1 Wednesday, 22 May 2002
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 [The witness entered court]
5 --- Upon commencing at 2.27 p.m.
6 JUDGE LIU: Call the case, please, Madam Registrar.
7 THE REGISTRAR: Good afternoon, Your Honours. This is case number
8 IT-98-34-T, the Prosecutor versus Naletilic and Martinovic.
9 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. Krsnik. Before you start, could you tell me
10 how long are you going to take for your direct examination?
11 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] Good afternoon, Your Honours. Well,
12 I think about an hour and 15 minutes or perhaps an hour and a half, not
13 more than that.
14 JUDGE LIU: Thank you very much. I hope you could wind up your
15 direct examination before the first break, which is about --
16 MR. KRSNIK: By 4.00?
17 JUDGE LIU: Yes, okay.
18 WITNESS: IVAN BENDER [Resumed]
19 [Witness answered through interpreter]
20 Examined by Mr. Krsnik: [Continued]
21 Q. Good afternoon, Witness. Can you hear me? Can you hear the
23 A. Yes, I can hear you well.
24 Q. Once again, the same warning as yesterday, please, do not rush it
25 and see that we do not speak over each other with our questions and
1 answers. I hope you already got used to the Court environment.
2 A. Well, I hope it will be all right.
3 Q. Yesterday, we broke off after Her Honour Judge Clark asked a
4 question, I believe you grasped what was meant by that question but let me
5 repeat it briefly. Did you personally see any plans or documents issued
6 by the political leadership of the Bosniaks, Muslims, or their -- or the
7 army or the military component, that is the Army of Bosnia and
8 Herzegovina? And if you did, where are these documents now? And one more
9 question. Your documentation, that is the HDZ documentation, or the
10 HZ HB, HR HB documentation, how was it catalogued? Where was it stored?
11 And where should they be and who should be their owner? I believe that
12 was the drift of your last question, Judge Clark. Am I right?
13 JUDGE CLARK: That's correct.
14 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] Thank you very much.
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes. I've understood that
16 question. I did give it some thought, and I wish to tell the Honourable
17 Court the following. We, from the political leadership of the Croat
18 people of the Croat Democratic Union, Croat Community Herceg-Bosna, and
19 later on Croat Republic of Herceg-Bosna, came by information and specific
20 plans that the Muslim leadership and the so-called Army of
21 Bosnia-Herzegovina, that is Muslim armed forces, were getting ready for an
22 attack, or as they put it, a liberate Mostar and turn south and come out
23 on the coast.
24 We had, and we have, documents of March, 1993, which demonstrate
25 this, and I hope that this documentation is accessible to the Honourable
1 Court. If not, we can submit it. Specifically, the Muslim top leadership
2 at that time, from Sarajevo to the territory of Herzegovina, that is
3 Konjic, Jablanica, Prozor and Mostar, transfers certain political and
4 military leaders with a clear intent of conducting preparations as they
5 put it for the struggle against the enemy forces, meaning by that the
6 Croat Defence Council. There was, and there is documentation that
7 Mr. Safet Cibo was transferred from Sarajevo, I repeat Sarajevo, which has
8 absolutely nothing to do with the territory of Herzegovina, and
9 immediately joined in the political and military activities in that area.
10 To make it even more absurd, the Muslim leadership designated him the
11 President of the War Presidency for three municipalities: Konjic,
12 Jablanica and Prozor. Disregarding all the legal regulation that
13 is were in force at the time.
14 We also have in our possession documentation dating to August,
15 1993, when at a meeting in Zenica, the Muslim political and military
16 leadership already specified, elaborated the well known plan Neretva 93.
17 That plan explicitly speaks about the conquest of Mostar, Capljina and
18 Stolac, and access to Neum, that is to the sea. Mr. Sefer Halilovic was
19 preparing that plan directly with the consent of the front figure --
20 JUDGE CLARK: Mr. Bender, in August, 1993, the HVO and what you
21 describe as the so-called army of -- the Armija of Bosnia-Herzegovina was
22 in conflict. They were at war. So, if you came by any documents on
23 either side indicating plans to conquer or reconquer, that not really of
24 interest to what we are talking about now. What you were discussing
25 yesterday was before the conflict, in April and May of 1993, you had
1 information, I believe, that the Armija had a plan to attack the HVO
2 first. Now, you are giving us specifics that you weren't yet asked for,
3 and you are avoiding the questions, answering the questions, which
4 Mr. Krsnik put to you.
5 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I am sorry, but I think
6 there is a slight misunderstanding. Mr. Bender, it is true, somewhat
7 expanded on what was the subject of my examination, and I was talking
8 about the developments in January, February, March or rather March and
9 April, 1993, and we have already heard various testimonies about this and
10 the arrival of Mr. Safet Cibo to the lands of Konjic, Jablanica, Prozor,
11 and the beginning of the attack under his immediate leadership, because he
12 was wartime president, but I wouldn't go into that because -- or else you
13 might object to me that I was giving testimony. Mr. Bender spoke about
14 this in this introduction but then he moved on to August.
15 JUDGE CLARK: At the moment, Mr. Krsnik, August is not really
16 relevant because the parties were in -- I know you don't call it war, but
17 certainly anybody else would call it war. What we are really talking
18 about are the earlier plans, before the conflict erupted, between the
19 previous allies, and also where these documents are and what was the
20 arrangement when a document was produced, what happened to it? We've
21 asked many times, but if the witness can't answer or won't answer, we will
22 move on.
23 MR. KRSNIK: He can. Why not?
24 Q. [Interpretation] Mr. Bender, let us try to confine ourselves to
25 April and May, 1993. I'm sorry, to March and April, 1993. And what is it
1 that you know directly? Because the Court here always asks for one's
2 personal knowledge and I appreciate that. Do you have any personal
3 knowledge about the developments in Konjic, Jablanica, Prozor following
4 the arrival of Mr. Safet Cibo, what happened, if you know, to the
5 political and military leadership and the civilians in those lands, and if
6 you have any documentation about that, where is it now?
7 A. I have already said in my introductory part that in March and
8 April, 1993, already that we had documents, that Mr. Cibo and his
9 associates came to that area directly instructed to do so by the Muslim
10 top leadership in Sarajevo. The --
11 Q. Sorry, I have to interrupt you but do you have any concrete
12 knowledge? What happened? I'm talking about a specific event. I may not
13 ask you any leading questions, nor may I lead you in direct examination
14 but do you have -- do you have anything that would testify to the attacks
15 of the Army of Bosnia-Herzegovina in those areas?
16 A. At that time, already --
17 Q. Will you please slow down?
18 A. There were open conflicts in the territory of Konjic and murder of
19 Croats in the territory of the municipality of Konjic, and the most
20 important thing is that the leadership, both in Konjic and Jablanica and
21 Prozor was dismissed and Mr. Cibo was instead appointed president of the
22 War Presidency.
23 Q. Do you know who was removed, who was the lawful leadership before
24 he came?
25 A. I do not know who it was exactly, but they were front men, they
1 were locals from the lands of Konjic, Jablanica and Prozor, who could and
2 did find some common solutions with Croats in those same lands.
3 Q. Do you have any knowledge whether the Croat Democratic Union was
4 allowed to continue with its activity in the territory of these three
5 municipalities and do you know what happened to the HVO, or rather the
6 civilians of Croat ethnicity in that area in March and April?
7 A. Of course I do. We in the political leadership were informed
8 through our channels that some problems had occurred up there, that the
9 HDZ and the HVO work had been prohibited and that camps had been set up
10 for the members of the Croat Defence Council and the civilian population
11 in those lands. I believe that the Honourable Court has some of this
12 documentation. If not, this documentation is in the lands of Mostar and
13 can be obtained, and one can also find witnesses.
14 Q. Do you know what happened to religious officials?
15 A. Every religious official who did not sign, if I may put it that
16 way, with the Muslims, suffered the same lot as the civilians.
17 Specifically in Jablanica, I know that the residence of the priest was
18 looted, that his car was driven away and that he had to leave.
19 Q. Yesterday, you spoke about Dubrava. What month was it in that
20 area called Dubrava -- no, first let me ask you. Is Dubrava near a
21 locality called Rotimlje?
22 A. I am familiar with that area.
23 Q. Now, tell me first, Dubrava, you told me Dubrava Plateau. Is it
24 near a settlement called Rotimlje?
25 A. Rotimlje is part of the Dubrava Plateau.
1 JUDGE CLARK: [Previous translation continues] ... Mr. Krsnik that
2 we are not going to hear anything about how the documents are catalogued
3 and archived. We have tried for half an hour and I take it we are just
4 going to move on to something else?
5 MR. KRSNIK: Right, right.
6 JUDGE CLARK: Okay.
7 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation]
8 Q. Come, please, let's try to be specific. How was the documentation
9 archived, how was it catalogued, where was it archived?
10 A. I cannot answer -- I can only speak about the documentation in the
11 territory of the Croat Community Herceg-Bosna.
12 Q. Well, for instance, where you were, in that place?
13 A. Under the relevant regulations which we took over from the former
14 Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina, we stored and archived our
15 documentation in the lands of Mostar and neighbouring communities --
17 Q. Mr. Bender, we can go into private session if you do not wish to
18 speak about that in an open session, if you do not wish to indicate the
19 place, the building, where was the archive?
20 A. I need to say that I'd rather not specify the site of the archive
21 because, of course, there are some military documents and so on and so
22 forth, but if need be, one can enter into possession.
23 Q. [No interpretation]
24 A. You see, I'd rather to leave the documentation, especially the
25 military documentation, because there are confidential things and it's not
1 really all right to disclose it, but if the Honourable Court wishes to go
2 there, there is a lawful way to gain access to that documentation.
3 Q. Well, this is what we are trying to find out, Mr. Bender, because
4 the Prosecutor has documentation which says that -- which he says is the
5 HVO documentation, and these are, by and large, military documents, and
6 they are in Zagreb. However, we haven't been able to establish the route
7 to Zagreb, the way to Zagreb. We discuss the authenticity of every
8 document. We challenge their authenticity and it will of great help to
9 the defence, unfortunately, I did not discuss that particular matter with
11 JUDGE LIU: Well, Mr. Krsnik, shall we go to the private session?
12 MR. KRSNIK: Yes, please.
13 JUDGE LIU: Yes, we will go to the private session, please.
14 [Private session]
6 [Open session]
7 THE REGISTRAR: We are in open session.
8 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation]
9 Q. Perhaps we should clarify matters a little. Tell us, in how many
10 places in Herzegovina in 1993, that is prior to the Washington Agreement,
11 were the seats of power of the HZ HB, that is HR HB?
12 A. Because of the overall wartime situation in the lands of the Croat
13 Community Herceg-Bosna, different institutions of the Croat Community
14 Herceg-Bosna had their seats in different places. Specifically, the
15 legislature had its seat in Mostar. The executive was in part in Mostar
16 and in part in Grude, and the military power was distributed in several
18 Q. And was that the situation throughout 1993? Were these bodies,
19 did these bodies have their seat in Mostar during 1993?
20 A. I said the legislature was in Mostar all the time, and the
21 executive power was in part in Mostar and in part in Grude.
22 Q. I've asked you all this because I was prompted by Her Honour but
23 also because I have problems to gain access to the archives of Bosnia and
24 Herzegovina, and as for the other documents, I have the same access to the
25 Zagreb archives as my learned friends. These are our only sources. Now
1 the archive of the Army of Bosnia and Herzegovina, is it also the property
2 of the federation?
3 A. The archive of the Army of Bosnia and Herzegovina, that is Muslim
4 armed forces and the Croat Defence Council, is likewise the property of
5 the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina -- and Bosnia and Herzegovina.
6 Q. You see, I wrote on various occasions to the President, to the
7 Prime Minister, to the Presidency of the federation. Some allowed me to
8 get to those documents. Others, however refused access. I have, for
9 instance, a decision of President Krizanovic, that I must be allowed
10 access to the archive of the Army of Bosnia-Herzegovina but deputy
11 minister, and I do not know his name but I have the documentation to that
12 effect, told me that he could not meet my request. And that is why I'm
13 asking you, which authorities are in charge of this? Because you were in
14 politics for a long time, and that is why I'm asking you, so that not only
15 I, but the Honourable Court could also approach these authorities, and who
16 is obeying whom?
17 A. Well, things that have been happening for the past year, year and
18 a half, are not something that I know about, but I'm surprised that
19 members of the Presidency are not treated with due respect. It was
20 different in my time. After I was removed from the list for reasons that
21 I have explained, a member of the Presidency, any of them, if he issued an
22 order, it had to be executed wherever -- anywhere, any place in the
23 territory of the Federation of Bosnia-Herzegovina. I believe the
24 Honourable Court needs to intercede with the President of the Presidency
25 - at present, it is Mr. Belkic - and ensure both for the Court and for
1 the Defence, access to the documentation.
2 Q. Yes, we shall do that. I mean the Defence will do it. And my
3 last question in this regard, even though Their Honours may have some
4 questions later on, but we -- I see documents here which the Prosecutor is
5 proposing, and the Prosecutor says that they received these documents from
6 the authorities of the Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina and this is
7 correspondence dating back three or four years back, now which are the
8 sources? Are these the authorities of the Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina
9 or the authorities of the federation? And do the authorities of the
10 federation have the right to call themselves the authorities of the
12 A. Such claims come as a surprise to me because after the Dayton
13 Accords, there has not been, nor there may exist, the Croat Republic
14 Herceg-Bosna or the Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina. And therefore, the
15 agencies of these institutions, all the powers had been transferred to the
16 authorities of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Bosnia and
18 Q. And tell me, please, when the Prosecutor writes the government of
19 Bosnia-Herzegovina, who is that?
20 A. Well, you see, after all, I am a protagonist of a legislative body
21 and I must say that there is no such body as the government of Bosnia and
22 Herzegovina. There is the council of ministers of Bosnia and Herzegovina,
23 which discharges certain duties in accordance with the Dayton Accords.
24 I'm not aware, nor is there, the government of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
25 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] My apologies, Your Honour, we have
1 just received a list with documents and it says -- might as well do it
2 later on. I don't want to do it with this witness. I do not think we
3 want any further discussion with him but I will seek clarification from
4 our learned friends later on.
