1 Friday, 26 October 2001
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 [The witness entered court]
5 --- Upon commencing at 9.30 a.m.
6 JUDGE LIU: Call the case, please, Madam Registrar.
7 THE REGISTRAR: Good morning, Your Honours. This is case number
8 IT-98-34-T, the Prosecutor versus Martinovic and Naletilic.
9 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. Scott?
10 WITNESS: MARKO PRELEC [Resumed]
11 Examination by Mr. Scott: [Continued]
12 MR. SCOTT: Thank you, Mr. President.
13 Q. Mr. Prelec, before turning to the documents themselves, or some of
14 the documents, two -- or one or two questions for you. I'm not suggesting
15 that the phrases I'm about to use are academic or terms of science, if you
16 will, but as part of your work with not only these documents but documents
17 in general, do you consider what might be called the internal consistency
18 of the documents and the external consistency of the documents, and if so,
19 can you explain that a bit?
20 A. Yes. Let me begin, if you don't mind, with the -- what you might
21 call the external consistency. This is what I think I was getting at
22 yesterday in one of the later answers. Basically, making an inquiry into
23 the external consistency of a document involves comparing it to other
24 available documentary evidence and trying to establish whether there are
25 any sorts of contradictions or, this probably isn't the right word but
1 corroborations, consistencies, between them, of format, registration,
2 style, more broadly content. So one often has, in an archive of this
3 scale and degree of detail, numerous documents that bear on the same or
4 related events. And one can see, you know, especially as the quantity of
5 material you look at becomes quite large, whether or not they hang
6 together, again to use a non-technical term.
7 The internal consistency is a little more elusive, but you
8 basically look at the document and see if there is -- again, to use a
9 non-technical term, anything fishy about it. There were a very, very
10 small number of documents that I saw that indicated that they had been
11 altered in one fashion or another, and really the only one that I can
12 recall was the subject of fairly extensive testimony in my earlier
13 appearance, which I understand has been circulated. It was a document
14 where the date had been changed.
15 Q. Sorry, just so the record is clear and so there is no confusion
16 about this, this was testimony that you gave in the Kordic case, and one
17 particular document came up about whether some information or a date had
18 been altered, but it's not one of the documents included in the Tuta-Stela
19 case, as far as you know; is that correct?
20 A. Yes, as far as I know.
21 Q. Go ahead, please. If there's anything more you want to add to
22 that part of your answer.
23 A. That's actually I think a good example in the initial version of
24 the document in question. Two things caught one's attention. That was
25 the absence of an order number in other documents which ordinarily had an
1 order number. I had seen dozens, if not more, documents from the same
2 author, all of which bore regular order numbers. And the second thing was
3 the document in question had what was typed or computer printed, and yet
4 the date was written in by hand.
5 I later found different versions from different sources, those
6 sources being from the archive itself. The original had been exhibited
7 from an unknown source in yet a third case. And those bore an order
8 number which did not match the date in question. And I was eventually
9 able to establish by consulting a log book what the correct date was. And
10 that was also borne out by the content and some other corroborating
12 Q. All right. Very well. All right. I think with that, let's turn
13 to some of the documents themselves.
14 MR. SCOTT: If the usher could assist me with having the binder
15 marked "Selected Zagreb Archive Documents" placed before the witness,
17 Mr. President, as I forecast yesterday afternoon, what I propose
18 to do now is to go through a sampling of these documents so the Chamber
19 can have an idea of what these documents look like, certainly not all of
20 them by any means. But to take you through a few of them so you can see
21 what type of documents are included in this collection. In looking at the
22 documents, the Chamber might also have questions for Mr. Prelec that he
23 can, perhaps, assist the Chamber on if that might be helpful.
24 Q. Mr. Prelec, if you could turn in your binder and I could direct
25 the courtroom's attention first to Exhibit 249, which, again, I'm
1 unfortunately not able to tab this many sets of documents. If you leaf
2 down until the lower right corner, most of the exhibit numbers will
3 appear. And if you find 249.
4 Again, just to keep -- to remind us of some of the things you said
5 yesterday, if you look at the original of that document, that is the B/C/S
6 version, do you see an archive stamp on that?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. And that's up in the upper right corner of the B/C/S version?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. Now, this is a report or an order from the HVO Minister of
11 Defence, Bruno Stojic. And I would like to just briefly direct your
12 attention to paragraphs numbered 1, 2, and 3. Could you just read those,
14 A. Would you prefer I read them in the original or in the English?
15 Q. For these purposes, Mr. Prelec, I think you can just read it in
16 the English language. This is primary just to highlight and assist the
18 A. I order, one, create a company as per establishment enclosed from
19 the members of Juka Prazina's units who have come back from Mount Igman.
20 Two, appoint Mr. Juka Prazina as the commander of the unit. Three, issue
21 HVO ID cards to all unit members.
22 Q. All right. And this is, again, dated the 16th of February, 1993.
23 And on the original version, you see such things as various stamps and
24 markings as having been apparently received or logged or that sort of
25 thing. Is that correct?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. Would you please turn next to Exhibit 301.1, which we used as an
3 example of the stamp yesterday. I'll just direct your attention to a
4 couple of things. Do you see that this is a report from Zeljko Siljeg
5 dated the 16th of April, 1993. And if I direct your attention to the
6 paragraph numbered 2, read just that paragraph.
7 A. "Establish a wire connection with facilities in Boksevica, Pisvir,
8 Sovicka Vrata and the command of the Mijat Tomic Battalion in the village
9 of Doljani."
10 Q. And would you please then turn to paragraph number 7 on the
11 following page and read that?
12 A. "Coordinating with Tuta is being done through the Posusje unit on
13 Sovicka Vrata."
14 Q. If I ask you to turn to Exhibit 314, this is a -- appears to be a
15 report from a battalion commander Stipe Pole, dated in Doljani on the 19th
16 of April, 1993, and could you just read the first paragraph, first two
17 paragraphs, please?
18 A. "The mopping-up operation in the village of Sovici is nearing its
19 end. Another three members of the BH army surrendered this morning and in
20 the evening we captured one other man above Doljani. Consequently the
21 number of prisoners" --
22 JUDGE LIU: Please hold on.
23 Yes, Mr. Meek.
24 MR. MEEK: Mr. President, Your Honours, I believe these documents
25 will eventually speak for themselves, so I object to the witness just
1 reading the paragraphs. They speak for themselves.
2 JUDGE LIU: Well, Mr. Scott, unless there is very important
3 matters, we could hear it, so you just may direct to the documents and the
4 pages, and we could read it ourselves.
5 MR. SCOTT: Very well, Your Honour, we can do that either way.
6 There is -- I can jump to another couple specific items where maybe the
7 witness could explain something specific. Again, I know there is a large
8 volume of documents and I just simply was trying to assist the Chamber,
9 give you a feel, kind of an introductory, if I can use that term, feel for
10 what the documents look like. But I understand -- counsel is, of course,
11 right: You can read the documents yourselves.
12 Q. With that in mind, Mr. Prelec, why don't we turn to a particular
13 item, 333.1, which is, I think, just the next document. And first off,
14 again, specifically, if you look at that document, can you tell us whether
15 that has an archive stamp?
16 A. Yes, it does.
17 MR. SCOTT: All right. Now, I'm going to ask, I think on this
18 one, if the usher could provide -- I don't know if it's possible to get an
19 extra copy -- well, we can use the witness's copy. If the witness could
20 also be provided Exhibit 56 at this time. Exhibit 56 could be placed on
21 the ELMO, please?
22 Q. Now, would you look at Exhibit 333.1 and compare it to what you
23 see on the overhead as 56, at least the translation of Exhibit 56?
24 Looking at those two documents, can you tell us whether the text of those
25 two documents are either identical or virtually identical?
1 A. They appear to be very similar. There are what I assume to be
2 changes of phrasing that originate from translation.
3 Q. All right. Would you look at the B/C/S version of Exhibit 333.1?
4 And perhaps that could be placed -- maybe probably the easiest thing to do
5 if I could suggest is to remove that from your notebook for a moment and
6 put that on the ELMO. Now, if everyone -- if I can just ask the courtroom
7 to focus its attention on that for a moment, and there again, we have the
8 archive stamp up in the right -- upper, right corner?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. All right. Now, could you also --
11 MR. SCOTT: Could the usher please keep that document at hand but
12 also put on, please, B/C/S version of Exhibit 56?
13 Q. Now, Mr. Prelec, we appear to have the same text, the same
14 document, the same content, if you will, in two different formats. One
15 has a letterhead and a signature and a seal on it, which is Exhibit 56,
16 and then the other has a different format, both purporting to come from
17 Marko Rosic on the same date, in reference to again the same content of
18 information. Can you provide any information to the Chamber about the --
19 these two different documents and how they might compare or what
20 information you can provide, based again on your experience working with
21 these documents?
22 A. Yes. Well, to begin with, they come from two different sources.
23 The one labelled Exhibit 333.1 comes from the archive, as you pointed out,
24 and this one, I believe, was submitted to the Office of the Prosecutor by
25 the government of Bosnia, or at any rate some source other than the
1 Croatian archive. The text is identical. The format is somewhat
2 different. I can't speak to the most precise reasons why that will be the
3 case, but I can say that, in my experience, I've seen many cases in which
4 the same text has appeared in different formats, and many of those cases
5 had in common with this one that one example would be, as the one
6 currently on the ELMO, is signed and sealed, and has a hand-written number
7 in a blank, and the other one is entirely machine-generated.
8 Q. Could we put the other one back on the ELMO, please. Now, let me
9 also ask you, when you look at the B/C/S original, Exhibit 333.1, are you
10 familiar with that format of document, and can you tell the Chamber what
11 that appears to be?
12 A. This appears to be a document transmitted through an electronic
13 system that is referred to as packet radio. I don't know exactly how this
14 works. It appears to be something analogous to e-mail in which the
15 characters are transmitted but not the actual image in the manner of a
16 fax. So you couldn't transmit packet radio documents -- documents I've
17 never seen transmit things like signatures or graphic depictions like
19 Q. All right. This might be considered something, as you said,
20 either like a field e-mail or a field fax. Is that a fair
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. And in fact, on the original B/C/S document of 333.1, down in the
24 lower left-hand corner of the page, if that can be moved up on the ELMO,
25 please, do you see anything on that page -- a bit more, I'm afraid.
1 MR. SCOTT: If you can show the information, Mr. Usher, on the
2 lower left corner somehow. There it is.
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. Can you see that, and does that indicate, in fact, some
5 transmission information?
6 A. Yes, it does. It indicates the abbreviation for main staff of the
7 HVO in the top. This is a communications centre stamp.
8 Q. All right.
9 A. And a date and a time and a number of other things.
10 Q. It may be easier for the courtroom to look -- going back to the
11 English version, where that same box of information is translated, this
12 would indicate that a telegram was received, what's called here a
13 telegram, on the 24th of April, 2300 hours, by radio connection.
