1 Tuesday, 19
2 [Open session]
3 [The witness entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 9.34 a.m.
5 THE REGISTRAR: Good morning, Your Honours.
6 This is case number IT-95-14/2-T, the Prosecutor versus
7 Dario Kordic and Mario Cerkez.
8 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Nice, I'm sorry to have kept
9 the Court waiting; I'm sorry that Mr. Kljuic has been
10 kept waiting in particular. But we have been trying to
11 arrive at a Court sitting schedule for the week of the
12 8th of November.
13 We shall sit on the morning of the 8th of
14 November, but difficulties occurred about the
15 afternoon, and there's an unavailability at the moment
16 of courtroom space. We shall sit in the afternoon of
17 the 9th and 10th; no sitting on the 11th; and we shall
18 sit on the morning of the 12th.
19 Now, that is the current schedule. I wish I
20 could say it's final, but I can't, because I'm not sure
21 about the courts.
22 MR. NICE: Thank you, Your Honour.
23 JUDGE MAY: If possible, we will sit on the
24 afternoon of the 8th.
1 MR. NICE: Thank you. The position so far as
2 Mr. Kljuic is concerned is that I had all but concluded
3 my examination-in-chief on the last occasion; I
4 reserved the possibility of asking a few further
5 questions. Since then, the minutes of the meeting of
6 the 27th of December, Exhibit 2717, have been
7 translated into 2717A, into English, and I'm not sure
8 of the state of translation into French at the moment.
9 There are two questions I intend to ask the witness
10 about that version now it's been properly translated,
11 and there are a couple of other documents that ought to
12 be produced by the witness that have come available to
13 us since he gave his evidence on the first occasion,
14 and with your leave, I'll just deal with those matters
15 now and move on with one or two questions.
16 JUDGE MAY: Yes. I should add this, that
17 today, because of other engagements, it's necessary
18 that we adjourn sometime before the usual luncheon
19 adjournment, towards quarter to 1.00.
20 MR. NICE: While we're dealing with
21 administrative matters, can I apologise now for my
22 absence at half past 2.00; I have to attend on the
23 other Chamber in relation to a matter that may or may
24 not take some time. Ms. Somas will, of course, be
25 dealing with matters in my absence.
1 WITNESS: STJEPAN KLJUIC.
2 [Witness answers through interpreter]
3 Examined by Mr. Nice:
4 Q. Mr. Kljuic, can I first ask you, please, to
5 look at Exhibit Z1,1 and Z1,1A, which I hope are before
6 the Chamber, or will be.
7 MR. NICE: These were distributed to the
8 Defence yesterday, in fact. This is a tidying-up
9 operation, although it's a document that may become
10 significant, I suppose.
11 Q. The document I'm asking you to look at,
12 Mr. Kljuic, in the original form, is that the Statute
13 of the Croatian Democratic Union of Bosnia and
14 Herzegovina itself, as opposed to the Croatian statute,
15 which may be the only statute we had available on the
16 last occasion?
17 A. [In English] May I speak, please?
18 JUDGE MAY: Yes.
19 A. [Interpretation] Yes, I will say to you it
20 was -- the Statute of the HDZ of Bosnia-Herzegovina was
21 slightly modified, and that was one of the chief bones
22 of contention between the Bosnian Croats in
23 Bosnia-Herzegovina and those who believed that the
24 Bosnian-Herzegovinian HDZ should be a subsidiary of the
25 Croatian HDZ. Namely, in the beginning, there was a
1 lot of argument going on as to what our party in
2 Bosnia-Herzegovina should be called.
3 Evidently the democratisation in the former
4 Yugoslavia, which started first in Slovenia and
5 Croatia, in Bosnia it was meeting with a number of
6 difficulties, and it was quite naturally that the Croat
7 people were first organised in Zagreb through the HDZ,
8 and we transposed it to Bosnia-Herzegovina. But I
9 refused it to be called HDZ for Bosnia-Herzegovina, and
10 with the group which supported me, we succeeded to call
11 it the Croat Democratic Union of Bosnia-Herzegovina.
12 That is an identical name for the party in both federal
14 In the west, of course, it is not a problem,
15 because you have very many conservative parties in
16 various countries of west or northern Europe, where you
17 have Democratic Christians, so on and so forth, so we
18 are one and the same people. We share the concept, but
19 I nevertheless thought that Bosnia and Herzegovina
20 should have its own party. And furthermore, we also
21 modified the Statute.
22 MR. NICE:
23 Q. Well, I don't want to cut you short if there
24 is something material to say, but I think you have
25 given a very full explanation of the derivation of the
1 Statute, and I'm going to pass on subject to just one
2 detail matter. If you would look at Article 33,
3 page 7, in the English, and it's on page 6 in the
5 Was the Statute -- did the Statute ordain
6 that there should in the presidency be a president and
7 one vice-president? In the event, there may have been
8 two vice-presidents, but the Statute allowed for one;
9 is that right?
10 A. Is it true that there were two
11 vice-presidents? You must realise that in the
12 situation as there was, these statutes were drafted
13 under the Communist authorities. They would not allow
14 us to register, to become politically active, so that
15 we had to do these things very hastily so as to
16 contribute towards the legitimisation of our parties.
17 However, after the convention of the 23rd and 24th of
18 March '91 in Mostar, the Statute was then gone through
19 and clarified, and then it became clear that there were
20 two vice-presidents. We always had to emphasise the
21 first vice-president and the second vice-president.
22 The first vice-president, unfortunately,
23 Vitomir Lukic, I have to say one of the greatest brains
24 in Bosnia-Herzegovina, a writer, a university
25 professor, died in late '91, as the Minister for
1 Religious Affairs in the government of
2 Bosnia-Herzegovina, and after that there were no more
4 Q. The other two documents associated with
5 formalities may be documents you can't help us with.
6 They are available. One is 4139,1 and 4139,1A, and the
7 other one is 1473,1.
8 Were you aware of when the High Court in
9 Sarajevo was notified of the change of president from
10 yourself to Dario Kordic?
11 A. I don't know when the Court was notified, but
12 it is not true that Dario Kordic succeeded me as
13 President. Please, let me tell you. I submitted my
14 resignation on the 2nd of February, '92. Under the
15 Statute I continued as President, that is the outgoing
16 President, because that was what the Statute said,
17 which we had taken over from Croatia. And I protected
18 of course my position, just as President Tudjman did in
20 So the solution for this problem was to hold
21 a convention. Because under the Statute only a
22 convention can dismiss a President, of course. They
23 were not happy about the convention because my
24 departure --
25 JUDGE MAY: These matters can all be gone
1 into. Your Honour, so far as these documents are
2 concerned, they are Court documents. So probably they
3 are documents that can effectively produce themselves.
4 A. I don't know that it was ever registered in a
5 Sarajevo Court, perhaps in a Court in Mostar that
6 Kordic's appointment, Kordic's election was
7 registered. Without me, they had to modify Statute,
8 they brought Professor Brkic, and then some War
9 Presidency brought Mate Boban --
10 JUDGE MAY: Just one moment.
11 MR. NICE: What I was going to say, the
12 documents effectively prove themselves. They can be
13 commented on by other witnesses later and dealt with in
14 argument. If there is any objection to their being
15 produced, they can be produced by another witness. But
16 it would seem to me they are best dealt with now,
18 I see Mr. Naumovski wants to --
19 JUDGE MAY: Yes, Mr. Naumovski.
20 MR. NAUMOVSKI: [Interpretation] Thank you,
21 Your Honours. All I wanted to say was that this
22 document is outside the time frame of the indictment
23 and is quite irrelevant. The material is of 1996 and
24 it is quite irrelevant. It does not apply to
25 Mr. Kordic's case. Besides, it's not signed, the
1 original seal or anything.
2 JUDGE MAY: Well, I think the simplest matter
3 is for it to be produced. We will decide what weight,
4 if any, to give to it.
5 MR. NICE: Thank you, Your Honour. The two
6 documents are, and I am not going to trouble the
7 witness with them further, 1439,1 and 1A and 1473,1 and
8 1A. And with their production I move on swiftly to the
9 two remaining topics which I want to deal with very
10 shortly with this witness.
11 The first topic is a couple of passages from
12 the document now translated, which is 2717A, for those
13 following in English. And I have, I think, the
14 appropriate references in the original document 2717
15 for the witness himself to follow.
16 The first passage is at page 10 of the --
17 THE INTERPRETER: Could it be placed on the
18 ELMO, please, because the interpreters don't have their
20 MR. NICE: I'm sorry that the interpreters
21 don't have it. It's remiss of me not to have checked
23 Q. Page 10 in there. And in the original for
24 Mr. Kljuic to follow, I think it's 4/5. Page 4/5.
25 This is one of two passages I am going to read. Then
1 ask for your comments, Mr. Kljuic.
2 Mr. Boban at the meeting --
3 JUDGE BENNOUNA: [Interpretation] Mr. Nice,
4 could you please remind us which document is it? We do
5 have the number, but what is this document, apart from
6 the number? We have it on the ELMO. I simply wish to
7 know what kind of a document is it?
8 MR. NICE: The Court will recall that there
9 was a meeting on the 27th of December, 1991 attended
10 by, amongst others, the President of the Republic of
11 Croatia, Dr. Tudjman, and other officials, including
12 this witness; that the meeting was minuted, probably
13 tape-recorded and transcribed; that the transcription
14 was provided to the witness at an early stage and
15 shortly after the meeting itself.
16 On the last occasion we went through several
17 passages of the transcribed minutes or notes or
18 recording of the meeting, but we didn't have any other
19 translations, official or otherwise, apart from partial
20 translation available. And so what we are looking at
21 now is the official translation by the Tribunal of that
22 original transcript in B/C/S or Croatian of the
24 And the two passages I am going to ask the
25 witness to deal with both relate to what was being said
1 by Mr. Boban, and at page 10. And I'll turn to the
2 French. And if I go too fast then I'll be corrected, I
4 Q. Did Mr. Boban say as follows:
5 "All of you know that recently, there has been an
6 alternative entity in the territory of Bosnia and
7 Herzegovina, or rather a continuity of the policies of
8 the Croatian Democratic Union and the Croatian people
9 in general. Something new exists called the Croatian
10 community of Herceg-Bosnia and the Croatian community
11 of Posavina in the north of Bosnia.
12 This idea was embraced, in this sense, as a
13 framework for the expression of the political will of
14 the Croatian people whose most prominent mouthpiece is
15 the Croatian Democratic Union. The people have placed
16 their full trust in the leadership, setting up Croatian
17 communities which represent political, cultural and
18 economic attributes of the Croatian people in Bosnia
19 and Herzegovina. Should Bosnia and Herzegovina remain
20 an independent state without any ties with the former
21 disintegrating or any future, Yugoslavia, or should
22 Bosnia itself disintegrate, the area where about
23 650.000 Croats live would implement internationally
24 recognised democratic methods proclaiming this to be
25 independent Croatian territory, which will accede to
1 the State of Croatia, but only at such a time as the
2 Croatian leadership, in whom our people until now have
3 placed their complete trust, should decide that the
4 moment and time had come."
5 The second passage in the English can be
6 found at page 21, and in the original at pages 8/2 and
8 And Mr. Boban said on page 21 in the English:
9 "The founding municipalities of the HZHB/Croatian
10 community of Herceg-Bosna/now have a population, which
11 according to the census is 55% Croatian, 27% Muslim and
12 9% Serbian and the rest are none of the above.
13 "However, because municipalities in Bosnia
14 and Herzegovina were created, similarly as in Croatia,
15 by composing Serbian and Muslim population in the
16 territory of Croatia or vice versa, by cleansing border
17 areas, practically border areas of Herceg-Bosnia, this
18 creates approximately 65% of the Croatian population in
20 Then he says:
21 "And, pardon me, the most recent data are
23 So, Mr. Kljuic, in relation to the first
24 passage where the linkage of territory to Croatia
25 itself was referred to, was that something with which
1 you agreed or not?
2 A. It is completely irrelevant, if I agreed with
3 it personally or not. What does matter is that such a
4 Proclamation was completely contrary to the political
5 platform of the HDZ adopted at a Mostar convention and
6 before the elections, because, at the end of the story,
7 were the elections on the basis of two political
8 theses: The first, Bosnia-Herzegovina, a sovereign
9 state equal -- on equal footing with all the other
10 federal units; secondly, quality of the Croat people
11 within Bosnia-Herzegovina. And that, after all, was
12 our first and foremost political goal.
13 Any other modification of the political
14 platform, the political process, was to be reflected at
15 a convention which should have taken place. But you
16 must know that the situation in the former Yugoslavia
17 was rapidly changing. Many people did not believe that
18 Bosnia-Herzegovina would survive as a state. Even
19 though it tried to explain those in Zagreb and to those
20 in Sarajevo that -- on the Helsinki conference of 1974
21 it would have to remain one state.
22 And after all, it was binding on both
23 Croatian and subsequently Bosnia-Herzegovina because,
24 having gained their independence, they also had to
25 accede to a number of international treaties signed by
1 the former Yugoslavia, so that it was directly
2 violating the political platform. And those who are
3 listening to it had to hear that --
4 JUDGE MAY: Yes. Very well. If you would
5 confine your answers, please, we will get on more
6 quickly. We'll try and finish your evidence as soon as
7 we can. Yes.
8 MR. NICE:
9 Q. And in relation to the second passage,
10 Mr. Kljuic, the cleansing of border areas, was that, in
11 your judgment, any proper function of the body that you
12 had been instrumental in establishing?
13 JUDGE MAY: Yes, Mr. Naumovski.
14 MR. NAUMOVSKI: [Interpretation] I
15 apologise, Your Honours, but this is subject -- this
16 subject was already covered by the Prosecutor during
17 the examination-in-chief in July. Mr. Kljuic already
18 answered this question. This is the continuation of
19 the examination-in-chief. That is how I understand
21 JUDGE MAY: The Prosecution is allowed to
22 continue his examination. No doubt, he will do so
24 MR. NAUMOVSKI: [Interpretation] Thank you,
25 Your Honour.
1 MR. NICE:
2 Q. Thank you. Mr. Kljuic, will you answer the
3 question, and let it be very brief. Was this cleansing
4 of border areas, was this part of the function of the
5 body you had helped create, yes or no?
6 A. It was not part of the political programme,
7 but, yes, that is what happened on the ground.
8 Q. Thank you. I have only two other questions,
9 at most, and they are these: The meeting at Siroki
10 Brijeg on the 2nd of February, 1992, of which you've
11 already spoken, was called by somebody called Drago
12 Krpina. He was, I think, an official of the Croatia
13 HDZ. Can you explain how such a person came to call a
14 meeting of this type and for the purpose that we've
15 heard about?
16 A. When hard times began in Bosnia-Herzegovina,
17 with the first road blocks and first protests erupted,
18 the -- part of western Herzegovina did not have
19 frequent contact with Sarajevo.
20 Secondly, they did not recognise Sarajevo
21 leadership as the leadership of the HDZ for
22 Bosnia-Herzegovina. They considered themselves members
23 of an integral HDZ and recognised only the leadership
24 in Zagreb. It took me a long time to discuss this
25 problem with Mr. Tudjman, explaining to him that we had
1 to teach them all that their central headquarters,
2 central office was in Sarajevo, and that Sarajevo and
3 Zagreb should hold normal consultation.
4 But, as it was for the independence of
5 Bosnia-Herzegovina and a document which was of crucial
6 significant import for Bosnia-Herzegovina and for
7 Croatia, unfortunately, part of the leadership which
8 opposed me was not for an independent
10 Namely, you need to know, and it has been
11 proven by now that there was a meeting in Karadjordjevo
12 in Mr. Sarimic's book.
13 Q. We've covered this. The question is how this
14 person from Croatia was able to call the meeting. And
15 I think you've probably covered that. I am not going
16 to ask any more questions and --
17 A. Yes, but I didn't answer your question.
18 Excuse me. They were trying --
19 JUDGE MAY: If he wants to ask anything else,
20 Mr. Kljuic, he will do so. Now, would you please let
21 him be the judge of that.
22 MR. NICE: That concludes my
24 JUDGE MAY: Yes, Mr. Naumovski.
25 Cross-examined by Mr. Naumovski:
1 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
2 Q. I beg your pardon, because of these technical
4 Mr. Kljuic, may I introduce myself. My name
5 is Naumovski, an attorney from Zagreb. I represent
6 Mr. Dario Kordic. I have a series of questions for you
7 and be kind enough to answer them.
8 I have to ask you to make breaks in between
9 my question and your answers so that what we are saying
10 can be interpreted properly.
11 So as to be as expeditious as possible, if
12 you can please answer with a yes or a no, because that
13 will speed things up.
14 Mr. Kljuic, will you please tell us how many
15 times have you spoken to the investigators of the
17 A. I don't know who the investigators were, but
18 I spoke three times two years ago, and then after that
19 at the beginning of this year and before I came, before
20 I entered the courtroom once again.
21 Q. Tell us, please, were notes taken of those
22 interviews? Was your statement written down? Was a
23 record made?
