1 Tuesday, 17 February 2004
2 [Open session]
3 --- Upon commencing at 9.02 a.m.
4 [The accused entered court]
5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Registrar, can you call the
6 case, please.
7 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, case number IT-01-47-T, the
8 Prosecutor versus Enver Hadzihasanovic and Amir Kubura.
9 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. Registrar.
10 I'm going to ask the Prosecution to introduce themselves.
11 MR. WITHOPF: Good morning, Your Honours. Good morning, Counsel.
12 For the Prosecution, Tecla Benjamin, Ekkehard Withopf, and Kimberly
13 Fleming, the case manager.
14 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you.
15 I'm turning to the Defence. Everybody is here for the Defence, I
16 can see.
17 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Good morning, Mr. President.
18 Good morning, Your Honours. For the Defence of General Enver
19 Hadzihasanovic, Edina Residovic, counsel; Stephane Bourgon, co-counsel;
20 and Alexis Demirdjian, the legal assistant. Thank you.
21 MR. IBRISIMOVIC: [Interpretation] Good morning, Your Honours.
22 For the Defence of Mr. Kubura, Rodney Dixon, Fahrudin Ibrisimovic, and
23 Nermin Mulalic, legal assistant.
24 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you. And the Trial
25 Chamber welcomes everybody, all the technical staff as well, the accused,
1 the Defence, and the Prosecution.
2 We shall continue with the cross-examination of yesterday's
3 witness. So I am going to ask the usher to bring the witness in.
4 [The witness entered court]
5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Good morning, sir. You may sit
6 down. Can you hear the translation?
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
8 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well, then. So I'm going
9 to give the floor to the Defence so that they may continue with the
11 WITNESS: TOMISLAV RAJIC [Resumed]
12 [Witness answered through interpreter]
13 Cross-examined by Ms. Residovic: [Continued]
14 Q. [Interpretation] Good morning, Mr. Rajic.
15 A. Good morning.
16 Q. I hope you've managed to have some rest after a difficult day
17 yesterday. Yesterday we've completed our conversation, my
18 cross-examination, that is, by talking about the decision of the HVO.
19 Before we move on to -- no, I do apologise. I can't see the transcript on
20 my screen.
21 Okay, that's fine. So as I was saying, before I move on to other
22 questions I thought I should put to you, I'm just going to ask you to
23 clarify a certain number of things which have emerged from the yesterday's
24 examination-in-chief by the Prosecution.
25 Yesterday you testified about what you knew about the foreign
1 soldiers or Mujahedin in 1992 and 1993. Actually, I would like you to
2 confirm that my understanding of what you said is correct.
3 On page 7, line 14 all through to 17 of the transcript, you said
4 that those people arrived in Travnik in the summer of 1992 and that in
5 1993 they came in bigger numbers. In 1993, they were walking around
6 armed, they were of a different race, and they were different from the
7 local population.
8 On page 8 of the transcript, lines 5 through to 8, you said that
9 you knew that they came through various Arab humanitarian organisations.
10 You also said that, on page 8, lines 12 through to 20, that those people
11 could be seen in Travnik and the surrounding Muslim villages. For
12 example, in Guca Gora, which is a point of transit, where they went
13 through -- when they went through Guca Gora, and that you had heard that
14 they had a camp in the village called Jezerce.
15 On page 9, lines 16 through to 21 of the transcript, you said
16 that you had never entered their camp because non-Muslims could not go
17 there, and you also went on to say that they would buy arms and weapons
18 from whoever would sell them.
19 And then on the next page, line 24, you described places where
20 various Arab humanitarian organisations had their premises and where such
21 foreigners could be seen.
22 On page 12 of the transcript, lines 7 through to 14, you
23 described the way they looked, the way they dressed. Apart from that, in
24 answer to my questions, you replied that they bought their weapons on the
25 black market and that around the town of Travnik they could have been seen
1 with the people from the religious life.
2 I have just replied -- or rather, repeated these statements, and
3 I'm just asking you to confirm whether this fully corresponds to your
4 knowledge about these foreigners and their presence in Travnik and the
5 surrounding areas in that particular time. This is all you were able to
6 tell the Court about the presence of these people there; is that so?
7 A. I did not say everything I knew. This is just a part of what I
8 saw and what I know.
9 Also, I would like to rectify a couple of points you've just made
10 in repeating my statement. I did not say that I knew that they came
11 through the humanitarian organisations. I clarified that statement as
12 follows: I believe that they came. I did not make an explicit statement.
13 I said I thought that they came through these humanitarian organisations
14 for the simple reason that I could see them using the premises and
15 spending time in the offices of -- and around the offices of the
16 humanitarian organisations. It means I do not know whether that's the way
17 in which they came, but I think it was.
18 Q. Yes. Thank you. That's clarified.
19 I just wanted you to clarify some of these points, and you have
20 just done so.
21 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] I do apologise. Maybe I've
22 forgotten to switch off my mobile phone. I do apologise to the Trial
23 Chamber for this mistake.
24 Q. Now, I would like us to clarify another answer you gave. On page
25 13 of the transcript, lines 9 through to 23, you replied to the question
1 put to you by the Prosecution as to whether you knew anything about the
2 presence of Mujahedin in a particular village. In order to clarify your
3 answer, I'm going to ask you a couple of questions.
4 Is it true that that village, Orasac, is a small village where,
5 by June, only Croats used to live?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. Is that village, which is situated north of the villages Maljine,
8 Guca Gora, and Mehurici?
9 A. Not north of those villages. Rather, more to the south-east of
10 Mehurici, east of Maljine, and north-east of Guca Gora, because those
11 three villages are not really all on one side.
12 Q. Is it correct that Croats, the inhabitants of the village of
13 Orasac, left the village or started leaving the village in 1993 and
14 everybody left the village by the conflict -- armed conflict in June 1993?
15 Is that correct?
16 A. I think it is.
17 Q. Is it correct that you did not visit that village in the course
18 of 1993?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. Actually, the way I understood your testimony - and could you
21 please either deny it or confirm it - you visited the village for the
22 first time with the joint delegation of the BH army and the HVO in January
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. That was the first time when you saw Mujahedin in that village;
1 is that so?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. In January 1996, you also saw the four-storey building which had
4 been built in the village, and it is an unusual kind of building for those
5 parts, and you described it on page 13 in the lines 18 through to 22. Is
6 that true?
7 A. Yes, that was the first time I saw it close up. But I had
8 noticed its presence before, when it was being built, because it could
9 have been seen from the areas that I normally spent time in.
10 Q. So, Mr. Rajic, you did not know exactly when the Mujahedin
11 arrived at that village, but you found them there in 1996, when you
12 visited the village together with a delegation; is that so?
13 A. Yes. But due to the nature of my work, I was in touch with
14 different representatives of the International Community, the European
15 Observers, UNPROFOR, at the time, the representatives of the International
16 Red Cross, and others. And on the basis of my conversations with those
17 people as well, apart from other indications and indications obtained by
18 military units as well, I obtained that knowledge that I mentioned
20 Q. Thank you. Another question that I'd like to clarify: On page
21 14, in lines 2 through to 9, you describe what happened at the 9th of
22 April on Holy Saturday 1993 in Travnik. I believe that you can agree with
23 me if I say that it wasn't the 9th but the 8th of April, 1993.
24 A. It may well be. I may not remember the exact date. But I
25 certainly remember the dates, around -- the events around those dates.
1 Q. Is it true that on that day there was a huge meeting of HVO in
2 Travnik and the most prominent representatives of the Croatian Community
3 Herceg-Bosna, the representatives of HDZ, and Ante Valenta, Dario Kordic,
4 and others from the HVO, Blaskic and others, were present there, and also
5 the representatives of the highest political and military structures of
6 the HVO from all the municipalities from the Croat Community of
7 Herceg-Bosna? Are you aware of that?
8 A. I'm not aware of it taking place on that day. And Dario Kordic,
9 Ante Valenta, Kostroman, were not commanders of any sort.
10 Q. I didn't say they were commanders.
11 A. Well, you did say the top military and political leadership, and
12 commanders, and then you gave a list of them, including Mr. Blaskic, who
13 indeed was a commander.
14 Q. Okay, Dario Kordic was the vice-president of HDZ and
15 vice-president of the Croat Community of Herceg-Bosna and so on. We're
16 not going to go into all that. But you're saying that it did not happen
17 on the same day.
18 A. I didn't say it did not happen on the same day, but I don't know
19 that it happened on that particular day.
20 Q. But you do remember that that meeting was held with a great deal
21 of security being organised by the HVO and the Croat Community of
22 Herceg-Bosna; is that so?
23 A. I can't remember exactly how it was organised, because I can't
24 remember that it was exactly then. I didn't say what I remember. You
25 said that you remembered a great deal of security. I can't remember that.
1 Q. I'm just suggesting this to you. You don't remember that it was
2 on that day, but you do know that that meeting took place at a certain
3 point in April in Travnik. Are you aware of that meeting taking place?
4 A. There was a sort of meeting at that time. I wasn't in Travnik,
5 but as to whether it was exactly in April or in May or at some other point
6 in time, I really don't know, because I don't remember.
7 Q. Do you know that after that meeting -- or, rather, that at that
8 meeting it was concluded that the MUP of Bosnia and Herzegovina was to be
9 declared illegal in that area, Travnik included?
10 A. This is the first time I hear it, from you now.
11 Q. In most state institutions in Travnik on that day that you
12 remember, did they put up flags of the Republic of Croatia, which is a
13 neighbouring independent state? Is that so?
14 A. No. No, and I can clarify that, because those were not the flags
15 of the Republic of Croatia. Those were the flags of the Croat people from
16 Bosnia and Herzegovina.
17 On the other hand, what you are saying about the state
18 institutions, I don't know what state institution you mean. But I really
19 don't see what state institution there was where, as you say, the flags of
20 the Republic of Croatia were put up. You obviously don't know the
21 difference between the state flag of the Republic of Croatia and the flag
22 of the Croat people in Bosnia and Herzegovina, or perhaps you don't want
23 to see the difference.
24 Q. Well, I may not see the difference, but I've asked you and you
25 gave me an answer.
1 Then the three flags were taken down and set alight, because the
2 people who did it felt that it was a provocation.
3 A. Well, look, at that time whatever was a Croat in Travnik, you're
4 quite right, was felt to be a provocation. We are talking about the
5 extremists from amongst the Muslim population, and they did not say they
6 were not extremists, and so they felt that our very existence in Travnik,
7 the existence of any Croats in Travnik, was felt to be a provocation.
8 Unfortunately, they were the dominant people. They were perhaps not in
9 the majority, but they were the ones who were in power and they felt that
10 the reason and the very fact that we were there, it was a provocation for
12 Q. Is it true that after the incident with the flags -- so there was
13 an armed conflict between the HVO and some armed forces and two members of
14 the armed forces were killed and a number of them were injured and a
15 number of the HVO members were injured; is that correct?
16 A. Yes, I do know that there was some shooting. I did say yesterday
17 that there was shooting in some parts of town. But there was shooting
18 around the objects -- around the premises where the HVO members were
19 staying. For example, the hotel, the hotel of Travnik, and it is
20 certainly not a state institution.
21 Q. So if the official documents were to state that this meeting and
22 this event, the burning of the flags, et cetera, were on the same day, in
23 that case you can say that you were not present in Travnik on that day?
24 A. When you refer to that particular meeting, I don't think I was in
25 Travnik, because I don't really remember. And if I were there, I would
1 have remembered.
2 Q. I'd just like to clarify certain other issues that you have
3 spoken about. You said that after the beginning of the war in 1992 you
4 still held the position of Secretary of National Defence, but in fact you
5 didn't fully perform those duties; isn't that correct?