14 Can you see that?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. And again, can you just confirm again for the Chamber, Mr. Prelec,
17 you've seen other instances like this where you might have a situation
18 where there is a field communication, then at some point, further
19 documented by what we might call a signed, hard copy?
20 A. Yes, many times.
21 MR. SCOTT: Mr. President, in light of the Court's direction, let
22 me flip through the documents. I'll try to be more selective in what I
23 bring to the Court's particular attention.
24 Q. Let me pause momentarily on Exhibit 457, if you can find that
25 one. This is a -- appears to be a communication, at least over the typed
1 name - I'm not suggesting for the moment whether that's Tuta's signature
2 or not - but at least over his name, dated the 15th of June, 1993, to
3 someone named Slobodan Bozic. Can you tell the Chamber, based on your
4 research -- inquiries in this area, do you know who Slobodan Bozic is and
5 the position he held on the 15th of June, 1993?
6 A. Yes, he was the deputy director of the Department of Defence of
7 the HVO.
8 Q. All right. And in terms of this request, again, over the author,
9 commander of the special unit Convicts Battalion, Mladen Naletilic, Tuta,
10 indicating we hereby request the approval for promotion to a higher rank
11 of the following Convicts Battalion members. Item number one is someone
12 named Zeljko Bosnjak. Correct?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. And I will leave to the Chamber's inspection the remainder of that
16 Could I ask you to go to Exhibit 505. Can you just briefly
17 indicate to the Chamber what that appears to be.
18 A. It's an order from Zlatan Mijo Jelic who signs as the commander of
19 the 1st Light Assault Battalion of the military police, but was also at
20 this time the commander of what was called the defence of Mostar sector of
21 the South-East Herzegovina operative zone concerning the anti-terrorist
22 group Mrmak ordering -- well, the text seems to imply it orders them to
23 take 30 detainees from the Heliodrom Central Military Prison, although the
24 content would seem to suggest that it's an order also to be taken by the
25 custodian of those persons.
1 Q. Yes, all right. Indicating that 30 -- on the 8th of July, 1993,
2 30 prisoners from the Heliodrom should be taken for the Mrmak ATG. Is
3 that correct?
4 A. Yes, indeed.
5 Q. All right. Let me ask you to --
6 A. Could I just make one observation about this?
7 Q. Of course.
8 A. I've seen a large number of these. What's curious about this
9 one -- or suggest that perhaps it appears to be a sort of form letter
10 allowing one to type in as needed day by day the information requested.
11 Q. All right. It appears to be that the HVO did, in fact -- if you
12 look at these and many documents like this which the Chamber can see, many
13 examples included in this bundle, there seem to, in fact, be an HVO form
14 for taking prisoners from the Heliodrom. Is that correct?
15 A. Exactly. That's the point I was trying to make. When I said
16 curious, I don't mean unusual. I mean simply worthy of note.
17 Q. If I can turn your attention to, in that regard, one other example
18 of that, in particular -- maybe there may be two more examples. If you go
19 to 591.1, and on this one --
20 MR. SCOTT: Mr. President, the English translation of that
21 document didn't get placed in the bundle. My apology. It was something
22 that was a translation that did not come in until after the bundles were
23 prepared. So if I can have the usher's assistance, please. This is the
24 English translation of that 591.1.
25 JUDGE LIU: We'll get the English translations?
1 MR. SCOTT: You're going to get it right now, Your Honour. There
2 may be a few others as well. But I hope one of them is coming to you
3 now. I just gave them to the usher. I gave them all to the usher.
4 I'm sorry. I apologise, Mr. President.
5 Q. In reference to 591.1, does that appear to be, again, a similar
6 document as the one we were just looking at, in fact, either the exact
7 same form or very similar form for a different day, 5th of September,
8 1993, to take prisoners -- that prisoners be taken from the Heliodrom?
9 A. Yes.
10 MR. SCOTT: Mr. President, sorry, we found that there were -- all
11 right. In a similar fashion, if I could ask the usher's assistance,
12 please, to hand out 597.1, and we have those here, again, English
13 translations of 597.1, Mr. President. Just to look at one more of these,
14 I think for obvious -- what will be obvious reasons, although I will
15 represent again to the Chamber that these -- it is not unique in this
17 Q. If you have 597.1, Mr. Prelec, can you see that this is -- can you
18 confirm whether that again appears to be the same form, this one for the
19 12th of September, 1993, indicating that 30 prisoners be taken from the
20 Heliodrom and placed in the personal responsibility of Mr. Vinko
21 Martinovic, Stela?
22 A. Yes. There are some insignificant changes in format, but yes,
23 it's basically the same form.
24 Q. By the way, all these forms -- do you see the sentence, "The
25 detainees are to be treated in accordance with the international
1 humanitarian law and the Geneva Conventions"?
2 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. Meek?
3 MR. MEEK: Mr. President, Your Honours, I believe this witness
4 came to this Trial Chamber to tell us how he received certain documents
5 from the Zagreb archives, the Croatian archives, the manner of his
6 receiving those documents, and the documents speak for themselves. I
7 strongly object to the Prosecutor going to just specific documents and
8 asking this witness to read what the documents say. I thought he was here
9 to tell us how he received these documents, the manner in which he
10 received these documents and so forth. For that reason, I object.
11 [Trial Chamber confers]
12 JUDGE LIU: Well, this witness has come here to assist us on which
13 document we should look for and which part is more important, but I think
14 that question, Mr. Scott, you asked --
15 MR. SCOTT: Yes.
16 JUDGE LIU: -- is not that proper, because the document could
17 speak for itself.
18 MR. SCOTT: Again, Your Honour, I agree with you, and I'm going to
19 abbreviate this process now. I can assure the Court I'm not doing it for
20 my benefit. I've read all these documents myself, but at some point it
21 will be up to the Chamber to read all the documents and I'm just trying to
22 give you some assistance. I think one thing this witness was able to
23 confirm, in a shorthand way, is to confirm to the Chamber that the three
24 examples of these forms of taking prisoners from the Heliodrom are just
25 that, they are examples of many other similar documents the Chamber will
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 see when it has time to inspect the documents.
2 With that, Your Honour, I will conclude the review of the
3 documents in that binder. And of course, Mr. Prelec will be available for
4 the Chamber's questions at the conclusion of counsel's questions on any of
5 the documents, I suppose, if he can assist further.
6 Mr. President, let me then turn to a second packet of documents.
7 Actually, these documents also come from the Zagreb archives, but they are
8 in a different set of documents, what we have called, and what you've
9 heard us call the last couple of days, perhaps, is the international armed
10 conflict binders.
11 Could one of the packets of those documents be provided to
12 Mr. Prelec, please? There should be -- it was a small packet. Yes, I
13 think that's it.
14 Mr. President, I'm now referring to the packet of about five
15 documents that was distributed yesterday -- also one of the ones
16 distributed yesterday. The first one on the top of the packet should be
18 Q. Now, Mr. Prelec, in addition to the documents we've been talking
19 about so far this morning and yesterday afternoon, there is a -- five --
20 about five documents have been put in front of you, IAC-19, IAC-38,
21 IAC-64, IAC-65 and IAC-67. And were you able to again confirm that --
22 through your inspections or review, that all those documents came from the
23 Croatian state archive?
24 A. Yes, yes. They all do.
25 MR. SCOTT: Mr. President, on these, I just would simply direct
1 the Chamber's attention again, simply by examples of the type of documents
2 the Chamber will find in two binders of international armed conflict
3 documents. If the Chamber could turn to IAC-38, you will find an order
4 from the chief of the HVO General Staff Milivoj Petkovic dated the 12th of
5 April 1993, in which he orders, "In order to have complete evidence and
6 regulate the status of HV officers in the HVO, I hereby order, provide a
7 list of all HV officers who are in your commands and units."
8 I would also, as a further example, direct the Chamber's attention
9 to IAC-64, dated the 8th of October, 1993, a report to the HVO main staff
10 from Milenko Lasic. Directing the Court's attention to number 2, I will
11 only read two or three sentences: "A mop-up of the terrain on Golubic was
12 carried out today in a planned operation in Sector North."
13 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. Meek?
14 MR. MEEK: If it please the Court, Your Honour, I object to the
15 form of the question because I don't believe it is a question. Now, the
16 Prosecutor, my learned colleague, is just taking documents and reading
17 them, and the witness is sitting on the witness stand looking at the same
18 documents. I object to this procedure, and I object to the form of the
19 question because it is not a question.
20 MR. SCOTT: Mr. President, I'm in the Chamber's hands. This is
21 the way this has been done in a number of other proceedings at this
22 Tribunal. Doesn't matter to me, frankly, one way or the other. It's only
23 done to assist the Chamber. I'm happy to stop it.
24 JUDGE LIU: Well, Mr. Scott, it should be in the form of question
25 put to this witness. Otherwise, we don't need this witness at all.
1 MR. SCOTT: All right, Your Honour. Again, I thought you had said
2 a moment ago that I would -- that I, counsel, should point out the
3 specific, the particular relevant parts, but all right.
4 Q. Mr. Prelec, let's do it that way. Will you read the first three
5 sentences of paragraph number 2?
6 MR. MEEK: Mr. President --
7 JUDGE LIU: Well, Mr. Scott, you could ask this witness what the
8 first part of the paragraph 2 is about.
9 MR. SCOTT:
10 Q. What is it about, Mr. Prelec, the first three sentences of
11 paragraph number 2?
12 A. It concerns a -- what in the B/C/S would be an operacija ciscenja,
13 which is a term that can be translated either as cleansing or as mopping
14 up of terrain, in a particular area that's not familiar to me, in sector
15 north, which is familiar to me, by the Tuta anti-terrorist group, and then
16 it simply reports on, you know, things like losses and positions.
17 Q. Does it indicate to you that, in fact, after what would appear to
18 be the initial action was over, that certain troops, certain units, took
19 on the -- essentially holding responsibility, including components of the
20 Croatian army?
21 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. Meek?
22 MR. MEEK: Mr. President, Your Honours, I apologise for being on
23 my feet so much, but once again, I would ask for a continuing objection.
24 The document will speak for itself. What it might indicate to this
25 witness, since he's not an expert in the content of the documents but only
1 where the documents came from, where he gained those documents, and the
2 access to those documents, I think it's improper to ask the witness his
3 opinion about what might be contained. The documents do speak for
4 themselves, and it will be the ultimate issue for this Trial Chamber to
5 decide, not this witness. And I object on those grounds.
6 MR. SCOTT: Very well, Mr. President. We'll move on. I can
7 understand that counsel would not -- hello?
8 JUDGE LIU: We agree with you, Mr. Meek, on the most part of the
9 objection. But on this occasion, we believe that it's about historical
10 background, not the specific instance which is directly related to your
11 client. So we have to give some leeway to the Prosecutor for him to ask
12 questions that will guide us to the particular paragraph which they
13 believe is important.
