1 Tuesday, 6
2 [Closed session]
11 Pages 20429 – 20511 redacted in closed session.
13 [Open session]
14 JUDGE MAY: Now, who is taking the next
16 MR. SAYERS: I will be taking the next
17 witness, Your Honour, and if I may, there's one
18 chronological typographical error in the outline that
19 we have distributed. It's only in the English, it's
20 paragraph four of the outline, the Croatian was not
21 translated properly. It should say "April 1992" and
22 not "September 1992".
23 JUDGE MAY: "I left Sarajevo in April".
24 MR. SAYERS: April.
25 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Sayers, I wonder if there is
1 any point in starting this witness. It might be
2 convenient to adjourn and start earlier after lunch.
3 MR. SAYERS: Yes.
4 JUDGE MAY: How long do you anticipate you
5 will be with him?
6 MR. SAYERS: Well, we've got this down to a
7 pretty much of a science, it's about six pages per
8 hour. This -- with this witness I would anticipate two
9 hours and 15 minutes or so.
10 JUDGE MAY: Very well. You won't be held to
11 that. While you're on your feet, we have a document
12 which has been filed from the Prosecution regarding
13 their concerns about the affidavits.
14 If you wish to respond to that, perhaps you
15 could do so in seven days.
16 MR. SAYERS: Yes, we'll let the Court know
17 whether we wish to respond.
18 Right now I must say, having just flipped
19 through it yesterday, it doesn't look like the kind of
20 a document that needs a response but we'll let you know
21 within a day or two, Your Honour, whether a written
22 response will be forthcoming.
23 JUDGE MAY: Yes, very well.
24 MR. NICE: As to the next witness, it may
25 help the Chamber to know that we intend to raise the
1 issue of expertise apparently being offered through
2 this witness as part, in any event, of what's
3 contained. And therefore, if the Chamber has the
4 opportunity to read it before the afternoon session it
5 might be time well spent.
6 JUDGE MAY: What are the particular
7 paragraphs you have in mind?
8 MR. NICE: It's the passages that deal with
9 the law, various passages dealing with law. If you
10 start off at page 4 even -- but it may start before
11 then. Page 4, paragraphs 19 and onwards. And not only
12 is it the law of the state itself but, there are
13 references to other legal systems and so on.
14 JUDGE MAY: What is the -- since we've got a
15 minute, what's the nature of the objection?
16 MR. NICE: The nature of the objection is
17 that this is expertise and we haven't had notice to
18 prepare for it.
19 JUDGE MAY: He's a lawyer and a politician,
20 deputy minister of justice, I see.
21 [Trial Chamber confers]
22 JUDGE MAY: Well, we'll have a look at that,
23 thank you. We'll sit again at twenty past two.
24 --- Luncheon recess taken at 12.53 p.m.
2 --- On resuming at 2.23 p.m.
3 JUDGE MAY: It may be convenient, Mr. Sayers,
4 to deal with the Prosecution argument.
5 We've looked at this evidence and formed a
6 preliminary view. I don't know if anyone wants to say
7 anything more, from the Prosecution's point of view,
8 about this.
9 MS. SOMERS: Your Honours, in reviewing the
10 preliminary descriptions of what would be said and in
11 looking at what was actually served to us late
12 afternoon -- mid-afternoon on Sunday, there is no
13 doubt, at least from our perspective, that the matters
14 that are raised, albeit addressed in fact-witness
15 testimony by paragraphing as opposed to a report, it
16 requires the specialised knowledge of someone who would
17 have been working in the judicial and/or administrative
18 system as a professional in the Herceg-Bosna
20 This testimony, as it were, is also going to
21 be duplicative of Zoran Buntic, for whom this witness
22 worked, and it appears that Buntic will be testifying.
23 As the affidavits of Pelivan and Jukic indicate, they
24 will be supporting the testimony of Buntic as well.
25 The nature of the assertions is such that it will
1 require a substantial amount of checking up with
2 various laws, with other persons, in order to provide
3 this Court with the kind of value that could be derived
4 from a well-prepared cross-examination.
5 It is of concern to us that, in a sense, if
6 in fact Mr. Buntic is going to be declared an expert,
7 that this would be giving two bites at the apple
8 without the requirements of 94 bis. And of course the
9 testimony of Dr. Ribicic appears to form the basis for
10 bringing in this type of policy witness and the
11 expertise required by this type of policy witness. Of
12 course, we provided -- we were completely in compliance
13 with the rules of 94 bis as to Dr. Ribicic, and we
14 would ask that the Court understand that we would need
15 the same type of consideration to maximise the benefit
16 this Court can get from a proper cross-examination.
17 Thank you.
18 [Trial Chamber deliberates]
19 JUDGE MAY: We've considered this matter, as
20 I said. We do not agree that this is expert evidence,
21 apart from one passage which I shall come to. The view
22 which we have formed is that this is evidence of what
23 the witness did as the deputy minister of justice, and
24 he is entitled to say what he did.
25 The only matter which may fulfil the Rule is
1 paragraph 50, in which the witness deals with the
2 constitutional position of the HZ HB and says that he
3 gave an opinion about it. He is entitled to give
4 evidence that he gave the opinion.
5 Where there may be difficulty, and where it
6 may well be that the Rule relating to experts applies,
7 is if he seeks to justify the correctness of that
8 opinion and also he seeks to give his opinion --
9 because it can only be that -- that in relation to the
10 constitutional court, it was acting effectively
12 Now, those are matters which, it appears to
13 us, are matters of opinion and strictly matters which
14 should be dealt with by way of expert evidence.
15 Mr. Sayers, do you want to say anything about
17 MR. SAYERS: I think Your Honour has
18 perceived that this witness is not an expert witness in
19 connection with what he actually did. Many of the laws
20 about which he's going to be giving testimony to the
21 Court today are laws which he actually wrote.
22 As the Court knows, we've heard evidence for
23 about a year or more of the HZ HB and the HVO and the
24 HR HB passing discriminatory laws, and we thought that
25 it would be helpful to the Trial Chamber to hear from
1 the fellow that actually wrote these laws, to hear what
2 input he had from his superiors into the writing of
3 these laws, so that you can make up your own minds,
4 whether this truly was a discriminatory institution.
5 That's not expert testimony, that's fact testimony,
6 and --
7 JUDGE MAY: We're with you on that.
8 MR. SAYERS: Yes. And I understand what the
9 Court says about paragraph 50. When we get there, let
10 me see if I can navigate my way around, avoiding having
11 the witness express expert opinions. And I would
12 anticipate that if we circumvent expert opinions with
13 respect to paragraph 50, then obviously he's not going
14 to be asked expert opinions on cross-examination. But
15 I wouldn't object if he were, frankly.
16 But I think that we don't have a problem with
17 this witness, with the exception of the paragraph that
18 you've indicated, and I think that that's not going to
19 be a problem.
20 JUDGE ROBINSON: It is still open to you to
21 bring expert evidence on that paragraph 50.
22 MR. SAYERS: It is. It is, yes, Your
23 Honour. We haven't made a final decision on that, and
24 we appreciate that we're coming to -- actually, I guess
25 we're approaching at least the -- I don't know if it's
1 the end of our case, but it's certainly the beginning
2 of the end, or maybe it's the end of the beginning.
