1 Monday, 26 June 2006
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 2.15 p.m.
5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Registrar, would you call
6 the case, please.
7 THE REGISTRAR: [Interpretation] Good afternoon, Mr. President.
8 Good afternoon to everyone. Case number IT-04-74-T, the Prosecutor versus
9 Prlic et al.
10 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. Registrar. I'd
11 like to say good afternoon to everybody present; the Prosecution, the
12 Defence counsel, Mr. Karnavas who is back with us, and also the accused
13 who are present here in the courtroom.
14 As you know, today we have a witness and he will take three days.
15 Before that, I'd like to make two oral rulings which were pending. The
16 first relates to expert -- the expert report of William Tolsanovic [as
17 interpreted] and General Major Pringle. On the 10th and 12th of May,
18 2006, the Prosecution sent in to the Chamber and Defence counsel expert --
19 the expert report of Mr. Tomljanovich and that of Mr. Pringle pursuant to
20 Rule 94 bis of the Rules of Procedure and Evidence. The Defence counsel
21 of the accused opposed the expert reports, questioning the witnesses, and
22 they also asked to be able to cross-examine the expert witnesses. The
23 Chamber deliberated the issue, and wishes to underline first of all that
24 the Defence counsel did not provide any specific reasons justifying their
25 opposition to the request made by the Prosecutor on the 10th and 12th of
1 May. On the other hand, the Chamber wishes to observe that General
2 Pringle has already testified as an expert witness in another case before
3 the International Tribunal.
4 Having read the expert reports and the curriculum vitae of the
5 authors, the Chamber considers that William Tomljanovich is very well able
6 to testify because he -- as an expert witness on the subjects that he
7 deals with in his report, the organs and structure of Herceg-Bosna, and
8 that also applies to General Pringle with respect to subjects related to
9 military issues, as a military commander.
10 Pursuant to a request made by the Defence, the Chamber considers
11 that William Tomljanovich and General Pringle should testify in person
12 before the Tribunal in order to be able to answer questions put to them by
13 the counsel during the cross-examination. The Defence counsel will be
14 able at that point to contest the validity and relevance of the
15 conclusions contained in the expert reports. The Trial Chamber also
16 wishes to observe that when these two witnesses testify and when they are
17 cross-examined by the Defence, that on the basis of all that they will be
18 able to decide what probative value and weight to give to their reports
19 and testimony. Therefore, I wanted to tell you that the two expert
20 witnesses will be appearing and the Defence teams will be able to start
21 the cross-examination stage after which the Chamber will rule on the
22 admissibility of the reports and the relevance and probative value of the
23 subject matter and contents of those reports.
24 I'm now going to ask us to go into private session, because
25 there's another ruling that demands private session.
1 [Private session]
11 Page 3808 redacted. Private session.
15 [Open session]
16 THE REGISTRAR: [Interpretation] We're in open session,
17 Mr. President.
18 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. We're in open
19 session. Go ahead, please.
20 MR. KARNAVAS: Thank you, Mr. President. With respect to your --
21 your decision concerning expert Tomljanovich, while I don't take exception
22 with the fact that he has a Ph.D. in history, given the content matter,
23 given who he works for and so on and so forth, we on the Defence side -
24 and I think I can speak for everyone regarding this issue - do not see him
25 as an expert. Accordingly, with leave, we certainly would like to leave
1 that -- we would like -- we would be filing some sort of a pleading
2 expressing our collective position with respect to why Mr. Tomljanovich
3 should not testify as an expert, but he might be competent to testify as
4 something other than an expert. And the reason for that, Mr. President,
5 is because obviously when it comes to giving weight, I believe in many
6 jurisdictions, national jurisdictions, even international jurisdictions,
7 weight is normally given more to an expert as opposed to a layperson. And
8 I would -- I would suggest that at least the Trial Chamber ponder the
9 suggestion that I'm making that, prior to him being designated an expert
10 in the field in which he's going to testify, as opposed to being an expert
11 in history, that the Prosecutor first lay a foundation and then request
12 that he be deemed an expert by the -- by the Trial Chamber. In other
13 words, seek the Trial Chamber's imprimatur before he testifies as an
14 expert. That would be my request, Mr. President.
15 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. Karnavas. We
16 have taken note of what you have just told us. There's a decision that
17 was rendered, on the other hand, last week, which was recorded on Friday
18 concerning an issue -- issuance of an appeal request to a decision having
19 to do with the co-counsel in the Alaburic team, and that decision was
20 taken by a majority vote, and I personally had a separate opinion with
21 respect to that decision.
22 There was another decision taken with respect to the computer,
23 laptops that the accused could use in the courtroom. That decision will
24 be recorded with the Registry over the next few days.
25 The Trial Chamber over the past few days looked into the question
1 of our schedule for September, October, November, and December, and we
2 decided, as we had already indeed decided at the very beginning, at the
3 outset, to sit for just four days a week; Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and
4 Thursday. It is our assessment that the very impressive quantity of
5 documents that are being tendered makes it incumbent upon us to read those
6 documents, and if we don't have enough time to read the documents, we're
7 not going to be able to do our job properly. So for that reason, as has
8 been the case so far, we shall be sitting four days a week with just a
9 light difference. So far we were able to work two days a week morning and
10 afternoon. However, as the Srebrenica trial is going to go ahead, we're
11 going to have to limit our sittings to Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday
12 morning or afternoon, depending on the schedule that the Srebrenica Trial
13 Chamber has.
14 So I should like to invite the Prosecution to take that on board
15 when it decides on its witnesses. Two months later we're going to see
16 whether we're keeping up to schedule on time or whether we're lagging
17 behind. For the moment we're still within the proper time limits, but if
18 there is any lagging behind, then we will see what we can do and reassess
19 the situation. But for the moment, everything is fine. We're all
20 present. Nobody is ill. We're all in the courtroom so that we can all
21 fulfil our duties and obligations and the demands of this trial.
22 Yes, go ahead, madam.
23 MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour. For several
24 days now I have been thinking about the tendering of exhibits of Witness
25 Hujdur. We had to get everything in a very short space of time, so would
1 you allow me to tender the exhibits now? I only have three.
2 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes. With respect to the Hujdur
3 exhibits, we haven't made a ruling there yet. No decision has yet been
4 made. Everything depends on a far more general question, and that is the
5 request made by the Prosecutor with respect to the admissibility of a
6 number exhibits relating to the previous witness. Mr. Murphy last week
7 also intervened, so we're going to make a ruling that is going to take
8 into account all the exhibits, and once we render our ruling, we'll come
9 back to Hujdur and the exhibits you wish to tender.
10 So it's a little premature for the time being. We're putting
11 everything on standby as everything will depend on our decision ruling.
12 MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
13 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] You can, of course, give us the
14 numbers of the exhibits you'd like to have tendered, and then we'll make a
15 definite decision in due course. Please continue.
16 MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour, that's just
17 what I wanted to do. The Defence of Mr. Stojic would like to tender the
18 following exhibits into evidence: 2D 00054, 2D 00055, and 2D 00056.
19 Thank you.
20 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you.
21 I'm now going to turn to Mr. Scott. The incoming witness, how
22 much time do you think you'll need? We're going to be sitting for three
23 days this week; six hours tomorrow, six hours the day after, plus the four
24 hours today. So we're going to devote about 16 hours to this witness,
25 taking into consideration examination-in-chief and cross-examination.
1 Now, how long do you think you're going to take with the
2 examination-in-chief, Mr. Scott?
3 MR. SCOTT: Good afternoon, Mr. President, Your Honours. I hope
4 to be able to finish this witness in something around the range of six to
5 seven hours. It is my hope that -- hopefully much better than that, but
6 the witness sometimes has a tendency to give rather long answers, and so
7 I'm allowing for that possibility. However, it is our goal to use the
8 time in such a way that we should be able to finish the witness this week,
9 allowing ample time for cross-examination, Your Honour.
10 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. Thank you. So if
11 you take up six hours, that leaves us with 10 hours for the Defence.
12 Mr. Karnavas.
13 MR. KARNAVAS: Thank you, Mr. President. I no longer need to go
14 to the gymnasium to keep in shape because I'm carrying documents for
15 witnesses such as the one that's coming. These are the documents that we
16 have to go through. They're quite -- quite a number of them. He's a
17 critical witness. I don't want to be pessimistic, but I don't think that
18 there will be enough time, 10 hours, for the cross-examination of this
19 gentleman, given the scope of his -- of his testimony, because it goes to
20 all sorts of things, especially - especially - joint criminal enterprise.
21 I just mention this.
22 We on this side will be extremely diligent in trying to be as
23 efficient as possible, but I just throw that out right now. He's an
24 extremely important witness, and of course I think we may need to bring
25 him back if we're not finished with him. I just mention this, although
1 I'm not saying that we can't. At this point it seems almost impossible,
2 because, as I said, there are a lot of documents and we can't just spend
3 30 seconds, and we're going to try to tell a story, as the Prosecution is
4 going to do under direct.
5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you. But let's not waste
6 any more time. So without further ado, let's have the witness introduced
7 into the courtroom.
8 MR. SCOTT: Your Honour, while we're doing that, to use the time
9 efficiently, I meant to respond and I wanted to do it to use as little
10 time as possible, about Mr. Karnavas's comments concerning the witness
11 Tomljanovich. Your Honour, it is the Prosecution position the Prosecution
12 has already tendered Mr. Tomljanovich as an expert and the Court has
13 already ruled that he is accepted as an expert. So I am not sure what it
14 is Mr. Karnavas seems -- he wants to litigate it a second time, but as far
15 as I'm concerned, he's been tendered as an expert, he's been accepted as
16 an expert, and he will be presented as a live witness.
17 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you.
18 MR. KARNAVAS: In just in one sentence: He is an employee. He is
19 a bought-and-paid-for employee of the Prosecution. He's not an expert.
20 He's not independent. He's an employee. It's like me having my
21 co-counsel testify. That's what I mean. I'm not saying he's not
22 competent, but he's not the same as some independent individual.
23 [The witness entered court]
24 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. The Chamber has all
25 the elements before it now. We have given an oral ruling a moment ago.
1 We have also taken note of what you have said. We are going to discuss
2 the matter amongst ourselves this week.
3 WITNESS: STJEPAN KLJUIC
4 [Witness answered through interpreter]
5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Sir, would you stand, please.
6 I'm going to ask you first of all whether you understand what I'm saying
7 in a language you understand. If you do, please say "I understand."
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, I can hear you.
9 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. You have been called
10 to testify as a witness by the Prosecution. Before you take the solemn
11 declaration, could you tell me your first name, last name, and date of
12 birth, please.
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] My name is Stjepan Kljuic. I was
14 born in Sarajevo on the 19th of December, 1939.
15 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] What is your present profession
16 or your activity?
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] At present I'm a counsellor for
18 foreign policy, advisor for foreign policy in the Presidency of
19 Bosnia-Herzegovina, as ...
20 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you. Have you already
21 testified before this Tribunal or another Tribunal on the events that took
22 place in your country in 1992, 1993 or 1994?
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, several times.
24 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. Can you tell me
25 quickly what cases you testified in.
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I was called as an expert witness to
2 confirm certain documents, authenticate certain documents in the Kordic
3 trial, and I was a legal witness in the Milosevic and Krajisnik trials.
4 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you. Will you now read
5 the solemn declaration.
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will speak
7 the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
8 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you. Please be seated.
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I would like to say
10 something before I begin my testimony. [In English] May I?
11 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] What does -- what subject is it
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] My problem.
14 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] What is your problem?
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] First of all, I refuse to be a
16 Prosecution witness, and I was subpoenaed to be a Court witness. So I
17 have come here not through my own free will, but I was taken into custody
18 and brought here. As a citizen of Bosnia-Herzegovina, I respect the
19 decision of our state which is binding on all the citizens of
20 Bosnia-Herzegovina to place themselves at the disposal of the Tribunal.
21 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] And that is the problem that you
22 wish to raise.
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Absolutely so.
24 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Now, with respect to that
25 problem, you know that this Tribunal has been functioning for the past 10
1 years and is functioning according to a confrontational procedure, that is
2 to say the Prosecution calls witnesses, and the Defence calls witnesses.
3 That is the general principle. Now, if somebody is quoted, name comes up
4 quoted by either of the parties, that person is obliged to come to the
5 Tribunal. If the party calling the individual encounters a difficulty,
6 then the Trial Chamber issues a subpoena so that that person can come into
7 the Tribunal to testify. That is the principle of this International
8 Tribunal, but it is also the principle applied in all international
9 tribunals. When somebody's name is listed, they have to appear.
10 You said a moment ago that the Trial Chamber can decide itself
11 that it would like to hear such-and-such a witness. That is because their
12 -- the witness comes in when there seems to be a gap. In Blaskic, for
13 example, there were witnesses that came in following a subpoena from the
14 Trial Chamber. In Kubura and Hadzihasanovic, there was also a witness of
15 that kind. But as we haven't got a general view of the overall case at
16 this stage, we didn't want to call you as a Trial Chamber witness. So
17 therefore, you are coming as a Prosecution witness. You could have come
18 as a Defence witness. But once you have taken the solemn declaration, you
19 are a witness of justice. You are not a witness of either party. The
20 fact that you have taken the solemn declaration means that you are a
21 witness of justice, and that is what I wanted to explain to you.
22 You may be seated.
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you. That is what I wanted.
24 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I'd like now to give you some
25 additional explanation. As I told you a moment ago, we are in this common
1 law proceedings, which means that the witness first of all answers
2 questions put to him by the Prosecution. Once the Prosecution have
3 completed the examination-in-chief, the witness is then cross-examined by
4 the Defence counsel, and also by the accused if they wish to ask
6 The four Judges sitting in front of you can also ask you questions
7 during the proceedings at any time. Obviously, in a national system of
8 continental law, it would be me who asks the questions to begin with and
9 then the others follow. But as we're in a different system here, it is
10 the Prosecution that starts off by asking you the questions, and then the
11 Judges can ask for clarification when they feel necessary. The Judges can
12 also ask you questions without going through me. The Judges are equal, so
13 no Judge is above another Judge, so the Judges are free to ask their
14 questions themselves and don't have to go through me.
15 If a question seems to you be complicated, then you can ask the
16 person asking you it to reformulate the question. The important thing is
17 to hear what you have to say in response. The Prosecution and the
18 Defence, when they're asking their questions, will also be showing you
19 documents, most likely, different documents in order to see what your
20 opinion of them is and what you know about them. You will be, of course,
21 telling the truth. There is no question of mendacity in the Tribunal.
22 That goes without saying. I know that you have understood this full well,
23 how important the solemn declaration you took is.
24 If you encounter a problem during the proceedings, please let us
25 know. We're going to be working for an hour and a half and then take a
1 20-minute break, after which we shall resume for another hour and a half.
2 So today we're going to take that break at approximately 20 to 4.00. We
3 shall reconvene at 4.00 and have another break at about 5.00, and go on
4 working until 7.00 p.m.
5 As your testimony's important, you're going to be testifying for
6 three days; Monday, Tuesday morning and afternoon, Wednesday morning and
7 Wednesday afternoon. So that is the time envisaged for your testimony as
8 both parties consider it to be important. It will take three days.
9 That, in general terms, is how we're going to conduct these
10 proceedings. As I said a moment ago, don't hesitate to let me know if you
11 have any difficulties whatsoever.
12 Having said that, I turn to Mr. Scott and give him the floor for
13 the examination-in-chief.
14 MR. SCOTT: Thank you, Mr. President.
15 Examination by Mr. Scott:
16 Q. Mr. Kljuic, before we start, can you once again state your full
17 name and spell both your first and last name for the record, please.
18 A. Do you want me to stand up or remain sitting?
19 Q. You can just give us your name, please.
20 A. [In English] Okay. [Interpretation] Stjepan Kljuic, and it's
21 spelled S-t-j-e-p-a-n, K-l-j-u-i-c.
22 Q. Thank you, Mr. Kljuic. I was asked to assist -- some of the
23 recordkeepers with that.
24 Sir, I'm going to go through some of your background to give the
25 Judges an overview leading up to your testimony today. So I'll move
1 through this fairly quickly. As you've already indicated, sir, I
2 understand you were born in Sarajevo on the 19th of December, 1939.
