1 Tuesday, 7 November 2006
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 [The witness entered court]
5 --- Upon commencing at 9.00 a.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] Thank you, Mr. Registrar.
11 I'd like to greet everyone present in the courtroom, the
12 Prosecution, Defence counsel, the accused, and everyone else. We'll be
13 resuming at the hearing of the witness who appeared yesterday. I'd also
14 like to greet the witness, who is here, and I will give the floor to
15 Mr. Scott to continue with his examination-in-chief. So far I think he
16 has already taken up about two hours.
17 MR. SCOTT: Good morning, Mr. President, Your Honours. Yes -- one
18 never knows, of course, but I don't contemplate any problems in finishing
19 the witness within the schedule that we had indicated.
20 WITNESS: SAFET IDRIZOVIC [Resumed]
21 [Witness answered through interpreter]
22 Examination by Mr. Scott: [Continued]
23 Q. Good morning, Mr. Idrizovic.
24 A. Good morning.
25 Q. Sir, we finished yesterday, we were approaching the end of 1992
1 and I would like to finish 1992 rather quickly this morning, and if we
2 could then move on to 1993.
3 Can you tell the Judges at the end of November of 1992 was
4 there -- was there a blockage of a particular check-point that affected
5 the ability of the Jablanica TO or ABiH to receive logistical support?
6 A. Well, I don't quite understand the question.
7 Q. Well, where did you during this -- not you, excuse me. Did the
8 Jablanica army unit of the Bosnia-Herzegovina [sic] receive most of its
9 logistical support during this time-period from Visoko?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. And did anything happen in November 1992 to break or disrupt your
12 connection to the logistical base in Visoko?
13 A. Yes. Something happened in Kiseljak. A group of logistics men
14 went to take charge of some equipment that we needed to raise the blockade
15 of Sarajevo. This was a plan that was being prepared in December 1992.
16 Unfortunately, the men were detained, the equipment was taken from them,
17 and three or four days later they were released. The equipment wasn't
18 returned, and that was the last time that we were able to obtain some
19 equipment from the logistics base in Visoko.
20 Q. All right. Who stopped these men and where?
21 A. They were stopped at an HVO check-point in Kiseljak.
22 Q. Also at the end of November of 1992, sir, were you invited to a
23 meeting or was a meeting proposed to you with Slobodan Praljak?
24 A. Yes, in November. How should I put it? There was intense
25 activity in connection with the events in Prozor. We only barely managed
1 to secure some kind of peace in Jablanica because refugees from Prozor
2 requested that we expel the Croats, that we treat them in an inhumane way,
3 and for this reason I personally had quite a few problems with them. At
4 one point in time they wrote to the Supreme Command staff and said that we
5 had crossed over to the HVO side because we wouldn't help them.
6 Q. Wouldn't help who, sir, just so the record is clear?
7 A. Help these refugees from Prozor. At the time Mr. Praljak would
8 appear as well as Mr. Izetbegovic, men of ours from the Supreme Command
9 staff would come, the corps command and Mr. Pasalic would come and many
10 others. Activities were carried out almost on a daily basis.
11 Q. Let me stop you there, sir, before we go back to the meeting -- I
12 want to proceed step by step, if we can.
13 Before we go back to the possibility of this meeting with
14 Mr. Praljak, you say that there was concern about feelings expressed by
15 some of the Muslim refugees coming from Prozor to Jablanica about the
16 Croats that were in Jablanica. Can you tell the Judges, please, were any
17 of the Croat residents of Jablanica ever expelled out of their flats in
18 Jablanica to make room for Muslim refugees?
19 A. No, no one was ever expelled.
20 Q. And is that something that you directly and personally were
21 involved in, that is, if you will, maintaining the peace between the
22 Croats and Muslims in Jablanica town?
23 A. Well, there are two things. There was a headquarters for the
24 accommodation of refugees in the municipality. Members of the military
25 didn't have time to deal with accommodation for refugees. At the time my
1 cooperation with the HVO commander, Mr. Marko Zelenika, was very good.
2 Q. Let's go back, then, to the meeting with Mr. Praljak. Were you
3 invited or was it suggested to you that you meet with Mr. Praljak in
5 A. Well, we have two things here that are not related. Mr. Praljak
6 came to a meeting, and on that occasion I was the host. The discussion
7 concerned the possibility of the return of the Muslims from Prozor to
8 Jablanica in order to calm down the situation in Jablanica. Some of them
9 were prepared to return. The purpose of the meeting with Mr. Praljak and
10 his associates was to return the refugees from Jablanica to Prozor.
11 And the second issue you mentioned -- well, in November --
12 Q. All right, let me stop you there. Excuse me, sir. Again, please,
13 let's go step by step.
14 So there was a first meeting with Mr. Praljak to talk about the
15 return of Muslims, the Muslims that had left Prozor, to return those
16 Muslim refugees to Prozor, if I understand you correctly?
17 A. Yes, yes.
18 Q. Let's finish on that before we go on to the next meeting. What
19 was the result of that. During that time-period, during November,
20 December, or so, 1992, were the Muslims allowed to return to Prozor?
21 A. No, no one returned.
22 Q. Now, would you go to the second meeting, then, that you started to
23 tell --
24 MR. SCOTT: Yes.
25 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] This is a very important issue
1 and requires clarification.
2 You say that you met Mr. Praljak in connection with the return of
3 the Muslims who had left Prozor and who were in Jablanica and who were
4 supposed to return to Prozor, and you said that they didn't return to
5 Prozor. What I would like to know, since it's important for us, is: What
6 was Mr. Praljak's position at the meeting? What did he say? What did he
7 want? What did he actually do to ensure that these Muslims could return
8 to Prozor? Do you have any precise information that you could provide us
9 with? When was this meeting held and who attended it?
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The meeting was held in November,
11 as you can see in my documents. Mr. Praljak was cooperative in the
12 course of our discussions. He said that he would do everything he could,
13 that he would contact the local authorities up there in order to ensure
14 that these people could return. These people did not return, and I can't
15 say whether it's Mr. Praljak's fault or the fault of the local authorities
16 in Prozor.
17 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] You have just said that
18 Mr. Praljak undertook to contact the local authorities. Did you witness
19 any concrete steps taken by him or was -- was it only something that you
20 heard about?
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] All I know is that no one returned.
22 There were no results. As to whether Mr. Praljak did whatever he could or
23 not, I really don't know because I didn't have access to such information.
24 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Could you tell us, do you have an idea of whether
25 people and to what extent such refugees did not want to return to Prozor
1 or wanted to return but were not allowed and if they were not allowed, who
2 refused the return?
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, I believe you have the
4 documents. As far as Prozor is concerned, most of the facilities,
5 buildings that belonged to Muslims, had been destroyed, had been torched.
6 Many of them didn't have anywhere to return to. Preparations would have
7 had -- they would have had to make preparations so that people could
8 return, and then there was political insecurity. No one could guarantee
9 people's safety. There were both these elements.
10 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I believe that yesterday you
11 said that you had spoken to the refugees. Did these refugees want to
12 return or had they abandoned the idea of returning home for the reasons
13 you have mentioned, that is to say because their houses had been destroyed
14 or because the political conditions were not appropriate? When you spoke
15 to these refugees, how did they feel? Did they want to stay in Jablanica,
16 go elsewhere, or return to Prozor? How did you personally perceive their
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, naturally they wanted to
19 return. Everyone would like to return home. But just a minute ago I said
20 many had nowhere to return to because their homes had been destroyed, and
21 political insecurity was such that it was difficult for them to return.
22 They were more angry with us at the time. They were more angry with
23 armija and the MUP in Jablanica than with the Croatian authorities because
24 we didn't want to take revenge on the Croats, and this was almost more
25 difficult for them than the fact that they had been expelled from up
1 there. And I personally had a lot of problems as a result of this
2 situation, as I have said.
3 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. Thank you for that
5 MR. SCOTT: Thank you, Your Honours.
6 Q. Sir, if we could then, having touched further on that, can we then
7 go again to the second meeting that you discussed, or proposed meeting
8 that you had mentioned earlier this morning about meeting with Mr. Praljak
9 in Tomislavgrad. Can you tell us who approached you about that meeting
10 and what happened.
11 A. Well, if I may provide you with a brief explanation. It was in
12 November and at the time the HVO openly requested that Jablanica join
13 Herceg-Bosna. At the time I was in command of the armed forces in
14 Jablanica, and after some hesitation, after much hesitation, someone who
15 had been my friend up until that point in time, he was the director in the
16 company during the pre-war period, the company that I worked in, and he
17 said, almost in tears, Safet, everything's over here. There's nothing we
18 can do. This territory is supposed to go to the Croats. We'll die in
19 vain. There's no way for us to confront the situation, and he said that
20 he and Ivan Rogic had agreed in -- that I should accompany them in
21 secrecy, and we should go to Tomislavgrad to see Mr. Praljak to try and
22 agree on how to surrender the municipality to the HVO.
23 Q. If you can tell us -- if you care to, sir, tell us the name of
24 this individual who approached you?
25 A. Omer Macic.
1 Q. And did you, in fact, then go with Mr. Macic and Mr. Rogic, Ivan
2 Rogic, to meet with Mr. Praljak in Tomislavgrad?
3 A. No, no, I didn't. I was in a state of shock for about five
4 seconds, and then I soon came to my senses and told the man that Jablanica
5 municipality was my municipality, just as it was the municipality of all
6 the other citizens. I said that I hadn't received inheritance from my
7 father for no -- I said I hadn't received any inheritance from my father,
8 and I told him that he should think about what he said, that it was
9 stupid. Naturally, he maintained his position, and since that point in
10 time I haven't had any contact with that person.
11 Q. Now, you've mentioned several times yesterday that a meeting with
12 President Izetbegovic in Jablanica that you said others were involved in,,
13 I think there was even some agreement in the courtroom that at one point
14 Mr. Petkovic and some of the others were involved. Did that happen on
15 approximately the 14th of December, 1992?
16 A. Yes, around that time.
17 Q. And can you tell us more -- we finally now have come to this
18 particular meeting. Can you tell the Judges how this meeting came about,
19 what the purpose of this meeting was, and what happened.
20 A. Well, the purpose of the meeting was to reach an agreement on
21 raising the blockade of Sarajevo. Winter was approaching. The first time
22 that -- winter was approaching while Sarajevo was under blockade. The
23 situation was very difficult. We were trying to reach an agreement on
24 attempting to break into Sarajevo from Mount Igman, or rather, to raise
25 the blockade of Sarajevo. That was the purpose of the meeting.
1 Mr. Petkovic attended it, and I believe that some of his associates also
2 attended the meeting.
3 Q. And what was the outcome of that meeting, sir?
4 A. Well, Petkovic suggested to Izetbegovic that he should contact
5 Ivica Rajic in Kiseljak. He was the HVO commander there, and he expressed
6 the hope that we would provide assistance and I think he requested a plan
7 for the action so that he could analyse it. I think that's how things
8 went. And when we left the meeting we hoped that something would be done.
9 Q. All right. We'll come back to the plan to relieve Sarajevo in a
10 moment. Can I ask you to tell the Judges, please, was there a second
11 meeting involving President Izetbegovic in Jablanica a couple of days
12 later, on the 16th of December, 1992?
13 A. Yes. These discussing concerned raising the blockade of Sarajevo.
14 Q. Did President Izetbegovic on this second occasion, did he say
15 anything about HVO claims that he, that is, President Izetbegovic, and
16 Mate Boban had reached any sort of agreement?
17 A. Well, there are a lot of speculations about Izetbegovic and Boban
18 having reached an agreement. The HVO members and our men said that an
19 agreement had been reached about having cantons in Bosnia and Herzegovina,
20 and this confused us. And we asked Mr. Izetbegovic to provide us with
21 certain explanations. He said that this had been discussed but that he
22 hadn't signed any kind of an agreement with Boban. All these rumours on
23 an agreement reached between the two of them were just speculation.
24 Q. Now, sometime after the second meeting, then, was there an effort
25 by the ABiH to relieve Sarajevo in December 1992?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. And -- sorry, go ahead.
3 A. An action had been planned and carried out. On the 20th of
4 December, units from the 4th Corps participated in the action, on the
5 whole, and part of the Foca Brigade, which was in the Trnovo sector at the
6 time. Unfortunately, and mostly due to poor leadership in the Supreme
7 Command staff at the forward command post in Igman and also due to the
8 terrible weather at the time of the operation, this operation failed. 55
9 men were killed, and five of them were my men.
10 Q. Sir, following the meeting that you had had some several days
11 earlier with Mr. Petkovic, can you tell the Judges, did the HVO
12 participate or assist in this effort to relieve Sarajevo on the 20th of
13 December, 1992?
14 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I apologise for
15 intervening, but I believe that it would be useful if first of all the
16 witness told us whether a request for assistance had been sent to anyone
17 in the HVO, and perhaps he could clarify something else that he mentioned,
18 namely that at the meeting with President Izetbegovic, Milivoj Petkovic
19 requested a plan for the action to raise the blockade of Sarajevo. That
20 means that up until that point in time the HVO Main Staff didn't -- hadn't
21 participated in drawing up that plan and knew nothing about it either. I
22 think that putting such questions to the witness would help us to
23 understand the situation.
24 Thank you very much.
25 MR. SCOTT: Well, Mr. President, I regret the testimony that
1 counsel's now offered in front of the witness about what the HVO did or
2 didn't do or had or didn't have at that time. I don't think that's
3 appropriate. I think the state of the evidence was clearly as is
4 reflected in the transcript, is that there had been a meeting with
5 Mr. Petkovic on the 18th -- excuse me, on the 16th of December, 1992. It
6 had been proposed that the action to relieve Sarajevo was specifically
7 proposed to him at that time, and the witness said that he said he would
8 consult with his -- with Grude or superiors as to what would happen. I
9 think that's where it was left exactly by the witness. All I simply asked
10 was: Did the HVO participate in the effort to relieve Sarajevo?
11 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I'll be very precise.
12 I'll say where this can be found in the transcript. It's page 9, lines 6
13 to 8.
14 And the witness said literally that Petkovic said they should
15 contact Ivica Rajic in Kiseljak. He expressed the hope that he would
16 provide assistance, and the witness said, I think, that he requested a
17 plan for the action so that he could analyse it.
18 So that's the basis for my intervention. Thank you.
19 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes.
20 Sir, according to what the Defence has just said, and according to
21 what Mr. Scott said earlier on, we would like to know the following: What
22 did Mr. Petkovic do, in fact? Did he say that it was necessary to contact
23 Rajic, who was in Kiseljak, and then we could draw the conclusion that HVO
24 was going to be part of a plan to raise the blockade of Sarajevo. Can you
25 provide us with any additional information about what the various actors
1 said and did, and this ties up with the question put to you by Mr. Scott,
2 and I want to put it to you as well: Did the HVO participate in this
3 unfortunate action? Did it participate effectively or did it provide
4 logistics or equipment or men to assist with the plan for Sarajevo? Can
5 you provide us with any other information?
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you. The HVO did not
7 participate in the action. As to what happened after the meeting with
8 Mr. Petkovic and Izetbegovic, well, naturally, I don't know anything about
9 that. That's not something I could know about. Petkovic said that he
10 wanted to be provided with a plan so that he could have a look at it, and
11 he said -- or, rather, he told Mr. Izetbegovic that he should contact
12 Rajic. As to what happened between them afterwards, I don't know. You
13 shouldn't ask me about that because that's not something I could have
15 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] So you are telling us that
16 Mr. Petkovic wanted to know about a plan. As we're dealing with military
17 matters, well, this seems quite logical. And I believe that you are
18 saying that the plan he requested was not provided to him by the ABiH, and
19 that could explain that the HVO didn't participate in an action in
20 Sarajevo on the 20th of December. Is that how we are to understand your
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] That's quite possible. That's quite
23 possible. I have told you that I didn't know what happened afterwards,
24 but it's quite possible that Mr. Petkovic didn't receive the plan and that
25 he didn't participate. Not a single serious commander would send his
1 troops in if he didn't know where he was sending them.
2 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Perhaps in the course of the
3 cross-examination, if Mr. Petkovic's Defence has other questions to put to
4 you, they may do so.
5 Mr. Scott, let's move on.
6 MR. SCOTT:
7 Q. Around this same time, sir, was there a meeting in Jablanica with
8 some of the HVO or HDZ leaders where it was -- where they communicated
9 what should happen with Jablanica municipality?
