1 Tuesday, 18 November 2008
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 [The accused Praljak not present]
5 --- Upon commencing at 2.21 p.m.
6 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. Mr. Registrar,
7 please call the case.
8 THE REGISTRAR: Good afternoon, Your Honours. This is case
9 number IT-04-74-T, the Prosecutor versus Prlic et al.
10 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you.
11 Today is Tuesday, 18th of November, 2008. Good afternoon to the
12 accused, to the Defence counsel, the representatives of the OTP, and all
13 the people assisting us.
14 Very well. I note that Mr. Praljak is absent. He must be ill.
15 There's a virus going around. I, myself, do my best to be present.
16 Mr. Registrar, I think you have two IC numbers for us.
17 THE REGISTRAR: Indeed, Your Honours. The first one is in
18 regards to the Prlic Defence objection to Prosecution exhibits tendered
19 through Witness Batinic, that will be assigned IC 00886.
20 The next one, Your Honours, is Prosecution response to exhibits
21 tendered by Prlic Defence through Witness Batinic, which will be assigned
22 IC 00887.
23 And the third one, which is request for admission of exhibits
24 tendered through the Witness Batinic will be Exhibit IC 00888, Your
1 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. Registrar.
2 Mr. Scott, you may proceed. Oh, but we need a witness for you to
4 Yes, Mr. Kovacic.
5 [The witness entered court]
6 MR. KOVACIC: While we're waiting for witness, the Praljak
7 Defence also submitted IC list, and it was on time to the Registrar, but
8 it was not read today. Perhaps it is because Mr. Chuka is not here. We
9 can do that later, just be on the safe side.
10 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Well, our legal officer is
11 going to check with the Registrar or the court deputy. Of course, you'll
12 have an IC number for your list.
13 WITNESS: NEVEN TOMIC [Resumed]
14 [The witness answered through interpreter]
15 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Witness, we are going to
16 continue with the cross-examination. I don't know whether Mr. Scott will
17 finish today or whether your testimony finishes today. If Mr. Karnavas
18 can't finish his redirect, we will continue tomorrow.
19 Mr. Scott, yes.
20 Witness, do you have anything to say or are you not available at
21 all tomorrow?
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I'm not available tomorrow, because
23 my wife is travelling and I have to take charge of our children. They're
24 very small, three years old and one and a half years old respectively,
25 so --
1 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Well, I'm asking everybody to
2 do their best so that you can mind your children tomorrow.
3 Mr. Scott, you may proceed.
4 MR. SCOTT: Thank you, Mr. President.
5 Good afternoon, Your Honours, to each of you, and to all those in
6 and around the courtroom, and also Mr. Tomic, good afternoon.
7 Cross-examination by Mr. Scott: [Continued]
8 Q. Mr. Tomic, just to finish off on some topics that we got to --
9 reached a bit at the end of the day yesterday, I'd like to start by
10 showing you Exhibit P10657. It will be in the third binder, 10657, and
11 I'll be most appreciative, sir, if we can move as efficiently as
12 possible. You've just heard that we'd like to accommodate you as much as
13 we can, if we can, and if we can move efficiently, that will be in
14 everyone's interests, sir.
15 P10657. Just some very basic points on this document, sir.
16 I think you'll find it rather straightforward.
17 This is a set of decisions issued over the name of Ivan Bender,
18 as acting prime minister. On the first page, the first decision in the
19 bundle, if you will, appears to be a decision dismissing
20 Mr. Jadranko Prlic as prime minister of the government of the Croatian
21 Republic of Herceg-Bosna
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. And would that generally be consistent with whatever memory you
25 might still have of that situation? If not the exact day, sir, but
1 sometime in approximately mid-1996, Mr. Prlic ceased acting as
2 prime minister of the Croatian Republic of Herceg-Bosna?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. If you go to the second decision, please, Roman numeral II on the
5 same document, essentially, in Roman numeral II I think you'll find --
6 can you confirm, please, that pursuant to that order, Mr. Valentin Coric
7 and Mr. Pero Markovic, among others, are dismissed as
8 vice-prime ministers of the Croatian Republic of Herceg-Bosna
9 likewise, sir, please, if you go to Roman numeral III, it says:
10 "Dismissed as members of the Government of the Croatian Republic
11 of Herceg-Bosna are the following:"
12 And for present purposes, I'll simply mention number 4,
13 Neven Tomic, and number 5, Mr. Kozulj. Actually, we can pass --
14 actually, we can go over to the next page. You also see Bozo Rajic, for
15 example, Jozo Maric, and the Vladislav Pogarcic that has come up several
16 times in your testimony.
17 Can you likewise confirm, sir, in general that it was around the
18 middle of 1996 that you and these others were, if you will, left your
19 positions in the government of the Croatian Republic of Herceg-Bosna?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. All right. Thank you for that. I'd like you to next turn,
22 please, sir, to Exhibit P10704. It will again be in the third binder,
24 Now, in coming to this exhibit, sir, you'll remember yesterday
25 that I suggested to you or I asked you, in any event, whether it was not
1 the case that by the fall of 1993, there began to be discussions moving
2 away from any notion that each of the three ethnic groups, Croat, Serb,
3 Muslim, would have their own separate unit or entity, whichever word one
4 wants to use, and there was moving -- there was some movement in the
5 direction of what became -- it may not have been the exact terminology at
6 the time, but what became ultimately the Federation of Bosnia and
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. Now, was it around that time, sir, that in addition to talking
10 about federation, there began to be discussion about something called a
11 confederation that would exist comprising the federation, that is, the
12 joint Muslim-Croat Federation as one unit, if you will, of the
13 confederation, and the Republic of Croatia
14 will, of the confederation.
15 A. That was part of the Washington Agreement. It was the
16 pre-confederal agreement between Croatia
17 Q. And, sir, was it around that time, do you recall that I think
18 there was a saying, if I remember correctly, there was a saying that was
19 going around at least in some of the circles, some of the political
20 circles at that time, to the effect of "No federation without
21 confederation"? Do you remember anything like that?
22 A. Yes, there was insistence on the implementation of the
23 Washington Agreement as a whole. The Bosnian side refused to discuss the
24 pre-confederal contract. They only wanted to talk about the latter part
25 of the Washington Agreement, which was about access to the port of Ploce
1 through Neum, and then the --
2 Q. I'm sorry. I'm trying to do this for both our benefits, sir,
3 because of the time issue. My specific question was not about access to
4 the sea, but did there become -- was this saying -- did this saying
5 evolve, and I think you've answered the question, "Yes." So my next
6 question following on that was: Do you recall where that saying
7 originated? Who coined the phrase, if you remember?
8 A. As far as I remember, this normally came from Mr. Bender.
9 Q. If you can look, please, to Exhibit P10704, the one that I asked
10 you to turn to a moment ago, and indeed this is an interview, in large
11 part, of -- excuse me, interview with Mr. Bender in a BBC article dated
12 the 15th of June, 1994, with the source being Croatian Radio in Zagreb
13 1500 Greenwich Mean Time on the 13th of June, 1994; and I'd like to
14 direct your attention, please, to about halfway down the page, after you
15 get through some of the introductory material, in brackets, I think you
16 will see the first bracket of Mr. Bender's name, and if I can direct you
17 to find that, please, just by way of orientation.
18 In that paragraph, Mr. Bender says:
19 "In the beginning, it ought to be stressed that this meeting was
20 organised while the delegation of the Croat Republic of Herceg-Bosna was
21 paying a visit to Zagreb
22 Mr. Jadranko Prlic and Mr. Pero Markovic led the delegation."
23 Skipping one paragraph, sir, in the next paragraph it goes on to
24 say -- Mr. Bender goes on to say:
25 "We should stress again that the Federation of Bosnia and
2 establishment of the confederation with Croatia. This is a package,
3 because without the establishment of the confederation, there can be no
4 federation. This should be clear to all of us, and it should be repeated
5 that this is a package that is, in practice, a sort of unity about which
6 there should be no discussion on this occasion."
7 And would you consider, sir, that Mr. Bender here is accurately
8 stating the position of the HVO and Herceg-Bosna leadership at that time
9 in June 1994?
10 A. That was not a generally valid position. He was more sort of
11 under the influence of the fact that he was president of the Neum HVO,
12 itself a town that was discussed in the latter part of the
14 this should be the approach.
15 Essentially, nevertheless, this was about the implementation of
16 the Washington Agreement as a package that was signed as such.
17 Q. If I can ask you to go on to the next paragraph, please. The
18 second line of that paragraph goes on to say:
19 "The bodies of the Croat Republic of Herceg-Bosna and
20 Herceg-Bosna itself are going to exist until the package which I have
21 mentioned has been established. There can be no talk about the
22 suspension of the government of the Croat Republic of Herceg-Bosna. On
23 the contrary, it should further be strengthened until the federation and
24 the confederation have been established."
25 And again my question to you, sir: Not in every detail, perhaps
1 not in every nuance, but was that the position of the HVO and
2 Herceg-Bosna leadership at this time?
3 A. The position of the leadership was to see the
4 Washington Agreement implemented as signed, which included the
5 establishment of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina and the
6 drafting of other documents that were part of the Washington Agreement;
7 access to the port of Ploce
8 pre-confederal agreement that was itself part and parcel of the
10 Q. Please answer my specific question further on this. It was the
11 position of the HVO and the Herceg-Bosna authorities at this time that
12 Herceg-Bosna as an entity, as described here, the government of the Croat
13 Republic of Herceg-Bosna, it would continue, there would be no discussion
14 of its ending. It would continue until the federation and the
15 confederation with Croatia
16 Herceg-Bosna position; correct?
17 A. That's what the Washington Agreement states. The existing
18 administration arrangement, that being Herceg-Bosna --
19 Q. [Previous translation continues] ... on this. My question to you
20 is very clear. You keep saying it was the Washington -- you're saying
21 that was the Washington Agreement position, but that was not the position
22 of the HVO? You didn't share that position? The Herceg-Bosna and HVO
23 leadership had a different position?
24 A. No, but in this case the position was the same, as I pointed out
25 before. Before the establishment of the Federation and the federal
1 institutions, there was the existing administrative arrangement in place
2 and it was operating. Pensions were paid, schools were paid for, until
3 the federal institutions were established, and that is precisely what I
4 was saying before. Therefore, there was this transitional period
5 throughout which Herceg-Bosna continued to operate pursuant to the
6 transitional provisions enshrined in the Washington Agreement.
7 Q. If you'll go next, please, to P10696, P10696 also in the same
8 binder. Sir, this is another BBC
9 December 1994, reporting coverage again on Croatian Radio Zagreb in
11 10th of December, 1994. It talks about a meeting and the issuance of a
12 statement from the president, from President Tudjman's office. It
13 appears that among other people, you were present on this day, reading
14 down the first longer paragraph. Mr. Zubak and Mr. Prlic, Neven Tomic
15 and a number of other people. For present purposes, sir, if I can just
16 direct your attention to the next-to-last paragraph:
17 "President Tudjman said that Croatia strongly supported the
18 creation of the Federation and its confederation with Croatia and that
19 the Croat Republic of Herceg-Bosna would remain in existence until the
20 federation and the confederation started functioning."
21 Now, you were at this meeting, apparently, and do you agree that
22 that was the gist or position that President Tudjman and the Herceg-Bosna
23 delegation -- that was their position at, again, this time in December
25 A. That's right. That's perfectly in keeping with what I said,
1 isn't it?
2 Q. Sir, in --
3 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Witness, sorry for
4 interrupting. I'll be very brief, because this is a very relevant topic
5 and no error is allowed.
6 If I understand you properly, the Washington Agreement, from what
7 you yourself have said, basically recognised the existence of the
8 Republic of Herceg-Bosna, but as said by President Tudjman by the
9 documents admitted to you by the Prosecutor, the Republic of Herceg-Bosna
10 is supposed to continue to function until the federation or the
11 confederation with Croatia
12 operating, the Republic of Herceg-Bosna is supposed to be operational and
13 exist. Is that what you said?
14 And you say this is further to the spirit of the
16 this, but since you were one of the players at the time, you might
17 provide us with an answer.
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The Washington Agreement, as I
19 said, envisaged the establishment of new federal institutions, starting
20 with the federal government, the federal customs, the central bank, and
21 so on and so forth. It does not provide for the abolishment of
22 Herceg-Bosna or for the possibility of joining the existing republican
23 institutions. Rather, it envisages the establishment of new ones. There
24 are the transitional provisions saying that the existing administrative
25 arrangements, which is how they referred to Herceg-Bosna, would remain in
1 power until new federal institutions were established. The moment a new
2 set of federal customs was established, the Herceg-Bosna customs would be
3 abolished, but also the customs of Bosnia and Herzegovina. As soon as
4 there was a tax administration for the federation, the one for
5 Bosnia-Herzegovina and for the Republic of Herceg-Bosna would be
6 abolished and would cease to operate. So that's what the resistance to
7 the implementation of the Washington Agreement was about, because the
8 Bosniak side was adamant that Herceg-Bosna should be abolished, no more
9 than that, and that we should enjoin the existing institutions that
10 already existed in the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina. But that was
11 not the substance of the Washington Agreement.
12 This was eventually acknowledged prior to the Dayton Accords,
13 when the agreement on the implementation of the federation was signed,
14 and the federation government was separated from the republican
15 government, and then federal institutions started to be established. As
16 those were being established, the institutions of Herceg-Bosna were
17 gradually dwindling; the payment bureau, the customs, the financial
18 police, and I'm talking about all the institutions in the areas in which
19 I, myself, was operating.
20 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] One final question. You said
21 that there was an agreement to revitalise before the Dayton Agreement.
22 This is page 11, line 6. But who signed this?
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] This agreement was signed by
24 Mr. Zubak and Mr. Ganic, if I'm not mistaken. They were the president
25 and the vice-president of the Federation. In America, too, on the eve of
1 the -- or rather maybe it was in Vienna
2 talks, when it became clear that the current state could -- was no longer
3 viable and when it became clear that the Bosniak side had certain
4 guarantees that the Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina would continue to
5 exist as the new Bosnia and Herzegovina under the Dayton Agreement. And
6 at that time, they agreed for the government of the federation and the
7 government of Bosnia and Herzegovina to become separate entities, and
8 that's when the real process of establishing the federation actually
10 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, if you allow me, I
11 would just like to point out that there is an error which is highly
12 relevant, and it might lead to misunderstandings when you try to compare
13 the testimony of the witness with the Washington Agreements.
14 At page 10, line 18, the witness said that the term "regional
15 arrangements," which was a term used for Herceg-Bosna in the
16 Washington Agreements, and as far as I understood the witness, he was
17 talking about the administrative arrangement, and it was in fact the term
18 "administrative arrangement" that was used in the Washington Agreements.
19 This was the designation for Herceg-Bosna in those agreements, so I think
20 that this might be quite relevant, and could perhaps the witness be asked
21 to explain?
22 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Do you agree, Witness, that
23 this administrative arrangement in the agreement had to do with the
24 Republic of Herceg-Bosna?
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] "The existing administrative
1 arrangement," that is the language of the Washington Agreement, "the
2 existing administrative arrangement."
3 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well.
4 Mr. Scott.
5 MR. SCOTT:
6 Q. Sir, just to finish up on this topic, and again I would be most
7 appreciative if you can be brief on this, and in fact it fits in with
8 what you were just saying a moment ago: During the interim period
9 between Washington
10 and the Dayton Peace agreement in November, 1995, is it correct, sir,
11 that during that period the federation never became a functioning
12 structure? The federation did not essentially come into existence any
13 time prior to Dayton
14 A. The institutions were not established, as I've already explained,
15 so that's correct.
16 Q. And the confederation between the federation and the Republic of
18 A. That's correct.
19 Q. Sir, do you agree that in this horrible conflict that all of us
20 are here -- the reason for all of us being here in this room, in fact,
21 that during this horrible conflict all sides created crimes -- committed
22 crimes, and there were victims on all sides? Would you agree with that?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. And can you tell us -- can you tell the Judges, please, and
25 following up on that, what were some of the crimes committed by the HVO?
1 MR. KOVACIC: Your Honour, if I'm not wrong, this is the
2 factual -- the witness on facts. How he can know whether the crimes were
3 committed and who committed what? The question before that was maybe of
4 general nature, but this one is, I think, too far. Maybe for the expert.
5 But on the end this is the issue on which the Trial Chamber should
7 MR. SCOTT: Your Honour, not at all, not at all. This man, he
8 says crimes were committed by the HVO. He was a senior official
9 throughout this time period. He's obviously an educated, intelligent
10 man, and he must have had some views. He didn't have this in a vacuum,
11 unless he had his head in the sand the entire time and he must had some
12 ideas when he says, "Yes, I agree, crimes were committed on all sides."
13 And I think the Chamber should hear and we should hear what his views are
14 on that. It's not beyond his capabilities at all.
15 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Mr. Scott, it strikes me that's an extremely
16 vague, broad, open question. I don't see what advantage the Chamber
17 could draw from an answer. If the witness says, "I know there were rapes
18 committed, there were murders, there were killings, there was arson,"
19 what use should this be to the --
20 MR. SCOTT: Perhaps the better word would be "incidents."
21 Q. You're saying that throughout this conflict, places like Achmici,
22 Stupni Do, Stolac, Heliodrom, the Mostar siege, that this man didn't know
23 about any of those things? Is that what the Chamber is suggesting?
