1 Tuesday, 5 February 2008
2 [Open session]
3 [Rule 98 bis]
4 [The accused entered court]
5 [The accused Pusic not present]
6 --- Upon commencing at 9.00 a.m.
7 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Registrar, please call the
9 THE REGISTRAR: Good morning, Your Honours. Good morning everyone
10 in and around the courtroom. This is case number IT-04-74-T, the
11 Prosecutor versus Prlic et al. Thank you, Your Honours.
12 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you very much. Today is
13 Tuesday, February 5, 2008. Good morning to the Prosecution, to the
14 Defence, and to the accused, and to everyone assisting us in and out of
15 this courtroom.
16 I'm now going to give the floor to Mr. Stringer, who will complete
17 the 98 bis proceedings as far as the Prosecution is concerned.
18 Mr. Stringer.
19 JUDGE TRECHSEL: I'm sorry while we're waiting, Mr. Stringer,
20 would you mind moving your desk where Mr. Scott's was yesterday.
21 Otherwise, I will be a biased physically so that I can see you. Thank
23 MR. STRINGER: Excuse me, Your Honour. We're going to -- before I
24 begin I can inform the Trial Chamber that we have loaded a number of the
25 exhibits into the Sanction software programme in order to get a number of
1 them on the screens for the benefit of the counsel and the Judges. So I
2 was a bit closer to Ms. Winner because we're going to be managing this
3 together, but I'm sure we will manage.
4 And may it please the Court, Mr. President and Your Honours,
5 Counsel, good morning to you all. One brief correction. I'll be making
6 the submissions with respect to the accused Mr. Pusic. However, the Trial
7 Chamber will be hearing from Mr. Scott again after I have completed in
8 respect of Valentin Coric, and I think a very brief remark regarding the
9 Petkovic submissions.
10 Mr. President, Your Honours, the Prosecution submits that
11 certainly for purposes of this Rule 98 bis proceeding, the evidence
12 conclusively demonstrates that the accused Berislav Pusic bears criminal
13 possibility with all of the crimes with which he's charged in the
14 indictment. Mr. Pusic's culpability is not only based on the fact that he
15 held several positions of leadership and responsibility within the HVO
16 structures established to arrest, detain, and expel Bosnian Muslim
17 population. The evidence shows that Berislav Pusic in fact exercised his
18 authority and his substantial influence to support the unlawful detention
19 and mistreatment of prisoners. He used his offices and positions of
20 authority as well to bring about the expulsion and deportation of
21 prisoners and their families from their homes throughout the territory of
22 the self-proclaimed Croatian Community or Croatian Republic of
24 In their Rule 98 bis submissions, the Pusic Defence asserted that
25 the Prosecution had failed to present sufficient evidence as to all counts
1 charging Mr. Pusic, although counsel only specifically addressed some of
2 these counts. Apart from a general denial, counsel did not assert that
3 for any specific count the crime alleged did not actually occur.
4 Mr. President, I do not intend to address the crime base for each of the
5 26 counts with which Mr. Pusic is charged beyond saying that the
6 Prosecution submits that it has presented ample evidence to establish that
7 the crimes as charged in the indictment were committed.
8 Counsel for Mr. Pusic did challenge the evidence as it relates to
9 the criminal liability of Mr. Pusic for all counts in the indictment,
10 specifically raising different modes of liability under Article 7(1) of
11 the Statute, including joint criminal enterprise, and Article 7(3).
12 For purposes of this Rule 98 bis proceeding, the Trial Chamber
13 need only consider whether the evidence is capable of proving Mr. Pusic's
14 responsibility for each of the crimes he's charged with under any alleged
15 mode of liability. We could talk about Mr. Pusic's responsibility for
16 planning, instigating, ordering, committing, and aiding and abetting a
17 variety of crimes that are charged in the indictment, particularly those
18 crimes that fell directly within the scope of his competence and position.
19 Several of the documents that we will refer to in these submissions
20 establish Mr. Pusic's personal involvement and responsibility for numerous
22 For purposes of Article 7(3), we could talk about the extent of
23 his effective command and control over HVO personnel, at the very least,
24 those HVO personnel who had custody and control of Bosnian Muslim
25 prisoners and other expelled Muslims, for it is clear that Pusic did, in
1 fact, possess and exercise effective command and control over HVO military
2 units and personnel that had Muslim prisoners and displaced persons in
3 their custody. The documents we review this morning will establish that
4 as well.
5 For this hearing, Mr. President, and to address the points raised
6 by counsel for Mr. Pusic in his submissions last week, we believe that it
7 would be most useful and efficient to talk about Mr. Pusic's criminal
8 responsibility as a member of the joint criminal enterprise that is
9 alleged in the indictment and what the Prosecution regards as his very
10 tangible and substantial contribution to it. To consider Mr. Pusic's role
11 and contribution to the joint criminal enterprise, the Trial Chamber
12 should recall the evidence showing his de jure and de facto authority, as
13 well as his own actions and words.
14 De jure authority. As an officer of the HVO military police, as
15 head of the service for the exchange of prisoners and other persons, and
16 as head of the commission to take charge of all Herceg-Bosna HVO prisons
17 and detention facilities holding POWs and other detainees, Berislav Pusic
18 was responsible for and had significant authority regarding, one, prisoner
19 exchanges involving both civilian detainees and prisoners of war. Two,
20 the release of prisoners who were held at various HVO detention
21 facilities. Three, overseeing HVO prisons and detention camps,
22 record-keeping in those prisons and camps, and conditions of life for the
23 prisoners in the HVO prisons and camps. Four, issuance of the papers that
24 enabled Muslims to flee the Mostar region. Five, and the ultimate
25 transfer or deportation of prisoners and their families to third countries
1 or to territory outside the HVO-held areas in the HZ HB.
2 With the full range of authority he possessed in respect of all
3 prisoners, civilian and combatant, Berislav Pusic determined who was
4 detained, who was released, who was exchanged, and who was evacuated. He
5 implemented HVO policy in these spheres on behalf of his superiors Mate
6 Boban, Jadranko Prlic, Bruno Stojic, and Valentin Coric. Pusic frequently
7 decided where, which prison or camp, prisoners were to be held, at times
8 directing traffic, if you will, ordering the transfer of prisoners from
9 one facility to another in order to create space for more prisoners to
10 come. For prisoners whom he released he decided where they were to be
11 released to or ensure that they were leaving Herceg-Bosna altogether.
12 Pusic gathered detailed data and lists of prisoners. He knew their
13 conditions of confinement.
14 For Bosnian Muslims fortunate enough not to have been arrested but
15 yet unfortunate enough to find themselves living in the new order of a
16 Croat-dominated HZ HB in West Mostar, Pusic facilitated their movement out
17 of Herceg-Bosna through the issuance of transit visas and other papers.
18 These enabled Bosnian Muslims to move through HVO check-points to the
19 Republic of Croatia and on to third countries. That long one-way journey
20 began with the signature of Berislav Pusic. In this way, Pusic played a
21 substantial role in controlling and directing the movement and treatment
22 of Bosnian Muslims in, around, and ultimately out of the territory of the
23 HZ HB or the areas controlled by the HVO. This was Berislav Pusic's
24 contribution to the joint criminal enterprise which had as its goal the
25 permanent removal and ethnic cleansing of Bosnian Muslims and non-Croats
1 from the territory of the HZ HB.
2 In 1992, Berislav Pusic was an officer of the HVO military police
3 in Mostar. On the 2nd of November, 1992, shortly after the events that
4 occurred in Prozor that year, Pusic participated in a meeting with the
5 head of the HVO military police administration, Mr. Coric. Pusic was an
6 officer within the crime prevention department of the 3rd Battalion of the
7 military police based in Mostar. And that is according to Exhibit number
8 P 00696, page 6.
9 In early April of 1993, shortly before the HVO's mid-April
10 offensives in Central Bosnia and Sovici, Doljani, Mr. Pusic was proposed
11 by his superiors in the 3rd Military Police Battalion to serve as a
12 control officer in the military police or as an officer for cooperation
13 and contact with the opposite side regarding exchanges of prisoners.
14 That's Exhibit P 01773.
15 And the next exhibit that we'd like to put up on the screen,
16 Mr. President, is Exhibit P 02020. Mr. President, this is a document
17 dated the 22nd of April, 1993.
18 Three weeks later, on the 22nd of April, 1993, after the sides had
19 signed cease-fire agreements following the HVO's mid-April offensives in
20 Central Bosnia and the HVO attack on Sovici, Doljani in the Jablanica
21 municipality, Valentin Coric accepted the nomination of Pusic and
22 appointed him to participate on behalf of the HVO military police in the
23 exchange of all arrested persons. From this point in April 1993 through
24 to the end of the conflict between the Bosnian Croats and Bosnian Muslims,
25 Berislav Pusic exercised primary responsibility for the exchanges of HVO
2 On the 11th of May, 1993, two days after the HVO attack on the
3 ABiH Vranica building, Bruno Stojic, the head of the HVO defence
4 department, specifically appointed Pusic to be HVO liaison officer to the
5 UNPROFOR Spanish Battalion in connection with an exchange in East Mostar.
6 Pusic had negotiated the removal of a priest from East Mostar in exchange
7 for some blood plasma delivered to the east side hospital. That's Exhibit
8 P 02291.
9 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Please stop.
10 Mr. Ibrisimovic.
11 MR. IBRISIMOVIC: [Interpretation] Mr. President, I really do not
12 wish to interrupt my colleague in his presentation. However, I think he
13 is leading the Trial Chamber astray now. This document, P 02291, the
14 translation was corrected with the intervention of the Defence team, and
15 we can see that Mr. Pusic was not in fact appointed liaison officer. I
16 know that Mr. Stringer came into this case a little later, but there was a
17 comment from the -- an objection from the Defence counsel, and the
18 translation was indeed corrected and it's now on e-court.
