1 Monday, 9 February 2009
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 2.17 p.m.
5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Registrar, could you please
6 call the case.
7 THE REGISTRAR: Good afternoon, Your Honours. Good afternoon to
8 everyone in and around the courtroom.
9 This is case number IT-04-74-T, the Prosecutor versus Prlic
10 et al.
11 Thank you, Your Honours.
12 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. Registrar.
13 I wish good afternoon to everybody here, to all the accused, to
14 the Defence counsel. Good afternoon to all the representatives of the
15 Office of the Prosecutor, and good afternoon to everybody else assisting
17 I believe the Prosecution would like the floor.
18 Mr. Scott.
19 MR. SCOTT: Good afternoon, Mr. President, each of Your Honours,
20 to counsel, to all those assisting us in and about the courtroom.
21 Your Honours, I've asked to have a few moments to address the
22 decisions that the Chamber issued on Thursday last week so that there can
23 be, hopefully, no misunderstanding about that and the Prosecution can
24 address the Chamber's concerns.
25 As the Chamber may recall, this is the first time we had been in
1 session since those issues -- excuse me, those decisions or rulings were
2 issued on Thursday, the 5th of February, 2009. Unfortunately,
3 Your Honours, I have not yet seen an English translation of those
4 documents, so I have not been able to read the documents myself. Given
5 the issues of language and translation that arise from time to time, even
6 in the courtroom, I hope the Trial Chamber will hopefully understand and
7 appreciate that there is often nuance and meaning in language that may be
8 separate from or in addition to the words on the page. Therefore, while
9 I've not been able to read the documents myself, with my apologies for
10 not reading the French language, my understanding is that there is some
11 indication in the Chamber's rulings that at least -- or at least
12 implicitly that comments or statements had been expected from the
13 Prosecution after my departure from the courtroom a few minutes before
14 7.00 p.m.
15 Again, as just mentioned, I think this highlights, if I may
16 submit, Your Honours, the complexities and sometimes difficulties of
17 clear communication in an environment which involves not only different
18 languages, but people coming from different cultures and different legal
20 So with that background in mind, let me begin my comments by
21 responding to the apparent concern that the Prosecution has not
22 previously said anything about the situation occurring on the evening of
23 the 27th of January.
24 At the beginning of the very next court session at 2.15 the
25 following day on Wednesday, 28 January, the President, Judge Antonetti,
1 summarised and commented on the events at the end of the previous session
2 the evening before. My reaction to and interpretation of
3 Judge Antonetti's comments was that it acknowledged that the previous
4 evening's session had involved what I might call some rough edges on
5 perhaps everyone's part, including my own. It was taken as a sort of a
6 bad day, if you will, if I can use the vernacular, or at least that part
7 of it, and the signal was for me that next day, at the beginning of the
8 next session, was to complete the submissions that I had not been able to
9 complete the previous evening and essentially for everyone to move on
10 from there, without belabouring the matter further.
11 I can tell the Chamber, that was at least my reaction on
12 receiving the President's comments the next day, that it was an
13 unfortunate situation on all sides, including my own, in which the
14 Prosecution had been cut off, but everyone was moving on, and it was my
15 understanding, perhaps wishful thinking, that the chapter was closed. So
16 nothing more was said in that regard about that, and with the greatest of
17 respect, I thought in doing so or not saying more about it, that I was
18 acting in keeping with what I thought had been the President's
19 observations. If I misread those comments or the Chamber's intention,
20 then it was my honest mistake in thinking that the cue given, if you
21 will, had been to move on.
22 That explains -- that's my comment to Your Honours to explain why
23 I had not raised the matter previously.
24 Now, to move to the statement on the merits, if you will, the
25 statement that perhaps some might have desired that I made previously but
1 didn't, I start by quoting the Appeals Chamber in the Aleksovski case,
2 which this Chamber has heard before:
3 "The application of the concept of a fair trial in favor of both
4 parties is understandable because the Prosecution acts on behalf of and
5 in the interests of the International Community, including the interest
6 of the victims of the offences charged [in cases before the Tribunal, the
7 Prosecutor acts on behalf of the International Community]. This
8 principle of equality does not affect the fundamental protections given
9 by the general law or Statute to the accused, and the trial proceeds
10 against the background of these fundamental protections. Seen in this
11 way, it is difficult to see how a trial could ever be considered to be
12 fair where the accused is favoured at the expense of the Prosecution,
13 beyond a strict compliance with those fundamental protections."
14 The Chamber will be well aware, I am sure, that the Prosecution
15 from time to time, since the trial started in April 2006, has stated its
16 concerns about some aspects of the trial and the methodology, and
17 courtroom practice, and about the fairness towards the Prosecution and to
18 the victims and the International Community which we represent.
19 With the greatest respect, but to explain again what happened on
20 the 27th, I must be direct but at the same time respectful. There have
21 been times when the Prosecution has felt that it is sometimes viewed in
22 the courtroom as an after-thought or second-class participant in these
23 proceedings. As a broad illustration of the Prosecution's concerns, and
24 I just say this -- I indicate this as a broad measure or indication of
25 our concerns, one only need look at the Registry's most recent official
1 time statistics distributed on the 30th of January, 2009. Since the
2 beginning of the Defence cases in May 2008, the Defence have consumed
3 approximately 38 percent of the time; the Prosecution, 26 percent;
4 procedural matters, 20 percent; and the Judges' questions, 16 percent.
5 Even throughout that time, you can see that the Judges' questions have
6 only been a little less than the time taken by the Prosecution for
7 questioning the Defence witnesses.
8 More specifically, in the month of January 2009, the statistics
9 were these: Defence, 34 percent; Judges' questions, 23 percent;
10 procedure, 23 percent; Prosecution, 20 percent, the Prosecution taking up
11 last place in the amount of time used in the courtroom. Again,
12 Your Honours, I'm only looking at this as one broad illustration of the
13 Prosecution's concerns. In January alone, the Defence had more than
14 40 percent more time -- more than 40 percent more time than the
15 Prosecution. And in this regard I note Judge Prandler's comments on the
16 30th of January, 2009, concerning these same statistics. Judge Prandler
18 "Time used since commencement of the Defence case, as well as the
19 monthly time monitoring for January 2009, let me ask all the recipients
20 concerned, i.e., my fellow Judges, the parties, and the members of the
21 team, to study carefully the clearly alarming number of hours used for
22 certain purposes, especially in January."
23 Thus, Your Honours, Mr. President, each of Your Honours, what
24 happened on Tuesday, the 27th of January, was in the context of the
25 Prosecution's continuing concerns about the fairness of these proceedings
1 to the victims, to the International Community, and to the Prosecution.
2 Part of the issues that candidly, and with respect, frustrate the
3 Prosecution is the Prosecution's fair and reasonable ability to make its
4 submissions in the courtroom. And with respect, we often feel that we
5 are effectively cut out of the proceedings or given insufficient regard
6 in that respect.
7 I'm just telling you the Prosecution's assessment and its
8 feelings, if you will, leading to some of the frustrations that we've had
9 and our concerns that are not new but have gone on for some time.
10 Now, let me turn, with that background in mind, Mr. President, to
11 the specific event on the 27th of January, 2009.
12 In the context of what I've just you taken a few moments to say,
13 in connection with these very same concerns, the Prosecution felt on that
14 evening that it was yet once again being cut out of the proceedings.
15 After a Defence submission, which I did not interrupt, I had been given
16 the floor, only to have the floor taken away from me by Defence
17 interventions and, with great respect, the Chamber taking no steps to
18 limit the Defence interventions in a situation where the Stojic Defence
19 had been and was given considerable more time to address an issue, in
20 fact, almost three times as much as the Prosecution, and indeed, and my
21 argument in this respect is not with Mr. Khan but as a matter of
22 statistics, indeed Mr. Khan was on his feet for a second time, stating
23 his arguments again, when the Prosecution had not yet had even its first
24 submission. I stated at the time, transcript at 36095:
25 "Your Honours, it's unseemly for counsel to object to an argument
1 that they have put in motion. They've raised the issue. I'm responding
2 to it, and I did not interrupt Mr. Khan as much as I might have wanted
3 to, and I would appreciate the same courtesy."
4 Despite this statement and request, the Defence submissions
5 continued on, with no intervention by the Chamber. In those
6 circumstances and with the background of our longer-term and continuing
7 concerns, it appeared to the Prosecution, frankly, that it had no role to
8 play in these proceedings when, with respect, at that moment the Chamber
9 was acting as if the Prosecution was not present and had no role to play
10 in these proceedings. In that specific circumstance, I did leave the
11 courtroom a few minutes before 7.00 p.m. on Tuesday, the 27th of January.
12 I do say it was a moment of extreme frustration, cumulative
13 frustration on my part with these issues.
14 Now, I want to, before I close, and I am closing, Your Honours,
15 and I do thank the Chamber for allowing me this time, I do want to
16 recognise that the President, Judge Antonetti, addressed this same
17 concern just last Thursday afternoon in our last session on 5th of
18 February, when a similar pattern, if you will, was developing, and the
19 President stated, in response to the point that I made, and I'm quoting
20 Judge Antonetti now:
21 "Indeed, you are right. When you have the floor and you are
22 interrupted by somebody, this is not pleasant, and I do understand that a
23 moment ago when you were on your feet, the Defence counsel raised
24 objections, not knowing what you were about to say. I do subscribe to
25 your point of view in this regard."
1 So, Mr. President, I thank you for those observations, which
2 really dovetail and underline the concerns that I have stated this
3 afternoon on behalf of the Prosecution.
4 In sum, Your Honours, and I speak both for the Prosecution, also
5 for myself personally, I want to clearly indicate and reaffirm my utmost
6 respect for the Chamber and for each of its members. I certainly take on
7 board the Chamber's recent decision. While the Prosecution maintains its
8 various concerns, and will continue to state those concerns when it feels
9 it is appropriate to do so, I do regret departing the courtroom early,
10 and I certainly hope and I do commit to you that there will not be
11 another situation where the courtroom is left without Prosecution counsel
12 in the courtroom.
13 And thank you for receiving my comments. Thank you.
14 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. Thank you,
15 Mr. Scott.
16 Is there any other matter you'd like to raise?
17 Mr. Stringer.
18 MR. STRINGER: Good afternoon, Mr. President, Your Honours. And
19 I will be very brief, just for the record noting that again today the
20 accused Mr. Coric is not present in the courtroom. I had a brief few
21 words with his counsel before the beginning of today's proceedings, and
22 counsel informed me that indeed Mr. Coric would not be attending the
23 proceedings today. And in view of that, and in view of the statement of
24 Mr. Coric that was read into the record by his counsel last week,
25 Mr. President, we believe that it's necessary for the Trial Chamber to
1 make, if you will, a more detailed or a clear finding in respect of the
2 status of Mr. Coric at this time.
3 It's the Prosecution's view, based upon the statement that he
4 made that was read into the record last week, in which he said that he
5 was making -- this was a personal protest against the way in which the
6 trial is being conducted, and that he was declining, at least for the
7 time being, medication, that he was going to stay away from the trial,
8 it's the Prosecution's submission, Mr. President, based upon
9 jurisprudence of this Tribunal, as well as the ICTR, and I'm speaking
10 specifically with respect to the Appeals Chamber decision here in the
11 Stanisic case, the Appeals Chamber decision in the Nahimana case, the
12 Trial Chamber decision in the Bagaragaza case out of ICTR, in which those
13 Chambers held in that an accused's knowing, conscious decision not to
14 come to a trial that he knew was taking place, where he'd been informed
15 of the date and the place and the time of the trial, that in those
16 circumstances such conduct is -- does constitute a waiver of the
17 accused's right to be present at the trial. And it's our submission that
18 that's the same circumstance that applies in respect of Mr. Coric.
19 We hope that it is not going to be an issue that lasts longer
20 than a day or two, but in any event we think that based upon the record,
21 the Trial Chamber has grounds and ought to make an explicit finding that
22 even though Mr. Coric has apparently declined to sign the form out at the
23 Detention Unit on waiver of appearance, we think that the circumstances
24 fully justify a finding that this is, in fact, a knowing, voluntary
25 waiver of his right to appearance.
1 Thank you, Mr. President.
2 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] As you may imagine, the
3 Trial Chamber pondered over the issue at the end of the week and over the
4 weekend, and even this morning. We have reflected over the situation,
5 the various aspects of it.
6 Last week, we decided that we were going to continue the
7 testimony of the witness. We felt that the accused was represented by
8 his Defence counsel and that on the basis of jurisprudence, the
9 proceedings could go forward. The main issue for the Chamber at the
10 moment is the health status of Mr. Coric. At this very moment, a
11 decision is being filed.
12 Mr. Stringer, the Chamber, more than anybody else, is very
13 sensitive to the situation flowing from the absence of Mr. Coric, and the
14 Chamber will take the necessary measures so that Mr. Coric is back with
15 us as soon as possible. A decision is being filed as we speak. You will
16 read it. It is a confidential document. There is no need to discuss it
17 here. We are doing our utmost so that the person concerned can be back
18 with us in the courtroom, and he will be back.
19 JUDGE TRECHSEL: This being said, Mr. Stringer - and welcome
20 everyone here - I can safely and firmly relate the attitude of the
21 Chamber that is expressed in the decision that it passed, perhaps not in
22 a very elaborate form last week, and that is that the law is exactly as
23 you have now stated it. The Chamber also has no reasons at this moment
24 to doubt the free will of Mr. Coric in waiving his right to be present at
25 the trial against him, and therefore the trial must continue even in his
1 absence, and he is not legally aggrieved by that and has no reason to
2 complain under law.
3 Thank you.
4 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Let's have the witness brought
6 I think the Prosecution has two hours and thirty minutes left.
7 Mr. Scott, I believe you have two hours and thirty minutes left,
8 unless I'm mistaken.
9 MR. SCOTT: I thought, Your Honour, I thought it was a bit more
10 than that.
11 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
12 MR. SCOTT: Apologies. I thought that at the end of the day, the
13 Stojic Defence had used something around two and a half hours, we had
14 used -- so meaning that we would get a -- sorry, five and a half hours.
15 My apologies. That we would get the same amount of time, and that so far
16 my understanding is that as of Thursday, we'd only used one hour and
17 forty-five minutes. So I would have thought the number would have been
18 substantially more than that, but we can certainly check that.
19 [The witness takes the stand]
20 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. We'll make our own
22 Good afternoon, sir. Can you hear me?
23 Our apologies for keeping you waiting, but we had a few
24 procedural issues to solve.
25 WITNESS: SLOBODAN BOZIC [Resumed]
1 [The witness answered through interpreter]
2 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Scott, please proceed.
3 Cross-examination by Mr. Scott: [Continued]
4 Q. Good afternoon, Mr. Bozic, and I trust you had a reasonably
5 satisfactory weekend in The Hague
6 A. Good afternoon to everyone. That I had a good weekend was due to
7 the courtesy of the Victims and Witness Unit, because to be in The Hague
8 for 18 days is not easy, but it's much easier for me than all the rest of
9 you sitting here in the courtroom, I'm sure.
10 Q. Thank you, Mr. Bozic, and we do lift our hats to the continuing
11 good efforts of the Victims and Witnesses Section and the good work that
12 they do.
13 Sir, the first topic that I would like to touch on this afternoon
14 is the meetings of the HVO HZ-HB that you've indicated in your previous
15 testimony that you did attend on a number of occasions.
16 Just to confirm again a couple of basic facts, is it correct,
17 sir, that at various times the HVO HZ-HB met at the Hotel Arrow and also
18 at something called the Meteorological Institute?
19 A. I don't understand the question. What does "Euro" mean?
20 Q. Hotel Arrow. Sorry.
21 A. Yes, you're right.
22 Q. At both of those two locations, correct, Hotel Arrow and the
23 Meteorological Institute?
24 A. Yes, you're right.
25 Q. Now, at least as to the meetings that you personally attended,
1 can you tell -- can you confirm to the Chamber, based on my
2 understanding, that Mr. Boban did not attend any of the meetings, again
3 at least not the ones which you attended?
4 A. I can't confirm that he didn't attend any of the meetings which I
5 attended. He might have been present at some of those meetings, the ones
6 that I attended.
7 Q. Well, sir, without taking too much time, would you agree with me
8 if I told you that when we'd spoken in 2003, you'd indicated that
9 Mr. Boban did not attend any of those meetings? Would that refresh your
11 A. Well, I've already told you. I said when I began talking to you
12 that I was there as a suspect and had my rights and duties, and that I
13 am -- I was a witness of justice in this courtroom, having taken the
14 solemn declaration, and what I'm saying is -- I'm saying it as somebody
15 who's taken the oath before the Honourable Trial Chamber, so I'd wish to
16 stand by what I've already said in this courtroom, and especially because
17 you're reminding me of certain details which I find very difficult to
18 talk about, since they took part more than -- took place more than five
19 and a half years ago.
20 Q. Sir, you would agree, would you not, that the work of the Defence
21 Department, the HVO Department of Defence, was under the supervision of
22 the HVO government, that is, the HVO HZ-HB; correct?
23 A. I don't understand the question. What do you mean when you say
24 that, "under the supervision of"?
25 Q. [Previous translation continues]... Defence Department was under
1 the umbrella, if you will, and under the supervision of the HVO
2 government; correct?
