Tribunal Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia

Page 3972

1 Wednesday, 17 October 2001

2 [Open session]

3 [The accused entered court]

4 --- Upon commencing at 9.37 a.m.

5 JUDGE LIU: Call the case, Madam Registrar.

6 THE REGISTRAR: Good morning, Your Honours. This is Case Number

7 IT-98-34-T, the Prosecutor versus Naletilic and Martinovic.

8 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. Krsnik.

9 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] Your Honours, thank you very much.

10 Good morning. I merely wish to inform you that I submitted this morning

11 our exhibits. We have three binders, and we shall be told by the

12 registrar if more copies are needed. And P11.18 and 8.8 already exist.

13 We merely wish to tender P11.18, that he could not recognise anything in

14 the town of Mostar, or the photograph, as you will remember, the Ministry

15 of Defence, and the photograph of Doljani where he merely drew an arrow in

16 the direction of the mosque. That is all.

17 Thank you, Your Honour.

18 JUDGE LIU: Thank you.

19 Mr. Stringer.

20 MR. STRINGER: Good morning, Mr. President and Your Honours.

21 In respect of 11.18 and 8.8, counsel is right; the witness simply

22 didn't recognise anything on those exhibits, which are already in evidence

23 anyway. So I think the evidence is the witness's testimony that he didn't

24 recognise anything on them. It seems to me pointless to, once again,

25 offer the same exhibits, because the witness didn't recognise anything on

Page 3973

1 them. And so I don't think it's -- it just doesn't seem to be necessary

2 to re-offer the same exhibits which, as I think the Court has indicated,

3 are already in evidence. The evidence is the fact that the witness didn't

4 recognise anything on them. So I guess that's our response. We don't see

5 the need, and we therefore object to whatever it is that counsel's

6 proposing now in respect to those two exhibits.

7 JUDGE LIU: Well, in certain jurisdictions, if the witness did not

8 recognise anything on certain exhibits, it is the evidence.

9 MR. STRINGER: Yes, I agree. But I think the evidence is the

10 witness's words, which can be linked to the exhibits because those

11 exhibits are already admitted into evidence. And maybe I don't understand

12 precisely what counsel's intentions are.

13 JUDGE LIU: Since the Exhibits 11.18 and 8.8 have been admitted

14 into the evidence already, so when we evaluate all those evidence, we will

15 take into account of this fact, that the witness did not recognise

16 anything on those exhibits. So it seems to me that it does not

17 matter whether it has been readmitted or not as the Defence evidence or

18 not. It's not that important.

19 But anyway, to be fair to the Defence counsel, we'll have those

20 two photos admitted as evidence, as Defence evidence. Thank you.

21 MR. STRINGER: Mr. President, if I could make two additional

22 comments in respect of the Defence exhibits.

23 JUDGE LIU: Yes, please.

24 MR. STRINGER: On further reflection, we withdraw our objection to

25 the judgement from the German proceedings. We don't have an objection to

Page 3974

1 that being admitted into evidence. But we did want to suggest, this is a

2 rather voluminous set of exhibits. It's true that they were received, I

3 believe, by the Defence from the Prosecutor in disclosure during the

4 pre-trial phase of the case. We have not received, however, that exhibit

5 from the Defence marked as Defence exhibits, and we just want to make sure

6 that we're going to receive those exhibits as Defence exhibits back from

7 the Defence, even though, in some sense, we have possession of those

8 documents throughout our investigative files. But we would like to have

9 them from the Defence as Defence exhibits.

10 JUDGE LIU: And how about those previous statements made by the

11 witness? I think those three binders, or whatever amount of binders, is

12 composed of three parts. One is the judgement. The other is all the

13 letters. The third one is the previous statements by this witness. I

14 haven't seen those -- I haven't received those binders yet at this

15 moment. Yes?

16 MR. STRINGER: Your Honour, I think that I stated the Prosecution

17 position yesterday in respect of statements of the witness, that is, the

18 statements that he made to investigators either of the Office of the

19 Prosecutor or the German authorities, that in our view those may be

20 considered by the Trial Chamber as they may go to the credibility of the

21 witness or as they may indicate or contain inconsistencies with his

22 testimony in the courtroom but that the statements themselves are not

23 evidence; otherwise, we could just simply tender all our witness

24 statements and not call any witnesses any more.

25 So with that qualification, we don't object to the Trial Chamber

Page 3975

1 having those and considering those statements for that limited purpose.

2 JUDGE LIU: Thank you.

3 Mr. Meek?

4 MR. MEEK: Yes. May it please Your Honours and my learned

5 colleague, Mr. Stringer, we will definitely deliver to the Prosecution a

6 copy. I have a meeting with Madam Registrar at the lunch hour to get all

7 this straightened out and get the proper numbers. I would just state that

8 we attempted to make all copies last night, but the copy machine in

9 Defence counsel room broke. Nobody was there to fix it. Nothing works in

10 Defence counsel room. So that's why we don't have them all today. We

11 will settle this matter at lunch hour, and we will give the Prosecutor

12 copies of all those. And Your Honour, Mr. President, you're right, there

13 will be three -- they are in one binder, but it's the letters, the

14 statements, and then the German judgement. Thank you.

15 JUDGE LIU: Thank you, Mr. Meek. This Trial Chamber will make the

16 decisions after we have received all those documents submitted by the

17 Defence counsel.

18 So, Mr. Scott, are we ready for the next witness?

19 MR. SCOTT: Yes, we are, Your Honour. Good morning. I might

20 say -- well, one thing about the witness, by way of introduction, and one

21 other item, if I can take just one more moment before calling the

22 witness. Probably showed up in front of Your Honours yesterday

23 afternoon - might have been a bit mysterious, although I'm sure you

24 probably figured it out for yourselves - we tendered, the Prosecution

25 tendered, yesterday a further updated witness order for the next --

Page 3976

1 extending the time out into mid-November. We've done that, as you know,

2 on a - if I can use the word - rolling basis. There has been a full list

3 at various times, and we have tried to update those lists in the best we

4 can, absolutely the most accurate information, several weeks out, and then

5 we've been providing those as we go, so that, roughly speaking, we hope to

6 stay about 30 days, approximately 30 days, ahead of where we are. So that

7 was tendered to both the Defence and Your Honours yesterday.

8 I might say, Your Honours, just - I have said this to the Defence,

9 and I'm not here to debate that this morning - but I've indicated to the

10 Defence of course we will expect similar treatment from the Defence; that

11 is, 30 days' notice prior to their witnesses being called. Thank you,

12 Your Honour.

13 JUDGE LIU: Well, Mr. Scott, your remarks remind me of your motion

14 about the videolink witnesses. At this moment, we are expecting a written

15 response from the Defence counsel. Then we will make the decisions.

16 As you know, at late part of November, this Trial Chamber will

17 have certain other obligations, so we hope we could arrange those

18 videolink witnesses either in the beginning of November or in beginning of

19 December.

20 MR. SCOTT: Your Honour, I would think at the moment - I would

21 have to say in candour, I think the beginning of November is unrealistic.

22 I think, given the way these things work, in my experience, they cannot be

23 put in place that quickly. There are motions. There are official

24 requests pending to the United States government. In fact, some

25 additional information is just being sent out by Prosecutor Del Ponte

Page 3977

1 today. So I can't honestly stand here and tell the Court that early

2 November is realistic. I think late November is probably more realistic,

3 or early December, and all that of course depends on the continuing trial

4 schedule.

5 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. Meek?

6 MR. MEEK: Mr. President, Your Honours, in regards to the

7 videolink, we believe -- Mr. Scott and Mr. Stringer and Defence counsel

8 believe that we have an agreement. I'm going to speak with Mr. Scott and

9 Mr. Stringer before the end of today. I believe we have an agreement that

10 we do not object to this procedure, with some conditions that they don't

11 object to. So then if we have the agreement, we just -- well, it will be

12 up to Your Honours whether you approve that agreement. But I don't think

13 there is going to be much argument between Prosecutor and Defence counsel

14 on the videolink. It will just be the timing and whether Your Honours are

15 going to abide by what we agree to.

16 JUDGE LIU: Which means that you're not --

17 MR. MEEK: We will write that, Your Honour, if you want us to.

18 JUDGE LIU: You'll submit the written submissions?

19 MR. MEEK: Sure. Yes, sir.

20 JUDGE LIU: And be aware of your time schedule.

21 MR. MEEK: We will do it promptly, Your Honour. There is no

22 objection.

23 JUDGE LIU: Thank you very much.

24 So, Mr. Scott, are you ready for your next witness?

25 MR. SCOTT: Yes, Your Honour, we are. As the next witness will be

Page 3978

1 testifying in open session --

2 JUDGE LIU: I'm sorry, I didn't see Mr. Krsnik standing. Yes,

3 Mr. Krsnik?

4 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] My apologies, Your Honours. I will

5 not take too much of your time. I cannot, however, disregard one factor,

6 that is, that my learned friend expects also the Defence will submit its

7 list of witnesses within 30 days. Your Honours, the Defence was to have

8 the final list 30 days earlier so that we could -- that is the purpose of

9 it. We could get ready for this defence. But now we have started, and we

10 have practically no time to have supper - if you will pardon my

11 expression - we have to work so much. And had we had the final witness

12 list 30 days before the beginning of this trial, then the Defence would

13 have considered it fair and just. After this, Your Honours, we all know

14 very well that we received the final list of witnesses two days before the

15 trial. Thank you very much.

16 MR. SCOTT: Mr. President --

17 JUDGE LIU: Well, Mr. Krsnik, to my understanding, the Prosecutor

18 only submitted lists, that is, in the order of appearance, for the 30

19 days, and I think he already disclosed all the lists of the witness to you

20 for you to prepare your cross-examination. Is that true, Mr. Scott?

21 MR. SCOTT: Yes, Mr. President. I don't want to belabour that

22 this morning. If there's any confusion about this, I would ask the

23 Chamber to calendar a separate time when the witnesses aren't present, and

24 I will be happy to take counsel and the Chamber through each piece of

25 correspondence over the past several months. It is not correct or fair

Page 3979

1 for Mr. Krsnik to stand up and make that statement. He knows it not to be

2 true.

3 JUDGE LIU: We are not going to have a debate on this issue.

4 MR. SCOTT: I understand that, Your Honour.

5 JUDGE LIU: I hope you have your witness as soon as possible.

6 MR. SCOTT: He is ready to go, Your Honour, this moment. I'm

7 ready.

8 JUDGE LIU: Thank you.

9 Before the witness comes in, would you please brief us with the

10 relevancy in the indictment.

11 [The witness entered court]

12 MR. SCOTT: Yes, Your Honour. The next witness will be testifying

13 in open session, so I will go ahead and state his name for the record.

14 It's Seid Smajkic. He is the Mufti of Mostar, which is a very senior

15 Islamic church official.

16 His testimony will be relevant to the background portions of the

17 indictment, paragraphs 9 through 11; general allegations, paragraph 21,

18 count 1; persecutions, paragraph 26 and 27, counts 9 to 12; torture and

19 great suffering, paragraph 46 and 47, count 18; forcible transfer,

20 paragraphs 53, counts 19 and 20; destruction of property, count 22;

21 destruction of religious institutions, paragraph 56.

22 JUDGE LIU: Thank you very much.


24 [Witness answered through interpreter]

25 JUDGE LIU: Good morning, Witness.

Page 3980

1 THE WITNESS: Good morning.

2 JUDGE LIU: Would you please make the solemn declaration.

3 THE WITNESS: I solemnly declare that I will speak the truth, the

4 whole truth, and nothing but the truth.

5 JUDGE LIU: Thank you, you may sit down.

6 Examined by Mr. Scott:

7 Q. Good morning, Mr. Smajkic. Would you state your full name for the

8 record and spell your last name for the reporters, please.