24 JUDGE TRECHSEL: It sounds a bit like fishing, Mr. Scott.
25 MR. SCOTT: Well, it's not at all, Your Honour. I want to probe
1 this man's position and credibility, and I think it's directly relevant
2 and I couldn't disagree more with Your Honour Judge Trechsel on this
3 point. This man can be asked questions to state his views on this, and
4 it goes to his credit, among other things. He was sitting in Mostar a
5 few metres away from where crimes were being committed on a daily
6 basis --
7 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Mr. Scott.
8 -- and you're saying it's not relevant, what he knows?
9 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Scott, you had another
10 possibility, a forensic possibility, to deal with the subject, because
11 you presented a presidential transcript mentioning Stupni Do, and you did
12 not put any questions on Stupni Do. You put questions on something else.
13 I, myself, indicated that the meeting was held following the Stupni Do
14 events, so based on that you could have asked him whether he learned of
15 events in Ahmici, Stupni Do. He could have said "yes" or "no." In the
16 affirmative, you could have put follow-up question. If he had said "no,"
17 that was it, and this way we would not have had a flurry of lawyers on
18 their feet, such as a wave raging over the courtroom, in order to raise
20 MR. SCOTT: Excuse me, Counsel. It wasn't a wave over the
21 courtroom. One counsel got on their feet, and so it's a bit of --
22 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Well, I saw two of them. I
23 saw Mr. Karnavas as well.
24 MR. SCOTT: Your Honour, the point of this is -- excuse me. The
25 point of this is, to respond to the Judge's question, the point of this
1 is, Your Honour, yes, I could have proceeded that way and I could go
2 through a series of questions, "How about Stupni Do, how about the
3 Heliodrom, how about Stolac," how about this, how about that? Yes, I
4 could proceed that way. There's absolutely nothing wrong with asking the
5 witness to tell us, what does he remember, what struck him at that time,
6 what does he tell us? When he says he agrees that crimes were committed
7 on his side, so to speak, why can't he tell us that? I'm at a complete
8 loss as to why the Chamber or anyone in the courtroom finds that
9 objectionable. It's a question that the witness can answer and directly
10 relevant, among other things, to his credit.
11 MR. KARNAVAS: Mr. President, unless -- first of all, he can lay
12 a foundation that he was in Stupni Do, that he was in Ahmici and what
13 have you.
14 MR. SCOTT: He doesn't have to be there.
15 MR. KARNAVAS: Excuse me, let me speak. I suggest that you keep
16 quiet for a second.
17 Now, unless he can establish a foundation, this question is out
18 of order. That's number 1.
19 Number 2 and more importantly, the Court has already ruled. I
20 suggest that they now -- that you now instruct Mr. Scott to move on.
21 MR. SCOTT: The Court has not ruled. The Court has tended to
22 give some guidance, if you will, and with the greatest respect to the
23 Chamber, I don't think there's anything improper about the way I have
24 proceeded with it and so --
25 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Stewart.
1 MR. STEWART: Your Honour, I don't want to add too much to the
2 flurry or whatever. I'm curious what the word was in French, if that's
3 the collective noun for lawyers, Your Honour, but we do wish to support
4 what Mr. Kovacic said and to draw this distinction: Now, Mr. Scott asked
5 a very general question which was inviting the witness to agree that,
6 broadly speaking, these things happened on all sides. But to move from
7 that to crimes, there's a legal element to crimes. The point that is
8 included in what my learned friends have been saying is if Mr. Scott had
9 wanted, in the way that Your Honour Judge Antonetti suggested it,
10 Mr. Scott had wanted to ask the witness specifically in relation to
11 events about which he has knowledge, that's another matter, but when you
12 move to crimes, there's a legal element to that and, Your Honour, that
13 is, as Mr. Kovacic made clear, that's a matter for the Trial Chamber and
14 the question isn't appropriate.
15 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] The Judges are going to
17 [Trial Chamber confers]
18 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] [No interpretation].
19 MR. SCOTT: No translation.
20 THE INTERPRETER: The mike was on, but there seems to be a
21 technical problem again.
22 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] It seems to be working now from
23 this console. Very well. It should be okay now.
24 I was saying that after deliberating, the Trial Chamber is of the
25 view that you can ask questions, but they have to be related to events,
1 to incidents. You can ask the witness about whether he was aware or he
2 heard of Stupni Do. But regarding the legal ingredients of crimes,
3 that's a much more difficult issue, and the Trial Chamber considers that
4 you are not to tackle the questions from that point of view.
5 MR. SCOTT: Well, let's come at it this way.
6 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
7 MR. SCOTT:
8 Q. If you can turn to, sir, Exhibit P10715, which will be again in
9 the third binder of documents, P10715. This is a report by the BBC dated
10 the 20th of August, 1993, based on a report coming on Croatian Radio
11 Herceg-Bosna, Mostar, on the 18th of August, 1993. This covers an
12 apparent letter from Mr. Prlic to Lord Owen and Mr. Stoltenberg, and
13 about two-thirds of the way down, a little over halfway down through the
14 text of the document, it says:
15 "Dear Sirs. We used these tragic examples to draw your attention
16 to the continued inhuman conduct on the part of the members of the Muslim
17 armed forces in The War against local Croats. We have every reason to
18 believe that the perpetrated crimes," apparently Mr. Prlic didn't have
19 any problem using the word "crime," " ... perpetrated crimes, genocide
20 and ethnic cleansing are in accordance with the overall goals of the
21 Muslim struggle, although these acts are in blatant contravention of
22 international humanitarian law and all Geneva Conventions on the conduct
23 of war," apparently known by Mr. Prlic. "We believe that by ignoring
24 such conduct, or by describing it as excesses and actions carried out by
25 certain individuals or independent groups, the international bodies and
1 media create great hatred towards and lack of trust in the people
2 performing peace-making or humanitarian actions on the part of the entire
3 Croatian nation ..."
4 Now, isn't the point that Mr. Prlic is making here, at least
5 attempting to make to the people he's addressed this to is that these
6 crimes should not be dismissed as individual bad acts, but in Mr. Prlic's
7 view, these crimes were being driven, if you will, from the top down;
8 they were coordinated, they were organised, they were based on policy,
9 correct, according to Mr. Prlic?
10 Sir, please.
11 A. That's what it says.
12 Q. Can you answer my question?
13 A. That's what it says in the letter.
14 Q. Doesn't -- isn't that the point here, and using Mr. Prlic's own
15 words, is -- I mean, isn't what happened, sir, and isn't what you've
16 heard -- you've certainly heard said, in the last 10 or 15 years, that it
17 seems to be when the crimes are committed, if we can use the terminology,
18 by the other side, they were organised, they were driven by policy,
19 et cetera, as Mr. Prlic says here, but when crimes were committed, if you
20 will, if you'll allow me to say, by your side or by the ethnic group that
21 you most closely identify with, then the explanation is always, "Well,
22 they were individual bad acts, but nothing more than that"; haven't you
23 heard that, sir, being said by all three groups, Muslims, Serbs, Croats,
24 during and since the war ended?
25 A. Yes, this was the usual language.
1 Q. Do you agree with Mr. Prlic, that to characterize crimes in that
2 way and just say, "Well, these are just individual bad acts," is often a
3 mischaracterisation and, in fact, a minimisation of such conduct?
4 A. I personally think that they should be seen in the framework of
5 other activities that were going on in that area.
6 Q. All right. Well, let's turn to -- let's turn to Exhibit 1D
7 01883, which will be in the --
8 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] [No interpretation].
9 MR. SCOTT: There's no translation, Your Honour. My apologies.
10 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I will -- can you hear,
11 please? I repeat.
12 Witness, Witness, I'm wondering whether Mr. Scott did not make a
13 broad interpretation of this text, in looking at the transcript of the
14 letter that Mr. Prlic sent to Lord Owen and Mr. Stoltenberg, where he
15 recalls that there were crimes. But in this letter, he refers to
16 individuals, independent groups, but do you read the fact that in
17 addition to individuals and independent groups, there's a complete -- a
18 whole organisation? I don't believe that's written, and yet Mr. Scott
19 seems to be saying that. What do you think of that?
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] This is, first of all, a reaction
21 to the assessments by the international bodies and the media to the
22 attacks, murders, destruction of property of Croats, and to the
23 interpretation thereof as individual, isolated cases. And that is why,
24 in this letter, Mr. Prlic says that if these cases continue to be treated
25 as individual, isolated cases, that among the Croat people this engenders
1 a feeling that the international bodies are not fair, that they do not
2 treat all the parties in Bosnia and Herzegovina in the same equitable
3 manner. And he stresses that this is part of an organised drive,
4 organised activities, on the part of the Bosniak side.
5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very good.
6 MR. SCOTT:
7 Q. Well, sir, that's exactly my point, and perhaps the courtroom
8 might understand the concept of moving from the more specific to the
9 general, and this point could be made about -- sir, I put to you that
10 this one may be about something that happened in this particular instance
11 that's reported here. But could -- I put to you the same thing could be
12 said about Ahmici, the same thing could be said about Stupni Do, the same
13 thing could be said about Muslims being forced out of Capljina and
14 Stolac. And if one of the Muslim leaders was writing this letter instead
15 of Mr. Prlic, presumably they would be saying the same thing.
16 And my point to you, sir, and the point that I was trying to
17 pursue with the Chamber, not misrepresenting this particular document,
18 was: Isn't that -- wasn't that common to what all sides did? And if
19 it's on your side, it's an individual bad act; if it's the other side,
20 they're all organised, all policy driven, et cetera? That's what you've
21 experienced in the dialogue during and after the war, isn't it?
22 And previously you said, if I can remind you, some minutes ago
23 before all the interventions, you said, "Yes." Correct?
24 A. Yes, yes.
25 Q. Now, if we can turn to a document which I hoped to get to about
1 15 minutes ago, 1D 01183 in the third -- excuse me, in the fourth binder,
2 in the smaller of the binders. If we can have the assistance -- thank
3 you, sir.
4 We're going back to a report of an HVO HZ-HB meeting on the 18th
5 of March, 1993, and I would like to turn your attention, please, on --
6 under what's the agenda item 4, not in the list of agenda items but as we
7 get into the text of the document. You'll see a series of headings "AD
8 1," "AD 2," "AD 3," "AD 4." If you go to "AD 4," if you can find that,
9 please, I believe it will be on the second page of the Croatian version,
10 second page of the English version. Under that heading there is a
11 paragraph that says:
12 "Mr. S. Bozic," I take that to be Slobodan Bozic, the deputy
13 minister of -- or deputy head of the Department of Defence:
14 "Mr. S. Bozic stated that in accordance with the previous
15 conclusion of the HZ-HB HVO, drafts of the above-listed decrees have been
16 composed, but an opinion on them must be sought from the Finance
17 Department of the HZ-HB HVO."
18 Now, sir, this is taking us some ways back in the course of your
19 testimony, since you first came some weeks ago, but does this not remind
20 us and confirm again that one of the functions of your department, the
21 Finance Department, was to review proposed HVO decisions and decrees to
22 determine, if you will, their financial impact, how they would be
23 financially provided for if, in fact, such policies or decisions went
24 forward and were carried out? Correct?
25 A. Yes, but only to establish whether they were financially viable
1 and whether funds were earmarked for them in the budget.
2 Q. Now if we'll next please go to P05610 in binder number 2.
4 Sir, this is a record of another HVO HZ-HB meeting on the 4th of
5 October, 1993, and I would like to turn your particular attention to the
6 bottom of -- item 1, which is on the bottom of the first page in the
7 English version, and I believe likewise the bottom of the first page of
8 the Croatian version. Mr. Stojic intervenes and says:
9 "Mr. Bruno Stojic raised an objection in relation to item 7 of
10 the draft minutes, claiming that he did not attend the previous meeting.
11 He argued that the conclusion dealing with the method of claiming
12 expenses for fuel used to evacuate expelled persons from Kakanj should be
13 amended, considering that the cost of fuel should be borne by the Office
14 for Displaced Persons and Refugees, and not the Department of Defence.
15 The proposed amendment to the conclusion was adopted unanimously ..."
16 Sir, does this reflect in not only this particular instance but
17 discussions and decisions by the HVO from time to time over who should
18 bear -- what department, what agency, should bear certain costs?
19 A. No. This was a situation in which fuel, this company Interina
20 provided the fuel, and we did the monthly calculation for all the
21 departments in the HVO. The accounts were settled, the taxes were
22 collected, and the fuel was paid once every month. And then it was
23 charged to a particular department, and the intention here was to say
24 that the overall quality of fuel in this report was stated as if the
25 Department of Defence consumed all of it, and this increased their
1 expenditures, whereas in the actual fact, some of the fuel was used to
2 evacuate the refugees. And when Mr. Stojic raised the objection, then
3 this was charged to the Office for Refugees, where it should have
4 actually been charged.
5 Q. Sir, keeping these last two documents in mind, and also being
6 mindful of your previous testimony on these topics, did the HVO
7 government ever discuss where the funding and where the cost should be
8 borne, the cost of arresting and detaining thousands of Muslim men in the
9 summer of 1993?
10 A. I've already said in my testimony that the budget was passed for
11 the first time in 1994, and up until that time no funds were earmarked.
12 Q. I'm not asking about the budget. I'm saying you've said -- we've
13 just seen now, we saw it ten days ago, two weeks ago, other instances
14 where the decisions would come to you, your Finance Department would have
15 to say, "We have to provide for this, how are we going to fund it, what's
16 going to happen, what are the financial costs of this policy or
17 decision?" There was a decision in the summer of 1993 to arrest and
18 detain a large number of -- thousands of Muslim men.
19 Now, who was going to pay for the cost of that? How were those
20 funds financed, how was that to be provided? It has nothing to do with
21 whether there was a budget or not, sir. What decisions did the HVO HZ-HB
22 take to provide for those financial needs?
23 A. The decisions were made on the basis of requests, requests -- and
24 there were no requests for this kind of expenditure.
25 Q. So where did those funds, to your knowledge, come from, sir, the
1 funds to -- whatever was spent to arrest these men, to put them in
2 various places, to provide them food or not, to provide them medical
3 services or not, where did these funds come from, then?
4 A. I don't know.
5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Witness, underlying this
6 budgetary aspect on the allocation of funds for fuel, there's a more
7 important problem. Mr. Stojic intervenes. You are present at this
8 meeting. Mr. Stojic intervenes to discuss the evacuees from Kakanj. To
9 my knowledge, the evacuees of Kakanj are the Croats who are leaving
10 Kakanj. Yes or no?
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
12 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Good. So the Croats who are
13 leaving Kakanj are expelled not by the Croats but by the Muslims, who
14 apparently are launching an offensive, and there the transport cost for
15 the Croats must be charged to the budget of the office and not the
16 Department of Defence. This is what Mr. Stojic seems to be saying.
17 You may not have a recollection of that meeting, but in
18 refreshing your memory, who covered the costs of the displaced Croats?
19 Was it the Defence Department or the Office for the Displaced Persons and
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Those expenditures, in relation to
22 fuel, were charged to the Office for Refugees, who were receiving
23 refugees. That particular amount of fuel was not charged to the Defence
24 Department, but to the Office for Refugees.
25 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] So in budgetary terms,
1 Mr. Stojic is right to intervene along those lines or not?
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Of course. His budget was
3 increased due to certain costs that were not down to his department.
4 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Right. So this text concerns
5 displaced Croats, but let's take an assumption, a hypothesis, that it
6 would be Muslims, say, displaced. Who would -- who should pay the cost
7 for displacing the -- the displacement cost of these Muslims, the
8 Department of Defence or the office?
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] There were no requests to cover
10 such expenses. I don't know who bank-rolled that or indeed in what way.
11 In the HVO HZ-HB, no one addressed us requesting that the costs of
12 transportation or travel be covered.
13 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Scott.
14 Mr. Scott, I think you made a mistake, because the text applies
15 to the displaced Croats, not the Muslims.
16 MR. SCOTT: I didn't think so, Your Honour, but if I did, I stand
17 corrected. My point was not -- my point was one of process, not of the
18 particular issue. I did follow up with a question, Your Honour, that
19 using that again as an example, what I tried to do several times is show
20 the witness a particular document, a particular instance, address that
21 point and also make the point more generally, and my follow-up question
22 was when the Muslim men, which I put to the Chamber there's been abundant
23 evidence of that, whatever the other circumstances, were arrested and
24 held throughout the summer of 1993, my question to the witness was where
25 the funds came from to do that. That was the question, and I don't think
1 I was mischaracterising the document.
2 Q. Sir, the questions that were put to you by some of the accused in
3 this case or, excuse me, their Defence attorneys, about the funding, and
4 about the request for funds, and about the potential shortage of funds,
5 let me ask you this: You and others have gone to considerable lengths to
6 show how difficult it was for Herceg-Bosna to operate under these
7 undoubtedly difficult times and circumstances. It's fair to say that the
8 government of Bosnia and Herzegovina, the so-called Sarajevo
9 faced similar challenges and difficulties, financial and otherwise;
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. And I take it, sir, that to the extent that Croats were held and
13 detained by the government of Bosnia and Herzegovina or their
14 representatives in inhumane conditions and mistreated, I take it, sir,
15 that you would not say that was okay because the BH government couldn't
16 afford to do otherwise, or would you?