3 A. Throughout the time in this courtroom and thanks to the Trial
4 Chamber, I wish to testify as somebody who was in certain places during a
5 certain period of time, but at the same time, the knowledge I have as a
6 lawyer, which I had then and which I have today, I do not wish to correct
7 in any way, and I wish to express myself in precise terms, as befits a
9 The HVO HZ-HB was the temporary executive organ in --
10 Q. Sorry, that's not my question. Excuse me for cutting you off.
11 You know, Mr. Bozic, that unfortunately our time is very limited, and
12 I can tell you I'd be more than happy to discuss any of these matters at
13 greater length if our time was not so limited. But my specific question
14 to you, and you don't need to explain to me -- with respect, please, and
15 understand that I'm not trying to be discourteous, but without discussing
16 a broad range of topics, my question to you, sir, was very simple.
17 The Defence Department was part of the HVO government, was it
18 not? It was -- when we say "Defence Department," it was a department of
19 the HVO government; correct?
20 A. You have actually corrected your own question after my remark. I
21 said that I wanted to express myself as regulated by the rules. I
22 appreciate the factor of time, but unfortunately because of that factor,
23 I am in the courtroom for the fifth day and many hours, so I am telling
24 the truth because I have taken the solemn declaration that I will speak
25 the truth, and I may facilitate your questions if I elaborate a little.
1 You have now changed your question in relation to your previous
2 question. The Defence Department, like all departments, were bodies of
3 the HVO HZ-HB, as the highest level of executive powers in the
4 Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna. So please make your questions
5 precise so as not to make me elaborate, have to elaborate. I wish to
6 give you the whole truth, not just a part of the truth.
7 Q. And would you likewise agree, sir, that the Main Staff of the HVO
8 was established -- I think you touched on this with one of the Defence
9 counsel last week, but just to clarify and confirm, the Main Staff of the
10 HVO was established within -- within and as part of the Department of
11 Defence; correct?
12 A. The Main Staff of the HVO, pursuant to the decision on the
13 organisation of the Defence Department, was a part of the
14 Defence Department and was within that department, with a specific
15 position of its own.
16 Q. Now, sir, moving forward, then: You had indicated last week, I
17 believe it was last Tuesday, in fact, you were asked the question, "Have
18 you seen any document signed by Mr. Stojic which, by its content, would
19 represent the commanding of armed forces or the use of armed forces?"
20 And your answer was, sir: "I've never seen a single one." Do you recall
22 A. I can't remember. I'd like to you show me that document that
23 you're asking me to comment on. You must bear in mind that I can't go
24 back to all the questions and answers a week ago, so if you really wish
25 me to present the truth about things I know, please make it possible for
1 me to at least look at the document, because a large number of those
2 documents were shown to me last week.
3 Q. I wasn't showing you a document, sir. I was referring to your
4 testimony under oath last week, when you were put the question:
5 "Have you seen any document signed by Mr. Stojic which, by its
6 content, would represent the commanding of armed forces or the use of
7 armed forces?"
8 It had nothing to do with any particular document put in front of
9 you. Your answer under oath was:
10 "I've never seen a single one," meaning, if I understand it
11 correctly, sir, you've never seen a single document about Mr. Stojic
12 commanding armed forces or the use of armed forces.
13 That was your testimony; correct?
14 A. Yes. That applied to the part when the Supreme Commander of the
15 Armed Forces of the Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna, Mr. Mate Boban,
16 has the possibility of transferring certain competencies, and I said that
17 I never saw a document whereby Mr. Boban had transferred any of his
18 competences of commanding the armed forces of the Croatian Community of
20 Q. Now, sir, that's a similar question, but not exactly the same
21 question. You were indeed asked that, and you did give an answer
22 something like that, but there was a separate question, not about the
23 delegation of Mr. Boban's power, but you were specifically asked about
24 Mr. Stojic's military involvement. And I'll have to let the record speak
25 for itself at this point, rather than arguing about what your testimony
1 was last week. The Judges, of course, will know.
2 Let me ask you to turn your attention to P 01155. It will be in
3 the first binder, I believe, P 01155.
4 A. Could you please assist me to find it?
5 MR. SCOTT: I would ask for the usher's assistance, please.
6 Binder 1.
7 Q. Do you have it, sir?
8 Usher, you may need -- if you could stay for a moment, because
9 I'd like to -- in the interests of time, I'd like to show the witness
10 three documents, related documents, which the Chamber and the courtroom
11 is, I'm sure, familiar with.
12 Sir, would you look at P 01155, which is a decision over the name
13 of Jadranko Prlic, dated the 15th of January, 1993. I'd like you to look
14 at that document just to see what it is, and I'd like to ask you to next
15 look at Exhibit P 01140, which also should be in binder number 1.
16 P 01140. Sir, this is a document dated the same day, titled "Order" on
17 the 15th of January, 1993, by Mr. Stojic. In the introduction to the
18 order above the word "Order" at the top of the first page, it makes
19 reference to -- well, it says:
20 "Pursuant to decision of the HVO HZ-HB number 01-I-32/93 of
21 15 January 1993
22 And I will next ask you to please turn to Exhibit P 01139. It
23 should be the immediate preceding exhibit, sir, P 01139.
24 A. Yes, I see it.
25 Q. This is an order also of 15 January 1993, making a reference to a
1 decision of the HZ-HB HVO and a reference to the order of the chief of
2 the Defence Department, also dated 15 January 1993, an order over the
3 name of Milivoj Petkovic.
4 Sir, isn't it correct that those three documents, taken together,
5 show the issuance and implementation of a government decision, if you
6 will, flowing from top to bottom?
7 A. I wouldn't describe it in that way, for the simple reason that
8 this is a rather specific situation, in view of the fact that in those
9 days, there were intensified political negotiations seeking a solution.
10 Q. I didn't ask whether it was exceptional, or specific, or
11 anything. My only question to you is what the document showed. Did that
12 show a document -- a decision by the president of the HVO government, an
13 order -- an implementing order by the chief of the Defence Department,
14 and an implementing order by the chief or the head of the HVO Main Staff,
15 all dated the 15th of January, 1993; yes or no?
16 A. Yes, but you asked me whether it was the customary method of
17 commanding from the government, through the department, to the
18 Main Staff, and I said that this was specific. But looking at all three
19 documents, it is correct that one follows from another; that is, it
20 begins with the decision of the HVO of the HZ-HB, then it goes on with an
21 order by the head of the Defence Department, ending with an order by the
22 chief of the Main Staff.
23 Q. Thank you, sir. And there was nothing in my previous question
24 about -- and the records will show, nothing about whether this was
25 customary or not. If there was a misstatement or translation, I
1 apologise for that.
2 And, sir, nothing particularly surprising about that, is there?
3 That's what you would expect a civilian government, exercising control
4 over the military, that that's the way the decision -- policy decision
5 would work, would it not?
6 A. I'm here, a witness under oath. I do not have to accept your
7 remarks. I present my own views. To what extent Their Honours will
8 accept them, it's up to them. I'm saying that this was a special,
9 specific situation, and bear that in mind -- bearing that in mind, that
10 produced the decisions as they were taken in this way.
11 Q. Well, let's go -- let's look at it, then, the other way around,
12 sir. Just bear with me one moment. Isn't it also correct, sir, that as
13 we established a few minutes ago, the HVO Main Staff was established
14 within the Department of Defence, the Department of Defence was itself a
15 creature of the HVO HZ-HB; was it not your experience that from time to
16 time policy decisions or policy disputes, possibly between the HVO and
17 the Main Staff, or some part of it, and the Department of Defence, or
18 some part of it, would rise to the level of the HVO government for
19 resolution? Instead of from the top down, this was coming from lower,
20 moving up. That's the way it worked, didn't it?
21 A. I don't understand the question. I don't know what you mean,
22 dealing with certain misunderstandings or disputes.
23 Q. Wasn't it the case, sir, that on a number of occasions - I'm not
24 going to give you a particular number - but that if there was a dispute
25 between the HVO Main Staff, for example, and the Department of Defence,
1 or perhaps a dispute within the Department of Defence, that the various
2 senior managers of that body perhaps did not agree, those disputes or
3 differences would be, if you will, submitted to the HVO government, the
4 higher body, for resolution; correct?
5 MR. KARNAVAS: I assume there are some facts to support this
6 hypothetical. And if so, perhaps he could point them out, because we've
7 been here for two and a half years, and I don't see -- I don't recall, at
8 least, one instance where this was the case.
9 MR. SCOTT: Well, Your Honours, we're repeating last week's
10 essential pattern of anticipating without knowing what the Prosecution's
11 next question or document is.
12 MR. KARNAVAS: I do think that when you pose questions, you can't
13 just make up facts and hypotheticals. They have to be based on
14 something. Otherwise, it's called a fishing expedition.
15 MR. SCOTT: Is there any indication, Your Honours, that I've made
16 it up?
17 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Karnavas, wait and see.
18 Just wait for Mr. Scott to put his question. We need to know what his
19 question is. Cutting him off immediately, when you don't even know where
20 he's going, is a waste of time, more than anything. I don't know where
21 he wants to go, I don't know what he wants to demonstrate. Let's wait
22 and see.
23 JUDGE TRECHSEL: If I may: On the other hand, Mr. Scott, I do
24 not recall having my attention drawn to a dispute between General Staff
25 and Department of Defence which then would have been submitted for
1 resolution to the higher level, and if there is such an example, it would
2 certainly be helpful if you could present it to the witness and to the
4 MR. SCOTT: Thank you, Judge Trechsel, and the Chamber might
5 expect that might be the exact next document that I would put before the
6 witness and before the Chamber, if allowed the opportunity to do so.
7 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Absolutely.
8 MR. SCOTT: But in any event -- but in any event, sir, but I'm
9 entitled to ask a general question of the deputy minister of defence, and
10 I'm putting to you, sir, and for the third or fourth time, I'm asking
11 this question:
12 Q. Wasn't it the case, sir, that on occasions there might be
13 disputes within the department or with the HVO Main Staff that would be
14 raised to the level of the HVO government for resolution? Now you can
15 answer that again as Mr. Karnavas says, yes, no, maybe, I don't know.
16 A. I'll answer your question, but before I do that, I appeal to
17 you -- I appeal to you, I ask you -- no, no, I'm asking you, because you
18 keep --
19 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Witness, answer the question,
20 please. The Prosecutor has a limited amount of time allocated to the
21 presentation of his case. He's putting his case. Whether it's a good
22 case or a bad case, we don't know yet. You might be surprised, but you
23 were a judge, you've been a prosecutor, so you can be quite surprised at
24 the way things proceed here, but here in this Tribunal we work along with
25 -- according to this procedure. You may think what you want of it, but
1 for right now the Prosecutor is controlling the game right now.
2 So, Mr. Scott, please pursue.
3 MR. SCOTT: Sir, I'm going to ask you to turn to P 04756, P 04756
4 in binder number 1.
5 Q. Sir, while you're looking at that further, because unfortunately
6 we're moving at an extremely slow pace, sir, this is the minutes of a
7 Department of Defence meeting on the 2nd of September, 1993, which
8 everyone in the courtroom, I believe, has seen probably several times.
9 And I would like to focus now very specifically on one part of it.
10 If you can find item number 4, there's headings in the document
11 named item 1, item 2, item 3, et cetera. Item 4 is on page 6 of the
12 English version, and it talks about the status of students in the
13 Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna and the mobilisation, if you will, of
14 those students.
15 After the subheadings A and B, there is this statement indicated
16 by General Matic from the Main Staff:
17 "I believe that all students should be engaged in military units.
18 If a country is at war, its secondary schools and universities cease to
20 Then it says:
21 "Bagaric, Lucic, and Bozic believes that regular students should
22 be left to pursue their studies. This, they claim, is in the Croats'
23 best interests (because of the shortage of qualified personnel). Head
24 Stojic believes that in this particular case, the opinion of the
25 Main Staff of the HVO should prevail. He says that his own proposal at
1 the next session of the government will be to engage all students in the
2 HVO military units (those who have not done their military service yet
3 should be sent to the regular military service)."
4 Now, the "Bozic" that's referenced in that passage, sir, that was
5 you, correct, Slobodan Bozic?
6 A. Yes, when Mr. Bagaric and Lucic is mentioned, and the third name
7 is Bozic, that is indeed me, you're right.
8 Q. Stojic says, Well, this will be raised the at the next session of
9 the HVO government," and I would like you then next to turn to P 05769.
10 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Scott, I did not want to
11 intervene, but Mr. Coric is absent. If he was in the courtroom, he might
12 have reacted.
13 In item number 3, there something that seems to be quite
14 important where you're playing a role, Witness. Mr. Coric is dealing
15 with military prisons. He says there are two military prisons, the
16 Heliodrom and Ljubuski, but he also adds that there are two other
17 prisons, Gabela and Dretelj, which he considers not to be military
18 prisons, and he does not personally want to be held responsible for
19 anything regarding Dretelj and Gabela. So during that -- at that
20 meeting, Mr. Coric took the floor and seems to be dotting the I's,
21 dotting the Ts [as interpreted] and so forth, and then Mr. Lucic also
22 takes the floor, saying quite the same thing as Mr. Coric, and you also
23 take the floor. And it seems -- and you seem to say that as far as those
24 cases are concerned, reports are required from the SIS, the military
25 police, and the health division. It seems that Mr. Coric, Mr. Lucic, and
1 your own words lead to the following conclusion: That there was a report
2 required on these two prisons.
3 Do you remember this?
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour Antonetti, I
5 remember -- I think I provided quite a precise answer to this question on
6 the first or second day of my testimony, in answer to a question by
7 Madam Nozica, when we spoke about this board meeting and this item that
8 now you have quoted from, and the conclusion or, rather, the decision
9 that reports regarding the conditions in those prisons were made by the
10 SIS and Mr. Lucic, and that they were, as such, directly forwarded to
11 Mr. Boban. I don't remember whether that was on the first or the second
12 day of my testimony, but I think that I have provided a precise answer to
13 that question, and I agree with your comments that you have just made
14 regarding this meeting.
15 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well.
16 MS. TOMASEGOVIC TOMIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I was on my
17 feet before Madam Nozica. I think there was probably a mistake when you
18 read the document, because in item 3, when you said that something was
19 said by Mr. Coric, it was said by the head of the department. The
20 sentence when he says that there were only two military prisons, that
21 part was a statement by the head and not by Mr. Coric. Also, another
22 part of the text that you read out was a quote from Mr. Lucic.
23 So I just wanted to draw your attention to this, that there was
24 probably a mistake in the quote, so it must be --
25 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] There might have been an error
1 in the English translation, in the English interpretation of the text I
2 read. What I see in the text is the following: Mr. Coric raises the
3 problem and Mr. Lucic answers. Then Mr. Bozic takes the floor.
4 In a nutshell, Witness, I would like to know whether this issue
5 of prisons divided was something that the members who were at the meeting
6 did not agree on.
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No. On the contrary, Your Honour
8 Judge Antonetti, I think that we all shared the same view and we wanted
9 things to be resolved, because there were -- there was information
10 indicating that the situation in Dretelj and Gabela, which, in fact, did
11 not belong to the Defence Department, we agreed that the Defence
12 Department had only two prisons, and that is Heliodrom and Ljubuski.
13 JUDGE TRECHSEL: I think we should let Mr. Scott continue,
14 because this was -- we have dealt with this last week.
15 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Well, before Judge Trechsel
16 took the floor, I wanted to say the following: If the sentence in quotes
17 is not said by Mr. Coric, then it must have been said by Mr. Stojic.
18 So you talked about the military prisons, about Gabela and
19 Dretelj; you're the one who uttered this sentence.
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] We were all in agreement, all of
21 those present at that meeting, that the prisons Heliodrom and Ljubuski
22 belonged to the Defence Department, and not Gabela and Dretelj.
23 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well.
24 MR. SCOTT:
25 Q. Well, this does take us off topic, but since we've gone this far,
1 let me try to clarify the record just a bit.
2 Sir, you said everybody at the meeting was in agreement, but in
3 fact -- in fact, just the opposite. Mr. Lucic was quite pointedly
4 rejecting the position stated by Mr. Stojic. Mr. Lucic, in that section,
5 says -- and let me back up for a moment. There is a reference to
6 Mr. Coric earlier in the page under item 3, but when it refers to the
7 head, about halfway down page 4, Your Honours, in the English:
8 "Following Coric's contribution, head Stojic made the following
10 And then we got down to the sentence where it says:
11 "Military prisons are another example of very bad work. The head
12 took the floor and said ..."
13 I put it to you, Mr. Bozic, that's Mr. Stojic talking, and
14 contrary to what you're telling this Chamber, that there was agreement,
15 Mr. Lucic comes in and says in so many words, "Not so fast, Mr. Stojic.
16 You can't simply brush off the problems of Gabela and Dretelj quite so
17 easily." Now, wasn't that the nature of the conversation?
18 MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I really do have to
19 intervene. Mr. Scott is angered by our interventions, but his
20 interpretations are really impermissible.
21 Let us read out what it says here. Let us read the document.
22 The document is in front of us, and it clearly says what Mr. Lucic says.
23 And I wish to remind you, as His Honour Judge Trechsel has recalled, I
24 did read out passages from this document, and we read out what Mr. Lucic
25 said, but it certainly isn't what my learned friend has just said. So
1 let's read out what Mr. Lucic said.
2 MR. SCOTT:
3 Q. Mr. Lucic says, sir, at the top of page 5 in the English version:
4 "I believe that we cannot just pass over the problem of the
5 Gabela and Dretelj prisons like that."
6 I think I read that correctly. That was the conversation at the
7 meeting in that regard, was it not, sir?
8 A. Mr. Scott, your previous interpretation, as well as this one,
9 gives me the impression that we're not reading the same text, because
10 your interpretation does not correspond to the contents.