9 A. Good morning. I am Seid Smajkic, S-m-a-j-k-i-c.

10 Q. Mr. Smajkic, you were born in 1947 and spent most of your life in

11 Mostar or the Mostar region; is that correct, sir?

12 A. It is.

13 Q. And is it also correct that since approximately 1980, you have

14 been what is called the Mufti -- and I will ask you some questions about

15 that in a moment -- you have been the Mufti of Mostar, or for Mostar? Is

16 that correct?

17 A. Absolutely.

18 Q. Will you please describe briefly for the Chamber what -- who or

19 what a Mufti is and what functions and responsibilities you have in that

20 position.

21 A. It is the chief cleric in an area covering all the religious

22 activities in a region or, in this particular case, in Herzegovina, and

23 beyond it. A Mufti will oversee the religious life, religious activities,

24 the work of religious schools, celebrations of religious holidays,

25 activities related to the organisation of all affairs of concern to the

Page 3981

1 Islamic religious community. This is for the Chamber and for you; this

2 equals the rank of a Bishop in the Catholic church.

3 Q. Very well. Thank you.

4 And you have held this position, as I said a moment ago, since

5 1980; is that correct?

6 A. From 1975, I was first the acting Mufti. And as of 1980, yes, I

7 became a Mufti officially.

8 Q. And I think you mentioned this as part of your answer, but so it

9 is clear, would you please tell the Chamber your geographic area of

10 responsibility or, we might say, jurisdiction, please.

11 A. Well, if we start from the north, it's Konjic, Prozor, Jablanica,

12 Mostar, Ljubuski, Tomislavgrad, Livno, Glamoc, Capljina, Stolac, and

13 Neum. And now, in view of the present division in the Federation of

14 Bosnia-Herzegovina, now we also have Trebinje, Nevesinje, Bileca, Gacko,

15 Ljubinje, which are in the Republica Srpska. This whole area is under my

16 jurisdiction.

17 Q. And as you said earlier, I believe -- and again -- we might just

18 know that area or, roughly speaking, call that, in fact, Herzegovina; is

19 that correct?

20 A. Yes, that is correct. Yes.

21 Q. Just to pick up on a couple of particular areas of responsibility

22 which will come up probably later in your testimony, what is your function

23 or role in relation to other church officials, if I can put it this way?

24 And if I'm saying it incorrectly, please forgive me. But lower church

25 officials, local religious leaders, Islamic religious leaders, what is

Page 3982

1 your responsibility toward them?

2 A. Every municipality has its own territorial institution. There are

3 the authorities of the Islamic community with a certain number of Imams.

4 Civilians may also participate in the authorities and be responsible for

5 property, law, real estate affairs, but the religious life is in the hands

6 of the Imams. These are lower organisational units to the municipal

7 level, and I am their superior.

8 Q. Do you have some responsibility for the -- for overseeing these

9 individuals, on the one hand, and also receiving information from them? I

10 mean, if you will, communications up and down with these lower church

11 officials.

12 A. Yes, from below, above. And that is from above going down, and

13 from below going up.

14 Q. Can you briefly, then, in closing on this description of your

15 roles and responsibilities, what is your responsibility towards the

16 church -- the physical structures and facilities of the Islamic church in

17 your region? What responsibilities do you have in that regard?

18 A. The municipal administrative bodies of the Islamic community are

19 responsible for all the practical matters dealing with land use for

20 religious needs, and I am referring to purely religious objects, that is,

21 houses of worship, mosques, then educational institutions where children

22 and youth are instructed in the basics of Islam. We also have our

23 official premises, our offices, and also official residences of Imams.

24 In other words, at the municipal level, they are the ones who

25 shape, who run the religious life and are responsible to me in higher

Page 3983

1 instances for their programmes, for their activities, and for the

2 protection of religious objects, among other things.

3 Q. Let me stop you there. I think that's a full account on that

4 matter.

5 In terms of the mosques themselves, let me ask you a couple of

6 questions. If a local community of Islamic faith, wishes -- for instance,

7 if they wanted to build a mosque in their local area, would you be

8 involved in that in the sense of would you have to give some sort of

9 approvals or be involved in that decision-making process?

10 A. Yes.

11 Q. And putting it the other way around, if I can put it that way, if

12 a mosque in a particular area was destroyed, would that typically come --

13 in the area of your responsibility, would that come to your attention?

14 A. Yes, absolutely.

15 MR. SCOTT: Mr. President, with your permission, I'm going to

16 jump -- go rather quickly to April of 1992, and so as not to do that in a

17 complete vacuum, I have about four or five leading questions simply by way

18 of background to bring us to that point, with the Court's permission.

19 JUDGE LIU: Yes.


21 Q. Mr. Smajkic, is it correct that in approximately early 1992, what

22 was then sometimes referred to as the Serb and Montenegrin army took

23 control, in whole or in part, of the area of Mostar, against both Croats

24 and Muslims or Bosniaks in that region?

25 A. Yes. That took place in early April 1992.

Page 3984

1 Q. All right. And, Mr. Smajkic, you've heard what I said to the

2 President, so I'm going to tell you now -- and these questions may seem

3 very broad and generic to you, and admittedly they are, but for these

4 purposes, I'm just citing -- asking to you confirm some broad background

5 matters, if you will.

6 In April 1992, as you just said, is it correct, then, that armed

7 conflict broke out and intensified, in fact, during that April to June

8 1992 period?

9 A. Yes. We can even say that prior to 1st of April, there were

10 sporadic clashes. However, as of April, these conflicts and clashes did

11 intensify, and this went on into early June.

12 Q. Would it be fair to say, again by way of introduction, that during

13 the spring of 1992, and perhaps even earlier, the Bosniak community and

14 the Croat community were, to varying degrees and extents, working together

15 or trying to take steps together in opposition to the Serbs?

16 A. That is correct.

17 Q. And finally in this series of questions, is it correct that as of

18 about the middle of June 1992, the Serbs withdrew from the city of Mostar

19 itself to some of the mountain areas in the vicinity of Mostar?

20 A. Yes. This took place between the 16th and the 18th of June, 1992

21 - yes, that is correct - due to joint efforts of the HVO and the army of

22 Bosnia and Herzegovina.

23 Q. All right. I was -- that's one of the next things I was going to

24 come to, Mr. Smajkic. There has been some suggestion at times, that this

25 Chamber has heard, that it was only the HVO, that is, the Croat side, that

Page 3985

1 was responsible or had the role of expelling, if you will, Serb forces

2 from the city of Mostar. Is that true, from your experience and what you

3 know?

4 A. I was a witness of all these events because I was in the city of

5 Mostar at that time, which at that time was surrounded by what we termed

6 Serbo-Montenegrin aggressor, and I do know that the HVO or the Croatian

7 side has frequently pointed out their superiority when it relates to the

8 defence of the city, and they also marginalised the role of Bosniaks in

9 this defence.

10 However, I can be -- I'll be very open and frank in saying that

11 the most casualties were actually on the Bosniak side, and that, in fact,

12 with their units, which at that time admittedly were part of the HVO, were

13 part of the force which helped push the Serbs out of Mostar, even though

14 later on, after all these events, in retrospect, we can assess that that

15 was some -- that is, it is my assessment that this expulsion of Serbs from

16 Mostar was really a form of agreement. However, we can go into further

17 detail in discussing this.

18 Q. Well, we will get to that. But not to leave that hanging, perhaps

19 maybe getting just a bit ahead of ourselves - but since you've taken us

20 there - when you say that it was -- the expulsion of the Serbs from Mostar

21 was really a form of agreement, would you please explain what you mean to

22 the Chamber?

23 A. Knowing what forces the Serbs and Montenegrins and the JNA had in

24 the Neretva River valley, to a person who is impartial would find it hard

25 to believe that such a break-through would have taken place in such a

Page 3986

1 short period of time, and that such forces could have been pushed out of

2 not only the city of Mostar but from the wider area of the Neretva River

3 valley.

4 Q. Well, let me ask you again, just try to finish up a bit more

5 clarity on that. If they weren't expelled, if they were not removed or

6 withdrew by force, as a result of force, how is it that you're saying that

7 they did withdraw; that is, the Serb forces?

8 A. Naturally, there were combat operations conducted there, and

9 people did lose lives, but in such an operation, which was like lightning,

10 it would have been impossible to force these forces to redeploy to those

11 features. I know that during a period of time, there were certain

12 arrangements, arrangements between the Serbian and Croatian sides

13 regarding the city of Mostar, because I myself took place in one of these

14 incidents, perhaps I should call them.

15 Q. All right. Now, let's leave it at that for the moment, and we

16 will probably be back to that in a few minutes. But with that background

17 now, let me direct your attention to a particular event or a document. Do

18 you recall that on approximately the 29th of April, 1992, a document was

19 signed by various members of the Croat community and the Bosniak community

20 in connection with the defence of the city of Mostar?

21 A. I am completely familiar, and thank you for refreshing my memory

22 on this. So many events took place, and from this distance it is hard to

23 put them all together in one time line, without having the aid of

24 documents. I am familiar with that document and with its contents.

25 MR. SCOTT: All right. Let me at this time ask for the usher's

Page 3987

1 assistance, and to the Chamber as a whole, if it hasn't been done so

2 already. There is a packet of exhibits that have been prepared,

3 Mr. President, that will be used with this witness. I think they've been

4 given to the Defence already; I hope. But I think for the witness and for

5 the Chamber, please, if they could be distributed. They are, generally

6 speaking, in both chronological and numerical order. I say "generally."

7 There are some exceptions in which you may find that a document is out of

8 numerical sequence. But they should be, I hope, Mr. President, Your

9 Honours, in the order in which they will be reviewed with this witness.

10 So with that --

11 JUDGE LIU: Well, Mr. Scott, you are allowed to ask some leading

12 questions in the hope that we could get through the events of 1992 and

13 come directly to the events in 1993.

14 MR. SCOTT: I appreciate that, Your Honour. I will say -- I

15 should tell the Chamber in candour, we will spend -- or I had proposed

16 that we will spend a fair amount of time on the second half of 1992,

17 because, as you've heard from other witnesses, this is the full story of

18 the expanding -- ever-expanding takeover by the HVO authority in Mostar.

19 I will try to take it quickly, but there is a substantial amount of ground

20 to cover in that regard.

21 JUDGE LIU: Well, this witness is not the first witness we've

22 heard about the background.

23 MR. SCOTT: Yes, Your Honour.

24 JUDGE LIU: I hope you will bear this in mind.

25 MR. SCOTT: That's correct. And perhaps it will assist the

Page 3988

1 Chamber if -- Mr. President, if I tell you this may be about the last. So

2 after today, maybe I can announce that we will be into -- primarily into a

3 different category of witnesses from this day forward, for the most part,

4 obviously with some exceptions. But we are going to be -- this will be

5 one of the Chamber's, respectfully, last opportunities to hear from a

6 broader overview witness on these developments.

7 I do appreciate the fact that the Chamber has heard this before.

8 This witness brings a unique perspective to it because of his high

9 position in the Islamic church and his very close involvement in these

10 events. But I understand, Mr. President, your concerns, and again I will

11 tell the Chamber now - I'm making it very open to the Defence as well -

12 this will be about the last witness that the Prosecution will call in this

13 regard.

14 JUDGE LIU: You may proceed, Mr. Scott.

15 MR. SCOTT: Thank you, Mr. President.

16 Q. Mr. Smajkic, if you can look, please, a bundle of exhibits have

17 been put in front of you. Now, you will know already - and everyone in

18 the courtroom will see, of course - they are English translations usually

19 on top, followed by the B/C/S, or Serbo-Croatian version.

