1 Wednesday, 10 April 2002
2 [The accused entered court]
3 [Open session]
4 --- Upon commencing at 9.03 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 Naletilic and Martinovic.
8 JUDGE LIU: Well, Mr. Usher, would you please bring in the
10 [The witness entered court]
11 JUDGE LIU: Good morning, Witness. Can you hear me?
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Good morning, Your Honours. Yes, I
13 can hear you.
14 JUDGE LIU: How are you this morning?
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Fine, thank you very much.
16 JUDGE LIU: Thank you.
17 WITNESS: BOZO RAJIC [Resumed]
18 [Witness answered through interpreter]
19 JUDGE LIU: Mr. Krsnik?
20 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] Good morning.
21 Examination by Mr. Krsnik: [Continued]
22 Q. Let me also bid you good morning. I hope it won't take us long.
23 I have two or maybe three questions for you, not more than that.
24 Mr. Rajic, I'd like to show you now a document, ID D1/91. So will
25 you please have a look and provide some explanations for the Court? And
1 please, whenever you have a document, it needs to be identified, so please
2 give us the date, who signed it.
3 A. Counsel, thank you for your kind words this morning, for your
4 words of welcome. I confirm that this document, which is authentic, is
5 also my letter in my capacity of the Minister of Defence of the Republic
6 of Bosnia-Herzegovina, in which I replied to the head of the main -- head
7 of the staff of the supreme command of the armed forces of the Republic of
8 Bosnia-Herzegovina, Mr. Sefer Halilovic. This is in reply to his letter
9 in which he insinuates that I personally, and General Milivoj Petkovic,
10 head of the main staff of the HVO, and even General Janko Bobetko, head of
11 the main staff, Chief of the Main Staff of the Croatian Army, to make it
12 clear, the army of the Republic of Croatia.
13 Q. Can you tell us which day bears this document?
14 A. The date is the 14th of April, 1993. I signed the letter and
15 notified about it, the President of the Presidency of the Republic of
16 Bosnia-Herzegovina, Mr. Izetbegovic, the President of the Croat community
17 Herceg-Bosna, Mr. Mate Boban and the main staff of the Croat Defence
18 Council. However, it is a long letter and I'd like to -- I'd like to ask
19 Your Honours how much -- to what extent may I comment on it.
20 Q. Through my questions, will you please tell us what kind of
21 responsibility is insinuated or what kind of responsibilities on your
22 part is he referring to? Will you please explain it and give us the
23 concise answer as to what this is about?
24 A. What this is about is that Mr. Halilovic voices his concern about
25 the possible fall of surrounded towns in east Bosnia, such as Srebrenica,
1 Zepa and Gorazde. He suggests that I, as the Minister of Defence of the
2 Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina, and Mr. Petkovic and Mr. Bobetko, that we
3 are, according to him, responsible because we had failed to ensure the
4 passage of a rather large convoy of armament and materiel which at that
5 time, because of the clashes between the Army of Bosnia-Herzegovina and
6 the HVO, had been stopped at Grude. But this accusation is factually
7 incorrect in at least two aspects.
8 First, Mr. Halilovic knows that I cannot have that much say in the
9 release of that convoy, just as I could not have any say with regard to
10 his conduct.
11 And secondly, he did not need weaponry to defend those areas in
12 east Bosnia. He needed it to store it with other purpose in mind, in
13 central Bosnia, in the town of Visoko.
14 Q. Mr. Rajic, I see -- I mean this document is self explanatory but I
15 nevertheless see that in some ten items, you expounded certain views,
16 certain points, for Mr. Halilovic's benefit. Will you please tell us in a
17 nutshell what is it that you drew his attention to?
18 A. I'll try to be as brief as possible. I will not describe the
20 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. Stringer?
21 MR. STRINGER: Mr. President, we object to this testimony on the
22 grounds that it's irrelevant.
23 JUDGE LIU: Well, Mr. Krsnik, you have to show us the relevance of
24 those questions. Maybe because we don't understand the language, so we
25 don't see the point of your questioning.
1 [Trial Chamber confers]
2 JUDGE LIU: Before you ask any questions, could you ask the
3 interpreter to translate certain paragraphs that related to your
4 question? I mean, you or the witness may read certain paragraphs that is
5 related to your question so that we could know what you are talking about,
6 because we are totally at a loss.
7 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] My apologies, Mr. President. I
8 thought that the document had been translated. My sincere apologies.
9 Now, I realise now it has just occurred to me that these documents have
10 not been translated yet. Your Honours, this is highly relevant because
11 this is the Minister of Defence of Bosnia-Herzegovina writing to the Chief
12 of Staff of the armed forces of Bosnia-Herzegovina, and the date is the
13 14th of April, 1993. First, this letter proves that they were still
14 receiving armaments from the HVO. He is then warned about all the
15 incidents, to begin with, there was -- there were these armaments which
16 went towards the Army of Bosnia-Herzegovina. Secondly, the Ministry of
17 Defence of Bosnia-Herzegovina, in ten items, warns the head of the armed
18 forces about all the omissions, of all the failures, which have produced
19 conflicts and which have given rise to conflicts and now I think perhaps
20 it would be best if I read this item by item. It is not long. And it
21 won't take much time.
22 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. Stringer?
23 MR. STRINGER: Well, we object to this procedure. Counsel's
24 description of a document is very helpful but it's no substitute for a
25 translation. It is a lengthy document, Mr. President, and it would take a
1 fair amount of time for us to read this or to ask the interpreters to read
2 it for us. And based on what we do know about it, it is our submission
3 that the matters that are discussed or dealt with in this letter are
4 irrelevant or are largely marginal to the issues that are central to this
6 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] Your Honours, no, I cannot accept
7 that. No, there is no way I can accept this. Whenever the Prosecutor
8 does not like, they say it is irrelevant. Excuse me but if it is
9 irrelevant, then the BH Army under your command continues to evidently
10 interfere with political issues, and uses numerous activities to plan,
11 provoke and carry out armed conflicts, with HVO units, in spite of the
12 public appeal of the president of the Presidency, Mr. Izetbegovic, not to
13 do that, and in spite of the peace plan signed in New York.
14 B: Your personal order to the commander of the 4th Corps of 28th
15 of January, 1993, is irrefutable proof of your interference in fundamental
16 political issues.
17 C: The Army of Bosnia-Herzegovina arbitrarily suspends
18 provisional bodies of the executive authority. The executive authority of
19 the HVO in some municipalities, although it had been agreed a long time
20 ago, at the highest political level. And sets out to establish its own
21 authority in individual municipalities which is a political and legal
23 D: The BH Army continues with movements, with demonstration, with
24 a show of force, with the introduction of -- with the transportation of
25 new forces from outside, so that today, in the territory -- in the area of
1 central Bosnia and in the Neretva valley, it has amassed some 25.000
2 troops. Why? And to what end?
3 E: Members of the BH Army and the police forces of the BIH, the
4 police forces of BIH, isn't it, are isolating localities with Croat
5 population, removing and burning Croat national flags, intercepting,
6 beating and disarming Croats, detaining the members of the HVO as well as
8 F: Members of the Army of Bosnia-Herzegovina seize from the HVO
9 and civilians: weapons, gear, food, fuel.
10 G: By night, around localities, fire from small arms is opened.
11 There is a growing event that lead to frequent powerful detonations, all
12 sorts of sabotage groups are infiltrated. The media campaign against the
13 Croat people is continued and escalated and intensified against the Croat
14 people, the HZ HB, the HVO, HDZ, and prominent officials of the Croat
15 people and threatening statements are made. Armament and materiel sent to
16 East Bosnia are diverted and stored in Visoko and at the same time, media
17 are used to spread the lie that this was done by the Kiseljak HVO.
18 The listed phenomena, such as I have presented them, as they were
19 presented to me in the HVO on the basis of reports received, I will also
20 illustrate with the help of -- with the support of facts as to the scene
21 of the incident, time and content. The so-called mayor of the
22 municipalities of Konjic, Jablanica and Prozor, Mr. Safet Cibo, said on
23 the 12th of April, 1993, speaking for the local radio station, that the BH
24 Army will be in Prozor whether one likes it or not. He accuses Croats of
25 the genocide over the Muslims, draws a sign of equality between the HZ HB
1 with the so-called Republika Srpska, denies the HVO legitimacy, and
2 resists the agreed peace -- the peace plan agreed in New York.
3 On the 8th of April, 1993, in Travnik, members of the Army of
4 Bosnia-Herzegovina took down and burnt -- took [indiscernible] down and
5 burned Croatian flags, beat members of the command of the HVO Travnik
6 Brigade, and to all this, the 3rd corps of the Army of Bosnia and
8 THE INTERPRETER: This is not in the text. The interpreters
10 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] -- from Zenica responds with a
11 protest claiming that the Croatian flags may be hoisted only on religious
12 objects, because they allegedly are a provocation or tease members of
13 other peoples.
14 On the Easter day, that is the 11th of April, 1993, fire was
15 opened on the command.
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Operative zone.
17 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] Yes, yes, that's right, operative
18 zone, central Bosnia. And the media overtly refer to Croats as fascists,
19 war criminals and the like.
20 This -- and there is a number -- there is a whole series of other
21 incidents like this one and proposals how to prevent it. There are
22 proposals concerning cooperation, agreement. I don't want to waste your
24 Q. Now, my question to the witness is: Did you write this? Did you
25 appeal to his common sense so that, together, you could stop these
1 incidents and continue your common struggle and so on?
2 MR. STRINGER: Excuse me, Mr. President.
3 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. Stringer?
4 MR. STRINGER: I object to the question as leading.
5 JUDGE LIU: Well, I understand that you told me that the matters
6 discussed and dealt with in this letter is irrelevant and much not to
7 this case. So since we don't know the contents of this document, I
8 believe that I'll let the Defence counsel go for a while, to see where
9 he's leading us. You may continue.
10 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] Thank you.
11 Q. So just the answer to this question: Is that the content of this
12 document? Did you write all that I've just read, and briefly, what else
13 did you warn him about?
14 A. Counsel, to show that there is some sense to the first part of the
15 letter, it is necessary to read several items, which I suggested and what
16 I requested from the chief of the main staff of the Army of Bosnia and
17 Herzegovina, Mr. Halilovic. So if I may, Your Honours, what I did suggest
18 and ask is as follows:
19 "Do you -- if you want to save Srebrenica and other vulnerable
20 areas of Bosnia-Herzegovina, if you want to save them, show us that you
21 are willing to establish a sincere and responsible relationship,
22 cooperation and realisation of fulfilment of the commitments undertaken.
23 If your intentions are honourable, and if you want me, among others, to be
24 up to the presumed authority of the person and function as written, then I
25 must request from you to immediately:
1 1: Issue orders and enforce sanctions to forbid the interference
2 of units under your command in political affairs.
3 2: To sanction severely when officers and soldiers of the army of
4 BH make statements which are inflammatory and which incite hatred between
5 Croats and Muslims.
6 3: Order -- to order the Army of Bosnia and Herzegovina to
7 strictly respect political agreements between the authorised
8 representatives of the peoples and in particular commitments undertaken
9 under the peace plan.
10 4: To prohibit movement, provocation and put an immediate end to
11 hostilities, first in Konjic, but also in all the other lands.
12 5: To prevent arrests, seizure of weapons, gear --
13 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. Stringer?
14 MR. STRINGER: Mr. President, thank you, and I apologise
15 particularly to the witness for interrupting him. It's not the witness's
16 job to make sure that translations are in the courtroom. He's now on item
17 number 4 of what appear to be 12 items. We are going to spend the morning
18 reading this letter and that's a procedure that we object to. This is no
19 way to work, Mr. President. If this is such an important letter written
20 by the Minister of Defence of the Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina, it's my
21 submission that this letter could and should have been translated long
22 before these proceedings this morning.
23 JUDGE LIU: Well, yes, I quite agree with you, Mr. Stringer. I
24 did not expect this letter, which is so long, and I think we arrived at
25 agreement that if the document is short and concise, we will use it
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 temporarily without translation, but it seems to me that this letter is
2 very long and involves some important issues in it, and we are in a very
3 awkward position, to judge this letter.
4 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I can continue but when
5 the document has been translated, it will be self explanatory and Your
6 Honours will be able to appreciate the significance of the letter. It is
7 I think not important at this point in time to continue the -- this
8 examination of this document. We outlined the most important ones.
9 Yesterday we had an important meeting and agreement and I should like to
10 thank for the conclusions reached there, both to Your Honours and the
11 registry. So I will continue with your permission, Your Honours. This is
12 my one but last question. This is -- this refers to document ID D1/94.
13 The date is the 16th of January, 1993.
14 Q. Witness, would you please answer the first question? Are you
15 familiar with this document?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. Very briefly, can you tell us what does this document refer to and
18 who was it signed by?
19 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. Stringer?
