1 Monday, 15 April 2002
2 [The accused entered court]
3 [Open session]
4 --- Upon commencing at 9.02 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: Before we have the witness today, I would like to say
9 that we are very sorry that Judge Clark won't be able to be with us for
10 today and tomorrow. In accordance with the Rule 15 bis, the remaining
11 Judges decided to sit for another two days. That's so decided.
12 Mr. Usher, would you please bring in the witness.
13 MR. SCOTT: Before -- I'm sorry, before the usher comes in, Your
14 Honour, we've just learned literally five minutes ago that the order for
15 the witnesses this week has again changed dramatically. Apparently,
16 unbeknownst to us until just a few minutes ago, the two witnesses, the two
17 next witnesses who have been here have been sent home, leaving the next
18 two witnesses after Mr. -- I'm not sure -- the current witness, to be two
19 other witnesses who we had not intended -- expected to be called until
20 sometime later. This is again apparently continues to be trial by ambush,
21 Your Honour, and we are not prepared to proceed with either of those two
22 witnesses on cross-examination, either of the two, and again I won't use
23 their names out of an abundance of caution. I don't know why someone on
24 my staff cannot have been communicated with at least on Friday. We did
25 not receive anything. Apparently, a fax came into my office late on
1 Friday afternoon. It was sent to me. Counsel obviously knew that I was
2 not in my office on Friday. So it was not known to any member of the
3 Prosecution staff until literally about seven minutes ago.
4 We are not prepared to proceed with these witnesses. We will be
5 denied a fair opportunity for cross-examination if cross-examination has
6 to go forward on this basis. We simply cannot conduct business this way,
7 Mr. President. We change every day, the order changes all the time. No
8 one tells us. Apparently, some people knew that this had happened. We
9 didn't. We cannot prepare to meet these witnesses, important witnesses
10 for the Chamber, and to assist the Chamber with cross-examination without
11 having knowledge and the ability to prepare for the witnesses ahead of
12 time. We have no knowledge of this and it's a complete surprise to us.
13 We object to doing business in this way. We are not prepared to
14 cross-examine either of these men.
15 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. Krsnik?
16 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I really do not
17 understand it. The Prosecutor knows very well what submissions he
18 tendered in and he knew very well that two witnesses, for which they
19 pleaded with the Court to be given time for, that it might very well
20 happen that two Defence witnesses could come late, and this is what
21 happened. At 5.00, we received a message that they would be summoned at a
22 later point in time. Now, if the Prosecutor seems to be discontent with
23 this, then obviously it applies also to the Defence. The Defence must be
24 ready at any point in time and must be willing to call the witnesses. It
25 is not due to the Defence, its intentions or whatever. We have not been
1 changing the lists of witnesses. We had to change the order of one
2 witness because of his illness. All the others were called in the order
3 in which they were announced. However, the Prosecution requested time and
4 again to change the order of their witnesses. Now --
5 THE INTERPRETER: Mr. Krsnik, can you please slow down?
6 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] The Prosecution requested that two
7 witnesses be postponed and the Court accepted their motion, and in fact,
8 the learned friend knew who the following two witnesses would be for more
9 than two weeks, in fact, for more -- a lot more than two weeks. You asked
10 the two witnesses to be postponed. Now everybody knew which would be the
11 next two witnesses, but if the learned friend is not ready, then the
12 Defence has nothing against postponing these two witnesses.
13 Your Honours, whether this is an opportunity -- a situation where
14 they need time to prepare, this is fine with us. We have nothing against
15 it. We will be working for three working days this week anyhow and we --
16 as far as the Defence is concerned, we have no objections for the
17 examination to be postponed.
18 JUDGE LIU: Well, last Friday morning, we held a hearing upon the
19 motion filed by the Prosecution on the testimony of the two witnesses,
20 namely, the two witnesses is the fourth and the sixth witnesses on the
21 list filed by the Defence counsel on April 3rd, 2002. On that afternoon,
22 after deliberations among the Judges, we decided to postpone the testimony
23 of these two witnesses until later stage. The written decision will be
24 rendered today, and this week, we only have four working days, that is
25 from Monday to Thursday, and according to the list filed by the Defence
1 counsel on April 3rd, 2002, there are six witnesses on that list. We
2 believe that the Prosecution has been informed about these six witnesses
3 already so we don't think there is a surprise attack on both parties.
4 We will continue to hear the witnesses on this list, except the
5 two witnesses who have been back. It's so decided.
6 Mr. Krsnik, could you please inform us about the translation
7 issues? Because it's a big issue and all the documents have been piled
8 up. Have you got all those translations for the pertinent witness for
9 today and for tomorrow?
10 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] For the witness today, we basically
11 have all documents translated, and I'm pleased to tell you. As far as
12 tomorrow goes, I'm not quite sure that all translations are ready, but in
13 the course of this afternoon we will verify the situation, but for the
14 next witness we basically have all documents translated.
15 JUDGE LIU: Thank you very much. Could we have the witness,
17 [The witness entered court]
18 JUDGE LIU: Good morning, Witness. Good morning, Witness. Can
19 you hear me?
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I cannot hear the interpreter very
21 well, Your Honour, but I can hear you very well.
22 JUDGE LIU: Well, shall we try it again? Can you hear the
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, I do.
25 JUDGE LIU: Yes, please sit down.
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you.
2 WITNESS: JOZO MARIC [Resumed]
3 [Witness answered through interpreter]
4 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. Bos.
5 MR. BOS: Thank you, Mr. President.
6 Cross-examination by Mr. Bos: [Continued]
7 Q. Good morning, Mr. Maric.
8 A. Good morning.
9 Q. Mr. Maric, on Friday when we left off, we were discussing your
10 political views and in light of that issue, I would like you to be shown
11 Exhibit IAC-2 again, please.
12 A. I apologise, Your Honours, but I cannot hear the interpreter once
14 JUDGE LIU: Well, maybe someone in the booth could help us to
15 straighten it out.
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes. This is very well now. Thank
18 MR. BOS:
19 Q. Now, witness, this is document IAC-2 which was shown to you by the
20 Defence in your examination-in-chief. Do you remember this document?
21 A. Yes. I can remember this document from here, from the courtroom.
22 Q. Yeah. Now, you testified that you felt that this was not an
23 authentic document; is that correct?
24 A. Yes, that is correct.
25 Q. Let me ask you, I don't know if you had a chance of reading this
1 document but this document talks about a meeting that was held in Grude on
2 the 12th of November, 1991, and my question is, do you recall that that
3 meeting ever took place?
4 A. No, I do not recall it. We had many meetings and as far as this
5 one is concerned, I cannot define it either in terms of place or time,
6 particularly as far as this content is concerned.
7 Q. All right. The document is dated 12 November, so this was six
8 days before the -- before the founding of the Croatian Community of
9 Herceg-Bosna and the meeting was allegedly held in Grude, which is the
10 municipality where you were the President of the Grude municipal assembly;
11 is that correct?
12 A. I was the President of the municipal assembly of Grude, that is
14 Q. Now, if we look at the document, it says that it was a joint
15 meeting of the Herzegovina regional committee -- excuse me, a joint
16 meeting of the Herzegovina regional community and the Travnik regional
17 community. Now, let's assume that such a meeting took place. Would you
18 have been invited in your function as a president of the Grude municipal
19 assembly for such a meeting?
20 A. I was the host, at any rate, whenever meetings were held in my
21 municipality. And as a host, I took care of technical matters just as the
22 ushers here are taking care of the witnesses, their being brought into the
23 courtroom, et cetera. So I was requested to provide for the premises and
24 all the other technical details for the meetings to be held. But I could
25 not attend all the meetings and as far as this one is concerned, I
1 therefore cannot place it in my memory.
2 Q. When you testified, you said that you would have been the host.
3 Would that also -- would that also explain that you, on this document, are
4 mentioned as the clerk? Which is on the last page, underneath the date of
5 the document.
6 A. I could not be the clerk or the recording clerk under any
7 conditions. My position of the President of the municipal assembly
8 required me to take care of other businesses. I had about 100 employees
9 and some of them were lawyers, were clerks, who could be much more
10 competent to keep the minutes of this meeting, much more than I personally
11 could do it since I'm a professor of literature and history of arts by
13 Q. But --
14 A. Usually, I would thus be at the level -- put down to the level of
15 the recording clerk but that was usually not the type of job that I would
16 perform. I was the President of the municipal assembly of Grude, and I
17 would usually not do this type of record keeping.
18 Q. No, but as a host, as the President of the Grude, you would be
19 responsible for the work of the clerks, you would be the person the clerks
20 would be working for; is that correct?
21 A. No. This is not correct. Being a lawyer yourself, you'll
22 probably know very well that whenever the agenda is drafted for a meeting,
23 at the same time the recording clerk is also appointed. Therefore, as a
24 host, I cannot be held responsible in any way whatsoever for the
25 meetings -- for the minutes of this meeting.
1 Q. Now, once again, so you testified that you can't recall that there
2 was a meeting on the 12th of November, or are you testifying that there
3 may have been a meeting but that you were not present? Could we be clear
4 on that?
5 A. I was present -- if I was not involved in POWs exchange on that
6 day, I usually was the host of the meetings that were held in my office in
7 the conference hall of the municipal assembly at Grude, but I cannot
8 recall whether, on the 12th of November, 1991, this meeting was held
9 there. I can assure you however, that I did not attend this meeting and I
10 was not the recording clerk.
11 Q. Very well. Now, let's have a closer look at the document.
12 First all, let's look at the persons who -- well, their signatures do not
13 appear but the document underneath next to the date, it says -- it says
14 Mate Boban and Dario Kordic. Do you know these two names?
15 A. Yes. I know these individuals.
16 Q. What is your relationship with Mate Boban?
17 A. Well, we had a fair relationship, in which Mr. Boban, in terms of
18 the hierarchy of the authorities, was my superior and I always respected
20 Q. Did you share the political views of Mr. Boban?
21 A. Whether I shared political views with Mr. Boban, you will know
22 that political views are such a subtle matter that one changes them over a
23 longer period of time in himself, let alone when comparing them to some
24 other person's. Obviously, a man is a human being, allowed to think, to
25 formulate, all sorts of attitude towards life including political opinions
1 and views.
2 Q. Were you a personal friend of Mr. Mate Boban?
3 A. Well, I did not know Mr. Boban before 1990, and the period in
4 which we met from 1990 onward was not really the ideal period for
5 friendships to be built and develop. Friendships are made in childhood,
6 in the course of your studies, in the first years of your professional
7 life. But I can assure you that we had a correct and fair relationship.
8 Q. Let's look at the content of the document. I'd like you to look
9 at -- well, it reads, "Conclusions," and then there are three
10 conclusions. And let's look at the first conclusion. And I'd like you to
11 move somewhere to the middle of that paragraph, starting with the date 12
12 November, 1991. And for the English translation, it's on the top of page
13 number 3. Let me read out to you what's written here: "On this occasion,
14 12 November, 1991, these two regional communities have unanimously decided
15 that the Croatian people in Bosnia and Herzegovina
16 must finally embrace a determined and active policy which will
17 realise our eternal dream, a common Croatian state."
18 My question is, Mr. Maric, was this also your political view in
19 1991, that the Croats in Bosnia-Herzegovina should embrace a determined
20 and active policy to realise the eternal dream, a common Croatian state?
21 A. My personal political views in 1991 would be as follows.
22 Yugoslavia as a state no longer can exist. Within the framework of the
23 process of new, emerging states, the Croatian people in Croatia will be
24 able to live within their own state and the constitutive people of Croats
25 will also be able to establish their independent state of Bosnia and
1 Herzegovina. These were the views prior to the war. When the war broke
2 out, when all possibilities, in fact, were open, there have been different
3 speculations entertained, but when the Badinter Commission decided that
4 the borders of the former Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina cannot be
5 changed, I, being a politically mature person, knew that this is what was
6 defined for the future by the European Union and by the international
7 community at large.
8 JUDGE LIU: Witness, please speak slowly because whatever you said
9 had to be translated into the other two languages. The interpreters,
10 especially the French interpretation, is far behind you. Thank you.
11 Yes, Mr. Bos.
12 MR. BOS:
13 Q. Mr. Maric, let's read out something else from this document, and I
14 will just continue where I stopped. Paragraph 1. The document continues
15 to read, "In order that historical goal may soon also be our reality,
16 these two regional communities asked that legal and political documents be
17 prepared and published. Proclaiming a Croatian Banovina in
18 Bosnia-Herzegovina and the holding of a referendum on joining the Republic
19 of Croatia as the first step on the road to the final solution of the
20 Croatian question and the creation of -- " and then the text becomes
21 rather illegible. Now, witness, isn't it true that the official creation
22 of the Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna six days after this alleged
23 meeting was that not the first step on the road to the final solution of
24 the Croatian question?
25 A. The establishment of the Croat Community of Herceg-Bosna on the
1 18th of November, in all its statutes and provisions, emphasised that this
2 document is incoherent, is in contradiction with the document here, the
3 thing that you consider to be the document. The document on the
4 establishment of the Croat Community of Herceg-Bosna stipulates very
5 clearly that it will remain within the framework of Bosnia-Herzegovina.
6 This can be seen both in the preamble, where it says at the
7 beginning, "Bosnia-Herzegovina, the Herzegovina regional community," and
8 this can also be seen and is reflected in the contents of the document as
9 well. Therefore, it would not be logical to, on the basis of this
10 so-called document, draw any comparison with the act of the -- through
11 which the Croat Community of Herceg-Bosna was officially proclaimed
12 because these two documents exclude one another, that is your
13 interpretation is being excluded, your interpretation of the document in
14 my hand, when compared to the official document that nobody has contested,
15 as far as its authenticity goes.
16 Q. Very well. Now, let me make one more quote from this document,
17 and I'd like to have your comment on that. This is on paragraph 2, and
18 it's the last sentence. And this sentence is underlined and it says the
19 following: "Our people will not accept under any conditions any other
20 solution except within the borders of a free Croatia." And the borders of
21 a free Croatia are underlined again. Now, Mr. Maric, was that not indeed
22 your view as well that the Croats would not agree to any other solution
23 except within the borders of a free Croatia?
