Tribunal Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia

Page 6512

1 Wednesday, 13 September 2006

2 [Open session]

3 [The accused entered court]

4 [The witness entered court]

5 --- Upon commencing at 2.15 p.m.

6 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Registrar, could you call

7 the case number, please.

8 THE REGISTRAR: [Interpretation] Good day, Mr. President. Case

9 Number IT-04-74-T, the Prosecutor versus Prlic et al.

10 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I'd like to greet everyone

11 present, members of the Prosecution, they're also present, I also greet Mr.

12 Mundis, who is at the back of the courtroom. I also greet the

13 representatives of the US government, the Defence counsel, and the accused.

14 Mr. Registrar, could we move into private session for a few

15 moments.

16 [Private session]

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Page 6515

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14 [Open session]

15 THE REGISTRAR: [Interpretation] We're in open session, Mr.

16 President.

17 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Murphy.

18 MR. MURPHY: Good afternoon, Mr. President, Your Honours. I'd

19 like to ask for a point of clarification from the Prosecution. Today we

20 have been given a copy of a witness statement which is said to have been

21 made by the witness today, Mr. Galbraith. It's dated yesterday, the 12th

22 of September, 2006. And just for -- just so that the record is clear on

23 this and we are sure there is no problem, I'd like a clarification as to

24 what time of day this witness statement was taken, since I think the record

25 reflects that the witness was here giving evidence from 9.00 onwards.

Page 6516

1 MR. SCOTT: Good afternoon, Mr. President, Your Honours. Yes,

2 happy to clarify that. The witness appeared at the Office of the

3 Prosecutor early yesterday morning, sometime after 8.00, to provide a

4 statement in connection with another case entirely related to this one or

5 to the issues in this case. And that's when it was done. And out of

6 abundant good faith and caution, since it was a new statement, it's all of

7 three paragraphs. It's about half of a -- about half a page. We made sure

8 that it was turned over to the Defence, but it was made prior to the time

9 that Ambassador Galbraith was sworn.

10 MR. MURPHY: I'm very grateful to Mr. Scott for his explanation,

11 Your Honour. Thank you.

12 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well.

13 Mr. Kovacic.

14 MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation] I apologise, Your Honours, but I

15 think it would be useful for the Prosecution to provide us with an

16 explanation of the following. This morning the Prosecution, sometime after

17 11.00, sent a fax or faxed a document P07789. It's a Security Council

18 Resolution dated the 3rd of February, 1994. I haven't had time to check

19 everything, but we can't find this document in the proofing chart we have

20 been provided with. So I think we were informed of this too late in the

21 day to be able to deal with this document. I am not prepared to put any

22 questions in relation to these -- in relation to this document if the

23 Prosecution asks anything about the document today. But today was the

24 first time we were provided with this document, and therefore we don't

25 think this document could be used in this testimony. I am against this

Page 6517

1 document being used and tendered into evidence.

2 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. Mr. Kovacic, while

3 you were speaking, I was reading the document that I received a few seconds

4 ago. I am quite capable, if necessary, to put questions to the witness now

5 on the basis of this document. That's my first comment. My second comment

6 is it's a document that comes from the Security Council. It has to do with

7 the situation in the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina, a situation you

8 should be familiar with. This is something you should be familiar with.

9 It would be incredible if you were completely ignorant of this document, so

10 you shouldn't say that you're quite -- so surprised by this document.

11 We've already spent is a minutes now on these matters. We must act

12 expeditiously, so I'll give you the floor now, Mr. Scott.

13 MR. SCOTT: Thank you, Mr. President. And in fact -- well, first

14 of all --


16 Examination by Mr. Scott: [Continued]

17 Q. Good afternoon, Ambassador.

18 A. Good afternoon.

19 Q. I trust you had a reasonably pleasant evening.

20 A. I did.

21 Q. On this very point, Ambassador, I threw you a bit -- in recalling

22 yesterday's proceedings and looking back through the exhibits last night, I

23 did throw you a bit of a curve, perhaps more than once, but at least once

24 yesterday. I was asking you a question about the relationship between the

25 Croatian army or the HV and the Bosnian Croat armed forces, the HVO, and

Page 6518

1 then I tendered a document to you thinking it was a Security Council

2 document dealing with the presence of the HV in Bosnia; however, it was a

3 similar Security Council document, in fact, dealing with the issue of the

4 camps. And that was the -- what I discovered that I inadvertently, as

5 explained to the Judge, omitted one document. So I'd like to go back and

6 clarify that situation quickly, please?

7 MR. SCOTT: If I can ask that the witness be shown Exhibit

8 P05047. If we can enlarge that just a bit, please, for the witness and the

9 courtroom.

10 Q. Sir, this was the Security Council -- or a note by the President

11 of the Security Council dated the 14th of September, 1993, that we did look

12 at briefly yesterday. I'd like to come back to it just to make sure that

13 we did focus on the correct document. In this document and directing your

14 attention, please, to the second and third full paragraphs of the document.

15 The document says: "The Security Council expresses its profound concern

16 over recent reports that Bosnian Croats have been holding Bosnian Muslims

17 in detention camps under deplorable conditions. The Council recalls the

18 international revulsion and condemnation that accompanied revelations last

19 year of the conditions under which Bosnian Muslims and Bosnian Croats were

20 being held in Bosnian Serb detention camps."

21 "The Council reiterates the principle that the International

22 Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) must be given access to all detainees in

23 Bosnia wherever they may be held. It notes that the ICRC has recently been

24 given access to some detainees, but recalls with condemnation the obstacles

25 which the Bosnian Croats have previously placed in the way of the ICRC's

Page 6519

1 attempts to gain access to the camps in order to ascertain the conditions

2 of the detained. It also notes the recent appeal addressed by the

3 President of Croatia to the Bosnian Croats." And then makes reference to

4 another Security Council record "(S/26419)."

5 This is dated, sir, the 14th of September, 1993. Now, again, Mr.

6 Ambassador, was this during the time when you and your government were

7 raising this very issue with Tudjman and the Croatian government?

8 A. Yes.

9 Q. And the last sentence of the second paragraph where it says: "A

10 recent appeal by the President of Croatia." You had raised these very

11 issues with the President of Croatia yourself?

12 A. Yes, I had.

13 Q. If we could then go on, please, to the document that I had

14 intended to put to you as well, Exhibit P07789. If you can see that, Mr.

15 Ambassador, I'll say for the record this is a -- also a statement by the

16 President of the Security Council dated the 3rd of November -- excuse me,

17 the 3rd of February, 1994, and if I can direct your attention, please, to

18 the second and third paragraphs on the page.

19 "The Security Council is deeply concerned that the Republic of

20 Croatia has deployed elements of the Croatian Army (HV) along with heavy

21 military equipment in the central and southern parts of the Republic of

22 Bosnia and Herzegovina as described in an earlier Secretary-General's

23 letter."

24 "The Security Council strongly condemns the Republic of Croatia

25 for this serious hostile act against a Member State of the United Nations

Page 6520

1 which constitutes a violation of international law," and then continuing on

2 -- actually I'm going to go to the next paragraph.

3 "The Security Council demands that the Republic of Croatia

4 withdraw forthwith all elements of the Croatian Army (HV) along with

5 military equipment and fully respect the territorial integrity of the

6 Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina."

7 And again, sir, my question to you: Was this again an issue that

8 you, yourself, and your government were raising with the Tudjman

9 government?

10 A. Yes, it was.

11 Q. Do you recall any particular responses that you would get from

12 President Tudjman or Susak or any of the other senior representatives when

13 you raised this issue?

14 A. This was a hugely important issue, and this presidential

15 statement was a major turning point in the Bosnia war and in our relations

16 with Croatia. This statement is an ultimatum, of which the US was a co-

17 author, to Croatia, that it had two weeks to get its troops out of Bosnia

18 and Herzegovina, otherwise it would face sanctions and probably severe

19 sanctions, similar to those that were on Belgrade. So I was raising this -

20 - this was a time of crisis. I was talking frequently in this period to

21 President Tudjman, Prime Minister Granic, and Defence Minister Susak. And

22 the explanation was very clear: The Croatian army was in Bosnia because

23 the Bosnian Croats were losing the Muslim-Croat war. And it was in essence

24 a defensive effort there, and they were -- they were afraid that if they

25 withdrew the Croatian army, then the -- our -- the Army of Bosnia and

Page 6521

1 Herzegovina would be militarily victorious and they would lose a lot of

2 territory. So there was a real -- they were -- there was an element of

3 desperation in Zagreb, and they faced a terrible choice between persisting

4 with a course of action that was going to bring about sanctions or

5 withdrawing their troops.

6 Q. Thank you. Before turning to the last topic of the examination-

7 in-chief, Mr. Ambassador, let me just raise something based on a comment

8 that was made by one of the Defence counsel yesterday that you were here to

9 help the Prosecution. Let me just ask you, sir, is it correct that you

10 testified also in the Martic case?

11 A. It is correct.

12 Q. And is it correct that that is a case that involved primarily --

13 or involves primarily Croat -- what might be described as Croat victims?

14 A. Yes.

15 Q. And is it correct, sir, that you also testified in the Milosevic

16 case?

17 A. I have.

18 Q. A case involving, is it correct, Croat victims, as well as Muslim

19 and probably Serb victims?

20 A. That is correct.

21 Q. Can you tell the Judges, Ambassador, as you -- as the weeks of

22 your post in Zagreb passed by, did you come to any conclusions or make any

23 assessments about the status of the existing leadership, political and

24 military leadership, in Herceg-Bosna and what action, if any, should be

25 taken?

Page 6522

1 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] You are starting to discuss

2 another subject. I'd like to go back to the Security Council. I have some

3 questions that I want to ask to clarify something. The declaration from --

4 of the President of the Security Council was on the 3rd of February, 1994.

5 You said that you saw President Tudjman, you saw him the next day? The day

6 after that? When did you see him, as far as you can remember?

7 THE WITNESS: At this stage, I -- Your Honour, I cannot remember

8 the specific date that I would have -- I saw him. What I can say is that I

9 saw him fairly frequently in this period, and perhaps even more frequently

10 the foreign minister and the defence minister.

11 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I put this question to you

12 because in the last paragraph on page 1, one sees that the Security Council

13 is asking the Secretary-General of the UN to provide them with a report in

14 two weeks' time about the advance of the withdrawal of the Croatian army

15 and of the repatriation of the military equipment, so the time limits were

16 very short because in two weeks' time the Secretary-General was supposed to

17 draft a report and forward it to the Security Council. This meant that

18 there had to be a follow-up at different levels in this matter. Two weeks

19 later, towards the 18th of February, did you, as Ambassador, come to the

20 conclusion that this had actually been carried out or not?

21 THE WITNESS: And I can say that I met with Tudjman on or around

22 the 17th. I gave a speech, a public speech, with a severe warning that I

23 think rather shocked the Croatian government that evening in the Lisinski

24 theatre in Zagreb, and then I saw him I think -- that was a Thursday, the

25 following Monday. No, they did not withdraw their troops, but Tudjman over

Page 6523

1 that weekend, from Thursday the 17th, as I recall, I don't want to be held

2 precisely 13 years later as to the days of the week, but I think it was a

3 Thursday to the following Monday he accepted the US proposal for a

4 negotiation leading to an end to the Muslim-Croat war and the establishment

5 of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina. To be precise, on the

6 Thursday he refused the idea. I went to see Granic on that weekend.

7 Granic with -- you know, with some frustration that Tudjman had refused

8 because I could see the disaster that was looming for Croatia. Granic

9 understood it. We talked at length and he said, you know, Please

10 understand, I'm going to work on Tudjman over the weekend, and he did. And

11 the following Monday I believe it was, Ambassador Redman, who was the

12 special peace negotiator for Bosnia and I went to see Tudjman and he

13 accepted our proposals. So while the Croatian army did not withdraw,

14 Croatia pursued an alternative course of action that brought the war to an

15 end, led to the negotiation and establishment -- negotiation of the

16 Washington Agreement by the end of February or the 1st of March, 1994, and

17 in a very short period thereafter, the end of hostilities, if not the

18 formation of a successful governing federation, certainly the beginnings

19 between an alliance between the Bosnian government and the Bosnian Croat

20 authorities.

21 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. Thank you for that

22 clarification.

23 Mr. Scott.

24 MR. SCOTT: Thank you, Mr. President. Just for clarification of

25 the record, I think it will be clear from context.

Page 6524

1 Q. But just now, Ambassador, you mentioned several dates such as the

2 17th, and for the record I take it this was the 17th of February, 1993?

3 A. No, sorry, 17th of February, 1994.

4 Q. 1994, my mistake, of course. 1994. Now, I think the question

5 that I had just put to you, Ambassador, before the President's intervention

6 was -- it's no longer on our screen, but as you entered into your post and

7 had been there for some weeks, did you come to any conclusions about the

8 status or character of the existing political and military leadership in

9 Herceg-Bosna of the HVO, either politically and/or militarily?

10 A. Yes, I did. I came to the conclusion that we were not going to

11 get the results that we wanted, which were of course unimpeded access for

12 humanitarian convoys, an end to the shelling of east Mostar, the release of

13 detainees held in inhumane conditions, and an end to the Muslim-Croat war.

14 We were not going to get those conditions met as long as Slobodan Praljak

15 remained at the head of the HVO, and as long as Boban remained the

16 president of Herceg-Bosna. And therefore, I took the decision that we

17 would do everything we could, and of course this is a decision that was

18 supported by Washington, to use our influence with Croatia to secure their

19 removal from their positions.

20 Q. And in general terms, can you tell the Judges what steps did you

21 take to put this plan into action?

22 A. I discussed this with my Croatian interlocutors, that is to say

23 President Tudjman, Defence Minister Susak, Foreign Minister Granic. I made

24 clear my government's skepticism that we would find that there was any

25 progress as long as these two individuals were in the positions they were

Page 6525

1 in. I think it's fair to say to say that Foreign Minister Granic shared my

2 views of these individuals, and Defence Minister Susak, while close to

3 them, was also aware of their serious limitations. And in the end, the

4 Government of Croatia did secure their dismissals.

5 Q. Let me ask you to be shown, please, Exhibit P09510. Is it

6 correct, sir, that what's on the display now is a cable from the United

7 States Embassy in Zagreb dated the 13th of December, 1993?

8 A. Yes, it is.

9 Q. Can I ask you to look at the summary of that cable and tell me

10 that, among other things, did this report deal with the removal of Mr.

11 Boban?

12 A. It certainly did.

13 Q. Can you tell us a bit about what was happening at this time in

14 this regard?

15 A. Some period before this, Foreign Minister Granic had asked me if

16 possibly Mr. Boban could be given a visa for what he called an extended

17 vacation, a long vacation, to -- and get a visa to go to the United States.

18 That was not possible because he had been entered into our visa system as a

19 war criminal, and so we could not grant him a visa. And so the issue was

20 to find another country that was going to be willing to take him. And in

21 fact, I actually had a conversation, and I believe it was at this time,

22 with the visiting Australian minister, I think the one who was handling

23 immigration. In any event, Australia did accommodate by providing Mr.

24 Boban with a visa, and so he went on a long vacation. I think I remember

25 saying to Foreign Minister Granic I hoped it was a one-way ticket, and he

Page 6526

1 was removed. And after that, things began to get better.

2 Q. And in fact, for the record, if I can direct your attention to

3 paragraph number 3, which in fact is under the heading: "Boban off to

4 Australia for a couple of months." And does that again describe the

5 situation that you've just told us about?

6 A. It does, and you will note there that Granic says that other

7 changes have occurred such as the replacement of virtually all the

8 commanders of the HVO and 70 per cent of the government.

9 Q. So at the pushing of the Republic of Croatia, there had been, by

10 this point, late November/early December 1993, a rather substantial house-

11 cleaning, if you will?