20 MR. STRINGER: Mr. President, this is a document that has just for
21 the first time been provided to the Prosecution. It's only in the native
22 tongue of the witness. I can't read it, and again for all the reasons
23 I've already said this morning, we object to this procedure and we object
24 to counsel's use of this document during this direct examination.
25 JUDGE LIU: Well, Mr. Krsnik, I'm surprised to hear that this is
1 the first time for the Prosecution to read this document. I believe at
2 the very beginning of this trial, we made an order. Whatever document in
3 your possession which you are going to use or tender during the trial
4 should be furnished to the Prosecution long before the direct examination
5 starts. This is the ruling we made at the very beginning of this trial.
6 In the direct examination, there should be no surprise attack.
7 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I'm not attacking, in
8 terms of surprise, nor is the Prosecution surprised. They are behaving
9 like a spoiled brat. Yesterday, although the witness -- may I be allowed,
10 Your Honours? I can not continue to work like that. Then I will ask you
11 for a continuation of one month to have all the documents translated, not
12 allowing the Prosecutor to, whenever they feel this is good for them, to
13 file an appeal, whenever they do not, I really submitted to him
14 everything, everything I had in Croatian, in Chinese and all the languages
15 and the learned friend knew of my difficulties. I was expecting some
16 understanding and collegiate help. The Prosecution did not have all the
17 documents. Now what is the problem if the documents had been translated,
18 he would probably have been surprised again, and although yesterday, the
19 witness said the solemn declaration and then of course, some of the
20 documents were also handed in only in the past, only a few minutes before
21 9.00 and in order to catch me at a surprise, and now we are hearing all
22 these complaints.
23 It turns out that the Prosecution can do whatever they want. We
24 cannot do anything. And whatever the Prosecution insists upon is
25 granted. We are -- have all the difficulties and of course everybody is
1 in a difficult situation and you will have noticed the great pain we went
2 through in order to observe the schedule and your requests. I do
3 apologise, Your Honours. Perhaps this was an emotional outbreak and I
4 should like to apologise to the learned friend as well but this was from
5 my heart.
6 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. Stringer?
7 MR. STRINGER: Mr. President, we are all aware of the difficulties
8 that one encounters prosecuting and defending cases here. However, we
9 don't want everything. We only want what we are entitled to. We only
10 want a fair hearing. We only want the ability to conduct a fair
11 cross-examination of defence witnesses and I can't do it when I'm -- when
12 a document is dropped on me ten minutes before cross-examination starts
13 that's in a language that I can't read. And that's the point. It's not
14 about what I would like or what I want or what I demand. It's what I'm
15 entitled to as a party to this proceeding, and that's we are asking for,
16 Mr. President, and until we have a translation that we can use to conduct
17 the effective cross-examination that we are entitled to, then we will
18 object and we will continue to object, to documents being provided to us
19 in a language which is not one of the working languages of this Tribunal.
20 JUDGE LIU: Well, I think there is two issues involved. The first
21 one is the translation. I believe this Trial Chamber has done its utmost
22 to facilitate the work of the translation. I've entrusted the Registrar
23 to get in touch with the parties, with the translation sections, and ask
24 them to do their utmost to finish this work of translation in time;
25 otherwise, it will be a major obstacle to the proceedings of this trial.
1 In this point, I agree with both parties. And maybe the Registrar will
2 share with us some information about the translation issues.
3 THE REGISTRAR: Thank you, Mr. President. Yesterday, we had a
4 meeting, myself, Mark Dubuisson, Mr. Krsnik and Nika Pinter regarding the
5 documents and we've come to the following conclusions. The first thing is
6 that we've located, allocated the documents in terms of priority, so the
7 Defence checked the documents, they gave us the things that were
8 absolutely urgent and they were immediately sent to translation, to Ms.
9 Christina Zoric who understands the priority and the urgency of this
10 matter and she will do her utmost to translate those documents immediately
11 and give them to us as their translated. And that also includes the
12 documents that have been tendered during the last couple of weeks.
13 Secondly, Mr. Krsnik and Nika Pinter were allowed, I believe, 75
14 hours to have towards translation. They will have a person in Croatia who
15 is licensed and recognised by the Tribunal to translate the documents. So
16 they also have that working at the same time as our translation unit will
17 be working as well. And they will continue to give us the priority
18 documents dealing with witnesses that will be coming in the next weeks,
19 and we believe that if we move in this way we will facilitate the trial
20 and make sure that the documents are in the courtroom while the witness is
21 being examined.
22 JUDGE LIU: The second issue is the obligation under the Rules of
23 Procedure, namely, the obligation of disclosure. As this Trial Chamber
24 ruled at the very beginning of this trial, as well as at the very
25 beginning of the Defence case, direct examination is totally different
1 with the cross-examination. In the case of direct examination, the party
2 has the obligation to disclose all the documents to the other party, long
3 before the trial, no matter whether it's the -- the document has been
4 translated or not. In the direct examination, the surprise attack is not
5 allowed. But things are quite different in cross-examination. In
6 cross-examination, we only need the list of those documents before
7 cross-examination, so that to facilitate the proceedings of the
9 If this document is not furnished to the other party long
10 beforehand, in the direct examination, this document is forbidden to use
11 during the direct examination. Is that clear, Mr. Krsnik?
12 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] Clear, Your Honour. Whereby I would
13 like to emphasise that the Prosecutor did not disclose all the documents
14 either and we do not have an agreement concerning the disclosure, and I
15 would receive from the Prosecutor documents one day in advance or in the
16 morning of the day when the direct examination was started. This is what
17 was going on. Except of course for the documents which are supporting
18 material which I had received prior to the start of the trial. I will not
19 be using this document, Your Honours, because of these difficulties. Of
20 course, I'll tender this into my filings once it was translated, but I
21 would now like to put a question to the witness.
22 Q. Was Mr. Arif Pasalic or another BIH army commander abiding by this
23 famous order of the 16th of January of 1993? And if so, what was their
25 A. First, I must say that the command of no unit to which this order
1 refers officially replied to me. They behaved --
2 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. Stringer?
3 MR. STRINGER: Again, I apologise for the interruption. I assume
4 that we are talking about the order issued by the witness on the 16th of
5 January, 1993, the one that he talked about yesterday. Counsel referred
6 to the famous order and I just want to make sure that's the order that we
7 are talking about.
8 JUDGE LIU: Well, it's a legitimate request. Mr. Krsnik, you may
9 have it clarified for us.
10 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] By all means. Well, Mr. Rajic signed
11 only one order of the 16th of January, 1993, which was based on the
12 Vance-Owen Plan, and this is the only order that was signed. This is
13 D1/90, DD1/90 document.
14 Q. Witness, with your permission, may the witness continue?
15 JUDGE LIU: Yes, of course.
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honours. So the
17 command, both military and civilian of no single army component to which
18 the order referred officially answered at no time. I am familiar with the
19 fact that the military command of the Army of Bosnia-Herzegovina, through
20 their individual orders, such as this one, which was signed by the
21 commander of the 4th Corps of the army of the Republic of
22 Bosnia-Herzegovina, Mr. Arif Pasalic, in fact a clear message that
23 somebody else is the commander of these components. This is putting it in
24 a nutshell.
25 Q. Thank you. My last question, I'm referring to P100 document.
1 Fortunately we have this document translated.
2 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] Could the usher please bring the
3 document forward?
4 JUDGE CLARK: Sorry, Mr. Krsnik. In translation the response
5 which your witness made doesn't really make sense. It's a bit cryptic.
6 Mr. Arif Pasalic -- in fact a clear message that somebody else is the
7 commander of these components. What does that mean?
8 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation]
9 Q. Would you answer the question, Witness?
10 A. Well, I don't know how this sounded but what I said was the
11 following: Officially, no party ever provided me with an answer.
12 However, the individual orders, which were given by the commanders of the
13 BIH army, and this one is one of those, the one signed by Mr. Pasalic,
14 represents a clear message that they will refuse to execute my orders and
15 that they have others to -- whose orders they will follow.
16 Q. Who are those others?
17 A. They are the chief of the main staff of the Army of
18 Bosnia-Herzegovina, at that time Mr. Sefer Halilovic, and the civil
19 commander of the BiH army, the President of the Presidency,
20 Mr. Izetbegovic.
21 JUDGE CLARK: That's much clearer. Thank you.
22 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation]
23 Q. Witness, I have just been reminded to make the transcript clear.
24 You said that the individual orders and this order is one of those. Are
25 you referring to the document when you are using the phrase, "This order"?
1 A. Yes. I was referring to the order given by the commander of the
2 4th Corps of the army of the Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina, Mr. Arif
4 Q. What was the substance of the order, to your knowledge?
5 A. Yes. To continue with certain preparations, with a view of
6 improving the combat readiness. Then a specific prohibition to follow the
7 decisions, as it is said here, of the HVO, HZ HB. Then to refrain from
8 any provocation, continued reporting on measures. This is the substance.
9 Q. Thank you very much. So that we know what the order you were
10 referring to. Mr. Rajic, my last question. You have document P100 in
11 front of you. My first question, are you familiar with Mr. Kljujic?
12 A. Certainly. Mr. Kljujic was the President of my party, the Croat
13 Democratic Union of Bosnia-Herzegovina, until February, 1992, for about
14 two years he was president of the party.
15 Q. In what mode and for what reasons did he leave the party, to your
17 A. He withdrew from his office at a meeting of the central board of
18 the party, which was held in Siroki Brijeg, under the pressure of serious
19 criticism because of his passive attitude, lack of undertaking the
20 necessary measures to prepare his people to defend themselves from the
21 aggression, and because of a subordinate position that he had imposed upon
22 the Croat Democratic Union of Bosnia-Herzegovina towards the democratic
23 action party.
24 Q. When he was the President, what was the social and political
25 system that he was advocating, in terms of Bosnia-Herzegovina?
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 A. As president of the party, he could not advocate for a programme
2 which would be in opposition to the programme of the party as a whole.
3 Therefore, he too, as one of the officials, advocated a restructuring of
4 Yugoslavia to make it into a loose confederation. When this was no -- not
5 possible, he advocated the sovereignty and independence of Bosnia and
6 Herzegovina, with a clearcut internal system and structure which would
7 respect the fact that Bosnia and Herzegovina as a state is a state of
8 three constituent peoples. I apologise. I would like to finish my
9 sentence. Although Mr. Kljujic enjoys the reputation of somebody who
10 is infatuated with Bosnia and Herzegovina or as this is usually referred
11 to, he is a pro-Bosnia oriented person. He too, following the aggression
12 on Ravno in southeast Bosnia-Herzegovina, following a practical Serb
13 secession in Bosnia and Herzegovina, started to understand that an
14 internal division of Bosnia and Herzegovina, as well as a final definitive
15 division of Bosnia and Herzegovina would be a better solution than
17 Q. Mr. Rajic, would you please focus on the last paragraph of the
18 interview in Novi List by Mr. Kljujic, the date is 13th October, 1991.
19 A. Yes.
20 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] Can the document please be put on the
21 ELMO? I have just been reminded that I have to repeat the number of the
22 document time and again, but I'm reading document P100, the last paragraph
23 of it, which somewhere in the middle, he says, "So the division of Bosnia
24 is unavoidable. Unfortunately over the last 45 years, we have been
1 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreters do not have the text, Your
3 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] After the war, they were 25 per cent,
4 25 per cent of the population were Croats, now there are only 17 per
6 THE INTERPRETER: Can the document be placed on the ELMO, please,
7 because the interpreters do not have the text.
8 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] "However, I believe that there are no
9 more possibilities for a common life and that it would be fair for us to
10 be divided -- to divide ourselves and to carry out a transfer of
11 population. This would be a painstaking and painful effort and it will
12 cause a great deal of trauma, but this perhaps is better than living
13 within this atmosphere of hatred."
14 I wanted to read out only this paragraph because I thought it was
15 an interesting one.
16 Q. Do you recall this interview? Did you have any conversation with
17 him in connection with this interview?
18 A. I can recall this interview. And I can also recall that it was
19 fiercely attacked by the media of Sarajevo, which perhaps was the reason
20 of indecision that Kljujic later manifested and he, perhaps for this
21 reason, tried to distance himself from these statements. At that time, I
22 did not occupy a high political position, and I did not often get an
23 opportunity to communicate with him.
24 JUDGE CLARK: Mr. Krsnik, could we have the date of that
1 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] Your Honour, October 13th, 1991.
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Counsel, I think that it is
3 important for Their Honours to hear a very short passage from the last
5 In this interview, at the end of it, Mr. Kljujic says as
6 follows: "However, after everything that had happened, the division of
7 Bosnia is the only way out. And I think that Serbs will have to separate
8 their territories and their people. We will make a suggestion to the
9 Muslims that in the remaining parts of Bosnia-Herzegovina, we continue to
10 live together as a community and that as a confederation, we link up with
11 Slovenia and Croatia or to be fully independent. "Should they" -- he's
12 referring to the Muslims, "decide not to accept this, then we too will ask
13 to have our own part."
