1 Tuesday, 17 September 2002
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 [Accused Naletilic not present]
5 --- Upon commencing at 9.01 a.m.
6 JUDGE LIU: Call the case, please, Madam Registrar.
7 THE REGISTRAR: Good morning, Your Honours. This is case number
8 IT-98-34-T, the Prosecutor versus Naletilic and Martinovic.
9 JUDGE LIU: Mr. Krsnik, I notice that your client, Mr. Naletilic,
10 was absent.
11 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] Good morning, Your Honours. Yes. He
12 is not feeling very well. We have been informed that we have permission
13 to continue with the proceedings in spite of his absence.
14 JUDGE LIU: Thank you very much for your cooperation.
15 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] Your Honour, may I just say something
16 else to you? Not a single expert finding has been made, in spite of the
17 decision you passed three months ago, believe it or not.
18 [Trial Chamber confers]
19 JUDGE LIU: Well, Mr. Krsnik, I think we will talk to the
20 Registrar to look into this matter. And we only hope that your client
21 will have a speedy recovery.
22 Mr. Seric, are you ready for your witness?
23 MR. SERIC: [Interpretation] Good morning, Your Honour. Yes, I am.
24 The witness is outside, waiting to enter the courtroom.
25 JUDGE LIU: Are there any protective measures for this witness?
1 MR. SERIC: [Interpretation] No, Your Honour. This is an expert
2 witness, an historian.
3 JUDGE LIU: Thank you very much. Could we bring the witness,
4 Mr. Usher.
5 JUDGE CLARK: Mr. Seric, would you permit me to ask you a question
6 about the document that you presented to us that is the translation of
7 Dr. Marijan's report. As a matter of curiosity, where was that
8 translated? Can you tell me?
9 [The witness entered court]
10 MR. SERIC: [Interpretation] Our witness has a court translator in
11 Zagreb, Professor Mario Maleta, so we have given this for a translation,
12 and for that translation, we have had resources earmarked by the Registry
13 of this Tribunal, because the translation of this expert opinion could not
14 have been provided by the Registry in good time.
15 JUDGE CLARK: Thank you. I was just curious to know whether it
16 was translated here or elsewhere. Thank you very much.
17 JUDGE LIU: Good morning, Witness. Can you hear me?
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Good morning, I can hear you, yes.
19 JUDGE LIU: Would you please make the solemn declaration in
20 accordance with the paper the usher is showing to you.
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will speak
22 the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
23 WITNESS: DAVOR MARIJAN
24 [Witness answered through interpreter]
25 JUDGE LIU: Thank you very much. You may sit down, please.
1 Yes, Mr. Seric.
2 Examined by Mr. Seric:
3 Q. [Interpretation] Good morning, sir.
4 A. Good morning.
5 Q. You responded to the request of the Vinko Martinovic Defence team
6 to elaborate an expert opinion on Bosnia-Herzegovina, everything that
7 happened with that country that is nowadays a recognised state. However,
8 before we start discussing this expert opinion of yours, could you please
9 introduce yourself to the Court. Could you please give the Court your
10 name and surname, and could you present your CV briefly.
11 A. My name is Davor Marijan. I was born in 1966 in Prevlaka near
12 Livno, Bosnia-Herzegovina. I have a degree in history and archaeology at
13 the faculty of philosophy in Zagreb. I work in the Croatian Institute for
14 History, and my project is the homeland war. Within that project, I have
15 the duty to look at the war in Bosnia-Herzegovina from the Croatian point
16 of view. Let's put it this way, perhaps the history of the Croats in that
17 area. So I'm dealing with problems related to war and soldiers. I am
18 practically the only military historian in Croatia. I published two
19 books, a third book is being published right now, and I've also published
20 about ten scholarly papers.
21 Q. Thank you. In the introductory part of your expert opinion, you
22 talk about the war links between Croatia and Bosnia-Herzegovina, namely in
23 the period between 1991 and 1995. In your opinion, what was
25 A. Well, look, when you approach a time period that has just been
1 completed, it is always difficult. First of all, not all sources are
2 available; and secondly, in the case of Bosnia-Herzegovina, there is yet
3 another problem: Many things happened in Bosnia-Herzegovina that are
4 related to the disintegration of the former Bosnia-Herzegovina but I think
5 that this is not completed in Bosnia-Herzegovina as such and that that
6 hampers - how should I put this? - the reaching of well-founded
8 Bosnia-Herzegovina, in the present-day sense of the word, or
9 rather, in that period of time, is a republic that was still in its
10 inception. As the former Yugoslavia fell apart, Bosnia emerged within
11 boundaries that it never had before. Its present-day boundaries are
12 practically the republican boundaries from the Socialist Federal Republic
13 of Yugoslavia, rather from 1947. And from 1945, of course,
14 Bosnia-Herzegovina was part of this federation. It is the root or,
15 rather, the root of such a Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina - at that time,
16 the Socialist Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina, then the Republic of
17 Bosnia-Herzegovina - during the Second World War, that is to say at the
18 session of the antifascist council of Bosnia-Herzegovina in Mrkonjicgrad,
19 and formally that is how it was defined later, it was the state of Serb,
20 Croats and Muslims. Rather it is not the state of Serbs, Croats and
21 Muslims only but of all of them. From 1945 onwards, it was part of the
22 Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia that was established.
23 JUDGE LIU: Well, I'm sorry to interrupt you, Witness. I think
24 Mr. Seric should have warned you that whatever you say in this courtroom
25 will be translated into the other two languages. We judges rely on the
1 interpretation. So would you please make a pause after each sentence so
2 that the interpreters could catch up with you. We have plenty of time -
3 we have the whole week - so there is no need to hurry.
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Very well.
5 JUDGE CLARK: I lost you really when you were saying that
6 Bosnia-Herzegovina emerged as a country with boundaries that it didn't
7 have before, and then you went flying into recent history and I think we
8 lost you. Even though the translation was there, the mind can't keep up
9 with it, so have a little pity on us.
10 MR. SERIC: [Interpretation]
11 Q. You spoke about the session of the antifascist council of
12 Bosnia-Herzegovina in Mrkonjicgrad and the resolution or non-resolution of
13 interethnic relations and resolving the national issue, the ethnic issue
14 on that basis.
15 A. All right. So in Mrkonjicgrad [Realtime transcript read in error
16 "Konjic"], the future settlement of the interethnic issue was proclaimed,
17 as it were. It says here "Konjic" but I really said Mrkonjicgrad.
18 The problem is that the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia
19 was a state that was not a free state, to put it mildly. So it was a
20 state that, particularly during the first ten years, had a regime in power
21 that was in fact a criminal regime. And in such a state, that proclaimed
22 solution could have been maintained until 1990 while it was still a strong
23 state, however, after 1990, that is to say when the Yugoslav crisis
24 started escalating, this proved to be not true.
25 Q. What was the relationship between Bosnia-Herzegovina and the other
1 parts of the former Yugoslavia in the past?
2 A. From 1945 --
3 Q. I'm asking --
4 THE INTERPRETER: Could Mr. Seric please speak into the
5 microphone; the interpreter did not hear the question.
6 A. Until 1945, Bosnia-Herzegovina did not exist under that name.
7 JUDGE LIU: Well, the interpreter warned us that she did not catch
8 your question, Mr. Seric. Would you please repeat it.
9 MR. SERIC: [Interpretation] I can and I will, Your Honour.
10 Q. What was the territory of Bosnia-Herzegovina like and what was its
11 status like as compared to the history period before 1945? Not only in
12 the Kingdom of Yugoslavia but also before that?
13 A. Well, from 1102, Croatia had a common state with Hungary. In
14 about 1527 -- I mean, in that period, there was -- although this is a
15 rather troublesome period of time, this is a time period that does not
16 have sufficient written records. In that period, there is the banovina of
17 Bosnia, which included the area a bit beyond present-day Sarajevo. So
18 perhaps that is the only part when we can refer to some kind of
19 relationship between two equal states. However, we are talking about
20 Bosnia-Herzegovina here. Bosnia is one thing, Bosnia-Herzegovina, I
21 think, is another thing.
22 In the 15th century, the Ottoman empire conquered Bosnia, and
23 Herzegovina, of course, and it remained under their rule until 1878. From
24 1878 until 1908, Bosnia-Herzegovina was a protectorate of the
25 Austro-Hungarian empire. And in that period, it is defined in a way which
1 resembles its present-day status.
2 After 1918, Bosnia-Herzegovina became part of the Kingdom of
3 Serbs, Croats and Slovenes. Or rather, from 1929 onwards, the state was
4 called the Kingdom of Yugoslavia. In that period, sometime from 1922
5 onwards, all of Yugoslavia was divided up into new administrative units,
6 nine banovinas. So at that time, none of the six communist republics that
7 came into existence after the Second World War existed as such at that
9 Q. Sir, can you tell this Trial Chamber, because we've heard
10 different versions before this Trial Chamber - in all fairness, not
11 everybody who spoke were experts - when was the Bosniak or Muslim nation
12 created? I'm referring to the nation in the modern sense, the nations
13 that were created, as we all know, in the mid-19th century. I'm speaking
14 in that sense.
15 A. Well, in the territory of the former Yugoslavia, with the
16 exception of Serbia, things were lagging behind as compared to Europe.
17 Practically, it was the Muslims that were lagging behind the most, and
18 from 1994, they were called the Muslim Bosniaks. The problem was the
19 inheritance of the Ottoman empire. According to this inheritance, there
20 was a distinction between people along the lines of religious affiliation,
21 therefore, the term "Muslims," which actually denotes faith, however, from
22 the Second World War onwards, the word was written with a capital M,
24 It can be said that the Muslims were quite divided amongst
25 themselves. Part of them felt as Serbs or Croats and also the Serbs and
1 Croats, on their part, tried to win them over to their side. As for the
2 very name, "Bosniak," this is practically a product of the
3 Austro-Hungarian empire. In the period during which, due to some
4 misunderstandings between the Austrian and Hungarian parts of the empire,
5 Bosnia-Herzegovina obtained special status. In that period, an attempt
6 was made to link it to the Hungarian administrator, Benjamin Kallay, that
7 is to say in order to create a unified Bosniak nation.
8 Later on, in the 1990s, this project was repeated. From 1994
9 onwards, the term "Bosniak" re-emerged, which is a bit illogical because,
10 in addition to Bosnia, there is Herzegovina. I personally believe that
11 the process of creating the Bosniak nation has been completed and the last
12 part of this was the war with the Croats.
13 Q. Mr. Marijan, we've heard here in this courtroom a few theses about
14 the popular basis of the Bosniak nation, inter alia, that it stems from
15 the Bogumils. What can you say about that?
16 A. The term "Bogumil" in the science of history was overcome in the
17 1950s. It is a term -- it is a term that was first used by Franjo Racki,
18 a 19th century Croatian historian, because of the similarity with
19 Macedonia where there was indeed a Bogumil movement or, rather, where
20 Bogumils truly did exist. The term "Bogumils" was replaced by an historic
21 term which appears in various sources. That is the term, "the Bosnian
22 church," or "the Bosnian Christians."
23 The term has been reintroduced now or, rather, in 1989 -- or 1990,
24 to be more precise. It was reintroduced, so to speak, by Muslim or,
25 rather, Bosniak scholars, none of whom had been dealing with medieval
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 Bosnia before. Obviously, the very term "Bogumil" suited their purposes
2 better than the term "Bosnian Christians," for example. Their
3 historiography that deals with this particular matter over the past few
4 years is at the level of Croatia's in, say, the second half of the 19th
5 century. It is too romantic a view.
