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
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
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
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 --
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
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
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
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
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
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
1 for Mr. Krsnik to stand up and make that statement. He knows it not to be
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
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.
23 WITNESS: SEID SMAJKIC
24 [Witness answered through interpreter]
25 JUDGE LIU: Good morning, Witness.
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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.
20 MR. SCOTT:
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.
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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?
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
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
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.
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
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
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.
21 MR. SCOTT:
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
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
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
24 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. Seric?
25 MR. SERIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, Your Honours, I'm not
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
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?
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
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
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
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
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
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.
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
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
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
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
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
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
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
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
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.
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
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
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.
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
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.
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
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.
24 MR. SCOTT:
25 Q. My apology, Mr. Smajkic. I'll try to restate my question.
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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,
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
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
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
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
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?
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.
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?
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
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
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
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
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
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
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.
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
1 different than what you saw happening with the HVO?
2 A. I did not understand. What item are you referring to at this
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
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.
15 MR. SCOTT:
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
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
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
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
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
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?
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
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.
25 MR. SCOTT:
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
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
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
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
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
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
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?
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
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
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
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
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.