1 Tuesday, 20 June 2006
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 [The witness entered court]
5 --- Upon commencing at 9.02 a.m.
6 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Registrar, would you call
7 the case, please.
8 THE REGISTRAR: [Interpretation] Good morning. Thank you,
9 Mr. President. Good morning to everyone. Case number IT-04-74-T, the
10 Prosecutor against Prlic et al.
11 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you. I would like to say
12 good morning to all those in the courtroom; the accused, the Prosecution,
13 the Defence, and everybody else here. We're going to continue our work,
14 and it is the cross-examination stage. But before we begin, I should like
15 to turn to the Prosecution to tell them - we discussed this matter
16 amongst the Judges - it would be advisable that if a witness comes in,
17 that we could have a large map of the region put up, a really big map, so
18 that we can see the different localities straight away. So would you do
19 your best to find a large map and an easel or something of the kind that
20 we can bring in and take out so that everybody can see where the places
21 are and then the witness can take up a pointer and say, "I went to
22 such-and-such a village," et cetera. That would be a practical way of
23 going about things.
24 As far as I'm concerned, I would like to ask a few questions of
25 the witness before the cross-examination begins.
1 WITNESS: JACQUELINE CARTER [Resumed]
2 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Doctor, could you tell me more
3 specifically whether in the mission that you had with BritBat that on a
4 medical level you also had the duty of bringing your aid and technical
5 assistance to the local population. Was that within your remit as well?
6 THE WITNESS: Our remit was very -- was primarily the medical care
7 to UNPROFOR -- UNPROFOR troops and associated international agencies as
8 laid down in -- in our mandate. Additional assistance that we could give
9 to local populations with regard to medical care was only that of
10 lifesaving assistance. And with regard to the distribution of aid and
11 humanitarian-type assistance of that nature, anything that we did was
12 cleared through our command structure. So for myself, that was through
13 both the Cheshire's Battle Group and the National Support Element based in
15 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. Thank you.
16 Yesterday, you explained to us that as far as vehicles are concerned,
17 well, that you went through a number of localities. When you were in
18 these vehicles that you used, with an interpreter, was it to take aid and
19 assistance to the population that was endangered, or was it simply to go
20 around and for you to see the locality? I would like to hear from you the
21 exact object of your travels in that locality, and was there a medical
23 THE WITNESS: The -- as I said yesterday, the main purpose for all
24 of our visits as a battle group was as directed by OC B Company. If -- if
25 they felt that it was appropriate or of assistance to them for us as
1 medical call-signs to be on the ground as well, then that is of course
2 what we did. That might be for various reasons. One was to provide
3 integrated medical support to our own convoys.
4 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes, but you're not answering my
5 question exactly. You're telling me that the -- that you did what the
6 commander of the company or battle group decided. Now, let's take a
7 hypothetical, that the battle group commander told you to go to Dusa, for
8 example, the village of Dusa, and you arrived in the village of Dusa.
9 Now, when you got out of your vehicles, did you ask the first person you
10 encountered whether they needed anything, or perhaps the other locals
11 needed any medical assistance? Is that how you went about your mission?
12 THE WITNESS: When we arrived in a village, I may or may not be --
13 in fact, I was very unlikely to be the convoy commander. I would most
14 likely be an assistant within that convoy, although that didn't mean to
15 say that I was necessarily not the most senior person on the ground from a
16 rank structure. The modus operandus was such that we would arrive in the
17 village. As I say, mostly the village, by the time we arrived, knew we
18 were coming, presumable through messages passed on from checkpoints along
19 the way, but our modus operandus was to meet with the village commander
20 rather than just the first individual who we met. Having spent some time
21 on the ground before the fighting started, it was usual but not inevitable
22 that we would know who that individual was, and therefore if we met
23 somebody different, we would ascertain what had happened to the person who
24 we'd previously met, as to whether they'd moved on, were just away from
25 the village for the day, whether they had killed or whatever had happened.
1 So it was always the first person we'd aim to meet would be the village
3 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] And if the village commander
4 happened to say to you, "I have in my village somebody who has been
5 wounded or injured," would you have seen to that person straight away?
6 THE WITNESS: That was not within our remit so to do.
7 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Well, I don't understand then.
8 I asked you to tell me what your remit was, and you told me that my remit
9 was to deal with UNPROFOR personnel and international organisations. I
10 understand that. Then you added that you could also come to the aid and
11 assistance of the local population. Now, I'm placing you in the following
12 situation: I say you're in a village. The head of the village tells you
13 there's somebody who has been wounded or injured, and you say, no, that's
14 not with my remit to deal with that, to attend to that. So I'm trying to
15 understand, to get a better understanding of why a doctor should find
16 themselves in a vehicle belonging to BritBat in a village, and what would
17 the doctor do in that vehicle in that village? That's what I'm trying to
19 THE WITNESS: Our -- if I remember my wording reasonably
20 accurately from my previous, it was to give lifesaving treatment. So if
21 somebody required cardiopulmonary resuscitation, for example, we would do
22 that, but to tend to somebody who had a broken leg, that would be outside
23 of our remit. Why was I as a doctor on the ground? As well as being a
24 doctor, I am a British army officer and therefore carry two kinds of role,
25 job, whatever within my -- within my remit and so I'm a -- part of -- part
1 of the battle group --
2 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I see, very well. You are
3 doctor first and -- first and then a British army officer, or is it the
4 other way around? Are you a British army officer first and a doctor
5 second? What would you say that was the main function of these two? I
6 can see that you're smiling, but give me a more precise answer, please.
7 Would it be the doctor that stands above the British army officer or the
8 other way round?
9 THE WITNESS: In those circumstances, allowing for the fact I was
10 wearing British army -- British army uniform and wearing an UNPROFOR
11 insignia, I saw myself very much as an officer first with additional
12 skills as a medical officer. In my peacetime location, my day-to-day work
13 for, like, for example, at the moment, I see myself as a doctor in --
14 first and an officer second. So the two are interchangeable, dependent
15 upon the situation in which I find myself.
16 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I see. Thank you for giving me
17 that explanation. And my last question is this: On the basis of what
18 you've told us, it would appear that around the 13th of January, there was
19 an offensive by the HVO. When the offensive started, were you in Gornji
20 Vakuf when the HVO offensive was launched?
21 THE WITNESS: I was in Gornji Vakuf, yes.
22 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. Thank you. Now,
23 when there's a military offensive, in principle there's the artillery,
24 there's shooting, and so on. Now, in Gornji Vakuf did you hear cannons
25 firing? Did you hear shooting noises or things like that? Was the
1 offensive characterised by the usual sounds that accompany an offensive?
2 THE WITNESS: Yes, they were.
3 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Now, after that, your commander
4 and you yourself, did you foresee that if there was artillery shooting,
5 artillery fire, there could also be wounded, whether they be soldiers or
6 civilians, and that in such a case you yourself could give urgent medical
7 aid if the need arises, if there were no other doctors there? So would
8 that be something that you would take into account at your level and at
9 the level of your command?
10 THE WITNESS: My -- my remit is very much with regard to the
11 treating of UNPROFOR personnel and -- and the agreed -- agreed
12 international agencies. My remit was not to provide medical support to
13 the local community, be that military or civilian, other than to provide
14 acute lifesaving, for example, cardiopulmonary resuscitation, CPR.
15 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. So -- but you seem
16 to be repeating the same thing. I think that I understand what you're
17 telling me, but you always seem to give the same answers. But fine. I
18 have no further questions.
19 What about my colleague? Perhaps the Judge -- no?
20 I'm now going to give the floor to the Defence. I don't know who
21 is going to start off. Counsel Alaburic, you have the floor.
22 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
23 Cross-examination by Ms. Alaburic:
24 Q. [Interpretation] Good morning, Dr. Carter. My name is Vesna
25 Alaburic, I'm Defence counsel for General Milivoj Petkovic, and I'm going
1 to start off our conversation today with the questions that were asked by
2 His Honour Judge Antonetti. Last night in the UN Resolutions about
3 UNPROFOR, I tried to establish what the remit of UNPROFOR was and to what
4 measure it coincides with your testimony yesterday about your activities
5 in Gornji Vakuf. So may I ask you some very specific questions now.
6 Would you agree with me when I say that the mandate or remit of
7 the UNPROFOR was completely regulated by United Nations Resolutions?
8 Would that be right?
9 A. That would be correct.
10 Q. Would you also agree with me that in no Resolution of the United
11 Nations is there mention of the fact that any military unit or any medical
12 unit within a military unit would be authorised in any way whatsoever to
13 give medical assistance to the local population, including even
14 intervention in acute situations such as the ones you described? And I'm
15 talking about UN Resolutions there.
16 A. I haven't personally read the UN Resolution document, but that was
17 my understanding of my roles and responsibilities and remit at the time,
18 was -- as was I've -- as I've described. My understanding was that we
19 would be allowed to give CPR, for example, at the side of a road traffic
20 accident, for example, but nothing above and beyond that.
21 Q. Yes. I was going to make a comparison with a traffic accident. I
22 was going to draw that parallel. When you leave this building, for
23 instance, you come across a traffic accident that has occurred just
24 outside the building and you see that somebody needs to be given medical
25 assistance. Would it be your task as doctor to go up and help that
2 A. If you -- if you felt that you could be of assistance, if the
3 situation allowed you to do that, and there was no other medical
4 assistance around, that is a decision that -- that you take yourself.
5 Q. Thank you. Now, would you agree with me that, according to UN
6 Resolutions, a military unit such as BritBat were not authorised to
7 distribute humanitarian aid but, rather, were authorised to secure or
8 provide escort to organisations which were authorised to distribute
9 humanitarian aid, such as the UNHCR and the International Red Cross?
10 A. As I said before, I haven't read the mandate, but that was
11 certainly my -- my understanding. And if we wished to do anything outside
12 of that, then we needed to clear that through our chain of command through
13 to higher formations, and however far that went up is -- is beyond my
15 Q. Tell us, please, Dr. Carter, whether in your opinion the commander
16 of your company was authorised to issue you and other members of the
17 company with tasks which were not in conformity with UN Resolutions which
18 determined the mandate and remit of your unit.
19 A. In order -- in order for the tasks to be given that were outside
20 of the mandate to which you refer, I have every belief and opinion that
21 the commander of the company would have sought authority from his chain of
22 command and upwards as they deemed necessary.
23 Q. Well, yes. We'll get to that higher commander and whether he can
24 issue orders that would be contrary to UN Resolutions about the mandate of
25 individual military units. Would he?
1 A. I don't understand the question.
2 Q. Your commander could have been ordered something by the commander
3 up above. Now, let's get to the top-most level in the chain of command
4 the top-most commander. Now my question is this: Would the main
5 commander be able to give instructions to his subordinates which would be
6 contrary to the UN Resolutions?
7 A. I can't answer for what my -- my superiors do or don't do or their
8 thought processes that go with it. I work to the direction I'm given on
9 the ground. I'm not sure I fully understand the purpose of the question.
10 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Ms. Alaburic, I must confess that I share the
11 puzzlement of the witness, and I don't understand how you can ask the
12 witness about her superiors' attitude towards their superiors. I don't
13 know where you're going and what the link of these questions to our case
15 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] I will tell you exactly where I'm
16 going. We are trying to establish whether the witness was acting in
17 accordance with the mandate established by the UN Resolution. When asked
18 whether the instructions given to her were in accordance with the UN
19 Resolution, she replied that she reacted according to the instructions of
20 her commander and that she did not know whether this was actually in line
21 with the UN Resolution or not, but in her view the most important fact was
22 that she was acting in accordance with her commander's instructions. As
23 in every army, and so I assume in the British army as well, the question
24 arises as to the relation between a command and a rule on the basis of
25 which, or an order on the basis of which it is issued. My further
1 questions related to the difference and the discrepancy between the UN
2 Resolution and the orders received by the witness, who toured villages in
3 BritBat vehicles and carried out the activities she described yesterday.
4 JUDGE TRECHSEL: I'm -- with due respect, I still fail to see the
5 link to our case here, which is not the case of proper or improper
6 behaviour of UNPROFOR.
7 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] If I may, I do apologise, but I
8 think it's my duty to give the reasons for my standpoint. I think it's
9 very important to establish whether UNPROFOR or any UNPROFOR unit was
10 carrying out its mission on the ground in accordance with the UN
11 Resolution or whether they were overstepping their mandate. I feel that
12 all local forces on the ground, including the HVO, felt that -- or,
13 rather, that they believed that the UNPROFOR and all other such units were
14 carrying out their mandate. If it transpired, however, that UNPROFOR
15 vehicles were transporting items not in accordance with their mandate, the
16 question arose as to whether they were overstepping their authority, and
17 this gives rise to a number of questions I feel are relevant in these
19 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Your answer was really helpful. Thank you very
21 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
22 Q. Dr. Carter, please tell us whether, to the best of your knowledge,
23 it was usual on the territory of Bosnia and Herzegovina, when there was an
24 offensive on a certain territory, UNPROFOR forces which had their
25 headquarters on that territory would be temporarily dislocated to a safer
1 area. For example, during the offensive or the combat activities in
2 Mostar, the headquarters of a certain UNPROFOR unit might be temporarily
3 relocated to another town for reasons of security.
4 A. During my time in -- in this particular operational tour, I
5 remained in the same location in Gornji Vakuf, less the detachment down to
6 Tomislavgrad. We never moved our location, and there was never talk of us
7 moving our location.
8 Q. Thank you. Dr. Carter, I wish to compliment you on your memory of
9 the names of villages in Bosnia and Herzegovina. I'm sure that, as a
10 native of Britain, these names sound very strange to you. I will
11 therefore ask you about certain circumstances which will be of importance
12 to us in determining the quality of your memory.
13 You told us that the hostility between the Muslims and the Croats
14 in Gornji Vakuf began around the 13th of January. Can you tell us how
15 long that HVO offensive lasted, to the best of your memory?
16 A. The -- my memory is the fighting started before the 13th of
17 January. 13th of January sticks in my mind as a date because that was the
18 date of the death of Corporal Edwards, and that was the first time I
19 personally had to deal with a combatant death, and that's therefore a date
20 that sticks in my memory forever. And therefore, the majority of my -- of
21 my date recollection is based around from that, so I can say that the
22 starting -- the fighting started a number of days before that, and the
23 issue of how long individual offensives lasted is quite a difficult
24 question because there would often be brokered cease-fires that lasted
25 short periods of time and cease-fires that lasted for several days or
1 longer, so I feel that it's difficult to say exactly how long the first
2 offensive last -- lasted. But certainly after the death of Corporal
3 Edwards a cease-fire was brokered that afternoon, for example, which I do
4 not recollect how long it lasted, but certainly within a short period of
5 time the -- the fighting had resumed. So that's how the pattern of life
7 Q. In view of the fact that you used the word "offensive" in the
8 plural, I wish to ask you what you understand by the term "offensive."
9 A. When I'm using it in the plural, it -- it's as much -- it's as
10 much to do with talking about each individual spell of -- spell of
11 fighting rather than necessarily in the true military term -- in the true
12 military understanding of the term, because clearly there will be breaks
13 in fighting within a military offensive, but that's not the way in which I
14 meant it.
15 Q. Would I then be correct in concluding that in your view an
16 offensive is in fact a military conflict?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. Thank you. Yesterday, you described two incidents to us which
19 indicated that there were rising tensions between the Muslim and Croatian
20 populations in Gornji Vakuf in late 1992 and early 1993. One of these
21 incidents had to do with the flag in early January. You remember that. I
22 will put a few questions to you in connection with this.
23 Do you know what is referred to by the term "Ustasha"?
24 A. Ustasha was a flag -- a flag that was used by a --
25 Q. I do apologise. I do apologise. I'm not asking you about the
1 Ustasha flag but about who the Ustasha were.
2 A. Ustasha I understood to be a militant element of the HVO. A -- a
3 military -- sorry, not the HVO -- a militant element. It had a militant
5 Q. Thank you. Tell us, what did the Ustasha flag look like? What
6 kind of flag was it that these militant elements used?
7 A. I can -- I cannot recall the -- the -- the flag -- the flag
8 itself. As I say, I was not on the ground at the time. I'm ...
9 Q. Thank you very much. Tell us, did you make a statement to the
10 Office of the Prosecutor on the 7th and 8th of September, 2005, in
11 connection with these events and your mandate?
12 A. I made -- I don't remember the exact dates, but it was in
13 September, 2005, yes.
14 Q. In that statement, do you remember mentioning the flag incident?
15 A. Yes, I believe I did.
16 Q. Do you remember what you said then?
17 A. I remember talking about the -- the flag, the burning of the flag.
18 Q. With Their Honours' leave, I will put to you a part of your
19 statement. In point 18 - in the B/C/S text that's page 7 - in connection
20 with this incident, you said the following, and I quote from your
21 statement: "I recall that a BH flag was raised either next to an HVO flag
22 or in a predominantly Croat area. The Croat community were enraged by
23 this act and pulled the flag down. At or around the same time a
24 handicapped Muslim young man who I believe to have been wheelchair bound
25 was in the vicinity of the flag pole." And so on.
1 I will remind you of your testimony of yesterday referring to the
2 same incident. It is recorded on page 47, lines 18 to 24, and I will read
3 what you told us. I will read it out in English because the record is in
4 English. [In English] "... I was not actually on the ground to witness it
5 myself; and secondly, after 12, 13 years, my memory's not entirely
6 accurate as to the exact details. What I do recall is that it was -- in
7 my memory it was very much BiH, but I'm only aware -- aware of one
8 flag-raising incident, so I would be -- I would believe that that is the
9 incident to which I referred and that I was incorrect in the recollection
10 of which side had raised the flag."
11 [Interpretation] This is what you said after repeating what you
12 said in your statement of 2005 and after the Prosecutor showed you an
13 exhibit mentioning an Ustasha flag which you now tell us you did not know
14 what it looked like. Can you explain how it came about that in the
15 statement you describe the incident in one way and in your testimony of
16 yesterday, and after the Ustasha flag was mentioned to you, which you
17 don't know what the appearance of it is like, you changed your testimony.
18 Can you explain that?
19 A. I don't believe I have changed my testimony. I -- I'm sorry, I
20 don't -- I don't see that I have changed my testimony, so I can't answer
21 your question.
22 Q. In the statement of 2005 which I read out to you, and the same
23 thing was stated by you yesterday, the BH flag was raised. However, after
24 the Prosecutor intervened, you mentioned the raising of a so-called
25 Ustasha flag, and that was why I'm asking you which flag was being raised
1 and what caused the incident.
2 A. I have always recollected the event as a -- as a BH flag. I have
3 never said that it was an Ustasha. I have accepted that after 12, 13
4 years and not having been on the ground, that it may well have -- that --
5 you know, I was incorrect and -- you know, and that's how -- how I see it.
6 So I don't believe that I have changed my statement, nor have I ever
7 stated that it was an Ustasha. So I haven't changed my statement. I
8 stand corrected but not changed my statement, and that's different.
9 Q. In that case, may I conclude that you abide by the description of
10 this incident in your statement of 2005 and your original testimony of
12 A. I stand by my -- my memory -- my memory as it -- as it -- as it is
13 was with the BH flag. I stand corrected that that may not have been the
14 case and that over the period of time, you know, it -- it's -- you know.
15 So I accept what I recollect, and I accept that --
16 Q. Very well. And now some brief clarifications of your testimony of
17 yesterday before we move on. When you spoke about the distribution of aid
18 in the villages - and this is found on page 54, line 19, of yesterday's
19 transcript - you said, inter alia, the following: That you often crossed
20 over from HVO territory into Bosnia-Herzegovina. Can you explain to us
21 what in your view is the relationship between HVO territory and the
22 territory of Bosnia-Herzegovina.
23 A. I don't recollect saying Bosnia-Herzegovina. I was talking about
24 going from BiH Muslim-controlled territory to HVO Croat-controlled
25 territory or vice versa.
1 Q. Thank you. Yesterday, you mentioned the death of a British
2 soldier on the 13th of January. Tell us, the British investigation which
3 you say was instigated, did it yield any results?
