Tribunal Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia

Page 16783

1 Monday, 10 April 2000

2 [Defence Opening Statement]

3 [Open session]

4 [The accused entered court]

5 --- Upon commencing at 9.35 a.m.

6 JUDGE MAY: Yes, Mr. Sayers. It's for you to

7 make your statement.

8 MR. SAYERS: Thank you very much,

9 Mr. President. Just for the record, Stephen Sayers,

10 presenting the opening statement for the accused Dario

11 Kordic. I will be assisted today at points during this

12 presentation by Mr. Naumovski and my colleague

13 Mr. Browning.

14 JUDGE MAY: How long do you anticipate

15 being?

16 MR. SAYERS: I would suspect that this would

17 go a substantial part of the day but not beyond,

18 Mr. President.

19 I will handle most of the presentation, but

20 let me, if I may, just explain the division of the

21 presentation. Mr. Naumovski will handle some of the

22 political/historical background. Let me just say,

23 Mr. President, that we do not propose to go back 500

24 years or even 50 years but, rather, two or three years

25 before the 1990 elections. Mr. Naumovski will explain

Page 16784

1 the political evolution of the Croatian Democratic

2 Union of Bosnia-Herzegovina, the local evolution of

3 that party in Busovaca and Mr. Kordic's role in it, and

4 he will also cover political activities and

5 Mr. Kordic's activities in Busovaca pre-referendum,

6 that is, before February the 29th and March the 1st,

7 1992.

8 Mr. Naumovski will also give a presentation

9 of the evidence we expect to adduce regarding

10 Mr. Kordic's personality, character, and background,

11 and he will also cover events in the turbulent period

12 in May 1992.

13 JUDGE MAY: Just one moment.

14 [Trial Chamber confers]

15 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Sayers, what concerns me is

16 the way that you propose to deal with this. What, if

17 my recollection is right, the Rule allows is a

18 statement, and you propose to make four or so. Again,

19 speaking from my experience, I've never come across a

20 case conducted in this way, that a number of people

21 make statements. Also, you haven't asked the leave of

22 the Court to do it.

23 I've discussed it with the Trial Chamber. We

24 propose to allow, on this occasion, since you're

25 prepared in this way to deal with it, but in future, if

Page 16785

1 you want to make four speeches as opposed to one, then

2 you must apply to do so.

3 MR. SAYERS: Thank you, Mr. President. The

4 reason we had done it this way was that we appreciate,

5 obviously, a day of an opening statement is difficult

6 to follow, and we had hoped to break it up to make it

7 more interesting for the Trial Chamber, and we would

8 cover different points. We're not going to duplicate

9 the presentation.

10 JUDGE MAY: Very well.

11 MR. SAYERS: But let me just address one

12 point, Your Honour. I want to say this at the outset:

13 We have previously assured the Court that we are going

14 to try to present the evidence on behalf of Mr. Kordic

15 in the most expeditious way. There are a lot of

16 witnesses on the witness list, and you have actually

17 asked us to address the number of witnesses that we

18 have listed. We've done a written submission on that.

19 Let me say though, many, many of these

20 witnesses are going to be very short on particular

21 evidentiary issues. Let me also say, and I hope this

22 does not revisit me in an unpleasant way in the future,

23 but we fully intend to be finished with Mr. Kordic's

24 evidence by the August recess or a month earlier if

25 possible. If we can expedite the presentation of

Page 16786

1 evidence, obviously subject to considerations of

2 witness availability, which is the principle reason why

3 our witness list is so long. We're not sure, and I'm

4 sure the Trial Chamber and the Prosecution is aware of

5 the difficulty of getting witnesses from

6 Bosnia-Herzegovina, our first-choice witness may not

7 always be available, so we may have to use one or maybe

8 two witnesses to adduce evidence on that particular

9 point. We do not anticipate that that's going to be a

10 problem, but just to be careful, we have outlined for

11 the Trial Chamber the entire universe of witnesses from

12 whom we expect to adduce evidence.

13 In so doing, we've actually made, I regret to

14 say, quite a bit of work for ourselves, because we had

15 to do prospective summaries of the evidence of all of

16 these witnesses, and we decided to do it all at once so

17 that the Trial Chamber has them all instead of into two

18 stages, as we were permitted to do.

19 But as I say, we will try to be through in

20 four months at the outside, and we believe that we can

21 be through in three months, provided we coordinate

22 shortly with the Victims and Witness --

23 THE INTERPRETER: Could the counsel slow

24 down, please.

25 MR. SAYERS: -- provided we can obtain access

Page 16787

1 to transcripts from other cases in an expeditious way,

2 and --

3 THE INTERPRETER: Could the counsel slow

4 down, please.

5 MR. SAYERS: -- that are produced in response

6 to our request for subpoenas, and also, provided that

7 we can acquire the affidavits that are anticipated by

8 Rule 94 ter, a Rule with which we intend to comply to

9 the letter, if at all possible.

10 JUDGE MAY: Speaking for myself, while you

11 mention that, I think it's more important that you have

12 the affidavits in some form and you apply the Rule to

13 the absolute letter. I would regard it as a matter in

14 which there should be some latitude because of the

15 difficulties we've seen of obtaining them.

16 MR. SAYERS: Yes. We have given thought to

17 that, Mr. President, and as I say, we do not presently

18 anticipate tremendous difficulties acquiring the

19 written evidence. We appreciate the considerations of

20 expediency and acceleration of these proceedings that

21 that Rule provides, and we'll do our level best to try

22 to present the affidavits in corroboration of live

23 witness's testimony before the live witness testifies,

24 to the maximum extent that we can.

25 Let me just start, if I may, by revisiting

Page 16788

1 one of the contentions made in the Prosecution's

2 opening statement a year ago.

3 A contention was made that the absence of

4 documents -- that the absence of statements could be

5 somehow construed as evidence of culpability in a case

6 where the evidence, or much of it, goes both ways.

7 Against that, let me just make a preliminary

8 observation that few, if any, wars certainly in recent

9 history, few, if any, wars such as the civil war that

10 was fought in Bosnia-Herzegovina in 1992, 1993, and the

11 first part of 1994 have ever been fought in an

12 atmosphere of such pervasive surveillance, evidence

13 collection and spying. The press was present

14 throughout this civil war, not just members of the

15 international press from many countries but also the

16 press from organs of the government of

17 Bosnia-Herzegovina, press from the organs of the

18 government of Herceg-Bosna. The military intelligence

19 units of UNPROFOR, BritBat, DutchBat, the ECMM,

20 Com Brit For, were all keeping their intelligence ears

21 and eyes open. The military intelligence cells, as the

22 Court knows, were making daily, weekly, and monthly

23 intelligence reports of all significant developments

24 and events in Bosnia-Herzegovina generally, and Central

25 Bosnia generally, and in the municipalities at issue in

Page 16789

1 this amended indictment specifically. These reports

2 were updated and revised to reflect a cumulative

3 understanding of events, at least from one perspective,

4 a western perspective, in a situation where complex and

5 confused political and military developments were

6 occurring.

7 The Court will recall the numerous

8 intelligence-gathering resources deployed by the ABiH,

9 and we expect to produce evidence relating to these.

10 On a small scale, you have the intelligence resources

11 in Stari Vitez. The witnesses who have already

12 testified have established this; Mr. Rebihic,

13 Mr. Kalco, on a small scale, as I say, keeping a very

14 complicated, detailed diary of daily events not merely

15 on a daily basis but sometimes on an hourly and even on

16 a minute-by-minute basis.

17 Videotapes were made, I must say, of all

18 significant speeches and pronouncements specifically

19 made by Mr. Kordic, and as the Court well knows, the

20 videotape evidence, what he said or what he is, more

21 accurately, said to have said is very much a

22 significant issue in this case. But the evidence is

23 that all comments made on television, all public

24 pronouncements made by Mr. Kordic and by others, were

25 recorded and the contemporaneous reports of these

Page 16790

1 statements, these speeches, these public positions

2 taken by political and military figures, were duly

3 passed up the chain of command and submitted to the 3rd

4 Corps headquarters in Zenica.

5 You also have, as the Court recalls, the

6 Agency for Investigation and Documentation, the State

7 Commission on Gathering Facts on War Crimes, and the

8 Court has seen evidence of some of the products of the

9 investigations of these institutions. We expect to

10 present some more.

11 There was a war crimes indictment against

12 Mr. Kordic and a number of other people, as the Court

13 well knows, in Bosnia-Herzegovina at the end of 1993,

14 and evidence collection, on a substantial level, was

15 part of that indictment. I say that simply to make

16 this point and the point that will be made by the

17 Defence's evidence, that there was and could have been

18 almost nothing that occurred of a public nature that

19 escaped scrutiny or notice, that was not videotaped,

20 recorded, reported upon and summarised. Yet, and I ask

21 this rhetorically, where is the evidence of Mr. Kordic

22 doing what would be necessary to make him guilty of war

23 crimes? Are there any orders in evidence of Mr. Kordic

24 to others to commit war crimes? No. Are there any

25 orders that Mr. Kordic issued to military units after

Page 16791

1 the organisation of the HVO had proceeded to the point

2 of a hierarchical, recognisable chain of command? And

3 we will present evidence as to when that occurred. And

4 the answer to that question, I believe, also is "No."

5 Is there evidence, written or otherwise, of Mr. Kordic

6 actually giving orders to anyone? The evidence is that

7 he did not.

8 Similarly, the Court must ask itself, in a

9 case of this nature, what is the evidence of Mr. Kordic

10 uttering table-pounding speeches, giving speeches

11 peppered with violent invective, advocating armed

12 combat, armed conflict violence? We would submit to

13 the Trial Chamber that actually when you take a look at

14 the evidence, and we will produce more videotapes of

15 what Mr. Kordic said, more articles of reporting upon

16 what he said, there is none. You can see the

17 videotapes for yourself, you can read the articles for

18 yourself.

19 The Court will recall that the best evidence

20 of what he said is what he said, and it's not

21 recollections of people given through oral testimony

22 who have lived through a civil war, who have lost

23 family members, and whose recollection is naturally

24 filtered through a veil of embittered recollection.

25 One good example is Witness AQ, a witness from Ahmici,

Page 16792

1 and I'll discuss that and the evidence that we expect

2 to introduce on that subject in just a few seconds.

3 But the point is that the Defence of

4 Mr. Kordic expects to show -- and the Prosecution has

5 not shown to date -- that there were no contemporaneous

6 speeches, no reports of speeches containing intemperate

7 comments on his part. In fact, the reverse is true.

8 The Court takes a look at the speeches. They

9 usually incorporate political views on subjects of

10 significance to the local community, to the regional

11 community in the Lasva Valley, occasionally on

12 developments of national significance, in his view, to

13 his country, Bosnia-Herzegovina. Those views are

14 usually expressed, and, in fact, we would think the

15 evidence will show, always expressed in a calm,

16 rational, and measured way.

17 Let me just explain to the Trial Chamber the

18 points upon which we intend to present no evidence.

19 I'll spend a little time on that. And we are obliged,

20 if I may say, to the Trial Chamber for issuing its

21 April the 6th, 2000, decision on the accused's motions

22 for judgements of acquittal.

23 Paragraph 32 of the decision is at the

24 heart -- what this case is really all about. The Trial

25 Chamber observed there that the Prosecution relates to

Page 16793

1 the participation of the accused in the highest levels

2 of government and the Defence should prepare its case

3 accordingly. And I wish to assure the Trial Chamber

4 that we have taken that observation to heart, and we

5 will try to do precisely that over the course of the

6 next three months, I hope, four months if necessary.

7 Before I outline what that evidence is, the

8 Trial Chamber also ruled that, in particular, the

9 Defence will not be expected to call evidence

10 concerning municipalities about which no evidence has

11 been given, and we propose to call no evidence on 20 of

12 the 22 municipalities listed in footnote 18 on page 10

13 of the court's decision.

14 Let me just point out that the allegation in

15 this case is of a widespread, systematic campaign of

16 persecution throughout the territory of the HZ HB, the

17 Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna; and the HR HB,

18 Croatian Republic of Herceg-Bosna, and also in the

19 municipality of Zenica.

20 Accordingly, we do not propose to introduce

21 any evidence relating to approximately 70 per cent of

22 that territory because the Prosecution did not

23 introduce any, and we, therefore, do not believe that

24 it would be appropriate to do so, and it's not

25 necessary to do so.

Page 16794

1 There are two exceptions to that rule, and

2 let me just explain what those are. The municipalities

3 of Bugojno and the municipality of Kakanj. The reason

4 is that there was actually persecution in these two

5 very important, strategic municipalities or persecution

6 in the sense of harassment and large-scale evictions of

7 civilian populations following military activity, but

8 the evictions were of Bosnian Croat citizens by Bosnian

9 Muslim armed forces.

10 Now, let me also say that we could call much

11 other evidence in the same vein throughout the

12 territory of the HZ HB, the HR HB, and the municipality

13 of Zenica, but I suspect the Trial Chamber would not

14 let us do that, and those two exceptions to our general

15 rule should make the factual point very well.

16 There are three other points upon which we

17 may call no evidence. The first, the municipality of

18 Kresevo. I can inform the Trial Chamber that

19 presently, we intend to introduce no evidence relating

20 to this municipality because no evidence from the

21 Prosecution has been put forward that Mr. Kordic was

22 ever seen in the municipality of Kresevo in 1993 or

23 indeed that he could even get there, because it was cut

24 off from Busovaca by the Muslim armed attack on Bosnian

25 Croat positions launched in January 1993 and resulting

Page 16795

1 in the seizure of a seven kilometre stretch of the main

2 supply route from Kacuni to Bilalovac. There is only

3 one witness who testified about Kresevo, Witness E, and

4 he merely described Mr. Kordic as a political figure,

5 having no particular influence or authority in that

6 municipality, and so it's our present intent not to

7 call any evidence about Kresevo.

8 Second, Zepce. We intend to call no evidence

9 about this municipality. The Court will recall this

10 has been described by a witness, Colonel Stutt, in the

11 Prosecution's case, as the territory of one of

12 Mr. Kordic's political rivals, Ivo Lozancic.

13 Mr. Kordic's political influence did not

14 extend to Zepce. As we understand the Prosecution's

15 evidence, no contention was made that it did, and no

16 Prosecution witness testified to the contrary, only two

17 such witnesses having testified, Witness F and

18 Witness AH.

19 Similarly, there is no evidence that

20 Mr. Kordic was ever seen in Zepce in 1993 or indeed, as

21 I have said with respect to Kresevo, that he could even

22 get there as a result of the isolation of the Bosnian

23 Croat enclaves following the series of almost uniformly

24 successful ABiH offensives in 1993.

25 The third item about which we intend to call

Page 16796

1 no evidence is Kaonik prison. The Trial Chamber has

2 had no first-hand evidence connecting Mr. Kordic in any

3 way with this military detention facility. The only

4 evidence that the Court has heard is rumour and

5 hearsay, and very frankly, we don't intend to waste any

6 time on the subject.

7 With the Trial Chamber's permission, at this

8 point I'll just hand the podium over to Mr. Naumovski,

9 who will describe the historical background of the

10 political party and the political context of

11 Mr. Kordic's initial activities within the political

12 party, the HDZ, BiH, and our evidence on his family,

13 character, and background. Thank you.

14 MR. NAUMOVSKI: [Interpretation] Thank you,

15 Your Honours. In our presentation, as we conceived it,

16 we considered it necessary to say a few words about the

17 historical and political context within which the

18 events that are the subject of that case came to pass.

19 I am not going to be too long, but I believe some facts

20 need to be pointed out.

21 In order to explain what happened during the

22 critical period of time, I believe we need to say

23 briefly how did the former state of Yugoslavia

24 function. As is common knowledge, the former

25 Yugoslavia was made of six republics, socialist

Page 16797

1 republics, and even if it was a federation, those

2 republics were all closely connected through the

3 central government and central authority in Belgrade.

4 The constitution of 1974 enabled -- gave

5 republics larger autonomy, but one should know that in

6 all those six republics and throughout the former

7 Yugoslavia, only one party, that is, the League of

8 Communists, enjoyed all the power and held all the

9 power in its hands. That is why the life of people,

10 ethnic minorities, in those republics seemed smooth and

11 normal on the surface. One could not observe any

12 differences between individual ethnic groups in public,

13 and so on and so forth.

14 It is curious that of those six republics, as

15 many as five of them, in its name, reflected the name

16 of the majority people. Only Bosnia-Herzegovina's name

17 did not reflect the ethnic composition. Why? Because

18 that republic had three sovereign peoples who enjoyed

19 equal rights, Muslims, Croats, and Serbs. So that was

20 the only republic in the former Yugoslavia in which all

21 three peoples were constituent peoples of that state in

22 every possible respect.

23 Needless to say, when I speak about this, for

24 all of you who were educated in accordance with

25 standard criteria find it difficult to understand what

Page 16798

1 for all of us who lived in the territory of the former

2 Yugoslavia, what did a multi-party system mean, what

3 the emergence of a number parties meant for all of us

4 there, and I believe it will be difficult for you to

5 understand all that followed, all that happened after

6 the first multi-party elections in Yugoslavia.

7 The multi-party system was introduced in

8 Yugoslavia, if I may say so, in 1989, and at that time,

9 a whole range of political parties were formed which

10 expounded political programmes and so and so forth, as

11 is the case in all the other democratic states. But --

12 and this is important -- the emergence of a number of

13 parties or, rather, the end of functioning of one party

14 which held everything under its sway, differences

15 between individual ethnic communities and, therefore,

16 individual republics in the former Yugoslavia began to

17 emerge.

18 Over the past -- over the previous 45 years

19 or so, all those differences had been minimised, had

20 been suppressed, kept at bay, and these problems,

21 especially surfaced in the republics where there were

22 members of several ethnic communities present. That

23 holds true especially of the Socialist Republic of

24 Bosnia-Herzegovina.

25 Unfortunately, when the results of the first

Page 16799

1 multi-party elections were published, some forces

2 headed by the former JNA and Greater Serbian

3 hegemonistic tendencies refused to accept the election

4 results and the decisions of peoples in individual

5 republics who wanted the relations in the future in

6 Yugoslavia to be governed by some other criteria, that

7 is, in a much more equitable manner than the

8 multi-party elections.

9 To simplify matters, the same thing that

10 happened at the level of former federal state of

11 Yugoslavia was also happening and was repeated also in

12 the territory of the Socialist Republic of

13 Bosnia-Herzegovina. Save that, what began there

14 subsequently lended to much more severe consequences.

15 What I'm trying to say: Although under the

16 constitution of 1974, in Bosnia-Herzegovina there were

17 three sovereign peoples and all three of them were the

18 constituent parties of the then Socialist Republic of

19 Bosnia-Herzegovina at the moment when the former

20 Yugoslavia began to burst at its seams as a federal

21 state. In Bosnia-Herzegovina, there also emerged

22 almost insurmountable difficulties among those three

23 peoples.

24 From the point of view of defence, it is

25 important to know that the Croats in Bosnia and

Page 16800

1 Herzegovina were the smallest ethnic community, that

2 is, only 17.4 per cent, according to the population

3 census of 1991. Because of their number, they were --

4 they were very concerned about not losing their right

5 to equality with the other two peoples in

6 Bosnia-Herzegovina, who were the majority peoples

7 there, because if they lost that equality that they

8 used to enjoy, in view of their size, they would have

9 been placed in an inferior position.

10 In the light of those circumstances, it is

11 important to understand the activities of the Croat

12 Democratic Union of Bosnia-Herzegovina and Mr. Kordic

13 as one of its members.

14 So that is a period of time when a state

15 ceases to function, that is, the former Yugoslavia is

16 falling apart, and the new state, which should

17 substitute the former state, has not yet come to be,

18 has not yet emerged. So this is a period of a vacuum,

19 legal, political, and every other sense, because the

20 old state has gone, the new state has not been born

21 yet, but life goes on and never stops.

22 So one had to provide some kind of organised

23 life under the circumstances that existed at the time.

24 Why was -- what were other idiosyncrasies of

25 the situation in Bosnia? Because the republics of

Page 16801

1 Bosnia and Slovenia had proclaimed their independence

2 after their respective referenda, and on the 8th of

3 October, 1991, Croatia, the Republic of Croatia cut

4 short, broke its constitutional legal ties to the

5 former SFRY. At the same time, in the then Socialist

6 Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina, those three constituent

7 peoples, that is, Croats, the Muslims, and Serbs,

8 conducted numerous political negotiations equally with

9 the republics which had left the former Yugoslavia and

10 those who were still part of the rump Yugoslavia and

11 amongst themselves, endeavouring to win the best

12 possible political option for their own ethnic

13 community, for their own people.

14 For instance, the Croats in the Republic of

15 Bosnia-Herzegovina, apart from talks and contacts with

16 other peoples in Bosnia-Herzegovina, also held

17 political talks with the representatives of the

18 Republic of Croatia. On the other hand,

19 representatives of Muslims in the Republic of

20 Bosnia-Herzegovina, and here it is perhaps particularly

21 important to mention talks conducted by Mohamed

22 Filipovic, who both secretly negotiated with Radovan

23 Karadzic and Slobodan Milosevic about the Socialist

24 Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina remaining part of the

25 rump Yugoslavia, as the term was coined, and on the

Page 16802

1 other hand, they also conducted talks with the

2 Republics of Slovenia and Croatia about Bosnia and

3 Herzegovina possibly creating a community with those

4 two republics.

5 Regrettably, as far as we know, it is Alija

6 Izetbegovic, who rejected the possibility of

7 Bosnia-Herzegovina forming a kind of alliance with the

8 Republics of Slovenia and Croatia, evidently in the

9 belief that the then Yugoslav People's Army would help

10 and contribute to preserve Bosnia-Herzegovina, if I may

11 put it that way.

12 In that highly delicate situation, which is

13 an exception to the rule in the political environment,

14 one should view the activities of Mr. Dario Kordic, in

15 the Croat Democratic Union in Bosnia-Herzegovina, as a

16 Croat from that area, together with other politicians

17 in Bosnia-Herzegovina, he was simply looking, searching

18 the option that would suit best the Croats in

19 Bosnia-Herzegovina. There were all possibilities on

20 the table except one, and that was that the Croats in

21 Bosnia-Herzegovina, after the Republic of Croatia left

22 the former Yugoslavia, the Croats did not want to

23 remain in the -- in what remained of the former

24 Yugoslavia.

25 Unfortunately, as I've said, some forces

Page 16803

1 could not accept the -- could not come to terms with

2 the results of elections in some of the republics, so

3 that the JNA, of course, and the politics of -- the

4 policies of Slobodan Milosevic, so that first the

5 Republic of Slovenia was attacked and then the Republic

6 of Croatia. And if the war in the Republic of Slovenia

7 could be settled, been very short, did not inflict any

8 particular casualties or destruction, the war in

9 Croatia produced most disasters relative to the country

10 disastrously, and there were very many casualties,

11 including among the civilian population and citizens

12 who, of their own will, undertook to defend their

13 fatherland, building at the same time the Croatian

14 army. Your Honours have already heard that among those

15 people who had decided to -- who volunteered to defend

16 their country, there are also very many people from

17 Bosnia-Herzegovina, not only Croats but Muslims as

18 well.