24 A. This is not true. It is precisely this explicit text shows, well,
25 because it would have been a complete turnaround six days before the
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 document on the establishment of the Croat Community Herceg-Bosna. This
2 was not our political attitude or moral. It wasn't my personal view,
3 because we considered and consider Bosnia-Herzegovina, as one of the
4 people who has lived there for 13 centuries, we consider it our homeland
5 and our state. But as subsequent Washington agreements showed, we were
6 entitled to expect that Bosnia-Herzegovina and Croatia might create a
7 con-federal union, and that was our political wish, aspiration.
8 Q. Let's move on. I'd like the witness to be -- no. Well, let me
9 first ask you some introductory questions. Witness, we are now moving
10 towards July, 1992, and my question is: Do you recall that you were --
11 that you had a conversation with a journalist in July, 1992, named Marcus
12 Tanner, who is a journalist from the London Independent Service, and do
13 you recall saying to that journalist that you didn't recognise the Bosnian
14 flag or the Bosnian Presidency or a unified Bosnian army? Do you recall
15 saying that to this journalist?
16 A. No. I remember this interview, especially because I did not
17 communicate with journalists much, particularly in view of some of the
18 experience because they never brought the text for my -- to be authorised,
19 to be initialled. And that was also the case with this journalist. I
20 could never lay my hands on this text, so that I would be grateful if you
21 could copy it and give it to me. I can therefore only speak about how I
22 thought and spoke politically at that time. But of course, I cannot
23 record every single word, and I would be grateful also if the journalist
24 had the tape because it would then -- it would have been even more
25 authentic in that case. Therefore, if you think that those speculations
1 need to be denied here, or that they need to be confirmed here, that is of
2 course your position, but I personally can present my thinking now about
3 the point in time and about what I presume -- probably said on that
5 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. Krsnik?
6 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I'd like this article
7 to be shown to the witness so he can read it. Besides, it says that it is
8 Irish Times, as far as I can see, not London. So I believe the Prosecutor
9 should correctly quote document such and such and put it before the
10 witness so the witness can see it. And what we have here is Irish Times.
11 MR. BOS: I'll show the document to the witness and then we can
12 clarify everything. If the witness can be shown Exhibit P157.3. And this
13 document is in the binder of exhibits which I submitted on Friday.
14 If I can assist the registry, I have a bundle of exhibits here
15 which I'm going to use for this witness which I provided on Friday, but I
16 have an extra copy here so maybe it's easier.
17 Q. Witness, the article was in English but we've made a translation
18 into B/C/S for your convenience, so it's being shown to you now and maybe
19 you can read the article.
20 Have you read it?
21 A. I've read it, yes, of course, but not calmly. That is, I did it
22 superficially which is the only possible way one can read it at this
23 moment, but I can also say that this is just as superficial an approach
24 because it teams with --
25 Q. Listen to the questions and then you can give your comments to
1 this article. First of all, If you look at the header in response to
2 Mr. Krsnik's question, the document is written by the journalist Marcus
3 Tanner, who is from the London Independent Service, and the article was
4 published in the Irish Times. I hope that will clarify that. Now, Mr.
5 Maric, I'm particularly interested in this -- in this second part of the
6 article which starts in -- with the words, "In Croat-held Jablanica and
7 Konjic." Maybe move up. It starts with, "They point out that the new
8 Croatian zone has not seceded from Sarajevo and that thousands of Muslims
9 in flight from Serbian ethnic cleansing have found sanctuary in
10 Herceg-Bosna. In Croat-held Jablanica and Konjic, I saw thousands of
11 refugees from the east, many dressed in traditional colourful baggy pants,
12 making make shift homes for themselves in former army barracks. But there
13 is no question who runs the shows in Herceg-Bosna. The red and white
14 Croatian checkerboard is more often seen these days than the Bosnian
15 fleur-de-lis. Mr. Mate Boban, the President of Herceg-Bosna, has
16 described the region as Croatian land. In an interview he said, 'Whatever
17 the people in Sarajevo do is their personal business. They cannot speak
18 or decide a thing in the naming of the people of Herceg-Bosna.' His
19 deputy, Mr. Jozo Maric, was harsher: 'We don't recognise the Bosnian flag,
20 the Bosnian Presidency or a unified Bosnian army. They don't have an army
21 in Sarajevo. How can they expect us to place our forces under their
23 Did you say these words to the journalist, Mr. Tanner?
24 A. No, no. That is not how I used those words, and to begin with, I
25 was not Mr. Boban's deputy and this merely shows how serious was the
1 journalist and how well he verified his data. I was never Mr. Mate
2 Boban's deputy. So the gentleman opens with a lie, so how could he then
3 transmit, convey my words exactly as I had said them?
4 Q. Was Mr. Mate Boban present at that interview?
5 A. No, no. I was alone in my office.
6 Q. All right. Well, let's move on. Witness, is it correct that your
7 political view of one great Croatia, with all Croats living in one united
8 state, still existed in late 1995?
9 A. It would be crazy, because in 1995, both Dayton and everything
10 else was known, so that somebody might say that if somebody said that, so
11 that he was -- that he was inane so any such statement, taken out of
12 context and quoted, cannot be my view and was not my view, regardless of
13 what kind of a document similar to this one here will produce here or
14 so-called "document," that is a document in quotation marks.
15 Q. Witness, do you recall the celebration of the third anniversary of
16 the creation of Ravno Brcko municipality? And this was at the invitation
17 of mayor Mijo Anic and this was held in November 1995.
18 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I really do not know,
19 are we checking the credibility through statements of 2000, 2002? What
20 does 1995 have to do with the subject of the document except that we know
21 that in 1995, peace was concluded in Bosnia-Herzegovina and the Dayton
22 Accords came into force.
23 JUDGE LIU: Well, we have the same doubts, but I will let Mr. Bos
24 go to see where he's leading us to.
25 MR. BOS: If the witness may be shown Exhibit 802.2, which is also
1 in the binder? It's the next exhibit in the binder.
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Mr. Bos, you said that you would
3 allow me to comment on the document that we had before. Now, why are you
4 skipping over it?
5 MR. BOS:
6 Q. Well, I thought I had given you an opportunity to comment on it
7 but if you want to add something, please go ahead.
8 A. Yes, just one sentence. I'll read just one sentence. And that is
9 second passage, last sentence, "The new and very quiet border between
10 Croatia and Serbia is in Ilijas on the very edge of Sarajevo, and none of
11 them were asked anything when --
12 THE INTERPRETER: We do not know where the witness is reading
14 THE WITNESS: This is a lie or you are insinuating this -- because
15 no where in this letter from Belgrade or Zagreb and especially
16 Bosnia-Herzegovina ever mentioned about a fictitious or a real border
17 between Croatia and Serbia.
18 MR. BOS:
19 Q. Okay. Now let's now move on to the next exhibit, which is
20 Exhibit --
21 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] Your Honours, which is the number of
22 the document from which he read this last sentence and what document is it
23 and what number does it have?
24 MR. BOS: The document this was still the old exhibit, the article
25 in the Irish Times, Exhibit 157.3.
1 Q. Now, the next document you're going to be shown is an ECMM report
2 and it reports on that meeting which I just have described to you, the
3 university of the creation of Ravne Brcko, and you were present at that
4 meeting and you gave a speech, do you recall that?
5 A. May I see the speech?
6 Q. Yes. Well, what we have is a -- I don't know if you read English.
7 You can read the report in English or you can read the -- the relevant
8 expert I have translated into B/C/S so you can read the relevant excerpt.
9 Let me go straight to what is relevant here, which is on the paragraph 3
10 of the report, which -- and the last sentence and it says the following:
11 "The speech of Mr. Jozo Maric was even more radical. 'Who says that
12 Croatia has to be in its former borders? All Croats should live in one
13 united state.'" Witness, is it correct that you stated that in your
14 speech on that evening?
15 A. To begin with, I do not have that document. I do not know who its
16 author is or what its source is. What I see here is a list of names who
17 are attributed this or that. That is, there are no authentic --
18 Q. We are not talking about authenticity. I'm just asking you
19 whether you said that or not. That's the simple question and you can say
20 yes or no.
21 JUDGE LIU: Yes?
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, no, I did not say that. No, I
23 did not say that.
24 MR. BOS: All right, we can move on.
25 JUDGE LIU: Yes.
1 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] Your Honours, but the Defence would
2 like to know where this document comes from because the Defence does not
3 have it. Where is the Croatian original? Where did you translate it
4 from? At least that. Because it's a Croatian document, obviously. You
5 must have had it translated from somewhere and the Defence is entitled to
6 know what is this document and where it came from.
7 MR. BOS: Your Honour --
8 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. Bos, could you give us an explanation on
10 MR. BOS: Your Honours, this is a report from the European
11 Commission Monitoring Mission, the ECMM, and we've submitted numerous ECMM
12 reports in this case and this is just another ECMM report. And that's why
13 the original is in English and not in B/C/S, and I've translated for Mr.
14 Maric the relevant parts into B/C/S. And it simply reports on a meeting
15 where one of the ECMM representatives was present. That's what the
16 document is.
17 JUDGE LIU: Thank you. You may proceed, Mr. Bos.
18 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] Your Honours, but at any rate, I'd
19 like to have this whole report, the one from which they took this fragment
20 from. That is, the Defence believes it is entitled to the whole report of
21 the ECMM.
22 MR. BOS: This is the whole report of the ECMM.
23 JUDGE LIU: You may proceed, Mr. Bos.
24 MR. BOS:
25 Q. Witness, let's move on to another topic, and this concerns the
1 school curricula. Now, you've stated that in the school year 1992-1993,
2 the school curricula and programmes were adapted in a way that the old
3 communist elements, elements that were alien to a democratic society, were
4 removed from the programme; is that correct?.
5 A. Yes. We endeavoured. We tried to remove, even though it was not
6 simple, to remove what at that time was incompatible with the new
7 democratic trend or rather a new democratic situation.
8 Q. And you, as chief of the Department of Education, Culture, Sports
9 for the HVO was responsible for the implementation of these new curricula;
10 is that correct?
11 A. I didn't really hear quite well your question because of the
13 Q. Is it correct that you, as chief of the HVO Department for
14 Education, Culture and Sports, were responsible for the implementation of
15 these new curricula?
16 A. I was responsible for the adoption of documents, and those who
17 worked on the ground were responsible for their enforcement, and those
18 were teachers in schools, advisors in the institute, and the inspection.
19 Q. Now, Witness, would you agree with me that the implementation of
20 these new school curricula, that that was an attempt by the HVO to make
21 the school curricula in Herceg-Bosnia the same as in the republic of
23 A. No, that is not true. I'd really like you to get an expert
24 witness on syllabuses and curricula, and especially a Slavonic expert who
25 would then analyse the curricula, first, of the Republic of Croatia, B,
1 the curricula used in Sarajevo, and C, the curricula and syllabuses of the
2 Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna. And that analysis would then bring to
3 light what you are trying to get as an answer or, rather, what is true.
4 Q. Well, Witness, do you recall organising a seminar for teachers of
5 all primary and secondary schools in the Croatian Community of
6 Herceg-Bosna in December, 1992? The seminar was held on the 5th of
7 December, 1992. Do you recall that?
8 A. I said that every school year as of 1992, during the period which
9 is under observation here, we held at least four or five workshops during
10 every school year, and I, as the person responsible for culture, education
11 and so on and so forth, together with the director of the education
12 institute, together with the inspection, and with all the principals, we
13 would participate in those workshops to see how, in view of the
14 difficulties that we were saddled with, we would embark on a new school
15 year. And presumably, this meeting was one in a series of those which I
16 had to convene in my capacity, in order to have the instruction prepared
17 and conducted in the best possible manner.
18 MR. BOS: Could the witness be shown Exhibit 198 -- P198.2? And
19 it's also in the binder. It's the next exhibit in the binder.
20 Q. Witness, is this the invitation for this seminar which is signed
21 by you?
22 A. I did not sign this. It was signed, as far as I can see, my
23 secretary, who must have done that in agreement with me.
24 Q. All right. But your name is on there, though, and -- so --
25 A. Yes. It is true that it is my name here but the signature is -- I
1 will decipher it for you because I know it, and this is Mr. Zeljko Galic.
2 THE INTERPRETER: Or "Talic," the interpreters are not sure.
3 MR. BOS:
4 Q. Now, let's read out -- so this is an invitation for that seminar
5 and it says, "Invitation to a seminar for teachers of the Croatian
6 language, history, geography and physics, which will be held in Dr. Mate
7 Ujevic school centre in Imotski on Saturday, 5 December, 1992, beginning
8 at 9.00 hours." What I'm particularly interested is in the next line,
9 "The seminar will be coordinated by advisors from the education institute
10 of the ministry of the Republic of Croatia." My question is, can you
11 explain to the Trial Chamber what was the role of these advisors from the
12 education institute of the ministry of the Republic of Croatia?
13 A. I can do that, yes. I hope that you've made your inquiries about
14 the jurisdiction of an education institute anywhere in your country or
15 here in the Netherlands. So these are advisors, are experts who monitor
16 the adoption of the curricula, that is, the subjects on which they advise,
17 and then instruct the teachers about the innovations on these subjects
18 under the changed circumstances, with the changed textbooks, how best they
19 will cover them in the classroom. So this is a highly professional
20 specialist subject with no political intrusions.
21 Q. And why did these experts come from the Republic of Croatia?
22 A. Because, to begin with, at that time, we had a dispersed
23 institute. I mean the institute for instruction and schooling in Mostar.