4 A. It's standard procedure whenever any soldier is badly injured or
5 killed on a British operational tour that an investigation is opened, and
6 depending on the findings of that initial investigation and subsequent
7 advice through the Royal Military Police side of life and the army legal
8 service, again I have no understanding of how they decide to proceed or
9 not proceed in any individual case, nor do I -- and nor do I know how far
10 they got with this investigation other than I know that they were -- they
11 did open a case because they came to -- to talk to us.
12 Q. Very well. Tell us whether to the best of your recollection in
13 the course of the investigation into this event, was there any mention of
14 the possibility that there had been sniper fire?
15 A. The term "sniper fire" was and is used in two contexts. You can
16 use the term "sniper fire" officially meaning a formally trained sniper
17 with a sniper rifle and sniper bullets, or you could use the term more
18 colloquially to talk about, you know, just people who are a good shot or
19 whatever. And you can use the term just in general, in general terms,
20 somebody sniping at somebody else, not meaning with weapons at all. So --
21 so with -- with regard to the possibility that there had been sniper fire,
22 I'm sure amongst the troops on the ground and not on the ground it is --
23 it is quite possible that people did talk about sniper fire in -- meaning
24 any of the aforementioned descriptions thereof.
25 Q. According to your information, was sniper fire used by both the
1 Muslim army and the HVO?
2 A. With regards to the disposition of actual --
3 Q. In general.
4 A. In general, it was not something that was of particular interest
5 to me unless it was going to cause me threats, for example making my life
6 difficult, but where sniper positions may or may not have been is of no
7 consequence to me as -- in my role.
8 Q. Very well.
9 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] I would like to show the witness
10 document 4D 0037.
11 Q. This is a request --
12 A. I don't see it yet.
13 Q. I assume it will come up, and while we are waiting -- do you see
14 it now?
15 A. No.
16 Q. Can you tell us who issued this request? If we can scroll up so
17 that we can see the signature. Thank you.
18 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] You can ask whether the witness
19 saw the document before.
20 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation]
21 Q. Are you aware that the HVO tried to establish the causes of the
23 A. As I mentioned in my statement yesterday, I understood that the
24 HVO were in -- involved in an investigation themselves, yes, I was, as I
25 stated yesterday.
1 Q. This is a request by my defendant, Milivoj Petkovic, addressed to
2 Mr. Siljeg, who is a person known to you, in which he asks for information
3 on the deployment of forces, both HVO and of the Muslim army, in order to
4 establish how it came about that a British soldier was killed. Were you
5 aware of a document such as this and a request such as this one coming
6 from the HVO?
7 A. I -- I was not aware of -- of this request, nor have I seen the
8 document before.
9 Q. Thank you.
10 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] There seems to be a technical
11 problem. I can no longer hear the interpretation.
12 It's all right now.
13 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation]
14 Q. Now, Dr. Carter, we will move on to another group of questions
15 relating to cease-fires, and yesterday you told us that you had attended
16 some of those meetings. Would you agree with me that you were aware of
17 other attempts to reach a peaceful resolution of the conflict between the
18 Muslims and Croats in Gornji Vakuf in January, 1993?
19 A. I'm aware that there were -- that -- that there was a lot of
20 effort by -- along the way for establishment of and maintenance of
21 cease-fires throughout -- throughout the period, yes.
22 Q. I will skip over the attempts made in 1992 in view of the fact
23 that you remember the first conflict as having taken place in late
24 December, 1992.
25 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] I therefore wish to show the
1 witness document 4D 00041.
2 Q. This is an order issued by my defendant, the Chief of the Main
3 Staff, Milivoj Petkovic. It's dated the 6th of January, 1993, in which,
4 in order to fulfil the obligations that stem from the Geneva conference,
5 he orders respect of the cease-fire and suspension of combat activities.
6 And this order was issued in three operative zones with the headquarters
7 in Tomislavgrad, Mostar, and Vitez.
8 Were you aware of the efforts made by the HVO as early as the
9 beginning of January to calm down all tensions and contribute to a
10 peaceful resolution of the conflict between the two ethnic communities?
11 A. As I stated previously, I was aware that there was a lot of effort
12 along the way for the establishment and maintenance of cease-fires.
13 Individual directions and individual authorities such as that - I haven't
14 seen the document before - I -- I wouldn't have sight of in the role that
15 I carried out, nor would I expect to have been -- been party to individual
16 directives that were -- that were issued in line with this. I wouldn't
17 have expected to know that -- that such a document existed or been
18 expected to see it.
19 JUDGE TRECHSEL: If I may, this document is dated 6 January, 1993,
20 and the order is that by 10 October, 1992, certain records are to be
21 forwarded. I must confess that this is a bit difficult to grasp. There
22 must be something wrong. Is there an explanation? It's not a matter of
23 translation, because the original document has the same dates.
24 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Yes. My client will explain.
25 THE ACCUSED PETKOVIC: [Interpretation] There's a mistake there.
1 It says October. It should be January. And the year is wrong too.
2 Now, the second order that went out has the correct date. It's
3 not October. It is obligations that stem from the Geneva conference,
4 which began in January, 1993. So it's a mistake. It is not October. It
5 is January, 1993, immediately upon conclusion of the Geneva conference in
7 JUDGE TRECHSEL: [Interpretation] Thank you.
8 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] And thank you to the Judge for
9 clearing -- helping clear that up. There'll be other mistakes like that,
10 but we'll take them as they crop up and explain them.
11 Q. Now, the 13th of January. The date you mention is very important,
12 for understandable reasons, because, unfortunately, your colleague fell
13 casualty. The Chief of Staff, Milivoj Petkovic, issued another order, and
14 may we have the document placed on our screens.
15 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] It is 4D 00045. That is the number
16 of the document. If we might have that.
17 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Before we go on to the next
18 document, you're going to ask for the documents to be tendered into
19 evidence when the time comes. This particular order that we were dealing
20 with of the 6th of January, the witness said she hadn't seen it, but does
21 she know that the request was made for a respect to be shown for the
22 cease-fire? Does she know about that? Because that would allow you to
23 tender the document into evidence. If not, we can't admit it. So I'm
24 going to ask the witness. That will be quicker.
25 You were shown a document, and you said that you had never seen it
1 before. Now, my question to you is the following: Before the 13th of
2 January, as you were a British army, as you told us a moment ago, first
3 and then a doctor second, so as a British army officer, did you know, when
4 you had meetings with other officers, that the HVO had issued orders
5 according to which the cease-fire was to have been respected and
6 maintained? Did you know about that?
7 THE WITNESS: I don't -- I don't recall particular reference to a
8 particular document. As I say, my recollection is of at cease-fire
9 meetings, if cease-fires were brokered and agreed, that -- and therefore
10 by definition both sides had agreed to that, that then the message -- the
11 message was to be passed down to troops on the ground that those
12 cease-fires were to be adhered to.
13 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Ms. Alaburic, in the same line, excuse me if I
14 police again, as it were, I think that it is quite obvious that these
15 internal HVO documents are unknown to the witness, and I find it very
16 difficult to ask the witness to comment upon these documents. It seems to
17 be a way of indirectly having your client in the witness stand by these
18 written orders. I really wonder whether this is the correct method to
19 introduce the former behaviour of your client before the Trial Chamber.
20 Can you explain why you think that this is perfectly correct, because I'm
21 sure that you think that, otherwise you wouldn't do it.
22 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour, for the
23 question and giving me the opportunity of explaining. In view of the fact
24 that the witness told us that she attended certain negotiations on the
25 establishment of a cease-fire and a truce, and since this witness
1 furthermore confirmed the contents or parts of the contents of certain
2 military reports of the units -- unit to which she belonged, and since
3 this witness considers herself to be a member of the British army and
4 considers that part of her military remit and mission was that, I
5 attempted -- I thought that it was a good idea to clarify the contribution
6 made by the HVO to the peaceful settlement of conflicts and disputes. And
7 in that context, I had -- had expected the witness to say that she didn't
8 know the orders or some of the orders or HVO documents. I was prepared
9 for that. But I thought that she could know something about the attempts
10 made by the HVO regardless of the fact that she didn't know about those
11 documents, and that would also be important from other sources, to learn
12 about the attempts made by the various sides to solve the conflict
14 Apart from that, I consider that all these documents throw light
15 on the context in which the events took place. So my questions were
16 geared in that direction.
17 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. I apologise, but I'm
18 going to ask a complementary question of the witness which goes along the
19 lines of what my colleague has just said and you have just said.
20 Madam, or Doctor, or Colonel, I don't know how to address you
21 exactly. I'm going to call you "madam." Madam, you mentioned the 13th of
22 January, 1993, and you said that there was a conflict that was ongoing at
23 that time. You said that a moment ago. Now, your command, did it rally
24 on that same day, the conflicting parties, that is to say the HVO and the
25 representatives of BH, in order to arrive at a cease-fire? We have an
1 order here. It's a strict order which says that the cease-fire must be
2 respected and observed. There is a conflict going on. We don't know who
3 is doing the shooting exactly, the firing exactly, but did your authority
4 immediately ask the representatives of the HVO and the BH to meet in order
5 to broker conditions for a cease-fire? So that is the question that goes
6 along the lines of what we were able to read in the document.
7 To the best of your recollections, of course. If you remember,
8 fine; if you don't, fine again.
9 THE WITNESS: Yes, they did. The -- the two local commanders were
10 invited to UNPROFOR base that afternoon in order to broker a cease-fire.
11 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Well, that's important. Thank
12 you. So on the 13th of January, 1993, in the afternoon the two local
13 commanders went to the UNPROFOR base. Fine.
14 JUDGE TRECHSEL: I would also, if you allow, like to ask a
15 question going a little step back to the order of the 7th January, I
16 believe it was, where the Accused Petkovic ordered that the Geneva
17 Conventions be respected. Did you note any difference in the behaviour of
18 HVO troops after that date? Could you observe any effect of such an order
19 even though you did not know the order itself?
20 THE WITNESS: As I previously stated, from early January time
21 until the 13th of January, I personally did not go on the ground, so I
22 wasn't able to have any feelings from that point of view. With regard to
23 sitting in -- in the base, it -- it was not evident, nor would I have
24 expected it to be evident.
25 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Thank you. Excuse us, Ms. Alaburic. You may
2 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Yes, I do excuse you, and of course
3 welcome interventions of the kind in the future. I think they're very
4 useful to us and will help me in my cross-examination.
5 Q. Tell me, Dr. Carter, when you say the local commanders who came to
6 your base, who do you mean? Who were the local commanders?
7 A. By "local commanders," that was the term that was used for who I
8 perceived -- who -- who I understood to be the two -- the senior HVO
9 representative and the senior BH military representative, both military
10 representatives. My -- I do not recall their -- I do not recall their
11 names, although they were people who at the time we met on several --
12 quite a lot -- quite a lot of -- quite a lot of occasions.
13 Q. I would like you now, with respect to the document that's still on
14 our screens, to take a look at point 3, if you will. So it is an order by
15 Milivoj Petkovic, dated the 13th of January, and in point 3 of that order
16 -- may we -- if we don't have point 3 -- yes, we have it now.
17 So point 3 of this order states: "Prevent any attempts of lower
18 commands to solve the problems by using force."
19 In that connection, I would like to ask you the following: Do you
20 have any knowledge whatsoever to the effect that local commanders would
21 act on their own or that they would undertake action without the
22 knowledge, let alone permission, from their commanders?
23 A. I have no knowledge either way.
24 Q. Tell us, please, your commanders, apart from having contacts with
25 the local commanders, did they attempt to contact the higher commanders of
1 the HVO and BH army in order to broker a cease-fire or peace in the area
2 of Gornji Vakuf?
3 A. As I mentioned yesterday, there were times when higher commanders
4 clearly had been involved in brokering cease-fires or peace in the area of
5 Gornji Vakuf. For example, the meetings to which Colonel Siljeg attended.
6 Q. Can you tell us, the meetings that Colonel Siljeg attended, who
7 was the BH army representative of his rank, his opposite number?
8 A. I do not recall.
9 Q. You don't recall. Thank you. Tell us, please, do you remember
10 all the attempts made, or do you have any knowledge about all the items
11 made on the part of the HVO up until the end of January - let's start with
12 that, the end of January, 1993 - for arriving at a peaceful settlement,
13 for issuing instructions to calm the situation, to contact the Muslims, to
14 attempt to solve problems through negotiation, to avoid conflicts, to stop
15 any military intervention, and so on and so forth?
16 A. I think it would be highly unlikely and unreasonable for me to
17 know of all the attempts made, but I'm aware that attempts were -- were
18 made, certainly those UNPROFOR was involved in. And as I previously
19 stated, there were -- there were -- felt like regular meetings to meet and
20 discuss implementation of cease-fires or to discuss cease-fires when they
21 had broken down, to try and resurrect them. But I could not possibly know
22 of all the attempts made.
23 Q. To the best of your knowledge, did the conflicting parties, the
24 Croatian side and the Muslim side, inform your command about events on the
25 ground and their attempts to solve some of those problems themselves?
1 A. There were good communications between ourselves and the two sides
2 on the ground insofar as that with both military headquarters we had set
3 up dedicated communication lines and radios, telephones, that kind of
4 thing, so that they could keep us informed where they felt appropriate of
5 what they wished to inform us of outside of pre-arranged or ad hoc
7 Q. Apart from that objective possibility for communication, did that
8 communication actually exist in reality?
9 A. Sorry, I don't understand the question.
10 Q. The conflicting parties, did they really inform your command about
11 the situation on the ground, the incidents that broke out, the conflicts,
12 and indeed their activities?
13 A. I understand -- my understanding is that as and when they felt
14 appropriate, they -- they told us what they wished to tell us.
15 Q. Yes, of course. But do you have any knowledge about those reports
16 or that information? Did it arrive on a daily basis? Would the Muslim
17 side contact you more, or would the Croatian side contact you more, the
18 HVO, or any more specific data about contacts made with your unit by the
19 two conflicting parties?
20 A. As I previously stated, there were pre-arranged meetings to which
21 both sides would be invited. There would be shall we call them emergency
22 meetings as -- as situations on the ground arose where either the meeting
23 would be called by us and -- and I have recollection that there were times
24 when either -- either side would say, "I think it would be helpful if we
25 could meet on neutral territory to talk this through," and -- so I hope
1 that answers the question.
2 Q. Well, not really. That isn't an answer to my question. I didn't
3 ask you about meetings. What I asked you was this: Telephone
4 communication, for instance, or letters, correspondence, telefax, or any
5 other type of communication on the basis of which one of the conflicting
6 parties would inform your unit about events taking place on the ground and
7 asked you to mediate, perhaps, or asked for your assistance or anything of
8 that nature. It doesn't matter if you don't know about this, if you can
9 just tell us.
10 A. I am aware that such -- such processes were in place, but it was
11 not part of my day-to-day remit to be involved as such in the receiving or
12 handling of such communications.
13 Q. Yes, certainly. But do you have any knowledge about those
14 communications? Or I'm interested in knowing whether they went to you at
15 all, did they address you at all; and, if so, how often? And did both the
16 warring parties contact you equally frequently, or would you say that the
17 Muslim side contacted you more frequently, for example, because it
18 considered that you would help them precisely?
19 A. As I say, I was aware that communication -- lines of communication
20 were open, lines of communications were used, but with regard to the
21 balance between one side and the other using those lines and the frequency
22 of the use of those lines of communications I'm afraid I'm not able to
23 help you any further.
24 Q. Very well. I won't belabour the point if you don't know. I
25 wasn't ask you questions about a series of documents and HVO activities
1 geared towards effecting a peaceful solution in Gornji Vakuf because you
2 say you don't have knowledge of specific events, but I am just going to
3 ask you about some of the documents we addressed yesterday.
4 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] So may we have Prosecution document
5 P 01351 on the ELMO again, please, on our screens, on e-court.
6 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Just a moment, please. Before
7 we broach that subject, I'd like to go back to the previous document,
8 because you asked the witness about it.
9 You told me earlier on that the 3rd of -- on the 3rd -- 13th of
10 January, in the afternoon, there was a meeting with local commanders with
11 UNPROFOR. Were you present at that particular meeting?
12 THE WITNESS: I wasn't present at that meeting, no.
13 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. If you weren't
14 present, then there's no point in me going on with that question. Counsel
15 Alaburic, please continue.
16 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] We were talking about P 01351,
17 Prosecution document. And what I'm interested is on the last page of the
18 BH text. In English it is on page 9, the beginning of page 9 of the
19 English. So the beginning of page 9 is what we're looking at. The
20 reference -- page number 9 begins -- there seems to be different -- a
21 different numbering. It's not the same text as the one I have in front of
22 me. I think we need page 8, the previous page, please. I do apologise,
23 but it seems that the numbers are different. May we scroll down a bit?
24 Yes. The part that begins: "A problem arose ..."
25 I apologise. We seem to be encountering certain problems. It's
1 on that page, but scroll down, please, further down. "A problem arose
2 ..." Further down. There we have it. "A problem arose this evening."
3 Q. So this is a report by Zeljko Siljeg, and you testified about that
4 yesterday. And in this portion that I'm interested in now it says the
5 following: "A problem arose this evening when an HVO checkpoint was put
6 up in the village of Humac, and then the BH army immediately set up one
7 near the mosque in the town."
8 Now, I have a question in that regard. Do you have any knowledge
9 whatsoever to the effect that the BH army would use its religious sites or
10 the surrounding parts of the religious sites or the religious sites of the
11 Muslim community, whether they would use it for military purposes?
12 A. I'm unaware as to whether the Muslim community were using
13 religious sites for military purposes.
14 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] May the witness be shown
15 Prosecution document -- a Prosecution document once again. I say "once
16 again" because it was on yesterday. 01373. And I'd like to have the
17 portion that relates to the village of Zdrimci. It's on the next page.
18 Next page, please. About the joint commission, and then A is Zdrimci.
19 That's right. That's it.
20 Q. Now, in this paragraph of your unit's report, it says the
21 following, that in the village it was mostly the elderly people, women,
22 and children who remained. And it also states that all of them wished to
23 leave the village.
24 Tell us, please, whether the conclusion and observation made in
25 this report by your unit might not be correct. Do you have any knowledge
1 that would point in that direction, that it might not be correct?
2 A. I -- I cannot comment on the correctness or otherwise of a report
3 that I was not involved in writing, other than to say that I would have no
4 reason to believe that the reporting would be inaccurate.
5 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Thank you. I have no further
7 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you. We have ten minutes
8 before the break. So the next Defence counsel has the floor.
9 MR. JONJIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour. The Defence
10 of Mr. Coric has no questions for this witness.
11 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Counsel Ibrisimovic.
12 MR. IBRISIMOVIC: [Interpretation] Mr. President, the Prosecutor,
13 in paragraph 72, said that Mr. Pusic is not indicted for the events in
14 Vakuf, so I have no questions.
15 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you. Let's continue.
16 Next. Mr. Karnavas. You've been very quiet.
17 MR. KARNAVAS: I am, Your Honour. I -- thank you for noticing it.
18 Good morning, Mr. President and Your Honour. We have no cross-examination
19 for this witness.
20 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you. Counsel Murphy.
21 MR. MURPHY: Thank you, Mr. President.
22 Cross-examination by Mr. Murphy:
23 Q. Good morning, Dr. Carter.
24 A. Good morning.
25 Q. My name is Peter Murphy, and I represent Mr. Bruno Stojic. I just
1 have a relatively few questions for you.
2 You mentioned this morning that you had made a statement to the
3 Office of the Prosecutor in September, 2005.
4 A. That's correct.
5 Q. And in connection with that statement, were you interviewed by
6 representatives of the Prosecutor's office?
7 A. I was interviewed by a lady called Susan Tucker.
8 Q. Was that the first time that you'd been interviewed by the
10 A. It was, yes.
11 Q. And that would have been, then, approximately 13 years after the
12 events about which you've been giving evidence.
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. Now, your training is in the field of medicine.
15 A. Correct.
16 Q. You're a general practitioner.
17 A. Uh-huh.
18 Q. And I understand from your evidence yesterday that you also have a
19 training in gynaecology.
