Tribunal Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia

Page 20688

1 Thursday, 8 June 2000

2 [Open session]

3 [The accused entered court]

4 [The witness entered court]

5 --- Upon commencing at 9.50 a.m.

6 JUDGE MAY: Yes. Let the witness take the

7 declaration.

8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly

9 declare that I will speak the truth, the whole truth,

10 and nothing but the truth.


12 [Witness answered through interpreter]

13 JUDGE MAY: If you would like to take a

14 seat.

15 Yes, Mr. Sayers, or Mr. Naumovski, I'm

16 sorry.

17 MR. NAUMOVSKI: [Interpretation] Thank you,

18 Your Honour.

19 Examined by Mr. Naumovski:

20 Q. Good morning, Mr. Vucina.

21 A. Good morning.

22 Q. Could you please give your name and surname

23 to the Court?

24 A. I'm Srecko Vucina. I was born on the 25th of

25 July, 1950, in Mostar.

Page 20689

1 Q. Thank you. After having completed elementary

2 and secondary school, you entered university. You got

3 a degree in electrical engineering, didn't you? You're

4 an engineer now?

5 A. Yes.

6 Q. As an electrical engineer, you worked for

7 some time at the Sokal factory in Mostar, and then

8 after that at a steam electric power plant at

9 Grabovica, and then at the Institute for Electric

10 Power, an advance planning and design unit at a steam

11 electric power plant named Neretva?

12 A. Yes. That's where I was when the war broke

13 out.

14 Q. Mr. Vucina, we usually tell everyone to wait

15 for a few moments before they answer the questions that

16 are put, because all of this has to be interpreted into

17 the official languages of the court.

18 A. I do apologise.

19 Q. When the war broke out, you started working

20 for the Croat Defence Council, the HVO, in Mostar in

21 May 1992; is that right?

22 A. Yes, that's right.

23 Q. During this first period, you worked in the

24 Information and Propaganda Department, the so-called

25 IPD, and also as the press spokesman for the HVO in

Page 20690

1 Mostar?

2 A. Correct.

3 Q. In October of 1992, you were appointed head

4 of the office of the president of the Croat Community

5 of Herceg-Bosna, by Mr. Mate Boban?

6 A. At his personal request. He knew that I

7 liked my own line of work, but he asked me to do this

8 at least for one year. And since this was wartime, I

9 did not do what I felt like doing, but like all others,

10 I did what I was asked to do.

11 Q. Furthermore, at the second general convention

12 of the Croat Democratic Union of Bosnia-Herzegovina,

13 which was held in November 1992, you were appointed

14 president of the executive committee of the HDZ

15 Bosnia-Herzegovina?

16 A. Yes.

17 Q. By the way, after that convention, this

18 second general convention when Mr. Mate Boban was

19 elected president of Herceg-Bosna, tell me, please, at

20 this second convention was some different kind of

21 political platform adopted for the activity of the HDZ

22 in relation to the political platform that was in force

23 until this second convention? Did something

24 essentially change there?

25 A. Nothing, nothing in terms of the basic

Page 20691

1 principles and provisions. What was highlighted was

2 the importance of the Cutilliero Peace Plan and the

3 clearly defined positions of HDZ, vis-a-vis

4 Bosnia-Herzegovina, as a sovereign and independent,

5 internationally-recognised state.

6 Q. So we can say that simply this political

7 platform from this second general convention followed

8 the fundamental principles stemming from the previous

9 political platform; is that right?

10 A. Exactly. What was highlighted was the

11 importance of streamlining its activity in keeping with

12 the times.

13 Q. Thank you. Let us proceed.

14 As head of the office of the president of

15 HZ HB, you served throughout the existence of the Croat

16 Community of Herceg-Bosna until August 1993, when the

17 Croat Republic of Herceg-Bosna was formed. And after

18 the Croat Republic of Herceg-Bosna was formed, you were

19 no longer in that position; right?

20 A. Yes.

21 Q. However, you remained vice-president of the

22 executive committee of the HDZ BH until 1994; is that

23 right?

24 A. Right.

25 Q. During the war, the HDZ was not very active,

Page 20692

1 relatively speaking, and your work therefore focused on

2 what you did through the Croat Community of

3 Herceg-Bosna, that is to say, through the HVO and the

4 Croat Republic of Herceg-Bosna; is that right?

5 A. Well, that's the way it was, for the most

6 part, except for the fact that there was very intensive

7 work among the entire infrastructure of the HDZ before

8 the first multi-party elections in Bosnia-Herzegovina

9 in 1990, and also the intensive activities that were

10 carried out after Washington and during the

11 implementation of the general peace framework for

12 Bosnia from Dayton.

13 One may conclude that this political activity

14 was either at a local level, where the war conditions

15 allowed for this, that is to say, the scope was

16 limited, and from time to time the central bodies met.

17 That was mostly prior to certain talks at an

18 international level or, after that, in terms of

19 implementation of the provisions that were agreed at an

20 international level and that pertained to all

21 participants in Bosnia-Herzegovina.

22 Q. So this normal political activity continued

23 only after the signing of the Washington Accords; is

24 that right?

25 A. Yes.

Page 20693

1 Q. After the end of the war and after the

2 Washington Accords were signed, on the 10th of July,

3 1994, you were elected vice-president of the HDZ of

4 Bosnia and Herzegovina at the party's third convention;

5 is that right?

6 A. That's right.

7 Q. That is the convention where Mr. Dario Kordic

8 was elected president of the Croat Democratic Union of

9 Herceg-Bosna; is that right?

10 A. Yes. I think it was held in July 1994 in

11 Mostar.

12 Q. You remained in this post, the vice-president

13 of the HDZ of BH, until 1996, and then from 1996 until

14 1998, you served as the general secretary of the HDZ of

15 Bosnia and Herzegovina; isn't that right?

16 A. Yes. At the insistence of many that I should

17 take over this post. I wanted to go back to my own

18 line of work as soon as possible though.

19 Q. This wish of yours to return to your

20 profession actually came true. Since 1998, you have

21 been working in Elektroprivreda, the electric utility

22 company of Herceg-Bosna, as the chief executive officer

23 of the department of development.

24 Elektroprivreda is the company that is

25 involved in the production and distribution of electric

Page 20694

1 power, and right now in the territory of

2 Bosnia-Herzegovina there are three Elektroprivreda

3 companies; is that right?

4 A. Yes, that's right. And now I am director of

5 the development department and I have to add something

6 to this.

7 The company is also involved in the

8 transmission of electric power. It is true that there

9 are three such companies and certain legislation should

10 be passed at the level of all of Bosnia-Herzegovina and

11 this subject matter is going to be re-regulated.

12 Q. However, all three Elektroprivreda companies,

13 that is to say, of the Republika Srpksa Herceg-Bosna

14 and BiH, function legally according to regulations now

15 as well, don't they?

16 A. Absolutely. These two Elektroprivredas, that

17 is to say, of Herceg-Bosna and of Bosnia-Herzegovina,

18 and the territory of the Federation, Elektroprivreda,

19 the Republika Srpksa, the territory of Republika

20 Srpksa.

21 Q. Thank you. Mr. Vucina, at present, you are

22 also serving your second term as a representative in

23 the parliament of the Federation of Bosnia-Herzegovina?

24 A. Yes.

25 Q. To be more correct, in the House of

Page 20695

1 Representatives of the parliament?

2 MR. NAUMOVSKI: [Interpretation] Your

3 Honours, we are going to be using only two documents

4 during the examination of this witness, so perhaps this

5 would be the right time to tender the first document.

6 THE REGISTRAR: The document will be marked

7 D277/1.

8 MR. NAUMOVSKI: [Interpretation]

9 Q. Mr. Vucina, until the document is prepared, a

10 few words about previous events in Mostar. The

11 Honorable Court had quite a few opportunities of

12 hearing about this; however, we have to state that in

13 April 1992, the JNA and the Bosnian Serb army launched

14 a major attack against Mostar; is that right?

15 A. Yes. In the southern parts of the Mostar

16 municipality, this had been intensified earlier on and

17 after certain provocations that took place within the

18 municipality of Mostar itself or, to be more precise,

19 the town of Mostar itself, I think it is important to

20 mention --

21 JUDGE MAY: Well, Mr. Vucina, let me mention

22 the rules here. If counsel wants to emphasise

23 something, they can. But as you will appreciate, we

24 have heard a great deal of evidence in this case and we

25 want to concentrate on the essentials as far as the

Page 20696

1 case is concerned.

2 Yes, Mr. Naumovski, unless there's something

3 you want to mention about that attack, let's move on

4 through the paragraph.

5 MR. NAUMOVSKI: [Interpretation] Thank you.

6 Q. At that point in time, in view of this

7 immediate threat of war or, as you said, this true

8 threat of war in the municipality or rather town of

9 Mostar, the authorities in the town of Mostar were

10 regulated in keeping with the regulations the town of

11 Mostar ceased to function, and before that a Crisis

12 Staff was established, a Crisis Staff of Mostar with

13 representatives of parliamentary parties on it and the

14 government in Mostar was supposed to be set up on that

15 basis; is that correct?

16 A. Yes, that is correct. That is correct.

17 Q. The representatives of the Crisis Staff were

18 Croats and Muslims, right?

19 A. Yes.

20 Q. The document that you have in front of you,

21 could you please take a look at it. That is a document

22 dated the 29th of April, 1992. That is a decision that

23 was passed precisely by this joint body of Croats and

24 Muslims in Mostar, that is to say, the Crisis Staff,

25 and it relates to the defence of the town of Mostar.

Page 20697

1 Could you please tell the Honorable Trial

2 Chamber about it? Actually, the document is

3 self-explanatory, we don't have to read it out, but who

4 was entrusted with the defence of the town of Mostar?

5 A. The HVO and the municipal staff of Mostar and

6 the members of the Ministry of the Interior in central

7 Mostar.

8 Q. Paragraph three is perhaps interesting too.

9 It says that, "The Croat Defence Council shall consist

10 of members of Muslim and Croat peoples and the members

11 of other peoples and minorities who recognise the legal

12 authorities of the Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina and

13 profess allegiance to them," that is to say, allegiance

14 to the province of Bosnia-Herzegovina; is that right?

15 A. Yes.

16 Q. Of course the Muslims were left the

17 possibility to set up their own armed units, so in a

18 way, agreement was reached as to what could follow upon

19 this date when the defence of the city started so all

20 possibilities were open; is that right?

21 A. Yes. However, it is important to mention

22 that they are all put under the single command of the

23 Croat Defence Council, the municipal headquarters of

24 Mostar, and as far as new defence formations are

25 concerned, after the 1st of May 1992, the command staff

Page 20698

1 shall be constituted on a basis of parity.

2 Q. Mr. Vucina, this document was personally

3 signed by the members of the Crisis Staff of both

4 peoples, the Croats and the Muslims; is that right, and

5 as far as you know, this document was adopted without a

6 dissenting vote?

7 A. Yes, and I know the persons who were members

8 of the Crisis Staff; the persons who signed this

9 document in their own hand.

10 Q. I would like us to go through this document

11 quickly, but I have to draw your attention to one

12 detail. There are several interesting details but I

13 think the last one is sufficient.

14 In paragraph 9, in section 9, at the very

15 end, that is, it says that everything that was agreed

16 upon concerning the defence of the town of Mostar and

17 the municipality of Mostar was actually temporary

18 because it says after cessation of hostilities, that

19 is, the liberation of the municipality of Mostar, and

20 the creation of conditions for the normal functioning

21 of legal authorities, all other questions will be

22 regulated.

23 And now let me try to abbreviate it. But

24 taking into account the decisions passed by the legal

25 authorities of the Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina. So

Page 20699

1 perhaps I should not lead you with regard to this.

2 Do you agree with this statement that this

3 was actually a temporary provisional organisation of

4 life, work, and defence?

5 A. Right. As any other document during that

6 period of time, it always included -- I think it is

7 very important to point that out -- it always included

8 mention of the temporary status.

9 Q. Thank you. So at that time, when the two

10 peoples agreed that the HVO, who would be proclaimed

11 the force, were entrusted with the defence of Mostar,

12 you were its only military force which resisted the

13 aggression of the JNA and the army of Bosnian Serbs in

14 the area of Mostar, isn't it?

15 A. Indeed, and that is why this document was

16 adopted and why this task was entrusted to the Croat

17 Defense Council of the municipality of Mostar.

18 Q. Of course. This decision which the Crisis

19 Staff signed never questioned the legitimacy and the

20 relevance of the -- and the legality of the Republic of

21 Bosnia-Herzegovina, isn't it? That is the gist of this

22 document.

23 A. Yes.

24 Q. When we said that Muslim Serb members of HVO

25 units in some of them, there were more of them in some

Page 20700

1 of them, there were less of them, you said in your

2 summary that some units had as many as 30 per cent of

3 Muslims among their ranks, isn't it?

4 A. Yes, depending on the place where such units

5 was formed and the ratios of the population in that

6 area, that is how it was, but there is no doubt that it

7 is quite accurate and that it held true of all those

8 places where we were together.

9 Q. And in addition to these, if I may call them

10 mixed HVO units, there was also another battalion, the

11 independent Muslim battalion, independent Mostar

12 battalion, which from the very beginning included only

13 Muslims.

14 A. Yes, and that was also pursuant to the

15 decision that we've just talked about.

16 Q. But in view of the higher level of

17 organisation of the HVO, it was the HVO which extended

18 all the assistance in armament, logistics, materiel,

19 and so on and so forth?

20 A. Yes. When it came to the needs of units,

21 yes.

22 Q. It was a very hard time for all the

23 inhabitants of Mostar because of the fierceful

24 aggression, and until July the HVO fought fiercely

25 along the Neretva Valley; you defended some 70

Page 20701

1 kilometres of the confrontation line with the army --

2 against the JNA and the army of Bosnian Serbs; is that

3 so?

4 A. It is after some difficulties in May, in June

5 sometime at that time in the Neretva Valley from

6 Capljina to Mostar to Konjic, the front line was

7 established, over 70 kilometres long, and we were very

8 successfully fulfilling the tasks stipulated by the

9 decision and the mission was fulfilled except for some

10 hill features which had been taken previously by the

11 JNA and the forces of the army of Republika Srpksa.

12 Q. You're also aware -- that is, you have direct

13 knowledge of the fact that the HVO had already

14 liberated from the Serbs part of the municipality of

15 Konjic, taken the strategically-important village of

16 Bradina on the highway to Sarajevo, isn't it?

17 A. Yes. This was done by the HVO units in

18 Konjic.

19 Q. Tell me, were there any plans to help

20 Sarajevo through Hadzici, from the northern side?

21 A. I know and I had the opportunity of talking

22 to participants who used that direction and were also

23 acting in that direction, in a way. But I also know,

24 from my conversations with those individuals, that they

25 had received threats from Mr. Sefer Halilovic,

Page 20702

1 commander of the army of Bosnia-Herzegovina, if they

2 continued their actions.

3 Q. If I understand you properly, Sefer Halilovic

4 prohibited -- prevented the HVO --

5 JUDGE MAY: This is important evidence. It's

6 taking a very long time, and if we're to get through

7 both witnesses, we must move more quickly. But don't

8 lead.

9 You said that Mr. Halilovic had issued

10 threats. What were the threats?

11 A. According to what I could learn from

12 conversations with people who participated in it, the

13 threat was that there would be an armed conflict if the

14 HVO continued helping in the direction of Sarajevo.

15 MR. NAUMOVSKI: [Interpretation] If I may, I

16 should like to move on.

17 JUDGE MAY: Yes.

18 MR. NAUMOVSKI: [Interpretation] Thank you.

19 Q. Mr. Vucina, in the introductory part, we

20 already said what office you held as of October 1992.

21 That is, you were in the circle of people who

22 absolutely -- who were conversant with the situation on

23 the ground and were receiving first-hand information.

24 Tell us, you personally, did you realise really the

25 strategy of the Muslims from the information you were

Page 20703

1 receiving and judging by the moves that they were

2 making in late 1992?

3 A. From the beginning of 1992 to mid-1992, in

4 spite of some tensions and conflicts, one couldn't

5 really see -- one couldn't really glean the true

6 relations on the ground. It was only later that I, as

7 a member of the state commission, had the opportunity

8 to visit. And from the situation on the ground,

9 everything seemed to point at a possibility of

10 aggravation of these relations, that is, from conflicts

11 to open conflicts, in those areas which link the areas

12 of Central Bosnia with the south, that is, with the

13 south and the Neretva Valley.

