1 Wednesday, 29 October 2008
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 9.00 a.m.
5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Registrar, can you kindly call
6 the case, please.
7 THE REGISTRAR: Thank you, Your Honour.
8 Good morning, Your Honours. Good morning to everyone in and
9 around the courtroom. This is case number IT-04-74-T, the Prosecutor
10 versus Jadranko Prlic et al.
11 Thank you, Your Honours.
12 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you, Registrar.
13 Today is Wednesday. I'd like to greet the accused, the ladies
14 and gentlemen in the court, the lawyers, Mr. Scott and his associate, as
15 well as all the people assisting us in the courtroom.
16 Just a housekeeping matter I would like to deal with, three oral
17 decisions that I would like to read out.
18 Before that, I had told you last year [as interpreted] that on
19 Thursday, we would be sitting in the afternoon. It so happens that in
20 the Seselj case, there is no witness for today, so we will be able to sit
21 in the morning tomorrow, as had been initially planned. I hope this is
22 not going to be a problem for anyone.
23 Mr. Karnavas, no problem. Fine.
24 We shall therefore sit in the morning tomorrow, as previously
1 We shall move into private session, because I have three
2 decisions I'd like to hand down in private session.
3 [Private session]
11 Pages 33894-33899 redacted. Private session.
6 [Open session]
7 THE REGISTRAR: We're in open session, Your Honours.
8 [The witness entered court]
9 WITNESS: NEVEN TOMIC [Resumed]
10 [The witness answered through interpreter]
11 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] We had a few housekeeping
12 matters to deal with. I apologise for having made you wait.
13 Mr. Karnavas, you have the floor.
14 MR. KARNAVAS: Thank you, Mr. President and Your Honours.
15 Good morning to everyone in and around the courtroom, and good
16 morning, Mr. Tomic.
17 Examination by Mr. Karnavas: [Continued]
18 Q. Let's pick up where we left off yesterday. We were talking about
19 the Livno municipality. During the period that you were drafting all
20 this legislation that we saw that came from the HVO HZ-HB, so with that
21 introduction let's go to 1D 00314. This is a document dated 19 November
22 1992. 1D 00314. And we see this is a decision on the amount and manner
23 of disbursement of salaries and fringe benefits in the Livno
24 municipality. If you could comment very briefly on this.
25 A. Well, this decision specifies the highest possible salary to be
1 paid in the Municipality of Livno
2 exchange rate for Croatian dinar and the German mark is set in accordance
3 with the median exchange rate set by the National Bank of Croatia
4 the SDK is ordered to provide the exchange rate at the end of the month.
5 All these elements are in contravention of the decisions and the decrees
6 passed by the Croatian Defence Council of the HZ-HB. In Article 9, the
7 HVO of the Livno municipality takes upon itself the power to exempt from
8 paying taxes and contributions, some parties, and this is definitely not
9 within the purview of the municipalities under any laws and regulations.
10 Q. All right. And then if we look at the very last page of this
11 decision as to where this decision was distributed, again we see, under
12 number 5, it was distributed to the political parties HDZ and SDA, but do
13 you see anywhere where your department would have been notified of this
14 particular decision, or the HVO HZ-HB as an executive authority?
15 A. We were not notified about the decisions taken by the municipal
16 HVOs. Many of them did not have their official gazettes. Article 12
17 states that this decision would be published in the Official Gazette of
18 the Municipality of Livno, but it was first published in the end of 1993,
19 early 1994, so it was not possible to learn what the municipalities were
20 doing, except from complaints put in by companies and individuals who
21 felt that the solutions put in place by the municipalities were much more
22 detrimental to their operation than the regulations of the HVO HZ-HB. So
23 we were thus able sporadically to learn what the municipalities were
25 Q. All right. Well, let's look at the next document, again Livno.
1 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Excuse me, Mr. Karnavas. This is an interesting
2 point, Mr. Tomic. You said you received complaints. Was there any
3 action upon these complaints? Were the complaints some sort of a legal
4 or political remedy or was it just something that the "government" heard,
5 but not something that was of any character that prompted action?
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] First of all, in the sphere of
7 finances, those who are in charge of implementing decisions were the
8 municipal offices of the HVO, which were set up by the municipal HVOs.
9 The complaints that we received came mostly from companies that had to
10 pay additional levies that were not set by the HVO HZ-HB in its
11 instruments. So this was not an administrative proceeding. Those were
12 merely some complaints that we received, and then we would talk to the
13 representatives of the municipal offices and tried to learn what this was
14 all about. And then on the basis of the letters that we sent to the
15 municipal HVOs, we warned them that the regulations of the HZ-HB were not
16 being enforced. So it was not a complaint as part of administrative
17 proceedings. It was simply a matter of people having to pay a lot of
18 money and then coming to us to complain about it.
19 JUDGE TRECHSEL: And when you wrote them a letter, did that have
20 an effect or was it thrown into the waste paper basket, as it were?
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, as you saw from the documents
22 yesterday, there were many meetings, many letters, and there was no
23 proper response because the presidents of the municipal HVOs were at the
24 same time members of the Presidency of the HZ-HB, so they were our
25 bosses, our superiors, and they felt that they could pass such decisions
1 or at least postpone the time before they actually started implementing
2 the decisions of the HVO HZ-HB. In some areas, it took quite a long
3 time, up until well into 1994, for them to fully implement the
4 regulations of the HVO HZ-HB.
5 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Thank you very much.
6 MR. KARNAVAS:
7 Q. And sticking with this point a little bit, yesterday you
8 indicated that it took you all the way up until, say, the end of 1993 for
9 the financial police to be up and running. We saw the legislation come
10 in, I believe, at the end of -- or towards the end of 1992, but it wasn't
11 until 1993 that you indicated that it was up and running and functioning.
12 Could you have used the financial police to force the presidents of the
13 municipalities to comply with these -- you know, with the decisions or to
14 overturn certain actions that were taken by the presidents of the
15 municipalities or the municipal authorities?
16 A. The financial police started operating in early March 1993, after
17 the first employees were hired, and in the first period it focused mostly
18 on collecting taxes and contributions that the companies had not paid.
19 At that time, there was -- it was not possible for the financial police
20 to control the municipal HVOs. It only started happening in 1994,
21 because it was simply not strong enough. And on the basis of their
22 findings, the then finance minister again sent letters warning the House
23 of Representatives of the Croatian Republic of Herceg-Bosna
24 regulations of Herceg-Bosna -- that the sanctions could not be enforced
25 against the municipal HVOs because of this overall attitude, which was
1 the consequence of the fact that the presidents of the municipalities
2 were at the same time members of the Presidency of the HZ-HB or later on
3 of the House of Representatives of the Croatian republic of Herceg-Bosna
4 Q. All right, thank you. And also going back to the answer you gave
5 with the previous document, let's look now at 1D 00272, and we can see
6 there's an Official Gazette. It's dated February 1994. This is a
7 decision on the temporary financing of the municipal HVO. And then if we
8 look at Article 8 in this decision, we see "1 February 1993." Do you see
9 that, sir?
10 A. [No interpretation].
11 Q. And where it says "Number 01-023," and then we see "Livno, 16
12 February," is that 1993 or 1994 do we have in the Official Gazette?
13 A. This illustrates the fact that it was impossible for the
14 decisions of the municipal HVOs to reach us at the time when they were
15 passed. I mentioned a little while ago that the Official Gazette of the
16 Livno municipality was first published in the end of 1993, early 1994.
17 This is an issue from 1993-1994, and this is where a decision from
18 February 1993 is published. So, officially, this decision and other
19 decisions could not reach us until they were published in the
20 Official Gazette. We could not have learnt about them before that.
21 Q. All right. And what's wrong with this particular decision, if
22 anything? I mean, to the naked eye, it looks pretty good, for those of
23 us who are untrained.
24 A. Well, you can see in Article 2 the municipal HVO orders the banks
25 in Livno that every month, when pensions are remitted from abroad, that
1 they should first pay 10 per cent of those transfers for the purposes of
2 the defence to the finance office of the HVO in Livno and then to go on
3 and to transfer the pensions to the accounts of those old-age pensioners
4 if they show up at all. The decree stipulated that citizens had to pay
5 the 10 per cent, but here the municipal HVO orders the bank to skim
6 10 per cent off the overall amount, regardless of whether an old-age
7 pensioner would come in at all to collect the money.
8 Q. All right. And is this consistent with the legal instruments
9 that your department had put in place?
10 A. Yes, it is in contravention of the principles that were enshrined
11 in our documents.
12 Q. All right. 1D 00311, this is dated now 16 March 1993. This is a
13 decision on minimum conditions for converting existing debts and credits.
14 And could you give us a brief comment on this document and tell us
15 whether this is in keeping with the HVO HZ-HB Department of Finance
16 decisions or decrees?
17 A. In the preamble this refers to the instruction on the production
18 of the annual statement of accounts for 1992. It is a very complex
19 document that requires a lot of expertise and it was supposed to resolve
20 the issues for the period 1991 when we still had the Yugoslav dinar to
21 take in -- into account the privatization, the war damage, this whole
22 issue of currencies and the purpose was to find some economic modalities
23 so that by the 1st of January, 1993 books could be kept by the companies
24 properly and that they could simply continue with their business, and
25 this decision rescinds this instruction that is actually referenced here
1 and an option is put in place that all the liabilities and assets of the
2 companies existing on the 31st of March should be converted from Yugoslav
3 dinars into German marks based on the exchange rate of the National Bank
4 of Yugoslavia
5 for the period of the 1st of April until the 31st of December, 1992 the
6 conversion should be made based on the median exchange rate valid on the
7 day of the exchange listed by the National Bank of Croatia, so this is in
8 contravention of the instruction that was enacted by the HVO H-HB and in
9 the actual fact, it favors the legal entities -- it puts the legal
10 entities from Livno municipality in more favourable position in relation
11 to others.
12 [Technical difficulties]
13 MR. KARNAVAS: All right, we'll pick up from 1D 00310. This is
14 26 March 1993
15 Livno --
16 JUDGE TRECHSEL: I'm sorry, Mr. Karnavas. Shouldn't we try to
17 have the witness answer your last question again, because it is still
18 completely unrecorded, his answer. If you look at the transcript,
19 there's a jump now. There's your question on line 16 of page 14, and
20 then it starts anew with your reference to document ID 00310, and in
21 between the witness had given an answer which I think is interesting
22 enough to figure.
23 MR. KARNAVAS: Right. I assume -- I assume, and I'll be
24 corrected from the gentleman or by the gentleman, that that will
25 ultimately be put into the transcript, because it is being tape-recorded.
1 THE REPORTER: That's correct, sir.
2 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Okay, thank you. Excuse me for interrupting.
3 MR. KARNAVAS: No, no, I didn't want to take up more time since
4 this was being recorded.
5 JUDGE TRECHSEL: No, absolutely fine.
6 MR. KARNAVAS: Unless my colleagues need it right now on the
7 record, but I think they can live without it.
8 Q. 1D 00310, this is 26 March 1993
9 financial contributions. If you could give us a very quick opinion on
11 A. Livno municipality was one of the municipalities with a large
12 number of persons working abroad. Those people did not respond to the
13 call-up, the mobilisation that was declared at one point in Livno, and
14 this decision now imposes penalties on those conscripts, persons liable
15 for military service. Those who did have visas that they had obtained
16 before the 1st of October, 1991 had to pay 900 German marks until the
17 time their visa expired, and then they had to report to their military
18 unit in Livno.
19 And in Article 2, it is stipulated that those who had fled to
21 were supposed to pay 900 German marks until the time when they come back,
22 every month. So this decision is a decision that was a sup to the troops
23 that were already in military units in Livno municipality, because they
24 had complained about those who had left, who had gone abroad, or remained
25 there, failing to respond to the call-up. The decision itself was --
1 could not be enforced, for technical reasons.
2 This is a decision from the financial sphere, yet it is the
3 Defence office of the municipal HVO in Livno was supposed to enforce it.
4 It was placed within its jurisdiction.
5 Q. All right. And I'm going to ask you to move a little bit quicker
6 on these documents so we can -- 1D 00306. This is 3 May 1993. This is a
7 decision on exemption of payment for contributions and taxes from
8 personal incomes of mobilised workers in the Livno HVO units. And if you
9 could tell us whether this is in keeping with the HVO HZ-HB legal
10 instruments that were in place at the time.
11 A. This is in contravention of those regulations, because the
12 municipal HVO could not exempt businesses from payment of taxes and
13 contributions on salaries under the HZ-HB regulations.
14 Q. All right. And if we look at, very quickly, 1D 00304, would your
15 answer be the same, that this is in contravention?
16 A. This is again contrary to those regulations. This means that the
17 area of the Livno municipality is isolated. According to this decision,
18 wholesale companies can only sell their goods within the municipality,
19 and other companies from outside of the municipality could not sell in
20 the municipality itself. As a consequence, many of those companies moved
21 out of the area of the municipality so that they could work in accordance
22 with the regulations of the HZ-HB.
23 Q. All right. Let's look at 1D 00305. This is a decision on
24 exemption from paying taxes and contributions of certain salaries. You
25 can have a look at this. This is 8 May 1993.