14 The rest, I think, is not of particular importance.
15 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation]
16 Q. Mr. Rajic, I want to bring this examination to a close. Can you
17 just tell us were these personal views of Mr. Kljujic or were they the
18 official stands and position of the party and which was the personal and
19 which was the official? If you are familiar with that, of course.
20 A. If a person holds a public office and if in this case it is the
21 President of a party, then that person invariably speaks on behalf of the
22 party unless this is -- this possibility is explicitly excluded. To these
23 views, one needs to remind of these -- Mr. Kljujic's views precisely
24 because one needs to see how, in all that political and military nightmare
25 which was lying heavily on my homeland, Bosnia-Herzegovina, it shows how
1 one had to think, one had to bear in mind every variation, every
3 If somebody is in love with Bosnia-Herzegovina, if somebody
4 is in love with the statehood and Mr. Kljujic is indubitably one of
5 those, if such a person has been cornered and realised that the partition,
6 the division was the only way out, then this is a reflection of all that
7 the Croats in Bosnia-Herzegovina did, thought and said, in order to save
8 themselves from the looming war disaster, and that is why I think it is
9 important that we remind ourselves of the way in which the President
10 Kljujic thought at that time.
11 Q. Is Bosnia-Herzegovina still divided?
12 A. May I remind you that yesterday, my answers, I said that the
13 Croats of Bosnia and Herzegovina, and a leading party, the HDZ, had
14 accepted all the peace agreements down to the last one, realising that
15 none of them was governed by justice and fairness, and the present -- the
16 current agreement, which underpins the present Bosnia-Herzegovina is
17 indubitably an unfair agreement, which, if I may put it that way, which
18 has put two souls in one half of a body and gave another soul a whole
19 body. This is unfair. This is not ethical but I hope that a time will
20 redress this injustice and that we shall arrive at the natural state of
21 things, that all the peoples have equal rights and equal solutions.
22 Q. Mr. Rajic. This was my last question.
23 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] Your Honours, thank you very much for
24 your patience.
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you very much.
1 JUDGE LIU: Thank you. I realise that you make -- made your
2 direct examination within the time limit. We are not satisfied that this
3 morning; we wasted a lot of time. Well, I understand it's not entirely
4 your fault. It's about the translation.
5 Well, Mr. Stringer, could we have our break a little bit earlier
6 and resume earlier so that you could continue the cross-examination?
7 MR. STRINGER: It's a good idea, Mr. President. During the break
8 we will make sure that any new exhibits have been distributed. I think
9 they have already been distributed to counsel, as well as a list of any
10 witnesses we intend to use during the cross.
11 JUDGE LIU: Thank you very much. We will resume at 20 to 11.00.
12 --- Recess taken at 10.10 a.m.
13 --- On resuming at 10.42 a.m.
14 JUDGE LIU: Bring in the witness, please.
15 Yes, Mr. Stringer?
16 MR. STRINGER: Thank you, Mr. President.
17 Cross-examined by Mr. Stringer:
18 Q. Mr. Rajic, good morning. My name is Douglas Stringer. I'll be
19 asking you questions on behalf of the Prosecution.
20 A. Good morning to you.
21 Q. Now, first about the various positions you held at the various
22 times, particularly during 1991, 1992, and 1993. If I understand
23 correctly, you held a variety of positions in the political party known as
24 the Croatian Democratic Union; is that correct?
25 A. Yes. Except that my political advancement was gradual, from the
1 lowest to the highest. During those years that you mention in your
2 question, I did not hold any high-ranking political post.
3 Q. I'll try to ask you a series of short questions about that.
4 Hopefully you'll be able to give me short answers although I certainly
5 don't want to you feel that you can't give full answers. You became
6 involved with the HDZ in latter -- in the latter part of 1990, I believe,
7 just prior to the multi-party elections; is that right?
8 A. It is, yes, on the 12th of June, 1990.
9 Q. And subsequently, then in the autumn of 1990 [sic], in November,
10 throughout what was then the former Yugoslavia, multi-party elections were
11 held; is that correct?
12 A. No. I think you quoted the wrong year. It was in 1990, sometime
13 in mid-November.
14 Q. 1990, yes?
15 A. 1990, yes.
16 Q. Yes. And in the multi-party elections, then, at the time of the
17 multi-party elections, in the fall of 1990, you were a local HDZ
18 representative in the municipality of Kupres; is that correct?
19 A. No, you did not word it properly. I was not a representative. I
20 was the President of the municipal board of the Croat Democratic Union of
21 Bosnia-Herzegovina in my municipality in Kupres.
22 Q. At some point, you became vice-president of the HDZ party for
23 Bosnia-Herzegovina; is that correct?
24 A. Yes, but that was much later. I believe at the fourth convention
25 of our party, when Mr. Dario Kordic was elected president of your party.
1 Q. Can you give us an approximate date when you became vice-president
2 of the HDZ BH?
3 A. I believe it was the 3rd of July, 1995. But I'm not quite sure
4 about the exact date.
5 Q. So through 1990 through -- through June of 1995, your
6 only position in the HDZ was as a local, or I should say, president of the
7 municipal board for Kupres?
8 A. No. I was a member of some central party bodies too, and during
9 a term, I was a member of the central board of the HDZ of
10 Bosnia-Herzegovina, and before my election as the vice-president of our
11 party, I was a member of the executive board of that party, and it is the
12 executive body of the Presidency.
13 Q. It's not important for us to get the titles precisely. Would it
14 be correct for me to say that during latter -- the latter part of 1991,
15 1992, and 1993, you held a position of some responsibility and some
16 leadership within the HDZ party of Bosnia-Herzegovina?
17 A. That wouldn't be accurate, because the leading functions in the
18 party are with the Presidency, and at that time, I was at no time a member
19 of the Presidency of the party.
20 Q. During the latter part of 1991, did you attend meetings in various
21 locations, regional meetings of the various boards in places such as
22 Grude, Tomislavgrad, perhaps other places?
23 A. Yes, now and then. But only in the capacity that I had, and which
24 was the only one that I had and that was the President of the municipal
1 Q. In addition, in latter 1991, did you attend meetings in Zagreb
2 with members of the HDZ for the Republic of Croatia?
3 A. Yes. I attended one such meeting.
4 Q. And is that the meeting which -- in which President Tudjman
5 received you and others who had come up from Bosnia-Herzegovina?
6 A. President Tudjman received a delegation of the Croat Democratic
7 Union of Bosnia-Herzegovina, not me. I was merely one -- a member of this
9 Q. You were present at the meeting with President Tudjman, though.
10 A. Yes, I was.
11 Q. Now, just for the Trial Chamber's information, this is later, and
12 it's beyond the time frame that we are concerned with for this case, but
13 it's my understanding that ultimately, I believe later in 1995 or 1996,
14 you assumed the position of president of the HDZ for Bosnia-Herzegovina.
15 Is that correct?
16 A. Well, it would be more correct to say on the 16th of January,
18 Q. So this is the same position that had previously been held by
19 Stjepan Kljujic, Milenko Brkic, Mate Boban, correct?
20 A. Yes, you are right.
21 Q. Now, you also testified yesterday that at some point for a period
22 of time, you held the position of Minister of Defence for the Republic of
23 Bosnia-Herzegovina. Is that correct?
24 A. It is.
25 Q. I believe your testimony was that you held that position from the
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 latter part of 1992 until sometime in the summer of 1993.
2 A. It would be more accurate if I say, as I said yesterday, end of
3 1992 until mid-1993.
4 Q. Is it possible, sir, that you formally held the position of
5 Minister of Defence for Bosnia-Herzegovina for a longer period of time,
6 until the fall, say October, of 1993?
7 A. No. That is not possible.
8 Q. I have a report, and I can show it to you, I only have it in
9 English, from the Sarajevo Radio which indicates that on the 18th of
10 October, 1993, you and others were relieved of your duties within the
11 government of Bosnia-Herzegovina.
12 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. Krsnik?
13 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] Your Honours, the same of course
14 applies to me. I am asking for the document to be translated so that it
15 is all fair and just and so that the witness can read it. Everything
16 else I consider unfair and unjust and as an attempt to set a trap for the
18 JUDGE LIU: Well, the Prosecution is just asking a question about
19 the time when he finished his job as the Minister of Defence. Let's hear
20 what the witness answers. If you need -- if you need that document, I
21 believe that the Prosecutor will furnish it to you, but it all depends on
22 how the proceedings go.
23 Yes, Mr. Stringer?
24 MR. STRINGER: Mr. President, I think counsel's point is well
25 taken. I don't intend to tender this, this report, it's just something
1 which I have and have read, suggesting that Mr. Rajic was at least in some
2 capacity, still a member of the Bosnia-Herzegovina government until
3 October of 1993. I'm simply using that, asking him whether that's correct
4 or not correct. I don't intend to offer the article itself. So it's
5 simply the basis of my asking him the question.
6 JUDGE LIU: You may proceed.
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Mr. Prosecutor, I shall be happy to
8 answer your question. We are all clear that there is meritorious evidence
9 and there is speculation. This document, with which you wanted to
10 acquaint me is a media speculation and I'm quite confident about that.
11 What is valid is the decision of the Presidency of the Republic of
12 Bosnia-Herzegovina which relieved me of that duty in July, the duty of
13 the Minister of Defence of the Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina. So there
14 is no way in which I could continue holding that office without
16 MR. STRINGER:
17 Q. Thank you.
18 MR. STRINGER: Mr. President, I'll ask the usher to provide the
19 witness with two exhibits at this time. I believe they are both new ones,
20 Exhibit 159.1 and 236.8.
21 Q. Mr. Rajic, now we are going to move away from the Ministry of
22 Defence of Bosnia-Herzegovina. I want to ask you now some questions about
23 positions you held within the Croatian Defence Council, the HVO. And
24 maybe while we are waiting for the document, I can ask you a couple of
25 preliminary questions. It's my understanding, sir, that in July of 1992,
1 you were appointed to a position in the HVO as an assistant for
2 information and propaganda activities of the HVO of the Croatian Community
3 of Herceg-Bosna. Would that be correct?
4 A. The fact is correct, but your wording is not correct. I was not
5 responsible for propaganda but for information and political activity, and
6 I was the spokesman of the HVO.
7 Q. Now, you were appointed by Mate Boban; is that correct?
8 A. It is.
9 Q. Now, we are looking at Exhibit 159.1. Sir, does this appear to be
10 the document in which you were appointed to this position that we have
11 been discussing?
12 A. It is.
13 Q. Now, I don't speak and read your language. The translation that
14 I've been given for the title, IPD, I've been given the words,
15 "Information, propaganda activities for the main staff of the HVO."
16 Could you -- do you agree with me that that would be a correct description
17 of the title that you were appointed to?
18 A. No. That is not an accurate description of my position. We did
19 not have a service that would be responsible for propaganda. We had a
20 service which was responsible for information and political activity, like
21 any other army. But it wasn't governed by propaganda principles and I was
22 the port parole, I was the spokesman and it was very important to mention
23 who transmitted official views of the defence department and the main
24 staff of the HVO.
25 Q. And you transmitted these official views to the media, to other
1 persons or organisations who were seeking information from the HVO; is
2 that correct?
3 JUDGE LIU: Well, Mr. Krsnik?
4 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] My apologies to Mr. Stringer.
5 Mr. Sheric now warns me that we again have a problem with interpretation,
6 that our distinguished interpreters keep saying propaganda even though the
7 witness did not say propaganda. In the document, I mean.
8 MR. STRINGER: Well, Mr. President, I think the witness has
9 explained that sufficiently. We can argue about what the document says or
10 doesn't say but I believe the witness has been given a fair opportunity to
11 describe the position himself.
12 JUDGE LIU: Yes.
13 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] But it cannot be in the translation
14 -- but it wasn't governed by the propaganda principles because the
15 witness did not say that.
16 JUDGE LIU: Well, first of all, there is different understandings
17 and interpretations concerning the word "propaganda" in different
18 cultures. We must accept that as a fact. Secondly, Mr. Stringer, in
19 order to make the transcript clear, you may ask this question again.
20 MR. STRINGER: Mr. President, could I ask the usher to put the
21 B/C/S version of the document on the ELMO so that the interpreters --
22 although I believe they have it themselves.
23 JUDGE LIU: Yes.
24 MR. STRINGER: 159.1.
25 Q. Now, Mr. Rajic, I'm looking at what for me are the words
1 "assistant for information-propaganda activities at the HVO
2 headquarters." Now, it seems to me that the operative letters here are
3 IPD. Could you tell us what IPD stands for, since you held this
5 A. Unfortunately, an acronym is used here which then lends itself to
6 different interpretations, but I know, because of the content, what it
7 means and I also know what it means formally. This is the information and
8 political activity. And will you please be so kind and put it like that
9 in the record? Propaganda in our Croatian language has a negative
11 Q. Thank you.
12 MR. STRINGER: I'll accept that, Mr. President, and move on.
13 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I merely wish to say
14 that this is very arbitrary and I've come across many such documents and
15 this is a very arbitrary interpretation because in the Croatian original,
16 it says IPD and in English translation, the information and propaganda
17 activities. I don't know where did the translators get this because that
18 is not in the Croatian document, and I wish to warn that there is a whole
19 series of documents which we received from the Prosecution where it --
20 where this -- we find the same mistake and that is not permissible. The
21 translators could have put their IPD and nothing else.