14 Towards the end of the year in the areas of

15 the Rama, Uskoplje, the municipality of Konjic, the

16 conflicts reached such a degree, that was why the state

17 commission was set up with the consent of

18 Mr. Izetbegovic and Mr. Boban, and it was tasked with

19 visiting the ground and trying to improve the

20 relations. However, it was evident then that according

21 to what people from the ground were reporting to us,

22 that there was really a risk of open conflicts.

23 Q. Yes. And precisely because of such fears

24 because of what was happening on the ground, what did

25 you glean as the strategic goal? You have already

Page 20704

1 mentioned Central Bosnia. Perhaps you should state

2 that explicitly.

3 A. From conversations based on such reports, and

4 our insight on the ground, and other people who had

5 different tasks, it was concluded that there could be

6 attempts to take over control and conquer territories

7 in Central Bosnia, because there were very important

8 industrial facilities in that part, and especially

9 those facilities which even in the former Yugoslavia

10 were manufacturing equipment for the military, military

11 equipment, and there were also roads which linked all

12 those places. And in the Neretva Valley, in addition

13 to a very important military facility in Konjic, there

14 were also very important power-generating facilities

15 and transmission facilities. And the Neretva Valley,

16 as such, meant also a possible outlet to the seaside.

17 Q. Right. In those plans to intercept -- to cut

18 those lines of communication between Herzegovina and

19 Central Bosnia, you remember that the JNA used to have

20 some plans, RAM I and RAM II, which said that some

21 parts of Bosnia-Herzegovina should simply be cut off

22 and separated, one from another?

23 A. Those who were more familiar with this, and

24 these are of course military, they -- that is how they

25 identified the problem, because quite a number of

Page 20705

1 officers, of commanding officers in the army of

2 Bosnia-Herzegovina, came from amongst the ranks of

3 those who used to be officers in the JNA.

4 Q. According to the information that you had at

5 the time and your knowledge, was this plan still being

6 put through, not by the JNA but by somebody else now?

7 A. According to the information that we had and

8 what happened later, it was absolutely identified as

9 the operationalisation of plans RAM I and RAM II, but

10 now by the units of the army of Bosnia-Herzegovina.

11 Q. You have already mentioned Sarajevo and what

12 Sefer Halilovic told the HVO or, rather, his message to

13 the HVO. What was your conclusion about this? Why was

14 this being prevented, why was the assistance to

15 liberate Sarajevo being obstructed?

16 A. I do not know exactly what the reasons were,

17 except in that promotional part, because that is what

18 we did, except that it was necessary for the domestic

19 and international public to use the situation and very

20 heavy destruction for a situation to represent the

21 victims who remained in Sarajevo throughout these years

22 and were victims of bestial destruction and

23 devastation.

24 Q. Tell us, please, in April 1992, do you have

25 any knowledge of that? Were there any proposals to set

Page 20706

1 up a joint HVO and BH army command in Central Bosnia?

2 A. Yes. There were reports about that, and I

3 learned about it from my conversations with colleagues

4 who took a direct part in it.

5 Q. Who proposed it, and was this joint command

6 set up?

7 A. I do not know who proposed it, except that I

8 know that Mr. Zarko Tole was the person authorised by

9 the Croat Defence Council, and I think that the army of

10 Bosnia-Herzegovina, it was Dzemal Merdan who was the

11 person. Unfortunately, as far as I know from that

12 information and these conversations, it all ended in

13 the very questionable abduction of Mr. Tole in the area

14 of Bugojno, controlled by the army of

15 Bosnia-Herzegovina, and his -- and many years of

16 imprisonment or perhaps a year's imprisonment for him

17 in prisons of the army of Republika Srpska.

18 Q. So was this joint command set up or not?

19 A. No, unfortunately not.

20 Q. Thank you. In view of your job, your duties

21 in Mostar, you also knew what were the needs of HVO

22 units in other parts of Bosnia-Herzegovina; for

23 instance, in Sarajevo?

24 A. Yes. While we could communicate and while we

25 could see images, we could see that, but we exchanged

Page 20707

1 information. However, with time, with the escalation

2 of tensions in these lands, the same thing was

3 happening in Sarajevo and in Tuzla. And what happened

4 in Sarajevo is the HVO units were subjected to the army

5 of Bosnia-Herzegovina, and in Tuzla there was also

6 cooperation in the command of Bosnia -- it was under

7 the command of Bosnia-Herzegovina, but the dignity of

8 the units was preserved.

9 According to persons who were members of that

10 brigade, in a very incorrect manner, in view of the HVO

11 casualties in the early days of the defence of

12 Sarajevo, and I will say -- and I'm putting it mildly

13 when I say that it was incorrect, they were put in

14 place -- in a situation to be subjected to the command

15 of the army of Bosnia-Herzegovina. There were

16 individuals who did not want to continue that, and they

17 simply left Sarajevo.

18 Q. Thank you. Let us go back to developments in

19 Mostar. Which was one of the early serious, grave

20 incidents in those relations between Croats and

21 Muslims?

22 A. At a political level, I would venture to say

23 it was a proclamation of Muslim intellectuals

24 requesting the withdrawal of representatives of the

25 Muslim people from the bodies of the provisional

Page 20708

1 authority in the municipality of Mostar. I think it

2 was in the summer.

3 Q. Yes. And what about other areas?

4 A. In other areas, I think it was very tense,

5 especially in early autumn when there was some of our

6 attempts, when some of our units who set off to

7 reinforce our units in Jajce were obstructed, however,

8 I think somewhere around Gornji Vakuf, so they did not

9 manage to get through and help in the defence of Jajce

10 itself.

11 Q. You know, and from what you told us already

12 about Muslim plans in Central Bosnia, what happened in

13 Central Bosnia in January 1993. Will you tell the

14 Court, according to information that you had, that

15 reached you, did part of these Muslim plans come true?

16 A. Those events coincided in time with the

17 adoption of the Vance-Owen Plan and were intensified,

18 and unfortunately from the municipality of Konjic to

19 the municipality of Fojnica and other municipalities of

20 Central Bosnia, open combat took place between the HVO

21 and the army of Bosnia-Herzegovina, first in the

22 municipality of Konjic and then in those

23 municipalities. And naturally from one -- well, I

24 could say that it came as a surprise to the majority of

25 people who, until that moment, operated jointly and

Page 20709

1 fought together against their common enemy.

2 But the situation was rendered more complex

3 because over one million five hundred people were in a

4 small area, and many refugees, and this all resulted in

5 these tensions in addition to the events that were

6 already mentioned, and it all brought about this very

7 fierce combat. And this caused the conquest of those

8 areas which, until that time, we controlled as the

9 Croat Defence Council.

10 In part, the army of Bosnia-Herzegovina

11 succeeded; that is, it separated these areas from

12 Central Bosnia and especially those communication roads

13 which linked Central Bosnia with Herzegovina, that is,

14 the Neretva Valley.

15 Q. Very well, thank you. If I understand you

16 well, you were cut off in two directions in the

17 direction to the coast that is Herzegovina and the

18 Republic of Croatia and in this other direction in

19 Central Bosnia.

20 A. Yes, and it went on in April and May in the

21 Neretva Valley from Konjic to Jablanica.

22 Q. And it was intensified, I believe, in May?

23 A. Yes, in May it was also intensified it Mostar

24 itself. It went along the Neretva Valley and then

25 onward.

Page 20710

1 Q. Did you have more precise information about

2 this as to which part of the road between

3 municipalities in Central Bosnia was cut off as far as

4 the Croats were concerned, which parts of Central

5 Bosnia were cut off?

6 A. Yes, of course we knew about this. I think

7 that the communications between Busovaca and the

8 municipality of Kiseljak were cut off, then Fojnica as

9 a municipality, except in the higher part, high

10 altitude parts in the town as such, communications were

11 hampered between Travnik, Novi Travnik, and towards

12 that other side, at any rate. There were some parts of

13 municipalities that were involved but to be sure they

14 were split up.

15 Q. You mentioned --

16 JUDGE MAY: At this time, Mr. Vucina, you

17 were in Mostar; is that right?

18 A. Yes.

19 JUDGE MAY: And so the evidence -- so we can

20 understand it -- the evidence you're giving us is based

21 on the reports which you received; is that right?

22 A. That's right.

23 JUDGE MAY: Yes, thank you.

24 MR. NAUMOVSKI: [Interpretation] Thank you

25 Your Honour.

Page 20711

1 Q. Mr. Vucina, a few minutes ago you mentioned

2 that you were a member of the state commission that was

3 formed by Alija Izetbegovic and Mate Boban, this was

4 sometime in October 1992. Could you just tell us who

5 the members of this commission were and what the basic

6 objective of the commission was but just in two or

7 three words?

8 A. I shall try to be brief. In addition to

9 Mr. Boro Radic, there was myself on the Croat side

10 along with Mr. Camil Salihovic, Zijad Demirovic, and

11 Safet Orucevic. As far as the Muslim political

12 leadership with Mr. Arif Pasalic as a commander of the

13 core of the Bosnia-Herzegovina a person who enjoyed

14 uncontested authority both within his own

15 responsibility and beyond.

16 Our task was after the first conflicts, I

17 think, in Rama, to get immediate insight into the

18 situation to try to improve the situation to help those

19 who were needy and to take action in order to pacify

20 things.

21 At the same time, we were in Gornji Vakuf.

22 There were tensions there as well. Actually at that

23 point in time, there weren't any conflicts there.

24 After that, we were in Novi Travnik.

25 There could be no production in a very

Page 20712

1 important factory because of these tensions. We had a

2 meeting with local leaders, that is to say, local

3 municipal leaders and local commanders.

4 At my insistence, we gave tasks to both

5 commanders, it had to do with the removal of some

6 checkpoints and also demining. Mines were placed so

7 that the workers could not get to the factory to work.

8 We were quite successful because we gave a deadline of

9 two to four hours to have the proper conditions created

10 so that was done and we left.

11 However, unfortunately, we found out later

12 that things were restored to the way they were before

13 that. We did not meet in any other area, we, as the

14 commission.

15 Q. Thank you. You have already mentioned the

16 most important facts related to January 1993 in line

17 with what you already said, that is to say, to divide

18 Central Bosnia from Herzegovina and that there were

19 several conflicts there.

20 How did things start, to the best of your

21 knowledge, in January 1993? Very briefly, please.

22 A. In the broader area of the municipality of

23 Konjic, especially those villages that were very

24 important in terms of dominating the road and also

25 those that are facing Fojnica, that is to say, the

Page 20713

1 areas of Central Bosnia vis-a-vis Herzegovina.

2 And then from there it moved on to the entire

3 area of the municipality of Konjic and after that, it

4 went on towards Jablanica and at the same time, war

5 operations started in the territory practically of all

6 municipalities in Central Bosnia one after the other,

7 not at the same time.

8 This was probably the tactics involved, that

9 is to say, to launch an attack and then to pacify the

10 situation, to bring in peacekeeping forces, to have

11 talks, negotiations so the intensity was not always the

12 same.

13 Q. Tell me, these towns, municipalities that you

14 mentioned are all along this main road, so to speak,

15 between Central Bosnia and the sea, that is to say,

16 Herzegovina and then further on towards the Republic of

17 Croatia?

18 A. Yes, for the most part.

19 Q. Tell me something else, please. You already

20 talked about the strategic objectives of the Muslims so

21 let us not repeat that again but tell us in your own

22 words, tell the Trial Chamber in your own words what

23 happened in May 1993 in the area of Mostar and beyond.

24 Who attacked who? When did the attack take place? You

25 have the floor.

Page 20714

1 A. As a consequence of what happened in the

2 northern area, Konjic and Jablanica, the next

3 municipality was Mostar. Of course there were certain

4 events, certain phenomena that preceded all of this.

5 First of all, at a political level in terms

6 of certain requests that escalated in May 1993 turning

7 into an all out conflict. It is interesting that

8 within the Muslim core, first there were mutual

9 political tensions because very influential persons who

10 were from the very establishment of the SDA opposed to

11 any conflict between the Croats and the Muslims in the

12 Neretva River Valley.

13 Then there were some changes in these

14 political bodies, and then new persons were brought in

15 who were not part of the SDA leadership before.

16 Within the army of Bosnia-Herzegovina in the

17 military part, the command structure involved, for the

18 most part, officers of the former JNA. Perhaps there

19 were some ambitions, growing ambitions to try to bring

20 about certain changes and conflicts always bearing in

21 mind the objective that was clearly stated in the

22 declarations of an institution called the Muslim

23 Council of Intellectuals which probably --

24 JUDGE ROBINSON: I'm waiting for the specific

25 answer to the question you posed: Who attacked who in

Page 20715

1 Mostar?

2 MR. NAUMOVSKI: [Interpretation]

3 Q. Mr. Vucina, I understand you wanted to tell

4 the Honorable Trial Chamber about the political events

5 that preceded this military action that took place on

6 the 9th of May or rather in May of 1993 but please,

7 could you give a brief answer to the question that I

8 put.

9 Who attacked, when, and what happened in

10 Mostar?

11 A. Your Honours, I do apologise. I don't have

12 experience with this kind of work, but it is certainly

13 difficult to understand these events too. The conflict

14 broke out on the 9th of May 1993.

15 According to the information that was

16 accessible to us later, I don't know when others had

17 access to it. It was clear that such orders were

18 issued to the units of the army of Bosnia-Herzegovina

19 considerably earlier.

20 Q. Perhaps this is the right time for us to

21 tender our second piece of evidence, our second

22 document, and the last one in terms of examining this

23 witness.

24 While we're waiting for this document to be

25 distributed, the one that we're going to say a few

Page 20716

1 words about, Mr. Vucina, just before this attack, do

2 you have any immediate knowledge concerning the

3 behaviour of Muslims who worked in Mostar?

4 A. Partly, yes, in relation to the colleagues we

5 knew. Most of them wanted to get some kind of leave

6 and go to the Republic of Croatia.

7 Q. So that was before the attack?

8 A. Yes, correct.

9 Q. Tell me, please, have a look at this document

10 that is in front of you. That is a document -- perhaps

11 the time is right to give the document a number too.

12 JUDGE MAY: Yes, a number please.

13 THE REGISTRAR: The document will be marked

14 D278/1.

15 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone for the

16 registrar, please.

17 MR. NAUMOVSKI: [Interpretation]

18 Q. This document, Mr. Vucina, is one that you

19 found in Mostar after these events, truth to tell, it

20 is dated the 19th of April, 1993.

21 [Technical difficulty]

22 THE INTERPRETER: The microphones are on. Is

23 there still a problem?

24 JUDGE MAY: [Microphone not activated]

25 MR. NAUMOVSKI: [Interpretation]

Page 20717

1 Q. Mr. Vucina, as I said, this document is dated

2 the 19th of April, 1993 and it is an order?

3 THE INTERPRETER: Can you hear us? Can you

4 hear the English booth? The prosecutors seem to be

5 able to hear us, the bench can't.

6 [Trial Chamber and registrar confer]

7 THE INTERPRETER: Can you hear us now?

8 MR. NICE: They're asking you if you can hear

9 them.

10 JUDGE MAY: No. Whether you can hear it or

11 not, the technical problem requires attention. We'll

12 adjourn now for a quarter of an hour or take the break

13 now for a quarter of an hour.

14 --- Recess taken at 10.45 a.m.

15 --- On resuming at 11.10 a.m.

16 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Naumovski, the position is

17 this: that as far as possible, the system has been put

18 right, but it may fail intermittently. There is a

19 technician here to resolve it promptly, but it may be

20 that there will be problems. We'll see how we get on.

21 Meanwhile, I propose that we sit late this

22 afternoon, if that's necessary, in order to try and

23 finish the witness, which means beyond 4.00. But I

24 understand that that may cause difficulties for the

25 interpreters. If that's right, could the interpreters

Page 20718

1 let the Registry know at lunchtime, and we'll make some

2 other arrangements.

3 Now, let's go on.

4 MR. NAUMOVSKI: [Interpretation] Thank you,

5 Your Honours.

6 Q. Before the technical problems, we were

7 discussing this document, this order, and I said that

8 this was the order of the army of Bosnia-Herzegovina,

9 that is, the 1st Mostar Brigade or, to be more precise,

10 the 41st Motorised Brigade. The date is 19th of April

11 of 1993.

12 The document is self-explanatory, but perhaps

13 if you would look at the heading, it says "Defence

14 Order". But to save time, I'd like to draw attention

15 to item 1 and then item 1.2. How do you understand

16 this, not only as a document, but also what happened in

17 May 1993 and after that in Mostar? What kind of an

18 order is this?

19 A. This is the cross-section of roads from the

20 south to the city; that is, Mostar Buna, Mostar Blagaj,

21 an important communication. That is 1.1.