11 Q. Excuse me, sir, but time is precious. I'm not interpreting
12 anything. I read directly. Everyone -- the Judges have seen, I quoted
13 the document verbatim. It has nothing to do with interpretation.
14 A. Permit me --
15 Q. Let's go back to the questions that I wanted to put to you, and
16 I'm sure if the Chamber wants to come back on this topic, I'm sure the
17 Chamber will do so, and I would not blame it if it did. But let me go
18 back to the topic for which I took you to this document.
19 Sir, if you will look again at item 4, we talked about that, and
20 now that some minutes has passed, I'm forced to go back and refresh the
21 courtroom's memory about the issue of the mobilisation of students, and
22 we talked about that. You identified yourself as one of the participants
23 in that conversation. I had next asked you to go to P 05769. You have
24 that, sir? P 05759 [sic], in the first binder.
25 You will recall, sir, that what Mr. Stojic said in the previous
1 document, that he would raise this issue at the next session of the
2 government, and this document, P 05769 ...
3 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Excuse me. We sometimes continue thinking, and
4 I'm also listening.
5 MR. SCOTT: I hope you do Your Honour. So do I; I try anyways.
6 Q. Sir, these are the minutes of the government meeting on the
7 9th of October, 1993. You'll see, in connection with the list of those
8 present, among others, Mr. Prlic, Mr. Zubak, Mr. Stojic and, I believe,
9 sir, Mr. S. Bozic. I take it, sir, that that's you, and this would be an
10 occasion at least where both you and Mr. Stojic attended a government
11 meeting. Correct?
12 A. Yes, but I would like to ask you one thing, Mr. Scott, to make it
13 easier for me --
14 Q. No.
15 THE WITNESS: Your Honours, may I ask you something?
16 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Mr. Bozic, the questions are asked by the
17 Prosecutor, and you have to answer. This is the rule.
18 Please, Mr. Scott, continue.
19 MR. SCOTT:
20 Q. You attended --
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour Judge Trechsel, I don't
22 mind answering any question, but I seem to feel that they want to trick
23 me here in the courtroom, because first of all they're showing me a
24 document from an HVO session, a collegium meeting, and then when I don't
25 state my views, I'm moved to another document. So if that's the style of
1 work, very well, I'll adapt to it. So that's why I reacted, not to avoid
2 answering the questions. I know that the Prosecutor has every right, but
3 I'm a little disconcerted -- I was disconcerted by the Prosecutor because
4 he talked about General Matic, and then he went on to ask a question
5 which he did not receive an answer to from me, and now he's moved me on
6 to a completely different topic. So that's my reaction, but I will
7 answer every question that Mr. Scott puts to me.
8 JUDGE TRECHSEL: You can trust the Chamber, Mr. Bozic, and all
9 the lawyers present that no tricks are played. There is a bunch of --
10 more than six high-quality lawyers. They're watching like eagles, and
11 they will jump -- you have seen how easily they pop up, as it is said.
12 So just answer the questions of Mr. Scott, and if there is a danger of
13 some problem, you can be sure that it will be brought up by the lawyers,
14 and the Chamber will also intervene.
15 Please, Mr. Scott.
16 MR. SCOTT: Thank you, Judge Trechsel.
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour Judge Trechsel, may I
18 be allowed to say one thing. I'm a witness here who has taken the solemn
19 declaration, and that is why I reacted; nothing more than that.
20 THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation] Might I be allowed to say
21 something, Your Honours?
22 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Praljak, while you're on
23 your feet, there is now a little problem between the Prosecution and the
24 witness. Your name is mentioned in the minutes of this meeting. Just
25 wait and see. We don't even know what the representative of the
1 Prosecution wants to ask the witness. He's asked him, "Were you there on
2 the 9th of October, 1993?" That's all we've heard. I don't know what he
3 wants to say to the witness.
4 Mr. Praljak, what did you want to say?
5 THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation] Your Honour, Judge Trechsel
6 said that somebody needs to stand up and say something if there is a
7 misunderstanding, and I say that there is a trick in the sentence read
8 out and ascribed to Mr. Lucic. May I be allowed to finish?
9 JUDGE TRECHSEL: [Previous translation continues]... talking
10 about the lawyers, and this is the task of the lawyers and not of the
11 accused. And you are not a lawyer, have you not even studied law, and I
12 ask you to sit down and behave properly. I'm sorry, but we have to have
13 some order here. And it is not a moment where you can take the floor,
14 Mr. Praljak. I'm very sorry.
15 Please, Mr. Scott.
16 THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation] I'm not talking about the
17 law. I'm talking about deception and trick. The lawyers failed to
18 notice that trick. That is to my detriment, so I have the right to say
19 where that deception is. You keep mentioning rights and the law. I can
20 say that you don't know about electricity or the waterworks, or whatever.
21 But let me say that there is indeed a great deception here presented by
22 the Prosecutor in the sentence about Gabela and Dretelj which was uttered
23 by Mr. Lucic. The easiest thing that the Judges can do is to ask the
24 sentence be read out.
25 Thank you.
1 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] My colleague from the Bench was
2 saying that there is no trick, when somebody asks a question to somebody.
3 We're all looking for the truth. We're not trying to trick anyone. The
4 Prosecutor has documents, and he develops his theory on the basis of
5 these documents, and moreover to trick a former prosecutor or former
6 judge is very difficult.
7 Mr. Scott.
8 MR. SCOTT: Thank you, Mr. President.
9 Q. Sir, we're now on P 05769, and I believe that the only thing
10 we've established so far -- the only question I put to you so far was
11 that if this was a meeting that you attended, a government meeting you
12 attended, and not only you, but apparently at least on this occasion,
13 Mr. Stojic was also present. I believe your answer some minutes ago was,
14 "Yes." Correct, yes or no?
15 A. Yes, this meeting was attended by Mr. Stojic and myself and the
16 other members of the senior staff.
17 Q. And on this particular occasion, in the minutes we can also see,
18 can we not, the attendance of Mr. Praljak and Mr. Petkovic?
19 A. Yes, you're right.
20 Q. Now, sir, if you will go to item 4 of this document, under
21 "Conclusions," item 4:
22 "The following is our position on the mobilisation of students.
23 All students are conscripts, regardless of the location of
25 Now, that was the resolution by the government of the very
1 dispute between -- that we saw in the previous document, P 04756,
2 involving Mr. Matic and the Main Staff, on the one hand, and Mr. Bagaric,
3 Mr. Lucic, and Mr. Bozic on the other hand. Mr. Stojic said it would be
4 presented to the next session of the government, and it's correct, is it
5 not, sir, that we now see here Mr. Stojic did submit it to the government
6 and the decision was made. The government sided with the position of the
7 Main Staff that all students were conscripts; correct?
8 A. Yes, this subject was discussed at a meeting of the HZ-HB, but I
9 must say that there was no conflict between the Main Staff and the
10 Defence Department at the meeting of the 2nd of September that you're
11 referring to. It was a discussion and a presentation of views by
12 General Matic, as a military man, and the rest of us, who were civilians,
13 and it wasn't a clash of interests. It was just a normal discussion and
15 Q. A normal discussion and debate where an issue was raised from the
16 Main Staff to the Department of Defence to the HVO government; correct?
17 A. Respecting the fact that students represented a separate category
18 was quite logical that the University of Mostar
19 had been dislocated or relocated, and that we held this discussion with
20 representatives of the Education Department and the other members of the
22 Q. Thank you very much.
23 Now, sir, you've also said that you did not see any documents
24 concerning Mr. Stojic's involvement in military matters. But, sir, is it
25 not the case that Mr. Stojic was regularly involved in military matters
1 and that you were directly aware of that?
2 A. I don't know what you mean in asking me that question. What are
3 you referring to exactly?
4 Q. Sir, you were asked this question last week. I'm going to read
5 it to you one more time. Page 36211 last week, I referred to it earlier:
6 "Have you seen any document signed by Mr. Stojic which, by its
7 content, would represent the commanding of armed forces or the use of
8 armed forces?
9 A. "I've never seen a single one."
10 And I note, sir, that when that question was put to you by
11 Defence counsel, you didn't have any problem understanding it, you didn't
12 ask for any definitions, you didn't show any confusion. You answered the
13 question directly [Realtime transcript read in error "You answered the
14 question correctly"]:
15 "I've never seen a single one."
16 Now, that's what you said last week; correct, sir?
17 A. Yes, I did say that last week, and I said the context in which I
18 said those words.
19 Q. Let's look at Exhibit P 01205.
20 A. Which binder? Binder 1 or 2?
21 Q. Binder 1, please. Just if I can correct the record when
22 Mr. Bozic is talking -- excuse me, looking at the document. On page 33,
23 line 10, it says the current -- the current transcript says you answered
24 the question correctly. I don't think that's what I said, or if I did, I
25 misspoke. But I think what -- you answered the question directly: "I've
1 never seen a single one."
2 Sir, if you have P 01205, this is a document by R. Pasalic from
3 the Army of Bosnia Herzegovina in indicating the signing of a cease-fire
4 agreement, indicating that Mr. Stojic would be signing that agreement, if
5 you look at item number 2. You see that. And I'm going to show you
6 another similar document before I ask you a question or two.
7 A. I do apologise, but I do need the usher's assistance because
8 another document has been opened up here before me. Thank you, I've
9 found it now.
10 Q. Would you look, please, next at P 02097, and also in the first
11 binder, P 02097.
12 A. Thank you, I've found it.
13 Q. Sir, in this particular document, dated the 25th of April, 1993
14 we have a document -- an order signed apparently by both -- over the
15 names, at least -- I don't want to get into signatures at the moment, but
16 over the typed names of Bruno Stojic and Milivoj Petkovic, directing a
17 cease-fire, ordering to all operative zones; correct?
18 A. As far as I can see, Mr. Petkovic did not sign this document. He
19 couldn't have signed it on that day, when the agreement in Zagreb
20 signed, but Mr. Akrap signed it --
21 Q. Sir, I didn't ask you --
22 A. And this order --
23 Q. I didn't ask if Mr. Petkovic signed it. This is an order issued
24 over the signature -- over the names of Bruno Stojic and
25 Milivoj Petkovic; correct?
1 A. Yes, the document was written as a result of the agreement, so it
2 was signed in Zagreb
3 and Petkovic and Halilovic, the generals.
4 Q. And, sir, do not documents P 01205 and P 02097 show that
5 Mr. Stojic is, in fact, acting and being directly involved in military
6 matters and the use of military -- in this particular, non-use of
7 military forces?
8 A. I don't agree with you. As far as I'm concerned, this is the
9 implementation of an agreement which could not have been signed
10 physically by General Petkovic, and in view of that fact, for that kind
11 of decision to have the necessary authority to whom it is sent to, and
12 that's all the operative zones, then the signatory was Mr. Bruno Stojic.
13 If Mr. Petkovic had physically been able to sign this document, then I'm
14 quite sure that this order would have been signed by him, himself, in
15 keeping with the agreement that had been reached and signed.
16 Q. So you just confirmed, sir, that Mr. Stojic did have military
17 authority over all the operative zones and was therefore able to issue
18 that order; correct?
19 A. No, that's not what I said. What I said is that this order was
20 signed on behalf of the Main Staff by Mr. Akrap, but due to the fact that
21 everything -- that everybody wanted to stop the conflict, in keeping with
22 the agreement signed by Generals Petkovic and Halilovic, it is my
23 personal opinion, with which you do not have to agree, that for this to
24 carry weight, and the fact that there would be no signature of
25 General Petkovic, that Bruno Stojic's signature is on the document.
1 Q. Let's go to Exhibit P 07892, P 07892 in the second binder. This
2 is the report by a special purposes unit known as the Vitezovi, dated the
3 18th of February, 1994. Sir, if you can find approximately the 10th item
4 in the report. Unfortunately, the paragraphs are not numbered, but if
5 you find that there is a paragraph that begins with the words -- and in
6 English, Your Honours, it's towards the top of the second page:
7 "On 24 October, after the outburst of hostilities between the HVO
8 and the ABiH, Defence Minister Bruno Stojic ordered that the team return
9 to the area of Central Bosnia."
10 Do you see that, sir?
11 A. Let's just look at the terms. On my copy, the date is the 18th
12 of February, 1994. You mentioned some other date.
13 Q. I gave the name of the document, sir. In the document, on
14 approximately the 10th paragraph of the document, you will find the
16 "On 24 October 1992
17 the events in Prozor, "after the outburst of hostilities between the HVO
18 and the ABiH, Defence Minister Bruno Stojic ordered that the team, that
19 is, the Vitezovi, return to the area of Central Bosnia."
21 A. Help me out. What page is that on? I don't see that. Give me
22 the page number in Croatian.
23 MR. SCOTT: Mr. Usher.
24 Q. I've indicated, sir, it's approximately the 10th paragraph in the
25 document. If the usher can possibly assist you.
1 A. May we zoom down on the English document, please. Thank you.
2 Q. Do you have it, sir?
3 A. Yes, I have found it, but it's not paragraph 10. Now, does it
4 begin with the words: "After the conflict had broken out ..."?
5 Q. Sir, my translation starts with the words: "On 24 October
6 1992 ..." Now maybe it's the syntax of the B/C/S later in the sentence,
7 but we appear to be looking at the same sentence. On the 24th of
8 October, 1992, it mentions Bruno Stojic. Do you see that, sir?
9 A. Yes, I do see that: "On the 24th of October, after the
10 outburst," et cetera.
11 Q. Thank you.
12 And later in the document, and I'll have to have the assistance
13 of the usher because, again, there are no translations -- excuse me,
14 there are no paragraph numbers, on the top of page --
15 MR. SCOTT: I'll have to refer, Your Honours, to the ERN number
16 stamped on the top of the page, and if I refer to the last four digits,
17 I'm referring to 6511.
18 Q. Sir, several pages down in the text of the document you have, you
19 will find this entry:
20 "The report number 2-091/93 of 15 March 1993 was sent to the head
21 of the Department of Defence, Mr. Bruno Stojic, and to the chief of the
22 General Staff, Brigadier Milivoj Petkovic, that reported about the
23 actions of the PPN Vitezovi during the conflicts in Central Bosnia."
24 Do you see that?
25 A. Are you referring to the 15th of March?
1 Q. I'm referring to a report dated or for the 15th of March, 1993
2 going to Mr. Stojic and Mr. Petkovic. Correct? Correct, sir?
3 A. Yes, I have found it. Thank you.
4 Q. Can you go, please, to Exhibit -- Your Honour, I see the time.
5 I'm in the Chamber's hands.
6 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Work until a quarter to.
7 MR. SCOTT: Thank you, Your Honour. You're absolutely right. My
8 apologies. Jumping the gun, I guess.
9 Q. Sir, if you have -- if you can next go to, if you haven't
10 already, P 10807. And while you're doing that, I'll state for the record
11 that this is an HVO document dated the 30th of January, 1993. The
12 subject is: "Need for soldiers to be sent to Busovaca." And this
13 purports to be an order by the vice-president of Herceg-Bosna, Colonel
14 Dario Kordic. I'll ask you to look to the first paragraph of the
15 document, above the word "Order."
16 Mr. Kordic refers to this order being issued, quote, "with the
17 approval of Bruno Stojic, chief of the Defence Department of the
18 Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna." Do you see that?
19 A. No. With the best will in world, the usher can't help me out
20 here, either. We can't find it.
21 Q. Document P 10807. You see, sir, the first paragraph above the
22 word "Order," where it talks about this order being issued with the
23 approval of Bruno Stojic?
24 A. Yes, that's what it says here, "with agreement from
25 Bruno Stojic," yes.
1 Q. Sir, both documents P 07892 and P 10807, both show Mr. Stojic
2 being directly involved in military matters?
3 A. I didn't understand the question. I apologise. Could you repeat
5 Q. I'll read it back to you, sir:
6 "Sir, both documents P 07892 and P 10807, both show Mr. Stojic
7 being directly involved in military matters; correct?"
8 A. Well, all right, I have my opinion, and I'll -- he was involved
9 in a certain way, that would be my answer, which depended probably on the
10 situation on the ground, what was happening on the ground.
11 Q. Let's look next at P 02292, P 02292 in binder number 1.
12 While you're doing that, sir, if you can listen to me, I'll try
13 and assist you by at least giving you some orientation to the document,
14 and again as Judge Antonetti says, if I misstate something, I'm sure I'll
15 be corrected.
16 Sir, this appears to be a report by Zeljko Siljeg on the 11th of
17 May 1993. It's addressed personally to Bruno Stojic, personally to
18 Milivoj Petkovic, and it's Mr. Siljeg -- isn't it Mr. Siljeg giving a
19 military report to both those gentlemen?
20 A. Yes, you're right, it is a report which is being sent to
21 Mr. Petkovic and Mr. Stojic.
22 Q. Would you look, please, next at P 03124, again in the first
23 binder, P 03124. Sir, this appears to be an order dated the 2nd of July,
24 1993, issued by Bruno Stojic to members of the civilian police,
25 subordinating them to the military police, and ordering them into action
1 or subordination again to the military police; correct?
2 A. Yes, but I'd last like to remind you of the preamble above the
3 order, where it says that it was -- that the military and civilians held
4 this area together. So this was a joint effort by the civilian and
5 military police.
6 MR. SCOTT: I might try, Your Honours, to finish this topic with
7 two additional documents before the break.
8 Q. I'm going to ask you, sir, to go next to P 03128 in the first
9 binder, P 03128. Sir, this appears to be a -- again, a report by --
10 excuse me, my apologies. An order -- I flipped to the wrong document
11 myself. This appears to be an order dated the 2nd of July, 1993, not
12 only addressed to the head of the HZ-HB Defence Department, personally to
13 Mr. Bruno Stojic, but if you'll look, sir, at the end of the document, is
14 this not an order issued by Milivoj Petkovic, with Mr. Stojic signing and
15 indicating his agreement with the order?