6 A. That's correct. I wasn't able to perform them.
7 Q. In fact, you said that you only performed the duties insofar as
8 it concerned the HVO, insofar as they concerned the HVO. But you weren't
9 involved in Territorial Defence issues or issues that related to the army.
10 Isn't that correct?
11 A. That's not correct. There were attempts. I wasn't involved in
12 the attempts, but the War Presidency, which was headed by a Muslim at the
13 time - now he's probably a Bosniak - and the legally elected president,
14 Izet Tamburic, and some people who were elected and appointed, I was among
15 them, we attempted in Travnik to establish a Territorial Defence. The
16 commander of the Territorial Defence Staff in Travnik was a Muslim. He
17 was an acquaintance, a good friend of mine, Caber Zijad. Later he was the
18 commander of the 312th Travnik Motorised Brigade that was part of the BH
19 army. And that group of people attempted -- I as a secretary ordered in
20 the local textile factory -- we wanted to take off the insignia that --
21 that they had, the Croatian insignia that the Croatians had on their
22 clothes, and the Muslims had religious insignia. We wanted to get rid of
23 these insignia.
24 Q. Very well. I think that's a good explanation, clarification.
25 You didn't succeed in this attempt.
1 A. Allow me to finish. It will be clearer for everyone. This was
2 ordered. On a piece of cloth, we had the inscription "Travnik Territorial
3 Defence." There were no insignia on these pieces of cloth, no religious
4 insignia or -- for the Muslims or national insignia for the Croats.
5 However, that attempt was not successful. Neither of the parties accepted
6 it. It was an attempt to establish unity. But it was utopian. After
7 that, in Travnik - and this wasn't the case anywhere else in Bosnia and
8 Herzegovina - there was someone in charge of the French Platoon in charge
9 of the monitor mission in Zenica, he said that Travnik was the light in
10 the tunnel. We even managed to establish a joint staff. We couldn't
11 unify the units but a joint staff, a joint headquarters was formed and
12 Sulejman Ribo was at its head. He was a Muslim. And his deputy commander
13 was the late Colonel Ivica Stojak, who at the time was the commander of a
14 Croatian armed unit in Travnik. Unfortunately, he was killed by the
15 people, the same people with whom he was at the checkpoint on the 20th of
16 October, 1992. I'm talking about the year 1992.
17 Q. You went into detail. You had an attempt. Stojak was killed. A
18 mixed HVO and army commission was formed. You weren't able to determine
19 the real causes at the time or discover who the perpetrator was.
20 A. No. The real causes of death were established. It was a term
21 where the person was killed. The perpetrator wasn't identified, but the
22 group that opened fire was identified. We even identified the person who
23 had the rifle.
24 Q. This is what you found out later on.
25 A. No, not later on. I was in that group too, so I know about it.
1 Q. Thank you very much. But that attempt of yours in 1992 was not
2 successful. At the end of 1992 and in 1993, in the Secretariat of
3 National Defence you were mainly involved in questions relating to the
4 Croatian Defence Council; isn't that correct? That's what your testimony
5 was yesterday.
6 A. That was in 1992. In 1993, I couldn't just appear in my office
7 and work as usual.
8 Q. For those reasons, which you have gone into now in detail, you
9 were not able to monitor the position, the situation in the army, the
10 changes, the reorganisation that occurred there, and you weren't able to
11 be familiar with the structure of the BH army; isn't that correct?
12 A. Partially. But I did find out certain things. I had contact
13 with people. I received certain information that I could obtain, given
14 that I performed the duties that I performed. As far as the brigade
15 structure, I was aware of it. I know how many brigades there were in
16 Travnik, I know which parts of other brigades there were, and I know which
17 units there were from the Croatian and the Muslim side.
18 Q. So you are saying that you were familiar with the brigades in
19 Travnik and you probably knew that at the end of 1992 and at the beginning
20 of 1993 the 3rd Corps was formed and Travnik was in its zone of
21 responsibility. Were you aware of this?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. Very well. But you had far more precise information about the
24 HVO, and you knew that in Travnik an HVO Travnik Brigade was formed; is
25 that correct?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. You also knew that at the beginning of 1993 in Guca Gora the
3 Frankopan Brigade was formed and it had its headquarters in Guca Gora.
4 A. I think that was in March 1993. But it wasn't a new brigade with
5 new men; it was the Travnik Brigade that had been divided.
6 Q. Very well. Since you knew that the 3rd Corps had been
7 established, you were probably aware of the fact that the 3rd Corps' zone
8 of responsibility also included this area from Zenica towards Travnik,
9 including places such as Guca Gora, from Ovnak to Maljine, Mehurici and
10 Travnik, and there were certain other places, Bugojno, et cetera. Did you
11 know that this was an area covered by the BH army 3rd Corps?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. Would it be correct to say that HVO brigades, first of all there
14 was the first Travnik one and then there was one divided into Travnik and
15 Frankopan Brigade, they also had their zone of responsibility in this
16 area, between Travnik and Ovnak? In fact, both in Ovnak and in Guca Gora
17 and in Maljine; is that correct?
18 A. Yes. But these were brigades of a territorial nature. They only
19 -- they were only composed of people from the -- they were only composed
20 of people who lived in those areas. They didn't have a manoeuvring
21 nature, they were there to protect the people and property in the areas
22 where they lived.
23 Q. So the 306th Brigade and the Frankopan Brigade, for example,
24 acted and had their zone of responsibility in the same area, in fact;
25 isn't that correct?
1 A. Well, that's correct for 90 per cent of the cases.
2 Q. From the 8th of June, in that same area, on the road from Travnik
3 to Zenica via Guca Gora, it was also possible to see HVO members carrying
4 out their tasks. They were wearing their uniforms and carrying their
5 weapons; isn't that correct?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. However, at no time during that period did those HVO units ever
8 form part of the 3rd Corps, nor were they subordinated to the 3rd Corps
9 command; is that correct?
10 A. Well, they -- it wasn't necessary for them to be subordinated to
11 them. That's true.
12 Q. So they weren't.
13 A. No.
14 Q. Thank you. In response to a question put to you by the
15 Prosecution, you also spoke about an event on the 8th and 9th of June, and
16 you said that on that occasion, with the help of UNPROFOR, you found and
17 buried seven persons from Guca Gora. Would it be correct to say that
18 among those seven persons who had been killed, five of them were HVO
19 members; whereas, the other two were killed in their houses as a result of
20 shrapnel? Is that correct?
21 A. It's correct as far as the ratio is concerned, the ratio of
22 soldiers and civilians. But no one was killed as a result of shell
23 shrapnel. They were killed from firearms.
24 Q. Thank you. Those are some matters that I wanted to clarify, and
25 they concern the answers you provided yesterday.
1 After the Presidency decision was taken to proclaim the
2 Territorial Defence was the armed force of Bosnia and Herzegovina on the
3 8th of April, 1993, Mate Boban, the President of the Croatian Community of
4 Herceg-Bosna, issued an order declaring the HVO the only legitimate body
5 and all other formations in the territory of the Croatian Community of
6 Herceg-Bosna were declared to be illegal or enemy formations.
7 Please have a look at this document so that I can ask you my
8 following question.
9 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] This document is from the Kordic
10 case, and we have it in both the English and B/C/S version.
11 Q. Mr. Rajic, are you familiar with this document that the
12 Prosecution used as an exhibit in the Kordic case? And it was issued by
13 the HVO president, Mate Boban.
14 A. No, I've never seen this document before. This is the first time
15 I've seen it.
16 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Mr. President, although the
17 witness isn't familiar with this document, as it is relevant and concerns
18 the decision on forming the HVO, and the witness was aware of this
19 decision, I would like to tender this document into evidence.
20 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Withopf.
21 MR. WITHOPF: Mr. President, the Prosecution objects against
22 tendering this document into evidence via this witness. My learned
23 colleague has not even laid any foundation for tendering this document.
24 If the Trial Chamber allows this document to be tendered into evidence,
25 that would mean each party at any point in time during the proceedings can
1 show a document to a witness, the witness says, "I have no idea what the
2 document is about," and the document could be tendered into evidence.
3 That's, in our view, Mr. President, Your Honours, certainly not the way to
5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Could the Defence respond to
6 the Prosecution's comment.
7 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, in accordance with
8 the Rules of the Tribunal, the Trial Chamber can accept any evidence if it
9 deems this evidence to be relevant. I understand the comment made by my
10 learned colleague, Mr. Withopf, because this could be a delicate matter,
11 so I would like to suggest something else. If the Trial Chamber considers
12 that it would not be appropriate to have this accept -- this document
13 accepted into evidence, my other suggestion would be that we have it
14 marked for identification at this point in time and subsequently it could
15 be accepted into evidence in the manner suggested by my learned colleague.
16 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] We will deliberate after the
17 break, and we will tell you at that point whether we will have it marked
18 for identification or whether it will be tendered into evidence or whether
19 it won't be accepted as evidence. We'll deliberate during the break.
20 The Trial Chamber notes that the witness said that he was not
21 familiar with this document. This is what the witness said.
22 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Very well. Thank you,
23 Mr. President. However, this document, which is one of a series of
24 documents that I want to show the witness, has to do with documents that
25 he was familiar with or documents that he will recognise when they are
1 shown to him. As a result of this order, the main headquarters of the HVO
2 -- of the Supreme Command of the HVO adopted a decision proclaiming all
3 formations that weren't HVO formations illegal.
4 Could the second document be shown to the witness. We have a
5 sufficient number of copies in B/C/S and in English. This is a
6 Prosecution document from the Naletilic/Martinovic case.
7 Q. Mr. Rajic, are you familiar with this order which makes all the
8 orders of the command of the Territorial Defence illegitimate under item 5
9 and these formations in this territory shall be considered illegal?
10 A. I haven't seen this command, this order either.
11 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Given the witness's answer, Your
12 Honour, I'd like to make the same suggestion: As it is a relevant
13 document, could it be accepted into evidence or could it be marked for
14 identification so that the Defence can subsequently show it to the
15 witness, who will then be able to identify it in a regular way.
16 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Before giving you the floor,
17 Witness, the Defence now, with regard to this document, it argues about
18 these military documents. You were the Secretary of the National Defence
19 Secretariat, and they have a military role. How is it possible that
20 whilst you were carrying out your duties in the month of May 1992 this
21 sort of document escaped your notice? Do you have an explanation that you
22 can give us?
23 You can see my line of reasoning here. You were in a position
24 which was of a military nature, even though there are civilian aspects
25 involved, and there is a document which deals with the military situation,
1 and these documents have been drafted at that time when you were in this
2 job and yet you say that you were not aware of these documents.
3 And afterwards I'll give the floor to the Prosecution.
4 Can you reply to my question?
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Look, the structure of the HVO at
6 the municipal level at that time was as follows: There was the municipal
7 HVO as a part of the civilian authorities, and it was within that part of
8 the HVO that there were people elected at the previous elections. What
9 was created was a kind of executive power at the municipal level, and I
10 was a member of that. But as a civilian, on the other hand, the military
11 component of the HVO was the Municipal Supreme Command of the HVO, and
12 that was the beginning of the Travnik HVO Brigade. That was the name it
13 had at the time.
14 When I referred to the Municipal High Command, that's what I have
15 in mind, the military component of the HVO. But I wasn't a member there.
16 As I was saying, I was a kind of liaison between the civilian and the
17 military authorities.