19 Needless to say, in parallel with that war

20 and, as an effect, the corollary of this war, numerous

21 forces, troops, and armaments of the JNA pulled out of

22 the Republic of Croatia into the Republic of

23 Bosnia-Herzegovina, and it was quite obvious then, and

24 quite clear also, that the JNA would not allow the

25 whole population of Bosnia-Herzegovina, that is, all

Page 16804

1 the three sovereign and equal people, decide on their

2 fate by themselves and how they would regulate their

3 mutual relations in a future state as they would like

4 to. And these misgivings came true because the

5 citizens of Bosnia-Herzegovina who were led by the Serb

6 Democratic Party openly said -- stated that they would

7 not stay in an independent Bosnia-Herzegovina, so those

8 forces, through a military action or, rather, by force

9 and in a highly undemocratic way, wanted to prevent the

10 other two peoples from deciding on their own about

11 their fate.

12 At the height of fighting in the Republic of

13 Croatia, as Your Honours know, a day after -- in spite

14 of the fierce resistance, the town of Vukovar in the

15 Republic of Croatia fell.

16 On the 18th of November, 1991, the Croats in

17 Bosnia-Herzegovina formed the Croat Community of

18 Herceg-Bosna, and about a week before that, on the 12th

19 of November, '91, the Croat Community -- Croat

20 Posavina, which is the northern part of

21 Bosnia-Herzegovina, was formed. Those two communities

22 performed as political, cultural, and economic

23 entities, and in this manner the Croats of

24 Bosnia-Herzegovina, which at that time only on paper,

25 simply publicly announced the idea of forming a

Page 16805

1 community through which and into which the Croats of

2 Bosnia-Herzegovina would preserve their ethnic identity

3 and their interests, which at that time began to

4 diverge.

5 During the Prosecution's case, the Prosecutor

6 pointed at the political activity of the Croat

7 Democratic Union in Bosnia-Herzegovina and these

8 subsequent organs of authorities in Bosnia-Herzegovina

9 and tried to present it as if they were acting under

10 completely sterile positions, if I may put it that

11 way. However, this has nothing to do with the real

12 life, with what existed in Bosnia-Herzegovina in real

13 life.

14 Meanwhile, when the war broke out in the

15 Republic of Croatia, Bosnia-Herzegovina was still a

16 socialist republic with a government formed jointly by

17 the three so-called national -- rather ethnic parties

18 which had won elections held in November 1990. At

19 first, they indeed worked in unison and that government

20 functioned, and their cooperation did yield some

21 fruit. But as the time went by, it became more and

22 more evident that it was only a fictitious cooperation,

23 and it stopped in October 1991 when the representatives

24 or one of the three coalition partners or, rather, the

25 representatives of the Serb Democratic Party of

Page 16806

1 Bosnia-Herzegovina left the -- walked out of the

2 assembly of Bosnia-Herzegovina during the debate about

3 the referendum that was to take place about the future

4 of Bosnia-Herzegovina, and it was as of that day that

5 we could say legal authorities -- legal organs of power

6 elected in the elections of 1990 ceased to exist.

7 At the time when these Croat communities that

8 I spoke about were formed, the Serbs in the Serb

9 Democratic Party quit all the authorities, all the

10 bodies of authority in the Republic of

11 Bosnia-Herzegovina. And from the point of view of the

12 citizens of Bosnia-Herzegovina, not only did the former

13 state, the socialist Yugoslavia, cease to exist, but

14 even that socialist Bosnia-Herzegovina was not in

15 existence any longer because the election results of

16 1990 had been annulled by the decision and by date of

17 illegal or unlawful moves of representatives of one

18 people or, better said, the system within

19 Bosnia-Herzegovina fell apart, disintegrated. This

20 resulted in a political crisis, naturally, and among

21 the smallest people, that is, the Croats, it added to

22 their fears because they were quite aware of secret

23 negotiations that the Muslims were conducting about

24 remaining within the former Yugoslavia, that is, within

25 the state which was made of Serbian Montenegro.

Page 16807

1 The Prosecutor, during the presentation of

2 their case, repeatedly went back to a meeting that took

3 place in the office of the late president of Republic

4 of Croatia, Dr. Franjo Tudjman, on the 17th of December

5 of 1992. Mr. Kordic's Defence believes that the talks

6 and political options on the table at that meeting were

7 basically interpreted in a wrong way, were

8 misinterpreted, and the talks held on that occasion we

9 do not think can be related in any way whatsoever to

10 what came to pass a year or two later.

11 Another meeting, and it is very important

12 from the point of view of our Defence, another meeting

13 was held before the referendum in Bosnia-Herzegovina

14 decided on the independence of Bosnia-Herzegovina.

15 Moreover, at that meeting there was only talk about

16 possible political options if other peoples opted for

17 something else.

18 As I said, it was common knowledge that there

19 were quite a number -- there was a whole gamut of

20 options on the table, and that would be quite normal,

21 and coming from the point of view of western

22 democracies. But all these options, all these ideas

23 that were also raised at that meeting, only a third of

24 support was the basis for negotiations with the other

25 two constituent peoples of Bosnia-Herzegovina, and all

Page 16808

1 those options, all those ideas, should have been

2 translated into life only by political means and not by

3 force or any other uncommon means, and that is very

4 important to point out from the point of view of

5 Mr. Kordic's Defence.

6 Needless to say, as the case is conducted

7 against Mr. Dario Kordic, and I speak here on his

8 behalf now, we think that it is of utmost importance to

9 analyse specifically the behaviour, the conduct of

10 Mr. Dario Kordic, as an individual, and we believe that

11 one needs to analyse only what he said and the ideas

12 that he promoted. And what he did needs to be

13 separated from the ideas, thoughts, and activities of

14 some other people and, after all, from any other Croat

15 politician who attended that meeting and were

16 politically active in Bosnia-Herzegovina and even in

17 the Lasva Valley, where Mr. Kordic was active.

18 We deem it of consequence to completely,

19 unambiguously and precisely determine what the

20 political duties were and when did Mr. Dario Kordic

21 discharge. In our view, this means that we are going

22 to prove, and that is our duty, that Mr. Kordic held no

23 military duties, nor did he discharge any

24 administrative duties, rather duties such as members of

25 the government of the HVO or some other bodies had.

Page 16809

1 We therefore believe, and we shall be

2 pointing out that during the presentation of our case,

3 that at a point when a state is disappearing, that is,

4 the former Yugoslavia, and a different state, a new

5 state, has not yet emerged, then any political option

6 which was promoted or, rather, considered by the Croats

7 in Bosnia-Herzegovina, including Mr. Kordic, among

8 other people, was quite legitimate and quite lawful,

9 because each one of these options pursued only one

10 thing, and that was to protect the interests of Croats

11 in Bosnia-Herzegovina; not, however, at the expense of

12 the other two peoples, but to find a modus operandi to

13 coordinate its relations, to harmonise its relations

14 with the other two peoples, yet not at the expense of

15 the Croat people.

16 When I said about certain misgivings, about

17 certain fears that the Croats in Bosnia felt, I perhaps

18 need to say that for the Croats in Bosnia-Herzegovina,

19 the war and the state war began in September 1991,

20 actually, when the JNA razed to the ground the Croat

21 village of Ravno, which, however, they did not provoke

22 any official reaction of the then authorities, as if it

23 had never happened.

24 Let me try to now sum up what I tried to say

25 about the activities of Mr. Kordic.

Page 16810

1 The Defence believes that the political

2 activities of Mr. Kordic should be considered in two

3 completely different political and temporal contexts.

4 The first temporal context or, rather, the political

5 framework or, rather, the first period of time is the

6 period of time when it is said -- that is the period of

7 time when the Socialist Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina

8 still existed formally and was still legally part of

9 what remained of Yugoslavia, and when the negotiations

10 involved -- when the negotiations addressed different

11 options, different modalities of the relation of --

12 relations in a future state, which is quite a

13 democratic manner of thought, because they pursued a

14 political solution, a political solution to the

15 regulation, to the organisation of the state in which

16 all those three peoples would live.

17 Naturally it is the right of every individual

18 and every people, therefore, to try to advocate and win

19 the best possible options for this, and this was the

20 gist of the political election of Mr. Kordic. And the

21 end of it came at the time of the referendum at which

22 the Croats and Muslims of Bosnia-Herzegovina voted

23 "yes" for an independent sovereign state.

24 I believe Your Honours will remember that

25 during the cross-examination of Witness O, we submitted

Page 16811

1 an Exhibit 74/1 in which we showed that various Croats

2 and Muslims in Busovaca and those involved in the

3 political life in Busovaca, Dario Kordic, Husnija

4 Neslanovic, Zoran Maric, Asim Sunulapasic, and a number

5 of others, and that he also put his signature as a

6 public manifestation of their wish to have

7 Bosnia-Herzegovina proclaimed a sovereign state.

8 As is known, the referendum took place on the

9 29th of February and the 1st of March, 1992, and at

10 that referendum the Muslims and Croats invested a joint

11 effort to ensure that Bosnia-Herzegovina becomes an

12 independent state in a legal, lawful, and legitimate

13 manner. And this is what entitles me to say, I

14 believe, that it is quite wrong and unfounded to claim

15 that the Croats in Bosnia-Herzegovina, in fact, pursued

16 the disintegration of Bosnia-Herzegovina so as to

17 supposedly, allegedly, join the Republic of Croatia and

18 so on and so forth, because had the Croats not taken

19 part in the referendum, Bosnia-Herzegovina would not

20 have become an independent state and, moreover, would

21 have legally remained part of what remained of the

22 former Yugoslavia or, rather, the rump Yugoslavia. So

23 that could be called the first stage, the first

24 temporal framework in which Mr. Kordic was politically

25 active.

Page 16812

1 The second period of time begins after the

2 referendum. All of the efforts of Mr. Kordic and the

3 Croat Democratic Union in Bosnia-Herzegovina, of which

4 he was a member, were focusing on the regulation of

5 relations amongst the peoples who lived within the

6 territory -- in the territory of the newly-proclaimed

7 Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina and not outside the

8 borders or beyond the borders of that republic. That

9 this is so emerges clearly from the decision on the

10 foundation of the Croat Community of Herceg-Bosna,

11 which says that it is founded within the state and

12 legal borders of the Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina and

13 constitutes its integral part.

14 So in our submission, it is very important to

15 bear this in mind, that there were two periods of his

16 activity, because in the presentation of the

17 Prosecution case -- and obviously they had the right to

18 present it in the way they wanted to -- this was

19 completely omitted, and I think that it is very

20 important to understand the conduct of Mr. Kordic in

21 his political activity.

22 However, there was an additional problem

23 within Bosnia-Herzegovina which the Defence has to keep

24 pointing out. Bosnia and Herzegovina declared its

25 independence in early March 1992, but this declaration

Page 16813

1 was exactly this, a pure declaration. Regardless of

2 the fact that the United Nations, on the 22nd of May,

3 1992, recognised Bosnia-Herzegovina, unfortunately

4 Bosnia and Herzegovina, at the time of its declaration

5 as an independent state, did not have all the

6 institutions that a modern state should have, if we

7 look at the western standards.

8 After a month of its declaration of

9 independence, Bosnia and Herzegovina experienced an

10 aggression of the JNA and the Bosnian Serbs led by the

11 Serbian Democratic Party. So that at the very

12 beginning of its existence which was to take hold,

13 about 70 per cent of its territory was cut off from the

14 central government in Sarajevo. That capital was

15 besieged and cut off from the rest of the country so

16 that Bosnia-Herzegovina, at the time when it was

17 formally declared an independent state, did not exist

18 in reality. There was no central government, there

19 were no communication lines, and the legal institutions

20 were unable to function properly.

21 And this was due to the chaos which ensued

22 after the certain territories were cut off. Certain

23 communities tried to make political arrangements which

24 were possible at the time, and the Trial Chamber, I

25 think, has had ample opportunity to understand that.

Page 16814

1 The political life continued in separate municipalities

2 in the best way possible at the time.

3 In my introductory remarks, I will only

4 say -- I will make a couple of more points on

5 Mr. Kordic as a person.

6 Mr. Kordic was born on 14 December 1960, in a

7 Catholic family in Sarajevo. Mr. Kordic's mother was a

8 physician, and his father was a veterinarian. At first

9 the family lived in Zepce, where the father worked as a

10 veterinarian, and his mother worked as a general

11 practitioner. Then she got a specialisation in

12 Busovaca as a paediatrician, and that is when they

13 moved there, and they continue to live there today. In

14 addition to Mr. Kordic, Mr. Kordic's parents had four

15 other children.

16 Even though we consider it irrelevant for

17 these proceedings, we felt compelled to present

18 evidence that the Kordic family had never had any blood

19 ties with Mr. Mate Boban, because a number of

20 Prosecution witnesses testified to that. We will

21 produce witnesses from both the Kordic and Boban

22 families and will provide evidence that no blood ties

23 exist between these two families.

24 But let me just add a couple of other things

25 in regard of Mr. Kordic. He went to the elementary

Page 16815

1 school in Zepce, and after the family moved to

2 Busovaca, he completed his primary schooling in

3 Busovaca. In 1979, he graduated from the high school

4 in Vitez, and the Trial Chamber had an opportunity to

5 hear from one of his teachers there.

6 He then went on to Sarajevo to study

7 political science and graduated in Sarajevo with

8 honours. He received a golden badge, which is one of

9 the awards. Then he started the study of international

10 affairs, which did he not complete, because he then

11 took a job in company Vatrostalna.

12 In 1986, he married Vernera Kordic, born

13 Krilic, who worked as a psychologist and worked as a

14 child psychologist in Kaonik and held that job

15 throughout the war, commuting to Kaonik. Three

16 children were produced in this marriage, the son in

17 1987, and the next child in 1992, and the youngest in

18 1995.

19 Throughout Mr. Kordic's activity in Busovaca,

20 the entire family continued to live in Busovaca, both

21 his parents and other family. Since 1995, the Kordic

22 family has lived in the city of Zagreb.

23 As I pointed out, Mr. Kordic was born and

24 raised in a Catholic family, and these were the

25 principles that were observed, and this is how he was

Page 16816

1 raised, and this is how he raised his own family.

2 Because of his Catholic upbringing, Mr. Kordic never

3 had any bad word about any other ethnic groups.

4 I had an opportunity to talk to a number of

5 people who were Mr. Kordic's neighbours, and I never

6 met any person who would say anything contrary to the

7 conclusions which I have reached on Mr. Kordic. Even

8 the Muslim witnesses here not only spoke well of his

9 neighbours but also who was prepared to assist people

10 and help him anyway he could if they asked him.

11 This same attitude governed Mr. Kordic's

12 conduct in politics. He never used any pejorative or

13 disrespectful words in regard of any other ethnic

14 group. It is important to point out that he did not do

15 that even at the time, during the period of ten months

16 when Croats in the Lasva River valley were completely

17 cut off from the rest of the world, and when, on a

18 daily basis, they did not know what tomorrow would

19 bring and whether they would survive to see the next

20 day.

21 Even during his time in Vatrostalna where he

22 worked as a journalist, Mr. Kordic was politically

23 active, and he continued to do so when, after about

24 45 years, the multi-party system was reintroduced in

25 Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Page 16817

1 Mr. Pero Kordic, Mr. Kordic's father, was one

2 of the founders of the HDZ, and Dario Kordic followed

3 in his father's footsteps.

4 I think that I just need to point out a few

5 highlights of his career. In September of 1991, in the

6 conference in Busovaca, he was elected the head of the

7 party. After the first multi-party elections in Bosnia

8 and Herzegovina, Mr. Kordic became this head of the

9 defence in the local government. This department had

10 nothing to do with the military structure, and the

11 military structure, at that time, in existence was

12 still the JNA.

13 In this post, Mr. Kordic opposed the efforts

14 of the JNA to mobilise military recruits who were of

15 Croatian and Muslim origins. This was a dangerous

16 period, because the JNA had the presence in Busovaca

17 until May of 1992.

18 Mr. Kordic was elected president of the HDZ

19 for Busovaca in 1991, and was in this duty until April

20 1992, when he was replaced by Florijan Glavocevic. In

21 April 1992, in the second conference of HDZ, he was

22 elected one of the five vice-presidents of HDZ, along

23 with Mile Ekmescic, Pero Markovic, Jadranko Topic, and

24 Ivo Zivkovic.

25 Of course, the Trial Chamber had

Page 16818

1 opportunities to learn that on 18 November 1991, when

2 the Herceg-Bosna was established, he was elected one of

3 the two vice-presidents. The president was Mate Boban,

4 and the other vice-president was Bozo Rajic.

5 I think that I will end here in order not to

6 take any more time, and later on I will add a few more

7 comments. Thank you very much for now.

8 MR. SAYERS: Mr. President, taking up

9 directly from where Mr. Naumovski left off, I'd like to

10 address what we intend to be or expect to be the

11 evidence presented by Mr. Kordic relating to his

12 participation in the highest levels of government, that

13 is, in the HZ HB and the HR HB. I'll proceed then to

14 discuss the persecution theory and the evidence that we

15 expect to produce on that, and then I'll summarise the

16 evidence that we expect to produce from our witnesses

17 on the chain of command. And as I've previously

18 informed the Trial Chamber, our first witness also

19 address that, but they'll also address, inferentially,

20 the other issues that I've just mentioned.

21 Now, turning to the HZ HB, the Court well

22 knows this was formed on the 18th of November, 1991.

23 We have previously gone over, with the constitutional

24 expert from the Prosecution, Dr. Ribicic, the

25 significant developments in the HZ HB.

Page 16819

1 As the Court knows, the Croatian Defence

2 Council, the HVO, was formed on April the 8th, 1992.

3 Now, the Court may wonder, what did the HZ HB do

4 between the date of its foundation and the date of the

5 establishment of the HVO? The evidence will show, I

6 think, that it didn't do anything. It held two

7 informal meetings of the HZ HB, but they were held

8 simultaneously with party meetings of the HDZ, BiH, and

9 no legislation was adopted, no organisational steps

10 were taken. It existed really no more than as a paper

11 entity until one of the watershed states that we've

12 previously covered, which was July 3rd, 1992, where

13 there was a meeting of the Presidency of the HZ HB and

14 the first set of legislative measures were adopted.

15 But with respect to the period November the

16 18th, 1991 to July 3, 1992, I think the Trial Chamber

17 can well see, and the evidence will show, that this

18 organisation, this entity, was no more than a loose

19 association of approximately 30 municipalities. We've

20 already identified those. They are mentioned in

21 paragraph 5 of the amended indictment.

22 The Court has already heard evidence, and we

23 intend to present more, that the internal governance of

24 this association was rudimentary in the extreme. The

25 Court will have in mind the initial organisational

Page 16820

1 document, Exhibit Z27.2.

2 Three portions I would like to draw the

3 court's attention to. First, Article 5. This

4 community was organised to respect the democratically

5 elected government of the Republic of

6 Bosnia-Herzegovina as long as it remains an independent

7 state. And I emphasise this was before the Republic of

8 Bosnia-Herzegovina had come into existence, before the

9 referendum had even been passed on that issue.

10 The second Article, Article 6, was that the

11 community was to respect all valid international

12 regulations that constitute the basis of contemporary

13 civilised relations in society, but more importantly,

14 insofar as the highest levels of government are

15 concerned, to the respect that that entity could have a

16 government at that time, Article 7 stated that the

17 supreme authority of the community would be reposed in

18 a presidency. The post of president of the HZ HB did

19 not exist initially, until July 3, 1993. Instead,

20 there was a presidency. And the Presidency consisted,

21 Your Honours, of the most senior representatives of the

22 Croatian people in the various member municipalities or

23 the presidents of the HDZ, BiH municipal boards. And

24 Mr. Kordic was one of these representatives, one of

25 30 or so, 30 or more.

Page 16821

1 As the Court knows, initially, Mate Boban was

2 elected the president of the community, and he remained

3 the president of the community until the foundation of

4 the republic, the Croatian Republic of Herceg-Bosna, on

5 August 28, 1993. Indeed, even following the foundation

6 of that republic, directly against the context of the

7 Owen-Stoltenberg plan, Mr. Boban remained the president

8 of the republic until he resigned at a meeting in Livno

9 on the 8th of February, 1993 -- 1994, I'm sorry. We

10 expect to have evidence from people who were at that

11 meeting, who will explain the circumstances of his

12 resignation, and we intend to produce members of the HZ

13 HB and HR HB who will discuss the functions of the

14 president at the time that he held the office, and also

15 the functions, of course, of the members of the

16 Presidency before July the 3rd of 1992 and thereafter.

17 After the HVO was formed -- let me just

18 say -- as I've said, the HVO was formed on April 8,

19 1992, following the vote that established the Republic

20 of Bosnia-Herzegovina. And as the Court knows, the

21 Croats did participate in this referendum, and that

22 produced a 99.44 per cent vote of the people who

23 actually voted. Now, it's material to note that the

24 Bosnian Serb population, almost to a man and almost to

25 a woman, abstained, boycotted this referendum. So

Page 16822

1 35 per cent of the entire population essentially

2 refused to vote, and that was an extremely ominous

3 augury of the future in the country in light of the

4 events that Mr. Naumovski has just gone over.

5 The Republic was formed on March 6, 1992.

6 Ten days later, the evidence will show that the Bosnian

7 Serb army attacked Mostar. Two or three weeks after

8 that, the BSA attacked Sarajevo. Quite simply, the

9 organs of central government of this brand new republic

10 never had the opportunity to be established. They

11 never really had the opportunity to get off the ground,

12 and they never functioned.

13 The Court might well ask itself of the plight

14 in which the various municipalities of the entire

15 country, not merely the HZ HB, found themselves, cut

16 off from the central government and left to fend for

17 themselves, and facing a determined, well-financed,

18 very well-equipped adversary, which, I might add and

19 must stress, had an extensive cadre of very

20 well-trained officers, former JNA officers; a solid

21 military organisation; and a solid background of

22 logistics, supplies, and equipment, experience.

23 This entity rapidly launched a series of

24 successful offensives. These offensives produced

25 extremely large waves of refugees and one statistic

Page 16823

1 that is recited in a document that we will introduce

2 into evidence, a United Nations Commission on Human

3 Rights report, dated November the 17th, 1993, captures

4 perhaps the magnitude of the humanitarian disaster that

5 was wrought as a result of this incipient and

6 ultimately full-blown civil war.