16 A. Yes, I agree, but there's something illogical because here we
17 have the head of the department and then he signs the agreement, which I
18 suppose confirms that the seriousness of the situation required that kind
19 of signing by Mr. Stojic of this agreement.
20 Q. Why was the signature by Mr. Stojic required to indicate the
21 seriousness of an order issued by the chief of the Main Staff? Didn't
22 Mr. Petkovic speak with sufficient authority on his own, without
23 requiring the additional signature of Mr. Stojic, or was it only
24 Mr. Stojic who could issue this kind of order?
25 A. No, I didn't want to devalue the authority of General Petkovic,
1 who was absolutely a person of high professional and human quality, but I
2 said that the seriousness of the situation was such and that we should
3 bear in mind that we're dealing with the 2nd of September, immediately
4 after the treachery of a part of the HVO who were Muslims and the attack
5 against the Croatian Defence Council in Mostar. So that's the reason why
6 I gave the answer I did.
7 MR. SCOTT: Your Honours, if I might be allowed, if we can look
8 at Exhibit P 05232 --
9 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] I apologise to Mr. Scott. I'd
10 just like to put right a mistake in the transcript. The witness, in line
11 22 of that page, or 20 of that page, said "the 2nd of July," and it says
12 "the 2nd of September." So it should read "the 2nd of July."
13 MR. SCOTT: That's correct. Thank you, Counsel.
14 Q. Mr. Bozic, if you could please --
15 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
16 MR. SCOTT:
17 Q. -- to P 05232, and we'll make this, if the Chamber allows, the
18 last document before the break.
19 Sir, this appears to be an order issued on the 20th of September,
20 1993, by Bruno Stojic.
21 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Excuse me, Mr. Scott. The transcript didn't
22 catch the number of the document.
23 MR. SCOTT: My apologies. I think I had not activated the
24 microphone. P 05232.
25 Q. In this order, sir, Mr. Stojic, and we don't have time to read
1 the entire thing, but it basically says in item 1:
2 "Engage all human and material resources in all free military and
3 civilian police forces," et cetera.
5 of the 1st Sector."
6 And that's an order issued by Mr. Stojic, is it not?
7 A. Yes, you're right. But we must bear in mind that hunting
8 organisations are mentioned here as well, which means anybody who had any
9 weapons of any kind, that in keeping with this order they should respond
10 and protect the territory.
11 Q. Sir, do not Exhibits P 02292, P 03124, P 03128 and P 05232 all
12 confirm Mr. Stojic's direct involvement in military matters?
13 A. Well, I don't have to agree with you, nor do you have to agree
14 with me, so in my opinion that does not mean direct involvement. It
15 depended on the situation, and perhaps in certain situations, because of
16 the events on the ground, that it was that Mr. Stojic, in practice,
17 appeared with his orders, but I, as a lawyer and as a layman in military
18 terms, always consider orders to be for some concrete military operations
19 and actions. If I'm wrong, then the Trial Chamber will weigh up my
21 MR. SCOTT: Thank you, Mr. President.
22 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] We'll take a 20-minute break.
23 --- Recess taken at 3.49 p.m.
24 --- On resuming at 4.15 p.m.
25 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well.
1 Regarding time, the Trial Chamber notes that the Defence had an
2 initial 20 minutes. The Prosecution will then have five hours and twenty
3 minutes, and so far you have used up two hours and forty minutes. You
4 have two hours and forty minutes left.
5 MR. SCOTT: Thank you, Mr. President.
6 Q. Sir, I would like to turn to the events in the Mostar area in
7 early May of 1993. When I spoke with you in 2003, you had indicated that
8 you did not have any knowledge that the Croats were ethnically cleansing
9 the Muslims in Mostar in May 1993. Is that your position?
10 A. At the time, we were having lengthy discussions about ethnic
11 cleansing, the theories behind it, and I even remember a statement of
12 mine when I said that after the war, I read in an analysis done by an
13 American organisation that the Croats were the greatest victims of the
14 war in Bosnia and Herzegovina, in proportion to the number of
16 Q. That's not the answer to my question. Excuse me. I didn't ask
17 you about what you read after the war. Is it your position, sir, before
18 these Judges, that in May of 1993, you did not know that the HVO was
19 conducting ethnic cleansing of the Muslims in Mostar?
20 MR. KARNAVAS: I'm going to object to the form of the question.
21 The question, the way it is phrased, it's as if it is a fact. That is
22 their theory, so it needs to be reformulated. I know -- you know, this
23 is so evident. I mean, I hate to object, but this one, I have to.
24 MR. SCOTT: There's no objection.
25 Q. Sir, is it your position that you did not know that members of
1 HVO forces were moving Muslims out of their houses and moving them, for
2 example, to the Heliodrom in early May 1993?
3 A. I said I don't know on what day this was, during my testimony in
4 this courtroom, when I learnt for the first time that there was movement
5 of civilians and -- from the combat areas and their relocation, and that
6 this was part of the agreement between General Petkovic and Halilovic of
7 the 12th of May, and I can't remember exactly whether it was the 17th or
8 the 18th, at a meeting of the government, when there was a discussion
9 about the department for those who had fled and what it had done in
10 connection with the relocated civilians.
11 Q. Sir, I am going to refer you and the courtroom to
12 Exhibit P 10794, P 10794, which will be in the second binder. It's a
13 copy of your -- in a previous interview.
14 It's in five parts, and, Your Honours, if you don't recall from
15 perhaps seeing it last week, each part is numbered separately, for better
16 or worse. I'm now referring to the fifth part -- no, excuse me, the
17 fourth part of the interview, part 4, page 48. In e-court, it's at
18 page 214, if that might be easier for everyone in the courtroom, page 214
19 in e-court.
20 If we can look at -- if we can look in e-court, in the interests
21 of time, unless people have been able to find it, there's -- usher,
22 there's not a B/C/S translation of that, so it won't really help, to be
23 perfectly honest.
24 Sir, I'm going to read to you very slowly and clearly, I hope,
25 for the translation, so that I can put to you exactly the question and
1 answers that I want to ask you about.
2 For those in the courtroom who would like to follow and confirm
3 that I'm reading the record accurately, slightly below the middle of
4 page 48:
5 "Q. Were you aware during May 1993 that the Croats were
6 ethnically cleansing the Muslims from Mostar? Were you aware? Did you
7 know it was happening?
8 "Slobodan Bozic: I was not aware, since I did not have the
9 information about it."
10 Going across to page 49, the middle of the page, my question:
11 "During this time, you didn't know -- you didn't see Muslims
12 being expelled from their houses, being taken to the Heliodrom? You
13 didn't see any of that going on or hear about it?"
14 "Slobodan Bozic: I didn't see. I could only hear through the
15 media, and I could also know later, since certain number of people were
16 there, was there, and that later of people was later being released."
17 Sir, can you confirm that your answer to my question on this
18 topic, when we met before, was that you did not know about this, the
19 moving of Muslims from their homes or to the Heliodrom at that time?
20 MR. KARNAVAS: Your Honour, I'm going to object. The answers
21 that he gave are as they are on the paper. We can all see and read. The
22 way now the question is being phrased is slightly differently. The
23 gentleman indicated why he wasn't aware at the time. He didn't say that
24 at no time he was aware of it. And also the first question, he was asked
25 about ethnic cleansing, and then the question changed from ethnic
1 cleansing to the people being transferred to the Heliodrom, which is a
2 very big difference.
3 So we can leave the record as it is, based on his statement, but
4 I would object -- if the question is being posed, they need to be posed
5 in a way that is fair to the gentleman so he can answer correctly. He
6 did indicate last week where he was at the time when these events
7 occurred and how he learned of those events. When you look at his
8 statement -- his testimony last week and his statement in the -- that he
9 gave to the OTP, they're identical in nature.
10 MR. SCOTT: Well, that's not --
11 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Karnavas, we fully
12 understood what you said, but as I told you earlier, we're not a jury
13 from Arkansas
14 witness as a suspect. We have his answers, the question from the
15 Prosecution, we have his answers today, we have the questions put today.
16 The Judges will assess all this. Fine, you can intervene, you can take
17 the floor, but let the professionals do their job. They understand
18 what's going on.
19 And to actually engage in law, I should tell the witness right
20 now that he is entitled to say silent, that anything he says can be used
21 against him, and so forth and so on. The witness is also a professional.
22 Mr. Scott, please proceed.
23 MR. SCOTT:
24 Q. Sir, my question pending to you at the time, and once again some
25 lines of transcript go by, and we've lost the question on the page:
1 Those were your answers to my questions. Sir, is it not true that at --
2 you said that at the time, not something you learned later, not something
3 you read after the war, that at the time in May 1993, you did not know
4 about the movement of Muslims in Mostar out of their homes and to the
5 Heliodrom; correct?
6 A. I said, in my statement -- I don't know whether it was on the
7 first or second day, I said when I had learnt about those details or,
8 rather, the situation when civilians were moved, and I stand by what I
9 said on the first or second day of my testimony. I said that this was a
10 topic that was mentioned for the first time at a meeting between
11 General Petkovic and Halilovic and, secondly, that this was linked to
12 certain activities, when talking about civilians under the Department for
13 Expelled and Displaced Persons, and then I also saw it on the web page of
14 Mr. Darinko Tadic. I appeal to the Chamber, since I am under oath, which
15 makes me obliged to speak the truth, and I am speaking the truth, and I
16 was in a situation when Mr. Scott questioned me for three days as a
17 suspect. And after the first hour of my conversation, I could say to
18 Mr. Scott, "My name is Mr. Slobodan Bozic, I was born on such and such a
19 date, and I don't wish to answer any questions, I will keep quiet." That
20 was my right which I didn't avail myself of. I wanted to be cooperative,
21 and I still wish to be cooperative. And I've already answered this
22 question, and I don't know why we're going back to it.
23 Q. [Previous translation continues]... wasting my time, with all due
24 respect to the Chamber. It is not my question, has nothing to do with
25 the questions whether he was there, and what he felt at the time. He was
1 represented by counsel, his rights were explained to him. We don't have
2 to spend all the time. My question was very clear to him.
3 I'll just move on, though, but I'm simply objecting to these long
4 answers that are non-responsive, that are simply using the courtroom's
6 Sir, you also said -- you did say at some point you learned this
7 from the media. Which media did you learn from, and when was that? What
8 media were you consulting at the time?
9 A. In those days, there were quite a number of media blockades
10 throughout the territory of the former Yugoslavia, but there were some
11 programmes - I don't know what their names were - picture on picture, or
12 something like that, that was broadcast by Croatian Television, and I was
13 able to hear and see what the media in Serbia were saying, the media in
15 about one and the same subject.
16 Q. You mentioned a meeting -- you tied some of your knowledge to the
17 date of the meeting between Mr. Petkovic and Mr. Halilovic. Just so that
18 we don't get that confused, can you tell us what date of that meeting
19 you're referring to?
20 A. Yes. It was a meeting I remember very well on the 12th of May,
22 Q. And you participated in that meeting?
23 A. Yes, I did. I was present at that meeting, and I spoke about it.
24 Q. Where was it, please?
25 A. If I'm not mistaken, I think that meeting -- no, I'm quite sure
1 that the meeting was held in the headquarters of the Spanish unit in
3 Q. Very well. You also mentioned reading something, and if the
4 interpretation was correct, reading something on Darinko Tadic's web
5 site. What web site was that?
6 A. No, obviously it was a misinterpretation. I said that I was
7 shown a document for the first time which was taken from Mr. Tadic's web
8 page, when I was asked questions by Madam Nozica, and I commented on it,
9 and you were in the courtroom when I said I was surprised by certain
10 details from the contents of that document, and especially when he says
11 publicly that due to his behaviour, that is, Mr. Tadic's, that he was
12 congratulated by The Hague
13 Allow me to finish.
14 Q. Sir, I misheard you to say -- I misunderstood you to be referring
15 to something you saw in May 1993 on the web site, and I do appreciate
16 your clarifying that. That was the answer to my question.
17 Sir, do you recall saying that during your interview, that in
18 fact after leaving Mostar on about the 8th or 9th of -- excuse me, the
19 7th or 8th of May, a day or two before, that you did not return to Mostar
20 until some five to ten days later?
21 A. I know what I said in this courtroom, and that is that I left
22 Mostar on the 8th, after a meeting attended by representatives of the
23 European Troika, and that I didn't enter Mostar for a couple of days, but
24 then I said that I was sure that I did enter on the 12th, in view of the
25 fact that there was a meeting between General Petkovic and
1 General Halilovic on that day, and then I went from Mostar to that
2 meeting. And that is the correct answer, and that is what I can confirm.
3 Q. During your testimony, and when we were talking about where you
4 were and what you were doing last week on the 9th and 10th of May --
5 excuse me. I'm referring to the daily transcript last Tuesday of what
6 was then daily transcript pages 22 to -- 23 and 24, but it's a topic that
7 I raised with you last Thursday, too, sir, if you may recall. You gave
8 testimony last week about some things and what happened when you were
9 having the telephone calls with the Spanish Battalion and the duty
10 officer on the 9th of May, and I'll refer you to it again. You said
11 because -- in response to Judge Trechsel -- excuse me for stumbling, but
12 I'm trying to put this in exact context. In response to questions from
13 Judge Trechsel about why you did not respond or call Mr. Stojic
14 immediately, you said, and I'm quoting:
15 "I did not see it fitting to inform Mr. Stojic, because in
16 earlier situations, whenever problems arose, first I usually tried to
17 delegate solving the problems to those who were affected by it, and if
18 problems were of a major nature, then information would be relayed
19 further up."
20 Now, you referred to earlier situations whenever problems arose,
21 you would try to delegate the solution of those problems. Can you give
22 us an example, sir, of some of the earlier situations that arose by which
23 you then delegated the solution of those problems?
24 A. Earlier situations, if I were to think about them just now, it's
25 a bit hard to remember, but I know that you asked me that, how I
1 delegated the information that I received from European Observers in
2 Mostar about the events in Ahmici, for example. That could be an
3 example, in view of the fact that so much time has gone by, so I can't
4 remember more examples. But I wish to explain what you just referred to,
5 and I did so to His Honour Judge Trechsel, that earlier in the morning,
6 he's not telling me that there's a conflict in Mostar; it was just a
7 question of halting their transporter. And I tried to resolve it with
8 someone who can deal with such a problem and who is in Mostar at that
9 point in time.
10 Q. Well, first of all, on that occasion, let's take your specific
11 situation. Who did you call or intervene with to solve the SpaBat
12 problem on the 9th of May?
13 A. I wouldn't call it an intervention. I would call it information.
14 I told Their Honours, and I think you can find this in the transcript,
15 that I can't remember whether I called the duty officer in the Main Staff
16 or the duty officer in the operative zone of South-Eastern Herzegovina in
17 Mostar. In any event, it was one of these two.
18 Q. What did you tell --
19 A. I said that the Spaniards had called me, that they had woken me
20 up, that they had informed me that their transporters had been stopped at
21 the entrance to Mostar, and in view of -- this is at least what I think,
22 and Their Honours will decide whether my opinion is right or not. At all
23 levels, military and civilian levels, the efforts were cooperative with
24 respect to UNPROFOR and its movement, depending on the period --
25 Q. [Previous translation continues]... now taken it off into your
1 opinion about movement. I asked you a very specific question. You said
2 you intervened on that day with one or two people, either the duty
3 officer of the Main Staff or someone in the operative zone. You've
4 answered that question. My next question is: What did you tell them to
5 do, specifically?
6 A. I apologise, Mr. Scott. I didn't say that I intervened. I
7 called up. That's a big difference.
8 Q. What did you tell them when you telephoned them? You had a
9 conversation. What did you say, sir?
10 A. Allow me to answer.
11 Q. Please, but answer my specific question. Tell me what you said
12 to the person you spoke to on the other end of the telephone.
13 A. I called them up and I said -- let me try and paraphrase. And I
14 said I have been called by the civilian section of the Spanish Battalion
15 in Medjugorje, and they told me that their transporters had been stopped
16 at the entrance to Mostar. I received an answer, that the Muslim forces
17 had attacked the HVO, that the transporters had been halted for security
19 Q. [Previous translation continues]... tell them what did you tell
20 them to do. You had a conversation. At the end of that -- you've
21 said -- you've said on earlier situations, whenever problems arose,
22 "first I usually tried to delegate solving the problems to those who were
23 affected by it, and if problems were of a major nature, that information
24 would be relayed further up." You called this person, you spoke to them
25 about this problem. Tell the Judges, what did you tell them to do?
1 A. Mr. Scott, I am a witness of justice, and I'm repeating this for
2 the umpteenth time in this courtroom. You might not like my answer.
3 Whether it's truthful or correct, the Trial Chamber will decide.
4 MR. SCOTT: I ask that you direct the witness to be responsive.
5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Witness, I'd already put this
6 question to you, and it seemed to be quite straightforward. The
7 Prosecutor is just asking you what you said to the person on the other
8 end of the line. It's very straightforward and simple, and your answer
9 could be quite interesting, actually, it could be very interesting.