22 JUDGE LIU: Well, it seems to me that if the translation or
23 interpreter makes mistakes, everybody will notice the existence, but if
24 they did not make any mistakes, we have the intention to forget them at
1 Mr. Krsnik, you have the right to raise any misinterpreted or
2 translated words in the documents or in the interpretations during the
3 proceedings, but I believe this issue has been solved.
4 You may proceed, Mr. Stringer.
5 MR. STRINGER: Thank you, Mr. President.
6 Q. Mr. Rajic, do you have the next exhibit in front of you? That
7 would be P236.8. That's a document dated the 31st of January, 1993. Now,
8 sir, this is a document signed by Bruno Stojic, who is the head of the
9 defence department for the HVO, in which he proposes your dismissal from
10 the position which I believe that we've just been discussing. Is that a
11 fair characterisation of this document?
12 A. Yes. You put it correctly. This relief of duty was necessary
13 because I had already been appointed the Minister of Defence of the
14 Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina and it was advisable for me to cease
15 holding any posts in the HVO. And it needed to be resolved in a formal --
16 in the formal manner also, even though I had stopped discharging these
17 responsibilities even before that.
18 Q. Isn't it a fact, sir, that on the date that you issued the order
19 for the units of the TO to disarm in Vance-Owen cantons 3, 8 and 10, on
20 the 16th of January, 1993, you continued to hold this position as a
21 spokesperson responsible for information and political affairs of the
23 A. Well, there is -- there is always a possibility for an
24 administrative error. It is quite possible that I did attend some other
25 press conferences, but it did not change my position. At that time, I was
1 the Minister of Defence of the Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina.
2 Q. So if, from yesterday's testimony, if the Trial Chamber concluded
3 that as of the end of 1992, you discontinued any activities on behalf of
4 the HVO, then that would not be a correct statement. It would not be a
5 correct understanding.
6 A. Mr. Prosecutor, yesterday I answered questions about my career,
7 and whenever I spoke about that, I spoke about acts which produced changes
8 in my status, so decisions on my designation, on my appointment of my
9 moving from one office to the other, and I see no inconsistency there.
10 Q. So sir, in fact, during January of 1993, you held both positions,
11 that is a position as Minister of Defence for Bosnia-Herzegovina and also
12 at the same time, you continued to hold the position within the HVO
13 involved in political information and acting as a spokesman. Would that
14 be a fair statement, sir?
15 A. Well, I don't think one could put it that way, because I handed
16 over the duties gradually to one of my assistants, Mr. Veso Vegar and
17 from time to time, I insisted -- I helped in the exercise of some duties,
18 but as for my terms of reference, as for my field of operation, I could
19 not do it any longer in the HVO, bearing in mind the duty that we have
20 just talked about.
21 Q. You mentioned the name of an assistant. It's not appearing
22 correctly on the transcript. Are we talking about Veso Vegar?
23 A. That's right.
24 Q. Is he the person who followed you after you finally and officially
25 resigned or no longer held the position within the HVO that we have been
1 talking about?
2 A. He was one of my assistants, whilst I was the spokesman, and
3 directly responsible for information, and I was helping him -- I helped
4 him to become acquainted with what the job involved and to take it over
5 from me eventually.
6 Q. Sir, in connection with your order of 16 January, 1993, we will
7 talk about it more later, but in fact, after you issued that order and
8 after it was reported in the media, did you not explain your views in
9 respect of that order in both of your capacities as a Minister of Defence
10 for Bosnia-Herzegovina but also in your capacity as a spokesperson for the
12 A. Mr. Prosecutor, I was a person who was very much exploited by the
13 media. My press conferences were broadcast several times a day, so with
14 no undue modesty, I must say that for the Croats and for Muslims, I was
15 that voice of encouragement that made people come to me and thank me for
16 encouraging them, for boosting their spirits in such a convincing -- in
17 such a persuasive manner. And that is why it is very difficult to show it
18 to people -- it's very difficult to make people aware that I'm no longer
19 that person, that spokesperson, and that I'm now appearing in a different
20 role, and I do not exclude the possibility that the two could be confused
21 in the perception of people.
22 Q. During this period, late 1991, early 1992, where were you based,
23 physically? Sarajevo? Mostar? A different place? Kupres?
24 A. Could you repeat the year, please? I think you misquoted the
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 Q. We spoke a few moments ago about the latter part of 1991.
2 A. Oh, I see. I lived in Kupres throughout, so then too in the
3 latter part of 1991, I was in Kupres, and I was there until the war broke
4 out, in Kupres, rather, the all-out war in Bosnia-Herzegovina. And when my
5 municipality was occupied, I moved to work in Grude and then on to Mostar,
6 and my family was displaced and went to Basko Polje, near Makarska.
7 Q. You were one of the many refugees who went down to Mostar after
8 your own municipality was taken over by the Serbs?
9 A. Yes, unfortunately, I was one of many refugees but I did not go to
10 Mostar straight away. I arrived there in late July, 1992, but I never
11 lived in Mostar during the war. I never spent a night there.
12 Q. During the period in which you were Minister of Defence for
13 Bosnia-Herzegovina, did you work in Sarajevo?
14 A. Unfortunately, that was not possible. I mean, it is -- that it is
15 common knowledge that Sarajevo was under a terrible siege, that one could
16 enter it or get out of it only at high risk, and a little later, through
17 an improvised tunnel. So the rest of the government in Sarajevo had to
18 work under impossible conditions and that was the decisive point. That is
19 why I could not -- I could never go there during my term of office.
20 Although, I think that it would have been better had it in line with the
21 decisions of the highest authorities of the Republic of
22 Bosnia-Herzegovina, had the government and the wartime Presidency and all
23 the other bodies been moved to other locations, but that was not done.
24 Q. I want to come back to the HDZ party. Correct me if I'm wrong.
25 In the multi-party elections of November 1990, the leading parties, the
1 most successful parties were the HDZ, the SDS, and the SDA; is that
3 A. Yes, that's correct.
4 Q. On behalf of the HDZ, which was the Croat affiliated party, two
5 persons who gained the most votes were Stjepan Kljujic and Franjo Boras;
6 is that correct?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. Because of that, those two Croats became members of the Presidency
9 of Bosnia-Herzegovina?
10 A. Yes, that's correct.
11 Q. In addition, at this time, and throughout 1991, Stjepan Kljujic
12 was also the President of the HDZ for Bosnia-Herzegovina?
13 A. Yes, that's correct.
14 Q. Stjepan --
15 A. I apologise. He, as the President, also was the candidate to
16 become a member of the Presidency of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
17 Q. Stjepan Kljujic, as you moved through 1990 into 1991, tended to
18 favour a policy, a solution for Bosnia-Herzegovina, which was more closely
19 linked to the Muslims and to an independent, undivided
20 Bosnia-Herzegovina. Would you agree with me on that?
21 A. Yes. But I must add something. All of us in HDZ, me included,
22 were in favour of the same policy.
23 Q. Now, at some point, however, the policy of Kljujic and the policy
24 of others within the HDZ, perhaps including yourself, began to diverge.
25 Would you agree with me?
1 A. It's difficult to say whether diverge is the right word to use,
2 but the differences in terms of views as to which of the problems that we
3 were surrounded by, and in terms of the models through which this can be
4 resolved did exist, which, within a democratic party, is quite a normal
5 and usual phenomenon.
6 Q. And on the side opposing Kljujic's views were persons such as Mate
7 Boban, Franjo Boras, and yourself; is that correct?
8 A. I cannot accept this characterisation and the names offered. But
9 we cannot speak about opposition on the part of Mr. Kljujic. We were
10 still on the same side. Our discussions arose out of a lack of agreement
11 concerning preparations for the defence, and concerning the awareness that
12 the war can be avoided or cannot be avoided. We could be divided into
13 those who wanted active intervention and those who thought that they can
14 be just second-hand actors to the Party of Democratic Action. This was
15 the substance of our difference of views.
16 Q. Well, let me just ask you about your own views. And let's focus
17 on the period of late 1991. Say around the time that you went to Zagreb
18 with the others and met with President Tudjman. Let's talk about your
19 views during that period of time. You spoke yesterday about what
20 attracted you, even at the beginning, to the HDZ party. You spoke of
21 reconciliation of the Croatian people. I believe you spoke about the
22 potential for establishing a Croatian or a Croat entity or state. Now,
23 those are objectives which differed from the objectives of Kljujic, who
24 was in more favour of a unified Bosnia-Herzegovina, more closer linkage to
25 the Muslims. Would you agree with me on that point?
1 A. Mr. Prosecutor, I must admit that it is with a high degree of
2 skill that you have put the same facts into two different contexts.
3 Namely, I said that I supported the programme based objective of the
4 Croatian Democratic Union that applied to the entire territory of
5 Yugoslavia and not only to Bosnia-Herzegovina, which sought a
6 restructuring of Yugoslavia to make it a confederation. And I also said
7 that I supported and endorsed the political option of HDZ, that should
8 this prove to be impossible to achieve, to focus upon the independence of
9 the Republic of Croatia, which has no linkage whatsoever with
10 Bosnia-Herzegovina, and I'd like to recall everybody concerned the third
11 fact, that is linked to this party, is its attitude towards
12 Bosnia-Herzegovina, and its programme, which supports and endorses the
13 sovereignty and territorial integrity of Bosnia-Herzegovina with the
14 rights vested in the constitutive peoples, but which, not under the most
15 adverse circumstances, will not leave the Bosnian Croats, Croats in
16 Bosnia-Herzegovina, as we usually say, unattended and unhelped. I think
17 Mr. Prosecutor that it's very important for these two notions to be
19 Q. Focusing now, again, on the period of late 1991, would you agree
20 with me, sir, that by that period of time, it was pretty evident to
21 everyone that war was unavoidable?
22 A. The correct answer would be that the majority, the majority of the
23 Croats were aware of it. There were people, however, who never understood
24 the threat of war, but these were a minority, a very small minority
1 Q. And by the end of 1991, you and others in the HDZ had decided that
2 your best option was the establishment of a Croatian entity in
3 Bosnia-Herzegovina, or even better, incorporation or accession into a
4 Republic of Croatia. Wasn't that your goal, your objective by the end of
5 1991 to become part of Croatia?
6 A. This is not correct at all. I'll be very frank and open. I am
7 not a novice in political affairs and I also have a certain degree of
8 general knowledge, but in Croatian knowledge, the word "entity" cropped up
9 only after Dayton. Before Dayton, it had no meaning whatsoever and no
10 significance. Therefore, it would be senseless indeed to claim that we
11 were working towards the establishment of something that one could refer
12 to it as an entity. Furthermore, even less correct would be the claim
13 that at that time we decided to accede or to become a part of the Republic
14 of Croatia. This in terms of facts is not true. There is evidence, there
15 is document that one cannot interpret in this sense, and they serve as
16 an evidence per se.
17 MR. STRINGER: Mr. President, I will ask the usher be given IAC-2
18 and Exhibit P104.
19 Q. Let me ask you this, Mr. Rajic: Dario Kordic, Mate Boban, by the
20 end of 1991, didn't they want to establish Croatian territory in Bosnia
21 and to make that territory part of Croatia?
22 A. I can speak about my own deeds, and I can speak about the events
23 that took place in those localities in which I was present. Overstepping
24 this ethical boundary of speech and evaluation and judgement is
25 unacceptable to me, and I would not like to offer any comment as to the
1 deeds and acts and particularly the thoughts that were harboured by other
2 people. Except when they are also contained in a political decision, but
3 that's another question, then.
4 Q. Well, let's look at the document IAC-2. These are the conclusions
5 of a joint meeting of Herzegovina regional community and the Travnik
6 regional community. This was held, I believe, in Grude on the 12th of
7 November, 1991. Sir, take a moment to look this document over.
8 MR. STRINGER: It may assist to put the English version on the
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Mr. Prosecutor --
11 MR. STRINGER:
12 Q. Let me ask you something.
13 A. Before you ask me, I have a request. The document in front of me,
14 in no way whatsoever can be considered an authentic document. It is not a
15 signed document. The three persons mentioned did not sign it. There is
16 no seal. And I really cannot offer any thoughts in connection with a
17 document like this.
18 Q. Well, let's just use it as an aid to assist further questioning.
19 Were you at a meeting in Grude on the 12th of November, 1991? A meeting
20 of membership of the HDZ party?
21 A. First, Mr. Prosecutor, I have to share with you my displeasure
22 with the fact that you are offering me, even though it's done in a
23 haphazard manner, unauthenticated documents. As far as the meeting
24 in Grude is concerned --
25 MR. STRINGER: Mr. President, I'd like to ask the President's
1 assistance in directing the witness just to answer the question. I think
2 if the Trial Chamber has any concerns about the manner in which the
3 cross-examination is being conducted, the Trial Chamber will step in.