1 A. Again, under the regulations of the HZ-HB, municipalities did not
2 have the power to exempt any entities from payment of taxes and
3 contributions. In this case, we're talking about the medical centre, the
4 healthcare centre.
5 Q. If we look at 1D 00302, this is a decision on financing of the
6 defence of Livno by individual farmers, cattle-breeders, and we see, for
7 instance, under Roman numeral II 40 sheep, 50 cows, 30 goats, or 20 pigs
8 for fattening. Can you please look at this decision and tell us what is
9 this decision about? What is Livno doing here? This is 13 May 1993.
10 A. This is an atypical tax decision which shows how the municipality
11 introduced new forms of taxation; in this case, people who owned cattle.
12 But again we see here that there are people who were supposed to control
13 all that, village commanders. This is theretofore unknown category in
14 terms of financial control, so this was authored by the municipal HVO of
15 Livno. It has nothing to do with the regulations of the HVO HZ-HB.
16 Q. 1D 00275, this is a conclusion now, 6 July 1992.
17 A. Again, yet another exemption that the Livno municipality was not
18 empowered to impose.
19 Q. 1D 00295. This is a decision determining salaries of the village
20 commanders. I take it that had to deal with those who are going to be
21 monitoring the sheep and the cattle for taxation.
22 A. Yes, that's correct, and I think the taxes collected in this
23 manner could not even cover the salaries of the village commanders.
24 Q. If we look finally at 1D 00288, this is a conclusion on
25 channeling the 1993 taxes and contributions into the budget of the Livno
1 municipal HVO. This may be of interest in ending up this sort of
2 vignette as far as what one municipality, Livno in particular, is doing
3 at this time.
4 JUDGE TRECHSEL: May I just ask a question of understanding
5 regarding the previous document, yes, 1D 00295.
6 Village commanders, "village," is that what was called "local
7 community" in other -- the other day when I asked what "community" was?
8 It was explained, local communities. Here we have the term "village."
9 It's probably a matter of -- may be a matter of translation, also.
10 MR. KARNAVAS: The term was "commune," "commune."
11 JUDGE TRECHSEL: It had been "commune," yes.
12 MR. KARNAVAS:
13 Q. This is "village," so is it the same?
14 A. Local communities were a form of the organisation of local
15 government below the level of municipalities, so there were local
16 communities both in towns and in rural areas. Towns would have several
17 local communities, each community being made up of several
18 neighbourhoods, and in rural areas mostly each village would constitute a
19 local community.
20 JUDGE TRECHSEL: So the term "village" is not the same as the
21 term "local community." By "village," you mean a group of houses,
22 irrespective of the political organisation or administrative
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Correct.
25 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Thank you.
1 MR. KARNAVAS:
2 Q. If you can give us a brief comment on 288 so we can move on.
3 A. Yesterday, I spoke about the putting together of the first budget
4 of the Croatian Republic of Herceg-Bosna for 1994. Then the Ministry of
5 Finance exerted pressure on the House of Representatives, and especially
6 on the presidents of the municipal HVOs who were members of that House of
7 Representatives, to enforce the regulations of Herceg-Bosna. The Livno
8 municipality promised, as it were, to pay taxes and contributions on to
9 the account of the Croatian Republic of Herceg-Bosna as of January 1st,
10 1994, but on January 15th they adopted a conclusion that the payment of
11 taxes, of contributions pertaining to liabilities from 1993, shall be
12 channeled to the accounts of the Livno municipality, even though, even in
13 1993, those monies belonged to the budget of HVO HZ-HB.
14 Q. All right. Unless there are any questions on that, I'll move on.
15 In order to save some time, we're going to skip the document
16 pertaining to Siroki Brijeg, which are 1D 02519, 2523, 2524, and 2526.
17 We'll also skip, for the sake of time, Capljina, which is 1D 01123 and
18 1D 01120. And we'll also skip Mostar, which is 1D 00635. I know you are
19 prepared to discuss them as examples.
20 So we'll just move on to now Orasje, this is one -- and Zupanja,
21 which is one document and it's 1D 0 --
22 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Witness, I have a question for
23 you. We've just reviewed a whole set of documents on the Livno
24 municipality, but I'm sure there are other examples of this type for
25 other municipalities as well. In those documents, we see that
1 municipalities are taking decisions that are not in line with what had
2 been decided at a higher level, basically at the level of the HZ-HB. Did
3 you personally know that for Livno, for instance, such decisions were
4 contrary to what you were planning to do in public accounting and in the
5 financial and economic areas in Herceg-Bosna, because we've just seen
6 that all those decisions were published in the Official Gazette in Livno.
7 Were you personally aware of the fact that municipalities were making
8 decisions that were not in line with what you had planned?
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It was obvious, from monitoring the
10 revenues of the budget of HZ-HB, we could see that in some municipalities
11 the regulations of HZ-HB were not being respected. We reacted by
12 contacting the finance offices of the municipal HVOs. They were
13 municipal bodies, and they always replied that those were decisions of
14 the municipal HVO. And when we spoke to the president of the municipal
15 HVO, he would say that they must finance their defence and they would
16 make use of their positions of members of the HZ-HB to implement their
17 own decisions rather than those of the HZ-HB. The excuse was always that
18 they had to pay for the defence, for healthcare, for pensioners, and that
19 is why at the decisive point in time when the budget for 1994 was
20 drafted, the budget took up a loan and directed the donations of the
21 diaspora into the budget so the budget of the HZ-HB could take over all
22 liabilities and make it impossible for the municipal HVOs to argue that
23 they had to pay for those purposes, and thus they would no longer have an
24 excuse for not respecting the regulations of HZ-HB. But here I'm talking
25 about early 1994. Up until that time, the municipalities occasionally
1 would act in contravention of our regulations and do whatever was good
2 for them at the time.
3 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Since the municipalities did
4 not abide by the regulations, I guess it was a major political issue.
5 Did you speak to Mr. Prlic and to Mr. Boban about it, and if you did,
6 what did they tell you?
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] That was an experience not peculiar
8 to the finance department. Other departments were faced with it too. On
9 several occasions, as the HVO HZ-HB, we would direct such remarks to the
10 municipal HVOs and the Presidency of the HZ-HB. Yesterday, we saw a
11 letter that I sent because these situations were getting more frequent,
12 especially after changes on the battlefield.
13 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I'll get back to my question.
14 The situation is clear. We can see that the municipalities and their
15 leaders do not comply with the regulations, and you said a moment ago
16 that it wasn't only in your municipality that the question arose. The
17 question also arose in other municipalities. Therefore --
18 THE INTERPRETER: In other departments, interpreter's correction.
19 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Therefore, there is a major
20 problem, politically speaking, because the municipalities are not
21 applying the decisions taken by the HZ-HB. My question is a very simple
23 In such a situation, did you inform, in writing or orally,
24 Mr. Prlic and Mr. Boban? Did you tell them what the situation was like?
25 And if you did, what did they say to you by way of a response, orally or
1 in writing, to put an end to the situation?
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The departments informed the HVO
3 HZ-HB and directly Mr. Boban. The HVO HZ-HB informed Mr. Boban also of
4 its conclusions, and the Presidency of the HZ-HB, but the Presidency did
5 not meet, or only very seldom, and we had no defined position or reply of
6 the Presidency of the HZ-HB, which obviously avoided the discussion of
7 those matters -- about those matters, because the heads of the municipal
8 HVOs were in contravention of the regulations.
9 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] [Previous translation
10 continues]... was not in full control, Mr. Boban was not in full control.
11 This has not been translated or recorded. Can we infer from that that
12 Mr. Boban did not fully control these municipalities and he did not want
13 to be faced with problems with these people? If I have understood you
14 correctly, you had to take out a loan to balance your budget.
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] That is correct.
16 MR. KARNAVAS: Okay. I was going to make an intervention back on
17 page 20, line 17.
18 Q. You had indicated, sir, that the presidents of the municipalities
19 made use of their position as members of the HZ-HB. They were members?
20 of --
21 A. Members of the Presidency.
22 Q. Mate Boban was also a member of the Presidency, was he not, by
23 virtue of his position as president of the Presidency?
24 A. Correct.
25 Q. And during that time, was he also -- was he still the president
1 of the HZ-HB?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. All right. Now, if we go on to the next document, we're going to
4 look at Orasje very quickly. This is 1D 01747, just as a way of an
5 example of another municipality. This is a conclusion to initiate
6 activities to establish a local border crossing between the
7 municipalities of Orasje and Zupanja, and this is 14 September 1992. Can
8 you please comment on this very quickly?
9 A. The municipality is making due. This is a municipality on the
10 border, the border with Croatia
11 bridge was destroyed so you can only cross with small boats. There were
12 many small farmers who sold their produce in Zupanja in Croatia, so this
13 is an attempt to establish a local border crossing to enable those
14 farmers to sell their produce in Croatia. But of course it is not within
15 the remit of the municipality to take care of such matters.
16 Q. All right. If we look at 1D 02540, one more example. This is a
17 conclusion on the adoption of the decision on salaries for members of
18 units. This is 27 November 1992
19 A. The municipal HVO sets the amounts of the salaries for the
20 members of the municipal HVO of Posusje.
21 Q. All right. And was that consistent with what was in place at the
22 time or was this something that the municipalities were entitled to do?
23 A. Without the Defence Department or, rather, without the approval
24 of the Defence Department, they were not authorised to do it themselves.
25 Q. All right. Finally, just as an example, let's look at Tuzla
1 again. 1D 00365. This is in January. I believe it's 1993, so there
2 should be a correction on the very first page. This is a decision on the
3 functioning of productive branches of the economy and financial
4 institutions in wartime. And again just an example of how Tuzla
5 coping with the situation on the ground, if you could look at this
6 document, and of course in addition to whatever comments you want to
7 make, if you could also comment on Article 9 and Article 15.
8 A. The municipality, with this decision, takes over some authority
9 from the republic and regulates the functioning of businesses and
10 financial institutions in wartime, similar to what the HZ-HB did, only
11 companies that had their corporate headquarters outside of the Tuzla
12 municipality had to register themselves temporarily in that municipality.
13 That's Article 7.
14 And Article 8 says that parts of the enterprises that functioned
15 in that area, but did not have a legal personality, these are provided
16 for by Article 8. And then there is mention of the process of
17 privatization, the transformation of property, which is stopped by this
18 decision. And Article 15 practically puts a ban on trade for private
19 companies, and trade is only allowed for companies the founder of which
20 is the Tuzla
21 Q. All right. And can you comment globally? What Tuzla is doing,
22 is that consistent with Republican laws under the circumstances? The
23 measures that Tuzla
24 your opinion, just very briefly?
25 A. To my mind, those measures were necessary and appropriate, and
1 the municipality adopts these measures because the existing institutions
2 do not -- were not functioning and were not passing regulations. But the
3 situation in Tuzla
4 are -- they are crafting solutions they think are best for themselves.
5 It was similar in other -- at other places, and Sarajevo was practically
6 the only place that reacted in accordance with the regulations of the
7 republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina, because that was basically the only area
8 that was under direct control of the Sarajevo
9 Q. All right. We're going to move on to another topic very quickly,
10 and in fact I have very little left in my direct examination. So we
11 could move very quickly to the next set of documents, and this deals with
12 Dr. Jadranko Prlic.
13 I'm going to have you look at document 1D 01596, 1597, 1598,
14 1599, and 1600. We've seen these documents before. We even heard
15 testimony about these documents before, but if you could just look at it
16 very briefly. And let me ask you, if we look at the very first document,
17 1D 01596, we see that it's dated May 21, 1993, that Dr. Jadranko Prlic is
18 appointed or is acting as president of the transitional government of the
19 Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina.
20 Were you aware of this, and could you please comment very briefly
21 on that?
22 A. Yes, I'm familiar with that period. In that period, Mr. Prlic
23 practically started acting as the prime minister of that transitional
24 government, as can be seen from the numbers used. The purpose was to
25 establish a government as soon as possible and to transit to a more
1 peaceful way of life in Bosnia-Herzegovina, at least in the area of
2 HZ-HB. That is why the Croatian side wanted to get going immediately,
3 and Mr. Prlic took these steps. At the time, he didn't even exert his
4 duties as the president of the HVO HZ-HB, but he immediately started
5 working in this position.
6 Q. I'd like to stick with this first document just for a second, and
7 we can see this with the other documents as well that I just named off,
8 but at the very top we see: "Mostar, May 21, 1993," and then we see
9 "Number 1-JP/93." Now, I take it you were familiar with how the
10 numbering system went at the time. Can you please decipher that for us,
11 because if we look at the following document, we see number 4, then we
12 see a number 5, a number 6. Could you please describe that, you know,
13 explain that to us, if you know?
14 A. This is the simplest way of marking documents. It shows that as
15 of May 21st, Mr. Prlic started acting as a prime minister or president of
16 the government, but without a real office and real staff, and an official
17 nomenclature, as we call it, but Mr. Prlic started exerting his duties,
18 but he used this system of marking with a serial number, his initials and
19 the year on each document.
20 Q. All right. And if we look at the bottom of the page, we see his
21 name. Do you recognise that signature, and can you confirm to us whether
22 indeed that is Dr. Jadranko Prlic's signature in this document as well as
23 the other documents, that is, 1597, 1598, 1599?