24 After the -- after the JNA devils laid bear Mostar, there were no people.
25 That is, most people of the Serb ethnicity had already gone and the
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 remaining Bosnians and Croats were practically not there. So that this
2 institute and this school year was already underway and the institute
3 could not provide a professional analysis and professional instructions,
4 and that is why we continued with the practice that we had from the former
5 Yugoslavia, that these workshops were held in Dubrovnik, in Split, in
6 Istra, where very often the guests were advisors from Zagreb, from
7 elsewhere, from different centres in the former Yugoslavia because why
8 should a subject such as physics, and we know because we all received
9 instruction in it, what kind of political connotations might it hold? Is
10 it the free fall, the Einstein's theory or something? There is nothing
11 that would mean that we had any secret intentions that you seem to be
12 intimating that we had.
13 Q. Well, just one more question. Why would you, for example, need
14 advisers on -- from Croatia on the history, on the subject of history?
15 Can you explain that? Or Croatian language?
16 A. Well, in our case, the syllabus and curricula, and I believe it
17 is like that all over the world, all the subjects are equal. This is
18 number 1. For each and every subject, there are adviser. That is, if you
19 wish, they talk about -- if we take language, they talk about the
20 syntax, they speak about the -- look over about choice, they talk about
21 all sorts of things, and the same applies to history, and geography and so
22 on and so forth, so what we wanted was the professional assistance which
23 our teachers needed. In particular, because some of the teachers of these
24 subjects under consideration had left and the scattered all over Europe.
25 And some of these subjects had to be taken over by undergraduates, that
1 is, people who were perhaps in their final years at university but had not
2 graduated and had not taken their examinations in the educational, in
3 teaching subjects, and they needed to be instructed, and that is -- and
4 that is what the advisers in institutes for education are.
5 Q. Well, we'll move on. Witness, would you agree with me that there
6 was a lot of protests by the Muslims in Herceg-Bosna in 1992 on the manner
7 in which the school programmes and curricula were implemented in 1991 and
8 1992 and how it was imposed on the Muslim population?
9 A. Yes. I know that they complained but those outside the schools,
10 those who had no idea what this was all about, and who had no knowledge of
11 the complexity of school instruction. One of them is a major expert,
12 Mr. Arif Maslic, a military person, who gave instructions to children, to
13 parents and to teachers of Muslim origin in Bosnia-Herzegovina. So there
14 were such persons, but competent Muslim teachers and professors, except
15 for the purpose of improving the curricula, never criticised these
16 curricula and school programmes, and they tried to help, together with us,
17 to improve these curricula and programmes for the benefit of all students
18 and pupils, Croat, Muslim and Serb alike.
19 Q. Would you not agree that this Muslim protest must have been based
20 on the fact that they were being discriminated by the Croats?
21 A. As far as protests that went beyond our normal communication,
22 through the institute, through the ministry, through the principals and
23 headmasters meetings are concerned, so apart from these protests, unless
24 they were instigated by those who had no idea about schools, are something
25 that I never was exposed to and witnessed, but perhaps at certain levels,
1 there were certain criticisms voiced. I certainly cannot be an expert in
2 all individual cases. At the time of war, I could not go to all the
3 territories in which the schools that I was competent for were holding
4 their instruction.
5 Q. Well, let me just show you some of the type of protests that were
6 made by the Muslims.
7 If the witness can be shown Exhibit P218, please.
8 Witness, this is -- I don't know if you have it in front of you.
9 This is a charter of the Muslims of Herzegovina. It's dated 17 of January
10 1993. And it's signed by various members of the regional Muslim
11 democratic party and also by Mr. Smajkic.
12 JUDGE LIU: Sorry to interrupt you. I would like to know whether
13 this document is confidential or not.
14 MR. BOS: Yes. I'm not sure, but maybe if we can't discuss names
15 and not put it on the ELMO, I think we can discuss the content.
16 JUDGE LIU: Yes. I just want to remember it.
17 MR. BOS: Yes, thank you, Mr. President.
18 Q. Witness, let's just look at the content of this document and I
19 would like to refer you to paragraph 2 of this charter and then the last
20 sentence of that paragraph, and I'll read it out to you. "The Muslims of
21 Herzegovina do not accept being transformed from having the status of a
22 people at the beginning of the struggle against the aggressor to an ethnic
23 minority at the end of it, deprived of their elementary ethnic rights in
24 the ordering of their region that is their historical homeland." Let me
25 just make another quote from this document, which is the last sentence of
1 paragraph 3: "As we respect and acknowledge the principle of the equality
2 of all peoples in their right to Bosnia-Herzegovina and the way it is
3 ordered, we demand that the same principle be applied in the ordering of
4 the provinces where it concerns ensuring basic ethnic rights and
5 interests. We demand that this principal is respected consistently in
6 the legislature, in the executive and the judiciary and in other matters
7 of state, as well as in the sphere of education and schooling. Then it
8 continues in paragraph 4, "the Muslims of Herzegovina cannot accept
9 relations and practices that elevate and give supremacy of any one people
10 irrespective of the population of any province it might make up."
11 Witness, would you not agree that this Muslim petition expresses a
12 concern about the equal treatment of Muslims and Croats also in the
13 educational system?
14 A. The relationship between -- that is towards Croats and Bosniaks,
15 I'll call them Bosniaks, was the same. It was the same because we had
16 curricula and school programmes that did not deny the dignity of either an
17 individual or a people. These curricula and programmes were adopted on
18 the basis of consultations with the Bosniaks who were moratory experts
19 and not like those who are signed here. None of these have a single day
20 of experience in terms of school instruction. These are all officials
21 that were appointed by SDA and youth association, et cetera, so we are
22 again here confronted with people who think that their arguments will
23 become more convincing the higher the number of those who signed the
24 document so we had the same attitude towards both Bosniaks and Croats.
25 There was a balance established here. And the professionals working in
1 the institute for education were both Croats and Bosniaks, principals of
2 schools, headmasters were both Croats and Muslims. In other words, not
3 through a single move did we try to do something to deny anyone, to attack
4 the dignity of a specific people. Particularly in terms of those who were
5 a minority in a particular province, but only in a particular province
6 because in other provinces, they were a majority.
7 Q. All right. Well, let me just give you another example, and this
8 is document P244.1, which is also in the binder.
9 My apologies for the quality of the document. It's not very easy
10 to read. But let me read out to you -- I'm particularly interested in
11 paragraph 2 and paragraph 3 of this document. Now, this is a document --
12 this is an announcement by the president of the Capljina SDA, the
13 executive committee, Mr. Zlatko Bitanga. And the document, although it's
14 difficult to read, is 7 February, 1993. Paragraph 2 reads the following:
15 "The Capljina SDA would like to mention its earlier standpoint that in
16 compliance with the UN conventions, schools, as teaching and training
17 institutions, cannot be used as a place of political activity," and then
18 there is an illegible word, "for any political ideology or government."
19 And then paragraph 3: "The Capljina SDA would like to point out
20 that a school is a multi-ethnic institution and the ethnic or religious
21 feelings of students and teachers should in no way be heard. All of those
22 acting in a school," and then there is some illegible words, "especially
23 the teaching staff, cause the school to stop being what it is supposed to
25 Now, Mr. Maric, again, is it not true that this is the type of
1 protest that the Muslim population in Herceg-Bosna made during that
2 period, 1992, 1993?
3 A. The Muslim population did not protest this. If I can read the
4 document well enough, is a protest by Mr. Bitanga, one of the SDA
5 officials, and this is a small segment of the Bosnian Muslims. Even these
6 quotes under items 2 and 3, use conditional tense that it could happen,
7 would happen. It doesn't refer to events that had taken place. They
8 say, "We think that training institutions cannot be used as a place of
9 political activity." In my capacity as the head of the social affairs and
10 education department, I certainly did my best to make sure that political
11 activity never be included in any activities in the school. Now, if you
12 have documents which would show that we imposed something on teachers,
13 professors, that we inserted something into the curricula and programmes
14 that would hurt the feelings of anyone, then you should show them to me.
15 This, however, is obviously a political document issued by a party which
16 at that time was very much against a part of the Croat policy in
18 Q. Yes. Okay. Well, let's move this document aside.
19 JUDGE LIU: Mr. Bos?
20 MR. BOS: Yes.
21 JUDGE LIU: Could we break here?
22 MR. BOS: Yes.
23 JUDGE LIU: Yes. We will resume at quarter to 11.00.
24 --- Recess taken at 10.14 a.m.
25 --- On resuming at 10.46 a.m.
1 JUDGE LIU: Bring in the witness, please.
2 Sit down, please.
3 Yes, Mr. Bos.
4 MR. BOS: Thank you, Mr. President.
5 Q. Mr. Maric, on Friday, you were shown a couple of exhibits by the
6 Defence which were letters from Mr. Arif Pasalic. Do you remember that?
7 A. Yes, I do remember it.
8 Q. Witness, is it correct that when you were shown those documents,
9 that that was the first time that you ever saw those documents?
10 A. For the first time, yes.
11 Q. So you're not in a position to authenticate those documents, are
13 A. I didn't even try to speak about the authenticity of those
14 documents. What I spoke about was something which is much more important
15 than the authenticity. The authenticity is something that you'll confirm,
16 namely, that an officer at a moment in which no competent
17 Ministry of Education --
18 Q. Sorry, I'm cutting you off. I'm just asking you whether you can
19 authenticate, and you can simply say "yes" or "no," and in this case, I
20 suppose you would have to say no, correct?
21 A. Once you allow me to make comments, then on other situations you
22 don't, but to answer your question, as far as these documents are
23 concerned, and given the fact that I'm not an expert that could establish
24 their authenticity, cannot say whether they are authentic or not, because
25 I'm not an expert in this area, sir.
1 Q. Exactly. And that was my question and it could have been answered
2 with a simple answer, I think.
3 MR. BOS: Could the witness be shown Exhibit D1/104, which is one
4 of these Pasalic letters? We are just waiting for the exhibit. I have
5 here an extra copy, if that may help.
6 Q. Mr. Maric, is it correct that you were shown this document on
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. And is it correct, because we don't have an English translation of
10 this document, but is it correct that this is a letter of Mr. Arif Pasalic
11 dated 23 March, 1993, which relates to the closing of the university in
12 Mostar and the relocation of certain faculties to Neum and Siroki Brijeg?
13 A. I speak about facts that have to do with the university in
14 1992-93, in the school year 1992-93. Because of war conflicts in Mostar,
15 which you and Their Honours probably have examined thoroughly well, it was
16 not possible to organise, particularly in the demolished buildings, to
17 organise instruction either in the elementary school, secondary schools
18 and particularly not in the university.
19 Q. My question was whether this letter talks about this and I think
20 it requires a simple answer, yes or no.
21 A. Mr. Pasalic, in this letter that I have in my hands, speaks about
22 something that he's not familiar about, namely about the confiscation of
23 the property of the faculties, which is not true. And somebody who is not
24 competent in these matters and does not understand them cannot speak
25 correctly, if of course this is a correct and authentic document.
1 Q. So is it correct that in paragraph 1, that Mr. Pasalic complains
2 that the old Mostar university had ceased to exist and that a whole new
3 university was created and that the Croatian language was introduced at
4 the university and that there was a whole new university law? Is that in
5 fact what he's stating in paragraph 1?
6 A. None of these three subquestions you put to me is correct. The
7 university in Mostar was not abandoned. It continued to work. But
8 because of wartime circumstances, the demolished buildings, it had to, on
9 a temporary basis, to be relocated. As to the language of instruction in
10 which lectures were held, each professor used the language that he or she
11 spoke until then, and the same applies to the language which was used by
12 the students in their exams. So Mr. Pasalic does not understand these
13 matters at all.
14 Q. And isn't it correct that in paragraph 2 of this letter,
15 Mr. Pasalic states that the Muslim student population of the universities
16 of Mostar had dropped down to less than 20 per cent as a result of these
18 A. I don't know where he got this piece of statistics concerning
19 either an increase or a decrease in the number of students. You could
20 establish this through the documentation of each of these faculties,
21 whenever enrolment is made, statistics are compiled. Therefore, without
22 these documents that would be provided by individual faculties and the
23 chancellor's office, this is an invented figure.
24 Q. Very well. All right. Let's move on. Witness, beside being
25 responsible for the education in 1992 and 1993, were you also chief and
1 later minister of the HVO department of culture?
2 A. What period are you referring to in your question?
3 Q. 1992 and 1993.
4 A. Yes. From November or December, 1992, as I said before, onward, I
5 was the head of the subdepartment of education, culture and sports in the
6 department of social affairs. From 1993 onward, my official position was
7 a minister in the Ministry of Education, School, Culture and Sport of the
8 Croat Republic of Herceg-Bosna.
9 Q. Would you agree that during this period, that you held this
10 function, that a lot of Muslim cultural heritages such as numerous mosques
11 were intentionally destroyed by the HVO, either destroyed or heavily
13 A. No. This is not correct.
14 Q. So you're saying that the HVO didn't destroy any mosques or damage
15 any mosques in their war against the Muslims? Is that your statement?
16 A. I do not know what happened and how the damage was done, but I
17 presume that the Prosecutor has the book entitled, "The Urbicide in the
18 city of Mostar" and you will have noticed that out of 14 mosques in the
19 city of Mostar, only two remain undamaged. Out of five mosques, only two
20 remained undamaged. So 12 mosques were damaged and destroyed by the JNA
21 and the Serbs.
22 Out of ten bridges in Mostar, nine were destroyed, including the
23 old bridge. And of course, cultural institutions and others, even of
24 their own people, namely the Serbs, were demolished. I hope you won't
25 mind my giving you this book, which is in English, in Italian and in
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 German, and it contains the evidence of what was going on and what was
2 demolished in Mostar from 1992 until the clashes between the Croats and
3 the Muslims that broke out in 1993. Here you go, sir. This is your copy.
4 Q. Witness, we are not discussing whether mosques were also destroyed
5 by the Serbs, and I'll take your word for that, but my question is were
6 mosques also destroyed by the HVO? Would you give an answer to that?
7 A. Yes. I will tell you that the HVO was not destroying the
8 mosques. The individuals on the basis of their own will and initiative
9 have committed this cultural crime.
