1 Monday, 8 October 2007
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 2.16 p.m.
5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Registrar, kindly call the case,
7 THE REGISTRAR: Good afternoon, Your Honours. Good afternoon,
8 everyone in the court. This is case number IT-04-74-T, the Prosecutor
9 versus Prlic et al. Thank you.
10 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you, registrar. Today we
11 are the 8th of October 2007. I would like to greet the Prosecution,
12 Mr. Scott, the Defence counsel, the accused, as well as all the people
13 present in the courtroom.
14 I shall first of all give the floor to the registrar so that he
15 gives us an IC number.
16 THE REGISTRAR: Thank you, Your Honour. Several parties have
17 submitted lists of documents to be tendered through Witness DV. The list
18 submitted by 3D shall be given Exhibit number IC 682; the list submitted
19 by 2D shall be given Exhibit number IC 683. The OTP has submitted list of
20 objections to documents tendered by 3D through Nicholas Miller. The list
21 submitted by the OTP shall be given Exhibit number IC 684.
22 Other parties have submitted lists to be tendered through
23 Witness DW. The list submitted by OTP shall be given Exhibit number IC
24 685; the list submitted by 3D shall be given IC 686; and the list
25 submitted by 4D shall be given Exhibit number IC 687.
1 Thank you, Your Honours.
2 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you, Registrar.
3 The Trial Chamber shall first like to read out an oral decision
4 based on exhibits submitted during the testimony of Mufid Likic.
5 This witness testified pursuant to 92 ter of the Rules of
6 Procedure and Evidence on the 20th and 21st of March 2007. The Trial
7 Chamber has agreed to admit the statement of the witness, P09883 adduced
8 by the Prosecution on its -- and figures on its list IC 00503, because
9 this exhibit shows sufficient -- demonstrates sufficient relevance and
10 probative value. Exhibit number P08850 -- let me repeat, P -- the
11 Trial Chamber notes that number P08850 had already been admitted pursuant
12 to an oral decision on the 2nd of April 2007. The Prosecution had asked
13 for this exhibit thereafter to be admitted.
14 We shall now move into closed session because I would like to hand
15 down another oral decision.
16 [Closed session]
11 Page 23299 redacted. Closed session
6 [Open session]
7 THE REGISTRAR: I'm sorry, counsel. Your Honours, we are back in
8 open session.
9 MR. KARNAVAS: Okay. So do I need to repeat myself or -- okay.
10 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. Yes, please.
11 MR. KARNAVAS: Yes. With respect to this particular witness,
12 Your Honour, it came to our attention today that the Prosecution wishes to
13 introduce through this witness or to discuss with this witness other
14 documents, new documents, and it would appear that the Prosecution would
15 be going into an area that was not previously anticipated or at least not
16 previously disclosed to the Defence. The documents that are of interest
17 of course, just to show you the dates, is July 18, 2001, that's from the
18 office of the High Representative, their 19th report; December 5, 1996,
19 the London Conference; there is another document of course dealing with
20 his own -- another document February 12th, 2001. So it would appear,
21 first of all, that these documents are discussing matters that fall
22 outside the scope and the time period of the indictment. That's number 1.
23 Number 2, if the Prosecution intended to use these documents and
24 to go into this area with the -- with this particular witness, assuming
25 that this is relevant and can be heard, then we should have been noticed
1 so we can be adequately prepared. It's not sufficient to say, well, these
2 are open-source documents. Of course, I know any OHR document is open
3 source. It doesn't mean I'm going too read all of OHR's documents in
4 anticipation that some witness may come here and testify about these
5 matters. So I would like a ruling at this point in time after hearing the
6 Prosecution what exactly is their intent with this particular witness, how
7 far and to what extent they intend to go outside of what they previously
8 described the purpose of this witness would be, and of course, the
9 relevance as to these particular documents given that the time period of
10 these documents and what is in the indictment. I think this is -- we need
11 to have a clear understanding. And I understand that anything can be
12 shown to the witnesses and virtually there are no rules of evidence at
13 this Tribunal, but there has to be at least some modicum of relevancy
14 before documents are shown to a witness and we need to know what exactly
15 the Prosecution is intending to do because we need to be prepared for it.
16 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Scott?
17 MR. SCOTT: Again, Your Honours, good afternoon. Your Honour,
18 just so the record is clear, we did send a letter this morning that after
19 meeting with the witness over the weekend, that we would use -- seek to
20 use six additional documents with this witness in addition to those
21 previously disclosed some weeks ago.
22 Only one of those documents is new -- is new in the sense that
23 not -- have not been -- has not been used in court or on the list in terms
24 of this witness or other witnesses.
25 And the only document that that is is the record, the judgement
1 of conviction of this witness, and it seemed to me, to the Prosecution
2 that that is something that the Chamber would want to be aware of. When a
3 witness comes before the Chamber, having been convicted for crimes that
4 have some connection, some connection, to certain history of this case and
5 certain personalities that have been mentioned in this case before and I
6 expect will be mentioned again, we expected that the Chamber would want
7 have a copy of that judgement. And I suspect if I hadn't raised it
8 frankly the Defence would have in any event. Number 1.
9 The other part from that one document, Your Honour, and that is
10 the criminal conviction from the state court in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
11 All the other documents are documents that have either -- that have been
12 on the list or have been used with other witnesses. The OHR documents
13 that Mr. Karnavas refers to are documents that were used with the witness
14 Miller, just a short time ago, a few days ago, they are not new. They are
15 documents that both the Defence and the Chamber have already seen quite
16 recently and because, again, the conviction of this witness on -- for the
17 crimes, for the charges that he was -- for the crimes that he was charged
18 with indeed relate to those documents, the facts relate to those
19 documents, we thought again it would be relevant for the Chamber to have
20 those in mind when considering his evidence. They are not new and
21 different. They are part and parcel of the evidence that we have talked
22 about in this courtroom before and this relates specifically to his
24 A couple of the other exhibits among the six are just more of
25 the -- similar type, one or two additional documents of a financial
1 nature. This witness is going to talk about banking and financial
2 transactions and in reviewing the matters with the witness over the
3 weekend it was found that there were one or two additional documents of
4 that nature that the witness should address. So the vast majority of
5 these documents - well, I say vast majority there is only six to begin
6 with so I don't want to make it sound like more than there are - but have
7 been known, have been used recently. They are -- the one new exhibit is
8 the record of conviction of this witness, Your Honour. We believe it's
9 relevant for the Chamber to have.
10 MR. KARNAVAS: If I may be heard.
11 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Just a minute, Mr. Karnavas.
12 I'll give you the floor in just a minute. Just that we understand things
13 clearly you have six documents, you have number -- now, documents -- now,
14 4127173, 100267, 10 -- 10284, 10285, 10303?
15 MR. SCOTT: Yes, Your Honour.
16 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Let me repeat, 412, 7173, 10267,
17 10284, 10285, 10303. Number 412 is a decree; 7173 is an order stemming
18 from the Ministry of Defence of the Republic of Croatia; 10267 is a
19 report; 10284 is an OHR document; 10285 is also an OHR document; and 10303
20 is the judgement that was handed down.
21 Mr. Scott, you were saying that all these exhibits with the
22 exception of 10303 have already been adduced through other witnesses with
23 the exception of the last exhibit, of course, being a more recent
24 document, as it has to do with the witness. Is that right, Mr. Scott?
25 Unless I've made a mistake.
1 MR. SCOTT: Thank you, Your Honour. I think what I said, and I'm
2 sorry if I wasn't clear, that all, the six documents except for the last
3 one which is the judgement of conviction they have either been used with
4 other witnesses in the case - and I'll come back to that in a moment - or
5 the first couple, the decree, which is 412, and the order which is 7173,
6 are clearly documents within the anticipated scope of the evidence of this
7 witness. It's been known for some time that again the witness would talk
8 about financial and banking matters. 412 is simply a decree from the
9 Narodni List establishing certain bank accounts. 7173 is a document that
10 is very similar to others in the Prosecution bundle which talk about
11 certain transfers of money from the Republic of Croatia. Those two are
12 the only ones that have not been used with a previous witness other than
13 the judgement. 10267, Your Honour, 10267 was used with Dr. Miller and as
14 the Chamber may recall there is actually about four different documents in
15 that bundle. It was the first one that's on the title page "Defence and
16 protection system". That one was essentially withdrawn based on objection
17 but there are three additional -- three additional documents in that
18 bundle which were used with Dr. Miller and this witness. One of those
19 documents is a document of this witness. The last document in the bundle
20 is a document signed by Mr. Rupcic and so it seems quite appropriate that
21 as to a document that's already been talked about in these proceedings
22 where the author of that document to be able to address it further and
23 that is the last document in that particular bundle. 10284 is all
24 open-source material from the Office of the High Representative which was
25 also used in court just a few days ago with Dr. Miller. And 10285 was
1 likewise a document -- all public source information that was used with
2 Dr. Miller a few days ago. So it's absolutely not new and absolutely has
3 been discussed in this courtroom only very recently. I realise the
4 Chamber probably has not had time to look at the judgement against
5 Mr. Rupcic but when the Chamber has time to look at the facts --
6 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes. I have read it. I have
7 read it at lunchtime.
8 MR. SCOTT: Thank you, Your Honour. You will see from that,
9 Your Honour, if I might respectfully submit, if you've had a chance to
10 review the judgement then you would see why the OHR documents are directly
11 related to that because they are on the same matters or on related matters
12 to the conviction which I in fact confirmed with the witness when I met
13 with him over the weekend when he described what he'd been convicted of
14 and why and it was all related to these same course of events. Thank you,
15 Your Honour.
16 MR. KARNAVAS: If I may be heard in response, Mr. President,
17 first, let me deal with the issue of notice. Obviously, we were noted by
18 the Prosecution based on the 65 ter summary as to the nature and scope of
19 this particular witness's testimony. In relation to that we received what
20 amounts to I would say over 200 pages of transcript of an interview that
21 was conducted by Mr. Scott and others of the gentleman back on -- from
22 June 20, 2005, to June 22, 2005. The scope of the interview dealt with
23 financial matters primarily dealing with the period of the indictment. So
24 now we have -- last week we had Mr. Miller come in, he wished to -- the
25 Prosecution wishes to discuss matters outside the scope of the indictment
1 with Mr. Miller primarily the -- "the
2 persistence" of the HZ HB or HR HB and that's what Mr. Miller was here
4 Of course, we objected strenuously because it's outside the scope
5 of the indictment. That's our belief. Now, over the weekend, they meet
6 with this gentleman, the gentleman did plead -- he pled guilty, he wasn't
7 convicted after a trial. He pled guilty to a charge; the system in Bosnia
8 provides for that. And now, it appears that the Prosecution wishes to do
9 two things. One, somehow bolster or boot strap, whatever you want to call
10 it the testimony of Mr. Miller through this witness, and number 2, use
11 this witness again to pursue their theory of the persistence of the HZ or
12 HR HB, Herceg-Bosna, of the criminal enterprise past the period of the
14 Now if the Prosecution met with the gentleman over the weekend and
15 discussed these matters, one would assume, Mr. Scott being meticulous as
16 he was in taking an actual statement, would have taken another statement,
17 would have had tape recorded it and had it transcribed and would make it
18 available to us. Okay, it's the weekend, maybe he didn't have those
19 facilities, but at the very minimum he would have provided us with some
20 sort of proofing notes because he's going into new areas, he's learning
21 new information. We didn't receive any proofing notes. The first thing
22 that we receive is notice that he wants to go into these areas.
23 It has to do with fairness. That's why the rules are designed the
24 way they are. First, the 65 ter gives notice to the Trial Chamber as to
25 whether the matter that the Prosecution or the other party, the Defence,
1 wishes to go into is relevant. Number 2, it gives notice to the parties
2 so they can prepare. Now if the Prosecution wishes to extend the period
3 of the indictment, and wishes to amend the indictment, they should do so.
4 But I think what is happening here is we are going outside the period of
5 the indictment to somehow strengthen the events of the indictment which
6 puts the Defence in a position where we are now have to defend not just
7 1991 to 1994 but 1995, 1996, all the way to 2001 or 2002, given the
8 documents that they are now presenting. At some point we need some
9 clarification from the Trial Chamber. It's up to the Trial Chamber to
10 give us some guidance. Is that what we need to do?
11 MR. SCOTT: If I could have one more minute.
12 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Scott, you may reply but --
13 MR. SCOTT: Just one minute, Your Honour just to be clear about
14 the notice and what Mr. Karnavas said, I do have great respect for counsel
15 on the other side and I know from the last 18 months that all of them are
16 quite thorough in their preparation. It's well known that Mr. Rupcic
17 was -- is under conviction, that he's been serving a sentence. It was --
18 he's a notorious figure in that sense he was part of the Jelavic trial
19 which was well known, which is a well-known matter covered, extensively
20 covered in the local press. I would have thought and I don't mean to be
21 critical but that the fact that he had this criminal conviction against
22 him would have been something that had been researched and known so I did
23 not feel that I -- it was something further that I should have to detail
24 to them. The judgement is here, they have it, it's a public document, it
25 can be actually obtained off the internet site for the state court in
1 Bosnia-Herzegovina. And if the Chamber doesn't want to be aware of his
2 prior conviction, and if the Defence don't want to raise that as a
3 potential issue as to his credibility or what-have-you and don't want to
4 talk about his prior conviction, then that's a different matter.
5 But I thought it was certainly appropriate for the Chamber to have
6 that information and I would think that's the information that the Chamber
7 would insist on having and that's why I disclosed it, but thinking --
8 fully thinking and understanding that the Defence would certainly have
9 been aware of that based on their preparation for the witness.
10 MR. KARNAVAS: Just very briefly, Mr. President, the events of the
11 indictment and conviction of this particular witness are not within the
12 scope of this particular indictment and it's not just a matter of whether
13 we want to talk about his events in 1999 or his trial. We are talking
14 about -- I have no objections to the gentleman testifying about events
15 during the critical period of the indictment. I do object to the
16 gentleman testifying about a period outside the scope of the indictment
17 and that's what I'm getting at.
18 Mr. Jelisic is not here and I could care less what that gentleman
19 did, what he was convicted for, where he is; that's not part of this
20 trial. You don't see his name within the critical period of the
21 indictment and we certainly don't see his name or we don't see these
22 gentlemen, particularly Dr. Prlic, because I represent him, we don't see
23 him in the indictment for anything involved in 1995, 1996, 1997, 2001. So
24 why are we going into this area? The Prosecution needs to come clean.
