1 Monday, 25 March 2002
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 9.25 a.m.
5 JUDGE LIU: Call the case, please, Madam Registrar.
6 THE REGISTRAR: Good morning, Your Honours. This is case number
7 IT-98-34-T, the Prosecutor versus Mladen Naletilic and Vinko Martinovic.
8 JUDGE LIU: For the sake of the record, may we have the
9 appearances please. For the Prosecution?
10 MR. SCOTT: Good morning, Your Honours, Mr. President. Kenneth
11 Scott --
12 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, Counsel, please.
13 MR. SCOTT: My apologies. Full Prosecution team, who I think
14 you're familiar with. Thank you.
15 JUDGE LIU: For the Defence?
16 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] Good morning, Your Honours. For the
17 Defence of Mladen Naletilic, we are in the same composition. I think you
18 all know us. Thank you.
19 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. Seric.
20 MR. SERIC: [Interpretation] Good morning, Your Honours. For the
21 record, let me say I'm lawyer Branko Seric and my co-counsel is my
22 colleague, Mr. Zelimir Par. Thank you.
23 JUDGE LIU: Thank you.
24 Mr. Martinovic, can you hear the proceedings in a language you
1 THE ACCUSED MARTINOVIC: [Interpretation] Yes, I can.
2 JUDGE LIU: Thank you very much. I won't ask you the same
3 question every morning. If you have any problems in the future, just let
4 us know. You may sit down, please.
5 Mr. Naletilic, can you hear the proceedings in a language you
7 THE ACCUSED NALETILIC: [Interpretation] Yes, thank you.
8 JUDGE LIU: Thank you very much. We won't ask you the same
9 question in the future. If you have any problems, please let us know.
10 THE ACCUSED NALETILIC: [Interpretation] Thank you.
11 JUDGE LIU: Well, we are very sorry for the delay. I guess it
12 happens every time on the first day.
13 Before we start the Defence case, are there any procedural issues
14 that both parties would like to bring to the attention of the Chamber?
15 Yes, Mr. Scott.
16 MR. SCOTT: Not for the Prosecution, Your Honour, other than
17 various outstanding matters which the Chamber is already aware of. Thank
19 JUDGE LIU: Thank you.
20 Mr. Krsnik?
21 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] No, Your Honour. Except the ongoing
22 motions, we have no other procedural matters. Thank you.
23 JUDGE LIU: Thank you very much. I understand that you filed a
24 motion asking for the closed session for your first witness. We would
25 like to hear the response from the Prosecution on this motion for the
1 closed session.
2 MR. SCOTT: Mr. President, as we announced last week in the Status
3 Conference, we expect to respond generally quite liberally, if I can use
4 that term, to the Defence request for protective measures for their
5 witnesses to the extent that they are roughly commensurate with the
6 protective measures that were granted to the Prosecution witnesses. I
7 think it's fair to say that in most instances, if it was a matter of
8 pseudonym and facial distortion, those have been granted rather -- I
9 wouldn't want to say freely, but often, and we do not expect to have
10 objections to that. However, as the Chamber knows, closed session raises
11 additional issues, and I think the record will reflect - and I didn't make
12 a count - but I think the record will reflect that very, very few
13 Prosecution witnesses actually testified in closed session, in contrast to
14 other protective measures.
15 As to this witness, the first witness, Your Honours, we do not see
16 any adequate justification for closed session for this witness. There is
17 nothing that indicates that there is any sort of imminent risk or danger
18 to him, and of course I won't say anything more about -- to identify the
19 person. This is a person who has taken - again, I'll be very careful what
20 I say - but public positions in the past, and to that extent, should not
21 be bashful about taking public positions here in this Court.
22 So our position is, Your Honour, we would not be opposed to a
23 pseudonym, if that might be helpful, but we think closed session is not
24 appropriate for the witness. Thank you.
25 JUDGE LIU: Thank you. Mr. Krsnik, if you need private session,
1 we will just simply go into private session for this issue.
2 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] No, Your Honour, not for the moment.
3 All I want, as I say, is that we wrote a supplement to the motion for
4 closed session so I don't know whether the Prosecution has received a
5 copy. We did write the supplement, I believe on Friday, as we learnt of
6 new facts -- we learnt some new facts that day which indicate the
7 jeopardy, not of the individual themselves.
8 May we go into private session for a moment for me to explain?
9 Because I have to try and explain what I mean, what it's all about. If we
10 might go into private session for a moment, if you have not received the
11 supplement to our motion.
12 JUDGE LIU: Yes, we will go to private session, please.
13 [Private session]
16 [Open session]
17 JUDGE LIU: Now we are in the open session. Mr. Krsnik, are you
18 ready for your opening statement?
19 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honour, I am.
20 JUDGE LIU: [Microphone not activated]
21 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please, Your Honour.
22 JUDGE LIU: Would you please tell us how long it will take?
23 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I would gladly tell you,
24 but in preparing for this opening statement, I and my team tried to
25 calculate how long it would take, because we did have a dress rehearsal,
1 but I'm afraid we weren't able to calculate how long it would take. I
2 have some videotapes, I have some maps to show, and all the other
3 material, and although it is brief, it is nonetheless an opening
4 statement. But I think that it will take between two and three hours.
5 JUDGE LIU: Thank you very much. You may --
6 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] I apologise, but may I just say that
7 the videotapes and all the other documents or books that I will be
8 referring to briefly and showing briefly, they only serve to give a
9 general picture. I'm not going to tender them into evidence at all
10 today. What I shall be tendering into evidence, I will do with the help
11 of each witness, and the numbers that the documents have been assigned.
12 I'll do that in due course. Thank you.
13 JUDGE LIU: Well, I'm asking you this question just because to
14 properly arrange the time at our disposal. We have to finish by 1.45
15 today. And the -- since we had a very late start, so maybe we'll have a
16 break every hour, every 60 minutes. You may proceed, Mr. Krsnik.
17 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
18 [Defence Opening Statement]
19 Your Honour, I gave great thought as to how to begin my opening
20 statement. This is the first time in my career that that has happened,
21 and in this way and for this trial. Let me say at the outset, in advance,
22 that I'm going to present evidence and call witnesses. We will put them
23 forth and bring them forth before this Honourable Tribunal. Never before
24 in my experience and practice as a lawyer did I have this opportunity, so
25 I prepared at length precisely for that reason and precisely because
1 everything I'm going to say today, here and now, will be presented before
2 this Tribunal, both viva voce, through the witnesses themselves, and by
3 providing material evidence: documents, geographical maps, or videotapes.
4 And this evidence had to be selected. We selected witnesses who have
5 direct knowledge, and we will not bring forward a single witness who will
6 testify at secondhand or with hearsay.
7 Conscious of what I have stated, and if I do not act as I have
8 said I would, then this opening statement of mine would remain hanging in
9 the air, if I can put it that way, or it will be a mere attempt to impress
10 someone, to impress someone with something that later on I will not be
11 able to prove or to demonstrate or to call in evidence. I'm not going to
12 hurl and bandy lofty conclusions, high-sounding, highfalutin, nor will I
13 engage in political debate.
14 The Defence has truly collected and amassed, through great effort,
15 more than sufficient number of evidence and proof; however, it is
16 confronted with an enormous task. There is the three of us, only the
17 three of us, and it is the three of us that will stand up to the enormous
18 apparatus and power and potential, that is not controlled through any
19 means, that stands across the well from us on the opposite side.
20 As the indictment represents, unfortunately, only one untested
21 angle of vision, relying on only one side, looking at it from one aspect,
22 the Bosniaks, I wish to clarify some terminology first in this regard.
23 The Defence -- up until the Washington Agreement itself, at the beginning
24 of 1994, the constitutional legal term was "Muslims," and I'm going to
25 refer to these people as Muslims. After the Washington Agreement, when
1 all legal acts were recognised and defacto international recognition was
2 given, the Croatian Republic of Herceg-Bosna incorporated the Bosniaks as
3 a nation, or Bosniakhood, and the Bosniak language along with it. So that
4 is what I wanted to clarify at the very outset, the terminology that I am
5 going to use, as a man of the law and a lawyer, and in keeping with
6 positive legal rules and regulations and laws.
7 Therefore, the Prosecution, viewing the whole case in a subjective
8 manner and providing evidence accordingly, has done what it has done. The
9 Defence is going to try and call into question this angle and will show,
10 through witnesses, that the events that took place were viewed from a very
11 subjective angle of vision, but also that it was controlled from a highly
12 interested circle, to whom it is of no little importance whether they will
13 be shown to be and demonstrated to be the sole victim, as the sole victims
14 in the events that took place in Bosnia-Herzegovina and, at the same time,
15 with close cooperation with the Prosecution, which goes along the route of
16 AID, to cover up its criminal behaviour with the formula of what the
17 ordinary people would refer to as "Catch the thief," "Let's catch the
19 So because of what I have said thus far, I wish to stress that it
20 is my privilege to be the Defence counsel of Mladen Naletilic before this
21 Tribunal, especially as the system, the vast system, enormous system,
22 turns against an individual and comes at the individual with all its power
23 and might.
24 It is an unjust balance of forces. And that is why it is my
25 pleasure and privilege, together with my client, Mr. Mladen Naletilic, to
1 challenge the allegations and indictment and accusations of the system,
2 which before this Tribunal, is being presented by the Prosecution.
3 This is the first trial, the first case, in which we are
4 discussing the conflict between the HVO and the BiH army in the area of
5 Herzegovina, on the territory of Herzegovina, and the Defence, by
6 presenting its evidence, will present the events from 1990 onwards, that
7 is to say from the first multi-party elections that took place up until
8 February, 1994.
9 The Defence of Mladen Naletilic is duty-bound but also has the
10 right to present its evidence and in doing so to challenge the counts and
11 accusations in the indictment, the annex of the indictment and the
12 introductory statement made by the Prosecution, the opening statement.
13 Similarly, it will challenge the evidence put forward by the Prosecution
14 in its case, in the Prosecution case, against the accused and refers
15 directly to Mladen Naletilic.
16 At the very beginning, I wish to emphasise the following. It is
17 my profound conviction that this Honourable Trial Chamber, despite the
18 already-passed judgements but that are not in power yet, will not be
19 closed to arguments and proof and evidence which the Defence will put
20 forward with respect to the existence of an international armed conflict
21 and persecution. The Defence feels it incumbent upon itself to present
22 evidence which will throw light on the situation in Bosnia and Herzegovina
23 immediately after the multi-party elections were held and to show the
24 formation and development of the political parties, their programmes and
25 aims, as well as the development of the relationships between all three
1 ethnic groups in the BiH. That is to say, the causes of the conflict, and
2 the results of that conflict.
3 Your Honours, unless we set out in this direction - and we are
4 only talking about a ten year period of history - we cannot understand the
5 cause-and-effect relationship, and even less, being so far away from the
6 events, because they occurred a long way off, we cannot learn of them in a
7 mere four-hour testimony by an expert witness, for example, or understand
8 what happened or be able to understand what happened just ten years ago,
9 let alone 100 years ago or 500 years back in the past.
10 The Defence will, of course, only be speaking about 1990 and
11 onwards, just ten years previously, and will be presenting evidence in
12 that respect, and being guided by many of the wisdoms that we have heard
13 here, the advice I have been given as to how I should proceed in my work,
14 and the guidelines. Bearing all that in mind, I shall endeavour to do my
16 Let me refer to our very honourable and distinguished President of
17 the Trial Chamber, and let me say that Rome was not built in seven days,
18 as he pointed out, and therefore, guided by that, and all Your Honours'
19 other guidelines and instructions, we shall attempt in the briefest
20 possible way, but by presenting forceful arguments and evidence, we shall
21 try to challenge the indictment and the accusations and counts that were
22 made about events that took place ten years ago.
23 The Defence is also duty-bound to challenge Mladen Naletilic's
24 acts, especially crimes against humanity, the counts against him,
25 persecutions under Article 5 of the Statute, and the distinguished
1 Prosecution claims that all the acts were committed at the time when, on
2 the territory of Bosnia-Herzegovina, there existed partial occupation by
3 Croatia and that there existed an international armed conflict. And let's
4 take things in order, first things first.
5 First and foremost, the Defence will try and clarify, by
6 presenting evidence, the role of AID in this trial and in these
7 proceedings, but not only in them, because it is indisputable, and has
8 been established as being so, and that is the reason why the Defence will
9 present evidence in that direction, and according to the statements of the
10 investigator himself, the OTP investigator, and according to their own
11 recognition here in the courtroom, that the closest cooperation on the
12 territory of Bosnia-Herzegovina, generally -- was generally with the AID.
13 These were the closest ties they had. Therefore, we have to answer the
14 question, and we shall do so, what is AID? Who is AID?