3 But it's definitely more than halfway in our case, so
4 we'll make a decision on that shortly and alert both
5 the Court and the Prosecution whether we intend to do
7 JUDGE MAY: Very well.
8 Yes, we'll have the witness.
9 [The witness entered court]
10 JUDGE MAY: Yes, let the witness take the
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly
13 declare that I will speak the truth, the whole truth,
14 and nothing but the truth.
15 WITNESS: ZORAN PERKOVIC
16 [Witness answered through interpreter]
17 Examined by Mr. Sayers:
18 Q. Thank you, Mr. President, and good afternoon,
20 A. Good afternoon.
21 Q. Sir, would you please state your full name
22 for the Court.
23 A. My name is Zoran Perkovic.
24 Q. Mr. Perkovic, I propose to take you very
25 swiftly through some preliminary matters concerning
1 your personal background.
2 It's true that you were born in Livno on
3 January 12, 1961 and went to school there.
4 A. Yes, I was born in Livno on the 12th of
5 January 1961, that is to say in Bosnia-Herzegovina.
6 That's where I completed secondary and elementary
7 school and then I started studying law in Mostar and I
8 obtained my law degree in 1983 there.
9 After that, I returned to my home town. I
10 returned to my home town.
11 Q. If you'll just answer the short questions
12 that I'll have for you, we'll get along much more
13 quickly. It's true, is it not, that from 1984 to 1986
14 you worked in the Department of Administration in the
15 municipality of Livno?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. You completed your military service in 1986
18 and then in 1988 became president of the Youth
19 Organisation of the Socialist Republic of
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. When you finished your term as president of
23 that organisation you then went to work in the
24 Socialist Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina Ministry of
25 Justice and Administration in Sarajevo as a deputy
1 inspector of the Republic?
2 A. Yes, correct.
3 Q. I believe, sir, that in 1990, you ran for the
4 SR BiH Presidency in the first multi-party elections as
5 a member of the SDP party?
6 A. Yes, as a candidate of the SDP in the
7 elections for the Presidency of the Republic of
9 Q. I believe you came in with the second highest
10 number of votes. Mr. Ivo Komsic having received the
11 highest number amongst the SDP candidates and, as a
12 result, he was later appointed to the presidency of the
14 A. There was a single list of Croats in the
15 candidature. Two candidates of the HDZ got the largest
16 number of votes; Mr. Kljuic and Mr. Boras, and then
17 there was Mr. Komsic. I was fourth among the eight
18 people whose votes were counted, I think.
19 Q. All right. So you did not go on to the
20 Presidency but you were appointed to the SR BiH
21 government as deputy minister for administration, a job
22 which you held until April of 1992 although you did not
23 officially leave that job until August of 1992; is that
25 A. Yes, after these elections, I was appointed
1 in 1990 as assistant minister right after the
2 elections, and I held that position all the way until
3 the outbreak of the war in Bosnia-Herzegovina.
4 Q. All right. I believe that you left Sarajevo
5 in April of 1992 and ultimately took a job in the
6 department of justice for the Croat Defense Council,
7 the HVO?
8 A. Yes. Some 20 days after I left Sarajevo, I
9 was invited from Livno, my home town where I lived, to
10 Herzegovina, to Siroki Brijeg, to start working on this
12 Q. And I believe that you worked on legal
13 matters drafting decrees and decisions in the HZ HB and
14 the HR HB during the entire remainder of the civil war;
15 is that correct?
16 A. Yes. That was mainly my job, drafting
17 various legal regulations.
18 Q. In fact, I think in the autumn of 1992, you
19 were appointed by the HZ HB to be the president of the
20 commission for regulation?
21 A. Yes. After a shorter stay in Herzegovina, I
22 went back to Sarajevo by aircraft with the intention of
23 getting some business done. However, since that did
24 not work, I got out of Sarajevo sometime in November
25 and then in December, I was appointed this head of the
1 department of justice. Now, this commission was
2 renamed the Department of Justice.
3 Q. All right. And it later became the Office of
4 Legislation in the Croat Republic of Herceg-Bosna, I
6 A. Yes, that's right.
7 Q. And this body, in its various iterations,
8 drafted most the decrees that the HZ HB, HVO and HR HB
9 passed and was also responsible for reviewing and
10 drafting other such documents for those bodies that I
11 have just named?
12 A. Yes. In part, we directly prepared these
13 negotiations, and from 1993 onwards, we were mainly
14 involved in supervising all these legal enactments that
15 were being proposed.
16 Q. All right, Mr. Perkovic. Just proceeding
17 forward chronologically, I believe following the Dayton
18 Agreement you became the deputy minister of justice and
19 administration for Bosnia-Herzegovina in Sarajevo in
20 the year 1996?
21 A. Yes, immediately after the Dayton Agreement
22 was signed, I was appointed deputy minister.
23 Q. And I believe that for the last four years or
24 so, since March of 1996, you have held one-year terms
25 as either the head of the office of the president of
1 the Federation of Bosnia-Herzegovina or as the head of
2 the office of the vice-president as those jobs have
3 rotated from year to year between Muslims and Croats.
4 A. During the last four years, I did the same
5 thing all the time. However, in view of this rotation,
6 one year I would be head of the office of the
7 president, the next year the head of the office of the
8 vice-president. But basically I was head of the office
9 for the very same person -- because these persons --
10 who is being rotated.
11 MR. SAYERS: All right.
12 MS. SOMERS: Excuse me, Your Honours, I'm
13 sorry to point this out, but it appears that the
14 witness is, more often than not, reading from his
15 statement and it has been the practice of this Court
16 not to encourage that. I don't know in this instance
18 JUDGE MAY: Well, he can certainly read in
19 the preliminary matters. When we get to more
20 controversial matters, Mr. Sayers, it would be better
21 if the witness didn't read unless he wants to refresh
22 his memory about a particular point.
23 MR. SAYERS: Your Honour, I don't believe he
24 is reading from his statement, but I propose that he
25 just put it away for the rest of his testimony.
1 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Perkovic, if you've got your
2 statement out, and we can't see if you have or not, but
3 if you have, if you'd like to put it away. If you want
4 to refer to it to refresh your memory, then do so on a
5 particular point.
6 Yes, Mr. Sayers.
7 MR. SAYERS: Thank you Mr. President.
8 A. I think that my memory serves me well. I did
9 not read it at all.
10 Q. Very well, Mr. Perkovic. Just one matter of
11 detail. Since 1992, have you actually been a member of
12 any political party?
13 A. No.
14 Q. Have you ever been a member of the Croat
15 Democratic Union of Bosnia-Herzegovina, the HDZ-BiH?
16 A. No.
17 Q. All right. We've heard a lot of evidence so
18 far, sir, regarding the events of the spring of 1992
19 when the war broke out in your country, when Sarajevo
20 was surrounded.
21 Could you give us your view, sir, of whether
22 the government of the Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina,
23 the new republic founded on the 6th of March of 1993
24 following the referendum, was able to function in any
25 practical or efficient fashion with respect to the rest
1 of the country?
2 A. From the moment Bosnia-Herzegovina was
3 recognised in March 1992 until the first conflicts
4 broke out in Sarajevo, this was a very short period.
5 The government in Sarajevo throughout that period was
6 blocked in its work because of the political
7 disagreement between the three political parties whose
8 representatives comprised the government of
10 After the conflict broke out in Sarajevo at
11 the beginning of April 1992, practically there was no
12 communication. Very soon all communication ceased with
13 other parts of the country. Both communications
14 related to public communication as well as
15 communications related to legal communications, that is
16 to say, legal documents, normal communication between
17 higher and lower echelons of government, et cetera.