14 Mr. Scott, you may continue.
15 MR. SCOTT: Thank you, Mr. President.
16 I'm going to dispense with the remainder of that binder as well,
17 given the objections by counsel. I can understand, Mr. President, why the
18 counsel would not like these documents. But of course, it will be up to
19 the Chamber ultimately to read the documents, for each of Your Honours'
20 own review, to the extent that they are admitted, of course.
21 MR. MEEK: Mr. President, Your Honours.
22 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. Meek.
23 MR. MEEK: Whether I like these documents or don't like these
24 documents is irrelevant, and Mr. Scott, I believe, knows that. The proper
25 procedure for asking the questions of this witness is what is important to
1 me for the procedure. And I take offence to the fact that Mr. Scott would
2 make that statement in open court, that my objections are based on the
3 fact that I might not like a certain document. To me, that's irrelevant.
4 What is important is a proper procedure and what this witness can properly
5 speak to. Thank you.
6 JUDGE LIU: Yes. But we are not debating on those issues. I hope
7 you could take the intentions from Mr. Scott in a good way.
8 MR. SCOTT: Mr. President, I'm moving now to the bundle in a blue
9 packet of documents like this that is entitled "UNPROFOR Documents." And
10 on these --
11 JUDGE LIU: By the way, Mr. Scott, could I ask you a question.
12 MR. SCOTT: Of course.
13 JUDGE LIU: We note here that those documents in the IAC numbers
14 are not -- could you, after consultations with the Madam Registrar, give
15 each a proper ID number at least, so that it could be tendered.
16 MR. SCOTT: Yes, Your Honour. We have numbered, in order to
17 simply identify these documents as distinct from what we call -- what the
18 Prosecution team has called the chronological set of documents, which is
19 the 17 binders preceded by the letter P, there are two additional specific
20 binders of documents which have been provided to Defence counsel some time
21 ago. We hope to tender the entire two binders to the Chamber in the near
22 future and to distinguish these documents because they all go to the
23 issue -- at least in part, they may have some other relevance as well.
24 But principally for the purpose of establishing the existence of an
25 International Armed Conflict, and we've simply put that -- called those
1 IAC, and then IAC-1, IAC-2, on through those two binders of documents. We
2 would intend to tender them that way. The additional P number can be
3 placed on them if and when they are admitted, as I think has been the
4 practice with other -- there is a second P or a P letter that is put on
5 the documents when they are admitted. But it was simply to distinguish
6 them as a distinct set of documents.
7 JUDGE LIU: Thank you. I think we are satisfied with your
8 explanation, but be sure during the break to consult with Madam Registrar
9 concerning all those numbers, because all those documents are piling up.
10 We just are afraid of in the future there might be some confusion with the
11 numbering system. Thank you.
12 MR. SCOTT: Thank you.
13 JUDGE LIU: Yes. Judge Clark has also a question.
14 JUDGE CLARK: Mr. Scott, where we have those documents which you
15 have called the International Armed Conflict bundle, and before you move
16 on, could you ask this expert witness, who is after all, an historian, to
17 explain to us the parties who are described in Document IAC-65. The Trial
18 Chamber may not have the same familiarity with the names, seeing that they
19 are in the International Armed Conflict bundle.
20 MR. SCOTT: Yes, Your Honour. Be happy to.
21 Q. Mr. Prelec, if you still have that bundle -- it has been taken
22 away from you?
23 A. Yes.
24 MR. SCOTT: If the usher can give his assistance, again, please.
25 Q. If you can find IAC-65, and if you turn to -- maybe we can start
1 with the last page or page 5. Are you familiar with the name Milenko
2 Lasic and what his position was at that time?
3 A. Yes, he was the commander of the South-East Herzegovina
4 Operational Zone. It was later renamed into the South-East Herzegovina
5 Core District. But to the best of my knowledge, didn't change in
6 substance when the name changed.
7 Q. For what military force or organisation was that?
8 A. That was the HVO.
9 Q. Now, also directing -- if you look back to the first page, and
10 throughout this document actually, there are references to something
11 called the Tigrovi, translated in English "Tigers." Is that a name you
12 have heard before?
13 A. Yes. It's the name of one of the guards' brigades of the Croatian
15 Q. And directing your attention to several lines below that, there is
16 the name Gromovi. Also, can you answer that in a similar fashion? Are
17 you familiar with that unit?
18 A. Yes, I believe that's also the name of one of the guards' brigades
19 of the Croatian army, although I couldn't tell you which number. They all
20 have a number.
21 Q. All right. So in turn, they might have, for instance,
22 112th Brigade, or some other unit number apart from the name itself?
23 A. Yes.
24 MR. SCOTT: Your Honour, Judge Clark, I don't know if you have
25 other questions about -- thank you.
1 Q. Perhaps in a similar fashion -- I appreciate Judge Clark's
2 assistance. A similar question might be asked about IAC-67, might present
3 a name or two that may not be as familiar to the Chamber, based on the
4 evidence to date.
5 If you would look at the second page of Exhibit IAC-67, do you see
6 the author of that document? Can you state the name for the record, and
7 tell the Chamber who that person was, what you know about him.
8 A. Yes, it's Slobodan Praljak. He, at this time, the time of the
9 document, was the commander of the main staff of the HVO. He had been, up
10 until I believe May of 1993, one of the assistant ministers of defence of
11 the Republic of Croatia and held a sort of commission office. He was on
12 the commission for relations with UNPROFOR of the Republic of Croatia up
13 until, I believe, September of 1993. A short time after this document, in
14 November -- I think early November, he returned to Croatia, to the
15 Croatian army, although I don't know if he actually took up a professional
16 position thereafter.
17 Q. All right. And there, again, as we see on the B/C/S version of
18 that document in the upper right-hand corner, we see an archival stamp.
19 Is that correct?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. Again, putting that packet to one side. And then, if we could go
22 to the next bundle, which is titled on the cover page in part --
23 MR. SCOTT: And I'm saying this because I'm going to ask,
24 Mr. President, to go to private session on these documents for reasons
25 I'll explain. But it's the bundle -- it's another one of these blue
1 bundles like this. And part of it says -- the first part of it says
2 "UNPROFOR BiH Command." If I could ask to go to private session, please.
3 JUDGE LIU: Yes, we will go to the private session.
4 [Private session]
13 Page 4596 – redacted – private session.
21 [Open session]
22 JUDGE LIU: We are now in open session.
23 MR. SCOTT: Thank you, Mr. President.
24 Q. If you have that bundle in front of you, Mr. Prelec, are you
25 familiar with, for instance, looking at Exhibit IAC-27?
1 A. I'm sorry, I don't have the bundle.
2 MR. SCOTT: Could the witness please be provided the bundle? The
3 first one would be IAC-27. It will on the front -- the first document.
4 They were --
5 Q. Looking at Exhibit IAC-27, in the course of your work, at least at
6 the ICTY and perhaps in other contexts as well, have you seen documents
7 like this which indicate to be -- or appear to represent official records
8 of the United Nations?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. And looking at Exhibit IAC-27, does that appear to be, to your
11 knowledge, consistent with the usual format and style, if you will, of UN
12 records that are maintained in New York, like this and I'm sure many, many
14 A. Yes. This is a very common, general-distribution document. It's
15 available publicly at the UN headquarters building.
16 MR. SCOTT: All right. If the Chamber will bear with me for one
17 moment, please?
18 Q. If I can next ask you to skip down - just to cover all these at
19 one time - skip down to Exhibit P239 in that same bundle? There will be
20 two or three exhibits in between, but if you can find P239, can you say,
21 sir, to the best of your knowledge, is that again an official UN Security
22 Council report?
23 A. Yes. It appears to be a copy of a Security Council report.
24 Q. And directing your similar attention to 239.1, is that again a UN
1 JUDGE CLARK: Mr. Scott, where do we find the numbers on these
3 MR. SCOTT: I hope they are down in the -- they should be down in
4 the lower right portion of the documents, down in the right corner. There
5 is an old -- Judge Clark, there is an old number, which may be confusing,
6 my apology, up in the upper right corner, from another case. They should
7 bear - I hope they bear - down in the lower right portion of the page, an
8 additional P number.
9 JUDGE CLARK: My little book doesn't appear to have any way that I
10 can find my --
11 MR. SCOTT: Then there has been some error, and I apologise.
12 Q. Mr. Prelec, are yours numbered? Do you have a 239.1?
13 A. Yes, I do.
14 MR. SCOTT: Let's try to figure out what --
15 [Prosecution counsel confer]
16 MR. SCOTT: My apologies, Judge Clark. Admittedly, it is
17 difficult without dividers. It's a bit difficult. The -- of course, in
18 the full binders, again, the 17 binders that have been provided to the
19 chambers, the binders -- the exhibits have been tabbed, I hope
21 Q. Mr. Prelec, going back to the question, if you can just put --
22 scan your eyes on 239.1, again, is that an official -- appear to you to be
23 an official UN record?
24 A. Yes, it does, sort of later published or rather published in a
25 different format version.
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 Q. All right. And I think in that regard, going to Exhibit 349 --
2 MR. SCOTT: Your Honours, that will be the last -- all I can --
3 the only assistance I can hopefully give the Chamber is that it will be
4 the last four pages of the whole bundle. So if you can just go to the
5 very end of that bundle, I think you will find 349, I hope.
6 Q. And a similar question as to that, Mr. Prelec: Is that again an
7 official UN record?
8 A. Yes.
9 MR. SCOTT: All right. Now, there are a couple -- there are
10 several exhibits in this same binder which are not exactly of that same
11 category, so if we can touch on those, Mr. President, this is the last --
12 the last questions I have for this witness, just so the Chamber knows
13 timing-wise where we are so -- but if you can now find -- and, again, my
14 apologies to the courtroom for the -- perhaps some difficulty, but if you
15 can find Exhibit IAC-28, which is, I think, the second overall document in
16 the binder, which is titled -- which is titled, "Special Assessment,
17 Effects of Internecine Fighting between HVO and Muslim Elements," dated
18 the 20th of January, 1993, going to someone named Goulding, United
19 Nations, New York.
20 Q. Have you had occasion to confirm the source of this document,
22 A. Yes. This was submitted to the Office of the Prosecutor by UN
23 headquarters in New York.
24 Q. And can I direct your attention, please, to the next document,
25 IAC-29? And again, this is an -- it says "Special Assessment, Central
1 BH," dated 25th of January, 1993, to Goulding in New York, and can you
2 tell us again, please, have you been able to confirm the source -- the
3 origin of this document?
4 A. Yes, it was the same source.
5 Q. That is the UN?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. All right. The enclosed report, is it correct, is the report
8 itself that's enclosed under the -- excuse me, towards the middle of the
9 page, subject, is it titled, "Croat Intentions for Provinces 3, 8 and
11 A. Yes.
12 MR. SCOTT: All right. Simply point that out to the Chamber as
13 some -- to give some context in relation of the document to this case.