20 MR. SCOTT: And in many instances, Judge Diarra - but I can't say,

21 unfortunately, all - but in many instances there is also a French

22 translation.

23 Q. Let me direct your attention to Exhibit P125.1, and just -- if you

24 can just familiarise yourself by looking at that document for a moment.

25 Is that a copy of the decision dated the 29th of April, 1992?

Page 3989

1 A. Yes.

2 Q. All right. Taking the President's cue, if I'm allowed, let me

3 take you straight to an issue in the case, and then we can talk about

4 particular parts or sentences of the document itself. Let me take you

5 straight to it, if I'm allowed. There has been some suggestion,

6 Mr. Smajkic, that by this document, the HDZ, the Bosnian-Croat political

7 party, the HDZ, or the HVO was essentially given the right to take over

8 Mostar. Is that true?

9 A. That is not correct. The Croatian Defence Council only received

10 this armed part, that is, the defence aspect of the defence of Mostar, and

11 the Municipal Crisis Staff remained a civil authority. However, the HVO

12 took this as an excuse to grab power, in other words, to proclaim a war of

13 government of Mostar and basically carry out a Putsch against civilian

14 authorities and take over control, both in civilian and military aspects.

15 Also, the possibility was opened for the Ministry of Internal Affairs, as

16 one segment of the defence forces, to play a role, and also to the

17 Territorial Defence, which was composed exclusively of Bosnia forces.

18 They were allowed to exist. In addition, in one of the points --

19 MR. SERIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, excuse me.

20 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. Seric.

21 MR. SERIC: [Interpretation] Witness did not respond to the

22 Prosecutor's question but is taking it further and is making conclusions

23 about what some people may have thought and agreed, so I propose to have

24 it stricken.

25 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I also object but on

Page 3990

1 different grounds. My objection is that this is a religious official.

2 This is not a politician, and he is not an expert in this. I think that

3 he should be disallowed from giving answers to questions that relate to

4 policies and politics.

5 JUDGE LIU: I think everybody has his view and his opinions

6 towards policy issues, no matter what his occupation is. So in this way,

7 this question is allowed.

8 But there's a problem in the answering of this question; that is,

9 Witness, you have to answer the questions straight to the question asked

10 by the Prosecutor and do not elaborate unless it is really necessary.

11 Thank you.

12 MR. SCOTT: Mr. President, I appreciate the Court's guidance. In

13 fairness to the witness, I must say the question was -- I put a central

14 issue in the case to him. My question was: Is that true? And his

15 response was, "That is not correct." So I think it was directly

16 responsive. He directly answered my question. It is true that he did go

17 on, then, to give the reasons for his answer. But I will continue to take

18 him through some additional specific points.

19 Q. Now, Mr. Smajkic, for instance, if I can direct your attention --

20 what I would like to do is we can just go through this document, which

21 might also serve to provide some structure to your testimony.

22 If I can direct your attention, please, to the bottom of the first

23 page -- well, I can't say in B/C/S. It's under roman numeral II, if you

24 can find that. There's a reference in that first paragraph under -- I

25 guess there is only one paragraph, which is roman numeral II -- to, for

Page 3991

1 instance, the members of the Ministry of the Interior.

2 Now, up until the time that this document was signed, was that a

3 multi-ethnic police force?

4 A. Correct.

5 Q. And after this document was signed, what happened to that police

6 force? What happened to it after this document?

7 A. After the HVO took over power, it changed the command structure of

8 the police. People who were loyal to the Croatian community of

9 Herceg-Bosna were left in their posts.

10 Q. Directing your attention to the next section, roman numeral III,

11 it makes the statement: "The Croatian Defence Council consists of members

12 of the Muslim and Croatian peoples." And would you tell the Chamber,

13 please, were there any Muslim members in the higher -- if I can put it

14 this way -- the higher leadership positions of the Croatian Defence

15 Council? Were there any Muslim members at that level?

16 A. No, that was not the case. In -- there were no Muslims in senior

17 command positions.

18 Q. Directing your direction to paragraph roman numeral IV, the first

19 part, it says: "The upper composition of the commanding corps of the

20 Croatian Defence Council shall mirror the ethnic composition of

21 active-duty soldiers." Did that happen? Was the commanding officer corps

22 of the HVO, did it reflect the ethnic makeup of the rank and file of the

23 multi-ethnic HVO?

24 A. No. These were members -- that is, the officers were from the

25 Croatian side, at least senior ones.

Page 3992

1 Q. In reference, in the interest of efficiency, taking the

2 President's words into mind, in terms of roman numeral V and VI, in

3 reference to law enforcement in the judicial authorities, the end of

4 paragragh roman numeral VI says: "The ethnic structure of these

5 institutions shall reflect the ethnic structure of active-duty soldiers."

6 Can you again tell us, was that true or was that, in fact,

7 followed, law enforcement and judicial structures reflected the ethnic

8 makeup of the community?

9 A. Not at all. It did not reflect it. It is mentioned in the

10 documents that the representation should be proportionate. However, when

11 the HVO took over power, they established military police, and the

12 military police marginalised the authority of the civilian police. And

13 the Minister of the Interior, which they had appointed, fired all the

14 Muslims within the police structure so that the individuals who did not

15 recognise the Croatian authority and failed to give an oath were sacked.

16 Q. Let me, in a similar fashion, direct your attention to roman

17 numeral VII and IX, and I'll further assist you in this way, again, in the

18 interest of efficiency. There are references in both of those paragraphs

19 to recognition or that due regard be given to the legal organs of the

20 Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina. Can you please describe to the

21 Chamber what you observed around this time and thereafter of the HVO's

22 attitude toward the government of the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina

23 in Sarajevo?

24 A. This government simply ignored all the institutions of the

25 Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina. It completely stifled the work of the

Page 3993

1 Crisis Staff and replaced all the structures of the civilian authority,

2 which was in direct opposition to all the legal provisions of the Republic

3 of Bosnia and Herzegovina. The Crisis Staff was supposed to -- that is --

4 was supposed to establish an executive council of the city government in

5 order to allow these institutions to operate, but the HVO completely

6 obstructed that and took over so that Milivoje Gagro, who had been a

7 legally elected officer of that government, he resigned in protest for not

8 being able to discharge his duties.

9 Q. And to remind the Chamber, Mr. Gagro, himself, was a Croat; is

10 that correct?

11 A. Yes.

12 Q. Now, before we move on, in your answer just now, you started out

13 by saying, "This government simply ignored all the institutions of

14 Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina." When you said "this government,"

15 which government were you referring to?

16 A. I'm referring to the war government of the city of Mostar, which

17 was presided by Mr. Jadranko Topic.

18 Q. Which political party or organisation was he a part of?

19 A. That was the HDZ, or the Croatian Democratic Union Party.

20 Q. Did there come a time, in fact, around this time, after the

21 April 29th agreement, that you were asked to go to Split in Croatia and

22 make some sort of appearance on Croatian TV?

23 A. Yes.

24 Q. Will you please just tell the Chamber about that? I'm going to

25 invite you to give just your own words, a narrative account, although

Page 3994

1 please do keep it somewhat concise, if you will.

2 A. I was asked to appear on television in Split with a delegation

3 made of one Bosniak politician and one religious leader and, on the other

4 side, a Croat politician and a representative of the Catholic community.

5 On the set day, we came to the TV studio in Split, and were met

6 with ovations. I didn't understand immediately what was going on, but

7 they were coming to Topic, Mr. Topic, and congratulating him on his office

8 of the mayor of the city of Mostar. His brother, Marin, who was with him,

9 said that at long last, the Croats have acquired their capital. And in a

10 direct question the host of the programme asked of Mr. Topic who was the

11 president to Bosnia-Herzegovina, to his mind; that is, whom he recognised

12 as the president. He stated publicly that that was Mate Boban.

13 Q. What did you come to understand your role there, having now told

14 us what you just said - why did they want you - to the extent you can tell

15 us, based on what you saw and heard, your role to be there?

16 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. Meek?

17 MR. MEEK: Your Honour, I object to that question on the grounds

18 it calls for pure speculation.

19 MR. SCOTT: Let me rephrase it, Your Honour.

20 JUDGE LIU: Yes, you may rephrase it.


22 Q. Mr. Smajkic, I'm not asking you to get into anyone else's head,

23 but you were invited -- who invited you to go to Split?

24 A. People from the Croat Defence Council. And it was the president

25 of the then SDA, Ismet Hadziosmanovic, was the one who selected me and

Page 3995

1 another person. He sent Hadziosmanovic, and asked that the two of us,

2 Salahovic -- and asked that the two of us represent the Islamic

3 community.

4 At that meeting, it was said that Camil Salahovic would address

5 political issues, that I should not do that, and that it was up to me to

6 call for humanitarian assistance, to launch an appeal for the humanitarian

7 aid to Mostar, which had already been shelled and thoroughly ruined by

8 that time, and to -- so that the cameras could show that the Muslims, that

9 is, Bosniaks and Croats, represented one front. We were to go there and

10 act and impersonate something, if I may put it that way.

11 Q. Were you asked --

12 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. Seric?

13 MR. SERIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I am again objecting to

14 this last part of the witness's answer, because he's again giving us his

15 opinion about what other people thought, and I do not think that the

16 witnesses should not testify in this manner.

17 MR. SCOTT: Mr. President, let me briefly respond, please. I'm

18 not asking -- and if the witness is misinterpreting my questions or if my

19 questions are not correctly put, that's my fault and I apologise. I think

20 the witness, however, can say what he observed and what he came to expect

21 and what he saw going on around him, what he saw and observed, can make

22 his own conclusions and share those with the Chamber as to what was

23 happening.

24 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. Seric?

25 MR. SERIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, Your Honours, I'm not

Page 3996

1 objecting to questions -- to the question. The question as a question was

2 all right, but in his -- in towards the end of his answer, the witness

3 began to tell us about what he thought that somebody else had thought.

4 JUDGE LIU: Well, I don't think so. I think the witness answered

5 the question perfectly. At least we know that what his role was at that

6 television interview, and we are interested to hear that.

7 You may proceed, Mr. Scott.

8 MR. SCOTT: Thank you, Mr. President.

9 Q. Let me come back to what you were just -- where you just took us,

10 to this: When you were asked to go to Split and appear on Croatian TV,

11 were you asked or told to wear your full - forgive me again if I use the

12 wrong terminology - but your religious wear? As a Mufti, did you come

13 dressed in clerical clothing?

14 A. I did.

15 Q. All right. And --

16 A. Yes.

17 Q. All right. And did anyone tell you anything more about what they

18 expected that they wanted you to say or what they expected to say during

19 this TV broadcast?

20 A. Not in Mostar, but when we arrived at that TV station, they

21 expected our side to lend support to that option; that is, to Mate Boban's

22 option.

23 Q. During the time that you were there, did any of the other

24 representatives, Mr. Topic or others, did they make any -- was there any

25 conversation about the Neretva River?

Page 3997

1 A. I didn't hear the interpretation, but I understood your question

2 in English. When the programme host asked Mr. Topic what was the ultimate

3 goal, what were the boundaries of the city of Mostar, he said that it

4 would be the Neretva River, which means that the city of Mostar, that is,

5 according to the then option of the Croat politicians, was to be divided

6 into a Croat and a Serb part.

7 I am not a politician, Your Honours, but then this politician who

8 was to speak on behalf of the Muslim party asked, begged, went down on his

9 knees before Mr. Topic, to say that the HVO's goal was the liberation of

10 the whole territory of the city of Mostar, rather than to go only as far

11 as the Neretva River, which divides the city into two. I remember very

12 well indeed that he said that he dared not go back to Mostar or face the

13 Bosniak people unless Topic withdrew that statement.

14 Q. Before you continue, please, let's have for the record, if you can

15 assist us, what was the name of this other Bosniak or Muslim

16 representative who was making these requests to Mr. Topic?