7 Of a total population of 4.2 million Bosnian,

8 Serbs and Croats in Bosnia-Herzegovina, by the end of

9 1993, 2,1 million people had been displaced, 50 per

10 cent of the population, and the evidence will show what

11 kind of an impact that had upon the resources of the

12 areas where these refugees had to flee, where they were

13 compressed into approximately 30 per cent of the

14 territorial area of Bosnia-Herzegovina. This posed an

15 enormous strain upon the fabric of society, and it

16 quite simply broke down. There was competition for

17 basic resources, housing, food, clothing, and we

18 believe the evidence will show and the Trial Chamber

19 will be convinced that the institutions of civilised

20 society simply fractured under the enormous strains of

21 these influxes of refugees, with the resulting outbreak

22 of lawlessness, inability to control the rising tide of

23 lawlessness, and indeed the Court will hear evidence

24 from police chiefs that we intend to call from various

25 municipalities to explain precisely that. They will

Page 16824

1 explain that their forces, the police forces, were

2 actually depleted as a result of having to send people

3 to fight on the front lines with the Bosnian Serb

4 army. And these weren't simply military police. These

5 were representatives of the civilian police.

6 On April the 8th of 1992, the Presidency of

7 this fledgling republic issued a proclamation of an

8 imminent threat of war, and it was on that same day

9 that the HVO was formed. This decree was signed by

10 Mr. Boban not at a meeting, I might stress and the

11 evidence will show, not at a meeting of the HZ HB

12 Presidency, but he just signed it himself in Mostar on

13 April the 8th of 1992. Mr. Kordic was not present at

14 that time.

15 But two points are material with respect to

16 the HVO, Mr. President. The first is that the HVO

17 would be the supreme defence body of the Croatian

18 people and the HZ HB, and this is already in evidence

19 at Exhibit 182/1, tab 1, a very short document. But

20 the second paragraph of this founding document I think

21 is significant and merits the Trial Chamber's careful

22 consideration. The objective of this organisation was

23 to take care of the sovereign space of the HZ HB and to

24 protect the Croatian people as well as other peoples in

25 the community that are attacked by an aggressor. It

Page 16825

1 was a defensive organisation established to protect

2 everyone.

3 Now, the HVO, once again, was a very

4 fledgling organisation in April, May, June and July.

5 There was no military organisation. It had no rank

6 structure. It had no general staff. It had no

7 internal brigade structure. It was just an

8 agglomeration of people with heterogeneous backgrounds,

9 and one of them included -- or one of the people that

10 was involved in the initial events was Mr. Kordic, but

11 he was not a member of the HVO government at any time.

12 He did not participate in the highest levels of the HVO

13 government, especially after that government had been

14 established in July of 1993.

15 As to Mr. Kordic's political influence at

16 this time, we expect the evidence to confirm the story

17 that has already been established during the

18 Prosecution's case. Consider Vitez, for example.

19 Mr. Kordic had virtually no significant political

20 influence in Vitez. In fact, most of the SDA political

21 leaders on the civilian side had never even spoken to

22 him, and that's established from the Prosecution case

23 itself. But he did have influence in Busovaca, and

24 Mr. Naumovski will address that at the appropriate

25 time.

Page 16826

1 But there's no question, Your Honours, that

2 Mr. Kordic did, in April, May, June and July, take an

3 active and vocal role to make sure that the Croat

4 population did obtain their fair share of weapons

5 stored in former JNA barracks as the JNA was

6 withdrawing from the territory of Central Bosnia, and

7 he was largely successful in this regard. And the

8 Court will recall exactly how that occurred. We intend

9 to produce evidence from people who were at these

10 negotiations, and I stress "negotiations". There were

11 negotiations that occurred between all of the parties,

12 for example, in Novi Travnik in April of 1992 and,

13 further, in Busovaca in May of 1992. And we expect

14 also to produce evidence from the HVO military figures

15 in these very early days, perhaps most notably

16 Major-General Filipovic, to explain the context within

17 which these discussions were occurring between the

18 peoples who were attempting to obtain arms to defend

19 themselves from what looked like an imminent assault.

20 Some weeks ago, I reminded the Trial Chamber

21 that a question was asked during the cross-examination

22 of one of the Prosecution's witnesses regarding

23 intertwining of civilian and political functions, and

24 there was intertwining, as I informed the Presiding

25 Judge, in the early months, once again, April, May,

Page 16827

1 June, July of 1992, and there could hardly fail to be,

2 because there was no separate civilian and military

3 organisation. Everything was compressed together in a

4 confused jumble in a time of military emergency and, I

5 might add, looming humanitarian emergency.

6 But our evidence will clarify for the Court,

7 I trust, and early on in our case, in fact with the

8 first few witnesses, I hope, what was established

9 during Dr. Ribicic's testimony, and that is that the

10 HVO slowly established itself into both a civilian

11 structure and a military structure and the two were

12 separate, and it's an unfortunate happenstance of

13 terminology that the civilian government was called the

14 HVO and that the military was called the HVO too. But

15 the Court will recall that the civilian HVO ceased to

16 exist following the foundation of the Croatian Republic

17 of Herceg-Bosna when all the departments and

18 governmental institutions that had been established

19 over the preceding year were merged into the HR HB

20 according to Article 46 of the basic decision. As of

21 that time, September the 30th, 1993, the civilian HVO

22 ceased to exist, but the military HVO continued on in

23 existence.

24 We urge the Court to consider the testimony

25 of one of our first witnesses, Major-General Filip

Page 16828

1 Filipovic, carefully. He will very graphically

2 describe the turbulent beginning of the HVO, and also

3 that turbulent beginning we expect to be confirmed by

4 other high-ranking officers of the HVO general staff,

5 whom we hope to be able to call during the course of

6 this case, and also by high-ranking political figures

7 who actually did participate in the government of the

8 HVO, the HZ HB, and the HR HB. In fact, we intend to

9 produce evidence from the individual that drafted most

10 of the legislation that was adopted by the HZ HB.

11 We hope to be able to introduce evidence from

12 the people who participated at the highest levels of

13 the Ministry of Justice or the Department of Justice,

14 and they will explain also that within the HZ HB and

15 within the HR HB, there weren't simply exclusively

16 Croat people, people of Croat ethnicity, but people of

17 Muslim ethnicity as well and some people of Serb

18 ethnicity as well.

19 Let me just turn to, if I may just before the

20 break, the evidence that we expect to adduce through

21 Major-General Filipovic. He's a retired major-general,

22 having obtained that rank in the current Federation

23 army. He served as Colonel Blaskic's second in command

24 after June of 1992. He eventually replaced Colonel --

25 then General Blaskic as the Central Bosnia Operative

Page 16829

1 Zone commander in April of 1994. He's a professional

2 soldier. He was initially appointed, Your Honours, as

3 the commander of the HVO armed forces in early April of

4 1992, one of the first commanders of the HVO armed

5 forces. He will establish that when the civil war

6 broke out, the Bosnian Croats had a grand total of

7 about 10 professionally-trained military officers of

8 Croat ethnicity available to them. He replaced Pasko

9 Ljubicic, who himself had been a lieutenant in the

10 JNA. He will also explain that because of his 20 years

11 of military service with the JNA, having risen to the

12 rank of colonel in that institution, he was viewed with

13 some suspicion by his fellow Croats, he was not

14 entirely trusted initially, and that he was replaced on

15 May the 20th, 1992, by a gentleman named Zarko Tole.

16 Mr. Tole unfortunately was captured during

17 fighting with the Bosnian Serbs about ten days after

18 his appointment. His replacement was another extremely

19 short-lived individual by the name of Ivan Zorica,

20 nicknamed Zulu, a man of no military experience, no

21 strategic foresight, and he lasted 20 days in the

22 position. This takes us to late May, June.

23 It was Colonel Filipovic who recommended

24 Colonel Blaskic to be the commander of the Operative

25 Zone. Colonel Blaskic was a young officer, not

Page 16830

1 immutably stained with JNA or former JNA ties. He had

2 been trained in the JNA, but he was not so closely

3 associated with the JNA as was Colonel Filipovic at

4 that time. He was appointed commander of the Operative

5 Zone in June of 1992.

6 So as the Court can see from that brief

7 recitation and, I think, the Court will accept as a

8 fact that from April to June of 1992, the HVO found

9 itself in a very chaotic organisational situation. But

10 after this, an organisational framework began to be

11 imposed in the armed forces of the HVO. Things began

12 to settle down. Military men were inducted into the

13 hierarchy and set up a chain of command. And one of

14 them is the second witness we intend to call, a retired

15 brigadier from the Federation army, Franjo Nakic, who

16 was the third in command in the Central Bosnia

17 Operative Zone and the chief of staff of the

18 headquarters run by Colonel Blaskic. He had good

19 organisational skills. He was a former major in the

20 JNA reserve. He was brought in at the end of 1992,

21 November 1992, to form the headquarter staff of the

22 headquarters of the Central Bosnia Operative Zone at

23 the Hotel Vitez, and he did so.

24 These military men will provide evidence of

25 how this military organisation was established, how it

Page 16831

1 developed in a concrete way, how it adopted and

2 enforced a code of military discipline, that this code

3 worked. They will explain the staff organisation

4 within the headquarters and within the armed forces

5 generally and its command structure. They will explain

6 how the brigades were formed on a municipality-based

7 basis, reported up the chain of command to the

8 headquarters in the Hotel Vitez. Each of the brigades

9 were, in turn, organised into companies.

10 We will also explain the formation of the

11 so-called PPNs or special purpose units, and both of

12 the soldiers will explain the command structure of

13 those PPNs and also of the military police. And I

14 might add that we intend to call two military police

15 chiefs to eliminate any doubt that might be lingering,

16 although I don't think any should be after the

17 testimony of Witness AS, about the chain of command

18 within the military police.

19 One thing I want to say just before I leave

20 this is that Mr. Kordic was nowhere in that chain of

21 command after July the 3rd of 1992, [Realtime

22 transcript read in error "November"] and it was on that

23 date that the HZ HB came of age.

24 If this is a convenient time to pause, I'll

25 take that up after the break, Mr. President. Thank

Page 16832

1 you.

2 JUDGE MAY: Very well. We'll adjourn now.

3 Half an hour.

4 --- Recess taken at 11.03 a.m.

5 --- On resuming at 11.37 a.m.

6 JUDGE MAY: Yes, Mr. Sayers.

7 MR. SAYERS: Thank you, Mr. President. If I

8 may, two minor corrections for the record. I believe

9 in Mr. Naumovski's recitation of the political issues

10 connected with Mr. Kordic, he said that Mr. Kordic was

11 elected vice-president of the HDZ, BiH in April of

12 1992. It should actually be November the 14th, 1992.

13 And just in my concluding comments before the break, I

14 said that Mr. Kordic was nowhere in the chain of

15 command after July of 1992, and the transcript, page

16 47, line 24, reads November.

17 It's with July that I'd like to address what

18 we expect to show in our evidence. The Court knows

19 that at a meeting held in Mostar on July 3, 1992, a new

20 decision fundamentally pre-structuring the HZ HB was

21 adopted. Mr. Kordic was at this meeting, and he was

22 one of a hundred politicians, or a hundred or so

23 politicians that attended.

24 The Court will recall that this meeting

25 occurred shortly after the declaration of a state of

Page 16833

1 war in the Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina by the

2 Presidency, that being June the 20th, just two weeks

3 before.

4 Once again, Article 5 of the decision that

5 was amended repeated its respect for the democratically

6 elected bodies of Bosnia-Herzegovina, this time the

7 newly established Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina. But

8 the Article that deserves close attention from the

9 Trial Chamber is Article 7, which wrought fundamental

10 changes in the governance of this body. Supreme

11 authority was now vested in the president of the HZ

12 HB. This was a new office.

13 The Presidency continued but its functions

14 changed. Once again, the Presidency consisted of

15 representatives of the Croatian people in the municipal

16 bodies of authority or the senior officials thereof and

17 also the presidents of the municipal HVOs. Once again,

18 approximately 30-plus people in the Presidency.

19 The Presidency was expressly to be a

20 legislative body, Your Honours, a legislative body of

21 the HZ HB, in turn to have a president, but this being

22 a president of the Presidency as opposed to the

23 president of the entity, although as a practical

24 matter, the Defence would have to concede that these

25 two offices, though conceptually distinct, were

Page 16834

1 actually held by Mate Boban throughout.

2 The Presidency was to have two

3 vice-presidents, Mr. Kordic was one of them, Mr. Rajic

4 was the other. It was also to have a secretary, that

5 being, at all material times, Mr. Ignjac Kostroman.

6 Article 8 of this new decision stated that

7 the Presidency would appoint the executive and the

8 administrative bodies of authority in the HZ HB;

9 therefore, the legislature would appoint the

10 government. And just several points that I would like

11 to draw to the Trial Chamber's attention which we

12 expect the evidence to establish and actually without

13 controversion. First, obviously Mr. Kordic was not the

14 president of the HZ HB and of course, never the

15 president of the HR HB. He was only a vice-president

16 of the Presidency. The Presidency was effectively a

17 legislature, and the Presidency appointed the

18 government.

19 Now, we expect the Defence witnesses who

20 participated in the highest levels of government to

21 testify that Mr. Kordic played almost no role in that

22 regard, Your Honours. He was never in the government

23 of the HZ HB other than being a vice-president of the

24 legislature and a legislator in his own right.

25 The Trial Chamber will recall the emphasis

Page 16835

1 placed in various papers submitted by the Prosecution

2 and in argument upon the significance of the Presidency

3 of the HZ HB. This entity met twice in the coming

4 months, once on August 14, 1993, and Mr. Kordic

5 attended that meeting. That meeting resulted in the

6 appointment of the president of the civil HVO,

7 Dr. Jadranko Prlic. The second time that the

8 Presidency met was on October the 17th, 1993 [sic],

9 which is the second watershed date of the HZ HB.

10 The evidence is going to show, Your Honours,

11 that thereafter, after October the 17th of 1992, not

12 1993, the Presidency of the HZ HB never held a session

13 that Mr. Kordic attended until the foundation of the

14 HR HB, nearly a year later.

15 Now, as to the powers of Mr. Kordic, his

16 political powers as a vice-president of the Presidency,

17 there is not any doubt as to what those powers were.

18 You've heard evidence from Dr. Ribicic, and you've

19 actually considered -- you've seen the Code of Practice

20 of the Presidency that was adopted on July the 3rd of

21 1992.

22 The powers of vice-president of the

23 Presidency were parliamentary. For example, in

24 Articles 15 and 20 of that code, the vice-president

25 could, in the absence of the president, call a session

Page 16836

1 of the Presidency, but the evidence will show that

2 Mr. Kordic never did so. Similarly, under Article 20,

3 the vice-president, theoretically, could preside over a

4 session of the Presidency in the absence of the

5 president and exercise parliamentary power such as

6 limiting addresses or holding addresses to a particular

7 time limit, but the evidence will show that he never

8 did that either. He never exercised these

9 parliamentary powers.

10 As I've said, he never attended any meetings

11 of the Presidency after October the 17th of 1992, and

12 there isn't going to be any doubt about that in the

13 evidence.

14 So that is the role that he played in the

15 highest levels of government, if I may say so. We

16 expect it to show it to be a zero role, actually.

17 Now, a series of important organisational

18 decrees were adopted on July the 3rd, and we've

19 introduced some evidence of that in cross-examination

20 and there will be no evidence relating to these

21 decrees, and I'm not going to consume time by going

22 over all of them, but I would like to emphasise just a

23 few because these related basically to the HVO.

24 The first decision was a statutory decision

25 on the temporary organisation of executive authority

Page 16837

1 and administration in the territory of the HZ HB. In

2 other words, this decree set up the government and

3 described what it would do, what its function was.

4 First, under Article 2, the HVO was expressly

5 defined as being a temporary body that existed in a

6 time of war or an imminent threat of war and would

7 cease to exist once the formal organs of civilian and

8 executive and administrative power had been permanently

9 established.

10 Article 7 described how the HVO government

11 was to be organised. At its head would be a

12 president. There would be vice-presidents. There

13 would then be department heads and other members. The

14 organs of government at the highest levels were

15 organised into six separate departments under

16 Article 20. The Department of Defence, Interior,

17 Economic Affairs, Finance, Social Affairs, and last,

18 Justice and Administration.

19 We expect to produce to the Court Ministers

20 from these departments who will testify what they did,

21 who directed their affairs, with whom they

22 communicated, and most importantly, from the

23 perspective of Mr. Kordic, his relative lack of

24 prominence, in fact, complete lack of prominence the

25 ordinary administration of the governmental affairs of

Page 16838

1 the HZ HB, the operations of the president of the HVO,

2 and of the departments.

3 The second decision I would like to commend

4 to the Court's attention was a decision that

5 articulated the principle of transparency and a

6 commitment that things would be done in public. All of

7 the official acts of the organisation, decrees adopted

8 by the HVO or HZ HB would be published publicly in a

9 document called the Nadrodni List, and that's already

10 been introduced into evidence. The Court will note,

11 naturally, that it's a fairly significant document,

12 containing many separate decrees, but for purposes of

13 this case, only a few are significant.

14 The first of those is a decree on the armed

15 forces that was passed on July the 3rd, 1992. This was

16 the first organisational effort undertaken by the

17 government to regulate the affairs of the HVO armed

18 forces.

19 It defined the competencies of the HVO in

20 Article 9. Competencies were to plan the defence of

21 the HZ HB, to fund the defence of the HZ HB and provide

22 mechanisms for that, to pass regulations relating to

23 mobilisation of men of military age into the armed

24 forces.

25 Article 10 defined the competencies of the

Page 16839

1 Defence Department, which was largely, in July anyway,

2 to prescribe the structures of command and control of

3 the armed forces.

4 Significantly, Article 29 of this decree

5 defined the competencies of the president of the HZ HB;

6 not the Presidency but the president, the new office

7 created on that date.

8 It was the president who was the Supreme

9 Commander of the armed forces. He had no ability to

10 delegate his command function. It was the president

11 who would draft regulations on military discipline,

12 and, significantly, who would appoint and dismiss

13 military commanders from duty.

14 Article 31, of course, provided that command

15 and control in the armed forces shall be implemented by

16 the commanders of the armed forces in accordance with

17 the powers given.

18 The second significant decree, which I will

19 merely mention and not examine in any detail because

20 it's before the Court and its provisions say what they

21 say, were the adoption of a decree relating to the

22 rules on military discipline, very extensive in number

23 and in scope.

24 Some appointments were made to the

25 government, Your Honours, on July the 3rd.

Page 16840

1 Specifically, the Department of Defence was headed by

2 Bruno Stojic, appointed on that date.

3 As I have mentioned, the next meeting of the

4 Presidency occurred just over a month later, August the

5 14th, 1992, and it was at that meeting that Dr. Prlic

6 was appointed the president of the HVO, a position, I

7 might add, that he retained until the foundation of the

8 HR HB, until the Ministries of the HZ HB were folded

9 into the Ministries or the departments of the HZ HB

10 were folded into the Ministries of the HR HB. And

11 Dr. Prlic was appointed the Prime Minister of the

12 HR HB and, I believe, held that position from the

13 30th of September of 1993 until the end of the war and

14 beyond.

15 Of the people appointed to positions of

16 authority within the HVO, the Court will no doubt

17 recall that Mr. Kordic was not one of them. At no

18 point was Mr. Kordic appointed to the position of

19 president. He never held the position of

20 vice-president of the HVO, any of the three. He never

21 held the position of any department head within the

22 HVO, at no time.

23 The next watershed date in the evolution of

24 this organisation was October the 17th, 1992, at a

25 meeting of the Presidency of the HZ HB. Two

Page 16841

1 vice-presidents of the HVO were appointed at that time,

2 Mr. Valenta and Mr. Zubak.

3 The Court will hear evidence relating to

4 extensive revisions made to a new and sophisticated

5 decree on the armed forces, delineating in far more

6 detail the competencies of the Department of Defence

7 and of the president.

8 When I address the chain of command issues,

9 the Court will recall that there has been some

10 suggestion that the position of political commissar or

11 zampolit of the type of political officer in the former

12 armed forces of the Soviet Union was the model in the

13 HVO. It was not. In fact, if you take a look at the

14 decree on the armed forces, Article 25, political

15 activity was expressly prohibited.

16 Now, the Prosecution, as I said, has taken

17 the position in this case that the Presidency of the

18 HZ HB was omnipotent, omnipresent, and it must take

19 that position in order to magnify and exaggerate

20 Mr. Kordic's alleged political powers. We understand

21 that. Must take that position because he was not

22 involved in the military chain of command, as the

23 evidence will establish. Must take that position

24 because he was not in the government, the organs of

25 civil government, let alone at the highest levels. But

Page 16842

1 it should not escape the Trial Chamber's attention, and

2 the evidence will establish this beyond doubt, that

3 Mr. Kordic never actually attended a meeting of the

4 Presidency after October the 17th, 1992, until the

5 foundation of the HR HB. So the Court should ask

6 itself: What did Mr. Kordic do as the vice-president

7 of the Presidency after October the 17th, 1992? And

8 our evidence will address that question and, I hope,

9 answer it.

10 He did play a prominent part in the

11 establishment of the HVO government in Busovaca --

12 there is no question about that -- in May, June, July

13 of 1992. But it will not escape the Trial Chamber's

14 attention, I trust -- and Mr. Naumovski touched upon

15 this lightly -- that he was not even the president of

16 the HVO government in Busovaca at any time. That

17 position was held initially by Mr. Glavocevic, and he

18 was replaced, I believe in August of 1992, by Zoran

19 Maric, who is currently a fairly prominent politician

20 in Central Bosnia, in the Federation. It's our present

21 intent, if we can, to call both of these politicians to

22 explain to the Court precisely what the political

23 evolution of the HVO was in Busovaca, who held power,

24 and what they did.

25 We expect that early on in the Defence case,

Page 16843

1 the Court will be convinced by the evidence we expect

2 to produce that the military and civilian functions of

3 the HVO government, the HVO civil, the HVO military had

4 largely and visibly diverged by October the 17th of

5 1992. The organs of civilian government had largely

6 been created by that date, Mr. Kordic not being in them

7 except as a member of the legislature and a

8 vice-president of the Presidency.

9 The organisation of the military was well

10 along, and we expect to prove that in the Central

11 Bosnia Operative Zone, Mr. Kordic was outside the chain

12 of command, any chain of command, direct, indirect, and

13 that will be confirmed by the military and civilian

14 witnesses that we expect to call.