14 Q. Could you next look at -- if you leaf down considerably through
15 this stack of the bundle of documents until you get to 265.1? I have two
16 questions for you on that, Mr. Prelec, and I don't know to what extent you
17 can guide us through this. If you had occasion to look at the source of
18 this particular document, 265.1, or you may be able to indicate to us, in
19 fact, that same document is included in one of the earlier UN records. So
20 whatever assistance you can provide us about 265.1 would be appreciated.
21 A. Yes. This is a letter -- rather, a statement on Bosnian residency
22 letterhead, statement of Alija Izetbegovic. I have seen this statement in
23 a UN report. And that's normal practice often of the United Nations to
24 transmit upon request statements of member states in official publications
25 of the UN.
1 MR. SCOTT: And Mr. President, I'll just represent for purposes of
2 time -- if I'm wrong, I'm sure counsel will correct me -- the text of that
3 same document is included in the Security Council record, which has been
4 marked as 239.1. I think there's only, Mr. President -- I think only two
5 more documents.
6 Q. If I can ask you to go to I think the next document, which is 271,
7 titled "Joint Statement." On this document, Mr. Prelec, if you can, can
8 you shed any light -- can you give any sort of background to the Chamber
9 on this document, where it fits into the, if you will, what was happening
10 in Bosnia as of late March, early April 1993? Not in detail, but just
12 A. Yeah. It's a proposed joint statement proposed by Mate Boban for
13 signature by himself and Alija Izetbegovic concerning the implementation
14 of the Vance-Owen Peace Plan, certain specific actions to be taken, most
15 significantly with regard to control over armed forces in six of the
16 provinces, of the envisioned provinces. As you can see, it's actually
17 signed by Mr. Boban but not by Mr. Izetbegovic.
18 Q. In the course of your study concerning the conflict in Bosnia in
19 1993, can you tell the Chamber, to your knowledge, did Mr. Izetbegovic
20 ever, in fact, sign that joint statement?
21 A. No, not to the best of my knowledge.
22 Q. And if I direct your attention, finally, to the next document,
23 272. Can you tell us what that is. And to the extent you generally know,
24 can you tell us how the OTP came to have that document, 272?
25 A. Yes. Well, this is a letter addressed to the president of Trial
1 Chamber I; however, a copy of it was also submitted to Mr. Harmon by the
2 Embassy of Bosnia-Herzegovina in The Hague.
3 Q. All right. And that is simply a written confirmation by President
4 Izetbegovic that, in fact, he did not sign the 2nd April, 1993 statement
5 proposed by Mate Boban.
6 A. Yes, yes it is.
7 Q. Very well.
8 MR. SCOTT: Mr. President, I think that concludes my
9 questions ... Let me just look.
10 I have no further questions, Your Honour. To the extent any of
11 those documents have not already been tendered, we will tender them, if I
12 can do that. I can wait until after the remaining questions.
13 JUDGE LIU: Thank you. Thank you, Mr. Scott.
14 Could I ask you to do a favour, please.
15 MR. SCOTT: Of course.
16 JUDGE LIU: We found at least four bundles or clusters of the
17 documents we dealt with this witness. So during the break, could you
18 please furnish us with a list, just a list only with the numbers on it,
19 and you may have some indications of which cluster or which bundle they
20 are, but just a list of all those documents.
21 MR. SCOTT: Yes, Your Honour.
22 JUDGE LIU: So that we could have a clear picture to find the
23 particular document.
24 MR. SCOTT: Of course, Your Honour. I will do that during the
1 JUDGE LIU: Thank you very much.
2 Any cross-examination, Mr. Meek?
3 MR. MEEK: Yes, Your Honour, I was just trying to catch up with
5 Cross-examined by Mr. Meek:
6 Q. Good morning, Mr. Prelec. You have just mentioned the Vance-Owen
7 plan in your last statement.
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. Have you read the Vance-Owen plan, as an historian?
10 A. I think so. It would have been quite some time ago. I haven't
11 consulted it recently.
12 Q. Can you tell me and the Trial Chamber if Izetbegovic signed that
13 document, the Vance-Owen plan?
14 A. As I recall, this is somewhat tangled. I believe -- and I'm
15 working from memory here -- that he did sign with a certain -- under
16 pressure, as it were, although there was something peculiar about this.
17 There was perhaps a feature of the plan that he did not approve of or did
18 not sign, perhaps the map. But again, this would -- I'm perhaps not the
19 best person to ask about this.
20 Q. And from your testimony, it appears that you graduated from
21 Harvard University. Correct?
22 A. Yes, that's correct.
23 Q. And then you received a doctorate from Yale?
24 A. Yes, correct.
25 Q. And your thesis was written on what again, what was the subject?
1 A. You want the specific subject or just the general?
2 Q. The subject.
3 A. It was on the origin of Yugoslav nationalism, specifically
4 Yugoslav as opposed to Serb/Croat, and so on, at the turn of the 19th and
5 20th century, so in the territories of the Hapsburg monarchy.
6 Q. When did you conclude that? When was that finalised?
7 A. 1997.
8 Q. So during your research for that, you did not -- or did you --
9 study the breakup of the former Yugoslavia?
10 A. I followed it. It was taking place while I was studying. I never
11 made sort of a -- at that time, while I was in graduate school -- really
12 sort of rigorous study. It would have been very difficult also. The main
13 sources of information that were available to me at that time were
14 effectively media sources. There was a lot that could be gleaned from
15 that, but it was somewhat limited.
16 Q. Again, what date did you commence your employment with the Office
17 of the Prosecutor here at The Hague?
18 A. Beginning of May 1999.
19 Q. Would it be a fair statement that since your -- since the
20 beginning of May 1999, that you have studied the breakup of the former
21 Yugoslavia to some extent?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. And I would like to clarify a few things for my own mind. When
24 was it that you first began to collect documents from the Croatian
25 archives in Zagreb?
1 A. I believe it was June of 2000, about that time, early summer.
2 Q. Can you tell the Trial Chamber and me, please, how did that come
4 A. I'm not sure I follow the question.
5 Q. Did you just -- for example, did you just go to Zagreb and ring at
6 the front door and introduce yourself and say, I would like to look at
7 some documents? Is that how it occurred?
8 A. No. This followed on an earlier brief period when some of the
9 same documents were made available to me and others by the HIS, the
10 Croatian information service. There were problems of a technical nature,
11 where to inspect them, how to preserve the -- I suppose the operational
12 security of the HIS. And as a result of that, the documents were moved to
13 the Croatian State Archive, and we were told immediately, even before they
14 had actually physically been moved, that that would be the place that they
15 would be made available to us.
16 The Croatian government would approve -- did approve lists of
17 researchers who would have access. We would submit a list, and I was on
18 that. And only those people could -- were granted access to the reading
19 room where the documents were accessed.
20 Q. That would have been when you first started out in June of 2000.
22 A. Yes. The HIS period was earlier, a month or two before. But the
23 documents -- I believe it was June that we actually began working in the
24 archive building.
25 Q. Let me ask this question: Tell me a little bit about this one- or
1 two-month period before June of 2000 when -- what you call the HIS
2 period. What was that?
3 A. Well, we requested access to what we referred to as the HVO
4 archive. And we obtained from the Croatian government access, and it
5 worked like this: We were collected at our hotel in the morning by
6 several vans with a chase car, two chase cars, and driven to what was
7 initially an undisclosed location. It later turned out to be a -- what
8 you might call a safe house in the suburb of Samobor. That's about half
9 an hour from Zagreb proper. And from there, there would be crates of
10 documents that were responsive to a category that we had asked for,
11 namely, documents on Central Bosnia.
12 Q. Let me stop you right there for a moment. This town about a half
13 hour from Zagreb, Samobor, you are indicating that -- would the HIS bring
14 these documents to you after you made a certain request, your offices made
15 a request? Is that correct?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. And this lasted for about a month or two months?
18 A. Well, it occupied that amount of time, but there were only, I
19 think, eight or nine actual working days that we were there.
20 Q. At the safe house itself.
21 A. Yes. On two occasions, we had to stop because we were told the
22 house was needed for other reasons, for work by defence counsel.
23 Q. Yesterday, you mentioned that Defence counsel for accused
24 individuals at the ICTY had access equally to these documents, or did you
25 say that?
1 A. Yes, I did.
2 Q. Now, do you -- can you tell this Trial Chamber if you know from
3 your own personal experience whether Defence counsel for Mladen Naletilic
4 and Vinko Martinovic have had equal access to the documents as you have
5 and your office has?
6 A. Well, I can say that for a substantial period of time, several
7 weeks at least, fairly recently, this year, that I worked in the archive,
8 there were two gentlemen who were pointed out to me by a colleague as,
9 moreover by name, as investigators for the persons you mentioned.
10 Q. And did -- did you have the occasion to go introduce yourself and
11 confirm that statement that was made to you?
12 A. No. I did see -- it's a fairly small room. I did see the name in
13 question on order forms that we submitted, but no, I didn't introduce
15 Q. What is -- for my benefit and the Trial Chamber's benefit, what is
16 the HIS?
17 A. It's the Croatian Information Service, which, as I put it
18 yesterday, was a civilian intelligence agency charged largely with
19 coordinating and analysing intelligence that was gathered, to a small
20 degree by themselves, but mostly by other intelligence agencies of the
21 Republic of Croatia. They were part of what was called the Office of
22 National Security which was in turn directly subordinate to the president
23 of the republic, as opposed to other services that would be within the
24 Ministry of Defence, for example, or the Ministry of the Interior.
25 Q. So is it -- am I correct that you just stated that the HIS was an
1 intelligence service, but it was gaining information and documents from
2 other or many other intelligence services in Bosnia-Herzegovina and
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. Can you name for the record some of these other intelligence
6 agencies that HIS would receive documents from?
7 A. Well, I couldn't testify to that they necessarily got documents,
8 with the exception of the HVO documents, which were, it was represented to
9 us by the Croatian government, moved to the HIS building on two separate
10 occasions in 1996 and 1999. On other occasions, they would get
11 information, possibly including documents, from -- well, in Bosnia, there
12 was, for a short time, also an HIS office, but what was more important
13 there was something called the SIS, the Security and Information Service,
14 which was a part of the Ministry of Defence of the HVO. There was also an
15 identical institution in Croatia. And they would also - and in fact they
16 did also - submit information to the HIS.
17 Q. Would I be correct if I said, then, that the HIS was an
18 intelligence agency that gathered information singularly and also from
19 other intelligence agencies? Or did they just gather their information
20 from these other agencies?
21 A. No. They do have, I believe, a small, autonomous
22 intelligence-gathering capability of their own, but at least the way it's
23 put in public, mostly they are supposed to get information from other
25 Q. And would the other services be only in Croatia and Bosnia and
1 Herzegovina, or would they be from outside the country also?
2 A. Well, under Croatian law, at least up until recently, the HIS has
3 been the only service authorised to liaise with foreign intelligence
4 agencies, but I really don't know to what degree that happened in
6 MR. MEEK: Your Honours, I see it's 11.00. Would it be
7 appropriate to take a break?
