1 Monday, 18 May 2009
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 [The accused Prlic and Coric not present]
5 [The witness takes the stand]
6 --- Upon commencing at 2.17 p.m.
7 THE REGISTRAR: Good afternoon, Your Honours. Good afternoon,
8 everyone in and around the courtroom. This is case number IT-04-74-T,
9 the Prosecutor versus Prlic et al. Thank you, Your Honours.
10 [French on English channel]
11 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I was saying that today is
12 Monday, the 18th of May, 2009. I would like to greet Mr. Praljak,
13 Mr. Stojic, Mr. Petkovic, and Mr. Pusic; the Defence counsel,
14 Mr. Stringer, as well as all his associates; and all the people assisting
15 us in this courtroom.
16 I will first of all read out a short oral decision handed down by
17 the Chamber.
18 Oral decision on how the IC lists should be filed by the Praljak
19 Defence on a regular basis during the testimony of Witness
20 Slobodan Praljak.
21 On the 14th of May, 2009, after an oral request filed by the
22 Prosecution, since no objection was filed by the Praljak Defence, the
23 Trial Chamber granted leave to the Praljak Defence to file, at the
24 beginning of each week, IC lists which it would like to be tendered. The
25 Trial Chamber permitted this for the entire period of the testimony of
1 Slobodan Praljak. Hereby, the Trial Chamber wishes to specify this
2 exceptional amendment of paragraph 32, line 8 of the guide-lines and
3 clarify in which manner the IC lists can be filed by the Praljak Defence.
4 The Trial Chamber invites, first and foremost, the
5 Praljak Defence to file its IC lists at the beginning of each week,
6 thereby identifying the documents that were presented before the list in
7 question was filed which it wishes to tender into evidence.
8 The Trial Chamber recalls, secondly, that the parties shall file
9 their objections at the end of Slobodan Praljak's testimony, and it will
10 rule, therefore, on the admission into evidence presented by the
11 Praljak Defence once Slobodan Praljak's testimony is completed.
12 This is the oral decision that the Trial Chamber's handed down.
13 It is very clear. At the beginning of each week, the Praljak Defence
14 should file its IC list which coincides with the documents that have been
15 shown the previous week. And at the end of Mr. Praljak's testimony, when
16 it is finished, the parties can then make objections if they need to. So
17 this is all very clear, I hope.
18 Ms. Nozica, I am hoping, and am rather impatient about it, that
19 you will be giving us some very good news.
20 MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation] Good afternoon, Your Honour. Good
21 afternoon, everybody else in the courtroom.
22 May we go into private session for me to provide the Chamber with
23 the information that I have.
24 [Private session]
11 Pages 40208-40209 redacted. Private session.
6 [Open session]
7 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, we're back in open session.
8 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well.
9 In open session, Mr. Kovacic, after the oral decision handed down
10 by the Trial Chamber, would you like to say something or not?
11 MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation] No, Your Honour. Everything is
12 clear after this decision. We wanted to hear the entire ruling and not
13 just the first part relating to the IC list, but we will tender it within
14 the next five minutes. Thank you.
15 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. Thank you.
16 Before I give the floor back to Mr. Kovacic, Mr. Kovacic,
17 personally, but I think I'm saying this on behalf of my colleagues also,
18 we would like to ask you to be very concise when you answer. I know that
19 it's very difficult, but try to do this, because this has several
20 advantages. And when the Judges put questions, this means that they have
21 more time to put their questions. As you know, the Registrar is the
22 timekeeper of the time the Bench has for putting questions.
23 Fifteen percent of the time is dedicated to questions put by the Bench,
24 which is much more than all the other Trial Chambers that dedicate less
25 than 1 percent of their time to putting questions. This may have to do
1 with different personalities of the Judges sitting on the Bench.
2 Whatever the case may be, please try to be as accurate as you possibly
3 can when you answer your questions.
4 Mr. Kovacic -- Ms. Pinter.
5 MS. PINTER: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honours.
6 Good afternoon to everybody in the courtroom.
7 WITNESS: SLOBODAN PRALJAK [Resumed]
8 [The witness answered through interpreter]
9 MS. PINTER: [Interpretation] Before we continue discussing the
10 documents, we're still dealing with 3D02633. We left off discussing that
12 And I have to correct the transcript of the 14th of May, 2009
13 page 92, line 15, where it should have read that the import of diesel
14 fuel into BiH from Croatian ports begins on 3D32-1280. The number on the
15 record was 3D32-1289, so a correction. 1280 instead of 1289. So we've
16 put that right now.
17 Examination by Ms. Pinter: [Continued]
18 Q. [Interpretation] General, although we had almost completed the
19 topic of the import of diesel fuel through Croatian ports, could you look
20 at page 32-1280. Have you got that page?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. And now look at 3D32-1281 and 1282. And for Their Honours, let
23 me say -- and for the Prosecutor as well, that it is page 3D38-0261 for
24 the English. As I said, 3D38-0261 and 62, or 0263 as well.
25 Now, could you focus on the date, please, of that first document.
1 It's in the upper right-hand corner, and it says that it is about a
2 transit shipment for BiH. The date of the document is as you can see.
3 So all these three documents are tied into one. They are linked together
4 and refer to just one event.
5 A. Well, following the Judge's guide-lines, I'll try and be as brief
6 as possible. Sometimes it's difficult, but, anyway, I'll do my best.
7 4.700.000 kilograms of diesel fuel for Bosnia-Herzegovina arrived
8 in just this one tanker. It was just one shipment, and it went towards
10 but to the BH Army. It went to Bosnia-Herzegovina through the port of
11 Ploce. It was allowed free passage through the HVO check-points and so
13 Q. And you have the date?
14 A. Yes. This was August 1993.
15 Q. The shipment came from the USSR, is that right, for
17 A. Yes. The 17th of August, 1993, is the date. From the 14th to
18 the 17th, depending on the bill of lading, loading, unloading, and so on.
19 Q. And now 3D32-1282 is the next document I'd like us to look at.
20 Or, rather, that's the 17th, 0263, and that's the entry -- the entry
22 A. But this was continuous. The same happened in September and
23 especially just before the winter.
24 Q. That's right, but we wanted to point this out because we were
25 speaking in general terms, without showing an actual document. So that's
1 why I wanted to show this.
2 Now, General, I have marked the page numbers in the book or the
3 binder so that you'll be able to find your way more easily, because some
4 pages are not very legible in Croatian, the copies.
5 The next annex that I'd like us to look at was the care of BiH
6 soldiers and civilians, mostly Bosniaks, Muslims, in the Republic of
8 English it is on page 3D38-0289. And we have a total of 1.180 documents
9 that the Defence team has managed to collect, and 59 are in the files or
10 the annex. And that has a separate number, but we're not going to deal
11 with that now.
12 Anyway, may we have your comments on 3D32-1307, which is the map.
13 3D38-0292. And I'm making pauses because of the transcript, to help the
15 A. Apart from these documents and looking at the documents, I know
16 this, of course, all firsthand, because my department in the
17 Defence Ministry was involved in this, the transport and so on, so I was
18 fully versed with what was going on in HZ-HB, and what the Defence
19 Department was doing, and what Petkovic was doing, and so on and so
20 forth. But these are not all the places. These are just some of the
21 places where these people were treated; the most important ones, of
22 course. Split, there was Firule, Krizine, Toplice, and then there was
24 hospital in Zagreb
25 Metkovici, there was -- Metkovic there was a large hospital there for
1 what in military terms would have been a separate echelon, second
2 echelon: Then in Varazdin, there were the Varazdin "sketoplice" [phoen],
3 spa areas, and so on. So if you're going to show some other documents,
4 then we might see all those other places there too. And I know that over
5 10.000 people who were listed here were treated in Croatia. They were
6 from Bosnia-Herzegovina, received treatment. And based on my
7 information, most of them were Muslims. And from my own experience, I
8 know, especially in 1993, when I left and went in 1994 and 1995, as my
9 own personal involvement, I selected the military hospital in Zagreb
10 focus on, and I paid regular visits there to the wounded from
11 Bosnia-Herzegovina. They were both Croats and Muslims, and I visited
12 them, especially at the orthopaedics ward, because I knew Dr. Reljica
13 very well and I helped him write two books. One on -- one orthopaedic
14 method of bone joining, and so on and so forth.
15 But, anyway, I would always take 10 or 20 kilos of cigarettes. I
16 would receive those cigarettes or I would purchase them, and through my
17 own personal collections and some enterprises, I was able to procure for
18 this special orthopaedic procedure some of the parts they needed, the
19 surgical parts like the wires, and bolts, and so on. So on one occasion,
20 this amounted to 20.000 German marks, and another occasion 30.000 German
22 Q. I just want to ask you something with respect to these two maps
23 here at the beginning of this annex or file. How were they compiled?
24 How were they drawn up?
25 A. They were drawn up on the basis of the information and facts that
1 I received or, rather, which the team received on the basis of a request
2 tabled here, and we sent this out to the Association of Croatian
3 Physicians Volunteers, 1991. And on the basis of the information we
4 received from the hospitals or, rather, this association, we were able to
5 draw up these maps. So the maps were drawn up on the basis of the facts.
6 MS. PINTER: [Interpretation] For the record, I'd just like to say
7 that the document that the general referred to, and relates to providing
8 information from the Association of Croatian Volunteer Physicians, 1991,
9 is to be found on 3D32-1309 for the Croatian version and 3D38-0292.
10 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone for the counsel, please.
11 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] General, a while ago we had the
12 map in front of us on the screen, and we can see that there were eight
13 hospitals that were admitting wounded people. On this document, I see
14 that you have indicated that these injured people could be civilians and
15 soldiers from the ABiH, and you have written down here "3D38-0290."
16 So my question is a very accurate question. Let's take the case
17 of an ABiH soldier that is wounded, who is being carried to a hospital,
18 one of the hospitals in Split
19 operated on, and so on and so forth. As far as you know, when he is in
20 this hospital, is he considered to be a prisoner of war? In other words,
21 he is being monitored 24 hours a day? Or he is admitted into the
22 hospital with the influx of other people who have been wounded, i.e.,
23 soldiers and civilians, and everybody is in there together, and once he
24 is cured and is better, he is told he can leave? How did things happen?
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Precisely as you've just stated.
1 There was no difference, no difference at all between the wounded of any
2 ethnic community. There were no controls. Once the treatment was
3 completed, that person was free to go back or to go wherever they wanted,
4 and they didn't pay for their treatment at all.
5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. Well, I'm putting
6 this question to you because this was part of an international armed
7 conflict. As far as you know, when there is a conflict and when you are
8 in conflict with your opponent, and when the soldiers of the opposite
9 side are taken prisoner, when these people are being cared for, are they
10 being monitored or not?
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] To my knowledge, based on what I
12 learned reading books and -- the wounded from the enemy side are placed
13 in separate wards, and they are under guard, considered as prisoners of
15 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] My last question: You said a
16 moment ago -- I'm a little bit surprised by this, but if you say so, you
17 must be relying on tangible material. You said that they were cared for
18 and they were free to go back to their respective units.
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Absolutely.
20 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well.
21 MS. PINTER: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
22 Q. General, I marked pages in your book that I would like us to go
23 to so as to save some time, in the print-out, not the one in e-court but
24 to the left-hand side. Yes. And now I suggest that we go to
25 page 3D32-1235. I also marked the page numbers on your copy. The
1 English version is 3D38-0308. The date of the document is the 9th of
2 November, 1992. It says here "Assistant Commander For Logistics,
3 Edin Batlak. It says here Effendi Adem Smajic, who is in Rijeka. What
4 can you tell us about this document, and what does this document show as
5 regards the way and the problems regarding the supply and delivery of
6 humanitarian aid, medications, and other necessary items?
7 A. Well, it shows here -- we're talking about 7 tonnes of
8 medications, medicines, and the date is the 9th of November in 1992.
9 There's always one thing at stake here. Combat operations are the only
10 thing, and these are operations against the Army of Republika Srpska. It
11 was only the combat operations that could postpone or disrupt for a
12 period of time the passage of convoys. So it was not done because of
13 some attitudes or intentions, because on the Croatian side this was
14 done -- well, Croatia
15 itself. There was no difference.
16 Q. Just for the record and for the Chamber's benefit, Rijeka is
18 A. In Croatia
19 Q. We will skip 1992, as instructed by the Trial Chamber. Could you
20 please go to 3D32-1340. The English version is 3D38-0323. This document
21 is shown here, and we will discuss it only to get the full picture. But
22 I have to tell the Chamber, and also for the record, that this is an
23 exhibit, 2D00321. So that's the number of the exhibit. It is a document
24 dated the 8th of June, 1993. Have you been able to find it?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. Very well. It is signed by Colonel Dr. Tugomir Gveric. Did you
2 know Dr. Gveric?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. Very well. Could you please go to the next page. It's 3D32-1342
5 or 3D38-0324. That's the English version. The document is dated the
6 16th of May, 1993. It's again a consignment destined for the BH Army.
7 Again, it's signed by Dr. Gveric. And this wraps up the chapter about
8 the provision of medical aid to Mostar. And could you please now provide
9 a more detailed answer to His Honour Judge Antonetti's question, if you
10 look at 3D32-1343, the English is 3D38-0325.
11 A. Well, based on what I knew during the war and what I know now,
12 this is what I can say: The number of wounded soldiers and civilians,
13 who were predominantly of Muslim ethnicity, with names -- well, based on
14 the information that I was able to gather, and this is probably not the
15 full data, the number is 10.623 people. Those people were injured in the
16 territory of Bosnia and Herzegovina, were transferred through the -- what
17 was called the Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna, and this was a huge
18 job. Think about the number of cars that had to head towards Split
19 Slavonski Brod, northwards. So it's easy to calculate all those who were
20 in the authorities took part in it, and in particular it was the Medical
21 Corps and the Defence Department and the Main Staff. They -- we had to
22 do most of the work, in terms of organisation; how many times cars had to
23 leave with the wounded or sick people, the helicopters had to take off to
24 evacuate them, how much money it cost. But I state with full
25 responsibility that the data are correct and there was no distinction
1 made on any basis, and all those people were treated free of charge.
2 Q. Now I would like to point your attention to 3D38-1354, or
3 3D38-0331, that's the English version. This is the document dated the
4 17th of June, 1998. The director of the Split Hospital
5 issued this document, and here we get some information about the number
6 of people treated in the hospitals in Split.
7 A. Correct.
8 Q. For the record and for the Trial Chamber's benefit, this piece of
9 information was provided to the Office for Cooperation with the
10 International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia, so that this
11 is an authentic document. And before that, we have lists of persons
12 treated, and we've already shown it in court, and there is no need for us
13 to go back to those lists one by one, unless of course you think that you
14 would like to say something about that.