20 A. No, I don't have training in gynaecology.
21 Q. Really. Then you --
22 A. Other than as part of general medical training and that that goes
23 with being a general practitioner, so yes, I have done a six-month
24 obstetrics and gynaecology job, but that's only as part of general
25 practice training, not as a gynaecologist.
1 Q. Not as a speciality.
2 A. No.
3 Q. Thank you. Have you had any formal training in forensic medicine?
4 A. As part of our standard entry officers course, we have a basic
5 grounding in forensic medicine and then slightly more training with regard
6 to collection of evidence as part of forensic -- collection of sampling,
7 for example, as part of an ongoing police investigation, so working
8 alongside the police to collect evidence in a way that they would require
9 us to do that.
10 Q. Now, when you were assigned to -- when you went to Bosnia as a
11 part of your assignment with UNPROFOR, however, you went as a medical
13 A. Correct.
14 Q. You told us that your primary responsibility was providing medical
15 care for UNPROFOR personnel.
16 A. Correct.
17 Q. And you were not there as part of any kind of criminal
18 investigation team, were you?
19 A. Not at all.
20 Q. And I take it also that other than the basic training you've
21 described, you have no particular expertise, then, in ascertaining the
22 cause of damage to buildings.
23 A. No, not at all.
24 Q. Or of conducting interviews with witnesses.
25 A. Not interviewing witnesses, no.
1 Q. You were not there in any kind of intelligence role, were you?
2 A. Not at all.
3 Q. And as I understand it, other than the -- the basic function of
4 providing medical support for the UNPROFOR unit, you then took on an
5 additional role in giving assistance to humanitarian organisations.
6 A. Correct.
7 Q. And that was primarily because things were rather quiet on the
8 medical front, as far as you were concerned?
9 A. No. It was more that the -- we were approached in order to do
10 that because the fighting was intense, not that we are quiet. Our aim on
11 military operations as medical personnel is to be quiet. We do not wish
12 to be busy.
13 Q. Well, that's what I meant. I think you said yesterday that you
14 had the time because you were not unduly occupied, fortunately, with
15 treating casualties among your own personnel.
16 A. But that's not why we took -- that's not why we took the task on.
17 It's --
18 Q. But that task was one that you did for a relatively short period.
19 A. Correct.
20 Q. Between, I suppose, about February and April of 1993.
21 A. Possibly. That sort of period of time.
22 Q. And it was in connection with that work that you made visits to a
23 number of villages in the Gornji Vakuf area.
24 A. As I stated previously, our deployment on -- onto the ground was
25 always under the direction of OC B Company, and if in the -- as a -- if as
1 and when we were out we had opportunity to -- how should I put it?
2 Q. Perhaps my question wasn't clear. Let me -- let me try again.
3 You describe visits that you made to -- as part of a convoy to different
5 A. Correct.
6 Q. And as I understand it, on those occasions the convoy would be
7 escorting some kind of humanitarian aid supply to the villages.
8 A. When we went on the ground it was not always to do -- to do that.
9 It sometimes was, it sometimes wasn't.
10 Q. All right. When you went there, in terms of communicating with
11 the inhabitants of the villages, you were dependent on either having a
12 local interpreter or finding somebody else who either spoke a little
13 English or, in the case of the soldiers, perhaps spoke a little German.
14 A. The preferred and the norm was to use UNPROFOR interpreters. The
15 second tranche would be to use the military interpreter, and the third
16 tranche would be rarely used, would be that of predominantly the German
17 speakers within our BritBat.
18 Q. You told us that during the fighting itself you would remain on
19 your base.
20 A. Dependent upon the military requirements. There were times when
21 military personnel -- medical personnel, rather, were required to deploy
22 onto the ground in order to provide integrated medical support for the
23 UNPROFOR troops.
24 Q. But the information that you obtained and that you told us about
25 yesterday was essentially what you were told by inhabitants of the
2 A. Correct.
3 Q. And as a representative of an international force, you were
4 probably aware of the possibility that you were getting one side of the
5 story but not necessarily both sides of the story.
6 A. Of course.
7 MR. MURPHY: Your Honour, would that be a convenient time to
9 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes. It's 10.30. We're going
10 to take a 20-minute break.
11 --- Recess taken at 10.30 a.m.
12 --- On resuming at 10.53 a.m.
13 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Please proceed with the
14 cross-examination, Mr. Murphy.
15 MR. MURPHY: Thank you, Mr. President.
16 Q. Dr. Carter, before the break I was asking you about your visits to
17 different villages, and you explained that the preferred practice was to
18 rely on UNPROFOR interpreters and that you were aware that some of the
19 information that you got at least might be coming from one side of the
20 rather than both sides of the story.
21 Now, yesterday you described a visit to the village of Dusa. Do
22 you remember that?
23 A. I do, yes.
24 Q. And you told us that you had been conducted around the village by
25 one of the inhabitants.
1 A. Correct.
2 Q. And you were rather glad about that, because you felt that was the
3 safest way to proceed. You have to answer audibly.
4 A. Yes. Yes.
5 Q. And that was because of the possibility there might be booby-traps
6 or other dangers in the village.
7 A. Correct.
8 Q. And I suppose during the period of the conflict that was always a
9 possibility, wasn't it?
10 A. It was, yes.
11 Q. And so in effect, and I don't mean this disparagingly, but when
12 you went to the villages, you would take the guided tour, wouldn't you?
13 A. Very much so.
14 Q. Yes. And this morning -- I just wanted to ask you about one point
15 of your observation. This morning in answer to my colleague Ms. Alaburic,
16 you gave an answer that you could not verify a report that you had not
17 yourself written. Do you remember saying that?
18 A. Correct.
19 MR. MURPHY: With the registrar's assistance, could we please have
20 on e-court Prosecution Exhibit 01351. I think we were looking at this
22 Q. While I'm -- while that's being brought up, did you ever -- when
23 you went around and surveyed the damage, did you ever take detailed notes
24 about what you'd seen?
25 A. Surveying damage was -- was -- was an aside to what we were doing
1 other than to report on ballpark numbers and our perception of what we'd
2 seen rather than doing a formal engineer's report.
3 Q. Yes, of course.
4 A. At the time, I, as most military personnel, carry a small
5 issued-style notebook into which you take notes at the time. In fact,
6 they're identical to look at to police notebooks. So they're that size,
7 carried in our -- carried in the pocket, and that gives you an idea of the
8 amount of space that you have to write the details of -- of that that you
9 wish to record, retain.
10 Q. All right. Now, with the registrar's assistance, if we could go
11 to page 3 of this document. Can you see the document now on the screen,
12 Dr. Carter?
13 A. I can.
14 Q. If we could go right to the bottom of the third page, please.
15 Thank you.
16 This is referring -- we rather scrolled past it, but referring to
17 the village of Uzricje, and I want to ask, you see at the bottom there the
18 statement, "A total of 24 houses destroyed (22 torched, 2 shelled)."
19 Correct? Do you see that?
20 A. I see that.
21 Q. Do you remember yesterday Mr. Bos asked you a question as to
22 whether that corresponded with your recollection?
23 A. Yes, I do.
24 Q. You remember you agreed that it did?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. So can we take it from that, then, that you counted or had some
2 note of a total of 24 houses being destroyed in that locality?
3 A. It would be in the -- I can't say I recollect exactly 24, but I do
4 remember that when villages were all but destroyed there would usually be
5 somewhere in the region of 90, 95 per cent of what we were shown that were
6 -- that were destroyed. So --
7 Q. I asked you a very specific question as to whether you agreed that
8 a total of 24 houses had been destroyed in the village of Uzricje.
9 A. I would be unable to say that it was 24 as opposed to 23 or 25 or
10 any other such.
11 Q. But that's exactly what you did say in response to Mr. Bos
12 yesterday, isn't it?
13 A. I said that I -- I can't remember exactly what I did say, but that
14 that seemed a reasonable -- a reasonable number.
15 Q. With the registrar's assistance could we now go to the bottom of
16 page 5 of the same document, please.
17 Do you see at the bottom of page 5 there, Dr. Cater, the
18 statement, "A total of 18 houses and sheds were destroyed, of which 16
19 were torched and two houses were destroyed by shelling"?
20 A. I do.
21 Q. Do you remember Mr. Bos asking you if that also -- this is now
22 referring to a different village, but he asked you if that also accorded
23 with your recollection.
24 A. Correct.
25 Q. And you said that it did.
1 A. Uh-huh.
2 Q. And again, were you intending to give the Court the impression
3 that you could confirm that exact quantity of damage?
4 A. I was replying to -- that that was the order of the number of
5 houses in these villages that we'd seen and that the idea of the majority
6 of the damage being torching rather than shelling was in keeping with my
7 recollection of the kind of damage that we found when we visited these
9 Q. So then you were not intending to verify or confirm a report that
10 you did not write. Is that true?
11 A. Sorry, can you repeat the question?
12 Q. Certainly. You were not, when you testified yesterday, trying to
13 verify the contents of a report that you did not write yourself.
14 A. Not exactly, no.
15 Q. But you did agree with Mr. Bos that the details in that report
16 corresponded with your recollection.
17 A. With -- with the -- what would be the word? Would be in line with
18 the -- 18 as opposed to 180, or 18 as opposed to 50. In other words, of
19 the order of.
20 Q. All right. Well, let's move on then. With the registrar's help
21 now, may we please go to another exhibit --
22 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Before we go on to something
23 else, I want to understand the distinction that you make between a house
24 that is burning from a house that was gutted or destroyed. So how -- when
25 you see a burning house, do you mean to say that the house was burnt
1 because it -- fire was planted there, or do you mean to say that the house
2 was destroyed from the shelling? Because in the report shown to you on
3 page 3, there is a clear distinction between 22 houses that were burnt and
4 two that were shelled. So you differentiate between torched, destroyed,
5 burnt. How were you able to make those distinctions? A house could be
6 burnt down because a shell fell on it, so it was torched. Of course,
7 there were other causes that can destroy houses by means of fire.
8 THE WITNESS: When -- when we --
9 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] And I am speaking to the British
10 officer in you now, not the doctor.
11 THE WITNESS: When -- when we were looking at the houses, the --
12 those that had been damaged by shelling we took to be those where you
13 could see the evidence of a large impact, with walls that had collapsed or
14 roofs that had caved in as what appeared to be the primary cause, whereas
15 those that we recorded as having been torched or burnt were those where it
16 appeared to have little primary structural damage but where the -- where
17 the fire appeared to have been the primary cause. It was based on the
18 amount of -- you know, if there was evidence of a great big shell having
19 come through the roof and that sort of -- and of course accepting that a
20 great big shell having come through the roof may well have set fire to the
21 building as well.
22 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you. That was a very
23 precise and clear answer, but in taking that further, you said that there
24 could have been houses where the roof caved in and the house was on fire.
25 So what was the cause of the fire? Was it caused by -- was it man-made,
1 exterior, or accidental?
2 THE WITNESS: That would be impossible -- that would be impossible
3 for me in my position to be able to comment upon that. I'm far from
4 forensically trained.
5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you. Mr. Murphy.
6 MR. MURPHY: Thank you, Mr. President. With the registrar's help,
7 can we please look at Exhibit P 01068 on e-court.
8 Q. While that's -- while that's going -- being found, Dr. Carter, I
9 just want to return very briefly, although I know we discussed it already
10 quite exhaustively, to the question of the incident where the flag was
11 raised. You remember that, I'm sure. And you've been asked certain
12 questions about that today also.
13 You agreed today that you had testified and said in your statement
14 to the Prosecutor, you described an incident involving a BiH flag; is that
16 A. Correct.
17 Q. And that was to the best of your recollection what had happened.
18 A. Correct.
19 Q. And that the incident had involved someone from the HVO tearing
20 down the BiH flag; is that right?
21 A. Correct.
22 Q. But then yesterday, if you recall -- can you see the exhibit now
23 on your screen?
24 A. Uh-huh.
25 Q. If we can scroll down just a little bit, please. Thank you.
1 Towards the bottom there, and it's rather hard to read now, I know
2 - thank you - now at the top of your screen, Mr. Bos referred you to this
3 document, an intelligence report which refers to an incident "at 1500
4 hours on Monday afternoon, the HVO raised an Ustasha flag in the town."
5 You see that statement?
6 A. Yes, I do.
7 Q. And in response to questioning today, you said that your
8 understanding was that the Ustasha were an extreme wing of the HVO; is
9 that right?
10 A. No. I corrected myself to say that my understanding was that the
11 Ustasha was -- was an extreme -- not necessarily of the HVO, just an
12 extreme element of -- not necessarily the HVO.
13 Q. So extreme element of what?
14 A. Of -- of -- of an organisation.
15 Q. But you don't know what organisation?
16 A. Well, in this context my recollection is that that's -- that that
17 was with -- with regard to the HVO, but not -- not unanimously.
18 Q. All right. We'll move on. You recall Mr. Bos asking you about
19 this statement and the intelligence report yesterday during your evidence?
20 A. I do, yes.
21 Q. And he asked you, did he not, whether, having seen this report, it
22 might be that you were mistaken about the nature of that incident and this
23 was really the flag incident that you were describing, the raising of the
24 HVO flag instead?
25 A. Correct.
1 Q. And you agreed with him that that might be the case; is that
3 A. I did, yes.
4 Q. And you said at that time also that you were only aware of one
5 flag-raising incident.
6 A. I was only aware -- what I'm referring to is only one flag-raising
7 incident that resulted in raising tensions at -- at and around that time.
8 That was what I was aware of, just the one. That's not to say that more
9 didn't happen, that's not to say that UNPROFOR didn't know about more.
10 I'm saying what I was aware of.
11 Q. This intelligence report would have been prepared from information
12 received by UNPROFOR personnel, would it not?
13 A. That would be my presumption.
14 Q. I suppose what troubles me is that having been shown this, it
15 appeared that you were ready then to agree with Mr. Bos yesterday that
16 this was the incident in question, yet today in response to questioning
17 from Ms. Alaburic, it appeared you were changing your mind again and
18 saying, "Well, no, it was the BiH flag."
19 A. Not at all. I was sticking to what I had originally said in my
20 statement, because my statement is that what I remember. I am more than
21 happy to have my memory corrected, but I -- my understanding is that I --
22 you know, that I gave in my statement that which I believed to be correct.
23 I stand -- if that is the same incident, which I have every reason to
24 believe it is, I stand corrected on my memory, but as you have rightly
25 pointed out, 13 years is a long time.
1 Q. I quite understand, Dr. Carter, and I sympathise. You're being
2 asked to recall events a long time ago. My only concern is to clear that
3 up, because it appeared that you were ready to agree with Mr. Bos's
4 suggestion. But today you're telling us that the best of your
5 recollection is the incident involved a BiH flag; is that right?
6 A. From my perspective, I believe both of those statements to be
7 correct insofar as my recollection is -- my recollection it was a BiH
8 flag. I'm prepared to say that my recollection was probably incorrect and
9 that I have every reason to believe that that is the same incident of flag
10 raising insofar as it's mentioned in that report. The date -- the
11 date/time group would be in line with my recollection. And as I said
12 previously, I wasn't on the ground at the time so I didn't actually see
13 the flag-raising myself.
14 Q. Thank you.
15 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Can you describe what the BH
16 flag is like and what the HVO flag is like, to the best of your
18 THE WITNESS: I -- I'm suddenly surprised by myself because they
19 were flags that we saw lots, and I have to say 13 years down the line it's
20 not something that immediately springs to my mind to be able to describe
21 in any great detail, I'm afraid.
22 MR. MURPHY:
23 Q. Just one or two -- I'm sorry.
24 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] On the other hand, you could
25 describe the Union Jack, could you not?
1 THE WITNESS: I've lived with the Union Jack for 44 years, not
2 just six months of my life.
3 MR. MURPHY: Thank you, Mr. President.
4 Q. Just a couple of other things quite quickly, Dr. Carter. You
5 described to us yesterday that you had been deployed as part of the
6 medical unit a little ahead of the main battle group.
7 A. Correct.
8 Q. You arrived in October, 1992.
9 A. Correct.
10 Q. You described an incident when you went to the building that you
11 were going to use as your headquarters.
12 A. Uh-huh.
13 Q. You said that in one particular part of that building you found
14 what appeared to you be bloodstains and some cerebrospinal fluid.
15 A. Correct.
16 Q. In answer to a question from Judge Trechsel, you agreed that there
17 had been no analysis of those substances.
18 A. We were unable to undertake formal analysis. We carry standard
19 British swabs for sampling to identify cerebrospinal fluid. The reason
20 for that is that it contains protein and you can have swabs which will
21 then undergo a colour change to say this is cerebrospinal fluid, important
22 in cases where you have bleeding from an ear, for example. If you've got
23 just blood, it won't change colour, but if you have the cerebrospinal
24 fluid, it will. We did try swabbing the area but of course it was
25 unlikely that we would be successful because it was clearly not fresh and
1 therefore dried and therefore would not work. It's a test that works with
2 liquid liquid.
3 Q. All right. My question is simply this: You made this discovery
4 in October of 1992; is that right?
5 A. It would be on or around the 4th or 5th of November.
6 Q. All right.
7 A. Again a date that is pertinent to the British insofar as the 5th
8 of November is bonfire night, and I remember that we were already in the
9 location on bonfire night and feeling that it would on this occasion not
10 be appropriate for us to let off fireworks.
11 Q. Yes.
12 A. So I know it was before the 5th of November.
13 Q. Okay. We can agree, can we not, that that was before the outbreak
14 of any ethnically based hostilities in the Gornji Vakuf area.
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. And the fact of the matter is that if crimes were committed in
17 that building, you don't know who committed them.
18 A. We do not, no.
19 Q. You don't know who the victims were.
20 A. No.
21 Q. And you don't know what any motivation for those crimes may have
23 A. Not at all.
24 Q. Finally, on the occasions when you were -- went to villages as
25 part of the humanitarian effort and accompanied a convoy with supplies,
1 you told us that you had a system of delivering certain supplies on a
2 50/50 basis.
3 A. That's correct.
4 Q. In other words, half of the supplies would be given to the -- the
5 Croat side and half to the Muslim side.
6 A. That's correct.
7 Q. There was one occasion, was there not, when an HVO doctor told you
8 that he had enough supplies and volunteered that you should give his share
9 to the Muslim side?
10 A. He did indeed.
11 Q. And while understanding that you had certain difficulties at
12 checkpoints from time to time, as a matter of basic principle you were
13 theoretically able to deliver supplies both to the Croat side and the
14 Muslim side; isn't that right?
15 A. Theoretically we were able to deliver supplies to both sides, yes.
16 Q. I mean, there were local difficulties, but the situation you
17 encountered would certainly be consistent with somebody higher up having
18 given instructions that those supplies were to be allowed through.
19 A. I'm not quite sure that I understand the question.
20 Q. Well, in principle, you understood that supplies could be
21 delivered both to the Croat side and the Muslim side.
22 A. Yes, I did.
23 Q. And even though there may have been obstructions at a local
24 checkpoint, that was the operating principle, that supplies should be
25 allowed through to both sides.
1 A. That was my understanding.
2 Q. Yes. Thank you very much, Dr. Carter.
3 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Counsel Kovacic.
4 MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, may my client be given
5 leave to put a few questions, after which my colleague, Ms. Pinter, may
6 have a few brief questions. Thank you.
7 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. Technical questions,
8 go ahead, Mr. Praljak.
9 Cross-examination by the Accused Praljak:
10 Q. [Interpretation] Good morning, Lieutenant Colonel Carter. I have
11 a number of questions for you, unless interrupted by Their Honours, to
12 clarify the situation you have described. In 1992, when you arrived in
13 Uskoplje or Gornji Vakuf, do you know where the joint lines facing the
14 Serb side were located at the time?
15 A. The information that I had and was given was predominantly related
16 to what was going to be our area of responsibility, and as such was
17 mostly --
18 Q. Excuse me for interrupting you, madam. You have given long
19 explanations when questioned by the Prosecutor. I am now asking you
20 kindly to reply to my questions. If you know something, just say yes and
21 explain, but if you don't know something, simply say, "No, I don't know,"
22 and this will enable me to put those questions, with Their Honours' leave,
23 which I feel are relevant. It will give me enough time to do that.