8 JUDGE LIU: We are adjourned until 11.30.
9 MR. MEEK: Thank you.
10 --- Recess taken at 11.00 a.m.
11 --- On resuming at 11.31 a.m.
12 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. Meek.
13 MR. MEEK: Thank you, Mr. President, Your Honours.
14 Q. Mr. Prelec, I think we were speaking about the HIS service before
15 the break. Do you recall?
16 A. Yes, I do.
17 Q. Is this similar to the CIA in the United States?
18 A. In a way. The differences, I think, are obviously going to be --
19 or obviously are considerable, given the relative sizes and resources of
20 the two countries in question. But in a way, certainly in that the CIA is
21 also both an intelligence service in its own right and also a sort of
22 umbrella service, or at least the director of Central Intelligence serves
23 as a sort of coordinator for other American agencies. In that respect,
25 Q. You must have been very busy when you started the archive review
1 in June of 2000. How many hours a day did you spend approximately?
2 A. Well, the hours of the archive were -- their opening hours were
3 from 8.00 until 4.00. Normally, it would take a little bit of time in the
4 morning to get going, and we would take an hour break. So that would be
5 approximately six and-a-half to seven hours a day of actual work time.
6 Q. And how many working days can you estimate that you were in Zagreb
7 from when you started in 2000?
8 A. I would say, although it's a rough guess, perhaps 40 to 50, if not
9 more, from that time until now.
10 Q. I'm looking at my notes to try to find -- yesterday, you mentioned
11 that the sheer volume of these documents would be -- if placed side by
12 side, the binders would be something like one to one and-a-half
13 kilometres. Is this correct?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. And is that, again, page by page or binder by binder?
16 A. Binder by binder.
17 Q. Did you personally review each of these binders?
18 A. No, not at all. No.
19 Q. Can you tell me, please, how many people you had from the Office
20 of the OTP at The Hague with you looking at these documents?
21 MR. SCOTT: Mr. President.
22 JUDGE LIU: Yes.
23 MR. SCOTT: I'll certainly represent, as a representative of the
24 Office of the Prosecutor, there has been a substantial number of persons
25 and substantial -- I was going to say man hours, but I should say person
1 hours -- involved in examining these documents. Having said that, I don't
2 know the particular relevance of these questions to this witness's
4 JUDGE LIU: This Trial Chamber does not believe that this question
5 is relevant to the issue. You may skip your question, Mr. Meek.
6 MR. MEEK: Thank you, Judge.
7 Q. You also mentioned, Mr. Prelec, that you had an Office of the
8 Prosecutor located in Zagreb; is that correct?
9 A. Yes. There are actually, at this point, three. There is a
10 regular liaison office which handles official contacts with the Croatian
11 government. There is an outreach office, which is simply a public
12 relations office. And what's operative here, there was an office that was
13 set up to handle the document flow, to do basically the same things that
14 the Office of the Prosecutor does here in The Hague, namely stamp, index,
15 and scan documents. This is what they do in that office in Zagreb.
16 Q. When you say they scan the documents, are they scanning those into
17 a computer?
18 A. Yes. They are I believe put on to CD-ROMs, burned on to CD-ROMs
19 as images.
20 Q. Now, you mentioned in your testimony that the documents had come
21 from several locations before they arrived at the -- to HIS; is this
23 A. I think there are two issues here. The documents at HIS came
24 originally from a great number of locations from their originators, so
25 various units of the HVO. The material in the Croatian archive itself
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 came from three major sources: those being the HIS itself, and then two
2 large collections that were held by the Ministry of Defence, one just in
3 regular Ministry of Defence offices and another at the Croatian naval base
4 in Split, at Lora.
5 Q. Did all these documents arrive, to your knowledge, at
6 approximately the same time period at Zagreb, at the archive?
7 A. They arrived over a period of approximately six or seven months.
8 Q. Could you please tell me roughly when those six or seven months
10 A. Well, they began to arrive in May and June of 2000, and I believe
11 the last shipments from -- which were from the base at Lora, were at the
12 end or toward the end of 2000 or the very beginning of 2001.
13 Q. And since you commenced your study of these documents earlier,
14 would it be a fair statement then while you were there in Zagreb,
15 documents would keep coming in?
16 A. They would. We couldn't access them until they had been
17 catalogued in some rudimentary way so we would know what was available.
18 So they would arrive, they would be processed by the archival staff, and
19 then we would get an updated catalogue and we could then request them and
20 work on them.
21 Q. Mr. Prelec, do you have a list of different categories of the
22 documents, at least for your own purposes or your office purposes?
23 A. Yes. This is actually -- I think this is what you might be
24 referring to, this catalogue which I brought with me as a visual aid.
25 It's simply the catalogue as it was prepared by the archive.
1 Q. But, for example, you would have handwritten letters, faxes, radio
2 transmissions, computer-generated letters, letters originating from
3 typewriters, those types of things?
4 A. There is no -- I don't really have a breakdown of those types of
5 categories, although all those categories that you mentioned do exist in
6 the archive. It's not organised in that fashion. It's organised by --
7 mostly by originator and substantive category, and not, you know, whether
8 it's handwritten or typewritten or the like.
9 Q. Can you then give me the substantive categories?
10 A. Yes. It would take some time, but I can begin at least.
11 Q. Some examples, then.
12 A. Okay, the first part is the office of the President of
13 Herceg-Bosna, so that is Mr. Boban. Then there was a category, a
14 collection of the Department, later Ministry, of Defence of Herceg-Bosna.
15 Then there was a large collection of documents of the main staff of the
16 HVO. There are the four operative zones, operational zones. And I should
17 say within most of these -- within the larger collections, there's a
18 further breakdown. So for example, within the Vitez operational zone,
19 there's a zone command subset, and then there are subsets for the
20 brigades, the independent units, I believe the logistical base, things
21 like this.
22 And then sometimes there's a set of unsorted material that's just
23 marked as various -- just loose papers that have been put into boxes.
24 There's also -- there are two sets of Security and Information Service
25 papers, one belonging to the Security Information Service headquarters,
1 and its branch offices, and another belonging to Security Information
2 Service officers attached to various units. Military police collection.
3 As I mentioned last time, there was a small Armija Bosnia-Herzegovina
4 collection and army of the Republika Srpska collection. There's assorted
5 civilian institution collection, and also, finally, another miscellaneous
6 category. There are also videotapes, audiotapes, maps, computer
8 Q. Before you -- before these documents arrived in Zagreb at the
9 archive, you have no personal information, do you, or personal knowledge
10 of what condition they were stored in or who had access to these documents
11 prior to your seeing them, do you?
12 A. I only know what was represented to the Office of the Prosecutor
13 by the Croatian government on those points. But I wasn't there personally
14 during their prior storage.
15 Q. And during the prior storage, then, we really don't know who all
16 had access to taking those documents or putting other documents in with
17 them for the, say, six years' intervening period, do we?
18 A. I don't think there's anything I can add to my previous -- we have
19 representations from the government which state that they are based on
20 interviews with some of the people who would have had personal knowledge.
21 But I have no direct personal knowledge.
22 Q. I believe that you had indicated in a response to one of my
23 questions, or perhaps Mr. Scott, that with the previous government, there
24 had been some problems with viewing these documents, previous Croatian
1 A. Well, I'm familiar with that there was extensive litigation
2 beginning, I believe, in 1997. It's quite complicated, but all, in one
3 way or another, a matter of record. Requests were made by the Office of
4 the Prosecutor. A subpoena was issued. This was subsequently, I guess in
5 a way, overturned. A binding order was issued, followed by other binding
6 orders. But prior to our work in the Samobor house, to the best of my
7 knowledge, these collections were in no way accessible to the Office of
8 the Prosecutor.
9 Q. Very briefly, the Samobor safe house, did you find any documents
10 during that short period of time that related to this case?
11 A. A very few, I think. I recall, when I was reviewing the large
12 binder that Mr. Scott presented, that some of the documents in that binder
13 came from -- a few -- came from that period.
14 Q. So the bulk or majority, except for these few documents at the
15 safe house in Samobor, were discovered or located by you or your team at
16 the archives in Zagreb; correct?
17 A. That's correct.
18 Q. With the problems that the OTP had occasioned with the gaining
19 access to these documents, and you being a historian, is it possible that
20 the previous government, between 1993 and January, early January, 2000,
21 that the intelligence services for Croatia had created some documents to
22 place in these binders?
23 A. I don't see how I can answer that except as a theoretical
24 possibility. Not having been present from 1993 through early January
25 2000, I can't exclude anything that would have happened, but, again, it's
1 an issue of which I have no personal knowledge.
2 Q. So it is possible?
3 A. One could put it as theoretically possible.
4 Q. While you were -- first, let me ask you: Are you still going to
5 Zagreb to search the archive there for documents that would relate to this
7 A. I personally? No.
8 Q. Are you aware of any other members from the OTP staff who are
9 still searching the Zagreb archives for documents that would be relative
10 to this case?
11 A. The Office of the Prosecutor does have an ongoing presence,
12 searching the archives, although it's a general search, so it's not
13 specific to this case. It's merely a search for any documents that would
14 bear on issues of relevance to the International Tribunal. That would
15 include this case.
16 Q. And very briefly, in this one and a half kilometres' worth of
17 binders, can you give me a rough example of the sheer number of documents
18 that you're talking about?
19 A. I would put it in the low millions, so one, two million. It's
20 difficult to say, since you can estimate the number of pages but many
21 documents are multi-page so ...
22 Q. So when you say one to two million, you mean documents, not
23 necessarily pages; correct?
24 A. Yes. Based on the number of binders and the linear length I would
25 estimate on the order of magnitude of about five million pages.
1 Q. Thank you. While you were at the archive during your time there
2 in Zagreb, did you come across or view any documents which had to do with
3 President Tudzman?
4 A. A very few. There may have been -- there probably were one or two
5 letters signed by President Tudzman, and there certainly were one or two
6 letters addressed to him, and a larger number of communications that were
7 addressed to a longer list of people including President Tudzman, but not
8 very many.
9 Q. So would it be a fair statement, then, that you never observed or
10 came across at the archive any transcripts from any meetings that
11 President Tudzman had?
12 A. I don't recall anything at the Croatian state archive itself.
13 Q. And today, as you testify, do you still work on the documents here
14 at The Hague?
15 A. Yes, I do.
16 Q. And can you describe briefly your duties with these documents
18 A. Well, I use them as a source. I -- in other words, I don't -- my
19 duty is not to work on the documents per se. It's to do research on other
20 questions that I suppose I probably shouldn't get into since they concern
21 ongoing investigations, but in the course of doing that, I draw on the
22 documents that we have here so far. I could give you an example. To
23 establish who was in command of a particular brigade, I would review all
24 the documents of that particular brigade, who they were taking orders
25 from, sending orders to, reporting to, when one commander replaced another
1 and the like.
