 A. I do.
1 Q. This is a document that is -- has the name "Mate Boban" on the
2 bottom, April 8, 1992
3 Croatian Defence Council. Do you understand this to be the period of
4 time when the HVO was created, April 8th, 1992?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. And looking at Article 1, it says the Croatian Defence Council
7 should be the supreme defence body of the Croatian people and the
8 Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna. "Defence body," my question to you
9 is do you understand that to be a military component or a military
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. Let's turn to P 00180. You've seen this document before. This
13 is the one that you indicated you drafted. You're familiar with this
14 document; correct?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. And on the back -- last page, which in English is the third page,
17 there are a number of people who signed it; correct?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. And that includes your signature, Gagro's signature. Who was
21 A. Gagro was the president or the head or the chief of the
22 Crisis Staff.
23 Q. It also includes Zijad Demirovic. Who was he?
24 A. Zijad Demirovic was the president of the Municipal Board of the
25 Mostar SDA. He was the president of the Democratic Action Party, the SDA
1 party, in Mostar.
2 Q. Now, you testified on direct examination the circumstances of
3 your drafting of this document, but I'd like to go through it with you
5 Now, particularly going to Article 2, it says:
6 "The Croat Defence Council, municipal headquarters, Mostar, and
7 the members of the Ministry of the Interior, Mostar centre, shall be
8 entrusted with the protection and the defence of the city of Mostar
9 Do you see that?
10 A. I do.
11 Q. And it's Article 2 or this provision that hands over the defence
12 of Mostar to the HVO and to members of the Minister of Interior; correct?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. Going to Article 3, it says:
15 "The Croat Defence Council shall consist of the members of Muslim
16 and Croat peoples and the members of other peoples and minorities who
17 recognise the legal authorities of the Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina and
18 profess allegiance to them."
19 Do you see that?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. Now, at the time in late April of 1992, did the HVO profess
22 allegiance to Bosnia-Herzegovina?
23 A. You can express the ultimate loyalty to a country if you defend
24 it. At that point in time, the HVO was defending the country of Bosnia
25 and Herzegovina
1 Q. If you could go back to P 00151, which is the document we just
2 looked at. Now, under Article 1, you don't see "Bosnia and Herzegovina
3 in there, do you?
4 A. Article 1, you said?
5 Q. Correct.
6 A. It states in Article 1 that:
7 "The Croatian Defence Council shall be the supreme defence body
8 of the Croatian people in the Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosnia."
9 The Croatian people lived in each municipality of Bosnia
11 that Herceg-Bosna includes such-and-such municipalities plus all the
12 other ones that wished to join.
13 Q. Okay. Notwithstanding that, if you move to Article 2, it says:
14 "Its objectives shall be to defend the sovereignty of the
15 territories of the Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna and to protect the
16 Croatian people as well as other peoples in this community attacked by an
18 Nowhere in there does it indicate "Bosnia-Herzegovina," does it?
19 A. "Bosnia and Herzegovina" is not mentioned, but "the Croatian
20 people" are mentioned who live in the whole territory of Bosnia
22 NATO, so that it would be able to defend Bosnia and Herzegovina
23 defend as much as it can. If it manages to defend a part of it, then
24 that's all right.
25 Q. Thank you. Can you go back to 00180. Again, this is the
1 document that you drafted, and I'll direct your attention to Article 7,
2 which says:
3 "When the circumstances so warrant, the Croatian Defence Council,
4 municipal headquarters Mostar, shall coordinate with the municipal crisis
5 headquarters, the Ministry of Interior, and other legal authorities of
6 the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina in order to defend the
7 municipality of Mostar. The questions of common interest shall be
8 resolved at joint sessions of the crisis headquarters of the Assembly of
9 the municipality of Mostar
10 headquarters Mostar. All documents for movement of people and goods
11 shall be issued by the Croat Defence Council, municipal headquarters
13 Sir, my question in regard to this, is whether this provision was
14 included to ensure that the HVO coordinated with the Crisis Staff?
15 A. Yes.
16 MS. WEST: Thank you.
17 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Witness, I already wanted to
18 ask this question yesterday, but now I have a good opportunity to put it
19 to you.
20 In Article 7, where you were saying that the municipal HVO must
21 coordinate its efforts with the Crisis Staff, that's fine, we understand
22 what this is all about, but there's something that surprises me, however.
23 There's also the Ministry of Interior that is mentioned, as well as other
24 legal authorities of the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina. I thought I
25 understood, but maybe I was mistaken, I thought I understood that there
1 were no such thing as legal authorities of the republic. So was this
2 just a matter of style, is this why you put this in, or did this really
3 reflect the reality? Maybe there was the presence of the MUP, at least.
4 Could you please shed some light on this? I don't really understand this
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] At that time, there were two
7 opposing sides. The JNA and the reservists were on one side, and on the
8 other side we were supposed to have the TO, but it broke apart, it didn't
9 exist. There was the MUP, and it was difficult to function for the MUP
10 in the situation such as it was, and the HVO. The MUP and the HVO
11 cooperated and coordinated actions as much as they could.
12 As for the republican organs, there was no contact with them, so
13 what is written is just what it should have been. As soon as the
14 preconditions are created for this cooperation with Sarajevo to be set
15 up, then it was going to be done. The best example of this was the seat
16 of the Crisis Staff at the communications centre of the TO, because the
17 TO left all of its buildings, it simply disappeared, so the
18 communications centre for the whole of Herzegovina happened to be in that
19 building or was that in that building where we were.
20 At one point, the HVO communications came and they were together
21 with the Crisis Staff. Communications soldiers of the HVO entered the
22 headquarters in order to use the telecommunications system in order to be
23 able to set up the telecommunications.
24 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you. This sheds light
25 on this and I now understand this sentence. Thank you.
1 JUDGE TRECHSEL: In the same line, in Article 2 also a Ministry
2 of the Interior, Mostar centre, is mentioned. Is that the Ministry of
3 Interior of Bosnia and Herzegovina or does the municipality of Mostar
4 have the Ministry of the Interior?
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] That's the ministry of Bosnia and
7 or six regional centres throughout Bosnia and Herzegovina was the centre
8 in Mostar.
9 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Thank you.
10 MS. WEST:
11 Q. Mr. Puljic, in answer to Judge Antonetti's question, you had
13 "As for the republican organs, there was no contact with them, so
14 what is written is just as it should be."
15 At that time, it's your testimony that you didn't -- is it you
16 personally had no contact with Sarajevo
17 contact with Sarajevo
18 A. I'm thinking of the Crisis Staff of the municipality of Mostar
19 all of us.
20 Q. Okay. Please go to the beginning of this decision. At the very
21 first paragraph, it says:
22 "Pursuant to the order of the republic headquarters of civil
23 defence and the resolution of the Presidency of the Republic of Bosnia
24 and Herzegovina
25 decision on proclaiming the immediate threat of war in the territory of
1 the municipality of Mostar
2 on the withdrawal of the JNA units from the territory of the Republic of
3 Bosnia and Herzegovina passed by the Presidency of the Republic of BiH
4 27 April 1992
5 And from there it's -- the crisis headquarters does this. Do you
6 see that language?
7 A. I do.
8 Q. So isn't it fair to say that at least two days prior to the
9 signing of this document, you had some understanding of what was going on
10 in Sarajevo
11 A. Well, we listened to the radio. Actually, the radio devices were
12 the only connections, and we found this out through the radio.
13 Q. And what you found out is at least there are four decisions in
14 the month of April that Sarajevo
15 A. Yes. We listened over the radio about those decisions.
16 Q. Okay. This is dated April 29th, 1992, but within one week later,
17 the special-purpose council was formed; correct?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. And the special-purpose council was something that was formed not
20 by the Mostar Municipal Assembly; right?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. It was a separate body altogether; correct?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. It was an HVO body?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. Gagro, who was the head of the Crisis Staff, was not even
2 informed of its organisation, was he?