5 JUDGE CLARK: I was just trying to warn you when you were talking
6 to Mr. Meek your microphone was on, and I could hear you and I think
7 everyone else could.
8 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] Thank you very much, Your Honour, but
9 I have nothing to hide.
10 Q. Mr. Bender, let us try to move on to another subject. There are
11 two or three more topics, those that I thought we should cover. We have
12 another hour at our disposal. Will you please be so kind as to tell me
13 whether you personally have any knowledge, or whether you are taking
14 part -- or whether you took part in the Geneva talks, in the drafting of
15 the Vance-Owen Plan, if yes, what do you know about that? And finally, do
16 you have any personal knowledge whether -- about the implementation of the
17 Vance-Owen Plan, the meeting in Medjugorje on the 18th of May, 1993? What
18 do you know about these things? I know that these are two or three topics
19 that I put together but they are all interrelated.
20 A. Personally, I did not take part in the talks in Geneva, but our
21 representatives briefed the relevant agencies of the Croat Community
22 Herceg-Bosna about the course of these negotiations, and the Vance-Owen
23 Plan. The relevant authorities of the Croat Community Herceg-Bosna
24 accepted the Vance-Owen Plan and were ready to enforce it.
25 Q. Just a small side question: Did you discuss the implementation
1 with the SDA? Did you agree on the governors? Can you tell us something
2 about that?
3 A. Well, that is what I was about to say. The Croat Community
4 Herceg-Bosna, we in the Croat Community Herceg-Bosna discussed and
5 proposed the leaders of the provinces. However, at the other side did not
6 do that so the plan could not be implemented. In other words, the Muslim
7 side did not designate the front men for the provinces, and that is why
8 the Vance-Owen Plan could not be translated into life.
9 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. Scott?
10 MR. SCOTT: Mr. President, I'm going to have to object at this
11 point on the level again of generality we are talking about. We are just
12 simply not getting any information whatsoever about what this man did, who
13 he met with, which Muslim officials, SDA officials did he meet with, which
14 SDA officials refused to implement the plan, which HDZ officials nominated
15 people to be members of the so-called "cantonal governments," we are
16 talking in just absolute complete generalities, which is, I submit, not
17 very helpful to the Chamber.
18 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. Krsnik, you have to caution the witness about
19 the specificality on these issues. We want exact information concerning
20 all the matters mentioned in his statement.
21 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] Certainly, Your Honour. Sometimes I
22 try -- I curtail the witness in his answers, sometimes I let him go on,
23 and I think that he would have said all that himself without the
25 Q. So can you be more specific what meetings with the SDA, who was
1 the leader of the SDA, who participated in the negotiations, who refused
2 to sign? Your personal knowledge about all this.
3 A. I already said that I did not participate in the talks in Geneva,
4 but our bodies, headed by Mr. Boban, who was our president, Mr. Mate
5 Boban, so he came to several places, he came to our Medjugorje, and they
6 carried out negotiations with the representatives of the Muslim side, that
7 is the Party of Democratic Action, headed by Mr. Izetbegovic, and if the
8 Croatian party -- Croatian side accepted, then -- and the other didn't,
9 then it is clear who the other party is and why the -- why this wasn't
10 carried through.
11 Q. It may be clear to you but it is not clear to us, it is not clear
12 to the Honourable Court. We did not live there at the time in that area,
13 and I always say to my witnesses, we were not there, even us in Zagreb
14 found it very difficult to understand some things, let alone the
15 Honourable Judges, who have now been faced with this for the first time.
16 That is why it is very important for to you say everything you know.
17 A. I will be very specific. The Presidency of the Croatian Community
18 Herceg-Bosna, i.e. our president, the late Mate Boban, signed the
19 Vance-Owen Plan, appointed the governors of the provinces, the Muslim
20 side, headed by Alija Izetbegovic, didn't do that. And that is why the
21 Vance-Owen Plan was not enforced. Why did the Muslim part not do this?
22 It is -- they should be asked that. We believed that they did not want a
23 peaceful solution but that they rather wanted to deal with the matters by
24 war, which I have already said when answering your other questions.
25 Q. Before we move on to the Owen-Stoltenberg plan, the witness in
1 this courtroom --
2 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] I apologise, Your Honours, I was just
3 checking whether -- can we move on to private session? I don't want to
4 make a mistake. I just want to verify a fact, whether my learned
5 colleague maybe can help me, whether a specific witness was in an open or
6 a closed session. Neither Mr. Meek nor myself are sure about that. And
7 we don't want to make a mistake.
8 JUDGE LIU: Well, Mr. Krsnik [Microphone not activated] I'm a
9 little bit hesitant to say what we hear from the testimony of this witness
10 is not the firsthand knowledge. I really don't know how far you could go
11 in this direction. We have heard the testimony of other witnesses on this
12 issue many times. We know what position you hold on the Defence part. Of
13 course, we also know the position on the Prosecution's side. I wonder
14 whether you would like to pursue this matter.
15 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] Your Honour, this is not really as
16 simple as that. This gentleman has a personal knowledge and although he
17 may not have been present when things were signed, he actually was present
18 during the implementation or non-implementation of this plan and was where
19 he has personal knowledge. This is not a period which lasted for a week.
20 The international plan started in 1992 and ended in 1993 with the
21 Washington plan and this gentleman is one of the members of the
22 legislative power which was supposed to enforce these plans, and
23 obviously, he does have personal knowledge, although he may not have been
24 in Geneva but he was the one who was supposed to implement or participate
25 in the implementation of this plan. I can move on. I just wanted to ask
1 the witness about something that a witness said in this courtroom, and I
2 wasn't sure whether he said it in an open or a closed session. We already
3 talked a lot about this witness. He said --
4 JUDGE LIU: Yes, yes, we will go to the private session, please.
5 [Private session]
13 [Open session]
14 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation]
15 Q. Mr. Kljujic, in his testimony said that the Croats or the
16 representatives of the Croatian people always had a pencil ready in their
17 back pocket and they always ran out to sign whatever plan. Was he able to
18 know that? Did he participate in any -- the first question is: When did
19 Mr. Kljujic leave HDZ, your personal knowledge?
20 A. Mr. Kljujic was the President of the Croatian Democratic Union
21 from September, 1991, until February, 1992, and I was his first
22 vice-president at the time. I know him very well, and if I have to, I can
23 say a few things about that. At the time Mr. Kljujic was involved and
24 after that period, he was not involved in our politics. Neither of the
25 HDZ nor of the Croatian community of Herceg-Bosna because he resigned from
1 all his offices and this was adopted and at our subsequent meeting, and he
2 was dissolved of all his duties.
3 Q. Before his resignation, what were his political views in 1991 and
4 the beginning of 1992? What policies did he pursue? You were his first
5 vice-president, his first --
6 A. I must say that Mr. Kljujic was not a serious and not up to the
7 positions that he held. He was -- he would say one thing and he would do
8 another, i.e. he would do very little. Because he was nothing but a
9 sports journalist. At the beginning of his work, as we say, he grovelled
10 up to Mr. Tudjman and later on, he grovelled up to Mr. Alija Izetbegovic,
11 and it is up to you to conclude whether this is credible behaviour.
12 Q. And what were his political views on the organisation of Bosnia
13 and Herzegovina? In 1991 and 1992?
14 A. He was the first to advocate the subdivision of Bosnia and
15 Herzegovina. There are a number of documents corroborating that.
16 Q. Was he removed by President Tudjman?
17 A. Don't make me laugh. President Tudjman could not remove
18 Mr. Kljujic, because Mr. Kljujic was the President of the Croatian
19 Democratic Union of Bosnia and Herzegovina. Mr. Kljujic resigned. The
20 resignation was accepted and we actually were the ones who dissolved --
21 relieved Mr. Ljujic of all his duties. So the central committee of the
22 Croatian Democratic Union of Bosnia and Herzegovina. I repeat, I was the
23 first vice-president of the Croatian Democratic Union of
24 Bosnia-Herzegovina at that time.
25 Q. Witness, Mr. Kljujic said that Mr. Tudjman had sent Mr. Stipe
1 Mesic to Siroki Brijeg to remove him, to dismiss him. Were you at that
2 meeting in Siroki Brijeg?
3 A. Yes, I was at the meeting in Siroki Brijeg. I participated in it
4 actively. We adopted some decisions. Amongst other, Mr. Stipe Mesic was
5 participating in the meeting. At the time he was the second figure of HDZ
6 of Croatia and the second figure of -- in the Republic of Croatia but he
7 was nothing but a guest. He could not make any decisions. Therefore, it
8 is not -- what Mr. Kljujic said, what Mr. Stjepan Kljujic said is not
10 Q. Did Mr. Kljujic end up in hospital after that meeting, as far as
11 you know?
12 A. I know that Mr. Kljujic, according to the information that we
13 received, that he ended up in a hospital, but he attended that particular
14 meeting when he attended the meeting, he had already been ill. That you
15 could tell by his appearances and by his behaviour.
16 Q. So, why does he then -- said that the Croats were pursuing
17 international representatives and were running out to sign international
19 A. Mr. Kljujic is not a serious person, and not a responsible person,
20 and this is not true. Whatever we signed, we carried through. When it
21 comes to the provinces, I know that the province in the area of
22 Herzegovina, for that province, Mr. Pero Markovic was appointed as its
23 governor, and that he was getting ready to assume that post, and the same
24 situation was in other provinces.
25 Q. Did you participate personally in the implementation of the
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 Owen-Stoltenberg plan? And what was the difference between the Vance-Owen
2 and the Vance-Owen-Stoltenberg plan?
3 A. I participated in the implementation as a member of the Presidency
4 of the HDZ, and as a member of the Presidency of the Croatian Community
5 Herceg-Bosna, and I didn't participate in the talks. According to the
6 Owen-Stoltenberg plan, the union of three republics --
7 Q. Excuse me, I have to ask you generally, do you know anything about
8 who signed this document?
9 A. I know that we, the Croats, signed it. We accepted it. And we
10 were ready to enforce it to the end. As far as I know, the Serbs did not
11 accept that, for reasons known to them, because they wanted to annex
12 Bosnia and Herzegovina to Yugoslavia. I don't know what the situation was
13 with the Muslim side.
14 JUDGE CLARK: Mr. Krsnik, I'm just looking at Mr. Bender's
15 summary, witness summary, and you don't seem to be really sticking to it.
16 You're going outside it, and leaving other aspects alone. He wasn't
17 scheduled to talk about the Vance-Owen Plan or any of the other proposed
18 or effective peace plans. You have him talking about how people procured
19 citizenship, how he was a member of a delegation on several times in the
20 office of President Tudjman, and various other things that he's talked
21 about, but aren't you going a little bit outside?
22 MR. KRSNIK: Yes.
23 JUDGE CLARK: You are?
24 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] I apologise, Your Honour, you are
25 right. As always I'm honest. That's the way God made me. After 11 months
1 in this courtroom and conversations and presentations, allow me to forget
2 sometimes what is in the summary. But some answers actually make me try
3 and clarify some things, and I'm convinced that the Honourable Court will
4 also be interested in hearing the positions, i.e. the views, i.e. the
5 testimony, of Mr. Bender about the things in which he participated
6 himself, just like Mr. Kljujic.
7 JUDGE CLARK: You are of course right, Mr. Krsnik. We are
8 interested. It's just that as you only have a certain amount of time, I
9 notice there are some issues that you're going to have to back track on
10 and just to remind you not to forget them.
11 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] Thank you very much, Your Honour.
12 Q. Very briefly, I would ask you to give me the reasons for the
13 foundation of the Croatian Republic of Herceg-Bosna. When was that? And
14 another question: I believe you are a learned person and you can follow
15 my question. Were there any discrimination or segregation of Muslims, any
16 dismissals from work or religious discrimination? And how long -- to what
17 extent were Bosniaks and Muslims present in the HVO? Let's end with the
18 HR HB and let's move on to what Her Honour has just mentioned.
19 A. The Croatian Republic of Herceg-Bosna was founded on 28 August,
20 1993. All the documents about the foundation of -- about the founding of
21 the Croatian Republic of Herceg-Bosna, I hope, are available to the
22 Honourable Court. We formed all the relevant bodies. There was no
23 segregation whatsoever in the area of the Croatian Republic of
24 Herceg-Bosna and there was also no discrimination. In our bodies, state
25 bodies, there were at the time members of the Muslim people. Our
1 university, there were several Muslims, members of the faculty. There
2 were professors who were also Serbs. In our schools, we had people --
3 representatives of all the three peoples working, and attending those
4 schools. And there was no segregation on any grounds. For a while, for
5 example, the university was located in Neum. It was moved to Neum. And
6 everybody there enjoyed the same things as the population of Neum. So
7 there were Muslims, Croats and Serbs there.
8 Q. Mr. Bender, I ask very open questions and that is the way I will
9 behave as well, so if we present everything to the Honourable Court, we
10 can reach the truth, whatever it may be, as I like to say, we've heard
11 here that Muslims or Bosniaks who were dismissed, some people who
12 testified here, or some others, that they were dismissed, that they were
13 fired from their jobs because they were Muslims, for no other reasons but
14 that. We also heard members of the Army of Bosnia and Herzegovina, the
15 Bregava Brigade, that is the area of Rotimlje and Dubrava, who testified
16 before this Court that they were arrested for no reason, other reason, but
17 for being Muslims. What can you say about that? Was indeed anybody
18 dismissed or fired?
19 A. This is simply not true. The only people -- people who lost
20 jobs -- everybody lost their jobs because of the war, but it happened to
21 the same degree to Croats, Muslims and Serbs. Muslims at the time, that
22 is members of the Croatian Defence Council, together with Croats, but in
23 the area that you've mentioned, Rotimlje and Dubrava, but that is the same
24 thing, because Rotimlje is a parts of Dubrava. I always said that in
25 July, 1993, Muslims who were members of the Croatian Defence Council
1 killed 18 Croat -- Croatian soldiers with whom they had fought together
2 before, and our military organs, the prosecution and the military courts,
3 had to take some measures because we could not allow any further killings.
