1 Tuesday, 27 November 2007
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 2.15 p.m.
5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Please, madam registrar, kindly
6 call the case.
7 THE REGISTRAR: Good afternoon, Your Honours. This is case number
8 IT-04-74-T, the Prosecutor versus Jadranko Prlic et al.
9 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you very much. Today is
10 Tuesday. My greetings to all the people in the courtroom, the OTP
11 representatives, the Defence counsel, the accused, and all the people
12 helping us out.
13 I'll first give the floor to the registrar. She has two IC
14 numbers to give us.
15 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, Prosecution response to Exhibits
16 tendered through Witness EA by the accused Stojic, Praljak, Petkovic and
17 Coric will become Exhibit IC 727, and Petkovic Defence objection to the
18 Prosecution list of exhibits tendered through Witness EA will become
19 Exhibit IC 728.
20 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you very much, Madam
22 Mr. Kovacic wanted to say something, so he has the floor.
23 MR. KOVACIC: Your Honour, I won't be taking up too much time, at
24 least I hope not. We discussed this, the plans and the scheduling and
25 calendar amongst the Defence teams following your recent ruling for the
1 January scheduling, and we noticed that in fact we're not quite sure when
2 in December we're adjourning before the winter break, and that's of course
3 necessary for us to plan our -- to make our travelling arrangements for
4 the winter. So might the Trial Chamber perhaps with the assistance of the
5 Prosecution tell us how long we're going to work in December and when we
6 break for the recess. We're not quite clear on that. And yesterday we
7 received a table with the documents for Witness Ribicic, where the --
8 well, it was implied that the Prosecution would need four and a half hours
9 for the examination-in-chief. So he can't be over by the 11th, and I hope
10 that we'll be given at least the same amount of time, and the witness made
11 a prior statement, so I think that we will need some time for that too.
12 So by the end of the week we'd appreciate it in the Pre-Trial Chamber
13 would tell the Prosecution and -- well, all of us, what the plan is and
14 when we're going to end in December.
15 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] [Previous translation
16 continues] ... can tell us what the scheduling is for the next few days
17 knowing that apparently next week what was scheduled will not materialise.
18 I know that the Trial Chamber's legal officer invited the Prosecution to
19 find witnesses for next week, and also I'm a bit vague as to the witnesses
20 scheduled afterwards, prior to the 13th of December.
21 Do you have any information, Mr. Stringer?
22 MR. STRINGER: Yes, Mr. President. Good afternoon to you, and
23 good afternoon to Your Honours, counsel, and to everyone else.
24 In respect of the scheduling that we envisioned for the remainder
25 of this year, we distributed a calendar to counsel. I believe it was last
1 week. It may have even been the week before, and I know there have been
2 some changes. Unfortunately, mostly relating to witnesses who are not
3 going to be coming as scheduled. However, Judge Ribicic is one that is
4 still on our calendar as indicated for the 10th, I believe.
5 I can also inform you, Mr. President, that in fact I spent most of
6 this morning attempting to look into all possibilities of witnesses who
7 might be able to come and to fill in some of the downtime for next week,
8 those being witnesses identified by the Trial Chamber as potentially 92
9 bis witnesses who would need to come.
10 I don't have any more information for Your Honours on that, and
11 I -- I guess I would say that Mr. Scott yesterday said that he was not
12 optimistic about next week, and I think to be candid, I would say that
13 again today. We're not optimistic about next week, but we are attempting
14 to recover. But certainly in respect of the forward schedule into
15 December, we have every intention of bringing Judge Ribicic as scheduled,
16 and so that will hold. And then on the 13th and the 12th, then, which
17 would be the last two days prior to the break, I think that we still are
18 holding those open in the hope that we'll be able to fill those again with
19 perhaps one of the 92 bis witnesses that's been identified or suggested by
20 the Trial Chamber.
21 So that's -- that's the status at this moment. So Ribicic is on
22 the calendar, and we're still looking to fill the additional time that
23 remains in December.
24 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Stringer, Judge Ribicic is
25 scheduled on the 10th, isn't he? Couldn't he come next week? Because a
1 judge is not overwhelmed with work, usually. So he might be able to come
2 if he's advised of the need to come early enough.
3 MR. STRINGER: We understand that he's not --
4 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] You know that I'm not speaking
5 about myself when I speak about judges.
6 MR. STRINGER: I understand that. I have every confidence that
7 this Trial Chamber has plenty of work to do every day.
8 I can inform you that Judge Ribicic is not in his home country of
9 Slovenia, nor is he in Europe. He's out of Europe at a conference, and I
10 can tell you for sure that he is not available next week, unfortunately.
11 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. Well, I can see that
12 there are judges who have time enough to go and attend conferences, which
13 unfortunately doesn't apply to me. Thank you for this information. We
14 shall endeavour to do our best.
15 Let's bring the witness in, and we hope we'll be able to complete
16 his testimony today. It's absolutely necessary to finish him today.
17 I understand that the first will be Mr. Ibrisimovic, since I've
18 received his binder.
19 [The witness entered court]
20 WITNESS: AMOR MASOVIC [Resumed]
21 [Witness answered through interpreter]
22 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Good afternoon, sir. I hope
23 everything works.
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Good afternoon, Your Honour.
25 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. You have the floor,
1 Mr. Ibrisimovic.
2 MR. IBRISIMOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President.
3 Cross-examination by Mr. Ibrisimovic:
4 Q. [Interpretation] I'd like to say good afternoon to Mr. Masovic
5 because we know each other from some other situations and we happen to be
6 in the courtroom.
7 THE INTERPRETER: Could Mr. Ibrisimovic speak into his
8 microphone. He's a long way away from his microphone and we can't hear
9 him very well. Thank you.
10 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Can you put the microphone closer to your mouth.
11 MR. IBRISIMOVIC: [Interpretation]
12 Q. The first thing that I wanted to ask you, and you spoke about this
13 yesterday, and I read this in an interview of yours perhaps a month or two
14 ago that Bosnia-Herzegovina still has a lot of problems with the missing
15 persons, and you even mentioned a figure of some 12.000 people; is that
17 A. Yes, that is right. Perhaps the figure is a little smaller
18 because some of those people have been found but not identified, so that
19 their names are still on the list of missing persons or in fact they have
20 been found but not identified.
21 Q. But it is a large number, a vast number, and that question, the
22 question of missing persons and the large number, means that there are
23 many grave sites that have not been discovered yet, I would say?
24 A. On the basis of my experience, and I have had many years of
25 experience, 15 years, in fact, we're still looking for 180 to 200 mass
1 graves, graves with five or more victims in them, and probably several
2 hundred other individual grave sites.
3 Do you want me to repeat the answer?
4 Q. No. I think it's been recorded.
5 The second thing that I wanted to ask you, and I talked to
6 Mr. Pusic about this, when I read your statement -- or statements, rather,
7 I think there were three of them, and they related to what you know about
8 Mr. Pusic and what I heard you say yesterday in court, was there a
9 conflict of any kind between Mr. Pusic and you apart from the work you did
10 in the commissions and so on?
11 A. We represented, during a period of time, two opposing sides.
12 There were no personal conflicts, but we were on two different sides as
13 negotiators, and after 1997, Mr. Pusic was chosen to be the first chief of
14 the federal commission for missing persons, and I was appointed his deputy
15 for the first three months, and then we continued to rotate, and one of us
16 would be the chairman or vice-chairman of the federal commission. We
17 would rotate until Mr. Pusic was replaced.
18 Q. Well, I'm happy to hear that I was wrong in the impression I
19 gained, because Mr. Pusic said your cooperation with him was mostly proper
20 and correct?
21 A. Within the frameworks of the negotiations that took place, I do
22 believe that he tried to represent the interests of the party and the side
23 that he represented, just as I tried to represent the interests of my side
24 and the government in Sarajevo.
25 Q. I'd like now to go back to a question that was discussed yesterday
1 that you testified, in fact, yesterday, the question of exhumations, and
2 you said how you arrived at information, i.e., that you went on the site
3 and so on?
4 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Excuse me. Excuse me,
5 Mr. Ibrisimovic.
6 You said something, Witness, and the counsel just glassed over it.
7 It might be relevant. You said in 1997 Mr. Pusic was president of the
8 federal commission and you yourself were his deputy, you said, and you
9 added that he was dismissed. Why was he dismissed, and who did so?
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, yesterday we touched upon that
11 question, and I can confirm that in July 1997, by decision of the
12 government of the federation Mr. Pusic was appointed the first presiding
13 person, chairman, of the federal commission for missing persons, and I was
14 appointed the vice-chairman. The decision had another provision which
15 stated that the two of us would take turns in these two posts, the posts
16 of chairman and vice-chairman, and that we would rotate every three
17 months, and that's what happened. We took over from each other until
18 Mr. Pusic was replaced, relieved of his duties in another commission which
19 was called the commission for de-mining, which was at a state level of
20 Bosnia-Herzegovina, that is to say both the Bosnian and Herzegovinian
21 entities, but that decision about his replacement from the commission for
22 de-mining automatically meant that he could no longer perform any other
23 public offices in Bosnia-Herzegovina, so that Mr. Pusic, to all intents
24 and purposes, pursuant to that decision and being replaced in the
25 commission for de-mining, he lost his post in the commission, the federal
1 commission for missing persons.
2 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Why? Why was he replaced? Was
3 there a reason and, if so, what was it?
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I don't think it was only Mr. Pusic
5 who was replaced. I think the decision taken by the High Representative
6 of Bosnia-Herzegovina comprised all three members of the commission for
7 de-mining and that there was some talk of corruption, but I'm only telling
8 you what I read in the media, not on the basis of any personal information
9 that I had or any contacts with the gentleman. So all three members for
10 the commission for de-mining were replaced from that post for reasons of
12 MR. IBRISIMOVIC: [Interpretation]
13 Q. The decision was one in 2002, and it is true that they were all
14 replaced. However, they were rehabilitated by 2004, and there were no
15 legal proceedings taken against Mr. Pusic in the matter of corruption.
16 A. Well, I said what the media wrote about, what I read about in the
17 papers and what I learnt through the media. That's what I said, how the
18 media presented it, that they were replaced. Now, what happened later on,
19 whether they were rehabilitated or not, I really don't know. Mr. Pusic
20 did not return to the commission ever again, the commission for missing
22 Q. Thank you. Now I'd like to go back to a topic that you discussed
23 with my learned friend yesterday, and that is the question of exhumation,
24 and you've already described to us how the exhumations came about, in what
25 way they were carried out. And we're going to use some documents now in
1 that regard, so might the witness be provided with some documents.
2 You told us yesterday that the number 16 was mentioned for the
3 first time at the meeting that was held in Geneva, and as I understand it,
4 it was an informal discussion between you and Mr. Pusic. It wasn't a
5 formal meeting?
6 A. No, it wasn't it happened on the 20 of July during the excursion
7 around Lake Geneva and to the town of Montreux.
8 Q. Never before that or after that did Mr. Pusic mention this number,
9 this number 16?
10 A. Yes that's right.
11 Q. I took a look at your statements, you have them in front of you,
12 but I don't think there's any need to look at them. When you gave a
13 statement to the Prosecution, I don't think you mentioned the figure of
14 16. There was -- the figure of 12 and 13 and you explained that to us
15 yesterday now would you take a look at the document, please, the first
16 document. It's 6D 00758.
17 A. I need some assistance here because I can't find my way in these
18 numbers. Can you repeat the number?
19 Q. 6D 00758 is the number. And it's a document towards the end of
20 the binder. That's where you'll find it. It is a letter, the main
21 cantonal prosecutor's office in Mostar, Mr. Mehmed Basic. Mehmed Basic?
22 A. Yes, I do.
23 Q. He is informing -- yes, kindly make pauses between question and
24 answer. Thank you. He is informing through the Federal Ministry of
25 Justice in Sarajevo the Prosecution about what was done up until the 21st
1 of September, 2007; right?
2 A. That's what it says in the document.
3 Q. It is the report on exhumation, the photo -- photographs, photo
4 documents, the DNA results, and then finally he says, "As for other
5 information requested by the Office of the Prosecutor of the ICTY, please
6 note that this prosecutor's office cannot provide you with that
7 information at this moment because of the ongoing investigations in the
8 matter," which mean the investigation had not been completed yet.
9 A. Yes, that's right.
10 Q. Now, we can go back to a document you saw led the number is
11 P 100322. It's a Prosecution document.
12 A. I've got it.
13 Q. This is a record on exhumation, and any exhumation is a very
14 formal, very strict job which requires a procedure.
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. The people present were a prosecutor and an anthropologist of the
17 international commission for missing.
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. Sanja Mulac on behalf of the commission for missing persons?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. The on-site investigation continued on the following day and the
22 number is P 100323. That's the number of document, P 100323.
23 On that day you were present as well?
24 A. Yes, I was.
25 Q. I suppose the reason was that you had received information that
1 these could be the remains of the BiH army members and that's why you
2 found yourself in Mostar on that day?
3 A. Yes. My colleagues from Republika Srpska who were there together
4 with the prosecutor's office from Trebinje and started the exhumation, and
5 Mrs. Mulac who was an observer observing the exhumation noticed some parts
6 of uniforms, trousers and camouflage uniforms that the members of the BiH
7 army wore during the conflict. That was the first time where a suspicion
8 arose that those skeletons might belong to the Vranica building. However,
9 at that moment on the 17 of May, we still didn't know that for a fact. On
10 the 18th of May, and this document pertains to the 18th of May when I was
11 there, on the 18th of May there were some very well-founded indicia that
12 the bodies were of the prisoners from Vranica. On the arm of one of the
13 victims we discovered a Seiko 50 watch with the date indicated on it as
14 Thursday 14th. The on-site inspection revealed that Thursday the 14th was
15 the month of May, 1993. Since this group was imprisoned on the 10th of
16 May, this led us to assume that those people might hail from Vranica.
17 However, at that moment we could not be certain of that.
18 Q. My questions were somewhat different. Mr. Mehmedic Nijaz, the
19 Prosecutor was also present from Mostar?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. The prosecutor from Trebinje was there?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. The anthropologist of the international commission for missing
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. Zeljko Karan, the pathologist from Banja Luka?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. On the second page of this document the Prosecutor issues an order
4 for these remains to be transferred to the city cemetery in Mostar where
5 the laboratory findings will show how many bodies were located in the mass
7 A. Yes, and carry out the identification.
8 Q. And here we have a sentence by the Prosecutor who says during the
9 exhumation of skeletal remains of human origin it was very difficult to
10 follow the continuity of the bodies because the skeletal remains were
11 rather mixed up. Was that the case?
12 A. Yes, it was.
13 Q. On the last page of this document the forensic pathologist,
14 Dr. Karan, says that this was a primary grave, and according to the
15 exhumed remains, it could be concluded that the number of bodies was at
16 least 20.
17 A. Although this has been recorded in that way, at my question Dr.
18 Karan told me that there were at least 24 different victims in that grave.
19 And then I asked him how did he conclude that, because I had inspected
20 the skeletal remains during the exhumation and I arrived at a conclusion
21 that the figure was a bit lower. He told me that there were 24 right
22 femurs, i.e., 24 upper leg bones. At that moment, I had my reservations
23 about that, and on that same day when we took the remains over and when
24 they were transported to the morgue in Stotina, we counted the bones of
25 arms and legs, and we arrived at a conclusion that a maximum number of
1 victims, judging by the number of the bones of the extremities, that there
2 were no more than 16 victims altogether.
3 Q. But I can't see it in the record.
4 A. No. This was not recorded on site. This is a record by our
5 colleagues from Republika Srpska, i.e., the district prosecutor from
6 Trebinje. The record on exhumation, as far as I know, was not drafted by
7 the cantonal prosecutor from Mostar because the exhumation had been
8 ordered and carried out by the prosecutor from Trebinje. As for the rest,
9 the issue of the reassociation of the mortal remains from the 24 body bags
10 that had been transported from the site, the question of the autopsy and
11 final identification of the victims would be carried out pursuant to the
12 order of the cantonal prosecutor in Mostar.
13 Q. Yesterday the Prosecutor did not show you the findings on the
14 anthropologist. This finding does not mention the number of 16 victims,
15 does it?
16 A. What is that?
17 Q. Dr. Eva Klanovska [as interpreted] doesn't say that the number of
18 victims is 16.
19 A. What findings are you referring to?
20 Q. That is the findings of the institute -- or, rather, in
21 international commission for missing persons which was signed by Dr. Eva
22 Konovski -- Elvira Klanovska.
23 A. Do I have it in my file?
24 Q. Yes.
25 A. Did you tell me the number?
1 Q. 10331 is the number.
2 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] The interpreters are asking you
3 to make breaks between questions and answers. Thank you.
4 MR. IBRISIMOVIC: [Interpretation]
5 Q. I understand that this is not the final findings, that this is the
6 preliminary findings based on the DNA analysis leading to the
7 reassociation or matching of the body parts, but this findings does not
8 mention the number of 16 bodies. The number 16 is not mentioned.
9 A. Yes, that's correct. This anthropological findings on
10 reassociation does not show that the number of victims was 16.
11 Q. You were -- you mentioned yesterday that the grave could even be a
12 secondary grave.
13 A. I'm convinced that it was a secondary grave, because there were
14 some parts of the skeletal remains missing. None of the 16 victims was
15 complete. Each and every one of them is missing a part of the skeleton.
16 Q. I appreciate that opinion. You have a lot of experience. I know
17 that personally, but when it comes to such things and if we're talking
18 about the secondary grave, then the reassociation and matching of the
19 skeletal remains is very difficult, and it's very difficult to establish
20 the exact number of victims.
21 A. Yes, you're right, but the reassociation and the DNA analysis that
22 have been carried out show clearly that some skeletal parts are missing,
23 i.e., they were missing from the grave and they're missing in the morgue.