3 A. He wasn't too interested in all of that, actually.
4 Q. All right. Well, let's look at P 00190. Do you have that
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. You see on top it says "Confidential"; correct?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. And this is a document that's dated 7 May, but it refers to a
10 meeting that happened the day before on May 6th. Were you at that
12 A. I wasn't.
13 Q. But nonetheless, the following day you were appointed as a member
14 of the special-purpose council; correct?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. And this document is signed by Jadran Topic; right?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. Now, if we look on the very first page, under number 1, it
19 reflects the people who were on the special-purpose council, and the
20 second person is Jadranko Prlic; correct?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. Thank you. The fourth person is Ilija Kozulj. Who is that?
23 A. Ilija Kozulj. Ilija Koz ulj was in Mostar at the time. He was
24 deputy general manager of Unis, one of the largest public companies with
25 the head office in Sarajevo
1 Q. Did he later become the Minister of Transportation; is that
3 A. Yes. He is an electrical engineer, a highly-reputed businessman.
4 He was the ambassador of Bosnia-Herzegovina to Madrid subsequently. He
5 had enormous business experience and very strong business connections
7 My intention in placing him on this list was to utilise his
8 business connections so that we might facilitate the logistical aspect of
9 the HVO. Just let me tell you that I was the one who drafted this list.
10 Q. Did you draft this list on the day of the meeting, May 6th?
11 A. No, several days earlier. I first suggested to Mr. Topic that
12 such a list be -- that such a body be set up, that is, and then I drew up
13 the list. Later on, they had a meeting at the Staff, where they decided
14 that the body should be set up, and that's where they drafted the
15 decision, at the Staff. I had merely provided them with a list of
16 people, and I discussed with them -- or, rather, with Mr. Topic what this
17 body should be concerned with.
18 Q. And why is this list confidential ?
19 A. Many of the individuals listed here travelled abroad, for
20 instance. Just imagine what would have happened had the Serbs got hold
21 of that list. You arrive in Munich
22 dark alleys there. So, in other words, this was dangerous business which
23 required you to travel abroad. We were still afraid of what the Serb
24 secret services might do across Europe
1 Q. If you look at number 4, it says:
2 "Work shall be coordinated through Tomic, Prlic and Puljic
3 exclusively with the president of the HVO Municipal Staff, Topic."
4 Can you tell me whether this means that you were on a sort of
5 executive committee of the special-purpose council?
6 A. The special-purpose council didn't have an executive board of its
7 own or committee. We were discussing earlier on about how many shells
8 landed in Mostar. It was very dangerous to stick in a group. In this
9 way, we made communication possible between members of the council and
10 the Municipal Staff, i.e., its president, who was able to communicate his
11 needs to us, and we were able to report back to him on what we did to
12 meet the needs expressed. On many occasions, it was physically
13 impossible to send word to the president. It was physically impossible
14 to reach him. That's why the need arose for some method or system of
15 communication to be put in place.
16 Q. And those are the same reasons that crisis staffs were formed
17 from assemblies, correct, in the time of war? It was because there was
18 going to be a difficulty in having so many members, in this case a
19 hundred from Mostar, to get together, so you had to have a smaller group;
21 A. That's only logical in times of war. When there's a war on,
22 democracy disappears, and officially by the law, democracy is abolished,
23 because the Assembly was dissolved and the executive and legislative
24 powers were then vested with the Crisis Staff. It was all regulated by
25 the law.
1 Q. Thank you. So what you did here is exactly what had just
2 happened in the beginning of the year, when the Crisis Staff was formed.
3 Do you agree with me?
4 A. Well, it's not really the same. I don't see the connection.
5 Q. Okay. Now, on this document, it indicates that the day before,
6 there had been a meeting, and that was May 6th, 1992.
7 Can we look at another document that I believe isn't in your
8 binder, but you were shown it yesterday, which is 1D 01060. I believe
9 it's in the second binder. Again, that is 1D 01060, and you have it on
10 the screen in front of you, so why not just look at the screen.
11 Do you remember this document from yesterday?
12 A. I do.
13 Q. This document is dated 6th of May as well; correct?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. And so on the same day that there is this secret meeting that was
16 putting together the special-purpose council, there was also an order out
17 of Sarajevo
18 activate all the civil protection plans; correct?
19 A. This is not an order from Sarajevo
20 Q. If you could tell us what this is.
21 A. This is the order of the Crisis Staff of the municipality of
23 Q. Thank you. And if you look at the very first paragraph, it says:
24 "Based on an order issued by the Republic Civil Protection Staff,
25 as well as the conclusion of the Presidency of Bosnia and Herzegovina
1 dated 4 April 1992
2 Do you see that language?
3 A. I do.
4 Q. But nonetheless, this is the order that -- or the piece of paper
5 that activates the civil protection plan for Mostar; correct?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. And on this very same day, the HVO selects a new group to take
8 over what the Crisis Staff was doing on May 6th; correct?
9 A. First, I have to say that what you were referring to in the
10 preamble, we had in the Crisis Staff two lawyers who were listening to
11 radio broadcasts transmitting conclusions adopted in Sarajevo
12 Second, when you say "civilian protection," "Crisis Staff,"
13 "special-purpose councils," all these bodies were different bodies with
14 different tasks covering different walks of life. In other words, when
15 it was noticed that a field of work had not been covered or that things
16 had been done erroneously or wrongly, then one issues an order trying to
17 rectify matters.
18 This is one of the written orders of the Crisis Staff of the
19 Mostar municipality, number 958/92, which gives certain orders to the
20 Civilian Protection to ensure it improved operation.
21 Q. Sir, so again my question is: The day of this order, which is
22 May 6th, is the same exact day that the HVO decided to set up a new
23 special-purpose council; is that right?
24 A. I don't understand the word "new" you use in your question.
25 There is no "new" council. You said "when the HVO set up a new
1 special-purpose council." There was only one that was formed at the
2 time, which had as its purpose the assistance to the logistics of the
4 Q. And that was the same purpose as the Crisis Staff; correct?
5 A. No, it wasn't the same.
6 Q. Indeed, you're the person who drafted the document that handed
7 over the defence of Mostar to the HVO, and that document came from the
8 Crisis Staff; correct?
9 A. Correct.
10 Q. Now, about one week later after this meeting on May 6, there is
11 another announcement; correct?
12 A. I don't know which announcement you have in mind. Can you be
13 more specific?
14 Q. Let's turn to P 00209. It's the first binder. Do you see that
15 in front of you on the screen?
16 A. I do.
17 Q. And that's dated May 15th, 1992
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. Okay. And this is the document that disbanded the Crisis Staff;
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. If we go to the second page of this document in English, but in
23 B/C/S it's the bottom, let me read this out. Number 1:
24 "The Crisis Staff of the municipality of Mostar
25 disbanded; therefore, all of its responsibilities as the representative
1 of civilian authority shall cease."
2 And then in number 2, it says:
3 "In connection with paragraph 1, the Mostar Municipal Staff of
4 the Croatian Defence Council shall form a civilian wartime government."
5 But then number 3 says:
6 "Until the government referred to in number 2 of this order is
7 formed, the special-purpose council of the Mostar Municipal Staff of the
8 Croatian Defence Council shall administer the entire functioning of the
9 city and care for its citizens."
10 Are you familiar with those provisions?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. So this is the document that disbanded the Crisis Staff and put
13 in the special-purpose council; correct?
