1 Thursday, 13 September 2001
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 [The witness entered court]
5 --- Upon commencing at 9.35 a.m.
6 JUDGE LIU: Call the case, please.
7 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, Case Number IT-98-34-T, the
8 Prosecutor versus Mladen Naletilic and Vinko Martinovic.
9 JUDGE LIU: Mr. Scott, before you start, can I ask you a question?
10 MR. SCOTT: Of course.
11 JUDGE LIU: Are you going to tender into evidence the piece of
12 paper with the name of the witness and the pseudonym on it?
13 MR. SCOTT: Yes, Your Honour. The arrangement that was made
14 during the depositions with the representative of the Registry that was
15 present during those two weeks was that each of these slips would be
16 marked with a W number, "W" standing for witness. I believe this one
17 would be -- I think the one for this witness would be W15, or
18 approximately W15 or something along those lines. I don't have the number
19 in front of me.
20 JUDGE LIU: Thank you. Thank you very much. At least there are
21 two advantages for doing that. One is for the sake of the record, so that
22 we know who is who in the future, if we have dozens of the witnesses with
23 a pseudonym. The second one is that you might add some background on that
24 piece of paper so that we don't have to go to the private sessions. We
25 should keep this trial as transparent as possible.
1 MR. SCOTT: I understand your comments, Mr. President. That's not
2 a bad idea. I apologise if there was any wrinkle about that. As I said,
3 it was a practice that had been put in place during the depositions. I
4 know that the member of the Registry that is doing that is not here this
5 week. But we will pursue that. I am now correct -- I have been
6 corrected, Mr. President. I think the number for this particular
7 witness's piece of paper would be W17.
8 THE REGISTRAR: According to the list of the Registry, it's W15.
9 MR. SCOTT: Then we accept that.
10 JUDGE LIU: Thank you.
11 Witness, please remember that you are still under solemn
12 declaration. You may proceed.
13 MR. SCOTT: Thank you.
14 Mr. President, I had the impression when we left off at the end of
15 the day yesterday, we would try to return to the voice distortion without
16 being in completely closed session. May I inquire, is that what we are in
18 JUDGE LIU: Well, I think we have the voice distortion.
19 MR. SCOTT: We will try it again.
20 WITNESS: Witness O [Resumed]
21 [Witness answered through interpreter]
22 Examined by Mr. Scott: [Continued]
23 Q. Witness O, welcome back. Good morning.
24 A. Good morning.
25 Q. Witness, if the Chamber will allow me, I am going to comment;
1 yesterday you seemed to be very quiet and somewhat, if I can use the word,
2 down. Is there some reason for that?
3 A. To be quite sincere, in my whole life I never went to a magistrate
4 court, never mind to such a lofty Tribunal, and I think it is only normal
5 for the novelty of the whole thing to affect me.
6 Q. Did you, sir, learn about the events in the United States and did
7 that have an effect on you?
8 A. To be quite frank, it did have a terrible effect on me. I cannot
9 comprehend that such barbarism could be committed. I can't understand
10 what kind of people could commit such an atrocity. I condemn that fully.
11 And at one point I wanted to express my condolences to the American
12 citizens and my sincere sympathy for the tragedy that occurred in
13 America. This had an additional effect on my mood.
14 Q. Can you tell the Chamber, please - and this is my last question on
15 this topic - can you tell the Chamber, please, how has this affected you,
16 in light of your experience during the war.
17 A. To be quite sincere, I lived through the disaster of war and
18 shelling, and particularly during the aggression of the Yugoslav People's
19 Army, because throughout the period up to May I was in the area of Mostar,
20 and it was even worse when I was released from prison and when I saw the
21 consequences of the war. And I said to myself, "There's nothing worse
22 than war and the killing of people."
23 THE INTERPRETER: Could the witness approach the microphone,
25 MR. SCOTT: Witness O, yes, if you could scoot your chair a touch
1 closer to -- thank you very much. All right. Thank you, Witness O.
2 Perhaps that provides some insights into the witness's demeanour in
3 particular yesterday.
4 Q. Witness O, we finished off talking about the Crisis Staff. I
5 believe you told us - and I'm going to ask you to just bring us up to
6 where we were, to tell the Chamber again - is it correct to say that, by
7 approximately the late summer of 1992, the multi-ethnic Crisis Staff had
8 essentially dissolved, for all practical purposes?
9 A. You see, it was like this: It is common knowledge that the
10 aggressor was expelled from the area of Mostar. Thanks to the joint
11 efforts of the HVO and the army of Bosnia-Herzegovina, the aggressor's
12 army had to leave Mostar, and this happened sometime in mid-June. After
13 mid-June, that is, after the expulsion of the aggressor, tensions
14 increased, for the HVO was doing everything it could to sideline the army
15 of Bosnia-Herzegovina. So it is correct that about the midsummer, the
16 Crisis Staff no longer existed.
17 Q. Now, around this time - and I may take us back now a few weeks -
18 but can you tell the Chamber, did there come a time during the late spring
19 or early summer of 1992 that the Serb army, armed forces, left the
20 Mostar -- at least, the city of Mostar?
21 A. You see, they were deployed around, because Mostar is in the
22 valley, and they were deployed with their artillery around the town. A
23 part of their artillery was on Mount Hum, and that was the most forward
24 position that they had reached in the area of Mostar. And they were
25 expelled from Mount Hum thanks to the HVO, because the HVO -- this was the
1 most advanced point towards Eastern Herzegovina, and the HVO had direct
2 contact with them at Mount Hum, and I think they pushed them back there
3 and then they fled to the other side. Neretva was forced. They abandoned
4 the Heliodrom as well, under pressure of both components; that is, the
5 army of Bosnia-Herzegovina and the HVO component took part. And finally,
6 they crossed the Neretva - I think it was on the 16th or 17th of June -
7 they crossed to the other side, and they were pushed back to the slopes,
8 Velez towards Bandol, Pune [phoen], so that this lasted for a certain
9 amount of time. And I think they were pushed back, but not entirely, not
10 totally for Mostar to be out of reach of their cannon, so that even later
11 we had problems with their artillery. But regarding the territory of
12 Mostar itself, that is, the left and right side, they were totally
13 eliminated thanks to the efforts of the joint forces.
14 Q. Now, Witness O, can you also tell the Chamber, please, whether you
15 knew, around this time, of any political agreement reached between the
16 Bosnian Croat and Serb side that touched upon any borders or their
17 departure from Mostar?
18 A. The press reported at the time, and we heard that the late Mate
19 Boban and Karadzic had conducted talks in Gradice [phoen], and it was
20 being said that the Serbs insisted on the division of Mostar along the
21 Neretva River, and that the late Boban had insisted on the borders of the
22 former banovina, that is up to Grabak, Radimlje, Stolac, Ravno, which is
23 exactly along the lines of the present border between the two entities.
24 MR. SCOTT: If I could have the bundle of exhibits for this
25 witness placed before him again, and in particular, Exhibit P126.1, which
1 everyone in the courtroom should have, Mr. President.
2 Q. Now, Witness O, let me tell you, this document is in English
3 only. That's the way it was prepared and received, apparently. When I
4 direct you to particular parts of this document, I will --
5 MR. SCOTT: I think what I will do, Mr. President, if it's
6 agreeable to the Chamber, is I will read the relevant passages. And by
7 means of the assistance from the translation, Witness O can hear the
8 translation, if I can proceed in that fashion, please. Thank you.
9 Q. Witness O, I'm going to -- if you want to just simply, for
10 physical reference see where I am, if you would like to turn to the second
11 page to the document that has been put in front of you, P126.1. And
12 directing your attention to the top of that second page, and then below
13 that, there are a couple of numbered items which I'm sure you can see,
14 one, two, three, et cetera. I will read parts of this slowly, I hope, and
15 if you will please listen to the translation in your language, sir, I will
16 ask you a question or two about this.
17 Starting at the top of the page: "It is our intention being to
18 resolve peacefully and by agreement all outstanding issues, including the
19 borderline between our two constituent units, the Croatian unit and
20 Serbian unit, in Bosnia-Herzegovina. The representatives of the Croatian
21 and the Serb National Communities have established the existence of the
22 following specific differences as regards the working demarcation map:
23 1. In the city of Mostar, the Serbian side considers the
24 Neretva River to be the borderline, while the Croatian side considers the
25 entire city of Mostar to be within the Croatian constituent unit.
1 2. South of Mostar, the Croatian side considers the entire area
2 delineated in 1939, in other words, the borders of the Hrvatska banovina
3 to be within the Croatian constituent unit. The Serbian side considers
4 the Neretva River to be the borderline between the Croatian and Serbian
5 constituent units."
6 And for point of reference, this was a public statement issued by
7 Radovan Karadzic and Mate Boban on the 6th of May, 1992.
8 Now, Witness, what I just read to you, please, can you tell the
9 Chamber, is that consistent with the way this agreement was being reported
10 in Mostar back around this time in 1992? Is that what you understood the
11 dividing line to be?
12 A. It can be seen from this document that that was so. Also it can
13 be seen that the third party was not represented, so the right of the
14 third ethnic group to that area was rejected. The Serbs wanted to go as
15 far as the Neretva River, the Croats wanted to go beyond that line, so
16 that the only solution for the Bosniaks was to go into the Neretva River
17 itself, in other words, to leave that area. And at that time, and even
18 today, that is untenable in a democratic multi-ethnic society, for one
19 ethnic group to be sidelined altogether.
20 Q. Let me stop you there for a moment. In the paragraph that I read
21 you numbered 2, and you mentioned this yesterday afternoon, but since -- I
22 think since the trial is still in an early stage, let me ask you about it
23 again. This makes references to the area delineated in 1939, the borders
24 of the Hrvatska banovina. Can you tell the Chamber again, can you assist
25 us in telling us what you understood or understand that to mean; what was
1 the banovina?
2 A. It meant a division of Bosnia-Herzegovina, according to the
3 concept of 1939, to take a part of the territory that the banovina
4 consisted of, and probably eventually for it to be joined to the Croatian
5 State. So the whole platform was based on that concept, for the Bosniaks
6 to disappear from those territories as a constituent nation of
8 Q. All right. Well, let me ask you, then, again, before leaving and
9 moving on to another topic, accepting for a moment the proposed Serbian
10 dividing line, that is, the Neretva River itself with the Serbs on one
11 side of the river and the Croats on the other side of the river, where
12 would the Muslims be?
13 A. In the Neretva River. We would have to leave. We would not be
14 there any more. So it meant that the two sides were negotiating how we
15 were to disappear from our century-long homes.
16 Q. All right. Now, moving forward, please -- sorry. Moving forward,
17 now, was there -- were there some small group of Bosniaks around this time
18 who seemed to be more sympathetic, let me put it that way, to the HVO?
19 A. Already at that time, the concept of MDS was developing. This is
20 a party that came into being during the war. Its policy was to accept
21 some of the terms of the HVO. There was fear among the people, and the
22 people started reacting against the municipal board of the SDA party,
23 which started to accept certain things. And I think there was already a
24 small group that was ready to accept this option of the HVO.
25 Q. Witness O, can you tell us, please, what MDS stood for.
1 A. It was a party which had in its programme a more lenient attitude
2 towards the HVO; MDS. I don't know. I don't know. I know how they
3 acted. I know they went around the camps later on and took statements.
4 Q. Witness O, let me stop you there for a moment. We will come to
5 some of those things, I think.
6 MR. SCOTT: Mr. President, I don't think there will be a dispute
7 about this. If there is, I'm sure that I will be corrected. The MDS
8 stands for the Muslim Democratic Party.
9 Q. Can you tell us, sir, some of who appear to be among this group
10 that were -- that you have just described the last moment or two.
11 A. At the time, in the area of Mostar, there was Armin Pohara. I
12 think he was a member of the Municipal Board of that party. He was led by
13 somebody called "Dr. Alic." And in the SDA Municipal Board, certain
14 individuals were already supporting this option, and I'm afraid I wouldn't
15 be able to name them all. There was somebody called "Pasic" who was also
16 a member of that party, Dr. Kaznjic.
17 Q. Can I ask you, Witness O, can you tell the Chamber, who was the
18 president of the Mostar SDA at this point in time?
19 A. As I said, it was Dr. Alic, Muhamed. Of the MDS or the SDA?
20 Q. The SDA, please.
21 A. Dr. Hadziosmanovic, first name "Ismet." He was the president.
22 Q. Mr. Hadziosmanovic, was he a member of this group that was more
24 A. Until the conflict with the army and the HVO, Mr. Hadziosmanovic
25 was the president of the Municipal Board, that is, the Municipal Board of
1 the SDA. Now, whether he at that time also held a parallel position, in
2 other words, whether he worked with both sides at the time, that I cannot
3 say. However, the events that followed seems to point out to his having
4 collaborated with the HVO.
5 Q. Can you tell the Chamber, please, as best you can, what was the
6 level of support among the Bosniak community for this group, which was
7 either in its formative time or eventually did become known as "the MDS";
8 what was the level of support in the Bosniak community?
9 A. You see, because at that time already we could feel certain
10 attacks against Bosnia population in schools, for instance, Croatian coats
11 of arms were being placed in schools exclusively and the Croatian variant
12 of the language was introduced as the exclusive ones, and people were
13 bothered by it, so if you were a Croat, you could receive certain food
14 packages from the Caritas organisation. And of course, people insisted on
15 having their own interests protected, and all failures to do so were
16 ascribed to the SDA and intolerance towards this party started developing
17 among the people.