10 Q. So it's your statement that the HVO never damaged or destroyed any
11 Muslim mosque in the war against the Muslims in 1992 and 1993? That is
12 your statement?
13 A. No. This is not my statement. It was very clearly and concisely
14 that I said that the HVO, and I'm referring to its civilian part, and I'm
15 also referring to those military parts that I am familiar with, never had
16 either an order or strategy of destroying institutions of culture.
17 Whether the individuals have done this, well, that I know happened indeed.
18 Q. So you do know that certain mosques were destroyed? Whether it
19 was on an order or not, mosques were destroyed in that period?
20 A. I know that churches were destroyed, were damaged. I know that
21 institutions of culture and mosques were destroyed because this cultural
22 and architectural heritage of -- was destroyed, namely, those that
23 belonged to these people and these peoples down there.
24 Q. So you're saying that you knew that mosques were destroyed. Let
25 me ask you, in your position as Minister of HVO or chief of the
1 department, what did you do to stop this damaging and destruction of
2 cultural heritage? And I'm now particularly referring to the mosques that
3 were destroyed.
4 A. Well, quite --
5 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] Your Honours, you see that I'm not
6 reacting, that I'm letting it go, but my objection is that the witness --
7 the witness has answered one and the same question four times and
8 explained it very well. I wasn't checking the English language but he
9 answered the Prosecutor's question four times, loudly and clearly, saying
10 that if some individuals had done that, individuals, independent,
11 autonomous, individuals - I don't know what the English interpretation
12 was - and he answered clearly four times.
13 JUDGE LIU: Well, Mr. Krsnik, the question put by the Prosecution
14 is that, in your position as Minister of HVO or chief of the department,
15 what did you do to stop those damage and destructions of cultural
16 heritage? I don't think the witness answered this question yet. Let us
17 hear the witness first.
18 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] Yes, of course, Your Honour, but I
19 believe that the witness has been testifying for two days about his role
20 and he was in the civilian sector, and the question was the HVO military
21 sector. He is the Minister of Education - of education - and he has been
22 testifying for two days already, Your Honour.
23 JUDGE LIU: Well, we want to hear what the witness is going to
24 tell us, not the answer by you.
25 Witness, you may answer the question.
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, I, as a Minister of Education,
2 Culture and Sports, at the regular consultations that I had with my
3 subordinates, and in the area of culture, these are the heads of
4 non-production activities and individual municipalities, that is, people
5 who at municipal level took care of monuments of culture. To them, I gave
6 explicit instructions, directives, that they had to see to it in their
7 respective areas that the monuments of culture and history be protected,
8 and I requested from them regular reports from the ground about any
9 monument of culture or history from the Roman times, and there were many
10 such monuments up to the 20th century. So I explicitly requested from
11 them and told them that they had to act as much as possible, that they
12 should act by marking, by protecting, that is monuments of history and
13 culture, architectural ones in the first place.
14 The second thing I did, at government sessions of the Croatian
15 Community of Herceg-Bosna, later on the Croat -- excuse, me the Croat
16 republic Herceg-Bosna, I requested ministers concerned in the government,
17 that is those covering the area where there was a war, that is the
18 ministry of the police, the minister of the army, I said that they had to
19 do everything in line with the conventions on the protection of the
20 monuments of history and culture and heritage, and it can be done because
21 you must have come by all the documents. One can read it in the minutes,
22 in the records of the government sessions of the Croat community
23 Herceg-Bosna, and subsequently the Croatian Republic of Herceg-Bosna. So
24 these were the two avenues that I took.
25 The third thing I did -- unfortunately, we have an institute for
1 the protection of monuments which is not sufficiently professional and not
2 sufficiently equipped, but straight away, we sent to the field, wherever
3 it was possible, we sent photographs, art historians, people responsible
4 for conservation, to take photographs, and in line with what could be done
5 at the time, to try to conserve or protect damaged monuments. That is
6 what was done with the series of monuments which we tried to cover with
7 the plastic foil, to protect them in other way, to store the moveable
8 treasures from churches, from libraries and from museums. So these are
9 the most important activities which I undertook as the minister concerned
10 so as to protect the cultural and historical treasures, regardless what
11 people it belonged to. And after the war, that is 1995, a part of what we
12 had stored and protected we exchanged and took back to the place or to the
13 owners that it belonged to, be it the Islamic religious community, be it
14 the Serb Orthodox Church, or some institutions such as museums, libraries
15 and so on.
16 MR. BOS:
17 Q. So you're saying that you actually did talk to the HVO Ministry of
18 army as you call it and that you expressed your concerns to him? Is that
19 correct? And did any --
20 A. It is correct. It is correct. At the sessions of the government,
21 I warned that since there are people whose awareness is not high enough to
22 protect the artistic treasures, yes, it is true that I spoke about that at
23 the government meetings.
24 Q. What was the response of the minister and did the situation
1 A. The ministers concerned, and it was one of the government
2 conclusions, was that the ministers concerned will have to undertake
3 everything within their jurisdiction to protect it, and that is what they
4 -- that they were tasked with at the sessions and meetings of the
5 government and the government conclusions.
6 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. Krsnik?
7 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] Your Honours, to avoid any framing,
8 I'd like the Prosecutor to tell us what mosques he has in mind because the
9 witness has already said that of the mosques, 12 were destroyed by the
10 Serbs, so what mosques, what other monuments, is the Prosecutor talking
11 about and blaming the HVO for it?
12 MR. BOS: Your Honours, I'm not intending to go into a discussion
13 of which mosques, I'm just talking generally whether mosques were
14 destroyed or damaged and I don't want to go into this discussion.
15 JUDGE LIU: Well, Mr. Krsnik, I believe that your witness has
16 answered your question in a very good way. We could get a very clear
17 picture on what happened in this situation. I understand that the
18 Prosecution is not aiming at incriminalising your witness at all. He just
19 wants to know the policy of certain organisations at that time. I believe
20 your witness is quite capable in this field. Let's move on and not stop
21 at those very details. This is not the very subject of this case.
22 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] Yes, of course, Your Honour. I do
23 not know -- I see there is more and more misunderstanding in
24 interpretation because I hear what the witness is saying and then I hear
25 the Prosecutor's questions regarding the spirit of the language. If the
1 witness answers the question and then the Prosecutor asks five or six
2 questions about the destruction of I don't know how many mosques after the
3 witness has answered what he could answer about, and then again in his
4 questions he tells the witness that this has reached, I don't know what
5 proportions, after the witness has said, and answered the question about
6 the mosques. It is intimated that this has acquired I don't know what
7 proportions because, Your Honours, I bring here witnesses on the basis of
8 the indictment who will testify about whether my client did something or
9 not, rather than have the Prosecutor's Office conduct investigations here
10 because they could have conducted the investigation before this case, and
11 all the future witnesses will only be testifying on the basis of the
12 indictment regarding my client. I will not allow anyone to conduct
13 investigations here or collect information under the guise of
14 credibility. If something was done in Mostar, then the Prosecutor will
15 have to prove that it was done by my client and I will bring witnesses who
16 will show whether he did it or did not. I will not bring anybody else and
17 that is my chief objection. After the witness answered that of 14
18 mosques, 12 were destroyed by Serbs, look at all the questions that
20 JUDGE LIU: Well, I believe that the Prosecution is agreed that we
21 should move on at this point.
22 Yes, Mr. Bos. You may proceed.
23 MR. BOS:
24 Q. Mr. Maric I just have a couple of questions left for you.
25 Witness, do you have any children?
1 A. I do.
2 Q. And do you have any sons?
3 A. Two sons and two daughters.
4 Q. And did any of your sons serve in the army, in the conflict
5 against either the Serbs or the Muslims?
6 A. No. My sons are too young. The older one was born in 1978 and
7 long after the end of the conflict, he did his regular military service,
8 that is two or three years ago and they are both university students.
9 MR. BOS: I have no further questions, Your Honour.
10 JUDGE LIU: Any re-examination? Mr. Krsnik?
11 Re-examined by Mr. Krsnik:
12 Q. Let's first address this book.
13 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] Mr. Usher, could you please give me
14 this book? I'm just asking my colleague to find the Defence number
15 because it will be our -- the exhibit that we intend to tender.
16 Q. Tell us, does this book describe in detail all the devastation,
17 the destruction of monuments of culture in the city of Mostar?
18 A. Yes, all the destruction is described in detail and it is done
19 competently because it was done by the most competent experts on history,
20 culture, architecture and town planning and monument protection.
21 Q. Since somewhere under the UNESCO protection if there were such,
22 were they verified at the international level?
23 A. You mean the book?
24 Q. Yes?
25 A. That is the book was verified internationally because institutions
1 were in Mostar responsible for the maintenance of institutions of cultures
2 from the protection to the description and so on and so forth. And it
3 involved both Bosnians and Croats as one can see here from the credits
4 list. That is authors, expert studies and the expert team which
5 prepared the whole book.
6 Q. I see.
7 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] Could the usher please put on the
8 ELMO this photograph here, just as an example?
9 Q. Tell us, what do we see on this photograph?
10 A. As far as I can recognise, because it is a detail of this
11 monument, this is the Mostar secondary school, it's name was Alexa Santic
12 before the war until 1992. So there is the first secondary school in
13 Mostar, that is its facade.
14 Q. Was it hit by a shell or let me not ask you leading questions.
15 When did it stop working, when did they start working or did they start
16 working again?
17 A. Well, it stopped working immediately because instruction could not
18 be provided in it because both the roof and the openings and the interior
19 were destroyed and, well, I stand to be corrected, its reconstruction
20 started only two or three years ago and some instruction is taking part in
21 it, that is the whole building has not been open yet fully because it has
22 not been reconstructed either in --
23 Q. Will you please tell us the page?
24 JUDGE LIU: That's too fast, Mr. Krsnik.
25 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] I apologise, Your Honour, I'm sorry,
1 I get carried away because we speak the same language and believe me that
2 it might happen to you, too. You simply get carried away. My apologies
3 to Your Honours.
4 JUDGE DIARRA: [Interpretation] Why don't you look at the screen?
5 It will be easier for you to see when the interpretation ends.
6 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] Yes, you are quite right, Your
7 Honour, I shall try to do that because it is of course in my interests
8 that the interpretation is as good and as precise as possible.
9 Q. First I'd like to ask you, sir, Mr. Maric, will you read which
10 page it is?
11 A. This is page 61.
12 Q. No, no, no, the pages.
13 A. The page is 135 and the photograph is number 61.
14 Q. Please give us the full title of the book.
15 A. The book is called, "Mostar 1992 Urbicide." "Urbis" means city.
16 So this is a new linguistic coinage, that is the destruction of a city.
17 Q. Will you tell us who the publisher is? It should be somewhere in
18 the beginning.
19 A. It is a public enterprise for the reconstruction and construction
20 of Mostar. So "Urbing" is an acronym, Urba, "Urbis," that is, and "Eng,"
21 engineer, so this is a public enterprise responsible for town planning and
22 construction and all that is relevant for the functioning, construction
23 and protection of a city and its architectural and town planning values.
24 Q. Will you now turn the first page and tell us which the exhibit
25 number? It's on the first page. This is the exhibit number, isn't it? ID
1 D --
2 A. Do you mean this?
3 Q. Yes, this yellow thing that I stuck on. So the book's number
4 would be?
5 A. Well, it is 131.
6 Q. That is D/ what?
7 A. "Slash" 131. I don't understand this acronym so I can't really --
8 Q. I only wanted -- all I wanted was to have the number of this
9 exhibit read out, which you wrote on this book.
10 Mr. Maric, will you please be so kind and have the usher give you
11 IAC number 2. I apologise, I forgot to ask you -- you said the two
12 mosques remained standing. Have you heard of their being destroyed or
13 damaged by some individuals who acted on their own?
14 A. I know that they remained intact, that is after the JNA conflict.
15 Q. And where were those mosques?
16 A. Roznavedzi and Ibrahim Efendijina. I don't know where they are
17 because I have never lived in Mostar to know exactly.
18 Q. Yes, just a moment, please.
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. You have the document in front of you, document marked IAC-2.
21 Tell me, the terminology as is used at the beginning of this document,
22 Croat regional community or Travnik regional community, did it ever
23 exist? Did such terminology ever exist?
24 A. To arrive at individual, official names and especially the
25 socio-political organisation at the state level, it must be adopted by
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 relevant bodies. So such terminology, Herzegovina regional community,
2 Travnik regional community, did not exist because I do not remember,
3 either in the state and legal organisation of the Socialist Republic of
4 Bosnia-Herzegovina or later on in the Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna,
5 I do not remember that such terminology existed and, in particular, that
6 it had been legally verified.
7 Q. Can you tell us if you see in this document any handwritten
8 signature by anyone?
9 A. There are no signatures here.
10 Q. And tell me, you, as the mayor, that is the first man of the
11 municipality of Grude, do you ever -- let me put it this way. Would it be
12 humiliating for you to keep -- to keep records, to be a recording clerk?
13 A. I always went by what was normal, usual, in the communication in
14 business, that is business correspondence, as we put it professionally, to
15 know exactly where is whose place and who does what. So I, as the
16 municipal mayor, the mayor of the municipal assembly, I had men who had
17 been verified, in terms of their education and the place where they
18 worked, to do -- to do individual jobs. So that we had technical
19 recording clerks who were legally educated, who could not let any error
20 slip by or, at least, who could know how to keep errors down to a minimum
21 in cases of such correspondence.
22 Q. Let me ask you more specifically, did you as the mayor ever keep
23 the record?
24 A. No, because that was not my job. I had to conduct -- I had to
25 chair the meetings and somebody else kept the records.
1 Q. So tell us, will you please comment on this document? Do you have
2 any idea who could have written this? Where does this come from?