14 A. In order to interpret this document and in order for any sort of
15 conclusion to be drawn from any of the sentences therein, it is necessary
16 to be well acquainted with the context and the time when the document was
18 First of all, in late April 1992, the Crisis Staff of the Mostar
19 municipality had nearly ceased to exist, to function. We, members of the
20 Crisis Staff, were left with our tasks that we had, next to none. We
21 didn't have a building to work in, we didn't have any sort of equipment
22 to work with, and, most importantly, we didn't have any administrative
23 bodies through which we were supposed to do and carry out things. At
24 that point in time, it was necessary to continue with the services of
25 undertaking, street-cleaning, rubble-clearing, water and electricity
1 supplies, and all of the services that once were supposed to do that no
2 longer did that, and the pressure was put to bear on the military
4 At one point, the military structure was under such great
5 pressure from the public utilities for fuel, for construction material,
6 personnel, stretchers, medication, that it was hardly able to function at
7 all. I think that the order issued by Mr. Topic was -- had Article 1 --
8 had adopted Article 1, which was completely unnecessary, because we had
9 already ceased acting or functioning by that time anyway.
10 As for Article 2, I think it was the intention of Mr. Topic to
11 redirect all the civilians who were working in the public companies
12 toward the council for special purposes until such time as the civilian
13 municipal authority would be put in place to take upon itself all these
14 various roles.
15 Q. Sorry to interrupt you, but you just spoke about Article 1 of
16 209, and if you can go back to Article 1. And you see the language right
17 above it, above the word "order." It says:
18 "In connection with that, the Mostar Municipal Staff of the
19 Croatian Defence Council, in accordance with the tasks assigned to it to
20 defend the municipality at its regular session on 15 May 1992, issues
21 this order."
22 Now, I want you to focus on the language that says "in accordance
23 with the task assigned to it." You understand that to mean the document
24 that you drafted, the April 29th document where the Crisis Staff hands
25 over military power to the HVO; correct?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. And since you drafted that document, I don't think you have to go
3 back to it. You're familiar with it. You know that in that document,
4 there is no provision in there to allow the HVO to disband the
5 Crisis Staff?
6 A. No.
7 Q. And so here Mr. Topic was mistaken, when that was written?
8 A. I think that he merely stated what the state of affairs had
9 already been by that time. We had become dissolved of our own accord by
10 that time already. You have to place this event into the context.
11 Q. Thank you. On Monday, Judge Antonetti asked you some questions
12 about the Crisis Staff and the special-purpose council, and I'm just
13 going to read from the transcript that question, and then we'll talk
14 about it. On page 70, line 23, the question was:
15 "Why would the civilian government that is in the making be more
16 effective," and what he meant, more effective than the actual -- the
17 Crisis Staff, "why did they disband to create another structure? What
18 made you think that another structure would be better at the job than you
20 And later on page 71, you said that:
21 "I already said that de facto at the time we didn't exist."
22 And then you also said:
23 "The Crisis Staff also had a number of incompetent men who at the
24 time were not up to the tasks they were facing."
25 So my question is: Do I understand that a part of the reason
1 that the Crisis Staff was disbanded and the special-purpose council was
2 put together was because there were incompetent people on the
3 Crisis Staff, at least per your opinion?
4 A. The Crisis Staff and special-purpose council did not deal with
5 the same type of tasks and did not -- they were not interdependent and
6 were not interconnected. The special-purpose council --
7 Q. Sorry. They could not have been interconnected because they did
8 not work together; correct?
9 MR. KARNAVAS: Excuse me, Mr. President. He's entitled to finish
10 his previous answer, because he's mixing the two. If she followed her
11 own questions and answers, she would have heard that the special-purpose
12 council was a part of the HVO and it wasn't a substitute of the
13 Crisis Staff. The way the question is posed mixes the two, so, you know,
14 that's why he's trying to answer that question. Now, if she wishes to
15 withdraw the question and rephrase it, that may be better, but she's
16 mixing the two, and that's why the witness is having to explain, which
17 may give the impression that he's being less than candid or is trying to
18 avoid answering the question.
19 MS. WEST: Mr. President, may I be heard?
20 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] There may be a confusion here.
21 Please try to be more specific.
22 MS. WEST: Thank you.
23 Q. So you had just testified that it's your opinion that the duties
24 of both were different; is that what you said, in summary?
25 A. Yes. I have to complete my earlier answer.
1 There came a time when the staff no longer worked, because none
2 of the members of the Crisis Staff were receiving any instructions from
3 our boss. I realised that four or five days later most of the members of
4 the Crisis Staff stopped coming to work at all. They were preoccupied
5 with their own personal problems and families. I wanted to be of use,
6 and that's why I went to the military staff and tried to see what I could
7 do there.
8 The special-purpose council, the body of the Municipal Staff of
9 the HVO, the military body, the two have nothing to do one with each
10 other whatsoever.
11 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Witness, on Monday I
12 addressed this issue, and the Prosecution is going back to that issue
13 now. I find it hard to understand.
14 We know that during these difficult periods, the municipalities
15 in the whole of Bosnia and Herzegovina -- some municipalities, at least,
16 established crisis staffs, and within such crisis staffs the municipal
17 power was exercised with sometimes military aspects to it. Now, I find
18 it hard to understand. That's why I asked the questions I asked on
20 This Crisis Staff suddenly disappears, and you're saying, "We
21 didn't have a leader, we didn't have an office, and there was nobody
22 there." So that's why I find it so hard to understand. You told us that
23 in the Crisis Staff, there were both Muslims and Croats. When we had a
24 look at the makeup of the staff, there were people like you, people in
25 charge with specific competencies in their own area of expertise, and
1 Mr. Topic was the leader of you all.
2 To be honest with you, I do not understand why the Crisis Staff
3 self-dissolved, so to speak. You told us that the Crisis Staff was going
4 to be replaced by the special council, which will have a specific role to
5 play, and then at the same time you're telling Madam West, from what I
6 understood, that there was also the HVO. I find it hard to understand
7 the link between all this, because in any system, civilians have always
8 tried to regulate the military activities. So you have, of course,
9 crisis staffs sometimes, but you also have a military aspect.
10 However, what you're saying is that you couldn't do anything
11 anymore, that it was the HVO, that is, the military aspect or element,
12 which was in charge of solving the problems, and that, in fact, you were
13 of no use anymore, and I don't think this is logical. There may have
14 been another reason; namely, and this is a question I'm asking, really:
15 In your Crisis Staff, maybe there were problems with the Muslims, the
16 Muslim members of the staff, or maybe with the Muslims you decided that
17 you were going to dissolve the Crisis Staff yourselves.
18 So, please, Mr. Karnavas, wait until the witness has answered my
20 Are you still saying -- are you still saying that you dissolved
21 because you couldn't do anything anymore, or were there other reasons?
22 And if there were, please let us know, because the reason you're giving
23 now is that you were not able to work at the time, you didn't have any
24 power anymore, you didn't have any office anymore, so could you please
25 maybe supplement the answer you initially gave to that question?
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] At the time, the Muslims and we had
2 good, normal, correct cooperation, and we didn't experience any problems
3 in our relations. To put it simply, people were trying to solve problems
4 in the prevailing chaos, and they went where they believed their problems
5 could be resolved. This was something that was happening on a daily
6 basis. The managers of public companies would apply to the Crisis Staff
7 to make sure that their problems are solved. However, at one point we
8 were unable to solve any of their problems because we didn't have any
9 fuel, we didn't have cars, we didn't have personnel, we didn't have
10 offices. In a word, we were unable to operate at any time. Members of
11 the staff would go to the Crisis Staff less frequently and less
12 frequently, and the same applied to the managers of the public companies.
13 I would go to the shelter of the avenue and then I would be told that
14 they were relocated to a different building next to the rectorate,
15 because at one point he felt he was too -- that the space was too
16 contained and they were unable to stay there any longer. And he took two
17 of the men with him and they moved to that other building over there.
18 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well.