25 What is their intention? Why is this relevant? In one sentence n one
1 question, Mr. President, please ask the Prosecutor: Why is this testimony
2 relevant? Last week with Dr. Miller he said, "it's very relevant, it's
3 very relevant," but then he never told us how. Don't tell me, describe to
4 me, what is it so I know. I feel like Diogenes with a lantern trying to
5 figure out the relevancy in this case.
6 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Ibrisimovic? We are wasting
7 our time. Mr. Ibrisimovic?
8 MR. IBRISIMOVIC: [Interpretation] Just very briefly,
9 Mr. President, I don't know why we should investigate this. The
10 Prosecutor can tell us it's from October 2004, the judgement, but when he
11 spoke to the witness in 2005 he knew about the sentencing and he was
12 indeed serving his sentence so it wasn't our duty to do that. It was the
13 duty of the Prosecutor, if he had the judgement and knew about it several
14 years ago, then he should have informed the Court and put it on the list.
15 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. The matter at issue
16 seems to be the following: When the witness Miller came to testify, we
17 already discussed this matter. In the report provided by Mr. Miller, it
18 was alleged in this report that the HVO, after the Dayton agreement, had
19 continued to play a role or play its part, notwithstanding the Dayton
20 Accords. At the time the Defence had stood up and said that this was not
21 included in the indictment and Mr. Kovacic had intervened and had given us
22 a lecture on law and the Trial Chamber had said that this was not in the
23 indictment but that the Prosecution was entitled to ask Mr. Miller for any
24 explanation on this. The Bench had therefore agreed for questions to be
25 put to the witness. Today, we find ourselves in exactly the same position
1 as we discover on reading the document 10303, that the person in question
2 was convicted for facts that took place after the Dayton Accords, since in
3 the judgement we have before us, these facts took place in 2001 and 2002
4 and so on and so forth. So therefore, according to what this judgement
5 states, it seems that a budget policy had been implemented, had been --
6 for the benefit of the NHS in Mostar on page 06136779. On the basis of
7 this the Prosecution has told us that this is relevant because it seems to
8 confirm what Mr. Miller has said and also enables to us shed some light on
9 the -- OHR documents. Therefore, this is how things stand. Last time the
10 Trial Chamber had said that we had been seized of a joint criminal
11 enterprise which ends in 1994 and does not go beyond that period. So we
12 will not have to discuss the issue as to whether the HVO pursued this
13 after 1994. This is what it hinges on.
14 In light of this, we will hear the questions and scrutinise the
15 documents but it is quite clear that the Trial Chamber has only been
16 seized of a very particular period of time which is mentioned in the
17 indictment. We have not been seized of an amendment to the indictment.
18 That's all I have to say about it. We spent half an hour discussing this.
19 Now, we shall bring in the witness in the courtroom. Before doing so, let
20 me remind you that the Prosecution has got -- should have four hours.
21 That's at any rate what had been planned. The Trial Chamber therefore
22 allocates four hours for the Defence and Mr. Prlic should have one hour,
23 Mr. Stojic one hour, as these are the two accused who are mainly concerned
24 here, and the four other accused would have 30 minutes each, and if they
25 so wish they can give their time to Mr. Stojic or Mr. Prlic. They can
1 make their own arrangements.
2 This is what I wish to share with you. The witness is going to
3 come and testify. There are no protective measures, and you can call him
4 by his name. Let's bring the witness in now, please.
5 [The witness entered court]
6 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Good afternoon, sir. Let me
7 first check that you're in a position to listen to the translation in your
8 own language. If you hear me, if you understand me, tell me so.
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, I can hear you.
10 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. Sir, you've been
11 called to testify by the OTP. Before I ask you to give the solemn
12 declaration, please give me your first name, last name and date of birth.
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Miroslav Rupcic, the 20th of
14 September 1965.
15 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Do you have an occupation, a
16 profession, if that's not the case, what was the latest occupation you
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I'm not employed at the moment but
19 I'm an economist by profession.
20 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Fine. Have you ever testified
21 before an international or domestic court of law about the events that
22 took place in your country up until the month of April 1994? Have you
23 ever testified about this particular period of time, the period of time
24 ending in March or April 1994?
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No.
1 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Last question. We have been
2 notified by the Prosecution that you've been recently convicted and that
3 you have also been released recently. Is that actually the case?
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes. That is correct. In July,
5 this year, I left after three and a half years of serving my sentence.
6 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Fine. I'm now going to ask you
7 to read the solemn declaration That is handed to you by the usher.
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will speak
9 the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth.
10 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you. You may be seated.
11 WITNESS: MIROSLAV RUPCIC
12 [Witness answered through interpreter]
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you.
14 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Let me give you some information
15 about the way we are going to proceed. As you know, because you've met
16 with representatives of the OTP this weekend and they probably explained
17 that to you, you will be testifying over four days, Monday, Tuesday,
18 Wednesday and Thursday. We will be sitting in the morning except for
19 today where we are sitting in the afternoon.
20 In first stage of your testimony, you will have to answer
21 questions put to you by Mr. Scott, who is sitting on your right. You've
22 probably met him already. Mr. Scott will submit a number of documents to
23 you and of these documents have been compiled in various binders. This
24 process will take a certain period of time. Following that first stage of
25 your testimony, the Defence counsel who are sitting on your left, there
1 are many of them, many of them but they actually represent less accused
2 than that because there are two of them for one accused. They will be in
3 a position to put questions to you and in some instances, when it relates
4 to technical matters, some of the accused may ask questions to you
6 We have planned for the Defence to have a certain period of time
7 to put their questions to you. The three judges sitting before you,
8 usually there are four of us but today only three of us, well, these three
9 judges may at any time put questions to you. That's provided for by the
10 Rules of Procedure and Evidence. But we endeavour to let the Defence and
11 the Prosecution put their questions first before we ask our own questions.
12 However, sometimes when we are scrutinising or examining a document and
13 if part of that document has not been properly dealt with, if the judge
14 believes that a question should be put to the witness about the document,
15 then this judges might intervene to put that question.
16 Every hour and a half, we have a 20-minute break. If at any time
17 during your testimony you feel unwell, please notify us immediately. If
18 you need a break, tell us, because of course we have to take into account
19 your state of health. If a question is put to you and you do not
20 understand the question, please ask for the question to be repeated to
21 you. We are working on the basis of the -- orality. Every word that is
22 uttered here is important and will be illustrated by documents. Therefore
23 it's absolutely essential for you to properly answer the questions put to
24 you. These are a few general comments I wanted to make before we start.
25 If at any time you have a question to put to the Judges, please do not
1 hesitate to do so.
2 We are here to provide any useful information to the witnesses if
3 they so desire. Mr. Scott, you have the floor.
4 MR. SCOTT: Thank you, Mr. President.
5 Examination by Mr. Scott:
6 Q. Good afternoon, Mr. Rupcic.
7 A. Good afternoon.
8 Q. Are you going to be all right?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. Sir, you've already given your name to the Court and given a bit
11 of background information. Let me just confirm again, your name is
12 Miroslav Rupcic, you were born in Vares on the 20th September 1965; is
13 that correct?
14 A. Correct.
15 Q. By nationality or ethnicity, you are a Croat; is that correct?
16 A. Correct.
17 Q. You graduated from university in Sarajevo with a degree in
19 A. Correct.
20 Q. In 1989?
21 A. Correct.
22 Q. And you worked for a couple of years in business in Sarajevo
23 following your graduation?
24 A. Correct.
25 Q. Is it also correct that in approximately mid-1991, you joined the
1 Ministry of Interior of Bosnia-Herzegovina as a white collar crime
3 A. Correct.
4 Q. And as I understand that job or function included the
5 investigation of what might be called financial crimes?
6 A. Whether they could have been called crimes or acts is debatable.
7 So financial acts that should not have taken place.
8 Q. All right. And --
9 A. Misdeeds.
10 Q. Excuse me. And you remained in that position until approximately
11 the 1st of April 1992?
12 A. Correct.
13 Q. And I'm just taking you through this background fairly quickly
14 before we get to the more substance of your testimony. But just to
15 continue on, in April of 1992, I understand that you were approached by
16 certain HVO leadership persons in Vares, the HVO president, Mr. Pejcinovic
17 and the security chief, Mr. Zvonko Duznovic, you were approached by them
18 for the purposes of becoming the head of the HVO military police in Vares;
19 is that correct?
20 A. The chief of the military police, yes, correct.
21 Q. And following that time, you worked then for some months with,
22 among others, with Mr. Pejcinovic and Mr. Duznovic in the Vares area; is
23 that correct?
24 A. Correct.
25 Q. Now, I understand further that during that time period, following
1 between about April and August of 1992, in your capacity as a military
2 police officer you had occasion to travel several times to Grude for the
3 purposes of obtaining arms and equipment for the use of the military
5 A. Correct.
6 Q. And can you just briefly tell us what was it that was in Grude?
7 What was located there that made that the place to go to for purposes of
8 obtaining arms and equipment?
9 A. Well, in Grude was the central logistics base.
10 Q. The central logistics base of what entity or organisation?
11 A. The HVO.
12 Q. And during these trips, did you meet a man named Ante Jelavic?
13 A. Yes. That's when I first met him.
14 Q. And what did you know or learn of his position and function at
15 that time?
16 A. That he was the key person of the logistics base, that is to say
17 that he was the commander.
18 Q. And is it correct, sir, that after having met Mr. Jelavic a couple
19 of times on these trips from Vares to Grude, that you then decided that
20 you would be interested in working at the logistics base in Grude and
21 Mr. Jelavic essentially gave you a position or arranged for you to have a
22 position at the logistics centre; is that correct?
23 A. Correct.
24 Q. When you arrived in Vares, then -- excuse me, my mistake. When
25 you arrived in Grude, then, and began your work at the central logistics
1 centre of the HVO, what was your particular job or assignment there?
2 A. Since I had a degree in economics, Mr. Jelavic told me to report
3 to Mr. Pero Majic and that we should start working on setting up a
4 financial department.
5 Q. And approximately how many people were working in this logistics
6 centre when you arrived there in August 1992? Approximately.
7 A. Five, six. Excluding the warehouses that were elsewhere.
8 Q. And you've indicated that you were working with someone and just
9 to assist in the transcript, this other individual that you named was
10 Mr. Pero Majic?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. And you said, if I heard you correctly, that you were asked to set
13 about essentially creating a structure and set of processes for the HVO
14 military financial system; is that correct?
15 A. Since the HVO was in the process of being established, it is only
16 natural that we did not have a developed system. That is to say that
17 everything had to be created, including this financial department.
18 Q. Can you tell us briefly some of the things that you were involved
19 in, some of the projects that you undertook to move forward in that way,
20 in terms of preparing and building, if you were, these financial
22 A. Well, it's hard to remember all of that now, but first it had to
23 be set up schematically, that is to say, this entire financial department
24 of the HVO had to be set up that way. All of this had to be covered with
25 documentation, rules and all the other accompanying documentation.
1 Q. And is it correct that as you undertook these duties, working with
2 Mr. Majic, is it fair to say that Mr. Majic at the time was your immediate
3 superior but that Mr. Jelavic was also in your chain of command above you?
4 A. Correct.
5 Q. And did you also become aware around this time of a man named
6 Mariofil Djidic?
7 A. I knew of him. I heard of him. Once or twice, I had the
8 opportunity of seeing him, being in contact with him but since I was at a
9 lower level, as it were.
10 Q. And what did you understand Mr. Djidic's position to be?
11 A. He was in charge of overall logistics.
12 Q. For all the HVO military; is that correct?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. So would it be fair for us to understand, then, based on what
15 you've said in the last few minutes that your chain of command up to the
16 level of Mr. Djidic was that Mr. Djidic would have been at the top, at
17 least up to that point, and then Mr. Jelavic, then Mr. Majic, and then
18 you; is that correct?
19 A. Correct.
20 Q. If the witness could be provided the bundle of exhibits -- excuse
22 JUDGE MINDUA: [Microphone not activated] [Interpretation]
23 Mr. Scott, I'm very sorry but I have a very brief question to put to the
24 witness. Witness, I'm a bit confused here. Witness, you were asked to
25 set up the financial department for the logistics centre. Is that it? Or
1 was it for the HVO? Because you mentioned your chain of command with
2 Mr. Djidic who was in charge of the HVO, and then Mr. Jelavic, so I'm
3 confused here. What were you responsible for? Were you responsible for
4 the financial department of the logistics centre or the financial
5 department of the HVO as a whole?
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] As for the financial section of the
7 HVO, well, I was Mr. Pero Majic's assistant for the financial section of
8 the HVO.
9 JUDGE MINDUA: Thank you.
10 MR. SCOTT: I think if I could assist Your Honour, I think I can
11 clarify this and Your Honour's question is entirely appropriate of course.
12 Let me just ask, when this witness talks I've learned --
13 Q. Sir when you're talking about -- when you say the HVO in this
14 context you're talking about the HVO military organisation; is that
16 A. Correct.
17 Q. And in a few minutes I will ask you about another organisation
18 called the finance department of the HVO government and you know that to
19 be something separate; is that correct?
20 A. That's the civilian part.
21 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Kovacic?
22 MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation] I do apologise. I wanted to avail
23 myself of this opportunity since there was a break; I didn't want to
24 interrupt my colleague. So far, my colleague put quite a few leading
25 questions and I do not oppose that. On the contrary, I think that we have
1 saved a bit of time that way. However, now, we are moving on to a subject
2 matter that would not allow leading questions. I agree with leading
3 questions in the introductory part where we save time that way, but now we
4 have come to a point when I believe it would be inappropriate to proceed
5 that way.
6 MR. SCOTT: Thank you, Your Honour. I do agree with that and I
7 was intentionally leading the witness through these background matters, as
8 a matter of efficiency.
9 Q. Sir, we were just talking about the -- your exact role in response
10 to Judge Mindua's question so you were working just so it's clear you were
11 setting up the financial structures and processes for the HVO military
12 organisation; is that correct?
13 A. Correct.
14 Q. I hope that assists, Your Honour.
15 Now, you've just been handed a moment ago some of the exhibits
16 that we will be discussing in the course of your testimony and I would
17 like you, if you could in your binder there, if you could please find
18 Exhibit P00332. Sir, if you have that, this is the appointment -- appears
19 to be the appointment of Mr. Jelavic at least in part, the appointment of
20 Mr. Jelavic to a position, and it is described here as in point -- what
21 would be point number 5 as assistant for logistics in the HVO Main Staff,
22 and is that consistent with what you understood Mr. Jelavic -- and this
23 appointment in fact is dated the 14th of July 1992. And that -- would
24 that be consistent with the function and position that you saw Mr. Jelavic
25 in in August 1992 and thereafter? Is that a fair description?