24 So my question is: Do you know where in October, 1992, the lines
25 facing the Serbs were?
1 A. My recollection is that the Serbs were a considerable distance
2 from we -- from where I was based, possibly the far side of Bugojno,
3 although I do not recall exactly.
4 Q. Thank you. Do you know how much in percentages of those lines
5 facing the Serbs were manned by the HVO and how much by Bosnia-Herzegovina
7 A. I do not know.
8 Q. Thank you. That towards the ends of 1992, after the fall of
9 Jajce, when you were already in the area, aid to Jajce was stopped by
10 Muslim forces at Ravni Rostov? Do you know about this or not?
11 A. I do not. Jajce was not in my area.
12 Q. Thank you very much. Do you know that at that time trenches began
13 to be dug around Uskoplje and Donji Vakuf by the army of
14 Bosnia-Herzegovina? Are you aware of that?
15 A. I am aware that trenches were being dug within -- within our area.
16 Q. These trenches were very far removed from the forces facing the
17 Serbs. The trenches were dug around the town where the transmitter was,
18 the hills facing Prozor; is that correct?
19 A. I do not -- I do not know exactly where trenches were dug nor by
20 which side trenches were dug. I was just aware that trenches were being
21 dug because there was talk about the fact that some of the trenches were
22 built to British army design.
23 Q. Thank you. How many meetings were held in BritBat at which
24 officers of BritBat attended in November and December, 1992, at which
25 Colonel Siljeg and Colonel Andric participated on one single issue, to do
1 something about the trench digging by the army of Bosnia-Herzegovina in
2 the town and around the town, which in military terms put the HVO in a
3 position between two fires? How many such meetings were held in the
4 British Battalion?
5 A. I don't know how many such meetings were held.
6 Q. Thank you very much. Do you know in what manner the army of
7 Bosnia and Herzegovina was armed while you were there? Did the weapons
8 arrive through HVO-controlled territory with the assistance of the HVO, or
9 do you know of any other ways in which the army of Bosnia and Herzegovina
10 was armed?
11 A. I do not know how the Bosnia -- the army of Bosnia and
12 Herzegovina was armed.
13 Q. Thank you. Do you know that these fortification trenches made to
14 British design put all of Central Bosnia into a position to cut all supply
15 lines of Bosnia and Herzegovina? Are you aware of this or not?
16 A. I do know -- as I said earlier, I was -- it was only rumour that
17 they were built to British design. I don't know for certain if they were
18 or they weren't, and I wouldn't know what British design looked like
19 anyway, and I was not aware of their intention or otherwise.
20 Q. Thank you. Thank you. So you toured villages around Uskoplje.
21 Can you tell me whether you personally saw a single house being torched?
22 A. I was never in a position to arrive in a village as a -- as a
23 house was being torched.
24 Q. So you did not. You did not personally see a single house being
25 torched. Yes or no.
1 A. No. I saw the results thereof and still smouldering houses.
2 Q. Thank you. Did you see a house being shelled, you personally?
3 A. On one occasion I did, yes.
4 Q. Thank you. Do you know that in the NATO standard and in the
5 Warsaw Pact standard there is incendiary ammunition which makes it very
6 easy to set fire to buildings by shooting onto the roofs of the buildings?
7 Do you have this information, as a soldier?
8 A. I am aware of that, yes.
9 Q. Do you know after the break-up of the Warsaw Pact, it was
10 relatively easy to buy such ammunitions from the depots in Eastern
12 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Mr. Praljak, the witness has just said that she
13 has no idea about such ammunition. I think there is no purpose in asking
14 more questions on this.
15 THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation]
16 Q. Do you know that there is incendiary ammunition both in the NATO
17 standards and in the Warsaw Pact standards?
18 A. I am aware that such ammunition exists. Beyond knowing it exists,
19 how it works, how you buy it, anything else, I know nothing about it. I
20 -- I know it exists, but beyond that, I know absolutely nothing about
21 incendiary ammunition.
22 Q. Lieutenant Colonel, I'm not accusing you of ignorance. It's not
23 your fault if you don't know something. Just simply say, "I don't know."
24 When you were inside a building -- or, rather, in the small
25 outbuilding where you saw the traces of blood and fluid, you said that a
1 man named Avdo had been assigned to you.
2 A. My -- my recollection of his name is Avdo.
3 Q. Do you know that Avdo is a Muslim name, an exclusively Muslim
5 A. No, I do not.
6 Q. If you established that there was no conflict at the time between
7 the Croats and the Muslims and that the situation was peaceful, would a
8 Muslim who evidently knew a lot about it conceal any possible crimes
9 committed by the HVO, or was he perhaps the one who committed crimes
10 against the HVO?
11 A. We had no reason to -- to be in a position to be able to decide
12 either way whether he was concealing crimes on either side. There was not
13 -- that was not -- that was not the issue.
14 Q. I understand, but a Muslim was there, and I'm pointing to the
15 logical absurdity of the situation, either of him concealing HVO crimes
16 against Muslims or him together with other Muslims committing crimes
17 against Croats, in which case he would have concealed the traces.
18 Evidently, if one thinks logically, there may have been certain groups
19 active in the area who did something, but this does not -- actually was
20 not done by either of the two sides we're talking about. Is that
22 A. It's entirely possible, and no way along the line has -- I hope I
23 haven't suggested that we were accusing anybody of any crimes. We were
24 just making observations of what -- of what we saw, and my concern at the
25 time was that these buildings would be fit and safe for occupation by
1 BritBat forces and, therefore, we didn't want to put them at risk of
2 touching dried blood, for example.
3 Q. Thank you. While you were there, did you ever hear of the name
5 A. I do not recognise the name Paraga.
6 Q. In that case, you cannot be aware of fact that he was the
7 commander of a renegade group of HOS men which also killed two Italian
8 humanitarian aid workers. Do you ever hear anything about that?
9 A. I don't recall. I don't recall that incident.
10 Q. Thank you. When you arrived in the village of Dusa --
11 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Praljak, why are you asking
12 these questions? What is the reason?
13 THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation] Your Honour --
14 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Relevance is what we're looking
16 THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation] Your Honours, for the simple
17 reason that without having the overall situation and complete knowledge
18 about an area, such as Uskoplje and Gornji Vakuf, it is very difficult
19 through partial information to arrive at the truth. That is why I am
20 trying, by putting questions which I feel the lieutenant colonel is a
21 relevant witness to answer, to find out about the informal renegade groups
22 who were present in the area, about the possible ways in which buildings
23 were set on fire, about the possibilities of identifying the perpetrators,
24 the ability of commanders to control such a situation, about the
25 possibilities of situations such as that described by the lady, a rape in
1 a village without electricity, a remote village where four men arrive at
2 night, enter a room and are recognised as being HVO soldiers in the dark,
3 without any electric light, about a cellar which is dark. I want to know
4 how big that cellar is, whether the lady had to kneel to get in, how it
5 was possible to see blood there. So I want to know about all this.
6 The lady talked about sociological matters, about the relative
7 prosperity of Croats and Muslims. She spoke about who was helping whom
8 from Germany and abroad. The lady is a major of the British army, but she
9 doesn't know about the UN mandate, which was very strictly defined and
10 related to humanitarian convoys, about the use of armed rights to the
11 right and left of the road along which convoys are passing. And I want to
12 ask, because the HVO, in the conflicts in Gornji Vakuf, had over 50 killed
13 and more than 200 casualties in those conflicts, I want to know where
14 those people were treated, where wounded members of the army of Bosnia and
15 Herzegovina were treated, why the conflict in Gornji Vakuf did not spread
16 to Bugojno, who and how succeeded in keeping the peace there.
17 All these are questions which need to be answered here. To what
18 extent the lady spoke about the moving in of refugees after the fall of
19 Jajce, to what extent the new refugees changed the make-up of the
20 population, thus intensifying and speeding up the spiral of evil.
21 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes. We've understood. This
22 could go on for hours, but take the essential, the main questions quickly.
23 I'm not saying that the other questions are not relevant, but,
24 unfortunately, we have time constraints. So focus on your most important
25 questions and go through them as quickly as possible. But you will, of
1 course, have an opportunity later on to broach these questions again.
2 THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation]
3 Q. Madam, when you were in Dusa and when you saw that cellar, how
4 high and how wide was the window in that cellar, and how far above ground
5 was it?
6 A. The building had no windows, but it had the hole for where the
7 window would be. My recollection is that the window was probably the size
8 of one -- one of these desks, platforms, whatever you want to call these
9 structures in front of us here. And it was the middle of the -- it was
10 the middle of the day, so -- so it wasn't in the dark. And to look down
11 was very little distance, as I said, because of the lie of the land,
12 although it was -- the basement on one side, of course, it doesn't always
13 become balanced.
14 Q. Thank you.
15 MR. BOS: If the witness is referring to the desk, maybe she can
16 give an approximate -- just in metres or feet, but -- for the record.
17 THE WITNESS: I guess that's - I don't know - a metre by two and a
18 half, something like that. Is that right? A metre -- a metre is three
19 foot, yeah.
20 THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation]
21 Q. Thank you very much. You stated here that there were many mixed
22 marriages in Uskoplje. On the basis of what analysis did you conclude
23 this? Did you carry out an analysis? How did you arrive at this
24 information, and what does a lot mean in terms of percentages?
25 A. That was information that we gathered in -- in those early -- in
1 those early weeks when we were there from all sides, very much that war
2 was -- was not what they wanted because they had this inter-ethnic --
3 inter-ethnic community in Gornji Vakuf. And so it came from --
4 Q. Madam, please. Let's be precise. From all sides. What sides are
5 you referring to? Did you go to the municipality and look in the marriage
6 registry books for the previous few years?
7 A. One of the -- one of the discussions that we did have, in fact,
8 was with one of the municipality officers, who confirmed that there were a
9 significant number of inter-ethnic marriages in -- or inter-ethnic
10 families in -- in the Gornji Vakuf area.
11 Q. Did you carry out any kind of precise analysis such as you have to
12 carry out when treating your patients?
13 A. Sorry, I don't understand.
14 Q. Yes or no.
15 A. I don't understand the tie-in between analysis of the percentage
16 of mixed marriages and me treating casualties or patients. I'm sorry, I
17 don't understand how I would compare and contrast the two.
18 Q. Very simply. Sociology, anthropology, ethnology, areas in which
19 you have put forward a large number of conclusions here is science. It
20 has its -- it's a discipline with its own methods and procedures. So I am
21 asking you was it on the basis of precise data that you arrived at the
22 fact that in Gornji Vakuf in such-and-such a year there was a certain
23 percentage of mixed marriages? Yes or no.
24 A. It was on the -- based on what you've said there, the strongest
25 evidence, if you wish to call it that, would come from our discussions
1 with one of the gentlemen from the municipality who gave us that
3 Q. Thank you. Thank you very much. You said that the Croats were
4 more prosperous than the Muslims. You based your conclusion on television
5 sets, microwave ovens, audio equipment. What was the representative
6 sample on the basis of which you reached your conclusion? Do you know
7 what a representative sample is?
8 A. I do know what a representative sample is, yes.
9 Q. How large was your representative sample, and what kind of
10 research did you engage in in order to reach this conclusion?
11 A. When -- when reaching that -- when -- when making that comment
12 earlier, it was based on observation rather than true scientific evidence
13 based. It would have been inappropriate for us to work -- spend time
14 working out the socio-demographic discrepancies or variations between
16 Q. Thank you very much. You were in the village -- in a village
17 after 20 minutes driving to the right from Bugojno, and there a female
18 person told you that at night three or four men had entered her room, that
19 they put their hands over her mouth, and that they raped her. These
20 villages are 20 kilometres from Gornji Vakuf and are predominantly Muslim.
21 As a doctor, did you establish in any manner whether there was a
22 factual basis to believe the story? Because there was no electricity, it
23 was night-time. Did you have any doubts, and did you carry out any kind
24 of scientific or medical investigation to establish the truth of the
1 A. The story was given to us -- or was given to me based upon the
2 lady volunteering all the information on -- as was --
3 Q. You have already told us what she told you. But you are trained
4 in gynaecology. Did you check the story in any way? We've already heard
5 what you said about this.
6 A. It would have -- it would have been inappropriate for me to have
7 examined the lady to -- to corroborate or dispute her accusations. We
8 just listened and passed the information to the chain of command.
9 Q. Thank you. Did you, throughout that time, with 50 dead on the HVO
10 side and 230 wounded and most probably a comparable number on the BH army,
11 you as a doctor, did you ever give medical assistance to anyone and, if
12 so, to whom and when?
13 A. We gave medical assistance to our own. We escorted the -- the BiH
15 Q. Thank you. Thank you. We've already heard that, madam. I asked
16 you a simple question. Did you give --
17 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Mr. Praljak, the witness was exactly answering
18 your question. You were asking did you ever give medical assistance? You
19 did not say to this or to that. It was an open question, and you
20 interrupted her where she was exactly answering that question. She said,
21 yes, I gave to this, and she has not finished.
22 MR. BOS: Your Honours, I had the same objection. I think the
23 witness should be given a chance to actually finish her answer, because
24 Mr. Praljak is constantly interrupting her.
25 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes. Very well. Complete the
1 answer to the question that was asked of you, and that was whether you
2 yourself gave medical assistance to HVO soldiers who were wounded, and if
3 -- possibly certain of them had been killed. And whether you did that
4 also for the BH soldiers. So that's the question you were asked.
5 THE WITNESS: On no occasion did I treat HVO or BiH soldiers.
6 THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation]
7 Q. Thank you. I won't take up more time. I just have one more
8 question, and it is this: Was it part of your job as a doctor and also
9 professionally as an officer to be unbiased and not to reduce the problem
10 to the level of your own lack of knowledge? Or let me put it this way:
11 Is it possible to explain a physical theory, Einstein's theory, with four
12 arithmetical methods; addition, subtraction, multiplication, division? Is
13 that possible? Can one do that?
14 A. My -- my job as a doctor and as an officer is always to remain
15 unbiased and to record and report that that I see with the knowledge that
16 I have and to leave -- and when required, to leave others with broader
17 knowledge and greater understanding to interpret that information which I
18 give them.
19 Q. But you didn't sociologically, politicogically and
20 anthropologically study that.
21 A. If you mean did I do a sociological, political and anthropological
22 study of the Gornji Vakuf area, no, I did not.
23 Q. Thank you.
24 THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honours.
25 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you. Ms. Pinter or
1 Mr. Kovacic, if you have any additional questions to raise, go ahead.
2 MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, no. We have no further
3 questions, and Mr. Praljak's Defence rests.
4 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you. I'm going to ask the
5 Prosecution whether they have any additional questions, but before I do
6 that, I myself have a question to ask you, madam.
7 Questioned by the Court:
8 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] At Gornji Vakuf, the British
9 Battalion was located at Gornji Vakuf. At what particular locality there?
10 A. It was located in a light sort of industrial-type factory on
11 the --
12 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] In a factory. Very well. Thank
13 you. In an industrial zone; is that right?
14 Does the Prosecution have any additional questions? Of course,
15 questions arrived from the cross-examination.
16 MR. BOS: No, Your Honour. Prosecution doesn't have any further
17 questions except that we would like to tender our exhibits. I don't know
18 if this is the time to do that or not.
19 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] We'll see to that later on.
20 Madam, you have completed your testimony here. Thank you for
21 coming, having been asked to do so by the Prosecution, and contributed to
22 justice. On behalf of the Judges present, and those absent as well, I
23 would like to extend our gratitude and wish you all the best when you
24 return to your country. I'm going to ask Madam Usher to escort you out of
25 the courtroom now.
1 THE WITNESS: Thank you very much.
2 [The witness withdrew]
3 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I turn to the Prosecution to
4 hear the exhibit numbers, and then I'll ask the Defence the same question.
5 MR. BOS: Your Honour, the Prosecution has seven exhibits to
6 tender, and I'll read out the numbers: 01068, 01113, 01308, 01351, 01373,
7 01386, and 01600.
8 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. So those are the
9 documents that you would like -- that were presented to the witness.
10 Mr. Registrar, do your duty.
11 THE REGISTRAR: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President. [In
12 English] The following seven exhibits are therefore tendered and admitted:
13 01068, 01113, 01308, 01351, 01373, 01386, and 01600. Thank you,
14 Mr. President.
15 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you. Now let me turn to
16 the Defence with respect to the exhibits shown to the witness that the
17 witness did not know about but that according to their contents could
18 correspond to what she did know. Do you have the numbers for those?
19 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Pursuant to the criteria used by
20 the Prosecution in tendering his exhibits, and these documents were ones
21 that the witness did not know about nor could she confirm the contents of
22 the entire document, I would like to put forward three exhibits that we
23 showed the witness today. They are under the following numbers:
24 4D 00037, 4D 00041, and 4D 00045.
25 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. That makes it three
1 documents: 4D 37, 4D 41, and 4D 45.
2 Mr. Registrar.
3 THE REGISTRAR: Thank you, Mr. President. Those three exhibits
4 are therefore tendered and admitted under the following numbers:
5 4D 00037, 4D 00041, and 4D 00045. Thank you.
6 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. Registrar.
7 We shall proceed with the next witness, and we shall discuss
8 protective measures. After we have discussed that, we need 30 minutes to
9 change the tapes, so we will finish after that and reconvene in an hour
10 and a half, after the lunch break.
11 I can see that Mr. Karnavas wants to say something.
12 MR. KARNAVAS: If I might make just one brief -- actually, two,
13 two brief observations that might assist us in trying to save time in this
14 courtroom in light of the limited time that we have to try this case. One
15 example was this whole incident with the dry blood and the cerebral fluid.
16 It wasn't until the cross-examination with my colleague Mr. -- Professor
17 Peter Murphy and then again by the general that it was brought out and
18 flushed out.
19 Clearly the impression that the Prosecution wanted to leave
20 yesterday that this blood or cerebral fluid or the incident that occurred
21 in that location was the result of Croat or HVO activity. When we look at
22 the time and the place and the events, it's clear that's not anywhere
23 near. The dates are off, there is no real evidence, and the witness
24 basically even today admitted that she didn't do the basic test because
25 she could not.
1 This is one area, for instance, that if the Defence did not
2 challenge, it might lead the Trial Chamber to a wrong conclusion. I would
3 suspect that when proofing a witness, the Prosecution knows that perhaps
4 that's an incident has little or perhaps absolutely no value at all to
5 this case, and in doing so they may be leading the Trial Chamber in the
6 wrong direction, hence the difference between an adversarial system and a
7 continental system. And since we're going more into a continental system,
8 I would suggest that perhaps the Prosecution try to do its very best to
9 pose questions that are strictly limited as opposed to perhaps introducing
10 evidence that, if it go unchallenged, might lead the Trial Chamber in
11 reaching a wrong conclusion. In a continental system, as you well know,
12 the Prosecution has an obligation to bring up both inculpatory and
13 exculpatory but also is there as an officer of the Court as he would be
14 also in the Anglo-Saxon system. But there we have an adversarial process,
15 here we should be closer to the continental in that respect, so I think we
16 can eliminate time-consuming areas of confrontation if we just stick to
17 relevant matters.
18 Another -- my other observation goes to the questioning by General
19 Praljak with respect to whether the doctor conducted any examinations with
20 respect to the -- to the rape incident. I saw a reaction from the Bench.