15 A. Well, I don't have anything to add, apart from the fact that
16 there is a map attached here indicating how many and from what locations
17 in Bosnia and Herzegovina -- how much aid was sent from Split
18 Q. Could you please give us the number.
19 A. That's 3D32-1308, and I don't know the English.
20 Q. Well, I'll provide the English reference. Let me just find it.
21 It's 3D38-0291.
22 A. And you can see that in terms of sending the aid, there is no
23 Herceg-Bosna, there is no Banovina. The medicines went to a greater
24 extent to the Muslim people and the BH Army than to the HVO.
25 So, Ms. Pinter, 1356, the 1995 note of gratitude from
1 Alija Izetbegovic to the hospital in Firule.
2 Q. Yes, that was the next document in line after the memo from the
3 Office for Cooperation. Do you know anything about the circumstances
4 under which this note of gratitude was sent? Why was this note of
5 appreciation sent? Oh, I'm sorry, the number is 3D32-1356, and the
6 English version is 3D38-0336.
7 Did you know how Ejub Ganic was hurt?
8 A. Yes, yes. He was saved in an urgent intervention, and after so
9 much good was done somebody finally thought of actually thanking the
10 hospital, Dr. Biocic and his team, and the head nurse in particular,
11 because throughout the war -- well, the document speaks for itself.
12 Well, I don't have to explain now that at one point those people realised
13 what -- or had they realised what friend they had in Croatia, well, they
14 would never have launched the aggression on us. There would never have
15 been this conflict.
16 Q. Thank you very much. Now, in this book we have --
17 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Excuse me if I interrupt.
18 This letter is dated 9 July 1995. That is rather after the facts
19 here. It does not give any indication as to at what time Dr. Ganic had
20 had his car accident. It is also, of course, not said whether there was
21 any relation between the car accident and the war.
22 Mr. Praljak, do you know when that accident took place, when this
23 aid was extended to Mr. Ganic?
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Judge Trechsel, well, the accident
25 happened in 1995, before the 9th of July. I don't know the exact date.
1 But, please, the sentence reads as follows:
2 "As many times before, your experts --" or, rather, "your expert
3 work and dedication to the humanitarian vocation of a physician provided
4 results at the time when this was really urgent, and this will not be
5 forgotten here."
6 So it says here "as many times before." This sentence tells you
7 that Mr. Izetbegovic was very much aware of all those things that I was
8 talking about, what happened before 1995; in other words, in 1993 and
9 1994, and so on.
10 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Thank you. You've answered the question.
11 MS. PINTER: [Interpretation]
12 Q. General, as regards this aid, we have this note of appreciation
13 to the Split Hospital
14 through them one by one and to comment on them?
15 A. No. If they are admitted into evidence, they will show how much
16 aid went to what locations, and this will confirm the veracity of the map
17 that I drew.
18 Q. Documents are at pages 3D32-1361. The English version is 3D38
19 -0341; 3D32-1362, 3D38-0342, that's it's English.
20 And now we move to the next file entitled "The Refugees and
21 Displaced Persons from Bosnia-Herzegovina in the Republic of Croatia
22 It begins at page 3D32-1363. The English version begins at 3D38-0344.
23 And the file contains 511 documents -- or, rather, that's the total
24 number of documents, and the file contains 72 documents.
25 The first document in the file has already been dealt with in the
1 course of your testimony the first week, and we will not be going into
3 Could you please go to the document at page 3D32-1365. The
4 English version does not exist because this is a document that is written
5 in both languages, English and Croatian. The date is the 26th of
6 November, 1992. It's an estimate of the number of inhabitants and
7 displaced persons, provided by the UNICEF, and I would like to draw your
8 attention and ask you how much you know about that, how much you know
9 about the data listed in item 6, 7, and 8 of this document. It's the
10 ethnic structure of the inhabitants, the age of the children, and the
11 nationality of the displaced persons. And as I've already told you, it's
12 the 26th of November, 1992.
13 A. Well, Dr. Adalbert Rebic testified here before me, and he is an
14 expert, much more so than I am. This document pertains only to Split
15 This is the UNICEF office in Split
16 from; Prijedor, Kljuc. And then you have the age, the ethnicity. There
17 is 31.862 Muslims, 26.000 Croats, and 7.000 Serbs, 7.700 Serbs.
18 Q. General --
19 A. Well, no refugee --
20 Q. I wanted you to look at the stamp at the bottom of this document.
21 It was issued by the Territorial Defence in Travnik, the Municipal
22 Civilian Protection Staff.
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. So it's a document they issued, listing the places of origin of
25 the displaced persons, and this breakdown according to those categories.
1 What we are interested in is Travnik and Jajce.
2 A. Well, that's after the fall of Jajce.
3 Q. Document 3D32-1367, the English version is 3D38-0347, just for
4 the record, is already an exhibit under 1D01269. This is a letter dated
5 4 November 1993
6 A. Franjo Kumarica is a bishop, he's the bishop of Banja Luka.
7 Bosnia-Herzegovina is divided into three bishopries. One of them is the
8 bishopry of Banja Luka, and he is the bishop of Banja Luka. He has been
9 there all the time, despite all the obstacles. He was even a candidate
10 for the Nobel Peace Prize as a result of his activities. Here it says
11 what's happening to the refugees from Vares, once Vares had fallen. And
12 he writes to Mr. Prlic here, asking him what would happen with those
13 people, 90 percent Croats and 10 percent Serbs. And he appeals to the
14 government, asking the government to accommodate all those people. And
15 he's talking about anything between 5.000 and 10.000 people, although
16 there were more of them even. He is looking for and asking for oil,
17 buses, and so on and so forth.
18 To put it simply, those people at that time were nothing but a
19 collateral victim of the conflict. They could not remain in the area
20 where their army had lost the war. They were afraid of a retaliation,
21 and they are in the territory controlled by the Army of Republika Srpska.
22 Franjo Kumarica is asking for help to move them towards the HZ-HB
23 territory in any way, which means that he needed oil and buses.
24 Q. Can you now open 3D32-1370, and in the English it is 3D38-0350.
25 The date is 19 April 1994
1 indictment. The letter is dated to the UNHCR and sent by the Embassy of
2 Bosnia and Herzegovina, and the subject is moving Bosniaks to the third
3 countries. Were you aware of this letter?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. What can we conclude, based on the content of this letter?
6 A. This was a programme that was not very clear to me, to be honest.
7 I don't know what were the political reasons that made the UNHCR act
8 subversively and displace as many people as possible to the third
9 countries. The whole strategy in Croatia and in Bosnia-Herzegovina, with
10 regard to the refugees and displaced persons, was -- and I myself worked
11 with a group of sociologists in my department. We were working on a
12 study with this regard, based on the facts which we were aware of and
13 which were learned about from documents of the United Nations. Refugees
14 who were moved far away from their place of origin will never come back
15 to that place of origin. Ten or 15 percent a year will never go back to
16 their place of origin, which means that the full rate is 10 to 15 percent
17 every subsequent year. And that's why an attempt should have been made
18 to displace people as close to their place of origin, to help them
19 believe that they will once return. The UNHCR resettled them far away.
20 Bisera Turkovic objected to that, but I can't speak about their motives
21 because I'm not clear to this very day what those were.
22 Q. Just for the record, I would like to draw attention to the first
23 paragraph, where it says that the UNHCR staff rallies the refugees,
24 telling them that they cannot safely return to Mostar. They say that
25 Mostar is not safe either for the Croats or the Serbs, let alone for the
1 Muslims, as they highlight. They say that the Muslims are not allowed to
2 enter Mostar, let alone live there, and that they should be patient and
3 do not embark on the convoys allegedly prepared for their return.
4 However, the Embassy of Bosnia-Herzegovina does not agree with such
5 activities on the part of the UNHCR, and they want an explanation as to
6 why they're acting contrary to their mandate. That's why the document is
7 important, because it shows that displacing Bosniaks from the territory
8 of -- from the territory of Croatia
9 MR. STRINGER: I object to what I think is a leading question or
10 a statement or comment on the evidence by counsel.
11 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Please avoid leading questions.
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, I can, I believe. It says so
13 in the document, and, Ms. Pinter, this is not only about Mostar. Mostar
14 is given just by way of example. However, this was also gone in Gasinci,
15 Savudija, Ucka, Varazdin, Obonjan. And it says here that there is a
16 feeling of instability and panic amongst the refugees. The activities of
17 the UNHCR are absolutely puzzling. Resettlement from Croatia and
18 preventing people from possibly going back home was done to the
19 activities of the UNHCR for logically unknown reasons. There must be
20 some kind of logic behind all that, but, in any case, that logic was
21 neither correct, nor honest, nor fair. I don't know what this is all
22 about. I can only explain all that by some political games which I can't
23 say anything about.
24 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] General, this document, which
25 comes from the Embassy of the Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina
1 there are two points that the embassy is emphasizing. The first is in
2 the first paragraph of this document. The document states that in
3 Mostar, security is not provided for, both for Croats -- neither for the
4 Croats, nor for the Serbs, nor for the Muslims, says the text. We are
5 referring here to a period of April 1994, but apparently since there was
6 no security provided in Mostar at the time, that explains why it was
7 difficult to bring back the Muslims.
8 Do you agree with the statement that is made here by the embassy?
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes. Your Honour, it is not the
10 embassy that says that the return in Mostar is not safe. It is the UNHCR
11 that claims that the return to Mostar is not safe. This is at the time
12 when the conflicts had stopped, and Mostar was as safe as any other
13 place. It may have happened that the Army of Republika Srpska - but that
14 was rare at the time - fired a shell. But Mostar was safe enough to
15 start embarking on an organised return of all those who had left Mostar.
16 The embassy does not agree with the estimate provided by the UNHCR, which
17 has not been provided only for Mostar, but for some other places. This
18 means that the UNHCR spread panic and lies. Let us be clear on that.
19 The UNHCR lied to the refugees when they told them that they would lose
20 their status in Croatia
22 its organs, signed the document to the effect that the refugee could be
23 returned to Bosnia and Herzegovina and that where he was returning to was
24 safe. It was only then that the Republic of Croatia
25 status of refugee, when this was confirmed by the state organs of Bosnia
1 and Herzegovina
2 refugees. And this was never done for any refugee.
3 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] In fact, you have anticipated
4 on the question I wanted to do ask you about the second paragraph.
5 According to this embassy, the UNHCR notes that the Republic of
7 like to organise convoys to other countries, in particular for Muslims.
8 Of course, this could be related to the criminal enterprise, but we are
9 talking here about April 1994. To your knowledge, at that point in time
10 was this the end of the conflict?
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour Judge Antonetti, you
12 misunderstood me, or maybe it's down to the interpretation.
13 First of all, the conflict had already ended. Second of all, the
14 UNHCR promised the refugees and said, In the Republic of Croatia, which
15 is not true, not correct, the republic, If Croatia abolishes your status
16 of refugee, then the UNHCR would organise convoys for third countries.
17 And if anybody is talking about ethnic cleansing and the joint criminal
18 enterprise, then to the least extent, at least it would apply to the
19 UNHCR, not Croatia
20 "profiteur" about something that did not exist, and they said to the
21 refugees, You can lose your refugee status. It would be better for you
22 to sit on convoys and let us take you somewhere else.
23 It is not Croatia
24 UNHCR that organised those convoys to take the refugees to third
25 countries, Your Honours.
1 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] In your opinion, why would the
2 UNHCR play such a game?
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I could speculate, based on some
4 foundations that I can't prove. It was simply an attempt to blacken the
5 country. All sorts of games, spy games, counter-spy games, intelligence
6 games were played at all levels by all countries and blocks. All that
7 was going on in Croatia
8 MS. PINTER: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
9 Q. To follow up on this document, let's look at 3D32-1372, and in
10 the English it's 3D38-0352. This is another letter by the Embassy of the
11 Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina to the Government of the Republic of
12 Bosnia-Herzegovina, to the Office of Refugees and Displaced Persons, on
13 the same date, on the 19th of April, 1994.
14 General, are you familiar with the document? Can you say
15 something about it?
16 A. Yes. However, we have already seen this document. I believe
17 that it already has a number. I remember having seen it before this
18 Trial Chamber already, and it testifies once again that the UNHCR is
19 asking from Croatia
20 deals with the accommodation of civilians from Bosnia and Herzegovina
21 And it says that the proposals to that effect will be given by
22 Bosnia-Herzegovina. This document speaks about the UNHCR. The UNHCR is
23 an organisation that behaves the way it did, and people behaved over
24 there as if they had come to a Papau state. I don't want to offend
25 anybody. Everybody showed very imperialistic behavior.
1 At the very beginning of this trial, I misused the word "French
2 impressionist" for "French imperialist." However, there was a lot of
3 those who walked around Bosnia-Herzegovina who behaved as imperialists.
4 That's what I call them. They came with no respect for anybody. I'm not
5 saying that all of them were like that, but a lot of them did not show
6 any respect for the state, for the rules of behavior. Why was that the
7 case? I will leave it to the Trial Chamber to draw their own conclusion.
8 Q. The Office for Refugees and DPs, did they also cooperate with the
9 Embassy of the Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina and other organs?
10 A. In all the matters, as far as I know, in absolutely every single
12 Q. Thank you. That document was indeed shown in the courtroom, but
13 has not been admitted. That's why I produced it now, and it was offered
14 by 3D0334 [as interpreted].
15 I have been instructed by Ms. Nozica that on page 23, line 13,
16 there is a mistake; that the UNHCR is asking from Croatia to install some
17 order into the organisation of the accommodation of civilians from
18 Bosnia-Herzegovina. As far as I know and as far as I remember, this was
19 not the UNHCR who requested that. It was requested by --
20 A. It was requested by the Embassy of the Republic of Bosnia
22 MS. PINTER: [Interpretation] Thank you very much.
23 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] General Praljak, this letter,
24 if we look at the first paragraph, this is dated the 19th of April, 1994.
25 Dates are important. It seems, according to the Embassy of Bosnia and
2 number of refugees at the borders of the Republic of Croatia
3 to the embassy, these people would like to go to a third country, but it
4 seems that a criticism has been levelled at them by the UNHCR, because
5 the embassy says "with the help of the UNHCR." How can you decipher this
6 letter? One could read it several ways, couldn't one? How do you
7 interpret this? Is this a call for help on the part of the Bosnia
9 the situation? Or is it just realising that this is a situation which
10 nobody can control, since it is the end of the conflict, and that they
11 feel that their future lies in third countries and not in
12 Bosnia-Herzegovina? As far as you know at the time in the month of April
13 1994, how many refugees were arriving at the borders every day? That
14 said, there was no fighting anymore at that time.
