1 Thursday, 18 September 2008
2 [Open session]
3 [The witness entered court]
4 [The accused entered court]
5 --- Upon commencing at 9.01 a.m.
6 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Registrar, would you please
7 call the case.
8 THE REGISTRAR: Good morning, Your Honours. Good morning,
9 everyone in and around the courtroom. This is case number IT-04-74-T,
10 the Prosecutor versus Prlic et al. Thank you, Your Honours.
11 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. Registrar.
12 We are Thursday, September the 18th, 2008.
13 Good morning, Witness. Good morning to the accused, to Defence
14 counsel, good morning to Mrs. West as well as Mr. Scott and the rest of
15 the Prosecution team. And good morning to everybody else assisting us in
16 these proceedings.
17 One clarification from the Trial Chamber regarding the document
18 which was challenged yesterday. According to the Defence, the document
19 had not been admitted. The Trial Chamber checked if the document had
20 been admitted or not, and it has been through the testimony of the expert
21 witness Tomljanovich, which means that this document is actually admitted
22 into evidence already. Thank you.
23 This being said, I would like to give the floor to Ms. West.
24 MS. WEST: Good morning, Mr. President, Your Honours and everyone
25 in and around the courtroom. Thank you for that in regard to document,
1 Your Honour, and I just want to clarify.
2 I understand the exhibit number of that document to be 9689.
3 The second thing I wanted to clarify this morning was the issue
4 we left off yesterday which was a - thank you - statement of the former
5 supervisor of the witness's. And we had a very poor copy of the original
6 statement, and you also inquired whether we had a CLS translation. I
7 went back to the office yesterday and found a much better copy of the
8 original statement and the CLS translation. I will point out for counsel
9 that just in -- just to be absolutely sure we had the CLSS translation
10 looked at again yesterday to make sure that it was correct, and we've
11 discovered one mistake on that and that would be in the English on the
12 top of page 2 it says 27 June, when in fact that should be 27 May. I
13 don't think that's a translation mistake as much as just a typo.
14 So with that, Your Honour, may I proceed?
15 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you, Ms. West.
16 MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation] Apologies. My apologies, Your
17 Honours. Yesterday I intervened in relation to the document that was
18 just mentioned, P 9689. I really must emphasize that it has not been
19 exhibited. Yesterday the registrar confirmed as much. Let me only say
20 that it was not my intention to do this deliberately. I double-checked
21 it. We can check it again. It is not in e-court as an exhibit. The
22 registrar confirmed so, and we will try and see where the error was why
23 we didn't have that information. Thank you, and I apologise.
24 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Please continue, Ms. West.
25 MS. WEST: Thank you, Mr. President.
1 WITNESS: BORISLAV PULJIC [Resumed]
2 [Witness answered through interpreter]
3 Cross-examination by Ms. West: [Continued]
4 Q. Good morning, Mr. Puljic.
5 A. [In English] Good morning.
6 Q. Yesterday we left off and we were talking about the statement of
7 Mr. Jahic your former supervisor; do you remember talking about that
9 A. [Interpretation] Yes.
10 Q. Just to go back to that, I had read a portion of it that was in
11 the very first paragraph. I'm not going to re-read the whole paragraph,
12 but I'll go to the part in which you had a comment. Mr. Jahic had stated
13 that he noticed that the documents had been printed before the
14 Serb-Chetnik army's aggression against the Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina
15 and they had been printed in the Grude printing house in December 1991
16 and -- excuse me, in January and February 1992.
17 Now, yesterday you indicated that not to be true; correct?
18 A. That's not true because at the time there did not exist any
19 printing works in Grude. However, one did exist in Mostar where
20 documents were printed, and all the documents that were printed at the
21 time were printed at that particular company, and we have them listed
22 here in reference to different time-periods. Only Mostar had a printing
23 works in 1991/1992.
24 Q. Okay. So in December 1991 there were -- there was an operating
25 printing company in Mostar; correct?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. So there was the ability as early as December to have documents
3 printed; correct?
4 A. That printing house was in the close proximity of the front line.
5 It did not operate. Before the start of the war, it was closely
6 controlled by the authorities and this type of documents could not be
7 printed, if that's what you're referring to, to the state-owned printing
8 house. In other words, before the war there was just this one printing
9 house, one company, in Herzegovina
10 Q. Okay. And at the time you did not live in Grude; correct?
11 A. I didn't, but it's a small town and I passed through it every day
12 on -- one passes through it every day on the way to Split. I didn't live
13 in Grude, but I know as much.
14 Q. Okay. I'd like to look at another individual who was on the
15 Crisis Staff and that's --
16 MS. WEST: Mr. President, may we go into private session?
17 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes.
18 Mr. Registrar.
19 [Private session]
11 Pages 32384-32387 redacted. Private session.
16 [Open session]
17 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, we're back in open session.
18 MS. WEST:
19 Q. Mr. Puljic, you had just mentioned that the conflict between the
20 Muslims and the Croats started in May 1993; is that right?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. During this whole time you lived in Mostar; correct?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. Did you live in West Mostar?
25 A. I lived in my home in West Mostar.
1 Q. And how long had you been living in that home?
2 A. I started building my house four to five years before the war,
3 and I moved into the house a half a year before the Serb aggression. In
4 other words, I had been living in that home half a year before this --
5 for half a year before the Serb aggression, and then since my house was
6 shelled, I lived in my father's house for a while.
7 Q. When did you move to your father's house?
8 A. I moved there in early May or late April 1992. I spent there
9 several months until I was able to repair my house that was damaged in
10 the shelling.
11 Q. And when did you go back to your own home in West Mostar?
12 A. Both homes are in West Mostar, and I went back to my house some
13 three to four months later; in other words, it could have been July 1992.
14 Q. And did you remain in that home throughout the HVO-Muslim war?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. Now, I'm just going to -- Mr. Puljic, we're going to back up a
17 little bit. You -- is it fair to say that as the special-purpose
18 council, which then became the HVO government, took control of Mostar you
19 had testified that that took a period of time there was still
20 intervention and help from the Sarajevo
21 MR. KARNAVAS: Again, I object to the form of the question. I
22 understand what counsel wishes to do, but look at the question, look at
23 the question, Your Honours. The special-purpose council was as we saw
24 from the documents had six days from the time that it was entrusted
25 without anybody's notice to take over the entire civilian government, six
1 days later a civilian government was formed. So when you look at that
2 question, it really does beg another question: Why are we trying to
3 force these sorts of facts into a question which have not been
4 established. Now, she can rephrase the question.
5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Karnavas, you keep
6 objecting. We're wasting a lot of time because of such objections. When
7 a lawyer asks a question, even if the lawyer [as interpreted] is badly
8 formulated, Judges do realize what's happening, we're not stupid, we
9 understand the question, and we understand the limitations of the
10 questions. We listen to the answer provided by the witness and of course
11 the answer depends on the question asked, and depending on what the
12 answer is then we'll give it value or no value at all. So if the
13 question is badly formulated -- well, the lawyer asking the question has
14 a risk, you know, the risk being that no probative value or hardly any is
15 going to be given to the answer provided. This is an international
16 Tribunal with competent, able Judges; Judges who are able to understand a
17 badly formulated question and to understand an answer. Fine. Fine.
18 Your objection has been recorded in the transcript, but this is a waste
19 of time.
20 Please continue, and please try to take into account what
21 Mr. Karnavas has said in order to avoid permanent objections.
22 MS. WEST:
23 Q. Mr. Puljic, is it fair to say that there was still intervention
24 and help from the Sarajevo
25 A. Well, there are two inaccurate facts in that question. First you
1 said that the special-purpose council had taken over the role of the
2 civilian authority; this is something that never happened. Second, no
3 sort of contact was possible at the time with Sarajevo, that is.
4 Q. Thank you. Sir, let's look at 1D 01619.
5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: What binder?
6 MS. WEST: One moment, Mr. President. It's 1D 01619.
7 It's the first binder, Mr. President -- my apologies,
8 Mr. President, I'm told it's the second binder, but nonetheless it's on
9 the screen, of course.
10 Q. Mr. Puljic, this is a document that is dated on the second page
11 of the English 21 May 1992 in Sarajevo
12 entitled: Decision on loans to municipalities from permanent reserve
13 funds of the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina and under Article 1 it
14 says: "Loans from permanent reserve funds are hereby granted to
15 municipalities as follows in dinars ..."
16 And if you go down to number 31 do you see Mostar? It says 50
18 A. I can see it all, including number 31.
19 Q. Okay. And as a member of government at the time, local
20 government at the time, were you aware of these loans?
21 A. The money never reached Mostar to my knowledge, at least.
22 Q. Okay --
23 A. I should have known had they -- had the funds been transferred.
24 Q. I'd like to look at 1D 02684, it should be right in the same
1 A. 84?
2 Q. 2684, it's also on the screen in front of you. And this is a
3 letter on a Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina letterhead and it's to the
4 Croatian Defence Council in Mostar, and it's regarding the HVO's request
5 for guarantees for an international loan. Now, when is -- do you see the
6 date on this?
7 A. The 17th of October, 1992.
8 Q. Right. And this is well -- well after the war began; correct?
9 A. Yes.
10 MR. KARNAVAS: Your Honour, we're talking about a war beginning.
11 At that point the conflict between the Serbs and the events in Mostar had
12 ceased to exist. I mean, that needs to be distinguished. So -- I mean,
13 I see the way the question is phrased, as if it's an ongoing war. At
14 that point normalcy has returned to some point in Mostar; there lies the
16 MS. WEST: I'll rephrase my question. Thank you.
17 Q. October 17th, 1992, as counsel has indicated, did normalcy return
18 to Mostar?
19 A. Yes, the shelling was still going on, but the situation was more
20 or less normal.
21 Q. Thank you. And at this time you see the first small paragraph or
22 sentence says: "We have received your request," and it gives a number,
23 "of 5 October of this year referring to giving guarantees for an
24 international loan of US $5 million ..."
25 Would you agree with me that at least during this time this shows
1 an interaction between Mostar and Sarajevo?
2 A. If somebody carried a letter through the tunnel or -- or say
3 through UNPROFOR or carried a letter into Sarajevo or out of Sarajevo
4 still don't consider that to be a proper contact.
5 Q. Okay. Sir, I'm going to direct your attention to testimony given
6 to this Chamber by Zoran Perkovic and this is testimony from September
7 1st of this month, so just recent testimony, and it's page of the
8 transcript it's 31689 and it's lines 15 to 22 and in it Perkovic says
10 "Throughout the war while the Croatian community and later the
11 Croatian Republic
12 between the republican institutions in Sarajevo and the people who sat in
13 institutions of the Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna. I personally was
14 in contact with these people several times, even at the time when the
15 Croat-Muslim/Croat-Bosniak conflict was at its highest level ..."
16 So, Mr. Puljic, do I understand that although other people -- in
17 this case, excuse me, Mr. Perkovic had contact with Sarajevo, you
18 personally did not have any?