15 The Defence will move to show that the AID is a political,
16 exclusively Muslim, secret police, which they created and incorporated
17 into the system of the SDA party. Its real name is the Agency for
18 Research and Documentation -- Investigation and Documentation. And so
19 with this almost-euphemistic term, it seems to say that it is dealing with
20 the investigation of war crimes and similar matters, thereby masking its
21 true activities or making them appear lesser or masking the truth of its
22 actions, especially during the times of war, but also after the war came
23 to an end, right until the present day. It deals with intelligence work,
24 in fact, special warfare, planting disinformation and everything else, and
25 all the other things that every intelligence service and secret service
1 throughout the world does, which is their job, in fact. Of course, this
2 Tribunal is in the focus of its attentions, and we could see this, Your
3 Honours, from what has been presented so far. The witnesses that were
4 called here, I can't give you a percentage, but we'll agree that at least
5 70 per cent of the witnesses and their first encounters and first
6 statements were to that agency.
7 Its activities were, of course, in the interests of only one
8 peoples, that is to say, the Bosniak peoples, against the others, with the
9 aim of creating, painting a picture - and that is part of special warfare
10 too, which I enumerated a moment ago - that the HZ and HB, the HR HB, and
11 the HVO, were illegal occupying forces and that the Republic of Croatia
12 had the intentions, clearly defined intentions, in the conflict in
14 In preparing the witnesses for this trial, by suggesting to them
15 that they should paint a picture of the type I have described through
16 their testimony, because it is a false picture which covers the true aims
17 of the SDA party, and those aims were to put into effect the Islamic
18 declaration premises, and I'll be speaking at length about that a little
19 later on. It was incorporated -- the Islamic declaration was incorporated
20 into the SDA party programme and platform, preparations for the creation
21 of an Islamic state, and in my opening statement I will be speaking
22 extensively about that too, and the Islamisation of the army of
23 Bosnia-Herzegovina, by showing it to be no more, no less, but a
24 government, a government, if you will, force, and the HVO is being
25 presented as a non-government force.
1 The President of the SDA, that gentleman, and the President of the
2 Presidency of Bosnia-Herzegovina, Alija Izetbegovic, they are showing as
3 being the legally elected president, if you will, up until the first free
4 elections after the Dayton Peace Agreement, consciously masking the fact
5 that he had to leave the position of President of the Presidency, he had
6 to step down from that position in December 1992 because at that time,
7 according to the constitution that was in force, his second mandate had
8 expired as President of the Presidency and he was no longer able to
9 perform that function.
10 However, this is something that he did not do. He manipulated in
11 the Presidency, he was manipulative, and he manipulated for a further five
12 years. He replaced and elected members of the Presidency in accordance
13 with his own desires, but he selected exclusively those who would listen
14 to him.
15 However, as far as the constitution is concerned and the legality
16 of the matter, this has nothing to do - and this is something that the
17 Defence will show - only those who have no idea about this can believe
18 that this is a constitutional, legal matter, only those who have
19 nothing -- who are not aware of the situation in Bosnia-Herzegovina. And
20 they didn't try to find out, and they never asked anyone else to clarify
21 this to them, although they could have done so and they still can do so,
22 in order to ensure that the historical truth, which can't be falsified by
23 any judgement, should not be concealed and should be discovered in time.
24 In such a case, we wouldn't lose so much time in this Tribunal in an
25 attempt to prove something that is a well-known fact, and it is a
1 well-known fact that the HVO was an absolutely legal military organisation
2 of the state of Bosnia and Herzegovina. This is a well-known fact, and I
3 will use documents to show this to you today, here in the Trial Chamber,
4 and I will use witnesses in the following days to prove this.
5 The government of Bosnia and Herzegovina is being presented here
6 as if it were the government, perhaps, of some European country, or
7 perhaps of the United States of America, as if it functioned in such a way
8 at the time of war. The government of Bosnia-Herzegovina ceased to exist
9 when a state of war was declared in Bosnia and Herzegovina, because in
10 accordance with the constitution which was in force, a War Presidency is
11 established in which the following members --
12 Please, could you show this on the ELMO.
13 As you can see on these screens, the legally elected members,
14 they're elected by majority. The only legal, legally elected presidency,
15 elected in elections in 1990 and which is composed of seven members and
16 due to the number of votes that they obtained, two presidents, two
17 representatives, are elected from each constituent people, because here,
18 before this respected Tribunal, at times we were surprised by having to
19 say and produce evidence that there were three peoples in Bosnia and
20 Herzegovina. So this presidency was thus elected and there were two
21 Croats, two Serbs, two Bosniaks and one person who was a member of the
22 Yugoslavs, or that is to say of "others," that is to say ethnic
24 So if we go -- take this in order, for the Bosniaks, there is
25 Mr. Alija Izetbegovic. Fikret Abdic, who received the largest number of
1 votes at the elections, but through the manipulation of the SDA party, he
2 did not become the President. And in 1990, there were indications, and
3 Alija Izetbegovic was constantly hypocritical, was two-faced. The
4 representatives of the Serbian people in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Professor
5 Nikola Koljevic, Professor Biljana Plavsic. From the Croatian people, a
6 representative of the Croatian people, the journalist, a sports
7 journalist, and president of the Table-Tennis Association of Bosnia and
8 Herzegovina, Mr. Stjepan Kljuic, who later was also a president of the
9 Croatian Democratic Union of Bosnia and Herzegovina. Here we have Franjo
10 Boras. And after this first manipulation, there was a second one. Fikret
11 Abdic, although he received the largest number of votes, did not become
12 the President, and as a representative of the Yugoslavs - and this
13 included people who did not declare themselves to be Serbs or Croats or
14 Muslims, but they simply felt themselves to be Yugoslavs because they came
15 from mixed marriages or they had personal convictions of their own, or
16 from ethnic minorities, let's say the Czechs, the Slovaks, the Bulgarians,
17 the Jews. No, the SDA party, by manipulating - because at the time they
18 would call themselves Yugoslavs - Mr. Ejub Ganic, although he was a Muslim
19 and a member of the SDA party, and these people, this people, already had
20 two representatives in the presidency, nevertheless he was elected, and in
21 subsequent events, he played a very important role. He was an intimate
22 associate of Mr. Alija Izetbegovic, and he very rapidly became, not even
23 one year later - and this is something that we will clarify - when Alija
24 Izetbegovic was returning from Lisbon and was briefly arrested by the
25 Yugoslav People's Army, instead of replacing him and transferring duties
1 to the next person who should be the President in -- because of the
2 majority of votes obtained, such as was the case with Fikret Abdic, no, he
3 selected Mr. Ganic and authorised him to replace him while he was under
4 arrest, and in this manner he made it clear, because he was a president of
5 all the three peoples, the first among equals in the presidency, and he
6 had no other authorities other than being the first among equals. He took
7 over the power and gave it to Ejub Ganic, and it was clearly made known to
8 Bosnia and Herzegovina what direction this was leading in. And it was no
9 later than the end of 1991. At the time, many called this a coup d'etat.
10 I will now briefly turn to all the manipulations and all the
11 unconstitutional, illegitimate acts of Mr. Alija Izetbegovic in this War
12 Presidency, and we shall clearly show all of this in this Tribunal.
13 But I forgot to say, the government ceased to exist. I'm sorry I
14 went off on a tangent because of this photograph. So into this War
15 Presidency, in accordance with their positions, the following entered, the
16 President of the government, it was -- it was, I think, the Croat Mr. Jure
17 Pelivan, because there was a constitutional principle according to which
18 rotation was carried out, so a representative of each people would be
19 enabled to have a mandate which could be extended for one year at the
20 most, it could be the president of the presidency, of the government, of
21 the Assembly. The President of the Assembly entered this in accordance
22 with his position, and the commander of the Territorial Defence.
23 Your Honour, when I was thinking about how to present this opening
24 statement, I knew that the most difficult thing would be to make it
25 interesting and not to tire you, but when I start thinking about all the
1 subjects that I should neglect, I realised that it would be necessary to
2 explain what the Territorial Defence is because I'm sure you don't know
3 this and you don't know how it was formed and what its function was in the
5 And this term was used and manipulated and a lot of false words
6 were said about it. But it had a very clear, legally prescribed role.
7 For all the citizens in the then Socialist Federative Republic of
8 Yugoslavia, its role was very clear, and its task was very clear and well
9 defined. According to the conception of a general defensive war, which
10 dates back to the Russian -- to the Georgian war and to the partisan war,
11 at the time of the late Marshal Tito, on this basis the Territorial
12 Defence organisation was established, and this means that all the
13 employees of a factory or of a company would buy weapons with their own
14 funds, and they would keep these weapons either in the companies. And
15 people who had done their military service, in the event of war, had the
16 duty naturally to serve and to be mobilised by the Territorial Defence,
17 their weapons were kept in the depots of the Yugoslav People's Army. Thus
18 each republic, which was pretending to have a certain state-forming
19 characteristics in the then Yugoslavia, each republic had its commander of
20 the Territorial Defence and usually they were retired generals of the
21 Yugoslav People's Army, and they thus represented the armed forces of a
22 certain republic.
23 Naturally, you can come to the logical conclusion, what was the
24 first thing that the JNA did? The weapons of the Territorial Defence that
25 it had in its barracks, of course it kept them but it gathered all the
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 arms, all the weapons, that were outside of the barracks of the Yugoslav
2 People's Army, in preparations for aggression against the Republic of
3 Croatia - you will now see I'll be using different terms - and for the
4 conquering of territory, for the seizure of territory, in
5 Bosnia-Herzegovina. And this is how the civil war started, and I will
6 elaborate on this in my statement. There was a civil war for territory.
7 In the first phase, the Muslims and Croats were defending
8 territory together. They were defending it from Serbian aggression. And
9 subsequently, they were unfortunately attacked by the BH Army, which
10 nowhere from 1992, and right up until 1995, when they fought again with
11 the HVO, they didn't liberate a single square metre in the direction
12 towards the Serbs. But they fought against those who were weaker and
13 carried out aggression under the control of -- against territory under the
14 control of the HVO, and in order to obtain - and you will see how absurd
15 this is - the best possible initial position, in order to obtain a head
16 start, and this was done under the auspices of the international
17 community. So the commander of the TO entered the Territorial Defence,
18 and Alija Izetbegovic naturally did not like this. He entered this -- he
19 obtained this position by virtue of his office. He temporarily replaced
20 him. Sorry, I can't remember the name right now, but a Bosniak came and
21 he became the commander of the Territorial Defence. As soon as he had
22 been replaced, he also brought in Mr. Sefer Halilovic, and this had
23 nothing to do with the constitutional regulations and legal regulations.
24 He was a citizen of another republic at that time, of another state at
25 that time. He was listed as a citizen of the Republic of Serbia at that
1 time. You'll see why I emphasise this, because I'm going to draw a
2 parallel with Croatia too later on.
3 Naturally, he represented the interests of those who at the
4 beginning agreed with Alija Izetbegovic, but it's necessary to speak the
5 truth and say that he was opposed to the Islamisation which was becoming
6 increasingly noticeable as time passed. He came into conflict with Alija
7 Izetbegovic as the supreme commander of the army. He resisted such
8 Islamisation, and for this reason, he was replaced. Rasim Delic became
9 the head of the army. He only had one commander, and he said that only
10 Alija Izetbegovic could give him orders and no one else.
11 The fate of Mr. Sefer Halilovic was tragic after that. There was
12 an attempt at an assassination. A rocket was fired into his flat in
13 Sarajevo. His wife was killed, and his brother, because they got
14 confused. They thought that his brother was in fact him. He remained
15 alone with two children.
16 I have said this to show how cruel revenge was and how there was
17 no forgiveness in Bosnia-Herzegovina. There was no forgiveness. If
18 someone was opposed to the Islamisation in the army, this would not be
20 The War Presidency, which was formed in this way, started to
21 function, and it functioned, it operated. Every member would
22 receive -- would be assigned certain duties. I'm not going to tire you
23 with all these details. The witnesses will talk about all this. But what
24 is interesting is the time at which it started to be illegitimate. It
25 became illegitimate when, after the referendum, of which we will speak as
1 one of the key events in the BH, the Serbs, the representatives of the
2 Serbian people in Bosnia-Herzegovina, left the Assembly, left all the
3 organs of power which were elected at the first free elections, and thus
4 they left the Presidency too. Biljana Plavsic and Nikola Koljevic left.
5 In accordance with the constitutional regulations, new elections
6 should have been called. However, this was not done, but they were
7 replaced -- well, at least form was satisfied and people were elected who
8 were second after them according to the number of votes. Mr. Kecmanovic
9 and Pejanovic might have been elected. However, because of the
10 dual -- because of the games Alija Izetbegovic was playing - he was just
11 one representative, Nenad Kecmanovic, he also left the Presidency, could
12 no longer tolerate this, and at that time the Presidency no longer -- was
13 no longer legitimate, just because of this, because in his place -- Don't
14 misunderstand me. A private representative of the Serbian people came.