17 THE INTERPRETER: Could the witness please repeat the answer.
18 MR. SCOTT:
19 Q. [Previous translation continues]... your answer, sir.
20 A. It is not right at all that the conditions were what they were.
21 Q. Did you and other members of the HVO government and the
22 Herceg-Bosna leadership know, during the -- during 1993 and around this
23 period of time that we've been discussing, that there were various what
24 some people would call extremists and hard-liners among you?
25 A. There was a lot of labelling going on in the media.
1 Q. Would you consider that some of these people were known to be
2 actively involved in the HVO?
3 A. I don't understand the question, these people being involved.
4 Q. [Previous translation continues]... the leadership of the HVO,
5 the government of which you were a member, the government, the meetings
6 which you attended on a weekly basis, the conversations that you had with
7 your very good friend and close associate, Mr. Prlic, did you ever
8 discuss amongst yourselves at the time, "Well, you know, it's true, there
9 are certain extremist and hard-liners among us who are causing a number
10 of problems," or are you telling the Chamber that was simply nothing you
11 ever discussed in 1993 and 1994?
12 A. I've already testified that I had problems with some presidents
13 of the municipal councils and that we settled this in this manner because
14 they were persistently trying to implement their own decisions, their own
15 regulations, so I felt that because of the way they were, they didn't
16 want to accept or implement the regulations of the HZ-HB. And I spoke
17 about those people, I wrote about them, and I communicated with them
18 directly in order to make them implement the HZ-HB regulations.
19 Q. Let's go to Exhibit P07570 in the second binder, please. P07570.
20 This is a record of a presidential meeting in Zagreb with President
21 Tudjman on the 12th of January, 1994. The record will show that among
22 other persons involved in this meeting were Mr. Jadranko Prlic. If I
23 could ask you, please, to turn to page 62 of that record, page 62, the
24 second half, the lower half of the page.
25 President Tudjman: "All right, tell me, have they perpetrated
1 crimes in Krizancevo Selo?"
2 "That's right. Please do not delude yourselves again do you know
3 whom they have removed. They have removed those who fought each other,
4 you see."
5 "And I want to tell you something else, and we should be aware of
6 this. They are howling against Mercep to me, but, gentlemen, I too am
7 against that. But this is a life-and-death struggle from Vukovar to
8 Gospic, and if it hadn't been people like these men, we would not have
10 who came out of the war without having seen a weapon, but likewise, I
11 know that that is what their objections are against the Croatian
12 radicals. If it hadn't been for such men, we wouldn't have Croatia."
13 And wasn't the same thought expressed, sir, and discussed among
14 the HVO or Herceg-Bosna leadership; there were extremists, there were
15 hard-liners, but they were necessary to get the job done? Isn't that
16 correct, sir?
17 A. This was not discussed at the sessions of the HVO. I already
18 talked about what was discussed, about people who obstructed the HVO
20 Q. Let's turn, please, to Exhibit P0 --
21 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Witness -- one moment,
22 Mr. Kovacic.
23 The Prosecutor drew your attention to a statement made by
24 Mr. Tudjman on page 62. Tudjman was reacting following crimes committed
25 in that location of Krizancevo Selo, which I'm not aware of. Tudjman
1 seemed to sort of take some distance from the Croatian radicals, and he
2 said so.
3 As far as you know, where would you put President Tudjman? Would
4 he be a radical, a hard-liner, a moderate, a liberal? Where would you --
5 how would you range him, how would you qualify him?
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I can share with you my own
7 position. I believe he was, above all, a general, a military person, in
8 the way he reasoned. He knew what he wanted. He was running an overall
9 project to establish a Croatian state, and this project eventually came
10 to fruition.
11 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] You are telling us that he was
12 a general but politically, it's hard to place him anywhere?
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Politically, he has been described
14 as the president and founder of a party that was essentially a peoples'
15 party belonging to the conservative block. So that would be the
17 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes, Mr. Kovacic. Sorry.
18 MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I think again there
19 is a misunderstanding here in the transcript, and that is why you needed
20 to ask the additional question.
21 As far as I know, all reservations aside, towards the end of 1993
22 it was Croats that came to grief in Krizancevo Selo during an offensive
23 launched by the BH Army. I think it was featured in some indictment. I
24 can't remember which one. If that is true, then the context of this
25 conversation is entirely different altogether. We can't understand this
1 if we don't understand the event we are discussing.
2 The Prosecutor is asking a question based on this excerpt from
3 the transcript without the proper context. This is unfair on the
4 witness. He can't be expected to give us a personal assessment without
5 knowing exactly what this is about.
6 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, if I may, I think
7 the intervention by Mr. Kovacic is very significant. I would like to say
8 that this is indeed a crime that was committed in Krizancevo Selo on the
9 22nd of December, 1993. We have the reports of the British officers
10 there. A total of 74 Croatian civilians were killed. This murder was
11 perpetrated by a Muslim faction within the BH Army. There is the
12 discussion that precedes this quote by President Tudjman, and the
13 discussion clearly shows that the crime was perpetrated by the Muslim
14 Army. I think it's important to be familiar with the background here.
15 Thank you.
16 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. We've got the
17 context now.
18 Mr. Scott.
19 MR. SCOTT: Your Honour, to respond to this, and not time for
20 questioning the witness, but again given all the interventions,
21 Your Honour, it's the Prosecution's use of this document that has now
22 been mischaracterised, and it seems to be -- this seems to be a recurring
23 pattern now.
24 I put to the Chamber the Prosecution's view and the Prosecution's
25 use of this document is that, in fact, it illustrates the very point I
1 was trying to make half an hour ago. This was a topic about crimes,
2 crimes being committed in this conflict on all sides. Mr. Tudjman starts
3 on one topic, the first two -- the first three lines of that transcript
4 under "President," and then he goes on to talk much more broadly. He
5 changes his topic, and then he starts talking about Mercep, a Croat, then
6 he starts talking about from Vukovar to Gospic, and all -- and we
7 wouldn't have Croatia
8 it hadn't been for like these people -- people like these people, we
9 would not have Croatia
10 move away from this constant commentary argument about what documents
11 mean or don't mean, we would be able to conclude this inquiry.
12 MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation] Just briefly, please.
13 My learned friend, and I don't doubt his knowledge, has now
14 touched upon the fundamental problem. The words of Mr. Tudjman in these
15 presidential transcripts are not just here, the reference that he has
16 just mentioned, but in many other references, too, were not consistently
17 recorded, the recordings were not complete. And in addition to that, we,
18 who have been reading him for many years, know that President Tudjman
19 would normally start off on one topic and then there were endless
20 digressions, and then he would pick up the original thread some time
22 If I may just complete this.
23 It is for this reason that it is unusually difficult to use these
24 transcripts. What I'm trying to say, the Prosecutor cannot possibly put
25 this to a witness who doesn't have the transcript. He can't have these
1 shoved under his nose to read, because the witness simply cannot
2 understand. Even I don't understand them more often than not. This is
3 simply not fair. There is no jurisdiction in the world where a witness
4 can be examined like this. That's the point. Let them use another
5 example, something far more transparent and clear. That is my drift. I
6 don't think this is fair on the witness. If you don't think so, fine,
7 your decision, but I'm perfectly entitled to say that.
8 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Well, I think it's very far-fetched. What is
9 here, at least to me, and I'm sure I'm not the only one, is very clear,
10 and all the comments were actually really not to the point.
11 Please continue, Mr. Scott.
12 MR. SCOTT:
13 Q. Sir, my point to you, and this goes back to the point -- in spite
14 all the interventions, this goes back to the point I started to ask you
15 about 20 years ago, and that is -- and I'm using this simply, sir, to
16 illustrate the point, and I put it to you this is a conversation,
17 statements by President Tudjman in the presence of Jadranko Prlic, and I
18 use it simply as a further launching pad, if you will, coming back to my
19 question to you. And I put to you -- let me do it this way, then: I put
20 to you, sir, that you, the HVO leadership, Mr. Prlic, Neven Tomic, those
21 amongst you, you knew that there were extremists or hard-liners among
22 you, among the HVO, who were carrying out atrocious acts, didn't you?
23 A. Atrocities are something that we had heard of. As for
24 individuals, the HVO never discussed that.
25 Q. You never discussed atrocities that were being reported in the
1 press as carried out by the HVO, when Achmici happened and was reported
2 around the world as an atrocity, when Stupni Do happened and was reported
3 around the world and was a topic of discussion at the United Nations
4 Security Council within days, within a few days of it happening, and it
5 was reported in all the local and regional press, you -- my goodness.
6 The HVO government never discussed that?
7 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I would like to draw
8 your attention to one thing. The witness's answer was mis-recorded in
9 lines 23 and 24 of the previous page. The witness did not say this.
10 Lest I should testify myself and tell you what the witness said, perhaps
11 we should ask the witness to repeat again what he said about the events,
12 themselves, and what he said about individuals who allegedly committed
13 crimes, and I don't think there was any mention of the HVO. And then
14 I think Mr. Scott might think better in terms of phrasing his question.
15 Thank you.
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I said we never discussed
17 individuals at any meetings of the HVO. We had heard about those events,
18 we condemned those events, but we didn't discuss any particular
19 individuals, because this was not something that we were meant to do.
20 MR. SCOTT: Sir, let's discuss some individuals.
21 Let's go, please, to Exhibit P09078, and I'd like you to turn to
22 page -- page 29, and you'll find it -- I believe you have excerpts. I
23 believe what's in the binders will be excerpts, and if you have -- you're
24 working in English, I'll ask you to turn to page 85. If you're working
25 in Croatian, I think you'll find it on page 29. If you want it in
1 e-court, I believe it will be page 122.
2 Q. In this document, sir, which is a statement by Mr. Prlic which
3 has been admitted into evidence in this case, this is a statement -- I
4 want you to be very clear. This is a statement by Jadranko Prlic. On
5 the page that I've just directed you to, Mr. Prlic says:
6 "... in referring to the HVO, the war was fought by political
7 leaders through the Main Staff of the HVO, actually through the military
8 organs. As in any war, you could see the effects of the war through
9 destruction, people who get killed, people who get captured or
10 imprisoned, and also refugees. Military authorities fought war, and in
11 that way they 'produced' prisoners of war, they were 'produced' in that
13 Now, Mr. Prlic says the war was fought by political leaders. Who
14 were the political leaders on the Bosnian Croat side who fought this war,
15 according to what Mr. Prlic says?
16 A. The supreme commander of the Armed Forces of Herceg-Bosna was the
17 president of the HZ-HB.
18 Q. And who was that?
19 A. Mr. Boban.
20 Q. And who else were the political leaders of the HVO, besides
21 Mr. Boban, because the word used by Mr. Prlic is in the plural, it didn't
22 say singular, " ... fought by political leaders through the main staff of
23 the HVO." So we have Boban. Who else?
24 A. There was the Presidency of the HZ-HB which Boban presided over.
25 Q. You're saying the Presidency of HZ-HB carried out the war?
1 A. You asked me about the political leaders. Those were the
2 political leaders at the time. The HVO was the executive.
3 Q. The HVO. And how about the HVO HZ-HB, were they among the
4 political leaders who fought this war through the Main Staff of the HVO?
5 A. The HVO is the executive. I don't see the HVO as --
6 Q. I know they're the executive.
7 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's note, one speaker at a time,
8 please. Thank you.
9 MR. SCOTT: My apologies to the interpreters.
10 Q. Sir, political leaders, I put it to you -- well, are you saying
11 that the people -- people like Mr. Prlic, people like yourself, people
12 like the other members of the government, you do not consider them to be
13 political leaders; is that the distinction you want us to make?
14 A. Yes, that's right.
15 Q. I see. Who were the founders of Herceg-Bosna who were involved
16 in such orders?
17 MR. KOVACIC: Your Honour, a critical response of the witness was
18 not recorded in the transcript, when it comes to overlapping between the
19 Prosecutor and him. He explicitly said something, and in the meaning, "I
20 know I did not consider myself a political entity," something to that
21 extent. I will not -- the best thing would be for him to be asked.
22 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Witness, there's something
23 missing in the transcript?
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, I said that I did not
25 consider myself, as a member of the executive, a political leader. We
1 were an executive body.
2 MR. SCOTT:
3 Q. Sir, you referred to -- among these political leaders who fought
4 the war, you referred to the Presidency of the HZ-HB. I take it, sir,
5 that you'll recall that during about a 12-month, 15-month period, the
6 Presidency only met twice, so I take it you would agree with me, sir,
7 that the HZ-HB was not prosecuting this war on any sort of active
8 leadership basis, were they?
9 A. I would not agree with that. Members of the Presidency of the
10 HZ-HB were presidents of the municipalities who, to a large extent,
11 bank-rolled units in their own respective areas, and this went on like
12 that until 1994. They, themselves, bank-rolled their units.
13 Q. Let's go on --
14 A. Accordingly --
15 Q. Let's go on, please, to page 121 and 122 of the English version,
16 pages 18 to 19 in the Croatia
17 passage, in that passage, Mr. Prlic says: "It's a large --" when it's
18 asked about who was responsible and who, according to him, was trying to
19 shift responsibility for HVO crimes to him, Prlic:
20 "It's a large list of people, of persons who are trying to shift
21 their responsibility for what was committed, what has happened, on to the
22 back of the HVO HZ-HB. Such persons included Pero Markovic, Jozo
23 Maric --" excuse me one moment, please, a number of -- "Mijo Tokic," I'm
24 not going to list them all, "Ante Jelavic, a whole circle of people from
25 the army, I don't know, even know those names. It would really be a
1 large list, a long list."
2 Question: "How about Bruno Stojic?" Going down further on the
4 "Is he one of the people who used you?"
5 "Yes, if you mean in that respect."
6 Line 12: "And how about Valentin Coric, where do you put him?
7 Was he one of the people who used you?"
8 "Yes, well, yes, he was against me, but I don't know whether this
9 term he used me or this expression can be used with respect to him,
10 because I used that term and I explained how I was 'used', but I don't
11 know whether this can be used when talking about him."
12 "Well, why was he against you?"
13 Answer, Prlic: "You need to ask him, you would need to ask him,
14 but it is quite clear from everything that he was against me. We were
15 too different. We had two different concepts. We were on two different
16 sides of the world."
17 Now, do you agree and support Mr. Prlic's comments, that these
18 were the people that he says were against him, Pero Markovic, Jozo Maric,
19 Ante Jelavic, Bruno Stojic, Valentin Coric?
20 A. As I've pointed out already, all those who were not implementing
21 the regulations of the HVO HZ-HB were against us, us who were members of
22 those bodies.
23 Q. If you --
24 MR. KARNAVAS: If the gentleman would be allowed to finish his
25 answers. This is the second time he's interrupted him in a row. If he
1 could kindly be allowed to answer -- you know, give a full answer
2 before -- you know, if he wants to pounce on it and be ugly about it,
3 fine, but at least let him answer the question.
4 MR. SCOTT: Excuse me, Your Honour, it's not being ugly, and
5 again -- again, you know, Mr. Karnavas, as usual, has two sets of rules,
6 the ones that apply to him and ones that apply to everybody else. When
7 he was in the Prosecution case, he put things to the witness, he demanded
8 a short answer, and he was constantly complaining about the lack of time.
9 I have time constraints, too. I think the witness can give a direct
10 question [sic]. My question was:
11 Q. Was Bruno Stojic one of those persons; "yes" or "no," sir?
12 A. I know that Mr. Prlic, while talking to me, complained about
13 Mr. Stojic, that he was not receiving sufficient information, what was
14 being done, and how it was being done, something along these lines.
15 Q. Mr. Prlic says, "Bruno Stojic was against me," not that, "I
16 wasn't getting enough information"; correct?
17 A. If that's his assessment, if that's what he believed. I'm just
18 telling you what I know about that. I know that there were problems. I
19 know that there was insufficient information, lack of communication, and
20 so on and so forth, and that this was the real cause of the rift between
21 the two.
22 Q. How about Valentin Coric? When Mr. Prlic says, "We were on two
23 different sides of the world," what was the relationship and the dealings
24 between Mr. Coric and Mr. Prlic?
25 A. I really don't know about that. I did not really know
1 Valentin Coric that well at the time. I can't judge this one.
2 Q. Isn't it correct, sir, that on the political or government side,
3 it was the people in the highest leadership positions who were
4 responsible for what happened? A government prosecutes a war through the
5 military, but it's the civilians who set policy; correct?
6 A. I cannot agree that a government runs a war. I, as a member of
7 government, never ran a war, nor was I involved. We were the executive.
8 We were trying to help establish a system within the HZ-HB.
9 Q. If you'll go, please, to page 128 in the English version, 128; in
10 e-court 169; and in Croatian, page 25.