18 Q. All right. Let me perhaps once again --
19 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
20 MR. SCOTT:
21 Q. Perhaps once again we're confused between the MDS and the SDA.
22 Let me repeat my question, sir. Can you tell us, what was the level of
23 support among the Bosniak community for the MDS, not the SDA. Was it a
24 large party?
25 A. Oh, MDS had only marginal support. The party itself had a very
1 small infrastructure, certain persons who basically were obedient servants
2 of the HVO.
3 Q. Now, before moving on, you told us a moment ago -- did these MDS
4 members later appear in any of the HVO detention camps and, if so, can you
5 tell the Chamber about that?
6 A. Yes, I can. I was at the Heliodrom for a very brief period of
7 time, but even during that period I could see some leaders of that party,
8 like this person Pasic, and Alic, who arrived at the camp with membership
9 forms, and they offered people to have them released from the Heliodrom
10 should they fill out these forms. In other words, they were agitated.
11 They wanted to increase their membership by these means, and they could
12 not have done so without the approval of the HVO.
13 Q. And the offer that was made to --
14 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
15 MR. SCOTT:
16 Q. The offer that was made to the Bosniak prisoners who would join
17 the MDS was that they would be released?
18 A. Yes, the price was the release.
19 MR. SCOTT: Mr. President, we've reached one other point in the
20 questions that I'm going to ask a couple of questions that are so uniquely
21 related to this individual that they would identify him. So if we could
22 go into private session, please.
23 JUDGE LIU: Okay, we'll go to the private session.
24 [Private session]
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
12 Page 2094 redacted, private session.
24 [Open session]
25 JUDGE LIU: Now we are in the open session.
1 MR. SCOTT:
2 Q. Witness O, will you continue on. And again I'm going to caution
3 you just perhaps every once in a while not to use your name or your
4 title. But you just mentioned a meeting with Mate Boban, and can you go
5 forward then, please, and tell us about this meeting.
6 A. On that day, Mr. Orucevic and I, representing the SDA party, and
7 with the assistance of Mr. Srecko Vucina who at that time was the
8 spokesperson for the HVO, agreed to a meeting in Grude, and Srecko Vucina
9 attended the meeting, as did Jadranko Prlic. The presiding person -- that
10 is, Mr. Mate Boban was sitting at his desk, and next to him was a person
11 whom I had not known until then, a man who, to me, seemed more like an
12 artist than a politician. Later on, I learned that this man's name was
13 Mr. Naletilic.
14 Q. I'm sorry, please continue.
15 A. The meeting started by small talk, unofficial. I used to know
16 Mr. Mate Boban before the war, because he was a manager of a trading
17 company in Imotski. And early on in my career as an engineer working for
18 the Soko company in Mostar which had some of its facilities at Listica, I
19 worked there for a couple of years, and I was one of the founding members
20 of this company and started its design bureau. And I used to go and visit
21 with Mate Boban as an architect and would discuss some of the facilities
22 that he ran and how to appoint them.
23 Q. In the interests of time, Witness, I'm going to move, please, a
24 little forward. So you've established that you knew Mr. Boban from before
25 the war.
1 You went to this meeting; Mr. Boban was there. You have mentioned
2 other people who were there. Tell us what happened in the meeting,
3 please, what exchanges took place and what was said.
4 A. I had a list of things to address in the meeting. The first thing
5 I did was to ask Mr. Boban to address the public and to state very clearly
6 that there were three constituent groups in Bosnia and Herzegovina. The
7 late Mr. Boban could not even respond because Mr. Naletilic cut into the
8 conversation. Mr. Naletilic said the following on that occasion: Mr. O,
9 from where I come from and from what I know, there are two constituent
10 groups or peoples in this area; these are Serbs and Croats. But there are
11 some Croats who are Muslims, and there are some who are Catholics.
12 Then I said, Mr. Naletilic, I'm sorry, but we all have our own
13 teachers. I am -- I was taught that Bosniaks were a separate people in
14 the -- in Bosnia and Herzegovina. They were a constituent people there.
15 They had a right to do so, and I have -- I know of no other option.
16 He had no other comment to make, and the meeting was soon over,
17 after some other informal exchanges. The next day, I did not see the --
18 since that time, I have not seen Mr. Boban or Mr. Naletilic except on one
19 occasion. As I recall, after the war, I was in the council attached to
20 Mr. Koschnik regarding Mostar, and there was the opening of the consulate
21 in Mostar. And I believe that I saw Mr. Naletilic on that occasion, and
22 not since, that is, until today.
23 Q. Let me ask you on that last point, sir: When you say at the
24 opening of the consulate, which consulate was being opened at which you
25 saw Mr. Naletilic?
1 A. The consulate of the Croatian State. Because the embassy was in
2 Sarajevo, and the consulate -- probably to facilitate communication with
3 citizenry, the consulate was opened in Mostar, and I attended it. In
4 fact, I was officially invited to that.
5 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. Meek.
6 MR. MEEK: If it -- excuse me, if it would please the Trial
7 Chamber, could we have a date on this meeting or this alleged sighting by
8 this witness that he has just testified to, for the record, please.
9 JUDGE LIU: Mr. Scott, maybe you could clear it up.
10 MR. SCOTT: Yes, Your Honour.
11 Q. Witness, can you help us, please, if you can, the time when you
12 believe you saw Mr. Naletilic -- Naletilic, my apology -- at the opening
13 of the Croatian consulate in Mostar. Can you tell us approximately when
14 that occurred.
15 A. It could have been '95, '96, somewhere around there, because
16 Koschnik, that is the European Union, arrived in '95. So it was around
17 that time. When exactly the opening was, I think it is something that is
18 known. There must be a date. I don't know exactly, but I know that I was
19 invited to it as a member of the Koschnik's council.
20 Q. Witness O, let me ask you a few more questions about this
21 meeting. So there were four people there representing the Croat side,
22 including Mr. Boban and a man named Naletilic.
23 Now, did you have any understanding when you entered the room or
24 during the meeting what Mr. Naletilic's role was at this meeting? What
25 was his position or what role did he play, if you can tell us from what
1 you saw and heard at this meeting.
2 JUDGE LIU: Just a minute.
3 Mr. Meek.
4 MR. MEEK: If it please the Trial Chamber, I believe that question
5 has been asked and answered. Witness O has testified he never saw my
6 client prior to that day. He appeared to be an artist. He made one
7 statement, and he did not see him later.
8 This question has been asked and answered. And that is my
9 objection, Your Honours.
10 JUDGE LIU: So --
11 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] Your Honours.
12 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. Krsnik.
13 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] My apologies.
14 Another objection, the way the question was framed. I think this
15 was a leading question. The witness never said who represented whom in
16 the meeting that was presided over by Mr. Boban; whereas when asking this
17 question, my learned friend said such-and-such people represented
18 such-and-such side. Can we first clear up who was representing who, which
19 side there, in the meeting.
20 MR. SCOTT: Your Honour.
21 JUDGE LIU: Well, I think this Trial Chamber doesn't believe that
22 is a leading question. It's just to take us into that situation. But
23 certainly, there are certain points which is not quite clear.
24 Maybe, Mr. Scott, you could rephrase your question on this point.
25 MR. SCOTT: I fully appreciate that, Your Honours, and that was
1 one of the reasons I was, if you will, circling back to the details of
2 this meeting, after hearing the narrative from the witness.
3 Just as a point of procedure, I assume that one counsel
4 representing one party should address a particular matter. I know on that
5 occasion, we seemed to have two lawyers standing up for Mr. Naletilic. I
6 am certainly in the Chamber's hands, but there might be a view about
8 JUDGE LIU: Thank you for reminding us of this point.
9 MR. SCOTT:
10 Q. Witness O, now, you went to this meeting -- let's go back and take
11 this meeting in bit smaller steps. Did you initiate this meeting? Did
12 you request the meeting with Mr. Boban?
13 A. Yes, I did. Because that was the top leadership at the time, both
14 of the HVO and the HDZ.
15 Q. And did anyone accompany you that was representing, as well as
16 yourself, the SDA side?
17 A. Yes. Mr. Safet Orucevic represented the SDA party; the regional
18 board, that is.
19 MR. SCOTT: Your Honours, Mr. Bos has reminded me, and this may be
20 such an area that is, again, so unique -- an event that is so uniquely
21 connected to this witness that to discuss it in these terms would tend to
22 identify him. So we would request to go into private session again for
23 the next few minutes.
24 JUDGE LIU: Okay, we will go into the private session.
25 [Private session]
12 Page 2101 redacted, private session.
12 Page 2102 redacted, private session.
14 [Open session]
15 JUDGE LIU: Now we are in the open session. You may proceed.
16 MR. SCOTT:
17 Q. Now, around this same time, Witness, please tell us, you went to
18 another series of meetings -- and I don't want to spend a lot of time on
19 this. But during the latter part of 1992 and the early part of 1993, did
20 you personally engage in a number of what might be described as peace
21 efforts between the Croats and the Bosniaks, and can you describe those
22 for us, please.
23 A. I think that throughout that period, I worked to establish a
24 political balance between the Croats and the Bosniaks, and I engaged in a
25 series of meetings designed to ease tensions between the two peoples.
1 Shall I mention some of those meetings?
2 Q. My apology.
3 MR. SCOTT: If I can assist, Your Honours, just to help us move a
4 bit faster for the next few minutes.
5 Q. If I can direct your attention, sir, was there a meeting or series
6 of meetings, for instance, in Prozor during October 1992?
7 A. Yes. In October 1992 already, tensions had heightened to reach
8 the level of conflict, and one such conflict occurred in Prozor. And by
9 assignment and with the agreement of the HVO and their group, I was
10 assigned by the then authorities of Bosnia-Herzegovina to go to the area
11 where the conflict had escalated, and we tried at a meeting to calm things
13 So we went to Prozor immediately after the attack on Prozor, and
14 some houses were still burning that had been set on fire. On our side,
15 there were some soldiers; there was something called "Karic," the late
16 Arif Pasalic, who was at the time in command of the 4th Corps. Then there
17 was me and Mr. Orucevic. And on the other side, on behalf of the HVO,
18 actually I don't know whether Mr. Praljak at that time was in his capacity
19 of an HVO officer or an officer of the Croatian army. So he led the
20 Croatian side, and on their side also there was Pero Zelenika, Srecko
21 Vucina, Bozo Rajic, and I don't know -- oh, yes, Siljeg. And this meeting
22 was held in Prozor, and at that meeting we tried to reduce tensions and to
23 prevent a further escalation of the conflict between the Bosniaks and the
25 Q. Let me just -- Witness, let me just stop you there for a moment.
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 One of the names, if I can, was a Bruno Stojic also participant on the
2 Croat side?
3 A. Yes, Bruno Stojic as well. Bruno Stojic came with us from Konjic,
4 because we first went to Konjic, then crossed Neretvica, and that was the
5 route we took, and we reached Prozor with him. When I say "we," I am
6 thinking of myself and Orucevic, and I'm not sure whether there was anyone
7 from Konjic as well who joined us.
8 Q. Now, just to be clear, when you say you were with Mr. Stojic, you
9 were travelling -- you were physically travelling with Mr. Stojic, but I
10 take it he was not representing the SDA party.
11 A. No, no. No, he was not representing the SDA. He was riding in
12 his own car and we were in ours. There are two routes to Prozor, there is
13 one via Jablanica and another via Konjic and Neretvica. And via those
14 villages, we wanted to see what the tensions were like in the villages
15 surrounding Prozor. And we requested that tensions be reduced and any
16 escalation be avoided.
17 Q. All right. Now, I'm going to the meeting itself. Can you just
18 tell the Chamber for a moment about your inner exchange, if you had one,
19 with Mr. Praljak and what was said on both sides.
20 A. You see, I did have contact with Mr. Praljak, and both sides were
21 in favour of an easing of tensions. The meeting was chaired on behalf of
22 the Croats by Mr. Praljak and on behalf of the Bosniaks by Mr. Karic.
23 When the meeting ended, the topic of the meeting was mainly who started,
24 how certain incidents occurred.
25 But in any event, Prozor was on fire, all Bosniak houses, and the
1 wealthy people were affected. I think a rich butcher, Hadzo, was killed,
2 and quite a number of other people died, and houses were set on fire. And
3 even after the meeting, as we were running from Stolac, I noticed houses
4 were still burning. And we stopped in Prozor itself, and there was an HVO
5 festivity in the middle of town. They had lamb on the spit in the centre
6 of town and they were drinking, and Mr. Praljak joined them to talk to
7 them, probably. I wasn't present there, but I saw this scene from the
8 car. And then we left Prozor --
9 Q. Sir, let me stop you for a moment.
10 A. -- because we had some other tasks to accomplish.
11 Q. Let me stop you there for a moment before we get too much further
12 along. You've said that the houses in -- many of the houses -- the
13 Bosniak houses in Prozor were burning. What was your information or your
14 understanding of who had caused the houses to be burning? Who did that?
15 A. I think that the commander of the attack was Siljeg, and he came
16 from Tomislavgrad, from the direction of Tomislavgrad. And Prozor was
17 shelled. And once they entered Prozor -- when a town is burning, people
18 panic, they abandon their apartments. And it is probable that plunder
19 starts, and to cover up the traces, houses are torched. And I think to
20 this day, a large number of Bosniak houses have not been reconstructed and
21 you can still see the remains. And surely the Bosniaks themselves
22 wouldn't set their own houses on fire.
23 Q. All right. Well, sir, you mentioned a Mr. Siljeg. Of which armed
24 force was he a commander?