12 A. That's right. And I think the house-cleaning, which was

13 certainly a product of American pressure, did lead to an improved

14 environment in -- among the Bosnian Croats, along with the ultimatum that I

15 described a little earlier, created an environment in which Croatia was --

16 did accept the -- the proposed federation, and that indeed was successfully

17 negotiated.

18 Q. Now, just to finish this document --

19 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Just a moment, please, Mr.

20 Scott, I have a question or we have a question.

21 JUDGE MINDUA: [Interpretation] Witness, while we're on this

22 subject of Mr. Boban's prolonged vacation, I would like a clarification.

23 What authority relieved Mr. Boban of his functions? Was it an authority in

24 Bosnia-Herzegovina or Croatia and what was the position that Mr. Boban held

25 when he was let go?

Page 6527

1 THE WITNESS: Boban was removed by -- by order or decision of

2 Franjo Tudjman, the president of Croatia. That is how it actually

3 happened. As to the formal mechanism, I cannot now recall. I suppose he

4 did, as what normally happens in these circumstances, he resigned, asked to

5 spend more time with his family or something of that nature. But in -- the

6 way it really worked was that President Tudjman ordered his removal, and he

7 was removed. He was the president of the so-called Republic of Herceg-

8 Bosna.

9 JUDGE MINDUA: [Interpretation] Thank you.

10 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I have a question myself, but I

11 think there's another question from the Bench. But anyway, you said a

12 moment ago in speaking about Mate Boban that he thought that he was going

13 to the United States to begin with, and you said that with respect to the

14 visa that wasn't possible because he was classified as a war criminal.

15 Now, there's a series of questions that come to the legal mind. It seems

16 to me that when a foreigner is asking for a visa for the United States, he

17 has to fill in a request for the visa and there's a column there where the

18 person filling it in has to say whether he was ever sentenced for anything

19 or not. So who classified him as a war criminal? Was it an administrative

20 decision or how did that classification of him come about?

21 THE WITNESS: Just to clarify, Your Honour, before I answer your

22 question. I don't know that Mr. Boban ever thought that he was going to

23 the United States. What I know is that Foreign Minister Granic wanted me

24 to arrange a visa for him so that he could be told he was going to the

25 United States, but that wasn't possible. As to -- basically, the United

Page 6528

1 States keeps a list of people who are deemed ineligible for entry into the

2 United States for a variety of reasons, and I believe it was the a consular

3 office in Zagreb that put Boban into the list of people who were ineligible

4 because of his suspected war crimes.

5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you.

6 JUDGE PRANDLER: Mr. Ambassador, I would like to ask you about

7 the following. Previously you mentioned, but now it cannot be seen on the

8 transcript, that rather substantial house-cleaning happened in

9 November/December 1993, at least 1993 was mentioned there. Now, I don't

10 know if -- if this timing, how does it correspond to the fact that the

11 Security Council decision was taken -- rather, not a decision, but a

12 statement by the President of the Security Council was, in a way, declared

13 on the 3rd February, 1994. So my point is that -- that in this case the

14 house-cleaning happened even before the statement of the President of the

15 Security Council or also it might have been connected with some other

16 events which we have not talked about. So I would appreciate your answer,

17 sir.

18 THE WITNESS: Your Honour, the housekeeping was part of a

19 process that was the result of pressure from the United States and other

20 countries and so was the Security Council statement. The -- so through --

21 throughout this period that we've been covering from June of 1993 through

22 to the end of February 1993 [sic], the United States was putting increasing

23 pressure on Croatia to stop the abuses in Bosnia, stop the shelling of east

24 Mostar, to remove the Croatian army from Bosnian territory. And so the

25 house-cleaning that Mate Granic described was one fruit of the pressure

Page 6529

1 that we were bringing to bear.

2 Another fruit was -- another -- a part of that pressure was the

3 Security Council ultimatum, again -- which of course was an American

4 initiative with France and the other permanent members, France, Britain,

5 Russia, the Chinese were not -- they went along but they were not main

6 actors. That was another part of a concerted campaign of pressure. And

7 ultimately, all these events, going back again to June 1993, culminated in

8 a 180-degree change of course by President Tudjman in, you know, around the

9 19th of February in which he -- or 21st, that period, in which he gave up

10 on the idea of a separate Croat republic in Bosnia and accepted the idea of

11 a federation, moved to end the Muslim-Croat war. I don't want to suggest

12 to you that he had a change of heart. This was a man, as you might gather

13 from my testimony and I'm sure from the testimony of others, who went in

14 one direction. He was -- he always wanted a Greater Croatia, but at this

15 point he set that aside. And it -- it was the event that frankly turned

16 the war in Croatia around, it turned the war in Bosnia around, and

17 ultimately set the stage in about 18 months for the Dayton Peace

18 Agreements.

19 JUDGE PRANDLER: Thank you, Mr. Ambassador for your explanation.


21 Q. Just before concluding with this particular document and moving

22 back to some of the issues we discussed yesterday, if you look toward the

23 bottom of the first page of the cable, there is continued discussion about

24 the proposal -- excuse me, that the situation in the camps, including a

25 proposal as reported by Granic, that the HVO camps would be closed

Page 6530

1 "unilaterally within five days."

2 Do you see that?

3 A. Yes.

4 Q. Next page, paragraph 5, again talks about the issue of

5 humanitarian convoys again. If I can direct your particular attention to

6 paragraph number 6 because you've just mentioned this a few moments ago in

7 one of your answers. The military situation confronting the Bosnian Croats

8 at this time. And perhaps you will see here in paragraph 6 something by

9 Granic which is -- connects with what you were just saying a few minutes

10 ago. Do you see that?

11 A. Yes, that was very much the concern that the Croatians had and

12 relates to the point that Susak told me later -- during this period of the

13 ultimatum, that Croatia couldn't afterward to take its troops out of Bosnia

14 because if it did the Bosnian Croat communities would be left defenceless.

15 Q. In terms then of bringing President Tudjman to this point at

16 around the 21st of February to accepting what became the Washington

17 Agreement, would it be fair, sir, then to say that there were at least two

18 dynamics at work, one was tremendous international pressure; secondly, the

19 Bosnian Croats were losing on the ground?

20 A. That is correct.

21 Q. And in closing -- well, no, there's -- on paragraph number 8, if

22 you could just look at that for a moment and I'll ask a question about

23 that.

24 A. Can I see the rest of the paragraph?

25 MR. SCOTT: Can we go over to the top of the next page, please?

Page 6531

1 Q. During the time that you were involved in all these issues,

2 talking with Boban, talking with the others in the Croat leadership, did

3 you have any understanding whether they were divergences of views among the

4 Bosnian Croats themselves?

5 A. Absolutely, there was major divergence between the Bosnian Croats

6 in had had leadership in Herzegovina on the one hand and Bosnian Croats in

7 Central Bosnia and Sarajevo who were being betrayed, if you will, by the

8 Herzegovinan leadership in their own area, and also tension between the

9 leaders in Herzegovina and the Posavina Croats, who were under pressure

10 from the Serbs. And in the end, the Posavina Croats felt very bitterly

11 betrayed by Tudjman and by the leadership of the Herzegovinian Croats.

12 Q. And in paragraph 8 we see a statement from Mr. Granic about this

13 very topic. Is that correct?

14 A. That is correct. I might add that the proposals for the

15 federation that became the basis of the political settlement and the

16 Washington Agreement came from Bosnian Croats who were dissatisfied with

17 the Herzegovinian leadership and they came to see me in the embassy in

18 Zagreb, and of course they talked to Ambassador Redman who was our

19 negotiator. And that really is where we got the idea. It was not a

20 proposal from the Bosniaks, it was from the Bosnian Croats.

21 Q. And finally on the document, on the last page, paragraph number

22 9, further discussion of the issue of Muslim detainees, including the fact

23 of possibly moving them to or having them transit through Croatia. And

24 again, did that continue to be an issue during this time period?

25 A. Yes, it was.

Page 6532

1 Q. At the last sentence of this paragraph it says: "He," apparently

2 referring to Granic, "said that the initial reaction of UNHCR to this

3 proposal was positive."

4 Do you have any information that you can provide to the Chamber

5 whether you think that that assessment was rather -- was accurate or not,

6 that is, do you think UNHCR was supportive of this proposal?

7 A. Well, I think what I can say about this is that UNHCR would not

8 have been supportive of a proposal that would have had UNHCR facilitating

9 the ethnic cleansing of the Muslim population out of Bosnia. Of course it

10 would have been supportive of the idea, I believe anyhow, that detainees

11 should be released from conditions of detention and have a, you know, a

12 safe place to go where they can be protected and of the idea that they

13 could -- they could have a genuine choice, a genuine option of being able

14 to return to their homes in Bosnia. But of course that also means that the

15 conditions in their homes would have to be such that they would be able to

16 return.

17 Q. And finally, Ambassador, if we could please look at Exhibit

18 P07475. And in particular, page 11 I believe -- yes. This is a record,

19 sir, of a meeting in the presidential palace on the 4th of January, 1994,

20 so around the time that we've been discussing this afternoon, late

21 1993/early 1994. And if you have page 11 there, going back to what you

22 were touching on a few moments ago, I think I saw it for a moment, page 11,

23 I think one page previous, I'm sorry. Yes. If we could enlarge about the

24 middle half of the page, please. Thank you very much.

25 This is Tudjman speaking, according to the record, and Tudjman

Page 6533

1 says -- no, I'm sorry, just -- go back toward the top.

2 Tudjman talking: "Did Mate Granic tell you that he spoke to

3 Galbraith about Boban? That he told him to file a request for a visa for

4 him so that he can travel so that we can clear our name in front of the

5 world, although I keep on repeating and now too in the letter to

6 Izetbegovic I shall repeat it again that Boban was a product of Serb

7 aggression."

8 Susak: "We have having dinner at Galbraith's place on

9 Wednesday."

10 Tudjman: "Then you repeat this directly, Boban might be held

11 partly politically responsible, here is what happened to him. They

12 knocked the bridge down, but this is war for you, and he sprang up as a

13 result of resistance and Serb aggression and now we need him in order to

14 make an agreement with Muslims possible so that" -- it changes to another

15 topic.

16 Is that an accurate reflection of the conversations you did have

17 with Granic and what was happening at this time?

18 A. It's -- it certainly is a consequence of the conversations I had

19 with Granic and with Susak and Tudjman. But if the notion is that by

20 having Boban travel, that Croatia clears his name because Boban -- clears

21 its name because Boban is no longer there, then that was certainly

22 consistent with what I meant. I don't know if he meant somehow that Boban

23 could be explaining the Croatian position of which, of course, he would not

24 be a very convincing person to do so.

25 As to the other point that Boban might -- that they might somehow

Page 6534

1 need him, I guess that "him" is referring to Boban to make an agreement

2 with the Muslims, it was certainly my view that Boban gone was essential to

3 getting an agreement with the -- with the Bosnian government. And indeed,

4 once Boban was gone it was possible to get an agreement.

5 Q. Well, right before that Susak says: "They're having dinner at

6 Galbraith's place on Wednesday," which I take it that is something that

7 ambassadors do. And then it says - and then President Tudjman, on Susak's

8 statement then says: "And you repeat this directly. Boban might be held

9 partly politically responsible."

10 Do you understand that to mean Tudjman's telling Susak: When

11 you're having dinner with Galbraith tell him: 'Boban might be held partly

12 politically responsible.'"

13 A. Yes, that was Tudjman's message, to put the blame on Boban, which

14 is, incidentally, where I thought the blame partially belonged. And it's

15 an indication that Tudjman was capable of getting -- wanted me to know that

16 he was capable of getting rid of Boban. Basically: Tell Galbraith that

17 Boban is responsible. He knocked down the bridge and here's what happened

18 to him.

19 MR. SCOTT: Mr. Ambassador, I thank you very much for your

20 testimony and your time at the Tribunal.

21 THE WITNESS: Thank you.

22 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you. Mr. Scott, you have

23 concluded the examination-in-chief of this witness. Without further ado

24 we'll move on to the Defence teams. I don't know which one of them is

25 going to begin with the cross-examination.

Page 6535

1 Yes, Mr. Praljak, are you starting or is your Defence counsel

2 starting?

3 THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honour, thank

4 you.

5 Cross-examination by Mr. Praljak:

6 Q. [Interpretation] Mr. Ambassador, my name is Slobodan Praljak, and

7 although I have prepared quite a lot of things here we will take them in

8 order and we'll start with the last information you gave us where you said

9 that for several weeks after your arrival in Zagreb you received

10 information and realised or you scanned my psycho-physical constitution in

11 such a way as arriving at irrefutable proof and evidence that the situation

12 of Bosnia-Herzegovina, as far as the HVO is concerned and while I was,

13 there would not be good because I was doing bad things. Can you please

14 now, Mr. Ambassador, tell us when it was that you received that first piece

15 of information, when was that?

16 A. I had information about your activities from before I arrived in

17 Croatia as ambassador. After all, in preparing to take up my post, I

18 received a whole series of briefings and I talked to people. And what I

19 testified to was not that I received some particular -- one particular

20 piece of information, but that I came to the conclusion that as long as you

21 and Boban were in the positions that you had, we would not be able to end

22 the atrocities which were being committed by the HVO in Bosnia, and that

23 therefore it was essential for Boban and you to be removed. And my

24 government set out to do what we could to make that happen.

25 Q. Mr. Ambassador, you spoke at length and gave lengthy answers to

Page 6536

1 the Prosecutor, Mr. Scott. I understand your eloquence, that it is great,

2 and that you can repeat everything each and every time. However, I would

3 like to ask you on this occasion, within the frameworks of the right

4 granted me here, to tell me who, when, on the basis of what you arrived at

5 that information about me.

6 Now, information and knowledge of somebody begins either when

7 you see that person, when you hear about him, or through some other

8 perception -- organ of perception or from somebody else, that is to say,

9 based on circumstances, that the man was there, that he said such and such,

10 that he did such and such, or failed to do such and such. So can you now

11 give me an example, any example whatsoever that states that Slobodan

12 Praljak on such and such an occasion did such and such thing wrong, failed

13 to do the right thing, or uttered something which went against the grain of

14 any positive law?

15 A. At the risk of repeating myself, you were the commander of the

16 HVO. The HVO refused to permit humanitarian convoys access to Bosnia and

17 Herzegovina. The HVO shelled into -- fired shells into east Mostar doing

18 great damage, killing large numbers of people. The HVO destroyed some of

19 the historic monuments, including probably the most famous historic

20 monument in former Yugoslavia, the old bridge in Mostar. The HVO held

21 large numbers of prisoners in inhumane conditions. The HVO used those

22 prisoners as -- in forced labour, in violation of international law. Rapes

23 took place in HVO-run camps. And you were in charge of this. And when we

24 asked that this stop, when we made the strongest possible demarches to the

25 Government of Croatia, which we considered responsible, and they said that

Page 6537

1 they were raising this with you, basically the problem was not corrected.

2 So I took -- took the view --

3 Q. Thank you --

4 A. -- I took the view that you needed to go and so did Mr. Boban.

5 Q. Thank you. Unfortunately, I still have not received any

6 intonations about all this. Here we have the Honourable Trial Chamber and

7 everybody else saw precisely the following, that Slobodan Praljak, through

8 his own authority, let through both convoys into Mostar, not Granic who

9 held speeches over there. So I'd like to ask you to answer the following

10 question in that regard. In conducting research and into seeing how we can

11 come at the conclusion of who is responsible for what - and I don't

12 question or challenge your sources of information - I did my own research

13 and found that in the United States of America, for instance, every year

14 there are 25 million registered crimes. Of that number, intentional

15 killing amounts to 14.276; intentional killing through fire-arms, violent

16 crimes, 900.000; 2 million rapes, and so on and so forth. Those are

17 various.