19 MR. STRINGER: I'm working with the version that's on e-court,
20 Mr. President, but the document will speak for itself.
21 We would then put on the screen Exhibit P 03191, Mr. President.
22 As the conflict between the HVO and the ABiH intensified, Pusic's
23 powers expanded. On the 5th of July, 1993, five days after the ABiH
24 attack on the HVO northern barracks, Jadranko Prlic, as president of the
25 HVO, signed a decision establishing the service for the exchange of
1 prisoners and other persons. On that same day, in a separate decision,
2 Prlic appointed Berislav Pusic to serve as the head of that service.
3 Pusic's appointment was published in the official HZ HB gazette, the
4 Narodni List, which is in evidence as Exhibit P 03208.
5 Under Article 4 of this decision, on page 2, it was the HVO of the
6 HZ HB that had the authority to appoint and relieve Pusic as the head of
7 the service.
8 The next exhibit is P 03075.
9 Mr. President, at the time of his appointment by Mr. Prlic on the
10 5th of July, 1993, there was certainly no shortage of prisoners at the
11 disposal of Mr. Pusic for exchange purposes. In the five days following
12 the ABiH attack on the northern barracks, the HVO and its military police
13 units had rounded up hundreds, perhaps thousands, of "persons of Muslim
14 faith" as they are referred to in Exhibit P 03075. This is a document
15 that Mr. Scott referred to yesterday, Mr. President, in his submissions
16 regarding the series of orders that went down the chain of command on the
17 arrest of Muslim -- Muslims of military age in the wake of the ABiH attack
18 on 30 June.
19 According to this document, which is a report of the Capljina
20 military police dated the 1st of July, 1993, one Military Police Platoon
21 was engaged in collecting persons of Muslim faith in Stolac. On page 2,
22 that same report states that: "So far about 1300 persons have been
23 apprehended and brought in from the municipalities of Stolac, Capljina,
24 Mostar and Neum on 30 June and 1 July 1993."
25 These persons of Muslim faith would become Pusic's currency to use
1 in exchanges as a way to facilitate the removal of Muslims from such areas
2 as Capljina, Stolac, and Mostar. It was only their status as Muslims that
3 made them eligible for selection by Pusic to be sent away in an exchange.
4 The next document is P 03052.
5 Mr. President, this exhibit is a document written by Mr. Pusic
6 proposing how the service to which he'd been appointed by Dr. Prlic was to
7 be organised, and it describes his understanding of its responsibilities.
8 The document is undated but it refers specifically to the decision of
9 Jadranko Prlic establishing the office for exchange. According to
10 Mr. Pusic in this document, the responsibilities of his office were
11 "exchanging HVO members as well as civilians, making lists of persons we
12 seek in municipalities, units, and at the level of the HVO operations
13 zones as well as the persons we have exchanged or can exchange,
14 establishing lists ever persons who voluntarily want to leave the areas of
15 the HZ HB, and creating a unified data at the level of the HZ HB ..."
16 using the existing and new information from various sources, including the
17 military police administration.
18 As the HVO continued its massive campaign of arresting Muslims in
19 Western Herzegovina during July of 1993, by early August it found itself
20 in custody of thousands of Muslim prisoners. Exhibit P 09500 is under
21 seal. We're not going to put it up, but it indicates that at a high-level
22 meeting Mr. Boban, on the 21st of July, 1993, stated that some 6.000
23 Muslims of military age were in custody by that time.
24 We will put up Exhibit P 03995.
25 In an attempt to gain control over the illegal prison system that
1 the HVO leadership had created, and in the face of increasing pressure and
2 criticism from the international community and the Republic of Croatia
3 conditions in these camps, Bruno Stojic appointed Pusic to be the
4 president of commission "authorised by the department of defence to take
5 charge of all detention units and prisons in which POWs and military
6 detainees are held." This occurred on the 6th of August, 1993, this
7 appointment by Mr. Stojic.
8 Of course the term "military detainees" has no real meaning,
9 certainly not in international humanitarian law. This was a code word for
10 civilians who were in HVO prisons and camps only because they were
12 The Stojic commission was to be composed of five members with
13 Pusic, who was still acting under the appointment of Dr. Prlic, as head of
14 the service for exchange. Now also as president of the Stojic commission.
15 On page 2 of this document, we see that Stojic ordered that this
16 commission would compile a list of all detainees, sort them into
17 categories, establish control over all detention units and prisons, solve
18 the problems relating to functioning and security, regulate release,
19 regulate prisoner exchanges and the like and any other questions relating
20 to the work and functioning of detention units and prisons. Further,
21 Stojic's order directed that: "The detention unit and prison wardens or
22 commanders must carry out the commands, instructions, and orders and work
23 in accordance with rules prescribed by the commission."
24 THE INTERPRETER: Could Mr. Stringer kindly slow down for the
25 interpreters. Thank you.
1 MR. STRINGER: This order of Bruno Stojic gave Pusic an official
2 position of control over the prisoners and the HVO personnel who held
4 The next exhibit is 4141.
5 After his appointment as president of the Stojic commission,
6 Berislav Pusic issued a decision exercising his authority as the president
7 of that commission. He required that all detainees be -- that for all
8 detainees a personal data slip be made. On page 2 of the document. He
9 ordered the suspension of all prisoner releases from the Dretelj and
10 Gabela prisons in order to obtain more expeditious registrations and
11 correct classification of prisoners. This decision provided that Berislav
12 Pusic himself, as president of the Stojic commission, would sign off on
13 the final paperwork authorising prisoner releases.
14 Down toward the bottom of what's on the screen, Mr. President,
15 there's a reference here to persons with all guarantees, persons with --
16 wanting to be released who have the guarantees.
17 The Trial Chamber may recall that the guarantees referred to in
18 this decision relate to guarantees showing that the prisoner would be
19 leaving to go to a third country, and I'll be talking about that more
20 later in my submissions.
21 In his submissions, counsel for Mr. Pusic suggested that Pusic was
22 not a leader or did not play a leadership role in the joint criminal
23 enterprise. The Prosecution disagrees. Mr. President, the evidence
24 discussed thus far clearly demonstrates that the official appointments
25 Berislav Pusic received from Valentin Coric, Bruno Stojic and Jadranko
1 Prlic vested him with substantial de jure powers and authority over
2 Bosnian Muslim prisoners and indeed any Bosnian Muslim in HVO territory
3 who might be useful for exchange purposes. He was also clearly vested
4 with authority over HVO personnel who had Bosnian Muslims in their
6 Was Berislav Pusic subordinate to Messrs. Coric, Stojic, and
7 Prlic? Yes, he was. Witness DZ testified specifically that he believed
8 Pusic was acting in the field on behalf of Messrs. Boban, Prlic, and
9 Stojic and doing their will. That's at page 26513 of the transcript.
10 But this does not mean that Mr. Pusic himself possess a position
11 of leadership and authority regarding the prisons, prisoners, and Bosnian
12 Muslims who sought to flee the persecution and terror directed against
13 them by the HVO.
14 De facto authority. Mr. President, the Prosecution submits that
15 Mr. Pusic's de jure powers as described above translated directly into
16 real, effective, de facto powers on the ground in respect of prisoners and
17 prisoner issues. This should come as no surprise given the fact that his
18 authority emanated directly from personal appointments by the highest
19 authorities in the HVO leadership. Pusic routinely exercised his
20 authority over prisoners and Muslims who sought to leave Herceg-Bosna. He
21 knew and approved of the crimes being directed against Muslim prisoners
22 such as forced labour.
23 On the ground, the evidence establishes that Berislav Pusic was
24 the primary contact person for international representatives wishing to
25 discuss prisoner issues. Pusic was seen by the internationals to be
1 Coric's assistant or right-hand man regarding access to the HVO detention
2 camps at the Heliodrom, Ljubuski, and Capljina.
3 Exhibit 2601 is a letter to Mr. Coric from a representative of the
4 ICRC referring to his 29 May 1993 meeting with Pusic, describing Pusic as
5 Coric's assistant. In their report of 16 June 1993, ECMM monitors Jesus
6 Amatrian and Anton Van der Grinten noted their meeting that day with Mr.
7 Stojic, Coric and Pusic. They wrote that Coric was chief of the HVO
8 military police and Pusic was "deputy HVO military police." That's
9 Exhibit P 02806.
10 The witnesses all testified that Pusic had substantial authority
11 in respect of prisoners and movements of people in and out of HVO
12 territory. Klaus Nisen testified that Pusic was the one to turn to for
13 issues relating to displaced persons, POWs, and sometimes refugees.
14 That's page 20475 of the transcript.
15 Witness BD testified that Pusic was "very clearly powerful," and
16 "had a great deal of influence." Transcript page 20799.
17 Witness BC testified that Pusic's office was responsible for the
18 issuance of all documents that allowed for movement, transit through the
19 territory held by the Bosnian Croats. That's transcript page 18531.
20 Mr. President, could we briefly move into closed session -- or
21 private session.
22 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes. Mr. Registrar, please,
23 private session.
24 [Private session]
7 [Open session]
8 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, we're back in open session.
9 MR. STRINGER: Suad Cupina with whom Pusic negotiated in respect
10 of prisoner exchange testified that "We did know, we did know, however,
11 that Berto was the be-all and the end-all for prisoners in the territory
12 of Mostar. He was the one who captured, who released people. So if one
13 wanted someone liberated, released, you had to go and talk to Berto
14 Pusic." Page 4837 to 4838 of the transcript.
15 Mr. President, the evidence shows that Berislav Pusic had
16 substantial de facto, on-the-ground authority matching the de jure
17 authority you would expect of someone appointed to his various positions
18 by Messrs. Coric, Stojic, and Prlic. The evidence shows that Berislav
19 Pusic was directly involved in and had knowledge of virtually every aspect
20 of the situation involving prisoners, conditions of their detention, use
21 of prisoners for forced labour, and release of prisoners to third
23 On the conditions of detention, Pusic personally knew and was
24 regularly informed about the dire and unlawful conditions in which the
25 prisoners were detained. He was repeatedly put on notice of the
1 inadequacy of the facilities, malnutrition, abuse, and mistreatment of the
2 prisoners over whom he had authority. For example, on the 5th of July,
3 1993, the date of his appointment by Dr. Prlic to head the service for
4 exchange, a report made by the Heliodrom prison warden Stanko Bozic
5 reported an incident in which shooting was directed against the halls in
6 the school at the Heliodrom where prisoners were being held. Bozic noted
7 that the buildings where prisoners were being held had not been built as
8 prisons, so that it was difficult to provide security and protect the
9 detainees in the case of such incidents. He said that the 16 military
10 police officers assigned to secure these buildings were not sufficient.