19 MR. KARNAVAS: Your Honour, we have the record from yesterday and
20 from his testimony, and while we do somewhat disagree with the way you
21 characterized his testimony, I wish to point out that the witness never,
22 ever said that the Crisis Staff was going to be replaced by the
23 special-purpose council, and that was on page 72, line 6, that's how you
24 described his testimony. It is my recollection, and the transcript from
25 yesterday and the day before will reflect, that he never indicated that
1 the Crisis Staff was going to be replaced by the special-purpose council.
2 What he did recall -- what he did testify to was how things unfolded.
3 And so it might be -- something must have been lost either in the
4 translation or there must be some assumption being made.
5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Indeed, indeed, very well.
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I agree.
8 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I was just reading Article 3
9 of the order when I made that assumption, where it says that the
10 special-purpose council was going to be the successor of the municipal
11 Crisis Staff. That's why I said what I said, but you didn't know that,
12 of course.
13 Have a look at Article 3. But you didn't know that; right?
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] This order -- is that it? I found
15 out about this order when I went towards the directorate building and
16 [indiscernible] from the staff headquarters. I entered the cellar of the
17 rectorate. The order was in the hands of Mr. Gagro and
18 Mr. Ismet Hadziosmanovic, and they were commenting on it. That's when I
19 found out about the order.
20 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Mr. Puljic, we have gone a bit astray after a
21 question Ms. West put to you, and it is on page 70, line 3, 4, 5. She
23 "Do I understand that a part of the reason that the Crisis Staff
24 was disbanded and the special-purpose council was put together was
25 because there were incompetent people on the Crisis Staff, at least per
1 your opinion?"
2 I have the feeling that you have answered in the negative, but I
3 would like you to confirm, or to comment, or to give, as the case may be,
4 a different answer.
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It's hard to answer that question
6 when, in the beginning, you are noting two things at the beginning of the
7 question that you cannot put together.
8 In the first part of the question, in your initial remark, you
9 say that the Crisis Staff was disbanded so that these others could
10 overtake its function. All I wish to do is to note that the Crisis Staff
11 and the special-purposes council are two different bodies that have
12 nothing to do with one another and that do not even cover the same range
13 or the same area of activity.
14 And then I can -- I can answer this question. Once we have
15 clarified this, I can respond to this question.
16 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Yes, I think it is necessary to clarify, because
17 I certainly did not say -- I did not establish such a link. I verbatim
18 repeated the question, which puts, by an "and," a link between
19 Crisis Staff and special-purpose council without any causal connection or
20 anything of that kind. I was careful to see that this in no way implies
21 that one, as it were, replaced the other. You have made that very clear.
22 The question, basically, is: Was the reason for the dismantling
23 or for the ineffectiveness of the Crisis Staff, was one of the reasons
24 the lack of competencies of its members, of some of its members?
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
1 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Thank you.
2 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Wait a second. I would like
3 my position to be reflected in the transcript.
4 My question was in the same vein as the question asked by
5 Madam West, and Madam West did refer to the question I put on Monday. So
6 this question was in the same vein as the question I asked on Monday.
7 Now, Witness, I have the impression that what causes confusion is
8 Article 3, because when one reads Article 3, on a legal -- in a legal
9 dimension, and I'm not talking about the facts, I'm not saying that this
10 accurately reflects the fact, but when one legal mind reads Article 3, it
11 seems that the Crisis Staff disappears, that the special-purpose council
12 replaces it, because at the end of the sentence it is indicated that it
13 will administer the entire functioning of the city and care for its
14 citizens, so the Crisis Staff is in charge of the functioning of the city
15 and the care of the citizens. It disappears, then who's going to deal
16 with it?
17 It may be an inaccurate translation of the B/C/S text into
18 English, but this is one way one could read this provision, whereas you
19 say that these two entities were completely different. So maybe those
20 who drafted the orders made a mistake, and that's the reason why we need
21 you to specify all this, because from what I've understood in what you
22 were saying, these are two different entities.
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Special-purpose council and the
24 municipal Crisis Staff are two different bodies. That's one.
25 Two. Your Honour, you must have the information that the
1 documents were not drafted by lawyers, but just regular people, and that
2 at that point in time we had just regular people who tried in different
3 ways to solve the problems that happened to be popping up at that
4 particular moment.
5 In that time, the civilian authority was not functioning in any
6 case. At that time, the Crisis Staff was practically falling apart.
7 There was fighting in the town at the time. The army was fighting in the
8 town. And at that time, the civilian institutions which were supposed to
9 secure the functioning of the town were getting in the way of the army as
10 they were trying to perform their basic functions. So at that time, I
11 recognised, since I lived in that time, and when I go back to that time,
12 I recognise the intention of this document. It is trying, temporarily,
13 to reduce the pressure on the army and says that it will be necessary to
14 set up some sort of civilian authority very quickly which would secure
15 the functioning of the town.
16 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I'll have to interrupt you.
17 I think everybody's understood.
18 It's now 20 past noon
19 informed that we need to make a break now. We'll have a 20-minute break.
20 You've used already one hour, madam from the Prosecution. Thank
22 --- Recess taken at 12.20 p.m.
23 --- On resuming at 12.42 p.m.
24 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Madam West, you have the
1 MS. WEST: Thank you, Mr. President.
2 Q. Mr. Puljic, when we left, you were talking about this particular
3 document, and you were explaining that at the time it was written, the
4 civilian authorities were not working and that there was a war going on,
5 and so that we should read this document with that in context; correct?
6 That's what your testimony was?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. So we'll do that, but I want you to look at number 3. And it
10 "Until the government referred to in paragraph 2 of this order is
11 formed, the special-purpose council of the Mostar Municipal Staff of the
12 Croatian Defence Council," and this is where I want you to focus, "shall
13 administer the entire functioning of the city and care for its citizens."
14 So, Mr. Puljic, my question is: Isn't administering the entire
15 functioning of the city and caring for its citizens the purpose of the
16 legally-elected Mostar Crisis Staff?
17 A. Theoretically, yes, but practically it didn't exist.
18 Q. Okay, thank you. Now, you had indicated on Monday - we already
19 went over this - when Judge Antonetti asked you questions about this very
20 issue and why the Crisis Staff was disbanded, and one of the things that
21 you said is:
22 "The Crisis Staff also had a number of incompetent men who at the
23 time were not up to the tasks that they were facing."
24 Do you remember that testimony?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. And in your view, that's one of the reasons why the Crisis Staff
2 was disbanded; correct?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. And another reason that you gave today was that some people just
5 didn't go to work; is that correct?
6 A. That is correct, and one of the least competent people or the
7 most incompetent people was the president of the Crisis Staff.
8 MS. WEST: I'd like to direct the Court's attention to the
9 testimony of Mr. Gagro, who is the president of the Crisis Staff, and
10 then I'll ask you a question. And this is -- the transcript, it's
11 page 2716, and he was asked the question:
12 "Can you tell us what happened after May 15th? Did you stay at
13 home, what did you do? Did you go to your office?"
14 His answer was:
15 "Not only that, we were all there together in a very nice office,
16 very nice premises which used to be the rectorate of the university in
17 Mostar, and we used it during that period as a place from which the
18 Crisis Staff functioned, so that up until this decision was taken, we
19 worked quite normally in that premise. Without any warning whatsoever, I
20 came to the door that morning, the door was locked, and I was told that
21 we no longer had access to the building, and that's how the role of the
22 Crisis Staff ended, very abruptly. And after that, I stayed home."
23 Mr. Puljic, my question to you is: Did this happen to you as
24 well when you came to work that day?
25 MR. KARNAVAS: Your Honour, that assumes that that happened.
1 That assumes that Mr. Gagro is telling the truth. So he's asking -- so
2 the basis of the question are facts which we don't know whether they are
3 true or not.
4 MS. WEST: Mr. President, I'll rephrase my question.
5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Karnavas, Mr. Gagro
6 testified here, and that's what he said. The witness can be reminded of
7 what Mr. Gagro said, and then the witness can say, "It's true," "It's not
8 true," or, "I don't know."