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. Your ethnic origin is Croat, and you consider yourself to be a
5 Roman Catholic; is that correct?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. You studied philosophy and literature in both Zagreb and later in
8 Sarajevo; is that correct?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. You worked for approximately 35 years as a journalist?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. During most of this time, perhaps all of this time you would
13 consider, you were what you consider to be a dissident in the communist
14 system that then existed in the former Yugoslavia; is that correct?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. I understand that you were a journalist at the Sarajevo-based
17 paper Oslobodjenje from 1964 to 1971; is that correct?
18 A. That's how it was.
19 Q. Then you worked for a paper called Vjesnik, which I understand to
20 be a Zagreb-based newspaper, but you were based in Sarajevo from 1971 to
21 1990; is that correct?
22 A. Yes. Before that, I was thrown out of Oslobodjenje. I didn't
23 leave the Oslobodjenje office of my own free will. I was dismissed as
24 unsuitable. The real reason was my struggle for the equality of the
25 Croatian language.
1 Q. From September, 1990, to at least February of 1992, you were the
2 president of the political party known as the HDZ, or Croatian Democratic
3 Union, of Bosnia-Herzegovina; is that correct?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. I should have preceded that by saying you joined the HDZ political
6 party in 1990.
7 A. Yes. I was a member and one of the organisers of the HDZ of
9 Q. And you served for a time as the political secretary of the party;
10 is that correct?
11 A. Yes. Political secretary and acting president.
12 Q. And your time as president of the party, did that continue from
13 approximately September, 1990, to at least February, 1992?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. In addition to your positions in the political party, is it
16 correct, sir, that you were a member of the Presidency of Bosnia and
17 Herzegovina from approximately the 9th of December, 1990, until the 4th of
18 November, 1992, and again from the 24th of October, 1993, until October,
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. In June, 1994, you formed a political party called the Republican
22 Party; is that correct?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. Does that party still exist today?
25 A. It does, but for four years now I have not been active in
1 politics. I have withdrawn from political life.
2 Q. Can you tell us in just a couple of words, a few words, what the
3 political philosophy or platform of that political party is, or at least
4 was at the time that you founded the party and were active in it?
5 A. It was the first attempt to create in Bosnia and Herzegovina a
6 multinational West European party which was to reconcile the conflict
7 between the former communists and the national parties that emerged at the
8 first democratic elections in 1990. In the general chaos in Bosnia, its
9 aim was to try and find a way out of that chaos. Initially the party was
10 very well-received by the citizens, but as time went by, we received no
11 assistance from the West, and the national parties, after the end of the
12 aggression in Bosnia-Herzegovina, grew ever stronger and are still in
13 power in Bosnia-Herzegovina.
14 Q. Now, sir, with that background in mind, I'd like to go back to
15 some of these things in considerably more detail in some respects. In
16 terms of -- you said a moment ago that you were not only a member but a
17 founder of the political party HDZ-BiH. Can you tell us again briefly
18 what you did in terms of assisting in organising or establishing that
20 A. The first political parties on the territory of the former
21 Yugoslavia were established in Slovenia and Croatia. This was the route
22 democratisation took, from the west towards the east. There came a time
23 when, in Bosnia-Herzegovina, political parties were founded. Some of
24 them, such as the Party of Democratic Action, which was the first to be
25 founded, did not reveal their ethnic and religious identity in their
1 title, but according to their platform and their membership, it was an
2 exclusively Muslim party. As the Croatian Democratic Union had been
3 founded in Zagreb and won at the elections, it was quite natural for the
4 Croats in Bosnia and Herzegovina to establish our own party on that
5 political basis. We had a lot of assistance from the people in Zagreb,
6 because once democratisation took hold in the former Yugoslavia, the
7 Croatian emigres population, the Croatian diaspora, provided enormous
8 funds which all went to Zagreb and helped them to win the election.
9 Zagreb then took on the task of assisting the founding of the HDZ of
11 However, you should know that the situation was very complicated.
12 After 45 years of totalitarian regime, all of a sudden parties can be
13 founded, and various ideas cropped up. Zagreb had a list of people. Some
14 of them had arrived from abroad, and some citizens from Bosnia-Herzegovina
15 wanted to become involved.
16 I have to say that the first problem that arose was what the
17 status of the party would be, whether it would be a branch of the Croatian
18 HDZ from Zagreb and whether it would be called the HDZ for Bosnia and
19 Herzegovina or whether it would be an autochthonous Bosnian Herzegovinian
20 party of Croat origin called the HDZ of Bosnia-Herzegovina.
21 Of course, I was in favour of it being an independent political
22 party, the HDZ of Bosnia-Herzegovina, and that's where major problem
23 arose, when the party convention was held in Sarajevo on the 18th of
24 August, 1990.
25 During the preparations, I was at the head of a significant group
1 of intellectuals from Sarajevo, but we were not given the appropriate
2 importance, and the president of the coordinating committee was Mr. Davor
4 During the preparations for the party convention, there was some
5 very dramatic situations, because the Croatian Prime Minister - Croatia
6 had already established its own government - arrived in Sarajevo. But on
7 the 17th of August, in the evening, there was an incident in Knin. On
8 that day, the Serbs in Knin set up barricades and started causing
9 incidents all over Croatia. The Croatian police set off in helicopters
10 intending for the police forces of the Republic of Croatia to calm down
11 the situation. However, the JNA, with its aircraft, neutralised the
12 helicopters and forced them to land.
13 That night in Knin, there was an armed rebellion.
14 Q. Sir, I'm going to ask you to come back, please, to the question of
15 the formation of the party. And the convention that you've indicated
16 existed -- the convention that was held on the 18th of August, 1990, did
17 you attend that convention?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. And you've indicated that a number of officials, or at least you
20 mentioned the Prime Minister, that some people from Zagreb, from the
21 Croatian government or party in Zagreb, came to the convention. Can you
22 tell us who those people were, please.
23 A. Well, I tried to explain to you that Mr. Manolic arrived, but when
24 the incident in Knin occurred, as he had come on the plane belonging to
25 the Republic of Croatia, Sarajevo airport was empty, but a truck hit his
2 Q. Apart from Mr. Manolic, who were the other people who came from
4 A. There were Dalibor Brozovic.
5 Q. Who he was?
6 A. He is a member of the academy. He was born in Bosnia and
7 Herzegovina. He is a prominent Croatian person, active in culture. Then
8 there was Gojko Susak, minister from the emigres community, and the
9 general secretary of the HDZ, Miljenko Zagar. There were very many people
10 from abroad, very many people from our municipalities, from Neum to Brcko,
11 municipalities in Bosnia-Herzegovina, and Croats from Sarajevo among whom
12 were the intellectuals who were candidates for the leadership of the
13 Croatian people in Bosnia-Herzegovina.
14 Q. Can you tell the Judges, please, why it was that the senior
15 officials of either the Croatian government or the Croatian party the HDZ,
16 why they were in attendance at the convention in Sarajevo.
17 A. It's quite simple: They wanted to help us, to help us create a
18 party which would be in political harmony with the HDZ in Zagreb. You
19 should know that at that time the national interests of the Croats in
20 Bosnia-Herzegovina and the national interests of the Croats in Croatia
21 were more or less identical. The idea was to create a democratic
22 Yugoslavia with more autonomy for the republics based on the 1974
24 Q. At the convention on the 18th of August, 1990, you mentioned a
25 Mr. Perinovic, I believe. Mr. Perinovic was elected as president of the
1 party, Mr. Davor Perinovic; is that correct?
2 A. Yes. Davor Perinovic and his people, because he submitted a list
3 of his people, including -- well, it was a very heterogenous list. Most
4 of these people were not familiar with the real situation in
5 Bosnia-Herzegovina, and they were very hard-line, demanding things that
6 were not appropriate at the time in that political situation. Therefore,
7 I, as the leader of the group of intellectuals from Sarajevo - and none of
8 these people I was the leader of - entered the leadership of the party.
9 Q. Well, to use your terminology, sir, what were some of the "very
10 hard-line demanding things," that you say Mr. Perinovic's group made?
11 A. One can see that from the speeches held before the convention
12 itself. There was a rally held in Prozor, several speeches made to the
13 Sarajevo press, and I have to say that the Croats in Sarajevo found these
14 speeches hair raising, and they refused to become members of the HDZ at
15 that point.
16 Q. They were hair raising in what way?
17 A. Well, for example, Mr. Perinovic said that the Muslims were
18 actually Croats of the Islamic faith, that Croatia should extend as far as
19 the River Drina. Well, you'd have to find this in the documents, but
20 these were terrible statements and made at a time when the regime was
21 still a communist one. And this did not correspond with the real
22 political aspirations of the Croatian people and, moreover, were not
23 realistic at all.
24 Q. Who was it that selected or named Mr. Perinovic to be a candidate
25 for president and then indeed elected president? Who was behind him?
1 A. Well, you see, some 10 days previously they had established a
2 steering committee which included the representatives of some
3 municipalities and Mr. Perinovic, and of course they had the support of
4 the HDZ from Zagreb. The main man at that time was the Secretary-General,
5 Miljenko Zagar, who was in constant communication the night before with
6 our group and with Perinovic's group.
7 Q. All right. Let's go forward, and I think some of these other
8 things will come up again as the chronology unfolds, sir. At the
9 convention on the 18th of August, 1990, is it correct that the party also
10 adopted a written statute or constitution?
11 A. Yes, this was envisioned. The atmosphere was very heated. An
12 agenda was adopted, a statute, rules, the conditions for membership, but
13 all this was done in purely formal terms and there was political
14 discussion among the representatives of various regions, and a document
15 was finally adopted.
16 MR. SCOTT: With the registry's assistance, could I have the
17 witness shown Exhibit 13 -- well, P 00013.
18 Q. Sir, if you're able to look at that document, and it may be that
19 you may want the ushers to assist you if you want to page through the
20 document a bit. When you've had a chance to look at that document, sir,
21 could you tell us -- could you confirm that that is the statute of the
22 Croatian Democratic Union of Bosnia-Herzegovina as adopted on the 18th of
23 August, 1990?
24 A. I had such a document in my hands because all those attending the
25 convention were given a copy.
1 Q. And does this appear to you, sir, to be a copy of that same
3 A. Could you go back to Articles 3 and 4, please. And could you zoom
4 in a bit, please. It seems to be, yes.
5 Q. All right. Now, sir, you've mentioned some issues concerning
6 Mr. Perinovic. Was he then removed a short time -- a few days later, a
7 short time after the convention, as president of the party?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. Now, it's at least been commonly reported that the reason -- or
10 one of the reasons that Mr. Perinovic was removed was because he was found
11 in fact to be at least part -- in part a Serb; is that correct?
12 A. There was mention of that, but that was not the chief reason for
13 his dismissal, his Serb origin. A woman who was a member of the HDZ
14 brought his baptismal certificate from Bileca, showing that he was a Serb
16 Q. Could you tell us, then, how you became named acting president in
17 this situation?
18 A. Before the founding, I had been a candidate, first for political
19 secretary and later on, when some people gave up, I assumed the duty of
20 political secretary and acting president. When on the 17th of August, in
21 the evening, our demands were not adopted, I broke off negotiations and
22 left. As I was leaving, Milenko Zagar, the general secretary, asked me
23 whether this was my final word. I said yes. And I said, "Sooner or
24 later, you'll come knocking on my door."
25 Q. All right. Well, let's jump, sir, to about the 5th or 6th of
1 September, 1990. Did you have occasion to be travelling through Zagreb
2 about that time?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. And tell us what happened at that time.
5 A. I was approached by some people who said, "Come with us." When I
6 got into a Buick, on the back right-hand seat, I said, "Gentlemen, it's
7 quite clear we're not going to the Petrinjska police station." After a
8 while, they brought me to President Tudjman.
9 MR. KARNAVAS: Excuse me, sir, excuse me. I wonder whether all
10 this information came out during the proofing session, because I don't
11 believe we received any proofing notes, and this seems to be rather new
12 material. So if we could have some -- a clarification on this point.
13 MR. SCOTT: My understanding, it's in previous statements of this
14 witness, including his testimony in other cases.
15 MR. KARNAVAS: I should note, Your Honour, that we only have one
16 statement, one prior statement. Which reminds me, as I understand, during
17 the Kordic case when the gentleman testified, he indicated that he had
18 given a statement which had not been provided to the Defence. Also, I
19 should note, in the Kordic case again, Mr. Nice was reading from some sort
20 of a summary, again as I understand, it's not part of the EDS and we don't
21 have it. So I don't want to disrupt the flow of the direct examination,
22 but perhaps at the break the Prosecution could be so kind as to provide us
23 that material. Thank you.
24 MR. SCOTT: As far as I know, Your Honour, there is no additional
25 material to be provided.
1 MR. KARNAVAS: Is the Prosecutor then conceding the point that
2 there was no statement given by this gentleman prior to his testimony in
3 Kordic? Because that's what the gentleman testified to under oath, and I
4 can provide the page number to the Trial Chamber if necessary. We don't
5 have that statement. We have one statement that the gentleman gave in the
6 year 2000. I'm simply asking the Trial Chamber to instruct the Prosecutor
7 to perhaps look and see whether there was an oversight.
8 MR. SCOTT: I'll make further inquiries, Your Honour, of course.
9 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Scott, what do you have to
10 say to that? I have the impression that you are -- that you are examining
11 on the basis of a statement provided by the witness in the Kordic trial,
12 and this is a statement not provided to the Defence, if I understand
14 MR. SCOTT: Well, first of all, Your Honour, to clarify, I am
15 examining from my own private outline, which has nothing to do with the
16 witness. It's something I prepared for purposes of my examination.
17 As to the other -- whether there is other statements by this
18 witness, I'll certainly make further inquiry. Indeed he's testified in
19 three other cases, as he's indicated to this Chamber a few minutes ago, in
20 the Kordic case, in the Krajisnik case, and in the Milosevic case, and he
21 has given extensive evidence and information in these cases. But the
22 short answer is, Your Honour, I'll make further inquiry. If there is
23 indeed anything that should be disclosed, then it will be.
24 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Continue, please.
25 MR. SCOTT:
1 Q. So when you went to see -- when you were taken to see President
2 Tudjman, what happened at that time?
3 A. Quite simply, he asked me whether I would work for our cause. I
4 said, "General, I have been doing that for 30 years." He then talked to
5 me about how I might agree to lead the Croatian Community of
6 Bosnia-Herzegovina [as interpreted]. As I was a professional journalist,
7 at the time working for a German radio station broadcasting in our
8 language and I had signed an agreement with the German government, I was
9 duty-bound to spend 10 days in Germany presenting the leaders of the
10 parties in Bosnia and Herzegovina to our citizens living and working in
11 Germany. In the meantime, a meeting was held in Zagreb of all the
12 municipal representatives of the organisations of the HDZ and the
13 leadership of the Zagreb HDZ, and they decided that I should take over the
14 role of president. I learned about this while I was in Frankfurt.
15 After that, we arrived in Sarajevo, and on the 16th of September,
16 the Main Board of the HDZ of Bosnia-Herzegovina, which had this authority
17 under the statute, appointed me acting president.
18 Q. Sir, I want to go back to page 27 of the transcript, line 4. I
19 don't know if it was a translation or transcription error perhaps or
20 perhaps you misspoke. It says in reference to President Tudjman, it says,
21 "He then talked to me about how I might agree to lead the Croatian
22 Community of Bosnia and Herzegovina." Did you mean to say the Croatian
23 Democratic Union or HDZ of Bosnia-Herzegovina?
24 A. I said the Croatian Democratic Union of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
25 That's a political party.
1 Q. Yes. So you returned to Sarajevo. On the 16th of September there
2 was a meeting of the Main Board; is that correct?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. And you were named acting president at that time?
5 A. Yes.
6 MR. SCOTT: If I could have -- ask that the witness please be
7 shown Exhibit P 09617. For Your Honours, that will be in the second --
8 that particular document will be in the second bundle. Most of them will
9 be pretty much in the order of the bundle, but that one is not.
10 Q. I missed the first part of that document, sir, but have you seen
11 enough of that document? Can you tell us, please, is that a record of the
12 meeting on the 16th of September, 1990, indicating the fact that you were
13 named acting party -- excuse me, acting president of the party at that
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. Did the party also elect vice-presidents and a secretary at that
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. If you recall, can you tell us, who were the three persons elected
20 as vice-presidents on the 16th of September, 1990?