2 JUDGE LIU: Well, Mr. Meek --
3 MR. MEEK: Yes?
4 JUDGE LIU: We hope your questions will be closely related to this
5 case rather than the overall work schedule of the witness.
6 MR. MEEK: Mr. President, I was ready to ask a question when the
7 witness wanted to give me an example so I allowed him to give me an
8 example. Thank you.
9 Q. You've spoken about internal and external controls. Correct?
10 A. Consistency.
11 Q. And is that the same term as using corroboration, as you would
12 use, is consistency?
13 A. It's similar, yes.
14 Q. Can you give me a percentage of the documents that you have
15 reviewed from the archive in Zagreb which you cannot find internal
16 consistency with that document?
17 A. Well, testing for internal consistency is a type of test that
18 often doesn't yield results. If it's, for example, a printed document
19 with no indicated addressee or sender, there's very little about the text
20 itself that would indicate one way or another, so you would have to go to
21 other types of tests.
22 Q. Would I be correct in asking you, though, with the external
23 consistency, that is easier to prove or show?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. And I believe that your testimony is that you have reviewed these
1 documents from the archive for external consistency. Is that correct?
2 A. What documents in particular are you asking about?
3 Q. Any documents that might be admitted against my client.
4 A. No. I only examined the particular binder for whether or not they
5 originated from the archive itself. But I didn't make any specific
6 detailed inquiries into those documents themselves for this purpose. A
7 few of them, I've seen in other contexts and have examined.
8 Q. So maybe you can't answer this question, but if you can't, just
9 tell me. Is there a percentage of the documents which you've reviewed
10 that you can corroborate externally or that you have corroborated by
11 external means?
12 A. I can't really answer that.
13 JUDGE LIU: Mr. Meek, I think a couple of questions you asked are
14 of a kind of fishing nature. It is not allowed to do this kind of
16 MR. MEEK: I will -- he answered my question. He couldn't answer
17 it, so I'll move on, Your Honour. Thank you.
18 JUDGE LIU: It's particularly with the form of the question,
19 rather than any particular questions.
20 MR. MEEK: Thank you.
21 Q. On some of the documents, Mr. Prelec, I've noticed that there may
22 be a typed or computer-generated document, but then there's handwriting on
23 it. Have you come across that?
24 A. Yes, many times.
25 Q. And on the occasions where there's handwriting on the documents,
1 the typed or printed documents with no signature, do you have any way or
2 means to tell who did that and when it was done?
3 A. Well, in some cases, it's pretty clear with, you know, delivery
4 notes, for example. Or there were some cases where a superior's order
5 would actually be edited in pen or pencil for, then, retransmission
6 further down the chain of command. In other cases, it would be more
7 difficult to establish when or by whom.
8 MR. MEEK: If the usher could help me with showing the witness
9 document Exhibit Number P494 from the big binder.
10 THE REGISTRAR: Is it this one?
11 MR. MEEK: Yes. It's from the Selected Zagreb Archive documents.
12 Q. While she is looking for that, you have nothing to do with the
13 translations, do you, from the Croatian version to English. Correct?
14 A. No. Sometimes I request translations, because they have to be
15 official. But no, nothing itself.
16 Q. Turning your attention, then, Mr. Prelec, to Exhibit P494, you see
17 that there's a draft translation in English. Correct?
18 A. Yes, that's correct.
19 Q. This is only a two-page document. Correct?
20 A. It's a two-page translation.
21 Q. Yes, translation. And that, the English version, translation
22 version, on the second page, shows signature by Mladen Naletilic, does it
24 A. It says, "Yours sincerely, Mladen Naletilic," et cetera, and below
25 it, it says, "Signature."
1 Q. "Signature." Now, would you please turn to the Serbo-Croatian
2 version, the original, or a copy of the original? I can see that you're
3 looking at it, Mr. Prelec.
4 A. Yes, I'm sorry, yes. I am looking at it.
5 Q. That document looks like it was signed by Ivan Andabak, does it
7 A. Well, the first thing I would note would be that there appear to
8 be two signatures, one above the line and one below, but I'm not a
9 signature analyst, and since the stamp is over it, certainly the one above
10 the line looks like it could be Ivan Andabak. Below it, I see a large T.
11 It could be Tuta. I would have to look at it with some sort of
12 magnification or perhaps a better copy.
13 Q. Does the Office of the Prosecutor, to your knowledge, have in hand
14 -- have a handwriting expert in their staff?
15 A. I've never met such a person, no.
16 Q. I would ask, Mr. Prelec, if you could turn in the same binder to
17 Exhibit P601? There is also -- it's a one-page request dated 16 September
18 1993. And on the English translation, it shows "Mladen Naletilic-Tuta,"
19 and then underneath that, "/signed/," on the English version, correct?
20 A. Yes, that's correct.
21 Q. Would you please turn the page to the copy of the putative
22 original document? I see that you're looking at it.
23 A. Yes, I'm sorry, yes. I should confirm, yes.
24 Q. Can you read the signature, the actual signature on that
1 A. It appears to be Ivan Andabak.
2 MR. SCOTT: Mr. President?
3 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. Scott?
4 MR. SCOTT: Mr. President, counsel seems to be indicating that
5 there is some inconsistency between the translation and the B/C/S
6 document, and I would suggest to the Chamber that on looking at both the
7 last two documents, this one and the last document that we were looking
8 at, there is no inconsistency at all. It's simply the translation
9 indicates the information, the typed information, on the document, and,
10 for instance on 601, it gives the name, "Mladen Naletilic, Tuta," which as
11 indeed we can all see, is on the B/C/S version, and then under that it
12 just says, "Signed." There is no effort on a translation to create a
13 signature, just indicates that the document is signed. It doesn't say if
14 it's signed by Andabak or Tuta, and I think it's misleading to suggest
15 that there is some consistent -- inconsistency in the way the document has
16 been translated.
17 MR. MEEK: May it please the Court, could this be placed on the
18 ELMO briefly? And I'll answer Mr. Scott. I'm not trying to indicate an
19 inconsistency whatsoever other than to point out the fact that on the
20 English translation, if one does not look close, it would appear that it
21 was actually signed by my client. That's all I'm pointing out. I don't
22 believe that it's necessarily inconsistent.
23 MR. SCOTT: Mr. President, there is no dispute about that. I
24 think the documents will show, and the Prosecution will not contest, that
25 many of the documents were signed by Mr. Andabak. And we've never
1 purported or attempted to mislead or show otherwise.
2 JUDGE LIU: Yes.
3 MR. MEEK: Thank you. Thank you very much.
4 Q. Mr. Prelec, now that you see on the ELMO we have this Exhibit
5 P601, the original or a copy of what was the original document that was
6 discovered at the archive, correct?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. In the upper right-hand corner would be the stamp that you've been
9 referring to?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. That stamp, it's my understanding, would have been placed on the
12 document when it arrived at the archive in Zagreb?
13 A. No. That is only added during copying. I don't know if it's
14 actually added to the photocopy or it's a feature of the photocopier
15 itself but, no, they don't mark them in that way, the originals.
16 Q. Have you had a chance to view some of the original documents at
17 the archive?
18 A. Yes. We work exclusively with originals.
19 Q. And on the originals, the stamp is not there; is that what you're
21 A. Yeah, that's exactly right. It's simply noting that the copy
22 comes from the archive.
23 Q. Oh, okay.
24 A. It's a normal procedure.
25 Q. Thank you for clearing that up. I didn't understand that. In
1 your search for documents at this archive, if you know, how many of these
2 documents did you find, such as Exhibit P601, that had a typewritten name
3 of Mladen Naletilic but which was signed by Ivan Andabak or somebody else,
4 if you know?
5 A. I couldn't put a number on it, but I did see a number of such
7 Q. Thank you. I'm going to ask this question; I think I know the
8 answer. You've never seen my client sign any document personally, have
10 A. No, I've not.
11 Q. I'm going to ask a question: If there's a document that appears
12 to be sent to an individual such as Mladen Naletilic, from, say, Lasic,
13 how would you know if, in fact, Mr. Naletilic ever received that document?
14 A. Well, if there had been a collection, which is something I never
15 actually found, of Mr. Naletilic's own files collected in one place, that
16 would, to me, suggest strongly such a conclusion, then I could make that
17 for other persons. It would, again, depend based on the actual document
18 in question where it was located.
19 You could draw some conclusions based on the presence or absence
20 of a transmission stamp. So, for example, if it was listed as being
21 received at a place where Mr. Naletilic was known to be at a certain time,
22 that would be a piece of valuable information. But -- or I suppose you
23 could establish it in other ways. But what you could conclude with a very
24 high degree of confidence, if you find it in the files of the sender, was
25 that this was something that was meant to be sent. But what happened at
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 the other end, I suppose, there would be no additional information in the
2 archive on that particular question.
3 I'm sorry, there is one thing that you could add to that, if there
4 were subsequent communication citing something like this, or responding to
5 it in some way, whether it would be documentary or of some other nature.
6 Q. Excellent. So while you still have Exhibit P601 in front of you
7 there, I think, there's nothing in the document itself, Exhibit P601, is
8 there, Mr. Prelec, that would lead you to believe or reach any conclusion
9 that Mladen Naletilic even had seen this document, is there?
10 A. Well, this is -- this is a different issue. This is a document
11 that was sent or purports to be sent from Mr. Naletilic to, in this case,
12 the military police in Ljubuski. Now, I haven't examined this particular
13 document to the degree of being able to tell you where precisely it was
14 located, although I could do that. So it's a different issue that you're
15 asking about.
16 Q. Well, it's a different issue. Let me ask this question: You
17 agree that the document speaks for itself. Correct?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. You agree that the document is signed by apparently Ivan Andabak.
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. So there's nothing -- my question is, there's really nothing that
23 could tell you that Mr. Naletilic had any knowledge of this document being
24 generated. Isn't that correct?
25 A. Well, the only qualification I would introduce would be it's a
1 little easier with documents that come from a certain person. There was a
2 collection -- I'm almost certain it's in the Department of Defence --
3 Q. I'm sorry, which defence?
4 A. Department of Defence file that indicated -- perhaps, I should say
5 this in B/C/S and rely on the interpreters.
6 [Interpretation] Units under the main staff.
7 [In English] Wait for the interpretation here. Yes, that's
9 Which did include, among others, some files of Mr. Naletilic. So
10 that would be the kind of external corroboration that had come from the
11 person in question. And there are also similar documents found in the
12 expected units actually of the main staff, for example. But strictly
13 speaking, no.
14 Q. Thank you. I would like to turn your attention for the moment to
15 the binder of UNPROFOR.
16 MR. MEEK: And I don't know whether we need to go into a closed
17 session or not.