4 Beyond that, I'd simply ask you to instruct the witness to answer what is
5 a simple question.
6 JUDGE LIU: Well, Witness, just put aside whether this document is
7 authentic or not. The Prosecution is asking you about a very simple
8 question, and you have to answer that question. The document is just kind
9 of an aid to you. You may just put it aside.
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honours. What I
11 wanted to say, having been asked by the Prosecutor --
12 JUDGE LIU: I'm sorry to interrupt you. Mr. Seric?
13 MR. SERIC: [Interpretation] Mr. President, I do not want to
14 protect the witness. I want to voice an objection of the manner in which
15 he is being cross-examined by the Prosecutor because if this document or
16 any other document which is being forwarded to the witness is in no
17 relation whatsoever with the question or questions to be asked, then why
18 in the first place is the document being forwarded to the witness?
19 JUDGE LIU: Well -- Mr. Krsnik?
20 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I just wanted to
21 request Their Honours to perhaps, before any document is tendered in or
22 submitted by the Prosecutor, to ask the Prosecutor to tell us what the
23 document is all about so that the witnesses are not confused and would not
24 react in the manner we have just witnessed.
25 JUDGE LIU: Well, the Prosecution is asking a very, very simple
1 question, that is, were you at a meeting on the 12th in a certain place in
2 a certain date. It's a very simple question. And this is the
3 cross-examination, Mr. Krsnik. I believe this document is in your
4 possession long, long ago, and I believe this document has been admitted
5 into evidence already.
6 Yes, witness?
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honours, may I be allowed to
8 say one sentence? I cannot answer the Prosecutor's question whether I was
9 at this meeting or not, if the evidence does not provide enough foundation
10 for us to establish that the meeting took place in the first place.
11 However, if the meeting took place, I cannot recall whether I participated
12 in it. Thank you.
13 JUDGE LIU: Well, you just tell what you know about this meeting.
14 If you don't remember that meeting, you just tell us, "I don't remember
15 there is a meeting there." It's a very simple issue. It's not so
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you very much, Your Honours.
18 JUDGE LIU: So the question is: Were you at that meeting at that
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] As I said before, Your Honours, I
21 cannot recall my being there.
22 JUDGE LIU: Then I believe the Prosecutor may refresh your memory
23 by providing some materials.
24 MR. STRINGER: Thank you, Mr. President.
25 Q. Mr. Rajic, just so I'm being as precise as I should be, a meeting
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 of the presidents of the Crisis Staffs, the Herzegovina regional
2 community, presidents and representatives of the Crisis Staffs of the
3 Travnik regional community, was held on the 12th of November, 1991, in
4 Grude. The meeting was chaired by Mate Boban. Dario Kordic was the
5 co-chair. Did you attend that meeting?
6 A. As I said before, I cannot recall it, because I was a dilettante,
7 an amateur. I was doing my business and I don't know where exactly I was
8 present at that day.
9 Q. This document, sir, refers to decisions taken at that meeting in
10 which it was decided that the Croatian people in Bosnia-Herzegovina must
11 embrace a determined and active policy to realise our eternal dream, a
12 common Croatian state. My question, sir, is whether that was in fact the
13 views of the HDZ party as of November 1991?
14 A. No.
15 Q. What about the establishment or restoration of the boundaries of
16 what's known as the Hrvatska Banovina from 1939? By November of 1991,
17 wasn't it also an objective of the HDZ party in Bosnia-Herzegovina to
18 achieve a restoration of the territory of the Croatian Banovina?
19 A. I do not have knowledge of any serious political document that
20 would treat this issue in a manner you've just described.
21 Q. Was it your own view, sir, during this period of time, November,
22 1991, that the Croatian -- the Hvratska Banovina provided a -- provided
23 the territory or was the model on which boundaries, demarcation of
24 Croatian territory should be decided?
25 A. We had not arrived at all at a situation in which we would be
1 thinking about demarcations, except for the internal one. The -- a
2 Croatian Banovina as a political concept represents a fact of history,
3 from which certain historical rights can be derived, but in my mind, it
4 was not an instrument of the current policies at that time.
5 Q. Now, at this meeting, it was also concluded that it was necessary
6 to make better military preparations for combat against all those forces
7 which would attempt to stop the inevitable process of the creation of a
8 free Croatian state. I'm referring you, sir, to item C, paragraph 3 of
9 the document. This is my question: Is it true, sir, that by this period
10 of time, November, 1991, the leadership of the HDZ party of
11 Bosnia-Herzegovina had decided that it would resort to military force to
12 implement its version, its views, in establishing a Croat state on the
13 territory of Bosnia-Herzegovina?
14 A. First of all, I never confirmed it to you that these conclusions
15 had been made. So I can refer to them as purely hypothetical. But if
16 there were such conclusions made, then I cannot find a single place where
17 these conclusions would imply that Bosnia and Herzegovina must also be a
18 part of that Croatia. From this text, this interpretation cannot be
19 made. But of course, all Croats, including myself, supported and endorsed
20 the right of the Croat people in the then Socialist Republic of Croatia
21 to, in a democratic manner, achieve their independence and sovereignty,
22 since the greater Serbia project did not recognise the model of equality
23 of rights and of a confederation.
24 Q. Well, let's back up, then, on that point, into paragraph 2 of this
25 document. Isn't it not also true that in addition to restoration of a
1 Croatian Banovina, the HDZ party in Bosnia-Herzegovina also sought and
2 envisioned the holding of a referendum ultimately on joining the Republic
3 of Croatia? Was that also not one of the objectives of your party in late
5 A. Mr. Prosecutor, I really feel insulted. You persistently are
6 quoting to me the conclusions made at a meeting which I -- a meeting, the
7 holding of which I could not confirm to you. I cannot answer questions
8 which you are singling out from a document which is entirely unauthentic.
9 Unfortunately, I cannot do that.
10 JUDGE LIU: Well, Witness, as I said just now, you just put aside
11 that document. I understand you challenge the authenticity of that
12 document, which has happened. In the cross-examinations, there are always
13 various arguments between the Prosecution, the party conducting the
14 cross-examination, and the witness; it's quite natural. The Prosecution
15 asked you a question whether to hold a referendum ultimately on joining
16 the Republic of Croatia was one of the objectives of your party in later
17 1993. If it's yes, you just simply answer yes. If it's no, you answer
18 no. That's very simple. I hope you could understand.
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No. This was not the objective,
21 JUDGE LIU: Thank you.
22 MR. STRINGER:
23 Q. Witness, do you have the next exhibit there, marked as Exhibit
25 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. Krsnik?
1 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] Your Honours, just for the sake of
2 fairness, I believe you first said 1993 and then corrected yourself and
3 said 1991, and this is not in the transcript. Line 14.
4 JUDGE LIU: Yes. Thank you very much. Thank you.
5 MR. STRINGER:
6 Q. Mr. Witness -- Mr. Rajic, can you identify this exhibit?
7 A. I can.
8 Q. This is the decision on the establishment of the Croatian
9 Community of Herceg-Bosna; is that correct?
10 A. It is correct.
11 Q. This decision results from a meeting that was held in Grude on the
12 18th of November, 1991; is that correct?
13 A. It is correct.
14 Q. And I believe I see your signature among those appearing on the
15 back of this document as a representative of Kupres?
16 A. It is correct.
17 Q. You were in support of the establishment of the Croatian Community
18 of Herceg-Bosna?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. Just one or two brief questions about this document and the
21 Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna. The territory of the Croatian
22 Community of Herceg-Bosna extended from western Herzegovina all the way up
23 well into central Bosnia, encompassing, I believe, some 3 dozen
24 municipalities, if I'm not mistaken. Is that correct?
25 A. Yes. It is correct that it encompassed some 30 municipalities or,
1 rather, areas of municipalities, that is not necessarily the entire
2 municipal territories, but this does not refer to the territory, meaning
3 perhaps the state which is the subject, a state territory, but a territory
4 where the Croat people would establish possible forms of preparations for
5 the joint defence, with those who were willing and ready to fight with us
6 on our side.
7 Q. Now, there were substantial numbers of Muslims living within the
8 territory of the Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna; is that correct?
9 A. It is correct.
10 Q. Now, I'm looking at article 7 of this decision which you signed,
11 which vests supreme authority of the community in the Presidency, the
12 Presidency which would consist of or comprise the most senior
13 representatives of the Croatian people in the municipal authority or
14 presidents of the Croatian Democratic Union municipal boards. My
15 question, sir, is, in fact, whether there was any provision by which
16 non-Croats could participate in a meaningful way in the governance of the
17 Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna, given the fact that the supreme
18 authority appears, in my reading, to be reserved only for representatives
19 of the Croatian people?
20 A. Mr. Prosecutor, article 7 of the decision under consideration may
21 not be considered separately from the provisions in Article 1. So what it
22 speaks about is not any authority in that territory but about the
23 provisional form of organisation of the community as a political,
24 cultural, economic and territorial entity, and its Presidency is not a
25 body of government but the political leadership.
1 Q. And insofar as political and territorial aspects are involved,
2 there is in fact no room for non-Croats to participate on an equal footing
3 with Croats in this community; is that correct?
4 A. No norm excludes -- no provision excludes the possibility for
5 others who want to do so to join us, to prepare for the defence to
6 defend together with us, and that is what we did in 90 per cent of the
8 Q. Mr. Rajic, you testified already that in late 1991, you attended a
9 meeting with others, as part of a delegation that went to Zagreb and met
10 with President Franjo Tudjman; is that correct?
11 A. It is correct.
12 MR. STRINGER: Mr. President, I'll ask the witness be shown
13 Exhibit PT 2, presidential transcript 2. And with the Court's permission,
14 I've got a version that's a clean version in the witness's language to
15 which I've tabbed particular parts I want to direct his attention to. I
16 think it would make it go much faster to use this one rather than one that
17 has no --
18 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. Krsnik?
19 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I think the witness
20 needs to acquaint himself with the whole document. These are very
21 important documents. If I'm correct, these are presidential transcripts;
22 the witness must read it through. As the -- Your Honours know, I did not
23 ask him any questions with regard to the transcript because I do not
24 accord much importance to this particular meeting or on the 27th of
25 December in the socialist federal Yugoslavia but obviously I will have to
1 do that with some witnesses. But never mind --
2 MR. STRINGER: Mr. President --
3 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. Stringer?
4 MR. STRINGER: I object to what's been said by counsel.
5 Characterising the evidence based on his own personal views in the
6 presence of the witness is highly improper. And I object to it.
7 JUDGE CLARK: You're right, Mr. Stringer, and I think also
8 Mr. Krsnik, in fairness, from my grimaces, appreciated that I was making
9 the same point and stopped. I think we have to give Mr. Krsnik the
10 benefit of the doubt that he's not used to the common law procedure.
11 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. Krsnik?
12 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] Yes, quite so, Your Honour, and thank
13 you very much. Thank you, you're quite right.
14 My objection was that the witness should be acquainted with the
15 whole material rather than with some fragments which the -- my learned
16 friend wishes to serve on him.
17 JUDGE LIU: Well, considering the schedule, we almost approach to
18 a break. So my suggestion is, could we break here, a little bit earlier,
19 and during that break, the witness may read that transcript? Is that
21 MR. STRINGER: Yes, that's absolutely acceptable, Mr. President.
22 I've got a couple of preliminary questions before we get into the
23 transcript, if we want to use -- I'm not sure what time we are supposed
24 to break actually.
25 JUDGE LIU: 12.00. We still have five minutes.
1 MR. STRINGER: I could use the remaining five minutes and then
2 Mr. Rajic could take -- with the Court's permission, I could simply give
3 him the transcript I propose to provide to him, so that he can go
4 precisely to the areas that I want to go over with him in the cross and
5 then he won't -- he'll be able to focus on those and anything else he
6 wants to read during the break.
7 JUDGE LIU: Yes. I see no objections.
8 MR. STRINGER: All right.
9 Q. Well, Mr. Rajic, then, let's talk about a couple of preliminary
10 things. Again we are still, in my outline, we are still under the
11 category of the HDZ party. You spoke yesterday about a HDZ party that
12 extended across boundaries or that operated throughout the republics.
13 That's how I understood what you were saying. Do you recall that
15 A. I did speak about it but I -- that is not how I worded it. I said
16 that the Croat democratics union, which was founded in the Republic of
17 Croatia in 1989, acted in terms of the programme and its statute in the
18 territory of two then socialist republics within the framework of one
19 state, Yugoslavia, and that is exactly what I said yesterday.
20 Q. Now, by 1991, you had -- you're certain that the former Yugoslavia
21 did not exist in the same way that it existed in 1989, correct?
22 A. Could you please be more precise? When in 1991? Because a year
23 is a very long period of time.