21 A. One of them was Ante Bakovic, the other Nikola Krizanac, and I
22 can't recall who the third was.
23 Q. The third person Abid Hodzic?
24 A. Yes, yes. He was -- he had been vice-president with Perinovic as
1 Q. And was he a person of Muslim ethnicity?
2 A. He was a Muslim, but he represented himself as a Croat.
3 Q. Mr. Ignac Kostroman was elected as secretary; is that correct?
4 A. I was the general secretary. He was the business secretary.
5 Q. All right.
6 MR. KARNAVAS: Your Honour, if I could just make one
7 clarification. The Prosecutor indicated that on this particular day the
8 Main Board met. From the document it's rather clear that it was not the
9 Main Board but the Executive Board. Perhaps the gentleman could verify
10 that for the record, and then perhaps he could give us a distinction if
11 there is one.
12 MR. SCOTT:
13 Q. Mr. Kljuic, if you could look at the top of the document and
14 correctly identify the party -- excuse me, the part of the party, the
15 board, or function or apparatus of the party that met on that day that
16 puts you in this position.
17 A. Yes, it's quite clear that this is the Executive Board. The Main
18 Board was in Zagreb. The Main Board is a broader body. The Executive
19 Board is a more narrow body of leadership.
20 MR. KOVACIC: Your Honour.
21 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes, Counsel.
22 MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I don't like
23 interrupting, but when you read this sentence in line 15, it would appear
24 -- when he says the Main Board was in Zagreb, he said in the context of
25 the Croatian language that the meeting was in Zagreb, not the Main Board,
1 whereas this can be interpreted as saying that the Main Board was in
2 Zagreb. He meant the meeting of the Main Board was in Zagreb, the
3 session. So if we could clear that up.
4 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes. Thank you for explaining
5 that to us, Counsel Kovacic.
6 MR. SCOTT:
7 Q. Mr. Kljuic, I want to make sure that it's your testimony. If
8 there's anything about what's been said in the last few minutes that you
9 want to clarify, please do so; otherwise, we will go forward.
10 A. We can go forward, yes.
11 MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I do apologise, but
12 while I was speaking and when the -- you intervened, he said yes, the
13 session was in Zagreb. I can't see that in the record. It must be there.
14 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes. Sir, could you confirm
15 that the session took place in Zagreb so that we have that on the
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes. The meeting of the Main Board
18 of the HDZ of Bosnia-Herzegovina was held in Zagreb.
19 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. That has been
21 MR. SCOTT: Can you -- can the registry please next show the
22 witness Exhibit 15, or P 00015.
23 Q. Can you tell us, sir, is this a -- the records of a meeting of a
24 session of the Presidency, the Executive Board, and members of the
25 Municipal Board of the HDZ of Bosnia-Herzegovina meeting on the 8th of
1 October, 1990?
2 A. In Sarajevo, yes.
3 Q. And did you have a delegation attending this meeting from Zagreb,
4 including Mr. Susak?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. And what was the general business conducted at this meeting, if
7 you can just briefly describe it to us?
8 A. Well, I have to say that it was just before the elections, and we
9 were supposed to organise a massive participation in the voting of our
10 workers abroad. And since Mr. Susak was the minister for persons abroad
11 of the government of Croatia, we didn't want to make a parallel project.
12 What we wanted to do was, via this ministry, we wanted to inform and
13 involve as many of our nationals to vote in the Bosnia-Herzegovina
14 elections that were held on the 18th of November and 4th of December,
16 The communist press gave large-scale publicity to Verinovic [as
17 interpreted], and there was no reason to do that except as a political
18 diversion. When I was appointed on the 16th of September, the very next
19 day I asked that the Croatian Democratic Union of Bosnia-Herzegovina be
20 registered as a party under my presidency, and the court accepted that
21 registration, thereby rejecting any complaints by Perinovic. But in the
22 press several days after that, there were many of his statements in which
23 he disclosed some of his conflicts he had had with Zagreb and with certain
24 individuals from Zagreb. And at that meeting, and we had the Municipal
25 Board of Sarajevo represented, we expected that we would have large-scale
1 support. However, there were these local leaders who had to prepare for
2 the elections, and you must know that the atmosphere that prevailed at the
3 time was highly tense throughout Yugoslavia. People quite simply after
4 having 45 years of a one-party system were not ready and did not believe
5 that the time had indeed come for part -- several parties to appear, and
6 they didn't know who to vote for, who to choose, because very few people
7 believed at the time that the communists would lose the elections in
8 Bosnia-Herzegovina, for instance.
9 Q. Can I ask you to look at the last page of Exhibit P 00015, and can
10 you just look at the list of names associated with various positions on
11 that document and just tell us if that appears to you to be an accurate
12 listing of the officers and members of the Presidency of the party at that
14 A. Yes, except for the fact that from Tomislavgrad the base hadn't
15 delegated anybody for the Presidency. I was from Sarajevo, Nikola
16 Krizanovic was from Bugojno, Ante Bakovic was from Gorazde, and so on.
17 Q. That's all, thank you.
18 A. There should have been regional representation, and that's why we
19 had one seat reserved for Tomislavgrad, for instance.
20 Q. All right. Then, sir, directing your attention to elections in
21 November and December, 1990, is it correct that there were two rounds of
22 voting? There was a first round on the 18th of November and a second
23 round on the 4th of December, 1990 -- 1990; is that correct?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. Is it correct, sir, that of the Croat candidates who were running
1 for office at that time you received the most votes, with approximately 33
2 per cent of the vote?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. If you remember, can you tell the Judges, in that election, how
5 many seats in parliament did the HDZ BiH win or obtain?
6 A. We obtained 44 seats in parliament, in the parliament of
7 Bosnia-Herzegovina, and it had a total of 240 seats, and we won two seats
8 in the Presidency representing the Croatian people. That's as many as we
9 could have had. And we also won a large number of the municipal seats,
10 municipal presidents, amongst whom in 10 towns in which the Croats were
11 not the majority population. In fact, in nine of those towns they were
12 second. In Kotor Varos, they were the third ethnic group.
13 Q. Of the two seats that the party won on the Presidency, who took
14 those two seats?
15 A. I came first, and Franjo Boras came second.
16 Q. To what, sir, did you -- do you attribute the success of the HDZ
17 party in the 1990 elections?
18 A. Well, first and foremost, we compiled a national programme, and I
19 made that public. Perhaps there was some Croats who had done that before
20 me, but because of the political depression during communism, they were
21 not able to publish it in the country. So that political programme of
22 mine can be summarised in very simple terms: It was for a sovereign
23 Bosnia-Herzegovina, equality for the Croatian people within it, and five
24 points which were designed to enable the Croats to be successful in life
25 and co-existence in Bosnia-Herzegovina. Those five points were as
1 follows: That we had the most numerous diaspora of all the
2 Bosnian-Herzegovinian peoples; that we had alongside us the Republic of
3 Croatia that we could cooperate with on an economic level and so on; that
4 we had great economic support -- great support by the Pope, who strove to
5 have a just delineation in Yugoslavia; and that we had the largest number
6 of literate people, which is not negligible in Bosnia-Herzegovina; and the
7 main point was that the Croatian citizens had in their hands one -- in
8 1990, 70 per cent of the foreign currency capital of Bosnia-Herzegovina.
9 And you have to know that the dinar was not convertible currency and that
10 foreign exchange was bought and that the overall financial potential of
11 the citizens, 70 per cent of it was in the hands of the Croats, which is
12 an enormous economic advantage. So on the basis of that and on our firm
13 resolve to have the status of Bosnia-Herzegovina be identical to Slovenia,
14 Croatia, Serbia and other republics and equality, we won the elections.
15 MR. SCOTT: Could I ask that the witness next be shown Exhibit
16 P 00022.
17 Q. When you have a chance to look at that document, sir, can you tell
18 the Judges whether that is a party programme that you assisted in
19 preparing this particular document dated the 9th of January, 1991.
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. Very well. Now, did you go about then to organise a party
22 convention? Not a meeting simply of the Executive Board or the Presidency
23 but a convention of the party that was held in Mostar on the 23rd and 24th
24 of March, 1991?
25 A. After the victory at the elections and the party's success and my
1 own personal success, I was still the acting person because an HDZ
2 convention hadn't taken place yet. So as a legalist, I wanted us to hold
3 the regular convention as soon as possible, the party convention, in which
4 would elect the party bodies and functionaries in view of the fact that
5 certain people had become very prominent during the pre-electoral campaign
6 and scored good results. And of that provisional party that was formed
7 and which acted under those conditions, we had to turn it into a real
8 political organisation over a four-year period to create and set up the
9 bodies and organs which would allow the functionaries to perform their
10 duties as best as possible. That means an economic council had to be set
11 up, cultural cooperation council, a council to look into social welfare
12 and health, and so on and so forth.
13 Q. All right. To give the Judges some idea of the mix of the party,
14 the geographic mix of the party, is it correct, sir, that approximately --
15 there were approximately 288 party representatives at the convention? Of
16 that 288, approximately 53 came from Herzegovina? Sir?
17 A. Yes, that's how many delegates there were, and that's how many
18 were from Herzegovina. And in creating our party, we inherited the
19 communist recipe, according to which the leadership had regional
20 representation. That is to say, from all the regions there were
21 representatives. And the ratio was 83 per cent of the representatives
22 were from Bosnia, and 17 per cent from Herzegovina. But we didn't insist
23 upon that drastic difference, because at that time we did not want to
24 divide Croats into whether they were from Bosnia or whether they were from
1 Q. Can you tell us once again, as in the previous meeting, were --
2 was there a delegation of senior officials from Zagreb at this meeting or
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. And do you recall the names of any of the individuals who attended
6 on this occasion?
7 A. Yes. Among others, there was Mr. Gojko Susak, but at that
8 convention there were representatives of many other parties. It was the
9 power and authority, the HDZ was the ruling party, and we had a large
10 number of delegates who came to address our convention.
11 MR. SCOTT: Mr. President, I look at the time, and I'm going to
12 start another question or two that will go into a different area. This
13 might be a time for the break.
14 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes. It's 20 to 4. We're going
15 to break and resume at 4.00.
16 --- Recess taken at 3.38 p.m.
17 --- On resuming at 4.00 p.m.
18 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] The hearing is resumed.
19 Mr. Scott, please continue.
20 MR. SCOTT:
21 Q. Mr. Kljuic, I'd like to ask you a few questions about a man named
22 Mate Boban, whose name I don't think has come up yet in your testimony.
23 You made reference to the convention -- the opening of the founding
24 Assembly, if you will, excuse me, the founding Assembly of the HDZ BiH
25 party in August of 1990, and you've also mentioned the 1990 elections that
1 were held, which resulted in your election to parliament and to the
2 Presidency. At either the founding Assembly or during the 1990 elections,
3 was Mate Boban a participant in either of those events, as far as you
5 A. As for the creation of the HDZ in -- of Bosnia-Herzegovina in
6 Sarajevo on the 18th of August, he was not. But he was at the elections
7 as one of the candidates for the parliament of Bosnia-Herzegovina, and he
8 was elected among 44 representatives of the HDZ in the parliament of
10 Q. Did he represent any particular geographic area or constituency?
11 A. Well, yes, he was elected for the Mostar constituency, where the
12 HDZ won 12 seats, 12 representatives.
13 Q. When you went to the party convention in March of 1991 that we
14 were talking about before the break, you ran for president of the party
15 and a number of other persons also ran; correct?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. Mr. Boban was one of the other persons who ran for president at
18 that time?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. And can you tell us the result in -- if you recall, the number of
21 votes that Mr. Boban received in contrast to the number of votes that you
23 A. Boban received 32, Miljenko Brkic 1, Miro Lasic 1, and I secured
24 all the rest; I think about 230, 240 votes.
25 Q. You out-paced Mr. Boban quite considerably; is that correct?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. Despite that, was Mr. Boban elected to any office or position in
3 the party at that time?
4 A. Yes, he was. He was the second vice-president, mine, and the
5 first was Vitomir Lukic, the writer.
6 Q. If I can have the assistance of the usher to show you Exhibit 31,
7 P 00031.
8 As soon as you have that, sir, can you look at that enough to
9 sufficiently tell the Chamber, if you can, whether that is the political
10 platform of the HDZ BiH party as adopted on the 23rd of March, 1991.
11 A. Could you zoom down -- yes. Yes.
12 Q. Did you in particular think that there was a need for having a
13 written political platform or party platform at this time, or was it just
14 primarily a matter of routine party business?
15 A. Well, in the turbulent times, it's difficult to unite the
16 political party from the leadership down to the last member, from top to
17 bottom. But stylised in this way, a political programme stylised in this
18 way was the succous of what was most important and what was united at that
19 convention as a party programme.
20 Q. Moving forward from the convention, sir, something that will come
21 up, I believe, in the course of your evidence, can you tell the Judges
22 about something called the Helsinki Agreement of 1975 and how that entered
23 into your philosophy and thinking as to the condition or constitution of
24 Bosnia and Herzegovina.
25 A. Precisely because of the sudden political changes on the territory
1 of the former Yugoslavia that were taking place in all the political
2 parties, a large number of people appeared without any political
3 education. The Helsinki Conference, which was held in 1974 in Helsinki,
4 was the key document for the future of Europe. At the time, as you
5 already know, the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe, the
6 OSCE, was formed, and one of the most important principles that the
7 Helsinki Conference brought was that there can be no forcible change of
8 borders in Europe, which guaranteed the stability of political life on the
9 old continent. And this was to be a very important point when we came to
10 explain our politics and policies and also to our rivals and parties,
11 other political parties in Bosnia-Herzegovina, because even before the
12 elections, rumours went round according to which the future of
13 Bosnia-Herzegovina was not a certain one. What happened was that many
14 Serb politicians in Bosnia-Herzegovina, first and foremost Biljana
15 Plavsic, said that Bosnia-Herzegovina was a Yugoslavia in small, and all
16 the demands made from Slovenia, Croatia, and later Bosnia-Herzegovina, who
17 wanted to gain their independence, especially as interpreted by the
18 Badinter Commission, according to which the Yugoslav constitution, the
19 1974 Yugoslavia constitution, was recognised as the valid constitution,
20 and it claimed that the republics, through their will, united to form
21 Yugoslavia, many people ignored the Helsinki Conference. I insisted upon
22 that point, and as it turned out ultimately, the decisions of the Badinter
23 Commission were accepted and all the republics of the former Yugoslavia
24 gained their independence, but the decision of the Badinter Commission was
25 taken in 1991, whereas Montenegro gave up that independence but it, too,
1 is independent today. So that was a political prerequisite, saying that
2 no destruction of Bosnia-Herzegovina could be discussed; all that could be
3 discussed was the internal set-up and system for the country. And in
4 addition to that, Bosnia-Herzegovina is an old state which has had
5 unchanged borders since 1669 and the Karlovac Peace Treaty. And when it
6 lost its independence in 1463, it came under Turkish occupation and was a
7 separate administrative entity under the Turks too.
8 Q. Sir, we're going to go forward at that point.
9 JUDGE TRECHSEL: I'm sorry --
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] May I just be allowed to finish,
12 JUDGE TRECHSEL: I am sorry to interrupt, but there's something
13 which is strange. You said -- that's what the record says on line 5 of
14 page 40, that Bosnia-Herzegovina had the same borders since 1669. And
15 then you said "... when it lost its independence in 1463 ..." One expects
16 a later date. But is that what you wanted to say, that the borders are
17 the same since 16 -- since the 17th century?
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] '99. That was the Karlovac Peace
19 Treaty, '99. And I also wanted to say that when it was under Turkey, it
20 was a separate administrative unit. When it was under Austro-Hungarian
21 occupation, it was also a separate unit entitled "corpus separatum" until
22 the dictatorship of King Aleksandar in 1929 it was also a separate
23 administrative unit. The only time it was not that was from 1929 to 1941.
24 In communist Yugoslavia, Bosnia and Herzegovina was a republic on an equal
25 footing with all the other republics.
1 MR. SCOTT:
2 Q. The 1975 Helsinki Agreement, was that signed by --
3 JUDGE TRECHSEL: I'm sorry there's still an unclarity. The
4 witness on the first and second lines of his previous statement, lines 19,
5 20, speaks of '99. Which -- which century?