6 Q. Mr. Marijan, let's move on now to modern history, recent history.
7 What happened -- what kind of process evolved, at the moment or, rather,
8 after the first multi-party and democratic elections were held in
9 November, 1990?
10 A. After these elections, the electorate, the entire body in
11 Bosnia-Herzegovina was divided according to the ethnic principle. There
12 were three ethnic groups, three nations, and their three national parties
13 were supported by them respectively. Mr. Izetbegovic rightly says that
14 the elections amounted to a census. The Croat Democratic Union, as a
15 Croat party, practically advocated a view that was identical to the view
16 expounded by the Croat Democratic Union in the Republic of Croatia. That
17 is to say, a Yugoslav confederation.
18 The Serbs advocated the thesis of a federal Yugoslavia, while the
19 Muslim party, the Party of Democratic Action, supported the thesis about
20 the indivisibility of Bosnia-Herzegovina. However, it also promoted
21 itself to the rank of the centre of -- for all Muslims for all of
22 Yugoslavia. It wanted to become the centre for all Muslims in the former
23 Yugoslavia, which was -- and the figure involved was about 6 million
24 people. That is to say that they would rank third in terms of the
25 population of all of Yugoslavia.
1 So symbolically speaking, or to put it briefly, the Serbs and the
2 Croats were looking at their original "homelands" so to speak, under
3 quotation marks. I say "under quotation marks" because for Croatians,
4 their home was really in Bosnia-Herzegovina, in the western parts, and
5 that can be established in the 8th and 9th centuries, whereas Muslims were
6 looking at themselves, or perhaps to put it better, they were trying to
7 attract all others towards them. That is to say, the approach that they
8 espoused was contrary to the ones espoused by the Serbs and Croats
10 The elections clearly showed that what was claimed before in terms
11 of the interethnic issue was wrong, that is to say that it had been
13 Q. Mr. Marijan, what were the views of these national parties with
14 regard to the future of Bosnia-Herzegovina?
15 A. In essence, I think that the future of Bosnia-Herzegovina was
16 viewed through the future of Yugoslavia. For the Croats, only a
17 confederal Yugoslavia was acceptable, that is to say Bosnia-Herzegovina as
18 a part of this confederal Yugoslavia. As for the Serbs, the view was in
19 favour of a federal state. I already said that. And as for the Muslims,
20 especially later in 1991, they came out with a platform meaning that
21 Bosnia-Herzegovina could not remain in any common state where both Serbia
22 and Croatia were not included, and by 1991, this had become absurd.
23 Q. What was the relationship between Bosnia-Herzegovina, not only as
24 a state but also as a space, so to speak? Or rather, what was its
25 attitude towards the war that broke out in Croatia in 1991?
1 A. Well, look, let us say that the first element that came from
2 Bosnia-Herzegovina was the question of territory. The first manoeuvre
3 with the units of the Yugoslav army came through Bosnia-Herzegovinian
4 territory, and that was in April and May, 1991. It was then that, from
5 Pancevo via Prijedor -- Pancevo is in Vojvodina, rather, in Serbia -- a
6 unit was brought, an armoured unit was brought to Petrinja, to Croatia.
7 Also, an attempt was made with a JNA armoured unit from Mostar to get into
8 Split. However, they didn't manage to do it. The Bosnia-Herzegovinian
9 Croats stopped it at Siroki Brijeg.
10 At the beginning of July, 1991, mobilisation was proclaimed in
11 part of Bosnia-Herzegovina. Within this mobilisation, in the area of
12 Banja Luka, the Territorial Defence of Bosnia-Herzegovina was mobilised,
13 inter alia. In September, 1991, a large-scale attack by the JNA against
14 Croatia took place, and parts of the Territorial Defence of
15 Bosnia-Herzegovina took part in it. Then also the reserve force of the
16 JNA, most of them ethnic Serbs, also participated in this. Until the end
17 of the war, this area was practically used as territory from which Croatia
18 was attacked. So except for the main thrust of the attack that went from
19 Vojvodina, all the other attacks came from the territory of
21 Q. You mentioned the Territorial Defence forces. At that time of the
22 Socialist Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina, what is the Territorial
23 Defence? What was the Territorial Defence then and what did it become
25 A. The Territorial Defence at that time was part of the armed forces
1 of the SFRY which, during the war, can be subordinated to the JNA, but of
2 course in agreement with the Presidency of the country. The Territorial
3 Defence was the question of the right of its mobilisation and usage or
4 not, deployment.
5 Q. What was the relationship of the Presidency, with Alija
6 Izetbegovic at its top, towards the use of the units of the Territorial
7 Defence in the war against Croatia?
8 A. I think that the Minister of Defence of Bosnia and Herzegovina
9 lodged a protest. But they remained at it. President Izetbegovic is
10 always connected with the statement that it was not their war.
11 JUDGE CLARK: Can I ask a question? [Microphone not activated]
12 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
13 JUDGE CLARK: Thank you. Judge Liu has very kindly allowed me to
14 use his microphone. I wanted to ask two questions before we get too far
15 away from it. When you say that the territory of Bosnia-Herzegovina was
16 used mainly for attacks on Croatia, are you talking about the parts of
17 Bosnia and Herzegovina which are now known as Republika Srpska? Could you
18 be more positive in which areas of Bosnia-Herzegovina were being used to
19 launch attacks?
20 And secondly, I wondered why you as an expert historian, when you
21 were asked what was the relationship of the Presidency with Alija
22 Izetbegovic at its top towards the use of the units of the TO in the war
23 against Croatia, answered, "I think that the Minister for Defence lodged a
24 protest." Did he or didn't he? "I think" is not, in my submission, an
25 appropriate word for an expert to be using to the Court. Either he did
1 lodge a protest or he didn't.
2 So there's two questions before we go too far.
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, the minister did lodge a
4 protest. Another thing, most of the attack was the territory of the
5 present Republika Srpska. The attack had been foreseen, had been planned
6 across the western Herzegovina, but it did not take place because of the
7 two-week mobilisation. The territory of the Bosnian Posavina - to be more
8 concrete, of Bosanski Brod - was used for the manoeuvres of the Tuzla
9 corps, which did not cross the river Sava, and a smaller tactical
10 direction used went across via Bihac towards Slunj. That means that it
11 wasn't only Republika Srpska but mostly it was.
12 MR. SERIC: [Interpretation]
13 Q. Mr. Marijan, you started talking about the participation of all
14 the three peoples of Bosnia and Herzegovina; both Serbs, Croats and
15 Muslims in the war in Croatia. Can you tell us how this participation --
16 what did this participation look like and how did it influence the
17 relationship between these three peoples in Bosnia and Herzegovina?
18 A. The war against Croatia completed the division of Bosnia and
19 Herzegovina into three confronted sides, or separate sides, which started
20 with the elections. The Bosnian and Herzegovinian Serbs participated in
21 the war in -- in that war in large numbers. As for the Bosnian and
22 Herzegovinian Croats, after this expert opinion, after this expertise, I
23 came -- I found data from 1993, to be honest, according to which, from the
24 territory of Western Herzegovina, one part inhabited by Croatian which was
25 called the assembly area, Tomislavgrad, and a smaller part of Central
1 Bosnia, which was -- which means that around 3.500 people were in the
2 police and the military of Croatia -- that is around 3.000 people which
3 were within the Croatian Army, conscripts within the Croatian Army. And
4 for the Bosnian Posavina and the Central Bosnia, I don't have any data. I
5 wasn't able to find them. But I think that on the basis of this data, we
6 could make some kind of evaluation around 4.000 or 4.500 people, which
7 would make a nice brigade.
8 As for the Bosnian Muslims, I actually quote a number. I didn't
9 comment it, it was given by a retired person of the Muslim -- of the
10 Croatian Army. He was a member of the Croatian Army. And he mentioned
11 around 300.000 Muslims in the -- 30.000 Muslims in the Croatian war. So
12 30.000. I apologise. 30.000. For many years, I worked in the archives
13 of the Ministry of Defence and I believe that this number has been
14 multiplied at least six times. Part of Muslims, through the corps of
15 officers, participated in the war in Croatia -- excuse me, against
16 Croatia, and in any case, in that war, Bosnia was really divided according
17 to the national principle. With the Muslims, there are still small
19 Q. What happened with this officers corps of the JNA who were the
20 today's Bosniak -- of Bosniak nationalities after the war in Croatia had
22 A. This corps, mostly remained within the JNA until April of 1992,
23 and from April -- since April, 1992, they started becoming part of the
24 Army of Bosnia and Herzegovina, and later, into the Army of Bosnia and
25 Herzegovina. Their role was -- their role cannot be excluded when we
1 discuss the conflict.
2 Q. Can you tell us, in order for us to be more concrete in connection
3 with this historical period, what were the ambitions of the armed forces
4 of JNA, of SFRY in relation to the Western Herzegovina, particularly in
5 relation to Mostar and the Neretva River valley?
6 A. Veljko Kadijevic, the then national secretary or Minister of
7 Defence, what we would say today, of SFRY, in his memoirs, gave a draft of
8 the plan of attacking Croatia, and practically this was the arrival to the
9 large Serbian line, the so-called Serbian line, Karlobag, Karlovac,
10 Virovitica was the line. These were the areas where there were larger
11 numbers of Serbs living. And the execution of that task, the problem of
12 the complete eastern part would be solved, and that would have been Great
13 Serbia. The operation did not succeed and of course then there was a
14 reorganisation for -- reorganisation started for the war in
16 Q. Because of the failure by JNA and the members of the then-called
17 Krajina in Croatia, did it come to any change of war plans and war
18 ambitions in relation to Bosnia and Herzegovina?
19 A. The period from January until April or May, 1992, is a period in
20 which the Yugoslav army from the territory of Croatia came into Bosnia and
21 Herzegovina, and in July or August, 1991, into the territory of Northern
22 Bosnia and Herzegovina, as many as -- a larger part of the Maribor corps
23 from Slovenia was pulled into. That was the time when various -- where
24 members of the Serbian Democratic Party were armed, and there was a
25 preparation -- there were preparations for a new war.
1 In June of 1992, in Croatia, there was -- the United Nations
2 forces gave up their line, the border, and that's how their hands were
3 free to start the war in Bosnia and Herzegovina. In that period, in May
4 and June, 1992, the second military area of the armed forces of SFRY, the
5 second military area of the armed forces of SFRY became the Army of the
6 Serbian Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina and, later, the Army of Republika
7 Srpska. The 13th corps from Eastern Herzegovina, Eastern Herzegovina
8 became its part.
9 Q. You said this morning that Bosnia and Herzegovina, as for the
10 areas that it covers today in the same way, since 1878, that it remained
11 as such, but can you tell us what the status was and has been until today?
12 A. I said that it was a more difficult thing. I think somebody else
13 before me mentioned it. It is the question that outside its normal
14 borders, there were -- the factor was always present which kept and took
15 care of its wholeness, integrity. At some point, it was the
16 Austro-Hungarian empire, and on the second occasion, it was the Communist
17 Party of Yugoslavia. When it fell apart at the end of the 1990s of the
18 20th century, this balance was -- this balance disappeared. It did not
19 exist any more. I quoted Mr. Zimmermann, the American ambassador, the
20 then ambassador of the United States, whom Izetbegovic said that when
21 Yugoslavia broke up, there was no destiny for Bosnia-Herzegovina either.
22 Q. When -- as we look at Bosnia and Herzegovina today and if we, as
23 Judge Clark said, that Republika Srpska is considered to be a separate
24 part of Bosnia and Herzegovina, what is the position of today of the
25 central government in relation to the parts of Bosnia and Herzegovina in
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 relation of the other two entities, as we usually -- as they are usually
3 A. I did not understand you quite well, but Bosnia and Herzegovina
4 today, I said at the very beginning why that is a problem.