22 Q. Sorry to cut in, but I was about to ask you:

23 From what these items refer to, is it an order for

24 defence or is it an order for something else? This is

25 my basic question. Let us not go into all these

Page 20719

1 details; communications, logistics, and so on.

2 A. So close -- they take the defence position

3 and so on and so forth. It is evident that this is

4 active defence, as it is called or, rather, offensive,

5 and taking of battle institutions and facilities in the

6 town itself which are along this communication,

7 south-north communication.

8 Q. This document is of the 19th of April, 1993.

9 In view of what truly began to happen as of the 9th of

10 May, 1993, did these things that happened -- are they

11 in line with this order for defence?

12 A. Mostly, yes, because it mentions here Mostar

13 Hotel, which was a vital facility which was taken, then

14 an attack on the Ministry of the Interior or, rather,

15 the police administration, in the immediate vicinity of

16 the surgery department, which he mentioned here, which

17 was also a vital facility which was to be taken in that

18 area, and also at operations between Semovac and

19 Bulevar, Dr. Safet Mujic Street. It is this line or

20 front line, it became known subsequently as Bulevar.

21 And they were mostly in that part, in the west part,

22 these operations were during the conflict.

23 Q. Mr. Vucina, this document was found after the

24 conflict broke out on the 9th of May, 1993, and, in

25 view of what you tell us happened in May, that it is

Page 20720

1 what is contained in this defence. So what do you

2 conclude from this? When was this operation planned?

3 A. Except that I see the date here, "19th of

4 April," that is less than a month or about a fortnight

5 before the moment when the conflict happened in Mostar.

6 Q. I'm not sure whether the transcript says it

7 correctly. Did you say explicitly who attacked whom in

8 May 1993 in Mostar?

9 A. Well, in the early hours of the morning,

10 there were some horrific detonations in broader areas,

11 and they came as a surprise to many people. At this

12 moment, according to this order, evidently an attack

13 had -- there was a strike in some parts against the

14 units of the Croat Defence Council and in this area, so

15 it must have been all linked together.

16 Q. Very well. But just briefly, who attacked

17 whom, so that the Court has a clear picture?

18 A. The units, according to this order, the units

19 attacked in these places and at these points in the

20 town, the units which were in this area. Therefore the

21 units of the Ministry of the Interior and the units of

22 the Croat Defence Council were attacked by units of the

23 army of Bosnia-Herzegovina.

24 Q. Thank you. At the time when you were engaged

25 in fierce fighting with the units of

Page 20721

1 Bosnia-Herzegovina, a large influx of refugees arrived

2 in Mostar. Could you tell us, roughly how many

3 refugees did arrive in Mostar?

4 A. According to information gathered by those

5 services who took care of the refugees, the number

6 fluctuated. Sometimes there were 18.000, sometimes

7 there were over 20.000. But whatever the case, there

8 were always more than 15.000. And many people were

9 warning that it is very near the front line and

10 according to -- and under the international rule, we

11 should not accommodate them anywhere near there. But

12 we had no choice.

13 Those were mostly people from the areas of

14 East Herzegovina, from Gacko, Nevesinje, Bileca, and

15 parts of the municipality of Mostar, along the eastern

16 boundaries of the municipality of Mostar, and we simply

17 had no other choice but to accommodate them either in

18 the centre in various accommodation areas -- it was

19 very difficult, conditions were very hard -- and some

20 were with their relatives.

21 Q. Sorry to cut in. I do have to cut in from

22 time to time because I should like us to move on as

23 quickly as possible.

24 What ethnic group did the majority of these

25 refugees belong to?

Page 20722

1 A. Predominantly Muslim, the Muslim people, and

2 part of the area of the Croat people who were from the

3 village of Jesenica in the south and from this village

4 of Vranjevici, that is, for 1992.

5 Q. Tell us, this influx of several thousand

6 Muslim refugees to the area of the town of Mostar, did

7 it perhaps disrupt the ethnic balance on the west side

8 of the town?

9 A. Very significantly.

10 Q. You told us that you tried to care for them

11 as much as possible, but did you happen to see where

12 some of these Muslim refugees were put up,

13 accommodated?

14 A. Well, at first, while the town was still

15 shelled, it was very difficult to think about where to

16 accommodate them nor was it possible. We tried to do

17 that where there were some kitchen facilities.

18 Subsequently we saw some people were trying

19 or thought politically or differently about that; that

20 they should be put, these people, in strategically

21 important places, for instance, in the southern part of

22 Mostar along the highway or the hostel which was west

23 of Mostar, that is, in some places. And then this

24 showed that it was not only the humanitarian part but

25 also something else.

Page 20723

1 Q. That is, it was planned elsewhere, is that

2 what you're trying to say?

3 A. Yes.

4 Q. Thank you. You have just told the Court that

5 a part of the SDA became a radical, that some other

6 people came to head that party. Tell us, you must know

7 that because they are people whom you knew. Did some

8 Muslims, members of the Party for Democratic Action,

9 because of the radicalisation of the views of the SDA,

10 leave that party?

11 A. It needs to be pointed out that a number of

12 people, honorable local people, that is, Mostar-born

13 and in a broader area, especially in the land of

14 Herzegovina, were against any tensions, let alone

15 conflicts between the Muslim and the Croat people.

16 I can and I think it is difficult --

17 mentioning Dr. Ismet Hadziosmanovic, Dr. Hadzi

18 Huseinovic from Konjic, all of them from the very

19 beginning were founding fathers of the party and also

20 had some other friends in the SDA who, within this

21 political leadership, were qualified in a manner which

22 was not correct because they did not want a conflict.

23 Some of them were relieved of their duties,

24 some left it of their own will and they embarked on

25 founding another party which was mostly concentrated in

Page 20724

1 the Neretva Valley, that is, the Muslim Democratic

2 Party. Dr. Hamica Muftic was one of its presidents,

3 and it brought together people who worked in the

4 agencies of the provisional executive during the

5 conflicts, after the conflicts, and now, and my

6 respects to them.

7 Q. Yes, thank you. You did mention some names

8 in your summary. Mr. Zulfo Robovic, Mr. Edin Omeragic,

9 was there, Zlatko Udovicic, so they were the members of

10 this newly formed Muslim Democratic Party that was

11 active in Mostar; is that so?

12 A. Quite. And were amongst the most prominent

13 members of the Party for Democratic Action before that.

14 Q. Yes, very well, thank you. Now that you

15 mention it, you say that some of them also held some

16 offices. You mention in your summary the office of

17 Mr. Zulfo Robovic. What did he subsequently become in

18 the Croat Republic of Herceg-Bosna?

19 A. After the Owen-Stoltenberg Plan and the

20 foundation of the Croat Republic of Herceg-Bosna, he

21 was the minister for reconstruction and development in

22 the government of the Croat Republic of Herceg-Bosna.

23 Q. Very well, thank you. All those people that

24 we have just mentioned are Muslims, just to remind the

25 Court, isn't it?

Page 20725

1 A. Yes.

2 Q. We can move on to paragraph 16, Your

3 Honours. Then there was this cease-fire agreement

4 between Mr. Izetbegovic and Mr. Boban in May 1993 and

5 after that, you knew how the situation was developing

6 regarding the military action in the Neretva Valley.

7 What was the conclusion according to you, of the army

8 of Bosnia-Herzegovina? Did the fight going on in that

9 part or not?

10 A. That meeting took place in Medjurgorje, I

11 believe, with the moderation of international peace

12 forces.

13 After that, the intensity of these clashes

14 was not as high and it was beginning to calm down,

15 because it was obvious that there was no possibility or

16 a chance to militarily make a break through towards the

17 western part of the municipality and in -- and then

18 deep into the Neretva Valley towards the coast.

19 Q. Tell us, please, did this agreement result in

20 the conclusion of peace and cease-fire in other parts

21 of Bosnia-Herzegovina or not? What was the situation

22 in Central Bosnia for instance?

23 A. It was to be a comprehensive agreement and it

24 was supposed to cover all areas. Unfortunately, as

25 many others before it, they were not particularly

Page 20726

1 effective and limited. In Central Bosnia, fighting was

2 even more intensive, it even escalated, but it began to

3 abate sometime on the eve or right before the

4 Washington Accords.

5 Q. We can move on because we are under the

6 pressure of time, so let us try to make as much

7 progress as we can.

8 In this case a great deal was said about

9 Mr. Kordic having the rank of a colonel. Tell us,

10 please, do you have any knowledge as to the

11 circumstances, how and when was this rank conferred

12 upon Mr. Kordic?

13 A. Not only that I have knowledge about this, I

14 directly participated in this. Of course alongside

15 Mr. Bozo Rajic on an occasion, we even had telephone

16 conversation with Mr. Kordic who informed us we talked

17 about who was doing what, and then he informed us about

18 his participation in some talks which I think were

19 taking place at the Butmir airport, and about the

20 general position about all those involved in the

21 negotiations and his personal status.

22 Mr. Rajic and I then, on the basis of some

23 experience in World War II, and I don't know if

24 somebody perhaps prompted us to do that, but there was

25 some examples when the President of the United States

Page 20727

1 of America would authorise somebody who was a civilian,

2 not as a military person, to have some status in those

3 talks. So on the basis of this, Mr. Bozo Rajic and I

4 personally, I think, proposed that his position in

5 these talks vis-a-vis others in those talks should be

6 accorded some weight, and I think that after this

7 conversation with us, Mr. Boban with him resolved that

8 in a conversation with him.

9 And in this regard, I do not know whether

10 Mr. Boban -- at least I do not know, and I cannot know

11 with certainty they did procedures such as did exist

12 under the regulations should be when they are published

13 in official gazettes, because it was within the

14 competence of the president of the Croat Community of

15 Herceg-Bosna.

16 Q. Will you please slow down because we are

17 making the job of the interpreters very difficult.

18 So if as I understand you, it was an oral

19 decision of Mr. Boban, not a written decision?

20 A. Correct.

21 Q. And tell us, did Mr. Kordic have any military

22 training, any military training, any military

23 knowledge, any expertise in this?

24 A. Knowing what faculty he graduated from and

25 what is accessible to me, I think that Mr. Kordic had

Page 20728

1 absolutely no skills, no training, no qualifications in

2 that sense, nor is he a professional soldier. So that

3 in this regard, I do not think that he nor could he be

4 in any chain of command or any other activities in this

5 sense except this honorary title.

6 Q. You tell us that Mr. Boban took this oral

7 decision. You never saw in writing anything and that,

8 in itself, means that it was never published by the

9 official gazette or anything like that.

10 A. Correct.

11 Q. Tell us, these negotiations of the mixed

12 working group in Sarajevo, since the participants were

13 persons with certain ranks, it would seem that they

14 were simply military negotiations in the military

15 sense. Do you know what they were negotiating about?

16 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Naumovski, if you could make

17 your questions shorter, we would get on. Also if you

18 put less leading material in it.

19 Why was it necessary to give him a rank,

20 Mr. Vucina?

21 MR. NAUMOVSKI: [Interpretation] Mr. Vucina

22 you have heard the Honourable Judge put his question.

23 A. Your Honour, I'm going to mention this

24 example because as we talked to him, we concluded that

25 in relation to a certain composition already existed

Page 20729

1 there, his position in these talks would be stronger

2 and different if we were to use, at least, that was our

3 assumption, some experience that existed during the

4 Second World War and if we conferred an honorary rank

5 upon him.

6 That is the only reason why we then assessed

7 that that would be useful.

8 MR. SCOTT: Your Honour, I'm going to

9 belatedly object to the characterisation and the

10 speculation about the practises during the Second World

11 War. This is complete speculation. There's no basis

12 for that.

13 JUDGE MAY: You can ask about that, Mr.

14 Scott.

15 MR. SCOTT: Thank you.

16 MR. NAUMOVSKI: [Interpretation]

17 Q. A brief question, Mr. Vucina. What was

18 discussed at these meetings that Mr. Kordic attended;

19 do you know, the talks that were attended by Mr. Kordic

20 as honorary colonel?

21 A. Not really, except for his brief

22 communication with us on the phone. I think it was

23 certain directions and the opening of certain routes

24 that was discussed. I would qualify this as general

25 purpose matters rather than something very specialised.

Page 20730

1 Q. You say "specialised".

2 A. Well, in that sense, I mean it's not that it

3 was something exclusively military. I think that it

4 was of general significance for the functioning of

5 life.

6 Q. Thank you. For a considerable amount of

7 time, you closely worked with Mr. Mate Boban. While

8 you were his chief of office, you had maximum insight

9 into his work.

10 Mr. Kordic as one of the two vice-presidents

11 of the Presidency of Herceg-Bosna, did he have true

12 power? Did he have true authority to issue orders, to

13 plan things, et cetera or was this done by someone

14 else?

15 A. According to the decrees, the regulations

16 that governed everything, the only person who had real

17 authority was the president of Herceg-Bosna. There was

18 not even an institution that would regulate what would

19 go on in the case of his absence.

20 In that period, according to the regulations

21 that he drew upon, especially in terms of

22 responsibility and then also in terms of powers, all of

23 this was in the hands of the president. He signed

24 documents and generally speaking everything else that

25 is within that framework, all of that was within his

Page 20731

1 authority.

2 Q. Thank you. Irrespective of legislation,

3 irrespective of legislation that gave powers to the

4 president of the Croat Community of Herceg-Bosna

5 Mr. Mate Boban, I would like to ask you, not only from

6 a legal point of view but also from the point of view

7 of life itself, the way things actually were, in whose

8 hands was power, the power to decide really and truly?

9 A. As far as I know, bearing in mind the style

10 of the president and his decisiveness in terms of

11 taking over responsibility and functioning and also

12 taking into account how everything worked in that

13 situation, especially being given communications during

14 wartime, there is no doubt that this was taken by him

15 only and that he was the one who made all the major

16 decisions and had major responsibility.

17 Q. Tell me, please, in terms of your immediate

18 knowledge and experience, did Mr. Kordic belong to this

19 group of persons who were the very top with President

20 Boban when decisions were made. Was he a person who

21 Mr. Boban would consult in terms of major decisions?

22 A. In terms of his very own system of work and

23 as far as this military part is concerned, the only

24 person who came there in terms of his office and in

25 terms of his style of work was Mr. Bruno Stojic, the

Page 20732

1 head of the defence department, and also the chief of

2 general staff. I doubt that anyone else was involved

3 in consultations let alone decision making.

4 Q. You attended some of these talks. You are

5 familiar with the telephone conversations between

6 Mr. Boban and Mr. Kordic, of course, while there was

7 still a telephone line. What could they have talked

8 about? What did Mr. Boban talk about to Mr. Kordic?

9 A. Of course I don't know the number; it is hard

10 to say, but I think that this took place from time to

11 time. As a rule, this would happen when Mr. Boban, the

12 president, would come from some international talks or

13 when he was preparing these international talks. They

14 wanted to have information exchanged or, rather, to get

15 information from Mr. Kordic about the situation on the

16 ground, perhaps, when the situation would allow that.

17 That is, in the sense of political

18 judgements, immediate information, and also carrying

19 out what was assumed as an obligation during these

20 international talks so it is only with regard to those

21 matters.

22 Q. As for the organisation of administration,

23 civilian government in Herceg-Bosna, who did Mr. Boban

24 communicate with if he did communicate with anyone?

25 A. In terms of the rules governing the

Page 20733

1 functioning of temporary civilian authorities, he

2 regularly communicated with Dr. Prlic, perhaps with

3 Mr. Anto Valenta as well, who was in the relocated

4 office of the civilian authority of HVO in Central

5 Bosnia. From time to time, he would talk to certain

6 ministers with regard to particular matters, because I

7 know that they would come to his office and they would

8 be there, and possibly he talked individually to some

9 of these persons who carried out these duties.

10 Q. One more question related to the work of the

11 Presidency of the Croat Community of Herceg-Bosna. Did

12 this body meet more often, less often? Did this body

13 have a significant role in reaching fundamental

14 decisions such as those that were passed at that time?

15 A. From the time when I took this over at the

16 request of Mr. Boban, and it's very important to take

17 that into account, that is, October 1992 onwards and

18 until the establishment of the Croat Republic of

19 Herceg-Bosna, that is what the circumstances were.

20 There were war operations going on. It was very

21 difficult to get people together. Perhaps there were

22 some other kind of consultations in some other ways,

23 but very seldom. I don't think that there were very

24 many opportunities, if any, when this body would meet.

25 I mean the impossibility of circumstances

Page 20734

1 made this the way it was. Mr. Boban had to take over

2 additional responsibility in terms of his very

3 functioning as president.