25 A. He was an HVO commander.
1 Q. Did you have some conversations specifically with Mr. Praljak,
2 then - to pick up where we were a moment ago - about the fact that the
3 houses were still burning in Prozor?
4 A. Yes. I was saying that we didn't need such things in our region
5 and that we had to encourage the age-old coexistence of Bosniaks and
6 Croats in the area of Herzegovina, that we have to keep that alive, and
7 that we must put a stop to the tension which was being encouraged by
8 certain HVO groups. And his response was, "Well, you know, Mr. O, the
9 Bosniaks are not -- are no angels." And I said to him that I was not
10 familiar with the situation throughout the Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina
11 but that I did know what the relationship had been until then between the
12 Bosniaks and Croats in the area of Herzegovina.
13 Q. Did Mr. Praljak make any statement about his views as to what
14 should happen with the Bosniaks in Herzegovina at that time?
15 A. At the time, he said that it didn't bode well for the Bosniaks in
16 Herzegovina and that nothing could be done, and that time would show that
17 he was right. And I was surprised to hear that, and I said that a person
18 with three university degrees, high-level intellectual, should have such
19 ideas was a surprise for me. But later on, I realised that the war puts
20 an end to all normal human reflection.
21 Q. Let's go forward, please. Now, after the Prozor meeting, did you
22 attend a similar meeting or series of meetings in a place called Novi
23 Travnik, which is more in Central Bosnia, north of Sarajevo?
24 A. Before Novi Travnik, we went to Bugojno. We even spent a night in
25 a convent. And again with the local leadership of Bugojno, we addressed
1 the same topic, even though the relations there were a little better
2 between the HVO and the BH army, and the next day we went on to Travnik.
3 And in Travnik, things had escalated too. Seven or eight people
4 were killed, some Bosniaks and some Croats. And we requested a meeting
5 there with HVO leaders, this mixed working group, and we met there with a
6 group of leaders, someone called "Lendo" represented the BH army and then
7 Marelja, who was a local leader and who spoke most at the meeting. And it
8 was at that meeting that I saw for the first and last time Mr. Dario
9 Kordic. He was wearing a uniform and he attended the meeting. He didn't
10 utter a single word, nor did he put any questions or provide any answers.
11 So the meeting was also designed to reduce tensions and to prevent an
12 escalation of the conflict between the Bosniaks and the Croats.
13 Q. Can you tell us, sir, just for the record, did you understand this
14 Dario Kordic, who you met in Travnik at that time, to be the same Dario
15 Kordic that is a convicted accused at this Tribunal?
16 A. Yes. He wears glasses, very thick lenses. I remember that well.
17 And at the time, I asked him, "Young man, you are not saying anything?"
18 And he said, "There's nothing to be said." And that was the end of our
19 conversation, and I never saw him again.
20 Q. All right.
21 A. So all these were attempts for the conflict to flare up, because
22 it would necessarily be the bloodiest in Mostar, and it was all designed
23 to prevent a conflict in Mostar.
24 THE INTERPRETER: Mike, please.
25 MR. SCOTT: Let me direct your attention, please, to two exhibits,
1 if you still have the whole bundle there. But in any event, if
2 Exhibits P218 and 219 could be put before the witness, please, or if he
3 could have any assistance that might be necessary.
4 Judge Diarra, I understand and I hope that French translations of
5 those documents have been made available to you.
6 Q. Do you have those, sir, in front of you, and for your purposes, do
7 you have what we call "the B/C/S," the Bosnian-Serbo-Croatian language, in
8 front of you as well, available to you?
9 A. Yes.
10 MR. SCOTT: All right. Let's start with P218. We're not going to
11 spend a lot of time on these, Your Honours, just for the purposes of
12 identifying them for the record, and most of them can speak for
14 Q. Can you look at P218, Witness O, and tell us what this document
16 A. So it's a proclamation of the Muslims of Herzegovina.
17 Q. Okay. Well, just to be sure, the two documents look quite
18 similar, but one is titled "Proclamation" and one is titled "Charter." So
19 can I ask you, please, if you can be sure you're looking at P218.
20 A. Yes, P218, unless the pages have been mixed.
21 Q. All right. Well, look at the title. In the B/C/S version of
22 Prosecution Exhibit 218, can you look at the top of that page in your own
24 A. "Proclamation."
25 Q. Well, it could be the two have been mixed. If you would look at
1 Exhibit 219 for a moment, please, 219, and if you could also help us -- if
2 in fact a mix-up has occurred, my apologies.
3 A. So this is the Charter. This is the Charter that was sent to the
4 United Nations as well, a Charter sent to the United Nations, the Charter
5 after the Proclamation. But both were launched on the same day, one for
6 the people and one for the International Community, that is, its highest
7 representation in the United Nations, that is, the Charter.
8 MR. SCOTT: Mr. President, it's obvious that unfortunately the
9 translations have been switched with the original, and what they need
10 to -- I'm not suggesting we necessarily need to take the time now, but
11 perhaps it could be done during the break. But obviously the translations
12 will need to be switched to the appropriate document.
13 JUDGE LIU: Well, for our convenience, is it possible for you to
14 have a different number for any translations, no matter in English or in
15 B/C/S, so that there could be no confusion of these documents, because we
16 are not familiar with at least one language. Maybe you could put a "/1"
17 or "/2" in the translation.
18 MR. SCOTT: Of course, Your Honour. And I think actually there's
19 been some discussion with the Registry about that in previous weeks, and
20 I'm not sure it was completely clarified. But let me tell the President,
21 yes, we will take steps.
22 JUDGE LIU: Thank you. That will be much helpful.
23 MR. SCOTT: Now, sir, all right. We'll talk about -- you have the
24 Charter. We'll start with what you call "the Charter", which I think in
25 your language is 219.
1 For purpose of the English speakers in the courtroom,
2 Mr. President, if we can look at the English translation of the B/C/S
3 document that is attached to P219, but it will actually relate to the
4 English that is marked as "P218." Again, I apologise for that mix-up.
5 Q. But can you tell us, sir - and I don't think the questions are
6 going to be so detailed about this that it will be terribly critical - but
7 can you just tell us the origin of both of these documents and how both
8 documents, in fact, came to be prepared about the 17th of January, 1993?
9 A. This was yet another attempt to reduce tensions among the Bosniak
10 people, so they needed to be told that we had to work towards joint
11 positions by the Croats and Muslims. And since there were terribly --
12 terrible accusations coming in particular from the south, and as I was the
13 regional leader -- these were coming from Capljina, Stolac, especially in
14 the education system, then in the administration. Croatian coat of arms
15 were being posted. There was insistence on the Croatian language.
16 Children started to split, Bosniaks to one side, Croats to the other. And
17 all these signals reached the Regional Board and other institutions that
18 at the time were, for instance, in charge of the religious segment, the
19 humanitarian activities like Merhamet. So these tensions, also among them
20 Bosniak people, needed to be reduced by telling them that we had no other
21 way but to struggle by democratic means. And we drew up a charter in
22 which we said, loud and clear, that we did not want to dominate other
23 peoples but that we would not allow others to dominate us. And I think
24 that both these documents speak along those lines, the Charter, however,
25 being addressed to the United Nations and the Proclamation to the Bosniak
1 people themselves.
2 MR. SCOTT: All right, if you will allow me, for literally one
3 minute to private session, please.
4 [Private session]
15 [Open session]
16 JUDGE LIU: Now we are in the open session.
17 MR. SCOTT:
18 Q. Witness, if I can please direct your attention to just a couple
19 particular parts of these documents. On the charter specifically, and
20 again, you'll know -- looking at the B/C/S version, you obviously do know
21 which one that is. If you look at the charter, and if I can direct your
22 attention, which I think you will be able to follow in terms of the
23 paragraph numbered 2, you will still be able to find the number 2
25 Directing your attention to the end of that paragraph -- in fact,
1 it appears that the document, if I'm looking correctly -- perhaps the part
2 that I'm directing your attention to, see the last sentence that starts
3 with the word, "Muslim army..." Paragraph number 2.
4 A. Are you referring to the charter or the proclamation?
5 Q. I hoped I was referring to the charter.
6 A. "I'm aware of the complexity of organising a common homeland..."
7 Paragraph 2.
8 Q. Yes, and toward the end of that paragraph --
9 A. Yes, the signatories, and I insisted that all the people who had
10 any position should sign the document; among others, there was Muftija,
11 Smajkic, who was the religious leader for Herzegovina for the Muslim
12 people. And this is the sentence that probably they insisted upon.
13 Q. All right. We have the sentence, then, beginning, "The Muslim
14 army in Herzegovina..." Can you read that sentence just outloud, please.
15 A. "The Muslims of Herzegovina do not accept being transformed from
16 the status of a people at the beginning of the struggle against the
17 aggressor to an ethnic minority at the end of it. Yes, it means that the
18 people who, inspired by patriotism, engaged in the defence of the area
19 they lived in were afraid that at the end they may be suppressed and the
20 value of their participation be ignored, and that they be deprived of the
21 right to be a constituent people in the area.
22 Q. All right. Witness, we are about to reach a break. Perhaps we
23 can finish on at least one of the documents.
24 Can I ask you now, in a similar fashion, to look at the last
25 paragraph numbered, 6, in that same document, paragraph number 6 of the
2 Can you find the language, please -- and I won't try to do this in
3 Serbo-Croatian -- which says, "We resolutely deny the right of anyone..."
4 Can you find that, please.
5 A. Yes, yes. "We resolutely deny the right of anyone to proclaim the
6 legal armed formations of the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina
7 constituted on their own land to be paramilitary and undesirables and to
8 subordinate them unilaterally without joint agreements to other forces and
9 commands. That is correct.
10 Q. Thank you, Witness.
11 MR. SCOTT: Your Honour, perhaps that's the time to break.
12 JUDGE LIU: It is the time. We'll adjourn until 11.30.
13 --- Recess taken at 11.00
14 --- On resuming at 11.33 a.m.
15 JUDGE LIU: Mr. Krsnik, this Trial Chamber was informed that your
16 client Mr. Naletilic has some trouble with his teeth. Is that true?
17 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour. That is
18 correct, and I immediately informed everyone concerned, my learned friends
19 and the Registry. The point is that my client has been suffering from a
20 toothache for the last two days. I'm no physician myself, but I can see a
21 swelling on the side of his face. So I'm not a physician. But as you may
22 know, due to his health, a simple toothache is not so simple in his case.
23 We ask that he be taken to be given some care immediately. There are --
24 it is not something that can be done immediately here. And also, it may
25 affect his overall health; that is, his heart and lungs are also at
2 Now, I ask that he be immediately taken to receive medical care,
3 and we can continue in order to avoid any adjournment at this point. So
4 we can go on without him as well. Thank you.
5 JUDGE LIU: Thank you very much for your cooperation. We will
6 continue without the presence of your client. So he may leave now.
7 [The accused Naletilic withdrew]
8 JUDGE LIU: Mr. Scott, there's one thing I want to have your
9 clarification. This document we just dealt with, with the name of your
10 witness on it, what do you do to this document? Are you going to put it
11 under seal or to have the name redacted in a certain way?
12 MR. SCOTT: Perhaps for this discussion itself, we should go into
13 private session briefly, Your Honour.
14 JUDGE LIU: Okay. We'll go to the private session.
15 [Private session]
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
12 Page 2118 redacted, private session.
14 [Open session]
15 JUDGE LIU: We are now in the open session.
16 MR. SCOTT:
17 Q. If you can look at the paragraphs which are indented, I think, in
18 both languages, and if I can direct your attention, please, to the fifth
19 indented paragraph which, in the English language, begins with the phrase
20 "There is much justification..."
21 If you can just find that, or just nod and tell me when you find
22 that, then we will go.
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. You have that?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. All right. Well, I think it's perhaps worth -- it is a bit more
2 than I had originally contemplated. I think perhaps it's worth taking a
3 moment. If you can just read that, starting with that paragraph, "There's
4 much justification..." Down about halfway through the paragraph, and if
5 you don't see the point, we don't come to it together, I'll indicate when
6 you can stop reading, please.
7 If you can just read that outloud, starting at the beginning of
8 the paragraph, please.
9 A. "There is much justification for fears that in the final internal
10 order of the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina, which is to be divided
11 into provinces, attempts are being made to subjugate us Muslims in
12 Herzegovina as a marginal political factor with no right to active
13 participation in the organisation of the public life of this community.
14 The leading people in the HVO persist in saying that the territory in
15 Herzegovina to which the Muslims also have a legitimate and historical
16 claim is exclusively Croatian, and they are pronouncing the proposal for
17 the creation of ten provinces in the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina
18 final, although the other nations have not agreed to them. On this, they
19 base their alleged right to order the Mostar province as Croatian ethnic
21 "The HVO has been adopting one-sided decisions to this effect
22 whereby they are not only prejudging the future political and
23 administrative territorial organisation of the Republic of Bosnia and
24 Herzegovina but are also presenting unacceptable ultimatums about the
25 subordination of our units to the command of the HVO.
1 "Unless we agree to this, they threaten to disarm these units and
2 expel them to provinces which they call Muslim in spite of the fact that
3 the units consist of young men who were born and grew up in Mostar and
4 other places in Herzegovina.
5 "They are blocking humanitarian military --"
6 Q. Thank you, Witness. I think, for these purposes, we can stop
7 there. And, of course, the Chamber will have the entire document in front
8 of it.
9 In the two documents, the one we made reference to before the
10 recess and the one just now, there are references to ultimatums, to
11 ultimatums about subordination of Bosniak units to the HVO. Do you
12 recall, in early January 1993, whether such ultimatums had been announced
13 or issued?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. And can you just tell the Chamber a bit more about what was the
16 thrust or what were those ultimatums about.