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour Judge Antonetti, that
11 is how I wish to answer, but obviously Mr. Scott doesn't like my answer,
12 and that is why he's reacting in the way that he is. I said -- and allow
13 me to provide my full answer, and then you will judge to what extent it
14 is truthful or not. When I was woken up by the Spaniards, I called up
15 the duty officer. I don't know whether it was in the Main Staff or in
16 the command of the operative zone, and I told him that the Spaniards had
17 passed on the information to me that their transporters had been stopped
18 at the entrance to Mostar. The duty officer told me that the reason for
19 this was the fact that the Muslim forces had attacked the HVO and that
20 the transporters had been stopped for security reasons at the entry to
21 Mostar. That is the answer which I think is identical to the one I gave
22 to you a couple of days ago, Your Honour Judge Antonetti. Obviously,
23 Mr. Scott wants me to say something else, and I don't wish to say
24 anything other than what I have already said.
25 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Scott.
1 MR. SCOTT:
2 Q. Well, you've just given the same answer that you've given us four
3 to five times, without answering my question.
4 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Mr. Scott.
5 MR. SCOTT: Yes, sir.
6 JUDGE TRECHSEL: I think your question is not quite correct,
7 because it implies something. I think there are two questions hidden.
8 First: "Did you give any indication that something should be done, that
9 someone should do something?"
10 The second question: "If so, what was it?" And maybe that could
11 be helpful, if you divide.
12 MR. SCOTT: Thank you, Judge Trechsel. Thank you, Judge.
13 Q. Sir, as a result of the telephone call, the person you got on the
14 other end, and after you received all the information that you've told us
15 about, did you give this person any directions or instructions as to what
16 to do about the SpaBat vehicles which were stopped?
17 A. I didn't say anything to that person. I called the SpaBat from
18 my apartment, and I told them that their transporters had been stopped
19 for the reasons that I was given, for security reasons, because of the
20 attack of the Muslim forces, and that it was only because of the security
21 of their transporters and their staff, had they been stopped, until the
22 matter was resolved.
23 Q. Let's turn to some other events later that summer of 1993. Did
24 you -- you've indicated before that you also didn't know about the arrest
25 of Muslim men in the municipalities of Prozor, Capljina, and Stolac in
1 July 1993. Do you recall telling me that, that you didn't know about
3 A. Yes, I said that when those arrests took place, I did not know
4 about them.
5 Q. When do you recall first learning about them?
6 A. Well, I said that I first learnt about them when there were
7 exchanges and agreements about the exchanges of detained civilians as
8 well as members of various armed forces.
9 Q. And as to Prozor and Stolac and Capljina, when was that?
10 A. I don't know. I said when the exchanges took place. I can't
11 remember, because it wasn't my work, it wasn't my job, so any answer I
12 could give would be speculation.
13 Q. You said that before, that concerning the situations in Mostar,
14 the movement of the Muslims and then what I've just raised with you about
15 the other arrests that were going on during the summer of 1993, you said
16 you had no possibilities to do anything to prevent it. Is that your
18 A. I didn't have any possibility to do anything because these were
19 activities that had nothing to do with me and my duties. And I didn't
20 know about many of those things, as I said at the time.
21 Q. Let's touch back on the HVO camps. You told me before that in
22 fact you had never been to any of the HVO camps; is that correct? Did
23 you tell me that, and is that still your position?
24 A. That's what I state, and I state it before the Honourable Trial
25 Chamber, that I was never in any one of those prisons or camps or
2 Q. And also you still also maintain the position that you knew
3 nothing about the conditions in those camps?
4 A. No, I knew nothing about the conditions, except for what I learnt
5 later on, as I told you.
6 Q. When you say you learned later on, when later on?
7 A. Well, I said roughly that a lot of this information came when
8 they were exchanged or, rather, when the prisoners were released from
9 some of the prisons or dormitories.
10 Q. You agree, do you not, sir, that the military prisons of the HVO
11 were under the control of the HVO military police?
12 A. I'm not quite clear on what you mean by that question, when you
13 say "under the control of the military police."
14 Q. Let me see if I can assist you. Did you not give me this answer
15 in your previous interview, and I'm referring for the courtroom to part 3
16 of the interview at page 40:
17 "I know that military prisons were regulated or under the control
18 of the military police"?
19 That is what you said at the interview. Does that continue to be
20 your position before these Judges today?
21 A. [Realtime transcript read in error "MR. IBRISIMOVIC:"] What I
22 said then is what I say now, that it's a case of two military prisons and
23 that the military police was the body which, in those military prisons,
24 had their members who did certain duties and guarded the prison and had
25 duties within the prison.
1 Q. So the record is clear --
2 MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation] I apologise to my learned friend,
3 but there's a mistake in the transcript. The answer was ascribed to my
4 colleague, Mr. Ibrisimovic. I'm sure that can be put right. It's says
5 "Mr. Ibrisimovic," but I just wanted to step in on time to correct the
6 transcript to avoid any misunderstanding.
7 MR. SCOTT: Thank you, counsel.
8 Q. Just so the record is clear, when you refer to the two military
9 prisons, page 56, line 11, you're talking -- can we understand correctly
10 you're talking about the Heliodrom and Ljubuski?
11 A. Yes, I meant and spoke about Heliodrom and Ljubuski.
12 Q. Can we agree on at least this much, sir: That you have no
13 dispute, you absolutely agree that the Heliodrom prison and Ljubuski
14 detention facility were HVO military prisons which were under the control
15 or regulation of the military police?
16 A. I said the sense in which I understand "control" in those
17 prisons, and the guards services and everything else, that in these
18 prisons there were supposed to be military conscripts of the HVO, as well
19 as other persons who committed certain acts linked to the regulations
20 that were in force at the time.
21 Q. Sir, let's go back to your previous testimony a few moments ago,
22 where you said you'd never been to any of the camps and you were not
23 aware of the conditions in the camps, at least not at the time. You must
24 have known, sir, I put it to you, that there was immediate international
25 media and international organisation outrage and coverage of these
1 issues. You referred in several of your answers today to what you
2 learned in the media. I put it to you, sir, as a senior Department of
3 Defence official, deputy minister, had you no curiosity or felt no
4 responsibility to go to those camps and find out what was going on?
5 A. Well, when I hear a question like that, Mr. Scott, then I have
6 the feeling that you would like me to give an answer which suits you and
7 which you would like. I was never in any prison, and --
8 Q. [Previous translation continues]... President's instructions not
9 to continually make that statement to me. There's no basis for you to do
10 so. I would appreciate if you could just go right to your answer. And
11 I'm not judging whether I like your answer or not, sir. I'm taking your
12 answers, and I'm also looking at the answers you gave in 2003, and I'm
13 simply asking you questions. Now, whether I like it or not, sir, my
14 questions -- and whether you like it and whether I like it, the question
15 stands. Why didn't you go to any of these camps and try to learn what
16 was going on?
17 Paraphrasing, Mr. Karnavas, if necessary I will go back and read
18 the transcript. I'm trying to assist the witness in moving forward.
20 A. Do you want me to answer, or are you going to paraphrase what you
21 mentioned about Mr. Karnavas?
22 Q. Perhaps there was a misinterpretation, sir.
23 I put to you on line 57:
24 "I put it to you, sir, as a senior Department of Defence
25 official, deputy minister, had you no curiosity or felt no responsibility
1 to go to those camps and find out what was going on?"
2 Can you answer that question?
3 A. I can answer that question. And as I've already answered many
4 questions that you ask me at the time, that I'm a professional and that
5 I've been doing my job, and that I occupied a high-ranking position at
6 one time, and that I had subordinates, and in other cases I was
7 subordinate. I did the jobs related to the position and place and role
8 that I had, and let me just put you right. I wasn't the deputy minister,
9 as you say. I was deputy of the head of the Defence Department for
10 certain affairs, and in a situation like that, the kind that you
11 mentioned, you could have told me why I had no interest in going to the
12 front-line, for example, to see what was happening there and perhaps to
13 stay in the trenches and fight with our combatants there.
14 Q. Sir, my question to you was very specific and had nothing to do
15 with trenches.
16 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] You are not answering the
17 question, Witness. The Prosecutor wants to know why you didn't go to the
18 prisons. Just tell us, I didn't go because it wasn't up to me; because I
19 wasn't aware of what was going on; because I had no interest; somebody
20 else should have done it instead of me. Please provide a very precise
21 answer to the question.
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour Judge Antonetti,
23 perhaps I did answer, but gave a broad answer. It wasn't within the
24 remits of my job, and I didn't have the possibility of knowing about that
25 or of going to the prison.
1 MR. SCOTT:
2 Q. Sir, I've heard a bit of two different things at different times,
3 and I've heard you say -- on the one hand, I've heard you say that you
4 didn't know. I've also heard you say that whatever you might have known,
5 you couldn't do anything about. Can you clarify. Which is it, sir? Did
6 you not know of the conditions in the camps? Did you not know that
7 Muslims were being arrested and taken to Heliodrom? You did not know, or
8 that you knew, but could not do anything about it, you felt?
9 A. I said that I did not know, that I did not know, and that's my
10 answer, that I did not know, and I repeat that for the third time.
11 Q. In fact, sir, you did know, early in May 1993, that Muslim people
12 were being held by the HVO, and you intervened at a number of situations
13 specifically to have people released, didn't you?
14 A. Well, I think that your question is quite improper, especially in
15 view of the questions you asked me earlier on, but I shall answer it
16 nonetheless. I told you, in the conversation we had, that Mr. Boban
17 happened to meet me in the hallway of the Defence Department and told
18 me -- well, I can't say exactly whether that was on the 15th or 16th or
19 20th of May. At any rate, it was after the 9th of May. He said to me,
20 and I can paraphrase what he said, he said, "Bobo," that's what they
21 called me, Bobo, "you know a lot of people in Mostar. You have worked
22 here, so we should resolve the situation as quickly as possible with
23 these displaced persons who are located at the Heliodrom. And for the
24 people that you know about or if anybody comes to you about certain
25 people, then you should do what you can to resolve the issue and deal
1 with the situation as soon as possible."
2 So I apologise, Mr. Karnavas, but that has nothing to do with my
3 knowledge about what was or what was not or what I did not do, and the
4 period I knew about things or not.
5 Q. Thank you, sir. I'll take the compliment of being compared to
6 Mr. Karnavas, but I assume you're referring to Mr. Scott, to me, but that
7 that's correct. Are you referring to me, sir, or are you referring to
8 Mr. Karnavas, sitting across the room here?
9 A. Yes, I apologise. Yes, I looked at Mr. Karnavas. I apologise,
10 Mr. Scott. I've become accustom to you. We have talked at greater
11 length than Mr. Karnavas and I did.
12 Q. All right. Well, be that as it may, let me just go back to this
13 conversation with Mr. Boban, then. So you had this conversation with
14 Mr. Boban sometime in the second half of May, perhaps as late as the 20th
15 of May, and he said something to you about the Muslims being held at the
16 Heliodrom, and if you can, do what you can to get some people released;
17 is that basically the nature of the conversation?
18 A. Yes, he roughly said that in view of the fact that I was in
19 Mostar and knew a lot of people, that for the people that I knew of and
20 whom I could help, and who I knew were down there, or if anybody were to
21 contact me, that's important, to prevail on their behalf, that I should
22 do what I could to resolve the situation.
23 Q. The conversation that you say you had with Mr. Boban, do you
24 recall, in your interview statement -- let me start over again.
25 Can you confirm today, as you said in your interview statement,
1 that concerning this conversation with Mr. Boban, that Mr. Berislav Pusic
2 was also part of that conversation?
3 A. No, I can't confirm the fact that Mr. Berislav Pusic was there,
4 and I seem to remember a part of the statement that I made, and since you
5 have your technology of examination, you asked me what I had said before.
6 I said that maybe Mr. Pusic was there, but now I say that Mr. Pusic was
7 not there, was not with Mr. Boban when he said that to me.
8 MR. IBRISIMOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President, I
9 didn't want to interrupt my learned friend Mr. Scott, but I think he
10 overstepped the framework of the examination in chief. Nobody asked
11 anything about Mr. Pusic in this courtroom, nor did Ms. Nozica in
12 examination-in-chief, nor any of the other Defence counsel, so I object
13 to that.
14 MR. SCOTT: Your Honour, I'm in the Court's hands, of course, as
15 always, but I think it's relevant to the topic of the camps and the
16 release of people, and this witness's involvement -- direct involvement
17 with Mr. Pusic to get a number of people released. I believe it's
18 directly relevant to the case, and he talks about his involvement with
19 Mr. Pusic, or at least he did in his interview, extensively. But I leave
20 it to the Chamber, whether the Chamber wants to hear about that or not.
21 I believe it falls within the category of 90(H), of Rule 90(h).
22 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Witness, the current
23 conversation between you and the Prosecution focusses mostly on the use
24 of terms. I think the Prosecutor speaks about detainees or arrested
25 persons, whereas you speak of displaced persons, which is different.
1 Now, when you talk about the people at the Heliodrom, you say
2 that these persons were displaced, while Mr. Scott thinks they were
3 detainees. Is that correct?
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Perhaps they were both displaced
5 and detained.
6 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well.
7 Mr. Scott.
8 MR. SCOTT:
9 Q. Well, let's move forward and let's just see -- let's just see
10 what develops in connection with how you tell us about some things.
11 And, Your Honour, I don't think you can artificially separate
12 from the narrative certain facts, but I'll leave it to see what the
13 witness says.
14 Sir, isn't it correct that following your at least -- I'll just
15 say for the moment, at least following your conversation with Mr. Boban,
16 you became involved in the release of various Muslims held by the HVO?
17 A. No, I couldn't put it that way, nor do I think that is the right
18 observation, that I became involved in the release of various Muslims
19 held by the HVO pursuant to an oral request from Mr. Boban. Now, knowing
20 a certain number of people in Mostar, as I said earlier on, I tried to
21 solve certain issues so that if I were to receive any information from
22 someone's family or from some other party or side, then -- to the effect
23 that the situation should be resolved as soon as possible.
24 Q. Well, how would you receive this information? You said you would
25 receive information about people. How did you receive that information?
1 And once you received the information, tell the Judges, please, very step
2 by step, what did you do to get the people released?
3 MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I do apologise, but so
4 far I have not intervened because I consider, and I know the Rules, of
5 course, that the Prosecution can, on the basis of previous statements by
6 this witness, possibly use them and differences in the statement to
7 discredit the witness. However, I'm objecting now because the witness,
8 during the examination-in-chief, was not asked with respect to these
9 circumstances, and if the Prosecutor has other answers than received in
10 the previous testimony, then the Prosecutor should put that to us and
11 tell us what the witness said previously.
12 The Prosecutor is now entering an area where the witness was
13 not -- on which the witness was not questioned about. I'm just wondering
14 whether that's the right road or not, and I leave it up to the
15 Trial Chamber to reach a decision.
16 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I will confer with my
18 [Trial Chamber confers]
19 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] The Trial Chamber will allow
20 the Prosecutor to ask questions supportive of his own case.
21 Mr. Scott.
22 MR. SCOTT: Thank you, Mr. President.
23 Q. Sir, I just want you to tell us, please -- you said you received
24 information from time to time, and then I want you to tell where you
25 received that information, how that would happen, and then what steps, if
1 any, did you take to have people released from HVO custody?
2 A. First of all, the way in which I received information was this:
3 I received it from some of my friends and acquaintances, or from a family
4 member of a person who had been displaced, and after that I would convey
5 to Mr. Pusic what people were in question, because I know that there was
6 a certain procedure which I didn't enter into. I would say who the
7 people were and if there was no reason for detaining them further. And
8 in view of the instructions given to me by Mr. Boban, well, Mr. Pusic
9 would just receive information from me as to the names and surnames of
10 the persons in question, the person who had been isolated.
11 Q. You called Mr. Pusic or contacted Mr. Pusic because you knew at
12 the time that he was someone who was closely involved with the release of
13 people being held by the HVO; correct?
14 A. Well, I can't really say that I knew that Mr. Pusic was someone
15 who was closely involved in all that, but I knew that he worked in a team
16 of people who dealt with those affairs as well.
17 Q. You said in your previous interview that you would call Mr. Pusic
18 to give him the names of people that you could vouch for, people that he
19 had known before the war. How did you vouch for them? What assurances
20 did you give Mr. Pusic on what basis these people should be released?
21 A. I told you at the time, and I'll repeat it here and now, that I
22 guaranteed for these people because I knew them personally, but I always
23 said, without knowing what might have happened in the meantime, that if
24 there were no other obstacles coming from any other organs who were
25 involved in checking these people out, then these would be my own
1 personal impressions and my thoughts about these people and how I saw
2 those people dating back to the time when I knew them, and --
3 Q. [Previous translation continues]... did you have to give?
4 Guarantee as to what? Guarantee as to what? What were the criteria to
5 have people released?
6 A. Well, there was no guarantee or criteria, as such. There was
7 just the instructions from Mr. Boban. And as I knew certain individuals
8 personally, then I, as being me, Slobodan Bozic, not as deputy of the
9 head of the Defence Department but as an individual, Mr. Slobodan Bozic,
10 because he said, "Bobo, you see what you can do," so I personally
11 guaranteed for these people because I knew them from the times before all
12 these events took place. But I -- with the proviso that that would be
13 the case unless there were other reasons to act otherwise.
14 Q. You knew them. So what? Anyone that knows Slobodan Bozic should
15 be released, and if you don't know Slobodan Bozic, you don't get
16 released? So they knew you. So what? What were you guaranteeing? When
17 you said you vouched for them, vouched for them in what way?
18 A. I vouched for them as being people I knew, and now consciously or
19 unconsciously, you are now trying to --
20 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Witness, you are repeating yourself, and
21 obviously this answer is not what the Prosecutor is after. I do not know
22 whether he's looking for something particular, but I think that his
23 question goes towards a substance in the kind of, "I thought I was
24 convinced, because I knew them, that these people would not take arms
25 against the HVO, would not become political active against the HVO, would
1 move to a certain place," something of that kind, you see. You speak
2 that -- you say that you could vouch for them because you knew them.