18 This was a situation of anarchy to a large
19 extent, and this was inter alia caused by the fact that
20 a serious number of Serbs left government institutions
21 at that point in time. So quite a few government posts
22 were vacated and new people had not been appointed
24 In addition to that, the shelling started.
25 Also ministries were being transferred to safer
1 locations because government buildings where ministries
2 were housed were directly being hit. So during that
3 first month, this was really improvisation that we, as
4 state employees, had to do.
5 It was quite a problem finding the right
6 premises, bringing all the needed documents, the
7 archives were actually left back, et cetera.
8 Q. All right. Faced with this situation, did
9 you receive any instructions of where you could be of
10 the greatest use?
11 A. Since the situation was such, I talked to my
12 superiors, that is to say, I talked to my minister and
13 I said to him, "I'm quite useless here. We have no
14 information as to what is going on outside Sarajevo in
15 the sense of the functioning of government. I think it
16 would be much more useful if I went to the area where I
17 was born, where war has also started, where I know
18 people, I think I could be far more useful there."
19 He agreed with me, and in a day or two, he
20 said he thought this was all right. So then with the
21 knowledge of my superior and a few other colleagues
22 whom I told that I was supposed to go, I left
24 This was some time around the 20th -- between
25 the 20th and the 25th of April 1992, that is.
1 Q. All right. Mr. Perkovic, if you could, as
2 you're answering my questions, just have in mind the
3 interpreters, and just keep your delivery as slow as
4 possible. That would help them out tremendously.
5 Thank you.
6 Now, who was the minister with whom you had
7 the conversations that you've just related to the
8 Court, sir?
9 A. Mr. Ranko Nikolic, the Minister of Justice
10 and Administration in the government of
12 Q. All right. Let me just take you briefly
13 through paragraphs 9 and 10.
14 I believe, sir, that you left the city of
15 Sarajevo in April 1992 and basically got transportation
16 by hitching rides from Visoko to Kiseljak and then on
17 to Busovaca.
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. When you arrived in Busovaca, I believe that
20 you asked Mr. Kordic to try to help you getting down to
21 Livno, and the reason you went to seek help from him is
22 because you had met him at earlier meetings in Sarajevo
23 and you knew him.
24 A. Yes, that is correct. I've known Mr. Kordic
25 since 1991. At that time in Busovaca, I said to him
1 that I was en route to Livno, and I asked him whether
2 he or any of his men were going down south, that is to
3 say, towards Livno or towards Dalmatia, because I
4 thought it would be easier to get home that way. He
5 said to me then that two messengers -- two of his men
6 will be going to Herzegovina a day later and that I
7 should wait for that day, that I should stay there and
8 wait for that day for them to go, and that then I could
9 go with them further on to Herzegovina; that is to say,
10 to where his people were going.
11 That afternoon and that evening, I stayed in
12 Busovaca. I remember well that that is when I was
13 first involved in a crossfire, because the Yugoslav
14 People's Army aircraft bombed Busovaca then. There
15 were some young men who I did not even know, but I
16 helped them transfer some medical equipment from the
17 health centre in Busovaca, to have it evacuated and
18 saved as much as possible.
19 Q. All right. Let's pass briefly over this
20 incident, Mr. Perkovic. I believe that it's true that
21 the hospital was destroyed during this aerial
22 bombardment and that four people were killed.
23 A. That day, I heard that news, I believe, that
24 some people were wounded and were taken to the Travnik
25 hospital, because that health centre in Busovaca had
1 been hit and they could not be extended adequate help
3 Q. Now, when you got down to Herzegovina, could
4 you give the Court some sort of feel for the way the
5 civil government was functioning, if at all?
6 A. I have already said in Herzegovina the
7 situation was very much like that in Sarajevo, the only
8 difference being that in that area there was relative
9 freedom of movement. That is, unlike Sarajevo, one was
10 not directly exposed to gunfire or snipers. But even
11 in that area, all forms of normal civil life had
12 stopped functioning, had ground to a halt. Many
13 hospitals did not function, the public transport
14 between towns was discontinued, and the legal dealings
15 between individual agencies had also been
16 discontinued. People were not receiving their salaries
17 or any other dues, so that everything that constitutes
18 a normal unfolding of life had either ground to a halt
19 or was reduced to a very modest, marginal level, I
20 would put it.
21 Q. All right. In your outline, sir, you give
22 some general detail about banks and the monetary
23 system. Could you just elaborate upon that in just a
24 few words to the Court?
25 A. The monetary institutions in that area shared
1 the fate of all the other institutions. The banks and
2 other money institutions, such as the payments
3 administration, did not function, did not work.
4 People would come to work and would sit in
5 front of their empty desks. They sat in their offices
6 because they deemed it their duty to come to work.
7 But to all intents and purposes, you could
8 not perform a single transaction in these
9 institutions. If you had any savings, you could not
10 withdraw any money, and it did not even occur to anyone
11 to invest any money, to place it in savings deposits or
12 anything with the bank. You would have looked
13 ridiculous if you had gone to see somebody to ask
14 whether, "Can I get a loan because I would like to
15 raise a loan," and so on.
16 So all this important business of financial
17 institutions had ground to a halt. Yes, banks were
18 formally open because people were there at their jobs
19 and their working places simply because they believed
20 it to be their duty to be there.
21 Q. All right. And you've discussed the
22 Commission for Regulation in very general detail.
23 Could you give the Court an understanding of what the
24 job of the Commission for Regulation involved when you
25 first went to work for it, Mr. Perkovic?
1 A. I was invited from people in Siroki Brijeg in
2 Herzegovina to come and help a team of people who were
3 waiting for that commission and whom I did not know
4 before. So I came a day or two after that invitation,
5 and I found four people in the commission; Zoran
6 Buntic, Karlo Sesar, Semir Puzic, and Halid Blajovic.
7 Two were Croats and two were Muslim. They told me,
8 "Zoran, we've heard that you were in Livno. We should
9 draw up some regulations, and urgently. We are
10 lawyers, we are attorneys. We never did that before,
11 that is, we never before drafted any regulations, so
12 could you please help us draft some of them, because
13 they will bear no further delays." And I agreed to do
15 My first job was to draw up --
16 Q. Excuse me, Mr. Perkovic, if I may, and I
17 don't mean any disrespect.
18 The composition of the Commission for
19 Regulation, you've said that it included two Croats
20 before you got there, two Muslims. Then when you
21 became a member of the Commission for Regulation, you
22 were the third Croat member; is that correct?
23 A. It is.
24 Q. And because the two Croat and the two Muslim
25 members of this commission lacked regulation-drafting
1 or legislation-drafting experience, they looked to your
2 expertise in that regard to give them assistance in
3 drafting up the necessary decrees and regulations to
4 prescribe the basic forms of government and to try to
5 get civilian life organised; is that fair to say?
6 A. Yes, more or less.
7 Q. All right. Now, were you ever given any
8 political aims, or political instructions, or a party
9 line to follow in drafting legislation or regulations?