24 For example, parts of the skull are missing. They're simply not there.
25 Q. What I was saying is that the procedure that has been carried so
1 far points to the fact that there were 15 victims, and we don't have any
2 official data confirming the number of 16.
3 A. Yes. We have 15 names of the victims, and we have a 16th DNA
4 analysis which does not match with the blood of any family that reported a
5 missing relative. In the laboratory we have confirmation that there were
6 16 DNA samples that belonged to 16 different persons, 15 of which have
7 been identified, and the 16th person has not been identified.
8 Q. Maybe we're talking about at cross-purposes. Anthropology is a
9 very sophisticated science and requires a lot of knowledge, and this
10 anthropological findings does not confirm that there were 16 bodies in
11 that grave.
12 A. Not in this findings, but if you're asking me as the head of the
13 commission, what I know about this, I can confirm to you that we're
14 talking about a total of 16 victims. Maybe it should be clarified why the
15 reassociation is done in the first place. The reassociation is carried
16 out in order to -- before the DNA analysis, in order to send as few
17 skeletal samples as possible to the laboratory. In this particular case,
18 instead of 16 samples that would have been normal to send if we had had 16
19 compact victims from a primary grave, for example, instead of sending 16
20 teeth from the 16 victims, we had to send 90 different specimen, 90
21 different samples. So if we're talking about 16 victims, on average it
22 would be five or six samples per victim.
23 This is what we did, because the skeletal remains were mixed up.
24 The victims skulls had been fractured. The lower jaws had been separated
25 from the upper part of the skull, and the anthropological analysis could
1 not match the lower jaws with the bodies.
2 If you are missing only two vertebrae in the spine, you -- you
3 lose the continuity of the body and that's why you have to send for a DNA
4 analysis two parts of the body, the upper part and the lower part. That's
5 why the anthropological reassociation is done first, and the
6 anthropologist, based on his expert knowledge, can determine which two
7 legs belonged to one body. And then we don't send the samples from both
8 those legs. We do not destroy the skeletal material. We usually send
9 only one leg sample, usually the right leg sample. And when we obtain the
10 DNA analysis from that leg then we know which leg is the left leg from the
11 same body because anthropologically they are the same and the
12 anthropology -- anthropologist can determine that.
13 Q. I was suggesting to you that in such sensitive methods an error is
14 something that happens. Let me give you an educational example. A
15 gentleman whom we know, a professor who died, when the grave was opened he
16 determined that there were five skeletal remains, and later on it was
17 determined that there were actually six bodies in question.
18 A. Yes. This is a good example. I'm glad you mentioned it.
19 Dr. Klanovska during the exhumation established that there were six
20 victims in question which the local forensic expert, unfortunately, did
21 not accept, and later on through DNA analysis it was confirmed that the
22 number was actually six.
23 Q. [No interpretation]
24 THE INTERPRETER: Would the counsel come closer to the microphone
25 and would the counsel and would the witness and counsel please note
2 A. Yes, but you said it, he was a pathologist, a forensic
3 pathologist. The reassociation is not an issue for forensic pathologists
4 but for forensic anthropologists. Those are the persons that share the
5 same qualifications with Dr. Klanovska.
6 Q. What I'm trying to say is when grave is opened, especially if the
7 secondary grave is in question, an error is not excluded.
8 A. When a secondary grave is opened, the experts may make a mistake,
9 and I said it in the introduction to my testimony. Dr. Karan who was in
10 charge of this exhumation said and you can see it in the record, he said
11 20 bodies at least. To me he said 24 bodies, Dr. Klanovska and the DNA
12 confirmed that the number was actually 16. There were 16 bodies.
13 Q. We have agreed that that number does not figure in Dr. Klanovska's
14 findings, so we can move on to another topic.
15 The talks between you and Mr. Pusic about Vranica, I know that
16 Vranica was something that was something that -- for which there was a lot
17 of pressure, but there were some other issues, Bugojno, and other things,
18 that also burdened your relationship.
19 A. Yes. I would say that our relationship was burdened but not so
20 much our relationship but the negotiations because of the complexity of
21 the matter, because of the interdependence of these cases and the whole
22 situation resulted in a stalemate, and even those things that could have
23 been solved because of the circumstances and the sensitivity of these
24 cases, and yesterday I spoke about the case -- cases of Vranica and
25 Bugojno, two very similar cases on two different sides. In the Vranica
1 case this was aired on TV, and in the Bugojno case the victims were
2 registered by the International Red Cross, and they had sent messages to
3 their families that they were alive, that they were healthy, and after
4 that these people were taken away and probably killed, because they have
5 been missing for 14 years now. There are some testimonies about their
6 killings and --
7 Q. What I'm saying is that there was a lot of pressure both on you
8 and Mr. Pusic.
9 A. In -- this was one of the cases of the many cases that for a
10 number of years --
11 JUDGE PRANDLER: May I ask Mr. Ibrisimovic and also you, Witness,
12 that you have to really make some pause and break between your questions
13 and answers. It was also asked by the president a few minutes ago, and it
14 is our constant problem, and not only ours but mainly the interpreters,
15 that especially when you are speaking your mother tongue, then of course
16 you are not going to take care of the speed of your talking, and please do
17 so, and be so kind to really helping the interpreters in this way. Thank
19 MR. IBRISIMOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you. We'll do our best to
20 make everybody's work easier.
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I'll try and follow the screen, the
22 display on the screen, and then wait until I see it appearing on the
23 screen and then give my answer.
24 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please, Counsel.
25 MR. IBRISIMOVIC: [Interpretation]
1 Q. I'm going to repeat a question, because I don't think the answer
2 was recorded. I asked you before Geneva and after Geneva, when you talked
3 to Mr. Pusic about Vranica, the number 16 was never mentioned. It was
4 always 12 or 13 for missing persons; is that right? You told me that that
5 was so; right?
6 A. Yes, that is correct. Mostly the figures mentioned were 13 people
7 from Vranica, that is before Geneva and after Geneva.
8 Q. If you look at your file then you'll find document 2 -- 6D 00749.
9 If you look at page 3, you'll see it's a letter from Mr. Pusic requesting
10 from the security services of Mostar to provide him with information with
11 respect to the fate of the persons missing, both Croats and Bosniaks, who
12 went missing during the conflict. And the date is the 3rd of August,
13 1995. So that's towards the end of the war.
14 A. I have two documents under that same number.
15 Q. It's a three-page document, and if you look at the third page.
16 A. There's a different date on the third page. It says the 28th of
17 July, 1995, and they're different documents in fact.
18 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, Counsel, please.
19 MR. IBRISIMOVIC: [Interpretation]
20 Q. The date here is the 28th of July, 1995, where Mr. Pusic is
21 writing to the SIS in Mostar, and the date, the 3rd of August, is the
22 reply to the request made by Mr. Pusic with respect to the missing
24 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, Counsel, please.
25 MR. IBRISIMOVIC: [Interpretation]
1 Q. The answer refers to Mr. Pusic's letter.
2 A. I'm afraid that something's missing here, that I'm missing the
3 first page of this document, because these three pieces of paper are quite
4 obviously not the total document in the file.
5 Q. Well, let's take it in chronological order. Let's look at the
6 first document dated the 28th of July, 1995. Let's look at that first.
7 A. Very well.
8 Q. It is a letter from Mr. Pusic to the Mostar security service;
10 A. That's right, yes.
11 Q. Now, when we have that, then we have a letter from the security
12 and information service of Mostar of the 3rd of August, which refers to
13 the letter sent by Mr. Pusic.
14 All I want to say is that Mr. Pusic raised this issue, the issue
15 of the missing soldiers, after the conflicts which were over in 1994. So
16 the question of the soldiers missing from Vranica, and Mr. Pusic wrote
17 about this, that was 10 or 11 years ago, of course, and he asked for more
19 A. It doesn't say explicitly here that they are searching for members
20 of the army from Vranica. That's the first point. Secondly, in my
21 opinion this document doesn't follow any logic. If Mr. Pusic, in July
22 1995, speaks about an exchange of the bodies of those who were killed,
23 then there's something amiss there, something that's not in order, because
24 in Washington we reached an agreement to release all the prisoners and to
25 hand over the bodies of those people who had been killed, and from
1 mid-1994 or thereabouts there were no more exchanges of dead bodies
2 between the BH army and the HVO, Croatian Defence Council. So I don't
3 know why in July 1995 he would be referring to exchanges, because at that
4 time the exchange of either living persons or dead persons just took place
5 between the BH army and the Serb side, and the Croatian Defence Council
6 and the Serb side. But there was no mutual exchange as far as I can
8 Q. Well, perhaps it wasn't put in the best way, but what I want to
9 say is that he did raise the issue, and he requested information about
10 missing persons, and at that time members from the -- the army members
11 from the Vranica building were considered missing.
12 A. Yes, you're right. They were considered missing until the 18th of
13 May or a little after the 18th of May when the first DNA results arrived.
14 Q. Thank you. Now let's go back to something you were talking about
15 yesterday. The Presiding Judge asked you a question. I know that in
16 August 1992 you became a member of the commission, and it was called the
17 State Commission for the Exchange of Prisoners of War at the time.
18 Now, would you have a look at 6D 00798, please. That's another
19 document in your file.
20 A. All I have is 00757. That's the last document in my binder.
21 Q. 6D 708. I'm sorry, I made a mistake. I meant to say 708. That's
22 the last number.
23 The president of the commission was the Deputy Justice Minister,
24 Mr. Bibic; is that right?
25 A. That's right, but there's a mistake in the translation. It says
1 Bibic. It should be Muhibic. That's the name.
2 Q. In Article 7 of this decision on the establishment of the
3 commission the mandate of the commission is set out, its terms of
4 reference. And you testified about that yesterday, did you not?
5 A. That's right. Yes, I did.
6 Q. Now take a look at the next document, P 3191. P 3191. Have you
7 found it?
8 A. Yes, I have.
9 Q. It is a decision dated the 5th of July, 1993, where Mr. Pusic is
10 being appointed the head of the service for the exchange of prisoners and
11 other persons, and under that we have the decision on the establishment of
12 the service, and in Article 2 its mandate, the is service's mandate. And
13 if you compare the mandate of the state commission from the BH government
14 decision and Article 2 of this decision, then that mandate is more or less
15 the same, is it not?
16 A. I think that the mandate of the state commission was a little
17 broader in scope. So the state commission for the exchange of prisoners
18 of war and persons deprived of liberty, records of those killed, wounded,
19 and missing. That's the additional mandate which is broader and is set
20 out in the title. It is a broader mandate than this decision that you're
21 pointing to. And the state commission in, its composition, had three
22 subcommissions. One was for the exchange of POWs. One was for records of
23 those missing, and a third one was for the records of those dead and
25 Q. Well, I just wanted to show you that the HVO had a similar
1 department or service dealing with these questions. Now, which had
2 broader authority doesn't matter. I just wanted to show that this service
3 existed and that it dealt with those matters. Is that right?
4 A. Yes, with the proviso that the state commission was established in
5 April, the month of April.
6 Q. This is a July 1992 decision. Perhaps it was established earlier
7 or taken earlier, but it was published in July 1992.
8 The state commission on the basis of this was formed in July 1992.
9 The decision was made public in the Official Gazette. It might have been
10 actually established earlier on, but the prime minister signed the
11 decision in 1992 and that's when it was made public. And you became a
12 member in August 1992, did you not?
13 A. Yes, that is right, but within the Ministry of Defence I think the
14 then minister of defence, which was Mr. Jerko Doko, already in April had
15 established a commission for exchanges, which was functioning in April.
16 And then at the level of the BH government a decision was taken in July to
17 establish a state commission with the full title that it had and that we
18 mentioned a moment ago.
19 Q. You told us yesterday that you met Mr. Pusic for the first time on
20 the 29th of December, 1993; is that right?
21 A. As far as I remember, I contacted another member, had contacts
22 with another member, or, rather, Mr. Pusic's deputy, and that was on the
23 9th of November, 1993, in Jablanica and Konjic where we reached an
24 agreement to release persons.
25 Q. You said that you had information that the exchange took place at
1 a local level and that it functioned fairly well, that there was no need
2 for you to intervene.
3 A. There were two reasons for which I did not intervene. One was
4 that the exchanges functioned to all intents and purposes not only at the
5 level of Herzegovina but Vitez, Travnik, Busovaca, Kiseljak. That is to
6 say -- and Zenica in Central Bosnia, that is, and the other reason, as I
7 said, was about the blockades, that Sarajevo was under siege three -- for
8 three and a half years, and after the conflict broke out between the BH
9 army and the Croatian Defence Council there was a blockade and siege of
10 Mostar as well.
11 Q. So you received reports from time to time, but there were no
12 problems, no major problems with respect to the exchanges between the HVO
13 and these local commissions?
14 A. Well, that's right. But I'd like to say that they were exchanges
15 of a lesser intensity and -- involving fewer people. So lower-level
16 exchanges. Mostly they were a number of wounded from both sides, members
17 of the two sides' armies, or the exchange of bodies of people who had been
18 killed in combat, and also in part POW exchanges.
19 Q. Now, in your statement you say -- in your statement I came across
20 a section where you said that Dziho Orucevic, Juso Jeli [as interpreted]
21 were involved in all that, Dziho, Zlatan Buljko, et cetera. People who
22 dealt with this, were involved in this during that period would be better
23 placed to talk about it, and those people who negotiated with Mr. Pusic
24 during that period of time.
25 A. Yes, with the exception of Mr. Zlatan Buljko. I don't think I
1 know him, judging by his first and last name. And even if he did attend
2 some of the negotiations that I attended, it might have been just once.
3 But as I say, the name does not sound familiar. And apart from the other
4 people you mentioned, I remember Mr. Ali Alikadic when it comes to
5 Herzegovina, and in the case of Central Bosnia I -- on the BH army side,
6 the negotiations were conducted by Samir Sefer from Travnik, and
7 Mrs. Bolic, Emira Bolic [phoen] from Zenica, as well as Mr. Causevic,
8 Spaho Causevic, the head of the district commission for the exchange of
9 POWs for Zenica.
10 Q. Well, I mentioned Mr. Buljko's name because he testified here, and
11 he said that he attended some negotiations with Mr. Pusic, but it doesn't
12 matter. We won't go into that if you say you don't know him.
13 Now, the relationship between the state commission and the other
14 commissions that existed on the ground, the army commissions, was there a
15 relationship of subordination? Was one -- were some superior, others
16 subordinate? Were they duty-bound to report back and, if so, to whom?
17 Can you tell us about that?
18 A. There were two periods in the development of the state commission,
19 two stages. After the formation of the district as a -- or districts as
20 administrative units in Bosnia-Herzegovina, and I'm not sure when that
21 was, the regional commissions were formed in Tuzla, Mostar, Bihac, and in
22 Zenica, too, and those regional commissions were responsible to the state
23 commission -- or, rather, to the president of the state commission, and
24 they had the duty when negotiating with the opposing side or sides that if
25 they reached an agreement for an exchange of some kind they would have to
1 request permission from the president of the state commission, who would
2 then approve it or not, but mostly he approved it. There were just
3 situations that were challenged when -- if they were -- if -- if they
4 concerned persons who were in prison under the government's control and
5 against whom legal proceedings had been initiated. So those persons were
6 not included in the exchange process before the Presidency as the head of
7 state made the decision to pardon them if they had been found guilty or
8 unless an amnesty was decided.
9 I think in March 1993, attached to the corps of the BH army
10 commissions were established to take care of the prisoners of war, and for
11 a time those acted autonomously, independently. And let me tell you that
12 we for a time had some disagreements with those commissions, because they
13 did not respect the requests of the state commission for exchanging
14 prisoners of war. Later on in the contacts we had, that is to say the
15 state commissions relationships and contacts with the Ministry of Defence
16 and with the General Staff of the BH army, an agreement was reached
17 whereby those commissions, too, were duty-bound to act pursuant to the
18 state commission's instructions for the exchange of prisoners of war.
19 Q. At that moment those military commission were not under the
20 umbrella of the government commission?
21 A. They were never formally part of the state commission. They were
22 part of the respective corps of the BiH army, and they were led by the
23 military personnel, and they were responsible to the corps commanders.
24 I'm talking about the commissions that took care of the POWs that were
25 established as of March 1993.
1 Q. But I believe these commissions had a mandate to somehow
2 participate in the exchanges.
3 A. Yes. They joined us. Their representatives would later on be
4 sent to the negotiations and they were present at all the negotiations
5 where I was and where negotiations were taking place.
6 Q. I found it in some reports that your counterpart in Central Bosnia
7 was Nikica Petrovic; is that correct? I'm talking about Vitez and
8 Srednja Bosna [as interpreted] and in Kiseljak it was Mr. Ivo Miro Jovic;
9 is that correct?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. Until recently he was a member of the Presidency of Bosnia and
12 Herzegovina; isn't that correct?
13 A. That's correct.
14 Q. Just for the transcript, the correct name is Ivo Miro Jovic. And
15 the area is Kiseljak. This has not been recorded.
16 Yesterday you testified under oath and you spoke about those
17 meetings and negotiations with Mr. Pusic. I assume, I was never a
18 negotiator in such a situation, when you come for negotiations you have a
19 programme you have a mandate you have a goal that you want to achieve; is
20 that correct?
21 A. That's correct.
22 Q. Every negotiator by the logic of things want -- wants to achieve a
23 maximum, to get as much as they can out of those negotiations?
24 A. That's correct.
25 Q. However, the negotiations were not only in the domain of
1 Mr. Masovic and Mr. Pusic. Things would sometimes be resolved at levels
2 higher than you. You had to follow somebody's instructions. Wouldn't
3 that be correct?