10 A. Well, yes. There was a series of meetings in November and
11 December, and they tried to persuade the municipality leadership to accept
12 the structure of the HZ HB in Jablanica. It wasn't much of a meeting. I
13 attended some; I didn't attend others. I didn't participate much in those
14 meetings at the time because the issues were political rather than
15 military. All these meetings ended without having obtained any results,
16 but there was -- people hoped that they would meet again and discuss
17 matters again. So they didn't want to close the door to cooperation.
18 They wanted to continue discussing things. That was the purpose of the
20 At the time, the HDZ, or rather, the HVO was openly trying to
21 establish its authority. My position was that they should discuss things,
22 that they should avoid fighting at all costs even if they had two power
23 structures in place. And that was the way in which I tried to contribute
24 to that work.
25 Q. A couple of things to clarify, sir, if we can. Yesterday you
1 mentioned that the three top or senior HVO or HDZ leaders in the Jablanica
2 municipality were Mirko Zelenika, Ivan Rogic, and Matan Zaric. First of
3 all, because there were two Zelenikas with very similar names, can you
4 just confirm to the Judges, please, Mirko Zelenika is a different person
5 than Marko Zelenika.
6 A. Yes. The two of them are brothers. Marko was an HVO commander
7 and Mirko performed various duties. At the time he was perhaps the
8 president of the Executive Board, and just before the conflict broke out I
9 know that he worked in the MUP. So he was always present more or less.
10 Marko was the commander or a commander. At the time that both of us
11 performed such duties, not a single serious incident occurred in
12 Jablanica. Whenever it was tense on either of the sides, we both went to
13 deal with the matter. When refugees from Prozor arrived, when the tension
14 was great, we walked around town together. We would sit down in places
15 where large numbers of people had gathered in restaurants or bars or
16 elsewhere. And we did that to show people that we weren't on opposite
17 sides, that we were cooperating. Unfortunately, sometime in January,
18 Marko was replaced, or perhaps it was at the beginning of February 1993.
19 Q. Do you know why Marko -- you've gone a bit ahead of it, but since
20 you have, do you know why Marko Zelenika was removed or dismissed at that
22 A. I don't know exactly why he was replaced. I only have
23 assumptions, but I can't really tell you. I wasn't involved in
24 appointment and replacement of officers. I can only have assumptions, but
25 as to how relevant they are, I wouldn't know.
1 Q. Let me just ask you this --
2 A. I think that he wasn't radical enough.
3 Q. Well, I was going to ask you, was he -- was Marko Zelenika, did
4 you consider him much more of a moderate and helpful to you than his
5 brother Mirko Zelenika?
6 MR. KARNAVAS: Excuse me, sir. Excuse me. If I may object here.
7 Again, this -- the way the question is phrased I believe is
8 unfair. It presupposes that one is different than the other. He can
9 simply ask, you know, describe the differences as opposed to leading on
10 the witness in that fashion.
11 And for the record, he indicated he didn't want to speculate but
12 then he speculated, but we'll deal with that on cross.
13 MR. SCOTT: Well, Your Honour, my question is quite
14 straightforward. I followed up his -- what he did give, the answer he did
15 give, and we can state it a different way, the difference in the political
16 positions or philosophies, if you will, of the two brothers, and I've
17 asked Mr. Idrizovic to tell us exactly that.
18 Q. Please.
19 A. Yes, yes. That's what it is about.
20 Q. Did they hold different political views in your experience?
21 A. I think they did.
22 Q. All right. Sorry, I don't want to belabour that and I'm sure if
23 counsel wants to come back to it, they will.
24 During the meetings that you said that you --
25 MR. SCOTT: Excuse me.
1 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Can you give us more information
2 about the differences that you observed between the two brothers? You
3 said that Marko was replaced because he wasn't radical enough. Could we
4 then conclude that his brother was far more radical in his views? Is
5 there anything based on which we could see the difference between the role
6 of one and the other? If you know, please tell us; otherwise, that's
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I think that in one of the minutes
9 that I sent here, minutes of these bodies that were the decision-makers,
10 the Presidency, and there is a quotation of Mirko's words, namely, that
11 there are two authorities, one in Sarajevo and one in the other place;
12 that he knew regulations of both authorities; and that the one in Sarajevo
13 didn't really function and the other one did; and that generally our only
14 possibility to communicate was via Herzegovina with Croatia, that there
15 was no other way. And that based on that, he insisted that the
16 municipality be placed under efficient control of the HVO. This is stated
17 in the minutes that all of you have before you.
18 JUDGE MINDUA: [Interpretation] Witness, I have a brief question
19 for you. Do you know exactly what is the name of the person who replaced
20 Marko Zelenika from his military post?
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I don't know. That was the HVO
22 staff, and now as to the level at which it was decided, I don't know that.
23 I suppose that he was the main person in the Jablanica HVO staff. I don't
24 really know their exact structure and chain of command in order to be able
25 to tell you who exactly decided to replace him. At any rate, the lowest
1 level at which this could have been done was the brigade command, Herceg
2 Stjepan, within which this battalion that was in Jablanica existed, or
3 perhaps somebody above him, commander of the operative zone or commander
4 of the Main Staff. I assume that that would be the chain of command to
6 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Sir, let me go back to something
7 that you mentioned earlier before my learned friend put a question to you.
8 You said that Mirko Zelenika at a session said that there were two
9 authorities: One which functioned, the one in Grude; and the other one
10 which didn't, meaning the one in Sarajevo. You personally represented the
11 military command in Jablanica. You were at the highest level, which is to
12 say you were a person who had a good view of the events.
13 Please tell me, this statement of Mr. Zelenika, was it consistent
14 with the situation on the ground as you saw it? In other words, did you
15 believe that the state authorities in Sarajevo were failing in performing
16 their duties in Jablanica?
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] That's a good question. Sarajevo
18 was under siege in 1992. The only communication went via the airport in
19 Sarajevo, and the airport was at the demarcation line and it was guarded
20 by the French soldiers. Any crossing of the runway could be deadly, and
21 that was the only way to communicate with Sarajevo. There was no
22 possibility for any proper technical links. It was difficult to maintain
23 communication. The only efficient links that we had was via lines going
24 to Kakanj and then to Sarajevo, and it was a very complicated link anyway.
25 So to discuss any proper functioning of authorities in Sarajevo is
1 really an illusion. This has more to do with legitimacy because there is
2 an internationally recognised state; it has some sort of organs of power.
3 As to their efficiency during wartime, it's hard to discuss it. Under
4 those circumstances, we had to organise life at the local level. We
5 didn't expect any major assistance, nor did we receive any. We were
6 simply legalists. There was legal authority in Bosnia and then there were
7 two other authorities that were illegal, which was the HVO and the
8 Republika Srpska.
9 We didn't feel any consequences of the HVO authority. The only
10 communication we had with them was the permit that they would issue us to
11 leave the territory. So you could leave the territory only if they
12 allowed you to. They were issue -- they represented everything, the
13 constitution, they issued passports, visas, everything.
14 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] All right. Thank you for this
15 answer. We will discuss this further among us.
16 Mr. Scott, you may continue.
17 MR. SCOTT:
18 Q. All right, sir. Thank you for all that. Now, returning to these
19 meetings you said there were a series of meetings in November/December
20 1992, and I had asked you about some of these individuals and that's how
21 we began talking about Mirko Zelenika. And my follow-on question to you
22 was to be: Did -- Mirko Zelenika and this other man you've mentioned
23 several times, Matan Zaric, were they actively engaged in these meetings?
24 A. Yes, they participated, of course. Most of those meetings, or
25 rather, all of those meetings were held mostly at their initiative.
1 Q. And can you tell the Judges anything more than you already have?
2 If you can, do so; if you can't, we'll move forward. Can you tell the
3 Judges anything more about what Mr. Mirko Zelenika and Matan Zaric said at
4 these meetings about the future of Jablanica municipality?
5 A. Well, I think I've already said that. They said that the
6 authority in Sarajevo wasn't functioning properly, that the one in Grude
7 did, that we had no communication with Sarajevo, and that we had to go
8 down there. That was it. They wanted to place the municipality under the
9 efficient control of the HVO, and that allegedly there would be no
10 problems further on at all.
11 Q. What do you mean by "there would be no problems further on"?
12 A. Well, the organs of authority would be functioning. We would have
13 communication with Croatia and then with the rest of the world. The life
14 would be normal, things like that.
15 Q. And did the Muslim authorities and the ABiH in Jablanica accept
16 the proposals by Mr. Mirko Zelenika and Mr. Zaric?
17 A. Well, of course not. We didn't accept them. The issue concerned
18 legality. If we had accepted this structure, well, that would have meant
19 no longer considering Bosnia and Herzegovina as our home. That was
20 unacceptable for us.
21 Q. Let's go on, please, then into January of 1993 and touch back on
22 this man Daidza. Did you have any final dealings with Mr. Daidza in
23 January 1993; and if so, tell the Judges what happened with that?
24 A. Well, in January 1993, at the time in mid-January the conflict in
25 Central Bosnia and Gornji Vakuf had escalated again. And once again
1 Daidza gave a demonstration of force, he acted arrogantly, he had spent a
2 long period of time in the territory, but he was of absolutely no military
3 use to us. He didn't go to the lines, he didn't participate in any
4 actions, he would spread misinformation about the Army of Bosnia and
5 Herzegovina, and around the 20th of January, 1993, he disappeared. He was
6 no longer seen in Jablanica until the end of the war. But we saw him
7 later in Sarajevo as the military attache of the Croatian embassy in
8 Sarajevo. Later he came to Sarajevo again but to feast on roast meat.
9 Q. Now, continuing on in January, can you tell the Judges whether
10 anything happened in connection with the managers or directors of the
11 electrical generation companies in Jablanica and surrounding area?
12 A. Yes, I think on the 9th, the 9th of January, that the appointment
13 arrived for the director of the electrical industry of Bosnia-Herzegovina,
14 and this was in our municipality, in part of the company for the Jablanica
15 municipality. It was an attempt to take over and place under HVO control
16 what was most valuable; that was the power industry.
17 Q. Can I ask you, please, to look at Exhibit 1088.
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. Is that a document -- an HVO document that indicates what happened
20 around that time that you just told us about?
21 A. Yes. This is a document of the Elektroprivreda company of the
22 Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna and their decree on appointment of
23 persons into the units for Jablanica, the Jablanica power-plant, and all
24 the facilities that the company covered, and some of them were located in
25 Jablanica, for the maintenance of the hydro-electric power-station, or
1 rather, pertaining to the decision on establishment of the public company
2 Elektroprivreda and so on as the document reads.
3 MR. KARNAVAS: If I may interrupt here for a second. The
4 Prosecution has indicated that this is an HVO document. Perhaps the
5 witness can indicate to us how is it that this is an HVO document.
6 MR. SCOTT: Let me first correct myself, Your Honour. I should
7 have used "Herceg-Bosna" as opposed to "HVO." Other than that, I'll
8 certainly let the witness --
9 Q. Can you clarify that in response to counsel's question,
10 Mr. Idrizovic?
11 MR. KARNAVAS: Well, ask the witness what the document is and from
12 where it is, and I think if we look at the names that might help us a
13 little bit as well, and the signatures.
14 MR. SCOTT: That's my -- Mr. Karnavas and I are not in
15 disagreement on that.
16 Q. Can you look at the top of the letter-head, if you will, sir, and
17 indicate from whom this company -- excuse me, from whom this
18 correspondence or decree came. I think everyone in the courtroom can read
20 A. Well, I've already said that. I did -- I said it was not from the
21 HVO but from the public enterprise called Elektroprivreda of Herceg-Bosna,
22 and that, of course, was formed by the HVO, the Elektroprivreda of
23 Herceg-Bosna company.
24 Q. Now, sir, did there come a time around the middle of January 1993
25 that you received some order or information that the --
1 MR. SCOTT: Excuse me.
2 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Just a moment, please.
3 You're confusing us. You've just said that this company was set
4 up by the HVO. I understood it that this enterprise was a state
5 enterprise. So could you clarify that point, please. This electrical
6 company, did it exist before the date of this document?
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, it did exist as a public
8 enterprise, the Elektroprivreda of Bosnia-Herzegovina, that is before the
10 Now, during the war the Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna
11 established from a part of that company, took over a part of that company,
12 that was under its control and set up the public enterprise of
13 Elektroprivreda Herceg-Bosna.
14 May I be allowed to finish?
15 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] When it set up this public
16 enterprise, was there a document about its establishment or was it a
17 de facto establishment?
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, I don't know that. They had
19 very effective control over the hydro-electric power-station Rama and I
20 think Mostar as well, and Salakovac probably. There were five electrical
21 power stations in that series, and during the war the situation changed.
22 Some would go from the hands of the Serbs into the control of the Croats
23 then under Muslim control. They changed hands, moved around.
24 So from one enterprise that existed before the war, two were
25 formed. You had the part that was controlled by the BH army, that was
1 linked to Sarajevo; and the other section was under HVO control, and they
2 set up their public enterprise, and it was the Elektroprivreda of the
3 HZ HB.
4 Now, what we're talking about now is an attempt to have the
5 Elektroprivreda Herceg-Bosna take over those sections of the enterprise
6 that were under the control of the BH army. So that's what this is about.
7 MR. KARNAVAS: If I may, Mr. President, just a couple of points of
8 clarification. One, if he could read whether -- in his own language where
9 it says "decree," it's my understanding that a misinterpretation. It's a
10 decision. If we can clarify that.
11 Also, you may wish to ask the gentleman regarding the names. We
12 see several names here, you know, of what ethnicity or nationality they're
13 from, because I think that would be quite revealing.
14 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes. Sir, could you read in
15 your own language the title in capital letters, italics, before the
16 preamble, or rather, the part before the preamble and after paragraph 1.
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] This is a decision, "rjesenje," on
19 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. So it's a decision.
20 Now, the people who were appointed, could you read their names out for
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Omer Macic, Salih Islamovic, Jure
23 Tadic, Uzeir Muratovic, Ivica Cule, Davorin Sunjic, Junuz Vejzovic, and
24 Zulfo Rebovic twice.
25 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Right. Now, I have a follow-up
1 question now. I understood you to say that this enterprise in fact was
2 under the control of the ABiH and that this document attests to the fact
3 that the HVO wanted to place the company under its control. Is that what
4 you told us or not, or did I understand you incorrectly?
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Under the control of the authorities
6 in Sarajevo was part of this enterprise, part of it was under that
7 control; another part of it was already under HVO control. And this is an
8 attempt to place the whole enterprise under HVO control.
9 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] That's quite clear now.
10 Yes, another question from the Bench.
11 JUDGE TRECHSEL: If I may ask a question. Looking at these names,
12 can you tell us whether they are typically Croat names or whether they are
13 Muslim names or can it not be seen?
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, you can tell everything. There
15 are Muslims and Croats here.
16 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Thank you.
17 MR. KARNAVAS: For the record, all three from Jablanica are
18 from -- are Muslim. I think that's an important -- since we're talking
19 about Jablanica, a point not to be missed.
20 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Can you confirm that, Witness, the number 1, I
21 think; 2, at any rate; and 4, these are persons from Jablanica and they
22 are all Muslims. Is that correct?
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
24 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Thank you.
25 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] A last question from the Judges.
1 JUDGE MINDUA: [Interpretation] Witness, you said several times
2 part of the enterprise was in the hands of the HVO and another part of it
3 was in the hands of the BiH. What do you mean by "a part"? The
4 enterprise was divided in two, in fact, and each part was autonomous and
5 produced electricity in an autonomous manner, independent manner. Is that
6 the explanation or what?
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, that is a partial explanation.
8 This is what that's about. This was the system at one point; that's how
9 it worked. It was all linked up, or rather, it was all the system of
10 Elektroprivreda, the electrical distribution system of Yugoslavia as a
11 whole, and you couldn't look at one hydro-electric power-plant on its own
12 without looking at all the others, because you have an electricity
13 network. Electricity forms a network. You don't get electricity from one
14 hydro-electric power-station to one particular town. You have a whole
15 electricity network that supplies power for the whole country.
16 Now, we have Jablanica were not able to send electricity to
17 Sarajevo, for example, or anywhere else because the long-distance
18 transmission lines had been destroyed. Now, the people from Herceg-Bosna,
19 for example, for the most part were able to, but only together with us,
20 because the main equipment was located in Jablanica. So to send
21 electricity towards Croatia and western Herzegovina. Technical facilities
22 existed for that; that was feasible.