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] As to how many refugees came to the
16 borders, I wouldn't be able to answer that. I don't have that answer. I
17 would refrain from offering any answer to that effect. However, I would
18 not refrain from answering the next question.
19 The Embassy of Bosnia
20 just said; that if you want the refugees to return to their place of
21 origin, they have to be as close as possible, but they have to be safe,
22 of course, but the point being they have to be close to the place from
23 which they had fled.
24 Your Honours, you will understand why this was being done if you
25 look at the current situation in Bosnia-Herzegovina. 200.000 Croats have
1 never returned to the Republika Srpska. Over 200.000 Muslims have never
2 returned there, to Republika Srpska. As for the eastern part of Bosnia
3 Vares, Jajce, a lot of Croats have never returned there. The largest
4 number of refugees into the Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina are there
5 where the territory was under the control of the HVO. The data to that
6 effect exists. I can submit all that to you.
7 In my view, there was some sort of a political game to move those
8 people as far from the country as possible. And from my Defence team you
9 can request and receive the number of Bosniaks who live in the USA, the
11 second generation, who are unlikely to ever return to Bosnia-Herzegovina.
12 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Your answer was a very lengthy
13 one. You could have made it shorter.
14 This leads to another question which you have raised, but you
15 didn't realise it when you were saying it. You said that 200.000 Muslims
16 never returned to the Republika Srpska, so whilst I was listening to you
17 I was going back in time a little bit and going back to April 1994, the
18 beginning of 1994, and then the second half of 1993, when a Muslim came
19 to the frontier or the border of the Republic of Croatia
20 UNHCR and perhaps even with a certificate from Sweden, for instance, some
21 paper that would let him pass the frontier. How can you establish a
22 distinction between the Muslim who leaves Bosnia-Herzegovina because of
23 the presence of Serbs or because of the presence of the HVO? How can you
24 make the distinction?
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] First of all, a correction. More
1 than 200.000 Croats from Republika Srpska and far more than
2 200.000 Muslims from Republika Srpska never returned to this day. That's
3 the first point.
4 Secondly, as far as Croatia
5 made between people, where they had come from and why. We didn't ask
6 that question. That's the first point. And, number two, they were first
7 accommodated in one of the centres in Croatia, and then they -- we had
8 these emissaries who started saying, Well, the UNHCR said it would be
9 better for you to leave. You won't be able to go back because there's
10 shooting over there. Of course, some people wanted to leave. That's
11 also true. But, anyway, the UNHCR and the various emissaries tried to
12 have as many refugees as possible re-leave the Republic of Croatia
13 course, Croatia
14 somebody was willing to take them in, it couldn't do anything. But
15 Bosnia-Herzegovina complained, because these people were quite conscious
16 of the fact that the further they went and the longer they stayed there,
17 that the likelihood of them returning was slim.
18 MR. STRINGER: Excuse me, Your Honour.
19 I recognise this may be an issue for cross-examination, but we're
20 talking about April of 1994, and I think it bears wondering whether
21 what -- what the general status was in Croatia at the time and how it is
22 that he knows what UNHCR or purports to know what UNHCR was doing at the
23 time and what its policies were. How was he even involved in any of
24 these issues? I can save that for later, but it's going to be quite a
25 long time. It seemed worth noting.
1 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes, Mr. Praljak. On several
2 occasions you have mentioned the UNHCR, the policies of the UNHCR, but do
3 you have anything tangible to rely on?
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honours, after the return at
5 the beginning of November -- or, rather, after I returned from
6 Bosnia-Herzegovina in November, I was the porte-parole, the spokesman for
7 the Ministry of Defence, which means that I had all the information at my
8 disposal. I was also a military adviser to President Tudjman, and I was
9 well versed in everything that was going on in the country. I was a
10 well-informed person by virtue of the office I held and also because I
11 knew lots of people. But, anyway, information would come to us.
12 Information would be placed on my table from all over, from the SIS, the
13 Internal Affairs Ministry, and so on, as to what was going on in the
15 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well.
16 Ms. Pinter.
17 MS. PINTER: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
18 Q. Perhaps we could round off the topic. General, could you turn to
19 3D32-1-113, and the English is 3D38-0392. It's a graphic spread of
20 refugees and displaced persons in Croatia from 1992, 1993, 1994 -- or,
21 rather, 1995. And since Judge Antonetti asked you about 1994 and the
22 document we were discussing was 1994 with respect to the number of
23 refugees and displaced persons, can you comment on this graph or diagram?
24 3D32-1-113 is the number of the Croatian version. I can hand it to you.
25 We have a schematic here.
1 A. How do you mean "1-11"?
2 Q. Or I might be reading it out wrongly.
3 A. Yes, that seems to be the case.
4 Q. 1413 is the number.
5 A. I see, that's better.
6 Q. I'm sorry. I'm a bit short-sighted, so it looked like a "4," but
7 anyway --
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. It's on the screen in colour. Perhaps that will be easier for
11 A. Yes, everything is clear now. That is information for 1992, '3,
12 '4 and '5, the figures there, and that's it. It's a diagram showing how
13 many refugees and displaced persons there were in Croatia in these
14 different years, and there's nothing to add or subtract there. There,
15 it's the correct information. I think that this is UNHCR data.
16 Q. All right, fine. I'd like to go back --
17 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Excuse me. I do not find this informative, I
18 must say. The legends are only in Croatian, and I do not see what it
19 means. Could it be explained a bit, please.
20 MS. PINTER: [Interpretation] 3D38-0392 will give you the English,
21 the English description of the legend on the diagram.
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The green is refugees, and the blue
23 are the displaced persons.
24 I'd just like to add that people -- there was -- there were
25 comings and goings, of course, but this is a constant number. It's not
1 the total number of refugees and displaced persons from Bosnia and
3 them went further on still to Germany
4 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Thank you.
5 MS. PINTER: [Interpretation]
6 Q. General, would you turn to page 3D32-1379. The document's
7 already an exhibit, and it's 5D00064. But you mentioned several times a
8 joint statement given by Dr. Franjo Tudjman and Alija Izetbegovic of the
9 15th of June. Have you found that?
10 A. Yes.
11 JUDGE TRECHSEL: I haven't.
12 MS. PINTER: [Interpretation] The English you want? Yes, I'm just
13 about to give the number. It is 3D38-0358.
14 Q. General, can you tell me why the statements were signed in Zagreb
15 and Sarajevo
16 that, and what can you tell us about this joint statement? What do you
17 know about it and the circumstances under which it was given, and what
18 were the consequences of that statement and its signing?
19 A. Well, it's not crystal -- well, it's a crystal-clear joint
20 statement, so I don't think there's anything to add, in general terms,
21 unless you want to know something specific. It's very clear as it
23 Now, you asked me why in Zagreb
24 that date, Mr. Izetbegovic was not able to leave Sarajevo, and I think
25 that that is mentioned somewhere in the text.
1 Q. Yes, in the introduction.
2 A. Yes. It says that Mr. Izetbegovic cannot leave Sarajevo, and
3 then the two presidents, President Franjo Tudjman and the president of
4 the Presidency, Mr. Izetbegovic, agreed to write a joint statement of
5 this kind, which is quite clear; it's clear cut. So unless you have any
6 specific question, I don't think there's any need for me to comment. It
7 reads and says what it says.
8 The important point is that in point 1, it says taking into
9 consideration the fact that the Republic of Croatia
10 Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina and the Republic of Bosnia
12 hereby state that immediate steps need to be taken in order for
13 diplomatic relations to be established at embassy level. And then it
14 goes on to mention refugees. Well, if you want me to comment, that would
15 take us too far.
16 Q. I just wanted you to explain why Sarajevo and Zagreb
17 It is now -- is it time for the break, or are we going to go on
18 for 10 or 15 minutes?
19 A. No, it's not time for the break yet.
20 Q. All right, fine. So let's move to the next file, which relates
21 to the ex-territorial education of pupils from Bosnia and Herzegovina
22 the Republic of Croatia
23 A. Ms. Nika, you have the 8th of July, this joint statement signed,
24 because Mr. Izetbegovic did, in fact, manage to leave Bosnia-Herzegovina.
25 So immediately upon his arrival in Zagreb on the 8th of July, they signed
1 an almost identical statement. And point 2 is particularly important
2 there, and it is 3D32-1377. That's the number, and --
3 Q. The English version is 3D38-0357 and 0358, because it takes up
4 two pages.
5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] General, as far as item 3 of
6 this joint statement is concerned, it relates to the two armies, the HVO
7 and the ABiH. This document is signed by Izetbegovic and Tudjman.
8 Therefore, one has reason to believe that when Mr. Izetbegovic signs this
9 document, he knows what he is signing.
10 In paragraph 3, it says as follows: that the Republic of Croatia
11 is also supporting the efforts of the Presidency of Bosnia to consolidate
12 the republic by integrating all the armies or all the armed components in
13 a unified army placed under the command of the Presidency of Bosnia and
15 in fact, and Izetbegovic admits to this.
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, in continuation of my
17 testimony, I will be showing, using different sources, how
18 Mr. Izetbegovic behaved, in actual fact, and why the HZ-HB and HVO had to
19 be established.
20 We were the regular army of the Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina
21 and in that respect --
22 MS. PINTER: [Interpretation]
23 Q. General, Judge Antonetti is referring to a document, not the one
24 we've just looked at.
25 A. Yes, he's referring to June. Yes, June, and Croatia asked that
1 the components be united, that is to say, that the governments, the two
2 governments, meet and that a joint command be found. I will prove later
3 on that part of the BH Army Command, especially Sefer Halilovic, and
4 parts of the leadership of Bosnia-Herzegovina who controlled
5 Alija Izetbegovic, that nothing could be done with them. Our efforts
6 were futile. We -- our efforts were enormous, on a daily basis, but they
7 did not bear fruit, and you will be able to see why they did not bear
8 fruit. I will show why they did not bear fruit.
9 Q. Thank you, Your Honours. Thank you, General. Now I'd like us to
10 go back to the joint statement dated the 8th of July. And could you
11 focus on point 5, which is the last point of that joint statement which
12 was signed in Helsinki
13 in, especially with respect to the internal setup of the state. You've
14 already talked about this, but once again could you explain to the Court
15 what the substance of the negotiations were and what the positions taken
16 by the Republic of Croatia
17 respect to the internal system of BH?
18 A. A, Croatia
19 HVO is the regular army of Bosnia-Herzegovina. D, we wish, as a
20 constituent peoples, to take part in agreement about the internal system
21 of Bosnia-Herzegovina. One man/one vote is unitarianism. That was
22 unacceptable. Our joint enemy was the one that attacked us; that is to
23 say, the Army of Republika Srpska was our joint enemy, and the Yugoslav
24 People's Army. And, E, Mr. Izetbegovic -- well, I had a meeting with
25 him, but never, ever did he say how he saw the internal setup of
1 Bosnia-Herzegovina. All he did was to refuse -- he would refuse the
2 various proposals, but never -- and said what he didn't want, but he
3 never said what he did want and never made a proposal for the building up
4 of an integral Bosnia-Herzegovina. He never laid down a platform for the
5 kind of Bosnia-Herzegovina he wanted to see so that we could work
6 jointly. And if something was agreed with the international community,
7 he would override it, he would go and create complete chaos. And I'll
8 come to that in due course, but I don't think this is the right time to
9 go into those matters now.
10 Q. Thank you. Then I suggest we move on to another area. We'll
11 skip the question of refugees in 1992, because I think that we have
12 already dealt with the topic extensively in our discussions so far. So
13 please turn now to page 3D --
14 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] One moment. Since you are
15 addressing another topic, maybe it would be the right time to have a
17 We should have a 20-minute break and resume in 20 minutes' time.
18 --- Recess taken at 3.40 p.m.
19 --- On resuming at 4.05 p.m.
20 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] We have some administrative
21 matters. I believe you have some matters to deal with.
22 THE REGISTRAR: Yes, Your Honour.
23 Pursuant to your oral decision earlier this afternoon,
24 Your Honour, I have an IC number to give to the latest list of documents
25 submitted by the Praljak Defence for the list up until today that they
1 intend to submit through the witness. This list shall be given
2 Exhibit IC1010. Thank you, Your Honours.
3 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you, Registrar.
4 I'd like to go into closed session for a few moments.
5 [Private session]
15 [Open session]
16 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, for the record, we're back in open
17 session. Thank you.
18 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] We will have to redact lines 6,
19 7, and 8 of what was just stated.
20 We shall continue the examination.
21 General Praljak, I have a question, a follow-up question. A
22 moment ago, we saw tables for 1992, 1993, 1994, and these tables had two
23 colours, those who were expelled and for refugees. Now, during the break
24 I was thinking about the table for 1995. At that time, there was no
25 longer a conflict, people were not shooting at each other. Why is it, as
1 I look at this table, that you can see that the number increases as the
2 months go by? Can you give us an explanation for that?
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honours, there was fierce
4 fighting in those years, but after the Washington Agreements there were
5 no conflicts between the BH Army and the HVO, but the Republika Srpska
6 Army continued its work all the way up to the Dayton Accords, or, rather,
7 up until the time when in Operation Storm the Croatian Army, the BH Army,
8 and the HVO managed to achieve some military success. So the war did not
9 end in Eastern Bosnia, it was still going on, and so on and so forth.
10 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Fine. In other words, your
11 answer here completes what you said before the break; in other words,
12 there are a number of Muslim refugees whose fate is directly linked to
13 the Serbs as regards the year 1995. Have I understood you correctly?
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] That's correct, in 1994 and 1995.
15 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Fine.
16 MS. PINTER: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
17 Q. General, as we've said before the break, we'll move on to the
18 next file. That's the ex-territorial education of the students from
19 Bosnia and Herzegovina in the Republic of Croatia
20 page 3D32-1415. The English is 3D38-0394. The total number of files
21 that the Defence has is 67. The file contains 30 of those.
22 Could we please get the chart showing how many ex-territorial
23 schools there were, so could you please open 3D32-1416 or, English,
24 3D38-0395. And if you could please comment on the map.
25 A. Ms. Pinter, in those schools -- well, they were not attended by
1 Croats from Bosnia and Herzegovina. Those schools were made solely for
2 the students from Bosnia and Herzegovina who were Bosniaks to attend if
3 they wished so, their own classes, so that they could be taught the
4 history of their own country, the literature of their country, and I've
5 already gone through all this with another witness at this trial. So in
6 the schools that are shown on this map, classes were organised from
7 Bosniak pupils, Bosniak students, where they were taught language,
8 literature, and history. That was the first time that the term "Bosniak
9 language" was used. It was not in Bosnia and Herzegovina, or pursuant to
10 a decision of the Presidency of Bosnia-Herzegovina, or to some
11 constitutional provision. It was used for the first time in Croatia
12 because it was recognised as a right of a people to use their own
14 Q. Thank you. And perhaps just one more document from this file.
15 That would be the number of students from the Republic of
16 Bosnia-Herzegovina in the Republic of Croatia
17 page 32-1425, and in English it's 3D38-0405. The document was issued by
18 the minister of education and culture, and it's a report to the
19 Government of the Republic of Croatia
20 and Refugees.