4 A. What do you mean when you say above us?
5 Q. Sometimes things would happen that you did not have any influence
6 on. You could not influence them, either you or Mr. Pusic, when it came
7 to your negotiations.
8 A. Please could you more precise? What exactly do you have in mind
9 when you ask me that?
10 Q. Let me try and do that. When it comes to negotiations, this would
11 be preceded by political negotiations at a high political level or a
12 military level. Mr. Masovic and Mr. Pusic were there to implement things
13 that had been agreed on prior to your negotiations. Wouldn't that be
14 correct? You mentioned the occasion when Mr. Silajdzic came to Konjic and
15 Jablanica. Mr. Komsic, a member of the Presidency, said it was a high --
16 a delegation at a very high level.
17 A. Let us say that there were two periods, the period leading up to
18 the Washington Agreement, i.e., the period leading up to the political
19 negotiations which would result in the Washington Agreement. During that
20 period of time, the commissions for exchanges worked in keeping with their
21 mandates without any political influences or interference. Once the
22 bilateral decision was reached on the matters between the army and the HVO
23 to be normalised, from then on all negotiations, including the
24 negotiations on POWs would take place at a political level, which was the
25 highest political level, which included the president of
1 Bosnia-Herzegovina, i.e., the head of the Presidency of Bosnia and
2 Herzegovina, Mr. Izetbegovic, the president of the Republic of Croatia,
3 Mr. Tudjman, and later on the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Silajdzic
4 and Granic respectively, and Mr. Pusic and myself were only duty bound
5 with the assistance of the International Committee of the Red Cross and
6 other international organisations that were involved in the program of
7 missing persons to carry out the political agreements and implement them.
8 Q. This is what I was saying. If the Washington Agreement was signed
9 and it was and we all know who signed it, neither Mr. Masovic nor
10 Mr. Pusic could have any say in the implementation of this agreement. It
11 would have been carried out with or without you. Isn't that correct?
12 A. One thing is certain. In order to implement the Washington
13 Sporzum with respect to the missing persons and prisoners of war, it would
14 have been carried out with or without -- without the two of us. The two
15 of us could have a say in the speed with which that agreement was carried
16 out, and we did have influence on that. When it comes to Mr. Pusic, I
17 must say that this influence was negative, unfortunately. In the
18 implementation of the agreement, some things were -- were taking a lot of
19 time, much too longer than necessary when this came to the liberation of
20 prisoners. This took place only two months after the signing of the
21 Washington Agreement. The last prisoners were released in the second half
22 of April, i.e., one number of prisoners were kept even after that. There
23 were even some new arrests even after the Washington Agreement was signed.
24 Some prisoners, i.e., some detainees, since there were no more fighting
25 between the HVO and the army of Bosnia and Herzegovina, some people were
1 arrested when they were trying to do some shopping in Kiseljak, and then
2 after the Washington Agreement, they were also subject of our
4 I must say that at one point in time, and that was on the 12th of
5 April or maybe the 13th of April, 1994, because of the problems of
6 missing, i.e., because of the problems of prisoners, the Washington
7 Agreement was at a stake at that time, namely Mr. Pusic refused to release
8 all prisoners as had been agreed as per Washington Agreement, and at that
9 moment the President of the Republic of Croatia, Mr. Tudjman, sent to
10 Medjugorje his representative for humanitarian issues, Mr. Slobodan Lang,
11 who had a mission to humour Mr. Pusic and make him agree to the final
12 release of all prisoners.
13 I witnessed of some very hard talks between Mr. Lang and
14 Mr. Pusic. At that point Mr. Lang was even speaking about a possible
15 removal from Mr. Pusic -- of Mr. Pusic from the position because of his
16 refusal to implement the agreement and release all the prisoners. At that
17 point, I proposed a compromise, which was later on translated into a
18 written agreement between the two of us, and finally that agreement was
20 Q. In any case that part of the Washington Agreement was implemented?
21 A. Yes, with minor delays, but if you look at that situation from the
22 perspective of a person who had spent months in camps and in prison, then
23 the delay would be rather long.
24 In Heliodrom, for example, in the Heliodrom camp, the detainees
25 put up a strike about the time when Mr. Lang arrived. I know that
1 Mr. Lang visited the prisoners. They were on a hunger strike, and he
2 tried to persuade them to call off the hunger strike, because some sort of
3 agreement on their release would eventually be achieved. He even said
4 that if the detainees continued with their hunger strike that the HVO had
5 a possibility to start force-feeding them in keeping with the provisions
6 on, I think, the Tokyo declaration. I believe that the Tokyo declaration
7 came into play, and according to that declaration from the moment when the
8 detainees could no longer think rationally and when their health is at
9 stake those who kept them detained had every right to start force-feeding
10 them by giving them infusions and this could be done against their own
12 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone for the counsel, please. Microphone
13 for the counsel.
14 MR. IBRISIMOVIC: [Interpretation]
15 Q. Mr. Lang did come to Mostar but not because of Mr. Pusic, but
16 because Mr. Tudjman was one of the signatories of the agreement together
17 with Mr. Izetbegovic, Mr. Silajdzic, and Mr. Granic. And I'm putting it
18 to you that Mr. Tudjman probably had never heard of Mr. Pusic, but let's
19 leave that aside for the time being.
20 Can we now look at another document, which is P 7851.
21 This is a report by Mr. Pusic. Did you find it, Mr. Masovic?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. Your name is mentioned in here. This is a report on a meeting
24 that took place on the 12th of January, 1994, and you can see a short
25 report about the negotiations, and it says that within the shortest
1 possible time all the prisoners should be released according to the
2 all-for-all principle.
3 A. Before I give you an answer, it says here 12th of January, and you
4 said 12th February, which is correct. 12th February is correct. The
5 document bears a very strange date, as if it had been drafted on the 12th
6 of January, 1994, a month prior to the negotiations. I suppose this is a
7 typo in the document. I can confirm that the meeting took place on the
8 12th of February, 1994, and the participants were Mr. Pusic and myself,
9 and this took place on the premises of the Spanish Battalion in
10 Medjugorje. And I can also confirm that what it says here in the report
11 reflects the totality of the essence of what we had agreed, with the
12 exception of the last paragraph in which Mr. Pusic, in his report, says
13 that we would meet again in Jablanica on the 17th of February, 1994, where
14 we were to continue negotiations with respect to Bugojno and other
15 detention facilities.
16 I can only assume why Mr. Pusic added that last paragraph. I
17 suppose this had to do with the possible pressure on the part of the
18 Croatian families in Bugojno because of the answer to the destiny of the
19 21 prisoners who had been arrested in Bugojno. In other words, the last
20 paragraph was never discussed on the 12th of February, and this is not
21 what we agreed, and this is not what is indicated in the official
22 statement that was signed by myself and Mr. Pusic after the meeting and
23 sent as a statement for the media.
24 Q. Can we then look at this public statement, which is 6D 00499.
25 A. What did you say?
1 Q. 6D 00499.
2 A. I can confirm that this is the draft. The handwriting is mine.
3 This is the public statement which I drafted. And if you read --
4 Q. So you have agreed?
5 A. You will see that there's no mention of Bugojno as part of our
6 agreement, just as I have explained answering your previous question.
7 As for the rest, the report of Mr. Pusic about the negotiations
8 corresponds to my statement.
9 Q. Let's just make a distinction. Mr. Pusic's report is what he
10 drafted, and this here is your joint statement, and here we also have an
11 indication that in the shortest possible time -- possible time everybody
12 will be released -- released according to the all-for-all principle.
13 A. Yes. The first paragraphs in Mr. Pusic's report are the
14 reflection of what had been agreed. The thing that is not correct and
15 does not reflect what we had agreed is that we agreed to meet on the 17th
16 of February to discuss the issue of Bugojno and other prisons, and that's
17 why I have not included that into my statement for the media.
18 Q. Can we look at the following document which is P 7861. This is an
19 UNPROFOR report, the civilian affairs of the UNPROFOR report.
20 A. I have it.
21 Q. It is page 5 in the translation. You can look at page 6. And the
22 title is "Negotiations about the release of prisoners of war." It will be
23 the penultimate page in the B/C/S translation.
24 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Whilst he's looking,
25 Mr. Ibrisimovic, you've already used up one hour and five minutes. So you
1 are five minutes past your time. Are there other Defence teams that gave
2 away some of their time to you?
3 MR. IBRISIMOVIC: [Interpretation] I think Mr. Petkovic's Defence
4 has ceded its time to me, but I will complete my examination within half
5 an hour.
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I have the document before me. My
7 name -- or, rather, my surname has been written wrongly on the document,
8 but quite obviously it does refer to the meeting that we talked about on
9 the 12th of February, 1994.
10 MR. IBRISIMOVIC: [Interpretation]
11 Q. And you agreed for an all-for-all exchange and that the ICRC would
12 be involved.
13 A. That's right.
14 Q. Now take a look at the next document. P 8093 is the number. It
15 is the report by the monitoring mission of the European Community, and you
16 can take a look at page 4. And the title of the section is "Humanitarian
17 issues." The document is dated the 19th of March, 1994.
18 A. That's right.
19 Q. Your name is mentioned as well as Mr. Pusic's name, and the
20 observers or monitors note that everything is going well, that what was
21 agreed is being implemented; right?
22 A. We have here, if I can put it, a jump. What Mr. Pusic and I
23 agreed on the 12th of February, 1994, in Medjugorje was in part
24 implemented on the 1st of March, 2004. So on that day, the BH army
25 released 61 members of the Croatian Defence Council, and the Croatian
1 Defence Council, for its part, released 121 prisoners from Heliodrom. And
2 I think that mostly they were Bosniaks from the village of Sovici. I
3 think it belongs to Jablanica municipality, that village. So that was how
4 the agreement was put into effect, the agreement of the 12th of February,
6 Now, what is mentioned in this document here, which I have before
7 me, is in fact the implementation of another agreement between Mr. Pusic
8 and myself, which was reached in Gornji Vakuf in 19 -- on the 17th of
9 March, 2004. And pursuant to that agreement, we took it upon ourselves to
10 release a certain number of prisoners from both sides. And the agreement,
11 to the best of my recollections, was implemented fully.
12 Q. That's the agreement you discussed with my learned friend
13 yesterday. That's why I didn't mention it. But it was P 08084, the 17th
14 of March agreement, just for the record.
15 A. Yes. According to that agreement, the HVO freed about 19 -- well,
16 around the 19th and 20th or 22nd of March about 750 prisoners from
17 Heliodrom and the military remand prison at Ljubuski. The BH army freed
18 that group of 73 members of the HVO and HV from Mostar, and it also freed
19 294 members of the Croatian Defence Council from Bugojno. And on the 22nd
20 of March, it freed six members of the Croatian Defence Council from
21 Gornji Vakuf.
22 Q. You just mentioned this group of 121 persons who were released
23 pursuant to this agreement. Now, would you look at document P 7985 now,
24 please. Have you found the document?
25 A. Yes, I have.
1 Q. Do you see here that the military prosecutor's office of Mostar is
2 writing to the service for the exchange of captured and other persons,
3 that is to say to Mr. Pusic, the military prosecutor Mladen Jurisic. I
4 believe you know Mr. Jurisic, do you not? He was the president of the
5 court in Mostar.
6 A. Yes, yes. I know Mr. Jurisic.
7 Q. He says, and he's referring to Mr. Pusic's letter, that the
8 military prosecutor's office approves the agreed-upon exchange of
10 A. I have two comments to make regarding this document. The first is
11 this: Allegedly these people were suspects. They were suspected of
12 having belonged to the enemy army. And so this -- they were suspect
13 pursuant to Article 119, para 1.
14 Q. I know what you want to say, but let me stop you. My question was
15 different. This is the procedure that Mr. Pusic had to respect, that is
16 to say the -- when the military prosecutor gives a green light for people
17 to be exchanged he would have to act upon it, regardless of whether legal
18 proceedings are were being conducted or not. That was my question. So is
19 that what follows from this document? Is that what this document shows?
20 A. The military prosecutor, Mr. Jurisic, did not have the legal
21 authority, authority under the law, to release for and send for exchange
22 any individual who was being militarily -- who was being legally
23 prosecuted. There was no law to state he could, either in the laws of
24 Bosnia-Herzegovina or in the laws enacted by the then-Croatian Republic of
25 Herceg-Bosna. Nowhere does it say -- is there a provision whereby a
1 military prosecutor can pardon or amnesty somebody against whom legal
2 proceedings have been taken. He could not prosecute them and place the
3 prisoners at the disposal of Mr. Pusic or the service for exchange.
4 Q. Let us leave that to others whether regulations existed or not,
5 provisions and laws existed or not, but Mr. Pusic had to respect what the
6 military prosecutor told him to do. That was the procedure, was it not?
7 A. I really can't agree with you on that point. Mr. Pusic did not
8 have to seek this approval. He should have sought approval from the organ
9 in charge of pardoning these prisoners, abolishing their sentence, and
10 then to free them through the exchange process, not to release them for an
11 exchange process, whereas, as it says here, the military prosecutor's
12 office is legally prosecuting them. So that would mean that you're going
13 to be released, but the lawsuit against you is still in force.
14 You won't find anything like that in any of the laws of
16 Q. That was the position of the military prosecutor's office, but
17 Mr. Pusic couldn't influence that in any way. But anyway, we're talking
18 about not the exchange of 121 persons. That was implemented fully as you
19 had agreed; right?
20 A. That's right.
21 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. It's quarter to
22 4.00. Let's break for 20 minutes.
23 --- Recess taken at 3.45 p.m.
24 --- On resuming at 4.06 p.m.
25 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Ibrisimovic, according to
1 our calculations, you have 11 minutes remaining.
2 MR. IBRISIMOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President.
3 Q. I'd like Mr. Masovic now to take a look at just a couple of more
4 documents. One of them is 6D 00580.
5 Have you found the document?
6 A. Yes, I have.
7 Q. It is a document coming from the cabinet of the offices of the
8 President of the Presidency of the Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina to
9 Selim Novalic personally. You know him, do you?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. It says here the president considers that the exchange should take
12 place on the principle of one for one, that is say that the same number of
13 Bosnian prisoners as members of the HVO should be released. And now we
14 have here that the BH army or, rather, the government and the Presidency
15 are insisting on the principle of one or one and not all for all.
16 A. On this document I cannot confirm the authenticity of it. It's
17 not logical, as far as I can see, in the sense that they are jumping over
18 me as the head of the commission, and somebody subordinate to me is
19 discussing this directly with the cabinet and the Presidency. And in any
20 case, this isn't Mr. Izetbegovic's signature. I don't see on the document
21 any number, protocol number, reference number, anything like that.
22 However -- well, this is the first time that I see this document.
23 Q. It wasn't the president who signed it. It says the cabinet of the
24 president. I think that this is the signature of Alija Selimovic, Chef de
25 Cabinet, but we obtained this document from the Prosecution. So the
1 authenticity of the document cannot be challenged.
2 A. Well, I'm not going to go into that. I'm not authorised to do so,
3 to test the authenticity of the document or whatever. All I can notice is
4 that there's no protocol number and that it is not Mr. Izetbegovic's
5 signature there, because I know his signature, because during the war and
6 after the war, through the various documents on pardons signed by him I
7 was able to see his signature and recognise the documents. But if it is
8 indeed an authentic document and if it is an offer for the exchange of 227
9 HVO members for 39 members of the BH army and a 10-member Tuzla
10 delegation, then what I can tell you is that this exchange was implemented
11 in a quite a different way.
12 Q. Yes, I believe you but what I'm saying is that's what the
13 principle was at that point in time and if you look on the left-hand side
14 you can see that this was sent by Paket link, Paket communication. If you
15 can recognise that on the original document at 1525 hours on the 26th of
16 September, 1993. That's when it was sent.
17 A. Well, I state that that wasn't the principle at any time, that
18 time or any other time, and this was borne out by practice later on
19 including what happened in this specific case. And in this specific case
20 what happened was the following: The Croatian Defence Council freed 500
21 prisoners from Gabela camp. It also released 39 members of the BH army
22 from Konjic, and it freed not a ten-member but a nine-member Tuzla
23 delegation, that is to say, a delegation of civilians travelling to Split
24 on a humanitarian aid mission. And in that delegation there was the
25 mufti, Husein Efendi Kavazovic that I referred to yesterday, and in
1 addition to him in the delegation there was also Mr. Alija Muminovic,
2 later on the ambassador of Bosnia-Herzegovina to Jordan.
3 And on our side, the BH army side on this occasion, it wasn't 227
4 members of the Croatian Defence Council who were released but 309 HVO
5 members were released from the prison in Konjic. And on the side of the
6 HVO at the same time, a Frenchman was freed. I am not sure what his
7 status was, whether he was a journalist or a humanitarian aid worker or
8 something else, but I do know that he was incorporated in this exchange
9 agreement and that on our side we asked that that man be freed too.
10 Q. We can look at the next document, 6D 00762. 6D 00762. It is a
11 document of the Supreme Command Staff of the armed forces, dated the 25th
12 of August, 1993. And the commander -- for the commander Stjepan Siber,
13 and he says in point 1 exchange prisoners of war in the following manner
14 and procedure, namely exchange one for one. 150 for 150 persons. Oh, in
15 the ratio of 1:1. And the Tuzla delegation is mentioned there as well.
16 A. That's right.
17 Q. Here, too, we see that at that point in time the leaders of the
18 army advocated the one-for-one principle.
19 A. This document -- or, rather, the second document shows that this
20 is the same exchange. The Tuzla delegation that was never carried out.
21 Q. You've already spoken about that. I just wanted to point to
22 bullet point 1, and you have explained that.