3 A. All I can say is that this was done by somebody who really knows
4 very little about business correspondence and correspondence in general,
5 because had that been the case, then at least this document would have
6 been all right from the point of view of the legal form, and it is not in
7 conformity with it. When we correspond, the preamble or rather the title,
8 which says, "Herzegovina regional community" and underneath and down
9 there, at the bottom, it said, "Regional Crisis Staff for Herzegovina."
10 So how can we have one institution above and another one where the
11 signature should be? So this is an obvious proof of a forgery, of a
12 counterfeit document.
13 Q. Thank you. Let us move on to Exhibit P157.3. Let me ask you
14 first, do you know if this journalist ever spoke with Mr. Boban?
15 A. I wouldn't know, but, yes, he did speak with me.
16 Q. With Mr. Boban?
17 A. I don't know, simply because Mr. Boban had a different type of
18 communication with journalists, and I was completely separate from it so
19 that, even physically, I had no way of knowing about that.
20 Q. Will you please look at page 2 and read the first two sentences?
21 A. You mean the top, the very top?
22 Q. Yes, yes, where it says, "Mr. Mate Boban."
23 A. "Mr. Mate Boban, President of Herceg-Bosna, describes the region
24 as the Croat land, and in one interview," I guess this is a
25 misprint, "Stated whatever people in Sarajevo do, it's up to them. They
1 cannot speak or decide anything on behalf of people of Herceg-Bosna."
2 Q. So tell us, do these two sentences mean that this journalist ever
3 spoke with him?
4 A. If the journalist exerted himself and reached Mr. Boban, then
5 presumably, he got a whole interview from him and Mr. Mate Boban, who was
6 very -- a very public figure, would have probably -- presumably given an
7 whole interview rather than just a few sentences taken out of something
8 else. So I, who also cooperated with newspapers, would have used it.
9 That is a man who at that time was a negotiator in the international
10 community, I wouldn't have accorded him half a sentence, because this
11 either testifies to the lack of professionalism or the lack of
12 authenticity of what this journalist is writing about here.
13 Q. When answering Mr. Bos's question, my learned friend, you said
14 that this journalist 0 and I cannot remember which sentence you had in
15 mind - you said that he was not telling the truth or, rather, that he did
16 not write the truth.
17 A. There is a series of passages in the first part which seems to
18 indicate that the journalist in question presumably did not look right.
19 For instance, if he moved between Grude and Sarajevo, that it was not the
20 result of what he saw but what others had possibly told him.
21 Q. In the beginning of this text, it says, "The Croatian soldiers are
22 busy forging a roughly made two-track highway through the mountains to
23 link the Croatian town -- the Croat towns of central Bosnia with the sea.
24 The men in charge of the work wear the uniforms of the HVO." This text
25 was written on the 13th of July, 1992. What kind of road was being built
1 on the 13th of July, 1992, in central Bosnia of all places?
2 A. There is no clear geographic location, no exact coordinates of the
3 area that he is referring to, so I could read it -- I could read that it
4 could be in Karakorum or somewhere in the Himalayas, rather than in
5 Herzegovina because those who took that road, indeed, it does not really
6 look as flat as the Netherlands but it's not all the rocks and ravines.
7 It is quite true that at that time a number of roads were being built and
8 one of them -- one of those that the journalist has in mind could be that
9 road, but perhaps it would be best for him to explain, if he were here.
10 Q. Weren't those roads -- excuse me. Are you familiar with the
11 term, "The road of salvation"?
12 A. Well as far as I know in the history of warfare, in war conflicts
13 first one endeavours to take over the routes. The JNA managed to take
14 over the communications between Mostar and Sarajevo and so in order to
15 send humanitarian or any other assistance, some alternate routes had to be
16 found. Frequently, they went through rougher -- they cut across -- they
17 went across rougher terrain so one tried to improvise, they tried to
18 make do somehow but they had been neglected so one could meet the basic
19 necessities of life.
20 Q. Do you, as a high official at the time, do you know that it was
21 the refugees from central -- from west -- from eastern Bosnia and central
22 Bosnia from the areas attacked by the JNA that those roads were taken by
23 all the Croat and Muslim population who had to flee from those areas?
24 A. Yes, of course, because as mayor I had to organise the
25 accommodation of those roads described from west Bosnia from central
1 Bosnia, from east Bosnia partly also during the conflicts of Croatia some
2 people from west Bosnia came to Herzegovina, but at the time that this
3 article refers to these are mostly refugees from east Bosnia, that is
4 those who are moving towards west Herzegovina and on towards Croatia and
6 Q. Thank you.
7 JUDGE LIU: Yes, please.
8 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation]
9 Q. The last quote from this article:" Bosnia has been disappearing
10 and is dying, torched and uprooted by the Serbs in eastern Bosnia,
11 painlessly snuffed out by the Croats in the southwest. The old Bosnia,
12 the ethnic mosaic of the Croats, Serbs and Muslims, has shrunk to a
13 few square miles inside Sarajevo. 13 July of 1992 is when this was
14 written down?
15 A. Those who are familiar with facts will find it ridiculous that
16 Bosnia has shrunk to a few square miles inside Sarajevo. Well Sarajevo
17 has about 400.000 inhabitation from Stup to Bistrik it stretches
18 over about 10 to 12 kilometres, so this is the longitudinal line and then
19 the cross line, the horizontal line of about 3 to 4 kilometres and it is
20 really ridiculous for somebody to it speak about Bosnia-Herzegovina and
21 the ethnic Bosnia-Herzegovina in 1992. This is simply not true.
22 Q. Very well. Did you ever -- have you ever authorised this
24 A. No, no. The journalist had promised to me to send it for me to
25 authorise and later on to send me the paper in which it would be published
1 but I cannot recall him ever doing so.
2 Q. I'll read to you once again your alleged comment but before that,
3 I'll put the second -- the next question to you. Is there a Bosnian
4 flag? Is there a Bosnian coat of arms with a sickle and a moon in July
6 A. In July, 1992, about 70 per cent of Bosnia are occupied by Serbs,
7 Sarajevo is under siege.
8 Q. Is there a Bosnian flag?
9 A. No, there is no Bosnian flag that would have been approved and
10 adopted and embraced by all three peoples.
11 Q. Couldn't then that have been a flag of Bosnia and Herzegovina?
12 A. Well, it would have been a flag approved by the parliament of
13 Bosnia and Herzegovina. Having published an announcement, et cetera.
14 Q. Would that flag be called the flag of Bosnia?
15 A. No. The official name was the Socialist Republic of Bosnia and
16 Herzegovina until the start of the war, and later on Bosnia and
18 Q. Now, tell me, at that time, the same date, July 1992, was there a
19 common Bosnian army?
20 A. No. At that time, there existed no common Bosnian-Herzegovinian
21 army. I've noted your wording and I'm being very specific. There is no
22 Bosnian-Herzegovinian army.
23 Q. These are not my words. I'm quoting the journalist.
24 A. Well I'm telling you what I'm familiar with.
25 Q. Since you answered the Prosecutor's question that you never had
1 said that, I will not continue. Let us proceed to Exhibit P802.2.
2 802.2. I have two questions. When were the Dayton Accords signed?
3 A. The exact date? Well, it was signed in 1994, the Dayton Accords.
4 Q. Now, have a look at this document, the date. Here you have your
5 alleged statements about the establishment of Ravne-Brcko. The date is
6 November 5, 1995.
7 THE INTERPRETER: Could the document be put on the ELMO, please?
8 The interpreters don't have it.
9 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation]
10 Q. Can you please put this document on the ELMO, at the request of
11 the interpreters? Tell me, on the 5th of November, what would be the
12 purpose for me to once again say, having the knowledge that the Dayton
13 Accords had been signed, who says that Croatia has to be within a single
14 -- within the borders of a single state, all Croats should live within a
15 unified state? My question is, did you say that?
16 A. No.
17 Q. What would be the purpose of such a sentence?
18 A. Well, the observers would have to be asked whether this is what
19 they heard, whether the interpreter with them did a good job, and whether
20 they have a recording of that. I personally never said this.
21 Q. Thank you. Let's proceed. Do you perhaps know what was the
22 percentage with which SDA won in Mostar and Herzegovina, with what
23 percentage of votes?
24 A. I do not know that.
25 Q. Is the SDA an exclusive party that can represent and speak on
1 behalf of all Muslims in Bosnia-Herzegovina or Herzegovina?
2 A. I don't think so. I am an advocate of a multi-party system, and
3 I believe that every party - and this is a fact of truth and history -
4 this was a multi-party entity.
5 Q. Exhibit P244.1 is something that prompted me to put you this
6 question. My first question: Were you at the ministry exposed to any
7 complaints by the parents of the students and pupils? Have you received
8 any complaint, in 1992-93, from the parents of the schools that you were
9 competent for concerning curricula and school programmes?
10 A. No. I received no complaint either waged by parents or the
11 competent people in the corpus of the Bosnian people, and I'm referring to
12 the institute of education, the Ministry of Education, that was operating
13 in Sarajevo, and I'm also referring to principals and headmasters of the
14 schools, as well as the parents who also could have voiced their
16 Q. Now, this announcement, do you know where it was published?
17 A. I know nothing about this announcement. It is the first time that
18 I have seen it, here.
19 Q. The announcement is signed by?
20 A. President -- the President of the Capljina SDA, Mr. Bitanga,
22 Q. In English, it says Satko.
23 A. I'm not familiar with this gentleman.
24 Q. In the English translation, and I will go very slowly, it says,
25 S-a-t-k-o, Satko Bitanga. So Satko is the first name, Bitanga is the
1 family name. In the Croatian original, however, the name is quite
2 illegible, first name, that is. Therefore, again my question: Have you
3 ever heard of somebody called Satko Bitanga?
4 A. No. I never heard much a person who is signed here, whatever his
5 real name, whatever the name should be written or pronounced. I really
6 don't know that.
7 Q. As far as these other documents are concerned, the learned friend
8 did not cross-examine you on them. Therefore I'm not allowed to do it
9 either. Therefore, Mr. Maric, I'd like to thank you very much for
10 answering our invitation to come here and help us all to hear your
11 testimony. Thank you very much.
12 A. Thank you, sir. Thank you all. Thank you to Their Honours --
13 JUDGE LIU: Mr. Seric?
14 MR. SERIC: [Interpretation] No.
15 JUDGE LIU: Thank you. Any questions from Judges?
16 Judge Diarra, please.
17 Questioned by the Court:
18 JUDGE DIARRA: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President. Witness,
19 I have two questions for you. The Prosecutor asked you if Mr. Kljuic was
20 accused by Herceg-Bosna because he agreed to cooperate with Muslims, and
21 that his cooperation has also brought certain Croats under the Muslims,
22 subordinated them to Muslims, placed them under the orders of
23 Muslims. But I did not quite understand your answer. Was it yes or no?
24 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] We did not hear the name, Your
25 Honour, and the interpreters told us that they could not hear the name
1 that you used.
2 JUDGE DIARRA: [Interpretation] Mr. Kljujic.
3 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] Mr. Kljujic.
4 JUDGE DIARRA: [Interpretation] I'm very sorry if I deform those
6 A. Could you please, once again, very clearly specify the question?
7 What exactly do you want me to answer?
8 JUDGE DIARRA: [Interpretation] The Prosecutor asked you if Kljujic
9 had been accused because he accepted to cooperate with Muslims, and he was
10 mostly reproached for having allowed to put the Croats under the orders of
11 Muslims, and the Prosecutor asked you if that was true and if Mr. Kljujic
12 was accused by Herceg-Bosna, because he agreed to cooperate with Muslims,
13 and that his cooperation has also brought a certain Croats under the
14 Muslims, subordinated them to Muslims, placed them under the orders of
15 Muslims. But I did not quite understand your answer. Was it yes or no?
16 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] We did not hear the name, Your
17 Honour, and the interpreters told us that they could not hear the name
18 that you used.
19 JUDGE DIARRA: [Interpretation] Mr. Kljujic.
20 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] Mr. Kljujic.
21 JUDGE DIARRA: [Interpretation] I'm very sorry if I deform those
23 A. Could you please, once again, very clearly specify the question?
24 What exactly do you want me to answer?
25 JUDGE DIARRA: [Interpretation] The Prosecutor asked you if Kljujic
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 had been accused because he accepted to cooperate with Muslims, and he was
2 mostly reproached for having allowed to put the Croats under the orders of
3 Muslims, and the Prosecutor asked you if that was true and if Mr. Kljujic
4 was indeed accused by some people in Herceg-Bosna or the HVO. Was your
5 answer yes or -- yes, it happened, or no, it did not happen, because it
6 was -- because your answer was so fast that I did not catch it. If I am
7 misquoting the Prosecutor, perhaps he could help me, because it was really
8 very fast. The witness was so fast that my head was spinning.
9 MR. BOS: If you wish, I have it in front of me what I put to this
10 witness and I can repeat it.
11 JUDGE DIARRA: [Interpretation] Yes, yes, please do that, and I
12 want to hear the answer.
13 MR. BOS:
14 Q. What I had stated to you, Mr. Maric is the following: Is it not
15 true that during that meeting, several Bosnian Croats, and especially from
16 the region of Herceg-Bosna, openly accused Mr. Kljujic for being a traitor
17 of the Croatian interests because he cooperated with the Muslim party and
18 brought the Croats into an inferior position? That's what I had put to
19 Mr. Maric?
20 JUDGE DIARRA: [Interpretation] Thank you very much,
21 Mr. Prosecutor.
22 A. In my answer, I said that politically, I disagreed with
23 Mr. Kljujic. We disagreed with Mr. Kljujic and we put it very openly and
24 that we, as a party throughout this time, at political and practical
25 levels, we cooperated with the Muslims, to an extent to which we thought
1 that such cooperation can benefit both peoples and can benefit the defence
2 of Bosnia and Herzegovina, which was then manifested in a variety of our
3 contacts, moves and meetings. Being an organised party, we insisted that
4 the president of the party, who was also a member of the Presidency of
5 Bosnia and Herzegovina, on behalf of this party, cannot act on his own
6 without the support of the party body, i.e., without the Presidency or
7 without the central board of the party, without the two supreme political
8 bodies of the party. So I'm referring to the main, central board, the
9 main board comprising 50 members or more that could pass political
10 decisions and then the Presidency, the executive body.