15 Her name was Tatjana Ljujic-Mijatovic. She was not even in the elections
16 for the Presidency. Alija picked her up in the street and he said, "She
17 is a member of the Presidency."
18 The Croats tolerated this because at the time, before the war,
19 every situation was a stressful one and could have catastrophic
20 consequences. It was important to preserve the peace and solve the
21 internal political order in Bosnia-Herzegovina in a democratic way.
22 Well, now Mr. Alija Izetbegovic replaced the legally elected
23 representatives of the Croatian people, that is to say, Mr. Franjo Boras,
24 because Mr. Kljuic, in the meantime, had resigned, and his resignation was
25 accepted. So once again, new elections, but this did not take place,
1 because Mr. Kljuic - sorry. Mr. Izetbegovic - brought in private
2 representatives of the Croatian people, and these were Mr. Komsic, and
3 later he again engaged Mr. Kljuic. So in these brief outlines, I don't
4 want to tire you with this any more, but it was a farce, in brief.
5 However, by deceiving the world, Alija Izetbegovic was
6 manipulating with the Presidency as if it were his private presidency, and
7 his private, personal representatives of the Serbian and Croatian people
8 would be rewarded. They would be given various privileges. For example,
9 they would be given big flats, they would be given important duties, and
10 this was all taking place during the war. Children and friends could go
11 to embassies around the world, and the like, through his unconstitutional
12 and illegitimate way of behaving, acting.
13 But thanks to the propaganda which was being carried out by the
14 AID, which has been mentioned on several occasions, he, although it was
15 totally illegitimate and though he had no legal basis, in spite of this,
16 he governed, and in an absolute way, and would represent himself as a
17 fighter for a unified Bosnia and Herzegovina, which, Your Honour, although
18 unified, it was still the property of three peoples, and because of a lack
19 of understanding and because of the ignorance of the International
20 Community - and this makes me sad. I can see this is present in the
21 indictment too - because of -- for these reasons, he succeeded in
22 presenting the situation in such a light. And the Defence - you may be
23 certain of this, Your Honour - will call witnesses who shall contest this.
24 I think it's half past 10.00, and Your Honours, I think you said
25 that every hour we would be having a break. But may I just come to the
1 end of this portion? I need five more minutes to complete this area, with
2 the Court's indulgence.
3 This lack of understanding, went so far, Your Honours, that for
4 illustration purposes I'm going to talk about things that happened in this
5 very courtroom. My learned colleagues of the Prosecution used the term
6 "Bosnian Croat," "Bosnian Muslim." Those people don't exist. A Bosnian
7 Croat doesn't exist, nor does a Bosnian Muslim exist as such. A
8 Bosnian-Herzegovinian Croat and a Bosnian-Herzegovinian Muslim does exist,
9 because the name of the state is Bosnia-Herzegovina. You will never hear,
10 at least not witnesses that we're going to call to the courtroom, that a
11 Muslim from Mostar will say he's a Bosnian. Heaven forbid. He's a
12 Herzegovinian. Likewise a Croat and likewise a Serb born in Herzegovina.
13 They will tell you the same. But when he goes outside, he says he's a
14 citizen of Bosnia-Herzegovina and not a Bosnian Croat or a Bosnian
15 Muslim. He doesn't use those terms.
16 It is not easy to see that the AID manipulates the truth, showing
17 it to be that which agrees with the interests up until 1990 of the
18 Muslims, in their interests up until that date, and, as I said, after the
19 Washington Agreement, the Bosniaks, and provides evidence, only the kind
20 of evidence which corresponds to their interests, are to their advantage,
21 and they place these at your disposal and they tell the OTP investigators
22 about this kind of truth.
23 For illustration purposes, I'm going to show you a typical
24 propaganda ruse on the part of the AID, and we will be presenting this in
25 due course as evidence before this Tribunal. Here you see a document. I
1 think this took place in 1998, when the AID and the intelligence service
2 of the Bosnia-Herzegovina army produces, to create tensions in the
3 newspapers, articles of this kind, which Croatian criminals will be
4 indicted in The Hague. And this was a great political affair, and they
5 keep presenting things like this from that day onwards.
6 Now, on this particular occasion, this operation was called Kamp
7 22, and it was disclosed later on, discovered. We will hear all this viva
8 voce, with tapes and documents. But what is interesting to note is: Look
9 at how my client Mladen Naletilic has been described, his physical
10 appearance. What do they say? A bohemian type of person, with long hair
11 and glasses with gold frames, 180 centimetres tall. He weighs about 70
12 kilogrammes. He has a short grey or white beard and he is 51 years of
14 Now, you will recall the description of witnesses, how they
15 described my client. And Your Honours will be very much surprised when
16 they see who stood at the head of this campaign and this newspaper
17 article. I don't wish to move into private session or to go into this
18 matter, but Your Honours will be very astonished. I can guarantee that.
19 May I have five more minutes to complete this area, this topic?
20 The Defence will show that the investigators of the OTP did not
21 take the trouble to check out, check and double-check this case with the
22 Croatian side, nor even to hear them. They did not even take the trouble
23 to call the people in for an interview, for talks, to see if they would
24 respond, so as to at least try to get closer to an objective view, and
25 they would have not seen the need for these lengthy and exhausting trials
1 had they done so.
2 Not to lose time, to prove the notorious facts, the well-known
3 facts, and for purposes of illustration -- and these are public books,
4 books that have been published, and I shall be happy to supply my learned
5 colleague on the opposite side with these books. This book, for example,
6 and it is written by the Croats, just like the Bosniaks do, although they
7 have much closer cooperation with the other side, which the Croats do not,
8 but they could have at least read this book and then used the book to seek
9 out witnesses. I don't know whether you can see it on your screens.
10 Here is another example, a publicly published little booklet of
11 this kind which speaks of other segments of the subject. And once again,
12 another publicly published book, "Crime with a Stamp." This time it is
13 the Croatians that tell the tale. I allow for the possibility that it
14 might be subjective but you could then compare it and then the end result
15 will be a far more objective view.
16 And now "War Crimes," another public document, Alija Izetbegovic,
17 Dr. Safet Cibo, et cetera, "Over the Croats in 1993." And in this book,
18 among other things, we learn that the board for the persecuted Croats of
19 the Konjic municipality, on the 1st of March, 1996, to this Tribunal, to
20 this Prosecution - and it says so here - raised a criminal report and
21 filed it with the international court, for crimes against humanity and
22 international war law, pursuant to the Geneva Conventions of 1949. There
23 you have it. And it is against, it is versus, Alija Izetbegovic, who --
24 and I will explain the role of Dr. Safet Cibo, who was president of the
25 Konjic municipality in Jablanica and Prozor too. And he took up the post
1 on the 8th of March, 1993, when the whole troubles -- when the troubles of
2 the Croats in the area began. So this is the criminal report that was
3 filed, and it relates to the events that took place. So perhaps if you
4 took up that route and traced the events, you could have arrived at some
5 measure of objectivity.
6 When this book is translated -- it is called, "The Games Played to
7 Divide Bosnia." It is published by the Bosnian Congress in the United
8 States of America, and once it is translated, you will see that it tells
9 the same tale that I'm recounting here to you, and that it is the Bosniaks
10 living in the United States of America that tell that particular tale, and
11 bear out what I have said.
12 Your Honours, that completes my first topic. So with the Court's
13 indulgence, we can have a break.
14 JUDGE LIU: Yes. We will resume at 5 past 11.00.
15 --- Recess taken at 10.39 a.m.
16 --- On resuming at 11.10 a.m.
17 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. Krsnik. Please continue.
18 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
19 May I conclude the opening part of my statement with respect to
20 the legitimacy of power in Bosnia-Herzegovina by saying -- or rather, by
21 showing you the rules of procedure, rules and regulations of the Socialist
22 Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina. It is still the Socialist. It was
23 published in Sarajevo in 1992. I will, of course, have it translated, and
24 it will be my special pleasure to provide the Prosecution with a copy.
25 Here you can see it. You can see what it looks like. It says
1 here: Presidency of the Socialist Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina, rules
2 and regulations for the Presidency of the Socialist Republic of
3 Bosnia-Herzegovina, Sarajevo, 1992. And it is with these regulations,
4 this book of regulations, which prescribe the work of the Presidency as
5 a -- it is a by-law, in keeping, of course with the constitution of
7 Unfortunately, many of the documents that I have in my possession
8 have still not been translated, but I hope that this won't be to my
9 disadvantage. I hope everything will be ready on time for me to be able
10 to present my evidence.
11 Let us now move on to another topic, and I'll try and be as
12 concise as possible.
13 The Prosecution claims that the founding of the Croatian Community
14 of Herceg-Bosna was, among others, intended and had the purpose of
15 establishing closer ties or links with the Republic of Croatia, and this
16 was evidenced with the use of Croatian money, the Croatian language, and
17 giving statehood to the Republic of Croatia, to Croats from
18 Bosnia-Herzegovina, which the Defence will, of course, challenge by
19 calling witnesses and presenting evidence, and it will demonstrate the
20 reason for which the HZ HB was, in fact, established.
21 It will show that the reason was not the result of a criminal
22 intent and plan and idea but that it was the sole -- but that its sole
23 object was to establish some measure of law and order in a state in which
24 there was no law and order. The Defence will show that in 1991, precisely
25 from the territory of Bosnia-Herzegovina, that the units of the Yugoslav
1 People's Army, still in the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia - it
2 was still that at the time - under an alleged -- under the shell of --
3 what you say when you want to separate. Yes, secession is the word I'm
4 looking for, secession of Croatia and Slovenia. It was precisely from the
5 territory of Bosnia-Herzegovina, therefore, that they attacked towns and
6 villages and destroyed them, those belonging to the Republic of Croatia.
7 And, if you please, Mr. Alija Izetbegovic, as the President of the
8 Presidency of the Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina, no less proclaimed
9 neutrality. And on state television, on the state television programme,
10 he said that the war against Croatia was not a war of Bosnia-Herzegovina,
11 although the JNA units were on the territory of Bosnia-Herzegovina, and it
12 is from there that they attacked and occupied parts of Croatia.
13 Now, you see, if somebody were to say that in Vienna, Paris, or
14 New York, to make a statement like that, people would say, "Well, the
15 President is quite right. Why not? That's a very sensible thing to do,
16 Bosnia-Herzegovina. Why should we interfere in the war of another
18 And now look at the facts. In Bosnia-Herzegovina, the situation
19 was as follows: The Serb people, absolutely and totally armed, discarded
20 the non-Serb elements in the JNA and thus became an absolutely Serb army.
21 It conjoined the area which it wished to occupy in
22 Bosnia-Herzegovina, with the areas in Croatia, and to reach the borders of
23 an imagined greater Serbia, along the lines of Virovitica, Karlobag --
24 Virovitica, Northern Croatia, and Karlobag, Northern Adriatic.
25 The Muslims and Croats, totally unarmed -- as I said, there were
1 no more weapons belonging to the TO, they had disappeared. And he says in
2 his name, manipulating the presidency - and you'll hear that in this
3 courtroom in due course - he says, "This isn't our war." Whose war is it,
4 then? And by saying that, he enables the Muslims to be completely
5 unprepared for what was to befall them and what would have happened to
6 them had the HVO not come to their defence, had it not armed and trained
7 the Muslims.
8 Today, had that not happened, believe me - and even a little child
9 knew that in Bosnia-Herzegovina, what was being prepared - it is
10 questionable what the fate and destiny of Bosnia-Herzegovina would have
11 been, because as such, as a state, it did not exist, not only that state
12 but neither Croatia nor Slovenia. We are talking about 1991. It was a
13 federal unit of the Yugoslav state.
14 To illustrate the situation and what it looked like, I'm going to
15 show you two maps.
16 Your Honours, here you can see from what points Croatia was
17 attacked. This is Bosnia-Herzegovina here. This is Croatia. And the
18 attacks were launched from all directions and axes, Vukovar, Central
19 Croatia, Subanik [phoen], Central Dalmatia, Zadar and Dubrovnik. And now
20 look at the result. Parts of Eastern Croatia were occupied as were
21 Central Croatia, and all we need here is Dubrovnik. All that's missing
22 here is Dubrovnik. We forgot to draw it in red but this part here was
23 also occupied by the JNA or rather the Serbs, the citizens of the state of
24 Croatia, Republic of Croatia, which was still a federal unit at that time,
25 aided and abetted by the JNA which launched the attacks on the Croatian
2 Could the technical booth play Exhibit 1 from tape 1, please?
3 [Videotape played]
4 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] Could we speed this up a bit,
5 please? We may have a fast-forward? Yes. Fast-forward, please. This is
6 Mr. Karadzic presenting his positions on the internal and political
7 organisation of the country. Here we see Mr. Milosevic and all the
8 Presidents of the federal units of the SFRY. They are all presenting
9 their views. This is the statement given on state television, television
10 of Bosnia-Herzegovina, in which Alija Izetbegovic, Mr. Alija Izetbegovic,
11 is saying what I just said. This is an authentic tape. It was state
12 television, therefore public television. May we hear the tone? May we
13 have the volume up and a fast-forward towards the end, please? We can
14 stop there and hear him speaking.