15 Now, Mr. Kordic did participate in one

16 committee of the HVO, and the Court will no doubt

17 recall that evidence. It was a committee on personnel,

18 he being one of five people on it, not the president of

19 it. We do not believe that committee ever met, but the

20 president of it is a man that we hope to be able to

21 call in our evidence, and the Court will hear from him

22 directly what that committee did and what role, if any,

23 Mr. Kordic played in its operations. Suffice it to

24 say, in the scheme of the HVO civil government, it was

25 insignificant. It was not a department. It was simply

Page 16844

1 a legislative committee, and you will hear the role

2 that Mr. Kordic played on it, if any.

3 As I transition from the HZ HB, Your Honours,

4 into the HR HB, let me just focus on the Vance-Owen

5 Plan about which you've heard evidence.

6 This, of course, was one of a number of plans

7 sponsored, considered, and approved by the

8 International Community to try to bring an end to the

9 conflict in Bosnia-Herzegovina generally, and that, of

10 course, included Central Bosnia. Mr. Kordic, at no

11 time, took any part in the negotiations that led to the

12 Vance-Owen Plan. Mr. Boban, at all times, led those

13 negotiations, but other people did participate, other

14 prominent politicians of the Bosnian Croats, and we

15 expect to call some of them, and you can hear from them

16 directly what they did in connection with those

17 negotiations and what was discussed and who was thought

18 important to be present at these negotiations, and

19 equally important, who was not.

20 That's a general theme, I think, that has

21 been fairly well established in the cross-examination

22 case. Consider, for example, any of the conflicts that

23 occurred in January or April of 1993. Was Mr. Kordic

24 invited to any of the ceasefire negotiations by

25 anybody? The Court might well ask itself: Was his

Page 16845

1 name even mentioned in connection with these

2 negotiations as someone who would be vital or even

3 helpful? The answer to that is no. He did not attend

4 any of these negotiations. He was not invited. He was

5 not thought critical, important, necessary, or even

6 helpful. He simply took no part in them.

7 Now, the Vance-Owen Plan is noteworthy in

8 several respects. As I've said, it was developed and

9 ratified by the International Community. It envisaged

10 the division of the country into ten provinces, but I

11 confess I do not understand the argument made by the

12 Prosecution that somehow these provinces were intended

13 to be ethnically homogenous in some fashion, because

14 the court can review for itself. In some ways it's a

15 model of clarity. The government of the provinces,

16 each one of them, including the ones at issue in this

17 case, 3, 8, and most especially 10, were expressly and

18 designedly multi-ethnic, not monoethnic. And it bears

19 stress that the Croat contingent specifically and

20 enthusiastically agreed to these proposals that had

21 been developed by the International Community.

22 Let me just review, for example, provinces 3,

23 8, and 10, the anticipated governments in each of

24 these. Of course, they were to have Croat governors,

25 but in province 3, the Bosanski Brod province, there

Page 16846

1 was to be a Serb vice-governor and, I might add, an

2 interim Provincial Government consisting of

3 representatives of all three peoples, Serb, Muslim, and

4 Croat.

5 The same model applies to province 8, the

6 Mostar province, which was to have a Croat governor,

7 admittedly, but a Muslim vice-governor and a

8 multi-ethnic interim Provincial Government.

9 Now, with respect to province 10, the

10 governor was to be a Croat, the vice-governor was to be

11 a Muslim, and initially, there would be five Muslims

12 who sat on the interim Provincial Government, four

13 Croats, and one Serb. That was the model of the plan

14 initially approved by the Croats, of course, that was

15 in force until May of 1993, when the constitution of

16 that interim Provincial Government was modified, there

17 now being five Croats in the interim Provincial

18 Government, four Muslims, and one Serb.

19 The Court might ask itself: If Mr. Kordic

20 was such a significant figure, participating at the

21 highest levels of government, it follows, of course,

22 that he would be recommended as the governor of this

23 province, but you know that he was not. Vladimir

24 Soljic from Bugojno was selected as being the governor

25 designate, if you like, of province 10, and the members

Page 16847

1 of the interim Provincial Government were listed on a

2 document that we would like to draw to the Court's

3 attention, Exhibit Z972, and there were five members,

4 Mr. Valenta, Mr. Skopljak, Mr. Kordic, Mr. Ivan Sarac,

5 and Mr. Zoran Perkovic. Accordingly, Mr. Kordic, as

6 the Court can see, was anticipated to be one member of

7 the five-member interim provincial government and not

8 the governor.

9 So even at the provincial or cantonal level,

10 the role envisaged for Mr. Kordic was not that of a

11 leader of the government but as one of the members of

12 the government, if that model were ever to exist. And

13 we know that it didn't. Unfortunately, the Vance-Owen

14 Plan fell into disrepair after it had been rejected by

15 the Bosnian Serbs at a parliamentary session held in

16 the Republika Srpska on the 6th of May, 1993.

17 I'd like to turn now to the HR HB, because

18 that's the next logical progression.

19 Following the Vance-Owen Plan's

20 disintegration, if that's not too strong a term, the

21 international negotiations, as the Court knows,

22 continued. The International Community continued with

23 its efforts to try to come up with some constitutional

24 organisation, some governmental framework that would

25 accommodate the interests of the three constituent

Page 16848

1 peoples of Bosnia-Herzegovina, and you will hear from

2 people who participated in those continued

3 negotiations. Just as with the Vance-Owen Plan,

4 Mr. Kordic was not one of them. He never was invited

5 to participate in those negotiations and, in fact, did

6 not.

7 The Court knows the history of the

8 Owen-Stoltenberg Plan. I believe the latest report to

9 the Security Council by the Secretary-General has

10 already been introduced into evidence, dated August the

11 6th, Exhibit D141/1. That's a document that deserves

12 some careful scrutiny. It describes, in fairly careful

13 detail, the efforts of the International Community to

14 resolve the conflict, stretching back to April or March

15 of 1992 with the Cutilliero principles which initially

16 envisaged an organisation that recognised three

17 constituent peoples in Bosnia-Herzegovina. That

18 principle was retreated from with the Vance-Owen Plan,

19 when there were ten separate provinces with the

20 governmental structures I've just outlined. But the

21 Cutilliero principles were revised, if you like, in the

22 Owen-Stoltenberg Plan which ultimately resulted in a

23 constitutional agreement that was attached as Annex 1

24 to the plan. It's a very crucial document, but the

25 background of this document appears on page 4, and I'd

Page 16849

1 just like to recite it, if I may, because it's very,

2 very relevant to the persecution theory that I will

3 turn to just after covering this subject.

4 The Secretary-General reported to the

5 Security Council that the major offensive activity

6 throughout all but the last few days of the current

7 negotiating period was the Bosnian government's attack

8 against the Bosnian Croats in Central Bosnia, leading

9 to the capture of Fojnica and Gornji Vakuf. As I said,

10 Mr. Kordic was not involved in any of the negotiations

11 that led to the approval of this claim by the Bosnian

12 Croats, but we intend to produce evidence from the

13 leading politicians, providing we can get them here,

14 who were involved.

15 On July the 30th of 1993, all three sides

16 agreed to this constitutional agreement. It envisaged

17 a union of republics of Bosnia-Herzegovina composed of

18 three constituent republics and encompassed three

19 constituent peoples, Muslims, Serbs and Croats. Now,

20 Your Honours, the union itself was to be a member of

21 the United Nations, but the constituent republics had

22 no international standing. They were not able to

23 conduct international relations with other states.

24 They were merely internal republics of the union of

25 republics.

Page 16850

1 As I've mentioned, the Bosnian Croats

2 enthusiastically approved and accepted this plan. In

3 fact, they were the first contingent to do so. But

4 consider, if you will, in connection with the

5 Prosecution's theory that somehow there was a

6 secessionist plan at the highest levels of the HDZ BiH

7 or at the HZ HB after the referendum held on March the

8 6th of 1992, consider, if you will, the impact of the

9 constitutional arrangement which provided that no

10 constituent republic would be permitted to leave the

11 union of republics without the consent of the other two

12 republics, and even if a decision were made with the

13 consent, that decision could still be appealed to the

14 Security Council. And the Croats agreed to that. Each

15 constituent republic was to have its own constitution,

16 but the union of republics was to have an elected

17 government consisting of members of all three peoples,

18 it was to have a constitutional court and a supreme

19 court. And significantly for this case anyway, the

20 Owen-Stoltenberg Plan had an annex, Annex C, which

21 expressly set out all of the international covenants

22 and agreements which were to be adopted by the

23 constituent republics, all of them. The Court will

24 recall that on September the 30th, 1993, the HR HB,

25 after its foundation, adopted all of those in haec

Page 16851

1 verba and in exactly the same order as prescribed in

2 the Owen-Stoltenberg Plan.

3 The basic decision that established the HR HB

4 was signed on August the 28th, 1993. It was signed by

5 the chairman of the House of Representatives, Perica

6 Jukic, not by Mr. Kordic, and we hope to be able to

7 call Mr. Jukic to give evidence in this case to explain

8 to you, from first-hand knowledge, the circumstances

9 under which this new internal republic of constituent

10 peoples was formed and how it was formed in strict

11 compliance with the agreements reached in the

12 Owen-Stoltenberg Plan.

13 Mr. Kordic attended the meeting that was held

14 immediately prior to the establishment of this

15 republic, and he attended it in Mostar. But I think

16 the Court should pay particular attention to how he got

17 there, because it illustrates the position that he

18 found himself in very well in Central Bosnia at this

19 time in the early autumn or late summer of 1993. He

20 was driven, with some other politicians, in BritBat

21 Warrior armoured vehicles from Busovaca through the

22 ABiH-controlled territory to the UNPROFOR headquarters

23 in Kiseljak. He was then flown, with a series of other

24 political figures, by helicopter, an UNPROFOR

25 helicopter, I might add, from Kiseljak to Mostar. Many

Page 16852

1 politicians accompanied him on that trip, and we will

2 call some of those politicians so that you can hear, at

3 first hand, how the political figures were transported

4 down to Mostar, what was discussed, who was important

5 and, equally important, who was not.

6 Now, at this point, and there will be no

7 conflict in the evidence, I believe, Mr. Kordic was one

8 of 69 or so representatives in the House of

9 Representatives. You'll hear evidence of the political

10 role he played in the deliberations to establish the

11 republic, and you'll hear evidence on the true extent

12 of the influence and power he exercised. And you'll be

13 able to determine for yourselves what the extent of

14 that power was and whether he did, indeed, play any

15 role in the highest levels of government.

16 We expect that you will be convinced by the

17 evidence that essentially for the first six months of

18 the existence of this new republic, Mr. Kordic was a

19 non-factor in the operation of the government, of its

20 institutions, and in any of its operations before he

21 became one of the two deputy chairmen of the House of

22 Representatives, its legislative body, on the 17th of

23 February, 1994. Prior to that, he had no role in the

24 government. He was never a minister, let alone the

25 Prime Minister. He was never the president, and he was

Page 16853

1 never a vice-president of this republic, because there

2 was no such office.

3 The principle of equal treatment for all was

4 incorporated into the basic decision of the HR HB, and

5 the Defence have heard and the Trial Chamber has heard

6 the theory promoted by the Prosecution that the Bosnian

7 Croat politicians were essentially neo-Nazis, that they

8 were aiming inexorably at a mono-ethnic state, that

9 they deliberately excluded from the organs of

10 government all people of Muslim ethnicity, that they

11 were essentially passive marionettes of the

12 neighbouring State of Croatia and simply did its

13 bidding, with the ultimate aim of seceding from this

14 union of republics or becoming somehow annexed to

15 Croatia. And very frankly, Your Honours, we do not

16 intend to spend a lot of time on that theory, because

17 you can hear from the politicians yourselves, what was

18 being discussed and the considerations that motivated

19 them, and make your own determinations as to whether

20 these are men of honour, men of respect, and whether

21 they are telling the truth.

22 But let me just make this observation: The

23 Prosecution did not call a single senior Croat

24 political figure who participated in the government of

25 either the HZ HB or the HR HB, and the Trial Chamber

Page 16854

1 might well ask itself why. Just as the Prosecution did

2 not call, during its case, in all of the 150 witnesses

3 that it called in 136 days live and by transcript, a

4 single senior HVO officer to testify, and the Court may

5 well ask itself why. Indeed, it's interesting to note,

6 and I believe I'm correct in saying, the Prosecution

7 has called none of these senior military officers or

8 politicians in any of the Lasva Valley cases, and the

9 Defence certainly poses the question, and I hope the

10 Trial Chamber will too, why.

11 But let me just say right now that we intend

12 to rectify that. We intend to call, if we can get them

13 here, and we think we can, senior political figures

14 from both the HZ HB and the HR HB, and also, Your

15 Honours, let me say this -- I was going to say this at

16 a later time, but it strikes me as somewhat ironic that

17 a man like Mr. Kordic in this case would be the one who

18 has to call the commanders-in-chief of the HVO, to the

19 extent that they were willing to testify, and we have

20 no reason to believe that they are not, and that he

21 should placed in the position of calling

22 Colonel Blaskic's second in command, third in command,

23 the commanders of the military police and several other

24 soldiers who held high positions. We don't think we

25 should have to do that, in all candour, but we believe

Page 16855

1 we will and maybe it's appropriate that we do because

2 the Court can see these people for itself, hear their

3 testimony and to consider the weight their of

4 testimony, the weight that their testimony is entitled

5 to.

6 One thing I would like to say, though, is the

7 basic decision founding the HR HB was modelled on the

8 language of the internationally-approved and endorsed

9 Owen-Stoltenberg plan. The basic decision is before

10 this Court already. Mr. Kordic and others approved

11 this language and it basically said that the Croatian

12 people were establishing their own state community in a

13 part of the territory of Bosnia-Herzegovina, and I'm

14 referring now to Exhibit D142/1, by transferring any

15 part -- they were doing so by transferring a part of

16 their constitutive rights to the future federation of

17 republics and by agreeing to participate in certain

18 joint institutions and services of mutual interest in

19 Bosnia-Herzegovina as shall be regulated by tripartite

20 constitutional agreement of the constituent peoples,

21 and that is exactly what was anticipated by the

22 Owen-Stoltenberg Plan and that was exactly what the

23 people who participated in the creation of this

24 republic intended, but also not to the exclusion of

25 other people and not to the exclusive protection of

Page 16856

1 people of Croat ethnicity, and you can see that from

2 looking at the basic decision itself.

3 The Croatian people recognised the equal

4 rights of the other constituent peoples of the former

5 Bosnia and Herzegovina, and that's exactly what the

6 document said, and it's reflected in the basic decision

7 itself, which says that the republic shall be an

8 integral and indivisible democratic state of the

9 Croatian people in Bosnia-Herzegovina, that authority

10 shall be derived from the people and shall belong to

11 the people as a community of free and equal citizens.

12 Continuing the same principles that flowed

13 over from the HZ HB, the president of the new republic

14 was expressly made, under Article 8, the supreme

15 commander of the armed forces, and that article gave

16 him the ability to appoint and dismiss high-ranking

17 military holders of office. As I said, there was no

18 office of vice-president in this republic, and in fact

19 that was one of the reasons, the Court will recall,

20 that the Presidential Council was created in December

21 of 1993, to try to alleviate the burdens placed upon

22 the president, and that Mr. Kordic was not on the

23 Presidential Council either.

24 Now, this Presidential Council was

25 established on the 10th of December, and its purpose

Page 16857

1 was to advise the president on strategic political and

2 defence issues and coordinate the activities of the

3 republic's executive bodies. It certainly was one of

4 the highest levels of government in the HR HB, Your

5 Honours, and initially it consisted of nine members.

6 We currently intend to present evidence from several of

7 the members.

8 Mr. Kordic was not on this council at any

9 time until two years after the period covered by the

10 amended indictment. I believe he may have been

11 appointed to the Presidential Council at some point in

12 1995, but he was never on it at any time during the

13 period covered by the amended indictment. Such was the

14 power and influence wielded by the man alleged to have

15 been a participant, indeed a leader, in the highest

16 levels of government.

17 Two more members were added to this

18 Presidential Council on February the 17th, 1994, when

19 the republic's government met and when Mr. Kordic was

20 elected to the position of one of the two vice-chairmen

21 of the House of Representatives, along with Vlado

22 Santic of Bihac, Ivan Bender having been elected as a

23 president of the House of Representatives. The two

24 additional members on the Presidential Council did not

25 include him.

Page 16858

1 Let me turn to the government of the HR HB

2 for just a few minutes.

3 As I've stated, the evidence will establish

4 quite clearly, in fact in black and white, that the HVO

5 civilian government ceased to exist as of September the

6 30th, 1993. Exhibit D183/1, Tab 6, Article 46, says

7 exactly that.

8 The government of the HR HB, at the highest

9 levels, was to consist of a prime minister, a deputy

10 prime minister and ministers of separate ministries,

11 together with other members. The members of the

12 government were to be selected, Your Honours, by the

13 House of Representatives. In fact, the House of

14 Representatives would specifically select the Prime

15 Minister, and the evidence establishes that that is

16 precisely what it did. And indeed Mr. Prlic was

17 appointed as the Prime Minister and, as I said,

18 retained that position throughout the period of the

19 amended indictment.

20 If I might just ask the usher to put this

21 document on the ELMO. It's already in evidence. It

22 will illustrate the point quite well, I think. Exhibit

23 D183/1, tab 10. Thank you.

24 Your Honours, here it is for all to see, as

25 of November the 20th, 1993, who was in the government,

Page 16859

1 who was in the highest levels of government, and you

2 can see it. Dr. Prlic was the Prime Minister. There

3 were 14 other ministers including, I might say, Zulfo

4 Robovic, the Minister of Reconstruction and

5 Development. Of this allegedly monoethnic exclusionary

6 state, Mr. Robovic was a Muslim, Your Honour. And,

7 indeed, we expect to prove that in the government of

8 the HZ HB and of the HR HB, people of Muslim ethnicity

9 were appointed to occupy governmental positions. They

10 were appointed as judges, they occupied positions as

11 deputies in departments or ministries, and you will

12 hear from people in the government, we expect, to be

13 able to establish that.

14 Now, what was Mr. Kordic's role in the

15 government of the HR HB? As I've said, he was one of

16 69 or so legislators. He never held any position of

17 authority at any level of the HR HB government, let

18 alone at the highest levels, until he was appointed as

19 one of the two deputy chairmen of the House of

20 Representatives. His function was limited to being a

21 member of two legislative committees. We introduced

22 evidence of that when we were cross-examining

23 Dr. Ribicic. He was the president of a four-member

24 committee on election and nominations, and he was one

25 of 11 members, not the president, but one of the 11

Page 16860

1 members of the committee for internal and foreign

2 policy and national security, two committees. There

3 were many, many other committees established by the

4 legislature, but these are the only two in which

5 Mr. Kordic took any nominal role. We hope to be able

6 to introduce evidence relating to the actual role that

7 he took within these committees from witnesses that

8 will be brought before the Court. You will be able to

9 hear them for yourself to determine what role, if any,

10 he took in the government or even in these committees.

11 He was never the President of this republic,

12 never a vice-president because that was a nonexistent

13 office, never a member of the Presidential Council, and

14 never a minister in the government, let alone the Prime

15 Minister. And as I've said, we'll introduce, I hope,

16 testimony through several of the people who were

17 ministers in the government, and they can tell you

18 about what role or, to be more accurate, the absence of

19 any role that he took in the highest levels of

20 government.

21 Now let me shift gears here and talk about

22 what we see as the principal charge levelled against

23 Mr. Kordic in this entire case, and it's the

24 persecution charges that are made ostensibly against

25 him but really against the institutions of the

Page 16861

1 government, to be fair. But to be adamant about it,

2 the institutions of government are not on trial, a man

3 is, and the question is: What did he do? Was there

4 persecution? If there was, what role did he play in

5 it? If there was persecution, who was persecuting who

6 and where?

7 I want to begin my review of what we expect

8 the evidence to show by making this observation: The

9 charge in this case is that there was persecution

10 throughout the territory of the HZ HB and in the

11 municipality of Zenica. The charge isn't that bad

12 things happened in a few isolated municipalities or a

13 few towns or villages but throughout the territory of

14 the HZ HB and Zenica from, I might add, November the

15 18th, 1991, until March of 1994. And so the Court has

16 to ask itself, it must, in order to evaluate the

17 legitimacy of these charges, what was going on during

18 these periods, where, and who was doing what to whom.

19 And we intend to introduce substantial evidence on

20 those topics; not on all of them, as I've said, because

21 we want to bring this case to an end in a relatively

22 expeditious way, if we can, in the most efficient way

23 possible.

24 But the charge is that persecution was

25 widespread and systematic, and it has to be widespread

Page 16862

1 and systematic in order to qualify as persecution, not

2 sporadic, not limited in scope from hamlet to hamlet,

3 village to village, but throughout the territory of the

4 HZ HB and HR HB.

5 Let me just ask this rhetorical question,

6 which I hope that my presentation will answer as I go

7 through. Consider, just as an example, the

8 municipalities of Zenica, consider the municipality of

9 Travnik and, most pertinently to this prosecution, this

10 whole case really, Busovaca. The Busovaca

11 municipality, of course, includes Kacuni and other

12 villages that I'll address in which there were some

13 pretty bad things happening in January of 1993, but not

14 to Bosnian Muslims, although there were some

15 unfortunate events that occurred against Bosnian

16 Muslims in the town of Busovaca. But in the

17 municipality of Busovaca, there was a pretty systematic

18 campaign of cleaning Bosnian Croats out of villages

19 that overlooked strategic positions on the main supply

20 route south of Kacuni and north of Kacuni.

21 I mentioned to you that there would be two

22 exceptions to the rule, that we're not going to

23 introduce evidence about municipalities as to which the

24 Prosecution has produced no evidence at all, the two

25 being Kakanj and Bugojno. Let me just outline what we

Page 16863

1 expect the evidence there to show, and it will be very

2 brief.

3 In Kakanj, as the Court knows, the ABiH

4 launched a well-planned, orchestrated offensive on June

5 the 9th, 1993. It lasted four days. It produced

6 approximately 15.000 refugees and displaced persons,

7 and we will introduce evidence from people who had

8 their families shot before their eyes, whose houses

9 were burned down, who saw neighbours executed. And the

10 Court might well ask itself: What is the evidence of

11 persecution in Kakanj?

12 We will introduce evidence relating to

13 Bugojno and the deliberate ABiH attack that was

14 launched on July the 26th, that resulted in

15 10.000 Bosnian Croat refugees and more, houses burned,

16 terrible acts committed by Bosnian Muslims against

17 Bosnian Croats. And the Court might well ask itself

18 again: Who was harassing, persecuting, oppressing

19 whom?

20 I think it's absolutely vital, with respect

21 to consideration of this persecution count, to

22 scrutinise carefully the evidence and the chronological

23 and statistical realities relating to this persecution

24 theory.