10 Could you help us with that?
11 A. Personally, that is, both officially and
12 unofficially, I never received any instructions to that
13 effect. But once I asked Mr. Buntic, who at that time
14 was, conditionally speaking, the boss, "Why are we
15 doing it that way," because in the legal practice there
16 is a certain order of things, how some regulations are
17 drafted. That is, first you have the constitution,
18 then laws laying down the organisation of power, and so
19 on and so forth. And he told me, "That's not our job,
20 and we shall perhaps begin to think about it when the
21 war comes to an end, depending on the type of peace
22 agreement that is arrived at. But now we need to
23 urgently, without delay, regulate those matters which
24 life necessitates us to regulate. We need some legal
25 regulations. And for us lawyers, it is a kind of a
1 handicap, because it would be much easier to follow the
2 usual sequence in which such things are done."
3 Q. All right, sir. Now, the trial has been
4 going on for a long time, so you can appreciate that
5 the Court has already familiarised itself with the
6 basic organisational documents that set up the HZ HB,
7 then the HVO, and then the HR HB. Could you give the
8 Court a feel, sir, for whether these were permanent
9 institutions or whether they were temporary
11 A. The Croat Community Herceg-Bosna and the
12 Croat Republic Herceg-Bosna are, I'm confident, only
13 temporary institutions, only provisional forms of
14 organised authority in the area, the difference being
15 that the Croat Community Herceg-Bosna was, well, a
16 territorial and administratively make-due system, and I
17 think that was shown. That became manifest in all its
19 When it comes to the Croat Republic
20 Herceg-Bosna, that form of organisation was to us again
21 a transient thing, a provisional thing, nevertheless a
22 desirable solution of the -- peaceful solution to the
23 problems in Bosnia-Herzegovina that we aspired to.
24 Therefore, at the time of the foundation of
25 the Croat Republic Herceg-Bosna, we knew that at that
1 time it was of a temporary nature, and our aspiration
2 was to, in view of the Owen-Stoltenberg Plan because it
3 agreed with it, that through the adoption of the
4 Owen-Stoltenberg Plan, it would acquire also its legal
6 But when that plan fell through, we again
7 believed that that was one of the temporary provisional
8 solutions regarding the territorial and administrative
9 organisation in that area.
10 Q. All right. And proceeding on to paragraph
11 14, which I propose to lead, unless there's an
12 objection. It appears to be a fairly dry background
14 Would it be fair to say that decrees and
15 legal documents that you drafted were, in fact, drafted
16 in response to the conditions that were confronting you
17 as a result of the civil war.
18 MS. SOMERS: I would have to object to that,
19 Your Honours, based on the fact that I think that calls
20 for a conclusion simply beyond draftsmanship which is
21 basically ministerial.
22 That would entail fairly detailed knowledge
23 of a political situation even beyond Herceg-Bosna's
24 boarders. I think it's inappropriate for this witness
25 to comment given the Court's parameters as set forth
2 MR. SAYERS: Very well.
3 JUDGE MAY: I think that the witness should
4 be asked in a neutral way what the purpose was of the
5 documents which he was producing, what the background
7 MR. SAYERS:
8 Q. You've heard it put by the Presiding Judge
9 better than I've put it. What's the answer?
10 A. The purpose of the documents was to
11 provisionally regulate legally certain situations
12 imposed by life which served the defence and better
13 conduct of the defence because the establishment of the
14 army and the needs of the army required proper
15 regulation of civilian and military life in the area.
16 Q. All right. Thank you, sir.
17 MR. SAYERS: Mr. President, I've put together
18 a small package of exhibits. It's six in number that
19 we've separately tabbed in a booklet that I'm going to
20 use with Mr. Perkovic. I wonder if they might be
21 distributed now and given an exhibit number.
22 THE REGISTRAR: Exhibit will be number
24 MR. SAYERS:
25 Q. Thank you. Mr. Perkovic, just to take an
1 example, if you would turn to Tab 2 of this exhibit,
2 276/1, and to pick up on what you were just
3 describing. I notice here, that this is a decree on
4 the application on the law on regular courts in the
5 territory of the Croat Community of Herceg-Bosna in
6 times of the immediate threat of war or in wartime.
7 And I'd like to concentrate your attention on that
8 latter phrase, "In the times of the immediate threat of
9 war or in wartime."
10 Could you just explain what thought process
11 lies behind the utilisation of that particular
12 phraseology, sir?
13 A. All decrees of the Croat Community of
14 Herceg-Bosna which were drawn up then included this
15 wording; that it was the application of the law in
16 regular courts or whatever in times of war -- in times
17 of the immediate threat war or in wartime.
18 In this manner, we also purported to
19 emphasise the temporary nature of such regulations,
20 that they would only be enforced only in times of the
21 immediate threat of war or in times of war.
22 Therefore, every regulation, the title of
23 every regulation included that formula.
24 Q. All right. Just one more point about this
25 document and this leads in, Your Honours, to paragraph
1 15 of the outline signed by Mr. Perkovic.
2 I notice that Dr. Jadranko Prlic the
3 president of the HVO, of the HZ HB, signs this document
4 under the heading of Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina
5 Croat Community of Herceg-Bosna and Croat Defense
7 There is a position taken by the Prosecution
8 in this case, Mr. Perkovic, that the Croat political
9 institutions always had, as an overt or covert aim,
10 some policy of secession from the Republic of
11 Bosnia-Herzegovina. Could you tell the Court whether
12 that's accurate or not?
13 A. If we are referring to the time after the
14 proclamation of the independence of Bosnia-Herzegovina,
15 that is the post-referendum period, then I can say, and
16 I'm confident, that even in the legal system of
17 Herceg-Bosna and other activities of Herceg-Bosna, the
18 policy of secession or separation from those lands of
19 Bosnia-Herzegovina did not exist.
20 The wording in this and other decrees about
21 the name of Bosnia-Herzegovina, that is the Republic of
22 Bosnia-Herzegovina was not a mere -- was not accidental
23 when it comes to legal documents.
24 All public documents which the bodies of
25 Herceg-Bosna issued state -- well, that these are
1 public documents issued in the territory of
2 Bosnia-Herzegovina because we had it in our letterhead,
3 in the heading of every document. And also, that
4 persons to whom such public documents are issued are
5 national citizens of the Republic of
7 So may I just remind you, identity cards,
8 nationality certificates, birth certificates, school
9 certificates, and so on and so forth.
10 Q. Do I -- well, could you explain to the Court
11 whether you ever received any instructions from your
12 superiors regarding the status of the Croat Community
13 of Herceg-Bosna or the Croat Republic of Herceg-Bosna
14 with respect to the Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina.
15 Were these intended to separate from the Republic of
16 Herceg-Bosna or not?
17 A. No, and I can corroborate it from example.
18 Throughout the conflict between Croats and Bosniaks in
19 Bosnia-Herzegovina and throughout the war in
20 Bosnia-Herzegovina, the Croat Democratic Union, as the
21 victorious party, nominated its members to all the most
22 important institutions of the state of
23 Bosnia-Herzegovina, for the Presidency of
24 Bosnia-Herzegovina, the government of
25 Bosnia-Herzegovina, all ministries in Sarajevo,
1 ministries of the states of Bosnia-Herzegovina.
2 Therefore, from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, to
3 other ministries, to the Ministry of Interior and
4 others --
5 Of course if the Court wishes to know, I know
6 the names of all the people who were nominated or at
7 least some people who were nominated at the time for
8 various offices in the state agencies of
10 Q. If the Court wishes to ask you any questions
11 about that, Mr. Perkovic, I'm sure they will, and if
12 the Prosecution wishes to ask any questions, I'm sure
13 it will, but I think we can move on.
