1 Wednesday, May 6th, 1998
2 (In open session)
3 --- Upon commencing at 9.08 a.m.
4 (NO ENGLISH TRANSLATION)
5 MR. NIEMANN: Your Honour, we have problems
6 with the translation. The channel that I have is 4,
7 and I am not getting English.
8 (NO ENGLISH TRANSLATION)
9 JUDGE RODRIGUES: We will have a break for
10 five minutes to settle the matter.
11 --- Recess at 9.12 a.m.
12 --- Resumed at 9.20 a.m.
13 JUDGE RODRIGUES: We can proceed now. I
14 believe that everything has been straightened out. It
15 has. Thank you.
16 Mr. Niemann, can you hear the English
18 MR. NIEMANN: Yes.
19 JUDGE RODRIGUES: So we can continue. We
20 shall continue with the testimony of Professor
21 Bianchini, Mr. Niemann.
22 MR. NIEMANN: Yes, can Professor Bianchini be
23 brought in? Thank you.
24 Stefano Bianchini (continued)
25 JUDGE RODRIGUES: Professor Bianchini, how
1 are you feeling? Are you feeling okay in this new
2 courtroom? You can be seated. You have already taken
3 the oath, and you will continue to answer the questions
4 posed to you by Prosecutor Niemann.
5 Examined by Mr. Niemann.
6 Q. Professor, yesterday, just before the break,
7 we had reached the stage where you had embarked upon a
8 discussion of the conflict that was to emerge between
9 the Bosnian Croats and the government of
10 Bosnia-Herzegovina, and you had proceeded to show us
11 some maps which reflected the respective claims of the
12 Bosnian Serbs and the Bosnian Croats.
13 Moving on in that vein, can you tell us who
14 it was or what organisations represented the political
15 and military interests of the Bosnian Croats?
16 A. In an interview by Stjepan Klujic --
17 Stjepan Klujic was the President of HDZ in
18 Bosnia-Herzegovina from 1990 up to February 1992
19 -- he proudly described himself as a man of Tudjman.
20 Generally the relations between the HDZ in Bosnia and
21 the HDZ in Croatia were known to be very closed. Very often
22 the members of the presidency of the HDZ in Bosnia went
23 to Zagreb to discuss common matters of interest.
24 So this declaration, which is interesting,
25 was given to a journalist of Bosnia, Goran Tordovic
1 (phonetic) and published in a book, in a collection of
2 articles. It is just to give you an idea of what
3 the connection was between the leadership of
4 Herceg-Bosna and Zagreb and how they proudly confirmed
5 this, taking into account that even -- sometimes there not
6 complete agreement between this leadership
7 and Zagreb, particularly in the case of Stjepan Klujic
8 who consistently defended the idea of saving the
9 independence and integrity of Bosnia. For this
10 reason, he was removed in February 1992.
11 But there are other elements that can confirm
12 this particular relation between Zagreb, and between the
13 HDZ in Zagreb and the HDZ in Herceg-Bosna.
14 The role of the Minister of Defence, Gojko Susak
15 is crucial in this sense. Gojko Susak was a
16 Herzegovinian. He was born in Herzegovina, and he was
17 known, even in Croatia, as the most representative of
18 the Herzegovina lobby in the government of Croatia.
19 We have documents that show the kind of relations
20 between Gojko Susak and HDZ. Very often
21 the HDZ in Herceg-Bosna sent letters or asked Gojko
22 Susak for help, for instance, even to receive a
23 supply of weapons.
24 A document, an interesting document, has been
25 published. It was confidential, in fact. It was a
1 document prepared last year by the OSCE. This
2 document, albeit confidential, was published in
3 Sarajevo by a monthly Dani. In this document, the
4 OSCE officials give information, very wide information,
5 about the role of Herceg-Bosna and Zagreb in their --
6 and their mutual relations.
7 According to this document, for instance,
8 Gojko Susak and Miroslav Tudjman, the son of the
9 President of the Republic, crucially contributed in
10 supplying, supporting, and sending weapons to HVO
11 during the war through a private enterprise named Alan,
12 A-L-A-N, which later became, according to this
13 document, a state enterprise, R.H. Alan, and so in this
14 document, this was particularly focused.
15 It's also true that the opposition in the
16 parliament -- in the Sabor, in the parliament in
17 Zagreb, tried several times to know the percentage of
18 the Croat budget sent to Herceg-Bosna for military
19 and civilian help. But even in this case, HDZ in
20 Zagreb regularly opposed giving this kind of
21 information to the opposition.
22 I have also a document which is interesting,
23 and if the Court allows, I can give you some details
24 and I can refresh my memory looking at the documents I
25 have with me.
1 JUDGE RODRIGUES: Thank you.
2 A. This is a document of June 1992. It has
3 been -- the letterhead is "Republic of Croatia,
4 Ministry of Defence, Zagreb," it is signed by Defence
5 Minister Gojko Susak and is an order -- it's an order
6 to send 13 persons to the southern front. The southern
7 front was the front directed by Janko Bobetko, and these
8 persons were on the southern front which was formally,
9 which had to be considered formally, southern
10 Dalmatia from Split to Dubrovnik, but as many documents
11 confirm, this southern front included a large part of
12 Herzegovina, even Mostar and sometimes Nevesinje.
13 So this document is interesting. Why?
14 Because it is followed by another document of March
15 1993. This means June, March, eight, nine months
16 later. This document comes from the HVO and is
17 signed by the deputy head of the army command of the
18 Croat community of Herceg-Bosna, Miro Andric. In
19 this document you can find a person, Mr. Zlatic, who is
20 included in the letter of Gojko Susak eight months
21 earlier, in which it is written that Mr. Zlatic
22 fulfilled his tasks on the southern battlefield. This
23 is a document of HVO sent from Mostar to the person --
24 to the Croatian army, the 101 air brigade, and it's
25 written that he fulfilled his tasks and must reserve
1 all pertaining rights, obligations. In this sense,
2 they make free Zlatic to come back to the Croatian army
3 from the HVO brigades.
4 So this shows a kind of linkage from the
5 Croatian army, sending in person to the southern front
6 which is, in fact, something not related only on the
7 territory of Croatia, and these persons were later made
8 free by HVO in order to allow them to come back to
10 So this seems to me an interesting document
11 that can confirm these kind of relations between the
12 two parts and ...
13 MR. NIEMANN:
14 Q. Now, in your researches -- I think before we
15 go on to that. Can you just basically give us a very
16 brief description of what was the HDZ and what was the
17 HVO and the HV, because these are terms which are
18 used -- I think it should be clear what we are
19 referring to.
20 A. Okay. HDZ is a political party and worked
21 as a political party. It was created before the
22 election of 1990. We had opportunity to speak about
23 it -- about it, in the last session. HDZ is quite
24 clear institution.
25 About HVO. HVO was formally established
1 on April 8, 1992, that is two days after the official
2 eruption of the war. In fact, HVO already existed
3 earlier. A group of -- as an instrument of defending
4 Croat people. It was connected particularly -- it
5 was organised particularly after the events in Ravno
6 which took place in October 1991 when Ravno was burned
7 by Serb irregulars backed by JNA.
8 HVO was -- when the HVO was created in --
9 formally in October -- in, sorry, in April 1992, it was
10 created as the armed organisation, the defence
11 organisation, of the Croat people in Herceg-Bosna. This
12 HVO, this organisation, was restructured in July,
13 between July and August, in the following months, and
14 in July it was transformed into a temporarily military
15 government in a way, structured in different sections
16 with local administrative organisation distributed in
17 Herceg-Bosna. And until August 3rd, the President of
18 HVO was Mate Boban who was also the President of
19 Herceg-Bosna. And then after August 14, he made a
20 decision to resign and other persons were appointed by
21 him directly as the President and later Vice-Presidents
22 of HVO.
23 So this is an organisation with these kind of
24 characteristics later, and what is important to stress
25 is that anyway, the Presidents and the Vice-Presidents
1 and the other members of the HVO were liable for their
2 actions to the President of Herceg-Bosna. So in this
3 case, Mate Boban maintained control, strict
4 control, over HVO.
5 HVO and HDZ. I don't remember if -- you
6 asked me another organisation.
7 Q. And the HV.
8 A. HV is the Croat army, Hrvatska was the
9 Croat army. HV is the Croat army.
10 Q. Now, what was the role played by Herceg-Bosna
11 as an autonomous region?
12 A. Herceg-Bosna played a very interesting role
13 in the sense that the authorities of Herceg-Bosna tried
14 to establish full control over the area of
16 I had the opportunity to read 300 pages of
17 the official gazette of Herceg-Bosna published between
18 the autumn of 1992 and February-March 1994. It is very
19 interesting, the reading of these documents, because
20 you can see a lot of decisions, rules, regulations,
21 approved/published in order to establish the complete
22 control over the area by HVO and Herceg-Bosna. I mean,
23 in these 300 pages, you can find a new regulation,
24 fiscal regulation, the appointment of commissions and
25 governments; you can find the decision to dismantle the
1 university, the Muslim university, Dzemal Bijedic --
2 the university, sorry, devoted to a Muslim personality,
3 Dzemal Bijedic. It was the University of Mostar, and
4 another university was created, the Croat University
5 of Mostar, which is -- sorry, this is of interest
6 peculiar because I am professor -- the Rector was
7 appointed by the HVO and was responsible to the HVO for his
8 actions, so no autonomy at all.
9 Then you can find several other decisions.
10 For instance, about the complete educational
11 system, even the certificates, the insignia, the ranks
12 of the army. So it's a very interesting list of
13 decisions that -- you can find also, this is very
14 interesting, in addition the decision that made the
15 Croat currency the currency of Herceg-Bosna, and the
16 decision of 1993 where it was established that the air
17 space of Herzegovina was under the control of the
18 Croat Republic.
19 Q. And is there any other evidence of the role
20 that Croatia played in the military and political life
21 of Herceg-Bosna which you can refer us to?
22 A. Yes, there are other elements. An important
23 role was played since the beginning of the war in
24 Bosnia, I mean, since the beginning of April 1992, by
25 General Janko Bobetko. General Janko Bobetko is a very
1 famous person, very well known in Croatia, because he
2 was Tito's General, as Tudjman was. During the
3 second half of the '60s, the beginning of the '70s, he
4 supported the nationalistic claims in Croatian Zagreb,
5 and for this reason he was charged with nationalism by
6 Tito and for this reason he was expelled from political
7 life after 1971.
8 He, after 1990, when Communism collapsed, he
9 came back on the political/military scene and he
10 became, in 1991, a military advisor of the Presidency
11 and the Government of Croatia. Then on April 10, he
12 was sent as Chief-of-Staff to the southern front to
13 manage the southern front of Croatia because he had
14 excellent results, military results, in outcomes during
16 At the end of the year, in fall 1992, he came
17 back to Zagreb and became Chief-of-Staff of
18 the Croat army. He prepared, under his command
19 there were prepared the most successful operations of
20 the Croat army when they -- to recover control of
21 Peruca, of Maslenica Bridge, and even the Oluja
22 offensive was prepared under his command, albeit he
23 retired in 1995 becoming member of the Sabor, of
24 the Croat parliament.
25 He wrote very interesting memoirs published
1 in Zagreb in 1996 in which he reconstructs the battles
2 during the wars. The book is entitled
3 "Svemojebitke," "All My Battles," and he published a
4 lot of documents in this book.
5 You know why southern front was so important
6 for Croatia and why Croatia was so interested, at least,
7 in controlling one part of Bosnia? There are many
8 reasons. I mentioned yesterday historical reasons, but
9 more practical reasons were of greater interest to the
10 Croatian government between January and April 1992.
11 That is, in -- may I just show you the map of Bosnia in
12 order to help? You can come back again to one of the
13 maps. Maybe one of the -- this can be interesting.
14 Map 114 is of the 1918, but it allows one
15 to see better the borders between -- so the map 114.
16 Q. I think you need to press the button. You
17 may have it on your screen now.
18 A. Yeah, yeah. It's good because you can see
19 the borders, and the borders of Bosnia and Croatia
20 havent change since 1918. I don't have in --
21 Q. If you press "Video" --
22 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
23 MR. NIEMANN:
24 Q. The video is the second button down.
25 A. Okay. Now is. And as you can see,
1 particularly Dubrovnik because it was bombed in the
2 fall 1991. It was under the risk of bombardment by the
3 Serbs from the area of Tribja, this area behind
4 Dubrovnik. So it was very important for Croatia to
5 have -- at least a guarantee that this area will not be
6 under the bombardment of the Serbs. So for this
7 reason, they were interested in having control of the
8 southern part of Herceg-Bosna in order to
9 defend, to defend the southern part of Dalmatia and the
10 Dubrovnik area.
11 This was one reason. The other reason was,
12 of course, that there were many -- there was the
13 agreement. I spoke yesterday of this agreement with
14 Milosevic in Karajordjevo in 1991 and then the
15 following actions taken by the government -- by Tudjman
16 or by the Herceg-Bosna government in order to
17 ease the relationships between these two parts of
19 One can take into consideration, I mentioned
20 the decision of Herceg-Bosna to accept and to introduce
21 the currency, the Croat currency in Herceg-Bosna,
22 the control of the air space given to Croatia. Or even
23 we can mention the maps; very often by the newspaper,
24 the journalists considered prepared by Tudjman
25 himself. One of the incidents particularly happened in
1 London in 1995 when, if you remember it was in all the
2 newspapers, when a map of Bosnia was drawn and the
3 journalists claimed it was made personally Tudjman who
4 prepared this map in this restaurant and where the
5 partition of Bosnia was very clear, and Banja Luka was
6 assigned to Croatia. Banja Luka is a predominantly Serb
7 city. While Tuzla, which is predominantly a Muslim city,
8 was assigned to Serbia. So the division was in this
10 Otherwise, otherwise, you know in addition
11 that since 1995, the Croat government has granted 10
12 percent of the seats in the Sabor, in the Croatian
13 parliament, to the -- formally the Croat Diaspora.