18 Now, following on from that same logic, that somebody has to be

19 guilty and be blamed and the United States of America are a civilised,

20 organised, wealthy state, can you believe me when I say that I would have

21 given this same speech on the opposite side and said: You have to replace

22 such and such a person in power or this authority because more than 14 per

23 cent of the crimes that take place in the world take place in the United

24 States and the situation is similar in other countries. So do you at least

25 share my opinion in part about that kind of thing?

Page 6538

1 MR. SCOTT: Excuse me, Your Honour, I'm not sure what the

2 question is. I've heard a long statement, but is there a specific question

3 that's been put to the Ambassador, please?

4 THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation] The question is --

5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] The question was indeed a very

6 long one, but on the basis of what I was able to understand, Mr. Praljak

7 seems to be saying that you had information according to which he himself

8 and Boban for responsible for a series of facts that you listed. Now the

9 accused wishes to know what you base that on, and to quote -- he quoted an

10 example that with respect to humanitarian convoys - and we had a proof of

11 evidence at least once and we saw this, had evidence of this - that at

12 least once he was responsible for allowing the humanitarian convoy to enter

13 Mostar.

14 Now what he seems to be saying is this: In view of the number of

15 crimes that could have been committed and were committed, what allows you

16 to assert that he is to blame or he is responsible? So the question was a

17 long one and I tried to summarise it --

18 THE WITNESS: I understood the question, Your Honour. Obviously

19 I see no connection between the terrible crime rate in the United States

20 and the situation in Bosnia. We expected convoys to go into Bosnia every

21 single day. We expected convoys to go into Mostar every single day, and

22 they were obstructed practically every single day by the HVO. And this was

23 not a group of rogue soldiers; this was a command decision by the HVO. And

24 when we finally brought enough pressure to bear through Croatia, in fact

25 the convoys went through. We -- the shooting into east Mostar was not some

Page 6539

1 private individual shooting off -- shooting off --

2 THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation]

3 Q. Mr. Galbraith --

4 A. I'd like to answer the question. The shooting into east Mostar

5 was by artillery. This was by an organised military force that was

6 shooting into civilian areas, destroying an ancient cultural heritage,

7 killing people. The camps were not some kidnapping of an individual held

8 in a basement, it was the holding of thousands of people in organised,

9 military-run camps in inhumane conditions. The organised labour patrols

10 was not some individual taken out with a gun to dig trenches but organised

11 work parties. These, in short, were the acts of an organised authority of

12 which Mr. Boban was the political chief and Mr. Praljak was the military

13 chief, and that is why I held him responsible.

14 Q. Mr. Ambassador, by the words you used, you neither proved that

15 the HVO was a military wing, nor do you have any facts according to which

16 any order was issued ever to ban any convoy from entering. And in fact,

17 witnesses have shown that it was not necessary for 360 tons to be brought

18 into Mostar every day. And after this convoy was let through, convoys

19 entered Mostar on a regular basis, and I don't have to say who was

20 responsible for that. We're going to discuss that at this Tribunal for the

21 next two years.

22 May I have 3D00141 on e-court, please, may I have that exhibit on

23 e-court.

24 Mr. Ambassador, on the 1st of September, and that was far before

25 the United Nations exerted any pressure and before you brought any pressure

Page 6540

1 to bear against Franjo Tudjman, and before the United States of America did

2 so, Slobodan Praljak allowed the entrance of a television crew from Germany

3 to enter the Gabela prison led my Mira Ivanisevic.

4 Suffice it to say that I did not have any -- or that I used my

5 authority and the television crew filmed what they found there and that was

6 broadcast in the world, and it was only after that that knowledge of this

7 went through and justified reactions. However, on the 1st of September, I

8 allowed the television crew of the CDF to enter and then a journalist from

9 the Globus magazines and others, they testified about this, some material

10 was shown and some wasn't, but information of what was going on there did

11 seep through thanks to my own intervention and it was only then when that

12 the truth came to be known and that is when you, Mr. Ambassador, reacted in

13 the best way you thought possible.

14 I'd now like to have the next exhibit shown -- or rather, let me

15 first ask you if you understood what I've been saying?

16 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Praljak, would you like to

17 ask the Ambassador a question on the basis of that document?

18 THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation]

19 Q. My question is as follows: Mr. Galbraith, can you imagine a

20 situation where someone is really in command and then allowing -- doing

21 evil things and then allow a television crew to come in and film it all

22 unless he was somebody who was deranged? Do you think some -- that can

23 only be done by somebody who is deranged or does it speak about something

24 else, something that might be quite opposite to your opinions of me, for

25 instance?

Page 6541

1 A. This document is dated the 1st of September, 1993. As I have

2 testified for much of yesterday and today, my own interventions with

3 President Tudjman began on the day I presented my credentials, which was

4 the 28th of June, 1993. On the 6th of July, 1993, we threatened Croatia

5 with sanctions because of the conduct of the HVO. You will recall that

6 around the 20th of August I called President Tudjman in Brioni to warn him

7 in the most severe terms of the consequences for Croatia of not stopping

8 the atrocities for which we -- of the HVO for which we held Croatia

9 responsible. And of course this was a constant theme of my meetings with

10 Tudjman, Granic, and Susak in July and August. One of our demands, as I've

11 testified, is that the -- is that there be access to the camps by

12 international representatives, by foreign embassies, and indeed we had

13 access to the camps because of our pressure in July, and by the press. So

14 I am not at all surprised that as a result of international pressure,

15 serious international pressure exerted on -- including threat of sanctions,

16 exerted on Croatia that Mr. Praljak should have been forced to issue a

17 statement of this kind on the 1st of September, 1993.

18 Q. Witnesses who came here claim that this was on the 6th of

19 September. You said that on the 24th of July a convoy was released through

20 and then on the 21st one was allowed to pass through even without your

21 intervention. We were able to see that here with another witness. When do

22 you think I became the chief of Main Staff? Do you know on what date that

23 was?

24 A. At this stage I do not remember, but perhaps you could tell me.

25 Q. I could, but isn't it peculiar that you have a very clear opinion

Page 6542

1 about me without knowing when I took the office. Don't you think that you

2 should know that? Please don't talk -- or please don't look at the

3 Prosecutor. My question is: How is it possible -- you're an American, an

4 educated man, how is it possible for you to speak about somebody being

5 responsible without knowing when he incurred that responsibility -- or

6 rather, when he took the office?

7 Thank you. On the 24th of July --

8 MR. SCOTT: Hold on a second. If Mr. Praljak is going to put a

9 question to the witness, then let the witness answer as best he's able. No

10 one is going to expect everyone to recall every detail and date, but if Mr.

11 Praljak is going to put questions, let the witness answer, number one.

12 Number two, I submit that Mr. Praljak has mischaracterised the record. The

13 testimonies about -- excuse me, the testimony about convoys getting into

14 Mostar was at the end of August, not the end of July, as reflected in

15 Exhibit P09506, August, end of August, not July.

16 THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation] Thank you. That's what I

17 said.

18 Q. I took over that position in late July, on the 24th of July.

19 Based on the documents provided by Mr. Galbraith, it was clear that at that

20 period of time, Bugojno fell and that Gornji Vakuf and Rama were at risk.

21 On the basis of that, it was necessary to establish what I did between the

22 24th and the 28th, what I did and where. However, it seems that Mr.

23 Galbraith believed it unnecessary to be established. Thus can we please

24 put on the ELMO a document --

25 A. I hope I can respond to this.

Page 6543

1 Q. [In English] Yes, please.

2 [Interpretation] Please answer. Please tell me -- or rather, let

3 me expand my question. I was commander for six and a half months near

4 Sunja near Susak, and then I became assistant defence minister, and then I

5 was commander of the south-east part of Herzegovina when Mostar was

6 liberated in the Neretva valley. We will get to the question --

7 MR. SCOTT: Excuse me, if we're going to have this information

8 stated to Mr. Galbraith, can we have the dates for these periods, please.

9 I was commander for six and a half months. When? And I became assistant

10 defence minister. When? If we're going to have the information, let's get

11 all the information, please.

12 MR. KARNAVAS: Mr. President, the witness has made some

13 allegations, and obviously he said he was briefed before he came into the

14 country as Ambassador. Now, it's up to the Ambassador to tell us those

15 particular dates, if he knows. If he doesn't knows, that's fine. If he

16 knew them back then and doesn't remember today, I can see his memory being

17 jogged, but I think we need to go step by step, and at this point in time I

18 think it's very crucial because obviously it appears from his testimony

19 that he had already formed an opinion before he arrived based on

20 information that he was given.

21 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Ambassador, Mr. Praljak

22 says that he was appointed in July. He says he was appointed on the 24th

23 of July, and we heard it that this was a period in which Bugojno fell.

24 Were you aware of the fact that an ABiH offensive had been launched as a

25 result of which there was troop movement and the movement of refugees in

Page 6544

1 the field? And do you know that at that point in time Mr. Praljak was

2 appointed to the position in question? That was on the 24th of July. I

3 understand that you're being asked a question about something that happened

4 over ten years ago. Perhaps you can't remember. In that case, say you

5 don't remember.

6 THE WITNESS: Indeed, I don't remember the specific dates. But I

7 -- what I can say is that the United States, as I've testified with great

8 specificity, partly because I have the cables that were sent at the time,

9 the United States was putting pressure on Croatia from the 28th of June,

10 from the date of my arrival, and I cited specific instances of the pressure

11 that we would have put on Croatia.

12 As to the atrocities that we were concerned about, these were

13 continuing and, indeed, intensifying through the summer of 1993, including

14 in the period after Mr. Praljak says that he was appointed the HVO

15 commander. And I stand by my statement that I came to the conclusion - he

16 may feel that my conclusion was wrong, but it certainly was my conclusion -

17 that he had to go. And indeed he went, and he went because of US pressure

18 -- or certainly because -- at least I can say that US pressure contributed

19 to his departure.

20 THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation]

21 Q. Thank you. Naturally that is not true, Mr. Galbraith. I left of

22 my own free will. I don't know what pressure United States applied, but

23 now that you're mentioning the United States I have to tell you I'm not

24 impressed. And whenever you are strapped for arguments you bring up the

25 United States. I'm really not impressed. For example, when the embargo

Page 6545

1 was introduced, and I will go back to that, two nations were left

2 defenceless at the face of ruthless Serbian power. So I don't really

3 expect you to support your claims with any firm arguments, that is your

4 conclusion. I have not heard you bring up anything that would be useful to

5 this Bench --

6 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Praljak, you are testifying

7 now. What you have to do is put questions to the witness and use documents

8 to support the questions that you ask.

9 THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation] Can we please put a

10 document on the ELMO, and we'll take it from there. Is it on the ELMO yet?

11 This document. Can you please scroll down. The heading is always the

12 same: "Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina to the HVO."

13 Q. Mr. Galbraith, will you please read this document.

14 A. "Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatian community Herceg-

15 Bosna, Croatian Defence Council, Main Staff number 02-2/1-01-2338/93 IZM

16 forward command post Citluk, 5th September, 1993/handwritten approved/.

17 Demand by the transfer of helicopter OS HRZ Zagreb. We ask you to

18 accomplish the transfer of the heavy wounded Almira Candzic /handwritten

19 doctor/, born in 194/illegible/dg. Status post amputatione numeri dex.

20 Vulus explozivus abdeninis."

21 "For the heavy degree of the wound, it is necessary to transfer

22 her from Mostar (Mostarsko blato) KBC Zagreb /handwritten Split illegible/.

23 "Respectfully yours."

24 "Commander of the GS HVO."

25 "General Major Slobodan Praljak (signed and stamped)."

Page 6546

1 Q. Do you know -- you've spent quite some time in the region. Do

2 you know whether Almira Candzic, can you tell or will you take my word for

3 it that she is a Muslim?

4 A. The name is a good indication, and I'll take your word for it.

5 If I might add, because I didn't want your last speech to go unanswered,

6 when I speak about the United States, of course I was there in my capacity

7 as the American ambassador and therefore not as an individual but

8 representing my country. But on the question of the arms embargo, I have

9 to say that I agree with you and my government -- at least the Clinton

10 administration agreed with you that it was a terribly wrong decision to

11 impose an embargo to have the aggressor have the arms and to have left

12 defenceless Bosnia and Herzegovina and Croatia, and as you know, we took

13 the decision that we would not enforce that embargo.

14 Q. Yes, I know that. Thank you for your answer. However, I know

15 that that is what the situation was, and I have difficulty accepting it as

16 a mistake. One can make a mistake when designing clothes or something like

17 that. This is what you used as an excuse, namely Mr. Clinton and Mr.

18 Holbrooke. This was the greatest case of loss of collective security since

19 the times of Hitler. So this was no mistake. All consequences that ensued

20 following such an attitude are very hard to calculate, and I'm not talking

21 only about human casualties, but also the destruction of property and the

22 destruction of society.

23 So can you tell me, looking at the sociological factors how such

24 an act contributed to the destruction of moral tissue of both the Muslim

25 and Croatian nations?

Page 6547

1 A. Well, just to -- for the record, the arms embargo was imposed in

2 1991 by the previous American administration. President Clinton made clear

3 that he did not support the arms embargo. We sought to have it repealed,

4 but we could not get the P5, each of whom had a veto, to repeal it. But as

5 Richard Holbrooke said and certainly something that I said during my time

6 in Zagreb, we did see the conflict in Bosnia as the greatest failure of

7 collective security since the Second World War, since the period leading up

8 to the Second World War. It was a tragedy. I am -- I think -- I am very

9 proud of the role my country played and American diplomacy played, in

10 bringing that conflict to an end, beginning with the end of the Muslim-

11 Croat war in 1994 and the Washington Agreement. Now that I'm a private

12 citizen I guess I can say this bluntly. I wish we did what we did in 1995

13 much sooner, but I'm glad that we did it.

14 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] We'll have to have our 20-

15 minute technical break now, which means that we will resume in 20 minutes'

16 time.

17 --- Recess taken at 3.45 p.m.

18 --- On resuming at 4.07 p.m.

19 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Praljak, please continue.

20 THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation] Could I ask the registry to

21 put 3D00375 on the screen.

22 Q. This is a letter sent to Madam Duska Lastric-Djuric personally to

23 the general consular office of the United States at the time when Colonel

24 Herrick came to visit me for the first time as an envoy of the Ministry of

25 Defence. It was naturally proved for the colonel to tour Ploce, the port

Page 6548

1 in Zadar and Split in order to establish to what extent it was possible to

2 deliver the humanitarian aid from the United States. Do you see that,

3 Ambassador?

4 A. Yes.

5 Q. Do you know Richard Herrick and do you know that following this

6 he was the US military attache for many years in Zagreb?

7 A. Yes.

8 THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation] Could we now see 3D0037?

9 Q. In this letter I, as my capacity as assistant defence minister, I

10 approve the passage of Mr. Richard Herrick, and I give him the approval to

11 see all the things that he was interested in. And I assigned to him Goran

12 Pavelic to escort him on this trip to Split and Ploce. Is this correct?

13 Is that stated there, Ambassador?

14 A. Yes.

15 Q. Thank you.

16 Could we now see 3D00736? This is the reply of Colonel Richard

17 Herrick where he thanks for all the assistance provided to him, the

18 organisation, the meetings were very successful. Mr. Pavelic was of great

19 assistance. Everything was carried out very successfully, and once again

20 thanks us. Is that what is stated in the response?

21 A. He does thank you for your remarkable help and organisation on

22 his trip, yes.