5 Bosnia-Herzegovina is a divided country which consists of two entities
6 which, as far as their independence is concerned, I wouldn't call them
7 even federative. It is something more than that. And the protectorate of
8 the international community prevents its disappearance and most probably
9 a new war.
10 Q. Let's go back to the part before the conflict, prior to the
11 conflict of the Army of Bosnia and Herzegovina and HVO. How did it come
12 -- let's talk about the war conflict and back to the first occurrences and
13 war events. Was it something that took place very suddenly or had it been
14 a process that took place?
15 A. Are you talking about the beginning of the war in
17 Q. Yes.
18 A. I can call it the second phase of the war, because the first phase
19 of the war was the war in Croatia and Bosnia-Herzegovina cannot be
20 excluded from it. It was a viewpoint that was predominant that the war
21 begins at the moment when the most numerous people are endangered, which
22 were the Muslims, and of course, that actually conflicts with the -- is
23 against the thesis about the three equal peoples.
24 Q. You said that you would divide it into two phases and the first
25 phase would be the war in Croatia. What was the position at the end of
1 1991 in relation to the war in Croatia and how this position then was
2 transposed into Bosnia and Herzegovina?
3 A. At the end of 1991, the situation was at a standstill in a way.
4 The Croats could not launch a counterattack because they didn't -- they
5 weren't strong enough for that, and the Serbs did not have the strength to
6 continue. So the solution was the arrival of the international forces and
7 of course the division, the separation, of course. During that time, the
8 JNA slowly withdrew and was getting ready for the war in Bosnia and
9 Herzegovina, and most officers of -- the later officers of the Army of
10 Bosnia and Herzegovina, it must have been known, because they had been at
11 the top of the army officials, army structures, and it was a surprise that
12 they had not reported about it. Obvious -- they didn't report it to the
13 members of the people that they belonged to, which was the case also with
14 the Croatian officers, army officials, and it is not an unusual thing.
15 Q. What was the relationship of the national parties which won in the
16 elections - so the Croatian Democratic Party, SDS, and SDA - towards this
17 threat of war in Bosnia and Herzegovina?
18 A. All of them were illegally armed on the one hand, and Serbs
19 already in the beginning of 1991 created a few autonomous areas, and
20 afterwards, the Croats, in November, created the Croat Community of
21 Herceg-Bosna and the Croat community of Bosnian Posavina.
22 Q. Did discussions and negotiations on the future constitution of
23 Bosnia-Herzegovina start at an international level, and if so, when?
24 A. Practically, in the beginning of 1992, the so-called Cutilheiro
25 Plan marked the beginning of such negotiations in Bosnia-Herzegovina,
1 according to which it was supposed to be divided according to an ethnic
2 principle, so to speak, and this is a permanent characteristic of all the
3 policies that were pursued later by all the negotiating teams in the
4 territory of Bosnia-Herzegovina. This policy culminated in August, 1993,
5 in the Vance -- I think it was the Vance Stoltenberg Plan by then, about
6 the union of republics in Bosnia-Herzegovina. The international community
7 had already understood that and took the position that it was necessary to
8 have a division along ethnic lines within the borders of
9 Bosnia-Herzegovina. That is also a fact that is very important for
10 looking into the conflict.
11 Q. You said a short while ago that it was observed that all three
12 parties were illegally armed and that they were practically preparing for
13 war. In which way did this occur?
14 A. This was more or less organisation along party lines. According
15 to what was made public, it was the Patriotic League as the military wing
16 of the Party of Democratic Action, they started this sometime in June,
17 1991. The HVO, allegedly - when I say "allegedly," this is a later
18 interpretation, I did not see any documents from that period - the HVO had
19 some kind of tiny units in Western Herzegovina after the Uzice Corps came
20 to the area of Mostar. And as for the Serbs, they went through the
21 Territorial Defence practically from July, 1991, onwards. Part of them
22 were waging war in Croatia. Recently - I found this literally a few days
23 ago - there was some local commune from Bosanska Krupa, according to the
24 principle of the SDS, it put itself at the disposal of Dvor Na Uni, that
25 is -- that is in Croatia. So practically they made themselves
1 availability to the Serb paramilitaries.
2 Q. You mentioned the establishment of the Patriotic League. Did you
3 obtain any information, as you were working on archives, what was the
4 programme like? What were the plans like? What did this Patriotic League
6 A. Practically, its first commander was most important for the
7 Patriotic League. Sefer Halilovic, in his book which had several reprints
8 described this. He presented part of the platform for the defence of
9 Bosnia-Herzegovina, and this shows that as for the enemies and destroyers
10 of Bosnia-Herzegovina, he considers both the Serbs and Croats to be within
11 their ranks. That is to say the extremist Croats, as he had put it. He
12 did not make it clear -- he did not make it clear who he specifically had
13 in mind when he said the "extremist" Croats. However, at any rate, this
14 was already late in the winter of 1992. That is to say, March --
15 February, March, 1992, and of course, they it were poorly armed, like the
16 HVO as well, after all.
17 The Serb forces did not have any problems with weapons. I think
18 that this has been documented quite extensively by now in several papers
19 coming from Bosnia-Herzegovina.
20 Q. When was the military wing of the Croatian Defence Council founded
21 and how?
22 A. It was founded through a combination of some of the remnants of
23 the Territorial Defence in that area, the reserve force of the police, and
24 officially from the 8th of April, 1992, they came into being. The
25 explanation was that the name was being changed because they could not
1 take over the name of Territorial Defence because it had already earned
2 itself a bad reputation. And finally by September, the Muslims also gave
3 up on the words "Territorial Defence." They renamed it into the Army of
4 Bosnia-Herzegovina, and the leaders of the Patriotic League came to head
5 that army.
6 Q. What happened in the relations between the then Territorial
7 Defence, later called the Army of Bosnia-Herzegovina, and the general
8 staff of the JNA up until the moment when the Presidency of
9 Bosnia-Herzegovina declared a state of war?
10 A. That is a period during which Mr. Izetbegovic, as President of the
11 Presidency of the Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina, attempted or, rather,
12 negotiated with the Yugoslav People's Army about its future in the
13 territory of Bosnia-Herzegovina. These were his attempts for that army,
14 this was practically the 2nd Military District, to be turned into the Army
15 of Bosnia-Herzegovina. Of course, that was an absurdity because it had
16 already been transformed in part into a Serb army.
17 Of course, these negotiations failed but they are interesting
18 because of what Mr. Izetbegovic did. Actually, Mr. Izetbegovic
19 demonstrated already at that stage his tendency to resolve the problems of
20 Bosnia-Herzegovina elsewhere, as in Serbia, with general staff
21 headquarters in Belgrade. And later on, problems with Croats or, rather,
22 misunderstandings with Croats were being resolved with the Croats in
23 Zagreb. In other words, he avoided contact with the Croats and Serbs of
24 Bosnia-Herzegovina itself.
25 MR. SERIC: [Interpretation] Mr. President, I don't want to go into
1 a new subject area. Can we perhaps take the break a bit earlier today and
2 then proceed after the break?
3 JUDGE LIU: Yes. But Mr. Seric, this witness is an expert witness
4 and we have already read his statement. So I think your job is only to
5 draw our attention to certain points which you believe is very important
6 to your case. We have spent about 75 minutes, but still we haven't come
7 into the part which we are most interested in, that is, the Croats and the
8 Muslim conflict. I hope after the break, we could come to that area as
9 soon as possible.
10 We'll resume at quarter to 11.00.
11 --- Recess taken at 10.12 a.m.
12 --- On resuming at 10.46 a.m.
13 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. Seric, please continue.
14 MR. SERIC: [Interpretation]
15 Q. Mr. Marijan, can you tell us in the briefest possible terms -- we
16 are talking about the war in Bosnia-Herzegovina, can you tell us about the
17 first stage of the war between the Yugoslav People's Army and the Army of
18 Republika Srpska on the one hand and the Army of Bosnia-Herzegovina and
19 the Croat Defence Council on the other hand.
20 A. In the briefest possible terms, that first stage of the war is
21 characterised by Serb attacks. When I say "Serbs," I'm actually referring
22 to the Yugoslav People's Army until the end of May, the beginning of June,
23 that is to say when it was turned into the Army of Republika Srpska. That
24 period practically goes on until the end of 1992. And they try, through
25 fast manoeuvres, primarily with armoured units, to take as much as they
1 can. They acted very rapidly in Eastern Bosnia. They were successful.
2 That has to be noted.
3 In the area of Bosanska Posavina and in the area of Jajce, they
4 had quite a bit of trouble before they attained their objectives and they
5 did manage to do so in October, 1992. Their greatest failure was in
6 Herzegovina in their attempts to take the banks of the Neretva River, but
7 the Croat forces managed to repel them.
8 In that period, the Croat forces were primarily engaged in
9 defence. The same goes for Muslims. And their defence, although it was
10 partly successful, was possible only because of the support of the
11 Republic of Croatia. At the end of 1992, the intensity of the fighting
12 waned and, later on, the campaigns became protracted.
13 Q. What were the positions of the Army of Republika Srpska, the Croat
14 Defence Council and, on the third side, the Army of Bosnia-Herzegovina,
15 towards the end of 1992?
16 A. Towards the end of 1992, the Serb army, the Army of Republika
17 Srpska, was in the best position. It managed to resolve Bosanska
18 Herzegovina because of their links with Serbia. In the area of Central
19 Bosnia, it took Jajce and the hydroelectric power plants that were
20 important for them. It kept Sarajevo and Bihac under siege. And out of
21 its strategic plans, the only failure that they suffered was in
22 Herzegovina. They did not get to the banks of the Neretva River, as I
23 mentioned. The HVO managed to defend part of its territory where the
24 Croats were a majority. At any rate, their greatest success was the
25 defence of the Neretva River valley.
1 As for the Muslim side, except for the defence of Sarajevo and
2 Bihac, there were no major successes. However, in the case of Sarajevo,
3 the Serb side already, in the summer of 1992, gave up on any rapid
4 attempts to take it. It restrained itself to a rather strange tactical
5 move of artillery siege and artillery strikes. The Army of
6 Bosnia-Herzegovina was practically in the weakest position of all, and
7 they had the least reason to be satisfied.
8 Q. Can you explain why?
9 A. Because of the lack of military successes, they practically had no
10 military victories.
11 Q. What was the ratio between their manpower and the territory under
12 their control?
13 A. In that stage, that is to say in the summer of 1992, the Army of
14 Bosnia-Herzegovina was established according to the JNA principle. It
15 established five corps that were divided into manoeuvre and space
16 structures respectively. The manoeuvre units were actually assault units,
17 and, practically, later they were the protagonists of all the successes
18 they achieved in the war with the Croats and to a far lesser degree in the
19 war against the Serbs.
20 As for the actual manpower level of the Army of
21 Bosnia-Herzegovina, I'm not really sure. I cannot exactly say. I know
22 that the commander of the 3rd corps, Hadzihasanovic, sometime in November,
23 1992, I think, claimed that he had 40 to 45.000 men.
24 Q. This is a very important question that has constantly been
25 referred to throughout this trial: The attitude of the Republic of
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 Croatia towards the defence of Bosnia-Herzegovina.
2 A. As for the attitude of the Republic of Croatia towards the defence
3 of Bosnia-Herzegovina, is reduced practically to giving assistance to the
4 Croats, first and foremost, and also to the Army of Bosnia-Herzegovina,
5 namely the Muslims. When the war in Bosnia-Herzegovina entered its second
6 active stage, so to speak, as opposed to the first passive stage, Croatia
7 allowed the establishment of armed forces for the needs of the Army of
8 Bosnia-Herzegovina. At that time, it was still the Territorial Defence.
9 It allowed a trade in weapons and the establishment of training centres,
10 and I think that this policy can be followed through documents until
11 March, 1993. From then onwards, it probably stopped altogether, or rather
12 it did stop altogether.