3 That is quite an acceptable answer. The question is: What danger could
4 you vouch was not associated to releasing the persons?
5 I don't know whether I translate the Prosecution correctly.
6 Maybe this is completely wrong, and then Mr. Scott will correct me, but
7 perhaps you could answer my question. What dangers did you think were
8 not associated with the release of the persons concerned?
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour Judge Trechsel, I
10 thought I'd already explained that, but let me explain again.
11 First of all, I did this for people I knew, people I knew
12 personally, Slobodan Bozic, and for whom I could vouch for. Now, I went
13 on to say unless there were any -- unless there were other reasons or
14 other impediments or facts which would make it impossible for them to be
15 released. It didn't mean that my call to Mr. Berislav Pusic and the
16 information I would give him about the people in question, it didn't mean
17 that people -- these people would be released automatically.
18 JUDGE TRECHSEL: I cannot really find, in this, an answer to my
19 question, but I -- Mr. Scott or -- yes.
20 MR. KARNAVAS: If I can be of assistance, Your Honour. Perhaps
21 it is lost in translation, but the term "vouching," maybe you wish to ask
22 what did he mean by "vouching." I think that might be a way to get to
23 your answer, because I think that's what you're trying to get at, and
24 perhaps something is being lost in translation. I'm only trying to be
25 helpful with the suggestion.
1 JUDGE TRECHSEL: I appreciate that, Mr. Karnavas.
2 Mr. Bozic, can you explain what you mean by the term "vouching"?
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] If I knew someone to be a proper
4 and correct person, for example, and if I was on friendly terms with them
5 because they were such people, and I would even socialise with some of
6 those people, so there were individuals also whom my friends said that
7 they were friends of friends and that they were that kind of okay people,
8 so that was the type of information. And I thank Defence Counsel
9 Karnavas for helping me out about the word "vouch." It doesn't mean any
10 document or anything like that kind, but my personal impressions, the
11 impressions I gained as an individual about these other people. So if I
12 could say that there were grounds for these people to be released,
13 unless, as I said, there were no other reasons or impediments that could
14 be raised by some other organs.
15 JUDGE TRECHSEL: If I were to translate your answer now into
16 terms which are a bit not quite politically correct, perhaps, but if I
17 sum up what you tell us, in a way it sounds as if you were telling us
18 that you set free your cronies, people you -- people with whom you -- for
19 whom you had sympathy, whom you wanted to assist.
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, Your Honour Judge Trechsel, I
21 didn't release people who I liked, but this was to do with people whom I
22 knew about through their families or whatever, through their families,
23 family members, and I would propose them. So my proposal did not mean
24 their ultimate release, and that's an important fact to remember. My
25 proposal didn't automatically mean that those people would be released.
1 MR. SCOTT: Thank you, Judge, for your assistance.
2 Q. Sir, I just -- and I want to inject another factor in here and
3 then come back to some of these questions again. But when you were
4 involved in these matters, did anyone from the HVO or on behalf of the
5 HVO provide you with a list of detainees that you could then review and
6 you could pick from the list those who you knew and those you could
7 again, quote, "vouch for"?
8 A. No, I never received such a list, and I never knew anything about
9 such lists. I just said that I learned from my friends, acquaintances,
10 or family members of the people who were detained.
11 Q. And when you contacted Mr. Pusic to get these people released,
12 did you have to provide Mr. Pusic with any sort of documentation or was
13 the mere fact that Slobodan Bozic vouched for these persons enough to get
14 them released?
15 A. No, I didn't have to provide any documentation, no, we could
16 speak on the phone. But I'm repeating for the umpteenth time that my
17 call and my proposal did not automatically mean that they would be
19 Q. Sir, did it not occur to you at the time that if you personally
20 knew people that should not be held, that there might be many, many
21 others that you didn't happen to know of exactly the same situation? If
22 you knew people that shouldn't be being held and you intervened to have
23 them released, did it not occur to you at the time that there might be
24 people not known to Slobodan Bozic that might be in the same situation
25 and should be released?
1 A. If I had such an opportunity, perhaps I would try that too, but
2 this was the possibility I had for the people I personally knew, and
3 conditionally speaking, I provided the guarantees for those people. And
4 you know what I told you at one point about the unpleasantness I went
5 through because of such things and the stories that went around on
6 account of my behaviour in this respect.
7 Q. Excuse me. My question to you is this: You held -- however you
8 want to characterize it, I submit -- I submit to you and to the Chamber
9 that you held a senior position in the HVO apparatus. I won't
10 characterize it any further than that. The Chamber, the Judges, can draw
11 their own conclusions. But I submit to you that you held a senior
12 position in the HVO apparatus, and while you may have done something to
13 intervene with a few people that you knew to have them released, what I
14 want you to tell these Judges, as senior official of this apparatus, what
15 official systematic steps did you take to see that people were released
16 that shouldn't be held?
17 MR. KARNAVAS: Your Honour, I object to the form of the question.
18 It begs, first of all, some preconditions, whether he had the power to
19 intervene and, if so, how he could intervene. The question presupposes
20 that this gentleman had it within his right to go about and release
21 anybody he wished. Now, I think he needs to lay some foundation, unless
22 he just wants to put the question straight out and say, "I put to you
23 that you had the power to release everyone from there, and you didn't do
24 so," and then he can present the evidence to back his claim up. But he
25 can't have it both ways, and I object to the form of the question. It's
1 unfair. It's unfair to the witness, and I think we need to move on.
2 MR. SCOTT: Your Honour, I disagree. I want the chance to
3 respond before the Court rules.
4 I disagree fully with Mr. Karnavas's position. The witness has
5 spent the last half hour telling us that he could intervene on his
6 personal -- on a personal basis without any documentation and on his
7 vouching, get the release of people by calling Berislav Pusic, among
8 other things. That's number 1.
9 Number 2, I think after all these days of testimony so far, there
10 is no dispute that Mr. Bozic, however else he may want to characterize
11 it, held a senior position in the HVO apparatus.
12 I submit to the Judges, Your Honours, that both of those items
13 are enough foundation to put to the witness, "You knew that there were
14 people that shouldn't be held because you've told us you intervened to
15 have them released. We also know that you were a senior official in the
16 HVO, and my question is: What did you do -- what steps, if any, did you
17 take," did he take, to address the matter on not an anecdotal, "Well, I
18 know a few people," but on a systematic basis as a senior official in the
20 MR. KARNAVAS: And my objection stands as it was. First of all,
21 it presupposes that he had this ability. When he says he intervened, he
22 was first asked by Boban, by his testimony. Secondly, he placed a call.
23 Thirdly, he said repeatedly both to Judge Trechsel and to the
24 Prosecutor's question that placing a call did not necessarily mean
25 release. That's what he means by "intervention." And fourthly, he
1 indicated that he would personally guarantee or vouch for the credibility
2 of certain individuals whom he knew, not his cronies, and I thought it
3 was a rather strong way of putting it, Judge Trechsel, but I take it
4 that --
5 JUDGE TRECHSEL: I admitted, I admitted that.
6 MR. KARNAVAS: I know, you fessed up to it. But be that as it
7 may, I think now we're over-reaching. Now, if Mr. Scott wants to lay
8 some kind of foundation to show that he had the ability, but intervening
9 by way of placing a phone call is a far cry from being able to actually
10 open the floodgates.
11 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] The Trial Chamber would like
12 the witness to answer the question. Witness, Mr. Scott put a question to
13 you. Please answer. You do not need a counsel to know exactly what to
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] In view of this extensive debate,
16 could Mr. Scott repeat the question so that I can make my answer clear
17 and precise?
18 MR. SCOTT:
19 Q. Mr. Bozic, I put it to you that the evidence that you've given in
20 the last half hour or so makes it abundantly clear, I submit - that's my
21 submission to the Chamber and to you - makes it abundantly clear that you
22 learned, at least at some point, and we'll put that -- we'll put the
23 exact date to the side for the moment, but at some point you learned that
24 Muslims were being held by the HVO, were in HVO-controlled facilities.
25 You had the ability to call Mr. Pusic and at least ask to have people
1 released, on your intervention alone, without documentation. I also put
2 it to you, sir, that it is clear, I submit, clear to the Chamber that you
3 held a senior position in the HVO apparatus, however else you want to
4 characterize it. My question is: Based on the knowledge that you had,
5 based on the fact that you were able to intervene to get people that you
6 felt shouldn't be held released, what did you do on a more systematic
7 basis? All well and good -- excuse me. All well and good for the
8 individuals that you happened to know to get released, but as the deputy
9 minister of defence, what were you doing to address the matter on a
10 systematic basis?
11 MR. KHAN: Mr. President, Your Honours, I apologise for
12 intervening. Your Honour --
13 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I don't know what you're about
14 to say, Mr. Khan, but before you say anything, I must tell counsel that
15 when a question is put either by you or by the Prosecutor to a witness,
16 and that you or the Prosecutor stands up, this always -- there's always
17 an impression that is given to the Judges. It feels like you want to
18 lead the witness. That's the impression we get. But when the question
19 is put and the answer comes spontaneously, then it gives a better weight
20 to the answer. But now you have the floor. Go ahead. What do you want
21 to say, Mr. Khan?
22 MR. KHAN: I'm much obliged. Of course, appearances can be
24 Your Honour, it is relevant and of course it's a perfectly
25 permissible question, but I cannot help but point out that at page 69,
1 line 13 to 15, the witness was attempting to answer and explain issues
2 that were -- it appears to me, at least, that were relevant to this line
3 of questioning, and he was cut off by my learned friend Mr. Scott at line
4 16 of page 69. Your Honour, I think it is a problem, and it is an area
5 that the witness is fully entitled to give an answer to, because it is of
6 course germane to what he may or may not have done, and I would ask he be
7 given the opportunity to answer what he was not allowed to answer
9 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Scott's question was very
10 specific, Witness, so please answer the question put to you by Mr. Scott.
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I'll start with the
12 last part of Mr. Scott's question.
13 How highly placed I was and what I did, I've been talking about
14 that in the past four days in this courtroom, and Your Honours will
15 decide what my duties were and responsibilities.
16 A second important thing which I wish to repeat is that I worked
17 upon instructions from Mr. Boban in order to resolve the question of a
18 certain number of people.
19 Mr. Scott's question, whether I could have done the same for
20 other persons that I didn't know, I could not because it was not within
21 my remit. There were organs who were engaged in these areas and who
22 decided about these things, and not me.
23 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Scott.
24 MR. SCOTT:
25 Q. Sir, I'd like you to turn, please, to Exhibit P 02380 in the
1 first binder.
2 Sir, this is a document dated the 14th of May, 1993, from
3 Stanko Bozic, who the Chamber has heard evidence was the warden of the
4 Heliodrom prison. Mr. Bozic here approves or confirms or communicates an
5 order by Mr. Slobodan Bozic and Mr. Berke Pusic to release all persons --
6 excuse me, all ill persons to their homes immediately. Can you tell us,
7 please, about you and Mr. Pusic issuing this order?
8 A. I never issued this order. I remember this document very well,
9 and we have had an extensive discussion about it when you investigated me
10 as a suspect, and I told you that it was an example of an illogical order
11 or decision, whichever you like. In the heading, we see the "Central
12 Military Investigating Prison," the number and the date, and it says
13 "Order." What order; oral, written, telephone, fax? And then he signs
14 it himself. So as to avoid any error in the interpretation, I never
15 communicated with Mr. Stanko Bozic by telephone, in writing, or orally.
16 I told you then and I repeat now that this is an order that he gave
17 himself. For what reason he mentions the name of Mr. Pusic and myself,
18 only he knows, because I didn't have such competences, nor could I have
19 given such an order.
20 Q. Sir, you knew Mr. Stanko Bozic before the war and had dealings
21 with him prior to the 14th of May, 1993, hadn't you?
22 A. No, that is not true, I didn't know him before the war.
23 Obviously, you take something from the transcript that suits you and
24 other things that don't. As far as I can remember, I said that I met him
25 during the war as a person with the same surname as mine. We didn't know
1 each other, and we live in different parts of town, and we engaged in
2 different activities.
3 Q. What were your relationship or dealings with Mr. Bozic prior
4 to -- this Mr. Stanko Bozic, before the 14th of May, 1993?
5 A. None. We didn't even know each other personally.
6 Q. And so your suggestion is that Mr. Bozic -- Mr. Stanko Bozic
7 simply just made this up?
8 A. I don't wish to say that he made it up. Whether by this order he
9 wanted to show the justification of what he was doing, I don't know, but
10 in any event he didn't receive any order from me, nor did I discuss this
11 issue with Mr. Pusic ever.
12 Q. Would you go, please, next to P 10 -- second binder, P 10792.
13 Sir, this is a report by the ECMM, dated the 9th of June, 1993
14 I'd like you to look at, under -- well, first of all, under number 3,
15 "Persons met," it indicates that there was a meeting with Deputy Minister
16 of Defence HVO Slobodan Bozic, and then under number 5, in the second
17 paragraph under 5, it says:
18 "The visit to Mr. Bozic was a little tense. He asked about our
19 work and why we wanted to visit the Heliodrom barracks. He was not
20 pleased at all with this visit and tried to convince us not to go. We do
21 not know of the reasons, but it could be related to the increase of fire
22 in the city at that very time."
23 Do you recall having a meeting around this -- did you have
24 meetings around this time with the ECMM in May, June, July 1993?
25 Excuse me, Your Honour, this is one of the documents that under
1 certain procedures that -- we're allowed to use it in court, but it
2 should not be broadcast. That's the only conditions, just that it should
3 not be broadcast.
4 Sir, can you tell us about your meetings with -- did you meet
5 with the ECMM around -- during this time-period? You told us you were
6 the liaison of international organisations. ECMM was one of those;
7 correct? Sir?
8 A. Which part of this report am I asked to comment on, please?
9 Q. First answer my question. Can you confirm to us, sir, that
10 during May, June, July 1993, that you had regular meetings with ECMM?
11 A. Yes, I did mean unofficially I did meet with them. I can't say
12 regularly. It depended on the case, and I did meet with ECMM monitors.
13 Q. What do you mean you did mean unofficially? That's at least how
14 it came out in the transcript. Were you meeting with them in your
15 official capacity or unofficially?
16 A. It's an error, not "unofficially." I said from one case to the
17 next and not regularly.
18 Q. Do you recall, sir, around the 9th of June, 1993, being asked by
19 the ECMM that they wanted to visit the Heliodrom barracks and you trying
20 to convince them not to go to the Heliodrom?
21 A. I think that in this report, the problem may be related to the
22 surname. Under item 3, they say they had a meeting with me, and then in
23 item 5 they speak of the impossibility to go to the Heliodrom, access to
24 the Heliodrom, and there is reference to Bozic who was in charge of the
25 prison and not the Bozic that they met and which is referred to in item
2 Q. Sir, the only Bozic they refer to in this record of meetings for
3 that day, item 3, "meetings/people met," and the only Bozic that they
4 referred to as having met in connection with this report is a meeting
5 with the deputy minister of defence of HVO, Slobodan Bozic, and that's
6 you; correct?
7 A. No, no, you're not right. Under item 3, they talk of a meeting
8 that they had with me, and in item 5, we can read it verbatim for the
9 Trial Chamber to see:
10 "Visit to the hospital will result in an official request by
11 UNPROFOR to change the medical personnel, seven doctors, with specialists
12 of the West Bank
14 In continuation:
15 "Visit to Mr. Bozic was a little tense. He asked about our work
16 and why we wanted to visit the Heliodrom barracks. He was not pleased at
17 all with this visit," et cetera.
18 They're talking about them being prevented by Bozic to visit the
19 Heliodrom and not to the Bozic that they spoke to and which is referred
20 to in item 3.
21 MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation] Please forgive me, but upon
22 instructions from His Honour Judge Antonetti, I waited for the answer so
23 that my intervention could not assist the witness, but the report says
24 that the meeting with Mr. Slobodan Bozic was held at 9 hours. This is
25 what it says at item 3. And could my learned friend look at the whole
1 document. And this second visit certainly took place after 16.30 hours,
2 because that is when UNPROFOR was prohibited from entering. So obviously
3 these were two different meetings, at least judging by the time when they
4 were held.
5 MR. SCOTT: Your Honour, I disagree with that characterization,
6 but now counsel are simply arguing the evidence, and I'll move on to the
7 next document.
8 If you could turn next, sir, to Exhibit P 02260 in the first
9 binder, P 02260.
10 Q. Sir, this appears to be a report dated -- or official note, it's
11 called, just to be very specific. On the 10th of May, 1993, referring to
12 the arrest and the holding of -- let me just -- at the risk of being
13 accused -- so I will not be accused of paraphrasing, it says:
14 "A decision was issued that all ethnic Muslim citizens from the
15 right bank of the Neretva were to be quarantined in the SVZ in the
17 Can you tell us, sir, who on behalf of the HVO made that
18 decision, a decision, "a decision was issued that all Muslim citizens,"
19 et cetera. Who at the HVO made that decision?
20 A. I don't know who made such decision, and this is the first time
21 I'm seeing this document.
22 Q. Who would have the authority in the Mostar region to issue such a
23 decision, based on your familiarity with the Department of Defence and
24 the HVO?
25 A. This is nothing to do with the Defence Department. There is
1 mention of people who were not in the HVO or the Defence Department, a
2 gentleman and a lady, so whatever I would say would be pure speculation.