24 A. Yes.
25 MR. KARNAVAS: All right. Unless there are any questions from
1 the Bench, I will go on to my next and last topic.
2 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] One moment. I have a
3 question, Witness, for you.
4 Mr. Karnavas has shown us a series of documents that contain
5 numbers such as 1456. I would be interested in number 2. We don't seem
6 to have a number 2. At the time, did you know that Mr. Prlic was
7 prime minister of a government in transition? Had he told you that?
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, I was familiar with that.
9 That was after the talks in Medjugorje, and then he initiated this
10 activity. I personally, in that period, was still head of the Finance
11 Department of the HVO HZ-HB and did not take part in the implementation
12 of the Medjugorje agreement. But I knew that Mr. Prlic was elected
13 president. He had informed us of that, and he launched subsequent
14 activities. But I was not familiar with the content of documents 2 and
16 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] As far as the creation of this
17 transitional covenant is concerned, did you take part in this?
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] That depended on the attribution of
19 positions. I was interested in continuing the activities in building
21 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's note: Transitional cabinet.
22 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] We see that Mr. Izetbegovic
23 answers Mr. Prlic. This is document ID 1600. We have Mr. Izetbegovic's
24 reply in this document. Had you been made aware of this?
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
1 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] You have held high-ranking
2 positions on the political stage, and you were involved in the
3 administration of this community. Do you feel that this kind of
4 response, in political terms, is something which resembles an
5 acknowledgment of this government in transition, because in Medjugorje
6 they say that his role as prime minister had been vetted and that there
7 would be consultations to appoint other people to other positions? Is
8 this a form of acknowledgment of Mr. Izetbegovic of Mr. Prlic as at the
9 head of this government in transition?
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I see it as such, but here we see a
11 process of stalling and at the same time speeding up the activities on
12 setting up the government, because we expected this process to go much
13 faster. But here a proposal is made that lower levels of government be
14 dealt with first, but it is clear that one could not get a solution
15 before such issues were resolved first at the level of Bosnia and
17 and this could not be solved at the level of provinces, yes.
18 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Was this process not controlled
19 at two levels, i.e., the regional SDAs, where he says that he had given
20 instructions, but there was the other control which was at the military
21 level? This seems to be what this letter states in its conclusions.
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Those are the elements that are
23 used as a pretext for the extension of deadlines for those activities.
24 Now information is collected about potential candidates at the regional
25 SDA boards, and then as the next step we have that first of all it would
1 all depend on military activities, in other words, for as long as there
2 are military operations it would be difficult for us to get those names.
3 And all of this indicates this was just stalling tactics to make sure
4 that the provisional government is set up as late as possible.
5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] So you believe that the Muslim
6 side was slowing the process down? Very well.
7 MR. KARNAVAS: Thank you.
8 Q. Now, the next topic is the Washington Agreement, post-Washington
9 Agreement. As I understand it, you were, as we heard already, you were
10 involved in the process of implementing the Washington Agreement.
11 If I may point out for the record, Your Honours, that the
12 gentleman's answer to your question on line 6 is not recorded. So if I
13 could go back.
14 You were asked, Mr. Tomic, by President Antonneti:
15 "So you believe that the process was slowing the process down."
16 What is your answer to that?
17 A. That's correct, yes.
18 Q. I want to make sure that I've nailed this point. Do you believe,
19 in looking at what Izetbegovic is saying, that Mr. Izetbegovic was
20 genuinely acting as a partner in peace?
21 JUDGE TRECHSEL: I'm sorry. I was not aware that you were about
22 to answer, and I will have a question after it.
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Based on this experience and the
24 procedure to establish the Federation, we could see a lot of elements
25 that indicated that the Bosniak side was not really interested in the
1 establishment of this form of government and that it constantly saw all
2 the agreements as stages leading to this final goal, which was the
3 Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina
4 advocated, and the establishment of any other forms was something that
5 they tried to stall, because those were contrary to the concept of Bosnia
6 and Herzegovina
7 that from the process of the establishment of federal authorities and the
8 functioning particularly in the period when there was this joint
9 government of the Federation and the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
10 MR. KARNAVAS: If I could just get one follow-up question before
11 your question, Judge Trechsel.
12 Q. When you say "their principles, their concept," to your
13 understanding what was their concept? And we're speaking about the SDA
14 leadership, in particular Izetbegovic and his cohorts.
15 A. Well, it was the principle of a centralised state based on the
16 "one man, one vote" principle. And in Bosnia and Herzegovina
17 tenable, it could not function.
18 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Mr. Tomic, you have said, in answering
19 Judge Antonetti on page 15, line 9, that the letter of Mr. Izetbegovic
20 and the efforts to slow down the process were a pretext, a pretext for
21 the extension of the deadlines. I wonder what you meant by "pretext."
22 What were they hiding, and was there any norm, any legal obligation for
23 them to act otherwise than they did, than Izetbegovic did?
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] This is the period where direct.
25 political and, I'd say, administrative government in the area controlled
1 by the BH Army was concentrated in the hands of Mr. Izetbegovic, and he
2 was able to start the process of setting up the transitional government
3 by appointing the candidates and following this procedure much more
4 quickly. At the time, it was very important for this transitional
5 government to start functioning with the people who represented the whole
6 area that was controlled by the BH Army and by the HVO HZ-HB, because at
7 that time we mostly had people from Sarajevo in government.
8 JUDGE TRECHSEL: I think I will not pursue this further now.
9 Thank you.
10 MR. KARNAVAS: We can take the break now or --
11 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Karnavas, yes, it's time
12 to have a break now. We shall have a 20-minute break.
13 --- Recess taken at 10.30 a.m.
14 --- On resuming at 10.55 a.m.
15 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Karnavas, I think you're
16 beyond seven hours already. I think you must have used seven hours and
17 ten minutes, if I'm not mistaken. Six minutes.
18 MR. KARNAVAS: All right. I'll be finishing up very soon,
19 Mr. President, and I do realise that we have gone a little bit over time.
20 Q. In light of the questions that were asked earlier, I want to go
21 back to the last chapter that we were, and I want to focus your attention
22 to 1D 01596, because the question was whether Izetbegovic had an
23 obligation. And we see here that the letter sent by Dr. Jadranko Prlic,
24 this is his first letter or number 1, May 21, in the very first paragraph
1 "Pursuant to the agreement reached in Medjugorje on May 18, 1993,
2 regarding the implementation of the Vance-Owen Plan in
3 Bosnia-Herzegovina ..."
4 Now, do you know whether this agreement in Medjugorje also
5 included internationals in cobbling up this agreement or was this simply
6 an agreement between Izetbegovic, Boban and others?
7 A. International peace mediators were also present there. They
8 insisted that the agreement should be implemented as soon as possible.
9 Q. All right. Now, you've been in government, you've served in
10 various ministries. Do you think that the president of a Presidency of a
11 country such as Bosnia-Herzegovina, albeit during a war period, when he
12 undertakes to sign an agreement with international counterparts that
13 include both the United Nations and the European Union, that the
14 president of the Presidency should comply with the agreements and abide
15 by the agreements, or is it something just to be considered?
16 A. It would be logical for this agreement to be honoured, complied
17 with, and this is how we looked at it. We saw it as an agreement that
18 obliged us to act.
19 Q. All right. If we look at -- to 1D 01599, that's the
20 second-to-last document in this packet, we see this is dated -- actually,
21 I don't have -- yeah, dated 23 May, is directed to Dr. Haris Silajdzic,
22 who was then apparently the Minister of Foreign Affairs. Did you know
23 Mr. Silajdzic?
24 A. At that time, no.
25 Q. Did you know of his position at the time?
1 A. Yes, he was the foreign minister.
2 Q. All right. And if we see that -- in the first paragraph, it says
4 "In accordance with the agreement," that is, of May 18th,
5 1993 - we can see that from the very first line making reference to the
6 implementation of the Vance-Owen Plan - "Dr. Jadranko Prlic is elected as
7 president of the government and you," that is, Silajdzic, "as Minister of
8 Of Foreign Affairs."
9 And then I'll skip back -- down to the very last sentence where
10 it says, or second-to-last:
11 "The governments of the United States of America
12 Federal Republic of Germany, the European community should also be
13 informed that the ambassador of Croatian nationality will be appointed
15 Now, looking at this, can you please give us an opinion as to
16 whether Dr. Prlic is seriously trying to implement the agreement that was
17 reached and signed by those who are at Medjugorje, including, that is,
18 Mr. Izetbegovic?
19 A. Well, this was a serious intention, because the objective was to
20 take part in the government and to build Bosnia and Herzegovina on
21 different kind of relations and to do it as soon as possible, and to
22 provide the correct information to the International Community in context
23 with their representatives, and that is why the position of ambassador
24 was one of the priority posts, because Mr. Silajdzic, as the Minister of
25 Foreign Affairs at the time, would always present just the views of the
1 authorities in Sarajevo
2 Q. All right. Now -- and by the way, Your Honours, the agreement is
3 1D 02404, should you wish to look at it or make reference to it.
4 But let me go on, because if we look at now 1D 1600, and this
5 is -- your answer to this document sort of provoked a series of
6 questions, and you had indicated that you can see, and I'm paraphrasing,
7 that essentially Izetbegovic is dragging his feet, as it were. In other
8 words, he's really not committed to this agreement and is stalling. In
9 order to look at this, you have to look -- let's go back to the very
10 first document, 1D 01596. We can see it's dated May 21, 1993, and when
11 we look at 1D 01600, we see that Izetbegovic is making reference to the
12 May 21 letter from Mr. Prlic, so obviously we know that the letter went
13 out, was received, and this was the response, or at least a reasonable
14 conclusion can be drawn based on this circumstantial evidence.
15 If we then go on and look at the second paragraph in
16 Dr. Jadranko Prlic's letter, we see that he's requesting for
17 Mr. Izetbegovic to designate the sectors in the government, the ministers
18 that the SDA or the Muslims would want in this newly-formed government,
19 based on the agreement reached in Medjugorje on May 18, 1993, pursuant to
20 the implementation of the Vance-Owen Plan.
21 Now, looking at paragraph 2 of Izetbegovic's letter, 1D 01600, we
22 then see Izetbegovic saying that in order for him to propose the
23 candidates, it is necessary for him, as the president of the SDA as well
24 as the president of the Presidency, to know which portfolios would be
25 available, although he does designate an interest, but then does not
1 designate any particular names that he -- of candidates that he may have
2 in mind. Do you see that, sir?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. And then we see -- and I take it -- and this is where I want you
5 to comment on, because here, aside from not providing any names,
6 Mr. Izetbegovic says:
7 "I also think that right now, taking into consideration the
8 circumstances," and who knows what he's talking about at this point, what
9 circumstances, "it is more urgent to start with the establishment of the
10 provisional governments in Mostar, Travnik and Zenica, and it is simpler
11 since those governments do not exist yet. Of course, the activities
12 related to forming a provisional government and central government can
13 run parallel with that."
14 And then he indicates that he has requested the regional
15 committees of the SDA to prepare a candidates list.
16 If you could spend a couple of seconds on this, and tell us, why
17 is it that you think that, based on paragraph 3, it appears that
18 Izetbegovic is stalling and is not genuinely interested in implementing
19 the agreement that he just signed off on? And we're talking only a
20 matter of a few days.
21 MR. SCOTT: Excuse me, Your Honour. I'm going to object to that
22 question to the extent that it calls for speculation. If Mr. Tomic can
23 point to any sort of objective, real-world factors that he was aware of
24 at the time, but for him to second guess what was or was not in
25 Mr. Izetbegovic's mind, to that extent the Prosecution objects to the
2 MR. KARNAVAS: I'll rephrase, then.
3 Q. You had indicated, prior to the question that was posed by
4 Judge Trechsel, you had indicated that one would start at the top and
5 move their way down, as opposed to starting at the regional level and
6 moving their way up. Could you please explain to us why you gave that
7 answer, on what basis, you having, of course, the experience of various
8 positions in government?
9 A. Here, the goal is to set up provincial governments in Travnik,
10 Mostar and Zenica, as proposed by Mr. Izetbegovic, because he says they
11 do not exist. But other provincial governments that were supposed to be
12 established under this agreement did not exist at the time either, so
13 practically this was an attempt to abolish the HZ-HB that existed in this
14 area, but the issue of financing the HVO, financing the defence and all
15 the other issues, those issues were not solved, and they could not be
16 solved at the provincial level. Those could only be solved at the level
17 of the state, and this is why it is logical to first set up the state
18 framework, to define all that, and then to go down to the provincial
19 governments to channel funds and to define rights and obligations and so
20 on and so forth. So by stressing the provincial level, in essence, they
21 wanted to abolish the HZ-HB without providing a solution setting up the
22 government in Sarajevo
23 doing that. And this process cannot go in parallel to the other, because
24 it would engender chaos in terms of financing, of the enforcement of
25 regulations, legislation, and all the other consequences that follow from
1 abolishing a set of administrative and other mechanisms and establishing
2 new ones.