11 This report was directed to Mr. Coric and Pusic.
12 We can put up Exhibit 5077. This is actually the original
13 language version, Mr. President. That is list of detained persons in the
14 Heliodrom who were being kept in solitary confinement. It's a list of 29
15 names. It appears over the name and signature of Mr. Pusic.
16 The Trial Chamber has heard testimony in this trial from the first
17 person listed on this document, Ibrahim Saric.
18 The next exhibit is 3334.
19 The warden of the Heliodrom directed reports to Pusic and Coric
20 about suicide attempts in the Heliodrom in July and August of 1993. One
21 of these relates to a suicide attempt by a 65-year-old Muslim prisoner on
22 the 9th of July, 1993.
23 Witness E testified that he would make lists of the prisoners in
24 Ljubuski and that at times Pusic himself would come to Ljubuski prison to
25 get those lists. That's at page 22045 of the transcript. Pusic was
1 present in the Ljubuski facility and knew of the conditions there.
2 Pusic received reports on the sanitary situation at the Gabela and
3 Heliodrom, what were called "preventive isolation centres." That would be
4 Exhibits P 05485 for Gabela and Exhibit P 05503 for the Heliodrom. These
5 reports describe overcrowding and failure to segregate the wounded, sick,
6 and healthy into different wards. Gabela report notes that although the
7 detainees received two meals per day, those engaged in compulsory work got
8 more food.
9 The Trial Chamber will recall the testimony of Ed Vulliamy, who
10 testified that at a press conference about the HVO prison camps Pusic
11 claimed that Dretelj did in fact meet international standards and that
12 regarding those tunnels at Dretelj, which I'm sure the Trial Chamber will
13 recall: "If the tunnels were good enough for the Yugoslav People's Army
14 soldiers, it was good enough for the Muslim prisoners." That's at page
15 1595 of the transcript, Mr. Vulliamy's testimony. Of course the evidence
16 establishes that the prisoners Pusic was referring to were not just
17 soldiers but also Muslim civilians arrested and detained for preventive
18 isolation. The fact is, Mr. President, that Mr. Pusic had no regard for
19 the treatment of the prisoners in the camps, whether POW or civilian.
20 Access. Not only was Pusic fully informed of the conditions in
21 the camps, he had the authority to grant access into the camps. Philip
22 Watkins testified that they had to get Pusic's approval to gain access to
23 detention facilities. He testified this was a constant battle. Page
24 18820 of the transcript.
25 Witness BB testified that it was Pusic who granted access to the
1 Heliodrom facility in mid-May 1993 to visit Muslims rounded up and
2 detained there during 9 and 10 May 1993. That's page 17169 and 17239 of
3 the transcript.
4 Forced labour. Mr. President, Berislav Pusic had the power to
5 authorise the use of prisoners for forced labour, and he exercised this
6 power frequently. Josip Praljak who was the deputy warden of the
7 Heliodrom prison facility testified that Pusic exercised this power as a
8 member of the military police. That's page 1470 -- actually, it may be
9 14741 of the transcript. I will double-check that reference.
10 The next exhibit for the screen is Exhibit P 06805.
11 Mr. President, this is an interesting document in a number of respects.
12 It's a report dated the 22nd of November, 1993, by Radoslav Lavric, who at
13 that time was the newly appointed chief of the military police
14 administration. Coric was at this time the newly appointed minister of
15 interior for the Croatian Republic of Herceg-Bosna.
16 This report notes that Pusic could authorise the use of prisoners
17 for work. At the beginning of this report, Lavric states that Pusic is
18 the most competent person to answer questions about the prisoners of war.
19 I also note for Your Honours that in paragraph 2, Lavric writes
20 that it was Valentin Coric who had actually chosen the Heliodrom location
21 as a military prison.
22 The next exhibit is 3194.
23 On the subject of forced labour, Mr. President, this is a
24 report -- it's a request, excuse me, dated the 5th of July, 1993, for
25 prisoners to be taken to build bunkers between the New Bank and the
1 grammar school on the front line in Mostar.
2 As indicated by the note on this document, the approval for the
3 use of these prisoners was given by Mr. Pusic.
4 Exhibit 4500. 4500 is a list of prisoners from Sovici and
5 Doljani, identifying those who were either taken to labour or were in the
6 hospital for treatment. The list is dated the 25th of August, 1993, and
7 it's directed specifically to Mr. Pusic from Josip Praljak, to inform him
8 about the Sovici, Doljani prisoners.
9 The next -- excuse me. The next exhibit is 3171.
10 Pusic received reports informing him of the extreme danger of the
11 labour that he was sending prisoners to perform, or the labour that he was
12 approving prisoners be taken to perform.
13 Exhibit 3171, this one dated the 4th of July, informs him of a
14 group of prisoners who were taken to work, two of whom were wounded by the
15 BiH army and were transferred to the hospital when they were working.
16 This report was directed to Mr. Pusic as supervising officer, also
17 directed specifically to the chief, Mr. Valentin Coric.
18 The Trial Chamber could also look at Exhibit 3414 regarding
19 prisoners wounded on the 13th of July. Exhibit P 03435, prisoners wounded
20 on the 10th of July. These documents establish that Heliodrom officials
21 informed Pusic and Coric of the fact that wounded prisoners who had been
22 sent for forced labour on Pusic's approval had been wounded.
23 Josip Praljak who signed these reports on behalf of the Heliodrom
24 warden testified that he never received any reaction to his warnings to
25 HVO authorities about the dangers of the forced labour. That's page 14785
1 of the transcript.
2 The next exhibit is 7498. Mr. President, this is a list sent to
3 Pusic by Mr. Bozic, the Heliodrom warden, on the 6th of January, 1994,
4 identifying 37 prisoners of war and civilians who died during work.
5 The next is Exhibit P 07148. Mr. President, this is an important
6 document. It relates to this and other issues impacting the prisoner and
7 exchange issues. The document is the minutes of a meeting that was
8 chaired by Marijan Biskic on the 11th of December, 1993. Mr. Pusic
9 attended this meeting as well as Mr. Bozic, the Heliodrom warden, and
10 other HVO officials.
11 On page 3 of this document, Mr. President, Pusic identifies all of
12 the detention centres and indicates that he does not have a precise figure
13 on the overall number of detainees because "until now detainees were
14 constantly being taken away to work, mostly on the preparation of the
15 front line."
16 On page 4 Pusic gives figures on the numbers of prisoners at
17 detention centres in Livno, Tomislavgrad, and Gabela.
18 Interestingly, on the same page, in response to a question from
19 Marijan Biskic regarding determining the number of prisoners who were part
20 of the Muslim armed forces, Pusic indicated that there were only five such
22 On page 5 of this document, Mr. President, as the parties were
23 discussing the release of the prisoners, Mr. Pusic said that he was in
24 favour of releasing the prisoners but that they should be prepared "so
25 that they can be sent abroad."
1 Bosnian Muslim prisoners continued to be sent to perform labour in
2 dangerous front-line positions and continued to be killed and wounded
3 while doing so. This practice with the knowledge, approval, and support
4 of Berislav Pusic continued into 1994, and this is shown by the fact that
5 the ICRC sent a letter to Marijan Biskic with a copy to Mr. Pusic pointing
6 out that the ICRC was not able to register or visit numerous prisoners
7 because they had been taken away to perform forced labour. That is
8 Exhibit P 07537.
9 Likewise, as the many orders signed by Pusic and the testimony of
10 Witness E, Nihad Kovac, and Spomenka Drljevic demonstrate, Berislav Pusic,
11 together with Valentin Coric had the authority to order the transfer of
12 prisoners and to regulate where they would be imprisoned. Pusic informed
13 Spomenko Drljevic in person at Ljubuski that she and other female
14 prisoners would be transferred to the Heliodrom. That's page 1050 to 1053
15 of the transcript.
16 The next exhibit is P 07158.
17 Pusic could prevent the transfer of prisoners when it served the
18 needs of the HVO. In December of 1993, he signed off on a list of
19 detainees from Jablanica who would remain at the Heliodrom because they
20 were needed for an exchange of Croats in Jablanica. Pusic's jurisdiction
21 over prisoners extended to Muslim prisoners wherever they were from.
22 Mr. President, if we could go into private session for one brief
24 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Registrar.
25 [Private session]
7 [Open session]
8 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, we're back in public session.
9 MR. STRINGER: That over 400 prisoners would be arriving from
10 Zepce and Zavidovici way up in Central Bosnia and that they would be held
11 at a new makeshift detention facility at Otok, also called Vitina, in
12 Ljubuski municipality. In keeping with his usual practice requiring
13 documentation and lists, Pusic directed Witness E to make a list of the
14 prisoners. Later, the HVO military police transferred another group of
15 around 200 Bosnian Muslims, civilians, from Capljina and detained them
16 also at the Otok/Vitina camp which by this time, according to Witness E
17 had between 6 and 700 prisoners who were held in a place that was nothing
18 more than a concrete slab with a roof over it, no walls, no water, no
20 According to Witness E and Witness EI, Bosnian Muslim detainees
21 from Otok camp were eventually transferred to the Heliodrom. This would
22 be at transcript pages 22070 for Witness E, and 26139 for EI.
23 We know that at least some of these prisoners were transferred to
24 the Heliodrom on the orders of Berislav Pusic. That order is Exhibit P
25 05083. It's dated the 15th of September, 1993.
1 Bosnian Muslim civilians and prisoners of war who were arrested in
2 various municipalities under the territorial control of the HVO and
3 detained in Ljubuski prison were transferred to the Heliodrom camp upon
4 the joint orders of Berislav Pusic and Valentin Coric. That would be
5 referring to, among others exhibits P 02546, 2535, 2541.