14 This 10 percent of seats were occupied by
15 representatives from Herceg-Bosna, so they took part in
16 the elections in Croatia in 1995 and can do so in the years to
18 So this is a very peculiar situation even in
19 the international context.
20 Q. Just touching on that point there --
21 A. Pardon?
22 Q. Just touching on that point you just
23 mentioned about the seats in the Croatian Sabor. Are
24 you saying that when there are elections in Croatia
25 that those elections spill over into Bosnia-Herzegovina
1 and that 10 percent of the parliament is devoted to
3 A. Yeah, yes, 10 percent of the seats. And then
4 I can mention even the recent -- just to give you a
5 trend. The recent, in 1997, proposal again coming from
6 Tudjman to create a confederation between Croatia and
7 the Federation of Bosnia. This means the Federation
8 established by the United States in 1994 with the
9 Washington agreement between the Muslims and the
11 So in this -- this -- you know, when -- every
12 time when -- the proposal arrives from Croatia to
13 create a confederation with the Bosnian Federation,
14 it creates a lot of concern and sensitivity in
15 Bosnia, particularly within the Muslim population but
16 also within those who claim, democrats who claim the
17 sovereignty and integrity of the whole of Bosnia. So
18 you have -- even you had in Sarajevo press in second
19 half of 1997 strong reactions against this proposal of
21 So this is the context of the disputed
22 relations between the government in Zagreb and the
23 government in Sarajevo.
24 But coming back again to Bobetko. Bobetko
25 described in his memoirs his meeting with Gojko Susak
1 on April 10th. He went to Susak and he explained to
2 him how important it was to create a southern command
3 in order to protect Dubrovnik and Dalmatia. Gojko
4 Susak agreed with him, and both of them went to Tudjman.
5 Tudjman immediately appointed Janko Bobetko as
6 head or chief of the southern command, and thanks to
7 this, he started his action in southern Dalmatia.
8 So this was also a way just to confirm that
9 decisions were made on the top of the government
10 between particularly -- direct contacts with the
11 President of the Republic and the Minister of Defence
12 when it involved this part of the former Yugoslavia.
13 And this can explain probably why the HVO in
14 the end was considered dependent upon the
15 headquarters in Split where Janko Bobetko was the chief
17 The OSCE published a table, a map you have in
18 exhibit number 117. This document is in two pages, and
19 I will explain why.
20 Q. Perhaps you might tell us first where it
21 comes from, if you would? It doesn't seem to be
22 working properly. Put it on video --
23 A. Yes. The document is in two pages only
24 because I wanted to make clear the other one just to
25 offer you to see in the page where the table was. It
1 was on the first half of the page. And then in the
2 other you have just a larger picture in order to see
3 better the table.
4 Q. Can you tell us where you got the document
6 A. Yes. The document is -- the map was included
7 in the confidential document of OSCE prepared last
8 year, and as I mentioned before when I spoke about the
9 relations between Gojko Susak, Miroslav Tudjman, and
10 the private enterprise Alan, it was included in this
11 document, and this document has been published by the
12 magazine Dani in Sarajevo. So this map has been
13 included in this document, and you can see in this
14 annex first the organisation of the Croat army, and
15 this is the first -- the first picture.
16 The second one, you have the picture of the
17 HVO, the HVO army, Croat Defence Council command,
18 how they were organised, and then you have the
19 relation, the general staff in the third of the
20 Croat army with the different district, Osijek,
21 Bjelovar, Zagreb, and Karlovac, and then you have the
22 Corps District 6 in Split, and from this you have the
23 HVO general staff under this command.
24 So in the Corps District 6 was acting
25 Bobetko, and then you have this connection, direct
1 connection, between HVO general staff and the Corps
2 District 6 of Split linked to the general staff of
3 Croatia who was under the control of Bobetko from fall
4 in 1992.
5 Q. And it says down at the very bottom "HV-HVO
6 Integrated Command Structure For Wartime Combat
7 Operations." What particular period of time does this
8 relate to?
9 A. As for Bobetko is the period between April
10 1992 and fall 1992, but then, then this relations --
11 and we have documents on this continued in the months
12 to come, in 1993, so -- and in 1994, so as we can see
13 from the evidence of international documents, not only
14 from documents coming from the battlefields.
15 Q. So what you're saying is that the time frame
16 really for this is from '92 through to '94?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. Now, what about the other document on the
19 second page? What's the significance of that?
20 A. Pardon?
21 Q. The second page of that document, what is the
22 significance of it?
23 A. The second page of this document is just to
24 make clear for the Court because it is the same
25 document but -- in the first you see where in the page
1 of the magazine was the table and then just to clarify,
2 to better clarify, to allow you to read better, yes,
3 because otherwise, it was very complicated.
4 Q. What were the political measures taken by
5 Croatia in the conflict in Bosnia-Herzegovina?
6 A. What do you mean in this sense?
7 Q. Well, during the period of the conflict,
8 starting right at the beginning and going through to
9 1995, what political steps were taken by Croatia in
10 relation to Bosnia-Herzegovina?
11 A. But, you know, I mentioned the economic
12 support to the -- the support came particularly from
13 the Ministry of Defence. I have documents on this
14 economic support, and if the Court allows, I can
15 refresh my memory and I can give details on documents
16 on this.
17 Q. Yes. Just tell us in general terms what it
18 is that --
19 A. Oh, in general terms it was, for instance,
20 documents referring that 540,000 Deutschmark were
21 offered to Bugojno in order to defend themselves or
22 they send, even from the Minister of Defence, support
23 10,000 Deutschmark to the HDZ of one area in Bosnia.
24 So it was economic support that arrived or before --
25 even on the eve of the war, March '92, or even when the
1 war erupted after, so there were documents in this
2 sense that confirmed this kind of economic support
3 coming directly from the Ministry of Defence,
4 particularly. Sometimes Ministry of Finance.
5 Q. Moving on to exhibit 118, which is the next
6 document that you have there before you, what's the
7 significance of that?
8 A. 1918, you mention?
9 Q. No, document 118.
10 A. I have another one, sorry.
11 Q. It's the next document --
12 A. No, no. I have organised differently and
13 so ...
14 Q. It's not 19.
15 A. Sorry. Ah, yes. Yes.
16 Q. No, no, no. The document I'm referring to,
17 Professor, is --
18 A. This is 1990.
19 Q. -- the "Conclusions of The Joint Meeting of
20 the Herzegovina Regional Meeting and the Travnik
21 Regional Community."
22 A. What is the number?
23 Q. 118.
24 A. Eighteen?
25 Q. Eighteen.
1 A. Eighteen. 118.
2 Q. Yes.
3 A. Yes. Well ... Yes, yes. This is the Serbo
4 Croat version, and this -- the regional, and this is
5 the translation of the document.
6 Let me say that this is a very interesting
7 document, but this document is connected with a
8 peculiar phase, a phase before the beginning of the
9 war. We are in November 1991. And in order to
10 understand this document, it should be interesting to
11 refer to another document, another document that has
12 been -- this is the minutes of a meeting that took
13 place in Travnik and where Dario Kordic participated,
14 where the representative in Herceg-Bosna in this area
15 made pressure and outlined the possibility to
16 reschedule differently the policy of HDZ. We have to
17 take into account that at that time Stjepan Klujic was
18 still the President of HDZ.
19 And in this document, people, the Croat
20 representative in Herceg-Bosna, spoke about the risk of
21 a silent occupation that was going on. In fact, a
22 silent occupation that was going on in Bosnia, this was
23 in July of 1991, and for this reason they supported a
24 more aggressive political attitude of HDZ. They
25 charged the representative of HDZ in the Bosnian
1 parliament to be puppets of the SDA, the party of
2 Izetbegovic, and for this reason they claimed the
3 creation of a kind of regional Croat organisation of
4 Herceg-Bosna. This was in July 1991, and only in
5 November was Herceg-Bosna established.
6 So this showed the current stream within the
7 HDZ was preparing a different political orientation
8 than that of Stjepan Klujic at the moment, and this
9 explained why, in February 1992, Klujic was overthrown.
10 After this meeting in July 1991, we had a
11 second meeting, this document, in November, the 12th of
12 November, 1991. This document --
13 Q. "This document" is exhibit --
14 A. The exhibit now, under the number 118 and
15 118a, little (a), the letterhead is of the Croat
16 Democratic Union, is a document with the Conclusions of
17 a Joint Meeting of the Herzegovina Regional Community
18 and the Travnik Regional Community, and it is
19 followed -- it was signed by Boban and Kordic and is
20 followed by a list of about 22 names, people who
21 write -- who wrote their signatures.
22 What is interesting about this document, if you
23 consider particularly the conclusion, the conclusion
24 informed us that meetings took place in Zagreb with
25 President Franjo Tudjman on 13 and 20 June, 1991, that
1 is before the war erupted in Yugoslavia, before the
2 proclamation of independence of Slovenia and Croatia.
3 And if you read after "Proceeding from these
4 conclusions adopted at the aforementioned meetings" in
5 Grude in October 1991, in Busovaca in October 1991,
6 that is in two towns of Bosnia, "these two regional
7 communities jointly and unanimously," that is, the
8 Herzegovina Regional Community and the Travnik Regional
9 Community, "these two regional communities jointly and
10 unanimously decided that the Croat people in Bosnia
11 and Herzegovina must finally start conducting a
12 decisive and active policy which should bring about the
13 realisation of our eternal dream - a joint Croat
15 I think that we don't need to comment on this
16 sentence if you think also about the maps we spoke of
17 yesterday, the historical dream, the eternal dream, you
18 can understand very well this claim, which is supported
19 in this sentence immediately after when it is speaking,
20 about three lines after: "... (the proclamation of
21 Croat banovina ..." "Banovina" means
22 "immediately," and if you have memory of yesterday,
23 you can remember very well why the use of this term.
24 "... the Croatian banovina in Bosnia-Herzegovina." So
25 a kind of autonomous area in Bosnia-Herzegovina. And
1 then to "conduct a referendum for joining the Republic
2 of Croatia."
3 So the first step was the creation
4 of an autonomous area under the control, it's clear, of
5 the Croat leadership, and then to conduct a
6 referendum. If you think what happened later, when I
7 mentioned all the laws, regulations, orders, published
8 in the official gazette between 1992 and 1994, as I
9 referred earlier, you can see how this decision was
10 implemented in the years to come.
11 Then, if you go to the point 2 of the same
12 document, you can find: "Among some of the leaders of
13 the HDZ for Bosnia and Herzegovina there are still
14 forces which oppose these historical interests of the
15 Croat people in Bosnia and Herzegovina."
16 I think that we can read immediately the name
17 Stjepan Klujic because of what I said. So "oppose
18 these historical interests," and again you can see is
19 mentioned the word "history." So this sentence is :
20 "These forces are in favour of non-existent sovereign
21 Bosnia." You see? Just to make clear the reference to
22 Klujic because he defended southern Bosnia.
23 And then in the end of the same sentence, you
24 can find the sentences -- "We must show" -- the three
25 lines at the end: "We must show Europe and the world
1 which areas are the Croat areas in Bosnia and
2 Herzegovina and where our future lies. These people
3 will on no account accept any other solution except
4 within the borders of a free Croatia."
5 So I think that this is also sentence, this
6 is very clear, so the perspective is to create a common
7 state with Croatia, with Zagreb.
8 Q. Now, Professor, conversely, was there any
9 provision in the constitution of Croatia of 1990 which
10 would have facilitated the incorporation of Croat
11 people living in other states?
12 A. Yes, yes. If you read the Constitution,
13 basic sources, point 1 at the beginning of the
14 Constitution, you can find a very interesting sentence,
15 when the Croat Republic was defined. And so it's
16 written that the Croat Republic was established as
17 the national state of the Croat people. So the
18 national state of the Croat people.
19 It is a clear aspect of the ethnic
20 orientation of the State of Croatia, which is
21 supported, in fact, by the Article 10, second
22 paragraph, of the same constitution, where it is
23 written that part of the Croat people living abroad,
24 part of the Croat people living abroad -- it is very
25 interesting because again you have a collective
1 dimension of the rights of an ethnic group. This part
2 of the Croat people will receive support, special
3 support from the Croat State. So this is a duty
4 that the constitution gives to the Croat state in
5 order to protect the part of the people outside --
6 living abroad, which means particularly the area of
7 Herceg-Bosna so ...
8 Q. And in your researches, did you discover any
9 evidence of duality of citizenship, any documents or
10 material that supported dual citizenship between
11 Croatia and Herceg-Bosna?
12 A. Yes. If I can refer to the document --
13 exhibit document 121 in "A," 121 A -- sorry, sorry.