1 A. That's where Mr. Jelavic was, and as I said to you yesterday, this
2 is the first time I see this document, and I cannot make any further
3 comments on that.
4 Q. My question to you was simply, sir, do you confirm that as you
5 described to us in the courtroom a few minutes ago, that in fact this
6 accurately reflects that Mr. Jelavic was appointed to the position of
7 assistant for logistics in the HVO?
8 MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, may I just make a
9 request at this point? In a similar situation a lot earlier this
10 proceedings when the Defence used a document that concerned an appointment
11 that also referred to the law on defence of the Republic of Croatia, if
12 you remember, the Trial Chamber then asked the Defence to submit that law
13 subsequently so that it could be seen whether this document was indeed
14 based on the law. We got a copy of the law for you and we showed that
15 that was the case.
16 I know but I'm -- I cannot say more than this, I doubt that this
17 appointment was made in accordance with the law of the Republic of
18 Croatia. I think that it would be a good thing if the Prosecution were to
19 be instructed to present by tomorrow the law itself. Otherwise, this
20 document cannot be used. It is lacking in authenticity because I cannot
21 see a signature on it either. At any rate, I would like to see what the
22 legal basis for this document is, since it is mentioned explicitly in the
23 document itself.
24 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Scott, you've heard
25 Mr. Kovacic. I myself wanted to put a question to the witness on that
1 matter. The assignment -- the appointment of Mr. Jelavic is based on
2 apparently on paragraph 2 of Article 52 of the law of 20th of September
3 1991. You have the floor.
4 MR. SCOTT: Thank you, Your Honour. Just very briefly to respond
5 to counsel and I think the witness is trying to say something and I don't
6 mean to cut him off but just to respond to counsel first. Your Honour,
7 I'll be happy if it will be helpful to provide a copy of paragraph 2 of
8 Article 52, if we can readily put our hands on it. I don't want to make a
9 promise I can't keep, but assuming I can find it, I will be happy to
10 provide it to the Chamber.
11 Frankly, Your Honour, from our perspective it's our position that
12 the document is completely relevant and proper and probative whether it
13 was completely proper or legal under the law of Croatia or not. It is what
14 it purports to be. It is the purported appointment of Ante Jelavic to
15 this position by Janko Bobetko, the commander of the Southern Battle Staff
16 of the Croatian army, now, whether Mr. Bobetko the head of the Croatian
17 army was acting illegally or not when he made that appointment, he made
18 the appointment and as far as we are concerned that's the end of it for
19 these purposes.
20 Q. Now, sir, I believe you wanted to say something and I'm sorry that
21 I interrupted you.
22 A. I do apologise for not having noticed that straight away.
23 However, as for the assistant for logistics in the Main Staff of the HVO,
24 well, Mr. Jelavic was the commander of the central logistics base. That's
25 what it was called when I came there.
1 Q. Very well. Let me go back before we go forward in terms of your
2 then exact position at this time because you told us a few moments ago
3 that when you were in Vares you were the head of the military police
4 there. When you transferred to Grude did you continue to be a member of
5 the HVO military as opposed to a civilian? Did you continue to be part of
6 the military police or what was your position at that time?
7 A. I was in the military and I was in the financial section, and I
8 was appointed a desk officer in the financial service.
9 Q. So we -- can we understand correctly then based on what you said
10 just to be very, very clear that you continue to be, we might use the term
11 you were a soldier and not a civilian?
12 A. Correct.
13 Q. And around this time in 199 --
14 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Witness, I'm a little bit lost
15 and I tell you why. You were at the head of the military police in Vares.
16 What was your nationality and what was your country?
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I was a Croat and my country was
18 Bosnia-Herzegovina, to this day.
19 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. Your country was
20 Bosnia and Herzegovina. So were you appointed deputy for army logistics.
21 The document we saw a while ago was an appointment made by the Republic of
22 Croatia, another state, so I really don't understand. Could you explain
23 this to me? Could you tell me how the Republic of Croatia can appoint a
24 citizen from Bosnia-Herzegovina? Yes, go ahead.
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It's not about me at all. It's
1 about Mr. Jelavic. This document that the Prosecutor showed does not
2 correspond to the position held by Mr. Jelavic. Mr. Jelavic was commander
3 of the central logistics base of the HVO. He was no assistant.
4 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] When you were appointed to go to
5 the logistics base in Grude, who appointed you? Who asked to you go
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] [Previous translation continues] ...
8 Mr. Jelavic and he said to me that I should report to Mr. Majic and that
9 we should set up a financial department for the HVO.
10 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. Please proceed. We
11 will try and understand more about it but I must say for the moment I find
12 it all rather unclear.
13 MR. SCOTT: Thank you, Your Honour. I understand that and
14 perhaps -- perhaps in the course of the testimony, it may become clearer,
15 or may not, but we'll see how it goes.
16 Q. Sir, following on this in fact your military history, if you will,
17 at sometime in 1993 or 1994, were you given the rank of captain in the
19 A. Captain, yes. I don't know the exact date, but sometime around
20 the time when ranks were first introduced in the HVO, I got the rank of
21 captain because I was in a position which according to establishment
22 required the rank of captain.
23 Q. And can you tell us approximately how long you continued in
24 essentially this same function? I realise terminology might have changed
25 a bit from time to time but in terms of working in the financial section
1 of the HVO logistics operations, how long did you maintain or - excuse
2 me - continue in that function or role?
3 A. Well, until 1996, I held that function. In 1996, when transferred
4 to Mostar, Mr. Majic for personal reasons didn't really want to go to
5 Mostar so I was appointed instead of him.
6 Q. So do I understand correctly that you essentially then took the
7 position of Mr. Majic which would have been a promotion at that time?
8 A. Correct. I was appointed chief of the finance department of the
10 Q. And at that time, did your immediate superior then become
11 Mr. Jelavic?
12 A. Correct.
13 Q. And just to finish with your military history before we then
14 return and go forward with the rest of your evidence, can you tell the
15 Judges, please, when did you leave the HVO military?
16 A. In the beginning of 1997, there was an integration of the HVO and
17 the BH army into the army of the federation. Then I was assistant
18 minister for finance of the army of the federation, and on the 1st of
19 January 1999, I left the army.
20 Q. Prior to your departure then did I hear you say correctly that you
21 were the assistant minister for finance of the army of the Federation of
23 A. Correct.
24 Q. And when you left the military in approximately on the 1st of
25 January 1999, what rank did you have at the time of your departure?
1 A. Brigadier, or rather brigadier general.
2 JUDGE MINDUA: [Interpretation] Prosecutor, once again, I still
3 have a problem with the organisation chart in French and I can read it in
4 French. I heard that the witness at that stage he was assistant minister
5 in charge of finance at the army. What kind of position is that? Is
6 there an assistant minister in an army? How could you explain this to us,
8 MR. SCOTT: Thank you, Your Honour.
9 Q. Witness, have you heard the judge's question? Perhaps it
10 follows -- it follows in part from we typically perhaps in many systems
11 think of a defence minister or assistant minister as a civilian but you've
12 also indicated to us, if I heard you correctly, that at the time you held
13 the rank of brigadier general. Now, did you hold both of those positions
14 at the same time?
15 A. A rank is not a function. I was assistant minister. That is
16 correct. That is to say the organisation from the United States called
17 MPI worked on the establishment of the army of the federation. So by
18 virtue of that fact, what was made was a systemisation of the federal
19 Ministry of Defence, where I was assistant minister for finance. That was
20 one of the sectors. As far as I can remember, there were either 13 or 14
22 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] We are trying to understand
23 this. You're telling us that you were assistant minister to the Minister
24 of Defence, and as such, you were in charge of the financial department;
25 is that right? Is that what you are telling us? A minister of defence in
1 a federation which from what you are telling us was structured by the
2 Americans or organised by the Americans, how many assistants does such a
3 minister have?
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, I told you just now, 13 or 14.
5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] 13 or 14, very well. That makes
6 it easier to understand.
7 MR. SCOTT: Thank you, Mr. President.
8 Q. As long as we are on the topic, sir, when you were serving then as
9 assistant minister, who was the Minister of Defence of the federation at
10 that particular time?
11 A. Mr. Jelavic, and the last half year it was Mr. Prce.
12 Q. Prce, P-R-C-E? Is that correct?
13 A. Correct.
14 Q. And just so the record is clear, when you mention Mr. Jelavic as
15 being the Minister of Defence, this is the same Mr. Jelavic that you began
16 working for in August 1992; is that correct?
17 A. Correct.
18 Q. All right. Sir, if we can go back then to Grude in August of 1992
19 and the several months thereafter perhaps into the fall of that year, did
20 you become aware during this time that someone named Bruno Stojic was also
21 working at that time in Grude or had a position or office there?
22 A. Mr. Stojic was not working in Grude then. Well, as for his
23 position, I knew it, head of the Defence department.
24 Q. And you don't recall whether he had for a time an office also in
1 A. I don't remember. As far as I can remember, no.
2 Q. Very well. Now, let me go to another topic before I come back and
3 try to combine some of these items together in an exhibit that we will
4 come to in a few minutes. Shifting topics, and partly in response to a
5 question that the Judges have raised, you've talked about being in the
6 finance section of the HVO military. Did you understand at this time that
7 there was also something called the finance department of the HVO
9 A. I knew that there was a finance department of the government.
10 Well, it wasn't called the government.
11 Q. What was it called?
12 A. Well, in those signatures, where I could see, it was the head of
13 the department, something like that. It was called something like that.
14 Q. Well, but you've said it wasn't called a government so these
15 were -- this was the finance department, then, of what? Had to be the
16 finance department of something.
17 A. The finance department of the HVO, but the civilian authorities.
18 Q. Very well. And in that regard, did you know an individual named
19 Neven Tomic?
20 A. I didn't know him but I did hear of him.
21 Q. And what was his position at that time? And now we are talking in
22 1992, continuing on into 1993.
23 A. He was chief of the finance department of the civilian HVO.
24 Q. And what did you understand the functions or activities of that
25 department to be, the finance department of the civilian HVO, as you've
1 called it, or the authorities, as opposed to what you were involved in in
2 the HVO military?
3 A. They dealt with regulations linked to civilian affairs or, rather,
4 civilian laws -- well, if I can call them laws, dealing with financial
6 Q. Did it have to do with taxes? Imposing and collecting taxes?
7 A. Yes, correct.
8 Q. Customs? Collection of customs and duties?
9 A. Correct.
10 Q. Did it have anything to do with the operation of a banking system?
11 A. No bank during that time existed in the area of Bosnia-Herzegovina
12 or, rather, Herceg-Bosna.
13 Q. Okay. We'll come back to that in a moment. And at that time,
14 concerning this Mr. Neven Tomic who was the head of the finance
15 department, do you know where his offices were located?
16 A. Somewhere in Mostar.
17 Q. Now, around this same time, did you come to know an individual by
18 the name of Zeljko Bandic?
19 A. Yes, I did meet Mr. Bandic, I met with him a few times.
20 Q. And what was Mr. Bandic's position or role at the time that you
21 were dealing with him?
22 A. Mr. Bandic was a sort of clerk in the department of finance,
23 official. Now, I was in the military sector, and he was in the civilian
24 sector. Well, desk officer, clerk.
25 Q. Did you consider Mr. Bandic to be something of a -- your
1 counterpart, if you will, in the -- on the government side, as opposed to
2 the military?
3 A. I apologise but I don't know what you mean by partner or
5 Q. Counterpart, excuse me. Did you consider, did you understand
6 Mr. Bandic's role in the department of finance at that time to be similar
7 to the sorts of things that you were involved in at the finance section of
8 the HVO military?
9 A. Well, I think that's right because we met at the commercial bank
10 in Opuzen. So I imagine that would be it.
11 Q. I'll come back to Mr. Bandic in a few minutes. Around this time
12 as we are talking just about the various persons that you were dealing
13 with, that fit into the structure that we are talking about, did you --
14 were you also aware of a man named Jadranko Prlic?
15 A. Well, I did hear of Mr. Prlic. I would see him on television but
16 I didn't have any contacts with him.
17 Q. What did you understand Mr. Prlic's position to be in the second
18 half of 1992?
19 A. In some documents or on television, I saw that he was the head of
20 the office of some legal body, well, not -- I don't know how I can
21 describe this but he was the head of an office for legislation or
22 whatever, and that was supposed to be some sort of government later on but
23 it wasn't actually.
24 Q. All right. And do you know where Mr. Prlic's office was located
25 at that time, in general? I don't mean the exact street address but do
1 you know where he officed?
2 A. It was in Mostar, but ...
3 Q. And did you know anything about the relationship between the
4 location of Mr. Prlic's office and the location of Mr. Tomic's office?
5 A. Could you explain what you mean by that?
6 Q. Were they close to each other? Did they office in the same
7 building? Were they across town? Did have you any knowledge of the
8 relationship between the two offices?
9 A. I do know that they were not in the same building. That's
10 something that I do know.
11 Q. All right. If I can ask you, then, to turn in your binder to
12 Exhibit P10275, sir, you may recall when you were interviewed in 2005,
13 that you were asked to draw a diagram of some of the relationships that
14 we've talked about so far today, the structures that we've talked about
15 today, and if you look at the original handwritten version of the diagram,
16 please, which again for the record is P10275, first of all, sir, can you
17 confirm that that diagram is written in your handwriting?
18 A. Correct.
19 Q. And up in the upper right-hand corner of the -- again, the B/C/S
20 original or Croatian-language original, is that your signature and the
21 date 20 June 2005?
22 A. You can't see it on this picture but I did write that, but after
23 that we made certain corrections because the dates don't coincide.
24 Q. I'm going to come to that in a moment. If you could look, perhaps
25 it would assist you if you look at the hard copy document that I see is in
1 front of you, perhaps you can see more of the document, in the binder.
2 A. Okay.
3 Q. I take it from what you've just said you knew see your signature
4 and date on the document; is that correct?
5 A. Yes, yes, yes, that's right.
6 Q. Well, you indicated before that you couldn't see it so I just
7 wanted to make sure that we had addressed that.