15 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreters apologise, but they do not have
16 a transcript of the tape.
17 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] We can't hear anything, technical
18 booth. Please could you put the volume up? There is no volume on the
19 tape. No sound.
20 But at all events, Your Honours, this is Mr. Alija Izetbegovic,
21 and he's speaking and says the following. We will have it translated. "I
22 here and now proclaim independence." That's what he's saying. Stop the
23 tape, please. "I today proclaim neutrality," without consulting the
24 presidency, which represents all the peoples. And this is when he says:
25 "This isn't our war." Stop the tape, please.
1 Your Honours, I don't seem to have any communication with the
2 technical booth. I don't know how we can overcome that technical
3 problem. Obviously, the people in the technical booth are not hearing
5 JUDGE LIU: Well, I'm afraid we have to stop the tape.
6 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] Yes, but they don't seem to hear me.
7 Your Honours, Croatia is burning in the flames of attack. It has
8 been attacked throughout its territory, as I said, from the -- what was
9 then the Socialist Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina. The Serb army, with
10 its enormous might and its tanks, are moving towards Croatia, and it is
11 then that for the first time the people, non-organised and unarmed, with
12 women and children, are standing on the road and saying, "You're not going
13 to be -- pass with your tanks because we know where you're going." But
14 this time, the tanks prepared for attack and for seizing the territory of
15 Bosnia-Herzegovina because the tanks that you're now going to see on the
16 video ended up in Kupres and took control of a large portion of Northern
17 Bosnia with great casualties to the Muslim and Croats. But the people
18 said, "No." And once again, Mr. Izetbegovic appeared - this is in the
19 place called Polog, which is between Siroki Brijeg and Mostar - and he
20 allows the column of tanks to pass through. You'll see all this on the
21 tape. And at the same time, simultaneously, first -- the first victim
22 fell, the first crime took place, in the Croatian village of Ravno, which
23 was burnt and razed to the ground and its inhabitants killed. And when
24 there was truly not a single man in Bosnia-Herzegovina who was not clear
25 on what was being prepared, he, this one here on the tape that we are
1 going to have translated for you, is speaking as the President, as
2 president of all three ethnic groups, of all three nations, and says,
3 "It's not our war."
4 And this statement was to have catastrophic consequences, because
5 the Muslims believed him and still failed to arm themselves, while the
6 Croats were still absolutely unarmed and unorganised, moved -- that is to
7 say the Croats started to organise themselves, and in the chronology of
8 this organisation and establishment, you see on your screens, gentlemen,
9 the three elements. May we have the ELMO switched on?
10 It was the year 1991, a self-governed Republika Srpska was
11 established, the Muslims began to organise themselves into the Patriotic
12 League, and the Croats formed the HZ HB on the 18th of November, 1991.
13 We'll come to that in due course.
14 If I have established communication with the technical booth,
15 could we show the Trial Chamber and the courtroom what Alija Izetbegovic's
16 speech looked like and how he stopped the tanks, how he let the tanks
17 pass. The tanks reached Kupres, which is no Northern Bosnia, and a great
18 portion of the territory of Bosnia-Herzegovina was under their control.
19 JUDGE LIU: Mr. Krsnik, I was advised that due to the technical
20 problems, we have difficulties to hear.
21 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] Well, I can move on. It's not as
22 essential. We will be playing the tape in due course. I'm sorry about
23 that, but I'm sure we'll see -- be able to see how the people organised
24 themselves and how they came out in support of Alija Izetbegovic. And
25 when you see where we have come since 1991, and what we have heard in this
1 courtroom, you'll get the full picture.
2 At the request of Mr. Izetbegovic, the Croatian people let the
3 tanks through and the events took their course. I think that this is the
4 fourth, two-faced individual that we are seeing. At the same time in The
5 Hague Conference in this very town, in Den Haag, in The Hague, documents
6 and witnesses were shown and Izetbegovic gave the Serbs the rights for the
7 first time in Bosnia-Herzegovina, the right to self-determination and
8 self-organisation in a written document, and he goes to Belgrade, there is
9 a delegation, Mr. Filipovic - books are being written about that and we
10 will put that evidence before you, Mr. Zulfikarpasic and himself,
11 Mr. Izetbegovic, they all go to Belgrade to offer Milosevic an historical
12 agreement between the Serbs and Muslims, and also he does the same with
13 president Franjo Tudjman. He offered him parts which -- where the
14 Croatian people in Bosnia-Herzegovina were the majority population. The
15 two men refused, but the Serbs, the Serb people in Bosnia-Herzegovina, as
16 a constituent peoples, took their chance and started to seize territory.
17 What was the Croatian people to do, faced with the situation of
18 this kind, while the state, that is to say the federal unit of
19 Bosnia-Herzegovina, was disintegrating at the seams because the army and
20 police were under the control of the Serbs and so were all the organs of
21 power and authority, more or less? We are faced with a situation of total
22 anarchy. What else could they do but guided by the constitution of
23 Bosnia-Herzegovina, which prescribes that in case of war or immediate
24 danger of war, immediate threat of war, the municipalities have the right
25 and duty to organise the municipalities, to organise themselves -- I'm
1 sorry, I said "municipalities." What I meant to say was to organise their
2 defence, which they, in fact, did do, together with at least 30 still-free
3 municipalities, which the Army of Republika Srpska had still not taken
4 control of. And thus they formed the Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna,
5 defending in the territory the members of all nations that found
6 themselves in the community.
7 Your Honour, from the declaration until the establishment of the
8 Croatian Democratic Union, it is quite clear that that was a temporary
9 situation for a future political order in Bosnia and Herzegovina, because
10 at that time it still was not a state, it had not been recognised,
11 Badinter was not there yet. We'll refer to that later. But then they
12 said, "We're waiting for a future political solution." There was no
13 referendum yet.
14 The role of the HZ HB, especially after the establishment of the
15 HVO, as an executive body, to organise the civilian and military power,
16 especially came to the fore after the attack on Sarajevo and the blockade
17 of Sarajevo, when the BH state, that is, the federal unit, really ceased
18 to exist in all its aspects.
19 Your Honour, it's very difficult for you to imagine the situation
20 that was there at the time. We who lived through it in Zagreb, or in
21 Croatia, and especially those who were unfortunate to experience it in
22 Bosnia-Herzegovina -- it's very difficult to depict this. There was no
23 electricity, water, telephones, there were no schools or companies, and
24 the war commenced. And the Presidency of the Socialist Federal Republic
25 of Bosnia-Herzegovina only governed in a building that was in Sarajevo,
1 and it wasn't even able to leave that building if it wasn't escorted by
2 UNPROFOR, because half of Sarajevo was under blockade by the Serbian army
3 and had been taken.
4 Instead of the Presidency leaving the occupied Sarajevo and moving
5 to free territory in order to oppose this aggression and to help civilian
6 and military life, instead of doing that, it remained in its building,
7 which it could not leave, and it could not go anywhere from that
8 building. And you will hear witnesses who were in the immediate vicinity
9 of Alija Izetbegovic, and they will tell you what he had to say. I'm sure
10 that you are going to be shocked by this.
11 The Serbs, that is to say, the Serbian people - I apologise - in
12 Bosnia and Herzegovina, at that time they took over, they seized 70 per
13 cent of Bosnia-Herzegovina, that is to say, of the federal unit.
14 Your Honour, this is the still free territory. The red shows the
15 occupied territory, green shows the positions where the Muslim population
16 was in the majority, the blue shows the areas where the Croatian
17 population was in the majority. But the HVO defended this, all of this.
18 Have a look at the directions of attack. It was not enough. What they
19 seized here was not enough for them. They attacked from all directions.
20 They also attacked Jajce. And it's interesting to note that the HVO,
21 which wanted to liberate Jajce, they were stopped at the checkpoint of
22 army of BH in Ahmici and they were turned back. They weren't able to help
23 Jajce. And we will produce evidence to show this. And there were a
24 series of other strange situations. They are no longer strange today,
25 because it was quite clear that the BH army was getting organised and it
1 had certain objectives. They were just waiting for the Serbian aggression
2 to stop and the help of the Croats.
3 You will see how the situation continued to develop. As you can
4 see, Central Bosnia here is reduced to small enclaves, and they were
5 surrounded on all sides by Muslims and by Serbs. You'll see what happened
6 in Mostar, what happened because of the Serbian aggression and what was
7 liberated, and you'll see what happened in Jablanica and in Konjic.
8 As a result of such seizure of territory, Your Honour, what
9 happened? Have a look at this wave of refugees, where it's going.
10 Naturally, the Croats were mostly in Herzegovina, but there were Muslims
11 there too going to Herzegovina and to their enclaves. All the population,
12 80 per cent, 90 per cent of the population - please don't take this as a
13 certain figure - all the population from the occupied parts went to the
14 free territory. Do you know what number this is? Between 400.000 and a
15 million. The Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna took care of them in
16 their territory, in the Republic of Croatia, in these islands, on these
17 islands that you can see here, the islands in the Adriatic, in the hotels
18 along the Adriatic and right up to Zagreb. They took 600.000 refugees.
19 They took in 600.000 refugees who were of Muslim nationality and they took
20 care of them right up until the Washington Agreement, so at the time of
21 the so-called war too, the war between the Bosniaks and the Croats.
22 Here we're going to show that this was not a war, that it was an
23 attempt at aggression of the BH army, on the part of the BH army, to take
24 as much territory as they could in order to get a head start in the
25 negotiations and in the Vance-Owen Plan and in other negotiations too.
1 Your Honour, Tomislavgrad, Livno, Siroki Brijeg, Mostar, Citluk.
2 They took in -- only Mostar took in 30.000 refugees. In Siroki Brijeg,
3 which is a small town - I will show you this - they took in about five or
4 six thousand refugees and took care of them all the time. They took them
5 into private houses and into homes, into the Franciscan secondary school
6 in Siroki Brijeg, which is a well-known secondary school. We'll show you
7 exactly who took care of them and we'll provide you with precise
8 information, because there are even names that have been listed. They got
9 money and other kinds of help, especially from Caritas, and only later
10 from the Red Crescent and other humanitarian organisations and from the
11 UNHCR. So it's clear why certain things happened in Mostar, Livno,
12 Bugojno, how the demographic picture was upset, and it will be quite clear
13 what direction this was heading in.
14 The HVO resisted and it organised the Muslims for Defence. They
15 armed Muslims. They trained them in camps in Croatia and in the HZ HB.
16 They gave them comprehensive help in everything. So we are quite
17 justified in saying that - and I'm going to character this a bit - the
18 Republic of Croatia did everything in terms of arming and training the
19 Muslims, they did everything to enable them to attack them on the
20 following day, in the future. This is quite an exceptional case in the
21 history of modern civilisation, isn't it?
22 In such a situation - and we were just before the organisation of
23 the International Community. They were about to organise - Mr. Alija
24 Izetbegovic, although he had been warned, when he returned from the Lisbon
25 Conference he was arrested. He was detained at the Butmir airport in
1 Sarajevo and they took him away as a hostage. The JNA took him away as a
2 hostage to enable the JNA to get out of its barracks which had been
3 surrounded -- which were in the surroundings of Sarajevo and to enable him
4 to go to Pale.
5 We have an entire videotape which has been shown, and the
6 entire -- all of Yugoslavia, all of former Yugoslavia watched it, because
7 the TV participated in negotiations in a direct manner, and all of the
8 former Yugoslavia heard this, and at that time Alija Izetbegovic illegally
9 transferred power to Ejub Ganic. In the light of that, I tried to depict
10 the tragedy. The Muslims didn't want to join the headquarters of the HVO
11 and BH in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Why not? Because they were mounting a
12 joint defence. They had weapons which were common property. They didn't
13 want to do this, but of course we will see why, and that's when it
14 started, in 1991.
15 This is where the story can start, the story about the Republic of
16 Croatia, and I will quite clearly state this here and we will use
17 witnesses to prove this. Your Honours, if the Republic of Croatia really
18 wanted to split up, to divide Bosnia-Herzegovina, which has been falsely
19 said, it could have done so at any time if it had really desired to do
20 so. Do you know on how many occasions it had to do so from the time when
21 Alija made an offer and up until the time when they did not respond to the
22 referendum that I'm going to mention, and right up until the agreement
23 with the Serbs, in this chaotic situation which I have described, two
24 peoples who were not armed and another one which was armed? But that
25 small Croatia received 600.000 refugees. That is a very well-known fact.