17 A. Salahovic, Camil Salahovic, called "Limi," a lawyer.

18 Q. And were you present when Mr. Topic made any response to

19 Mr. Salahovic?

20 A. I'm not getting any interpretation. Yes, that's fine now.

21 Q. My apologies, and please let us know if you have any problems. My

22 question to you was: Were you present when Mr. Topic made any response to

23 Mr. Salahovic, if -- when he raised these questions or concerns that you

24 were telling us about a moment ago?

25 A. I was present. That television then cut short the programme and a

Page 3998

1 very embittered discussion about that, Topic's statement, ensued. But he

2 did not deny, he did not withdraw what he had said for the television.

3 Q. Now, we are moving forward a bit. Did you learn about this time

4 that in fact there had been some agreement between the Croats and Serbs

5 about boundaries in Herzegovina?

6 A. Needless to say, it all seemed to indicate that there had been a

7 previous agreement between the Serbs and the Croats on the division of

8 Herzegovina, and one could see it on the ground as well.

9 Q. Let me direct your attention, and the Chamber's attention, next to

10 Exhibit 126.1 in everyone's packet of materials; including, Mr. Smajkic,

11 the one before you. I'll have to tell you this document is only in

12 English and was prepared, at least the parts that I've seen, in English.

13 A. Yes.

14 MR. SCOTT: The Chamber will have seen this before.

15 If I can have the assistance of interpretation, please, if I can

16 have the second page of this exhibit, going to paragraphs numbered 1, 2,

17 and 3.

18 Q. Since it's not in B/C/S in front of you, sir, let me read that to

19 you, and if you listen to interpretation, I'll ask you a couple of

20 questions about this.

21 "Number 1: In the city of Mostar, the Serbian side considers the

22 Neretva River to be the border line, while the Croatian side considers the

23 entire city of Mostar to be within the Croatian constituent unit.

24 "Number 2: South of Mostar, the Croatian side considers the

25 entire area delineated in 1939, in other words, the borders of the

Page 3999

1 Hrvatska Banovina, to be within the Croatian constituent unit. The

2 Serbian side considers the Neretva River to be the border line between the

3 Croatian and the Serbian constituent units."

4 I don't think, actually, on reflection, we need paragraph 3. Let

5 me, however, direct, if I can, everyone's attention to paragraph 6.

6 "In view of the agreement --"

7 MR. SCOTT: Sorry, I've been cautioned to slow down. Forgive me,

8 Mr. President.

9 Q. "In view of the agreement outlined above, no more reasons obtain

10 for an armed conflict between the Croatians and Serbs in the entire

11 territory of Bosnia-Herzegovina."

12 This document prepared as of May 6, 1992, at 2400 hours, over the

13 names of Radovan Karadzic and Mate Boban.

14 My question to you, sir, based on that, what was just read to

15 you: Are you familiar with that, and do you remember hearing about these

16 developments around this time in May and June of 1992?

17 A. I did not have this document before me ever. Yes, this is an

18 agreement between Karadzic and Boban - I know about that - and I'm aware

19 that such a meeting took place, but I was not familiar with the exact

20 wording.

21 However, the developments on the ground were in full

22 correspondence with this document, in full agreement with this document.

23 I do know that -- well, it is possible that the relations between the

24 Serbs and Croats fluctuated, that in the beginning, the border line was at

25 the Neretva. Then perhaps they started thinking about the exchange of

Page 4000

1 territories and that border line was shifted to the boundaries of the

2 Banovina. That is true. But in my communication with the armed forces of

3 Serbia, in the Neretva valley, during the aggression, that is, still I saw

4 heated resistance, fierce resistance, being put up to this document,

5 because of the retreat from the valley. They blamed -- that they cursed

6 Karadzic and all the other Serb leaders, that they had to withdraw without

7 offering strong resistance, that they had to withdraw, that is, from the

8 Neretva Valley and Mostar, without any resistance whatsoever.

9 Q. Mr. Smajkic, let me just ask you a couple of items about this, and

10 then we will finish with this document. You mentioned just now -- sorry,

11 I want to be exact. You mentioned just now the reference to the

12 boundaries of the Banovina. What did you know or understand that to be,

13 what reference is that?

14 A. That was a product of the former Croatia, that is, Croatia in the

15 times of World War II or, rather, we can say Pavelic's state. Or let me

16 try to put it even more clearly. It wasn't by accident that I said the

17 HVO at times acted some offensives or something, but in point of fact,

18 they did not want to conquer territories after they had reached the

19 boundaries of the Banovina, so that the armed forces of

20 Bosnia-Herzegovina, if they wanted to advance, they could have done that.

21 However, the Croat Defence Council, which was a partner at the time,

22 refused to move an inch beyond the boundary of the Banovina, which is very

23 convincing proof. And I knew --

24 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. Seric.

25 MR. SERIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I object to a part of

Page 4001

1 the witness's answer. The witness shows us his knowledge of history. All

2 of a sudden, he starts testifying as a historian about the historical

3 circumstances, and his account is completely inaccurate, at least insofar

4 as the Banovinas are concerned.

5 JUDGE LIU: Well, on the one hand, the witness is giving his view

6 on those events which might touch upon some historical background. On the

7 other hand, Mr. Scott, we have been spent almost an hour on these

8 background issues, and we haven't realised whether all this event is

9 related to the relevant parts of the indictment.

10 You didn't mention the accused's name, Mr. Naletilic, Tuta. We

11 are to hear the direct evidence concerning the accused persons, not to

12 hear all the background issues around Mostar. We know that is very

13 necessary for us to have some background information about that time. But

14 too much information will just get us lost, Mr. Scott.

15 MR. SCOTT: Mr. President, thank you. I'm in the position of not

16 being able to completely agree with Your Honour. We are required to

17 prove -- the Prosecution is required to prove, among other things, that

18 the conduct that these accused participated in was part of a widespread

19 and systematic campaign, that it was part of a widespread and systematic

20 plan, resulting or based upon persecution on religious, political, ethnic

21 and national grounds; that they were not acting individually; that they

22 were not acting on a lark on their own, simply on a personal matter. This

23 was part and parcel of a plan, of a scheme that was hatched by the HDZ and

24 the HVO and supported by the Croatian government that goes back to 1992

25 and earlier. We are required to prove that.

Page 4002

1 Now, we have asked throughout these Pre-Trial proceedings -- and I

2 understand that the Chamber, of course, unfortunately, was not a party,

3 was not even constituted at the time of the Pre-Trial proceedings. During

4 that time, I think the time has come -- I think the time has come -- I see

5 Mr. Seric on his feet. I will finish what I have to say, please, first,

6 and then Mr. Seric can respond.

7 Through that time, we asked counsel for both accused to agree to

8 certain things. We tendered to them a number of times potential agreed

9 statement of facts, including these very facts, and they refused. They

10 put everything in issue. They have never agreed to anything to streamline

11 this case. They have required us to prove everything. Even in the short

12 time before the trial started, I once again sent letters to them asking

13 them to stipulate to as many as 150 -- some 150 background facts, and they

14 refused to do so.

15 Now, you can say that's their right. But if that's their

16 position, Your Honour, then the Prosecution has no opportunity -- has no

17 alternative but to prove its case. And we're trying to do that as

18 efficiently as we can.

19 JUDGE LIU: Yes, thank you.

20 Mr. Seric.

21 MR. SERIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I couldn't agree with

22 you more. As far as this witness, I wish to say that the Prosecutor is

23 trying to use this witness -- within the presumed historical context, he

24 is trying to establish a link between my clients and a product which

25 emerged during World War II, and I do not think that this witness can be

Page 4003

1 asked to testify about things that happened then.

2 JUDGE LIU: Mr. Scott, we believe that it is essential for us to

3 hear this witness, but we just want you to do it as efficient as possible

4 and as concise as possible.

5 MR. SCOTT: I will, Your Honour. I do appreciate that. If the

6 Chamber will allow me on some matters, I will -- as you invited me, in

7 fact, to do a few minutes, I will try to lead and to be more efficient

8 through these matters. But of course, if I do so, I can expect, I suppose

9 at some point, to draw objection, and I'll be in the Chamber's hands as to

10 how you would like me to proceed. But I will do the best I can, of

11 course.

12 Finishing I think, Mr. President, about two additional questions

13 on this document, and then we can move forward.

14 Q. When you heard of these developments around this time, which we

15 are told here about a meeting between Karadzic and Boban in the city of

16 Graz, Austria, did it ever come to your attention what was the position,

17 if you know, of the Bosniak community, whether any representatives of the

18 Bosnians, the Bosniaks, were invited to attend these negotiations to draw

19 the boundaries of Bosnia-Herzegovina?

20 A. No, no Bosniaks were not represented.

21 Q. And what was -- my final question on this -- and what was, if you

22 know, the response of the Bosniak community in Mostar where you were a

23 senior religious leader when you heard about this plan or document to

24 divide up Herzegovina?

25 A. The Bosniak people was against any division of Bosnia, rather the

Page 4004

1 partition of Bosnia-Herzegovina, because that year, as an autonomous and

2 sovereign country, Bosnia had been recognised by the United Nations and

3 even by Croatia itself.

4 And with the permission of the Honourable Court, I should like to

5 say, how did I get involved in these political waters, even though that is

6 not my job? And that is also in answer to your question. Because people,

7 Bosniaks, came to me. They came to me. From the very beginning, they

8 disagreed with turning the power over to the HVO, and they saw it, in a

9 way, as a betrayal on the part of the then Bosniak leadership, because

10 that leadership kept -- said nothing. They were just -- and did not take

11 any steps, did not do anything in order to offset such activities.

12 Q. Mr. Smajkic, I want to have you look briefly --

13 THE INTERPRETER: If you would come to your microphone, please.

14 MR. SCOTT: My apology.

15 Q. Taking the President's remarks to heart, I want you to look

16 briefly at Exhibit 157.1, 162.1, and 162.2, which will be the next three

17 documents in everyone's bundle. Do you recognise each of those three

18 documents as either documents that you were involved in preparing or were

19 familiar with at this time?

20 A. Yes, I was an active participant in all these three instances.

21 Q. And briefly, if you take those documents together, can you just

22 briefly say why -- what was the nature of these publications or

23 correspondence, the first dated the 10th of July, 1992; the second dated

24 the 8th of August, 1992; the third dated the 9th of August, 1992? What

25 was this all about? What were these documents -- why did they come about

Page 4005












12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and

13 English transcripts.













Page 4006

1 and what were they trying to address?

2 MR. SCOTT: I'm doing this, Mr. President, because I could spend a

3 substantial amount of time on each document, but I'm going to try not to

4 do that.

5 Q. What were these documents about, sir?

6 A. These documents reflect the wish of all Bosniak institutions,

7 military, civilian, political, and others, to regulate their relations

8 with the Croats because they did not follow the preconceived course from

9 the very beginning. We tried to strike a balance in the political

10 presentation, in the authorities, in the army, an equitable treatment of

11 the language, an equitable distribution of offices in companies which

12 still worked and to which people were assigned pursuant to HVO decrees.

13 So a possible gentlemen's agreement that would be translated into life, to

14 remove, that is, all possible troubles, those roughnesses which had

15 already begun to burn our communication in everyday life.

16 We started to have this Croat component, which was the dominating

17 one; and the Bosniak side, which was always the client, the plaintiff,

18 always begging for something, begging not to destroy Mostar, and also

19 begging for the liberation of the territory without armed forces. We

20 realised that they did not want that.