6 Release of prisoners. We could put up Exhibit P 02332.
7 The evidence clearly establishes that it was the pen of Pusic, as
8 well as that of Valentin Coric, that served as the key to the gaols of
9 Herceg-Bosna. Many orders either refer to releases made on the orders of
10 Pusic or are signed by him personally.
11 Exhibit P 02332, dated the 12th of May, 1993, shows that Pusic had
12 authority to approve the release of prisoners from the Heliodrom after the
13 9th of May HVO operation and arrest of the Muslim population in Mostar.
14 The next exhibit is 2315. Similarly, Mr. President, this exhibit,
15 dated the 11th of May, 1993, demonstrates that Pusic would review the
16 lists of prisoners, indicating specifically which ones could be released
17 and which ones would have to stay in detention.
18 Witness E testified that whenever an order was received from
19 Mr. Coric or Mr. Pusic to release prisoners, those orders were always
20 carried out. That's page 22089 of the transcript.
21 Ultimately, Pusic showed his authority on matters of detention
22 when under intense international pressure, including pressure exerted by
23 their sponsors in Zagreb, the HVO authorities finally decided to close the
24 HVO prison system in late 1993. As mentioned already, Exhibit P 7148,
25 which is the minutes of the meeting with Marijan Biskic on the 13th of
1 December, 1993, that exhibit establishes Pusic's leading role in devising
2 and implementing the release programme in a way that furthered the
3 objective of removing as many Muslims as possible from the territory of
4 Herceg-Bosna. As he says on page 5 of that document, Pusic agreed that
5 the prisoners should be released but that preparations should be made so
6 that the prisoners could be sent abroad.
7 Mr. President, the Prosecution submits that in addition to his
8 role and involvement in the arrest, detentions, forced labour, and release
9 of prisoners, Berislav Pusic made a substantial contribution to the goals
10 of the joint criminal enterprise in the procedures and practices he
11 advocated for the release of prisoners. The evidence shows that when he
12 said to Marijan Biskic that preparations should be made to send the
13 prisoners abroad, Pusic was describing his own intent in respect of
14 prisoner release and exchange. The evidence shows that when Mr. Pusic
15 released a Bosnian Muslim prisoner, it was his intention, if at all
16 possible, that that prisoner should never return to his home.
17 I have mentioned the testimony of Witness BC regarding the transit
18 visas and the travel documents that were being issued in June of 1993 by
19 HVO authorities. With these documents Muslims in Mostar would sign their
20 property over to the HVO and leave the country. It was Pusic's office
21 that was responsible for the issuance of these documents. Page 18326 of
22 the transcript.
23 Pusic was also part of a working group proposing the relocation of
24 detained individuals and the opening of a transit centre in Ljubuski.
25 That's Exhibit P 03573.
1 Witness BA testified about that transit centre proposed by
2 Mr. Prlic and the HVO from which Muslim prisoners would be deported to
3 third countries.
4 The next exhibit is 3668.
5 Pusic's authority to decide the fate of prisoners and evicted
6 persons was not just limited to those in HVO prisons. Exhibit P 03668 is
7 an inquiry sent from Stipe Pole, who is the commander of the 3rd
8 Battalion, Mijat Tomic in Jablanica. This inquiry is dated the 23rd of
9 July, 1993. He said that during the night some 400 Muslim women,
10 children, and elderly had been brought into the Doljani sector from the
11 direction of Posusje. This HVO unit wanted some guidance as to what they
12 should do with these 400 Muslim women children and elderly. To whom did
13 this HVO battalion commander direct his inquiry? He directed it to
14 Messrs. Coric and Pusic personally.
15 Who responded to this inquiry? We see that in Exhibit P 03652.
16 In a response given on the same day, Pusic told Stipe Pole to
17 escort the Muslims to the last HVO check-point in Doljani and let them
18 walk to Jablanica. Apparently allowing them to return home was not an
19 option for Mr. Pusic, or Mr. Coric, for that matter. The Trial Chamber
20 will recall that Witness CG, a woman arrested by the HVO in her home
21 municipality of Capljina was among those brought to Sovici and then forced
22 to walk to Jablanica at Pusic's direction. Page 10801 of the transcript.
23 By the summer and fall of 1993, the HVO under Valentin Coric and
24 Berislav Pusic began implementation of a large-scale programme whereby
25 prisoners could be released from an HVO prison if they could produce the
1 paperwork and the letters of guarantee to prove that they and their
2 families would leave their homes altogether and move to a third country.
3 As Josip Praljak testified, those prisoners who were able to
4 obtain the required documentation then needed Pusic's signature on behalf
5 of the office of exchange. If they got that, they could be released.
6 That's page 14770 of the transcript.
7 However, the release came at a high price. This deportation
8 scheme was very clearly described by Witness E as it applied -- as it was
9 applied in the Ljubuski municipality. Bosnian Muslim detainees possessing
10 the required paperwork were released and given 24 hours to go home, get
11 their families, and leave for a third country. The Bosnian Muslim houses
12 were then occupied by Croats. This is pages 22101, 22095, 22106, 22184 of
13 the transcript.
14 The exhibits show that Berislav Pusic was aware of and
15 participated in this deportation practice himself. Exhibits P 04450,
16 7178, 7214.
17 Alija Lizde and Fahrudin Rizvanbegovic, both of whom testified in
18 this case, had papers signed by Pusic authorising their release based on
19 such guarantees. Those are exhibits P 05949 and 7097.
20 Ironically, the Trial Chamber will recall that Mr. Lizde was
21 arrested on the 10th of May, 1993, during the HVO operation at the Vranica
22 headquarters in Mostar. Pusic himself was present when Lizde was
23 arrested. When he asked Pusic why he'd been arrested, Pusic replied that
24 the Armija had arrested some of their men so that they, the HVO, decided
25 to gather a few of us Muslims to have us exchanged. And so it turned out
1 to be Pusic who was directly involved in both the arrest and the eventual
2 release of Alija Lizde some seven months later.
3 Pusic's statement to Alija Lizde that some Muslims were being
4 arrested so that they, the HVO, would have some prisoners to exchange,
5 demonstrates that Pusic saw all the Muslims in HVO territory as potential
6 currency for exchange. He told Witness BC that all the Muslims currently
7 in HVO-controlled areas are valuable to the Croatian Defence Council for
8 use in future exchanges. I'm referring now to Exhibit P 9848, which is
9 under seal, and Exhibit -- or I'm sorry, page number 25207 of the
11 The next exhibit is P 07102.
12 Mr. President, this exhibit is a proposal for the work of the
13 Croatian Republic of Herceg-Bosna service for exchange of captives and
14 other persons. It's dated the 10th of December, 1993, and it was sent by
15 Pusic to Jadranko Prlic personally.
16 In this report on page 5 -- I'm told we don't have it on Sanction.
17 My apologies. On page 5 of this exhibit which is 7102, Pusic states that
18 the prisons are interesting for the service only for the purpose of
19 seeking certain persons for exchange, and therefore we need to specify how
20 the captives to be exchanged are to be taken out, how they are to be
21 checked, and this is to be done in cooperation with the institution in
22 charge of the prisons. To Mr. Pusic the prisons were only interesting to
23 the service, only for the purpose of seeking certain persons for exchange.
24 In informing Jadranko Prlic of the work and the recommendations of
25 the service for exchange, whether as to Muslim POWs, civilians, those in
1 prison, those otherwise being held in preventive isolation, Pusic played a
2 key role in shaping HVO policy in respect of prisoners and prisoner
3 exchange issues.
4 Mr. President, I don't know that I can finish. Are we going until
5 10.30? I'm sorry. Then I can.
6 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes, indeed. You have 20
7 minutes left.
8 MR. STRINGER: Amor Masovic was a member of the BiH State
9 commission for the exchange of prisoners of war and persons deprived of
10 liberty. He told the Trial Chamber that Mr. Pusic told him and other
11 members of the international community, like the ICRC, that all men
12 between 18 and 65 years of age are soldiers and that they should all be in
13 camps or prisons. That's at page 25032 of the transcript. This statement
14 by Mr. Pusic clearly reflected HVO policy and practice.
15 Mr. Masovic testified further that the other practice which Pusic
16 implemented and advocated publicly was that "all Croatians who lived on
17 the territory not under HVO control were potential prisoners." Pusic told
18 Masovic that it was his task to see that those people were transferred
19 from that territory, the territory where they were potential prisoners, to
20 territory under the control of the Croatian Defence Council. Thus, and
21 not surprisingly, we see evidence that Pusic supported the practice of
22 reverse ethnic cleansing that the Trial Chamber has heard about in these
23 proceedings from various witnesses and the ECMM in particular.
24 If we could go briefly into private session, Mr. President.
25 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Registrar, please.
1 [Private session]
13 [Open session]
14 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, we're back in open session.
15 MR. STRINGER: It is important for us all to recall,
16 Mr. President, exactly what Mr. Pusic was advocating when he said that the
17 Muslims in Western Herzegovina should be sent to East Mostar where they
19 Within two weeks of this conversation between Pusic and Witness
20 BC, Jeremy Bowen and a BBC film crew managed to reach East Mostar, and
21 they filmed the documentary is now in evidence as Exhibit 6365. I would
22 like to show the Trial Chamber a brief three-minute excerpt of that film
23 just so that as we sit here in this courtroom today all these years and
24 miles away from East Mostar at that time, we can all recall precisely what
25 "sending them to the east bank" meant in September of 1993.
1 [Videotape played]
2 MR. STRINGER: I'm not hearing any audio, Mr. President. Could we
3 stop this until we get the audio fixed.
4 [Videotape played].
5 "THE NARRATOR: Bosnian soldiers told them which way -- it gets no
6 better at night. Five hundred Muslims have just been robbed and thrown
7 out of their homes in West Mostar by the Croats. They had to cross the
8 river Neretva to get to comparative safety on a bridge made of ropes and
9 planks. Bosnian soldiers told them which way to go.
10 "The Croats were shooting at the people they just made refugees.