4 Q. Did you receive reports of the military court or the military
5 prosecution, you, in the legislative body of the government?
6 A. We received official reports and sometimes we even asked to
7 receive some documents from the military court and the military
8 prosecutor's office.
9 Q. Do you personally know whether there were any measures ordered by
10 the military court, the detention and investigations and against how many
11 people, if you know that personally?
12 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. Scott?
13 MR. SCOTT: Mr. President, again I'm going to repeat the objection
14 I made some minutes ago. This is entirely general. We are talking about
15 throughout the territory, claimed, at any time by Herceg-Bosna, between
16 any time in November, 1991 and sometime in 1994, 1995? Who? Where, when,
17 how, names, places, dates? Could we have some help, please?
18 JUDGE LIU: Well, Mr. Krsnik, if you want to pursue this issue,
19 you have to ask specific questions, indicating the time frame.
20 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] No, Your Honour. This is exactly
21 what I know. I was moving towards that. I am referring all the time to
22 1993. I'm not at all concerned with 1994 and 1995, and I hope this is
23 clear. I hoped this is clear to my learned friend. Whenever we are
24 mentioning a here, that it is 1992, 1993. Let's just move on briefly and
25 I believe that we will come to that documentation very soon, I hope. And
1 I hope that the Honourable Court will help me with that.
2 Q. What year were you referring to when you said that you received
3 reports from the military court and the military prosecutor's office?
4 What year did you refer to?
5 A. I was referring to the years 1992, 1993, and these were exactly
6 the years that we are talking about all the time.
7 Q. Let's move on because the time is running short. Let's talk about
8 important topics. Tell me, two questions I have. First, did the Republic
9 of Croatia send its military units and controlled the conflict in Bosnia
10 and Herzegovina? Your personal knowledge. So, the Croatian Army in
11 Bosnia and Herzegovina.
12 A. You know that at the time I was one of the leading figures of the
13 Croatian politics in Bosnia-Herzegovina. I gave you my position at the
14 time, and I now claim in full responsibility that at the time, there were
15 no organised units of the Croatian Army in Bosnia and Herzegovina. But
16 there were individuals who at the beginning of the war went to Croatia.
17 So, both Croats and Muslims from Bosnia and Herzegovina, when the
18 situation became somewhat calmer in Croatia, they returned to Bosnia and
19 Herzegovina to help their people, to defend their homes there. I know Mr.
20 Praljak, Mr. Obradovic, and other non-commissioned officers, and soldiers,
21 from Neum, Stolac, Mostar, Siroki Brijeg, Central Bosnia and so on and so
23 Q. And the Republic of Croatia, did it control all of you, including
24 the conflict?
25 A. Again, I must repeat, and I've already said that, that the
1 Republic of Croatia could not, and it indeed did not control either us or
2 the Croatian community or the Croatian Community Herceg-Bosna or the
3 Croatian Democratic Union or the conflict in Bosnia-Herzegovina, because
4 it simply couldn't do that.
5 Q. Is this the first time you are testifying in this Tribunal?
6 A. The first time I came to the Tribunal was yesterday.
7 Q. Did anyone ever try to communicate with you from the Prosecutor's
8 Office or investigators to ask you about what you knew about the
9 developments in Bosnia-Herzegovina?
10 A. No, until now nobody ever communicated with me, nor did I make any
11 statements, but I am willing, whenever necessary and wherever necessary to
12 present my knowledge to present the truth, because it suits best the
13 Croats in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
14 Q. Let me ask you something specific. Neum, that is the Bosnian and
15 Herzegovinian territory is it? Did the Croatian Army ever go through
17 A. You are right. Neum was and is the territory of Bosnia and
18 Herzegovina. The Croatian Army did pass through Neum, especially at the
19 time when it was getting ready to liberate Slano and Dubrovnik. But we
20 discussed this activity with representatives of the Croatian state and
21 Croatian Army, with the participation of the international representatives
22 of the international community, and it was agreed, and the representatives
23 of the international community were very well informed about that.
24 Q. And they knew it?
25 A. They knew it because they were together with us at all the
1 meetings, and there are these -- there exist people and documents about
2 that, because the Croatian Army took the highway through Neum and
3 naturally, in the lands of the Republic of Croatia, it was getting ready
4 to liberate those areas around Slano and towards Dubrovnik, and praise be
5 to the Lord, it was done well.
6 Q. Mr. Bender, let us move towards our final topic. Did you attend
7 some meeting in the offers of the president of the Republic of Croatia,
8 Mr. Franjo Tudjman?
9 A. I was personally present at several meetings which -- in the
10 Office of the President of the Republic of Croatia, Mr. Franjo Tudjman.
11 Q. Were those discussions recorded?
12 A. As far as I know, they were not. We were not warned about
13 anything like that, whether somebody did it without us knowing about it, I
14 do not know that. But I'm not aware that these discussions were being
15 recorded, nor had anyone warned us about the recording.
16 Q. Did you get copies of the latest versions of the minutes or
17 records of those meetings?
18 A. Personally, and our relevant bodies, whose member I am, never
19 received any minutes from those meetings held in the Office of the
20 President of the Republic of Croatia, Mr. Franjo Tudjman.
21 Q. Why did you go to President Tudjman?
22 A. I believe that the Honourable Court, and you personally, are aware
23 that the international community had bound with certain -- Tudjman,
24 President Tudjman with certain obligations to represent the Croats from
25 Bosnia-Herzegovina and we empowered him to do so, but at those our
1 meetings, our representatives were always present. That is meetings at
2 President Tudjman's, we went to receive information about his thoughts and
3 knowledge, simply to -- so that he could inform us about what went on at
4 the meetings that he was attending, and what was the international
5 community proposing.
6 Q. I'd like to ask our distinguished Madam Registrar to prepare for
7 us records PP -- PT24, 27 -- 24, PT27, PT28, PT33 and 35.
8 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] Mr. President, Your Honours, it has
9 just occurred to me, I have a suggestion. I will finish within the 20
10 minutes but perhaps we could make the break until 4.00 so that Mr. Bender
11 refreshes his memory, and then to finish within 20 minutes, and then after
12 the presidential transcripts, I will perhaps have a couple of questions
13 only about our client.
14 [Trial Chamber confers]
15 JUDGE LIU: Well, I think we will have our break until 4.00. We
16 have 20 minutes' break.
17 --- Recess taken at 3.37 p.m.
18 --- On resuming at 4.02 p.m.
19 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. Krsnik.
20 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honours. I am sorry,
21 I'm thinking whether to tell you or not. Could the second break be a
22 little longer because my colleagues have just told me that I was
23 responsible for this short break and they hold it against me. Of course,
24 I didn't do that, I didn't want to do it, it was not deliberate, but there
25 was quite a critique of me --
1 Q. Mr. Bender, I'll be very brief because I suspect, judging by the
2 list that we received from the learned friends that the Prosecutor will
3 ask you more questions about the transcript than I will, but what I'd like
4 to know is if you've had time to leaf through them, did you see your name
5 there? Did you see your name to show that you participated, that is that
6 you intervened at some point?
7 A. This is the first time that I see these papers, the first time
8 that I have them. I just leafed through them. Yes, my name does come up
9 in these papers. But if you want me to be more specific, then we have to
10 do it gradually and I need more time to go through it rather than just
11 peruse it, but I can give you my general view about these papers.
12 Q. Well, let's then start from the beginning and I won't deal with
13 all of them. The 13th of February, 1994, do you have pages 6, then in
14 brackets 8, then in brackets JG?
15 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] It is PT 24, Your Honours. Could we
16 have it in the ELMO? It is in the left corner can you see those numbers?
17 No, no, no, this transcript. You have to open the page if you are to see
18 these numbers in the upper left corner.
19 A. There is nothing in the upper left corner. There is in the right
21 Q. No, in the left corner you have very small numbers?
22 A. Will you repeat?
23 Q. 6, then 8 in brackets, JG. And the Prosecutor's number is RO,
24 this is in the right-hand corner. RO 157467.
25 A. Yes, I've found the page.
1 Q. So here we have your name and on that page, and on page 6-9, that
2 is the next one, it looks as if you were the one who said that. And will
3 you then look at it? We have empty space, we move on to page 7-1.
4 Somebody is speaking but it doesn't say who. Have you had a look?
5 A. Yes, yes, yes. I see what this is about.
6 Q. Tell me first, are you the author of these words? Did you say
8 A. Well, you know, I just cast a look at this. What it says here is
9 not my style, is not the way that I speak. And especially on this last
10 page that you are talking, 7/1, that is this black number 469 in the end,
11 which refers to the disintegration of Bosnia-Herzegovina, I did not speak
12 about that, nor is this how I speak. It is -- so therefore this is not
13 authentic because it does not -- this is not my manner of work or rather
14 this is not how I speak. And I also think that this is not true, in so
15 far as I could see during this short time.
16 Q. Now will you take the next transcript, please? And that is 11th
17 of June, 1994. PT27. Will you look for page 2 (1) (HLJ). Prosecutor's
18 number RO 157802.
19 A. Yes. I've found it. The document and the page.
20 Q. According to this transcript, your intervention is almost half --
21 one page -- one and a half page long.
22 A. I had a look at it, merely cursory. I think on page 803, the
23 references to an interjection, and it says, "One got killed." The
24 President of the Republic of Croatia, Mr. Tudjman, chaired those
25 meetings. There were no interjections. And moreover, I never speak that
1 long. I doubt that these are documents. This is not my style of work or
3 Q. Will you look at the next page, 2-3-HLJ, right, the next one, RO
4 157804? There, your intervention takes two and a half pages, almost three
6 A. I haven't had time to look at all of it, but I repeat, from these
7 first sentences, from two or three of them, I cannot confirm that this is
8 what I said. And my intervention never took more than a minute, perhaps
10 Q. Let us move on now to the document of the 2nd of September, 1994,
11 which is PT28. Oh, see I forgot to ask you: Were you present at those
12 meetings on those dates, the first two we went through and this third one?
13 A. As far as I can remember, I should have been at those two first
14 meetings, yes, I'm confirming that I was present.
15 Q. And at this meeting on the 2nd of September, 1994, did you attend
16 that one?
17 A. Well, as far as I can remember, of course it was a long time, I
18 don't remember that I was present at that meeting on the 2nd of September,
20 Q. I apologise, I am also leafing through this to see if your name
21 appears anywhere, whether you took the floor. Yes. But you see, on page
22 5-2-HLJ, Prosecutor's number RO 157968, you are speaking, and your
23 intervention is three and a half pages long, and later on, you also have a
24 few brief interventions.
25 A. I cannot recall being present there but just to say yes or no, I'd
1 have to read it, but I doubt that I would have been given the floor for
2 such a long time at the president's -- at the president's of the Republic
3 of Croatia, but if you want me to answer that, I'd like to ask you to give
4 me some more time to have a proper look.
5 Q. Right. Will you now look at the record of the 27th of March,
6 1995? It is PT33.
7 A. Yes, I've got it.
8 Q. And you are on the first page already and again your intervention
9 takes two and a half full pages. And then you take the floor again. So
10 tell us, were you at the meeting?
11 JUDGE CLARK: Can I ask you, it may be a question of translation
12 but I don't have the transcripts in front of me, but I will look at them
13 when I go to my Chamber, are you saying contribution or intervention? You
14 said on the first page, again your intervention takes two and a half full
15 pages. And then you take the floor again.
16 Do you mean, does it say intervention on the transcript or --
17 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] It says, "discussion" so it will be
19 JUDGE CLARK: The other one is -- I think you mean a
20 contribution. Is that what you mean, a contribution?
21 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] What I said on the first page, the
22 word I used was "contribution," taking part in a discussion, that is what
23 the word means, to take the floor. But Mr. Bender said that there was one
24 interjection. So perhaps interruption is -- perhaps that was an
25 interruption that somebody did it but he also said that that was not what
1 usually happened during meetings in the Office of the President of the
2 Republic of Croatia.
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] At this meeting of the 27th of
4 March, 1995, as far as I can remember, yes, I was present, but as I have
5 already said with reference to the previous meetings, will apply to this
6 one. I cannot confirm that, that this is authentic and I cannot say that
7 I really took that long, but if you want some details, then we can go into
9 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation]
10 Q. I will now ask the Honourable Court -- I do not know how long my
11 learned friends will take for their examination, but if you are not asked
12 any questions about presidential transcripts today, perhaps these
13 documents could be left with you overnight because I believe the
14 Prosecutor will have a number of questions about them to ask you.
15 A. Your Honours, if you want any details regarding these transcripts,
16 then, can I have a proper look at them?
17 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] I can give him my copy.
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] You see, I mean this is the first
19 time that I see all these pages and we really cannot go into all the
20 details because I'm a very serious-minded person and I do not wish to talk
21 without some ground in facts.
22 JUDGE LIU: Well, we are not -- the details of those documents. I
23 think you have already asked all the questions concerning those -- the
24 authenticity of those documents. And I have to remind you that your time
25 is up.
1 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] Five minutes, Your Honours.
2 Q. My last two questions, and the last presidential transcript of the
3 24th of November, 1996, it is PT35. Did you attend that meeting?
4 A. First we have to clear up, it is the November 1995 or 1996?
5 Because what I have here has been corrected. If it is 1995, then I was
6 not there, because I remember that I was at a friend's in Dubrovnik. And
7 in 1996, I'd have to have a look at the transcript.
8 Q. Yes, you're quite right, Witness. Can we please have it on the
9 ELMO? Because I do not know which year this is either. It has been
10 corrected, you can see, Your Honours, for yourselves. And this is a
11 correction by hand. Very well, since we do not know the date, I won't
12 have any questions about this any more.
13 And my last question, Mr. Bender, did you -- have you ever heard
14 or seen personally or have you ever been told that Mr. Mladen Naletilic
15 has ever been to see Mr. Mate Boban and attend meetings? First did you
16 see him personally there or did anyone tell you about seeing him there?
17 A. Personally, I never saw Mr. Mladen Naletilic in Mr. Boban's office
18 or at our meetings. I did not hear it from those persons that I met and
19 cooperated with. I did not hear it from them that the gentleman concerned
20 had been in Mr. Mate Boban's office.