24 A. At first they took notes and I spoke. And
25 then I made a statement in chronological order to the
2 Q. So there is a written report on what you told
3 the investigators?
4 A. There is a written record of what I signed as
5 my official statement.
6 Q. I'm asking you this because the Defence has
7 not received any statement of yours, and that is why
8 this question was of importance to us. Do you have a
9 copy on you, perhaps?
10 A. No, I don't, but I can fax it to you.
11 Q. Thank you.
12 Tell us, please, apart from these interviews
13 with the investigators, did you make a statement for
14 the Commission for the Investigation of War Crimes
15 attached to the presidency of Bosnia-Herzegovina?
16 A. That commission was formed on the 24th of
17 April, 1992, and it was an excellent body. However,
18 they had me replaced, so as to be able to manipulate
19 that commission, and therefore I never made a statement
20 for that commission for the collection of evidence of
21 war crimes attached to the Bosnian government.
22 Q. We know, Mr. Kljuic, that you were a member
23 and president of that commission. But then you
24 mentioned manipulation. Who wanted to manipulate with
25 the commission?
1 A. Well, I was replaced, and I heard on the
2 radio one day. A thesis appeared in the newspapers
3 that I would be a Bosnian Wiesenthal, but I must say
4 that I cooperated very well and collected a great deal
5 of documentation, and they had me replaced. Had they
6 not done that, probably the list of people who would go
7 to The Hague would have been quite different.
8 Q. Yes, but could you give us a name? Do you
9 know who was the one who manipulated?
10 A. I don't know who it was. I just heard on the
11 radio that I had been replaced and someone else had
12 been chosen in my place.
13 JUDGE BENNOUNA: (Interpretation) Will you
14 please pay attention, because the interpreter is having
15 difficulty in following you. Thank you.
16 MR. NAUMOVSKI: Thank you, Your Honour.
17 Q. You see, I was the first to make a mistake
18 with regard to the speed.
19 Tell me, please, this commission, while you
20 were a member of it, did it conduct an investigation
21 against Mr. Kordic?
22 A. No. I was replaced in 1994. Until then, as
23 far as I know, there was no investigation, the more so
24 as I was the political head, whereas legal experts were
25 engaged; there were many young people among them, so
1 that I didn't interfere with their work, but as far as
2 I know, there was no such investigation.
3 Q. A final question in the introduction:
4 Knowing your political activities, is it correct to say
5 that you did not wish to testify in court in closed
7 A. Why would I testify confidentially when that
8 is my credo? My testimony could have all kind of
9 repercussions if it were in closed session. It could
10 encourage all kind of guesswork as to what I had said
11 or not said. I felt it a moral obligation to say in
12 public whatever I had to say. Even under communism, I
13 acted in the same way.
14 Q. Let us now go on, Mr. Kljuic, to the topic
15 that you have been testifying about in the
16 examination-in-chief, and that is the HDZ for
17 Bosnia-Herzegovina. Speaking about the Statute, you
18 mentioned, but I think it is worth repeating, when the
19 HDZ for Bosnia-Herzegovina was founded in August 1990,
20 Yugoslavia still existed?
21 A. Yes, it did.
22 Q. So, essentially, those were the very first
23 days of a multiparty system, and that is precisely why
24 this Statute which has been produced in court today had
25 to be in conformity with the regulations in force at
1 the time of the former socialist Yugoslavia?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. On the 26th of May, 1990, two or three months
4 prior to the HDZ, the Party of Democratic Action was
5 founded in Bosnia-Herzegovina, was it not?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. The Party of Democratic Action had its
8 branches in Croatia, in Sandzak, in Macedonia, America,
9 Germany, and various other places, didn't it? In
10 Kosovo too?
11 A. Yes, yes, it did.
12 Q. And the fact that we have underlined the
13 existence of the former common state, there were no
14 formal or legal obstacles to the formation of parties
15 which would act throughout the territory of the former
16 Yugoslavia; isn't that so?
17 A. Yes, that's true.
18 Q. So by way of conclusion, when you became
19 president of the HDZ of Bosnia-Herzegovina, Yugoslavia
20 was still a viable state?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. You mentioned that at one of the first
23 meetings after you became president of the HDZ of
24 Bosnia-Herzegovina, you defined the HDZ -- and let me
25 quote you -- as a party advocating the interests of the
1 Croatian people throughout. At the same meeting, and
2 it was a meeting of the presidency, the executive
3 board, and members of the municipal board of the HDZ of
4 Bosnia-Herzegovina, held on the 8th of October, 1990,
5 and also attended by Mr. Gojko Susak, who was then
6 Minister for Emigration in the Republic of Croatia, he
7 stressed at the time -- and let me quote him -- that
8 the HDZ in Bosnia-Herzegovina should be led by you
9 independently, and "as far as we are concerned, we can
10 provide advice." Is that correct?
11 A. Yes.
12 MR. NAUMOVSKI: (Interpretation) I beg your
13 pardon for a moment, Your Honours.
14 [Defence counsel confer]
15 MR. NAUMOVSKI: Your Honours, we have
16 prepared a copy of the documents that we intend to use
17 in the course of the cross-examination of Mr. Kljuic,
18 so I'm not quite sure whether these documents have been
19 distributed, so I should like to ask the registrar to
20 do so, if it hasn't been done, for the witness, so that
21 the witness can keep track of what we are saying.
22 Thank you.
23 Q. Mr. Kljuic, we've prepared this set of
24 documents for you so that we shouldn't waste any time
25 asking the registrar to provide them one by one.
1 This is a document, Z21719 --
2 JUDGE MAY: Before you go there,
3 Mr. Naumovski, have we got copies of these documents?
4 Are they the Prosecution exhibits, or are they
5 something else?
6 MR. NAUMOVSKI: (Interpretation) They are
7 all -- more than 90 per cent of Prosecution exhibits,
8 with a "Z" letter, and we will be producing only a few
9 new documents, of which we shall provide copies for
10 Your Honours.
11 JUDGE MAY: Very well.
12 MR. NAUMOVSKI: (Interpretation) Thank you.
13 Q. Mr. Kljuic, let us continue. The HDZ, as a
14 party, also had its branch offices throughout the
15 world, didn't it? In Germany, Sweden, the United
16 States, and so on?
17 A. Australia.
18 Q. So please speak clearly for the record. As
19 president of the HDZ of Bosnia-Herzegovina, you
20 travelled abroad a lot, and you went to Zagreb
21 frequently. As president of the HDZ of
22 Bosnia-Herzegovina, did you have contacts with
23 President Tudjman and the other leaders of the HDZ in
25 A. Yes, indeed.
1 Q. Mr. Kljuic, you insisted on coordination and
2 synchronisation of the work of the HDZ of
3 Bosnia-Herzegovina and other HDZ organisations,
4 especially the HDZ in Zagreb?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. As can be seen from document Z21712, which is
7 the programme of work of the HDZ of Bosnia-Herzegovina
8 dated from 1991?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. All this because you felt, I assume, that
11 this was natural and necessary for the Croats of
12 Bosnia-Herzegovina, to link up with Croats in other
13 states, including the Croats in the Republic of
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. But despite this coordination of activities,
17 it was your opinion, as you said today in answer to a
18 question from the Prosecution, that the HDZ of
19 Bosnia-Herzegovina was an independent party?
20 A. That was what I struggled to achieve, yes.
21 MR. NAUMOVSKI: Perhaps this is the moment,
22 Your Honours, for us to tender a document, an interview
23 with Mr. Kljuic to a newspaper, Novi List, from Rijeka,
24 on the 13th of October, 1991. We have the original and
25 also a translation of that article into English.
1 Q. Mr. Kljuic, I think you have a copy.
2 A. I don't need it. I know very well what I
3 said. I'm ready to answer your questions.
4 Q. But just in case you need to consult the
5 article --
6 A. No, no, I don't need it. Just give me the
7 floor, and I will tell you whatever you want me to say.
8 Q. But let's wait for this to be distributed.
9 THE REGISTRAR: D95/1.
10 MR. NAUMOVSKI: (Interpretation)
11 Q. Mr. Kljuic, in that interview, you said, and
12 I quote: "Regarding the HDZ in Zagreb and the HDZ of
13 Bosnia-Herzegovina, relations are quite clear. The
14 things that are of global significance, that are common
15 for the whole Croatian people, that is our common
16 concern, and we have quite identical positions.
17 However, when it comes to concrete policies in
18 Bosnia-Herzegovina, we had complete autonomy, and
19 nobody interfered nor exerted any influence."
20 That is the gist of what we were talking
21 about a moment ago, wasn't it?
22 A. Yes, that is how things were until the 2nd of
23 February, 1992.
24 Q. That is what I was going to say. We are
25 talking about the period while you were president of
1 the HDZ; that is the main topic of our discussion.
2 A. Very well. Thank you.
3 Q. But you considered yourself independent,
4 didn't you, as an individual?
5 A. That was my principle in life, but it is not
6 just a question of personal will. But you didn't
7 mention something that is very important for an
8 understanding of the situation. I explained last time
9 why I had to recognise Herceg-Bosna.
10 Q. We will come to that.
11 A. I recognised Herceg-Bosna for them, and they
12 recognised Bosnia-Herzegovina. Because if
13 Bosnia-Herzegovina prevailed, then Herceg-Bosna could
14 not prevail.
15 Q. We'll come to that topic later.
16 MR. NAUMOVSKI: I apologise to Your Honours.
17 In the English translation, that is page 5, the last
18 paragraph, the passage that I just read, and I
19 apologise to Your Honours.
20 Q. Mr. Kljuic, can we go on now to another
21 topic, which we could call the organisation of
22 self-defence. A few chronological points for everyone
23 to be able to follow.
24 Already in 1990, the Serbs started to
25 organise communities of municipalities and later on
1 formed autonomous provinces of Krajina in Croatia,
2 didn't they?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. And then the same thing, more or less,
5 happened in Bosnia-Herzegovina, didn't it?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. The Croats in Bosnia and Herzegovina became
8 particularly worried after the so-called "SAO Krajina"
9 on the 2nd of April, 1991 -- I'm talking about the
10 Krajina in the Republic of Croatia -- proclaimed its
11 secession from the Republic of Croatia?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. Those were actually the beginnings of the
14 disintegration of Yugoslavia?
15 A. Yes, I think one could say that.
16 Q. Their Honours have already had occasion to
17 hear that tensions increased, and in the summer of
18 1991, the war actually started in the Republic of
19 Croatia, didn't it?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. At that time, both the JNA and the army of
22 the Serbs in Bosnia-Herzegovina used the Republic of
23 Bosnia-Herzegovina as a kind of training ground for the
24 war against the Republic of Croatia, didn't they?
25 A. Not only Bosnia-Herzegovina. This is a topic
1 I had a great deal of problems over in Croatia. They
2 said, "You're allowing our territory to be shot at from
3 your territory," and I said to Susak, "But they are
4 shooting from Mirkovci." Mirkovci is a well-known
5 Chetnik village near Osijek. So this is something we
6 could not prevent.
7 And they used Bosnia-Herzegovina, especially
8 after Slovenia broke off and after the barracks in
9 Croatia were abandoned and where troops were pulled out
10 from, so many troops focused in Bosnia. I witnessed
11 the army's withdrawal from the Borongaj barracks. When
12 people were drinking champagne, I was the only one who
13 wasn't drinking. And when Mr. Tudjman asked me, "What
14 is it? Aren't you happy that we've let them go from
15 Borongaj?" I said, "Of course I'm not happy, because
16 now they're going to come to Bosnia."
17 So the fact is that the territory of
18 Bosnia-Herzegovina was used for offensive operations
19 against Croatia, that Serb elements from
20 Bosnia-Herzegovina directly fired at Croatia, and this
21 applies to the area of Posavina. But that reflected
22 the balance of forces, because they also shot from the
23 territory of Croatia against the defensive forces of
25 Q. I'm trying to follow the record so that no
1 error can creep in, but let us continue along those
2 lines. As you said, the JNA, as it withdrew to
3 Bosnia-Herzegovina, at the same time people were being
4 mobilised in Bosnia-Herzegovina for the war in
5 Croatia. This was a mobilisation of Croats and Muslims
6 who were expected to join the JNA?
7 A. You see, the presidency of Bosnia-Herzegovina
8 did not allow that, and we prohibited the mobilisation
9 of Croats and Muslims. But the Serb members of the
10 presidency would not take part in that decision. They
11 were Koljevic and Biljana Plavsic. So the Serbs
12 voluntarily joined that army, and I believe that was
13 the first time we gave the JNA a "no."
14 Q. We'll come back to that a little later, but
15 this is simply a chronological overview of the events
16 which led up to everything that followed.
17 So apart from this mobilisation and the
18 withdrawal of JNA from Slovenia and Croatia to
19 Bosnia-Herzegovina, what occurred was what was known as
20 the tacit occupation of Bosnia-Herzegovina. For
21 instance, in June 1991, about 200 tanks arrived at
22 Kupres, and Kupres, to remind Their Honours, is a
23 strategic, very important plateau dividing Central
24 Bosnia from western Herzegovina, you will agree,
25 Mr. Kljuic; and then, again, in September '91, JNA
1 reservists from Serbia and Montenegro came to
2 Bosnia-Herzegovina to the surroundings of Mostar.
3 THE INTERPRETER: Could we ask counsel to
4 speak into the microphone, please.
5 MR. NAUMOVSKI: (Interpretation)
6 Q. Mr. Kljuic, you were among the first
7 politicians in Bosnia-Herzegovina, and that is
8 something you referred to in the interview with the
9 Novi List of Rijeka, who warned of a plan according to
10 which the Serbs, with the help of the JNA, wanted to
11 gain control of the territory, not only of the Republic
12 of Croatia but of Bosnia-Herzegovina as well?
13 A. You see, they are denying that now. It is
14 true that I was the first to discover the project Ram,
15 R-a-m. According to a conversation between Karadzic
16 and Milosevic, they wanted to create a state up to
17 Karolvac, Karlobag, and Virovitica, that would be its
18 eastern border of this new state.
19 Q. At the time, when these things were
20 happening, the central authorities in
21 Bosnia-Herzegovina had still not undertaken anything to
22 organise the defence of the population of
23 Bosnia-Herzegovina from aggression which was about to
25 A. I wouldn't agree with you. You have to know
1 that the Communists handed over the weapons of the
2 Territorial Defence to the army of Yugoslavia. Let us
3 make it quite clear. Josip Broz knew very well what
4 would happen after his death, and he created two
5 parallel structures of armaments in the former
6 Yugoslavia. One was the official army, the armed
7 forces, and the other was a kind of Territorial Defence
8 as in William Tell. However, when the Berlin wall came
9 down, when the process of democratisation started in
10 eastern Europe, all Communist politicians, with the
11 exception of the Slovenes, allowed the weapons of the
12 national defence to be transferred to the barracks of
13 the Yugoslav army. These were vast amounts of money
14 because the people had paid for those weapons and that
15 is how the Communists allowed Milosevic via the army to
16 gain such a dominant position in the former
18 The presidency of Bosnia-Herzegovina, for its
19 part, was aware of its impotence, and the only thing it
20 could do was to mobilise the reserve police force.
21 Q. But that was in September, wasn't it?
22 A. Yes, that was all we could do, because the
23 police were still armed and knew how to handle arms.
24 Q. But let me interrupt you. When I said this,
25 I had in mind the absence of official reactions to what
1 was happening in Bosnia-Herzegovina, and by way of an
2 example, the events in Ravno and so on. That is what I
3 had in mind when I said that nothing was done in a
4 timely manner.
5 A. I do not agree with you. I was disturbed by
6 Ravno in particular, and we formed a commission of the
7 government and the presidency to make an on-site
8 inspection, and in the media we did a great deal to
9 protect Ravno. But no one else did. We didn't have
10 the strength to oppose the army. And the International
11 Community remained passive. And this was the first
12 massacre in Bosnia-Herzegovina.
13 On the other hand, we were not all unanimous
14 in the presidency, I must tell you, because the Serb
15 part of the presidency was very gloated at the time
16 over this because it had demonstrated the strength of
17 the Yugoslav People's Army, whereas some other people
18 said that this wasn't their war. However, the
19 impression --
20 JUDGE MAY: I must ask you to stop now. The
21 purpose of the examination is for questions and answers
22 to be given. We will get on more quickly if we can
23 deal with the matter crisply.
24 Now, I think we've exhausted this topic,
25 Mr. Naumovski. Could you move on to something else,
2 MR. NAUMOVSKI: [Interpretation] Just one
3 single sentence, please. Please --
4 JUDGE MAY: I've said we've exhausted the
5 topic. Would you move on.
6 MR. NAUMOVSKI: [Interpretation] Thank you,
7 Your Honour.
8 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Kljuic, I should say that
9 after this counsel has examined, Prosecution counsel
10 will have the chance to re-examine. And if there are
11 any relevant matters which he thinks should be taken
12 up, he will do so. So you will have the opportunity to
13 deal with anything else relevant.