19 A. I didn't have any contacts with Sarajevo.
20 Q. But that does not preclude the possibility of other people having
21 contact; correct?
22 A. Well, at that time every person in Sarajevo wanted to have some
23 kind of a task to establish some kind of a contact with someone outside
24 and to flee from Sarajevo
25 be surprised if you were to find some 50 situations of people trying to
1 establish contact.
2 Q. Thank you. I'd like to talk to you now about the issue of water,
3 and you had testified I think it was the day before yesterday and talked
4 about it yesterday as well about the sources of water-supply to West and
5 East Mostar. Do you remember that testimony?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. And let me summarize it and just tell me if this is correct or if
8 I have it wrong. The water originated at a particular source. It passed
9 through the settlement of Rastane, and as it passed you testified along
10 the length of exposed fire to Muslim troops. It came through West Mostar
11 and the only way to get it into East Mostar was over the bridges; is that
13 A. Correct.
14 Q. And you testified that the ABiH fired on the people who tried to
15 repair the lines for strategy purposes; is that right?
16 MR. KARNAVAS: Again, that's a mis-characterization of the
17 testimony, Your Honour. I believe there was a question from the Bench
18 which asked whether it was strategic or not, and the gentleman was quite
19 modest in his answer.
20 MS. WEST: Excuse me, Mr. Karnavas is correct, it was a question
21 from the Bench that mentioned strategy.
22 Q. But was your answer to that question yes?
23 A. The answer was yes, I can confirm that the employees of the
24 public enterprise were fired at.
25 Q. Sir, if the water -- in order for people in East Mostar to get
1 water, it had -- the water first had to go through West Mostar; correct?
2 A. Would you please repeat that question.
3 Q. In order for East Mostar to receive water, it first, the water,
4 went through West Mostar; is that right?
5 A. Yes, through West Mostar and across the bridges.
6 Q. And so if those pipelines were fired at resulting in West Mostar
7 not receiving any water, it would also result in East Mostar not
8 receiving any water; correct?
9 A. Well, East Mostar had no water already, so you cannot engage in
10 assumptions like that. There was no water in East Mostar already because
11 there were no bridges.
12 Q. I'd like to look at P 02611 and this was a handout yesterday
13 morning, and that's P 02611. It's also on the screen in front of you.
14 This is a letter dated June 2nd, 1993
15 letterhead is the Army of the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina. Now,
16 in it, in the very first page, which is the letter he talks about the
17 problem of water on the left bank and the second paragraph, and I'll read
19 "We are also informing you that we are giving you all guarantees
20 from our part that works in the area of responsibility under the control
21 of the BH Army will be carried out without any interruption, and we will
22 give necessary protection during the execution of works and also
23 necessary manpower ..."
24 Now, if you go to the attachment which will be the second page, I
25 believe, he's describing the situation with water in East Mostar. In the
1 first paragraph he says that there are 25.000 inhabitants on the left
2 bank and the whole area has not been supplied by sanitary water since the
3 beginning -- excuse me, since the moment of destruction of the city
4 bridges, which you've also confirmed for us. The second paragraph
6 "For the moment being, the complete left bank is supplied by
7 water through 4 temporary crossings of plastic pipes having diameters of
8 2 inches and 1 and a quarter inches ..."
9 At the bottom of that he writes: "Logically, because of shortage
10 of water the complete sewage system is not in function at all on the left
11 bank of the river. We stress that there are enough sufficient capacities
12 of water sources for supply of the whole area of the city of Mostar
13 If you go to the next page, which will be the third page in
14 English, here he offers a solution, and it has three points in it. I'll
15 read this and ask you some questions about it. He says: "For the
16 solution of the key problem of the left bank, we are suggesting the
17 following schedule of activities ..."
18 It says: "Finishing of activities with THW-Germany for
19 construction of the transport water pipeline over the bridge having a
20 diameter for 300 millimetres ... the second part is preparing of a
21 transfer network for rinsing and disinfecting, the third part is
22 electronic machine workshop shall also be included."
23 At the very bottom, the last sentence he says: "We are also
24 stressing that inhabitants of the left bank are ready to hear
25 extraordinary efforts and give help to the whole action including all the
1 structure of civilian protection and the BH Army."
2 Mr. Puljic, my question for you, at this time this is June 1993,
3 it appears that this letter suggests that people in East Mostar were in
4 dire need of that water; correct?
5 A. That is a fact; however, there is another thing that this letter
6 says to me: In order to get water you first have to building a
8 Q. Okay. But does it -- go ahead.
9 A. This letter, if you were to add up the number of letters, words,
10 and sentences, 99 per cent of it pertains to how you can get water and
11 the way you can get water is by building a waterworks.
12 Q. And so when you say waterworks, under number 1 on the page in
13 front of you it says: "Finishing of activities with THW-Germany for
14 construction of transport water pipeline ..."
15 Is that what you're talking about?
16 A. At that time I was not aware of these activities of the THW in
18 Q. All right. But you'll agree with me that this letter indicates
19 that the BH army was willing to even help to ensure that the water
20 ultimately ended up in East Mostar; correct?
21 A. Would you please repeat that question.
22 Q. Will you agree with me that this letter indicates that the BH
23 army, the Bosnia-Herzegovina army, was willing to even help ensure that
24 the water ultimately ended up in East Mostar?
25 A. Well, you've put a question and you've already given an answer
1 yourself by putting the question that way.
2 Q. And so my question is: Do you agree --
3 A. The army is just providing a solution here as to how it could be
5 Q. Okay.
6 A. That is to say they are making a proposal to build a waterworks.
7 Q. I now am going to read some testimony that was taken by this
8 Court on May 14th, 2007
9 from page of the transcript 18331 and then I will ask you a question
10 about this. The question is:
11 "Q. Can you tell us just a little bit about the situation
12 regarding water as of this point, which is June of 1993?"
13 And the answer from Witness BC
14 was that there were very, very limited -- we were told two small pipes
15 that provided water to the east -- east part of the city, so the majority
16 of the inhabitants there would have been either going to those pipes and
17 been subject to incoming sniper fire from the west side, or, and this is
18 what the majority of the people did, going to the Neretva River
19 their water, which is also very dangerous thing to do because of sniper
21 And the next question is: "THW, what is THW?"
22 And the answer is: "It's a German government organization,
23 humanitarian organization, that very often is involved in water and
24 sanitation projects and humanitarian crises."
25 And the following question: "And what were they doing down in
1 Mostar in respect to the water?"
2 The answer: "They had an engineer down there who was trying to
3 undertake a project to restore in a limited fashion a water-supply from
4 the western part of the city to the eastern part of the city."
5 Now, moving to page 18332, line 4:
6 "Q. Do you know whether he succeeded in providing water to the
7 east side at the time?
8 "A. He didn't. Unfortunately, he did not succeed. He spent his
9 days in Mostar negotiating with the Bosnian Croat authorities responsible
10 for the water-supply system in the west side of the city to get
11 permission to undertake this repair project. He needed their permission
12 to do that, and unfortunately he was very, very frustrated and ultimately
13 gave up for lack of permission for the Bosnian Croat authorities to
14 undertake that project."
15 Mr. Puljic, were you aware that this was going on at the time in
16 June of 1993?
17 MR. KARNAVAS: I'm going to I object to the form of the question.
18 That assumes that the gentleman is accurately describing the events. It
19 should be rephrased.
20 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. Ms. West has just
21 read what Witness BC said. It's quite interesting to find out what this
22 witness here would think of it. He can say that it's true, it's false --
23 I mean, that's what confrontation is all about after all. You confront
24 one declaration with another and with the statements of another. Maybe
25 BC told the truth, maybe he was a bit evasive. It's good to confront
1 this witness with what the other witness said.
2 What do you say of this, please, Witness?
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] At the time that is described in
4 this statement, I was director of the public enterprise for the
5 construction and reconstruction of Mostar. It had almost stopped
6 functioning because of the situation that the city was facing, that is to
7 say only a few of us came to work. I was compelled to spend most of my
8 time at home. I have no knowledge from that time as to what happened at
9 the negotiations, and I don't have any knowledge as to what the situation
10 was on the left bank. When speaking of waterworks, I would kindly ask
11 that questions pertaining to waterworks be reduced to the level of my
12 knowledge. I, as a town planner, know how the waterworks functioned in
13 an infrastructural sense and in a town planning sense; and I was
14 answering questions along those lines yesterday, and I thought that that
15 would be the situation today. At any rate, at that point in time I had
16 no knowledge of what the situation was on the left bank or what the
17 situation was in terms of the negotiations.
18 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I have two short questions for
19 you, and I believe that they will sum up the situation. You lived in
20 West Mostar, you said so. I have a simple question for you. Throughout
21 all this time were there any difficulties with the water-supply in West
22 Mostar, in your everyday life to wash or clean or drink?
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] All that time there were problems
24 in terms of water-supply.
25 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Did you ever have to go without
1 drinking because there was no water?
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes. First of all, the pressure
3 was not good throughout and sometimes there was no water all together.
4 Then we who live a bit higher up would go to the houses that are lower
5 down and perhaps there could be water in those houses but then sometimes
6 there wasn't any water there either.
7 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Secondly, to your knowledge in
8 East Mostar did you have any information regarding the water-supply that
9 would state that there were problems with the water-supply?
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I assume that they did have
12 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Witness, I'm looking at a sentence here you have
13 said which I quote: "I have no knowledge from that time as to what
14 happened at the negotiations, and I don't have any knowledge as to what
15 the situation was on the left bank."
16 Did your mandate have a limitation to West Mostar at that time?
17 Did you consider your task to be limited to the western part of the town?
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I did not think that my work was
19 limited to the west part of town only. It had to do with the entire
20 city. However, at that moment the public enterprise for the
21 reconstruction and construction of Mostar, in view of the fact that there
22 was a war going on, in view of the fact that the building was 100 metres
23 away from the boulevard, it simply couldn't function.
24 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mrs. West.
25 MS. WEST: Thank you, Mr. President.
1 Q. Mr. Puljic, you would agree with me in April -- April through
2 June of 1992 Mostar was -- suffered under shelling from the Serbs;
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. And the Serb shelling was voluminous, you would agree that it was
6 a difficult time?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. Would you also agree that in 1993, post-May 1993, particularly
9 the end of 1993 into the beginning of 1994 that the shelling going into
10 East Mostar was also quite voluminous?
11 A. Military experts should answer that question.
12 Q. Well, I'm asking you as a resident of West Mostar, a resident of
13 a fairly small city, whether you could observe first-hand the shelling of
14 the city.
15 A. Well, you are putting questions to me which require subjective
16 rather than objective answers. You know, if a shell is flying at you
17 then it has to do with a subjective thing. I have no way of knowing. I
18 do not have this information. You have to have military experts -- you
19 have to ask military experts what the word "intensive" means
20 terminologically. That is to say I cannot answer that question.