11 Only a few hours before until the Croat gangs had come for them and forced
12 them over the front line they thought they were safe. They'd been
13 settling down for the night.
14 "The Croat machine-guns didn't let up and the refugees kept on
15 coming. They were trying to kill old men and women, mothers and their
17 "She was so frightened she could barely walk, but she tried to
18 calm her sons.
19 "Each new family has to be fed and housed. This is a war crime
20 with a cold purpose, to increase the pressure on the military authorities
21 in East Mostar. And the brutality of the expulsions writes home the
22 message that compromise with Croat extremists is neither possible nor
24 "The refugees spent their first night in East Mostar in a
25 bombed-out theatre. In one evening all of them had lost their homes and
1 possessions. They talked of persecution, rape, and murder.
2 "We were driven to a small wood. My sons were pulled out of the
3 car. They were taken into that wood. I was told that their throats were
4 slit. I only live because I have to. Only because I have to. What sort
5 of life is this?"
6 MR. STRINGER: Mr. President, it is impossible that Berislav
7 Pusic, being who he was and where he was, did not know about the
8 expulsions of Muslims that were taking place in his own town and
9 throughout Western Herzegovina. His statement to Witness BC unequivocally
10 voicing his support for the ethnic cleansing campaign in Mostar makes
11 clear his support and his intention to contribute to the joint criminal
12 enterprise which had as its very purpose the conduct that we've just
13 watched on the screens. The evidence summarised, Mr. President, in these
14 submissions clearly establishes Mr. Pusic's own contribution to that joint
15 criminal enterprise.
16 Mr. President, as counsel for Mr. Pusic pointed out in his
17 submissions, Mr. Pusic did not personally commit every crime with which
18 he's charged. The Defence argues that there is no evidence linking
19 Mr. Pusic, for example, to the rapes and sexual assaults charged in counts
20 4 and 5, or to the perpetrators of those crimes.
21 The Defence argues that there is no evidence linking Pusic to the
22 crimes and perpetrators who committed the crimes of extensive destruction,
23 unlawful attacks on the civilians in Mostar, and terror, for example.
24 It is clear that the role and the contribution of Mr. Pusic to
25 this criminal -- joint criminal enterprise and the crimes that he did
1 personally commit in furtherance of it related not to destruction,
2 military operations, and rapes committed by individual soldiers. Pusic's
3 role related to the prisoners and the civilians, using them for forced
4 labour and the procedures and the practices that he employed to ultimately
5 bring about their departure from HVO territory in the so-called
6 Herceg-Bosna. As a willing and contributing member of the joint criminal
7 enterprise, Mr. Pusic is criminally responsible for the crimes committed
8 by others who were making their own different contribution to the aim of
9 the joint criminal enterprise when crimes such as destruction, terror, and
10 even rape became a part of the JCE or certainly were a foreseeable
11 consequence of it.
12 And so, Mr. President, it is our submission that the Prosecution
13 has submitted ample evidence to show that by his own acts and conduct, by
14 his omissions and failure to take any reasonable measures to prevent
15 crimes directed against prisoners, and by virtue of his own substantial
16 contribution to the aims of the joint criminal enterprise, Mr. Pusic is
17 criminally responsible for all of the counts with which he's charged in
18 the indictment.
19 And that's the conclusion of my submissions, Mr. President. Thank
21 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. It is now 20 minutes
22 past 10.00. It is better to have a 20-minute break now, and we shall
23 reconvene in 20 minutes' time.
24 --- Recess taken at 10.20 a.m.
25 --- On resuming at 10.43 a.m.
1 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] We have resumed our hearing.
2 Mr. Scott, you have the floor.
3 MR. SCOTT: Good morning, Mr. President, each of Your Honours,
4 Counsel, all those in and around the courtroom who are assisting us.
5 Mr. President, Your Honours, before I make my submission, the
6 Prosecution's submission concerning the accused Coric, let me just come
7 back on a couple of things from yesterday to make a couple of corrections
8 and one note, hopefully that will be helpful to Your Honours.
9 In using the -- some of the presidential transcript material
10 yesterday, while we have tried and tried over and over again to avoid
11 duplicate numbers, I'm afraid that sometimes they still creep back into
12 the system or when people use different tools for purposes of preparation.
13 I made referenced yesterday to an exhibit by the number of P 01594. That
14 is a duplicate of -- it's the exact same evidence, but it's a duplicate of
15 P 01622. So the correct exhibit number for that evidence should be
16 P 01622.
17 And in a similar fashion, I made reference to an exhibit P 04759,
18 which is a duplicate of P 08448, which is the correct number for that
20 I've also been alerted to a third item that we are still checking
21 on, but -- and we'll come back to the Chamber or the legal officers and
22 registry when we've determined that.
23 The Chamber yesterday, I made a couple of comments and I think,
24 Mr. President, you in terms of being able to put more of the exhibits on
25 the screen, and I commend of course Mr. Stringer and his use of that
1 material which I hope assisted the Chamber, in particular with regard to
2 the presidential transcript material which everyone will know that I made
3 frequent reference to yesterday. I do think that's important evidence,
4 obviously, and I would just remind the Judges just only out of an attempt
5 to be helpful that the admitted excerpts of the presidential transcripts
6 with some adjustments based on the Chamber's actual rulings, there might
7 have been a sentence out here or a page added or deleted there, but 99
8 per cent with some adjustments that are needed, that material can all be
9 found in annex 3 to the Prosecution's 26 October 2007 motion to admit
10 presidential transcript evidence. All of that -- all the excerpts that
11 been admitted into addition to the other admitted material through
12 witnesses can be found in that set of materials.
13 In terms of the Accused Valentin Coric, I hope the Chamber will
14 find these missions helpful.
15 Once again, of course, as Mr. Stringer said again today, we are
16 focusing for the purposes of these submissions, of course, on counts, not
17 on specific crime base, and we are focusing for purposes of these
18 submissions on the existence and operation of a joint criminal enterprise
19 and Mr. Coric's membership in that enterprise and his substantial
20 contributions to it.
21 Once again, we will not be specifically addressing other modes of
22 liability. I will not be discussing in my submissions, for example, 7(3),
23 responsibility, because again it's the Prosecution's submission that at
24 the end of these proceedings, that is the 98 bis proceedings, there is
25 more than substantial and indeed the Prosecution would submit compelling
1 evidence that all the counts should survive as each of the six accused in
2 the case going forward.
3 And I'll try to be slower today and be mindful of that, although
4 I'm not confident I'll be successful.
5 We submit, Your Honours, that the totality of the Prosecution
6 evidence shows that Mr. Coric, in his ongoing senior position in the HVO
7 structure apparatus and processes, establishes both his de jure and de
8 facto powers and abilities to affect and influence events and the conduct
9 in particular of the HVO military police, and plainly demonstrates and
10 give rise, if nothing else, to the clear inference of his knowledge of the
11 conflict and the ethnic policies and strategies with which he was involved
12 and with which he was confronted on a virtually -- must have been on a
13 virtually day-to-day basis.
14 I might just note on that point in general, not only as to
15 Mr. Coric, but as terms of these events, Your Honours, as -- in a very
16 real sense we have to remember that the area that we're talking about,
17 Herceg-Bosna, was a small geographic area. These events took place over a
18 substantial period of time. And the Chamber, with respect, must consider,
19 in terms of considering the knowledge and notice of each of the accused,
20 that these were substantial, horrific events taking place in a small
21 geographic area over a long period of time, and the Prosecution submits it
22 is virtually impossible that most people in this area, let alone these six
23 highly placed persons, could not and would not have been aware of all
24 these events and developments.
25 Again, as I said in my comments yesterday, we did not really
1 hear -- at least I did not understand the Coric Defence to dispute so much
2 the crime base as to the conclusions to be drawn from the Prosecution
3 evidence as to Mr. Coric's responsibility for what happened, so there
4 again we will not be discussing the crime base in any detail.
5 We can start by looking once again at the presidential transcript
6 evidence where Mr. Coric, as the other -- most of the other accused also
8 In Exhibit P 02099, a meeting and set of conversations on the 26th
9 of April, 1993, there is discussion again of what's happening. Susak,
10 Tudjman, and others, both Franjo Tudjman and his son Miroslav Tudjman, who
11 also played a senior role in the Tudjman government at that time, either
12 formally or informally. And in that meeting Mr. Coric comes up and --
13 comes up as a topic, and Miroslav Tudjman takes the credit, Mr. Tudjman,
14 Franjo Tudjman's son, for appointing Valentin Coric as the head of
15 military police, which in itself is an interesting concept that it would
16 be someone in Croatia appointing -- that it would be someone in Croatia
17 appointing the head of the military police in Herceg-Bosna.
18 On page 23 of that exhibit, the conversation goes on, President
19 Tudjman speaking: "I cannot remember that now. I lost the contact with
20 him for some time. The reason that they put him in the same context with
21 Valentin Coric is because they knew each other as sportsmen. They were in
22 my club at the same time," Franjo Tudjman says. "Valentin Coric was
23 appointed in the month of October in 1992 at the time when that centre had
24 not yet been operational. Valentin was brought then and he was
25 practically in charge ever since. I have there maybe 10 more persons who
1 were in my club as sportsmen."
2 Then continuing back Mr. Coric comes up again on page 38 of the
3 meeting and Susak says: "It is too much, President. From what I heard
4 from him, it is too much that he talks about Valentin Coric."
5 President: "Valentin is -- he knows him for 20 years now.
6 Valentin is the chief of the military police in Herceg-Bosna. If anything
7 works in that part then it is that military police.
8 Miroslav Tudjman: "I recommended him.
9 Susak: "Miro," for Miroslav Tudjman, "Miro recommended him."
10 Your Honours, the job description if you will of Mr. Coric as the
11 chief of the military police administration is summarised in the book of
12 regulations on the systematization of duties in the HVO military police
13 administration, which is Exhibit P 00978.