11 Mr. Kljujic, on his own, without any consultation with the
12 Presidency and the main board, made certain steps and this is what we
13 objected, and this was an intra-party conflict and not a conflict which
14 was waged against the Bosnian Muslims. We believed it a legitimate move
15 to discuss each member of the party and to compel every member of the
16 party to abide by the decisions and the strategies of the main board and
17 the Presidency of the party.
18 JUDGE DIARRA: [Interpretation] Now I understand. Yes. The
19 Prosecutor also asked you if you remember stating some day that you would
20 never accept to subordinate yourself to the authority of the Turks,
21 referring to the Bosnian Muslims, and your answer was, I believe, that is
22 possible that you had made that statement. Can you confirm this answer or
23 is it that I did not get your answer because of the speed with which you
25 A. As to the authenticity of that meeting and the minutes of the
1 statements made there, I already testified about that. Let me repeat that
2 the Croat Democratic Union, and I myself, had one attitude towards the
3 Muslim people and a different attitude towards the individuals who were
4 the top ranking SDA officials. In the SDA, there were people who were
5 extremist fundamentalists in their orientations, who demanded in Sarajevo
6 that women, once again, start wearing the veil covering their face and a
7 lot of other things which, when in 1888 had been abandoned in Bosnia when
8 the Austro-Hungarian monarchy was established. I disagreed with this and
9 you should know that Bosniaks, members of other political parties, also
10 disagreed with this type of practices. And this can be seen through the
11 heated debates in the parliament, in the media, et cetera. I wanted to
12 emphasise that we cannot go back into the 19th century but that rather,
13 like all other parts of modern Europe, we have to go forward. We could
14 not use as models some Middle East countries that were bringing back their
15 women to the Middle Ages, not just women but also their schools and a lot
16 of other things that had belonged to the past.
17 JUDGE DIARRA: [Interpretation] But the question was, did you
18 really say Muslim fundamentalists, that is one thing, but if you used the
19 word "Turk," that it means that in your subconscious prevails the opinion
20 that the Muslims are Turks. And that is something which is not a good
21 basis for peace.
22 A. First, the expression "Turks" is not something that you can
23 understand in the ethnic terms and make it equal to the current population
24 of Turkey today or their ethnic communities that lived outside Turkey,
25 including Macedonia and Kosovo. As far as I know, according to the
1 population census, I hardly believe that a single person committed them or
2 announced them as members of the Turkish ethnicity. I was in fact
3 referring to Turks in the widest ethnic term, but the man on the street,
4 in his everyday language, sometimes would equalise the Catholics with
5 Rome, the members of the orthodox church with Istanbul, and the Muslims
6 with the Turks. This is what the less educated part of our population
7 would do. And there were no insulting elements in using this type of
8 language. It was just the popular, colloquial way of expressing by less
9 well educated individuals. So the Croats of Bosnia and Herzegovina were
10 sometimes referred to as the Latin people; the Serbs or the Orthodox
11 Church members as the Byzantine people, the people from Istanbul, and
12 until the war in Bosnia-Herzegovina, this had no insulting connotation
13 whatsoever. It is only during the war, when tensions developed, these
14 words were given a different connotation, a pejorative meaning.
15 JUDGE DIARRA: [Interpretation] But you do not come from the
16 grassroots. You are very educated. You have a very high degree of
17 education. But thank you very much.
18 JUDGE LIU: Well, any questions out of Judges' questions? Yes,
19 Mr. Krsnik?
20 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] This is my last question.
21 Further examination by Mr. Krsnik:
22 Q. [Interpretation] At that meeting, did you say Turks or not?
23 A. No, I did not say Turks. It should be quite clear because I'm
24 familiar with this distinction, linguistic and otherwise, which is more
1 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] Thank you very much.
2 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. Bos?
3 MR. BOS: I have no further questions.
4 JUDGE LIU: Thank you very.
5 Thank you, Witness, for coming here to help us. We all wish you
6 good luck in your future. The usher will show you out of the room.
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you very much, Your Honours.
8 [The witness withdrew]
9 JUDGE LIU: We understand that both parties submitted some lists
10 for the exhibits to be used in the direct and the cross-examinations but
11 now we want to have lists of those documents you are going to tender
12 through the witnesses, including from the first witness to now. We
13 understand that we are not in a position to admit all those witnesses
14 because of the translation but we've got guarantees from the Registrar,
15 those translations will follow up for the next witness.
16 Yes, Mr. Bos?
17 MR. BOS: Well, with regard to this witness, Your Honour, I
18 introduced five new exhibits and I think all of them were in the English
19 language, so I think I can list them now and I can ask whether they can be
20 admitted or not for this particular witness. I have them here.
21 JUDGE LIU: Well, Mr. Bos, my suggestion is that you submit the
22 list to us and to the other parties, and we could not admit your exhibits
23 before we admitted the exhibits tendered from the Defence counsel. Shall
24 we do it all together?
25 MR. BOS: If that's your wish, Your Honour, yes.
1 JUDGE LIU: Yes.
2 Yes, Mr. Krsnik. It's the time for the break.
3 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] I apologise. I'll ask for only one
4 minute before the new witness is being brought in, something concerning
5 the new documents and the videotapes. I followed my promise. Mr. Meek
6 and myself, we went through a lot of transcripts over the weekend and we
7 took note of the rulings made by the Honourable Court.
8 JUDGE LIU: Well, we'll break until 12.30.
9 --- Recess taken at 12.01 p.m.
10 --- On resuming at 12.31 p.m.
11 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. Krsnik?
12 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honours. Very
13 briefly, the Defence is kindly requesting of this Court that new
14 documents, those about to be introduced through cross-examination, be
15 disclosed to the Defence prior to the cross-examination. We must
16 familiarise ourselves with them. And the same goes for videotapes. When
17 we had Bozo Rajic, we then saw the tape the very minute that it was shown.
18 We looked through the transcript, and when I introduced a tape with
19 witness Seid Smajkic, the Prosecutor requested to see it, he got it, he
20 went through it. You remember the situation. I spent a whole night
21 translating, and so on and so forth. So I do not think that the Defence
22 can see the tape, we are even not given before the solemn declaration. We
23 saw it only when it was run during the cross-examination. The same goes
24 for new documents. Of course, those other documents which had already
25 been admitted, we know them and they present no difficulty, but when it
1 comes to new documents, we believe the Defence needs to be acquainted with
2 them and your decision was at the time when I was cross-examining, and
3 there are several decisions, and what I quote in the motion that I filed
4 this morning, your ruling was -- and you addressed me, Mr. Seric and me.
5 When we conducted our cross-examination, we were told that we had to
6 submit all the material before the beginning of the trial. [In English]
7 Before the trial. [Interpretation] And I'd like to ask the Honourable
8 Court to extend the same ruling to the Prosecution, nothing more and
9 nothing less. Thank you very much.
10 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. Scott?
11 MR. SCOTT: Mr. President, first I want to make sure clear that I
12 don't pretend to have recently gone back and made an exhaustive review of
13 the transcript so I allow for the possibility that anything I'm about to
14 say could be wrong based upon going back and making a detailed analysis of
15 the transcript since September. Certainly, I haven't done that. However,
16 I think the case is this: What we've understood the Court's rulings to be
17 in terms of the documents to be used on cross-examination is that when the
18 witness is tendered for cross-examination, if you will, when direct
19 examination is completed and he's now becoming a witness for
20 cross-examination, we understood the Chamber's ruling to be that we would
21 provide a list of the documents to be used, and that's what we have been
22 doing. In some cases, some of the documents maybe also be going over at
23 that time. But as we've said before, sometimes the documents continue to
24 be discovered in the course of preparing for cross-examination as we hear
25 the witness, even on cross-examination, give answers. And so -- sorry,
1 I'll slow down.
2 In any event, Your Honour, our position, our understanding, has
3 been that we are complying with the Chamber's rulings by providing the
4 list which we have been doing with the past several witnesses.
5 JUDGE LIU: Well, as for this issue this Trial Chamber has made
6 several decisions orally before, even in the Prosecution's case in chief.
7 I don't believe there is a need for us to repeat the decisions we have
8 made and we also believe that these rulings are applicable to both
9 parties, that is, we asked both parties to submit a list of the exhibits
10 they are going to use in the cross-examination before their
11 cross-examination, for the purpose of facilitating the proceedings. There
12 is no substantial changes of the jurisprudence of this Tribunal and there
13 is no substantial changes of the rules concerning cross-examination. This
14 Trial Chamber will make decisions after we were seized by the motions
15 filed by Defence counsel on this very issue.
16 Yes, Mr. Krsnik?
17 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honours. I merely
18 wanted your decision with regard to videotapes, and I do not think it is
19 fair and just, first, because the Defence did not do it when it was in
20 such a position with regard to videotapes. We needed to see what these
21 videotapes are about prior to the examination rather than during the
22 cross-examination, because I did that when I conducted the
23 cross-examination, in conformity with your decision, and the order that
24 you gave to the Prosecutor, we studied it in detail, there was dispute
25 whether it would be prior or after the solemn declaration by witnesses.
1 But whatever the case, we need to be given in the morning of the day when
2 the solemn declaration is made. Our learned friends do not go by it and
3 still they do it right before the beginning of the cross-examination. The
4 Defence was not in the same position when it conducted cross-examinations.
5 Thank you. That is all.
6 JUDGE LIU: We believe that the videotapes, if used as an exhibit,
7 should be treated as equally as with other exhibits. Yes?
8 MR. STRINGER: I apologise, Mr. President, just one follow-up to
9 the last point. Bozo Rajic is the witness that I cross-examined. We had
10 not only the videotape but we had also made a translation or I should say
11 a transcript of what he said on the videotape. The transcript was
12 provided to the defence, certainly the morning of the day in which the
13 videotape was shown, if not earlier, because all of the Bozo Rajic
14 exhibits that we intended to use or thought we might use in the
15 cross-examination of that witness were all provided to the Defence, not
16 just a list but the exhibits themselves, were all provided to the Defence
17 before the cross-examination started, and they had the transcript of the
18 videotape well before the videotape was shown to the witness. So I just
19 wanted to make that clarification.
20 JUDGE LIU: Your clarification is in the record.
21 Well, Mr. Krsnik, would you please brief us on the protective
22 measures of the next witness?
23 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] This witness has applied for
24 protective measures, that is a pseudonym and face distortion, because he
25 still lives and works in the area and for the other reasons that I have
1 already indicated in our submissions and motions that I filed with the
2 Honourable Court, and principally, and we have already -- we have written
3 it, we have also received the translations of newspaper articles that we
4 have filed, I think not only this witness but a vast majority of the
5 witnesses who were ready to testify in public now do not want to because
6 the journalists drag them all over the newspapers and misrepresent their
7 testimonies before this Court, working for this or that lobby and thus
8 disturb their families and themselves and that is one of the reasons, and
9 you will see with the articles that we translated, you will see from these
10 articles how much intimidation is placed through newspapers.
11 JUDGE LIU: Any objections, Mr. Stringer?
12 MR. STRINGER: I would note, Mr. President, that the last or the
13 most -- the latest list of Defence witnesses and witness summaries that
14 were submitted on the 4th of April had this witness testifying publicly.
15 No, we don't object to the witness has evidently changed his minds and now
16 wants these protective measures. We don't object to that although I don't
17 think that that should be taken as some concession on our part that
18 because of what's being said or written in the various media, I wouldn't
19 want there to be any -- anyone wondering whether that's somehow
20 attributed to the Prosecution or something that we can control at all
21 which of course we can't. We don't object to the requested protective
22 measures for this witness. However, before he starts, Mr. President, I
23 would like to very briefly put into the record the state of things with
24 respect to our hearing this witness today.
25 Because we do feel that we are in a significant disadvantage in
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 terms of cross-examination. The Trial Chamber made a ruling or a decision
2 last Friday afternoon which resulted in two previous witnesses being sent
3 home, and recognising that that decision was the result of a motion filed
4 by the Prosecution, however, apparently the Defence was informed that the
5 witnesses were being sent home. Obviously the Trial Chamber knew. I
6 think the registry, certainly the victim and witnesses section
7 knew. No one informed us and a significant amount of time was spent this
8 weekend preparing for those two witnesses that were being sent back
9 without our knowledge. And apart from the colossal waste of time that
10 that brought about over the weekend, it also puts us in a more difficult
11 situation now in terms of our preparation for this witness, and I would
12 only ask that we be notified or that the Trial Chamber make sure that the
13 Prosecution is notified when changes of this nature are made. Because no
14 one told us, Mr. President, and we didn't know and we acted on the basis
15 of the previous witnesses being here when we worked this weekend.
16 Now, I can say that a list, a revised list, was sent by fax into
17 our offices Friday afternoon at around 4.30 from the Defence. The fax was
18 sent to Mr. Scott, whom the Defence knew wasn't here on Friday. We saw
19 the fax this morning when Mr. Scott came into the office and got a look at
20 the incoming documents that had come in for him. Not a phone call from
21 the Defence. Not any sort of notice from the Defence, which would have
22 put us on notice that in fact this change had been ordered by the Trial
23 Chamber. So we didn't know until this morning that this witness would be
24 appearing today.
25 Secondly, we don't have a witness summary for this witness under
1 65 ter(G). As the Trial Chamber will know, the first Defence submissions
2 on witness summaries were made on the 15th of March, and after that time,
3 the Trial Chamber directed the Defence to provide more detailed
4 information, more detailed witness summaries. Those summaries were filed
5 on the 21st of March. However, those more detailed witness summaries
6 covered only what the Defence at that time was saying would be their first
7 ten witnesses.