13 Of course, assistance rendered to the Croats was bigger.
14 Q. Was there any intervention in terms of using the Croatian Army
15 outside the boundaries of the Republic of Croatia?
16 A. In my paper, I quoted an order from the 7th of July, 1992, I
17 think, which prohibits the entry of Croat forces into other territories
18 without explicit consent of the President of the Republic. I found
19 another order - unfortunately I didn't bring it in - that dates back to
20 sometime in March, 1992, the end of March, 1992. This order threatens
21 that anybody who goes outside the borders of Croatia will be disarmed. I
22 found it too late so I couldn't bring it. I'm talking about 1992, really.
23 The Croatian Army is present in the border area with Bosnia-Herzegovina,
24 primarily in the area of the southern front line, that is to say from the
25 mouth of the Neretva River to Prevlaka. In the northern part, there is a
1 bit in Posavina and the mentioned order of the Minister of Defence to a
2 considerable extent affected the fall of Bosanska Posavina.
3 Q. The Croat-Muslim military cooperation and political cooperation,
4 along which lines did it develop and how?
5 A. This cooperation, before 1994, before these accords that were
6 reached through the mediation efforts of the United States, it is hard to
7 say anything about it. There are some attempts up until that period, and
8 according to these documents, the ones that I brought here, the ones I
9 brought, they probably have the Republic of Croatia behind them. I
10 already said, towards the end of the first part, that due to the policy of
11 Mr. Izetbegovic to -- namely that he was avoiding the Bosnian
12 Herzegovinian Croats and Serbs, although perhaps we can put it this way:
13 On paper, through documents, they did not resolve this type of
14 cooperation. There were no major conflicts. Well, there were conflicts
15 but they were not large-scale conflicts, they are of local significance.
16 The attempt to introduce order in these relations was the accord in Zagreb
17 of the 21st of July, 1992, and specific attempts in military cooperation
18 happened in November of the same year by creating a joint command, to
19 which Slobodan Praljak was delegated from the Croatian side and Jasmin
20 Jaganjac from the Muslim side.
21 I have to admit that I didn't see a basis for this agreement.
22 General Praljak told me personally that he himself did not see, let's say,
23 any kind of legal basis for this agreement. So it seems that this could
24 be reduced down to an oral agreement between Franjo Tudjman and Alija
25 Izetbegovic. Mr. Izetbegovic published his memoirs last year and in those
1 memoirs he does not remember this agreement. And he doesn't remember a
2 number of other things as well.
3 Q. How did the political and military structures function in the
4 areas where the percentage of Muslim and Croat population was the same?
5 A. I think that these were regions where the conflict broke out in
6 later, these are regions where incidents occurred. But because of the
7 Serb strategy, which we could call "scorched earth," in which practically
8 after their conquests, nobody remained, the population either was taken to
9 concentration camps or was expelled - for the most part it was expelled -
10 very early on those regions lost their -- that characteristic of theirs
11 because of a large in-flow of, in the first part, exclusively Muslim --
12 the Muslim population. So that we did not have an equal percentage of the
13 population there any more. And a good example of this are Travnik,
14 Bugojno, Gornji Vakuf, and even in Mostar, a large number of Muslims
15 arrived, which also changed the relationships in that area right away,
16 creating -- constantly creating intolerance and laying the foundations for
17 a future war. I think that in this book, "The Death of Yugoslavia," one
18 of the ideologues from the Serbian side boasted about this strategy. I
19 think it was Koljevic.
20 Q. There is a prevailing opinion that the armed conflict, the war
21 between the HVO and the Bosnian side, began precisely with the conflict at
22 Prozor. What is your opinion about that?
23 A. I wouldn't agree with that. The conflict at Prozor is the first
24 major clash, the first conflict which lasted for a couple of days -- the
25 whole conflict lasted for a couple of days -- and it had larger
1 consequences for a part of the local population. But with this conflict,
2 several things are ignored. First, practically since April, 1992, until
3 October, so for a full six months, each month you could identify minimum
4 one conflict between the HVO and the Bosnia-Herzegovina TO, later the army
5 -- Armija of Bosnia-Herzegovina. The biggest of those quote unquote,
6 "minor" incidents, took place in September and October in Sarajevo, in the
7 -- August and September, in the settlements of Otes and Stup.
8 As far as the Prozor conflict is concerned, this is a conflict
9 which almost certainly was not caused from a Croatian strategic source,
10 and I'm thinking about the Croatian main headquarters. It happened during
11 preparations of the Croatian forces, including the Croatian Army on the
12 southern front, in order to take the area around Velez, Podvelezje, around
14 Immediately before this conflict, upon orders of the Chief of the
15 Main Staff of the HVO, three 122-millimetre howitzers, out of a total of
16 five or six that the operative zone northwestern Herzegovina had at its
17 disposal, so they were -- the three were allocated to take part in this
18 operation. In preparation for a conflict, this is not quite logical. By
19 insisting on Prozor as the beginning of the war, or let me use the term
20 Bosnian Muslim - i.e. Bosniak historiography - the way they phrase it, is
21 the aggression of the HVO. Everything that happened later is amnestied.
22 First of all, we are talking about March and April, in the area of Konjic
23 and Jablanica. The Croatian state archives contain a large quantity of
24 documents about the conflicts in Prozor and the area prior to that
25 conflict, and the time period prior to the conflict, based on which you
1 can see that the commander of the northwestern Herzegovina operative zone
2 tried, by all possible means, to calm down the tensions which were
3 constant in that area practically from the end of August. In spite of
4 that, the conflict did break out, and ended with the defeat of the local
5 Army of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
6 Regarding that conflict, at some point in 1994, General Rasim
7 Delic, in a speech before a meeting of Bosnian intellectuals, the council
8 of Bosnian intellectuals, speaking about the conflict with the Croats,
9 said that they had considerable problems in order to remove the HVO from
10 roads, and I believe that that is the beginning of that project, which was
11 successfully completed at some point in the autumn of 1993.
12 I would also like to mention here the claims about the presence of
13 the Croatian Army. Until today, I have not found a single document which
14 would point to its presence, which was also confirmed to me by some of the
15 participants. At the end, around Prozor itself, I think that this was
16 construed by the agency for research and documentation of the Republic of
17 Bosnia-Herzegovina, so that is the Muslim or the Bosniak security service,
18 AID, which the institute later, at the end of 1993, the Institute for the
19 Research of Crimes of Genocide for the purposes of international law,
21 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. Scott?
22 MR. SCOTT: Mr. President, I have tried not to be on my feet, as
23 the Chamber will know, in the last couple of hours. But I think as we get
24 closer to the core parts of what appears to be this witness's testimony, I
25 want to state a couple of concerns. I realise, of course, that with any
1 expert, there is a certain amount of background information which must be
2 drawn on. However, I would understand from counsel that if counsel thinks
3 that a particular point is important, presumably we would see the
4 particular documentation and support for a position taken by the witness.
5 In the last few minutes, for instance, there was one occasion where the
6 witness said, "I've looked at thousands of documents at the state archives
7 and this is what they mean." We don't know what documents he's talking
8 about. None of those documents have been produced in court. Very
9 difficult, obviously, for anyone - for either you, Your Honours, or for
10 the Prosecution - to respond to "thousands" of anonymous documents.
11 That's one concern.
12 Secondly, just now, we were getting into, it seems to me, a bit
13 argumentative when he talks about what some other government agency or
14 some political party construed or didn't construe. So I simply want to
15 state the Prosecution's concerns, Mr. President, as we get closer or into
16 the core of this testimony, that while I understand he is an expert and
17 has the ability to express some opinions, those opinions, we believe,
18 should be supported in the Chamber on the record with the basis for those
20 JUDGE LIU: Well, Mr. Seric, the first issue is about the
21 documents. If the witness claimed that he read a lot of documents to
22 support his conclusion, that we would like you to ask some questions to
23 this witness about those documents.
24 Secondly, Mr. Seric, you may ask some particular questions so that
25 -- to dispel the doubts from the Prosecution side concerning the
1 government involvement.
2 JUDGE CLARK: My microphone is now working. But about five
3 minutes ago, Mr. Seric, when we were approaching the core issues in
4 relation to the background of the conflict between the HVO and the Muslim
5 armed forces, we were talking about the genesis of the war, and your
6 expert was explaining to us that it was a mistake to take Prozor as the
7 starting point. We are going back as far as there, and I was following
8 carefully the translation. He then went on to deal with preparations by
9 the Croatian forces in the attempt to take the area around Velez, and you
10 mentioned -- or he mentioned a lot of places which we are not necessarily
11 familiar with. So it wasn't clear to me whether this joint effort was
12 taking part in the area of the Republic of Croatia or in Herzegovina. And
13 also, it was not clear to me whether he was talking about the HV or the
14 HVO or both because the translation, to me, suggests that it was a joint
15 effort between the HV and the HVO to take the territory in the area around
16 Velez. I was going to interrupt at that point and then I thought maybe if
17 I keep quiet it will become clear, but it isn't becoming clear. Is there
18 any way that we can distinguish in the translation between Croatian forces
19 that we know as HV and Croatians who live in Bosnia-Herzegovina? There is
20 a problem and it's very unclear, so perhaps you could ask a question --
21 well, perhaps maybe I could ask the expert a question.
22 Can I ask you, when you were dealing with the events following
23 Prozor, when you were talking about the -- what sounded like a joint
24 effort to retake or to take lands around Velez and various other places
25 that you mentioned, are you talking about a joint effort between the HVO
1 and the forces of the Croatian Army from Croatia, or are you talking -- or
2 what are you talking about? Because now we are approaching, obviously,
3 the important part of this case.
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It's like this: I would like to
5 correct the Prosecutor. I did not say that I reviewed 1.000 documents
6 about the conflict in Prozor but I said that I did review many documents.
7 That is not the same.
8 As far as the situation in taking up the Velez area, this was the
9 first Mostar Brigade and the -- and HVO forces. And there was another,
10 also, brigade which took part in that operation but it did not have much
11 success. The Croatian Army did its part of the operation on the other
12 side of the border. So it was a joint operation which, on the Bosnia and
13 Herzegovina side, the focus was on the units of the HVO with participation
14 of the units of the Army of Bosnia-Herzegovina.
15 JUDGE CLARK: Well, you see that's the problem. As you and
16 Mr. Seric can talk very quickly about towns and villages on either side of
17 the border, we don't know that. So if you could say, when you're dealing
18 with a town, where its location was, or even if we were referred to a map
19 so that we could realise that there was a backup force on one side of the
20 border and a joint force on the other, but it certainly wasn't clear to me
21 that the Armija was involved in the joint forces or that the Croatian Army
22 was on the other side of the border. And these things are important
23 because it sounded to me as if you as an expert were giving testimony of
24 the involvement of Croatian forces.
25 JUDGE LIU: Well, what's the problem, Mr. Krsnik? I think Judge
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 Clark has stated --
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I will try to be clearer.