21 Is there anything in particular that you would like to draw our
22 attention to? Perhaps the number of students, the period?
23 A. Well, Your Honours, it says here that the greatest number of
24 students from Bosnia and Herzegovina voluntarily and at their own request
25 participated in the education system of the Republic of Croatia
1 of those students, Bosniaks naturally, because Croats did not have any
2 need to have any special curricula, some of those students wanted to have
3 ex-territorial education and were given what they wanted. Of course,
4 efforts were made for the teachers who taught language, culture, and
5 history to be from Bosnia and Herzegovina, if there were any. So it is a
6 separate segment of the education, of the schooling system in the
7 Republic of Croatia
8 refugees from Bosnia and Herzegovina. And the Croatian budget had some
9 funds earmarked for those schools. I have nothing to say.
10 Q. Perhaps only to say that this memo refers to the school year
11 1993-1994, because this is our reverential period and the number of
12 students who attended those classes.
13 To save some time and to move on to some other topics, because we
14 have a lot of things to cover --
15 JUDGE TRECHSEL: I would still like to ask a question,
16 Mr. Praljak.
17 What do we have to imagine with these special schools? One
18 possibility is that there was a special building which says "School for
19 Bosniaks," something like that, where the schooling was done for these
20 students. And the other possibility is that within the normal schools,
21 there was a special curriculum where language, literature, and history
22 were taught in separate special classes for the Bosniak students. Was it
23 the latter, or the former, or something else?
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Both options, Your Honour
25 Judge Trechsel. In some areas, there were just regular schools where
1 language, culture and history were taught separately, in separate
2 classes, and in areas where there was a large body of refugees in some
3 areas, then classes were organised separately; perhaps not in a separate
4 school building, but there was a building that was used for that purpose.
5 And if I can give you a more extended explanation, in 1993 there were
6 some problems on the islands because people wanted to have tourists and
7 then they wanted the schools -- the classes to move out of some of the
8 buildings that they wanted to use for the tourist trade, so people made
9 due in all kinds of ways. So, for instance, in --
10 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Thank you very much. That's all I wanted to
12 MS. PINTER: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
13 Q. General, let us move on to our next topic, the next file. That's
14 the aid of the Republic of Croatia
15 the war in Bosnia and Herzegovina. The Defence has 1.790 documents, and
16 113 documents are used in the file. It begins at 3D32-1446.
17 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreters note, the counsel is kindly asked
18 to slow down when reading numbers.
19 MS. PINTER: [Interpretation] The English version is 3D38-0431.
20 Q. Perhaps you could give us some general comments about this aid,
21 and then we will deal with one of the documents in detail.
22 A. Well, as briefly as possible, in some parts of the overall aid
23 that Republic of Croatia
24 instance, in the transfer of some units, using the route that was still
25 open, that went through the Serb lines, so to speak. And I can say that
1 from 1992 until the operation that was launched in order to prevent the
2 fall of Bihac, and it was in the offing, it was to suffer the same fate
3 as Srebrenica, then the Croatian Army got the green light from the
4 international community, from the Americans, to launch an operation
5 together with the HVO and the BH Army, to launch an offensive and to
6 liberate Bihac, and then we came -- we reached Banja Luka. And then we
7 were stopped. That was again a decision by the Americans. Throughout
8 that period, the overall assistance that was provided to the Bihac area
9 went through Croatia
10 through the lines, and had it not been the case, had the Croatian Army
11 not intervened, Bihac would have suffered the same fate as Srebrenica,
12 and it would not have been able to survive without the assistance of the
13 Republic of Croatia
14 Q. General, to get a time-frame, when was this joint operation?
15 A. The joint operation was launched in early autumn 1995.
16 Q. We've talked about the aid -- yes, I am being warned that I'm
17 speaking too fast. We spoke about the retraining for aeroplanes. Could
18 we please move to page 3D32-1485. The English version is 3D38-0477.
19 This was signed by the chief of the system. Well, I can't read it
20 because it's -- at any rate, it's Sefer Halilovic, the Supreme Command
21 Staff of the BH Army, Sarajevo
22 You talked about that, but this document shows clearly who those pilots
23 were, what period, what number of persons was covered, and what
24 aeroplanes. Perhaps you could comment on that. Why was this retraining
25 important? How was it possible to reach the enclave of Bihac?
1 A. We mostly used the Antonov aircraft. Let me not describe how
2 lights were switched on and off and how there had to be silence on board
3 the aircraft. The pilots provided statements for this Tribunal and
4 described all that in very minor detail. I repeat, everything, every
5 single thing in the over 1.000 documents, and I know it is impossible to
6 go through all of them, the Trial Chamber would be too busy doing that,
7 but when I say "everything, every single thing," I mean everything; food,
8 weapons, the transport of the wounded, the training of the pilots, and
9 the units that were infiltrating everything.
10 Q. Thank you. We have already introduced documents that concern the
11 assistance of that kind, and now I propose that we should move to the
12 last file in the binder. And the file concerns the assistance of the
13 Republic of Croatia
14 is on page 3D32-1560, and in the English it is 3D38-0577. We have a
15 total of three documents, and all three are in the file. However, you
16 have some personal knowledge about this type of assistance on the part of
17 the Republic of Croatia
18 Trial Chamber what you know about all that.
19 A. I know because I was partly informed at the time. The president
20 of the Croatian Olympic Committee, Anto Vrdoljak, and the current
21 permanent member of the International Olympic Committee, a film director
22 as well, a very well-known Croatian film director whom I've known for
23 decades, he was the vice-president of the Presidency of Croatia after the
24 first democratic elections. So he was the one who stood in for
25 Franjo Tudjman if that was necessary. He was a member of the Vance, he
1 was the general manager of the Croatian TV during those hard times, and
2 so on and so forth. He was -- or, rather, due to his good connections
3 with Mr. Samaranch, Juan Samaranch, the Croatian athletes managed to get
4 an invitation to Barcelona
5 same aircraft, there were also the athletes of Bosnia and Herzegovina
6 the athletes of Bosnia and Herzegovina who travelled at the expense of
7 the Croatian state. They had been prepared somewhere in Istria, in Ravan
8 perhaps; that was also at the expense of the Croatian state. And they
9 flew on board the same airline by the Croatian airline company because
10 Vrdoljak was also a member of the supervisory board of that airline
11 company. So a high state official assisted in the organisation of all
13 I claim that this is very important because of the fact that if
14 there had been a desire to break up a state, to carve it up, and to take
15 a part of it as its own, it would certainly not have been help to appear
16 at such big sporting events.
17 And I also remember that there was a big issue of the money. It
18 cost 2 million German marks to do all that, and I know that the ministers
19 of finance complained about the amount of money, which was huge for
21 the money. We are sending both delegations to Barcelona, because that is
22 very important. And that's how Bosnia-Herzegovina appeared, under its
23 own flags featuring lilies.
24 The second document also concerns the same thing. However, the
25 year is 1993, and in France
1 the story goes the same. Croatia
2 under its wing. They travelled together on the same aircraft. They had
3 been in training in Istria
4 trained in Bosnia-Herzegovina. And again the issue may be erased, what
5 happened in 1993. By doing that, Croatia
6 Bosnia-Herzegovina is a Mediterranean state. It only has one very short
7 stretch of the coast, a line of some 10 or 12 kilometres. If there had
8 been a plan in place to take Neum in Herzegovina
9 sea, then obviously they would not have taken a delegation of
10 Bosnia-Herzegovina to a sporting event where it was confirmed that it was
11 a Mediterranean
12 Donci [phoen] Vrdoljak or, rather, Anto Vrdoljak issued a
13 statement to that effect, and he described all that. And if the
14 Trial Chamber wishes to read this, they can certainly do that.
15 Q. Could you please give us the date of the Mediterranean Games?
16 This is very important and very indicative. You'll find this at the very
17 beginning of the document, if you can see it.
18 A. The Mediterranean Games took place between the 10th June and
19 27th June.
20 Q. Year?
21 A. 1993.
22 Q. And the document is on page 3D32-1562, or in the English version
23 it is 3D38-0579. And I believe that we can now talk about the basketball
25 A. No, we don't have to. What I want to say is that a similar
1 cooperation existed in the area of culture, theatre, the written word,
2 and so on forth. Many writers and actors at the time had fled from
3 Bosnia-Herzegovina, and they acted in Croatian shows, they appeared in
4 Croatian TV, films, and I know that first-hand. I'm sharing this with
5 you as reliable information.
6 Q. Okay. We can then close this big binder, and we're moving on to
7 a different topic.
8 I have to provide an explanation to the Trial Chamber. Since
9 when we were talking about the binders last week and there were problems
10 in following the books on e-court, we have scanned all the books again,
11 and I'm going to refer you to their new numbers in order to avoid any
12 problems in following the documents on e-court. There may be a little
13 problem at the outset until we are in sync.
14 The books we are going to discuss now are in the binder number 2
15 and also in binder number 3 that we provided to everybody last week.
16 However, I would kindly ask the usher, because before the beginning of
17 this session we submitted Mohammed Filipovic's book, "I Was Alija's
18 Diplomat," which has been rescanned and is now 3D03554. And also under
19 number 3D03557, this is the second part of that book. At the beginning
20 of this session, I provided four copies for the Trial Chamber.
21 These two, I'm going to show them to you, this is what they
22 looked like. The general has his own copy. I've already mentioned the
24 General, you prepared a few books that you want to discuss and
25 that you find very significant, and you find their contents important for
1 the understanding of the circumstances that surrounded all of the events.
2 At the beginning, I would like to ask you who Muhamed Filipovic was.
3 A. I prepared the books, Your Honours, because it is much better if
4 the Muslims and Bosniaks, who have written about the war and the events
5 that we are discussing here now, provide information and claims, because
6 their claims and the information they provide show that they agree with
7 my own claims, what I am stating here. Obviously, there is always a
8 danger, and the danger is very realistic, that an accused for war crimes
9 is less credible or believed than somebody else. That's why I wanted to
10 show you what a Muslim author knows and writes about the same things that
11 I've spoken about.
12 I've prepared some books by high officials, generals of the Army
13 of Bosnia and Herzegovina, who are all Muslims. Mr. Filipovic is a
14 participant in the parties in war. He was a partisan from the year 1943.
15 He was a student first in Belgrade
16 student of philosophy there. He returned to Sarajevo, where he obtained
17 his PhD, and he was a faculty member of the School of Philosophy
19 some 10 or 11 books, which most of them deal with the history of Bosnia
20 and Herzegovina
21 He's also a member of the Academia of Bosnia-Herzegovina. He has been a
22 member since the 1970s of the last century, and he's one of the most
23 prominent intellectuals among the ranks of the Muslim Bosniak people in
25 After the end of the war, he was a diplomat, he participated in
1 the negotiations in Geneva
2 Parliament of Bosnia and Herzegovina. And together with
3 Mr. Zulfikarpasic, he was the co-leader of a very important and powerful
4 party. After that, he was the ambassador of Bosnia-Herzegovina in
6 From his book, I took out some of the most important parts which
7 show us what he speaks and thinks about the facts, and whether his words
8 tally with my words and my conclusions. There you go.
9 Q. As I've already said it, the document is now 3D03554. General,
10 I'm going to ask you, as you turn to a different page, give me its
11 number, and I'll then call for the same page in the electronic courtroom.
12 "I Was Alija's Diplomat" is the title of the book that we're
13 going to discuss. It speaks of the time between 1991 and the end of the
14 war, the time that is relevant for us.
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. Go ahead and tell us what you will about this book.
17 A. We'll take things at a time, and I am going to follow the
18 instructions of the Trial Chamber, especially His Honour Judge Antonetti
19 and I'm not going to read; I'm just going to comment, and I'm just going
20 to paraphrase his words and his claims and what he claims you can find in
21 the text.
22 Can you please turn to page 12 in the Croatian or, rather,
23 Bosniak text.
24 Q. 3D41-0821 is the Croatian version, and in the English the same
25 page bears the number 3D41-0867.
1 A. In the introduction, he says -- or, rather, asks who is it who is
2 responsible for -- or, rather, who bears the responsibility for Bosnia
3 and Herzegovina
4 view the leadership and intellectuals of Bosnia-Herzegovina bear a huge
5 responsibility for what happened to Bosnia and Herzegovina.
6 He also says that, and that's the next thing in the book, but we
7 are still talking about the introduction, he says that his testimony will
8 be reduced only to the events that he, himself, testified or that he
9 participated in actively.
10 Q. I apologise. In Croatian, it is 3D41-0822, and in the English it
11 is the same page, 3D41-0867.
12 Go ahead, General.
13 A. He says further on that Alija Izetbegovic was de jure and
14 de facto head of the state and that he remained so throughout the war.
15 And he says that his policy resulted in the semi-colonial protectorate of
16 the foreign forces, and that's how it was while he was writing his book.
17 Further on, he says that in 1991, he visited Croatia and
19 organisation, that he participated in the negotiations with the Bosnian
20 Serbs in July and August 1991, and we will see that this was done at the
21 initiative and with the approval of Mr. Izetbegovic.
22 And then he goes on to speak about the conference in London
23 he says that in winter of 1990, that's page 16 of Croatian --
24 Q. This is 3D41-0823 in the Croatian version and 3D41-0868 in the
25 English version.
1 A. He goes on to say that in 1993, he became -- or, rather, he
2 stopped -- the diplomatic representative offices stopped when the union
3 of three states within Bosnia-Herzegovina came into existence. In the
4 winter of 1993, he was not a part of the negotiations on peace and became
5 Bosnia-Herzegovina's ambassador to Switzerland, and then afterwards in
7 Now we can move on to page 32 of the Bosniak text.
8 Q. That is 3D41-0824 of the Croatian, and 3D41-0868 of the English.
9 A. Here, he briefly refers to history. I'm not going to go into
10 that, but it's interesting to see what he says about the system in which
11 he lived from 1953, and the situation around Djilas. I don't want to
12 burden the Judges about that unless they want to ask something about it.
13 And then something I referred to later on, and said that the culmination
14 of political violence against the Croats occurred during the
15 Croatian Spring, as it was known, in 1971, when the political leadership
16 was replaced, a legal, political, and state leadership was replaced and
17 destroyed, and this partially happened to a liberal leader in Serbia
18 And I'm going on to page 33 now, Ms. Pinter.
19 Q. Yes, I'm paying attention to the pages. It's still on the same
20 page, actually.