11 When pressed for names about those responsible for ethnic
12 cleansing, a topic that had been discussed at that point, Mr. Prlic says:
13 "Yes. That could have been done only by the highest political
14 leadership, president of the HDZ and vice-president, and this smaller --
15 the closed, smaller circle of the HDZ and the leading people who were
16 members of the executive authorities in those municipalities where such
17 things happened, such as Mostar, Capljina and Stolac. I'm quite sure
18 that Pero Markovic was part of that circle, because his whole behaviour
19 was in such a sway that obviously he hated Muslims."
20 Now, sir, I put this to you specifically because this seems to be
21 consistent with your theme that, well, most of these problems are being
22 conducted in the HVO municipal structures. Do you agree that
23 Pero Markovic was one of the people who was responsible for the crimes
24 being committed against Muslims in Capljina and Stolac?
25 A. I know that Pero Markovic was president of the Municipal HVO and
1 a member of the Presidency of the HZ-HB, a very influential person across
2 the HVO units in Capljina. As for his responsibility --
3 Q. "I'm quite sure," Mr. Prlic says, "I'm quite sure
4 Mr. Pero Markovic was part of that circle, because his whole behaviour
5 was in such a way that obviously he hated Muslims."
6 Do you agree with Mr. Prlic?
7 A. That's Mr. Prlic's position. I would partly agree.
8 Q. You would partly agree. Well, on what part would you agree?
9 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] We'll have to have a break.
10 MR. SCOTT: Thank you, Your Honour. I'll come back to that
11 question after the break. Thank you.
12 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] After the break, do you have a
13 question on page 129? If you don't have a question, I will have one.
14 MR. SCOTT: All right, Your Honour.
15 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes.
16 MR. SCOTT: Sorry, I'm only hearing part of -- there's another
17 conversation going on.
18 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I was asking this, Mr. Scott:
19 Will you have a question on page 129?
20 MR. SCOTT: I don't believe so at this particular point,
21 Your Honour, but I didn't get an answer --
22 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone for Mr. Scott, please.
23 MR. SCOTT: My apologies.
24 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] You don't think so.
25 MR. SCOTT: But I haven't had an answer to my pending question,
1 Your Honour, but I'm happy to come back to it after the break.
2 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well.
3 With regard to the time you have used, I think you have 30
4 minutes left, at the most, but we'll check.
5 MR. SCOTT: Thank you, Your Honour.
6 --- Recess taken at 3.51 p.m.
7 --- On resuming at 4.12 p.m.
8 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] The Registrar has the floor
9 for an IC number.
10 THE REGISTRAR: Just for the purpose of clarification, Your
11 Honours, the IC number earlier indicated, which was IC 00888, is the
12 number assigned to the list tendered by 3D.
13 Thank you, Your Honours.
14 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well.
15 Mr. Scott, you may proceed.
16 MR. SCOTT: Thank you, Mr. President.
17 Q. Mr. Tomic, the question that was pending at the time of the
18 break, and I'm sorry for the interruption in that respect, but I had
19 asked you about the statements in connection with Mr. Pero Markovic, and
20 you said -- we've lost it off the realtime screen now, but you said you
21 agreed in part.
22 My follow-up question to you was: In what part did you agree
23 with the statement? And if it helps you, sir, among other things, what
24 Mr. Prlic had said at pages 128 in English and page 169-170 in e-court,
25 among other things, and again I don't want anything to think I'm
1 misleading you:
2 "I'm quite sure Pero Markovic was part of that circle, because
3 his whole behaviour was in such a way that obviously he hated Muslims."
4 And you said you agreed with Mr. Prlic's statement in part, so
5 can you please tell us in what part you agreed with it?
6 A. Well, I agree with the part of the statement, and I think that
7 Mr. Pero Markovic is an example of a president of the Municipal HVO that
8 opposed not only Prlic, so that was my remark, but other heads of
9 departments had problems when it came to implementing the regulations in
10 the municipality of Capljina
11 everything with him, time and again, although everything had already been
12 stipulated by the regulations of the HVO.
13 Q. Based on that, sir, I'm going to come back specifically to the
14 context of Mr. Prlic's statement, and that is the person responsible for
15 ethnic cleansing. So you agree with Mr. Prlic's statement that
16 Pero Markovic was responsible for the ethnic cleansing of the Muslims in
17 Stolac or, excuse me, in Capljina municipality; is that correct?
18 A. He was the president of the Municipal HVO, and I already said he
19 had full control of the Capljina municipality. And as for his
20 responsibilities, well, I am not the one to judge that.
21 Q. Sir, I'm going to ask you one more time. You're avoiding my
22 question, sir. My question to you, specifically, is: You agree with
23 Mr. Prlic that Pero Markovic was responsible for the ethnic cleansing in
24 that municipality; yes or no?
25 A. I cannot give you a yes-or-no answer. I have to say that this
1 happened in the Capljina municipality, where he was the president of the
2 Municipal HVO, and responsibility has to ascribe for that kind of
4 Q. Very well. And weren't the top HVO military authorities also
5 responsible for the crimes that the HVO committed?
6 A. I cannot speak about the responsibility before it is established.
7 We know that crimes were committed, and I really don't know who was
8 directly responsible for them.
9 Q. Would you please go to, in the same document that we've been
10 looking at, in English, page 74, in e-court to page 108. If you want to
11 look at the Croatian, it will be in the part that is, unit 3 out of 4.
12 I think there is a designation on the Croatian version. There's tape 1,
13 tape 2, tape 3 and tape 4, and this is on tape 3, page 15, if you want to
14 look at that. But I think it's also available to you in B/C/S.
15 At that point, Mr. Prlic says:
16 "Now, who committed the crimes? It is quite clear that HVO
17 military units, members of military units committed the crimes, and
18 therefore military authorities were responsible."
19 Do you agree with Mr. Prlic?
20 A. I know that according to the information that I had at the time,
21 that HVO troops did take part, but I don't know anything about direct
22 responsibility for them.
23 Q. Just so the record is very clear, when you said that you know
24 that HVO troops did take part, take part in what, sir?
25 A. I said that members of the military units did take part in the
1 events in the municipality of Capljina
3 Q. Sir, Mr. Prlic's statement is:
4 "It is quite clear that HVO military units, members of military
5 units, committed the crimes."
6 Now, it wasn't taking part in the actions or events in the
7 municipality of Capljina
8 military units committed the crimes, and therefore military authorities
9 were responsible?
10 A. I said members of military units and their military structure is
11 responsible, therefore.
12 Q. Sir, if you go on to -- please, to page 82 in the English
13 version, page 118 in e-court, and in Croatian it is tape 3 of 4 at
14 page 25.
15 Mr. Prlic, starting at the bottom -- for those in English,
16 starting at the bottom of page 82, Mr. Prlic:
17 "The way or the manner in which they occurred, especially the
18 manner and the way they finished, they stopped, how they were stopped,
19 they show that there might have been an order or orders, there could have
20 been. Who issued such orders or who would issue such an order, I have to
21 confess that I did not -- do not know, but I believe that such orders
22 could have been issued by those who created -- who created that area, the
23 founders or some of the founders of HZ-HB who wanted that part of
25 And if I can actually, sir, if you'll bear with me for a moment,
1 go up above the part that I started, it was my error and I take
2 responsibility for this, if you go further above the page, Mr. Prlic
3 actually begins that section by saying:
4 "So as I said, I said that the soldiers, members of military
5 units, were the ones who committed the crimes, or actually actions which
6 could be described as -- was crimes, and therefore military authorities
7 should be responsible, should be answerable for that. And how did that
8 happen? There are two ways of trying -- of explanations for that, two
9 explanations. First one was that there was an order which was simply
10 carried out, or they, crimes, were committed under the impression that
11 they have to be committed in order to defend the territory which they
12 considered was theirs. Now, whether there was or were orders, I do not
13 know. However, the number, the simultaneous ..."
14 And that's where -- and I apologise again for starting at the
15 wrong place, that's where Mr. Prlic goes on to say:
16 "Based on the way things were done, the way things were stopped,
17 the conclusion could be reached that there had been orders."
18 And then we go back, sir, to the founders:
19 "I believe that such orders could have been issued by those who
20 created that area, the founders or some of the founders of the HZ-HB."
21 Now, who would some of those founders be, sir, based on your
22 knowledge and experience, on the ground at the relevant time during this
24 A. The founders of the HZ-HB were the presidents of the Municipal
25 HVOs, HDZ and HVO, the municipal authorities, yes.
1 Q. And when Mr. Prlic above that also refers to -- when he says:
2 "The military authorities should be answerable for that," what military
3 authorities do you believe should be answerable for the crimes committed
4 by the HVO?
5 A. I think this is defined in the regulations about the structure of
6 the armed forces, that there is answerability that must be observed, as
7 is envisaged in that document.
8 Q. Just continuing on the topic of war crimes, sir, I mean, you do
9 agree, don't you, just so we can understand where you -- where you come
10 out on this, you do agree, don't you, that people like Kordic and Cerkez,
11 who have been convicted by this Tribunal, that they were responsible for
12 horrible crimes that were carried out in Central Bosnia; correct?
13 MR. KARNAVAS: Your Honour, I object. What is the relevance to
15 MR. SCOTT: I'd like to know what this witness's -- and I think
16 the Chamber should know what his attitude about these matters are. It
17 goes to credibility, among other --
18 MR. KARNAVAS: Credibility of what?
19 MR. SCOTT: Does he think these crimes were okay? Does he think
20 these men were war heroes, like some people do?
21 My apologies, Judge Prandler.
22 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Regarding the credibility, you
23 contest that on the opinion that he might have regarding the perpetrators
24 of crimes.
25 Mr. Scott.
1 MR. SCOTT: Thank you.
2 Q. Sir, do you agree or not that people like Kordic and Cerkez
3 committed horrendous crimes for which this Tribunal held them
5 A. If the Tribunal attributed this responsibility to them, if it
6 found them to be responsible, then I accept the judgement of this
8 Q. Well, do you disagree with it?
9 A. I said I accepted the decisions or judgements of the Tribunal.
10 Q. It's a bit like accepting fate, "I accept the weather today. I
11 can't do anything about it, but I accept it." Did you agree with it?
12 When the judgement issued its -- excuse me. When the Tribunal issued its
13 judgement finding Mr. Kordic, for example, responsible for the crimes
14 committed at Ahmici, did you agree or was it your view that, well, that,
15 "There goes that Tribunal again, they don't know what they're talking
17 MR. KARNAVAS: Your Honour, he indicated that he accepted the
18 judgement. Now, whether he agrees or doesn't agree, it's impossible for
19 someone who hasn't sat through the trial, doesn't know the events. How
20 can he possibly agree? He accepts. That's the best anyone can do.
21 MR. SCOTT: Now, Your Honour, we saw --
22 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Karnavas, the witness, who
23 was minister, is capable of answering any question, whatever the degree
24 of difficulty. It's a personal question that is put to him. Then he can
25 give a personal answer.
1 Witness, Mr. Scott has put a question to you. You can -- can you
2 answer, not answer? You're free to decide.
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I said that I accepted the decision
4 or the judgement of this Tribunal in that case. I personally think that
5 the judgements are too strong, I would say too harsh, in light of the
6 responsibility of those people. But as to the crimes actually being
7 committed, they were committed, they did happen, and I'm all in favour of
8 the perpetrators being brought to justice.
9 MR. SCOTT:
10 Q. Sir, if you will turn to -- I believe this will be the last
11 exhibit that I will show to you, which I'm sure will be good news to
12 everyone. Exhibit P08489.
13 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I'd like to stay on this
15 MR. SCOTT: Yes, Your Honour.
16 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Tomic, it appears that on
17 the 9th of May, 1993 - this is an important date - in the indictment it
18 is indicated the 9th of May, 1993, the HVO attacked in Mostar the Muslim
19 positions. The Defence challenges this view and seeks to establish, and
20 may well do this through its witnesses, that it's the BiH that attacked
21 on the 9th of May in Mostar. It so happens that on page 129 of
22 Mr. Prlic's statement, in the presence of Mr. Scott, who was leading the
23 hearing, but there's no need to look - I'll summarise the contents - it
24 so happens that on the 9th of May, 1993, Mr. Prlic is in Makarska,
25 probably on the beach, and on that day, which is an important date, he
1 explains that he receives a telephone call on the events of the 9th of
2 May, and he also indicates that you, you will have discussions with him
3 about this matter because you, yourself, are also in Makarska. Now, do
4 you recall these events of the 9th of May when Mr. Prlic is in Makarska,
5 you are also there, and in the light of what Mr. Prlic says, he seems to
6 discover what is happening? So what can you tell us about that event,
7 where you are a key witness, because in fact your name is cited as being
8 someone who called Mr. Prlic?
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes. On the 9th of May, we were in
10 Makarska, visiting families, because my family and Mr. Prlic's family,
11 they were both in Makarska. And that morning, I received a call from
12 Mr. Azer Sirko, who was a good friend of ours. We knew him well, and we
13 have seen his name in the documents. He was the chairman of the
14 executive board of the Elektroprivreda company in the HZ-HB at the time.
15 He called me and he said his parents had been taken to the stadium and
16 that a conflict had broken out in Mostar, that there was shooting and
17 that people were being taken to the stadium.
18 I talked to Mr. Prlic, I went to his place. In the meantime, he
19 had contacted Mr. Zubak, I believe. He was in Citluk at the time, and we
20 headed back to Mostar. In Citluk, we were --
21 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Let me stop you there.
22 In your view, is Mr. Prlic discovering the situation?
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes. He learned about what was
24 going on in Mostar from Mr. Sirko's call.
25 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. Both of you
1 returned in the same car. That's what Mr. Prlic says. I assume that in
2 the car, the road is a long one, you no doubt spoke to one another,
3 because your return journey seems to be rather hurried. In your
4 recollection, what did Mr. Prlic say to you about this succession of
5 events, because now with the Azer Sirko call, you know that there were
6 arrests, that events were happening? So what does Mr. Prlic say to you?
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, it was a very difficult
8 voyage for us, because we were trying to use the mobile phone and the
9 connectivity was very poor, the reception was poor. We tried to call
10 various people, our friends, but it was very difficult, and we were quite
11 astonished by this development. It was really a very troublesome
12 situation, because in Mostar the situation had been tense, but we did not
13 expect that it would escalate into open conflict.
14 When we reached Citluk, we met with our drivers who had come to
15 pick us up. We went into the town. We saw that there was fighting
16 around Vranica. We saw the plumes of smoke, and the information that we
17 received at that time from the people in Mostar was that in Bijelo Polje
18 that morning there had been an attack, an act of treason, that was the
19 explanation proffered by them, and that things escalated into conflict
20 from that point onwards.
21 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Final question. So you're in
22 the vehicle with Mr. Prlic, and you or Mr. Prlic are trying to obtain
23 information with the mobile phone. Mr. Boban, Mate, is the army
24 commander. Mr. Prlic has a function in the HVO. In your recollection,
25 did Mr. Prlic try and contact Mr. Boban so as to have, at the very least,
1 explanations regarding the events concerning a military operation in
2 Mostar? Did he try and call him or not?
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I think he was trying to reach him,
4 too, and the president of the Municipal HVO in Mostar. I can't now
5 really remember. I think that the first information we received came
6 from the drivers, when we met with them in Citluk, and then afterwards,
7 when we reached Mostar, we got some information there.
8 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. Mr. Scott, do you
9 want to move to another document, which is no doubt the last one?
10 MR. SCOTT: Yes, Your Honour. Thank you very much.
11 Q. Sir, we were -- I just wanted to be able to put this back into
12 the context of where we were in my last set of questions. We were
13 talking about Mr. Kordic and his responsibilities in particular, and I'd
14 like you to turn, please, to P08489, P08489 in the second binder.
15 Sir, while you're turning to that, I'll say for the record this
16 again is a record of a meeting in the offices of President Franjo Tudjman
17 on the 24th of November, 1995. If I can direct your attention, please,
18 to page 4, I'd like to start there.
19 Mr. Prlic is speaking at this juncture, and in that paragraph,
20 the second paragraph under his name, it says:
21 "Today, in the light of this newly-arisen situation with the
22 raising of indictments by the Tribunal in The Hague, the president of the
23 Croatian Democratic Union also submitted his resignation, and in that
24 regard it's necessary to prepare the corresponding formal decisions,
25 organise the preparations of running the party's central board, which
1 would settle this matter."
2 Continuing on to the next page, President Tudjman:
3 "Did you discuss that?"
4 Prlic: "Yes, we did. One of the conclusions from today's
5 meeting was that a infrastructure and financial sundries should be
6 provided for the preparation of the defence of all those who are
7 indicted, also including full financial settlement in terms of jobs and
8 accommodation for the families of those indicted. I think in that regard
9 we'll do everything we can to a satisfactory level where possible at this
11 If I can then direct you, please, to page 10, where Mr. Kordic
12 begins to speak. Page 10, Dario Kordic, about eight or nine lines down
13 in his portion Mr. Kordic says:
14 "We give our full support to the overall Croatian policy and to
15 you, Mr. President, because it's clear, as Mr. Prlic said, that along
16 with the realisation of general Croatian interests, which is beyond
17 question, there are certain things on the ground that need to be
18 explained and need to be done."