23 Yesterday you were shown the alleged interview with Mr. Pusic in
24 "Slobodna Dalmacija". Just for the record, this is P 90 -- P 949. I
25 have my reservations about any sort of interview and Mr. Pusic told me
1 that he does not remember either the journalist or the interview, and I
2 know that you have had some negative experiences with the press. A lot
3 has been written about you as well. And some wrong information was
4 published that did not reflect your position. Am I right?
5 A. If you give me some examples, I can --
6 Q. Somebody called Mitrovic said that -- or wrote that you know what
7 happened at Ozren, and a pamphlet was also published in which your name
8 was mentioned, and I also read some of your statements here at the
9 Tribunal for which, I believe, they are distorted. What I'm saying is
10 that sometimes the press does not really carry the opinion that people
12 A. I'm not sure what you're talking about. These were not my
13 statements. Those were the statements by other people. As far as I know,
14 I don't have that kind of experience. At least I can't remember any at
15 this moment. I cannot remember anybody distorting my information in the
16 media. Maybe some statements were curtailed because the media never give
17 you enough space. I have so much to say and I'm never given enough space.
18 But I don't remember anybody misinterpreting a statement of mine. I
19 really do not have any influence on what other people say about me.
20 Q. I read you. Of course you mentioned in your statement that
21 Mr. Ivica Zelic that you knew about the whereabouts of the victims or
22 remains that went missing from Ozren; is that correct?
23 A. Yes, that's correct.
24 Q. But you refuted that?
25 A. I don't know if I did or not but I suppose I did.
1 Q. I talked with Mr. Pusic about Vranica not only about Vranica but
2 also about Bugojno, and Mr. Pusic told me that the same person,
3 Ivica Zelic, i.e., some other people, said that you knew what happened to
4 the people in Bugojno and Mr. Pusic said that this was speculation because
5 you certainly don't know what happened to these people. And this is a
6 pure speculation, and you know nothing about that, and that if you did
7 know then that information would be available to everybody.
8 A. As a matter of fact, I have known for quite a while what happened
9 to these people. After having been taken out from the prison, those
10 people were obviously liquidated. If they hadn't, I'm sure that one of
11 them at least would rejoin their families within the 14 years. What I
12 know [as interpreted] until this very moment is where their mortal remains
13 were buried, and this is one part of my mandate within the federal
14 commission for missing persons and within the institute for missing
15 persons. I also don't know the whereabouts of the 13.000 other people
16 that went missing during the aggression against Bosnia-Herzegovina.
17 Q. This is exactly what I meant when I said that Mr. Pusic said that
18 this is speculation that you know where these people who have probably
19 been killed?
20 MR. STRINGER: Excuse me, counsel, and witness, I just want to
21 make sure the transcript is correct, or correctly reflects the witness's
22 answer in respect of his knowledge of the Bugojno group because what we're
23 seeing in English at line 9 is what he says is "what I know" -- "what I
24 know, until this very moment is where their mortal remains were buried,"
25 and I -- it was my understanding based on the witness's testimony
1 yesterday that perhaps he means to say something else, but I just want to
2 make sure the record clearly reflects his knowledge on that point.
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, no. That's not what I said. I
4 said that I am aware of their destiny, and I also said that what I don't
5 know is where they were buried. That's what I don't know. Although, this
6 is part of my mandate to learn, amongst other things, where their mortal
7 remains, the mortal remains of the 21 prisoners were buried. We can say
8 with a high degree of certainty that they were killed. If they hadn't
9 been killed, they would turn up.
10 MR. IBRISIMOVIC: [Interpretation]
11 Q. This is something that I wanted to hear from you. Mr. Pusic told
12 me that it would be a spear speculation to tell -- to say that you know
13 where these people are buried. And somebody else said that, and said that
14 to him, and he claims that this is simply not the truth. You don't know,
15 do you?
16 A. If I knew where they were buried, you would not have to ask me
17 that, because as soon as I learnt I would have undertaken the steps that
18 are within my purview. I would have undertaken exhumation through the
19 prosecutor's office.
20 Q. What I'm saying is that you don't know, that this is pure
22 A. This is exactly what I'm saying in confirmation.
23 Q. Thank you very much. I also believe that stories like that are
24 pure speculation. You don't know, and I have no further questions, and I
25 would like to thank you for your patience.
1 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Next counsel, please. For 30
2 minutes. You have 30 minutes.
3 MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation] Good afternoon, Your Honours, and
4 good afternoon to everybody in the courtroom.
5 Cross-examination by Ms. Nozica:
6 Q. [Interpretation] Good afternoon, Mr. Masovic.
7 MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation] Before I begin my cross-examination I
8 would like to inform the Trial Chamber that I have one hour at my
9 disposal, 30 minutes that we have anyway, and 30 minutes that we were
10 given by the Prlic Defence. And I'll try and complete my
11 cross-examination even before the time allocated to me.
12 Q. Mr. Masovic, in your testimony you have spoken about the position
13 of the government in Sarajevo and that was said yesterday that people can
14 be exchanged only if they are considered prisoners of war or civilians
15 against whom legal proceedings were conducted for crimes in relation to
16 the armed conflict; is that correct?
17 A. That is correct, but I would like to -- that against whom
18 proceedings are conducted or are still underway, because the exchange also
19 comprised those for whom the conviction had not been passed.
20 Q. I'll try and make the appropriate breaks before I'm warned to help
21 the interpreters and to have everything recorded.
22 So according to you the policies of the government in Sarajevo was
23 not to evacuate the civilians from the territory under the control of the
24 HVO. The evacuation of Bosnian civilians, that is, from the territory
25 under the control of the HVO, or the evacuation of Croats to other
1 territories from the territories where they were residing at that moment.
2 A. That's correct. The policy in place was not to evacuate the
3 civilians. Yesterday I started talking about that, but I did not complete
4 my testimony. I said that the High Commissioner for Refugees at certain
5 moments put a lot of pressure on the government in Sarajevo to allow the
6 evacuation of certain groups of civilians which in the view of the UNHCR
7 were under particular threat. I personally spoke to some members of the
8 Presidency about that problem because a moral dilemma arose with that
9 respect whether to include such civilians into some sort of exchanges that
10 the Serb side insisted on and later on Mr. Pusic joined them. If we are
11 done that, we would have gotten involved in the process of ethnic
12 cleansing that the government in Sarajevo was against throughout all this
13 time. I'm talking about the policies, but I may be able to anticipate
14 your next question, and I can tell you that it did happen that the
15 government or the local authorities did get involved in this type of
16 evacuation of civilians, but mostly those civilians that were threatened,
17 whose life or health were endangered in some centres or whatever you want
18 to call them.
19 Q. Mr. Masovic, I have only one hour, and sometimes I will have to
20 stop your answers, because I just don't have the time for any longer
21 elaborations. I remember you having said that yesterday, and that
22 information is very precious to us when you say that they participated in
23 UNHCR, that is.
24 Yesterday you spoke about the exchange in November that you
25 assisted in Konjic during which 550 Bosniaks were exchanged and the Tuzla
1 mufti Kavazovic was in that group. That was in November, in early
2 November 1993 or thereabouts; would you agree?
3 A. The exchange took place on the 19th of October, 1993. Five
4 hundred prisoners from Gabela --
5 Q. You've already told us that. No need to go over that again.
6 Do you know, tell us, where had that group been? I'm talking
7 about the group of civilians, Bosniaks. Where had they been kept
9 A. They had been detained in a house. I was in that location on that
10 day, on the 19th of October, together with Mr. Silajdzic. The name of the
11 place was either Turija or Zabrdje. Those were two places where prisoners
12 were kept. There was a house there where they were kept, and on that day
13 I even talked to some of them, because a number of them had been taken
14 from the prison and handed over to the Serb side. One of them actually
15 never reappeared alive.
16 Q. Now you have provided me with the information that I was
17 interested in, and that is that on the 19th of October, on that visit
18 Mr. Silajdzic was with you.
19 A. In addition to Mr. Silajdzic, there was also Mr. Komsic,
20 Father Andjelovic and in the prison, i.e., at the place of the exchange,
21 there was Mr. Silajdzic, myself, Mr. Silajdzic's bodyguard and Mr. Selim
23 Q. Sir, do you know that when we're talking about this exchange
24 Mr. Silajdzic had proposed to the HVO unit in Turija to evacuate from the
25 area the HVO and Croatian civilians in exchange of money?
1 A. I don't know anything about anything like that.
2 Q. Can you please look in my binder, the first document in my binder,
3 and the number is P 06555. I apologise, I thought that everybody had the
4 documents already.
5 The document is P 06555. It's the first in the binder. Tell me
6 when you've got it?
7 A. Yes, I do.
8 Q. Now can now look at it together look at the signatory of this
9 document. That's Mladen Zovko, also known as Kuhar. Did you ever have
10 contact with him?
11 A. Yes, I did. This is the man who was our counterpart in Konjic
12 with whom we discussed the exchange that was implemented on the 19th.
13 Q. In the first sentence of this document by the Herceg Stjepan
14 Turija Independent Battalion it says that during talks with Haris
15 Silajdzic for whom you confirmed that he was in Turija on that day, that
16 there was -- there were talks with him regarding the exchange of prisoners
17 of war. In addition to the Independent Battalion, the meeting was
18 attended by Jerko Petrovic, and in addition to Silajdzic on the Muslim
19 side there was also Salko Music, the commander of the 6th Corps, and a
20 member of the Supreme Commander Bosiocic, also known as Zagi.
21 The second paragraph is very significant.
22 "In addition to the talks about the exchange, the aforementioned
23 individuals offered us to surrender our positions to them and in exchange
24 they would enable the evacuation of soldiers and civilians from our free
25 territories across their territory."
1 It says further on: "During the talks Haris Silajdzic undertook
2 to personally provide guarantees regarding possible -- a possible
4 The document continues by saying that on the 3rd of November,
5 1993, the signatory of this document, Mr. Mladen Zovko had a conversation
6 with Fahrudin Fazlic, also known as Braco, who informed him that he had
7 been authorised by Silajdzic to continue negotiations and he goes on to
8 say, "On that occasion he offered to buy from us 70 per cent of small
9 arms, all the heavy weapons and food that has remained and they were
10 prepared to pay for that 500.000 German marks."
11 The document goes on to say and I would like to emphasise a detail
12 in this document that: "On the 5th of November I met with Fazlic again
13 and on that occasion I was informed that as a guarantee we should be
14 escorted by the commander of the 6th Corps and Haris Silajdzic."
15 This letter was sent by this commander to Mostar to Mr. Stojic,
16 Mr. Petkovic, Lucic, and asks them what to do with regard to the offer
17 that he has received. Do you know anything about that? It transpires
18 clearly from this document that in exchange for the evacuation of the HVO
19 and civilians from the territory money has been offered and that the
20 political leadership of Bosnia and Herzegovina is involved in that. Are
21 you familiar with this development? Do you know anything about this?
22 A. No, absolutely not. As you can see, my name is not mentioned
23 here. I was not present in any such thing. I was with Mr. Silajdzic
24 throughout the exchange. I told you that we were together in Konjic on
25 the premises of the 6th Corps. Mr. Zovko came there as well. Later on I
1 was in the same APC with Mr. Silajdzic as we went for the exchange, and we
2 returned together to Sarajevo. I -- I don't know whether I'm authorised
3 to comment upon a document of this kind that I don't know anything about
4 that. Even if there had been such a conversation, I did not attend it.
5 But it doesn't make sense. The HVO was in a more powerful position, and
6 the BiH army was not in a position to offer them anything in this case.
7 Q. Sir, do you know what was the position of that part of the HVO in
8 Turija? Do you know what was their position at that time, and do you know
9 why the Tuzla delegation had been captured in the first place? Do you
10 know that they were encircled at the time, that on the one hand they had
11 been expelled from Konjic, that the BH army was on one side, and on the
12 other side there was the Serb army, and that in that so-called Konjic
13 pocket that has been discussed on so many occasions in this -- in this
14 courtroom that they were encircled and that out of sheer desperation that
15 they had captured the delegation in order to draw some attention to
16 themselves? Are you aware of that?
17 A. No, I'm not aware of that. I know that there was certain
18 co-operation and I've already spoken about that. I started talking about
19 that because the captives that the HVO had captured who were members of
20 the BiH army had been handed over to the Serb side for investigation and
22 Q. Very well, then.
23 A. And one of them was killed. His name was Rasim Makan.
24 Q. And a large number of HVO members were also killed in that area,
25 too, but I was just asking you about this document. You said you don't
1 know anything about it, that you can't comment on it, and that you weren't
3 Now, my colleague asked you about the relationship of the
4 political leaders towards the exchanges, and he showed you a moment ago
5 two documents, and for the transcript they were 6D 00580, and 6D 00762.
6 Now, from these two documents we saw the position of the
7 Presidency, or cabinet, President's cabinet, the president of the BH
8 republic, of course, and the top army leaders including Mr. Siber. Linked
9 to this exchange they suggest an exchange on the one-to-one principle.
10 I know, Mr. Masovic, that you said that that exchange did not take
11 place in that way but I'm going to show you a document now and the number
12 of that document is 2D 00590 and it is the last document in my binder but
13 unfortunately actually it's not in my binder. It's an additional document
14 attached to the binder. We have on it e-court luckily. Just tell me when
15 you've found it, please.
16 A. I have found it.
17 Q. We can see here this is a document from the Republic of
18 Bosnia-Herzegovina, Konjic municipality. It is a decision dated the 1st
19 of October, 1993, and I'm just going to remind you that in the document
20 that was shown to you by my colleague Mr. Ibrisimovic a moment ago, and it
21 is the letter from the cabinet of the president, it says that the letter
22 was sent by Paket communication to Konjic and here it says the
23 War Presidency of Konjic municipality at a meeting held on the 1st of
24 October, 1993, is issuing the following decision, and it is signed by
25 Mr. Cibo. Does the name ring a bell? Is it familiar? Mr. Safet Cibo.
1 A. Yes. I know that Mr. Cibo was for a time the president of the
2 wartime Presidency of Konjic municipality, Jablanica, too, and I think
3 Prozor. Three municipalities, I think.
4 Q. All right. Fine. It was a conjoining of municipalities just for
5 wartime conditions outside constitutional principles, and he was the
6 president of those three municipalities; right? Can we put it that way?
7 A. Well, I don't know the reasons why these municipalities were
8 joined up and why he was appointed.
9 Q. All right. But pursuant to the constitution, you and I are both
10 lawyers and we know that, that according to the BH constitution they --
11 there was no community of municipalities. It's just that Mr. Cibo was
12 given authority to be the president of those three municipalities at that
14 A. Pursuant to the constitution of Bosnia-Herzegovina, Mr. Cibo
15 wasn't elected as president of the wartime presidency at all, just as no
16 president of the wartime presidency under war conditions was elected
17 pursuant to the constitution, because given the war circumstances, it was
18 necessary to replace the presidents of municipalities who might have fled
19 the country or crossed over to the other side.
20 Q. Mr. Masovic, under the constitution of the Republic of
21 Bosnia-Herzegovina, the municipalities of Konjic, Jablanica, and Prozor
22 did not represent any community of municipalities, did they? Just say if
23 you know, if you don't know.
24 A. Well, I'm not sure that municipalities are referred to in the
25 constitution, that they are a subject matter that the constitution refers
1 to directly.
2 Q. All right. Let's move on. This was signed by Mr. Cibo, and this
3 is -- refers to the exchange that we discussed a moment ago, which means
4 the October exchange, and you say on the 19th of October, now take a look
5 once again towards bottom Mr. Cibo is making a proposal that the exchange
6 should take place one for one or in the ratio of one to one and this
7 document was sent to the state commission and a letter seems to have been
8 sent to Mr. Silajdzic as well. For the transcript I have to say that we
9 don't have that letter now. Do you remember receiving this document from
10 Mr. Cibo, the state commission? It was sent to the BH state commission
11 for exchange.
12 A. I assume that's right. If it was said that it was sent to the
13 state commission, then it probably was sent to Sarajevo too. That's what
14 I assume.
15 Q. Can we conclude then, Mr. Masovic, that it was the decision taken
16 by the top political -- at the top political level down to the
17 municipalities was that the exchange should be in the one-to-one ratio,
18 although you say that that's not what happened. Is that what we can
20 A. I was the person who was authorised to negotiate the exchange.
21 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, counsel, please. Microphone for
23 MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation]
24 Q. I highly respect your broad answers and your eloquence. The
25 Prosecutor's going to help me with the microphone. I don't know what's
1 happening to the microphone today it seems to be switching itself off on
2 its own. Now from the two documents you were shown by my colleague
3 Mr. Ibrisimovic and one that I've just shown you, one that you probably
4 received as you yourself say, that quite obviously at that time the top
5 leaders in the army and the political leadership of Bosnia-Herzegovina
6 with respect to this exchange had the following position: That the
7 exchange should take place in a one-to-one ratio and that later on you did
8 not do that but the exchange took place as you explained it. That's all
9 I'm asking you?
10 A. I don't know who you consider being the political, army, and
11 municipal leadership, because I consider --
12 Q. Now, in this courtroom, as in any other courtroom for that matter,
13 it is customary for me to ask questions, and I am saying that I consider
14 the cabinet of the president of the presidency to be that and that it is
15 Mr. Siber who was a member of the Supreme Command of the BH army, and I
16 also consider that Mr. Cibo, the president of the three -- or, rather, the
17 wartime presidency of the three municipalities, the political and army
18 leadership when it comes to this exchange. Do we agree on that?
19 A. No, we don't. No, we don't.
20 Q. All right. Let's leave that, Mr. Masovic, then. Quite obviously
21 from the -- the documents speak for themselves and the Trial Chamber will
22 be able to judge often the basis of the documents but you also said that
23 the BH army arrested civilians who did not belong to the category of POWs
24 and persons against whom criminal proceedings had been initiated but it
25 was only individual incidents. Am I right? Did I understand you
2 A. Yes that's right.
3 Q. Now, do we agree that an incident would be the following: For
4 example, the arrest of a small number of civilians which were not among
5 these other categories, didn't belong to any one of these other
7 A. What do you mean by a lesser number of civilians, a small number
8 of civilians?