3 JUDGE LIU: Do you have anything to add, Mr. Krsnik?
4 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I must say that
5 recently I have been surprised by your reactions when I stand up. Do you
6 think that the Defence of Mladen Naletilic has nothing to do here any
7 more? I would be happy if that were the case but this is a very important
8 witness about very important general facts regarding the indictment. I
9 just wanted to object and respond to the objection by the Prosecutor,
10 which I consider quite inappropriate because everything that the
11 Prosecutor said, they will have the opportunity to say that in the
12 cross-examination and the cross-examination in this procedure here is the
13 way to throw a doubt into the testimony of this witness. You cannot use
14 these arguments to interrupt the examination-in-chief, the way it was done
15 by Mr. Scott a little while ago. This is what I wanted to say, and I
16 think that I'm absolutely in the right, and knowing the way Mr. Scott
17 works, it is absolutely clear to me that as soon as topics that he does
18 not like are touched upon, then he interrupts the witness and turns the
19 topic to where it suits him. That is the gist of my objection. And I
20 believe that this is something that he should not be allowed to do. That
21 is precisely why there is a cross-examination. So he does have the right
22 to question about the documents the witness has looked at, where, when,
23 and what these documents are. That is the purpose of the
24 cross-examination, Your Honour. So this is what I wanted to say. Thank
25 you very much.
1 And this witness, absolutely I could call him a common witness
2 because he's testifying about important aspects of the indictment, even
3 though I did not have the opportunity or the honour to talk to this
4 witness prior to this.
5 JUDGE LIU: Well, Mr. Krsnik, I think we have to judge the
6 intention of the Prosecution with bona fides because, in our view, that
7 the Prosecution raised these issues just to help the Chamber and help
8 Mr. Seric to conduct his direct examination. Sometimes we couldn't know
9 whether that is a fact or is the opinion of this witness. So at minimum,
10 we need some documents to support the view expressed by this witness. I
11 think that is a legitimate request and it will help the proceedings of it
13 Well, Mr. Seric, would you give -- would you please give more lead
14 to this witness concerning with those issues.
15 MR. SERIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I have to say now that at
16 this point, nobody assisted me or offered any help but they are just doing
17 quite the opposite. For me it is confusing. First I was told to go
18 faster because you had the expert report. When I did start to go faster,
19 now I'm being asked to go more slowly. Now the Prosecutor is
20 interrupting, and my colleague, Mr. Krsnik, is absolutely right in saying
21 that this is not an appropriate type of objection but a kind of personal
22 observation, so a criticism of the expert testimony which we have not
23 heard to its end.
24 So I myself, as the Defence counsel of my client and as leader of
25 the team, should be able to have a least a minimum of initiative in the
1 way I'm carrying out this examination-in-chief. I respect your
2 instructions that the witness should back up his arguments by appropriate
3 documents, but -- I'm not completely lost, I can't say that, I'm not that
4 kind of person, but I am confused. Let us permit the expert witness to
5 say what he means to say, and of course, I will lead him.
6 Q. Witness, what was this all about? On one side we have
7 long-standing -- a thesis that this was a natural alliance between the
8 Bosnian Croats and Muslims, and then on the other hand we have these
9 events on the ground.
10 A. This claim about natural allies would be worth accepting had it
11 been realised at the point of aggression against Croatia in 1991. This
12 natural alliance did not exist at all at that time. In other words, it
13 was supported by those who saw the crucial part in Bosnian Muslims and who
14 based their opinions on their opinions. Alliance by logic in difficult
15 circumstances. In 1991, the Republic of Croatia was threatened as well as
16 a good many -- number of Croats in Bosnia-Herzegovina, so I did not see
17 any indications that Mr. Izetbegovic as President of the Party of
18 Democratic Action on one side, and then also as President of the
19 Presidency, tried to do anything in order to work on this problem. This
20 is a thesis which was construed later, by which they also wish to say --
21 well, in 1992 both Croats and Muslims did have a common enemy but they did
22 not have a common purpose.
23 Q. So essentially, why was this war waged?
24 A. Mildly speaking, this was a war over territories.
25 Q. What does that mean? Was somebody lacking territories?
1 A. The Serbs launched it, which is interesting, even though, by
2 numbers, they are second. At the end of 1992, they had about 70 per cent
3 of Bosnia, which was too much for the number of the population. And
4 later, others joined in. The Croats held their own. They held the main
5 areas where they were the majority and parts of the Central Bosnia areas
6 where they numbered more or less the same as the other populations. Of
7 course, there were slight deviations from that. Later, the international
8 community joined in with their plans of division and thus the Croatian
9 areas were treated -- Konjic and Jablanica were also treated as Croatian
10 areas, as well as Stolac, where Muslims were a majority.
11 Q. When analysing documents and literature, and various writings that
12 pertained to this conflict between the Army of Bosnia-Herzegovina and the
13 HVO, did you analyse the participation of the Croatian state in this war,
14 notably from the following aspect, that Croatia was an aggressor against
16 A. Well, you see, in the documents that I reviewed in the Croatian
17 state archives, and these are HVO documents and there are also some Serb
18 and some Muslim documents as well. As far as I know, it is accessible to
19 the Prosecution as well, with the approval of the government of the
20 Republic of Croatia, which I did obtain in order to access this. There
21 are documents in which the presence of the Croatian Army can be noted from
22 mid-1993 in Bosnia-Herzegovina. I mentioned a few such documents here. I
23 think that I did not find only one there. Only one of them I did not find
24 there, which is no surprise in view of the time I spent there - about 120
25 working hours, that is - and I reviewed about 350 binders that pertain to
1 strategic and operational levels.
2 As for this period, that is to say from July, 1993, until May,
3 1994, in the area of the operative zones of southeast Herzegovina, and
4 northwest Herzegovina, there was a Croatian Army presence or, rather,
5 there were soldiers from the Croatian Army that were present there.
6 Documents speak of this. These are units that are considered to be units
7 of volunteers. If there is perhaps any doubt in terms of some units that
8 were of the professional type, there are no such doubts with regard to
9 units belonging to the reserve force. It was impossible to deploy them
10 without their voluntary consent.
11 I wish to draw your attention to the following, that Bosnian and
12 Herzegovinian historiography and other writings that I've been following
13 for years, primarily uses the term "brigades." Both Croatia and
14 Bosnia-Herzegovina or, rather, all the armies in the territory of the
15 former Yugoslavia accepted the term and meaning of "brigade" from the
16 Yugoslav People's Army. A brigade is a higher tactical joint unit.
17 Q. On the Bosniak side, were there any fighters from abroad who were
19 A. Practically from the summer of 1992, in the area of Central
20 Bosnia, one could identify fighters or, rather, volunteers from Islamic
21 countries that were in this area. In this area and beyond, they have been
22 called the mujahedin. I think that an HVO document mentions them sometime
23 in August, 1992, in Travnik, and the figure of about 700 men is actually
24 referred to. The final estimates vary, that their numbers grew to several
25 thousands. However, these are primarily figures coming from the
1 newspapers or from the Croat or Serbian sides. That means that degree of
2 caution should be authorised, some reservation, but that would be it.
3 Q. Mr. Marijan, from a professional point of view, as a military
4 analyst, in view of the war of Bosnia-Herzegovina, what position would you
5 take? I am primarily referring to the conflict between the Serb side on
6 the one hand and on the other hand the Army of Bosnia-Herzegovina and the
7 Croats, and then in addition to that, the war that occurred between the
8 Army of Bosnia-Herzegovina and the HVO.
9 A. We can say that 1992, denoting the first stage, involves attacks
10 by the Serb side in order to take the territory that their ideologues
11 considered to be their own. After that, in 1993, there was a war of all
12 against all. As for the Muslim side, the Bosniak side, there are elements
13 of civil war. Nowadays, we have a major problem pertaining to this war,
14 and I think that there is no answer to it, and I believe there won't be an
15 answer soon, and the problem is how should this war be called? The Muslim
16 Bosniak historiography and other writings, both those from the time of war
17 and contemporary writings as well, when meaning the Serbs, when writing
18 about the Serbs, they write about the Serb Montenegrin aggressors. "SCA"
19 is the abbreviation used. I personally consider this to be absurd. And
20 that was perhaps tenable until the summer of 1992.
21 As for the Croats, when they are referred to, they refer to the
22 aggression of the Croatian Army. And the part of the HVO that they waged
23 war against they call fascists. This is all too reminiscent of communist
24 rhetoric in the former Yugoslavia. That is going to be a big problem, how
25 -- what to call this war, how to consider involvement in it.
1 I personally see this war evolving in three circles: In the first
2 circle is Bosnia-Herzegovina, with three peoples and three armies. In
3 part, they are waging war two against one, all against all, and again two
4 against one. That is the part until the war stopped.
5 The second circle would be practically the countries surrounding
6 Bosnia-Herzegovina, namely Croatia and the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia.
7 They undoubtedly gave military and financial assistance on the one hand to
8 their compatriots, and in the case of the Republic of Croatia, to the Army
9 of Bosnia-Herzegovina as well.
10 Finally, there is the third circle. That is the international
11 community. We can see its traces starting with the ban on weapon imports
12 in the former Yugoslavia in 1991. We can see it through 1992, that is the
13 peacekeeping forces in Bosnia-Herzegovina. It exists in order to
14 eliminate part of the theatre of war, namely the air. And finally, it is
15 involved in combat operations against Republika Srpska or namely the Army
16 of Republika Srpska.
17 However, there is a big problem involved here to give it a more
18 precise name. On the one hand, these are big powers or, rather,
19 influential circles, influential political circles, that influence the
20 Security Council that adopted various binding resolutions, but on the
21 other hand, there is also the public opinion in these countries, which,
22 after various images from the war in Bosnia-Herzegovina went round the
23 world, affected the change, the partial change, in the policies of their
24 countries towards that war. Of course, in relation to the second circle
25 here, it is very hard to be precise.
1 Q. Mr. Marijan, you brought along a series of documents that we
2 distributed to all parties in the courtroom. You have copies in front of
3 you. You brought two documents just when you arrived so we did not
4 manage, Your Honours, to have them translated yet. We are now going to
5 look at this in order. The first document, the 15th of November, 1991, is
6 its date.
7 Just a moment, please.
8 MR. SERIC: [Interpretation] I do apologise to the honourable Judge
9 Diarra; we were not in a position to ensure a translation into French.
10 As for our colleagues in the Prosecution, we did not manage to do
11 this in chronological order but, Mr. Scott, we do have a copy for you in
12 chronological order, so perhaps it would be of assistance.
13 I think that, Madam Registrar, this document will be D2/59 or
14 perhaps later. Well, all right, D2/59.
15 Q. So what does this document say to you?
16 A. This is a selection of documents. I personally wish that all the
17 documents I referred to, quoted, were in there. All right, but this
18 document related to the -- dated, rather, the 15th of November, 1991, is
19 proof of the presence of the Territorial Defence of Bosnia-Herzegovina in
20 the war against Croatia. That is the first document that I found. The
21 original itself is in the counterintelligence agency of the Republic of
23 Q. What about the next document?
24 A. The next document.
25 Q. Let me say what I have to say for the transcript. It is dated the
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 7th of April, 1992, so it would be D2/60. Please go ahead.
2 A. This document is General Spegelj's document, and he was chief
3 inspector of the army of the Republic of Croatia. He requests the
4 Minister of Defence of the Republic of Croatia, Mr. Susak, to approve the
5 sending of a unit of about 1.200 men - for the most part Croats and
6 Muslims, or to be more precise, Muslims and Croats - to Bosnia-Herzegovina
7 in order to engage in war there. This document is the beginning of a unit
8 called the 7th Krajina Brigade. This is just an addition.
9 After the fall of Jajce, this brigade was linked up to the 1st
10 Krajina Brigade, which, in May, 1992, left Zagreb. This was later the
11 17th Krajina Brigade, an elite unit of the Army of Bosnia-Herzegovina.