21 Q. Was he ever a member of a delegation and in that capacity was
22 present in Mr. Mate Boban's office? For instance in the negotiations with
23 the SDA?
24 A. At the beginning of my presentation, I said that Mr. Mladen
25 Naletilic was not a member of any body of the Croat Community Herceg-Bosna
1 or the Croat Republic Herceg-Bosna. He was not a member of the HDZ of
2 Bosnia-Herzegovina, and therefore, he could not be at those meetings and
4 Q. And did he have any high-ranking military post?
5 A. In view of the offices that I held and commitments and duties that
6 I had, had he occupied any high-ranking military post, I would have met
7 him and talked with him, but I never saw the gentleman concerned. We
8 simply did not happen to meet during those wartime years of war.
9 Q. And my very last question: Was he a coordinator between the HZ HB
10 and the Republic of Croatia?
11 A. There were no coordinators between the HDZ of Bosnia-Herzegovina
12 and the HDZ of the Republic of Croatia. Therefore, the gentleman
13 concerned could not be one.
14 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] Mr. Meek just warned me about a
15 mistake in the transcript. I asked you whether he was a coordinator
16 between the HZ HB, not the HDZ of Bosnia-Herzegovina and the HDZ of the
17 Republic of Croatia. My question is whether he was a coordinator between
18 the HZ HB and the Republic of Croatia.
19 A. There were no coordinators between the HDZ and the Croat Community
20 Herceg-Bosna and the Republic of Croatia and the HDZ of
21 Bosnia-Herzegovina. These -- such offices and such persons did not
22 exist. Therefore, the gentleman concerned could not hold those offices
23 that you are talking about.
24 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] That is the Prosecutor who says that,
25 not I. Thank you. Thank you for coming, and now I leave you to the
1 Prosecutor. Your Honours, thank you for your patience.
2 JUDGE LIU: Well, Mr. Seric, any direct examination? Thank you
3 very much. Yes, Mr. Scott, I believe that you have the same amount of
4 time as the Defence counsel.
5 MR. SCOTT: Thank you, Mr. President.
6 Cross-examined by Mr. Scott:
7 Q. Good afternoon, sir.
8 A. Good afternoon to you.
9 MR. SCOTT: I'm going to ask the usher's assistance, please, if
10 the witness could be shown the map that's been marked Exhibit P1. And for
11 ease of use, perhaps Mr. Usher you can fold that in such a way that we can
12 see the coast of the Croatia in the area of Split and that vicinity.
13 Mr. Usher, if you could put that on the ELMO in such a way,
14 please, to show the area that I mentioned earlier, approximately the
15 area showing the Croatian coast line generally around Split. I'm not
16 really interested in Split but you might find that easier than some of the
17 others. All right. Now, in that same general area, perhaps the witness
18 can of course assist, find Neum on the map, please, and if we could centre
19 that approximately, then, once we find it on the map? All right. I think
20 for these purposes that's probably fine.
21 JUDGE LIU: Well, I'm sorry, we did not see it or we missed it.
22 MR. SCOTT: I'm going to come back to it now. I think in general
23 we have the map, Mr. President, I'm sorry, I think generally we have the
24 map about oriented where we can see the locations that I'll ask the
25 witness about. And Mr. President, for the Chamber's assistance, you can
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 see approximately on the right half of the page but a little above the
2 centre of the page, I think you'll find Mostar.
3 Q. Now, sir, if you have a pointer available to you can you please
4 then point out to the Chamber again where Neum, the city of Neum is?
5 A. Neum is in the area that I'm showing to you right now. The only
6 outlet that Bosnia and Herzegovina has to the Adriatic Sea.
7 Q. And can you tell the Judges, please, not -- I'm not asking you for
8 a straight distance on the map, but in terms of the driving distance from
9 Neum to Mostar, approximately what is that distance or what -- if it helps
10 or is easier for you, the approximate driving time to Mostar?
11 A. I have made that journey several hundreds of times because I live
12 in Neum, and I used to work and I still work in Mostar. Currently, it
13 takes some -- about 70 minutes, a little bit over an hour. And during the
14 war, it was different because you had to take a different route.
15 Q. All right. Well, please tell us how long it took during the war.
16 A. It's very difficult to say how long it took, because, for a while,
17 the Neretva valley was not passable, so we would go either via Citluk and
18 Siroki Brijeg or via Dubrava, that I have already mentioned. Sometimes it
19 took an hour and a half, sometimes it took two hours, sometimes even
20 longer than that.
21 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I would like to ask
22 maybe to actually show by pointers the other routes that were used during
23 the war.
24 JUDGE LIU: Yes.
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honours, you can see that there
1 is a local road from Neum via Stolac, all the way to Mostar, which is not
2 on this map, and that is another route one can take from Neum to Mostar.
3 Currently, what you do is you go from Neum to Opuzen, along the Neretva
4 towards Mostar. During the war, we used alternative routes from Neum
5 crossing the border of the Republic of Croatia via Metkovic. I can't see
6 it here on the map. There it is. Then via Citluk, Ljubuski and Citluk.
7 And then you can go further towards Mostar. I can see a road here. And
8 then you could also take a road from Ljubuski via Grude which I don't see
9 on this map and Siroki Brijeg again all the way to Mostar. Those were the
10 routes that were used during the war.
11 MR. SCOTT:
12 Q. Sir, would you agree with me that according to the 1991 census,
13 there were approximately 4.325 people living in the municipality, that is
14 the opstina, of Neum? Does that sound about right to you?
15 A. Yes. This is approximately the correct figure.
16 Q. And out of that approximately 4.325 people, there were 3.792
17 Croats and in the entire municipality, 190 Muslims; is that right?
18 A. No. This is not correct.
19 Q. Well, how many Muslims --
20 A. There were about -- the number of Croats was more or less the
21 same, as you mentioned. The reminders were Serbs, Muslims and the
22 so-called Yugoslavs. A total number of others than Croats was about 12 to
23 13 per cent. So your allegation is not correct that there were only
24 Muslims residing in the territory of Neum municipality together with
1 Q. That wasn't my question, sir. So let me restate my question and
2 perhaps you'll listen to my question and answer my question. I didn't ask
3 you how many Serbs there were. Is it correct, sir, that in the
4 municipality of Neum, there were approximately 190 Muslims?
5 A. Yes. This is approximately the figure.
6 Q. Can you tell us where you lived, sir, between October, 1992,
7 approximately and February, 1994, and just so you're not wondering, I just
8 simply picked those dates as the most relevant time period to the case.
9 A. I can't tell you approximately. I can tell you exactly.
10 Q. Please do.
11 A. Throughout this period, I lived in Neum with my family, and my
12 family for ten days in 199-- ten -- [as interpreted] was outside Neum.
13 That was in the month of May. And the rest of the time, both me and my
14 family were in Neum. But I was very often absent, away on business, and I
15 was engaged in the duties that I have already told you about.
16 Q. Where was your office or principal place of work located again
17 during this approximate same time period from the latter part of 1992
18 until early 1994?
19 A. Can I have the transcript on the screen, please? Can you please
20 repeat your question? Because I did not have the transcript on the
22 Q. Certainly. Where did you work, where was your office primarily
23 located during that statement period from late 1992 to early 1994?
24 A. Towards the end of 1992, at the beginning of 1993, I was mostly in
25 Neum, together with my office, and later on, at the end of 1993, beginning
1 of 1994, I was in Mostar. But during this specific period, I was very
2 often away on business all over Herzegovina and even further than that,
3 wherever there were passable routes.
4 Q. And when you say during there time period you were engaged in
5 business, are you talking about your vocational work, in terms of the way
6 you'd made your living during most of your adult life or are you talking
7 about work as a political official of either the HDZ party or the Croatian
8 Community of Herceg-Bosna?
9 A. At the time, I lived mostly and I was mostly engaged in politics
10 in Neum, in Mostar and I had -- I worked in Neum municipality, in the HDZ
11 of Bosnia and Herzegovina and in the Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna,
12 later on the Croatian Republic of Herceg-Bosna.
13 Q. Let me come at it perhaps a bit differently. Can you tell the
14 Chamber please again during this period from approximately October of 1992
15 to February, 1994, how often or how many times during that period were you
16 personally in the city of Mostar?
17 A. I was in Mostar very often, sometimes every day, sometimes once a
18 week. Depending on the requirements of my job. At the end of 1994,
19 actually the end of 1993, beginning of 1994, I was there every day. When
20 I took over the Office of the President of the Chamber of representatives
21 of the Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina.
22 Q. All right, well up until the time you say you essentially at least
23 for work purposes moved there to take the position you just described,
24 before that time, can you give us some percentage of your time -- and we
25 understand it will be an approximation -- of how much of your time you
1 spent in Mostar as opposed to how much you were in Neum?
2 A. It is very difficult for me to say how much time. Sometimes I
3 would even spend the night, either in Mostar or in Citluk or in some
4 other places. Sometimes I would be in Mostar for a day or two. Sometimes
5 I would be in Mostar just during the regular working hours, that is eight
6 hours. And it all depended on the requirement of the job and the
7 situation on the ground. Because at the time, sometimes we would work
8 around the clock, 24 hours a day.
9 Q. Can you tell me, sir, tell the Judges, how many times during
10 that -- this same period were you in Siroki Brijeg?
11 A. It's very difficult for me to say the exact number but I was in
12 Siroki Brijeg several times.
13 Q. Well, several times mean four or five times or 50 times?
14 A. During this period, I am -- I was not four or five times but
15 more. It was several dozens of times, 30, 40, but definitely I was more
16 than four or five times.
17 Q. And what business took you to Siroki Brijeg? What would you do
19 A. If you were listening carefully to what I said during the
20 examination, you could hear that in the area of Bosnia and Herzegovina,
21 later on in the organised area of the Croatian Community Herceg-Bosna,
22 that we had several various meetings, various discussions, and I was
23 mostly in -- engaged in legislative activities and it is not difficult to
24 imagine what business took me there. I had discussions with my associates
25 about various positions that we were to hold, and here I am referring to
1 the representatives, the leading figures, in Siroki Brijeg municipality
2 and the general area of that municipality.
3 Q. All right. Identify those persons, please.
4 A. In Siroki Brijeg, I mostly communicated with Andjelko Mikulic and
5 Mr. Jago Lasic, my associates at the level of Neum municipality. And
6 later on I also met with Mr. Cosic and Mr. Mariofil Ljubic, who where
7 representatives in the Chamber of Municipalities or in the Chamber of
8 Citizens in the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina while that republic
10 Q. You're talking now specifically about 1993; is that correct?
11 A. Yes, 1993, the end of 1992, the period that we have been referring
12 to from the very outset.
13 Q. And sir, if I say these names incorrectly forgive me because I'm
14 only referring to what's been put in the transcript. This man you
15 mentioned and again reading from the transcript, I believe it will be
16 Andjelko Mikulic, what was his position?
17 A. Mr. Andjelko Mikulic was the president of the municipal assembly
18 of Neum, later on, the President of the Croatian Defence -- sorry, sorry,
19 it was Siroki Brijeg municipality. And later on, the President of the
20 Crisis Staff, i.e., the Croatian Defence Council for Siroki Brijeg
21 municipality. Otherwise, he is an artist who did drawings, who did
23 Q. And can you tell the Chamber, please, during this same period of
24 time, again approximately late 1992 to early 1994, did you ever have
25 occasion to be in the vicinity of the villages of Sovici and Doljani?
1 A. Sovici and Doljani are not in the area that we are now referring
2 to. Sovici and Doljani are a bit more towards the north, and in this
3 period of time, I was never in that particular area, the area of Sovici
4 and Doljani, which belonged to Jablanica municipality.
5 Q. Can you tell the Judges, sir, please, how many meetings of the HVO
6 Main Staff did you attend during that period?
7 A. The meeting -- I mostly did not attend the meetings of HVO Main
8 Staff because this was not my duty, and I don't remember having attended
9 any of the meetings of the Main Staff of the HVO during that particular
10 period of time. I repeat, I had -- I worked in municipality of Neum and
11 in the legislative power of the Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna, later
12 on the Croatian Republic of Herceg-Bosna.
13 Q. Did you, in 1993, sir, have any military role? On behalf of the
14 Bosnian Croat side?
15 JUDGE LIU: Well, Mr. Scott, we did not get your question. Would
16 you please repeat it?
17 MR. SCOTT: Yes, of course.
18 Q. Sir, during this same time that we have been talking about, did
19 you have any military role on behalf of the -- or in connection with the
20 Bosnian Croat forces?
21 A. I would like to warn you that personally I'm not an a Bosnian
22 Croat and in Bosnia and Herzegovina, we are not Bosnian Croats. Please
23 use the term which is official and that is a Croat from Bosnia and
24 Herzegovina or Croats from Bosnia and Herzegovina, and during this period
25 of time, I was a politician, I did not have any military position or post,
1 because I had my office in Neum, i.e. I was a member of the legislative
2 power of the Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna.
3 Q. Can you tell the Judges, please, did you attend any meetings
4 involving the senior officers or commanders of an HVO or military unit
5 called the Convicts Battalion during that time?
6 A. No. I did not attend any such meetings because this was not part
7 of my duties.
8 Q. Sir, at any time during 1993, did you meet any officer of the
9 Convicts Battalion?
10 A. No, I did not meet any officer, and I don't know -- I was not -- I
11 did not attend any meetings and I did not meet with any persons belonging
12 to this unit. I don't even know that it existed. I heard that it had,
13 and that it was a unit under the command of Mr. Ivan Andabak, but
14 personally, I did not have any meetings with them or any knowledge about
16 Q. Sir, isn't it fair to conclude from all this that the Judges
17 should understand then that you have no knowledge of the Convicts
18 Battalion, its activities or its officers; is that correct?
19 A. Yes. You're right. You're well informed. I do not have personal
20 knowledge about this issue, the issue that you have just mentioned.
21 Q. Now, in reference to the municipality of Neum, which we had before
22 us on the map a few minutes ago, can you tell the Judges, please, at any
23 time between late 1992 and early 1994, was there any fighting in that
24 municipality between forces associated with the HVO or the HDZ and forces
25 associated with the Muslim side?