23 So if I don't -- I'm not going to take up too much of your time,
24 let me say that the electric power-station of Jablanica was 150 megawatts
25 in size, and throughout the war it worked with only 2 megawatts, because
1 we in Jablanica and the surrounding parts where the network existed were
2 able to use up that much energy, and that was below all the technical
3 norms, standards, of work. So the aim was for the electricity produced in
4 the hydro-electric power plants on the River Neretva, all of them, I'm
5 speaking in general terms now, be redirected towards Croatia or western
6 Herzegovina, because there was no possibility of us sending it out to
7 Sarajevo and further afield to Bosnia.
8 JUDGE MINDUA: [Interpretation] Thank you very much.
9 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Now, is one to understand that
10 the Jablanica power-plant had a strategic position in the diffusion and
11 distribution of electrical energy to Mostar and Croatia? And does that
12 mean that if your power-plant wasn't functioning, wasn't operational or
13 had been destroyed, there were important consequences for other regions,
14 Mostar, for instance, or Croatia? Would that be right? Or, in a word,
15 was the power-plant there crucial?
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, that power-plant itself was
17 one of the five electrical power stations that were the most important
18 ones. But it wasn't the problem in the power-plant; the problem was in
19 the whole system of transporting electrical energy, which went from
20 Jablanica, not from this particular power-plant, but from another large
21 facility, switching facility, which went towards Rastani and Mostar and so
22 on, then towards Sarajevo, Kakanj, Zagreb. Now, what kind of system this
23 was, well, the electricity from Salakovac, Grabovica, Jablanica, and Rama,
24 those power-plants would come to that switching facility and then was
25 further distributed where it was meant to go, and this system was
1 furnished for the former Yugoslavia. It was built to cater to the former
3 THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation] May I be of assistance?
4 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] So what you're saying is that
5 this transport system for electricity is important, not the power-plant
6 that just produced 2 megawatts instead of producing 1.500 milliwatts, but
7 it was the system of transporting that electricity.
8 Now, starting out from that, if the transporting system was not
9 working in Jablanica, does that mean that all the electricity produced, if
10 we look at Bosnia, Croatia, and if we look at what is happening in recent
11 times, was paralysed if the Jablanica plant was not properly functioning?
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, that would be partly true,
13 yes. Jablanica, the hydro-electric power-plant of Jablanica was always
14 able to produce 150 megawatts if it had what to produce it with. The watt
15 problem wasn't in producing it; it was in consumption. So the power we
16 produced, we didn't have anybody to give it to. Now, if it was part of
17 the Elektrobosna capacity, it could work at full capacity and send out
18 electricity towards western Herzegovina and Croatia.
19 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you.
20 Mr. Praljak is going to tell us that he's an electrical engineer.
21 What question is it that you want to ask, Mr. Praljak?
22 THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation] Well, with your permission
23 I'd like to ask a few questions of the witness and try and clarify the
24 problem in that way, with the Court's indulgence and permission.
25 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] You can ask your questions in
1 the cross-examination because otherwise Mr. Scott is going to be very
2 angry because we've taken up all his time.
3 Having said that, continue, Mr. Scott. We're going to throw light
4 on the issue, I'm absolutely sure.
5 MR. SCOTT: Actually, Your Honour, I'd like to turn out the light
6 on that issue and go forward, if we could. I think that we have all
7 learned enough about the electrical network in Herzegovina and Bosnia to
8 know -- probably to have some appreciation for the importance of these
9 facilities. I think that's sufficient. And I'll leave it to counsel and
10 Mr. Praljak if they care to take us further into the dynamics of the
11 manufacture and distribution of electrical power.
12 Q. Sir, can you please tell us, did there come a time in January,
13 mid-January 1993 where you received a decision or order that the ABiH
14 forces were to submit themselves or subordinate themselves to the HVO?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. What happened?
17 A. Well, nothing. What would happen? We received an order from the
18 defence minister, it was read out through the information media, that the
19 units of the ABiH in the cantons, which at the time was supposed to be
20 Croatian according to that famous Vance-Owen Plan, that they should be
21 resubordinated to the HVO or moved. That was the purpose of the order.
22 That's what it said. We -- but we didn't act upon it, but that's what it
24 Q. Can you tell the Judges a bit more about how this decision or
25 order came to you; who issued it; what, if any, communications you had
1 about it?
2 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I apologise. Just one
3 brief intervention for the record. I think that it is important.
4 Page 28, line 15, it should have -- the words "we didn't take it
5 seriously" should have been recorded. That's what he said. "We didn't
6 take it seriously."
7 MR. SCOTT: I agree, Your Honour. I think that's what the witness
9 Q. Sir, let me go back to my question, though. Can you tell us more
10 about who issued this decision or at least communicated it to you?
11 A. It was a decision by the defence minister of the Croatian
12 Community of Herceg-Bosna, Bozo Rajic, I believe.
13 Q. Now -- excuse me. Can I ask you, please, to look at Exhibit 1164.
14 Can you tell us about that document, sir.
15 A. Well, it describes what we were speaking about a moment ago, that
16 the Jablanica inhabitants can't leave the municipality without a permit
17 issued by the authorities, and it is signed and stamped, Ivan Zatica [as
18 interpreted], Ivan Rogic, and Marko Zelenika and for the procurement of
19 goods, purchase of goods, other people, probably those who went to pick up
20 the goods, had to pay a duty on them. When it was military equipment,
21 military equipment could be brought in with only permission of Milivoj
22 Petkovic, it says, Ante Jelavic, et cetera, and Bruno Stojic.
23 Q. Just because the English translation may not be clear or correct,
24 can I ask you to look in particular at paragraph number 3 of the Bosnian
25 language version of the document. And where the English language says
1 something, and I'm just simply going to try to be as neutral as possible,
2 it says one of the names at the end of the paragraph 3, it says Milivoj
3 and then CIG, if you look in the Bosnian language original of that
4 document, can you see that name, sir?
5 A. Brigadier Milivoj Petkovic, or Mr. Ante Jelavic, assistant for
7 Q. Very well. Now, unless there's questions about that document, I'm
8 moving on.
9 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] This document, (i) says that the
10 document is to be signed by Zaric, Rogic, and Marko Zelenika. Now, in the
11 B/C/S document, which has been photocopied, the photocopy of the document,
12 I understood you to say that their signatures were there. Is that right?
13 Because in the English translation it would appear that it was just the
14 chief of the military police who signed the document, but do you recognise
15 the signature on the document of Mr. Rogic in the B/C/S?
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] This document was signed by Stojan
17 Livaja, military police chief, or commander.
18 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Right, so that's the only
19 signature on the document. Is there no other signature?
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, no other signature.
21 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you. I wanted that to be
22 cleared up.
23 Mr. Scott.
24 MR. SCOTT:
25 Q. Sir, did -- in January of 1993, were you asked to form another
1 military formation in Jablanica?
2 A. Yes. This is what that was all about. We're dealing with
3 January. This wasn't any conflict with the HVO, or at least they weren't
4 planned, we didn't plan them. So the concept for the further development
5 of the army was to establish manoeuvre units capable of carrying out
6 combat operations outside the territory in which they were formed. And at
7 that time, we were faced with a very difficult situation linked to the
8 siege of Sarajevo and the siege of Gorazde and the very difficult problems
9 that eastern Herzegovina and Foca were facing. And at the time in
10 Jablanica, we had more than 10.000 refugees. From those parts in a town
11 which had 3.000 inhabitants previously, there was suddenly 10.000
12 refugees. Commander Pasalic issued an order to form a brigade, and that
13 in the shortest space of time possible, it should be capacitated to carry
14 out combat operations outside the territory of the municipality.
15 The brigades had already been formed in Mostar, Konjic, and this
16 process was to be completed in Jablanica too. I did that, and mostly all
17 the young population and command staff, younger men and command staff,
18 were deployed in a brigade, and on the 21st of January, officially it came
19 into existence.
20 Q. And, sir, is this the unit then that was the ABiH 44th Mountain
22 A. Yes. Later on it was to be called the 44th, but when it was
23 established it was called the Neretva Brigade, and later on all those
24 brigades pursuant to a corps order were to receive numbers. The
25 4th Corps -- the first number of all the brigades was a 4, the digit 4,
1 and then it said Mostar unit, the eastern Herzegovina unit, the Stolac
2 unit. 30 was the Konjic establishment. The fourth was us. The fifth was
3 the Neretva river valley, and so on, the 45th and so on.
4 So when they were -- it was established it was called the Neretva
5 Brigade, but it bore that name for a short period of time.
6 Q. And when that was formed, sir, who became the commander of what
7 shortly became the 44th Mountain Brigade?
8 A. The head of the brigade was Enes Kovacevic; he was appointed.
9 Q. And once this brigade was created in place, did you have any other
10 involvement with the operations or command of that brigade?
11 A. No, I did not. I remained staff commander, but I had under my
12 authority the units which provided security for the key facilities, vital
14 Q. All right.
15 A. About -- I had 200 members between 50 and 60 years old.
16 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] A question. Why didn't you
17 become the commander of the 44th Brigade? What merits did Mr. Enes
18 Kovacevic have over you?
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, Enes used to work together
20 with me in the Municipal Staff. He was much younger than me. Already at
21 that time I was 44 years old, and otherwise it was the younger people that
22 formed the brigade, made part of the brigade. I discussed this with my
23 commander, corps commander, Pasalic, and he told me that I should stay in
24 Jablanica and that the brigade was supposed to go on assignment outside
25 the municipality, somewhere in Bosnia.
1 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you.
2 MR. SCOTT:
3 Q. Just to finish on that, sir, if we could. So when Mr. Kovacevic
4 was appointed as commander of the 44th Brigade, mountain brigade, if we
5 can just use that terminology to distinguish that unit, who was his
6 then-commanding officer or superior officer in his chain of command?
7 A. Well, the corps commander, of course, Mr. Pasalic.
8 Q. And then you said a moment ago that your responsibilities at that
9 time then became the -- providing security -- it may have -- I think you
10 said the words "key facilities, vital facilities," at line 5, page 32, in
11 the Jablanica municipality and that you said you had about 200 men to
12 participate in that. Is that correct?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. And in looking in the transcript - I see it's about to leave the
15 page - but you said "between 50 and 60." And when you said "between 50
16 and 60," you meant, is it correct, that the ages of these approximately
17 200 men were between the ages of 50 and 60?
18 A. Yes, yes. Elderly people who were no longer fit for brigade work.
19 Q. Well, not so elderly, sir, let's -- it's less elderly all the
21 Were these considered to be combat troops, sir, in any sense?
22 A. Well, no. They provided security for the facilities. Since we
23 didn't have any weapons, they were mostly armed with the classical type of
24 M-48 rifles that we had. We didn't have any automatic weapons for them.
25 They weren't well equipped or trained or armed or anything like that for
1 them to be able to carry out any serious combat assignments.
2 MR. SCOTT: Mr. President, I'm about to change the -- move now
3 going to April 1993, and I wonder if that might be the time to take the
4 morning break.
5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] It is 10.25. We're going to
6 take a 20-minute break and reconvene at quarter to 10.00 -- 11.00.
7 --- Recess taken at 10.25 a.m.
8 --- On resuming at 10.45 p.m.
9 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Scott, you have the floor.
10 MR. SCOTT:
11 Q. Mr. Idrizovic, I had -- I received some comment during the break
12 that perhaps one or two of your last answers were not entirely clear. I
13 think perhaps they were, but just to be sure.
14 When you're talking about the 200 men aged between approximately
15 50 and 60 years old, this is the -- is it correct that that was the, I'm
16 going to call it, the security unit that was then under your command for
17 the purpose of protecting or guarding various facilities in Jablanica?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. And then what we've been calling today and what became the
20 44th Mountain Brigade was an entirely separate military unit that you no
21 longer had any responsibility for. Is that correct?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. All right. Moving forward then to the -- early April 1993. Can
24 you tell the Judges, please, did you observe any changes in the HVO forces
25 in Jablanica town, any changes in where they were located or their
2 A. Yes. The HVO headquarters was not even a hundred metres away from
3 my command. In the second half of April, one could notice that there were
4 fewer and fewer HVO members in the command and in general.
5 Q. And do you know the people that were leaving, and you said it was
6 fewer and fewer, do you know where these people, other HVO members,
7 soldiers, were going at the time?
8 A. To the village of Doljani, which was in the western part of our
10 Q. If I could ask you to look, please, at Exhibit 2487.
11 Sir, this is a document from the HVO Herceg Stjepan Brigade dated
12 the 22nd of May, 1993. Could I please direct your attention to about
13 the -- approximately maybe the fifth paragraph of that document where if
14 you can find the words, please, "after all that, the HVO decided to
15 transfer its units to Doljani."
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. And is that in fact consistent with what you told us a moment ago,
18 this is what you saw happening at the time.
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. Let me ask you a couple of other questions --
21 MR. SCOTT: Sorry.
22 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I think it would be
23 very good to see what is concealed behind the word "after all of that," or
24 rather, have a look at the preceding paragraph to see why the HVO decided
25 to move to Doljani. Thank you.
1 MR. SCOTT: Your Honour, with great respect for my good friend, I
2 mean, the document is there. Everyone has it in the courtroom. There's
3 no effort to conceal anything from the Chamber. The Chamber can read the
4 document. If counsel wants to go into further details on
5 cross-examination, she's fully entitled to do so.
6 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes. This is an issue that
7 could be raised in cross-examination.
8 MR. SCOTT:
9 Q. If I could ask you to look at the next paragraph to the one I
10 directed your attention to previously, there's a -- it starts: "On the
11 14th of April, 1993, Croats were banned from entering Jablanica for
12 regular work."
13 Can you tell the Judges whether that paragraph is -- based on your
14 observation, experience, is what that says true?
15 A. I apologise. I've mixed something up. Could you provide me with
16 the document number, please?
17 Q. Yes, of course. 2487. It may be in the second binder if you
18 don't have it, you've lost it.
19 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Madam Usher, could you assist
20 the witness, please.
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Sorry, but could you repeat the
23 MR. SCOTT:
24 Q. Yes, sir. Sir, directing your attention -- I directed your
25 attention a moment ago to the paragraph that talks about the HVO units or
1 HVO decision to transfer its units to Doljani village. The next paragraph
2 says: "On 14 April 1993, Croats were banned from entering Jablanica for
3 regular work."
4 Now, I'd like you to look at that paragraph, please, that's
5 just -- is that statement true based on what you saw happening in
6 Jablanica and the surrounding area at that time?
7 A. No, this isn't true. As of the 13th of April, from Kostajnica and
8 Falanovo hill in the Ostrozac sector in the direction of Konjic, a road
9 had been blocked. Fire had been opened to block this road, so we were
10 completely cut off from Konjic. So during that period it wasn't possible
11 to leave Jablanica. This road was under fire in the Ostrozac sector on
12 the opposite side beyond the lake, and whoever was in Jablanica just had
13 to stay there. It wasn't possible to leave Jablanica. No one even
14 attempted to do so. Life had come to a standstill.
15 So during that period of time until the road was opened up again,
16 we were completely encircled. Clashes broke out in the Neretvica part of
17 the municipality of Konjic, it's called Neretvica or Klis, it depends, so
18 at that time we were completely isolated. The blockade imposed on us was
20 Q. I have several follow-up questions, sir. When you said a few
21 moments ago -- a moment ago you said "this road was under fire, "the road
22 in the Ostrozac sector," as I read it here if I've mispronounced it.
23 Ostrozac perhaps.
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. Under fire from who?
1 A. Under HVO fire from their positions at the Falanovo hill and
2 further up, Radosine, Obri. That's in the area of Konjic municipality.
3 Q. And when you also said a moment ago that "the blockade imposed on
4 us was complete," the blockade imposed by who?
5 A. Well, the HVO imposed this blockade, and it was in the area of
6 Konjic municipality Ostrozac was our only territory. In the area of
7 Ostrozac and further on towards Konjic the blockade was complete. It
8 wasn't possible to budge.
9 Q. And how long did that blockade continue?
10 A. Well, it lasted for over a month.
11 Q. Now, before we leave this document, on the next -- in the next
12 paragraph, it's not clear it may be -- well, in the next paragraph then
13 you see the words: "After that, Croats in the Doljani area were blockaded
14 by members of the Independent Battalion of the Army of the RBH."
15 Do you see that?
16 A. No way. In the area of Doljani and Sovici we had a total of about
17 120 or 130 soldiers, most of them were in Sovici. We knew that if a
18 conflict between the armija and the HVO broke out, these units would just
19 not be able to put up resistance. Their exclusive task was to get the
20 population out in the direction of Jablanica if a conflict broke out;
21 that's why these units had been established and that's the only reason.