25 The armed clashes, the real armed clashes

Page 16864

1 between the HVO and the ABiH started, as the Court

2 knows, in the village of Ahmici on October the 18th and

3 19th, 1992, when an armed roadblock was established

4 there on the orders of the 3rd Corps headquarters in

5 Zenica. And the story has been told by people who

6 participated in these events that the purpose of this

7 roadblock was to stop reinforcements that were heading

8 for Novi Travnik. But we expect the evidence to show,

9 and you'll hear from the people that participated in

10 the military events around this period, that huge

11 fighting was going on in the town of Jajce. Large

12 efforts were being expended by the HVO and, I might

13 say, by some ABiH forces to prevent that town from

14 being captured by the Bosnian Serb army, and the

15 reinforcements that were stopped, obstructed, and

16 blockaded at Ahmici in October were headed there and

17 not to Novi Travnik.

18 But what was happening in Novi Travnik at the

19 time? You'll hear evidence on that. Actually, the

20 ABiH had established an offensive activity in Novi

21 Travnik in October of 1992, designed to establish

22 control over the Bratstvo arms factory, about which

23 we've heard a lot of evidence. And the evidence is

24 going to be that that offensive, unfortunately from the

25 Bosnian Croat point of view, was successful, and after

Page 16865

1 October 1992, the Bosnian Croats never again controlled

2 the Bratstvo arms factory in Novi Travnik.

3 And as the Court knows, after the fighting in

4 that town in October, front lines were established

5 basically right through the middle of the town in a

6 diagonal way, and the parties remained in their various

7 positions, shooting at each other and committing

8 various acts against each other for the remainder of

9 the war.

10 The second armed clash was in January of

11 1993, and the evidence on that you've already heard

12 about from the perspective, anyway, of BritBat.

13 Lieutenant Colonel Stewart gave his views that the

14 attacks had been launched, and they were launched, and

15 you will hear evidence from Bosnian Croat soldiers on

16 this, launched by the ABiH against Bosnian Croats in

17 the Busovaca area and to the south. And in the

18 municipality of Busovaca attacks were launched on

19 Kacuni, Oseliste, Gusti Grab, and Donje Polje.

20 Let me just stress for Your Honours that

21 Oseliste and Gusti Grab, and you will hear evidence

22 from people whose parents lived there and were

23 executed, they directly overlooked the main supply

24 route south of Kacuni. The village of Donje Polje, to

25 the north of Kacuni, directly overlooked the main

Page 16866

1 supply route, and, in fact, I'll sure the Court recalls

2 the evidence of Major Jennings, who saw four side --

3 houses with four-sided roofs, concluded that they were

4 Muslim houses in Donje Polje, and saw that as evidence

5 of extensive so-called ethnic cleansing, an unfortunate

6 term, but ethnic cleansing by Bosnian Croats against

7 Muslims.

8 Our evidence will show that Donje Polje is

9 actually known as Polje. According to the 1991 census,

10 the grand total of Muslim civilians living there was

11 zero, and the houses were indeed owned by Bosnian

12 Croats, and they were indeed set ablaze and the

13 civilian population rudely ejected by dint of military

14 force. And that pattern was repeated in Kacuni,

15 Nezerovici, Gusti Grab, and Oseliste. Why? Because

16 the strategic plan of the ABiH was to divide up the

17 Bosnian Croat municipalities, and they did so

18 successfully in January of 1993, separating Busovaca

19 from Kiseljak, and the Bosnian Croat armed forces never

20 again, until the end of the war and beyond, established

21 control of the main supply route that essentially

22 divided these two municipalities into enclaves. I do

23 not believe there is any doubt in the Court's mind

24 about that, but we intend to introduce evidence to

25 establish it anyway.

Page 16867

1 Now, talking about the municipality of Zenica

2 and who was persecuting whom, the Court may recall that

3 the villages of Dusina and Lasva are in the

4 municipality of Zenica. The Court will no doubt recall

5 what happened on January the 26th, 1993, when an attack

6 was launched by the ABiH on both of these small

7 villages by units, I might add, of the 7th Muslim

8 Brigade, a brigade about which we intend to introduce

9 some evidence in this case.

10 In an attempt to negotiate an amicable

11 resolution of this rather than an armed resolution, a

12 Bosnian Croat by the name of Zvonko Rajic tried to

13 negotiate essentially under a flag of truce. He was

14 seized and executed in a savage fashion, along with

15 12 other people. You have already heard evidence about

16 that, and we intend to produce just one or two

17 witnesses to talk about that, because it doesn't bear

18 dwelling on, but it raises the point of who was

19 persecuting whom.

20 A videotape was made of the mutilated bodies

21 of these people, and I regret to say that we'll have to

22 show it to the Trial Chamber. I do not believe, that

23 at least insofar as Dusina that is concerned, the Court

24 will be in the slightest doubt as to who was

25 persecuting whom.

Page 16868

1 Was there widespread, systematic persecution

2 in Zenica? That's a very vital question that's raised

3 by the way the Prosecution has chosen to bring this

4 case, and we intend to address that evidence in short

5 order, not dwell on it, but we believe that the point

6 will be made graphically and forcefully and tersely.

7 That brings to us April of 1993, as we

8 consider the allegations of systematic, widespread

9 persecution. The Court knows there was an escalating

10 series of incidents in that month, and we will

11 introduce evidence on it.

12 First, fighting broke out on April 8th or 9th

13 in Travnik, one of the municipalities in which

14 persecution is alleged to have occurred. But we submit

15 to the Court that there is no evidence of persecution

16 of Bosnian Muslims by Bosnian Croats in that

17 municipality. Certainly the Court has not heard any.

18 Major General Filipovic will talk about what happened

19 during that outburst of fighting.

20 As part of the Easter celebrations, the

21 Bosnian Croats raised a number of flags. These were

22 torn down, trampled, and burned by members of the

23 7th Muslim Brigade and others who proceeded to parade

24 around Travnik singing songs about knifing Croats to

25 death. There was a brief outburst of fighting, it was

Page 16869

1 brought under control, and really nothing further of

2 significance happened in Travnik in April of 1993.

3 The next event was the abduction of four

4 soldiers, including three staff officers, in what

5 appeared to be the beginning of a campaign to abduct

6 military leaders of the HVO around the middle of April

7 of 1993. We will produce one of these abducted

8 soldiers to testify. There won't be any doubt about

9 what happened to him. We hope to extract that

10 particular episode from the realm of conjecture and

11 guesswork, and you can hear from him how he was treated

12 and what happened to him as he was a guest of the

13 7th Muslim Brigade at Ravno Rostovo.

14 Consider also this evidence, Your Honours:

15 After the fighting in Busovaca in January of 1993, a

16 joint commission was formed. Of course, Mr. Kordic

17 never was invited to sit on its coordination committee

18 or any of its working committee meetings and was never

19 involved in any of the negotiations that led up to

20 that, but you will hear evidence about that from a

21 person who was vitally involved in those negotiations,

22 Brigadier Franjo Nakic. And it bears mentioning that

23 he was the chief of staff of the HVO, a man centrally

24 involved in the planning process of any military

25 operations, one might think.

Page 16870

1 Now, where was he on the 15th of January --

2 15th of April, 1993, a very significant date, whose

3 significant does not need to be elaborated. He was

4 actually performing work on behalf of the joint

5 commission. The Court will recall that the Busovaca

6 Joint Commission moved to Vitez and was renamed the

7 Vitez Joint Commission in March of 1993. The purpose

8 of that commission was for the warring parties or the

9 opposed parties to raise issues of contention and to

10 send people out to try to investigate those issues and

11 report back to the commission and see if there was a

12 way to negotiate a difference.

13 Franjo Nakic, fulfilling his duties on behalf

14 of this joint commission, had actually gone to Bugojno,

15 where he was informed that the 7th Muslim Brigade was

16 holding the abducted HVO staff officers. And that

17 turned out not to be the case. They were held actually

18 at Ravno Rostovo and the actual location was concealed

19 from him. But that's where he was.

20 Now, why would the HVO, you might ask, send

21 out its chief of staff of its headquarters on an

22 investigative exercise such as this in pursuance of his

23 duties as a member of the joint commission if it was

24 planning a coordinated series of offensives, as has

25 been theorised?

Page 16871

1 Now, the next item or next incident was a

2 serious incident, and there is no doubt on that

3 according to all of the witnesses. It was the

4 abduction of Commander Zivko Totic, the commanding

5 officer of the Jure Francetic Brigade in Zenica. His

6 three escorts, as the Court knows, were just

7 slaughtered in a hail of gunfire. And, indeed,

8 Exhibit Z665 is a videotape of the press conference at

9 which Mr. Kordic appeared after that incident on the

10 15th of April. We expect the evidence to show that was

11 the only press conference at which he appeared that

12 day. And you can see for yourself what he said and

13 whether what he said was inflammatory or not or whether

14 his tone was, as I've said, moderate, calm, and

15 rational.

16 Now, you've heard a lot of evidence about the

17 abduction of Commander Totic. A lot of it's been

18 shrouded in conjecture. We hope to bring

19 Commander Totic to this court, for him to tell what

20 happened to him and the treatment that he received, and

21 you can hear from him.

22 The Court will remember the claims repeatedly

23 made by various witnesses in this case, that the

24 so-called Mujahedin elements of the 7th Muslim Brigade

25 were uncontrollable, that they were outside of the

Page 16872

1 chain of command, no one could exercise dominion and

2 control over them. Yet they abducted Commander Totic,

3 and pursuant to agreements reached between the warring

4 parties, Commander Totic was released in Zenica by the

5 Mujahedin at the direction of the 3rd Corps on the

6 17th of May, and you'll hear evidence of that.

7 We believe that the evidence will establish

8 that the 3rd Corps, and specifically Colonel Merdan,

9 were highly instrumental in the operation of the

10 military units of the 7th Muslim Brigade.

11 Let me just address the municipality of

12 Zenica for a second. There is no evidence of any

13 widespread or systematic persecution of Bosnian Muslims

14 in Zenica municipality. There is one incident of

15 shelling of that city on the 19th of April, 1993. I

16 regret to say that we have to address it, I suppose,

17 and we will, with expert testimony that will establish,

18 I trust, that it is absolutely impossible to say where

19 the shells came from or who fired them or what calibre

20 the shells were. But the point is that one single

21 incident of shelling does not make a systematic,

22 widespread campaign of persecution.

23 But the fate of the Bosnian Croats in the

24 municipality of Zenica should really rivet the Court's

25 attention to some regard, because we will produce

Page 16873

1 evidence about the treatment of Bosnian Croats in that

2 municipality.

3 The HVO was defeated in short order in

4 fighting that began on April the 17th, and you'll hear

5 from one of the senior officers in the HVO, Major

6 Gelic, who was involved in that fighting, and he will

7 tell you about how the Jure Francetic Brigade and the

8 2nd HVO Brigade, the Zenica Brigade, were defeated by

9 the ABiH in April. He will explain to you how he had

10 to escape southwards. He ultimately became the liaison

11 officer for UNPROFOR, the ECMM, and the UNHCR, the

12 Court will recall.

13 The Court will also recall the evidence, once

14 again, of who was doing what to whom. Houses were

15 burned in Zenica municipality, but they were Croat

16 houses. Civilians were killed in Zenica municipality,

17 but they were Croat civilians. The Court will remember

18 the evidence relating to Zalje. Ten people killed,

19 including a 90-year-old man, and a 3-year-old little

20 girl shot through the head, dead in other own bed. The

21 village of Mileticic, involving the torture and savage

22 execution of five civilians on April the 25th, 1993,

23 one who died in the most gruesome of circumstances,

24 with a ladle used to pour blood over his own head as

25 his throat was being cut. Just brutal, brutal things.

Page 16874

1 But where is the widespread and systematic persecution

2 by Bosnian Croats of Bosnian Muslims in Zenica? Your

3 Honours, it's not there.

4 Now, consider what happened from May of 1993

5 until the end of the period covered by the indictment.

6 JUDGE ROBINSON: Are you saying that the

7 requirement of widespread and systematic character is

8 not met?

9 MR. SAYERS: Absolutely.

10 JUDGE ROBINSON: You're saying that even if

11 it is met, your client had nothing to do with it.

12 MR. SAYERS: That's exactly the case, Your

13 Honour, and I'll touch on that as I address my next

14 subject, which is the chain of command, because there's

15 been a lot of speculation and guesswork on that.

16 You will recall that the theme that we struck

17 in one of our earlier briefs was: Don't ask; can't

18 tell. No one asked about what position Mr. Kordic took

19 in the chain of command, and as a result, no one could

20 tell. There's a lot of confusion on that. We intend

21 to clear up that confusion.

22 But let me just say that our position is that

23 Mr. Kordic did not play any role in the bad things that

24 were going on in this vicious civil war. That's

25 exactly correct. Did he not play any command role.

Page 16875

1 Did he not play any superior role of the type which

2 would result in the imposition of the vicarious

3 liability upon him essentially under Article 7(1) of

4 the Tribunal Statute or Article 7(3).

5 But let me just --

6 JUDGE MAY: Let me deal with this point

7 again. You have outlined alleged atrocities against

8 the Bosnian Croats, and the point has been made time

9 and again, and we shall return to it when it comes to

10 limiting your evidence or questions of that sort, how

11 does it help the Trial Chamber in assessing the guilt

12 of the accused to know that some alleged atrocities

13 took place on the other side?

14 What we are trying is the involvement of your

15 client in atrocities which are, according to the

16 Prosecution, widespread, and it seems to me that you're

17 trying to present a totally different case, which

18 doesn't bear on the Prosecution case but is aimed at

19 showing that there was no guilt at all on, as it were,

20 your side. And you're failing to engage, I suggest, in

21 the Prosecution case but seeking to put forward some

22 alternative case of your own.

23 What there must be is a meeting of the

24 issues. Therefore, to that extent, whether it assists

25 us to know that there were alleged atrocities on the

Page 16876

1 other side, I rather doubt.

2 MR. SAYERS: I take your point,

3 Mr. President, and obviously this has been an issue

4 that has been raised several times during this trial,

5 and I think, obviously, the concern that the Trial

6 Chamber would have and should have is if the point is

7 being made as has been made in some other of these

8 cases involving the Lasva Valley, that somehow the HVO

9 would be justified in doing unto others, if you like,

10 as was done unto it. The tu quoque argument. If

11 that's the point, that is not our point, and I hope

12 that that's absolutely clear to the Court.

13 We are not going to try to excuse the

14 terrible things that were done at places like Ahmici or

15 Stupni Do, and we never have, and I certainly hope that

16 the Trial Chamber thinks or recalls that our position

17 on that issue has been absolutely consistent.

18 But I must respectfully say this: that the

19 Prosecution has theorised that it was the Bosnian

20 Croats that were guilty of widespread and systematic

21 persecution throughout the territory of the HZ HB and

22 in the municipality of Zenica. I'm not paraphrasing.

23 That's precisely what the charge is in paragraph 36 of

24 the amended indictment, and it pervades the amended

25 indictment. That's the theory. And we have to show,

Page 16877

1 in order to be able to rebut that charge, that it's

2 simply not the case. Bad things were going on on each

3 side, there is no question about it, but it wasn't a

4 widespread and systematic campaign of persecution,

5 certainly in the latter half of 1993. Just consider,

6 Your Honour, what the evidence is with respect to June

7 of 1993 really, until the end of the war.

8 We will produce evidence that there was a

9 carefully planned and orchestrated ABiH series of

10 offensives that began in early June of 1993. I don't

11 think that there is any evidence on that -- any doubt

12 about that, but you'll see and you'll hear, from the

13 soldiers who were allegedly participating in this

14 systematic campaign of persecution on the Bosnian Croat

15 side, what was really going on.

16 The joint commission that was established

17 after the peace negotiations that led to a ceasefire

18 agreement in Central Bosnia, you will recall, the joint

19 commission was formed on April the 22nd of 1993. Once

20 again, this was supposed to be a forum for the

21 resolution of problems between the two warring forces.

22 Now, General Hadzihasanovic, as we've seen

23 from the BritBat military intelligence reports, and

24 you're going to hear from our military witnesses,

25 refused to participate in this, refused to meet

Page 16878

1 Colonel Blaskic, refused to negotiate. And why?

2 Because a two-prong offensive was being formed in early

3 June of 1993, launched in two municipalities, and they

4 are very important municipalities, Your Honours.

5 Consider, for the purposes of the systematic widespread

6 persecution theory, one offensive was launched in

7 Travnik. June the 6th to the 8th of 1993 is when the

8 attack began, and it was successful. The Frankopan

9 Brigade was defeated, along with the Travnicka

10 Brigade. You'll hear from Major-General Filipovic as

11 to that, and it resulted in 20.000 displaced persons,

12 20.000 Bosnian Croats expelled from their homes, homes

13 burned down, people killed in various incidents that

14 occurred in Maljonaj [phoen], Cukle, places like that.

15 That's what happened in Travnik, Your Honours, and

16 there isn't any doubt about it.

17 The same thing occurred -- it was a mirror

18 image -- in Kakanj in the offensive that lasted from

19 June the 9th to June the 13th, 1993. The Kotromanic

20 Brigade defeated 15.000 Bosnian Croats expelled from

21 their homes. You've heard that many of them went to

22 Vares. People killed, civilians killed, houses burned

23 down. Now, where is the persecution that's happening

24 in the municipality of Kakanj? It's not a different

25 case, we would respectfully submit to the Court. This

Page 16879

1 is the Prosecution's case. They are saying that the

2 persecution occurred in these municipalities, and we

3 expect to show that unfortunately there were bad things

4 going on on both sides. And obviously the question

5 becomes, then: What, if any, role did the accused here

6 play in the bad things that were going on in the

7 territory, in the particular municipalities or the

8 particular towns about which the Prosecution has

9 focused? And that's a legitimate question. But,

10 broadly speaking, the persecution claim made out in

11 Count 1 involves all of these municipalities, and we

12 think we are entitled to and must introduce evidence to

13 show the Trial Chamber exactly what was going on

14 there.

15 What systematic, widespread persecution of

16 Bosnian Croats -- of Bosnian Muslims, rather, by

17 Bosnian Croats existed after June of 1993, Your

18 Honours, from June of 1993 until the end of the war?

19 We would suggest to the Court and our evidence will

20 show that there was not any, it was the other way

21 around. And, in fact, consider the other offensives in

22 all of the municipalities mentioned as part of the

23 amended indictment.

24 Fojnica. No fighting in Fojnica prior to

25 July the 2nd, no testimony, and, in fact, no

Page 16880

1 substantial interethnic tension or obvious interethnic

2 tension in that municipality prior to July the 2nd.

3 Two days before, General Morillon had visited the

4 municipality, held it up as an example of what truly

5 could be achieved if the two peoples, Muslims and

6 Croats, were really intent on living together in

7 peace. In fact, he declared it a peace area. Two days

8 later, the ABiH attacked, houses burned down, 6.000

9 Bosnian Croats expelled from their houses. That's what

10 happened there. Bugojno. As I've said, I won't repeat

11 it, 10.000 refugees. Edvard Kvaternik Brigade

12 defeated. The next example, Vares, November the 2nd,

13 10.000 Croat refugees. Two other attacks. Christmas

14 of 1993, December the 22nd to the 24th, lots of

15 civilians killed at Krizancevo Selo, and we'll have

16 evidence on that, in the very area where the Bosnian

17 Croats are alleged to be persecuting the Bosnian

18 Muslims, and the same thing in January of 1994 at

19 Buhine Kuce.

20 Let me just stress this as well, Your

21 Honours. Not a lot of evidence on this. You don't

22 need a lot. You just need it to show that the charges

23 of persecution here are simply not true. We don't say

24 that we are defending what happened at Ahmici or the

25 incidents that occurred that were being perpetrated

Page 16881

1 against some members of the Bosnian Muslim population

2 in some municipalities. But you'll hear evidence of

3 that, and we think that you'll conclude that this is

4 not a systematic campaign of persecution.

5 During the second half of 1993, consider

6 this: Over 60.000 people forced out of their houses,

7 hundreds killed, thousands wounded, all Bosnian Croats

8 and pushed out of their houses by Bosnian Muslims.

9 This does not include the people evicted in the Kacuni

10 area in January, and it doesn't include Zenica either.

11 Now turning to whether Mr. Kordic was a

12 persecutor, which I gather is the central inquiry which

13 the Court must address, we do not think that the

14 evidence will show that he ever advocated any policy of

15 persecution or took any positions that specifically or

16 even inferentially advocated the imposition of violence

17 or displacement from their homes on the part of Bosnian

18 Muslims. Insofar as the institutions are concerned,

19 there are no publications that advocate this. You

20 haven't seen any documents that advocate it, no party

21 platforms, nothing of that type. There's no evidence

22 that Mr. Kordic ever advocated persecution or that he

23 whipped up dissent or made negative or pejorative

24 comments about peoples' ethnicity, let alone in

25 public. And as I've said, I want to return to this,

Page 16882

1 the best evidence of what he said is what he said.

2 Take a look at the videotapes. Take a look at what he

3 said in the print media articles -- and we'll present

4 evidence ourselves of that -- not recollection of what

5 he supposedly said in snatches of television

6 appearances seven years ago.

7 If I might -- I understand that the lunch

8 break has arrived. If I might just conclude with two

9 minutes or so of what Mr. Kordic actually said, and I

10 want this to be a representative example, in the

11 Court's mind, of a speech that he gave, not as

12 translated by the Bosnian Croat institutions but as

13 translated by the British Intelligence military

14 intelligence cell in November of 1992, just after the

15 Ahmici blockade. He's interviewed by the Usora

16 Magazine, and what he says, Your Honours, is in black

17 and white. There's no spin control that's applied to

18 it. Here is what he says:

19 November of 1992: "We are convinced that the

20 Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna is a firm foundation

21 of a future Croat national constitution, with equal

22 rights to the other two parties in this sovereign and

23 internationally-recognised Republic of Bosnia and

24 Herzegovina."

25 He went on to make the point that the Croat

Page 16883

1 people have never wanted any kind of ethnic division of

2 Bosnia and Herzegovina. This is what he said, not

3 arguments about what he must have meant by what he said

4 but what he said, and it's there in black and white.

5 He talked about the functioning of the courts of

6 justice and police in the HZ HB at this time, anyway,

7 and the economy and public activity as well as, quote,

8 "the protection of the people, regardless of their

9 nationality and faith," and explained that, "The

10 suspension of the HB legislature would cause anarchy

11 and chaos in the only free state in BH. Muslims in HB

12 accept this. Herceg-Bosna is not a denial of

13 Bosnia-Herzegovina. On the contrary, it works with BH

14 by use of all its political force and other means

15 available."