19 Then going over to the top of page 11, and our time is limited,
20 but in the second -- in the first paragraph beginning on that page,
21 Mr. Kordic tenders his resignation, having just been indicted by the
23 "I tendered my resignation, and on Monday I'll send it in writing
24 to the Central Board of the Croatian Democratic Union of
25 Bosnia-Herzegovina so you, too, then, as the president of the Croatian
1 Democratic Union ..."
2 And it goes on.
3 If I could next direct your attention, please, to page 25, where
4 President Tudjman is talking. The bottom of page 25:
5 "You see, when they were preparing such a solution, our friends
6 put a demand to me about Mate Boban. And to make it clear for you, and
7 this was coming equally from Bonn and the Vatican, they were making
8 threats about these indictments and so."
9 Continuing on to page 26, skipping a few lines, if I might be
11 "But I didn't say it then either that Mate Boban should be thrown
12 on to the garbage heap of history. I asked and I'm sorry that he didn't
13 get more actively involved in other areas. As soon as I heard that they
14 had announced the indictment, I issued a decision to bring
15 General Blaskic to Croatia, which was interpreted by even some
16 ambassadors and others as an unwise move, but in doing so I proved that
17 we'll protect people. And I said that these men who defended Central
18 Bosnia, the Lasva Valley -- these are men," excuse me, "so Dario doesn't
19 have to stay in that post," Dario Kordic," but you can be sure that we'll
20 try for the other two and all the others, I don't know the others, but it
21 was with pleasure that I read Skopljak's interview. Is that his name?
22 Yes. So, therefore, we'll try to do everything possible to make sure no
23 arrest warrant is followed through ..."
24 Now, you were aware, sir, during this time, and you were still in
25 1995 -- still a member of Herceg-Bosna authorities and still close, of
1 course, to Mr. Prlic, you knew that it was the policy of President
2 Tudjman and his government to protect at that time the people indicted by
3 this Tribunal, correct, to remove Blaskic out of Bosnia, to hide him, to
4 protect him, to make sure that arrest warrants would not be followed
5 through? You knew that was the position of President Tudjman and his
6 government; correct?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. Is it correct, sir, that in connection with Mr. Kordic, you
9 participated in a fundraiser to support Mr. Kordic during the time that
10 he was indicted and on trial at this Tribunal; is that correct?
11 A. I took part in an auction of paintings in Siroki Brijeg, and all
12 the proceeds were earmarked for the Defence and to assist Mr. Kordic's
14 Q. And that was in June 1999; is that correct?
15 A. I don't know the exact date, but ...
16 MR. SCOTT: Thank you to Mr. Tomic and thank you to the Chamber,
17 and that concludes my questions.
18 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. Scott, for
19 doing your best to finish within the time limits.
20 Mr. Karnavas, you may proceed.
21 MR. KARNAVAS: Thank you, Mr. President.
22 If I could get the assistance of the usher to give me the podium
23 from the Prosecution, and I would be most grateful.
24 Re-examination by Mr. Karnavas:
25 Q. Good afternoon, Mr. Tomic. I'm going to jump around a little bit
1 to see if I can finish with my redirect so you won't have to come back
2 here again.
3 So, first, if you recall, last week the Prosecution wanted an
4 additional hour and a half to talk about confederation, so perhaps it
5 might be a good idea, rather than looking at newspaper articles and
6 speculating what journalists have written about it, let's look at the
7 actual agreement, the Washington Agreement, which I refer you to
8 4D 01234. That would be at the end of the binder, 4D 01234. And I'm
9 rather surprised that nobody looked at this today when they went through
10 this with you.
11 Do you have it, sir?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. Now, you indicated --
14 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Karnavas, if I had
15 conducted the cross-examination, of course I would have used the
16 document. But since the proceedings are such that the Presiding Judge
17 does not conduct the cross-examination, he lets people go their way.
18 MR. KARNAVAS: I agree, Mr. President.
19 Q. If we could look at -- you talked about a transitional period and
20 a transitional arrangement. If I could focus your attention to Roman
21 numeral VIII.
22 That would be on page 10 of the English version, Your Honours.
23 Do you have it, sir? It says: "Arrangement during the
24 transitional period." Mr. Tomic, if you have it, you can say, "Yes," and
25 I can --
1 A. Yes, yes.
2 Q. Thank you. All right. Well, let me go over parts of it for the
3 record, of course, and then you can answer the question. It says here:
4 "The two parties agree to establish a high-level committee which
5 will prepare a draft Constitution of the Federation and coordinate other
6 matters related to the implementation of the Framework Agreement."
7 And then it goes on to say that the committee will start its work
8 in Vienna on March 4, 1994. I believe you indicated yesterday, you did
9 mention something about the Vienna meeting.
10 And then it goes on to say:
11 "Until the Constitution of the Federation enters into force, the
12 present administrative arrangements will continue in effect everywhere in
13 the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina, unless the committee decides
14 otherwise by consensus and except in the Mostar city municipality, which
15 the two sides agree will be governed by the EU administrator for up to
16 two years."
17 My question is: Was this the transitional provision that you
18 were making reference to when you said earlier that the administrative
19 arrangements would continue until a constitutional arrangement was agreed
20 upon by both sides?
21 A. That's right, that is the portion that I refer to in my speech.
22 Q. All right. Now, if we go on, there was a big hoopla about
23 confederation, and yet we didn't see this part. If we could go to
24 attachment 2. This would be on page 13, page 13. Let's not look at
25 what's written in some newspaper article. Let's look at the actual
2 MR. SCOTT: Excuse me, Your Honour. I was criticised by
3 Mr. Karnavas for the few occasions, let me put it that way, at which I
4 made some sort of comment, and Mr. Karnavas does it on a regular,
5 continuous basis, and it's not proper. If he could just put questions to
6 the witness, please, without argument or comment. And I'll be happy if
7 the Chamber takes time to explain the reason I conducted my
8 cross-examination the way I did.
9 This document is in evidence. Everyone can read the document. I
10 did not want to take the time to read the document. I was interested in
11 the positions of Mr. Tudjman and his people and not what the document
12 says, which is in evidence and which everyone, of course, can read when
13 they have time.
14 MR. KARNAVAS: That's one way of putting it. Another way of
15 putting it is it was trying to mislead the witness.
16 MR. SCOTT: Of course Mr. Karnavas would always say that. That's
17 always Mr. Karnavas' position, which is --
18 MR. KARNAVAS: We put the document to the gentleman --
19 JUDGE TRECHSEL: I think the parties should stop arguing. Please
21 MR. KARNAVAS:
22 Q. Attachment number II, Roman numeral II, page 13, let's look at
23 the actual attachment to this agreement: "Outline of a preliminary
24 agreement on the principles and foundations for the establishment of a
25 confederation between the Republic of Croatia and the Federation." If we
1 go through it, it says:
2 "It is anticipated that a confederation will," will, "be
3 established by the Republic of Croatia (hereinafter Croatia) and the
4 Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina (hereinafter the Federation)."
5 Then it says that there will be a preliminary agreement and a
6 final agreement. If we go to Roman numeral I, it says that:
7 "The establishment of a confederation shall not change the
8 international identity or legal personality of Croatia or of the
10 Roman numeral II:
11 "The confederation shall ...", and then it lists establish a
12 common market for free movement of goods and services, and then if we
13 look at number 2, it also lists all sorts of other cooperative policies
14 such as transport, energy, environment and so on.
15 Roman numeral III
16 "Croatia and the Federation shall," shall, "as soon as possible
17 enact internal regulation and conclude agreement under the auspices of
18 the confederation necessary to establish customs, monetary union, defence
19 agreements," and so on.
20 Now, when you were asked questions about the confederation, did
21 you have this document in mind, sir, the actual agreement and what was
22 agreed upon between the parties?
23 A. Yes, I referred to this as part of the Washington Agreement.
24 Q. All right. And since this was an agreement, and as a result of
25 the Washington Agreement the federation came into existence, at least on
1 paper, were all sides to that agreement, the Croats, the Croats in
2 Bosnia-Herzegovina and the Muslims in Bosnia-Herzegovina, were they all
3 obliged to carry out that agreement?
4 A. That's right.
5 Q. Now, if I can direct your attention to 1D 01530, 1D 01530. This
6 is dated 6 April 1994, and when you find it, let me know.
7 All right. This is the Law on Ratification of the Preliminary
8 Agreement on the Establishment of Confederation between the Federation of
9 Bosnia and Herzegovina and the Republic of Croatia. Are you familiar
10 with this law, sir?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. Now, I know you explained this to us on direct, but can you
13 please explain to us whether both parties within Bosnia-Herzegovina, that
14 is, the Croats and the Muslims, whether both made an earnest effort to
15 ensure the realisation of this confederation?
16 A. The Croats believed that this was an issue that was on equal
17 terms with all the other issues from the Washington Agreement,
18 implementation-wise. However, the Bosnian side was not in the least
19 interested in seeing this part of the agreement implemented.
20 Q. And what part -- and what part of the agreement were they mostly
21 interested in?
22 A. First and foremost, the implementation of the annex that had to
23 do with free access to the port of Ploce.
24 Q. All right. So all they were interested in is how they could have
25 a deep-water port as opposed to having a relationship based on an
1 agreement that was negotiated and agreed upon at the international level;
2 is that what you're telling us?
3 MR. SCOTT: Excuse me, Your Honour. Maybe Mr. Karnavas shouldn't
4 lead. This is not cross-examination.
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] What I can say is this: At the
6 time, Mr. Izetbegovic and Mr. Tudjman signed an agreement on one border
7 crossing straddling the road to the port of Ploce. It wasn't in our
8 interest to draw -- to establish a new customs administration for the
9 whole of the federation. It was just about that one border crossing. So
10 that was the agreement pursuant to which -- or, rather, as a result of
11 which clashes erupted in the then government, which led to the media
12 reports such as the ones published in 'Oslobodjenje'. And this is
13 something that we have already commented on.
14 Q. All right. You said it wasn't in your interests. In what sense?
15 I'm not quite sure I follow you, interest to draw and establish a new
16 custom administration. Could you please explain that part of your
18 A. In keeping with the Washington Agreement, and in keeping with the
19 federation, we had to build new institutions for the Federation of
20 Bosnia-Herzegovina, including a customs administration. My own ministry
21 prepared a proposal for a law on the customs administration. However, at
22 the time the interests of the Bosniak side was focusing on the agreement
23 as it concerned the port of Ploce, and then there was a special agreement
24 between Tudjman and Izetbegovic saying that a special law should be
25 passed on the Doljani border crossing and that this one should be opened
1 as a federal one. Therefore, it wasn't about us doing all the border
2 crossings, according to that regulation, but just that one border
4 If I view this from the perspective of someone who was the
5 finance minister at the time, it seems to me a nebulous idea for two
6 presidents to be discussing and specifically arranging the opening of a
7 single border crossing.
8 Q. All right. Now, yesterday you were asked a series of questions
9 by the Prosecution, where Mr. Scott was suggesting that it was sometime
10 in the fall of 1993 that the Croat side was moving towards negotiating
11 some sort of an agreement for this federation. Do you recall those
12 series of questions being posed to you by Mr. Scott?
13 A. Yes, I do.
14 Q. And now I just want to focus your attention on 1D 0 --
15 MR. SCOTT: Mr. Karnavas, I do apologise, and I'm not objecting
16 to your question, but I don't want the record to be mischaracterised.
17 The questions I put to the witness, and I do think -- my apologies to the
18 Chamber, but I do think this is an important distinction. The political
19 dialogue at the time among the International Community, a number of
20 people were moving in the direction away from -- it's the Prosecution
21 case, away from the Croat position of getting their separate Croat
22 entity, not that it was the Croat politics that were moving in that
23 direction. Mr. Karnavas can put his question, of course, but I don't
24 want our position to be misstated.
25 Thank you.
1 MR. KARNAVAS: In light of that, in light of that explanation,
2 then it becomes even more imperative that we look at this document,
3 1D 02854, because this is dated 29 December 1993. This is from the
4 Security Council. So we're not talking fall, we're not talking late
5 summer. We're talking December 1993.
6 If we see from the very cover of the page, this is a letter
7 that's signed by Boutros Boutros-Ghali, who at the time was with the UN,
8 we all know, and we can see 23 December 1993, the co-chairmen of the
9 steering committee had issued a report.
10 Now, if we could look at this, sir, and turn to the second page,
11 we look at the annex where it says "Annex report of the co-chairmen of
12 the steering committee on the activities of the international conference
13 on the former Yugoslavia," and we can see from the very --
14 paragraph number 1, it does make reference to a meeting at the Invincible
15 on 23 September 1993. There we see that on that occasion, you had
16 President Izetbegovic, Mr. Boban, Mr. Karadzic, met in the presence of
17 the co-chairmen, Presidents Bulatovic, Milosevic and Tudjman, Deputy
18 Foreign Minister Churkin and Ambassador Redman, and a constitutional
19 agreement was reached providing for a union of republics of Bosnia and
21 Now, due to time limitations, we'll skip down.
22 Paragraph number 2, it says that the two sides -- two of the sides
23 signed, but the very last sentence, "The Bosnian Presidency reported that
24 their expanded assembly did not sign the agreement."
25 We go to paragraph 4, and it says that the co-chairmen decided to
1 pursue a two-track approach, a two-track approach to build upon the
2 Invincible package, and to explore whether, by tackling certain problems
3 in the former Yugoslavia together, it might be possible to create more
4 options for helping to find a settlement in Bosnia-Herzegovina.
5 It then goes on to say:
6 "One idea that was specifically considered was the possibility of
7 a territorial exchange between Bosnia and Herzegovina and the Republic of
8 Croatia that would enable agreement to be reached on an outlet to the sea
9 for the Bosnian republic."
10 All right. Now, if we go on to the next page, and we can see
11 under "Deliberations," that's Roman numeral II, paragraph 6:
12 "The discussions that took place had the following aim: To build
13 upon the Invincible package; to provide the Muslim-majority republic with
14 a minimum of 33.3 per cent of territory."
15 I underscore this, because these are the internationals that are
16 making these proposals, not Croats:
17 " ... to ensure the Muslim-majority republic access to the sea."
18 Paragraph 8, again we see 33 per cent and 17.5 per cent for a
19 Croatian majority republic, and of course the rest would be for the
21 And then if we turn to page 4, Roman numeral III, "Outcome."
22 Outcome, December 23, 1993, this is the outcome by the internationals:
23 "The situation following the decision held at Geneva on 21
24 December at Brussels and 22 and 23 December may be summarised as follows:
25 There is an agreement among all three sides that Bosnia-Herzegovina
1 should be organised as a union of three republics."
2 "There is agreement that the Muslim-majority republic should have
3 33.3 per cent of the territory and the Croats should have 17.5 per cent."
4 Sir, at the time were you aware that this is what was being
5 negotiated and promoted by the internationals that were engaged in trying
6 to find a peaceful settlement for Bosnia-Herzegovina?
7 A. Yes, and I know that it was also said that access to the sea
8 would be made available somewhere close to the border between Croatia and
9 Montenegro. So this was part of the overall background of all the story
10 that was going on in terms of the invisible package.
11 Q. All right. I think that concludes that part of my redirect, so
12 now let's -- let me take you back to the beginning of your
13 cross-examination, and that was last week sometime or the week before.
14 So I will start off with where Ms. Alaburic first asked you a
15 question, and this could be found, incidentally, on page 33971 on the
16 record. Basically, it had to do with control, and the question was
17 through financing and logistics, the civilian controlled the army, and
18 that's how it's established and exercised. So the civilian control over
19 the army is controlled through financing and logistics.
20 Now, let me make sure I understand you correctly. To your
21 understanding at the time when you were asked this question, what did you
22 think the word "control" meant, and to what extent did you, as the head
23 of the Department of Finance, was able to control the army at the time?
24 A. This isn't control in the sense of controlling expenditure. The
25 Defence Department, as far as that segment was concerned, and I mean
1 expenditures, was coordinating with the president of the HZ-HB, who was
2 the supreme commander. Therefore, we would only earmark funds for the
3 benefit of the Defence Department. Then there were annual reports, and
4 these funds were used for the purposes of logistics, mobilising the work
5 of the Defence office, and so on and so forth. There was no monitoring
6 of these funds, nor was there any inspection, so to speak, over the
7 Defence Department.
8 It wasn't before 1994 that plans were made for the first budget,
9 and then funds were earmarked for salaries and also for other special
11 Q. But the question wasn't so much about the Defence Department. It
12 was the army. Through financing and logistics, the civilian control over
13 the army is established and exercised? That was the question. And so my
14 question to you is: In your capacity, your individual capacity as head
15 of the Department of Finance, did you control in any way the army by way
16 of financing it?
17 A. I said that there was no control by the Finance Department.
18 Funds were forwarded for the purpose of defence to the Defence
19 Department. How these funds were passed along is something that only
20 they can tell, and they did this according to their own programme.