22 Once the conflict had broken out, the commanders from Doljani
23 acted on their instructions. They got their people out. They evacuated
24 the people, so there were no victims in Doljani. Unfortunately, the
25 commander who was in Sovici fell for an HVO trick when they attacked
1 Sovici and he surrendered. They said that if they surrendered -- well,
2 they said they should surrender and then the people suffered the fate they
3 suffered. I wouldn't like to go into that now. Other direct participants
4 of those events could tell you about this. The civilian population was
5 expelled, so there was no reason not to get the people from Sovici out.
6 There were no obstacles to that. That was to the far west of our
7 municipality, and there was this area inhabited by Croats alone, and they
8 were in an unfortunate position because one year earlier in the area of
9 Strop, Sovicka Vrata, Borovik, Borovac, there were HVO positions there on
10 the Pisvir mountain. So a year prior to this conflict that entire area
11 had been taken over by the HVO. No one serious would have suggested that
12 people fight there or that they attack someone because they'd already been
13 encircled. So their only task was to save the population, and this man in
14 Sovici didn't do this.
15 Q. All right, sir, perhaps it's clear now from what you just said.
16 But earlier you said "they were in an unfortunate position." And just so
17 the record is clear, when you say "they were in an unfortunate position,"
18 who were you referring to?
19 A. To the members of the armija in Sovici.
20 Q. Did you come to believe around this same time, around the 13th
21 and 14th of April, 1993, that Jablanica town itself was under threat of
23 A. Well, the town of Jablanica had been under threat since April
24 1992. I think I've already said this. I think I said yesterday in April
25 and May 1992 all the important elevations to the west and to the south,
1 but mostly to the west, had been taken by the HVO. I'm referring to the
2 Boksevica mountain above Ostrozac to the Pisvir mountain above Doljani and
3 Slatina, and then there's Strop, Sovicka Vrata, not to mention the units
4 at Risovac, and there were many of them there.
5 We had contact with HVO officers at the time and pointed this out,
6 and they kept saying that that was a third defence line facing the Serbs,
7 although the Serbs were very far away. There were no Serbs in the
8 vicinity. And that was a sort of obstacle to our cooperation. We had
9 already been blocked off, cut off, and we could see where their positions
10 were. Naturally in May or June some kind of an army had been established
11 by then. We were able to drive those people away or try to do that, but
12 our leadership never allowed us to do this because they didn't want us to
13 spoil our relationship, et cetera.
14 Q. All right. Let me take you back then to the 14th of April, 1993,
15 and when you believed that an attack on Jablanica might be imminent, were
16 any efforts made by the authorities in Jablanica, the Muslim authorities
17 in Jablanica, if you will, to contact or have talks with the HVO
19 A. Yes, I think that on the 15th in the morning immediately prior to
20 the attack, representatives from our brigade and representatives of the
21 authorities went to discuss things in Doljani together with UNPROFOR
22 representatives, and naturally there were no agreements -- no agreement
23 was reached. On the way to Jablanica, the shelling of the town started;
24 that was on the 15th of April at about quarter past 12.00.
25 Q. All right. Before we touch further on the shelling of the town of
1 Jablanica, did you understand that two of the HVO or HDZ officials that
2 the Jablanica representatives met with were Matan Zaric and Stipe Pole?
3 A. Your question isn't precise. I don't understand it.
4 Q. My apologies. You told us a moment ago that a group of
5 representatives went from Jablanica to Doljani to meet with
6 representatives of the HVO.
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. Did the HVO participants in that meeting include Mr. Zaric and
9 Mr. Pole?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. And in the shelling that then began as the Muslim representatives
12 were returning from Doljani, how long did the shelling of Jablanica town
14 A. Well, it continued throughout the day. Sometimes it was more
15 intensive, sometimes less intensive, but it affected various parts of the
16 municipality. The town was shelled, part of the Gornje Papratsko village
17 or the area of the Gornje Papratsko village, then the Podrinje villages,
18 that's what they are called. The shelling was random throughout the
19 territory of the municipality.
20 Q. Can I ask you, please, to look at Exhibit 1903. If I can ask you,
21 please, to look at paragraph number 2 of that document. Does that again
22 indicate and is it consistent with your testimony that HVO units and part
23 of the civilians had been pulled out to Doljani? Do you see that?
24 A. Yes, I do.
25 Q. And is -- going to paragraph number 3, is it also consistent with
1 your testimony just now that on the 14th and 15th of April there were
2 meetings in Doljani in which also some international representatives were
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. Was there, in fact, any sort of a radio correspondent in Jablanica
6 around this time, this is covered in paragraph number 1, named Fazlo
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. Can I ask you, please, to look at Exhibit 2133. Did anything --
10 or was anything said to you or did you hear around this time that there
11 had been some alleged joint statement signed by Izetbegovic and Mate
13 A. Well, naturally there were rumours about this. HVO
14 representatives said that this agreement had been signed. Naturally we
15 didn't have any written evidence to that effect. And I think that at some
16 point yesterday I said that when we had direct contact with Izetbegovic,
17 when he came to Jablanica, we put this question to him. And he said that
18 no agreement had been reached, that nothing had been signed, and it was
19 pure speculation on the part of the HVO when they said that an agreement
20 had been signed.
21 MR. KARNAVAS: Mr. President, which date are we talking about?
22 When -- how many times has Mr. Izetbegovic come now, because I want to
23 make sure that we're precise, because this would be the second time that
24 Izetbegovic is there and I guess Izetbegovic was still his host at that
25 occasion as well.
1 MR. SCOTT: Excuse me. Your Honour, I don't think that's correct,
2 in fairness to Mr. Karnavas and, both, the witness. I think the witness
3 just said that he made earlier -- he made reference to an earlier
4 conversation. He didn't say that Mr. Izetbegovic was in Jablanica on this
6 Q. Sir, I take it, so the record is clear, that on the -- in -- on
7 the 2nd of April or so, 1993, Mr. Izetbegovic was not in Jablanica?
8 A. I don't think so. I don't remember him being there.
9 Q. All right. And then was there an -- did an armed conflict then
10 break out in the area of Sovici-Doljani during this time?
11 A. Well, as far as we are concerned --
12 THE ACCUSED PETKOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, perhaps we
13 could establish the date in the Croatian text and the English text. In
14 the Croatian text, it says that it was signed on the 20th of April in
15 Zagreb; and in the English text it says 2 question mark April. So it's
16 not the 2nd of April, it's the 25th of April, the 25th of April in
17 Zagreb, signed by Izetbegovic and Boban. And in the translation you
18 have -- it says the 2nd of April. I think that's a serious mistake.
19 It's the 25th of April.
20 Thank you.
21 MR. SCOTT: Mr. President, I agree with that. I'm sorry, I
22 misspoke, and Mr. Petkovic is correct. I believe the copy is very bad,
23 but I believe -- I believe it is either the 24th or the 25th of April.
24 Q. Sir, around this time, did the -- did an armed conflict break out
25 in the areas of Doljani and Sovici?
1 A. As far as we are concerned, the conflict broke out on the 15th of
2 April when the shelling of Jablanica started. After that date, after our
3 representatives in -- had been in Doljani, we no longer had any contact
4 with that area. There was no link to the area of any kind. It was only
5 when refugees from that area arrived that we found out about what had
6 happened there.
7 Q. And did in fact some people, refugees or persons who had escaped
8 from the armed conflict, did come from these villages to Jablanica town?
9 A. Yes, they all came from Doljani, and very small number of people
10 came from Sovici.
11 Q. Were you involved around this time, then, in a meeting with some
12 international organisations, including UNPROFOR, in an effort to determine
13 what was happening or what had happened in this area?
14 A. Yes. Meetings were held in relation to that issue. At the time I
15 didn't go to Doljani, but members from our brigade went there together
16 with the HVO members. And our corps commander also went there,
17 Mr. Pasalic.
18 Q. And we'll come back to Sovici and Doljani in a moment. But during
19 this time, was there also an attack continuing -- or attacks, from time to
20 time continuing on Jablanica town?
21 A. They never ceased. The shelling of the town was carried out on a
22 daily basis, and 35 civilians were killed as a result of the shelling, and
23 10 of these civilians were children.
24 Q. Did you become aware around this same time of any fighting around
25 the villages of Parcani, Paros, Klek, Skrobucani?
1 A. Yes. A few refugees came to Jablanica from those villages and
2 talked about it, told us about it. They said that in a boat when they
3 were trying to escape over the lake of Rama that four of their soldiers
5 Q. Did they tell you what had happened in those villages?
6 A. Well, the villages were attacked according to the same model and
7 the population expelled.
8 Q. Can I ask you, please, to look at Exhibit 1952. In this report it
9 indicates that there was an action -- there were -- yeah, there was an
10 action concerning these Muslim villages, Parcani, Paros, Klek, and
11 Skrobucani. Is what's stated here consistent with what you understood and
12 heard at the time from the people coming from those villages?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. Now, did it come to your attention later in April that apparently
15 there had been some sort of a cease-fire put in place involving, among
16 others perhaps, Mr. Halilovic and Mr. Petkovic?
17 A. Yes. I think there were orders to that effect.
18 Q. Can I ask you, please, to look at Exhibit 2037.
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. And is the call for the cessation of hostilities indicated in this
21 document consistent with what you saw happening in the area at that time?
22 A. Yes. I think we received a similar order from our own commander.
23 Q. Was the Mijat Tomic Battalion of the HVO, was that one of the
24 principal units in the Sovici -- HVO units in the Sovici-Doljani area?
25 A. Well, the Mijat Tomic Battalion was part of the Herceg Stjepan
1 Brigade, it was its third battalion, and it was made up of men who were
2 exclusively soldiers from the Jablanica municipality.
3 JUDGE PRANDLER: May I interrupt you, sir.
4 I would like to ask the witness if in connection with the order
5 which we are now just looking at, that is the -- which is 2037, and in
6 the -- in paragraph 1, it says that: "I hereby order to cease immediately
7 offensive activities against the Bosnian army and artillery fire on
9 That was signed by Brigadier Milivoj Petkovic.
10 I would like to ask you, sir, if the artillery fire has indeed
11 stopped after the -- this order was issued, that is in April, the -- I
12 would say April 22nd.
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Unfortunately, not. Events were to
14 show that the fiercest attack against Jablanica was to take place on the
15 24th of April, or did take place on the 24th of April, when Tuta's deputy
16 Cikota was killed. And then you have in the documents that in retaliation
17 for the death of that man four soldiers belonging to the HVO army were
18 killed who were in Sovici and still captured up there. But the major
19 attack took place against Jablanica on the 24th of April, precisely two
20 days after this order had been issued.
21 JUDGE PRANDLER: Thank you, sir.
22 MR. SCOTT:
23 Q. And then going forward some days later, did you come to know that
24 a group of persons actually went and toured, if you can call it that, went
25 to Sovici, a group involving again Mr. Petkovic, Mr. Halilovic, and
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. Who from Jablanica, from in the Jablanica ABiH, who was involved
4 in these meetings, if anyone, or the tour at the Sovici area?
5 A. Well, I'm not quite sure whether any of the representatives of the
6 army from Jablanica were there. Maybe, but I'm not quite sure just now.
7 I know that Halilovic went.
8 Q. Do you know whether Mr. Kovacevic went?
9 A. I can't say for certain. I don't want to say something I'm not
10 sure of. I'm not quite sure.
11 Q. Very well. Can I ask you, please, to look at document 568. Do
12 you have that, sir?
13 MR. SCOTT: He has it.
14 Q. Sir, from your familiarity with the Jablanica area and what you
15 came to know, can you tell us what this location is?
16 A. This is the house belonging to the late Jure Juric from Doljani.
17 He lived in Croatia, in Rovinj, and this is where the headquarters of the
18 Mijat Tomic Battalion was.
19 Q. And is this close -- is this considered to be in the village or
20 area of Doljani?
21 A. Yes. Doljani is a very widespread village, houses scattered
22 around. This house is near the church in Doljani. You can't see it on
23 this photograph, but the church isn't far from there. And then there's
24 the hamlet of Orlovac a little further down.
25 Q. Can I next ask you to look at document 2182.
1 MR. SCOTT: He's getting there.
2 Q. 2182.
3 A. Yes, yes, I found it.
4 Q. Sir, is it correct that around this time, the date of this order,
5 which is the 4th of May, 1993, that Muslim civilians from the Sovici area
6 were, to your knowledge, released or transported out of the area?
7 A. The civilians from Sovici, contrary to certain previous orders
8 from Mr. Petkovic, because in a previous order I think he ordered that
9 they be released towards Jablanica, but after this time, sometime later,
10 they were taken towards Gornji Vakuf and then released there.
11 Q. All right. We'll come back to those events in a moment.
12 Can I ask you also to look at Exhibit 2218. This is a document of
13 the Herceg Stjepan Brigade dated the 7th of May, 1993, in Doljani. Can I
14 ask you, please, to look at the fourth paragraph starting with the
15 words: "The transfer of detainees ..."
16 You said just a moment ago that in fact the persons released were
17 sent towards Gornji Vakuf, and is that what it says in this paragraph, is
18 that so indicated?
19 A. Yes, they were driven off probably in buses towards Gornji Vakuf.
20 Yes, that's correct.
21 Q. Further up in the second paragraph of that letter just in passing,
22 did you have any knowledge of what happened to the members -- the male
23 members, the men, of the ABiH units in Sovici-Doljani? What happened to
24 them after this conflict on the 16th and 17th of April?
25 A. We later learnt that they were taken to the camp in Ljubuski.
1 Q. Did you learn, sir, around this time that Muslim property was
2 confiscated or stolen in mid-April -- the second half of April 1993 in the
3 Sovici-Doljani area?
4 A. We learned about that from the people who arrived. Some of them
5 had to make their way through the woods and forests, and they would
6 trickle into Jablanica for days. And we learnt that everything had been
7 looted up there, that all the houses and all the property there had been
8 looted, and that the buildings had been set fire to, including two
9 religious sites. If there was anything that was Muslim in the area, it no
10 longer existed -- or anything that was Muslim in the area no longer
12 Q. Can I ask you, please, to look at Exhibit 2372. If I can direct
13 your attention to the section or paragraph with the marking Roman
14 numeral I, and to your knowledge and based on the reports that you
15 received from Muslims coming from these villages at the time, is that
16 consistent with what was happening? Is what is said in paragraph Roman
17 numeral I consistent with what was happening?
18 A. Yes, that's it.
19 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Sir, in that first paragraph it
20 says that everything that belonged to the Muslims shall be considered the
21 spoils of war. Now, you had a military command. Could you enlighten the
22 Chamber what was considered spoils of war? If you know, tell us; if not,
23 you can tell us you don't know.
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, spoils of war, what -- when
25 the units are in combat, what they seize from each other. That's the
1 spoils of war. The spoils of war should not be considered to be what you
2 seize from the population.
3 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] So that's your definition of the
4 spoils of war, is it?
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, there was no immovable
6 property, it was set fire to. Now, all the movable property, well
7 everybody knows what movable property refers to, and that was considered
8 to be the spoils of war and it shall belong to the HZ HB Croatian Defence
9 Council. That was how they defined it. That was how they proclaimed it.
10 Now, it's another matter what international war law considers the spoils
11 of war to be, their definition.
12 MR. SCOTT:
13 Q. All right. Sir, just before then we finish your testimony, and
14 we're almost -- we've almost completed it, a couple of matters I'd just
15 like to touch upon. There was later, after this time, there was a
16 horrible atrocity that was committed in the Croat village of Grabovica.
17 Do you recall that?
18 A. Yes. I said that at the trial of Tuta and Stela. I personally as
19 a human being consider that to be the greatest shame, very shameful for
20 the Army of Bosnia-Herzegovina. It was an act which should never have
21 happened. Civilians who were completely unprotected who didn't represent
22 a danger to anybody were killed.
23 Q. Sir, can you tell the Judges whether any ABiH forces or soldiers
24 from -- to your knowledge were involved in that action at Grabovica?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. At Grabovica or -- because I was going to ask you about later,
2 there was also a subsequent military action at Doljani, but let me ask --
3 I'm now focusing on Grabovica and whether units from Jablanica were
4 involved in what happened at Grabovica.
5 A. No. Nobody from Jablanica took part down there. Grabovica
6 belongs to the Mostar municipality; it wasn't our area of responsibility.
7 And I think that this Tribunal, because there were trials here -- a
8 trial -- the trial of Sefer Halilovic, I think that the Tribunal knows
9 full well who the perpetrators were, parts of the units of the army from
10 Sarajevo who had perpetrated those crimes. And I as a human being am very
12 First of all, the courts in Bosnia-Herzegovina who were supposed
13 to solve the problem didn't. They didn't have the will or the power to do
14 so, whichever, I don't know. And then Sefer Halilovic was taken to trial
15 and he was released, and I don't think that justice was served in that
16 instance and that those who perpetrated the crimes in Grabovica should be
17 held responsible and accountable.