1 The entire world is aware of this. We're not going to prove this to this
2 Tribunal. But nevertheless, we have to provide such proof. Weapons went
3 to both Croats and Muslims in equal measure, and this free territory had
4 to rely on Croatia so humanitarian convoys could arrive and aid could be
5 provided to everyone in this manner.
6 Now we have arrived at the subject of the International
7 Community. If the Republic of Croatia had wanted to do this, it could
8 have done so in 1991. It could have done so immediately then, because
9 Mr. Badinter, whom the European community had appointed as an expert,
10 could have suggested to the European community which federal units within
11 Yugoslavia could be a state, could become a state in order to be
12 recognised at a subsequent date. The Badinter Commission gave Slovenia
13 and Croatia forms of statehood and the possibility of being recognised as
14 a state.
15 I would then have to go back in history, back to 1945 and to
16 describe the borders of AVNOJ, but I'm not going to tire you with this.
17 But what is interesting, Your Honours, Bosnia did not allow this. It did
18 not allow for the possibility of becoming a state, because - this is
19 something we're going to hear here - it was never a state in historical
20 terms. It was never historically a state. The first time it became a
21 state was with the recognition of the International Community, in
22 accordance with its official borders in 1992. But Badinter didn't give
23 Bosnia and Herzegovina the right to be a state, and as he didn't do so,
24 the International Community had a condition. It set a certain condition
25 for the citizens of Bosnia-Herzegovina.
1 The owners of the federal units then - the Serbs, the Muslims and
2 the Croats, as constituent peoples and sovereign peoples, and those to
3 whom this state belonged - if they wanted the International Community to
4 recognise them, they should hold a referendum, and after the results of
5 the referendum, then the International Community would come to a decision
6 as to whether they would recognise them or not.
7 Your Honours, the Republic of Croatia then got actively involved.
8 All the Croatian factors in Bosnia-Herzegovina, all the Croatian officials
9 went out to the referendum and they wanted Bosnia-Herzegovina within its
10 borders. How does a state that wants to divide Bosnia-Herzegovina act in
11 this manner? Because when the Croats did not respond to the referendum,
12 because the Serbs refused to respond to the referendum, because they had a
13 plebiscite before the referendum at which they voted against a referendum
14 because they didn't want Bosnia and Herzegovina within the borders that it
15 has now and that it has had since 1945.
16 So without the response of the Croats in Bosnia, Bosnia wouldn't
17 be what it is today. This Tribunal would not exist either, and who knows
18 what course history would have taken then. So if Croatia wanted to do so,
19 it could have done so then. It didn't, though. And since that time, Your
20 Honour, it is not possible to say that the Croats wanted a division of any
21 kind. Whoever does that is ill-intentioned and is deceptive. That was a
22 crucial moment in the history of Bosnia-Herzegovina.
23 So first of all it armed and then liberated, it responded to a
24 referendum. If Croatia had had such a plan, it would not have acted in
25 this manner. I think that this is quite clear. And after that date, from
1 that date onward, it is no longer possible to talk about the desire of
2 Croatia to divide Bosnia.
3 Thanks to the Croats and to Croatian votes, the referendum was
4 successful, and in April 1992 the International Community finally
5 recognised Bosnia and Herzegovina. But look, only within its external
6 borders but not its political order. This is something that was left to
7 negotiations which were to follow, and how those three peoples would order
8 their state was something to be decided later.
9 Then there were negotiations, the London Conference, the Geneva
10 Conference, the Vance-Owen Plan, Owen Stoltenberg, et cetera, and I will
11 talk about this later. All these negotiations related to how these three
12 peoples would order this state, whether it would be a cantonal system, as
13 in Switzerland, whether it would be organised into provinces, unions of
14 republics, federal units, et cetera. This was something that was to be
15 left for subsequent negotiations, and this is something that the three
16 constituent peoples had to agree on.
17 Defence will use experts and witnesses to show -- to prove the
18 following facts too. At the moment, the HZ HB, so within the external
19 borders of Bosnia-Herzegovina, it organised its life and it was waiting to
20 see how it would agree with others on the future political order. And we
21 are charged with the fact that they were using the Croatian language, but
22 what language were they supposed to use? And do you know what language is
23 used in Herzegovina by Herzegovinians? And I said they were both Muslims
24 and Croats and Serbs. It's mostly Croatian because the Croatian grammar
25 and language is based on the speech in Herzegovina, the Stokavian dialect,
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 which is used there. I don't know how this will be translated. This is
2 the purest form of the Croatian language and it is this form of the
3 Croatian language which is spoken there in that part.
4 And gentlemen, we will use proof to -- evidence to prove this
5 story about the language. There is no such thing as a Bosnian language.
6 It doesn't exist in constitutional or legal terms. This is a well-known
7 fact. Everyone knows this. Serbo-Croat is used - that's the language
8 which exists - or Croato-Serbian. In schools, they would write in the
9 Latin script for one week and they would write in the Cyrillic script for
10 the second week. And, Your Honours, for language to be language, it has
11 to have certain preconditions. It has to have a grammar, it has to have
12 rules, in order for it to constitute a language. You can see that these
13 are false requests, made up requests, the purpose of which is only to
14 create division, and when they received -- when the Bosniak language was
15 recognised by the Washington Agreement, they no longer want to call it the
16 Bosniak language, they now want to say that that's a mistake and they want
17 to say that it's the Bosnian language, not the Bosniak language. I don't
18 know how the translators can translate this now. So the difference
19 between the Bosniaks and the Bosnians, that is to say between Bosnian --
20 the Bosnian and the Bosniak language, and you know they now have a certain
21 grammar for the Bosnian language, I don't know in fact whether it exists
22 now, but it's the same language, of course, but there are a lot of terms
23 from the Arabic, a lot of terms from Turkish, which have been introduced,
24 and that's the only difference.
25 Everyone, anyone who is normal in Bosnia-Herzegovina, will tell
1 you that this Bosnian language now is in fact the same language, and
2 especially this was especially the case up to 1994. Of course it was only
3 one language.
4 So we are being charged with -- for having used the Croatian money
5 in the HZ HB. Anyone who knows about history will know that money is --
6 that the only holy money in Bosnia-Herzegovina was the German mark, which
7 is the case today, the only currency that was respected. And in that war
8 chaos which I have just described, all forms of currency were used.
9 However, we will provide evidence, Your Honour, to prove that. I don't
10 want to go into closed session and just mention the name, but a witness
11 will appear, will come here, and he will tell you what happened with
12 regard to currency and that the HZ HB never had a national bank, and if it
13 didn't have a national bank, it didn't have monetary policies either,
14 fiscal policies. If it had no fiscal policies, then that means that it
15 didn't have a currency of its own either. And the Croatian money, the
16 Croatian dinar which later became the Croatian kuna, was in use, as were
17 all other currencies, as were any other currencies.
18 And what I further want to state in my opening statement, when we
19 are talking about the Croatian Community in Herceg-Bosna and about the
20 allegations of the Prosecutor, one of the objectives was -- that one of
21 the objectives was also to establish closer ties with Croatia, so what is
22 illegal in this case? Why should this be criminal? Well, of course, of
23 course they would want to have close ties, and even today they want to.
24 Its parent unit is over the border. The problem of the Croatian people in
25 Bosnia-Herzegovina is -- and of the Serbian people, is that their parent
1 countries are right behind their backs, and we will show that the Bosniak
2 people has a parent unit too, which unites them, but it's a bit -- it's
3 further removed from them.
4 Your Honour, I'm selecting this term, the constitutional
5 provisions of the Republic of Croatia was that it is necessary to take
6 care of Croats wherever they are throughout the world. And any
7 democratic country would do this. It's normal. They would take care of
8 their citizens, they would take care of their rights in other states, and
9 so on and so forth. And such cooperation, luckily until quite recently,
10 was excellent. And now this right too - and here there is a lot of
11 deception, one is being guided by deceptions - in Bosnia-Herzegovina,
12 which even today is not a unified country, a state, because it is made up
13 of two units, two federal units, there is an international governor who is
14 in charge, who interprets the provisions, the rules, as he wishes. And
15 thus quite recently, within those rules, the Croatian Television was shut
16 down, the transmitters were closed down, so people are no longer able to
17 watch broadcasts. This happened in 2001, and it was the decision of the
18 international community, of the governor who represents the international
19 community in Bosnia-Herzegovina. And if there were free elections and the
20 people chose their representatives, and the governor then said, "Well, we
21 don't recognise this because they are nationalists," what then? These
22 were all legally elected representatives in 2001, and they were all
23 replaced. Well, that's just -- those are just a few brief comments about
24 democracy and about close ties with Croatia, but you will hear more about
1 I think, Your Honours, that while straying a bit - I have a note
2 here to bring me back to my topic - when I said that the TO did not want
3 to have a common headquarters with the HVO except in Mostar, Herzegovina
4 was an exemplary community of good cooperation between the Muslims and
5 Croats until some historical events that I'll talk about later on. But
6 all I wish to illustrate with this was that in 1992, in July and
7 December -- from May to December, sorry, take a look at this. May,
8 December, 1992. These are incidents exclusively - I refer to them as
9 incidents - of the BH Army towards the HVO, Kresovo, the 17th of June,
10 1992; Fojnica, June, 1992; Kiseljak, the 20th of October, et cetera, et
11 cetera. All in 1992, from the month of May to the month of December.
12 Let's move on, and we'll see how we are going to refute all the
13 premises put forward by the Prosecution. I don't think, Your Honours, you
14 have yet had occasion to see a map like this. This is September, 1992.
15 Look at the situation in Central Bosnia, and some of the Prosecution
16 witnesses spoke about the situation. Look at the situation. This blue
17 colour, this blue area, are the Croatian enclaves. This is territory
18 under the control of the BH Army, and this was under Serb control. So no
19 points in common with no connections with free territory, HZ HB. They
20 have been completely separated. And that was the case right up to the
21 Washington Agreements. And these red dots here, the ones that you can see
22 on the edges of those enclaves, are where the BiH Army attacks on the
23 enclaves. And it is logical why it would be nice to unify all this. They
24 use the term "liberate." Who were they liberating the enclave from?
25 Because the population was 90 per cent Croats. How do they have the right
1 to say that they are liberating something, a community of three nations,
2 the BH Army is proclaiming the liberation of Bosnia. So they are going to
3 liberate Vitez and Busovaca, are they, from the Croats? So are they
4 liberating them from the Croats whereas the population is 90 per cent
5 Croat in that area?
6 But let's move on, Your Honours. I have an English text here, and
7 signatures. This is a Prosecution exhibit, P318, and I have placed the
8 20th of April, 1993, there on purpose, and this document stipulates the
9 following: [In English] Both legal and military forces of the Republic of
10 Bosnia-Herzegovina, and they are treated equally. [Interpretation] This
11 was signed by, if you please, [In English] BH Army Commander-in-Chief,
12 Sefer Halilovic, HVO Commander-in-Chief, Milivoj Petkovic, Commander UN,
13 B and H command, General Philip Morillon, the ECMM, [Interpretation]
14 stationed in Zenica, the main headquarters in Zenica.
15 You know what came before this agreement, long before either
16 agreement. Here it is, we have it once again in English. Yes, we do. It
17 was preceded by a prior agreement signed a long time previously, on the
18 28th of July, 1992, in fact, in Zagreb, and its annex signed in New York,
19 and it is Exhibit P159, and it represents an agreement between the state
20 of Bosnia-Herzegovina, which was recognised at that time in its foreign
21 borders, its external borders, and the Republic of Croatia, a state that
22 had already been recognised by the international community, that is to say
23 the state of Croatia. And the agreement is an agreement on friendship and
24 cooperation in which the HVO was proclaimed and equated to the
25 Bosnia-Herzegovina army.
1 And now we come to another important topic. Military cooperation
2 was agreed upon between Bosnia-Herzegovina and the Republic of Croatia for
3 the second time, and that military agreement was confirmed by the Split
4 agreement, and later on, in 1995, reasserted with the associated forces of
5 BiH and ABiH when they liberated a large portion of Bosnia-Herzegovina.
6 Why am I pointing this out to you, Your Honours? The state of
7 Croatia had the absolute right, according to international rules and
8 regulations, in view of the fact that it was attacked by another state, to
9 enter into that territory in depth and to neutralise fire. It did not do
10 so. According to this military agreement, the HVO could legally have
11 entered Bosnia-Herzegovina, but it did not go there. You know when it
12 went there? The HV, I mean, the HV, the Croatian army is what I'm
13 referring to. Although it could have on the basis of this agreement, it
14 was called to arrive, but it came after Srebrenica, Your Honours. That's
15 when it arrived. Srebrenica took place in 1995. The army of
16 Bosnia-Herzegovina publicly, in front of this -- before this international
17 court of law did not pull out a single corps towards the Drina border to
18 save Srebrenica and the Muslims in Eastern Herzegovina. All its force,
19 about 200.000 men, you know where they were concentrated? It concentrated
20 them in the Zenica and Tuzla basin with the intent of attacking central
21 Bosnia. And the 6th and 4th Corps, Konjic-Mostar, won over, which was its
22 goal, the whole Neretva Valley, from Jablanica to Konjic, and this is what
23 they did - and later on, in due course, we will demonstrate that to you -
24 the final goal being seizing Mostar, taking over Mostar, and there is a
25 clear order that we are going to authenticate very easily about the attack
1 on Mostar on the 16th of April, 1993, and this came to pass on the 9th of
2 May, 1993, and all this was an introduction into a plan which was called,
3 "Neretva 1993," which was given form to by the supreme commander, and
4 ordered by him, thought up by the main headquarters, and the object was to
5 come out on to the sea, on to the coast in the town of Neum, and for them
6 to be able to accomplish that, that Mostar had to be taken control of.