21 In life, I saw it with my own eyes. When they would reach a

22 territory which we could take, then the Croat component refused to join us

23 and move ahead. So from joint symbols and emblems in the army and

24 everywhere, everywhere. So they kept keeping alive certain problems,

25 certain difficulties which made our relations very difficult. In all

Page 4007

1 these documents, we were requesting to establish our joint position

2 towards the war, towards the common enemy, towards criminals and war

3 criminals, to protect vigorously all the values, religious, cultural,

4 tradition of all the peoples, and so on and so forth. So this is

5 basically the framework.

6 Q. Sorry. I'm going to cut you off for the moment. I see it's

7 11.00.

8 MR. SCOTT: Mr. President, I have a couple of additional

9 questions about these particular documents, and then we will move on after

10 the break.

11 JUDGE LIU: We will resume at 11.30.

12 --- Recess taken at 11.02 a.m.

13 --- On resuming at 11.38 a.m.

14 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. Krsnik?

15 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] Your Honours, just for your

16 information, my client needed to be taken to see a physician urgently

17 because he did not feel -- had any feelings on his left side, including

18 his head, this morning, but he only reported this to me during the break.

19 He was just taken away -- I think we can move on, and this is my client's

20 wish also, but I have a different request. Can we only work until 1.00

21 today, because I would like to go and visit him in the detention unit in

22 the afternoon, and I hope that you can grant me this request. We would go

23 back to the regular schedule tomorrow.

24 JUDGE LIU: Well, we are sorry to hear that your client is not

25 feeling well. I hope he could see a doctor as soon as possible. And I'm

Page 4008

1 also glad that you allowed us to proceed this morning without the presence

2 of your client. And as for the afternoon's sitting, I think we should get

3 the report from doctor first and to see whether your client is suitable to

4 sit for this afternoon's session. So during the lunch break, we will

5 await the report from you or from the detention unit about conditions of

6 your client. Then we'll make the decisions - maybe not in the court - and

7 we will inform you as soon as we have made that decision.

8 Is that all right, Mr. Krsnik?

9 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] Yes.

10 JUDGE LIU: Thank you very much.

11 Mr. Scott, are you ready to call your witness?

12 MR. SCOTT: Yes, Your Honour, we are ready to start again.

13 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. Scott. Please continue.

14 MR. SCOTT: Thank you, Mr. President.

15 Q. Mr. Smajkic, in terms of the three documents that were placed

16 before you before the break, I'm just going to have - well, of course,

17 depending on your answers, of course - two or three questions on each

18 document, and I'll ask you to please respond as directly to my questions

19 as you reasonably can.

20 Referring to Exhibit P157.1, do you recall whether this document,

21 among others perhaps, was sent to Jadranko Topic?

22 A. I cannot find the document. What document is it?

23 Q. Exhibit 157.1. It has the title, "The Basic Arrangements of

24 Current Political Relations Between the Croats and Muslims."

25 A. Yes.

Page 4009

1 Q. Now, I'm not suggesting -- so my question is clear, I'm not

2 suggesting that the document itself is addressed to -- in a "Dear

3 Mr. Topic" sort of way, but do you know whether this document, among

4 others, was provided to Mr. Topic?

5 A. I know that with certainty, because the first signature to the

6 left is Mr. Izet Hadziosmanovic, president of the SDA. This was the

7 political party which was in partnership with the HDZ.

8 Q. All right. And perhaps I should say in that regard, directing

9 your attention to the last page of that document itself, of course in the

10 B/C/S version, among others, does it bear your signature?

11 A. Yes.

12 Q. Now, if I -- if you can assist us, under roman numeral II, under

13 the heading -- small heading (b), and the second bullet item, if I can say

14 that, it makes the statement: "We demand that all the fighters, both

15 Muslim and Croat, have equal status."

16 A. Yes.

17 Q. Did the Bosniak community believe at that time, as of July 1992,

18 that in fact the Muslims and Croat components of the armed forces were

19 being treated equally?

20 A. No, that equal status never existed at no time. This is why these

21 documents were drafted, as they followed the events on the ground. We had

22 support, but it was only in words. However, in reality, the facts were

23 the exact opposite of what the agreement was; in fact, the one that the

24 HVO had nominally agreed to.

25 Q. Directing your attention to roman numeral III, and just with

Page 4010

1 reference to the police force, was the situation similar there? To state

2 the contrary -- if I can put it, to state the contrary of the request

3 being -- or the observation being made here, was it the fact that there

4 was not equal and proportional participation of Muslims and Croats in the

5 police forces?

6 A. Correct. That is exactly right, in essence, in short.

7 Q. And to the -- under roman numeral IV, second sentence, second

8 paragraph or sentence, it says this: "The symbols of the Republic of

9 Bosnia and Herzegovina should be introduced on all official signs and

10 seals."

11 Will you please tell the Chamber briefly, what was the situation

12 at that time in terms of the governmental signs and seals that were being

13 displayed in the Mostar region?

14 A. In the documents that were issued by the HVO institutions, you

15 could find no sign or symbol that would intimate the existence of Bosnia

16 and Herzegovina. On the contrary, there were Croatian symbols and stamps,

17 and everything that was in direct opposition to the constitution and legal

18 principles on which Bosnia and Herzegovina had been established. We can

19 say -- we can say that those arrangements, the arrangements that regulated

20 the Croatian community of Herceg-Bosna, were modelled after those of the

21 Republic of Croatia. And this is why this document was drafted, because

22 people could not accept to fight under such symbols, because it would turn

23 out that the Croats were the ones who liberated the territory and that

24 Bosniaks were never to be found. And this was precisely the behaviour of

25 the Croatian officials at that time.

Page 4011

1 Q. Mr. Smajkic, I'm going to move on. Of course, if the Chamber has

2 additional questions of these documents, they will -- the Judges will have

3 an opportunity to put questions to you, you understand, at the end of your

4 testimony.

5 Moving to the Exhibit P162.1, which is the next document in your

6 bundle, I think only -- well, a couple of questions. Looking to the --

7 well, strike that.

8 Can you tell us briefly how this document was prepared and who

9 signed it -- not signed this document, but tell us about that. I think

10 you can shed some light on this.

11 A. This is the document of 8 August 1992; is that correct?

12 Q. That's correct.

13 A. This is a document which expresses a desire of the Bosniak people

14 in which the Bosniaks take position to the important issues at that time,

15 the war, the illegal institutions of Bosnia and Herzegovina, the law

16 and -- the laws and customs of war and the way individuals are handled and

17 their rights of all people who exist in that territory that were under our

18 control; in other words, how we saw that these arrangements should be made

19 on all these issues.

20 I did not sign this copy, but this resolution was drafted by a

21 group of intellectuals of Mostar, and they signed it. 152 Bosniak

22 intellectuals signed it, and it was distributed in the streets of Mostar,

23 Konjic, and Jablanica. More than 10.000 signatures were collected.

24 Q. Directing your attention to Roman Numeral I, the fourth paragraph

25 under Roman Numeral I.

Page 4012

1 MR. SCOTT: I'll give you a chance to find that, counsel.

2 Q. It states -- that paragraph or sentence states: "The Muslims

3 advocate the integral and indivisible state of Bosnia and Herzegovina and

4 do not recognise any para-Statal - I'm not sure about that word -

5 para-State creations." Was that, in fact, the position of the Bosniak

6 community at that time?

7 A. Completely so.

8 Q. Moving on to Exhibit 162.2 which again will be the next document,

9 this document appears to raise some concerns or issues about the movement

10 of Bosniak or Muslim refugees to areas outside or beyond Mostar, just to

11 set the scene, if you will, for that document. Is that correct, sir?

12 A. This was the reception of refugees who escaped from the areas

13 controlled by the Serbs. After the Serbs had pulled out of Mostar, these

14 people found refuge in the Mostar area. They were mostly from Nevesinje,

15 Gacko, which are now in Republic of Srpska.

16 [Technical difficulty]

17 MR. MEEK: Your Honours, at least my screen has stopped after the

18 answer "completely so." I don't know if it's just this table or

19 everybody's.

20 JUDGE LIU: Madam Registrar, would you please check it?

21 MR. SCOTT: Counsel is correct. I don't see it either.

22 Shall we try again? Is it coming?

23 JUDGE LIU: Yes.


25 Q. My apology, Mr. Smajkic. I'll try to restate my question.

Page 4013

1 I just asked you to turn to Exhibit 162.2, and it appears that

2 none of that was, in fact, caught on the record. This is a document that

3 appears to discuss an issue about the further evacuation or displacement

4 of Muslim or Bosniak refugees that were coming to the Mostar area at that

5 time.

6 Can you briefly, briefly, please, tell the Chamber about what that

7 problem was and what was happening?

8 A. It happened that when people who had been expelled by the Serbs,

9 people from Eastern Herzegovina found refuge in Mostar. And I was

10 personally involved and our community was involved in receiving these

11 refugees. However, the Croatian side did not wish these people to remain

12 in Mostar. Instead, they prepared not buses but trucks, which were to

13 transfer these persons to Zenica where, in their opinion, Muslims were to

14 live and reside. Of course, we firmly resisted that. And for a period of

15 time, we prevented it.

16 On the other side - and I want to make this clear to the Chamber -

17 they were very glad to receive Croats from other areas in Mostar. So in

18 parallel, the city was being emptied of Muslims and filled with Croats

19 from other areas, if I can put it that way, and that was all part of the

20 plan that I think we will address next.

21 This document is a demarche of sorts, and those who had -- this

22 was to also warn that this deportation of Bosniaks was not going to be

23 ignored.

24 Q. All right. And just to move on, finally question on this

25 document, then: The point of it, as you said, is that by contrast, Croat

Page 4014

1 refugees who were coming to Mostar during this time were not being forced

2 out of Mostar; is that correct?

3 A. No, that is correct.

4 Q. Now, let's move on. We are not looking at those documents now,

5 but this Mr. Gagro, who had been the elected Croat head of the Crisis

6 Staff, did he continue for some time to make efforts to hold the Crisis

7 Staff, if you will, together as the legitimate government body?

8 A. For about a month. Since that -- the beginning -- since the 29th

9 of April until the end of May. After that, his role was reduced to nil,

10 and he resigned.

11 Q. Who reduced his role to nil?

12 A. The Croat Defence Council.

13 Q. When the -- can you answer this question: When the HVO or the HDZ

14 took power in Mostar, did they work through the existing government

15 institutions of the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina, or did they

16 establish separate institutions?

17 A. They established separate institutions, so that we had separate

18 police, all the institutions, completely separated.

19 Q. Mr. Boban, the Chamber I'm sure knows by now, was the president of

20 Herceg-Bosna. Can you tell the Chamber, was there ever a democratic

21 election where the Bosniaks voted for Mr. Boban as the president of

22 Herceg-Bosna?

23 A. No, never. And just as over there, that is, they had made a

24 Putsch, a coup d'etat, in the authorities in Mostar, and that is their

25 problem, which, however, was our concern, within the entity of

Page 4015

1 Bosnia-Herzegovina, they did the same thing, removed the lawful elected

2 Mr. Kljuic; after that, Mr. Brkic; until they eventually elected the

3 individual who was to carry out the plan agreed in Graz.

4 Q. Mr. Smajkic, I'm going to cut you off a bit there so we can go

5 forward.

6 MR. SCOTT: Mr. President, I'm going to follow your direction at

7 this point and ask some leading questions, and, again, I'll be in the

8 Chamber's hands as to counsel's position on this.

9 Q. Is it correct, sir, that during this time, and as a result of the

10 HVO takeover in Mostar, the post office in Mostar was renamed the

11 "Croatian Post Office"? I'm not looking at documents now, sir. If you

12 could just answer my question.