14 In connection with the various international
15 negotiations, one of the -- one of the plans developed
16 by the International Community which heard a lot about
17 in this case is the Vance-Owen Plan.
18 Now, if this plan had actually been ratified
19 and signed and put into force by all of the negotiating
20 parties, sir, what would have happened to the HZ HB,
21 the Croat Community of Herceg-Bosna? Do you have a
22 view on that?
23 A. I think that after the signing of the plan by
24 all three parties, it would wither away very shortly
25 because all the authority, all the powers it had would
1 have been transferred to the new institutions. And to
2 corroborate this, I can say that a number of people,
3 including myself, had been nominated by the authorities
4 of Herceg-Bosna, had been nominated for the new offices
5 within the context of the Vance-Owen Plan and in
6 agreement with that I was to begin to work in Travnik
7 in conformity with the Vance-Owen Plan.
8 Q. And I believe, sir, that you were nominated
9 for a post in the 10th Province envisaged by the plan,
10 the Travnicka province. What post was that?
11 A. Yes, I was nominated for the top-most office
12 in the Ministry of Justice, that is the minister or
13 deputy minister depending on how it will be politically
14 agreed between Croats and Muslims. So minister or
15 deputy minister depending on the political agreement.
16 MR. SAYERS: Mr. President, I don't think
17 it's necessary to take up time putting these documents
18 on the ELMO, but I'd just like to draw the Court's
19 attention to Exhibit Z571.1 which is the version of the
20 Vance-Owen Plan and specifically Annex A which sets up
21 the provisional interim governments, pages 138 and
22 139. In Travnicka province, Mr. Perkovic, there was to
23 be a Croat governor. Do you recall who was nominated
24 for that position?
25 A. I think, I think that the nominee was
1 Mr. Soljic from Bugojno, but I'm not sure. Vladimir
2 Soljic I think he was. I'm not sure about his first
3 name, but I think it was Mr. Soljic.
4 Q. If your memory serves you well, and for the
5 Court's information Exhibit Z972 and 977.1 the same
6 documents set out the nominees for the post of governor
7 and the five Croat members of the interim provincial
8 government. Those included Mr. Kordic, I believe, and
10 A. I think you're right. I think you are.
11 Q. The other three were Anto Valenta, Mr. Pero
12 Skopljak and Mr. Ivan Sarac.
13 A. I'm not sure. I can't really recall all the
14 people because quite a -- there was quite a large group
15 of people but, yes, I guess these individuals were
16 nominated too.
17 Q. Now, we've also heard, Mr. Perkovic, that on
18 the 28th of August 1993, the HR HB was founded by the
19 Bosnian or by the Croats in Bosnia-Herzegovina pursuant
20 to the provisions of the Owen-Stoltenberg Plan. Did
21 you receive any instructions from anyone regarding the
22 preparation of legal documents in connection with the
23 internal republic, the HR HB?
24 A. No, except that four of us, I mean four
25 lawyers were invited by Mr. Prlic, the president of the
1 HVO, and he said to us, "Mr. Boban has returned from
2 Geneva from some talks, rather, and shortly a new peace
3 plan will be announced for Bosnia-Herzegovina."
4 Subsequently it came to be known as Owen-Stoltenberg
6 That plan is based -- rather the basic
7 postulate of the plan is that Bosnia-Herzegovina is an
8 union of three republics. Within that context, we need
9 to very quickly transform the Croat Community of
10 Herceg-Bosna into the Croat Republic of Herceg-Bosna so
11 as to fit into the plan.
12 Ever since the moment -- and between the time
13 that he told us that until the constitution of the
14 Croat Republic of Herceg-Bosna, that is the
15 constituting session, not more than eight or ten days
17 Q. All right. I think I'll skip over paragraph
18 18, Your Honours, because it seems to be covered by the
19 next section and go straight into that.
20 I'd like to address your attention,
21 Mr. Perkovic, to the creation and implementation of law
22 and laws by the HZ HB, the HVO and the HR HB.
23 Did you and your colleagues on the commission
24 of regulation and its successors attempt to devise a
25 completely independent legal system to govern the
1 affairs of the HZ HB, HVO and HR HB or not?
2 A. No, we did not try to. Wherever it was
3 possible to implement the regulations of
4 Bosnia-Herzegovina, we made every attempt to have those
5 regulations carried out. However, there were certain
6 spheres of life where it was necessary to modify these
7 regulations somewhat. For example, fines that were
8 expressed in old Yugoslav dinars. Also there were some
9 areas that were not governed by the regulations of
10 Bosnia-Herzegovina at all and that came about as a way
11 of life.
12 For example, before the war,
13 Bosnia-Herzegovina did not have any regulations
14 governing the question of refugees. That is to say,
15 who is considered to be a refugee or an expellee, what
16 are the rights of such persons, what is the necessary
17 accommodation that should be provided for them, et
19 Until the war, Bosnia-Herzegovina did not
20 have regulations governing its own armed forces as a
21 state or rather as a republic within Yugoslavia. It
22 could not have had its own army. That is to say, that
23 there were some very significant spheres of life that
24 were not regulated by the regulations of
25 Bosnia-Herzegovina and therefore, they had to be
1 regulated in a completely new way.
2 Q. All right. Let me just digress for one
3 second and ask you to contrast, if you can, the
4 situation that the Bosnian -- that the Croats in
5 Bosnia-Herzegovina found themselves in with respect to
6 the HZ HB, HVO, and HR HB laws and regulations that
7 you've just referred to and to contrast their situation
8 with that of the Bosnian Serbs and the Republika
9 Srpska. Did the Republika Srpska have this integral
10 approach to the passage of its own laws, as far as you
12 MS. SOMERS: Excuse me. I would have to
13 object, Your Honour, that this would be one of the
14 areas that the Court may find requires expertise beyond
15 mere fact statements, and I would ask that the Court
16 not permit this line of questioning. Thank you.
17 MR. SAYERS: It doesn't require any expertise
18 at all, Your Honour. It just requires him -- if he
19 knows of his own personal knowledge. If he doesn't,
20 then we'll move on.
21 JUDGE MAY: We agree he can go on.
22 A. When we compare the position of the HZ HB and
23 perhaps the Republika Srpska in relation to
24 Bosnia-Herzegovina, the Croatian Defence Council
25 functioned and operated as a military force in areas
1 that were beyond the area of the HZ HB in Tuzla, in
2 Sarajevo, in Zenica, in Bihac, and in many other towns,
3 as opposed to the army of Republika Srpska, which did
4 not exist beyond other territories, that is to say, in
5 territories that were held by Bosniaks or Croats.
6 Also, we know that Republika Srpska, the
7 Serbs, had adopted their own constitution. They
8 adopted all the necessary legislation dealing with
9 government in accordance with this constitution, and it
10 also passed a decision to break off all ties with the
11 former Bosnia-Herzegovina, as they had put it. Of
12 course, its people stopped participating in the work of
13 the organs of the Bosnia-Herzegovina.
14 We did not do that anywhere; that is to say,
15 neither did we pass such a decision, nor did we adopt
16 such a constitution, nor did our people stop
17 participating in the organs of Herzegovina.