21 I thought I might want to comment on it.
22 Had it -- had it been the victim herself here, I would say that we
23 need to be very, very careful and gentle and perhaps even get some
24 guidelines from the Court as to how far and to what extent we can ask
25 questions. But I think if there's a witness here and the impression that
1 the Prosecution wants to put on is that somebody was raped and was raped
2 by Croatian HVO soldiers and therefore somebody among the crew over here
3 is guilty, perhaps one or all of them, then I think it's only reasonable
4 for the Defence to ask the medical doctor if indeed she conducted a
5 relevant test. The answer was no. Mr. Praljak went on. I think it's
6 appropriate to point out, because, after all, the Prosecution has to prove
7 beyond a reasonable doubt. I suspect if they're going to insist that this
8 rape indeed occurred by HVO soldiers, then of course they would need to
9 bring in more evidence. But I think in that particular area it's
10 perfectly appropriate for the Defence to go in, and again maybe these are
11 the sort of things that at some point we may need some guidelines from the
12 Trial Bench as to how far we can go in.
13 Thank you very much.
14 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes. Thank you. I share some
15 of your preoccupations when the examination-in-chief was conducted. It is
16 true that a civil law Judge would have immediately asked the witness at
17 what date she was in the locality in order to check and see whether what
18 she's saying is included into the scope of the indictment, and then the
19 witnesses would be defined that way, because it wasn't a rape -- if it was
20 rape that occurred six months or one year before or outside the date of
21 the indictment, then that would be another matter.
22 So to avoid this kind of inconvenience, it would be a good idea
23 that when a question is asked that seems to you be important, that the
24 question should be situated in time and space, time especially, to see
25 whether it comes within the frameworks of the indictment and what
1 particular time, because to ask a question in January can be interesting
2 -- relating to January, but much less so if the indictment refers to
3 July. So try and be as precise as possible.
4 Very often I myself have the urge to intervene because I find that
5 there's an element lacking, but I place my trust in you, in the two -- and
6 the two examples that you quoted highlight the difficulties that we
7 encounter. But rest assured that we're not a jury. We are professional
8 Judges, and we know full well how to attribute weight to what has been
9 said in the courtroom, and it is only when we have all the elements before
10 us that we make our final conclusions, because as you know, we cannot
11 declare ourselves -- we have to declare ourselves beyond reasonable doubt.
12 So rest assured -- both parties can rest assured that that is our concept
13 of the matter. So any testimony that is imprecise will be viewed as being
14 imprecise unless there is particular reference to dates, places, and so on
15 which will give greater weight to the substance.
16 It's 12.00. I suggest we have the blinds drawn and introduce the
17 witness and hear what the -- what the witness has to say on the protective
18 measures, after which we shall be taking a break and reconvening in an
19 hour and a half. I'm saying this for the public gallery. And having said
20 that, we're going to have a -- because of procedure, we're going to have
21 to lower the blinds first.
22 Do we go into private session?
23 JUDGE TRECHSEL: This would be an empty moment, as it were. I
24 would like to comment on this issue on the rape and the question. I
25 think, if I'm not wrong, the rape is not even in the indictment, so it is
1 not really one of the facts to be proved. And second, I think with all
2 the difficulty of our tasks, being involved in humanitarian law and human
3 rights, we should not behave and expect behaviour which -- which is close
4 to the inhuman. I imagine this situation. With my fantasy I go there. I
5 see this woman who is probably crying, and then I imagine the doctor say,
6 Oh, you were raped, will you come to the next room and show me. I think
7 this is a behaviour that would be completely unacceptable on a human
8 basis, and that is -- that is the reason why I reacted a bit.
9 MR. KARNAVAS: And I share -- I share that level of humanity with
10 you, Your Honour. However, if we're going to convict somebody based on
11 that, we have to -- so as a lawyer, a Defence lawyer, I have to react, and
12 at least I have to put -- chime in a little bit.
13 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone please, Your Honour.
14 [Closed session]
11 Pages 3462-3470 redacted. Closed session.
3 [Open session]
4 THE REGISTRAR: [Interpretation] We are in open session,
5 Mr. President.
6 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. Sir, I would now
7 like to ask you to stand and to tell me your name, surname, and date of
8 birth before you take the solemn declaration.
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, ladies and gentlemen,
10 my name is Omer Hujdur. I was born on the 19th of April, 1952.
11 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you. Could you tell me,
12 please, what your present function or profession is.
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] At this point in time I am deputy in
14 the House of Representatives of the parliament of Bosnia-Herzegovina.
15 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you. Sir, have you
16 already testified before an International Tribunal or national court about
17 the events that took place in your country in 1992, 1993, or 1994, or is
18 this the first time that you're testifying in a court of law?
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, this is the first time.
20 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. Would you now go
21 ahead and read the solemn declaration handed to you by Madam Usher.
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you. I solemnly declare that
23 I will speak the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
24 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you. Please be seated.
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you.
1 WITNESS: OMER HUJDUR
2 [Witness answered through interpreter]
3 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Sir, I'm going to give you some
4 information about the proceedings, because it is procedure that you are
5 not accustomed to. In the first stage, you're going to be answering
6 questions put to you by the representatives of Madam Carla Del Ponte, who
7 is the Prosecutor of this Tribunal, and her representatives are sitting to
8 your right, and I'm sure you've met them before during the proofing
10 Once the representatives of the Prosecutor have completed their
11 examination-in-chief, the Defence counsel sitting to your left will also
12 have the right to ask you questions, which we call in common law procedure
13 the cross-examination stage. And you will be able to see straight away
14 that the way in which those questions are asked are different to the way
15 in which the questions were asked you by the Prosecution, because during
16 the cross-examination, we start out from a hypothesis and then you are
17 asked to give a yes or no answer unless you need to go into detail.
18 The Judges sitting in front of you - usually there are four Judges
19 but today only two Judges are sitting because other Judges are otherwise
20 engaged professionally - can step in to ask you questions at any time. As
21 a general rule, we ask questions when we feel that something needs to be
22 clarified with respect to the questions asked and your answers, and we
23 feel that it is in the best interests of justice for us to ask you these
25 If in the course of being questioned by one or other party you
1 experience any difficulties, please do not hesitate to let us know. And
2 if you feel in particular that an answer that you have given necessitates
3 you to go into private session, we will allow you to do so.
4 Let me remind you that you have taken the solemn declaration to
5 tell the truth, and you know as a parliamentarian yourself that any
6 mendacity, of course, entails repercussions, and I don't have to insist
7 upon that any longer.
8 So in general terms, that is a rundown of the way in which the
9 proceedings are conducted. We normally work for one and a half hours,
10 after which we take a 20-minute break, and that is for technical reasons,
11 and then we reconvene after the 20-minute break. So we shall be working
12 for an hour and a half, a 20-minute break, and then another hour and a
14 Let me tell you that today we finish business by 5.00 p.m. If we
15 have not completed the examination, then unfortunately, you will have to
16 come back tomorrow morning. I mean unfortunately for you. But I hope
17 we'll complete everything today.
18 Without further ado, I'm going to ask a representative of the
19 Prosecution to start the examination-in-chief.
20 MR. KRUGER: Thank you, Mr. President, Your Honour.
21 Mr. President, just before commencing, if I may indicate the paragraphs in
22 the indictment that the testimony of this witness are relevant to, are
23 paragraphs 7, 17.3(a), 17.3(c), 33, 37, 43, 45, 46, 47, 48, 50, 51, 52,
24 53, 54, 55, 56, and 59.
25 Thank you, Your Honour.
1 Examination by Mr. Kruger:
2 Q. Good afternoon, Mr. Hujdur. Now, Mr. Hujdur, could you tell the
3 Court, are you married and do you have children?
4 A. Yes, I do have children.
5 Q. Where did you grow up?
6 A. I grew up in Prozor, in the Prozor municipality.
7 Q. You went to school in Prozor as well?
8 A. Yes. After primary school, I completed the mechanical engineering
9 school and then went on to study mechanical engineering at the university
10 in Mostar.
11 Q. After completing your studies, did you return to Prozor?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. In what capacity?
14 A. I started my working life in a traffic company, communications
15 company. Otherwise, I worked on the hydroelectric power plants at -- on
16 the river Neretva and in the UNIS factory for a time as manager.
17 Q. The hydroelectric plant, power plant, and the UNIS factory, are
18 they in Prozor?
19 A. Yes. The hydroelectric power plant is in the Prozor municipality.
20 The lake is in part of the Prozor municipality, whereas the actual plant
21 is some 15 kilometres away. And the UNIS factory is in the town of Prozor
23 Q. When did you enter politics in Prozor for the first time?
24 A. Well, professionally speaking, since the beginning of March and
25 April, 1992. In more amateur terms I delved in politics a little earlier
2 Q. From when? Referring to the more amateur politics, from when?
3 A. In 1986 to 1990. I was representative of the Prozor municipality
4 and Jablanica in the Republican Assembly of Bosnia-Herzegovina. That was
5 the representative for the economy. It was called the Associated Labour
6 Chamber in the Assembly of Bosnia-Herzegovina. But as I say, it wasn't a
7 professional post. It was an amateur one.
8 Q. For which party -- or to which party did you belong at that stage?
9 A. At the time, I was -- it's the SDP now, but at the time it was the
10 League of Communists, up until 1990 and somewhat later on as well.
11 Q. You say that you remained in this party until 1990, or at least
12 you performed functions in the party until 1990. What caused you to leave
13 the party?
14 A. I left the party during 1991, among other things because of the
15 very mild reactions of the party to the events that were taking place
16 primarily in our municipality.
17 Q. We will get to that in a short while. Can we have a -- can you
18 give us a brief description of Prozor. The municipality of Prozor, how
19 large is it?
20 A. The Prozor municipality is 400-odd square kilometres, the surface
21 area. It's a medium-sized municipality when speaking of its surface area.
22 Q. Are you able to give an idea of the demographic composition of
23 Prozor in the light of the 1991 census?
24 A. Yes. According to that census, the Prozor municipality had 19.702
25 inhabitants, of which 62 per cent were Croats, 37 per cent were Bosniaks,
1 and 1 per cent were Serbs and others.
2 Q. So the Croats were in majority in the municipality?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. What about the town of Prozor? What was the composition or ethnic
5 composition of the town of Prozor?
6 A. The town of Prozor at that time had 3.565 inhabitants, and we can
7 say that approximately two-thirds were Bosniaks and the rest were Croats
8 and Serbs and those who declared themselves as others.
9 Q. The two main groups, the Croats and the Bosniaks, did they live in
10 separate areas in the town of Prozor?
11 A. We can't put it that way, no, although there were parts of town
12 which were predominantly inhabited by the Bosniaks, but viewed as a whole,
13 it was a mixed population structure.
14 Now, in the part of down that was exclusively populated by
15 Bosniaks, there was the Varos area and what is referred to as Carsija, or
16 the centre of town, the lower part of the town of Prozor referred to as
18 Q. There is a part in the town called Pogradje. What about that
20 A. Yes. That's a part of town which is on a hill, at an elevation
21 above the town of Prozor, on the road towards Gornji Vakuf or, rather, in
22 the eastern part of town, which was mostly inhabited by the Bosniaks.
23 Q. Thank you. Prior to 1991, what was the -- how would you describe
24 the relationship between the ethnic groupings in Prozor, in the
25 municipality and in the town?
1 A. The ethnic relationship between the ethnic communities or ethnic
2 groupings, as you said, were traditionally good over a long period of
3 time, right up until the end of 1990, in fact, until the end of the -- or,
4 rather, the beginning of the multi-party elections.
5 Q. Could you give the Court an indication from purely a common-sense
6 point of view, as somebody who grew up in Prozor and lived in Prozor,
7 about the geographic importance of Prozor.
8 A. Prozor is a municipality, and the municipality headquarters, in
9 fact, is to be found along the communication lines, the nearest
10 communication line between the Adriatic Sea and Zagreb, or Dubrovnik and
11 Zagreb. And it was very well connected, with the south towards Mostar and
12 Metkovic and Dubrovnik and the Adriatic coast, and to the north Gornji
13 Vakuf, Bugojno, Jajce towards Zagreb, and further on towards other
14 destinations in Europe and the world. So that then is how it lies as
15 concerns north/south, on the north/south line.
16 Now, with respect to east/west communications, next to Prozor
17 municipality is what used to be Duvno municipality, today it is
18 Tomislavgrad, and Kupres. Prozor is connected to those places with a
19 regional macadam road. And to the east it was linked to Konjic, also with
20 a regional road but once again a macadamised road surface. We can say
21 that communications, east/west communications were pretty poor, if you
22 look at the quality of the roads, that is. Not very good roads along that
23 line of communication.
24 Q. Thank you. If we can turn to the elections -- I beg your pardon.
25 If we can turn to the elections of 1990. The government of the Republic
1 of Bosnia and Herzegovina called an election in 1990; is that correct?
2 A. The elections were held on the 17th of November, 1990, to the best
3 of my recollection.
4 Q. Did you participate in those elections for any party?
5 A. I did go to the elections. I did participate, but I wasn't on the
6 list of any of the parties, because my mandate still lasted until the end
7 of that year in the Republican Assembly or, rather, the party I was in.
8 So I had no desire while being -- while working in one term of office or
9 mandate to change my clothes, if I can put it that way, and go and take up
10 a position for someone else.
11 Q. What was the result of this election in Prozor municipality?
12 A. The results of the election was that the election was won by the
13 HDZ and the SDA. They were the victorious parties of the Croatian and
14 Bosniak people. And a small percentage of votes went to the SDP party,
15 which was still a multi-ethnic party in composition. However, it wasn't
16 the strongest.
17 Q. Which party obtained the majority or had the most votes?
18 A. The HDZ absolutely secured the majority vote.
19 Q. The HDZ and the SDA parties, do you know whether they tried to
20 come to some kind of power-sharing agreement subsequent to the election?
21 A. I really can't say that they went into a coalition or
22 power-sharing agreement or an agreement of any kind. They did talk and
23 discuss matters, but from the beginning there were things that they did
24 not agree upon and problems cropped up. Now, if I'm allowed to talk about
25 those problems now or perhaps in -- as you go along.
1 Q. We can get to these problems at a later stage. Could we first
2 look at the structure of the municipal government in Prozor. What did the
3 -- or how was the top structure of the municipal association composed?
4 A. The usual structure, just as in any other municipality, was that
5 the Municipal Assembly acted as a municipal parliament or the legislative
6 organ, and the president of the Assembly, also the President of the
7 Executive Board or Prime Minister of the government of the municipality,
8 if you want to put it that way, and the secretary of the Municipal
9 Assembly, these were key positions, as well as the municipal departments
10 for the economy, for town planning, for finance, and so on and so forth.
11 Q. Was there a mayor for the town as well -- or before getting to the
12 mayor -- sorry, I withdraw that question. Just to make it clear, at the
13 top we have the Municipal Assembly. Who does the Municipal Assembly -- or
14 how is it composed? Who does it comprise?
15 A. It was composed of delegates - I think that was their title at the
16 time - of the Assembly. These were representatives of the ruling parties
17 at the time.
18 Q. The president of the Municipal Assembly, was he elected or
19 appointed by these delegates? By the representatives of these.
20 A. I think that he was elected. Whether it was the delegates who
21 appointed him, well, I can't exclude the possibility.
22 Q. In any event, who became the president of the Municipal Assembly?
23 A. Mr. Mijo Jozic, who was, of course, the representative of the HDZ,
24 became the president.
25 Q. The secretary that you referred to, who was the secretary, or who
1 became the secretary?
2 A. Also a representative of the HDZ. Certain faults were linked to
3 his name. It turned out he did not meet the requirements, because he had
4 not graduated from university, nor did he have work experience. However,
5 when objections were raised, the answer given was that one had to build up
6 a modern administration comprising young people and that one day he would
7 in fact acquire the necessary conditions.
8 Q. The president of the Municipal Assembly and the secretary, could
9 they be described as the executive within the municipality?
10 A. The president of the Executive Council represented the executive
11 branch of government, and he was also a representative of the HDZ. Only
12 his deputy, at a lot of insistence, was appointed but his powers were
13 negligibly small. They were marginal.
14 Q. Who was the president of the Executive Council?
15 A. A representative of the HDZ.
16 Q. Do you know who he was or who was appointed to the position?
17 A. At the time, it was Nikola Ivic.
18 Q. As you say "at the time," was Nikola Ivic later replaced?
19 A. Later on another man would be appointed, but a lot later.
20 Q. Within this top structure of the -- sorry, before going there, you
21 mentioned that beneath this structure that you've just described there
22 were also departments. Could you perhaps give an idea of what these
23 departments were and what their functions were. In general terms.
24 A. The department for town planning, the department for inspections,
25 the tax administration department. That was given to a representative of
1 the SDA. But at that time, to hold that post, as at any time, well, it's
2 highly responsible, a highly responsible job to work in the tax
3 administration. It's a difficult job.
4 Then there was the inspections department. An SDA representative
5 was there as well. And as I said, where Bosniak representatives were
6 appointed, those were the less important posts, and posts which were
7 difficult in terms of the job that had to be carried out.
8 Q. Were there any posts which had specifically been promised to the
10 A. Yes. Just a little while ago, I mentioned the problems that arose
11 at the very outset of establishing the government after the elections.
12 One the important posts which had been promised to the Bosniaks was the
13 commander of the Territorial Defence Staff for Prozor municipality.
14 Throughout this time, it was a bone of contention. Well, I won't put it
15 quite like that, but one might say that because a promise had been made
16 but never followed through by representatives of the HDZ, and this
17 remained opened -- open throughout this period. Nobody was actually ever
18 appointed to that post, and this gave people a bad feeling with regard to
19 representation, equality, confidence, safety and security, and so on.
20 Q. You mentioned that you left the SDA party in 1991. Did you join
21 any other political party?
22 A. There might be a typing error here. I left the previous party in
23 the second half of 1991, and for six months I was not a member of any
25 Q. My apologies. When did you again join a political party?
1 A. In essence, at the invitation of the Crisis Staff, I joined the
2 talks aimed at calming down tensions and alleviating the very bad
3 atmosphere prevailing in Prozor in late March and early April, and they
4 didn't even ask me whether I was an SDA member or not. However, at that
5 time it was only possible to be active within the scope of the existing
6 options, and at the request of representatives of the then SDA, and of
7 course other people, I formally became a member of the party on the 24th
8 of June at the Assembly of the party -- the party convention, rather, in
9 June. And from March to April one might also consider me to have been a
10 member of the party, but in formal terms I became a member at the party
12 Q. And the period that you're referring to, March to April, is that
14 A. Yes, yes.
15 Q. Thank you. Just one step backwards for a moment. During 1991,
16 the HDZ party in Prozor, did they hold any rallies or gatherings?
17 A. I remember a large rally held on the shores of the Ramsko lake.
18 It might have been an anniversary of the HDZ party. And at that gathering
19 many people were present. Their passage through the town was unusual and
21 Q. And did this have any -- was there any reaction to the passage of
22 the HDZ people through the town?
23 A. To avoid any misunderstanding of this, when I said "unusual," I
24 meant to say that they honked the horns of their vehicles. There were too
25 many flags. At the same time, there were two vehicles driving alongside
1 each other in the same direction along the road. Nobody was against their
2 passage. Had they done it in a peaceful and tolerant atmosphere, things
3 would have been different, but it left a very bad impression, because
4 people began to fear such behaviour. They began to express surprise and
5 to wonder why they were behaving like this.
6 Q. If you say on page 88, line 6, "people began to fear such
7 behaviour," which people are you referring to?
8 A. All those who found such behaviour alien. I assume that all
9 normal people who wanted there to be a normal atmosphere, understanding,
10 confidence, good neighbourly relations, and so on. Of course it was the
11 representatives of other parties who would be most afraid. It's only
12 natural. In this case it would be the SDA, the SDP, and those who were
13 not members of any political party, because there were such people as
14 well, people who hadn't elected to join any of these parties.
15 Q. You also mentioned that flags were being shown by the vehicles, or
16 there were plenty of flags, or too many flags, I think you said. Which
17 flags were you referring to?
18 A. For the most part HDZ flags, but there were also other flags. I
19 think that -- well, it's not that I don't know or wouldn't like to say,
20 but this has to do with what I asked at the beginning of the session.
21 It's enough for now to say that there were others as well.
22 Q. Let's move to a further topic. In March, April, 1992, could we
23 say that this is around about the time that the conflict with the Serbs in
24 Bosnia broke out?
25 A. I think this is common knowledge. I think that this Court and the
1 public know about this. I don't think there's any need to elaborate on
2 it. Of course, when one bears in mind the barricades in Sarajevo, one
3 might say it was late March, early April.
4 Q. Thank you. Was Prozor itself, the municipality, directly affected
5 by this conflict?