24 Q. By the end of 1991, Slovenia was no longer a part of the socialist
25 federal Republic of Yugoslavia, correct?
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 A. From the point of view of constitutional law, Yugoslavia still
2 existed, because none of the republics of that former state had yet been
3 recognised internationally. It is true that the structure was disrupted,
4 that its life was disrupted. There were already two wars going on, that
5 is one of them was still going on in Croatia, but unfortunately,
6 Yugoslavia was still a state.
7 Q. The HDZ existed in the Republic of Croatia in November of 1991,
9 A. Of course.
10 Q. The HDZ existed in Bosnia-Herzegovina as of November of 1991,
12 A. Yes, yes.
13 Q. In fact, there was a fair amount of correspondence, sharing of
14 views, between the two parties during that period of November of 1991?
15 A. There were not two parties. It was one party with one president,
16 one central board, one main board, one Presidency, one programme, one
17 statute, but they acted in two different republics of the then state, and
18 both of them adjusted to the specific conditions of life and work in their
19 respective territories. That is the truth.
20 Q. So in November of 1991, the President of the HDZ political party
21 was Franjo Tudjman, correct?
22 A. Yes, the party as a whole.
23 Q. He was the leader of the membership of the HDZ in Croatia?
24 A. No. The whole HDZ. The entire HDZ -- he was the President of the
25 HDZ as the planetary, as the global party because there were subsidiaries
1 in Canada, in Switzerland, here in Germany. So the late President Franjo
2 Tudjman was the President of this all-encompassing system and now
3 president of the Bosnian-Herzegovina party was Stjepan Kljujic.
4 Q. Kljujic was beneath Mr. Tudjman in the hierarchy of the unified or
5 entire HDZ that you've been just been describing; is that correct?
6 A. Hierarchically speaking, yes, but we enjoyed a very high degree of
7 autonomy in our political commitments. Especially because the Republic of
8 Croatia had already voted for its independence and it was simply pending
9 for its international confirmation, and that fact was increasingly
10 respected by the party leadership and notably President Tudjman.
11 Q. And as a result of that - and this is my last question,
12 Mr. President - as a result of Croatia's position of independence or near
13 independence at that time as you've described, as a result of that,
14 President Tudjman was in a position to exert enormous influence over you
15 and other members of the HDZ party who were operating in
17 A. There is no doubt that President Tudjman was a charismatic person,
18 that he was a politician such as the Croat people has not had for the past
19 thousand years. To us, the Croats, he exercised tremendous influence over
20 us and I wish to assure the Honourable Court that that influence was as
21 often and not of a positive nature. We would never have come out to the
22 referendum of our own will. We would have lacked strength for it had it
23 not been for the charismatic strength of the late President Tudjman.
24 MR. STRINGER: Thank you, Mr. President.
25 JUDGE LIU: Well, Witness, during the break, we hope you could
1 take some time to acquaint yourself with those documents so that we could
2 continue the proceedings after the break.
3 We will rise until 12.30.
4 --- Recess taken at 12.02 p.m.
5 --- On resuming at 12.32 p.m.
6 JUDGE LIU: Bring in the witness, please.
7 Witness, during the break, did you have time to read the document
8 furnished by the Prosecution?
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I will try to
10 facilitate the procedure. I have managed to read a part of what the
11 Prosecutor marked in this text, but I did not manage to read it all, but
12 what is the material -- and I believe that it is the same material I read
13 about it years ago in a book called, "Genesis of an Illusion," so this is
14 not the first time that I see this material, if this is the same
15 transcript that the Prosecutor claims it is.
16 JUDGE LIU: Thank you very much. Mr. Stringer, you may proceed.
17 MR. STRINGER: Thank you, Mr. President.
18 Q. Mr. Rajic, just before the break, I was asking you about President
19 Tudjman and his relationship to the HDZ party of Bosnia-Herzegovina, and
20 just before the break, you said an interesting thing that I'd like to
21 clarify. You said, "We would never have come out to the referendum of our
22 own will. We would have lacked strength for it had it not been for the
23 charismatic strength of the late President Tudjman." Just so the record
24 is clear, are we talking about the referendum on independence which took
25 place in Bosnia-Herzegovina in late February and early March of 1992?
1 A. Yes, I shall be happy to explain it. It is the referendum that I
2 meant. When I said that without that assistance by President Tudjman we
3 would have lacked the strength, and by this I meant our need and the
4 decision of our central board to define the referendum question in a
5 manner which would allow to resolve the organisation and the system of
6 Bosnia-Herzegovina after the referendum, that is, after its independence.
7 That is what I meant.
8 Q. Do I understand correctly, then, sir, that the position of the HDZ
9 of Bosnia-Herzegovina in respect of the upcoming referendum, your
10 position, the position of your party, is one that was determined by the
11 fact that President Tudjman supported the referendum himself?
12 A. It had a vital influence but it was we in Bosnia-Herzegovina who
13 made the final decision in this regard.
14 Q. Mr. Rajic, this is a transcript of a meeting which occurred on the
15 27th of December, 1991, in the offices of President Tudjman in Zagreb.
16 You've had a chance to look over the transcript during the break, and
17 you've already testified a bit about this meeting. Can you tell us, sir,
18 whether in fact you were present at this meeting in Zagreb on the 27th of
19 December, 1991?
20 A. I was at the meeting.
21 Q. Was this your first meeting with President Tudjman?
22 A. No. I met President Tudjman on various occasions before that.
23 Q. Do you recall approximately when you met him on those previous
24 occasions, what month, what year?
25 A. In official communication, I saw President Tudjman in June, 1991.
1 That was the first time.
2 Q. And was there another time?
3 A. In that June meeting, with President Tudjman, and the one that we
4 are talking about now, on the 27th of December, 1991, I have not memorised
5 another meeting. My personal, of course.
6 Q. Now, on this December meeting -- actually I'm just going to change
7 just briefly, Mr. President. If we could go back to what was marked as
8 IAC 2, that's one of the documents that was already shown to the witness,
9 and I think I will just have one or two brief questions about that, IAC-2.
10 This is a document that was shown to the witness already earlier this
12 JUDGE CLARK: We don't have it with us, do we?
13 MR. STRINGER: It's in evidence, Judge Clark.
14 JUDGE CLARK: In the big binders.
15 MR. STRINGER: Yes, in the international conflict binders.
16 Perhaps with the usher's assistance we could put it on the ELMO, then.
17 The English version, that is, the first page.
18 Q. Now, Mr. Rajic, I'm not going to try to put words in your mouth.
19 I know this document is one you have disputed. The meeting with President
20 Tudjman in June of 1991, did that take place in Zagreb?
21 A. Yes, in Zagreb.
22 Q. Now, at that meeting in June of 1991, was there a certain
23 orientation and conclusions that were adopted in agreements with
24 Dr. Tudjman on the 13th and 20th of June, 1991?
25 A. This meeting and the same also holds true of the one held on the
1 27th of December, 1991. I was never sent any minutes of either of those
2 two meetings or any other, and I do not know if anybody else was sent the
3 minutes. So that as regards this transcript, and these conclusions, I can
4 only speak from my memory, of course, selected -- it is necessarily
5 selective memory because I feel much better if I talk about things that
6 are related to me than what was said by others.
7 MR. STRINGER: If I could ask the usher just to move the document
8 down so that we can see paragraph 1 in its entirety? I'm sorry, the other
9 direction. Thank you.
10 Q. When you met with President Tudjman in Zagreb in June of 1991, did
11 you discuss what should be the policy of the HDZ in Bosnia-Herzegovina?
12 A. We did.
13 Q. Did you discuss the -- well, let me just ask you to tell us what
14 you recall of the meeting with President Tudjman in June of 1991, and what
15 was discussed. First perhaps I should ask you to tell us who was also
17 A. There is no man who can remember everybody who was there. I know
18 the criteria on the basis of which we were invited. It was presidents
19 of municipal boards of the Croat Democratic Union in Bosnia-Herzegovina,
20 and the Presidency of the party in Bosnia and Herzegovina, and perhaps
21 some other officials too but I'm not quite sure about that. So that it is
22 really difficult after all this time, to say who was present there,
23 because -- I mean even people who are invited are not always there. So it
24 was the case on that occasion as well.
25 Q. This document, IAC-2 makes reference to meetings with Dr. Tudjman
1 on the 13th and the 20th of June, 1991. Were you present at one of those
2 meetings or both of them?
3 A. The first one, on the 13th of June, 1991.
4 Q. And I take it that certain conclusions and agreements were reached
5 with Dr. Tudjman at that time?
6 A. We talked, but I do not recall any conclusions in writing. We
7 talked about the political disorder, the disarray, the chaos, about the
8 war psychosis in Croatia, the danger of war for -- in Bosnia-Herzegovina
9 and for the Croats in Bosnia-Herzegovina. Perhaps the best description
10 would be that we were lamenting our unfortunate lot.
11 Q. Did you discuss the possibility that a common Croatian state would
12 be to the benefit of the Croatian people in both countries?
13 A. Yes. This possibility was mentioned, if all the attempts at
14 democratisation and organisation of Yugoslavia failed and if Serbs with
15 the help of the so-called JNA assaulted Bosnia and Herzegovina, in that
16 situation, one had to also count with the possibility of rescuing the
17 remains of the Croat people and their lands in Bosnia and Herzegovina. It
18 is logical that in view of the disintegration of Yugoslavia and
19 Bosnia-Herzegovina, that that possible part of the Croat people would turn
20 and go to the mother country, where else would they? But those were
21 hypothetical discussions.
22 Q. However, they became less hypothetical by the end of 1991, and by
23 that, I mean that during this period, June of 1991 to December of 1991,
24 would you agree with me that in fact it was clearer that the attempts at
25 democratisation had failed and the Serbs, with the assistance of the JNA,
1 had assaulted Bosnia-Herzegovina or intended to do so?
2 A. That was obvious, but it did not automatically produce a change in
3 our political behaviour, except insofar as that particular task was
4 concerned, which meant to get ready to be prepared so as not to be exposed
5 to a genocide and complete extermination. That change was obvious.
6 Q. And so that by the end of 1991, then, sir, would you agree with me
7 that the possibility or the need to consider a common Croatian state for
8 the Croats of both countries was even more imperative than it had been
9 earlier in June of 1991?
10 A. No. Reasons for faster thinking about if what would be if. We
11 have not yet reached that stage. We still believed that some kind of
12 political understanding could be reached, and we hoped that the war in
13 Bosnia-Herzegovina would not happen.
14 Q. Mr. Rajic, recognising that you haven't read the transcript word
15 for word, the transcript of the meeting on 27 December, 1991, from the
16 parts that you have read, are you able to tell us whether it appears to
17 you to be an accurate reflection of things said and discussed with
18 Dr. Tudjman on the 27th of December?
19 A. Mr. Prosecutor, I am aware of the fact that I am speaking under
20 oath and that I am expected to tell the truth. I shared with you some of
21 those truths. One truth is that I attended that meeting. I spoke at that
22 meeting. I can recall some names and their views and opinions, but not
23 all of them. However, I cannot confirm to you that this is an authentic
24 document, nor has it ever been established that it is. So it can be an
25 authentic document but it cannot. It is possible that it is not. I do
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 not know it.
2 The section of the document that interprets my discussion at
3 the meeting, in terms of the substance and sense, is reflecting what I
4 said. So this is where I can confirm the correctness of the wording but
5 of course, that does not imply that I can offer other comments concerning
6 this document. It had already been commented on before, of this document,
7 namely, the authenticity of which I could not confirm. And this is an
8 opportunity for me to correct you. I never said that the document on the
9 meeting in Grude on the 12th of November, 1991, is not an authentic
10 document. What I did say is that I cannot confirm this.
11 Q. Well, let me -- just to follow up on that while you've still got
12 it in front of you. You've had the document now in front of you on a
13 couple of occasions; you've had a chance to read it over. Are you in a
14 position to say, sir, whether it appears that the document marked as IAC
15 number 2 would accurately reflect discussions and things discussed in
16 Grude on the 12th of November, 1991?
17 A. Mr. Prosecutor, I would like to ask you, if possible, do not
18 insist on asking me to confirm something that I contested in its entirety.
19 Q. I just want to make sure I understand correctly what you're
20 saying. Correct me if I'm wrong. You don't know either way whether that
21 document is authentic or not authentic. You simply don't know because you
22 don't remember a meeting in Grude on the 12th of November, 1991. Is that
23 your testimony?
24 A. For the third or the fourth time, I'd like to repeat, I'm not
25 certain, and I cannot confirm it, but I cannot claim that it is not
1 authentic, but I cannot confirm that to you.
2 Q. Thank you, sir. I'll accept that answer.
3 A. Thank you.
4 Q. Now, what I propose to do with the transcript is to take you to
5 specific parts which have been marked, to give you an opportunity to
6 address those, at the same time that we bring them to the attention of the
7 Trial Chamber. Now, before we start, it sounds to me as though generally
8 speaking, you can confirm the accuracy of the statements that are
9 attributed to you in this transcript; is that correct?