21 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Just a minute. Let's not beat
22 around the bush. You live in West Mostar, you're not challenging this,
23 and there's shelling going on flying into East and West Mostar, and this
24 is the question you must answer: Did you know whether East Mostar was
25 shelled? You're answering: No, I had no idea, I didn't know anything.
1 Or you answer: Yes, I heard about it or I heard some shelling. But now
2 you're telling us that we should ask an expert to answer this question.
3 We don't want an answer from an expert. We would like to know whether
4 when you lived in West Mostar you could hear the shelling on East Mostar
5 and were aware of that East Mostar was being shelled.
6 MR. KARNAVAS: Mr. President, with all due respect you're
7 mis-characterizing the witness's testimony. The issue came down to
8 intensity not whether he saw or not, and I think that's where he's saying
9 on the issue of intensity it's subjective. He never said that he didn't
10 see anything. So perhaps if the question can be rephrased in a manner
11 which may not make -- the gentleman answer.
12 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Ms. West, unless I'm mistaken I
13 didn't feel that you were asking a question about the intensity of the
14 shelling; you were asking a question to know whether East Mostar had been
15 shelled. Was the question on the intensity of the shelling or the actual
16 shelling itself?
17 MS. WEST: The term I used, Your Honour, was voluminous, which I
18 think is different from intensity. To avoid that entirely if we can back
19 up and ask the question you asked.
20 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well.
21 MS. WEST:
22 Q. Mr. Puljic, while living in West Mostar, did you have an
23 opportunity to make observations, whether that being seeing things or
24 hearing things, regarding the shelling in the whole city? Let's start
25 there, East Mostar and West Mostar.
1 A. I heard shells falling on Eastern Mostar but also I heard firing
2 at the western part of the city.
3 Q. At the time did it appear to you - and the time-frame I'm talking
4 about is late 1993/early 1994 - did it appear to you that East Mostar
5 receiving more shelling than West Mostar?
6 MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, in my view - unless
7 I'm mistaken perhaps - again this opens a completely new topic. I do not
8 recall that so far in such situations the Trial Chamber gave general
9 permission to the Prosecutor to bring up topics that had not been raised
10 during the examination-in-chief. So far on several occasions, and I
11 think that this was your explicit ruling, on several occasions you did
12 allow the Prosecution to broach subjects that had not been broached
13 during the direct examination, but these were specific approvals in
14 specific cases.
15 Now the Prosecutor is going into subjects that were not dealt
16 with during the examination-in-chief, they are not even referring to Rule
17 90(H), they are not even asking for permission to do that. So now does
18 the Prosecution believe that they have your general approval that they
19 can raise new subjects whenever they feel it is necessary? In the
20 meantime this can harm us. Give us the right to cross-examine because
21 the Prosecution case has been closed. They could have proven --
22 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Just a minute. Yesterday when
23 Mr. Karnavas asked questions, the witness spontaneously talked about the
24 shelling and the intensity of the shelling; he mentioned that yesterday.
25 So the Prosecutor is now dealing with the subject --
1 MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, if I may, I've been
2 following this carefully. Praljak too, yes, that's right, that's right,
3 Judge Trechsel, Mr. Praljak too, but we're talking about two completely
4 different events: Questions put by Mr. Karnavas and the questions put by
5 General Praljak had to do with 1992, the time when the JNA and the Serbs
6 were shelling and bombing Mostar. Now my colleague is speaking of 1993
7 and 1994, different parties, a different war altogether, a different
9 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Well, let me consult with my
10 fellow Judges to see if we allow Madam West to deal with this now topic?
11 MS. WEST: Mr. President, may I be heard first?
12 [Trial Chamber confers]
13 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] The Trial Chamber believes that
14 in the interests of justice the witness should be asked questions on
15 shelling, whatever period is considered.
16 So you have the floor, Mrs. West.
17 MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation] By your leave, Your Honour, two
18 points. I am respectful of your ruling, but I wish to state for the
19 transcript that in my view this ruling is not in accordance with the law.
20 We have filed a motion and you will render your decision. However, our
21 basic viewpoint is that the Prosecution case is over.
22 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. It's on the
24 But you can go on now, Ms. West.
25 MS. WEST: Thank you, Mr. President.
1 Q. We'll go to backing to my question and the question at line 14
2 is: At the time did it appear to you, the time-frame being late
3 1993/early 1994, did it appear that East Mostar was receiving more
4 shelling than West Mostar?
5 A. When there is shelling you hear the sound of the shell being
6 fired, the shell flying through the air, and then the shell blasting or
7 impacting. When a shell is fired then every normal person covers one's
8 ears and ducks one's head, and it doesn't even cross his mind to busy
9 himself or herself with counting shells.
10 Q. Mr. Puljic, I'm going to show you a report to see if this may
11 help you give us an answer as to shelling at the time.
12 MS. WEST: But may we go into closed session -- private session,
14 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Registrar.
15 [Private session]
11 Pages 32407-32409 redacted. Private session.
4 [Open session]
5 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, we're back in open session.
6 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Ms. West.
7 MS. WEST: Thank you.
8 Q. Mr. Puljic, is it fair to say that the city of Mostar on the
9 whole suffered more damage under the HVO in 1993 and 1994 than it did
10 under the Serb siege from April to June of 1992?
11 A. In answer to your question, I think that there are precise
12 indicators and figures, but they need to be retrieved. In the first war,
13 during the Serb aggression, the town was absolutely destroyed as
14 testified by the book entitled: "Urbicide," and as indicated by all the
15 figures, numbers drawn up by the commissions for the assessment of damage
16 which were made up of professionals and were multi-ethnic and worked
17 under uniform methodology. It was according to the same methodology that
18 the assessment of damage was done after the second conflict, and this is
19 something that can be ascertained.
20 Q. Okay. But you live --
21 A. In the first part of the war, shelling was the dominant feature;
22 as for the second, this is something you were able to see when the war
23 ended and when one took a walk around the town, you could see that all
24 the buildings were bullet-riddled. So after the first war you would be
25 able to see buildings damaged or destroyed by shells; after the second
1 part of the war, you were able to see bullet-riddled facades of the
2 buildings. Therefore, I can confirm here that major destruction in the
3 town was inflicted in the first part of the war, during the Serb
4 aggression. There are indicators testifying to that, as I said.
5 Q. Okay, but you've not answered my question which has to do with
6 damage. In --
7 MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, may I? I didn't wish
8 to intervene before and my colleague is going back to the question. Look
9 at the question more closely, please. The question is pure speculation.
10 This is an assessment on the part of the Prosecution that damage was
11 greater in one period than in the other, so lege artis my learned friend
12 had to lay a foundation for the statement contained in her question,
13 though of course I don't know of any direct evidence that could confirm
14 what she said. But this is the thesis in the indictment.
15 So in accordance with Rule 90(H), she should have said, Witness,
16 I put it to you that on the basis of this and that damage inflicted in
17 1993 was heavier than in 1992. Now that she received an answer that was
18 not to the expectation of the Prosecution, she is trying to go back to
19 the same question through the backdoor and that's contrary to the rules
20 governing cross.
21 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Ms. West, if I understood that
22 through your question you were asking to -- you were asking the witness
23 to talk about damage. He answered and said that according to him during
24 the Serb aggression the damage -- the shelling damage was heavier than
25 what he noticed on buildings after the other aggression because -- after
1 the other war because there was the walls were bullet-riddled. That's
2 all he answered, and that's not enough for you? You want more?
3 MS. WEST: I do respectfully, Mr. President. I think
4 particularly this witness, having been the author or the overseer of a
5 book about damage after the Serb siege and an architect who lives in the
6 area, he should be able to give a far more thorough answer regarding
7 damage in the city. So I am going to ask him again. Thank you.
8 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Witness, I looked at your book
9 very carefully, of course. Your book is extremely interesting with
10 photographs, and it's an interesting read. Now, why didn't you have --
11 why didn't you write the same book but for the period after the Serb
12 aggression, 1993 to 1994? Maybe you didn't have enough time, maybe you
13 plan on doing this, very well. But it would have been interesting to
14 take a building, for example, a given building, photograph that building
15 as you did so that we could see the damage inflicted during the Serb
16 aggression and then take a new picture of that building to show that
17 after 1993/1994 either the building had not been further damaged or had
18 been further damaged or had been repaired. Did you undertake this kind
19 of work, comparison work, yes or no?
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] After the end of the second
21 conflict in Mostar, European administration was set up in Mostar; in
22 other words, the town was governed by the European administration headed
23 by Mr. Hans Koschnik. The European administration had all the
24 information dating from the first war since we had it collected and
25 stored, and primarily this was part of the effort that I took part in
1 that was carried out in Mostar.
2 After the second part of the conflict an assessment was made of
3 war damage; however, I did not personally take part in making that
4 assessment, other departments were involved in that. I can only give you
5 an impression that of an engineer strolling the town, and I can tell you
6 that the damage in the two periods is incomparable; in other words, the
7 damage inflicted in the second part of the conflict was drastically less
8 than in the first.
9 Another problem of methodological nature comes into play here as
10 well. You have to be able to objectively assess the damage. After the
11 second war, the emotions were so strong that it was almost impossible to
12 do or it was very difficult to. After the first war, as you could see in
13 the book called Urbicide there were buildings that were destroyed
14 regardless of who destroyed them. In Urbicide you can see the Serb
15 Orthodox church that was destroyed, because at the time we both
16 wanted and were able to be objective. After the second conflict
17 I think it was the emotions that barred any sort of objective
19 MS. WEST: Thank you.
20 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Mr. Puljic, would that, what you have just told
21 us, and very understandable, big emotions, could that also have
22 influenced your finding that the damages were drastically less than in
23 the first war?
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Hardly. I don't think so.
25 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Thank you.
1 MS. WEST: Thank you.
2 Q. Mr. Puljic, on direct testimony you spoke about a conference that
3 you had attended, it was in April of 1993, where you presented a paper as
4 well. It was in Neum and I think it was under the auspices of the
5 University of Mostar
6 That's binder 2. Thank you.
7 In front of you -- this is the paper you wrote for that
8 conference; right?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. So in the very first paragraph you wrote about Urbicide. And you
11 wrote: "In history, there have been rare examples of 'urbicide' a
12 systematic and planned destruction of a town. We understand this term to
13 mean the destruction of a town which is the goal, not a consequence, of
14 war operations."
15 And the last sentence you write: "Simply, by destroying a city,
16 the greatest product of civilization, the intention was to stop the
17 civilizational progress of a whole nation and wipe out its roots and its
18 greatest material and cultural achievements accumulated for generations."
19 Now, this conference that you attended was this also attended by
20 other colleagues in the same business who also wrote papers like this?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. And this paper would have come on the heels of your book:
23 "Mostar 1992," right?
24 A. No, these are two different papers. The 1992 Urbicide book
25 contained one set of articles and this one contains a different set.