18 On the other hand, the reason why I'm saying I had not seen this
19 and why it had not come all the way to my office was for a very simple
20 reason: Probably it had gone directly to the Municipal High Command of
21 the HVO; that is to say, the military part, but not the civilian part of
22 this structure of the institutions for the Croat community at the time.
23 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. You have given us a
24 specific reply to this specific question.
25 Now, as to the admissibility of this document -- these documents,
1 what does the Prosecution have to say?
2 MR. WITHOPF: Again, Mr. President, Your Honours, we have the
3 very same situation as in respect to the other document. The document was
4 shown to the witness, the witness said, "I don't know what the document is
5 about." He has, based on the question by you, Mr. President, given a
6 reasonable explanation as to why he is not aware of this document. And
7 the Prosecution reiterates its position that by such a way a document
8 cannot be tendered into evidence.
9 And again, my learned colleague has not even laid any foundation
10 why a document which is dated 8 of May, 1992 could be relevant for the
11 Defence case. My learned colleague - and this is in -- would be in
12 compliance with the Trial Chamber's order - first would have to explain
13 the relevance of this document for the Defence case. Such an explanation
14 hasn't been given. The relevance is more than questionable. And
15 certainly by just showing a document to a witness, the witness says, "No,
16 I don't know the document," in such a manner a document cannot be tendered
17 into evidence.
18 The Prosecution objects tendering this document into evidence.
19 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] All right, then. As I have
20 said, we shall deliberate about the second document as well.
21 You may continue.
22 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Before my next question, I would
23 simply like to say that the comment made by Mr. Ekkehard is not altogether
24 correct, because yesterday, before I started with my cross-examination, I
25 explained and asked the Trial Chamber to allow me to ask these questions
1 as well.
2 Q. Mr. Rajic, you've just said that HVO -- that the civilian HVO
3 authorities were set up in Travnik and you were a member of that
5 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] I would like to witness to be
6 shown the decision about the temporary structure of power and
7 administration in the Croat Community of Herceg-Bosna, published in the
8 official journal of Herceg-Bosna from the month of September 1992. And
9 this is a copy of the official journal which was shown to the witness
10 yesterday as well.
11 This document was obtained by the Defence from the documents
12 relating to the Martinovic/Naletilic case. And in the course of that
13 trial, it was admitted as proof -- admitted into evidence and it was
14 submitted by the Prosecution.
15 Q. Mr. Rajic, since you were a member of the HVO as a temporary
16 institution in the municipality of Travnik, were you aware of this
17 decision when it was reached? And the copy that you have in front of you
18 was published in the official journal in the month of September.
19 Yesterday you referred to the fact that you did receive a copy of that OJ.
20 Can you reply to this question.
21 A. Perhaps when the decision was actually reached I may not have
22 known, but if I may, I would just like to clarify something in relation to
23 the earlier paper. I'm a bit surprised and have some doubts about the
24 authenticity of this document because the seal that you see here was never
25 an official seal in Herceg-Bosna. I've only just noticed it.
1 And also, when you look at the paper, you have a seal which we
2 never had as the official seal of Herceg-Bosna. So I have some doubts as
3 to whether this document is authentic or not.
4 Q. I believe that in the Naletilic case it was up to the Prosecution
5 to ascertain the authenticity of this document, so I wouldn't like to go
6 into that at this stage.
7 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] So, Your Honour, you will no
8 doubt reach a decision as to whether this document is admissible or not
9 during the break. But now I'd like to go back to my question I asked with
10 regard to this statutory decision about the temporary organisation of
11 executive authority and administration.
12 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes. May I come back to the
13 second document. Considering what the witness has just said, the witness
14 is saying that as far as he is concerned this is a false document due to a
15 whole series of technical reasons, such as the, for example, coat of arms
16 of the HVO, and a seal which is not the right one. So he's arguing
17 against the authenticity of this document. The Defence is saying this is
18 a document which was tendered into evidence in the Naletilic case, but
19 it's not because the document was tendered into evidence in one case and
20 nobody criticised it it is considered as 100 per cent authentic.
21 At this stage we shall take note of the comment made by the
22 witness, who is a legal expert as well, I believe, and he has just said to
23 us that he has some doubts as to the -- this document being genuine. We
24 shall deliberate it -- deliberate in a moment, but we'll take account of
25 this decision.
1 Let us come back to the third document. As you have mentioned,
2 there may be civilian provisions here. So you have the floor, madam.
3 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Yes. We have shown this
4 statutory decision of the Croat Community of Herceg-Bosna by the temporary
5 reorganisation of executive authority and administration in the territory
6 of the Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna. It was published in the OJ of
7 the Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna in the month of September 1992.
8 Previously the witness had said that he was a member of that civilian
9 authority. My question to the witness is this:
10 Q. Since the decision was reached on the 15th of May, 1992 and it
11 was published in September, my question to the witness is whether he was
12 aware of the decision when it was actually made or did he find out about
13 the decision once he received a copy of this official journal?
14 A. I found out about this decision before I got the copy of the
15 official journal, but not exactly on the same day when it was published.
16 A bit later, but prior to its publication in the official journal.
17 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Since the witness has now
18 confirmed that he was aware of the decision, I would like to tender this
19 into evidence.
20 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] All right, then. The
21 Prosecution on the third document. The Defence states that it is an
22 official document which on top of it was published in the official
23 journal. The witness says that he had found out about this decision even
24 before it was actually published in the official journal, and there are
25 undeniable civilian aspects and provisions in this document, since there
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 are references to economic matters, financial matters, justice and others,
2 and all this has civilian connotations. Is the Prosecution against this
3 document being tendered into evidence?
4 MR. WITHOPF: Mr. President, Your Honours, due to the answers
5 given and as just summarised by you, Mr. President, in respect to this
6 particular document the Prosecution has no objection. However, we wish to
7 emphasise that the witness has commented on the authenticity of the
9 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] All right, then. We shall
10 reach a decision in a moment on the third document as well.
11 You may continue.
12 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation]
13 Q. Is it true, Mr. Rajic, that in line with this document the
14 executive authority of HVO in May 1992 was set up and thereby HVO was set
15 up as the highest authority, as the highest executive power in Travnik
16 itself? What you have said earlier on, was it all based on this decision
17 of the Croat Community of Herceg-Bosna?
18 A. Yes. But I really don't know if it happened straight away in the
19 month of May, but yes, fairly soon. As I said, we set up some of the
20 departments, sort of.
21 Q. From then on, there were parallel institutions in Travnik for
22 both the civilian and military authorities; is that so?
23 A. No, it is not. This parallelism had existed before, not only as
24 of that day.
25 Q. These documents that we saw yesterday and the documents that you
1 were shown today, especially the one referring to the executive power,
2 were not approved by any of the bodies elected at the pre-war elections,
3 nor in line with the Constitution and the legal provisions was there any
4 approval from the authorities at the republic level; is that so?
5 MR. WITHOPF: Mr. President. Mr. President, the witness has said
6 in respect to two out of the three documents that he wasn't aware of the
7 documents. The Defence shouldn't be allowed to ask follow-up questions in
8 relation to the two documents.
9 In addition, I wish to draw the attention of the Trial Chamber
10 that the Prosecution examined in chief this witness for one hour and one
11 minute. Meanwhile, Defence is cross-examining this witness for more than
12 2 hours and 45 minutes.
13 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes. About the second point,
14 the Defence will have noticed that, in terms of time, you've already spent
15 double the time that the Prosecution had. Obviously the Prosecution will
16 be allowed to make up for that when we have supplementary questions, but
17 we do have this problem of time.
18 As to the first point on documents, considering the situation -
19 I'm referring to the transcript here - following your question, the
20 witness has replied that there was a parallel system which was in
21 existence before this document was drafted. If my understanding of what
22 you are saying is correct, quite apart from the legal authority which was
23 recognised by everyone, within the Croat community there was this setting
24 up of a parallel system but that parallel system, as you have just told
25 us, had already been in existence from before. Could you specify that?
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] What I meant to say was that there
2 was this parallelism when it came to the setting up of different military
3 formations. Prior to that moment in Travnik, we had already had the
4 political parties for the two peoples, for the Muslims and the Croats, the
5 leading political parties, and then the SDA, the HDZ, and they were
6 involved in creating this parallelism that I was referring to. And all
7 power, quite apart from us who were members of the executive power,
8 everything was in the hands of those parties. As to the executive, unless
9 we had support and approval from those structures, we were unable to do
10 anything whatsoever. Why were we not in a position to unify the joint
11 command? We even had the joint commanders and the chief of staff and
12 everything, but we did not get support from the political parties. Why
13 were we not successful with the Territorial Defence in the way in which we
14 thought we could do it in Travnik? Precisely because of a lack of such
15 support. And by then we had a certain number of military formations, HOS,
16 for example. And this was nothing that was registered or recorded
17 anywhere in an official way but there was the MOS, the Muslim Armed
18 Forces, as well. So we had the Croat and the Muslim Armed Forces, and
19 they called themselves like that but I am not aware of any official
20 document relating to that. And then we had the Patriotic League, which
21 only had members of the Muslim population.
22 So when I talk about parallelism, this is what I have in mind.
23 And for those of us who were elected in a legal way and legally appointed,
24 we really had no real power. We could not administer or govern Travnik.
25 There were a number of attempts, and we could make those attempts for as
1 long as we had the then-president of the War Presidency, Mr. Izet
2 Tamburic, who was the president of the municipal assembly. And when there
3 was imminent danger of war, he was the president of the War Presidency.
4 And the members of the War Presidency were the commander of the
5 Territorial Defence Corps, who was a Muslim, Caber Zijad, who was
6 mentioned before; and then the Secretary for the National Defence, it was
7 -- I mean, myself; and then the commander of the JNA barracks in Travnik,
8 and I think his name was Jovanovic. He was a Serb, Lieutenant Jovanovic.
9 And then there was a police chief and then somebody from the Department of
10 Trade and Finance. So we had a fairly balanced national structure
11 represented there, in line with the results of the census and in line with
12 the results of the elections after 1990.
13 However, the Serbs very rapidly left that War Presidency because
14 the barracks commander left with the JNA. And until Tamburic was
15 replaced, there was some attempts. But after he was replaced, I don't
16 know who was able to take his place, but someone else became the head of
17 the War Presidency, also a Muslim, and it was no longer possible to work
18 together. And why was it no longer possible to work together? Why was
19 this still impossible? I mentioned that briefly yesterday. The Muslims
20 in Travnik - some of them, not all of them - these Muslims started
21 organising themselves on a religious basis. In the meantime, people from
22 outside started arriving. They wore religious symbols on their clothes.
23 As someone of a different faith, as a member of a different people, I
24 can't be asked to be a member of such a military formation, of such an
25 army. So this is the parallel structure I'm referring to and this is what
1 made us Croats to keep to ourselves and to try and protect ourselves.
2 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you.
3 I think that your long answer will not make it necessary to ask
4 you certain other questions.
5 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Mr. President, I think I have
6 another 20 questions out of the 120 questions I had. I think I'll
7 conclude very rapidly.
8 And with regard to the Prosecution's comments, it's true that I
9 have been cross-examining this witness for a long period of time, given
10 his relevance, but there are only a few witnesses that I have
11 cross-examined for more than half the time than the Prosecution. I think
12 the Trial Chamber can understand my position with regard to this witness.
13 Thank you for your understanding.
14 Your Honour, you said that you would take a decision with regard
15 to the statutory decision during the break.
16 Q. You said that you formed these organs of power. I'd like to show
17 you a decision on the appointment of a president and vice-president of the
18 municipal HVO in Travnik. This decision is one that was included among
19 the Prosecution's documents. It's from the Naletilic case.
20 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Withopf.