10 A. Yes, this is what I had already done.
11 Q. All right. Now, also some of what I've marked relates to reading
12 of the minutes of an earlier meeting that had taken place in Tomislavgrad
13 some days prior to this meeting with Dr. Tudjman. Did you see the part
14 about the Tomislavgrad meeting in this transcript?
15 A. Yes. I saw that part of the text, which you refer to as the
16 transcript, which I'm not quite sure of. I was present at the meeting in
17 Tomislavgrad. I'm familiar with the gist of the decisions or conclusions,
18 and although in political and linguistic terms, I'm not very pleased with
19 the minutes of the meeting held in Tomislavgrad.
20 Q. We'll talk about the minutes of that meeting in a moment. Then
21 what I understand you're saying is that -- let me ask you this: The
22 minutes of the Tomislavgrad meeting were read out to President Tudjman by
23 Ignac Kostroman; is that correct?
24 A. Yes, and I can recall that.
25 Q. All right. Thank you. Let's go directly to the transcript now.
1 I've got some passages that I want to direct your attention to. First of
2 all, for what -- you would be tab number 1 and with the usher's assistance
3 perhaps we can get the English version on the ELMO. And this would be
4 page 2 of the English version on the ELMO, please.
5 Mr. Rajic, I'm going to read a part of the top paragraph on page 2
6 of the English version. This is what it says: "This could also be a
7 working meeting in which we seek to formulate a Croatian political
8 strategy, an overhaul Croatian policy including that of the
9 Bosnia-Herzegovina HDZ in the period ahead of us." Do you see that part
10 on your version, sir?
11 A. What is the page number?
12 Q. For you, it's on the page that bears the yellow tab number 1.
13 JUDGE LIU: Yes?
14 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] I just wanted to make a correction.
15 The Prosecutor said yellow, and the interpretation was green.
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes. I have seen the text.
17 MR. STRINGER:
18 Q. Okay. Simply, my question to you sir is whether, in fact, what is
19 being said here, or the purpose of this meeting is one in which you, other
20 members of your delegation from Bosnia-Herzegovina, together with
21 President Tudjman, sought to discuss and arrive at an overall policy that
22 would apply to Croats found not only in Croatia but also in
24 A. Unfortunately, once again, I have to voice my reservation with
25 regard to the content which this material features. However, in my
1 recollection, we talked about the difference of opinions which existed
2 within the HDZ of Bosnia and Herzegovina, and which did not only have to
3 do with the strategy and the policy but also with the daily operational
5 Q. Thank you, Mr. Rajic. The usher, I just noticed the passage that
6 I've just referred to is not shown on the television. I'm talking about
7 the very top paragraph on the page. That's it. Beginning with the words,
8 "It seems to me." Mr. Rajic, did you and other members of your
9 delegation look to President Tudjman as someone who could resolve the
10 differences that existed between the members of your own delegation?
11 A. I believed that President Tudjman can and is willing to help to
12 overcome those issues which, in our political work, cropped up, or at a
13 sporadic level, but also in terms of questions of substance. I believe
14 that he could help us.
15 Q. And in terms of substance, perhaps one of the most significant
16 substantive issues confronting your party at the time was the difference
17 in opinion, the difference in policy, advocated on the one hand by Stjepan
18 Kljujic and on the other hand by Mate Boban; is that correct?
19 A. Despite my best effort, I really cannot recollect and make a
20 distinction between Mr. Kljujic's and Mr. Boban's political views at that
22 Q. Okay. Let me direct you now to the yellow tab number 2, and in
23 the English version we are looking at page 20.
24 THE INTERPRETER: Could counsel indicate the pages in the B/C/S
25 version as well for the interpreters, please. Thank you.
1 MR. STRINGER: I apologise. The B/C/S version, you will find it
2 at ERN number 00850410. I hope.
3 Q. Now, this portion, sir, relates to something I've asked you about
4 before, that is the contours or the structure that Bosnia-Herzegovina
5 ought to ultimately have, and on this page, President Tudjman is speaking,
6 and he is -- let me just read part of this for you. Directing you to the
7 part that you can follow along. "In addition, one of our people in Bosnia
8 drafted a proposal for demarcation whereby the Croatian areas and those
9 that you have included in the community of Herceg-Bosna and the community
10 of Croatian Posavina, in the events of demarcation, Croatia would get not
11 only those two communities but also, for geopolitical reasons, Kazinska
12 and Bihacka Krajina which would satisfy almost ideally the Croatian
13 national interests, not only present but also for the future. And then
14 from the remaining areas where," and then it continues. And then just to
15 continue briefly into the next paragraph, "And to create a statelet
16 therefore out of the remaining part around Sarajevo where mostly Muslims
17 and some Catholic Croats would stay, which would resemble the small
18 historical land of Bosnia. It would therefore be a buffer zone in the
19 demarcation of Serbia and Croatia, and in such conditions, it would have
20 to rely on Croatia to a large extent."
21 Now, continuing on to page 21 of the English version. Mr. Rajic,
22 I'm going to move down two paragraphs, three paragraphs. "It seems to me
23 therefore that just as we have taken advantage of this historic moment to
24 establish an independent, internationally recognised Croatia, I believe
25 that it is time we take the opportunity to gather the Croatian people
1 inside the widest possible borders."
2 Now, sir, do you recall that President Tudjman --
3 A. I apologise but I couldn't follow you. Could I be given the
4 number and identification in Croatian again, please?
5 Q. Yes. I believe I'm on your page, sir. You would be looking in
6 the vicinity of -- the usher might assist you in locating what we call the
7 ERN number; the last four digits would be 0410. And then continuing on to
8 0411. Beginning with the words, "It seems to me, therefore..."
9 A. It is pages in B/C/S 410 to 413, end of page 410 onward.
10 Q. You've got it now? Okay. The second passage, shall I read it
11 again or would you like to read it to yourself beginning with the words,
12 "It seems to me, therefore..."
13 A. There is no need for to you do this. I read it myself.
14 Q. Now, sir, my questions are are those the words of President
15 Tudjman describing an objective ultimately to expand the borders of an
16 internationally recognised Croatia, squeezing the borders of
17 Bosnia-Herzegovina back toward Sarajevo as a way to bring a greater number
18 of Croats together in one state?
19 A. Mr. Prosecutor, I said it before, and you can put this question to
20 me a thousand times, yet I will respond in the same manner. I cannot
21 accept this document as an authentic document. And I can only comment on
22 it with the reservation by saying, should this prove to be an authentic
23 document, that is as far as that is concerned. As far as your question
24 goes, I think that the methodology of quotations taken out of context
25 serves its purpose and complex, multi-layered questions cannot end in
1 another situation but to lead me to answer in quite different manners in
2 connection with one and the same fact. I cannot do that. I'll explain
4 Q. Well, let me just ask you a couple of questions. This is a
6 A. May I be allowed to answer?
7 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] May the witness be allowed to answer?
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] If you allow me to answer where I
10 JUDGE LIU: Well, Witness, as I understand it, there is no
11 question put forward by the Prosecution. So there is not answering the
12 question. If you want to make some explanation of your stand, your views,
13 on this very issue, you may proceed.
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you very much, Your Honours.
15 I understand the Prosecutor's statement as a question. If I'm wrong, I
16 apologise to the Prosecutor and to you, Your Honours, but I don't think
17 I'm wrong.
18 I emphasised that the methodology of quotations taken out of
19 context, should this turn out to be an authentic document, serves a
20 purpose. I'm not clear why the section of the text was not read out in
21 which President Tudjman says that given the statement made by General
22 Kadijevic of the JNA, that he will accept a political solution, that a
23 political division, a political solution in Bosnia-Herzegovina, could
24 speed up the process of establishing the universal peace and peace in
25 Bosnia-Herzegovina. Mr. Tudjman, President Tudjman, also emphasises
1 that in Bosnia-Herzegovina, about 1.4 million Serbs were living, that
2 about 570.000 lived in Croatia, that the number shrank but that probably
3 it shrank due to their transfer to Bosnia-Herzegovina and that more than
4 1.5 million people were present there. And then the conclusion is drawn
5 on this basis which I think the Prosecutor skips out on purpose, namely
6 that the existence of Bosnia-Herzegovina under current circumstances is
7 such that we, that is the Croats, cannot advocate it, that we cannot put
8 it as an open question, and why not accept the offer of demarcation when
9 this is in the interest of both the Republic of Croatia and the Croat
10 people in Croatia and the Croat people in Bosnia and Herzegovina?
11 Furthermore, it is said here, particularly due to the fact that on
12 many occasions, he spoke about this both with Izetbegovic and Milosevic.
13 So, Your Honours, had the Prosecutor read out the entire text, then his
14 conclusion could have been quite a different one. This is why I asked for
15 your advice.
16 JUDGE LIU: Well, Witness, you may not be familiar with the
17 proceedings before this Tribunal. During the direct or
18 cross-examinations, the party is entitled to ask you the questions which
19 is relevant to this case. I think under the obligation, you are obliged
20 to answer those questions with a very simple answer, that is yes or no.
21 If you need some explanation to your answer, you may do that.
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honours.
23 JUDGE LIU: So the Prosecutor will ask you several questions
24 concerning this issue. You may listen to his question, answer it. If you
25 need, you may offer some explanations on that. That's the procedure
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 before this Tribunal.
2 Mr. Stringer, you may proceed.
3 MR. STRINGER: Thank you, Mr. President.
4 Q. Just to follow up on a couple of the comments that you just gave
5 us, Mr. Rajic. First of all, you made reference to this part concerning
6 an offer of demarcation. You're referring to an offer of demarcation that
7 came or was communicated by General Kadijevic; is that correct, a general
8 of the JNA?
9 A. No. General Kadijevic, according to statements made by Kljujic,
10 said that the JNA would embrace a political solution.
11 Q. All right. A political solution involving an offer of demarcation
12 to use the words that you just gave us a moment ago, an offer of
14 A. No. From the statement made by Kadijevic, as this was conveyed to
15 me by Mr. Kljujic, this cannot be concluded.
16 Q. Mr. Rajic, you -- I'm using your words, an offer of demarcation.
17 That was the explanation that you gave and I'm just trying to clarify
18 that. Was there some sort of an offer coming from the Serb side that
19 related to demarcation or redrawing of boundaries as part of a political
20 solution between Croats and Serbs? Is that what you're telling us?
21 A. This is not what I was talking about. A political division was
22 not proposed by Kadijevic, according to Mr. Kljujic as it is said in this
24 Q. One other question, then we'll move on to the next thing. This
25 meeting is taking place in December of 1991 in Zagreb. Croatia has been
1 at war. The war is very soon to come to Bosnia-Herzegovina. Isn't it
2 true, sir, that President Tudjman saw all of these events, both political
3 and military, as providing an opportunity to gather people, Croatian
4 people, inside the widest possible borders? Wasn't that his view? That
5 all of these events provided an opportunity for territorial, if you will,
6 reconciliation of a greater number of Croatian people?
7 A. This is not true, but Mr. Tudjman, as a statesman and politician
8 of major scope, also spoke about the possibilities that had existed in our
9 land. Let me repeat it. Conditional sentences and ideas were discussed.
10 Q. Let me direct you to what has been marked as tab number 3 on the
11 document in front of you. The English version, page 28.
12 A. And in Croatian?
13 Q. It should be your tab number 3, which would be at page 00850442.
14 Tab number 3. On this part, Mr. Rajic, another person present at the
15 meeting is talking named, Miro Lasic. Do you recall that Miro Lasic was
17 A. I do.
18 Q. This is what he says: "I am personally happy and proud for having
19 lived through these historic events and having taken part in them under
20 President Tudjman's leadership, so the creation of a Croatian state is the
21 essence." Do you see that passage?
22 A. Towards the very bottom of the page?
23 Q. Do you have it?
24 A. Yes, I do. Yes, yes. I see it.
25 Q. Now, was Mr. Lasic, Miro Lasic, a member of your delegation from
2 A. We were all one delegation.
3 Q. And your delegation was all under the leadership of President
4 Tudjman, isn't that correct?
5 A. No. Under the leadership of President Kljujic.
6 Q. So Miro Lasic was wrong in this statement?
7 A. Well, perhaps he was flattering the President.
8 Q. And he was also incorrect in his assertion that the Croatian --
9 the creation of a Croatian state is the essence?
10 A. I really do not know all that Mr. Lasic said on that occasion.
11 Q. Wasn't it true, sir, that on that point he was speaking on your
12 behalf, the behalf of other members of your delegation who shared the same
14 A. Nobody was mandated to speak on anybody's behalf. We were all
15 politically committed and the offices we held did not prevent anyone from
16 voicing his own opinion, if he wanted to do so. And instead of my having
17 to answer as to what Mr. Lasic said or did not say, I'd be happier if you
18 asked me about what I said.
