1 Tuesday, 19 June 2007
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, please call the
8 THE REGISTRAR: Good morning, Your Honours. Good morning to
9 everyone in the courtroom. This is case number IT-04-74-T, the Prosecutor
10 versus Prlic et al. Thank you.
11 MR. STEWART: Your Honour, just 15 seconds, if I may. Further
12 tribute to Mr. Petkovic's ability to attract talented women to his Defence
13 team, we have another intern starting with us today, Ms. Ashley Walker. I
14 simply wanted to introduce her to the Court. We're delighted to have her
15 on the Petkovic team.
16 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. Stewart.
17 Let me say good morning to everyone here in this courtroom. Good
18 morning to Ms. Ashley Walker, who is now a member of General Petkovic's
20 I'm going to give the floor to the registrar who has two IC
21 numbers to give us.
22 THE REGISTRAR: Thank you very much, Your Honour. 3D and 5D have
23 submitted a list -- a response to the OTP objections regarding Defence
24 exhibits tendered through Witness Bo Pellnas. The 3D list shall be
25 assigned Exhibit number IC 605, while the 5D response shall be assigned
1 Exhibit number IC 606. Thank you very much, Your Honours.
2 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. Registrar. I am
3 going to give the floor now to Mr. Scott and we'll resume the
4 examination-in-chief of the witness.
5 WITNESS: AZRA KRAJSEK [Resumed]
6 [Witness answered through interpreter]
7 Examination by Mr. Scott: [Continued]
8 MR. SCOTT: Good morning, Mr. President; good morning,
9 Your Honours; and good morning to everyone in the courtroom. In
10 connection with our two newest members, I suppose we can never have enough
11 talented women in the courtroom, so we welcome them to join us. Not
12 enough talented men, but many talented women.
13 Q. If I might go back a moment to a question that was raised -- if we
14 could just pick up from yesterday and deal with a couple of matters,
15 please. If you can look back at Exhibit 10058, which -- I see you don't
16 have the binder yet.
17 A. [In English] I have the document.
18 Q. Thank you. Madam, one of the -- one of the Defence counsel raised
19 yesterday a question about this document, in particular on the last page,
20 the last paragraph, which could be dealt with on cross-examination, I
21 suppose redirect, but since it was raised, let me come back to it now.
22 The language as pointed out to you in that paragraph, it
23 says: "They were given the status of refugees." Now, in exploring this
24 matter with you a bit -- just a bit more, can I refer you to your
25 statement for further clarification, to paragraph 91 of your statement.
1 A. [Interpretation] I have found the paragraph.
2 Q. In paragraph 91 of your statement in connection with these men who
3 had been released from Dretelj and had found themselves on Korcula, it
4 says: "Dr. Granic," which is also explained in the same paragraph, and I
5 think the Chamber and those in the courtroom may know by now, the Minister
6 of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Croatia at the time, "Dr. Granic
7 announced that it was agreed that once the detainees from Dretelj were
8 released they would be accepted by Croatia and treated as guests of the
9 country while waiting for further transit to third countries."
10 Now, with that in mind and looking at the language in
11 Dr. Kapetanovic's letter, which is Exhibit 10058, which you may want to go
12 back to, if you see the letter, the language where Dr. Kapetanovic
13 says, "They were given the status of refugees," my question to you really
14 is: Was Dr. Kapetanovic correct in saying that? Were they in fact, to
15 your knowledge, given refugee status at that time when they arrived on
17 A. All my knowledge tells me that they weren't given that status and
18 could not have obtained it.
19 MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation] Your Honour, with your permission
20 might I be allowed to request that since the Prosecutor has gone back to
21 my observations that we take a look at when this meeting was in 1993. It
22 says early in September, and it would be proper to say that Mr. Silajdzic
23 attended the meeting too and the exhibit that the Prosecutor is
24 presenting, 10058, let us just take a look at the date which the 9th of
25 October, makes it one month difference.
1 MR. SCOTT: Your Honour, I tried to deal with this matter briefly
2 but I submit respectfully to the Chamber I think any further inquiry by
3 counsel should be left to cross-examination. I would like to move
5 Q. Further -- before going further from yesterday, madam, let me just
6 ask you where we left off at the end of the day, I asked you a question;
7 it was late in the day and perhaps my question wasn't clear. We were
8 referring to exhibit -- which again may exist you to have in front of you.
9 If you can turn to Exhibit 10067, which I believe is the last document in
10 the binder.
11 A. I found the document.
12 Q. This was a letter in which you mentioned, among other things, that
13 you had written a letter and raised the matter that the number of -- you
14 had contact with various people who had, at one time, been Dretelj
15 detainees who had been released to Korcula and then sent on to other
16 countries and that you were having contact with some of these people who
17 were expressing a desire and making efforts to return to Bosnia. Do you
18 recall that?
19 A. Yes, I do remember.
20 Q. And my question -- the question that I asked you yesterday, and
21 let me just restate my question and I'll try to clarify, I asked you -- I
22 said given the number of issues that your embassy was dealing with around
23 that time, and I'm -- for the purposes of the record, I'm now referring to
24 pages 57 and 58 of yesterday's transcript. "Given the number of issues
25 that your embassy was dealing with around that time, why did you find it
1 noteworthy to send a report on this topic to your superiors and to the
2 Ministry Of Foreign Affairs?" And let me clarify my question was not
3 suggested to be critical of why the -- your department in Zagreb wasn't
4 directly dealing with these issues at the time, and you explained that
5 they would not have fallen within your area of responsibility at that time
6 since they didn't relate to people who were then and there in Croatia,
7 refugees in Croatia, as they were elsewhere, but why did you think that
8 topic generally was important enough to bring to the attention of the
9 Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Sarajevo? That's my question.
10 A. I considered that this was exceptionally important because they're
11 the same former Dretelj detainees who sought all manner of ways and means
12 to be allowed to return to Bosnia-Herzegovina, so that because of their
13 wish to return back home, they never ceased to maintain contact with the
14 embassy in Zagreb.
15 Q. Now, if I can ask you then to go forward this morning. In
16 reference to paragraph 62 of your -- I'm just making sure I'm not skipping
17 something else. If I can direct your attention to the topics that are
18 dealt with at paragraphs 62 to 64 of your statement.
19 A. I have found it. I've found those paragraphs, yes.
20 Q. Thank you. In paragraph 63, you say that the refugees were losing
21 the already-granted refugee status. In other words, in those instances
22 where they had been granted refugee status. Most of these people who lost
23 the status were in Zagreb, Split, Makarska. 64: "The newly arrived
24 Bosnian Muslims were not given protection and could not get refugee
25 status. They were coming from Herzegovina, which was under the
1 HVO-controlled BiH territory."
2 Can you say a bit more to the Judges about what you recall during
3 this time period about refugee status either being -- that had already
4 been given being revoked or not extended to persons newly arrived?
5 A. What I remember is that a particular problem that we faced was
6 with the Bosnian nationals with recognised refugee status who came from
7 the area of Herzegovina -- or, rather, the territory under HVO control,
8 because at that time the Office for Displaced persons and refugees issued
9 a decree to their local offices saying that persons coming from
10 Herzegovina should not have their refugee status extended because there
11 wasn't a war going on there any more so that they forfeited their refugee
12 status. Mostly the way they did this was they would be intercepted in the
13 street and the police would take away their cards and the new arrivals
14 weren't able to come by this refugee status at all. All the activities --
15 or, rather, the local offices referred back to the Dr. Adalbert Rebic
16 decree and the Office for Displace Persons and Refugees.
17 Q. Apart from this indication that -- in line 10 today it
18 says: "There wasn't a war going on there any more." Apart from that
19 statement or basis, to your knowledge was any other justification or basis
20 given for withdrawing or denying refugee status at that time?
21 A. In my view there was no justification, and that includes this one
22 to which the office referred, because at that time Bosnian nationals,
23 Muslims, were not able to return to Herzegovina safely and securely. They
24 were not able to return by land via Herzegovina to Bosnia, that is to say
25 the other Muslim citizens either, because they ran the risk of facing the
1 realistic danger of being arrested and detained by the HVO again.
2 Q. Going on to paragraphs 65 through 67 in which you talk about
3 something called the Rama action, in which you indicate that the Croatian
4 Ministry of Interior arrested approximately 120 Bosnian Muslims to be
5 deported back to BiH, Bosnia and Herzegovina. My only question to follow
6 up on those paragraphs is did you ever receive any information on what
7 happened to those 120 Muslims?
8 A. Never.
9 Q. If I can now direct your attention to paragraph 71 of your
11 JUDGE TRECHSEL: While there is a pause and just going on: Madam,
12 did you inquire about the fate of these 120 Muslims? Did you try to get
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] We inquired through the system,
15 contacted all the UN and other organisations present in Croatia asking for
16 their assistance, asking that they become involved and try to find out
17 what happened to those BH citizens. However, we never received an answer.
18 And not to speculate on my part, I would assume that they didn't have that
19 information either.
20 MR. KARNAVAS: I assume that they're going to produce some
21 documents on this.
22 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, Mr. Karnavas, please.
23 JUDGE TRECHSEL: We did not hear you, Mr. Karnavas.
24 MR. KARNAVAS: I assume that the lady has documents which would
25 verify what she just indicated, that she made inquiries to all these
1 organisations, something that we can at least look at tangibly and then
2 verify and, if so, I assume she produced them to the Prosecution given
3 that she's had three or four years' contact with them.
4 JUDGE TRECHSEL: I wanted to ask, madam, you have spoken of
5 international organisations; did you also inquire with Croatian
6 authorities, the MUP for instance?
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I did not personally, but through my
8 consulate I did receive information which the consulate managed to obtain
9 from the MUP.
10 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Thank you.
11 MR. SCOTT:
12 Q. And that information was, if any?
13 A. That's when I received information about the Rama operation.
14 Q. Now, again if we could go to paragraph number 71. In paragraph 71
15 you deal again with the topic of some of these people being relocated on
16 to Turkey, and you say: "Before people were sent to Turkey we offered
17 them the possibility to go back to Bosnia," and then you give some further
18 information about that, and you mention Tuzla again, and toward the end of
19 that paragraph you say: "That is why we realised that we could enable
20 them to leave only for Turkey."
21 Let me just -- for purposes of clarification, can you just
22 indicate to the Chamber again was it -- was it the preferred course of
23 action? Was that your first choice, and not just yours personally but the
24 first choice of the Bosnian government, that these people be transported
25 to Turkey?
1 A. That was the last possibility, and we recognised it as such, to
2 protect those citizens and to put them up in a safe area where they
3 wouldn't be threatened from arrests and further persecution. So it wasn't
4 the usual way of taking care of them or the reaction by the embassy or,
5 rather, the department for displaced persons and refugees of the BH
6 government in Croatia.
7 Q. Perhaps a similar thought but in case there might be a need for
8 clarification, if you go to paragraph 75 of your statement. At the end of
9 that paragraph you again -- you say: "I want to stress the fact that we
10 organised the transport to Turkey only for those pushed to legal limbo."
11 What do you mean by that?
12 A. I understand by that that we organised ourselves in the following
13 way: We tried to talk individually to each of the BH citizens who wished
14 to be -- who wished to go to Turkey to check and see whether they had
15 recognised refugee status in Croatia or not. We primarily did not want to
16 deal with the movement of refugees with refugee status. And we asked
17 ourselves which UN organisation the citizens had contacted, and we sent
18 them to the UNHCR first. And all those who confirmed that they were not
19 able to receive protection from the UNHCR, because there were among them
20 those who, under UNHCR protection, they knew -- actually, they knew that
21 people protected by the UNHCR were also arrested and expelled. So this
22 was done only on the basis of interviews and forms that they filled in and
23 we would carry out selection in that way. We would choose individuals to
24 join the group and to travel to Turkey.
25 Q. Can I ask you in this connection to look at Exhibit 4150.
1 A. I have it before me.
2 Q. We've looked at this document before, I believe, but just
3 directing your attention to another part of the document, and I'm
4 referring to the English translation, but if you look at the bottom --
5 toward the bottom of the third page, carrying over to the top of the
6 following page. Does that document discuss again the question or the
7 topic of moving various of these persons to Turkey?
8 A. I have to go back to the English version. Just a moment, please.
9 Q. Bottom of the third page.
10 A. I've found it. I've found the paragraph. And this relates to
11 looking into the possibility of organised travel by BH citizens from
12 Croatia to third countries.
13 Q. And in particular the topic of the movement to Turkey; is that
15 A. That is correct, because we contacted the embassies of a number of
16 countries, but it was only Turkey which replied and confirmed the fact
17 that they were ready to take in these people, up to 2.000 BH citizens, in
19 Q. And can I next ask you to please go to Exhibit 10054.
20 A. I have the document.
21 Q. And can you tell us what that document is, please.
22 A. This is my letter, the department of refugees of the BH embassy in
23 Zagreb, addressed to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of
24 Bosnia-Herzegovina in which in general terms -- no, I'm sorry. That
25 doesn't seem to be it. It is a report from an official visit to Split
1 between the 7th and 12th of September, 1993. That's what this is.
2 Q. All right. And what was the occasion of your going to Split and
3 Obonjan Island during the 7th to 12th of September, 1993?
4 A. In the report, I state the main reason for the visit, which was
5 the very difficult situation in the refugee centre on the island of
6 Obonjan, the plight of the refugees. And in the letter I go on to explain
7 that we viewed the complexity of the situation on Obonjan and the fact
8 that we understood why the citizens -- or, rather, refugees from BH
9 accommodated on Obonjan Island were constantly sending in requests for
10 help and assistance, and to enable them to go further on to other
12 Q. Now, on the second page of the English version, about the middle
13 of the page, just to follow up on some questions that came up yesterday.
14 If you find the paragraph, please, that starts, "Like in other refugee
15 centres ..."
16 A. I've found the paragraph.
17 Q. "Like in other refugee centres, most of our citizens have no
18 identification papers. Representatives of the embassy ... visited the
19 island at the beginning of August 1993. At that time, collective
20 passports were issued to the citizens of Mostar and everybody else who was
21 interested." And you -- we discussed collective passports yesterday. And
22 then you go on to say: "The collective passports were issued to the
23 citizens of Mostar because they were in transit through the Republic of
24 Croatia. We had no information about how the host country was going to
25 treat them, so we began preparations, as an emergency measure, for their
1 collective relocation."
2 And is that, in fact, an accurate report of the state of affairs
3 at the time?
4 A. Yes, that is accurate.
5 Q. If I can ask you to go to page 5 of the English version. It's the
6 last paragraph preceding the section heading II.
7 A. I'm looking at the passage.
8 Q. The third line of that paragraph it says -- makes reference to
9 closing down the refugee centre on the island. And we're talking about
10 Obonjan now, I take it; is that correct?
11 A. I don't have the passage in front of me. I'm looking at page 5,
12 above II. Is that the paragraph?
13 Q. That's correct. In the third line of that paragraph it makes
14 reference to: "closing down the refugee centre on the island." Do you
15 see that?
16 A. I see that.
17 Q. And can you just simply tell us whether that refugee centre or
18 camp on that island was closed down any time around this time, that is,
19 the fall, let's say, of 1993?
20 A. No. Up until my return to Bosnia-Herzegovina, that is August
21 1994, the refugee centre had not been closed down.
22 Q. In paragraph 78 of your statement -- paragraph 78 of your
23 statement you make this statement which I would like you then to add to or
24 further explain if you're able, please. "We realised that the Croatian
25 authorities were waiting for such a good opportunity to start moving
1 refugees from other parts of Croatia to Obonjan and Gasinci, the two worst
2 places for the refugees to be. As Croatian authorities expected, refugees
3 tried everything to leave the country."
4 Now, can you explain to the Judges more what was happening here,
5 what you mean by this part of your statement?
6 A. What I meant to say by this part of the statement was that it was
7 well known that at the moment when refugees would be moved from previous
8 refugee centres or private accommodation where they were staying, when
9 they would be moved from Obonjan or to Gasinci, the refugees would start
10 looking at all conceivable ways of leaving the Republic of Croatia. Both
11 places had their specific characteristics, and it was quite understandable
12 to me why people did not want to spend any amount of time at these places.
13 Do you want me to give more details about these specific
15 Q. Briefly, please.
16 A. The specific characteristic of the collecting centre at Gasinci
17 was this location. It was right next to training grounds of the regular
18 Croatian army, including heavy weaponry. This was an open message as far
19 as the refugees were concerned because often the guns of this weaponry
20 were turned to the camp. Very often policemen would enter the camp,
21 arrest them there. There were even physical beatings of the refugees.
22 The general atmosphere was more than disturbing. It could be
23 characterised as hysterical at certain points of time when I visited them.
24 As for the island of Obonjan, the citizens of Bosnia-Herzegovina
25 are people from the continent, from the land. Mostly they were elderly
1 people, women or elderly, frail men who had never moved from their homes
2 before. So living on an island was stressful enough for them. It was
3 something that they were not used to. Also, there were former criminals
4 staying at the island too. I already mentioned yesterday that there were
5 psychopaths and murders among them who were waiting for deportation to
6 Bosnia-Herzegovina once they have served their sentences. Then there were
7 members of the special police force of the Republic of Croatia.