3 Q. Now, Mr. Tomic, you had indicated that it was your impression,
4 having participated in the implementation of the Washington Agreement,
5 which I suspect, since that was signed and agreed upon, the Muslim
6 government was genuinely interested in implementing, that it was your
7 impression that even there they were not interested in truly establishing
8 the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina. Could you please explain to us
9 how is it that you came up with this impression?
10 A. In the Washington
11 Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina, it is clearly stated that until the
12 federal institutions are established, new institutions, in other words,
13 the provisional administrative arrangements would continue to exist, as
14 defined in the Washington Constitution. That was the definition of the
15 HZ-HB. That meant that new institutions had to be created. But when we
16 arrived in Sarajevo
17 into the existing institutions of Bosnia and Herzegovina
18 contrary to the provisions of the agreement, and this delayed the
19 implementation of the Washington Agreement. So instead of setting up the
20 customs administration of Bosnia-Herzegovina, as envisaged by the
21 agreement, we were told that we should simply agree that the customs
22 areas in the HZ-HB would become areas that would be part of the Customs
23 Administration of the Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina. The Constitution
24 also envisaged that the Federal Central Bank would be established. Of
25 course, they didn't even want to talk about it because the National Bank
1 of Bosnia-Herzegovina existed, so why shouldn't we accept that? And
2 underlying all that was an effort to delay things, to stall until it
3 would be possible to set up Bosnia and Herzegovina. And there were such
4 examples in all institutions that had to be set up at the level of the
5 Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
6 Q. Hopefully you are piquing the interest of some of us in this
7 courtroom with your answer. If you could tell us -- if you could please
8 tell us whether -- before I go on to my next question, on page 24, line
9 8 -- on page 37, line 8, if you could -- and then if you could just sort
10 of slow down a little bit, are we talking about the central -- you said
11 "central bank of Federation," so was it envisaged that the Federation
12 would have a central bank in addition to there being a central bank for
13 Bosnia and Herzegovina?
14 A. The Washington Agreement stipulated that there should be a
15 federal central bank, the central bank of the Federation, the
16 Muslim-Croat Federation as it was styled at the time, but that area, the
17 area of Federation after the Washington Agreement, was the area where the
18 National Bank of Bosnia and Herzegovina could operate, because this
19 institution had no jurisdiction over the Serbian republic, and then the
20 Bosniak side insisted that we should not set up the federal central bank,
21 but to accept the National Bank of Bosnia and Herzegovina in its stead.
22 At that time, of course we did not know what the situation was with this
23 bank, what kind of credits and debts it had incurred, and we could not
24 agree to it at all. It was impossible. And that is why in the
25 Washington Agreement it was envisaged that the federal central bank would
1 be established.
2 Q. All right. Well, let me just put it very bluntly, to cut to the
3 chase on this. It is being alleged in this trial that the Croats and not
4 the Muslims were not interested in the Federation or the implementation
5 of the Washington Agreement, and in fact did everything they possibly
6 could to undermine it, and that continued on with the Dayton Accords. So
7 I'm going to ask you concretely: In your opinion, did you and the other
8 Croats from Bosnia-Herzegovina who were engaged in the implementation of
9 the Washington Agreement, try to impede, frustrate, the implementation of
10 the Washington
11 A. The people who take -- who took part in the activities of the
12 government of Bosnia-Herzegovina exclusively tried to implement the
13 Washington Agreement the way it was written. That applies to the other
14 documents that are a part of that Washington Agreement. The problem was,
15 as I said, the approach. The Bosniak side did not accept that as the
16 establishment of new government institutions, but as the return of the
17 Croats to the institutions, which was not defined as such in the
19 that had been established to be considered the only legal institutions,
20 and the institutions in existence in HZ-HB should be included or become
21 part of the old institutions of Bosnia-Herzegovina. The following
22 reasoning was given: that the Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina is a legal
23 successor, so the argument of the continuity of government, which applies
24 to the Republic and the Federation.
25 When we saw that we could not impose the solutions envisaged by
1 the Washington Agreement, we tried the government of the Federation --
2 for the government of the Federation to become a separate entity from the
3 government of Bosnia and Herzegovina. This took a while, but then there
4 were meetings of the government of the Federation and after ten minutes
5 there would be a session of the government of the Republic of
6 Bosnia-Herzegovina, and the composition of both was the same. But there
7 was -- there were no clear provisions as to what the government of the
8 Federation was supposed to do and the government of the Republic
9 respectively, but because the existing structures had some prerogatives,
10 that was not in line with the old Constitution of Bosnia-Herzegovina, and
11 the Muslim side insisted that their institutions were older and that they
12 were the only ones that we should -- be included in the structure of
13 those institutions. And they did not accept the guarantees of the
14 National Bank of the --
15 THE INTERPRETER: Could the witness please slow down. The
16 interpreters can't follow.
17 MR. KARNAVAS:
18 Q. Slow down a little bit. They didn't catch the last part of your
19 answer, so you may have to repeat that, where you say "they did not
20 accept the guarantees of the National Bank." Could you complete that
21 thought? And I have to go back and correct another line.
22 A. So then the efforts to establish a financial system of the
23 Federation, it was necessary for bank guarantees in the Federation are
24 accepted in, say -- for the purposes of customs, but the National Bank of
25 Bosnia-Herzegovina was not willing to accept guarantees of the
1 Hrvatskabanka Mostar, although that bank received actually the approval
2 for work from the National Bank in 1992. They argued that the only legal
3 banks are those in areas under the control of the Army of BiH.
4 Q. All right. Now, going back to page 39, line 10 and 11, you said
5 those who participated in the government of BiH were trying to implement
6 the agreement, the Washington Agreement, as it was written. I'm
7 paraphrasing, of course, but who was trying to implement the agreement,
8 the Washington Agreement, as it was written; the Croat side, the Muslim
9 side, or both sides?
10 A. Speaking about the establishment of the federal government
11 institutions, the Croatian side had the -- had priority and the
12 initiative in the implementation of the Washington Agreement. The
13 Croatian ministers authored about 80 per cent of the new regulations that
14 we proposed as regulations of the Federation of Bosnia-Herzegovina.
15 Q. All right. Now, could you please describe to --
16 JUDGE TRECHSEL: I'm sorry, Mr. Karnavas. You asked a very
17 precise question, and it was not answered. The question was: Which side
18 wanted to implement to the letter? That's the way your words were
19 translated, "to the letter." And the way it is translated, one reads
20 that it was the Bosnia and Herzegovina side, but it can mean a lot of
21 things. Perhaps you can explain what you meant by saying that they,
22 whether it is a misprint and then what it means when they say they want
23 to implement to the letter.
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The Croatian side wanted to
25 implement the Washington Agreement literally, to the letter. That is a
1 bid, new institutions. The customs administration of the Federation, the
2 central bank of the Federation, the tax administration of the Federation,
3 the financial police of the Federation, the SDK of the Federation, the
4 way it is stated in the Washington Agreement, and where it also said
5 exactly that until the establishment of new federal institutions, the
6 existing institutions should continue functioning, so including the
7 institutions of HZ-HB.
8 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Thank you very much. And while I have, anyway,
9 interrupted, could you please tell the Chamber what time frame you're
10 talking about? When was all this going on?
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I'm talking about the period after
12 the Washington Agreement, 1994 and the beginning of 1995, until the
13 signing of the agreement on the implementation of the Federation.
14 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Thank you.
15 MR. KARNAVAS:
16 Q. All right. Now, as I understand it from your previous testimony,
17 during this period you were serving both as Minister of Finance for
18 Bosnia-Herzegovina and Minister of Finance for the Federation.
19 A. Correct.
20 Q. And do you know what position, if any, Dr. Jadranko Prlic held at
21 that time?
22 A. He was Minister of Defence and a vice-president of government.
23 Q. Okay. Minister of Defence for Bosnia-Herzegovina or for the
24 Federation, or for both?
25 A. [In English] Both. [Interpretation] For both.
1 Q. All right. And vice-president of government. Which government,
2 the Federation or BiH, or both?
3 A. Both.
4 Q. Okay. And if you could just briefly tell us, who were some of
5 the other Croats who were engaged at a high level, such as yourself and
6 others, as Dr. Prlic, that is, who were other Croats that were engaged in
7 this process that had ministerial positions?
8 A. There was Mr. Zubak and Mr. Tadic. There was Mr. Ljubic. Those
9 were all people who had positions in the HZ-HB. And when the Washington
10 Agreement was signed, they went to Sarajevo
11 Q. All right. Mr. Zubak, Kresimir Zubak, what position did he hold,
12 if you recall?
13 A. For a while, he was the president of the Federation with
14 Mr. Ganic.
15 Q. All right. And Mr. Tadic, we're talking about Mato Tadic?
16 A. Mato Tadic was Minister of Justice.
17 Q. And what about Mr. Ljubic, if you recall?
18 A. Mr. Ljubic was minister or vice-minister. At the time when a
19 Croat was minister, his deputy was a Muslim, a Bosniak, and Mr. Ljubic
20 was the president of the Constitutional Assembly. I'm speaking of
21 Mr. Mariofil Ljubic.
22 Q. Right. Now, did there ever come a time -- you indicated that it
23 seemed that the Muslim side, the SDA side, the Izetbegovic side, was not
24 really interested in implementing the Washington Agreement, at least as
25 it was envisaged by those who had signed on to it. As a result of that,
1 did the Croats ever complain, and if so, how and to whom?
2 A. To government sessions, cabinet sessions, we were trying to solve
3 that issue, but without success. Also, we informed Mr. Tudjman, the
4 president of Croatia
5 persons who signed that agreement.
6 Q. All right. Well, why -- you said that he was one of the persons.
7 Did the Washington Agreement envisage some sort of a role for the
8 Republic of Croatia
9 the Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina?
10 A. The Washington Agreement had some other provisions apart from
11 the -- apart from the Constitution. There was the agreement of the
12 Confederation and the access to the port of Ploce
13 through the Neum belt, and thus the role of the Republic of Croatia
14 present in the implementation of the Washington Agreement.
15 Q. All right. But why go to Croatia
16 not go to Bill Clinton or Holbrooke or Redman? I believe it was Redman
17 who was the one that took the lead for the US State Department. Why not
18 go to those individuals and complain that the Muslims were not complying
19 with the Washington
20 A. I must stress that we also contacted representatives of the
21 International Community. I personally, from the moment on when we
22 established contact with the World Bank and the IMF, I asked them that
23 before meetings, they should require the persons on the
24 Bosnia-Herzegovinian side to produce an accreditation to clearly state
25 who they're representing, the Federation of Bosnia-Herzegovina, the
1 Republic of Herzegovina
2 representatives, that is, all those who were involved in the process of
3 the implementation of the Washington Agreement.
4 Q. All right. Well, let me just -- because again I've got to go
5 back a little bit. You indicate that you wanted the accreditation to
6 clearly state whether they were representing the state or the federation,
7 and I take it because, like yourself, perhaps, many of the ministers were
8 wearing two hats at the same time.
9 A. That is correct, but the Bosniak ministers acted primarily as
10 ministers of the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina, and the Croatian
11 ones wanted to be seen as federal ministers, that is, as representing the
12 new institutions that had yet to be established.
13 Q. All right. Well, just one -- I just want to make sure that I'm
14 absolutely clear on this, because there may be an issue as to whether
15 you're being consistent.
16 When we talked about the Medjugorje agreement, you indicated that
17 you had to stop -- start at the top, that is, before going to the
18 regional level, which is why Jadranko Prlic was asking for the ministers,
19 and you would establish first the state, then the regional. But now we
20 have this Washington Agreement. Would that principle also not apply,
21 albeit we do have an agreement, but would that principle also apply here,
22 which may account for why the Muslims were behaving the way they were;
23 that is, you first have to strengthen or get the state institutions in
24 order before you can put in place the federation institutions? Is this
25 some kind of a contradiction in your answers or can you at least
1 reconcile the two answers that you have given us?
2 I don't know if I was articulate enough.
3 A. The situation after the Washington Agreement and the existence of
4 the Republic and the Federation in the same area, namely, areas
5 controlled by the Army of BiH and the HVO, and these should be run by the
6 federal government. But at the same time there were the regulations of
7 the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina in the same area, and it was still
8 unclear what the final outcome would be. So on the Muslim side thought
9 that we should implement the regulations of the Republic that would
10 simply be -- also become federal regulations, so we needn't establish a
11 new customs administration, but simply take over the existing Customs
12 Administration of the Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina, which would then
13 have two names, the Administration of the Republic and that of the
14 Federation. And that was in contravention of the Washington Agreement
15 and, in fact, an obstruction in the establishment of federal
17 Q. All right. Let's go on to the documents now, because I have to
18 end pretty quickly. Let's go to 1D 01953, 1D 01953. We see these are
19 notes, and we see there's a date, "23 April 1994," and we see your name,
20 as well Dr. Prlic's, and we also see Zulfo Robovic. We saw his name
21 earlier on some of the payroll sheets. We also see Ilija Kozul, who's
22 come here and testified. Could you please explain to us, what are these
24 A. This is the meeting in Mostar when the -- when Mr. Bukovic
25 [phoen] came, the vice-prime minister of the government of the Republic
1 of Bosnia-Herzegovina, and we discussed the first steps in the
2 implementation of the Washington Agreement. We discussed a number of
3 issues, including financial ones, such as making sure that tax, duties --
4 tax and contributions are levied and to combat evasion on the part of the
5 final users. The Minister of Finance, Mr. Sead Kreso --
6 Q. Slow down.
7 A. It was agreed that the Minister of Finance, Mr. Kreso, would hold
8 a separate meeting to discuss the possibilities for the cooperation
9 between the institutions of the Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina and those
10 of the HZ-HB in the area of finance.