4 [Private session]
13 Page 4632 – redacted – private session.
13 Page 4633 – redacted – private session.
7 [Open session]
8 MR. PAR: [Interpretation] I would like the ELMO lowered, please.
9 JUDGE LIU: We are now in open session.
10 MR. PAR: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honours.
11 Cross-examined by Mr. Par:
12 Q. [Interpretation] Dr. Prelec, I am Defence counsel Zelimir Par, and
13 I represent, together with my colleague, Vinko Martinovic. The position
14 of our Defence regarding these documents is that we completely rely on the
15 documents that you have gathered, that is the Office of the Prosecutor has
16 gathered, for two reasons. First, that we were unable to get any
17 documents at all because we did not enjoy the appropriate cooperation from
18 the authorities who keep them. And the second reason is that a number of
19 these documents, an important number, constitute documents which are
20 important to our Defence. For those reasons, I would like to ask you a
21 couple of questions regarding the authenticity of this documentation.
22 Please, doctor, are you familiar with the contents of all of these
23 17 binders containing documents that we received from the OTP just before
24 these proceedings? Are you familiar with the substance?
25 A. No, not all 17 binders. I reviewed the selection from the one
1 binder that we've been looking at, although I'm virtually certain that
2 there would be other binders -- documents within those 17 binders that
3 I've seen.
4 Q. My question now is: Is it fair to say that practically each of
5 these documents passed through your hands, that you checked each of them?
6 Is it possible that any of these binders contain documents which you did
7 not handle at all, either directly or in comparison with other documents?
8 A. Well, I can't testify really about the 17 binders, since I'm not
9 really acquainted with them at all.
10 Q. We'll come back to these issues as to how these binders are formed
11 in the first place. Could you tell us now which percentage of the
12 documents you could say you haven't reviewed at all?
13 A. Well, I am not acquainted with the totality of the documents that
14 the Prosecution is using to put its case. I am acquainted very well with
15 documents that come from the Croatian state archive, and I can say I have
16 reviewed all of those. Some of those I located myself and held the
17 originals in my hand. But I just simply have no knowledge of what is in
18 the totality of those 17 binders, not really being a part of the team that
19 put them together. So ...
20 Q. My question is not too difficult. I don't insist upon each and
21 every document. I'm more interested in the authenticity and the creation
22 of these documents. So let's make one thing clear. With the method that
23 you use in your work, can you personally guarantee that all the documents
24 represented in a case like this are authentic insofar as they have been
25 subjected to a certain scientific method verifying their authenticity?
1 A. Well, I'm not familiar with any sort of scientific or
2 technological inspections that are made. But I can say that as a person
3 who has dealt with an enormous number of documents, both here and
4 elsewhere, I am overwhelmingly confident that the overwhelming majority of
5 them are what they purport to be. I don't know if that's perhaps an
6 answer to your question.
7 Q. When I said scientific method, I meant precisely what you have
8 described, comparison of documents and so on.
9 A certain number of these documents that we have received from the
10 Prosecutor do not bear a signature or a stamp, and this creates certain
11 problems for us when we present these documents to witnesses. For
12 instance, when we show a witness a list of names of members of a certain
13 unit, there is no stamp or signature on the document. We present this
14 document to the witness for purposes of confrontation with his own
15 statement, and then the witness says, This document could have been
16 created by anyone. It bears no signature or stamp.
17 I would like to ask you who knows how these documents were
18 procured, how would you deal with such an objection, namely, that the
19 document could have been created by anyone at all?
20 A. It would be very peculiar to find documents in a person's files
21 that were simply created by some mischievous person. One might find
22 drafts. One might often find several copies of the same document where
23 one would have a signature and a stamp, and the remainder would not. And
24 the very fact that one finds in the files of - just to take an example -
25 the main staff, orders sent from the main staff allow one to conclude --
1 and then the same order somewhere else -- they are created in multiple
2 copies, partly for archiving purposes.
3 In fact, there was legislation, both in Croatia and in the
4 Bosnian/Croat institutions, that required the creation of such multiple
5 copies. So that would be my general conclusion as to why an individual
6 copy might not have a signature or stamp.
7 Q. Thank you for this exhaustive explanation.
8 So we could conclude, couldn't we, that even documents like that
9 which bear no signature or stamp are as reliable or authentic as any other
10 document which does have a signature or stamp, if it's in this list?
11 A. Well, the signature and stamp are added measures or indications of
12 authenticity. But yes, I don't take them as being of great weight.
13 Q. Thank you very much.
14 Now, I would like to come back to one point which we have touched
15 upon a moment ago regarding the way these binders are put together,
16 binders for a specific case, that is. Are you personally familiar with
17 the indictment against Vinko Martinovic? Do you know the details of that
19 A. Only in very general terms, having to do mostly with Mostar area.
20 But no, actually, not really in any detail.
21 Q. If you could elaborate a little. For such a case like that
22 resulting from this indictment, how do you put together the
23 documentation? You have reviewed a certain number of documents, and now
24 these documents have to be sorted by various indictments, various cases.
25 Do you, as an expert, process them according to your assignment,
1 such as, for instance, please prepare for me documentation regarding
2 Heliodrom, please give me everything on the command responsibility of
3 Vinko Martinovic, et cetera? Is it -- is that the way in which you
4 prepare the documentation for a specific trial, specific case?
5 A. With the qualification that I am not the person who makes the
6 final selection for the case. What I do analytically is to, in a case
7 like this, divide it into three categories, and those would be documents
8 of the person in question, so what -- that would indicate what that person
9 was ordering or reporting or saying; documents to that person; and then
10 often a very significant category, documents about, so documents that are
11 neither from nor to, but that mention in some way. And it could be a very
12 mundane way, simply saying -- I've seen many -- your clients, many
13 references to, you know, the lines of defence in Mostar are as follows, a
14 long list of various units with locations indicated, and then that would
15 be -- that particular name would be within that.
16 Also, police files and various kinds of reports based on those to
17 which I would say they vary in helpfulness, some being extremely helpful
18 and some being somewhat less so, depending on their proximity, at least to
19 me as an historian, their proximity to the event. So the closer to the
20 event in question, the more seriously I would take them.
21 Q. Thank you. Maybe we should try and look at this using an
22 example. Today, we have looked at three specific documents, orders,
23 namely, issued by commander of the defence sector of Mostar, signed by
24 Mijic, one was signed by Primorac, then commander of the 1st Light Assault
25 Military Police. And these orders say that based on these orders, certain
1 prisoners from the Heliodrom prison are sent to the Vinko Skrobo unit.
2 And now, about the selection of documents, as I asked, documents
3 are sorted by theme, so to speak. What I would like to know is in the
4 course of your work on this case, have you encountered any other documents
5 that would link Vinko Martinovic with Heliodrom? Have you encountered any
6 other type of document, apart from these orders issued by other people, to
7 the effect that people would be sent to his unit? Have you encountered
8 documents corroborating that Vinko Martinovic had certain authorities
9 within Heliodrom or something like that?
10 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. Scott.
11 MR. SCOTT: Mr. President, I just want to clarify. I think the
12 witness has tried to do this, but perhaps it is not fully appreciated.
13 This witness is not -- if we can say it as such, he is not a member of the
14 Tuta/Stela prosecution team. He did not participate in the selection or
15 the organisation of 17 binders. He has seen many documents in Zagreb,
16 some of which upon further investigation were relevant to this case. He
17 went to Zagreb to work on various cases on behalf of the OTP. But there
18 may be a misunderstanding that it is this witness who has somehow
19 assembled the body of evidence in this case and is able to express some
20 sort of views about that, and that's not correct.
21 JUDGE LIU: Well, let us hear the answer of the witness about all
22 those question. But this question is kind of a compound question. There
23 are several questions. Let me see how the witness answers this question.
24 A. Well, I've done a lot of research on Heliodrom itself but not
25 really any specific research on Mr. Martinovic.
1 So what I could say is that there was -- there were actually
2 several logs in which the Heliodrom administration would record when sets
3 of detainees were taken out, and they would record generally the dates,
4 the authorising person, the person who collected them, and whether or not
5 something had happened, whether they had been shot and killed or shot and
6 wounded or in some cases not returned after -- when they were supposed to
7 be returned.
8 I do recall seeing the Mrmak or Vinko Skrobo unit cited, and I
9 actually made a count of how many times this happened, but I don't
10 remember now off the top of my head how many times that was.
11 I may have left part of your question out.
12 MR. PAR: [Interpretation]
13 Q. All right. I'll try to clarify this briefly. You say that you
14 have studied Heliodrom. You must have paid the most attention to who was
15 responsible, which persons or units were responsible, or in charge of the
16 operation of that system or camp or whatever you want to call it.
17 Have you ever encountered any documents which would indicate that
18 Vinko Martinovic would be the person who had any powers whatsoever within
19 that camp?
20 A. I don't recall any documents indicating that he had a sort of
21 formal command authority or something of that nature. But one of the
22 things that I saw repeatedly in regard to Heliodrom was a sort of
23 complaint by the warden or his deputy, and those would be -- well, it's
24 not important -- that various types of people were coming in and behaving
25 in various improper fashions, be it in some cases stealing from the
1 detainees or taking them out or in some cases removing and liberating --
2 this was in most cases Croat detainees, of whom they were a few. And I
3 think there was -- there may have been some mention of your client. So I
4 can't right now testify that that was certainly the case, but since you
5 asked me whether that was not the case, I can't confirm that either. I
6 think it was that he was mentioned in that capacity.
7 Q. My question referred to real authority, and what you mentioned
8 goes outside that scope, but I'll accept that there are such other
9 documents. It is very important to me, as a member of the Defence team,
10 to know what exactly are those documents that are not available to us,
11 because I am in a position where I know about documents that exist and I'm
12 not aware of the existence of other documents that you may have at your
13 disposal and which may shed a different light on what we are discussing
14 here today. And that is the thrust of my questions.
15 In that context, I would like to put to you another question.
16 Just as we spoke of Heliodrom, certain documentation must also have been
17 gathered regarding the Bulevar, the line of demarcation. Have you perhaps
18 studied that subject as well? And are you in a position to answer this
19 question? Have you ever seen a document which would indicate that the
20 Vinko Skrobo unit was stationed or active on any position other than the
21 Health Centre on the Bulevar?
22 A. I did see documents that listed what units were in what places
23 along the line of confrontation in Mostar. I can't recall what the
24 precise location of the Vinko Skrobo unit was now, although those
25 documents could be - I assume probably already are - available. The -- I
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 don't think it was expressed as a single building. I think it was - in
2 fact I'm certain, almost certain - that it was from this location to
3 another location. So, for example, from the Bulevar to some other
4 intersection or building. But I wasn't really -- I never focused on that
5 in my own analysis.
6 Q. Please, when I said the Health Centre, I didn't only mean that
7 particular building alone but the surrounding area as well. My purpose
8 was to determine whether the documentation available to the Office of the
9 Prosecutor clearly indicates that zone. Is it clear in the documentation
10 of the Prosecutor? I understand that you personally may not have dealt
11 with these issues, but you could direct us to the person who did. Is it
12 possible to derive this from the available documents?