1 Q. Yes, thank you. So "Mostar 1992," you had testified came at the
2 end of 1992 and it went on exhibition; correct?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. I believe you testified Split, Zagreb, and then went to the
5 UNESCO centre in Paris
6 A. And Ljubljana
7 Q. Thank you. And you also testified that there was also a film
8 that was involved?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. Now, there are a number of articles in "Mostar 1992," but you
11 wrote a couple of them but other people wrote the rest; right?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. But nonetheless you organized it and you oversaw the whole
14 project; right?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. Would you consider this to be a comprehensive and accurate
17 assessment of war damage post-Serb siege?
18 A. This is the first objective and accurate assessment. It was
19 followed by only one such accurate assessment, and to my knowledge the
20 data contained therein do not differ much because they were professionals
21 of different nationalities who had the expertise and who did go from home
22 to home to collect information. But to go back to this, yes, the
23 information contained here is objective and accurate.
24 Q. All right. And this -- you've just said that it was followed by
25 only one other such accurate assessment. Are you referring to another
1 book about the Serb siege?
2 A. No. I'm referring to the official paper made by the official
3 commissions which had specific forms and I believe that we looked at them
4 the first or the second day that listed the methodology according to
5 which war damage was to be assessed. The only difference is that their
6 job was done in a bit more detail than the one by the engineers of the
7 public enterprise for the construction and reconstruction of Mostar.
8 Q. Mr. Puljic, did your role of overseeing this book include making
9 decisions regarding what articles to include in the book and which photos
10 to include in the book?
11 A. That part of the job was done collectively. I did not, and
12 that's a fact, correct or look to correct a single page, a single word or
13 sentence in that book without consulting others first. Some of them I
14 even didn't manage to read through all the way before they were sent to
15 be printed.
16 Q. Okay. Now if we can look at the book and it's 3D 00785.
17 A. Your Honour --
18 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes, Witness.
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] If I may, Your Honour, refer to
20 only one sentence in this article, a single sentence. At the time I was
21 writing this, I wasn't aware of this but there is one sentence which is
22 absolutely consistent with my knowledge today, the destruction of a town
23 can be urbicide, it can be the goal, but it can also be the consequence.
24 In the first war we had urbicide, whereas the destruction of this town in
25 the second war was a consequence of the war. Thank you.
1 MR. KARNAVAS: Just one point of clarification for the record, it
2 would appear that on page 36, and I'm trying to -- line 21, the gentleman
3 indicated that he had not made a single correction to a single page,
4 single word, or sentence in that book, but as I am told, he did not say
5 "without consulting others first," in other words, you know, full stop as
6 opposed to he did make some corrections but he consulted others first.
7 So perhaps that can be clarified, the gentleman can be given an
8 opportunity to clarify that part of the transcript.
9 MS. WEST:
10 Q. Mr. Puljic, you heard comments by counsel. When you made
11 decisions regarding this book, maybe made corrections, did you consult
12 first with others on your team before you made those corrections?
13 A. I oversaw the entire exercise, but the book is a collective
14 product. This means the following: You could see that articles were
15 authored by two or three individuals. Simply, because of the time, we
16 didn't even have time to consult with each other or to comment on the
17 articles. Almost -- it almost happened so that we would forward for
18 printing raw material without having time to work on it. While working
19 on the book, I never consulted with anyone else other than the
20 individuals mentioned in the book, and it was in the technical sense, to
21 make the book better.
22 I personally didn't correct a single article. We tried to place
23 them in a certain order. I chose the topics and the people who would be
24 covering various topics, and when the time came four or five of us sat
25 down and physically put it all together.
1 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Just before the break I have
2 one small question. I was looking at this paper called "Urbicide," and I
3 was looking at the table on page 2, it's quite striking. You drew up a
4 summary chart, hotels, municipality buildings, cultural buildings,
5 department stores, bridges, and religious structures, churches. The
6 mosques are not included.
7 But what's really interested here in this table is that you're
8 giving the figures before the war, for example, you have nine hotels
9 before the war, and then you give the distribution between those that are
10 damaged, destroyed, or intact. We note that hardly any buildings stayed
11 intact. And then you draw up the percentage of destruction, 100 per cent
12 of hotels were destroyed, 100 per cent of municipal buildings were
13 destroyed, 83 per cent of cultural buildings were destroyed, all
14 department stores were 100 per cent destroyed, 92 per cent of the bridges
15 were destroyed, and 91 per cent of the churches were destroyed. So it
16 seems that almost everything was destroyed. So what -- starting from
17 that you really wonder what could be -- what could be further destroyed.
18 It's -- it's really striking. It looks like the entire city was in
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Absolutely. Look at the
22 photographs and everything will be clear to you.
23 MS. WEST: Mr. President, may I have one more question before we
25 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Go ahead.
1 MS. WEST:
2 Q. In relation to this table you have religious structures of the
3 Catholic church but you don't include mosques, why don't you?
4 A. Probably it's an error.
5 Q. Thank you.
6 MS. WEST: I have no further questions.
7 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. Let's break for 20
8 minutes. My fellow Judge has something to say.
9 JUDGE TRECHSEL: I just want for the record to declare that
10 unfortunately I will not be able to sit after the break today.
11 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. 20-minute break.
12 --- Recess taken at 10.35 a.m.
13 --- On resuming at 11.01 a.m.
14 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] We're back in session.
15 Ms. West, Mr. Registrar told me you'd used two hours and 44
16 minutes. So in theory you have one hour and 15 minutes left. So if
17 there aren't too many objections, we could complete your
18 cross-examination before the second break. Please proceed.
19 MS. WEST: Thank you very much.
20 Q. Mr. Puljic, I'd like to now talk about your book.
21 A. [In English] I'm sorry.
22 Q. Yeah.
23 A. [Interpretation] I do apologise. Your Honour, I should really
24 give an explanation with regard to the last answer I gave before the
1 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Briefly.
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The question was why there were no
3 mosques in that table. We participated in this gathering as individuals
4 but also as the representatives of the institutions that we came from
5 originally. So we from the public enterprise for reconstruction and
6 construction had agreed to go with three scientific papers. I was
7 supposed to speak of the future development of town and the paper was
8 written in that sense.
9 In the second paper the group that dealt with the protection of
10 cultural heritage was supposed to deal with that subject. All cultural
11 monuments had been dealt with within that topic and the reconstruction of
12 mosques and Islamic monuments was the particular focus of that group. In
13 the third group were engineers who presented their methods of
14 reconstructing bridges on the Neretva River
15 subject of mosques was dealt with in another paper by this group of
16 people who also spoke there. Thank you.
17 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you.
18 MS. WEST:
19 Q. Mr. Puljic, we're going to go directly to your book and I'm going
20 to show you plate 43. We're going to put this on the ELMO because I
21 think the quality is going to be better and this is the new Orthodox
22 church or Serbian Orthodox cathedral of Holy Trinity church in Mostar.
23 Now, this is the only photo in your book of this particular Orthodox
24 church and it's an after photo. Do you recognise that photo?
25 A. I do.
1 Q. In the book, in the beginning where the articles are placed,
2 there is some mention of this and it's page 39 of the English, page 21 of
3 the B/C/S, and it says that: "The new Orthodox church was set on fire in
4 the final operations while the enemy was retreating from Mostar."
5 And then it says: "And sometime later the church was destroyed
6 by the self-willed act of unknown perpetrators."
7 Do you remember when this church was destroyed?
8 A. I don't remember the exact date.
9 Q. In fact this was destroyed later on in June after the JNA had
10 already pulled out of Mostar. Does that help you remember the exact
12 A. I can confirm that it took place after the JNA had pulled out.
13 Q. Okay. And you agree that in order to have an explosion like this
14 or the result of this destruction, a large amount of explosives would
15 have been used?
16 A. [No interpretation]
17 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreter cannot hear the witness.
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I do agree with that.
19 MS. WEST:
20 Q. And also would you agree with me that it would be unlikely that
21 the Serbs would have exploded their own Orthodox church --
22 MR. KARNAVAS: Objection, calls for speculation. Obviously my
23 learned colleague has no clue of what was happening in that war, and I
24 can point to countless of examples including in Sarajevo. That totally
25 calls for speculation. I'm shocked that an attorney of her calibre would
1 even ask a question of such nature.
2 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] You have no idea as to whom may
3 have been at the origin of the damage?
4 THE WITNESS: Absolutely nothing.
5 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreter cannot hear the speaker.
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] One morning when I went to work I
7 saw this silhouette of the city, and I realized that the Orthodox church
8 was no longer there.
9 MS. WEST:
10 Q. Mr. Puljic, I'm going to move on to the old Orthodox church.
11 What you have in front of you is the new Orthodox church, now we're going
12 to move to the old Orthodox church. You'll agree with me that there's no
13 photo of that church in your book; correct?
14 A. Well, a lot of photographs are not in my book, or rather, many
15 damaged facilities and not all the churches are there, not all the
16 mosques are there. But we wanted to paint a picture of the city.
17 Q. Okay. But nonetheless your book does mention the old Orthodox
18 church and this is page 39 of the English and page 21 of the B/C/S and it
19 says: "The structure suffered no damage ..."
20 So indeed post-Serb siege the old Orthodox church actually was
21 not damaged; correct?
22 A. The old Orthodox church is behind the new Orthodox church.
23 Q. And it suffered no damage during the Serb siege?
24 A. Couldn't see it.
25 Q. Sir, turn to page 39 of your book which is right in front of you.
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. Page 39 of the book in front of you and it's page 21 of the
3 English. And this is an article that recounts the damage to a number of
4 the Orthodox churches, and you'll agree with me that your group reported
5 that this church suffered no damage post-Serb siege.
6 A. I have to read this in order to be able to give you an answer.
7 Where is this? What?
8 Q. We're just going to move on. You're familiar with the church,
9 though, nonetheless; right?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. Okay. Now, isn't it true that it was ultimately blown up during
12 the night on January 14th and 15th of 1993?
13 A. Are you talking about the old church or the new church?
14 Q. I'm talking about the old church and there's a picture of it --
15 old picture of it right in front of you on the ELMO.
16 A. I'm not aware of that.
17 Q. Okay. I'm going to show you another photo of this church and
18 this is a photo that was taken in the spring of 1994. And this is
19 P 10607, and for the record the book we showed earlier with the before
20 picture -- excuse me, this is P 10607, the last numbers being 1756. This
21 is a photo, do you recognise, of the old Orthodox church
22 post-Croat/Muslim war?
23 A. I recognise the church but this church could never be seen from
24 town, that is to say that it was behind the new Orthodox church. And
25 even when the new Orthodox church was destroyed you couldn't see this one
1 because of the ruins when viewed from town. I never went to this
2 locality specifically.
3 Q. Okay. So are you telling me that you've never seen this church?
4 MR. KARNAVAS: Objection. That's not what he's indicated. And
5 I'm again -- I call upon my colleague to kindly resort -- or stop
6 resorting to these sorts of tactics. Listen to what the gentleman
7 indicated, you could not see it from that location, not that he never saw
8 it. There is a big distinction. I don't see why we need to resort to
9 these sorts of sleazy tactics.