14 The chief of the military police administration managed and
15 organised the work of the military police administration. He commanded,
16 oversaw, monitored, coordinated, controlled, all military police units,
17 including battalions in the operative zones and another set of units that
18 were formed at one point in time called light assault battalions, which
19 were also part -- for a time part of the military police structure. He
20 conducted business by cooperating, of course, with other organs and
21 services of the Croatian community of Herceg-Bosna and HVO.
22 He conducted the personnel policies in the military police and
23 decided on all major issues, all major policies, all major strategies
24 related to the work of the HVO military police.
25 In terms of some of the de jure evidence, of course the legal
1 provisions concerning the HVO military police responsibilities are found
2 in the various official Herceg-Bosna documentation, including that
3 published in the Narodni List, and there is a great deal of that material
4 in the Trial Record.
5 Under these enactments, the HVO military police was considered
6 part of the military forces under the command of the HVO department or
7 Ministry of Defence.
8 One of the basic applicable laws is the decree on the armed forces
9 of the Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna, which is Exhibit P 00588.
10 Article 137 of that decree provides: "The armed forces including military
11 police who take charge of security in military traffic, military order and
12 discipline, and elimination of criminal elements in the armed forces."
13 And I'll come back to that perhaps in a moment, but I think that
14 bears a pause. "The elimination of criminal elements in the armed
15 forces." If there was one part of the HVO which by law and by function
16 should have been involved in policing HVO crimes and misconduct, not only
17 generally but specifically in connection with the crimes against Muslims,
18 it should have been the military police. That was indeed one of the very
19 specific de jure responsibilities of the military police as stated in
20 various of the HVO military police documents.
21 We also have the temporary guidelines for work of military police
22 units of the HVO, which can be found at Exhibit P 00143.
23 In November 1992, these guidelines were amended and some parts
24 were expanded. The guidelines state that the military police
25 administration was set up as part of the HVO and was in charge of all
1 units of the military police which were part of the operative zones, the
2 organisational units, and the military police administration.
3 In those guidelines it specifically states that all members of the
4 military police were required to know its provisions and instructions
5 concerning the work of the military police. The members of the military
6 police in pursuit of their duties and in executing their orders were to
7 follow the provisions of these guidelines and other regulations,
8 respecting at all times integrity and dignity of HVO members and "other
10 Again, that can be found at Exhibit P 00837.
11 That same document sets out the particularly important functions
12 and responsibilities or duties of the military police as follows: The
13 protection of property -- excuse me, the protection of people and property
14 in the zone of responsibility of a specific operation zone and other units
15 on a specific territory.
16 Two, respect for military order, discipline, and prescribed
17 security measures.
18 Three, the detection of crimes and finding the perpetrator of a
19 crime in cases when crimes were committed by HVO members or in connection
20 with property and facilities belonging to the HVO.
21 Number four, providing security for high-ranking military
22 officers, documents, combat means, with the highest level of secrecy,
23 sectors, zones, access, and military facilities of special importance for
24 the HVO and the country's defence.
25 Five, ensuring the internal security of military prisons and
1 premises where detained persons are held.
2 Six, participating in channeling the direction of movement, the
3 direction of movement of refugees and uncovers members of enemy units
4 infiltrating among -- infiltrated among refugees.
5 Number seven participates in providing security for prisoners of
7 Now, that is not my summary but that is as set out in Exhibit
8 P 08837.
9 One of the important features that Mr. Coric was involved in, of
10 course, is -- was the training and equipping of the military police. That
11 is set out in a number of exhibits. I'll just mention a few because I'm
12 not going to spend a lot of time on this particular part, but you can find
13 evidence of that in Exhibit P 00423, P 00475, P 00509, P 00864. And I'll
14 stop there for these purposes.
15 In one of those, in fact, in Exhibit P 00475, that is a
16 communication from Valentin Coric as chief of the military police on 14
17 September 1992, writing to his superior, Bruno Stojic, seeking Stojic's
18 approval for the military police training centre located in Neum.
19 Coric in his letter to Stojic seeking his approval, Coric stressed
20 that: "In the period ahead," and this is September 1992, "In the period
21 ahead, the military police will have to carry out very complex and
22 responsible task aimed at establishing full control over the territory of
23 the Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna."
24 Coric explained to Stojic at that time that he already had 100
25 active-duty military policemen ready for training, and also indicated that
1 this training and the programme had also been set up and would be
2 supported by instructors from the Republic of Croatia.
3 Exhibit P 01629 is another Valentin Coric order, this time the 8th
4 of March, 1993, again concerning military police training issued to all
5 military police commanders. And in terms of that component of his
6 responsibilities, we will leave the evidence to that -- at that.
7 The reporting system followed by the HVO military police shows
8 that really as was the case throughout the HVO, we've heard at times that
9 there were -- that there weren't effective communication systems, that it
10 was difficult to reach people, undoubtedly that was true at times. I
11 mean, I don't think any of us can say in a conflict, wartime situation
12 that there wouldn't have been moments when there probably was a
13 communications system problem somewhere, but what the evidence shows and
14 what various Prosecution witnesses have indicated, including again General
15 Pringle, who assessed the situation, there was indeed an effective
16 communication and reporting system up and down the chain of command.
17 The Chamber has seen numerous documents evidencing what can only
18 be considered realtime communication. Reports, new orders, reports, new
19 orders. Do this today, report back an hour later. There was an effective
20 communication system. And the ability to reach people, I think, was
21 interestingly demonstrated in perhaps a bit humourous way but nonetheless
22 in a very real way when Witness DZ was even actually -- was able to show
23 us that he still had the telephone numbers for Mr. Pusic and Mr. Prlic on
24 his telephone even now. He said, "I never had a problem reaching them
25 when I needed to."
1 The HVO military police reporting was likewise well-established,
2 functioned well. There was a series of, as in most again the rest of the
3 organisation of the HVO, monthly, weekly, daily reports dealing with a
4 wide array of issues such as border control and check-points, arrest,
5 confiscation of vehicles, securing of detention facilities, and transfer
6 of prisoners, as well as the regular activities of military police units.
7 One exhibit illustrating that is Exhibit P 01788.
8 On the 7th of April, 1993 --
9 MS. TOMASEGOVIC TOMIC: [Interpretation] I apologise for
10 interrupting my colleague, but I don't know whether there was a
11 misunderstanding because it's not in the transcript, and those of us
12 listening to the B/C/S, Croatian, the interpretation we got was that
13 Witness DZ said that he had the telephone number of Mr. Coric and
14 Mr. Pusic. Witness DZ in his testimony didn't mention Mr. Coric's
15 telephone number at all.
16 Now, I wasn't listening to the original -- to Mr. Scott in
17 English. So I don't know what names he actually said, but just in case, I
18 wanted to raise that objection.
19 MR. SCOTT: Your Honour, at the moment I honestly don't recall
20 myself. If I misspoke, the record is clear and my memory is clear, having
21 been alerted by counsel, the numbers that were referred to were those of
22 Jadranko Prlic and Berislav Pusic. If I said Coric a moment ago, my
23 apologies. I don't think I did but in any event, I hope that's corrected.
24 I was referring to just now Exhibit P 01821. On the 7th of April,
25 1993, Mr. Coric issued instructions addressed to the commanders of the
1 military police organisation, the Police Battalions, instructing them to
2 submit daily and weekly reports to the military police administration, be
3 it by fax, paket communication, or telephone. All HVO military police
4 battalions were to submit their weekly reports to the military police
5 administration. In fact, monthly reports were supposed to be submitted by
6 the fifth day of each month.
7 An HVO military police report dated the 26th of December 1992
8 P 00956 states and confirms that indeed regular reports were received from
9 the battalions.
10 Suffice it to say that both Witness C and Witness E talked about
11 the reporting -- the reporting system in the military police and gave
12 testimony that is consistent with the evidence that I have just outlined
13 to the Chamber. We also have the evidence that the warden at the
14 Heliodrom, Stanko Bozic, reported directly to Coric. That was in
15 particular again in the evidence of Witness C, and I think there was other
16 evidence of that from the Witness Josip Praljak and others.
17 We'll come back in the course of our submission to Mr. Coric and
18 the HVO camps and prisons a bit later.
19 Mr. President, Your Honours, the evidence shows that the military
20 police of the HVO were involved in virtually, if not literally, every
21 aspect of the HVO operation in one fashion or another, every aspect and
22 dimension of the joint criminal enterprise, and was a necessary and
23 important cog, if you will, or part, in the HVO machinery. Indeed, the
24 HVO machinery probably wouldn't have worked without it, the military
1 They were involved in Prozor in October 1992. Coric himself in
2 Exhibit P 01635 says that 100 HVO military policemen participated in
3 Prozor operation. On Prozor you also -- the Chamber can also refer to
4 this evidence: Exhibit P 00608, Exhibit P 00612, Exhibit P 00647, Exhibit
5 P 00712, Exhibit P 00716, Exhibit P 00744. And I'll refer to Exhibit
6 P 00956, which I mentioned yesterday, which is again Valentin Coric's own
7 report as chief of the military police for all of the work of the HVO
8 military police from the time of its foundation in April 1992 to the end
9 of December 1992. If the Chamber wants to look at one single exhibit
10 summarising and setting out a great deal of information as to the
11 functioning of the military police from April to December 1992, it is
12 Mr. Coric's own report, Exhibit P 00956.
13 In that report, in connection now with Prozor, Mr. Coric says, and
14 I actually referred to this yesterday but I'll briefly refer to it again
15 now: "On 23 October 1992, there was an armed clash between members of the
16 BH army and the HVO in Prozor and military police units intervened.
17 Within a short time, the town was under the control of the military
18 police. On the military police side, one member was killed and five were
20 The next exhibit that I'll refer to -- the Chamber to for the
21 purposes of demonstrating the military police's operation -- operational
22 involvement in Prozor is Exhibit P 00836. It's an order by Mr. Coric on
23 the 30th of November, after the conflict but talking about the regrouping
24 of military police units in Prozor following the conflict in October.
25 There is also evidence, Your Honours, that the chief of military
1 police had knowledge of crimes committed in Prozor municipality, including
2 by military police members but failed to take necessary measures to
3 prevent those crimes or to punish the perpetrators.