11 Q. And was that meeting held?
12 A. The meeting was held on April the 12th.
13 Q. Where does this document come from, incidentally? I mean, just
14 so we know. We see that it's notes from a meeting, but do you recall who
15 may have taken these notes?
16 A. These notes were made in the -- in the HVO HZ-HB, where the
17 meeting was held -- the meetings were held.
18 Q. Okay. Now, having read these notes, can you tell us whether the
19 contents contained in these notes comport with your memory as to what
20 took place during that meeting?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. Let's go on to the next document, 1D 01954, and this is dated 12
23 April 1994. These are excerpts from the area of finance. We see your
24 name at the end of this document, along with Sead Kreso. That was the
25 same individual we spoke of. Can you please explain to us what this
1 document is, this protocol?
2 A. This is the basic agreement between Minister Kreso. I was then
3 deputy minister. Mr. Martinovic, the minister, was absent, about issues
4 pertaining to the establishment of a single tax system in the Federation,
5 and then about the ways of controlling the movement of goods, about the
6 combatting of contraband, about the detection of false humanitarian aid,
7 and then the revenues in the Federation should have the end user clearly
9 Under the agreement, there were the army of BiH and the HVO and
10 all other users until the establishment of federal institutions, which
11 meant at the moment -- at that moment that the budget of the HZ-HB had
12 about 130.000 users or beneficiaries; soldiers, police officers, judges,
13 nurses, pensioners, which means budget beneficiaries, about 130.000.
14 Until the establishment of federal institutions, this funding had to
15 continue, and we had to prevent merchants from making -- from making use
16 of that vacuum, and report to one or the other institution in the
18 We had a technical meeting and defined that in the first stage we
19 must split up the revenues into those belonging to the budget of HZ-HB
20 and those belonging to the budget of the Republic of BiH in order to
21 avoid conflict about who was entitled to which revenue, which means that
22 we determined that if goods go to Zenica, they must clear customs there,
23 and tax duties should be paid there rather than in Mostar
24 or Siroki Brijeg, and the other way around. If goods are going to Vitez,
25 they must be cleared through customs there and not in Zenica, because we
1 had to make sure that the existing institutions within the Federation are
3 Unfortunately, upon returning to Sarajevo and when that protocol
4 was published, Minister Kreso was fiercely attacked by a part of the
5 Muslim leadership, because he was accused that he had recognised
6 Herceg-Bosna, and this agreement was not fully implemented before early
7 1995. All activities had -- were stopped, the activities that were to
8 follow and had been agreed - namely, the directors of tax administrations
9 should meet and find solutions to some technical questions. The same
10 applies to the directors of tax administrations, of finance police
11 forces - and come up with ways and means for the functioning of all these
12 services until the establishment of institutions in Bosnia-Herzegovina.
13 MR. KARNAVAS: All right. And just a correction on page 48, line
14 25. It should say not "were implemented" but "until early 1995, they
15 weren't implemented."
16 MR. SCOTT: Excuse me, Mr. President. This actually relates back
17 to the previous document, and I didn't want to interrupt the witness, but
18 I didn't anticipate that this last answer would be so long.
19 The witness never answered the question that Mr. Karnavas did ask
20 him, and I give Mr. Karnavas full credit for that, but he said were these
21 minutes, these minutes reflected in the last document, where they were
22 taken at the HVO HZ-HB, but he never answered Mr. Karnavas' question as
23 to whose notes they were. I would like to have an answer to that,
25 MR. KARNAVAS:
1 Q. Do you know who took those notes, sir? The previous document, do
2 you recognise the handwriting, do you know who actually took the notes?
3 A. Notes were taken by the HVO secretary, and those are comments
4 made by Mr. Prlic.
5 Q. Right. But I think, if I could, because the next question is
6 going to be: Who was the secretary that actually took the notes, if I
7 know my colleague, because I would be asking the same question. Do you
8 know who the secretary was at the time, at least?
9 A. I think that at that time, it was Mr. Dzidic. He did this.
10 Q. And forgive me here for a second. If I could go back, because I
11 see that in the original, there are some handwritten notes that are on
12 this document, all right, that are not typed. If we all look at the
13 original of 1D 01953, do you recognise that handwriting and do you know
14 who took those notes?
15 A. That's Mr. Prlic's handwriting.
16 Q. All right. And I take it you can read those scribbles. If you
17 can just answer my question. Can you read what is on there or is this --
18 I know that I can hardly read my writing.
19 A. Well, parts of it.
20 Q. All right. And going back to the question that was posed by
21 Mr. Scott, do you recall who the secretary was that would have prepared
22 these notes to which we now see superimposed some handwritten notes by
23 Dr. Prlic in Croatian?
24 A. I think that Mr. Miroslav Dzidic took notes. He was the
1 Q. That would -- unless there are any -- I think that that's a point
2 of clarification that actually was necessary for the record, and we thank
3 our colleague for bringing it to our attention.
4 All right. If we can go to the next document, 1D 03046. If you
5 could please tell us what this represents, this current fiscal system.
6 We see two columns, "RBiH" and "HZ-HB," so the Republic of
7 Bosnia-Herzegovina and the Croatian Republic of Herceg-Bosna. So could
8 you look at this and please tell us where did this come from, if you
10 A. This is a document that was created in the Ministry of Finance of
11 the Republic/Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina after I and my
12 colleague, my deputy, made an analysis of the sector in the sphere of
13 finance, in the areas that we provisionally called as areas controlled by
14 the BH Army and areas controlled by the HVO.
15 Q. All right. If I could ask you who your colleague, your deputy,
16 was, and of course if you could tell us, if you know, where he was from.
17 A. My deputy was Mr. -- Dr., in fact, Ismuddin Kazetovic. Up until
18 that time, he had been in Tuzla
20 Q. All right, which possess, I guess, another question, because it
21 came up yesterday. There was an objection raised as to whether you were
22 able to provide information concerning activities that were ongoing
23 during 1992 and 1993 in Tuzla
24 is: While he was your deputy and you were collaborating on the
25 implementation of the Washington Agreement, did you have an opportunity
1 to discuss with Dr. Kazetovic what had been going on in Tuzla and what
2 measures, if any, they had taken during the relevant period of time, that
3 is, 1992/1993?
4 A. Mr. Kazetovic was an expert, and we mostly talked about the
5 situation in both areas, the options, the solutions that were used to
6 deal with the lack of regulations in this area and lack of institutions.
7 And this is part of a document where we put the results of those analyses
8 into a table, comparing the solutions that were implemented in the areas
9 controlled by the BH Army and areas that were controlled by the HVO in
10 various sectors of the finance sphere.
11 Q. You told us that it was your impression, based on the conduct of
12 your colleagues in Sarajevo
13 fortitude, if I could put it this way, to implement the
14 Washington Agreement to its fullest, that is, in establishing the
15 Federation. Can you tell us whether other municipalities within the
16 Federation found -- or how did they find the conduct by the Sarajevo
17 establishment, political establishment, in the implementation of the
19 A. Well, it differed from one area to another. Let me give you an
20 example, Tuzla
21 accordance with the Washington Constitution, and started to exercise its
22 authority in accordance with the Washington Agreement. At that time
23 under the Washington Agreement, provinces had a great deal of power.
24 Healthcare, education, those were activities in the purview of the
25 provinces under the Washington Agreement. And the Tuzla authorities, the
2 were able to set up the first cantonal government in the Federation of
3 Bosnia and Herzegovina and to exercise their powers. And this was seen
4 to be done much too fast by the Sarajevo
5 Q. Okay, thank you. Now, the very last document, 1D 0 --
6 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Karnavas, the Registrar
7 has told me that you've already had eight hours.
8 MR. KARNAVAS: Yes. It's unfortunate, in part, because of some
9 of the questions that came from the Bench, I had the need to -- I do need
10 about five minutes, if that. Less than that, less than that. But there
11 were some questions that -- follow-up questions, Your Honours, and I do
12 think that this is an important witness.
13 MR. SCOTT: Excuse me, Mr. Karnavas, and, sorry, I'm going to add
14 to your trouble, I suppose.
15 But Your Honour, in the last question, since this is an area and
16 this goes back -- gets into issues also about the summaries that are
17 provided to the Chamber and the Prosecution, since this is something
18 we've been provided absolutely no information about, in terms of
19 summaries, and I don't really want to get into that, except that when the
20 witness just now on this topic gives the answer:
21 "And this was seen to be done much too fast by the Sarajevo
22 establishment," what does that mean? I want to -- I'd like to know that
23 before the cross-examination starts. I want to know if this witness, he
24 says -- that could be anything, it could be anyone, anything, any time,
25 "the Sarajevo
1 MR. KARNAVAS: I'll ask the question.
2 MR. SCOTT: Thank you.
3 MR. KARNAVAS: Okay, that's part of the dilemma that I'm in. I'm
4 using up too much time, but I can understand my colleague wanting an
5 answer to that before the cross.
6 Q. Can you please provide us -- expand a little bit on that?
7 A. The political structures in the Tuzla district established the
9 Bosnia and Herzegovina. However, talking to my colleague, Mr. Kazetovic,
10 I realised that this was done much faster than the Muslim leadership
11 wanted. It was done before the issue of the Republic of Bosnia
13 the cantons by the Washington Agreement envisaged that no funds would be
14 paid into the Republican budget for those things that were within the
15 purview of the cantons under the Washington Constitution. If healthcare
16 was to be dealt with at the cantonal level, then Tuzla did not send any
17 money for healthcare to Sarajevo
18 caused a number of problems in the functioning of the budget in the area
19 controlled by the BH Army, and that's how I was able to reach this
21 MR. SCOTT: Sorry, Your Honour. Mr. Karnavas gave an effort, and
22 again it's not his fault, because he asked the right question, but
23 unfortunately we still didn't really get the answer. The closest we got
24 was "the Muslim leadership," and again that's not much better than saying
25 "the Sarajevo
1 kind of a broad point to the Chamber that he needs to speak with more
2 specificity so the cross-examination can be meaningful.
3 MR. KARNAVAS: I would invite at this point, I know it's rather
4 unusual, but perhaps the question can be framed by Mr. Scott in an open
5 fashion, so -- I don't know, perhaps I'm not phrasing the question
6 properly. So if Mr. Scott wishes to phrase the question, and then the
7 gentleman would be requested to answer the question directly,
9 MR. SCOTT: Thank you, Mr. Karnavas. And again my dispute on
10 this point is not with Mr. Karnavas, it's really with the witness. I
11 thought it was pretty clear. The question was not what all these
12 disputes were about, which the witness went on for some time again
13 describing what his perception of the disputes were, but he didn't answer
14 the question put to him, and that is: Who was the Sarajevo establishment
15 that he says thought this was happening too fast? And that -- I think,
16 Mr. Karnavas was quite clear and I've been quite clear, but the witness
17 has not provided that information.
18 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Witness, can you be more
19 specific as to the Sarajevo
20 name or are you talking about the political establishment as a whole?
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I meant, as I said in my repeated
22 answer, the Muslim leadership. To be quite specific, when it came to the
23 Minister of Finance of the Republic -- Federation of Bosnia-Herzegovina,
24 it was the minister. That was myself. My deputy was Ismuddin Kazetovic,
25 a Muslim, and there was the secretary in the ministry, again a Muslim,
1 and throughout this time he was in Sarajevo
3 intents and purposes, given tasks by the secretary, who was
4 Mr. Haris Silajdzic's close associate.
5 MR. KARNAVAS: All right.
6 Q. So what are -- but, again, a little more specific, are you
7 suggesting here that it was Haris Silajdzic, who was also a close
8 associate of Mr. Izetbegovic and Mr. Ganic -- were they the ones that
9 were not happy with the progress, in other words, that Tuzla was
10 implementing the Washington Agreement far too quicker for their
11 suitability because it somehow competed with their plan? And I'm
12 speaking about what you indicated earlier.
13 A. That's correct.
14 Q. In other words, their plan was not to have the Federation but
15 rather to build up the Republic?
16 A. That's correct.
17 MR. KARNAVAS: I don't know if that satisfies, and I'm sure you
18 may get questioned more on that.
19 Q. Well, in your opinion, was Tuzla doing anything wrong -- was the
21 for the establishment of cantons - this was something that was cobbled
22 together by those who put together the Washington Agreement - but was
25 A. No. Tuzla
1 competent people did this job.
2 Q. All right. The final document is 1D 02355, and this is from an
3 interview that was broadcasted on television. You've had an
4 opportunity -- first, have you had an opportunity to look at this
5 document, 1D 02355?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. And can you tell us, very briefly, whether -- having read this,
8 whether Dr. Jadranko Prlic's comments to the journalist are consistent
9 with your understanding of the events and the circumstances at the time?