12 Muhamed Alagic was its operation officer. Mehmed Alagic, I beg your
13 pardon. The next document --
14 Q. Let me just say that it is the 8th of April, 1992. It would be
16 A. This document confirms the possibility of volunteers from the
17 Croatian Army going outside the territory of the Republic of Croatia.
18 Q. The next document would be dated the 9th of April, 1992, so it
19 would be D2/62. My question is what does it mean?
20 A. This document is a confirmation of the document dated the 7th of
21 April, and the Ministry of Defence granted the request put forth by the
22 chief inspector of the Croatian Army.
23 Let me just mention one thing: These three documents are in the
24 office of the Minister of Defence and in the appropriate department of the
25 Croatian Army.
1 Q. My question pertains to the next document, the 10th of April,
2 1992. It would be D2/63. What does that mean? What does it represent?
3 A. It is approval for arming the Croatian Muslim party, and it is
4 signed by the Minister of Defence.
5 Q. The next document relates to a document also dated the 10th of
6 April, 1992. It would be D2/64.
7 A. Practically it is the same thing. The same thing can be said as
8 for the previous document, that is to say, help to the Muslim population,
9 and it comes from the Minister of Defence.
10 Q. Now my question pertains to the following document. It is dated
11 the 14th of May, 1992, and the number would be D2/65. What does it mean?
12 What does it support? Which thesis of yours?
13 A. The thesis of Croatia's assistance to the Muslims. Specifically,
14 this involves a colonel, no mention is made of where, but in view of
15 northern Posavina, it is the area of Bosnia-Herzegovina.
16 Q. The next document that my question pertains to is the same
17 nature. It is dated the 7th of July, 1992, and the number would be D2/66.
18 A. This is the order, the instructions that I already commented upon,
19 the ban on units leaving the territory of the Republic of Croatia. It's
20 issued by the Minister of Defence.
21 Q. I would like you to look at the next document. It is the 28th of
22 July, 1992. Its number would be D2/67. What is this about?
23 A. This document is a concrete example of assistance to the armed
24 forces in Bosnia-Herzegovina. This is the defence staff of the
25 municipality of Kalesija, near Tuzla, somewhere around Tuzla, and towards
1 the bottom of the page, the head of the main staff of the HVO allowed
2 passage of the convoy.
3 As for this type of document, I would like to say one thing: In
4 contemporary Muslim writings and historiography, when such a document is
5 found and it's published as a facsimile, if assistance is given by the
6 Croatian Defence Council, then that is proof of aggression against
7 Bosnia-Herzegovina committed by the Republic of Croatia. That is what
8 they call it.
9 Q. Would you please look at the next document, dated the 25th of
10 August, 1992. It is going to be number D2/68.
11 A. The same as the previous one.
12 Q. The next document is dated the 12th of October, 1992. It's going
13 to be number D2/69. Please tell us, how do you explain this? What does
14 it pertain to?
15 A. It is also a document that refers to the assistance of the
16 Republic of Croatia to the Army of Bosnia-Herzegovina. The military
17 attache of the Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina, a man who was the first
18 commander of the Territorial Defence of Bosnia-Herzegovina, authorises a
19 general of the Croatian Army, Mate Sarlija, to collect aid for
20 Bosnia-Herzegovina. I just have a brief comment to make. Mr. Efendic,
21 Mr. Efendic wrote a book about his participation in the war in
22 Bosnia-Herzegovina and his views thereon. He does not remember any such
24 Q. My question now pertains to the next document, dated the 28th of
25 February, 1993, D2/70. What does it represent? How do you explain it?
1 A. It says the 26th of February here.
2 Q. Oh, the 26th of February? Oh, I misspoke, I'm sorry.
3 A. This is also a continuation. This speaks of the time when
4 assistance is continued to the Army of Bosnia-Herzegovina.
5 Q. I think that we should slow down with our questions and answers.
6 Perhaps you should start answering my questions after I finish putting the
7 question. So could you please look at the next document and tell us what
8 it means. It is dated the 6th of March, 1993, and it would be number
9 D2/71. Please go ahead.
10 A. This is also a document about the assistance by the Minister of
11 Defence for the B and H army, and a list is given here of persons who are
12 responsible for the transport and also the licence plates of the trucks.
13 Q. Now we have a document --
14 MR. SERIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, we don't have a
15 translation. We can put the document on the ELMO if Mr. Marijan would
16 like to quote some passages from this document. We will place the
17 document on the ELMO.
18 JUDGE LIU: Yes, please.
19 MR. SERIC: [Interpretation] From the 13th of March, 1993. That
20 will be document D2/72.
21 Q. Mr. Marijan, the things that you consider important, please tell
22 us, and read so that the interpreters can follow you as well as the
24 A. This is a very interesting document. It's quite unusual since it
25 was written by the commander of the corps.
1 MR. MEEK: I'm sorry, we don't have a signal back here.
2 Mr. President, it started out, we had it, and then it's just blank, sorry.
3 JUDGE LIU: Well, soon.
4 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreters note that they cannot see it
5 either any longer.
6 JUDGE LIU: Well, since we have some technical problems, my
7 suggestion is that we break now and let the technicians fix the equipment
8 so that it will smooth the proceedings.
9 By the way, Mr. Seric, we don't have that D2/72 in our hands.
10 Maybe during the break you could furnish us with that document, even if
11 it's in B/C/S. We'll resume at 12.30.
12 --- Recess taken at 11.58 a.m.
13 --- On resuming at 12.30 p.m.
14 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. Seric.
15 MR. SERIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honours.
16 Q. Mr. Marijan, we left off with this document, D2/72, which is on
17 the ELMO right now. Could you please explain to us what the document is
19 A. This is a document sent by the 4th Corps of the Army of
20 Bosnia-Herzegovina, its command. Judging by the signature, this is
21 probably the signature of Sulejman Budakovic, the Chief of Staff, to Mr.
22 Alija Izetbegovic. Two things are important here. One, you can see from
23 the document regarding the earlier certificates about help to the army of
24 B and H, that the HVO was stopping convoys, both those that were
25 transporting weapons and let's say humanitarian convoys, and humanitarian
1 convoys, but I'm quoting: "After our intervention, the large -- a large
2 number of equipment was returned."
3 The other thing is that the commander of the corps or the person
4 who signed on behalf of him says: "The HVO --"
5 THE INTERPRETER: Could the witness please read more slowly.
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] "And this has been implemented,
7 which is useful for the Muslims, [as interpreted] and certificates are
8 required from the republican MUP." I obtained this document from private
9 hands, the original. It's a different document. It's from the
10 instruction and training section of the corps, meaning that the source
11 should be looked for in the archives of the President of the Presidency of
13 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreter corrects herself, the previous
14 sentence was "devastating for the Muslims."
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It's a little bit unusual for the
16 commander of the corps to be addressing himself directly to the President.
17 MR. SERIC: [Interpretation]
18 Q. Let's move to the next document, from the 20th of March, 1993. It
19 should be D2/73. I will give the document to the usher to place it on
20 the ELMO.
21 A. This is a document signed by --
22 MR. MEEK: Mr. President?
23 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. Meek.
24 MR. MEEK: On page 45, line 14, 15, the witness was speaking and
25 then the interpreter asked that -- I'm sorry, I'm sorry, it's up a little
1 further, page 45, line 8, the witness was answering, "The HVO --" the
2 interpreter said could the witness please read more slowly, and it appears
3 there is some interpretation missing. Starting again on line 10. I think
4 that we missed part of the answer.
5 JUDGE LIU: Yes, thank you very much to draw our attention to that
6 point. Mr. Seric, would you please clear that up for us. Page 45, line
8 MR. SERIC: [Interpretation] Just one moment, Your Honour. I would
9 like to find it. I don't see it on the screen any more. I just need to
10 find it on the computer.
11 JUDGE CLARK: Mr. Seric, I don't know if you've noticed that I'm
12 talking over to Judge Liu. I don't know if I'm the only one in court but
13 I have not the slightest idea what that document purports to be.
14 JUDGE LIU: Could you please be kind enough to have this document
15 translated today so that, during the cross-examination, we could have the
16 English copy? Otherwise, we are just in total darkness.
17 MR. SERIC: [Interpretation] We will try to do that, Your Honour,
18 but let's -- in order to hear the answer completely, we will return the
19 document just so that we can hear.
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Then I would recommend that the
21 following document should be translated as well, the minutes.
22 MR. SERIC: [Interpretation]
23 Q. Minutes?
24 A. It's practically a confirmation that Sarajevo took steps at the
25 suggestion of the command of the 4th Corps of the Army of
1 Bosnia-Herzegovina. This is a document which also specifies certain
2 things, amongst other things the taking of the Zlatar facility in the
3 region of Konjic. Specific weight is given to the document by the
4 commanders of the -- by three commanders of the Army of
5 Bosnia-Herzegovina, the commander of the municipal command of Jablanica,
6 the commander of the battalion of the military police of the 4th Corps,
7 and, three, -- and three signatures of the chiefs of police stations.
8 Another important thing about this document is that the HVO got it
9 two or three days later and practically these two documents go -- are part
10 of the core set of documents which caused the war between Croats and
12 Q. We will come back to the previous document now. Could the usher
13 please place that on the ELMO? For the transcript, which is incomplete,
14 in part, we are now talking about document D2/72. Could you please repeat
15 what you said about this document.
16 A. This document is interesting for two reasons. One, it confirms
17 that the HVO, or it practically confirms previous documents based on which
18 you could see military assistance sent from the Republic of Croatia or the
19 Ministry of Defence, to the Army of Bosnia-Herzegovina, but the HVO took a
20 part of the equipment but most of it, it did allow to pass through. The
21 other part is because of the introduction of Herceg-Bosna licence plates,
22 steps be -- certain steps be taken by Sarajevo, from Sarajevo, and then
23 seven days later, this -- these minutes are a confirmation that steps had
24 been taken.
25 Q. All right. Thank you very much. We are now moving to the
1 document of the 30th of March, 1993, which is D2/74. Have you found the
3 A. Yes, yes. This is another document about the assistance that was
4 given. This is probably -- this is certainly the final stage of these
5 transactions. They stopped in April the same year. So they stopped the
6 next month.
7 Q. At this same time, covered by these documents and particularly the
8 30th of March, 1993, were there any conflicts between the Army of
9 Bosnia-Herzegovina and the HVO in Central Bosnia?
10 A. Conflicts came later. Specifically, in the second half of March.
11 So since this document, until the 30th of March, there were conflicts in
12 the region of Konjic and Jablanica, which brought us into the -- into
13 mid-April of the same year.
14 Q. The next document of the 18th of April -- April, 1993, will be
15 number D2/75. What does this document show?
16 A. This is a combat report of the B and H army. I'm not quite sure
17 what unit this is. This is probably one of the local brigades. According
18 to the command of the 4th Corps, based on which we can see, let's say, the
19 rhetoric of the army -- of the B and H army. We are talking about
20 liberation operations, specifically for Zlatar, which was the
21 communications centre. It was taken, captured during the day. Earlier
22 here we saw a -- and I pointed out to the minutes of the 20th of March,
23 where this was covered, foreseen. There is a sentence here that says,
24 "The villages of Vucari and Vrbovici, being the HVO strongholds, have also
25 been seized today, liberated today." As I've already said, this
1 illustrates the kind of rhetoric the -- where the enemy is in a majority
2 and this is called liberation.
3 Q. Are these attack operations, assault operations?
4 A. Yes, they are.
5 Q. Could you please concentrate on the sixth paragraph of this
6 document, which begins, "At this moment..."
7 A. "At this moment, brigade Neretvica is liberating the HVO
8 strongholds of Pokariste and Cerici. This will bring the complete right
9 bank of the Neretva under our control."
10 Q. Thank you very much. The next document, dated the 8th of June,
11 1993, which will be number D2/76, what is this document?