14 Q. 126.
15 A. 126. Yes. 126, yes. 126. Here. I found
17 First I would like to draw your attention to
18 the document, the decision recognising the Socialist
19 Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina as a sovereign
20 independent state signed by the President of the
21 Croat Republic, Franjo Tudjman, in Zagreb the 7th of
22 April, 1992.
23 Q. What document number is that?
24 A. It's document 126 B.
25 Q. Why did you want to draw attention to that?
1 A. I think it is very interesting if you take
2 into consideration particularly the second paragraph of
3 point 1: "International recognition of Bosnia and
4 Herzegovina shall imply that the Croat people, as
5 one of the three constituent nations in Bosnia and
6 Herzegovina, shall be guaranteed their sovereign
8 So in a sense it makes clear that the
9 recognition is directly linked to the fact that the
10 sovereign rights of the Croat people in Bosnia will
11 be granted in Bosnia-Herzegovina.
12 And the second is the point 2 where it is
13 written that: "This act of recognition grants the
14 right to dual citizenship to the members of the
15 Croat nation who wish citizenship. Furthermore, we
16 wish to propose that this issue be regulated by a
17 bilateral agreement."
18 This agreement in this case -- in the case
19 the Croatia started to send application forms for --
20 for --
21 Q. Citizenship.
22 A. -- citizenship immediately, and I have
23 evidence of 2,000 forms -- more than 2,000 forms sent
24 to Mostar to be distributed to the
25 population. So it was not that one single citizen went
1 to the Embassy or the Representative of the Croatian State
2 abroad and asked for dual citizenship providing
3 documents, but application forms were sent immediately
4 by -- through the Mostar representative of Herceg-Bosna
5 to the population in order to encourage the population
6 to ask for dual citizenship.
7 Anyway, if you consider also document 126 A,
8 exhibit 126 A, you can see this is the document of --
9 this document is of September 1992, is a document of
10 Herceg-Bosna, of the Croat community of
11 Herceg-Bosna. It was published in the official
12 gazette and is a decision about the creation -- a later
13 publication of the document approved in November. As
14 you see, at the end of the document you see the date,
15 Mostar, 18 November, 1991, at the end of the document
16 there the signature of President of Herceg-Bosna,
17 Mate Boban. But it was published in the gazette, in the
18 official gazette in September 1992 because they didn't
19 have an official gazette before.
20 So in this document you can see also an
21 element of not complete adherence to the idea of the
22 sovereignty and independence of Bosnia. If you look at
23 point 2, paragraph 2 of the reasons: "Through
24 their party, the Croatian Democratic Union and the
25 legally elected government in this Republic, Croats in
1 Bosnia and Herzegovina have supported a sovereign
2 Bosnia and Herzegovina but always emphasised that they
3 are protecting their own historical area and the
4 interests of the entire Croat people."
5 Which means that they had a very close image
6 of their own territory which they were protecting, this
7 historical area and the interests of the entire
8 Croat people. This is the entire Croat people,
9 which is something ambiguous considering that "entire"
10 can take into consideration also the Croat people
11 outside Bosnia-Herzegovina.
12 And then is very interesting also the
13 sentence, you can see in the third paragraph.
14 You know, when we speak about
15 self-determination generally, we speak about
16 self-determination, and you can find the document on
17 self-determination, until, including, the right of
18 secession. If you look here at the first -- the fifth,
19 sixth line, it's very interesting, you can find --
20 Q. Professor, it might be better if you can
21 point to the projector.
22 A. Sorry, sorry. It is here:
23 "... inalienable and indivisible right the
24 non-transferable and the non-expandable --"
25 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreters cannot hear
1 the witness.
2 MR. NIEMANN:
3 Q. It has to be translated. You have to speak
4 much slower; otherwise, the translators can't pick it
6 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
7 THE WITNESS: You see here is the document on
8 self-determination, the sovereignty of the people,
9 including the right to associate, which is very
10 interesting and strange because you have the right of
11 secession. Here you have the right to associate. And
12 it's clear that it means taking into consideration the
13 documents we spoke before, "associate" means associate
14 this area to Croatia.
15 So if you think that the strategy was more or
16 less a first step in having an area under the complete
17 control of Croat authorities in Bosnia and then to
18 link this area to Croatia, you can see in this document
19 even elements of this policy supported and repeated.
20 So this shows what went on before the war
21 in Bosnia and in the phases immediately after the war
22 erupted in April 1992.
23 JUDGE RODRIGUES: It would be good to have a
24 break now, Mr. Niemann. So we shall adjourn for a
25 20-minute break?
1 THE REGISTRAR: All rise, please.
2 --- Recess at 10.22 a.m.
3 --- Resume at 10.47 a.m.
4 JUDGE RODRIGUES: You may start. I should,
5 however, like to say a few words regarding the
6 organisation of our work; namely, we shall be taking a
7 break of 15 minutes around noon, at noon, and that's
9 You may now proceed.
10 Excuse me, I see that Mr. Aleksovski is not
11 in court.
12 Okay. Now you may start, Mr. Niemann.
13 MR. NIEMANN:
14 Q. Professor, during the course of your evidence
15 this morning, you made reference to General Janko
16 Bobetko, and I think you've included amongst your
17 documents, in particular Exhibit 121A through to 121O
18 documents that relate to General Bobetko.
19 I'm wondering if, looking at those documents
20 and preferably proceeding through them in order, you
21 can take us through them and indicate to us what you
22 see as the significance of them in relation to the
23 conflict in Bosnia-Herzegovina in '92-'93?
24 A. First, I prepared just a map. This is
25 Exhibit No. 120, it's a map that was prepared here by
1 the officials of the Tribunal under my direction. It
2 shows the main cities, areas which were included
3 or quoted in the documents or in the documents
4 published by Janko Bobetko in his memoirs. I just
5 added some of the main cities of Croatia and Bosnia,
6 just to help you to locate all the areas of, for
7 instance, Split, Srebrenica, Bihac, Banja Luka, Tuzla,
8 of course just to give you the context, while the
9 main area, the main area quoted is that which you see
10 from Metkovic, Ploce to Miljacena, Prozor, Bugojno or
12 This is the area which is of interest
13 because of the military actions directed by General Janko
15 So this is just the general picture, and
16 we can come back to the map when something is not clear,
17 just to locate the places.
18 And then we can start looking at the
19 documents. The first one is document 121.
20 Q. That's 121A I think?
21 A. 121A is in English, yes.
22 All these documents here relate to the
23 actions of Bobetko -- the military actions of Bobetko on
24 the southern front which were published in the book of
25 Bobetko himself in Zagreb.
1 This is a document with the letterhead of
2 the Croat Republic, the President of the
3 Republic. It is an order on the basis of which
4 General Bobetko was appointed commander of all the
5 units of the Croatian army on the southern front, from
6 Split to Dubrovnik. That is in the area that I quoted
8 This is just to show you the order that
9 the Croatian navy was under his command and he was
10 also authorised to recruit staff for his activities
11 because it was non-existent at the time.
12 This is the first document.
13 Then we have a series of documents related to
14 the decisions made by Janko Bobetko during military
15 operations in 1992.
16 The first one is the No. 121B. This document
17 is a document with the letterhead of the Commander of
18 Split operative zone, as you can see, the Ploce forward
19 command post. Ploce is on the coast -- on the Adriatic
20 Sea. It is an order sent by the
21 commander of the Split operative zone on the basis of the
22 ordinance of General Janko Bobetko.
23 And what is particularly interesting is
24 point 2 in Citluk, make contact with Mr. Perak, the
25 Defence commander of that part of Herzegovina, and
1 coordinate the defence of that area with him. Citluk
2 is in Bosnia-Herzegovina. So this is just the first
3 order to establish coordination of the defence
4 between Herceg-Bosna and Croatia.
5 And what is interesting is particularly point
6 6, 6-6, you see it is -- the original was like this,
7 "All HV...", this is Croatian army, hard to be removed
8 from the fighters and present yourselves as volunteer
9 defenders of your homeland."
10 Let me say that this is significant enough, I
11 think. I found, and I had an opportunity to see
12 several documents, not only one, with this sentence
13 included for whole period 1992-1993. Documents from
14 Tomislovgrad, from Livno, or documents from Vitez, in
15 which you can find this statement based on the HVO order and
16 on that from the commander of
17 Split. As you can see in this document, soldiers,
18 officers of the Croatian army had to remove their
19 insignia, and the order in these documents clarifies that
20 this was because this could create trouble for Croatia on
21 the international scene.
22 So this was -- it was very clear. It
23 is written in these documents, please inform the
24 soldiers, explain the reasons, but it's better if they
25 don't have enough identity cards or insignia of HVO to
1 be put instead of the HV, of the Croatian army, it is
2 better not to have any insignia.
3 So this was the suggestion, it was better not
4 to have insignias at all.
5 In fact, there are many documents that can
6 confirm this relationship even on other aspects as, for
7 instance, connections with the problem of the military
8 service recruits who had the opportunity to do their
9 military service in Bosnia. This was as in Croatia;
10 that is, there was an exchange, a kind of an agreement
11 that people doing their military service in Bosnia were
12 exempt in Croatia and vice versa.
13 Or there were even changes in the military.
14 You remember the document of Gojko Susak I mentioned
15 before. There are other people who, for instance, received
16 the rank of colonel in Herceg-Bosna. They
17 were given a certificate so that they could
18 continue their activities in declaration army, moving from
19 HVO, from the Herceg-Bosna army to the Croatian army.
20 So anyway, this point 6 is very interesting
21 for this reason, because it made clear that in April,
22 1992 -- but this sentence was repeated very often in
23 other documents, as I told you, this -- it was very
24 clear that there were concerns in the international
25 community about the involvement of Croatia in Bosnia. And
1 this is the reason why it was suggested to the
2 officials and soldiers of the Croatian army to leave off
3 the insignia of the Croatian army.
4 Then we can see the following document,
5 document No. 121C. This is a very interesting
7 If you look at the letterhead, the letterhead
8 is Southern Front Command. Then immediately Southern
9 Front Command, the line immediately after is "Followed
10 command post Grude," but Grude is not in Croatia, it is
11 in Bosnia.
12 And then what is interesting, if you look at
13 the signature, the signature and the stamp is -- on the
14 other page -- General Janko Bobetko, signed and stamped
15 Herceg-Bosna, main staff.
16 But Janko Bobetko was appointed by Tudjman as
17 the chief commander for the southern front in Croatia,
18 so you see that he used the stamp of Herceg-Bosna, main
20 So we can conclude that Janko Bobetko was the
21 chief of both the Croatian army and the HVO at that
22 time. The southern front included not only part of Croatia,
23 but even Herzegovina, that is part of another
24 state, that is, Bosnia-Herzegovina.
25 And what is also interesting in this document
1 is point 2 -- not only point 1 is the southern front to
2 be established as the forward command post established
3 in Grude.
4 The second point is the responsible officer
5 of the forward command post in my absence shall be
6 Colonel Milivoj Petkovic who holds all authority as
7 Colonel relating to the command and coordination of
8 combat activities.
9 Petkovic is very interesting figure in the
10 sense that he was born in Dalmatia, in a village close
11 to Sibenik. If you look at the map, Sibenik is here,
12 and you can see where is Grude, because we were speaking,
13 and Citluk, because we quoted also Citluk.
14 He was born in a village close to Djibnic, he
15 was a Croat, he became general after this. He was
16 now -- you see in this document, he was appointed by
17 Bobetko to be responsible on his behalf for the forward
18 command post Grude, but then he became a general, the
19 head, the chief of the staff of HVO.
20 He was later the head of the command of
21 the HVO and then he came back to Croatia, as a
22 general in the Croatian army. So he is an interesting
23 person for this reason alone.
24 We can go further and see the document, the
25 following document, 121D.
1 We are now again in the -- with this document
2 in the Republic of Croatia southern front command, as
3 you can see from the letterhead. What is interesting
4 in this letter is, first -- the first point: Major
5 General Roso, is to immediately strengthen the command
6 staff of Tomislovgrad - Tomislovgrad is in Bosnia. You
7 can see Tomislovgrad is here - and use his influence
8 and most energetic action towards all groups and
9 individuals who wish to promote their sense to
10 commanders of various layouts.
11 So it is said to make order in this area.
12 And then in point No. 4, the commander of
13 the forward military post, Milivoj Petkovic shall be at
14 the disposal of Tomislovgrad command until further
15 notice and he was replaced.
16 So Bobetko, decided who has to go and
17 make order in one area of Bosnia, who had to move from
18 one part to another part. And this is also
19 interesting, the last point, where it is written
20 there: RH, that is the Republic of Croatia, Minister
21 of Defence, that means Gojko Susak, shall be notified
22 immediately about the situation in Tomislovgrad, as
23 about the situation in Bosnia, and be asked to visit
24 that town as soon as possible, please, and be asked to
25 visit that town as soon as possible and to use his
1 authority to eliminate all groups and individuals who
2 claim to answer directly to the Minister.