4 The commander of the 2nd Battalion military police, Zedenko
5 Andabak, reported to Mr. Coric about the events in Prozor in his report
6 which is Exhibit P 00536. That report, among other things, details the
7 looting and destruction of Muslim property.
8 According to a similar report which is Exhibit P 00721, dated 8
9 November 1992, a few days after the events, the HVO military police did
10 nothing to restore order in Prozor after the conflict on 23, 24 October.
11 We move to Gornji Vakuf in January 1993. Here again the HVO
12 military police played a major role in those events.
13 In a report that month which is Exhibit P 01053, Mr. Coric, again
14 himself, confirmed to Bruno Stojic that the military police units had been
15 active at Gornji Vakuf. And at one point there had been at the forward
16 command post in Gornji Vakuf municipality the HVO military police had been
17 involved in that.
18 Indeed, Your Honours, it's interesting to note that in those very
19 important series of orders on the 15th of January, 1993, and remember we
20 have the Jadranko Prlic decision, the ultimatum, implemented by Bruno
21 Stojic's order, implemented by Petkovic's order, all issued on the 15th of
22 January, 1993. And in the Stojic order, which is Exhibit P 01140, who
23 does Stojic say is responsible for carrying out that ultimatum? "The
24 chief of the Main Staff of the armed forces of the HVO and the chief of
25 the HVO military police administration shall be responsible to me for the
1 implementation of this order." Stojic to Valentin Coric. "You carry out
2 this ultimatum, and you're responsible to me for doing so."
3 The witness Andrew Williams testified to participating in meetings
4 during January 1993 at which the participation of the HVO military police
5 in these operations was discussed. And that can be found in the
6 transcripts starting at page 8506.
7 Williams recalled a specific incident where the military police
8 cleansed the village of Hrasnica, attacking it three times. According to
9 Williams, each attack was worse than the previous one. Eventually the
10 village was totally destroyed. That action which became particularly
11 notorious, was brought up during the cease-fire negotiations which
12 followed and in which Mr. Williams was involved, and there was no denial
13 by the HVO representatives at that meeting that it was their forces who
14 had cleansed and destroyed that village, and there was no denial by the
15 HVO representatives that it was the HVO military police who had done it.
16 That part of Mr. Williams' testimony can be found starting at
17 transcript page 8507.
18 Exhibit P 03090, which again is another helpful document to the
19 Chamber, we submit, is Coric's further report on the work of the HVO
20 military police for the first half of 1993. So if you want a summary, you
21 have the previous exhibit I referred you to a few moments ago which covers
22 all of April to December 1992. Exhibit P 03090 is Mr. Coric's own report
23 that covers the first six months of 1993.
24 In that report in giving -- in giving a discussion about what the
25 military police had been involved in Mr. Coric again confirms himself that
1 they were at Gornji Vakuf in January 1993.
2 Turning to Sovici, Doljani, April 1993. The HVO military police
3 were also involved in HVO operations in and around Sovici, Doljani. A
4 report by the military police commander Ilija Franjic, on the 17th -- or
5 for the 17th of April, 1993, which is Exhibit P 01952, indicates, for
6 example, that an HVO military police unit, in cooperation with units of
7 the HVO Rama Brigade, captured 30 Muslims, three of whom were wounded.
8 It says that the plan for further operations on April -- on 18
9 April was agreed with the OZ, the operative zone commander Siljeg and the
10 Rama Brigade command. Cooperation with other HVO units was regarded as
12 The same report from Mr. Franjic, Exhibit P 01952, states that
13 three squads of HVO military police successfully raided and mopped up four
14 Muslim villages, Parcani, Paros, Klek, and Skrobucani on the previous day.
15 An interesting aside connecting to another accused, as part of the
16 operations around Sovici, Doljani, there was specific reference in Exhibit
17 P 10356 in the testimony of witness Hasan Rizvic, that Mr. Berislav Pusic
18 was part of the HVO military police delegation which participated in the
19 HVO ABiH negotiations on those matters.
20 Turning to Mostar, Mr. President, the evidence would show that in
21 virtually at all times and in every aspect the military police played a
22 prominent role in the events in Mostar throughout the period covered by
23 the indictment.
24 During that time, for example, the HVO military police was ordered
25 to increase security in and around Mostar, even back as early as October
1 of 1992. And again I referred to that evidence yesterday, that with the
2 conflict and tension around Novi Travnik and Prozor in October 1992,
3 orders were given to Coric to increase the security level, if you will,
4 around Mostar at the same time and to take control of various facilities
5 in Mostar in October 1992. The post office building, the MUP building,
6 the police station, the radio station, all taken over and secured by the
7 HVO military police, which can be found in Exhibit P 00619.
8 Once again, Exhibit P 03090, the Coric report on the first half of
9 1993, once again he confirms extensive military police involvement in
10 Mostar, specifically including the operations on the 9th and 10th of May,
12 The Chamber will recall, and I'm not going to go into detail for
13 these purposes, but the Chamber will recall that one of the HVO military
14 police base of operations, one might consider perhaps depending on your
15 point of view, famous or infamous or notorious, was the mechanical
16 engineering factory the very place where many of the Muslim men taken from
17 the Vranica building on the 10th of May 1993 went missing. That was a
18 military police facility. And in fact, there were numerous instances
19 throughout the Prosecution evidence of people being talked about, various
20 witnesses, and I won't go into them all now because -- well, a couple by
21 example. Mustafa Hadrovic, Alija Lizde, several others; Witness CV. All
22 gave accounts of being taken at various times and receiving various
23 treatment at the mechanical engineering faculty.
24 P 02601, in terms of again demonstrating Mr. Coric's and the
25 military police's involvement and responsibilities in connection with
1 Mostar, that exhibit is a letter from ICRC to Mr. Coric dated the 1st of
2 June, 1993, requesting a meeting, an immediate meeting, to discuss, among
3 other things, providing food, sanitation, and medical aid to East Mostar,
4 and makes the statement, and this is even -- this is the 1st of June,
5 1993, and ICRC states: "According to multiple assessments of the
6 situation by our physician and sanitation engineer, the hygienic
7 conditions are rapidly deteriorating (risk of epidemics) and the provision
8 of food for the entire population has been made more difficult due to the
9 isolation of this part of the city."
10 And the additional significance of that letter is that when ICRC
11 was reaching out to someone to address this matter, who did they go to?
12 Who did they send their letter to? Valentin Coric, requesting an
13 immediate meeting to address these issues.
14 Exhibit P 04174 is an order by Valentin Coric dated the 13th of
15 August, 1993, to the 5th Battalion military police, which confirms both a
16 higher-up orders and his own order to the following effect: "Pursuant to
17 the order of the HVO Main Staff of 13 August 1993, I hereby order entrance
18 into Mostar is forbidden to all persons until otherwise ordered. The
19 order pertains to all foreign journalists and TV crews. The ban does not
20 pertain to HVO members. The commanders of the 5th Battalion of the
21 military police and companies shall be responsible to me, Valentin Coric,
22 for carrying out this order."
23 Mr. Coric controlled access to Mostar. Gave an order entrance
24 into Mostar is forbidden, in particular to foreign journalists and TV
1 Exhibit P 02853 is a report from Stanko Bozic, the warden of the
2 Heliodrom on the 19th of June, 1993, that on the 9th of May, 1993, 1.820
3 "displaced persons" had been detained at the Heliodrom, Mr. Bozic seeing
4 fit to report that up his chain of command to Mr. Coric.
5 Turning to other general -- more general, perhaps, other HVO
6 military operations during this time covered by the indictment, we can
7 just look at a few examples.
8 On the 9th of June, 1993, the commander of the north-west
9 operative zone, Siljeg, informed Mate Boban, Bruno Stojic, Milivoj
10 Petkovic, and Valentin Coric of HVO military police misconduct in the
11 Prozor and Gornji Vakuf municipalities. That can be found at Exhibit
12 P 02911.
13 A few weeks later, on the basis of a 22 June 1993 order by Milivoj
14 Petkovic, Coric sent military police as reinforcements to Prozor on 28
15 June 1993.
16 P 03057 is a report from the commander of the 3rd Company,
17 3rd Battalion military police, to the military police administration
18 giving its report for the 30th of June and the 1st of July, 1993, by the
19 Capljina military police. "Pursuant to the order by the 1st HVO Knez
20 Domagoj Brigade on bringing in Muslim men liable for military service
21 which resulted from the deterioration of the security situation caused by
22 the events in Mostar, 161 persons were taken in and brought to the Dretelj
23 military compound in the period between the entry into force of this
24 order," and I went through those series of orders again yesterday starting
25 with the Stojic and Prlic decision and order at the top in disseminating
1 down the HVO chain of command, and we have this specific report in the
2 military police, "161 persons were taken in and brought to Dretelj between
3 the entry into force of this order and 1 July at 0700 hours."
4 P 03075 is another work -- is another document, a report again
5 from the 3rd Battalion HVO military police.
6 THE INTERPRETER: Could the speaker please slow down. Thank you.
7 MR. SCOTT: I referred to this one yesterday, and it again gives a
8 full account of the involvement of three different -- at least three
9 different military police platoons which were part of the 3rd Battalion in
10 gathering up the Muslim -- as described here as "persons of Muslim faith"
11 in the Stolac, Neum, and surrounding areas.
12 Exhibit P 03307 is to similar effect.
13 Exhibit P 03971, a SIS report for the Rama Brigade, dated 5 August
14 1993, again gives an account of the military police's involvement in
15 bringing in Muslim men between age 16 and 60. It says specifically that.
16 "The Security Information Service, the SIS, and the military police acting
17 according to and carrying out the order from a higher level for Muslims
18 aged between 16 and 60 to be brought in."
19 It also notes that there had in fact been some instances of some
20 men over 60 and under 16 also collected, caught up in the net, if you
21 will, and that report goes on to specifically ask for direction: "What do
22 you want us to do? What do we do with those over 60 and those under 16?"
23 Asking for direction.
24 Exhibit P 09994 is an ECMM report for 1 September 1993 describing
25 the involvement of HVO military police in the north-west operative zone
1 around Prozor in the collection of approximately 2.000 Muslims.