1 A. During that period of time, in the area of Neum municipality,
2 there were -- just a minute.
3 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I don't know whether I
4 have maybe misunderstood. The Prosecutor's said forces -- HDZ forces.
5 What forces are these? This is the first time for 11 months of this
6 trial. What are the HDZ forces?
7 MR. SCOTT: Mr. President, the reason --
8 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. Scott?
9 MR. SCOTT: Mr. President, the reason I used that terminology was
10 to avoid, in part, using the term Bosnian Croat. So simply if we can
11 agree, I don't know if the witness believes there is were other forces
12 besides the HVO, and I don't want to play word games with him, frankly, so
13 I'm simply asking him forces associated with or part of either the HVO or
14 the HDZ.
15 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. Krsnik?
16 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] This is exactly what the -- my
17 learned friend is doing. He's playing games. The witness has objected to
18 me saying something like that, and then he asked the Prosecutor that when
19 he refers to Croats who were citizens of Bosnia and Herzegovina, that he
20 should refer to them as Croats from Bosnia and Herzegovina, rather than
21 Bosnian Croats, because such people do not exist. So what has that got to
22 do with anything with HDZ?
23 MR. SCOTT: Mr. President, I submit to you the witness knows
24 exactly what I'm asking and he can answer the question.
25 JUDGE LIU: I think before that we should --
1 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] This is not true.
2 JUDGE LIU: [Previous translation continues] ... which
3 terminology, which words do you prefer, Croats in the -- I'm sorry.
4 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] Not me. This is not me. I don't
5 have a problem with anything but the Prosecutor, I already have experience
6 from his previous cross-examinations, that he likes to play games.
7 MR. SCOTT: Your Honour, I object to that completely.
8 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] I've already proven that, Your
9 Honours. I have proven that to you during the cross-examination of
10 Mr. Praljak. Now again, you're playing games with the HDZ forces, you're
11 confusing the witness and nobody knows what this refers to. The witness
12 told you clearly, loud and clear, that Croats in Bosnia and Herzegovina
13 are Croats from Bosnia and Herzegovina, there are no Bosnian Serbs or
14 Bosnian Croats. That's very simple. What seems to be the problem?
15 Q. Is it?
16 JUDGE LIU: Well, Mr. Scots, try another terminology that the
17 witness could accept.
18 MR. SCOTT: All right.
19 Q. Witness, let's see if we can come to agreement on terms that we
20 can use for the remainder of your examination? There were organised armed
21 forces that fought for the HVO, correct?
22 A. This is not correct. I would like to ask you and warn both you
23 and the Court and all the present here that I personally, and all Croats
24 in Bosnia and Herzegovina, should be referred to as is official and the
25 way we feel. And that's "Croats from Bosnia and Herzegovina." And
1 Mr. Prosecutor, there were no armed forces of HDZ. There was the Croatian
2 Defence Council and there was the legal civilian police with its duties.
3 There were no other forces in this area. I don't know what you are
4 talking about.
5 Q. Perhaps, sir, --
6 JUDGE LIU: Well, Witness, the Prosecutor asked you a question
7 whether there are organised armed forces that fought for the HVO. And you
8 said it's not correct.
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No. The Croatian Defence Council
10 existed and it was the armed component of Croats in Bosnia and Herzegovina
11 and Muslims while they were together. There were no other forces, just to
12 clarify the matters, if there is a need for clarification. Sir,
13 Mr. Prosecutor, if you need any further clarification, let's clarify
15 MR. SCOTT: Mr. President, I think we have established we can use
16 the term HVO.
17 Q. If I use the term HVO, sir, are you going to take that as the
18 armed forces of what was then described as the Croatian community or later
19 Croatian Republic of Herceg-Bosna? Can we agree on that?
20 A. The only armed component of Croats in Bosnia and Herzegovina
21 throughout the period was the Croatian Defence Council. Let's use this
22 terminology and things will be clear.
23 Q. Very well. So during the period from late 1992 to early 1994, was
24 there any fighting in the municipality of Neum between the HVO and the
25 Army of Bosnia and Herzegovina?
1 A. During this period, in the area of Neum municipality, there were
2 no conflicts between the Croatian Defence Council and the so-called Army
3 of Bosnia-Herzegovina, i.e. Muslim armed forces, because Muslim armed
4 forces, the Army of Bosnia and Herzegovina, was not in the area of Neum
6 JUDGE DIARRA: [Interpretation] Witness, did you speak about two
7 things when you said the Muslim armed forces and the Army of Bosnia and
8 Herzegovina? Do you mean two different things or is it the same force
9 that you mean, using two different names for one and the same troop? For
10 one and the same army?
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I will be clear.
12 Muslims, Muslim armed forces referred to themselves as the Army of the
13 Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina and we are talking about one and the
14 same kind of units, so they were Muslim armed forces, they were not the
15 Army of Bosnia and Herzegovina. This is just an abuse of terminology. We
16 could also refer to ourselves as the Croatian Defence Council of Bosnia
17 and Herzegovina, which we were not because we were pure.
18 THE INTERPRETER: Or clean.
19 MR. SCOTT:
20 Q. Sir, can we then agree to go forward based on this terminology,
21 the HVO on the one side and Muslim armed forces on the other side?
22 A. Yes, we can. I accept this wording because this is more or less
23 what was going on there, and this is how things were functioning.
24 Q. Sir, you testified that when the Croatian Community of
25 Herceg-Bosna was formed, you were a member of the Presidency; is that
2 A. That is right. I was a member of the Presidency of the Croatian
3 Community Herceg-Bosna.
4 Q. And what was the Presidency?
5 A. The Presidency was the legislative body of the government of the
6 Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna.
7 Q. And who was the head of that legislature during that time period
8 of 1993?
9 A. The head of the Presidency was our late president, Mr. Mate Boban.
10 Q. So he was both the President of the Croatian Community of
11 Herceg-Bosna in an executive sense, and he was also the President of the
12 legislature? Is that correct?
13 A. That is correct, and he had two deputies in the Presidency.
14 Q. Who were those two deputies, please?
15 A. His deputies were Mr. Bozo Rajic and Mr. Dario Kordic.
16 Q. And who made up the Presidency?
17 A. The Presidency was made up of the representatives of all the
18 municipalities which belonged to the Croatian Community Herceg-Bosna. I
19 don't remember the exact number, and there were also all the
20 representatives elected to the Chamber of Municipalities, and the Chamber
21 of Citizens from the area of the Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna in the
22 Republican Assembly of Bosnia-Herzegovina at the time. So it was a very
23 large body.
24 Q. And during 1993, can you please tell the Judges how often this
25 legislature met in session?
1 A. This body met as the need arose, or once a month or -- and there
2 were periods when there was meetings every ten days. So there was no --
3 this were no regular meetings.
4 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. Krsnik?
5 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honours. Let us just
6 establish what months are we referring to in 1993, we know that there was
7 also the Croatian republic, which was organised in an entirely different
8 way. What months is the Prosecutor referring to?
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] As far as I understand I'm talking
10 about the Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna. When we come to the
11 republic, please emphasise, so that I know.
12 MR. SCOTT:
13 Q. Sir, my question to you very specifically and very deliberately
14 was the Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna. So can you give us an idea,
15 please, did this legislature meet in 1993 as the Croatian Community of
16 Herceg-Bosna? Did it meet three times, four times? How many times did
17 this legislature actually meet? I'm talking about all the members
18 assembled in session, not meetings that you attended in your own personal
19 or your official role. How many times did the legislature assemble and
20 conduct business?
21 A. I've already answered that question. I said that we met when and
22 if necessary, that frequently people were absent from our meetings, but by
23 and large we always had a quorum for the decision that is had to be taken.
24 Q. And who chaired these meetings, sir?
25 A. Well, you could have already seen, they were chaired by Mr. Boban
1 or by one of the vice-presidents that we have already mentioned.
2 Q. So, sir, if it's the position of others persons that that
3 legislature almost never met in 1993, you would disagree with that?
4 A. How can I agree with that if that is not true? If we met several
5 times? It's easy to look at our records and see that we did meet.
6 Q. And where did you meet?
7 A. Well, it depends, sometimes in Mostar, Siroki Brijeg, Grude.
8 Q. Where did you meet in Mostar, in the city of Mostar?
9 A. Well, it's difficult for me to remember all these details, where
10 that was. But, well in 1992, which is what we are talking about, there
11 were sessions in Mostar.
12 Q. [Previous translation continues] ... We are talking about 1993, we
13 have all been very clear about that.
14 A. In 1993, during this period when there was the community, I can't
15 remember any meetings in Mostar.
16 Q. No meetings in Mostar? Correct?
17 A. I think that in early 1993, there were none.
18 Q. Any time in 1993, as the Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna, isn't
19 it true, sir, there was not a single meeting of that legislature in Mostar
20 in 1993?
21 A. It is difficult to remember. I cannot say yes or no with
22 certainty. I simply am not able it to give you an exact answer because
23 after all, it was a long time ago.
24 Q. It was a long time ago, sir, but you've told us in the last two
25 minutes that you were meeting all the time. And you can't remember how
1 many times you met in Mostar or where you met?
2 A. We met at that critical time in 1993, in early 1993, that you
3 insist upon in Grude, Siroki Brijeg, Ljubuski, and there, in those three
4 municipalities. At times there were meetings in Livno too, or
6 Q. How many times did you meet in Grude, the legislature, in whole,
7 assembled as a legislative body, how many times did you meet in Grude?
8 A. I can't really say how many times. If you want to know that, ask
9 for the archive of our Presidency of the Croat Community Herceg-Bosna and
10 there you will see how many times.
11 Q. Sir, believe me, I'll come to the archive eventually. How many
12 times did the legislature meet, assembled as a body, in Siroki Brijeg?
13 A. Well, there must have been several meetings, but don't ask me for
14 the exact number, I cannot remember that. That is not my duty, nor is my
15 head supposed to retain such things. If you want to know, I repeat, ask
16 for the documentation. You'll get it.
17 Q. Since the end of 1993, sir, has the Croatian Republic of
18 Herceg-Bosna ever ceased to exist?
19 A. We formed the Croat Republic Herceg-Bosna on the 28th of August,
20 1993, and it ceased to exist after the Dayton Accords, as of the time when
21 we transferred all the powers of the Croat Republic Herceg-Bosna to
22 Bosnia-Herzegovina, the Federation of Bosnia-Herzegovina, and our
23 counties. And it was then that the Croat Republic Herceg-Bosna ceased to
25 Q. Give us the date, please.
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 A. I already said after Dayton, after the transfer of powers. It
2 wasn't, but it was already after Dayton, the Croat Republic Herceg-Bosna
3 did not officially exist, nor the Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina.
4 Q. Sir, "after Dayton" can mean anything from the date that Dayton
5 was signed in 1995 to the present time. So, don't, please -- I'm not
6 asking you after Dayton, please give the Judges, please help them by
7 giving them a date as to when Herceg-Bosna ceased to exist?
8 A. Ask for the record of the constitutional Assembly of
9 Bosnia-Herzegovina and you'll find the exact dates when the powers were
10 transferred. I cannot remember the exact date now.
11 Q. How about the year?
12 A. Well, then, 1995, after the agreement in Dayton was reached on the
13 organisation of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
14 Q. Sir, you know that not to be true, don't you? Herceg-Bosna
15 continued to exist and operate long after 1995 and indeed some would say
16 it still operates today, correct?
17 A. That's what you say, but that is simply not true. That is not
18 true. The Croat Republic Herceg-Bosna transferred its powers to Bosnia
19 and Herzegovina and then the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina, our
20 cultures and -- ceased to function.
21 Q. You can't tell us when that ceased to function happened?
22 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. Krsnik?
23 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I always try not to
24 object too much, and I also am paying major attention to my learned
25 friend's cross-examination, but for such claims, for such examination, one
1 should have a document, a statement, a man, one cannot just talk like that
2 off the cuff. That is what I was told. Isn't it true that it still
3 exists? Is there a document? Is there some proof? Is there a record?
4 Is there anything to support such a claim? Why? I mean one can't say
5 here whatever crosses one's mind and what kind of examination of the
6 credibility is it? "I say that it exists to this day." After 11 months
7 and everything that we heard in this courtroom?
8 JUDGE LIU: Well, Mr. Krsnik, I think it's an open question put by
9 the Prosecutor. Your witness has the full right to deny any allegations
10 put forward by the Prosecution. He may answer no or yes, as the facts may
12 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] Thank you.
13 JUDGE LIU: Yes.
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I've already said it here and I wish
15 to repeat. After the Dayton, the Croat Republic Herceg-Bosna did not
16 function any more and Mr. Prosecutor, don't make me use some other words.
17 You say that the Croat Republic Herceg-Bosna functions to this day. Don't
18 claim that unless you have such documents and you have such facts because
19 you're not telling the truth.
20 Q. You didn't listen to my question. I didn't say that I said that,
21 I said that some say that it exist and operates today, but I'll go on.
22 Isn't it true that international community after Dayton considered
23 Croatian Republic of Herceg-Bosna to be an illegal entity?
24 A. Mr. Prosecutor, Your Honours, following Dayton, we, legally
25 elected representatives of the Croat people in the House of
1 Representatives and everywhere, that is in the HDZ and so on and so forth,
2 we accepted the Dayton Accords and we transferred the powers to those
3 bodies and thereby the Croat Republic of Herceg-Bosna ceased to exist --
4 ceased to function, excuse me, and if somebody alleges to the contrary,
5 bring that witness and if you have a document, show it to me.
6 Q. Well, Herceg-Bosna -- sorry, excuse me, Mr. Brez?
7 JUDGE LIU: Well, you were asked to slow down. Because we have
8 some difficulties in the transcript.
9 MR. SCOTT: Thank you, Mr. President.
10 JUDGE LIU: And we will make a break in five minutes.
11 MR. SCOTT: All right.
12 JUDGE CLARK: Mr. Scott, can I ask a question there for
14 MR. SCOTT: Of course.
15 JUDGE CLARK: When you said that the international community -- if
16 I can find it -- I can't find it on the transcript. But my notes say when
17 you suggested to this witness that the international community considered
18 the Republic of Herceg-Bosna, the Croatian Republic of Herceg-Bosna
19 illegal, did you mean as and from the passing of the Dayton Accord or just
21 MR. SCOTT: These purposes, Judge Clark, at least as of that date,
22 putting aside what happened before that for the moment. But since that
24 Q. You would agree with me, sir, you admit it doesn't exist so it
25 shouldn't trouble you then if it doesn't exist, it doesn't matter, but to
1 the extent it existed it would be considered anti-Dayton, correct?