7 Mr. Sefer Halilovic who was no longer the commander but the main inspector
8 of the BH Army, describes this in detail in a book he published. And this
9 is the book. And that is when the worst crimes were committed, without
10 any objection, I hope, from the Prosecution, the crimes against Croats.
11 That is when there was ethnic cleansing of the whole area of
12 Jablanica-Konjic, and the most horrendous crimes took place in the town of
13 Grabovica, where 35 civilians were massacred -- and I apologise for having
14 to say this. I'm going to give a terrible example. People were impaled
15 and put up on the cross as well.
16 When the Defence is bringing this up, we don't expect, and we
17 promise not to have a tu quoque Defence, nor would I allow this to take
18 place, but I have to explain certain events, because nothing drops from
19 the sky just like that. Nothing is parachuted down. And that I say just
20 for the purposes of illustration.
21 To wind up with the HVO -- with the HV, Your Honour, when the
22 Republic of Croatia was attacked in September, 1991, in what was then a
23 joint state, the state of Yugoslavia, and a fact that we are going to
24 present to this Court, which is that Croats from Bosnia-Herzegovina at the
25 time lived in the state of Croatia, and born -- the first generation born
1 in Bosnia-Herzegovina, so just those -- the first generation ones. There
2 were 400.000 of them, and what happened? A very logical thing. All the
3 Croats from Bosnia, Croatia, came into Croatia to defend their parents, to
4 defend their brethren, to defend their relatives, to defend their friends,
5 and in order to do so they had to enter, but only in 1992, because Croatia
6 still did not have an army of its own. And it was organised through
7 police formations or the guards or the Zenga, in 1992, and after that, the
8 Croatian army was established. These young men joined the Croatian army.
9 To be brief, in 1992 the position was a logical one. When their
10 thresholds were attacked, the relatives in Bosnia-Herzegovina and family
11 members and friends, meant that these young men returned to their
12 thresholds. They were now already citizens of Bosnia-Herzegovina. But
13 together with them came their brothers, fathers, relatives, and friends,
14 who were citizens of the RH and citizens of the RBIH by virtue of their
15 birth, and dual nationality was recognised and made legal by the agreement
16 I showed you a moment ago, and it applied to both Croats and Muslims
18 They came to Bosnia-Herzegovina to defend it. Yes, they did, of
19 course. And what happened next? Nobody is going to take off an HV
20 insignia, because he is from the Croatian army. The Croatian army was
21 just being organised. In April 1992 was when the Serb aggression began.
22 And just as the fighting in Croatia stopped with the advent of UNPROFOR
23 around that time, in April 1992, the war stopped in Croatia, thanks to
24 UNPROFOR and the International Community, but the occupied portions of
25 territory remained, which were liberated in 1995.
1 So it is these young men who arrived, and they're not going to
2 take off their insignias, because they were proud of being members of the
3 army. They said they had been members for so many years, and nobody
4 minded, until somebody suddenly thought: Well, this might be an
5 aggression. And that's when the whole story about the Croatian army
6 started. But the story didn't start off by saying that Canada and America
7 and France effected the aggression, because there were at least 30 ethnic
8 Croats who were citizens of Canada, the United States, countries in
9 Europe. Nobody says that. Whereas they were citizens of those
10 countries. But these were citizens of Bosnia-Herzegovina temporarily
11 fighting in Croatia, and then they went back and then they were
12 demobilised, they were released from the HV, and the others arrived as
13 volunteers, their brothers and relatives and brethren from Croatia having
14 dual nationality.
15 Similarly, Your Honours, nobody ever said: Well, why is Sefer
16 Halilovic the citizen of another state? But Slobodan Praljak was --
17 people did say, "Well, he came from the HV." Yes, he did. He did come
18 from the HV. Do you know where Mr. Praljak was born? In Capljina. And
19 he spent his entire life in Siroki Brijeg. When he saw what was
20 happening, he was demobilised, and not only him as an officer, but other
21 officers were demobilised too, just like the members of the Foreign
22 Legion, the French state, and they were ethnic Croats who were let go
23 straight away, although they had French citizenship. The French Foreign
24 Legion let them go for them to be able to fight in their homeland, because
25 to defend one's homeland is a point of honour, and it is one's duty as
1 well. But we will demonstrate all that before this Trial Chamber in this
2 courtroom in due course.
3 Yes. Perhaps we could take a break. I wanted to get through as
4 much as possible, but I've been reminded that perhaps this is an opportune
6 JUDGE LIU: Yes. We'll resume at a quarter to 1.00, I suppose.
7 Yes, a quarter to 1.00.
8 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] May I just say that I have some
9 important videotapes to show now. Now, if the registrar could do
10 something to ensure that the videotapes are in a position to be played
11 after the break. Thank you.
12 JUDGE LIU: Thank you. We will rise.
13 --- Recess taken at 12.17 p.m.
14 --- On resuming at 12.47 p.m.
15 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. Krsnik, please continue.
16 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour. I have a
17 problem. I do wish to cut down my opening statement as much as possible
18 but you see how many subjects I have been set by the indictment, and I do
19 have a lot of witnesses and a lot of evidence, and I have to take care of
20 the time. I am doing my best, Your Honours. I'm doing my best and I hope
21 that I will be successful.
22 I should now like to ask the technical booth to play the videos,
23 if everything is in order now.
24 [Videotape played]
25 THE INTERPRETER: [Voiceover] "In my own name and in the name of
1 the presidency" -- [no interpretation].
2 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] Fast-forward, please.
3 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreters have not been provided with
4 copies of the transcript.
5 [Videotape played]
6 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] Your Honour, that is how the people
7 stopped the tanks in Polog, a little town between Mostar and Siroki
8 Brijeg. It says, "The Croats wish for peace, the generals want us to kill
9 each other."
10 Unfortunately, we do not have a translation, but I will illustrate
11 this to you. These are JNA tanks. They say that they are going out for
12 training but everybody knew that they were going to Kupres, which two or
13 three months later they took control of. This is the commander of that
14 tank column. If the interpreters could help us out here, if possible?
15 THE INTERPRETER: Yes. [Voiceover] "They are coming and going in
16 shifts. There are more and more people coming in from the surrounding
17 areas. Everybody says that the army can only go back, it cannot go
19 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] On the slogan it says, "We want
20 peace." And they are singing a song, a Catholic song, that this is the
21 road of peace and love.
22 THE INTERPRETER: [Voiceover] "The army and the people are standing
23 ground here for three days and three nights. The people kept the tanks at
24 bay for three nights and three days."
25 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] Fast-forward, please, or just play
1 the tape. Stop. Now we can play the tape at normal speed. Normal speed,
2 please, for the tape.
3 [Videotape played]
4 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] This is where Alija Izetbegovic
5 appeared in person from Sarajevo. He is holding a speech, speaking to the
6 people. He spoke about his past. He said that he was in prison, and he
7 is asking the people to let the tanks pass through, and you can hear the
8 Croatian people calling out to their legally elected president. The
9 President is saying, "I can make a mistake." He is saying, "Maybe I can
10 make a mistake but I now assess that the situation is ripe for you to let
11 the tanks pass."
12 Here we have a scene of the arrest of Alija Izetbegovic. They had
13 arrested him and taken him off as hostage, and there is a direct
14 conversation on Bosnia-Herzegovina State Television. The man in the
15 middle should have been his replacement, his name was Fikret Abdic. He's
16 talking to journalists. And this is Alija Izetbegovic speaking over the
17 telephone in detention. Mr. Alija Izetbegovic. "We must stop the
18 fighting." That is -- "Mr. Izetbegovic, the army can transport you to
19 Sarajevo." The studio is talking to Alija Izetbegovic directly and the
20 programme was broadcast live and it was watched by the whole of
21 Yugoslavia. And General Djurdjevac and General Kukanjac held him in
22 detention on behalf of the JNA.
23 THE INTERPRETER: [Voiceover] "May we speak to the general,
24 please? Our demands are as follows."
25 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] This is the Cyrillic script, the
1 Cyrillic script which was equal to the Latin script and in use in
2 Bosnia-Herzegovina. And General Kukanjac is on the programme live. He is
3 making his demands, making his requests.
4 THE INTERPRETER: [Voiceover] "Mr. Izetbegovic is a reasonable
5 man. He is with his daughter here and his escorts. We are going to have
6 a doctor. They will be put up well and accommodated well and nothing will
7 harm them."
8 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] The journalist is asking the general
9 in what capacity he is there. And the answer.
10 THE INTERPRETER: [Voiceover] "Call General Kukanjac and things
11 will be clear to you. General, stop the firing. There is no fighting
12 from Lukavica, but it is Lukavica that is doing the fighting."
13 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] A member of the presidency, Stjepan
14 Kljujic, has now been involved in the programme. He is one of the
16 I'm afraid that a third party is meddling. Which side? I think
17 it is the paramilitary units of the SDS, who are shooting from Vraca and
18 up there from Trebevic. They are probably targeting the army and causing
19 unrest and interference.
20 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] May we have a fast-forward here? And
21 one sentence I'm particularly interested in. Just move back a bit and
22 stop there. Back a little, please. May we have the picture played back?
23 And now we can play the tape at normal speed from this point on. Could
24 you play the tape at normal speed, please. Thank you. There seems to be
25 problems in the technical booth as well.
1 But Mr. Alija Izetbegovic, on the occasion, handed over all his
2 authorisations to Mr. Ganic.
3 This next excerpt shows Alija Izetbegovic confirming publicly on
4 television, and questioned by all three peoples and different journalists
5 belonging to different newspapers in Bosnia-Herzegovina. He is busy
6 explaining why he signed the military agreement and the agreement from
7 Split, also over state television.
8 Fast-forward, please. Stop there, please, and rewind it to the
9 beginning of this particular scene, please. Could you rewind this scene
10 to the beginning? I should like to ask the interpreters to help us out.
11 Could you play the tape from this moment on. Yes, go ahead, please.
12 THE INTERPRETER: [Voiceover] From Zagreb. A Croatian soldier, he
13 refuses to go to the front at the BH. Derventa, for example, can he be
14 fined as a deserter, punished as a deserter? No, he can't. I have a
15 group of questions from our viewers which is not addressed to any of you
16 in particular, but it relates to --
17 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] Let me make things a little clearer.
18 This is the late defence minister of the Republic of Croatia, Mr. Gojko
20 THE INTERPRETER: [Voiceover] Officers of the Croatian army gave
21 public statements according to the conditions under which a Croatian
22 soldier can go to Bosnia-Herzegovina territory. They are volunteers born
23 in the territory or volunteers who wish to go and defend the territory,
24 and as such we help them as far as we can. But there is no order that was
25 issued to anybody ordering them to go to Bosnia-Herzegovina. An order
1 like that does not exist.
2 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] May we stop there, then. So that was
3 the talk show, public from Television Zagreb. The name of the programme
4 was Ukrupni [phoen] Plan, or Close-Up. It took place in 1992, with the
5 participation of Minister Gojko Susak, who, asked by a viewer, answered in
6 public as he did. General Slobodan Praljak sat next to him, and other
7 high-ranking officers of the then HV took part in the programme.
8 I just wish to illustrate what I have been saying hitherto and
9 something that we shall present before the Court by way of evidence.
10 Now we come to my final explanation of how people were coming from
11 Croatia and other countries throughout the world, and we come to my
12 client, and I'm now going to focus on my client, the accused.
13 Let me remind you. Mr. Mladen Naletilic, with pride, said the
14 following sentence at his Initial Appearance: "If it is a crime to defend
15 one's homeland, then I am guilty." By saying that, he meant that it was
16 his duty and that he was honour-bound, like all others, led by the noble
17 goal of defending his homeland, both in the Republic of Croatia and in the
18 Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina, to defend his family and threshold. And
19 that is not a crime; it is his duty and an honour to do so, and he went
20 there to perform his duty and not to commit a crime.