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] 1699, the Karlovac Peace Treaty.
7 MR. SCOTT:
8 Q. And the 1975 Helsinki Agreement was signed by President Tito at
9 the time when Yugoslavia was still a combined state?
10 A. The American president Ford, the Soviet president Brezhnev, Josip
11 Broz Tito, and 29 other statesmen from Europe.
12 Q. Now, sir, we're up to March of 1991, having discussed the party
13 convention. Did you hear around this time or become aware of meetings
14 between Franjo Tudjman and Slobodan Milosevic at a place called
15 Karadjordjevo on or about the 27th of March?
16 A. No, no.
17 Q. When was the first time that you recall learning about that?
18 A. The first time I heard about that for certain is in a book written
19 by Mr. Sarinic, who for a while was the Prime Minister of the Republic of
20 Croatia. This book was published some seven or eight years ago in Zagreb.
21 Q. Do you recall previously discussing the topic with Stipe Mesic?
22 A. There were rumours going around both on the Serb side and the
23 Croatian side, as well as the Bosnian side in Sarajevo, to the effect that
24 there was some kind of secret agreement, but nobody said anything specific
25 about it. Even in the most intimate conversations President Tudjman never
1 mentioned Karadjordjevo to me or said anything about it.
2 Q. Did you and your political colleagues observe any difference, any
3 apparent difference in President Tudjman's views towards
4 Bosnia-Herzegovina before and after -- after this rumoured meeting in
6 A. It was evident that there was to be a certain change in Croatian
7 policy requiring more agreement with the Serbs. But for us this was
8 unacceptable for several reasons. One reason was that the Serbs were
9 already shelling Vukovar and Dubrovnik in Croatia, that in
10 Bosnia-Herzegovina they were separating off territories, and not just
11 those where the Serb population was in the majority. With the help of the
12 JNA, they were embarking on a project called Ram. I was the first person
13 to publish the information about the Ram project, listening to secret
14 conversations between Milosevic and Karadzic.
15 Q. Before you get too far ahead, can I just go back to earlier in
16 your answer. You said it was evident there was to be a certain change in
17 Croatian policy, requiring more agreement with the Serbs. On lines 9 and
18 10, and you said, "But for us this was unacceptable." Who is the "us"
19 that you referred to at that time?
20 A. I'm referring primarily to the leadership of the HDZ of Bosnia and
21 Herzegovina but also to the Croatian people in Bosnia-Herzegovina.
22 Q. All right. Continue on then.
23 MR. KARNAVAS: Your Honour, if I may interject here. If you look
24 at the question and look at the answer that was just referenced to
25 earlier, the gentleman hasn't quite answered the question whether before
1 and after the alleged meeting in Karadjordjevo. And I guess what I don't
2 want is an unclear record. So is his answer in regard to that specific
3 question or is he talking about because of the events as they were
4 unfolding, ultimately the Croats were going to have to recalibrate their
6 MR. SCOTT: Well, Your Honour, before it leaves the page, I think
7 the question and answer are exactly as they say on the page, and the
8 witness was giving a specific answer to my question, did you observe a
9 difference in policies before and after Karadjordjevo, and the witness
10 gave a responsive answer, we submit: Yes, it did.
11 Q. Sir, you then talked about --
12 MR. SCOTT: Sorry, Your Honour.
13 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Sir, do you confirm that after
14 Karadjordjevo you observed a difference?
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It wasn't clear right away, but as
16 events developed, relations between certain Croatian politicians and
17 certain Serb politicians grew closer and closer at more than one level.
18 Later on, we got evidence that this was correct.
19 MR. SCOTT:
20 Q. Sir, you were talking -- you began to talk about something called
21 Ram - Ram or Ram, I'm sorry - R-a-m. Can you continue on that, please,
22 but again, please be reasonably concise.
23 A. As in the then Yugoslavia and in Bosnia and Herzegovina, everybody
24 was listening to everybody else. The Serbs had the institutions of the
25 army and the police, and I obtained certain information in various ways,
1 and very often, in exchange for payments of money, I was able to listen in
2 to conversations between Milosevic and Karadzic. In one such
3 conversation, they joked about this and said, "A man like Ramo." "Ramo"
4 is a Muslim name in Bosnia, but when you listen to the tape more than
5 once, you understand that they're talking about Ram, R-a-m, which was to
6 encompass the old idea of a Greater Serbia as far as Karlobag, Karlovac,
7 and Virovitica. I made this public, and there are documents showing this.
8 Q. All right. Let's go forward in terms of the HDZ BiH in Bosnia and
9 Herzegovina during this time.
10 Mr. Kljuic, as an overview of matters that we'll talk about in
11 more detail in the next few hours, can you tell the Judges, over the
12 course of 1991, from the convention forward, was there an increasing
13 political division between at least two factions in the party that is the
14 HDZ BiH?
15 A. First, you have to understand the context in which all this was
16 happening. In the spring of 1991, there was an armed conflict in Croatia.
17 By that time, the Serbs had blocked one-third of Croatian territory, but
18 from Easter 1991 onwards, from the incident at the Plitvice Lakes and
19 several days after that when 12 regular Croatian policemen were killed in
20 Borovo Selo, there was an escalation of hostilities. All this had
21 repercussions in Bosnia-Herzegovina, and the initial successes of the
22 Serbs in Croatia encouraged Karadzic and his satellites in
23 Bosnia-Herzegovina to raise tensions.
24 At that time, many volunteers from Bosnia and Herzegovina went to
25 the war theatre in Croatia, and reservists from Serbia and Montenegro
1 arrived in Bosnia-Herzegovina. The last hopes that the Yugoslav leaders
2 would agree on the reconstruction of Yugoslavia fell through.
3 The situation was also confused because the American Secretary of
4 State, Baker, in late March, 1991, said that it was in America's strategic
5 interest to preserve Yugoslavia. After that, Milosevic stepped up the
6 pressure on the republics. In the meantime, he had united Serbia by
7 force, because he replaced the representatives of Vojvodina and Kosovo,
8 the two provinces, in the Presidency of Yugoslavia, Mr. Sapundzija and
9 Krunic, and installed his own men. In that way --
10 Q. Mr. Kljuic, I'm going to stop you there and go back to my original
11 question, please. Can you tell the Judges, over the course of 1991, was
12 there a split in the HDZ BiH political party with you representing --
13 primarily representing one faction and Mr. Boban representing the other
15 A. Not yet. Not in the first half of 1991. There was no evident
16 split at that time, but --
17 Q. Tell the Judges, then, please, when you first saw this split
18 developing, the first manifestation of a division in the party involving
19 you and Mr. Boban.
20 A. Boban, as a person, was not a natural leader. He was a
21 second-rate leader. He never opposed me in public. However, when links
22 were severed with Zagreb, and communications, and it was not possible to
23 communicate, only from the western parts of Bosnia-Herzegovina, which were
24 not within the Serb SAO Krajinas, could one easily reach Zagreb. In this
25 respect, this was not official Croatian policy. It was individuals in
1 Zagreb representing certain functionaries who originated from
2 Bosnia-Herzegovina and who showed a lot of will to make the decisions
3 about what was to be done instead of the established leadership of the HDZ
4 of Bosnia-Herzegovina in Sarajevo and the political office-holders in
5 Sarajevo. I insisted with President Tudjman that he should not receive
6 those people, that they should come to Sarajevo and then we would see what
7 the problem was. But the development of the military situation in
8 Croatia, the atrocities that followed, as well as the fact that
9 communications were blocked in Bosnia and Herzegovina and that those
10 people in Zagreb continued making suggestions and issuing directives,
11 certain people in the field took less and less notice of the decisions we
12 were making in Sarajevo.
13 Q. Sir, I'd like you, in just a few sentences, to tell the Judges --
14 to describe the political, the official political position of the HDZ
15 party at this time under your leadership and your political views. I want
16 you to describe those, and then I'll ask you to describe the views of this
17 other faction. Please tell the Judges your political and the party's
18 political views at that time.
19 A. First of all, I succeeded in my political programme, for which I
20 gained the undivided support of the citizens and the HDZ members at the
21 convention in Mostar. And to be quite clear, I stated all this in public.
22 It was the task of the Croats to fight for an independent
23 Bosnia-Herzegovina and for the equal status of the Croats within
24 Bosnia-Herzegovina in relation to the Serbs, Bosniaks, and others. This
25 was the political platform founded, inter alia, on the Helsinki
2 I did not believe or want to believe that Bosnia-Herzegovina could
3 be destroyed. However, events on the ground took a different course.
4 There were even some agreements, because when the Serbs were unable to
5 come to any kind of agreement with me, and Mr. Karadzic had offered me 5
6 million to leave Izetbegovic, to abandoned him, I said to him I don't
7 belong to Izetbegovic, I am for Bosnia-Herzegovina, and the fact that
8 Izetbegovic is saying he's in favour of Bosnia-Herzegovina, well, why
9 don't you say the same thing and there will be no problems. However, many
10 people who are on the ground who are politically illiterate failed to
11 understand the situation.
12 You see, the Muslims, the Bosniaks, were as much threatened by
13 Milosevic as we were. I felt that they were our political friends in
14 defence, and I did something very important when I did not allow the
15 Muslims to go over to Milosevic's side. Had this happened, the Yugoslav
16 army, which had weapons and officers, would have mobilised hundreds of
17 thousands of Muslims who would have overrun at least a part of Croatia.
18 Our joint resistance caused the greatest problems for Milosevic and
19 Karadzic. However, rumours began to go around that I was inferior to
21 Q. Sir --
22 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Excuse me. There is something that has struck me
23 in what you have said. You have said, "I did not allow the Muslims to go
24 over to Milosevic's side." How is it that the Muslims would ask for your
25 permission to do something like that? Perhaps you could explain, please.
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No. Nobody was asking for
2 permission, but at the top of the Muslim party I explained to many people
3 what it would mean if they were to support Milosevic. And there were
4 several such offers. I couldn't do this all by myself without the Muslim
5 leadership, but it was very significant at a time when Croatia was
6 attacked, was under attack, that the Muslims should be at least neutral.
7 And this was a very difficult and complex task. I cannot tell you all the
8 details now. And it was perhaps with God's help that we had the Muslims
9 as political friends and allies. How things would develop, that's
10 something else. But when Croatia was burning, it was very important for
11 the Muslims to be made neutral. However, for those people who were from
12 the provinces and who were opposed to me, it was very easy to say that I
13 was inferior to Izetbegovic.
14 MR. SCOTT:
15 Q. I'm going to stop you and go back to --
16 MR. SCOTT: I'm sorry, Your Honour, if that question's --
17 JUDGE TRECHSEL: No.
18 MR. SCOTT:
19 Q. You said a few moments ago, when I asked you to describe your
20 position, you said you were for -- and we've lost it on the page, but I
21 believe an independent Bosnia-Herzegovina. What was your view and the
22 view of the political leadership of the HDZ about the sovereignty and
23 indivisibility of Bosnia-Herzegovina?
24 A. Absolutely the same. It's in all our documents. It's even in the
25 documents published in October and November, 1991.
1 Q. All right. Now, I want to change gears now, sir. And again we're
2 going to go through a number of particular events, but as an overview,
3 what was the views of Mr. Boban and those around him in contrast to the
4 views you've just described to the Judges in the last few minutes?
5 MR. KARNAVAS: Your Honour, if I could ask for some precision with
6 the question itself. The previous question asked about the leadership.
7 The gentleman indicated that Boban was the vice-president. So obviously
8 from that answer I can only understand that Boban was in agreement with
9 the gentleman with respect to his earlier answer. So if we could have
10 time and place, if there was a split, at what period, perhaps it might be
12 MR. SCOTT:
13 Q. Sir, what was the political views of Mr. Boban and those around
14 him if they were in contrast to yours? Then once you've told us that,
15 tell us when this emerged or became more known to you.
16 A. First of all, we were acting as the Presidency, and every
17 communique was approved by every member of the Presidency before it was
18 made public. There was no opposition there.
19 Secondly, Boban did have the support of certain municipal leaders
20 but not all of them. On the contrary. The most prominent persons in
21 Herzegovina at that time toed the HDZ party line, including the late
22 Damjan Vlasic [Realtime transcript read in error "Demirovic"] who was the
23 president of the Mostar HDZ, Milivoj Gagro, the mayor of Mostar, and many
24 others. The influence of Mate Boban was to grow only later on, when there
25 was a complete break in communication. He was liked in Zagreb, but
1 officially, until the Plenary Session in February, 1992, I had no problems
2 with Boban.
3 Q. Let me stop you for a moment, sir, and I'll let you continue in
4 and moment, but before we get too far ahead --
5 JUDGE PRANDLER: May I interrupt you?
6 MR. SCOTT: Of course, Your Honour.
7 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please, for His Honour.
8 JUDGE PRANDLER: I will start again. I would like to ask the
9 witness when he actually referred to the persons, most prominent persons,
10 as he put it, that at the same time they toed the HDZ party line,
11 including the late, I believe, Demirovic, who was the president of the
12 HDZ, Milivoj Gagro, the mayor of Mostar, and others. Does he mean that
13 that party line was the one which was explained previously by you and the
14 party line was the one which you professed that it was your own party
15 line? Or do you mean the HDZ, I mean not only within Bosnia-Herzegovina?
16 So I would like you to clarify this issue.
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] At the time, this was officially the
18 standpoint of the HDZ of Croatia, but above all it was the political
19 orientation of the HDZ of Bosnia-Herzegovina and my personal political
21 JUDGE PRANDLER: Thank you very much. Thank you.
22 MR. SCOTT:
23 Q. And my question, the one that I interrupted you to ask, was very
24 similar to Judge Prandler's question, and again so the record is clear, so
25 when you make references to persons like Zijad Demirovic and Mr. Gagro, do
1 we understand correctly then that those persons were persons which
2 followed this policy of a multi-ethnic, independent, sovereign
4 A. First of all, there's an error in the transcript. There's no
5 Demirovic. I never mentioned any Demirovic. He keeps turning up here. I
6 spoke about Damjan Vlasic and Milivoj Gagro. There were others. There
7 was Nikola Mandic, the oldest deputy, and many others. We were not taking
8 sides then, but later on, as time passed, everyone went his own way.
9 Q. All right. Now, let me come back to -- we tried to start this
10 several times. Can you then describe the views that Mr. Boban began to
11 espouse and how they compared to the -- to your views and the people such
12 as Mr. Gagro's.
13 A. I have to say that Mate Boban never expressed his political
14 standpoints in public, but it was evident that with individuals from the
15 Muslim and Serb parties, the SD [as interpreted] and the SDS, he had very
16 close relations with them.
17 At that time, Karadzic was looking for anyone with whom he could
18 topple the policy of the HDZ of Bosnia-Herzegovina, and Serb propaganda,
19 both in Belgrade and Zagreb, constantly published news items saying that I
20 was Izetbegovic's man. And this had an effect on people who were ignorant
21 of the real situation. However, for the overall political situation, it
22 was very important for the SDA not to join Milosevic, and later on when
23 Milosevic tried the same with another Muslim leader and achieve a
24 historical agreement --
25 Q. Sir, let me interrupt you, please. Did the division between you
1 and Mr. Boban become worse as 1991 went forward, and did there come a time
2 when you were forced out of the party?
3 MR. MURPHY: Your Honour, I understand Mr. Scott's difficulty, but
4 I would appreciate that he would not ask leading questions of the witness
5 on issues that are as important as the question that he just asked.
6 MR. KARNAVAS: Also, I would supplement a couple of matters. One,
7 on line 18 of the previous page, 51, the gentleman indicated SDA and the
8 SDS, where Mate Boban had close relations. That's what I heard. It's not
9 reflected on the record.
10 Also, I believe we deserve an answer, a full answer to the last
11 question. He was about to name, I hope, the Muslim leader that supposedly
12 was in contact with the SDS or Milosevic to cut a deal. So I think that
13 would help us.
14 MR. SCOTT:
15 Q. Mr. Kljuic, if you'd like to finish your last answer, the one that
16 counsel's referred to, please do so. Then I would like to move forward,
17 specifically forward in the chronology of 1991.