18 With your permission, sir, I wish to remind
19 you of a particular point.
20 In 1993 in Western Herzegovina, Mr. Komisic,
21 as a member of the Presidency of Bosnia-Herzegovina,
22 was staying there for a private visit. Formally, at
23 that time he was a member -- he was one of the members
24 of the Presidency that was the supreme commander of the
25 army of Bosnia-Herzegovina. Of course, it did not
1 occur to anyone that they should arrest Mr. Komisic,
2 although, as I said, he was a member of the supreme
3 command of a formation with which the HVO was in a
4 conflict at that time. I'm trying to say that these
5 meetings and contacts between the Croat and Bosniak
6 sides existed throughout.
7 Q. All right. Well, since you raise the subject
8 of Mr. Komisic, the supreme commander of the ABiH was
9 who or what? Was it a person or an institution?
10 A. Formally, formally, from the point of view of
11 the law, the supreme commander of the army of
12 Bosnia-Herzegovina was supposed to be the Presidency of
13 Bosnia-Herzegovina. Formally, formally, it was.
14 Q. And Mr. Komisic was a member of the
15 Presidency; is that what you're saying?
16 A. That's right.
17 Q. Does he have any power to issue --
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. Did he have any power, as far as you're
20 aware, to issue orders to the army of
21 Bosnia-Herzegovina himself, as an individual?
22 A. I personally think that he did not have the
23 power to do so.
24 Q. All right.
25 A. From what we know, the power was in
1 Mr. Izetbegovic's hands.
2 Q. All right, Mr. Perkovic. Let's try to get
3 back on track here.
4 You had previously given testimony about the
5 efforts made by the institutions for which you worked
6 to fill in the gaps where there were gaps in existing
7 law. Let me just ask you to take a look at tab 1 of
8 Exhibit D276/1, the exhibit book that we have before
10 These are extracts from the criminal code of
11 the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. Was any
12 effort made to apply these laws throughout the
13 territory of the HZ HB and HR HB on an interim basis,
14 as far as you're aware?
15 A. The Croat Community of Herceg-Bosna formally
16 and practically, through one of its decrees, took over
17 this criminal code from the Republic of
18 Bosnia-Herzegovina --
19 Q. If I might interrupt you --
20 A. -- which --
21 Q. No effort, I take it, was made to engraft the
22 criminal code or criminal statutes in the Republic of
23 Croatia, or other statutes that applied in the Republic
24 of Croatia, to adopt these as the law that applied in
25 the territory of the HZ HB or the HR HB?
1 A. First of all, we thought that the criminal
2 code of the SFRY was of sufficiently high quality to
3 meet the requirements of those times. Secondly, it did
4 not occur to anyone at that time to take over the
5 criminal code of Croatia.
6 Q. And if you take a look at the next tab, sir,
7 tab 2, this is a -- I'm sorry, tab 3. This is a decree
8 on adopting the decree with the force of law on
9 citizenship of the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
10 Was this one of the decrees or the regulations that you
11 participated in drafting?
12 A. Yes. Yes, I took part in that. By this
13 decree, we took over the law on citizenship of the
14 Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina for two reasons.
15 JUDGE MAY: Well, unless anybody wants you to
16 give the reasons, there's no need to do it,
17 Mr. Perkovic. Just answer "yes" or "no" where you
19 MR. SAYERS: Yes, indeed, Mr. Perkovic. I
20 think the point is made.
21 Q. What about things such as the code on family
22 law or the RBiH decree on adopting and implementing
23 federal laws which are implemented in the RBiH as the
24 laws of the republic or the law on civil procedure?
25 Were these laws that were engrafted onto the
1 institutions of the HZ HB and HR HB or did you adopt
2 brand-new laws regulating those subjects yourselves?
3 A. As for a certain group of laws, including the
4 law on family, on inheritance, et cetera, we applied
5 the laws of Bosnia-Herzegovina, because until the war
6 this was dealt with by republican legislation. There
7 was no such federal legislation, that is. We believed
8 that as far as status-related matters were concerned,
9 and where there were not substantial changes that
10 required the specific amendments, there was no need to
11 change particular laws.
12 Practically all marriages and everything that
13 is related to a person's status, that is to say, in
14 connection with marriage, divorce, relationship between
15 a mother and a child, et cetera, everything that this
16 law on family contained, all these provisions -- all
17 these provisions were from the law of
19 Q. Let me see if I can put it in a nutshell.
20 To the extent that the HZ HB, HVO, or HR HB
21 did not adopt its own rules, laws, or regulations
22 dealing with specific subjects, what was the law that
23 generally applied, sir, in the territories encompassed
24 by those bodies?
25 A. In principle, relatively small interventions
1 were made with regard to any one of the laws of
2 Bosnia-Herzegovina. If there were any interventions,
3 they were primarily reduced to simplifying the
4 procedure involved, decreasing the number of
5 institutions that were supposed to rule on requests
6 made by citizens.
7 Also, there was a number of other things that
8 had to be dealt with dealing purely with numbers, such
9 as fines, so certain adjustments had to be made, for
10 example, where there had to be a three-level
11 procedure. Also, that was the case in the former
12 Yugoslavia, so then if there was no more -- if there
13 was no Yugoslavia anymore, then it was only natural to
14 do away with the third level, the federal level.
15 Q. But was it the position of those three
16 bodies, the HZ HB, HVO, and HR HB, that unless specific
17 legislation addressed a particular matter, then the law
18 of the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina applied in
19 their territories?
20 A. Yes. I already told you that these laws were
21 applied for the most part, practically all of them;
22 that is to say, the law of the Republic of Bosnia and
24 Q. All right. Moving quickly to the next
25 subject, you draw a distinction in paragraph 23 of your
1 outline between statutes or laws -- I think the
2 Croatian word is "zakon" -- and decrees on the other
3 hand, or "statutarna odluka", statutory decisions.
4 Could you give the Court a feel for the significance of
5 that distinction, if there is one?
6 A. In our legal practice, the legal practice of
7 Bosnia-Herzegovina and the former Yugoslav republics
8 all the way up to the beginning of the war, that is to
9 say, 1991, it was customary to have the state pass the
10 constitutions and laws. Lower legal regulations, that
11 is to say, those of a lower status than laws and
12 constitutions, such as statutes, decrees, decisions and
13 the like, were adopted by lower forms of territorial
14 administrative organisation; for example,
15 municipalities, communities of municipalities, et
17 Q. All right. Let's see one of these in
18 practice here.
19 If we take a look at tab 2, which was a
20 decree on the application of the law of regular courts,
21 I notice that the Croatian term is "odluku" and not
22 "zakon". Could you explain why the HVO -- the HZ HB
23 passed decrees rather than issued or announced or
24 promulgated laws? Or perhaps you've already explained
25 that, sir.
1 A. I think I answered that question through the
2 previous question. I said that laws and constitutions
3 are adopted by states only. We did not consider the
4 Croat Community of Herceg-Bosna or the Croat Republic
5 of Herceg-Bosna to be a state.
6 Q. Very well. The Presidency of the Croat
7 Community of Herceg-Bosna or the HVO executive, the HVO
8 civilian government, had the power to pass statutes?