8 A. Well, that's right. You couldn't see the signature so I
10 Q. [Previous translation continues] ... in front of you in the binder
11 of course, all right? In any event, sir, I'll come to your corrections in
12 a moment, which you noted in a supplemental statement in earlier this year
13 in 2007 which was of course disclosed but going to the diagram as you
14 first prepared it, we'll start where you are, if you will, and if we look
15 toward the bottom of the chart beneath the position of Mr. Pero Majic,
16 then we have a box with your name in it, Miroslav Rupcic; is that correct?
17 A. Correct.
18 Q. And you've told us so far today in fact that -- I asked you some
19 minutes ago now to describe your chain of command and we went as far as
20 from Mr. Djidic to Mr. Jelavic to Mr. Majic to yourself. And can you see
21 that in the chart that you drew in fact we can follow your chain of
22 command up until we get to the level of Mr. Djidic as assistant for
23 logistics. Do see that?
24 A. Yes, I do see it.
25 Q. All right. Now, in connection with other individuals we have
1 talked about in the last few minutes, you then put in your chart that you
2 understood that Mr. Stojic was the superior to Mr. Djidic; is that
4 A. Correct. As I've already said, I don't know whether there was
5 somebody in between Mr. Stojic and Mr. Djidic. But Mr. Stojic was above
6 Mr. Djidic. Now, whether there was somebody else in between the two, I
7 don't know.
8 Q. All right. And going across to another component of this
9 structure, not in the Defence department, but you've told us in the last
10 few minutes there was the finance department and you've indicated that
11 Mr. Neven Tomic was the head of that department and did you reflect that
12 in the chart that you drew for us?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. And finally: Is it correct, sir, that, above both Mr. Tomic and
15 Mr. Bruno Stojic, you indicated was Jadranko Prlic?
16 A. Correct.
17 Q. Now, when you originally prepared this document, in 2005 or drew
18 this document in 2005 you had made the notation towards the lower left
19 corner that you thought this document was applicable -- excuse me, the
20 information shown in this diagram was applicable or correct for a period
21 from approximately August 1992 -- excuse me, to the end of 1992 or
22 beginning of 1993. First of all do you see that notation in your
24 A. I do see that, and I wrote that at the time.
25 Q. Now, you already made reference to -- Can you tell the Judges
1 please any correction that you would like to make to that in that regard,
2 to the dates that were written in 2005?
3 A. When I went through the other documents together with you, I said
4 that this cannot stand to the end of 1992 and beginning of 1993. This
5 kind of setup should have gone on until the end of 1993, but I emphasised
6 that in the boxes, what was in the boxes -- well, I can't say how long
7 those people were in that post, the names of the people in these boxes,
8 how long they were there for.
9 Q. But can we take it then that your correction is that as to the
10 applicability of the structure itself - and we can talk about the
11 individual names and other evidence may also assist us in that regard -
12 but the structure that you've drawn here you now indicate that that
13 structure would be the applicable structure through the end --
14 approximately the end or late 1993; is that correct?
15 A. That is correct but let me state again, I don't know how long
16 Mr. Jadranko Prlic was there for or Mr. Neven Tomic or Mr. Stojic, how
17 long they were all there for.
18 MR. SCOTT: Very well. Your Honour, I think that it would be an
19 appropriate time for a break.
20 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Fine. We'll have a 20-minute
22 --- Recess taken at 3.45 p.m.
23 --- On resuming at 4.07 p.m.
24 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] The hearing is resumed.
25 MR. SCOTT: May I continue, Your Honour?
1 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes, please do.
2 MR. SCOTT:
3 Q. Sir, going to your office situation in Grude itself, when you took
4 up these responsibilities and were working with Mr. Majic, where were your
5 offices located?
6 A. My office was located -- was together with Mr. Majic.
7 Q. And was that the case for the entire time that you were in Grude?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. And were you -- where was Mr. Jelavic's office in relationship
10 then to the office that you and Mr. Majic shared?
11 A. In the same building, on the same floor.
12 Q. And was Mr. Boban's office also in this same building, on the same
14 A. Yes, it was, in the same building and on the same floor, at the
15 beginning of the corridor. First of all there was Mr. Boban's office and
16 his advisers, and then further on down that's where we were.
17 Q. You just mentioned that Mr. Boban in the same building had some
18 advisers. Can you -- approximately how many advisers did Mr. Boban have
19 at that time and if you can remember the names of any of them, please?
20 A. I don't remember the exact number. There were a number of them.
21 I remember there was Mr. Ante Marketic. He was a university professor.
22 Then there was Mr. Pogarcic.
23 Q. Concerning Mr. Marketic, you said that he was a university
24 professor. Did you know the subject or the expertise of Mr. Marketic in
25 that regard?
1 A. He taught at the faculty of economics and his subject was
3 Q. Now, concerning some of the people we talked about so far today
4 and since Mr. Boban was located there had along the same hallway as
5 yourself, did you ever see, for example, Mr. Prlic come to visit or meet
6 with Mr. Boban?
7 A. As I've already told you, I think I met him once, when he came
9 Q. And my question -- let me rephrase my question, then or clarify.
10 I'm not asking you how many times you met with Mr. Prlic personally but
11 did you have any information as to how often Mr. Prlic might come to Grude
12 to meet with Mr. Boban?
13 A. Well, if I didn't see him, how would I know.
14 MR. KARNAVAS: I object to the form of the question because there
15 is a fact that -- it assumes a particular fact. He can ask a question,
16 rephrase it, did Mr. Prlic ever come, if the answer is yes, when, how
17 often? But the way it's phrased, you know, and I know it's a technicality
18 but I don't want to -- later on, I don't want the Prosecution to think
19 that I'm just going to sit here quietly like a church mouse as he begins
20 to ask questions that have -- suggest facts that are not in evidence.
21 MR. SCOTT: Your Honour, as the witness just indicated I'll be
22 happy to answer it, sir.
23 Q. Sir, do you recall any occasions where you saw Mr. Prlic in the
24 building during the time when you worked in the same hallway with
25 Mr. Boban?
1 A. Well, I said that I saw him once.
2 Q. And did you ever see Mr. Stojic in the building?
3 A. I think I did, also once.
4 Q. Who did you -- did you see other officials of the government ever
5 come to meet with Mr. Boban, of the HVO government or organisation?
6 A. People did come. Now, who came exactly, well, the heads of the
7 municipalities and various others, people did come, but I had my job to do
8 and I didn't pay attention to the comings and goings of other people.
9 Q. Did -- during this time period, did Mr. Stojic ever ask you to do
10 anything for him?
11 A. Mr. Stojic never asked anything of me directly. At the beginning
12 of September 1992, as I was from Sarajevo, I was given the task of going
13 into town and trying to pull this university professor out. However, I
14 didn't manage to do that because at the time Juka Prazina had disarmed the
15 HVO at Stup and it was impossible to enter Sarajevo.
16 Q. Let me ask a couple of clarifying questions. You said that
17 Mr. Stojic never asked anything of you directly but then you proceeded to
18 say at the beginning of September 1992, I was given the task.
19 Who gave that you task?
20 A. Mr. Jelavic.
21 Q. And you said that you did not receive the task from Mr. Stojic
22 directly. Did Mr. Jelavic say anything that that request was coming from
23 Mr. Stojic?
24 A. Something like that.
25 Q. And so the record is clear, when you said, "I was given the task
1 of going into town," were you talking about going into Sarajevo?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. And what was the name of this university professor that you were
4 supposed to collect and bring out of Sarajevo?
5 A. I can't remember the names. It's been a long time.
6 Q. Sir, in connection with your work, then, in the finance section,
7 in 1992 and 1993, can you tell us whether your job function had anything
8 to do with cash transactions?
9 A. That was one of my priorities, a priority job.
10 Q. How would you describe that job, then?
11 A. I would give -- get a request for a cash withdrawal and then I
12 would go to the bank in Opuzen and withdraw the cash, take it to Grude and
13 hand it over to Mr. Majic.
14 Q. When you arrived or took up your position in Grude, can you tell
15 the Judges whether the HVO at that time had bank accounts that were used
16 for this purpose? By that I mean what you just told us about.
17 A. The HVO had an open bank account at the commercial bank in Opuzen,
18 and a branch office in Imotski too because in Bosnia-Herzegovina, there
19 weren't any -- there wasn't any banking system.
20 Q. And I thought I heard you say it once but perhaps we didn't get it
21 in the translation or the transcript, did you give -- can you give us the
22 name of the bank?
23 A. The Commercial Bank of Zagreb, Privredna Banka.
24 Q. And was that a Croatian bank?
25 A. Yes. It was a Croatian bank.
1 Q. Could I ask you, please, to turn to in your binder, if you would
2 turn to Exhibit P00098? If you have that, sir, can you look at that
3 document and tell the Judges what that is?
4 A. It is -- they are the signatures that were laid down in the bank.
5 Q. And this describes something called "For the opening of a
6 non-resident account." "We kindly request to open a non-residential
7 account at your bank to be used for the purpose of performing financial
8 transactions with the Republic of Croatia. Payment orders shall be signed
9 by two of the five authorised persons."
10 Can you briefly tell the Judges, just so it's clear, what you
11 understood to be a non-residential account?
12 A. If you understand anything about banking, then you will know that
13 neither physical persons nor legal persons in another state can have --
14 open a bank account, a non-resident account is what they can have. So the
15 HVO by the same token couldn't open a bank account in another state. They
16 would have had to have had a non-resident account.
17 Q. Directing your attention to the name number 1, do you recognise
18 the signature that is to the left of that name? Excuse me, to the right.
19 My apologies.
20 A. Mr. Bruno Stojic, probably his signature.
21 Q. Did you know the signature of Mr. Jelavic?
22 A. Yes, I did.
23 Q. And can you tell us, can you confirm whether the signature on line
24 number 2 is the signature of Mr. Jelavic?
25 A. It looks like it. Probably it is.
1 Q. And in the course of working with Mr. Majic for some years and
2 sharing an office with him, did you become familiar with his signature?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. Can you tell the Judges whether the signature that is on line 5 is
5 the signature of Mr. Majic?
6 A. It resembles it, so most probably it is.
7 Q. And if I could just ask you to look down below, over the typed
8 name -- this was prepared for the signature of Mate Boban but can you look
9 at that and give us any information as to who appeared to have signed that
10 document "za," for Mr. Boban?
11 A. It corresponds to the signature of the first person on this
12 document, that is Mr. Stojic. Now, was it Mr. Stojic that signed it? I
13 doubt that somebody forged his signature.
14 Q. And did you come to know that not only did the HVO military have
15 accounts at the Privredna Banka Zagreb but that the government, the
16 finance department, as we were describing it earlier today, also had
17 accounts at that same bank?
18 A. I was aware of that.
19 Q. Could I ask you to look at, in your binder, Exhibit P00412?
20 A. I haven't got that.
21 Q. I'm sorry, sir. It's in this bundle there. My apology. If you
22 can turn to that, please? Do you see, sir, that this is a decree of the
23 Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna on the opening of accounts of the
24 budget of the Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna?
25 A. I see that.
1 Q. Article 1 says: "This decree establishes the accounts into which
2 the revenues of the budgets of the Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna
3 shall be paid." What did you understand this to be in reference to when
4 it says, "The revenues of the budgets of the Croatian Community of
6 A. What do you mean by that? What it means, that taxpayers should
7 pay taxes or customs duties or other payments that are in accordance with
8 the laws of Herceg-Bosna?
9 Q. And those things, those taxes and customs and those would be paid
10 and what was the relationship of that to these accounts, these bank
12 A. I didn't understand your question. Could you please --
13 Q. Well, I'm just trying to make the record clear, sir. This talks
14 about opening -- establishes, it says this decree establishes the accounts
15 into which the revenues of the budget shall be paid. So are you saying
16 that things such as taxes and customs would be collected and paid for
17 example into that -- these accounts?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. And looking at the bottom of the Article or the decree, excuse me,
20 after Article 7, do you see that this decree was published and
21 says, "Shall apply as of 1 September 1992" and over the name of
22 Dr. Jadranko Prlic, do you see that?
23 A. I see that.
24 Q. Could you please go next to Exhibit P00606? I think that would be
25 back in the main binder, please.
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. This appears to be a document prepared, at least over the name of
3 Mr. Neven Tomic but the original doesn't appear to be signed. But can you
4 tell us about if the information reflected here is consistent with what
5 you knew about the bank accounts that you became involved in around this
7 A. These are accounts of the civilian finance department, and
8 transactions were made from this account directed to the military section
9 of the HVO.
10 Q. And were these accounts also -- if you look at account number 1 it
11 says non-resident dinar account in HRD, Croatian dinar, with PBZ,
12 Privredna Banka Zagreb; is that correct?
13 A. Correct.
14 Q. And is that the same bank as where the accounts of the HVO
15 military were located?
16 A. Correct.
17 Q. And item number 2 just as a second example but it makes reference
18 to PBZ, PJ/16 or, excuse me, -16 Opuzen, is that again a reference to the
19 same Privredna Banka?
20 A. Correct.
21 Q. And could I next ask you to look at Exhibit in the main binder
22 P00511? It should be -- I think it's in your main binder but, if not
23 we'll help you.
24 A. Correct.
25 Q. Can you tell us again what that document is?
1 A. File of authorised signature for opening a bank account for
2 civilian finance of the HVO.
3 Q. And is it correct that the three signatories on -- the persons
4 authorised to transact business in that account were Mr. Neven Tomic,
5 Dr. Jadranko Prlic and Mr. Zeljko Bandic, who you told us about earlier?
6 A. Correct.
7 Q. All right. Can you tell the Judges, please, to your knowledge,
8 were these accounts the accounts at Privredna Banka, in particular in the
9 offices that you visited, that the Opuzen branch and the branch also in
10 Imotski were those to your knowledge the only bank accounts that were
11 being used by the HVO during this time?
12 A. As far as I know, yes.
13 Q. In the course of your doing, transacting various banks business,
14 which we are going to talk about in substantially more detail today and
15 tomorrow, is it -- was it only with Privredna Banka that you had these
17 A. Well, if we had an account there, then that would be the only bank
18 that we could do business with.
19 Q. Well, that was my question. Is it correct then that you're
20 saying, to your knowledge, there were no other accounts used by the HVO or
21 that you were involved in or did transactions with during, for example,
22 1992, 1993?
23 A. As far as I know, there were no other accounts that had been
25 Q. Now, I just mentioned a moment ago the locations Opuzen and
1 Imotski. Were those the two offices of the Privredna Banka that you most
2 frequently did business with?