6 A. No. No. Although in the direction of Kupres, going from Prozor,
7 where it was assumed that lines should be established at the time, but
8 this was a distant and inactive area, one might say that the answer is no.
9 Q. The implications of that, why I'm asking this, is simply to get an
10 idea of whether things continued normally in Prozor or whether they were
11 disrupted by the war.
12 A. In Prozor there was much more disruption than would normally have
13 happened, because probably there were plans afoot which were to be
14 implemented in Prozor, and for this reason it was necessary to create an
15 atmosphere of insecurity, fear, and general confusion in Prozor, not to
16 say an interruption of teaching in schools, for example. There were --
17 there was intense activity about moving the population out, and so on, or,
18 rather, attempts to move the population out.
19 Q. Okay. What about the Prozor municipal association? Did it
20 continue or was it replaced by another body?
21 A. I think one can connect this with the decision on proclaiming an
22 imminent threat of war. When the legislative branch of government ceases
23 to function and the Presidency takes over its role, the extended
24 Presidency, extended with certain members. Bearing in mind that in early
25 April an imminent threat of war was declared, steps were taken right away
1 to suspend the Assembly and establish a war Presidency for Prozor
3 Q. The imminent threat that was -- imminent threat of war which was
4 declared, by whom was this declared?
5 A. By the Presidency of the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina, as
6 far as I know. I think it's correct, though.
7 Q. And this is early April of 1992?
8 A. I think it was on the 8th of April, 1992.
9 Q. The War Presidency, how long was it created after the 8th of
10 April? This is the Prozor municipality War Presidency.
11 A. Not much time was needed to reach that decision because the War
12 Presidency in Prozor municipality had 11 members, seven of whom were from
13 the HDZ, four from the Party of Democratic Action, and although this ratio
14 does not reflect the proportion according to the population, as the
15 decision was made by the Presidency, it was able to prepare and implement
16 all the decisions it wanted to.
17 Q. This War Presidency, to whom were they directly responsible; the
18 Prozor, or Presidency?
19 A. It was supposed to be responsible to the Presidency or, rather,
20 the higher organs, the legal organs of the Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina.
21 Unfortunately, everything we found out indicated that this responsibility
22 was directed elsewhere and that information was forwarded to another
23 address, not the one to which it was supposed to be forwarded.
24 Q. Do you have any knowledge of which address it is that you're
25 referring to, or any direct knowledge?
1 A. To the best of my knowledge, and this could be corroborated by a
2 document which, unfortunately, I don't have, but according to the
3 behaviour of the people in the War Presidency, I'm convinced that this was
4 at the centre of the HVO, the Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna as a
5 community that was established, and its name was already starting to be
6 used. Our intuition and my own personal intuition was that, to say the
7 least, basic information was sent there, and it was not sent to where it
8 should have been, and what was sent to Sarajevo was done by others, not at
9 the initiative of the HDZ.
10 There was a problem about setting up a unified staff in Prozor
11 municipality. The representatives of the HDZ did not want to accept it.
12 As Mr. Jerko Doko was the republican defence minister, the information
13 about the problems in setting up the staff was forwarded, and Mr. Jerko
14 Doko expressed his views on the subject. He said that the legal organs of
15 the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina had to be respected, that the flag
16 and coat of arms had to be respected, that a unified Prozor staff had to
17 be established. And this message primarily related to the president of
18 the HDZ, Mr. Ilija Petkovic, who at the time was the fiercest opponent of
19 the implementation both of decisions and symbols of the legal organs of
20 the Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina.
21 MR. KARNAVAS: Mr. President, if I may intervene here for a
22 second. The answers are being non-responsive. I don't want to interrupt
23 the gentleman, but if the gentleman could simply answer the question and
24 then I'm sure my colleague here for the Prosecution will lead him in an
25 appropriate manner, but he's going into intuition, speculation. I think
1 if he just sticks to the facts, it will be a lot easier.
2 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes. Try and be more specific,
4 MR. KRUGER: Thank you, Your Honour. We were coming to these
5 matters in due course.
6 Q. Let's go through this -- or go back over what you've just told us.
7 The decision of the 8th of April where the imminent war threat was
8 declared, was any instruction issued along with that declaration of an
9 imminent war threat?
10 A. That decision was broadcast publicly, and it was officially
11 forwarded to all the legal organs.
12 Q. But did Prozor municipality have to take any action with regard to
13 that declaration?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. What action?
16 A. It had to not only establish a war Presidency but also a joint
17 defence staff or, rather, a Territorial Defence Staff, which would be a
18 joint defence staff for Prozor municipality. And the deadline for this
19 was the 15th of April, 1992. Unfortunately, this deadline was not
20 respected, but after lengthy talks at which we learned this - I myself was
21 present there - a compromise decision was reached, and on the 16th of
22 April, 1992, in the early morning, Sarajevo was officially informed about
23 the establishment of a unified defence staff of Prozor municipality.
24 There were enormous problems and lengthy negotiations before this was
1 Q. What was the position of the HDZ with regard to the establishment
2 of this joint defence staff?
3 A. The position of the most extreme part of the HDZ, and probably
4 those who knew of other plans, was that Bosniaks had only the option of
5 accepting the HVO, or, if they did not want to do so, and this was not a
6 voluntary choice, they could join the Chetniks, because they thought that
7 the Territorial Defence was a Chetnik organisation. When I said we had
8 had many problems and lengthy talks, this referred to the search for
9 compromise solutions.
10 Q. Did the HDZ put forward any specific candidates for the joint --
11 or the defence staff they were proposing?
12 A. After the compromise decision, the possibility was left open.
13 After the 16th of April and over the next few days candidates were to be
14 nominated by both sides, conditionally speaking, to create a unified
15 defence staff for Prozor municipality, as the name was officially agreed
16 on. However, they never actually carried this through.
17 Q. When the compromise decision was reached, were you and the other
18 members of the SDA party happy with the compromise decision?
19 MR. KARNAVAS: Your Honour, I'm going to object to the question.
20 Happy? Why is this relevant whether he or somebody else or the party is
21 happy? They reached a compromise. That in and of itself speaks for
23 MR. KRUGER: Your Honour, with due respect, it's a term of speech.
24 The question is, there was a compromise, but was the witness who was
25 present at the meeting, was he satisfied with that compromise walking out
1 of that meeting? It's simple.
2 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Please proceed.
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour. The answer
4 to that question of yours I can give in part, because a solution was found
5 to avoid a conflict, whereas we were partially dissatisfied because we saw
6 that there was an attack on suspending the legal organs of power and
7 authority in Bosnia-Herzegovina, and in that context nobody could have
8 been satisfied or happy with that kind of solution. But bearing in mind
9 the fact that it was the result of negotiations and talks, which meant
10 that conflicts wouldn't be pursued but that people wanted to live in peace
11 and have the legal organs of Bosnia-Herzegovina, which were
12 internationally recognised, prevail and what the representatives of the
13 HDZ had asked, and they had asked for something that we didn't know about,
14 which meant the suspension of that first precondition, so I think the
15 question of whether we were satisfied or not is a very good question for
16 all those who were aware of the problems involved during the talks and
18 Q. So the result ultimately was that no joint defence staff was set
19 up, but were there any other defence staffs in existence or set up?
20 A. Yes. After a month had expired, the Bosniaks, and of course all
21 the other people who wished to have the option of a Bosnia-Herzegovina
22 republic and sought legal organs pursuant to a request of the republican
23 staff of the Territorial Defence, a staff was set up on the one hand, on
24 the one side, and on the other the staff also was also set up, to the best
25 of my knowledge, and both, later on, had a coordinating role in the period
1 to come.
2 Q. These two staffs that were set up, did they share the same
3 headquarters or not?
4 A. Unfortunately not.
5 Q. Do you know who headed up the staff of the HDZ?
6 A. During that period we had a number of talks, difficult
7 negotiations, and several times representatives would attend our talks
8 from the HDZ to introduce members of the staff. And when they did so,
9 they would first of all introduce -- they would first of all actually say
10 that -- the first man who came, I think, was Josip Zgela. Whether that
11 was his real name and surname we can't really know, or whether he had
12 another name, but he said that that was an experienced man from Vukovar
13 and that he would help us in the establishment and in finding a solution.
14 The other man had a nickname, or a pseudonym, which was Srna or Do, and
15 they said that he was an experienced warrior as well. And the third man
16 was Andjelic. And the people would change very frequently. We tried to
17 prevail upon the people to tell them that we had a specific situation and
18 that we had very realistic requests that our area should not be engulfed
19 by conflict and do everything in our power to prevent a conflict.
20 Now, some of these people -- I don't know if I'm going to harm any
21 of them by naming them, and that's why I omitted naming names at the
22 beginning, I didn't want to state names, but some people really did show
23 quite a lot of understanding towards the problem at that we all faced, our
24 mutual problem. So it would be difficult to select just a few people.
25 However, these people would change from time to time, but then, of course,
1 we come to the worst period later on and to a commander called Ilija
2 Franjic, who was a local commander.
3 Q. You mentioned earlier that the term "HVO" was starting to appear
4 around about this time. The Croatian leadership that you were dealing
5 with at this stage and the SDA was dealing with, did they describe
6 themselves as HDZ or HVO at this stage?
7 A. They came as representatives of the HDZ, of course, but the HVO --
8 they used the HVO as the supreme organisation in charge of everything,
9 both for defence and for security, for law and order, for power and
10 authority, and even the HVO for oaths. We had the feeling, not perhaps at
11 the beginning but when they explained to us what the HVO was, we gained
12 the impression that that's -- that there was a military putsch which took
13 care of everything from A to Z when it came to human endeavour, overall
14 human endeavour.
15 Q. In Prozor at this stage, there were therefore two defence staffs,
16 one for the HDZ/HVO, and one for the Bosniaks. Did these two defence
17 staffs cooperate in setting up a joint defence or defence plan for Prozor?
18 A. I'm not a soldier, of course, myself, so I don't know all the
19 details. However, I do know what we talked about at our joint meetings,
20 and I do know that it was a problem. As far as the defence of Prozor is
21 concerned, at that point in time the defence line was over 20-odd
22 kilometres belong towards Kupres, perhaps even longer, in the direction of
23 Kupres. And these are some features where people were sent to, and that's
24 where the Defence lines were set up for the Prozor municipality area in
25 such a way that a sector, I think we can call it a sector or a section of
1 that line was held by one of them, by one set of representatives of the
2 staff, and the other section was held by another set of representatives of
3 the staff.
4 Q. If there was cooperation between the two sides, from your -- what
5 you got to know from meetings that you participated in, were the Bosniaks
6 an equal partner in this enterprise or endeavour?
7 A. If I had to answer in a sentence or in a word, it would be
8 self-love, love of self by the Croatian representatives. There were
9 terrible problems which we tried to overcome. We asked that we send 20
10 members to the defence line, but they weren't even given a uniform or
11 weapons. But we found a solution to that problem too. So the question
12 you've just asked about the period we're talking about, what I can say
13 there is that there were always problems with flags and the raising of
14 flags up at the line, the defence lines. Logistical problems, supply
15 problems, transport problems, although we had agreed that we had -- we
16 could have a joint logistics. But no, the relationship was not an equal
17 one, unfortunately, and the president of the HDZ at one point said that
18 when we finish with the Chetniks, we'll have to deal with you. So you had
19 to digest sentences of that kind and pass over them. But quite simply it
20 was our firm intention at all cost to retain the peace and to fulfil our
21 obligations to the best of our ability.
22 Q. You referred to the president of the HDZ who said these things.
23 Are you referring to the president of the HDZ in Prozor itself or a
24 different president?
25 A. Yes, yes.
1 Q. Thank you. Now, earlier you had stated that the outbreak of the
2 conflict with the Serbs did not directly affect the events in Prozor -- or
3 did not directly affect Prozor, rather. Could you tell us, the 1991 to
4 1992 school year in Prozor, did that continue uninterrupted?
5 A. We did not have any repercussions. The front line wasn't close
6 by. There was no shelling. Shells didn't fall on us. It was all a long
7 way away. And at the beginning of April when the decision was taken to
8 interrupt tuition, most of us considered that that was not necessary and
9 that there was no need to interrupt the school year. The children were to
10 go to school in April and May, just two more months, and that it was a
11 great pity for that whole generation not to have completed that school
12 year. They could have done.
13 Q. Who took the decision to -- to terminate the school year in April?
14 A. Those who were in power, who had absolute power.
15 Q. Was there any specific body which took this decision?
16 A. Well, possibly there are documents about that, but I know that
17 there was no agreement about a decision like that. There was no joint
18 consultation for that decision to be made. And if somebody claims there
19 was, we don't know about it.
20 Q. If I could ask you directly, the War Presidency, was that involved
21 in taking this decision, or any other body?
22 A. In actual fact, it should have been the War Presidency having
23 previously held consultations. It should have been the War Presidency
24 that made that decision. However, I don't think we have firm proof and
25 evidence that that decision was taken. Somebody might have made the
1 decision without actually presenting it.
2 Q. In the transcript on page 98, at line 13 -- sorry, line 12, you
3 stated that, "... most of us considered that that was not necessary ..."
4 Who is the "most of us" that you refer to?
5 A. I meant first and foremost the organisation I belonged to and
6 those who were at the line. But I can say with full responsibility that a
7 significant number of other people, too, who understood the situation,
8 that is to say amongst the Croatian people as well. I don't think they
9 were in favour of that decision either.
10 Q. After the termination of the school year, were there any
11 developments prior to the commencement of the next school term from 1992,
13 A. Yes. There were developments in the field of education,
14 especially when the beginning of the next school year drew near. But
15 during this particular period we had other difficult requirements to meet,
16 and even ultimatums. And incidents broke out, too, during that summer
17 period. What was very strange and difficult to accept was that -- the
18 fact that there was an ultimatum made that the HVO structure be accepted,
19 the administrative and military structure be accepted. And we were
20 constantly exposed to demands of that kind where -- in the field of
21 education there, too, certain very difficult problems cropped up.
22 And fully conscious of the situation, all of us working there, we
23 knew that a new school year was approaching and that we should see that it
24 could go ahead normally. Talks were held, and we were looking into ways
25 and means of how to realise that as best as possible. The answers we were
1 given were that since there was no programme, tuition programme and other
2 things, the only thing we could do was to accept the curriculum of another
3 state, or another republic, if you like. And they said it was the HVO
4 programme and curriculum which was in fact the programme of the Republic
5 of Croatia. Of course, our answer was -- our response was that that was
6 unacceptable and that we didn't want to be forced to accept it and that
7 they should allow us to prepare properly for the coming school year and to
8 prepare the proper educational programme for the Republic of
10 So these were lengthy and exhausting negotiations, but
11 unfortunately, we didn't come across any understanding for our proposals
12 and requirements.
13 Q. And what happened when the new school year actually started in
15 A. Throughout this period, both at the beginning of April when it was
16 most difficult for us, when we were given this ultimatum to accept the HVO
17 organisation, we invited representatives of the local communities or local
18 community organisations in the localities and regions. We invited
19 representatives so that we could explain the situation and ask for their
20 opinion. And that's what we did this time too. We held broad-based
21 consultations in which we explained the situation to the people and the
22 demands that were being met -- that were being made and, of course, a
23 possible way out of the situation. So that's what we did.
24 We talked to the representatives of the people and of these
25 various organisations on the ground, but also with the educational
1 workers, teachers, professors, and so on. And the overall conclusion of
2 all of them, both parents and teachers alike, was that we should do
3 everything in our power to ensure an educational programme and curriculum
4 for the Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina, which we did when we passed this
5 programme from Zenica, because the HDZ representative said there was no
6 such programme. That wasn't true. The programme did exist, the
7 curriculum did exist, and we adopted it.
8 The HDZ response was that they had started -- would be starting
9 the school year according to the Croatian programme and curriculum, but
10 the end result of that was that only one child stepped forward, and that
11 was by mistake because it hadn't been properly informed.
12 Q. When did this new school year start, or was it scheduled to start?
13 A. It was supposed to start, to the best of my recollections, on the
14 7th of September. But the school year didn't resume then until the attack
15 on Prozor, and it continued without the Bosniaks but much later on. So it
16 was discontinued.
17 Q. To conclude on the topic of the school curriculum, when the school
18 year did resume after the attack on Prozor [Realtime transcript read in
19 error "talk on Mostar"], was that with the Croatian curriculum?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. At that stage - and now we're talking November or December, 1992 -
22 were any of your children subjected to this new curriculum?
23 A. Yes. That was the time -- I apologise. Excuse me. That was the
24 time after that cataclysm that befell Prozor and which they tried to cover
25 up at all cost, that is to say the perpetrators of that catastrophe that
1 happened over there, but the representatives of the legal organs, whether
2 through some higher interest or out of impotence or because they didn't
3 read the information sent to them, quite simply wanted what had happened
4 in Prozor -- they wanted to pass over what had happened in Prozor, as we
5 say, and there was intensive activity to have the people who left Prozor
6 return. Unfortunately, the people did return, but when they returned, and
7 I hope we'll have enough time to discuss that, too, the school was
9 My wife also returned. She was pregnant at the time. She was
10 four months pregnant, and she had two -- we already had two children --
11 or, rather, she returned with two children, and one of them was supposed
12 to go to sixth form. And the first day he went to school, after being
13 introduced, he was told, after he stated his name and surname, that he
14 should say that his homeland was Herceg-Bosna and that the capital city of
15 his homeland was Mostar. Of course the child could not accept that, and
16 his answer was to say that his homeland was Bosnia-Herzegovina and that
17 the capital was Sarajevo.
18 When he said that, and when she insisted, there was a conflict
19 that I don't want to talk about. But this is just a small example of the
20 type of -- of the attitude that prevailed towards these young people, the
21 young generation that was supposed to go to school and learn all about
23 Q. Thank you, Witness.
24 MR. KRUGER: Your Honour, perhaps this is a good time to take the
1 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] It's 3.30. We're going to take
2 the 20-minute break now and reconvene in 20 minutes' time.
3 --- Recess taken at 3.25 p.m.
4 --- On resuming at 3.49 p.m.
5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] The hearing is resumed.
6 MR. KRUGER: Thank you, Mr. President, Your Honour.
7 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone for the Prosecutor, please.
8 MR. KRUGER: Apologies. Thank you, Mr. President, Your Honour.
9 Before commencing, there's a correction in the transcript. On page 101,
10 line 21, there's a reference "... after the talk on Mostar ..." The
11 "talk" should of course be "attack" but the witness referred to Prozor.
12 So it should be "after the attack on Prozor." Thank you, Your Honour.
13 Q. Mr. Hujdur, if we could continue, we still have a lot of ground to
14 cover, so I'm going to ask you to please try and be concise in your
16 During 1992, very briefly, what official letterhead was being
17 employed within the municipality of Prozor?
18 A. The letter was the Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna. Although
19 we reacted several times, unfortunately we did not succeed in having the
20 letterhead of the Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina except in very
21 exceptional situations. There were invitations not on this letterhead,
22 but usually it was the letterhead of the Croatian Community of
24 Q. Could you put a time period during 1992 when this was -- when this
25 was the case?
1 A. I think this was in late May, or early June at the latest. I'm
2 quite certain that it was in June.
3 Q. Thank you. In -- during 1992, were there any forms of violence
4 which emerged in the municipality of Prozor?
5 A. Yes, on two occasions. The first incidents took place on the 26th
6 of June, 1992, when members of the HOS burst into the information centre
7 of the Territorial Defence Staff and carried off all communications
8 equipment and an automatic rifle. The reason for their raid was that
9 there was an information blockade in place from Sarajevo, and the
10 information which arrived was to the effect that it was the HVO defending
11 Herceg-Bosna, whereas in this area joint lines had been established and an
12 information centre of the Territorial Defence which provided information
13 about the joint defence of Prozor municipality. They objected to this,
14 and this was how the first incidents arose.
15 Mijo Jozic, the president of the Assembly, apologised, as did
16 another official, and the communications equipment was returned the next
17 day, but not the automatic rifle.