21 My client, Mladen Naletilic, left his family and all the comforts
22 of the type of life he led in the Federal Republic of Germany to come to
23 the Republic of Croatia and then to go to Siroki Brijeg, which at the time
24 was under imminent danger of being occupied by the JNA. We shall move to
25 show, through our evidence, that he would have been a moral zero, if I can
1 put it that way, had he not taken that moral step and taken part, as one
2 of the founders of a unit which got the name of the Convicts' Battalion,
3 and along with him it was formed by the former convicts of their own
4 ideals and consciences who were persecuted by the Communist regime in the
5 former Yugoslavia. And the unit, together with the other units that were
6 formed, had the important role to liberate Mostar and the whole of
7 Herzegovina, and had many victims and casualties on the way, and it also
8 took part in the first victory against the army of Republika Srpska.
9 He himself was born at Siroki Brijeg. He was therefore a citizen
10 of Bosnia-Herzegovina. But he never took out a Bosnia-Herzegovinian
11 passport, so he was the citizen of Croatia, in fact, a citizen of Croatia.
12 I'm going to skip over the next part and take up my story here.
13 In the indictment we see that when the HVO is mentioned, when reference is
14 made to the HVO, it says that the propaganda of -- that certain circles,
15 in order to realise their political goals, intentionally showed this
16 situation to be -- showed the situation in a different light, and many
17 international representatives, unfortunately, although with very meager
18 arguments or negligible arguments -- we saw a vehicle with HV number
19 plates or a general that we assumed was a general of the HV, although the
20 Defence will show that the general that Mr. McGrinton [phoen], the public
21 witness, spoke to was a general of the HVO and not the HV. And who rode
22 in those cars, although they had HV number plates, remains unclear. And
23 once again, there is silence on the agreement between the BiH and RH
24 states that I mentioned a moment ago. The International Community and the
25 United Nations, let me repeat, recognised the external borders, whereas
1 the internal political order and system was to be agreed upon later on.
2 Mr. Izetbegovic used this to show the Muslims and the army of BiH
3 as the sole legitimate representatives of that state, although those
4 organs of power and authority were made up of Muslims exclusively, without
5 the presence of the other peoples and other ethnic groups, and as such
6 they were illegitimate, illegal, because in a state of equal peoples they
7 should all have taken part on a basis of equality. And for illustration
8 purposes, let me say it's the same thing as if you had a three-storey
9 house with three brothers living in it, then you have to divide up the
10 house amongst those three brothers. So that is what the situation was
11 like, and that's when the International Community came into play.
12 Every plan - Cutilliero's plan, the Vance-Owen Plan, the
13 Owen-Stoltenberg plan, and later the Washington Agreement, which was to
14 realise this - always went in line with the division of Bosnia, the just
15 division of Bosnia, guided by the criterion of the majority laid out by an
16 ethnic group in a certain area. And we're going to show through our
17 evidence that a person who was an expert in the Vance-Owen Plan will be
18 putting this forward.
19 Cutilliero's plan wanted to focus on the municipalities, and
20 that's when the "leopard-skin" term began to be used as leopard-skin
21 ethnic group oases. The Vance-Owen Plan wanted to see a union of the
22 republics and provinces, which were to remain provinces, and that's what
23 happened. Bosnia was, in fact, divided into provinces.
24 In the meantime, between Cutilliero's and Vance-Owen Plan, a broad
25 campaign was conducted and all the suggestions were legal insofar as they
1 were not solved by war, insofar as it was possible to reach a democratic
2 agreement. Each proposal was thus legal, joining Croatia or Serbia: The
3 federalisation or confederal association with neighbouring states,
4 confederation within Bosnia and Herzegovina, a union of federal units, and
5 union of republics, a union of provinces, the Swiss model, based on
6 cantons. All of this was legal. All of this was discussed, unfortunately
7 for over two years, for far too long, because innocent people suffered,
8 and we can't get them back. They can't be returned. And I think that
9 they are observing us now.
10 Not a single proposal was for a unitarian or civil
11 Bosnia-Herzegovina by people who don't understand the issue or by people
12 who really have nothing to do or no awareness of this. Every proposal had
13 to do with a division. You know we're going to call a witness who will
14 give testimony here as to what Lord Carrington told him. When, at the
15 Butmir airport, when they were going to negotiations at the Butmir
16 airport, Lord Carrington, the first negotiator of the International
17 Community told him: "If you don't reach an agreement very quickly, we're
18 going to let you kill each other, destroy each other, and afterwards we'll
19 come and we'll impose our own solution."
20 You'll hear a witness who was told these things. Unfortunately,
21 this is exactly what happened, although the Croats, the smallest people,
22 who were unable to come to a decision on their own without agreement with
23 these other two, because at the beginning of the war there were 17 of them
24 and now there are only 10 per cent of them, whereas the number of the
25 other two peoples was constantly on the rise and continues to be on the
1 rise even today.
2 So they really could not do anything on their own, the Croatian
3 people. They had to wait for the agreement of the other two people. It's
4 signed. They signed every peace agreement because every peace agreement
5 ensured the survival and the sovereignty of the Croatian people. That is
6 why such agreements would be signed, such plans would be signed, because
7 every plan was good for the Croatian people. It guaranteed its survival.
8 But Izetbegovic signed both Cutilliero's and Vance-Owen's plan,
9 and after that he abandoned them because their appetite was just too
11 And see now, the role of the international community again, we are
12 going to call a witness about -- who will testify about Izetbegovic
13 returning from Cutilliero's plan, which was signed in Lisbon, and
14 Zimmerman, who was then the ambassador in Yugoslavia, told Alija
15 Izetbegovic, "Whose fault is it for you having signed this?" Because he
16 was complaining about the fact that the Bosniaks had received too little
17 territory. And the ambassador, Zimmerman, said, "Who is responsible for
18 the fact that you signed this? Whose fault is it?" How else could
19 Izetbegovic have interpreted this other than by saying, "What I have
20 signed does not have to be implemented by me"?
21 Such lack of understanding, Your Honour, at that time, was fatal.
22 Either local interests, local political interests, or particular political
23 interests, governed this, the interests of the entire -- of all of Europe,
24 in western and eastern -- in the western and eastern areas of influence,
25 and this border followed the central part of Bosnia, more or less. It
1 always followed the central part of Bosnia.
2 I will illustrate this. The last such division within the
3 framework of NATO in Brussels was worked out in 1993, and the line takes
4 this direction. The influence of the orthodox faith, the border can be
5 seen here. This map was made in Brussels under the auspices of the NATO
6 fact, and you can see where this line comes to an end. It goes right
7 through the central part of Bosnia and Herzegovina. That's where it
9 And now that I have shown you this map, I will show you something
10 else that has not been understood or something that is part of an attempt
11 at deliberate deception. And this is evidence for us. It's called Paddy
12 Ashdown's serviette, Paddy Ashdown's napkin. This is the story. In
13 London, at a banquet where the victory over fascism was being celebrated -
14 and this banquet was held on the 6th of May, 1995 - President Tudjman, who
15 participated in the antifascist resistance as one of Tito's partisans and
16 who reached the rank of a general in Tito's army, President Tudjman was
17 invited to this banquet, and as you can see in this map that you have
18 before you, he has -- he explained this line and how in 1993, he received
19 this map from Brussels, and given that he is dead, he can't confirm this
20 but this book will confirm this fact, he probably only drew this line
21 whereas Lord Paddy Ashdown, in his own hand, interpreted this as follows,
22 and he wrote down what suited him at the time probably, in the light of
23 the 6th of May, 1995, he interpreted in this light, when the Washington
24 Agreement was concluded, when Dayton had almost been concluded, he said
25 that Tudjman wanted the division of Bosnia, and I don't know why this has
1 been presented here. It was the 6th of May, 1995. So who is being
2 deceived here and what do they want to show? This book is going to be
3 translated and all of Tudjman's arguments will be translated too, and all
4 the denials of Lord Paddy Ashdown too, who is now to become the new
5 governor of Bosnia and Herzegovina. He's already been elected as such.
6 All interviews and all the denials that the late President Franjo Tudjman
7 forwarded with regard to his statement and the interpretation, that will
8 be presented, and we will provide evidence to show that this is false.
9 As you see, all these negotiations with regard to the division of
10 Bosnia led to the division of Bosnia. Because in fact, there are two
11 federal units in Bosnia and Herzegovina now. That's what constitutes
12 Bosnia and Herzegovina. One federal unit is called the Federation of
13 Bosniaks and Croats. It has its own government, it has its own
14 constitution, its own army, and its own police force. It has its own
15 constitutional and judicial system. And the other federal unit is called
16 Republika Srpska, which has its own army, its own police force, its own
17 judiciary. The only thing they have in common is the currency, although
18 I'm not even sure about this fact. I think it's their currency, and
19 that's the convertible mark. Now it's the euro, and it's backed up by the
20 Republic of Germany.
21 This all took place at the end of 1992. January, 1992,
22 Vance-Owen's plan was signed, the Bosniaks and the Croats signed it. It
23 was necessary to implement it. It was quite clear what the division of
24 the provinces would look like and who the governors would be. This was
25 January, 199 -- Herzegovina belonged to -- was to go to the Croatian
1 province, but the governor -- Zijad Emirovic was elected as governor,
2 January, 1993.
3 The SDA party, at whose head was Alija Izetbegovic, understood
4 that a division was taking place, and that it had to seize as much
5 territory as possible. Who did it turn to? It turned to the weakest
6 people, the Croats. It didn't attack at any place the Army of Republika
7 Srpska, and it didn't dare to do so. It started a policy of
8 Islamisation. Up until then, this had been concealed but now it was
9 public. It Islamised the Army of Bosnia-Herzegovina. It replaced the
10 legal leadership from Sarajevo to Mostar. It replaced the legally elected
11 authorities in the municipality of Konjic, Jablanica and Prozor. And
12 through its one-sided, illegal act, it replaced Dr. Ismir Mehmedcehajic,
13 if I have pronounced this correctly, but in any event, a doctor who was
14 the President of the Crisis Staff in Konjic. It brought in Dr. Safet Cibo
15 from Sarajevo on the 8th of March, 1993, who then behaved in a dictatorial
16 manner, unified the municipalities into one, and that was the municipality
17 of Konjic, Jablanica and Prozor, and this resulted - and it's still the
18 case today - that in the fact that there are no longer Croats in that
20 In Mostar, the legal leadership was replaced, at whose head was
21 Dr. Hadziosmanovic, a democrat. He was a democrat by conviction, and he
22 didn't agree to such a situation, but Emirovic did agree to such a case
23 and he replaced him.
24 But he was just a puppet in the hands of the mufti Seid Smajkic,
25 who, like the other imams and hodzas and muftis, actively participated
1 then in the Islamisation. The commander of the entire corps, Arif
2 Pasalic, and Izetbegovic's close associate, Safet Orucevic, who until
3 recently was the mayor of Mostar. The Defence will show and will produce
4 evidence before this Tribunal that they provoked the war in Mostar, they
5 did it. They carried out propaganda and gave orders to all the media and
6 to all Bosniaks, they told them to leave their work, to leave school, and
7 told them that they shouldn't cooperate with Croats. Up until that date,
8 they had lived in a normal manner. It doesn't matter what the programme
9 is in schools, whether it's organised by the HZ HB. What is important is
10 that children go to school. It's important that they finish their
11 education, that they don't miss out, and when the state is free and rich,
12 then school programmes will be created. What's strange about this? But
13 in the middle of the war, with all those refugees there, special
14 programmes were being asked for. And who is going to make those
15 programmes when there is no state in existence? We will provide evidence
16 to show that these four received that task from Alija Izetbegovic, the
17 task to implement this in Bosnia-Herzegovina, and they succeeded in doing
19 And then a replacement, another replacement was made. The then
20 commander, Sefer Halilovic, was replaced. He was the commander of the
21 Army of Bosnia-Herzegovina but he didn't agree with Islamisation and he
22 came into conflict with Alija Izetbegovic. And that it rapidly started
23 Islamising. This is something that we will show with this videotape,
24 where everything can be quite clearly seen.
25 Please could you show the tape, at the point where we stopped? We
1 can continue there.
2 [Videotape played]
3 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] Could you fast-forward a bit,
4 please? So within the framework of the legal army of Bosnia-Herzegovina,
5 with the framework of the 3rd Corps of the Army of Bosnia-Herzegovina, the
6 El Mujahedin Brigade was formed, which according to certain estimates, had
7 at least 3.000, between 3.000 and 5.000 men.
8 Please stop the tape and -- in fact, it would accept everyone and
9 educate them and train them and then sent them to form Muslim units.
10 Please can you show it now? Could you rewind the tape a bit,
11 please? And we need the sound, too.
12 [Videotape played]
13 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] At this point. That's fine. Right
14 here. So please, the sound, please.
15 [Videotape played]
16 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] Alija Izetbegovic came here
17 personally and inspected the men.