10 MS. WEST: Your Honour, the witness can answer the question and
11 if the answer to that question is no, he can give it.
12 MR. KARNAVAS: No. The question has to be fair. She is twisting
13 what he said. She -- the question assumes facts that are not in evidence
14 and it's a sleazy tactic and I'm calling my counsel on it -- the
15 Prosecution on it.
16 MS. WEST: May I proceed, Your Honour?
17 MR. KOVACIC: If I may, one word. I -- [Interpretation] I'm
18 confused. I don't see the relevance of this question. I've checked the
19 indictment once again. There are no charges in the indictment that
20 involve the destruction of Orthodox churches. I don't see what the
21 relevance is. I know that the Prosecutor is entitled to her own four
22 hours, but it doesn't give her the right to put any kind of question.
23 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Ms. West, does your question go
24 to show something in the indictment? Which paragraph?
25 MS. WEST: Your Honour, the question goes to this gentleman's
1 credibility. He indicated that the second war, 1993/1994, the city of
2 Mostar suffered much less damage. The photo in front of him was taken in
3 May 1994. That is a Serb Orthodox church and not one of the churches --
4 the indictment does not make it irrelevant.
5 MR. KARNAVAS: And how do we know that the Muslims didn't blow it
7 MS. WEST: That is an issue for re-direct.
8 MR. KARNAVAS: How do we know -- no, the whole point is
9 relevancy. That's the point, it goes to relevancy and this is Trial
10 Advocacy 101; it has nothing to do with post or pre. If she can connect
11 that this damage was actually done by the Croats, I can see the line of
12 questioning. But how does one photograph of one church in one location
13 support her thesis and how is it relevant to the indictment? Now, if she
14 can connect the dots on that I'll sit down; but until then, I'll keep
16 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Ms. West, for relevance
17 purposes I asked the question, Mr. Kovacic raised the issue, what is the
18 relevance of this question with regards to the indictment?
19 MS. WEST: Your Honour, the relevance is the damage that was
20 caused during the 1993/1994 war. Now, although the indictment lists very
21 particular things, it doesn't mean that there was damage otherwise. And
22 this particular witness has offered testimony to the Trial Chamber that
23 in 1994 the damage was much less. This is an example of how that is not
24 the case.
25 MR. KOVACIC: Your Honour, with all due respect [Interpretation]
1 Maybe my English is not good enough. I haven't heard the interpretation,
2 but this is what my colleague said [In English] In particular things it
3 does not mean that there was damage otherwise. [Interpretation] Does
4 that mean that we have to see whether there are any elements that the
5 Prosecutor has that are not in the indictment? Something is either in
6 the indictment or not, something is relevant and therefore -- or perhaps
7 irrelevant, but I cannot agree that say something may have happened
8 although it's not in the indictment.
9 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I didn't know the Defence was
10 going to object on this. I don't have the indictment before me, but if I
11 remember well in the indictment I believe we're talking about mass-scale
12 destruction. There are lists of religious buildings which were
13 destroyed, but this list is not comprehensive. There are other
14 examples - correct me if I'm wrong, Ms. West - but if I understood
15 correctly, your question goes to show that there has been mass-scale
16 destructions; and that's why you're showing this picture to the witness.
17 Am I correct?
18 MS. WEST: That is correct.
19 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. You may not fully
20 grasp those discussions, witness, but the fundamental issue that is of
21 interest to the Chamber is who did it, who destroyed those religious
22 buildings. It seems you have no idea as to whom did it; that's what you
23 said earlier on. So if you're shown various pictures I guess we'll get
24 the same answer.
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I don't know who did this or when.
1 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well.
2 He's already said that he didn't know, Ms. West.
3 MS. WEST: Thank you, Mr. President.
4 Q. Sir, we're going to move on -- back to your book and this is a
5 mosque that was mentioned earlier, and it's plate 16 of your book. This
6 is the Karadjoz Mehmet Bey Mosque. It was mentioned yesterday by
7 Ms. Nozica, it's in the indictment, and if you look on the screen in
8 front of you, you'll see the photo. Do you recognise that mosque?
9 A. I do.
10 Q. And this was one of Mostar's most notable Ottoman-era buildings
11 and it was its principal mosque; correct?
12 A. According to the principles of Ottoman architecture, there is no
13 main mosque in a town. All mosques are equal. So this same concept of
14 urban form and urban content is not like it is in the West.
15 In the West you have a square, a cathedral, a town hall, but in
16 an eastern town all mosques are equal. Among other things, we should
17 make a distinction. There are some mosques that belong to the carsija
18 and the other ones that belong to the Mahalas, the residential areas.
19 This is the mosques of one of the Mahalas, and it is one of the Mostar
20 mosques that are related to a particular neighbourhood.
21 Q. Okay. This mosque is also listed with the register of historic
22 monuments; correct?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. I'm going to show you another photo of the mosque, and this was
25 taken in May of 1994. You agree with me by May of 1994 the mosque has
1 suffered more damage?
2 A. [No interpretation]
3 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreter could not hear the witness.
4 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Praljak.
5 THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation] Well, the angle is not the
6 same. The photographs were taken from different angles.
7 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Could we see the first picture
8 again, please.
9 Madam Usher, could you please put back on the ELMO the first
10 picture. Put them together if possible, one next to the other.
11 MS. WEST:
12 Q. So, Mr. Puljic -- excuse me?
13 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Go ahead.
14 MS. WEST:
15 Q. Mr. Puljic, you see the photos in front of you?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. You'll agree with me that the photo on the left it appears that a
18 large chunk of the main dome is destroyed?
19 A. Do I have to agree with you?
20 Q. No, no, you tell me if --
21 A. You always ask me: Will you agree with me or you will agree with
22 me. The differences in terms of destruction, that is a question for
23 expertise. The witness is not an expert, but I can answer as an
25 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Praljak, who has knowledge
1 in photography it seems.
2 THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation] Your Honours, if a person
3 knows this mosque and if a person knows where the dome and where the
4 minaret are, it is obvious that the first photograph was taken from a
5 different side than the one on the right-hand side, so it's two different
6 angles. The first one is facing the east, the Serb side; and the other
7 one is facing the other side.
8 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes.
9 Ms. West, the two pictures were taken from different angles. It
10 may be or not, I'm not saying that it's a certain fact, but it may be
11 that the destruction seen on the left side also exists on the right-hand
12 picture but because of the angle you can't see it. Technically speaking,
13 I'm not saying it's not possible.
14 Witness, as an architect, what can you say? The Prosecution is
15 asking you if on the left side picture there are indications of further
16 destruction as compared to the picture on the right, irregardless of the
17 angle. What can you say? Can you confirm? Do you have reservations?
18 Are you challenging the Prosecution's position? What do you have to say?
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, the Prosecutor said that
20 these two photographs were taken at two different points in time and that
21 the year had elapsed in the meantime, for instance. I just wish to state
22 that the mosque and its main dome and the three smaller domes in front
23 were made of stone and that the front eaves were made of wood. I cannot
24 assess the damage. I can see that the wooden porch has caved in.
25 Now, whether that happened because of the effects of the first shelling
1 or perhaps some new shelling, I really cannot say. This is a question
2 for expertise and a more serious viewing of the problem and this is
3 something that should be worked on more seriously.
4 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] But on the dome on the left
5 side picture there's been an impact because there's a hole. Can you see
6 the dome? There's a huge hole there on the picture on the left. What's
7 your opinion?
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, whether it's due to caving in
9 or shelling is something that would have to be established by construction
11 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well.
12 MS. WEST: Thank you.
13 Q. Sir, now I'm going to show you another mosque that was mentioned
14 yesterday by Ms. Nozica, it's plate 18 of the book, it's the Nesuh Aga
15 V-A-C-J-A-K-O-V-I-C Mosque. Do you see that in front of you?
16 A. Nasu Aga Vucjakovic.
17 Q. Thank you. And that mosque did suffer some damage from the Serb
18 siege; correct?
19 A. It is hard to say on the basis of a sing photograph, but I do see
20 that the minaret is damaged.
21 Q. Well, Mr. Puljic, this is --
22 A. I see --
23 Q. Excuse me, Mr. Puljic, this photo comes from your book that is
24 about damage post-Serb siege, so where do you see the damage?
25 A. Over here on the minaret and you can see the top of the dome -- I
1 mean it's not vertical and perhaps it had been shelled from the other
3 Q. Okay. I'm going to show you --
4 A. Take a look. Can you see it here, the top of the minaret and the
5 top of the dome that is slanted.
6 Q. Thank you. Mr. Puljic --
7 A. Another thing, another thing, the Serb shelling did not stop when
8 the left bank was liberated.
9 Q. Right. And you indicated yesterday that you thought by February
10 at least, February of 1993, it had stopped though?
11 A. Always -- no --
12 Q. Well, we'll let the record speak for itself and let me ask you
13 another question --
14 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Witness, yesterday I asked the
15 question or the day before yesterday, I can't remember. I asked you when
16 the Serbs stopped shelling or shooting, it was a very specific question,
17 and I believe you said a specific month. So what's your answer now?
18 When did they stop? Did they stop at a particular date or did they keep
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The Serb shelling was there all the
21 time; however, the intensity varied. The last Serb shell fell on Mostar
22 on the day when it hit the Ero hotel where the European administration
23 was and when in front of the Mostar cathedral three little girls were
24 killed by a different Serb shell that evening. That is to say that the
25 shelling went on all the time.
1 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] What month and what year was
2 it? Witness, the three little girls that were killed, when were they
3 killed, what month and what year?
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] There is a date, the European
5 administration had been in Mostar for another a year by then, I can't
6 remember exactly; however, you can find this in documents. I think it
7 was say in 1995. It was the summer of 1995 I think, but I know for sure
8 that these were the last shells that came from the Serb positions, those
9 that hit the hotel where the European administration was staying and then
10 this shell that killed the three little girls in front of the cathedral.
11 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] In 1992 the Serbs are shelling.
12 In 1993, in 1994, in 1995 as well?
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes. Truth to tell, the intensity
15 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] All right. Good. So you're
16 confirming that there was shelling between 1992 and 1995, shelling from
17 the Serbs, although you're saying that the intensity varied. Is that
18 what you're saying?
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, there were periods when --
20 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Good. Very well.
21 Ms. West.
22 MS. WEST:
23 Q. Mr. Puljic, are you aware of what happened to this mosque later
25 A. No.
1 Q. I'm going to show you a photo taken in May 1994, the first one.
2 What's different about this photo than the one you previously saw?
3 A. The photograph was taken from a different angle, and the very top
4 of the minaret is missing.
5 Q. Okay. And I'm going to show you the second photo. Can you also
6 tell us what's different about that photo from the first one?