14 Now, let's move on, please.
15 MR. NAUMOVSKI: [Interpretation]
16 Q. Mr. Kljuic, let us continue this chronology,
17 so-to-speak, by dealing with the subject which we might
18 call the preparations of Croats from Bosnia-Herzegovina
19 for a defence.
20 As document Z2731 shows, on the 4th of April,
21 1991, at the meeting of the presidency of the HDZ of
22 Bosnia-Herzegovina, a decision was reached to introduce
23 duty shifts around the clock in the municipal
24 committees of the HDZ throughout Bosnia-Herzegovina; is
25 that right?
1 A. Yes, that's right.
2 Q. Another document introduced a few days later
3 at the session of the presidency of the HDZ of
4 Bosnia-Herzegovina held on the 16th of April 1991, and
5 that is document Z2733, a higher degree of alert was
6 introduced during these duty shifts, and all of this
7 also took place in the Republic of Croatia; is that
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. Everything that we spoke about a few minutes
11 ago, unequivocally, shows to the members of the HDZ of
12 Bosnia-Herzegovina, especially the presidency, that
13 soon a war would break out in the Republic of Croatia,
14 and that is why a series of measures was introduced in
15 the bodies of the HDZ of Bosnia-Herzegovina; is that
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. We touched upon the subject a few minutes
19 ago. And perhaps we could put just two questions in
20 this regard. In document Z2735, and that is the
21 meeting held on the 10th of July 1991, that is to say
22 the session of the presidency of Bosnia-Herzegovina,
23 the illegal mobilisation of the population is pointed
24 out. That's what we mentioned a few minutes ago?
25 A. Yes, that's right.
1 Q. And then in document Z2710 the government of
2 Bosnia-Herzegovina is asked to stop sending young men
3 into the army?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. That they should do their military service in
6 Bosnia-Herzegovina, et cetera, et cetera; is that
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. And, finally, when a state of war was
10 declared in the Republic of Croatia, you give a
11 recommendation, and that is Z2744, and a special
12 statement related to this, Z2743. You give this
13 recommendation on the 26th of August, 1991 to Croats,
14 not to send their children to the JNA any longer; is
15 that right?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. Mr. Kljuic, when you testified in July, page
18 5.253 to 5.254, you said, Mr. Kljuic, that you
19 personally intervened after the first elections that
20 were held in 1990, that Mr. Dario Kordic got a job as
21 secretary of national defence, as it was then called,
22 in the municipality of Busovaca; is that right?
23 A. Although he did not meet the requirements, he
24 did not have two years of experience, I ordered at the
25 time that he be appointed.
1 Q. I assume that at that time you thought that
2 he could help in the protection of Croats and Muslims;
3 that is to say, that they should not be sent to do
4 their military service. This is the subject that
5 gained in prominence afterwards; isn't that right?
6 A. I said that since there were no Serbs in that
7 municipality, that as many children of ours as possible
8 should be sent to do their military service in the
9 territory of Bosnia and Herzegovina, then after that in
10 Croatia and Slovenia. This was our strategic interest,
11 and it was only natural, because if they were to be
12 sent to Serbia and Macedonia, then what?
13 Q. Mr. Kljuic, in connection with this, you said
14 in an interview that basically in August 1991 you
15 prevented mobilisation of the citizens of
16 Bosnia-Herzegovina, and you prevented some 300.000
17 people wearing JNA uniforms and simply trampling over
19 A. Well, there is an objective I cannot discuss
20 right now, you see, but my role was not to allow the
21 project Ram to be carried out. The Yugoslav People's
22 Army at that time had officers, weapons and they needed
23 Muslims and Croats, and soldiers. And I think that
24 they would have achieved their objective of reaching
25 Karlobag very quickly, but then I issued an order that
1 Croats do not leave, and I also made a great effort to
2 convince not the leadership, but the people, the Muslim
3 people, not to go. Because that was their war, just as
4 it was ours.
5 Q. Very well. Thank you. And my last question
6 in this respect. In view of the recommendation that
7 you gave for Mr. Kordic, and in view of what we know
8 that he did, and we imagine that you know too, do we
9 agree that Mr. Kordic also, within the framework of his
10 possibilities, and within his municipality, also
11 assisted this effort; that is, that young Croatian and
12 Muslim men do not go to the JNA and do not fight for
13 the objectives of the already former JNA. I could call
14 it that, I think?
15 A. Well, except for a few incidents that are
16 negligible as far as this trial is concerned, during
17 peacetime I had no objections to him. He was
18 politically immature. He listened to Boban. But that
19 can be tolerated. But as for his work in the
20 municipality, I think that what he did, he did fairly
22 Q. Thank you. We talked about
23 Bosnia-Herzegovina a few minutes ago, about the
24 territory of Bosnia-Herzegovina as a training ground
25 for attacks on the Republic of Croatia. Let us just
1 mention some documents here now, for example, Z18.
2 And, Mr. Kljuic, in July 1991 you said on television
3 that the Croats of Bosnia-Herzegovina, if necessary,
4 will defend the Republic of Croatia?
5 A. Yes. That was the first time that someone
6 opposed the Yugoslav People's Army in that way. That
7 was a statement that I made, and I said if the Republic
8 of Croatia is attacked, that the Croats of
9 Bosnia-Herzegovina would defend it. We did defend it.
10 And I have to tell you one more thing. With gratitude,
11 that about 10.000 Muslims from Bosnia-Herzegovina took
12 part in the defence of Croatia. Later, they drew on
13 that experience in the defence of Bosnia-Herzegovina,
14 and many of them had Croat nicknames, like Zenga, Zagi,
15 et cetera.
16 Q. That is what I wish to infer right now, but
17 since you said it, there is no need for me to repeat
18 it. In addition to Croat young men, Muslim young men
19 also went to wage war on Croatia, to defend it.
20 Just one more thing. The statement that you
21 made on television was basically supported by the
22 conclusion of the presidency of the HDZ of
23 Bosnia-Herzegovina from the 31st of July 1991, and that
24 is document Z736. Do you remember that?
25 A. Yes, there were a lot of statements of
1 support, but this was quite a normal reaction.
2 Q. Mr. Kljuic, let us proceed. As we follow
3 along parallel lines, what is going on in Croatia, I am
4 now talking about the HDZ of Bosnia-Herzegovina. On
5 the 26th of August 1991, and that is document Z2744.
6 You actually introduced extraordinary measures within
7 the HDZ, didn't you, because of the war in Croatia? A
8 kind of emergency?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. If you agree, we could explain to the
11 honourable judges how the preparations took place in
12 terms of the military organisation of the HDZ, because
13 you and the HDZ knew what would inevitably follow.
14 So let us skip over the things that the
15 honourable judges already know, and that is in June
16 1991 there was a war in the Republic of Slovenia. We
17 already said what kind of actions were taken by the
18 Serb paramilitary units in Croatia, that the war had
19 already started. At that time, that is to say on the
20 10th of June 1991, and this is important in terms of
21 our chronology, the Muslims established what they
22 called the Muslim Defence Council?
23 A. I'm not aware of that, you see.
24 Q. Your Honours, at this point we would like to
25 tender a document. This is a document of the SDA party
1 which confirms what I just said. So could we ask
2 Mr. Kljuic to take a look at this document, please.
3 JUDGE MAY: Copies for the Trial Chamber,
5 THE REGISTRAR: Document is marked D96/1.
6 MR. NAUMOVSKI: [Interpretation]
7 Q. Could you please place the English version on
8 the ELMO.
9 A. Well, now that I read who said it -- who
10 signed it, I think I can say that it is authentic.
11 Q. Could you please tell the Honourable Court
12 who Mr. Hasan Cengic was?
13 A. At that time he did not hold a post within
14 the government. He was in the party, but during the
15 war he was the chief logistics man of the army of
16 Bosnia-Herzegovina, and after the war he held numerous
17 offices before the OSC replaced him.
18 Q. Now that we are talking about this document.
19 This was the first organisation of its kind in
20 Bosnia-Herzegovina, wasn't it, in June 1991?
21 A. I have to tell you that the situation on the
22 ground was quite confused, that people were
23 spontaneously getting armed. So it is quite
24 unimportant when a party or a group of people found an
25 official way of doing this. But I think, after the
1 Serbs who got weapons from the JNA, all normal people
2 tried to arm themselves.
3 Q. There is no denying that, Mr. Kljuic, but I
4 just wanted to mention something that you actually
5 answered at the very beginning. Actually, I wanted to
6 ask you or, rather, to have you confirm that at that
7 time the party that had very good relations with the
8 SDA -- I mean, you were not invited when this National
9 Defence Council was established.
10 A. Well, you see, they were not invited when we
11 Croats did the same thing. So it was something
12 secret. However, until the present day I have not
13 heard of this.
14 Q. Very well. Thank you. Let us proceed. As
15 for the chronology, I touched upon this because this
16 took place a month before the HDZ, in addition to all
17 other councils through which it tried to improve the
18 situation on the ground, established a Security
19 Council. That is document Z2735, right?
20 A. That's right.
21 Q. Well --
22 A. Well, it's not quite clear what the Security
23 Council was.
24 Q. This was not for purposes of armament.
25 A. I didn't say that. No, no, no. This is
1 coordination of all documents, and of the situation on
2 the ground.
3 Q. I am not supposed to interject while you are
4 speaking because then we have a problem with the
6 You headed that Security Council, that is
7 what the presidency of the HDZ of Bosnia and
8 Herzegovina decided; is that right?
9 A. Yes, that's right.
10 Q. And now what you said a few minutes ago, what
11 you started telling me, the Security Council was
12 basically established in order to bring an information
13 together and also to coordinate work related to the
14 security of the Croatian people in Bosnia-Herzegovina;
15 is that right?
16 A. Absolutely.
17 Q. I just have to mention, by the way, for the
18 sake of the transcript, that this decision of the 10th
19 of July 1991 was confirmed in document Z10, less than a
20 month later. However, Mr. Kljuic, Z16 is a very
21 interesting document, and that is a conclusion of the
22 Security Council that we were discussing just now,
23 dated the 18th of September 1991 --
24 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Naumovski, I am going to stop
25 you now. You are making speeches to the witness.
1 Could you confine yourself, please, to asking him
2 questions. You can make your points to us in due
3 course, that you want to make about the documents.
4 Now, as far as the witness is concerned, let
5 us get on with his examination and confine yourself, if
6 you would, to asking him questions.
7 As I say, in due course you will make
8 submissions to us and you can say what you want about
9 the documents, but we'll get on more quickly if you
10 simply ask the witness briefly about it.
11 MR. NAUMOVSKI: [Interpretation] Yes, I will,
12 Your Honour. Thank you. However, we agreed on most
13 subjects and I simply wanted to speed up the answers.
14 However, if the Honourable Trial Chamber views things
15 differently, then I shall act accordingly.
16 Q. So, Mr. Kljuic, very briefly, on the 18th of
17 September 1991 the Security Council grew into the
18 crisis staff. This was a higher level of organisation,
19 wasn't it?
20 A. This was just a formal change in name. The
21 situation in Croatia was getting ever more complicated,
22 so we wanted to receive as much information as possible
23 and to know how to take a position of our own. And,
24 you know, this was quite a fashionable thing at the
25 time. Everybody had crisis staffs at the time, so we
1 had a crisis staff too. However, the purpose was not
2 different at all .
3 Q. You were President of this crisis staff,
4 weren't you?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. Who was your deputy? Mr. Boban, right?
7 A. Well, that's the way it was, according to the
8 very formation. He was vice-president of the party.
9 Q. In this document, Z16, what is important is
10 that in addition to this change of name into crisis
11 staff, that is, essentially a decision was passed to
12 establish organs related to structure and command.
13 Remember, that's what you called it?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. This organ related to structure and command,
16 what was its function?
17 A. I must tell you that at that time the war in
18 Croatia was already very intensive. We Croats did not
19 have many officers. And through this organisation we
20 tried to take over officers from the JNA who were not
21 compromised, and to take people who could help us in
22 the defence of Croatia and possibly in the war in
23 Bosnia that would follow.
24 So politicians and party officials were not
25 people that I could count on in terms of these
1 activities, because they were amateur. I was an
2 amateur too, although in the former Yugoslavia I held
3 the name of captain. This was an initiative to bring
4 together as many professional people as possible in
5 order to assist the defence of Croatia and, if need be,
6 in the future, of Bosnia-Herzegovina.
7 Q. Can we agree, then, Mr. Kljuic, along the
8 lines of what you said just now, that basically in this
9 way a future body was being established; that is to say
10 some kind of command of the future army? Is that
12 A. Unfortunately, that did not happen. My
13 intention was to engage professional officers, however,
14 those who were implementing this retained for
15 themselves the right to command. And that is going to
16 be the tragedy of the Croat people during the war in
18 Q. Thank you. Very briefly, in relation to this
19 subject. Document Z18 shows or, rather, on the basis
20 of Z18 I would like to put a few questions. You
21 started organising a network of these crisis staffs and
22 structure and command -- professional commander
23 organizations in the municipalities; is that right?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. And you also started making lists of
1 volunteers; is that right?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. Then you were also making records of
4 personnel, equipment, arms, et cetera?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. In addition to that, a secret system of
7 communications is being established, I must say within
8 a primitive framework, but nevertheless some kind of a
9 communications system, as far as I could see on the
10 basis of these documents.
11 A. Well, of course we had to have this in
12 Bosnia-Herzegovina. You know, in Bosnia, when we had
13 the first multiparty elections, I had to have three
14 reserve headquarters, because in the first headquarters
15 that I had, in the Holiday Inn hotel in Sarajevo, the
16 first thing that happened was that there was a power
17 breakdown, that there was no water, et cetera, so then
18 I had to have backup systems. That's what the
19 communists taught me.
20 Q. Thank you. So then arms were purchased, and
21 channels were sought for that; is that right?
22 A. Well, no, no. Oh, come on, it didn't start
23 already then, as late as that. I mean, let's be fair
24 about this. Let's be honest. We did not start
25 preparing ourselves then. What Sarajevo and Zagreb
1 shared was finance. Not a single people in the former
2 Yugoslavia did not give the kind of contribution that
3 the Croat people gave to their defence and to their
4 freedom. I must say that during the war in Sarajevo,
5 we collected one million deutschemarks during two years
6 of the war, and I know Croats who gave one million
7 marks per person.
8 Q. Very well, thank you.
9 A. No, I have to tell you something else. Many
10 people said that I was the best speaker in the HDZ. We
11 attended various rallies, primarily in Germany and
12 western Europe. Since I was a well-known communist
13 dissident, and I was a journalist working for the
14 German radio, and our guest workers abroad listened to
15 that for ten years, and also at that time there were
16 two things only that were reactionary in Zagreb, and
17 that was the football club of Dynamo and the newspaper
18 Vjesnik. I was well-liked amongst these guest
19 workers. First of all, I spoke their language. And
20 they gave a lot of money that went to Zagreb.
21 You see, my political position would not have
22 been that weak had I not lost these financial
23 channels. Finance was in Zagreb. And when this
24 happened, I said, "Gentlemen, it is natural that you
25 buy weapons," and may I say straightaway that they
1 liked this a lot. You know, weapons is the best
2 business of all, anywhere.
3 Let me tell you one more thing so you don't
4 have to ask me afterwards. Since I represented the
5 urban population of Bosnia-Herzegovina, I was a citizen
6 who could not bring a rifle to his nearest and dearest
7 in Sarajevo. Strategically speaking, at that time, I
8 appointed two men who would be involved in arms
9 supplies and the distribution of arms. That was Mate
10 Boban for Herzegovina and Iko Stanic for Posavina.
11 I must say this was done for practical
12 reasons. These are two different sides, and then there
13 is the border with Croatia, which is very propulsive.
14 And after all, where the Croatian population --
15 JUDGE MAY: We are getting some way from the
16 topic now.
18 MR. NAUMOVSKI: (Interpretation)
19 Q. Mr. Kljuic, let us try to sum this up. These
20 efforts to organise the self-defence of the Croat
21 people were taking place at the time when the
22 government of Bosnia-Herzegovina did not have its own
23 legal army, so to speak; is that right?
24 A. Well, until the day of independence of Bosnia
25 and Herzegovina, we did not have a legal army. And I
1 must say that the prime minister of Bosnia-Herzegovina
2 was a Croat. So it's not that we didn't want that; we
3 simply did not have an army of our own. Because the
4 Communists gave us the weapons of the Territorial
5 Defence, and the army was the Yugoslav People's Army.
6 Q. That is precisely what I wish to say: that
7 at that time, the JNA, as the only legal army, so to
8 speak, was already serving the interests of a policy
9 aimed at a Greater Serbia. And the Territorial Defence
10 did not have any weapons, and on the other hand, in
11 terms of organisation, it was set up close to the JNA.
12 That's what you just said now, didn't you?
13 A. Please, until Bosnia and Herzegovina was
14 recognised as an independent state, the Territorial
15 Defence was absolutely an outpost of the JNA, and the
16 JNA leaders left on the 4th of April, 1992. It is only
17 then that we entered the premises of the Territorial
18 Defence, and of course we realised that they were
19 empty, and we started self-organising ourselves.