3 A. They were not exactly offices but bank offices. That's the proper
4 word in banking, bank offices.
5 Q. All right. Bank offices. And there is a map there close to you
6 and --
7 MR. SCOTT: I think, Your Honour, there is a map has been
8 distributed to everyone in the courtroom, which is an enlargement of a
9 portion of map number 1 in the Prosecution's set of maps, which is marked
10 as Exhibit P09276.
11 Q. Map number 1 is a map of Herceg-Bosna and if we look at this
12 particular area, sir, can you see that -- perhaps I can be allowed in the
13 interests of time do you see that the town of Imotski is circled, which is
14 the circle towards the upper part of the map; is that correct?
15 A. I see that.
16 Q. And then further towards the lower part of the map or a little bit
17 below centre of the map there is the location the city Opuzen, do you see
19 A. I see that.
20 Q. And is it correct, sir, just so everyone is clear, that the wide
21 pink line that runs along the map roughly from upper left to lower right,
22 that that is the border between the -- well, Bosnia-Herzegovina and the
23 Republic of Croatia?
24 A. Correct.
25 Q. Generally speaking and I'm sure everyone knows this but
1 Bosnia-Herzegovina being to the right of that pink line for the most part
2 and Croatia being to the left of that pink line; is that correct?
3 A. Correct. Well, yes.
4 Q. And when you would go and do business at these two banks either in
5 Opuzen or Imotski, how did you travel to those two locations?
6 A. By car.
7 Q. And we are going to hear in a few minutes about that you sometimes
8 carried large amounts of cash. Did have you a security detail or any
9 other means -- protection in transporting large amounts of money?
10 A. For the most part, I did not.
11 Q. All right.
12 MR. SCOTT: Your Honour, before we continue on I would ask for an
13 IC number for the map, please.
14 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Registrar?
15 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honour, the map shall be given Exhibit number
16 IC 688. Thank you, Your Honour.
17 MR. SCOTT: Thank you.
18 Q. Can you tell the Judges whether you ever had occasion to go to the
19 Split office of the Privredna Banka?
20 A. I never went to the Split branch office of the Privredna Banka.
21 Q. Did you ever conduct business with that office, perhaps not by
22 physically being there but to your knowledge was the Split branch or bank
23 office involved in transactions that you were carrying out?
24 A. As far as I know, no.
25 Q. And can you also tell the Judges whether there was an office of
1 the Privredna Banka in Ljubuski?
2 A. Not a branch. There was a smaller organisational unit of the
3 Privredna Banka in Ljubuski, one that had stayed behind since before the
5 Q. And approximately, if you can remember, how many times did you do
6 any banking business with that particular small office in Ljubuski?
7 A. I cannot say for sure. Well, very few times, because that office
8 had very small quantities of money.
9 Q. And approximately how often would you go to collect cash during
10 1992 and 1993, approximately how often would go to collect cash at either
11 the bank at Opuzen or the bank in Imotski?
12 A. There was no rule. It happened when necessary. Now, how often
13 that was, believe me, there is no way I can say now.
14 Q. Sometimes every day?
15 A. Well, sometimes it would happen that, say, you'd go for several
16 days in a row, every day, and then for about a month you wouldn't go at
18 Q. And what was your purpose in going to these -- to either the two
19 locations, either Opuzen or Imotski? Why would you go there and what
20 would you do when you got there?
21 A. I'd go to get money, and I'd give money orders for payments, if
22 this had to do with companies from the Republic of Croatia.
23 Q. When you collected the cash or currency, what did you understand
24 that that currency would be used for when you returned -- well, let me ask
25 you. When you collected the money at the bank, then where did you take
1 the money back to? What did do you with the money after you collected it?
2 A. When I'd collect the money, I would take it to Grude and hand it
3 over to Mr. Majic.
4 Q. And then how did you understand this money, I'm talking
5 particularly now about the cash, the actual currency, that you would pick
6 up and return to Grude with, how did you understand or for what purpose
7 was that money used?
8 A. I wasn't thinking anything. I did not decide about that and there
9 was no reason for me to think about what it was that it was being used
11 Q. Did you know anything about the use of this currency to pay HVO
12 salaries and payroll?
13 A. It was used for that as well.
14 Q. The currency or cash that you collected at the Privredna Banka,
15 what currency, what national currency or form of money was that?
16 A. Croatian dinar. There were very few cases when German marks were
18 Q. Very well. Let me ask you, sir, to look at some various
19 transaction documents that we can begin to get an understanding of how
20 these transactions worked. In your binder, can I ask to you look at
21 Exhibit -- what's been marked in the tab as Exhibit P10294? If I can ask
22 you, first of all, it's not the document necessarily on top of the bundle
23 but can you turn to the document and for the English speakers it would be
24 the third page of the English document titled "request to draw cash." And
25 if you can find what you understand, Mr. Rupcic, to be a document, a
1 request or an authorisation to draw cash, do you see that? And can you
2 tell us the purpose of that particular document or form for the purposes
3 of transacting business at the bank?
4 A. This is a banking document. On the basis of this, it should be
5 filled out properly, properly authorised, and on the basis of this, one
6 could collect money from one's account.
7 Q. And this particular document, is it a request for 70 million
8 Croatian dinar, HRD, to be paid to you or to be distributed to you,
9 Miroslav Rupcic, on the 1st of February 1993?
10 A. Yes. That's the document, that was -- well, drawn up by the
11 civilian department of finance. The authorisation is made out in my name,
12 for the following reason: Mr. Zeljko Bandic, who otherwise went, and I,
13 would have to go to Opuzen, so in order to be economical, the
14 authorisation was in my name and then we changed papers, changed orders,
15 so that this could be done properly from the point of view of accounting.
16 Q. And in terms of the way these transactions worked, because we are
17 going to look at a number of these, if -- can I ask you on that same form,
18 who were the persons who put their signatures on the document for the
19 purposes of authorising this transaction? Can you identify those
20 signatures, please?
21 A. Well, since we saw -- well, the deposited signatures a few moments
22 ago, you can see Mr. Neven Tomic's and Mr. Zeljko Bandic's signatures
24 Q. If we look at the original Croatian language version, is it
25 correct that Mr. Tomic's signature is the one to the left and Mr. Bandic's
1 signature is the one to the right?
2 A. Correct.
3 Q. Then if you will turn - excuse me - to the next page of that,
4 after that document we've just -- the form we have just been talking
5 about, there is a second form that in the English version at least has
6 been translated as the caption is, "Sell." I don't -- and if you look at
7 the Croatian language version, can you tell us -- which is the last page
8 of the overall bundle, can you tell us what that record or document is?
9 A. This is a document that is issued by the bank, when money is
10 taken, then the bank issues this document stating, confirming that I,
11 Miroslav Rupcic, collected that amount, 70 million Croatian dinars, or
12 rather about 15.000 Deutschmark or so.
13 Q. Okay. I'll come back to that valuation in a moment. While we are
14 looking at the form, can you just indicate - and I realise this copy may
15 not be a particularly good one - but would it be typical of this form that
16 would you then sign this document as a receipt to acknowledge that you had
17 taken this money in hand? In the lower left corner of the form.
18 A. This is an official document of the bank, that is to say that it's
19 not for me. It is for anyone who collected money, who had money paid to
20 him. This kind of form, this kind of document, would be filled out for
21 such a person. In the lower left hand corner is my signature and my name
22 and surname, sort of me taking that money which is probably correct, and
23 this document is therefore used for having this recorded in the civilian
24 part of finance as a money authorisation form.
25 Q. Now if we can go back to the first page of the document, either in
1 the English version or the Croatian version, which looks like some sort of
2 a ledger sheet or spreadsheet, some might say, if you see that, and can
3 you confirm that this is a record for the account of the HVO Mostar?
4 A. That is correct. You have to understand this, that the year in
5 question is 1992 or, rather, 1993, that at that time there was no
6 automation or rather computerisation as is the case today, and there were
7 some cards, not some cards, all cards actually, all bank records were kept
8 in hand for every customer.
9 Q. All right. If you can just confirm for me, though, that I asked
10 you a moment ago and I think you said so but this is a record for the
11 account of the -- what was called the HVO Mostar, and can you just tell
12 the Judges your understanding of whether that was the bank of the finance
13 department of the government, the part -- the department that Mr. Tomic
14 was the head of?
15 A. This is a financial card of the bank, and the bank customer --
16 well, is finance, and it was headed by Mr. Tomic. This is their internal
18 Q. I understand that. I'm just asking for what is -- you just
19 correctly indicated, which customer of the bank, for which customer of the
20 bank this was a record. You've indicated it was for the HVO finance
21 department; is that correct?
22 A. Yes, yes, the civilian part of the HVO, that is.
23 Q. And if we look just so again so we can all become more accustomed
24 to looking at these records, if you look on that spreadsheet, that's what
25 I'll call it, a record, for the 1st of February 1993, do you see an entry
1 for cash withdrawal and then it indicates 700 million Croatian dinar?
2 A. 70 million.
3 Q. My apologies, 70 million. You see that?
4 A. Yes, yes.
5 Q. Sorry, sir, we just have to have a record of an answer in the
6 transcript. And just to go back then before we leave this document and
7 look at another one, but you confirm that on this occasion, you were
8 actually collecting money not on the HVO military account but you were
9 collecting money from the HVO government account; is that correct?
10 A. I was collecting money and the money was intended for the military
11 part, but as I've said, for purposes of economy, I myself went to Opuzen
12 and the document that we looked at a moment ago, as the third document, I
13 took it to Mostar, handed it over to Mr. Zeljko Bandic and on the basis of
14 that document, he would issue his own document which I would then take to
15 Grude to be recorded and registered.
16 Q. Now, if you can turn to Exhibit P10295, perhaps some of these we
17 can begin to take a bit more quickly, 10295, and can you just look at that
18 and tell us essentially can we see the same -- the records -- the same
19 type of records for this particular transaction which was actually the
20 following day, the 2nd of February 1993, involving the amount, the
21 withdrawal of 50 million Croatian dinars?
22 A. I confirm that, yes.
23 Q. Once again in terms of the names, the signatures, on the
24 authorisation document, those were the signatures of Mr. Tomic and
25 Mr. Bandic?
1 A. Yes, I confirm that.
2 Q. And on the document which I'll call the receipt, the other
3 document we looked at earlier, perhaps it's -- forgive me if I
4 mispronounce it but "prodaja" but is that your signature indicating that
5 you received this 50 million Croatian dinar on the 2nd of February 1993?
6 A. I do confirm that. I confirm it.
7 Q. And this would just be an example -- I asked you how frequently
8 you would do this and the fact that we have here two instances where you
9 went and collected 70 million dinar on 1st of February, and on the
10 following day, the 2nd of February you went back and collected an
11 additional 50 million dinar; is that correct?
12 A. That is correct. And I've already told you that I went several
13 days running and then there was no need for me to go for a month after
14 that but I also want to say that it was a sum of 15.000 marks and another
15 sum of 10.000 marks. Just to give you an insight into how much money we
16 are talking about here.
17 Q. I was -- I told you I was going to come back to the value in a
18 moment and you anticipated my next question. Around this time period can
19 you indicate to the Judges as best you can recall what was the exchange
20 rate for example between the Croatian dinar and the Deutschmark?
22 A. About 4.000 Croatian dinars was equal to one German mark.
23 Q. Thank you.
24 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Sir, among these questions that
25 have been put to you, you went to Opuzen, Imotski to go and fetch the
1 money and I assume you came back in a suitcase. Who did you hand over the
2 money to in Grude?
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I said a moment ago to
4 Mr. Pero Majic, my superior.
5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Did they count the money again
6 to see that there was nothing missing?
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, it's quite normal that money
8 should be counted.
9 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] So it's Mr. Majic who counted
10 all the money again? To make sure nothing was missing?
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] And he would write a receipt for
12 having received the money at the cashier's office, and well, there was a
13 cash register in our office and the money was deposited there, or if there
14 was something strange, something that had been paid out or distributed or
15 anything like that, well, that then too.
16 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] When the bank handed the money
17 over to you, did you count the money again? Did you make sure that you
18 had the right amount?
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, that's quite normal. You have
20 to count the money.
21 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. Were these new
22 bank-notes or old bank-notes? Were these bank-notes that had numbers in
23 quick succession?
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I didn't pay attention to that, but
25 they were in wads of 100, and there was a money counting machine so you
1 would put the whole wad into the machine, the machine would count the
2 notes and if there were a hundred of them, then you would put back the
3 paper wrapping round the bundle and set it aside and carry on.
4 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Tell me, whether these
5 bank-notes were new bank-notes or not?
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, they were used notes, from the
8 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] If I'm putting the question to
9 you it's precisely because I wanted to know whether, notwithstanding the
10 central bank in Zagreb and the bank which was in Opuzen, whether there was
11 not a direct connection between the two.
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, probably you'll learn that
13 later on from the Prosecutor but I can tell you straight away that for
14 every cash withdrawal, if it was a large sum of money, I don't know what
15 the national bank's limit was at the time, but if you withdrew -- had cash
16 withdrawals every time, every night, then the national bank would have to
17 give its approval.
18 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I could ask you questions for
19 hours. I should nonetheless like to focus on the essential. When you
20 went to pick up the money, you were never given foreign currencies,
21 American or US dollars or German marks?
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I would withdraw in exceptional
23 circumstances, German marks. When something needed to be paid in Germany,
24 for example.
25 JUDGE MINDUA: [Interpretation] Mr. Scott, I would have liked to
1 put the question to the witness but I wanted to make quite sure beforehand
2 whether you had not thought of putting questions of this nature. We have
3 seen a number of documents which clearly indicate that money has been
4 taken out of the HVO account, the government, or the military of the HVO.
5 Nonetheless, until now, nothing seems to indicate that money has come in.
6 Where did the money come from which the witness was withdrawing? I don't
7 know whether you'd planned to put this question to the witness.
8 MR. SCOTT: In some instances, I do, Your Honour. I don't know
9 that he can answer the question generally but I think in particular in
10 reference to some of the transactions I will show him, I'm not -- based on
11 my -- to be very transparent, based on my conversation was the witness, I
12 don't know that he can give that answer in every instance but I think in
13 some instances he will be able to. However, I will say that the questions
14 by the Judges do remind me that I did in fact omit to cover something
15 which may be is best illustrated by the previous document we were looking
16 at so people will bear with me, please, if we could go back for a moment
17 to P10295, the previous transaction, for -- excuse me one second, yes, on
18 the 2nd of February for the 50 million dinar.