2 A. I cannot agree with you, because you're coming up with some
3 constructs which simply are not true. The Croat Republic Herceg-Bosna,
4 from the day of its foundation that is the 28th of August, 1993, until the
5 Dayton Accords, was a legal institute in the lands of Bosnia and
6 Herzegovina, and following the Dayton Accords, it transferred its powers
7 to these institutions. As I said. And it does not exist, it does not
9 Q. Sir, why were you barred from political activities by the office
10 of the high representative?
11 A. You could have heard that because I said it to you and -- but I
12 will repeat it to you and the Honourable Court. And if need be, I will
13 also supply documents. That in 1998, I was removed from the list for the
14 Herzegovina Neretva county and as the papers say, because the HTV of the
15 Republic of Croatia in its programme provided protection for the HDZ of
16 Bosnia and Herzegovina which is -- we can discuss it. What do I have to
17 do with HTV of the Republic of Croatia? Personally, I was not accused of
18 anything. I was not charged with having omitted anything. If you want me
19 to, I can supply you with the document.
20 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I'm sorry, I'm now
21 intervening because of you, because it says here HTV. And if you know
22 what that means --
23 MR. SCOTT: Might I inquire, Your Honours, Croatian TV?
24 Q. Is it Croatian TV, sir?
25 A. Croatian Television of the Republic of Croatia. The others --
1 another state. I believe that the Prosecution and the Honourable Court
2 realises that.
3 Q. Sir, is it correct that the office of the high representative is
4 the senior civilian official or representative of the entire international
5 community overseeing the implementation of the Dayton Peace Plan?
6 A. Well, the office of the high representative more or less does have
7 these powers pursuant to the Dayton Accords.
8 Q. And, sir, you were removed and barred from political activity in
9 Bosnia and Herzegovina because of your engagement in anti--Dayton
10 activities, correct?
11 A. That is not correct. Because not even these papers that we are
12 talking about say that. True, what do the papers say? When I was removed
13 from the list for the elections, for the parliament of the county for
14 Herzegovina and Neretva.
15 MR. SCOTT: Mr. President, we can stop there if you like.
16 JUDGE LIU: Yes, it's time for a break. I think we'll resume at
17 quarter to 6.00.
18 --- Recess taken at 5.16 p.m.
19 --- On resuming at 5.46 p.m.
20 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. Scott.
21 MR. SCOTT: Mr. President, I asked to see you for a moment before
22 the witness, and if we could just go to -- it's a witness matter and just
23 out of abundance of caution I would ask that we go to private session for
24 a moment.
25 JUDGE LIU: Yes, we will go to private session, please.
1 [Private session]
16 [Open session]
17 THE REGISTRAR: We are in open session.
18 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. Scott. You may proceed.
19 MR. SCOTT: Thank you.
20 Q. Sir, I'd like to spend a few moments on some of the political
21 terms or terminology that you've used. In the course of your testimony,
22 you've made several references, I believe, to the term "civil state." Can
23 you please tell the Chamber what you mean whenever you use the term "civil
25 A. Yes. I did indeed speak about the civil state of
1 Bosnia-Herzegovina as a unitarian centralised state, with "one man one
2 vote," and it is common knowledge, you know and the Honourable Court and
3 everybody else knows, that Bosnia is neither unitarian nor a civil state.
4 It is composite state because it is made of three peoples, Croats, Serbs
5 and Muslims, who at some point came to call themselves Bosniaks.
6 Q. All right, sir, well, you've partly anticipated my next question
7 and that is what do you mean when you say or use the term "unitary
8 state"? Are you now suggesting to us or telling us that when you use the
9 term "civil state" that means the same thing as an unitary state?
10 A. Well, these are similar concepts. An unitary civil state can
11 exist in those cases when it is made of one or principally by one people,
12 but when it comes to Bosnia and Herzegovina, I repeat, there can be no
13 unitary or centralised state because it is made up of three peoples.
14 Q. All right. I want to understand, please, as much as possible.
15 You said the term "civil state" and "unitary state" were similar, but you
16 didn't say they were the same. Can you tell us what the difference is?
17 What additional dimension or different aspect to you mean to indicate when
18 you say a unitary state?
19 A. A unitary state means that he has a single system of power at the
20 state, at the national level, and has nothing below. It is not made -- it
21 is not made of certain parts where life takes place, that is where all the
22 activities take place. For instance, the present Bosnia-Herzegovina is
23 not a unitary state because it is made of the Federation of
24 Bosnia-Herzegovina and Republika Srpska. And the Federation of Bosnia and
25 Herzegovina is made of ten counties. So it is a composite state and I
1 hope that both you and the Honourable Court understand that, whereas a
2 unitary state is the Republic of Croatia, because it does not have parts
3 to be made over because counties do not have any elements of statehood,
4 and you know only too well that in relation to Bosnia-Herzegovina and
5 Republika Srpska have their constitutions their parliaments and their
7 Q. Now again, sir, going on, when you used the word "decentralised"
8 as you have in the last few minutes, what do you mean by that?
9 A. Well, I mean precisely what I said. Bosnia and Herzegovina as a
10 composite state has the powers accorded it by its constitution. But major
11 powers without however, elements of statehood, are vested in the
12 Federation of Bosnia-Herzegovina and the Republika Srpska, which discharge
13 all those affairs that have been granted to them by the constitutions of
14 the Federation of Bosnia-Herzegovina and Republika Srpska. Likewise, the
15 Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina is decentralised because it is made
16 up of ten counties.
17 Q. Just so the record is clear, when you use --
18 A. And every county has its own constitution.
19 Q. And when you use the word "county" now we might also use the term
20 or understand the term "canton," is that correct?
21 A. Zupanija, county, is a Croatian word. It is what it says in our
22 constitution. And that is how we Croats use it. The Bosniak side uses
23 the word canton. That is Muslim while it was that. I wish to add that
24 Republika Srpska is a centralised, because it does not have any parts of
25 which it would be made.
1 Q. Now, sir, the next question in this sequence that I want to ask
2 you is, what does the term "democratic" mean when you use it?
3 A. Why, democratic, I should say that everybody here knows what it is
4 and that I don't have to explain it here, because specifically both the
5 Croat Democratic Union and the majority of states where with democratic
6 system, that is a system free of the dictatorship by an individual, every
7 such state is democratic. Examples of states which are not democratic,
8 well, don't we have them, from Libya, to Iraq, and so on and so forth.
9 Q. Sir, I put it to you that perhaps we do not all agree or
10 understand what the term means. You do not understand democratic to mean
11 a system based on one person one vote, correct?
12 A. In composite states, this principle may not apply, because then
13 the smallest people would be placed in a subordinate position.
14 Q. All right. So then we've moved forward a bit then. So we can all
15 agree that when you use the term democratic, you do not mean a system
16 based on one person, one vote, correct?
17 A. I wouldn't agree with you, because the term "democratic" is very
18 broad concept. In composite states, it has one meaning and in a
19 centralised and unitary state, it may have that meaning that you wish to
20 talk about.
21 Q. Sir, it isn't what I want to talk about. The question I put to
22 you, when you, sir, Ivan Bender, use the term democratic in connection
23 with Bosnia-Herzegovina, you do not mean that term or use that term to
24 mean "one person one vote," correct?
25 A. In the Federation of Bosnia-Herzegovina and in Bosnia and
1 Herzegovina the system of government needs to be organised differently.
2 The smallest Croat people, which is about -- which is about 6 times
3 smaller than the Muslims, numerically, cannot accept that it be organised
4 as you are saying, because that is not a democracy, that is outvoting and
5 that means the degradation of one entire people.
6 Q. And my next question to you in that regard is, you also, sir, you,
7 Ivan Bender, do not use "democratic" to mean decisions by majority vote,
9 JUDGE CLARK: No sighing there. We've had a lot of that in
10 cross-examinations. He's entitled to ask those questions, and you
11 shouldn't sigh audibly.
12 MR. SCOTT:
13 Q. Sir, my question to you is, when you use the word "democracy" or
14 describe something as democratic you're not saying a system based on
15 making decisions by majority vote, correct?
16 A. No, you did not interpret my words and my opinion correctly. I
17 will go back to what I said before. If your position were to apply, the
18 one that you talk about, Muslims who are six times as large and Croats,
19 so, gentlemen, who will be elected to the bodies of power in the
20 Federation of Bosnia-Herzegovina? Will Croats ever be elected if that
21 principle is applied.
22 Q. When you use the term "multi-ethnic," sir, what do you mean by
24 A. I was clear and I wish to repeat, multi-ethnic, and I'm referring
25 specifically to Bosnia and Herzegovina and our parts, it is a term which
1 says that these lands are made of or rather inhabited by several peoples,
2 in this case, Croats, Serbs and Bosniaks.
3 Q. Well, when you say and when other documents have said, that talk
4 about believing in or endorsing a multi-ethnic Bosnia, you do not mean --
5 you didn't mean, did you, that it's a multi-ethnic in the sense of the
6 three groups living together, side by side, on a one person, one vote
7 principle, correct?
8 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. Krsnik?
9 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] Your Honours, if we are mentioning
10 documents, and during the cross-examination, you know what trouble I was
11 in, whenever I mentioned a document, whatever, then the Prosecutor always
12 stood up, requested documents, so for the sake of a fair and just
13 procedure, if a document is mentioned, then let us hear which document,
14 because I do understand the difference, Your Honours, between the direct
15 and cross-examination. That is not it. But document this and that, you
16 said so and so. You said this and that. Not in some document. You are
17 using this and that. Let us hear specific documents. And then we go
18 document by document.
19 JUDGE LIU: Well, I don't think the Prosecutor is naming a
20 specific document at this moment. To speed up the procedure, Mr. Scott,
21 just leave out other documents.
22 MR. SCOTT: Of course, I'll rephrase the question, sir. When you
23 talk about and you've use the term in your testimony, something being
24 multi-ethnic, what do you mean by that, in terms of a day-to-day society,
25 when you describe it as multi-ethnic, what does that mean to you?
1 A. To me personally, it means what it means to other democratically
2 oriented people, that such a system consists of a number of peoples in one
3 area in one community. Our Bosnia and Herzegovina is a multi-ethnic and I
4 said for what reasons, because in the area of Bosnia and Herzegovina,
5 there are three peoples residing, and they can live nicely with each other
6 side by side, and we can discuss about that if need may be.
7 Q. Sir, isn't it true that in 1993, when you and other members of the
8 HDZ used the term "multi-ethnic Bosnia," were you talking about a Bosnia
9 divided up into parts, whether they be republics or cantons or whatever
10 either term, county, that you want to use, territory divided up along
11 ethnic lines, correct?
12 A. That is not correct. Person -- neither me personally nor members
13 of the HDZ never talked about a subdivided Bosnia but a Bosnia and
14 Herzegovina composed of several parts, counties or municipalities or what
15 is now the territory of Republika Srpska. So we never divided Bosnia and
16 Herzegovina, but the fact is that now, Bosnia and Herzegovina has been
17 divided up into two parts by the Dayton Accords, but it was not us who
18 have split Bosnia and Herzegovina.
19 Q. Sir, you just said, and reading the transcript, you said neither
20 me personally nor members never talked about a subdivided Bosnia but a
21 Bosnia and Herzegovina composed of several parts now, how were the parts
22 going to be determined, sir, if it was not along ethnic lines?
23 A. I did not say divided but composed of several parts. Can I have
24 that corrected, please? And I also said that our counties are
25 multi-ethnic because none of them has only one people living in it.
1 Q. Sir, yesterday it had been part of your testimony, you objected
2 there it was something about the fact that some Muslims and Serbs had
3 elected a Croat to office but according to you, it wasn't the right kind
4 of Croat. Is that what you're telling us, sir?
5 A. Would you be -- would you allow that somebody else elects a
6 Croatian representative to a certain body, somebody else and not the
7 Croatian people?
8 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. Krsnik?
9 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I don't know whether --
10 I apologise if there is a problem with the interpretation, but what I
11 would like to say that the witness never said in the -- in the examination
12 that a Croat who would vote for another ethnical group in elections is not
13 the true Croat. What I've just heard now is that the Prosecutor said
14 exactly that. And that is how the witness also understood the question.
15 JUDGE LIU: Well, it seems to me that the Prosecutor and the
16 witness disagreed on certain points. We'll hear what the witness is going
17 to tell us.
18 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] Can we allow the witness to actually
19 explain what he meant? Because I believe this is important. My
20 colleague is looking at the transcript. This is what we heard. The
21 witness heard that. So let's maybe ask the witness to explain.
22 JUDGE LIU: Witness, you may answer the question or explain your
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I explained that when Mr. Krsnik put
25 this question to me and I will repeat once again. This was a case which
1 occurred in the elections of the President of the ministerial council of
2 Bosnia and Herzegovina, the council of ministers. A member of the
3 Presidency of Bosnia and Herzegovina from the ranks of the Croatian
4 people, Mr. Ante Jelanvic proposed a Croat, Mate Raguz, that's what
5 his name is, the Serb and the Muslim, i.e. Bosniak, in the Presidency, did
6 not accept that proposal but they proposed another Croat. So the Muslim
7 and the Serb proposed another Croat by the name of Bozidar Matic. He was
8 elected, but on the proposal of the Serb and the Bosniak, and these two
9 were the ones who voted for him. The Croat member of the Presidency did
10 not agree with that. And I am not saying that Bozidar Matic is not a
11 Croat or a Croat of a different rank, of a lower rank, but Mr. Prosecutor,
12 I hope you will agree with me that because of the principles mentioned so
13 far in the discussion, that the Croat that was supposed to be elected was
14 the one proposed by the Croatian member of the parliament, simply for the
15 peace and for the well being of Bosnia and Herzegovina. This is what I
16 wanted to say and I am not saying that Mr. Bozidar Matic is not a Croat or
17 a Croat of a lower standing or second ranking.