19 Q. Okay. Let's turn to tab 4 and we will talk about what you said.
20 Tab 4 on your document, English page 36, B/C/S, 00850437. Now, Mr. Rajic,
21 you might want to go back a couple of pages to find the part where you
22 actually begin talking. I can represent to you that what's on the page
23 I've directed you to is attributed to you in this document.
24 A. Yes. I've found the beginning.
25 Q. Okay. And now, if you would move forward to the page where the
1 tab number 3 is found, that's the page where I'm going to -- I'm sorry,
2 tab 4, tab 4. This is what you said: "As long as a sovereign Bosnia
3 exists, yes, but when it is attacked and others start carving it up, not
4 us first, we know then what our historical right is. In this context, I
5 would like to say that we cannot accept those claims which proceed from
6 the notion that the current ethnic picture in Herceg-Bosna is the relevant
7 factor according to which everything will be decided. We are proceeding
8 from the historical right of the Croatian people, from the statehood which
9 existed in 1939, as a minimum, and from looking at the ethnic picture in
11 Now, Mr. Rajic, I've got one question and then I give you the
12 floor to explain what you're talking about here, but I want to suggest to
13 you that what you're referring to in 1939 is the state of the Hrvatska
14 Banovina that existed for a short period of time just prior to and during
15 World War II, and that that statement on your part is an indication of an
16 objective to re-establish or to at least look to the Banovina as a
17 starting point from which Croatian territory in Bosnia-Herzegovina would
18 be established. Would you agree with that, sir, or do you want to explain
19 your own views in respect of the Banovina?
20 A. I simply cannot agree with your reinterpretation of what I said.
21 So everything is taken out of context. In this part, in this segment,
22 I'm saying that those claiming that there has been radical change in the
23 conduct of the party politics are not right, that is that this change took
24 place in Zagreb. And that the concept of a sovereign Bosnia-Herzegovina
25 was abandoned, and this objection -- these objections create a confusion,
1 disinformation and that it needs clearing up. And then we come to what
2 you quoted, where you say that there has been no radical change because
3 even the declaration of the programme said, and I'm quoting here, "The
4 declaration of the programme," not myself. And then the text comes which
5 was taken over from the declaration or statement of the programme, of the
6 HDZ as such, as whole.
7 That the HDZ supports, endorses, the sovereignty of
8 Bosnia-Herzegovina, but if and when it is attacked, and when others start
9 carving up its territory and we never, as the first, then we know what our
10 historical right is. So if you look at this statement together with the
11 introductory part then the conclusion is completely different and that is
12 no announcement of any measures like the establishment of a state in the
13 territory of the erstwhile Banovina.
14 Q. This is a meeting taking place in December of 1991. Let me
15 suggest to you, sir, that by the end of 1992, say by the time just before
16 the Vance-Owen Peace Plan was announced in January, 1993, that in that
17 period of time, in fact, the sovereignty of Bosnia-Herzegovina was in
18 great doubt, Serbs had achieved taking of approximately two-thirds
19 of the territory of the country and in fact others had started to carve up
20 such that by the end of 1992, your policy and the policy of your party was
21 to take advantage of the opportunity to create a Croatian state as
22 President Tudjman has described earlier in this transcript.
23 A. I'm not sure, sir, if you changed the years deliberately. 1991
24 and 1992. So will you please try to help me to get my bearings in time?
25 Q. I'll try and break that down. That was a bad question from me.
1 If I understand correctly what you're saying is that the possibility of a
2 demarcation, an expansion of Croatian borders, was only something that
3 would be considered in the event that a carve up of Bosnia-Herzegovina was
4 already under way, perhaps started by others. Is that what you're
6 A. I merely reinterpreted the programme of the Croat Democratic Union
7 so this is not my personal position.
8 Q. That was the position of the Croatian Democratic Union as of the
9 end of 1991, correct?
10 A. No, 1989.
11 Q. That remained the policy in place at the end of 1991, correct?
12 A. Yes, and this policy is still in place.
13 Q. By the end of 1992, the situation was such that your party, under
14 the leadership of President Tudjman, deemed it a good opportunity to
15 proceed with that policy of an expansion of Croatian borders,
16 establishment of a greater Croatian state, along the lines of the
17 Banovina, by the end of 1992. That was the policy, correct?
18 A. To begin with, and again I must say I have my reservations
19 regarding the authenticity of this document. In late 1992, the situation
20 was completely different, and it is not consistent with this act. I don't
21 understand the question, because now we are in 1991, now we are in 1992,
22 and both times at the end of the respective years. So I'm rather
23 confused, Mr. Prosecutor.
24 Q. Maybe the next passage will help clear it up. Let's move to tab
25 number 5 on your document, English page 56, bottom of the page, B/C/S page
1 00850478. This is President Tudjman talking, saying, "Therefore the
2 survival of Bosnia-Herzegovina as an independent and sovereign state, even
3 if possible, is in any case against the interests of the Croatian people
4 and makes impossible the normal territorial establishment of the Croatian
5 state and creates conditions for the disappearance of what remains of the
6 Croatian people in Bosnia and Herzegovina today."
7 Do you see that?
8 A. I do.
9 Q. When you were in this meeting, sir, did you share his view that an
10 independent Bosnia-Herzegovina was contrary to the interests of your
11 people in Bosnia-Herzegovina?
12 A. I don't believe that Mr. Tudjman said it as it says here.
13 Besides, you omitted a very important sentence at the very bottom. If we
14 take this statement such as it is written. And it says, "Moreover, an
15 integral, united Bosnia and Herzegovina is no more today because there was
16 war in Croatia and the Serbs had seceded and taken away 70 per cent of the
17 territory." But if you, Mr. Prosecutor, are interested in my attitude, in
18 my attitude to these facts why don't you let me read the text, which I did
19 not dispute, which I indeed said so that this Honourable Chamber could
20 decide -- could judge my own participation, my own role in all that.
21 Q. Well, sir, you've told us that President Tudjman was the leader of
22 your party and that you were a member of a delegation that went to meet
23 with him twice, once in June of 1991, once in December of 1991. Now, on
24 the basis of that, sir, I'm trying to question you about your views and
25 the extent to which they were consistent with the views being expressed by
1 other members of your delegation, as well as those being expressed by
2 President Tudjman. That's what's of interest to me. So with respect, I
3 don't want to limit my questions only to what you said, because it's
4 helpful to us and I believe to the Trial Chamber for them to have your
5 views on what's being said by other political leaders of the HDZ and
6 that's why I'm asking you about some of these other statements that are
7 being made. If you don't share the views that are expressed by the
8 others, then tell us. That's what we want to know.
9 A. Thank you for your assistance, Mr. Prosecutor. I said that I did
10 not believe the content of the quoted passage that you have just quoted.
11 I do not think that President Tudjman could have put it that way.
12 Q. Thank you. Now, let's move to the next item, which is tab number
13 5B, English page 60, B/C/S 00850485.
14 A. I see it, yes.
15 Q. This is again President Tudjman speaking. "I've written down
16 somewhere the date when we discussed how talks should be held with both
17 sides and our aim, our aim from the beginning, from the proclamation we
18 issued, if you want, was not to preserve Bosnia and Herzegovina as it is
19 today. Essentially, this is not in the interests of Croatian policy, as
20 Croatian policy would, in this way, be permanently frustrated by the
21 demographic and territorial loss in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Therefore, we
22 finally wanted and it was no accident that in the preamble to the Croatian
23 constitution, we also mention the Banovina of Croatia."
24 So, sir, my question, then, is, as the President and leader of the
25 HDZ party in both Croatia and Bosnia-Herzegovina, was it not President
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 Tudjman's view that the boundaries of the Banovina should be
2 re-established, that the borders of Bosnia-Herzegovina, as they existed at
3 that time, should be reduced and pushed back towards Sarajevo?
4 A. No. President Tudjman did not ask for that, and you cannot read
5 that into the text. If this is correct, then one can see that President
6 Tudjman is saying something which is completely opposite to that, which in
7 no way does not jeopardise the -- prejudice the idea of
8 Bosnia-Herzegovina. Quite the reverse. That it is not our aim to
9 preserve Bosnia-Herzegovina as it is today. How will the Croatian people
10 as a whole accept that Bosnia-Herzegovina at the end of 1991 in which the
11 Serbs had appropriated 70 per cent of the territories and were threatening
12 us with slaughter and expulsion? If you are trying to incriminate that
13 particular fact in Tudjman's speech, then I cannot agree with you. He is
14 simply linking up to what was said earlier, as it says here and again I
15 have my reservations, that in the preamble there is an invitation of the
16 Croatian state that is the Croatian constitution, and there is a mention
17 of -- a reference to Banovina knowing that somebody will want to
18 appropriate Bosnia-Herzegovina and give the Croats a one-way ticket into
19 their world. That is the gist of what President Tudjman said on countless
20 occasions, not only at this meeting. I heard it from him on many
21 occasions before and after this.
22 Q. Sir, is it your testimony, then, that the reference to the
23 Banovina in these documents, including your own reference to 1939, is not
24 an indication that ultimately, your objectives, your desires, were to
25 re-establish in Bosnia-Herzegovina territories formerly falling within the
1 Hrvatska Banovina?
2 A. Mr. Prosecutor, thank you, at long last I get a question that I
3 wanted to hear. References to Banovina Hrvatska and President Tudjman and
4 Boban and Kljujic's and my words have absolutely nothing to do with the
5 establishment of a state in that territory, or with intent to annex that
6 territory to the Republic of Croatia. The message there is completely
7 different that Bosnia and Herzegovina is also the Croatian land, and that
8 nobody can count on Bosnia-Herzegovina without Croats in it as one of the
9 three pillars which must underpin it. That is Mr. Prosecutor, the
10 purpose, the raison d'etre for all the mentions and reinterpretations of
11 the phenomenon of the Banovina Hrvatska of 1939. That is how I always saw
12 this interpretation, and I'm still loyal to it. Nobody can take
13 Bosnia-Herzegovina without asking Croats, among others, what will be with
14 it. That is the fundamental message.
15 Q. Sir, then am I correct that it was not your position, the position
16 of others of your delegation, your leadership, that the territory of the
17 Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna should become part of Croatia? That
18 was not your -- that was not the objective of your party?
19 A. That was not the objective either of our party or the Croat
20 community Herceg-Bosna, but we had -- we did not renounce our right that
21 if our survival were threatened and if our right were in peril, we -- to
22 look for our place under the sun in another way. And in case of a -- in
23 case of a disintegration of Bosnia-Herzegovina, we'd rather go to our
24 mother state than stay under the Serb occupation. If that is how we
25 understand the gist of the discussion, then we shall arrive at a
1 completely different conclusions. And let me I sure you, Mr. Prosecutor,
2 because I was a witness to those events, I was an actor in them, it is
3 very hard for me to listen to reinterpretations which are not consistent
4 with the truth.
5 MR. STRINGER: Mr. President, I've got a couple more questions. I
6 think we should be able to finish with the transcript today, just so you
8 Q. Mr. Rajic, you've already mentioned, we discussed briefly, the
9 Tomislavgrad meeting which took place on the 27th of December, 1991. I'm
10 going to refer to page 12 of the English. I've got just a couple of
11 points on this and then we will be finished, Mr. President.
12 Mr. Rajic, for you I would direct you to tab 7, yellow tab number
13 7. It's at the front part of the document. I think you said already you
14 remember that the minutes of this meeting were read out to President
15 Tudjman by Mr. Kostroman during your meeting in Zagreb; is that correct?
16 A. It is.
17 Q. And so what's being read out then are the minutes of the meeting
18 which took place in Tomislavgrad on the 23rd of December, 1991; is that
20 A. Yes, it is, but I also said that according to my criteria, it was
21 not done well, either linguistically or politically.
22 Q. You were present at this meeting in Tomislavgrad?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. You were acting as a vice-president of the HDZ, looking now at the
25 top of page 12.
1 A. No. I was not the vice-president of the HDZ at the time. I was
2 the President of the municipal board of Kupres HDZ and vice-president of
3 the Presidency of the Croat community Herceg-Bosna, not the party's
5 Q. So you were vice-president. And I believe, sir, moving to the end
6 of this document, that you signed these minutes --
7 A. No, sir. I wasn't the vice-president of anything. I was the
8 vice-president or deputy president of the Presidency. I have to explain
9 the difference. The -- because the vice-president is a collective office
10 and the president is the individual office.
11 Q. Would you agree with me, sir, that it indicates simply Bozo Rajic,
12 vice-president? Is that what it says?
13 A. It does, but then it says that this is the session of the
14 Presidency of the HZ HB, and so when it says vice-president, yes, I'm the
15 vice-president of the Presidency and then it is not incorrect.
16 Q. Thank you for that clarification.
17 MR. STRINGER: Mr. President, may I continue for a couple of
18 minutes or do we have to --
19 JUDGE LIU: We have to stop because there is a trial in here this
20 afternoon. We have to be punctually on time. So we will resume tomorrow
22 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at
23 12.45 p.m., to be reconvened on Thursday the 11th
24 day of April, 2002, at 9.00 a.m.