17 A. The thrust of this ultimatum consisted in that the agreed joint
18 command between the AbiH and HVO was gradually being turned into a
19 monoethnic command and all commanders who commanded the joint command
20 were, for the most part, of Croatian ethnic background. In other words,
21 we were being marginalised. And through the HVO-controlled media, like
22 Radio Mostar, certain propaganda programmes appeared which were saying
23 that the AbiH was to subordinate itself to the HVO.
24 Q. Now, moving forward --
25 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
1 MR. SCOTT: Sorry. We're moving forward beyond these exhibits,
2 then, Mr. President.
3 Q. Witness O, I'd like to direct your attention, before moving
4 further -- if you recall, can you assist us with another meeting in about
5 January of 1993 with some of the Bosnian Croat leadership? Do you recall
6 such a meeting, and can you please tell the Chamber about that?
7 A. (redacted)
12 Q. That's all right, Witness O. It's a technical matter, I believe,
13 and I think you can continue if --
14 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, Counsel, please.
15 MR. SCOTT:
16 Q. You can continue, Witness O.
17 A. And a series of meetings was organised at Rondo, where
18 representative of the SDA and HDZ, that is, representative of the Croats
19 and Muslims, were present. And part of our delegation -- obviously with
20 the approval of the SDA leadership, Mr. Orucevic and I were there, and
21 Mr. Topic, Markovic, and Srecko Vucina represented the other side, and I
22 believe it was also Bozo Rajic. In these meetings, we started the
23 operational preparations because the Vance-Owen Plan had been announced.
24 According to this plan, Bosnia was to be organised into ten
25 provinces, but not along ethnic lines and by ethnic principles. The
1 Vance-Owen Plan did, in its original forms, provide for provinces based on
2 its economic viability, transportation network, the traditions of communal
3 life among various ethnic groups and so on. And so we looked into that
4 version, which was then modified in Washington and Dayton and led to the
5 present-day setup in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
6 To be honest with you, at that time it seemed to me that while
7 these operative agreements were under way, in other words, who was going
8 to be with whom, what would be the proportion of participation in power
9 and so on, this was a number of the issues -- some of the issues that were
10 discussed at these meetings.
11 Q. All right. Can you help us, please, with -- can you identify any
12 of the members or representatives of the Croat side who participated in
13 the process or the meetings that you've told us about in the last few
15 A. Yes, I can. Jadranko Topic, Pero Markovic, Srecko Vucina, and I
16 believe that Bozo Rajic also attended some of the meetings. And
17 representatives of the European Union also joined in several of these
19 Q. All right. Now, let me direct you to a particular meeting, and I
20 will just ask you --
21 THE INTERPRETER: Counsel, microphone, please.
22 MR. SCOTT: My apologies.
23 Q. (redacted)
12 MR. SCOTT: Your Honour, I'm sorry. This is part of the balancing
13 between not being in closed session and trying to do the best we can.
14 THE WITNESS: I thank you. I forgot about it. So there were such
15 meetings with Bruno Stojic, Bozo Rajic and some other people who were at
16 the HVO staff.
17 MR. SCOTT:
18 Q. All right. And do you remember any particular exchange you had on
19 these issues with Mr. Stojic particularly?
20 A. At that time, the conversations were one-way conversations. I
21 insisted, among the influential persons, to try to lower the tensions
22 between Croats and Muslims. They occasionally made jokes, that we in fact
23 were not a nation, that we did not belong in that region. This is sort of
24 an undercurrent, so that created tension. So we would then respond that
25 the history was saying otherwise. In any event, we always insisted -- our
1 side always insisted on these meetings, and we kept insisting on lowering
2 the tensions.
3 Q. All right. Now, you've touched on this already, but can I ask
4 you: Did you come to observe that there seemed to be a different view on
5 what the Vance-Owen Plan meant between the Bosniak side and the Croatian
6 side, or at least - strike that - the HVO side?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. Can you describe the differences that you saw, to the Chamber.
9 A. Because their platform was clear that the province was to be
10 predominantly ethnic in its character and our position was that it has to
11 be constituted in such a way that all three ethnic groups in Bosnia
12 participated, if a province consists of three ethnic groups, then by
13 extension, all Bosnia was going to be organised in such a way, their
14 interpretation was different. They said that the Mostar province was to
15 be exclusively Croatian.
16 Q. Now, moving ahead into --
17 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone.
18 MR. SCOTT:
19 Q. Moving ahead into the spring of 1993 - we're going forward in time
20 a bit, sir - can you tell us -- describe for us some of the events that
21 began to happen, in terms of actions directed toward the Bosniak
22 population, as we move into approximately April 1993.
23 A. Right. I think that it was at that time already when much
24 stricter control at checkpoints were instituted. There were problems with
25 passing through of the humanitarian aid. Then this also -- there were
1 things in schools where things escalated to the point where we had
2 monoethnic schools. It reached a point where, at a regional level, I
3 couldn't even start certain processes.
4 And then I went to the higher level, to the State of Bosnia
5 level. I sought certain officials like Mr. Ganic, and at the highest
6 level of the country we address this problem. And at the meeting with the
7 HVO and Mr. Ganic, in this meeting, the meeting started off with an
8 incident. Mr. Bruno Stojic attacked Mr. Ganic in a very ugly way. He
9 speaks in a bit of a Serbian dialect, and he called him a Chetnik. And
10 the meeting failed because of this incident.
11 Another one was with Mr. Halilovic, who went to Medjugorje. This
12 was before the first attack on Mostar, that is, before the May attack,
13 perhaps about 20 days prior to that. And we endeavoured even then to have
14 the commander of the Main Staff come to Petkovic's staff, where we had no
15 access, and the attempts were made to again lower the tension in order to
16 prevent further escalation. Obviously, it didn't work out. The plan must
17 have been quite clear, and no democratic type of agreement could be
19 Q. Now, Witness, you just now said, "The plan must have been quite
20 clear..." What plan are you talking about?
21 A. The plan that says that in the area of Mostar and Herzegovina,
22 ethnic cleansing was to be carried out, in other words, expulsion of
23 people to either third countries or other areas of Bosnia, so that the
24 number of Bosnians who were to stay in this area was to be insignificant.
25 And all this was to lead to the creation of a monoethnic entity.
1 And a day before the conflict, of which I did not know because I
2 would not have waited for it in my apartment, so one day before the attack
3 started, I asked -- I called for a meeting with representatives of the
4 European Union, and I believe that also UNPROFOR representatives were
5 present. In this meeting, I asked that something be done so that the
6 conflict would not escalate to the point where we would be unable to stop
7 it. This was one day before the attack. This was in the evening of the
8 7th and the 8th, and then the next morning the attack started. In other
9 words, this was an attempt on my part to involve the international
10 institutions in this. And having spent even that, I went as far as I
11 could to do something, but I was unable to do anything.
12 Q. Witness O, we're about to arrive at the 9th of May which you've
13 taken us to. But before we do that, if I can ask you to direct your
14 attention still to April for a moment.
15 During roughly the month of April, can you tell the Chamber, did
16 the arrest, the arrest and detention of various prominent Bosniak citizens
17 occur and happen on an increasing basis?
18 A. Sorry, I missed your question. Can you please repeat it for me.
19 Q. Certainly. Can you just tell the Chamber, were Bosniak leaders
20 increasingly arrested by the HVO side during the month of April 1993? I'm
21 not going to suggest anything more to you than that, but just to direct
22 your attention -- just tell the Chamber about that, if you can.
23 A. Yes, yes, yes. The signals were coming from the southern part of
24 the region, from the area of Caplinja and Stolac where certain people, I
25 remember Danja Asadovic [phoen], a lawyer, a colleague of yours who used
1 to work in the administration in Caplinja, and he wouldn't accept the
2 Croatian coat of arms to be hanging in his office, and he was sacked and
3 arrested. I intervened by telephone, I think a Markovic at the time, was
4 the head of a municipality, but this had no effect because Dretelj was
5 already operating by then. That is the camp in Dretelj for these people
6 in the south, from Stolac, Capljina; mostly intellectuals and members of
7 the SDA ended up in the camp.
8 Q. Again, before coming to the 9th of May, can you tell the Chamber
9 if there was any particular incident at the regional offices of the SDA,
10 again, during approximately the April 1993 period?
11 A. Yes, in the regional office, a group of HVO broke in, headed by
12 Blazevic and Takac. They insisted on a dialogue being cleared up between
13 the BH army and the HVO, but they came under full gear, military gear,
14 with long barrels, and they threatened. And when we cleared up certain
15 matters, there were some of our men there so that nothing serious
16 occurred. Some slaps were exchanged. Some people were slapped who were
17 members of our committee; but anyway, things ended up well. There were no
18 casualties. But there was pressure; what were we waiting for, what did we
19 want, and things like that. They probably came in an organised manner,
20 following somebody's orders.
21 Q. All right. Let me ask you, do you know, can you help us with the
22 first name of Mr. Takac, if you know?
23 A. Ernst Takac, E-R-N-S-T.
24 Q. In a similar fashion, can you help us with the first name of
25 Mr. Blazevic, if you know.
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 A. I don't know his first name. I know his -- I didn't know Ernst
2 Takac. He originates from Jlici, but I knew Blazevic. I think he lived
3 in Marelja, where I was born.
4 Q. Witness O, I think it may be worth making the record clear, if you
5 could assist with us the spellings. On Takac, do you know the correct
6 spelling of that family name, and could you give it to us, please.
7 A. T-A-K-A-C.
8 Q. Could you also give us the correct spelling, if you know it, of
10 A. B-L-A-Z-E-V-I-C.
11 Q. Thank you very much.
12 Before we leave this event and go on, you said some slapping
13 occurred. As best you can remember, who slapped who?
14 A. These men who stormed the place, because we, too, had certain men
15 who were servicing the office. They were not armed, but they were people
16 at the door. So when these broke in, they slapped them. Because one
17 cannot go into an office without announcement, and they broke in by force
18 into my office.
19 Q. Now, moving forward to the 9th of May, and you've just told us a
20 few minutes ago -- in fact, you initiated a meeting on the day before this
21 event which I think you've now told us about.
22 A. Yes, on the 8th.
23 Q. What happened to you and your family on the 9th of May, 1993?
24 A. So on the 8th of May, this meeting that was attended by people
25 from the international community, after that meeting, I went home. We
1 went to bed. And in the morning, the attack started. There was some
2 shelling, and we thought that perhaps it was the Chetniks, but when we saw
3 the bullets hitting our building, the building we were in, we jumped up
4 and all the people in the landing, regardless of whether they were Croats
5 or Bosniaks, they all sought shelter in the staircase of the building.
6 So this cannonade started because below us was the command of the
7 4th Corps. So from the yard, you could enter the hall of the building.
8 Q. Witness O, let me stop you there for a moment. And my apology.
9 MR. SCOTT: Your Honour, if we could go to private session again
10 for a moment.
11 [Private session]
20 [Open session]
21 JUDGE LIU: Now we are in the open session.
22 MR. SCOTT: Thank you.
23 Q. All right. Now, Witness O, keeping in mind what we have just
24 discussed, just take us further through what happened to you and your
25 family on the 9th of May, 1993.
1 A. So on the 9th of May, we were in our apartment when the shelling
2 of the apartment started. The night between the 9th and the 10th, the
3 conflict was still ongoing. And on the 10th, the building was set
4 alight. The building we lived in, it was set on fire, that is the part of
5 the building, the entrance before ours.
6 So around noon on the 10th, the fire spread to the apartments in
7 our part of the building, and that is when I and all of us -- we were not
8 just Bosniaks living there, but there were Croats, too -- and we all
9 decided to leave the building and to make a sign -- actually, I insisted
10 that we use a white flag so that they wouldn't shoot at us, and that is
11 what we did. And this whole -- the people from this whole entrance were
12 taken to the MUP building, which was close by. But my son, at that point
13 in time, was in the group that was taken towards a stone building, which
14 is a building next to MUP, so that I, my wife, and daughter were taken to
15 the MUP building.
16 Q. All right. Can you just describe, please, when you say "MUP,"
17 what that means and what that location was.
18 A. It means the police station, which at the time had been usurped by
19 the HVO, so it was the police administration of the HVO.
20 Q. All right, now, just to set the overall scene for the balance of
21 your testimony, to jump ahead for a moment, is it accurate to say, then,
22 sir, that you were detained in this MUP building in Mostar for
23 approximately three months; you were thereafter detained in the Heliodrom
24 for approximately --
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. In the Heliodrom --
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. -- for approximately one month?
4 A. Yes, yes; three months at the Heliodrom, seven months in Ljubuski,
5 an investigating prison of the HVO where all intellectuals were held, all
6 intellectuals of any standing and importance for the Bosniak people.
7 Q. (redacted)
18 MR. SCOTT: Excuse me, Witness. I'm sorry. Your Honour, with the
19 Registry's assistance, I think that last portion again will have to be
20 redacted because it's so identifying.
21 JUDGE LIU: I quite agree, because the examination is coming into
22 the very details.
23 MR. SCOTT: Yes. Before we carry on, if I can offer assistance on
24 the transcript - some of these names of course are important - Ljubuski
25 was mentioned a couple of times, and it's L-j-u-b-u-s, with a diacritic,
1 and k-i.
2 Q. Now, what I want to do, Witness O, is to stay at the time when you
3 were at the MUP location for the time being. You were held there for
4 approximately three months, and what happened to you during that time?