3 So it was clearly an attempt probably to work
4 outside the order of Bobetko and he wanted, because he
5 had the agreement with Susak, as you remember, in
6 April, 1992 before going to Tudjman about his
7 activities, and he wanted to have the influence of
8 Minister Susak in Tomislovgrad in order to make clear
9 that who is the chief and the commander in the whole
11 And so it's interesting because Gojko Susak
12 is asking to come to Bosnia as soon as possible and to
13 use his influence to control this part of the
14 Herceg-Bosna authorities -- local authorities. This
15 confirms more about the strong links between Gojko
16 Susak and the Herzegovina authorities with a different
17 point of view.
18 I think that we can go forward to the
19 document 121E.
20 This document again of the Republic of
21 Croatia is a document of 19 May, 1992, from -- the
22 letterhead is again the Republic of Croatia, Bobetko
23 signed as Republic of Croatia, Croatian army command,
24 and what is interesting is the first point, for
25 instance: "Establish a forward command post in Central
1 Bosnia in Gornji Vakuf. You can see where is Gornji
2 Vakuf on the map; you can see it is in the heart of
3 Bosnia here, close to the heart of Bosnia.
4 So it is not only as the first time,
5 Capljina, Grude, Citluk, Grude, now in Gornji Vakuf.
6 So Bobetko made the decision from a
7 letterhead of the Croatian Republic who he has had to
8 be the forward command post in Central Bosnia, and not
9 only he created this -- the forward command post, but
10 he appointed, as you see in the point 2, Brigadier
11 Jakupovic as the commander of the forward command post.
12 Then we can go further, document 121F. You
13 see this is also a military order. This is a military
14 order sent by Bobetko as a commander of the southern
15 front with the letterhead of Croatia, from Ploce. This
16 is a document of 15 June, 1992.
17 And it's very interesting to turn our
18 attention to the end of the point 1 when explaining
19 about the enemy - in at the end you can see the
20 sentence, reinforcement of two tanks has been sent
21 toward Cobanovo Polje from the direction of Nevesimje
22 for psychological effect."
23 If you look at the map again, you can see
24 where Nevesimje is. So you can see the area of action
25 is this wide area of Herzegovina and Central Bosnia.
1 In the same document you can find, again at
2 the point 2.1, quoted what HVO has to do in Capljina,
3 the Capljina compromising the tanks, shall organise
4 active defence in its zone of responsibility, and so on
5 and so on at this point. You can see.
6 And if you turn the page, page 2, you can see
7 again quoted, tanks from Capljina HVO should go as support
8 to the area of Pileta.
9 This was again the area of Capljina which is close
10 to the border here, it's part of Bosnia. Close to
11 Medjugorje and Pocitelj, this area.
12 We can go further? Yeah.
13 So the number now 121G.
14 Q. And if the document just reconfirms the
15 previous points--
16 A. Yeah.
17 Q. --just say so, and we can move more quickly
18 through them.
19 A. This is another interesting document. The
20 document is, as you can see from the letterhead,
21 Republic of Croatia, southern front command, dated
22 April 19 and is done in Grude, that is in
24 Q. And it's just Exhibit 121G.
25 A. Yes. And if you look at the signature at the
1 end, the document is signed and stamped again by
2 General Bobetko as a commander of the southern front
3 with the stamp of the Herceg-Bosna main staff. So with
4 the stamp of a region in another state. And in this
5 document, you can turn your attention in particular to
6 the order, to point one, where it's written immediately
7 begin to prepare for and recognise the crucial defence
8 in Livno and Tomislovgrad.
9 If you look again at the map, you can see
10 Livno and Tomislovgrad are in Bosnia. So all the
11 area -- you see, again, the area under the control
12 of Vakuf, Nevesimje, Livno, Capljina, Citluk, this was
13 the area, again confirmed by the document.
14 The next exhibit is No. 121H.
15 Q. 121H.
16 A. This is of April. This is a document of
17 April, 1992, letterhead Croatian community of
18 Herceg-Bosna, again southern front command, Grude,
19 Grude foreign post again.
20 So you can see this southern front was not
21 only a front in Croatia but consisted of a wider front
22 including parts of another state. This is clear. You
23 can see here just a list of people appointed by General
24 Bobetko as a commanders of the different HVO units, of
25 the Croat community of Herceg-Bosna.
1 These are officers, I found their names very
2 often, especially of Zegko Sigec, who was particularly
3 involved in a question connected to the
4 citizenship and documents related to 1993, information
5 about the need of leaving off the insignia of the Croatian army
6 from soldiers -- officers and soldiers of the
7 Croatian army acting in Bosnia.
8 This is just to give you an idea of the
9 list of persons. You see commanders, deputy commanders,
10 chiefs, captains, administrative offices, chiefs of
11 artillery. So it's large -- chiefs of communication,
12 chiefs of engineering, lieutenants, chiefs of
13 intelligence. It's a large group of persons with
14 different responsibilities who were appointed by
15 Bobetko himself.
16 Okay. We can go further.
17 This now, turn to document 121I. This is
18 interesting. If you look, even the original document,
19 you can see the letterhead of the -- and you have the
20 translation of the Croat community of Herceg-Bosna
21 of HVO and you can see that, in spite of this kind of
22 letterhead, you have the signature of the commander of
23 the southern front again, Janko Bobetko, with the stamp
24 of Herceg-Bosna.
25 And again this is the appointment of
1 major general Ante Roso responsible for the Livno
2 region. Livno is another town in Bosnia, here.
3 Q. And I think there is also a reference there
4 to the Prozor Konjic region as well in the second
6 A. Konic, yes. Konic is a town, a town to the
7 north of Mostar, along the River Neretva. The River
8 Neretva, Mostar is going to Jablanica and Konic which
9 is more or less here, and then you leave the Neretva,
10 the course of Neretva and you go straight to -- the
11 road goes straight to Sarajevo.
12 You can consider Konic is more or less
13 here after Jablanica and Mount Prajnia, in this
14 area. So this is.
15 We can go further. Document 121J again, I
16 mean, this is new confirmation -- this is another
17 document of April, as you see the date is April 21st,
18 which is three, four weeks after the beginning of the war
19 in Bosnia-Herzegovina. The official one. You can
20 see that the document is again with the letterhead
21 Croatian community of Herceg-Bosna, HVO, southern front
22 command, and the signature is General Janko Bobetko and
23 signed with the staff -- Herceg-Bosna staff.
24 So this is another document which confirms that
25 Janko Bobetko was managing military actions of HVO in the
2 Can we go further. Yes. The following document
3 is number 121K.
4 This is an interesting document, again for the
5 following reasons: This is a document done in Ploce,
6 that is in Croatia. You can see 4th May, 1992,
7 the Republic of Croatia southern front command, and is
8 signed by Janko Bobetko. The signature is as a
9 commander of the southern front in the framework of the
10 Croatian State.
11 And what is interesting in the order is that
12 preparation and submission of a list of future operation
13 of -- this is, you see, the anti-tank system, against
14 the JNA. 60 people were to be designed -- were to come
15 from HVO headquarters of Herceg-Bosna, and the
16 preoccupation of the General is that all the units of
17 HVO should be equally represented.
18 So he gave a very clear order to
19 train or to prepare future operations involving all the
20 units of HVO.
21 We can go further. The following exhibit is
22 121 -- yes, the following is 121L.
23 Again, we have a document -- this is a document
24 of June 14, and the letterhead is once again Croatian
25 community of Herceg-Bosna. You see it concerns on the
1 period April-May. You can find letters with the
2 letterhead of the Croatian Republic or of the Croatian
3 community of Herceg-Bosna indifferently, and Bobetko
4 signed here with the stamp of Herceg-Bosna again.
5 And in this letter, he is giving an order to
6 prepare military identity cards for the members of HVO
8 This explains why these military cards were a
9 problem. Sometimes they didn't have enough military
10 identity cards for the soldiers in 1993. That's why,
11 in the document I mentioned, and which we had an opportunity
12 to see, it was written sometimes at the end of 1992,
13 beginning of 1993, the first month of 1993 that in
14 the event that soldiers or officials of the Croatian
15 army had no military identity card of HVO, it was
16 better to participate in the fighting without any
17 insignia but not with the insignia of the Croatian
19 This is just the beginning of a story, this
20 lecture, yes.
21 So we can go further. This is 121. The
22 following is 121M. This is a document of the Croatian
23 Republic sent from Ploce on July 13, 1992, and is an
24 order to the operative groups in south-eastern
25 Herzegovina, operating in south-eastern Herzegovina,
1 It is a document that included order for defence around
3 I can confirm that in his memoirs, when he
4 wrote them, Janko Bobetko explained clearly that
5 the so-called Cagal operation - that is Jackal in
6 English - ended with, and he explained that
7 Mostar was freed by the Croat army and HVO jointly.
8 So the operation was -- this was because
9 there were many, many disputes later between HVO and
10 the Bosnian army. The Bosnian army charged HVO
11 with having participated in the liberation of Mostar with
12 another army of another State, not under an
13 international or bilateral agreement between Bosnia and
14 Croatia, and even an army that acted later in
15 cooperation with HVO against the sovereign
16 independence of Bosnia in an operation against the
18 So this was one of the elements of the
19 disputes during 1993 and the beginning of 1994 before
20 signing the Washington Agreement which stopped the war
21 between the Muslims and the Croats in Bosnia.
22 The agreement was signed in 1994, March.
23 It was imposed by the United States.
24 This is the interest of this document. We
25 can continue.
1 121N. This is another document of orders of
2 General Bobetko from June, 1992 related to -- and
3 the letter is -- the document is with a letterhead of
4 the Republic of Croatia, signed by Bobetko in -- as a
5 commander of the Croatian army, and what is of interest
6 is particularly the end of the document here -- no.
7 Where it is written point 3 -- point 1: "Forces of
8 the Mostar HVO shall move toward another area."
9 So that is, you see, another document
10 which confirms that the orders for operational activities
11 to be carried out by HVO were coming directly from General Bobetko
12 And on the other pages, point 3, point 2,
13 you can see that the Stolac battalion in Celpatur
14 captured the Stolac region.
15 If you look again at the map of Bosnia, you
16 can see where Stolac is. It is in this part of
17 Herzegovina, the south-eastern part of Herzegovina.
18 We can move on.
19 Q. And the next document?
20 A. And the next -- the next document is the last
21 one, 121O. It's a document of June 18. Again, a
22 document -- a document of the Republic of Croatia, this
23 is the letterhead, and signed directly by Bobetko, the
24 pages, and there you can find several quotations of the
25 activities that had to be done in the area.
1 For instance, south-western Herzegovina
2 immediately -- to move immediately from Medjugorje to
3 Mostar. This is what he contributed to in the liberation
4 of Mostar in 1992. You can see that he assigned a zone
5 of responsibility and made each unit responsible for
6 its assigned zone.
7 You can see also -- all the document is
8 connected, as you can see, at the beginning,
9 immediately after detention of and of. Following the
10 liberation of the east bank of the Neretva river and the
11 city of Mostar in order to establish the
12 order of battle along the achieved lines fully
13 controlling -- and so on and so on.
14 So it was liberating Mostar, giving orders
15 to continue and to operate in other areas which you see
16 in other points, point 4, for instance, Stolac, HVO.
17 Other orders including and involving HVO and coming
18 again from General Bobetko.
19 Q. Professor, did this close working
20 relationship between the HVO and the HV continue on
21 through 1993- 94?
22 A. Yeah.
23 Q. And did there occur in the latter part of
24 1992 an increase in tension between the forces of the
25 HVO-HV and the forces of the Republic of
2 A. Yes, yes. Tensions -- tensions which were even
3 reported by journalists. It is an interesting exercise
4 to follow the newspapers, international or local
5 ones, about the evolution of the war in
6 Bosnia. And there is evidence of clashes, particularly
7 in the area around, as you can see, I can use
8 this map which can help, in the area Travnik and
9 Novi Travnik already in October and September --
10 October and November 1992 in Prozor, then in Vitez.
11 So these three areas, that is areas in the
12 so-called Central Bosnia, there were troubles and
13 clashes between the Muslims and Croats in that period.
14 It's interesting that on October 9th I
15 found in newspapers information that the Minister of
16 Defence of the Serb Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina,
17 Serb Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina, announced a
18 cease-fire, a joint cease-fire between the Serb armies
19 and the Bosnian army. And what is interesting is the
20 comment of the newspapers in the sense that the
21 newspapers referred to that for the first time, and they
22 stressed this, this was the first time that Croatian
23 army was doing something without the Muslims. This
24 cease-fire was a cease-fire, according to the newspapers,
25 only between the Croats and the Serbs,
1 excluding, in this sense, the Muslims.
2 Q. Yes. I think that in the transcript it says
3 that the agreement was between the Serb armies and
4 the Bosnian army. I don't think you meant Bosnian
6 A. The Serb army of Bosnia, yes, yes, the
7 Serb Republic of -- the Serb Republic of Bosnia,
8 Herceg-Bosna. So it was between two armies, the
9 Serb army in Bosnia and Herceg-Bosna, Bosnian army,
11 Q. To be distinguished from the army of
13 A. Yes, yes, distinguished army of Herceg-Bosna
14 so yes, because sometimes the Muslim army, sometimes
15 the army of Herceg-Bosna.