8 As for the Bosnian citizens who were staying at the island, they
9 were terrified of these special police forces. Also, what was very hard
10 for them was the fact that they could not go to land when they wanted to,
11 the mainland.
12 Q. Thank you for that. May I then move us forward to paragraph --
13 JUDGE TRECHSEL: May I --
14 MR. SCOTT: Yes.
15 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Just a question to get a bit more colour if
17 Are you aware, madam, whether there have been any crimes committed
18 by these ex-convicts that had been brought to the island to the detriment
19 of refugees, or was it just an abstract fear?
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] As far as I know, they did not act
21 to the detriment of refugees. However, I personally came across two of
22 these former ex-convicts. It is practically with a sense of pride that
23 they spoke about their crimes, the crimes that they had committed, and I
24 asked whether they had contact with refugees and whether they told the
25 refugees about what it was that they had done, and they said that it was
1 only natural that they could meet with refugees and talk to them.
2 MR. KARNAVAS: Your Honour, I hope other than colour we will get
3 some proof. I think proof is what we need as opposed to colour. This is
4 all anecdotal. I assume that the young -- that the woman has proof in
5 documents that she submitted, or investigations. I think that's what we
6 need in this case.
7 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes. Madam, just a question.
8 What you're saying might be a bit confusing, and I believe that we must
9 absolutely shed light on what you're saying.
10 So those convicts, those criminals who were there waiting to be
11 sent back to Bosnia, BiH, when you said that, you know, it struck me
12 because I was thinking about the Cubans that had been transferred to
13 centres in Miami where there was a mix of criminals and refugees. I
14 thought this is what you were hinting at. Then while listening to you I
15 started to wonder whether those criminals -- "criminals" weren't nationals
16 from BiH that had than tried by courts in Croatia and that were actually
17 serving their sentence while they were waiting to be transferred back to
18 their own country.
19 So these so-called criminals, could you tell us what category they
20 belonged to? Were they nationals of BiH that had been tried in Croatia
21 and that were supposed to go back to their country to serve, finish their
22 sentence, or were they just people that had been coming in with the influx
23 of refugees among which there were these criminal elements?
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] These were persons who had been
25 convicted of having committed different crimes in the former Yugoslavia.
1 They were serving their sentences in some of the prisons in Croatia. Once
2 they had served their sentences, Croatia did not return them to
3 Bosnia-Herzegovina in view of the war operations. Rather, they were all
4 relocated to Obonjan until they were returned to Bosnia-Herzegovina.
5 As for their stay in Obonjan, I sent letters about that to the
6 UNHCR and other organisations, always asking for some kind of help. What
7 comes to mind right now is a particular situation when there was a number
8 of ex-convicts among them together with some refugees who were in Obonjan,
9 and according to the information provided by refugees, they were deported
10 to Bosnia-Herzegovina. Then I sent letters stating the actual number of
11 persons who were taken from Obonjan, thus seeking protection for these
12 people and asking for information to be sent to us about what came out.
13 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] So if I understood you right,
14 madam, there were several categories. You had those who had been
15 convicted during the times of former Yugoslavia and who were serving their
16 sentence in Croatian prisons but who were BiH nationals and who were
17 supposed to go back to BiH because -- now that BiH had become independent.
18 Since they were prisoners of BiH they were supposed to go back there to
19 serve their sentence. But you seem to also be saying that in the influx of
20 refugees, there were some individuals which had been convicted in BiH and
21 that had just mingled in with the refugees. So all together there were
22 several categories in terms of criminals. Is that what you were saying?
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I'm sorry if I wasn't specific
24 enough. To the best of my knowledge, all of them were convicts who had
25 been convicted in the time of the former Yugoslavia. They served many
1 years in prison. Many of them had served 10 or 15 or 20 years. They were
2 set free in the period from Bosnia and Herzegovina and Croatia had already
3 been recognised since due to these new facts they had become nationals of
4 a country that was at war, Croatian did not send them to
5 Bosnia-Herzegovina straight away. They kept them at the island of Obonjan
6 officially until conditions were created for their return to
8 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you. You were extremely
10 Mr. Scott, you may resume.
11 MR. SCOTT: Thank you.
12 Q. If I could then direct your attention on to paragraph 90 of your
13 statement. This is a paragraph, madam, where you deal with the fact that
14 you had some conversations with a person you identify as a priest from
16 A. That's right.
17 Q. Can you tell us at the end of the day, so to speak, did you
18 consider that this request was actually to assist these Muslims who were
19 being referred to here, or how did you understand the request that was
20 being made of you?
21 A. Quite frankly, I was very, very worried. There were several
22 telephone contacts. At first I thought that this was sincere concern
23 about the Muslims who were under threat in the area. However, the
24 gentleman who introduced himself as Nedeljko Galic seemed more and more
25 insincere to me. And in response to my question as to whether he had any
1 possibility to help them go to Bosnia-Herzegovina if they wish, he said
2 that they heard that it was cold in Bosnia, there was no food in Bosnia.
3 He helped me make my decision, because I thought that this kind of
4 approach could not be sincere as far as I was concerned or as far as the
5 embassy of Bosnia and Herzegovina was concerned. Is there a single
6 citizen of Bosnia-Herzegovina who needs to hear that it was cold in
7 Bosnia? So I characterised him as insincere straight away, and I didn't
8 go back to that any more.
9 Q. Going forward, then, to deal with the question of again the
10 refugees and the people that found themselves in Croatia. If I can ask
11 you to look at paragraph 102. And you make reference in that paragraph to
12 a copy of instructions sent by Mr. Rebic's office to regional offices in
13 Croatia. The document said that the refugee status is to be terminated
14 for those coming from so-called "safe areas," in other words, Mostar,
15 Stolac, Capljina, Ljubuski, Pocitelj, and other places under HVO control.
16 When and how, generally, did you first come to know of the
17 existence of these instructions from Mr. Rebic?
18 A. Before I give an answer, I will put a question. The interpreter
19 said "safe areas," but I wanted to have this corrected into "safe areas."
20 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's note: Different words in B/C/S.
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] On the basis of contacts, regardless
22 of whether it was refugees who were coming to the office and whether they
23 were phoning us seeking help, assistance as to how they should behave in a
24 situation when their refugee status was not being extended. We tried to
25 establish official contact with Mr. Rebic's office seeking clarification,
1 but we never got an official answer.
2 However, our refugees helped us get a copy of the document, namely
3 a copy of the decree that the office for refugees and displaced persons
4 from Zagreb had sent to all of their regional offices, and this decree
5 pertained to the following: Citizens of Bosnia-Herzegovina who are from
6 the towns of Mostar, Stolac, Capljina, Ljubuski, Pocitelj, and others
7 under the control of the HVO should not have their refugee status
8 extended. Refugees realised that they could not return to these areas,
9 that they did not have any protection, that they would remain totally
10 unprotected, and of course they sought advice from the embassy -- or,
11 rather, concrete help to have their problem resolved.
12 MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I think that the
13 witness did not respond to the question. My colleague's question was when
14 and how she first came to know, et cetera. We didn't hear that.
15 MR. SCOTT: Well, Your Honour, I think we heard the how. On the
16 basis of contacts, regardless of whether it was refugees, et cetera. So
17 that answer is given. As to the when, I'm sure that in the next few
18 minutes and with exhibits it will become very clear. So I think it's -- I
19 think the witness has indeed gone a bit ahead of us and answered my next
20 question, but if you really want me to ask the next question.
21 Q. And what did you hear? You were proceeding to answer it, madam.
22 A. Basically I heard that there was a new problem, that refugees from
23 Bosnia-Herzegovina were not having their refugee status extended and that
24 their status was not regulated in terms of their further stay in Croatia.
25 Q. Could I ask you to go to paragraph 103 of your -- the next
1 paragraph of your statement. You indicated that you met with Mr. Rebic
2 and raised your concerns with him?
3 MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I do apologise for
4 interrupting. My learned friend said a few moments ago that we would get
5 the answer as to "when" a bit later, and now he is directing the witness
6 to paragraph 103 when there is no time reference again. We still don't
7 know. Was it in 1991? No problem. 1994, no problem, but 1993 could be
8 somewhat different. You know full well through these proceedings as my
9 colleague knows as well that from month-to-month the situation in the
10 former Yugoslavia, including Bosnia-Herzegovina, including Croatia, was
11 changing dramatically. So time is of essence.
12 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Madam, could you tell us the
13 approximate date you learned this? Could you give us a date when you
14 knew -- when you finally found out about this?
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I don't want to try to remember,
16 because I know that there are minutes from meetings and different
17 documents, my reports, that are all dated. I think it would be better if
18 the Prosecutor would help us find the right documents.
19 MR. SCOTT: Yes, Your Honour. If I was allowed to go to the next
20 exhibit it would be clear. And also, I would have assumed that when I
21 directed the courtroom's attention to paragraph 103, I had assumed that
22 people would have read paragraph 100, which says: "From September 1993
23 onwards, until the end of my mission on the 31st of August, that
24 Mr. Rebic," and so on. And the first document, Your Honour -- can we just
25 get to the document that says 31 October 1993? Why are we wasting time?
1 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Continue, Mr. Scott.
2 MR. SCOTT:
3 Q. Can I ask you to go, please, Witness, to document 100059?
4 MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, may I?
5 JUDGE TRECHSEL: I think, Mr. Kovacic, I think it would be --
6 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
7 MR. KOVACIC: Okay, Your Honour. Then I will not and --
8 JUDGE TRECHSEL: I think it is better to have some patience, and
9 you will have a lot time in cross-examination in case you are not
10 satisfied now.
11 MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honour, of course. I
12 shall be patient and so --
13 JUDGE TRECHSEL: As we are.
14 MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation] As you asked me, but sometimes when
15 we're patient, I have to take you 15 minutes back and by then nobody knows
16 what it was we had been talking about. Thank you.
17 MR. SCOTT:
18 Q. Madam, if you have Exhibit 10059 --
19 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
20 MR. SCOTT:
21 Q. If you have Exhibit 10059, can you tell us what that is, please?
22 A. This is a letter of the embassy of the republic of Bosnia and
23 Herzegovina in Zagreb sent to the office for expellees and refugees of the
24 government of the Republic of Croatia. It was written by the department
25 for refugees. I can see that on the basis of the number of the protocol.
1 The date is the 31st of October, 1993. Through the Ministry of Foreign
2 Affairs along with this note a document was sent to Mr. Rebic and his
3 office, and this letter requests the office for expellees and refugees of
4 the government of the Republic of Croatia to provide an explanation in
5 view of refugees -- actually, I prefer reading this. "Refugees are given
6 the following explanation: That the conditions have been created for
7 their return to the safe areas, Mostar and others, and therefore they lose
8 their refugee status in Croatia. Social care centres explain that this is
9 based on a decision made by the government of the Republic of Croatia,
10 rather, the office for refugees and expellees."
11 So I wrote this in October 1993 through the Ministry of Foreign
12 Affairs. I seek an answer from the Office for Expellees and Refugees.
13 Q. And if I can direct your attention on to Exhibit 10060. That
14 should be the next document in your binder. Did you in fact receive --
15 you or the embassy receive a response from Mr. Rebic dated the 4th of
16 November? There's one date at the top of the letter, but if you look at
17 the 4th of November, 1993. Do you have that document?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. And in that letter Mr. Rebic reports -- the second paragraph in
20 the letter. It says: "We hereby inform you that the office has issued a
21 directive to its regional offices and relevant social welfare centres on
22 the revoking of the refugee status for persons who have residence in
23 war-free zones. The office has also issued a directive that the refugee
24 status should be extended for persons who are unable to go home because
25 their houses are destroyed, et cetera, until the conditions for their
1 return are met."
2 Now, a few minutes ago you were saying it had come to your
3 attention that this directive had gone out. And is the information
4 reflected in Mr. Rebic's letter of the 4th of November, 1993, is that
5 consistent with the information that you had received around this time?
6 A. In part. As for not extending the status of refugees to persons
7 from Stolac, Mostar, et cetera, it is consistent. I did not see a
8 document where it is stated that those who cannot return because their
9 houses were destroyed should have their status continued.
10 Q. Did you have any interaction with refugees or persons, displaced
11 persons, in Croatia who had indicated that they had tried, for example, to
12 take advantage of what we might call the second clause, just my
13 characterisation, and say, "Well, yes we understand we have been told to
14 go back but my house was destroyed or whatever; for various reasons I
15 can't go back." Did you run into any persons or have any encounters or
16 conversations with persons who addressed that aspect?
17 A. I had contacts with persons who in the wish of obtaining necessary
18 documentation on the basis of which they could have their refugee status
19 extended asked what it was that they had to do, and they realised that
20 most of the original documents they needed, they could get only in the
21 municipalities that they came from. This was an enormous problem for
22 them, and I knew why, because that meant that they physically had to
23 return to the places that they had been expelled from themselves
24 physically, and they didn't dare do that.
25 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Witness, I'm reading the letters
1 you've drafted and the answer sent to you by the government of the
2 Republic of Croatia through Mr. Rebic. On the basis of these documents,
3 the Croatian authorities seem to be about to pass two directives -- to
4 issue two directives, one of them related to refugees who are losing their
5 refugee status because the areas where they hail from have been pacified.
6 Calm has been restored in these areas, war is not raging any more, and
7 therefore these people are in a position to go home. And the second
8 directive could be related to people who can't go back home because their
9 houses have been destroyed. And the second directive would give them the
10 refugee status, would extend the refugee status to them.
11 Is that what you understood when reading Mr. Rebic's letter, and
12 was the situation amongst refugees consistent with what we see in this
13 document, an official document from Croatia?
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] As I was terribly surprised by the
15 information set out in the letter by Dr. Adalbert Rebic, I insisted and
16 managed to organise a meeting with Mr. Adalbert Rebic, and at that meeting
17 I asked him quite openly who could have had this idea of revoking the
18 status of Bosnia and Herzegovinian citizens, Muslims, and forcing them
19 back to areas under HVO control, where the same fate would have befallen
20 them, incarceration or expulsion. Or, rather, that with this decree they
21 were forced to remain without regulated status in Croatia and once again
22 open to the possibility of being arrested by the Croatian police. And
23 then I received precise explanation from Dr. Adalbert Rebic, to the effect
24 that they had in mind refugees who were citizens of Bosnia and Herzegovina
25 who were Croats who had fled from those areas and who now began to use
1 their refugee status as spending time in their weekend cottages before
2 they went back to their homes and took up their normal way of life again.
3 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Mr. Scott, I would like to ask a question
4 regarding the document, particularly the original or, rather, the one in
5 B/C/S, because it is not the original. It seems to be from a -- from a
6 collection of documents, and what strikes me is that we have two dates on
7 the English version, 4 of December and then 4 of November, and I do not
8 understand what this means.
9 MR. SCOTT: Thank you, Your Honour. I'm going to come back and
10 clarify some of the points in the last few minutes but to answer
11 Your Honour, the documents that were turned over, were turned over by way
12 of a diskette, computer diskette, so when they were downloaded, if you
13 will, they were downloaded and printed in this fashion, and I'm sure the
14 witness can confirm that further.
15 As to the error of the particular date, I can't explain it any
16 more than an error. But in term of the format of the document, I think
17 the witness can confirm to the Chamber the nature in which the B/C/S
18 documentation was provided in this instance.
19 Q. Madam, can you explain to the Judges why the -- some of the
20 B/C/S -- some of the B/C/S documents, not all of them, but some of them
21 that we've looked at yesterday, and perhaps today, are in the format they
22 are in?
23 A. Because in the department for refugees, and probably in other
24 departments of the BH embassy in Croatia, had the possibility on an
25 electronic format to send out mail, e-mail, to the department dealing with
1 encryption and sending out information from Zagreb to the Ministry of
2 Foreign Affairs. So that the difference in dates, it be quite logical.
3 Possibly it was the case that on the 4th of December I sent out
4 information to Sarajevo about dates -- about documents which had other
6 MR. KARNAVAS: Your Honours, as I understand --
7 JUDGE TRECHSEL: May I go on for a minute?
8 MR. KARNAVAS: Okay. Go ahead.
9 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, Your Honour, please.
10 JUDGE TRECHSEL: What puzzles me a bit is that in the English
11 translation there is reference to a handwritten mention on the original,
12 "104425". And I do not find that in -- in the B/C/S version nor any
13 mention of a rukabis [phoen] or something. It is just a bit -- a bit
14 puzzling. Do you have an explanation for that?
15 And then, Mr. Karnavas -- you have an explanation, Mr. Karnavas?
16 MR. KARNAVAS: I think -- I don't know if I have a total
17 explanation, but as I understand it, the witness has her own collection,
18 her own archive, which she put on a disk and provided to the Prosecution.
19 And she may have also had hard copies. So I assume that's how it --
20 that's how it happened, which then begs the question: Is her archive a
21 complete archive? Is this part of the archive that she gave to -- for
22 instance, to the ambassador because she makes mention of that -- of that
23 in her own report. So these are the sort of explanations that I think do
24 deserve to be answered, because who knows what else she may have that
25 she's not providing, like personal notes, I don't know.