5 But again, please don't say things that are so detailed that they might
6 identify yourself, unless you feel you must, and then, of course, we'll go
7 into private session.
8 A. So from the moment we were brought to the MUP, the Croats were
9 separated to one side, the Bosniaks to the other. The Croats were
10 released immediately. A number of Bosniaks - and I was one of them -
11 continued to be held at MUP. And the rest, where my family members were,
12 were taken to the Heliodrom.
13 Q. Witness --
14 A. So --
15 Q. Go ahead.
16 A. So I stayed at MUP. I was kept in an office with a certain number
17 of other people who, after a certain amount of time, were taken to other
18 places, probably Heliodrom. Some were released, so that after about ten
19 days I found myself alone in that office. I was given a blanket, and that
20 is where I stayed. They brought me food there, and then from that room
21 they took me to other interrogation rooms, other offices. And these
22 interrogations went on for days, maybe two or three times a week. They
23 were trying to get a statement from me that would say something different
24 from what my real life was.
25 As I said at the beginning, my son had been taken to the so-called
1 "stone building"; after that, again to a camp in the south, to another
2 camp. I had no information as to who was aware of my dear ones. And
3 after a certain amount of time, 10 or 15 days, my wife and daughter were
4 brought back to the burnt-down and looted apartment. And after some
5 time --
6 MR. SCOTT: Witness O -- Mr. President, with your permission, if
7 the witness could just collect himself.
8 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
9 MR. SCOTT: If the witness could be allowed to collect himself.
10 JUDGE LIU: Okay. Witness --
11 MR. SCOTT: I don't think --
12 JUDGE LIU: -- if you have any emotional problem --
13 THE WITNESS: No, no, it will pass.
14 JUDGE LIU: -- just inform this Tribunal, this Trial Chamber, and
15 it will make a pause for you to get over.
16 THE WITNESS: It was clear to me that they were mistreating me.
17 But my family, I never forgave them for that. So, you see, please, could
18 you take into consideration my emotional reactions. I have given you an
19 answer. I said that my family was taken away and mistreated. I could
20 understand that they wanted to mistreat me, but that they would do that,
21 after all my efforts to avoid all that, I just couldn't understand that.
22 So my whole property up to the 9th -- I was a 50-year-old man who
23 had earned his living honestly and decently, but everything had
24 disappeared; my family, my wife, daughter and son. I could never explain
1 And it wasn't an isolated case. Afterwards, I learned what had
2 happened to others. This was nothing compared to what happened to others
3 because, thank God, my family survived. After the Heliodrom, my wife and
4 her mother were under house arrest for a year. My daughter managed to get
5 away to Zagreb and, from Zagreb, with a group she went to Morocco. She
6 was in Morocco for three years. And in 1995, she came back from Morocco,
7 having finished first year of Architecture in Sarajevo. Now she's
8 graduated, she's doing her post-graduate studies. So it's all a question
9 of destiny.
10 Q. I regret very much interrupting you during what I know is a very
11 emotional moment for you, but again not to identify -- to say too much
12 more at this point.
13 MR. SCOTT: Your Honour, if it's going to continue, with all
14 deference to the witness, perhaps we should just go to private session for
15 a moment or to for him to say whatever he wants to say about this.
16 JUDGE LIU: We'll go to the private session.
17 [Private session]
12 Page 2138 redacted, private session.
12 Page 2139 redacted, private session.
12 Page 2140 redacted, private session.
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
12 Page 2142 redacted, private session.
6 [Open session]
7 JUDGE LIU: JUDGE LIU: Now we are in the open session.
8 MR. SCOTT: All right.
9 Q. Witness O, I do want to try to move as quickly as we reasonably
10 can before the lunch break. Let me direct your attention again to the
11 time when you were still being held at the MUP building that you've
12 already told us about some minutes ago. You made a reference that they
13 wanted -- "they," or you can tell us, but they wanted you to make some
14 sort of statement or public proclamation to some effect. Can you tell us
15 about that? Who wanted you to make a statement, and what did they want
16 you to say?
17 A. They demanded -- they were very clear about their demands. These
18 were certain people. One of them was actually Armin Pohara, who along
19 with Zlata Brbor, who was the manager of the Mostar Croatian Radio at that
20 time, they came to me, proposing that I give a statement saying that the
21 army of BiH had attacked this area on the orders of Mr. Izetbegovic, the
23 Q. And can you tell the Chamber, did you ever in fact make the
25 JUDGE LIU: Mike.
1 MR. SCOTT:
2 Q. Did you ever agree to make such a statement, and did you do so?
3 A. No. I was under one condition, that they release me to the other
4 side and that I would give such a statement from the other side. In other
5 words, I did not want to give this statement. (redacted)
8 (redacted) And he came twice, and then
9 eventually he said -- in an ugly way, he cursed me and he said, "You're
10 stubborn. There's no helping you."
11 Q. Well, Witness --
12 JUDGE LIU: I think there is something in the witness's answer to
13 be redacted.
14 MR. SCOTT: Yes, Your Honour, I agree. Yes, I'm sure that that
15 can be done. I won't highlight it by making reference to it. But if the
16 redaction could be made, it would be helpful.
17 Q. Witness O, I know you may think and it may be, in fact, very
18 unpleasant and offensive language, but of course unfortunately the Chamber
19 has to hear, I think, some of these things. Can you tell the Chamber, if
20 you remember, the language or the words that Pohara used toward you just
21 now when you said that he was swearing or cursing at you.
22 A. Your Honour, I apologise for what I am about to say. But
23 Mr. Pohara said at that time, he said, "Fuck your balija mother. You'll
24 pay for this." And I quoted him verbatim here.
25 Q. Can you just -- again, for those of us who are not natives of that
1 culture, it may not be fully significant to us, but can you tell us what
2 the significance of "balija" is? What does that mean?
3 A. "Balija" is a derogatory term. When you want to offend a Bosniak,
4 you tell him, "Scram, balija," or you curse his "balija mother" or
5 something like that. It's a very ugly, very derogatory word.
6 Q. Witness O, I want to move forward, please.
7 Can you tell us about a meeting in approximately late May or early
8 June 1993 that you had -- I'm not going to name all the participants but
9 simply to point you to a particular event that involved a man named Seks.
10 Can you tell us about that?
11 A. Before that, I have to say something else.
12 Certain activities of certain international organisations started
13 in order to gain an insight into the situation there. So before answering
14 the question, I need to say that General Morillon visited the area. I
15 think he was in one of the -- visited one of these camps and tried to have
16 them dissolved. The meeting that is being referred to was the one
17 attended by the ambassador of the Republic of Croatia in the Republic of
18 Bosnia-Herzegovina, the ambassador of Turkey in Zagreb, Messrs. Seks,
19 Senader, Hido Biscevic, Bruno Stojic on behalf of the staff, the chief of
20 police at that time named Filipovic, and some other man. The meeting was
21 held at Medjugorje. I was detained at the MUP at the time. They came to
22 get me. They took me home. They found some better clothes for me, and
23 they took me to that meeting.
24 This mixed delegation also was given a document in which
25 Mr. Izetbegovic was addressing the Croatian president and asking for the
1 release of detainees, and they came to also join the meeting. And as I
2 said, this was held at Medjugorje, and I had contact with Mr. Seks there.
3 And my feeling was that he was the main person in this group, even though
4 Mr. Senader was also present. I think that he was the vice-president of
5 HDZ at the time.
6 Q. Witness O, the vice-president of HDZ where, in reference to
7 Mr. Seks?
8 A. Of Croatia, the Republic of Croatia, not in Bosnia.
9 Q. Can you tell us, please, anything more about that meeting in terms
10 of any exchanges that you think we should know about.
11 A. The meeting was to the effect that the issue of the detained was
12 discussed. There were about 80 persons detained by the army of AbiH; and
13 at the Heliodrom, there were already 3 to 4.000 detainees. So the talks
14 were about releasing all these detainees on both sides. I think that that
15 was proposed in a meeting, but that a follow-up meeting be held at the HVO
16 headquarters where Mr. Stojic, Mr. Bozic would be present, and Mr. Rajic.
17 And Petkovic was also part of the staff at that time. The offices were
18 the premises of the former tobacco industry of Mostar. And their demands
19 were that this be done the following day, and that the camps be visited,
20 that is, both camps controlled by the Bosniaks and by the HVO.
21 Q. Witness O, if I'm allowed, let me just see if I can move us along
22 here. Were there discussions, as you just said, about releasing prisoners
23 from the Heliodrom? And can you just tell the Chamber, in fact, to your
24 knowledge, were any Bosniak prisoners, in fact, released from the
25 Heliodrom at this time as a result of any of these discussions?
1 A. There were talks about it, but no one was released. I know that
2 no one was released because I had been promised at that time that my own
3 son would be released. And we know the outcome. As soon as the
4 delegation left, the Ambassador of Bosnia and Herzegovina was present.
5 After all this was arranged, it was as if nothing had happened. And I can
6 testify to that because I was there. So no one was freed at that time
7 following those negotiations.
8 Q. All right.
9 Witness O, just briefly, just so the record is clear about this,
10 around this time, were you the subject of some court proceedings or some
11 sort of judicial proceedings in Mostar in connection with your being
12 detained by the HVO?
13 A. To be honest with you, it was only later that I realized that that
14 were court proceedings, and this is how it happened; one day I was taken
15 to Listica. Because I used to work at Listica at one point, I knew
16 exactly where I was taken. Near Arkada [phoen], they took me to a
17 restaurant on the outskirts of Listica where Mr. Zubak was present, and
18 two representatives of the European Union who had come with a very clear
19 demand that we be released, that is, myself and my family.
20 Zubak did not agree to that; they insisted that this was a
21 political problem, and so on, and he was saying that there were problems
22 in other places with Croats, involving Croats. But when he mentioned
23 Konjic, they said immediately they had been in Konjic the day before and
24 there was not a single Croat who was kept in detention there three days
1 Q. You have taken us on a bit of a different story, which is I guess
2 fine, but let me ask you just about that before we then go back to my
3 earlier question.
4 You said that -- when he mentioned Konjic, he said immediately
5 they had been in Konjic the day before, and there was not a single Croat
6 being held there. Who is "he" -- either "he" or "they" --
7 A. Representatives of the European Union, and there were two of them,
8 wearing white outfits. I was in no position to learn their names at that
10 Q. Before going on then, the point of that, are you telling us, is
11 they challenged Mr. Zubak; and contrary to what he just said, there were,
12 in fact, no Croats being held there?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. Now, please, can you go forward, just tell us about if you were
15 involved in any sort of a --
16 A. That is what they stated; at that time, that is. I don't know at
17 another time. In other words, immediately after that, a couple of days,
18 three days later, I was taken to the faculty. I don't know what they had
19 there, the military police or the court or something. They took me there,
20 and two men were sitting there, and there was a typist there. They told
21 me that I had 24 hours to appoint a defence counsel. That was not
22 possible because I was in detention.
23 The next day, I was again brought there, and then I was read out
24 an indictment, and a decision on provisional detention of 15 days at
25 Heliodrom. I was placed in a vehicle and taken to the Heliodrom and said
1 something that like in 15 days, the proceedings would resume, go on,
2 something like that. I was never again taken anywhere until I was
4 But when I was released from prison, I was told that it had
5 appeared in the press that I was tried and convicted and sentenced to
6 20 years. And when I came -- when I came to the prison, I heard similar
7 stories from others, so I know that it wasn't only me to whom this
8 happened. But I think that it was some kind of a procedure that they took
9 in order to justify whatever they were doing at the time.
10 Q. All right. And I'm just going to ask you, do you know what you
11 were charged with? What were the charges against you, if you were told
12 and if you remember?
13 A. They didn't tell me anything. They just simply told me that these
14 proceedings were launched against me, and there was a record of a
15 statement that I supposedly had given which stated that I was not
16 cooperative, that I was fanning some hatred or something, which is
17 complete opposite to what I had been doing throughout that period, just
18 complete opposite. And that the court would, then, proceed, but nothing
19 ever followed.
20 Q. Witness O, let's move forward, try to cover as much ground as we
21 can in the next few minutes. After this, after these proceedings, you
22 were taken where? Were you taken back to the Heliodrom and then at some
23 point were you taken to Ljubuski? Can you just briefly tell us that.
24 A. Yes, I was taken to the Heliodrom. I was placed in a cell which I
25 shared with over another 50 men. We were like sardines, and I was there
1 for about a month. And then I referred to the wounding of my son; and
2 two, three days after that, along with -- I was put along with a person
3 named Rudi, an ethnic Croat, and Mr. Jahic [phoen], and we were all placed
4 in a van. There were some others there, one was nicknamed Tito, but I
5 remembered him because he kicked me and so I went headlong into the van.
6 And when we started, he said, "Why are we bothering with them? Why don't
7 we just take them down to the river and slit their throats and dump them
8 there?" But we were taken to this military investigating prison in
10 Q. Before we get to Ljubuski, there is one other point I want to come
11 back to on Heliodrom. Can you assist the Chamber, please, by telling
12 them, do you recall the names of any particular HVO soldiers at the
13 Heliodrom which were particularly -- acted particularly harshly toward the
14 Bosniak prisoners?
15 A. Yes. People who stood out by their cruelty were Buhovac and
16 Marjanovic, and I remember them by the following. When I was brought to
17 Heliodrom, they did nothing to me, but I remember the following scene:
18 When I was brought to the Heliodrom, there were six men lying with their
19 heads bandaged. They were bloodied. And I asked, What was this? I was
20 told that the night before I had been brought, that these two men, and
21 perhaps some others, were beating them in the hallway of the prison. They
22 were smashing their heads against the wall. They were from the village of
23 Sovici, and there was some fighting in the village of Sovici. So whoever
24 was from that village, this is what they did to them. This is what I
1 And I was -- I recently met a young man, and he approached me and
2 he said, "Do you remember me? I was one of those who were involved in
3 that incident there." He is currently in Germany.