16 That's what he said. These are not words of

17 ethnic hatred, racial divisions, or inciting violence,

18 and we think that the evidence will show that there are

19 many other examples of his making speeches which are

20 not moderate, which don't foment dissent, that there

21 are no speeches that he made containing any

22 ethnically-pejorative terms or racially-derogatory

23 comments. And we think that the Court will conclude

24 that insofar as persecution is concerned, not only was

25 there not persecution in the sense charged here, but

Page 16884

1 Mr. Kordic took no role in it even if there was, and he

2 certainly took no role in the bad acts and the terrible

3 things that were perpetrated by the HVO in Ahmici and

4 Stupni Do and elsewhere.

5 Thank you.

6 JUDGE MAY: How much longer do you anticipate

7 being, Mr. Sayers?

8 MR. SAYERS: Once again, I'm making better

9 progress than I had anticipated, Mr. President. I

10 would think maybe another hour and a half.

11 JUDGE MAY: We'll adjourn. 2.35.

12 --- Luncheon recess taken at 1.05 p.m.














Page 16885

1 --- On resuming at 2.35 p.m.

2 JUDGE MAY: Yes, Mr. Sayers.

3 MR. SAYERS: Thank you, Mr. President. I'd

4 like to turn to the evidence that we intend to present

5 concerning what we see as a pretty central issue in

6 this case, the chain of command, and specifically,

7 obviously, the chain of command in the armed forces of

8 the Croatian Defence Council.

9 It is presently our intent, as I have

10 intimated to the Trial Chamber, to try to call the

11 commanding -- or the commander-in-chief of the HVO,

12 Brigadier Petkovic, if he will agree to testify, and

13 also, on limited points, his two successors, Generals

14 Praljak and Roso. Again, if they'll agree to testify.

15 And as I have intimated to the Chamber, we believe they

16 will and cannot envisage any reason why they will not.

17 In addition, Major General Filipovic will be

18 our first witness. Our second witness will be

19 Brigadier Nakic. We intend to try to call as our third

20 witness the liaison officer I mentioned, Major Gelic,

21 who became the principal liaison officer in the Central

22 Bosnia Operative Zone between the HVO and UNPROFOR and

23 the European Community. We also intend, as our fourth

24 witness, to call the military police commander of the

25 4th Battalion of Military Police, the man who

Page 16886

1 immediately preceded Pasko Ljubicic in that position.

2 We believe these military witnesses straddle

3 more or less all of the issues in this case, including

4 the persecution issues, and the reason is because the

5 theory promoted by the Prosecution is that there has

6 been a widespread and systematic persecution of Bosnian

7 Muslim citizens throughout the HZ HB.

8 The Trial Chamber may well ask itself, as we

9 have done: Perpetrated by whom? Clearly the answer

10 has to be that this campaign was somehow perpetrated by

11 the HVO, by the soldiers that we intend to call.

12 Now, these military commanders, I believe the

13 evidence will establish, have never heard of the policy

14 that you've heard theorised about for the last year.

15 They never heard any instructions or directions or

16 intimations that there should be such a policy from

17 their own commanding officers, let alone from political

18 figures in political parties or from members of the

19 government or specifically from Mr. Kordic.

20 You will hear the initial military

21 commanders, and I hope and fully expect the later

22 military commanders and the soldiers testify with

23 virtually unanimous voice that they never issued orders

24 to their subordinates to implement such a policy and

25 never would have done even if there had been such a

Page 16887

1 policy, which there was not.

2 JUDGE BENNOUNA: [Interpretation] Excuse me.

3 I do apologise in advance. Just a moment.

4 Are you saying that all the witnesses, that

5 all these witnesses dealing with the chain of command

6 that you will be calling to testify, that they will

7 show that there were no instructions or orders

8 regarding the conduct of large scale and systematic

9 policy of persecution, or are you also trying to also

10 show that various orders that they were receiving do

11 not make part of such a policy? Because as you know,

12 there can be the application of large scale and

13 systematic policy only if they give the name.

14 Do you understand what I'm trying to say?

15 That is, they did not receive instructions saying, "You

16 are going to persecute." Or are you saying there were

17 no instructions as to how these things should be

18 pursued? Were they transferred from mouth to mouth?

19 How are you disputing the existence of such a policy,

20 in what sense?

21 MR. SAYERS: Thank you for the answer, Your

22 Honour, I think I understand it well. I think you're

23 asking, do we expect to show that there were no

24 instructions to persecute Bosnian Muslims and,

25 secondly, if there were instructions, there were no

Page 16888

1 instructions to soldiers as to how to go about such a

2 policy even if it existed. And if that's the question,

3 I can answer it very shortly.

4 The Defence expects to show that, first,

5 there was no policy. Confusedly, it could be by word

6 of mouth, and it's obviously for the Trial Chamber to

7 determine whether there was such a policy or not, but

8 let me commend the military men to the Trial Chamber's

9 attention. Consider this: Not just denials of the

10 fact that there was any policy, because as the Trial

11 Chamber knows, there's nothing in writing that even

12 suggests that such a policy exists. At most, I think

13 what the Prosecution is trying to do is to invite the

14 Trial Chamber to draw an inference that there must have

15 been a policy of persecution based upon the actions

16 described by the Prosecution's witnesses over a large

17 period of time.

18 But consider the testimony of the witnesses.

19 We expect that it will be pretty uniform. That there

20 was such a policy but the reason for it, consider what

21 we expect, for example, Major General Filipovic to

22 testify about. And let me actually just stand back and

23 say that the people that we selected to testify

24 initially, we had hoped to have Colonel-General

25 Petkovic as our first witness, but as the Court knows,

Page 16889

1 that's not been possible because of a significant

2 document that's just been released to us. We're still

3 in the process of evaluating it, but we do not believe

4 that we will have a significant problem in persuading

5 Colonel-General Petkovic to testify at the appropriate

6 time. But we selected the military witnesses not at

7 random but with forethought.

8 These are all men about whom there's already

9 been testimony, and uniform testimony, I believe, by

10 the military witnesses from BritBat, the military

11 observers from ECMM, Colonel Filipovic, Brigadier

12 Nakic -- or Major General Filipovic, Brigadier Nakic,

13 and Colonel Gelic, all men of substance, all men of

14 respect, men whom the witnesses who have come before

15 this Court have described as measured, rational, calm,

16 military commanders doing their best in a difficult

17 situation.

18 So we think that you'll find that their

19 testimony is credible, and it comes from men of

20 substance, and listen to the explanations.

21 In the municipalities that have received most

22 attention in this case, the Bosnian Muslim population

23 was in a significant plurality or even a majority, in,

24 for example, Travnik.

25 The HVO was seriously out manned by the ABiH,

Page 16890

1 although there's been some testimony that the HVO may

2 have been better equipped than the ABiH. We expect to

3 produce evidence on that too, but that's not a

4 significant feature. The point I'm making is that the

5 Bosnian Muslim populations in many of these

6 municipalities were extremely significant, and the

7 forces of the ABiH basically outnumbered the forces of

8 the HVO.

9 Now, consider the intimation to military

10 people such as Major-General Filipovic, that they

11 should actually engage in a systematic policy of

12 persecution. What kind of response would that have

13 elicited from an experienced military commander like

14 him? He would have said, "You're crazy. That is

15 tantamount to military suicide." And we believe that

16 is precisely what he is going to say, and he is going

17 to explain his reasoning to you. But that's just a

18 precise illustration of the general point.

19 There was no systematic policy that filtered

20 down somehow from the upper echelons of the political

21 leadership, whatever that may be and from whomever it

22 is supposed to have come. But certainly there is no

23 evidence that Mr. Kordic ever advocated such a policy

24 or tried to communicate such a policy to anyone, let

25 alone the military commanders through whom, if anyone,

Page 16891

1 that policy would have had to have been applied. And

2 the political commanders will testify with unanimous

3 voice on that subject, and we believe you'll find them

4 credible, Your Honours.

5 The structure of the chain of command, as

6 I've intimated, really began to evolve after July the

7 3rd of 1992 after the first organisational steps were

8 taken by the governing organs of the HZ HB. The

9 president at all times was the supreme commander, and

10 you'll hear evidence about his personality. Not a man

11 to delegate, and he never did delegate, nor could he

12 delegate any kind of military authority to anyone under

13 the decree on the armed forces that existed as of July

14 the 3rd, 1992, or the much more sophisticated decree

15 that was enacted a few months later on October the

16 17th, 1992.

17 I believe the evidence will be absolutely

18 uncontradicted. You've not heard any evidence of a

19 delegation, and that he never did delegate. And why is

20 that important? Because the president, the office of

21 the president, is the supreme commander of the armed

22 forces, and what the Prosecution has attempted to do is

23 to blur that line between president and presidency,

24 supreme commander and legislature, in an effort to

25 raise an inference or imply that somehow Mr. Kordic

Page 16892

1 participates, in some undefined and unexplained way, in

2 the military chain of command. That's the evidence, I

3 think, viewed in the best light that you've heard to

4 date. But we intend to clear up the issue, take the

5 bull by the horns, and address it head on in our --

6 with our first witnesses.

7 There's no question that each of these

8 soldiers are going to testify that the supreme

9 commander was Mate Boban at all times, and indeed

10 that's precisely what Article 29 of the decree of the

11 armed forces passed on both dates, July the 3rd and

12 October the 17th, expressly states. It says it in

13 black and white. There's no room for dispute on that

14 subject. There's no ambiguity on that subject.

15 The supreme commander, according to the

16 latter decree, determined the structure of the armed

17 forces, issued a plan for the use and deployment of the

18 armed forces, proscribed basic personnel policy and

19 rules, issued rules on military discipline, and he

20 actually did so on the 3rd of July of 1992, and also

21 appointed commanders and, equally significantly for

22 this case, relieved them of duty. Mr. Kordic was

23 simply not involved in this process. He never

24 appointed any military commander and could not. He

25 never relieved any military commander of duty and could

Page 16893

1 not.

2 Now, we also will try to introduce evidence

3 regarding the functions of the Department of Defence,

4 the reporting structure there, one of the six

5 departments, as I've mentioned, created by the HZ HB on

6 July the 3rd. Mr. Kordic was never involved with its

7 operations. He was never the head of the Department of

8 Defence, never served in any function in that

9 particular department. The head of that department at

10 all times was Mr. Bruno Stojic and remained in that

11 position until the Croatian republic was formed, and

12 actually we believe the evidence will show that he

13 remained in that position until his duties were taken

14 over by Perica Jukic in November of 1993.

15 Once again, the functions of the Department

16 of Defence are clearly delineated and outlined in the

17 carefully-drafted decree on the armed forces of October

18 the 17th, and you can find them in Article 10.

19 Now, proceeding down from the supreme

20 commander, the president and the Department of Defence,

21 the next level of the chain of command upon which I

22 would like to focus is the general staff of the HVO.

23 The general staff, according to Article 11 --

24 JUDGE BENNOUNA: Mr. Sayers, according to

25 what you said, you mentioned what is the competence of

Page 16894

1 the president of the HVO, but we didn't give any

2 elements about the competence of the Presidency. I

3 imagine that if there was a presidency and a

4 vice-president, that means they had something to do or

5 they were designated for some functions.

6 MR. SAYERS: Quite so, Your Honour, and let

7 me address that four square, if I may.

8 It is absolutely vital to distinguish between

9 the president, the office of the president, which was

10 created under Article 7 of the HZ HB. That office was

11 at all times fulfilled by or filled by Mate Boban.

12 There is no question that that office had a military

13 function and, indeed, the president was the supreme

14 commander of the armed forces at all times. But it is

15 absolutely important to take a look at Article 7,

16 because it creates two separate institutions, and I

17 think we established this through Dr. Ribicic. But if

18 the point has been forgotten, it absolutely needs to be

19 kept in mind at all times. The office of president is

20 different and completely different from the office of

21 the Presidency. The Presidency was the legislature of

22 the HZ HB, in precise terms, and the Presidency

23 consisted of all of the legislators, all of the senior

24 representatives of the municipal organisations or

25 municipal HVOs, 30-plus people in the HZ HB, and the

Page 16895

1 Presidency elected a president and two

2 vice-presidents. The powers of the office of a

3 vice-president are expressly delineated, Your Honour,

4 in the tab 3 of Exhibit 180/1, I believe, the July the

5 3rd code of practice of the Presidency. The code of

6 practice of the Presidency describes precisely how the

7 legislature operates, and it describes precisely what

8 the office of the vice-president is. It's purely a

9 parliamentary position. It's not a military position

10 in any way. And it is a little confusing, because you

11 have an office of president, and President Boban was

12 the president of the HZ HB at all times, but he was

13 also the president of the Presidency, a completely

14 different function, a legislative function, but one

15 which had no military power. His only military power

16 derives from his function as president of the entire

17 community. And you can see that from Article 29 of the

18 decree of the armed forces, both decrees, that one was

19 passed on July the 3rd and one was passed on October

20 the 17th.

21 So the question is a good one, and it's

22 perhaps an unfortunate -- actually, it's D181/3, tab

23 3. I'm sorry. The question is a good one and it's an

24 unfortunate confusion of terminology, but Mr. Kordic

25 was only a vice-president of the legislature. He was

Page 16896

1 never a vice-president of the president of the republic

2 in the military context.

3 Even though it's confusing, perhaps the best

4 way of resolving that confusion is to consider what

5 happened when the HZ HB became the HR HB. The office

6 of president was retained, of course, and Mr. Boban

7 occupied that position. And under Article 8 of the

8 basic decision, he was the supreme commander of the

9 armed forces. But there was no vice-president.

10 The House of Representatives, however, did

11 have a chairman or a president and two deputy chairmen

12 or vice-presidents, but I hope it's clear that that

13 entity assumed the duties of the Presidency of the

14 HZ HB. The Presidency of the HZ HB was its

15 legislature, and in fact that's expressly stated in

16 Article 7. And those distinctions absolutely have to

17 be borne in mind.

18 JUDGE BENNOUNA: You are speaking now about

19 the Presidency of the HZ HB, Herceg-Bosna, but there is

20 also the Presidency of the HVO where we have the same

21 president and the same vice-president?

22 MR. SAYERS: No, actually, Your Honour. The

23 president of the HVO at all times -- well, actually not

24 at all times but until August the 14th, 1992, was

25 Mr. Boban. So it's absolutely correct when you point

Page 16897

1 out that he was the president of the HZ HB, the

2 president of the Presidency of the HZ HB, and also the

3 president of the HVO until August the 14th, 1992. But

4 that's when the organs of government start to get more

5 clearly established, and on the 14th of August

6 Mr. Prlic -- Dr. Prlic, rather, became the president of

7 the HVO, and he had three vice-presidents; one

8 appointed simultaneously with him, Mr. Stipo Ivankovic,

9 on the 14th of August, 1992, and then two other

10 vice-presidents, Mr. Valenta and Mr. Zubak, Kresimir

11 Zubak, who were appointed on the 17th of October,

12 1992.

13 JUDGE BENNOUNA: What was the role of

14 Mr. Kordic in the HVO?

15 MR. SAYERS: Mr. Kordic had no role in the

16 HVO other than being, as I've mentioned, a member of

17 the committee on personnel, one of the committee

18 members. He was not the president of it. But we'll

19 bring a member of the committee to explain what the

20 function of that was and how it was a relatively

21 insignificant institution in the HVO. But certainly he

22 was never a head of a department, never the Prime

23 Minister, never the president, and never one of the

24 vice-presidents of the HVO, although he was one of the

25 two vice-presidents of the Presidency of the HZ HB, at

Page 16898

1 least until the HR HB was formed when that office was

2 abolished in August of 1993.

3 I know you have to follow these things

4 through carefully, but we believe the evidence will be

5 uncontradicted on that, and, actually, if you navigate

6 your way through the documents which we covered with

7 Dr. Ribicic, I think the apparently ambiguous picture

8 becomes crystal clear.

9 Let me resume the discussion of the HVO

10 general staff, if I may. Article 11 of the decree of

11 the armed forces specifically says that the general

12 staff is to be appointed by the Supreme Commander,

13 Mr. Boban, and that's what occurred. All the

14 commanders of the general staff--

15 THE INTERPRETER: Could the counsel slow

16 down, please.

17 MR. SAYERS: -- who was the

18 commander-in-chief of the HVO general staff from April

19 of 1992 until late July or early August of 1993.

20 His successor was General Slobodan Praljak,

21 and Brigadier Petkovic in turn became General Praljak's

22 chief of staff. General Praljak was replaced in

23 mid-November of 1993 by General Ante Roso, and as I

24 have stated, our present intent is to call all three.

25 They will confirm, I think with unanimous

Page 16899

1 voice, that Mr. Kordic had no military role at the

2 general staff level or any other level as far as

3 they're aware, and the reason is plain. Mr. Kordic had

4 no military experience at all beyond basic military

5 training in the JNA. He wasn't trained in matters of

6 military strategy, he was outside the military chain of

7 command, and he never tried to influence anyone on the

8 general staff, and we believe the commanders-in-chief

9 will testify to that point with unanimous voice.

10 The next level down from the general staff

11 was the Operative Zone level. As the Court knows, the

12 military forces in the field of the HVO were organised

13 into four separate Operative Zones, one in Posavina,

14 two in Herzegovina, one in Central Bosnia.

15 There's been a lot of speculation and

16 guesswork about what might have been the chain of

17 command, how the Operative Zone was organised, but we

18 intend to prove, through our military witnesses,

19 exactly how it was organised and to leave no doubt on

20 that subject whatsoever. We'll show the Court how it

21 was organised. We'll show the Court who set up the

22 Operative Zone; who had command; who gave the orders;

23 and equally important, who did not. And we expect the

24 evidence to be uniform; that Mr. Kordic did not have

25 any authority to issue military orders to anyone and

Page 16900

1 that he did not do so.

2 Major General Filipovic and Brigadier Nakic

3 will explain the organisational structure and chain of

4 command in detail. They will cover the special purpose

5 units about which the Court has heard evidence, such as

6 the Vitezovi or the Tvrtko II units. The military

7 police commanders will cover the chain of command

8 within the 4th Battalion when it was organised, by one

9 of our witnesses, and who was in that chain of command

10 and who was not.

11 And we believe that within the first week, we

12 expect to show, and the evidence will confirm this in

13 subsequent weeks, that Mr. Kordic had no function

14 within the military chain of command. He never had the

15 authority to give orders or instructions to HVO troops,

16 including the --

17 JUDGE MAY: Let me interrupt a moment,

18 because I don't want to be side-tracked into what are

19 essentially not issues. I'm sure you have the point,

20 but there has been no evidence that he was directly in

21 the military chain of command. What he suggested is

22 that it could be inferred from his conduct that he was

23 part of that command. It is not suggested that he was

24 somehow a military figure, apart, of course, from his

25 title of colonel, which no doubt you're going to deal

Page 16901

1 with in due course.

2 MR. SAYERS: I'm, let me say, refreshed, if I

3 may say that point, that that's the Trial Chamber's

4 perspective. It's certainly our perspective.

5 JUDGE MAY: Yes, but I don't want you to

6 misunderstand. Of course, the evidence may point to

7 his, in fact, having a de facto role.

8 MR. SAYERS: I understand, Your Honour.

9 JUDGE MAY: But what I don't want you to

10 waste too much time on is the formalities.

11 MR. SAYERS: I completely agree, but the

12 formalities have to be dealt with, you know, in an

13 abbreviated way and we expect to do, that but there has

14 been some suggestion, I believe I'm not exaggerating in

15 saying, that Mr. Kordic had some sort of a role, that

16 he had some sort of a command relationship with certain

17 units such as the Jokers. Some people have even

18 identified him as being the commander of the HVO in the

19 Busovaca area, the local commander. And I think in all

20 fairness to our client, that kind of evidence simply

21 has to be addressed, and it has to be refuted.

22 JUDGE MAY: Yes, but concentrate, if you

23 would, in dealing with it on the reality of the

24 Prosecution case, which, as I say, is an inference of

25 command to be drawn from the evidence rather than the

Page 16902

1 formality of command.

2 MR. SAYERS: Absolutely, Mr. President. But

3 the inference of command or a command role certainly

4 has to be addressed by the people who were the actual

5 commanders to the extent that we can get them in this

6 court obviously, and I think that the Trial Chamber has

7 to consider what they say and why they say it very

8 carefully in order to assure itself that Mr. Kordic did

9 not have a command role.

10 First of all, obviously within the paper

11 trail up the chain of command, there simply is no

12 command role, and I'll address this in just a second,

13 because the only command role that seems to be

14 attributed to him is being a political officer or a

15 so-called zampolit to use the terminology of the Soviet

16 arm forces, and I will address that. But I hope it's

17 clear that we will be addressing the de facto issues.

18 To some extent, those really are not -- How

19 shall I put it? -- connected with the formal chain of

20 command issues. They're more inferences that the

21 Prosecution seeks to extrude from particular incidents

22 such as, for example, the Convoy of Joy or the other

23 convoy-related incidents about which a lot of evidence

24 has been adduced, and I will say to the Court that we

25 will address evidence to address the Convoy of Joy

Page 16903

1 incident and other incidents.

2 A lot of the witnesses that we've had to

3 include in our witness list, for example, address

4 allegations -- just to use an example, Witness AO has

5 tried to suggest that Mr. Kordic was in the chain of

6 command somehow. And I won't belabour the record by

7 repeating the views that we've already expressed on

8 that. We've put them in writing. Let me just say,

9 though, that the revelations do continue. And we've

10 actually got a videotape of this gentleman being

11 interviewed by NordBat, and you can look at him

12 yourself and see how he looked when he was being

13 interviewed just weeks after he had been wearing a

14 black uniform and obstructing UNPROFOR officers from

15 gaining access to Stupni Do.

16 Unfortunately, those limited, focused points

17 of evidence we have to address, we realise, that, and

18 we will. We'll try to bring witnesses on to testify

19 with uniform voice until the Court tells us, "We've

20 enough on that issue," and we're relatively confident

21 we're going to hear that. We've got ten witnesses, I

22 think 10 or 11 witnesses to address Witness AO. We

23 don't think that we will need to use all those. We

24 think the Court will have the point much earlier than

25 that. But --

Page 16904

1 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Sayers, to follow up on

2 the point made by the president, I think there is a

3 difference between the formality of command and the

4 actual exercise of command, and I think this case is

5 more about the latter, the actual exercise.

6 It seems to me that from the point of view of

7 law and evidence, the evidence that the Prosecution

8 will have to adduce to satisfy the requirements of

9 Article 7, where in a case where a person is a part of

10 the formal structure, is different from the evidence

11 which the Prosecution will have to adduce in a case

12 such as this, where the person is not part of the

13 formal structure, and it will be more a matter of

14 inference.