9 Q. Well, you tell me what you think an incident means. If a hundred
10 people are arrested, a hundred civilians, outside these categories, or if
11 ten civilians were captured outside these categories.
12 A. Well, I don't know that there were mass arrests which would
13 incorporate dozens or hundreds of civilians. There were individual cases.
14 One civilian, two civilians were deprived of their liberty outside legal
15 provisions. That's the thing I do know about.
16 Q. All right. Now, do you know that the BH army arrested women and
17 children, for example? In large numbers. Let's say more than ten.
18 A. No. I have no knowledge about that, except if they happened to
19 have been women who were legally being prosecuted for some reason.
20 Q. All right. Now, how many women in the court of Bosnia-Herzegovina
21 in Sarajevo, in the cantonal court in Sarajevo, if you can remember, were
22 exchanged? How many women were exchanged? I worked there, and I took
23 part in that process. So how many women -- a total of how many women in
24 Sarajevo were legally prosecuted for crimes linked to the war events? Can
25 you remember how many women?
1 A. Well, I can't know about that, because I just dealt with one part
2 of the persons who were captured, those who went for an exchange. Of
3 course there were a larger number of persons who had been arrested who had
4 nothing to do with the exchange process. So I can talk about that,
5 although I don't know the figures, how many people were involved in the
6 exchange process, who had been previously arrested and deprived of their
8 Q. Mr. Masovic, I'm interested in women and children now. Do you
9 know that the BH army arrested civilians precisely to have them exchanged,
10 and they weren't within one of those two categories that we were talking
12 A. No.
13 Q. Do you know that the BH army, on the 27th and 28th of July, 1993,
14 attacked the village of Doljani near Jablanica, and on that occasion they
15 killed and massacred at least 43 Croats, amongst them civilians, women,
16 children, and members of the HVO?
17 A. No, I don't know about that.
18 Q. You never heard of that happening?
19 A. No, because it wasn't within my remit, within my mandate. Let me
20 repeat again. I don't know the purpose of you enumerating crimes which
21 probably took place but which do not come under my terms of reference. So
22 I can't talk about things that didn't have to do with the exchange of
23 prisoners or killed persons.
24 Q. Mr. Masovic, I'm talking about the exchange of dead bodies, too,
25 and you took part in that. And the purpose, I'll tell you what the
1 purpose is. In the examination-in-chief, you claimed -- this isn't tu
2 quoque, this is just an illustration that I want to show that what you
3 said during the examination in chief as to how the BH army behaved was not
4 quite true, and I'm going to show you that on the basis of documents.
5 Now, when we come to Doljani and mentioning Doljani, take a look
6 at the following document 2D 004 -- no, 588 is the document I'd like you
7 to look at. It is the fourth document in my binder, one signed by a
8 Mr. Rasim Delic. So once you've found it, please tell me. Take a look at
9 it and tell me. And it's also on e-court.
10 A. I have found it.
11 Q. You say you know nothing about that, but never mind. I'm going to
12 tell you that this is a letter written by Mr. Delic, the 6th Corps
13 commander, who says that the President of the Presidency,
14 Alija Izetbegovic, received a letter from Tadeusz Mazowiecki, Special
15 Rapporteur from the former Yugoslavia, claiming that in Prozor there was a
16 massacre of at least 35 Bosnian Croats and that between the 27th and 29th
17 of July, 1993, in the village of Doljani, near Jablanica, 22 Bosnian
18 Croats were massacred.
19 Now, here the commander of the armed forces of the BH army, the
20 top military commander, two or three months after this massacre in Doljani
21 is requesting from the 6th Corps command to inform him what happened,
22 because that is something that Tadeusz Mazowiecki wants to know.
23 Can you remember now, in view of the fact that the Presidency was
24 informed of this and you had frequent contacts, can you remember having
25 any knowledge whatsoever about this? And I'm referring to Doljani in
1 particular, near Jablanica, and you'll see why I'm insisting on Doljani
2 later on. Did you know about this and this letter?
3 A. I don't know how you expect me to have knowledge of this, because
4 from this document it does not follow that the state commission for the
5 exchange of POWs was involved at all. It is obvious that the -- that a
6 crime had taken place, that a crime had been committed.
7 Q. Mr. Masovic, just say, "I don't know," and that's fine. I don't
8 expect you to know about all the crimes committed in Bosnia. Just say you
9 don't know and that will suffice and then I can move on to my next
11 A. All right. Fine.
12 Q. Did you know or did you -- do you know now that on that occasion,
13 that is say, after the BH army attack on Doljani, in the Jablanica
14 collection for POWs which was known as the Museum at Jablanica, that the
15 Croatian population was taken out of the village and that they were
16 incarcerated there? Do you know about that? I'm referring to July.
17 A. Yes, yes, I do know that in the Museum in Jablanica there were
18 prisoners or evacuated persons. I'm using both terms, because there was a
19 dispute about this and complaints from the HVO to the international --
20 ICRC who refused to record these persons as detainees or incarcerated
21 persons but as people who had been evacuated and the HVO, rather,
22 Mr. Pusic, on several occasions wrote letters of protest and sent them to
23 the ICRC asking them to amend the status of those persons found in the
24 Museum. Quite frankly, I don't know what their status was, so I can't say
25 one way or another. I can't say they were prisoners or perhaps they were
1 there of their own free will either.
2 Q. But you do agree with me nonetheless that in some collection
3 centre no one would go there of their often free will?
4 A. Well, it wasn't the case of a collection centre. It wasn't a
5 collection centre at all as far as I know.
6 Q. All right fine. Now, do you know that in this collection centre
7 there might have been women and children?
8 A. I think Mr. Pusic several times at our meetings insisted upon the
9 fact that those persons be evacuated to territory under HVO control, and I
10 think he even said that there were some children too.
11 Q. All right. Mr. Masovic, you said a moment ago that as far as you
12 know, they were not in collection centres. Now, look at 6D 00035. It's
13 the document with the yellow sticker, because that document has the status
14 of exhibit. 6D 00035. And we're talking about Jablanica now. Just tell
15 me when you've found it. It's up on e-court too on your screen.
16 A. I have it before me.
17 Q. Right. Now, this is a BH army document. It is a document of the
18 6th Corps of the military police battalion, the military police company of
19 Jablanica. The date is the 5th of August, 1993, and it says here the 6th
20 Corps Military Police Battalion, subject, list of persons situated in the
21 SRZ, and that is a collection centre of POWs, that that is the
22 abbreviation used, the SRZ.
23 A. I really can't say whether that's what it means.
24 Q. All right, you can't, sir, fine. Do you know that the Museum in
25 Jablanica was in fact that collection centre of POWs?
1 A. Yes, I do know about that. Mr. Pusic spoke about that on several
3 Q. Well, then that's it. That's that. Do you want me to repeat it
4 for the transcript? The list of persons situated in the SRZ of the Museum
5 at Jablanica who were not members of the HVO.
6 Now, Mr. Masovic, I'm going to ask you for the Trial Chamber's
7 benefit, because perhaps the Trial Chamber didn't know who the women are
8 and who the men are judging by the names of our part of the world, look at
9 number 4 it says Dragica. That's a woman's name, isn't it?
10 A. Right.
11 Q. Number 10, another lady's name; right?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. Number 12, same thing?
14 A. Right.
15 Q. Number 13?
16 A. That's right.
17 Q. Number 18?
18 A. That's right.
19 Q. Number 20?
20 A. 19 and 20.
21 Q. Right, 19 and 20. And finally, Mr. Masovic, unfortunately I don't
22 have time, but on this list, and we can go through it if you want us to do
23 so and if the Trial Chamber requests it, out of a total of 87 persons on
24 that list who were not members of the HVO, which is something that the
25 6th Corps Military Police Battalion claims, there are 53 women on that
1 list. There are 53 women, 53 women's names on that list. You knew
2 nothing about that?
3 A. Yes, I did know about that, and I repeat, they were persons who
4 you mentioned and were mentioned by Mr. Pusic who were from Doljani,
5 evacuated --
6 Q. Mr. Masovic --
7 THE INTERPRETER: Could the speakers kindly slow down and make
8 pauses between question and answer, thank you, and turn on their
10 MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation]
11 Q. Can you answer just briefly, please, if you can. This is a
12 document from the 6th Corps. Does it arise from this document that they
13 are at the SRZ Museum, whatever that is?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. So these are not people that may be at large somewhere. At least
16 that's what arises from this document.
17 A. I can -- I have to repeat and say that for the International
18 Committee of the Red Cross their status was very clear. They were
19 persons --
20 Q. Sir, sir. Mr. Masovic, but their status for the BiH army was that
21 they were in the collection centre for prisoners of war. This is what I'm
22 trying to say, and this arises from this document. If you don't know it,
23 if you can't comment on it, just say so and we'll move on.
24 A. My previous answer has not been recorded in the transcript, so I
25 would kindly ask you to allow me finish it.
1 For the International Red Cross, their status was the status of
2 persons that had to be evacuated.
3 Q. Then it is clear that there is a difference between the position
4 of the International Red Cross and the BiH army. At least this is what
5 arises from this document, because they were in the collection centre.
6 And if the Red Cross says they had to be evacuated, it doesn't mean that
7 they were not in the collection centre.
8 A. You are persistently trying to make me say that this is a
9 collection centre, and we agreed previously this was the SRZ Museum in
10 Jablanica. I said that I don't know what it means. I'm not saying that
11 it is not what you're saying it is, but I don't know, and please do not
12 try and make me say that this was a collection centre because I'm not
13 going to answer in that way because I don't know. If I did know I would
15 Q. Mr. Masovic, you have answered. You have of told me that the
16 Jablanica Museum was in actual fact a collection centre for the prisoners
17 of war.
18 A. In the Jablanica Museum for a certain while prisoners of war were
20 Q. Very -- thank you very much. We're moving on.
21 We have already established that in October you assisted an
22 exchange in Konjic. You had lists during the exchange, and let me ask you
23 this: Do you know, and I will allow that you don't, that in Konjic, in
24 the general area of Konjic, that is, the BiH army arrested civilians,
25 women and children, the whole families even?
1 A. I cannot be aware of that for a simple reason. They did not enter
2 the process that I was in charge of. I'm talking about the process of
3 exchanges of prisoners of war save for the two category that I would like
4 to go back to. If you're talking about the specific exchange which took
5 place on the 19th of October --
6 Q. No, I'm not.
7 A. In the territory of Konjic when it comes to the Croatian Defence
8 Council, I was involved in the release of 309 members of the Croatian
9 Defence Council.
10 Q. Mr. Masovic --
11 A. And this is what I know. As for the rest, I can't be aware of
13 Q. Mr. Masovic, you have told us, and I'm not asking you this without
14 any reason, I believe that I've laid the foundation for my next question,
15 you said if the women and the children were arrested and especially the
16 children and women against whom proceedings were not undergoing, if this
17 was done by the BH army, it must have been an incident. That's why I'm
18 asking you, did you have any information that this was not an incident and
19 that's why I'm asking you whether you know that in Konjic there were
20 arrests preceding the exchange and even women and children and whole
21 families were arrested?
22 A. I don't know.
23 Q. Let's look at 2D 00589. This is the last document in my binder
24 save for the one that was added subsequently. Have the first page on
25 e-court, but I believe that things will be easier for you if you find the
1 hard copy in my binder.
2 Did you find it?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. This is a document issued on the 23rd of November, 1993, Konjic
5 municipality, social services administration. This is obviously after the
6 civilian population and troops had been exchanged and left Konjic. This
7 list was compiled of imprisoned civilians in Konjic.
8 Mr. Masovic, this list contains the names of 466 individuals. As
9 you can see in the original document, certain names are accompanied by the
10 word "with their families." There is also a large number of women. Let's
11 just take, for example, the first page on which you will find the name of
12 Milka Baric, a female, under number 5. Alenka Baric under 8. This is
13 obviously two members of the same family; did you know anything about
15 A. No, I didn't I've not seen this document before. This is a
16 document by the HVO, isn't it?
17 Q. Yes. By the HVO with the names and family names of individuals
18 and whole families that hailed from the area of Konjic and that resided
19 there up to this date. And were arrested before this date and before that
20 they were civilians. You don't know anything about that?
21 A. I can only tell you that really it absolutely doesn't make sense
22 for the International Committee of the Red Cross not to register any of
23 these individuals. I suppose that none of them were registered because
24 there are a lot of names in this list.
25 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] [Previous translation
1 continues] ... trying to avoid answering this question. Whenever the
2 counsel asks you whether you knew whether the ABiH would arrest civilians
3 whether they be women or children you answer by mentioning ICRC. That is
4 not the question. The question is whether you knew the ABiH would arrest
5 civilians. Just say whether you knew or you didn't. Don't try to involve
6 the ICRC in this matter.
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I have confirmed and I confirm it
8 again that I have information about different parts of Bosnia and
9 Herzegovina that people, civilians were arrested without any legal grounds
10 for that I said it yesterday and I confirm it today that this was
11 incidents, and this -- this was done by certain individuals or units of
12 the BH army. This is what I said yesterday, and I repeat it today.
13 In answer to this particular question, I have said and I repeated
14 that this list was compiled by the HVO and that according to what I knew
15 could -- is not credible. It is not reliable, because for such a large
16 number of civilians, women, children, men, it is absolutely certain that
17 this fact would have been recorded and made public. I'm sure that at
18 least one of the international institutions who was tasked with recording
19 such incidents and this was in October 1993, which I would like draw
20 attention to, this was very far in the conflict, I'm sure this fact would
21 have been recorded by the International Red Cross. I'm sure of that.
22 MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation]
23 Q. Mr. Masovic, if this document was drafted by the HVO, the previous
24 one was drafted by the BiH army, and the previous document contains the
25 names of 53 women. And if the 53 women had been incarcerated this would
1 not constitute an incident. Do you agree with me? I have put a
2 hypothetical question to you. If.
3 A. Yes, if. If they had been incarcerated, especially if they were
4 females, if those were children, then 50 people would not constitute an
5 incident. It would be much more than an incident, I agree with that.
6 Q. Mr. Masovic, do you know that this Tribunal, The Hague Tribunal,
7 issues a first instance judgement, IT-01-47-T on 15 March 2006 in the case
8 Prosecutor versus Enver Hadzihasanovic and Amir Kubura. Are you aware of
9 that as a former attorney-at-law?
10 A. Yes, I know that a judgement was passed in this case, that there
11 was a decision.
12 Q. Do you know that this decision establishes that the BiH army
13 arrested civilians, women, children, which did not belong to the
14 categories that you mentioned?
15 A. I've not had an occasion to read the sentence, the decision.
16 Q. Let's look at it together. Let's look at document 2D 00587, which
17 is the third document in my binder. Just for the transcript, I would like
18 to say that for the purpose of this cross-examination we have uploaded on
19 e-court, i.e., we're going to use the document starting with count 1303 of
20 the decision to count 1311 of this decision. Let's look at the decision
21 together, Mr. Masovic, and would I particularly like to draw everybody's
22 attention to these parts of the sentence are legally binding, because no
23 appeal was lodged to these parts of the -- the decision either by the
24 Prosecution or by the Defence.
25 It says in count 1303, two detention centres were set up in
1 Mehurici in Mehurici elementary school and in the smithy, known as
2 Mehurici blacksmith shop.
3 The school took in approximately 250 Bosnian Croat civilians
4 between 6 June and 24 June 1993.
5 Every part of this decision is very, very interesting. However,
6 the time does not permit me what the Trial Chamber has established with
7 this regard so could you please look at count 1306. This is on the
8 following page in the English version and in the B/C/S version. It says
9 here: "According to Witness Vinko Tadic, a Bosnian Croat civilian, a
10 group of 13 or 14 armed soldiers wearing camouflage uniforms arrived in
11 Konjska on the slope of Mount Vlasic early in the morning on 6 June
13 I skip a sentence and I continue. "He stated that he was unable
14 to identify the military unit to which the group of soldiers belonged, but
15 he said that some of them wore green armbands with a badge marked 'MOS.'"
16 It goes on: "The soldiers then assembled and arrested a group of
17 villagers that included men, women and children."
18 I skip a sentence and I go on: "Next on the order of a soldier
19 whom they called Hadzija, the soldiers brought them to the village of
21 I apologise. "On the order of a soldier named Hadzija, the
22 soldiers brought them to the village of Mehurici. When they arrived in
23 Mehurici the villagers were taken to Mehurici elementary school and
24 installed in its sports room."
25 Please look at the part of this decision under 1307 on the
1 following page. It says: "As indicated previously in the judgement on 8
2 June 1993, following a fresh outbreak of fighting between the HVO and the
3 ABiH, in Maline 306th Brigade Military Police escorted a column of
4 approximately 250 prisoners consisting of Bosnian Croat civilians and the
5 HVO soldiers who had surrendered previously to Mehurici elementary
7 Under 1308 it says: "Most of the detainees assembled in the
8 school sports room were elderly people, women and children, including very
9 young children and pregnant women."
10 I skip a sentence.
11 And it goes on: "Some witnesses stated that the civilians were
12 locked up in the school in order to protect them from the Mujahedin given
13 the proximity of their camp in Poljanica, or to safeguard the civilian
14 population in view of the intensifying fighting in the region."
15 We can look at the footnote. This was stated by Remzija Siljeg,
16 Munir Karic, who are obviously Bosniaks and did not fall in the category
17 of the detainees who were all Croats. Wouldn't that be correct?