19 Q. If I can ask you sir to look at the document which in English has
20 the title, "Sell," I don't know if that's the best translation or not, but
21 the one that indicates that you have collected the money, in the middle of
22 that form, where it says, "Purpose," it states the following, and again to
23 follow up on questions put by Your Honours, it says, "Cash withdrawal from
24 a HZ HB financial department in Mostar non-residential account based on an
25 approval by the National Bank of Croatia dated 2nd of February 1993." I
1 think you began to make a reference to this a moment ago but in what way
2 in this transaction would the National Bank of Croatia have to give its
4 A. We never personally tabled a request --
5 Q. That wasn't really my question?
6 A. -- to the national bank but we would make the request for a cash
7 withdrawal, the request would the Privredna Banka, the commercial bank,
8 and then the commercial bank would ask approval from the national bank,
9 and in that way would be given permission to pay out the money.
10 Q. And let me follow up also with this again I'm reminded by the
11 Judge's questions, when you would go to pick up these amounts of money, in
12 whatever the valuation may have been, whether it was 15.000 Deutschmarks
13 or what have you but 50 million Croatian dinars in paper money, I assume
14 was quite a large amount, what size, what are we talking about in terms of
15 a bundle? How big was it?
16 A. A sack of money, a metre sack.
17 Q. A metre square?
18 A. Well, there are special bank sacks and roughly speaking, well,
19 yes, they are made from jute. It's about a metre high with a band at the
20 top, like a safety band, which is then locked. It's the standard type of
21 bank sack.
22 Q. When you would be going over to Opuzen to collect this money, did
23 you just show up unannounced or what arrangements did you make with the
24 bank before arriving so that this money would be ready for you?
25 A. Well, by telephone, we would announce our arrival and as I said,
1 the request for cash withdrawals if they came from Mostar would be sent by
2 fax, would be faxed to Opuzen, and everything was waiting for me down
3 there so there was never any problem in that regard.
4 Q. All right. Now, if we could return, then, please to where we left
5 off some minutes ago to P10298 --
6 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Just a minute. Just one last
7 question. On looking at the map I was looking at the -- your itinerary
8 when you went to Grude. Imotski is quite close to Grude. However Opuzen
9 was much further away. When you crossed the frontier, were you being
10 controlled at the frontier?
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes. They did control me but as all
12 my papers were in order, I had all the necessary papers, the cash
13 withdrawal request from the bank, then there was no problem. Now, as far
14 as Opuzen was concerned and Imotski too, Imotski, for example, or rather
15 Opuzen is twice as far as Imotski. So in Opuzen, for the entire region,
16 the main centre was there and Imotski just had a small branch office so
17 Opuzen was where the head of Imotski and the Ljubuski branch office --
18 right up to Dubrovnik, they all came under Opuzen, all those branch
19 offices were under Opuzen as the main branch.
20 Q. Now, if we go back to 10298, which we just started looking at
21 before, and again, most of it is similar to what we've just been seeing
22 but can you just quickly confirm that this is a cash withdrawal from the
23 bank of the Mostar -- from the Mostar government account and can you
24 confirm that the person who received this cash, if you look on the
25 signature on that -- the same form for that purpose we have been looking
1 at, can you indicate who received the cash on that occasion?
2 A. Mr. Pero Majic.
3 Q. And is it correct then that this represents another instance where
4 Mr. Majic, who worked for the HVO military, was in fact collecting cash
5 from the civilian government account?
6 A. Based on the same principle, just like I withdrew the cash,
7 Mr. Majic did too. I was probably absent or taken up with other affairs
8 so that he had to go and collect it. But it wasn't on a regular basis his
10 Q. All right. Now, if you could go to Exhibit P00780, which is just
11 a one-page document in this case, but just to follow up exactly on what
12 you've just said in a way -- sorry, I'll wait until you have that. 780.
13 If you look at that document, sir, which again is a spreadsheet, I
14 believe, on the account of the HVO Mostar, and again can we start, can you
15 confirm to me that that's again the account of the HVO government in
17 A. I have to have a look. It doesn't say anything except to say HVO
18 Mostar at the top there but that's it.
19 Q. And you were just saying how sometimes it would just be easier for
20 the military representatives to collect the money from the government
21 account but did you -- were you also aware of instances where money would
22 just be transferred directly from one account to another?
23 A. Yes. For instance, that was the practice at the beginning,
24 because we would have to pay double commission, the bank's commission
25 twice. But we avoided that. And on line 15 or from the bottom up, it
1 says, "Commission" and then the figure there is 33.150. And then there is
2 another line where it says, "Commission", so to avoid paying commission,
3 we dealt with it in the other way.
4 Q. Can I specifically ask you please to look at the transaction entry
5 for -- it's item numbered 4090 on the 24th of November, 1992? There is a
6 transaction on that day for the amount of 150 million Croatian dinar, I
7 believe. Do you see that?
8 A. I can see that, yes.
9 Q. And does this indicate -- does this record indicate then a
10 transfer of 150 million Croatian dinar from the account of HVO Mostar to
11 the account of HVO Grude?
12 A. It does.
13 Q. And is HVO Grude the so-called military -- HVO military account
14 that you used?
15 A. Correct.
16 Q. And if you could please go to Exhibit P10293, and can you tell the
17 Judges please whether -- and I have to alert the Chamber that there is a
18 translation error on the first English page, the date is indicated -- has
19 been typed as the 15th of February 1992 but should be -- all the other
20 documents I think everyone will agree, it should be the 15th of December
22 Sir, in looking at these records, can you tell us please whether
23 it -- first of all, the first page and you can be looking of course at the
24 Croatian version, does this indicate again a transfer of 70 million HRD,
25 Croatian dinar, on the 15th of December 1992, from the government account
1 in Mostar, HZ HB Mostar, to the Grude -- HVO Grude account?
2 A. That is correct. That is what it says. So the bank clerk made a
3 mistake when writing this in, the name, I mean, of the account, but in
4 banking, the account number is usually more important than anything else
5 it says in letters. So that it's not the Mostar municipality, it was the
6 financial department, the civilian financial department, of the -- and the
7 HVO military section.
8 Q. Thank you. And then if you turn down to the spreadsheet so to
9 speak and there is actually two in this bundle because we have one for
10 each account, if you look at the ledger sheet, again whatever one would
11 like to call it, the first one is for the Main Staff Grude and you see the
12 account number, and do you see, please, on -- for transaction item 4075 on
13 the 15th of December -- actually, let's start and work our way backwards.
14 Let's start with the lower item, 24076, do you see a deposit of 70 million
15 Croatian dinar into that account, in the last line on the page, at least
16 in the translation?
17 A. The paying out of cash, not paying it in.
18 Q. All right. Paying out of cash. And there is another entry --
19 which entry - excuse me, let's just be clear we are talking about the same
20 thing. Using the numbers on the left-hand margin 4076, 4075, although
21 there is two, 4075s, which one are you talking about now?
22 A. I'm talking about the second one, the document where it says on
23 the left-hand side, upper left-hand corner 00191/7.
24 Q. Yes?
25 A. Or -7. The approval of 1018618510, where it says 70 million HRD,
1 and then it says, "Cash withdrawal from the resident account" and the
2 National Bank of Croatia is mentioned.
3 Q. All right. Let me try to if we can try to take this as simply as
4 possible, can you confirm that that record indicates a deposit of 70
5 million Croatian dinar and the withdrawal of 70 million Croatian dinar on
6 the same day?
7 A. Yes. 70 million dinars was transferred from the civilian to the
8 military account and then from the military account it was withdrawn from
9 the military account.
10 Q. Now, I'd like to turn to a different topic for a few minutes
11 before coming back to some additional records. But can you please explain
12 to the Judges during the period of -- from the middle of 1992, well, when
13 you started there in approximately August of 1992, and continuing until
14 the end of 1993, how was the -- how was the payroll of the HVO military
15 paid? How were the salaries of the soldiers paid?
16 A. As far as I know, it varied from one municipality to the other.
17 Some municipalities could pay their units and others could not. So it
18 depended, from one municipality to another. Some amount would be set that
19 they would pay to their units.
20 Q. I want you to tell us about what you were involved in in
21 connection with payroll being paid from Grude. I want you to describe the
22 procedure to the Judges.
23 A. Salaries were calculated and they were paid out to the
24 professional soldiers from Grude. At first it was done through cash.
25 Later on, when the Croatian bank was established, then savings accounts
1 were opened and payments were made to soldiers' savings accounts.
2 Q. Let's take it one step at a time, then. You just mentioned
3 professional -- let me make sure -- professional soldiers.
4 MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation] I do beg your pardon. I think, well,
5 it's not to say that we won't have any of this later but it seems to me
6 that the last witness -- last answer given by this witness in line 23, it
7 says professional soldiers. I think that he said, "Active duty." If I
8 heard him correctly.
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Correct.
10 MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation] Or the witness should be asked.
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, he said professional active
12 duty. That's what I'm saying.
13 MR. SCOTT:
14 Q. Let's be very clear. What did you consider a unit of professional
15 active soldiers? Give us the name of such a unit.
16 A. A professional unit are those soldiers who concluded a
17 professional contract with the HVO, and active-duty means when
18 systematisation books were made, establishment books of units, one knew
19 exactly how many active military personnel there were in every unit. That
20 would be it roughly, say, brigade command.
21 Q. My question to you, sir, so we can try to be more concrete, can
22 you name for us please the units that you then understood at that time to
23 be what you considered to be professional active-duty units?
24 A. Ludvig Pavlovic, now, as far as I can remember, the Convict
25 Battalion. I don't know. Well, it was a few of those units. I cannot
1 remember exactly. If I were to see this list, well, I could tell you
2 exactly what the professional ones were or, well, at least I could give an
4 Q. Was Bruno Busic a professional unit?
5 A. That's right, yes, yes, Bruno Busic, yes.
6 Q. Was the Vitezovi a professional unit?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. All right. Now, to come back to your question, as to these
9 professional units, tell the Judges how the payroll to these units was
10 paid during 1992 and 1993?
11 A. Cash.
12 Q. And how would that be done?
13 A. Well, the commander of the unit would submit a list of soldiers,
14 then this salary would be calculated for them, and it would be paid out,
15 in cash. That is to say, that in every one of these units, there was a
16 finance man, somebody who was in charge of that, then that person would
17 take over the money, take over the list, go to the unit, distribute the
18 salaries and people would sign the list stating that they received the
19 money, then this person would go back to us, to the financial service in
20 Grude, up there, and then in this way, that person would justify how the
21 money was spent.
22 Q. Would you allow me to simplify that by saying a representative of
23 each unit would come to Grude to collect the money?
24 A. Correct.
25 Q. And during the time that we are talking about now, 1992 and 1993,
1 the members of professional units that -- as we have described in the last
2 few minutes, because the Judges may want to know this at some point,
3 approximately what was the monthly salary for one of those soldiers at
4 this time?
5 A. Around 400 Deutschmark. However, on the condition -- well --
6 well, depended on the value -- well, the value was about 400 Deutschmark
7 but there was inflation too so after a month or two it would drop to say
8 100 Deutschmark because of the high rate of inflation.
9 Q. All right. Let me be so there is no confusion here, when you say,
10 when you express the value in terms of Deutschmarks, what was the currency
11 that was actually used to pay the salaries or payroll?
12 A. The Croatian dinar was used. You have to know, though, that in
13 Bosnia-Herzegovina, at that time, there was no money, so one could use
14 either the Croatian dinar or the Deutschmark.
15 Q. And going on to actually your section, the people that you
16 yourself and the people you worked with in the logistics centre, what was
17 your monthly salary at that time?
18 A. Well, it ranged from 150 to 70 or 80 Deutschmark. Again, I'm
19 saying it depended on when the payment was made and what the inflation
21 Q. And then finally, in terms of units, the Judges have been hearing
22 evidence in this case for a long time and they know about such things as
23 the Prozor Brigade or the Knez Domagoj Brigade, the members of those types
24 of units, what was their monthly salary?
25 A. Well, the active members, well, about 150 Deutschmark.
1 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Witness, if I understand
2 correctly, there were professional units and their members had a contract
3 with the HVO, and you seem to be saying that in these duties, for example
4 if we take the Convicts Battalion, they received on average 400
5 Deutschmarks a month but when it came to active-duty soldiers from the
6 Knez Domagoj Brigade, for example, their salary would be around 100
7 Deutschmarks. Does that mean that the soldiers who were members of
8 professional units received a salary that was three to four times higher
9 than the others?
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] That is correct. However, that is
11 understandable, too. These soldiers were in barracks 24 hours a day or,
12 rather, at the places where they could -- I mean, well, at that time, we
13 didn't have any barracks. We had one in Capljina and one in Mostar. And
14 that is to say that they lived in some kind of -- well, at some facilities
15 that were called like barracks, and they were present 24 hours a day
16 because they were professionals, whereas the active-duty personnel, if
17 there was no -- if there were no war operations, they would go home at,
18 say, 4.00, or 5.00, whenever.
19 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] But you yourself, how much would
20 you receive? What was your salary?
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, I mentioned, from 80 to 150 or
22 200 Deutschmark, it depended on the month. You'd always get an amount in
23 Croatian dinars but already after one month, well, by the time you make a
24 new disposition, this or that, it would be two or three months, so after
25 two or three months, it would go down to one-third of what it was that you
1 had received two months before that, calculated in Deutschmark. I mean
2 you get the same quantity of Croatian dinars, that is.
3 MR. SCOTT:
4 Q. And let me just conclude one other group of soldiers in this set
5 of questions so that we can be clear. How about the military police?
6 Were they paid in the same way that you've just described for the
7 professional units and the brigades?
8 A. Well, they were not a professional unit. That is to say that they
9 received their salaries like the active soldiers units did.
10 Q. But again, it was this question of distribution of Croatian dinars
11 in cash from Grude; is that correct?
12 A. Correct. Correct.
13 Q. When the salaries would be paid, I realise sometimes it might have
14 been irregular but roughly on a monthly basis, then what was the kind of
15 final auditing control or sign-off by some official that all this had been
16 done correctly? How did that work?
17 A. I've already said a few moments ago, the commander would submit
18 lists and when the salaries were calculated, then in addition to the money
19 they would get these lists with the exact amounts due to each and every
20 soldier, when they would receive that money they were supposed to sign to
21 confirm that they had received the money. Once they received the money
22 and once these lists are completed, they would go back to Grude so in that
23 way they confirmed how the money had been spent.