7 A. I would have to know what it is you want to say. There -- the
8 top of the minaret is missing, it fell off.
9 Q. Do you know how that happened?
10 A. Both you and I can only speculate. It could have been
11 earthquake, and it could have just fallen off on its own, as often it
12 used to happen; or it could have been damaged by the shell and then it
13 was the result of shelling. It could have been knocked off by flying
14 shell, and whatever I might say now comes into the sphere of speculation.
15 MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation] Your Honour, evidently the topic is
16 mosques and the documents I showed to the witness. Let me draw your
17 attention to an important matter. Document 2D 01421 that I showed to the
18 witness which is the list of buildings made by the board of the Islamic
19 community in Mostar, they say about Vucjakovic Mosque under 3 that it
20 sustained major damage. The list was made in January 1993. In other
21 words, the damage shown there was inflicted around that period. The
22 witness did not see the list before. It was the Islamic community that
23 produced the list, and I'm saying this merely so that you be mindful of
24 what the Islamic community wrote about what the possibility of the shells
25 falling on the mosque at the time in Mostar was and when.
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honours, it was only now that
2 I realized the source of the photographs. The source of the photographs
3 is a new book called "Urbicide" made in Sarajevo a year or a year, or
4 rather, a year and a half or two years after the other book titled
5 "Urbicide." Can we please see the authors of this book and look at what
6 their goals and intentions were. What I want to say is that the goal of
7 this book was an honourable one, the intentions were honourable and
8 honest, and the job was done correctly, professionally, responsibly, and
9 objectively. I would like to have a look at the entire book called
10 "Urbicide" and published in Sarajevo a year and a half or two years after
11 my book before I can give any sort of an opinion on it.
12 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Ms. West, please proceed.
13 MS. WEST: Thank you.
14 Q. Sir, are you familiar with the institute of protection of
15 cultural, historical, and natural heritage for the municipality of
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. And that was an institution that was established in 1994 and it
19 worked with UNESCO; correct?
20 A. Can you please repeat the name of the institution.
21 Q. The institute of protection of cultural, historical, and natural
22 heritage for the municipality of Mostar
23 A. Institute.
24 Q. Correct.
25 A. I thought that I knew all the institutions in that field and this
1 is the first time I hear of this term in the B/C/S "institut." I don't
2 think that there is any such institution called that way in the B/C/S,
3 and I don't think it had ever existed in Yugoslavia or in any of the
4 republics. So I can claim that there is no "institut" for the protection
5 of monuments in Mostar.
6 MS. WEST: Can we go into private session?
7 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes.
8 Mr. Registrar.
9 [Private session]
11 Pages 32436-32442 redacted. Private session.
13 [Open session]
14 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, we're back in open session.
15 MS. WEST:
16 Q. Mr. Puljic, can you look at P 02264, it's the first binder. And
17 this is a letter from Bishop Peric to General Petkovic and it's dated May
18 10th, 1993, and we'll just read the first paragraph. He says:
19 "Dear General, it is my duty as a Bishop to express on behalf of
20 the Catholic church in Mostar and on behalf of human and Catholic
21 morality my deep disapproval of the destruction of the Muslim mosque on
22 Balinovac, which occurred several minutes ago. The mosque is a place of
23 worship where Islamic believers meet to play pray the honour and glory of
24 good-Allah. The destruction of such building is a blow to the Holiest of
25 Holies, all mighty God."
1 Mr. Puljic, are you familiar with the Muslim mosque on Balinovac?
2 A. Baba Besirova Mosque, yes.
3 Q. And that's the formal name of it; correct?
4 A. Yes, Baba Besirova Mosque at Balinovac.
5 Q. Thank you, and you'll agree with me that that mosque was
6 destroyed on May 10th, 1993
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. I'm going to show you a photo, this is P 09026, and we'll put
9 them on the ELMO, the original, so they're easier to see. Is that the
10 mosque on Balinovac?
11 A. Yes, it is.
12 Q. Okay. Now, I'm going to show you the second photo which is an
13 after shot. Is this what the area looked like after May 10th, 1993?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. Thank you. Mr. Puljic, in Urbicide 2, you wrote an essay
16 regarding bridges; correct?
17 A. Why Urbicide 2, Urbicide?
18 Q. Sorry, 1992, "Urbicide."
19 A. Yes, I wrote an article in bridges in "Urbicide 1992."
20 Q. And you had indicated that the Serbs blew up nine out of ten
21 bridges; correct?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. It is one bridge they didn't blow up was the Old Bridge
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. I'm going to show you plate 65 and 66, these are in your book.
1 Can you tell me if this is what the bridge looked like post-Serb siege?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. Okay.
4 A. Yes, immediately after the Serb siege.
5 Q. All right. And so look --
6 A. In other words, several days later.
7 Q. And looking at the photo we see some damage on the -- from the
8 photo, the upper left corner of the bridge. Do you see that damage?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. Okay. Now if we could show you the next plate, which is 66,
11 that's just a better close-up shot of the damage; correct?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. All right. You testified I think it was the day before yesterday
14 that you saw tank firing on the bridge on television; is that correct?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. And do you remember when that was, what month that was?
17 A. No.
18 Q. Is it possible that that could have been early November or late
19 October of 1993?
20 A. I can't remember when it was.
21 Q. Okay. But would you agree with me that the bridge came down or
22 the bridge collapsed in early or November 9th, 1993?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. And at that point the bridge had suffered a continual barrage of
25 shelling from an HVO tank; is that correct?
1 A. That's what the TV broadcast said when it was destroyed.
2 Q. Now, you testified that you were sorry that they fired on the
3 bridge. Why are you sorry?
4 A. Well, whenever a cultural monument is being destroyed I feel
5 sorry. You were able to read that in my statement.
6 Q. Now we're going to show you P 007431 which is a video, and I
7 think we can show it on the monitors.
8 [Videotape played]
9 MS. WEST:
10 Q. Do you have this in front of you, Mr. Puljic?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. Okay. We're going to start it over. It's in English, but it
13 will be translated for you.
14 [Videotape played]
15 "Christiane Amanpour: Up until about six months ago, the Muslims
16 and the Croats were allied against the Serbs but perhaps Mostar is the
17 best place to see how that alliance has crumbled. Indeed the Muslims,
18 the Bosnian government, said that here the Croats have inflicted much
19 more damage than the Serbs ever did.
20 "The old town of Mostar
21 city the old bridge was finally destroyed by Croat tanks --"
22 MS. WEST:
23 Q. I just want you to focus on that part of the bridge when we saw
24 that it was hit by a shell. Is it your memory that that was the state of
25 the bridge during that period of time; do you remember seeing it like
2 A. Can you please be specific in your question. When? It is not
3 specific enough for me to give you a specific answer.
4 Q. This would be the fall of 1993."
5 A. What is it about the fall of 1993 you're asking me.
6 Q. Did the bridge in 1993 look significantly different than it did
7 post-Serb siege?
8 A. In the fall of 1993 nobody was able to come close to this area.
9 I saw the same thing you were able to see on the TV. I didn't see it at
10 the time, so I can't compare the conditions when I didn't see anything
11 other than the TV broadcast. The most appropriate thing to do here would
12 be to give us the whole sequence of images of what the bridge looked like
13 over those days after the initial damage because it had been constantly
14 exposed to shelling.
15 At a certain point one could still approach the bridge so it was
16 covered with board work and tires. When the conflict between the Muslims
17 and the Croats broke out, I couldn't come close to the bridge for the
18 subsequent couple of years --
19 Q. So, Mr. Puljic --
20 A. -- that's why I can't tell you what it looked like on the basis
21 of what I was able to see because I wasn't able to see it.
22 Q. Mr. Puljic, may I ask you another question --
23 A. Now to compare the two images, well that's quite a different
25 Q. Let's go back to the original image and this is plate 66 in your
1 book, so this is post-Serb siege, that's in front of you now. Can you
2 see that?
3 A. I do.
4 Q. Can you confirm for me that this is what the bridge -- the state
5 of the bridge, this is what it looked like after the Serb siege?
6 A. You're forcing me to compare what I was able to see with my own
7 eyes with what I saw on the TV.
8 Q. No, no, no Mr. Puljic --
9 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Witness, the Prosecution is not
10 forcing you to do anything. The Prosecution is just showing you
11 photographs and pictures and is asking you to give your opinion. Nobody
12 is forcing you to do anything.
13 Ms. West, we've talked about this bridge for -- at length for
14 hundreds of hours, so please get to the point.
15 MS. WEST: Your Honour, we'll move on from the bridge because I
16 agree with you.
17 Q. Mr. Puljic, after the war between the Croats and the Muslims in
18 1993/1994, did your view or feelings towards the Muslim people change as
19 a result of it?
20 A. My feelings toward that particular people had always been the
21 same. They're my neighbours with whom I -- or next to whom I live now
22 and will be living for the rest of my life. There's a popular saying in
23 Bosnia-Herzegovina that goes as follows: A neighbour is more important
24 than a relative or a brother because he's right next to you.
25 Q. That may be true, Mr. Puljic, but my question is: Did you emerge
1 from the war with bad feelings towards them? Did you like them?
2 MR. KARNAVAS: I object to the form of the question. It's been
3 asked and answered. If she wants to ask if he hates Muslims or Bosniaks,
4 as they're called today, or if he has a grudge, she can just put the
5 question to the gentleman. Let's not beat about the bush. If she wishes
6 to ask these sorts of insulting questions, then she should just be as
7 direct as possible.
8 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes, you might as well be as
9 direct and frank.
10 MS. WEST: Your Honour, I thought that was a direct question.
11 Q. The question was: Did you emerge with bad feelings towards them?
12 Did you like them?
13 A. In view of the fact that over the past 50 years the Croatian
14 people had been collectively accused, in this war and after this war, I
15 did not accuse anyone collectively, not even the Muslim people. The
16 Croatian people can perhaps accuse an individual and so can the Muslim
17 people or the Serb people, but I think that we need to get out of this
19 No one should bear a collective guilt the way the Croats bore a
20 collective guilt for 50 years. At least we've learned something from
21 history. So the Muslim people after this war do not have any collective
22 guilt, I don't think that the Croatian people have any collective guilt,
23 or the Serb people either. And that is precisely what you asked me,
24 whether I'm blaming an entire people. You cannot blame an entire people.
25 MS. WEST: Mr. President, may we go into private session?
1 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes.
2 Registrar, please, could we move to private session.
3 [Private session]
11 Pages 32451-32455 redacted. Private session.
23 [Open session]
24 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, for the record we're now in open
25 session. Thank you.
1 MS. WEST:
2 Q. Mr. Puljic, can you go to the first binder, please, to P 10606.
3 Now, after the -- Mr. Puljic, after the Washington Agreement in 1994 you
4 also became -- or you became the deputy mayor of Mostar; correct?
5 A. Correct.
6 Q. And during that time there were European Union negotiators in
7 Mostar facilitating talks; correct?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. And their presence in Mostar was controversial among some; is
10 that fair to say?