18 A. The Muslim leader's name was Alija Izetbegovic, for the record.
19 Q. Did there come a time, sir, when you were forced out of the party?
20 MR. MURPHY: Perhaps -- sorry, but perhaps Mr. Scott did not hear
21 my previous objection. This is a very important issue. It is not proper
22 to ask leading questions in examination-in-chief on substantive issues of
23 this kind. To the extent that that's done, it destroys the probative
24 value of the evidence because effectively Mr. Scott is testifying instead
25 of the witness.
1 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Scott, yes, try not to ask
2 leading questions. It's the witness who ought to clarify what happened
3 and tell us what happened without you leading him to the answers.
4 What is interesting for the Judges - I speak for myself but I'm
5 sure my colleagues share my opinion - is to know why, between him and Mate
6 Boban, there is going to be apparently a divergence of views, difference
7 of views. So that's the interesting point as far as we're concerned.
8 MR. SCOTT: Your Honour, I couldn't agree with you more, and I've
9 been asking Mr. Kljuic for about the past 15 minutes to give us that
10 answer, and maybe with the Court's encouragement Mr. Kljuic could answer
11 that question. What was the nature of the division or the split between
12 he and Mr. Boban.
13 Q. If you could answer that question specifically.
14 A. The parting of ways cannot be seen with the naked eye, nor was it
15 apparent immediately. A belief in an integral Bosnia-Herzegovina became
16 very difficult for many people in view of the situation on the ground.
17 However, what was essential both for Boban and myself was that the party
18 documents and programme were such as I interpreted them to be. He never
19 opposed me, either in our private lives or at meetings. The respect
20 people had for him in Zagreb, people in power positions, not necessarily
21 political figures, but that grew. On the other hand, I was preoccupied
22 with state affairs as a member of the Presidency, negotiations with the
23 international community, and the problems that we were facing in the
24 institutions of Bosnia and Herzegovina. And you must realise that it was
25 only six months after the government had changed. We were doing our best
1 to replace communist cadres occupying leadership positions. The HDZ
2 didn't have a computer, for instance, where the lists -- where the names
3 of candidates would be listed and in order of value. Everybody wanted
4 their own representatives from Zenica, Livno, and so on and so forth.
5 Everyone wanted to get a place in the state administration. And while I
6 was doing that kind of work, other people were sitting down and
7 deliberating, thinking, that it wouldn't be a bad idea if the Serbs take
8 their portion, we Croats could take -- seize our portion. But that was to
9 culminate on the 2nd of February, 1992. And a moment ago mention was made
10 of the fact that I was thrown out of the HDZ. Nobody expelled me from the
11 HDZ. On the 2nd of February, 1992, I tendered my resignation and,
12 according to the statute, I should have stayed on up until the new
13 convention. The new convention was never held. They appointed a new man,
14 and that was that. That was their affair.
15 However, there -- a stream appeared amongst the Croatian
16 leadership which was expressly opposed to the Muslims, and one of them,
17 one of those protagonists, told me on the 2nd of February, 1992, when we
18 parted ways -- he delivered a speech and then we parted ways. He said
19 that the Croats would not, just because of Stjepan Kljuic, remain under
20 the Turks for another 500 years.
21 Perhaps it's unimportant, but rumour had it that his wife was the
22 daughter of a Serbian intelligence agent.
23 Q. Who made the -- sorry, sir. Who made the statement to you --
24 A. I'm a gentleman. Don't make me name names. I'm not accusing him.
25 Perhaps he is not politically well-versed, but I told you about the
1 incident and it's a true one.
2 Q. Just so the record is clear --
3 MR. KARNAVAS: Then I'd ask that it be stricken from the record.
4 If he's not going to be mentioning names, then how can we give it any
5 validity at some point? It's more prejudicial than probative. So either
6 there is a retraction or there's a naming of people. I think it's very,
7 very important for the gentleman to give us as many details and names as
8 possible so we can verify and bring those individuals here if necessary.
9 MR. SCOTT: Mr. President, I will indeed ask follow-up questions
10 to this, but I think Mr. Karnavas's position is over-extreme. I do not
11 think it's a basis to strike the witness's evidence if he doesn't give it.
12 I would like him to, and I will ask him further if he will do so.
13 Q. Sir, if I understand correctly, on page 54, at line 22, you said,
14 "... one of those protagonists, told me on the 2nd of February, 1992 --
15 when we parted ways. He delivered a speech and then we parted ways. He
16 said the Croats would not, just because of Stjepan Kljuic, remain under
17 the Turks for another 500 years." I'm asking you please, if you would,
18 tell us and the Judges who that person was.
19 A. Don't make me do that, please. Defence -- well, I have my own
20 code of conduct. I have come here to explain the situation to you, not to
21 be exposed to things like that. The person occupies a position today, and
22 it's not up to me to see who -- where somebody's wife comes from. I just
23 said -- tried to explain the environment that they had come from.
24 JUDGE PRANDLER: I'm only waiting for the translation, French
25 translation. Now I would like to say that in my considered view it is
1 indeed we cannot oblige the witness to say -- to actually tell us that
2 name if he doesn't want to. I believe that anyway the reference to that
3 statement of that colleague of his doesn't have, so far at least, a
4 probative value. On the other hand, the -- that characterisation of the
5 500 years under Turkish occupation, et cetera, is a very important one,
6 and I would like to keep it in the transcript.
7 So really I believe that we should be aware of the rights of the
8 witnesses in this case. Thank you.
9 MR. SCOTT:
10 Q. All right, sir, just to move forward then, and again we'll come
11 back to this, then you resigned from the party on approximately the 2nd of
12 February, 1992. We can understand that, correct?
13 A. Yes, that's exactly right. On the 2nd of February precisely.
14 Q. Now, sir, with the usher's assistance can I direct your attention
15 to Exhibit P 00032. And when you have had a chance to look at that, sir,
16 can you just confirm, is this a written extract of the meeting of the
17 Presidency of Bosnia-Herzegovina HDZ on the 4th of April, 1991?
18 A. Could you move the text down? Scroll down, please. Yes, it is.
19 Q. And looking at -- under -- if you'll find item 5 of the agenda
20 simply as a reference point. And down below that there are references to
21 the members of the Presidency, and there's a list of names, and can you
22 just confirm that that's an accurate list of the officers of the party or
23 -- excuse me, of the Presidency of the party at that time? It may be
24 necessary to --
25 A. I can't see any list here.
1 Q. Yes, all right. It will be necessary to go to the next page of
2 the B/C/S version. If you can go to page 2 -- I think we may have skipped
3 a page, unfortunately. Page 2 of the B/C/S document.
4 All right. There, you can see, sir, if you look at the names --
5 A. Yes. That's right. This is an exact list of the Presidency
6 members after the convention in Mostar.
7 Q. Can I next refer you to Exhibit -- with the registry's assistance,
8 Exhibit P 00034.
9 Can you confirm to us, please, that this is the excerpt of the
10 minutes of the second session of the Presidency of HDZ BiH on the 16th of
11 April, 1991?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. Now, a couple of questions. On item 3 -- find item 3 in the
14 document. The items are numbered, and it should be several pages into the
15 B/C/S version. Page 4 of the B/C/S version, item 3.
16 In the -- in the third paragraph of item 3, it says: "We condemn
17 any attempts to change the borders of Bosnia and Herzegovina." Did that
18 continue to be the official policy of the HDZ BiH at this time?
19 A. Yes. And this refers to the situation on the ground.
20 Q. And then if you go to the last item in -- last paragraph in item
21 3, or, to state it differently, the item immediately above item 4, does it
22 say: "Full support is given to the BH government in its attempts to
23 preserve the integrity of Bosnia and Herzegovina"? And can you confirm to
24 us, please, did that continue to be the official position of the HDZ BiH
25 as of April of 1991?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. Directing your attention to Exhibit 36. When you've had a chance
3 to look at that, sir, can you confirm that these are minutes of the 3rd
4 regular session of the Presidency of the HDZ BiH on the 29th of May, 1991?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. And this particular meeting, in the first item under the
7 introduction, it says that this session was chaired by Mr. Boban.
8 The registry may need to scroll down a bit, please.
9 A. Yes. Could you scroll down, please, for me, too, so I can see?
10 Q. Yes, sir. Apparently we're having some technical difficulties.
11 When you have a chance, sir, could you just confirm that those are
12 the minutes of the meeting on the 29th of May, 1991.
13 A. Yes, yes. That's right.
14 Q. And on this particular occasion Mr. Boban chaired this meeting in
15 your absence. If you can look at the document and tell us whether that is
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. What type of contacts were you continuing -- or were you having
19 with the HDZ party officials in Zagreb during this time?
20 A. Correct and proper.
21 Q. And how often were you meeting? Was there a -- was there any sort
22 of system of regular meetings by which either a delegation would go from
23 Bosnia on a regular basis or, conversely, a delegation from Zagreb would
24 come to meet with you?
25 A. The contacts were regular, at least once a week. Most often our
1 people went to Zagreb and conveyed our positions and held consultations
2 and then returned with suggestions.
3 Q. And do you recall, sir, on the times -- in the exchange between
4 the party in Bosnia and the party in Zagreb, who were the people from the
5 Zagreb party who were most regularly involved in these meetings?
6 A. There were a number of such people. When we were in Zagreb, we
7 were compulsorily received by President Tudjman, usually also the Prime
8 Minister Greguric, but when they came to Bosnia, there were more people.
9 Sometimes there were high-ranking officials, other times lower down
10 officials, which more or less conveyed what they were told in Zagreb.
11 They didn't have their own suggestions except they might have said
12 something on a private level, but officially speaking, they weren't of
13 that capacity that they could give us suggestions. They just conveyed the
14 suggestions made by others.
15 Q. I want to direct your attention to the 13th of June of 1991. Can
16 you tell the Judges, if you recall, did you and other representatives of
17 the Bosnian party meet in Zagreb on that day?
18 A. From the 13th to the 20th of June, two Bosnian-Herzegovinian
19 Croatian delegations were received in Zagreb. I was on the one that was
20 there on the 13th of June.
21 Q. And do you recall who was involved in this meeting, again on the
22 side of Zagreb, if you will, on the 13th?
23 A. Many municipal presidents, deputies, government members. There
24 were very many people, and there are written records or minutes from that
1 Q. All right. Who of the senior either party or government officials
2 from Zagreb attended the meeting on the 13th of June, 1991?
3 A. There was President Tudjman, Mr. Manolic, Mr. Mesic. I'm not
4 quite sure about Milan Ramljak or Brozovic, but there were some people
5 from the top echelons of the HDZ.
6 Q. And do you recall the particular agenda or purpose of that
7 particular meeting, sir, what was discussed?
8 A. Well, I don't remember the details. It's been a long time since
9 then. But the topical situation was discussed, the current affairs.
10 Croatia had already been well attacked. A large amount of territory had
11 been blocked. There was the Serb -- Knin Serb uprising. And at the level
12 of Yugoslavia [Realtime transcript read in error "Herzegovina"] amongst
13 the presidents of the Republic [Realtime transcript read in error
14 "public"], they were not on the road to a good agreement. And in June,
15 the United States of America changed their position on Yugoslavia.
16 Q. And in the midst of these events, sir, can you tell us what was
17 specifically discussed, as best you can recall, at this meeting between
18 the political officials in Zagreb and those of you coming from Bosnia?
19 A. Well, I suppose we analysed the political situation.
20 JUDGE PRANDLER: Just a moment.
21 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, Your Honour, please.
22 JUDGE PRANDLER: In the lines, I believe, 18, 19, and 20, there is
23 a sentence that when the witness said, "And amongst --" and I quote: "And
24 amongst the level of Herzegovina amongst the Republic, they --" excuse me,
25 "... amongst the public, they were not on the road to a good agreement."
1 End of citation. Now it may be a question of translation. I do not
2 understand that sentence, and at least in the interpretation I heard about
3 - I may be wrong - that the witness spoke about the Republic of
4 Herzegovina or probably he said Republic of Herzegovina. So I wonder if
5 that sentence could be clarified by the witness about Herzegovina. Thank
7 MR. SCOTT:
8 Q. Mr. Kljuic, can you assist Judge Prandler on that?
9 A. Well, if you start my sentence off, I didn't mention the Republic
10 of Herzegovina anywhere. Could you start the sentence off for me and I'll
11 be able to finish it.
12 Q. Well, you said a large amount of -- I'm looking at lines 17 and 18
13 on page 60: "A large amount of territory had been blocked. There was the
14 Serb -- the Knin Serb uprising, and at the level of Herzegovina amongst
15 the public --" I'm simply reading the transcript -- "they were not on the
16 road to a good agreement." So perhaps you can clarify that.
17 A. Well, I can't tell you, because after the Serbs uprising in Knin,
18 the rest of the context is not logical.
19 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreters note that they said the
20 presidents of the republics.
21 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] To the best of my recollection, the
22 witness said that Yugoslav leaders were not on the road to reach an
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes. That's the right meaning
25 because the Serbs launched the uprising in Croatia. In the meantime,
1 meetings were held of the Yugoslav republican leaders who were not able to
2 find a solution, and the situation grew more complex because the
3 Presidency of Yugoslavia wasn't functioning properly at the time.
4 MR. SCOTT:
5 Q. At this meeting, sir, was the position or policy of the HDZ, both
6 in Croatia and in Bosnia-Herzegovina, the position or policy toward Bosnia
7 and Herzegovina itself, was that discussed, what that position or policy
8 should be?
9 A. Yes, but there were no changes from our standpoints. We're
10 talking about the 13th of June, 1991.
11 Q. All right. Without talking about changes, can you tell us what
12 the discussion was at that time?
13 A. The situation was very difficult. Yugoslavia's destiny wasn't
14 known. Mr. Mesic was supposed to become president of the Yugoslav state
15 Presidency. Milosevic didn't allow that to happen. There was an
16 interregnum in the Presidency. On the other hand, we on the ground
17 encountered great problems concerning mobilisation. The Yugoslav People's
18 Army asked that young men be mobilised into the army and go to the
19 battlefront in Croatia. People wouldn't let their children go. And this
20 gave rise to a problem. People hid their children. They sent them
21 abroad, and soldiers were already coming back in coffins from the theatre
22 in Slovenia and Croatia. We had rallies organised by mothers, women, and
23 also the Bosnian Serbs insisted that young men go and join up. So the
24 situation was a highly confusing one. We already had refugees. So that
25 working meeting was to see how we could help Croatia in any given
1 situation and how Croatia could help us, but there was no discussion about
2 a general political line. That was still very stable.
3 Q. Was there a discussion at that time of three possibilities
4 concerning Bosnia and Herzegovina?
5 MR. KARNAVAS: Your Honour, I'm going to object. I understand
6 we're trying to save time. He can ask an open-ended question. We're
7 leading too much. This is very critical.
8 MR. SCOTT:
9 Q. Well, sir, we'll move on. If you don't recall any further
10 discussion about Bosnia-Herzegovina and you can't remember, we'll simply
11 move on.
12 A. Well, I have to tell you that Bosnia-Herzegovina was always an
13 integral republic and on a footing of equality with the rest of the
14 Croatian people, but at that time it was said what we are going to do if
15 Bosnia-Herzegovina didn't exist? And it was Yugoslavia's existence that
16 was questioned, because at the time calls for a confederation burgeoned
17 instead of having a centralised Yugoslavia. So these were all major
18 issues. And now you can't conceive of a situation where political
19 representatives of nations in the two republics don't discuss all the
20 variants and options. But this was not binding. There's the platform.
21 The platform existed and the Executive Board of the HDZ held a meeting and
22 they always referred to an integral Bosnia-Herzegovina and Croats being on
23 a footing of equality.
24 Q. All right. Sir. You said on line 24 and 25 the discussion of all
25 the variants and options. And that's my question to you: What variants
1 and options were discussed? Whether they were binding or not, what
2 variants and options were discussed at this meeting?