21 Q. All right. That was my -- and my next question was: Okay, your
22 department wasn't able to control the army, but what about the
23 government, the HVO HZ-HB, this executive authority? Did they control,
24 and by that I mean did they give orders to the Main Staff on how to use
25 this money if they didn't -- what to do, did they give them orders, and
1 if they didn't comply with the orders, they would simply cut off the
2 financing or the logistics in order to control them?
3 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, if I may, the
4 question presupposes that the Main Staff took any financial decisions and
5 then orders could be given. We have so far seen no evidence at all in
6 this courtroom to the effect that the Main Staff had an account, to begin
7 with, or indeed that it took any decisions on how funds were to be
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The HVO HZ-HB, for as long as I was
10 involved in its work, never adopted any decisions on the kind of
11 expenditure that was going on within a department, and the same applied
12 to how funds were allocated to the Defence Department.
13 MR. KARNAVAS: All right.
14 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Excuse me, Mr. Karnavas. I would like to go
15 back a little bit, where the witness answered that the Finance Department
16 had no control. It's page 64, line 22, about to disappear.
17 "How these funds were passed along," the witness said, "is only
18 something they can tell, and they did this according to their own
20 Now, Mr. Tomic, who do you refer to by saying "they"?
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I meant the departments. As I
22 said, the first budget was made in relation to 1994. Up until that point
23 in time, funds had been earmarked and forwarded based on requests that
24 individual departments were making and the decisions on how to allocate,
25 too, were individual. Most of the funds were assigned to the Defence
1 Department for defence purposes and also to the Internal Affairs
3 Late in 1992, there was a report on the work of the HVO. Another
4 report was attached by the Defence Department on how the funds were used,
5 but there was no control system in place.
6 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Thank you. So who was it that allocated the
7 funds to the department?
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] As you saw in that report in
9 relation to 1992, some of the funds were obtained by the Defence
10 Department from the Finance Department, which was under 5 per cent of
11 what they actually needed. Other funds arrived from the diaspora fund,
12 and this was something that was channeled through Zagreb.
13 JUDGE TRECHSEL: And it was channeled directly from Zagreb to the
14 Defence Department?
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] That's right.
16 JUDGE TRECHSEL: And that was, then, about 95 per cent of the
17 money that the department had at its disposal. You said 5 came from your
18 department, and was that the rest or was there a third or maybe a fourth
19 or fifth source of money for the Defence Department?
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, it's not correct the rest of
21 the money came from Zagreb, because the Defence Department was enjoying
22 some proceeds from selling some goods, and there were other proceeds that
23 the department was obtaining. By and large, the lion's share of the
24 money came from the diaspora fund.
25 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Thank you.
1 MR. KARNAVAS:
2 Q. Now, if I could pick up a little bit from where Judge Trechsel
3 left off, because this whole issue about having a budget -- and I know
4 you discussed it a little bit earlier, but when you say that a budget was
5 established, could you please explain to us, what exactly do you mean?
6 Is it a line item where you could tell exactly how much money is
7 allocated to certain areas?
8 A. The budget, in its proper form, was done for the first time for
9 1994, where you had the revenues and the expenditures per department and
10 office and other beneficiaries of the budget. That is what the budget
11 means, that you have to have the revenue side and the expenditure side.
12 Q. All right. And going again back to what Judge Trechsel had asked
13 you, you had indicated that the money would go directly to the Defence
14 Department. Did your department in any way or did the HVO HZ-HB have any
15 authority or control over how that particular budget or that money that
16 was going directly to the Defence Department, how it would be spent; how
17 much for weapons, how much for clothing, how much for food ? Was there
18 any control over that?
19 A. I've already said that the HVO HZ-HB received yearly reports,
20 annual reports, about the expenditure of the funds, and this became a
21 part of the regular report of the HVO HZ-HB. But no decisions were taken
22 as to the allocation of the funds within the Defence Department.
23 Q. Now, today you did indicate at one point that the municipalities
24 were bankrolling their own units, and that was to a question that was
25 posed to you earlier. And could you please explain that a little bit
1 more so we have a full understanding, because you seem to be giving the
2 indication that perhaps at the municipal level, a different procedure is
3 in place?
4 A. I already talked about that. This was one of the big problems
5 that we faced. The Defence Department also had to deal with this
6 problem, and the problem was that some of the municipalities, such as
7 primarily Tomislavgrad, Livno, Capljina, for a long, long time, I think
8 that for these three municipalities it was up until 1994, they paid their
9 units and they procured clothing and things like that, so that when we're
10 talking about Tomislavgrad and Livno, after some pressure was exerted on
11 them to implement the regulations of the HVO HZ-HB because of the fact
12 that the presidents were founders and members of the Presidency of the
13 HZ-HB, they obstructed those efforts up until the year 1994, when the
14 Minister Martinovic at that time started dealing with those problems,
15 clearing up the situation. Up until that time, they merely exchanged
16 orders with the budget of the HZ-HB. They merely told us in the period
17 of six months we'd paid such-and-such amount to the army, and then we
18 acknowledged that as the payments into the budget, and at the same time
19 we considered these to be payroll expenses.
20 So up until the beginning of 1994, Capljina, too, for the most
21 part of 1993, paid out the salaries and other payroll expenses in this
23 Q. All right. Let's move on to another question that was asked of
24 you, and the question was:
25 "Were issues of military strategy discussed at the HVO HZ-HB
2 And then the question continued:
3 " ... or were such issues discussed in other meetings held
4 somewhere else with other people?"
5 And this was on 33975 page. So let's deal with the first part of
6 this question.
7 To your knowledge, could you please explain to us what, if any,
8 military strategy meetings were held at the HVO HZ-HB level?
9 A. At the HVO HZ-HB level, there were no meetings to discuss
10 strategy, and I don't think that under the Law on the Armed Forces that
11 was actually within the jurisdiction of the HVO HZ-HB. And I'm talking
12 about the law of the HZ-HB.
13 Q. Well, are you aware, because the question went on, were such
14 issues, that is, military strategy issues, discussed in other meetings
15 held somewhere else with other people? Do you know if such meetings were
16 held, and if so, where, and who were the participants?
17 A. I don't know about those meetings, but I assume that that was at
18 the level of the presidents of the HZ-HB.
19 Q. Are you speaking of the municipal level?
20 A. [In English] No, no.
21 Q. The president --
22 A. [Interpretation] The president of the HZ-HB, as the supreme
23 commander of the armed forces.
24 Q. All right. Did Mr. Boban ever come to have a military strategy
25 session at any of the meetings with any members at the HVO HZ-HB to
1 discuss, you know, operational issues as opposed to what was happening in
2 the terrain?
3 A. I couldn't really give you an answer to that question.
4 Q. Well, let me put it to you this way: Were you ever present, you
5 personally, were you ever present when military strategy sessions,
6 operational sessions, were being held where Boban is chairing such a
7 meeting with his close advisers?
8 A. I did not attend any meetings where strategy was discussed. I
9 attended several meetings in Siroki Brijeg with the presidents of the
10 municipalities and with the Main Staff, and the agenda was the situation
11 in the area of the HZ-HB because there was a need for us to get
12 information about the situation, in particular when it came to Central
13 Bosnia, in order to be able to assess how to proceed with our activities
14 aimed at establishing the judicial system, the financial system; in other
15 words, plans on how to implement the regulations of the HVO HZ-HB.
16 Q. All right. Now, let's start now where the cross began by the
17 Prosecution. And the first topic, if I could put it as such, dealt with
18 the issue of the work programme. And as I understand your testimony, and
19 this could be found in page 34119 to 20 of the transcript, that is, you
20 had indicated that the first real programme was drawn up for 1994. Do
21 you recall saying that?
22 A. Yes, well, this is the first budget for 1994, yes.
23 Q. Okay. But when we talk about a work programme, and you say that
24 this was the first one drawn up, again, what is this work programme
1 A. Well, it's the work programme about how to ensure that revenues
2 would come into the budget, how to organise the institution within the
3 Finance Department, and so on.
4 Q. What about the other departments; did they have work programmes
5 prior to the first real programme that was drawn up, as you indicated,
6 for 1994?
7 A. I think that each department made its own work programme, and
8 then this was all integrated into a single programme of the HVO HZ-HB.
9 Q. And to what extent were you, as one of the department heads, were
10 you responsible to the acts of another department?
11 A. In line with the jurisdiction of the departments, the Finance
12 Department had to ensure that the expenses are not greater than those
13 that had been planned. I'm talking about the 1994 budget, the first
14 budget. And when regulations and decisions are made or passed, the
15 Finance Department provided its opinion as to whether the decision or the
16 regulation would engender additional expenses or whether there are funds
17 in place to actually implement the decision in question.
18 Q. All right. Now, you were accused of being the finance man,
19 quote/unquote, of the HVO or HDZ, this is on page 34121 to 22, when you
20 were a member -- when you indicated that you were an associate member of
21 the Crisis Staff. So, in other words, you were not just an associate
22 member, you were the finance man of the HVO and/or HDZ; is that true,
23 sir? When you were initially asked to assist the Crisis Staff, as you
24 had indicated, this is prior to the Special Purpose Council being
25 established, if you recall that part of your testimony?
1 A. Yes, I do, I do recall that. In April 1992, I received a
2 decision signed by the president of the Crisis Staff that I am put in
3 charge of the finances regarding the payment transactions office and cash
4 transactions in general.
5 Q. All right. And there was another individual that was assisting
7 A. Yes, the two of us, Mr. Senad Kazazic and myself.
8 Q. All right. Now, but the question that -- what the Prosecution
9 was suggesting, or accusing you of, if I can use that word, is being the
10 finance man of the HVO or HDZ. In other words, you had another agenda or
11 was working for someone else. Is that the case, sir?
12 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Excuse me, Mr. Karnavas. You have for the
13 second time now used the term "accused." Do you take that from the
14 transcript or is it your proper interpretation?
15 MR. KARNAVAS: Well, when you say -- when you call somebody -- he
16 put the question to the gentleman.
17 JUDGE TRECHSEL: No, no, you used this word, and I'm taking your
18 answer that it's your interpretation.
19 MR. KARNAVAS: Well, it's an accusation.
20 JUDGE TRECHSEL: It's your interpretation that it is, because it
21 was not as such formulated, was it?
22 MR. KARNAVAS: Well, okay.
23 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Okay, thank you.
24 MR. KARNAVAS: Well --
25 MR. SCOTT: Yes, Your Honour. While we're paused, I'm on my feet
1 to make the same point, Your Honour.
2 I don't think that's fair. Just like the Defence, the
3 Prosecution is entitled to put questions to the witness. I put my
4 questions to the witness. A number of them, of course, were leading
5 questions, as is appropriate on cross-examination. They were not
6 accusations, and there was nothing about that he was taking -- had any
7 different agenda. I was simply asking questions about his involvement in
8 the Special Purposes Council and the Crisis Staff. I don't think there
9 was anything particularly mysterious about it.
10 JUDGE TRECHSEL: All right. I also do not think that this is a
11 very heavy point, Mr. Karnavas. I just wanted to clarify. Thank you.
12 MR. KARNAVAS: It may not be a heavy point, but if we're talking
13 about joint criminal enterprise, and that's what I'm getting at, and of
14 course I dare say that throughout the course of the cross-examination,
15 this gentleman has been accused of being a member of the joint criminal
16 enterprise, and I think anybody who says otherwise, based on the
17 questioning by the Prosecution, I think, is sadly mistaken.
18 JUDGE TRECHSEL: My view, Mr. Karnavas, is that those that are
19 accused are those that are mentioned in the indictment. Others may be
20 put in the vicinity, but it's a formal matter, as I see it.
21 MR. KARNAVAS: Very well. I'll move on, Your Honour.
22 Q. Now, sticking with that point, when you were a member of the
23 Crisis Staff, were you reporting to the HVO or the HDZ concerning your
24 activities with the Crisis Staff when you were initially asked to help
25 out, when you were working with your colleague there?
1 A. Our authority did not entail any communication or any earmarking
2 of funds for anyone, including the HDZ. The Crisis Staff had its member.
3 I mentioned the lady's name. She was the municipal secretary for
4 finance. But the situation being what it is, in other words, there was a
5 complete breakdown of the system, a shortage of cash, the Crisis Staff
6 then took us in and gave us this specific job; to communicate with the
7 SDK and to protect the cash in the Mostar municipality. We did not
8 secure any funds for the Crisis Staff budget or for anyone else. We
9 merely passed regulations, and I said that it was already too late, but
10 all we did was pass regulations to regulate the use of cash and the
11 conduct of the SDK in this context.
12 Q. Last week or the week before, I think it was last week, you were
13 asked some questions concerning how the HVO HZ-HB operated, and again
14 yesterday there were some questions put to you as far as how
15 Dr. Jadranko Prlic would represent himself. And if you may recall, there
16 was a series of rather sarcastic questions put to you about how
17 Dr. Jadranko Prlic would represent himself.
18 Now --
19 JUDGE TRECHSEL: I think "present himself," not "represent
20 himself." How he would present himself was the question.
21 MR. KARNAVAS: Present or represent himself. Well, I don't want
22 to debate with you, Judge Trechsel, at least not today.
23 Q. In any event, if we could just discuss the heads of the
24 departments. You indicated at one point that they would make proposals,
25 but they were autonomous. Is that correct? Do you recall saying that?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. All right. Now, did any one member, any one head of a
3 department, have the authority to move another head of the department?
4 Let me start at that, in the general. For instance, did you have the
5 right to remove the head of the Department of interior?
6 A. No.
7 Q. Okay. What about the president of the HVO HZ-HB? I mean, after
8 all, he has this title, "president." Did he have the authority to remove
10 A. Well, we were appointed by the Presidency of the HZ-HB.
11 Q. And that brings me to my next point. Who would then have the
12 authority to remove a member -- a head of a department? If you were
13 appointed by the Presidency, who had the authority under that system?
14 A. The Presidency of the HZ-HB.
15 Q. All right. Now, at some point you were asked about whether --
16 you know, why didn't -- this had to do with the municipalities and the
17 fact that at times they did not comply with the decrees that were
18 being -- or they were not enforcing the decrees being passed by the HVO
19 HZ-HB. And you were asked, "Why not send the military, the HVO HZ-HB
20 military, or the police to remove them in order to implement those
21 decrees?" How realistic was that question?
22 A. Well, I've already spoken about this strange relationship, those
23 who were supposed to implement the regulations of the HZ-HB; the
24 Municipal HVOs, in other words, together with the departments of the HVO
25 HZ-HB, but now we're talking about the municipalities where the
1 presidents of the municipal HVO were responsible for that. They were at
2 the same time members of the Presidency of HZ-HB, and we were supposed to
3 report to them on our work and they were supposed to evaluate our work.
4 And that was a constant conflict, where -- that all the department heads
5 faced in doing their jobs. For all intents and purposes, they had to
6 renegotiate things with the presidents of the municipalities about how
7 the regulations would be implemented, knowing that they had those powers
8 because they were members of the Presidency of the HZ-HB. So there could
9 be no coercion of any kind. It was out of the question, in particular in
10 the municipalities that had sufficient funds and that were able to
11 finance the units operating in their area. And I have spoken about that
13 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
14 MR. KARNAVAS:
15 Q. If I could press you a little bit. We know that Mate Boban was
16 the president of the Presidency. We know the Presidency is made up of
17 the presidents of the municipality. First, if you could tell us, how did
18 they get their positions, how did they become presidents? Who appointed
19 them or elect them? Was it the HVO HZ-HB or was it through some other
20 means or manner?
21 A. Well, they were elected in the municipalities. The former
22 municipal -- what was it that they were called? The heads of the
23 municipalities became the presidents of the municipal HVOs and --
24 Q. All right. Now, what about Boban himself, how did he become
25 president of the Presidency? Did he appoint himself? Was he elected?
1 And if so, by whom?
2 A. As far as I can recall, he was elected by the Presidency of the
3 HZ-HB. In the course of the transformations, he became the president of
4 the Presidency of the HZ-HB. I really don't know.
5 Q. All right. Now, you were asked about -- well, you were told
6 that -- or reminded, I should say, that the Presidency did not meet on a
7 couple of times. I believe it was during the period of 1992 -- late
8 1992-1993. And I stand to be corrected if I'm a little bit off on the
9 dates. Do you know whether Mr. Boban had sort of tete-a-tete meetings
10 with the presidents of the municipalities; in other words, not meeting
11 them as a collective body, but whether he met them individually or had
12 contact with them telephonically?
13 A. What I know about this is that the president of the Presidency of
14 the HZ-HB held individual meetings or group meetings with the presidents
15 of the municipal HVOs. In a way, he tried to avoid holding the sessions
16 of the Presidency of the HZ-HB, because many issues would be raised at
17 those sessions and there were no answers, because many of the
18 municipalities were flat broke and they sought answers, various options.
19 So in most cases, he would meet with them individually.
20 And let me give you an example. In fact, I've already given you
21 this example. The decision on the war tax imposed on our people working
22 abroad was invalidated in those meetings because of the pressure of the
23 municipalities of Tomislavgrad and Livno, and it was never actually
24 implemented in the form in which the HVO HZ-HB actually passed it.