20 Q. Mr. Kljuic, I don't want it to seem as if you
21 and I were only having this discussion. Could you
22 please look at the Honourable Trial Chamber as much as
23 possible while you answer my questions.
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. Mr. Kljuic, the finale of what we are talking
1 about right now, all these efforts aimed at the
2 self-defence of the Croat people that took place
3 throughout '91, and in part in 1992, led to the
4 establishment of the Croatian Defence Council on the
5 8th of April, 1992; is that right?
6 A. I think that that did not have to happen.
7 You see, at the time, we already had the Territorial
8 Defence, and the presidency tried to make a compromise
9 so that all patriotically oriented persons would be
10 included. And we said that all military formations
11 that would be defending Bosnia and Herzegovina should
12 be called the armed forces of Bosnia-Herzegovina.
13 However, the HVO did not agree to be within that, but
14 they agreed to be within the patriotic front of
16 Q. That is precisely what I wanted to ask you
17 right now. As you were then a member of the presidency
18 of the Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina, at one of the
19 meetings that were held in mid-April 1991, Mr. Alija
20 Izetbegovic informed the presidency that the Croatian
21 Defence Council sent on the 10th of April, 1992, that
22 is to say two days after --
23 A. Sorry, you're making a mistake. First you
24 said '91, and now you're saying '92, and we're not
25 talking about '91; we're talking about 1992. Both
1 dates are 1992.
2 Q. It was a slip of the tongue, I'm sorry. We
3 are talking about '92.
4 A. All right.
5 Q. So I'm saying that the HVO, in this letter
6 dated the 10th of April, 1992, submitted a proposal to
7 the presidency of Bosnia-Herzegovina to establish a
8 joint command for the defence of the territory of
9 Bosnia-Herzegovina; do you remember that letter?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. But if my information is correct, Alija
12 Izetbegovic never put this proposal to the vote; that
13 is, the presidency never managed to pass a formal
14 decision on this.
15 A. You see, that's not the problem, that he did
16 not put this to the vote. But as of that date, there
17 was permanent negotiation between Izetbegovic and
18 Tudjman. As for the collapse of Bosnia and
19 Herzegovina, Milosevic [sic] and Tudjman did not
20 respect the presidency of Bosnia and Herzegovina
21 because they needed a third Muslim side, and
22 Izetbegovic liked that a lot.
23 And I must say that among others, one of the
24 misfortunes of Bosnia and Herzegovina is that
25 Izetbegovic and Tudjman cannot stand the sight of one
1 another, and as history would have it, I was between
2 the two of them. So unfortunately I did not manage to
3 convince them that joint defence is the only way out.
4 However, in the autumn of 1995, when they finally found
5 a common tongue, and before the Dayton Accords, when we
6 opposed the Serb aggression, the results were
8 Q. Let us not deviate from the subject.
9 JUDGE MAY: It's now 11.00, and we're going
10 to adjourn for our usual break. Do you have very much
11 more to put to this witness? About how long?
12 MR. NAUMOVSKI: (Interpretation) Your Honour,
13 I must say that I have quite a few questions, and I
14 think that I will at least need the rest of today and
15 perhaps a bit of our time tomorrow as well.
16 JUDGE MAY: Kindly confine yourself to the
17 rest of today, which should be more than enough, in my
19 Mr. Kovacic, do you have any questions for
20 this witness?
21 MR. KOVACIC: Your Honours, we did not decide
22 definitely; but if we will have, it will be within 15
23 or 20 minutes.
24 JUDGE MAY: Yes, thank you.
25 Mr. Nice, what's the position about other
1 witnesses this week and this witness?
2 MR. NICE: I think there's no problem with
3 this witness for tomorrow. I've not been informed of
4 any. I have another witness arriving today who can
5 start immediately after this witness, I hope, and then,
6 depending on how we seem to be doing, I think there is
7 another witness we may be able to get for later in the
8 weeks as well. So I think we'll have a full -- we
9 should have a full week of evidence.
10 JUDGE MAY: It's a short week, of course;
11 we're not sitting Friday, remember. It's the holiday.
12 MR. NICE: We should have a full week.
13 JUDGE MAY: Very well. 11.00 -- 11.30,
15 --- Recess taken at 11.00 a.m.
16 --- On resuming at 11.34 a.m.
17 JUDGE MAY: Yes, Mr. Naumovski.
18 MR. NAUMOVSKI: [Interpretation] Thank you,
19 Your Honours.
20 Q. Mr. Kljuic, a remark, comment from
21 interpreters. Address more to me than to you. They
22 told us we were too fast, especially when -- during our
23 exchanges, and it was particularly French interpreters
24 who objected to that and said that it created
25 difficulties for them. And for Judge Bennouna I would
1 like to apologise for any inconvenience that we have
3 Now, Mr. Kljuic, let us conclude with the
4 topic we were talking about before. That is
5 self-organisation, self-defence and things like that.
6 You will agree with me, I suppose, that the Bosniak
7 Herzegovina HDZ, at the time when you were its
8 President, started organising what we mentioned before,
9 started organising the future army of Croats in
10 Bosnia-Herzegovina. Those were -- this was the
12 A. I will not agree with your formulation. We
13 were getting ready, but for the defence of
14 Bosnia-Herzegovina's state, that was my position. Not
15 only for the preparation of Croats, because that
16 concept would mean three -- the armies of three peoples
17 and therefore a conflict. There is no political
18 document. There is no political option which opposes
19 the interests of Croats while being the defence of
21 Q. No, no, no. It is not the objectives which
22 are in dispute. I was simply trying to round off the
23 thought, but we already discussed those details and
24 there is no need for me to go back to that.
25 And the second and last thing in this
1 dilemma. We shall agree that all those preparations
2 were done to prepare the defence against the aggression
3 by the so-called JNA, which was formed by paramilitary
4 Serb units and so on and so forth?
5 A. Exclusively, only against the paramilitary
6 forces of the former Yugoslav People's Army.
7 Q. Right. Thank you. Now, let us move on to
8 another topic. We termed it the co-operation with
9 Muslims, which is what they called themselves then, and
10 I shall ask you now a few questions in this regard.
11 Mr. Kljuic, I suppose you know Mr. Adil
12 Zulfikarpasic quite well, don't you?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. He was one of the founding fathers of the
15 Party for Democratic Action at the time?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. However, later on he left the SDA and founded
18 or, rather, participated in an organisation which was
19 called the Muslim Bosniak organisation?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. Mr. Kljuic, did you know that in March 1991
22 Adil Zulfikarpasic negotiated with Croats in the
23 Republic of Croatia and the Slovenians, and the
24 negotiations bore upon the Proclamation of the
25 independence of Bosnia-Herzegovina on the same day as
1 Slovenia and Croatia?
2 A. No, I did not know that, and it is
3 irrelevant, because there was the European commission
4 that sent us an ultimatum to conduct a referendum.
5 Q. But we shall talk about this later.
6 A. No, no, no. But this is important. We could
7 not proclaim our independence until we were giving the
8 guarantees of the European union that they would
9 recognise us. And they told us, no problem, you will
10 also get it on the basis of the commission's findings,
11 but before that you must conduct a referendum.
12 Q. That is not in dispute, Mr. Kljuic. But it
13 was a year later, I am referring to March 1991.
14 A. I do not know the contents of talks conducted
15 by Mr. Adil Zulfikarpasic.
16 Q. In the record Z2736 I noted, and that is the
17 minutes of the meeting of the presidency of the HDZ of
18 BiH on the 31st of July '91, that the
19 Bosnia-Herzegovina and HDZ insisted that the Croat
20 people should not disrupt its relations with Muslims.
21 Is that correct?
22 A. It is.
23 Q. You even concluded that you had to explain to
24 people on the ground that there was a very broad,
25 larger Serbian campaign conducted with a view to
1 disrupting the relations between the Croats and the
2 Muslims. And yet, on the other hand, you were
3 following what the other side, if I may put it that
4 way, the Muslim people and especially its party, the
5 SDA, was doing at the time.
6 A. But, of course, needless to say, we followed
8 Q. Mr. Kljuic, as a politician you must have
9 known that in June '91 -- that in June 1991 Alija
10 Izetbegovic proposed to conduct secret negotiations
11 with Serbia on the establishment of a Federation
12 between Bosnia-Herzegovina, Serbia and Montenegro?
13 A. Such information never reached me, but
14 Izetbegovic did conduct various talks with Serbs. I
15 knew that, and, of course, your quotation a few moments
16 ago about Adil Zulfikarpasic. However, lengthy talks
17 with Izetbegovic, it was very important for me to
18 create, in Bosnia at least, a coalition between Croats
19 and Muslims or, rather, Bosniaks today. And they have
20 never stopped explaining that a struggle for
21 independent Bosnia would mean also certain losses, but
22 that it will also mean freedom.
23 On the other hand, continuing within
24 Yugoslavia could have, perhaps, in the early days
25 spared us those losses. But politically, strategically
1 speaking, it would also do away with a Muslim
2 autonomous being. And Milosevic and Karadzic were
3 offering to Izetbegovic to become the second people in
4 Yugoslavia, and I asked them then, "And what is the
5 second people in this Yugoslavia now?" And he
6 answered, "Albanians." So I said, "So, well, they are
7 offering you to be the Albanians?" And, of course,
8 those talks never resulted in any success, even though
9 I am a political adversary of Mr. Izetbegovic today,
10 for reasons into which I do not wish to go into now.
11 But we must pay tribute that he did understand at that
12 time that a struggle for freedom, that the support for
13 the Croat concept was the struggle of the future, and
14 that he refused it to that, because otherwise the
15 outcome of the struggle in the former Yugoslavia would
16 have been quite different had he agreed to that and
17 much more difficult for us Croats.
18 Q. Right, Mr. Kljuic. But as we are talking
19 about, and Mr. Izetbegovic also confirmed that in one
20 of his speeches that were published. Those talks with
21 the Serbian side, that is those negotiations which were
22 secret up to a point, the Croat public opinion was
23 quite right in suspecting that or, rather, thinking
24 that those negotiations were conducted at the expense
25 of the Croats?
1 A. In the Balkans, any separate talks are always
2 to the detriment of whatever third party. But from the
3 conduct of the Muslim leadership and the citizens, the
4 Croat public, apart from those who wanted to,
5 absolutely had no reason to think that, all the more
6 so, as I have already said it, about 20,000 Muslims
7 went to defend Croatia, and in the parliament and in
8 the government, our views were identical.
9 Q. When I said that, I meant the fundamental
10 position of Bosnian Croats who were refusing to remain
11 in whatever shape of Yugoslavia, since that old
12 Yugoslavia was really gone, and for keeps.
13 A. Agree. We did not want to stay in any
14 Yugoslavia, let alone rump Yugoslavia.
15 Q. When we're talking about these negotiations
16 of several parties, in an interview once, you said -- I
17 quote you -- "The Croat public needs to understand that
18 I have done at least two things that have secured for
19 me a place in the history of the Croat people. One of
20 them is that I prevented" -- and in quotation marks --
21 "'a historic agreement' between Karadzic, Filipovic,
22 and Zulfikarpasic." Do you remember that?
23 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Naumovski, first of all,
24 where is it said and when is it said this interview
25 took place?
1 MR. NAUMOVSKI: (Interpretation) That
2 interview took place sometime in '93, but Mr. Kljuic
3 remembers it. I do not have the text before me. I
4 took it out from somewhere. But Mr. Kljuic now
5 confirms it.
6 JUDGE MAY: Just a moment, Mr. Kljuic.
7 It may be, but if counsel is going to quote
8 something at a witness, he should know the place where
9 it comes from, rather than just coming along and
10 quoting it.
11 Now, Mr. Kljuic, do you, in fact, remember
12 saying this?
13 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone.
14 A. Yes, because that was the substance of my
15 philosophy, and I can always repeat it or reproduce it.
16 JUDGE MAY: Yes, Mr. Naumovski, what is it
17 you want to ask?
18 MR. NAUMOVSKI: (Interpretation) I want
19 Mr. Kljuic to tell us, what kind of an agreement was
20 that supposed to be?
21 A. It had to do with the plan Ram, R-a-m. Had
22 Milosevic succeeded in winning over the Muslim people
23 in Bosnia-Herzegovina, then arm them and push them to
24 fight against Croatia, the war would have taken a
25 completely different course. But apart from the
1 political talks that I conducted with Muslim leaders,
2 you should also know that I placed a great trust, both
3 as a citizen and as a pro-Bosnian, that I placed a
4 great trust in the Muslim people. And in the elections
5 of 1990, I won relatively the largest numbers of all
6 the members of the presidency, and the number of those
7 who had voted for me far exceeded the number of Croats
8 with suffrage rights.
9 Q. So we can then agree that these agreements
10 that we are talking about were bad for the Croats, for
11 their future destiny?
12 A. Well, those agreements were not bad because
13 Milosevic did not succeed. Had Milosevic succeeded in
14 having those negotiations in the way he wanted, they
15 would have been fatal for the Croat people.
16 Q. Right, thank you.
17 On the 27th of August, '91, the presidency of
18 the HDZ of Bosnia-Herzegovina issued instructions to
19 municipal HDZ boards -- and it is document Z13 --
20 ordering, if I may put it that way, the municipal
21 boards to establish contact with the SDA for the joint
22 preparation of defence?
23 A. Yes, and it was also applied in practice,
24 namely Croats were sharing with Serbs only four or five
25 municipalities, apart from large towns, and cities, of
1 course. And a countless number of municipalities had
2 Muslims as their neighbours. So what is more natural
3 than to establish an alliance to defend one against the
5 Q. But in this document, it is also said that
6 where the relations between Croats and Muslims are not
7 particularly good, they should be improved at whatever
8 cost, because that would serve the defence.
9 A. Right.
10 Q. But let us finish with this document, Z13.
11 This document also envisages a third possibility, if I
12 may put it that way, and that is that if agreed
13 preparations for a defence fail, that then one should
14 organise on one's own?
15 A. And what else could we do, then? There was
16 yet another thing, that disputes in some municipalities
17 should be then settled in Sarajevo, at the highest
19 Q. Document Z16, and those are the conclusions
20 of the Security Council of the HDZ of
21 Bosnia-Herzegovina of the 18th September, '91, item 5,
22 so that as president you were charged with establishing
23 contact with the SDA presidency, and asking them to
24 tell you what was their political will in that regard,
25 what was their political position in that regard?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. And this means that the HDZ had decided to
3 develop a joint action programme with the SDA party for
4 the territory of Bosnia-Herzegovina?
5 A. That was what I was aspiring to. I'm not
6 quite sure that all the municipal boards wanted that,
7 but whatever the case, when you are under threat, when
8 you are in a difficult position, then you have to
9 devise a programme which will help you to avoid as many
10 avenues as possible, and Muslims simply were our allies
11 in the defence against Greater Serbian fascism.
12 Q. Mr. Kljuic, do you know Mr. Halilovic?
13 A. I do. You mean Sefer Halilovic?
14 Q. Yes, Sefer Halilovic.
15 A. Yes, I do know him.
16 Q. For a while, you were both members of the
17 presidency of Bosnia-Herzegovina?
18 A. I brought him to become the head of the
19 general staff.
20 Q. You mean the army, but at first it was the
21 Territorial Defence?
22 A. Yes, the Territorial Defence.
23 Q. But do you know that in September '91,
24 Mr. Halilovic had begun organising the Patriotic
1 A. Well, it's a long story about the Patriotic
2 League, you know. I know one thing: that the army of
3 Bosnia-Herzegovina was formed by six people, including
4 the late Mustafa Alalovic [phoen], "Italian"; Jerko
5 Doko, Minister of Defence; Stjepan Siber, general;
6 Dragan Vikic, head of the police; and my humble self.
7 And there were some patriotic organisations,
8 paramilitaries, like Green Berets, Patriotic League.
9 But today there is really more talk about it than I
10 knew at the time when I was organising the defence of
11 Bosnia-Herzegovina in April '92. It is possible that
12 Mr. Halilovic was amongst those people in the Patriotic
14 Q. I agree with you about some things, but I'm
15 not talking about the organisation of the defence at
16 the Bosnian-Herzegovinian level. All I wanted to ask
17 you was what you were to the Patriotic League as the
18 army of the Party of Democratic Action?
19 A. It was never formed as the army of the Party
20 for Democratic Action. At that time, a Sarajevo lad
21 called Juka Prazina had more troops than the whole
22 Patriotic League.
23 Q. Let me just mention that Halilovic, in his
24 book, "A Cunning Strategy," described in detail the
25 organisation of the Patriotic League, and so on and so
2 A. Excuse me, but at that time, the
3 establishment of whatever military formations,
4 especially with some religious prefix, meant
5 disorganising Bosnia-Herzegovina from inside. Had they
6 said that it was an SDA army, we wouldn't have been
7 able to set up the army of Bosnia-Herzegovina, which,
8 in the beginning, had 40 per cent of Croats and Serbs
9 amongst its men.