1 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Your interests are not the same as mine,
2 Mr. Karnavas, I can see that and understand it and accept it. But it
3 seems that the translator had a different copy than the one we have here,
4 and this I find needy of explanation.
5 MR. SCOTT: Your Honour, I'll be happy to make -- I'll be happy to
6 make further inquiry about it. I have -- I have an educated guess as to
7 what happened, but I don't know if I should make that at this time.
8 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Wait till you know.
9 MR. SCOTT: Some of these documents were turned over by another
10 witness, and it is often the case -- it is often the case when an
11 investigator in the field, I think properly so, takes documents from a
12 witness, there is some notation made to make a record of the document
13 being handed over on that day. And while I don't have the specific
14 information in front of me, I suspect, I emphasise the word "suspect,"
15 that the number that you've indicated was handwritten on another document
16 was such a number for purposes of reference, but I can certainly make
17 further inquiry, Your Honour. That's as far as I can take it at the
19 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Thank you. I think the witness does not dispute
20 that these -- that the papers we have before us correspond essentially to
21 the originals and that might then do.
22 MR. SCOTT: That's correct, Your Honour.
23 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Thank you.
24 MR. SCOTT: I don't think there's any dispute about that, and I
25 would think it rather old fashioned, and I'm often accused of being a bit
1 old fashioned, I suppose, but in this day of electronic records and
2 computers, that the fact that someone would print this out from a diskette
3 would not be something the witness can confirm as, yes, this is a copy of
4 the letter -- this is the letter that I sent on such-and-such a date
6 Q. Madam, if we could please go forward then to Exhibit 07 --
7 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Wait a minute, Mr. Scott.
8 Because of these documents we've lost track of the answer given by the
9 witness in relation to the two decrees and in relation to the answer given
10 by Mr. Rebic.
11 If I understand you correctly, Mr. Rebic, whom you asked questions
12 about this letter, told you, allegedly told you, that this letter only
13 related to BiH Croats who were amongst the refugees, and therefore
14 Mr. Rebic was of the mind that these people should go home because they
15 were spending just too much time there. In other words, this letter of a
16 general import, this letter was related only to Croats and not to Muslims.
17 Is that really what you intended to say when you gave your answer?
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] That's precisely what I wanted to
19 say, that the decree was one written in general terms and referred to all
20 the citizens of Bosnia-Herzegovina, whereas his oral explanation was that
21 he meant just the BH Croats, whose time had come to return home.
22 MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I do apologise, but now
23 the logical question is whether the witness saw the decree, because we
24 didn't -- we don't know whether she saw it or not. Can we ask her?
25 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Did you see these two decrees?
1 Did Mr. Rebic give you a copy? Are you familiar with these documents or
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I was speaking about one set of
4 instructions. Mr. Adalbert Rebic didn't give it to me, but I received it
5 from the other departments. I read it and reacted to it, and that's why I
6 organised this meeting with Mr. Rebic.
7 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] In the letter, in the last
8 paragraph, Mr. Rebic seems to be saying that he sent the two directives to
9 your embassy. I'd like you to turn your attention to the last paragraph
10 of the letter.
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Could you please take a look at the
12 footnote where I explain that I looked through the entire protocol of all
13 the letters coming into the embassy and took note that that letter never
14 arrived at the embassy.
15 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Fine. Mr. Scott.
16 MR. SCOTT:
17 Q. Let me follow up this various -- these various questions going
18 back to what -- something you said earlier. You've indicated the
19 explanation given to you by Mr. Rebic was that at least for the most part
20 this directive was intended, in his view, for application to Bosnian
21 Croats who were living essentially on the Dalmatian coast and could then
22 return to HVO-controlled areas, but is that -- despite what Mr. Rebic told
23 you on that occasion, was that the experiences of the refugees and
24 displaced persons in of -- of Muslim ethnicity, is that what they were
25 actually experiencing as the reports -- according to the reports you
2 A. Not a single BH citizen who was a Croat contacted me, but Muslims
3 did, who knew that they could not and did not dare return. I knew this
4 because it was only BH Muslim citizens who came to see me who weren't able
5 to obtain an extension of their refugee status.
6 Q. If I could ask you to go to Exhibit 7022. Madam, Exhibit 07022 is
7 a letter from someone named Martin Raguz to Mr. Rebic dated the 3rd of
8 December, 1993. Did Mr. Rebic ever tell -- you said earlier -- I believe
9 you said -- excuse me. I believe you made reference a few moments ago
10 that the information as to what would be considered the safe areas in
11 Bosnia-Herzegovina according to someone, that information was coming from
12 someone in Herceg-Bosna, or what did you know about that?
13 A. I do apologise, but could you repeat the question, please?
14 Q. Yes. Did Mr. -- let me come at it this way. Did you hear
15 anything further from Mr. Rebic after meeting with him and raising these
16 issues about any further steps that were being taken to deal with the
17 issue you raised, and whether there were any communications between
18 Mr. Rebic and HVO officials in Herceg-Bosna?
19 A. I had no information at all about whether which there were any
20 communications and talks between Mr. Adalbert Rebic and the HZ HB.
21 Q. All right. Let me come back to it then in a moment or two.
22 Before we go to that -- deal with that exhibit further, then, can I ask
23 you to go to Exhibit 10062.
24 A. Yes, I have the document.
25 MR. SCOTT: Judge Trechsel, in response to the point that you made
1 earlier, this document in particular is essentially a compilation of a
2 series of exchange of correspondence which has been translated as one
3 document, and again if you look at the B/C/S original, you'll see that
4 again, a number of documents have been printed.
5 Q. Let me ask you, madam. Is it correct -- do we understand
6 correctly that in the B/C/S version of these documents what has happened
7 is a number of letters have been essentially, how everyone wants to put
8 it, downloaded or printed as a series on one continuous document, if you
10 A. That is my understanding of these documents that were on -- in
11 electronic form.
12 Q. If I can ask you to turn to that particular document that's
13 included in this series of letters as the item that is dated, and in the
14 English version -- in the English version it is dated the 19th of
15 February, and on the third -- of 1994, on the fourth page of the English
16 materials. And in the B/C/S version, I'm afraid you will have to assist
17 me, but if you could please turn to that component which is dated -- also
18 dated the 19th of February, 1994, to Mr. Rebic. "Dear Mr. Rebic." Do you
19 have that?
20 A. Yes. The date here is the 6th of February, 1994. Is that the
21 document we're talking about?
22 Q. Let me double-check again myself, please. My apology. My error.
23 Can I ask you to look at the document that -- the item that is dated the
24 14th of February, 1994? It should be the second document. The set of
25 materials starts with the letter dated the 6th of February, "Dear
1 Mr. Rebic." Then it goes on. The next item is 14th of February,
2 1994, "Dear Ms. Turkovic." Do you see that?
3 A. Yes, I do see that.
4 Q. Now, I asked you about this question a few moments ago and that's
5 the reason I've directed you to this particular document. And Mr. Rebic
6 is writing to the ambassador, Ms. Turkovic, at this time and says how the
7 safe -- so-called -- well, what some have called, or the terminology that
8 was used was "safe areas", or areas that were safe, and Mr. Rebic
9 says: "Dear Mrs. Turkovic. I have to inform you that the office of the
10 government for the Republic of Croatia For Expelled Persons And Refugees
11 is not able to identify the crisis areas in the neighbouring Republic of
12 Bosnia and Herzegovina. For that reason, we have acted in compliance with
13 the guidelines issued by the office of the Croatian Republic of
14 Herceg-Bosna for expelled persons and refugees, attached hereto.
15 "Based on the guidelines issued by the said office, the whole
16 sub-Neretva region and the following areas in Western Herzegovina have
17 been declared as safe:
18 "Livno, Duvno, Grude, Ljubuski, Capljina, Posusje, Siroki Brijeg,
19 Pocitelj, Medjugorje ..." et cetera.
20 "Therefore, the status of refugees is no longer recognised, i.e.,
21 has been revoked ..."
22 Now, can you confirm that is a letter that the embassy received
23 from Mr. Rebic explaining how that determination was made?
24 A. Correct. That is the letter, and it is also correct that the
25 letter provides information on the basis of which the decree was issued.
1 Q. And when you discussed these matters, and going back to the
2 meeting that you made reference to a few minutes ago, to your meeting with
3 Mr. Rebic, was there any discussion whether going back to these areas was
4 safe for Croats or safe for Muslims or both?
5 MR. KARNAVAS: Just a point of clarification. Just a point of
6 clarification. When was the initial meeting? Because this document
7 refers to in February now. So it would seem, at least for -- you know,
8 since this situation was very fluid, and I think the meeting was held the
9 previous year, perhaps we can be clear on this.
10 MR. SCOTT: Well, Your Honour, I'll refer back in the record to
11 the testimony already given. The first document that we looked at was
12 10059 which was dated the 31st of October, 1993.
13 MR. KARNAVAS: Right. And so the question now that she's being
14 asked now relates to the situation in February. And so if she's going to
15 give an answer, based on a meeting that she had months earlier, given the
16 fluidity of the situation, I don't think it's proper. I think unless he's
17 going to ask her if she had a meeting with respect to this particular
18 period of time. That was my point, but now I think that we've clarified
19 it, if she just wants to take a wild guess, that's fine, but there's no
20 foundation upon which she can answer this question, related to this
21 particular document at this particular time, based on a meeting that she
22 held months earlier.
23 MR. SCOTT: Once again, Your Honour, I would have assumed that in
24 preparation counsel will have read the statement. On paragraph 100, the
25 same one I referred to before, the witness introduces this entire topic by
1 stating, and I'll read it again: "From September 1993 onwards until the
2 end of my mission on 31st August 1994, Mr. Rebic contacted us in order to
3 get a list of safe zones in BiH to which BiH refugees could be repatriated
4 from Croatia."
5 This was an ongoing, and what's indicated from that, and from the
6 documents we've looked at before and additional documents we have yet to
7 look at, is that this was an ongoing series of communications from the
8 fall of 1993 into 1994, as this issue was continuing and ongoing.
9 MR. KARNAVAS: Your Honours, I know that they had ongoing
10 communication, but the question related to a meeting. A meeting is
11 different from communications.
12 Had Mr. Scott laid down the proper foundation, a predicate: Did
13 you have a meeting with Mr. Rebic at or about this period of time in
14 relation to this particular topic? If the answer is yes, then: What, if
15 anything, did you learn from Mr. Rebic concerning this, and so on and so
16 forth. That was my concern. Whether they had communications, that's not
17 an issue, but the question related to a meeting. That's what caused my
19 MR. SCOTT: Well, Mr. Karnavas created the need for a meeting.
20 What if they didn't meet? What if they sent court letters to each other,
21 what if they talked on the telephone? Where is it in the rules of
22 evidence that the only way that one communicates information from one
23 person to another is in a meeting. Come on, why are we wasting time on
24 this? There is an exchange of correspondence; the documents are in front
25 of Your Honours which all of you can read. And the witness has been
1 explaining that correspondence in detail to you.
2 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] In 15 seconds, madam, we are
3 talking about a letter dated February 1994, 14th of February, 1994.
4 Before this letter, did you have a meeting with Mr. Rebic or did you only
5 have contacts with him on the phone?
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I discussed this at the meeting that
7 we mentioned, and we saw document -- a document about that meeting. And
8 at that meeting Mr. Rebic himself agreed with me that the decree was
9 rather cynical because it applied to BH Muslim citizens.
10 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes. But if we look at the
11 letter of the month of February, the meeting had taken place months before
12 that letter when Mr. Rebic proved extremely cynical. That was several
13 months earlier than the letter.
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The same situation applied to this
15 period too. But after my meeting with Mr. Rebic, there were periods in
16 which they extended the status of BH Muslim citizens. Then they would
17 stop doing that. Then they would continue to extend the status, and their
18 behaviour varied.
19 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Fine. It's half past 10.00. We
20 need to have a break, a 20-minute break.
21 --- Recess taken at 10.29 a.m.
22 --- On resuming at 10.51 a.m.
23 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Scott, you may resume. You
24 may resume, Mr. Scott.
25 MR. SCOTT: Thank you, Mr. President.
1 Q. Madam, in the interest of time, I'd like to move on to the next
2 exhibit unless there's any questions from the Judges continuing from
3 before the break. I would like to -- in this continuing series of
4 communications on this issue or topic, let me next ask you to go, please,
5 to 8160. When you have document, could you just briefly tell us what that
6 is and how that fits into the series of communications between the Bosnian
7 embassy in Zagreb and Mr. Rebic on this issue during this time period --
8 continuing time period?
9 A. As for these instructions, the government of the Republic of
10 Croatia, the Office for Refugees and Expellees, is abolishing refugee
11 status to persons from the BiH: Mostar. Refugee status is abolished to
12 all persons from Mostar who have such status recognised in the territory
13 of the Republic of Croatia. And through this document the government of
14 Croatia claims that it is possible to return to Mostar starting the 1st of
15 April, 1994, and this pertains to all persons who from Mostar and who have
16 a personal file marked, "Refugee".
17 It is general. It has no particular reference to age, gender, or
18 the status refugees have in Croatia.
19 Q. And can I then turn your attention to Exhibit 10063.
20 A. I have it.
21 Q. And can you just confirm to us that this is a letter sent by
22 Ambassador Turkovic to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Sarajevo on
23 the -- again, I think we have another -- excuse me for one moment. No,
24 I'm sorry. The 2nd of April, 1994.
25 A. Correct.
1 Q. After quoting the letter received -- or the information received
2 from Mr. Rebic, if you go to the second page of -- in the English version.
3 Or in the Bosnian version the -- anyway, it's the first text following the
4 extended quotation of material. In the English version, it will be on the
5 second page under the words where it says "unquote."
6 My question to you, madam, is that the report to the Ministry of
7 Foreign Affairs says: "The directive has been circulated to all regional
8 offices and social welfare centres, and they started acting on it
10 And was that in fact the information you had and were receiving at
11 that time?
12 A. Correct.
13 Q. And then you go on in the letter -- or, well, you -- did you
14 prepare this particular letter for the ambassador? Perhaps you can tell.
15 It's not a major point, but ...
16 A. Yes. I am also aware of the content of this letter, but it also
17 has the code from the embassy in Zagreb. That was 04.
18 Q. And then do you go on in your letter -- I'm not to go through all
19 the paragraphs now and partly in the interest of time, but you report in
20 this a number of the problems this is causing for the Muslim refugees in
21 Croatia; is that correct?
22 A. Correct.
23 Q. And before leaving this document, could I ask you to go to --
24 further on in the document starts a series of numbered paragraphs. Well,
25 it's a further series. There are several sets of numbered paragraphs, but
1 if you get to the part of the document that says "Note," n-o-t-e, another
2 series of numbers start. If I can ask you to go to paragraph number 5 of
3 that series.
4 At the end of that paragraph it says: "One of the official
5 written explanations was that the refugee status was revoked on the basis
6 of Instruction issued by the 'Croatian Republic of Herceg-Bosna.'" And
7 touching back on something that we talked about earlier this morning, do
8 you recall any more information about the instruction received from
9 Herceg-Bosna on this topic?
10 A. At this moment I really have nothing to say. Perhaps I don't
11 understand the question.
12 Q. No, I just asked if you were having -- if you could give us --
13 recall anything further about that, but I'll move on.
14 If I can ask you to go to -- please? Yes?
15 JUDGE TRECHSEL: There is one passage which I find interesting.
16 It is said in the note 5 that -- about the middle of that paragraph:
17 "One of the official written explanations was that the refugee
18 status was revoked on the basis of Instruction issued by the 'Croatian
19 Republic of Herceg-Bosna.'"
20 I wonder, Witness, whether you could explain who was the addressee
21 of such instructions? Instructions given to whom by authorities of CRHB?
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] That was my understanding from
23 Mr. Rebic's letter that was sent to the embassy to Mrs. Turkovic. We
24 discussed it this morning before the break. However, in direct
25 communication with Mr. Rebic, I reminded him that he certainly knew that
1 there were no instructions that he received from the officially recognised
2 state of the government of Bosnia-Herzegovina and that he could not act in
3 accordance with any such thing.
4 JUDGE TRECHSEL: I have not exactly answered my question.
5 Instructions given to whom?
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Regional offices of the office for
7 refugees and expellees of the government of Republic of Croatia in Zagreb.
8 They had their regional offices in Split and all other places, bigger
9 towns in the Republic of Croatia, that is.
10 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Is it not rather surprising? How do you explain
11 that an authority of the Republic of Herceg-Bosnia gives instructions to
12 Croatian authorities in a different republic? Did you take this up with
13 someone? Did it strike you?
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I think that this was not really
15 understood properly. The Office for expellees and refugees of the
16 government of Croatia issued instructions to their own regional offices on
17 the basis of the decree or instructions that it got from the government of
18 the HZ HB. That is what they were invoking, their decree.
19 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Thank you.
20 MR. KARNAVAS: Your Honour. Your Honour, based on your question
21 though she hasn't answered the question. One of the official written
22 explanations. Written by whom? Who gave that explanation? She talks
23 about an instruction. Where is the instruction? She was a member of that
24 particular embassy so obviously she would have had that instruction handy.