3 A. It was a political analysis of the situation and prognosis. We
4 had the situation in which the Serbs were rebelling in Croatia and were
5 blocking a third of Croatia. We had the situation in which in
6 Bosnia-Herzegovina certain areas were preparing to secede as Serbian
7 Krajinas. There was a linkage of Knin and Drvar, the blocking of road
8 communications, the failure of negotiations at the Yugoslav level, and
9 demands to see what we would do in a specific situation, because there
10 were fears that the fighting would spread from Croatia to Bosnia and
11 Herzegovina. You must never forget that some of the operations in Croatia
12 were launched from the territory of Bosnia and Herzegovina. Not by the
13 legal forces of Bosnia-Herzegovina devoted to the Presidency of
14 Bosnia-Herzegovina, because we didn't have an army of our own. This was
15 done by Milosevic and Kadijevic's forces which were using the territory of
16 Bosnia and Herzegovina where the Serbs were in the majority, where they
17 had armed them, to shell Croatia. All this was a topic of talks. And you
18 know how it is when someone in your family's killed. People say, "I can
19 never go together with them again." So we constantly had to calm things
20 down, prevent the extremists from coming to the fore. One had to be
21 patient. One had to take welfare -- the welfare situation into account,
22 because food was running out, medicines were running out. So we had to
23 engage the Red Cross and the Caritas to assist.
24 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Sir, may I step in here. The
25 Prosecution asked you a question. It was a very precise one. It is at
1 line 6 of page 64, and the question was what the variants and options were
2 during the discussion.
3 You're a man of politics. If there are options, that means that
4 there are some people who would like to see one set of formulas and other
5 people others. So what the Judges would be interested in would be
6 learning what the variants and options were that you envisaged, whereas
7 you're answering the question very extensively highlighting all the
8 problems that existed at the time. That's another thing. But what we're
9 interested in now is what the variants and options were to deal with the
10 problems. And what was your particular option. That's what we're
11 interested in. We're interested in learning why at a given point in time
12 you separated from Mate Boban.
13 So in political terms, what were the variants and options on the
14 table which envisaged such-and-such a solution or another solution? So
15 what we're interested in -- in is in your solution, if you had one, or
16 didn't you have one? Could you answer that, please, very specifically and
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you. First of all, I wish to
19 correct you. I was not separated from Mate Boban. I was a legitimately
20 elected representative of the Croatian people. I had won the elections
21 and the convention of the HDZ in Mostar in March, 1991.
22 Secondly, it's correct that there were different talks in Zagreb,
23 but this has to be put into the context of the situation we were in. The
24 fundamental issue was still whether Yugoslavia was to become a federation
25 or a centralist state. At that time, nobody believed it would break up.
1 On the other hand, the same applied to Bosnia and Herzegovina. The
2 political programme was that it should be sovereign and independent, but
3 there were also people asking what would happen if Bosnia-Herzegovina
4 disintegrated. This was all normal in any analysis of the political
5 situation. I always firmly took the standpoint that Bosnia and
6 Herzegovina, like all the other republics, should remain and have the same
7 status as the others, especially after the decisions issued by the
8 Badinter Commission.
9 MR. SCOTT:
10 Q. Well, sir, was that the only option or variant discussed at the
11 meeting, the one you just said, that Bosnia-Herzegovina should remain a
12 sovereign and independent state? Was that the only option or variant
13 discussed at this meeting?
14 A. Well, I've just told you that there was more than one option, more
15 than one variant.
16 Q. [Previous translation continues] ...
17 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Describe them to us, then,
18 please, and who supported which.
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] One of the variants which would
20 become topical later on was for the Croats and Muslims to join up with the
21 Republic of Croatia. Another was that the Serbs should take what is
22 theirs, the Muslims what is theirs, and the Croats what is theirs. These,
23 however, were not serious programmes or analyses, they were just
24 hypotheses put forward in the situation which prevailed at the time when
25 there were tensions in Bosnia-Herzegovina and the situation in Yugoslavia
1 was what it was.
2 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes. But that particular
3 option, you said there were Croats and Muslims who wanted to join up with
4 Croatia. Who was at the head of that concept?
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] This all took place in private
6 conversations. No party ever officially announced any official suggestion
7 proposing any other option except for Karadzic saying we remain within
8 Yugoslavia whatever it was like. However, people were coming to realise
9 that after all the horrors of war, a compromise should be reached and a
10 new formula devised. All the talk about the break-up of Yugoslavia and
11 Bosnia-Herzegovina, that was something that occurred daily, but it had no
12 political weight, and it was not the official opinion of any political
14 MR. SCOTT: With the registry's assistance, if we could show the
15 witness Exhibit P 00041.
16 Q. If you can look at that document, sir, long enough to familiarise
17 yourself with it. Can you tell us whether these are the minutes of a
18 meeting of the Presidency of the party, the HDZ BiH, on the 10th of July,
20 A. Yes, these are minutes.
21 Q. And directing your attention to -- in item number 1, about halfway
22 through item number 1 there is paragraph that begins with the words,
23 "The Croatian Democratic Union of Bosnia-Herzegovina ..."
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. And it goes on to say, "It will not allow BH to remain in Rump
2 A. Correct.
3 Q. And we -- I think, for the record, we can agree, is BH
5 A. Yes, yes.
6 Q. All right. Can you tell us a bit more about what was being
7 discussed around this time, by July of 1991, about allowing BH to remain
8 in Rump Yugoslavia.
9 A. As you know, at that time Croatia and Slovenia had already changed
10 their standpoints and were no longer seeking a confederation of Yugoslavia
11 but were instead seeking international recognition and secession. In that
12 respect, it was important for Milosevic to take Bosnia-Herzegovina,
13 because those were their ambitions, and to create a Greater Serbia.
14 I must say that the Croatian people did not want at any cost to
15 remain within a Rump Yugoslavia in which the Serbs and Serb policies would
16 dominate. Absolutely. The SDA party crucially also rejected
17 Bosnia-Herzegovina remaining within a Rump Yugoslavia, and the SDS
18 insisted with Karadzic, Krajisnik, and Plavsic that they should remain in
19 Yugoslavia if they wanted but we should leave. Western Herzegovina was
20 monolithically inhabited by Croats, but in my talks with Milosevic in
21 Belgrade, I had a problem explaining to him what Western Herzegovina
22 encompassed. At that point in time, we were active politically in the
23 following direction: If Slovenia and Croatia left Yugoslavia, we would
24 leave too. Later on, the European Union tasked us with holding a
25 referendum, and these were correct political standpoints, as it later
2 Q. All right. Well, in your answer just now, you made reference to
3 talking with Mr. Milosevic about Western Herzegovina. Can you tell us the
4 context and approximate time period in which you discussed this with
5 Mr. Milosevic?
6 A. It was probably on the day when I was not chairing the HDZ
7 Executive Board, when I was away on a trip. This was during the regular
8 meetings of the political leaderships of Serbia and Bosnia-Herzegovina in
10 After a vehement discussion with Milosevic, Trifunovic, and
11 Unkovic, we told them that Bosnia and Herzegovina had to have the same
12 status as the other republics. During lunch, Milosevic made me sit at his
13 right-hand side, and after a few whiskeys he asked me to step to one side.
14 He said, "Stjepan, we have a great deal of understanding for the wishes of
15 the Croatian people in Western Herzegovina." He said -- well, I said to
16 him, "President, we don't understand each other as to what Western
17 Herzegovina is." Then he put his arm around me and said, "Stjepan, tell
18 me. Half of Mostar, 70 per cent of Capljina, Neum Ljubuski, Posusje,
19 Grude, 70 per cent of Tomislavgrad, 70 per cent of Livno, Siroki Brijeg,
20 Citluk, and all of Prozor." I laughed at that because Prozor was a cult
21 place in Bosnia-Herzegovina where our first kingdom was established, and
22 there had never been a Serb there except for one policeman who couldn't
23 find a wife, and he left and went home. So I said to Mr. Milosevic, What
24 about Stolac? What about Mostar? What about Capljina, and so on? And he
25 said, "That's Serbia." And I said to him, "And you want Western
1 Herzegovina to join up with Croatia?" And he said yes. And then I showed
2 him a Bosnian coat of arms, and that is something we do in the Balkans
3 which I don't want to explain to Their Honours as I didn't want to explain
4 it in the Milosevic case either, because I told the Judge there, please
5 don't go into that, Your Honour, what matters is that Mr. Milosevic and I
6 understand one another.
7 They were all trying to find political partners for splitting up
8 Yugoslavia according to a Serb formula. Only those people who believed in
9 the Helsinki Conference, and I can say all these years later that they
10 were right because Serbia has been left on its own and all this could have
11 been done in 1991 without a war.
12 Q. If I can just ask one clarifying question, Your Honour.
13 Sir, you just said a moment ago, you said in line 24 of page 69,
14 you started -- or line 25: 70 per cent of Mostar, half Ljubuski, Posusje,
15 Grude, 70 per cent of Tomislavgrad, 70 per cent of Livno, et cetera.
16 A. No, no, please, please. I want to repeat this. I've been living
17 with this all these years and I know it off by heart. Half of Mostar, 70
18 per cent of Capljina, Neum, Ljubuski, Posusje, Grude, 70 per cent of
19 Tomislavgrad, 70 per cent of Livno, Citluk, Siroki Brijeg, and all of
21 Q. My question to you in regard to that grouping of territories was,
22 was the proposal that someone would get that particular set of territory?
23 A. Milosevic wanted this, and he kept offering it to us Croats. For
24 us it was a Trojan horse.
25 MR. SCOTT: I'll leave it there, Mr. President.
1 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes. It's 5.30. We're going to
2 take a 20-minute break and reconvene at 10 to 6.00.
3 --- Recess taken at 5.28 p.m.
4 --- On resuming at 5.49 p.m.
5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Scott, I give you the floor.
6 MR. SCOTT:
7 Q. Sir, I would like to move forward, but I suppose your last answer
8 begs some clarification. You said before the break, "Milosevic wanted
9 this and he kept offering it to us Croats. For us it was a Trojan horse."
10 When you say "offering it to us Croats," do you say offering the
11 territories you described on page 70 at lines 20 continuing on to page 71,
12 line 2?
13 A. I'll be glad to do that. As you know, Milosevic knew about the
14 Helsinki Conference, and if Western Herzegovina were to join Croatia by
15 agreement and everything else remain in Yugoslavia, that change of borders
16 would be possible. However, at that time, and I believe still today,
17 nobody among the Bosnian-Herzegovinian Croats could have accepted such a
18 solution. On the other hand, as Karadzic was unable to reach any
19 agreement with me, Milosevic, who was a charming man, thought that he
20 could do it perhaps. And thirdly, after that meeting rumours continued to
21 spread about me as a Muslim quisling, which is not true, of course, nor
22 did they ask me to obey them, nor did -- was I the kind of person who
23 would be obedient. But it was an attempt to drag Bosnia-Herzegovina into
24 a Rump Yugoslavia. Of course, no one at the time was able to accept such
25 a thing, especially I as someone advocating the integrity of
2 Q. Can I ask the registry to please show you Exhibit P 00042. And
3 can you tell us, sir, is this the records of a meeting of the Travnik
4 region on the 21st of July, 1991?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. And can you tell us what this meant on the document when it says
7 "Travnik region." Can you explain that to the Judges.
8 A. The HDZ was constituted in such a way that it has a president,
9 vice-presidents, a general secretary, a Main Board as the most important
10 party body, an Executive Board consisting of a smaller number of people
11 implementing the policies, and municipal boards. Every municipality,
12 depending on the size of the membership and the number of Croats, had its
13 own board.
14 As the situation became evermore difficult and communications
15 impossible and some political ideas were now expressed more openly,
16 regions were established. Five or six regions were established, some of
17 which never actually came to life legally.
18 For us in the leadership, that was a good thing on the one hand,
19 because general directives, information about the situation and about
20 global political issues would no longer have to be conveyed to 50 or 60
21 municipal boards but to several regions. And then, within the region,
22 every leadership would forward these messages and opinions to the
23 municipal boards. But you should know that we had HDZ boards in places
24 where the Croats were not in power nor were they in the majority. At a
25 later stage, the composition of these regions will probably be presented
1 and you will see that people put places in there where there were perhaps
2 5 per cent Croats. But the Travnik region was a central region in Bosnia
3 where the Croats have a long-standing tradition and a significant
4 proportion of the population. And we had had good election results there.
5 They first elected their leadership and later held regular meetings at
6 which it very soon transpired that they were deviating from the general
7 political line, that they were presenting very extremist demands, and I
8 have to say that this was quite normal if you take into consideration the
9 people who were there, their political experience, their education, their
10 ambitions, because this was a turbulent time when anonymous people from
11 the former regime suddenly became political leaders.
12 The atmosphere in all of Yugoslavia, and especially
13 Bosnia-Herzegovina, was very difficult, and many people thought that the
14 stronger the rhetoric the more important and significant they would be.
15 Q. Can you confirm, please, was Dario Kordic the head of this
16 regional grouping?
17 A. Yes. Was elected by the representatives of those seven or eight
19 Q. And directing your attention to paragraph number 4, under
20 "Conclusions," this body on the 21st of July, 1991, ordered you to call a
21 session of the HDZ BiH Main Board. Did you do that?
22 A. I think that a session was planned earlier and they knew about it.
23 And secondly, Dario Kordic could not issue an order to me for several
24 reasons, both personal and official ones. I was his president, not he
1 Q. Did you understand that there was some conflict between what was
2 perceived to be your position and the position of Mr. Kordic and perhaps
3 some of these others as of July, 1991?
4 A. Of course, but they were minor representatives. He was a man from
5 Busovaca. Please don't misunderstand me.
6 Q. My question --
7 A. But that's --
8 Q. My question was about did you understand there was some conflict
9 between your position and the position of Mr. Kordic at this time?
10 A. Yes, but that was not primary at the time. I had so many problems
11 and conflicts elsewhere that the fact that someone from Busovaca, which
12 was a backwater, was opposing writing a letter, that was just a minor
13 problem like, you know, if you're going to work and it's raining and you
14 forgot your umbrella.
15 Q. If I can direct your attention to paragraph 17.
16 JUDGE TRECHSEL: I'm sorry. The question was asked whether the
17 witness did in fact call that hearing, and that question was not answered.
18 Could I have an answer to that.
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I don't know exactly, but I think
20 that meeting had been scheduled before this gentleman from the Travnik
21 region asked for it. But if you look at the agenda of the session, you'll
22 see that what he was asking to be put on the agenda wasn't on the agenda.
23 MR. SCOTT:
24 Q. Well, what did he want to put on -- I tried to ask you what the
25 conflict was. What did Mr. Kordic want to put on the agenda that was not
1 on the agenda of the subsequent meeting?
2 A. Well, then we would have to go back to point 4 where he says that
3 I should be told to convene a meeting of the Main Board and to invite the
4 leaders of the HZ of Zagreb to attend.
5 Q. Well, did Mr. Kordic ever tell you why he thought it was necessary
6 to invite the people from Zagreb?
7 A. No, he didn't. In point 6 you have an explanation of what he was
8 asking for.
9 Q. Let me go back to my question, directing you to paragraph 17.
10 There's a reference there to something called a Croatian Regional Union.
11 Can you tell the Judges whether that -- is that still some other body
12 besides the Travnik region?
13 MR. IBRISIMOVIC: [Interpretation] Mr. President, I didn't want to
14 intervene before, but on several occasions in response to Mr. Scott's
15 question Mr. Kljuic isn't being allowed to give a full answer. If the
16 Prosecution deems them to be important questions, then the witness must be
17 allowed to answer. And Mr. Kljuic was going to expound on point 6 when he
18 was interrupted. I think they should allow the witness to complete his
20 MR. SCOTT: Your Honour, I'm just simply trying to live within the
21 time commitments that we made to the Chamber, and if we can't do that,
22 then I don't know whether we'll finish within six or seven hours or not.
23 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. Could you answer
24 with respect to paragraph 6.
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, you can see clearly the
1 position of Yugoslavia at that time. There was an aggression against
2 Slovenia and Croatia, and all the troops that were withdrawn from Slovenia
3 were brought to Bosnia, and Serb and Montenegrin reservists were also
4 brought into Bosnia, and with a difficult situation of that kind Kordic
5 puts conditions and says if the SDA wishes to remain in Rump Yugoslavia,
6 we Croats do not. And I have to tell you that we're talking about very
7 small provincial ambitions here that have no stronghold anywhere, either
8 politically or with respect to status, and especially not that this be
9 solved on an ad hoc basis from one day to the next, especially as the
10 president of the Presidency, Alija Izetbegovic at that time, went as an
11 observer to attend a session of the Islamic Conference of the Afro-Asian
12 countries. And today Bosnia-Herzegovina is an observer in that body, and
13 we saw no danger coming from there. If somebody was able to help us
14 retain Bosnia-Herzegovina's independence, that would be a good thing
15 regardless of the fact that that assistance later on took the wrong turn
16 -- took a wrong turn. So in a situation of this kind, a man appears who
17 is asking us to clear all this up. Of course it was easy for him. He
18 didn't know the situation very well nor did he have any political
19 responsibility as an HDZ man and as a member of the Yugoslav state
21 MR. SCOTT:
22 Q. Perhaps with that further answer we can go back again to paragraph
23 17. Was there something that existed at this time in Bosnia-Herzegovina
24 called the Croatian Regional Union of Bosnia-Herzegovina?