9 JUDGE TRECHSEL: I think technically Mr. Karnavas is absolutely
10 right, and I would invite you to reformulate your question.
11 MS. WEST: Thank you.
12 Q. So my question for you, Mr. Puljic, is: Did you show up for work
13 on May 15th or May 16th at the Crisis Staff offices and were you locked
15 A. On the 15th and 16th? Just one moment. The door was never
16 locked. Perhaps Mr. Gagro felt that it was a great place to be there,
17 but these new premises didn't have a phone line, a working phone line.
18 Sometimes it would work. So nobody would be able to disturb him at the
19 rectorate. A part of the Crisis Staff then, Mr. Gagro,
20 Mr. Hadziosmanovic, Zijo Demirovic, moved to the rectorate. The
21 rectorate had a good basement and it had one phone upstairs which
22 actually worked for very little of the time, and the door was not locked.
23 Q. Okay, Mr. Puljic, I have another question for you, focusing on
24 this day, on May 15th. Isn't it a fact, sir, that on that very day, in
25 one day's time, the governing of the city of Mostar was transferred from
1 the legally-elected Mostar Crisis Staff to the HVO?
2 A. It could not have been transferred when this one didn't exist and
3 the new one hadn't yet been formed. The special-purpose council never
4 met on this issue and never made a single move or had a single document
5 or any activity in order to be able to have this position. When this
6 order came, nothing happened, actually.
7 Q. Now, assuming you're correct, for the purposes of this question,
8 would you agree with me that on May 15th, suddenly the HVO was in charge
9 of the government in Mostar?
10 A. I don't think so. I think the HVO began to function later, when
11 it formed departments, when it tried to establish order in all segments
12 of life in town. At this point in time, no.
13 Q. Okay. But you will agree that maybe after some time passed, the
14 HVO was in charge of Mostar?
15 A. After some time, the HVO began to administer Mostar, when the
16 civilian organs were formed that were able to carry out this task.
17 Q. In reference to P 00209, the document that disbanded the
18 Crisis Staff, as signed by Jadran Topic, isn't it a fact, Mr. Puljic,
19 that Topic and the HVO had absolutely no legal authority to disband the
20 Crisis Staff?
21 JUDGE TRECHSEL: I think, Ms. West, this question was asked and
23 MS. WEST: Thank you, Judge Trechsel.
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I would like to answer
25 this question, if I may.
1 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Please, go ahead. Maybe I was in error. I
2 thought, but ...
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I would like to have the writing of
4 this document placed in a context. I don't know who wrote the document,
5 who drafted it, who wrote it, but I can assume these are just regular
6 people who yesterday drove a truck, or a bus, or were cleaning the
7 streets, and now we are all putting this in some sort of legal formal
8 context. These people don't even know what the word "context" means or
9 what "legal formal" means. It's as if somebody were to come and tell
10 them, "Well, write something," and then they would do something, and they
11 were just something in the staff, a bus driver or something like that.
12 So this entire story of ours should be given that context.
13 MS. WEST: Mr. President, may I proceed?
14 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes, go ahead.
15 MS. WEST: Thank you.
16 Q. Mr. Puljic, please look at P 00157. This is an interview with --
17 this is an interview with Mate Boban about the same time, it's the middle
18 of April, and it's an interview for HTV, and it's basically his summary
19 of the current situation in Herzegovina
20 interview, he talks about the founding of the HVO, and I'm going to read
21 these paragraphs. This is the fourth paragraph:
22 "Requested to state the reason for the founding of the Main Staff
23 of the Croatian Defence Council of the Croatian Community of
24 Herceg-Bosna, Boban said, 'The Croatian people in Herceg-Bosna knew that
25 the evil which had attacked the Croatian people and the Republic of
2 people in Herceg-Bosna.' On the basis of that assumption, he stated, 'We
3 organised ourselves, we prepared ourselves for defence. So far this
4 effort has basically been semi-underground, for in the absence of the
5 functioning of the number of state functions we had no protection
7 He goes on to say that:
8 "Reminding that at the time the term used for such organisations
9 was "crisis staffs," Boban said that, 'Actually, nothing new has been
10 created. It is just the renaming of the former crisis staffs, giving
11 them a new adequate Croatian designation.'"
12 Mr. Puljic, would you agree with me that this means that Boban
13 was just taking the crisis staffs -- or at least the HVO was just taking
14 the crisis staffs and replacing them with their own people?
15 A. First, we should differentiate between Mostar and other
16 municipalities. There was some municipalities that were occupied, some
17 were partially occupied, and there were free municipalities. I don't
18 know what was happening at the Siroki Brijeg Crisis Staff or the
19 Crisis Staff in Citluk at the time. We didn't have communications with
21 there, so I'm not able to comment on this.
22 Q. But you can comment on it in regard to Mostar, applying this to
23 Mostar. Isn't it the case that the HVO is just taking the crisis staffs
24 over and replacing it with HVO people?
25 A. Can you please explain the question? It's not -- we have already
1 clarified the facts so many times, and now we have the same question
3 Q. My question is, sir, that: When Mr. Boban said, in regard to
4 crisis staffs, that actually nothing new has been created, it is just the
5 renaming of the former crisis staffs, giving them a new adequate Croatian
6 designation, that that is in fact what happened in Mostar?
7 A. I don't know if Mate Boban was thinking about Mostar or some
8 other municipalities. I cannot answer that question. Which municipality
9 was he speaking of? You don't see that from this article.
10 Q. Let's try to clarify this further and let's look at P 00206. And
11 this is a statutory decision on the provisional establishment of the
12 executive authority and administration in the territory of HZ-HB. Go to
13 the last page. It's the signature of Boban, and it's dated May 15th,
14 1992, Mostar.
15 Do you see that on the last page?
16 A. [No interpretation]
17 Q. And May 15th was the same exact day that the Crisis Staff was
18 disbanded; correct?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. So on that very same day, the HG -- excuse me, the HZ-HB set up
21 its government in Mostar; correct?
22 A. I'm seeing this decision for the first time. I would need to
23 read it first.
24 Q. If I can help, you can go to Article 7, that might make this
25 easier. "Administrative work in the territory of the HZ-HB shall be
1 carried out by the administrative departments. The administrative
2 departments shall be: The Department of Defence, Department of
3 Internal Affairs, Department of Economic Affairs, Department of Finance,
4 Department of Social Affairs, Department of General Administration, and
5 all other departments and the administrative departments shall be
6 established by the decision of the Croatian Defence Council."
7 Now, although these are not local departments, essentially what
8 this decision does --
9 MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, if I may just -- my
10 learned friend is implying that this is a decision on the founding, but
11 this is not true. The document itself speaks of it only being a
12 decision, and precisely what she's quoting, that it is a decision on the
13 temporary organisation of executive power. So it creates the basic --
14 once when that authority is formed, that's what it would look like, but
15 this decision has nothing to do with the establishment or foundation.
16 My learned friend, of course, can put questions about the
17 document, but cannot imply that the document is a founding document.
18 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Ms. West, this document is
19 implemented according to Article 8 of the decision of November 18, 1991
20 for the provisional establishment of an executive and administrative
21 authority on the territory of Herceg-Bosna. This is the title of the
23 MS. WEST: Correct, and excuse me if I was making the suggestion
24 that they were finding it -- or founding it on that day. That was not
25 the case. What I'm pointing out to the witness is on that day, on
1 May 15th, this decision was passed, which regarded the executive
2 administration of the HZ-HB.
3 Q. Do you agree with that?
4 A. On the 15th of May, so many things happened that an average human
5 brain could not possibly absorb it all. Things were happening at
6 different levels. It is odd that you should be asking me about matters
7 that were happening way above my head. I didn't know about this
8 decision. This is the first I see it, and I didn't know it was passed on
9 that day.