13 A. The post office wasn't the only one. Every single institution in

14 the town was given the prefix of "Croatia." We had the Croat water

15 supply. We had the Croat post office. Every enterprise, every company,

16 had the word "Croat."

17 Q. Can you tell the Chamber what happened in terms of the public

18 schools in Mostar, in terms of the curriculum and language in the

19 schools?

20 A. In schools, likewise, they immediately began to implement the

21 Croatian curriculum. The university was renamed. It was -- used to be

22 called Dzemal Bijedic, and it was renamed the Croat University in Mostar.

23 The new steering board was elected with Croat membership, or

24 rather, one or two Bosniaks whom they perceived as loyal to them.

25 And you have a document here that the Croat language -- Croatian

Page 4016

1 language was introduced into schools, which we refused. In other words, a

2 complete supremacy of Croats took place, and the Bosniaks were pushed to

3 the margins, or rather, none of their cultural, religious, or any other

4 rights were recognised any more.

5 Q. Before we come to the next document, let me ask you this: Did you

6 ever have meetings or conversations with Mr. Topic and another HVO leader

7 named Jadranko Prlic, P-r-l-i-c, about the issue of language and the

8 schools, and if so, just briefly tell the Chamber about that?

9 A. I shall be very brief. In the beginning of 1993, that is, during

10 the mid-term recess, mid-term holidays, we had a meeting with Mr. Prlic

11 and a team of his. They came to the then offices of the SDA in order to

12 discuss the issue of the language in school, that is, the name of the

13 language, because both the school IDs and the certificates already said

14 that our children were learning the Croatian language. And our teachers

15 boycotted the instruction and were refusing to come back to school for the

16 second term of the 1992-93 school year. They went on strike, and children

17 too refused to go to school.

18 So Prlic came then to discuss the matter. They asked me to be

19 present there -- I mean the Bosniaks asked me to be present there, simply

20 because they wanted -- they trusted me fully because some other SDA

21 politicians -- because they had lost trust in some other SDA politicians

22 who had participated in negotiations before that, as they were constantly

23 making concessions to the Croats. On that occasion, Mr. Prlic denied the

24 existence of the Bosniak language.

25 Q. All right. I didn't mean to interrupt you, but I thought perhaps

Page 4017

1 you were going on on some things more than we needed. But at the end of

2 your answer just now you said as a result of this meeting or at the

3 meeting, Mr. Prlic denied the existence of the Bosnian language. Is that

4 correct?

5 A. It is, yes.

6 Q. And I think Mr. Prlic -- I'm sorry, I think Mr. Prlic may be a

7 name that the Chamber has not heard so much about. Can you describe to

8 the Chamber who Jadranko Prlic was?

9 A. He was the Prime Minister of the Croat Community of Herceg-Bosna,

10 the highest executive in the government, one of the most influential

11 people in the Croat Democratic Union.

12 Q. Now, let's move ahead to the exhibit -- the next document in your

13 packet, Exhibit Z -- I'm sorry, it was an old habit. Not Z. P168.1. Can

14 you tell the Chamber what that is, please, first of all?

15 A. You mean this addressed to the Croat Democratic Union? I can't

16 find the numbers that you're referring to.

17 Q. My apologies. It should be the one right before that. There is

18 something that looks like a report card, if I can call it that.

19 A. Yes, yes, yes, that's right.

20 Q. Can you tell the Chamber what that is?

21 A. Well, this is the document that I mentioned where one can see very

22 clearly this is a school year 1991-92, and a lad, a Bosniak, attending an

23 electrical school, and you can see here the subjects in which he received

24 instruction, and the first subject here is Croatian language. And you can

25 also see that there is -- that the background of this is the -- this seal,

Page 4018

1 that is. The chequer-board, the Croatian one, you can see it very well

2 here. This is the --

3 Q. Sorry, let me just break up your answers in little smaller pieces,

4 if we can; sometimes I think it's easier for everyone in the courtroom.

5 You just now referred to a symbol or a sign, and I want to give everyone a

6 chance to see that. Looking -- are you talking about on the middle of the

7 page, a document --

8 A. That's right.

9 Q. [Previous translation continues] ... behind, if you will, the text

10 that's on, if you would, the stationery? Is that what you're referring

11 to? The checkerboard?

12 A. Yes, yes, that's correct.

13 Q. That's a Croatian symbol?

14 A. Croatian symbol, yes.

15 Q. On the top of this page the words -- and I won't try to say it --,

16 well, Hrvatska Herceg-Bosna -- that is, the Croatian Community --

17 A. That's correct.

18 Q. And does it say anything -- you can tell by the name of this

19 person, can you, that this is a Muslim student or Bosniak student?

20 A. Yes. And I know that -- I know him personally. I know the

21 family.

22 Q. Now, is there anywhere on the report card, if you will, that's

23 indicated he was studying or graded on the Bosnian language?

24 A. No.

25 Q. All right. Just so the record is clear for the Chamber, when you

Page 4019

1 say the Croatian language is referenced, that is the first item in the

2 box, Hrvatska?

3 A. That's right.

4 Q. Very well.

5 A. And if I may add, this document was printed in Grude. As you can

6 see, this is early 1992.

7 Q. All right. You're referring to the stationery information on the

8 lower left corner? All right. Very well.

9 A. That's right yes; that is, the document was prepared in the early

10 days of '92; that is, since the Croat community was set up in

11 November '91. So evidently they were keeping pace with the organisation

12 of this para-State and documents were being prepared to confirm that.

13 Q. You see the date here down in that lower left corner, it looks to

14 be "1/92," which I suppose we would take as January '92.

15 A. That's right.

16 Q. I think the Chamber can draw its own conclusions about the

17 sequence of events on that.

18 Mr. Smajkic, I want to move on in the interests of time, please.

19 I think you have touched on a wide range of topics. Of course, the

20 Chamber can follow with its own questions.

21 Let me jump to the topic of the Muslim members or the Bosniak

22 members of the HVO during this time. Can you tell the Chamber, or, again,

23 if counsel will allow, is it true that the Bosniak community proposed and,

24 in fact, designed a common insignia, a patch or an insignia, that would be

25 worn by both Croatian and Bosniak soldiers that would be neutral and a

Page 4020

1 common insignia to each of them? Did that happen?

2 A. Oh, yes, I know about it very well. Because I saw personally the

3 proposals and the designs. But only the Bosniak side was ready to have on

4 one -- to have -- to include in one emblem, either on the sleeve or

5 wherever, to have it with both the symbol of the lily and the symbol of

6 the HVO. However, the military of the HVO -- rather, the Croat component

7 never agreed to that. And this continued to be a bone of contention

8 throughout.

9 Q. All right. So the record is clear, there was a patch, in fact,

10 that was designed and made, manufactured, of a lily, which is typically a

11 symbol of the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina. And when you say the

12 HVO symbol, are you referring to, for instance, a chequer-board pattern?

13 A. That's right.

14 Q. And there was a patch, an actual patch, that had both symbols on

15 it? Is that what you're telling us?

16 A. Yes, that's right.

17 Q. Did you ever see Muslim soldiers actually wearing that patch?

18 A. I did, yes. When those emblems were promoted, yes, quite a number

19 of people began to wear them, and they did so for a while. However, the

20 Croat side did not agree to that, and so it came to an end.

21 Q. All right. If we can go on to the next document. I'm going to,

22 again, skip over a number of items. Exhibit P173.1, which, again, should

23 be the next one in your bundle, would you just look at that document for a

24 moment and tell us, are you familiar with that document?

25 A. And the date of the document is?

Page 4021

1 Q. 14th of September, 1992.

2 MR. SCOTT: Mr. President, I will tell the Chamber that after this

3 document, there's only one other document in 1992.

4 Q. You are familiar with this?

5 A. Yes, I am. Yes.

6 Q. And is this another in these continuing series of communications

7 from the Bosniak community, if I can say, stating various grievances that

8 the community held at that time?

9 A. Quite. In one passage, it says to remove and overcome a series of

10 systemic errors committed by the HVO regarding the relations between the

11 Croats and the Bosniaks. But you have the document before you. I do not

12 really want to comment on it.

13 In this document, you can see a whole string of facts. However,

14 the significance rests with the fact this was signed by the president of

15 the regional board of the SDA, Ismet Hadziosmanovic, because he was one of

16 the Bosniaks whom the Croat side recognised. If he signed this document,

17 he confirms all the other documents in which he also participated; that

18 is, it corroborates all the statements about the degradation, the

19 humiliation of the Bosniak component, both the civilian and the military

20 one, in the -- in all the earlier joint efforts to defend the country.

21 There is one item, if you like - it is very important - that the

22 HVO prohibited the work of Radio Mostar and called it, as we have already

23 said, a Croat station. It became the Croat Radio Mostar, with a Croat

24 staff, and they were to inform the public and channel the -- streamline

25 the information of the public in the direction they preferred.

Page 4022

1 Q. Mr. Smajkic, let me just ask you two questions before concluding

2 with this document: Just to tie this into your testimony just a few

3 moments ago, if I can ask you to look -- unfortunately, there aren't

4 paragraph headings on this, so it's a bit more difficult. But about

5 halfway through the document -- probably less than halfway. It would

6 be -- I'm sorry, number 2. Forgive me. If I can direct you to paragraph

7 numbered 2 out of approximately -- looks like there's 15 altogether.

8 If you look at number 2, is that again, a reference to the efforts

9 by the Bosniak community to have a common insignia that you were telling

10 us about a moment ago?

11 A. Yes. Yes, one of these items refers to that.

12 Q. In reference to paragraph number 6, what was happening to the

13 property of Bosniak refugees when they were being sent on to the Republic

14 of Croatia or elsewhere? What happened to their property?

15 A. In Grude, all the property, notably cars and valuables which the

16 Bosniak refugees had, was seized. Moreover, the humanitarian aid arriving

17 through that territory did not reach any Bosniak destination.

18 Q. Did any fundamental changes come about as a result of this letter

19 by Mr. Hadziosmanovic? That is, were any of these grievances addressed to

20 the satisfaction of the Bosniak community?

21 A. Nothing changed at all.

22 Q. Forgive me for asking one question that I missed, because it

23 directly relates to, of course, your role. In paragraph 15, it talks

24 about the restriction on the movement of clerics. Can you tell us what

25 was happening in that regard at that time?

Page 4023

1 A. The HVO police, when they manned all the checkpoints and

2 controlled all the entrances and exits from the town, refused to allow

3 anyone to exit the city without proper authorization. And at that time,

4 we still had those territories in the municipalities of Capljina and

5 Stolac outside of Mostar where we had to go for funerals, for some

6 religious activities. So our Imans had to go there and come back, and

7 they could not get passes.

8 So we asked -- we told Mr. Hadziosmanovic, our political

9 representative, about this. He knew that. I had forgotten about it

10 because there are a number of things here. He included that in his

11 document, because we wanted him to resolve it with the HDZ and HVO to

12 avoid further complications, because they were happening time and time

13 again.

14 Q. All right, let me ask you to turn next to Exhibit P190. Again, it

15 should be the next document. I think only about two questions. Well,

16 other than the fact, do you recognise this document?

17 A. I do.

18 Q. In fact, is it addressed to you on the first page, to Mufti Seid

19 Smajkic, personally?

20 A. It is. It is, yes.

21 Q. And do you recall - and if so, can you describe to the Chamber -

22 the circumstances in which Mr. Jadranko -- or Jadran Topic sent this

23 letter to you on the 11th of November, 1992?