4 Q. In addition to what you said a few minutes

5 ago, that Mr. Kordic took part in the work of this

6 joint military group in Sarajevo, do you know, from the

7 information that you received -- and, after all, you

8 were at such a level that you did receive quite a bit

9 of information -- did you ever hear of Mr. Kordic

10 taking part in negotiations at some local, regional, or

11 international level? Had you ever heard of anything

12 like that?

13 A. In the period that this refers to, that is to

14 say, the period when I held this particular post, as

15 far as I know, at least in terms of immediate contacts

16 with him and in terms of reports, I don't think that at

17 any one of these levels he participated in any

18 capacity.

19 As for other things, I know about other

20 persons who took part in that, but I think that he, as

21 a person, did not accept it during this brief part when

22 he conducted these talks at the Butmir Airport, which

23 is what you mentioned.

24 Q. Could you please tell the Honourable Trial

25 Chamber what Mr. Kordic did, what his political task

Page 20735

1 was in terms of these international plans; for example,

2 the Owen-Stoltenberg Plan or some other plan? It's all

3 the same.

4 A. Unlike most of us who had these party duties,

5 he had a particularly difficult role to play, for the

6 reason that he was one of the vice-presidents of the

7 party and he was from -- he was the most prominent

8 person, in nominal terms, from that part.

9 And as far as the peace agreement is

10 concerned, he had to familiarise part of the persons

11 involved with the obligations that stemmed from the

12 plan in terms of our cooperation, cooperativeness, and

13 the implementation of these plans. And I must admit

14 that they were increasingly difficult for us and

15 increasingly difficult to accept.

16 Q. And what was his role on the ground?

17 A. Since communication was at that time relevant

18 to that part only, there were possibilities for him, as

19 vice-president. Perhaps he would have been in Mostar

20 too.

21 Q. Who explained to the citizens of Central

22 Bosnia the Owen-Stoltenberg Plan which, as you have

23 been saying, was not very favourable for the Croats?

24 JUDGE MAY: Let me interrupt. Mr. Vucina,

25 you were asked what Mr. Kordic's political task was.

Page 20736

1 Now, I don't think you really answered that question.

2 Could you tell us what his task was? Or if you don't

3 know, just say so.

4 A. Thank you, Your Honour, for giving me this

5 opportunity to explain this fully. It would be a pity

6 to miss out on the most important things.

7 His task was, in very difficult

8 circumstances, as far as the Croat people and their

9 political leadership in Central Bosnia notably are

10 concerned, to have them accept the peace plan which,

11 after territories were taken, was difficult to accept

12 for us in general and especially for Croats in Central

13 Bosnia. Without his role in this, there would have

14 been big tensions, and I doubt that it would have been

15 accepted as the offered plan.

16 MR. NAUMOVSKI: [Interpretation]

17 Q. You said "territories that were taken." What

18 territories are you referring to? Or, rather, you did

19 not say who took these territories.

20 A. From January 1993, from the Vance-Owen Plan

21 to the Owen-Stoltenberg Plan in the war in

22 Bosnia-Herzegovina, it is the army of

23 Bosnia-Herzegovina that took them.

24 Q. Thank you. We can proceed now.

25 You mentioned the Vance-Owen Plan. Now, in

Page 20737

1 your opinion, did that plan affect the deepening of the

2 Croat-Muslim conflict in Central Bosnia?

3 A. This is my point of view and I'm expressing

4 it now. In addition to the aggression that expelled

5 over half a million Croats and Muslims from areas that

6 were under Serb control on to less than 30 per cent of

7 the territory that we held together, this plan, I

8 believe, is one of the causes for the events that

9 followed.

10 Q. But why? Tell me, please.

11 A. Because, according to the information

12 received from the ground, it was obvious that some

13 local people and also the political leadership of the

14 Muslim people were not in favour of accepting this

15 plan, it seems to me mainly because the area of Central

16 Bosnia, according to that plan, in nominal terms, were

17 called a Croat majority province.

18 Q. Very well, thank you. Mr. Vucina, tell me,

19 you took part in the nomination or, rather, the

20 presentation of proposals concerning persons that would

21 have certain positions in these provinces. We are now

22 talking about Province 10 in Central Bosnia, and its

23 capital would have been Travnik. Who was supposed to

24 be governor? What was the Croat proposal for governor

25 of that province?

Page 20738

1 A. Vlado Santic from Bugojno.

2 Q. I'm sorry, I don't know this person. I

3 didn't understand what you said. Did you say "Vlado"?

4 A. Oh, I do apologise. Mr. Soljic. Sorry,

5 Soljic. Vlado Santic was nominated for the Bihac

6 canton. Mr. Soljic from Bugojno, who, in the bodies of

7 the temporary government until that conflict, he had

8 certain duties. He was the one who was proposed to be

9 governor of this province from the Croat side, because

10 according to this plan, it was the Croats who were

11 supposed to appoint the governor of this province.

12 MR. NAUMOVSKI: [Interpretation] Your Honours,

13 this is Document 1997.1 [as interpreted]. This is a

14 document that was signed or written by Mr. Vucina. The

15 number is not right. Z977.1.

16 Q. One more question, Mr. Vucina. Do you know

17 whether Mr. Kordic had any duties in the government of

18 this Province 10?

19 A. In accordance with this agreement, we

20 nominated a certain number of persons for certain

21 positions within government. Mr. Kordic was among

22 them. I don't know whether there was any special

23 preference involved, but I think that he was one of the

24 persons nominated from the five who were nominated.

25 Q. Thank you. You spoke about the Croat

Page 20739

1 Republic of Herceg-Bosna. Just one sentence. Why was

2 it founded, on the basis of what plan?

3 A. The Owen-Stoltenberg Plan. I think this was

4 sometime during the summer of 1993; July, August. It

5 envisaged the internal establishment of Central Bosnia

6 based on the union of three republics.

7 In order to carry out this peace plan -- we

8 had hoped and wished that that had happened with the

9 previous ones as well -- the Croat Republic of

10 Herceg-Bosna was founded.

11 Q. I do apologise, but I wanted to ask you

12 something else. The parliament of the Croat Republic

13 of Herceg-Bosna was established as well. Who were the

14 members of this parliament?

15 A. Well, when this was established, then,

16 according to the solutions proposed, there were

17 supposed to be legislative bodies as well.

18 We always made an effort to ensure,

19 especially in this, the legality and legitimacy of the

20 persons who were involved there on the basis of the

21 election results of 1990. As a rule, this was our

22 intention.

23 Exceptionally, we would add to these persons

24 Mr. Kordic, for instance, and some other persons who,

25 in temporary, provisional government bodies, carried

Page 20740

1 out these duties in certain areas because perhaps the

2 representatives from those municipalities had either

3 been killed, or were missing, or we simply didn't know

4 of their fate.

5 Q. Thank you. Since you mentioned Mr. Kordic,

6 and this is basically the section that we are dealing

7 with in relation to Mr. Kordic, have you ever heard,

8 through your contacts with him and as you followed the

9 public media, et cetera, did you ever hear Mr. Kordic

10 say anything derogatory or anything bad about other

11 peoples as an entire people, including Muslims as the

12 entire people?

13 A. Knowing him as a person, knowing his level of

14 education, knowing his profile, knowing his sincerity,

15 his devotion to family, his culture, if someone was to

16 tell me that that was possible, I would say it was

17 impossible. Even during the most violent conflict, if

18 we ever had the opportunity to talk to him on the

19 telephone, et cetera, I never heard anything like that.

20 Q. When you spoke about Mr. Kordic -- you said a

21 few minutes ago but I'm going to ask you expressly

22 right now -- did you ever hear of Mr. Kordic having any

23 direct military responsibilities, that he issued

24 military orders at any level?

25 A. In that period during which I worked in the

Page 20741

1 office of the president, I did not have the opportunity

2 to see or hear, then or after that, that Mr. Kordic

3 issued a military order or that he ordered any military

4 unit, from the smallest unit onwards.

5 Q. You said to the Honourable Court a few

6 minutes ago what the authority of the president of the

7 Croat Community of Herceg-Bosna, later the Croat

8 Republic of Herceg-Bosna, was. You also mentioned

9 another civilian person, and that is the head of the

10 Defence Department, the minister, conditionally

11 speaking, in the HVO government while the Croat

12 Community of Herceg-Bosna functioned. Since you were

13 close to Mr. Boban, if Mr. Boban discussed military

14 matters, who did he discuss them with?

15 A. As a rule, with Mr. Stojic, because he held

16 that position. According to the regulations in force,

17 this was part of his duties and responsibilities, to

18 communicate with the president, and also his role was

19 to communicate with the General Staff. Apart from

20 that, officially or in any other way, I don't think

21 that Mr. Boban talked to anyone, least of all about the

22 implementation of obligations that are based on

23 regulations and are related to the establishment of the

24 military forces of the Croat Defence Council.

25 Q. Mr. Vucina, you are the right person and the

Page 20742

1 only person one can ask that. You were very close to

2 Mr. Boban at that time. You knew who came to see him

3 in his office, whom he called, who called him. That

4 was your duty, as the head of his office.

5 Did you ever hear, ever hear, Mr. Kordic in

6 any situation discuss military matters with Mr. Boban

7 or that Mr. Boban, outside these military structures,

8 issued military orders to anybody else?

9 A. Well, say I was one of the persons close to

10 him -- of course there were others -- but knowing

11 directly the work of Mr. President, and his readiness

12 to assume responsibilities and duties, and his style of

13 work, and the impossibility to communicate with

14 Mr. Kordic except possibly by telephone at times, I

15 doubt that it was ever possible for them to talk about

16 this in any sense, and let alone anything about that.

17 Q. Let us move a step forward. Did you ever

18 hear Mr. Boban discuss with any other person, that is,

19 outside military structures, military operations or

20 about military operations and so on and so forth?

21 A. No, no. His was a responsible style, a

22 resolute style, and he liked to observe the

23 procedures. He observed the legislation, and he went

24 by that. His communication was to Mr. Stojic in the

25 Ministry of Defence and the Main Staff.

Page 20743

1 Q. Very well, thank you. Unfortunately, we have

2 to move on because we're under pressure of time.

3 MR. NAUMOVSKI: [Interpretation] Paragraph 25,

4 Your Honours.

5 Q. You have heard the assertion repeated in this

6 case that your institutions, the institutions of Croats

7 in Bosnia-Herzegovina, the HZ HB and the HR HB, in

8 point of fact excluded other people from positions of

9 power, that they were monoethnic. Is that true, in

10 your view?

11 A. I am sorry to hear that there are such

12 qualifications. I can say it clearly and

13 unambiguously -- not only myself but documents and

14 Official Gazettes can show and document not only our

15 theoretical option but our operationalisation -- that

16 in different state agencies, bodies of power, all the

17 offices in institutions of executive branches of power,

18 and in hospitals and universities, schools, even during

19 the fiercest of conflicts we had in 1991/1992 with the

20 JNA and at the same time when we had conflicts with the

21 army -- between the BH army and the HVO, never.

22 Q. Yes, I also have to wait for the

23 interpretation. So, in a word, in a nutshell, to try

24 to cut it shorter and not spend too much time on it,

25 you were very highly ranked, you are next to

Page 20744

1 Mr. Boban. Did you ever hear, officially or

2 unofficially, any discrimination referred to?

3 A. Absolutely not. And more than that, I can

4 confirm his lasting readiness. I was a witness to his

5 conversation, that is he asked me to establish contact

6 with him with Mr. Camil Salihovic, a prominent lawyer,

7 and other individuals. And he offered them to take

8 over duties in the executive branches of power and not

9 the opposite to that such as there is qualification

10 that that might be his intent, and especially not the

11 policy and especially not the programme.

12 In no session of a body that I attended as

13 either the head of his office or a member of his

14 cabinet or in any capacity, I absolutely vowed safe for

15 whatever I participated in this. It was never said in

16 any of these talks.

17 Q. You mentioned Mr. Camil Salihovic and he is a

18 Muslim and prominent lawyer. He was also offered the

19 post of the head of the Department of Justice,

20 something like the ministry before this office was

21 taken by Mr. Zoran Buntic?

22 A. Yes, as far as I know, and subsequently at

23 another ministry which I think has to do with

24 administration, something like that but not only to

25 him, to other people as well.

Page 20745

1 Q. You said that in Mostar at the time in the

2 HVO, there were not only Muslim soldiers. Let me ask

3 you, were there any Muslim officers in the HVO?

4 A. Yes. My commander of the municipal staff of

5 Mostar was Mr. Jasmin Jaganjac and I was his assistant

6 for political and information affairs. We cooperated

7 very well. It was an honour for me to be associated to

8 him. He commanded actions for the liberation of Mostar

9 in 1992 and we stayed close friends until the end.

10 This is only one of the examples in my

11 vicinity, if I can find such examples, from Posavina to

12 Tuzla to all other areas including what they call

13 exclusively Croat areas, that is, Tomislavgrad, Livno,

14 and so on and so forth.

15 Q. Very well thank you. We are moving to

16 paragraph 26, Your Honours.

17 As I said, you were indeed in a position to

18 have an insight into the work of Mr. Boban and his

19 office and you were one of those individuals who could

20 absolutely and directly observe the policy pursuit.

21 Tell us, did you ever hear within the institutions of

22 the Croat Community of Herceg-Bosna, Croat Defense

23 Council, that is the HDZ of Bosnia-Herzegovina

24 subsequently, naturally, the HR HB, did anyone ever

25 mention officially or unofficially, publicly or

Page 20746

1 secretly, any policy of persecution or ethnic cleansing

2 of non-Croats from the lands of the Croat Community of

3 Herceg-Bosna, notably the Muslims?

4 A. I have already said and I want to repeat that

5 in the bodies in which I participated officially,

6 nobody absolutely ever mentioned, let alone talk, about

7 the adoption of a position which would be the official

8 policy in the sense that we were talking about. There

9 wasn't even a hint of that let alone operationalisation

10 of it. Not only with regard to the Muslims not only

11 with the Serbs, or members of any other people.

12 And if we made some major omissions regarding

13 the -- some events, a great example, in 1992 is no

14 doubt during the war against the JNA, the army of

15 Bosnian Serbs, there was not a single expulsion of a

16 Serb or a member of any other people took place.

17 Q. Very well. This is, as a matter of fact, a

18 curious situation. I believe you will agree with me.

19 On the one hand, there was a conflict between Muslims

20 and Croats and you told Their Honours where and in some

21 other areas, you told us in Bihac and elsewhere, you

22 forged together against the army of Bosnian Serbs.

23 That was a fact.

24 A. I was happy to be able to point out that fact

25 before this august court that not only in Bihac the

Page 20747

1 same held true of Posavina, the same held true of the

2 area of Tuzla which, in itself, says that the problem

3 of the overcrowding of refugees, one and the other

4 peoples and some of us, through international

5 negotiations, could have been the cause for our

6 confrontation regarding the territorialisation of the

7 lands where these conflicts took place and this relates

8 to Central Bosnia and the Neretva Valley.

9 Q. And in this regard, the expulsions, in

10 inverted commas, which we are talking about,

11 Mr. Vucina, did you ever discharge any duty, any --

12 have any power in Croat institutions in

13 Bosnia-Herzegovina? Are you aware of any plan for the

14 expulsion of non-Croats from the territories of the

15 Croat Community of Herceg-Bosna? Did you ever hear of

16 anything like that?

17 A. As a man, a practising believer, an

18 intellectual, absolutely never. Not only that, it was

19 really a tremendous pleasure for me whether the vast

20 majority of people, Croats and others, who in one way

21 or the other were involved in institutions of executive

22 branch in culture, education or any other institution,

23 not any one was -- or the whole Croat people or any one

24 of us would never do -- would never show any propensity

25 for saying things like that.

Page 20748

1 Q. Thank you. Very well, we are now going to

2 paragraph 27. We have already talked about that. You

3 told us that Mr. Kordic phoned Mr. Boban about the

4 international negotiations and then Mr. Kordic

5 discharged his political duty and explained the

6 international plans in his area, that is, in the area

7 in which he could be active in view of the wartime

8 conditions.

9 I suppose there was also mention about the

10 Vance-Owen or Owen-Stoltenberg Plan or the Washington

11 Accords.

12 A. Yes. It is difficult now to explain in so

13 many words the situation because there were different

14 conditions for Croats in different parts of

15 Bosnia-Herzegovina following different international

16 agreements and even if many think that the Vance-Owen

17 Plan was an acceptable one, nevertheless, needs to

18 remind that many Croats in Bosnia-Herzegovina were left

19 outside of those areas.