9 A. As regards the Croat Community of
10 Herceg-Bosna, only a fundamental decision was passed,
11 that is to say, on the establishment of the Croat
12 Community of Herceg-Bosna. As regards the Croat
13 Republic of Herceg-Bosna, a statutory decision was
14 passed. That is to say that in both cases, these were
15 legal enactments in the form of decisions, not
17 Q. Very well. And where were these decrees or
18 statutory decisions actually published, sir?
19 A. All decrees and all legal regulations that
20 were passed by the organs of Herceg-Bosna were
21 published in the Official Gazette of Herceg-Bosna. I
22 think it was called the Narodni List of the HZ HB,
23 later the HR HB, which is again in accordance with
24 legal practice in the former Yugoslavia; that is to
25 say, to have all decisions published in a single
2 MR. SAYERS: All right. Now, I don't think
3 there's any need to show you this, but just to draw
4 your attention to an exhibit that is contained in the
5 compilation that we've earlier used. Mr. President,
6 Exhibit D182/1, regarding the setting up of executive
7 authority and administration in the territory of the HZ
8 HB. The terminology used in the English translation
9 is: "Statutory decision on the temporary organisation
10 of executive authority and administration in the
11 territory of the Croat Community of Herceg-Bosna." And
12 just flipping back to the Croatian, the term is
13 "statutarna odluka".
14 Q. Now, sir, is this a statute or is this not a
15 statute? It says "statutory decision". Can you help
16 us on that?
17 A. With your permission, I would like to
18 explain. When you are passing a number of decisions by
19 the very same body, that is, and when you wish to
20 single out one of these decisions giving it greater
21 significance in relation to all other decisions, then,
22 in addition to the term "decision" you use an
23 attribute. We used the word "statutory".
24 In this way, we showed that this decision has
25 greater legal force than decisions that were usually
1 adopted. However, I emphasise once again that this is
2 a decision, it is not a statute, it is not a law. It
3 is a decision.
4 Q. All right. Mr. Perkovic. In the interests
5 of time, let's try to pick up the pace and get through
6 your direct examination as soon as possible here.
7 Under the Washington and Dayton Agreements,
8 what happened to all existing HZ HB and HR HB decrees
9 that had been passed up to that point?
10 A. The Washington Agreement, or rather the
11 constitution of the Federation of Bosnia-Herzegovina
12 which was derived from the Washington Agreement,
13 stipulates in one provision that all existing
14 arrangements will be in force until they are replaced
15 by appropriate regulations of the federation.
16 Accordingly, today, in the federation of
17 Bosnia-Herzegovina, we have many regulations of
18 Herceg-Bosna that are applied as valid because in that
19 field, the federation did not pass its own
21 For instance, all regulations concerning the
22 establishment of public companies of Herceg-Bosna are
23 applied until the present day because these public
24 companies of Herceg-Bosna exist until the present day
25 and they are perfectly legal entities. Then also
1 regulations governing identity cards, identity cards of
2 citizens, it is the relations of Herceg-Bosna that are
3 applied until this present day.
4 As a citizen from that particular area, I
5 still have an identity card that was issued by the
6 Croat republic of Herceg-Bosna.
7 Q. All right, Mr. Perkovic, if we could move on
8 to the next discrete topic which is the application of
9 international humanitarian law in the territory covered
10 by the HZ HB and HR HB. Did the HZ HB ever publish any
11 international treaties or conventions in its own
12 official gazettes as far as you are aware?
13 A. No, they were never published nor was it
14 possible to publish these contracts or other
15 international documents because Herceg-Bosna was not an
16 international legal entity.
17 Throughout that time, it did not make a
18 single step to try to win this status of an
19 international legal entity. As regards international
20 legal entities, we accepted that Bosnia-Herzegovina was
21 a state of such status.
22 Q. All right. I'm going to pass over the
23 declaration adopting the treatise and conventions
24 listed in the Owen-Stoltenberg Plan, Your Honour,
25 that's already been marked as an exhibit D183/1, Tab 9,
1 and it says what it says.
2 Now, with respect to legal provisions on war
3 crimes, sir, if you'll turn to Tab 1, we have included,
4 that's of Exhibit D276/1, we have included the
5 provisions of the SFRY dealing with various kinds of
6 war crimes.
7 Could you tell the Court how the subject of
8 war crimes or the offences of war crimes was treated in
9 the HZ HB and the HR HB.
10 A. In the area in which I was -- in which I
11 worked, that is legal norms, we took over, as I already
12 said, the Criminal Code of the Federal Republic of
13 Yugoslavia, the Criminal Code of the Republic of
14 Bosnia-Herzegovina which included separate chapters on
15 war crimes.
16 Also, in the legal regulations of the Croat
17 Community of Herceg-Bosna in the decree on the armed
18 forces of Croat Community of Herceg-Bosna, I think it
19 was adopted in July or August 1998 [sic], one Article
20 explicitly lays out --
21 Q. You said 1998. Did you mean that, 1998?
22 A. 1992. Sorry, sorry, 1992, a slip of the
23 tongue. So 1992, it was July or August, there was a
24 regulation included in the decree which explicitly and
25 clearly lays down that humanitarian law will be
1 respected and breaches of international humanitarian
2 law already sanctioned.
3 Q. You mentioned the decree on the armed
4 forces. Did you participate in drafting that
5 particular document, Mr. Perkovic?
6 A. No, I did not. No, not personally, but I
7 know that at that time, and that was summer of 1992,
8 and I know it was adopted then, but I know fellow
9 lawyers who prepared that recognised regulation.
10 Q. And together with the rules of military
11 discipline, the decree on the armed forces did address,
12 I believe, the subject or the criminal field of
14 A. Yes, with us, when I say with us, I mean in
15 Bosnia-Herzegovina until the war, the question of
16 misdemeanor was treated as an administrative rather
17 than judicial duty and, needless to say, a number of
18 laws defined sanctions or fines for the violation or
19 rather omission to comply with individual obligations
20 which were specified by these regulations, that is,
22 We also took over the misdemeanor law as a
23 general law, the misdemeanor law of
25 Q. But in so far as more serious crimes, more
1 serious than merely misdemeanours were concerned, what
2 law applied in the HZ HB and HR HB? What law applied
3 to military crimes, crimes committed by soldiers to be
4 more specific, sir?
5 A. When it comes to the application of law,
6 equally for military crimes than as in the case of
7 crimes committed by civilians, the criminal court, the
8 uniform Criminal Code was applied, taken over from the
9 SFRY, and the criminal proceedings sect, but the
10 structure of courts dealing with those cases was
12 Q. Well, let's go to that, since you raise it,
13 the organisation of the court system.
14 Could you tell the Court whether there were
15 any Muslim judges in the courts in the territory of
16 Herzegovina, for example, before the HZ HB was
18 A. Yes, you mean before war?
19 Q. Yes.
20 A. Yes, yes, of course.
21 Q. And after the HZ HB was founded, what
22 happened to these Muslim judges, were they all
23 dismissed, fired, gotten rid of? What happened to
25 A. I said right at the beginning that there was
1 a period of time of about -- of several months when all
2 institutions ground to a halt in those areas. And the
3 situation in the judiciary was similar. For two or
4 three months, the courts simply did not function during
5 the first two or three months of the war.
6 Then when people got used to it, if I may put
7 it that way, to wartime conditions, then the courts
8 began to function again. With the judicial structure,
9 with the structure of judges more or less identical
10 with the one that existed before the war except that
11 some judges of Serb ethnicity in that early stage,
12 especially in Mostar, left the area.