25 MR. KARNAVAS: If I could just ask one last question before the
1 break, or we could take the break; whichever. I'm at your hands.
2 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] It might be better to have a
3 break now. We shall resume at 6.00 sharp.
4 --- Recess taken at 5.44 p.m.
5 --- On resuming at 6.02 p.m.
6 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Karnavas, please proceed.
7 MR. KARNAVAS: Thank you, Mr. President, Your Honours.
8 Q. Okay, Mr. Tomic, if we could pick up where we left off.
9 With respect -- the one question I wanted to ask you is: How
10 realistic would it have been - we're into the realm of not just de jure
11 but now de facto - for the HVO HZ-HB to attempt to remove a president of
12 a municipality by way of asking Boban, himself, who was elected by the
13 members of the municipality as the president of the Presidency, how
14 realistic would that have been, how plausible under the circumstances?
15 A. As I said, this was not really feasible. It's what I called a
16 strange relationship between the HVO and the Presidency of the HZ-HB and
17 the presidents of the municipalities who were at the same time members of
18 that Presidency.
19 Q. And while we're still with the HVO HZ-HB, you, as the head of the
20 Department of Finance, were you responsible for the activities of any
21 other department? Could you be held responsible, for instance, for the
22 activities of the Department of Interior, just to pick an example?
23 THE INTERPRETER: Could the witness please repeat the answer.
24 MR. KARNAVAS:
25 Q. Would you please repeat the answer, please. The interpreters
1 didn't hear you.
2 A. Each president of department was responsible for the situation in
3 his own area.
4 Q. All right. Now, you were asked a series of questions concerning
5 the issue of currency or currencies, and at one point it was put to
6 you -- it was put to you that Croatia was deliberately attempting to
7 sabotage the BiH economy. And that would be on page 34160, and again it
8 pops up at 34162, where it was put to you that by using the Croatian
9 dinar, that was a means of carving out a Croatian space. So let's deal
10 with the first question.
11 To your understanding, did Croatia at any point in time
12 deliberately try to sabotage the BiH economy?
13 A. I never witnessed any attempts like that.
14 Q. All right. Well, to put it into context in the manner -- this
15 question was posed in light of the fact that a large amount of the
16 Yugoslav dinar, and I'm paraphrasing here but I stand to be corrected,
17 the Yugoslav dinar was being dumped, if I could use that word, in Bosnia
18 and Herzegovina, so -- and I guess -- so as a result of that, you know,
19 that was an attempt, I guess, to sabotage the BiH economy. Now, you did
20 give an explanation, but could you please explain a little bit more about
21 that? How could it possibly be that the Croatian government is somehow
22 trying to sabotage the BiH economy by sending Yugoslav dinar over the
24 A. The arrival of rather large amounts of Yugoslav dinar occurred
25 before the declaration of independence of Bosnia-Herzegovina. At the
1 time, we could speak of, under quotation marks, of course, an approach to
2 the Yugoslav economy, if I may put it that way. Nevertheless, this
3 Yugoslav dinar was printed. It was out of control, and by that same
4 token, the dinar itself undermined its own economy. Therefore, there
5 were no more than a few companies around at the time that were happy to
6 accept the Yugoslav dinar. For the most part, they were the exception.
7 All the rest went straight to the black market.
8 If we look at Herzegovina, at the time the black market, for the
9 most part, was under the control of people from the Sandzak area,
10 Montenegro, and this was an organised business. Therefore, if you look
11 at that particular environment, most of the dinars that came out of that
12 environment would end up in what we might, for the sake of simplicity,
13 call the rest of Yugoslavia that was still around at the time.
14 Q. All right. Now, on direct examination you did talk about the use
15 of the Croatian dinar and at some point also the German mark, but it was
16 put to you by the Prosecution that by using the Croatian dinar, this was
17 a means -- a means to carve out a Croatian space. So my question would
18 be: Under the circumstances, in light of what was happening there, and
19 you were there, and being an economist as well, would it have been
20 realistic or possible to force -- to force the people living in that
21 area, in Herzegovina or Central Bosnia, to force them to use a particular
22 currency which they could not use outside Bosnia-Herzegovina as hard
24 A. I've said this already, and if you look at the documents, that is
25 clear enough. The municipalities were introducing the Croatian dinar,
1 but first in parallel with the Yugoslav dinar. And when the Yugoslav
2 dinar could no longer be used to buy anything, it was discarded. The HVO
3 HZ-HB took a decision to regulate the payment transactions by means of
4 Croatian dinars. If any other currency had been imposed which could not
5 be used to buy anything else, well, it would simply not have been in
6 circulation, it would have been worthless.
7 Q. All right. Now, in light of what's happening around the world
8 today, one hears one particular word, and that is the word "confidence."
9 Does confidence, when it comes to markets, when it comes to -- especially
10 when it comes to a particular currency, does confidence play a role in
11 any way? And if so, how?
12 A. As I said during my evidence, confidence is key. I'll try to
13 explain this by saying the following: Introduction of a convertible
15 In Bosnia-Herzegovina, after Dayton, there had been attempts,
16 after the Washington Agreement, to impose the BH [Realtime translation
17 read in error "Croatian"] dinar. However, it wasn't listed among the
18 currencies in banks outside Bosnia and Herzegovina. There were no
19 exchange rates, and you could not use it to exchange it for any other
20 convertible currency abroad, the only exception to this rule being
21 Sarajevo's [Realtime transcript read in error "Croatian"] National Bank.
22 Therefore, the BH [Realtime translation read in error "Croatian"] dinar
23 never spread throughout the Federation following the signing of the
24 Washington Agreement, particularly because there was a certain amount of
25 misgivings about the amount of BH dinar that was printed and the way this
1 money was managed.
2 After Dayton, a governor was appointed of the BH Central Bank.
3 The first thing that happened is the National Bank changed its name and
4 was now renamed Central Bank. This was the first step toward
5 re-establishing some sort of confidence. The next thing that happened, a
6 new currency was introduced, the convertible mark. And if you look at
7 its very name, it brings to mind the German mark, which was acceptable
8 for all sorts of transactions. Again, a matter of confidence. Thirdly,
9 the International Monetary Fund unequivocally backed this project,
10 establishing that the Central Bank of Bosnia-Herzegovina would operate
11 along the principles of a currency board. There would be no primary
12 missions, there would be no toying around with the value of the currency.
13 From that moment on, the convertible mark became an acceptable means of
14 payment throughout Bosnia and Herzegovina.
15 Confidence, therefore, is key to how a currency operates, plus
16 obviously a currency's economic background.
17 Q. All right. There are a couple of corrections for the record,
18 Your Honours. One is on page 81, line 14. The gentleman indicated the
19 Bosnian dinar, not the Croatian dinar. It just left the screen. And
20 then there might be -- I'm sorry, on line 18. And then on line 22, I
21 believe the gentleman said that "Sarajevo," "Sarajevo National Bank."
22 But, anyway, I think that we can cure that at some point.
23 THE INTERPRETER: Would you mind speaking closer to the
24 microphone. Thank you.
25 MR. KARNAVAS: All right.
1 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Mr. Karnavas, on line -- page 81, line 23,
2 should that also be the Bosnian dinar, rather than the Croatian?
3 MR. KARNAVAS: Yes.
4 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Thank you.
5 Q. And as I understand, and correct me if I'm wrong, as a result of
6 Dayton, the governor of the Central Bank, at least for the first five
7 years, was a foreigner, a New Zealander, as I recall; is that correct?
8 A. That's correct. At first, it was a Frenchman, who was then
9 followed by a governor from New Zealand, who outstayed his Dayton term of
10 office because he enjoyed the backing of all the sides involved. Again,
11 it was a matter of confidence because he was a neutral.
12 Q. All right. The next topic I want to discuss rather briefly is
13 the issue of customs. And it was put to you, and I'm going to be making
14 reference to, essentially, for the record, questions that were put to you
15 on pages 34192, 34201, 204, and there was another one on 34203, and it
16 was put to you essentially that monies were collected from customs but
17 never went to Sarajevo, to the Sarajevo government or the BiH government,
18 and you confirmed that. And then it was put to you that this was a
19 political decision not to send money to BiH government, and it wasn't
20 because the money could not be sent to the BiH government. That was the
21 essence of the questioning by the Prosecution.
22 So let me begin by asking you, first of all, was Sarajevo at that
23 time, the BiH government, were they making contributions to the funds, as
24 they were supposed to be making?
25 A. Of course not. The Bosnia-Herzegovina budget had not been
1 adopted for 1992, or indeed for 1993, I believe. It wasn't before late
2 1994 that the first budget was passed, a document based on which one
3 could now manage the public finances sector.
4 Q. But the Prosecution put it to you that there were logistical
5 offices in Zagreb and the Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina was using bank
6 accounts in Croatia and other countries, and therefore had there been a
7 will to make contributions to Bosnia and Herzegovina, the money could
8 easily have been deposited in those banks for Bosnia and Herzegovina.
9 That was the essence of what was being put to you.
10 And my question now is: Did the government of Bosnia-Herzegovina
11 ever set up the necessary legislative instruments, and did they ever set
12 up a bank account with various funds for contributions to be made, of
13 course with the expectation that once the state would take its cut, the
14 remainder would revert to Herceg-Bosna?
15 MR. SCOTT: Excuse me, Your Honour. Before the witness answers
16 that question, one of the things I was very careful to do during my
17 cross-examination was to try to put some borders, if you will, on the
18 witness's knowledge of these particular matters. During the course of
19 his cross-examination, I think we established that Mr. Tomic at no time
20 during this point in time between 1992 and 1994 was ever in Sarajevo, had
21 no regular contacts there. I asked him specifically, "Who were your
22 regular contacts in Sarajevo? Were you in Sarajevo during this time
23 period?" And the information was -- his answers were he was not in
24 Sarajevo, he had no regular contacts with anyone in Sarajevo. He also
25 was never in Tuzla. He was once in Zenica, and he passed through in
1 October 1992. So unless there can be some foundation for this witness
2 knowing what the government in Sarajevo was doing, in terms of its bank
3 accounts and legislation, I object.
4 MR. KARNAVAS: Your Honour, if I may respond.
5 It was put to him about Zagreb. We're not speaking about
6 Sarajevo. We've already established that the banking system was not
7 functioning because of the lack of communications. He already said that.
8 It was then put to the gentleman by the Prosecution that:
9 "Well, it wasn't that you can't -- you could not send the money
10 to the BiH money, but it was a political decision not to give the money
11 because there were banks set up in Zagreb by the BiH government?"
12 The implication being, okay, deposit the money in Zagreb.
13 And my question now is: Did BiH -- did the government of BiH set
14 up the necessary legislation with the funds so they could be deposited,
15 with the expectation that some of it would revert back -- or revert, I
16 should say, to Herceg-Bosna?
17 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Scott.
18 MR. SCOTT: That's partly right, and that's why in the first part
19 of his question, you'll notice I didn't object. He has accurately stated
20 that was the Prosecution position and is the Prosecution position, that
21 had there been a will to make such payments by the Croats -- by the HVO
22 to the BiH government, excuse me, there were certainly a number of means,
23 I think -- we submit, we submit, that it could have been done. Now, that
24 part was accurate and I didn't object to that.
25 But now Mr. Karnavas has now changed to what was being
1 legislatively done -- what was being legislatively done in Sarajevo at
2 the time, and that's --
3 MR. KARNAVAS: I'll lay the foundation, Your Honour, because
4 obviously this is an attempt to eat up my time, because we've heard
5 testimony over and over again that a budget has certain funds and the
6 money is channeled to those funds. It's not a matter of just depositing
7 money in one huge bank account. Now, maybe that's how it's done wherever
8 Mr. Scott comes from, but this was a highly-developed financial system.
9 MR. SCOTT: None of which has anything to do with the question
10 put to this witness, Your Honour.
11 MR. KARNAVAS: Sir --
12 MR. SCOTT: Not the one that I objected to.
13 MR. KARNAVAS:
14 Q. Let me go back. Did we ever --
15 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Karnavas, you can
16 continue, because you have a technical expert in public finances. It is
17 as if you were going to ask a question about penicillin of a doctor.
18 Even if he is only a surgeon for knees, he can answer such a question.
19 So I suppose that even if this witness does not know what's happening in
20 Sarajevo, he's able, in some respects, to answer.
21 So go ahead.
22 MR. KARNAVAS:
23 Q. The Prosecutor put to you that Zagreb had bank accounts, and bank
24 accounts in other countries -- that the government in Sarajevo, the RBiH,
25 that's what they are called now, did they ever contact you to tell you
1 where monies could be deposited from customs to individualised funds?
2 A. Throughout the contacts that I had from the people who were in
3 the Zagreb office, there were never any requests that were made about
5 Q. That's not my question. My question is: Did they ever notify
6 you that they have a bank account in Zagreb with a number and the
7 different funds, so then you can make your various contributions, and
8 then thereafter, after they take their cut of the monies, the remainder
9 would go back to Herceg-Bosna? Did Sarajevo government ever do that?
10 A. No.
11 Q. All right. Now, you were asked about contributions to the state.
12 Did the Sarajevo government ever make any contributions to the
13 Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna from the millions of dollars that it
14 had collected and the monies it had laundered through the various charity
15 organisations in financing its war?
16 MR. SCOTT: I'm going to object, Your Honour, not because --
17 I think Mr. Karnavas is entirely entitled, just so you'll know what I'm
18 saying here, entirely entitled to ask him about whether funds flowed from
19 the Sarajevo government to Herceg-Bosna in some fashion, but the second
20 part of the question is pure argument and purely apparently for
21 Mr. Karnavas' colour commentary, and it has nothing to do with the
22 source, or the commentary, or whether it was laundering funds, but this
23 is just --
24 MR. KARNAVAS: I --
25 MR. SCOTT: Excuse me, Mr. Karnavas. Let me finish, please.
1 Well, I'm making my objection, just like Mr. Karnavas sometimes makes his
3 It's not appropriate, Your Honour, just commentary by
4 Mr. Karnavas again. But I didn't object to the first part, the proper
5 part of the question.
6 MR. KARNAVAS: Well, Your Honour --
7 JUDGE TRECHSEL: [Indiscernible] repeating yourself, and that
8 gives really the impression that you want to take up time. It would be
9 enough if you say things once.
10 MR. KARNAVAS: If we could go, Your Honours -- if we could go,
11 Your Honours, to several documents that are available. This knowledge is
12 known to the Office of the Prosecution, because they hired a particular
13 expert for the Delic case.
14 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Let me react to Mr. Scott's
16 I think that Mr. Karnavas has documents in support of what he's
17 just asserted, so before you raise an objection, just wait to see how
18 he's going to try and demonstrate what he's saying.
19 MR. SCOTT: I know, but that's not the nature of my objection,
20 and I apologise to Judge Trechsel if I didn't speak with 100 per cent
21 efficiency. I think my record is quite clear on being one of the more
22 succinct lawyers in the courtroom, and I'm happy to stand on the record
23 of that if anyone wants to review the transcripts.
24 The point is this, Your Honour: It's not a question -- the issue
25 is not whether Mr. Karnavas has a document. I'm sure he has many
1 documents. But there's no particular relevance in putting to this
2 witness where the money came from. If he wants to make the point that
3 the Sarajevo government was not supporting Croatia -- or, excuse me, the
4 Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna, I didn't object to that part of the
5 question. Now he wants to do something -- he wants to go into this
6 laundering of non-profits, which has nothing to do with the question and
7 is just to sensationalise the process. And he knows that.
8 MR. KARNAVAS: If we go on to document 1D 03126, I'm going to go
9 through several documents and I'm going to ask you to bear with me and
10 keep your answers succinct. Otherwise, I'll have to bring you back, and
11 I'm perfectly happy to do so. 1D 03126.
12 And we see this is a profile on the Third World Relief Agency.
13 At the very top, it says:
14 "By mid-1991, Bosnian President Izetbegovic contacts Hassanein,
15 who he had known since 1970."
16 It then goes down to say:
17 "The TWRA," that's the Third World Relief Agency, "is controlled
18 by a committee composed by Hassanein, and Hasan Cengic -" I believe you
19 indicated you knew the gentleman or knew of him - "he is in charge of
20 arming Bosnia militia run by the SDA party."
21 Then if we go down, skip the names, it says:
22 "All of them are important members of Izetbegovic's SDA party,
23 and all but Ljevakovic were co-defendants with Izetbegovic in 1983 trial.
24 Most payments require the approval of three of the five, except for
25 amounts greater than $500.000, in which case Izetbegovic has to give the
2 Let me skip to another document, because the time does not permit
3 us --
4 MR. SCOTT: Excuse me, Your Honour, if I can try to assist. I'm
6 MR. KARNAVAS: Your Honours, I'm entitled to make my record with
7 this witness, I'm entitled to redirect. And may I say one thing, that in
8 the Delic case they hired a gentleman who specifically did a report for
9 them regarding this. We're talking about $350 million, bank accounts,
10 Silajdzic, Ganic, all of them were knee deep -- knee deep in collecting
11 monies. And the question is, when he puts to the witness from customs
12 what was going to the Bosnian government, it opens the door for me to
13 bring this in. There lies the issue. If he doesn't like this, then he
14 should not be doing cross-examination opening up a door, because the
15 question is: Why was it that $350 million that came in from radical
16 Islamic governments, where was that money going and why didn't they give
17 the one-third or part of the cut to Herceg-Bosna to finance schools, to
18 finance hospitals, to finance whatever needed to be financed at the time,
19 or the defence? And maybe that's why the customs had to be kept.