8 The next witness who is going to start his testimony in a couple
9 minutes is not to be found on those revised, more detailed witness
10 summaries that were submitted on the 21st of March. So for this witness,
11 not only did we not know he was testifying until this morning, we also
12 still have only a very brief, general, useless witness summary, the one
13 that was filed originally by the defence back in March. We've never
14 gotten more information about what he's going to say and for that reason
15 we feel that we are doubly disadvantaged as a result of his beginning his
16 testimony this morning.
17 So I know that the Trial Chamber has made a ruling that the other
18 witnesses were to go home. This witness is here. I'm not asking that he
19 not testify this morning, but I did want the Trial Chamber to know that
20 the circumstances are such that we do feel that we are confronting some
21 significant disadvantages in our preparations for cross-examination of
22 this witness.
23 JUDGE LIU: Well -- no. We don't want to spend much time on
24 debate on this issue. This issue has been raised at the beginning of
25 today by Mr. Scott already. First thing is about the protective measures
1 of the next witness. Since there is no significant objections from the
2 Prosecution, your request, Mr. Krsnik, for the protective measures has
3 been granted.
4 Secondly, as I said before, that issue has been raised and we have
5 discussed it already. The views expressed by the Prosecution is taken in
6 the record.
7 Thirdly, as for the next witness, if the Prosecution is not
8 satisfied with the summaries of the next witness, they may raise it at any
9 time to the attention to this Trial Chamber and to the Defence party on
10 that. I hope that both parties will meet together to consult with each
11 other concerning any disagreement and problem occurred during the
12 proceedings. Since time is very precious, we will have the next witness.
13 Mr. Usher, will you please bring in the next witness, please?
14 Yes, Mr. Krsnik?
15 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I merely wish to bring
16 it to your attention that the Defence has complemented its summaries and
17 that we have sent them. We gave them to our distinguished case manager,
18 Ms. Fleming, completely new summaries which we amplified, extended,
19 working over the weekend, complying with your rule. We have added new
20 facts to them and extended them. If our learned friends are not happy
21 then even with that, then of course we can hold another meeting.
22 Your Honours, I also wish to bring to your attention another
23 matter that I have -- that I was notified about during the break in view
24 of your decision with regard to these two witnesses. We have two
25 witnesses who arrived here, but the second witness is in the hospital for
1 the second day here in The Hague, and if the state of his health
2 deteriorates, I was informed that he went to the hospital -- that he was
3 in the hospital yesterday again, with the intervention of the service for
4 the protection of witnesses, and victims. Yesterday, they asked for
5 medicines and today, Ms. Pinter told me that the witness has ended up in
6 the hospital. You can see from the summaries what kind of examination I
7 anticipated for the witness. But if the second witness proves not to be
8 able to testify, then I do not know. I mean, if he stays in the hospital,
9 if his state of health deteriorates so badly that he will have to go back,
10 then obviously he will have to be called again.
11 JUDGE LIU: Thank you for your information.
12 Could we have the next witness, please? Yes, Mr. Scott.
13 MR. SCOTT: Since we now since there is another witness in The
14 Hague, is there any reason why the Prosecution should not be told who the
15 witness is.
16 JUDGE LIU: Should we go into the private session, please very,
18 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] Yes, please.
19 JUDGE LIU: Yes, private session, please.
20 [Private session]
13 Page 10149 – redacted – private session
6 [Open session]
7 JUDGE LIU: Would you please make the solemn declaration in
8 accordance with the paper the usher is showing to you?
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will speak
10 the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
11 WITNESS: WITNESS NB
12 [Witness answered through interpreter]
13 JUDGE LIU: Thank you very much. You may sit down, please.
14 Mr. Krsnik, did you prepare a piece of paper?
15 Examined by Mr. Krsnik:
16 Q. Witness, will you please look at this piece of paper and just nod
17 and say yes, if that is your name. Do not pronounce your name aloud?
18 A. Yes, it is.
19 MR. STRINGER: Mr. President, it's not clear to me what the
20 witness's pseudonym is as shown on this paper.
21 JUDGE LIU: Yes?
22 MR. KRSNIK: NB.
23 MR. STRINGER: Because the documents we have been provided before
24 has a different pseudonym on it. So this is not Witness I, which is what
25 is indicated on the document that was just handed to our case manager this
1 morning. Rather now this is Witness NB?
2 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Madam Registrar?
3 THE REGISTRAR: Prior to the commencement of the Defence's case,
4 we sat down and made a list of what the pseudonyms would be. We begin
5 with NA, NB, NC, and all the way down. Why it's Witness I, I don't know,
6 but NB is what I've prepared.
7 JUDGE LIU: NB is the Witness I? That's the question I want to
9 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] Could be. You see, we -- the
10 witnesses changed so perhaps this is why it happened. I really do not
11 know because Mr. Meek did it and Mrs. Pinter and our distinguished
13 JUDGE LIU: Let me have a look at that piece of paper, please.
14 Yes, you may continue, Mr. Krsnik.
15 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honours.
16 Q. Good afternoon, Witness, and I wish to give you some instructions
17 I always give to all the witnesses. Can you see the monitor in front of
18 you? Since we speak the same language can you see a black dot moving?
19 A. Yes, I can.
20 Q. Well, because we are interpreting into English and French, you
21 will see when the dot has stopped, it means that the text has ended and
22 then you can begin your answer. Now, we shall stop so that you can see
23 when it comes to it a stop.
24 You've seen it. When it stops and then when it stops then you
25 start your answer because our interpreters really have a difficult job.
1 And also Their Honours have difficulty in getting full -- your full
2 answers in the spirit of the language. Thank you very much for your
4 Now, I will start with my first question. Will you please be so
5 kind as to introduce yourself briefly? Where were you born, what is your
6 education and where did you work until 1990? And just slowly, always
7 remember just go slowly, go easy, looking at the screen.
8 A. I was born in Bosnia-Herzegovina, in the municipality of Siroki
9 Brijeg, the village of Uzarici, to be precise, is my birth place. I
10 completed secondary vocational electrical engineering school, found a job
11 with the Novo Gradnja construction company. After that --
12 Q. I'm sorry, Your Honours, we should have gone into private session
13 because we are hearing now the personal particulars. So could we go into
14 private session, please, and with all the apologies, because it is my
16 JUDGE LIU: Yes, we will go to the private session, but you have
17 to get over this part of the testimony as soon as possible.
18 MR. KRSNIK: I will.
19 [Private session]
7 [Open session]
8 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation]
9 Q. Witness, would you be kind enough to tell us whether you
10 participated in the war against the JNA or in the aggression by the JNA,
11 how the units were established, how the Defence was organised, because as
12 far as I could understand it, this is what you were working on?
13 A. Yes. I participated in the war against the Yugoslav army and the
14 reserves who attacked my place of birth and my town. However, that was
15 much -- this -- the organisation of the aggression had been planned much
16 earlier, which I knew, because upon the end of my military service, I
17 expanded my military knowledge through the Territorial Defence commanding
18 and staff exercises and drills. And in 1991 - I'm not quite sure when
19 because this goes far back in history - I was invited by the then
20 president of the municipality of Siroki Brijeg, who was at the same time
21 the President of the war council, as it was usually referred to, to share
22 my views with him, because it had been announced, or gossip could be heard
23 that weapons could be withdrawn from the Territorial Defence of our
24 municipality, the weapons that had been bought through the funds raised by
25 the working people of that municipality and had partially been earmarked
1 for the use of the businesses and companies there.
2 On that day, when I visited him, we had already heard that during
3 the night, the Yugoslav army penetrated our territory with vehicles and
4 they entered the compounds of the tobacco factory where the weapons were
5 stored. People were frightened because the aggression had already started
6 on Croatia before. Knowing that I was familiar with the officers with
7 whom I participated in the staff and command military drills and
8 exercises, I decided to go to the tobacco station. The weapons had
9 already been put on the vehicles, the troops had their helmets on, and
10 they were commanded by an officer I had known very well, for whom -- I
11 also know that he was later killed, Lieutenant Colonel Tomislav Pusara.
12 Q. Let me allow you to lead you through the questions. The JNA, did
13 they manage to withdraw the weapons from the Territorial Defence?
14 A. If you want a precise answer, the Territorial Defence was stripped
15 of all the weapons. Only in one enterprise, eight rifles, M-48, 7.9
16 millimetre calibre, were left to the guards who were protecting that
17 particular compound.
18 Q. Do you know whether this was done throughout the territory of
20 A. At that moment in time, we prevented the weapons to go through the
21 door, through the gate, and Dr. Zarko Santic, the then president, as far
22 as I know, invited from the neighbouring municipality, and even the
23 municipality of Imotski in the Republic of Croatia --
24 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. Stringer?
25 MR. STRINGER: Thank you, Mr. President. I apologise to the
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 witness for my interruption. I think it would be helpful if we could at
2 least get an approximate date in 1991, even the month, just so we have a
3 better time frame.
4 JUDGE LIU: Yes, yes. And Mr. Krsnik, I hope you get through this
5 part as soon as possible, because according to summaries, this witness
6 will mainly testify on the conflict in 1993. Yes, you may proceed, Mr.
8 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honours. Precisely
9 this way.
10 Q. You heard the comments. Could you tell us approximately the date,
11 the month?
12 A. The date, I cannot really give you a precise answer because -- but
13 I know that two months were very important. Whether it was February or
14 April, I'm not quite sure, however.
15 Q. Can you repeat the months?
16 A. Either February or April but I'm not sure.
17 Q. Which year?
18 A. 1991. 1991.
19 THE INTERPRETER: The witness corrects himself: 1992.
20 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation]
21 Q. Could you tell us what happened afterwards?
22 A. Afterwards, the President of the municipality of Siroki Brijeg was
23 changed. Andjelko Mikulic is the new president, and he invited me once
24 again to come to a consultation meeting organised by the municipality.
25 This was in April, 1991, because they had received 107 invitations for the
1 conscripts who were supposed to be in the reserve units in the airport in
2 Mostar. The invitations were sent out by the JNA. He asked me what I
3 thought about it. Since at that time the Republic of Croatia had already
4 been attacked, I thought that these people would be sent to the battle
5 grounds, and I was absolutely against the war and I told him to halt the
6 invitations, not to send them to these individuals.
7 Q. Let us go on. After April, in this war with the JNA, how did you
8 organise the defence, how people are being weaponed, who issues the
9 weapons? Very briefly, so this Chamber gets a picture.
10 A. In May, columns of tanks from the JNA were moving from the
11 Northern Camp towards Siroki Brijeg and here, these tanks are stopped by
12 the citizens of Siroki Brijeg, blocking the road with their passenger
13 cars. People without any weapons are gathering in the streets.
14 Q. I apologise for interrupting you. Whenever you use a date or a
15 month, could you give us the year?
16 A. 1991.
17 Q. Could you please do it at every time.
18 A. In 1991, people with their bare hands are trying to stop the
19 tanks, and then the politicians would come, of Bosnia and Herzegovina,
20 headed by Mr. Alija Izetbegovic, to this area, asking, demanding that the
21 tanks be let through, which was also done. Afterwards, the five of us who
22 were members of the council received indictments, accusations, and we were
23 transferred to the court of martial in Sarajevo. In fact, we were
24 supposed to be there and were tried and we got an eight-year imprisonment
25 penalty by a Judge. This happened to me, Andjelko Mukulic, Jago Lasic,
1 Mr. Ivica Martic, Mr. Ivan Lasic and Mr. Marinko Mikulic. We were all
2 sentenced to this imprisonment.
3 Q. This was the court martial of the JNA?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. And these people who were sentenced were who?
6 A. The President of the municipality of the government, the President
7 of the Defence Secretariat, and others.
8 Q. And what were the charges?
9 A. The charges were that we jeopardised the defence capabilities of
10 the country by preventing the reserve troops from leaving the territory,
11 et cetera, et cetera.
12 Q. At that time, was there any organised armed force in the territory
13 of Bosnia-Herzegovina or Herzegovina?
14 A. No, there was no other -- there were no armed forces. However,
15 knowing that this was a very serious moment in time, and having been
16 familiar with the attacks on the direction towards Ravno in the south of
17 Bosnia-Herzegovina, where the JNA forces were moving to, in our
18 municipality, and as far as I know, in other municipalities, Crisis Staffs
19 are being established, and the territorial staffs are also being
20 established covering parts of the territories of the municipality itself.
21 And on the 21st of July, 1991, I was appointed head of the Blato
22 territorial, that is regional defence. It covered the villages that
23 neighboured the municipality of Mostar and the city of Krusevo.
24 At that time, we set up troops without any weapons, comprising
25 hunters, and we used hunting weapons, demanding from them that they cover
1 the territories that were exposed to air attacks. I failed to tell you
2 that in the course of the movements of the JNA tanks on the 7th of May and
3 the 8th of May of 1991, carried out a helicopter air attack in the
4 territory of Privalj, Duzice and Crnac.
5 Q. Where are these settlements located?
6 A. Duzice, in the Siroki Brijeg-Split section. Privalj also along
7 the same route, and Crnac is located north of Siroki Brijeg.
8 Q. These troops are being established within the framework of
9 individual villages on the voluntary principle or on the basis of other
11 A. On the voluntary principle. I can tell you about a peasant, Bozo
12 Pinju who had five children but he sold his only cow in order to be able
13 to purchase the weapons.
14 Q. The name of the gentleman, of the peasant, was Tomislav Pinu. Did
15 I pronounce it well enough, "Pinjuh"?
16 A. Bozo Pinjuh.
17 Q. Because the name was not in the transcript, so as to make the
18 transcript collect. The name is Bozo Pinjuh?
19 Did other villagers or local population members also buy their own
20 weapons and did they basically organise the defence of their villages or
21 something else?
22 A. They were not only buying weapons. They explicitly organised the
23 defence of the territory concerned, defending on the territory concerned
24 and the possibilities that they had to do so.
25 Q. Let us proceed into the year 1992. Could you describe us the
1 manner in which wider, larger military units were established, that is the
2 HVO, when the HVO was established, et cetera? I will not put too many
3 questions to you.