24 Q. And perhaps the last question or so before the -- I think the next
25 break, which we are coming up on, in your particular role, you've told us
1 that were you involved, one of your principal responsibilities was
2 discussed earlier today was cash transactions so what did you do in
3 connection with the payment of the payroll? What was your particular part
4 of the function?
5 A. I worked on calculating the salaries as well.
6 Q. And were you the principal person that then would go to Opuzen or
7 Imotski and pick up the Croatian dinars to pay payroll?
8 A. Yes. I've already told you that as for this financial section,
9 well, Mr. Majic was there and I was there, Mr. Zvonko Simunovic and
10 Mr. Ivan Resetar. That is to say that we split up the work amongst
11 ourselves, since the two mentioned gentlemen were from the
12 Yugoslav People's Army, the former Yugoslav People's Army, and they had
13 the rank of lieutenant-colonel in the financial field, that is, they tried
14 to prepare documents or, rather, forms and everything else that could be
15 used; rules, everything that we did not have. However, it had to be made
16 sure that the person, say, a person in Posavina, a person in Central
17 Bosnia and a person here would have to work according to the same system
18 and everything else too. That is to say that the HVO was not an organised
19 army. The HVO was just in the making.
20 Q. Okay.
21 MR. SCOTT: Your Honour, I think that's probably the time for the
23 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] We'll have a 20-minute break.
24 --- Recess taken at 5.36 p.m.
25 --- On resuming at 5.57 p.m.
1 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Scott?
2 MR. SCOTT:
3 Q. Sir, if I could go back now --
4 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, Mr. Scott, please.
5 MR. SCOTT: My apologies.
6 Q. I'd like to go back to the -- some of the banking transactions now
7 that we have a bit more information about some of these things and if you
8 could turn to Exhibit P10290, 10290?
9 A. I am sorry.
10 Q. Just tell them you're not in.
11 A. I'm sorry. Oh, I really am sorry.
12 Q. If you can find 10290, please, if you have that, sir, can you
13 confirm to us that -- and again I'm afraid on the first page of the
14 English translation we have another translation error in the date. I
15 don't know why it always seems to be the date but it should be the 18th of
16 October 1992 instead of the 18th of December. But if -- do you see this,
17 sir, that this is a request dated the 18th of October 1992 prepared over
18 the name of -- and please be clear that I haven't asked you anything about
19 the signature but over the name of Bruno Stojic as head of the Defence
20 section for the payment of total salaries in the amount of 201.830.515
21 Croatian dinars? Do you see that?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. And can you tell us, please, can you also see to the lower and to
24 the left of the name Bruno Stojic do you see the information where in
25 indicates that on the 17th of November, 1992, this was approved by the
1 Minister of Defence of the Republic of Croatia, Mr. Susak?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. When we look at the list, and most -- the full list is actually
4 given only in the Croatian language version. For example, if you start at
5 number 1 and go down you see essentially the brigades in the various
6 municipalities; is that correct?
7 A. Correct.
8 Q. And for example, item 16 is the General Staff or Main Staff of the
9 HVO; is that correct?
10 A. The General Staff, Main Staff, yes.
11 Q. Yes. Item 7 is the Central Bosnia operative zone or military
12 district; is that correct?
13 A. Correct.
14 Q. And item 24 is the southeast operative zone?; is that correct?
15 A. Correct.
16 Q. And I asked you earlier whether Bruno Busic was one of the
17 professional units and do you see them listed in this document?
18 A. Not on the first page, but --
19 Q. On the second page?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. All right. And now, if you can turn to the next record, this
22 card, and I'm not sure we focused on that particular type of record yet,
23 can you tell the Judges what that record is, please?
24 A. This is a document of the public accounting service in the
25 Republic of Croatia.
1 Q. And in the upper left corner, it says, "Charged against the
2 account," and then under that it has booked telephone and telegraph money
3 orders. Can you tell the Judges what you know about that? What is the
4 significance of this being a telephone or telegraph order?
5 A. It's a fast money order, to have money paid quickly over the
7 Q. And in looking at this document, can you tell the Judges to which
8 account, which of the bank accounts that we have been talking about today,
9 was this money deposited?
10 A. Well, this form means that funds were transferred to Privredna
11 Banka Zagreb. The branch at Opuzen.
12 Q. Yes. And then if you look on the next -- on the right side of the
13 form under the words "Report on endorsement", there is a number of another
14 account there. Can you tell us which account that is?
15 A. I don't understand what you mean.
16 Q. The number 34470-554-16, do you know what account that is?
17 A. I don't know. It cannot be seen exactly what is written here.
18 Q. All right. Let me ask you towards the bottom --
19 A. I just see Metkovic, Metkovic is written there.
20 Q. And --
21 A. In the second line up there, it says Metkovic.
22 Q. Yes. What's the significance of that?
23 A. The public accounting service, their account in Metkovic, transfer
24 was made to an account of the Privredna Banka in Opuzen. It's some kind
25 of internal document of theirs between the bank and the public accounting
2 Q. Okay. Let me take it a couple of steps here at a time. Just to
3 confirm, do you agree that the amount here is 201.830.515 Croatian dinar?
4 A. 201.830.515.
5 Q. Which is the amount requested by -- over Mr. Stojic's name and
6 approved by Mr. Susak; is that correct?
7 A. Yes, Mr. Majic signed this.
8 Q. That was my next question. So that's Mr. Majic's signature for
9 Mr. Stojic, za, I think we can see that?
10 A. Yes, yes.
11 Q. All right. Let me go back to the form we were looking at before,
12 perhaps I misdirected you. Toward the bottom part of the form, on the
13 right side, above another reference to Metkovic, there is the number 80822
14 there and also above there is the number 34470-621-149. Now, can you tell
15 us based on those -- either of those numbers to which account this money
16 is being deposited?
17 A. Lines 1 and 2 are the number of the bank account at Privredna
18 Banka Opuzen. This is the complete number. Lines 1 and 2. Well, now,
19 from the point of view of banking and banking terms, what number means
20 what, I know that 621, for example, means economic activity or something
21 along those lines. Then 234470 means the municipality.
22 Q. All right. Bear with me a moment, then, sir. You have to --
23 sorry, I just want to be -- I don't want to misdirect you to the wrong
24 number. If we have to, sir, I was hoping you would remember this but if
25 you don't, you don't. If we could go back to Exhibit P10294? 10294. If
1 you'll look at the last page of that, the last page of that packet of
2 exhibits and even in the Croatian version, for these purposes, for the HZ
3 HB department of finance Mostar, do you see the number 8082201682800?
5 A. Did I hear you right? Did you say something like HDZ?
6 Q. No. I didn't. I'm sorry, I'll repeat it again, sir. On the
7 document we are looking at, we've gone now back to 10294 and on the last
8 page of that exhibit, is one of these forms that you signed?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. You signed saying that you had received 70 million Croatian dinar
11 and the account is 8082201682800 and following, over the name of the HZ HB
12 department of finance Mostar. Do you see that? You either see it or you
13 don't, sir. Do you see it?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. All right. Now, would you go back please, to --
16 A. Yes, yes.
17 Q. All right. Now, would you please go back to Exhibit P10290? The
18 one we were just looking at. I asked you a moment ago would you please
19 look at the number that is closest, immediately above Metkovic on the
20 second -- on the right side of the page and do you see the number
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. So, sir, is it correct that this 201.830.515 Croatian dinars were
24 deposited into the account of the finance department in Mostar?
25 A. Correct.
1 Q. Thank you. And is this the sort of transaction that then once the
2 money was placed in that account, as it indicates here for the purposes of
3 paying the October 1992 payroll, would you have gone to Opuzen or Imotski
4 and picked up this cash for the purposes of paying the payroll?
5 A. Well, if it's the civilian financial department that transferred
6 it to the military section, then I'm the one who went, that's for sure.
7 Q. Can I ask you, please, to go to P00918? This is a document, sir,
8 prepared apparently by the National Bank of Croatia on the 16th of
9 December 1992 approving a number of -- the withdrawal of 600 million
10 Croatian dinar, apparently over the months December if you look down in
11 the text December, 1992 December has been stricken out, and January and
12 February 1993. Do you see that?
13 A. I see that.
14 Q. Can you tell the Judges what the function or purpose of this
15 document is? What does this document essentially do from a banking
16 perspective, as you understand it?
17 A. As I said to you yesterday, every state in the world does not
18 allow big cash withdrawals, withdrawals without providing proper
19 authority. So the central bank, the National Bank of the Republic of
20 Croatia, takes care of its monetary system and it does not allow large
21 cash withdrawals without their approval. So over here, for the
22 municipality of Grude, the National Bank of Croatia approved the
23 withdrawal of a large amount of cash. However, when we looked at other
24 documents yesterday, we realised that it was not the municipality of Grude
25 that was concerned but the HVO, and this shows that the HVO Grude did not
1 address the National Bank of Croatia, obviously it was done by the
2 Privredna Banka and somebody at the national bank responded -- well, a
3 mistake was made. They wrote the municipality of Grude. Well --
4 Q. By the time now, sir, that we've looked at a number of documents
5 banking records today, ledger sheets, the bank records, can we agree that
6 when something says HVO Mostar, that is the government account, and when
7 something says HVO Grude, that is the HVO military account?
8 A. Yes. Yes. The civilian part of HVO finance, and the military
9 part of the HVO, well, yes, you're right.
10 Q. So the effect of this document - is it correct? - is essentially a
11 pre-approval of withdrawals over a period of time in the amount of 600
12 million dinar, correct?
13 A. This document led to the following: If you have money on your
14 account, you can withdraw 600 million in cash. If you don't, this
15 document has no legal force, if you do not have money on your account.
16 Q. Very well. We'll come back to that document in a few minutes. I
17 would like you next to turn, please, to Exhibit P10291. We will start
18 with the first page, please, of the Croatian version or the Croatian -- or
19 English version, whichever, but the first page is an order from the
20 Minister of Defence of Croatia, Mr. Susak, on the 15th of December 1992:
21 "I order that the Croatian Defence Council be given a loan in the amount
22 of 306.909.700 Croatian dinar, the funds are strictly for payment to the
23 HZ HB HVO and the Bruno Busic regiment. The money shall be transferred
24 immediately," referring to the Privredna Banka Opuzen branch, do you see
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. And is it correct that Mr. Susak's order is in response to a
3 document again over the printed or typed name of Bruno Stojic as head of
4 the Defence department dated the 18th of October 1992? And
5 stating, "Please find enclosed the list of salaries of the HZ HB HVO
6 officers and soldiers for December 1992." Do you see that?
7 A. I see that.
8 Q. All right. Now, let's continue down --
9 A. But this form wasn't signed by Mr. Stojic either. Somebody signed
10 for him.
11 Q. Earlier you recognised Mr. Majic's signature, I believe you said.
12 Do you know who signed the document on this occasion?
13 A. I don't know. I recognise the other signature because Mr. Majic
14 was with me in the office, and also because we saw the card with the
15 deposited signatures.
16 Q. Yes. Immediately above the name Bruno Stojic, do you see: "The
17 amount shall be transferred to the General Staff or Main Staff of the
18 HVO's non-resident account ... " And then again number 34470 and
19 following? Again at the Opuzen branch?
20 A. Correct.
21 Q. And based on the conversation we had a few moments ago can we
22 agree that on this particular occasion the money was deposited into which
23 account? Did it go into that account or did it go into some other
24 account? If we could go to the next document, I believe you'll see on the
25 same form that you were looking at before, perhaps you can tell us.
1 A. This was directly deposited on the military section of the HVO
3 Q. Very well. And on the form that we were looking at before, in the
4 middle of the left-hand side, you see the entry, special disbursement from
5 the Ministry of Defence?
6 A. Correct.
7 Q. And turning to the next part of the document -- of the record, the
8 request for withdrawal of cash? Can you tell us the names of the
9 person -- the signatures on that page that authorised you to collect this
11 A. Mr. Jelavic and Mr. Majic.
12 Q. And turning to the next -- well, on that document, excuse me, on
13 that document is that a request for the disbursement of or withdrawal of
14 165 million Croatian dinar on the 17th of December 1992?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. And in the next document, does that indicate that you in fact
17 collected that amount on that same day, the 17th of December 1992?
18 A. Correct.
19 Q. And then if we go to the next document, on the following day, 18th
20 of December 1992, can you tell us whether you then collected the balance
21 of 141.909.000?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. And can you agree with me, sir, that if we add those two numbers
24 together they are the number 306.909.700 dinar?
25 A. Correct.
1 Q. And I asked you -- I told you a moment ago we would go back
2 momentarily to Exhibit P00918, the previous exhibit. Sir, I'd like you to
3 look at the handwritten notations that have been put on that document, can
4 you point out to us if you can find transactions in the amount of 165
5 million and a transaction in the amount of 141.909.000 dinar?
6 A. This is correct. This is written in hand and obviously written by
7 the bank clerk for his own records.
8 Q. And the dates do in fact correspond - do they not? - 165 million
9 on the 17th of December and 141 million on the 18th -- excuse me,
10 November, in this instance, it says. I don't know if that's again been --
11 A. Correct.
12 Q. I'll leave it to everyone's -- if you look at the original
13 handwriting on the Croatian language version, whether that second item is
14 a 12 or 11 but you see the two numbers, the two Croatian dinar amounts; is
15 that correct?
16 A. Correct.
17 Q. And when we look at the card, the -- just that one small card
18 that -- it's the fourth page of the document, I think in either English or
19 Croatian, I think -- yes, the fourth page in either one, again, the card
20 that we were referring to, do you see again that this was apparently a
21 transfer based upon a telephone or telegraph authorisation?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. Can I ask you to look at next at Exhibit P00734? Do you have
24 that, sir?
25 A. Yes, I do.
1 Q. Sir, since you were told us that you were extensively involved in
2 the payment of the HVO military payroll, I'd like you to look at this
3 document for a moment. This is a communication from Mr. Slobodan Praljak
4 dated the 12th of November 1992, to Lieutenant General Ivan Cermak, which
5 I hope there would be agreement that is of the Croatian army, and it says,
6 "Mr. Zeljko Siljeg, colonel in the Croatian army, currently holding the
7 position of commander of the Northwest Herzegovina" - we know that to be
8 the operative zone - "since the 1st of February received a salary of
9 75.362 Croatian dinar for the month of October. We are requesting you to
10 check the list for the last month as well as for the previous months to
11 align the salary with the regulations of the Ministry of the Republic of
12 Croatia and pay off the outstanding amount."
13 Now, did it ever come -- did you become aware that members of the
14 Croatian army, the HV, who were in Bosnia-Herzegovina, were being paid
15 directly by the Republic of Croatia instead of through the payroll means
16 that you've described earlier?