10 And we're speaking of November 1994, so this is prior to the
11 Dayton Accord but subsequent to the Washington Agreement.
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. All right, so --
14 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Mr. Karnavas, ten minutes ago, you promised
15 five. Some was taken, yes, but I think you've taken five. This is not
16 because we want to cut you down, but it's for your colleagues' sake,
17 whose time now is more than what we've left until Tuesday, and that's the
18 worry of the Chamber. We would not like to have the witness come back.
19 MR. KARNAVAS: That's why I only asked one question on that
20 document, Judge Trechsel. I understand. I just have one final question,
21 and that is:
22 Q. As I understand it, sir, in 2000 you were elected mayor of
23 Mostar. Is that correct?
24 A. Yes, after two terms of office in the Council of Ministers in
25 2000, in the year 2000 in May, I was elected the mayor of Mostar.
1 Q. And were you elected just for one side or for the entire
2 municipality or the entire city of Mostar
3 A. I was elected by the city council, by all the representatives of
4 all the citizens of Mostar.
5 MR. IBRISIMOVIC: [Interpretation] I do apologise, Mr. President.
6 Could Mr. Pusic please leave the courtroom for just a moment?
7 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes, of course, please go
9 MR. KARNAVAS:
10 Q. If you could just finish that answer, and then I'll take an exit.
11 A. Yes, I was elected by the city council that represented all the
12 citizens of Mostar.
13 Q. And I take it it represented, when you say "all citizens,"
14 Muslims, Serbs, Croats and others.
15 A. That's correct.
16 MR. KARNAVAS: Thank you very much, sir, for your testimony on
17 direct examination, and I would ask you to be as forthright with everyone
18 else in answering their questions.
19 That concludes my direct examination, Mr. President and Your
21 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. Eight hours and
22 seven minutes.
23 Now, maybe we should have a break now, and we will resume with
24 Ms. Nozica. So we'll have our last break for today, 20 minutes.
25 --- Recess taken at 12.08 p.m.
1 --- On resuming at 12.30 p.m.
2 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] We are back in session. The
3 Court would like to remind Defence counsel who are about to cross-examine
4 the witness to indicate when questions relate to the examination-in-chief
5 or when they are planning to discuss new items, so that we are not faced
6 with any problem time-wise.
7 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, good afternoon to
8 you. Good afternoon to all my colleagues. And to you, Witness, good
10 Your Honours, I will indicate the topics that I might consider
11 that have not been dealt with in the examination-in-chief. If I don't do
12 that, then the topics will have been dealt in the examination-in-chief.
13 And I would like to remind you that under Rule 90(H), we do have the
14 right to address new issues in our cross-examination.
15 Cross-examination by Ms. Alaburic:
16 Q. [Interpretation] Witness, could you please tell the Judges about
17 our relationship? Could you tell me, have we met before, have we
18 discussed any issues, have I taken part in your proofing for this
20 A. We have not had any proofing sessions before my testimony.
21 Q. And we don't know each other, we have not met before; is that
23 A. Yes, that's correct, we haven't.
24 Q. Fine. My first question to you will deal with the last topic
25 addressed by Mr. Prlic's Defence counsel, and that's the
2 relations regarding the implementation of the Washington Agreement the
3 way I understand you to have explained it.
4 The representatives of the Croatian Republic of Herceg-Bosna
5 wanted to establish new institutions of the Federation, while the
6 representatives of the Muslims tried to revive the institutions of the
7 state of Bosnia and Herzegovina and for the representatives of the HR-HB
8 to get incorporated in the old institutions of the state of Bosnia
10 A. Yes, that's correct.
11 Q. It would be useful if you could explain to us, if you have any
12 knowledge of that, what was happening with the armies after the
13 Washington Agreement was signed. Did the Washington Agreement envisage
14 that the Army of Bosnia and Herzegovina and the HVO would have a joint
15 command, joint chiefs of staff?
16 A. Yes, a joint main staff was envisaged.
17 Q. Does that mean that the Army of Bosnia and Herzegovina and the
18 HVO were supposed to continue in existence as separate armies, but their
19 operation was to be coordinated through this joint staff; is that so?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. Could you please tell me, this joint staff, was it supposed to be
22 set up on the 50/50 principle or was there some other principle whereby
23 it was supposed to include representatives of the BH Army and the HVO?
24 A. As far as I can recall, the principle was based on the same
25 principle as the government was to be set up, and that would be the 50/50
2 Q. Could you please tell us, if you know, whether the efforts to
3 establish the joint command under the similar principles were taken by
4 the HVO in 1992-1993? Was this a constant effort on the part of the HVO
5 during those years?
6 A. Yes, that's correct.
7 Q. And the Sarajevo
8 the BH Army, on the other hand, did they not try for the HVO to be
9 integrated into the BH Army in such a way that the BH Army command
10 commanded at the same time the HVO?
11 A. Yes, that's correct.
12 Q. Thank you. Now let us go back to the topic of the finances, and
13 I would like to ask you to explain some things that I believe might be
14 relevant for the Trial Chamber in their deliberations.
15 If I understand you correctly, you explained to us that it was
16 your task, as the head of the finance department, to act together with
17 the HVO, the government, to centralise the revenues at the level of the
18 Croatian Community and the Croatian Republic of Herceg-Bosna, and the
19 purpose -- the primary purpose was to finance the defence.
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. Through a series of documents, you tried to explain to us the
22 difficulties that you encountered. In particular, you told us about the
23 behaviour of the municipalities that enforced some levies and collected
24 taxes and other levies, keeping the money to themselves. In an answer to
25 a question by His Honour Judge Trechsel as to the effects of your efforts
1 to prevent this kind of behaviour on the part of the municipalities, you
2 answered that this kind of conduct on the part of the municipalities, in
3 other words, that they passed regulations and failed to remit the
4 revenues into the budget of the HZ-HB, intensified -- escalated after the
5 developments in the battlefield. That's at page 7 of the new numbering
6 of the pages, lines 22, 23. Could you please explain to us, Mr. Tomic,
7 what does it mean, that this kind of conduct on the part of the
8 municipalities escalated after the situation in the battlefield changed?
9 A. Let me give you an example, the time when the conflict broke out
10 in Mostar. In late 1992, there was a period when the regulations
11 establishing the finance system were already in place, and for the first
12 four months intensive efforts were made to implement those regulations.
13 People went out into the municipalities, instructions were issued to
14 institutions and so on, and revenues started coming in to the budget.
15 When the conflict broke out in Mostar, the Department of Finance
16 actually stopped working for a while. We had to move to Siroki Brijeg
17 for a period, and at the time municipalities again kept the revenues for
18 themselves and failed to remit them to the budget of the HZ-HB. The
19 situation was similar in Central Bosnia. So every time something like
20 that happened, the municipalities would again try to get all the power in
21 the sphere of finance into their own hands.
22 Q. Does that mean, in other words, that you would, every now and
23 then, be in the position to try to centralise the revenue and set up --
24 establish control over the revenues in the HZ-HB?
25 A. Correct. The entire period was marked by attempts to outwit the
1 other side and to get the revenue.
2 Q. I would like to come back to something you said yesterday, and it
3 seems very interesting to me. It was about the document dated July the
4 5th, 1993, about which you answered to Mr. Karnavas. It was about the
5 collection of revenue.
6 You said that the report was drafted after conflict had broken
7 out in Mostar. Did I understand that correctly?
8 A. Yes. That was the reaction to the situation I have just
10 Q. Do you know that on June 30th or July 1st, there was -- the
11 conflicts in Mostar had intensified?
12 A. No, I don't remember.
13 Q. Okay. If you don't remember, I won't insist. When you spoke
14 about the attempts to centralise the revenue to finance defence, we saw a
15 document of yours, and I had the feeling that you spoke all the time
16 about the defence of Bosnia-Herzegovina, and that's actually what one of
17 the documents read, so the defence of the state of Bosnia-Herzegovina
18 which at that moment was called HZ-HB. Did I understand you correctly?
19 A. Yes, that is correct.
20 Q. When you spoke about border crossings, you used a very
21 interesting phrase which was not literally translated, so I want to make
22 sure whether I heard you correctly and made -- and if my note is correct.
23 You spoke about the border crossings of Bosnia and Herzegovina in the
24 section of HZ-HB. The transcript re -- the transcript does not include
25 the part saying that it's a border crossing of Bosnia-Herzegovina, so
1 please tell us now.
2 When you spoke about border crossings, did you mean that those
3 were border crossings for crossing into and out of Bosnia-Herzegovina,
4 the state?
5 A. Yes, of course.
6 MR. SCOTT: Excuse me, Your Honour. While we're paused, I just
7 want to make absolutely sure it was either a mis-statement or
8 mis-translation at page 63, lines 11 and 12. It was put to the witness:
9 "So when the term 'the state of Bosnia-Herzegovina' at that moment was
10 called HZ-HB," that's either an error or so fundamentally different than
11 everything in this trial for the last two and a half years that I think
12 it has to be clarified. Thank you.
13 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, this is obviously a
14 mistake. I just have to read the entire question. So that it was about
15 the defence of the state of Bosnia-Herzegovina in that section which at
16 that moment was the Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna, so the question
17 was the defence of the state of Bosnia-Herzegovina, but parts of the
18 territory were occupied, et cetera, and you don't have to go into that.
19 I specified that the HZ-HB was meant, which was a part of the state of
21 Q. Witness, I don't think there is a doubt that we were speaking
22 about the defence of the state of Bosnia-Herzegovina and that part of
23 that state which at that time was organised as the Croatian Community of
24 Herceg-Bosna; right?
25 A. Yes, correct.
1 Q. Witness, you spoke about the positions of Mate Boban and about
2 the defence having started before the founding of HZ-HB, so I would like
3 to clarify some details that may give rise to confusion. I especially
4 care about your replies given on Day 1 on page 33, lines 3 to 5 of the
5 transcript, which reads that the HZ-HB was founded after the beginning of
6 the defence activities of the army and the Croatian people in Bosnia
8 Please tell me, do you remember when the Croatian Community of
9 Herceg-Bosna was founded?
10 A. I know that from documents.
11 Q. Since this is already tendered as evidence, and it's Exhibit P79,
12 tell me, Witness, whether that was on the 18th of November, 1991.
13 A. Correct.
14 Q. At that moment, at least as far as we were able to hear in this
15 courtroom, no defence activity had yet begun on the part of the army of
16 the Croatian people, or the army of the Muslim people, or anybody at that
17 time who was threatened or attacked; is that correct?
18 A. Yes, correct.
19 Q. Now, about your statement about the positions of Mate Boban,
20 which is correct, but to my mind only when one comes to a part of the
21 period which we are interested in now, you could help us understand which
22 positions those were that Mate Boban, in some parts of the period in
23 question, had, because it is important for us to see who, de jure, had
24 power, and then we'll see what power he had de facto. I will lead you
25 through the documents, and we will try to arrive at conclusions together.
1 So we said that the Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna was
2 founded in November of 1991. According to your knowledge, was
3 Mr. Mate Boban the president of the Presidency of the Croatian Community
4 of Herceg-Bosna?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. Tell me, in those early days did the Croatian Community of
7 Herceg-Bosna function as something of an association of the heads of
8 individual municipalities that made up the HZ-HB?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. Good. That was the initial period, but it changed in April 1992.
11 Let me -- let us try and see whether what I'm putting to you is correct.
12 Is it correct that in March 1992, Bosnia-Herzegovina declared its
14 A. Correct.
15 Q. Good. Is it correct that in that same month, substantial
16 activity of the Yugoslav People's Army and the army of the
17 Bosnia-Herzegovinian Serbs began to conquer part of the territory of
18 Bosnia and Herzegovina which they considered belonged to the Serbs?
19 A. That is correct.
20 Q. According to your knowledge, did the leadership of the
21 Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna decide to try and organise defence?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. Look at the document number 151 in my set of documents. It's a
24 decision about the establishment of the HVO, passed by Mr. Mate Boban on
25 the 8th of April, 1992. We've seen it many times in this courtroom.
1 Tell me, Witness, it follows from this decision that the Presidency of
2 the HZ-HB took the decision to establish a body, an organ which will be
3 called "Croatian Defence Council," HVO, and that that body will be the
4 supreme body in terms of defence in HZ-HB, for the Croatian people and
5 also other peoples in that community, and this decision is signed by
6 Mr. Mate Boban as president of that supreme body in charge of the defence
7 of the Croatian people; is that correct?
8 A. Yes, correct.
9 Q. Please take a look at document P155. It is dated April 10th and
10 signed by the president of the HVO, Mate Boban. That document, let us
11 try and read it together, again states that the Croatian Defence Council
12 is the supreme commander of the armed forces; is that correct?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. It is furthermore said that this body, namely, the Croatian
15 Defence Council, will have its general staff. Is that correct?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. And the last paragraph -- from the last paragraph, it follows
18 that all military formations in the area of HZ-HB will have the same
19 name, namely, Croatian Defence Council; is that correct?
20 A. Correct.
21 Q. If we now try to conclude which functions from April 1992 on
22 Mate Boban had, we would conclude that he was, one, president of the
23 Presidency of HZ-HB and, two, the president of the HVO, as the supreme
24 defence body; is that correct?