21 A. Then he goes into a very valid analysis of how the desires for
22 greater freedom burgeoned and a different type of organisation for the
23 economy and the country, and this went -- took a nationalistic course
24 because it couldn't be resolved -- the question couldn't be resolved in
25 any other way. And then he goes on to page 36 of the Bosniak text.
1 Q. That is 3D41-0852 of the Croatian version, and 3D41-0868 for the
3 A. As I was saying, he says that even if there was certain
4 indecisions about what the programme of Slobodan Milosevic and Serbian
5 thinking was, after his speech which he delivered at Gazimestan in Kosovo
6 on the 28th of June, 1989, even a blind man would have seen that the
7 programme had been developed and became an all-out war against the
8 alleged anti-Serbs, and everything ended in bloodshed. And he states
9 quite clearly something else that is important for all those dealing with
10 the question of how history is shaped; that Milosevic came to lead not
11 because he imposed himself on others, but because the political powers
12 that be, the intellectual forces and circles in Serbia, needed him for
13 the realisation of their programme, which was developed in the memorandum
14 within the Serbian Academy of Arts
15 And then he goes on to say that for a long time, even during the
16 first Yugoslavia
17 that the Serbs had not completed what they set out to do; that is to say,
18 the unification of all Serb lands into a single Serbian state. And they
19 defined what they considered to be theirs, and I quote, "all lands where
20 Serb graves exist are Serb lands," or the territories of the former
21 Ottoman Empire, which means up to Karlobag and Virovitica, which is the
22 map that we've seen so many times before here.
23 Q. Just a moment, General. This is 3D41-0869 in the English.
24 A. Then he goes on to say that the -- that with the rescinding of
25 Kosovo and Vojvodina's independence and autonomy through force, they
1 revised the situation, and that the situation in which the Serbs
2 dominated in the military and the police section was untenable. And that
3 was obvious to every observer, and it was very clear to Mr. Filipovic.
4 And this goes on to page 38 now, and on page 38 --
5 Q. That's 3D41-0826 for the Croatian and 3D41-0869 of the English.
6 A. Mr. Filipovic goes on to say that what happened in the 1990s, the
7 beginning of the 1990s, and that is that Slovenia would be allowed to
8 separate from Yugoslavia
9 prevailed in 1929 during King Aleksandar Karadjordjevic's reign, the
10 amputation of Slovenia
11 Aleksandar Karadjordjevic, the reigning king of the day, the king of
13 portion of Croatia
14 Karlobag-Karlovac-Virovitica, that line, could be cut off and the rest
15 would be Serbia
16 time it was clear to one and all that within Yugoslavia there was only
17 one solution, and I'm talking about the start of Milosevic's rule, that
18 the only solution was to get away from that hell hole and to declare
19 one's independence. And then he says that this sovereignty and
20 independence on the part of the republics within Yugoslavia was founded
21 on the anti-fascist Council of National Liberation, known as AVNOJ of
23 the people in the partisan anti-fascist movement decided quite precisely
24 under what conditions they were joining forces and how they could all
25 separate and become disjoined. This was repeated again in the 1974
1 Constitution, it was reiterated again.
2 And he goes on to say that any questioning of the realisation of
3 those rights, well, this was something that Serb nationalism simply did
4 not allow; that Yugoslavia
5 weren't the Serbs, and that this disassociation was the only option left.
6 Now I'd like to move on to page 44.
7 Q. Just a moment, please. That is 3D41-0827 in Croatian and --
8 JUDGE PRANDLER: Excuse me.
9 I'm sorry, Ms. Pinter. I would like to only ask one question,
10 which is rather also an appeal to Mr. Praljak, and it is as follows: that
11 we have heard a number of excerpts from the book, and myself, I am very
12 much interested in it, including the Jajce meeting, et cetera. On the
13 other hand, really, I am not quite sure if I see the major purpose of
14 yours, Mr. Praljak, what you would like to prove, and I hope that you
15 will come to that point at an appropriate time. Thank you.
16 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Praljak, I share the same
17 view as my colleague. We're trying to understand what it is you want to
18 prove. Mr. Muhamed Filipovic, if I remember correctly, he testified in a
19 case here before the Tribunal. He was a Prosecution witness. You have
20 just read out several pages which have to do with Serb actions. You are
21 not going to discuss the entire history of Serbia; otherwise, we will
22 still be here tomorrow morning. Please get to the point. What is it you
23 wish to prove thereby?
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Very simple, Your Honours.
25 Mr. Filipovic, in very precise terms, and I tried to select small
1 portions to show you that to every politically-responsible individual,
2 leading his people, and this refers to Alija Izetbegovic, and we'll come
3 to that in just a moment, it was quite clear what was afoot, and you can
4 see that Mr. Izetbegovic behaved quite differently from what was obvious.
5 We come to the visit by Mr. Filipovic to Zagreb in 1991, and this is,
6 I think, very important for these proceedings.
7 If you take a look at page 44 now, you will see what I'm talking
9 MS. PINTER:
10 Q. Just a moment, General. That is 3D41-0827 in Croatian, and
11 3D41-0869 for the English.
12 A. Well, he says here that unfortunately not the proper policy was
13 waged; that the Muslims, well, especially their intellectuals, were not
14 aware of the actual position of Bosnia-Herzegovina.
15 And we can move on now to page 52.
16 Q. This is 3D41-0828, Croatian, and for the English it is 3D41-0870.
17 A. Yes, that's right. And then page 53, is that on the same page?
18 Yes, it is. Anyway, that is the crux of the matter.
19 Alija Izetbegovic does not wish to have Zulfikarpasic and
20 Filipovic in his party, and Mr. Filipovic explains why; and he, himself,
21 does not want to enter into the party, because he says that in that party
22 were Ahmet Behman, Hasan Cengic, Salih Spahic, and people like that. So
23 why didn't he want to join? Because they based their politics on
24 religion. They were all people who had been in prison for a long time,
25 as Young Muslims, and they derived their political positions from their
1 religious conviction.
2 Filipovic considered that politics is one thing and religion
3 another, and this is an important aspect which will be dealt with further
4 on in the book. And Alija Izetbegovic wasn't independent in making his
5 decisions. He would make a decision and then what would happen was that
6 the party leadership, which included these individuals, these
7 Young Muslims, they quite simply changed the decision. So it was
8 important to see that, and it's important for Their Honours to understand
9 that, why he changed his decisions so often.
10 Q. When you say "he," you mean who?
11 A. Alija Izetbegovic.
12 MS. TOMANOVIC: [Interpretation] I'd just like to clarify one
14 In the transcript, when the general refers to the Young Muslims,
15 "Young Muslims," should be written with capital letters because it was a
16 movement, and I think it would be a good idea for the general to explain
17 what the Young Muslim organisation was so that we can understand what is
18 said later on in the book.
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The organisation called
20 "Young Muslims "was established in World War II. And after World War II
21 there were a number of legal proceedings, lawsuits against them. And
22 Mr. Izetbegovic, who was a member of the Young Muslims, was in prison
23 twice because of that. The positions of the Young Muslims are common
24 knowledge, but I'm going to present their views and positions when I come
25 to speak about a book called "Young Muslims" written by a Young Muslim
1 writer, so that you can see the kind of policy these people advocated,
2 people who according to Izetbegovic's statements led the SDA party, the
3 main Muslim party during the war. So according to Filipovic, these were
4 people who were not up to the job -- up to the task that awaited them,
5 and they waged a policy of religion, the kind that Mr. Izetbegovic
6 formulated in his Islamic Declaration at the beginning of the 1990s.
7 And now this brings us to page 56.
8 MS. PINTER: [Interpretation] 3D41- --
9 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] General Praljak, the political
10 situations were extremely complex in the former Yugoslavia. I'm trying
11 to understand what it is you wish to tell us, because all of this is
12 extremely complicated.
13 From what I understood over the last few days, I felt that you
14 looked somewhat favorably on Mr. Izetbegovic; it wasn't all negative. I
15 may be mistaken, but you seem to be saying that Mr. Izetbegovic was
16 saying certain things, and then he changed his mind. And if I understand
17 you correctly, he changed his mind because of his entourage, because the
18 people close to him were more in line with the Young Muslim movement; in
19 other words, religiously oriented, and politics were there to serve
20 religion. Therefore, Izetbegovic could take stances which weren't quite
21 his point of view, but reflected the point of view of his entourage; is
22 that what you are trying to tell us?
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] [Previous translation continues]...
24 now, why do I want to show you this book? If you read this properly,
25 you'll be able to see how Mr. Izetbegovic behaved at the beginning of the
1 war, before the war as well. And in reading, you will be able to see
2 that only some completely irresponsible people would not have established
3 the HZ-HB and HVO to defend themselves. So from this book, by a leading
4 intellectual who took part in all this, it becomes absolutely crystal
5 clear why the HZ-HB and the HVO had to be formed; because he had done
6 nothing to prepare for the war, and he would have -- had there been no
7 reaction, we would have been killed and expelled. And that, in
8 Mr. Muhamed Filipovic's book, becomes crystal clear.
9 It is true, Judge Antonetti, that from the series of meetings I
10 had with Mr. Izetbegovic, I gained the impression -- I have a very good
11 opinion of him as a human being, as a man; however, I do claim and agree
12 with what Mr. Filipovic says in his book. The leadership, and that's
13 what Mr. Filipovic says in his book, he -- Izetbegovic wasn't the leader;
14 it was Cengic Senior and Cengic Junior, and the people around him,
15 Omer Begovic, and so on. And whatever they didn't like, they would
16 change. If they didn't like something he had decided, they would change
17 the decision. And this happened umpteen times both with the signing of
18 international agreements and with the establish of the joint staff of the
19 army, and with that famous notorious so-called ultimatum, as the
20 Prosecutor refers to it, of the 15th of January, 1993. And let me say,
21 in passing, that I created that document, together with Mr. Izetbegovic,
22 and when it was finished, when it was complete, he, under pressure from
23 Silajdzic, changed it, he went back on it, and that is evident in
24 Mr. Filipovic's book. We'll come to the visit to Croatia, and when we
25 do, you'll see what the situation was like.
1 So, Ms. Nika, we can skip over this portion:
2 MS. PINTER: [Interpretation] I'd like to say something with
3 respect to the record now. I have some remarks to make about the
5 In the transcript, you overlapped with the interpreter, who was
6 interpreting the question by His Honour Judge Antonetti. Your answer is
7 not recorded in full, your direct and brief answer to the question about
8 Alija Izetbegovic.
9 Q. Your answer was, "Precisely," and then you went on talking about
10 Alija Izetbegovic and about the circumstances before the war, and then
11 you went on with your speech. But I would like to warn about the fact
12 that His Honour Judge Antonetti asked whether his -- whether he --
13 whether any influence was exerted on him, and then you responded, "Yes,
14 precisely," but this was not recorded.
15 A. Yes, not just the influence. They changed his decisions.
16 Q. They?
17 A. The Young Muslims, Behman, Cengic Junior, Cengic Senior,
18 Silajdzic -- well, he was a different thing, but he was the same.
19 Q. And at page 54, line 22, when you answered to the question asked
20 by His Honour Judge Antonetti, you said, "Because he didn't do anything
21 to prepare for the war," but we don't have the name. That's a reference
22 to --
23 A. Mr. Izetbegovic.
24 Q. Thank you very much.
25 A. Let us move on to page 69.
1 Q. That's 3D41-0834. The English version is 3D41-0873.
2 JUDGE TRECHSEL: I would like to ask a question regarding
3 page 0871. In the last large paragraph, the author speaks of the Serbs
4 and the Croats.
5 And he says that "For the SDS, the goal was the creation of a
6 Serbian country in Bosnia and Herzegovina, with the ultimate goal of
7 unification with Serbia
8 with Croatia
9 Now, I wonder what your comment on this is.
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I deliberately left
11 that in the book because I didn't want to leave out things that do not
12 support Filipovic's opinion. But at the beginning, I quoted Filipovic.
13 Let him testify about the facts. This is his conclusion after the fact,
14 the equi-distance of guilt. In this book, I wanted to show what he is
15 saying right at the beginning; that he should speak about things that are
16 facts. And he is it not give any facts in support of this opinion, who
17 told him that, what kind of document formalised that, who he talked to
18 about that. What is important is that in 1991, on the 8th of April, he
19 talked to Tudjman, and that he is reporting their conversation truthfully
20 and accurately.
21 And, furthermore, facts and conversations, I don't have to accept
22 his conclusions, but I will abide by what is he describing as facts and
23 factography, and that is why we are now moving to page 69. For this
24 opinion of the HDZ, he does not --
25 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Excuse me. I have before that, namely on the
1 following page, a sentence which caught my eye and which I truly do not
2 quite understand. I find it a bit puzzling. He says, when he speaks
3 about this goal of Islamisation of the Muslims:
4 "This amounted --" I quote:
5 "This amounted to the implicit recognition of there being Serbian
6 and Croatian parts of Bosnia and Herzegovina as well."
7 Now, it surprises me that this is worth mentioning, because up to
8 now this has been something that seemed -- to me, it seemed rather
9 evident. How do you interpret this sentence? I have some possible
10 interpretation, but I would like to hear yours.
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, you see, Your Honours, when
12 we have gone through everything that I have prepared, you will see that
13 Mr. Izetbegovic in many respects wanted to create a Muslim state in the
14 territory of Bosnia and Herzegovina. He spoke about that with Arafat.
15 He wanted to relocate populations. He wanted to create an Islamic state,
16 an Islamic state. And among Croats, there was only talk about
17 self-government over certain territories, not of ethnically-monolithic
18 territories, only territories where Croats are in the majority, and all
19 the others enjoyed equal rights. So these are two different political
20 concepts. Mr. Izetbegovic, in a number of conversations that are
21 published by various Muslim authors, not Praljak, wanted to, for
22 instance, move the population from Sandzak to Eastern Herzegovina
23 vice versa, and I will show this through books published by his generals
24 and ambassadors that he appointed.
25 The best example of such a conversation begins at page 69, when
1 he went to Zagreb
2 visited Franjo Tudjman.
3 So, please, if I have given you an answer --
4 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Before we continue, I am
5 endeavouring to follow all of this, and it's extremely complicated. Do
6 you mean, Mr. Praljak, that Mr. Izetbegovic, along with Mr. Milosevic,
7 was in favour of a republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina
8 but by giving up part of the territory, the part of the Republika Srpska
9 to Milosevic and part of Bosnia-Herzegovina to Croatia, and that way
10 everybody would be satisfied; he, because he would have his Islamic
11 republic; the Serbs, because they would have their territory, populated
12 by Serbs; and the Croatians, because they would have their part? Is that
13 what you are trying to say?