25 Somebody would have given it to her if that instruction existed. So where
1 is this official written explanation that somebody issued an instruction,
2 or is this merely an embellishment.
3 MR. SCOTT: Your Honour, it's not. And the record, I thought, was
4 fairly clear on this but I fear, now, we will have to spend quite a bit of
5 additional time repeating some of the testimony from before the break.
6 The evidence was that Mr. Rebic issued his instructions to the -- as the
7 head of the Croatian ODPR to the field offices of ODPR and to the social
8 welfare centres. That was mentioned both by the witness and in exhibits
9 that we went through this morning.
10 Then following that there was an exchange of correspondence and
11 questions and communication with this witness and perhaps Ms. Turkovic as
12 well, in which Mr. Rebic himself indicated that he had done this on the
13 basis of information received from Herceg-Bosna. And we went through that
14 correspondence this morning, and now we're moving on further and that is a
15 series of events. Not the in -- not that there was instruction issued to
16 the government of Bosnia-Herzegovina, but there was an instruction for
17 information conveyed from Herceg-Bosna to the Republic of Croatia. I do
18 think that apparently some things seem to be confused. If we need to go
19 back through the documents again, I will do so.
20 If you look back at Exhibit 10062, starting with the letter dated
21 the 14th of February, 1994, Mr. Rebic in his letter on the third page of
22 Exhibit 10062, which we looked at earlier this morning, Mr. Rebic
23 says: "Based on the guidelines issued by the said office," and he says
24 before that, let me back up. My apology. Let me back up.
25 "Dear Mrs. Turkovic, the ambassador of Bosnia-Herzegovina to the
1 Republic of Croatia.
2 "Dear Mrs. Turkovic, I have to inform you that the office of the
3 government for the Republic of Croatia for expelled persons and refugees
4 is not able to identify the crisis areas in the neighbouring Republic of
5 Bosnia and Herzegovina. For that reason we have acted in compliance, in
6 compliance with the guidelines issued by the office of the Croatian
7 Republic of Herceg-Bosna for expelled persons and refugees. Based on the
8 guidelines issued by said office ... " et cetera.
9 That is Mr. Rebic's letter, setting out directly where that
10 information and guidance for compliance came from.
11 MR. KARNAVAS: I don't have an objection to that, Your Honour.
12 There's a difference between guidelines and instructions and I think
13 that's what caught my attention, and I'm glad it caught your attention as
14 well because there's a difference; there is a distinction between
15 guidelines and instructions. So with that clarification, if we understand
16 what is being mentioned here are guidelines rather than instructions,
17 then, fine. Otherwise, I would like instructions being produced.
18 MR. SCOTT:
19 Q. Continuing on, madam, in that same Exhibit 10062, to follow up on
20 the question raised by Judge Trechsel, I knew it was in the document but I
21 was hoping to save time against my limited time, maybe the Chamber will
22 grant me some flexibility on this, if you go -- if you find in that same
23 document, madam, the next item which is dated the 19th of February, 1994,
24 which is a letter from Ambassador Turkovic in response, again, to
25 Mr. Rebic, the 19th of February, 1994. The fourth page of the English
2 "Dear Mr. Rebic. Thank you for your letter of 14th of February,
3 1994." So I can hope we can all see this appears to be a response to the
4 letter we looked at just a few moments ago which is dated the 14th of
5 February 1994. "This letter has prompted us to review our previous
7 Now, in that letter, going on to the second page of that letter,
8 which is overall page number 5 of the English materials and, madam, to try
9 to assist you, it is in the B/C/S, Bosnian language version, it would be
10 the sixth, if the paragraphs were the same, it would be in the sixth
11 paragraph of the letter.
12 A. I have it in front of me.
13 Q. Ambassador Turkovic says to Mr. Rebic: "In your letter of 14
14 February 1994, you say that the refugees from the Republic of Bosnia and
15 Herzegovina staying in the Republic of Croatia are being dealt with in
16 compliance with the guidelines issued by the office of the so-called
17 Croatian Republic of Herceg-Bosna for expelled persons and refugees, and
18 that these guidelines were attached to the letter. However, this embassy
19 has not received them."
20 It goes on to say: "Acting in compliance with the guidelines ..."
21 et cetera, et cetera. And then further following up on the question first
22 raised by Judge Trechsel some minutes ago, if you go to page 6 of the
23 English materials and, madam, if you can find paragraph of
24 Ambassador Turkovic's letter which starts with the word -- several
25 paragraphs down from the one we just looked at, about two, starting with
1 the words, "Since the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina ..."
2 Do you see that? Tell me when you have it, please?
3 A. I have it in front of me.
4 Q. Ambassador Turkovic responds: "Since the Republic of Bosnia and
5 Herzegovina is the only international recognised state, any instruction
6 coming from the institution of the so-called Croatian Republic of
7 Herceg-Bosna cannot serve as a legal basis for the internationally
8 recognised states to issue their guidelines for regulating the status of
10 Now, is all that in the exchange of correspondence between
11 Ambassador Turkovic and Mr. Rebic?
12 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Let's save time, because I don't
13 think we should spend the whole day on this.
14 These instructions or those guidelines or -- your embassy never
15 got them; right? This is what the ambassador seems to say. You never saw
16 these instructions or guidelines or whatever they're called.
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] We did not receive these
18 instructions given by the HZ HB. We received the letter of Mr. Rebic
19 where he invokes these instructions.
20 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] So nobody ever received these
21 instructions, ever saw these instructions.
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The embassy? No.
23 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you. Mr. Scott, let's
24 further -- let's go further.
25 MR. SCOTT:
1 Q. Just to continue the series of correspondence, hopefully quite
2 quickly. If I can ask you then to go to --
3 MR. SCOTT: If you can give me one moment, Your Honour. Thank
4 you, Your Honour. I lost track myself exactly before all that, the last
5 exhibit we were looking at.
6 Q. Madam, if I could next ask you to look at Exhibit 10064.
7 A. I have the document.
8 Q. And I'd just simply like to confirm with you that this is a
9 similar -- well, strike the word "similar."
10 This is a letter sent by Ambassador Turkovic to a number of
11 international organisations also dealing with this same issue; is that
13 A. Correct.
14 Q. Can I ask you next to go to 8195.
15 JUDGE TRECHSEL: I'm sorry, on this -- on the document we just
16 had, on the first page, the first paragraph -- no, the last paragraph on
17 the page in the English. It's the second paragraph. "The directive was
18 apparently issued on 30 April 1994 ..."
19 Is that correct when the letter is dated 6 April 1994?
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] We mentioned that the instructions
21 were allegedly adopted on the 30th of April -- or, rather, dated the 30th
22 of April, 1994, and that this was applied from the 1st of April, 1994.
23 JUDGE TRECHSEL: But with due respect, you are writing three
24 weeks, four weeks earlier almost. It must be an error, isn't it? Should
25 it read -- what should it read?
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I assume that this is a
2 typographical error. However, I would have to read this properly in order
3 to be able to comment.
4 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Thank you.
5 MR. MURPHY: Your Honour, there must have been a second
6 typographical error to say the least if the instructions which were made
7 on the 30th of April were being implemented in effect from the 1st of
8 April. Perhaps Your Honour would like to ask a follow-up question to
10 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Thank you, Mr. Murphy, but I do not think that is
11 necessary. It's too obvious that we -- this must be back in March at the
12 latest, 30th March.
13 Please proceed Mr. Scott, and excuse me for the interruption.
14 MR. SCOTT: No problem, Your Honour. I appreciate it. I was just
15 looking myself. I do think we had an earlier document on point.
16 JUDGE MINDUA: [Interpretation] That seems to be the case, because
17 Document P 8160 states that these instructions had been issued on
18 March 30th, 1994, for application as of April 1st, 1994.
19 MR. SCOTT: Thank you, Judge Mindua. That's exactly -- I was just
20 turning to exactly the same document. Thank you very much. So 30th of
21 March, 30th of April, but in any event, this one says clear as of 1st of
22 April, 1994, and we did look at that document earlier this morning.
23 Q. I believe we are about to turn to 8195 before that, if we could,
25 I asked you -- as you're looking for that madam, I asked you
1 earlier this morning, and since that is ongoing situation that's covering
2 a period of some months as has been pointed out, despite the various
3 correspondence and explanations perhaps that were going between Mr. Rebic
4 and your embassy, were you continuing to get -- did you continue to get
5 reports from the field, if you will, about Muslims in Croatia being
6 harassed or having their refugee status or otherwise their status revoked
7 or otherwise coming into difficulty?
8 A. This is the subject matter that this letter of the office for
9 refugees pertains to. It was signed by Ambassador Turkovic on the 14th of
10 April, 1994. This deals with a series of problems that the refugees have
11 to confront.
12 Q. And just to stop on the third paragraph, the middle of that
13 letter, do you see where it says: "However, we have been informed by
14 refugees from Mostar who are currently staying in Split and Sibenik area,
15 that their refugee cards are being revoked and that they are not receiving
16 food vouchers any longer by which actions they are forced to go to Mostar
17 or a third country." And can you confirm that that was the reports and
18 information that your embassy was receiving at that time?
19 A. Correct, exactly.
20 Q. And if I can next ask you to go to document 10 -- excuse me,
22 A. I have the document.
23 Q. This is a letter again from Ambassador Turkovic, dated the 16th of
24 April, 1994.
25 In the first paragraph numbered 1 it says: "Despite an agreement
1 reached on 11 April 1994." Do you recall what that agreement -- if there
2 in fact, one, was there an agreement, and, two, what was that agreement
4 A. Agreement was certainly reached at a meeting or, rather, the
5 meeting that I mentioned in this letter. However, I cannot respond
6 straight away as to what this was all about. I would have to go through
7 the document a bit in order to be able to do that.
8 Obviously there was an official meeting, and we issued a press
9 release about it afterwards as to how the instruction on abolishing the
10 status of refugees would be applied, that is to say, the one that
11 pertained to the citizens of Mostar.
12 What we assert here is that it is not taking place in accordance
13 with the agreement and also in terms of what the press release said. We
14 are informing Professor Rebic about the fact that BH citizens continue to
15 inform us about the problems that they have with their refugee status.
16 It is stated here that yet again we were in touch with
17 Professor Adalbert Rebic, asking him to abide by the agreement reached at
18 the meeting held on the 11th of April.
19 The letter also refers to concrete examples; BH citizens,
20 Mrs. Emina Novo, Mehmed Pasalic, who were refugees from Mostar. Reference
21 is made to the problems that they had. They had problems with the
22 Croatian police. Ah, I see. A problem was created by the Croatian
23 police, because they did not have personal IDs issued by the Croatian
24 Republic of Herceg-Bosna, or they did not have a domovnica.
25 Then we also quoted here a document that was the statement of the
1 Split regional office for refugees and expellees. The content of this
2 document was quoted in full in order to inform the Foreign Ministry. I
3 don't know who we sent this to. I seem to be a bit lost now.
4 Q. To the ministry.
5 A. Oh, yes, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of BH.
6 Q. All right, madam, thank you for that. I'd like to turn now to the
7 last two topics of the direct examination, and in that regard can I ask
8 you to go to paragraph 1 -- in paragraph 109 of your statement, you make
9 references to conversations or, communications, in any event,
10 communications with Mr. Tadic about moving Croats, Bosnian Croats, from
11 the Vares-Kakanj area. And now, coming back to Mr. Tadic, this is the
12 Tadic that you were dealing with on the working group that you talked
13 about yesterday?
14 A. Yes. I knew just one Darinko Tadic.
15 Q. And on the topic of Vares and Kakanj, did this -- did you have
16 this conversation with Mr. Tadic only on one occasion, or did you have a
17 similar conversation with him on a number of occasions?
18 A. This was a regular topic. We regularly discussed this topic at
19 all our meetings.
20 Q. Who initiated this topic at all of your meetings?
21 A. The initiative always came from Mr. Darinko Tadic.
22 Q. And do you recall what the response of you and your government to
23 Mr. Tadic's position about moving the Bosnian Croats out of the Kakanj
24 Vares area? And for transparency's sake, I refer you to continuing on in
25 your paragraph 109.
1 A. I remember that as for this information that I received, well,
2 this information on the problems that Bosnian Croats had, those from the
3 area of Kakanj and Vares that I received from Mr. Tadic, that is. I sent
4 that to the Foreign Ministry of BH and also to the directorate for
5 expellees and refugees of Bosnia-Herzegovina. According to this
6 information, these Bosnian Croats had very poor living accommodations.
7 Their accommodation was very poor, they didn't have enough blankets, it
8 was cold, they didn't have enough food.
9 I sent this information further on asking whether this was correct
10 and asking what it was that the government had already done in order to
11 improve their situation. I got assurances in writing and verbally that
12 the government directorate for refugees and expellees had provided
13 additional humanitarian assistance and that it was completely in a
14 position to take care of them, in accordance with what could have been
15 offered to refugees in Bosnia-Herzegovina.
16 Q. Did you come to know later - and to avoid certain problems, I'll
17 try work backward from there - did it come to your attention later that,
18 in fact, some Bosnian Croats from the Vares area had been relocated
19 somewhere in Croatia?
20 A. As for this information, we, I mean the embassy of Bosnia and
21 Herzegovina, received this information through the media, namely that a
22 big group had come to Split, that they were at the Poljud stadium. At
23 that moment I had other work to do, but we agreed that
24 Ambassador Turkovic, together with her colleagues, would go to the stadium
25 straight away and get in touch with the expelled Bosnian Croats to see
1 what was expected and what it was that the embassy could objectively do in
2 order to help them.
3 Later on, I also paid a visit. I received information that they
4 were put up at Pinete. I'm not sure how much time had gone by, but it was
5 one of my priorities to go and visit these expelled Bosnian Croats. I
6 spent a day with them, talked to them, received information from them.
7 They confirmed to me and I myself saw that their conditions were pretty
8 good, that they had received humanitarian assistance. So it wasn't really
9 a pressing problem that I had to resolve.
10 Q. You said you -- sorry.
11 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Maybe it was what you are asking. I let you go
13 MR. SCOTT: Thank you, Judge.
14 Q. Just on the location, it may or may not be the question
15 Judge Trechsel was asking about, but let me just confirm first of all you
16 did say that you, yourself, ultimately went to one of the locations or
17 perhaps the location where these people were being housed or maintained, a
18 place called Pinete; is that correct?
19 A. I thought the name was Pinete. I don't know what I wrote. Perhaps
20 there's a printing error, typing mistake. But can you find the paragraph
21 where Pinete comes up.
22 Q. No, you just said it a moment ago, and I'm just responding to what
23 you said in court. Is this an area place in Istria or Istria?
24 A. It was a place which I knew under the name of Pinete with an e,
25 and not Pineta, with an a.
1 Q. Judge Trechsel, I'm not sure if that's -- go ahead?
2 JUDGE TRECHSEL: What struck me, madam, on page 50, line 5, I
3 think, speak of visiting these expelled Bosnian Croats. Were they
4 actually expelled and by whom?
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I don't want to use the
6 word "expelled." I spent the entire day with them, and I asked them how
7 it came about that they came to Croatia from Bosnia, and their explanation
8 was that they had received information from the HVO according to which a
9 large-scale attack was being planned and that the Mujahedin would arrive
10 with long white beards and that they slaughter people straight away as
11 soon as they enter an area, and following advice from the HVO they agreed
12 to leave the country in an organised fashion and to come to Croatia.
13 JUDGE TRECHSEL: If I understand correctly, they would rather be
14 refugees, than expellees. No one forced them to leave.
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] According to the knowledge I had,
16 no. And when I visited them, they already had the recognised status of
18 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Thank you.
19 MR. SCOTT: If I --
20 MR. KARNAVAS: May we know exactly when she spoke with them,
21 because I think that it is in connection with your question,
22 Judge Trechsel, when exactly, because she must have taken notes. She
23 takes notes when she meets with Muslims, so why won't she take notes when
24 she meets with Croats?
25 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Maybe it would be a good topic for
1 cross-examination, because it's not exactly what I -- what I had in mind.
2 MR. SCOTT:
3 Q. If I can ask you to look, please, at Exhibit 5960.
4 A. Yes, I have the document.
5 Q. For the record, this is a report from the HVO office for displaced
6 persons and refugees, dated at the end of the document, the 26th of
7 October, 1993.
8 The Chamber will recall what happened on the 23rd and 24th of
9 October, 1993.
10 If you look at this document, madam, you will see -- can you just
11 look at it long enough to see what it is? And the question I'm going to
12 ask you is: Is the information reported in this document, or at least
13 some of it, consistent with the information you learned about the movement
14 of these Croats to this area, Pinete, and the information consistent with
15 reports and the conversations you personally had with some of these people
16 at that time? But first of all, before you answer my question, I want you
17 to look at the document long enough so that you can see the information
19 A. I can confirm that this corresponds to the information I had
20 linked to the group of Bosnian Croats who were displaced in Bosnia, and in
21 an organised fashion taken to Croatia and having the status of refugee in
22 that country.