15 I believe the evidence -- my mind is not

16 quite made up, but I think the evidence will have to be

17 quite strong where the person is not a member of the

18 formal structure and you're seeking to elicit from his

19 conduct elements and factors which go to show that he

20 actually exercised command. To my mind, that is the

21 important matter in this case.

22 MR. SAYERS: Your Honour, let me just say

23 that the Defence absolutely agrees with that. Of

24 course, you could have a formal chain of command that's

25 just in writing and it's just ignored. We don't think

Page 16905

1 that you'll conclude that that happened here. Of

2 course you can have someone who's actually de facto in

3 the chain of command and giving orders, but we would

4 submit to you that the evidence better be clear and

5 unequivocal as to precisely who that person is giving

6 orders to and that he has the ability to do it, that

7 those orders are followed, and that the military

8 commanders defer to the authority of the person that's

9 supposedly giving those orders. That's the point I'm

10 making.

11 We're going to bring the military commanders

12 before the Court, and they're going to explain two

13 things to you. First, what the chain of command was;

14 and secondly, it was followed; and thirdly, that

15 regardless of the stories that we've heard about

16 Mr. Kordic's various roles in the inferences of giving

17 military orders to various people, it did not happen.

18 He didn't have the power to do it, he never did it, and

19 they never heard of him doing it. But more

20 importantly, he didn't have the power to give military

21 orders.

22 The Court might ask itself: Well, who is it

23 that he is supposed to have had the power to give

24 military orders to? What is the evidence on that?

25 That's the case we have to address in some ways.

Page 16906

1 The Presiding Judge told us, just a week ago,

2 that it's important to know what case we have to

3 address. I still do not know which units, which

4 soldiers Mr. Kordic is alleged to have authority to

5 give orders to and actually did. Is it the HVO

6 generally? Is it a special purpose unit? Is it a

7 detachment of the military police or a sub-unit?

8 That's why we're bringing to the Trial

9 Chamber, and we hope to do it in short order so that

10 there's no mistake on this and there's no ambiguity in

11 it, we're going to bring the HVO commanders before the

12 Court. We're going to bring them before the Court to

13 talk about who had authority to give orders to special

14 purpose units and who didn't. And Mr. Kordic did not.

15 And the same with respect to the sub-units of the

16 military police or the military police generally, and

17 we think you'll find the evidence convincing.

18 Consider, for example, the huge number of

19 written orders already -- that have already flooded

20 into evidence signed by the commander of the Central

21 Bosnia Operative Zone. There isn't any contention that

22 these orders, except in one instance, and I'll address

23 that shortly, that they've been somehow faked or

24 dummied. These are orders that address a wide variety

25 of the specific kinds of things that you would expect a

Page 16907

1 military commander to be concerned with, matters of

2 discipline, organisation, logistics, traffic, combat,

3 and ceasefires, and where is Mr. Kordic's signature on

4 any of those orders? It really is not. That's a

5 factor that should be considered fairly carefully.

6 Now, let me turn to the political commissars

7 or zampolits argument. We think the Prosecution has

8 stretched and strained to argue that the HVO, as a

9 military organisation, had some sort of equivalent of

10 these political officers or zampolits of the kind found

11 in the armed forces of the former Soviet Union. But

12 the commanders of the HVO, unfortunately, don't agree,

13 and there is nothing in the decree on the armed forces

14 that suggests that such an organisation exists or what

15 the powers of political officers might be. There is

16 simply no provision for political officers in the

17 extraordinarily detailed decree of the armed forces.

18 In fact, political activity is prohibited in the armed

19 forces according to Article 25 of both the July the 3rd

20 and October the 17th decrees.

21 The testimony of the senior military officers

22 at the highest levels of the national chain of command

23 and at the Operative Zone chain of command will confirm

24 that there never was such an office and never was such

25 a connection between the political party, the HDZ BiH,

Page 16908

1 and the armed forces in any command and control

2 capacity. In fact, we think that you will decide that

3 the senior officers that we bring to testify will be

4 mystified by such an argument and appropriately so.

5 Furthermore, if there were such a connection,

6 such a political commissar connection, you would expect

7 to see a profusion of orders filtering down through

8 that chain of command too, but how many have you seen?

9 None. And we submit to you there are none, and the

10 reason is because the office simply did not exist.

11 It's a figment of the imagination.

12 The Presiding Judge just asked me to address

13 the status or occasional references to Mr. Kordic as a

14 colonel at Pukovnik, and I'll do precisely that.

15 In its opening statement, the Prosecution

16 made much of the title of colonel conferred upon

17 Mr. Kordic, apparently at the end of the 1992, when he

18 was sent in place of Colonel Blaskic to participate in

19 the mixed-military working group meetings at Sarajevo

20 airport.

21 Understandably, perhaps, this argument has

22 received less emphasis following the testimony of

23 Lieutenant-General Cordy-Simpson and Mr. Pinder-Koehnk,

24 because both realised that Mr. Kordic was not a

25 soldier, he was a negotiator, and sent as a negotiator,

Page 16909

1 sent to the only extant forum for tripartite

2 negotiations between the warring parties, and our

3 evidence will confirm this.

4 For example, Colonel Filipovic will explain

5 the circumstances and the reasons for them.

6 Colonel Blaskic was the original negotiator and

7 representative of the HVO forces at this tripartite

8 group. His presence in the negotiation forum required

9 long absences from his headquarters in a time of

10 military emergency, and this was causing some serious

11 problems, and Colonel Filipovic will talk about that.

12 He insisted that the situation be rectified,

13 that Colonel Blaskic be not away from his headquarters

14 for long periods of time, and Mr. Kordic's name came up

15 as a potential substitute. He was not a military man,

16 he had no military experience, and so there was a real

17 problem, because without a military rank or a military

18 title, he couldn't be part of the Mixed Military

19 Working Group. Therefore, he became an assistant

20 colonel to be able to participate in these

21 negotiations, which he did in December of 1992 but

22 never after that. But he never had any troops under

23 his command.

24 We will also have evidence from the person

25 within the HVO government who came up with the idea of

Page 16910

1 giving him this instant colonel status, and you'll hear

2 from him and the circumstances of that.

3 But that is obviously a factor that the

4 Defence has to address. The title of "colonel" may

5 give rise to the inference that he was indeed a colonel

6 of the HVO, but we think after you've heard the

7 soldiers, you've heard the commanding officers, your

8 view will be, as is ours, that this was a title just

9 given to him as a matter of convenience to permit him

10 to participate in the negotiations with the other

11 sides.

12 One other point, and the last point on the

13 chain of command issue I would like to address is the

14 suggestion made towards the end of the Prosecution's

15 case that Mr. Kordic became assistant chief of the

16 general staff or assistant to the chief of the general

17 staff, it's not clear which, under General Roso, that

18 is. The evidence in that is somewhat garbled, and we

19 think the best way to clear it up is to call

20 General Roso to explain what it was and what

21 Mr. Kordic's functions, if any, in that role were and

22 whether indeed he ever performed those functions, and

23 that's what we presently intend to do.

24 Let me just address a few other issues,

25 specific issues, investigations and military

Page 16911

1 discipline, and a word on our evidence regarding the

2 military investigations into the criminal acts that

3 were carried out by soldiers in Ahmici on the 16th of

4 April, 1993 and at Stupni Do on October the 23rd,

5 1993.

6 First, the HVO did have a well-defined system

7 of military discipline. This was confirmed by

8 Brigadier Duncan and by Dr. Ribicic, from a purely

9 documentary point of view. There is no suggestion that

10 Mr. Kordic had any role in that military discipline

11 system.

12 The Rules of Military Discipline were adopted

13 on July the 3rd of 1993. They are extensive and fairly

14 clear. They regulate military discipline and the

15 punishment for breaches of it. There are 112

16 Articles. Those rules do provide for the ability of

17 the Supreme Commander to reduce, mitigate, or remit

18 punishment, and for the head of the Defence department

19 to do the same. The general staff was directed to

20 establish military disciplinary courts of first

21 instance, and we believe it did, three-Judge courts

22 with a presiding Judge, and the later decrees in the HZ

23 HB formed the District Military Prosecutor's Officer on

24 October the 17th, which was divided into four regions,

25 including Travnik, and it was the district military

Page 16912

1 prosecutor who was responsible for the conduct of

2 investigations and the preparation of indictments.

3 Now, after Ahmici, there were four sets of

4 investigations, three from the European Community and

5 one from the HVO. Naturally, these were crimes

6 committed by soldiers, and it was reasonable and to be

7 expected that people would turn to soldiers in

8 connection with the investigations.

9 The first set of investigations were done in

10 connection with a fact-finding mission made to Central

11 Bosnia by European ambassadors on May the 3rd to the

12 9th. The report is already in evidence, Z910. These

13 ambassadors met with Croat political and military

14 leaders, finding that there was fault on both sides and

15 especially that the kidnapping of commander Totic on

16 April the 15th was a grave provocation.

17 These ambassadors met with the vice-president

18 of the HVO, one of the vice-presidents, Mr. Valenta.

19 They also met with the president and Supreme Commander

20 of the armed forces, Mate Boban. They never asked to

21 meet with Mr. Kordic, they never did meet with him,

22 even though the mission had, as was to be expected, the

23 full support of UNPROFOR, and indeed their report does

24 not mention Mr. Kordic.

25 The second investigation was performed over a

Page 16913

1 one-week period by Mr. McLeod, and you have his

2 report. It doesn't mention Mr. Kordic. He never met

3 Mr. Kordic and never tried to. In fact, Mr. Kordic's

4 name never arose in connection with that

5 investigation.

6 The third investigation overlapped with

7 Mr. McLeod's, and it was conducted by two people with

8 the United Nations Centre for Human Rights, (redacted)

9 (redacted). Again, it lasted a week, but

10 significantly, Witness AB was able to interview a large

11 number of eyewitnesses in Zenica. The HVO was never

12 able to do that, obviously. None mentioned

13 Mr. Kordic's name as having anything to do with the

14 events in Ahmici, and Mr. Kordic's name is, as to be

15 expected, not mentioned in the report.

16 Now, the HVO investigation was called for by

17 Lieutenant-Colonel Stewart in a letter that he wrote to

18 Colonel Blaskic on April the 22nd. Lieutenant-Colonel

19 Stewart and Brigadier Duncan, the two soldiers who had

20 primary military responsibility for BritBat and

21 UNPROFOR in the Vitez area, never once spoke to

22 Mr. Kordic about Ahmici, as was to be expected. But

23 they did engage in extensive discourse with

24 Colonel Blaskic on that subject. Colonel Stewart

25 requested an investigation and testified that in order

Page 16914

1 to have credibility, the investigating commission would

2 have to have ABiH representatives on it. It should be,

3 in other words, a joint commission. And one day later,

4 Colonel Blaskic wrote back to him, saying, "We're ready

5 to mount this joint commission."

6 No steps were ever taken to constitute a

7 joint investigative commission after that. The subject

8 unfortunately never arose, and the reasons for that

9 are, confessedly, unclear, and I'm obliged to say that

10 I do not have -- I'm not in a position to say that

11 we're able to offer a lot of evidence on why the joint

12 commission idea just fell into desuetude, so to speak.

13 I'm confused about it, because on April the

14 25th Mate Boban and President Izetbegovic signed a

15 joint agreement where they both agreed to send a joint

16 commission to investigate crimes or incidents that had

17 occurred in the area of the Lasva Valley, and this was

18 followed by a May the 1st, 1993, public announcement

19 from the HVO public relations department in Mostar that

20 an investigation was going to be done.

21 One document has just recently surfaced from

22 the United Nations Centre for Human Rights, written by

23 the witness Mr. Akhavan actually before he visited

24 Central Bosnia, and it establishes that the members of

25 the ABiH were reluctant to participate on a joint

Page 16915

1 commission because they saw this as perhaps resulting

2 in a delay in what should be a prompt investigation.

3 But the point is that apparently the ABiH was reluctant

4 to and ultimately refused to participate in a joint

5 commission, and that appears to be the case. It was

6 confirmed by Lieutenant-Colonel Watters during his

7 testimony at page 5867. There's no point, he said, in

8 their view, of having participation in this commission

9 because the crimes, presumably, were so clear.

10 Well, the next thing that occurred is that

11 Lieutenant-Colonel Stewart confronted Colonel Blaskic

12 at his headquarters on May 9th, the Court will recall,

13 May the 9th, 1993, in the company of Lieutenant-Colonel

14 Duncan, challenged Colonel Blaskic, told him that he

15 would appear in court one day, made a notation in his

16 diary. Following this confrontation, Mr. Kordic

17 arrived, but no mention was ever made of Ahmici after

18 Mr. Kordic's arrival.

19 Now, one day later on May the 10th, 1993,

20 Colonel Blaskic did order the HVO Security and

21 Information Service to conduct an inquiry. He

22 instructed the SIS to gather information and to report

23 back by May the 25th, 1993.

24 I'm not going to spend any more time on

25 this. Our arguments are contained in Confidential

Page 16916

1 Annex 2. Much of this material was made the subject of

2 closed-session testimony. I won't repeat it here. Our

3 previous papers articulate the Defence position on

4 that, and that remains our position.

5 But the point is that the HVO was not able to

6 interview eyewitnesses, it was not able to identify,

7 with any degree of specificity, the precise

8 perpetrators of the civilian killings and murders in

9 Ahmici and, therefore, was not able to gain evidence

10 beyond a reasonable doubt sufficient to punish the

11 perpetrators.

12 Since this was a military matter, as might be

13 expected Colonel Blaskic followed up, issued another

14 order on August the 17th, 1993, to the SIS, saying,

15 "Follow up on this investigation, please." There is

16 no evidence, I believe, that the SIS ever did so, or if

17 they did, the results of that investigation are not

18 available to us. We've not been able to uncover them.

19 But there is no question that an

20 investigation was done, as requested, and we believe

21 that the testimony from, amongst others,

22 Colonel-General Petkovic will confirm that.

23 One point I would like to make is that

24 Mr. Kordic was not involved at any stage in that

25 investigation really. He had no legal responsibility

Page 16917

1 or other responsibility to ensure that the military

2 investigative machinery operated efficiently and

3 continued to operate.

4 Now, if I may, just in the interests of

5 winding up, I'll turn to the evidence concerning the

6 particular municipalities and the particular issues

7 which we expect to adduce evidence on, just so the

8 Court has an idea of where we're going.

9 THE INTERPRETER: Will the counsel slow down,

10 please.

11 MR. SAYERS: For that submission, I would

12 like Mr. Browning to handle in a very expeditious way,

13 15 minutes or so, the evidence relating to the

14 international armed conflict, the municipalities of

15 Vitez and Kiseljak. Mr. Naumovski will then

16 expeditiously handle Busovaca, and I'll handle the

17 rest. Thank you.

18 MR. BROWNING: Thank you, Your Honours.

19 Let me, first of all, say that among the

20 Kordic Defence team, that I will be the one person that

21 will be responsible for making sure that our witnesses

22 run smoothly and our case runs like clockwork, and I

23 will do everything humanly possible to make sure we

24 conclude our case by August, if not before. I say that

25 because at the outset of Mr. Sayers' remarks, he

Page 16918

1 pointed out that the division for the opening statement

2 would be to make it interesting. What Mr. Sayers I'm

3 sure has also got going through his mind, that my

4 remarks, like finishing our case on time, that I will

5 gladly abbreviate my remarks on the different

6 municipalities and move as quickly as possible so we

7 can finish the opening statement today and as

8 expeditiously as possible.

9 Let me, first of all, address the issue of

10 the international armed conflict.

11 As the Trial Chamber is well aware, the

12 portions of the indictment that are based on Article 2,

13 in order to establish a necessary prerequisite for that

14 element of the indictment, the Prosecution must show

15 the existence of an international armed conflict. We

16 have previously filed a response to the Prosecution

17 statement. That was filed this Friday. I think our

18 remarks are succinctly set out, and I will be very

19 brief.

20 Let me just say this: that under the Tadic

21 Appeals Chamber decision as well as a more recent

22 Aleksovski opinion of the Appeals Chamber, it is the

23 position of those two Appellate Chambers that for

24 international armed conflict to exist, there must be a

25 showing of an overall control of the HVO by the

Page 16919

1 Republic of Croatia. We believe that the Prosecution

2 has not made such a showing in this case.

3 More importantly, as Mr. Sayers previously

4 indicated, we will be calling a number of military

5 witnesses in the Defence case, in our case, in chief,

6 and we believe that when those military witnesses take

7 the stand, whether it be General Petkovic,

8 General Praljak, General Roso, when the Court has the

9 opportunity to see those individuals testify, to hear

10 their demeanour, they will realise -- you will realise

11 that these individuals were not puppets of the Republic

12 of Croatia. They were men of integrity. As well, this

13 week the Court will hear the deputy commander under

14 Colonel Blaskic. I think when you have an opportunity

15 to look these military witnesses in the eye, you will

16 see that these individuals were simply not puppets or

17 marionettes of the Republic of Croatia.

18 More importantly, when you have a chance to

19 hear the testimony of these witnesses, it will be made

20 clear that there were not HV troops in Central Bosnia.

21 As Major-General Filipovic will testify this week, he

22 wished there had been HV soldiers in Central Bosnia,

23 because he could have used the help. They were getting

24 the bejeezus beat out them in mid-1993 and could have

25 used any assistance whatsoever, whether it be HV troops

Page 16920

1 or not, and that simply was not the case. The troops

2 were available from the Republic of Croatia in Central

3 Bosnia.

4 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Browning, can you confine

5 your remarks to those of a forensic sort.

6 MR. BROWNING: Judge May, Your Honour,

7 Mr. President, I apologise that I tend to speak with a

8 southern dialect from time to time, and I will try to

9 tailor my southern expressions. I apologise.

10 JUDGE MAY: Or moderate your language.

11 MR. BROWNING: Let me turn briefly from

12 international armed conflict to the municipalities that

13 I will cover.

14 First of all, with respect to the

15 municipality of Vitez, the Kordic Defence intends to

16 put on minimal evidence with respect to the

17 municipality of Vitez. We believe that counsel for

18 Mr. Cerkez will cover this issue during their

19 presentation. But we would emphasise to the Court that

20 in our mind there has been a complete absence of proof

21 with respect to Mr. Kordic's involvement and events in

22 Vitez.

23 Turning first to the incident concerning the

24 municipal building and police station and its takeover

25 June 19th, 1992, the testimony is clear that Mr. Kordic

Page 16921

1 was not present during that event, and there's a

2 complete lack of evidence as to his involvement in

3 those incidents in June of 1992.

4 Moreover, throughout the Prosecution case, as

5 witness after witness has been presented concerning

6 Vitez, it's clear that Mr. Kordic had no influence in

7 that particular municipality, whether it be the

8 testimony of Muhamed Mujezinovic, who has testified in

9 virtually all of the Lasva Valley cases. He was a

10 politician in the Vitez area and made it clear that

11 Mr. Kordic had no influence in the Vitez area. The

12 same is true of Munib Kajmovic. The same is true of

13 Witness G, who described Mr. Kordic as simply a top

14 person in the Busovaca HDZ.

15 It's clear, when you go through witness after

16 witness, that the Prosecution had testify concerning

17 Vitez, Witness L, Witness N, Sulejman Kalco, Fuad Zeco,

18 it is clear that Mr. Kordic had no influence in the

19 Vitez municipality.

20 Let me turn briefly to -- specifically to

21 Ahmici.

22 As Mr. Sayers has previously pointed out, in

23 October 1992, we will present evidence that shows that

24 there was heavy fighting in Jajce, that the ABiH

25 intentionally ordered a blockade in Ahmici in order to

Page 16922

1 prevent the movement of HVO troops, and that emphasises

2 that there was a strategic significance to Ahmici. It

3 was a strangle-hold on the main supply route. The

4 fighting that took place in October of 1992 was not the

5 result of any policy of persecution by Bosnian Croats.

6 It was a direct response to an act of aggression by the

7 ABiH.

8 Turning to events in Ahmici in April of 1993,

9 as we have said throughout, the incidents in Ahmici

10 were tragic. But the Trial Chamber's consideration

11 needs to be who was responsible for that act, and we

12 believe it is clear that Mr. Kordic was not the

13 responsible person. There is no evidence that he

14 issued any order with respect to Ahmici or otherwise

15 undertook any act that resulted in any deaths in

16 Ahmici. We will present limited evidence on what

17 actually took place.

18 We are grateful to the Prosecution, in that

19 during their presentation of evidence, it has become

20 clear that there was some defence that took place in

21 Ahmici, whether it be the evidence of the increased

22 alertedness of the troops in Ahmici on April the 15th,

23 the evidence that's been presented as to those -- the

24 Territorial Defence in Ahmici, and the weapons that

25 were available to members of the Territorial Defence.

Page 16923

1 But the bottom line is that Mr. Kordic was simply not

2 responsible for anything that took place in Ahmici.

3 There is one other village within Vitez

4 that --

5 JUDGE BENNOUNA: [Interpretation]

6 Mr. Browning, according to what Mr. Sayers announced,

7 you took the floor to speak, in the first place, about

8 the nature of the conflict, that is, whether it was an

9 international conflict or not. You are saying, no, it

10 wasn't. And you said in the beginning that you were

11 going to submit that it was not an international

12 conflict, and you started from the idea that the

13 criterion of the overall control, that is, the global

14 control or what we would call global control, I

15 understand that that is your starting point, that is,

16 the criterion of the overall control.

17 Could you please explain to us how you

18 understand this overall control, since you are

19 saying -- since you gave us only two elements, that is,

20 that the HVO was not a puppet. That was one.

21 Secondly, that there were no HV elements, the elements

22 of the Croatian army, in the area and conflict that we

23 are concerned with. These are the two things that you

24 told us to say, that the HVO was not a puppet

25 government, a government that was on anybody's string,

Page 16924

1 that there were no HV elements there, and that,

2 therefore, there was no -- that kind of overall control

3 and that the nature of the conflict was not

4 international.

5 Is that the reasoning behind what you are

6 saying? Because I wish to remind you that this is not

7 quite the definition of overall control which is, at

8 present, in the jurisprudence. The overall control is

9 described as intervention by persons involved in a

10 conflict at the level of the -- at the strategic level,

11 even if the implicated army, that is, the HVO involved

12 in an internal conflict remains the master of the

13 tactic, even if it has a certain degree of autonomy,

14 even if it is not only a puppet, even it is autonomous,

15 it is, nevertheless, in the service of a strategy which

16 was developed elsewhere.

17 Are you going to address that point of view?

18 Are you going to address this thesis and to respond to

19 it? Because you are saying that there was no overall

20 control.