3 Q. And how soon after this decision did you become involved in
4 getting people released?
5 A. I don't know. I can't comment on what you are saying involved.
6 It's a rather harsh qualification. I would prefer to say that upon
7 instructions from Mr. Boban, I tried to solve the problem with a certain
8 number of people, for them to leave the area.
9 MR. SCOTT: Your Honours, I think it may be about time for a
10 break, if I'm not mistaken.
11 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I have two questions on
12 semantics, Mr. Witness.
13 I'm a legal expert, I listen to the Prosecutor, I listen to what
14 you're saying, and I'm also looking at the document. On this document, I
15 note the following "May 10th," which is the day right after May 9. This
16 document comes from the Central Military Prison. It says that there was
17 an attack by the MOS on the 9th of May, and that after that someone - we
18 don't know whom - decided that these Muslims were going to be
19 quarantined. I would like to know what is the word in your own language
20 for "quarantine." I'm trying to look at the B/C/S text, and I can't find
21 the word for "quarantine." Is it "izoludju [phoen]"; would that be it?
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honour.
23 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. Now, this word,
24 "izoludju," what does it mean in your language and in your legal system?
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] If we were to define it, I'm not
1 really a linguist, but it means removal of a certain number of persons
2 who would be protected and under the control of certain organs or bodies.
3 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] In the former Yugoslavia, could
4 you tell us whether there was a legal text that would make it possible to
5 isolate a number of people, quarantine them or place them in custody,
6 administrative custody or something? Was there a legal text that would
7 allow for this and provide for this?
8 Let me give you an example. Imagine an illegal alien, a
9 foreigner who would be in the Republic of -- in the Socialist Republic
10 Bosnia-Herzegovina and had nothing to do there. What could the
11 authorities do? Would they put him in custody? Would they put him in
12 jail? Would they take him to an investigating judge? How was the
13 problem of illegal aliens solved?
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I wouldn't like to speculate, but
15 I think that there was the possibility for isolation in certain centres,
16 conditionally speaking centres, since we're using the word "isolation,"
17 in the centres for isolation.
18 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] In the English text, we have
19 the word "release" at one point in time. Now, in B/C/S, could you tell
20 us what is the word for this situation, what is the word used?
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I'm sorry, Your Honour. Could you
22 tell me which part of the text you're referring to when you're using the
23 word "release"?
24 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] In the paragraph before last in
25 English, but you don't know English, but it says that these people can be
1 released, and we have the word "release" twice in the text, because
2 Mr. Pusic can also release these persons. So what is the word used in
3 your own language, in this document, of course?
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] In the document, the word
5 "liberate" is not being used, because as lawyers, it would mean that
6 somebody is serving a sentence. So in this case, they're referring to
7 "otpustanje." If somebody was isolated for security reasons, then he is
8 released. So it doesn't mean "liberation." We lawyers would use
9 "release" if there was a judgement of acquittal. Here the word used is
10 "otpustanje" in the B/C/S.
11 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. So they're
12 released, let go, whereas in English it's "release," but in English you
13 can only be released if you've been detained, whether if you're let go,
14 it's a bit different.
15 I just wanted this to be noted down, and I believe that everybody
16 should reflect on this now.
17 We'll have a 20-minute break.
18 --- Recess taken at 5.45 p.m.
19 --- On resuming at 6.07 p.m.
20 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Scott, you have the floor.
21 MR. SCOTT:
22 Q. Sir, you indicated previously, when we spoke before, that it was
23 possible that you had helped a man named Zoran Mandelbaum get certain
24 people released from the Heliodrom. Do you recall that?
25 A. Yes, I do, and you showed me that we had a talk -- or when we had
1 a talk, when I was in the capacity of a suspect.
2 Q. Well, Mr. Mandelbaum was a witness in the Tuta, Stela case.
3 Actually, I believe, he was a defence witness, but I showed you or I put
4 to you some of the testimony from that case where he indicated -- he
5 swore in that case that you had helped him to get some people out of the
6 Heliodrom. Is that correct?
7 A. Well, not to pull some people out of the Heliodrom, but in the
8 same way that I spoke earlier on, in conformity with the instructions
9 from Mr. Boban, I helped Mr. Zoran Mandelbaum as well, whom I knew far
10 before these events.
11 Q. You testified earlier today, sir, that you had never been in any
12 of the HVO camps and you didn't know the conditions there. But
13 Mr. Mandelbaum says that in his connections with you, getting people
14 released from the Heliodrom, he rode with you in a jeep to the Heliodrom
15 for the purpose of getting people released. Now, do you recall, does
16 that refresh your memory about actually going with Mr. Mandelbaum to the
17 Heliodrom to obtain the release of certain people?
18 A. No, that's not true, nor did I ever go with Mr. Mandelbaum to
19 Heliodrom, nor was I ever at Heliodrom, nor did you ever tell me that
20 when you interviewed me with a suspect. You just told me part of
21 Mr. Mandelbaum's statement to the effect that I had helped him -- well,
22 conditionally speaking, I said how that happened, in what way, for
23 certain individuals to leave Heliodrom, but you didn't tell me that then.
24 And what you're saying now is not true, and it is incorrect that I ever
25 got into a car with Mr. Mandelbaum, let alone go to Heliodrom with him.
1 Q. Mr. Mandelbaum testified that first you had gone to Berko Pusic
2 and you didn't get any satisfaction from Mr. Pusic and, quote:
3 "I went to Mr. Slobodan Bozic, who got his jeep ready and brought
4 two of his colleagues along."
5 And then he goes on to talk about how you went to the Heliodrom.
6 So you're saying that Mr. Mandelbaum is wrong in that regard? You reject
7 any possibility that you went with Mr. Mandelbaum to the Heliodrom to
8 have people released?
9 A. I absolutely exclude that possibility. And let me repeat, when
10 you interviewed me as a suspect, you just put to me part of the
11 statement, saying that I had helped Mr. Mandelbaum. Now everything
12 you're saying now has nothing to do with what you asked me then at the
13 time when, let me repeat, I was interviewed as a suspect.
14 Q. Sir, you've said that all day long. Are you telling the Chamber
15 that you gave certain answers when you were interviewed as a suspect, and
16 you give different answers when you come to court? What are you trying
17 to tell these Judges? So you were interviewed as a suspect. So what?
18 Are you saying you gave different answers then than you're giving now?
19 A. No, you're wrong on that score. I did not give different
20 answers. I gave the same answers then and now. But you didn't ask me at
21 the time, nor did you make any mention of any vehicle, any jeep, or my
22 going to Heliodrom, or anything of that kind, so that's the difference
23 that I'm referring to. But otherwise, I'm saying the same thing now as I
24 said then, as a suspect, and I confirm that to the very last word.
25 Q. Sir, you said in your -- about these people that you got
1 released, you have said before in your interview -- if we need to turn
2 to, we can. But if we can save some time, it will be appreciated, but
3 certainly if you want to look at it, we can.
4 You said, in relation to the people that you obtained their
5 release, "certainly these people are alive today, they are healthy and
6 alive, because of your intervention." Is that correct, sir?
7 A. I can't remember, but I'm happy if they are alive and well, those
8 people who left that way.
9 Q. Sir, that takes us back to this topic that we discussed before.
10 And so it sounds -- I put it to you, it sounds to me that the people who
11 were -- maybe in this regard, who were fortunate enough to be alive
12 today, are alive and healthy in connection with you, simply because they
13 happen to know Slobodan Bozic; correct?
14 A. Those people left because Mr. Boban gave me those instructions,
15 and then I tried, when at all possible, when I knew about certain things
16 and was in -- or, rather, certain people and was in a position to do so,
17 I tried to see that the question was resolved. But the essential point
18 in this courtroom, it seems, is to repeat the same thing five times, so I
19 have to repeat it again and say that I provided information and data
20 about those individuals, but that did not automatically mean that they
21 would be released, if there were any other reasons for detaining them
22 further. So I didn't make the decisions. I just initiated the process
23 of their release.
24 Q. Sir, you said previously that you weren't sure how many people
25 were actually released. You said just now you don't know if they were
1 released or not. But you do know, didn't you, and you said, talked about
2 some, that you actually obtained their release or their letting go, to
3 follow up on the conversation before the break. You know that, sir,
4 don't you? You're not telling this Chamber that you don't know. You
5 know that certain people that you intervened on their behalf, that they
6 were released, and they were released because they knew Slobodan Bozic;
8 A. Those people were released because I initiated their release
9 because I knew who the people were, what kind of people they were, and I
10 respected the instructions given to me by Mr. Boban. And the fact that
11 this -- the fact that I initiated the process didn't actually mean that
12 they would be released.
13 Q. Sir, you keep talking about this conversation with Mr. Boban, but
14 you've told us, and you've confirmed this much, and that is: During this
15 time-period, May and June 1993, you were sitting in the Ministry of
16 Defence offices, you shared a secretary with Mr. Stojic. Mr. Stojic was
17 across -- adjacent to your office. You were in shouting distance of
18 Mr. Petkovic. Now, are you telling these Judges that throughout this
19 time-period, there was no discussion with Mr. Stojic, no discussion in
20 the hallway, no discussion going downstairs to Mr. Petkovic's office
21 about the holding of Muslims by the HVO and what the HVO was going to do
22 about it on a systematic basis?
23 A. I said that I didn't talk to Mr. Petkovic or, rather,
24 General Petkovic or Mr. Stojic, and the period of time that you're
25 referring to was the time when we were dislocated or, rather, moving, so
1 we couldn't see each other on a daily basis. But regardless of that,
2 neither with General Petkovic, nor with General Stojic, did I discuss
3 that issue.
4 Q. Well, really, the same question, sir: Why not? This is a huge
5 issue. It's on CNN, it's on BBC
6 seen footage of men and women being led from Mostar to the Heliodrom.
7 It's a huge world issue, and you didn't talk about it with the person
8 across the office from you, Mr. Stojic, or Mr. Petkovic, who was working
9 in the same building? And if you didn't, sir, why not?
10 A. Well, I answered that question earlier on. I said that I had no
11 need to discuss it with them because that wasn't part of my job. That's
12 the first point. And, secondly, I know that there were organs or,
13 rather, services which dealt with that kind of thing, so in my personal
14 opinion, anything else would be my meddling. And as a professional, I
15 never wished to meddle in other people's affairs.
16 Q. Some people might call "meddling" managing, as a deputy minister;
17 isn't that correct, sir?
18 A. No, I said -- I said that throughout my life and my career, I
19 operated in such a way as not to meddle into the affairs of others. And
20 today, too, I have my job, and I do part of my job independently of what
21 my colleagues do at the head of other sectors within the company that I
23 Q. Would you please look at P 10782 in binder number 2. P 10782.
24 10782. For some reason, it doesn't seem to be in the binder.
25 Can we have the assistance of e-court, please, or if it's loose.
1 It doesn't seem to be in the binder for some reason. If we can work in
2 e-court, it would be most appreciative, just to save time.
3 Sir, this is a document dated the 22nd of July, 1993
4 name of someone named --
5 MR. IBRISIMOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I don't want to
6 start up the discussion of last week, but I'd like to object again and
7 say that this document is being introduced into the proceedings contrary
8 to the Trial Chamber's ruling of the 27th of November, 2008.
9 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, with your
10 permission, although we're not dealing with General Petkovic's interests
11 in this document, I would like fully to support Mr. Ibrisimovic's
12 objection, and I consider that with respect to these documents, we ought
13 to behave pursuant to the Trial Chamber's decision that we discussed last
14 week. Thank you.
15 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Scott, this document was
16 not a 65 ter document; is that correct?
17 MR. SCOTT: I can't say whether it was on the 65 ter list,
18 Your Honour. I think it's true to say that it was not admitted during
19 the Prosecution case, but I'll ask Ms. Winner to confirm that. But again
20 I must say, and this came up last week, I'm not aware of any rule which
21 requires cross-examination material to be listed on the 65 ter list.
22 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] The Chamber has decided that
23 you could use this document to test the credibility of the witness.
24 MR. SCOTT: Thank you, Mr. President.
25 Q. Sir, if you have found -- if you can go on e-court, and I
1 apologise, to the last page of the document, please. I can't give you
2 the number, but it's the last page, unless Ms. Winner can assist me --
3 there you go. And if we can have it in English as well, please. Thanks
4 very much.
5 Sir, this is a document, as I was saying, dated the 22nd of July,
6 1993, over the typed name of someone named Ivan Bandic, and I'd just like
7 you to look at the last item, which in the English is marked as 221, and
8 then it appears to be 216 for whatever reason. I think it's just a typo.
9 It's on the list -- English list, it's 213, 214, 2 --
10 A. Your Honours, may I ask a question? May I be allowed to ask a
11 question, Your Honours?
12 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Wait. Wait until we hear the
13 Prosecution's question, and if there is a major problem, then you'll be
14 allowed to intervene.
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I'd like to say something, since
16 this is a friend of mine who's not alive, so may his name be left out,
17 not mentioned, and I'll be happy to comment on anything else.
18 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Scott.
19 MR. SCOTT:
20 Q. Sir, do you recall the person that's listed in the last of this
21 list, number 216? Next to that name is your name, Slobodan Bozic. Do
22 you recall helping that individual obtain freedom?
23 A. Yes, I do remember, and that's why I asked the Trial Chamber what
24 I asked a moment ago. It's my friend who's no longer alive, and I used
25 the same procedure, pursuant to Mr. Boban's instructions, and applied it
1 to this particular person as well.
2 Q. Thank you, sir.
3 Sir, just a couple of questions, perhaps, on the topic of forced
5 You recall telling me, during your interview in 2003, that again
6 you did not know -- you had no knowledge that the HVO was using prisoners
7 in forced labour; do you recall that?
8 A. Yes, I said at the time that I did not know that the HVO used
9 prisoners for forced labour.
10 Q. And did you ever at some point learn the contrary, and if so,
12 A. Well, all that was later, a lot later, much after those events
13 and the situation that existed at the time.
14 Q. So just so the testimony is clear, throughout this time, that is,
15 from -- let's talk about, as we have been primarily, May and the summer
16 of 1993, into the fall of 1993, your testimony to the Judges is
17 throughout that time-period you did not know that the HVO was using
18 prisoners in forced labour. That's your position?
19 A. That's right. As far as I remember, that's how it was.
20 Q. But you would agree, sir, and you confirmed to me when we spoke
21 before, that to use prisoners in forced labour would be improper?
22 A. Any forced labour is unlawful, and any coercion is unlawful.
23 Q. Sir, you mentioned earlier today that when you learned about the
24 events that had happened in Ahmici in mid-April 1993, that you reported
25 that to Mr. Stojic and Mr. Petkovic; is that correct?
1 A. In fact, I said quite precisely, after I was informed by an
2 officer, an observer from the European Union, I think it's the name you
3 mentioned frequently, I think it was Mr. Christopher Beese, that after
4 that -- it was after that that I informed Mr. Stojic and
5 General Petkovic, and that that was as far as I remember, and when I look
6 at some documents that I had seen, it was after the signing of the
7 agreement between General Petkovic and General Halilovic, which was on
8 the 25th of April, 1993.
9 Q. Well, you did say, sir, that you immediately reported the news to
10 Stojic and Petkovic. In one place, you said: "At the very same moment I
11 finished with him," referring to the EU Monitor, "I reported to
12 Mr. Stojic and Mr. Petkovic about it." So you stand by that?
13 A. Yes. When I learnt about it and received the information from
14 the EU Monitor, I informed General Petkovic and Mr. Stojic about that.
15 And when I added the date, since I have seen a large number of documents,
16 I just added that all this happened after the 25th of April. So I'm not
17 changing my testimony. I just added the date.
18 Q. When you reported this to Mr. Stojic and Mr. Petkovic, did either
19 of them give you any indication that this is something that they already
20 knew about, or did you have the impression that you were telling them
21 something for the first time?
22 A. If you want my frank and sincere answer, and I have to give you a
23 frank and sincere answer because I'm under oath, at the meeting, and this
24 is very important in view of your question, at the meeting that was on
25 the 19th of April in Medjugorje, which came before the meeting of the
1 25th in Zagreb
2 by a single word mentioned Ahmici, and the meeting in Medjugorje was on
3 the 19th of April, 1993.
4 Q. Well, you didn't exactly answer my question. When you reported
5 Ahmici, the information about Ahmici to Mr. Stojic -- let's take them one
6 at a time to make it as simple as possible. Let's take Mr. Stojic first.
7 Was Mr. Stojic surprised? Did he react to you as something he had not
8 heard before? Or did you have the impression that he already knew about
10 A. I think I've already answered that when you interviewed me as a
11 suspect, that it was a surprise to Mr. Petkovic and Mr. Stojic, because
12 I think that on that day, whether by APCs or helicopter, somebody or,
13 rather, General Petkovic or someone else started out towards
14 Central Bosnia
15 of me - you have it in the English version - that's what I said then when
16 I was answering your questions as a suspect.
17 Q. And do you know how Mr. Petkovic travelled to Central Bosnia at
18 that time?
19 A. I said whether it was a helicopter or APCs, I'm not quite sure,
20 because it was at the time when negotiations were underway about the
21 formation of a joint staff, a joint command, which in actual fact was a
22 continuation of the Medjugorje agreement of the 19th of April or, rather,
23 the Zagreb
24 it was a helicopter or what, or APCs, and whether they were supplied by
25 the EU or whatever. It would be guess-work on my part if I were to opt
1 for either one.
2 Q. And on receiving the information about Ahmici, why did you report
3 it to Stojic and Petkovic?