23 MR. KARNAVAS: Your Honour, if you look at this document, it's not
24 generated by this woman, and it has nothing to do with her. And again, I
25 object to the form of the question. We asked a question when. Now she's
1 shown a document generated by others, she takes the time to read it, and
2 then she generates an answer, and it doesn't -- it doesn't fit within the
3 rules of trial advocacy to lead a witness in this fashion. We asked when
4 she went. She should have notes. She should have documents of her own,
5 not looking at another document by others that would -- that was generated
6 for a wholly different purpose.
7 MR. SCOTT: Your Honour, I can understand that Mr. Karnavas
8 doesn't like this evidence and it makes him very nervous, and I want to --
9 MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation] I want to apologise, but --
10 MR. SCOTT: [Previous translation continues] ... Let me continue
11 first, let me finish and respond to Mr. Karnavas, but the point is -- the
12 point is that the witness in her statement, which has already been
13 tendered and which the Chamber has --
14 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Ms. Nozica. Yes, Ms. Nozica.
15 MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I would just like to say
16 something briefly. The witness just told us that she visited the refugees
17 or expellees or whatever you wish to call them at the stadium in Split,
18 and that several days later, she learnt that those refugees were
19 transferred to Pinete.
20 Now, while the Prosecutor is on the document, I want to point out
21 the second paragraph in both the English and Croatian version where it
22 says that they were refugees who went by ship from Ploce, transported by
23 ship. So it's not the refugees who were at the stadium, and that is why
24 it was improper to link these refugees at the stadium to the information
25 just provided to us by the witness. Thank you.
1 MR. SCOTT: Your Honour, that's by way of argument, and I object
2 to -- I mean, I was responding to --
3 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please, Mr. Scott, microphone.
4 MR. STEWART: Sorry I'll let Mr. Scott go first. I'll turn off my
6 MR. SCOTT: If I can finish, Your Honour, what I was saying
7 before, I'm not sure why I was interrupted.
8 Mr. Karnavas asks questions and talks about notes. There is no
9 requirement that the witness have notes. And again when Mr. Karnavas
10 doesn't like the evidence he thinks of all the reasons why -- irrelevant
11 reasons why it shouldn't be accepted.
12 The witness gave, in her statement, her knowledge about this
13 situation. She said that this came to the attention of the embassy, as it
14 properly would have since these were citizens of Bosnia-Herzegovina who
15 had been transported to a foreign country. Therefore, it came to the
16 attention of the embassy. She made inquiries, the embassy made inquiries.
17 She said that Ambassador Turkovic herself visited the group -- this group
18 of people on one occasion and that she herself went and visited them on
19 another occasion, and it is the -- it is quite clear, and all I've done is
20 refer to her then this document, as the Prosecution has done hundreds of
21 times in the past 13 months. It doesn't have to be a document produced by
22 this witness and counsel knows that, to confirm the content of the
23 document exactly consistent with the courtroom practice, and the witness
24 is able to say, "I look at this document. I see the information in it."
25 You will note that it mentions in several places on the second page of the
1 English version, the top of the page for example, Pinete, Pinete, it's on
2 the second -- first paragraph on the second page. It's on the second --
3 the second page, and et cetera, et cetera. You can see what all happens.
4 And these people arrive.
5 First page says that they were first -- first transported to and
6 arrived in Stolac. An organised convoy transporting about 6.000 displaced
7 Croats from Kakanj and Zenica had been temporarily accommodated in Vares.
8 The convoy comprised about 120 driving units. They were then put that --
9 they then put the vehicles in a file and separated some of the vehicles
10 transporting 1.500 displaced persons for the Republic of Croatia late --
11 while the remaining vehicles transported displaced persons starting off
12 half an hour later so as to avoid creating congestion in Capljina where
13 the main reception and distribution of displaced persons was organised.
14 That is in Capljina, which we submit frankly is entirely consistent with
15 other Prosecution evidence.
16 Then it goes on and it talks about that. So counsel can argue all
17 they want and they can put it in cross-examination but the witness has
18 looked at the document and says this is consistent with the information I
19 received when I interviewed these people myself. So I think we're wasting
20 a huge amount of time in pursuing this further and I think the witness
21 testimony stands on the topic.
22 MR. STEWART: May I now just make the comment I was going to make?
23 Your Honour, just briefly to associate myself with the comments made by my
24 learned friends but also to observe that this form of question, this is at
25 page 52 from about line 6 onwards, is unsatisfactory and we have seen it
1 before and I am urging that we don't see it again. It's easy to slip into
2 it, but the form of the question is: Is the information reported in this
3 document or at least some of it consistent with et cetera, et cetera.
4 Your Honour, when we have a document which has got quite a bit of
5 substance in it, and especially when it's not the witness's own document,
6 to ask the question in that form is dangerous in terms of the evidence
7 that the Court will receive. Because Your Honours need to be very clear,
8 if this form of questioning is permitted, very clear, precisely what the
9 witness is able to say is consistent, precisely what she isn't. So the
10 question and the answer together in some way must clearly identify that.
11 MR. SCOTT: Well, the response to that, Your Honour, is never been
12 given the opportunity. All we've been doing for the last 15 minutes is
13 arguing procedure and there haven't been any additional questions about --
14 if I had directed the witness and been more suggestive obviously there
15 would have been an objection to that. So consistent with courtroom
16 practice, I simply asked to look at the document, and if she could agree,
17 confirm at least certain parts of the document which many, many witnesses
18 have done in this courtroom in the past 13 months. Doesn't have to
19 confirm 100 per cent, can confirm some aspects of the document. She's
20 told us what she did, and we're wasting a huge amount of time.
21 MR. STEWART: That doesn't answer the point at all. The
22 particular bits have to be identified. What Mr. Scott says is simply not
23 correct there. The question and answer there -- unless Mr. Scott is going
24 to suggest that there was going to be some elaborate examination that's
25 going to clear it up which would be inconsistent with the way in which
1 this sort of evidence has been approached by the Prosecution in the past,
2 the questioning might -- my submission stands, Your Honour. That form of
3 question is not satisfactory when it leads on to an answer which is not
4 identified very clearly. What Mr. Scott says, we seem to be ad idem on
5 what is required in the end in evidence but we're absolutely not at one on
6 how you get there.
7 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Witness, I believe that you've
8 been to Pinete. That's what I understood. Is that the case? Yes or no?
9 There in Pinete you met with some Croatian refugees. Yes or no?
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
11 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] These Croatian refugees, were
12 they from the Kakanj or Zenica region?
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Kakanj and Vares. Certainly.
14 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Fine. Very well. We have a
15 document here where mention is made of refugees from Kakanj and Zenica who
16 arrived in Pinete. It is also stated that Mr. Boban came to visit them on
17 the 22nd of October, 1993.
18 Please proceed, Mr. Scott.
19 MR. SCOTT: Thank you, Your Honour.
20 Q. Just a final follow-up. You mentioned some minutes ago now that
21 when you talked to the people at this location, these people from Vares,
22 you mentioned they had been told by the HVO that they had essentially --
23 they'd better leave because the Mujahedin were on the way, so to speak;
24 is that correct?
25 A. Correct.
1 Q. Did any of those people ever tell you in those conversations --
2 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour.
3 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Ms. Alaburic, during the
4 cross-examination you will have the opportunity to respond. I note that
5 every time the Prosecution puts questions that might be difficult for you,
6 you intervene immediately, but please let the Prosecution proceed, because
7 you would not be very pleased if they proceeded the same way as you do
8 with them.
9 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] I do apologise, but I have nothing
10 against the answer given by this witness. I don't think that it will be a
11 problem for the Defence to clear up the details, and I consider that I'm
12 on my feet on very rare occasions, but I think this is the right moment to
13 draw your attention to the following: That this document was compiled on
14 the 26th of October, 1993, and that roughly speaking that is eight or nine
15 days before the fall of Vares and before the departure of the population
16 of Vares from the town of Vares, and the witness -- the reason the witness
17 mentions about the Mujahedin are what the Bosniak witnesses have told us
18 allegedly as an explanation they gave by the population of Vares. So I
19 think that my intervention would help clarify the meaning of the document.
20 Thank you.
21 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Fine. Mr. Scott.
22 MR. SCOTT:
23 Q. Madam, my final question to you that I was beginning to put to you
24 was when you spoke to these people from -- the Bosnian Croats from Vares,
25 when you spoke to them directly, did any of them tell you that they had
1 actually seen any Mujahedin or this is only what the HVO had told them?
2 A. It was only what they told them from the HVO. Nobody confirmed
3 having seen the Mujahedin.
4 Q. Final topic, madam. In paragraph 112 of your statement you talk
5 about a humanitarian convoy that you say had been held up for seven
7 A. I have it before me.
8 Q. Now, in connection with humanitarian convoys, let me also, before
9 putting some follow-up questions to you, let me also ask you to look at
10 Exhibit 10049. You have that, madam?
11 A. I have the document, yes.
12 Q. If I can direct your attention to the second paragraph of the
13 document which says: "Due to the blockade of the border and the
14 prevailing situation in Central Bosnia and Herzegovina, all inland-bound
15 movement of people and goods was suspended on the 16th of April, 1993 ..."
16 Can you confirm to the Chamber whether you and the embassy that
17 you worked in at the time, were you aware that this blockage had been put
18 into place as of the 16th of April, 1993?
19 A. I personally knew that a blockade was put into place, but I didn't
20 have the exact date of that.
21 Q. And when did you first become involved in efforts to try to get
22 this convoy freed? You say in paragraph 112 it had been some seven
23 months. And this was September. So can we understand that this had been
24 going on since at least February of 1993?
25 A. I was faced with these problems after appointment to the working
1 group, which was supposed to deal with issues of status for refugees and
2 humanitarian aid. And it was established after an agreement reached
3 between Izetbegovic and Tudjman in September.
4 Q. All right. And then -- but you -- in paragraph 112, I'm just
5 trying to get the timing of this as much as we can given various
6 objections have been raised before, as you say: "It was well known that a
7 convoy humanitarian aid was stopped for about seven months in Split at TTS
8 terminal," and I think you mentioned TTS yesterday, if I'm not mistaken,
9 in another context. Do you see that?
10 A. Yes, I do see that part. And what I can say is that what it says
11 in paragraph 112 is correct.
12 Q. And as we read on in your statement, paragraph 113, paragraph 114
13 and following, did you have conversations in your meetings with Mr. Tadic,
14 this same Mr. Tadic, and Mr. Zubak about getting this convoy released?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. Now, I'm not going to cover all the details that are in your
17 statement, but can you just tell the Chamber, can you recall whether that
18 convoy in fact was ever allowed to go on its way and reach its destination
19 in -- in Central Bosnia?
20 A. After the agreement, oral and written, reached by this working
21 group the convoy was ultimately released, and it reached its final
22 destination, and UNPROFOR reported from all the check-points as to whether
23 the convoy had passed by a section of the route that it was supposed to
24 pass through to reach its final destination.
25 Q. Ms. Krajsek, I think that concludes the direct examination. I
1 want to thank you on behalf of the Office of the Prosecutor for coming to
2 The Hague and giving your testimony, and I wish you a safe trip home.
3 Thank you very much.
4 A. Thank you.
5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] So, fine. The
6 examination-in-chief is now over. We have about 30 minutes before the
7 next break. Who would like to start on the Defence? Mr. Karnavas?
8 MR. KARNAVAS: Good morning, Mr. President, and Your Honours. I
9 was wondering whether we should take the break now because I'm going to
10 need two or three minutes to set up. Otherwise, I could start, but it
11 will take time. It doesn't matter. I'll leave it to you. Either way,
12 we have --
13 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Well, you need some time to get
14 ready, so we will break now and we'll resume in 20 minutes.
15 --- Recess taken at 11.53 a.m.
16 --- On resuming at 12.15 p.m.
17 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Fine. Mr. Karnavas, you have
18 the floor.
19 MR. KARNAVAS: Thank you, Mr. President. Thank you, Your Honours.
20 Cross-examination by Mr. Karnavas:
21 Q. Good morning, madam. Now, as I understand your thesis, the office
22 of the displaced persons and refugees of the republic of the Croatia was
23 the state's logistics for the ethnic cleansing of Muslims, based on your
24 thesis. That would be one part of it, would it not be?
25 A. I would not agree.
1 Q. Okay.
2 A. I was not involved in definitions of that kind.
3 Q. All right. Part of your thesis is also that the refugees were
4 kept in -- in camps, and they were kept there by the army or the special
5 police. That's also part of your thesis; right?
6 MR. SCOTT: Excuse me, Your Honour. I'm going to object to the
7 use of the word "thesis". I think the evidence -- the witness has come to
8 give her evidence under oath, and I don't think there's any reason to be
9 so argumentative at this stage and suggest something other than the
10 witness's evidence, not a thesis.
11 MR. KARNAVAS: Very well.
12 Q. It's your evidence. It's your evidence that the refugees were
13 kept there by the Republic of Croatia. They were kept in camps, and they
14 were kept by the army and the police. Correct? That's part of your
16 A. I am not sure that I understand you.
17 Q. All right. Part of your evidence is that the Muslim refugees did
18 not have a right to an education in the Republic of Croatia other than
19 what you were providing. In other words, that the Republic of Croatia was
20 denying Muslim refugees the right to an education. That's part of your
21 evidence, is it not, or am I mistaken?
22 A. My evidence is that refugees from Bosnia-Herzegovina who were
23 Muslims could not exercise their right to a regular education in the
24 schools of Croatia.
25 Q. And would it also be part of your evidence that the humanitarian
1 aid was spent by the Republic of Croatia in an irregular way? And I think
2 you touched upon it yesterday when you were making complaints how they
3 wanted to fix infrastructure as opposed to provide aid for Muslim
4 refugees. Is that part of your evidence as well, or am I mistaken?
5 A. I had some comments in relation to certain documents, and I
6 interpreted them orally. Could you perhaps help me? Could you tell me
7 what the document that we're discussing is?
8 Q. Okay. Well, we're going to go through various documents, but
9 first let's talk a little bit about your background.
10 Now, as I understand it, when you were selected to go to -- to the
11 Republic of Croatia, you had no prior experience in this particular field.
12 Would that be correct?
13 A. Correct.
14 Q. And in fact, from your own statement, your own admissions, when
15 you went to the Republic of Croatia to be engaged in organising this
16 humanitarian operation that you were involved in along with others, that
17 you had no official instructions.
18 A. Correct.
19 Q. You had been an economist; right?
20 A. Correct.
21 Q. Working in the tourist industry?
22 A. Correct.
23 Q. And also you had some experience in Energoinvest, I believe, and
24 as I understand it, all or most of your experience had been in marketing.
25 Would that be correct?
1 A. Correct.
2 Q. Okay. Now, with -- when you -- when you arrived in the Republic
3 of Croatia the war had been going on for some time, correct?
4 A. Correct.
5 Q. One-third of Croatia was occupied?
6 A. Don't expect me to confirm percentage points, figures, et cetera.
7 I assume that that is the case, but I personally would not wish to engage
8 in speculation.
9 Q. A large part of Croatia was occupied.
10 A. Certainly. That is correct.
11 Q. And as a result of that occupation that had -- that had occurred
12 sometime before your arrival, there was a large segment of the Croatian
13 population from the Republic of Croatia that were displaced; correct?
14 A. Correct.
15 Q. And with a figure between 300.000, 400.000, 500.000, would that be
16 a figure that was thrown around by the international community at the time
17 and thereafter?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. Now, you also indicated by the time that you arrived and while you
20 were there approximately 300.000 refugees came from Bosnia-Herzegovina.
21 A. Correct. Those were our estimates.
22 Q. Okay. So if my math is correct, whatever area of Croatia that was
23 not occupied had to take care of anywhere from 600 to 800.000 refugees and
24 displaced persons; correct?
25 A. Correct.
1 Q. And I take it from -- you saw my interventions yesterday. I take
2 it if I were to ask you concretely whether the embassy that you worked
3 for, whether they had done any studies to see to what extent the Republic
4 of Croatia could absorb these sorts of numbers of persons needing
5 humanitarian assistance, the answer would be that you don't know?
6 A. We were not engaged in economic studies. At least I was not.
7 Q. Okay. But one would think that at least before assuming that a
8 particular government was not doing enough in assisting refugees who are
9 coming from another country, as well as taking care of their own needy
10 displaced persons, one would know more or less whether the existing
11 infrastructure was able to manage that large influx of people that needed
12 humanitarian assistance. You didn't make any inquiries, did you?
13 A. No, I wasn't making any inquiries, and I was not coming to any
14 conclusions as to whether enough was being done.
15 Q. All right. Now, before we talk about the two refugee centres that
16 have been the focal point of our discussion over the past two days, it is
17 fair to say that Croatia, with its islands and its past tourist industry,
18 which was rather lively prior to the war, used various places such as
19 hotels, resort areas and what have you, to accommodate displaced persons
20 and refugees. Would that be correct?
21 A. Correct.
22 Q. In fact, one would say that virtually no space was not scrutinised
23 to see whether -- no free space, that is, whether it could be used in some
24 way, some fashion, some capacity, to take care of the needy displaced
25 persons and refugees that Croatia had to absorb in such a short time under
1 such a volatile circumstance?