18 Q. [Previous translation continues] ... did not suggest that at all,
19 but in understanding the terminology that you and perhaps others in the
20 HDZ have used so if we are to understand what a democratic, multi-ethnic
21 society means that means not only in the election in this instance not
22 only electing a Croat but again electing a particular kind of Croat.
23 Isn't that what you're telling us, sir?
24 A. No, not a specific Croat, Mr. Prosecutor, but the Croat proposed
25 by the competent, authorised body, because that is what we have agreed.
1 That because of the future of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croats have the
2 right to choose their own representatives. Serbs have the right to choose
3 their own representatives. And Bosniaks choose their own. And if we
4 accept that, the prospects of Bosnia and Herzegovina are bright and our
5 future for all of us who live down there is good. If that is not so, then
6 Mr. Prosecutor, I leave it to you to decide whether the prospects are good
7 and bright.
8 Q. According to you, sir, a Bosniak should not vote for a Croat and a
9 Serb should not vote for a Croat. Everyone should vote for their own
10 ethnic group. Is that what you're telling us?
11 A. No. That is not correct. Everybody can vote for whoever they
12 want to vote, but for the peace, we should respect each other and then the
13 future will be good, and who is going to vote for whom is their own
14 democratic right.
15 Q. And by the way, before we move on, this same Ante Jelavic who you
16 just discussed a moment ago, who was the Croat member of the
17 Bosnia-Herzegovina Presidency, he was removed last year by OHR last year,
18 wasn't he, for anti-Dayton activities?
19 A. But you should know that Mr. Ante Jelavic was elected with -- by
20 over 90 per cent of the members, representing the Croatian people, and if
21 he was elected by the Croatian people, has anybody got the right to remove
22 such a person if he has done nothing wrong, but the fact is that the
23 Office of the High Representative did indeed remove him. Why and for what
24 reasons, I don't know.
25 Q. What does the term "banovina" mean?
1 A. Today, this term is not used any longer, but the fact is that
2 during the former Yugoslavia, this term did indeed exist, and I would not
3 actually be able to translate what it means because this term is no longer
4 used in our system.
5 Q. Sir, you must have some idea. Does it mean a territory? Does it
6 mean an administrative unit? What is a banovina?
7 A. Banovina in the former system existed as an administrative unit, a
8 territory, but I don't know its meaning. You should actually take a
9 dictionary and read what it says in the dictionary.
10 Q. Did you consider yourself, sir, one of the founders of the
11 so-called HZ HB?
12 A. Yes. I am one of the founder of the Croatian Democratic Union in
13 Bosnia and Herzegovina.
14 Q. That wasn't exactly my question, although I appreciate that
15 information. I wasn't talking about the political party. Do you consider
16 yourself one of the founders of the Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna?
17 A. Not that I consider myself, but I am one of the founders of the
18 Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna.
19 Q. Did you personally attend the various assemblies and meetings when
20 the Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna was formed in 1991?
21 A. On 18 November, 1991, there was the constitutive meeting of the
22 Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna and I personally did not attend
23 that meeting, but my authorised representative was there and he signed the
24 decision on my behalf and on behalf of Neum municipality.
25 Q. And who was this representative, sir?
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 A. That was my deputy, Mr. Stjepan Ivo Lezenic.
2 Q. So you were not there on the November 18th date when it was
3 proclaimed. There was also a meeting on the 12th of November, 1991 in
4 connection with establishing this entity. Were you present at that
6 A. I was at that first meeting, and I remember well that 18 November,
7 1991, there was a meeting in Grude which I did not attend because, on that
8 same day, I had some discussions, mediated by representatives of the
9 international community, with the Serbian side in Trebinje and you can
10 easily convince yourselves of that.
11 Q. If I could have the usher's assistance to show the witness Exhibit
12 P3.4. Yes. A colour copy would be better. That's fine. We have extras.
13 Usher, if you could put that colour version on the ELMO, please? That's
14 the easiest. And while we are at it, Mr. Usher, could you also put before
15 the witness Exhibit P104 and to save time, if you could also give him
16 P103? These are previously admitted exhibits but they should be in the
17 bundle that was distributed, I hope. P103 and P104.
18 Q. Now, sir, if you look for a moment at P3.4, you said yesterday
19 that this map and the boundaries of -- drawn, the yellow line drawn, of
20 the Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna, that is marked on this map or
21 called the HZ-HB, those boundaries were wrong. I'd like to you look
22 please at Exhibit P104, Article 2. Now, if I could direct your attention,
23 sir, there should be a B/C/S version attached, and of course whatever you
24 prefer to work with is fine, but Article 2, sir, doesn't it in fact state
25 the Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna shall be composed of the following
1 municipalities, and you can check it if you wish, isn't each of those
2 municipalities listed in Article 2, aren't those the municipalities marked
3 on Exhibit P3.4?
4 A. First of all, I would like to say something about this
5 Bosnian/Serbian/Croatian language. This does not exist. In Bosnia and
6 Herzegovina, there is the Serbian language, the Croatian language, and the
7 Bosniak language. And as for the map, and as for the decision on the
8 establishment of the Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna, Article 2 is
9 clear, Article 3 is clear, but Article 4, which says the community may be
10 joined by other municipalities of Bosnia and Herzegovina with the approval
11 of the following municipalities, is also clear, and this was actually what
12 was subsequently carried out.
13 Q. Sir, so it's correct, then, in fact, P3.4, the boundaries that are
14 drawn here with the yellow line include the municipalities stated in
15 Article 2, correct? I'm not asking you about Article 3 or Article 4. I'm
16 asking you about Article 2. Those are the municipalities.
17 A. Article 2 is clear, and pursuant to Article 2 and the list
18 enclosed, you can see which representatives of which municipalities
19 attended and certified by their signature that they belonged to the
20 Croatian community of Herceg-Bosna.
21 Q. You testified yesterday, sir, that in connection with Stolac,
22 which is shown on P3.4, the municipality just south and a little east,
23 southeast of Mostar, you testified yesterday that only the Croat part of
24 Stolac was included in the so-called Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna.
25 Now, can you show me, please, that Article 2 or anywhere in Exhibit P104
1 if says only the Croat part is included?
2 A. It doesn't say that in Article 2, but it was known, on the
3 grounds, that part of Stolac municipality which is in the area that I'm
4 now showing you, and which is exclusively inhabited by the Serbs, that it
5 belonged and still belongs to Republika Srpska and there is a new
6 municipality there called Berkovic.
7 Q. Sir, Exhibit P104, the document, is a very straightforward
8 document, it has nine articles only, very short and very plain, and there
9 is nothing in that document that says that anything less than the entire
10 Stolac community is included, correct?
11 A. You may say that, but I know what was actually going on there
12 because I lived and worked there. Likewise, Mr. Prosecutor, Zepce
13 municipality that I'm now showing you on the map belongs to the Croatian
14 Community of Herceg-Bosna, later on to the Croatian Republic of
15 Herceg-Bosna. The municipalities along the River Sava, from Posavina, are
16 also integral parts of the Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna.
17 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I believe that this is
18 a very important question, because I've just now noticed that this
19 decision was translated in a very inappropriate way, and that the English
20 translation conveys a wrong message. For example, Article 2, in Croatian,
21 it says, "--
22 MR. SCOTT: Excuse me, Mr. President, why don't we let the
23 interpreters who are paid to do translations give us this.
24 JUDGE LIU: Let me hear the problem with Mr. Krsnik. Then we'll
25 let the interpreters check with the translations.
1 MR. SCOTT: Thank you.
2 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honours, because for
3 this, I don't need interpreters. Even myself, I myself, don't need
4 interpreters. The Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna is made up of the
5 areas of the -- or territories of the municipalities, and in the English
6 it says, it shall be composed of the following entire municipalities. In
7 Croatian it says, "The seat of the Croatian community is in Mostar", not
8 that it shall be. When you read this in English, that Mostar has to be,
9 shall be, has to be. There is a big difference between the Croatian,
10 where it says, "The seat of the Croatian community is Mostar."
11 JUDGE LIU: Well, Mr. Krsnik, I am not an expert in language.
12 MR. KRSNIK: Me either, but --
13 JUDGE LIU: I could not see the difference frankly speaking but I
14 think, you know, we will let the interpreters check this matter.
15 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] Just wanted to warn the Honourable
16 Court that when sometimes when you translate things, you ends up with an
17 entirely different meaning and the examination can actually be side
18 tracked by that. Thank you for allowing me this comment.
19 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. Scott, you may proceed.
20 MR. SCOTT:
21 Q. Now, sir, you confirmed to us yesterday and it's correct, is it
22 not, that according to the 1991 census for this Stolac municipality, it
23 was 44 per cent Muslim and 34 per cent Croat, correct?
24 A. Yes. And there was also the remainder of Serbs and very small
25 number of Yugoslavs.
1 Q. Now, if I can direct your attention to P103, which is a similar
2 document, but it has additional commentary --
3 A. But before we move on, I would kindly ask the Honourable Court, I
4 don't have the English version on the -- of the decision on the
5 establishment of the Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna but what I can
6 read in the Croatian version is correct. That the Croatian Community of
7 Herceg-Bosna is composed of the territories of municipalities, not entire
8 municipalities. So can I please see that corrected?
9 JUDGE LIU: Well, Witness, we have passed this issue. I think the
10 interpreters of this Tribunal, who are professionals, will check with this
11 translation issue. Just answer the question put forward by the
13 MR. SCOTT:
14 Q. Sir, just to go back and to be clear, to use your term, territory,
15 there is nothing in Exhibit P104 that indicates that anything less than
16 the entire territory of Stolac is included in Herceg-Bosna, correct?
17 A. But it also doesn't say what you claim, in the Croatian community,
18 later on the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina, we understood that what
19 was actually on the grounds, if we had meant the entire territories, we
20 would have emphasised that, since we have not emphasised that, then we
21 imply parts of the municipalities, which can be checked and verified in
22 our documents. So we are not talking here about the entire municipality
23 of Stolac.
24 Q. If you look, please, at Exhibit P103, in the English version, I
25 would direct you to the third paragraph or in any event it's the third
1 paragraph under the heading, "Reasons," and toward the end of that
2 paragraph, you will find the language, I believe, that talks about the
3 historical responsibility to defend the Croatian, ethnic and historical
4 areas. Now, can you tell us, sir, based on the fact that Stolac was 44
5 per cent Muslim, how it was that Stolac was defined as a Croat ethnic
7 A. Well, you know that according to the census before there were
8 Muslims and Bosniaks, a large number of Muslims declared themselves as
9 Croat, and that according to the census of 1981, 1971, 1961 and earlier
10 that is what the area of Stolac looked like.
11 Q. Sir, I'm talking about the 1991 census which as you know has been
12 the bench mark for any number of documents and agreements in connection
13 with Bosnia-Herzegovina, and that census, that census, and you confirmed
14 it yesterday, you testified yesterday, that it was 44 per cent Muslim and
15 34 per cent Croat. I put it to you, sir, how is it, based on that, that
16 Stolac can be defined as in Exhibit P103 as a Croat ethnic area?
17 A. It wasn't Croat ethnically. It was multi-ethnic. But a
18 representative of Stolac, Mr. --, I believe he is Zeljko Raguz, on behalf
19 of the parliament or the municipality of Stolac, signed this document, and
20 therefore one is to assume that he also was empowered by the relevant body
21 of that municipality. How did that happen? Don't ask me. Ask Mr. Zeljko
22 Raguz who signed this.
23 Q. Well, looking at P3.4 for the moment can you also please tell the
24 Judges how it was that Mostar, which, granted it's very close divided
25 between Muslims and Croats, but the Muslims having a very narrow majority,
1 but how is it that you defined that, you and the HDZ and the people at
2 this assembly, defined that as being a Croat ethnic area?
3 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. Krsnik? What's the problem?
4 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] My problem is the incorrect
5 allegation by the Prosecutor, that in Mostar, there was a slight majority
6 of Muslims, because it has been established that there was a slight
7 majority of Croats, that the Croats were in the majority and that was why
8 in the Vance-Owen Plan it was given to the Croats because that was
9 established, it was established by the United Nations experts so the
10 Prosecution's allegation that the Bosniak people had a slight majority is
11 simply not correct.
12 JUDGE LIU: Well, I believe that the both parties have different
13 views on this issue, which one has the slight majority, but I agree that
14 both parties agreed that the majority is very, very narrow. So let's
15 treat it as it is equally divided.
16 MR. SCOTT: Thank you, Mr. President, and if necessary, I'll bring
17 a copy of the census tomorrow to court.
18 Q. Let's assume, Witness, as the President just guided us, that it is
19 divided -- let's assume -- 50-50, between Croat and Muslim. That doesn't
20 make it a Croat ethnic area, does it?
21 A. The territory of the municipality of Mostar and the facts as
22 presented by Counsel Krsnik are correct and the authorised representative
23 of the municipality of Mostar is Mr. Milivoj Gagro, who signed this
24 decision. I hope, on behalf of the authorised body of the municipality of
25 Mostar, and he knows well what he signed, and at that time, when we were
1 constituting the Croat Community Herceg-Bosna, you need to realise that
2 the Croats and Muslims were together. That there were no disagreements.
3 So that Mr. Gagro was the authorised representative of the municipality of
4 Mostar, who signed on the basis of the decision of the relevant body.
5 Q. And if you'll look, sir, at Exhibit P3.4 again, how was it that
6 the municipality of Jablanica was considered a Croat ethnic area?
7 A. I have already answered that. Part of the municipality of
8 Jablanica, inhabited primarily by Croats, has been incorporated here. And
9 the authorised representative of Jablanica, if we have him here in the
10 case, whether he's here, I don't know, yes, he is, Mr. Ivan Rogic, did it
11 on behalf of the relevant competent body of the municipality of Jablanica
12 and I repeat, Croats and Muslims were together then, there was still no
13 conflicts in Jablanica, which means that the man did what he had been
14 authorised to do.
15 Q. Can you tell us, sir, and the last one I will take you to, if you
16 look please at the municipality of Gornji Vakuf which according to the
17 1991 census was a Muslim majority municipality, how did that come to be
18 considered a Croat ethnic area?