25 A. Not yet, but there will be with the establishment of the Travnik
1 region, the Herzegovina region, the Sarajevo, Posavska, Bihacka, and so on
2 regions. However those regions were to act differently. The Bihac region
3 never actually took on a life of its own. In Sarajevo there would never
4 be any important decisions taken, and ultimately, it was just the three
5 regions; Posavska, Travnicka and Zapadno Herzegovacko, or Western
6 Herzegovinian region that were to become influential.
7 Q. Well, among those three regions, did any of those regions ever
8 combine into something called the Croatian Regional Union?
9 A. That was later on, yes, that's right.
10 Q. And when was that?
11 A. Well, I can't tell you exactly. I can't give you an exact date.
12 But at any rate, it was either in August or September, 1991.
13 Q. In paragraph 13 of the document, sir, did you agree that HDZ
14 deputies in the reference there, the sentence above references parliament
15 and members of parliament have become puppets of the SDA policies? Did
16 you agree with that?
17 A. What I can tell you is this: With 44 deputies, representatives,
18 we were not able to vote on anything, carry a vote. We had to wage a
19 policy of support to the side with better results. Now, if somebody were
20 to consider that I, with 44 deputies, could go out and say we're going to
21 vote on this today when there are 196 other deputies who needn't share our
22 opinions, and most of them never shared our opinions, so that wasn't
23 possible. And saying that our deputies were puppets is the fruit of
24 immature politics and lack of respect for facts, and thirdly, a complete
25 lack of understanding about how parliament worked.
1 Q. Can I ask the witness to look at Exhibit P 00044.
2 Can you confirm, sir, in looking at that document whether that is
3 a -- the minutes -- excuse me, those are the minutes of a meeting of the
4 Presidency of the HDZ BiH on the 31st of July, 1991?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. On the -- items -- or some of the items aren't numbered, so it's a
7 bit difficult to refer you, but on page 2, if you can find a paragraph in
8 which Mr. Udovicic, Markesic, and Cosic are mentioned. Perhaps you can
9 see those names. If you can look at that paragraph for a moment. Do you
10 see that?
11 A. Yes, yes, I can. I've found it.
12 Q. Can you tell us what that was about and does that relate to this
13 proposal about regional -- some further regional organisations, and was
14 that concept being pursued by the HDZ BiH Presidency at this time?
15 A. I have to say that the first vice-president, Vitomir Lukic, died
16 during that period of time, and I was attending -- I was on a state trip.
17 I don't remember whether I was in Vienna or Bonn, but I was absent. So
18 the meeting was chaired by Mate Boban.
19 Q. And looking at the paragraph I just directed your attention to and
20 also the paragraph second one down from that, "At its meeting the main
21 board must analyse the possibility of the regional integration of other
22 predominant Croatian municipalities." Is a result of these minutes that
23 the Presidency was pursuing the further regional organisation of the
24 Croatian HDZ communities?
25 A. I wasn't at the meeting, but they were proposing that a commission
1 composed of Udovicic, Markesic, and Cosic look into the proposals of the
2 Travnik region, so there's still not the force for that to be adopted.
3 This commission didn't make any major recommendations to the project.
4 These were very serious people. However, afterwards, the Herzegovina
5 region linked up with the Travnik region as well as others, and it was
6 their proposal that even in places where the Croats were in a minority,
7 boards should be established to link up with those regions. To my mind,
8 that was the introduction of a parastate administration. However, that
9 process was not to evolve very quickly. Several months were to elapse
10 until legally within the frameworks of those regions they created the
11 necessary prerequisites for creating a united region.
12 Q. If I can ask you to go to the next page of the document, you'll
13 find the reference to the person you mentioned a moment ago; that's
14 Mr. Lukic.
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. Under item 4 you'll see now.
17 A. Five. Ah, yes, 4 and 5.
18 Q. You indicated a moment ago that Mr. Lukic died around this time
19 and you see then at this point Mr. Boban was elevated to the level of
20 first vice-president. And did that in fact happen?
21 A. Well, since Mr. Boban was the second vice-president and the first
22 vice-president died, he moved up into first place and then the
23 representative of the Bihac region, Mr. Vlado Santic, was appointed
24 instead of Boban as the second vice-president, whereas Mr. Lukic in the
25 government, he was the minister for religious affairs, he was replaced by
1 Dr. Milenko Brkic.
2 Q. Several paragraphs below that in item number 5, it talks about the
3 procedure to appoint Bruno Stojic to the post of general manager of post
4 and telephone service or organisation. Do you see that?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. Why would the political party have to approve Mr. Stojic going
7 into that position? Was that a political party function?
8 A. Well, this is how it was: In dividing up the ruling parties, SDS,
9 HDZ, and SDA, in addition to the electoral results which dominated in the
10 Assembly bodies and the Presidency, we also composed a government in which
11 each party had a certain representative with the various departments.
12 However, since at that time we still had the communist system in the
13 economy, large state companies of importance financially, politically and
14 so on, and important for employment, were equally distributed between
15 three ruling parties so that the Croats, among other things, were given
16 the pension fund, pension and invalid fund, and the PTT, the post office.
17 These were two major projects employing many people.
18 Q. [Previous translation continues] ...
19 MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation] I do apologise, but I have to
20 intervene at this point. I don't think that the answer to this question
21 will mean anything to us unless the witness is allowed to answer how
22 people were elected generally and what the politics were. I should like
23 the witness to be allowed to answer that and then he can go ahead and
24 answer the Prosecutor's next question.
25 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. Thank you. Sir, can
1 you give us additional information about the nomination of those general
2 managers or directors?
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes. We had a cadres commission
4 where we had Ivan Markesic, Jerko Doko, and Mariofil Ljubic. They were
5 members of that commission. And it was charged to gather data about all
6 the candidates from the field, because many people from the municipalities
7 wanted to be a part of the executive power, and that commission nominated
8 Mr. Bruno Stojic as director of the PTT, which is the largest company --
9 one of the largest companies which fell to the HDZ. But that was just a
10 proposal, whereas the government had the right to choose one out of a
11 number of candidates, to select down, but to see that there is -- was
12 ethnic parity. So for the railways we had somebody -- people for the
13 railways, and then Bruno Stojic was proposed too. But this was never
14 implemented because many people decided that he occupied an important
15 financial position in the police force. I can't go into explanations now
16 why that was so, but it dragged on. The whole thing dragged on. He was
17 proposed by the cadres commission, but he was never appointed.
18 Q. If you can go on, please, to Exhibit P 00047. Can you tell us,
19 sir, if these are the minutes of a meeting of the Main Board of the HDZ
20 BiH on the 6th of August, 1991, in Prozor?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. Did you chair this meeting?
23 A. I did.
24 Q. On the bottom -- much of the first page is dedicated to who was
25 present or not present at this meeting, and in several lines down the page
1 it says, "The absence of the following invited members is excused." One
2 of those persons again is Mr. Bruno Stojic. Do you recall why he had been
3 invited to this particular meeting, or can you tell us what his position
4 in the party was at that time?
5 A. Very simple. He was not specially invited, but this was a session
6 of the Main Board and high-ranking officials from the state administration
7 had to attend, which were appointed by the HDZ or represented the HDZ, all
8 the government ministers were invited, both members of the Presidency,
9 assistant ministers, deputy ministers, and pursuant to his post as
10 assistant minister I think for financial affairs or something like that,
11 or material resources or whatever it was called, Mr. Stojic was invited to
13 So it was a routine matter, not up to me or anybody else.
14 Q. If I can direct your attention to item 11 of the document. Just
15 for the record, is that a further confirmation that around this time
16 Mr. Boban was appointed its first vice-president?
17 A. Well, yes. This is a routine matter. Boban went up from two to
18 one. Vlado Santic was mentioned as the second vice-president, and then
19 there was a seat free. And we put Mr. Barac there, a prominent physician
20 from Zenica, to fill in from that region. That was purely routine.
21 Q. If you look next at paragraph 21, item 21. Can you tell the
22 Judges how this notion of the regional organisations was continuing to
23 develop at this time. It appears to indicate that in a meeting that you
24 chaired, the proposal was passed.
25 A. Yes. Well, you see, this need for better linkage, better
1 communication, meaning information, organisation of defence, and so on,
2 required greater subordination among the Croatian leadership. Of course
3 the first important point was to link up the regions, and then within the
4 regions each particular place, which accelerated and simplified procedure
5 from the top of the party echelons -- or link up the top party echelons
6 with the field, people on the ground. And as you can see in the text, we
7 asked that a report be compiled about the justifications and ways in which
8 these would be linked up, which once again meant that practical
9 requirements were needed, should have been met, rather than political
10 ideals. So the practical side was justified and on that level we had
11 permanent contacts with Croatia, for example, because part of Croatia was
12 already functioning and helping us, and part of the territory of
13 Bosnia-Herzegovina occupied with the SAO Krajinas from which the Croatian
14 populace had to free whether they wanted to or not.
15 Q. If you can next go to Exhibit P 00048. Can you tell us, please,
16 whether this is a meeting of the Travnik regional community on the 13th of
17 August, 1991.
18 A. Yes, it is.
19 Q. This document indicates that Mr. Boban attended this particular
20 meeting. Can you give us any assistance as to how it was that Mr. Boban
21 came to attend this regional meeting chaired by Mr. Kordic?
22 A. Had the situation been normal, that would have been quite simple
23 and justified, that one of the vice-presidents should attend a meeting of
24 some regional organisation. However, later on it would transpire that
25 that was not by chance, as well as the fact that the regional organisation
1 of Travnik, for instance, was not satisfied with the formulation made by
2 the president of the Main Board or Presidency of the Main Board of Prozor.
3 Whereas we said that a report should be compiled to justify the relevance
4 and linkage and communication, here it says that the Travnik regional
5 community will stand by the conclusions it has already made. That means
6 they'd already made their conclusions and we, as the higher up level, had
7 to listen to them, especially I myself. And this would lead to a series
8 of problems, and the president of that Travnik region asked me to expound
9 on my behaviour, to explain my behaviour.
10 Q. Before you get to that, sir, would you look, so the courtroom can
11 see -- can I direct your attention to paragraph 3 under "Decisions." Were
12 you called to task about some position or action you'd taken around this
13 time, sir?
14 A. Well, let me say first of all that we tried to be as cultivated as
15 possible and to see whether that Travnik initiative should be assessed,
16 evaluated, steered, or whatever. Then he says that they weren't satisfied
17 with that and that he thought my conduct was unacceptable. Okay. That's
18 on a personal level, and you have to understand that. Those were
19 turbulent times. Everybody thought himself to be a leader. Although they
20 didn't win any elections, that's how they behaved.
21 Q. Now, let me correct you, sir. This isn't Mr. Kordic's personal
22 letter. Aren't these the records of a meeting of the Travnik regional
23 community, where it says, "We call on President Stjepan Kljuic to explain
24 his behaviour"? This meeting that Mr. Boban also attended.
25 A. Excellent, fine. That's what they wanted, but I didn't have the
1 obligation to comply. Everybody was well aware of political hierarchy. I
2 was a member of the state Presidency and a member of the HDZ with full
3 legitimacy. The fact that somebody didn't like me, well, I told them
4 later on, How can Stjepan Kljuic be replaced? You have to act by the
5 statute and you have to have one more vote on your side, and then if they
6 replace me they'd have to find somebody to replace me with. And that some
7 ambitious young man tried to do this -- I tried to talk to him, but he was
8 behaving in this aggressive manner -- well, that's the result of something
9 that was later seen in its true light, its true colours. He didn't -- I
10 don't believe he had Boban's support at that time, but perhaps he did, but
11 that's their problem. I didn't find it necessary either to change my
12 positions for Travnik or him or to apologise in any way for my behaviour.
13 At Prozor, at the political rally there, I said that this proposal for the
14 regional association should not be rejected but that it should be analysed
15 and looked into, and I gained support from the Main Board. Now, the fact
16 that he says this, that the Travnik community did not agree that its firm
17 conclusions be respected, that's his problem.
18 Q. If you'll look next at paragraph, (h). There are some paragraphs
19 that have letters. If you can find item (h), which the document says, "We
20 demand that the Presidency begin to exploit the fact that BiH is already a
21 partly partitioned country and take a clear stand as to what needs to be
22 done in the new situation." Did you have an understanding as what was
23 being said that BiH by August of 1991 was already "a partly partitioned
25 A. Well, of course the situation was very difficult, but the
1 sovereignty of Bosnia-Herzegovina had still not been destroyed. It was
2 exposed to different crises, the aggressive behaviour of the JNA being
3 foremost among them, and the Serbian democratic community which armed the
4 Serbs first on the territory of the whole state and then tried to
5 establish its own administration and to put a stop to life in the Republic
6 of Bosnia-Herzegovina.
7 Q. Did you understand, sir, how Mr. Boban and Mr. Kordic, and perhaps
8 others, were demanding that this situation be exploited? How should it be
9 exploited and to what end?
10 MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation] I do apologise, Your Honours, but we
11 have an improper question here. If we see that before that Mr. Kljuic
12 gave the answer and said that he wasn't sure that Boban was with him but
13 perhaps he was, so this present question asked by the Prosecutor somehow
14 distorts Mr. Kljuic's answer and puts words into his mouth, that he said
15 that it was Mr. Boban who stood behind these conclusions.
16 MR. SCOTT: Well, perhaps the witness would like to look at the
17 last page of the document and see who the chairpersons at this meeting
18 were once again.
19 Q. I believe the chairpersons of this meeting were Mate Boban,
20 Udovicic and Kordic. Do you see that, sir?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. Tell me how -- what demands were being made that this situation
23 that the country was already partly partitioned should be exploited? What
24 did you know or understand by that? This is directed at you.
25 A. Well, I must tell you that this was not a serious request, and
1 I'll tell you why. It's easy to sit in a small town and speak big words.
2 At that time, we were fighting for the Territorial Defence. You know or
3 should know that in the meantime, a year before this, weapons had been
4 confiscated from the Bosnia-Herzegovina Territorial Defence rendering it
5 completely incapable of defending itself from the Serbian aggression. A
6 similar thing happened in Croatia and Croatia paid dearly for it. Only
7 the Slovenian communists did not give up the weapons of their Territorial
8 Defence which is why the war to liberate Slovenia from the JNA lasted a
9 very short [Realtime transcript read in error "long"] time.
10 We were doing a lot to prevent a public conflict, an open
11 conflict, because the JNA and the Serb officers of the KOS were causing
12 incidents. They were transporting weapons. How? They would have a
13 truckload of weapons covered with a layer of bananas. Our policemen often
14 lacked the strength to check this and stop such a convoy or send it back.
15 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please, Your Honour.
16 JUDGE PRANDLER: So it is only a matter of translation that I
17 believe it is lines 16 and 17, I believe your statement was not translated
18 properly, because it says that the Slovenian communists did not give up
19 the weapons of the Territorial Defence, which is why the war to liberate
20 Slovenia from the JNA lasted a long time. I believe, of course, the
21 proper interpretation should be that it did not last a long time, if I'm
22 not mistaken. So it's only a question of mine, and I believe it could be
23 easily verified. And taking the floor now, I would like to apologise to
24 the interpreters for when last time I did not actually follow the
25 interpretations properly. Thank you.
1 THE WITNESS: Absolutely. Yes.
2 MR. SCOTT:
3 Q. Did you respond to any of the demands being made by the Travnik
4 regional community at this time?
5 A. [Interpretation] No. I was satisfied by the way it was treated at
6 the sessions of the Main Board and the Executive Board.