21 MR. BROWNING: Your Honour, if I may, the --

22 we believe that when the military witnesses take the

23 stand, that it will be clear that the HVO was

24 autonomous from the Republic of Croatia, that there was

25 not pervasive or overall control. And as these

Page 16925

1 witnesses take the stand, it will be obvious that the

2 events that happened in Central Bosnia were not being

3 dictated by Zagreb. That is our position, and that is

4 what we believe the evidence will show as the testimony

5 of the military witness takes place in this case.

6 Let me, if I may, proceed to just briefly

7 touch upon some of the evidence with respect to the

8 various villages, and let me turn very quickly to the

9 village of Divjak, which is also in the Vitez

10 municipality.

11 We believe there has been no evidence with

12 regard to any sort of property damage that took

13 place --

14 JUDGE MAY: We said that in our order.

15 MR. BROWNING: Let me proceed also to briefly

16 touch upon Kiseljak and the events and what the

17 evidence will show in Kiseljak.

18 We intend to present limited evidence, either

19 by live testimony or by transcript, with respect to

20 Kiseljak. The bottom line with respect to Kiseljak is

21 that Mr. Kordic had no influence in the Kiseljak area.

22 In fact, there has been significant testimony so far

23 about the difficulty of travelling from Busovaca to

24 Kiseljak, and I think the testimony is very clear that

25 that route was cut off beginning in January of 1993.

Page 16926

1 We will present some testimony to reiterate that, that

2 it was extremely difficult for anyone to travel between

3 Busovaca and Kiseljak.

4 As a matter of fact, the only testimony that

5 is presented that in any way links Mr. Kordic to

6 Kiseljak is the testimony of Witness Y, who allegedly

7 saw Mr. Kordic for a few split seconds. That

8 testimony, we believe, when everything is said and done

9 and it's clear how difficult it is for someone to get

10 from Busovaca to Kiseljak during the civil war, that

11 testimony is simply not credible.

12 With respect to the specific villages in

13 Kiseljak, let me divide them very briefly into two

14 categories, the villages along the main supply route,

15 which would be Svinjarevo, Gomionica, Gromlijak,

16 Bajrici, Pujuvisnica [phoen], Visnjica, and Han Ploca.

17 Those villages were legitimate military targets,

18 because they had strategic significance along the main

19 supply route. The evidence that has been presented

20 thus far makes clear that those villages were defended

21 by ABiH, and the fact that fighting took place over a

22 location of strategic significance simply does not rise

23 to the level of a war crime.

24 With respect to Rotilj, which is a village

25 that is not precisely on the main supply route, the

Page 16927

1 evidence is clear that that village was attacked by the

2 HVO under the command of Mirko Redzo, who attacked the

3 village because the village was being used -- houses

4 were being used from that village to fire on HVO

5 troops. One of the ECMM monitors, Hendrik Morsink,

6 testified that that attack was a logical reaction and

7 the attack on the village had clear military

8 justifications.

9 There has also been some indication that

10 after the attack, Rotilj was used as a concentration

11 camp. That myth, I think, was dispelled by the

12 testimony of Witness AJ, who testified that there

13 were -- although there were HVO guards at the entrance

14 of the village, that there were no fences around it and

15 the HVO did not even patrol within the village. His

16 testimony, that he felt like he was kind of under house

17 arrest, simply is not sufficient to give rise to a war

18 crime.

19 More importantly with respect to Rotilj, the

20 fact that it was a village in Kiseljak, Mr. Kordic

21 simply had -- there is no evidence, no indication that

22 Mr. Kordic had anything -- any knowledge with respect

23 to events in that village or that it was ever brought

24 to his attention.

25 I will also say the same is true with regard

Page 16928

1 to Tulica, that the Prosecution contends that Tulica

2 was attacked in June of 1993 and that eight Muslim men

3 were executed following that attack. There is no

4 evidence that Mr. Kordic ever knew of any crimes that

5 occurred in Tulica, and moreover there is some question

6 as to what was known generally within the public until

7 the bodies were exhumed in 1998.

8 In essence, Your Honours, we will be very

9 brief when we present evidence on these specific

10 villages. We will focus on the overall role of

11 Mr. Kordic and his lack of responsibility at the

12 highest levels of government, as well as the evidence

13 that he was not involved in a widespread plan of

14 persecution. Accordingly, the evidence on these

15 specific villages, during our case in chief, will be

16 very short and very succinct.

17 MR. NAUMOVSKI: [Interpretation] Thank you,

18 Your Honours.

19 I would just like to add to what my colleague

20 has started. My task is to very quickly delineate the

21 events in Busovaca, starting in May 1992, and then the

22 conflict in January of 1993, events relating to the

23 checkpoint at Kacuni, and, in closing, several thoughts

24 relating to the testimony of the late Midhat Haskic.

25 This last issue is unrelated to Busovaca, but I would

Page 16929

1 like to cover it in order not to get up again.

2 As Your Honours well know, the Busovaca

3 municipality is surrounded by the Vitez municipality on

4 the west, Zenica on the north, and to the east Kakanj,

5 and Kiseljak and Fojnica on the south. It is a

6 relatively small municipality. It only covers a square

7 area of about 149 square kilometres, and in the census

8 of 1991, it had 18.847 population. The census figures

9 have been presented here. I don't think that I need to

10 belabour that point.

11 All the events which I have touched upon

12 earlier today, which took place in the territory of the

13 former Yugoslavia and Bosnia and Herzegovina, were also

14 reflected in the territory of Busovaca municipality.

15 After the multi-party elections in November

16 1990, the three nationalist parties, the SDA, HDZ, and

17 SDS, even before the full agreement on the cooperation

18 was hammered out, participated in the local

19 government. In order not to repeat what I said today,

20 but everything that happened elsewhere, that is, all

21 the differences which took place at the higher level

22 were all also reflected in the political life of the

23 Busovaca municipality. This, obviously, became

24 exacerbated when the war broke out, because there were

25 three military barracks of the former JNA in the

Page 16930

1 territory of Busovaca.

2 In the spring of 1992, it was clear that the

3 war was coming and Busovaca, therefore, established a

4 crisis staff. This was something that was provided for

5 in the 1974 constitution. So the Busovaca municipal

6 government formed the crisis staff, and Croats formed a

7 very slight majority in this crisis staff.

8 This crisis staff took the role of governing

9 life in the Busovaca municipality, but what I want to

10 point out is that the representatives of the Croats and

11 Muslims in this crisis staff also made an agreement on

12 the distribution of weapons which the former JNA held

13 in storage in Kaonik barracks. The other two barracks

14 are insignificant in this regard. They also divided

15 the barracks, and the one in Kacuni went to the Muslims

16 and the other one in Kiseljak went to -- Draga went to

17 the Croats.

18 Even though an agreement was reached, the

19 Muslim side wanted to breach it, and Dzemal Merdan

20 came, unauthorised, with some hundred people and tried

21 to take over the control of the weapons. However, the

22 members of the Croatian military structures prevented

23 this, which led to the first incident which,

24 fortunately, resulted in only two wounded. But because

25 of this attempt at disruption, the HVO tried to

Page 16931

1 establish peace and law and order, which led to the

2 order which was Exhibit Z100 issued by the then

3 commander of the HVO staff, Ivo Brnada, which was also

4 signed by Mr. Kordic. He cosigned it.

5 Following this order, on the 22nd of May,

6 1992, a new order was issued. This is Exhibit Z111,

7 issued by Florijan Glavocevic and which was also

8 cosigned by Mr. Kordic, in which an attempt is made to

9 establish law and order and return life to normalcy.

10 So the HVO took responsibility for the organisation of

11 life in the territory of its own municipality.

12 But what is important is what we have already

13 pointed out and cross-examined the witnesses from

14 Busovaca on, this order specifically states that the

15 HVO is taking over the responsibility for the

16 organisation of life until the right conditions were

17 met when all issues would be resolved by agreement with

18 the Muslim representatives rather than resolved by

19 force or any other forcible means.

20 It is our duty to prove in this case that the

21 Muslims, as an ethnic group -- this is what was their

22 name -- were not deprived of their rights in the

23 Busovaca municipality in the course of 1992. For

24 instance, even after the HVO took the control of the

25 government in Busovaca, all Muslim employees remained

Page 16932

1 in the local administrative bodies except Witness O,

2 who stated that his job was simply phased out in the

3 new restructuring of the organisation, and he found

4 another job with the help of a Croat member of the

5 HVO.

6 During our presentation of evidence, we will

7 show that Witness M, who here admitted that he remained

8 an employee in the municipal government until December

9 of 1993, even though he claimed that this was done

10 in -- that he remained so only in a formal way, we will

11 prove that he had equal rights, and not only did he

12 work normally, but he was also made part of different

13 committees that were established to handle different

14 issues.

15 Now, all that I have said so far has to be

16 placed in the context of the time of the period. It

17 was a time when the JNA and the SDS have already taken

18 control of most of the territory of Bosnia and

19 Herzegovina, which means that a large number of

20 refugees flowed into the Lasva River Valley, including

21 Busovaca municipality.

22 On the one side, this disrupted the previous

23 demographic structure, but what was worse was that

24 these refugees brought with them all disillusionment,

25 anger, and tragedy of what they had experienced from

Page 16933

1 where they had come from.

2 So all these refugees in this relatively

3 contained area of the Lasva River Valley, and even more

4 so in Busovaca, looked for a place to come and stay and

5 to bring their families. At first, it created chaos,

6 led to the commission of many criminal acts. Both the

7 Croat and Muslim sides attempted to receive these

8 refugees in an organised way and did so as far as they

9 could, but the influx of the refugees was such that

10 they were unable to control them.

11 We will show that in one of the joint

12 meetings in which Muslims and Croats discussed matters

13 on an equal footing was held on 10 November 1992, and

14 it was attended by a number of persons, some of whom

15 have already been heard by this Trial Chamber in this

16 case, and we will also offer testimony of others

17 there.

18 And just to further flesh out something that

19 we have already addressed in the cross-examination of

20 some witnesses, as of spring 1992 in the territory of

21 Busovaca municipality, the HVO forces and the TO forces

22 were operated and coexisted on an equal basis; that is,

23 even before the armed conflict between the Croats, that

24 is, the HVO and the TO and later ABiH, as the Court

25 knows, the Muslims created a Presidency in Kacuni in

Page 16934

1 January of 1993, and they had all other agencies such

2 as the police, and this was testified to by both

3 Witness A and Witness O.

4 In our case in chief, we will show that in

5 the area of Busovaca or throughout Herceg-Bosna, there

6 was no organised persecution of the Muslim population.

7 And I may just mention one detail which will show this

8 division of territory, that this natural division, if I

9 may call it that, of the zones of interest which was

10 established in 1992 is still there to date, and in

11 terms of the Busovaca municipality, this balance was at

12 about 50/50 per cent.

13 We will prove, further, that Mr. Kordic had

14 no responsibility of the Busovaca municipalities.

15 Mr. Florijan Glavocevic and Mr. Zoran Maric were in

16 charge of the local government in Busovaca. We will

17 also prove that Mr. Kordic had no responsibilities in

18 the Nikola Subic-Zrinjski Brigade. It was Niko

19 Mujezinovic and later Dusko Grubesic who were in charge

20 of it. We will show that in the territory of Busovaca

21 municipality, where he worked and lived, he was a

22 member of the HDZ, and for a time he was the president

23 of the HDZ, who was active in politics and who was

24 fighting for one thing, which was for the rights of the

25 Croatian people to live with other ethnic groups in

Page 16935

1 that area. He was a moral authority, which he proved

2 also through his family life.

3 When we talk about Busovaca, my colleague

4 Mr. Sayers also mentioned what took place in January of

5 1993. I will not belabour this point, but I believe

6 that I need to refresh the memory of the testimony of

7 Colonel Stewart, who recollected his memories of that

8 era when he said to Enver Hadzihasanovic and Dzemal

9 Merdan, that is, the commander of the 3rd Corps of the

10 BiH, this time, referring to the conflict of January

11 1993, it was for once something that the Muslims can be

12 blamed for. And I believe that this fact has been

13 proven, but we will show that this conflict which was

14 provoked by the TO and the ABiH, from that time on, the

15 territory of Busovaca municipality was physically

16 isolated from the Kiseljak municipality as well as

17 Fojnica municipality.

18 And just in brief, my colleagues have already

19 touched upon this, but I want to just mention the first

20 crime in middle Bosnia, the first planned crime in

21 Dusina in which Croats were victims. However, this

22 crime did not have an end in itself. In this conflict

23 of January 1993, all the Croat villages which are

24 located along the main supply route between Bilalovac

25 and Kacuni, and I'm referring primarily to the Gusti

Page 16936

1 Grab, Oseliste, Javor, Bukovci, were simply destroyed;

2 that is, there were scores of killed Croats and many

3 were driven out. This can be found in the milinfosum,

4 Exhibit number 105/1. Also, we will bring a

5 representative of the local Busovaca assembly at that

6 time, who will testify to how his parents were killed

7 during that conflict.

8 Your Honours, I would like to just say a few

9 things about the checkpoint at Kacuni. In presenting

10 their evidence, the Prosecution did not present a

11 single piece of evidence which would incontrovertibly

12 link Mr. Dario Kordic to any criminal act in Busovaca.

13 The only exception is an attempt by the Prosecutor to

14 use an indirect way to link up our client with one of

15 the Delija brothers in Busovaca.

16 This was the testimony of Witness AE, who

17 said that Mr. Dario Kordic was personally at the

18 checkpoint in Kacuni around the 21st of January, 1993,

19 and at that time issued a verbal threat to one of the

20 Delija brothers, which later resulted in the death of

21 this person in Busovaca.

22 I do not want to analyse the statement of

23 Witness AE, but I have to say that his testimony is

24 completely fabricated in respect of what took place not

25 only on the 21st of January, 1993 but also on the 24th

Page 16937

1 of January, 1993, and we will prove that he did not

2 speak truthfully on either of these two incidents.

3 That witness, when he referred to the

4 incident on the 21st of January, 1993, was not

5 objective when he spoke about the direction from which

6 the vehicle arrived and which will prove that the

7 vehicle did not come from the direction of Kiseljak but

8 from Busovaca, heading for Kiseljak.

9 Secondly, that there were not three vehicles,

10 as he claimed, but only one. And we shall also prove

11 that in that vehicle which was stopped at the

12 checkpoint before the road forks over to Silos, that it

13 was the vehicle with Ignjac Kostroman, his escort Ivo

14 Arar, and driver Miro Musa. So that was the vehicle

15 that was intercepted and which they tried to divert in

16 the direction of the Silo.

17 We shall prove, through people who were

18 there, who issued the orders to arrest Mr. Kostroman,

19 because we shall prove that our witnesses or, rather,

20 our people who were there heard these soldiers

21 executing the arrest order, said explicitly they had

22 the orders from Dzemal Merdan to arrest Mr. Kostroman.

23 "Kica 2," [phoen] That must have been a codename. And

24 we shall prove what we set out to prove, that

25 Mr. Kordic was not is there on that day, and that,

Page 16938

1 therefore, he simply could have nothing to do with

2 Mirsad Delija's death.

3 The same applies to the incident that took

4 place at the checkpoint on the 24th of January, 1993.

5 To cut a long story short, I shall not be quoting that

6 witness, but I must say that he gave completely wrong

7 information about how many vehicles there were, how

8 many died, and so on and so forth. We shall prove that

9 there were two vehicles rather than one on that road;

10 secondly, that Ivica Petrovic was in the first vehicle

11 and that he was killed, and that there were two persons

12 in the second vehicle, which is contrary to what the

13 Witness AE said. Also, that during the crossfire which

14 ensued, two persons were killed rather than one, which

15 the witness asserted. We shall also show the Court the

16 death certificates of both of them and, thereby, we

17 shall automatically prove that the Witness AE did not

18 tell the truth when he said that the second survived

19 was then escorted by Muslim forces through Busovaca,

20 because the third one, the one who survived, survived

21 only owing to his own ingenuity and fled not to

22 Busovaca but to Kiseljak, that is, to the upper road.

23 And I do not wish to tax your patience with

24 this any longer, but this could be the end of the

25 Busovaca part of our case, and just a couple of

Page 16939

1 questions related to the testimony of witness Midhat

2 Haskic.

3 Your Honour admitted into evidence the

4 statement of that witness who, unfortunately, died,

5 and, therefore, could not be called to testify. So the

6 Defence had to go into the facts which were pinpointed

7 by him.

8 I have to say that he is the only witness of

9 some 400 witnesses who were on the Prosecutor's list of

10 witnesses who referred to some facts which allegedly

11 had happened in the village of Veceriska in the

12 municipality of Vitez, notably about what happened on

13 the 15th of April, 1993 around 2000 hours.

14 We think that the testimony of that witness

15 and the testimony of Witness V, who also addressed the

16 incidents in Gornja Veceriska, at least so far in the

17 personality of Mr. Kordic is concerned, was equally

18 untrue, and we shall, therefore, prove that Mr. Dario

19 Kordic was not the godfather of Ivo Miljanac's [phoen]

20 Child, as claimed by Witness V; that Mr. Kordic never

21 dropped by the coffee shop owned by brothers Drmic;

22 that Mr. Kordic, likewise, never frequented that coffee

23 shop and, therefore, could not be there on the 15th of

24 April, 1993, in the evening of that day; and finally,

25 that Mr. Kordic never used that military jeep in

Page 16940

1 camouflage colours with an eagle painted on it that as

2 witness Midhat Haskic claimed in his statement.

3 Mr. Kordic -- and we shall prove that -- had

4 nothing to do with the Gornja Veceriska village in the

5 municipality of Vitez and what happened in April 1993

6 in that village.

7 Thank you very much.

8 MR. SAYERS: Your Honours, insofar as Stupni

9 Do is concerned, the only evidence that connects

10 Mr. Kordic with the events there, as you will recall,

11 is Witness AO. We intend to introduce evidence about

12 Witness AO, and the Court might well ask itself: Is

13 this story to be believed? We believe the conclusions

14 that the Court will reach will be self-evident

15 following that evidence.

16 In connection with Fojnica, I've already

17 covered. Novi Travnik. We intend to introduce the

18 testimony of two witnesses, who lived in Novi Travnik,

19 to describe the actual situation there, and also the

20 testimony of our military witnesses who will describe

21 the course of the fighting there.

22 In connection with the other particular

23 issues, we intend to introduce evidence on the Convoy

24 of Joy, specifically from the organisers of the Croat

25 portion of that convoy and the organiser of the

Page 16941

1 security portion of that convoy. We have other

2 evidence relating to the Convoy of Joy as well from the

3 military figures, specifically Major Filipovic, who was

4 there; Brigadier Nakic, who was there; and

5 Colonel-General Petkovic, provided he'll agree to

6 testify.

7 We believe the evidence on the Convoy of Joy

8 is that there are no HVO soldiers who will establish

9 that Mr. Kordic gave any orders or instructions

10 relating to this convoy. He was asked to help; he

11 did. He did his best to clean up this mess and to help

12 the convoy pass through what was a war zone in very

13 difficult circumstances.

14 You've also heard much discussion from the

15 Defence about the fact that eight small children were

16 blown to pieces by an artillery shell on the night of

17 June the 10th, just before the convoy was apprehended

18 by a raging mob of civilians, and we'll show you the

19 very gruesome videotape of that incident,

20 unfortunately.

21 The other items, two last items that I would

22 care to address. Evidence was heard from an early

23 witness, Mr. Cicak. We will give evidence regarding

24 the lucidity of this individual. And evidence that the

25 Court will recall -- actually, this is an appropriate

Page 16942

1 subject upon which to conclude, and that is an alleged

2 connection between a particular military unit -- you'll

3 recall perhaps the testimony of Witness U. There's

4 another military unit called the Scorpions, I believe,

5 and supposedly Mr. Kordic is alleged to have a

6 connection with this Witness U, related a conversation

7 that he had supposedly had with a member of this unit

8 who made some statements. We've decided to call that

9 person to whom he spoke, and you can hear him for

10 yourself.

11 At the conclusion of the Defence case, Your

12 Honour, we will submit that the Prosecution has failed

13 to produce evidence beyond a reasonable doubt that

14 Mr. Kordic is guilty of any war crimes or serious

15 violations of humanitarian law, and we believe that the

16 response to the question: "Is Mr. Kordic guilty of

17 these charges beyond a reasonable doubt," will be,

18 "No."

19 But also there is another question that

20 should be asked: "Is Mr. Dario Kordic innocent?" Our

21 respectful submission will be that he is innocent of

22 all charges and that he should be acquitted on all

23 counts.

24 Thank you very much indeed for your patience,

25 Your Honours.

Page 16943

1 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Sayers, do I take it you've

2 got two witnesses here, or will have for later this

3 week?

4 MR. SAYERS: We have three witnesses here,

5 and we expect to have a fourth witness here. As I told

6 the Court, we intend to be expeditious and move the

7 witnesses forward, and we're going to do our best to

8 fulfil our obligation to the Court.

9 JUDGE MAY: Well, you'll have to shorten the

10 time estimate on the first one, having just looked at

11 it.

12 MR. SAYERS: Yes. I think we can do that,

13 Your Honour.

14 We've tried -- we're working on doing the

15 same as the Prosecution did. We've prepared extensive

16 summaries of the evidence, and I would think that what

17 we could do is simply present those to the Court, say

18 that you could answer questions on a particular

19 paragraph, have it marked as an exhibit, and just offer

20 the witness up for cross-examination.

21 JUDGE MAY: Well, we'll see how we get on

22 with that. But at some stage, we want to discuss your

23 witness list with you, which we can do in a Status

24 Conference, but we'll need -- at the moment, that is

25 due to be carried out at the end of the presentation,

Page 16944

1 but we will do it in such a way that we can hear as

2 much evidence this week as possible, try and hear all

3 your witnesses this week.

4 MR. SAYERS: Thank you very much indeed,

5 Mr. President.

6 JUDGE MAY: Thank you.

7 Mr. Kovacic, tomorrow morning. How long do

8 you anticipate you'll be?

9 MR. KOVACIC: Your Honour, frankly, I did

10 prepare two versions, a short one and a longer one, and

11 since I have the benefit, if I may say so, that the

12 Kordic Defence has already covered all related

13 circumstances in which all the bad things happened in

14 Bosnia in '92 and '93, I, of course, will join them on

15 this part of the material and could concentrate only on

16 the part of the case which concerns only my client.

17 I will try to extract some things this

18 evening, but I'm quite confident that I could finish

19 within one and a half hours maximum.

20 JUDGE MAY: Thank you.

21 MR. KOVACIC: Thank you.

22 JUDGE MAY: Half past 9.00, then, tomorrow

23 morning.

24 --- Whereupon the proceedings adjourned

25 at 4:20 p.m., to be reconvened on

Page 16945

1 Tuesday, the 11th day of April, 2000,

2 at 9.30 a.m.