20 Although we all believe that the Croat

21 Republic of Herceg-Bosna as defined by the

22 Owen-Stoltenberg Plan was such as one of three

23 republics with the ethnic prefix, but the majority was

24 also against it because some areas were excluded and it

25 was particularly difficult when, in peace talks, one

Page 20749

1 would see that some areas which had been lost through

2 war had become an integral part of the offered peace

3 solutions.

4 From Vance-Owen to Owen-Stoltenberg,

5 Owen-Stoltenberg to Washington, and then especially

6 Vienna Agreement, and then if you compare the maps,

7 then you will see that of the 28 per cent of the

8 territory of Bosnia-Herzegovina in Vance-Owen Plans,

9 we've come down to a 25 in Owen-Stoltenberg's Plan, to

10 some then 11 per cent in Washington, to only 8 per cent

11 after the Vienna Accords, and that was only that much

12 of the area that was defined as a Croat majority area,

13 so it was very difficult to implement what was our task

14 to implement.

15 And in -- we approached all the negotiations

16 in good faith and President Boban signed it all and we

17 were ready to put it all through.

18 Q. There was a mistake. You said 17 point

19 something of the Owen-Stoltenberg, but it was 18 per

20 cent.

21 A. Yes.

22 Q. And let us try to bring your testimony to a

23 close -- your testimony in chief to a close. The

24 implementation of the Washington Agreement, that is the

25 period of time when Mr. Kordic had already become the

Page 20750

1 president of the Croat Democratic Union of

2 Bosnia-Herzegovina. What was his role in this? Did he

3 take part in talks with the SDA and so on and so

4 forth?

5 A. As the protagonist of the political power in

6 the Croat Democratic Union now, this is a completely

7 different, more important role. As the president of

8 the Croat Democratic Union, he bore additional

9 responsibility because we were a serious political

10 subject.

11 To implement what had been signed at the

12 international level, he spared no efforts to conduct

13 the negotiations to create the atmosphere to do

14 whatever was in his power to have the Washington

15 Agreement implemented. And I am witness, because I was

16 one of his associates as one of the vice-presidents and

17 I therefore participated as a rule in all the talks

18 between the HDZ and SDA which Mr. Kordic conducted.

19 In terms of the implementation of the

20 Washington Agreement, from Mostar to Vranica to

21 Sarajevo which was still being shelled by the Serbs,

22 and other areas, he did it with dedication because it

23 was necessary to agree under the constitutional

24 provisions and the provisions. In the international

25 negotiations and agreements, one had to determine that

Page 20751

1 the shares, the proportion, the ratios and so forth,

2 and he spared no effort in doing this.

3 There were some objectives why, on the other

4 side, it was not the president of the SDA to conduct

5 the negotiations to be his counterpart.

6 We almost put an ultimatum that the other --

7 that Mr. Kordic as the president would appoint one of

8 us, the vice-presidents, to conduct these negotiations,

9 but he refused to do that and he conducted all these

10 negotiations personally.

11 Q. Very well, thank you very much.

12 In paragraph 28, which is the last paragraph

13 in your summary, you speak about Vienna negotiations,

14 that is, that before the Vienna agreements, a large

15 group of some 80 Croats from Bosnia-Herzegovina went to

16 Zagreb and met President Tudjman. You were present

17 there. My question is: Was Mr. Kordic present there

18 too?

19 A. As far as I know he was not and I think he is

20 a person who would be noticed especially as I know that

21 from the area of Central Bosnia on behalf of the Croats

22 first and foremost, it was Mr. Lozancic who did that.

23 Had Mr. Kordic been there, no doubt he would be

24 speaking on his behalf.

25 MR. NAUMOVSKI: [Interpretation] Thank you

Page 20752

1 very much, Mr. Vucina. This is the end of our

2 examination. Thank you, your honours.

3 MR. MIKULICIC: [Interpretation] No questions,

4 Your Honour.

5 Cross-examined by Mr. Scott:

6 Q. Good afternoon Mr. Vucina, my name is Kenneth

7 Scott. I'm one of the attorneys representing the

8 Prosecution.

9 A. Good afternoon, Mr. Scott. I would like to

10 say hello to you too.

11 Q. Sir, according to what you've told us today,

12 you were the head of Mr. Boban's office of the

13 president for the entire existence of the Croatian

14 Community of Herceg-Bosna, is that correct, until

15 sometime in approximately 1993?

16 A. Well, from the moment I was appointed until,

17 as you say, I was transferred to the Croat Community of

18 Herceg-Bosna, that is to say, not from the very moment

19 when the Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna was founded

20 which was the 18th of November 1991.

21 Q. You are right, sir. Let me correct myself.

22 From the time that you were appointed you continued in

23 that position until the end of the community, that is,

24 until it was transformed to the Croatian Republic of

25 Herceg-Bosna in approximately August of 1993; is that

Page 20753

1 correct?

2 A. Yes.

3 Q. In this position, I think in one paragraph of

4 your statement, sir, you characterise your role or

5 position of essentially for all practical purposes,

6 Mr. Boban's Chief of Staff; is that correct?

7 A. I think that it is very difficult to compare

8 English and Croatian. We say the head of office. It

9 is very hard for me to translate this into the mental

10 pattern of the English language.

11 Q. All right, sir. Well, you have the English

12 version in front of you, and I'm not going to belabour

13 this, but in the English translation, paragraph 26 of

14 your summary, you say you were in effect, Mr. Boban's

15 "Chief of Staff".

16 Perhaps it can be placed on the ELMO and

17 would be the easiest way of referring to it.

18 Is that correct, sir?

19 A. I assume that it relates to the same thing.

20 The operative part of the office that did what was

21 needed for him, I imagine, yes.

22 Q. Is it correct then, sir, for the Court to

23 understand that with Mr. Boban being deceased, that you

24 were the highest official in his office and the highest

25 living representative of Mr. Boban. Would that be fair

Page 20754

1 to say?

2 A. After he died; is that what you said? I'm

3 sorry.

4 Q. During this time, sir, perhaps I should -- I

5 didn't say it clearly enough for you. You were the

6 person, during this time, during which at least in the

7 English translation of your statement, it's -- you are

8 characterised as the Chief of Staff. You were the

9 number one person closest to Mr. Boban on a day-to-day

10 basis; isn't that correct?

11 A. Yes. Yes, within my own rights and

12 responsibilities.

13 Q. Well, let me ask you very directly. Was

14 there anyone else in Mr. Boban's office who had a

15 higher position in his office or more direct or regular

16 access to Mr. Boban than you?

17 A. Well, it depends on the questions that were

18 being discussed. If it was the executive branch, then

19 it was the representative of the executive branch. If

20 it was defence, then it was the head of the defence

21 department, and if it was the interior, then it was

22 head of the office of the interior.

23 Q. Sir, I am talking about the office of the

24 president. Was there anyone else in the immediate

25 office of the president who was -- who had a higher

Page 20755

1 position or was closer to Mr. Boban than you. It's a

2 very simple question.

3 A. The answer is simple also. Not in those

4 areas where I did not have rights and

5 responsibilities.

6 Q. Very well, sir. Before you took this

7 position, you worked in the information and propaganda

8 department; is that correct?

9 A. Of the municipal staff of Mostar, yes.

10 Q. And what -- what was your functions there?

11 What did you actually do on a day-to-day basis?

12 A. It is a wide scope. There is a wide range of

13 responsibilities that I had, because the war made it

14 necessary to do different things, communication with

15 various persons, but this was important. I was

16 assistant commander for information within the

17 municipal staff of Mostar, that is of Mr. Jasmin

18 Jaganjac and at the same time it was the press

19 spokesman for the HVO in Mostar.

20 That is to say, that there were regular

21 day-to-day communications with the members of the press

22 externally while, internally, vis-a-vis certain

23 colleagues that carried out these activities in various

24 units, there was information about their cultural and

25 other needs.

Page 20756

1 In due time, it turned out to be necessary to

2 create various divisions that would take care of the

3 disabled, of the families of the killed. So these

4 activities were expanded considerably.

5 Q. Sir, I'm going to interrupt you because we do

6 have to move on. When you say you were the spokesman

7 for the HVO in Mostar, do you mean you were the

8 spokesman in Mostar for the entire HVO organisation or

9 are you suggesting, just so it's clear, you were only

10 the local spokesperson?

11 A. The entire HVO that relates to Mostar, that

12 is the Mostar HVO. Not the HVO that was in other

13 areas.

14 Q. If we were to assume for these purposes

15 simply to make the point that the HVO headquarters in

16 Mostar was something like a national government of what

17 was called Herceg-Bosna, were you the spokesman on

18 the -- of the national government?

19 A. No, because this was set up later. I imagine

20 I understand you. I think it was the duty that was

21 later held by Mr. Bozo Rajic.

22 Q. In a few months after having this position in

23 the Information and Propaganda Department, then you

24 moved to become the head of Mr. Boban's office; is that

25 correct?

Page 20757

1 A. Correct.

2 Q. And sir, can you tell the Court, you were

3 trained and had been previously employed as an

4 electrical engineer. What qualifications caused you to

5 become Mr. Boban's Chief of Staff?

6 A. If he were alive, it would have been a

7 question for him. I don't know. I spoke as the press

8 spokesman, and on the basis of my other activities, he

9 probably decided to ask me to take over this post for a

10 short period of time. I am not qualified to make

11 public pronouncements on my own qualifications.

12 Q. You were close to Mr. Boban politically,

13 weren't you, very close, and that's why he chose you as

14 his Chief of Staff?

15 A. Yes.

16 Q. Did you ever, at any time, in your experience

17 with Mr. Boban, disagree with Mr. Boban on any matter

18 of the goals of Herceg-Bosna or on the strategy or

19 policy or practices of Herceg-Bosna or the HVO?

20 A. Allow me, sir, to say that, politically, this

21 was after the convention, whereas this appointment was

22 before the convention, so my political appointment was

23 after the convention. As for the provisions of the

24 Croatian Democratic Union, the basic principles, I

25 didn't disagree with anything on that matter.

Page 20758

1 But as far as certain day-to-day matters are

2 concerned, he was happy to discuss them and he was even

3 happy to engage in dialogue that involved opposition

4 and that is the kind of dialogue we would have.

5 Q. Sir, let me repeat my question. Did you ever

6 disagree with Mr. Boban on any matter of the goals or

7 strategy or policy of the government of Herceg-Bosna as

8 related, for instance, to the prosecution of the war?

9 A. First of all, one cannot say that he produced

10 war, so I cannot face that. If there was a strategy of

11 persecution that was pronounced, I certainly would have

12 opposed that, but that was not his policy.

13 Q. And by the way, sir, where were you during

14 this time? Were your offices throughout the time we've

15 talked about today in Mostar or were you at any time in

16 Grude?

17 A. The office of the president was in Mostar.

18 That is where I resided. Daily, weekly, or whenever

19 necessary, I would go with him, if he was not in

20 Mostar, to wherever his relocated office was. As a

21 rule absolutely, the seat of his office was in Mostar.

22 Q. And is that, sir, where you in fact spent

23 most of your time from 1992 through 1994, in Mostar?

24 A. Because the office was there? I don't

25 understand your question. I am sorry, sir.

Page 20759

1 Q. It has nothing to do, sir, with the location

2 of the office. Did you spend most of your time in

3 Mostar during 1992 through 1994?

4 A. Yes.

5 Q. Then sometime after this, you became the

6 president of the executive committee of the HDZ-BiH

7 from approximately the 14th of November, 1992, until

8 1994; is that correct?

9 A. That's right, yes.

10 Q. Where did that position place you in terms of

11 the party hierarchy? That was an extremely high and

12 senior position in the party, wasn't it?

13 A. According to the statute, yes, I was

14 president of the executive operative body of the party

15 of the HDZ of Bosnia-Herzegovina.

16 Q. And how did you come to that position? Were

17 you elected in some fashion or were you named to that

18 post by Mr. Boban?

19 A. According to the statute of the party, the

20 convention of the party elects its central body, and

21 then that body elects the president of the executive

22 body, and that is how I was elected. As president of

23 the executive body, I proposed members of the executive

24 body to the membership, and that is what I did in

25 accordance with the statute of the party.

Page 20760

1 Q. And then did you hold that post at the same

2 time that you were also one of the vice-presidents of

3 the HDZ-BiH party?

4 A. No. In the period from 1992 onwards, I was

5 president of the executive council and, after that,

6 vice-president of the executive council, so that was

7 probably it. And from 1994 to 1996, I was

8 vice-president of the Croat Democratic Union.

9 Q. And you've said in your direct testimony that

10 you are currently serving your second term in the

11 parliament, if you will, of the Federation government;

12 is that correct?

13 A. Yes.

14 Q. And which political party, if you will, do

15 you represent in that government?

16 A. At the elections that were held now, I was on

17 the list of the Croat Democratic Union.

18 Q. The HDZ; is that correct?

19 A. Of Bosnia-Herzegovina.

20 Q. Sir, have you had any military training or

21 experience?

22 A. No, except for the fact that I did my

23 compulsory military service when the time came after I

24 graduated from university. Otherwise, I have no such

25 inclinations.

Page 20761

1 Q. And very briefly, sir, just tell us, what

2 year was that that you served -- fulfilled your

3 compulsory military service?

4 A. 1976, when I graduated from university.

5 Q. In the role that you've told us about so far

6 this morning, was it your position -- did you have any

7 military roles? Did the work you did for Mr. Boban, as

8 his Chief of Staff, have any military dimension?

9 A. No, absolutely not. I only did that part

10 when I was assistant commander for Information and

11 Propaganda in the municipality office staff in Mostar.

12 JUDGE MAY: That would be a convenient

13 moment?

14 MR. SCOTT: Yes, Your Honour, that's fine.

15 JUDGE MAY: Very well. We'll adjourn until

16 half past 2.00.

17 Mr. Vucina, don't speak to anybody about your

18 evidence during the break, and don't let anybody speak

19 to you about it until it's over, and that does include

20 members of the Defence team. Would you be back,

21 please, at half past 2.00.

22 --- Luncheon recess taken at 12.28 p.m.




Page 20762

1 --- On resuming at 2.30 p.m.

2 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Scott, I'm told that, in

3 fact, the interpreters or someone will be required

4 elsewhere at 4.00 so we can't sit beyond 4.00.

5 MR. SCOTT: All right, Your Honour. Thank

6 you, Your Honour. I'll do my best. I have to say that

7 the Court -- I'm sure the Court must understand given

8 the testimony this morning by this witness, he is a

9 virtually unique witness in terms of his position with

10 Mr. Boban, and you can expect that there is substantial

11 material. But having said that, I will certainly go as

12 quickly as I can.

13 Q. Sir, how many -- well, just to bring us back

14 to where we were. I had asked you if your positions,

15 you told us about before the recess, if any of those

16 involved a military dimension and you had indicated

17 your answer I believe was no, they did not. Let me ask

18 you, sir, how many military orders did you see while

19 you were the head of the office of the president?

20 A. Not a single military order because it was

21 not within my field of work, so I did not see any

22 coming from the Main Staff since the coordination was

23 ensured by the head of the Department of Defence to the

24 president of the Croat Community of Herceg-Bosna,

25 Mr. Boban.

Page 20763

1 Q. And tell me, sir, how many military strategy

2 meetings did you attend?

3 A. Not one military strategic meeting because

4 that was not within my field of work.

5 Q. Did you attend any meetings about tactical

6 planning, military operations?

7 A. No.

8 Q. In paragraph five of your statement, sir, you

9 say -- forgive me, I may have the wrong reference. Let

10 me ask you a question, and in the translation, I will

11 try to find the reference.

12 You indicate in your statement, I believe,

13 sir, that there was a particular order that something

14 was either an order or characterisation that something

15 was couched as a defensive action in a deceptive way

16 but in reality, it was, in your view, it was something

17 offensive. Do you recall that?

18 A. You mean this morning, it concerned the order

19 of the army of Bosnia-Herzegovina.

20 MR. SCOTT: Your Honour, if you can give me a

21 moment. I apologise. My notes have the wrong

22 paragraph. All right. Thank you, Mr. Nice.

23 Q. Paragraph 13, sir, the last line starting on

24 the bottom of that page, "We found the Muslim order

25 dated April 19th, 1993 which is couched as a defensive

Page 20764

1 order but indicates planning for offensive actions

2 against Mostar." Did you see that order, sir?

3 A. The one that was shown today, yes, but much

4 later, a long time after the events, and it is

5 accessible to many.

6 Q. And approximately when do you remember seeing

7 this order?

8 A. Much later.

9 Q. Well, approximately?

10 A. A year and more after -- a year and more

11 later.

12 Q. Who showed it to you?

13 A. I do not know who it was, but it was

14 accessible in very many documentation offices.