18 The second incident took place on the 28th of August, 1992, and it
19 was a much more serious incident. In the night there was an attack on a
20 part of town in which there were catering and other establishments owned
21 mostly by the more prosperous Muslims in Prijedor [as interpreted], and
22 that was when a member of the army was wounded.
23 Q. Was that -- did you say Prijedor?
24 A. No, no, Prozor. It can only be an error.
25 There was no response from our side. Mr. Sabic followed
1 instructions. He was the commander of the Territorial Defence Staff of
2 the army of the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina in Prozor, and he
3 followed our suggestions that peace should be maintained at all costs.
4 Fortunately, he did not respond to the attack at the time.
5 In this attack buildings were damaged and destroyed. And we tried
6 to resolve this incident through talks, and these talks resulted in part
7 of the damage being compensated for from the municipal budget.
8 Q. Thank you. You mentioned earlier, before the break, that there
9 was an ultimatum that the HVO structure be accepted in Prozor
10 municipality, and that included the administrative and military
11 structures. By whom was this ultimatum issued and to whom?
12 A. The ultimatum was issued and the demands were put forward during
13 several talks. What I can testify about, because I was a participant, is
14 the ultimatum put forward at the joint session of the 23rd of October
15 where, after an introductory speech, Mijo Jozic, the president of the
16 municipality, stated that the only solution was to adopt the HVO idea, and
17 it implied everything that I have already described.
18 Q. Thank you. Let's move, then, to October, 1992. In October, 1992,
19 by whom was the -- or which police forces occupied the police station in
21 A. In the police station in Prozor, the civil police was of mixed
22 composition and it had remained that way up to that point. After the 19th
23 of October, when a large build-up of military forces was observed, there
24 was a separation in the military police, which was divided into the
25 military police of the HVO and that of the BH army. As a consequence, the
1 police station was also divided.
2 The Croatian representatives raised a chequerboard Croatian flag
3 at the police station, and the reaction of the Muslim policemen was that
4 they raised the BH flag with lilies. It was the internationally
5 recognised republic's flag, and it had been adopted in a legal and
6 legitimate process.
7 This flag was then forcibly removed from the police station, and
8 the Bosniaks were barred from entering the police building after that.
9 Q. Now, as a result of this incident and then the build-up of troops
10 in Prozor, did this lead to the meeting that you'd referred to which took
11 place on the 23rd of October, 1992?
12 A. Yes. On the 19th of October, according to our information, there
13 were conflicts between the HVO and the BH army in Novi Travnik. From that
14 date onwards, the number of military troops in Prozor increased
15 considerably. A consequence of this increase was the establishment of
16 additional checkpoints and, one might say, the blocking of all exits and
17 entrances to the town of Prozor. Of course this was a very unpleasant
18 experience, especially if one didn't know what it was all about. And this
19 was just another reason, and there were lots of reasons, why, because
20 joint logistical supplies had also been interrupted, and then there were
21 the problems in the school system and the incidents with the police. So
22 that all those were reasons why the political and other representatives
23 asked for talks with the ruling HDZ, primarily the representatives of the
24 authorities, and also other structures.
25 These talks were supposed to be held on Thursday, the 22nd of
1 October, 1992, but defining a list of issues resulted in the talks being
2 held on Friday, the 23rd of October at the level of delegations, not at
3 the level of the War Presidency, as had originally been envisioned.
4 Q. Just before getting to the meeting, the troops that had appeared
5 in Prozor, from which military organisation were they?
6 A. Time is not our ally. From this distance in time, it's as if a
7 man who was afraid of a tiger had to pass by a tiger. Passing by the
8 police station, I saw a huge personnel carrier. It looked terrible, but I
9 didn't dare look at the insignia. And the same goes for tanks. But we
10 knew was that this amount of weapons and equipment, that this could not
11 belong to the HVO, that it could only be owned by the Croatian army.
12 Q. Thank you. At the meeting itself you've already mentioned the
13 ultimatum that was issued by Mr. Petrovic. What was the reaction of your
14 -- of the Bosniak delegation to this ultimatum? Could you react to it,
16 A. Your Honours, the meeting was to start at 10.00. It ended after
17 3.00 p.m. The mayor, Misko Jozic, gave the introductory talk and he said
18 that accepting the HVO idea was the only solution. The most extreme
19 person at those talks, however, was the HVO commander, Ilija Franjic, who
20 at one point accused our commander, saying that while we were talking he
21 was digging defence trenches. He didn't actually say defence; he was
22 digging trenches in order to attack the Croats. Our commander responded
23 by saying that this was not true, and he demanded that there be a mixed
24 delegation to tour the area in order to see for themselves that there was
25 nothing there.
1 After that, he was -- well, maybe not angry. Well, he was angry,
2 actually. He left the meeting. And after our reactions, trying to calm
3 things down, three members of his staff came to the meeting in his stead.
4 I don't want to mention their names or their positions.
5 The meeting went on for a long time. There were many topics we
6 wished to discuss. Primarily we wanted to consider the military and
7 security situation, the functioning of the authorities, the functioning of
8 political relations, the functioning of the economy, and within the scope
9 of these topics there were many issues. We wanted to restore all our
10 misunderstandings back into a framework of legal decision-making and to
11 harmonise our standpoints.
12 After a lengthy discussion, we did reach a consensus, and around
13 1515 hours, everything we had agreed on was to be set down in writing in
14 the form of conclusions to be forwarded to the War Presidency for its
15 consideration and decision.
16 Q. Just regarding Ilija Franjic, one question: After he left the
17 meeting, I'm not -- I can't ask you what he went to do, but what I do want
18 to ask you is did he make any public statement at any later stage with
19 regard to events that occurred immediately after this meeting taking
21 A. Yes. This statement helped me to define the reasons for his
22 departure. The statement was that the happiest moment in his life had
23 been when he was issued an order to attack Prozor. In fact, there was a
24 plan in existence for attack, and there was no solution or situation that
25 could have postponed it. All of us who had attended the meeting felt that
1 this had been one of the best meetings we had ever had and that we had
2 achieved the best possible results. However, that feeling was far from --
3 you all understand what I'm trying to say.
4 Q. Just tell the Court exactly what happened immediately after this
5 decision had been taken to refer the problems to the War Presidency.
6 A. While we were waiting for the conclusions we had arrived at at the
7 meeting to be technically processed, Ilija Petrovic arrived at one point
8 and said, "While we are talking here, you balijas -" and "balija" is an
9 offensive word - "you are killing our people. There's no talking to you.
10 Your forces have five minutes to save themselves, and they can do that by
11 raising their rifles and surrendering."
12 After that, we checked in every way we could whether there had
13 actually been any murder such as he had mentioned, and we could not find
14 any corroboration for his statement. Allegedly, several days before, at
15 the border with Gornji Vakuf municipality, an HVO member had been killed
16 because he refused to stop at a checkpoint. We suspected that this was
17 not true, but even had it been true, an event that had occurred three days
18 previously and not on the territory of Prozor municipality, could not be a
19 reason for such behaviour.
20 I'm convinced, and we were all convinced, most of us, that there
21 was a perfidious attack and that a pretext had to be found in order to
22 start the attack.
23 Q. What happened immediately after this incident?
24 A. After this incident, some ten minutes later, at 1525, I think, the
25 first explosion was heard. This was the beginning of a terrible attack.
1 With another colleague who had been with me at the talks, I
2 managed to cross the park some 20 metres away from the building where we
3 had had the talks, and when entering the house of a friend, we were
4 already exposed to sniper fire. The sniper shots were coming either from
5 the municipal building or from the post office building. It was from that
6 direction that sniper shots were fired at us, and we were almost hit.
7 After that, a dreadful shooting and shelling began and went on all
8 afternoon, all night, and on the next day until 10.00 or 11.00. I think
9 it is was until 11.00 on the 24th of October.
10 Q. Could you give the Court an idea of the intensity of this
12 A. Of course I am no expert, but I will try to describe my experience
13 of that night.
14 In a house some 30 metres away from the municipal building, there
15 was only a small stream or creek dividing the municipal building from the
16 cellar of the house where we were, and in that basement we talked, and
17 after midnight a huge personnel carrier appeared on the bridge in front of
18 that building where we were. It was dreadful to listen to all this,
19 because Prozor is in a valley, and when a large calibre shell hits a wall
20 or something else, you hear a terrible explosion, a detonation.
21 Everything shakes, the walls and the windows, and the intensity is
22 something I can describe by saying that the interruptions were only as
23 long as it took to cool down the barrels.
24 That would be a description of the shelling. And there were also
25 howitzers and other artillery weapons were used. I'm not fully familiar
1 with the terminology, but when you experience and listen to all this, it's
2 a terrible feeling.
3 Q. Thank you. To your knowledge, which military -- or what kind of
4 military presence did the various parties have in Prozor -- or the various
5 sides, rather?
6 A. I'm afraid I might make an error in providing facts. I didn't
7 really keep tabs on this, but while the attack on Prozor was going on, one
8 of our Territorial Defence units, consisting of a hundred men, was on the
9 front line towards Kupres, and it was to be relieved and replaced by a
10 fresh unit. So apart from those hundred, there might have been another
11 hundred to 150 fighters who could have been in Prozor, in the town itself.
12 As for my information about the HVO Brigade at the time, I can't
13 say, but the presence of other units, especially the tank unit and some
14 mercenaries, amounted to a number that I heard, about 2.000 HVO or about
15 6.000 who had arrived from elsewhere. I'm telling you this piece of
16 information which I heard people talking about. However, detailed
17 information can be sought from people who are better informed and more
18 responsible. Those are just my own assessments and what I heard in
19 conversations with others.
20 Q. My last question on this: To your knowledge, which side was
21 responsible for the shelling; the HVO or the ABiH?
22 MR. KARNAVAS: Your Honour, if I may interrupt for a second. The
23 gentleman indicated that there were other units, so that's not the
24 universe of units that were in the area at the time, so I would prefer a
25 non-leading question.
1 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes. I was also going to ask
2 some questions. Let's see. Proceed and then we'll see.
3 MR. KRUGER: Thank you, Your Honour.
4 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Counsel Kovacic, what did you
5 want to say?
6 MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, since we've interrupted
7 -- I didn't want to interrupt myself, but perhaps I could take advantage
8 of this opportunity. In a statement previously given by this witness that
9 we received before the examination-in-chief for preparation purposes, I'm
10 quite sure that the witness was not asked anything about the number of
11 soldiers on both sides during the incident. This is a new statement, as
12 far as we are concerned, so we were not able to investigate. So that is
13 just to be noted.
14 JUDGE TRECHSEL: May I, as we have interrupted, I am not quite
15 sure, Witness, whether I understood you correctly. You say there were our
16 Territorial Defence, and that was hundred. Did you imply that it was
17 these Territorial Defence units that attacked Prozor?
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Heaven forbid. Heaven forbid. With
19 your permission, Your Honour, the other units, those with tanks -- who had
20 arrived with tanks and APCs, they were the other units. Local units did
21 not have anything like that in Prozor, just to avoid any misunderstanding.
22 And later on, further on in the testimony, you will hear where those units
23 came from and which they were.
24 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Well, I think that was exactly the question you
25 were asked to answer, to tell us whether you had any idea of who they
1 were, those who attacked, and where they came from.
2 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes. Would you be more specific
3 on that point, please, because at one point you say you were in the cellar
4 and that you heard the noises of shells falling, et cetera. Now, as a
5 Judge, I wanted to know whether you were the only person in the cellar in
6 town or whether all the inhabitants were in cellars. And if everybody was
7 in the cellars, then there was an all-out attack, apparently. And if
8 there was this attack, who was doing the attacking?
9 So could you tell us, please, if everybody took refuge in cellars,
10 who was doing the attacking? And I assume that in the town there were
11 Croats and Muslims. So those who were doing the attacking, how could they
12 distinguish between people hidden in cellars whether they were Croats or
13 Muslims? So could you give us those specific facts, please.
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President. I will
15 certainly do my best, although I'm not an expert. I said that those who
16 issued the ultimatum, within the space of five minutes, started deploying
17 shells and snipers, and that was the HVO aided and abetted by
18 representatives of the Croatian army, those who had tanks and APCs. And a
19 person called Juergen Schmit was the leader of the tank unit who, in the
20 January attacks Gornji Vakuf, was killed.
21 Now, as far as the population was concerned, our information and
22 what we learned and what our convictions were, was that the Croats knew
23 about the attack and that the Croatian population was secretly pulled out
24 of town. And there is information to that effect from the authorities,
25 the army, the police, and others centres investigating crimes. So there
1 are documents about that having been the case.
2 Now, as to how many of us were in that cellar in my district,
3 which is the lower part of the Carsija area, the lower part of town, which
4 is about 70 metres away from the building where the staff headquarters
5 were and which were targeted most, later on reports said that it was hit
6 at -- with 30 tank shells full on.
7 Now, in the morning hours on Saturday when I was pulling out
8 towards Pogradje, the part of town which was exclusively or almost
9 exclusively populated by the Muslims, it's a little hillock above the
10 building where the headquarters, army headquarters, were located, I saw
11 the tanks firing. Two tanks, in fact. One tank was above the UNIS
12 factory, and other one was on an elevation to the north of that location,
13 an elevation or hill called Hurija. And I was shot at by sniper fire, and
14 I managed to escape just by a hair of my head. And these snipers were
15 firing from the water reservoir Krc, which is a little higher up from that
16 part of town which is called Pogradje.
17 So apart from what I experienced myself and the fear that I felt,
18 I personally saw these heavy weapons going into action, which certainly
19 didn't belong to the local HVO.
20 In a later statement by Mr. Siljeg, who was also one of the
21 officers who attended negotiations with officers of the Bosnia-Herzegovina
22 armija, he said, and I quote, that Prozor was attacked by the same forces
23 that had attacked Gornji Vakuf, and that in fact after the fall of Prozor
24 they didn't go anywhere further on. And according to the public
25 information, Vakuf was attacked by parts of the 113th Split and 114th
1 Sibenik, a special detachment such as the Tigers. But I don't want to go
2 on about that. That's what I heard, and I think that suffices, Your
4 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Let's stay with Prozor. You
5 said that you saw two of these fire. Now, among the population, the
6 civilian population, there were victims, people who -- were there victims
7 among the civilian population, people who were hit by that firing?
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Since the population for the most
9 part took refuge in shelters and because there was a precise plan of
10 attack as far as the shelling is concerned, there were no reports saying
11 that the shells resulted in the killing of people. But when the Croatian
12 forces entered Prozor, about ten civilians were killed. And there is a
13 detailed report about that and a list of the names of people who were
14 killed, regardless of the fact that they were civilians.
15 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] When you say "the Croatian
16 forces," who do you mean? Which Croatian forces? Who? Who do you mean?
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I am thinking about those who took
18 part in the attack. The HVO was not able to have tanks, APCs, and heavy
19 weapons itself. So I'm thinking about the forces that launched this
20 all-out attack on Prozor.
21 MR. KRUGER: Thank you, Your Honour.
22 Q. Which areas of Prozor did it turn out later had been shelled?
23 A. The areas most shelled -- or, rather, exclusively shelled were
24 those where the Bosniaks were the majority and those parts of town where
25 there were certain facilities of importance, such as the Territorial
1 Defence Staff headquarters. That's the cultural centre today. So in the
2 cellar of the -- in the basement of the cultural centre was the
3 headquarters, and according to reports it was hit by -- with 30 shells.
4 Q. And earlier you mentioned in your testimony that there was
5 specific areas where Bosniaks resided. What about those areas? Were they
6 targeted or not?
7 A. Yes, yes. Pogradje, Varos, the lower part of town, yes.
8 Q. Thank you. Just returning to your response to the president's
9 question. On -- in the transcript, page 116, line 3, "So I'm thinking
10 about the forces that launched this all-out attack." Could you give a
11 title to those forces, or a label?
12 A. The official name was the Croatian Defence Council, the HVO, and
13 parts of the Croatian army. But the people referred to them as the
14 occupation forces or aggressor forces. So those were the terms that we
15 used, and that's how they experienced it.
16 Q. Thank you. One final point with regard to what the president also
17 asked you. What happened to the Croat inhabitants of Prozor during this
18 attack? Where were they?
19 A. As I was saying, there was a plan of attack, and according to that
20 plan of attack, the Croatian population was supposed to be moved out from
21 the parts of town, evacuated from the parts of town that would be shelled.
22 So it was indeed evacuated from that part of town, or those parts of the
24 MR. KARNAVAS: Again, Mr. President, if I could interject here.
25 This is twice now that he said there was plan of attack. We haven't seen
1 the plan of attack. We -- other than him saying that there was a plan of
2 attack. Perhaps my learned friend could elicit some questions about the
3 plan and perhaps he could show us some documents about the plan of attack
4 and who was involved, and so on and so forth.
5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes. On several occasions you
6 spoke and mentioned a plan of attack. What allows you to say that? What
7 grounds do you have for stating that? And you have just indicated that
8 the Croats, on the basis of that plan of attack, had left town. Did you
9 see them yourselves -- yourself? Did you see your fellow Croat townsfolk
10 leave in their masses? Were you witness of this departure, this exodus of
11 the Croatian inhabitants going out of the town of Prozor, or is it the
12 case that you were told that several years later?
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] At one point I said I didn't have
14 the detailed plans or insight into them, nor was that within my scope.
15 But at that moment, on the basis of what we experienced and the shelling
16 we saw, and parts of town were shelled where there were no Croats living,
17 and those parts where there were Croats but they were not there at the
18 time, so that we were led to believe that they had been pulled out. We
19 believe that they had left, and we saw that that was so. As you said, we
20 later learnt that that was so.
21 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] All right. You say that you
22 were in the cellar, that you heard the shelling, and that you assumed that
23 if they were shelling and targeting the Muslim quarter, the Muslim
24 district, it meant that the other people had already left to avoid being
25 hit and to avoid being collateral damage. So this is an assumption on
1 your part. But you yourself, when this was happening, when this was going
2 on, you didn't in fact see the inhabitants from the Croatian part of town
3 leave town. It was only subsequently, on the basis of deduction, that you
4 arrived at that conclusion. Is that what you're saying?
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It wasn't that only one part of town
6 was shelled. The central part of town is a quarter where the headquarters
7 of the BH army was located. Then to the right there was Varos, the part
8 of town which was also inhabited by the Bosniaks. To the left was
9 Pogradje, the distinct of town inhabited by Bosniaks. But I was close by
10 in a cellar in the central part of town where there were Croat houses, and
11 I didn't see any Croatian -- Croats in the cellars. So it was both. It
12 was our deduction on the basis of what we saw that a plan for the
13 population's evacuation existed. We saw that there weren't any people
14 left, and so we deduced that that was on the basis of a plan.
15 MR. KARNAVAS: Your Honour, if I may. First of all, if he's in a
16 cellar, how can he see what's going on in other cellars? That's number
17 one. But number two, and most importantly, I think, given his answers,
18 I'd ask the gentleman be instructed, be instructed, not to make references
19 to any plans unless he has concrete evidence.
20 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. But perhaps the next
21 questions would clarify the situation.
22 Mr. Kruger, please continue.
23 MR. KRUGER: Thank you, Your Honour.
24 Q. Witness, I will just briefly enter into something which I'm
25 actually going to deal with towards the end, but you at a later stage, or
1 very briefly after this attack, you became involved in some alternative
2 Prozor War Presidency that was set up; is that correct?
3 A. Partially correct. But you can link it to Prozor, although our
4 headquarters were in Jablanica. You can't call it an alternative
5 Presidency. It was the board for the return of expulsed persons. But
6 that's a matter of interpretation, so let's leave it at that. On the
7 basis of what we did, you can understand what it could have been.
8 Q. Thank you. Now, did this board have any function or mandate with
9 regard to the events that had occurred in Prozor during October, 1992?
10 A. We tried to compile information on the basis of what we had
11 experienced and on the basis of the facts that we had at hand. On the
12 basis of our personal knowledge and experience, we compiled information
13 relating to the events in Prozor on the 23rd of October. And with several
14 important contributions, we sent out this report of information to the
15 Presidency of the Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina.
16 Q. And from what sources did you compile this information for these
17 reports -- or this report?