7 Q. Would you look next, please, at Exhibit P 00050. And can you tell
8 us, this is an action -- the minutes of a meeting of the Presidency on the
9 23rd of August, 1991. Is that correct, sir, of the party?
10 A. Yes, yes.
11 Q. And do you recall whether you were present at this time?
12 A. Of course. I was, yes.
13 Q. And was this the action proposed in this document, the creation of
14 these additional regional organisations, was that pursued or implemented
15 following this document?
16 A. These were instructions. That's what should have been done, but
17 it wasn't done for objective and sometimes subjective reasons. By your
18 leave, I'll explain the meaning of these regions to you.
19 In Sarajevo, we were cut off from many of the municipalities
20 inhabited by Croats, or where the Croats were in power. There was no
21 chance for us to regularly send our party materials, especially as there
22 were incidents, for example, where a JNA officer walked into one of our
23 offices in the municipality and took away our fax machine.
24 On the other hand, this creation of regions did not imply any
25 territorial pretensions, because there are municipalities listed here
1 where there are not even 5 per cent of the Croats. But for those 5 per
2 cent who were there, it was important for them to have links with places
3 where there were more Croats. For our people, it was important for them
4 to be grouped together. There were some municipalities where the Croats
5 were not in the majority. They didn't even amount to 40 per cent. But on
6 the right hand and left hand edges of the municipality there would be a
7 compact Croatian milieu. Whether because of administrative divisions in
8 the old Yugoslavia or the new Yugoslavia, that's immaterial. But these
9 people were forced to cooperate, and it was easier for us because we would
10 send things on to the community and then it would distribute the materials
11 further. So this was a normal situation even had there not been a threat
12 of war. Even under peacetime conditions, such regionalisation in terms of
13 the party organisation would have been logical.
14 Q. In the second paragraph of the introductory portion, it says -- it
15 makes reference that this is a "Prerequisite for the creation of the
16 political and territorial linking of the Croatian people for which purpose
17 special programmes will have to be drawn up." In what way was this a
18 prerequisite for further political and territorial linking up?
19 A. Well, first of all, it's quite normal, in a situation where
20 everything is divided on an ethnic basis, that the Croats should -- should
21 solve their problems together. This division was a party division. It
22 was important to list all the people, where they lived, where they worked.
23 Many people stopped working at this time. If someone had been working in
24 a Serb-controlled company, they would be out of a job now. Or if as a
25 citizen they were living in surroundings where they were inferior, anybody
1 could open their door, walk into their house, take away their cow and so
2 on. So this was normal for people to join together, but there could be no
3 territorial pretensions here.
4 In the Sarajevo region, for example, in 12 municipalities nowhere
5 except in Ilidza were there more than 20 per cent Croats. In some
6 municipalities there were 2 per cent, 3 per cent, 10, 8 per cent in the
7 centre. So how could you, if that's what you're asking me -- let me tell
8 you right away: How could you have any territorial pretensions if out of
9 12 municipalities perhaps 5 per cent of the overall population were
11 Q. If you'll next look at Exhibit P 00052. These appear to be
12 minutes of the meeting of the Presidency of the HDZ BiH on the 26th of
13 August, 1991.
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. In item number 6, not -- under "Conclusions," item number 6, it
16 says, "The proposal for the regionalisation of the BiH HDZ municipal
17 boards was adopted and makes an integral part of these conclusions."
18 So can you tell us, sir, at this particular meeting of the
19 Presidency of the party, the proposal to go forward with regional -- with
20 regional organisations was approved; is that correct?
21 A. This document approves the establishing of regional organisations
22 of the party.
23 Q. Under item 7, it says that, "President Stjepan Kljuic should
24 attend the next meeting of the Travnik BH HDZ regional organisation in
25 order to solve all misunderstandings that have arisen to date." Did you
1 attend the next meeting?
2 A. Yes, I did, but the misunderstandings with the president of that
3 region were not removed.
4 Q. What misunderstandings were those?
5 A. Well, from our personal relationship to their demands that the
6 Presidency should not manipulate the situation, that the government should
7 do its job. If you sit there and say the government should govern, how
8 can you do that if the Serb ministers in the government were sabotaging
9 the government and their members on the ground were not recognising it?
10 A. It's easy to put ultimatums like this, but politics is what is
11 possible in a given situation. And you cannot respond in a Draconian
12 manner to every situation. This was impossible. We were on the
13 defensive. There was a war raging in Croatia. Our people were running
14 away to Croatia and helping the struggle of the Croatian people. It was
15 our political task, let me tell you, because the counter-intelligence
16 service of Yugoslavia broadcast a film about Martin Spegelj, the Croatian
17 minister of defence at the time, and they broadcast it 17 times in
18 Belgrade and 12 times in Sarajevo in the space of 24 hours, and we all had
19 to flee our homes because they saw us all as Ustasha. And I spoke out on
20 television and I said it was natural and nobody should be upset by the
21 fact that Croats from Bosnia and Herzegovina would help their brethren in
22 Croatia. Of course some citizen lost their respect for me because I said
23 this because they were unaware of the situation in Croatia. You have to
24 know that in Sarajevo the television station was in the hands of Serb
25 nationalists, and as a member of the Presidency and the president of a
1 political party, I did not get even a second of air time. Croats were
2 constantly represented as Ustasha, secessionists, separatists, and so on.
3 Even my civic image and my Bosnian-Herzegovinian patriotism was not enough
4 to counter this. On the other hand --
5 Q. [Previous translation continues] ... look at Exhibit 00056. Can
6 you look at this organisational chart, sir, for the Croatian Democratic
7 Union of Bosnia-Herzegovina and on the first page, which indicates for the
8 period 1991, 1992, as far as you're familiar with it, does that indicate
9 -- is that an accurate representation of the structure of the party at
10 that time?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. On the bottom of the page, there is a reference to the HDZ
13 Security Council, and it says "Crisis Staff as of 18 September, 1991."
14 Can you tell us when this body was formed? Not the Crisis Staff as of 18
15 September, but when was the HDZ Security Council formed?
16 A. As you were able to see in previous minutes, various commissions
17 were established within the HDZ. One was for health. Another was for
18 culture. A third was for the economy. A fourth was for security. In the
19 security commission, all those officials of the state administration who
20 were working in the Ministry of Defence and the Ministry of the Interior
21 took part. Then the party leadership and some people from the various
22 regions. For example, Filip Evic from Bosanski Samac, Dario Kordic from
23 Travnik, Ivo Lozancic, from Zepce, Bozo Rajic from Kupres, Zeljko Raguz
24 from Stolac.
25 Q. If you know, how was it that Mr. Stojic became a member of the
1 Security Council or Crisis Staff?
2 A. Very simply. Branko Kvesic and Bruno Stojic were our officials
3 within the Ministry of Police, just as Jerko Doko was in the Ministry of
4 Defence, or Bozidar Skravan in the Ministry of Communications.
5 Q. Can you tell the Judges what position Mr. Stojic held in the
6 police organisation at that time?
7 A. I'm not sure, but I think the minister had six assistants of
8 various orientations. We had two assistants. One was for state security
9 - that was Branko Kvesic - and another for finance, I think, and that was
10 Bruno Stojic.
11 Q. If you can go now to Exhibit P 00058.
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. This document is titled "Conclusions of the BH HDZ Security
14 Council meeting held on 18 September, 1991." And I suppose I should ask
15 you, sir, before we leave all these documents, if you look at the last
16 page of the Croatian language version, does that bear your signature?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. In paragraph 1 of this document, it indicates that the body that
19 had been called up to that point the Security Council shall from now on be
20 called the Crisis Staff of the BH HDZ.
21 Do you recall any particular reason for changing the name to
22 Crisis Staff at this time in mid-September, 1991?
23 A. It was simply the fashion in Yugoslavia. Bosnia and Herzegovina
24 had its Crisis Staff in the Presidency and the government. The SDA had
25 the same. The SDS did. So why shouldn't we Croats have our own Crisis
1 Staff as well?
2 Q. In the third paragraph of section 1, it says: "The Crisis Staff
3 shall start working immediately and shall be in charge of the entire
4 system of the defence of the Croatian people in Bosnia and Herzegovina and
5 ensure the acquisition of weapons."
6 Can you tell the Judges what actions were taken during this time
7 to acquire weapons on behalf of the HDZ BiH?
8 A. First of all, it was justified to try and arm the people. All the
9 more so as the Serbs were already heavily armed, and they didn't buy the
10 weapons, they were given them for free. And also a part of the Muslims
11 were armed, especially in Eastern Bosnia. So it would have been
12 politically irresponsible and humanly very wrong if, as the president of
13 the Croatian Democratic Union at the time, I had kept silent and simply
14 watched our people being killed in many places.
15 Q. Sir, I'm not asking you to justify the position, but my question
16 is can you describe to the Judges what actions were taken to actually put
17 this into effect? What did you or people working at your direction do to
18 acquire weapons?
19 A. Excellent. At that time a large number of Croats from the
20 diaspora wanted to come home and defend Bosnia and Herzegovina and the
21 Croatian people. As the state was blocked, the Territorial Defence was
22 still under the administration of the Yugoslav People's Army, and the
23 retired generals were there. The army had by then cleansed all the
24 Croatian cadres. They had purged them so that only Serbs and Montenegrins
25 were left for the most part, and on the 24th of December, 1991, this was
1 confirmed when Generals Kadijevic and Adzic came to negotiate, and they
2 had 12 Montenegrin generals and one Slovenian admiral. We were duty bound
3 to try and arm the people, and for us it was easier. Because we didn't
4 have any personal contacts, we did this through Zagreb because Zagreb
5 already had open lines through Europe for obtaining weapons because
6 Croatia was bleeding at the time. As the political president and a
7 politician coming from a civil background, I couldn't get involved in this
8 because I didn't know anything about it, but I tasked two of my members,
9 in cooperation with Zagreb, to try and obtain weapons. These were Mate
10 Boban and Iko Stanic. Of course they had other assistance, and that's how
11 it went. So that a part of the Croatian people, the homogenous part, when
12 the war broke out were already armed to a certain extent.
13 Q. What do you mean the homogenous part was already armed? Which
14 homogenous part of what?
15 A. Those were areas in Posavina, Central Bosnia, and Western
16 Herzegovina. When we say they were armed, it was all very little in
17 comparison with the JNA and the Chetniks, but for us citizens of Sarajevo
18 who had nothing, it seemed to be an imposing quantity.
19 Q. But these areas of the Posavina, Central Bosnia, and Western
20 Herzegovina, these were homogenous in what way? According to you.
21 A. In Western Herzegovina, they were nationally homogenous, and these
22 were other two -- the other two areas in Bosnia-Herzegovina where the
23 Croats were most grouped together. I told you that the Croatian people in
24 Bosnia and Herzegovina are spread from Neum to Brcko, but in some places,
25 such as in the Bihac region, there are very few of us. There are quite a
1 lot of us in Central Bosnia, and in the Posavina area we used to be the
2 most numerous people in five or six municipalities and it was quite normal
3 for people there to defend their own homes, all the more so as especially
4 in Posavina they were it exposed to the fiercest Chetnik aggression
5 because they were in the way of the corridor towards Banja Luka.
6 Q. Before we finish for this evening if I could direct your
7 attention, please, to paragraph 11 of the conclusions. By this paragraph
8 apparently something called the Commission for Cantonisation was
9 established. Can you tell us, what was the Commission for Cantonisation
10 and what its mandate was?
11 A. It was advisory. There were several university professors in this
12 commission from various academic disciplines and of various educational
13 backgrounds. The Serbs at that time were not proposing the break-up of
14 Bosnia-Herzegovina but its cantonisation, referring to examples in
15 Switzerland and so on, but they were still not producing maps because you
16 have to know that the position of the Serbs at this time was such that
17 they practically controlled 70 per cent of Bosnia-Herzegovina, whereas
18 only 31 per cent of Bosnia-Herzegovina belonged to them. That's the
19 number of municipalities where they were in the majority. Also, this was
20 a backwood area with few towns. The Serbs in Bosnia and Herzegovina are
21 not so much an urban population. They are more of a rural population.
22 However, their ambitions far outstripped what would belong to them
23 according to some kind of principle of division of the population. That's
24 why they aspired to take certain regions and part of, conditionally
25 speaking, Croatian, in quotation mark, areas.
1 Q. At the end of the paragraph -- and I'm sorry to interrupt you, but
2 when the translation stops, Mr. Kljuic seems to take that as a signal to
3 keep talking. I apologise to the interpreters.
4 At the end of that paragraph, sir, after listing the members of
5 this commission, it says, "The commission shall deliver a proposal for
6 cantonisation to the Presidency by 22 September, 1991." Can you tell us,
7 were any maps or proposals -- a moment ago you mentioned maps. Were any
8 proposals presented to the Presidency by the cantonisation commission as
9 of 22 September, 1991?
10 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Counsel Kovacic, quickly,
12 MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I really hate to
13 interrupt. My colleague has already raised a similar objection. We have
14 now come for the first time to a relatively relevant topic, and the
15 Prosecutor is simply interrupting the witness. This is the first time
16 I've heard something that is directly relevant to this case, and now the
17 Prosecutor is not allowing the witness to finish his response. I don't
18 know why then the purpose of all this.
19 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Continue.
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I am speaking in very specific
21 terms, trying to help you see the situation as it really was.
22 The Commission for Cantonisation, the Serbs had such a commission
23 in the SDS, and the Muslims in the SDA. These were commissions composed
24 of eminent experts, including demographers and historians. They were
25 supposed to sit down and then the commissions were supposed to harmonise
1 their positions and see what belonged to whom. Of course if there's a
2 bridge on a river somewhere, you will add a part where there is a road and
3 not a part where there isn't a road. This cantonisation was not supposed
4 to divide Bosnia-Herzegovina but to create a new administrative
5 organisation. Nobody was saying at that time that Bosnia and Herzegovina
6 would no longer exist, but the administrative organisation was supposed to
7 be changed and these experts were supposed to make proposals about these
8 cantons because all the previous administrative units, whatever they were
9 called before, municipalities, counties or whatever, were now to become
10 cantons. However, this work never finished and it was later to be
11 transformed into its very opposite.
12 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Just a precision, please. You
13 said that the Serbs also had the same type of commission but those
14 Commissions for Cantonisation, they were put in place but pursuant to an
15 order, a directive, a written text, or on the basis of initiatives that
16 were purely local and political, on the part of political parties?
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No. This was from the top of the
18 political parties as a result of the talks of the presidents, the
19 delegations, and the public opinion of the time.
20 For example, to put it very simply, in an article it said why
21 should we argue? Why should we fight? Let's make a cantonisation of the
22 kind that exists in Switzerland and there will be peace in
23 Bosnia-Herzegovina. There was nobody who did not want to support that at
24 that time.
25 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] We're going to stop there for
1 this evening. It's a little past 7.00. Sir, you're going to come back
2 for the proceedings tomorrow morning at 9.00. Between now and then you
3 are not to contact either members of the Prosecution or any of the Defence
5 Before rising, the Judges would like to turn to Ms. -- to Counsel
6 Jonjic. Mr. Jonjic, we've been informed by the Registry that in the
7 course of the afternoon the appointment of a new counsel to take your
8 place will be -- will go ahead, and he will take up his offices as of his
9 tomorrow, duties as of tomorrow. I would like to inform you of that. On
10 behalf of myself and my other three colleagues, I would like to extend our
11 gratitude to you for the work you've done date for Mr. Coric. We hope to
12 see you back, perhaps in other circumstances, and I would like to thank
13 you once again for the work you have done so far.
14 Having said that, it is now four minutes past 7.00. Unless
15 Mr. Jonjic wishes to take the floor -- now you don't. We can adjourn.
16 MS. PINTER: [Interpretation] Your Honour, may I be allowed to say
17 something? Although I haven't been given the go-ahead from the rest of
18 the Defence counsel, from our joint discussions I know that I can speak on
19 their name to thank him for our two years of cooperation and the highly
20 professional work that Tomislav Jonjic has done, and to say that we're
21 very sorry to see him go.
22 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] As I was saying, it is now five
23 minutes past 7.00. The meeting is adjourned until tomorrow morning at
24 9.00. Thank you.
25 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 7.03 p.m.,
1 to be reconvened on Tuesday, the 27th day
2 of June, 2006, at 9.00 a.m.