21 MR. WITHOPF: Mr. President, can I make a suggestion at this
22 point in time?
23 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I'm listening to you.
24 MR. WITHOPF: The Defence is continuing to show the witness
25 documents and the witness has already said to a number of documents he
1 can't say anything in relation to them. The Chamber has announced that
2 they would deliberate on this issue later on, during the break. It may
3 save court time if the Chamber would deliberate on this issue right now,
4 since this, depending on the outcome of the deliberation, would probably
5 lead to a situation the Defence wouldn't use any further documents. This
6 is just a suggestion, but I think it's necessary, taking into account the
7 time that has passed in cross-examination of this witness.
8 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. Before I ask the
9 Defence whether there are any other documents, everything said by the
10 witness and all the questions put by the Prosecution and the Defence are
11 of interest. That is quite obvious. With regard to the documents, these
12 documents relate to the period that is relevant to the indictment. It has
13 to do with the duties performed, important duties. As it has been said,
14 there are documents which have been contested. We have taken note of the
16 And with regard to the Prosecution's suggestion, that is to say
17 that the Trial Chamber should deliberate, well, before I answer that
18 question, how many more documents do you have?
19 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Three documents, Your Honours, in
20 addition to the one that the witness has before him.
21 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] You have another three
23 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Yes.
24 [Trial Chamber confers]
25 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I assume these documents are
1 similar to the previous ones, or do those documents relate to other
3 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] No, these are documents that
4 solve the issue of the documents that we have already seen. One concerns
5 the appointment of Mr. Rajic. So two of the documents are from the
6 territory of Travnik municipality, and two are republican documents. So
7 in total, there are four. The witness has one; and I have others that are
8 from the Travnik municipality, and there are two documents that are
9 related to documents that have already been shown. I can perhaps show all
10 three documents to the witness at the same time and he can tell us what he
11 knows about them and then you can rule on the matter. But perhaps it
12 would be good if my colleague, Mr. Bourgon, addressed the Trial Chamber
13 with regard to the subject of accepting documents into evidence, with your
15 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes. And with regard to the
16 relevance, because the debate concerns the relevance of the documents, in
17 your opinion, are the four documents relevant?
18 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honours. I'll
19 immediately inform you of the documents concerned. But I'd like to show
20 them to the witness too. One of them is a document that states that under
21 the pressure in August the law on the armed forces in Bosnia-Herzegovina
22 was amended and the HVO was accepted as part of the Armed Forces of Bosnia
23 and Herzegovina, providing the Main Staff of the BH army is accepted as
24 its command.
25 The other documents concerns all the documents that you accepted
1 yesterday and the documents that we saw today from the Official Gazette.
2 It's the decision of the constitutional court of Bosnia and Herzegovina
3 which declared that all these documents were anti-constitutional. And the
4 last one has to do with the appointment of Mr. Rajic to a certain position
5 in the HVO.
6 These are the three documents. I think that the contents I have
7 mentioned show that they are very relevant, that they concern what
8 happened then and later in the territory of Bosnia and Herzegovina and in
9 Central Bosnia and concern the relations between the army and the HVO.
10 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. We have taken note
11 of what you have said. The best thing to do would be to have a break
12 immediately, and after the break we will have deliberated about the
13 documents. But we have taken note of the Defence's objectives, the
14 Defence's purposes with regard to the other documents.
15 Mr. Withopf, is there something you wanted to say before we
16 started deliberating? Because we were just about to leave. Were you
17 getting up because we were going to leave?
18 MR. WITHOPF: I'm rising because you are about to leave,
19 Mr. President.
20 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. Thank you.
21 Does the Defence want to add anything? Mr. Bourgon?
22 Sit down for a minute.
23 Mr. Bourgon, you have the floor.
24 MR. BOURGON: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President. Before
25 the Trial Chamber deliberates on the documents that the Defence wants to
1 tender into evidence, with regard to what has happened over the last few
2 days and in the case of several witnesses, we have a few issues to raise
3 with regard to accepting documents into evidence or with regard to marking
4 documents for identification, or we have a few matters to raise with
5 regard to documents that haven't been accepted. So before the Chamber
6 deliberates on the four or five documents that concern this witness, the
7 Defence suggests that the question of documents merits a detailed debate,
8 because this is a matter that we will have before us all the time. The
9 decision you will take in a minute could have an influence or could have
10 repercussions for other witnesses.
11 I suggest that it would be good if we could make a few
12 submissions, both -- if both sides could make some submissions with regard
13 to this matter and with regard to the procedure that should be followed
14 when tendering a document into evidence. It would be good if the Trial
15 Chamber could then inform us as to what they consider to be the correct
16 procedure, and that would enable us to act appropriately.
17 The Defence is quite ready to adapt itself to the decisions of
18 the Trial Chamber, whatever they are. Can the document be accepted on the
19 basis of its relevance, as in other cases, or must a document be
20 identified by the document -- by the witness? Is this absolutely
21 necessary? And it's necessary for the witness to corroborate an element
22 in a document or its authenticity? Whatever the case, this is the
23 procedure suggested by the Prosecution. The Defence will respect the
24 Trial Chamber's decisions, and it won't object to using this procedure for
25 tendering documents into evidence.
1 If the Trial Chamber takes another decision, what would be
2 important for us is that the decision taken by the Trial Chamber is one
3 that will be adhered to until the end of the proceedings. So whatever the
4 case, the Defence will respect the Trial Chamber's decision.
5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Before we take a decision on
6 this very important matter, the Chamber would like to know what the
7 Prosecution's position is. As you know, a List of Documents was
8 established before the proceedings started and in the course of the
9 pre-trial proceedings we noted that there were tens or hundreds of
10 documents, in fact. The Defence will certainly be producing other
11 documents, this is quite obvious. We might be in a situation in which
12 we'll have thousands of documents.
13 There are two solutions, as has been pointed out: Either the
14 document -- either documents will be produced as witnesses are heard, and
15 if the witness doesn't recognise or identify a document, the document will
16 be rejected; or the Trial Chamber might deem that the document is
17 relevant, even if it hasn't been identified by the witness, and as a
18 result the document can be admitted into evidence. So there are two
19 different ways of proceeding.
20 We want to save time in the course of the proceedings, and we
21 don't want to have to debate on the matter each time this issue arises.
22 If a document is produced, the Prosecution objects, and then we waste time
23 although the document might be considered to be relevant. Perhaps not at
24 the time it is shown, but it might be considered to be relevant later on,
25 because there will be other witnesses, other expert witnesses, et cetera.
1 So we have an important problem there. We'll deliberate on it
2 immediately. And if necessary, we'll also deliberate on the three
3 documents and provide you with our decision.
4 At the moment, I would like to know what the Prosecution's
5 position is. The Prosecution has already expressed its position with
6 regard to the three documents. It's not necessary to go back to that
7 matter, but as far as the essence of this problem is concerned, it's the
8 Prosecution that has the burden of proof and the Prosecution has to
9 present documents. So naturally, when an expert witness comes - and he'll
10 have had hundreds of documents - then the Prosecution will raise the issue
11 of tendering documents into evidence and will raise the question of the
12 documents referred to by the expert witness. So could the Prosecution
13 clarify the matter. And I'd like to point out that everyone wants to
14 avoid wasting time.
15 So, Mr. Withopf, what do you have to say with regard to this
16 crucial issue of documents?
17 MR. WITHOPF: Mr. President, Your Honours, as you were saying,
18 there are different solutions to this problem. And it's actually a legal
19 problem. The first solution could be that both parties tender documents
20 into evidence from the bar table, meaning all the hundreds of documents go
21 in without any witness. That is a pretty practical solution. It's,
22 however, also a radical solution.
23 The second solution could be - and this is what has been followed
24 in the past - that documents are tendered via a witness. In the event the
25 document is tendered via a witness, the witness must be in a position to
1 comment on the document. Only in such a situation, in the Prosecution's
2 submission, a document can be tendered into evidence.
3 The crucial issue, however, is the relevance of the document.
4 Only relevant documents can be tendered into evidence, and it's up to the
5 party which wishes to tender the document into evidence to establish,
6 prior to tendering the document into evidence, to establish the relevance
7 and the likely probative value of such documents.
8 In respect to the documents that have been shown today to the
9 witness, the Prosecution noticed that they stem from time periods 1992,
10 quite a number of them from a time within the first half of 1992.
11 According to my learned colleague, the documents are supposed to show the
12 relations and parallel structures between the HVO and the ABiH. I wish to
13 mention that in the first half of 1992 the ABiH was not even yet a
14 military structure.
15 Whatever the decision of the Trial Chamber, maybe the Prosecution
16 will certainly adhere to it but the Prosecution agrees with my learned
17 colleague from the Defence side, there must be a guidance from the Trial
18 Chamber to avoid such situations in future.
19 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. It's twenty past
20 10.00. We'll have our traditional break, which will last half an hour.
21 And we'll resume at twenty to 11.00 -- at ten to 11.00.
22 --- Recess taken at 10.21 a.m.
23 --- On resuming at 10.58 a.m.
24 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] The Trial Chamber has
25 considered this matter of documents and procedure with regard to the
1 tendering of these documents.
2 The Trial Chamber would like to remind everyone that when it
3 comes to the pertinence, the Trial Chamber considers that a document
4 tendered into evidence by one of the parties, be it the Prosecution or the
5 Defence, to the extent that they are legal professionals tendering these
6 documents, necessarily means that they will have checked the pertinence of
7 the documents. It is up to the Defence and the Prosecution to speed up
8 the process as much as possible and not waste any time by tendering
9 documents which are of no consequence. So a priori, when one of the
10 parties wishes to tender a document into evidence, that means that they
11 consider it pertinent.
12 As the pertinence, we may consider that a document may be
13 pertinent because it has to do with the facts that the witness can shed
14 more light on or because there is a direct or indirect link with the facts
15 discussed here. So that means that by virtue of their very nature these
16 documents are pertinent. Or else we may have another possibility, another
17 situation, concerning documents which are not directly related to the
18 facts discussed but deal with the period of time which is either close or
19 more distant from the facts and causes of those facts but by the very
20 nature of these documents, they may also prove to be pertinent. Now, the
21 pertinence must be appreciated with regard to the political context, the
22 economic context, the military context, and the historic one.
23 Now the Trial Chamber believes that we have a fairly broad
24 definition of this idea of pertinence. And once a party explains why they
25 wish to tender a document and they explain the reasons, the reasons with
1 regard to the context, the document in question at that stage becomes
3 A document that's tendered into evidence will take on probative
4 value once the Judges decide so in the course of their deliberations. It
5 is not simply because a document is tendered into evidence that by virtue
6 of that very fact it becomes probative. Afterwards, in the course of our
7 deliberations, we do appreciate the actual probative value of such a
8 document. A document may prove to become probative because of a testimony
9 but three months later perhaps another witness account may render it more
10 relative, and it is up to the Trial Chamber to decide to what extent a
11 document is probative or not.
12 So if a party explains to us the reasons why they believe certain
13 documents are pertinent, either because they're directly related to the
14 facts or because they date from the same time period as the facts
15 discussed or because it has to do with the political, economic,
16 historical, and military context, at that stage you must explain to the
17 Trial Chamber the usefulness of that document.
18 So that having been said, if a document is produced and we are
19 asked to accept it, and for it to be tendered into evidence we shall
20 accept it; on the other hand, when the document is discussed, if somebody
21 argues about the authenticity of the document, at that stage that document
22 will be tendered for identification purposes and it will be up to the
23 party having produced that document, if they wish for the said document to
24 be finally tendered into evidence, to prove the authenticity of that
1 We have had this situation earlier on with regard to this
3 So for identification purposes, it is up to the party tendering
4 it to prove that it is indeed genuine. It may well be that it is a false
5 document and that it has escaped the vigilance of one of the parties in
6 the course of their controls and checks. It may happen. And at that
7 stage, of course the document will have to be withdrawn if the outcome of
8 those checks is negative.