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, to a great extent. Completely
15 unprepared for the war. Mr. Izetbegovic at first thought - well, you
16 will see from this book - that he could get the whole of Bosnia and
18 would have 51 percent of Muslims. And then in this manner, by democratic
19 means, he will be able to set up this state and found it on Islamic law.
20 I will show that clearly from his books and interviews. And when
21 pursuing a completely wrong, disastrous policy, he managed to lose so
22 much territory to the Serbs, at one point after speaking to
23 Yasser Arafat, who is mentioned in another book, Yasser Arafat told him,
24 Alija, take it, because I, too, was offered and then I was not happy with
25 what was on offer and I lost everything.
And in such circumstances, when the situation in Bosnia
3 considered the argument that in order to get a piece of territory where
4 he would be able to move the population, he spoke about moving the
5 population from Sandzak, which is in Serbia, to Eastern Herzegovina
6 spoke about that with the Serbs in order to get a state of this kind.
7 Croats would not have agreed to Herzegovina
8 the carving up of that country. We would not have accepted that. Serbs
9 would have been happy with 65 percent of the territory, and then later on
10 the English politics made it possible for them to take 49 percent of the
11 territory, and then with a very small number of non-Serbs in that
12 territory they are able to rule as they see fit. This is true, and I'm
13 claiming that and I'm proving that.
14 MR. STRINGER: Mr. President, I believe that the witness, the
15 general, should tell us when he has personal knowledge about statements
16 that he's attributing to others versus whether he's just quoting
17 something that he's read in a book, whether it's this book or a different
18 book. He's mentioned now a couple of times a conversation between
19 President Izetbegovic and Yasser Arafat. I don't know -- he's not told
20 us whether he has personal knowledge, whether he was present during such
21 a conversation, what is his source of that information, because it is
22 hearsay which can be considered by the Trial Chamber. But the witness
23 needs to distinguish between conversations he has personal knowledge
24 about and conversations that he knows about from a different source, and
25 if so, tell us what the source is. Thank you.
1 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Stringer has just pointed
2 out that you must support what you are saying by something that cannot be
3 questioned, when you talk about conversations between Arafat and
4 Izetbegovic. In particular, the example of Arafat being offered
5 territory that he didn't accept and then losing everything, what exactly
6 is the source of this information?
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] In this case, my source is a book
8 by the chief of the BH Army Main Staff, Sefer Halilovic.
9 MS. PINTER: [Interpretation]
10 Q. What's the title?
11 A. "A Cunning Strategy," where in several places he speaks about
12 that, quoting the speakers, Izetbegovic and Ganic, about the discussions
13 about the carve-up of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
14 Furthermore, there is a statement by General Klein, who has
15 first-hand knowledge. And I'm claiming and General Klein is claiming,
16 yes, I asked Mr. Izetbegovic and he told me, Yes, I told Franjo Tudjman
17 to take Western Herzegovina and then everything would be okay. He would
18 deal with the Serbs.
19 Furthermore, there is the historical agreement, and this man
20 Filipovic, the author of this book, took part in all the things that were
21 going on. Then there is the agreement between Alija Izetbegovic and the
22 Serbs from September 1993, when in two days there was -- there were talks
23 with Serbs, an agreement on how Bosnia and Herzegovina should be set up,
24 and then a completely different agreement that is reached with
25 Franjo Tudjman. Then he concludes an agreement that there would be no
1 attacks with the Serbs, and then -- of course, I was not with Izetbegovic
2 and with Yasser Arafat, but this is the chief of his Main Staff writing
3 that, and this is a diplomat that he had appointed. These are
4 publications available to the public, and I'm sure that they are
6 We, from the Croatian part of Bosnia and Herzegovina
7 HVO, knew all that. We are not stupid. We saw, in the papers and in
8 other media, what Mr. Izetbegovic was saying. In the Islamic Declaration
9 that was published in 200.000 copies, it is outlined quite clearly what
10 they wanted. And in his text from 1990, entitled "The Civil State or a
11 Civil War," it was outlined quite clearly what he wanted. It would be
12 either a civil state, which would make it possible [Realtime transcript
13 read in error "impossible"] for him to achieve what he wanted, or there
14 would be a civil war.
15 These are documents that are relevant for this Court, written by
16 relevant people, and I don't see -- well, I can speak about that based on
17 my knowledge, but I have said this several times. But if Mr. Filipovic
18 is speaking about the meeting with Franjo Tudjman in 1991 and what
19 Franjo Tudjman offered to him, and how Alija Izetbegovic had been prepped
20 by the Yugoslav People's Army, well, then, that's it.
21 JUDGE PRANDLER: I was waiting for the translation to be
23 I would only like to say that there is probably a mistake in
24 translation. The English text, and it is about Izetbegovic's position,
25 and it is lines, I believe, 18, 19, 20, and here you said -- I mean
1 Mr. Praljak said, and I quote:
2 "It was outlined clearly what he wanted. It would either be a
3 civil state, which would make it impossible for him to achieve what he
4 wanted, or there would be a civil war."
5 Now, I believe that, Mr. Praljak, you would have liked to say
6 that it would either be a civil state, which would make it possible for
7 him to achieve what he wanted." Because actually he was for a civil
8 state by the -- on the basis of one vote, et cetera, et cetera. So I
9 believe that it is the right interpretation of what you wanted to say.
10 Thank you.
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, that's correct, Your Honour
12 Judge Prandler, because if at the same time you read the
13 Islamic Declaration, that we've all had because it had a circulation of
14 200.000 copies, and if you read that through achieving a majority in the
15 population, he says that explicitly. Once we are over 51 percent, then
16 we will introduce what the Qur'an says. And that's as follows: that
17 there cannot be any secular authority over the religious authority,
18 religion determines the government. And when he says a civil state or a
19 civil war, then if you put this all together, it speaks quite clearly to
20 the political platform of Alija Izetbegovic, not the HVO, not the Croats,
21 and this is evidence.
22 MS. PINTER: [Interpretation] Just a moment, General. I would
23 like to tell to the Trial Chamber and for the record that the part that
24 you are talking about with regard to Sefer Halilovic's book "A Cunning
25 Strategy" that concerns the conversation between Mr. Izetbegovic and
1 Arafat has been admitted into evidence and is now exhibit under 1D00534,
2 so we have already got that in evidence.
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] 69 --
4 MS. PINTER: [Interpretation]
5 Q. You had left it off at page 69, and the numbers are 3D41-0834,
6 and 3D41-0873 in the English version.
7 A. This is page 69, 70, and 71.
8 Q. Just a moment. Let's say all the numbers. 3D41-0874 in the
9 English version, and in the Croatian it is 3D41-0835. Pages 69, 70, and
10 71; am I right?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. Very well.
13 A. I would kindly ask you to look at this, and I want to go into
14 great length. I would like to just draw your attention to what
15 President Tudjman said to Mr. Filipovic on the 8th of April, 1991
16 says, Let's leave Yugoslavia
17 and Slovenia
18 agreement to that effect. It would be much easier if Bosnia-Herzegovina
19 did it as well. We would have lots more international support. We could
20 organise a joint defence. We could negotiate our joint legal documents.
21 Q. General, but there are reasons why this was asked, because all
22 the resources were exhausted for any conversations with Milosevic; am I
23 right? That's what I read in the book.
24 A. Yes, that's why I'm saying all this. Maybe we should all first
25 read and then you can ask me questions. Everything is important, but
1 this is very important.
2 It says that if Bosnia and Herzegovina don't leave Yugoslavia
3 together with Croatia
4 that democracy would not stand a chance. But the most important thing
5 that he says is this: What I am proposing, Izetbegovic is never going to
6 accept because he's too impressed and will provide the Yugoslav People's
7 Army. And he, Izetbegovic, is encircled by the agents of the KOS and the
8 State Security of Yugoslavia
9 know that Izetbegovic was being prepped by the General Staff, that
10 muscles were flexed in front of him there, and I know that he will not
11 muster the courage to confront that huge armed force.
12 You will see later on that Filipovic confirmed this. We will see
13 this when Izetbegovic tells him Ganic was in Belgrade, in the General
14 Staff, and the JNA said to him that it would be the stability in
15 Bosnia-Herzegovina, that it would not launch an attack against anybody.
16 Well, listen here, this -- well, what Filipovic says later on, he says,
17 Now I understood that Tudjman was right in saying what he did. And he
18 says this because Franjo Tudjman had good information. A man, a
19 high-ranking -- a highly-ranking man, a Croat who was the head of the
20 State Security, submitted all that information, because Franjo Tudjman
21 was a very experienced politician and he knew that he had to have
22 intelligence if he wanted to take his state to the independence, despite
23 all the agents of different intelligence services that created chaos. So
24 this is a precise description of how things should be done, according to
1 Mr. Filipovic says, We went to Ljubinje on the 9th of April, and
2 there, on page 72 and 73, the Slovenes told him the same thing, they told
3 him one and the same.
4 Q. This is 3D41-0836, and in the English version it is 3D41-0874 and
6 A. After having listened to all that, Mr. Filipovic asked for an
7 urgent meeting with Izetbegovic, and he says that they met on the 11th of
8 April, 1991. And he says a very important sentence here that I'm going
9 to quote:
10 "Since I had a previous unpleasant experience with Izetbegovic,
11 who was --" and now we're going to page 74 of the Bosniak text --
12 Q. The following page in Croatian is 3D41-0837, and in the English
13 it's the same page.
14 A. Sometimes used to forget what he said previously, so in a very
15 gentlemanly way, Filipovic says, That person says one thing, and then he
16 forgets what he said, obviously, and says another thing the following
17 day. And then he says, Because of such an experience, I brought with me,
18 and he says who he took with him. And on the part of the SDA there were
19 Omer Behmen and Muhamed Cengic, and he goes on to speak about
20 Omer Behmen, who was, according to him, was his biggest value lie in the
21 fact that he had been sentenced to a total of 15 years in prison for his
22 affiliation with Young Muslims, he is prone to insulting people, and so
23 on and so forth, that he's not a very smart person, that he is very
24 authoritarian in his doings and behaviour, and so on and so forth.
25 Towards the end, and I quote again, he says:
1 "And as democracy is concerned, him," and he means Behmen, "it's
2 double-Dutch to him. And the irony of the history lies in the fact that
3 that person," again he means Omer Behmen, "during the ten hardest years
4 that we experienced, he became the second-ranking person in our state and
5 in our political life, and as a ruthless, un-scrupled, non-intelligent,
6 and crude person, he became even more powerful than the person number one
7 in the state, effectively."
8 Mr. Omer Behmen, as far as I know, and somebody may refute that,
9 had no state position in the Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina
10 a member of the Presidency, he was not a member of the Government. But
11 according to the author, he was even more powerful than Alija Izetbegovic
12 himself because he had spent 15 years in prison as a member of the
13 Young Muslim movement, and Mr. Izetbegovic only spent 8 years in prison.
14 And now on to pages 75, 76, and 77. They are simply very
15 important because --
16 Q. Just a moment, General. Let's dictate the numbers for the
17 record. Page 75 is 3D41-0876, in the English version, or 3D41-0837 in
18 the Croatian version. And the following page, 76, and the next one after
19 that, 77, are both contained in the already-quoted numbers. When that
20 changes, I will react accordingly.
21 A. The conversation is being relayed. Again there is a reference to
22 the international community. He says that Croats and Slovenes suggested
23 that we should leave the state, that there should be an agreement on
24 confederation, that we should have a joint army, which would be the
25 Slovenian, Croatian, and Bosnia-Herzegovinian Army; that we should pursue
1 our common international policy until the moment the crisis is over and
2 until the moment we could definitely decide on our future. In other
3 words, Croatia
4 confederation of the three states in order to reinforce their joint
5 position vis-a-vis Milosevic and vis-a-vis the international community,
6 which by and large objected a breakup of Yugoslavia. And then when
7 everything settled, they should be in a position to agree what to do next
9 And now there is a reference to the support of the West, that the
10 West would -- and Izetbegovic asks him, What do you think how the Serbs
11 will react to such a move? And then Mr. Filipovic explains to him that
12 Milosevic does not have enough mobilised and deployed troops and that he
13 should carry out an attack on the entire territory of Slovenia
14 and Bosnia-Herzegovina, that there would be a joint military with a joint
15 command, and all that would deter Milosevic from starting a war against
16 one state and then the next and then the next one.
17 Mr. Izetbegovic said that he was afraid of the Chetniks, that the
18 Serbs have already started -- created movements in Kosovo and in
20 Yugoslav People's Army -- I apologise. Mr. Izetbegovic obviously didn't
21 understand that, because he perceived the Yugoslav People's Army as the
22 army of peace in Bosnia-Herzegovina.
23 Further on, there is a reference -- or, rather, Filipovic says
24 that there should be a supreme staff, that all the weapons of the
25 Territorial Defence should be taken over. And Izetbegovic says, But then
1 the Serbs would receive weapons, which is a notorious nonsense, blatant
2 nonsense, because Filipovic tells him Serbs will get weapons one way or
3 another, but what matters is that we receive the weapons so that they
4 don't -- they don't attack us. Izetbegovic then tells him this -- he
5 didn't say anything, but he did say that he was given guarantees by the
6 JNA that the JNA would not interfere in the internal affairs of Bosnia
7 and Herzegovina
8 Q. Just let me say that this is on 3D41-0877 in the English version,
9 and that it is 3D41-0838 in the Croatian.
10 A. Izetbegovic says that he received the guarantees through a member
11 of the Presidency, Ejub Ganic; that he, himself, i.e., Izetbegovic, had
12 sent to Belgrade
13 General Staff.
14 Q. We will have to stop here because this is time for our next
16 A. Let's just look at 78. Filipovic says that the same thing was
17 told him by Tudjman that's occurred to him immediately; that he knew that
18 Izetbegovic had been prepped by the JNA. He speaks about Ganic, who came
19 from Sandzak, as not being competent. And when all that was brought to
20 an end, he says Izetbegovic, according to his old custom, and I repeat,
21 according to his old custom, left everything open. By way of conclusion,
22 he wanted to stall a little bit longer to see what would happen, and then
23 we would talk a bit more.
24 And we could have a break now.
25 Filipovic, as I will explain later, will say why
1 Alija Izetbegovic does not take decisions. He always wants to buy time.
2 You will see that this is because he had to consult Behmen, and then
3 Muhamed Cengic, his young Muslim comrades, to see whether he had their
4 approval. It will become very clear later on in the book. But that's
5 how the state policy of Bosnia-Herzegovina was pursued.
6 MS. PINTER: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I note the time.
7 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] We shall have a 20-minute break
9 --- Recess taken at 5.36 p.m.
10 --- On resuming at 5.57 p.m.