19 A. You know, or you should know, that for a long time in the
20 territory of the municipality, until a year or two back, Gornji -- there
21 were two municipalities in there: Gornji Vakuf and Uskoplje. Gornji
22 Vakuf with, yes, you're right, with the Bosniak, that is Muslim
23 population, and Uskoplje with the Croat majority. And it was only a year,
24 year and a half ago, I'm not sure, they agreed and put together a new
25 municipality called Gornji Vakuf-Uskoplje. So the Croats and the Bosniaks
1 reached an agreement and you see how nicely it was done.
2 Q. Can you show me again, please, sir, one final time in Article 2 of
3 Exhibit P104 where it says that the Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna
4 consists in terms of territory, of part of Gornji Vakuf?
5 A. Not, not Gornji Vakuf, it says Gornji Vakuf here, but read the
6 first sentence, which says, shall be composed of the territories of
7 municipalities, we did not say entire municipalities.
8 Q. Exhibit P103, sir, in the same paragraph that I had directed you
9 to a moment ago above that refers to and there is this language, "Pursuant
10 to unacceptability of an unitary model of state order in multi-ethnic
11 societies, to the assembled group, sir, and you said you're one of the
12 founders of the Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna, what was unacceptable
13 about an unitary model of state?
14 A. We have talked a great deal about it and I hope both you and the
15 Honourable Court have understood that the unitary and composite state are
16 two very different things and that Bosnia-Herzegovina can exist only as a
17 multi-ethnic decentralised Bosnia and Herzegovina for reasons about which
18 we have been talking here for two days already.
19 Q. So, sir, when you put all this together, what we have talked about
20 since the cross-examination started this evening, when you answered some
21 questions from Judge Clark yesterday about multi-ethnic provinces and the
22 organisation of the government, you didn't mean, did you, you didn't mean
23 multi-ethnic provinces based on "one person, one vote," correct?
24 A. What I meant you cannot know. You can know what I said.
25 Q. Well, I hope for the purposes of the fact that you are under oath
1 and trying to assist the Judges that those would be one and the same
2 thing, sir. That's not what you meant when you answered Judge Clark
3 yesterday, sir, you weren't talking about multi-ethnic units or provinces
4 or municipalities or cantons or counties, based on "one person, one vote,"
5 were you?
6 A. But it is clear that I stand by what I said, that I will speak the
7 truth and the whole truth, but also, you should know that our counties,
8 zupanijas, are multi-ethnic, but it is also common knowledge and which our
9 constitution says that, which have the Croat majority and which have the
10 Bosniak majority and not without reason.
11 Q. Sir, if the city --
12 JUDGE CLARK: Can I ask Mr. Bender a question on that seeing as I
13 started this debate? In your ideal of a non-unitary model, when you had
14 the Croatian Community or the Croatian Republic of Herceg-Bosna, suppose
15 that were the ideal and it existed today as it existed in the early 1990s,
16 how did you propose to treat people within your borders who actually found
17 a unitary model of a state quite acceptable? How were their rights
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] After the Croat Republic
20 Herceg-Bosna was constituted, in September, that is a month after the
21 establishment of the Croat Republic Herceg-Bosna, we adopted an official
22 act whereby we acceded to all international conventions and all that they
23 say is an integral part of our decisions and our behaviour. So we
24 accepted them and we adopted the relevant document. It's very easy to
25 check in the Official Gazette of the Croat Republic of Herceg-Bosna.
1 JUDGE CLARK: I'm asking you, Mr. Bender, how did you protect
2 Serbs, who didn't in fact feel any historic duty to protect Croatian
3 interests. How did you protect Serbs who lived in Herceg-Bosna?
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] In Herceg-Bosna, Serbs, that is
5 those who stayed in the territory of Herceg-Bosna, enjoyed the same right
6 as I, as a Croat, did. They had their representatives in the authorities
7 which they elected in the manner prescribed by law. I've said, and I will
8 repeat, that Serbs had -- still have, and had at that time their
9 representatives and their university in Mostar and in other institutions.
10 And they were quite happy because they had the same rights and duties as
11 the Croats and Muslims who lived in the territory of the Croat Republic
12 Herceg-Bosna. And it will be good if the Honourable Court or whoever is
13 responsible invite representatives from Serbs or Muslims from the
14 territory of the Croat Republic Herceg-Bosna to see that they were quite
15 satisfied with the overall situation down there.
16 MR. SCOTT:
17 Q. Sir, I represent to you, and again I'll be happy to provide the
18 Chamber with the census if necessary, and I'm talking specifically now
19 about the city, the town of Mostar, not the larger municipality, the city
20 of Mostar, that the 1991 census showed that it was 34 per cent Muslim and
21 28 per cent Croat. You didn't really mean, when you talked about a
22 multi-ethnic city, you didn't mean a multi-ethnic city based on "one
23 person, one vote," did you?
24 A. Dear sir, we in our decisions referred to the territory of the
25 municipality of Mostar, which makes part of the Croat Community
1 Herceg-Bosna, and also, in Article 3, we say that the seat of the Croatian
2 Community Herceg-Bosna shall be in Mostar but it need not be in Mostar.
3 It can be in Neum, in Livno, in Travnik or I don't know.
4 Q. [Previous translation continues] ... you're absolutely correct,
5 Article 3 of Exhibit P104 very specifically says "Mostar," whatever
6 interpretation is acceptable to you, is or shall be the seat of the
7 Croatian Community Herceg-Bosna. That's not at all my question, sir. I
8 agree with that and I don't think that's disputed by anyone.
9 JUDGE LIU: Well, Mr. Krsnik, is there another translation issue?
10 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] I am sorry, Your Honours, I know that
11 we are all tired but we must do our duty. Now it is interesting the
12 transcript here says, and you see this is line let me just see, 78, line
13 5, and in the document -- and the original, and so Mr. Bender repeated it,
14 the seat of the Croat Community Herceg-Bosna is in Mostar, that is how
15 the -- what the original says and that's what Mr. Bender says. However,
16 in the English translation of the document, I also see in the transcript
17 it says shall be, and Mr. Meek explains to me that, that it means have to,
18 and it doesn't say so in the document, nor did Mr. Bender say that.
19 JUDGE LIU: Well, I don't see any difference. I think the best
20 way is to leave it in the hands of capable interpreters on that.
21 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] I agree, I merely wish to point out.
22 MR. SCOTT: Your Honour for that very reason -- if you look at my
23 question, that's exactly why to avoid there I said whichever
24 interpretation is acceptable to you, whether it's "is" or "shall" and
25 that's not material to my question at all. Under either interpretation,
1 sir, we agree that Mostar was or was intended to be the seat of the
2 Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna. I don't believe anyone in this room
3 disagrees with that. But, sir, again I come back to the question I
4 put to you a few minutes ago now. The members of this assembled group,
5 and you knew, Mr. Mate Boban, when you talk about a multi-ethnic Mostar,
6 you did not mean a Mostar, a city of Mostar, based on "one person, one
7 vote," did you? Because that wouldn't give you what you wanted.
8 A. I need to correct that. It's not a group. These are authorised
9 representatives of municipalities, who are mentioned here, and on behalf
10 of their municipalities, they wrote the decision and signed it. And let
11 us not try to interpret things which are -- did not say and which do not
12 say here. We are not a group. We are authorised representatives of these
14 Q. Sir, these were the authorised Bosnian Croat representatives of
15 the HDZ political party, were they not?
16 JUDGE LIU: You still did not answer the question put by the
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Could you repeat the question, what
19 it is that I need to answer?
20 Q. Let me rephrase it, sir, at the top of Exhibit P104, does it not
21 say, "on the basis of the freely expressed will of the Croat people in
22 Bosnia-Herzegovina"? It doesn't say the freely expressed will of the
23 Croat, Muslim and Serb people, does it?
24 A. The document says "Croat people in Bosnia and Herzegovina" and so
25 on and so forth. And in this document it says clearly, but I repeat, that
1 all our municipalities, at that time, starting from my Neum, were
2 multi-ethnic and that representatives from the municipalities signed this
3 on behalf of their municipalities. And the document, yes, you are right,
4 it says "the Croat people."
5 Q. All right, sir, now just so we are almost going to be finished for
6 this evening but just so we can go forward tomorrow, it's correct, isn't
7 it, sir, that when the HDZ people, these representatives among them, and
8 including you, talked did -- used the terminology of democratically
9 elected multi-ethnic cantons or provinces or counties, you are not in fact
10 talking about counties or municipalities where anyone can vote for any
11 other group based on a "one person, one vote" principle, correct?
12 A. You have a situation which is somewhat different from what you are
13 talking about. For instance, our counties of Herzegovina and Neretva and
14 Central Bosnia have a special status, irrespective of the population
15 census. And they elect to legislative bodies an equal number of Croats
16 and Muslim Bosniaks. Equally in the county of Neretva and Herzegovina and
17 the counties of Central Bosnia they have an equal number of votes, that is
18 an equal number of votes in these two counties, the same applies
19 regardless of the census, which is different, and that is also democracy a
20 because we agreed that way and these counties function rather well. So we
21 did not literally apply "one man, one vote," but a total number of Croat
22 votes and the total number of Muslim -- of Bosniak votes have the same
23 weight. And it functions well, because people had reached that
24 agreement. So we have a slightly modified this principle, "one man, one
1 JUDGE CLARK: Does that not mean, if we are to follow what you
2 say, Mr. Bender, that you can actually play with majorities? If you have
3 an area that has more Croats than it has Bosniaks and you give them all an
4 equal number of votes, are you not misrepresenting democracy?
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I wouldn't be able to agree with
6 you, because our counties, for instance, Western Herzegovina, the county
7 of West Herzegovina, with its seat in Siroki Brijeg, has a Croat
8 majority. There is a very small percentage of Serbs and Muslims, that is
9 Bosniaks, but they are represented in the agencies of government, but then
10 again, let us take the county of Tuzla for instance or of Tuzla posavina,
11 I'm not sure what its name is, it has a Muslim, that is Bosniak majority,
12 but Croat representatives also sit in the institutions of power. And I
13 think that that is democracy too. And they can easily then agree on how
14 the institutions of power will function.
15 JUDGE CLARK: I'm not quite clear what you're saying, are you
16 saying that no matter what the makeup of the population is in any
17 electoral area, that there is equal representation in each county? So in
18 other words if you have a county with 70 per cent of one group, 20 per
19 cent of another and ten of the third, that they are still all going to
20 get, they are still going to get equal representation? Is that what
21 you're saying?
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No. They will not get equal
23 representation. Yes, of course, most representatives will have the group
24 which has the largest percentage but the others will also elect their
25 representatives who will be representing them, and how many of each of
1 them, that is regulated by the constitution, which is adopted by the
2 legislature of the county concerned.
3 JUDGE CLARK: I really don't understand what you're saying,
4 Mr. Bender, because a few minutes ago you gave us an example of Siroki
5 Brijeg and you said that Siroki Brijeg is a town with a Croat majority.
6 It has very few Bosniaks there, and yet they are equally represented on
7 the council. So when I asked you the same question based generally
8 somewhere else, you gave me the opposite answer. So, I really don't
9 understand but I'm going to leave it to the Prosecution to cross-examine
11 MR. SCOTT:
12 Q. I'm going to switch to a topic which I hope we may have a chance
13 of finishing in the next few minutes.
14 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] Your Honours, may I please say?
15 Because here my colleagues are prompting me, I did not want to interrupt
16 but I really think that the problem is perhaps the interpretation in the
17 proper spirit of the language. The witness said represented in the bodies
18 of authority, of government, but not in an equal number -- not in equal
19 numbers. But he spoke about Siroki Brijeg and Tuzla, he said that it was
20 important to be represented in the bodies of government. Why? He
21 didn't -- I did not invent this now. We are all listening to what he's
22 say, I don't know what the interpretation is. Because it needs to be done
23 in the proper spirit of the language but everybody has to hear it and
24 after all everything is recorded here and we can all check it. Equally
25 represented, meaning in the same way.
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 JUDGE LIU: Well, I think the interpreters will check the
2 transcript during the night. Yes, Mr. Scott?
3 MR. SCOTT: Mr. President, if the Chamber and I'm not suggesting
4 one way or the other, but if the Chamber intends to conclude sharply at
5 7.00 we might as well stop now because I will not be able to finish this
6 next section at this point in the next few minutes.
7 JUDGE LIU: I understand that and how long can I ask you will you
8 take tomorrow afternoon?
9 MR. SCOTT: Your Honour, again I appreciate the fact that you said
10 I would have the same amount of time as on direct and you've seen of
11 course the progress of the cross-examination but I think it will take most
12 of the session tomorrow. Not all of it, I hope, but most of it which I
13 think will be within the time limits you indicated.
14 JUDGE LIU: I take your last word.
15 MR. SCOTT: Thank you.
16 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. Krsnik?
17 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] Your Honours, please, do I have your
18 leave to give Mr. Bender my copy of the transcript so that he could
19 prepare himself for tomorrow so as not to waste too much time tomorrow?
20 I'm referring to presidential transcripts.
21 JUDGE LIU: Any objection, Mr. Scott?
22 MR. SCOTT: No, Your Honour they are public documents but of
23 course he can't take the original, but no.
24 JUDGE LIU: Yes, you may.
25 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] Thank you, but I was wrong. I could
1 have shown it to my witness before. I kept thinking they were under
3 MR. SCOTT: My understanding has always been they are publicly
4 available documents, anyone can look at them, anyone can come in off the
5 street and look at them if the registry's assistance.
6 JUDGE CLARK: I think we are talking at cross-purposes. I think
7 Mr. Krsnik is talking about the presidential transcripts and you may be
8 talking about the transcripts of the proceedings.
9 MR. SCOTT: No, I am talking about the presidential transcripts.
10 They are not under seal and they are public evidence and they are part of
11 the public record, as far as I know.
12 JUDGE LIU: Well, we'll rise until tomorrow afternoon.
13 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at
14 6.59 p.m., to be reconvened on Thursday,
15 the 23rd day of May, 2002, at 2.15 p.m.