9 The second point to be dealt with has to do with the documents
10 which may be tendered in the course of the witness accounts on the part of
11 expert witnesses. And in the course of such witness accounts, as we shall
12 see shortly, at that stage documents will be produced in order to support
13 the testimony and there will be quite a few documents there. If in the
14 previous case, that is to say, a witness appearing before the Court, not
15 an expert witness but an ordinary one, the documents are tendered in the
16 course of the hearing, in the course of the cross-examination, as has been
17 the case here, so no problem there.
18 Now, concerning the expert witnesses, it would be desirable to
19 the extent to which this is possible, since these expert witnesses already
20 make a written statement - there is a structured statement and it leads us
21 to think that they will be questioned according to that plan - and since
22 there is a plan for this witness account which reflects the written
23 statement, it would be desirable that the party introducing such a
24 witness, it would be desirable for them to draw up a List of Documents
25 relating to the questions they intend to ask and that with regard to every
1 question they list the actual documents they intend to produce and tender
2 it into evidence. Since the other party is familiar with the written
3 statement, the Trial Chamber believes that there's no problem with
4 providing the other party with the List of Documents. If in the course of
5 the cross-examination the other party envisages to either argue against
6 the documents or produce counter-documents, the other party at that stage
7 would be able to, in order to save time, provide a separate List of
8 Documents that they don't intend to argue against and also indicate, if
9 they wish to do so, the documents that they are planning to counter by
10 submitting other documents, if they wish to do that.
11 For example, there is a document number 8 in the Prosecution
12 list, and that number 8 is going to be counteracted, as it were, by
13 another document. I mean, at that stage we would at least know that you
14 would argue against this document on the basis of another document.
15 And in practical terms, everybody will benefit. It will be
16 sufficient for the Prosecution to follow closely the planned testimony on
17 the basis of the written statement and refer in their list to the
18 documents, and you would already have the list of the documents. You
19 would be familiar with that list. And then, in order to save time, the
20 Defence could mention, okay, documents 8, 15, 25, 28 are going to be
21 argued against and we have a counter-document that we intend to submit.
22 So it will benefit everyone.
23 It would also be desirable if within the general framework of
24 things, when the Prosecution examines the witness, also asks about the
25 context, the overall context. It is not at all useless, and it also makes
1 it possible for us to gain time. As to the Defence, it would also be
2 desirable that when they produce documents which they say are pertinent,
3 well, they see to it that such documents are not produced in order to
4 refer to other cases. I am simply saying that we are dealing here with
5 the case involving two people and not anyone else. So you should not
6 start producing documents which would call into question the situation of
7 anyone else, except in order to refer to a specific type of context. I
8 don't think these documents should be analysed in order to look for
9 indications about other people.
10 Now, both the Prosecution and the Defence need to ask balanced
11 questions, and we shouldn't get the impression that one party is focussing
12 on one particular part of the context to the detriment of what the other
13 party has done. Of course, if there is such imbalance, the Trial Chamber
14 may intervene to ask questions about the overall context in order to
15 establish this balance.
16 Now, what we are all after is to speed up proceedings, to defend
17 the rights of the accused, to defend the rights of the Prosecution, and as
18 I've mentioned on more than one occasion, the rights of witnesses as well
19 need to be protected. And we all wish to avoid repetition. And
20 sometimes, due to repetition, we waste a considerable amount of time.
21 In order to assure all sides, the probative value is something
22 that the Trial Chamber decides about. It is not simply because a document
23 is tendered into evidence that by virtue of that very fact it is
24 considered as probative. The probative value is going to be determined by
25 the Judges in the course of their deliberations.
1 Now, more specifically, on the documents which were submitted, we
2 have this document that was argued against. There will be an
3 identification number for that document. It was the document signed by
4 the Colonel General Ante Roso. In B/C/S, it says "General" and in
5 English, it says "Colonel General." Now, I didn't know that there was a
6 military rank of Colonel General. Either you're a colonel or else you're
7 a general, but you can't be both at the same time. I really don't
8 understand what the English translation means, but it does say "Colonel
10 Now, that document in B/C/S and the English translation, we shall
11 provide it with an identification number.
12 Registrar, can you give us a number.
13 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honour, the B/C/S version gets the exhibit
14 number DH35 ID; and the English translation gets the exhibit number
15 DH35/E ID.
16 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] For identification purposes.
17 All right, then. We also have a B/C/S document and the English
18 translation of that document from the Croat Defence Council, dated the
19 10th of April, 1992. The document was drafted in the place called Grude,
20 and it is signed by Mr. Mate Boban. This document was sent to all the
21 headquarters at the municipal level of the Croat Defence Council.
22 Now, we have it in B/C/S and in English. Registrar, can you give
23 us a number, please. The final number.
24 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, the exhibit number will be DH36 for
25 the B/C/S version and DH36/E for the English translation.
1 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] DH36 and 36/E.
2 We have a document concerning a text of 24 articles, once again
3 by Mr. Mate Boban. And it is about the organisation, the authority and
4 administration on the territory of the Croat Community of Herceg-Bosna.
5 This document is dated September 1992. It was published in 1992 and it
6 was drafted in Mostar, the 3rd of July, 1992, English and B/C/S.
7 Registrar, do please give us a number.
8 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honour, the exhibit number for the B/C/S
9 version will be DH37, and the exhibit number for the English translation
10 will be DH37/E.
11 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. Thank you.
12 We had a document in English and in B/C/S dated the 3rd of July,
13 1992 from Mr. Mate Boban. It concerns the appointment of Mr. Zec, who was
14 appointed as president of the HVO in Travnik. It concerns the appointment
15 of Mr. Krizanac, who was pointed as vice-president.
16 Mr. Registrar, could we have an exhibit number.
17 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, the exhibit number will be DH38 for
18 the B/C/S version and DH38/E for the English translation.
19 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. If I have
20 understood the matter correctly, there are another four documents. We'll
21 try to speed up.
22 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Mr. President, thank you for your
23 decision. We have another three documents, because you have just dealt
24 with the fourth document.
25 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Don't forget to mention what
1 relevance of each document is on each occasion. You must tell us why you
2 consider that the document is pertinent in relation to a given context, et
4 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] I have another three documents.
5 Mr. President, I would just like to say that, in accordance with your
6 suggestion that we should indicate the source of the document, I indicate
7 the source of the document on each occasion. I'm not going into whether
8 these documents are in the favour or to the detriment of some of the
9 accused in other cases, but all the documents that we have produced are
10 relevant for the defence of General Hadzihasanovic, and this is the only
11 purpose for which we tender them into evidence.
12 In order to accelerate the proceedings, I suggest that I show the
13 three remaining documents to the witness at the same time.
14 The first document comes from the Official Gazette of the Republic
15 of Bosnia and Herzegovina. And it's the decision of the constitutional
16 court of the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina, which proclaimed all
17 decisions about establishing the Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna as
18 illegitimate and all decisions concerning the establishment of the HVO and
19 the establishment of executive power. It's a document of exceptional
20 importance because the root of the conflict which is concerned in the
21 indictment is contained in these decisions which are against the
22 Constitution, which are non-constitutional.
23 A second decision is a decision, and this is document was taken
24 from the Kordic case. The second document that we are tendering is the
25 attempt of the legally elected organs of power to have the HVO made part
1 of the legal BH army forces. And this is an amended decree about the
2 Armed Forces of Bosnia and Herzegovina. And in this document, they accept
3 the HVO as part of the armed forces, providing that they recognise the
4 command of the Supreme Command of the BH army.
5 And the last document concerns the appointment of the witness
6 Tomislav Rajic to the position of chief for the Municipality of Travnik.
7 I think that this is a relevant document because it tells us something
8 about the position of the witness during the period concerned in the
10 I think we should show all three documents to the witness
11 immediately so that he can say whether he recognises them and to enable
12 the Trial Chamber to decide whether they should have them marked for
13 identification or whether they should immediately accept them into
14 evidence. Thank you.
15 Your Honour, I apologise. The last document, that mentions the
16 appointment of Mr. Rajic, was found in the archives of the HVO in Zagreb.
17 The Defence found it in the course of its investigations.
18 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. Witness, you have
19 three documents, and the Defence would like to hear your comments on the
20 three documents. The simplest way to proceed would be for you to tell us
21 about the document from Mr. Bruno Stojic, the document that concerns your
22 duties. This document came -- comes from Mostar on the 29th of March,
23 1993. I have it in B/C/S and in English. I was reading it in B/C/S.
24 Mr. Rajic, as far as the third document is concerned, do you
25 recognise the document in which your appointment is mentioned? What can
1 you tell us about this document?
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, I recognise it.
3 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation]
4 Q. Mr. Rajic, is this the document which appointed you to the duties
5 mentioned in the document?
6 A. Yes.
7 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] I suggest that this document be
8 accepted into evidence.
9 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. Mr. Registrar, can
10 we have an exhibit number.
11 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, the B/C/S version will get the
12 exhibit number DH39, and the English translation gets the exhibit number
14 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. Let's move on to
15 another document. It's a decision from the constitutional court, dated
16 the 18th of September, 1992. We have the English translation and we have
17 the text in B/C/S.
18 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation]
19 Q. Mr. Rajic, are you aware of the fact that the constitutional
20 court of Bosnia and Herzegovina adopted a decision according to which all
21 laws of Herceg-Bosna were declared to be against the Constitution, as well
22 as the decision on its establishment?
23 A. I'm not familiar with that, but the document that I had is now at
24 the registrar. I didn't have a good look at it, so I'm not in a position
25 to comment on it now.
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 Could you just tell me which decision you're referring to.
2 Q. It's on the other side. It's a decision of the 18th of November,
3 1991, et cetera.
4 A. Look, I haven't had the opportunity of reading this yet. I
5 haven't seen it before. I never received this document before. This is
6 the Official Gazette of RBiH. It's dated the 18th of September, 1992. At
7 the time, my office didn't receive that Official Gazette, but I do know
8 - and I haven't had the time to read everything yet - but I see the judges
9 from the constitutional court have participated in the work, but it's
10 customary to mention the judges who participated and to mention whether
11 there are any separate opinions or not. In my opinion, this decision, I
12 as a lawyer and on the basis of the experience I've had in Bosnia and
13 Herzegovina, I can't -- this is an Official Gazette, but taking certain
14 decisions in this manner is something that is questionable. Whether this
15 constitutional court was composed in a manner that we are not aware of, I
16 don't know, but they used the building of the constitutional court in
17 Sarajevo and then perhaps they adopted such a decision. I would have to
18 see who the judges were in the constitutional court who took this decision
19 and then I would be able to comment on the authenticity of such a
20 decision. But as I have said, this is the first time I've seen it.
21 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] The Trial Chamber would like to
22 point out to the witness that this decision was signed by the president of
23 the constitutional court, Mr. Ismet Dautbasic.
24 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Dautbasic, a professor at the
25 School of Law and the president of the constitutional court.
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] That was my professor at the law
2 faculty. I don't know whether he was the president of the constitutional
3 court, but I'm saying that it is customary to mention in the introduction
4 to the decision who the members of the constitutional court were who were
5 involved in adopting a certain decision. At least, that's my experience
6 to date.
7 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. So the witness has
8 said that this decision, in his opinion, is questionable, given that the
9 composition of the Chamber is not mentioned in the document. This is what
10 the witness has told us.