18 Q. In the town of Jablanica, there was a facility called the museum.
19 Is that correct?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. What kind of a museum was this?
22 A. Well, it was a museum from -- of the fourth offensive from World
23 War II. It was a large building built in the 1970s. Joint forces and
24 money from the whole of Yugoslavia financed its building. It was a large
25 facility, a large building. It had exhibition halls for weapons, military
1 equipment, and other materiel. And it had a large cinema hall with 500
2 seats and a smaller hall. It had depots where the exhibits were housed.
3 It had a lot of offices, halls, exhibition areas, a library. It was a
4 very large facility.
5 Q. Thanks.
6 MR. SCOTT: Yes, sir.
7 JUDGE PRANDLER: The witness said that it was a building to
8 commemorate the -- I believe the fourth offensive from World War II. I
9 wonder if it was a offensive by the partisan forces or by the German
10 forces or by whom?
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The Germans, World War II. I mean
12 the Germans and the partisans. It was a large-scale offensive, and to
13 commemorate that the museum was completed in 1978.
14 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] To pay homage to the partisans
15 fighting against the Germans. Is that it?
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
17 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Because there was a bit of an
18 ambiguity there.
19 MR. SCOTT:
20 Q. Sir, because it was -- the museum was a large facility, did it
21 become a location where refugees were housed?
22 A. Yes, when there was no more room to put them up in more suitable
23 locations. In Jablanica, in fact, when these people arrived, our
24 refugees, refugees from Jablanica, if I can put it that way, from Slatina
25 and Doljani, the number of refugees surpassed 10.000. So a town numbering
1 just 3.000 inhabitants suddenly had 10.000 refugees coming in, and three
2 camps were built by the Council for Refugees and all the schools, nursery
3 schools, gymnastics halls and all the larger facilities able to take in
4 people were full. And there was no more space to accommodate anybody
6 Q. Sir, is it correct that both Muslim and Croat refugees were housed
7 at the museum?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. Do you -- can you tell the Judges whether the conditions in the
10 museum, the living conditions were the same for both the Muslim and Croat
12 A. Yes, they were the same, but they were difficult conditions
13 generally and life in Jablanica was very difficult, both for the domicile
14 population and the refugees. Some of them were put up in camps, some in
15 some joint facilities such as schools and the like, and the rest were --
16 the rest mostly spent the year in the basements and cellars of their
17 houses because there was shelling on a daily basis and people were killed
18 in the streets just as they were up at the front. So that life in town
19 was very difficult for everybody, and for the people in the museum, the
20 Muslims and Croats, it was especially difficult. There were a total of
21 200 Croats and 400 Muslims from Capljina and Stolac.
22 Q. Sir, might I ask you: During this time-period, where was your
23 family living?
24 A. My family also lived in the basement, just like all the others.
25 Q. The people who -- the refugees at the museum, were both the
1 Muslims and Croats able to move about the town of Jablanica, such as it
3 A. Yes, everybody was able to move around of course.
4 Q. Now, in addition to the refugees that were at the museum, were
5 there also a number of prisoners of war, military persons who were also
6 kept at the museum?
7 A. I think there were. They were under the authority of the military
8 police, and the 6th Corps was there at the time, because in the meantime
9 the 4th Corps was separated because it was just active in Mostar. And so
10 in the area of the municipalities of Jablanica and Konjic, part of Prozor
11 and up towards Fojnica, the 6th ABiH army Corps was established. So if
12 there were, and I do believe there were, prisoners of war, then they came
13 under the authority of the military police battalion of the 6th Corps
14 which was located there in the museum at Jablanica.
15 Q. And can you tell the Judges, if you recall, approximately how many
16 of these prisoners of war were there, as distinct from the refugees.
17 A. I really can't give you an exact figure. I think there were about
18 20, perhaps a little more.
19 Q. Mr. Idrizovic, I thank you for your testimony and for coming to
20 The Hague.
21 MR. SCOTT: And that completes our questions, Your Honour.
22 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you.
23 I think that counsel Karnavas is going to start off. We have two
24 ways of going about this, either take the break straight away or take the
25 break afterwards. Whatever suits you best. Which is it?
1 MR. KARNAVAS: Perhaps we could take the break now; that way I can
2 organise myself to be more efficient, Mr. President.
3 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. We'll reconvene
4 at 12.00.
5 --- Recess taken at 11.42 a.m.
6 --- On resuming at 12.03 p.m.
7 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Karnavas, you have 45
8 minutes and perhaps more if your colleagues have given you some of their
9 time. But I don't know anything about that.
10 MR. KARNAVAS: Thank you, Mr. President, Your Honours. I believe
11 I have 15 extra minutes, so that would be approximately one hour. I'll
12 try to be as efficient as I can.
13 Cross-examination by Mr. Karnavas:
14 Q. Good morning, sir.
15 A. Good morning.
16 Q. I'm going to pick up where your left, just to finish up a point,
17 and then I'll go into what I had planned to do.
18 You were asked a question about prisoners, and you were asked a
19 question about the museum, and at one point you said you thought, you
20 thought, that there were prisoners in the museum, and then you were asked
21 to give an approximation. Were you aware, sir, that we are in possession
22 of a document from the Prosecution wherein it is alleged that you were
23 involved or that prisoners were brought to you as commander of the Muslim
24 army of the ABiH staff in Jablanica. Were you aware of that, sir?
25 A. Only four individuals can be concerned.
1 Q. And those individuals were taken to a prison that was located in
2 the basement of the municipal -- old building in Jablanica, sir?
3 A. Can I provide you an explanation, Mr. President?
4 Q. Excuse me, sir, you're answering my questions. So -- one step at
5 a time --
6 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Answer the question.
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] May I provide you with a broad
9 MR. KARNAVAS:
10 Q. First I want to know whether those people were taken in the
11 basement of the municipal building in Jablanica, yes, no, I don't know,
12 which of the three?
13 A. I can't say yes, no, or I don't know. I can just describe what
15 Q. Sir, at that point in time you were the commander of the -- of the
16 Muslim army of ABiH staff in Jablanica, were you not? And we're talking
17 about, just to be -- to refresh your memory on or about 15th of April,
19 A. I know what you're asking me about very well, and I know what I
20 was, and I have already said that I was in charge of the men who provided
21 security for facilities. On that day, on the 15th of April, when the town
22 was shelled, then those responsible for the defence of the town met.
23 There was the brigade commander, myself --
24 Q. Sir, I don't want an explanation. I'm sorry. I don't have enough
25 time, sir, and I don't want explanations.
1 A. I have to answer this question.
2 Q. I have a document here from the Prosecution that says that you
3 were responsible for those people and those people were beaten under your
5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Karnavas, just a minute.
6 As a witness, sir, you have certain rights and I'll read out
7 certain rights that you have pursuant to the Rules. It's 90 of the Rules,
8 paragraph (I). It says: "A witness may refuse to testify if he risks
9 incriminating himself; however, the Chamber may compel the witness to
10 testify, to answer the question. But no testimony can then be used as
11 evidence against the witness unless it is for perjury."
12 This means if the Prosecution puts questions to you about some
13 sort of a violation, you can say that you don't want to answer the
14 question; but if the Defence really wants you to answer the question, if
15 it insists, and the Chamber wants you to answer the question, if in that
16 case you answer the question you have a form of immunity. This is
17 provided by the Rules. That means that the OTP cannot use the answer you
18 give against you unless you are guilty of perjury. So now you understand
19 how things work.
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, I do, and I've been trying to
21 provide an answer, but I was interrupted by counsel. Allow me to answer
22 this question. He put a question to me, and I'd like to answer it.
23 MR. KARNAVAS:
24 Q. The question was -- sir, sir, I only have so much time. I only
25 have so much time.
1 Let me read what I have, and I'm referring to document P 01884.
2 I'll read slowly. Please follow along, sir. In the first paragraph
3 towards the bottom part, it says: "Witnesses -- the witness has known all
4 the soldiers because they lived in Jablanica. They were taken to see
5 Safet Idrizovic, commander of the Muslim army ABiH staff in Jablanica.
6 After brief questioning, he ordered the police to take him to prison,
7 where they found KZ, a Croat from Jablanica. The prison was in the
8 basement of the municipal building in Jablanica. They stayed there for
9 about ten days. Muslim soldiers would come in occasionally and beat them
10 or force them to beat each other."
11 Sir, were you aware that this document was in the possession of
12 the Prosecution? Did they show this to you during your proofing session?
13 Because that's where I got it from.
14 A. I'm familiar with this document from the Tuta and Stela case. And
15 I would still like to give you an answer, if you allow me to do so. If
16 not, I don't see the purpose of this exchange.
17 Q. Did you -- did you send those -- that prisoner to the basement of
18 the municipal building of Jablanica, yes or no?
19 A. No.
20 Q. Okay. So you're denying what is in this document, under oath?
21 A. I'd like to answer your question.
22 Q. Well, sir, I'm asking --
23 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Let him answer the question.
24 Since he's being put a question, he has the right to say what he wants to
1 What have you got to say about this? Apparently there's a
2 document that says that certain individuals were placed in detention, you
3 were in command, some of them were maltreated. What can you tell us about
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Mr. President, let me describe what
6 happened precisely.
7 On the 15th of April when everything broke out, when the war
8 commenced, when Jablanica was under blockade, and when it was shelled, I
9 was assigned a task, the task of taking over the municipality building and
10 the headquarters building which was empty. We phoned our colleagues who
11 were a hundred metres away from us. They were our colleagues, our
12 friends. They weren't aliens. We phoned them and told them to surrender
13 and they did that.
14 There was Marinko Ljoljo and there was another Marinko whose
15 surname I can't remember. I sat down with them normally. I didn't
16 interrogate them. I asked them about what was happening. If they are
17 POWs, then they have to be handed over to the military police. Were they
18 maltreated or taken away somewhere, I don't know about that. It's the
19 military police battalion of the 6th Corps, or rather, at the time that
20 was the 4th Corps that had its own unit in Jablanica. And they were under
21 their authority. If they were maltreated, if crimes were committed
22 against them, those who did these things should be held to account. I
23 didn't imprison those individuals, I handed them over to the military
24 police which is the normal procedure. I didn't have any prisons and I
25 didn't have the authority to guard prisoners. Colleagues of mine from the
1 brigade went to fortified positions. MUP representatives searched
2 Croatian houses, and if I remember things correctly, they found 48 weapons
3 there. That was on the 15th of April.
4 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] We have understood your
5 arguments. You handed these prisoners over to the military police, and
6 you believe as of that point in time you were no longer responsible for
8 Mr. Karnavas, please continue.
9 MR. KARNAVAS:
10 Q. Thank you. Obviously someone thought you were a responsible
11 authority, otherwise they would not have brought the individual to you to
12 question initially; correct?
13 A. No, no one handed them over to me. We contacted the people, we
14 phoned, them and they came. We were a hundred metres away. Mr. Petkovic
15 was in the HVO command. There was only a road dividing us.
16 Q. All right. Very well. I want to go back to a document that was
17 shown to you by the Prosecution, 2487. That was the document where I
18 believe Ms. Alaburic wanted the Prosecution to look into a couple of
19 paragraphs. And on the very -- on the second paragraph starting
20 with: "On the 17th November 1992," it would appear from here that it
21 describes the discussions that you talked about between the SDA and the
22 HDZ with respect to allowing -- or Jablanica, the government, to be run or
23 to be with or part of HZ HB. Is that correct?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. That's -- this is pretty accurate, is it not? We'll go step by
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. All right. And -- now, in this paragraph they also talk about the
4 use of the media to portray Croats in a certain manner or what their
5 intentions were. Do you see that part, where it says: "The Jablanica SDA
6 never responded to the invitation and used it to accuse us through the
7 media, saying that we Croats" -- you see that, right?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. And in fact, that was occurring, was it not? There was a local TV
10 station, was there not, in Jablanica?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. And that local TV station was used for propaganda purposes, was it
13 not, sir? Yes, no, maybe, I don't know.
14 A. I don't know -- well, everything is propaganda in war. Media
15 always uses propaganda. This --
16 Q. But you --
17 A. This channel is trying to depict the events in town in an
18 objective way.
19 Q. Okay. And this is the same media that you had appeared to give
20 interviews, right? This is a CTV Jablanica, I believe that's what it was?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. Now, did the Prosecution by any chance share with you a document
23 that they provided with us and -- let me see if I can get the number here
24 real quickly. It's 1D 01047.
25 MR. KARNAVAS: And, Your Honours, if you could look to page 5,
1 that's the portion that I'm going to be referring to.
2 Q. And, sir, for your purposes if we could go -- there's a page
3 that's circled number 75 or it would be page 6 in the B/C/S version.
4 And here I have a document, sir. This is a statement from Mirko
5 Zelenika, and you told us -- it would be page 3 for you. So it's page
6 number 6 but it's page 3 for you in the B/C/S version. It starts with
7 page 3 and you see where it says "press," you can see it. One, two,
8 three, sort of the fourth paragraph. And this document here it says that
9 this CTV Jablanica, namely the press service of the 44th Brigade, was the
10 main source of information. And it goes on to say that it was
11 characterising the HVO as pro-Ustasha, pro-fascist Croat force whose
12 intent was to erase all traces of Muslims and Croats who were
13 characterised as Ustasha.
14 Now, that's the same radio station that we're talking about, the
15 one that you said used propaganda, and the one that you had given
16 interviews on; correct?
17 A. No, I didn't say that at all. I said that more or less all forms
18 of media in wartime - I didn't provide any percentages, et cetera - all
19 forms of media acted in this way.
20 Q. All right.
21 A. The press service of the 44th Brigade had its own programme.
22 Q. Right.
23 A. That channel is still in existence today. Naturally, the brigade
24 doesn't exist, but it had a 10- or 20-minute programme.
25 Q. And people in Jablanica watched it, right?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. And of course, if this programme, the 44th Brigade is
3 characterising the HVO as pro-fascist Ustashas, that's something that
4 might cause some concern, would it not, both to the Muslim population and
5 to the Croat population of Jablanica?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. Okay. And you did not -- you're not denying that in fact that TV
8 station, that television station that was locally broadcasting to the
9 people in Jablanica was used for those purposes and that they were indeed
10 characterising the Croats in that fashion? You're not denying --
11 A. That's not what I said literally. Likewise, I also didn't say
12 that that term was never used.
13 Q. [Previous translation continues]...
14 A. I'm not denying the fact that that term was used. I'm not saying
15 that no one used the term. We know who used such a term, but I didn't say
16 much on this programme. Perhaps on one occasion, perhaps twice, I can't
17 remember, but I don't think they were really in my favour.
18 Q. Okay. All right. But you would agree with us during that period
19 of time relations between Croat and Muslim was rather fragile, tenuous,
20 and that those sorts of comments on television by the Army of BiH was
21 not - how should I put it? - conducive for peace, was it?
22 A. As far as I am concerned, I have already said that whenever I had
23 contact with HVO commanders I attempted --
24 Q. Sir --
25 A. -- to keep everything under effective control until the time at
1 which Marko Zelenika was replaced. But the press service of the
2 44th Mountain Brigade was actually operational as at the time the conflict
3 broke out.
4 Q. Right. Precisely. And that's what I'm saying. And I just want
5 to make sure that we understand. I'm not accusing you of using those
6 terms, but the Army of BiH, the 44th, was indeed using this propaganda
7 tool to whip up the fears among the Muslims and to demonise the Croats;
8 that's what I'm saying. Yes or no?
9 A. You've had the opportunity of reading Mr. Petkovic's order. He
10 calls the Muslims --
11 Q. Sir.
12 A. -- the greens in that order. It's the same thing.
13 Q. Very well. So I take it you don't want to answer the question?
14 A. Well, repeat it then.
15 Q. That tool was used for propaganda purposes in order to whip up the
16 fears among the Muslims and demonise the Croats, was it not?
17 A. The media didn't have that intention, but I won't say that that
18 didn't happen on occasion but that wasn't their primary intention.
19 Q. Okay. All right. We'll leave it up to the Trial Chamber.
20 Now, I want to go into less confrontational issues. We'll start
21 off with the election.