4 Q. Sir, I need your assistance, please, in terms of the transcript.
5 These two men, Buhovac, can you spell that for us, please? Go ahead.
6 A. B-U-H-O-V-A-C. A-N-T-E is the first name. Ante Buhovac.
7 Q. Can you do the same for us, please, for Mr. Marjanovic?
8 A. M-A-R-I-J-A-N-O-V-I-C [sic]. And the first name, to be honest, I
9 forget it now, but it's Marijanovic [sic]. And those who had more contact
10 with him will probably also remember his first name.
11 Q. Perhaps we can go a bit further. When you got to Ljubuski, you
12 were then kept there for approximately seven months. Is that correct?
13 A. Not approximately; exactly seven months.
14 Q. You have told us before, I believe, that this particular prison
15 seemed to be a place where the educated or intellectual, what some might
16 call the intelligencia, the doctors, the lawyers, the teachers were held.
17 Is that correct?
18 A. Correct. There were at least four physicians. There were four or
19 five lawyers. There were economists. Rudi, the Croat man who was with
20 us, was a pilot. Fink was another ethnic Croat who was with us. And an
21 ethnic Croat who did not accept the HVO platform.
22 Q. Witness O, thank you very much.
23 MR. SCOTT: Mr. President, I think we're at the lunch hour. Just
24 to advise the Chamber, I think I should be able to conclude with just a
25 few minutes after lunch, and I would anticipate that we would go quickly
1 to cross-examination.
2 JUDGE LIU: Thank you. Yes, Mr. Krsnik.
3 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] My apologies, Your Honour, for taking
4 up time. I did not get around to saying it before, but perhaps with your
5 authority, you can order the Registry to ensure that my client is seen by
6 a physician today so that we would be able to have him back tomorrow. I'm
7 afraid that he may not have been sent anywhere, so if you can please use
8 your authority. Thank you.
9 JUDGE LIU: That's a very legitimate request. We will inform the
10 Registrar about your request and ask the doctor to see to your client as
11 soon as possible. I can assure you your client will get better treatment
12 in this case than I did in the past. And I was informed by Madam
13 Registrar that your client has been taken care of immediately after he
14 went back.
15 So we'll adjourn until 2.30.
16 --- Luncheon recess taken at 1.04 p.m.
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 --- On resuming at 2.36 p.m.
2 JUDGE LIU: We are sorry for the delay. Mr. Scott, you may
4 MR. SCOTT: Thank you.
5 Q. Witness O, only a few more questions.
6 You were then kept -- we'd come up to the point where you had been
7 taken to the Ljubuski camp, and you were then kept there until the 27th of
8 March, 1994, I believe you told us, about that time; is that correct?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. And can you just briefly tell us about the conditions and the way
11 you were treated while in Ljubuski.
12 A. The conditions were very bad. You can imagine what it can be like
13 in an old prison. I was in isolation at first. The food was very bad.
14 For a time, I had the feeling that the tins we were given were dog food.
15 Mistreatment was a regular occurrence, and quite frequently a guard would
16 inflict a blow. The hygienic conditions were at a very low level. There
17 were 70 men to one toilet in the prison, which was close to my cell, so
18 that I had to clean the toilet after the last person used it. It was
19 cold. There was only one blanket. The conditions were such that when I
20 left, I had 30 kilograms less than my usual weight.
21 Q. All right. Now, I want to direct your attention to the end of
22 your stay at Ljubuski. You mentioned earlier that you were one of the
23 last prisoners from Mostar to be exchanged, and you mentioned a name of
24 another person you were exchanged for. I'm not going to ask you -- I'm
25 going to ask you not to mention that name, because again it --
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. -- may identify --
3 A. Very well.
4 Q. (redacted)
13 Q. So --
14 THE INTERPRETER: Mike, please.
15 MR. SCOTT: Just a few final questions.
16 Q. Let me ask you: Did you ever hear, during any part of this time
17 or thereafter, that some allegations had been made by somebody against
18 you, that you had supposedly, during this time, left Bosnia with
19 approximately 500.000 deutschemarks of money?
20 A. I never heard that. But it is only to be expected that such
21 fabrications be released, because my leadership was looking for me and so
22 was the International Community, and I mentioned that in my statement. So
23 that is out of the question.
24 Q. Would you look at, if you still have it available to you on the
25 witness stand, what's been marked as Prosecution Exhibit P480.
1 JUDGE CLARK: Mr. Scott, where would we find document --
2 MR. SCOTT: Your Honour, it should have been in the packet that
3 was distributed yesterday, I hope. That was before you had the binders.
4 If you want to go in the binder instead, it would be Binder 9. It should
5 have been in the packets that were put out at the beginning of this
6 witness yesterday; whichever is easier.
7 I have now been told Binder 10. My apology. P480.
8 Q. Sir, I realize again this is an English language document, but I'm
9 going to direct your attention, because you may at least recognise your
10 name. And again, it should not be on the ELMO, and don't say your name,
12 MR. SCOTT: But for everyone else in the courtroom, Mr. President,
13 directing your attention to the top of the second page, Exhibit P480.
14 Q. Did you ever hear, sir, that someone named Andabak had made this
15 allegation against you?
16 A. I never heard of this name except quite recently, if it is the
17 same man who is in prison in Croatia. I had never heard of that name
18 before. If that is that man, then I learned from the media that he was
19 arrested somewhere in Croatia.
20 Q. The date of Exhibit 480 is a report made the 27th of June, 1993.
21 Can you tell the Chamber, please, where were you on the 27th of June,
23 A. On the 27th of June -- June or July?
24 Q. June.
25 A. At that time, I was somewhere between MUP and the Heliodrom,
1 because I spent the whole of July at the Heliodrom. So I was in prison on
2 the 27th of June.
3 Q. Very well. Let me ask you: Can you tell the Chamber -- did you
4 become in the Dayton Peace Process a month or two after you were released?
5 A. I think it was a month after. Measures were taken at the European
6 Union in Brussels for negotiations to be started on the status of Mostar,
7 and I was a member of a delegation who attended those negotiations in
8 Brussels. The first thing I said at those negotiations, because
9 everyone's surprised how I could come to those negotiations from prison, I
10 said quite clearly that I am not accusing decent Croats and Catholics for
11 my misfortunes, but that this had been done by people that their own
12 nation should be ashamed of.
13 I said this quite openly in Brussels because everyone found it
14 hard to believe that after everything I had been through, I was ready to
15 shake hands, and I shook hands to all -- with all honourable people, and
16 that is what I have been doing ever since. And that also applies to all
17 members of my family.
18 Q. Witness, can you tell the Chamber briefly, just by way of an
19 overview, when you were released and you were able to return to Mostar,
20 can you tell the Chamber what did you observe in terms of the Muslim
21 schools in Mostar at that time.
22 A. When I was released from prison, the whole area which was exposed
23 to operations by both parties attacking Mostar, the side I was released
24 to, according to unofficial data, 270.000 shells had hit it, not a single
25 building or school or factory or apartment, the public utilities were
1 destroyed. There wasn't a single light bulb burning. One couldn't drink
2 a glass of water normally. Therefore, there was total chaos.
3 The area that I reached, people were starving. They looked worse
4 than I did, who had come out of prison, though, as I said, I had lost
5 30 kilograms. After that, I developed diabetes, too.
6 Q. Can you tell the Chamber any observations you can make in terms of
7 the existence of any mosque in Mostar at the time that you were released.
8 A. As far as the mosques are concerned, Mostar had historical
9 monuments from the Osmanli period of great value. There were 17 of them
10 before the war. All 17 were destroyed. And later, I saw that on the
11 right-hand side, conditionally speaking, that is the side inhabited by
12 Croats, the mosques there were razed to the ground, whereas the mosques on
13 the other side where I arrived were shelled. So one must say that this
14 was partly due to the Serb aggressors who participated in the destruction
15 of a certain number of those mosques. Therefore, all the mosques were
16 literally razed to the ground and destroyed.
17 Q. Sir, can you also finally provide to the Chamber any estimates or
18 information that you have in terms of the total number of Bosniaks who
19 were killed during this period in Mostar, from approximately May 1993 to
20 March 1994. If you have that kind of information, could you share it with
21 the Chamber, please.
22 A. I have unofficial information because, after the war, I was not in
23 a position to be able to learn the exact figures. I said that I undertook
24 the task of the reconstruction of the town of Mostar and the institute for
25 the protection of its heritage, but I know that people were saying that
1 between 3 and 4.000 people were killed, including soldiers and civilians.
2 And this is confirmed by the cemeteries on the left-hand side of the
4 Q. Can you also tell the Chamber approximately again, if you know,
5 how many Bosniaks were expelled from Mostar, from either all or part of
7 A. Up to 30.000 Bosniaks from Mostar were expelled. The apartments
8 were usurped by others. The very fact that I, myself, have not regained
9 possession of my apartment, to which was devastated and looted at the very
10 outset. And from '94 to 2001, it's seven or eight years now, and I still
11 haven't been able to regain my apartment or to regain possession of all
12 the property I had gained after so many years of service.
13 There are many examples of that kind. But most recently, with the
14 new authorities in the State of Croatia, and their correct attitude
15 towards Bosnia, certain processes are beginning which will most probably
16 eventually lead to respect of Article 7 of the Dayton agreements, which
17 provides for everyone returning to their own homes. And when I say that,
18 I'm referring to all three ethnic groups, because all three have suffered
19 in this war; some more, some less.
20 Q. In terms of the information I was asking you, can you also provide
21 the Chamber with an estimate of the number of people, the Bosniaks, who
22 are still considered missing?
23 A. An estimate of Bosniaks considered missing is about -- between 800
24 and 900 people, no trace of them has been found. An example, which is
25 very eloquent, from that period, Croat television showed some prisoners.
1 They introduced themselves on television, but later on, those people were
2 never found. They were never traced. And to this day, nothing is known
3 about them. This is a group of some 12 or 13 men.
4 Q. Witness O, this is my final question to you. It may be wondered
5 by various of us before this trial is over, why, under these conditions,
6 the Bosniaks remained in Mostar at all during this time? And I would just
7 like you to give, if you can, your answer to the Chamber, of why the
8 Bosniaks stayed in Mostar.
9 A. I'm not surprised by your question. But you should know one
10 thing: If you're living in a certain place, and if your whole family and
11 the families you are close to have been living there between 300 and
12 500 years, something prompts one, regardless of the final outcome, to say,
13 there's something called patriotism and love for one's country, and that
14 forces you to stay on.
15 I omitted to say something. Towards the end of my detention in
16 Ljubuski, the ambassador from the European Union came to me, who offered
17 me the possibility to come to this beautiful country of yours, but I
18 refused that and I asked to go back where my family is. And I think I did
19 not make a mistake. It's beautiful here, but one's home is one's home.
20 MR. SCOTT: Mr. President, that concludes the direct examination
21 of this witness, except that the Prosecution at this time would tender
22 Exhibits 125.1, 126.1, 218 -- all of these, I suppose, should have the
23 prefix "P." P218, P219, and P480.
24 JUDGE LIU: Thank you. Cross-examination.
25 Before you start, Mr. Krsnik, I think you should bear in mind
1 there are objections raised by the Prosecution this morning. That is, you
2 better have a clear division of the labour between you and your
3 co-counsel. We believe that one counsel should deal with one witness each
4 time. Maybe for the next witness, we could see that kind of division of
5 the labour.
6 Thank you. You may proceed.
7 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] Good afternoon, Witness. Let me
8 introduce myself, and I apologise. Let me introduce myself. I am
9 Kresimir Krsnik, the attorney who is representing the accused Mladen
11 THE WITNESS: Thank you.
12 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] I am going to try to frame my
13 questions in a very succinct way. I need to do this somewhat slowly
14 because I need to turn off my microphone each time I do so in order not to
15 interfere with the distortion of your voice. So let me move to my first
17 Cross-examined by Mr. Krsnik:
18 Q. Can you confirm or not whether you know the historical background
19 of the creation of the Croatian banovina; under what circumstances, at
20 what time, and why? Do you know or not?
21 A. No.
22 Q. Do you know what the boundaries of that banovina were and within
23 which state they were?
24 A. As far as boundaries are concerned, I know about the area where I
25 live. When this became a topic, when these negotiations between Serbs and
1 Croats were going on without our participation, the boundary line which I
2 mentioned was being discussed.
3 Q. Witness, a moment ago you told me that you do not know the
4 circumstances. But now you're answering something, so I'm beginning to
5 think that you know something. So let me follow up this question.
6 Within the historical context in which those events occurred, did
7 the Bosniak nation exist?
8 A. Mr. Krsnik, I believe is the name that you gave me, history is a
9 complex mechanism, but the fact is that Bosniaks did exist as long as
10 Bosnia existed, perhaps in a form of bogumils. It doesn't stand to reason
11 that in the period to which you were referring, '39, '40, which in its
12 complex historical moment had an enemy which was terrible, and it was
13 called "fascism," a terrible enemy who were trying to annihilate a people
14 who were legitimate and who, by the Dayton Accords, were granted all their
15 rights, at least within Bosnia-Herzegovina --
16 Q. Witness, let me try to advise you. I know that you're not used to
17 this way, this type of procedure. I do not want to interrupt you or
18 anything in the answers that you are giving, but can you focus on this?