11 Since this decision appeared in the Official Gazette of the
12 Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina, we need a number for this document.
13 Mr. Registrar.
14 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honour, the B/C/S version will get the
15 exhibit number DH40, and the English translation will get the exhibit
16 number DH40/E.
17 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well.
18 And the last document that we have, Defence counsel has explained
19 the relevance of the documents and told us that it is a document signed by
20 Mr. Izetbegovic, the president of the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
21 It's a document that concerns the Armed Forces of the Republic of Bosnia
22 and Herzegovina, and the text concerns integrating the HVO within the
23 national army.
24 Witness, as far as this last document is concerned -- he doesn't
25 have it? On the basis of my knowledge of B/C/S, I can see that the
1 document is -- comes from a military publication.
2 I'm turning to the Defence. Is that correct?
3 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Yes, that's the Official Gazette
4 that has published all the documents that concern the army and the
5 Presidency adopted it in the course of 1992. And they were previously
6 established in the Official Gazette, in the official journal of Bosnia and
7 Herzegovina -- previously published in the official journal.
8 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Defence counsel has shown you a
9 document. What do you have to say about the contents of the document, if
10 you are familiar with the document? What can you tell us about it?
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] All I can say is that this is the
12 first time I have seen it. I didn't receive the Official Gazettes of the
13 BH army. The Official Gazettes of the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina,
14 I didn't receive them either at the time. And nor am I aware of my
15 colleagues, Muslims, Bosniaks, receiving them because of the blockade of
16 Sarajevo. It's possible that they did receive these gazettes, but I don't
18 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Mr. President, in accordance with
19 your decision, you can accept this document into evidence as it was
20 published in the Official Gazette, it could be -- or it could be marked
21 for identification so that the Defence could subsequently tender this
22 document into evidence through other witnesses, if they know anything
23 about this.
24 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes, the Prosecution. Before
25 you take the floor, I'd like to point out that this document was signed by
1 Mr. Izetbegovic on the 6th of August, 1992 in Sarajevo, and it was
2 published in the Official Gazette of the RBiH army republic, and this is a
3 decree law.
4 What does the Prosecution have to say about this text of a
5 military nature?
6 MR. WITHOPF: Mr. President, Your Honours, as my learned
7 colleague herself suggested - and this is the understanding of the
8 Prosecution that it is in compliance with the Chamber's decision - this
9 document should only be marked for identification. Defence may or may not
10 tender it later on via a different -- another witness. This witness has
11 said he has never seen this document and he cannot comment on it.
12 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. So this document
13 will be marked for identification.
14 Mr. Registrar, could we have a number.
15 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, the exhibit number will be DH41,
16 marked for identification for the B/C/S version; and the English version
17 will get the exhibit number DH41/E, marked for identification.
18 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. Thank you.
19 The Defence may proceed.
20 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, for the sake of the
21 transcript, I would like to point out that the decision of the
22 constitutional court is important also because the Prosecution refers to
23 it in the third amended indictment, in the addendum under item 6, where it
24 also accepts the fact that the constitutional court proclaimed that these
25 laws were illegal.
1 Q. And as the witness has said that this is the first time he has
2 seen the document, I would like to ask the witness whether Mr. Harmon
3 showed him the same document when he was being examined in the Blaskic
5 A. I don't remember that document. Not at all.
6 Q. Thank you.
7 I'll move on to another subject. I don't have any other
8 documents to show you, and I will soon be concluding my cross-examination.
9 Would it be correct to say that at the beginning of 1993 the sporadic
10 conflicts in 1992 between the BH army also extended to the Busovaca and
11 Gornji Vakuf municipalities? Are you aware of this fact?
12 A. Yes, I am.
13 Q. Yesterday we spoke briefly about roads. Is it true to say that
14 Central and Northern Bosnia and the Croatian border were linked up by
15 roads that went through Gornji Vakuf to Livno and Split; that is to say,
16 through Prozor, towards Jablanica, and then through Western Herzegovina to
17 the Republic of Croatia? Is that correct?
18 A. Those were the routes that you could use to reach Croatia by
19 going over the mountains.
20 Q. Would it be correct to say that the area from Gornji Vakuf to
21 Prozor and from Busovaca through Kiseljak and further on towards Western
22 Herzegovina, those areas in 1993 were under the control of the HVO? Is
23 that correct?
24 A. Which areas in particular? It did control some areas. But as to
25 which particular areas the HVO controlled and as to which areas the BH
1 army controlled, I didn't participate in that and I couldn't say anything
2 about that. But with regard to the events in Travnik, I'm familiar with
3 this situation. I was there all the time, I performed certain duties
4 there, so I know about this. And I know that when I would sometimes go to
5 the sea, this is the route I would take.
6 Q. Thank you. I won't ask you any more questions about things you
7 are not aware of.
8 Is it correct that in the course of 1992 and the beginning of
9 1993 HVO and the army were jointly defending their front lines against the
10 Serbs in the area of the municipality of Travnik?
11 A. Those were not exactly joint defence lines. It was one line next
12 to the other. And it is true that we had -- well, not jointly exactly,
13 not together. A part of the front line was defended by the HVO and a part
14 of it by the BH army, and we never interfered with one another or mixed or
15 combined our operations.
16 Q. Is it correct, Mr. Rajic, that because of the outbreak of the
17 armed conflict in the valley of Lasva and because of an ever more tense
18 situation in the area, as early as March 1993 was the time when the HVO
19 left the defence line in Vlasic against the Serb forces and started
20 concentrating on securing and fortifying the defences of certain villages
21 against the BH? Is that correct?
22 A. No, it is exactly the opposite. The first position against the
23 Serbs, well, it was done by the HVO. They stopped the Serbs. Where those
24 front lines were, well, the HVO stayed there up until the armed conflict
25 between the BH army and HVO in Travnik.
1 Q. Is it correct that in Travnik itself the positions of the HVO or,
2 rather, the positions held by the HVO Travnik Brigade are at the outskirts
3 of town in the direction of Han Bila and Vitez? Is that correct?
4 A. Look, if you're asking an isolated question like that, yes. But
5 it's also true that those communications were also controlled by the BH
6 army perhaps 100 metres away, either closer to Travnik or further out,
7 away from Travnik. I did say yesterday that as people were going into
8 suburbs, well, it depended on the actual national structure of the suburb
9 in question. And then there were the units of either the HVO army or the
10 HVO there. And so -- then the said units would control that part.
11 Q. Could we go back to the situation on the 8th of May. You said
12 that in the time of the armed conflict you were at Guca Gora on the 8th of
14 A. I don't understand. The 8th of May?
15 Q. I'm sorry, the 8th of June, 1993. I do apologise. You were in
16 Guca Gora on the 8th of June when the conflict broke out; is that correct?
17 A. It is.
18 Q. In the monastery itself, in the monastery -- or, rather, the
19 church of Guca Gora, at the time when you arrived some civilian population
20 was sheltering there, as well as some members of the HVO; is that correct?
21 A. Only partly, because there were no members of the HVO there.
22 There were about ten members of the HVO together with me. We arrived
23 there, and we found that everybody else was civilian. And we're talking
24 about a part of the population, about one-third of the overall population
25 of Guca Gora; whereas, the others early in the morning, before 8.00 in the
1 morning, had already left in the direction of another village, together
2 with the two priests, and most of the local members of the HVO. Only
3 about ten or a dozen of us were left behind. And we would have gone away
4 only we didn't know about what was going on, because you had to be crazy
5 to stay. I mean, there were only a dozen of us and many more of them.
6 Q. Is it true that ten or a dozen of you, whatever, following a
7 suggestion from UNPROFOR, you took off your uniforms, you relinquished
8 your arms, and you put on civilian clothes?
9 A. It wasn't exactly a suggestion from UNPROFOR. We wanted to get
10 rid of something that could have cost us our lives.
11 Q. Is it true that when you finally set off together with the
12 civilian population from the church or the monastery that you also took
13 the valuables which had been left in the church, in the monastery?
14 A. It is not true. We only took part of these things that could fit
15 into a lorry, and the nuns told us to do so. Those of us who were able to
16 load things, we did take some stuff. But you don't really have some -- a
17 lot of time to think of what is valuable or not. Whatever we could get
18 our hands on. And basically, to be quite honest, we didn't really care
19 about taking the valuables. We just wanted to get out of there. Probably
20 there were some valuables there, but I know for certain -- I do know it,
21 that about 6 to 7 thousand books, the complete library was left behind in
22 the monastery. For the sake of establishing the truth, perhaps you are
23 not aware of it; the most valuable part there were the old books, written
24 in the ancient Bosnian alphabet. And the priests, they probably felt it
25 was dangerous. And before the outbreak of conflict in 1992, they moved it
1 to the monastery in Imotski, as well as some valuable paintings that were
2 sent to that monastery in Croatia, and some of the paintings a couple of
3 years after, when we regained the monastery, they were sent back. And the
4 rest --
5 Q. Well, this was what I wanted to ask you about. You answered the
6 following question as well, so you're fully aware of the fact that the
7 most valuable stuff from the monastery was taken in 1992 with full
8 approval of the HVO government of Travnik in December 1992, and it was
9 with the approval of the 3rd Travnik Brigade, and the decision was of the
10 10th of December, 1992, and they approved the transport of those
11 valuables, and you have actually confirmed this.
12 Now, I would just like to clarify one more thing.
13 MR. WITHOPF: Mr. President -- Mr. President, the last passage,
14 was this a question or was it a comment by my learned friend? If it was a
15 comment, I would like to have it removed from the transcript. Otherwise,
16 my learned colleague can ask a question of the witness.
17 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please. Microphone, please.
18 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Microphone not activated] As I was saying, on
19 page 53, line 5 through to 11, the Defence is implying that the witness
20 has said things that he has not said.
21 The Defence indicates that the 3rd Travnik Brigade intervened.
22 So he's supposed to have said things that he did not say himself. So it
23 would be better if you could put this question again, because your
24 question was a leading one.
25 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation]
1 Q. All right. Mr. Rajic, even though you did reply previously, are
2 you aware of the fact that, with the approval of the government of the HVO
3 in Travnik in December - and there was an approval from the 3rd Travnik
4 Brigade from the month of December - and following the proposals from the
5 priests in the monastery of Guca Gora, the most valuable things were taken
6 out of the monastery in December 1992 and they were taken to Imotski in
7 the Republic of Croatia?
8 A. I am not familiar with all those details that you've indicated,
9 but I found out -- I heard that there had been things removed. Who
10 approved it, how it happened, I don't know. But I personally participated
11 in the return of those items. But as to when they were taken away, I
12 don't know about the details. I know that the priests had taken things
13 out. And as to what exactly was taken out, I found out only when it was
14 all brought back in the summer of 1998, when I saw what had been
16 Q. Okay. Thank you. Now we have a complete answer from the witness
17 about what he knew. I do apologise if I inadvertently suggested something
18 that you had not said before.
19 I would like us to clarify one more thing, another answer you
20 gave to one of the questions. When the Prosecution asked whether you knew
21 who the Mujahedin were subordinated to, on page 42, lines 21 through to
22 25, you replied: "I do not know exactly to whom they were subordinated,
23 but I do know that they were not subordinated to the brigade commander.
24 On one occasion, when the joint committee was set up with the order to go
25 to Orasac, and that committee was made up of Colonel Zimic, Solakovic - I
1 don't know what his rank was -" and then the Prosecution interrupted you
2 and said that you were confusing things. It is on page 43, line 1. The
3 Prosecution interrupted you, and he said, "The witness is a bit confused."
4 In order to clarify this confusion, I would like to ask a couple of
5 questions of you.