13 A. [Previous translation continues] ... these documents, as I think
14 has been noted, continue to arrive, and I really don't recall the -- at
15 what particular point the ones that I was referring to have arrived here.
16 Also, they are of some real value but it's of limited value because they
17 note what the units in question are responsible for, which obviously
18 doesn't mean that they are necessarily there 24 hours of every day. It's
19 their job, so to speak, that's described. So I don't think you could
20 necessarily rule out the possibility that individual members or indeed
21 organised groups of a certain unit appeared elsewhere.
22 But as far as what the Office of the Prosecutor had bearing on
23 that question, and when they had it, I couldn't -- certainly couldn't even
24 begin to answer now, but it could be established.
25 Q. So we will agree on this. I accept it when you say that there is
1 a possibility that members of some unit abandoned that particular position
2 and go somewhere else. But let us also agree that the unit as such cannot
3 abandon that position because, if it does, the enemy will break through
4 and the town will fall. I therefore believe it is very important to
5 determine whether a certain unit was supposed to hold a certain location.
6 If it abandoned that location, either it had to be replaced by some other
7 unit or that location will fall. But let us not dwell on that.
8 I repeat my question: The documents that we received from the
9 Prosecution with regard to the line of demarcation are consistent enough,
10 and are there other documents, because it is you who told us today that
11 the entirety of this documentation should be checked for consistency. Are
12 there any other documents which would not be consistent with what we have
13 been given?
14 MR. SCOTT: Mr. President, again, there is a misunderstanding
15 apparently of the scope of this witness's work. He did not select these
16 documents, he did not make a compilation or come prepared to testify about
17 opinions and what the documents show. On direct examination, I did not
18 ask this witness to express a single opinion as to had he reviewed a
19 collection of documents and come to a conclusion. I could have asked him,
20 I suppose, "Have you ever reviewed documents and do you think Vinko
21 Martinovic is guilty?" Well, he could give his opinion. I obviously
22 haven't done that. But that's not the nature of the work that he's been
23 asked to do. He went to Zagreb, he and others brought back documents back
24 from Zagreb. He looked at a list that's been marked as Exhibit 883 and
25 was able to verify that those documents came from Zagreb.
1 Now, I can tell the Chamber that the persons who selected the
2 exhibits that make up the 17 binders were myself, Mr. Bos, Mr. Stringer,
3 and Mr. Poriouvaev. Certainly, we have an opinion as to what they show.
4 I assume you don't want us to say that opinion at this time. But it's not
5 appropriate to ask this witness to express an opinion on work that he's
6 never performed. There is a misunderstanding -- I'm sorry, there is just
7 a misunderstanding of what this witness can do, Your Honour.
8 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. Par? Did you hear the explanations by the
10 MR. PAR: [Interpretation] If you allow me, Your Honour, I would
11 like to respond briefly. I believe that this indictment is based on two
12 things. One is testimony in the courtroom and the other is documents.
13 Also, on the same basis, I believe that we have here in the Court with us
14 today a person who is competent enough to share with us all the basic
15 information about these documents, their authenticity, their usefulness,
16 and what I'm particularly interested in here, their consistency.
17 I would particularly like this person to tell us what has been
18 made available to us and what has not. I don't want this witness to give
19 us conclusions about someone's responsibility. I'm only asking him about
20 the consistency and authenticity of certain documents. The purpose of all
21 my questions was to establish whether they had been subjected to that
22 scientific method and whether there are any other documents that we don't
23 know of. I would like the Trial Chamber to allow me to put another
24 question regarding these documents; namely, the person mentioned in the
25 documents used today in the cross-examination [as interpreted] by
1 Mr. Prosecutor. Was the position of command responsibility on the line of
2 demarcation studied, one; two, the person, Zlatan Mijo Jelic signed as the
3 commander of defence, sector Mostar, was his command responsibility a
4 subject of interest in the review of documents; and what are the powers
5 inherent in this position of defence sector commander?
6 Those are the questions that I would like to put to this witness,
7 with the indulgence of the Trial Chamber.
8 A. This is a fairly complicated question which I have not really
9 rigorously examined. One of the things that I was actually planning on
10 doing in -- for other reasons. But it is familiar to me, and this is
11 based on a document that I have reviewed, since it was one of the ones
12 that was put to me, that in the very early July, the Mostar area was
13 further subdivided into three sectors, the central one of which was the
14 so-called defence of Mostar sector.
15 Now, in the implementing order, which was signed by both
16 Mr. Stojic, the director of defence, and General Petkovic, the chief of
17 the main staff, the commanders of those three sectors were given extensive
18 authority over civilian and military units in their areas and, moreover,
19 subordinated in some fashion to the main staff. But this is simply what
20 is reflected in the document in question. I don't recall the exhibit
21 number, but it's a document of the 2nd of July.
22 Now, how exactly that worked, since this was laid over an existing
23 command structure involving various units, how that worked in practice is
24 something that is not known to me. But it does seem clear that the
25 individual who you mentioned, Mr. Jelic, did have serious authority in
1 this territory. I'm not sure how much further I could really go.
2 Q. Thank you, Dr. Prelec. Thank you for your testimony.
3 MR. PAR: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I have no further
5 JUDGE LIU: Thank you. Any re-examination?
6 MR. SCOTT: Yes, Your Honour, a little bit.
7 Re-examined by Mr. Scott:
8 Q. Mr. Prelec, in terms of the overall access that was gained to this
9 HVO archive, there has been quite a bit of testimony on that. Is it the
10 case that during the time that the Republic of Croatia continued to be
11 governed by what might be called the Tudjman regime -- is it correct that
12 during the time that the Republic of Croatia was governed by the Tudjman
13 regime, that no access to this material was given to the OTP, the Office
14 of the Prosecutor, as far as you know?
15 A. That's correct. I think we received several discrete documents
16 that were of very, very little significance. But as far as access to the
17 collection itself, no, there was nothing like that.
18 Q. It was after the change of governments when Stipe Mesic was
19 elected the president of Croatia that the policy toward the Tribunal
20 changed. Is that correct?
21 A. Yeah, it began in a way with the appointment of a new government,
22 which was a little bit before the election of Mr. Mesic. But yes,
23 basically, yes.
24 Q. Is it correct to say, and can you assist the Chamber in confirming
25 that in your dealings and the dealings of the Office of the Prosecutor
1 with senior Croatian officials, that they confirmed and characterised this
2 collection of documents as the HVO archive?
3 A. Absolutely. There was never any suggestion that it could be
4 anything else.
5 Q. Let me give you several certain individual names. Are you
6 familiar with the name Dr. Ozren Zunec?
7 A. Yes, I am.
8 Q. During the first half of 19 -- excuse me, 2000, what was his
10 A. He was initially a professor at the University of Zagreb, and then
11 was appointed the director of the HIS.
12 Q. So he at that time, at the time that the Office of the Prosecutor
13 gained access to these documents, Dr. Zunec was the chief of this Croatian
14 information service that you've told us about today. Is that correct?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. Was he one of the persons who confirmed to you and to other
17 representatives of the Office of the Prosecutor that this was the HVO
19 A. Yes. I don't recall him saying it in exactly those words. But I
20 had very extensive discussions with him about the HVO archive, and it was
21 simply absolutely clear that this is what it was, in his view, and those
22 of the other relevant persons.
23 Q. Was another senior Croatian official involved in the Office of the
24 Prosecutor gaining access to these documents, the deputy prime minister of
25 the Republic of Croatia, Dr. Goran Granic?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. Did Dr. Granic, the deputy prime minister of Croatia, ever
3 indicate any doubt to you that these were, in fact, the documents from the
4 HVO, or to other representatives from the Office of the Prosecutor, to
5 your knowledge?
6 A. No, not at all.
7 Q. Can you tell the Chamber who Mr. Orsat Miljanic is?
8 A. Orsat Miljanic is the chief of the Office of Cooperation with the
9 International Criminal Tribunal and the International Court of Justice of
10 the Republic of Croatia.
11 Q. Is his full-time professional and official job on behalf of the
12 government and Republic of Croatia to act as the chief liaison officer
13 with this Tribunal and with the International Court of Justice? Is that
15 A. That's correct.
16 Q. And has Mr. Miljanic been involved in the transmittal and making
17 available of these documents that are included in the collection you've
18 reviewed as senior official representative of the Croatian government?
19 A. Yes. Initially, he was directly involved in that I would collect
20 copies from his office. He was there personally. And now it's under the
21 auspices of his office.
22 Q. The Chamber may be curious to know, prior to Dr. Ozren Zunec being
23 placed the head of HIS, who was his immediate predecessor? Maybe not
24 immediate, but in the latter part of 1999.
25 A. I believe his immediate predecessor was Miroslav Tudjman, who was,
1 of course, the son of the late president. And prior to him, Miroslav
2 Separovic, although a small possibility I've gotten the order wrong. I'm
3 pretty sure it was Tudjman.
4 Q. So is it correct to say that Mr. Miroslav Tudjman, not to be
5 confused with his father Franjo Tudjman, was the head of this agency which
6 had the HVO archive in its possession which had, prior to that time, not
7 been produced to the ICTY, despite numerous requests and binding orders?
8 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. Meek.
9 MR. MEEK: Your Honours, I must object to the form of that
10 question. I don't think it's proper for this witness. He didn't come to
11 work for the OTP until 1999, and this well precedes this witness's work
12 with the OTP.
13 JUDGE LIU: Let's hear the answer from this witness, even if it's
14 hearsay evidence.
15 A. There was a substantial period of time while I was here that there
16 was no access, and this was a time, indeed, when Miroslav Tudjman was the
17 head of the agency. But it's a matter of record that I've had access to
18 that this had been the case prior to my arrival here. So the answer to
19 your question would be yes.
20 MR. SCOTT: Mr. President, I see the time. I had hoped we'd
21 finish with this witness today, but I assume the Chamber might also have
22 some questions and I have a few more questions. So I suppose we might as
23 well continue on Tuesday morning. But I'm in --
24 [Trial Chamber confers]
25 JUDGE LIU: Well, I'm very sorry that we could not finish this
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 witness today. Actually, it's just a few minutes.
2 MR. SCOTT: Your Honour, I'm in the Chamber's hands. I'm happy to
3 proceed for -- I think I can finish my questions in five -- in not more
4 than five minutes, but I know sometimes the Chamber does not want to go
5 past the appointed time. But I'm completely in the Chamber's hands, if
6 you would like to finish, go forward.
7 [Trial Chamber and registrar confer]
8 JUDGE LIU: Well, after consultations with the Judges and with the Court
9 deputy, Madam Registrar, we will adjourn today until 9.30 Tuesday
11 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at
12 1.02 p.m., to be reconvened on Tuesday the 30th day
13 of October, 2001, at 9.30 a.m.