10 MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I apologise for
11 interrupting, but I have to.
12 Now that you repeated the title of the document, I realised that
13 I may have stated -- misstated what it is that my learned friend did. I
14 see that the translation is completely wrong. The Croatian term is
15 "temporary organisation," the term in the B/C/S is "ustrojstvo," and in
16 English it's "provisional establishment," which is, in other words,
17 founding of something. Therefore, part of the confusion stems from a
18 mistranslation. I will read out what it says.
19 This is a statutory decision on the temporary organisation of the
20 executive authority and administration in the area of HZ-HB. I believe
21 that it has been now interpreted correctly.
22 One day, if ever such an organisation is established, it will
23 have the structure or be organised the way it was set forth herein. It's
24 a document setting down the organisation and not establishing anything.
25 MS. WEST: Thank you.
1 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Ms. West.
2 MS. WEST:
3 Q. Mr. Puljic, can you turn to P 00199. And you will agree with me
4 that in the month of May, in the middle and the latter half, the HVO, as
5 you said, as the days went by began to take over the governing of Mostar;
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. And here we have a document dated May 10th, and it appears to be
9 appointments. And it appoints Topic as president of the HVO of Mostar,
10 and then there's a series of other appointments below it.
11 Can you go to the second -- or the bottom of that document for
12 you. It's signed by Mate Boban, and it also appears to be signed by
13 General Bobetko. Do you know who he was?
14 A. Mr. Mate Boban or General Bobetko?
15 Q. General Bobetko.
16 A. I know who General Bobetko was.
17 Q. Who was he?
18 A. A general.
19 Q. In which army?
20 A. Of the Croatian Army.
21 Q. For a period of time, did he also become a commander in the
22 HVO Main Staff?
23 A. This is a question I don't know the answer to, really.
24 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Before you leave the document, Ms. West.
25 Witness, you see the names here. Can you point out, if any, which of
1 these were Muslims?
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Jasmin Jaganjac is a Muslim.
3 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Witness, what is the
4 involvement of General Bobetko here signing this document? Can you
5 explain why he signed this document?
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I don't have an explanation.
7 MS. WEST:
8 Q. During the month of May of 1992, that was a period of time when
9 you were working closely with Topic; correct?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. So please turn to P 0019 -- excuse me, P 00221.
12 THE ACCUSED PETKOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours.
13 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] General Petkovic.
14 THE ACCUSED PETKOVIC: [No interpretation]
15 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I hear that the
16 accused would like us to explain a detail in relation to P 10199. I
17 apologise to my learned friend, but it may indeed help us to comprehend
18 the document better. I don't have the documents here and I don't know
19 what the English translation is, but from the Croatian text it clearly
20 follows that for the commander of the General Staff of the HVO, it says
21 "General Janko Bobetko," but we know, because we can recognise the
22 signature, that it was Mr. Petkovic who signed on behalf of
23 General Bobetko.
24 In the meantime, I was able to see the English translation, and
25 I think there it says "for the commander." So we have the full
1 information now about this document.
2 MS. WEST: Mr. President, I would only note that in regard to the
3 information that you just received, I would ask the Trial Chamber not to
4 consider it as evidence. It's not been brought before you in the form
5 that it should be, and if this is information that counsel would later
6 like you to receive, I think that they have to bring a witness in to get
7 it. But I'll move on.
8 MR. KARNAVAS: You can make a comparison of the signatures,
9 Your Honour. You don't need the witness for that. My learned colleague
10 should know better.
11 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Ms. West, we have here a
12 document which you are presenting. It must have already been admitted,
13 because it is document P199, and there is a signature on it. It seems
14 that from the names written, you could deduce or infer that
15 General Bobetko signed, himself, this document. But General Petkovic is
16 telling us that he signed the document, instead of General Bobetko. That
17 is important.
18 MS. WEST: No doubt that's important, Your Honour, but
19 procedurally it shouldn't be coming in front of the Trial Chamber like
20 that. If General Petkovic wants this as evidence in this case, then he
21 needs to put on his own witness. It can't come in as an attorney's
22 comments, particularly through the cross-examination of this witness.
23 That's my point, Your Honour.
24 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, let me clarify
1 Both from the original and the translation, it clearly follows
2 that someone signed for General Bobetko. All of us are relatively well
3 familiar with the signatures of General Petkovic, and any one of us could
4 decipher them. I only wanted to clarify this detail in relation to this
5 particular document because I believed it would helpful for everyone. I
6 only wish to note that I did that in lieu of my client, Mr. Petkovic, who
7 stood up for that particular reason.
8 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well.
9 Please continue, Ms. West.
10 MS. WEST:
11 Q. Sir, could you please look at P 00221. I believe that you were
12 shown this yesterday. This is a decision signed by Topic, and it's
13 appointing people to positions in Mostar, so local positions.
14 Looking at 1 through 13, do you know any of these people?
15 A. I know them all.
16 Q. Okay. And you testified to this yesterday, but can you just tell
17 me quickly which individuals on this list are Muslim?
18 A. Mumin Isic, under number 3, is a Muslim. Under 5, Senad Kazazic.
19 Number 6, Sejo or Sead Maslo, head of the Department for Social Affairs.
20 Under eight, Hamdija Jahic, head of the Department for Public Utilities,
21 Housing and Reconstruction. And under 12, Jasmin Jaganjac, head of the
22 Defence Department.
23 Q. Thank you. And yesterday, during your direct testimony, you
24 mentioned or testified about several decisions appointing Muslims to
25 local organisations. My question is: Do you agree that the
1 circumstances in Mostar, in the summer/fall of 1992, was very different
2 than the circumstances in Mostar in the fall of 1993? And, specifically,
3 I mean the relationship between Croats and Muslims.
4 A. Can you please repeat the time periods mentioned?
5 Q. Summer/fall of 1992 versus summer/fall of 1993.
6 A. In the summer/fall of 1992, there were no tensions between
7 Muslims and Croats.
8 Q. And in the fall of 1993, there was a lot of tension; correct?
9 A. A year later -- you know better than me. You listened to the
10 testimonies of various witnesses. You certainly know more about that
11 than I do.
12 Q. So the answer to that question is, "yes"; correct?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. Would you agree with me that no Muslims were appointed to
15 significant positions of power in the fall of 1993?
16 A. I wouldn't, not all the way. When you put a question such as
17 this one, then both a "yes" and a "no" answer would be wrong. First of
18 all, you couldn't appoint any Muslims, since there weren't any. If
19 you're asking me about the autumn of 1993, whoever could have escaped the
20 Bosnian hell did. There weren't any Muslims to be appointed. Some of
21 them fled; others were in the army on the left bank, and you could find
22 an odd elderly man or a woman in some of the shelters. You didn't
23 physically have an individual that you could appoint. Other than that,
24 there had always been Muslims in significant positions.
25 Q. Okay. So let's go back, then, a year. At a time, I think you
1 would agree, that you could appoint Muslims, so let's talk about the fall
2 of 1992, and let's look at those significant positions.
3 In the upper echelons of the HZ-HB, there were no Muslims;
5 MR. KARNAVAS: Your Honour, again I'm going to ask for a
6 foundation. She's asking the gentleman to talk about upper echelons,
7 whatever that means, of the HZ-HB. It covers a lot. Now, you need to
8 establish some sort of a foundation that he has prior knowledge about
9 what is happening at the HZ-HB level. He's already indicated he focused
10 on Mostar. He's living in Mostar, he's working in Mostar. Now we're
11 talking about HZ-HB. I understand they need this for their final brief,
12 but we need a foundation.
13 If he says, "No," then they're going to try to make him out to be
14 a liar. If he says, "Yes," then he's going to be asking him to
15 speculate. She needs to lay a proper foundation.