22 Now, according to the Prosecution indictment, they indicate that
23 the population in Jablanica would have been approximately 18 per cent,
24 while the population -- the Muslim population would have been
25 approximately 71 per cent. Is that correct, more or less?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. All right. Now, there was a document shown to a previous witness
3 with the pseudonym of BM who testified on the 20th and the 21st of
4 September, wherein he was shown a book, a book that was referenced by an
5 expert from the Prosecution in his so-called expert report or analysis,
6 and this was -- the gentleman's name is Suad Arnautovic. And I'm
7 referring to 1D 00920, and page 14 E, and on the B/C/S version it would be
8 page 13. So page 14 for the English, page 14 -- page 14 English, page 13
9 B/C/S, just very briefly. The gentleman apparently went through the
10 statistics and was able to provide us with a break-down. And I just want
11 to focus on Jablanica. It's sort of in the middle, or the first -- top
12 third. And it would appear that there were a total of 35 seats to be --
13 in Jablanica. Would that be correct?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. And it says here of the 35, HDZ had gained seven seats; SDA had
16 gained 15, then you have the Socialist Democratic Party with six; you have
17 the Union of Yugoslav Reform Forces of BH, they had two; you had the
18 Democratic Union with two; and then you had the -- your party, the SDP,
19 with three. Would that be correct? And SDS gained zero seats, that would
20 be the Serb party. Would that be correct? If you don't remember, just
21 tell us you don't remember.
22 A. Well, the party name isn't quite correct.
23 Q. Well -- but I'm more interested in the percentages with respect
24 to HDZ and SDA.
25 A. They received an absolute majority and they formed a government.
1 Q. Now. Okay --
2 A. The HDZ and the SDA.
3 Q. Well, that's what I want to get to, because it would appear that
4 if this chart is correct - and we have no reason to believe it's not -
5 with 15 seats out of 35, SDA would have won 42.8 per cent, and HDZ would
6 have won 20 per cent. Now --
7 A. I'm not sure that this information is correct.
8 Q. Okay. Well --
9 A. Just a minute.
10 Q. We're --
11 A. Out of 35 --
12 Q. So this is -- I just want to -- let me conduct my cross.
13 You said "absolute majority." The SDA did not have absolute
14 majority in order to --
15 A. Sir, I said the SDA and the HDZ.
16 Q. In other words, HDZ was a coalition partner of SDA?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. Okay. And like in any parliamentary system, a party can join a
19 coalition and at some point can leave the coalition, right?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. Okay. All right. That's the point I just wanted to make and
22 we'll move on to the next part.
23 I want to show you some documents with respect to the Presidency.
24 They don't require a great deal of commenting, just I want to make sure
25 that we get this right. 1D 00779, if I could show you this, sir. This is
1 a decision. It's on 9 April 1992, and I just want to focus our attention
2 first of all at the preambular, because I think this is rather important
3 with respect to the -- this alleged joint criminal enterprise issue that
4 we're dealing with in this case.
5 The preambular seems to indicate that the municipality of
6 Jablanica has certain legislation, and this decision is based on this
7 legislation. I'm talking about the statute.
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. And having lived in Bosnia-Herzegovina at the time, it would be
10 fair to say that every municipality had its own statute; correct?
11 A. It should have done. I can't say whether it did or did not, but
12 it ought to have. How can it carry on life without an act of some kind?
13 Q. Exactly. And it had its Official Gazette as well in order to
14 publicise whatever decisions, decrees and what have you, right, so the
15 people could be informed?
16 A. Yes, yes.
17 Q. Okay. Now, along with all of this --
18 MR. KARNAVAS: Because we don't have time, Mr. President, I just
19 wish to show very quickly to the gentleman several other documents.
20 Q. I'll first show you the documents, all of them, and then you can
21 just -- I'll just ask you one big question or rather small question.
22 1D 00778, if we could pull that up. We see that this is a
23 decision to establish a Presidency of Jablanica. Do you see that?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. Yeah. And if we go to the next page we see that the president was
1 Sefer Hamdo; correct?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. All right. And we'll be able to read this on our own.
4 Next document is 1D 00340. This is a decision on the formation of
5 Presidency. Do you see this?
6 A. I can see just the last part of it.
7 Q. Okay. 1D 00340, I just want to make sure that what I'm showing
8 you purports to be authentic documents which would be part of --
9 A. They should be, yes.
10 Q. Okay. And then the last document, 1D 00339. This is a decision
11 on the appointment of members of the Presidency of Jablanica. Here we
12 might want to rest a little bit, maybe take in the names.
13 A. Yes, yes.
14 Q. Okay. Now, do these names look familiar to you?
15 A. Yes, except this is a different period of time. This is November
17 Q. I understand that, sir, but we're going step by step. Okay? I
18 just -- like Mr. Scott said, you know, Rome wasn't built in one day. So
19 he was actually quoting Judge Liu.
20 But anyway -- all right. So here are the names, and we see that
21 it's sort of a multi-party, multi-ethnic Presidency; correct?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. Okay, okay. That's all for that.
24 Now if we could go on to the next chapter, and this would be the
25 Crisis Staff. And before we get to the documents, first let me ask a
1 couple of questions. At some point you called it a War Presidency, but
2 what we're actually talking about is the Crisis Staff; correct?
3 A. Well, sometimes they would call it that way. Sometimes they call
4 it the Crisis Staff, the Presidency, they'd alternate, but they didn't
5 exist in parallel terms.
6 Q. Right. And essentially the Crisis Staff was put in place in order
7 to deal with the immediacy of the situation given that you had conflicts
8 going on and it would have been too cumbersome to draft and to adopt
9 legislation through normal channels; correct?
10 A. Yes, yes, that was the purpose of setting those bodies up.
11 Q. All right. And just like on the last few documents, I'm going to
12 go through the same process.
13 First I want to show you 1D 00967. And again, if we could just
14 look at the -- this is dated 5 May 1992. And it says at the preambular
15 that again that this is pursuant to item 2 on a decision on the
16 establishment of the Presidency of Jablanica. So it would seem to me that
17 this decision is again grounded in legislation of the municipality of
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. All right. And this was proper, was it not?
21 A. Well, it should have been, yes.
22 Q. All right. Well, there's a reason why I'm going to be asking all
23 of this.
24 All right. Then we go on to another document, 1D 00777. This is
25 a decision on the Crisis Staff organisational structure. Again, if we
1 look at it. And if we go to the second page it seems that it's been
2 signed by President Hamdo, Sefer. Do you see that, sir? This --
3 A. Yes, yes.
4 Q. Okay. And in fact, again, he was -- he held that position, did he
5 not, at that point in time?
6 A. Yes, he was the president of the municipality and president of
7 that, but I can't see the whole document.
8 Q. Well, we -- we're not -- I'm not analysing the document, I just
9 wanted to just --
10 A. All right, yes.
11 Q. Yeah. And then, to make sure -- okay. Super.
12 Then the next document I want to show you is 1D 00789, and
13 these -- this is titled "rules of procedure." Again, this is for the
14 benefit of the Trial Chamber so they can pour over these as we refer to
15 them in our final briefs and arguments, as we make our case.
16 But if you look at this, sir, it would be correct, would it not,
17 that this was put in place at that point in time, 28 May 1992. It lays
18 out how the Crisis Staff should operate.
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. All right. Then I want to show you a document, 1D 00785. Okay.
21 And I need to have this on the ELMO. I have to apologise. For some
22 reason, this wasn't in the system. Okay. And in this decision, this is
23 dated 11 May 1992. Again, if we see the preambular it shows that it's
24 grounded in legislation from the municipality of Jablanica, and this is a
25 decision to elect Mirko Zelenika of Jablanica, chairman of the Executive
1 Committee of Jablanica municipality, and again it's signed by Hamdo Sefer.
2 Is that correct?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. And in fact, if your memory serves you correctly, that is in fact
5 the position that he held in that period of time, right?
6 A. Mirko Zelenika, you mean?
7 Q. Mirko, not Marko, Mirko.
8 A. Maybe he replaced Palic, the man we mentioned yesterday.
9 Q. Well, maybe, but I have a decision here that's signed by Hamdo
10 Sefer that on 11 May 1992 he was appointed in that position.
11 A. Yes, yes, yes, yes.
12 Q. All right. Super, super. Okay. Now, we go to the next one,
13 1D 00787, and this is a decision. It's dated 14 May 1992. To elect the
14 chairman, deputy chairman, members, and secretary of the Executive
15 Committee of Jablanica. If you could look at that. Tell me if you
16 look -- and look at the names and tell me if your memory serves you
17 correctly whether indeed these members served in that capacity at that
18 period in time.
19 A. Well, they probably did. I don't see why they would not.
20 Q. All right. And here we have a Marinko Zelenika. Is there any
21 relations between Marinko, Marko, and Mirko?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. Do you want to tell us, at least out of curiosity. I'm dying to
25 A. Marko and Mirko is brothers, and Marinko I don't think belong to
1 the same family. I can't claim that exactly. But there are a lot of
2 Zelenikas anyway, a lot of that surname down there.
3 Q. All right. And the last decision, the last document I want to
4 show you is 1D 001018. This is of 19 June 1992. It's a decision on the
5 appointment of the members of the Jablanica Municipal Assembly Crisis
6 Staff. Please look at it. Would this be correct, sir, and here we see
7 that it's been signed by President Nijaz Ivkovic?
8 A. Yes, yes.
9 Q. Okay.
10 A. This is a time when Hamdo Sefer was replaced, allegedly because of
11 some sort of crime, and then a new man came. But that's not important
13 Q. Okay. But the important thing that I'm interested in is that --
14 here is a decision, 19 June 1992, where there is the appointment of the
15 Jablanica Municipal Assembly Crisis Staff. And if we look at this, we see
16 that you have Muslims and Croats on this Crisis Staff, correct, including
17 Mirko Zelenika?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. Okay. Thank you. And that closes that chapter.
20 Now, on the issue -- we're going to talk about another issue, and
21 that is with respect to currency, the money that was circulating at the
22 time. It's something that we need to sort of -- we need some assistance
24 When you gave your first statement, sir, you had indicated that as
25 of 1993 only the kuna was circulating, in your first statement. Do you
1 recall that?
2 A. 1993, you say?
3 Q. Yeah.
4 A. I think the kuna existed in 1992 as well -- well, not kuna but it
5 was a Croatian coin. We used the German mark, and I don't know whether
6 the kuna was used in 1992. It was a Croatian coin anyway and legal
7 tender, but I'm not sure what it was.
8 Q. Step by step, sir. My questions are rather precise. In your
9 first statement, in your first statement, you say, and I'm quoting
10 now, "from January 1993 the only currency in use in Herzegovina was the
11 Croatian kuna."
12 Do you recall reading that in your first statement?
13 A. Now, what does Herzegovina mean there?
14 Q. Sir, sir, sir, please, I'm just quoting you. You know
15 what "Herzegovina" means; I don't. But this is what you said in your
16 statement. It was provided to us by the OTP. You spent the day, maybe
17 two days, with Mr. Scott going over your statements. Do you recall saying
18 that? If you don't recall, that's not a problem.
19 A. In the part of Herzegovina controlled by the HVO, yes; now, the
20 part of Herzegovina controlled by the BH army, no.
21 Q. Very well, very well --
22 A. But right up until the conflict -- up until the conflict, while we
23 were able to travel to Croatia, of course we used Croatian currency, but
24 not exclusively so.
25 Q. Sir, I don't want to get bogged down on this. Trust me, if we had
1 a couple of days we would go through this in great detail. But I have a
2 statement here -- I have a statement here that you gave the first time to
3 the OTP dated 10 May 2000; and then you were questioned again on 13th and
4 14th of June, 2000; and 5th and 12th of July, 2000. And I have this
5 statement. And on page 20 of the statement with the ERN number on top of
6 it is 01009507 it says in the second paragraph that you told the
7 investigator: "From January 1993, the only currency in use in Herzegovina
8 was the Croatian kuna."
9 Do you recall, do you recall telling the investigators of OTP
10 that? It calls for a yes or no answer.
11 A. In the part controlled by the HVO, the answer is yes.
12 Q. Very well. And then later on when -- you gave another statement,
13 did you not? You gave a second statement, and this would have been on
14 27 and 28 of June, 2002. Do you recall?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. And in that statement you corrected yourself or you said something
17 differently. I would like to think that you corrected yourself, because,
18 as I will demonstrate, it reflects the reality. If we look at the
19 second-to-last paragraph on that -- on your statement on page 10 you
20 say: "A lot of currencies were used all over Bosnia throughout end of
21 1992 and 1993. There was not an official currency at a state level."
22 And then you go on to say: "In Sarajevo, the Bosnian dinar was
23 used but in other parts of the country, Croatian kuna, Deutschemark,
24 American dollar, and even some papers printed by commercial companies were
25 used as currency. We were buying food and goods from Croatia and they
1 would only take Croatian money or Deutschemarks. I think that there might
2 have been an official decision on the use of the Croatian kuna as currency
3 in Jablanica, and it was one of their currencies used as far as I
4 remember, but I cannot confirm whether this decision was official or not."
5 Do you recall making that statement?
6 A. Yes, I do recall that.
7 Q. All right.
8 A. Just a moment, please. When I gave my first statement there were
9 a lot of corrections to the statement because in the translation -- or I
10 don't know how it came about, but the meaning of the statement was
11 changed. So what is said there is true.
12 I think it was an official decision whereby all the currencies
13 were in use, the Croatian kuna, and the Deutschemark, and some of our
14 internal pieces of paper and anything that allowed people to exchange
15 goods and services for were used. There was no official currency.
16 Q. Thank you, sir. And that's what I'm going to go next into. If
17 you just allow me to continue.
18 If we could look at -- again, I'm going to go through a series of
19 documents, and this is pertinent for other reasons. 1D 00976, if we could
20 look at that, sir. This is dated in May 1992. It's unclear exactly -- I
21 think it's 13 May 1992, and it says that this is a decision, "TO set up a
22 team of experts who will put together a complete overview of the financial
23 monetary flows in Jablanica municipality."
24 Did you know Mr. Klepo?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. And this is signed by Hamdo Sefer. Do you recall this decision
2 or ...
3 A. Well, we weren't linked to the authorities over there; we did our
4 job, they did theirs. But I do know that Mirsad Klepo was there working
5 in the financial department and things like that, and he's in my company
6 now engaged in finance.
7 Q. Thank you. So now we look at 1D 00786. This is dated 13 May
8 1992. This is an executive decision to form a working group for drafting
9 documents necessary to overcome problems arising from dysfunctional system
10 of payment, transactions, and fiscal and monetary policies in Jablanica
11 municipality. Do you see this, sir?
12 A. Yes, I do.
13 Q. And do you recognise the list of names? There are six names in
14 paragraph number 1, or Roman numeral I?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. And looking at those names, being from a small town like
17 Jablanica, could you tell us whether these are the kind of people, these
18 individuals, that would have sort of the technical expertise to deal and
19 tackle with this sort of an issue?
20 A. Yes, yes, they are.
21 Q. All right. Okay. --
22 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] In the list, were there any
23 Muslims? Begovic, Ivkovic, et cetera?
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes. Yes, there are, yes.
25 MR. KARNAVAS:
1 Q. Of the six, how many Muslims are there? By my count it looks like
3 A. Five Muslims and one Croat.
4 Q. Okay. Thank you. All right. Now, moving right along, if we go
5 to the next document, 1D 00984. This is a conclusion. And if we just
6 look at it very quickly it says: "The Crisis Staff insists on the
7 consistent implementation of an earlier order to ban the use -- order on
8 the ban to use cash in the municipality without an order of the Jablanica
9 Municipal Crisis Staff."
10 And then it talks about the SDK, which is the payment bureau, the
11 auditing service. Do you see that?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. Now, at this period of time, 17 May 1992, the central bank of
14 Bosnia isn't functioning, is it?
15 A. Whether it was functioning in Sarajevo or not, but where we were
16 down there it wasn't.
17 Q. Right. And it seems to me -- I mean, if I look at all these
18 documents, that the folks in the municipality in Jablanica were trying
19 to -- trying to figure out how to best cope with the situation because
20 money was needed; correct?
21 A. You are right, yes.
22 Q. Yeah, and in fact the central SDK, the auditing service, wasn't
23 working either, right?
24 A. No.
25 Q. And I know it's a little technical for many of us, it may be
1 beyond the need at this point in time, but that was a rather important
2 institution, was it not, back then, the SDK? I mean, I'm talking about
3 before the war and even during the war, right?