25 A. Yes, correct.
1 Q. In May, the third period begins. Please take a look at document
2 1D 899. It's a statutory decision about the temporary structure of the
3 executive power -- executive branch of government and the administration
4 and HZ-HB, which was adopted by the Presidency of the HZ-HB. And under
5 item 1, it reads that the Croatian Defence Council can conduct duties of
6 the executive government in the area of HZ-HB. This decision is dated
7 May the 15th, 1992
8 Tell me, is this decision the basis for the establishment of the
9 executive branch of government?
10 A. Yes.
11 THE INTERPRETER: Please slow down. We cannot follow.
12 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation]
13 Q. Is it true that's the same body that was established in April and
14 for which it was said that it was the supreme body of defence?
15 A. No.
16 Q. Do you think that this is the Croatian Defence Council, headed by
17 Mr. Mate Boban, is another body than the body from April which was
18 presided by Mr. Mate Boban?
19 A. Yes, I do think so.
20 Q. Yes, we'll get back to that later. When we reach July, I think
21 we can return to this interpretation. Be it as it may, if it is one body
22 or two, I think we are able to conclude that starting from May 15th on,
23 Mate Boban was, one, president of the Presidency of HZ-HB; two, president
24 of the HVO, as the supreme body in charge of defence; and, three,
25 president of the HVO, as the executive branch of government; is that
2 A. Correct.
3 Q. The Main Staff is still a part of the HVO, as a supreme body in
4 charge of defence, because there are no regulations stipulating
5 otherwise; is that correct?
6 A. Correct.
7 Q. The change begins on July 3rd, 1992. Please take a look at
8 document -- page 102. That's a decision about the amendments to the
9 decision about the establishment of the HZ-HB. This document has been
10 seen in this courtroom a number of times. Article 7, Mr. Tomic, says
11 that the supreme authority of the HZ-HB is made up of the president of
12 the HZ-HB, the Presidency of the HZ-HB, and this decision is signed by
13 Mate Boban as the president of the HZ-HB. Here now we for the first time
14 see the position of the president of the HZ-HB; isn't that so?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. I'll show you another document, and then we'll try to conclude
17 which changes occurred on July 3rd. Look at the --
18 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Excuse me, Ms. Alaburic. The last document,
19 it's not indicated which document it is in the transcript, at least not
20 in the copy I have, what I see here.
21 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] I'm speaking about document P302.
23 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Thank you.
24 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] I apologise, Judge Trechsel, to
25 you and everybody else, because I cannot follow the transcript and
1 everything else and communicate with the witness all at the same time.
2 So if I make another mistake, please point it out to me.
3 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Yes. There is also an indication of page 102,
4 which is perhaps a bit exaggerated.
5 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] No, I think that instead of
6 "page 102," this should have read "document P302."
7 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Thank you. I should have guessed.
8 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation]
9 Q. So the decree on the establishment of the HZ-HB, let us take a
10 look at page 11, which reads that the Main Staff is established as part
11 of the Department of Defence. Can we conclude that based on this decree,
12 the Main Staff no longer belongs to the HVO, but rather to the Department
13 of Defence?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. Article 29 is important for what we're discussing now, and it
16 says that the commander-in-chief of the armed forces of HZ-HB is the
17 president of the HZ-HB. Tell us, Witness, does it follow from this
18 provision --
19 MR. SCOTT: Excuse me, Counsel. I'm afraid it's my turn to be
20 lost, Judge Trechsel. Which document are we talking about now ? We seem
21 to be consistently -- we're not getting the document numbers at least in
22 the transcript. It's just not clear. It's happening repeatedly now, for
23 whatever reason. The last document that was referred and I thought we
24 were referring to doesn't have the number of pages or number of articles
25 that counsel is just referring to, so I don't know which document we're
2 Thank you.
3 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I'm sorry, but I can
4 see that this was not translated. I must ask my collaborators to signal
5 to me if anything is wrong with the transcript. I clearly said that I'm
6 talking about document P289. And from the description of the document,
7 I think it is clear that it is the decree about the armed forces of the
8 HZ-HB. So far, we've spoken about Article 11, and currently we are
9 speaking about Article 29.
10 Q. Article 29, we said that the supreme commander of the armed
11 forces shall be the president of the HZ-HB. Mr. Tomic, is it true that
12 pursuant to this decree, the HVO is no longer the supreme defence body,
13 but that the supreme commander of the armed forces is now the president
14 of the HZ-HB?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. Is if we try to sum up all the functions that Mate Boban had on
17 the 3rd of July, would it be correct to say that he was, first, president
18 of the HZ-HB?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. Second, president of the Presidency of the HZ-HB?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. President of the HVO, as the body of executive government?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. And, fourth, the supreme commander of the armed forces of the
1 A. Yes.
2 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Sorry, Ms. Alaburic, I have a problem in
3 understanding one of your questions.
4 You said that the HVO is no longer the supreme defence body, but
5 the supreme commander of the armed forces is now the president of the
6 HZ-HB. I do not understand in which way there are two things. I mean,
7 you're not saying that Boban is the main armed force of defence, are you?
8 And whose main defence force is the HVO, if not of HZ-HB? It's on
9 page 71, line 5 and 6.
10 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, now we're talking
11 about functions. What I showed to you, what you were able to see from
12 those documents, because you're familiar with them, but we never talked
13 about those documents from the point of view of functions that Mate Boban
14 held, is the following: That the HVO, in April 1992, was established as
15 a body --
16 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's note, could please all the other
17 microphones in the courtroom be switched off, because -- thank you very
19 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] ... which performed the function
20 of the supreme commander. In April 1992, HVO was established as a body
21 that performed the functions of a supreme commander.
22 On the 3rd of July, 1992, when the decree on the armed forces was
23 passed, this function changed in such a way that the HVO is no longer the
24 supreme commander, but a new function is introduced as an individual
25 function, and that is the president of the HZ-HB who now holds this
1 function as an individual.
2 On the same day, the 3rd of July, 1992, that was the day when the
3 president of the HZ-HB was, in fact, established as a function, because
4 until that time Mate Boban was the president of the Presidency of the
6 If you let me finish --
7 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Of course I'll let you finish.
8 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] I will ask questions about what
9 happened in August 1992 and in August 1993. And when we get the full
10 picture, it will be quite clear that in a certain period of time,
11 Mate Boban was the president of the HZ-HB, president of the body that had
12 legislative power; third, president of a body that had executive power
13 and, fourth, the supreme commander of the armed forces. The change in
14 terminology and in actual functions can be traced through the documents
15 that I referenced, and unfortunately I don't have the time to analyse all
16 of these documents in detail. After all, we've seen them so many times
17 in this courtroom. If we need to provide any further explanations, I
18 will be glad to do so, Judge Trechsel.
19 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Well, I think we have a little problem with the
20 terminology, because the term "HVO" is like "Boban," it's everything.
21 Once, it is an army; then it is a civil administration; then it is the
22 command of an army, and it's always "HVO." I wonder whether it's the
23 same in the B/C/S language, but perhaps if you could keep that danger of
24 mixing up in mind and try to give more precise indication which meaning
25 of "HVO" you are referring to, it becomes easier. I'm sorry it's a bit
1 disrupting, but we try to understand.
2 Thank you.
3 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, precisely because of
4 what you've just said, this is why I deal with this topic. I can tell
5 you, as a person from the region, I found it really hard to understand
6 what is civilian HVO, what is the military HVO, where is the armed
7 forces, what is a government body. And if you don't think that it would
8 be pretentious, I believe I know what was happening with the terminology
9 and with the relevant bodies, and this is why I'm using this witness,
10 because I think he's very familiar with the HZ-HB system and everything
11 that was going on there.
12 I'm trying to explain what was going on, what was happening, and
13 I'm trying to show you that at one point Mate Boban himself probably
14 didn't know what functions he had. I think it is important to show that,
15 because then you will be able to see that at certain points in time ways
16 were found to deal with some problems, to set up some bodies, and this
17 will all serve to prove that when HZ-HB was founded in 1991, nobody had
18 any grand plans of conquest, because they didn't even envisage they would
19 be establishing any kind of bodies of government in parts of Bosnia
22 So we said that in July --
23 JUDGE TRECHSEL: I share your hope.
24 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] In July 1992, we enumerated four
25 functions that Mate Boban had. Things got a little bit simpler from then
2 On the 14th of August, 1992, Jadranko Prlic is appointed the
3 president of the HVO, as a body exercising executive power, as a body
4 exercising its executive power.
5 Q. Is that correct, Mr. Tomic?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. At that time, Mate Boban loses one of his functions, so from the
8 14th of August, 1992 onwards, Mate Boban has three functions as follows:
9 First, the president of the HZ-HB; second, the president of the
10 Presidency of the HZ-HB; and, third, the supreme commander of the armed
11 forces of the HZ-HB. Is that correct, Mr. Tomic?
12 A. Yes, correct.
13 Q. And this situation, unless I'm missing something, lasts until the
14 28th of August, 1993, when the Croatian Republic of Herceg-Bosna
15 established. Could you please look at document P4611 - I'm extra careful
16 about numbers now - 4611, that's correct. It's a -- it's the decision
17 establishing and proclaiming the Croatian Republic of Herceg-Bosna
18 would just like you to look at Article 6, Mr. Tomic, where it says that
19 the House of Representatives shall have legislative power, the government
20 shall have executive power, and independent courts shall have judiciary
21 power. And in Article 12, it is stated that the functions of the state
22 government, until the elections are held and until appointments are made,
23 shall be performed by the bodies of executive power that exist at the
25 My question to you is: Does this mean, Mr. Tomic, that the
1 Presidency of the HZ-HB was now transformed into the House of
2 Representatives of the Republic of Herceg-Bosna, or in other words, that
3 the House of Representatives now had these powers and functions?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. Do you know that the president of the House of Representatives
6 was Mr. Perica Jukic?
7 A. Yes.
8 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] I would like to draw your
9 attention, Your Honours. If you want to check that, you can look at
10 document P4589. We will not be looking at it. 4589. You can see that
11 Perica Jukic is the president or the speaker of the House of
13 Q. Mr. Tomic, could you please tell us, does it mean that in late
14 August 1993, Mate Boban lost yet another of his functions, so that at
15 that time he held only two functions; first, the president of the HZ-HB
16 and, second, the supreme commander of the armed forces of the Croatian
17 Republic of Herceg-Bosna?
18 A. Yes.
19 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, well, this is an
20 overview of Mate Boban's functions. I know it's hard to find one's way
21 around all that, but believe me, it was not easy for us to trace all
23 Q. So unless there are any questions on this topic, Witness, I would
24 now like you to tell us this: To the best of your recollection, when did
25 the fighting to liberate Mostar from the Yugoslav Peoples Army and the
1 army of Bosnia
2 A. As far as I can recall, it was in June 1992.
3 Q. At that time, was the HVO -- civilian government of the HVO
4 established in Mostar?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. The president of the Mostar government, colloquially speaking,
7 was Jadran Topic; is that correct?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. To your knowledge, was the civilian government of the HVO
10 established in other towns and villages in HZ-HB before some operations
11 were launched by the armies of the BH -- of the Muslims and Croats in
12 Bosnia-Herzegovina to liberate those areas?
13 A. Well, the municipal authorities were now called "municipal HVOs"
14 in other municipalities. There was this renaming.
15 Q. Yes. Well, there was one place, Stolac, that was liberated first
16 from the JNA and the BH Serb army, and the HVO government was established
17 there. Do you know that?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. We will be dealing with that as our Defence case continues. Just
20 one clarification. Mr. Tomic, you were in the youth organisation in the
21 former system, the official gazettes of municipalities. Our client is --
22 or, rather, it is the Prosecution case that the fact that this Community
23 of Herceg-Bosna had the Official Gazette is one of the -- is evidence
24 that it considered itself to be a state. Could you please tell me
25 whether each municipality and town had their official gazettes?
1 A. Yes, that's correct.
2 Q. And that even companies had their official gazettes or at least
3 bulletin boards where some decisions were made public?
4 A. Correct.
5 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's note, could the counsel and
6 witness please make pauses between questions and answers for
8 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation]
9 Q. When you talked about the efforts to centralise the finances or,
10 rather, to centralise the revenues in order to ensure that the defence
11 effort was adequately funded, you said that at that time the issue of the
12 defence of the HZ-HB and other parts of Bosnia and Herzegovina
13 main priority; is that correct?
14 A. Yes, that's correct.
15 Q. Could you please tell me whether, as far as the financing of the
16 HVOs, the army was something that -- was this something that the civilian
17 authorities decided on?
18 A. The HVO, as the military component in that period of time, was
19 financed by the municipalities.
20 MR. SCOTT: Excuse me, Your Honour. What period of time?
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] We're talking about 1992.
22 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation]
23 Q. When the central authorities of Herceg-Bosna tried to centralise
24 the revenues to finance the defence, now, did the civilian authorities
25 decide how to allocate the funds that existed for the purposes of the
2 A. The HVO of the HZ-HB channeled the funds through the Defence
3 Department to finance the defence effort.
4 Q. Fine. When you say "HVO HZ-HB," by that you mean the executive
5 body that was transformed into the government at a later stage?