15 Q. On what basis do you conclude that it was

16 couched as a defensive order but indicates planning for

17 offensive action?

18 A. This morning, under item 1 or 1.2, it says

19 explicitly that after the taking of positions,

20 offensive actions had to be taken towards some

21 positions and from that, it was easy to conclude what I

22 said "active defence", as it is said.

23 Q. Sir, you've told us today that your last

24 military service was in 1976. Your jobs have no

25 military dimension. You said you did not see a single

Page 20765

1 military order during this time, not a single order,

2 and yet you've come to court and indicate to us that

3 you have the ability to make a judgement that a

4 military order that was couched as a defensive, in your

5 view, really was offensive.

6 Now, sir, how can you say that?

7 A. On the basis of things that happened on that

8 day and those days in Mostar. It is quite evident, it

9 is quite contrary to what is said here on the basis of

10 events in which I participated.

11 Q. Sir, someone told you or characterised this

12 order to you, didn't they? You reached this conclusion

13 based on what someone has told you or suggested to

14 you.

15 A. As we talked about the organisation of Mostar

16 after Dayton, then one of the problems was the

17 organisation of the central area. I participated in

18 those talks. It was highly indicative that some of the

19 proposals of the other sides were along these positions

20 which are indicated in these orders so I cannot see any

21 precedent here.

22 Q. I'm going to interrupt you, sir, because of

23 time. You did not answer my question.

24 I put it to you, sir, this entire

25 conclusion -- this entire statement in paragraph 13 of

Page 20766

1 your statement is just simply something that someone

2 else has told you or suggested to you, isn't it?

3 A. That was my judgement too.

4 Q. And can you tell me, sir, how does one couch

5 an offensive order as a defensive order? Just tell us

6 how you would do that. If one of us wanted to do that,

7 tell us how we would.

8 A. I cannot tell you, because I did not write

9 that order. Presumably, if the one who asked that were

10 alive, he would perhaps be qualified to interpret it.

11 Q. Sir, I want to ask you some questions about

12 your preparing to come here today.

13 When were you first contacted by anyone

14 representing Mr. Kordic or the Defence team?

15 A. I think it was right before Christmas

16 holidays last year, and the second time was during

17 Easter this year. And when I was asked to come here, I

18 saw a statement which was the product of this

19 cooperation, and I had some minor corrections regarding

20 the text, and that was all.

21 Q. This statement was different than the one

22 that you've signed and tendered to court, the 11-page

23 statement that you've signed? This is some other

24 statement?

25 A. No. No, not at all, not in things that

Page 20767

1 matter.

2 Q. Well, was there a different statement? I'm

3 not asking whether the differences matter or not. Was

4 there some prior statement by you, before this

5 statement was prepared, which has not been provided to

6 the Prosecutor?

7 A. No, no.

8 Q. And who contacted you, sir? Don't tell me

9 what they said necessarily, but just tell me who

10 contacted you about coming here to testify?

11 A. The lawyers representing here the Defence of

12 the accused.

13 Q. And who was that, specifically?

14 A. Mr. Mitko.

15 Q. Did you ever meet -- in the course of

16 preparing to come here to testify, sir, have you ever

17 met with any person who you understood to be a

18 representative, or official, or some agents of the

19 government of the Republic of Croatia?

20 A. No, not once.

21 Q. And have you ever met with any such person or

22 representative, official, or agent associated with the

23 Bosnian Croat part of the Federation of Bosnia and

24 Herzegovina?

25 A. No, not at all.

Page 20768

1 Q. Sir, your testimony before the Court is that

2 no representatives of the Bosnian Croat Intelligence

3 Service have ever shown you documents or provided --

4 done anything to prepare you for your testimony?

5 A. I guarantee.

6 Q. Have you reviewed any documents in preparing

7 your statement or making statements to the Defence at

8 any time?

9 A. No.

10 Q. Sir, both your summary and the testimony

11 you've given today in some respects is quite detailed.

12 Are you suggesting to us this was all based on memory

13 and that at no time, since first being contacted by the

14 Defence before Christmas last year, you've never

15 reviewed a single document to prepare to testify?

16 A. Yes. Based on my recollection and my

17 judgements.

18 MR. SCOTT: Let me ask the usher to please

19 hand you Exhibit D278/1 from this morning. Perhaps in

20 the interests of time, Mr. Usher, you could put it on

21 the ELMO and we could all look at it at the same time.

22 Q. Sir, you were shown this document this

23 morning. Is today the first day -- first time you've

24 ever seen that document?

25 A. This is a translation of the order that this

Page 20769

1 morning we had an opportunity of seeing in the Bosnian

2 language.

3 Q. Well, I apologise if you don't have the

4 original-language version in front of you. It should

5 be available to you there. If it is, if you want to

6 check, you certainly may do so.

7 Let me repeat my question. Is this the first

8 day -- the first time you ever saw that document?

9 A. No. As I have said, I saw it much earlier,

10 but a year and a half later, roughly, after it was

11 written. This is a document that you can come across

12 in Mostar with many people.

13 Q. And the other exhibit that you were shown

14 this morning -- you were only shown two -- had you ever

15 seen that document before today? And the usher can

16 show you, if he would, please.

17 A. This is an official document which was

18 carried by the Official Gazette of the municipality of

19 Mostar, and it was also carried by the press in 1992.

20 So it is accessible to the public and, therefore, to

21 me.

22 Q. All right, I understand all that. Had you

23 actually seen the document before today?

24 A. Yes, 1992 is when I saw it.

25 Q. Very well. At any time since 1993, sir, are

Page 20770

1 you aware or have you been aware of an HVO archive or

2 archives where documents like this and other documents

3 are kept?

4 A. If you mean this document, the one before me

5 now, it is accessible to the public.

6 The archive of the civilian authority of the

7 provisional executive power of the HVO existed in the

8 place of their residence, that is, in Mostar.

9 The archive of the military structures, that

10 is something I know nothing about. I do not know where

11 it was kept or where it is.

12 As for archives in general for

13 Bosnia-Herzegovina, we tried to organise it and define

14 the documents that should be there. Unfortunately, we

15 failed to create an archive as exists in many orderly

16 administrations.

17 Q. Well, the archive you just mentioned of the

18 civilian authority and the provisional executive power

19 of the HVO existed in the place of their residence,

20 that is, in Mostar, you said. When was the first --

21 excuse me, when was the last time you had access to

22 that archive?

23 A. I did not have any access to that archive at

24 all; it was the archive of the provisional executive

25 authority.

Page 20771

1 Q. Do you know where that archive is located

2 today, sir?

3 A. I am not now a part of any structure as apart

4 from being a member of parliament, so I have no

5 knowledge about that at all. I am only an engineer

6 now.

7 Q. Sir, you are a member of the federation of

8 parliament representing the HDZ party or affiliated

9 with that party. Have you ever been made aware of the

10 fact that this institution, that is the Tribunal, has

11 been seeking such an archive or documents from an

12 archive for a number of years?

13 Has that ever come up in discussions with you

14 or in the course of your official duties or

15 unofficial?

16 A. Yes, from the press insofar as it was

17 accessible to everybody. Apart from that, there was no

18 reason because I belong to no structures after I

19 finished my work in the bodies of the political

20 authority. I had no other responsibilities except that

21 we could hear in the media that certain documentation

22 was being sought related to all these cases of

23 relevance to this Honorable Tribunal.

24 Q. And you really can't help us, sir, by giving

25 us any idea where that archive may be located today?

Page 20772

1 A. I declare, under oath, that I cannot.

2 Q. Sir, how many times did you have any direct

3 face-to-face dealings with Dario Kordic?

4 A. In 1992, I think it was a visit of theirs

5 while there was still some communication, we had a

6 meeting in Mostar. It was not an official meeting.

7 After a considerable period of time, we met finally and

8 after that we went to Mr. Rajic and ended up at a

9 private dinner.

10 In 1993, I think the first time I saw him was

11 when he and many others following the Owen-Stoltenberg

12 Plan could, and I think we met in Grude at that time

13 when a decision was taken to found the Croat Republic

14 of Herceg-Bosna. Meanwhile while the telephones were

15 in order, we would hear from each other.

16 Q. Sir, I'm going to cut you off. I'll get to

17 the telephone in due course, but you've told us that

18 you may have had two or three -- in the course of 1992

19 or 1993, you might have had two or three direct

20 dealings in person with Mr. Kordic?

21 A. I think. I think so, yes.

22 Q. And at the Grude meetings where the Croatian

23 Republic of Herceg-Bosna was declared, did you actually

24 interact with him there or did you know that he was

25 just one of a large number of people who happened to be

Page 20773

1 there at the same time?

2 A. There was a conversation at the table --

3 there were two or three of us -- and after that, there

4 was a general meeting, that is, when we first saw and

5 talked and after that there was a general meeting.

6 Q. And now going to your next point, and

7 approximately can you tell us how many times you talked

8 to Mr. Kordic on the telephone or any other sort of

9 wire communication; radio, telephone, what have you?

10 How many times did you speak to him?

11 A. It is difficult to say. I'm doing my best to

12 remember, but it depended on the opportunity when we

13 could communicate by telephone. It would sometimes be

14 once a week, sometimes once a month.

15 When the radio links operated, that is when

16 the so-called packet system worked, then the reports

17 were communicated regularly in so far as the time

18 permitted. So this is roughly for the period between

19 1993 and the time when we met personally in Grude when

20 the Croat Republic of Herceg-Bosna was founded.

21 Q. Sir, nobody is going to blame you for not

22 having an exact number in mind, but can you give us an

23 approximation of how many times you spoke to Mr. Kordic

24 in this manner; a dozen times, two dozen times, 50

25 times?

Page 20774

1 A. Well, somewhere in between, around 20, I

2 think, thereabouts as for the telephone part.

3 Q. That was for all of 1992 and 1993?

4 A. No, not 1992. In 1992, late 1992 and part of

5 1993 until August, that is.

6 Q. All right. What were the nature of the

7 reports that you received, you say you received

8 reports, what kind of reports were these?

9 A. Well, mostly about the situation in different

10 areas, needs of the population, events which took

11 place, combat operations, effects and of other nature.

12 Q. Were you seeing military reports?

13 A. No, not in the military sense, because they

14 have their own procedure, but as a result of military

15 operations and what had happened, it was not a military

16 person who wrote those reports. That was not my line.

17 Q. Sir, let's not get -- well, whether they were

18 military reports or not, were they reports that

19 conveyed military information?

20 A. Not military information, but the results,

21 the upshot of military happenings, military information

22 wasn't coming to us, that is, to me personally.

23 Q. And were these reports that you were

24 receiving from Mr. Kordic?

25 A. About the situation in relation to the areas,

Page 20775

1 among other people, yes, from him. About his need to

2 intercede with some other institutions, yes, we would

3 forward that. Yes.

4 Q. And these included, you've said a few minutes

5 ago, from time to time, the outcome or the aftermath of

6 military operations; is that what you're telling us?

7 A. Yes, things that had happened. For instance,

8 loss of an area, the effects of that, accommodation of

9 people, and everything else that would result from

10 those military happenings.

11 Q. And you received such reports from Dario

12 Kordic?

13 A. Alongside his signature, there were other

14 people. Alongside his reports, there were also other

15 people, because Mr. Kordic was related to one area.

16 And we also received reports from other areas, mostly

17 Central Bosnia from Herzegovina and wherever there were

18 combat operations, their results, the situation, and

19 relations that existed under those conditions. So not

20 only from that area.

21 Q. Sir, Mr. Kordic was Mr. Boban's principal

22 contact in Central Bosnia, wasn't he?

23 A. One of the principal ones in the political

24 sense and for some judgements, yes, one could accept

25 that, but not the only one in the sense of overall

Page 20776

1 observations, but not in the sense of the military,

2 because in the military, he was not that at all because

3 there was a specific chain of command which was in

4 conformity with the Croat Defense Council depending on

5 its organisation and it was in effect for everybody.

6 Q. And -- well tell us, sir, what political

7 official or leader in Central Bosnia did Mr. Boban hear

8 from more than Mr. Kordic?

9 A. Mr. Boban had his method and his working

10 practice in his daily contact with people who had the

11 opportunity to come or to travel. He would meet with

12 them and discuss many aspects and many subjects.

13 His style of work included this practice. He

14 went there; we opposed it. It was his practice to

15 receive almost everybody. This is a very broad range

16 of people.

17 Q. Sir, I'm going to interrupt you again. My

18 question is -- I'll just simply read it back to you.

19 What political official or leader in Central Bosnia did

20 Mr. Boban hear from more than Mr. Kordic?

21 A. If you mean in quantifying terms, it is

22 difficult to compare, but with regard to his

23 possibilities or his accessibility, every president of

24 the provisional executive authority in municipal

25 council or every president of a municipal HDZ who had

Page 20777

1 the opportunity to come could see him.

2 There were people who were involved in

3 humanitarian affairs; they also met with him. There

4 were people who were engaged in some church affairs or

5 duties; they also were in contact with him.

6 Q. I take it that your answer to the Court is

7 that you could not tell the Court any political leader

8 or official who had more contact in Central Bosnia --

9 from Central Bosnia, excuse me, with Mr. Boban than

10 Mr. Kordic. You can't tell the Court that.

11 A. No, I cannot affirm that it was only

12 Mr. Kordic. I can claim the contrary, that many people

13 talked.

14 Q. Very well, sir. Let's move on.

15 How many times did you hear Mr. Kordic speak,

16 in terms of public speaking, either live, on

17 television, on the radio; how many times did you

18 actually hear him speak?

19 A. While I was the spokesman, and that was the

20 beginning of 1992, I think that at that time Mr. Kordic

21 had a regular practice, because that was the custom, to

22 have such press conferences in Central Bosnia. The

23 fragments of it would be transmitted by television

24 screens or radio, and that was the only occasion that I

25 had of hearing him addressing the public.

Page 20778

1 Q. How many times; once, twice?

2 A. I suppose -- I should say more than that.

3 Q. Well, ten? Please help us, sir. The Court

4 will accept -- it doesn't have to be a precise answer,

5 but give us some idea of how many times.

6 A. No, no, no, I -- those press conferences were

7 at times -- at regular intervals when the circumstances

8 would allow it, but not less than once a month;

9 sometimes more often.

10 Q. Sir, you haven't answered my question. My

11 question to you is not how often the press conferences

12 were.

13 My question is: How many times did you see

14 or hear Mr. Kordic speak in public, either live, or on

15 the radio, or television, or what have you?

16 A. Yes. On how many occasions on television, I

17 really cannot give you the number. But if it was on

18 television, I had the opportunity of seeing it and

19 hearing it, what the television transmitted.

20 Q. Sir, you're not going to answer my question

21 that --

22 JUDGE MAY: Well, Mr. Scott, I don't think we

23 can follow this much further.

24 MR. SCOTT: Very well, sir.

25 Q. Mr. Vucina, between June of 1992 to

Page 20779

1 approximately March of 1994, can you tell the Court,

2 how many times were you in Central Bosnia?

3 A. Until 1994, after the hostilities ended, that

4 was the first time I went to Central Bosnia. We were

5 in Vitez to establish electoral assemblies, the

6 municipal organisation of the HDZ, and that was the

7 first opportunity -- that was the first time that I

8 went to Central Bosnia personally, physically, when the

9 hostilities ended.

10 Q. And approximately when in 1994?

11 A. I think this was in the period of the summer

12 or, rather, it was the end of the spring or beginning

13 of summer. I know that I wore a loud suit, for sure.

14 Q. You were not in Central Bosnia, sir, at any

15 time in 1992 or 1993?

16 A. 1992, yes. I said this morning, at the end

17 of 1992 I was on a commission, a state commission that

18 was appointed by Mr. Izetbegovic and Mr. Boban, and we

19 were in Novi Travnik.

20 Q. All right, in Travnik. Okay. And was that

21 the only time in 1992?

22 A. I think that that was the only time, except

23 for the time when I went north to Usora. This was a

24 visit that I paid with friends, to some of our people

25 who were up there, but it was no official visit.

Page 20780

1 Q. All right. And I take it, then, you've never

2 been to a headquarters facility at a location known as

3 Tisovac. You were never at Tisovac, were you?

4 A. No, not a single one of those places,

5 especially not where there were combat operations.

6 Q. Were you ever at offices that may have been

7 used by Mr. Kordic from time to time in the PTT

8 building in Busovaca? Were you ever at his offices

9 there?

10 A. Not at the PTT, but I slept in another

11 building which was a motel or whatever when I was in

12 Travnik. I spent the night there. He was busy, he had

13 other matters to attend to, and he did not spend the

14 night there at all in that particular motel. Only the

15 janitor was there. I don't know exactly what the name

16 of this place is.