4 A. Up until the war, yes.
5 Q. Yeah.
6 A. Until the war, yes; not during the war.
7 Q. Right. During the war it wasn't functioning, right?
8 A. Right.
9 Q. Okay. And we'll have somebody who's a specialist talk about that.
10 Now if we could go to -- to another decision -- to another --
11 yeah, decision, 1D 00991. This is dated 28 May 1992, and here it says -
12 and this is just for illustrative purposes, by the way - under Roman
13 numeral I it talks about a payment of 1 billion, is it, I guess
14 1.500.000 dinars for paying part of the salary to members of the TO --
15 JUDGE TRECHSEL: I think it's 1 million 500.000.00 --
16 MR. KARNAVAS: Thank you.
17 JUDGE TRECHSEL: You're very welcome.
18 MR. KARNAVAS: I'm starting to see things.
19 Q. Okay. Now, this was on the 28th of May. Now, if we go to 29 May
20 1992, and here I think I'm going to go over this a little bit more
21 carefully. Here, this says under Roman numeral I: "I hereby approve the
22 use of 6.000 German marks of the collected voluntary contribution," and so
23 on and so forth.
24 So here we have a document where we have German marks being used
25 as a currency, correct, and it's signed by the president. Correct?
1 A. I can't see that.
2 Q. You can't see it. Okay. This is 1D 00993. Do you see that?
3 A. No, I can't.
4 Q. Okay. We'll skip over that. We'll go over to the next one
5 because I just -- that was just for illustrative purposes, but let's look
6 at the one that I'm really interested in, 1D 00994. This is a decision,
7 dated again, the same date, 29th --
8 A. I can see it now.
9 Q. Okay. Now we're on to another document hopefully, 1D 00994, dated
10 29 May 1992. It's a decision, and I'm going to go -- I'm going to read,
11 actually, Roman numeral I rather slowly because I think it is
12 important. "In addition to the currency used, Yugoslav dinar, the German
13 mark, DEM, and Croatian dinar, CRD, are hereby introduced as a means of
14 payment into Jablanica municipality."
15 Do you see that, sir?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. And this is a decision. And by this decision would it be correct
18 to say that the Croatian dinar in the municipality of Jablanica is
19 introduced by the municipality of Jablanica as an official currency during
20 that period of time, as one of the official currencies?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. Okay. Thank you. All right. And one last document, again for
23 illustrative purposes so we don't lose the point, 1D 01017. If we could
24 look at this. This is dated 17 June 1992. We have a -- this is a
25 conclusion, and I just wish to point out that it talks about superpetrol
1 and petrol, and we can see here in this official document that obviously
2 was published in the Official Gazette of the Jablanica municipality that
3 yes, indeed, the Croatian dinar is being used as a form of currency.
5 A. Yes, yes.
6 Q. All right. Thank you. That's all for that chapter. And I'm sure
7 the Trial Chamber fully understands the purpose of this exercise.
8 I want to get on to another topic, again something light. Taxes,
9 the issue of taxes. Again, this is for other purposes, but I want to go
10 to 1D 00320.
11 And while that's being pulled up, let me ask you a few
12 questions. During that period of time, the municipality of Jablanica
13 found itself more or less like every other municipality in
14 Bosnia-Herzegovina, where they needed funds in order to pay for the
15 day-to-day affairs of the municipality. Would that be correct?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. And it seems to me, if I heard you correctly, that by this point
18 in time you could not, you could not, count on Sarajevo to provide the
19 normal and vital financial services that one would expect in peacetime;
21 A. Well, as far as finances were concerned, yes. The financial
22 services were interrupted all over the country.
23 Q. Right. And --
24 A. Where the -- under the control of the army.
25 Q. Right. But life went on in the municipalities, and of course
1 every municipality, including Jablanica, had to find ways and means to
2 meet their daily needs; correct?
3 A. Well, yes.
4 Q. Okay. All right.
5 A. All the documents we have had a look at just now show that people
6 were trying to survive.
7 Q. Right. Exactly. That's -- that's exactly the point I've been
8 trying to make for months now.
9 Now, if we go to this document, 1D 00320, we see that this is a
10 decision on special war tax on personal income. We don't need to go
11 through it. I just wish to point this out and to get this into evidence.
12 We can dwell on this at some other point. But this to you, sir, would
13 this not appear to be a valid piece of legislation that found itself in
14 the Jablanica Official Gazette so everybody would know what their --
15 special tax, war tax, obligations were?
16 A. That's how it should be.
17 Q. And if we feast our eyes a little bit, just a little bit, on the
18 preamble, it seems -- we see that at the very beginning it starts off with
19 the Law on All People's Defence, Article 73. Again, I want to point this
20 out for the Trial Chamber because that's something that we've talked about
21 in the past, because it seems to me - and correct me if I'm wrong - that
22 at this period of time the Law on All People's Defence was particularly
23 significant at the local level, was it not?
24 A. Well, this decision mainly concerns the decree law on financing
25 social needs. It was issued by the government or the Presidency; I'm not
1 quite sure by whom.
2 Q. We're talking about in the time of war, Article 73, Law on All
3 People's Defence, and the point I'm trying to make is that if we want to
4 begin to understand on what basis the municipalities were implementing
5 various decisions, one must look at, among other things, the Law on All
6 People's Defence. Would that be correct, sir?
7 A. Well, probably, yes.
8 Q. Okay. All right. If we go to the next document, this is 1D
9 00961. This is dated 28 December 1992. It's a decision on the formation
10 of a tax police of Jablanica municipality. Nothing unusual of having a
11 tax police, right, sir?
12 A. This isn't really a field I feel at home with.
13 Q. Well, the financial --
14 A. There's not much I could say about finance.
15 Q. Well, financial police existed before, and this was a decision
16 appointing three individuals to -- to form part of the tax police;
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. Yeah. And just so we don't lose the point, all three are Muslims,
20 are they not?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. Okay. And I'm not saying anything one way or the other, but I'm
23 just pointing that out. Now, if we look at one more document, 1D 01001 --
24 MR. KARNAVAS: Yes.
25 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Just a minute, the last document
1 under item 4 there is a representative of the armed forces of Bosnia and
2 Herzegovina. Did you designate someone as a member of this commission?
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, and I don't remember that this
4 police ever did anything. It wasn't possible to collect tax from anyone.
5 At the time everyone was collecting tax, Mr. President. Each and every
6 check-point collected tax. Banditry was omnipresent at the time, so there
7 was nothing left to collect. There was banditry on all sides.
8 MR. KARNAVAS:
9 Q. Exactly. That's my point. But when it does make reference to
10 representative of BH -- of the armed forces, we're talking about -- we're
11 not talking about HVO here, are we?
12 A. Well, I have to go back to this time-period. This is December,
13 the end of 1992. At the time, HVO representatives had already established
14 their own government and had left the other body at the same time or there
15 was a parallel Croatian power structure in existence in the municipality.
16 There weren't any Muslims over there, there weren't any Croats over here,
17 so it was a period during which there were these two parallel power
19 Q. And it would seem to me that the Muslims were collecting taxes for
20 themselves, their own people, and the Croats were doing the same for their
21 people, at least in Jablanica, if I'm understanding you correctly with
22 these two parallel structures?
23 A. Yes, that's how it was.
24 Q. Okay. All right. Yeah.
25 A. That's how it was everywhere.
1 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Just a minute. I'm somewhat
2 perplexed by your answer.
3 You have mentioned two parallel governments. I was following the
4 demonstration the Defence is trying to make very carefully, and my
5 question is: In the Presidency of this municipality, were there Croats as
6 well as Muslims at the time to -- at the same time, or were there Muslims
7 and Croats here and then there was another structure that only consisted
8 of HVO Croats. Can you clarify that for me?
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] You should bear in mind the
10 chronology up until November and the beginning of December. There was a
11 single body. You have already seen --
12 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] So you're saying up until the
13 beginning of December everything was unified?
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, up until the end of 1992
15 everything was more or less integrated. There was just one single body.
16 It wasn't ideal, but it functioned somehow. But after that point in time,
17 we've seen from other documents that there were two power structures in
18 place. When I attended those meetings on the seizing power -- well, I
19 said: Okay, let's establish two power structures. Anything's better than
20 fighting. If you think it's better to have two power structures, fine,
21 but let's just have peace.
22 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Karnavas, please continue.
23 MR. KARNAVAS:
24 Q. We're going to get to that, and we're going to see how things
25 develop. But just one last document on the issue of taxes. 1D 01001.
1 This seems to be a conclusion by the president of the Jablanica Municipal
2 Assembly Presidency I guess, and it says here - and this is, by the way,
3 dated 6 January 1993 - where they're imposing an obligation of 300
4 Deutschemarks, German marks, for armed forces on the production of valid
5 and promptly issued written proof, and that's for citizens that are
6 temporarily living outside, living abroad and working in Croatian
7 enterprises; correct?
8 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Just a very small point. In my document it
9 says "7 January."
10 MR. KARNAVAS: In B/C/S it says "7" and in the -- you're right.
11 You're right. I guess I was looking at -- at the session held on
12 6th January. I stand corrected. It's dated 7 January from a session the
13 day before where they -- there's this conclusion.
14 Q. Do you recall this, sir?
15 A. At all levels people were trying to get money, so a conclusion or
16 a decision would be taken according to which people working abroad and
17 whose families were living in Bosnia should spend -- should pay 300 marks
18 a month. But who's going to implement that decision? Who's going to
19 force someone who works in Germany to pay 300 marks? These decisions had
20 no force; they couldn't be implemented.
21 Q. Sir, all I'm saying -- all I'm trying to demonstrate here is that
22 what the Prosecution accuses the Croats of doing, we see that the Muslims
23 are doing the same in this municipality and other municipalities. We're
24 going to see that; that's the point I'm trying to make.
25 Now, if we could go --
1 MR. SCOTT: Excuse me, Your Honour, I'm sorry.
2 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Just a minute, there are two
3 matters here.
4 Mr. Karnavas, you have another three minutes left --
5 MR. KARNAVAS: No, I have --
6 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Three minutes.
7 Mr. Scott.
8 MR. SCOTT: Your Honour, I was just waiting. I didn't want to
9 interrupt Mr. Karnavas and I've tried very hard not to, but during -- at
10 this point, based on what he just said, I just want to make it very clear,
11 it's never been the proposition of the Prosecution with this witness, and
12 in fact quite the contrary, that throughout most of 1992, despite the fact
13 that this was a heavily Muslim majority municipality, that the
14 institutions remained multi-ethnic, multi-party until very late that year,
15 and we never pretended or suggested anything to the contrary. And in fact
16 it's to the credit of the Muslims in Jablanica that it remained that way.
17 MR. KARNAVAS: Your Honour, I don't want to get into a debate. I
18 know I started at 12.00, I believe, I have an hour and there were some
19 questions from the Bench which shouldn't be deducted from me. And I think
20 we're moving along at a rather -- very fast pace, if I might say so.
21 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes, but when I said that you
22 had another three minutes, well, that excluded the Judges' time. So the
23 Judges' questions were deducted. These are the calculations that the
24 registrar has provided me with. But -- because the registrar can
25 calculate the seconds used by having recourse to this electronic system.
1 I've just used five seconds.
2 MR. KARNAVAS: Very well. Well, just for the record, because I
3 want to make sure that this is heard loud and clear throughout the world
4 that I spent an enormous amount of time putting together what I believe is
5 a very lean cross-examination and to protect my client and all the other
6 clients against the joint criminal enterprise. And this is precisely the
7 type of measure being imposed on us that directly impact on my client's
8 human rights, and the human rights not in a conceptual matter in some
9 classroom, not in the abstract, but in a courtroom, so I will try to do my
10 best, but at some point I will need to make my record to get all my
11 documents in. Because I think this is unfair to put such stringent
12 limitations on us.
13 Q. Now, let's go through -- just a couple of quick questions here on
14 blocking of roads.
15 Sir, I want to show you -- I want to show you 1D 00958.
16 MR. KARNAVAS: And this is precisely, Your Honour, why I have to
17 be rude with the witnesses and cut them off which I find terrible because
18 they come and want to give their full evidence, and I'm forced to be rude
19 in order to make up time.
20 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] If you believe that the question
21 is very important, your colleagues can give you some of their time.
22 MR. KARNAVAS: But I'm trying -- I have to ask them to represent
23 their clients -- you know, that's not the point. The point is they
24 shouldn't be placed in a position where they're bartering their time, Your
25 Honour. I understand. I'm trying to be efficient. 1D 00958. Okay.
1 Q. If we could look at the decision on approving the blocking of
2 roads. This is 25 April 1992, and if we look at Article 1, and it's
3 important, sir, if you could help us out here because there seems to be -
4 at least I'm told - that perhaps one of the words is not translated
5 correctly. So if you could read Article 1 for us so we can get a
7 A. Should I read it out?
8 Q. Yes, please.
9 A. "We hereby authorise the Jablanica TO staff to place obstacles on
10 the road from Jablanica to Mostar, depending on how the situation develops
11 and on the basis of their own professional assessment."
12 Q. All right. I'm told by my colleague here that again the
13 interpretation may not be quite as accurate, and I'm referring to the
14 word "zarusavanje," if I could ask the witness what is his understanding
15 of that word?
16 A. The word "zarusavanje" means bringing in material, placing it on
17 the road so that it can't be used. You can either blow up an area just
18 above the road so that the debris falls on the road and makes it
19 impossible to use the road. That's what would be meant by the
20 term "zarusavanje."
21 Q. Thank you, thank you, I thought that was an important point to
22 point out at this point in time. I'm going to try to skip most of it and
23 at some point I'll make my record.
24 I want to show you a document, 1D 00963. This is a decision.
25 It's on 1 May 1992. I just want to point out something that might be
1 interesting and goes to the -- some of our previous testimony as to why
2 the Croats might have had some misgivings with respect to some of the
3 internationals or their alleged allies. Here it says: "Decision" -- we
4 see here in this decision 1 May 1992 to give 2.500 meals, given as aid by
5 the UN High Commissioner to the Jablanica Territorial Defence.
6 Do you see that, sir?
7 A. Yes, I see that very well.
8 Q. This was humanitarian aid that was not intended for the -- for the
9 Territorial Defence, was it?
10 A. I don't know. At this time we already held positions facing the
11 Serbs, and all we could give people is the humanitarian aid to take up
12 with them because they'd spend up to a week up there --
13 Q. The high commissioner was giving you --
14 MR. KARNAVAS: Yes.
15 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Karnavas, you have to stop
16 now because unfortunately we won't have sufficient time.
17 MR. KARNAVAS: I have time from the Stojic Defence team and at
18 some point, as I said, I wish to make my record as far as the documents,
19 if for no other reason, for the Appeals Chamber such as -- and I believe I
20 also -- I'm also being given ten from Mr. Praljak's Defence team. I
21 appreciate the time.
22 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Karnavas, when you refer to
23 an appeal, you are threatening the Judges --
24 MR. KARNAVAS: I'm not --
25 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] -- and this is unacceptable. If
1 you want to make an appeal, you will do so, but don't repeat this every
3 MR. KARNAVAS: Your Honour --
4 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] So I note that the Stojic
5 Defence has granted you ten minutes. Make good use of those ten minutes
6 rather than speak about an appeal you might lodge.
7 MR. KARNAVAS: I'm making my record, Your Honour. That's what the
8 whole point of making my record, and that's why when you indicated that
9 time would be subtracted from the Defence for trying to make a record
10 through -- through objections, that was the whole purpose. It's the
11 purpose to make a record for appeal purposes. And without a record, I'm
12 not being due diligent. Without a record, I cannot appeal. Without
13 getting these documents in the record, and I don't know how I can get a
14 document in record without a witness. I just can't read documents.
15 Otherwise both sides should bring in a truck-load each with their own
16 documents and say, here, Your Honours, read it, and we'll write final
17 briefs on it. This is not --
18 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] But the documents that are not
19 familiar with you can show them to this witness. Your colleagues can also
20 do this. There will be other witnesses. You'll be calling your own
21 witnesses. Don't say that you cannot present your own documents --
22 MR. KARNAVAS: [Previous translation continues] ... that I can
23 bring it through another witness. You're saying I have a burden to bear.
24 What makes you think that I don't want to put on a case? Maybe the
25 Prosecution will not put on their case. But when you say bring it through
1 my case, the burden is being shifted. That's the whole point. And why
2 not -- why not bring fewer witnesses on the Defence when I have a good
3 witness right here and I can bring all these documents in. That's all I'm
4 trying to do. I'm just trying to do my job. I'm just trying to be a good
5 lawyer. That's all.
6 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Scott.
7 MR. SCOTT: Very briefly, Your Honour.
8 I mean, just appropriate to this dialogue just now, I mean,
9 unfortunately many of these points that have been put to the witness are
10 not disputed. The Prosecution's never disputed that these were
11 multi-ethnic, multi-party authorities for most of 1992. So that hasn't
12 been in dispute.