16 MS. WEST: Mr. President, the witness has laid the foundation,
17 when he testified that there have always been Muslims in significant
18 positions. I'm asking him about those Muslims.
19 MR. KARNAVAS: Your Honour, the problem we have is there's a
20 difference between HVO, Mostar municipality, and HZ-HB. Now, my learned
21 colleague may not know the distinction, but there is a vast one, and
22 there lies the problem. And I think it's a matter of limiting the scope
23 of the question. If she wants to ask him about Mostar municipality, I'll
24 sit down, but HZ-HB, we're talking about another dimension.
25 JUDGE TRECHSEL: There's no need, Mr. Karnavas, to be cynical.
1 MR. KARNAVAS: I'm not being cynical.
2 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Yes, if you say your learned friend might not
3 know the difference between Mostar and HZ-HB, but I don't want to have a
4 discussion on this. I think it is correct that you should differentiate.
5 MS. WEST: Thank you.
6 Q. Mr. Puljic, when you said "significant positions," would you
7 agree with me that -- well, let me rephrase that.
8 You indicated that you went to elementary school with
9 Jadranko Prlic; correct?
10 A. Secondary school. It wasn't primary school; secondary.
11 Q. Thank you. So at that time, did you know the position that he
12 held in the HZ-HB?
13 A. [No interpretation]
14 Q. What was that position?
15 A. President, president of something. I don't know what of.
16 Q. Were you also familiar with the other -- that there were other
17 positions within the HZ-HB at that time, the colleagues of Mr. Prlic?
18 A. Yes, I knew his colleagues. I said so already. I knew
19 Bruno Stojic well.
20 Q. Sir, I'm going to show you P 09216, and it should be on your
21 screen. Do you see it in front of you now? Do you see an organisational
22 chart on your screen?
23 A. Your Honours, can I answer the previous question, please, the
24 question of which of the positions listed there was significant, and I
25 didn't answer that part of the question.
1 Madam Prosecutor asked me which of the posts was more important
2 than the other. Not all the posts in municipal offices carried equal
3 weight and importance.
4 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes, Witness, but I believe
5 that Ms. West wanted to talk about the higher positions, the positions
6 with a political or administrative authority at higher level, which is
7 why Mr. Karnavas asked her to make a difference and a distinction between
8 the Mostar municipality, on the one hand, and the rest, which is why she
9 is now going to show us an organisational chart.
10 MS. WEST: Yes. And, Your Honour, that's P 09216.
11 Q. Do you see that chart in front of you?
12 A. I do.
13 Q. And on the very top of the chart, it says: "Jadranko Prlic,
14 president, HVO HZ-HB." Do you see that; correct?
15 A. I do.
16 Q. And on the left, there's a person named Zubak, and my question
17 is: Is he a Croat or a Muslim?
18 A. Croat.
19 Q. And Anto Valenta, is he a Croat or a Muslim?
20 A. Croat.
21 Q. The next person to the right, Ivankovic, is he a Croat or a
23 A. Croat.
24 Q. Buntic?
25 A. Croat.
1 Q. Tomic?
2 A. Croat.
3 Q. And the next one, which I can't pronounce?
4 A. Branko Kvesic, Croat.
5 Q. And the next one?
6 A. Ilija Zuljevic, Croat.
7 Q. The next one?
8 A. Vladimir Soljic, Croat.
9 Q. And Bruno Stojic, was he a Croat or a Muslim?
10 A. Croat.
11 Q. So although you pointed out in your direct testimony that a
12 number of the lower -- or the rather local organisations had Muslim
13 people heading them, you would agree with me that the top echelon of the
14 HZ-HB was only staffed by Croats?
15 A. The answer to this question, Madam Prosecutor, could be given if,
16 in addition to this area, which was free territory at the time, i.e., not
17 occupied by the military forces of the Yugoslav People's Army, we were to
18 place the 1991 census result next to this. And then, in terms of
19 percentages, we would be able to ascertain who it was who lived in that
20 area at the time. If you want to get an answer to this question, let us
21 first enumerate all the municipalities that were free at the time and
22 analyse the ethnic composition of the municipalities as well as of
24 Q. Mr. Puljic, I'd like to talk about the people who were appointed
25 on the local level who were Muslim, the sort of stuff you testified to
1 yesterday. So, for example, on 221, you mentioned that Hamdija Hajic was
2 the head of the Department for Public Utilities, Housing and
3 Reconstruction; right?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. He was a Muslim; correct?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. He was also your supervisor?
8 A. Yes, before the war.
9 Q. For how long did you work with him?
10 A. A year and a half in the Secretariat for Urban Planning, I
11 believe. Other than that, from my arrival to Mostar through to the start
12 of the war, we worked in the same building. So we know each other.
13 Q. Okay. When you worked together for that year and a half, was
14 that daily that you would see each other?
15 A. Very often, very often, either in the hallway, in the offices, in
16 the street, but we'd come across each other and communicate.
17 Q. Okay. So is it fair to say that you became well acquainted with
19 A. Yes, well acquainted.
20 Q. Did he live in Mostar as well?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. And after you finished -- or when you finished working with him,
23 so that would be in 1992, how often did you see him?
24 A. Very rarely; once or twice in the street.
25 Q. And would that be during the year of 1992 or 1993? What -- can
1 you tell us when that was?
2 A. In the course of 1992, yes, that was the case. However, I saw
3 him more frequently when he became head of office and started coming to
5 Q. When was that?
6 A. He started working as soon as he was appointed, and here it says
7 when it was that he was appointed, in late May, and that's when he
8 started coming to work. From that point onward, I started seeing him
9 more frequently. Other than that, before he was appointed, he probably
10 stayed away in the shelter. Nobody dared go outdoor unless it was
11 strictly necessary. I suppose that he did the same. He would only go
12 out if he had to buy provisions for his children. Nobody would step out
13 into the street without a dire reason. Other than that, the structure or
14 the organisation of the municipality was such that this department was
15 the most important one and it had the most -- the most power to do
17 Q. I'm sorry, I misunderstood what you meant by timing. You said
18 that in May, you saw him a lot at work, correct, but then subsequently in
19 1992 you would see him on a street; is that what you mean?
20 A. No. I said that up until the start of the war, I saw him very
21 frequently either at work or in the street. When the war broke out, I
22 didn't see him for a while, let's say March, April, May 1992, whereupon I
23 started seeing him more frequently again when he started working for the
24 Department of Urban Planning.
25 Q. Okay. Can you tell the Trial Chamber what happened to him?
1 A. I don't know what you mean. Now he's the ambassador of
2 Bosnia-Herzegovina to some country.
3 Q. Let's look at P 06982. Can you find that, sir? P 06982.
4 Thank you. This is a listing of people, referencing detainees in
5 Heliodrom that were transferred. Can you go to number 83, and I'm
6 talking about the person number 83. I think that would be the easiest
7 way, but in the English it's page 20.
8 Do you see number 83? It's on the screen in front of you as
10 MR. KHAN: Your Honour, I do apologise. It's obviously my
11 mistake, but I wonder if my learned friend could help me.
12 What was the document -- the exhibit number that she showed to
13 the witness before P 06982? I don't appear to have that in my file
14 provided by the Prosecution.
15 MS. WEST: P 09216. It was the org chart put up on the screen.
16 MR. KHAN: Your Honour, that document is not in the Prosecution
17 file, and we are severely handicapped because of it.
18 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes, you're right, the document
19 is not in the binder, but this exhibit has already been admitted.
20 Madam West, Exhibit 9216, this organisational chart has already
21 been admitted; right?
22 MS. WEST: Correct, it has, and it was on the screen so counsel
23 could look at it, but now we've moved on to the next document.