18 It goes on to say in the judgement that there were some witnesses
19 who spoke about the interest of the army of Bosnia and Herzegovina to
20 exchange these prisoners for -- for the prisoners -- Muslim prisoners
21 captured by the HVO. I'm just going to refer to one more count in the
22 judgement, 1310, which says that individuals and especially men who were
23 detained in the gym were physically ill-treated.
24 Mr. Masovic, you said that you were not aware of this judgement,
25 but let me ask you whether you heard of these events during the war or
1 during the exchanges? Did you hear of the events that had taken place in
2 territory of Zenica regarding the incarceration of Croatian civilians?
3 A. The civilians that are mentioned in this judgement and the reason
4 for their stay in the school is not clear from what you have just read out
5 to me, because there are witnesses who say one thing, and there are also
6 others who say something else, were never the subject of exchanges. One
7 of the witnesses, as I can see, or more of them say that they may have
8 been incarcerated with a view to being exchanged. I wouldn't know about
10 Q. Mr. Masovic, you have left me with the room to ask you this
11 because you have said expressly that the policy of the government in
12 Sarajevo was to send these two categories for exchange. You said that any
13 arrest of people outside of these two categories fall under the motion of
14 incident. I'm putting it to you that the people who were arrested here
15 were also pregnant women and children who were certainly not -- did not
16 fall within those two categories. I'm asking you whether you knew
17 anything about that during your mandate. The Trial Chamber has
18 established that, and the Honourable Judge Antonetti was the Presiding
19 Judge in this case. He has established that for a fact. I'm asking you
20 what you know about that as a witness sitting before this Trial Chamber
22 A. I repeat: This category of civilians was not part of the mandate
23 of the commission that I was in charge of and also it doesn't arise from
24 what you have just said or at least I don't see it, you are more familiar
25 with the judgement, I see it for the first time, but I don't see why these
1 people would have been kept in the school.
2 Q. Mr. Masovic -- Mr. Masovic, under wartime conditions is there a
3 single logical reason for a pregnant child -- woman and child to be found
4 in prisoner anywhere?
5 A. No.
6 Q. Right. Now, I have to wind up, and I'm almost done. Now, you
7 don't have to agree with some of the things I'm going to say, but from the
8 documents I've shown you, does it follow that - this is my question - that
9 the BH army arrested civilians among whom women and children. From the
10 documents we've seen. I'm not asking you on the basis of your knowledge
11 but on the basis of the documents we've just seen?
12 A. Let me repeat, what I know is that that was at the level of
13 incidents. They were incidents.
14 Q. Right. Thank you. I haven't got more time to go into all this.
15 I just have an hour at my disposal, so that will suffice.
16 According to the number of arrested persons, from the documents
17 we've seen, from the different places where they were arrested, can you
18 tell us now, on the assumption that these documents are true and correct,
19 that they were incidents or were they something more than just an
21 A. These documents don't speak of arrested persons or rather
22 incarcerated persons. In the document all that is mentioned - you said
23 that the Croatian Defence document made this document in Ljubuski in
24 November and that this refers to persons who imprisoned, 400 and
1 Q. Mr. Masovic, I hope you're not going to deny that from the
2 judgement I read out that there were two detention centres. And I've just
3 quoted that from the document, the document the BH army compiled, how many
4 there were. Just take this one here, this judgement. They are detention
5 centres. You don't have to answer my question. You can say yes, no, or I
6 don't know, or you don't have to answer, but I haven't got the time to go
7 back to the arguments that I put forward which are incontestable when it
8 comes to the judgement.
9 Your position is clear to me. I'm quite clear on your position.
10 All I'm asking you is does that follow from these documents? You can say
11 that it doesn't or that it does or that you don't know. Let me repeat
12 according to the number of persons incarcerated and the different places
13 that this happened and according to the documents I showed you can this be
14 considered to be just a mere incident, the arrest of women and children,
15 would -- would you consider those to be incidents? Or something more?
16 A. From the documents that you've shown me, it clearly follows that
17 in all these cases they were not arrests as you state. So in the SRZ
18 Museum Jablanica --
19 Q. Thank you, thank you. I don't have any time to go into all that.
20 You gave me an answer and that will suffice.
21 Mr. Masovic, in the judgement which I quoted a moment ago it says
22 that the BH army, among other things, arrested civilians for an exchange.
23 Can you confirm that that's what it says in the judgement there, that that
24 was what a certain number of witnesses also claimed? Say you can't
25 confirm it, you can.
1 A. Well, just tell me -- I'm not sure what paragraph you're referring
3 Q. Well, forget my question. The paragraph exists, the judgement
4 exists, the Trial Chamber will deal with it. I think that's more
5 important than your answer and my question, but I want to ask you one more
6 thing. You spoke about the HVO policy. I don't have a single document.
7 It's a short topic, so let's take it slowly. You spoke of the HVO policy
8 to evacuate civilians from the area controlled by the BH army and areas
9 which were not -- or, rather, persons who were not detained, not
10 incarcerated. I don't want to mention any other -- any of the accused,
11 but you said that you gained the impression that that was HVO policy, that
12 they wanted to evacuate the Croats from areas where Croats were not
13 incarcerated; right?
14 A. Right.
15 Q. Now, Mr. Masovic, is it normal on the basis of your experience for
16 civilians to wish to leave the territory which was taken control of by the
17 enemy army in which their compatriots were arrested and where crimes might
18 have been committed? Is it normal for civilians, civilians who consider
19 themselves to be enemy ones because under -- in quotation marks. Is it
20 normal that they wish to leave the territory that was not controlled by
21 their side?
22 A. I spoke about this in a different context yesterday and an
23 attempt --
24 Q. Mr. Masovic, look at my context and answer me within my context.
25 We spent the whole war in Sarajevo, you and I. Is it normal? I just
1 wants you to confirm this, if you will, that civilians want to leave a
2 territory that was taken control of by the enemy army? That's how the
3 Bosniaks left and the Serbs left and the Croats left. Isn't that normal?
4 Is that normal for civilians to leave the territory that has been taken
5 control of by the enemy army?
6 A. It's not normal if that happens through the process of the
7 exchange of those civilians. Then it's not normal. Under different
8 conditions it would be normal, in my opinion, regardless of the territory,
9 enemy or not, that civilians try to avoid war operations, but it's not
10 normal that that will should be done through the commission for the
11 exchange of POWs -- or prisoners.
12 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please, Counsel.
13 MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation]
14 Q. It seems to me that the interpreters have gained allies among the
15 technicians, so when we speed up the microphones seem to be switched off,
16 but let's look at the Doljani situation, where quite obviously a massacre
17 had taken place and Mr. Delic wrote about that, too, in his letter. When
18 we look at the question -- the instance of Konjic where there was an
19 exchange of HVO members in large numbers and Jablanica in that Museum
20 where there were members of the HVO and some other citizens. And when we
21 look at the case of Zenica from this judgement and the broader area around
22 Zenica, and if we remember Bugojno where 21 Croats were killed, we know
23 that, and we know that they were very prominent Croats, they were leaders
24 of the Croatian ethnicity in Bugojno, is it then the legitimate right of
25 civilians living in that territory to wish to leave when incidents like
1 this are taking place, not to say crimes - or let me say crimes - and when
2 their compatriots are being arrested? Would that be normal?
3 A. So it's an individual decision, and that's what happened in
4 wartime. Some people left the territory for those and other reasons, for
5 hunger and fear, out of fear, or some other reason, the possibility of
6 finding themselves in other places.
7 Q. Let's take fear, one of the factors you mentioned. Was that one
8 of the basic motives that moved a large number of individuals to move out?
9 I'm not talking about individuals. Foca -- not Srebrenica, other
10 territories from which the Bosniaks were expelled by the Serbs. Was
11 the -- was fear a legitimate reason?
12 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Your last question, Ms. Nozica,
13 because we've got another two counsel to intervene.
14 MR. KOVACIC: Yes, Your Honour, but our Defence will have some
16 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Ms. Nozica.
17 MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation] Thank you, thank you. Your Honour, I
18 just have two or three more questions, and I've been given permission from
19 the Coric Defence.
20 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I see. You've been given some
21 time. How much?
22 MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation] I'll need a total of five minutes,
23 which was what I was given.
24 MS. TOMASEGOVIC TOMIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, we have no
25 questions for this witness, so if my colleague Ms. Nozica needs a few more
1 minutes, she can have our time.
2 MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation]
3 Q. Mr. Masovic, I'm going to ask you this now, you were asked it
4 during the examination-in-chief: Why did the Croatian civilians, can you
5 tell us why the Croatian civilians from Catici went to take refuge in the
6 base of the French Battalion? Did they do that out of fear? Did they
7 leave their homes out of fear? You don't know?
8 A. I don't know.
9 Q. All right. Fine. Mr. Masovic, when somebody leaves their home
10 and goes to the French Battalion base, let's forget that they were Croats
11 just for a moment. Can you and I assume that people do that kind of thing
12 out of fear?
13 A. I don't know. I don't want to speculate about things that I don't
14 know. I have absolutely no knowledge that. All I can do is to assume and
15 guess, and I don't think that that is what is required here.
16 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Ms. Nozica, but I'm sorry, but I get the feeling
17 that you are inviting the witness to speculate what other people might
18 have for motives for doing this and that and I wonder whether this gives a
19 solid factual basis to the Chamber. You want him to say what -- what you
20 want him to say, but you ask him to speculate. What do you think other
21 people's -- why do other people do this and that? Every one of us can
22 answer that question. I don't know why this witness should add anything
23 to the knowledge of the Chamber if he makes that kind of assumptions.
24 MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation] Your Honour Judge Trechsel, it is my
25 task and duty to try and extract from the witness what I want to extract.
1 That is the business of cross-examination. If the witness says he knows
2 nothing about it, I won't insist further. But I did ask him about
3 something that would be considered to be normal. If the witness says he
4 doesn't want to speculate, I'll move on. That's sufficient for me.
5 Q. And now my last question, sir --
6 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Let me ask a follow-up question.
7 When people would be liberated, released, you and the members of your
8 commission, would you meet with the people who had just been released?
9 Would you discuss with them about what had happened, what they had
10 experienced, why they had been arrested, what they were intending to do in
11 the future? Did you have this kind of contact? I mean, between you and
12 the members of your commission and the released people.
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] We focused exclusively on seeing
14 whether those prisoners who had been free -- freed knew about other
15 prisoners who possibly stayed on in the camps or prisons from which these
16 others had come or in some other prison or camp where they stayed from
17 time to time. All other questions, questions about their future, who
18 mistreated them, why they were arrested in the first place, all these
19 other questions were the task of other state organs to delve into, mostly
20 the police, the military police if it was POWs and prosecutors if they
21 had -- if they were in serious violation of international humanitarian
23 We in the commission just focused on their knowledge about the
24 names of people who stayed on, who remained in the camps or prisons after
25 they had left.
1 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. Therefore, you had
2 contacts with the people who had been released. However, those who were
3 released, did they at any time tell you that -- that when they had been
4 captured it was -- they were captured because the other side would also
5 capture people, and there were between the warring parties exchange of
6 prisoners? One side would take some people, the other one would do the
7 same, and then they would make phone calls in order to exchange prisoners.
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] We did not ask them things like
9 that. When we were interested in was whether there were any more
10 prisoners in the camps and whether these prisoners had taken part in
11 burying other prisoners or had anything to do with the places where these
12 others were buried and where we could find the bodily remains of the
13 prisoners who might have been killed.
14 Now, all your questions, Your Honour, all the questions you've
15 just asked me, are questions that they asked or -- or, rather, the police,
16 the military police, the prosecutors asked them immediately after they
17 left the camps and prisons. Quite literally sometimes directly from the
18 place of exchange, took them to the police station or the policemen would
19 come to these locations if we were dealing with a larger number of people
20 released, or they would go to the schools or gymnastics halls where the
21 released prisoners were collected, and then the officials would take
22 statements of that nature from the prisoners who had been released.
23 MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation]
24 Q. Mr. Masovic, now, you've just told the Trial Chamber that you were
25 a Member of Parliament. You're a -- you have been politically active for
1 some time, so now I'd like to ask you a question which is broader and
2 relates to your political knowledge and other knowledge. We discussed the
3 situation, a hypothetical situation, according to which the population
4 finding themselves on a territory occupied by the enemy army does its best
5 to leave the area, I would like to ask you in your opinion - if you can
6 answer do it, so if you cannot, say you cannot - would it be the duty of
7 the authorities to which these civilians belonged to protect them and to
8 try to put them up in an area where they would be safe and secure? Would
9 that be the duty of the authorities regardless of which authorities they
10 would be?
11 A. I'm not sure I understood your question.
12 Q. Let me make myself clearer. We had a few interruptions but I'd
13 like to take you back to the civilians' departure from the areas occupied,
14 for instance, by an enemy army, and I'm asking you the following: In your
15 opinion, is it the duty of the authorities to whom those civilians belong,
16 those civilians who stayed on in the territory, is it the duty of the
17 authorities to try and relocate them somewhere else where they would be
18 safer, move them to an area where they would be safer if they are in
20 A. Are you talking about an international conflict or what? I don't
21 understand what you want, what you're getting at.
22 MR. STRINGER: I believe that to an extent the question is asking
23 for a legal opinion, the witness is not competent to address this
24 particular issue in terms of the responsibilities, legal responsibilities
25 of the authorities. I think certainly he's competent to talk about his
1 experience in the release issues.
2 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Stringer, the witness is an
3 attorney-at-law. He has been a member of a large number of legal
4 commissions in his country, even of a constitutional commission. So if
5 there is one individual who is able to state a view with regard to a sort
6 of problem of legal nature, he's the one.
7 So please proceed, Ms. Nozica, but maybe you might rephrase your
9 MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation]
10 Q. Mr. Masovic, according to your experience and legal knowledge,
11 would it be logical for the authorities to try and relocate the citizens
12 somewhere safe if they are in the territory under the control of the enemy
13 army and as such threatened in some way? Wouldn't that be the obligation
14 of that government?
15 A. Are you referring of to the concrete conflict in
16 Bosnia-Herzegovina or speaking generally?
17 Q. I'm speaking about the concrete conflict in Bosnia-Herzegovina.
18 Would the government have to have done that in Bosnia-Herzegovina?
19 A. The government in Bosnia-Herzegovina is one and only, the
20 government in Sarajevo.
21 Q. Mr. Masovic, I didn't want to open that subject, but let me tell
22 you this. There was just one government and you asked me to agree with
24 A. And my positive answer to your question would be this: That
25 government in Sarajevo was duty-bound to make sure to protect all the
1 civilians that were citizens of Bosnia and Herzegovina at the time.
2 Q. Mr. Masovic, did they succeed? Did they succeed to protect
4 A. No.
5 Q. How many Serbs and Croats in Sarajevo were killed and taken to the
6 front line and exchanged how many such persons were there, do you know?
7 Did the government in Sarajevo -- in Sarajevo where the headquarters of
8 the government was to -- were they successful at protecting Croats in
9 November 1993 when the leadership of the HVO were arrested? Were they
10 afraid and did they leave Sarajevo because of that?
11 A. This was not done by the government in Sarajevo but the Serbian
12 government in Kula.
13 Q. Where was Mr. Zec [phoen] incarcerated?
14 A. In Sarajevo.
15 Q. Who arrested him in Sarajevo, Serbs or Muslims?
16 A. It was the government. After --
17 MR. STRINGER: I'm one of many perhaps who is struggling to follow
18 this dialogue, but it seems to me it's getting beyond the scope of the
19 direct examination or at least beyond the scope of what's relevant.
20 MS. NOZICA: No, no.
21 MR. STRINGER: We're talking about the Serbs authorities here, and
22 so again if I could just finish, I'd like to say that the exchange is
23 happening extremely quickly, and it seems to be going in a direction that
24 doesn't mean anything to me and so I'm objecting.
25 MR. KARNAVAS: The exchange is rather quick and they do need to
1 slow down, but what is quite evident today is that the gentleman is
2 obviously biased and that he is one-sided, and I think it is relevant,
3 because what Ms. Nozica is showing is the bias of this gentleman and we're
4 going to be arguing that at least with some of his answers that this Trial
5 Chamber should disregard. That's the purpose. That's why it's relevant.
6 MR. STRINGER: Mr. President, counsel's --
7 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes. Look, we have to have a
8 break. We will have a 20-minute break, and after the break around 6.00,
9 Ms. Nozica will have to finish because then we will have Mr. Kovacic and
10 possibly some additional -- some redirect from Mr. Stringer.
11 We shall resume in 20 minutes' time.
12 --- Recess taken at 5.38 p.m.
13 --- On resuming at 5.59 p.m.
14 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. The hearing's
16 Mr. Stringer, you were on your feet, and I interrupted you. What
17 did you want to say?
18 MR. STRINGER: Mr. President, I had made an objection at the end
19 of the proceedings. I've said what I wanted to say, and I have nothing to
20 add at this time.
21 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well.
22 So, Ms. Nozica, are you done?
23 MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation] No, Your Honour, but I will be done
24 very soon.
25 To Mr. Stringer's objection, I would like to say that on direct
1 Mr. Masovic mentioned Mr. Zelic, and that is why I went back to that
2 question, and now I would like to draw my cross-examination to an end.
3 Q. Mr. Masovic, you've told us that you recognised only the
4 authorities of Bosnia and Herzegovina in Sarajevo; is that correct? You
5 said that immediately before our last break.
6 A. The government of Bosnia and Herzegovina in Sarajevo as the
7 government of an internationally recognised state of Bosnia and
9 Q. Mr. Masovic, I lived in Sarajevo together with you, and that is
10 also the only government that I recognise myself, but I'm asking you now
11 whether you are familiar with the fact that the international community
12 recognised the government of the HZ HB and Republika Srpska, that the
13 international community negotiated with the two of them, that the
14 government in Sarajevo also negotiated with these two entities, to call
15 them that. Are you aware of that?