11 A. Maybe as far as some people are concerned.
12 Q. And that was because there were people who still wanted the city
13 divided or at least controlled by Croats; is that right?
14 A. There were emotions flowing throughout the city then; and a lot
15 of time had to go by before people started crossing from one side to the
16 other, on one day it would be two people, then three people, then five.
17 There was enormous distrust between the two sides.
18 Q. In the exhibit in front of you please turn to the article that's
19 dated 2 August 1994
20 the third -- fourth page of this exhibit. Do you have that in front of
21 you? This was an interview you gave in August of 1995 when you were the
22 deputy mayor; correct?
23 A. I don't remember this interview.
24 Q. Okay. Well, we'll go through it. This was an interview with
25 universal press -- well, with "Tulsa World" ultimately and it talks about
1 Mostar and what had gone on and then it goes towards the bottom it talks
2 about the neighbourhoods and at the very bottom of the English page it
3 says: "The Croatian neighbourhoods are largely untouched. Kiosks are
4 open and the people sit outside drinking coffee at cafes. Stolen
5 Mercedes from Germany
6 And then there's actually a quote from you. Do you see the quote
7 from you?
8 A. [No interpretation]
9 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreter cannot hear the speaker.
10 MS. WEST:
11 Q. Mr. Puljic, do you see where we are?
12 A. I don't see that.
13 Q. Okay. It's right about in the middle. It begins at the eighth
14 paragraph down it begins with: "The Croatian neighbourhoods are largely
15 untouched ..."
16 A. I found it.
17 Q. Okay. Thank you. And then the interviewer asks you a question
18 and the question was: "What was the problem here we asked Boro Puljic,
19 the deputy Croatian mayor that two peoples who had lived together for
20 centuries are now divided by a river and by the silence that seems to
21 hang over everything ."
22 And your response was: "A clash of civilization, he immediately
23 retorted. I wondered where he could have acquired such an Esoteric
24 phrase and he said also said philosophically, ruminating on the
25 revelations of the past that people had lived together previously because
1 the communists had forced them to live together and sleep together."
2 Now, sir, presumably you meant sleep together metaphorically,
4 A. I can state that I never expressed myself in those terms that
5 they were sleeping together, what does this mean? Maybe the translation
6 is poor or the journalist added something. What does that mean? I think
7 that people sleep voluntarily and that they don't look at who is who
9 Q. Mr. Puljic, this indicates that you said the communists had
10 forced them, meaning the Croats and the Muslims, to live together. Do
11 you see that part?
12 A. It was written by the person who wrote it.
13 Q. Correct. And this would suggest that at the time when you said
14 it that you had a strong disdain for the Muslim people; would you agree
15 with me?
16 A. I see no disdain on the basis of this. Maybe you do.
17 Q. Let's move on. By February 1998 you weren't the deputy mayor
18 anymore, is that right, February 1998?
19 A. Correct.
20 Q. Okay. And when exactly did that happen?
21 JUDGE PRANDLER: I'm sorry, but to interrupt you, I believe that
22 the phrase what you have quoted was that the communists forced them to
23 live together and to sleep together, but later on the witness said that
24 it was being said by the journalist, but I believe that it was not said
25 by the journalist but by the witness according to you. I do not want to
1 take in a way a stand as far as the authenticity of this article, that is
2 another question. So I believe that it should be then made clear who was
3 the author of that particular sentence which was quoted. Thank you.
4 MS. WEST: Thank you, Judge Prandler.
5 Q. Let's move on to the -- I believe it's going to be the next
6 article --
7 MR. KARNAVAS: I believe -- excuse me. I believe based on your
8 observations, Judge Prandler, you're asking the foundational question
9 which should have been asked and I didn't want to intervene whether what
10 is being reported here is what the gentleman stated. It's a yes or no.
11 If yes, then you go on to the next one; if no, then perhaps: What did
12 you say? Of course my learned colleague heard your observations and
13 conveniently wants to move on. Now, it's called foundations, laying a
14 foundation. Let's go step by step.
15 JUDGE PRANDLER: We speak about foundations many times, but it is
16 frankly there is no need for any other foundation than the article which
17 was quoted. The quote was being made by the Prosecution, by Ms. West.
18 Afterwards that quotation was not rejected by the witness, and -- but
19 later on he said that it was not being said by himself but by the
20 journalist. My point was only to say and to ascertain if it was a kind
21 of quotation from the journalist or it was a kind of statement submitted
22 by the journalist. It is very simple. You do not know any more
23 foundation. That was the article quoted and that's all. It is what I
24 asked for.
25 MR. KARNAVAS: I understand, Judge Prandler, but he never
1 accepted -- he was never even given an opportunity. The question was
2 never posed: Did you say these things. He did indicate that this does
3 not reflect what he indicated, but if you go back to the questioning --
4 the way -- the classical way of doing it is: I show you now this
5 article. Did you give this interview? Yes or no. Okay then move on.
6 Now it sates the following, did you say these things? Yes or no. If
7 not, what did you say; if yes, let's talk about it. That's the step by
8 step. But simply not giving him the opportunity to say does this
9 accurately and correctly reflect what you said at the time, we cannot
10 jump to the conclusion that he did not reject it, therefore it must be
11 true that this is what he said. That's why I'm saying that we need to
12 lay a foundation step by step.
13 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well.
14 Witness, did you say these words to the journalist? Did you
15 actually say this?
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, if someone forces you
17 to sleep with someone then that is called rape. I never could have
18 stated anything that stupid, that somebody was forcing me or us in the
19 former Yugoslavia
20 What the journalist wrote is stupid and I usually do not say things like
22 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well, Ms. West.
23 MS. WEST: I'll move forward, Your Honour.
24 Q. Mr. Puljic, if we can go to the next article and I believe it's
25 going to be right behind this one, but the date is 21 February 1998 and
1 it should say "BBC" on top. Now, you testified that by this time you
2 were not deputy mayor anymore; correct?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. And this is an article about the construction of a Catholic
5 church in Mostar and the article talks about it being controversial
6 because the office of the High Representative was against it because they
7 suggested it violated a Statute but the delegation from the Bishop
8 conference went to the site and you were one of them. It says you and
9 your brother were part of the delegation, including Mijo Brajkovic, he
10 was the former mayor of Mostar; right?
11 A. Give me a moment. It is true that I was at the construction site
12 as the engineer overseeing the building of the church and that
13 representatives of the church or the papal nuncio came. To my
14 recollection, there were no partisan [as interpreted] representatives of
15 the HDZ or Mijo Brajkovic or anyone else.
16 Q. Okay.
17 A. If this is the visit I have in mind, I don't recall the exact
18 date. What I want to state is that I received the delegation as the
19 overseeing engineer.
20 Q. Mr. Puljic --
21 A. To my recollection, neither the representatives of the HDZ nor
22 Mijo Brajkovic and Mile Puljic were there.
23 Q. Okay --
24 MR. KARNAVAS: Your Honour, on line 22 the gentleman said party
25 representatives not partisan representatives of the HDZ.
1 MS. WEST:
2 Q. So, Mr. Puljic, let me direct your attention to part of this
3 article, the bottom of the second paragraph it says: "The visit was
4 attended by officials of the Croatian Democratic Union who have been
5 replaced for their obstruction and extremism: Mijo Brajkovic,
6 Boro Puljic, and Mile Puljic."
7 Is Mile Puljic your brother?
8 A. The family name Puljic is very common in Herzegovina. If you
9 take the directory, telephone directory, I'm sure you will find 2 to
10 3.000 telephone numbers to that name alone. Mile Puljic and I are not
12 Q. Okay. That was my question, you're not related. And so my next
13 question is regarding the adjectives this writer uses, you didn't write
14 this, they did, they said that you had been replaced for your obstruction
15 and extremism. At that point you were not deputy mayor anymore; correct?
16 A. I was not replaced at all. We were doing our job. After that
17 the European administration in Mostar organized elections which elected a
18 new Assembly, a new government, that replaced us, and we left, but we
19 were not removed.
20 Q. Okay. So do you agree or not agree with the summation of this
21 author that you were replaced because of -- or left because of
22 obstruction and extremism?
23 MR. KARNAVAS: Again, he indicated that he was voted out of
24 office or chose not to run, one or the other -- but he says that he left.
25 I mean, it's called democracy, people vote, you lose, you know, you're
2 MS. WEST:
3 Q. Mr. Puljic, if I can ask a more simple question that might bypass
4 this. This author comes to a conclusion that you were extreme, and I
5 gather from this sentence it meant extreme in your policies. Do you
6 agree with that?
7 A. The author could not have been aware of my political views, and I
8 disagree with the statement. I have never been an extremist.
9 Q. So let's go to the same exhibit the very first article if you can
10 back up a couple pages, the start of this exhibit, and it is a Dutch
11 article by Dutch writer Bart Rijs, who covered the war for the Amsterdam
12 newspaper. Do you have that article in front of you?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. And here you were interviewed in November of 1995. The beginning
15 of the interview is the writer just talking about the difficulties in
16 Mostar, but then he says that under heavy international pressure the
17 Croats and the Muslims signed a truce in the summer of 1994. The
18 European Union got a mandate to govern Mostar for as long as two years.
19 European officials, relief workers, and police officers put up at a hotel
20 at the old front line and it was headed by a German EU mayor. The
21 obligation was the city had to be reunited within two years.
22 But if you go on in the article, he talks about there still being
23 nonetheless two governments in Mostar and towards the end of it he
24 interviews you and he talks about specifically the Croatian leadership
25 and the western part of the city. This is towards the end. Do you see
1 that? And it begins with: "The Croatian leadership and the western part
2 of the city ..."
3 And I'll read it:
4 "The Croatian leadership in the western part of the city have
5 systematically delayed and sabotaged the negotiations concerning the
6 implementation of the EU mandate. Deputy mayor Borislav Puljic explains
7 why. He draws a straight line across a blank sheet of paper and writes
8 on the left: State number one, and on the right: State number two. He
9 points at state number one and quotes: 'We want to live in a pure
10 Croatian state, with the Croatian language and Croatian culture.' Then
11 he draws a line -- excuse me, he draws a circle on the middle of the
12 line: Mostar. 'If you unite the city, you'll have a third state, a
13 multi-ethnic state where nobody is boss. That is a recipe for ...
15 Mr. Puljic, do you remember making this drawing?
16 A. No.
17 Q. Do you remember saying this?
18 A. No.
19 Q. Do you deny this interview entirely?
20 A. It was the time-period when every day in my office or
21 Mr. Brajkovic's office journalists would come and we gave interviews all
22 the time. Can I kindly ask you to find in the archives of the European
23 administration all my statements and all my activities during the work in
24 the European Union and then you'll have a complete picture. To answer
25 your question I should first read the entire article, since you're taking
1 one sentence out of the context and want me to discuss it.