10 Q. All I wanted to say when I asked you about
11 the Patriotic League -- and this had to do with your
12 attempt that we talked about a while ago, that the HDZ
13 and the SDA should jointly defend Bosnia-Herzegovina --
14 all I wanted to see and hear from you was that in
15 parallel with those efforts that you are referring to
16 concerning joint defence, this Patriotic League was
17 formed, which was a part of one -- one army or one
19 A. Right, but most of them had very close
20 relations with Croatia. Most of them had been to the
21 Croatian front, and if you are asking about the supply
22 of weapons, most of it came from Croatia; that is, the
23 only outlet into the world was from Croatia, through
24 coordination with Croatia. Some of the Croatian
25 generals were helping the Patriotic League; that is
1 people who were ready to defend Bosnia. Of course, it
2 was formulated later on and they tried to create the
3 image of a Patriotic League, but those were simply
4 patriots who were trying to help in the defence of
5 their homeland.
6 Q. Mr. Kljuic, as the then-president of the HDZ
7 of Bosnia-Herzegovina and member of the presidency,
8 were you aware that on the 8th of February, 1992, at
9 Mehurici, Halilovic organised a military conquest of
10 the Patriotic League?
11 A. No, I was not aware of that. At that time, I
12 was in a hospital, severely ill, but I didn't know it.
13 I suppose I would have learned that even while in
14 hospital had such an information been available.
15 Q. So you wouldn't know anything about those
17 A. No, I don't, and I must tell you that the
18 Patriotic League as a formation was never -- that
19 nobody knew about it, even when, at that time, when in
20 the form of the armed forces of Bosnia-Herzegovina, we
21 were trying to create the defence front, the armed
22 forces of Bosnia-Herzegovina were to include the
23 Territorial Defence, which was the embryo of the army
24 of Bosnia-Herzegovina, then the HVO, a number of
25 independent groups, and HOS, the HOS. Of all these
1 components, only the HOS agreed to join the armed
2 forces of Bosnia-Herzegovina. I simply want to tell
3 you that the Patriotic League was never mentioned as a
4 specific and fully-fledged formation.
5 Q. Yes, but we need to agree that it did exist
6 on the ground.
7 A. On the ground, that they were men who began
8 to claim later on that they were members of the
9 Patriotic League. But as a formation, we knew about
10 the HVO forces, we knew about the HOS, Territorial
11 Defence troops, and we knew about some formations led
12 by some young men who would call themselves this or
13 that. But there was never a formation which would be
14 called the 1st Platoon of the Patriotic League, or
15 anything like it.
16 Q. Mr. Kljuic, can we agree that until the
17 threat of war was proclaimed on the 8th of April, 1992,
18 the government and presidency of Bosnia-Herzegovina
19 actually did not do anything to organise the citizens
20 of Bosnia-Herzegovina for defence?
21 JUDGE MAY: I think the witness has been
22 answering that question for quite some time now. Let's
23 move on.
24 MR. NAUMOVSKI: (Interpretation)
25 Q. Let us go on, as instructed by His Honour, to
1 another topic, and this has to do with the support of
2 the HDZ of Bosnia-Herzegovina for a sovereign and
3 independent Bosnia-Herzegovina, if we could call it
5 You were the president of the HDZ in highly
6 turbulent times when the former common state definitely
7 fell apart?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. As the president of the HDZ of
10 Bosnia-Herzegovina, you personally did not take part in
11 what could be called highly tense and difficult
12 extended talks between the former presidents of all the
13 republics of the former Yugoslavia?
14 A. I could not participate by the position I
15 held, because there was only one representative of
16 Bosnia-Herzegovina; that was Alija Izetbegovic. He was
17 primus inter pares. He was president of the presidents
18 of Bosnia-Herzegovina, so he was the only one who took
19 part. But so that we should not be damaged, we
20 authorised Dr. Franjo Tudjman to globally represent our
22 Q. I am trying to be as brief as possible, so
23 you already answered another question that I had
24 intended to ask. A quick overview of the international
25 negotiations and the positions taken by the individual
1 peoples of Bosnia-Herzegovina regarding the internal
2 set-up of the republic.
3 With the dissolution of Yugoslavia, the
4 question that inevitably arose was what would happen to
5 Bosnia-Herzegovina if it too became an independent and
6 sovereign state, what kind of internal set-up it would
7 have. Would you agree with that?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. The same question was posed before the
10 International Community. So in September, for the sake
11 of chronology, in September 1991 Lord Carrington
12 started with his activities talking to representatives
13 of all three peoples of Bosnia-Herzegovina about the
14 future structure of the state?
15 A. Yes. With the leaders of all three peoples.
16 Q. You were then expected to provide certain
17 proposals and concepts?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. So to cover this ground quickly, can we agree
20 that the Serbs of Bosnia-Herzegovina actually advocated
21 a Bosnia and Herzegovina that would be organised as a
22 confederation of three equal peoples, but with the
23 addition that they felt that that future
24 Bosnia-Herzegovina must remain within the framework of
25 the new Yugoslavia, and if that were to prove
1 impossible, in that case Bosnia-Herzegovina should be
2 divided up.
3 A. Milosevic wanted all Serbs to live in one
4 country, and that is a well-known theory of his, and
5 you see after the war the Serbs ended up in the same
6 position as the Germans after the Second World War.
7 As far as the SDS is concerned in
8 Bosnia-Herzegovina, it was absolutely against any
9 Bosnia-Herzegovina as a normal state, even though the
10 commission recognised the status of Bosnia-Herzegovina
11 to be identical to that of other republics. They were
12 gaining time preparing themselves for military action
13 so that actually they offered false proposals, such as
14 a confederation, a tripartite to Bosnia-Herzegovina
15 consisting of three peoples, but from the beginning
16 until the end the aim was always the same, a Greater
18 Q. Very well, thank you. Can we go on now to
19 the positions held by another people. The Muslims, you
20 will agree, adopted the position that
21 Bosnia-Herzegovina should be organised as a unitary
22 state based on the principle: One man, one vote?
23 A. They wanted a civil society, but, you know,
24 people who don't understand and don't like Bosnia
25 supported those theses. You see, we had an
1 arrangement, and that was that in the parliament of
2 Bosnia-Herzegovina we should introduce a chamber of
3 peoples with the same number of representatives of all
4 the peoples of Bosnia-Herzegovina. And in that chamber
5 the representatives of each people would have the right
6 to veto those acts of law which would jeopardise vital
7 national interests. That chamber of peoples is
8 something we have today in Bosnia-Herzegovina.
9 On the other hand, regarding the structure of
10 power sharing in Bosnia-Herzegovina, the arrangement
11 was one that we implemented, that at high positions in
12 the Federation, that is in joint political bodies of
13 all three peoples, we should have a parity
14 representation of all three peoples, which means in the
15 presidency there would be two Croats, two Muslims, two
16 Serbs. And at the municipal level that the
17 representation should be proportional. So that would
18 not be an unitary state, but simply the concept
19 unitary, because the Muslim majority was used by those
20 who wanted to carve up Bosnia-Herzegovina.
21 Q. So I could agree with you in principle
22 regarding the explanation you have given regarding the
23 regulations which would place a minority on an equal
24 footing with the majority, but, apart from those
25 measures, by applying this principle, one man, one
1 vote, the majority people would gain a leading role.
2 That is the gist of the matter, isn't it?
3 A. You are talking in hypotheses. The Serbs
4 were a majority people in the former Yugoslavia and
5 Josip Broz developed a structure through which they
6 were not able to impose that majority at the highest
7 level. It was only when Milosevic toppled the
8 constitutional order that the Serbs managed to gain a
9 majority position.
10 Q. That is exactly what we are talking about.
11 We are talking about the structure of the future
12 Bosnia-Herzegovina, not the socialist
13 Bosnia-Herzegovina that was formed as a republic within
14 Yugoslavia as a result of the elections. But this
15 principle of one man, one vote was a principle insisted
16 upon by Milosevic?
17 A. I told you what we sought. With the chamber
18 of peoples and a parity at the top level of authority,
19 all interests would be protected, if it were
20 introduced. Yes, but you see we had the right to
21 decision-making in those talks because any change, any
22 change of the constitution of Bosnia-Herzegovina
23 required a two-thirds majority. Therefore, there
24 wasn't a single bill that could inaugurate an unitarian
1 And one man, one vote is a natural law in all
2 European states, including multi-national ones such as
3 Switzerland or Belgium.
4 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Naumovski, are you going to
5 move onto another topic now?
6 MR. NAUMOVSKI: [Interpretation] I just
7 wanted to round off this topic, Your Honour.
8 Q. But let me summarise what you have just said
9 in answer to the previous question --
10 JUDGE MAY: There is no need, Mr. Naumovski,
11 to summarise what the witness has said. We have his
12 answers and that is sufficient. Now, unless there is
13 something new to ask about this topic, I suggest that
14 we move on.
15 MR. NAUMOVSKI: [Interpretation]
16 Q. My final question on this topic. Can we
17 agree, Mr. Kljuic, that Bosnia and Herzegovina, when it
18 became independent at the referendum, was faced with
19 the unsolved problem of its future organisation?
20 A. It is normal, when a country is moving from a
21 socialist into a democratic system, and furthermore,
22 when it is pulling out other common homeland, that it
23 should not have a fully formulated political
24 structure. But if there had been peace and if
25 democratic talks could have been possible, there is no
1 doubt that Bosnia-Herzegovina would have reached a
2 compromise, as is the case in many countries going
3 through such a transition. Only those who question the
4 independence and identity of Bosnia-Herzegovina,
5 calling it a Communist creation, an unreasonable state,
6 an irrational entity, wanted it to break up.
7 Bosnia-Herzegovina is an old state with thousand a
8 years behind it.
9 Q. I agree with you, absolutely, that solutions
10 would have been found. But immediately after the
11 Proclamation of independence, a month later the
12 aggression occurred, a war broke out because one people
13 tried by force to impose its policies. Would you agree
14 with me?
15 A. Yes. All that is true. Before that there
16 was the aggression against Slovenia, then the
17 aggression against Croatia, and at that point in time,
18 when the aggression against Bosnia-Herzegovina
19 occurred, a third of the state of Croatia was
20 occupied. And yet it did not give up its intention to
21 create a state. So that was not a reason, if Serb
22 paramilitaries and the JNA attacked Bosnia-Herzegovina,
23 we won't give up the idea of Bosnia-Herzegovina just
24 like that.
25 JUDGE MAY: Now, Mr. Naumovski --
1 MR. NAUMOVSKI: [Interpretation] Of course
2 not --
3 JUDGE MAY: I want to know, where is this
4 supposed to be assisting the Trial Chamber? We have
5 been through, at some length, these constitutional
6 questions. The witness gave very specific evidence
7 about his role in these matters. Now, where are you
8 heading with these questions?
9 MR. NAUMOVSKI: [Interpretation] Your Honour,
10 if Your Honours consider these questions to have been
11 clearly presented, I will go on. But we consider these
12 to be very important issues, as this is a period
13 covered by our indictment.
14 JUDGE MAY: You've been going over the same
15 topics for some time. Now, what is the next topic you
16 are going to speak of --
17 MR. NAUMOVSKI: [Interpretation] Your Honour,
18 I was just going to reach that topic.
19 JUDGE MAY: What is it?
20 THE WITNESS: Excuse me.
21 JUDGE MAY: Would you mind --
22 THE WITNESS: No problem.
23 JUDGE MAY: Now, what is the topic,
24 Mr. Naumovski, that you are going to move to?
25 MR. NAUMOVSKI: [Interpretation] Your Honour,
1 the topic I am about to embark upon are the positions
2 of the Croatian Democratic Union of Bosnia-Herzegovina
3 from which we see its support for a sovereign and
4 independent Bosnia-Herzegovina.
5 JUDGE MAY: Very well. Embark upon it as
6 quickly as possible, please.
7 MR. NAUMOVSKI: [Interpretation] I'll do so
8 promptly, Your Honour. Thank you.
9 Q. So let us focus on this topic now,
10 Mr. Kljuic. We have already agreed that from the very
11 beginnings of the HDZ of Bosnia-Herzegovina, and you
12 personally advocated the sovereignty and independence
13 of Bosnia-Herzegovina?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. In one of the first documents regarding
16 military threats, Z2725 of the 25th of January '91, you
17 expressed your position that you were against threats
18 to the sovereignty, freedom and territorial integrity
19 of any republic in the interests of any people.
20 A. Yes. But it was stated then that if Croatia
21 were to be attacked we would defend it. That was the
22 day before a falsified film was to be shown about
23 Spegeli. It was aired three times in Sarajevo and 24
24 times in 24 hours in Belgrade, because the idea was to
25 create an atmosphere in which a Serbhood was being in
1 jeopardy, and this had a very strong propaganda effect,
2 this film.
3 Q. You spoke in the transcript in 2546, 2542, in
4 the transcript, but let me not repeat. The weapons
5 procured by the Republic of Croatia was exclusively for
6 defence against aggression, wasn't it?
7 A. Of course.
8 Q. We've already spoken about the activities of
9 the SDS parties and the plans of the Serbs, but perhaps
10 it is important to note that on the 26th of April '91
11 the first community of municipalities was formed called
12 the Community of Municipalities of Bosnian Krajina. Do
13 you remember that?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. In document Z2733, and those are the minutes
16 of the HDZ presidency of Bosnia-Herzegovina dated the
17 16th of April 1991, you extended full support to the
18 government of Bosnia-Herzegovina for the preservation
19 of the territory integrity of the republic, didn't you?
20 A. Yes. The Prime Minister was Mr. Jure
21 Pelivan, a member of the HDZ, and it was only normal to
22 prevent the formation of these SAO's, which were an
23 introduction to the division of Bosnia-Herzegovina.
24 The SAO being autonomous provinces.
25 Q. And by that same document you condemn any
1 redrawing of borders?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. Mr. Kljuic, during your examination-in-chief
4 mention was made, when talking about the positions
5 within the HDZ of Bosnia-Herzegovina regarding the
6 future set-up of Bosnia-Herzegovina, mention was made
7 of a meeting held on the 13th of June 1991 in Zagreb?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. In view of the fact that you attended that
10 meeting, a few questions about it.
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. In order to understand the time frame when
13 the meeting was held, let me remind you of a few events
14 that occurred just prior to the 13th of June 1991. The
15 meeting was held just after the events at the Plitvice
16 lakes in the Republic of Croatia when the Serbs took
17 over the police station?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. That was the first armed conflict of
20 paramilitary forces and the Croatian police in the
21 Republic of Croatia?
22 A. I'm not quite sure that that was the first
23 one. For me, the first occurred on -- between the 17th
24 and 18th of August in 1990, when the barricades were
25 put up in Knin and when helicopters of the Croatian
1 police tried to head towards Knin and they were
2 intercepted by airplanes of the Yugoslav Air Force.
3 But it is quite certain that after that event came the
4 incident in Plitvice, followed by the incident in
5 Borovo Selo.
6 Q. I was just going to say that in Borovo Selo,
7 Serb paramilitary forces [indiscernible] 12 Croats, and
8 this meeting was held when the so-called SAO Krajina
9 took a decision on separation from the Republic of
10 Croatia and annexation to the Republic of Serbia?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. And only a day after Presidents Tudjman,
13 Izetbegovic and Milosevic had held a meeting in Split?
14 A. Yes. In the villa Dalmatia.
15 Q. And again, chronologically, a day after
16 President Izebegovic gave instructions for secret talks
17 with the Serbs that we referred to a moment ago?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. So let me shorten all of this. So this
20 meeting was held at a time when the war in Croatia
21 hadn't really begun, but it was quite clear that it was
22 about to break out?
23 A. You forgot to mention another detail. If
24 there had been any doubt up to now that a meeting had
25 been held in Karadjordjevo, after Hrvoje Sarinic's book
1 with photographs and the first written document on the
2 26th of March 1991, the meeting in Karadjordjevo was
3 held, so you must place that meeting within the overall
4 context of the situation such as it was on the 13th of
5 June. We wanted to quote a series of meetings.
6 Q. Yes, but you must admit that this was one of
7 capital significance?
8 A. Yes, yes. We just wanted to mention these as
9 background material.
10 Q. So not only was the war inevitable, but the
11 dissolution of Yugoslavia was also inevitable by then,
12 wasn't it?
13 A. I assume what you are trying to convince me
14 of. But let me give you a very simple answer. All
15 these things were insignificant if we accept
16 international law and the Helsinki conference. Iraq
17 captured Kuwait and the government went into exile, but
18 it was a legal government in exile.
19 All these elements, all these events that occurred
20 before the 13th of June, did not give us any right not
21 to believe in the future of a sovereign
22 Bosnia-Herzegovina and a sovereign Croatia.
23 I must tell you that at that meeting, there
24 was such statements and such individuals who were
25 speaking as if they were in a marketplace, as if all
1 this was over. And one of them was saying, "Add those
2 two municipalities, Jablanica and Konjic, to me," and I
3 said, "But that's not possible; those are the only two
4 municipalities where the SDA won the elections, and
5 they have 70 per cent of the population." And he
6 answered, "But I need them for the sake of
8 So you see, I can accept that the background,
9 the context, was very difficult, and that it was very
10 difficult for an ordinary citizen to find his way and
11 to understand all this. But the people who were
12 leading --
13 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Kljuic, I think we've got
14 this point.