24 A. I asked Mr. Topic, as the representative of the authority at that

25 time, to find some office space for me, because at that time, I worked in

Page 4024

1 the west part of the town of Mostar in very simple offices -- rather, in

2 student's hostel, which accommodated refugees from Nevesinje, Podvelezje,

3 and some other places. And he didn't really heed much to this request

4 that I had made, but he, nevertheless, did his best to find excellent

5 accommodation for my colleague, Bishop Peric.

6 Q. If I can stop you there for this purpose: Directing your

7 attention to the second paragraph of Mr. Topic's letter, did that

8 accurately summarise essentially the HVO position at that time?

9 A. Mr. Topic accorded the building of the great men of Bosnia and the

10 mayor of Mostar, Mujaga Komadinar, and allotted it to the bishop. I

11 objected, and I call that decision whereby he allotted that area, that

12 building, to the bishop, I said that it was an unlawful decision because

13 he did not represent the lawful authority of Bosnia-Herzegovina. Had he

14 been my mayor -- if he were my mayor, too, he would also take to

15 accommodate me properly. And this letter and this threat ensued then and

16 that I was meddling in politics and I should steer clear of that and mind

17 my own business.

18 Q. I appreciate that answer. Let me go back so the record is clear

19 specifically on the question of paragraph 2, starting the words "The

20 Croatian Defence Council ..." Given what you've told us today, does that

21 paragraph summarise the position of the HVO at that time?

22 A. Yes, true.

23 Q. And directing your attention to several paragraphs below that,

24 where the paragraph starts with the words "We are sorry to see ..." and

25 going to the end of that paragraph, is that what you are referring to just

Page 4025

1 now when you say that essentially Mr. Topic said -- well, to use the

2 vernacular -- "butt out"?

3 A. Yes, that is the episode that I refer to. I considered the

4 decision unlawful, and I sent a letter of protest saying that I was very

5 happy that he had found where to accommodate the bishop. But he told me

6 personally "I cannot sleep" -- these are his words. "I cannot sleep

7 because my bishop is arriving tomorrow." And I said, I went when the

8 bishop was ordained. I was present at his inauguration, and he should get

9 his premises, but I should get them, too. And then he told me, well, that

10 depends on you, which I suppose meant that I should be cooperative, that I

11 should be humble, and renounce the interests of the Bosniak people and so

12 on and so forth.

13 Q. Let's continue on, please.

14 Mr. Smajkic, I'm only going to ask you this question just to

15 remind the Chamber of another event during this period of time: Was it

16 during late 1992 approximately that, among other things, a man name Zihad

17 Demirovic was made the regional president of the SDA in place of

18 Mr. Hadziosmanovic?

19 A. Yes, Zijad, which is Z-i-j-a-d.

20 Q. My mistake. Forgive me.

21 A. He became the president of the regional SDA for Herzegovina.

22 Q. Let's move forward to January 1993. Can you tell the Chamber,

23 were certain ultimatums stated by the HVO in January 1993, and if so,

24 please tell the Chamber what those ultimatums were.

25 A. There were constantly some ultimatums. But in a nutshell, we

Page 4026

1 had -- I should say the Bosniak people, and the Bosniak population of

2 Bosnia and Herzegovina, and the army of Bosnia-Herzegovina were given a

3 deadline of the 20th of January to place themselves under the command of

4 Croatian Defence Council; otherwise, they would be disarmed and driven out

5 to the territories that they considered to be Bosniak in Bosnia and

6 Herzegovina.

7 Q. All right. And Mr. Smajkic, I'm going to attempt to do this quite

8 quickly, if you'll work with me on this. I want you to look at Exhibits

9 P214 and P215 next in your bundle.

10 MR. SCOTT: Mr. President, for the record, the first is a decision

11 by Jadranko Prlic dated the 15th of January, 1993. The second document is

12 an order by the Herceg-Bosna Minister of Defence, Bruno Stojic, also dated

13 the 15th of January, 1993.

14 Q. Mr. Smajkic, what I want to do is ask you, if you look at those

15 documents briefly, those two, of course in the B/C/S version, does what is

16 stated in those documents comport with what you knew was happening on the

17 ground in mid-January 1993?

18 A. I did not review these documents, but there was great anxiety on

19 the part of Bosniaks during that period. They asked us that we express a

20 common will in a meeting, in a joint meeting, because it was -- for us, it

21 was a matter of survival at that point, and it was seen that the HVO might

22 make good on their threats. This is why we assembled and drafted certain

23 documents and sent them out to all the relevant parties so that these

24 threats would be dealt with, because we could sense that the situation was

25 verging on being out of control, escalating, and this is why I say I did

Page 4027

1 not see these documents.

2 But the persons who were in politics and who were in the units of

3 the BH army corps had such information, and we drafted a document -- I

4 think it was on the 17th of January. There was -- that was a period of

5 general tension, and our efforts were channelled towards trying to prevent

6 the escalation of this conflict.

7 Q. All right. Let me, just to point your attention to a couple of

8 things before going on to your documents. On P214, which is the decision

9 by Jadranko Prlic, paragraph number 5 says the decision shall be

10 implemented in five days starting from today, 15 of January, 1993. Just

11 keep that in mind, if you will, for a moment.

12 If you go to Mr. Stojic's order of the same date, paragraph

13 number 7, that says, the deadline for carrying out this order is 1900

14 hours on the 20th of January, 1993. So my question to you is: Did the

15 Bosniak community or the leadership at that time know that, essentially,

16 the ultimatum was that if certain things didn't happen by the 20th of

17 January, some action would follow?

18 A. That is why we had gathered. This was simply the reason for us

19 getting together, so that we could prepare the document which followed.

20 The Bosniaks indeed believed that our partners, so far that is, were very

21 serious in their intentions and that they simply wanted to drive out the

22 forces who would not fight or subordinate themselves to them, even though

23 these young men of ours were born there and their identity and their

24 existence was being put in question. And because of these threats, we

25 gathered at a great assembly and we took all this very seriously.

Page 4028

1 Q. All right. Before going to those documents, you said just now in

2 your answer -- you said "our partners," and perhaps everyone in the

3 courtroom can draw its conclusions at this point in the trial, but for the

4 record, when you say "our partners," who were you referring to there?

5 A. I was referring to the HVO, who formerly were partners in the

6 defence of Bosnia and Herzegovina.

7 Q. All right. Let me ask you to now look at Exhibits 218 and 219,

8 which are next in your bundle.

9 MR. SCOTT: Mr. President, the Chamber may recall these exhibits

10 from before, so I will not go into them at length here. I think this

11 witness has put them in further context by his testimony.

12 Q. Referring your attention first to P218, and this is the Charter of

13 the Muslims of Herzegovina. Were you one of the persons who signed this

14 document, sir, along with Mr. Demirovic and others?

15 A. Yes.

16 Q. And directing your attention to the Proclamation by the Muslims of

17 Herzegovina, which is P219, did you also sign that proclamation?

18 A. Yes, I did.

19 Q. Now, I think -- well, first of all, are these the documents that

20 you were telling us about a few moments ago that were prepared by the

21 Bosniak leadership in response to the ultimatums issued by Mr. Prlic and

22 Mr. Stojic?

23 A. Correct.

24 Q. I think only one question concerning P218: Directing your

25 attention to paragraph numbered 3, how was what you were stating here

Page 4029

1 different than what you saw happening with the HVO?

2 A. I did not understand. What item are you referring to at this

3 point?

4 Q. Paragraph number 3, which starts with the words "We are

5 unwaveringly committed" -- this is 218.

6 A. Right, right.

7 Q. So in contrast to what the Bosniak leadership is communicating

8 here, can you tell the Chamber what you saw in fact happening with the HVO

9 at that time?

10 A. I can explain it like this: Some proposals which were on the

11 table, they wanted to pre-empt. They wanted to present them as foregone

12 conclusions. They envisaged some provinces where they were -- where the

13 Croats were in the majority and they wanted to make them exclusively

14 Croatian provinces, and that is how they wanted to make arrangements.

15 These -- there were a number of such proposals from the start of the

16 aggression against Bosnia and Herzegovina. We did not want to consider

17 them foregone conclusions, and we believed that first the war was to be

18 concluded and then that these arrangements should be made.

19 MR. SCOTT: Mr. President, I'm going to suggest -- these

20 documents, I think, are quite rich, but I'll leave it to the Chamber's own

21 questions, if they have any, to follow up in more detail.

22 Q. What happened when the 20th of January, 1993 came? What happened

23 in Bosnia?

24 A. Nothing happened except that tensions continued. The escalation

25 was drawn out until the 9th of May, when the Croatian side conducted an

Page 4030

1 offensive against the Bosniak people. In other words, things were just

2 put off. I think that it must have been political influences and/or

3 political events which put things off for later. It is possible that

4 Croats had expected that we wouldn't --

5 MR. MEEK: Mr. President, Your Honours, I object to the answer at

6 this point. This witness has answered this question. Now he is

7 speculating, and this is improper for this witness. Thank you.

8 MR. SCOTT: Mr. President, I'll ask a follow-up question which --

9 frankly, all the witness has done is anticipate my next question, but I'll

10 be happy to ask it.

11 JUDGE LIU: Well, Witness, we are happy with your first part of

12 the answer. I think that's the answer of the question. Then the

13 Prosecutor, if he has any doubts, he will continue his question and you

14 just follow that pattern. Thank you.


16 Q. Mr. Smajkic, in reference to the documents, the Charter of the

17 Muslims and the Proclamation of the Muslims, both dated the 17th of

18 January, 1993, did your community receive any satisfactory response or did

19 conditions improve for the Bosniak community following those

20 communications?

21 A. There were no improvements, absolutely none, and no response was

22 given -- was received.

23 Q. Do you recall, sir, that in fact after the 20th of January, 1993,

24 in fact, violent confrontations did break out in such places as Gornji

25 Vakuf, Busovaca, and other places between the Muslims and Bosniak

Page 4031

1 community when the deadline passed?

2 A. It is correct that I'm familiar with it, but my focus was really

3 on the territory of Herzegovina. So in my mind, I simply did not focus on

4 that area. But in this fall of 1992, there was a terrible conflict in

5 Herzegovina, an unnecessary conflict in Prozor, where the Croatian forces

6 carried out an actual massacre against the Bosniak side. This was as

7 early as fall 1992.

8 MR. MEEK: Your Honour, I apologise, but I must object again.

9 It's the same objection. My learned colleague asked the question of what

10 happened after January 20, 1993, and this witness now is talking about

11 fall of 1992. It's improper, and it does -- it's non-responsive. I

12 object.

13 JUDGE LIU: Well, Witness, you know the objections from the

14 Defence counsel. Yes, please.

15 MR. MEEK: Further, Your Honour, please the Court, this last

16 answer, we would respectfully request it be stricken. Prozor. These

17 locations are not included within the context of our indictment

18 whatsoever. Shouldn't be in the record. We ask it be stricken.

19 JUDGE LIU: Well, Mr. Meek, there should be very strict rules for

20 those parts in the transcript being stricken. The Trial Chamber will make

21 the proper judgement when we evaluate all this evidence. We will bear in

22 mind your objections at this point. Thank you.

23 Mr. Scott, would you please proceed?

24 MR. SCOTT: Yes, Your Honour. Yes, Your Honour.

25 Q. Let me just ask you briefly to tell us about an incident -- so

Page 4032

1 your secretary -- was the car of your secretary seized by an HVO officer

2 in April 1993?

3 A. Yes, it was, by Mr. Misic, commander of the 4th Battalion.

4 Q. All right. And let me, if I'm allowed, Mr. Smajkic, let me just

5 ask some very specific questions about this, just to take this quite

6 briefly. Your secretary was a man named Ihsan Mutevelic,

7 M-u-t-e-v-e-l-i-c; is that correct?

8 A. Yes, that is correct.

9 Q. Is it correct that when this gentleman went to protest the taking

10 of his -- seizure of his car, that this HVO officer, Misic, put his

11 pistol --

12 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. Meek?