23 Q. Mr. Herrick came quite a long time prior to you. I think that

24 there was another gentleman, Mr. Serelis [phoen] there as well. You came

25 at the time when the war was already waging in Croatia for two years and

Page 6549

1 two months. Were you informed about other relations and other contacts I

2 had with Mr. Herrick personally and people who were then working in the

3 consul general's office of the United States? Did you receive such

4 information?

5 A. I may have.

6 Q. Are you aware -- I hope you won't mind me asking you something

7 personal. If I'm not mistaken, I heard your name for the first time in

8 relation to your acts aimed at advocating the interests of the Kurds back

9 when Saddam Hussein tried to poison them with chemical weapons. Is that

10 true and are you one of the few people in the world involved in it, in

11 writing about it?

12 A. I did write about it in the 1980s, and in fact it's the subject

13 of my book published this year "The End of Iraq."

14 Q. Thank you kindly. That means that I was not mistaken. I think

15 that I saw the photographs and I saw your name mentioned either in Stern or

16 Der Spigel, one of those magazines.

17 So let me go back to my question. Do you know that members --

18 rather, representatives of the military office of the United States and I,

19 that is to say Mr. Herrick and I, immediately following the liberation of

20 Mostar worked a great deal together to investigate whether in the factory

21 in Bijelo Polje near Mostar, yperite was manufactured for the JNA. General

22 Binenfeld took active participation in it. Did you ever hear of this?

23 A. I think I know what you're talking about --

24 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's note that yperite is mustard gas.

25 THE WITNESS: Oh, mustard gas. I do know what you're talking

Page 6550

1 about, but I fear that this line of questioning goes outside the scope of

2 that which I'm allowed to testify about.

3 THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation]

4 Q. Thank you. Do you know that Mr. Herrick, Colonel Herrick, and

5 Mr. Sarac, whose rank escapes me right now. I don't know whether he's a

6 colonel --

7 A. Warrant officer.

8 Q. All right. Do you know whether during the time while I was the

9 chief of the Main Staff of the HVO from the 24th of July until the 8th of

10 November, 1993, they toured the positions as they found appropriate when

11 they wanted, where they wanted, and what they wanted as far as the military

12 component was concerned. Are you aware of this?

13 A. I am aware that Colonel Herrick and Mr. Sarac had access to --

14 had extremely good access to the Croatian military and to the -- and to the

15 HVO, and I'm aware that the -- that the Bosnian Croat leadership provided

16 access to the defence attache's team and to our diplomats.

17 Q. Thank you. Did you hear from them or from any other journalist

18 that during the time while I was in command there was a ban on visiting any

19 location at any time in order to see everything that needed to be seen?

20 Did you ever hear that I banned something like that, that I banned anyone

21 visiting any place?

22 A. Well, I certainly do not recall hearing that you had banned any

23 visits. I -- members of the international community, the International

24 Committee of the Red Cross, for example, UNPROFOR, journalists other

25 embassies did have enormous difficulty in gaining access to places,

Page 6551

1 including prison camps, and even when US embassy team went into prison

2 camps - and I would be the first to say that the US embassy had special

3 access because of our relationship with Croatia - but even when they went

4 into the prison camps -- prison camp at Rodoc, the Heliodrom, they were

5 denied the opportunity to conduct interviews with the prisoners in private,

6 which of course is essential to understanding what's going on there. The

7 commander wouldn't say his name, and so there were restrictions on what

8 they could do that significantly limited their ability to get the -- get to

9 the facts, even though they had been allowed access.

10 Q. Mr. Ambassador, I'm not even trying to challenge your information

11 or deny it. All I can do is ask you whether you are familiar with the

12 structure of the HVO, which would be a necessary prerequisite in order to

13 establish somebody's responsibility. Are you familiar with the structure

14 of the HVO?

15 A. I certainly was familiar with it at the time that I was dealing

16 with this issue. I think I retain a -- perhaps a general familiarity.

17 Q. Thank you. I'd just like to point out, since we can't discuss

18 this subject - and I do understand the reasons for which a serious country

19 who protects its natural interests - but I do have a list of another 15

20 joint actions, none of which have been referred to here, joint actions --

21 actions conducted with Mr. Herrick and others, with others from that part

22 of the US embassy. But you read some things written -- you read the book

23 "My Life" written by President Bill Clinton?

24 A. Actually, I have not read the whole book.

25 Q. Let's have a look at the broad picture again, what happened in

Page 6552

1 our territory was -- on a smaller scale. I'd like to read out a few

2 passages from this book and I'd like you to confirm whether this is how

3 events, in fact, unfolded. Yes, thank you.

4 Now he's referring to Slobodan Milosevic. He says he then staged

5 an event and made it seem as if he was withdrawing his army from Bosnia,

6 whereas arms, supplies, and the Bosnian Serbs were left under the control

7 of the commander Ratko Mladic. The fighting and the killing continued in

8 the course of the year 1992. The leaders of the European community acted

9 in a reserved manner, and Bush's government was unsure as to how they

10 should act. And they were not willing to confront new problems in a year

11 when elections were to be held. So this problem was left for the European

12 Community to deal with. However, Bush's government did request that the UN

13 impose economic sanctions on Serbia. Boutros Boutros-Ghali was against

14 this at the beginning, as well as the French, the English, et cetera, et

15 cetera.

16 Are you familiar with such events before you arrived on the stage

17 over there?

18 MR. SCOTT: Excuse me, Your Honour, two objections. Number one,

19 I object to the relevance entirely of this -- to this case. None of these

20 matters have the slightest connection to this case, therefore completely

21 irrelevant.

22 Number two, at least by my understanding, I think this goes

23 outside of the scope of the testimony that the United States government had

24 agreed to allow. Thank you.

25 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Praljak, you know that you

Page 6553

1 can only ask questions that directly relate to the questions that the

2 Prosecution put to the witness. In what way is this question related to a

3 question put to the witness and to a question answered? Since an objection

4 has been raised, so how does this question relate to a reply provided by

5 the witness?

6 THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I believe that

7 this is of extreme importance to understand all these matters. We are

8 trying to use a reductionist model and to reduce all these events and

9 attribute them to a rough form of determinism that has no basis in reality,

10 that doesn't correspond to the way in which one should understand the

11 broader picture, the way in which one should understand the embargo that

12 was enforced, the pressure brought to bear, the lobbying engaged in, the

13 numerous conferences that were held. All these factors had an influence on

14 the events and resulted in the death of a small nation. Now there are some

15 rapid conclusions that have been drawn by the Ambassador. For example,

16 everything is being concept aside and an incredible logic is appealed to,

17 to demonstrate that crimes were committed, that Praljak was commander of

18 the Main Staff. I'm not quite sure how things were structured or

19 organised, but he is guilty.

20 Your Honour, if we fail to understand what Bill Clinton has

21 honestly put down on paper with regard to the embargo and the way in which

22 certain countries obstructed peace, the way in which the war was prolonged,

23 it will be impossible for us to understand the turmoil of war, the folly of

24 the population, of the people who were panicking because their fear, their

25 hunger, and we won't be able to understand the nature of the people who

Page 6554

1 were supposed to be held to account for such things.

2 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes, Mr. Kovacic.

3 MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation] You said -- you mentioned the

4 question that Mr. Praljak put and said it should be related to the previous

5 question, but this is a new subject and perhaps it wasn't quite clear.

6 He's moving on to a new subject now as to the link to the testimony of this

7 witness's concerned -- well, my submission would be that Mr. Galbraith's

8 testimony commences from the time that he arrived in Croatia, from the time

9 that he assumed his post in the embassy. This film started a long time

10 ago, at least as early as the declaration of independence in Slovenia and

11 Croatia and then of other republics. So certain introductory remarks,

12 certain circumstances are important for us to understand the actual weight

13 or value of the facts that the witness has been testifying about here. But

14 as of July 1993, the film started two years prior to that date and then it

15 continued when the Ambassador assumed his position. But I think that this

16 is relevant and it's within the scope. This is the first part of the film

17 that Mr. Praljak wants to put questions about.

18 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] In that case it would have been

19 more appropriate to ask the Ambassador, to ask him to respond to a question

20 about the political situation, to -- he discovered when he assumed his

21 position. And then you could have presented the witness with this passage

22 from the book and you could have asked him to confirm or to refute the

23 passage. It's a matter of technique when questioning a witness.

24 Ambassador, the accused has read a passage from a book and the

25 passage concerns the situation in 1991, 1992, and 1993. By citing this

Page 6555

1 passage he would like you to confirm certain facts or to refute them, to

2 deny them. What would be interesting from a legal point of view is to know

3 that when you assumed your position were you familiar with the overall

4 situation in the former Yugoslavia, were you familiar with the problems

5 that concerned Slovenia, were you familiar with Slobodan Milosevic's

6 actions, were you familiar with all these matters?

7 THE WITNESS: Your Honour, I travelled to the former Yugoslavia

8 four times starting in December of 1991 and three times in 1992, so I did

9 have a first-hand familiarity. I met with the leaders of all the republics

10 -- or all the states that emerged and also Mr. Rugova in Kosovo, went to

11 Dubrovnik -- my first visit to Dubrovnik was just a few days after the

12 horrific shelling of the city on St. Nikolas day. I was there December

13 18th, 1991, and they had actually to arrange a cease-fire since I came from

14 Montenegro up there. So I had a first-hand experience with the situation

15 there, and as I indicated in my previous answer, naturally I also received

16 a lot of briefings as I prepared to -- and talked to people as I prepared

17 for my -- my new assignment.

18 It's a little hard for me to comment on the passage from

19 President Clinton's part, in part because I don't have it before me and in

20 part because things are always hard if they're read from the Croatian

21 translation back to English. And I know that this is a little outside the

22 scope, but these are very broad -- broad issues. I certainly can say that

23 what President Clinton described is -- would conform with my general

24 understanding, that is to say, that in 1992 -- and now I forget the date

25 although I wrote about it, actually, in a report that I did called the

Page 6556

1 "Ethnic cleansing of Bosnia and Herzegovina," Milosevic withdrew,

2 supposedly, the JNA from Bosnia and Herzegovina, leaving behind the -- the

3 Serb soldiers from Bosnia who simply changed their patches and became the

4 Bosnian Serb army under General Ratko Mladic, and that this was still

5 effectively -- as we understood it, effectively controlled from Belgrade

6 with salaries and other supplies coming from Belgrade.

7 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Praljak, the witness says

8 that he is perfectly familiar with the situation in the former Yugoslavia.

9 So put a question to the witness that concerns what was said in the course

10 of the examination-in-chief, a question that will be of use to you, because

11 to discuss Mr. Clinton's book -- well, that's all very well, but how does

12 this help you?

13 THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation] I'll put my question to the

14 witness now.

15 Q. Towards the end of October 1992, did Lord Owen and UN negotiator,

16 the former secretary of state, Cyrus Vance, present a plan for the

17 regionalisation of Bosnia and Herzegovina? It was submitted to the members

18 for them to make comments on. Are you familiar with that?

19 A. I am familiar with the Vance-Owen Plan.

20 Q. Thank you. Do you know at the beginning of February, President

21 Clinton decided not to support the Vance-Owen Plan?

22 A. The history is more complicated, and here I feel that it's

23 getting really beyond -- not an area related to my direct scope of the --

24 of my testimony. And so -- but it's more complicated than to say that

25 President Clinton did not support the Vance-Owen Plan.

Page 6557

1 Q. Thank you, Mr. Ambassador. Unfortunately I have to draw the

2 conclusion that whenever one starts discussing the framework of the events

3 in the former Yugoslavia unfolded, the assessment of the international

4 community, the embargo on arms, transferring staff to Bosnia and

5 Herzegovina, et cetera, when it comes to that no one wants to discuss these

6 matters because this would open up subjects which are a disgrace for the

7 west, according to Mrs. Thatcher. But we will find an expert, and we will

8 also cover those subjects. I have two questions about eastern Mostar,

9 isolation and shelling.

10 My question is as follows: One of the witnesses, Mr. Beese, in

11 item 76, 130, 134 of his report, reference is constantly made to the

12 Serbian shelling of Mostar. My question is as follows. How far the gun

13 positions, the gun emplacements of the Bosnian Herzegovinian Serbs from

14 Mostar, how far were these positions from Mostar, from the eastern part,

15 from the western part of Mostar?

16 A. First, I just want to comment on your statement because in fact I

17 did discuss the embargo on arms and I did tell you that I thought it was

18 the wrong decision. I thought it was a very wrong decision, and I did

19 discuss the way in which Milosevic transferred troops to -- or changed from

20 the JNA to the Bosnian Serb army and maintained control. So I think it's

21 unfair to say that no one wants to discuss these matters and I've discussed

22 them at great length in other forums. And I don't -- I may not agree on

23 the particulars, but I think I've said very clearly that the international

24 community had a wrong response to the events in Bosnia, and I'm not saying

25 this in 2006. I said so at the time when I was visiting in 1991, 1992.

Page 6558

1 And I worked hard to change the response, which our administration did do,

2 and I think one reason why we got to the peace that now exists.

3 You've asked about item 176 [sic], 130, and 134. I think I would

4 like to see that before I would try to respond to it.

5 Q. 76. I'm afraid I don't know how to find this right now. It was

6 item 76 and it was a Prosecution witness. Would it be sufficient for me to

7 read out what he actually said? Will you trust me on that?

8 A. Well, no offence, but I feel that if I'm going to be asked about

9 something that is an item that's in the record, I ought to see the item

10 because that really will give me the total understanding of something that

11 I'm asked to respond to. And I think, as I've explained, it's hard to do

12 that when you're reading something in Croatian and then I'm going to try

13 and listen to it in translation.

14 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Praljak, do you have the

15 relevant reference that concerns page 176, provided it has a link to the --

16 or a relation to the questions that were put to the witness?

17 THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation] 76, 103, and 104.

18 MR. SCOTT: That doesn't really help us, Your Honour. And I want

19 to support the Ambassador's concern. If -- he's been very cooperative, but

20 if counsel or the accused wants to put questions to the witness, please

21 have the document shown to him. Now, Mr. Praljak must know if he's done

22 enough preparation to refer to 176, 103, and 104, he must know what

23 document he's referring to. So please let him show us and direct our

24 attention and, more importantly, the witness's attention to the document.

25 MR. MURPHY: Your Honour, the number of the document, if I can

Page 6559

1 help, was 960 --

2 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Murphy.

3 MR. MURPHY: The number of the document is 9601. I should

4 respect fully remind the Court, before reference is made to that, that Mr.

5 Beese's request it was under seal and was not publicly read. So I ask the

6 Court to bear that in mind if passages are read from it.

7 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes, we should move into

8 private session. This document is under seal.

9 [Private session]

10 (redacted)

11 (redacted)

12 (redacted)

13 (redacted)

14 (redacted)

15 (redacted)

16 (redacted)

17 (redacted)

18 (redacted)

19 (redacted)

20 (redacted)

21 (redacted)

22 (redacted)

23 (redacted)

24 (redacted)

25 (redacted)

Page 6560











11 Pages 6560-6562 redacted. Private session.















Page 6563

1 (redacted)

2 (redacted)

3 (redacted)

4 (redacted)

5 (redacted)

6 (redacted)

7 (redacted)

8 (redacted)

9 (redacted)

10 (redacted)

11 (redacted)

12 [Open session]

13 THE REGISTRAR: [Interpretation] We're in open session, Mr.

14 President.

15 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well.

16 THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation]

17 Q. Mr. Ambassador, did the United Nations, and by the same token the

18 United States of America, proclaim protected areas as Srebrenica, Zepa,

19 Gorazde, Sarajevo, Bihac, did they proclaim these areas to be protected

20 areas?

21 A. Yes.

22 Q. And in the legal sense, did that mean that the countries used to

23 protect those areas will use all their power and authority to protect the

24 lives of the people there and the property, the property of the inhabitants

25 living in those protected areas, would that be their duty?