15 Mr. Naumovski, is there anything else you
16 want to ask about this topic?
17 MR. NAUMOVSKI: (Interpretation) Yes. In
18 connection with this, what I wanted, Your Honour, was
19 to discuss with Mr. Kljuic what it was that he proposed
20 at that meeting, and not other people, if I may be
21 allowed to put several questions in that connection to
22 the witness.
23 JUDGE MAY: Put to the witness -- or rather
24 ask the witness what he proposed, and then perhaps, if
25 he could answer shortly, we can get on.
1 MR. NAUMOVSKI: (Interpretation) Yes, Your
3 Q. Mr. Kljuic, from the minutes Z2717, minutes
4 of the meeting held on the 27th of December, '91 -- you
5 have it before you. This is this thick document -- on
6 page 24/1, allow me to read it to you. You certainly
7 remember what you said, and you said that at the
8 meeting on the 13th of June '91, three options had been
9 presented regarding Bosnia-Herzegovina which the HDZ of
10 Bosnia-Herzegovina advocated in view of the
11 circumstances that prevail at a given moment.
12 JUDGE MAY: What page is this in the
14 MR. NAUMOVSKI: (Interpretation) 63, Your
15 Honours, in the English text. In the Croatian version,
17 Q. The first option was to struggle for a
18 sovereign Bosnia-Herzegovina, as far as that is
19 possible. You agree with that?
20 A. Yes, of course, that is authentic.
21 Q. And second, if the Serbs take their own, go
22 into a confederation with the Republic of Croatia and
23 the rump Bosnia-Herzegovina with the Muslims?
24 A. Yes, with the Muslims.
25 Q. Third, if the Serbs won their own and the
1 Muslims do not wish to go into a confederation with the
2 Republic of Croatia, then a part of the Muslims needs
3 to be won over and the part of Bosnia-Herzegovina with
4 the majority Croatian population be annexed to the
5 Republic of Croatia. If I understand the minutes well,
6 the ideas were yours, and they were elaborated by
7 Mr. Vlasic?
8 A. No, no. There were three options, depending
9 on the outcome of the dissolution of Yugoslavia. This
10 was said on the 13th of June, and it was only quoted
11 here. Of course, if there is no Bosnia-Herzegovina, if
12 the Muslims wish to have some kind of confederation
13 with us, that was the natural way towards the West, and
14 if no one wants to go with you, what is more natural
15 than to remain on your own?
16 But those are hypotheses which I did not work
17 on, nor did I say that the third option should be
18 adopted as the first, and that is the difference
19 between those others and me, because I lay down the
20 theory as to what things could look like given certain
21 circumstances. But at the meeting already on the 13th
22 of June -- that is, six and a half months prior to
23 this -- many had already started working towards the
24 third option and against the sovereignty of
25 Bosnia-Herzegovina, and that was the reason for vast
1 losses for our people.
2 Q. But let me just remind Your Honours that
3 Mr. Kljuic spoke about these things also in the
4 interview published in the Rijeka Novi List, which has
5 today been admitted into evidence. I must object --
6 JUDGE MAY: Just one moment. Mr. Naumovski,
7 for the moment, you are examining the witness, and the
8 purpose is, as expeditiously as possible, to ask the
9 questions which are relevant as far as this trial is
10 concerned. Now, you've been examining him for nearly
11 two hours, and there must come a limit to the amount of
12 time which is available and which the Court can allow
13 for this examination.
14 Now, we have these minutes of the meeting.
15 Unless there is something else that you want to ask
16 arising from them, I suggest that we move on.
17 MR. NAUMOVSKI: (Interpretation) I think that
18 Mr. Kljuic just answered and agreed --
19 A. No, no, no. This detail about the division
20 of Bosnia-Herzegovina --
21 JUDGE MAY: I'm not going to continue this
22 argument. Now, would you move on to another topic.
23 MR. NAUMOVSKI:
24 Q. Let us move along chronologically.
25 A. Yes, please go ahead.
1 Q. A year later, in 1992, the co-chairmen of the
2 International Conference on the Former Yugoslavia,
3 Cyrus Vance and Lord Owen, presented five possible
4 approaches to resolving the crisis in Bosnia and
5 Herzegovina; is that right?
6 A. I talked to Lord Owen and to Mr. Cyrus Vance,
7 but the only point of the Vance-Owen Plan that was
8 accessible to me was the one that divided
9 Bosnia-Herzegovina into ten plans [sic].
10 Q. This happened later, these five possible
11 approaches. I imagine that you, as president of the
12 HDZ and a member of the presidency of the republic,
13 were aware of this. The first possibility was to
14 organise Bosnia-Herzegovina as a centralised state?
15 JUDGE MAY: Let's go on.
16 MR. NAUMOVSKI: (Interpretation)
17 Q. Mr. Kljuic, we are going to proceed, in line
18 with what we've been told by the honourable Judges.
19 The presidency of the HDZ of
20 Bosnia-Herzegovina, on the 10th of July 1992, the
21 Croats of Bosnia-Herzegovina say that they do not want
22 to remain in rump Yugoslavia. We've already taken care
23 of that, haven't we?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. As a result of the increasingly difficult
1 situation in the former Yugoslavia, Bosnia-Herzegovina
2 included, the 6th of August, 1991, in Prozor, a meeting
3 was held of the main board of the HDZ of
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. Let us just remind the Court that the main
7 board is actually the highest body within the HDZ
8 between two congresses; is that right?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. This document, document Z10, shows that for
11 the umpteenth time, the sovereignty and indivisibility
12 of Bosnia-Herzegovina was supported?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. Point 19, paragraph 1, says that the HDZ of
15 Bosnia-Herzegovina remains on its previous position
16 that we just quoted, but will never allow the Croatian
17 people to be treated as a national minority, nor will
18 it allow other peoples to seek agreement on the fate of
19 Bosnia and Herzegovina without the participation of the
21 A. That's right.
22 Q. The conclusions, Mr. Kljuic, from this
23 meeting that Z10 refers to -- that is, this meeting
24 that was held on the 6th of August of 1991 -- are the
25 platform of the HDZ and these newly created conditions;
1 is that right?
2 A. Yes, you can put it that way, although our
3 platform did not undergo any changes.
4 Q. Yes, I know, I know. I just wanted to say
5 that the conditions had changed within one year's
7 A. Yes, the conditions changed, but the policy
8 did not. You are saying here that they would not
9 accept outvoting, Croats would not accept it, and that
10 they will not agree that somebody else discusses Bosnia
11 without them. But these things go back to 1990 and the
12 documents adopted then.
13 Q. So we've agreed on that, and let's move on.
14 A. Yes, absolutely.
15 Q. In spite of all these events that we have
16 just presented to the Honourable Trial Chamber, in this
17 document, you insist on independence and
18 indivisibility; but in Point 22 of document Z10, you
19 add that in case a war breaks out in
20 Bosnia-Herzegovina, through the attack of a Greater
21 Serb or any other aggressor against the Croatian people
22 in Bosnia-Herzegovina, a special plan will be resorted
23 to; is that right?
24 A. Yes. The special plan was not supposed to
25 destroy the constitutional setup of
1 Bosnia-Herzegovina. If there is an attack from any
2 side, then there is a plan in terms of
3 self-organisation, links, supplies, et cetera.
4 Q. That is precisely what point 19 says, that
5 the Croat people would self-organise themselves?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. Let us skip part of this chronology, but at
8 any rate, chronologically speaking, the war has already
9 broken out in Croatia; the first air attack took place
10 against Zagreb; Dubrovnik was shelled; I just want to
11 refresh your memory in terms of the period that we're
12 interested in right now.
13 Basically this was a very difficult time for
14 the Croatian people in Croatia and in
15 Bosnia-Herzegovina; is that right?
16 Please, could you just give an audible answer
17 for the sake of the transcript?
18 A. Yes, yes, and I must say that at that time we
19 expressed great solidarity, and we sent a convoy of aid
20 to the people of Dubrovnik. We sent a lot of people to
22 Q. Very well. Through these elements that I try
23 to present as briefly as possible now, I even skipped a
24 few, could we say that this is a time when the world
25 started showing an interest in Yugoslavia? The U.S.A.
1 still adhere to the position that Yugoslavia had to
2 remain as such?
3 A. Yes, absolutely. The statement made by
4 Secretary of State Baker was disastrous for us.
5 Zimmermann had a different opinion, but the
6 international community, from the very outset, was
7 quite indifferent toward Yugoslavia.
8 Q. This is precisely what leads me to the
9 question that that is why it was politically wise to
10 bear in mind all the implications of everything that
11 was going on, and also to have solutions envisaged for
12 all possible situations; is that right?
13 A. Please, I have to tell you once again, it is
14 different if we are brought into a position to divide
15 Bosnia-Herzegovina, and it is another thing altogether
16 if some people from the HDZ and from the highest
17 quarters in the HDZ wanted to take part in this and
18 actually did. That is to say we did have certain
19 points in our programme, but first we had to advocate
20 the first, and then -- for as long as possible, and
21 everything else worked in our favour. They guaranteed
22 our first point, and that is to say the survival of
23 Bosnia-Herzegovina. The fact that some people did not
24 want to recognise international law and to hear what
25 was going on, to their regret and to the misfortune of
1 all of us, they did not do this, and the Croat people
2 were simply divided in half.
3 Q. Precisely, Mr. Kljuic, that's what I wish to
4 clarify with you right now. On the 8th of October,
5 1991, a meeting was held of the presidency of the HDZ
6 of Bosnia-Herzegovina and the republican crisis staff
7 of the HDZ of Bosnia-Herzegovina. That is document
8 Z18. And you chaired that meeting.
9 In point 4 of the minutes, it says, "The HDZ
10 will continue to advocate an independent, indivisible
11 Bosnia-Herzegovina if possible." Z18, if you need it.
12 A. It's not necessary. I know that I always
13 said that we would advocate Bosnia-Herzegovina until
14 the very end.
15 Q. But now it continues, if Bosnia-Herzegovina
16 were to be broken up, then the top people of the Muslim
17 population, if there is a secession of the so-called
18 Serb territories in Bosnia-Herzegovina, the Muslims,
19 together with Croats, should remain together within a
20 single territory, and they should reach a confederacy,
21 and our territories could perhaps be linked by way of a
22 contract to Croatia and Slovenia, respectively?
23 A. Yes, all of that is correct.
24 Q. All right. So we don't have to repeat all
25 that. That is what you repeated to your interview in
1 the Rijeka Novi List on the 13th of October, 1991?
2 A. Oh, yes, but then there is one thing that is
3 wrong in Novi List, and that is where it says that
4 division is the only way out. Although I denied this,
5 they did not accept it, and also the Muslim
6 nationalists until the present day in their books say
7 that -- they quote this as an example that I was in
8 favour of a division. Please find a single document
9 where I am in favour of partition except in this
10 falsified document.
11 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Naumovski, when you get to a
12 convenient moment, we'll adjourn.
13 MR. NAUMOVSKI: (Interpretation) I know, Your
14 Honour, that you asked for an adjournment as early as
15 possible, and I agree that we can do it right now, if
16 it's convenient for you.
17 JUDGE MAY: Very well. We'll adjourn now and
18 sit again at half past 2.00.
19 Mr. Kljuic, if you would be back again then,
20 please, half past 2.00.
21 A. Thank you.
22 --- Luncheon recess taken at 12.40 p.m.
1 --- On resuming at 2.35 p.m.
2 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Naumovski.
3 MR. NAUMOVSKI: [Interpretation] Thank you,
4 Your Honours.
5 Before I begin, I should merely like to say,
6 and something that is also good news for Mr. Kljuic,
7 that during the break I considered the view of Your
8 Honours regarding the facts deemed relevant by the
9 Court, and I have completely restructured my
10 cross-examination, which I had planned for this
11 afternoon. Which means I shall need a lot less time
12 than I thought I would, than I told you this morning
13 when asked about it by Your Lordship.
14 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Naumovski, before we do
15 anything, there seems to be something wrong with my
16 receiver here.
17 Mr. Naumovski, we'll go on. I can follow on
18 the monitor.
19 MR. NAUMOVSKI: [Interpretation] Thank you.
20 Q. Mr. Kljuic, as I have promised the Court, and
21 you will find it easier, I've cut my questions short,
22 and the Court has already heard on various matters, so
23 there is no need to go back to that.
24 Before the lunch break we were talking about
25 different options, including a confederative
1 association. We shall agree that on the 18th of March
2 1994, the so-called preliminary accord was signed in
3 Washington on the federation between, on the one hand
4 the Federation of Bosnia-Herzegovina, and the Republic
5 of Croatia on the other.
6 A. Yes. One of the clauses of the Washington
7 Accords was a possibility for confederation and
8 federation with the Republic of Croatia, but to
9 simplify matters it would mean petitioning of
10 Bosnia-Herzegovina, because even if the Federation of
11 Bosnia-Herzegovina becomes a confederation with the
12 Republic of Croatia, then what else can the Serb side
13 do but join Yugoslavia? So that this --
14 JUDGE BENNOUNA: [Interpretation] Mr. Kljuic,
15 could you please try to slow down. As of the beginning
16 I tried to follow you in English, in French,
17 unfortunately not in Serbo-Croatian because I don't
18 really understand that language well. The interpreters
19 simply are having a very difficult time following you.
20 It is a speed which we simply cannot keep us with. So
21 will you please try to keep a check on the speed of
22 your speech.
23 THE WITNESS: Yes. I'm sorry. I shall do my
25 So the Washington Accords, and there were a
1 number of decisions incorporated in it, including Mate
2 Boban withdrawal from political life. So the document
3 also envisaged the end of a war between the Muslims and
4 the Croats, then the setting up of a federation which
5 would serve as a basis for the definitive liberation of
6 Bosnia-Herzegovina and, among other things, a
7 possibility was announced of setting up a confederation
8 between the Federation of Bosnia-Herzegovina and the
9 Republic of Croatia.
10 However, in Bosnia-Herzegovina nobody ever,
11 and at that time we still had the parliament of
12 Bosnia-Herzegovina, and after Washington all the HDZ
13 representatives also took part in sessions. Nobody
14 ever confirmed this particular form of Federation.
15 Quiet to the contrary, it was rejected in very clear
17 We know that the political situation in
18 Bosnia-Herzegovina was resolved at a later stage
19 through the Dayton Accords.
20 Q. All I wanted was to get a clear picture about
21 numerous options which were on the table both from
22 abroad, from foreign sides, and from the inside, from
23 the territory itself. And they were all laid on the
25 A. Yes, it is quite true that the confederal
1 option was one of those.
2 Q. Thank you. I had prepared several questions
3 covered by the topic of regionalisation of
4 Bosnia-Herzegovina. But of all those documents that
5 make part of the file, a document, Z2744, is perhaps
6 the most precise. That is an excerpt from the minutes
7 of a session of the presidency of BiH HDZ, of the 26th
8 of August '91, when it was decided to accept the
9 proposal on the regionalisation of municipal boards of
10 the HDZ of Bosnia-Herzegovina. Is that so?
11 A. It is.
12 Q. And that was done so as to improve the
13 structure of the HDZ in Bosnia-Herzegovina and also to
14 improve the work of the HDZ subordination?
15 A. Subordination. If I may, neither the
16 presidency nor I as the President could not maintain
17 daily contact with 79 municipal organisations. So that
18 we set up four or five regional organisations. And
19 they would come to Sarajevo, receive their
20 instructions, and then would disseminate them and
21 distribute them on the ground. It had no political
22 implications at all. It's said to do with the party
23 organisation only.
24 Q. Yes, but it was to improve your functioning,
25 wasn't it?
1 A. Absolutely.
2 Q. Mr. Kljuic, today we went in great -- into
3 great detail when we tried to portray the situation in
4 Bosnia-Herzegovina at a moment of disintegration of the
5 former Yugoslavia and at a time when the new Republic
6 of Bosnia-Herzegovina had not become independent yet.
7 So I am referring to the latter half of 1991 and the
8 first two months of '92. We've agreed, I believe, and
9 you just repeated it a while ago, that there were all
10 sorts of political opinions, both within and without
11 the HDZ, as to the future of Bosnia-Herzegovina. We
12 are agreed that we already covered those topics?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. And all those theses were basically discussed
15 before the Muslims and Croats at a referendum held on
16 the 22nd of February and the 1st of March '92, voted
17 for the independence and sovereignty of
18 Bosnia-Herzegovina; is that so?
19 THE INTERPRETER: We are sorry, we could not
20 hear the answer of the witness.
21 A. Although many options were considered, the
22 political programme, the only political programme was a
23 sovereign Bosnia-Herzegovina. It was another matter
24 when we talked about option A, B, C, or whatever, but
25 we never said, "Right, as of today, we don't want a
1 sovereign Bosnia-Herzegovina any more." Quite the
2 reverse: When it was confirmed by the referendum, then
3 any behaviour that would run counter to that would go
4 against the interests of the Croat people in the first
5 place, and ultimately would also be against the
7 Q. But lamentably, it was only the Muslims and
8 the Croats who were deciding on the sovereignty of
9 Bosnia-Herzegovina, because the Serbs were emphatically
10 against the independence of Bosnia-Herzegovina; is that
12 A. No, that is not so, my dear sir. You can
13 look up the results of the referendum, and you will see
14 that every third Serb in Bosnia-Herzegovina voted "For"
15 in the referendum, although in many municipalities the
16 SDS terrorised the population and would not let people
17 go out and vote. Namely -- I have to clarify certain
18 matters here.