4 A. Well, it was a logical step to take, in view of the position that
5 I held. I worked with affairs on behalf of the Commission for
6 Cooperation with UNPROFOR, covering part of the affairs relating to the
7 defence area. Now, I think it was Mr. Beese who told me, who said that
8 what happened had happened, and that he had said that certain armed
9 persons, soldiers of the HVO, had committed what they had committed.
10 Then it was logical for me to inform Mr. Stojic about that, as well as
11 Mr. Petkovic or, rather, General Petkovic.
12 Q. Did you have any further involvement after that time with any
13 investigations or inquiries by the HVO into the events at Ahmici?
14 A. No, no, I wasn't involved further in any investigations or
15 inquiries. And as I said, that wasn't within my remit, the remit of the
16 post and job I had at the time.
17 Q. And you don't know, is it correct, when you told me before, and
18 would you confirm again today, that you don't know and never knew at the
19 time whether any HVO soldiers were ever punished or disciplined for the
20 events at Ahmici; is that correct?
21 A. As I said then, I can repeat and confirm now. I said that I did
22 not know whether anybody was punished, or disciplined, or held
23 responsible, and I said, if I remember correctly, that it wasn't a
24 question of disciplined -- of being disciplined, but I think I remember
25 that what I said then is what I say now.
1 Q. Sir, you've told us throughout your testimony that you were a
2 principal liaison with the international organisations. Ahmici was
3 certainly an ongoing topic of some controversy and notoriety. Did you
4 have no continuing interest or curiosity concerning that event, or what
5 happened, or if anyone was punished, or if anyone was disciplined, or if
6 anyone in the HVO, anyone in the Department of Defence, of which you were
7 deputy minister? Was -- anything happened -- was there consequences of
8 that event?
9 A. Well, I said that it wasn't within my remit. But I did talk to
10 the international organisations, but you will recall that part of my
11 testimony, when I said on the second or third day that apart from me and
12 the representatives of the international organisations, other people
13 spoke to them from the level of the districts in Central Bosnia. I know
14 that they had their liaison officer for cooperating with UNPROFOR and
15 international organisations.
16 Q. Now, around this time of Ahmici, which occurred on around the
17 16th of April, 1993, there's issues in this case about alleged crimes
18 that were committed bit HVO in Sovici/Doljani around that very same time,
19 around the 17th of April, 1993; are you aware of that?
20 A. I know that on the 16th of April, 1993, a crime was committed
21 against the Croats in Trusina, and I think it coincided with what
22 happened on both sides in Ahmici and Dusina [as interpreted]. And as for
23 the crime in Sovici, I don't know that it can be linked to that date and
24 when those conflicts occurred in Doljani, but I am certain that the crime
25 that occurred in Ahmici unfortunately coincided in time with the crime
1 committed in Trusina, in Konjic municipality, committed against Croats,
2 civilians and soldiers living there.
3 I don't understand English, but I see it says "Dusina." That's
4 wrong. It should be "Trusina."
5 Q. Thank you, sir. My question was about Sovici and Doljani, so
6 you've used a lot of time to talk to us about something I didn't ask you
7 about. But so be it.
8 Sir, I'd like you to look at Exhibit P 02052 in binder number 1,
9 P 02052.
10 Sir, this is a document that we've already spent quite a bit of
11 time in the courtroom talking about. And just to refresh everyone's
12 memory, this is a document that purports to be a report about some events
13 on the 23rd of April, 1993, or at least the report -- excuse me, a report
14 that was given around that time, and by Mr. Rozic. And Mr. Rozic, among
15 other things, says that following the armed conflicts in the villages of
16 Doljani and Sovici, all members of the army were brought for questioning,
17 and civilians were assembled at several points. In total, there were 422
18 women and children and 25 men of military age. It talks about some of
19 those men then being taken to Ljubuski. It goes on to say:
20 "After the end of the fighting in this area, all Muslim houses
21 were set on fire and two mosques were destroyed by order of a higher
23 Now, around this time, sir, apart from this particular document,
24 do you recall that information coming in to the senior offices, that is,
25 the office of Mr. Stojic and your office in the Department of Defence,
1 about what had happened in Sovici/Doljani around this time? Whether this
2 document, you saw it or not, I'm asking you about the information in the
3 document. That was reported to you, wasn't it?
4 A. I never received this information, and I saw this document for
5 the first time in my life in the newspaper "Sloboda," as I told
6 Their Honours when Ms. Nozica was questioning me, and this document never
7 reached me and never, on any occasion, not a single head of the Defence
8 Department communicated with me about it, and that includes Mr. Rozic
9 that you're referring to now.
10 Q. And your claim, sir, is that this document is a forgery, and your
11 testimony to this Chamber is that Mr. Rozic never signed the document and
12 never sent the document; correct?
13 A. I never said for a moment that this document was a forgery. This
14 is something that only Their Honours can decide about. But I said that
15 after this document was published in the newspaper "Sloboda," published
16 in Eastern Mostar, I looked for Mr. Rozic and he told me that he never
17 signed this document, that this document was not sent by him. And he
18 knew why I was calling him, and when I analysed it, I, myself, came to
19 the conclusion that there were many things that were illogical and
20 unconvincing in this document. But the key issue is that Mr. Rozic,
21 according to his own statement, never sent it or signed, and I never
22 received it. And I didn't say it was a forgery, because this is
23 something that I cannot decide about. It's up to the Trial Chamber to
25 Q. Well, if I'm not mistaken, Mr. Bozic, that's the characterization
1 that's been given to the document in the past week or so. If I didn't
2 say "forgery," it's your position that the document is -- can I say you
3 would agree your claim is the document is false?
4 A. I'm claiming, judging by the information I checked out and the
5 fact that Rozic told me that he never signed it or sent it, and I never
6 received it, that is what I'm claiming.
7 Q. Would you look next, please, next at P 02056 in binder number 1.
8 It should be close by. Can I ask -- my apologies. Can I ask you,
9 before -- yes, Your Honour, P 02056.
10 Before you do that, I'm sorry, with the usher's assistance, if
11 can we stay on P 02052 for a moment. On that document, on the Croatian
12 version of the document at the bottom, there's handwriting that's been
13 added in connection with the witness who turned this document over to the
14 Office of the Prosecutor. Is that -- was that on the document when it
15 was shown to you for the first time?
16 A. Are you asking me?
17 Q. Yes.
18 A. No, the document that was published in the newspaper did not
19 contain this handwritten note, as far as I can remember. I think it was
20 not there.
21 Q. And the next document, P 02056, if you can look at that for a
22 moment. Does that appear to you to be a copy of the same document as the
23 one that's marked as P -- I mean in content and in format, basically the
24 same document as the one that's marked as 2052, with the exception that
25 the handwritten information below the name "Marko Rozic" is not on 2056?
1 A. Yes, this document that you're showing me now was published in
2 the "Sloboda" that I have already mentioned a couple of times in this
4 Q. Let me next ask you to look at P 09790, P 09790 in the second
5 binder. I believe, sir, you were shown this document or one essentially
6 identical to it, if not the same exact copy or number, during your
7 previous questioning.
8 Sir, I believe you confirmed before, and you can confirm now, can
9 you not, that this appears to be a copy of the -- not a copy, but a
10 version, if you will -- when I say "copy," I don't mean like on a Xerox
11 machine. This is a document reporting virtually the same information
12 over the name Marko Rozic that was sent by a packet communication;
14 A. Yes, this document looks actually like a document that used to be
15 sent by packet communication, but I must say that in this document which
16 you're showing me now, there are certain differences in relation to what
17 the previous documents contained, those that you showed me.
18 Q. We'll come to that, perhaps, if we have time this evening or
19 tomorrow. And before we move on to other aspects, do you see that on the
20 document that is marked P 09790, on the Croatian original there is a
21 stamp in the upper right corner from the Croatian State Archive? I think
22 that will not be disputed in the courtroom, if I'm not mistaken. The
23 courtroom has seen many of these documents, sir. I'll just represent
24 that to you, and if -- again, if I'm wrong, I'm sure I'll be corrected.
25 Now, on that fax -- excuse me. On the stamp that's at the lower
1 left corner of P 09790, the original or the Croatian version, it
2 indicates, does it not, being received by the HVO Main Staff, being given
3 the communication log number of 2248, having been received on the 24th of
4 April, 1993, at 2300 hours, and then with a signature? Do you see that?
5 A. Yes, I do.
6 Q. And do you see -- excuse me, Mr. Kovacic.
7 MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation] I apologise, Your Honours, but
8 there's something here that we were discussing this archive stamp of the
9 Croatian Archives. On the other hand, the Defence, as far as we have
10 heard, denied the authenticity of this document, and the witness said
11 that very clearly. I would just like to say two things.
12 First, the marking, showing that the document is from the
13 Croatian Archive, this round stamp in the upper right-hand corner, does
14 not prove that the document was authentic. We will present evidence to
15 corroborate this later on. I just wish to say that one cannot claim
16 authenticity on that basis.
17 And the second point that I think is important, if one party --
18 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Kovacic, you're not making
19 submissions, are you?
20 MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation] No, Your Honour, I'm not making a
21 submission, but it is in the transcript, and now the discussion will go
22 in that direction, more or less, that authenticity is beyond doubt
23 because there's a stamp of the Croatian Archives. I just wish to pass on
24 the information to those listening, in the first place to the
25 Trial Chamber, that this assumption is not correct, and keep this in
1 mind. We will be discussing it later. It is quite wrong.
2 And the second point I wish to make: If anyone is challenging
3 the authenticity of this document, then the party submitting this
4 document is obliged to tender the original or to prove that it is an
5 original. We have discussed this earlier on.
6 JUDGE TRECHSEL: I'm sorry, Mr. Kovacic. You really are making
7 submissions. You are discussing the evidence, and this is not the moment
8 to discuss the evidence. That moment comes with your final submissions.
9 I think you are giving us a lot of arguments, but let's proceed, and
10 later on you can say that you think the document is not valid, and this
11 argument doesn't help, but for the time being, we are in the period of
12 cross-examination, and I think Mr. Scott should just continue.
13 MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I think that in line
14 with the principle of due diligence, it is my duty to draw attention to
15 the possibility of this document being questionable. If the Defence
16 doesn't do it now, then in my final submissions this objection will be
17 rejected because I should have challenged it immediately.
18 Be that as it may, I have made my objection. Its authenticity is
19 being challenged. Somebody needs to prove that it is authentic. I will
20 present some evidence regarding the trustworthiness of certain documents.
21 I'm not asking you to cancel the question. This is my -- something I'm
22 entitled to.
23 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Put an end to this. Mr. Scott.
24 MR. SCOTT: Your Honour, I do want to make an objection, for the
25 record, although Mr. Kovacic is indeed a good friend and professional
1 colleague. This is not proper. This is all speaking in front of this
2 witness as if somehow the Chamber had to be warned about the status of
3 this document. There's already been discussion. It's already been known
4 since last week that allegations are being made about the nature of the
5 document. And as Judge Trechsel says, this is nothing more than legal
6 argument that should not have been made in front of the witness, and it
7 just was completely improper.
8 The only point the Prosecution raised, and no one suggested the
9 fact that it has a stamp, per se, means that it's -- you know, everything
10 else about the document is 100 percent clear, but it does indicate that
11 this copy of the document came from the Croatian State Archive, and
12 I think that's -- no one's disputing that.
13 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Scott, could you tell the
14 Trial Chamber which witness provided this document? There is the name of
15 a person -- document number 2, unless it's a protected witness. I don't
17 MR. SCOTT: Let me just check on a couple of things, Your Honour.
18 Your Honour, the Prosecution would be prepared to show that the
19 document marked as P 02052 was provided by a witness -- handed by a
20 witness to representatives of the Office of the Prosecutor. I'm not sure
21 that it's really appropriate to -- well, I don't think it -- by the
22 witness who was interviewed -- just a moment, Your Honour. I don't want
23 to misstate. 2052 --
24 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes, but this is not really
25 helping me. Either this witness manipulated you by giving you this
1 document, and if we don't have his name, we can't have any certainty as
2 to what happened. However, if the name of the witness appears, this
3 could strengthen your case.
4 MR. SCOTT: Your Honour, I don't know that -- I'm just not in a
5 position to -- without knowing that person might seek -- it's not someone
6 who's testified to date. So I'm sorry, Your Honour, I'm not trying to be
7 difficult, but it might be a -- it might be someone who would, in the
8 future, if that person came, might seek protective measures. I can
9 represent to the Chamber that the document which is marked as P 0252 was
10 handed to a representative of the Office of the Prosecutor as a document
11 that that witness had obtained in an HVO headquarters in the
12 Sovici/Doljani area that was abandoned after the fighting, 2052.
13 2056 was provided by -- was provided by -- as a response to a
14 request for documents to the authorities -- legal authorities of the
15 State of Bosnia and Herzegovina, from their collection of documents. It
16 came from a different source from 2052. So those are two separate
17 sources so far.
18 Now, 9790 is the packet communication version which has the stamp
19 from the Croatian State Archive, so that's source number 3,
20 Mr. President.
21 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. Proceed.
22 MR. SCOTT: That's source number 3.
23 Q. Now, on this document, sir, the packet communication, we went
24 through that and it says "2248" at "24/04/1993" at 2300 hours. I would
25 like you next to turn to P 02074, P 02074 in the second -- in the first
1 binder. Sir, if you can look at that document, please, and this is a
2 document dated 24th of April, 1993. This is a report to Vitez by someone
3 named Zarko Keza, who I believe was the head of the HVO military
4 intelligence VOS. You will look down, if you will, in the fax
5 information on the bottom lower left corner of that page, this document
6 also coming from the Croatian State Archive, as you will see in the stamp
7 at the upper right corner. This document is logged in to the Main Staff
8 of the HVO, given number 2247, arriving on the 24th of April, 1993
9 1745. So, in other words, this is the document -- the packet
10 communication is dated -- is the document number 2248, and this is 2247.
11 Do you see that information, sir? Do you see the stamp -- do you see the
12 packet information and the stamp of receipt, 2247 at 24 April 1993 at
13 1745 hours? Yes?
14 A. Yes, I see it. I see this document by packet communication. The
15 date is the 24th of April, and the number that you mentioned.
16 Q. Sir, I ask you next to go to 10795, P 10795 in the binder
17 number 2. Sir, this is another packet communication of a report from
18 Marko Dragic to the HVO in Mostar, dated 24 of April, 1993, and I'll ask
19 you again, please, to look on the Croatian document. And I believe in
20 the upper right corner, you will see a stamp of the Croatian State
21 Archive. And if you can look, please, at the packet communications
22 stamp, this is received by the HVO General Staff, Main Staff, at -- also
23 on the 24th of April, 1993
24 communication concerning Sovici/Doljani. This document is given
25 communication log number 2249. Do you see that, sir? Sir, do you see
1 that on the stamp on the packet document?
2 A. Yes, I see it, the stamp of the packet communications. I see the
3 date, the 24th of April, and received on the same date. As you are
4 shifting from one document to another, if I have registered well, the
5 packet communication which reached the Main Staff about the events in
6 Doljani, as you say, was sent on the 23rd of April, at 12.00, and
7 received on the 24th of March at 2300 hours, 36 hours later, so this is
8 causing some confusion. But as you're shifting from one binder to
9 another, I still believe that I noted well about the reception of the
10 previous document regarding Doljani.
11 MR. SCOTT: Thank you.
12 Mr. President, we won't be able to finish this topic, obviously,
13 this evening. Thank you.
14 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well, Mr. Scott.
15 Notably, since you're asking questions which I've already put to
16 the witness, and I don't see what is the added value of asking these
17 questions once again, like looking at the stamp and so on, I've already
18 done this at the time I asked him to check the stamp at the time and the
19 date and so on. You're putting exactly the same questions. I was hoping
20 for some added value.
21 Mr. Scott, you have one hour left.
22 MR. SCOTT: Excuse me, Your Honour. I appreciate the Court's
23 comments and guidance, and I'll certainly take that on board, as usual.
24 I don't think the Chamber -- I don't think the Chamber had seen the
25 documents on either side, and it has not yet seen other documents that
1 will be shown to the witness tomorrow, so give us -- have a little
2 patience, and we'll get there.
3 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. We'll see. But you
4 have one hour left. As things stand now, I'm a bit worried about the
5 programme and the schedule.
6 Ms. Nozica will have some redirect, I'm sure.
7 MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honour. For the present,
8 I plan some additional questioning as soon as Mr. Scott completes his
9 examination. Can you tell us roughly?
10 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Can you give us an order of
11 magnitude, how long you need; ten minutes, an hour? I'm asking this,
12 because when Mr. Praljak will take the floor afterwards, and that he will
13 also be allotted some time, all together I'm sure we'll need about an
14 hour and a half, and we need this witness to be finished tomorrow, if
16 MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honour, thank you for
17 reminding me. We have another direct. I'll do my best to finish
18 tomorrow, but until my learned friend Mr. Scott finishes, I cannot give
19 you an estimate of how much time I will need. But we'll do our best to
20 finish tomorrow.
21 MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, for scheduling
22 purposes, we put down 20 minutes for our submission, but I hope you won't
23 hold me to my word. I'm sure that we will finish earlier. We just wish
24 to verify the statement; no additional questions, not a single one.
25 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. At best, the best
1 thing would be if we could finish with this witness tomorrow, but
2 normally we should be able to do that.
3 It's 2 past 7.00. As you know, we're sitting in the afternoon
4 this week, so we will resume tomorrow at 2.15 p.m.
5 I wish you all a pleasant evening.
--- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 7.02 p.m.
7 to be reconvened on Tuesday, the 10th day of
8 February, 2009, at 2.15 p.m.