17 A. I did not know, but the gentleman was given a salary in Grude.
18 Q. So your understanding was that Mr. Siljeg was drawing a salary
19 from Grude, through the Grude method, if we can call it that?
20 A. Whether somebody gave him a refund or whatever, I don't know, but
21 here it says he received 75.362 HRD.
22 Q. Yes. I'm not sure it says where -- from where he received that
23 amount but if you -- if there is something on the document that indicates
24 that to you, please say so. The request by --
25 A. No. It doesn't exist there. But there was nowhere elsewhere he
1 could have received it from.
2 Q. Well, then why does Mr. Praljak say at the end of the sentence, at
3 the previous sentence, and he says -- directs General Cermak to "pay off
4 the outstanding amount"?
5 A. Well, I've never seen this piece of paper before but it says align
6 the salary with the regulations of the Ministry of the Republic of
7 Croatia, so if he was an officer of the Croatian army, and he was -- well,
8 he wasn't the only one. There were many of our people, Croats, from
9 Bosnia-Herzegovina, who when the war broke out in Bosnia-Herzegovina,
10 returned to defend their country. So if he returned there, to defend that
11 country, it means he received his salary in Grude.
12 Q. Very well. Can I ask you next to look at Exhibit P02123? I'm
13 sorry, my -- I apologise. I meant to say P03989, P03989.
14 Do you have that?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. I think somebody else is having the same problem you had.
17 Sir, if you look at this document, this refers to -- this is a 6
18 August 1993 order from, again, Mr. Susak for the execution of a loan to
19 the HVO of the HZ HB, defence department. And in this instance I believe
20 it's in the amount of 4.666.820.800 Croatian dinars; is that correct?
21 A. Correct.
22 Q. And I'm going to show you a number of these documents and then
23 I'll ask you a couple of questions about them. Would you then go on
24 please to P04081? And this is an order from Mr. Susak a few days later on
25 the 10th of August 1993, for the allocation of the amount in this case of
1 593.945 Deutschmarks; is that correct?
2 A. Correct.
3 Q. And Mr. Susak says that in item number 3 allocation is to be
4 entered into the books as a claim against the budget of the Croatian
5 Community of Herceg-Bosna. Do you see that?
6 A. I see that, yes.
7 Q. And if you can next go to Exhibit P06673, this is dated the 15th
8 of November 1993, and again, order by Mr. Susak and in this instance for
9 the execution of a loan to the HZ HB Defence department in the amount of
10 11.713.616.450 Croatian dinar, "the payment shall be transferred
11 immediately." Do you see that?
12 A. I see that, yes.
13 Q. Do you know -- probably won't get to this until tomorrow but do
14 you know approximately how much money in outstanding -- if these are to be
15 considered loans, how much money in outstanding debt was owed by the HVO
16 to the Republic of Croatia at the end of the war?
17 A. It's like this: In my particular case, the one I was convicted
18 in, we were charged with having brought in money from the Republic of
19 Croatia, so that in defending myself, I became acquainted with certain
20 facts and information that I considered at the time not to be essential
21 and so had it not been for that I wouldn't have known about it at all.
22 However, in 1992, the HVO received 1.400.000 marks from the Defence
23 Ministry of the Republic of Croatia and in 1993, it received about 4 and a
24 half million marks. Now, if we know that the Croatian people from
25 Bosnia-Herzegovina, that a far greater number were outside the country and
1 if we know that they had the duty to pay in monthly instalments, in order
2 to finance the defence in Bosnia-Herzegovina, then I think that Croatia
3 had a greater debt to Bosnia-Herzegovina, outstanding debt than the money
4 it transferred.
5 Q. All right. But when you talk here just so I understand what these
6 numbers represent, whether, you know, whether I agree with them or not,
7 when you say HVO in this instance, are you talking about the money owed by
8 the HVO military or the HVO or Herceg-Bosna overall?
9 A. Herceg-Bosna as a whole, overall.
10 Q. All right.
11 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Witness, you sometimes give us a
12 vital information that may escape our attention but I take note of them
13 myself. You've said something that is a first in this trial. You are
14 saying that the Croats, those who do not live in Bosnia and Herzegovina,
15 those who were outside of Bosnia and Herzegovina, had to take part in the
16 defence of Bosnia and Herzegovina, and if I understand what you say
17 correctly, you said that they had to pay their contribution to pay a
18 contribution to the Republic of Croatia, and if I understand what you tell
19 us correctly, that would explain why the Republic of Croatia gave money to
20 the HVO. Could you give us some more detail about this? Could you expand
21 on this?
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, I can. I can explain that to
23 you. If you follow what was happening to General Zagorac and the
24 appearance of these accounts where money was collected from our people
25 living abroad --
1 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Who is General Zagorac because
2 the name does not ring a bell.
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] General Zagorac is an officer of the
4 Croatian army who was the assistant to Minister Susak, one of the key
5 figures in the Croatian army for logistics, and he headed an enterprise
6 that was called Rai Alan, that dealt with the procurement of weapons for
7 the army. He was one of the signatories on the bills and receipts and
8 accounts where money was collected from our people abroad. So far
9 before -- well, the war in Croatian began far before it began in Bosnia
10 and Herzegovina and Croatia had opened these accounts for funds to be paid
11 into the accounts and it is the Croats from Bosnia-Herzegovina who paid
12 money into those accounts by way of assistance to Croatia so they
13 considered Croatia to be their homeland. Now, when the war began in
14 Bosnia-Herzegovina, they continued to pay in these sums of money into the
15 same accounts as they had done up until then. And so Croatia had an
16 obligation to transfer part of that money to Bosnia-Herzegovina. Now,
17 what happened on a small scale, I don't really know. It's not my position
18 to speak about that. But that is how things stand.
19 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] To your knowledge, what was the
20 total amount of the money given by Croats living abroad who paid money
21 into this account that apparently was managed by General Zagorac?
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Today, billions is the sum that is
23 being bandied about, billions of Deutschmarks, 2, 3, 5. There is
24 speculation about the numbers. I know what I read in the papers. I know
25 what the media says. So that's where I get the information from.
1 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] If that account really exists,
2 we should be able to find a record of this in the Croatian budget, in the
3 budget of Croatia for the years 1992, 1993. We must find an item in the
4 budget that is connected to provisions being made in relation to donations
5 by Croats from abroad.
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, that item does exist. The
7 Republic of Croatia has that information and the process of establishing
8 how much money was paid into those accounts is still ongoing. So the end
9 figure is not known yet but certainly it is in the billions.
10 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Praljak?
11 THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation] Your Honours, perhaps you
12 could ask him the accounts where this money was paid into, were they
13 accounts in foreign banks, in Austria, et cetera, so not in Croatia?
14 Whether accounts were opened in Villach, Klagenfurt, Germany and so on.
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] What I was talking about --
16 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Talking about these funds and
17 taking the examples of Croats living in the United States, would the money
18 transit by US accounts before arriving in Croatia? Do you have any
19 information about the way these amounts of money were transferred?
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It is impossible to take money out
21 of America or any other normal country. You can't just take cash out,
22 cash. You had to do it by money transfers, between banks, and the
23 Croatian government or rather the Croatian state opened in Austria, as far
24 as I know, in the Hypo bank of Austria in Villach, opened an account
25 there. I don't know with which other banks but it opened accounts where
1 this money was paid into. There was an account of some kind in
2 Liechtenstein and in Austria.
3 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Accounts in Liechtenstein?
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Fine. Mr. Scott? You may
7 MR. SCOTT: Thank you, Your Honour.
8 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
9 MR. SCOTT:
10 Q. If we could then go on to Exhibit P07173? Sorry, sir, that one
11 might be -- no, sorry, no. It's in the -- yeah, you have it, very good.
12 MR. SCOTT: It's in the separate binder, Your Honour.
13 Q. And, sir, do you see this again as a similar, somewhat similar at
14 least, order by Mr. Susak dated 14th of December 1993, ordering that the
15 following funds be allocated to the state budget of the Croatian Community
16 of Herceg-Bosna for the needs of the HVO and then gives, I think, six
17 dates from 15th of December until the 20th of January -- excuse me, 15th
18 of December 1993, until the 20th of January 1994 and then says in item
19 number 2, mark these funds as "to cover negative balance and enter them in
20 the books as claims at the expense of the Croatian Republic of
21 Herceg-Bosna budget." Do you see that?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. Attached to that document or behind that part of the document,
24 then, you will also see the corresponding request by someone named
25 Joso Martinovic as Minister of Finance of Herceg-Bosna. This document is
1 dated the 28th -- this particular document is dated 28 November 1993. Can
2 you tell the Judges whether Mr. Martinovic by this time had succeeded
3 Mr. Tomic as the head of finance?
4 A. I don't know the date exactly when Mr. Martinovic came, but it was
5 towards the end of 1993 when he came to head the Ministry of Finance.
6 Q. All right. And in terms of his request, is it correct that on the
7 first two items and then there is a summary or a total number, and it says
8 salaries for November, 21.490.000.000 Croatian dinar and then under that
9 are the salaries for -- well, some for November and some for December --
10 Well, sorry. My apologies. I think we have some translation errors. For
11 December 1993, do you see that?
12 A. Yes, yes, I see that.
13 Q. I'll come back to some questions about that for you tomorrow but
14 some of that you've already touched on in the last few minutes. I'm sure
15 we won't get to it today. I'd like to turn back then to several
16 additional transactions, particular transactions I would like to ask you
17 about, so the next one, if I could ask you to go to P10292? And if you
18 have that, sir, I think we'll all see by now a number of the documents
19 that we are becoming more familiar with and the request for cash
20 withdrawal, this is for withdrawal of 30 million Croatian dinar on the
21 18th of November 1992, and if you look at the Croatian original, can you
22 tell us the signatures approving that particular withdrawal?
23 A. Having seen the card, this was supposed to have been signed by
24 Mr. Jadranko Prlic and Mr. Zeljko Bandic.
25 Q. And in the ledger sheet that -- excuse me, before we get to that,
1 on the second document then, what might -- one might call the receipt, can
2 you tell us by looking at that who then collect -- actually collected this
3 money, took the cash?
4 A. A signature cannot be seen, but it is Mr. Zeljko Bandic who is the
5 authorised official, that's what this paper says, so it should be his
7 Q. And can you confirm that this is a transaction or withdrawal from
8 the HVO Mostar, that is, the government account, as opposed to the HVO
9 Grude account?
10 A. This is the account of the civilian finance department in Mostar
11 and this is their account and it is from their account that 30 million
12 Croatian dinars were taken.
13 Q. If I can next ask you to go to P1029 -- excuse me, let me make
14 sure -- yes, 10296. And do these records indicate the withdrawal of 100
15 million Croatian dinar on the 23rd of February 1993? Sorry, yes.
16 A. Yes, yes.
17 Q. And the signatures of the persons authorising this particular
19 A. Mr. Tomic and Mr. Zeljko Bandic.
20 Q. And can you tell us again whether then you collected this money?
21 A. I am the authorised official, and if we look at the next page, you
22 can see that I collected the money.
23 Q. Now, this again was money drawn on the HVO Mostar account. When
24 you would collect the cash - and we've seen a number of instances like
25 this now, where even though you were in the HVO military financial
1 section, you would nonetheless withdraw cash from the HVO government
2 account - what did you do with that money when you received it in cash?
3 Did you take it back to Mr. Bandic and Mr. Tomic or Mr. Prlic or what did
4 you do with it?
5 A. Well, I wasn't their courier in that sense. If I collected the
6 money I took it to Grude. This paper that confirms that the money was
7 paid out, I took that to Mr. Bandic and he issued me another paper
8 stating, confirming, that the finance department transferred money to the
9 military section. The money went directly to Grude.
10 Q. These were in Croatian dinars?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. How was this money used, sir?
13 A. It depended on what the needs were. The money could have been
14 used for food supplies, weapons supplies, and salaries for soldiers.
15 Q. Mr. Rupcic, tell the Judges, in the vast majority of these
16 instances how was the -- how were this cash used? I think you know that.
17 A. Well, it was mostly used for salaries.
18 Q. Could you go next please to P10301? Do you have that, sir?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. Thank you. And can you tell us, please, this -- does this
21 represent the withdrawal, at least in the amount of dinars and I'll come
22 back to that in a moment but roughly 115.800.000 dinar on the 3rd of March
24 A. It was probably withdrawn in Croatian dinars but here you have the
25 countervalue up here. It is 115.000 -- sorry, 150.000 Deutschmark.
1 Q. And on the first page of this set of records, in the purpose
2 section, it is -- it says, "Payment from DSK in the currency based on the
3 request for cash withdrawal issued by Bruno Stojic, president of the
4 Mostar Defence department. The payment is withdrawn by authorised
5 Miroslav Rupcic. What is the reference if you can tell us to it says,
6 "payment from the DSK"?
7 A. Foreign exchange savings account.
8 Q. And when you look at this, well, how was that kind of an account
9 used? Let me stop there for a moment.
10 A. I'm saying this again. Our people, who had emigrated abroad paid
11 money into that account too.
12 Q. And can you tell by looking at this document whether, in fact, the
13 money was distributed in dinars or in Deutschmarks?
14 A. This money was withdrawn in Deutschmark. If you see the upper
15 right-hand corner, you see that it says 150 bank-notes of 1.000
16 Deutschmarks respectively.
17 Q. Yes. So if everyone looks at the Croatian, original Croatian
18 version or the copy --
19 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] You've just said 150 bank-notes
20 of a thousand Deutschmarks, in other words there were bank-notes of a
21 value of a thousand Deutschmark?
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, they looked very nice.
23 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I don't doubt that.
24 MR. SCOTT: Your Honour, I think that's a good place to stop for
25 the evening. I think it's 7.00, so perhaps we can stop on that.
1 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Fine.
2 Witness, just a recommendation from me. As you have taken the
3 oath, you are a witness of the Chamber, and you may no longer contact the
4 OTP. The witnesses and victims unit will look after you, and the hearing
5 will resume tomorrow morning at 9.00 in the same courtroom. I'd like to
6 thank you and tell you that we will see you all tomorrow morning.
7 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 7.01 p.m.,
8 to be reconvened on Tuesday, the 9th day of
9 October, 2007, at 9.00 a.m.