13 MR. MEEK: Well, please the Court, Your Honours, I have let this

14 go all morning on background information, but this is very leading, it is

15 very suggestive. If Mr. Scott wishes to testify, we should put him under

16 oath and let him answer these questions. I strongly object to these type

17 leading and suggestive questions.

18 MR. SCOTT: Mr. President, I've said all morning I'm happy to do

19 it either way, and I'll ask the questions differently, if there is

20 objection.

21 JUDGE LIU: Yes, yes. Please ask the questions in a different way

22 because we come to the crucial point.

23 MR. SCOTT: All right, Your Honour. I thought the testimony might

24 move a bit quicker, if I did it that way, but I won't.

25 Q. What happened? What did Mr. Misic do to your secretary?

Page 4033

1 A. When he went to protest with the commander of this battalion and

2 ask of him to have his car brought back to him, he showed the documents

3 pertaining to his being the secretary of the Mufti's office, and commander

4 Misic placed a pistol in his mouth and abused him in a most aggressive

5 way. He then --

6 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. Meek? Any objections?

7 MR. MEEK: No objections, Your Honour. I don't know whether it's

8 the English -- it's my headphone, but my headphone is cutting in and out

9 real bad, all of a sudden, in the English, channel 4. The other ones, I

10 notice, are not.

11 JUDGE LIU: It seems to me that my headphone is all right.

12 MR. MEEK: Mine is not, but I'll wait and see if it works. It

13 keeps cutting in and out.

14 JUDGE LIU: Well, we'll have Madam Registrar check it. I am not

15 expecting any technical problems. Is that okay?

16 MR. MEEK: I can hear now, yes. It's better.

17 JUDGE LIU: I'm sorry, Witness, to interrupt you. Will you please

18 continue?

19 A. Mr. Misic abused my secretary in the worst way by placing a pistol

20 in his mouth. He said that if he wanted the car brought back, that I

21 should show up and talk to him directly. Of course, I didn't go, but he

22 sent two policemen to my office to bring me to him. I found a way to

23 avoid going there, and I eventually did not go, but the car stayed there.

24 It was confiscated.


Page 4034

1 Q. Just moving on, then, can you tell the Chamber anything about

2 during the spring -- before May 9th -- just so we don't get ahead of

3 ourselves, prior to the 9th of May, were any Bosniak intellectuals

4 arrested in the Herzegovina area?

5 A. That was almost like a pogrom. Intellectuals from the Capljina

6 and Stolac area were all rounded up through the months of February, March,

7 April. All prominent Bosniak men were followed at that time and during

8 that period, taken to be questioned by the police and curbed their

9 activities.

10 Q. And who was it that curbed their activities?

11 A. The HVO authority at the time.

12 Q. And can you tell the Chamber approximately how many Bosniak

13 intellectuals were treated in this way or detained during that time?

14 A. I know, because I was given information. I think that about 100

15 of these intellectuals from Stolac and Capljina, and educated men. These

16 included physicians, engineers, lawyers. And they were mistreated in all

17 kinds of ways.

18 Q. All right. Let's move forward. Now, did you know or did -- did

19 you become aware that in April, perhaps the end of March or early April,

20 1993, was there another round, if you will, of demands or ultimatum by the

21 HVO leadership?

22 A. I know. I did not see these documents, but I know that it came to

23 our leadership in Bosnia and Herzegovina. I don't have that document, but

24 I know that Mr. Izetbegovic and the military leadership received it from

25 Mate Boban, the chief of the Croatian Defence Council. We were informed

Page 4035

1 of it at that time, and we lived with it -- with anxiety. There were

2 sniping incidents. There were arrests, beatings, detentions. And that

3 unfortunate day was anticipated.

4 Q. All right. Before you go on, just so the record is clear, when

5 you say Mr. Izetbegovic, is that the president of the Republic of Bosnia

6 and Herzegovina?

7 A. Yes.

8 Q. All right. And I want you to look next at the next three items.

9 I'll give you the exhibit number in just a moment.

10 MR. SCOTT: Mr. President, I'm referring now to Exhibit P288,

11 P274, this is one of those instances where they are numerically out of

12 order, but it's 288, 274 and 277. Perhaps in the interests of time, only

13 277, which is the third of those documents, is -- has attached a

14 Serbo-Croatian language version.

15 Q. So Mr. Smajkic, let me direct your attention to the Serbo-Croatian

16 part of Exhibit 277. There is a box on that, appears to be a newspaper or

17 a magazine article, and if you can just look at that portion, the title of

18 that article -- and I won't attempt to read this, but it seems to

19 indicate, "HVO, the ultimatum." I only say that to give you a point of

20 reference. If you look at that - and perhaps the Chamber can look at the

21 English translation obviously preceding that - can you just look at that

22 and tell us is that what you're talking about in the last few minutes that

23 you understood there had been another ultimatum?

24 A. That is exactly right. I did not see this, but that is the

25 ultimatum that it refers to because it coincides with what was going on on

Page 4036

1 the ground at that time, and I had some information, we were cut off from

2 Sarajevo, but at that point we were seeking contact with Mr. Izetbegovic

3 to figure out a way how to respond.

4 MR. SCOTT: Referring the Chamber's attention to paragraph --

5 excuse me, Exhibit P288. I'll just read this particular sentence to the

6 witness in English. It will have to be translated obviously for him, but

7 to put a question to him.

8 Q. I'm looking on 288, Mr. Smajkic, to what would be the fifth

9 paragraph, starting after the heading, the dateline, "Banja Luka, April

10 10th," the fifth paragraph: "Both Croats and Muslims, however, expect

11 that the real conflict is yet to come after April 15th, the deadline set

12 by Bosnian Croat leader Mate Boban for the withdrawal of all Muslim units

13 from the so-called Croat provinces of the Vance-Owen Plan." And again, is

14 that description of the events as they stood at that time consistent with

15 your recollection of what you saw and heard?

16 MR. SERIC: [Interpretation] Mr. President, Your Honours.

17 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. Seric.

18 MR. SERIC: [Interpretation] I object to this question because the

19 witness had already stated that he never -- he had never seen this

20 document. He is asked to come to make a comment on this newspaper

21 report.

22 JUDGE LIU: Yes. I agree with the Defence counsel.

23 MR. SCOTT: Mr. President, I asked him to comment on the facts,

24 not on the article itself. I suppose if I offered this document --

25 JUDGE LIU: Maybe you could rephrase your question, because the

Page 4037

1 question you asked, in a way, gives some speculation of this issue.

2 MR. SCOTT: All right. I'll rephrase it, Your Honour.

3 Q. Mr. Smajkic, do you recall yourself and the Bosniak leadership in

4 the Mostar region at that time being aware there was something about a

5 deadline about the 15th of April, and the expectation that things would

6 become worse after that time, if you know. If you don't know, you don't

7 know. If you do know, please assist us.

8 A. I know that we had contacts. We had just one cell phone at the

9 time, and it was very difficult to communicate with Sarajevo. But I know

10 that the tensions were pointing in that direction. And on the ground,

11 there were already incidents such as mistreatment and sniping incidents

12 which ended up in casualties, people being detained. I did not know the

13 exact date, but that was a period which led to -- to full escalation, and

14 we were trying to stop it. I, on my side, wanted to contribute to that,

15 so I went and had a meeting with Bishop Peric and asked him to work on

16 calming down things on his side. And it's in one of my documents, I

17 think.

18 Q. Yes.

19 MR. SCOTT: Mr. President, I look at the clock. But if the Court

20 would indulge us about maybe one or two minutes, we can finish, I think,

21 on this point, and we can start on a new point after lunch. But he just

22 went to this meeting with the Bishop Peric, and I would just like him to

23 finish that, if he could.

24 Q. All right. You went to a meeting with the Catholic Bishop Peric.

25 And did anyone else go with you?

Page 4038

1 A. Yes, the other person who went was my secretary, and Mr. Demirovic

2 also went.

3 Q. What happened at the meeting? Why did you go to him?

4 A. I did not see this document, but this is something the other

5 document reflects. We had seen certain machine-guns being set up and

6 positions being taken along the Bulevar that bisects the city, the two

7 parts. And I went to the bishop and I said, "Why don't we put on our own

8 uniforms, and why don't we just knock over those sandbags which had

9 already been placed there, so that we give an example to people so that

10 they could see how they should live and to prevent shooting." Because

11 everything pointed to the fact that this moment was approaching.

12 Q. When you say put on your uniforms, were you suggesting to the

13 bishop that the two of you each put on your respective clerical clothing

14 and go and tear down the sandbags as, essentially, a symbolic act? Is

15 that what you're telling us?

16 A. Exactly.

17 Q. What was Bishop Peric's response to your proposal?

18 A. Bishop Peric said that he could not do it, that this was a

19 military and political matter, and he could do nothing in that regard. We

20 were not happy with that answer so we went to the provincial of

21 Herzegovina, Mr. Tole [phoen], the same group. And we also invited some

22 people from that neighbourhood, Podhum, who personally knew some of these

23 religious personnel there. We said that this was inevitably leading to

24 conflict and that the church should do something in regard of that

25 proposal which I had given to Bishop Peric. And, unfortunately, we

Page 4039

1 received the same answer as from Bishop Peric, that we should not meddle

2 in this, this is not our matter, a matter for us. We are a people of

3 faith and so on.

4 MR. SCOTT: Mr. President, we can end there, please. Thank you

5 for the extra minute.

6 JUDGE LIU: This Trial Chamber was just informed by the Detention

7 Unit that Mr. Naletilic will not be able to be present this afternoon. He

8 is going to be seen by a physician.

9 So Mr. Krsnik, we would like to ask your opinion concerning

10 sitting this afternoon.

11 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I am a little worried.

12 My request was to go myself to the Detention Unit. I have been with my

13 client for years now. I know what his health condition is. I know all

14 the treatments that he has undergone. I am worried because he has not

15 come back, and I know how much he desires to be present during the

16 hearing.

17 When I talked to him last time, he had no feeling in the whole

18 left side. He had no grip in his left hand. So it could be potentially

19 very serious. Of course, I'm not a physician. I cannot give any

20 opinions. My intention was to go there. Of course, I would say I would

21 like to go on, but this is an extraordinary situation. This just took

22 place about half an hour ago.

23 With your permission, Your Honour, I don't think that we will be

24 able to finish this witness today, as far as I can see. My learned

25 colleague still has some more examination-in-chief to conduct. And with

Page 4040

1 your permission, I would really like to go to the Detention Unit and check

2 on my client. And that is my reason for asking for -- or in the

3 alternative, I don't know. Perhaps maybe we can start at 3.00. Maybe

4 that will give me enough time to come back. But then I don't know. I'm

5 in your hands, really. But the fact is that we will have to deal with the

6 witness into tomorrow. But I'm in your hands, and I will abide by any

7 ruling.

8 JUDGE LIU: Thank you. This Trial Chamber realises that this

9 witness is an essential one to this case. We should have heard him at the

10 beginning of this trial. We also notice that in the past sittings,

11 Mr. Naletilic was actively participating in the proceedings by the

12 frequent communications with his counsel. Taking into consideration the

13 condition of Mr. Naletilic's health, as well as to the fairness -- for the

14 fairness to the accused and his Defence team, we have reached the

15 conclusion that we will not sit this afternoon so that to let Mr. Krsnik

16 to have enough time to go to the Detention Unit to see the condition of

17 Mr. Naletilic.

18 Thank you. We will adjourn until tomorrow morning.

19 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at

20 1.05 p.m., to be reconvened on

21 Thursday, the 18th day of October, 2001,

22 at 9.30 a.m.