6 Is it correct that in January 1996, within this joint committee
7 for the officers of the army and the HVO you were meant to go to Orasac?
8 Is that correct?
9 MS. HENRY-BENJAMIN: Mr. President, I really have to -- to object
10 at this point in time, because nowhere in the examination-in-chief did I
11 address to this witness anything about the period of January 1996. And
12 even though I think my friend is under the impression that
13 cross-examination is as wide as she gets, I don't think the Trial Chamber
14 should allow her to go on a witch hunt. This is January 1996.
15 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Mr. President, when deciding on
16 the previous issues, you did say yesterday that we were allowed to ask
17 questions separately about the events in 1996. I quoted specifically the
18 page and the lines of the witness's reply to the question put to him by
19 the Prosecution, "Do you know who the Mujahedin were subordinated to?" On
20 page 42, lines 21 through to 25, the witness replied, and I have just
21 quoted his reply from the transcript. But the Prosecutor -- the
22 Prosecution interrupted on page 43, line 1, by claiming that the witness
23 was a tiny bit confused, and now I would like to shed some more light on
24 what the witness was going to say on that occasion. So I am not going
25 beyond the general framework of the questions that had been asked and the
1 reply that the witness tried to give, but he was interrupted.
2 MS. HENRY-BENJAMIN: And I beg to differ, Mr. President, because
3 I interrupted the witness to show him the period that I was referring to,
4 and that's why I interrupted the witness. And I brought him back to the
5 period that I was referring to, and he answered with respect to that
7 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] May I continue, Mr. President?
8 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] All right, then. Continue,
9 because as I've indicated yesterday, it would be interesting if the
10 witness could tell us within the framework of this 1996 committee what
11 were his conclusions or what are the events or the elements which make it
12 possible for him to claim today that there were Mujahedin there. So it
13 may be useful for the sake of the overall context.
14 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation]
15 Q. In order to clarify this, I would like you to reply to the
16 following question: Is it correct, even though you have referred to this
17 earlier on, that in January 1996 you were a member of the joint committee
18 of the officers of the BH army and HVO which was meant to visit Orasac as
19 well? Is that correct?
20 A. I was, so to say, an associate member of that committee, because
21 it was a committee which was set up, it seems to me, from the top. I
22 think Ivan Slavicek was appointed by the member of the Presidency of BH or
23 the president of the federation, Mr. Zubak. And from the other side, I
24 think that on behalf of the headquarters, General Rasim Delic appointed
25 Mr. Zimic and not Simic, because Simic with an 'S' is generally a Serb
1 surname, so let's not confuse things here. I forgot his first name and I
2 don't know his rank, but he was also accompanied by Adnan Solakovic and
3 they came from Sarajevo together with Slavicek. Now, as to whether it was
4 in winter, I am not sure. I am not sure that it was in January 1996. The
5 only thing I do know is that I myself was not in a position to visit
6 Orasac with those people.
7 Q. May I just ask you another question so it might be easier for you
8 to clarify, because I'm very interested in this as well. Before this
9 committee left for Orasac, is it correct that Ivan Slavicek, who was a
10 lieutenant -- or colonel, sorry, an HVO colonel and member of the joint
11 committee, is it true that he went to Mehmet Alagic, who at the time was
12 the commander of the 7th Corps, and asked him for permission in order for
13 the committee to visit Orasac because he felt that Orasac, from a
14 territorial point of view, was in the area of the 7th Corps? Is it
16 A. It is correct. It was not just Ivan Slavicek who went there but
17 the other members went to Travnik to see General Alagic. I know that,
18 because I was Slavicek's host in Travnik, and it was up to me to accompany
19 them around, because I was familiar with the area.
20 Q. It is right, but this was happening about a fortnight to 20 days
21 before this visit to Orasac.
22 A. Yes. I don't know if it was a fortnight. Maybe a couple of days
23 less than that. But we needed that much time in order to organise, to
24 arrange the visit. And Colonel Slavicek had to take off his military
25 uniform and he had to wear civilian clothes when he went to visit Orasac.
1 Q. Is it true that the committee members, Slavicek and others, were
2 told by General Alagic that Orasac was not under the control of the 7th
3 Corps but they had to go to the 3rd Corps? Is that true?
4 A. No, not quite. On the basis of talks, after these meetings -
5 because I was hosting Slavicek - I found out and basically Slavicek told
6 me that he was told that it was true that the area where Orasac was
7 situated was indeed within the territorial area, within the area of
8 competence of the already-set-up 7th Corps and it had been formed on the
9 basis of the 3rd Corps of the BH army. And what I gathered from the
10 conversation was that, and that in as far as the formations in fact are
11 concerned it had to belonged to the 3rd Corps. And so we had to go and
12 ask for permission from Zenica. The commander was called Mr. Mahmuljin.
13 Q. Is it true to say that you then went to Zenica and that the
14 members of the committee went to the 3rd Corps command and afterwards
15 Slavicek told you that he had received permission from Zubak Mahmuljin,
16 who was at the time the 3rd Corps Commander?
17 A. Well, look, I can't exactly remember what you are saying now. It
18 wasn't just one visit. It took seven to ten days to walk from Travnik to
19 Zenica, from Zenica to Travnik, in order to go from one corps, from the
20 7th to the 3rd and back, and in order to get that permission. All I know
21 is that Slavicek told me that Zubak had informed him, since the first
22 request for a visit were not fruitful, that Slavicek wanted to return to
23 Sarajevo. But he told me that Zubak said that it wasn't possible to
24 return anywhere until the visit had been carried out. But as to which
25 visit was concerned, whether the first or the second - I don't know how
1 many visits there were exactly - after one of those visits, Slavicek was
2 authorised to go to Orasac.
3 Q. Mr. Rajic, at the time - before the visit to Orasac, that is to
4 say - you found out for the first time that the Orasac camp was under the
5 command of the 3rd Corps; isn't that correct?
6 A. That's what I heard.
7 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you very much. I have no
8 further questions.
9 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. Any
10 cross-examination for the other Defence team?
11 MR. IBRISIMOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President. We
12 have no questions for this witness.
13 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Before the Prosecution takes
14 the floor for re-examination, Mr. Rajic, there is something I would like
15 you to clarify. It concerns the activity of this defence secretariat.
16 Questioned by the Court:
17 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Could you tell us the exact
18 date you left your position.
19 A. I can't remember the exact date, but it was in the summer of
20 1992. I didn't even leave that position in the sense of tendering my
21 resignation or being relieved of my duties. And I repeated this
22 yesterday. I simply continued working, to the extent that this was
23 possible, given the situation. I continued to work for the needs of the
24 HVO and the Muslims in my secretariat worked on strengthening the units in
25 our area, the Muslim people's units. That was at the beginning of the
1 summer of 1992. We remained in a building, so to speak. The documents
2 you have about people who were part of the reserve forces and civilian
3 defence, who were part of recruits or who have to do with the centre for
4 monitoring and surveillance, unfortunately I have to say that the
5 divisions were based on ethnic affiliation. But very soon there were open
6 conflicts in neighbouring municipalities - for example, in Novi Travnik in
7 July or August, and in September 1992 Novi Travnik had been definitively
9 Towards mid-January 1992, a conflict broke out in Busovaca. And I
10 think that earlier on in Gornji Vakuf or, rather, in Skopje, I can't say
11 exactly where - there were always conflicts - it was always difficult --
12 we were somewhere in the middle, and it was very difficult to preserve the
13 peace. I said that in 1992, on the 20th of October, to be exact, the 20th
14 of October, 1992, the commander of the Travnik HVO Staff was killed, the
15 late Ivica Stojak. He was a member, not at that time but earlier on, when
16 we tried to unify in Travnik. He was the deputy commander and he was
17 involved in an attempt to establish a joint armed force in the territory
18 of the municipality of Travnik, a force headed by a commander of Muslim
20 I would also like to add something else.
21 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] A minute ago you said when you
22 were in the Guca Gora monastery you took off your HVO uniform. For how
23 long had you been wearing that uniform?
24 A. Well, I started wearing the uniform at the beginning of 1992.
25 Travnik was attacked by the Serbian troops on the 19th of April, 1992. So
1 it was during that period that I started wearing my uniform. Perhaps --
2 perhaps it was then, but it was certainly not more than a month before
3 that date.
4 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I think that yesterday you said
5 that you had the rank of commander. What was your rank when you were in
6 uniform, up until June 1993?
7 A. I didn't have a rank of any kind. I was a secretary. There was
8 a state of war.
9 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] So you didn't have a military
10 rank of any kind. You were an ordinary secretary.
11 A. Yes, that's correct. I had a JNA rank that I had obtained after
12 having served in the JNA. I had the rank of a reserve lieutenant. But
13 that rank didn't mean anything in the subsequent formations of the
14 military in Bosnia and Herzegovina, at least not for me.
15 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. And my very last
16 question: Who paid you? Did you receive a salary?
17 A. At the time, I'm not even sure that we received a salary. What
18 we did receive, I know that we received it from the municipality. That's
19 where the funds -- but as to where the funds came from, I don't know.
20 That's all I can say about the salary.
21 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. Is there any
22 re-examination for the Prosecution?
23 MS. HENRY-BENJAMIN: Yes, Mr. President.
24 Re-examined by Ms. Henry-Benjamin:
25 Q. Mr. Rajic, my colleague in her cross-examination showed you
1 numerous documents, some of which were admitted into evidence and some of
2 which were marked for identification. Tell the Trial Chamber, in your
3 opinion and from your understanding of the military and all that has been
4 -- transpired, if in your opinion that these documents that you recognise
5 and that were admitted into evidence, in your opinion, gave any authority
6 to any military organisation in Bosnia during the period of the 1st of
7 January to March 1994 to condone or ignore looting, shooting, and murder
8 in the municipality of Travnik, by any of the units of the said existing
9 military bodies at the time.
10 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Mr. President, the witness is
11 being asked to express his opinion about the contents of documents, and he
12 has said that he doesn't know most of them. And in particular, he is
13 asked about his opinion on the application of international law. This is
14 the responsibility of the Trial Chamber. The Trial Chamber decides on
15 legal matters. I don't think that this is the kind of question that can
16 be put to the witness, and I don't think that the witness can express any
17 opinions of this nature.
18 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. You have understood
19 that the Prosecution would like you to answer this question and that the
20 Defence has argued that you're not a specialist in humanitarian law, and
21 in addition it's not for you to express your opinion on the way certain
22 documents were used. And nevertheless, the Trial Chamber notes that you
23 have been shown certain documents, so you have read them. You were
24 familiar with some of them and you weren't familiar with others. We have
25 taken note of this fact.
1 But to clarify a certain matter for the Trial Chamber, as a
2 lawyer and given your current position, when you discovered these
3 documents, which aren't contested, since some of them appeared in the
4 Official Gazette and you said that you found out about them at the end of
5 1992 - you can't say when exactly, though - but as a lawyer, when you
6 discovered these documents and after you had read them, what was your
7 opinion? I'm asking your legal opinion of these documents. As a lawyer,
8 how did you view these documents which appeared or which came through
9 official organs?
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I've told you about the documents
11 that I saw and about the documents I received. As far as the documents
12 that I did not receive, I have already testified about this today, and for
13 me certain documents are very much questionable. For example -- their
14 relevance is questionable. For example, a decision of the constitutional
15 court. Well, my question is: Did the president of the constitutional
16 court use his position to take the decision that he did take? I know that
17 in practice when such decisions are taken, it says, "The constitutional
18 court, composed of," and then you mention the judges who compose it. In
19 the decision I saw today, I didn't see the composition of the chamber.