16 Q. Can you describe to us the development of
17 these tensions that existed between the Muslims and the
18 Croats in Bosnia in 1993 -- 1992, leading through to
20 A. '93, yes. You know, in the -- at the end of
21 1992, Vance and Owen were received -- well, requested
22 to prepare a plan, a possible plan to be submitted to
23 the parties in conflict, and this plan was
24 submitted in Geneva at the beginning of January, 1993.
25 May I refer to the map in Exhibit No. 119?
1 This is the map of the Vance-Owen Plan. The
2 Vance-Owen Plan was Exhibit 119. The plan was
3 organised in such -- articulated in such a way that
4 Bosnia was confirmed as an independent and sovereign
5 state based on 10 cantons, and Bosnia was divided, the
6 map was suggesting into different cantons. These 10
7 cantons were divided in such a way that three were
8 under the predominance of Croats, three under the
9 predominance of Serbs, three under the predominant
10 of the Muslims, and one, Sarajevo district, for
11 all of them together.
12 So you can see from this map the areas 3, 8,
13 10 were assigned to the Croatian area, you see this is
14 the area of Herceg-Bosna, more or less, and this is the
15 area of Posnija.
16 Q. And, Professor, did the presentation of this
17 plan to some extent tend to support the aspirations of
18 the Croats and the Serbs in relation to
20 A. As you can see also the -- in a way, yes.
21 Because, as I mentioned, the first war goal of both
22 Croats and Serbs was the establishment of an area
23 completely under their own control and then to prepare
24 the association with the borders.
25 We have also a document from the Serb side
1 which is more or less similar to that of -- we had seen
2 from the meeting in Grude on November 12, 1991.
3 The Serb document is a document published
4 of a meeting with a brigade, of a brigade following
5 another meeting which took place in Banja Luka in 1992
6 when the war had already erupted in April -- erupted in
7 Bosnia -- May, sorry, May 1992, May.
8 It's important, May, because the document was
9 written that some difficulties had arisen on the
10 Serb side because Milosevic was compelled by the
11 international community to withdraw one part of the
12 military in order -- you remember the 20 percent, the
13 cosmetic change of the activity of JNA in Bosnia, it
14 was in that period.
15 And so they met in Banja Luka, and
16 in the brigades in order to clearly establish the war
17 goals of the SDS and the Serb army. The war goals
18 were in particular to set up an area completely under
19 the control of the Serbs, to have the control of the
20 borders between the river Una and Neretva, which means
21 this border, but not to establish any border, any
22 controlled border where Bosnia neighboured on the
23 self-proclaimed Republic of Serb Krajina, this
25 It was just to establish the border
1 between Dalmatia, under the control of Croatia and
2 Bosnia, but not in the area controlled by the Serbs in
3 Croatia, because the idea was, in the end, to connect
4 the two areas.
5 As you can see, this was the proposal, the
6 proposal of Vance- again stressing the idea
7 that these cantons were predominantly ethnic cantons.
8 This was the interpretation, effectively, of the
9 Croat and Serb side, from the Croat and
10 Serb side.
11 For instance, this map was presented at
12 the beginning of January, but we have a document of
13 January -- if I well remember, 15 January. I had
14 document with me, signed by the President of the HVO
15 in which it was clearly stated that in cantons 3, 8, 9
16 assigned by the Vance-Owen Plan to the control of the
17 Croat authorities, the authorities of Bosnian army,
18 both -- Herzegovina army, had to submit to the
19 command of HVO or leave the areas.
20 And this order was followed by similar orders
21 and requests by other heads of HVO units, for
22 instance, immediately in Mostar, immediately in Konjic,
23 that is in this area, in January 1993, and then in
24 Travnik in April, 1993 when the troop of Dario Kordic
25 -- in this period. You know, the state symbols had
1 very great importance, flags, insignia.
2 So formally the war erupted between -- in the
3 night between the 7th and 8th of April, 1993. In order
4 to follow this -- to accomplish the order of Prlic, the
5 flags of the Croat community of Herceg-Bosna were
6 put up the local municipalities, local official
7 municipalities of Travnik.
8 The army, the Bosnian army opposed this, and
9 clashes started, the military clashes started, and
10 then the situation precipitated and precipitated
11 particularly in Central Bosnia, that is in this area --
12 may I refer again to this map? Maybe in this case even
13 more clear.
14 This area around Travnik, Novi Travnik,
15 Bugojno, Gornji Vakuf, Prozor, Busovaca, this area
16 in particularly. In this situation, this area in June and
17 then in August-September the army -- the Bosnian army
18 had very great military success, and this created a lot
19 of problems for HVO.
20 We have from that period documents and evidence
21 of attempts by HVO in this area to establish contact
22 with the Serb army. Even an order -- we have a
23 document of the Serb army explaining that they
24 received a request for weapons and -- from the
25 Herceg-Bosnian army in order to fight against the
2 And then together the Serbs -- Serb army
3 and the HVO tried -- besieged Zepce, for instance. So
4 there were in that period, particularly in the summer
5 of 1993, relations between the Serb army and HVO. It
6 was the period when Mate Boban and Karadzic again met
7 in Montenegro to discuss the idea of the partition of
8 Bosnia. The war was particularly important, this
9 area, because, of course, the army, the Bosnian army
10 tried to create -- to divide the area under the control
11 of Herceg-Bosna.
12 As you can see, this was the area claimed,
13 and so they wanted to block the homogenisation of this
15 So the war particularly escalated in
16 this area or along the Neretva, especially in
17 Mostar. As you know, Mostar was divided into parts.
18 In November, the bridge was destroyed. All these
19 events are well known. This was in November, 1993, and
20 in this period, particularly in the period when -- from
21 the -- when the HVO was defeated at the beginning of
22 the summer and then -- by the army in Central
24 And at the end of the year rumours,
25 discussions, impressions increased in the international
1 community because a lot of information was
2 arriving that, particularly after the defeat of the HVO
3 in Central Bosnia, Croatia sent soldiers and officials
4 of the Croat army into Bosnia in order to help HVO
5 in that period. And this was a very dramatic period
6 for the Croat army, Croat army in Bosnia, for
7 Herceg-Bosna too.
8 Q. Now, I think, Professor, that leads us to the
9 next point, and that is the involvement of the
10 international community, particularly in relation to
11 the reaction by the international community to the
12 involvement of Croatia, the Republic of Croatia, in
14 And I think that you have a number of
15 documents which illustrate the increasing concern of
16 the international community in relation to Croatia's
17 involvement in Bosnia-Herzegovina there.
18 Perhaps you might take us through those
19 documents, illustrating by reference to the documents
20 the points that you wish to make in connection with
21 this increasing international concern of Croatia's
23 A. Okay. So let us start with a document,
24 Exhibit No. 122. This document is a document from the
25 United Nations Security Council. It's a document dated
1 the 30 May, 1992, and is connected with -- is a report
2 of the Secretary-General pursuant to paragraph 4 of
3 the Security Council Resolution 752.
4 One had to report about several questions,
5 several things connected to Bosnia. What is
6 interesting for our discussion here now is particularly
7 point No. 10 on the third page where it is stated,
8 point 10 at the bottom of the page: "As regards."
9 This is a point connected to the withdrawal of elements
10 of the Croat army in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
11 Bear in mind the document is of May, 1992.
12 This is connected with the Bobetko operations as I
13 illustrated before.
14 As regards withdrawal of elements of the
15 Croat army. So it is clear the international
16 community was aware of this. Now, in
17 Bosnia-Herzegovina information currently available in
18 New York suggests that no such withdrawal has
19 occurred. UNPROFOR has received reliable reports of
20 the Croatian army personnel in uniform operating within
21 and as part of military formations in
22 Bosnia-Herzegovina. The Croatian authorities have
23 consistently taken the position that the Croatian
24 soldiers in Bosnia and Herzegovina have left the
25 Croatian army and are not subject to its authority.
1 International observations do not however doubt that
2 portions of Bosnia and Herzegovina are under the
3 control of Croatian military units, whether belonging
4 to the local Territorial Defence, paramilitary groups,
5 or to the Croatian army. It is unclear in the
6 circumstances how their withdrawal or dismantlement as
7 required by the council can be achieved."
8 So if you take into consideration the
9 documents we had the opportunity to see before and to
10 make a connection, at the time they didn't have -- the
11 international community didn't have the documents, we
12 had the opportunity to read before. But as you can see
13 through the representative of UNPROFOR, they received
14 enough information to know that the soldiers or
15 officers of the Croat army were there, all were
16 there without their insignia, as you can see,
17 particularly thinking on the last sentences of this
19 You can make comparison, immediate comparison
20 with another document. I am following differently the
21 order, sorry.
22 Q. Yes. Give us the number, please.
23 A. The number is 126C -- this is 122. 126C.
24 This is resolution 752. Because this was quoted
25 here in the beginning of this document. This is why I
1 think that it's important. Resolution 752.
2 Q. If you just place it on the screen, we can
3 follow it.
4 A. Yes, resolution 752 (1992). This is the
5 resolution of -- approved by the Security Council in
6 May 1993 -- 15 May, 1993 -- in 1992, sorry, 1992. This
7 resolution is interesting, particularly
8 point 3 on the following page where it's written, as
9 you can see: "Demands that all forms of interference
10 from outside Bosnia-Herzegovina including by units of
11 the Yugoslav People's Army, JNA, as well as elements of
12 the Croatian army cease immediately and the
13 Bosnia-Herzegovina neighbours take swift actions to end
14 such interference and respect the territorial integrity
15 of Bosnia-Herzegovina."
16 This was the document written 15 days before the
17 document I read previously; this was from document
18 122 and was a report on the basis of this request of --
19 coming from the Security Council and the
20 Secretary-General reported the sentence -- point 10
21 I read a few minutes ago.
22 It's also interesting, if we can go to
23 another document, 126D now, D. Yes. This is another
24 resolution of the Security Council. The resolution is
25 number 787 of 1992, 16 November. Bobetko was at
1 that time already Chief-of-Staff of the whole
2 Croatian army, the southern front, in Zagreb, and the
3 point -- the interesting point is the second -- after
4 point 5 on the third page.
5 This part where you can see about -- it's
6 again a point on the form of interference and you can
7 see after the resolution where it is quoted,
8 resolution 752 (1992) and other relevant resolution,
9 including the requirement that all forces, in
10 particular elements of the Croat army -- you see, in
11 particular elements.
12 This now is particular. Before you had both,
13 now you have particularly elements of Croatian
14 army should be withdrawn or be subject to the authority of the
15 government of the Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina, or be
16 disbanded or disarmed.
17 So the request was to take different -- or in
18 any case to put this army under the control of the
19 Republic of Bosnia, or to disarm or disband it, in any
20 case to withdraw the Croatian army particularly from
21 this -- from the area of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
22 We can go further and see another document,
23 especially document 126E. 126E.
24 This is interesting because I spoke and I
25 showed two documents and two resolutions of the Security
1 Council. This is different. So United Nations, this
2 is a document, a different document, it's a document of
3 the European Council on Croatia. When the European
4 Union had a meeting in Edinburgh at the end of December
5 of 1992. We are following in this case the two
6 resolutions of the United Nations, and you can
7 turn your attention particularly to the last sentences
8 of point 2 on this page, last sentences here, where
9 you can read the last four sentences: "The European
10 Council calls on the Croatian authorities for their
11 part to comply with all UN Security Council
12 resolutions and to cooperate in good faith with the
13 peace process, since they too carry a share of the
14 responsibility for attacks on the Muslim population."
15 Please consider that this is -- attacks on
16 the Muslim population. This is December 1992.
17 As I mentioned, the official war between
18 Croats and Muslims started in April, 1993. As a
19 consequence -- as a consequence of the Vance-Owen Plan
20 but, as I mentioned before, clashes already started in
21 September, October, and November. They stopped in
22 the middle of November in the area of Central Bosnia,
23 Travnik, Novi Travnik and Vitez.
24 So this is a concern in this case of the
25 European council about clashes already started in
1 Central Bosnia and without any relation -- at the
2 beginning there were events, the war started later, so
3 there were concerns already about a situation that was
4 growing on dramatically towards dramatic outcomes that
5 happened later in 1993.
7 Q. You can do another document, I think.
8 A. Another document? Okay. We can see the
9 following document is document 126F. We are coming
10 again to the United Nations with this document. Was
11 interesting, this document.
12 This is a letter sent to the United Nations,
13 the original is in English, it was sent on the 26th
14 April, 1993. April 1993, it means that 20 days
15 after the Travnik events that provoked the war between
16 the Croats and Muslims. And this letter was sent by
17 the -- by the permanent representative of Croatia to
18 the United Nations to inform the United
19 Nations that a common agreement had been found between
20 Muslims and Croats.
21 And what is interesting is the end of this
22 document, on the third page, where you can see that the
23 joint statement about coordination of the army,
24 cooperation between the Croats and the Muslims, was
25 signed by Izetbegovic and Mate Boban, the two of the
1 Bosnian state with witnessed by Tudjman, the president
2 of Croatia. So the president of Croatia in a way
3 supported this moment and was the witness of this
4 agreement between two parties of the same state.