17 Q. This is in Busovaca, and when was that?

18 A. When we had that mission as a state

19 delegation, after that, in Travnik, I spent the night

20 there.

21 Q. Sir, the same trip that you were in Travnik,

22 you were also in Busovaca, in 1992; is that right, sir?

23 A. I spent that night there. I came there

24 around 1.00, and we went further on in the morning.

25 Q. Very well. In paragraph 11, sir, you mention

Page 20781

1 Prozor. Let me submit to you, sir, that there was an

2 unprovoked HVO attack on Muslims in the Prozor area on

3 the 22nd and 23rd of October of 1992, and you were

4 personally present in that area a couple of days after

5 the attack, were you not?

6 A. I'm not sure that it was April. This is the

7 spring of 1992, and I think that it was in October.

8 That is when we, the commission, were there in that

9 area.

10 Q. If I said "April", it's my mistake. I don't

11 think I did, if you look at the transcript.

12 But in any event, were you in the area of

13 Prozor in October of 1992 within a few days of an HVO

14 attack in that area?

15 A. As the delegation of the state commission, we

16 were there, the representatives of the Muslim and of

17 the Croats, with the assignment that we were given by

18 Mr. Izetbegovic and Mr. Boban. We were there on an

19 official meeting.

20 Q. Sir, there was an HV -- Croatian army general

21 named Praljak who was also in Prozor at the same time,

22 wasn't he?

23 A. Mr. Praljak was not at that meeting. Mr. --

24 Colonel Siljeg was there on the HVO side, and on the BH

25 army side, Mr. Arif Pasalic.

Page 20782

1 Q. Sir, did it ever come to your attention that

2 Colonel or General -- excuse me, that General Praljak

3 himself was stunned by the devastation that had been

4 carried out against the Muslims and Muslim property in

5 Prozor at that time?

6 A. Although I personally know General Praljak,

7 because he's a colleague of mine, he also has a degree

8 in electrical engineering. I did not have the

9 opportunity of talking to him then. Knowing his

10 intellect and his culture, I do not preclude the

11 possibility of him having reacted the way you put it.

12 Q. In fact, there were Croatian army forces

13 involved -- that is, of the Republic of Croatia that

14 were involved in the attack on Prozor, weren't there?

15 A. Absolutely, I have no idea about anything

16 like that. I really doubt it.

17 Q. Do you know of an HV brigade called the

18 Tigers?

19 A. That is a celebrated brigade of the Croat

20 army. They fought in the Dubrovnik area and liberated

21 Dubrovnik in 1992.

22 Q. Sir, do you have any basis to tell this Court

23 that the Tigers were not involved in the attack on

24 Prozor in October 1992?

25 A. According to what I can know, I think that I

Page 20783

1 can be quite confident of that. And judging by how the

2 Tigers fight, it is quite sure that it was that brigade

3 that managed to liberate Dubrovnik with such great

4 sacrifice, and I really doubt it -- I really doubt that

5 they would have been involved in that kind of thing.

6 Q. All right, sir. I'm going to move on. But

7 the answer is you don't know; is that correct?

8 A. You can interpret it that way. But judging

9 by what the commission ascertained, I never heard

10 Mr. Arif Pasalic ask, and he is a competent person, at

11 least. He never asked Mr. Siljeg or anybody else, any

12 other participant; nor did he accuse anyone of having

13 those units that you are mentioning present there.

14 That is relevant for me, because that is how General

15 Pasalic spoke.

16 Q. In the course of your close association with

17 Mr. Boban, did you ever hear the view expressed that it

18 was extremely important to President Franjo Tudjman of

19 the Republic of Croatia that the defence industries in

20 Central Bosnia be maintained under Croat control?

21 A. No, not a single time, and I don't think it

22 was that important for some kind of Croatian military

23 industry.

24 Q. You don't recall any conversations between

25 Mr. Boban and Mr. Tudjman where Mr. Tudjman talked

Page 20784

1 about the explosives factory in Vitez and wanting to

2 keep that under Croat control?

3 A. No. I doubt that they would have dealt in

4 matters like that.

5 Q. You testified about Mostar, sir. Isn't it

6 true that the HVO first disarmed the Muslims in East

7 Mostar and then attacked them in April and May of 1993?

8 A. If such a statement was

9 true, there could not have been a war there. Had

10 anybody been disarmed, there would have been no one to

11 wage war against or with.

12 Q. My question, sir, is: Isn't it true that it

13 was the HVO who attacked Mostar then? Let's put the

14 disarming, if you like, to the side. Wasn't it the HVO

15 which initiated the offensive against Mostar in April

16 and May 1993?

17 A. The units of the HVO held the front line

18 which borders on the boundary of the Mostar

19 municipality on the east against the Serbs throughout

20 this time.

21 Q. We'll go on and come back to that, perhaps.

22 In paragraph 13 you say in Mostar in particular, the

23 May 1993 conflict was set against a back drop of

24 political conflict inspired by Safet Orucevic and,

25 forgive my pronunciation, and Zijad Demirovic. If you

Page 20785

1 want to look at your statement you can, but that's the

2 statement that you make. That the May 1993 conflict

3 was started as a result of political conflict. Do you

4 recall that?

5 A. Yes, yes. It says so in the statement, yes.

6 Q. And in the statement you also made the point

7 of saying that Mr. Demirovic had been, at one point, a

8 prisoner in the same prison with Izetbegovic in the old

9 Yugoslavia, do you see that?

10 A. No, not Mr. Demirovic, Mr. Safet Orucevic,

11 and that was a lot earlier. It was before 1990, before

12 the war, because of certain criminal offences, as far

13 as I know, so he was not a political prisoner.

14 Q. What's -- what was the point in including

15 that in your statement if you can just help us. Why

16 did you even comment at all that he was in prison with

17 Mr. Izetbegovic at some point?

18 A. Their close encounters probably date back to

19 that time and he has held high positions in the SDA.

20 From the beginning and before the aggression

21 was carried out in 1991, he closely cooperated with the

22 Croats on this common defence, later on this role

23 changed.

24 Q. Sir, are you talking about the conflict that

25 you say was started as -- against a backdrop of

Page 20786

1 political conflict, this the fighting between the HVO

2 and the Muslims in Mostar around May of 1993 just to

3 make sure we're talk being the same point in time?

4 Yes?

5 A. Yes. First of all, this conflict occurred

6 within the SDA, within a core of their own, amongst

7 themselves, and this had other reflections also. The

8 only legitimate president of the SDA there was replaced

9 then and Mr. Demirovic took a certain position at

10 regional level, at the regional committee of the SDA,

11 and Mr. Safet Orucevic, I think, was in the municipal

12 organisation of the SDA, and then after that, there

13 were certain political tensions and political conflicts

14 with the Croats.

15 Q. What conflict inspired the fighting? I want

16 you to explain to the Court that the political conflict

17 inspired the fighting in Mostar.

18 A. It contributed to the overall situation that

19 speeded up these developments. However, this occurred

20 in an area that was to the north, Konjic and Jablanica,

21 and this is a broader context than that that I referred

22 to today that had to do, perhaps, with their

23 aspirations to reach the Adriatic Sea.

24 Q. Sir, it's your statement that these two

25 Muslim men, these were political figures; is that

Page 20787

1 correct?

2 A. Yes.

3 Q. Your position is that these two political men

4 caused the conflict in Mostar. Is that your

5 testimony?

6 A. To be more precise, they speeded it up. Not

7 only them, not them exclusively, of course.

8 Q. So you would agree with us, sir, that, in

9 fact, politicians do cause and sometimes direct

10 fighting. Isn't that true?

11 A. Perhaps I would rather agree with the fact

12 that they can contribute a great deal to creating a

13 climate in order to avoid fighting.

14 Q. Well, let me ask you the opposite of that.

15 Can they also -- would you also agree with the fact

16 that they can contribute a great deal to creating a

17 climate that promotes and causes fighting?

18 A. Yes, I would agree, and there were possibly

19 quite a few events and examples at local levels where

20 some people managed, through their own efforts, to

21 prevent conflicts from breaking out. Also, with the

22 opposite kind of activity, they could have provoked

23 conflicts which then actually happened.

24 Q. And these politicians could cause fighting

25 whether or not they had a military title or not,

Page 20788

1 couldn't they?

2 A. I'm not quite sure that they are indeed that

3 powerful. In some situations, I deem it more expedient

4 to think that some high officers had greater ambitions

5 than those that the situation actually allowed for.

6 Q. All right. Sir, what you've told us today,

7 if I can summarise, about the attack on Mostar, is that

8 you believe that a conflict broke out sometime around

9 the 9th of May. Sometime after that, you saw an order

10 that suggested to you that the ABiH had initiated the

11 attack. That's your testimony, isn't it?

12 A. Yes.

13 Q. Other than that testimony, then, sir, do you

14 have any specific knowledge or information that you can

15 provide the Court, that you can assist the Court with

16 that would conflict with high-level assessments by both

17 the ECMM and UNPROFOR, very clear assessments that the

18 HVO was -- it was the HVO who launched the attack on

19 Mostar in May of 1993, the 9th of May?

20 A. I do not have any specific information,

21 especially not that which you are suggesting, and you

22 are saying that the reports of some international

23 organisations were, as you put it, but I really am not

24 aware of that.

25 Q. Well, I wasn't asking you necessarily to

Page 20789

1 agree with me. The Court, the Judges will recall the

2 evidence. I am simply asking you, do you have any

3 information or evidence that you can supply to the

4 Court that will contradict that?

5 A. With every ounce of goodwill, no.

6 Q. Paragraph 13 of your statement, can you tell

7 the Court who were these hard line, as you called them,

8 hard-line Muslim fundamentalists that were placed in

9 charge?

10 A. Those who, in certain moments towards the end

11 of 1992, tried to replace the persons who were legally

12 elected within the SDA in Konjic, Rama, Mostar and whom

13 we found in different areas when we were there as

14 members of the commission.

15 In their presentations, they simply showed a

16 lack of tolerance. Their rhetoric was very aggressive

17 and they extended messages that are not really fit for

18 this Honorable Court where I am testifying today.

19 It was quite obvious on TV and there are

20 recordings about such areas and their leaders.

21 Q. Sir, in the interests of time, I'm only going

22 to ask this to you once. I'd ask you to please answer

23 it directly, and then I will move on in any event.

24 Can you name one of these so-called hard-line

25 Muslim fundamentalists? Just name one for us.

Page 20790

1 A. It would be difficult for me to give you the

2 name but I can give you the surname, his last name is

3 Topcic from Gornji Vakuf. He was present at a meeting

4 of the commission, the joint commission when we had

5 that meeting in Rama.

6 Q. And you would consider this man to be a

7 "hard-line Muslim fundamentalist"?

8 A. On the basis of the way he spoke then. On

9 the basis of what he did before and after those events,

10 and equally so because the office of the high

11 representative took away his mandate. Over this past

12 year, he cannot hold any post in the municipal

13 authorities in the Uskoplje and Gornji Vakuf now, and

14 there are probably reasons why they resorted to such a

15 measure.

16 Q. Very well. I told you I'd move on, and I

17 will.

18 In paragraph 25, you say there were Muslim

19 commanders in the HVO. Let me ask you again, can you

20 name any of these Muslim commanders who were in the

21 HVO?

22 A. Yes, with pride, my own commander, Jasmin

23 Jaganjac, commander of the municipal staff of Mostar.

24 Q. Well, you've mentioned him, and wasn't it his

25 view that it was the HVO who had initiated the attack

Page 20791

1 on Gornji Vakuf? Your own superior, the man you just

2 named, it was his view that the HVO initiated the

3 conflict in Gornji Vakuf. Do you recall that?

4 A. No, not at all. I doubt this.

5 Q. Apart from any other man, can you name any of

6 the other Muslim commanders in the HVO units?

7 A. High-ranking Colonel Adem, he was from

8 Posavina, lost a son in the BH army attacks on Mostar.

9 Q. He was in Posavina?

10 A. He was born in Posavina, but he was in Mostar

11 and later continued as a HVO officer in Posavina.

12 Himzo Azrajic in the Ministry of the Interior units.

13 Q. In Mostar or --

14 A. There were a number of captains --

15 Q. Sir, I appreciate you're trying to answer the

16 question I've ask you, but if you would allow me to ask

17 you then, when you name these individuals, what unit --

18 what particular unit were they in or what area of

19 Bosnia, if you recall? If you can't recall the unit,

20 what area of Bosnia were they assigned to?

21 A. Who? The [inaudible] I mentioned, I know

22 them as members of Croat Defence Council units in

23 Mostar. Apart from that, I am sure they have identity

24 cards and documentation, and they can give you the

25 entire structure of the units per area, the -- and

Page 20792

1 chains of command and so forth. I only mentioned a few

2 people with high military ranks, those who are

3 commanders.

4 Q. And these men, were they involved in fighting

5 against the Serbs or were they involved in fighting

6 against the Muslims?

7 A. They did not leave the units of the Croat

8 Defence Council throughout the period, except that

9 Mr. Jasmin Jaganjac, I think on the basis of an

10 agreement between Mr. Izetbegovic and Mr. Boban, was

11 appointed to the joint command, to its coordinating

12 body, and had its office in Sarajevo. I think that it

13 testifies to his abilities, his moral virtues, and his

14 option for cooperation between the HVO and the army of

15 Bosnia-Herzegovina.

16 Q. In the interests of time, sir, we'll move

17 on.

18 In paragraph 15, you mention something called

19 the MDS. Can you tell the Court, is that the same

20 thing as the Croat-Muslim Democratic Party?

21 A. Yes, yes, one in Zagreb -- I think it was up

22 there -- and the other one was founded and functioned

23 under the rules which at that time were provisionally

24 in effect in the area of Herceg-Bosna. They were

25 independent, insofar as the organisation of their

Page 20793

1 statutes are concerned. It was organised and

2 registered in the area of its activities.

3 Q. Did you know a man associated with that party

4 named Mohamed Zuljic?

5 A. Could he be from Orasje perhaps?

6 Q. Sorry, sir, I can't tell you that right at

7 the moment.

8 A. I'd be happy to cooperate. I know a

9 person -- I don't know his name. He came from

10 Posavina, but he was there. He has sort of a dark

11 complexion, but I'm afraid of mixing up and wrongly

12 identifying somebody.

13 But if I may or if you need it, Armin Pohara

14 was another person, Dr. Hamica Alic was another

15 person. There were very many eminent intellectuals who

16 participated.

17 JUDGE MAY: You'll have to move on.

18 MR. SCOTT: Yes, Your Honour. Let me just

19 ask you -- if I can ask that you allow me one more

20 question, Your Honour.

21 Q. Was that party, the Croat-Muslim Democratic

22 Party, ever called simply the Muslim Democratic Party,

23 or wasn't it always the Croat-Muslim Democratic Party?

24 A. One of its names, the one you mention, it was

25 originally which was founded and operated in the

Page 20794

1 Republic of Croatia. Here in the area of Mostar and

2 its broader area, it was the Muslim Democratic Party,

3 the president of which was Dr. Hamica Alic.

4 MR. SCOTT: If the Court will allow me just

5 to clarify, and it's the last question on the issue.

6 Q. Wasn't this a group, sir, of in fact Croat

7 people by ethnicity, Croat people who practised the

8 Muslim or Islamic faith?

9 A. One could rightfully say that about those who

10 were in Zagreb. As for those who were active in Mostar

11 and broader areas, one could not say that exactly.

12 They were and are what they say they are and what they

13 were, and I think they are clearly identified by their

14 ethnicity. Contrary to what has just been said, they

15 are not Croats of Muslim faith.

16 Q. I'll move on, sir.

17 In paragraph 4 of your statement, is it truly

18 your position, sir, that the Bosnian Muslim forces

19 stopped the HVO from relieving Sarajevo, or is that

20 your evidence? Perhaps you didn't say that at all.

21 A. Excuse me?

22 Q. You're correct, sir. I apologise.

23 In your statement, in paragraph 4 there is

24 the statement, and I'm not quoting it at the moment --

25 you can certainly have it in front of you -- but it's

Page 20795

1 to the effect that the Bosnian Muslims or the army of

2 Bosnia-Herzegovina stopped or prevented the HVO from

3 relieving Sarajevo. It's at the very end of

4 paragraph 4. Is that your testimony or not?

5 A. If I may be allowed, I believe you mention a

6 name.

7 Q. Go ahead.

8 A. I think you mentioned the name of the

9 commander, Mr. Sefer Halilovic.