12 A. This document is trying to suppress quite a widespread claim about
13 ethnically cleansed single-ethnic units in the HVO. The biggest
14 percentage of such units were in the operative zone of East Herzegovina,
15 especially in the 1st Brigade of the HVO, the Capljina Brigade, and
16 particularly in the 2nd and 3rd HVO Brigades in Mostar. On the 30th of
17 June, 1993, because of treason and their move to the side of the B and H
18 army, the Sjeverni Logor Northern Camp barracks fell. This document gives
19 us the percentage of Muslims in the operative zone northwestern
20 Herzegovina, where we can see that in the Rama Brigade in Prozor, so eight
21 months after the conflict in October, 1992, you practically have almost a
22 quarter of the unit which is comprised of Muslims, and also for the Petar
23 Kresimir Brigade from Livno, you have a similar ratio. Central Bosnia,
24 for the most part, does not have such mixed units. The units there are
25 really ethnically pure, and there are percentages, in other places, of
1 Muslims in HVO brigades.
2 I would now like to focus on the B and H army. The only -- the
3 headquarters of the Supreme Command are multi-ethnic there, so at the
4 strategic level. Mr. Izetbegovic, in his memoirs which were published
5 last year, published a letter from one of the deputy commanders, deputy
6 chiefs of staff, Mr. Jovan Divjak, a Serb by ethnicity, from which you can
7 see that he had been completely marginalised and that his role was purely
9 Q. My next question, Mr. Marijan, relates to the document of the 10th
10 of June, 1993, and it will be numbered D2/77. What does this document
11 mean to you?
12 A. This document talks about the aid offered by the Croatian air
13 force, both to the HVO and to the Army of Bosnia-Herzegovina, for medical
14 purposes. So purely for humanitarian purposes. And it talks about the
15 problems encountered, being encountered in that process or in these
17 Q. And the last document in this set is from the 10th of July, 1993,
18 and it will be number D2/78. What is this document?
19 A. This document is basically an expression of thanks signed by the
20 Tuzla -- the commander of the 2nd B and H corps from Tuzla to the
21 commander of the 4th HVO operative zone in Bosanska Posavina, in which he
22 is thanked for the artillery support that was given. At that time, the
23 war in the other parts of Bosnia and Herzegovina, the war between the B
24 and H army and the HVO, had totally escalated by that time, which also
25 speaks of the impossibility to reduce the picture to a simple, uniform
2 Q. Please, and let us finish with that, could you please read the
3 third passage.
4 A. You mean, "Required"?
5 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreters note we don't have the
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] "It is necessary to continue in this
8 way and in this way to help our defence, or to defend Bosnian Posavina as
9 the symbol of our common defence, the Croats and the Muslims, for a
10 unified state of Bosnia and Herzegovina."
11 MR. SERIC: [Interpretation]
12 Q. And who signed this?
13 A. The commander of the 1st operative group of Bosnia-Herzegovina and
14 the 2nd corps.
15 MR. SERIC: [Interpretation] Thank you very much, Your Honours, I
16 have finished my examination-in-chief.
17 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. Krsnik, do you have any questions to ask, or
18 do you believe that Mr. Seric has successfully exhausted all your
19 questions in your mind?
20 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I do have some
21 questions, questions which I believe are lacking some explanations or
22 clarifications in the answers because I carefully followed the questioning
23 of my learned friend Mr. Seric and I followed the transcript. I don't
24 think that I will need a lot of time, but I believe that some things need
25 to be clarified for you also, Your Honours, so I will strictly stick to
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
2 Examined by Mr. Krsnik:
3 Q. [Interpretation] First of all, I would like to introduce myself,
4 Mr. Expert. My name is Kresimir Krsnik, I'm a lawyer from Zagreb, and I
5 am the Defence attorney of Mr. Naletilic who is not present here right
6 now. I would like to put to you a few questions in order to get some
7 clarifications from you. Especially because I hadn't had the honour
8 before of talking to you so I will refrain from asking more detailed,
9 other questions.
10 First of all I will start with the question which was put to you
11 by my learned friend Mr. Seric regarding Prozor as regards this being
12 taken as the date of so-called conflicts between the Bosnia-Herzegovina
13 army and the HVO. And you, in a part of your answer, said the following:
14 "That in the Bosniak or Muslim modern historiography, this was being
15 publicised and fabricated in order to amnesty what happened later." So
16 could you please clarify to the Court what it was that happened, what is
17 it that they wished to amnesty? And dear sir, I would like you to mention
18 dates and years, absolutely, of these events, and to speak slowly, please,
19 because of the interpretation.
20 And please describe that area. In a part of your answer you
21 mentioned Stup, the municipality of Stup, in Sarajevo. Of course we from
22 that area here are familiar with the towns and the municipalities but
23 please be aware of the fact that in this courtroom, it is only we who know
24 that, but there are other people who come from different countries and who
25 would perhaps require an explanation of these terms. Perhaps my question
1 was a little too long, but my basic question is what did you mean when you
2 said, "To amnesty what happened later"? First, what is it that happened,
3 where did it happen, and when did it happen?
4 A. I primarily meant these two documents here, which have,
5 unfortunately, not been translated yet. The documents which relate to the
6 upper part of the Neretva River, so this is the area of Konjic and
7 Jablanica, where at the end of March and the beginning of April, or from
8 the end of March and the beginning of April, 1993 - better put it like
9 that - we have a conflict between the Croats and the Muslims. These
10 documents confirm --
11 Q. I apologise. I have another question. Who is attacking at the
12 end of March and the beginning of April in the Konjic area?
13 A. Assault attacks are being -- assaults are being carried out by the
14 Army of Bosnia-Herzegovina, which can be seen from this report of the 18th
15 of April, 1993. In this way, as I said before, when you begin with
16 Prozor, then you amnesty all that happened later, because the beginning of
17 the war is located there. After that, nothing else is important. It's
18 just war. I quoted that --
19 Q. Just one moment, please.
20 JUDGE CLARK: I honestly can't follow it because it may be a
21 question of translation. "Amnesty" is not a verb in English so I don't
22 understand why a thesis is promoted in order to amnesty. What is the real
23 meaning of to amnesty; to cover up, to forgive? It's being used as a verb
24 and I don't believe "amnesty" was ever a verb.
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Perhaps it is better to say to
2 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation]
3 Q. To conceal and to justify, that is what "to amnesty" means in our
4 language, to conceal or --
5 JUDGE CLARK: "Amnesty" in English has a completely different
6 meaning. To conceal. Okay, I can live with conceal because then it has
7 some logical meaning. Thank you.
8 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] It would be best, in the spirit of
9 the language - of course, I will not interfere; we have quite qualified
10 staff here - but perhaps it would use it for what happened later.
11 A. Yes, it is justification. The book by Mr. Smail Cekic "Aggression
12 Against Bosnia and Herzegovina, The Genocide Against Muslims and
13 Bosniaks," from 1994 -- I think that you just need to read it in order to
14 see what this gentleman is referring to.
15 Q. Well, could you tell us in a few words, please.
16 A. I think that this book probably served to -- or which was probably
17 created following the complaint by Bosnia-Herzegovina against the Federal
18 Republic of Yugoslavia, which I was confirmed -- which was confirmed to me
19 by a person who actually did most of the work on this. And this first
20 part of the book, which is very, very good, I have to admit that, was
21 partially -- the part against the Serbs was based on documents of the
22 Yugoslav People's Army. The second part, which relates to the HVO or, as
23 he calls it, the fascist part of the HVO, was mainly based on intelligence
24 estimates of the B and H army, which were bad. Amongst other things, the
25 thesis was accepted about the attack of the 113th Split force, the 114th
1 Sibenik, and the 123rd Varazdin brigades of the Croatian Army against
2 Prozor and Central Bosnia.
3 Q. Could you please just clarify this briefly to the court, Sibenik,
4 Varazdin, et cetera.
5 A. Yes, indeed. These units do exist in the Croatian mobilisation
6 establishment. However, the 113th is from Sibenik. The 114th is from
7 Split. The 123rd is from Slavonska Pozega, and I think that these two or,
8 rather, the 123rd was transformed then --
9 Q. Could you please slow down.
10 A. It is one that is supposed to recruit conscripts.
11 Q. Could you please follow the cursor on the monitor, and when it
12 stops, only then start answering; is that all right?
13 A. Such units are not used for combat operations, generally speaking.
14 Let us leave aside the fact that in documents of these units, there are no
15 designations in terms of them operating down there.
16 Q. What does "down there" mean?
17 A. In Bosnia-Herzegovina. And the 114th Brigade or, rather, one of
18 its platoons was, towards the end of 1993, in the area of Prozor but not
19 at the end of 1992. This platoon, not the entire brigade. A platoon
20 involves 25 to 40 men.
21 Q. Could you please say the following: Whether you know the date and
22 year, in terms of events going on in Central Bosnia and what is going on
23 in Sarajevo. Actually, I would like to put the following to you: What
24 you said by way of evidence before this Trial Chamber today, the
25 terminology from Bosnian historiography is absolutely being used by the
1 Prosecution in this Court.
2 A. That is what I noticed too.
3 Q. Could you please just pause for a minute. I have a concrete
4 question. In the indictment that we have, and I have seen others as well,
5 there is the date of the 16th of April, 1993, as the beginning of the
6 attack launched by the HVO and the HV against Muslims, that is to say
7 citizens of Muslim ethnicity, and it is being claimed quite innocently
8 that at first they were all unarmed. That is to say, the 16th of April,
9 1993. Can you tell this honourable Trial Chamber, and you already have
10 told them to a large extent, so let's go back now chronologically. The
11 16th of April, 1993 and let us move back to the end of 1992. Where did
12 conflict take place? Who was the attacker? And what was involved?
13 A. The beginning of 1993, there was a conflict in Gornji Vakuf. That
14 is the area that could be called the south of Central Bosnia. That is the
15 area above Prozor, which, towards the end of the month, spread to Central
16 Bosnia as well, notably Busovaca. This conflict took place after a round
17 in the Geneva negotiations. While in the territory of Gornji Vakuf, the
18 Army of Bosnia-Herzegovina accepted the demand put forth by the HVO for
19 the 305th Mountain Brigade of the BH Army, consisting of military age
20 refugees from Jajce, which was brought in in December, 1992, to this area,
21 be returned to central Bosnia. This is an interesting example of
22 upsetting - how shall we put this? - this ethnic balance on the one hand,
23 and on the other hand, this military balance, and it seems that the HVO
24 was particularly sensitive to that.
25 Q. So let us draw a conclusion. How many conflicts and who was the
1 attacker until the 16th of April, 1993? If you can mention all of this.
2 A. This conflict in Vakuf, then this conflict in Busovaca, and
3 particularly in southeastern Herzegovina, there is ongoing tension after
4 that, and ultimately these attempts by the Army of Bosnia-Herzegovina
5 towards the end, when they launched a process, if we can put it that way,
6 of eliminating the HVO in the area of Konjic and Jablanica.
7 Q. Ah, Konjic and Jablanica. Can you tell the honourable Trial
8 Chamber on which date the Army of Bosnia-Herzegovina attacked the HVO or,
9 rather, non-Muslim civilians?
10 A. I think it was the 14th of April.
11 Q. Do you know of the fate of this area, what happened to the
12 non-Muslims from Konjic to Jablanica or, rather, from Konjic to Mostar?
13 A. I think that in this area, as far as I know, a few war crimes were
14 committed. In addition to the military commanders, a certain Safet Cibo
15 is accused of that. On the 20th of March, 1993, he was appointed, let us
16 say, the person in charge for these areas, Konjic and Jablanica.