20 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] We have understood now.
21 Mr. Scott.
22 MR. SCOTT: Thank you, Your Honour. Your Honour, again, it's
23 irrelevant. How is possibly the source of these funds relevant to the
24 issue that Mr. Karnavas wants to raise, other than a general attack on
25 Izetbegovic and the people around him, which is completely irrelevant to
1 this case? It may have been relevant to the Delic case, I don't know,
2 but that was a different case and there was a Muslim accused, and there
3 may have been different reasons why it was relevant.
4 I didn't -- let me be very clear, until the Chamber knows that
5 I'm being measured about this. I didn't object, and Mr. Karnavas can
6 make his point that he says the Sarajevo government didn't send its
7 one-third to Herceg-Bosna. Now, I may or may not ultimately agree with
8 that, but he's entitled to put the question. But where the money came
9 from is completely irrelevant to this point. And the only reason
10 Mr. Karnavas wants to get into this, because he seems to take some
11 pleasure in saying bad things about Izetbegovic and the Muslims. He can
12 make his point. It has nothing to do with where the money came from, did
13 Herceg-Bosna get its one-third or not? It has nothing to do with where
14 the money came from, and that's the nature of our objection. And I
15 apologise if -- excuse me.
16 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I'll give my personal opinion.
17 The argument of the Defence consists in saying that the Republic
18 of Bosnia-Herzegovina was supported by countries sending funds, and we
19 cite figures of $350 million, and that that money wasn't going to the
20 Croat Republic. And we had elements of proof, as indicated by the
21 witness, that as part of the budget, it included in the budget donations
22 made by the Croatian diaspora, that meant that it was possible to balance
23 the budget, and that de facto we had a financial system at the time where
24 one of the belligerents receives colossal sums from funds coming from
25 various states, and, on the other hand, another belligerent receives
1 funds from the diaspora.
2 There you have it. That's all that's the context of events.
3 Very well, Mr. Karnavas.
4 MR. KARNAVAS: If we go on to 1D 03122, and it talks about, if we
5 look at the last sentence going on to the second page, it says:
6 "In the accounts and in the documents and in the bank accounts of
7 the Third World Relief Agency, Austrian investigators have tracked $350
8 million they say flowed from Muslim governments and radical Islam
9 movements to Bosnia."
10 It goes on to the second paragraph:
11 "The agency has operated several civilian projects in BiH since
13 And then it goes to list them.
14 Further down:
15 "A Western banker in Austria referred to Al-Hassanein, as the
16 'bag man' of Bosnian President Alija Izetbegovic."
17 Then if we go to another document, and this would be 1D 03115, I
18 could spend several hours on this, but we won't, for time's sake, again
19 there is a reference -- this is an article by John Pomfret, where he says
20 the Western banker referred to Hassanein as the bag man.
21 Then let's go to 1D 03114, and if I take you to page -- I believe
22 it's page 7, going on to 8, this is under "Weapons instead of
23 humanitarian aid," on page 8 at the very top, it says:
24 "Intelligence data also indicates that over $2.5 billion US
25 reached the TWRA from Islamic countries and that on July 10, 1992, then
1 Bosnian foreign minister Haris Silajdzic signed a paper authorising
2 Al Hassanein and the TWRA to collect donations for refugees in
4 And I won't go on, I'll stop at that point, except with one last
5 document, 1D 03125, and this is in regards to Silajdzic, who's suspected
6 of smuggling international arms.
7 Q. But let me ask you this question: Were you aware, was the
8 Croatian community of Herceg-Bosna being told of the large amounts of
9 money that the Sarajevo government was collecting, and was any of that
10 ever offered to finance what the state government was supposed to finance
11 at the regional or local level?
12 A. No amounts from these funds were ever channeled into HZ-HB.
13 There was just a quantity of goods, the oil and heating oil that I was
14 talking about that came in in the Ploce port, and it was used to keep the
15 salvation route open.
16 Q. If we go to 1D 03132, this is a text by an expert --
17 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
18 MR. KARNAVAS:
19 Q. 1D 03132, this is a text by a gentleman who actually was hired by
20 the OTP as an expert. And if I could direct your attention to page 46,
21 it says here:
22 "Osama bin Laden himself is suspected to have donated large sums
23 of money to the TWRA to finance the purchase of weapons and aid Muslim
24 radicals within the Bosnian government."
25 It then goes on to say:
1 "The TWRA was also involved in the procurement and transportation
2 of weapons primarily from Sudan and the former Soviet Union directly to
3 the Bosnian --"
4 THE INTERPRETER: The counsel is kindly asked to slow down when
6 MR. KARNAVAS: Sorry.
7 Q. Further down in that paragraph, it says:
8 "It was in September that Croatia suddenly decided to halt the
9 helicopter flight through its territory. After a year-long
10 investigation, Slovenian authorities finally raided the dormant
11 warehouse, discovering 10.000 assault rifles, 750.000 rounds of
12 ammunition, and various rockets and explosives valued at about a total of
13 10 million US.
14 "In 1993, German police uncovered another arms smuggling
15 operation worth 15 million, financed by the TWRA. As part of that
16 operation, Malaysian and Turkish soldiers participated in the UN
17 peacekeeping missions in Bosnia particularly sympathetic to the desperate
18 plight of their local co-religionists, were instrumental in bringing the
19 weapons into the country from Croatia."
20 And then on the next page, it says:
21 "Paradoxically, much of this 'blood money' was not even coming
22 from Osama bin Laden, but rather supposed United States allies in the
23 Muslim world. In fact, quite embarrassingly, the government of Saudi
24 Arabia was the single largest donor to TWRA."
25 Were you aware of this, as you were the finance -- the head of
1 the Finance Department, that these sorts of monies were coming in and
2 that the Sarajevo government had access to this sort of resources in
3 financing its military?
4 A. At the time, I was not aware of that. We didn't have information
5 to that effect.
6 Q. Let me go on to -- what about afterwards, because, you know, I
7 don't want to be testifying, but it's a pretty widely-known secret, what
8 has been going on in Bosnia for several years, so could you tell us a
9 little bit?
10 MR. SCOTT: Excuse me, Your Honour. The relevant time period, to
11 the extent it affects this case, would be back to the time of the
12 mid-1990s and when this was happening, and -- excuse me, excuse me. You
13 don't have to -- well, I object to this running commentary and colour
14 comments on the other side. The point of it is that the witness has been
15 saying, and I've been supporting Mr. Tomic on this, Mr. Tomic says, "I
16 didn't know this at the time," and that's the end of the inquiry.
17 MR. KARNAVAS: I'll move on.
18 MR. SCOTT: I mean, showing him a bunch of newspaper articles --
19 MR. KARNAVAS: I'll move on, I'll move on. Please.
20 Q. Okay. Now we're going to go to the Washington Agreement. I just
21 want to go back a little bit to that. And again sticking with the same
22 author, if we could look at 1D 03133, this is again the OTP expert
23 witness, in his book. And he starts by --
24 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] This expert witness of the
25 Prosecutor, he's a witness of the Prosecutor?
1 MR. KARNAVAS: A witness of the Prosecutor hired for the Delic
2 case. And you may recall somewhere in the transcript about three years
3 ago, I made a request for his report, but it hadn't been completed at the
5 Q. It says here now on page 125, it says:
6 "The reunification of the Bosnian, Croat and Muslim factions,
7 though detestable to the foreign Mujahedin, had helped turn the course of
8 the war. For the first time since 1992, the Bosnians were finally making
9 real progress in grueling combat with Serb military forces."
10 Further down, it says:
11 "In the beginning of February, public pressure from Croatian
12 civilians against the Mujahedin presence in Podbrezje resulted in a
13 conciliatory visit by Ejup Ganic, the Muslim vice-president of
14 Bosnia-Herzegovina. United Nations military intelligence sources
15 indicate that Ganic had served as the 'envoy' between Izetbegovic's
16 regime in Sarajevo and the leadership of the Katibat Al Mujahedin. Ganic
17 publically supported the complaints of the Croats. He responded
18 sympathetically. 'We meet Muslim fanatics who want to fight. We tell
19 them you are the kiss of death, we don't need them, there are plenty of
20 us, we need arms.'"
21 And then it goes on:
22 "A Spahija Kozlic, a Bosnian army spokesperson, spokesman for
23 Zenica-based 3rd Corps, attempted to justify the defining silence of the
24 Bosnian --"
25 JUDGE TRECHSEL: "Deafening," not "defining."
1 MR. KARNAVAS: I'm pretty tired, thank you.
2 " ... the deafening silence of the Bosnian government on the
3 issue of the troublesome foreign fighters --"
4 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreters kindly ask the counsel to slow
5 down, and they would also like to have the relevant page on the screen.
6 MR. KARNAVAS: The relevant page is 126. So that would be the
7 following page, the second page in this document. And I'm reading from
8 page 126, and this is what the gentleman says:
9 "These people came here to help us. They are doing their job in
10 a normal way. We do not know if they will move. Mr. Ganic heard the
11 Croatian side of the story. But we have no problems with the Mujahedin."
13 "Jadranko Prlic, the Defence Minister of the Muslim-Croatian
14 federation, was much less cavalier about the situation. 'We can no
15 longer accept these Mujahedin terrorizing the Croatian neighbourhood,' he
16 insisted. 'Progress on the federation depends on a resolution of this
17 problem.' On 11 March, a collection of local political groups, including
18 the Croatian Democratic Union of Zenica, the Croatian Peasants' Party of
19 Zenica, the Doboj Canton, the Croat Civic Party of Bosnia-Herzegovina,
20 the Zenica branch of the Croat Cultural Society Napredak, and the Zenica
21 branch of the Croatian Culture Club, issued a joint media statement
22 emphasizing that 'promises given to top military and state officials
23 finally be fulfilled regarding removal of the Al-Majahid unit from
24 Podbrezje in Zenica.'"
25 Let me ask you this question now based on this. Was the presence
1 of the Mujahedin an obstacle, as it seems to appear in this gentleman's
2 book; that is, an obstacle with the implementation of the federation
3 agreement, you know, the Washington Agreement?
4 A. Well, it particularly affected the return of the people to
5 Central Bosnia.
6 Q. All right. Now, yesterday or today - I can't recall when it
7 was - you indicated that there was some sort of meeting between Mr. Zubak
8 and Mr. Ganic concerning the implementation of the Washington Agreement
9 for the federation, and so I would like to turn your attention to
10 1D 03134.
11 And while you're looking for it, let me just say to everyone in
12 and around the court, I only have the Croatian version. I will ask the
13 gentleman to read the title and just a portion, and we will have it
14 translated, but this is the best -- this came up during the break, Your
15 Honours, and this is why I'm caught flat-footed, as it were.
16 Do you have it, sir? Could you please read allowed, and I'm
17 going to ask you to read slowly, the title, where it starts with "211
18 Daytonski ..."
19 A. "The Dayton agreement: The agreement on the implementation of
20 the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina (Dayton, the 10th of November,
22 Q. Now, if you could skip the first two paragraphs and start with
23 the third paragraph.
24 A. "The responsibilities and the organisation of the government of
25 the federation and the government of the Republic of Bosnia and
1 Herzegovina have to be kept separate. While they cooperate with each
2 other for the benefit of the population, neither of the two governments
3 must interfere with the exclusive jurisdiction of the other government,
4 in no way diminishing the continued sovereignty and territorial integrity
5 of Bosnia and Herzegovina, the government of the Republic must now
6 transfer its functions to the government of the federation in accordance
7 with the Constitution of the federation. The government of the republic
8 must retain only those functions that make it possible for it to function
9 as a government of an internationally-recognised state, Bosnia and
10 Herzegovina, in accordance with the Constitution of Bosnia and
11 Herzegovina as it was formulated at proximity talks in Dayton. All other
12 functions shall be transferred to the government of the Federation. At
13 the same time --"
14 Q. That's fine for right now, and we'll have it translated. But
15 based on what you read, is this consistent with what you were trying to
16 explain to us yesterday and perhaps even today as far as the
17 implementation of the Washington Agreement and the obstacles that seemed
18 to be in the way, because this is dated November 1995 and we know that
19 the Washington Agreement was signed sometime I believe it was in March
21 A. Well, this agreement, the agreement that I mentioned, was a
22 specific -- a concrete step towards the implementation of the Washington
23 Agreement, and work started on setting up the institutions of the
24 Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina in accordance with the Washington
1 Q. All right. Now, there were some questions yesterday with respect
2 to Mr. Prlic's visit to Banja Luka, and we saw some articles. So, first
3 of all, I take it you were familiar with Mr. Prlic's travels to Banja
4 Luka at or around the times that were shown to you yesterday through
5 those articles.
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. And I take it, because they seem to be very public, that these
8 were not secret meetings.
9 A. No.
10 Q. Now, is there -- historically speaking, is there a Croat
11 population that resides or has resided in Banja Luka?
12 A. Before the war, there was a large Croat community in Banja Luka.
13 Q. In fact, as I understand it, there's also a bishop there, is
14 there not?
15 A. The bishop remained there throughout the war. He stayed in Banja
17 Q. Right. Now, what about the Croats there; did they encounter any
18 difficulties during the war period?
19 A. Well, many of them left the Banja Luka area because they lost
20 their jobs, they were mobilised, and the number of Croats remaining there
21 is very, very small. According to the information provided by Bishop
22 Komarica, it's less than 5.000 Croats remaining in the area.
23 Q. I want to talk about that period. You said they were mobilised.
24 Who mobilised them, to which army or faction?
25 A. The Army of Republika Srpska.
1 Q. All right. And what was the purpose for Dr. Jadranko Prlic to go
2 there with respect to the Croats that were there being mobilised into the
3 Army of the Republika Srpska, which we all know was one of the
5 A. Well, it was an attempt to assist those people, the Croats living
6 in the Banja Luka area, because the bishop was their only line of
7 communication, the only one that they had left. And because of the large
8 debt incurred by the Croats in the course of their medical treatment,
9 they were no longer admitted into hospitals. There was a range of issues
10 that required assistance and intervention in order to put a stop to the
11 drafting -- to the mobilisation of those people and to ensure that they
12 received minimum levels of medical treatment. To assist them, in other
14 Q. Well, were efforts made to have them evacuated, leave completely,
15 including the bishop, so that perhaps they could be repopulated someplace
16 else? Was that one of the purposes of the visits?
17 A. No, quite the contrary. The intention was to assist the people,
18 to have them stay there, not to leave their property behind and the lives
19 that they had there.
20 MR. KARNAVAS: Sir, I want to thank you for coming here and
21 giving your evidence.
22 I shortened up my redirect to assist the gentleman, and I think
23 that I tried to provide maximum assistance to the Trial Chamber, albeit
24 in a limited fashion. Thank you, Your Honours.
25 Thank you, sir, and safe travels.
1 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Karnavas, a technical
2 question. The document that you asked the witness to read, 1D 03134, is
3 not on the list, 65 ter, but you're asking it to be added, I assume.
4 MR. KARNAVAS: That's correct, Your Honour. Thank you for that,
5 for clarifying that. In fact, I'm told that I need to ask 1D 03126,
6 3122, 3115, 3114, 3125, 3126, 3133, 3134. My apologies. This was the
7 last-minute attempt to sort of condense our direct, which is why we took
8 this approach, and again we appreciate everyone's understanding.
9 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very good.
10 Mr. Tomic, on behalf of my colleagues, I'd like to thank you for
11 coming to The Hague on two occasions. It was lengthy, but your hearing
12 is now over, and I wish you a safe trip home, and that as of tomorrow you
13 have a family duty to accomplish. I will therefore ask the usher to
14 escort you.
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] That's correct.
16 [The witness withdrew]
17 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] So for next week,
18 Mr. Karnavas, we have an expert. There's no problem, the expert will be
20 MR. KARNAVAS: No problem, Your Honours, and I'm going to
21 endeavour to keep the direct examination to two hours, two to two and a
22 half, because I believe -- the report is rather comprehensive, it speaks
23 for itself, but as of now there are absolutely no problems.
24 JUDGE TRECHSEL: I would just personally express my appreciation
25 for the fact that Mr. Karnavas has shortened his redirect and has
1 managed, I think, in a satisfactory way. Thank you, Mr. Karnavas.
2 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. I would associate
3 myself with those compliments to Mr. Karnavas. It is always possible to
4 do well by focusing the question on the essential, and that allows time
5 to be saved for all and in the interests of justice.
6 It's almost 7.00 p.m.
7 and we, the accused, the counsel and the Prosecutor, we will meet next
8 Monday at 2.15.
9 Thank you.
--- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 6.59 p.m.
11 to be reconvened on Monday, the 24th day of
12 November, 2008, at 2.15 p.m.