Page 6564

1 A. Unfortunately it didn't happen that way, and they should have

2 done more. I really can't speak to the legal duty of what countries. I

3 think there was a moral duty on the part of the United Nations to have

4 protected the safe areas. And I think the United Nations, and by that I

5 don't mean the institution in New York but the countries who are its

6 members, failed in that moral duty. I'm not saying, Mr. Praljak, that

7 there was not also a legal duty, it's simply that -- I would have to think

8 about the legal issues involved more than I can right now.

9 Q. Thank you. I think we all know what actually happened, and it is

10 quite clear that Kiseljak wouldn't have fared better, and I stand by my

11 decision in a set period of time in a set area to proclaim the aggressor

12 the party that is attacking us and not the party that you or the United

13 States of America proclaimed the aggressor. And at that time the

14 aggressor, as far as I was concerned, was the Army of Bosnia and

15 Herzegovina, and I behaved the way I think I should have behaved.

16 Now, another question, on the 9th of September, 1993, in

17 Grabovica 32 Croats were killed. On the 28th of July, 1993, in Doljani, 63

18 were killed. On the 14th of September, at Prozor, the casualties were 41.

19 On the 16th of September, 1993, Hudocko, 24 casualties. In Bugojno, after

20 the fall of Bugojno, 118 fatalities. In Travnik in June, 120 persons were

21 killed. And the total number of crimes of Muslims against the Croats in 21

22 municipalities is 1.184. Now, did you have those facts and figures

23 presented to you when you made your decisions and assessments? Did you

24 have those facts and figures, clear-cut facts and figures when you looked

25 at the psychological, social aspects, the problems that families entailed

Page 6565

1 and looking at the overall population of these fatalities, did you have all

2 these facts and figures when you made your decisions and evaluations of the

3 situation?

4 A. Well, Mr. Praljak, I do not accept that what you've just

5 described are facts. They are, of course, figures. I simply am not in a

6 position to say whether they're correct or not. But we were -- I was aware

7 and heard at great length from the Croatian officials with whom I met of

8 the actions of the Army of the Government of Bosnia and Herzegovina and

9 allegations of atrocities. As I said to President Tudjman and to Defence

10 Minister Susak - and I'll say it to you - the fact that one side may have -

11 - may or may not - and I'm not saying they did - may or may not have

12 committed atrocities, in no way, in the view of the United States, it in no

13 way excused the atrocities committed by the HVO. And that was the message

14 that I delivered very constantly in -- from June 28th, 1993, until the

15 Washington Agreement brought the Muslim-Croat war to an end. That

16 regardless of what happened any place else in Bosnia, we did not accept and

17 we considered it to be a crime, the shelling of civilians in east Mostar,

18 the destruction of cultural property, including the destruction of the old

19 bridge, the denial of food and -- or to starve a population -- that is, the

20 blocking of humanitarian convoys, and the holding of prisoners in inhumane

21 conditions. The fact that others committed crimes -- and I think there's

22 no doubt that -- and this has always been the view of the United States

23 government, there is no doubt that the greatest part of the crimes in

24 Bosnia and Herzegovina were committed by the Bosnian Serbs, by the Bosnian

25 Serb army, by -- and the forces under the control of General Ratko Mladic.

Page 6566

1 I mean, I can't give you a figure, but I would suppose it's in the

2 neighbourhood of 80 per cent of the atrocities.

3 Nonetheless, that fact does not in any way excuse or condone, in

4 the view of the United States government at the time that I was Ambassador,

5 the atrocities that were committed by the HVO.

6 Q. I fully agree, sir. But why is it that in explaining a social

7 phenomenon, death, crimes, retaliation, hate, we resort to the legal

8 formulation? I do not justify that, et cetera, et cetera, and that is not

9 justifiable, et cetera, et cetera. And all reasonable people agree there,

10 but my question to you, sir, is the following: You dealt with

11 politicological analyses and regardless of the justification of something

12 or not, did you ever encounter anywhere that one evil causes evil to be

13 done on the other side, that evil begets evil. In America, retaliation

14 after 9/11 towards the Muslim. In Baghdad, for example, we can see what

15 the control of an army of numbering 200.000 men looks like when something

16 begins called madness, what kind of control you can exert there.

17 So my question to you is as follows, after so much evil, after so

18 many crimes committed, have you ever seen --

19 JUDGE PRANDLER: Mr. Praljak, I'm sorry to interrupt you, but I

20 believe as it was already previously said that you are entering into a

21 pleading and it is not a question. And therefore I would ask you to mainly

22 concentrate on questions which could be asked from Ambassador Galbraith.

23 Thank you very much.

24 THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour, for

25 all your guidelines. I will of course abide by them.

Page 6567

1 Q. My question is as follows: In history is there any example, Mr.

2 Galbraith, that you can mention in any war where evil did not beget evil,

3 regardless of the legal aspects? Can you name any example?

4 A. That's a -- as you supposed the question, that's a very hard one

5 to answer. There may be some examples, depending on how you defined your

6 terms. But if your point is that the evil of war leads to other evils --

7 Q. Excuse me, sir, but I just wanted to ask you whether you had an

8 example or not, without entering into a debate. Do you have any example of

9 where evil was committed on one side without retaliation on the other side

10 and evil on the other side? You can say you don't know, you can't

11 remember; Praljak's right, Praljak's not right.

12 A. No, I think Praljak -- well, I think there are -- there are

13 certainly examples where one side committed war crimes and the other side

14 did not, even though they were victims of the crimes. Yes, I think there

15 are plenty of examples of that kind.

16 Q. Thank you. I'd like to go back now -- but before I do, I have

17 one more question. Let me ask you one question and I'll move on to Franjo

18 Tudjman. In what way and from whom was the Army of Bosnia-Herzegovina

19 armed throughout the conflict with the HVO? How? By whom? Where? What

20 were the channels and means? Who armed the Bosnia-Herzegovina army?

21 A. Frankly, although we've been outside the scope of my direct

22 testimony for some time, I can't see that this has really anything to do

23 with it.

24 MR. SCOTT: Yes, Your Honour, according to the documents that

25 were approved by the United States government, and I've been sitting here

Page 6568

1 reviewing them, I have the list in front of me, and this is not on the list

2 of topics.

3 MR. KARNAVAS: Your Honour, if I may be heard on this issue

4 because I think this is extremely relevant, this is an extremely relevant

5 point. The gentleman was the Ambassador at the time. He was briefed prior

6 to going into country. Now, he's made certain allegations here, and I

7 think this is an important issue. Obviously he would have known. There's

8 also the issue of whether -- with respect to the embargo. The issue is --

9 he's not only indicting Praljak, he's also indicting Croatia and Tudjman,

10 and as we have the testimony we know that shipments of arms were going from

11 Croatia into Bosnia. Okay. We know that the United States turned a blind

12 eye. We know that even Iran wanted to bring in and did in fact bring in --

13 and was bringing in prior to the gentleman's arrival -- so I think these

14 are relevant questions. How can an Ambassador sit there with a pregnant

15 pause of approximately two minutes and not be able to know or answer that

16 question. So I think this is extremely relevant. It goes to the nature of

17 his briefing.

18 MR. SCOTT: Your Honour, why is it? We have these assertions

19 that this is extremely important, extremely relevant, why? Why? How is

20 any of that a defence to what the accused are charged with in this case?

21 MR. KARNAVAS: It's relevant --

22 MR. SCOTT: Who armed the Army of Bosnia and Herzegovina, how is

23 that possibly relevant to any legal issue in this case?

24 MR. KARNAVAS: Okay. It's relevant, Your Honour, because on the

25 one hand if you are trying to divide this country and if you're trying to

Page 6569

1 slaughter the Muslims, as they would have us believe, then why would you at

2 the same time arm them in order so they can shoot you.

3 MR. SCOTT: Because they were fighting the Serbs, Your Honour,

4 that's why.

5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] In my opinion, this is

6 pertinent because it arose from the answers given by the Ambassador to the

7 effect that the Croatian army, the HV, was located in Bosnia-Herzegovina

8 and that the return of the HV was called for as well as armaments. So

9 there is a context there which is linked to weapons. Now, if the

10 Ambassador does not wish to answer and stand behind what was the subjects

11 approved for discussion, I agree.

12 So, Mr. Ambassador, you've understood what the Defence has asked

13 you. They are asking for clarifications, and it's up to you to decide

14 whether you're going to answer or not. I'm not going to force you to

15 answer, of course.

16 THE WITNESS: Your Honour, I will answer in general terms. The

17 Army of Bosnia and Herzegovina had weapons that were -- that came from --

18 weapons that citizens in Bosnia and Herzegovina had. I suppose some

19 weapons that they got from JNA depots, not many, but some that way; from

20 the Bosnian territorial force of the former Yugoslavia. There were some

21 weapons that were smuggled in. There were some weapons that were purchased

22 on the grey market and on the black market. In period 1991 and 1992, there

23 may have been weapons that came from Croatian sources or through Croatia.

24 So far as I can recall, during the Muslim-Croat war, the

25 Bosnian -- the Army of Bosnia and Herzegovina was not getting very many

Page 6570

1 weapons for the simple reason that it was surrounded on the one side by the

2 Bosnian Serb army enemy, and on the other side by Croatia and the HVO.

3 After that war ended, there was a flow of arms that came through

4 Croatia and -- which actually was fairly significant and which enabled the

5 Army of Bosnia and Herzegovina to survive and then to successfully resist

6 the Bosnian Serbs. And ultimately, that flow of weapons helped turn the

7 tide which made possible the change in the military situation in August of

8 1995 through September/October, that in turn paved the way to the peace

9 agreement.

10 Now, the issue has been raised of the role of the United States

11 in this. I have testified at great length about it and for congressional

12 committees. I'm very happy to testify again because I think the decision

13 that President Clinton took and that I implemented, which was that we would

14 not object to the flow of weapons through -- from -- through Croatia to

15 Bosnia was a -- the correct decision. The Defence counsel has

16 characterised it as turning a blind eye. I suppose that's one way you

17 could characterise it. It was a correct decision and it was very

18 significant in the fact that the military balance changed and we were able

19 to get to the peace agreement at Dayton. It's a long topic. I'm happy to

20 spend a lot of time talking about it. I'm not sure how relevant it is to

21 this particular case.

22 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you for your very

23 comprehensive answer.

24 Mr. Praljak.

25 THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation]

Page 6571

1 Q. Yes, thank you, although I asked you the following. The BH army

2 unfortunately did not have that kind of weaponry, but during the Croatian-

3 Muslim conflict which was ongoing, what did the Army of Bosnia-Herzegovina

4 used to shoot from and is it true that at those times we allowed ammunition

5 to get through to the BH army for it to shoot? And is it also correct that

6 this is something that has not been recorded in the annals of warfare

7 throughout history. Have never been seen before. You can say you don't

8 know and we'll move on, Mr. Ambassador, to make the best use of your time?

9 A. You're asking me questions to which you know much better the

10 answer than I do.

11 Q. Well, thank you. Say you don't know, then, Mr. Praljak and I'll

12 move on. I'd like to go back to Franjo Tudjman now, just short questions.

13 He was in the Partizans, yes or no?

14 A. Yes.

15 Q. He was one of the youngest generals in Tito's Yugoslav People's

16 Army, yes or no?

17 A. Yes.

18 Q. He dealt with historical research, the results of which were not

19 in conformity of the official version of Yugoslavia at the time, yes or no?

20 A. Yes.

21 Q. He was imprisoned twice, in 1972 and again in 1983. He was

22 convicted to a prison sentence, yes or no?

23 A. I think that's correct, yes.

24 Q. He wrote about ten books, and I'm going to quote from three of

25 them. The national question in contemporary Europe, in modern-day Europe;

Page 6572

1 great ideas, small nations; and the biroads or cul-de-sacs of historical

2 circumstance.

3 Now, have you ever seen any ideas of -- do you know the kind of

4 ideas that Franjo Tudjman puts forward in his books?

5 A. I certainly know some of the ideas that Franjo Tudjman put

6 forward in his books.

7 Q. Thank you. Is it true that a state solution for Bosnia-

8 Herzegovina from the 16th century was also imposed by somebody else by

9 force, the Turks, the Berlin Congress, the -- Austria with the Anschluss,

10 Versailles by creating a single Yugoslavia, Jaulta -- or rather the first

11 Yugoslavia by creating a second Yugoslavia, and finally this brings us to

12 the Washington Accords and Dayton Accords. Were solutions always imposed?

13 Was it ever left to the people living there? Did they ever have the right

14 and possibility of deciding what they're going to do themselves?

15 A. I feel I'm being drawn into huge debates which I suppose I would

16 say to you: Why don't you get a historian, not that I'm unfamiliar with

17 the history, but there are certain -- there's -- I mean Bosnia and

18 Herzegovina, like Croatia, and Serbia for that matter, was a small country.

19 It was occupied by foreign powers, part of foreign empires that adopted

20 cultures from those empires. Other people made decisions about them. That

21 was true of Croatia. It's frankly true of lots of different countries.

22 Can I say to you that the people in Bosnia and Herzegovina

23 never made their own decisions? Well, I don't know. I think they've had

24 some say in it. There have been democratic elections there.

25 Was the Dayton Agreement imposed on Bosnia in the same breath

Page 6573

1 as the Ottoman occupation? No, I don't think so. It was a peace treaty

2 made among the parties that ended an absolutely horrific war that cost well

3 more than 100.000 lives, involved many atrocities, which are the subject of

4 the jurisdiction of this terrific court. And -- but it was something that

5 certainly the international community and particularly my country

6 encouraged, did everything in our power to bring about, but I also think

7 that the -- all the peoples of Bosnia and Herzegovina concluded that the

8 peace agreement, however imperfect, was better than the alternative of a

9 continued war. And I don't think that -- I think that it's impossible for

10 anybody to argue anything different, frankly.

11 Q. I, of course, would present different arguments and state that a

12 bad agreement leads to bad consequences. But when it comes to the Dayton

13 Agreement, is it true and correct that the Serbs in Bosnia-Herzegovina have

14 a republic, a constitution, laws, a parliament, territory, television, they

15 can use their own language, and does the -- do the Croatian people in

16 Bosnia-Herzegovina have any of that?

17 MR. SCOTT: I object to relevance, Your Honour. One, completely

18 beyond the scope of direct examination; completely beyond the scope of the

19 rule set by the United States government; and three, completely irrelevant.

20 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes, you're quite right, Mr.

21 Scott.

22 You are dealing with a period after the facts. It might be

23 interesting from the point of view of politics or history; however, the

24 field of testimony of the Ambassador does not include the Dayton Accords.

25 THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation] I think that the gentleman

Page 6574

1 did mention Dayton.

2 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I do apologise, but

3 the witness said on page 36 of the transcript it says, line 13 to 15, that

4 he was proud of what his country's diplomacy managed to do. The diplomacy

5 of his country did take part in the Dayton Agreements, it created the

6 Dayton Agreements. So I think to discuss and elaborate on the situation in

7 Bosnia-Herzegovina in connection with the Dayton Agreements does follow on

8 from the testimony made by this witness. Thank you.

9 MR. SCOTT: Your Honour, to go from that comment, a broad comment

10 by the Ambassador, rightly said that he was proud of bringing peace, being

11 part of bringing peace to the country is a far cry from whether they have

12 televisions in the Republika Srpska.