10 Q. All right. Be that as it may, sir, my

11 question stands. Is it really your testimony or not,

12 because it's in your statement, sir, but it was not in

13 your testimony this morning.

14 JUDGE MAY: As a matter of fact, it was.

15 MR. SCOTT: It was, Your Honour?

16 JUDGE MAY: It was in the testimony this

17 morning. The witness expressed that view in terms, and

18 I was going to ask him what his evidence for it was.

19 A. Yes.

20 JUDGE MAY: Perhaps, Mr. Vucina, you would

21 deal with that.

22 A. I'm most grateful, Your Honours.

23 According to the direct testimony of the

24 commander who led those units, General Batlak, and now

25 I'm saying a Croat of Muslim faith, he personally told

Page 20796

1 me that from Mr. Sefer Halilovic, he had received not

2 only a message, but according to his testimony, he

3 claims that that message was in writing. According to

4 him, I think that a form of that threat was, "If you

5 pass through here, there will be blood."

6 Your Honours, I also need to mention the

7 following: That person was a general, an honourable

8 man for full cooperation between the Croat and Muslim

9 people, and I believe a year ago he passed away. But I

10 declare under oath before this Honourable Court that I

11 personally heard the statement of such an honourable

12 man.

13 MR. SCOTT: I appreciate the Court's

14 correction. We were not clear that it had, in fact,

15 been the testimony. But I certainly accept the Court's

16 view, and that my question, in any event, was the

17 basis.

18 Q. Was that the only basis for your testimony to

19 that effect, sir, this statement that was apparently

20 made to you by this one individual?

21 A. Yes.

22 Q. And so the record is clear, this is reference

23 to an event in June. We all know Sarajevo was under

24 siege for a long time. This particular incident you're

25 telling us about was in June of 1992; is that correct?

Page 20797

1 A. Correct. While there was still a chance, had

2 there been any goodwill, a great deal could have been

3 done to de-block Sarajevo, and that is why such an

4 order or such a warning comes as a surprise, that the

5 units led by General Batlak should not advance towards

6 Sarajevo.

7 Q. Just one more point on that and then we'll

8 move on.

9 Do you know -- be very specific, please, with

10 the Court, if you can, was it the statement that was

11 attributed to Mr. Halilovic that if the HVO forces

12 moved in the direction of Sarajevo, perhaps towards

13 some other objective, perhaps towards some other

14 important Croat position, that they would be stopped?

15 Are you sure that he said, "If you attempt to relieve

16 Sarajevo, you will be stopped"?

17 A. Before this Honourable Court, I state that

18 what I heard from the honourable man, General Batlak,

19 was authentically conveyed by me here.

20 Q. Very well. You've testified that there were

21 some 14.000 refugees coming from somewhere. In

22 paragraph 14 of your summary, it is said there were

23 14.000 of them. If you want to look at your statement,

24 that's fine with me.

25 A. Yes, I know, and I said that that figure was

Page 20798

1 even larger. But that was the minimum, that was, which

2 refers to the scope and gravity of these events and

3 happenings, the problems with refugees at the same time

4 500 metres away, as the crow flies, from the front

5 line. That was a major burden. Yes, please.

6 Q. The question was, sir: Where were these

7 refugees from, where were they coming from?

8 A. From the areas of the municipalities of

9 Gacko, East Herzegovina, occupied and expelled and

10 chased away by the army of JNA, Republika Srpska; area

11 of Bileca; likewise East Herzegovina, expelled by those

12 same units; areas of Nevesinje; likewise --

13 Q. I'm sorry --

14 A. -- areas of a part of the municipality of

15 Mostar. Roughly, it's a village on the very front

16 line; likewise to the town itself, and part from

17 southern parts of the municipality of Mostar,

18 south-eastern parts, who were expelled at the very

19 beginning of combat operations towards the town of

20 Mostar.

21 Q. The point is, sir, all these refugees came --

22 were people or citizens, if you will, of the Republic

23 of Bosnia-Herzegovina, or at least the vast majority of

24 them, weren't they?

25 A. Almost all, I think.

Page 20799

1 Q. And the Croats in the area around Mostar and

2 in Central Bosnia, all or most of them were citizens of

3 the Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina, were they not?

4 A. Yes.

5 Q. Both of these groups, at least at that time,

6 both spoke essentially the same language, didn't they?

7 A. You are very well aware that language is one

8 of the chief features of a people. Yes, we could

9 understand one another, but those are two languages. I

10 cannot deny the right of the Muslim people to have

11 their language, because they want it so and it is their

12 constitutional right.

13 Q. Sir, are you saying that we can see, then,

14 that both these groups of people, the refugees and the

15 people in the area in which they were coming, were

16 citizens of the same country, they spoke essentially

17 the same or similar languages? You agree in your

18 statement, in fact, "We agreed to take care of many of

19 them, and that was done." Do you see that in paragraph

20 14 of your statement, sir?

21 A. Yes, I see that with great effort, and I wish

22 to express my great satisfaction that we succeeded in

23 that.

24 Q. Let me ask you, sir, in your statement you

25 say: "The ethnic balance was destroyed." My question

Page 20800

1 to you, sir, is: So what? Why was ethnic balance

2 important?

3 A. My answer to that is probably the ensuing

4 events.

5 Q. Well, that wasn't my question to you, sir.

6 You said in paragraph 14: "The ethnic balance on the

7 west bank of Mostar was destroyed just as the ethnic

8 balance in Central Bosnia was being destroyed." These

9 were all citizens of the same country, sir. What is

10 the point of saying that? Why have you told this Court

11 that the ethnic balance was destroyed? Why is that

12 even significant?

13 A. They were citizens of the state of

14 Bosnia-Herzegovina in those places through which there

15 had been chased away in their places there were the

16 citizens of the municipality of Gacko, citizens of the

17 municipality of Bileca, citizens of the municipality of

18 Trebinje, citizens of the municipality of Nevesinje,

19 and so on and so forth. Why were they expelled? They

20 were the citizens of this state. That is my answer.

21 Q. You say in paragraph six that it was clear

22 that the Muslims had made a strategic judgement to

23 commit their many fighting forces to reducing those

24 portions of Central Bosnia that were under Croat

25 control. Do you recall that?

Page 20801

1 A. Yes, I remember that and I stand by that.

2 Q. Sir, my question to you is: Weren't the

3 Croats doing the same thing in many respects, that is

4 to reduce the portions of the country called

5 Bosnia-Herzegovina, reduce the portions of that country

6 that were under Muslim control?

7 A. I don't think the interpretation is all

8 right.

9 Q. I'll say it again and perhaps the translation

10 will be -- if you think there is a problem it will come

11 through differently.

12 A. Yes.

13 Q. Wasn't that being done, I think you're right,

14 there may be a portion -- were not the Croats, sir,

15 doing the same thing in seeking to reduce the portion

16 of the Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina that was under

17 Muslim control?

18 A. Such as, for instance?

19 Q. Well, sir, that's my question. Were not the

20 Muslims --

21 A. That is my answer.

22 Q. I'm sorry.

23 A. Me too.

24 Q. I'll try one more.

25 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Scott, I don't think we're

Page 20802

1 going to get much further with this. Let's move on.

2 MR. SCOTT: Very well.

3 Q. Sir, is it, you say that the Muslims were not

4 satisfied with the land allocated to them under the

5 Vance-Owen Plan. My question to you sir is: Why

6 should they have been satisfied? Do you recall that in

7 fact in many municipalities that were the majority

8 Muslim were being included within the Croat provinces

9 under the plan?

10 A. I never claimed that they could be

11 satisfied. I do not deny the right to be

12 dissatisfied. It is an absolute political right and

13 responsibility of their leadership to what they -- to

14 the proposal they made except I think that negotiations

15 had to be conducted and conducted and conducted rather

16 than wage war. And that is what I think generally of

17 the overall internal organisation of

18 Bosnia-Herzegovina.

19 But I do not think that the only

20 responsibility was between these two parties because

21 this deplorable war between victims because both --

22 both peoples are the victims of a horrible military

23 operation of the Yugoslav People's Army which was not

24 that and, of course, very well equipped army of the

25 Serbs in Bosnia-Herzegovina.

Page 20803

1 Q. Sir, I'm trying not to interrupt you any more

2 than necessary, but there's --

3 A. I apologise.

4 Q. Isn't it correct, sir, that under the

5 Vance-Owen Plan, if you recall, as the number one or

6 Chief of Staff to Mr. Boban, if you know, that under

7 that plan, the Bosnian Croats who were approximately 17

8 per cent of the population would be given 28 per cent

9 of the territory of Bosnia-Herzegovina.

10 A. Yes, it is correct, but it is also correct

11 that there were 31 Serbs and they were accorded 49 per

12 cent of the area of Bosnia-Herzegovina.

13 Q. Meaning then from those two facts that it was

14 the Muslims who were the biggest losers under the

15 Vance-Owen Plan, correct?

16 A. I think they and we too. But if we talked

17 about nuances then, I think it's quite evident that the

18 Muslims were most affected by the Vance-Owen Plan.

19 Q. Let me turn to a completely different

20 subject, sir, and that is the issue of -- forgive me,

21 Your Honour, just keep my notes straight. That's the

22 issue of Mr. Kordic being given this title of colonel.

23 You say in your statement and you've

24 testified today that you were, yourself, directly

25 involved in the events leading or -- leading to or

Page 20804

1 involving the creation of this title or rank of colonel

2 given to Mr. Kordic; is that correct?

3 A. Correct, alongside Mr. Bozo Rajic, yes.

4 Q. And what do you recall being told? You said

5 you had a conversation with Mr. Kordic personally.

6 What do you recall being told about this UNPROFOR

7 requirement that the participants in the military --

8 the mixed military working group had to have military

9 rank?

10 A. I did not speak about the requirements nor do

11 I know anything about requirements. But during the

12 conversation, we realised that it was necessary, in

13 such a broad group, to have certain weight and that it

14 would be best to have such an honourary title so as to

15 command respect in these talks. That is the only

16 reason.

17 Q. Well, sir, you say in paragraph 17, you say

18 he was given the rank so he could attend a mixed

19 military working group in Sarajevo and the way you've

20 stated there, sir, that rank was a pre-requisite for

21 someone before he could participate in those meetings?

22 A. I doubt that that is what I stated, and

23 particularly that that was some kind of a condition for

24 participation in talks, and such interpretation of my

25 statement, now it is not like that.

Page 20805

1 Q. All right. Well, we'll leave the statement.

2 It speaks for itself. I won't belabour it for the

3 moment. But you understood that for some reason,

4 someone, Mr. Kordic wanted to be given a rank of

5 colonel and you and Mr. Boban and Mr. Stojic were --

6 made a decision that yes, in fact, we will call

7 Mr. Kordic a colonel; is that right?

8 A. I think it was based on our conversations

9 between me and Mr. Bozo Rajic's that there was such a

10 request. I can't really remember that nor am I sure

11 that there was such a request.

12 Q. Well, you say, sir, you've told us that you

13 were personally involved. This was not something that

14 you heard about but this is something that you had

15 hands-on involvement in; is that correct?

16 A. It is. We judged that it was necessary.

17 Q. You judged that it was necessary, all right.

18 And then what did you personally do to make this

19 happen, that he would be given this rank of colonel?

20 A. Mr. Bozo Rajic was due to contact

21 Mr. President as one of the vice-presidents and said

22 that we were recommending Mr. President to do

23 accordingly, and that is all.

24 Q. Well, this mixed military working group

25 process, these series of meetings, this was very

Page 20806

1 important, wasn't it?

2 A. I'm not fully informed about it so even with

3 the best of will, I cannot really say, but it was

4 important, with regard to what they were doing, in the

5 sense of the functioning of life in those areas in

6 general.

7 One should no doubt appreciate the efforts

8 made by that group and results which I believe they

9 achieved in that regard. That was a major effort of

10 the police forces and --

11 Q. My only question was this was something

12 significant, this wasn't something trivial, was it?

13 A. I am not a person who can say yes or no, but

14 if one looks at the results, it is quite obvious that

15 for life that existed in those areas, it was important

16 to function every day, so the answer is yes. I doubt

17 that there was another group which was as important for

18 the functioning of life under the wartime conditions.

19 Q. And as part of that or all of that group's

20 business, it was military business, wasn't it? That's

21 why it was called the mixed military working group.

22 A. I did not take part it in, and apart from

23 what I have said, I did not take part in its work

24 directly so that I cannot really judge whether it was

25 exclusively but I do not think that it was exclusively

Page 20807

1 military, because if it were, there would have been one

2 of the commanders from the Main Staff.

3 As it was the case in some other talks, when

4 General Petkovic personally conducted the talks.

5 Q. Mr. Vucina, you were -- Mr. Boban, you've

6 told us, was the commander in chief; is that correct?

7 A. Correct. That was according to the

8 organisation of the Croat Community of Herceg-Bosna,

9 correct.

10 Q. So Mr. Boban had complete authority by his

11 own hand to name anyone to a high military position or

12 rank; is that correct?

13 A. Yes, by standard and especially in the case

14 of high ranks, he had the sole competence to accord

15 ranks. Sometimes the head of a department would

16 nominate somebody and the president would then decide

17 yes.

18 Q. Mr. Boban could confer military power on

19 whoever he wanted to, couldn't he?

20 A. [Previous translation continues] ... in the

21 conditions required by the regulations on the

22 organisation of the Croat Defense Council for the

23 active part. For instance, he could not do it in the

24 active part, confer them on me who had no

25 qualifications or someone else so someone would tell

Page 20808

1 between active officers and others.

2 Q. You went on this morning for some time and

3 this early afternoon that Mr. Boban had almost extreme

4 exhaustive authority. In fact, in some respects, your

5 testimony would indicate that he was the only person

6 who had authority. Is it correct that, in fact,

7 Mr. Boban could confer military authority on anyone he

8 chose to confer it on?

9 A. As I said this morning, what I said in my

10 summary and I confirm that with regard to the powers,

11 competencies, and the authority of Mr. Boban, yes.

12 Q. And you said in paragraph 23, he was clearly

13 the supreme commanders of the armed forces he exercised

14 that authority by appointing people and signing the

15 necessary documents.

16 So, sir, if Mr. Boban wanted to confer

17 military power on Mr. Kordic, he could do so at any

18 time, couldn't he?

19 A. Yes.

20 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Scott, it's a few minutes to

21 4.00 and it's time for us to adjourn.

22 MR. SCOTT: Yes, Your Honour, as the Court

23 may have the sense of I apologise but can I not

24 complete this afternoon.

25 JUDGE MAY: Would you look to do it please in

Page 20809

1 a quarter of an hour or so tomorrow morning?

2 MR. SCOTT: I'll try.

3 JUDGE MAY: Yes. Because we have a lot to

4 get through tomorrow. What we shall do is this, we'll

5 sit at 9.00 to deal with the matters of law when Judge

6 Bennouna will be present. So we won't start on the

7 witness, I would anticipate before half past nine.

8 What we haven't got or I haven't seen is the

9 Prosecution's submissions about the witness, and also

10 about the affidavits and I would be grateful to have

11 those.

12 MR. NICE: The submissions about the witness

13 were distributed informally yesterday notwithstanding

14 the fact that they were filed yesterday afternoon and

15 early in the afternoon.

16 JUDGE MAY: They haven't found their way to

17 us. It's most important that we have them. I gather

18 there are no informal copies. It may be helpful if we

19 could have some informal copies.

20 MR. NICE: I think your legal officer

21 probably has them, but we'll sort it out with her in

22 any event.

23 JUDGE MAY: Well, we have must have them

24 tonight.

25 MR. NICE: As for the affidavits, as soon as

Page 20810

1 the document is ready, I'll make it available.


3 MR. SAYERS: Mr. President, in fairness to

4 Mr. Nice, he did distribute a copy of his submission to

5 us yesterday and we've prepared a response to that

6 which I have here for the Court's information.

7 JUDGE MAY: Perhaps you had alike to hand it

8 in.

9 MR. SAYERS: Yes.

10 [Trial Chamber confers]

11 JUDGE MAY: Well, Judge Robinson apparently

12 has the Prosecution's submissions. He has the

13 advantage over me.

14 Mr. Vucina, would you be back, please,

15 tomorrow morning at half past nine to conclude your

16 evidence? We have, in fact, some other administrative

17 matters and legal matters to deal with first, but we'll

18 try and get to your evidence as soon after half past

19 nine as possible. So if you would be back then,

20 please.

21 We'll sit at 9.00 tomorrow morning.

22 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned

23 at 4.02 p.m., to be reconvened on

24 Friday, the 9th day of June, 2000, at

25 9 a.m.