2 A. Possibly.
3 Q. All right. Now, if we -- let's speak about the first refugee
4 centre, and you have to forgive me for my pronunciation. I've been
5 working on it for six years but I don't seem to -- my B/C/S doesn't seem
6 to improve. The first place I want to talk about is Gasinci. Now,
7 this -- this centre was located in the north of Croatia; correct?
8 A. Not far away from Djakovo.
9 Q. Okay. The centre was receiving refugees fleeing from BiH
11 A. I wouldn't know that they were fleeing northwards. I know that
12 the centre was receiving refugees from Bosnia-Herzegovina. That is
14 Q. Okay. Now, prior to the war you must have been aware, or you must
15 have become aware at some point that this, the Gasinci, was used as a
16 training centre for high-ranking JNA officers. Correct? Were you aware
17 of that?
18 A. I personally really did not know.
19 Q. Okay. So you were not aware that this had been a training centre
20 for high-ranking JNA officers.
21 A. I was not aware.
22 Q. All right. But needless to say, for those of us who did not grow
23 up in the former Yugoslavia, it's fair to say that high-ranking JNA
24 officers had a particular status in Tito's Yugoslavia; correct?
25 A. Correct. That's exactly what I knew too.
1 Q. All right. Now, would it surprise you to learn that that centre
2 had significant and quality accommodation capacities?
3 A. I would not be surprised. I can confirm that.
4 Q. All right. That it had medical facilities? Again keeping in mind
5 what its intended use was, and I'm saying prior to the war, that it had
6 medical facilities. Are you aware of that?
7 A. No, I didn't know anything about this facility before the war.
8 Q. And I take it you didn't know, then, that this facility also had
9 all the necessities to receive a large number of people since, after all,
10 this was a training centre? You were not aware of that?
11 A. No, I wasn't.
12 Q. And I take it throughout the entire time you were there on behalf
13 of the embassy looking after the refugees, you never became aware of what
14 this place was or had been at one point or time -- one point in time? You
15 never became aware of that?
16 A. No, really, I did not.
17 Q. All right.
18 A. I didn't ask either.
19 Q. All right. Now, do you know whether the cost of the food and the
20 other infrastructural costs were being covered by the Croatian government?
21 Were you aware of that or -- or do you know?
22 A. I had different information.
23 Q. Okay. Is your information such that -- would be that the Croatian
24 government did not, I underscore did not through the office of displaced
25 persons and refugees provide the costs for food and other infrastructural
1 costs at this centre? Is that your testimony?
2 A. No, no, that is not what I wish to say.
3 Q. Okay. Would it be fair to say, then, at least part of the costs,
4 if you're not willing to say all of the costs, part of the costs for food
5 on other infrastructural costs were borne by the Republic of Croatia?
6 Were you be -- would you acknowledge that? Or do you know?
7 A. I cannot discuss that, because I really do not know. I'm not
8 aware of this information as to whether they had any costs and to what
10 Q. Well, they would have had costs if they were trying to feed all
11 these refugees that are living there. Somebody has pay for those costs;
13 A. I agree.
14 Q. Okay. And surely you're not suggesting that those costs were
15 borne by some other entity some other government exclusively, and that the
16 Croatian government provided no costs, provided no benefits to these
17 refugees that were -- that they were responsible for. You're not trying
18 to say that, are you?
19 A. The only thing I can say by way of giving evidence on that subject
20 is that part of the costs were covered by a humanitarian organisation, and
21 that is the only thing I know about that.
22 Q. All right. And would it be fair to say that additional
23 accommodation capacities were constructed in cooperation with donations by
24 humanitarian organisations? Would it be fair to say that?
25 A. I don't know.
1 Q. Okay. Well, let me get this straight then. While you were there,
2 while you were visiting, you were not able to see any construction ongoing
3 or any new construction having been completed. You're not aware of that?
4 A. When I arrived all the construction had been completed. All the
5 houses had been finished, and refugees were living in them.
6 Q. Okay. And it would be fair to say that by the time you arrived
7 there had been quite a few refugees coming into the Republic of Croatia;
9 A. Correct.
10 Q. Because you arrived, I believe, sometime in February 1993?
11 A. I arrived on the 1st of March, 1993.
12 Q. 1st of March, 1993. And could you just tell us, if you recall,
13 based on the events of the break-up of Yugoslavia, about what time, what
14 period of time would it have been that the Republic of Croatia began
15 receiving displaced persons and/or refugees as a result of what was
16 happening in the former Yugoslavia? What year? And what month, if you
18 A. I know that because I was in Croatia in September 1992, and I
19 know. I can testify to the fact that already then there were quite a few
20 refugees from Bosnia-Herzegovina in Croatia. I was on an official trip.
21 I was going through Croatia, and I can testify to that.
22 Q. Would it be fair to say that maybe even earlier than that, a year
23 earlier than that, or six months earlier than that you had refugees and
24 displaced persons occupying various places, centres in Croatia?
25 A. I would say that it is logical that this can be said.
1 Q. Would it be also logical then to also say that when you have large
2 amounts of people coming in all of a sudden that the infrastructure gets
3 worn down from usage?
4 A. Quite logical.
5 Q. And so given that you came in March 1991 [sic], and given that you
6 hadn't been to this place prior to that, if I understand you correctly,
7 since you did not know what it was prior used for, that you don't know
8 what the conditions were of this particular refugee centre when refugees
9 and displaced persons first begun to arrive; correct? And you arrived in
10 1993, the transcript should say on line 7 on page 70.
11 A. Correct. The information I had about that was only the
12 information I received from other persons present then.
13 Q. Okay. And you're not suggesting that while you were there that
14 the special -- that the special police were also staying in those
15 premises, the very same premises where the refugees and displaced persons
16 were staying? That is not your testimony, or is it?
17 A. Are we talking about the Gasinci refugee centre?
18 Q. Yes. Yes.
19 A. I didn't want to say that at the same time there was special
20 police in Gasinci while the refugees were there, and I did not say that.
21 Q. Okay. All right. Now, let's talk about the other centre,
22 Obonjan. Obonjan. I'll get there one of these days.
23 Okay. Now, I guess another possibility for refugees to exit
24 Bosnia and Herzegovina would be from the south of the country, and that
25 would have put them sort of in that location where they would have easy
1 access to get to Obonjan Island; would that be correct?
2 A. To tell you the truth, I wouldn't like to go into geography. I'm
3 not really an expert.
4 Q. All right. Had you been to that island before the war?
5 A. No.
6 Q. Okay. Were you aware that prior to the war that that had been a
7 former Scout centre, that it had a former Scout centre over there?
8 A. Yes. Yes, I knew that.
9 Q. As I understand, it was called the Island of Youth, something like
10 that. And I would suspect that since this was a centre for Scouts that
11 it, too, had the capacity, already the infrastructure, to handle large
12 crowds, a lot of people.
13 A. I think that your assumption is wrong, because the management of
14 the centre kept complaining about the inappropriate infrastructure all the
15 time. So the management themselves.
16 Q. Okay. We're going to go step-by-step, you see. That's why I
17 asked you by the time you get there, almost two years, you have these
18 centres receiving people. And we agreed that in that amount of time, with
19 that influx of people, there's bound to be wear and tear. You know that
20 from living in your own house. You can paint it one day, six months later
21 there's wear and tear if you've got kids running around.
22 A. All my knowledge indicates that refugees from Bosnia-Herzegovina
23 could have started arriving in Croatia only starting from the spring of
24 1992. So we're not talking about the previous two years but the previous
25 one year. The one year prior to my arrival, that is.
1 Q. Well, we also talked about displaced persons. But in any event,
2 this place being a centre for Scouts, for the youth, is it not a fact that
3 this -- that this island would have had facilities to accommodate large
4 numbers of people already on the island?
5 A. That is not a fact. At the time --
6 Q. Okay. Very well.
7 A. -- when I arrived there were tents on the island.
8 Q. Okay. Very well. Now, you said -- now, in order to get to that
9 island you have to take a ferry boat; correct?
10 A. Correct. The alternative was to rent smaller private boats.
11 Q. Right. And we're talking about two to three nautical miles.
12 We're not talking about going out on the open sea. We're talking about
13 two to three nautical miles, are we not, between this island and, say,
15 A. I do not know how many miles it is. I don't have a feeling for
16 that, but I know that the journey was about half an hour.
17 Q. All right. You had ferry boats going back and forth?
18 A. There were regular lines.
19 Q. Refugees that were -- that came there came primarily from Split?
20 Originally they were from Split and they would make it over to the island?
21 A. I don't know.
22 Q. Well, I thought you were -- you spent a lot of time with them
23 questioning them. You didn't ask them, "By which way did you get to the
24 island? Did they helicopter you? Did you swim? Did you take a ferry?"
25 You didn't ask any of them, like, from which direction you came?
1 A. I know that they came from Sibenik on a ferry to Obonjan.
2 Q. Okay. So you're not aware whether they were coming from Split?
3 A. I don't remember.
4 Q. All right. Split was overcrowded, was it not, with refugees and
5 displaced persons?
6 A. Correct.
7 Q. And it was also rather close to the front line, as it were? I
8 mean not right on it, but close?
9 A. If it is not speculation, I could agree. To my mind, it was close
11 Q. All right. All right. Now, do you know whether some of the
12 refugees that made it to this island came by way of the navy? You know,
13 they came by ship, naval ships?
14 A. They all arrived on ferry boats. All the refugees arrived in
15 ferry boats.
16 Q. All right. Very well. All right. Let's move on then. We'll
17 move on to something else.
18 Just on this -- well -- on education I just want to ask you one
19 question, because yesterday you mentioned about having a certificate of
20 baptism or the ksrni list or something like that.
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. That's something you get from the Catholic church, I would
23 imagine, or from the church; right?
24 A. Correct.
25 Q. But up until that time, at least in order to enroll into school
1 you needed a birth certificate, did you not? I mean, when you would take
2 your child to be registered in school, the school would require something
3 from the government, not something from the church; right?
4 A. In my country, yes.
5 Q. Okay. Well, what about in Croatia? You were there, and you said
6 that this policy was put into existence. I looked through all the
7 documents and I haven't seen a single document and you haven't produced
8 anything as far as a law, a decree, a decision, something, that would
9 verify what it is that you claim, that is that in order for a child to be
10 registered for public education in Croatia during this period, I think it
11 was 1992, 1993, that they would require, they would need a krsni list,
12 some kind of a religious document, a certificate of baptism which
13 obviously would not have been available to Muslim children, therefore the
14 discriminatory factor.
15 Now, do you have anything? Have you produced anything to the
16 Prosecutor that perhaps he just failed or forgot to disclose to us?
17 A. I referred to the decree of the government of the Republic of
18 Croatia that was published in their Official Gazette which we in the
19 office for refugees had, and I probably attached it to my report sent out
20 to UN organisations and government institutions in Bosnia-Herzegovina. I
21 can't remember whether I saw it during these past two days in the
22 documents that I looked through.
23 Q. All right. So if I understand you correctly, and correct me if
24 I'm wrong, that there was -- there was a law in force on the right of
25 displaced persons and refugees, and that's where you would find that --
1 that passage, that requirement, or is this some kind of other law, the law
2 on education, which of the two? Because frankly, and before you answer
3 let me just tell you, I've scoured the documents, I've looked all over,
4 and I haven't found anything that you've written complaining to anybody,
5 regarding this particular issue, that is, the certificate of baptism,
6 other than, of course, what you put into your report which we have no
7 evidence to verify. So could you help us out here?
8 A. When I gave my statement, I consulted my documents, the ones I
9 had, and in my reports you had numbers, the documents to which I referred,
10 the Official Gazette issues and numbers, and I think it might be helpful
11 to take a look at the statement or report that was compiled for certain
12 institutions in order to try and find which decree or law I refer to.
13 Q. Did you ever consult the law on the rights of displaced persons
14 and refugees, because that would have covered at least the rights of the
15 refugees and displaced persons that were in Croatia. I would assume that
16 you would have had that and you would have been consulting with it on your
17 day-to-day affairs. Did you have that?
18 A. I did do that, but I was fully conscious of the fact that I wasn't
19 a legal expert. I did not study law. So I took on a legal expert in my
20 department, and he was involved throughout that time with me.
21 Q. All right. So that legal expert would have been at least able to
22 look at that law, analyse it to some extent, and then based on his
23 analysis point out what rights displaced persons and refugees had in
24 Croatia; correct? All right.
25 A. Correct, yes.
1 Q. All right. We can move on a little bit. If we could look at
2 document 1D 01232. And this is a document -- it's a decree law on
3 displaced persons and refugees, and this is from Bosnia and Herzegovina.
4 Now, we could see -- the number is 1D 01232. 1232.
5 A. Yes, I do have the document.
6 Q. Okay. If we go to the very last page, we see that it was signed
7 by Dr. Ganic. I'm sure you know who he was at the time. And the date is
8 6 October 1992. This would have been prior to your engagement in the
9 capacity in which you were in Croatia; correct? This would have been
10 prior to your working for the Croatian embassy -- I mean the Bosnian
11 embassy in -- in Croatia. And I should say Bosnia and Herzegovina
13 A. It is correct. The date predates my arrival to the embassy of the
15 Q. But you had been working -- you had been working in the office of
16 refugees in Sarajevo in 1992, so surely, surely you must have been aware
17 of this particular document.
18 A. It is correct that I worked there, but it is not correct that I
19 must have been aware of the existence of this particular document.
20 Q. Okay. You worked in the office of refugees in Sarajevo from
21 August 1992 to March 1993, or the end of February 1993; correct?
22 A. I was an employee of the directorate, but for two and a half
23 months during that period of time I was absent. I was out of the country.
24 So I didn't necessarily have to know that this law had been enacted.
25 Q. All right. Well, did you ever look at the law at that point in
1 time, at that period, so for instance, when you were -- and I'll tell you
2 why I'm asking the question. When you were in the Republic of Croatia
3 perhaps you could turn to Mr. Rebic and say, see what a law we have in
4 Bosnia-Herzegovina, a country that's involved in war and here you are,
5 only part of your country is occupied and you're not in the same
6 condition. Why don't you compare and contrast what rights we provide
7 refugees and displaced persons versus what you're doing over here? Did
8 you ever do that?
9 A. No, I never did that.
10 Q. All right. Now, I just want to look at a couple of things very
11 quickly. If we could go at Article 20. And before we discuss it, it's
12 fair to say that there is a difference between a displaced person and a
13 refugee; correct? And obviously you would know the distinction.
14 I'll walk you through the article step-by-step, but I'm wondering
15 whether OP the top of your memory whether you know the distinction between
16 a displaced person and refugee. There is a distinction; correct?
17 A. Yes, I do know that.
18 Q. Okay. And if we look at Article 20, we see under 1, we see
19 this -- well, we see, "the status of a person recognised, the status of a
20 displaced person and/or refugee shall cease -- shall cease."
21 "1. By a decision of the displaced person and refugee welfare
22 staff of the municipality according to his/her permanent place of
23 residence, when the reasons for which he/she fled his/her permanent place
24 of residence ceases to exist."
25 So at least from Article 20.1, it would seem that under this
1 particular law, once you can return to your place of origin you cease
2 having the status of displaced person or refugee. Of course there's some
3 other conditions, but this is -- we can see that from here; correct?
4 A. Yes, you can see that.
5 Q. Okay. Of course number 2, it says: "On the basis of his or her
6 own decision to return to his/her permanent place of residence."
7 So, in other words, free will. Irrespective of whether it's safe
8 or not, every individual has the free will, even to put themselves in
9 harm's way in order to return to their place of origin; correct?
10 A. Yes, it is correct that this was written and every person has the
11 right to free will.
12 Q. Right. And then we look at number 3: "If he/she refuses the
13 offered accommodation and/or other forms of organised assistance."
14 In other words -- let me give you a concrete example. If, for
15 instance, refugees may be in a hotel on a resort area and now the
16 government wishes to relocate them into tents where other refugees around
17 the world especially normally live in, and if a refugee or displaced
18 person refuses that offer, then they could lose their status. Would that
19 be correct?
20 A. This is correct, and I did know about that while I performed my
21 duties as attache.
22 Q. Okay. Now, I just want to go down to Article -- oh. We'll go to
23 Article 21. And if we look at Article 21, we don't have to spend too much
24 time on it, but under 1 it says: "The refugee status of a person from the
25 war-ridden area of the border republics of the former Yugoslavia who have
1 been recognised that status shall cease:
2 "1. If it can be concluded from his/her conduct that he/she is
3 not abiding by the legal order of the republic."
4 And again let me give you a concrete example. In other words, if
5 somebody is committing crimes while they're a guest as a refugee or a
6 displaced person -- well, here it talks about refugee, they lose their
7 status. So if somebody comes from another country as a refugee, they
8 commit crimes, they could lose their status; correct?
9 A. I don't know. What you read out is correct, that's true.
10 Q. Okay. And again if we look at number 3 because this relates to
11 refugees: "If he/she refuses the offered organised accommodation and
12 other forms of organised assistance." It somewhat repeats Article 21.