13 It's also -- I just find it interesting, these last two exhibits
14 that Mr. Karnavas has put to the witness about the money to the TO and the
15 obstructions on the road, these are decisions that were made by exactly
16 the same multi-ethnic, multi-party bodies, including Croats, that he's
17 just spent the last 45 minutes proving to us.
18 MR. KARNAVAS: Your Honour, yesterday as of April 1992 the
19 Prosecution was alleging that the joint criminal enterprise was already in
20 place. They planted the seed. That's why I had to go through this,
21 because he was the one that brought it up. They were trying to get this
22 gentleman to say that as of April 1992 there was a joint criminal
23 enterprise and they began destroying roads and destroying the tunnels, and
24 that's what I'm trying to show at this point in time. At this point you
25 have joint defences. The situation on the ground is extremely and highly
1 complex. It's not black and white, as Mr. Scott would have us to believe.
2 MR. SCOTT: Well, sorry, Your Honour --
3 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, Mr. Scott.
4 MR. SCOTT: I didn't see a decision by the joint bodies in -- that
5 should be 1992 approving the destruction of the Aleksin Han bridge. It's
6 a completely different situation and, I'm sorry, but Mr. Karnavas is
7 comparing apples and oranges. These are decisions made by the joint
8 Croat-Muslim bodies, and I didn't see a document yesterday that talks
9 anything about destroying the Aleksin Han bridge for one example.
10 MR. KARNAVAS: The decision I demonstrate, I showed was a policy.
11 It was not bridge by bridge, tunnel by tunnel.
12 Q. Let me go on to the next portion. And let me skip ahead a little
14 The Prosecution has not mentioned an individual by the name of
15 Cibo. Do you know who this person is?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. And at one point in time he was appointed to be in charge of the
18 municipalities of - what was it? - Jablanica, Prozor, and Konjic. Did I
19 get it right?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. All right. And he was appointed by Izetbegovic, right?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. This is in 1993?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. Do you recall about what time?
1 A. Well, mid-March, roughly speaking.
2 Q. All right. And in fact when Cibo came, and as I understand it
3 he's either under investigation or in litigation being charged with crimes
4 of his own during this period of time at the local courts, when he came,
5 the situation got rather worse on the ground, did it not?
6 A. Well, we're moving into another area now. It was March 1993 at
7 the time, and the situation on the ground was fairly difficult. There
8 were two --
9 Q. No, sir, sir --
10 A. -- governments in existence.
11 Q. I just want to know when he came, because we're going to go step
12 by step. He came about that time --
13 A. I've already said -- yes.
14 Q. Now, help me out here, sir. On what legal authority did
15 Izetbegovic appoint Cibo to be the president of three municipalities? I'm
16 sure you must have pointed it out to Mr. Scott and his team to show on
17 what grounds Mr. Cibo was appointed the head of three municipalities at
18 this point in time. What was the law?
19 A. Well, when war broke out, they issued decree laws to regulate
20 daily life --
21 Q. Sir, sir, sir --
22 A. -- we didn't have those rules --
23 Q. We just went through all that process of showing legislation at
24 the municipality. That was the purpose of that exercise that took up so
25 much time, so we could all see that in Jablanica there is a process. I'm
1 asking you: Do you know concretely - yes, no, maybe, I don't know - on
2 what legal authority did Izetbegovic appoint this man to be in charge of
3 three municipalities, even though we had elections back in 1991, and
4 that's where we started? Do you know?
5 A. I don't know on the basis of which rules this was done.
6 Q. All right. Thank you. Thank you, sir. Thank you.
7 A. But let me assist you --
8 Q. Thank you.
9 A. If you don't want me to, that's fine --
10 Q. If we can look at 1D 00949, and this is from Konjic. We don't
11 have anything from Jablanica, but this is something that I have in Konjic
12 and I'm going to go through the middle of the page. This is a conclusion,
13 29 March 1993, and it's with respect to Dr. Cibo. And in the middle of
14 the page, it says, and I'll read it in English:
15 "There is no explanation for the decision of the Presidency RBiH
16 so that we do not know what the reasoning was for the eminent body's
17 decision," that was the decision to appoint this gentleman.
18 You, sir, were in Jablanica at the time. Were you provided with
19 an explanation by Izetbegovic or the SDA or anybody else as to how and on
20 what basis Cibo was appointed?
21 A. When he arrived in Jablanica he gathered us. He showed us three
22 documents. That's what I wanted to say. It wasn't just a document
23 showing that he was a member of the municipality, but he was also a member
24 of the corps command and he was the main person in the SDA. He was given
25 absolute authority. We didn't agree with this; we wanted to reject this.
1 But at the same time that he came, certain other military formations
2 arrived down there. So we didn't want to implement the decision, but we
3 were afraid of an internal conflict. So we accepted him.
4 Q. Yeah, but my whole -- sir --
5 A. I think that --
6 Q. No, no, but the point I'm trying make is this, the point I'm
7 trying to make is this: That you have Izetbegovic doing whatever he
8 wants, because I'm asking you concretely on what basis can this person
9 appoint someone for three municipalities when you had local elections,
10 when you had a process, when the municipalities were forming, you know,
11 whether it's a Crisis Staff or a War Presidency, whatever you want to call
12 it, where they're making decisions, where they're adopting currencies? On
13 what basis did Izetbegovic decide that, from this point on, somebody from
14 the outside, not elected, was going to be on top of everybody, including
15 the Croats, in Jablanica, Konjic, and Prozor?
16 A. It's clear. The question is clear.
17 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Answer the question.
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I'll answer the question. I'm not
19 familiar with the rule. I don't know whether it existed or not, but I'm
20 not familiar with such rule.
21 MR. KARNAVAS:
22 Q. His presence caused a great deal of discontent, did it not?
23 A. Yes, amongst us, too.
24 Q. And when the Croats, at one point you said -- you had indicated in
25 your testimony that at some point, and I believe it was in December or
1 November of 1992, that they had made a request that perhaps Jablanica
2 municipality should join in with the HZ HB; correct? Do you remember that
3 conversation when we first started?
4 A. Yes, yes.
5 Q. And there was no agreement; correct?
6 A. No.
7 Q. And so the Croats decided to leave the government, right?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. The HDZ, right?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. Which had been elected and they were a coalition party, and under
12 the rules and regulations, they were clearly entitled to just leave the
13 coalition; it is being done all over Europe today. They could elect,
15 A. Yes, yes.
16 Q. All right. And at the time, if I understand you correctly, when
17 there was a so-called ultimatum in January, you said nobody took it
18 seriously because there were only about 400 Croats and 2.500 Muslim
19 fighters over there, right?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. So clearly if there was a conflict -- 300 Croats. If there was a
22 conflict, we could say clearly, at least numerically speaking, the Muslims
23 had the upper hand; correct?
24 A. Well, yes --
25 Q. Okay.
1 A. -- on the territory of the municipality, that is.
2 Q. Right. And if I look at your statement, you indicated that there
3 was some kind of an ultimatum of such that was initially -- that was
4 initially given by Bozo Rajic in December, in December, 1992. That's not
5 correct, is it?
6 A. I think it was January 1993.
7 Q. Right. Exactly -- well, you said -- you gave two dates. You said
8 there were two occasions. But there was no ultimatum, just to be on the
9 safe side, just to be clear --
10 A. I think it was sometime in mid-January 1993 that that happened.
11 Q. Okay. And today you were asked by the Prosecutor who was Bozo
12 Rajic, and you indicated that he was the Minister of Defence for
13 Herceg-Bosna; correct? That was your understanding.
14 A. I probably said that, yes.
15 Q. Okay. And it's -- in fact, it's stated in your document, in your
16 statement, because I have proofing notes from the Prosecutor dated 5
17 November 2006 wherein, under point number 6, apparently you pointed out or
18 you made a correction where you indicate that Bozo Rajic was actually the
19 Minister of Defence for the Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina. There's no
20 dilemma on that; that's the position he held, so you were mistaken --
21 A. All right, yes. All right. I got it mixed up.
22 Q. All right. Okay.
23 MR. KARNAVAS: Now, I've been given some additional time,
24 Mr. President, thanks to my colleagues, and I hope I don't abuse it
25 because they have things that they need to do --
1 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Which colleagues?
2 MR. KARNAVAS: All of them.
3 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Which ones?
4 MR. KARNAVAS: I have -- I had ten minutes from Mr. Praljak, I had
5 ten minutes from Mr. Coric, and I believe I already got ten minutes from
6 Mr. Stojic. And if I could have an accounting, that way I can -- I'm
7 moving as fast as I can, Mr. President, and this is a Herculean task and
8 I'm only 5 foot 8.
9 Can I proceed, Mr. President? I was waiting.
10 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] You have 73 minutes -- used up
11 73 minutes.
12 MR. KARNAVAS: Thank you, Mr. President. And I wish to apologise
13 for my earlier outburst. I've just been up all night trying to --
14 JUDGE TRECHSEL: [Microphone not activated].
15 MR. KARNAVAS: I can't change my personality now.
16 Q. If I could just talk a little bit about mobilisation, the issue of
17 mobilisation. And if we can go to document 1D 00955. Again, this is
18 dated 25 April 1992. We see that this is a -- this regards to work
19 obligation; correct? All you got to do is look at the first paragraph
20 under Roman numeral I: "All men and women from ages 18 to 60 years of age
21 shall perform the work obligation service."
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. And if we go -- and that would have been for both Croat and
24 Muslim; correct?
25 A. It ought to have been, yes.
1 Q. Another document, just very quickly, 28 April 1992, this is an
2 order. Again, everybody is subject to -- 1D 00960. This deals with work
3 obligation. Incidentally, when you were appointed -- because I was rather
4 unclear. When they established the 44th Brigade and you were left behind
5 in Jablanica, were you part of the ABiH or were you fulfilling the
6 function of -- of civil protection?
7 A. I remained a member of the armija.
8 Q. Okay. So you were not doing civil protection work?
9 A. No.
10 Q. Okay. All right. Again, just very quickly, 1D 00974, we have --
11 this is an order dated 11 May 1992. And this talks about seizing and
12 mobilising all materiels and technical equipment. Now, in light of the
13 earliest piece that we received from the Prosecution it would seem to be
14 that at this point in time, at this point in time, consistent with the
15 situation on the ground, the municipality had the ability and in fact was
16 indeed mobilising and seizing materiel as it sought fit; correct?
17 A. That is the Ministry of Defence; it did that.
18 Q. Exactly, exactly. And at that point in time, at least back in
19 11 May 1992, that would have included -- the HVO was still cooperating and
20 working with, closely allied to the Army of BiH?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. All right. Now, if we look at 13 May 1992, there's another order
23 there, and this is kind of interesting, again for other purposes. It
24 talks about TO return the persons who fled other municipalities are
25 staying in Jablanica -- oh, I'm sorry, 1D 00977.
1 Here's an order dated 13 May 1992 to return the persons who fled
2 other municipalities are staying in Jablanica municipality and are fit to
3 serve in the army or work to the municipalities where -- whence they came
4 and their refugee status be suspended. It seems to me that from this
5 order able-bodied men from other municipalities had to go back to do their
6 patriotic duty wherever they came from; correct?
7 A. Well, that's partially it, but what this was about is this: In
8 May 1992 we had a large number of refugees from Foca, and they had their
9 own brigade which existed in the territory of Trnovo and Igman, up there.
10 Now, these were really ludicrous situations. The men put on
11 women's clothing. They had those Muslim women's pantaloons and things
12 like that, and there were a large number of people hiding there. That was
13 a great problem for us. We would collect up a whole bus of people like
14 that and they were taken to Igman and then they would come back. So this
15 order was linked to the problem of refugees, exclusively men from Foca who
16 were not returned to Foca but it was the so-called 1st Foca Brigade which
17 existed in the region of Trnovo.
18 Q. [Previous translation continues] ... refugees, just to make sure
19 that we understand, you indicated that at some point Jablanica had up to
20 10.000 refugees. During the earlier part of the conflict when it was, you
21 know, the Serbs were the aggressors, there were quite a few refugees that
22 came into Jablanica, right?
23 A. Yes, yes, most of them.
24 Q. And that the accommodations were rather scarce?
25 A. Well, I've already said.
1 Q. Just say yes.
2 A. Yes, yes.
3 Q. Okay. All right. All right.
4 A. There was absolutely no possibility and that's why the council
5 intervened with three camps down there.
6 Q. Right. But also as I understand it, folks were -- you know,
7 refugees were being put into residence where others were living in. In
8 other words, if a family had a large residence, other refugees would come
9 in to occupy part of the residence, to share it. Is that correct?
10 A. Well, there were all kinds of situations. Most of them were put
11 up in the schools, sports halls, and camps later on when they were
13 Q. Sir, did it occur where refugees were coming in to share folks'
14 homes that lived in Jablanica? It's a yes or no.
15 A. The staff for the accommodation of refugees was in charge of
16 putting up the refugees. It was a special body set up by the municipality
17 that was functioning.
18 Q. Sir, sir --
19 A. Just a moment, wait for me to finish. Wait for me to finish.
20 Q. I just want you to give me an answer.
21 A. I'm sorry that you don't have the time, but --
22 Q. I know. Complain about it. I'm asking you a very simple
23 question. Were refugees forced or asked to reside in people's homes, to
24 share their homes, by this commission?
25 A. I think that there was that, too.
1 Q. Okay. And that might have caused some tension, too, didn't it?
2 A. Well, the very presence of 10.000 people in a town which normally
3 has a population of 3.000 would cause --
4 Q. Okay. All right. We'll move on. We'll move on, sir. Let me
5 show you another document, 1D 00986. And here it says -- this is an order
6 dated 19 May 1992. The Jablanica public security station in here ordered
7 the return, you know, hereby ordered to return to their place of residence
8 all men fit to work who are currently staying in Jablanica municipality as
9 refugees from the municipalities of Konjic and Mostar.
10 So here this is an order basically asking folks to leave, right?
11 A. Well, these were people who had fled from obligations. We had a
12 flood of people from Mostar and Konjic, Konjic was close by, who had fled
13 from up there --
14 Q. [Previous translation continues]...
15 A. -- not to have to go and join the army. And now, do you think
16 that somebody should look after them, take care of them, of course they
17 should be expelled.
18 Q. Okay. That's what I wanted to hear. And this is a decision
19 that -- this is an order that's signed by Hamdo Sefer, right?
20 A. May he burn in ...
21 Q. All right. Now, if we --
22 [Defence counsel confer]
23 MR. KARNAVAS: I'm told that in the transcript it says apparently
24 not -- your entire answer didn't -- wasn't recorded.
25 Q. The reason that they fled, was that because they didn't want to do
1 their military service or their work obligation?
2 A. Yes, yes, just that. It didn't refer to the others.
3 Q. Okay. Right --
4 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] It's time. Your time is up,
5 Mr. Karnavas.
6 MR. KARNAVAS: Very -- very well, Mr. President. I think that --
7 very well.
8 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Several seconds.
9 Mr. Karnavas, while you were asking questions, I listened to you
10 and I consulted your dossier and I see that you have provided for 50
11 documents here. The exact number of 50. Now, if we take a minimum of one
12 minute per document, that means that in advance you would have exceeded
13 your 45 minutes. So you should have told us at the outset that your
14 colleagues gave you such and such an amount of time because it's easy to
15 provide for 50 documents, present 20, and then start shouting at the
16 Chamber and saying that they prevented you from showing the other 30
17 documents. So if you prepare 50 documents in advance, you must know that
18 you won't be able to get through all those documents unless other people
19 give you their time and so on.
20 So with these 50 documents I'm sure that there is one that is
21 essential, others that perhaps are not. They're not all of equal value,
22 and it's up to you to select the ones that you consider to be most
23 important and present them. So that's food for thought for you. Try and
24 find a better solution and save us from wasting time.
25 MR. KARNAVAS: Thank you, Mr. President. I will -- I continue to
1 fine-tune my skills, but I was rather ambitious. I thought I was able --
2 I was going to get through all the documents. I take your point, and I
3 didn't mean to raise my voice to the Trial Chamber, though at times I feel
4 I must be heard.
5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Sir, you will be coming back
6 tomorrow. I don't know if we'll get through the cross-examination
7 tomorrow. It depends on the Defence counsel. The counsel for General
8 Petkovic have 35 minutes, the others 45 minutes or whatever, and perhaps
9 they will see that Mr. Karnavas might have asked some of the questions
10 that they were going to answer [as interpreted]. So I can't say whether
11 your testimony will be finished tomorrow. As I said, don't speak to
12 anybody between now and tomorrow, and we start the hearing tomorrow
13 morning at 9.00.
14 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 1.47 p.m.,
15 to be reconvened on Wednesday, the 8th day of
16 November, 2006, at 9.00 a.m.