4 A. Sir, before answering this question directly, I must tell you that
5 before the establishment of the HVO, Siroki Brijeg and Mostar defence was
6 led by municipal staffs, with the units that were established in
7 September, well they had had a unit, for example in Siroki Brijeg, we had
8 a battalion which comprised of the most elite young men, and on the 21st
9 of September, 1991, they headed towards the Galac mountains in the Humitza
10 [phoen] Region, because the aggressor, the JNA and the reservists on the
11 19th occupied these territories, from Capljina to Medjugorje, Citluk,
12 Visovi, and the cliffs above the Heliodrom, i.e., the village of Krusevo,
13 and had thus cut off the Mostar-Citluk route in the Kobilovaca village,
14 thus occupied Orlovac and Kozica, two major cliffs or mountains in this
15 territory, and all that was still unoccupied were Galac and Planinica.
16 Had this been done, Mostar would have been totally occupied and the
17 clashes would continue westwards.
18 Q. If I understand you well, had the -- had Mount Galac also fallen;
19 Mostar could not be defended?
20 A. No, nor a single additional hour.
21 Q. Let's proceed. When is the HVO established, to your knowledge?
22 A. In parallel to the defence of this line by the troops that were
23 members of the municipal staffs, the HVO was established on the 8th of
24 April, 1992, as you will probably know.
25 Q. How was it established and what was your position?
1 A. At that time, in the system of the HVO was an operations person in
2 the municipal staff of Siroki Brijeg.
3 Q. And how was the military section of the HVO organised?
4 A. The military section was organised in battalions and platoons but
5 village troops continued to cover the individual territories. These were
6 a sort of guards, village guards.
7 Q. Was this also based on voluntary participation?
8 A. Yes. Siroki Brijeg had three battalions at that time and Mostar
9 as far as I know had nine battalions.
10 Q. Were there any ranks?
11 A. No.
12 Q. How were the commanders selected?
13 A. The commanders were made on the basis of an assessment that
14 somebody knew more than the others or on the basis of an authority which a
15 person had with the friends and their neighbours.
16 Q. How did they get their weapons?
17 A. Nobody wanted to say it at that time but every possible avenue was
19 Q. Do you know how the weapons were procured and how training was
20 organised by the Muslims? How did they operate?
21 A. Since in Siroki Brijeg we didn't have many Muslim population, yet
22 I know that a small number of Muslims did participate. I know this on the
23 basis of one example. At the beginning of the month of April, I visited
24 the staff and I can recall that a man arrived there, a young man from
25 Mostar, for whom -- whom I knew because he was an athlete, a sportsman, a
1 karate man. His name was Suad Cupina and he insisted that weapons be
2 issued to him, if any were available in Siroki Brijeg. He was
3 particularly referring to hand grenades, so that he could defend his own
4 territory in Mostar, the territory of Luka in which the Southern Camp of
5 the JNA was located, and where there were a lot of APCs and tanks. In the
6 Siroki Brijeg staff, this was resisted because it was believed that they
7 too will need the weapons. However, upon General Praljak's intervention,
8 who was there and who said, "Give it to this young man. Thank God there
9 is somebody who is willing to defend himself."
10 Q. Could you tell us how were the Muslims organised? Now, let me
11 first ask you, did you personally participate in the liberation of Mostar
12 in 1992?
13 A. Yes. I participated personally in the liberation. My assignment
14 was to lead the forces of a part of Siroki Brijeg and the sixth battalion
15 of Krusevo, from Krusevo, another platoon was then can commandeered
16 along the Mostar, Scopalija [phoen], Blazit [phoen] Which was done by the
17 current general, Miljenko Lasic so he commandeered through them on these
18 sections, on his left-hand side, there were the Convicts Battalion units,
19 strike units. One of them was led by Mr. Franjo Zlomislic. And the
20 second one along the toughest section was led by commander Mario Hrkac
21 himself, Mario Hrkac, Cikota.
22 Q. Can you tell us whether you and your brigade, that is you and your
23 units, I don't know how you were organised, did you participate in the
24 final ultimate liberation?
25 A. The liberation of those territories took place on June 11, 1992,
1 and the home guard units did not continue with the persecution but this
2 was rather done by groups of these units that were set up in order to
3 enable the attack on the enemy, on Orlovac, to allow our families to
4 return to this territory because they were -- had been expelled to the
5 Republic of Croatia throughout the territory. My family too was expelled
6 there, which I learned on the third day when I was with the troops.
7 Somebody from the local community told me that a lot of other people from
8 the local community and my family were expelled.
9 Q. Tell us how were the Muslims organised in the defence of Mostar,
10 who led the defence of Mostar?
11 A. The HVO was the one who led in the defence of Mostar.
12 Q. And who was the HVO commander at the time, do you know that?
13 A. The HVO commander, well it was municipal staffs.
14 Q. Yes, but who was the commander of the municipal staff
15 Siroki Brijeg, the council.
16 Q. In Mostar. In Mostar, I mean?
17 A. It wasn't in Mostar. It wasn't a Croat, it was a Muslim, Jasmin
18 Jaganjac, and the chief was a Croat, Petar Zelenika.
19 Q. Were the Muslims organised in HVO units?
20 A. In Mostar, I do not know the exact number. Later on, I know how
21 they were organised because later on, I learnt about that.
22 Q. And which was the area that you liberated then?
23 A. That day --
24 Q. No, I don't mean that day. We have to move on faster.
25 A. Right. As of the 11th of June, 1992, until the 26th of June,
1 1992, the aggressor had been repulsed to the Vitez slopes.
2 Q. Do you know how many Muslim villages were liberated?
3 A. Yes. All the villages in around Mostar.
4 Q. And what were HVO's losses to liberate -- when liberating those
5 villages and that area, do you know that?
6 A. Well, I cannot give you the exact number but if I take it, and may
7 the dead forgive me, I will take the liberty to say that there were about
8 30 fatalities.
9 Q. So Mostar is liberated, and where is your place?
10 A. And I get the order to go to the main staff of the HVO, to Mostar,
11 because it had already been established in Mostar, and was headed by
12 General Milivoj Petkovic.
13 Q. And you were appointed as what?
14 A. I was appointed head of the operations centre.
15 Q. And how long did you keep that office?
16 A. I kept that office -- well, I cannot give you the exact date but I
17 believe it was the 28th of July, until the 1st of October, when I received
18 the order from the chief of defence at the time to form the 3rd Brigade of
19 members of the 8th Battalion Blagaj, 7th Battalion Gnojnice and Dracevica,
20 9th Battalion, Rodoc and Zenica, parts of the 6th Battalion Krusevo,
21 independent company Buna, the 4th Battalion from Mostar, Tihomir Misic and
22 to set up a battalion made up of volunteers from Siroki Brijeg because by
23 the decision of the president, the Siroki Brijeg Brigade was sometime in
24 August, demobilised or placed on the reserve as the military would put it.
25 Q. When did the demobilisation start?
1 A. When the war with the Serbs ended, a month or a little more later,
2 when the operation of the liberation or the repulsion of the Serb
3 forces to Podvelezje to the Velez foot hills.
4 Q. When we say demobilisation, it means whom?
5 A. The home guards.
6 Q. And what about the volunteers?
7 A. It concerned the home guards.
8 Q. And what about the volunteers?
9 A. The volunteers could join units and the units would be made of
10 them and this one from Siroki Brijeg was one such and it was part of the
11 3rd Brigade of the Mostar HVO and I was its commander.
12 Q. Do you know how many soldiers were released? I mean volunteers
13 and home guards. And what month are we talking about, sorry, what month?
14 A. I cannot give you the exact month but I think it was August.
15 Q. And the year?
16 A. The year was 1992. And I couldn't really be quite precise when it
17 comes to other municipalities but I know that the reserve forces -- that
18 forces were sent to reserve in Siroki Brijeg, in Posusje --
19 THE INTERPRETER: And if the witness could repeat the fourth
20 place, please?
21 JUDGE LIU: Well, witness, the interpreter asked you to repeat the
22 last name, the fourth place. Would you please do that?
23 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation]
24 Q. These places. You said Siroki Brijeg?
25 A. And Siroki Brijeg.
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 Q. No, I mean the name of the places.
2 A. In Grude, Ljubuski, and Posusje.
3 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] Grude, Ljubuski, Posusje
4 these are all names of towns in Herzegovina. Posusje.
5 Q. And tell us what happened to volunteers who had come from abroad
6 and used to work in Germany or in Croatia? Did they go back?
7 A. I wouldn't be able to give you a full answer to that question. I
8 do not think so. I do not think that all of them went back. Some may
10 Q. And you as the commander, are you familiar with the decision that
11 those who, for instance, used to work in Germany or rather went back to
12 work in Germany, and they did not go back to the military units, that they
13 generously helped or paid generous monthly sums for the HVO?
14 A. Yes, I know about that.
15 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. Stringer?
16 MR. STRINGER: Well, I was about to object. It seem to me that
17 the witness already testified that he could not give a full answer on
18 that. And my second objection -- so I don't know that he has knowledge
19 about this issue. Secondly, I suggest that the question is a leading
20 question, which is directing the witness to answer as suggested by
22 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. Krsnik, rephrase your question. And I have
23 to remind you that we have to get over this part as soon as possible.
24 What we want to hear is what happened in 1993.
25 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] Your Honours, yes, of course. I see
1 that I am going through 1992 very fast, but this humble servant of a
2 lawyer believes that we cannot gloss over 1992 and reach 1993 because
3 otherwise we will not be able to understand what happened in 1993 and how
4 it happened, and now we are moving to those relations in Mostar, the
5 relations with Muslims and so on and so forth. Because I must follow the
6 indictment. The indictment sounds as if it fell out of the blue sky,
7 Croats attacked, without any reason whatsoever, all those poor Muslims.
8 Q. Please, let us move on. Now, a question: Do you have any idea
9 how the HVO was funded?
10 A. Yes. I know that our citizens who worked abroad did not spare
11 even their last German mark to help their countrymen in Herzegovina.
12 Q. Did you become a commander of a brigade?
13 A. Yes. I became a commander of the brigade, it was the 3rd
14 Brigade. It began to be formed on the 9th of October and on the 26th I
15 was given the official decision that I would be -- that I would be
16 appointed the commander of the brigade, to form it, of 1992.
17 Q. Please do it slower because nothing is on the transcript.
18 Witness, will you please take care? This needs to be interpreted into
19 English and French. Their Honours cannot follow you because the
20 interpreters cannot follow you. They are doing a very hard job. Will you
22 A. Yes, I will try to help them.
23 Q. But if you concentrate on the screen and that block spot.
24 THE INTERPRETER: But this also applies to the counsel. Please,
25 it is better to keep silent for a while rather than not to have it
2 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] Yes, it took me a long time to get
3 used to it. And I still make mistakes but will you please -- let us both
4 try to complete this examination as soon as possible.
5 Q. What was your brigade's area of responsibility?
6 A. The area of responsibility of my brigade was in Podvelezje, Visovi
7 or Podvelezje, above the village of Gnojnice.
8 Q. See, it is still not in the translation so let us move slowly.
9 Where did you say on Velez? What did you say?
10 A. Visovi or Polvelezje, in the village --
11 Q. Tell us slowly, letter by letter.
12 A. Above inhabited localities, Gnojnice, Dracevice.
13 Q. Letter by letter?
14 A. D-r-a-c-e-v-i-c-e. Blagaj. And above the village of Rotimlja.
15 And that would be the end of the border, except if you want me to list
16 geographic concepts?
17 Q. No, no, no, no. All we need is your area of responsibility. And
18 where were you quartered as the brigade?
19 A. My brigade, or better said, the command of my brigade was
20 quartered at the Heliodrom Camp.
21 Q. You said Camp Heliodrom?
22 A. Yes, Heliodrom Camp.
23 Q. What year were you quartered there, which month?
24 A. 1992, the 1st of October.
25 Q. And there was a camp there, was there?
1 A. No.
2 Q. Then why do you say the Heliodrom Camp?
3 A. My grandfather and my father called it the Heliodrom Camp. The
4 Northern Camp. The Southern Camp. All -- they were all barracks built,
5 as a rule, by Austria-Hungary, and because of the billeting of soldiers --
6 because soldiers were billeted there, they called them army camps so that
7 it stuck among our people.
8 Q. That barracks is called a camp? Is that what you mean?
9 A. That's right.
10 Q. And who else was stationed at the Heliodrom, if you know?
11 A. Apart from my command, there were also accommodated there members
12 of my brigade who had been expelled from their homesteads and had no where
13 else to go. Then also the reconnaissance company of the Mostar
14 operational zone Baja Kraljevic ATG for a while, and I
15 think it was in January, but I'm not quite sure, Juka Prazina unit, the
16 Caritas storage space, restaurant and a kitchen, which was served by my
18 Q. Let us explain what does it mean "served by my brigade"?
19 A. Well, we provided the personnel to work in the kitchen.
20 Q. And that kitchen cooked for everybody at the Heliodrom?
21 A. Yes, for everybody there and for people on the ground.
22 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I see it is time to
23 adjourn, and this is a convenient place and we shall then resume tomorrow.
24 JUDGE LIU: Tomorrow morning, we will sit in Courtroom II. We
25 will resume at 9.00 tomorrow morning.
1 MR. STRINGER: Excuse me, Mr. President, I apologise. Could the
2 witness be cautioned about not having contacts over the evening? I know
3 it's normally your practice to do that when we break for the evening.
4 JUDGE LIU: Yes, yes. Well, Witness, we have to remind you that
5 you are under oath -- the earphone, the earphone for the witness. Well,
6 Witness, I have to remind you that you are under oath here in The Hague so
7 during your stay in The Hague, do not talk to anybody about your testimony
8 and do not let anybody talk to you about it. Do you understand that?
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, I do.
10 JUDGE LIU: Thank you very much. We will resume at 9.00 tomorrow
12 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at
13 1.45 p.m., to be reconvened on Tuesday,
14 the 16th day of April, 2002, at 9.00 a.m.