19 Was the Bosniak nation ever constitutionally recognised in the first
20 Yugoslavia, the Yugoslavia of 1918 to 1940, and between 1945 and onward?
21 Was there ever a constitutional provision recognising you as a people?
22 A. We were part of -- we were a constituent people in Yugoslavia in
23 both periods, so far as I know, so far as my modest knowledge of history
24 tells me.
25 Q. Witness, how did you declare yourself in Yugoslavia, let's say,
1 before 1960? What is in your birth certificate? For instance, what is
2 stated in your birth certificate?
3 A. A Muslim, because somebody wanted to identify a nation and a
4 religion, and now this has been separated. Faith is one thing and
5 nationhood is another thing. In your birth certificate, it doesn't state
6 that you're a Catholic, and the time has come for us to declare ourselves
7 the way our state is.
8 Q. You did not answer my question, and I will attempt to be as
9 concise as possible so that I could get an answer, if possible.
10 Do you know that since -- that is, from 1945 until a certain
11 constitutional provision, you could not declare yourself as a Muslim? As
12 a fact, no one in Yugoslavia could?
13 A. In 1945, I was very young, I was a child. And, yes, I did hear
14 about it.
15 Q. Would you then agree with me if I put it to you that until a
16 certain constitutional provision was passed in Bosnia-Herzegovina, as a
17 constituent part of Yugoslavia, there were only two constituent peoples in
18 Bosnia - Serbs and Croats - those who declined to declared themselves, and
20 A. I did not understand you.
21 Q. Let me reiterate the question.
22 JUDGE LIU: I did not understand you either. I just wonder, where
23 are you going to lead us?
24 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] With your permission, I will clarify
25 this for the Chamber, with your permission. These are historical facts.
1 All of us who grew up and went to school in the former Yugoslavia, the
2 Yugoslavia, that is, until 1990, this is a historical fact that relates to
4 Until the constitutional changes, the amendments of 1974 and the
5 new constitution that was adopted by the Socialist Federal Republic of
6 Yugoslavia at that time, in that Yugoslavia there existed five nations:
7 Slovenians, Croats, Serbs, Macedonians, Montenegrins and, I believe,
8 Albanians as nations. The constitutional changes of 1974 -- that is, the
9 Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia changed the constitution and
10 allowed the Muslims to declare themselves -- that is, to list their
11 national identity as "Muslim." And this is the gist of my question. I
12 thought that a person who is educated, like our witness is -- I wanted to
13 establish this. But I think that with this clarification, I have provided
14 the context. Unfortunately, I did not elicit it from the witness but I
15 did it myself. But these are historical facts that I think are very
16 important for our understanding of what the issue is that we are
17 discussing and what lay at the root of the conflict later on.
18 JUDGE LIU: Well, this is a case of the Prosecution's. So you are
19 doing the work of the cross-examination, so I hope that your questions
20 will be directly related to the factual matters which have been mentioned
21 in his testimony and directly to the point. You may proceed.
22 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation]
23 Q. Witness, can you confirm for me that only in the General Assembly
24 of the SDA held in August 1993, you adopt a decision to declare yourselves
25 as Bosniaks?
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. Before this decision was adopted, you declared yourself as being
3 of Muslim ethnicity, that is, before the decision of '93; would you just
4 confirm for me?
5 A. Yes. Those were the remnants. You just mentioned the socialist
6 regime, and you know that in this socialist regime there were all kinds of
7 illogical things that affected you Croats too. There was a dominance of
8 the Serbian nation, which tried to marginalise all other nations,
9 including the Croatian nation, the people of Croat ethnicity that didn't
10 live only in Croatia. So there's nothing surprising there.
11 JUDGE LIU: Sorry. Witness, I know that you are eager to help us,
12 but would you -- and both of you speak the same language. We can only
13 hear your answers through the interpretations, so would you please wait
14 until the translation is over. Thank you.
15 A. I apologise, Your Honour. I think it's for the second time that I
16 am getting ahead of myself, but I'll try to follow the proceedings.
17 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation]
18 Q. Bosnian language did not exist until your grammar was published in
19 1998; is that correct? And that was adopted by the Academy of Science of
21 A. I think you're only talking about a technical thing. Bosnian
22 language has been spoken in Bosnia for centuries. I may not be that
23 smart, but I know some things. Bosnian language has been spoken in Bosnia
24 for centuries. And as for its recognition, it depended on certain systems
25 and certain prevailing laws, and that's where you should look about
1 recognition of certain things.
2 Q. Until 1990, in the schools in Bosnia and Herzegovina, only two
3 languages were taught, Serbo-Croatian or Croato-Serbian. Is that correct?
4 A. No, that is not correct. It was only one language,
5 Serbo-Croatian. And how it was called in Croatia, I don't know. But in
6 Bosnia, it was always called Serbo-Croatian. It was overnight that
7 suddenly a sub-Croatian language appeared.
8 Q. So can you confirm to me that you did not have Bosnian language in
9 the school?
10 A. No, no, not Bosnian language by that name. But all these are
11 Slavic languages; they are all the same. We all understand each other.
12 You can see that we are talking to each other. Only accents are
13 different. There's a Croatian accent and there's a Bosnian accent.
14 There's a Serbian accent. So that, in fact, it's all one. We all came
15 from the Carpathians someplace.
16 Q. What language did you speak?
17 A. Until 1990, the same as I do now.
18 Q. And which one is that?
19 A. The one that I am talking, speaking now. At that time, it used to
20 be Serbo-Croatian, which means that it was a mix. But now it has been
21 separated, and now they made all this scholarly analyses, and now there
22 are grammars, and there is now a grammar of Bosnian language. I am trying
23 to speak that now.
24 Q. Can you please answer me this -- and I would appreciate that,
25 sir. Thank you. What is a crucial difference between the Croatian
1 language and the Bosnian language that made you feel so uneasy with the
2 Croatian language?
3 JUDGE LIU: Well, can we skip this parts on the debates of the
4 language issues and directly come to the factual issues, because this kind
5 of issue could debate for days. And we don't see whether it is relevant
6 to the facts or not.
7 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honours. I will move
9 Q. HZ-HB and the HVO were headquartered at the Grude. Is that
11 A. I had a single meeting in Grude. If that was the seat of the
12 president, then I guess that was the seat for other institutions, too.
13 Q. The building where you had the meeting, was that a small building?
14 A. Yes, on the right-hand side when you enter Grude, upstairs
15 somewhere on the top floor.
16 Q. Were there many people in the building?
17 A. No.
18 Q. The meeting you referred to with the late Mr. Boban, was it
19 friendly in character?
20 A. (redacted)
22 Q. If this was an official meeting, was -- were there any -- was
23 there any record made of it?
24 A. I think he probably had it made. He may have contemplated it, but
25 it was interrupted very shortly due to Mr. Naletilic's remarks. Or I
1 don't know, maybe -- maybe this had been premeditated, like you are
2 talking to me, that we were just brought into question because you have
3 been insistent -- you have insisted on this, what was said then.
4 Q. Can you tell me, do you agree that there are -- there's a
5 multiplicity of political viewpoints in a democratic society?
6 A. Of course. Without different opinions, there is no political
7 dialogue. Without that, there's no democracy. And without that, you
8 don't have a modern society. So in other words, yes.
9 Q. So is it not a democratic right for each one of us to present
10 their political point of view, let's say, with respect of the Muslim
12 A. Of course, but if you respect such principles, then you also have
13 to expect a reaction to that. But if we are going to engage in just
14 marginal matters, we'll never reach to the -- we'll never reach the
15 essence. Like in that meeting, we never came to the real matter because
16 of some flippant remark.
17 Q. I think we are dealing with crucial matters here as you yourself
18 pointed out in your examination-in-chief, whereas now you detoured some.
19 But why would it be unusual if somebody said that there would be
20 Croats who were of Muslim faith?
21 A. I didn't say that there was anything unusual about that, if that
22 is your opinion. I just pointed out the fact that this had been said and
23 that that ended the meeting.
24 Q. Do you allow that certain persons who are of Muslim faith still
25 consider themselves ethnic Croats?
1 A. Every person has a right to that. You have any number of people
2 who have gone abroad and have taken a citizenship of countries where they
3 emigrated. I never said on any occasion that this is something bad. But
4 in the context of the negotiations we had, this was not proper.
5 Q. Witness, when you gave evidence this morning, you said that it was
6 only later that you learned the name of the person who said what you
7 quoted about Croats of Muslim faith. And when my learned friend pressed
8 you on, you said that you only learned later the name of this person.
9 A. No. I recognised this person because this person had been seen in
10 the media, so I recognised his face. But that was the first time that I
11 had seen him live, and I knew that it was Naletilic.
12 Q. Tell me; Alija Izetbegovic is the president of your party?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. In 1982 and '83, the Prosecutor's office in the then Yugoslavia
15 launched criminal proceedings against Alija Izetbegovic and his associates
16 for his idea of creation of a Muslim State?
17 A. In my evidence, I said very clearly why I joined the SDA. I was
18 not interested in a Muslim state, but was interested in a democratic
19 multi-ethnic state of three constituent peoples which would be recognised
20 internationally. And because of the fact that this was the president,
21 that doesn't mean a platform of the party was such. It was clear what the
22 platform was.
23 Q. Again, you did not answer my question.
24 JUDGE LIU: Wait, wait, wait.
25 A. I did answer.
1 JUDGE LIU: Mr. Krsnik, I think so you have to wait and pause for
2 a considerable period of time so that, you know, the interpreter could
3 have an easy time. Otherwise, we are just lost in everything.
4 Please proceed.
5 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] My apologies to the Trial Chamber.
6 And it is a bit difficult because I'm trying to focus on the question, and
7 then I have to mind the microphone and all these things. So it is not
8 intentional that I do this. Sorry.
9 Q. Witness, I did not receive an answer to the question. You can say
10 yes or no, because I'm not trying to force any answers from you.
11 A. I don't know. It was 1982. I was relatively young. I was very
12 focused on my professional career. I was travelling for work a lot,
13 spending a lot of time in the field, so I wasn't really following politics
14 very much. I think that I was forced into politics.
15 Q. Have you heard of the Islamic Declaration?
16 A. No.
17 Q. Do you know that the Islamic Declaration was the platform of the
18 party to which you belong?
19 A. No, that is not how I perceived it.
20 Q. Tell me: Were you a member of the League of Communists of
22 A. Yes.
23 JUDGE LIU: Wait for a minute. Witness, before you there is a
24 screen. Every word will be typed out on the screen. When you see the
25 words stop, you answer the question. Is that easy to follow? Thank you.
1 Yes, please.
2 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation]
3 Q. The League of Communists of Yugoslavia in 1990 changed its name
4 and renamed itself the Party of Democratic Change. Is that correct?
5 A. I don't know because I wasn't interested in that at that time.
6 Q. You then changed party allegiency and moved to another party which
7 had a D, democracy, in its name. What did you do then?
8 A. You see, life is a strange thing. If everything was uniform, one
9 should not live. We are all in it. We all took part.
10 Q. Can you confirm for me that 99.9 percent of membership of the SDA
11 was Muslims?
12 A. No, because I don't think that that was the case.
13 Q. And when did it become that?
14 A. It never has, because the SDA party has overcome this Islamic
15 tendency which you are insisting on, and you can see that in the latest
16 elections, in the democratic changes that have happened since the end of
17 the conflict. It was a very painless transition of power. It has
18 undergone regular democratic transformation, and the alliance took over,
19 and everything is fine. I think that the other parties have much more
20 problem with it than this party does.
21 Q. In view of your senior position in the party, could you give us
22 the name of a single Serbo-Croat that you know of being a member of the
24 A. All of those lying with us in prison were such. I mentioned Rudi,
25 Fink, there were quite a number of people who come from mixed marriages,
1 quite a number of Croats from mixed marriages who adopted a normal
2 attitude towards a Bosnian option.
3 Q. But I was not asking you about the Bosnian option; I was asking
4 you about the members of the SDA. Do you know with certainty that they
5 were members of the SDA?
6 A. Yes. They wouldn't be lying in prison with me if they hadn't
8 Q. You were held in a military investigating prison. Is that
10 A. Towards the end, yes, not just me, but 70 of us highly-educated
11 people, members. You can call it whatever you like, but there may have
12 been a few Croats amongst us. But they were all highly-educated people,
13 intellectuals, Bosniaks.
14 Q. (redacted)
16 Q. So you don't know that, in investigation prisons, only people
17 against whom criminal proceedings have been instituted can be held?
18 A. I don't know. If that was an investigating prison, then I saw it
19 as something else. I use that term because that was the term they use,
20 but it was just an ordinary camp. It used to be a horse stable.
21 Q. Does the SDA have exclusive right to the Bosnian option?
22 A. No.
23 Q. The Croats, at the referendum on the independence of
24 Bosnia-Herzegovina, voted 100 per cent for an independent Bosnia and
1 A. Yes, you are right. But the presidents at the time were people
2 like Kljujic, the man who came after him, and everything was fine until
3 this idea about Herceg-Bosna gained prominence. So what you said is
5 Q. On the basis of that referendum, the European Community and, after
6 it, the United Nations and the State of Croatia were among the first to
7 recognise the independence of Bosnia-Herzegovina; is that correct?
8 A. Yes, correct.
9 Q. Had the Croats not voted in favour of an independent Bosnia and
10 Herzegovina, independence in its present form of Bosnia-Herzegovina would
11 never have been achieved?