13 MR. KARNAVAS: If I may be heard, Mr. President, very briefly and

14 perhaps this gentleman is not the best witness for this. The issue is

15 relevant because whatever the Republika Srpska has as an entity within

16 Bosnia-Herzegovina as a result of the Dayton Peace Accords, if we look at

17 the peace processes from 1991 onwards, that was on the table more or less

18 at the -- from the very beginning. And so -- and then to go full swing

19 back into Dayton. But again, this gentleman may not be the best

20 individual. But I think it is relevant to the extent of whether he knew of

21 the different proposals that were on the table. Because we see from the

22 Dayton Accords what you have is two entities within a government and plus a

23 district, the Brcko district, which they have their own constitution, all

24 within the framework of the then-existing constitution of BiH, which is

25 something that the Croats were striving throughout this period. Again,

Page 6575

1 this might not be the best witness for this, but I can understand the

2 relevancy to Mr. Praljak's question.

3 MR. SCOTT: Your Honour, I object to Mr. Karnavas's speeches and

4 assertions of evidence. There is no evidence that any of this is true.

5 There is no evidence that any of these people -- leadership of Herceg-Bosna

6 was supporting the constitution of Bosnia-Herzegovina during this time. So

7 for Mr. Karnavas to get up and make these assertions does not mean it's

8 true.

9 MR. KARNAVAS: I direct the Trial Chamber to the testimony of Mr.

10 Kljujic as we walk through the process of the various peace accords and I

11 don't want to get into a debate since we have a witness here. But I

12 suggest that perhaps better attention be paid to the testimony as it comes

13 in.

14 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] There is a certain relevance,

15 but the witness is perhaps not the most appropriate person to discuss such

16 a subject, as the Chamber has granted Mr. Praljak an hour and a half and

17 time is running out. I believe that Mr. Praljak should ask questions that

18 are of importance. Try and focus your questions on your particular case,

19 on your personal case, rather than on the Dayton Agreement. That will

20 certainly be referred to again, but try to focus your questions. This is

21 in your own interest.

22 THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I personally

23 don't have a problem with this --

24 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Because you have used up an

25 hour and 16 minutes, of -- which means that you have another 24 minutes.

Page 6576

1 THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation] I'll take less than that.

2 To repeat what I said, I don't have any personal problems. And to my mind,

3 this gentleman didn't say anything that would incriminate me and I don't

4 think that his impressions and conclusions are well-grounded and documents,

5 and this became evident through this examination.

6 Q. My question is: The treaties that changed from month to month as

7 it pleased a country that was in charge of it, be it France or the United

8 States, all these peace agreements, were they not first signed by the

9 president of the Croatian state, Dr. Franjo Tudjman, the politician, wasn't

10 he the first one to sign each of them? Can you give us any exceptions to

11 this? Wasn't he the first one to sign each and every peace agreement? And

12 this pertains to the political wing of the HVO.

13 A. I can certainly give you exceptions to the notion that Franjo

14 Tudjman signed all the peace agreement that the international mediators put

15 on the table, starting with the Z-four plan which was sponsored by the

16 United States, United Nations, Russia, and the European Union, and he was

17 also extremely reluctant about the Washington Agreement, although

18 eventually he did agree to it. In other cases he was -- he did sign on to

19 some of the international plans, either because he found that -- found them

20 to be advantageous to the Bosnian Croat population or because he thought

21 that the others weren't going to sign and so that he could have some

22 benefit from signing on. Incidentally, the phrase "signing" I don't think

23 would be correct because I don't recall that any of these were documents

24 that were signed because they were not agreed to, so many of the different

25 peace plans.

Page 6577

1 Q. They were not agreed to because at least two and always one side

2 failed to sign these peace agreements. Now, when you mentioned the Z-four

3 plan, it envisaged full state autonomy for the Serbs in Krajina, the

4 constitution, government, currency. Is that correct?

5 A. Well, I don't think it envisioned full state autonomy, but it

6 would have given the -- the Serb majority part of the Krajina region

7 substantial self-government within a unified Croatia.


9 Q. With money, currency, and government?

10 A. They would have had their own government, just like American

11 states do and Swiss cantons, and many others in those kinds of systems.

12 They would not, let me emphasise, they would not have had their own money.

13 The money of that region would have been the Croatian kuna. They could,

14 however, have had their own bank notes with their own design on them, just

15 as Scotland has the Scottish pound, which is a monetary unit that is the

16 same as the English pound but it has a Scottish design on it. That is the

17 sole issue there.

18 Q. When Franjo Tudjman objected to the Washington Agreement in which

19 you said you'll enter into federation with the Muslims occupying 49 per

20 cent of the territory and then you'll join Croatia in a confederation.

21 When he as a statesman challenged it, you took it against him because he

22 wasn't humble enough, because he put up some minor objection. Any

23 declaration on human rights and rights of citizens starting with the

24 English one or the French one, what gives you the right to take this

25 position and what makes you believe that nobody has the right to object to

Page 6578

1 it without being declared a criminal? Where do you find legal support for

2 such a position?

3 A. Well --

4 THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation] Let me now tell you

5 that the Serb nation in Croatia are an ethnic minority, and the Croats in

6 Bosnia and Herzegovina are a constituent nation. I just wanted to

7 supplement my question.

8 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Allow the witness to answer the

9 question.

10 Ambassador Galbraith, could you answer the question? Are you

11 capable of answering the question?

12 THE WITNESS: I served five years in this part of the world, so I

13 think I can handle almost any question. I'm just trying to understand it.

14 The -- the first point is the United States was actually reluctant to

15 become involved in the conflict in the former Yugoslavia. And Croatia --

16 and President Tudjman was desperate for our involvement. So it's not as if

17 we imposed ourselves; on the contrary, he basically begged for our

18 involvement.

19 THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation]

20 Q. Except for the embargo.

21 A. I'm really discussing the events from the time I was the

22 Ambassador, but it's true that even before then he was seeking American

23 involvement, American support, and above all American involvement in the

24 peace process. As a matter of fact, the so-called Z-four process began as

25 a Russian initiative and on the plane back from Washington, the signing of

Page 6579

1 the Washington Agreement, I flew on President Tudjman's plane -- sorry, it

2 was on the way to Washington, actually, he asked for me to become involved

3 in that process as a co-sponsor. Now, obviously when the United States is

4 brought into something -- and we were invited in -- asked by the president

5 of Croatia to do that. We agreed to do that. It was part of the, if you

6 will, the way in which our relations improved precisely because he signed

7 the Washington Agreement. But when we get involved we obviously are going

8 to do as we see best like any good peace mediator to try and bring about a

9 peaceful solution. And that's of course exactly what we -- what we did.

10 With regard to the Washington Agreement, President Tudjman

11 resisted the idea for a long time, but he ultimately - and I believe

12 reluctantly - but he did ultimately accept it and enter into it. But

13 before he entered into the Bosnian -- into the Washington Agreement, he

14 clearly had aspirations for annexing to Croatia the Croat territory and,

15 for that matter, Muslim -- a Bosniak-majority territory into Croatia. And

16 even afterwards, these dreams did not die. He kept pulling out maps that

17 would show a territory that, in his view, should become part of a Greater

18 Croatia. And he kept insisting that Bosnia and Herzegovina would not

19 survive as a state.

20 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Praljak, I believe that

21 your time has run out.

22 Mr. Registrar, could you tell me how much time Mr. Praljak has

23 left at his disposal because there are other Defence teams that need to

24 take the floor. And, as you know, tomorrow we will be adjourning at 1.45

25 p.m.

Page 6580

1 [Trial Chamber and registrar confer]

2 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] You have used up an hour and 26

3 minutes, which leaves you with four minutes. Use your four minutes to go

4 to the crux of the matter. Unfortunately your lawyer will not have any

5 time to put questions to this witness.

6 MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, by your leave, we

7 agreed on the division of time among the Defence counsel. So in addition

8 to the hour and a half that you adopt -- that you allotted to Mr. Praljak,

9 we have an additional 60 minutes. So Mr. Praljak plans to leave some time

10 for me.

11 THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation] I only have three more

12 minutes left.

13 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes, but the 60 additional

14 minutes, who has allocated this time to you? Mr. Kovacic, who has given

15 you an additional hour?

16 MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation] I apologise. We were given 20

17 minutes by the Defence of the accused Coric, and the entire time allotted

18 to the Defence of Mr. Pusic. And I thank them for it.

19 THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [No interpretation].

20 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well, I wasn't aware of

21 that.

22 We have four minutes before the break. Please go ahead, Mr.

23 Praljak.

24 THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation] Could we now see P6251

25 which is the transcript of the 29th of October, 1993, or records, minutes

Page 6581

1 from that meeting. We need to see page 2 in the Croatian version. Next

2 page, please. Next one, please. This one, yes. Can we see the English

3 version, please.

4 Q. I can read it out to you to save time.

5 Mr. Wirth says four lines from the top: "As to what's going to

6 happen in the central -- in central and eastern Europe, it never even

7 occurred to us that something of this nature would happen. I don't think

8 that it occurred to anyone else."

9 And then Dr. Franjo Tudjman says: "In his -- in my book

10 'National question and contemporary Europe' I anticipated that multi-ethnic

11 states cannot exist -- cannot continue to exist in Europe and that the

12 unification of Europe is only possible in the forum of Europe representing

13 the United States of Europe."

14 MR. KOVACIC: [Previous translation continues]... page 3, it

15 would be probably good to have the witness to see it.

16 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Registrar, could we see the

17 English version of this document on the screen, please?

18 [Trial Chamber and registrar confer]

19 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I'm told that we have a

20 technical problem, which means that we can't see the English version of the

21 document on the screen.

22 Put your question to the witness. You have translated this or

23 you have had it translated.

24 THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation]

25 Q. My question is: As you stated in Globus, the Croatian weekly on

Page 6582

1 the 1st of September, 1996, did you learn the following in Croatia. I'm

2 quoting.

3 "Once you establish democracy, you cannot make the people live

4 in that state against their will. This is the lesson I learned in

5 Croatia."

6 Did I quote your words right and did you apply the logic of the

7 break-up in the upcoming break-up of Iraq as you stated in your book?

8 Thank you for putting up with me, Mr. Galbraith. Thank you.

9 A. Mr. Praljak, you have finished your testimony with a theatrical

10 touch. I'm going to have to get that quote, which is of course one that I

11 have used frequently to describe the situation in Iraq and the

12 inevitability of an independent Kurdistan. And I say those words

13 frequently these days. I didn't realise I said them as long ago as the 1st

14 of October, 1996. So thank you for calling that to my attention, and I did

15 say that and it is a -- I do say that it is a lesson that I learned from my

16 experience in Croatia.

17 THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation] Thank you, kindly.

18 [Microphone not activated].

19 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone for Mr. Praljak.

20 THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation] Thank you. I apologise for

21 some awkwardness in my examination. I think the topic is such that we

22 cannot limit ourselves to simple questions because this witness spoke of

23 conclusions not only of facts.

24 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] It's 20 to 6.00 now. We'll

25 have the break that we have to have, the 20-minute break. And we will then

Page 6583

1 have another hour. I believe that Mr. Kovacic will be taking the floor

2 after the break, and then tomorrow the other Defence teams will take the

3 floor and we will adjourn tomorrow at 1.45 p.m.

4 We will resume at 6.00.

5 --- Recess taken at 5.41 p.m.


7 --- On resuming at 6.01 p.m.

8 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Kovacic, you have the floor

9 for an hour now.

10 MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.

11 Cross-examination by Mr. Kovacic:

12 Q. [Interpretation] Good afternoon, Mr. Ambassador. I'm the Defence

13 counsel of the accused Mr. Praljak. My name is Bozidar Kovacic, I am an

14 attorney-at-law from Rijeka. I will be putting questions to you in

15 Croatian because that's easier for me. You've already testified twice, so

16 you are familiar with the procedure. We have to make breaks between

17 questions and answers and I don't think you will find this to be a problem.

18 You said when you started testifying that you were the US

19 Ambassador in Zagreb, and as such you -- over a long period of time, and

20 you got to know the situation quite well during that turbulent period of

21 time. And I have no doubt that you have first-hand information about

22 certain facts that I have ask you about.

23 Is it true that the Republic of Croatia recognised the sovereign

24 Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina on the 7th of April, 1992, and that it

25 was the practically first state to recognise the sovereignty of Bosnia and

Page 6584

1 Herzegovina after its independence was proclaimed?

2 A. Croatia certainly was very quick in recognising Bosnia and

3 Herzegovina.

4 Q. Unconditionally, right? It was a case of direct recognition of

5 Bosnia and Herzegovina as an independent state, one of the former republics

6 of the SFRY?

7 A. General recognition is unconditional, but the Croatian

8 recognition was unconditional.

9 Q. Thank you. From the moment of the recognition they proceeded to

10 establish diplomatic relations between the two countries at the formal

11 level, which also included the opening of the BH embassy in Zagreb;

12 correct?

13 A. That is correct, yes.

14 Q. Among the Zagreb Corps Diplomatique you must have known that in

15 May or June of 1992 an ambassador came from Sarajevo, a lady ambassador,

16 and that the embassy remained open all the way until the Dayton Accords,

17 similar to all other embassies.

18 A. The embassy remains open until this day.

19 Q. Correct. Thank you. Is it true that the Republic of Croatia as

20 a state during the conflict between Bosnian Croats and Bosnian Muslims in

21 Bosnia and Herzegovina never attempted to break the diplomatic relations or

22 limit the diplomatic work in any way, the diplomatic functioning of the BH

23 embassy in Zagreb?

24 A. Croatia certainly never broke diplomatic relations with Bosnia.

25 I can't speak to any restrictions that might have been placed on the

Page 6585

1 Bosnian embassy, but I can say that I was not aware of any.

2 Q. Thank you. Mr. Ambassador, do you know that soon after the BH

3 embassy was open in Zagreb, this embassy was given an approval from the

4 Government of the Republic of Croatia that they had sought to open two

5 offices within the embassy, one housed the military and economic office,

6 and the other one was the logistics office of the staff of the Supreme

7 Command of the armed forces of the BH in Zagreb. Do you know this?

8 A. I don't recall all the details, but I know that there was a

9 military attache from Bosnia and Herzegovina and that a part of the embassy

10 did deal with economic affairs.

11 MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation] I would like to now ask for the

12 record 3D00186 which is a document marked for identification for the time

13 being. I would like to put it to the Ambassador because he does seem to

14 have some recollections about it. So perhaps this could further refresh

15 his memory. Could we see 3D00186, please.

16 Mr. Ambassador, they're going to put on the screen this document.

17 The English version will be on the left, the Croatian on the right. This

18 is a letter, this is not in the typical form of a diplomatic note, but

19 perhaps we could call it a note of the embassy of Bosnia and Herzegovina in

20 Zagreb. The date is the 16th of July, 1993, at least this is when it was

21 received at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Croatia. And here they ask

22 for this approval, for this permission. Would you please look at the two

23 paragraphs which are right above the lists of names. It says here that the

24 following persons work in the military and economic office, and then

25 follows the list of six names. And then there is the list of people

Page 6586

1 working in the logistics office of the staff of the Supreme Command of the

2 armed forces of BH in Zagreb. The list continues on to the next page.

3 Could we see the next page, please.

4 Q. And then they also list another group and then they say that in

5 Split in the logistics office of the staff of the Supreme Command the

6 following persons are employed.

7 Mr. Ambassador, my question is as follows. Given the state of

8 affairs, and this is taking place in the summer of 1993, at that time the

9 conflict between Bosnian Croats and Bosnian Muslims was in progress in

10 Bosnia and Herzegovina. As you told us, Franjo Tudjman and his people or

11 cabinet ministers were in full control. According to you, they were the

12 real masters of the actions of the HVO in Bosnia and Herzegovina. How can

13 we reconcile this contradiction that simultaneously, Croatia according to

14 your view and the view of others wanted to position itself as the lord, as

15 the master of the war in Bosnia and Herzegovina on one hand and then on the

16 other hand allow that same country, Bosnia and Herzegovina, to open its

17 offices in Zagreb. What's more, the logistics office of the staff of the

18 Supreme Command of armed forces, not only did they have 21 persons employed

19 in Zagreb but also two persons in the branch office in Split. Isn't this

20 unprecedented in war for one warring party to allow the other warring party

21 to have such freedom in its territory? Maybe I exaggerated a bit. I

22 apologise.