11 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] The court is back in session.
12 MS. PINTER: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
13 Q. General, we've completed with page 78.
14 A. 79, Madam.
15 Q. Now we go to page 3D41-0839. We're still on this page. In
16 English that's 3D41-0878, and it continues on the same number in English
18 A. Well, Mr. Filipovic says that the fact that Izetbegovic is
19 leaving those decisions for some future consideration is quite
20 astonishing to his mind, and he cannot understand how Izetbegovic is
21 thinking, except for the fact that he cannot take decisions independently
22 without consulting some people that we don't know, or organisations, or
24 And then in the pages that follow, Filipovic goes on to explain
25 who actually has the real authority to make decisions about Bosnia
2 taking steps to protect Bosnia and Herzegovina against a division, which
3 had been the Serbian goal right from the very beginning. And then he
4 goes on to speak about the fact that this was probably because of some
5 fear or lack of political competence. He discusses this with his -- the
6 person who shared his view, Adil Zulfikarpasic, who is a Swiss citizen.
7 He had a Bosniak institute there. He was an emigre for a number of
8 years. Adil Zulfikarpasic, after the Second World War, I think, he fled
9 to Europe
10 know that he had Swiss citizenship, and he ran this Bosnian institute for
12 Now we move on to the summer of 1991, when an effort is made to
13 set up an arrangement between the Muslims and Serbs about how Bosnia
14 would be established.
15 Q. That's 3D41-0840, that's the Croatian version, that's where it
16 begins, and the English text begins at 3D41-0878 and goes on to 0879.
17 A. And I will just very briefly, as much as I can. Here Filipovic
18 says that Serbs are arming themselves openly throughout Bosnia and
20 JNA, including the General Staff. And he says the same thing that we
21 were trying to show on the maps, that the disposition of the JNA troops
22 was already done on all the axes of strategic operations, primarily the
23 valleys of the Drina
24 plateaus -- high plateaus that have a strategic importance vis-a-vis
1 Livno --
2 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreters note, could the microphones that
3 are not in use be switched off, please.
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] And he concludes that this is made
5 for the purpose of putting Bosnia and Herzegovina -- making it part of
6 the project of creating a Serb state that would extend to the
7 Karlovac-Karlobag-Virovitica line as envisioned in the notorious Serbian
8 Academy of Arts
9 And then he goes on to say that he received information from
10 reliable sources about the secret order by General Zelac identifying
11 Muslims as the key danger, key risk in such a plan, and stating that they
12 should be treated brutally. He quotes "treat them mercilessly, deal with
13 them mercilessly, and eliminate all persons who might turn into
14 organisers of any kind of resistance of the Muslim population. He goes
15 on to say who gave him that and how he verified that. He received it
16 from Kljuc, and then he received a letter from an officer, an ethnic Serb
17 who was a Bosnian patriot. So from -- it's verified from two
18 independence sources.
19 And then on pages 84, 85, 86, 87 --
20 Q. That's from pages --
21 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] General, I'll stop you there.
22 I've been listening to what you are saying, relying on
23 Mr. Filipovic's book. If we understand all this correctly, there was an
24 agreement with the JNA to position the Serb forces facing the Croats, as
25 part of this agreement between the Serb side and Izetbegovic and the
1 others. Is this what you wish to highlight?
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, Your Honour. The JNA was
3 deployed as part of the political plan engendered by Milosevic, so they
4 did not ask Izetbegovic where they should deploy, but he approved that,
5 not saying a word, at the same time claiming that the JNA was the
6 guarantor of the peace in Bosnia and Herzegovina. There was no
7 agreement, or at least I'm not aware of such agreements. But why should
8 the Yugoslav People's Army have an agreement, when Izetbegovic is letting
9 them do what they want and is saying they are a friendly army, They will
10 stay here and guarantee peace for us.
11 MS. PINTER: [Interpretation]
12 Q. We're still on the same page?
13 A. Yes. Well, nothing, really. Well, I shouldn't -- to cut a long
14 story short, the talks with Serbs began. And Izetbegovic, here at
15 page 87, says that Izetbegovic told Adil that Izetbegovic has no
16 guarantees of any sort and that he was not working on any kind of a plan,
17 political or military, to face off this action that was to be expected on
18 the part of the Serbs, and that he, Izetbegovic, feels that the only way
19 out of this situation was to talk to Serbs, to negotiate with them.
20 And now on the pages that follow, there are specific explanations
21 as to how it all proceeded. I don't want to bother you, but at any rate
22 Izetbegovic let Filipovic and Zulfikarpasic to negotiate. He took part
23 in the session and he was in the know, because they thought that if an
24 agreement is reached between Bosniaks and Serbs, as the most numerous
25 ethnic communities, that it would make it easier. And they would sell it
1 to the Croats in one way or another because they were less numerous.
2 Q. At what negotiations?
3 A. They are known as the historic negotiations between Muslims -- or
4 Bosniaks or Muslims, as they were known at the time, and Serbs.
5 Page 91 of the Bosniak text --
6 Q. Just a moment. That's 3D41-0845, and the English version is
8 A. Yes. He says that the negotiations started on the 8th of July,
9 1991, and that they were held in the building of the State Presidency of
10 Bosnia-Herzegovina, and that the initial talks were held by
11 Adil Zulfikarpasic, Radovan Karadzic, Muhamed Filipovic, and
12 Nikola Koljevic. We will skip the pages where he speaks about Radovan
13 Karadzic, Hannah Arendt, his political and -- his political thoughts,
14 which are very interesting, but I don't have time to go into that.
15 Let us move on to page 96 and 97. You don't have it. Okay,
16 let's move on.
17 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreters note, the counsel's microphone is
18 not on.
19 MS. PINTER: [Interpretation]
20 Q. The next page is 100.
21 A. 100, okay. At page 100, 101, 102, 103, it's actually the gist --
22 Q. Let me just give the references. The references for the Croatian
23 are 3D41-0848. The English version is 3D41-0884.
24 A. Well, the important part is where he speaks about the Serbs who
25 have in mind a federal state, whereas the Muslim delegation is advocating
1 a federation of states, a union of states, and that this is the key
2 conflict there. Whoever has any knowledge about politics must be aware
3 that there can be no agreement, because Serbs say that Bosnia
5 position. Don't talk about Bosnia-Herzegovina being an independent state
6 which would then join some kind of a union with Yugoslavia. No, you will
7 be perhaps an entity within Yugoslavia
8 And then he goes on to say that two days passed and Serbs
9 realised that Izetbegovic is trying to trick them, because Filipovic goes
10 on to explain that the public was aware of the talks and that he even
11 informed Kljuc, in part, about the course of the talks, so the Croat
12 representative in the Presidency of Bosnia and Herzegovina, that the
13 public was very much interested in the talks.
14 Pages 102 and 103 --
15 Q. 3D41-0849, and the English version is 3D41-0886.
16 A. He says that he told Kljuc that the agreement would not be signed
17 if the Croat side does not agree to it. But it is unclear why the Croats
18 were not involved in the negotiations right from the beginning, because
19 what kind of a situation do we have here, two parties negotiating and
20 agreeing to something and then presenting it to the third party. Well,
21 that's not how it should be done, politically. But more of that
22 [indiscernible]. Kljuc believes that Izetbegovic would not allow the
23 Bosnian territory for attacks on Croatia. That's his concern.
24 Unfortunately, that happened later on, Filipovic says, and he says that
25 this is the reason why Croats were quite skeptical about any kind of
1 separate agreements reached by Muslims and Serbs, which is quite
2 understandable, because if you have three peoples, it is logical for
3 three of them to sit at the table and talk.
4 At pages 104, 5, 6, and 7 - I'll go through it very briefly --
5 Q. Just a moment. In Croatian, that's 3D41-0851 and
6 3D41-0852 - it's again Croatian - and the English is 3D41-0888 and
8 A. Well, what happened later, when they reached an agreement, and
9 the public was waiting avidly to hear about that because the Muslims were
10 also very keen on that, there was popular TV show on Sarajevo TV. It was
11 Ms. Kajnovic who was the anchor. And at that meeting some kind of an
12 agreement was reached. And after the introductory remarks in the show,
13 what happened was that a paper came in where Alija Izetbegovic says that
14 he was completely opposed to the talks and that there would be no deals
15 with the Serbs. And this, of course, caused a great deal of
16 consternation among the people who had been authorised by him to
17 negotiate. And then he says that in this document that was sent in,
18 there were some platitudes about how there would be no deals behind the
19 HDZ's back. And after all that, and I quote, after all that the SDA had
20 done regarding the lack of any sort of reaction to the Serb use of the
21 territory of Bosnia and Herzegovina to launch attacks on Croatia
22 kind of motivation behind the refusal to negotiate was the height of
24 He goes on to say that it was a situation of consternation and
25 that the SDA rejected any possible agreement with the Serbs. And then he
1 goes on to say that -- well, they're asking themselves, of course, at
2 this point why all this happened, what happened, how this sort of saltum
3 [phoen]of tallow or death leap could have happened at all. And then he
4 says that he thought, to begin with, that Izetbegovic, when coming back
5 from the USA
6 Bosnia-Herzegovina which could have been a good reason for him to reject
7 the negotiations.
8 Secondly, it is possible to assume that he received some
9 guarantees from Croatia
10 sovereignty of Bosnia-Herzegovina would prevail. However, he also says
11 something that is very important, at least in my opinion, for
12 understanding the situation, and I quote: "None of us could have
13 envisaged something that actually happened," and that is that the cause
14 of this impolite and illogical, politically absolutely harmful, and
15 worthy of every criticism, that an act of that kind was helped by the
16 party oligargy, which in the SDA, from the beginning, had a decisive role
17 to play from the very beginning on all issues. It was the Young Muslims
18 group which formed a nucleus, or a party political bureau, although in
19 formal terms it was not actually part of the -- part and parcel of the
20 party, nor did it hold any public positions within it, after being
21 victorious at the elections, after winning the elections.
22 He goes on to say that these representatives thought that they
23 could play around with the Serbs in any way they chose without realising
24 that the Serbs had power in their hands, supported by the Yugoslav state
25 and the Yugoslav People's Army. And then on page 108 and 109,
1 Mr. Filipovic goes on to say and to explain what position Mr. Izetbegovic
2 had as the formal head of state because Mr. Filipovic was present when
3 they were in Halid Cengic's house. And Hasan had also been convicted in
4 1983, together with Izetbegovic. And he explains that the young
5 Hasan Cengic sharply criticised Izetbegovic for having agreed a day
6 before to lay wreaths at the graves of the Serbs killed by the Ustashas.
7 In other words, that is why I claim that Izetbegovic, when he was alone
8 and when you talked to him alone, he was a very reasonable, moderate man,
9 but politics and the people around him were something else.
10 Q. General, let me just give the pages. 3D41-0852, and for the
11 English, 3D41-0889.
12 A. Well, Filipovic understood at that time that Izetbegovic had to
13 show what he -- answer to someone for what he was doing and that this was
14 not in conformity with the fact that he was president of the party and
15 that he was only responsible to his nation and peoples, and that there
16 was a parallel Young Muslims group that was in control, and that this was
17 a conspiracy logic which has nothing to do with modern political life,
18 and that it was a group that in fact was in charge and in control of the
19 whole thing, and that they were all people from the Young Muslims
20 movement, and that that was causing damage and that that was a pity. And
21 that he realised that Izetbegovic didn't make his decisions himself, he
22 didn't decide to stop the negotiations himself, but that this was
23 dictated to him, and that perhaps it was even done contrary to his will.
24 So that's what I have to say about that.
25 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] General, I'm listening to you,
1 and I have questions concerning the time.
2 Today is Monday. We are going to adjourn soon. According to our
3 schedule, will you have three days left for this week and four days for
4 next week.
5 I was looking at binder 3 and 4, and I realise that there are a
6 number of books that you would like to show us. I must say that I'm
7 rather surprised, because I expected a general like you to discuss all
8 the military operations that had taken place on the ground, what exactly
9 happened in Mostar when the Muslims were arrested; how were these people
10 detained in the various prisons; what role did the military police play
11 in these prisons; since you were in charge from September to November,
12 according to Article 7, what is it you did. Unless I'm mistaken, I have
13 the feeling that your defence strategy -- your defence strategy is
14 somewhat different; i.e., to solely address the joint criminal
15 enterprise, without addressing the issue of the crimes that were
16 committed on the ground.
17 Am I mistaken? Will you be showing us other documents, other
18 binders, or have you given us everything?
19 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's correction: From July to
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Judge Antonetti, for the most part
22 you are not wrong. All the documents, as far as I can see, have already
23 been presented at this trial. And I know for certain what I did and what
24 the documents say, and I will, of course, state my role to the very last
25 detail through documents, and this is something that the documents will
1 show. That's for sure.
2 But a joint criminal enterprise is the basis of this trial, in my
3 opinion, and I'm quite certain, and I've said this a number of times,
4 that no witnesses and no documents -- well, I will show what I did, where
5 I did what, having learnt and having put my head -- I will do my best.
6 However, here, Your Honours, after the war, a completely erroneous image
7 has been presented here on the totality of the relations between
8 Bosnia-Herzegovina, Croatia
9 looking at these books, you can't understand why Herceg-Bosna was
10 established in the first place. But if you look at this, if you read
11 through this material, you will understand, or at least I think you will,
12 that anybody who would wait for President Izetbegovic to wage a policy
13 would have led to a catastrophe among the people, whereas the HZ-HB --
14 well, nobody ever thought of cutting off a portion of Bosnia-Herzegovina,
15 and it was within the frameworks of that kind of thinking that crimes
16 took place. So that's the backdrop.
17 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] All right, General. As an
18 accused, I have the duty to tell you that you face a criminal
19 responsibility. This is like a rocket with three floors. You have
20 mentioned -- three stages. You have mentioned the criminal
21 responsibility under Article 7(1), the planning and the orders, and the
22 third stage, which is also essential, is your responsibility pursuant to
23 Article 7(3). Now, you do what you like. If you wish to occupy your
24 time and ours with joint criminal enterprise, you have a number of hours
25 left to do so. That's all very well. But I must tell you that when I
1 will put questions to you, I shall address the second stage and the third
3 Ms. Pinter.
4 MS. PINTER: [Interpretation] Your Honour, let me just explain, as
5 far as the documents you mentioned are concerned, and the binders, the
6 general has already selected the material. And many books that you have
7 before you won't be used during his testimony, nor will he use them to
8 explain some general phenomena and concepts.