20 On the other hand, the document in which -- there is something
21 else I'd like to say about the constitutional court. I saw that they
22 referred to the Constitution of the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina,
23 and they spoke about the Constitution of Bosnia and Herzegovina. But as
24 to whether they left out that "Republic" on purpose or whether that is the
25 real name, I don't know.
1 As far as the document which was forwarded to the staffs, you
2 said it said "Colonel General," and it said "Ante Roso, General" and the
3 seal wasn't circular. On the copy that I had, the seal wasn't totally
4 circular. I saw that the coat of arms was different in the middle of that
5 seal. It was different from the coat of arms that the HVO or, rather, the
6 Croatian Community used, later the Croatian Republic of Herceg-Bosna.
7 As far as the HVO documents are concerned which were received,
8 the ones that I saw, I didn't have the opportunity of seeing some of them
9 because it was a time of war. And when you receive documents, you don't
10 have the time. I wasn't following all the events, I wasn't chronicling
11 all the events, I was an active participant, and until the very last day I
12 was trying to avoid a conflict in Travnik, if this was at all possible.
13 But the HVO documents which arrived, in my opinion they were
14 temporary decisions. These were attempts to find one's bearings, function
15 somehow in a given area, in an area where the central authorities weren't
16 functioning, in an area where the state that we had elected as an
17 independent state was disintegrating. You didn't have any communication
18 with the central organs of power. You would see the gradual development
19 of nationalist tendencies in organs that were supposed to be joint organs.
20 The HVO documents that I received -- I didn't receive the other
21 documents at all in 1992 -- I don't remember, as the Secretary of National
22 Defence - and you saw when I was appointed to the HVO - I don't think I
23 received a single official document, neither the Official Gazette nor a
24 decree nor anything else, from the documents that were shown today. So on
25 the one hand, the situation is that you don't have any contact with the
1 central organs of power that were legally elected and appointed after the
2 elections. You weren't in a position to have contact with those organs.
3 And what is worse, what was even worse at the time is that those organs
4 were undermined. And this was my experience, and not just my experience
5 but the experience of other Croats too. We experienced this as an abuse
6 of those organs that were joint organs at one time and for the interest of
7 only one ethnic group in Bosnia and Herzegovina. So these other documents
8 from the HVO are, in my opinion, an attempt to survive in Bosnia and
9 Herzegovina, an attempt on the part of the Croats to survive in that area.
10 We didn't know what Bosnia and Herzegovina would look like, we didn't know
11 what would happen.
12 Given the passage of time, this may appear quite differently.
13 But at the time when we were all alone, when we had been abandoned, when
14 the International Community wasn't particularly interested -- and this is
15 my opinion, because UNPROFOR were present in their white vehicles, they
16 moved around, they had their checkpoints. But we thought that someone
17 would come and solve the problems that existed. Unfortunately - and we
18 are most to blame - everyone was allowed to start fighting everyone else.
19 Blood started flowing, and then someone said, "That's enough now. Let's
20 start again."
21 I'd like to say that in Travnik there was the inception of
22 something that is now being implemented in Travnik, given the pressure
23 exerted by the International Community. And that was the only place in
24 Bosnia and Herzegovina up until the war and after the war in which the
25 people themselves tried to form some sort of a joint army which didn't
1 have any connections with the JNA or the Territorial Defence or the HVO or
2 the Croats or the Muslims. However, this attempt failed. A group of
3 people who had been elected and appointed in Travnik were involved in this
4 attempt. This was at the beginning of 1991, I think. I think it was in
5 February. And at the head of the group - and I was a member of that
6 group, and I'm proud of this fact - Izet Tamburic, a Muslim, was at the
7 head of that group. However -- I don't know how to explain this to you,
8 but for people living in democratic countries, you know that the person
9 who is elected is in power; whereas, in our case those who were elected
10 weren't in power. We had people who came from the shadows who were in
11 power, from parties. We weren't elected in elections. I was appointed by
12 the Municipal Assembly of Travnik. I wasn't on the list of a political
13 party. It's not on that basis that I was appointed. I wasn't even a
14 member of parliament, of the municipal parliament, so it wasn't possible
15 for me to be elected from there.
16 But given that I worked in the secretariat for two or three months
17 -- two or three months before the elections and before the appointment,
18 and given that I had certain knowledge of the military, which can be
19 obtained in a school for reserve officers in the course of one year - it's
20 not very extensive military knowledge - I had received military training
21 to command and control units the strength of a company. I wasn't a
22 military strategist capable of organising the defence of a town or capable
23 of commanding large units, et cetera.
24 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you.
25 Any other questions, Mrs. Benjamin?
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 MS. HENRY-BENJAMIN: Well, Mr. President, my question has not
2 been answered as yet, and I do not know if it's going to be allowed or if
3 it's denied. But if it is denied, then that is the end of the
4 re-examination. If it's allowed, I'd really like to hear the witness's
6 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. Rephrase your
7 question and do so slowly and try to make it concise.
8 Witness, please pay careful attention to the question.
9 And the Defence will also listen to the question.
10 MS. HENRY-BENJAMIN: Thank you, Mr. President.
11 Q. Mr. Rajic, as a military experienced person, as a legal
12 practitioner, and as a witness here in this case today, the Defence has
13 produced and has shown you several documents in the course of the
14 cross-examination. Some of the documents were tendered into evidence, and
15 it is my question to you: Based on the documents that were tendered into
16 evidence, with your knowledge, if it is in your opinion and your
17 understanding that in any of those documents any authority was given to
18 any military body, any military unit in the municipality of Travnik during
19 the period 1993, and more specific, 1st of January, 1993 to March 1994 to
20 either ignore or condone shooting, looting, and murder in the municipality
21 of Travnik.
22 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes. The question goes beyond
23 what one would expect as an answer. Is that why the Defence is standing
25 We should limit the question to the following: On the basis of
1 the documents that you had, in your opinion was a military unit given a
2 certain military task? That's all we would like to ask. Can you answer
3 this very simple question. On the basis of the documents that you had,
4 was a unit established? And if so, which one?
5 If you don't want to answer, don't answer the question. Either
6 you can say that the documents -- well, it was the HVO that was
7 constituted or the BH army, it was one or the other or both or neither of
8 the two. A lawyer who sees such documents, what sort of conclusions can
9 be drawn from the documents?
10 Yes, the Defence.
11 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Mr. President, perhaps I
12 understood this differently. This question was quite large in scope. I
13 have understood the question to mean they want to ask whether documents
14 allow a commander or military unit to kill, to maltreat, et cetera. Since
15 we are talking about international law, which is applied regardless of
16 what is contained in certain documents, I think that this concerns the
17 application of international law and this is the responsibility of the
18 Trial Chamber. The witness can't comment on this.
19 And secondly, the witness isn't familiar with the documents from
20 the BH army. He never saw them and he never read them. He can't say
21 anything about them. And HVO documents, well, I think that he can't
22 comment on them because yet again this is a witness who cannot express his
23 opinions about this subject, and this is why we stand by the objection
24 that we raised.
25 [Trial Chamber confers]
1 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. The Trial Chamber
2 will withdraw for a few minutes to see whether we will authorise this
3 question or not. Please don't move.
4 --- Break taken at 12.23 p.m.
5 --- On resuming at 12.24 p.m.
6 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. After having
7 deliberated about the question asked by the Prosecution, it's the opinion
8 of the Trial Chamber that this is a matter for the Trial Chamber to decide
9 on, so it's not for the witness to answer such a question, since the
10 witness doesn't possess all the elements and all the documents. He's only
11 seen certain fragmentary documents, some from the HVO, and he hasn't even
12 seen all of them. So in such a case it's not possible to ask the witness
13 such a question.
14 Are there any other questions you have for the witness,
15 Mrs. Benjamin? I thought that this was the last one.
16 MS. HENRY-BENJAMIN: I'm grateful, Mr. President. And I'm happy
17 to inform you that this concludes the re-examination of this witness.
18 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mrs. Benjamin.
19 Witness, thank you for having come to The Hague to testify here.
20 Your testimony took almost two days, but it was important for you to be
21 present in order to inform the Judges of the events that you witnessed as
22 a result of the position you held. Thank you for having answered the
23 questions to the extent that this was possible for you. You provided us
24 with very long and detailed answers. We followed your answers with great
25 interest. And this concludes your testimony here. We wish you a good
1 trip home, and we wish you all the best in your professional life. We
2 wish you much success when exercising your profession as a lawyer.
3 I'll now ask the usher to escort you out of the courtroom.
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you very much.
5 [The witness withdrew]
6 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. We have a second
7 witness, who is on standby, but I think it's time to have a break now. So
8 if you agree, we'll have a break now to allow the interpreters to have a
9 break, because the questions and answers require a lot of concentration
10 and the pause will be much appreciated.
11 We'll resume at five to 1.00, and you may take the floor then.
12 --- Recess taken at 12.28 p.m.
13 --- On resuming at 12.56 p.m.
14 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Withopf, you have the
15 floor, sir.
16 MR. WITHOPF: Mr. President, Your Honours, can we please go into
17 private session?
18 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you.
19 Registrar, this is going to be a private session.
20 [Private session]
12 Pages 2963 to 2972 redacted, private session
11 [Open session]
12 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, we are in open session.
13 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. Registrar.
14 Witness ZB, you will now have to answer the questions that will
15 be put to you by representatives of the Prosecution. The Prosecution is
16 to your right. One of the two representatives of the Prosecution will be
17 asking you some questions. Their examination will start in a few minutes'
18 time, and we will continue tomorrow, since at 1.45 we will have to
20 When the Prosecution has concluded its examination, Defence
21 counsel for the accused, who are to your left - there are six of them, but
22 only two of them will be asking you questions - they will proceed with
23 their cross-examination, which will be based on the Prosecution's
25 If necessary, the three Judges who are before you may also ask
1 you questions at any time if they think it might be useful to clarify
2 certain matters contained in your answers. If things are not completely
3 clear, we might feel it necessary to ask you some questions.
4 Take your time to answer the questions put to you. If the
5 question is complicated, ask the person putting it to you to rephrase it
6 clearly. If there are any problems, inform the Judges of the problem.
7 I have to inform you that when you testify, after having made a
8 solemn declaration, you have to tell the truth. If you don't tell the
9 truth, if your testimony is false, you could be punished. This could
10 involve either a fine or a prison sentence up to seven years in prison, or
11 both penalties could be imposed on you. This shows the importance of your
13 In addition, the Rules of Procedure and Evidence of this Tribunal
14 provide in one of its Rules that when you're asked to respond to a
15 question, if the answer might incriminate you, in such a case this can't
16 be used against you. So these are the provisions covering the testimony
17 of witnesses before this Tribunal.
18 We have another 15 minutes. We can make good use of these 15
19 minutes. And without wasting any more time, I'll let the Prosecution take
20 the floor now.
21 MR. WITHOPF: Thank you very much, Mr. President, Your Honours.
22 Mr. President, can we please go in private session again, since
23 the first series of questions or the answers to the first series of
24 questions may identify the witness.
25 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you. We'll go into
1 private session.
2 [Private session]
12 Page 2976 redacted, private session
12 Page 2977 redacted, private session
12 Page 2978 redacted, private session
12 Page 2979 redacted, private session
16 [Open session]
17 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, we are in open session.
18 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. Now that we're in
19 open session, the Trial Chamber will resume the proceedings tomorrow at
21 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 1.47 p.m.,
22 to be reconvened on Wednesday, the 18th day of
23 February, 2004, at 9.00 a.m.