23 My first question is this: Since you had some information about

24 this, do you believe this to be true, what stems from this document?

25 A. I have no reason to doubt that the embassy of Bosnia and

Page 6587

1 Herzegovina submitted this diplomatic note that you show here.

2 Q. Thank you. My second question, as I have already said, can you

3 provide us with an explanation as to why Croatia allowed a foreign country,

4 a country that it was at war with, to act within Croatia and in Zagreb in

5 an unrestricted way? Has this ever been recorded in contemporary history?

6 MR. SCOTT: Excuse me, Your Honour, but I think this is a very

7 important point. Since international armed conflict is an issue in this

8 case, do I understand counsel's question to indicate, to concede and to

9 confirm that in fact there was a war going on between the state of Bosnia

10 and Herzegovina and the state of the Republic of Croatia? That's what he

11 just asserted.

12 MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation] No, that's not my admission

13 that's the testimony of the witness.

14 MR. SCOTT: Page 76, line 19: "Provide us with an explanation as

15 to why Croatia allowed a foreign country, a country that it was at war

16 with" sounds like an international war to me.

17 MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation] This is within the framework of the

18 indictment, and the statements that this witness has commented on. The

19 witness in fact said on a number of occasions that Croatia had total

20 control over the HVO.

21 MR. MURPHY: If I may, I -- it seems to be a little piece of

22 flippancy on Mr. Scott's part which we can no doubt excuse, but clearly Mr.

23 Kovacic is asking a question why, on the assumption if there is a war going

24 on, would Croatia act in this way. I think that's the obvious sense of the

25 question.

Page 6588

1 MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation] I thank my colleagues.

2 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] A very brief question that I'd

3 like to put. It should have been asked but it wasn't. There is a document

4 that shows there was an embassy of Bosnia and Herzegovina in Zagreb and

5 there was an Ambassador. Did you ever meet this Ambassador because

6 ambassadors usually meet each other, at least when there are national

7 holidays. Did you ever meet this person on the 4th of July, 1993?

8 THE WITNESS: I suspect I met Ambassador Turkovic on the 4th of

9 July. She probably came to our July 4th party, but I also met her on many

10 other occasions because she solicited our help in trying to secure access

11 for humanitarian convoys and also in dealing with various problems of

12 refugees.

13 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you.

14 Mr. Kovacic, please proceed.

15 MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.

16 Q. Do you perhaps know whether in that embassy of Bosnia and

17 Herzegovina in Zagreb there were 19 -- 99 per cent of the staff of 100 per

18 cent of the staff were employees of the Government of Bosnia and

19 Herzegovina and they were all Muslims by nationality? Do you know anything

20 about this?

21 A. Well, I cannot say that I know who all the staff were of the

22 Bosnian embassy. I'm not surprised that they were all Bosnian, and I

23 suppose I would have expected that the very large number of them would have

24 ended up being Muslims. I think I should point out that this is a

25 diplomatic note from the embassy of Bosnia to the Croatian foreign

Page 6589

1 ministry. What is missing here is a response from the Croatian foreign

2 ministry that in fact grants these people permission to operate in Croatia.

3 Perhaps that was granted, but it's -- it wouldn't be immediately clear to

4 me looking at this document that in fact the Croatian government did grant

5 the permission or at what time they granted the permission. And then

6 frankly beyond that, even if they had granted the permission, there would

7 be a separate process by which they would have to get accredited or

8 approved. And so the fact that the request was made doesn't mean that the

9 Croatian government in fact allowed these people actually to begin to

10 operate out of the embassy. I simply don't know the answer, but this

11 document isn't proof that that took place.

12 Q. Ambassador Galbraith, I fully agree with what you have just said,

13 but there are two facts. If I haven't misunderstood what you said, you

14 said that you knew that there was an embassy in existence and that there

15 were -- well, in any event, I'm sure that you said that the embassy of

16 Bosnia and Herzegovina was in existence and was operational in Zagreb. Are

17 you aware of this?

18 A. Oh, yes, I certainly was aware of that.

19 Q. There's no doubt about that. Ambassador, I do agree with your

20 comment as to -- as to whether this -- these individuals actually worked.

21 I don't want to go into technical details. Believe me, though, there is a

22 large amount of evidence that shows that the people mentioned in this

23 document were proved and they did actually work in Zagreb. But I won't ask

24 you any other questions about this. We can deal with this matter with

25 other witnesses. You could be of far greater use to us when it comes to

Page 6590

1 certain other subjects, but thank you for your comment.

2 You also mentioned the fact that Croatian -- that Croatia paid

3 HVO soldiers and provided the HVO budget. I think that that was -- just a

4 minute. I can't find the number of the page, but do you agree that that is

5 more or less what you said?

6 A. Yes, that Croatia funded the HVO and provided for the budget,

7 yes.

8 MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation] Thank you. To be quite clear about

9 everything, to put our cards on the table, could we have the following

10 document on the screen 3D00299.

11 Ambassador Galbraith, you will now see a letter on the screen

12 from the office of the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina in Zagreb. It's

13 one of the bodies that the embassy is asking about. It wants authorisation

14 for its operations. This is before 1994, but in the -- in January 1993, as

15 early as January 1993, the military delegation of the Republic of Bosnia

16 and Herzegovina in the Republic of Croatia asked the Ministry of Defence of

17 the Republic of Croatia - and I'm skipping certain parts and skipping the

18 courteous comments at the beginning - they requested that in order to

19 improve the expert work and organisation and for the sake of higher

20 efficiency in the conflict against the Serbian Chetnik aggressor and for

21 the needs of the armed forces of the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina,

22 offices of the HV should be allowed to operate. And then there are three

23 names. There's the colonel who operates in the area of Rijeka-Gospic,

24 there's this major in Dubrovnik, et cetera, and then they request that the

25 status of these offices be resolved, as has been the case to date. By

Page 6591

1 putting the status on hold, and then in brackets (in order to have all the

2 authority of Croatian army officers), that means that they should have a

3 salary and medical coverage, et cetera. It also requests that after they

4 have carried out their tasks, that means their tasks in Bosnia, they should

5 be allowed to be further engaged in the HV. And then gratitude is

6 expressed and Colonel Hasan Efendic signed the letter. This letter was

7 drafted, as you can see at the top of the letter, in Zagreb.

8 [Defence counsel confer]

9 MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation]

10 Q. So this is an example, and we can assume on the basis of the text

11 that there are other examples, that the ABiH is in fact asking the Ministry

12 of Defence in Croatia to lend them a number of individuals. They needed

13 them. There were -- they were people who had been trained in the military.

14 They should be allowed to go to Bosnia, to the ABiH, to carry out the tasks

15 that were needed within the context of the fight against the Chetniks.

16 They should then be allowed to return having carried out their tasks. In

17 the meantime, they requested that they pay their salaries and other

18 benefits, and this request was made in January 1993. At the time, it's

19 true that a full-blown conflict between the Croats and the Muslims hadn't

20 broken out in Bosnia and Herzegovina. However, the situation was tense and

21 there had been certain incidents.

22 Does this seem quite normal to you? If there really is a

23 conflict between those two countries or if it's obvious that such a

24 conflict could break out at any point in time, and that was quite obvious

25 at the time, is it normal for Croatia in such case to cooperate in military

Page 6592

1 terms by providing soldiers of their own? They are Muslims; we can see

2 that on the basis of their names, but they are members of the Croatian army

3 who live in Croatia. Is this a normal and logical way in which to act?

4 A. Well, the first point I would make is, once again, this is the

5 request from the military delegation of the Republic of Bosnia and

6 Herzegovina, and we do not -- you haven't showed me the answer. So I can't

7 say whether in fact the Republic of Croatia agreed to this request. And

8 just to put it in context with your previous comment, of course it is

9 perfectly normal and legitimate for the internationally recognised

10 government operating through its embassy to make such a request for foreign

11 military officers to come and serve or even serve in their own army. That,

12 of course, is quite different from sending in your army without the

13 permission of the sovereign government or sending generals and officers and

14 troops of your army to go to be part of the army of an irregular and not-

15 legitimate military force of a foreign country.

16 Q. Ambassador, I can't accept your, let me call it hypothetical

17 analysis, but let's not discuss whether these people were actually given

18 permission to do this or not. But let's approach this in a hypothetical

19 way.

20 If they were sent there, in that case I would claim that

21 similarly members of the Croatian people who lived in Croatia went to

22 Bosnia and Herzegovina as volunteers, to defend their homeland you

23 mentioned, the late Gojko Susak who was from that area. His ancestors s

24 were from that area and he had intended to return there when he retired.

25 And why would that be negative if people went to a country they came from?

Page 6593

1 You're familiar with Croatian history, with Yugoslav history. You know

2 people were free to move around that country. They would leave Bosnia and

3 Herzegovina and go to Croatia for the purposes of education or find work

4 there. So my thesis according to which there was a fluctuation or movement

5 of people, both Croats and Muslims moved around. And some people went back

6 to the territory they originally came from to defend their homeland. Would

7 you agree with this thesis of mine?

8 A. I would say for citizens of one country to go on to the territory

9 of another country as volunteers to fight in a militia or non-legal armed

10 force is illegal and that the sending country has an obligation to prevent

11 it. I would say that the obligation to prevent it is even higher when the

12 sending country sends its own troops to go be the troops in this militia or

13 illegal force, and perhaps the burden is even the greatest when the sending

14 country sends a general in the army of the sending country to go be the

15 commanding general of the -- in a -- of an irregular force that is not

16 accepted and not under the authority of the government of the -- of the

17 country to which the person is being sent. So in short, I think the -- the

18 Government of Bosnia and Herzegovina, whose embassy was in Zagreb, could

19 have legitimately requested any Croatian army officer to come serve,

20 including -- could have made a request for somebody to come serve and be

21 the commanding general. And if Croatia wanted to do that, that was fine.

22 But what was not appropriate was, in my view, was for the Government of

23 Croatia to send somebody without the approval of the Government of Croatia

24 [as interpreted]to a non-recognised armed force.

25 Q. I'm not sure we should continue with this discussion because

Page 6594

1 there is one thing that is a fact. I'll nevertheless ask you a question

2 about this. These people, these inhabitants of the former Republic of

3 Bosnia and Herzegovina within the Socialist Federative Republic of

4 Yugoslavia and the inhabitants of Croatia within the former Yugoslavia

5 suddenly found themselves in a new situation. All of a sudden in 1992 the

6 village -- or part of the village was divided by a state border, and then

7 one inhabitant or some of the inhabitants, regardless of whether they were

8 Muslims or Croats, and let's forget about the legality of such acts,

9 decided to go home to defend his village. It's quite simple, according to

10 the most contemporary standards of human rights. Could we deny the person

11 who was from the other side of the village the right to return home and to

12 defend his village, especially if that person was aware of the fact that no

13 one would defend him? We are speaking about the beginning of the conflict.

14 We are speaking about the time when the Serbs started taking territory and

15 they soon had two-thirds. We are talking about the time when Izetbegovic

16 said: This isn't our war. That was when the JNA took Ravno, et cetera,

17 you know what I'm speaking about. So these -- is this situation the same

18 as the situation in which Mexico might send its army to another country?

19 You'll have to agree that that is not the case. The facts are quite

20 different. We can't look at this in formalistic or legal manner, not

21 within the context of the events that actually happened on the ground.

22 Will you agree with that?

23 MR. SCOTT: Excuse me, Your Honour, before it leaves the page

24 there's an error in the transcript on page 83, line 17, it says the

25 approval of the Government of Bosnia and Herzegovina, not the Government of

Page 6595

1 Croatia.

2 And, Your Honour, at this time I'm also going to object to these

3 long comments that are -- tend to be presented as questions but they're --

4 look at the transcript right now. Mr. Kovacic has made a long speech that

5 there's really no -- there's really no question and then at the end a

6 nominal question. These are just arguments.

7 MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation] Well, perhaps the question might

8 appear a rather lengthy one, I agree with that, but let me say two things.

9 Ambassador Galbraith is not the ordinary type of witness which demands

10 classical questions in the usual way, but I have put my question at the end

11 of a lengthy presentation. But I nevertheless would like to ask the

12 Ambassador to answer my question because it was a clear question in the

13 end. Are they rather circumstances -- or rather, you could pass through

14 the village until yesterday with a uniform and your weapon and now suddenly

15 you weren't allowed to do that. We're talking about ordinary people,

16 ordinary inhabitants.

17 Q. Would you agree with that, Mr. Ambassador?

18 A. I have sympathy with the point that you're making. I would say,

19 however, that one of the consequences of no longer being Yugoslavia and

20 having independent states is that the successor states had obligations and

21 -- just as the United States has an obligation to prevent -- well, to take

22 an actual example, Cuban Americas, that is people who came from Cuba but

23 are citizens of the United States, taking up arms and fighting against the

24 government of Cuba, and we do try to prevent that even though we have a

25 hostile relationship with Cuba. So nonetheless there would be an effort to

Page 6596

1 prevent citizens from going across a border and fighting in an irregular

2 force without the permission and approval of the government of that

3 country. I --

4 Q. Yes, I agree.

5 A. -- go on to say that, again, in the circumstances of war that

6 existed when all these events unfolded in 1991 and 1992, I do have some

7 sympathy with the real situation on the ground. But I would say that that

8 -- even that situation that you describe is of course totally different

9 from taking an officer -- a year later, an officer or the -- a general from

10 the Croatian army and sending him to be the commander of an irregular force

11 that is -- a military force that is not the lawful armed forces of the

12 country without the permission of the country.

13 Q. Thank you. I think I understand, yes. Now back to that same

14 topic, two short questions. Do you know that -- are you aware of the fact

15 that in 1992 and 1993 there were arguments in existence between Izetbegovic

16 and Tudjman on cooperation which in fact did allow this kind of conduct?

17 And the request I that I showed you earlier on was based on that. It

18 allowed people to cross the border to fight the Serbs. You're well-versed

19 in the topic and I'm sure you can confirm the existence of such agreements

20 which were the sort of legal groundwork for that.

21 A. Well there certainly were agreements for military cooperation

22 between Croatia and the Government of the Republic of Bosnia and

23 Herzegovina. I cannot -- I mean, I would -- before I answer in these

24 general terms I would want to look at the different agreements and see

25 exactly as to what they said, but I -- to repeat what I said to you, if it

Page 6597

1 is done -- if the action follows the -- in all regards the lawful request

2 of the Government of Bosnia and Herzegovina, it would, in my view, be

3 appropriate. After all, countries are entitled to form alliances, and that

4 is a common and lawful thing.

5 Q. Very well. Mr. Ambassador, do you also know that Alija

6 Izetbegovic said several times publicly that the HVO was a component - and

7 we have a legal regulation about that - but the HVO was a component of the

8 armed forces of the BH army, that's the first point? And secondly, and I'm

9 sure you're aware of this, de facto the HVO, for example, took part in the

10 defence of Sarajevo, together with a Bosnia and Herzegovina army? I'm sure

11 you're well aware of that and can confirm that.

12 A. The cooperation between the Army of Bosnia and Herzegovina and

13 the HVO at a certain point in time doesn't mean that that is lawful in

14 circumstances where the irregular forces fighting against the lawful army

15 of Bosnia and Herzegovina, which was the circumstances in 1993. And it

16 does not mean that a foreign country has the right to send its army into

17 the -- on to the territory of Bosnia and Herzegovina or to send officers in

18 its army to go be commanders of the irregular force or the force that is

19 not the lawful army of the country without the consent of the country.