5 It's again confirmation that Mate Boban worked with
6 the support of Franjo Tudjman.
7 But if you see, the other page after, which
8 is also interesting, the second document where it was
9 established that the HVO has a representative in the
10 command of the army, of the Bosnian army, of the
11 Bosnian army, as a part of the Bosnian army, this
12 document was signed by Izetbegovic and Boban as
13 political representatives of the two parties signing
14 the agreement, Muslims and the Croats, by General
15 Milivoj Petkovic who was the general of the high
16 command of the Bosnian armies. You see Petkovic, do
17 you remember this name, at the time, at the Bobetko
18 time, one year earlier he was a colonel, now he is
19 General Milivoj Petkovic who was at that time the head
20 of the chief of the HVO.
21 So this is just to show the evolution of the
22 military situation. This agreement, in fact, didn't
23 work. The war between the two parties, the Croats and
24 the Muslims continued, and even the situation worsened
25 in the months to come, May and particularly June, July,
1 August, the war was particularly -- particularly
2 heavy in Central Bosnia.
3 MR. NIEMANN: Your Honours, now is a
4 convenient time.
5 JUDGE RODRIGUES: I propose a break. We will
6 have a quarter of an hour's break, please.
7 --- Recess at 12.03 p.m.
8 --- Resumed at 12.20 p.m.
9 JUDGE RODRIGUES: Mr. Niemann, you are given
10 the floor, and we will be deliberating until 1.30 p.m.
11 MR. NIEMANN:
12 Q. Professor, just prior to the break, you were
13 going through a series of documents from the
14 international perspective dealing with the question of
15 Croatia's involvement and participation in
16 Bosnia-Herzegovina in '92-'93 and beyond. Can you
17 continue now, please, by referring to those documents?
18 A. The next document is document 126 G.
19 This is a document of the United Nations
20 again, it's a document prepared on April 30, 1993, as you
21 can see the date, and with -- this is a report, a
22 report of a delegation which went to visit Bosnia
23 previously. You have here a list of the persons who
24 signed the report.
25 The report is very wide ranging, is taking into
1 consideration different situations, particularly
2 Srebrenica, Gorazde, Zepa where you know the Serb
3 army was particularly involved surrounding the Muslims.
4 It was the period when Morillon went to Srebrenica
5 to save injured people.
6 What is interesting from our point of view is
7 the part on Vitez, because Vitez -- this is page --
8 sorry --
9 Q. Nine, I think.
10 A. Page 9, yes. Where the mission -- you have
11 the description, the visit of the missions, they went
12 to Ahmici, they had an opportunity to see what was
13 occurring in those areas, but particularly in the -- of
14 course, we have to take into account this was a mission
15 which arrived immediately after the events. The picture was
16 unclear at that moment. However, it's very
17 interesting that at point 35 on this page 9, as you can
18 see, they asked for a full explanation from the Croat
19 Defence Council on what was going on in Vitez and
20 Central Bosnia, and they spoke to Mr. Boban about this
22 What is interesting is the discussion they
23 had with Boban, points 36 and 37. In a way, even
24 point 40, 41 is interesting as a consequence of this
1 You can see here Mr. Boban, with whom the
2 mission met at the airport in Split, denied
3 participation of his forces in these acts; in the acts
4 at Ahmici in Central Bosnia, which he said were the
5 acts of radical groups.
6 And it's very interesting, you see here
7 quoted in brackets "(General Wahlgren had informed us
8 that this group even had swastikas on their clothing)."
9 But you know that there are also documents that the
10 uniformed people -- that if they don't have identity
11 cards of HVO, it was better to have no other insignia,
12 but surely not the Croat army, so every other
13 insignia were possible to be -- were likely to be used.
14 I can tell you, it was very interesting also
15 an episode that occurred in order to understand this
16 event. The episode occurred at the beginning of the
17 war in Bosnia, in August 1992, because at that time the
18 Croatian HVO, the HVO was not the only military group
19 of the Croats in Bosnia. At the time, there were also
20 the so-called -- the HOS. The HOS was the
21 organisation, the military organisation, related to the
22 Paraga party, the Hrvatska Stranka Prava, which was the
23 Croat party of the right led by Dobrosav Paraga in
24 Croatia in Zagreb. They had this army, and one of the
25 members of this HOS was general -- general of the HOS,
1 a self-appointed general in this case, and Prkacin who
2 was an elected member of the Croatian Sabor in 1995
3 under the -- not in the 10 percent of the seats of
4 Herceg-Bosna, his was for Herceg-Bosna, but in the list
5 of the party, of the questioned party of the right.
6 This is just again one element, because it
7 confirmed this particular relation that people had with
8 Zagreb, independently from -- on different levels, yes,
9 on different levels.
10 And this HOS were forced on the -- the idea
11 of the HOS and the idea of the Paraga party was that
12 the whole Bosnia was part of Croatia. The historical
13 dream and the historical borders of Croatia were the
14 Drina river. The Drina is the river which defines the
15 borders between Bosnia and Serbia.
16 So this was different from the agreement or
17 the attempted agreements between the Serb and the
18 Croat side to divide Bosnia, and for this
19 reason, for instance, one of the head of the
20 HOS created a -- at the beginning of the war many
21 troubles. Mr. Kraljevic was killed in August 1993, and
22 after all this, his death, HOS were submitted under the
23 pressure of Boban, so under the command of HVO. So in
24 a sense after August-September 1993, there were no
25 regular units officially out of the control of the HVO.
1 The other point is point 37 where
2 Mr. Boban, while expressing his condemnation of these
3 acts, nevertheless stated that one must not look only
4 at the effects but at the causes, and that Croats had
5 been massacred by Muslims. "The Mission," which was
6 very interested in the reaction, "The Mission expressed
7 its deep concern and told him that these developments
8 could seriously tarnish his image and that of the
9 Croats in general, not to mention the repercussions
10 that it could have on the Republic of Croatia."
11 The attempts justify that in a way Boban
12 made in this situation immediately created a reaction,
13 a negative reaction of the Commission, who had more or
14 less the same -- different but the logic was the same,
15 the reaction by President Tudjman. If you read
16 point 41 where it is stated, for instance, the Mission
17 "conveyed ... shock and horror at the killings by
18 Croats of Muslims in central Bosnia and called upon him
19 to help actively in preventing any recurrence of these
20 outrageous incidents and bringing those responsible to
21 immediate justice. President Tudjman agreed that the
22 acts of inhumanity were unpardonable but said that as
23 long as causes existed for provocation, there may be a
24 temptation to resort to such acts of horror which were
25 typical not only of the Bosnian Croats. He promised to
1 use his influence to see that the guilty were
3 You can see there, in a way, the mechanism
4 was, yes, it is to be condemned, these acts, but you
5 have to understand the situation, the reaction, the
6 tensions. It's, in a way, a kind of justification that
7 created concern in the Mission and in a sense can be
8 interesting in order to understand the reaction of the
9 international representatives in this case.
10 Now we can go further, and document 126 H.
11 This is a document of the Security Council, a
12 document dated May 10th, 1993. It's a note by the
13 President of the Security Council, and what is
14 interesting are particularly paragraphs 3 and 4
15 where you can see that: "The Security Council strongly
16 condemns this major military offensive launched by
17 Bosnian Croat paramilitary units which is totally
18 inconsistent with the signature of the Peace Plan for
19 the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina by the Bosnian
20 Croat party."
21 We are in May 1993 and they are considering,
22 of course, the Peace Plan, this is Vance-Owen Plan.
23 "The Council demands that the attacks
24 against the areas of Mostar, Jablanica and Dreznica,
25 cease forthwith; that Bosnian Croat paramilitary units
1 withdraw immediately from the area and that all the
2 parties strictly comply with their previous commitments
3 as well as the cease-fire agreed to today between the
4 Government of the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina
5 and the Bosnian Croat party."
6 And then you can see in point -- in the
7 last paragraph: "The Security Council once again
8 reiterates its demand that UNPROFOR personnel be
9 allowed unimpeded access throughout the Republic of
10 Bosnia and Herzegovina and, in this particular case,
11 demands that the Bosnian Croat paramilitary units
12 ensure the safety and security of UNPROFOR as well as
13 all United Nations personnel in the areas of Mostar,
14 Jablanica and Dreznica. In this connection, the
15 Council expresses its deep concern at the increasing
16 hostile attitude of Bosnian Croat paramilitary units
17 towards UNPROFOR personnel."
18 The area mentioned is mostly Jablanica, that
19 he is considering, the map, this area in Bosnia. And
20 this means that we can, in this case, understand
21 probably the attempt not to have personnel,
22 UNPROFOR personnel in the area was because they
23 referred to the United Nations Secretary-General for --
24 and so this was just to give you the atmosphere --
25 Q. And I think on the second page --
1 A. Yes, yes. On the second page, you have
2 point, the first point: "The Security Council calls
3 upon the Republic of Croatia, in accordance with the
4 commitments under the Zagreb agreement of 25 April
5 1993 ..." This was the agreement signed by Izetbegovic
6 and Boban, witnessed by Tudjman. We saw it before.
7 "... to exert all its influence on the Bosnian Croat
8 leadership and paramilitary units with a view to
9 ceasing immediately their attacks particularly in the
10 areas of Mostar, Jablanica and Dreznica. It further
11 calls on the Republic of Croatia to adhere strictly to
12 its obligations under Security Council resolution 752,
13 including putting an end to all forms of interference
14 and respecting the territorial integrity of the
15 Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina."
16 What is interesting is that the international
17 community was calling upon the Republic of Croatia to
18 influence the position because they were the -- Tudjman
19 was the witness to this agreement between Izetbegovic
20 and Boban, so the international community urged him to
21 make pressure in order to stop the attacks in that
22 area, and the document is interesting because it's from
23 May, so this shows when I ended my -- when I referred
24 in the last session, I'm reminded that the document
25 signed at the end of April of 1993, in fact, was not
1 implemented at all. So this is clear evidence what I
2 said before in this document.
3 Q. And resolution 752 related withdrawing of
4 troops, did it not?
5 A. Yes, yes.
6 Q. And the next paragraph that immediately
7 follows after that deals with the question of
8 sovereignty, does it not?
9 A. Yeah. "The Security Council once again
10 reaffirms the sovereignty, territorial integrity and
11 independence of the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina
12 and the inacceptability of the acquisition of territory
13 by force and the practice of 'ethnic cleansing'."
14 So I think that this is a very clear
15 statement and a result of the pressure of the
16 European -- of the international community in this case
17 towards Croatia.
18 We can go further with the document 126 I.
19 Q. I think we've looked at this one previously,
20 so perhaps we can move on to -- unless you have a
21 particular point that you wish to make about.
22 I'm sorry, I think I'm -- I'm sorry, we
23 haven't looked at it. I'm sorry. I was confusing it
24 with another document.
25 A. This document has been signed in Geneva in
1 July 17, and as you can see, it has been signed by
2 Slobodan Milosevic and Franjo Tudjman. It's a
3 statement of the two Presidents of the two republics
4 which deny speculations about the partition of Bosnia.
5 Point 2 is the crucial point because after denying
6 the partition: "The only way to achieve permanent
7 peace in Bosnia and Herzegovina lies in the recognition
8 of the interests of all the three constituent peoples
9 and in the achievement of the agreement on the
10 establishment of three republics within the scope of a
12 So in the other situation, we spoke about the
13 federation, a union, now a confederation of three
14 republics, so you see again the attempt to -- as a
15 first step to have three republics in a union and then
16 eventually denying -- the speculation for a partition
17 when you have three republics within the scope of a
18 confederation, which is not clear what this mean -- we
19 don't have, in fact, up to now "confederation," the
20 word, we have a federation, United States and
21 Switzerland are federations. So in this case -- in this
22 case it just means that the three republics can manage
23 together the common interest and then it's -- as a
24 matter of fact in future the integration of Bosnia will
25 be threatened by the -- a new partition, we don't know,
1 of course, peaceful or not. In.
2 Any case, because we see the document -- I
3 remind the document of November 12, 1991 of Grude, when
4 Mate Boban and Dario Kordic signed and established the
5 goals, the main goals of the Croats in Bosnia, this
6 was one part of their goals, the request of one part of
7 their goals to be achieved.
8 At the same time, it is a confirmation that
9 some kind of agreement, or attempt at agreement was
10 going on between Croat and Serb sides about
11 Bosnia, albeit this is just an agreement for creation
12 in Bosnia of three unions.
13 The document offer the possibility for the
14 preparing of another peace plan. It was the
15 Owen-Stoltenberg plan which was submitted a few days
16 after this request. And the proposal was to create,
17 instead of ten cantons, three areas with a predominant
18 ethnic group which was, in fact, more or less the
19 proposal of Tudjman and Milosevic, and this proposal
20 was rejected by the Bosnian parliament in October
21 1993. As a consequence of this rejection, the
22 relations between Croats and Muslims worsened again and
23 a new phase of war started in that period.