13 Then if we go to Article 22 --
14 MR. SCOTT: Excuse me, Your Honour, just to interrupt just briefly
15 for the record, I just want to question the relevance of this material
16 since the only statute that would be relevant to this witness's evidence
17 would be the laws in effect in the Republic of Croatia at the time. She
18 was dealing with refugees and displaced persons physically located in
19 Croatia, and I don't know why we're spending all this time talking about
20 the law in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
21 MR. KARNAVAS: Maybe I can assist. I can assist, Your Honour, and
22 I welcome that intervention by the Prosecutor. I'm surprised that he's on
23 his feet on that intervention, because -- because -- thank you. We've
24 heard that we had reverse ethnic cleansing today. You see, a couple weeks
25 ago we're trying to get rid of Muslims and send them all over the place.
1 Now we're trying to take these Muslims and send them back to -- to Bosnia.
2 So it seems that the authorities, no matter what they do, are damned.
3 Now, there are certain obligations for refugees.
4 You had a Prosecutor who was saying they weren't getting any
5 education. Their document, in the statement, they're complaining about
6 how they were not given sufficient accommodations, or they wanted to move
7 them to tents because they wanted to stay in hotels or other resort
8 areas. And the whole purpose of that -- of that direct examination was to
9 show discrimination, was to show that somehow this is part of the pattern
10 of joint criminal enterprise.
11 Also, if we go on a little bit, just a little bit, we'll see that
12 those who are of military-age men who are conscripts also have an
13 obligation. In fact we'll see, perhaps with this witness or another
14 witness, that they were required and Bosnia was pushing,
15 Bosnia-Herzegovina was pushing the Republic of Croatia to send back their
16 men of military age in order to assist in the war, in the war effort.
17 Then if we go to Article 25, we'll see and compare it with Article
18 26, displaced persons are entitled to schooling, or under Article 26,
19 refugees are not entitled to schooling. And we'll have some other
20 evidence, but the reason I'm showing this is because for contextual
21 purposes. If Croatia doesn't do enough, then obviously it's engaged in a
22 joint criminal enterprise, no matter what it does. And so I think this is
23 relevant, because they have opened the door.
24 MR. SCOTT: Your Honour, I want to respond. It's a rather long
25 argument in front of the witness, and I think it's -- I think it's
1 inappropriate, but, but, I am going to ask to also respond to it fairly as
3 Number one, I don't think Mr. Karnavas should mischaracterise the
4 Prosecution position. The Prosecution position is that, yes, these
5 various devices and policies were used to facilitate and carry out forms
6 of ethnic cleansing and keep Muslims from, in fact, being returned to
7 Bosnia and Herzegovina.
8 What was said the evidence was on various of these points was that
9 the Muslims, despite what someone might have said on paper and sometimes
10 they did and sometimes they didn't, but the real effect was the Muslims
11 couldn't, in fact, return for a number of reasons. One, why would they go
12 back to the very place where they had just been arrested and had their
13 homes burned down and been detained? Why would they go back under those
15 Number two, when they tried to go back to other parts of
16 ABiH-controlled territory in Bosnia, the HVO would not give them passage
17 through HVO-controlled territory.
18 So it's fine -- it's all well and good to say well, in fact, we
19 were happy to send Muslims back but they couldn't go back and the people
20 knew that. It would have been known to anyone involved in this situation.
21 Number two, number two, this is nothing more -- I mean, now it's
22 transparent that this is nothing more than another form of tu quoque. I
23 mean, you know, well, so let's not look at the Croatian law which
24 presumably all the counsel across from me can access the laws in Zagreb
25 and what the Croatian law was at the time. Let's not put that in front of
1 witness. Instead, let's look at the law that didn't apply to people in
2 Croatia, and that's -- we now know the real ulterior reason is not to show
3 the right document to the witness but to engage in a form of tu quoque.
4 It's completely irrelevant and the evidence of the witness as
5 opposed to Mr. Karnavas's characterisation of all the reasons that in fact
6 the Muslims could not go back to Bosnia-Herzegovina for all the reasons
7 put in their way, even if they had wanted to.
8 MR. KARNAVAS: Your Honour, if I may reply very briefly. First of
9 all, unlike Mr. Scott, I cannot and choose not to try my entire case with
10 every witness. I think that's what he's trying to do and that's why I
11 object so much to some of the evidence trying to come in through various
12 witnesses who are not competent to testify.
13 That's number one.
14 Number two, number two, let's keep in mind that prior to 1991, you
15 had one country called Yugoslavia. It then breaks up. Now these are very
16 special conditions, this whole war thing, and we want to criticise the
17 Republic of Croatia. Yesterday, I put a question to the Prosecutor where
18 he named Mr. Rebic as part of the joint criminal enterprise.
19 MR. SCOTT: I didn't say that.
20 MR. KARNAVAS: Yes, he did.
21 MR. SCOTT: No, I did not.
22 MR. KARNAVAS: He did and it was heard all over the place.
23 MR. SCOTT: Find me the record.
24 MR. KARNAVAS: So here we have the Prosecutor, they want it both
25 ways. Now, I'm entitled to put my case, my case, not his case, one step
1 at a time. So not only am I trying to refute his theory, which I think is
2 bogus, but also I'm trying to do so by advancing my theory, which I think
3 is contextually accurate when you look at the circumstances.
4 So for instance --
5 MR. SCOTT: Your Honour, he can respond to my arguments but he
6 cannot mischaracterise the record and he cannot say the evidence is
7 something that it's not. Of course he can conduct a fair and effective
8 cross-examination of the witness, and the Prosecution is never on its feet
9 or objecting when it deems that there is a fair, albeit sometimes
10 aggressive, cross-examination. But when Mr. Karnavas mischaracterises the
11 evidence or mischaracterises the Prosecution position, then indeed I will
12 be on my feet to correct that and object, and that's what I'm doing now.
13 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Karnavas.
14 MR. KARNAVAS: Mr. Murphy.
15 MR. MURPHY: I've got the record right here, if the Court would
16 like to be reminded of it. It was yesterday's transcript, and the page
17 numbering I may not -- page numbering went away during a break but I think
18 it's around page 60-ish, anyway, I can quote the words.
19 "Mr. Scott: Your Honour the, indictment I'm just having the
20 chance to try to look at it but clearly it is a part of the Prosecution
21 case that since counsel asked me directly, and I'll respond directly, yes,
22 that this was part of the ethnic cleansing of Muslims from Bosnia and
23 Herzegovina from the Herceg-Bosna area."
24 And that was in direct response to a question
25 from Your Honour, Judge Antonetti, "Mr. Scott, is Mr. Rebic a member of
1 the joint criminal enterprise?"
2 MR. SCOTT: And my response was not to Mr. Rebic but that to
3 the -- nature of the joint criminal enterprise. Show me -- sorry, sorry,
4 when I'm -- when I'm --
5 THE INTERPRETER: Could the speakers kindly slow down. Thank you.
6 MR. SCOTT: When I'm going to be personally attacked and said that
7 I said something on the record, I never said that Mr. Rebic was a member
8 of the joint criminal enterprise. I responded to the president's question
9 by saying, Yes, it is a component of the Prosecution case that the joint
10 criminal enterprise involved the movement of people to Croatia,
11 deportation, which is charged in the indictment, and conditions such that
12 including conditions by which these people could not return to their home
14 That's what I said, and again I did not say on the record and I
15 stand by it despite what Mr. Murphy has just said, I did not say, and Mr.
16 Rebic was a member of the JCE.
17 MR. KARNAVAS: So is Mr. Rebic not a member of the joint criminal
18 enterprise? Maybe that's the question that he should answer today.
19 Because if you look at the law on joint criminal enterprise he is either
20 aiding and abetting particular crimes, because you cannot aid and abet a
21 joint criminal enterprise, or he is a member of the joint criminal
22 enterprise, or he's a direct physical perpetrator of the joint criminal
23 enterprise. But no matter how you slice it and dice it given his position
24 and given the arguments that's what they asserted. And so I'm entitled to
25 go into all this area because I'm trying to put it into context. It's a
1 step-by-step process. We have months to go.
2 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Karnavas, you're perfectly
3 entitled to put your case as you see fit, but the four Judges you have
4 before you are legal specialists, of course, and they wonder why
5 irrespective of the law on displaced persons and refugees in Bosnia and
6 Herzegovina, we wonder why you don't have a text law related to displaced
7 persons and refugees in the Republic of Croatia? I leafed through your
8 binder. I found a statute or a text related to the situation in Denmark,
9 probably quite interesting, but what would even be more interesting for us
10 would be a text related to Croatia, because the lady here was in Croatia.
11 MR. KARNAVAS: Thank you very much for asking that question.
12 Again let me remind the Bench that first and foremost the Prosecution has
13 the burden of proof not the Defence. It is not for me to bring in
14 evidence that they should be bringing. Secondly, should I decide to put
15 on a case and should I think that is necessary, I will do so with my own
17 So at this point the Trial Chamber cannot be directing me as to
18 what my case should be. Moreover, I think it's a little unfair for the
19 Trial Chamber to presume to know what my case is because I'm doing it
20 step-by-step. I'm putting a little -- a little stone step, you know, one
21 by one. Eventually you'll see it. Maybe you won't see it, but -- maybe I
22 won't be able to prove whatever it is I'm trying to prove, but I do not
23 have the burden and I got my answer. My answer was this person was there
24 in situ for a year or a year and a half, whatever and never bothered to
25 look at the law. Doesn't have it, doesn't cite it. And that's why I said
1 yesterday her entire testimony is based on anecdotal, "I heard this,"
2 "somebody told me," nothing concrete. She says that there is -- there is
3 this decision regarding children. In order to be enrolled they need
4 something from the church. Where is it? Where is it in the law? Where
5 is the document where you've complained about it? I don't have it. I
6 don't know where it is. So I don't have to produce these things.
7 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Mr. Karnavas, I think maybe there's a
8 misunderstanding. This is not about what your case should be. It is
9 about the question, Why on earth do we go lengthily through a legislative
10 text which is not the one applicable to the situation the witness is
11 talking about? The situation that the witness has not been working,
12 mainly, has not been working with this legislation but with a different
13 one, and it is really not quite clear why we spend all this time on this
15 MR. KARNAVAS: I'll move on. For the sake of -- I don't want to
16 argue the point. I'll move only. If the Trial Chamber doesn't want to
17 hear this type of evidence I'll bring it in my case, my own case, because
18 I think, Your Honour, with all due respect, this case cannot be tried in a
19 vacuum. That's my whole point. You know, you had a country that broke
21 JUDGE TRECHSEL: But, Mr. Karnavas, that is not sufficient as an
22 explanation why you go into this by just saying it cannot be tried in a
24 MR. KARNAVAS: Well because --
25 JUDGE TRECHSEL: We stand to be convinced, but if you do not
1 succeed then indeed better go off.
2 MR. KARNAVAS: I will go off, but again I remind Your Honours you
3 don't have a dossier. You didn't spend a year and a half, two years,
4 preparing for this trial, I have. But in any event we will be submitting
5 this document in, and I will just ask the Trial Chamber to note that on
6 Article 25 and 26, Article 25 does provide for displaced persons to be --
7 to get schooling where refugees are not provided for any schooling. And
8 it seems a little double standardish to say that somebody coming from --
9 from Bosnia to say we demand that you provide deluxe accommodations when
10 in their own law they say if you refuse you lose your status. But I'll
11 move on Your Honour.
12 MR. SCOTT: Your Honour, no one said deluxe accommodations. And
13 again if there's any further questions about this statute -- this
14 Rule 1D 01232, we will indeed object. I was being very patient before
15 because I assumed perhaps we wouldn't stay on it very long, but I
16 completely share the Chamber's view that this is completely irrelevant,
17 and I am sure Mr. Karnavas and I may disagree about a lot of things, but I
18 am completely confident that if Mr. Karnavas would have wanted to find the
19 appropriate Croatian law with all the assistance of the Croatian lawyers
20 across the room, I'm quite confident he could have done that.
21 JUDGE TRECHSEL: I really think we should let Mr. Karnavas
22 continue now.
23 MR. KARNAVAS: Yes, I thank you. I appreciate the guidance from
24 the Prosecution who bears the further for proving all the allegations they
25 are making.
1 MR. SCOTT: Sorry, Your Honour, on that point that reminds me of
2 another legitimate point I want to raise. And I'm not going to let it go,
3 I'm not going to let it slide by because again it's unfair to
4 Mr. Karnavas.
5 He says that this witness impeaches the witness's credibility or
6 that the truth of what she's saying by saying, They haven't produced a
7 policy that says there was a policy of questioning. Well, at the moment
8 her evidence on that it's unimpeached. There is no evidence to the
9 contrary. This woman came in here under oath and she said while I was in
10 the embassy in Zagreb, a policy or law was put to this effect. There is
11 no evidence in this courtroom to the contrary. And as long -- it doesn't
12 matter how many times Mr. Karnavas gets on his feet and says, Why haven't
13 they produced a document? It doesn't matter she is unimpeached. Her
14 testimony on this point is unimpeached, and there has been nothing to the
16 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Karnavas.
17 MR. KARNAVAS: Your Honour I don't want to get into a discussion
18 on evidence. I would love to, especially on this. We have hearsay
19 evidence coming in and if it -- if it's not impeached it comes in. I dare
20 say Mr. Scott should read Judge May's book on evidence before the
21 Tribunal. It might assist him.
22 Now if we could go to the next document 1D 01576. 1D 01576. It's
23 a letter from Mr. -- Professor Dr. Rebic. August 30, 1993. And it's
24 short so I'll read it. It's addressed to -- it's from the office of the
25 displaced persons and refugees of the government of the Republic of
1 Croatia to the embassy of the RBiH in the Republic of Croatia.
2 "Dear sirs,
3 "It is an honour to inform you that for the purpose of extending the
4 refugee status of the citizens of Bosnia and Herzegovina, the social
5 welfare centres of the Republic of Croatia do not," I underscore that, "do
6 not require any type of certificate from your side. This must be a result
7 of lack of information from individual officers in the centres.
8 "On August 30, 1993, the centres were given instructions to extend
9 refugee status for another three months to those persons already having
10 this status and not being able to return to the Republic of Bosnia and
12 Q. Question: Ma'am, were you aware of this letter dated August 30,
13 1993? It calls for a yes or no. And I believe it's from your -- your own
14 documents, in fact. You must have been aware of that.
15 A. I'm aware of all the facts, but I cannot claim whether I actually
16 saw the letter or not. I'm aware of all the facts.
17 Q. Okay. Okay. Would it be -- would it surprise you if I were to
18 tell you that this came from the batch of documents that you provided to
19 the Prosecutor or somebody provided to the Prosecutor?
20 A. I would not be surprised.
21 Q. Okay. Now -- and incidentally your office was in the embassy?
22 Madam, your office, was that in the embassy?
23 A. During the first few months the office was in the embassy
24 physically, but later on it was at another location.
25 Q. And speaking of that embassy, because you were asked a question
1 yesterday about how many people were employed there, and I believe you
2 indicated that there were some 20 people, perhaps more, that were working
3 for the consulate. How many of those people were Bosnian Croats or Croats
4 from Bosnia and Herzegovina? How many were employed?
5 A. I don't know.
6 Q. You worked there for a year and you didn't know that you had any
7 colleagues that were from Bosnia and Herzegovina that were of Croatian
8 origin? All right. What about Serbs? Any Serbs?
9 A. I don't know.
10 Q. Okay. Well, okay. Do you know -- so I take it from your answers
11 you didn't -- within your own department dealing with refugees, and some
12 of those refugees would have been of Croatian origin, there wasn't one
13 single solitary Croat from Bosnia and Herzegovina working with you. Would
14 that be correct?
15 A. I never said that. I don't know.
16 Q. Okay. How big of a staff did you have? I don't want to take too
17 much time on this, but how big of a staff did you have that you didn't
18 know whether among your entire staff -- and remember you said yesterday,
19 the entire embassy had 20 people so you couldn't have that big of a staff.
20 So among all of your staff, you didn't know whether any of them were of
21 Croatian origin?
22 A. I had only six to seven staff members. I knew that some of them
23 had citizenship of the Republic of Croatia. I don't know whether they
24 declared themselves as Croats, Muslims, or Serbs. I assert that that is
25 not something that we discussed among ourselves.
1 Q. Okay. Very well. But just one last question on that issue.
2 Suffice it to say, from the name you can sometimes tell, not always,
3 sometimes, whether somebody is a Muslim or a non-Muslim. Maybe a little
4 more difficult between Croat and Serb, and even there I dare say that it's
5 rather easy, but from the name you can look at it, especially the first
6 name; right?
7 A. It is correct that there are names that are characteristic of
8 Serbs, Croats, and Muslims respectively -- or, rather, for Muslims, there
9 are specific names.
10 Q. Okay. All right. Now, if we could go to -- there are two
11 documents. They seem to be, rather, the same document, but if we could
12 look at them. It's 1D 01580, 1580. And the other one is 1581. They're
13 more or less the same from what I can gather. One seems to be -- 81 --
14 1581 seems to be with the official letterhead. The other one I think you
15 provided to the Prosecution. And it's dated 6 April 1994. It's from
16 Mr. Rebic, or Dr. Rebic, as the head of the office of -- of refugees and
17 expelled persons. And do you see that?