2 Q. So, Mr. Puljic, my question is: Do you remember giving this
4 A. This specific interview, no, but I'm telling you that I was
5 giving interviews every day. I would give one to two interviews a day at
6 the time. This is only one of a myriad of interviews given at the time.
7 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] We're going to have to take a
8 break. It will be a 15-minute break only. I think you still have some
9 15 minutes left at most, Mrs. West.
10 Mr. Karnavas, for re-direct how much time will you need?
11 MR. KARNAVAS: Well, it all depends on what happens in the next
12 15 minutes, but I would say 15, 20 minutes tops.
13 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well.
14 We'll have a 15-minute break.
15 --- Recess taken at 12.43 p.m.
16 --- On resuming at 1.00 p.m.
17 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] The court's back in session.
18 The registrar has made his computation, and you have 15 minutes left,
19 Mrs. West.
20 MS. WEST: Thank you, Mr. President.
21 Q. Mr. Puljic, you testified that at the time in 1995 you gave
22 numerous interviews; correct?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. And that was interviews in your role as deputy mayor of Mostar?
25 MR. KHAN: Your Honour, could I just ask, are we in private
1 session or public? The screen here says private.
2 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] We're still in private session,
3 Mrs. West.
4 Do you want us to go into open session?
5 MS. WEST: We can go into open session. Thank you.
6 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Open session.
7 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, we're back in open session.
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, since we live in a
9 small town and there are attempts at discrediting me here, I would kindly
10 ask you to move into closed session because of such attempts and all
11 sorts of interpretation appearing here.
12 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Witness, the Prosecutor can ask
13 for a private session when she believes that she's going to ask questions
14 that deserve a private session and decide that we remain in open session
15 when there's no need to move into private session. I don't know what
16 questions she has in mind. If after the fact it is known that it should
17 have been private session, you know, I can ask for a redaction. There is
18 a 30-minute lag between what is being said now and what is being
19 broadcast, so you're not at risk here. But I'm being very careful.
20 Please continue, Mrs. West.
21 MS. WEST: Thank you.
22 Q. So it's your testimony that at the time you gave numerous
23 interviews; right?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. And this was because you were the deputy mayor and so people came
1 to interview regarding your political views on Mostar; right?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. Now -- but by 1998 you were not deputy mayor anymore. Did any
4 international organization take any action against you or ban you from
5 political activity?
6 A. No, never. My activity was never political anyway. It always
7 had to do with technical issues. I never occupied any of the political
8 positions, and every post I held had to do with my profession and my
9 professional qualifications.
10 Q. Mr. Puljic, deputy mayor of Mostar is a political position, is it
12 A. Well, you haven't completed your statement. Deputy mayor of
13 Mostar for the field of urban planning and construction, so it wasn't a
14 political position nor did it carry political weight. There were two
15 deputy mayors, one for the field of urban planning and reconstruction and
16 development of town and one for the remaining activities, affairs.
17 Q. But the --
18 A. We coordinated all the activities that fell within our remit and
19 were responsible to the mayor for those same issues.
20 Q. Okay. Thank you. But notwithstanding, the interviews you gave
21 in 1995 regarded your political views, as you indicated on line 8; right?
22 A. I was giving interviews every day and answering journalists'
24 Q. Okay. So back to this Dutch interview, do you remember this
25 particular interview?
1 A. No.
2 Q. Okay. And even though you don't, is it possible you gave it
3 because you gave so many at the time?
4 A. It is possible that I gave it since I was giving interviews
5 almost every day.
6 Q. And isn't it true, Mr. Puljic, that this statement: "'We want to
7 live in a pure Croatian state, with the Croatian language and Croatian
8 culture'" was your view in 1995?
9 A. This was not my view because when the war ended, Mr. Zubak called
10 me to have a word with me. He said, or rather, he informed me of all the
11 international negotiations and told me that peace had been introduced and
12 new people had to be brought in who would be able to work along those
13 lines. At the time, Mr. Brajkovic was appointed mayor and I was
14 appointed deputy mayor and vice-president of the Croatian Defence Council
15 for Mostar. We had the task of building a united town and ensuring that
16 life -- of co-existence could take place there. How successful we were
17 is something you can read in the reports of the European Union to who we
18 were subjected at the time. Because while being municipal office
19 holders, we were also holders of the European Union administration in
20 Mostar and they supervised all the activities we undertook in that
22 Q. Mr. Puljic, I see -- the question was: Was this your view in
23 1995. And you said: "This was not my view because ..." and you
24 explained because at the time you were involved in these negotiations and
25 you were the mayor and you had the task of building a united town. Sir,
1 I don't believe that answers my question, that may have been your job,
2 but my question is: Was this your view? Did you believe this? Did you
3 believe that you wanted that people in Mostar should live in a pure
4 Croatian state with the Croatian language and Croatian culture,
5 regardless of what your job was?
6 A. My view then and now is that Mostar should be an indivisible
7 united town in the state of Bosnia-Herzegovina. That was my view then
8 and is my view still. The indivisible united Bosnia-Herzegovina has to
9 be organized in an equitable way guaranteeing equalities to all so that
10 some peoples need not feel compelled to run out of it.
11 Q. And in 1995 -- Mr. Puljic --
12 A. I apologise. In order to answer any one of these questions of
13 yours, the entire article has to be looked at rather than taking
14 everything out of context and looking at one sentence only. That is not
15 enough for me to be able to answer such questions. My position then and
16 now is the same: Mostar has to be a united, indivisible town.
17 Q. Did you believe that the Croats should run it?
18 A. That town should be governed by all those inhabiting it, namely,
19 Croats, Muslims, and Serbs. Nobody has exclusive right over any
20 particular town in Bosnia-Herzegovina.
21 MS. WEST: I have no further questions, Your Honour.
22 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. Thank you,
23 Mrs. West.
24 Mr. Karnavas.
25 MR. KARNAVAS: Thank you, Mr. President.
1 Re-examination by Mr. Karnavas:
2 Q. Mr. Puljic, I just have very few questions. Now, in light of
3 the -- I'm going to pick up where it was just ended. The insinuation is
4 that you hate Muslims and that you want to have a Croat-only Mostar or
5 Croat-only state within Bosnia-Herzegovina. First of all, you indicated
6 to us that you are self-employed and you employ several engineers,
7 architects, and what have you. Are any of your current employees
8 Bosniaks or Muslims?
9 A. I set up that company some ten or more years ago, and throughout
10 the time the company employed Bosniaks and Serbs too, ever since its
11 inception to this day.
12 Q. All right. Were you forced to employ them or did you do this on
13 your own?
14 A. No. I employed staff solely on the basis of knowledge and
15 experience, and that is something that can be checked.
16 Q. All right. Now, going back to this interview with the document
17 which is P 10606, first I want to focus your attention to the fact that
18 it's dated 10 November 1995
19 back to that period of time, November 10, 1995. Are you with me,
20 Mr. Puljic? Mr. Puljic?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. Okay --
23 A. [In English] Sorry.
24 Q. Thank you. I just have a couple of questions about this. First
25 I want to focus your attention to 10 November 1995 because that's the
1 period when this interview took place. Now, you've told us that you
2 never drew a line and never drew this chart, but going back to that
3 particular period -- sir, if you can just kindly focus on my questions as
4 opposed to reading the document.
5 Going back to that period of time, how many municipalities
6 consisted of the Mostar municipality and what were the discussions going
7 on at that particular time in light of the Dayton Peace Accords?
8 A. [Interpretation] At the time there were three municipalities in
10 Q. Was there not --
11 A. I can't give you the exact date. In that period of time there
12 existed three. There was, however, a stage when six Mostar
13 municipalities were in the process of being established and I took part
14 in those negotiations in Brussels
15 Q. All right. Now, step by step, of the six municipalities how many
16 of those were supposed to go to the Muslims and how many of those were
17 supposed to go to the Croats? We're talking about this particular period
18 of time.
19 A. None of the municipalities were to end up belonging to any one
20 side. They were supposed to be multi-ethnic. I took part in
21 negotiations and we brought a document from Brussels that had been signed
22 in Rome
23 six municipalities that would not belong to any one people and a central
24 zone. According to this document, all the legal structures of civilian
25 authorities established hitherto were supposed to be invalidated. We
1 based on this our first democratic elections after the war. When I say
2 "we," I mean the European administration in Mostar and the Bosniak and
3 Croats who worked within the European administration in Mostar. We
4 implemented the Brussels
5 because it was signed in Rome
6 carried out the first democratic elections.
7 Q. All right. Next, the one document that was shown to you by the
8 Prosecutor which is P 0605, and that's the document from SIS.
9 MR. KARNAVAS: If we could go into private session.
10 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Registrar, could we have
11 private session, please.
12 [Private session]
11 Pages 32474-32481 redacted. Private session.
8 [Open session]
9 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, we're back in open session.
10 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. So we're in open
12 We would like Mr. Karnavas to tell us what is scheduled for next
14 MR. KARNAVAS: We have a witness, Your Honour, who we scheduled
15 for three hours. We hope to do him in fewer than three, hopefully two.
16 He will touch upon some of the same issues, although since they were
17 covered extensively, probably not as extensively on direct examination,
18 that is, the special-purpose council public enterprises. And then he
19 will also discuss some areas into the -- related to his activities with
20 the Croatian Republic
21 and the Dayton Accords, his activities at the time. So that's -- we hope
22 to have him finished on direct at least by Monday. We're very hopeful.
23 And as we indicated, he's only for three hours, so most likely he's a
24 three-day witness.
25 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. Thank you,
1 Mr. Karnavas.
2 I take the opportunity of having some minutes left to tell you
3 that my fellow Judges and myself have looked at the schedule for all your
4 upcoming witnesses, and we've noted recently that I believe you have some
5 13 witnesses left. When I sum up the time that would take about 63 hours
6 but you only have 40 hours left, so maybe you have to reshuffle
7 something. I mean, it's up to you of course, but please look into this.
8 MR. KARNAVAS: We have looked into it, Mr. President, and I can
9 assure you that there are some -- there will be some changes which are
10 not reflected in the calendar that you have. And in fact we hope to
11 have -- reserve some time that we will use for direct with other
12 witnesses. So we are not expecting to ask for any additional time, but
13 we probably will go all the way up to the wire minus, say, five to six
14 hours, maybe even more.
15 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well.
16 It's almost time to adjourn. As you know, next week we will be
17 sitting Monday at 2.15 and then we'll be sitting in the afternoon for the
18 rest of the week. Thank you.
19 That's all I had to say.
20 Mr. Scott would like to add something? We haven't heard you for
21 a long time.
22 MR. SCOTT: I'm sure everyone's grateful for that, Your Honour.
23 No, Your Honour, thank you very much. I think we should be in good shape
24 for next week. Thank you. I wish everyone a good weekend.
25 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. See you next week
--- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 1.39 p.m.
3 to be reconvened on Monday, the 22nd day of
4 September, 2008, at 2.15 p.m.