17 Q. Could you please be so kind as to say the following: Until the
18 16th of April, 1993, what were the objectives of the BH Army, or rather
19 the SDA? What were their real objectives? And how did they portray them
20 to the world?
21 A. Could you clarify that?
22 Q. What did the BH Army want to do with these attacks until the 16th
23 of April, 1993?
24 A. As for these attacks specifically on Konjic and Jablanica, that
25 can all be seen from these minutes. This is an attempt to eliminate, and
1 it's a successful attempt at that, to eliminate the military and political
2 authorities of the HVO. This is the struggle for roads and
3 communications, and they were also successful in that.
4 Q. You said at one moment that it is clear from the documents, from
5 the reports, that the BH Army is liberating certain places, certain areas,
6 and you said that was absurd. It sounds absurd to me as well. Who was it
7 liberating it from?
8 A. From the autochthonous population and the members of the Croatian
9 Defence Council, that is to say, the military wing.
10 Q. Can you tell the honourable Trial Chamber in this terminology that
11 the Prosecution in this Court uses, the term was used very often, of
12 course, until we gave some other pieces of information, they used the term
13 "government forces." What does that mean in Bosnia-Herzegovina in 1992,
14 1993, the government authorities? Witness, please, I don't want to lose
15 any of your valuable testimony so please slow down.
16 A. I can say that we are entering the domain of something that is
17 called law here, and I'm a historian. So I can give you my opinion about
18 that. Perhaps I can indicate some things that seem illogical to me as an
20 Q. Please speak as an historian, not as a lawyer.
21 A. Well, I cannot speak as a lawyer. The fact is that
22 Bosnia-Herzegovina, towards the end of 1990, got this -- how shall I put
23 this, this strange tripartite government authorities. That is to say that
24 it was according to ethnicity. Through the war in Croatia in 1991, as I
25 already said, the division was completed in practical terms. After that,
1 notably from 1992 onwards, that is to say towards 1993 and 1994, the term
2 "the authorities in Bosnia-Herzegovina" is one that sounds absurd to me,
3 because Bosnia-Herzegovina consists of three constituent peoples, all of
4 them being equal. I think that often one tends to forget that
5 Mr. Izetbegovic, in the autumn of 1992, under circumstances that were
6 unclear, continued his term as President. I have the impression that
7 throughout this war conflict, the Muslim side, later the Bosniak side,
8 found that position to be very important. It so happened that they had
9 maintained Sarajevo, under siege in all fairness, as their administrative
10 centre of the former republic, Socialist Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina.
11 According to everything that happened afterwards, the HVO was
12 treated as part of the single armed forces of Bosnia-Herzegovina.
13 Practically, they do not come to life until 1994, and then at a rather low
14 level but after some pressure was brought to bear by certain circles
15 outside, that is to say from the international community.
16 Q. Witness, was it the joint forces that did not come to life before
17 1994? I'm referring to the Army of Bosnia-Herzegovina and the HVO as the
18 armed forces of then Bosnia-Herzegovina? Or was it only the HVO that did
19 not manage to fit into these joint forces? Or was it that the authorities
20 from Sarajevo did not recognise it?
21 A. The authorities from Sarajevo --
22 Q. Who were these authorities from Sarajevo?
23 A. Purely Muslim authorities. Bosniak, rather. I explained, using
24 the example of the Supreme Command staff, its cosmetic role at that with
25 other ethnicities. Well, even this agreement dated the 21st of July,
1 1992, between the Republic of Croatia and the Republic of
2 Bosnia-Herzegovina, the HVO was defined as part of the armed forces.
3 However, the two were never fused. I am quoting a letter that refers to
4 that dating back to sometime in October, 1992. It was signed by the head
5 of staff of the HVO, Brigadier Milivoj Petkovic. He presents most of the
6 reasons why this did not occur.
7 Q. Please, I shall be very brief. I would like to refer to three
8 further questions which are very important to my mind, and I think that
9 until the present day, they are not fully clear to all of us here. We
10 mentioned the government of Bosnia-Herzegovina. Did it ever exist? And
11 if so, since when? And when did it not exist? The government of the
12 state of Bosnia-Herzegovina.
13 A. This is always a question. When a certain government is
14 constituted on the basis of certain principles, certain tenets, this
15 government of the last Socialist Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina, after
16 October, 1990, was constituted by the representatives of the three
17 peoples. At the beginning of 1992, the representatives of the Serb people
18 walked out of it and they established a government of their own. From
19 then onwards, we can say that the government of the Socialist Republic of
20 Bosnia-Herzegovina is a rump government, which is what occurred in 1991.
21 It is similar, of course, to what happened to the Presidency of the
22 Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. It was not recognised, as far
23 as I know.
24 Q. I would like you to clarify something else for this honourable
25 Trial Chamber. The Prosecution has been claiming here that the government
1 of Bosnia-Herzegovina today - today - exists as it existed then. And they
2 always say what the source is. They always say the government of the
3 Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina provided such and such a thing for us.
4 After Dayton, after 1995, is there a government of Bosnia-Herzegovina?
5 A. To tell you the truth, as for the subject matter of
6 Bosnia-Herzegovina after the Dayton Accords is something that I have not
7 been dealing with. I'm interested in the war. What is going on there
8 today is something that is a protectorate of the international community,
9 and I've already stated that.
10 Q. Since you do not deal in this subject matter I'm not going to ask
11 you about this. And do you know that until Dayton, until 1995, the
12 constitutional court of Bosnia-Herzegovina --
13 A. I think that I saw one or two rulings of this Court, annulling the
14 decision on the SAO Krajinas and the Croat Community of Herceg-Bosna.
15 Q. Do you know which year this is?
16 A. I think that it's the end of 1992 but I can't remember the exact
18 Q. Well, was there a constitutional court of Bosnia-Herzegovina at
19 all at that time in Sarajevo?
20 A. Well, look, there is obviously something that is given that title.
21 The question is, after the Serbs and the Croats parted ways with them, the
22 question is what remained of it.
23 Q. I have a final question. You mentioned the AID today. Can you
24 tell the honourable Trial Chamber what you know about the AID as an
25 historian; what's its role? What is it? And while working as an
1 historian, I assume that you are involved in discovering forgeries. To
2 the best of my understanding, history focuses on sources and they are the
3 most important.
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. So what can you tell the Trial Chamber --
6 JUDGE CLARK: I have one final question and then you ask about --
7 we all --
8 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] You're right, you're right. I'll
9 take them one question at a time.
10 Q. First of all, what do you know about the AID, the Agency for
11 Investigations and Documentation?
12 A. As far as I know, my knowledge about that institution is primarily
13 of a secondary nature, so from the point of view of an historian, they are
14 of lesser importance. It is primarily through the press and the
15 recollections of political and military factors, leaders from
16 Bosnia-Herzegovina. That is why I shall be using the term "allegedly"
17 here. It is claimed in respect of that institution that it was
18 established --
19 MR. SCOTT: Excuse me, Mr. President.
20 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. Scott?
21 MR. SCOTT: We are now, by the witness's own testimony just now,
22 all he's going to do apparently is relate to the Chamber allegations that
23 somebody else has made. That's not proper evidence under any Tribunal
25 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. Krsnik, I think the question you asked is out
1 of the scope of this expertise of this witness.
2 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I agree, if the AID is
3 part of history. However, historians deal with history and the AID is in
4 history and, thank God, it was abolished a few days ago.
5 MR. SCOTT: Excuse me, Mr. President.
6 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] So I thought that as part of
7 history --
8 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. Scott?
9 MR. SCOTT: I don't think statements by counsel and personal
10 opinions by counsel are proper either.
11 JUDGE LIU: Neither did I. Well, Mr. Krsnik, the problem of this
12 testimony is that he said that his knowledge is of secondary nature. He
13 has no direct knowledge of the role, function of the AID, and he is an
14 expert of history. So we kindly ask you to skip this question. Let us
15 come to an end.
16 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I don't know if we have
17 understood each other properly. My main question refers to sources that
18 are the most important thing for any historian's work. I am referring to
19 sources. The expert mentioned today, when answering the questions put by
20 my learned friend, that these were forgeries, fabrications, by the AID.
21 Judge Clark is right, as usual. I put many questions within one question.
22 I tried precisely --
23 JUDGE LIU: Well, Mr. Krsnik, if you have the hard evidence to
24 show that a particular document is a forgery, and that this expert witness
25 have something to do with that document, you may ask your questions in
1 that direction. Otherwise, you will get us nowhere.
2 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] I agree, Mr. President. Then I would
3 kindly ask the expert to explain to the honourable Trial Chamber what he
4 meant when answering Mr. Seric's question when he said that the attack on
5 Prozor and everything that followed is something that was fabricated by
6 the AID.
7 A. This story was put on paper. And this was done by the
8 already-mentioned Institute for Investigating Genocide. The documents
9 that it has at its disposal are treated, particularly in the territory of
10 the former Yugoslavia, because all the agencies were created according to
11 the same pattern, so they are treated as strictly confidential. Such
12 documents, irrespective of their authors, are inaccessible for a period of
13 30 to 50 years. On the other hand, the institute, in its work, in its
14 books, invokes a large number of statements. For such a quantity of
15 statements, a humungous staff is required and the institute does not have
16 such resources. On the other hand, irrespective of its name, the
17 institute is involved in Muslim victims only. And over the past days or,
18 rather, over the past months, some indictments were issued in Sarajevo as
19 well, and it is stated in the press, publicly, that the AID is behind
21 Q. Are you thinking of the arrest of the director of AID and his
23 A. No, no. I'm thinking about some indictments against Serbs, where
24 people admitted to the murders of people who are alive. I mean, people
25 who were later found to be still alive. This matter was very widely
1 written about.
2 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] Thank you very much, Witness, and I
3 am hoping that your testimony has contributed to our search for the truth.
4 Thank you.
5 JUDGE LIU: Well, we only have less than 15 minutes left for this
6 morning's sitting, and we decided to have an early recess today because we
7 believe that 15 minutes will get the Prosecution nowhere and we will keep
8 his cross-examination intact. Another thing is that, as for the documents
9 D2/72 and 73, we are expecting the English translations so that tomorrow
10 afternoon, the Judges and the Prosecution won't be at a disadvantaged
12 Yes, Mr. Seric?
13 MR. SERIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour. I have a
14 suggestion, and please decide. If the Prosecution has documents to show
15 to this gentleman, and if it is a lot, that requires a lot of reading,
16 perhaps we could provide the expert witness with the opportunity that he
17 can read that so that tomorrow, during the cross-examination, we don't
18 needs to make breaks in order for him to go through the documents. This
19 is my suggestion and I'm in your hands.
20 JUDGE LIU: Mr. Scott? Any response?
21 MR. SCOTT: Your Honour, we decline that invitation. We will
22 present our cross-examination exhibits at the beginning of
23 cross-examination. And after today, with getting into so many new areas,
24 I can tell the Chamber now there will be substantial work on documents
1 JUDGE LIU: Yes. But you promise to furnish all those documents
2 tomorrow afternoon before the beginning of the cross-examination?
3 MR. SCOTT: At the beginning of the cross-examination, sir, yes.
4 JUDGE LIU: Thank you.
5 Witness, I'm sorry to tell you that we have to keep you here in
6 The Hague for another day at least. You have to remember that during your
7 stay here, you are still under the oath. So please do not talk to anybody
8 about your testimony and do not let anybody talk to you about it. Have
9 you got it?
10 THE WITNESS: Yes.
11 JUDGE LIU: Thank you very much. We will resume tomorrow
13 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at
14 1.34 p.m., to be reconvened on Tuesday,
15 the 18th day of September, 2002, at 9.00 a.m.