9 Now, as far as the documents are concerned and as concerns
10 concrete, specific events, once we complete the general picture and once
11 we finish describing the situation in which the events took place, and
12 when we give the general context of events for you to be able to
13 understand later on how certain events took place, then, according to our
14 plan, and we might start tomorrow, we will follow the indictment
15 chronologically, place by place, from Capljina, Stolac, Mostar-92 to
16 Prozor-92, Central Bosnia, 1992, and then 1993, so we're going to take it
17 in chronological order. You still haven't received all the documents. I
18 don't think you would have enough room for them there, that many. But I
19 just wish to assure you that we are keeping that in mind, and that is
20 part of our plan.
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] And I hope, Judge Antonetti, that
22 you will ask me, as you promised to do, and indeed that the other Judges
23 will, on level 2, and I sincerely hope that I will get the kind of
24 questions to which I can best respond.
25 So on page 14, just briefly, I'll go through that --
1 MS. PINTER: [Interpretation]
2 Q. Page 114, that is 3D41-0855, and the English is 3D41-0892.
3 A. So Filipovic goes on to say that at that time and later on, he
4 became convinced that Izetbegovic suffers from amnesia of this type, and
5 he keeps quiet and keeps silent on things he didn't like, on things he
6 promised somebody or undertook to do, et cetera, and then changed his
7 opinion, reneged or disavowed.
8 And then I'll skip over the next part, and we'll go on to
9 page 125. We'll get through this very quickly.
10 Q. That is 3D41-0859 of the Croatian, and 3D41-0894 and 0895 for the
12 A. Filipovic speaks about the deployment of the JNA throughout the
13 territory of Bosnia-Herzegovina. They placed a tank division along the
14 Sana River
15 detached to the Kupres Plateau, and we've already mentioned that tank
16 brigade, because Izetbegovic asked that it be let through when the
17 Croatian populous stopped it from going through. And a call was deployed
18 to the source of the Neretva River
19 control and put -- take positions throughout the territory.
20 Then we come to page 126 and 127 --
21 Q. That is 3D41-0860, and the English is 3D41-0895.
22 A. Filipovic speaks about -- or, rather, says that the JNA became
23 included into the military operations that it waged against Croatia
24 they wanted to effect a deterioration of relations between the Croats and
25 the Muslims because each Croat logically asked himself why President
1 Izetbegovic was waging a policy like that in the first place. And, of
2 course, they were angry and bitter and disillusioned. And then he goes
3 on to say that the town of Dubrovnik
4 municipality, which is in Bosnia and Herzegovina, and that the attack was
5 launched on the village of Ravno
6 says that it was open military provocation/aggression against Bosnian and
7 Herzegovinian territory. And everybody seems to have forgotten that
8 before that, the army of Milan Martic had taken control of a village near
9 Knin which is called Uniste, in the summer of 1991, in fact, in May 1991.
10 And this was BH territory on which nobody, absolutely nobody from the BH
11 leadership complained or said anything about it, although part of their
12 state territory was cut off in that way.
13 And, furthermore, he says that the last act of such a shameful
14 policy was when the authorities of Bosnia-Herzegovina arrested the
15 Croatian -- that the town of -- they were arrested first and then they
16 fled in order to avoid being taken prisoner in Kostajnica, that is to say
17 by the Serbs, taken prisoner by the Serbs, and the authorities handed
18 over these people to the Serb Army or, rather, the JNA. And they were
19 all incarcerated in the infamous camp of Manjaca and executed.
20 I was at the battle-front near Kostajnica, Croatia
21 and I know about this case myself. We were very close by, so I have
22 personal knowledge of that.
23 And then he goes on to say that with all these open provocations,
24 the government and Alija Izetbegovic remained silent, and so the Serbs
25 were able to continue doing what they wished, whatever they wished.
1 And then we go on to page 128 and 129 and 130 and 31.
2 Q. That is 3D41-0861 and 3D41-0862, and for the English it is
3 3D41-0896 and 3D41-0897.
4 A. Nothing. He continues, saying that the entire Presidency and the
5 government were behaving as if they were mice paralysed by a snake. This
6 is a very good analysis, as a matter of fact, of everything that should
7 have been done, that wasn't done.
8 And now we come to page 135, when the negotiations were conducted
9 the way they were, and --
10 Q. This is not translated.
11 A. It's not translated? Well, then there's no need. I believe
12 everything's clear. There is just one more part in which Filipovic says
13 that before the attack against Sarajevo
14 there would be no war because it takes two to tango, and he was not going
15 to wage a war, and that he was walking around Sarajevo telling people,
16 Why are you so excited? I'm walking, everything's calm. Only a few days
17 later, killings started in the town.
18 And that's all I have to say about this particular book.
19 Q. Now we're going to deal with the second book, which is 3D03557.
20 A. We'll do it just briefly.
21 Q. And it starts on page 3D41-1008 in the Croatian version, and
22 3D41-1023 in the English version.
23 A. On page 147 --
24 Q. No, 152.
25 A. Yes, 152, you're right. On 152 --
1 Q. The second case was much more serious.
2 A. Yes, yes, yes. Mr. Filipovic is talking about what was happening
3 to him in Switzerland
4 happening was this: The Government of Bosnia-Herzegovina publicised a
5 legal requirement upon all the citizens of Bosnia in Herzegovina
6 the so-called war tax to the Government of Bosnia-Herzegovina. And there
7 were threats that if they didn't pay, they would not be able to return,
8 that they would lose their property in Bosnia and Herzegovina, which is a
9 first in any diplomatic relations. Obviously, the Swiss reacted. The
10 same happened in Germany
11 Mr. Filipovic says that he is aware that this was a total nonsense, and
12 he was wondering how a thing like that could have occurred to anybody.
13 However, Edib Bukvic, who was vice-president of the government and the
14 minister of finance aid in [indiscernible], could not be persuaded
15 differently. And then he speaks about the third case, which is even
16 worse, and this is described on page 157.
17 Q. Let's just repeat the number of document, which is 3D03557, and
18 the page number 157 is 3D41-1010, and the English version is 3D41-1024.
19 A. Very well. Pages 157, 158, he says here that Mr. Von Daniken
20 from the ministry -- or, rather, the Political Department of the Ministry
21 of External Affairs, and the head of police for foreigners, received him
22 in an icy atmosphere and handed him a memoir because the criminals in the
23 Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Bosnia-Herzegovina had distributed some
24 200 passports of Bosnia and Herzegovina, and they were not citizens of
25 Bosnia-Herzegovina; they were drug smugglers from Turkey, Kosovo, and
1 some other states. So they were criminals, basically, and they were
2 distributing Bosnian passports. And this was a major scandal that he had
3 to live through and overcome in one way or another. This was
4 investigated, and so on and so forth. A reference here is made to
5 Celo Bajramovic. He was one of the war commanders in Sarajevo. I
6 believe that in the meantime he has passed, having spent some time in
7 prison for various crimes. And as it says in here, he could cross the
8 border between Germany
9 about the government that was in power at the time in Bosnia.
10 We move on to page 263.
11 Q. This is 3D41-1017, or in English 3D41-1027.
12 A. On pages 263 and 264, he will go on to say what the Brits were
13 doing in order to assist the Serbs and to effectuate the division
14 51-49 percent. He also says that he was informed of that by Roy Guttman.
15 He told him that a solution was being sought for Bosnia-Herzegovina and
16 that the solution envisages Bosnia
17 that Srebrenica and Zepa were already in the offering. And then let's
18 now move on to 274 and 275. We will be finished with them really
19 quickly, 276 as well.
20 Q. These are 3D41-1020, and in English 3D41-1030 and 3D41-1031, and
21 in Croatian it is 41-1021.
22 A. Here Mr. Filipovic repeats the story involving Roy Guttman.
23 Roy Guttman called him and asked him whether he knew who [indiscernible]
24 was trying to agree with the Serbs about the separation that would be
25 based on the exchange of territories, and also that the Muslims had
1 handed Srebrenica, Zepa, and Gorazde to the Serbs in order to gain access
2 to Sarajevo
3 Izetbegovic never replied. The Serbs were very forceful in their
4 propaganda which they inherited from the former Yugoslavia, that was
5 their legacy from the former Yugoslavia
6 He goes on to say that he used his own channels -- or, rather,
7 they used their own channels to send messages to people in Gorazde and
8 not to surrender because they would end up in the fashion of Srebrenica
9 and Zepa. And they listened to them. That's how Gorazde was defended.
10 He also speaks about the situation as regards propaganda in
11 Great Britain, where there were many knowledgeable people appearing up,
12 saying what needs to be done. The Serbs spread propaganda about the
13 Muslims as being Turks, the Turks as being European traitors, and so on
14 and so forth. And in his view only Ms. Thatcher was decisive and
15 resolute enough. And as for the rest, they played the game the way they
17 And the rest is history, especially with regards Srebrenica and
18 Zepa, and the history would have repeated in Gorazde if the lads who
19 defended Gorazde had not stood up to the big political games. And Bihac
20 would also have ended up as Srebrenica if the Americans had not allowed
21 Croatia to -- or, rather, the Croatian Army to defeat the Serbs there
22 together with the BiH Army and the HVO.
23 And that completes my recount of this book.
24 Your Honours, I believe that it is a clear representation of what
25 Mr. Filipovic thinks about the policy in Bosnia-Herzegovina. He thinks
1 that the resistance [realtime transcript read in error "business"] of the
2 Croatian people across Bosnia-Herzegovina was a necessary and clever
3 move, that this had to be done; that the HZ-HB, which always said of
4 itself that it was a temporary establishment until a final agreement
5 about Bosnia and Herzegovina could be reached, that the HVO - and I also
6 had a role to play in that - managed to save Bosnia-Herzegovina with a
7 toll of dead and wounded, and all the Muslims in the territory where we
8 fought without any exceptions, without any differences, and if we hadn't
9 acted in that way, I don't even wish to go there and say --
10 JUDGE PRANDLER: I'm sorry to interrupt you, Mr. Praljak, but
11 again here is some problem in -- probably in translation, that in lines
12 23, 24, 25, you said, and I quote:
13 "He thinks that the business," and here is a "^," "of the
14 Croatian people across Bosnia-Herzegovina was a necessary and clever
15 move, that this had to be done."
16 So I really believe that something important is missing, when you
17 said "he thinks that the business," and then something goes missing, or
18 now is being missing, so probably you may rephrase this sentence. Thank
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour
21 Judge Prandler. I'll speak slowly, and I'll repeat what I said.
22 I claim that this book clearly demonstrates that the creation of
23 the HZ-HB was a prudent, necessary and responsible move, and that by that
24 move and the joining of municipalities which were created across the
25 entire territory of Bosnia and Herzegovina, served to save Bosnia and
1 Herzegovina; also that the HVO managed to prevent a complete defeat of
2 Bosnia and Herzegovina. Also that the dead and wounded troops of the
3 HVO, among whom many Muslims, managed to defend Bosnia and Herzegovina.
4 Also that the politics of Mr. Izetbegovic was disastrous and
5 irresponsible, maybe for all the right reasons. And if we had pursued
6 that politics, Bosnia and Herzegovina would be no longer. The dead and
7 expelled would be more numerous than they were. And the HZ-HB was a
8 temporary association of municipalities that was formed under the then
9 prevailing laws. All the documents always featured the words "Bosnia and
11 to defend Bosnia and Herzegovina, as the first one. And to reach a
12 political solution on the internal organisation of Bosnia and
13 Herzegovina, in accordance with something that is known in science as the
14 mirror method, which implies equality, that Judge Prandler enjoys his
15 country as a Hungarian, or Judge Antonetti, in France. I wanted to enjoy
16 that by the same token, that was our logic and that was our intent from
17 the very start.
18 And despite that fact that Mr. Izetbegovic behaved the way he
19 did, starting with the famous proposal by Tudjman and the Slovenians as
20 to how things should be done, again the Croatian politics --
21 JUDGE PRANDLER: Mr. Praljak, I want to say that -- and sorry for
22 the -- I apologise to the interpreters now. Simply, I would like to say
23 that your answer has given to me actually what I wanted to know, so then
24 it could be closed, if you so please. Thank you.
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes. No -- well, you see,
1 Your Honours, I have nothing to add to this, just a brief sentence.
2 Despite the behaviour of Mr. Izetbegovic, who depended on his
3 para-political companions from the Young Muslims part of the SDA, the
4 Croatian politics towards him never changed. He was repeatedly
5 approached with the attempts to be principal. People on the ground were
6 much more embittered and everybody understood, because nobody's stupid.
7 And when your life depends on certain things, all the citizens knew of
8 the double and triple games that were played, and this created
9 frustrations that were hard to overcome. And you know that in such
10 conditions, those who had taken it upon themselves to discharge a duty
11 have a much harder time than if the situation is different, at least in
13 MS. PINTER: [Interpretation]
15 they don't, it seems, on several occasions we have mentioned that name
16 "Young Muslims." In very brief outlines you described the organisation
17 in question. You have just said a bit more about that. Maybe we can now
18 move to a book, 3D03540.
19 A. In my desire to be as short as possible, this is an organisation
20 which was based on the rigid interpretation of the sacred Muslim book,
21 Qur'an. And from this book I'm going to skip the part on when they were
22 tried and what they had done, and we are going to quote tomorrow only
23 some short excerpts from an interview by Mr. Izetbegovic. He provided
24 the interview to the author of this book after the war, obviously, and
25 this will show what his positions were. And there will be a proclamation
1 by the Young Muslims organisation as to what their political intentions
2 and strives were. This will provide us with the essence of such a
3 movement, and in the territory of Bosnia-Herzegovina there were several
4 thousands of them. It was not an unimportant group of people, and in
5 1991, they took over the whole SDA in all the municipalities, and in that
6 they were a parallel group that pulled the strings of Alija Izetbegovic.
7 I'm talking about very fundamentalistic positions on the creation of a
8 state in which religion would play a major role. Tomorrow I will show
9 just briefly, in some places, that then the gentleman who wrote this
10 book, and the title is -- Sead Trhulj is a Muslim, and he has no reason
11 to say anything wrong. You don't have to trust me. You can read
12 Sead Trhulj, whose intent was to show the truth about this organisation.
13 MS. PINTER: [Interpretation] Thank you.
14 Your Honours, we have four minutes left. I can start working on
15 this new book and the interview given by Alija Izetbegovic, but since we
16 have only four minutes left, maybe we could have the text -- I can see
17 the general is tired.
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, I'm not tired, but in three
19 minutes you can't do much, can you?
20 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes, indeed, we only have two
21 minutes left. We shall continue tomorrow, in that case. No point in
22 starting something else.
23 I would like to inform the Defence that you have used 18 hours
24 and 30 minutes out of your schedule, so that you know.
25 We will meet tomorrow morning, so I shall see you all tomorrow at
2 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 6.58 p.m.,
3 to be reconvened on Tuesday, the 19th day of May,
4 2009, at 9.00 a.m.