12 A. That is correct, sir, Mr. Krsnik.
13 Q. Tell me, according to the provisions of the constitution, the
14 Croats, Serbs and Muslims are constituent nations and have absolutely
15 equal rights in Bosnia-Herzegovina?
16 A. I would like to ask you that if you're referring to the present
17 order in Bosnia-Herzegovina, will you please use the term "recognised
18 nation." You mentioned a date, so at least recently the recognised term
19 is "Bosniaks." Don't do what was done for years in the former Yugoslavia;
20 that is, confusing nationhood with religion, with faith.
21 Q. I apologise. You have obviously misunderstood me. I'm using
22 terms according to the wording of the decisions, and if that offends you,
23 I can use the term "Bosniak nation." I apologise. You misunderstood me.
24 From 1974 until 1993, I don't know how many hundreds of thousands
25 or, rather, millions of Muslims considered themselves as normal people of
1 Muslim nationality. That was the constitutional wording.
2 A. Yes, but you were referring to new Bosnia, to Bosnia post-Dayton.
3 If you were talking about the old Bosnia, the former Bosnia, that is
4 something else. That is the time we have left behind us.
5 JUDGE LIU: Mr. Krsnik, it seems to me that this question is too
6 far away from the facts mentioned in the examination-in-chief. Can you be
7 more concise and to the point. Thank you.
8 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] Certainly, Your Honour.
9 Q. After the first democratic elections in Bosnia-Herzegovina, how
10 was the government constituted in Bosnia and Herzegovina? I'm referring
11 to the Assembly and the government.
12 A. Mr. Krsnik, in those days I was nowhere near the kind of person or
13 in a position as to be able to give you that answer, so my answer is: I
14 don't know.
15 Q. For the government of Bosnia and Herzegovina to be legitimate,
16 representatives of all three nations have to be represented; is that
18 A. Correct.
19 Q. For the Constitutional Court to be able to adopt decisions
20 lawfully, representatives of all three nations had to be present; is that
22 A. Probably, yes. If that is stipulated by the laws of the country,
23 then, yes.
24 Q. In the Presidency of Bosnia-Herzegovina, again according to the
25 constitution, there was the principle of rotation for the post of
1 president of the Presidency; is that correct?
2 A. Correct.
3 Q. Was that rotation carried out after the term of office of
4 Mr. Alija Izetbegovic expired at the beginning of 1993?
5 A. I really don't know. Probably the Croats should answer that
6 question, who were sitting on the Presidency, and the Serbs, of course.
7 And they were all represented, as far as I know.
8 Q. I'm sorry. I'm asking you these things because you're a
9 high-level political representative of a party in power and you're a
10 highly-educated person, and that is why I am asking you such questions.
11 A. I understand, but I was that person in very difficult times,
12 complicated times, when I didn't really have much communication or many
13 resources. My activities were reduced to a particular region, a part of a
14 region even. I couldn't really go as far as Nevesinje or Gacko, so that
15 this region was reduced to a limited area. And this lasted for a very
16 short periods of time, only six months, so I said that I -- up to that
17 point, I never held any kind of function or position, and I also explained
18 the reason why I accepted this one.
19 Q. Will you please tell me, you answered questions from my learned
20 friend, the Prosecutor, about Mr. Armin Pohara?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. Could you tell this Honourable Trial Chamber what ethnicity he is?
23 A. I never asked him. I don't know what he considers to be his
24 nationality. I'm quite sure he was not a balija, as he cursed my balija
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 Q. Could you confirm the fact that, judging by the name and surname,
2 he could only be a Muslim or a Bosniak?
3 A. The name is a Bosniak name. As for the surname, it's not one from
4 our part of the country. "Armin," yes, it is a Muslim first name.
5 Q. Fikret Abdic was the founder of the SDA party and a very
6 high-level leader of the SDA party in the period '92-93; is that correct?
7 A. Whether he was a founder of the party, that is something I hear
8 for the first time.
9 Q. Did you hear that he won the largest number of votes for the
10 Presidency of Bosnia-Herzegovina?
11 A. What year was that?
12 Q. At the first democratic elections.
13 A. Well, if he got the most votes, why didn't he become president?
14 He must have had a reason why he didn't take over power. A good man.
15 Q. I'd rather not go into that just now. But was Armin Pohara the
16 close associate of Fikret Abdic; do you know that or not?
17 A. No. I doubt he could have got so high up, since his activities
18 were limited to marginal matters, that is, extorting certain statements.
19 Q. Professor Dr. Ismet Hadziosmanovic was a moderate Bosniak, in view
20 of the dialogue he engaged in with the Croats; is that right?
21 A. I don't know what kind of talks he had with the Croats. Time
22 showed what he discussed. Ask the Bosniak people.
23 Q. In the SDA party, there were extremists and moderates; is that
25 A. No, at least not as far as Mostar is concerned.
1 Q. If Mr. Hadziosmanovic had a good dialogue with the Croats, why was
2 he replaced?
3 A. Who said that it was a good one? The people said that it wasn't a
4 good one, that the dialogue was nowhere near good.
5 Q. He was not replaced by the people at the elections, but you within
6 the party?
7 A. He had two positions. He was overworked, simply. He had two
8 positions, so he abused two. He was in charge of the Mostar area and he
9 neglected the broader region, and so a solution was found to appoint
10 someone else who would concentrate on these other things.
11 Q. (redacted)
13 Q. Can you confirm that he was replaced simply because he was
14 overworked, holding two positions?
15 A. He was not replaced.
16 JUDGE LIU: Mr. Scott is standing.
17 MR. SCOTT: Excuse me, Your Honour. There will have to be a
18 redaction, I think, of that last comment about the position.
19 JUDGE LIU: Yes, we have noticed that.
20 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] I do apologise, Your Honour, and to
21 Colleague Scott. I really forgot that for a moment, but I will pay more
22 attention. Thank you.
23 Q. Witness, do you still have that set of exhibits on the table given
24 to you by my learned friend opposite?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. The page after page 126.1, so could you open that page, please.
2 In the English language, it is the alleged agreement between Radovan
3 Karadzic and Mate Boban.
4 THE INTERPRETER: "It's in English," says the witness. "I don't
5 have it in our language."
6 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation]
7 Q. You don't have the Croatian translation?
8 A. That's right, I don't have it either. I do apologise.
9 Q. Can you review that document visually?
10 A. Yes, yes, a word or two.
11 Q. Do you note that the signature -- after the printed names,
12 "Radovan Karadzic" and "Mate Boban," do you see any handwritten
14 A. No. In the translation, no, I can't see it, if that is what you
16 Q. Yes, yes. Do you see any stamp?
17 A. I can see traces of some stamps.
18 Q. Where do you see traces; on the English version?
19 A. No, no. No, no. I just see the words "Radovan Karadzic" and
20 "Mate Boban."
21 Q. Were you present at that alleged meeting?
22 A. No, of course not. In Gradac?
23 Q. I don't know where the meeting was held. Do you know where the
24 meeting was held?
25 A. I know it from the newspapers.
1 Q. Would you agree your knowledge is limited to reports in the media
2 and guesswork?
3 A. Well, the media, who were reporting at the time, know whether that
4 was guesswork, especially the Croatian media, because we were able to hear
5 them best.
6 Q. That alleged agreement, did it ever come into force, was it ever
7 signed, was it ever implemented? Do you know that from personal
9 A. I personally do not know it, but I felt it on my own skin because
10 for a time there was aggression from both sides, we were shelled by both
11 sides for a time, so we were in their way in the area because Karadzic
12 thought that his line should come up to a certain point.
13 Q. Would you agree with me that this is just a conclusion on your
14 part, an inference?
15 A. Well, you have to be there to see it. You can see everything
16 destroyed, damaged, and the direction from which the shelling was coming.
17 The ambitions were quite clear: to eliminate the Bosniaks from the area.
18 And this was an ambition shared by both parties. Now, what kind of
19 agreement they would come to, they know best. It was up to us to
20 challenge this and to defend our cause, and we paid a very high price for
21 this with our bare-handed struggle and with our own lives, victimised by
23 Q. Would you agree with me if I say that you were defending something
24 that you learned about from the newspapers?
25 A. No.
1 Q. Let me move on. Arif Pasalic was the commander of the 4th Corps,
2 wasn't he, of the army of Bosnia and Herzegovina in Mostar?
3 A. He is deceased, yes, the late --
4 Q. I'm sorry, I didn't hear your answer. Did you answer my question;
5 yes or no? So the late Arif Pasalic was the commander of the 4th Corps of
6 the BH army in Mostar?
7 A. Now, whether it was formed in the time we are discussing, I'm not
8 sure, but I think it was, and he was the commander of the 4th Corps, yes.
9 Q. (redacted)
12 JUDGE LIU: Wait, wait, wait, please. Mr. Krsnik, when you ask a
13 question, please bear in mind this witness is under protective measures.
14 We'll have the paragraph redacted.
15 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] I apologise once again. I really am
17 Q. So my question was, was there an agreement between Alija
18 Izetbegovic and Mate Boban to entrust the defence of the town of Mostar to
19 the HVO?
20 A. I do not know of any such agreement with the exception of the
21 decisions of the Crisis Staff.
22 Q. A joint staff was set up for the defence of Mostar, the main
23 commander of which was Jasmin Jaganjac. Do you know that?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. And the headquarters was formed pursuant to the agreement I
1 referred to a moment ago.
2 A. Then the story about a decision taken by the Crisis Staff was out
3 of place if a higher level body had already decided this, which I think it
4 had not. If both of them had been wise, they wouldn't have done that
5 without consulting the appropriate institutions.
6 Q. Within the framework of that agreement, it was agreed that there
7 would be a Bosniak army as well, which was then called the first Mostar
8 detachment, which was subordinated to the joint command, to the joint main
9 staff pursuant to that agreement. Is that correct?
10 A. By the decision taken by the Crisis Staff, that is correct.
11 Q. The Crisis Staff had nothing to do with this agreement. Is that
13 A. You are saying that that agreement existed. I'm not aware of it,
14 but I do know of the decision of the Crisis Staff.
15 Q. That agreement is a public document, if I am not wrong; it was
16 published in the People's Gazette. Do you know that?
17 A. I do not.
18 Q. Jasmin Jaganjac is of Bosniak ethnicity?
19 A. Unless he was a Croat of Islamic faith, because he was a Croatian
20 soldier, and he lived in Croatia.
21 Q. He headed the main staff which liberated Mostar through joint
22 efforts from Serb aggression?
23 A. Yes, through joint efforts, he liberated it from Serb aggression,
24 by joint forces.
25 Q. In that case, does it matter whether he was a Bosniak or a Croat
1 of Islamic faith?
2 A. To me, that is quite irrelevant. What matters is that we were
3 liberated. And up to that point, there were no problems because there
4 were quite a number of soldiers, Bosniaks, in the HVO.
5 Q. There's a saying in Mostar dating from that period, the HVO
6 defends us and Caritas feeds us. Is that correct?
7 A. To say that only the HVO defended us and Caritas fed us is not
8 true because there were other components. There was the army of
9 Bosnia-Herzegovina, and there was Merhamet. So it wasn't only Caritas
10 that fed us. The Croatian population did; you are right in saying that.
11 Q. I'm sorry, Witness. I didn't tell you whether it was true. I
12 just asked you whether you had heard of this saying.
13 A. No, I'm sorry, Mr. Krsnik. I didn't understand that is what you
15 Q. During the war of 1992, all the logistics came through Croatia;
16 I'm referring to the weapons, the training, medical care. Is that
18 A. I don't know that, because it was not my business to know that.
19 Q. As a member of the Crisis Staff, you surely had to know where the
20 weapons were coming from, where the wounded were being treated, who was
21 treating them, where they would be treated. Wasn't that one of the tasks
22 of the Crisis Staff?
23 A. No, there was a civilian institution of an exclusively local
24 municipal character. We made sure that the institutions were functioning;
25 the cleanliness, the fire brigades, and other institutions a town needs to
1 have. So this was a mini government, in fact, but exclusively for the
2 area of Mostar itself.
3 Q. Was part of your responsibility concern for refugees who had
4 arrived in Mostar?
5 A. Yes. They came from Eastern Herzegovina. They had been expelled
6 by the Serbs.
7 Q. How many refugees, roughly, arrived in Western Mostar; Bosniaks?
8 A. I don't know the exact number. I would be lying if I said I did.
9 I know there were many of them because they had all been expelled from
10 Eastern Herzegovina.
11 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I see it is 4.00. And I
12 was just going to move on to the next set of questions about Mostar. So
13 perhaps this would be a convenient time to break, and I shall try to wind
14 up my cross-examination tomorrow. So I think I will not need more than,
15 shall we say, 45 minutes tomorrow for my cross-examination.
16 JUDGE LIU: Frankly speaking, I am surprised to hear that you
17 still need 45 minutes to finish your cross-examination. I hope tomorrow
18 you'll be more concentrated on the issues.
19 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] If I may, Your Honour, I think that I
20 have limited myself to the scope of the examination-in-chief. I listened
21 very carefully, and I am cross-examining this witness absolutely according
22 to the examination-in-chief. And the Defence wishes through
23 cross-examination to address the issues in dispute. That is all. Thank
25 JUDGE LIU: Well, just to remind you the time at our hands is
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 limited, which applies to the both parties.
2 We'll adjourn until 9.30 tomorrow morning.
3 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at
4 4.02 p.m., to be reconvened on
5 Friday, the 14th day of September, 2001,
6 at 9.30 a.m.