18 A. The board was composed of a team of people who in 1992, most of
19 those people at least, were kept abreast of all the events that were going
20 on. And so it was on the basis of everything we experienced and lived
21 through, and one of our members had survived the burning of his house, so
22 from his own personal knowledge about how his house was burnt, and on the
23 basis of the fact that other houses in the neighbourhood were burnt down,
24 he compiled this information, and he was put in charge of reporting about
25 how many houses were burnt by the Croatian forces.
1 Other people heard about the killing of the ten civilians, so they
2 were able to state that that many civilians had been killed. Other people
3 were in charge of saying how many houses had been burnt down. And as to
4 the general report and information about the situation before the attack,
5 during the attack, and after the attack in a general form was used to
6 compile our report which we sent out.
7 Q. Were you the chairman or the president of this board or --
8 A. At that point I was a member of the board and helped compile the
9 report. This was the beginning of our attempts to establish, or
10 re-establish the board, and we called it a forum to begin with, but later
11 on it became -- it came to be known as a board, of which I was president
12 later on. While it was a forum, I was the third member and third
13 signatory of that information, along with two other men. So the three of
14 us signed that report.
15 Q. Did you have access to all the information that had been gathered
16 and from which the report was ultimately prepared?
17 A. Globally speaking, yes, but as to the details and some of the
18 shades of meaning when talking about the level of destruction of a house,
19 no. But that house burnt down, yes, we did. We knew about that, you
20 could check it out, and that's what we wrote.
21 Q. This board, did it also investigate specifically the -- the way in
22 which the events had occurred on the 23rd and the 24th of October, 1992?
23 A. It's difficult to say that it did or didn't. It could not have
24 been our job. We asked the competent republican authorities and top-most
25 state representatives and top-most political representatives, the
1 representatives of power and authority, after receiving the information
2 and report that we sent to them, should come to Prozor and see for
3 themselves and make their own assessment and appraisal of the situation.
4 So we didn't take it upon ourselves to state that what we had written down
5 was the absolute truth. We wanted them to come and see, these higher up
6 organs, to make their own evaluation.
7 Q. In what way did these investigations and reports that were then
8 prepared by the board assist you in your understanding of the unfolding of
9 events in Prozor on the 23rd and the 24th of October?
10 MR. KARNAVAS: Excuse me before you answer that question.
11 Mr. President and Your Honour, the gentleman just indicated that no
12 investigations were done. It's rather clear from the previous answer that
13 he gave. It sort of -- it seems as if some anecdotal material was
14 provided. Maybe it was put in reports, but the question that's being
15 posed now is that investigations were indeed done by this so-called board.
16 So I would object to the term of that. Perhaps if the question could be
17 rephrased with more precision.
18 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. Yes. Ask the
19 question in such a way as to allow the witness to explain the ways and
20 means in which they were led to compile the report and establish what was
21 written in it.
22 MR. KRUGER: Thank you, Your Honour.
23 Q. Mr. Hujdur, the information that the report was compiled on, in
24 what format was it obtained?
25 A. Perhaps I don't have the right to object to the gentleman who
1 several times up until now has reacted to my statements. When I said
2 "investigation," I meant the classical type done by investigators,
3 magistrates, the police, and so on. We didn't have that kind of
4 competence. But the information and report that we compiled was compiled
5 by people who had experienced all this, lived through all that, taken part
6 in the events in 2002. And one of the people who survived, who managed to
7 escape from his own burning house, he is the author of that report. So if
8 you've lived through all that and then call it a so-called board and think
9 that the sources are unreliable, then the gentleman just doesn't
10 understand the problem, or wishes to degrade it in some way.
11 So from reliable sources, on the basis of the statements of
12 people, but also on the basis of our own knowledge and experience. And
13 everything we wrote about that is authentic. There are authentic
14 documents as well.
15 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] What we're interested in is to
16 learn how this board or committee of three persons worked. So once the
17 three of you gathered together, what did you do to amass as much
18 information as possible and to translate that information into a report?
19 Explain your method of work, please, which would allow us in turn to
20 evaluate and give weight to the report. Explain your method of work. How
21 did you go about this job? Nobody is degrading anything or being
22 derogatory in any way, but we'd just like to have you explain your method
23 of work, this board or committee of three people of which you were
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President. I was not
1 referring to Your Honour but to the gentleman here. I said that initially
2 this was a forum of our organisations, comprising some 20 people, but
3 there were three of us who signed the first information. I was one of the
4 three. Later on our board had many more members, it wasn't just the three
5 of us. It later developed into several commissions and one coordinating
6 body which monitored the situation, issued reports, and sought assistance.
7 One of the methods of work we used was that everyone fortunate
8 enough to get out of Prozor through the woods or in other ways, and this
9 included people who in 1992 had been involved in our overall activities
10 and who were familiar with the situation, in this information we described
11 the situation before the attack, during the attack as we experienced it,
12 the information we had available from the most responsible people and from
13 our own personal experience. On the basis of this, we drew up this
14 information signed by three people. Not one person but three people.
15 However, more were involved in providing the information.
16 The police representatives, the army representatives made separate
17 reports, and these might contain further information not mentioned here
19 MR. KRUGER: Thank you, Your Honour.
20 Q. On the basis of what you've said now, the activities of this board
21 in looking into or trying to gather information on what had happened in
22 Prozor, how did it influence your own understanding of the events in
23 October, 1992, in Prozor?
24 A. It's hard to describe after this lapse of time. We were
25 surprised, incredulous. We had made futile attempts to learn what the
1 reasons were for these actions towards us and towards everything that
2 happened during the attack and later on. Quite simply, the quantity of
3 evil, the quantity of hatred, the quantity of destruction could not be
4 described. Those of us who experienced it found it difficult to describe
5 it. We asked that it be investigated objectively at various levels,
6 because everything we had been doing in 1992 was to properly inform the
7 higher organs, with agreement and support. We did nothing on our own
9 Q. I'd like to conclude on this specific topic. Is it correct that
10 on the morning of the 24th you fled Prozor and you went to Jajce?
11 A. This is an error. It can't be Jajce. It must be Jablanica.
12 Q. It's my error, sorry. Jablanica.
13 A. Yes. It's in the report. I partially explained that in the
14 morning I managed to get out through the suburbs, although I was followed
15 by sniper shots and narrowly escaped being killed because several bullets
16 whizzed past me, like bees buzzing around a hive, and hit the door of the
17 basement I was entering.
18 In the afternoon, with a group of some 50 people, I went to the
19 nearest village, which is to the south of Prozor, through forest paths,
20 and in the course of the day I joined another large group and went to the
21 next village, and then through Jablanica and Konjic municipalities, after
22 four days, I eventually arrived in Jablanica. If that's a definition of
23 flight, then I did flee, but let Their Honours describe it as they feel
25 Q. Your wife, she stayed behind in Prozor; is that correct?
1 A. Yes. My wife, like most of the population, men and women who were
2 unable to leave by these paths, remained in Prozor. That very same day,
3 they were moved to safer areas of the town, as they explained it to the
4 civilian population, and my wife and child, in the condition I have
5 described, was part of that, one might call it group of refugees which was
6 offered security in another neighbourhood, which in their view was safer.
7 Q. If you referred to "in their view" and the "they" who removed or
8 took your wife and child and the other people away, who are you referring
10 A. The representatives of those who were assigned the task of doing
11 that. I can't give you their names, but they were the representatives of
12 those forces that were entering the town and that were probably tasked
13 with carrying out this job.
14 Q. Now, shortly after this, you've already mentioned that a lot of
15 people did indeed go back to Prozor; is that correct? I'm talking about a
16 lot of the Bosniaks who had left.
17 A. Yes, but this was some 10 or 11 days later when, probably at some
18 high level but to this day I don't know at what level and with whom, an
19 agreement was reached that the population should be allowed to go back to
20 Prozor. But terrible things had happened in the town of Prozor itself.
21 Over 70 houses, Bosniak houses, were torched, houses belonging to the more
22 prosperous Bosniaks. About ten civilians were killed as a result of the
23 entry into and conquest of the town.
24 All the homes and houses that had been left empty because the
25 population had been moved to a safer part of town were looted. All the
1 vehicles were stolen. All the private businesses were destroyed. In
2 these 10 to 11 days, there was intense destructive activity in the town,
3 destruction of property. And after a certain period of time, the people
4 at the high level said that the population should go back. However, it's
5 important to say that the men were separated from the women, and the men
6 were taken to the Ripci primary school, which is 12 kilometres to the west
7 of Prozor, and there all the men had to sign statements to the effect that
8 everything that had happened in Prozor had happened as a result of Bosnian
9 extremists and that they were to blame for this.
10 After all this had happened, the population and the
11 representatives of the population were supposed to go back to Prozor.
12 Q. You remained in Jablanica; is that correct?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. You did, however, return at the beginning of December to Prozor
15 for the first time for the purpose of attending a meeting; is that
17 A. If the word "return" can be used when one is going to attend a
18 meeting, then that's correct. On the 1st of December, three colleagues
19 and I and an officer of the army of the Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina and
20 a representative of what was the HVO then, but in essence they were
21 representatives of the Croatian army, Colonel Siljeg and General Praljak,
22 we all went to Prozor together for talks which were held in the UNIS
23 factory on the 1st of December, 1992.
24 Q. And what was the main purpose of these talks?
25 A. It's hard to fathom what the main purpose was, because throughout
1 this time a double game had been played. The --
2 MR. KARNAVAS: Your Honour, I'm going to object at this point.
3 Excuse me, sir.
4 I was tolerant on the previous answer when he went on and on and
5 on even though he wasn't there when everybody was returned. The question
6 was very precise. Now again he's doing the same thing. The gentleman
7 obviously is educated; he's a politician. He knows he's speaking to the
8 cameras back home. I'd ask the gentleman please answer the question and
9 answer it directly, and then if there are follow-up questions, the
10 Prosecution can ask those follow-up questions. That's how it's done
11 here. These long narratives where he uses them as a springboard to
12 advance his political agenda for back home is improper for this forum.
13 MR. KRUGER: Your Honour, if --
14 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. Go ahead.
15 MR. KRUGER: If I may just say, Your Honour, that I think that the
16 objection that has just been raised is a little bit unfair in the sense
17 that it makes certain assumptions as to the motives why Mr. Hujdur is
18 testifying today, and I think that's an unfair assumption or allegation to
19 make. If the objection is purely against the length of the answers or the
20 way in which they're being presented, that's another matter.
21 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. So ask him about
22 that famous meeting of the 1st of December, 1992, in that factory, the
23 UNIS factory.
24 MR. KRUGER: Thank you, Your Honour.
25 Q. Mr. Hujdur, the -- who was in charge or who was the head of the
1 Croatian delegation to this meeting that day?
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Mr. President, allow me a minute to
3 respond to this gentleman who sometimes even foretells my future fate.
4 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] The problem is not in you or the
5 counsel to your left. What you should be doing is to answer questions
6 posed to you by the gentleman standing, and then later on, at a later
7 stage, we will come to the cross-examination. The objection was made, if
8 I can put it this way, in a technical way because we are adhering to
9 common law traditions, but of course the Judges are above all that and
10 we're interested in hearing what actually happened. So try and answer the
11 questions. Try and give precise answers to questions. If you're asked
12 who presided over the meeting, answer. That's what we're interested in
13 hearing. All the rest is auxiliary.
14 MR. KRUGER: Thank you, Your Honour.
15 Q. Mr. Hujdur, who was the head of the Croatian delegation on that
17 A. Thank you, Mr. President. I apologise. I didn't know about these
18 strict rules.
19 On that day the main person was General Praljak, who introduced
20 himself as the absolute master of the situation both with respect to those
21 listening to him and those who were supposed to listen to him, meaning the
22 opposite side. On that day, I had occasion to convince myself of the
23 truth of the information that we had signed and sent off.
24 Q. Who was the most senior HVO person present at this meeting?
25 A. There were several of them. I think the commander of their
1 brigade started the meeting with the words, "General, these four -"
2 referring to the four of us who had arrived from this delegation - "they
3 are to blame for everything that has happened, all the extremism. They
4 are the only ones to blame for everything that is happening." And then --
5 MR. KARNAVAS: [Previous translation continues] ... it's
6 non-responsive to the question. The question is very precise. Again, if
7 we go step-by-step. I'm not trying to deny the gentleman the opportunity
8 to give us his entire story, but we must go step-by-step. The question is
9 very precise. If the gentleman could listen and just please answer, and
10 then there's another question. This is a highly experienced Prosecutor.
11 He will help you out, sir.
12 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes. Let's proceed
13 step-by-step, as they say in English. So try to answer in very precise
14 fashion. There was a delegation. There's General Praljak. So tell us
15 who made up the delegation, without making your personal assessments.
16 Who were the members of the delegation, and what was the object of
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] In this delegation were the people
19 whose names you can read in that report, not to waste time. And the
20 purpose was to calm down the tensions that had arisen and to find those
21 who were to blame, but in searching for the blame, we the Bosniak
22 delegation that had arrived from Jablanica were blamed exclusively for
23 everything that had happened, and their local HVO representative said that
24 they had 300 witness statements testifying to our guilt. These were the
25 statements made under duress in the Ripci primary school. At one point a
1 member of the delegation who knew Mr. Praljak because he had been in
2 Prozor in his early youth, as well as the rest of us, responded by saying
3 that our minutes from our meetings and all our talks testify to the
4 opposite; this is not true.
5 General Praljak then responded positively, probably for tactical
6 reasons, and he created an atmosphere in which he said he would continue
7 the conversation, the talks.
8 MR. KARNAVAS: [Previous translation continues] ... what I'm
9 talking about, Your Honour. I don't react, but again now he's reading
10 into General Praljak's mind. If he can give us just the facts "korak po
11 korak," step by step; a short question, short answer. If we could do
12 that, Your Honour. He was asked, Who were the HVO members? And then he
13 responds, in a rather rude manner, we can read it in the report. We're
14 not here to read reports, we're here to take oral testimony.
15 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes. I'm going to ask the
16 questions now to avoid any problems.
17 When you were meeting, generally speaking, how many of you were
18 there? So that's a precise question. I want a precise answer. How many
19 of you present? 10, 15, 30, 100? How many people, to the best of your
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] In the UNIS factory there were five
22 of us from the Bosniak delegation; two representatives, General Praljak
23 and Siljeg; and also seven to eight representatives of local HVO
25 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. So five Bosniak
1 representatives; two representing themselves, General Praljak and Siljeg,
2 Colonel Siljeg; and seven or eight representatives from the HVO.
3 Then what happened? Did you sit down to a table, or you remained
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, when I was interrupted,
6 I was just beginning to describe this. We sat down in the office of the
7 general director of the factory, and the meeting was opened with a report
8 from the general commander to General Praljak about us being to blame for
9 everything that had happened.
10 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] So everybody sat down. Who
11 presided over the meeting? Who did? Nobody?
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] General Praljak.
13 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. So who took the
14 floor first? Who spoke first?
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The local commander, submitting his
16 report or his briefing. After him, we took the floor.
17 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] And the local commander, what
18 did he have to say?
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] He said to the general that we were
20 to blame, the delegation that had arrived from Jablanica, that we were to
21 blame for everything that had happened in Prozor, that we were the only
22 ones to blame, and that this was borne out by the 300 statements they had
23 taken in the primary school from the 300 Bosniak men whom they had
24 imprisoned in the primary school.
25 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] All right. That's what the
1 local commander said. And you responded. What did you yourself say to
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] We addressed General Praljak and
4 said, "General, this is not true. This is absolutely untrue. There are
5 records from our meeting of the 23rd, including the details of the most
6 successful meeting we have ever had.
7 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes. And after that, General
8 Praljak, what did he say?
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] "All right. We'll continue those
10 talks, but now we'll move to another location and talk there."
11 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] That's what he said, is it? So
12 then you left and went where?
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] We went to a catering establishment
14 called the Rama Motel, which is about a hundred metres to the south of the
15 UNIS factory.
16 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] So you all arrived at this Rama
17 Motel. What happened next?
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] There we found a delegation of local
19 representatives from several villages to the east of Prozor; Scipe, Kute,
20 and Here, who had come for talks and with whom we were to continue the
21 talks in a joint meeting.
22 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. So there were many
23 more of you there than at UNIS. How many in total, roughly speaking?
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Perhaps as many again as had been in
25 UNIS, or even more.
1 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] So did you sit down at a table?
2 Did you remain standing? Did you have your meeting in a hall?
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It was in a restaurant, on the
4 premises of the restaurant of the motel.
5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] All right. In the restaurant.
6 Everybody sat down. Who spoke first?
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] We didn't all sit down, but most
8 people did. Some were walking around, including General Praljak. He
9 didn't sit down right away, because the atmosphere of the talks was upset
10 by an incident that had occurred that night.
11 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Right. The atmosphere was
12 upset. What incident was that? Because we weren't there, you see, so you
13 have to explain to us what happened. What was this incident that upset
14 the mood?
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Of course I didn't want to mention
16 it until I was asked about it.
17 The night before on a local road leading from Konjic toward one of
18 the villages I have mentioned, Scipe, a member of the staff called Salih
19 Ruvic and several other men had been taken prisoner. As soon as this had
20 happened, the news reached the Joint Command in Konjic, and according to
21 our information, these two men were there together, General Praljak and
22 Colonel Siljeg, who are here with us today. And an order was issued,
23 according to our information, from the general or one of those people
24 there that this prisoner was not to be abused or maltreated in any way and
25 brought to this meeting, to these talks. The local commanders, however,
1 did not obey the order, and when the man arrived, his uniform was
2 bloodstained, he was black and blue all over his back, and as we saw it,
3 the general became angry and started yelling.
4 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] [Previous translation continues]
5 ... stop you. Now, since this incident upset the general atmosphere,
6 General Praljak restored law and order, and he said that the person should
7 be taken away. So is that it?
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] That's right, yes.
9 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] So he arrived, and you saw that
10 he was covered in blood and that to all intents and purposes he had been
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] That's correct.
13 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] What was General Praljak's
14 reaction to that?
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I'll repeat what I said at the
16 outset: He presented himself as the absolute master of the situation, or
17 he wanted to.
18 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Well, I don't really want to
19 know whether he was absolute master of the situation. What I want to know
20 is this: When the captured person arrived in the state that he arrived in
21 that you described to us, what was General Praljak's reaction to that?
22 His reaction, please.
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] His reaction was positive, but this
24 was questionable.
25 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] You mean positive in what sense?
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, in the sense that he stated in
2 public -- or, rather, in public he reprimanded the local representatives
3 who had done this and who had probably disobeyed his order. And in this
4 sense one can see his reaction as positive. But there is a question mark
5 following this positive, because in his anger he said, inter alia, and I
6 recall this well --
7 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Just a moment. I'm proceeding
8 quickly because we have to close. It's already quarter past five. When
9 the captured person was brought in and General Praljak had his reaction,
10 what was the subject that was broached after that?
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] At that point in time it was this
12 incident, but the background was to be probably what I've already
13 mentioned, that the representatives of the local villages should be told
14 that the general's will had to be respected and carried out regardless of
15 what it was. That's why I said he wanted to be the absolute master of the
16 situation, or that's what he tried to be. And at one point he said to his
17 commanders, "If you go on doing what you are doing, you will no longer get
18 assistance from Croatia."
19 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I'm trying to save time. At the
20 end of the meeting, what were the conclusions of the meeting? What were
21 the conclusions?
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Unfortunately, there was a promise
23 that the talks would continue, but the talks never continued. And that's
24 what I meant when I said there was a positive reaction with a question
25 mark. The general continued the discussion with his own representatives,
1 and we returned to Jablanica.
2 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. So the conclusions
3 were that the debate would -- discussion would continue.
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] That is what the general promised.
5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Well, that's what we're going to
6 do as well. We're going to take up our discussions tomorrow, because it's
7 5.20 now. So we reconvene tomorrow morning at 9.00. I hope we'll all be
8 present tomorrow at 9.00.
9 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 5.18 p.m.,
10 to be reconvened on Wednesday, the 21st day
11 of June, 2006, at 9.00 a.m.