24 This was in the fall 1993 when another event,
25 even worsened the complex picture of the war. This was
1 the, may I say, the serial war within the Muslims, with
2 the secession of the group led by Fikret Abdic in the
3 area of Bihac. Just to show you the map again. This
4 here is Bihac. This was the area. And Fikret Abdic
5 was a member of the presidency of Bosnia after the
6 election in 1990. He was very well known person in the
7 Communist establishment. He led a company, agra
8 commerce, in the '80s, into bankruptcy. I think he was
9 for this reason in prison. So a very disputed
11 What is crucial that in this case a conflict
12 arose within the Muslim groups. Fikret Abdic sought
13 to have, first, a good relationship with Tudjman and
14 then the support of the Serbs, and you see this was an
15 area, a Muslim area, led by Fikret Abdic, but where
16 fighting took place between the Bosnian army and the
17 groups of Abdic and areas surrounded by Serbs because
18 the Serbs controlled this area of Banja Luka and they
19 controlled this area of Croatia which was Krajina.
20 It's just to give you the picture of the situation.
21 So we can continue with other documents.
22 The next one is 126 K. Sorry. I made a
23 mistake, sorry. 126 J. 126 J, yes, this one.
24 This is a letter -- this document of the
25 United Nations, it's a letter of 27 July, 1993, and is
1 a letter from the permanent representative of Bosnia in
2 the United Nations, Mr. Muhamed Sacirbey.
3 The letter is sent, it's included -- a letter
4 received from -- received from the Republic of
5 Bosnia-Herzegovina in Zagreb, Croatia, that the
6 official television channel of Croatian government and
7 other media calling for demonstration of mass -- for
8 demonstration in Zagreb, and he added the document, the
9 following document, on Croatia -- on the Croatian
10 Charge d'affaires, this is the following page, where
11 you can see, in particular, the description of the
12 situation. "In the area of Vitez," which is a town in
13 Central Bosnia, "the largest Bosnian Croat enclave in
14 central Bosnia," and the letter claims that the
15 population is "threatened by the Bosnian Muslim armed
16 force. We have received the report of high military
17 activity by the Bosnian Muslim army in that area where
18 two Bosnian Croat villages, Zabrdje and Jeliko, on the
19 outskirts of Vitez have already been overrun, and the
20 residents have been expelled. Presently, more than
21 40,000 refugees, mostly Bosnian Croats, are living in
22 deplorable conditions inside Vitez."
23 This was in a letter in -- that was sent by
24 Sacirbey, and this is a letter that followed the
25 situation in -- let me say, all the attacks of the
1 army -- of the Bosnian army in Central Bosnia when the
2 Croats were defeated and they had to come back again
3 from the centre of Bosnia.
4 So this is -- again, the Bosnian authorities
5 have noted existence of ammunition in Vitez. They are
6 showing how concerned they were in this context for the
7 situation of the Croatian population in a period of
8 offensive made by the army of Bosnia. On the other
9 side we have the concern of Mr. Sacirbey about
10 organisation and demonstration in Croatia of what was
11 going on in Zagreb.
12 So this can offer to -- a different picture
13 of two -- of situation of tensions that was not only in
14 Bosnia but created tensions between Bosnia and Zagreb
16 We can go further, on document 126 K.
17 Q. I think that was a letter attached to that,
18 it's the second paragraph of the letter that you ...
19 A. Yes, the second paragraph of the -- is an
20 information that claimed in November, more or less when
21 the offensive of the army was going on -- Bosnian army
22 was going on in Central Bosnia, the old bridge in
23 Mostar was destroyed by the Croatian army. "On this
24 day ... the Croatian army and the Croatian Defence
25 Council has destroyed the most significant monument of
1 Bosnian-Herzogovinian culture." This is a document --
2 official protest from the Presidency of
3 the Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina and the government
4 of Bosnia-Herzegovina informing the Security Council
5 what was happening and they charged the Croatian army
6 was taking part in the military operation in Mostar.
7 Q. And is this more or less a continuation of
8 the issues -- of the cooperation between the Croatian
9 army and the Defence Council that you referred to when
10 you looked at the Bogatca documents of 1992?
11 A. Yes, exactly.
12 Q. The next document?
13 A. The next one is 126 -- sorry, 126 L.
14 Q. Again, it's another letter, and if you would
15 look at the third paragraph of the letter?
16 A. Yes. The third paragraph of the letter is --
17 this letter is a letter of -- signed by Izetbegovic, it
18 was signed in November of 1993, to the
19 Secretary-General, and he's stressing that -- this is
20 very important. This was the position of the Bosnian
21 government, the official position of the Bosnian
22 government, when you can see it's written that "the
23 conflict in Bosnia and Herzegovina is not a conflict
24 of" -- this is the protest -- "of three sides, as
25 stated in your letter. It is an open and brutal
1 aggression against an independent State, which is a
2 Member State of the United Nations. A direct
3 consequence of the aggression has been the
4 establishment of phantom para-states in the territory
5 of Bosnia and Herzegovina ..." Phantom para-states are
6 to be considered Herceg-Bosna from one side and the
7 Serb Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina on the other
8 side. "... which was followed by a legitimacy given by
9 the international community, taking them as the sides
10 to the conflict. It is not possible to conduct a peace
11 process successfully having such hypotheses on its
13 Q. What is meant by that?
14 A. Pardon?
15 Q. What do you understand him to be saying
16 there? What's the purpose that he's trying to convey?
17 A. So the question is that, in fact, the two
18 para-states are acting for other two neighbour states
19 and they are connected with them, so in this case the
20 claim is that they were involved in order to divide
21 Bosnia and not as a conflict within Bosnia and a
22 conflict -- civil conflict, a civil conflict in a state
23 but an aggression coming from Serbia and Croatia and,
24 in this case, an international conflict.
25 Q. And the next document, 126 --
1 A. The next document is 126 M.
2 Q. And I think -- the annex again is the
3 interesting part of that, is it not, in the first
4 paragraph -- first and second paragraphs of the
6 A. Yes. This a document -- this is a letter
7 sent on 28 January, 1994, so we are in a new year, 1994.
8 It was sent by the Prime Minister of Bosnia, Haris
9 Silajdzic, and was sent to the President of
10 Security Council, and the letter is -- includes in the
11 centre -- here in the -- after the second paragraph, it
12 includes a list from the -- information of the
13 government, a list of the military actions carried in the
14 territory of the Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina by
15 brigades of the Croat army.
16 So you can see the description of the brigade
17 of Split, the brigade from Zagreb, the brigade from
18 Srebrenica, Osijek, Vukovar, Vinkovci, Varazdin, and
19 you have a list of different units of the army, and
20 this was the list submitted by the Bosnian government
21 to the United Nations to show who was participating
22 in the conflict in Bosnia-Herzegovina.
23 Q. And this letter is dated the 28th of January,
25 A. Yeah.
1 Q. And over the page, I think there's a
2 reference, is there not, in the centre of the page, the
3 paragraph: "Thus we conclude." Do you see that
5 A. The final paragraph of the -- you mean the
6 final paragraph of the letter?
7 Q. No, I don't mean that. I meant the paragraph
8 which is the fourth paragraph on the second -- on page
9 3, which is the last page of the letter.
10 A. Ah, yes, on the Posavina front in the Sector
11 of Orasje, four brigades of the Croatian army. I can't
12 see in the ...
13 Q. You've got the wrong page. It's the next
14 page I want you to refer to.
15 A. This is.
16 Q. Would you refer to the next page?
17 A. The second page?
18 Q. Yes. It becomes the third page. You see the
19 paragraph "Thus we conclude."
20 A. "We express our deep concern."
21 Q. No, the top.
22 A. On the top?
23 Q. "Thus we conclude." The paragraph starting
24 "Thus we conclude." It's the fourth paragraph down.
25 A. Ah, "Thus we conclude," yes, yes, "we
1 conclude that in the sector of Mostar, Prozor and
2 Gornji Vakuf, twelve brigades of the regular Croatian
3 army with manpower estimated at 15,000 to 18,000
4 soldiers is directly involved in military operations."
5 You see, this 15,000 is the number which was
6 estimated by the International Institute for Strategic
7 Studies when we saw yesterday the figures about the
8 forces arrayed in Bosnia, and this was more or less the
9 evolution in 1993, beginning 1994. "... involved in
10 military operations. In the Posavina sector," which is
11 the north of Bosnia, "the estimate goes as far as
12 10,000 to 12,000 soldiers of the Croatian army.
13 Accordingly, the estimate ranges from 25,000 to 30,000
14 soldiers of the Croatian army actively participating in
15 military operations against the Republic of Bosnia and
17 This was the conclusion from the Bosnian
18 point of view, from the Bosnian official, from the
19 Bosnian government point of view.
20 Q. And the next paragraph I think --
21 A. "This high number of Croatian regular army
22 troops are supplemented by heavy artillery, armoured
23 vehicles and numerous other war materials" coming from
25 Q. And again is this a development and
1 progression of what was happening in 1992 when
2 General --
3 A. Yes, it's a progression we can see in the
4 other documents prepared directly by -- in the
5 following documents prepared by the United Nations,
6 their estimation, thanks to the possibility of
7 UNPROFOR personnel to check the information. So this
8 was the position of the government. But the following
9 document, for instance, the 126 N, is a document of the
10 Security Council.
11 Q. Again, this one's dated 2nd February, 1994, I
13 A. It is the 2nd February, yes. The previous
14 document was the 28th of January. So four days after.
15 And this is a document -- this is signed by the --
16 Secretary-General of the United Nations, Mr. Boutros
17 Boutros-Ghali, and was -- is a letter addressed by him,
18 the 2nd February -- the 1st February, from the
19 Secretary-General to the President of the Security
20 Council. And what is interesting is particularly the
21 third paragraph: "The Croatian Army has directly
22 supported the HVO in terms of manpower, equipment and
23 weapons for some time. Initially the level of support
24 was limited to individual and small sub-units, many of
25 them volunteers. As the offensives of the Bosnia and
1 Herzegovina Government forces against the HVO have
2 become successful, the numbers of Croatian soldiers
3 appear to have increased. It is assessed that in total
4 there is the equivalent of three Croatian Brigades of
5 regular Army personnel in Bosnia and Herzegovina,
6 approximately 3,000 to 5,000 (this is an
7 estimation ...)" This is important. "(... as it is
8 impossible with UNPROFOR's assets to obtain required
9 information for a more accurate account). There have
10 been confirmed reports by UNPROFOR personnel that
11 elements (troops and equipment) from the following
12 Croatian Army (HV) units are indeed present in central
13 and southern Bosnia and Herzegovina."
14 And then you see the list of the personnel,
15 the elements, on the basis of the UNPROFOR personnel,
16 which kind of brigade were operating in the central and
17 southern Bosnia and Herzegovina from the Croatian
18 army. Then you have the list of the army.
19 Then you have the following paragraph in the
20 following page explaining that: "Equipment includes
21 heavy artillery and multi-barrelled rocket launchers,"
22 so "Most recently" and "is unable to confirm positively
23 any Croatian Army tank activity in Bosnia and
24 Herzegovina." So there was no clear evidence of this;
25 they didn't have. "Also in January ... confirmed that
1 four helicopter flights from Croatia crossed into
2 Bosnia and Herzegovina." They have different
3 information but information that, however, a certain
4 number of brigades and soldiers of the Croatian army
5 were acting in Bosnia-Herzegovina in the period between
6 1993 and 1994.
7 Q. Now, just going back, I think, to document
8 123 that we haven't looked at, exhibit 123, it's a --
9 it was one of the documents that I think was ...
10 A. Yeah.
11 Q. You may not be able to get it -- see if you
12 can find it there. It's 123, exhibit 123. It's a
13 Security Council document of the 3rd of February, 1994.
14 A. Yeah. This is the 3rd of February, the day
16 Q. Yes.
17 A. Yes. On the basis of this letter sent by
18 Mr. Boutros Boutros-Ghali. This is the number 123.
19 Q. I think it's the first paragraph that's
20 particularly interesting, is it not?
21 A. The first paragraph: "The Security Council
22 is deeply concerned that the Republic of Croatia has
23 deployed elements of the Croatian Army along with heavy
24 military equipment in the central and southern parts of
25 the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina, as described in
1 the Secretary-General's letter of 1 February 1994," the
2 letter we read before.
3 And then you can see the fourth paragraph
4 is: "The Security Council demands that the Republic of
5 Croatia withdraw forthwith all elements of the Croatian
6 Army (HV)" -- you see there the symbol -- "along with
7 military equipment and fully respect the territorial
8 integrity of the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina."
9 What is interesting even more is the first
10 paragraph of the next page of this document: "The
11 Security Council will consider other serious measures
12 if the Republic of Croatia fails to put an immediate
13 end to all forms of interference in the Republic of
14 Bosnia and Herzegovina."
15 This is a very important topic because this
16 is a first official threat to Zagreb with sanctions.
17 As far as I know, the first policy maker who spoke
18 about sanctions and threatened Croatia with sanctions
19 was the German Minister of Foreign Affairs, Klaus
20 Kinkel, in May 1993 when he was in Zagreb, and he spoke
21 to Tudjman and he was very concerned about the policy
22 of Croatian government.