16 A. Now you are referring to the constitutional matter, and I am now
17 referring to the constitution as well, and who negotiated with whom, who
18 recognised whom, I really don't know. I was not familiar with those
19 negotiations. If you'd asked me about the constitutional order of
20 Bosnia-Herzegovina, I would say this was the government in Sarajevo.
21 Q. No, I'm not asking you that because you have already stated it.
22 We will not go into that matter.
23 Finally, when we're talking about the matter of recognition, or
24 factual recognition as you put it, you will be familiar with the fact that
25 representative of the HZ HB signed the Washington Agreement. Are you
1 aware of that? Just say yes or no.
2 A. I don't know who you're referring to. Can you please be more
3 precise? Who are you referring to?
4 Q. The representative of the HZ HB. Do you know who signed the
5 Dayton agreement on behalf of the HZ HB?
6 A. I believe that it was signed by Presidents Izetbegovic, Tudjman,
7 and Slobodan Milosevic.
8 Q. Do you know that Mr. Zubak, as a representative of the HZ HB, also
9 participated in the negotiations?
10 A. I know that he participated but I don't know what his position
12 Q. You don't know. Thank you, Mr. Masovic. I have just received a
13 suggestion from my colleague.
14 Tell me, Mr. Masovic, just one more question, when you were
15 talking about the discovery of the Goranci grave, you said that Mrs. Sonja
16 Mulac called you - Interrupt me if I'm not interpreting your answer
17 correctly - and that you said about a dead body she recognised a uniform
18 and she concluded this might be a Bosniak and that's when she called you
19 and that's when you arrived there. Is that what you said?
20 A. I believe that somebody from the Serb commission suggested to her
21 that those were not Serb soldiers as they originally thought but, rather,
22 that they were Bosniaks, and that's when I went there on the following day
23 to assist the exhumation.
24 Q. How can you recognise somebody as being a Bosniak by their
25 uniform? What was that Bosniak army, and what uniforms did it wear? I'm
1 asking you this because you are insisting on the fact that there was only
2 the government in Sarajevo covering the entire territory of Bosnia and
3 Herzegovina and that it was supposed to be the government or the authority
4 representing all of the citizens. I'm asking you how could you have
5 assumed on the basis of the uniform that the person buried in that uniform
6 was a Bosniak; what kind of a uniform would that have been? Was that the
7 uniform of the army of Bosnia and Herzegovina?
8 A. I'm not talking about Bosniaks. I'm talking about members of the
9 BiH army, some of whom were not even Bosniaks but they wore the uniforms
10 of the BiH army. One of the ten identified members of the BiH army from
11 Vranica was not Bosniak. His father is Serb and his mother is a Bosniak.
12 Q. Sir, we still have the transcript before us. On page 15, page
13 82 -- line 82 [as interpreted], you say in answer to my question that
14 Sonja Mulac called you because she had recognised one person as being
15 Bosniak. I'm asking you this: Do you believe, yourself -- when she
16 called you did you believe that members of the BH army were supposed to be
17 Bosniaks, all of them? Is that what you implied when you said that?
18 A. If I said that during your cross-examination, if I said that those
19 were Bosniaks, it was not correct. I believe that in my testimony
20 yesterday - I believe but I'm not sure - that after the uniform of the BiH
21 army was recognised, I went there to assist in the exhumation.
22 Q. I remember that you said that the uniform told you that it was a
24 A. It is impossible to tell who's who just by the uniform. It's
1 Q. I agree with you. I agree with you when you say that.
2 A. If we're talking about ethnicity, but obviously it is possible to
3 recognise the army that that uniform belonged to. And based on the
4 uniform, we were able to tell the army that the victim belonged to without
5 knowing whether that person was a Serb, a Croat, or a Bosniak or somebody
6 else from Vranica.
7 Q. Very well, Mr. Masovic. I agree with you. That's what -- why I
8 found your yesterday's answer strange.
9 MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour. I have
10 finished my cross-examination.
11 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Kovacic.
12 MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I would like to file
13 an oral request in keeping with your decision of 10 May 2007. I'm
14 referring to paragraphs 11 and 12 to allow Mr. Praljak to put questions to
15 the witness himself, and I'm basing this request on the fact that the
16 topics in question were -- have been studied by General Praljak after the
17 war. He was in charge of the research of that particular topic, the topic
18 of prisoners of war and victims in various locations in
19 Bosnia-Herzegovina. He has collected all the publicly available
20 information. He analysed that information, and he has published the
21 information in a booklet that was published in 2006.
22 I believe that he possesses a lot of knowledge about the topic,
23 which makes him competent in terms of the definition of extraordinary
24 circumstances that is referred to in the decision that was passed on the
25 10th of May, 2007.
1 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] What is the title of this
3 MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation] The title of the booklet -- you have
4 it, Your Honours, before you. "Croatian victims during the war in
5 Bosnia-Herzegovina," which provides an overview of various locations and
6 events, and the booklet is based on the existing literature.
7 I would kindly ask the usher to -- [In English] Usher. I gave it
8 to him. Okay. You will find -- you will find that book enclosed,
9 Your Honour. Earlier we have used some similar material which was then
10 only the draft.
11 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Stringer.
12 MR. STRINGER: Thank you, Mr. President. I have two objections.
13 The first is that in our view this subject matter and this witness do not
14 fall within any of the exceptions identified by the Trial Chamber in its
15 ruling. There's nothing particularly exceptional about this topic, and
16 particularly in view of the fact that it may be something that the General
17 has studied or any of us has possibly studied. It doesn't fall within the
18 terms of the Trial Chamber's order, certainly not the sort of military
19 expertise, military aspects that the Trial Chamber has allowed
20 General Praljak to conduct examinations on in the past.
21 Secondly, I've got a book here for which I don't have a
22 translation. I see that it is largely maps, but it's not just maps. It's
23 a lot of other things, including photographs, diagrams, commentary for
24 which I do not have a translation, and that's another basis for the
1 So it's our submission that this is not a situation which
2 Mr. Praljak, especially in view of the fact that he's got such competent
3 counsel, needs to himself conduct the cross-examination.
4 MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours --
5 [Trial Chamber confers]
6 MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, if I may respond to
7 one part of my learned friend's objection, the initial part in which my
8 learned friend claims that this argument is not in keeping with the
9 provisions of your order. I believe that this argument does not hold its
10 ground. You said that -- in your order that exceptional circumstances may
11 arise in two occasions, if the accused himself participated in an event or
12 he is particularly competent to discuss this issue. This is the topic of
13 victims, which relates to the topic of exchanges in the unfortunate war.
14 I believe that is very specific area, bearing in mind the rumours, the
15 policy, the propaganda goals that existed on both sides, and
16 General Praljak has -- has invested a lot of effort to study just one of
17 the segments of this topic and research that based on facts.
18 Maybe General Praljak can supplement my argument.
19 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Stringer said that he did
20 not have the translation. Would you mind reading out the first page just
21 to have a idea as to whether he has special knowledge in this field when
22 it comes to missing people. But I can lend you mine.
23 MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation] Unfortunately, I have not got a
24 copy, but I believe it is forthcoming.
25 [In English] Maybe Mr. Praljak, since he has a copy.
1 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Well, since Mr. Praljak has the
2 book, he can read the first page.
3 THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation] Good afternoon,
4 Your Honours. Thank you very much for the time given to me. I will
5 briefly explain --
6 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Sorry. Sorry. You haven't been
7 granted anything yet. There is a discussion among the Judges on the
8 Bench. I wanted to know what the title was. Would you mind reading it
9 out and the interpreters will translate, will interpret into the languages
10 we need.
11 THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I just wanted
12 to explain and say that there are other topics that the witness mentioned
13 before your decision and that concern the things that I know of, and that
14 is the HVO, whether Mostar was under siege or not, the arrest of
15 Mr. Zelic, and so on and so forth. So it is not just this. And the title
16 of the book is literally this and I quote: "Crimes committed by some
17 members of the BiH army (Muslim units) over Croats in Bosnia and
18 Herzegovina in 1991" -- or, rather, "from 1991 to 1995."
19 The connection between this topic and this gentleman is the fact
20 that the mortal remains of some of these people have still been missing
21 and I would like to ask him about Grabovica and ask him whether mortal
22 remains of the people from Grabovica, how much he knows about that, which
23 locations have been investigated, which locations haven't been
24 investigated, what number are we talking about and so on and so forth.
25 [Trial Chamber confers]
1 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] After deliberations, we
2 authorise you to ask questions but only related to specific situations.
3 For instance, with relation to research on Croats who were allegedly
4 killed by members of the BiH army. So anything that is in direct
5 connection to your own work, specific cases without digressing any which
6 way. So you just have 30 minutes, so that there is at least 15 minutes
7 for redirect.
8 THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honours.
9 Cross-examination by the Accused Praljak:
10 Q. [Interpretation] Good afternoon, Witness. I'd like to ask you the
11 following: My questions, pursuant to the Court's instructions, will be
12 brief, precise, I hope very clear and to the point. So would you please
13 answer likewise, yes, no, or I don't know.
14 All the explanations that you had you gave to the Prosecutor, and
15 if Their Honours would like to ask you for additional explanations, they
16 will do so. You are the witness here and I have been given permission to
17 examine some of the assertions you made during the examination-in-chief.
18 You said that of the 70 persons who were the subject of the
19 exchange, HVO soldiers [indiscernible] in Mostar, the helicopter problem,
20 that there were two or three members of the Croatian army; is that right?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. When I say members of the Croatian army, does that mean that they
23 were members of the Croatian army who came to fight within the HVO, or
24 were they members of some Croatian unit in the area, in the territory and
25 were then captured? Which? So the question is how do you know that they
1 were actually members of the Croatian army?
2 A. From the report that came in from the prison. Those two who were
3 in Eastern Mostar in prison, it's said that they were members of the
4 Croatian army and not members of the Croatian Defence Council.
5 Q. So you only know it on the basis of the report. You know nothing
6 more about that. You don't know which unit they belonged to; right?
7 A. I know that one of them was from Rijeka. I don't know where the
8 other one was from, and I know their names.
9 Q. Was one Igor Kapor?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. Do you know that Igor Kapor was a member of the 4th Guard's
12 Brigade with headquarters in Split?
13 A. I don't know that.
14 Q. Right. Fine. Now do you know that Igor Kapor, travelling to
15 Kiseljak where he was going to be married, was arrested in Jablanica and
16 transferred to Mostar where he was in prison until your agreement was
18 A. I don't know that, no.
19 Q. Thank you. Now, you said that there were body -- the bodies of
20 nine members of the Croatian army there. Do you also know that from the
21 report, from a report?
22 A. I know that on the basis of the minutes --
23 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] One moment --
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Exchange --
25 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Praljak, you said that
1 Igor Kapor was about to get married. Do you know that? Are you sure? Do
2 you have any evidence?
3 THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation] Yes.
4 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Continue.
5 THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation] We have full evidence of
6 that, and if need be we can bring the man in to testify. It was a man who
7 was going there to get married, and he spent one year after that in prison
8 in Mostar but he was going to Kiseljak to get married. That's something
9 that Mr. Petkovic knows and I think we can all testify first-hand when my
10 turn comes, as you say. And we can bring the man in too, depending on the
11 amount of time we have. May I be allowed to continue? Right.
12 Q. So these nine men, do you know whether they were -- died or were
13 killed or whatever you want to call it, that there was a unit to which
14 they belonged, or from the Croatian army did they go as volunteers to
15 fight in the HVO because they were from the area just like I was? Do you
16 know about any of that? Or do you just base your knowledge on the report
17 you received?
18 A. They were killed in combat on the 15th of July.
19 Q. Please, sir, just a moment. I don't need your story. My question
20 is simple. Was it on the basis of the report that you received that you
21 knew that they were Croatian soldiers, or do you know that there was a
22 unit of the Croatian army, or were they members of the HVO who had
23 previously been in the Croatian army? Which of those?
24 A. On the basis of the report that was signed by Mr. Jerko Radic, the
25 deputy to Mr. Pusic in the commission for the exchange of prisoners of war
1 and killed persons, I know that they were seven men, members of the
2 Croatian army and two members of the Croatian Defence Council.
3 Q. Thank you. That clears that up. Yesterday, several times you
4 said that you had problems leaving Sarajevo because it was surrounded,
5 under siege, and you said that Mostar was under siege as well, in an
6 encirclement. Is that what you said?
7 A. No.
8 Q. What did you say about Mostar?
9 A. I said that it was blocked, that Mostar was blocked.
10 Q. Right. Now, from the north, the northern exit to Mostar, where
11 was Mostar blocked? So the links and communication between Mostar and
12 Jablanica, the roads, seeing as you arrived in December, how do you know
13 that Mostar was blocked? Where was it blocked, from what time was it
14 blocked, and how was it blocked?
15 A. I know on the basis of my own knowledge and experience that Mostar
16 was blocked, because I could only come to Mostar from Konjic or Jablanica
17 in an APCs, an UNPROFOR APC. I couldn't get into a car in Mostar and
18 drive to Mostar.
19 Now, the military questions I know nothing about that, so there's
20 no use your wasting time on military matters. I can't tell you why, how,
21 who, et cetera, who blocked it. I don't know any of those answers.
22 Q. So logically, from the fact that UNPROFOR drove you from
23 Sarajevo --
24 A. No, that's not what I said.
25 JUDGE PRANDLER: Don't overlap, either of you.
1 THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation]
2 Q. If you were to take your own car, get in your car at Jablanica and
3 drive towards Mostar, not UNPROFOR's vehicle, your vehicle, where would
4 you come across a blocked road controlled by the HVO?
5 A. I think that north of Mostar in a locality called Bijelo Polje,
6 that it was impossible to pass through that way on the road, through that
7 road, that you had to take a by-road or go in an APC. I never took a
8 by-road. I either went by UNPROFOR helicopter or an UNPROFOR APC. Either
9 via Jablanica or across the hill on the right bank of the Neretva River.
10 Q. So, right, you don't know who controlled Bijelo Polje. You know
11 nothing about that area.
12 A. Mr. Praljak, I did not say that I did not know who controlled
13 Bijelo Polje.
14 Q. Go on. Tell me then who controlled Bijelo Polje?
15 A. That part of the road was simultaneously under fire or under the
16 control of both the Croatian Defence Council and the Serb units which,
17 through the Rujiste pass, across the Rujiste pass above Bijelo Polje
18 shelled the area and controlled that part of the road.
19 Q. Do you know who was in Bijelo Polje on the right bank of the
20 Neretva -- or, rather, the left bank of the Neretva in Bijelo Polje? Who
21 controlled that area, physically speaking, in physical terms?
22 MR. STRINGER: Excuse me, could I just ask that we clarify the
23 time frame that -- I'm assuming we're talking about late December when the
24 witness first made that trip to Medjugorje, but I'd just like to be clear
25 on the time frame that he's talking about.
1 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes. Please, the time frame,
2 Mr. Praljak.
3 THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation] I'm talking exclusively
4 about the time when the gentleman in December arrived down there. I
5 cannot be speaking about any other time.
6 Q. Do you know who controlled the left bank in the area of
7 Bijelo Polje?
8 A. I think.
9 Q. Please, don't think. You either know or you don't know.
10 A. I don't know.
11 Q. Right. Thank you. Now take a look at the following document,
12 3D 0113. 3D 0113. It's a book. It's called the "Encyclopaedic
13 Dictionary of the Defence of Bosnia-Herzegovina" written by
14 Ahmet Kasumovic and Camil Huseinbasic. Are those names familiar, sir?
15 A. No.
16 Q. Well, you have my document before you in my binder. The book was
17 printed in Sarajevo. Can we agree that these two men, judging by their
18 names, are Bosniaks, Ahmet Kasumovic and Camil Huseinbasic?
19 A. I really don't know how you expect me to know that. I said a
20 moment ago that a man's -- a man who was called Dragan was in fact a
21 Bosniak, which is not logical. I don't think you find it logical either.
22 Q. No.
23 A. Well, Dragan isn't a Bosniak name, generally speaking.
24 Q. My name is this, and you can say no, no, I don't agree --
25 A. I don't know. I don't know the gentlemen, and I don't know what
1 ethnicity they were or are.
2 Q. Witness, the words "I don't know," or, "I don't know what they
3 are," will suffice. You can stop there.
4 Now, look at page 145 of the Croatian -- or, rather, Bosniak text.
5 And it says: "The Croatian Defence Council --" we're not going to read
6 the first part but we'll start with the following sentence. "The armed
7 formations of the Croatian Defence Council joined the united armed forces
8 of Bosnia-Herzegovina making up their integral part." And in brackets,
9 it says: "(Article 1, item 2 of the bill having the force of law on
10 regulations of the armed forces of Bosnia-Herzegovina, Official Gazette of
11 the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina, number 4/92 and 12/92.)"
12 In the army of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina, the
13 Croatian Defence Council is also one of its components together with the
14 BH army.
15 Now, my question to is as follows, Mr. Lawyer: Do you know from
16 the beginning of the war in Bosnia-Herzegovina until the end of the war
17 and after the war, too, that the Croatian Defence Council was -- had equal
18 legal status as did the Bosnian-Herzegovinian army according to the
19 provisions published in the Official Gazette of the Republic of
20 Bosnia-Herzegovina? Is that something you knew about?
21 A. I know that the forces of the Croatian Defence Council and the HOS
22 forces and some other forces pursuant to this provision were considered to
23 be united -- the united armed forces of the Republic of
24 Bosnia-Herzegovina. How long for, I do not know.
25 Q. All right. Thank you.
1 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Witness, do you have an idea when this -- this
2 publication was published? Do you have an idea when this was published?