24 MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation] Your Honours, if you permit me.
25 Since it's not in the binder, we needed a little bit of time to check the
1 status of the document. The document does not have the status of an
2 exhibit. It hasn't been adopted so far. But just for the sake of
3 caution, I would just like to say that it does not accord with the facts
4 as we saw in the document. The document bears the date of the 20th of
5 November, 1993. We would like to be quite specific on that day,
6 Mr. Bruno Stojic was not the chief of the Department of Defence, and we
7 already presented evidence on that in this courtroom. It's not in the
8 binder, does not have the status of an exhibit, and for the sake of
9 accuracy, we see now that the document has not been admitted into
10 evidence as an exhibit.
11 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I don't know whether this
12 document has been admitted or not. I thought it had been.
13 Mr. Registrar tells me that it had not been admitted. It has not
14 been admitted.
15 MS. WEST: Your Honour, I think if I can just have a little time,
16 I can clarify that later, but to that point, the document does indicate
17 that it's until November of 1993. So if we can clarify that later and
18 I can move on, Mr. President. Thank you.
19 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes. Proceed, yes.
20 MS. WEST: Thank you.
21 Q. So, Mr. Witness, we were talking about P 06982, which is a
22 document you do have in front of you and is on the screen, and we are
23 talking about your former supervisor.
24 Now, looking at number 83, it's on the screen. Who is listed at
25 number 83?
1 A. Hamdija Jahic.
2 Q. And you recognise this as the name of your former supervisor;
4 A. I do.
5 Q. And do you know that he had been detained for almost a year?
6 A. He told me that when we met after the war. He began to work at
7 the municipality again, and I did too. We met at the Hotel Ero, and he
8 told me that he was in prison.
9 Q. Now I'd like to turn to P 08644, 8644. This is an interview with
11 A. I found it.
12 Q. I'm just going to read parts at the beginning, if you can follow
13 along, and then I'll ask you a question. And it says -- this is his
15 "When the HVO military government was established in Mostar,
16 Mumin Isic, Senad Kazazic and Maslo and I were appointed ministers in
17 that government following a motion of the SDA Regional Council of
19 exercised this function from 27 May 1992 to 2 August 1992 when the other
20 ministers and I, from the ranks of the Bosniak people, resigned because
21 of the contemptuous and ignorant attitude of the HVO government,
22 particularly of Jadranko Topic. The government consisted of 13 members
23 of whom only four were Bosniaks, in spite of the agreement of the HDZ and
24 the SDA on parity. In addition, while exercising my function, I noticed
25 that the HDZ had organised everything in advance. All the documents and
1 forms were printed with Croatian insignia, including even school diplomas
2 and birth certificates. I noticed that the documents had been printed
3 before the Serbian-Montenegrin attack on the BiH Republic
4 printed at the Grude printing firm in December 1991 and in January and
5 February of 1992."
6 Mr. Witness -- Mr. Puljic, I know you had trouble finding it, but
7 did you hear the translation as I read in English?
8 A. I did.
9 Q. Thank you. So --
10 A. There are things that I know and there are things that I don't
11 know. What I do know for sure is that these diplomas and these documents
12 that he's talking about were not printed in Grude but at the Salovaj
13 [phoen] printing works at Mostar, and they were not printed before the
14 aggression but were printed perhaps a minute before there was any need
15 for them. And all the documents at the time and these memorandums that
16 you are seeing, all of this was done in Mostar at the Salovaj printing
17 works. This was not printed in Grude and was not prepared in advance.
18 As for the other things that are stated here, I cannot attest to
19 their accuracy or not. This one thing I do know, in view of the fact
20 that I asked Mr. Zdenko Maric to form a printing works in Mostar because
21 we didn't have any contact with Grude.
22 Q. Okay. So he had stated:
23 "I noticed that the documents had been printed before the
24 Serbian-Montenegrin attack on the BiH Republic
25 the Grude printing firm in December of 1991 and in January and February
1 of 1992."
2 So my question is: December of 1991 is well before the
3 Crisis Staff gave over power to the HVO; correct?
4 A. 1991, yes.
5 Q. And this reference would suggest that if these were printed in
6 1991, December of 1991, that the HVO had been planning this takeover for
7 months; isn't that right?
8 A. That's what it says there, but that's not true. I know that
9 there was a Salovaj printing plant in Mostar and that in the course of
10 the whole of 1992, all the documents were printed in Mostar, these
11 memorandums that we are looking at and so on and so forth.
12 Q. Sir, are you suggesting that this had not been pre-planned?
13 A. It was not planned.
14 Q. If we can go back to P 00157. You already looked at this. 157.
15 It's also on the screen in front of you. This is the Boban interview,
16 and I'm reading from the fourth paragraph, last sentence -- excuse me,
17 beginning with the second-to-last sentence:
18 "We organised ourselves, we prepared ourselves for defence, so
19 far this effort has been -- basically been semi-underground. For in the
20 absence of the functioning of a number of state functions, we had no
21 protection whatsoever."
22 My question is whether you understand this to mean that Boban had
23 been planning this earlier, that there had been preplanning involved.
24 MR. KARNAVAS: Your Honour, I am going to object.
25 Here's what is happening: There is a suggestion that there was a
1 preplanning of certificates in Mostar; therefore, it fits nicely into the
2 joint criminal enterprise as of 1991. I understand that. Now we go back
3 to an interview of 11 April 1992
4 be cynical this time, Judge Trechsel, omits to look at the sentence in
5 context, in context.
6 Also, and I will be cynical again because perhaps my colleague
7 did not know what we heard here about the events in 1991, what was
8 happening in Croatia
10 So when you look at this in context, only then can you really
11 understand what Mate Boban is saying. The state government is not
12 protecting itself. The Territorial Defence is not functioning. The
13 Yugoslav Army is attacking. And what is Izetbegovic and company doing?
14 Sitting around in a building, having discussions. Sarajevo is encircled,
15 and in Mostar what you have is urban fighting. That's the reality.
16 So if we're going to be speaking about how to interpret this
17 paragraph, let's get back to reality.
18 MS. WEST: Mr. President, may I be heard?
19 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes, please go ahead, because
20 we're going to have to conclude in 60 seconds.
21 MS. WEST: Thank you.
22 My only comment here is Mr. Karnavas' point is fair, but it's one
23 that should be made in redirect, and it should not be one that's
24 interrupting my cross.
25 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Fine.
1 We're going to have to conclude now because we're going to have
2 to leave --
3 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, Your Honours, would
4 you please permit me just one minute, remarks to the document that
5 Ms. West showed to the witness, P 846 --
6 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreter didn't hear the name of the
8 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] If we compare the two versions, we
9 will see that Mr. Jahic signed the Croat version. I am objecting to
10 document P 86 -- I'm going to start again. I think that not all of it is
11 in the transcript.
12 I would like to object to document P 8644, which is
13 Mr. Hamdija Jahic's statement. The objection is as follows: The
14 Croatian version of the document indicates that the witness signed that
15 document, which means that the English translation, the English text, is
16 just a translation of the original Croatian document. The Croatian
17 document is absolutely illegible, and there is no way for us to see,
18 based on what we have on e-court and in the documents of the Prosecution,
19 if the translation into English is correct. What I can emphasise is that
20 the beginning of the first sentence of the statement is incorrect,
21 because Mr. Jahic spoke about the war council of the Mostar HVO, and in
22 the English language it was translated as "the HVO military government."
23 I suggest to the Trial Chamber that because of these elements,
24 the Trial Chamber does not permit any more questions about this document
25 until we receive a legible copy in the Croatian language, which would
1 then make it possible to continue to use this document in our
3 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Fine. By tomorrow, the
4 Prosecution will check whether the text in Croatian is legible, and if
5 the translation is a CLSS translation or a Prosecution translation. We
6 can't go any further, anyway, because there will be another hearing after
7 this hearing.
8 So we'll meet again tomorrow at 9.00.
--- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 1.47 p.m.
10 to be reconvened on Thursday, the 18th day of
11 September, 2008, at 9.00 a.m.