19 The census showed that Muslims accounted for
20 44 per cent of the population, but as they have many
21 children, they were only 39 per cent on the voters'
22 list, on the voters' rosters. Croats, with their
23 population belonging in an older age group in
24 Bosnia-Herzegovina, even though they accounted for
25 17,3, according to the census, yet they accounted for
1 about 20 or 21 per cent of the voters' rosters.
2 If all the Muslims and Croats -- not all the
3 Muslims and not all the Croats voted, for various
4 technical reasons, then it is out of the 64 or 65
5 per cent, which was the turnout at the referendum for
6 independence, a considerable percentage -- that is, of
7 about 8 or 9 per cent -- were the Serbs who had turned
8 out and voted, since the Serbs accounted for 31
9 per cent of the population in Bosnia-Herzegovina.
10 It becomes a very important political fact
11 that every third Serb was for an independent
13 Q. Right. I will accept your reprimand. I
14 generalised something which I shouldn't have; I meant
15 the Serb Democratic Party.
16 A. Quite, but their political attitude after the
17 political referendum was even more -- obviously more
18 conspicuous, more glaringly against an independent
20 Q. And we agreed that that attitude of theirs
21 then ended in a war shortly after the proclamation of
22 the independence of Bosnia-Herzegovina?
23 A. Yes, one could put it that way, but I prefer
24 to say that that war was being prepared for quite some
25 time, and that it was being prepared in Belgrade, and
1 that the SDS leadership and Bosnian Serbs would have
2 never been able to do all that evil that they did in
3 Bosnia had they not enjoyed the logistics, direct
4 military help, and all the indirect assistance coming
5 from Belgrade.
6 Q. Thank you.
7 Mr. Kljuic, let us address another topic.
8 Today you mentioned the political platform adopted at
9 the HDZ convention on the 25th of March, 1991, in
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. I forgot to show you a document, so will you
13 please look at it now.
14 MR. NAUMOVSKI: (Interpretation) My I please
15 adduce this document? This is the political platform
16 of the HDZ of Bosnia-Herzegovina adopted by the Mostar
17 convention. Will the usher please help us?
18 A. Yes, I should like to see it.
19 Q. Yes, of course. That is why we are doing
20 this, so that you can have a look.
21 THE REGISTRAR: The document is marked
23 MR. NAUMOVSKI: (Interpretation)
24 Q. Mr. Kljuic, we have a slight technical
25 problem. We have this document, but there is a seal
1 lacking. There is nothing here. It was copied, and
2 then it was sent to various municipal boards.
3 A. The only question is, dear sir, whether this
4 material was distributed before the convention, as a
5 working paper, or --
6 Q. No, look at this. 25th March, '91. Will you
7 please look at it?
8 THE INTERPRETER: Could, please, the counsel
9 and the witness try not to speak at the same time.
10 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Naumovski, you're being asked
11 not to speak at the same time as the witness.
12 MR. NAUMOVSKI: (Interpretation) I apologise,
13 and now is the umpteenth time that I have to apologise
14 both to the interpreters and to Your Honours.
15 A. This is an authentic document.
16 Q. We knew nothing about it, and all I wanted
17 from you was to corroborate its authenticity. That is
19 A. No problem at all. It is.
20 Q. Thank you.
21 Mr. Kljuic, one question about the
22 nationality -- dual nationality, dual citizenship. In
23 this case we already heard some opinions, and the only
24 thing I wanted to ask you about it is as follows: In
25 the Agreement on Friendship and Cooperation signed by
1 presidents Tudjman and Izetbegovic on the 21st of July,
2 1992, Item 7 says that both the Republic of
3 Bosnia-Herzegovina and the Republic of Croatia will
4 allow their nationals to acquire dual nationality; is
5 that correct?
6 A. And who could the citizens of Muslim origin,
7 citizens -- I mean nationals of Bosnia-Herzegovina who
8 are Muslims, which dual nationality would they have?
9 Excuse me.
10 Q. I just quoted to you this item. As a member
11 of the presidency, you must be conversant with the
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. It was signed by the president of the
15 presidency of which you were a member?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. So my only question is: Do we agree that
18 this possibility was envisaged by this document?
19 A. The possibility of a dual nationality is not
20 so outlandish, but its interpretation and subsequent
21 use became outlandish, and it is to the detriment and
22 the expense of the Croat people in Bosnia-Herzegovina.
23 Namely, the positive aspect of this dual nationality is
24 that they can travel while holding the passport only
25 and do not need any visas. But it becomes --
1 JUDGE MAY: Let me interrupt you. There's an
4 MS. SOMERS: Your Honours, the Prosecution
5 feels a bit disadvantaged. We do not have the
6 document. I don't know if the Court has it either, and
7 if a copy were available. We would deeply appreciate
9 JUDGE MAY: Yes.
10 You refer to the document of the 21st of
12 MR. NAUMOVSKI: (Interpretation) I have just
13 been reminded that I forgot to produce it. I
14 apologise. I apologise. Unfortunately, we only have
15 it in English, but --
16 A. It is not a problem.
17 MR. NAUMOVSKI:
18 Q. This is an Agreement on Friendship and
19 Cooperation of the 21st of July, 1991.
20 THE REGISTRAR: The document is marked
22 JUDGE BENNOUNA: (Interpretation)
23 Mr. Naumovski, we have the document of the 25th of
24 March '91, which in English says, "Political Platform
25 of the HDZ-BH," so this is the political platform or
1 the political programme of the HDZ; that is, the Croat
2 Democratic Union of Bosnia-Herzegovina. I should like
3 to ask Mr. Kljuic, with regard to that document, what
4 does he think of the first sentence of that document,
5 which says, [In English] "Part of the unified HDZ in
6 the same manner," and so on, [Interpretation] because
7 it does not quite agree with what he told us in the
8 beginning. Does he recognise this position as the
9 position of the HDZ of Bosnia-Herzegovina, as an
10 integral part of the integral HDZ?
11 A. You have to understand this in very specific
12 terms. People from Zagreb brought a tremendous
13 pressure to bear on the convention, and that was the
14 first time that they tried to topple me as the
15 president, and they brought Mate Boban to oppose me.
16 But when they counted the votes, before that, they
17 realised that Boban could not get more than 53 votes of
18 288. And that was the share of the Herzegovinian and
19 Croats over the Bosnian and Herzegovinian Croats; that
20 is 17 per cent.
21 On the other hand, we did recognise, you
22 know, this unity, you know, there are association,
23 there is an association of social democratic parties or
24 association of conservative parties in Europe, you have
25 the European democratic union which brings together
1 Christian Democratic parties and Conservatives or
2 Liberals, so why couldn't we say that at this
3 particular moment, we in Zagreb are, on the 25th of
4 March, 1991, that we are together? But this document,
5 without the seal and signature, cannot in any way
6 impair the identity, the authenticity of our
7 registration with the Court and the overall political
8 activity of the HDZ.
9 Please, we did not quarrel, we were
10 together. But, under the then laws we had to register,
11 they -- Zagreb, and we had to do it in Sarajevo.
12 So this is now trying to bring back this old
13 thesis, which I wanted to support through the back
14 door. But this was merely of a formal nature because
15 after the convention this document was sent out to the
16 ground and it was more because of those other details,
17 including one --
18 JUDGE BENNOUNA: [Interpretation] Mr. Kljuic,
19 Mr. Kljuic. You are telling us that this document was
20 adopted under the Zagreb pressure, under pressure from
21 Zagreb; is that so?
22 A. No, but the formulation that we are one, that
23 we are integrated. At that moment, to all intents and
24 purposes, we had common interest. But there was no
25 administrative unification. That was not carried out.
1 MR. NAUMOVSKI: [Interpretation]
2 Q. Mr. Kljuic, perhaps we could assist Their
3 Honours if we were to repeat something. In those days
4 Yugoslavia still existed and both Bosnia-Herzegovina
5 and Croatia are republics within one state?
6 A. Yes. You must understand, we couldn't
7 separate our defensive intentions from Zagreb. I said
8 a moment ago that Zagreb took our money and also it
9 took upon itself the duty to arm us, because, after
10 all, they had open borders. We in Bosnia had no
11 borders, and nor did we have any possibility of making
12 contact with others.
13 Q. Can we proceed, Mr. Kljuic. I have left out
14 a whole set of questions in line with the suggestions
15 of their honours. But maybe just a few more points
16 towards the end of this cross-examination. Mr. Kljuic,
17 in October 1993 you again joined the presidency of
18 Bosnia-Herzegovina, didn't you?
19 A. I didn't join it again. Because I was
20 eliminated, contrary to the provisions of the
21 constitution. What happened was that conditions were
22 established whereby I could avail myself of my legal
24 Q. I beg your pardon, but talking about that,
25 did anyone else among the presidency members get
1 replaced in an illegal manner?
2 A. No. No one, because not one of them was
3 about to become President of the state. But there were
4 people who walked out of the presidency for political
5 reasons. The first to walk out were Koljevic and Mrs.
6 Plavsic. After that Franjo Boras left Sarajevo because
7 he fled to a place of security. And then, at the end,
8 after '93, Fikret Abdic again left, again to a safer
10 Q. Let me ask you then differently. Were there
11 any illegal appointments?
12 A. Oh, yes, indeed. First of all, the person
13 who was brought to take over from me, by agreement
14 between Tudjman, Boban and Izetbegovic, was called Miro
15 Lasic. He had no legal prerequisites to become a
16 member of the presidency, because he had not taken part
17 in the elections. He was not a candidate. And, as you
18 know, the results of the elections produced a list of
19 people by order of the number of votes they got.
20 In the case of death, or any other reason of
21 absence or resignation, instead of that person, the
22 next person on the rating list would join the
23 presidency. However, Izetbegovic, Boban and Tudjman
24 agreed that I should be replaced by Lasic, who was not
25 on that list, nor was he a candidate at the elections.
1 Q. Were there other persons who joined the
3 A. Similarly, there were persons among the
4 Serbs, when they joined the aggressor ranks. So in a
5 legal manner you have to make a distinction here
6 between the Lasic case, which was anti-constitutional,
7 and the replacement of Koljevic and Mrs. Plavsic, who
8 were replaced, as they should be, by the third and
9 fourth persons on the rating list according to the
10 number of votes they received at the elections.
11 Q. Mrs. Tatjana Ljujic Mijatovic, was she a
12 candidate at the elections?
13 A. No, she was not. Let me try and explain that
14 for you. After Kecmanovic had left, not a single Serb
15 on the electorial list was on our side, but they
16 changed sides. They switched to the aggressor side.
17 So our legal counsel decided that it would be possible
18 to fill in the vacancy from among parliament members.
19 So Mrs. Ljujic came, who was only a member of
20 parliament in those days.
21 Q. Thank you. But let us continue where we left
22 off. This was just a note in passing. I really wanted
23 to ask you about your resumption of your position in
24 the presidency.
25 Together with you, in October '93, Mr. Ivica
1 Komsic, who is a Croat, and Mr. Nijaz Durakovic joined
2 the presidency at the same time as you, the latter
3 being a Muslim? I don't know whether your "yes" has
4 gone down in the record.
5 A. Yes, I think that was quite normal and
6 constitutional, because both of them had been
7 candidates at the elections. Ivica Komsic was the
8 third on the Croatian list and Durakovic was the number
9 three on the Muslim list. So it was quite normal that
10 the two of them, when Boras and Abdic had left the
11 presidency, the latter started acting destructively in
12 relation to Bosnia-Herzegovina, it was normal to fill
13 in the vacancies in the presidency.
14 That was one of the reasons why I agreed to
15 become active again as a presidency member. I had to
16 overcome the fact that I had been a victim and to
17 swallow my pride, because that was the first time that
18 the presidency acquired the characteristics of a
19 patriotic institution.
20 Q. Just one more point. Both Mr. Komsic and
21 Mr. Durakovic, in your opinion, are honourable and
22 decent people who you welcomed and supported their
23 joining the presidency?
24 A. Yes, they legitimately joined the presidency,
25 and I was glad that it was Durakovic and Komsic that
1 had joined instead of Boras -- Boras and Abdic.
2 MR. NAUMOVSKI: [Interpretation] Your
3 Honours, with your permission, we should like to show a
4 videotape which is about seven minutes long. And on
5 this clip, which we would like to show you. It was
6 produced by the publishing house, Oslobodenje, based in
7 Sarajevo. I think that the project, the whole project
8 is entitled "Fama."
9 JUDGE MAY: What is it relating to,
10 Mr. Naumovski?
11 MR. NAUMOVSKI: [Interpretation] On this
12 video clip these three gentlemen that we have just
13 named are speaking. They are members of the presidency
14 of Bosnia-Herzegovina who joined the presidency in
15 October 1993. So he we will hear Mr. Kljuic, briefly,
16 Mr. Komsic and Mr. Durakovic. And I only have one
17 question on that clip for Mr. Kljuic, after we see it.
18 I think it is important.
19 I would like the technical booth to show us
20 this video, but let us first, with the help of the
21 usher, provide Your Honours with a transcript, even
22 though there is an English translation on the video.
23 Croatian for us, so it will be easy for us to
24 understand. It's subtitled in English.
25 Would the technical booth please show us this
1 video, please.
2 [Videotape played]
3 THE REGISTRAR: Videotape will be number
4 D99/1 and the transcript D99A/1.
5 MS. SOMERS: Your Honour, an observation by
6 the Prosecution is it -- this clip appears to have been
7 edited in a number of places, at least two that I was
8 able to observe. And I am not clear that the entire
9 tape is what is there. So I have no way,
10 unfortunately, of knowing for sure. But from our
11 perspective, it appears to be an edited edition.
12 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Naumovski, can you give the
13 original to the Prosecutor?
14 MR. NAUMOVSKI: [Interpretation] I have
15 already said, Your Honours, Mr. Kljuic is here and he
16 can confirm. This was filmed in 1996 by a service or,
17 rather, a company called Oslobodenje. This is the
18 abstract we received indicating Oslobodenje as the
19 author and they filmed 18. We got this video clip
20 which was not edited. It was given to us as an
21 original tape. But Mr. Kljuic is here to confirm it.
22 JUDGE MAY: Have you handed over to the
23 Prosecutor all that you have?
24 MR. NAUMOVSKI: [Interpretation] We have
25 prepared what we have shown Your Honours for the
1 Prosecution. We have a copy for them.
2 JUDGE MAY: Is there anything else that you
4 MR. NAUMOVSKI: [Interpretation] Here we
5 only have this. Nothing more.
6 JUDGE MAY: Very well. Well, you can hand it
7 over to the Prosecution afterwards. Yes.
8 MR. NAUMOVSKI: [Interpretation] Yes,
10 Q. Mr. Kljuic, you are the most competent person
11 to tell us when this recording was made, to confirm its
13 A. As in September '96 the term of office of the
14 presidency was about to expire, this was recorded as
15 documentation. All I can say is that these are
16 extracts from a lengthier statement and that the
17 quotation is quite authentic, but it is taken out of
18 context, because there was a longer statement.
19 Q. But obviously the authors are Oslobodenje?
20 A. Well, it's a private company now, you see, so
21 this was done by professionals, by directors and film
22 makers. The source is not in dispute, but I have to
23 say, to be quite frank, that this was taken from a
24 longer interview which was meant to be some kind of a
25 historical testimony.
1 Q. Mr. Kljuic, just one final question about
2 what we have just seen. Do you agree with what
3 Mr. Komsic and Mr. Durakovic said?
4 A. You see, I didn't know that Komsic went to
5 see Dr. Tudjman, because obviously he wanted some
6 support. I'm quite a different sort of person. I
7 decided to rejoin because my country was going through
8 the most difficult times. And the second reason, this
9 is something that was my right as a result of the
10 elections. And third, though I did not decide on
11 military issues, I did a great deal in the area of
12 human rights protection at the level of the central
13 authorities, and I have to say that I take pride in
14 that, and that this was indeed the only area where it
15 was possible to survive during the war.
16 Of course, I'm talking about politicians with
17 different views, representing different peoples, and so
18 on. However, here, in spite of the most difficult
19 conditions, the right to life was preserved.
20 Q. Very well. Thank you.
21 Mr. Kljuic, I think it is my one-but-last
22 question, but with a bit of reservation, let me show
23 you a diagram.
24 MR. NAUMOVSKI: (Interpretation) With the
25 usher's assistance, I should like to distribute it.
1 Q. We will show it to you. It's in English, but
2 you speak English, so you will be able to understand.