6 A. Correct.
7 Q. Mr. Tomic, based on your knowledge and expertise as a finance
8 expert, is it the usual way how things are done in other territorial
9 communities or states, that through financing and logistics, the civilian
10 control over the army is established and exercised?
11 A. Correct.
12 Q. Now I would like to draw your attention to a document. It's from
13 August -- or, rather, I apologise, that's the October 1993. The document
14 is P5799. These are the minutes from the extraordinary session of the
15 HZ-HB government. The date is the 9th of October, 1993. We can see,
16 Mr. Tomic, that you were present at that meeting. Is that your name here
17 on the list?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. Here, we can see that the military and security situation in the
20 territory of the Croatian Republic
21 Mr. Tomic, could you please tell us whether the civilian HVO, or later
22 the government, relatively often discussed the military and security
23 situation, depending on the developments in the field?
24 A. Well, there were sessions where the situation was discussed, and
25 I think that there were even some joint sessions with the involvement of
1 the municipal HVOs, where the situation in the area of the HZ-HB was
3 Q. Now I would like to draw your attention to this problem of
4 centralizing the revenues. In the second paragraph, we can see -- I'm
5 sorry. 5799. It's in the transcript. Let's see if we have the right
6 document in e-court. Yes.
7 Could we now please go to paragraph 2 of the text itself. It
9 "The report on the military and security situation in the
10 territory of the HZ-HB," with the element of critical overviews of the
11 functioning of the civilian authority were submitted by," and I'm now
12 going to cut this short, "by Mr. Stojic, General Praljak and
13 General Petkovic." And now we have a part where it says they especially
14 warn about the consequences of the inconsistent application of the HZ-HB
15 regulation, arbitrary acts on the part of the organs of civilian
16 authorities in some municipalities, which is reflected on the combat
17 readiness and morale of the troops. This, first of all, pertains to the
18 functioning of the single financial system, which has a negative impact
19 on ensuring that all members of the armed forces are in an equitable
20 position, in terms of their financial position.
21 Mr. Tomic, do you recall this debate at that session of the
22 government to that effect?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. Tell us, was the situation alarming, given the fact that the
25 minister and the most prominent members of the Main Staff came to this
1 government meeting to point out that this financing system detrimentally
2 affects the morale of the soldiers and the combat readiness, and thus
3 their control over the army?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. Do you remember --
6 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Excuse me. Mr. Tomic, how do you know about the
7 morale of the army and the reactions of the army? You were not a
8 military person; you were outside it.
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The head of the Defence Department,
10 at the meetings of the HVO HZ-HB, informed everybody of these problems,
11 and --
12 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Thank you.
13 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation]
14 Q. Give us some detail, Mr. Tomic. Was it known that the members of
15 a military unit in a municipality did not want to go on a mission to
16 another municipality because they thought that they were paid by their
17 municipality only for military action in that municipality? Did you hear
18 of such episodes?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. Did you hear of the discontent of the soldiers and the units in
21 Central Bosnia
22 municipalities were without revenue, whereas the soldiers in Posusje and
23 Siroki Brijeg were relatively well paid? Did you hear of such incidents?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. According to your knowledge, can such inequality in the treatment
1 of soldiers detrimentally affect their relations in any group of people,
2 especially in the army?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. Let us look at another conclusion. It says that due to wartime
5 conditions, governmental powers must be centralised. I point out that
6 this is October 1993. Does this conclusion mean that at that moment --
7 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Witness, I'd like to
8 linger on this document for a moment. It is an important document,
9 because we're talking about the 9th of October meeting of the government,
10 and in the attendance were five of the accused in this case, Mr. Prlic,
11 Mr. Stojic, Mr. Praljak, Mr. Petkovic, and Mr. Coric. When one reads
12 this document, we see that this document is chaired by Mr. Prlic, who
13 opens the meeting. Mr. Stojic, Mr. Praljak and Mr. Petkovic will then
14 provide a military report on the current situation. They highlighted a
15 few problems about laws, about the conduct of the civilian authorities,
16 the morale of the troops, financial issues, and so on and so forth. You
17 were a member of this government. Your name is referred to in the
19 In that type of government meetings, were issues of military
20 strategy discussed or were such issues discussed in other meetings held
21 somewhere else with other people?
22 A. These meetings were meant to inform of the conditions in the
23 field, and it was necessary to know that for the purposes of financing
24 other departments and their institutions. The basic question was always
25 how funds can be secured for the financing of defence. At those
1 meetings, there were no conclusions or not even discussion about
2 commanding posts, or managerial posts, or the like.
3 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Let me be more specific in my
4 question. The government was present during this type of meetings. Did
5 the government give an impulse as regard the various military operations
6 to be carried out or was it only Mr. Boban who could do so, if need be,
7 in contact with the Minister of Defence and the generals or where a
8 strategic decision is taken at the government level?
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, not at government level.
10 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. That was the
11 question I wanted to ask you. So it wasn't done at the government level.
12 Very well.
13 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation]
14 Q. Before we get back to the questions I want to ask about this
15 document, let us go into the issue raised by His Honour Mr. Antonetti.
16 Do you know whether anybody held meetings where the military strategy of
17 the Croatian Republic of Herceg-Bosna
18 A. I have no knowledge of that.
19 Q. I will repeat my question, because I see it wasn't recorded in
20 the transcript. My question was whether the witness knows that at any
21 meeting at the level of the Croatian Republic of Herceg-Bosna, a military
22 strategy was defined. And your answer, Mr. Tomic, was: "Answer: No."
23 Tell me, Mr. Tomic, have you any knowledge that anybody at the
24 level of HZ-HB or HR-HB planned any offensive military action in 1992,
25 the second part of it, and 1993?
1 A. I had no knowledge of such plans.
2 Q. Tell us if military units that were subsequently to be called HVO
3 had the temporary task of defending the municipalities for which they
4 were established.
5 A. That is correct.
6 Q. Tell us if, according to your knowledge, the cooperation between
7 individual municipal units was short-term assistance upon the request
8 from a neighbouring or another municipality.
9 MR. SCOTT: Excuse me, Your Honour. Before the witness answers,
10 I'm going to object here, unless there's some foundation for the witness
11 having knowledge of that. As I think Judge Antonetti or perhaps it was
12 Judge Trechsel, one of you said today that this was not a military man,
13 this was not his sphere of influence. I know some general things would
14 have come to his attention, but I think this question becomes much more
15 specific, unless there's a foundation for him having knowledge of it.
16 We're now talking about the operations of individual municipal units by a
17 non-military man.
18 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation]
19 Q. Tell us, Mr. Tomic, you were a member of the HVO, which was a
20 body of the executive government in Herceg-Bosna; is that so?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. Were you, as a member of the HVO, entitled and authorised to
23 discuss issues in the remit of the central government?
24 A. We did have the power to discuss issues in accordance with the
25 statutory decision about HZ-HB.
1 Q. In replying to the question asked by Mr. Karnavas about the
2 situation in Tuzla
3 that you knew the situation because you travelled extensively and spoke
4 to your collaborators in individual municipalities; is that correct?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. Did you, with your collaborators in charge of finance in
7 individual municipalities, speak about issues related to the financing of
8 defence or military units respectively?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. Tell us, during those talks, did you raise issues such as this:
11 If I finance a military unit in my municipality, I don't want that unit
12 to go to another municipality? And in connection with that, the issue of
13 the control over such units that were financed and established as
14 municipal units. Did you discuss such topics?
15 A. The topics had mostly to do with the implementation of
16 regulations and the reasons why they are not being implemented. In this
17 context, the reply was mostly that they are not being implemented because
18 a defence is financed locally, that is, at municipal level.
19 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Good. I think that we have
20 clarified the issue initiated by His Honour Judge Antonetti sufficiently.
21 I would like to return to the minutes from the government meeting.
22 Q. Item 2 says that due to the wartime conditions, authority must be
23 centralised. This could lead someone to conclude that the authorities at
24 those times in the Croatian Republic
25 centralised; is that correct?
1 A. That is correct.
2 Q. If the authorities or government was decentralised, does that
3 mean that the municipalities actually were areas in which authority was
4 exercised, municipal authority, municipal government?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. You spoke to Mr. Karnavas about this gap you were in because, on
7 the one hand, you were the superior of the municipal HVOs -- I'm
8 repeating this for the sake of the transcript. So the HVO, as an
9 executive body, a subsequent government, was in the position of being the
10 superior of the municipal HVOs, and at the same time it is, in a way,
11 subordinate to the legislative body called the Presidency of the HZ-HB,
12 or the House of Representatives of the HR-HB, in which the heads of the
13 same municipalities are sitting?
14 A. The municipal HVOs on the ground were obstructed by the
15 presidents of the municipal HVOs, which were at the same time members of
16 the Presidency of the HZ-HB and later on members of the House of
17 Representatives of the Croatian Republic of Herceg-Bosna.
18 Q. Mr. Tomic, the first part of your answer is missing, so please
20 A. All right. So this position of being between a rock and a hard
21 place was due to the fact that the HVO HZ-HB was supposed to implement --
22 THE INTERPRETER: Could the witness repeat once more. We cannot
23 follow, because it doesn't seem to make sense.
24 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Witness, the interpreters are
25 asking you to repeat your answer once more.
1 I would like to explain to the Bench it is not easy to explain
2 this position but it's unusual.
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] So this position was the following:
4 The municipal HVOs obstructed the implementation of regulations of the
5 HZ-HB, and at the same time the presidents of the municipal HVOs were
6 members of the Presidency of the HZ-HB, later of the House of
7 Representatives of the HR-HB, to whom the HVO HZ-HB was accountable for
8 the implementation or enforcement of the regulations and the organisation
9 of the system.
10 Q. Mr. Tomic, tell us, the leading people in those municipalities
11 were the ones who decided how and if they will finance the military units
12 in the area of their municipality; is that so?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. Let us look at item 3 in this -- in the minutes, where it says,
15 on the basis of the single financial system, ensure that revenues come
16 into the budget of HR-HB, and on this basis the salaries will be paid out
17 to the troops based on the same criteria. No state organ, no public or
18 other company, may pay out salaries before salaries are paid to the
20 Mr. Tomic, is this in line with what you have been telling us,
21 the attempts to establish an efficient centralised government?
22 A. Yes, that's correct.
23 Q. Mr. Tomic, you told us that you toured the area of Herceg-Bosna,
24 and I suppose that you also went to municipalities outside of
25 Herceg-Bosna. Is that correct?
1 A. Yes, that's correct.
2 Q. Now I would like you to look at a document that Mr. Prlic's
3 Defence prepared for your testimony, but at the last minute they decided
4 not to use it. That's document 1D 2003. 1D 2003. It's a programme for
5 a visit to various municipalities, passed by the Croatian Defence Council
6 on the 9th of April, 1993. I would like to draw the attention to the
7 Judges that there is a mistake in the translation. The date is 9th of
8 May, whereas in fact it should read the 9th of April.
9 Your programme lists your name here as a person who was supposed
10 to visit some municipalities in province number 3 in relation to the
11 implementation of the Vance-Owen Plan. Do you recall this programme or
12 plan for the visits to those municipalities?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. Mr. Tomic, at that time Alija Izetbegovic had already signed the
15 Vance-Owen Plan; is that so?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. Now tell us, did the HVO HZ-HB at that time really believe that
18 all the prerequisites for the cessation of hostilities, establishment of
19 peace, organisation of government, as envisaged by the Vance-Owen Plan,
20 had been met, and then decided that the members of the HVO should go out
21 in the field and explain to the people how the territorial structure is
22 going to be reorganised; is that right?
23 A. Yes.
24 MR. SCOTT: I'm going to object to this, Your Honour. Number 1,
25 because we're almost at the end, we have about one minute left, Your
1 Honour, I'm not going to belabour it, but just to continue to make our
2 record on this process: Since Ms. Alaburic's questioning of this witness
3 began, and I'm -- my quarrel is not with Mr. Alaburic, I want to make
4 that very clear, this is not a personal comment whatsoever. I think
5 she's fine counsel, but in the time since this questioning started, the
6 witness's answer has consisted of simply, "Yes," 63 times. And, yes, we
7 have been counting. Sixty-three times, the only answer that the witness
8 has given is, "Yes," or, "Correct." Now, this is simply the counsel
9 testifying. I think this is fundamentally unfair, and I'm going to
10 continue, at least briefly, to press that point, Your Honour.
11 Secondly and just on this last question, Your Honour, this
12 witness can't speak to the state of mind of an institution or of an
13 entire people, "did the HVO HZ-HB really believe?" Well, you know, what
14 is that supposed to mean, how are we supposed to cross-examine that?
15 What do you mean, "really, really, really, really believed"? We object
16 to that.
17 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. We're going to
18 adjourn because it's a quarter to 2:00 and there's another Chamber
19 waiting for this courtroom to be available. We'll go back to that
20 particular issue and objection tomorrow morning.
21 Ms. Alaburic, you've used up one hour, and tomorrow we will be in
22 Courtroom I.
23 So have a good afternoon, and see you tomorrow. Thank you.
--- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 1.45 p.m.
25 to be reconvened on Thursday, the 30th day of
1 October, 2008, at 9.00 a.m.