23 The international community also in November
24 put pressures on Tudjman because they considered that
25 a particular responsibility of the Croatian army was --
1 in November where it destroyed the villages of Pocitelj
2 and Divoselo, and Tudjman promised to hold an inquiry
3 in this sense.
4 Then we had other threats of sanctions
5 particularly in February, this is February 1994, when
6 Kohl made a dramatic speech on the television in
7 February 1994 and even the Italian Minister of Foreign
8 Affairs, Andreatta, threatened Zagreb with sanctions in
9 that month.
10 So this was the month for putting the firm
11 international pressure on the Croatian government in
12 order to obtain the withdrawal of the Croatian army
13 units in Bosnia-Herzegovina.
14 Q. Now can we go on to the next document, 126 N,
15 which is again a document of the 2nd of February, 1994.
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. And it's a letter, is it not, from --
18 A. This is a letter.
19 Q. -- from Croatia, the permanent representative
20 for Croatia, United Nations.
21 A. Yes. This is a letter -- yes. A letter of
22 February 2nd, 1994. It was written by the permanent
23 representative of Croatia in -- at the United Nations,
24 and --
25 Q. The second paragraph --
1 A. The second paragraph is very crucial: "My
2 government," it is written, "does not deny that there
3 are regular Croatian Army troops in the border areas
4 between the Republic of Croatia and the Republic of
5 Bosnia and Herzegovina. They are stationed there in
6 accordance with the Joint Agreement of 12 July 1992" --
7 probably this was a mistake, typewritten mistake, the
8 agreement was of the 21st of July -- anyway -- "between
9 my Government and the Government of the Republic of
10 Bosnia and Herzegovina. Repositioning of these troops
11 would seriously undermine the territorial integrity and
12 security of the Republic of Croatia."
13 This -- the agreement between -- which is
14 mentioned here in this letter was signed on July 21st,
15 1992 by Izetbegovic and Tudjman, and it considered that
16 HVO was a part of the army, of the Bosnian army, and,
17 secondly, it was written that cooperation between the
18 Croatian army and the Bosnian army was possible along
19 the borders, but any future military alliance between
20 the two countries will be taken into consideration
21 only, only in the event that the international
22 community has failed in attempts at stopping the war in
24 So it was under the condition.
25 And immediately after the signing of this
1 document, Tudjman put pressure again on Izetbegovic
2 in order to have a more complete alliance and
3 federation or confederation but Izetbegovic rejected
4 the proposal all the time.
5 So this was the agreement and this
6 important -- interesting -- it is interesting --
7 Q. Just before you move on, I think the fact of
8 the matter is, is it not, the HVO did not at any stage
9 come under the control of the army of
11 A. In fact, no. In fact, HVO acted as an
12 independent army in the sense that you see there were
13 attempts in July, attempts -- the agreement was that it
14 was -- it had to be part of the army. Later, in April,
15 in April 1993, it was signed again, the document we
16 see, between Mate Boban and Izetbegovic, is annexed to
17 the other one with the witness of Tudjman. It was
18 stated that HVO will have a representative in the army,
19 but these agreements didn't work. The attempt was
20 not -- on the contrary, in the beginning -- at the
21 beginning of 1993, we have the order of Prlic, the head
22 of HVO, the President, which established that in the
23 cantons of the provisional plan assigned to Croatia,
24 the commander of the army had to be submitted to the
25 HVO command. So you have, in this case, the country.
1 Q. But you cite this nevertheless in support for
2 your proposition that the HVO and the army of Croatia,
3 the HV, had a sort of continuity in Bosnia-Herzegovina
4 right from '92 through to '95.
5 A. If I can say, my personal opinion was that
6 this was the same army, same army.
7 Q. Thank you.
8 A. The connection were so strong that we can --
9 from the political point of view, the approach from the
10 political -- as a political scientist, I can say that
11 the main impression was that this was the same army.
12 I would like just to turn your attention even
13 to the sentence on the second page of the letter of
14 Nobilo, Mario Nobilo. This is: "Under such
15 circumstances, where the Council doesn't have the
16 resources to protect the Croat citizens of Bosnia and
17 Herzegovina, my Government has no moral right to
18 prevent the Croatian volunteers from helping the
19 imperilled Bosnian Croat community, which makes up 18
20 percent of the country's population, but has been
21 expelled onto 10 percent of the country's territory."
22 So this sentence is important in order to
23 consider the following letter. This was the official
24 statement generally defended by the Croatian
25 government, that people fighting in Bosnia was citizens
1 of Bosnia, were born in Bosnia, were volunteers without
2 any control, official control from the Croatian army.
3 This was the official position of the Croatian
4 government at that point.
5 But if you look at the following document,
6 number 126 P, this document is a document -- is a
7 letter again sent on 16 February, 1994, through the
8 permanent representative Mario Nobilo, the Croatian
9 permanent representative in the United Nations sent by
10 Mate Granic, the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for
11 Foreign Affairs of Croatia to the Secretary-General.
12 This letter, I would like to turn your
13 attention in particular to page 3, the fourth and the
14 fifth paragraphs, where we are informed that: "As a
15 peace-promoting step in cooperation with the Security
16 Council and as a goodwill gesture towards the Sarajevo
17 Government, in the meantime my Government expresses its
18 readiness to withdraw certain units from the border
19 areas with Bosnia and Herzegovina, in accordance with
20 the recent Security Council request."
21 This again is consistent with the letter, the
22 previous letter, sent by Mr. Nobilo. "But my
23 government," Croatian government, of course, "calls
24 upon the Government of the Republic of Bosnia and
25 Herzegovina immediately to order its army to cease all
1 hostilities and offensive actions against Croatian
2 population centres, especially in the region of central
3 Bosnia. Following the cessation of hostilities, we
4 shall issue an appeal to all Croat volunteers in
5 central Bosnia to lay down their arms and return to
6 their normal civilian lives."
7 So this is another element.
8 And then it is interesting, the following
9 sentence: "The Republic of Croatia is ready to call
10 off the units of the Croatian Army on the left bank of
11 the Neretva River and elements of the Croatian Army on
12 the right bank on the Neretva."
13 I would like to show you just a moment a map
14 of Bosnia, if I can say again, just to give you a
15 picture. This is again map 114, because it's
16 clear. And you can see Bosnia and where the Neretva
17 River is. So the left bank is this --
18 JUDGE NIETO NAVIO: I'm sorry, Mr. President,
19 I cannot change my screen.
20 MR. NIEMANN: Nor can I.
21 JUDGE RODRIGUES: Excuse me. Do we have a
22 technical problem since my colleague judges cannot
23 follow on the screen, on the monitor, the document. I
24 personally can. I have the images.
25 I would kindly ask the technical service to
1 inform me -- yes, on one of the screens, we do have the
2 image of the map. On the other one, we do not.
3 Obviously, we do have a problem. Now everything is all
5 I think everything is under control now. Do
6 we all have the images on the screen?
7 I think there are some disturbances in the
8 transmission because when I have an image on, picture
9 on the screen -- excuse me -- we could continue if we
10 get the picture back. But in the meantime, it has
11 changed again.
12 We're speaking of document 124.
14 A. Okay. Now I lost my picture on the monitor,
15 but doesn't matter. You can see here on the map the
16 Neretva River, which the document speaks about, Mate Granic
17 is speaking about the units of the Croatian army on the
18 left bank, which is this one, and volunteers,
19 volunteers -- and the elements. One is the -- one of
20 the elements of the Croatian army.
21 The units of the Croatian army are on the
22 left bank, this here, and the elements of the Croatian
23 army on the right bank. So you can see that it's
24 difficult to say that they were exactly along the
25 border, albeit that they were not only in a point near
1 to the border, you know?
2 So this is, in a way, a kind of admission
3 from the Deputy Prime Minister that the army was -- the
4 Croatian army was in the territory of Herzegovina along
5 the river Neretva instead of the borders.
6 A kind of confirmation is in the following
7 documents. Yes.
8 MR. NIEMANN:
9 Q. Because I think if you go to exhibit 126
10 Q, and in particular the fourth paragraph starting on
11 the 10th February, "UNPROFOR observed." Fourth
12 paragraph, first page.
13 A. Fourth paragraph, yes.
14 Fourth paragraph. Yes. "On 10 February,
15 UNPROFOR observed a convoy ..."
16 This letter is the letter of 17 February, and
17 it comes from Secretary-General Boutros-Ghali
18 to the President of the Security Council, so it's
19 information coming from the personnel of the
20 UNPROFOR to the Secretary-General, and then the
21 Secretary-General is referring to the President of the
22 Security Council in February.
23 And in this letter it is written that
24 UNPROFOR -- in the fourth paragraph it is written that
25 "UNPROFOR observed a convoy of the Croatian Defence
1 Council (HVO), consisting of 21 trucks and other
2 equipment, leaving the territory of Bosnia and
3 Herzegovina via the Lipa checkpoint," which is a little
4 bit strange that a convoy of HVO, that is, of the
5 Croatian army -- the Bosnian Croatia army was going to
6 Croatia in this period.
7 "One of these trucks had markings of the
8 Fifth HV Brigade." That is the Fifth Croatian Army
9 Brigade. "The convoy also included a bus carrying 36
10 soldiers with insignia of an independent Croatian Army
11 unit from Zagreb. The event was videotaped by a
12 uniformed cameraman of the (Croatian army) or (the
13 Croatian Army of Bosnia.)"
14 So in this case, it is informing that
15 something is going on, some withdrawal is going on, and
16 UNPROFOR officials were noticing that troops with
17 different insignia were crossing the borders toward
19 The same document, in the following page,
20 page 2, you can see in the third paragraph: "In the
21 absence of any observations of (a Croatian Army)
22 withdrawal movements beyond that on 10 February,
23 UNPROFOR continues to assess that there still may be
24 5,000 (Croatian Army) troops in Bosnia and Herzegovina,
25 although no (Croatian Army) command posts nor any full
1 (Croatian Army) brigades operating as formed units have
2 been identified."
3 So they estimate because the problem was that
4 they didn't have insignia. And in this sense -- it
5 appears -- the following sentence is also interesting:
6 "It appears that (Croatian Army) troops are now being
7 more circumspect ..." This is interesting. "... and
8 may be removing their (Croatian Army) insignia while in
9 Bosnia and Herzegovina and replacing them with those of
10 the HVO. UNPROFOR believes that (Croatian Army)
11 insignia on a number of vehicles has been erased or
12 repainted." Which is consistent with orders received
13 since 1992 from Bobetko.
14 We can go further. Another document is 126
16 This is a letter of 17 February, 1994, the
17 same date -- the same day of the previous document.
18 The letter was sent by the Ambassador Nobilo as the
19 Croatian representative to the United Nations, to the
20 Secretary-General, and these two paragraphs, the second
21 and the third, are interesting enough.
22 The first one informs us that "Croatian
23 volunteers that had been situated" -- we are speaking
24 about volunteers -- "that had been situated in the
25 Uskoplje-Rama area in Central Bosnia" -- so this is
1 Central Bosnia -- "have returned to the Republic of
2 Croatia on 10 February 1994. The convoy consisted of
3 24 [sic] vehicles with 12 heavy artillery weapons, 3
4 buses, and 650 volunteers --"
5 Q. I think that's 44 vehicles.
6 A. Yes. It says here 44 vehicles, yeah.
7 The second paragraph informs us that on
8 16 February, six days after, at 10.00 hours "elements of
9 the Croatian Army" -- not anymore volunteers, "elements
10 of the Croatian Army left the wider Neretva river
11 region." You say "wider" means something very generic
12 but wide, more than wide. So if you look again at the
13 map 114 and you see the river Neretva area and you can
14 see in this case the term "wider Neretva river
15 region," this means it is not just some point but wider
16 means an area large enough to include all the regions
17 existing around the Neretva river. So this means --
18 this is another admission that elements -- at least
19 elements of the Croatian Army were in wider Neretva
20 region until 16 February, 1994.
21 And the document goes on: "... and I
22 have been repositioned in the Metkovic area," Metkovic
23 is in Croatia, "on the territory of the Republic of
24 Croatia. I have received information from my
25 authorities that amongst the aforesaid elements of the
1 Croatian Army were 600 soldiers, 4 battle tanks and 6
2 heavy artillery pieces."
3 So they had to admit that anyway. They have
4 tanks, artillery pieces, and soldiers in the wider
5 Neretva River region.
6 MR. NIEMANN: I think, Professor, it is now
7 half past one, and Your Honours may wish to adjourn at
8 this stage.
9 JUDGE RODRIGUES: We will adjourn our
10 hearing. I believe that only two documents still
11 remain to be discussed; is it not so? Four.
12 MR. NIEMANN: Your Honours, there's some
13 other documents, but I'll be very short in the
14 morning. I wouldn't expect to be longer than an hour
15 at most, but I'm just about ready to wrap up.
16 JUDGE RODRIGUES: Okay. We will therefore
17 adjourn the hearing for today, and tomorrow we will
18 reconvene at 9.00 a.m. Thank you, Professor.
19 --- Whereupon proceedings concluded at 1.30
20 p.m. until May 7, 1998, at 9.00 a.m.