13 But all judges, that is Croats and Bosniaks
14 and Serbs who had stayed continued to work in the same
15 courts that they used to work in before.
16 Q. And in your own home town, I guess, of Livno,
17 could you tell the Court what the -- whether there were
18 any Muslims in the municipal administration of that
19 city, sir, throughout the war?
20 A. Until the very outbreak of the war or rather
21 on the eve of the war, I think that about 40 per cent
22 of people in the administration were Bosniaks. And
23 when the war broke out, these people continued in their
24 jobs until July 1993.
25 Q. All right.
1 A. -- when, after a conflict, some of them
2 left. But even then and to this day, over 20 per cent
3 of administrative people are Bosniaks.
4 Q. The next subject I'd like to cover with you
5 is the decision to establish a division, the decision
6 to establish a division of the Supreme Court of
7 Bosnia-Herzegovina in Mostar. Could you tell the
8 Judges what role you played in the implementation and
9 development of that decision, Mr. Perkovic?
10 A. Well, you see, at that time several severe
11 crimes were committed in the area. There were murders
12 or armed robberies. Pursuant to the laws of
13 Bosnia-Herzegovina, the higher court was competent to
14 try these offences. And the second instance for such
15 cases was the Supreme Court of Bosnia-Herzegovina.
16 Since Sarajevo was cut off, that is,
17 encircled, an idea came up that the government in
18 Sarajevo should take a decision to found a division --
19 a department of the higher court in Mostar in order to
20 be able to comply with the two-instance system. And I
21 was tasked, as Assistant Minister for Justice and
22 Administration in the government of Bosnia-Herzegovina,
23 I was tasked to go back to Sarajevo and to explain to
24 the Minister of Justice and -- for Justice and
25 Administration in Sarajevo the situation that had
1 arisen and to ask or request the Presidency of
2 Bosnia-Herzegovina to pass a decree allowing to --
3 allowing the establishment of a department -- of a
4 division of the Supreme Court in Mostar.
5 I had some discussions with the minister,
6 Mr. Nikolic, in Sarajevo. After that, I realised that
7 that was unrealistic, and even Mr. Nikolic himself said
8 so, and in order to ensure the right to appeal in
9 proceedings for the severest crimes, we undertook to
10 adopt a decree setting up the division of the Supreme
11 Court in Mostar.
12 Q. All right. Turning to paragraph 31, I
13 believe that you have already covered most of this,
14 sir. But just to recapitulate, I believe it's accurate
15 to say that the decision was made in the HZ HB and
16 HR HB to apply the provisions of the law of the
17 Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina on regular courts
18 insofar as the rights, duties, and responsibilities of
19 judges and jurors were concerned.
20 A. Yes, that's right.
21 Q. The Presidency of the HZ HB also confirmed
22 the applicability, I think you've said, of the
23 substantive criminal law of the Republic of
24 Bosnia-Herzegovina and of the criminal code of the
25 Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia which was, in
1 effect, the law that was applied by the Republic of
2 Bosnia-Herzegovina at that time.
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. I believe also that a decree on public
5 prosecutors was adopted by the Presidency on October
6 17th, 1992.
7 MR. SAYERS: That's already been marked into
8 evidence, Your Honour, as Z341.4.
9 A. Yes. The organisation of the public
10 prosecutor's office is always -- follows the line of
11 the organisation of courts, so that was also part of
12 our common legal practice.
13 MR. SAYERS:
14 Q. We can take this next section in paragraph 33
15 of your outline fairly quickly, Mr. Perkovic, since the
16 documents speak for themselves.
17 I believe it's accurate to say that the
18 prosecution of crimes fell within the exclusive power
19 of the prosecutor, the public prosecutor.
20 A. Yes, for the criminal prosecution ex officio
21 could be done only by the prosecutor. Citizens, of
22 course, could file their private charges.
23 Q. Prosecutors were not part of the judiciary,
24 nor subject to control by the judiciary, were they?
25 A. That's right, as there was a special
1 institution, that is, a special body which -- at the
2 second stage as the system developed which involved
3 experts on judiciary. Then it was said how to -- the
4 so-called judicial council, and it nominated and
5 designated prosecutors and judges.
6 Q. You also seen that a district military
7 prosecutor's office or the office of district military
8 prosecutor was set up in various places throughout the
9 HZ HB -- that's Exhibit D182/1, tab 21, Your Honours --
10 the jurisdiction of the district military prosecutors
11 being addressed to crimes committed by members of the
12 armed forces; is that correct, sir?
13 A. The military prosecutor more or less followed
14 the organisational layout of military districts. We
15 had four military districts, and that is why we had
16 four military prosecutors. So the office of every
17 military district prosecutor covered one of those
18 zones, and pursuant to the -- and under the statute,
19 military prosecutors not only could but were bound to
20 raise the matter of criminal responsibility for all the
21 crimes committed by military persons or related to
22 military issues, that is, committed against matters or
23 facilities military. As far as I know --
24 Q. Mr. Enes Memic, I believe, was the president
25 of the military court in Mostar.
1 A. Yes. I know that he worked at the military
2 court. I do not know if he was the president, I cannot
3 vouch for that, but I do know that he was one of the
4 judges, and I know he was a judge in the military
5 court. Whether he was its president, I'm not sure
6 about that.
7 Q. [Previous translation continues]... was he
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. One of the judges on the division of the
11 Supreme Court that was set up in Mostar by the HZ HB
12 was Semir Puzic, another Muslim; is that right?
13 A. Indeed. He is my colleague, and he worked
14 with me in the Commission for Regulations at the
15 beginning of the war, and then he went to join the
16 military court.
17 Q. Very well, sir. In connection with criminal
18 investigations and prosecutions for major crimes, is it
19 the case that investigations and prosecutions could
20 only be initiated by the public prosecutor for civil
21 matters and the district military prosecutor for
22 military matters?
23 A. No. We have an institution of the
24 investigating magistrate, investigating judge. I won't
25 go into it and explain the whole procedure, but the
1 public prosecutor, having learned that a crime had been
2 committed, turns to the court, and then the court
3 decides whether there are grounds for the case, and
4 then it is the court which investigates the case
5 through the investigating magistrate.
6 After the completion of investigation by the
7 investigating judge, if there is a reasonable doubt
8 that the crime has been committed, then the public
9 prosecutor files the indictment or, rather, submits the
10 indictment against that person or persons.
11 MR. SAYERS: All right. I think I can skip
12 over paragraphs 34 and 35, Your Honours, but you can
13 ask --
14 Q. If asked, by the Prosecution, Mr. Perkovic,
15 you can provide further details on the process of
16 investigations, of the investigating judges' functions,
17 and also the preparation of indictments and trials;
19 A. Yes.
20 JUDGE MAY: That would be a suitable moment.
21 Mr. Perkovic, we're going to adjourn now
22 until tomorrow morning. Would you be back, please, at
23 half past nine tomorrow to finish your evidence.
24 Could you remember in this adjournment not to
25 speak to anybody about your evidence, and that does
1 include members of the Defence team. Don't speak to
2 anybody about your evidence until it's over.
3 Very well, we'll adjourn now. Half past nine
4 tomorrow morning.
5 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned
6 at 4.02 p.m., to be reconvened on
7 Tuesday, the 7th day of June, 2000, at
8 9.30 a.m.