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I've never seen this publication
4 before, so I have no knowledge about it. I don't know who the authors
5 are. I've never heard of them, and this is the first time that I'm
6 looking at this passage.
7 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Maybe Mr. Praljak would volunteer to add this
9 THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation] Your Honour Judge Trechsel,
10 I would be glad to. Could somebody take Mr. Prlic to my room to bring in
11 the original copy of the book? It's to be found in my room, on my
12 suitcase, number 35, and I can continue with my question.
13 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Okay.
14 THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation]
15 Q. Sir, until we're waiting for the book -- while we're waiting for
16 the book, to see the year and date of its publication, let's return for a
17 moment to one other matter, and it is this: Yesterday, you said that an
18 exchange for these 70 HVO soldiers and 2, as you say, soldiers from the
19 Croatian army had been agreed. Listen to me carefully and then tell me
20 whether that's what it was. And then the families of those people who
21 were captured in Vranica and went missing, they, you say, according to
22 you, they set an ultimatum and demanded or conditioned Vranica with the
23 release of these 70 people. Is that what you said?
24 A. There wasn't an agreement for an exchange. That's not what I
25 said. What I said was this: That the families from Vranica laid down
1 conditions that they be freed, these 72 members of the HVO and HV, with
2 the release of Vranica, because it was believed that the guys from Vranica
3 were still alive.
4 Q. But you don't know whether there was an agreement for an exchange?
5 Do you or don't you?
6 A. At the level of the state commission in which I took part, no, it
7 was not.
8 Q. Okay. Thank you. At the level of your commission. You don't
9 know that there was an agreement for an exchange.
10 A. There was no agreement. It had not been agreed.
11 Q. All right. Fine. Now, the helicopters that arrived up there, and
12 we'll see later on according to an agreement to release these 70 persons,
13 then according to your words the families of these 70 people who were
14 waiting for them to arrive blocked the helicopters. Is that what you know
16 A. That's right.
17 Q. Thank you.
18 THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation] Judge Trechsel, Sarajevo
19 2000. The book, "The Encyclopaedic Dictionary of the Defence of
20 Bosnia-Herzegovina" by Ahmet Kasumovic and Camil Huseinbasic was published
21 in Sarajevo in the year 2000.
22 Q. Right. Yesterday you said something as follows, and this is a bit
23 of maths now. When you came down there for talks with the gentlemen, that
24 according to your information the HVO released 3.000 prisoners, regardless
25 of who they were and what type of prisoners they were, and that according
1 to what you knew then 700 remained. That's what you said, that you had
2 information that the HVO held a further 700 persons captive.
3 A. I -- on the 23rd and 24th of December I took over some of these
4 released persons from Gabela and Dretelj, and there were a total of 3.000
5 of them.
6 Q. Right. Now, afterwards you said that the Croatian side insisted
7 upon a ratio of 1:1. Is that what you said?
8 A. Throughout the Croatian side insisted on a 1:1 ratio.
9 Q. Right. Now something's wrong with the arithmetic there, the
10 maths. If somebody, according to what you said, gives 3.000 people over,
11 or prisoners, regardless of their status, and cannot get the 70 from
12 Mostar, then where is this 1:1 ratio? So what did the Croatian side
13 receive in return for releasing these 3.000 people if, according to what
14 you said, it wasn't even able to obtain the 70 plus the 2 whatever?
15 Explain that to me, please.
16 A. You've asked me what the Croatian side got in return. They
17 received a reputation that they had freed over 3.000 civilian prisoners.
18 Among them there were children and elderly.
19 Q. Thank you. Thank you very much. So this was not 1:1 mathematics.
20 They just gained reputation. Let's move on.
21 I'm going to ask you this: You were in Sarajevo. Do you know
22 that on the 26th of October, 1993, the official government, i.e., the
23 government that managed to get together after a certain while, had a
24 showdown with Topalovic, Musan, also known as Caco, the commander of the
25 10th Mountain Brigade, he was killed in the process. Are you aware of
2 A. I know that the -- the official government in Sarajevo, as you
3 call it, tried and did carry out the arrest of the commander of one of the
4 Sarajevo brigades and some of his troops that had stopped recognising the
5 command of main army staff. I don't know the date.
6 Q. The commander of the 10th Mountain Brigade, Musan Topalovic, also
7 shown as Caco, was he killed on that occasion? Do you know or don't you?
8 A. He died in the process.
9 Q. Okay. He died. Stop. Do you know that -- sir, do you know that
10 nine other men were killed, they were members of the military police, of
11 the official forces of the Sarajevo government who wanted to settle
12 account with this person? Do you know that?
13 A. During the arrest of this commander and his renegades is certain
14 number of members of either the military or the civilian police were
15 killed and I don't know their exact number.
16 Q. Do you know that on that same occasion the commander of the 9th
17 Mountain Brigade, Ramiz Delalic, also known as Celo, surrendered and was
19 A. I don't know whether there were any other arrests or not.
20 Q. So you don't know. Thank you very much. Do you know that at the
21 beginning of May 1993, Juka Prazina, the commander of an army brigade in
22 Sarajevo, on Mount Igman captured at the forward command post of the Main
23 Staff of the BiH army, i.e., beat Colonel Vehbija Karic and his son Emir?
24 Do you know that?
25 A. I'm not sure that he was the brigade commander. And as for the
1 rest of your question, I can confirm that I know that there was something
2 with Mr. Vehbija Karic.
3 Q. Do you know that --
4 JUDGE PRANDLER: I'm sorry, Mr. Praljak, to interrupt you but I
5 would like to recall that certain rules should be maintained here in the
6 courtroom. Now your Defence has given 30 minutes, or at least part of the
7 30 minutes to Madam Nozica, and as far as I know, of course now we have
8 only 15 minutes to -- to cope with, and in the meantime the Prosecution
9 should also be given the time for the direct. So I ask you,
10 Mr. President, to act accordingly. Thank you.
11 THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation] Your Honour Judge
12 Prandler --
13 MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation] Your Honours, Your Honours, I would
14 just like to say for the transcript that Mr. Coric's Defence has given me
15 their 30 minutes and not Mr. Praljak. Mr. Praljak has kept all of his
17 THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation] I'll speed up things and go
18 very quickly through the rest of my cross-examination.
19 Q. Sir, how many men, how many Serbs who have been killed in Sarajevo
20 by different units in Kazani and elsewhere at this moment, the Serb side,
21 how many Serbs are they looking for that went missing from Sarajevo?
22 A. According to the records of applications by the families of these
23 people with the Red Cross, the number is 320 plus-minus 10 per cent. I'm
24 not sure because at this moment the number is somewhat lower because a
25 number of them had been located, exhumed, identified and handed over to
1 their families. But we're talking about a total number throughout the
2 war, that number is about 320 of the people missing during the war.
3 Q. Sir, please listen to my question. The Serbian state commission,
4 how many Serbs missing from Sarajevo are still being looked for? How many
5 applications are still on your desk with the names, the date of
6 disappearance that were published in the Serbian Oslobodjenje? How many
7 of such requests are on the desk of the Bosnian commission for missing
8 persons from the Serbian side from Banja Luka? This is what I'm asking
9 you. Give us that number.
10 A. The situation is not the same. Are you talking about the total
11 number or the current total number? This is what I'm asking you, because
12 a significant number of people have been located.
13 Q. The total number.
14 A. Throughout the war?
15 Q. Yes, throughout the war how many people are Serbian side looking
17 A. I don't know.
18 Q. Thank you very much. The total number of such requests that refer
19 to the people who have been located so far and not located was that number
20 over 2.000 or less than that?
21 A. In the perception of Mrs. Biljana Plavsic who was in this
22 courtroom, that number was about 10.000.
23 Q. I apologise. You are wasting my time. You are making a fool out
24 of me. Answer my question. Was it more than 2.000 or less than 2.000.
25 Let's leave Biljana Plavsic out of this.
1 A. I said that I don't know the number that the Serbian commission is
2 looking for.
3 Q. Thank you very much. Do you know how many people the Serbian
4 commission is still looking for of those people who during the war between
5 1991 and 1995 up to the crime in Srebrenica, how many Serbs that were
6 killed in the territory of Bratunac and Srebrenica? Do you know that
8 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Please answer the question and
9 then we will call upon Mr. Stringer for redirect because you have used up
10 your time, Mr. Praljak.
11 Please answer the question. I'm speaking to the witness. Perhaps
12 you've forgotten the question.
13 Mr. Praljak, would you repeat your question, please?
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No. I don't want to waste any more
15 of your time. The Serbian commission is looking for less than 200
16 Serbs -- 2.000 Serbs that went missing from the territories of Bratunac
17 and Srebrenica.
18 THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation]
19 Q. My last question. Look at the book that you have in front of you.
20 Tell me, how many people are the Croatian side looking for? I am talking
21 about the people who are still considered missing from the places such as
22 Bugojno. I would be able to give you more if I had more time, but let's
23 say Bugojno and Konjic, just for the sake of this exercise? Bugojno is
24 page 35. And Grabovica. Let's dwell upon these two. How many from
25 Grabovica, how many --
1 MR. STRINGER: I can -- may I --
2 [Trial Chamber confers]
3 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Stringer.
4 MR. STRINGER: I could perhaps just suggest -- the General's
5 asking how many Croats are being looked for this in these two places,
6 Bugojno, Konjic. Perhaps without referring to the book, because I don't
7 think the witness needs to look at the book to do that, if he could just
8 answer the last question that came from General Praljak, which was
9 regarding how many people are still considered missing from Bugojno and
10 also Konjic. Perhaps if the witness could answer that last question, then
11 I could use the time that's left for a brief redirect.
12 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes. Please answer that last
13 question. How many individuals disappeared or were missing from Bugojno
14 and Konjic, at least to your knowledge.
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Mr. Pusic sent me a list of a total
16 of 207 Croats that went missing in the whole of the territory that the BiH
17 army controlled throughout the conflict. I'm talking about 207 civilians
18 and members of the HVO, and that's the list that I received from
19 Mr. Pusic. And now a very specific answer to your question.
20 I know for Bugojno 21, and those are the people that we discussed
21 yesterday and they're still missing. I'm not sure about Grabovica but
22 it's between 10 and 15. And let me tell you this, why not, I believe that
23 those are the bodies of the victims that were partially burnt and some of
24 them thrown into the river Neretva after the crime that was committed over
1 THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation] Thank you very much for the
2 patience. Thank you very much for your answers. I'm sorry I didn't have
3 more time to put more questions to the witness.
4 MR. STRINGER: Thank you, Mr. President.
5 Re-examination by Mr. Stringer:
6 Q. Witness, I'd like to ask you to go back to the -- one of the
7 exhibits that was shown to you during the first cross-examination that my
8 learned friend Mr. Ibrisimovic conducted. I don't -- do you have those
9 with you?
10 A. [In English] Yeah, I have.
11 Q. Then this would be Exhibit number P 7985. 7985. And this relates
12 to a list. This is a document that you were shown on cross-examination.
13 It's list of, I believe, 121 Heliodrom prisoners who will be released.
14 My question about this document is -- comes from the first
15 sentence of the second paragraph of the -- the letter, the text of the
16 military prosecutor, which I believe is -- it's at the -- it's the
17 beginning of the English translation. I don't know if it's at the
18 beginning of the original language. I'm looking for the text from
19 Mladen Jurisic, the military prosecutor. Do you have that?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. Now --
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. And the first sentence there says and this is the 1st of March,
24 1994: "These persons are subject to a criminal report because of the
25 crime of having served in an enemy army under Article 119 of the code of
1 the former -- or the Socialist Federative Republic of Yugoslavia."
2 My question then to you is the enemy army that's being referred to
3 here, what enemy army is that that these 121 prisoners had been serving
5 A. I really don't know what enemy army is in question. I assume --
6 MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I apologise. If you
7 will allow me, I was warned when I asked for an answer that would have
8 been deemed to be speculation and I believe that this is exactly what the
9 Prosecutor is doing at the moment.
10 JUDGE TRECHSEL: [Previous translation continues] ... you're
11 wasting time. The witness has said he doesn't know.
12 MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation] I'm not wasting time because the
13 witness continued with his answer. I'm just saying that the question
14 called for speculation and for that reason I believe that this should not
15 be allowed because it calls for speculation and the answer is therefore
16 not necessary at all.
17 MR. STRINGER: I have an answer and I'll move on.
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Fine. May I add an important fact
19 which arises from this document is that this document clearly shows that
20 there were underaged persons on this list, and this is something that I
21 already spoke about in the introduction to my testimony at the beginning
22 of day, yesterday. Here the military prosecutor is aware of the fact
23 these people were underaged and contrary to the Criminal Code of Bosnia
24 and Herzegovina he embarks upon something that is called exchange for
25 which he was not authorised.
1 MR. STRINGER:
2 Q. Because you were involved in the releases of these prisoners at
3 this time, do you know - don't speculate - do you know if these
4 individuals had been members or some of them had been members of the army
5 of Bosnia-Herzegovina?
6 A. As you can see in the list, these are people from Sovici, a place
7 that came under the attack of the HVO, and in which the complete
8 population was either arrested or some of them killed on the spot or
9 deported. At this moment I don't know. I don't have any knowledge.
10 Q. Okay. I'll take that as your answer, sir, and I'll move on to
11 what is really just the last topic I wanted to ask you about, and again it
12 relates to a few questions and then some of your testimony during the
13 initial cross-examination by counsel for Mr. Pusic.
14 You made reference to this period right around the Washington
15 Agreement. The specific question related to the extent to which you or
16 Mr. Pusic had to defer to policies and instructions that came to you above
17 your level. Do you remember in general that -- that question from
18 Mr. Ibrisimovic?
19 A. Our instructions were clear. What was agreed at the political
20 level should have been implemented.
21 Q. As a result of the question that -- that counsel put to you,
22 you -- you touched on a topic that I wanted to ask you a few more
23 questions about, which was the visit of Mr. Slobodan Lang to the area, and
24 my questions were simply this: Can you tell the Trial Chamber, as best
25 you recall, when did Mr. Lang come? When did this visit from Mr. Lang
1 take place? Can you say before Washington Agreement, or after Washington
3 A. That meeting lasted very long. Four days with Mr. Lang, and it
4 took place on the 12th, 13th, 14th April 1994, after the Washington
5 Agreement. On the 15th of April, Mr. Lang and myself went in an APC to
6 Gornji Vakuf, and then by helicopter from Gornji Vakuf to Sarajevo. This
7 was an UNPROFOR helicopter.
8 Q. And where did those meetings take place?
9 A. In the SpaBat in Medjugorje.
10 Q. What was Mr. Lang's position at the time?
11 A. At the time, Mr. Lang was introduced to us as the special envoy of
12 Mr. Tudjman for humanitarian issues.
13 Q. Now, you also mentioned a hunger strike. Can you tell us whether
14 the hunger strike was taking place during the time of these meetings with
15 Mr. Lang?
16 A. The hunger strike started perhaps six days prior to Mr. Lang's
17 arrival, and I believe that Mr. Lang arrived in order to resolve that
18 issue, the issue of the release of these prisoners who had entered that
19 strike. I'm talking about somewhat more than 200 of the last prisoners
20 from the Heliodrom.
21 Q. Okay. Now, Mr. Pusic, I take it, was also present at these
23 A. All that time.
24 Q. Okay. And just in general terms, can you describe, based on what
25 you saw, the -- what was -- what were the subject of the conversations
1 between the three of you?
2 A. In the shortest outlines this lasted for three days, so I'll try
3 and be brief. In his first address to me, Mr. Lang asked for both sides,
4 the HVO and the BiH army, to release all the remaining prisoners. I
5 refused that for a simple reason. In the prison in Zenica, there were
6 four convicted felons or people charged with war crimes who could not have
7 been included in the exchange. After that Mr. Lang contacted by
8 Mr. Tudjman by telephone, then ambassador of the Republic of Croatia,
9 Mr. Sancevic, I contacted Mr. Izetbegovic, and an offer came from Mr. Lang
10 that all the sides released their respective prisoners save for those who
11 were in dispute. Mr. Pusic refused that kind of agreement, and after that
12 I again spoke with Mr. Lang, and we reached some sort of a compromise and
13 signed an agreement in three or four paragraphs. It was a written
14 agreement which provided for all the prisoners to be released, that those
15 who were either convicted or charged with war crimes be kept in prisons,
16 that within three days, i.e., up to the 17th of April, 1994, the
17 international committee of the Red Cross should be submitted the decisions
18 of the relevant courts or the indictments issued by the relevant
19 prosecutors' offices for those people who would not be [indiscernible].
20 Mr. Pusic said, once I said that we would keep four men, he said
21 he would keep seven at first, and then he said five, he would keep five,
22 because they were allegedly also either charged or convicted of war
24 And the fourth bullet point in that agreement was that within 30
25 days an independent international expert group would be established. Its
1 task would be to review all the documents pertaining to those people who
2 were either charged with or convicted of war crimes, and after that this
3 task group of experts would make a final decision about the destiny of
4 those people who were either charged with war crimes or convicted already.
5 MR. STRINGER: Okay. Thank you, sir. Thank you for your
7 Mr. President, I have no further questions.
8 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Well, thank you very much,
9 Mr. Witness, sir, for having come to the Tribunal, and I would like to
10 wish you a safe journey home.
11 I would like to ask the usher to accompany you out of the
12 courtroom and ask the registrar to move into private session.
13 [The witness withdrew]
14 [Private session]
12 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 7.04 p.m.,
13 to be reconvened on Wednesday, the 28th day
14 of November, 2007, at 8.00 a.m.