3 THE REGISTRAR: The document is number
5 MR. NAUMOVSKI: (Interpretation)
6 Q. Your Honours and Mr. Kljuic, this diagram, in
7 black, under the heading "President," we have mentioned
8 the presidents of the HDZ from the period of 1990 until
9 1992, people who were elected at party conventions.
10 And in red we have marked the so-called acting
11 presidents in the periods in between two congresses.
12 Mr. Kljuic, I have only one question in this
13 connection. I assume you understand this diagram. Do
14 you agree with me that apart from Davor Perinovic, who
15 was president for a very brief period of the HDZ of
16 Bosnia-Herzegovina, both you and Miljenko Brkic and
17 Mate Boban were elected in an identical fashion: first
18 as acting presidents of the HDZ of Bosnia-Herzegovina,
19 and secondly at a convention or assembly meeting of the
20 HDZ of Bosnia-Herzegovina?
21 A. I cannot agree with you, for the simple
22 reason that all those that followed me took over in
23 wartime, when these regional conventions of theirs
24 cannot be identified with the congress of the HDZ of
25 Bosnia-Herzegovina. What does that mean? What kind of
1 a convention was it in Medjugorje if I, as president,
2 was not invited, if a number of other functionaries
3 representing the Croats of Bosnia-Herzegovina were not
4 present, such as the prime minister, members of
5 parliament, ministers?
6 A second point I should like to make: It's
7 not the same to replace Davor Perinovic, who was a
8 political fool infiltrated by the Yugoslav KOS or
9 intelligence service with the aim of taking the Croats
10 of Bosnia-Herzegovina into the war in 1990, and
11 replacing a president who had won in the elections at a
12 convention in peacetime in the presence of all relevant
13 factors of the political life of Croats in
15 Q. Mr. Kljuic, this follows from the documents
16 that have been entered into the record, the documents
17 of the presidency of the HDZ of Bosnia-Herzegovina.
18 Acting presidents, you were an acting president, then
19 Miljenko Brkic, then Mate Boban, in an identical
20 manner. That is what I wanted to say, not the
21 circumstances under which each of these individuals
22 were elected.
23 A. No, but please, slowly. Let us make things
24 quite clear. There can be no convention in
25 Bosnia-Herzegovina which Boban could have won in
1 competition with me, because the support that I enjoyed
2 was incomparable with that that he enjoyed. I was
3 declared by the media to be undesirable.
4 Furthermore, I wish to tell you that had I
5 been invited to the convention, I would certainly have
6 gone to Medjugorje, though I didn't leave Sarajevo
7 until 1994.
8 [Trial Chamber confers]
9 JUDGE BENNOUNA: (Interpretation)
10 Mr. Naumovski, I think that after all, we must try and
11 focus the testimony to matters concerning Mr. Kordic
12 and Mr. Cerkez. It is not Mr. Kljuic that is at
13 stake. Let him testify about the situation, but it is
14 not his own position or the conditions under which he
15 came or what he represents that is of direct interest
16 to the Tribunal.
17 MR. NAUMOVSKI: (Interpretation) Yes, I
18 understand, Your Honours. To be quite frank, we, too,
19 have our own opinion, when a witness is brought like
20 Mr. Kljuic, who is simply a politician who is brought
21 to testify in a criminal case. But I have good news
22 for Your Honours: one more question. So I beg you for
23 your patience just for a few more minutes.
24 Q. Mr. Kljuic, my final question for you. In
25 the course of July, you were here for a full day
1 answering questions from the Prosecution. Today it was
2 me who questioned you for almost a whole working day.
3 All your answers, the situation that we discussed, was
4 essentially a political presentation of events in the
5 territory of the former Yugoslavia at the time of its
6 disintegration, essentially the political options that
7 were in circulation both on the international stage and
8 within Bosnia-Herzegovina. So we have been discussing
9 political circumstances and the implications of
10 everything that occurred?
11 A. Yes, true. What else could you expect to get
12 from me? I was not a witness of any acts. I was not
13 in command. I said in my first sentence -- may I say
14 this: I do not know Mr. Cerkez. I may have seen him
15 two or three times at a rally, but we never had any
16 relationship. I said that what you are charging
17 Mr. Kordic with, I am not a witness for that. We were
18 separate during the war. We didn't see one another for
19 years. The fact that I was his president and that I
20 appointed him to a certain working place and the minor
21 differences we had are quite irrelevant for this
22 trial. Therefore I'm here more in the capacity of an
23 expert, to explain to you that the HDZ had the
24 strongest political line in terms of the maintenance of
25 the sovereignty of Croatia and Bosnia-Herzegovina, and
1 that had people implemented those policies, among other
2 things, there wouldn't have been so many casualties,
3 and they wouldn't be in The Hague. But unfortunately,
4 we do not have sitting here the people who imposed
5 those policies and who imposed an enormous tragedy upon
6 the Croatian people.
7 Q. Mr. Kljuic, that brings to an end my
8 examination. Thank you for your patience.
9 MR. NAUMOVSKI: And I also thank Your Honours
10 for your patience. Thank you all, too.
11 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Mikulicic, you can finish, I
12 take it, this afternoon?
13 MR. MIKULICIC: [In English] Yes, I'm sure of
15 Cross-examined by Mr. Mikulicic:
16 Q. Good day to you, Mr. Kljuic.
17 A. Good day to you, sir.
18 Q. My name is Goran Mikulicic. I'm an attorney
19 at law from Zagreb, and together with my colleague
20 Bozidar Kovacic, attorney at law from Rijeka, I
21 represent the interests of Mr. Cerkez. I shall be
22 considerably shorter than my colleague Mr. Naumovski,
23 and I'm going to put eight questions to you, judging by
24 my notes.
25 A. Please go ahead.
1 Q. Mr. Kljuic, as the leading politician in the
2 territory of Bosnia-Herzegovina and as a member of the
3 supreme state authority in Bosnia-Herzegovina during a
4 critical period in time, can you answer the following
5 question for me: Is it true that from mid-1992 until
6 the end of 1993 -- that is the time period covered by
7 the indictment -- in view of the objective situation,
8 there were ongoing contacts between politicians from
9 the Republic of Croatia and the Republic of
10 Bosnia-Herzegovina respectively at top level? I'm
11 referring to presidents, and, of course, other levels
12 as well. Is that true?
13 A. Yes, that is true.
14 Q. Is it true, Mr. Kljuic, that during this same
15 period of time, there were also diplomatic relations
16 between the Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina and the
17 Republic of Croatia without any interruption at the
18 level of embassies? That is to say, Bosnia had its
19 embassy in Zagreb and Croatia had its embassy in
20 Sarajevo; is that correct?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. Is it correct, Mr. Kljuic, that in the
23 embassy of the Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina in
24 Zagreb, there was a logistics centre of the army of
25 Bosnia-Herzegovina and a military/economic
1 representative office, which also had its subsidiary
2 office in Split, throughout this period?
3 A. I'm not sure about the military, but I know
4 that there was a logistics centre in Split and in
5 Zagreb. Of course, the ambassador at that time was
6 Mrs. Turkovic, and she was certainly the one in charge
7 of this coordination. You cannot ask me now to answer
8 that, because I was not in Split or in Zagreb at the
9 time, so I cannot really give an answer to that. I
10 didn't see exactly what was going on, but obviously the
11 embassy and the ambassador were quite legal and
12 legitimate and involved in activities that the Croat
13 government was aware of.
14 MR. MIKULICIC: I would like to ask the usher
15 to give Document D32/2 to Mr. Kljuic in order to
16 refresh his memory.
17 Q. This is the document that I referred to,
18 Mr. Kljuic, when I asked you if you were aware of the
19 fact that in Zagreb, attached to the Republic of
20 Bosnia-Herzegovina, there was a military/economic
21 representative office as well. Can you perhaps recall
22 that detail now? If not, we can move on.
23 A. I said that I did not know about their
24 structure. As for names, I know that Dzevad Topic was
25 there, but it was only a few days that he was there in
1 Zagreb, or a month, and then he went to America. I
2 don't know these people. I know Hasan Cengic, though.
3 Q. These are the persons from this list; right?
4 A. Yes, yes, that's right.
5 Q. All right. I should like to thank the usher,
6 and let's move further on.
7 Mr. Kljuic, since you were a member of the
8 supreme government authority in the Republic of
9 Bosnia-Herzegovina, do you know that the state
10 authorities of Bosnia-Herzegovina ever adopted a
11 regulation or a law which led to the confiscation of
12 the property owned by private or physical persons from
13 the Republic of Croatia on the territory of
14 Bosnia-Herzegovina? Was such a confiscation ever
15 carried out? That is to say, were bank accounts
16 frozen, were assets or properties frozen?
17 A. I cannot say anything about banks because
18 they did not function at the time. And as for
19 immovable property, it was only natural, for war
20 purposes, this was done. Unfortunately, we were
21 handicapped, because we had the least quantity of
22 assets from other republics in Bosnia-Herzegovina.
23 Q. All right. I know, you're talking about the
24 mobilisation of automobiles, certain properties,
25 buildings, et cetera, for the mobilisation and defence
1 of the country?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. I'm asking you something else: whether the
4 state of Bosnia-Herzegovina passed a law which seized
5 the property of Croat companies or Croat persons as the
6 property of a hostile state.
7 A. As far as I know, there was no such
8 property. Varteks, Borovo, Jugoplastika, Simecki, all
9 of that was looted on the very first day of the war.
10 It was simply no longer there.
11 Q. Mr. Kljuic, vice versa, are you aware,
12 perhaps, of the Republic of Croatia taking such action
13 vis-a-vis Bosnia-Herzegovina's estate or persons from
15 A. As far as I know, the Republic of Croatia
16 took Sipad, took Alija Hodzic, everything that was on
17 the territory, everything was taken over. Until the
18 present day, since there is not a special agreement
19 between the republics of the former Yugoslavia,
20 immovable property and buildings of other republics in
21 Bosnia-Herzegovina, for example, there is Macedonian
22 property, Slovenian, et cetera, that was taken over.
23 Perhaps this was -- this was practice. It was not done
24 by way of regulations, but that was practice.
25 Q. All right, Mr. Kljuic. Do you know whether
1 the Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina in this period of
2 time had expelled as persona non grata citizens of the
3 Republic of Croatia?
4 A. This was never done officially. What
5 happened on the ground --
6 Q. Was there such a law that was passed?
7 A. No, there was no such law.
8 Q. Do you know whether the Republic of Croatia
9 adopted such a law?
10 A. I'm not aware of the Republic of Croatia
11 having passed such a law, or could it have passed such
12 a law because there were so many Bosnians and
13 Herzegovinians in Croatia.
14 Q. Mr. Kljuic, do you know that at that time the
15 Republic of Croatia throughout this period took in
16 about 400.000 refugees from the territory of
18 A. Yes. But, please, I have to say something in
19 this regard. This grand geste was sometimes tarnished
20 because of the unwelcome activities of certain smaller
21 groups. However, had it not been for the Republic of
22 Bosnia-Herzegovina, a large part of the population of
23 Bosnia-Herzegovina would not have survived or reached
24 the territory of third countries.
25 Q. Mr. Kljuic, is it true that all the citizens
1 authorised in the Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina,
2 regardless of whether I am talking about Serbs, Croats
3 or Muslims, were citizens of the Republic of
4 Bosnia-Herzegovina; that is to say, that they had
5 republican citizenship of the Republic of
7 A. Yes. All persons had citizenship except
8 those people who came from other republics for a
9 shorter period of time, or just temporarily. But every
10 citizen of the former Yugoslavia had republican
11 citizenship as well.
12 Q. Is it true, Mr. Kljuic, you said a few
13 minutes ago that the Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina,
14 because of these war operations, practically had
15 borders that were sealed off. Is it true that
16 humanitarian aid that came into the Republic of
17 Bosnia-Herzegovina and even weapons that were under an
18 embargo arrived for the most part through the territory
19 of the Republic of Croatia?
20 A. Yes. A vast amount was brought in and also a
21 vast amount was looted by paramilitary and other
22 formations. So often we were in a very hard situation
23 because the assistance that was supposed to come in did
24 not get in because of the local leaders who robbed it.
25 But I do support the fact that this was the only route
1 for helping Bosnia-Herzegovina.
2 Q. Thank you, Mr. Kljuic. My last question. In
3 the period of time that is under consideration, that is
4 to say mid-1992 until the end of 1993, in the territory
5 of the Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina there were
6 several armed conflicts. If we look at these armed
7 conflicts, through their participants, and these are
8 the three constituent peoples, that is to say Serbs,
9 Croats and Muslims in Bosnia-Herzegovina, can you tell
10 me what kind of mutual relationship they had or,
11 rather, who was fighting who?
12 A. First of all, there was the aggression of
13 Serb fascism against Bosnia-Herzegovina. And before
14 that they had done the same thing in Croatia and
15 Slovenia. And then there was the conflict between the
16 Muslims and the Croats, but not on the entire territory
17 of Bosnia-Herzegovina. In Sarajevo, in Central Bosnia,
18 in Posavina, in spite of that conflict, there was no
19 conflict. This conflict did not spill over to these
21 I went there in 1994 and I said, "Don't
22 fight. Don't allow your masters to bring a fight
23 between you because your masters are going to reach
24 peace amongst them some day." And then there was the
25 fight between Fikret Abdic and his people and the 5th
1 Corps of the Army of Bosnia-Herzegovina.
2 Q. Mr. Kljuic, the last conflict you spoke of
3 was the conflict between Muslims themselves in the
4 territory of Bosnia-Herzegovina; is that correct?
5 A. Yes, that is correct. It was not a conflict
6 because both were Muslims. It was because Fikret Abdic
7 is the greatest traitor of Bosnia-Herzegovina because
8 before that he signed the most shameful agreement in
9 Belgrade with Karadzic and Milosevic, and because he as
10 such was undermining Bosnia-Herzegovina. So he was not
11 moving along religious lines.
12 This was a political and military conflict,
13 not a religious or ethnic conflict, because in nominal
14 terms Fikret Abdic is a Muslim, but he worked
15 exclusively against the Muslim people. And while he
16 was in prison in the time of the Socialist Yugoslavia,
17 he changed some things, and for me he is the greatest
18 traitor of Bosnia-Herzegovina.
19 Q. Mr. Kljuic, I just want to define this one
20 question at the very end. Mr. Fikret Abdic that you
21 talked about was also a national of
22 Bosnia-Hercegovinia; is that right?
23 A. Yes. But he changed his citizenship. Today
24 he is a citizen of the Republic of Croatia.
25 Q. Thank you, Mr. Kljuic. I have no further
2 A. Cheers.
3 MS. SOMERS: Your Honour, if I could just
4 take one minute. I am looking for a document and I
5 shall be very quick.
6 JUDGE ROBINSON: Just a correction on the
7 transcript. I think "cheers" was said by Mr. Kljuic,
8 if I'm not mistaken.
9 THE INTERPRETER: Yes, says the interpreter.
10 A. Yes, that's what I said. It's well
11 intentioned. I didn't want to offend anybody. That's
12 the way we say it.
13 Re-examined by Ms. Sommers:
14 Q. Just one question, Your Honour. Mr. Kljuic,
15 are you familiar with the decision of the
16 constitutional court of BiH rendered in Sarajevo in
17 September 1992 declaring HZHB to be unconstitutional
18 and all the decisions of HZHB to be unconstitutional?
19 A. I am aware of that, and that piece of
20 information is correct.
21 MR. NAUMOVSKI: [Interpretation] I apologise.
22 Your Honours, perhaps I reacted a bit too late. We did
23 not discuss the constitutional court of
24 Bosnia-Herzegovina during cross-examination. I don't
25 see why this question is being put. On what basis?
1 JUDGE MAY: We'll get on more quickly without
2 objections. Let's see what the point is.
3 MR. NAUMOVSKI: [Interpretation] Thank you,
4 Your Honour.
5 MS. SOMERS:
6 Q. Mr. Kljuic, the government to which the
7 constitutional court belonged was the government of
8 Bosnia-Herzegovina, and that is the same government on
9 whose presidency you sat?
10 A. Yes. And that government, at the time, was a
11 multi-ethnic government. The Prime Minister was a
12 Croat, as a matter of fact.
13 Q. Did you continue to exercise your political
14 activity exclusively with BiH from that time on after
15 the decision invalidating Herceg-Bosnia? You no longer
16 had any connection with Herceg-Bosnia but, rather, only
17 with the institutions of the republic of BiH?
18 A. Correct.
19 Q. Sorry, of BiH. I apologise. Not republic.
20 Thank you very much. No further questions.
21 Excuse me, I do want to clarify one thing.
22 Mr. Kljuic, which passport do you have? What
23 do you hold as a passport?
24 A. Bosnia-Herzegovina.
25 MS. SOMMERS: Thank you very much.
1 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Kljuic, that concludes your
2 evidence. Thank you for coming to the Tribunal. I'm
3 sorry you had to come back twice, but thank you for
4 coming back. And you are now released as far as this
5 case is concerned.
6 The Court will sit tomorrow at half past
8 [The witness withdrew]
9 --- Whereupon hearing adjourned at 3:45
10 p.m. to be reconvened on Wednesday, the
11 20th day of October, 1998.