18 [Videotape played]
19 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] Please could you stop the tape a
21 What they were shouting was, "Our route to victory, Islam jihad."
22 Please can you continue with the tape?
23 [Videotape played]
24 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] These are all military commanders.
25 That's the flag of Bosnia-Herzegovina. Alija Izetbegovic is being
1 introduced to them. He is being made familiar with the situation. Please
2 stop the tape. Stop the tape. Please stop the tape.
3 So you can see this facial distortion here. The man who is
4 sitting next to Alija Izetbegovic is being searched for. That's why his
5 face is hidden. And the people who are sitting there, who are with him,
6 they are people who have come from Islamic countries.
7 Please continue with the showing of the tape. We will provide
8 evidence to prove this.
9 [Videotape played]
10 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] This is the main sheik for the
11 shariat rights. You can see him behind the person whose face is
12 distorted. The commander of the 3rd Corps of Bosnia-Herzegovina is
13 sitting next to Alija Izetbegovic.
14 You can fast-forward now. Please fast-forward a bit.
15 Those are all the lineups. These are all mujahedin. You can see
16 how many of them there are. I don't want to tire the Trial Chamber with
17 this right now. We will have an opportunity to show this to our
18 witnesses -- through our witnesses. This was one of the biggest camps --
19 one of the biggest training camps in the entire world.
20 Please stop the tape. Please stop the tape. Could you rewind,
21 please? From here. Stop here. You can show it from here.
22 [Videotape played]
23 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] Now the commander for shariat
24 questions, who is driving here, you can see him here, we will have this
25 tape translated because it's in Arabic, but we were told that he is
1 driving with a mujahedin and his face has also been distorted. There is a
2 report which is being submitted on Tuzla, and he is with another
3 commander, and the overall commander for all of them is of course Alija
5 Fast-forward a bit, please. Stop here, please. Could you rewind
6 just a bit from here? That's fine. You can show the tape.
7 [Videotape played]
8 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] So again there is another
9 distortion. According to the translation, we have been told that this was
10 the prince and here on the left there is a general, General Mahmudin
11 [phoen] of the 3rd Corps. You can see how hearty these relations are. I
12 didn't manage to read that.
13 You can fast-forward here.
14 These are just prisoners in the picture now, but this is not
16 Please fast-forward.
17 They are going into action here. They are showing their weapons
18 and so on, the weapons that they have.
20 From the El Mujahedin detachment, such elite units of the army of
21 Bosnia-Herzegovina were produced. This is the 7th Muslim Brigade that you
22 can see here.
23 Please show the tape again.
24 [Videotape played]
25 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] Fast-forward the tape, please. And
1 now there are various members here who are telling their positions and
2 saying what the purpose of Islam is. This is a foreign person who is
3 calling on all the Muslims to come and fight in Bosnia and Herzegovina, to
4 defend Bosnia and Herzegovina. And in Croatian or Bosniak they are
5 describing why the Mujahedin are there, what their objective is, what
6 their task is, or, that is to say, what the objective or task of each
7 Muslim in Bosnia-Herzegovina is. This is one of the training camps.
8 Here we have a member. He's a Bosniak, he's speaking in Croatian,
9 and he is giving his reasons and he is asking all Muslims to fight against
10 Allah's enemies. But we'll produce evidence to prove all of this.
11 This gentleman, I think he is a citizen of Yemen. His name will
12 appear now. He was also speaking. So all of this is propaganda. This is
13 where the cassette could be bought at the time. It is quite clearly
14 stated here.
15 Please stop here. Stop here, please, and could you please rewind
16 it a bit. Just a bit more. That's fine, right there. Stop there and
17 show the tape, please. You can show the tape now.
18 He was a commander for the shariat questions. He is interpreting
19 that they had come here for training. He was talking about the objectives
20 of the fight.
21 Very well. You can stop the tape. You can stop the tape.
22 He was providing explanations here. We will obtain a translation
23 and you will very clearly see what the objectives were of the BH army,
24 that is to say, of the Mujahedin. They are quite clearly speaking out
25 against the United Nations, against America, against the International
1 Community, and you will very clearly see what their combat objectives were
2 and you will see in which year this took place.
3 He will shortly explain what the task of each Muslim is. You see
4 I stopped the image here on a soldier from the UN, that is to say, from
6 Let's carry on. Let's continue. And it is the duty of the
7 Defence to challenge the Prosecution, which says that the Convicts'
8 Battalion participated in aggression against the Muslims. This never took
9 place, this cooperation between the Croatian army and the Convicts'
11 The Defence will show who the Tutici are, and you will hear
12 members of the Convicts' Battalion who fought against the Tutici and who
13 destroyed their reputation, and this brought shame on the members of the
14 Convicts' Battalion. The Trial Chamber will hear that not a single member
15 of the Convicts' Battalion never said that he was a Tutic for himself.
16 The real members of the Convicts' Battalion never had any reason to
17 present themselves because they were presented by the Convicts'
19 The Defence will call witnesses who will say how the Convicts'
20 Battalion was formed, when, and who was in command of it. The Trial
21 Chamber shall hear how the founder, or one of the founders of the
22 Convicts' Battalion, was Mr. Mladen Naletilic and how at the beginning
23 there were only about ten young men, and from those ten it grew into a
25 Your Honour, you will hear that the Convicts' Battalion was a
1 military unit which didn't have to and shouldn't have had to be ashamed of
2 its acts, and you will also hear the reasons for which many presented
3 themselves as members of the Tutici.
4 You will hear about Mladen Naletilic and the reason for which he
5 went to Herzegovina, after many years abroad, and you will hear about the
6 importance he had during the Serbian aggression.
7 The Defence shall challenge the Prosecution's evidence about
8 events in October 1992 in Prozor, Stolac, and about the reasons and
9 circumstances under which a conflict broke out between the HVO and the BH
11 Just for the sake of an illustration, I will now show you
12 something. This is the following part of my opening statement. As you
13 can see, the 4th Corps of Mostar, on the 23rd of March, 1993, the
14 commander Cerovac Midhat sent this to Arif Pasalic on the 24th of March,
16 We are informing you that the situation in the zone of our
17 responsibility is as follows: 150 members of the HVO have been captured.
18 The town has been blocked. Life in the town is paralysed, has been
19 paralysed. There have been -- we are continuing with arrests.
20 As part of the implementation of this plan, which I spoke of
21 earlier on -- my learned colleagues, please, no objections now, no tu
22 quoque objections. The events before the 9th of May, 1993 -- I'll give
23 the dates and the places and the number of Croats who were killed while
24 this plan was being implemented, this criminal plan was being implemented
25 by the army of BH.
1 The Gusti Grab village, on the 29th of January, 1993, five men
2 killed. Orlista, 23rd of March, 1993, four killed. These were all
3 civilians. Trusina -- this is all in the area of Konjic, of Konjic and
4 Jablanica. Trusina, 4th of April, 1993, 16 civilians were killed.
5 Miletici, 24th of April, 1993, five killed. Bilivode, 27th of April,
6 1993, three killed. Susanj, 27th of April, 1993, ten. Ten Croatian
7 civilians were killed.
8 I'm not going to carry on, because now we're entering June, June,
9 July, August, September, October, November. The Prosecutor, in his
10 indictment, says that up until the 9th of May there was -- a conflict
11 broke out and that the HVO carried out an attack, that the HVO attacked
12 defenceless villages, inhabited by civilians. You have seen the power of
13 that army and we're going to provide evidence here to prove this. Can you
14 imagine that these 50 civilians, these 50 Croatian civilians who were
15 killed, can you imagine that this was something that was not known, that
16 it could have been concealed, that the HVO had not attacked the BH army
17 anywhere by that date? And we're going to prove this in this Trial
19 The Defence is going to contest the Prosecution's allegation that
20 the army was an armed force of the government of Bosnia and Herzegovina
21 and that the HVO was in a conflict with the BH army. Both the HVO and the
22 BH army were armed forces which were in conflict, but they didn't attack
23 villages inhabited by civilians, which is what the Prosecutor wants to
24 charge the HVO with and wants to charge my client, Mladen Naletilic, with
25 too, of course.
1 The HVO started a number of attacks against the Bosnian and Muslim
2 population - that's what the Prosecution alleges - in April 1993, just as
3 in Ahmici, on the 16th of April. Can you see to what extent before -- can
4 you see to what extent the BH army had, both in Central Bosnia and in the
5 area of Konjic and Jablanica, to what extent the BH army had been active?
6 And that at the same time, on the 17th of April 1993, the HVO, with HV
7 forces, including the Convicts' Battalion, attacked the Sovici and Doljani
8 villages, under the command, overall command of Mladen Naletilic, and
9 forcibly moved Bosnian Muslims and destroyed their property.
10 Sovici and Doljani are two wholes that can't be divided, and I'm
11 going to prove this to the Trial Chamber. I will elaborate on this a
12 little later. I will go into details of the Convicts' Battalion in Sovici
13 and I will talk about what happened in Sovici on the 17th of April, and so
15 The Defence is going to show, is going to prove, that Mladen
16 Naletilic was not and could not have been the commander of all the units
17 on the HVO side, of all the units which participated in the conflict, and
18 it will show that he wasn't even a commander of part of the Convicts'
19 Battalion, which participated in the conflict.
20 The Defence will show that Mladen Naletilic did not order, did not
21 implement, and did not participate in the forcible transfer of civilians,
22 and we will also show that in April, no Muslims were arrested, neither in
23 Capljina nor in Stolac, nor in Mostar. The Defence, with regard to this,
24 will also show, Your Honours, that no Muslims were expelled, no Muslims
25 were dismissed from their work, that the Muslims who were employed in
1 institutions or in economic companies which functioned during the war,
2 they remained there. They could hold onto their positions. They could
3 hold onto the positions they had before the conflict. And the Defence
4 will show that the Muslims left their place of residence because the SDA
5 exerted pressure on them, the SDA party.
6 Within that framework, we'll also provide evidence that Caritas
7 took care of 30.000 refugees in Mostar alone, of course, at a private
8 session, in a private session, with all the information.
9 Contrary to what the Prosecution alleges, that the HV units
10 started the conflict, started the attack, the Defence will provide
11 evidence proving that it was the BH army that attacked the HVO on the 9th
12 of May, 1993, and that the conflict which ensued was not a conflict
13 directed against the Muslim civilians.
14 The Defence shall also provide evidence that the Croatian army did
15 not occupy Mostar, and neither did the HVO. It will show the origin of
16 the BH army and HVO conflict in Mostar. It will provide evidence proving
17 that Mladen Naletilic was not the person who conducted a campaign against
19 It is necessary to distinguish certain concepts here, that of the
20 Prosecutor, who says that it was an attack on the Muslim population,
21 although the conflict in question was that between the Muslim army and not
22 an attack against civilians. The Defence has to provide evidence to
23 challenge the Prosecution's allegations that the events in Mostar and in
24 Sovici and in Doljani, and it will provide evidence to show that the
25 objectives were not ethnic cleansing, nor was it the seizure or taking
1 control of the municipalities of Mostar, Jablanica, et cetera, thus
2 forcing the Muslims to leave the territory. And by all means, the Defence
3 will show that Mladen Naletilic did not in any way act with such a goal in
5 The Defence will show that the events in Mostar, in which
6 unfortunately there were many citizens who were killed, both Muslims and
7 Croats, many civilians -- there were people who were tortured, maltreated,
8 abused, but these people included Muslims, Serbs, and Croats. This was
9 not the result of the implementation of ethnic cleansing, but
10 unfortunately it was the inevitable result of an armed conflict in which
11 everyone is a victim, in which individual crimes are committed. But
12 crimes are not the objective, but the unfortunate, the sad consequence.
13 A criminal has a first and last name and he can't be called a
14 Croat or a Serb or a Muslim. He has his own name. His name -- he is
15 called a criminal.
16 Your Honours, don't forget that that army that had been founded
17 had only been in existence for a year. Show me any army anywhere in the
18 world that can organise itself in a year. What sort of discipline can we
19 talk about here, and what sort of order, internal order? I can't present
20 this here before the Tribunal. I don't know how I could try to do so.
21 But we'll try and provide evidence to show you how this was the case and
22 to show you what measures were taken to ensure that these units were
23 orderly, because they were formed from people who were neighbours, from
24 people who lived in the same street, and then they gradually turned into
25 certain units. And they all like to be called ATGs, anti-terrorist
1 groups, and they finished up at the Bulevar in 1993.
2 JUDGE LIU: Mr. Krsnik, I'm afraid that we have to stop here,
3 because the next trial will use this courtroom. If you did not finish
4 your opening statement, tomorrow morning you could continue with it.
5 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] Your Honour, thank you very much. I
6 think that I still have another hour. I would just like to inform you of
8 JUDGE LIU: So we'll continue tomorrow morning at 9.00.
9 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 1.49 p.m.,
10 to be reconvened on Tuesday, the 26th day of March,
11 2002, at 9.00 a.m.