18 A. I have the document in front of me.
19 Q. Okay. Now, it might be easier if we just stick with one of them.
20 And I think we can just look at your document, which would be the one that
21 is 1580. Now, if we look at that, first we can see from the subject
22 matter of the letter, "Instructions on abolition of refugee status for
23 persons from the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina: Mostar - additional
24 explanation." So we know exactly what the subject matter is.
25 Now, if we could go down to the third paragraph. It says
1 here: "Therefore, all those refugees who can return should do so, since
2 in their towns there is no more 'imminent threat to life caused by
3 aggression and other military activities.'" .
4 And then they cite the act on displaced persons and refugees
5 status, Article 2, para 1. So we don't even have to look at the Croatian
6 law. It's stated here and seems awfully close to the text that we found
7 earlier from BiH, the text that you would have been working with in your
8 earlier job. And then it goes on: " ... And their houses are not damaged
9 insofar as that would make their stay impossible." So in other words if
10 their houses are damaged and they can't go back, their status remains as
11 is; would that be correct?
12 A. What is correct is -- well, I can confirm what this letter says.
13 Q. Right. And we can see from the following paragraph where it
14 says: "The recommendation --" also says the same thing. "The
15 recommendation of the office is that the refugee status is not abolished
16 only --" the text is rather awkward, "is not abolished only for those
17 persons whose return is not possible because the threat to their lives
18 because of aggression still exists, or if their houses, i.e., apartments,
19 are completely destroyed, which makes their stay there impossible."
20 So it's not just accommodations but if aggression still exists, if
21 their safety is still at risk, Croatia, the Republic of Croatia is not
22 going to put them in harm's way, at least by this particular letter, and
23 this is dated 6 April 1994; correct?
24 A. What you are reading out is exactly what is written there, that is
1 Q. Okay. Now if we go to the second page and we look at just the
2 third paragraph, I just want to -- and again this may be for contextual
3 purposes, although I could be accused of tu quoque, it says here: "The
4 return of Croatian refugees from Slovenia, Hungary and Austria to Croatia
5 also took place in the same way, so that out of the earlier number of
6 36.000 Croatian refugees in Slovenia, today there are only 1.000, most of
7 them from Vukovar where the return is still impossible. Out of 56.000
8 Croatian refugees in Hungary, nowadays there are only 2.600 from Baranja,
9 where they cannot return and there are almost no refugees from Croatia in
10 Austria since all of them returned to Croatia. They are gradually
11 returning from Germany."
12 So here we see, at least based on Dr. Rebic's representations,
13 that other countries, other countries seem to have adopted a rather
14 similar version of law that was adopted in Croatia and that existed in
15 Bosnia-Herzegovina as early as 1992 whereby refugees in neighbouring
16 countries would have to leave and return to their place of origin
17 assuming, assuming that it was safe enough for them to return and adequate
18 accommodation would have been possible. Would that be correct?
19 A. I could not say. I'm not a legal expert. I don't know. I assume
20 that what you are saying is correct, but I do not have personal knowledge
21 of that, and that was not within my own line of work.
22 Q. All right. But just one follow-up question. When this -- when
23 you received that, you or the Ambassador Turkovic received this back on
24 April 6, 1994, did you by any chance challenge this part wherein Dr. Rebic
25 is claiming that refugees from Slovenia, Hungary and Austria have had to
1 return, and the numbers that he provided. Did you by any chance challenge
2 that or look into it whether he was being true, accurate and complete in
3 his representations? And it calls for a yes or no. If you don't recall,
4 that's fine. I'll take that as well.
5 A. I think this is the first time I see this document.
6 Q. Okay, and would it surprise you again that this was a document
7 that was generate by your bunch? It was this document came along with all
8 the other documents that you and Ms. Turkovic turned over to the
9 Prosecutor and that's how we got them. So I find it rather ironic, and
10 I'm being generous with that word, that you would provide documents to the
11 Prosecution in preparation for your statement to vouch and verify
12 everything that you claim, and yet you have not bothered to read those
13 documents to know what exactly is in those documents, to see whether those
14 documents, indeed, support and lend credit and weight to whatever it is
15 that you were stating to the Prosecution at the time that you gave your
17 MR. SCOTT: Well, Your Honour --
18 MR. KARNAVAS: I can provide a page number, if the Prosecution
19 wishes, or I could just move on with the next question.
20 MR. SCOTT: Again, I would object, Your Honour. I would object,
21 Your Honour, to such broad characterisations unless the witness has the
22 chance to go through and verify any particular documents that she
23 provided, this witness. I don't -- whatever somebody else provided that's
24 been put in front of her, that's a completely different topic and she's
25 not responsible for what somebody else provided to the OTP. The OTP has
1 documents from hundreds of thousands of sources, but if it's in terms of
2 documents she provided then counsel's going to put that to her, then she
3 should be able to verify that it is a document that she did.
4 MR. KARNAVAS: Point taken. Point taken. I'll do it. Perhaps we
5 can pull up P 0122 -- I'm sorry. We have the B/C/S version and we could
6 give our copy if necessary. It's P 01222, and the ERN number is
7 0328-7231. I hate to waste valuable time on this but perhaps I can have
8 the assistance of the usher. Thank you. And perhaps you could just --
9 and bring back the binder too.
10 Q. And all I need you to do, ma'am, is tell me whether --
11 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
12 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Microphone.
13 MR. KARNAVAS: Sorry.
14 Q. And, ma'am, all I need you to do is to tell us whether this was a
15 document that you provided to the Prosecution or Ms. Turkovic, with whom
16 you were working and was closely associated on these sorts of matters and
17 of which you testified to, you know, whether this was a document that
18 you -- that you provided to the Prosecution.
19 MR. SCOTT: Sorry, Your Honour. I'm not trying to be troublesome
20 but she's not responsible for what Ms. Turkovic provided either. Now, if
21 counsel is going to impeach her saying, These are documents that you
22 personally turned over, why wouldn't you have them?
23 MR. KARNAVAS: We'll go step-by-step, Your Honour.
24 MR. SCOTT: It's hers and hers alone.
25 MR. KARNAVAS: Step-by-step, but may I remind the Trial Chamber
1 that this witness provided Ms. Turkovic with documents from her own
2 archive which Ms. Turkovic then provided to the Prosecutor in giving a
3 statement. And therefore it's a rather convoluted story; I'm just trying
4 to unravel it. So anyway, we'll go step-by-step.
5 Q. Do you recognise the document; yes or no?
6 A. I know the facts. As for the document itself, I'm not sure that I
7 saw it previously in physical terms.
8 Q. Very well. One last question on this. On April 6, 1994, were you
9 still working for the embassy that was located in Zagreb?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. And I take it when it came to matters, when it came to matters
12 dealing with -- with refugees and displaced persons or refugees because
13 that was what was being generated by Bosnia and Herzegovina to Croatia, I
14 suspect that anything that came dealing with refugees from Dr. Rebic would
15 have or should have, I should say should have, should have come to you?
16 A. Should have, but I do not claim that that was always the case.
17 Q. Okay.
18 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Please just a minute, please,
19 Mr. Karnavas. I need some -- to have some information.
20 My colleague Judge Prandler noted that you've been talking for an
21 hour already. Remember that you were given six hours altogether, one hour
22 for each Defence. The others give you time? Are you entitled?
23 MR. KARNAVAS: I'm glad that Judge Prandler is keeping me on such
24 a tight leash. Yes, Your Honour. I have gotten some additional time. I
25 believe I have about two hours. Perhaps a little longer, and I'm looking
1 at the clock and I know that at least I have some time left over for
2 tomorrow. So now you want to know from which particular individuals. If
3 that's necessary, I could inform the Court perhaps.
4 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Please.
5 MR. KARNAVAS: I have two hours you have to take me at my word.
6 You don't have to, but I can --
7 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Fine, you can go on.
8 MR. KARNAVAS: Okay, all right.
9 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Before we leave this document, excuse me.
10 Witness, there is a rather strange sentence or two at the
11 beginning of the second paragraph of this letter where it is said that
12 there are refugees, perhaps one has to put quote unquote, who live part
13 time in Mostar and part time on the seaside. They -- they have their,
14 cynically spoken, prolonged weekends on the beach. Can you say anything
15 about that? Can you confirm this? Are you aware of this? Is this news
16 to you?
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] My understanding of this, which was
18 confirmed by Mr. Adalbert Rebic in direct contact at a meeting was that
19 this statement pertained to citizens of Bosnia-Herzegovina who were
20 refugees and who had fled from the area of Mostar, and that the original
21 instructions were addressed to them, and that there was no need for the
22 members of their families to be refugees any longer because conditions
23 were created for their free return to the area of Mostar.
24 MR. KARNAVAS: Okay.
25 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Do you have personally personal knowledge of any
1 such "refugees"? Commuters, as it were.
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I personally did not have any
3 contact with them, and they did not contact me.
4 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Thank you.
5 MR. KARNAVAS: Just one point of clarification: It says that part
6 of the family lives in -- in one place and the other part of the family
7 lives someplace else. So perhaps while some may be commuting, it seems
8 that --
9 JUDGE TRECHSEL: May I draw your attention just to the next
10 lines. "A part of the week a family spends in Mostar and another part at
11 the seaside." That's what I had in mind.
12 MR. KARNAVAS: Right.
13 JUDGE TRECHSEL: I have seen the first part but the second part.
14 MR. KARNAVAS: Okay.
15 Q. And when you had this conversation with Mr. Rebic, and I brought
16 this out on direct examination, maybe I wasn't forceful enough on my
17 objection, but when you had this meeting with Dr. Rebic, that was back in
18 November, was it not, when you discussed these issues? Correct?
19 A. Could you please have a look at one of the documents to see the --
20 Q. All right.
21 A. -- date --
22 Q. Okay?
23 A. -- month.
24 Q. I'll have my colleague look at that but in the meantime, do you
25 recall meeting Dr. Rebic on or about April 6, 1994 with respect to this
1 particular issue? Keep in mind the time. We're talking about April 6,
2 1994. Did you have contact, personal contact with Dr. Rebic then? And if
3 I assume if you did, you would have generated some sort of document
4 verifying your contact.
5 A. Personal contact, no. In terms of meetings, no.
6 Q. Okay. All right. All right. Let's move on and I'll have my
7 colleague look for it while I go on to the next document to save some
9 Now, if we could look at -- okay. I'm told that the document was
10 P 100059 and from page 31, line 14. And that was the document that was
11 shown to you. You won't find it in my documents. It was a document
12 provided to you by the Prosecution, and for the sake of time -- I'm told
13 that it may not be that one. Okay. Let me move on. Let me move on
14 because I need to cover some other matters.
15 And the document I want to discuss now with you is 1D 01593.
16 1593. And this is a letter dated 7 April 1994, and it's signed by
17 Dr. Jadranko Prlic. Did you know Dr. Prlic at that time?
18 A. Only from the media. Personally, I never met him.
19 Q. Okay. Now, this is addressed to a Nikica Valentic. Did you know
20 this individual?
21 A. Personally, no, but I knew of Mr. Valentic.
22 Q. Yes, he was the president of the government of the Republic of
23 Croatia. You're shaking your head. That means yes; right?
24 A. I knew that he was president of the government.
25 Q. Okay. And now, he just want to share this letter with you,
1 because it says here, and I'm going to read portions of it:
2 "Dear Mr. President. As regards the decision of the Office of
3 Displaced Persons and Refugees of the Republic of Croatia on the
4 abolishment of refugee status for all persons from Mostar," and then
5 there's some numbers, "I'm obliged to inform you of the following:"
6 Under point 1 or dash 1 whatever you want to call it: "The
7 decision has been passed without prior consultations and talks with the
8 government of HR HB which were required according to earlier agreement."
9 Then it goes on. "After the decision, UNHCR and the embassy of BiH in the
10 Republic of Croatia were informed thereof, but not the office for
11 displaced persons and refugees of HR HB which learned about the decision
12 from the refugees and the media.
13 "As a result of the efforts of Mr. Martin Raguz, head of the
14 office for displaced persons and refugees for HR HB, there was held a
15 telephone conversation with Mr. Adalbert Rebic (1 April 1994) and a
16 meeting with the head of the regional office for displaced persons and
17 refugees, Makarska, Mr. Ljubo Saric (6 April 1994).
18 "During today's date, return of refugees from Ploce has been
19 organised ..." and it goes on. Then we skip and go on to the next
20 part: "Due to this sudden and unannounced decision, the competent bodies
21 of HR HB have not been able to prepare adequate organisation of the return
22 of refugees to the city of Mostar, or to guarantee safety for their return
23 and accommodation, having especially in mind negative tensions between
24 representatives of different nations that are still strongly present.
25 "You are kindly requested to cancel the decision, and that is also
1 requested by the representatives of the government of the republic of BiH
2 in Sarajevo with whom we held yesterday the first talks regarding the
3 implementation of the constitution of the federation."
4 Question: Were you aware of this?
5 A. No. This is the first I hear of this.
6 Q. Okay. And this is the first that you've seen this document as
7 well, I take it?
8 A. Correct.
9 Q. Did anyone from -- I assume if Dr. Prlic is making representations
10 to the president of the government of Croatia that representatives of the
11 government of the republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina in Sarajevo had a
12 particular position with respect to displaced persons and refugees arising
13 from BiH, would it be fair to assume, I know I'm calling for speculation,
14 but would it be fair to assume that you, in your capacity, dealing with
15 these matters in Croatia, would have or should have been informed?
16 MR. SCOTT: Excuse me, Your Honour, but that's a very convoluted
17 question, and what's the logic of -- what's the logic of suggesting
18 because Mr. Prlic writes the president of Croatian Republic of
19 Herceg-Bosna, because he writes to the president of Croatia, what is the
20 logic of indicating or trying to persuade this witness that she would have
21 received a copy of a document.
22 MR. KARNAVAS: I'm just asking whether she did, Your Honour.
23 MR. SCOTT: I mean, come on.
24 MR. KARNAVAS: I'll move on.
25 Q. Next question -- the next question is: Were you aware --
1 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Fine. Ask your last question,
2 because we're running out of time.
3 MR. KARNAVAS: Very well. Very well, Mr. President. Just one
4 quick one in light of that.
5 Q. It would seem from this document, would it not, that at least the
6 folks in the HR HB did not want the return of refugees and displaced
7 persons to the Mostar area until at least it was safe enough for them to
8 return. Can we draw that conclusion from this particular letter?
9 MR. SCOTT: Is the question, Your Honour, what the policy of the
10 government was -- that government was or what the letter says? If it's
11 just again reading, do we agree this is what the letter says, then of
12 course we can all read the letter. But does she have a basis for saying
13 not what the letter says, but what the policy of the Croatian Republic of
14 Herceg-Bosna was? I stipulate that the letter says what it says. There's
15 no dispute about that.
16 MR. KARNAVAS: How can she talk about a policy if she doesn't know
17 of these communications? I mean, that's the whole point.
18 MR. SCOTT: Exactly.
19 MR. KARNAVAS: The whole point that I'm trying to draw is that the
20 Prosecution is only showing you some documents and leading you in one path
21 and what I'm trying to do is show you all of the documents, so then at the
22 end, hopefully, you can reach the right conclusion. So it begs the
23 question: Why don't we see more documents of this nature, so we can have
24 a more balanced approach, but with that, Your Honour, I guess I have to
25 conclude for the day.
1 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Please answer the question,
2 Witness. Please answer Mr. Karnavas's question. He asked you for your
3 opinion as to this letter, by Mr. Prlic sent to the Prime Minister of the
4 Republic of Croatia, actually states that the refugees in Croatia may come
5 back to Mostar, but that first safety has to be ensured to make sure they
6 can come back. What do you think about the substance of this letter?
7 That was the question that was put to you.
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I beg your pardon. I really am
9 confused. I don't even know what the question was. It seemed to me I was
10 supposed to give my own assessment of what it seemed like to me in terms
11 of what the government actually wanted or the authorities. Could you
12 please phrase the question in a more precise manner.
13 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Fine. Mr. Karnavas, please ask
14 your question again and then we will have the answer and then we'll stop.
15 MR. KARNAVAS: I'll try to simplify it.
16 Q. In direct examination you were shown portions of your report where
17 you were sort of opining on what the intentions were of certain
18 individuals or certain officials, and now I'm showing you a document, a
19 very concrete document that goes from Dr. Prlic to the president of the
20 Republic of Croatia. You've told us you haven't seen it. Having seen
21 that document, are you able to draw any conclusions one way or the other?
22 That's about as simple as I can make it.
23 A. Perhaps I could draw some conclusions, but I have to draw your
24 attention to the fact that I did not draw my own conclusions anywhere in
25 my reports. I just provided information that I had received without my
1 own political observations or conclusions. If you wish, I can start
2 reading the letter again and I can try to analyse it. I would probably
3 have a position of my own.
4 Q. Very well. Suffice it to say, you were not aware of this?
5 A. No, I was not aware of this.
6 MR. KARNAVAS: Okay. I'll leave it at that, Mr. President and
7 tomorrow we'll pick up. Thank you very much.
8 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Fine. The hearing is adjourned
9 and we will resume tomorrow at 9.00 a.m. Thank you.
10 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 1.48 p.m.,
11 to be reconvened on Wednesday, the 20th day of
12 June, 2007, at 9.00 a.m.