20 Q. Very well. We'll come back to that in due course, but I'd like

21 to continue with my set of questions. And I refer to them as facts which

22 are in contradiction with certain views of the relationships that existed

23 between the states at that time. Now, at the beginning of your testimony

24 you said quite clearly that Croatia did take care of refugees from Bosnia-

25 Herzegovina and that it took in a large number of refugees if we look at

Page 6598

1 the total per capita. So quite certainly you have taken a position on that

2 point, and that is realistic and it is what we are claiming all the time.

3 But speaking about the visits by your people to the island of Obonjan and

4 the refugee camp in Gasinci and both of these institutions are on the

5 territory of Croatia, and you spoke about this within the context of the

6 release of persons from the Heliodrom to third countries. For the record,

7 that was on page 64 of yesterday's transcript, lines 24 -- or rather, line

8 24, and then on page 65, line 9, and then once again on page 80, lines 5 to

9 16. And in that connection we saw an exhibit P9502. And my question in

10 that regard, I hope I've managed to refresh your memory, that you know what

11 I'm referring to. Do you?

12 A. Well, if you could ask the question.

13 Q. Yes, but I just had to take you to the relevant portion. My

14 question is as follows. The Republic of Croatia took part in the transfer

15 of refugees to third countries, but in cooperation with the UNHCR and those

16 third countries which accepted those refugees; right?

17 A. Certainly Croatia was a place where people came as refugees, and

18 they were taken care of by the Croatian authorities in cooperation with the

19 UNHCR. And a number of them or quite a large number of them went on to

20 third-country re-settlement, including in fact the United States.

21 Q. At that material time, that is to say in October 1992 -- or let

22 me rephrase that and start again. I'm sure you'll be able to confirm that

23 in fact all the humanitarian aid, except for a negligible portion brought

24 in on planes from Sarajevo, that all the humanitarian aid to Bosnia and

25 Herzegovina from the beginning of the Serb aggression right up to the

Page 6599

1 Dayton Accords went through exclusively, exclusively went through the

2 Republic of Croatia, that is to say the transport routes for humanitarian

3 aid went by Croatia, at least from the port of Ploce to the territory of

4 Bosnia-Herzegovina, passing by many ports and airports. Is that true?

5 Would that be correct?

6 A. That would be -- yes, that would be substantially correct. I

7 think the air-lift into Sarajevo was not insignificant. I mean, it was

8 very important, but overwhelming the humanitarian assistance that came to

9 Bosnia came through Croatia. It was -- without Croatia, Bosnia would not

10 have survived.

11 Q. Thank you. And I think that it is quite clear - and please

12 confirm that - that Croatia, the Republic of Croatia, on its own territory

13 never, not at any single point in time, stopped any humanitarian aid

14 convoys going to Bosnia-Herzegovina, did it?

15 A. I think that statement is correct.

16 Q. Do you know that the Merhamet, the Muslim charity, that was also

17 one of the participants in that humanitarian aid, worked quite freely in

18 Zagreb and in Croatia as a whole?

19 A. I think that is basically correct, yes.

20 Q. Thank you. We took note a moment ago of refugees or we discussed

21 refugees. Now, do you agree that despite of the heavy burdens on Croatia

22 it never throughout that war stopped or closed the borders, I mean closed

23 the borders and stopped the flow of refugees and said: That's enough.

24 We'll negotiate first and then we'll let the refugees through. So in your

25 talks -- or rather, let me separate those two things. Do we agree that

Page 6600

1 Croatia never closed its borders to refugees coming in from Bosnia-

2 Herzegovina into Croatia?

3 A. What I can say is that Croatia had an extraordinarily good record

4 on refugees. It -- I cannot think of another country in the world that

5 took as many refugees in such a short period of time relative to its own

6 population. And generally, the borders were open. I can't say that there

7 was never a moment when they didn't try to stop the flow because this was a

8 matter of concern from time to time -- it was a matter of great concern for

9 the Croatian government and occasionally for the international community.

10 But the fact is that Croatia's record was -- was superb. And this was a

11 very important factor in our policy toward Croatia. Certainly it was one

12 major reason that we were reluctant to go ahead with sanctions at the

13 period of time that I'm discussing because of the consequences that it

14 would have had for -- potential consequences for the refugees.

15 Q. Mr. Ambassador, staying with that topic, refugees, we've all read

16 -- I don't know how many there are, but several hundred records or minutes

17 from the late President Tudjman's office. To make things simpler -- or

18 rather, to ask a question -- I'm going to make an assertion and you can

19 challenge it or not. My team and I did not find a single record in the

20 presidential offices, and you were there fairly often, which states when

21 political issues were dealt with, when agreements were negotiated, Croatia

22 wants this, Izetbegovic wants that, we found no evidence of President

23 Tudjman or any of his associates ever mentioning the possibility of closing

24 off the borders to refugees, that that would be a weapon, a lever, to wield

25 for the negotiations. Do you agree with that?

Page 6601

1 MR. SCOTT: What's the question? What's the question, whether

2 Mr. Galbraith, Ambassador Galbraith, agrees that the representation that my

3 team and I did not find a single record. To agree with Mr. -- to agree

4 with the fact or to agree with Mr. Kovacic? What's the question?

5 MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation] Well, I apologise if my learned

6 colleague failed to understand me, but my question was simple. That is my

7 assertion that Tudjman made no mention ever of using refugees as leverage

8 in negotiations and I'm asking the Ambassador whether he could confirm or

9 refute that. That's very simple. I know that it's a difficult question

10 for the Prosecution, but that is no reason --

11 THE WITNESS: Well --

12 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Kovacic, you could have

13 approached the question in a different way. I'm going to ask him, and if I

14 take the time to ask him, it will be your time.

15 When you had discussions with Mr. Tudjman about the question of

16 refugees, on Mr. Tudjman's part and his associates, people around him, was

17 there any reticence with respect to refugees comes in from Bosnia and

18 Herzegovina to Croatia and to go on to third countries? Was there any

19 hesitation on his part? Did you feel him hesitate? Or did he express the

20 will to facilitate this flow of refugees?

21 THE WITNESS: Your Honour, first to answer -- well, if I may.

22 First to address the point that the Defence attorney made, which is that in

23 my -- to address his point. In my experience, President Tudjman never used

24 the -- tried to use the refugees as a lever in any of these negotiations.

25 It was not -- it was -- he never responded but, for example, by threatening

Page 6602

1 to cut off the flow. So -- and I think that is an important point. Nor

2 did any other Croatian official try to use that as leverage.

3 To answer your question, Your Honour, there was at times

4 reticence and concern about the flow of refugees because the numbers were

5 so enormous relative to the population of Croatia. And of course the

6 international community provided significant assistance, but it still

7 remained a significant burden on the host country. So I think there was

8 some natural concern expressed from time to time about this -- about this

9 problem. But that statement that there was some concern - and maybe at

10 some time some reticence - doesn't change my overall assessment that the

11 record of Croatia, in terms of receiving refugees, was superb. There were

12 from time to time some problems including -- probably the most serious was

13 the involuntary repatriation to Bosnia of certain refugees, and that was a

14 significant problem that we raised.

15 MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation]

16 Q. Thank you. Now, a few short questions, staying on the same

17 topic. Do you agree that Croatia also gave enormous assistance in view of

18 its population in medicines and paid attention not only refugees but to the

19 injured and wounded who were transferred from Bosnia and Herzegovina to

20 Croatian hospitals, injured persons regardless of their ethnic -- ethnicity

21 and to which army they belonged. And there was public information to that

22 effect I'm sure. Would that be correct? Let me remind you of the Split

23 hospital, the hospital in Slavonski Brod, in Zagreb, Karlovac, and so on.

24 A. I visited many -- some of these hospitals, and Croatia did a very

25 good job of taking care of victims of the -- of the war in neighbouring

Page 6603

1 Bosnia and Herzegovina.

2 Q. Might I add with no segregation with respect to ethnicity. Were

3 you able to see that for yourself?

4 A. I can say that Bosniaks, that is, Muslims, were also treated in

5 these hospitals.

6 Q. Thank you. Mr. Ambassador, I still have seven or eight minutes

7 left. Do you agree -- or rather, do you know, are you familiar with the

8 fact that the Republic of Croatia also during that period of time, 1992 to

9 1994, did not undertake any legal sanctions in order to sequester property

10 owned by physical and legal persons who were citizens of the Republic of

11 Bosnia and Herzegovina on Croatian territory, that they were free to

12 dispose of their property, their bank accounts and all other property?

13 A. I think that statement is generally correct.

14 Q. Let me return for just a brief moment to something I mentioned

15 earlier on. I need to add an explanation. I mentioned agreements --

16 MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, for the record we

17 tendered the book used by Mr. Praljak. It was 3D00320, that was the number

18 00320, but it still has the MFI identification on page 343, there's an

19 agreement there, Mr. Ambassador, and it is entitled the agreement between

20 the BH army and the HVO on a cease-fire between the HVO and the BH army.

21 It says: Zenica, the 21st of April, 1993, is the date. I'm sure you'll

22 remember that agreement. It was one of the more important ones, and I'd

23 just like to confirm one thing, something I said earlier on. In point 1,

24 paragraph 1, it says: The BH army and the HVO are legal military forces of

25 the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina and are treated equally. That

Page 6604

1 agreement was signed by Sefer Halilovic for the BH army and Milivoj

2 Petkovic on behalf of the Main Staff, Croatian Main Staff, and Philippe

3 Morillon and the head of the observer mission also signed it at the ECMM in

4 Zenica, Ambassador Jean Pierre Thebault. This is not something that you

5 haven't seen before, it's not new to you. Is that declaration correct, do

6 you remember it, do you remember this agreement?

7 A. This agreement was actually before I arrived in Zagreb.

8 Q. Yes, I agree that it was before that. But you said you had been

9 briefed about the situation in Bosnia, and this did factor into that period

10 and the developments during that period. You knew the situation.

11 A. I can't now remember what details I was briefed about at the

12 time. Again, I'm not sure that this gives the -- gave Croatia the right to

13 send its army officers to go be the officers of the HVO or to send its army

14 into Bosnia and Herzegovina.

15 Q. Yes, I think you were quite clear on that point. You said that

16 clearly on several occasions. I have time for just one more question I

17 believe. Another argument which shows how contradictory the situation was.

18 During your sojourn in Zagreb, did you learn or hear anything about the

19 fact that the Republic of Croatia financed the preparations and travels of

20 Bosnian sportsmen to attend the Olympic games in Albertville in 1992 and to

21 the Mediterranean games in France in 1993. There was a lot about that in

22 the press. Do you happen to remember that?

23 A. The first was before I arrived in Zagreb. I do recall the

24 international effort to get athletes to the games in 1994 in Lillehammer,

25 Norway. I don't know recall in that connection, however, any particular

Page 6605

1 Croatian effort.

2 MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation] Fine.

3 May we just have an e-court the following document. P3112. It

4 is a record from Dr. Tudjman's office used by the Prosecution. But until

5 that comes up on our screens let me tell you that it is a meeting that took

6 place on the 2nd of July, 1993, in the office of the late Dr. Tudjman. The

7 counsel for defence and national security of the Republic of Croatia,

8 highly placed officials. May we have the next page, please, I only know

9 the ERN number and it is 01866500. So the last three digits are 500 of the

10 ERN number.

11 Q. While we're waiting for that, let me say that Mr. Anton Vrdoljak

12 took the floor. I think you knew him. He was quite a prominent personage

13 in the sphere of sports, et cetera. I'm sure you knew him?

14 A. Yes.

15 Q. He was also the director of Croatian Radio Television for a time.

16 I'm sure you're remember that as well?

17 A. [Previous translation continues]...

18 Q. Do you know that he was a member of the -- or rather, president

19 of the Olympic committee of Croatia and today he is a member of the

20 International Olympics Committee?

21 A. I'm sure I knew it at the time.

22 Q. Thank you. But anyway -- and we have it up on our screens now.

23 I'm reading the last portion from this excerpt where we see what Mr.

24 Vrdoljak. I'm sorry we don't have the English version on our screens.

25 It's 7.00, we're not going to have time, but I'll read it out to you, Mr.

Page 6606

1 Ambassador, just one sentence.

2 "The tragedy lies in the fact that we paid for all their

3 preparations from the Olympics to the European championships for that

4 national team, and here in Zagreb, they trained here in Zagreb, and now

5 their junior team is in Istria is preparing in Istria."

6 MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation] Yes, in English it's: "It's tragic

7 that we paid, et cetera -- [In English] "It's tragic that we paid, all the

8 preparations," et cetera.

9 [Interpretation] Not to lose any more time. The president says:

10 "At our expense."

11 And Anton Vrdoljak says: "Yes, at our expense."

12 And the president says: "And you're paying for that," et cetera.

13 Q. Now, does that show once again that Croatia was trying to help

14 Bosnia and Herzegovina on an international level as well because

15 international sports are nothing more than political propaganda. So does

16 that seem to you to be quite normal and usual at a time when allegedly the

17 two parties were at war? And this is July 1993, that Croatia is financing

18 athletes to attend international championships. Doesn't that seem what

19 strange to you, Mr. Ambassador?

20 A. Well, I can't see the entire context, but it would seem that Mr.

21 Tudjman is slightly unhappy to learn that Croatian money had been used to

22 finance the Bosnian team. But --

23 Q. Yes, I agree that that is an answer, too, but I'm just quoting

24 this for the fact as it stands. The fact of the matter.

25 A. I would like to answer your question, which I think you yourself

Page 6607

1 stated that the situation was complicated. There is no doubt that Croatia

2 provided assistance to Bosnia-Herzegovina at various times, that it was the

3 first country to recognise it. And even during the Muslim-Croat war there

4 was a -- the Bosnian embassy operated. There was a degree of civility

5 between Bosnian officials and Croatian officials. And I think one of the

6 things that led us to believe that this war could be ended was to see a

7 television show with -- with Muhamed Sacirbey, the Bosnian embassador to

8 the United Nations and Mario Nobilo, the Croatian Ambassador. This was the

9 worst time -- and I think the Yugoslav Ambassador was there. But the two,

10 the Bosnian and the Croatian Ambassadors were friendly to each other and

11 they were stressing the importance of ending this war. And incidentally

12 that was a view that was shared by I think a great majority of the people

13 in Croatia who were deeply appalled by the Muslim-Croat war and who -- I

14 think a majority of whom did not like the idea of Greater Croatia or

15 annexing territory in Herzegovina.

16 All that being said, President Tudjman did have the ambition for

17 a Greater Croatia and he did support military activity by the HVO that was

18 intended to accomplish that goal.

19 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very quickly, Mr. Praljak.

20 THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation] This -- the continuation of

21 that is that he died in a traffic accident. Drazen Petrovic, Croatia's

22 best basket ballplayer died in an accident and then the national team and

23 Franjo Tudjman was reacting to those vulgar writings about that.

24 MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation] Yes. I'd like to thank my client

25 for adding that. I don't think we needed to describe the whole scene and

Page 6608

1 what followed, but anyway that's why I put it on the ELMO, on the overhead

2 projector. Thank you, Your Honours.

3 Thank you, Mr. Ambassador, on behalf of my client and in my own

4 name.

5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you.

6 It is now five minutes past 7.00. The cross-examination will be

7 continued tomorrow. There are a number of Defence counsel who wish to

8 cross-examine, so divide the time amongst yourselves. We will have to

9 conclude by 1.45. Thank you. We adjourn for the day and reconvene

10 tomorrow morning at 9.00.

11 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 7.05 p.m.

12 to be reconvened on Thursday, the 14th day of

13 September, 2006, at 9.00 a.m.