2 The Prosecution evidence, Your Honours, also shows, in addition to
3 that already outlined, the involvement of the military police in eviction
4 of Muslims from their homes and the forcible transfer of Muslims.
5 In the similar -- in a conversation that I also made reference to
6 yesterday, Witness BC indicated that he had met with HVO officials,
7 including Valentin Coric, specifically raising the issue of ethnic
8 cleansing and expulsion of Muslims in Mostar, in Capljina, and in
9 Ljubuski. And Witness BC indicated that, well, although Mr. Coric was
10 always very businesslike and always promised to do something, he never
11 did. No protection of the Muslims ever materialised. And that can be
12 found at transcript 18340 to 18344.
13 The witness Anton van der Grinten had a meeting on the 16th of
14 June, 1993, with both Coric and Berislav Pusic concerning the expulsion of
15 Muslims from West Mostar and the situation at the Heliodrom.
16 Witness E gave evidence that in June 1993, Croat refugees, Croat
17 refugees from various regions of Bosnia and Herzegovina, were accommodated
18 first in primary school building in Ljubuski and then later moved into
19 houses that previously had been inhabited by Muslims. At the end of
20 August 1993, the Muslims living in the wholly -- what had been the Muslim
21 village of Gradska in Ljubuski municipality were forced simply to leave
22 their homes, lock them, leave the keys and move on. That can be found at
23 transcript pages 22105, 22074, 22097, 22103, 22104.
24 Exhibit P 02802 is a report from the 1st Company, 3rd Battalion,
25 HVO military police, for the 15th of June, 1993, in Mostar. And this is
1 one trying to make some effort to emulate my superior colleague
2 Mr. Stringer, I do have one item that I can put up at least now on the
3 screen for you from Exhibit 2802. First slide. 2802.
4 In the report of that day, military police report under the
5 section titled "Crime" here's this language: "No criminal acts or
6 incidents were notified yesterday. Only the ethnic cleansing of the town
7 from persons of Muslim nationality was noticed. The perpetrators of this
8 act are the members of the 4th Battalion and members of the anti-terrorist
9 group ATG Baja Kraljevic."
10 I think,, Your Honours, I submit that speaks volumes over the
11 mind-set and the attitude, the policy of the HVO. Look at that again.
12 "No criminal acts were notified yesterday." No criminal acts, no
13 incidents, only the ethnic cleansing of Muslims. Not even considered a
14 crime. Not even considered an important incident, just par for the
15 course. HVO military police.
16 P 04177 is a report from the SIS of the Rama Brigade dated 14
17 August 1993, which gives an extensive account of crimes committed by the
18 military police against Muslims in that region. The entire document goes
19 on. It's at length. I won't take the time to read it. I ask the Chamber
20 to specifically pull that exhibit, P 04177, and talk -- and read that
21 document. It talks about specifically the entire Muslim population from
22 Rama or Prozor municipality as of the mid-August being placed in three
23 collection centres under the control of the military police, the Muslims
24 being robbed, Muslim women and children -- women and girls being taken out
25 of the collection centres on a daily basis to be raped, abused and
1 humiliated. Men go into Muslim homes and daughters are stripped naked in
2 front of their fathers and vice versa. "All this has been happening
3 systematically for a considerable time now, even though we informed the
4 HVO president Mijo Jozic, their brigade commander, and the commanders of
5 the military and civilian police of this in writing."
6 And the report goes on to show that one of the problems in getting
7 any sort of satisfaction or resolution is they can't turn to the military
8 police because it's the military police that are involved in doing it.
9 That's set out specifically in the report.
10 "Thus the security service is unable to deal with all matters
11 because collaboration with the military police concerning the prevention
12 of such things is impossible given that they are the perpetrators among
14 And there's even more, the military police being involved in
15 theft, seized vehicles from humanitarian aid convoys. The military police
16 commander openly admits that he authorised the plunder of the convoy. And
17 an interesting note at the end of the report: "The civilian police," the
18 civilian police, "are unable to cope with all this, and recently they have
19 been mostly in the field under the command of General Slobodan Praljak."
20 The civilian police.
21 As I mentioned earlier one the principal responsibility of the HVO
22 military police, indeed I dare say for the military police of any army or
23 any military force, is to investigate crime committed by members of that
24 army or armed force, which presumably I take it, as I say, in most armies.
25 As I said some minutes ago, surely, surely if there was one
1 component of the HVO that should have been involved in investigating
2 preventing and stopping HVO crimes, including crimes against Muslims, it
3 should have been the HVO military police.
4 As indicated in part by some of the documents, exhibits that I
5 just have referred you to, it was the unfortunate situation that not only
6 did the HVO military police frequently not intervene, not stop and carry
7 out the protection of the civilian population, in particular the Muslim
8 population, but unfortunately many of the most notorious crimes and the
9 worst misconduct was carried out by the military police themselves. I
10 refer the Chamber again to P 01966 and P 02169.
11 I will pause on P 02961, which is a report from the HVO military
12 police in the south-east operative zone, which included the area of Mostar
13 and was under the command of Miljenko Lasic, but this is from the military
14 police. Report for 2 June, 1993: "For Mr. Coric." "The following
15 activities were carried out in Capljina municipality last month," monthly
16 report. "The cargo of a Tuzla-bound convoy consisting mainly of food was
17 seized. The convoy had previously gone through customs in Doljani and was
18 then stopped in Pocitelj before being turned back by the brigade police
19 and sent to the Grabovina barracks where its cargo and vehicles were
21 It goes on then also to report: "Members of the brigade police
22 bring in civilians and search their houses and seize items and vehicles
23 from them without issuing them with certificates confirming the seizure
24 thereof. A large number of vehicles and loaded trucks were confiscated
25 during a train search in Gubavica with no certificates, records, or any
1 concrete report issued about all this."
2 And I will also refer the Chamber to Exhibit P 02697, also
3 P 03458, reporting on mistreatment of Muslims in Prozor by HVO military
4 police members and the failure by the military police administration to
5 take appropriate measures. Also Exhibit P 03516. Also Exhibit P 04058, a
6 report in early August that not only went to Coric but also went to Bruno
7 Stojic, again detailing "bringing in the persons of Muslim ethnicity," and
8 noting that most of crimes connected -- excuse me, committed in connection
9 with bringing in "persons of Muslim ethnicity" are crimes against
10 property, with the situation being particularly bad in Capljina and
11 Ljubuski. Goods have been seized and taken to the Dretelj barracks.
12 Vidovic, the author of that document, suggests a number of steps that had
13 to be taken to resolve the problem of crime.
14 I refer the Chamber to Exhibit P 04161, again a SIS report dated
15 the 13th of August, 1993. Again, it detail -- in detail setting out many,
16 many problems involving the military police in that region.
17 In part, Exhibit P 04161 provides or states: "Some military
18 policemen and Rama Brigade members have been coming to the above-named
19 villages to mistreat the populations, take material goods from them,
20 jewellery and money, take young girls away, rape them, and force them into
21 prostitution. There have also been several murders of persons of Muslim
22 nationality. HVO military police from Prozor under the command of Ilija
23 Franjic knew all about the aforementioned offences but has done nothing to
24 prevent them. On the contrary, most of the military police, starting with
25 the commander who behaves as some kind of a 'local sheriff,' are
1 themselves perpetrators of various criminal offences and acts."
2 Just as an aside on another item involved in this case, in that
3 same report, P 04161, the following additional information is provided:
4 "Following initial defeats," excuse me. "Following initial defeats and
5 losses of certain positions, the line is stabilised and the situation is
6 now much improved." And I pause to say this is a report for 13 August,
7 1993. 13 August. "The situation is now much improved, particularly since
8 units from other parts of the HZ HB have arrived and a part of the 5th
9 Guards Brigade of the HV," the Croatian army.
10 I will additionally refer the Chamber to Exhibits P 06805, which
11 is a report by Radoslav Ravlic. I believe -- in fact, I believe it is the
12 same exhibit that was referred to by Mr. Stringer earlier this morning,
13 his report on the 26th -- excuse me, the 22nd November 1993, which once
14 again, in our submission, provides a helpful summary, if you will, or
15 synopsis of a number of important issues related to the military police,
16 their involvement with the camps, their responsibilities, the fact they
17 were under the command, of course, of Valentin Coric. Also mentions
18 Berislav Pusic's direct involvement. All that set out, among other
19 things, in Exhibit P 06805, dated the 22nd of November, 1993.
20 One interesting statement in that -- one of many interesting
21 statements, actually, paragraph point 10: "We are not acquainted with
22 documentation pertaining to prisoners of war (many were taken in for
23 security reasons)."
24 Here's the new head of military police administration, the
25 successor to Mr. Coric says, "We don't really know the situation of these
1 prisoners. We don't really have any documentation about where they came
2 from or why, except many were taken in for 'security reasons.'"
3 Mr. Coric and the HVO prisons and camps, this topic I turn to.
4 I'll try to take it somewhat quickly. There are a number of exhibits
5 which again make it very clear that Mr. Coric was responsible for, was the
6 man in charge of the Heliodrom camp, with the warden Stanko Bozic
7 frequently reporting to him directly on problems and difficulties and
8 various events taking place at the Heliodrom.
9 I would refer the Chamber to Exhibits P 00292, P 00352, P 00956,
10 P 00513, the operating instructions, if you will, for the Heliodrom
11 prepared and signed by Mr. Coric himself in September 1992.
12 As I think Mr. Stringer also referred to, witness Alija Lizde
13 talked about being collected and taken to the Heliodrom, and their
14 movement, the fact that Muslim men and the mass arrests that started on
15 the 30th of June were collected and taken to the Heliodrom, and this was
16 all done under the auspices and control of the HVO military police.
17 It is significant, Mr. President, Your Honours, that Mate Boban
18 himself, Boban, considered the chief of police -- the chief of the
19 military police as the senior HVO official who was in charge of and
20 responsible for conditions at the Heliodrom.
21 According to the witness van der Grinten in the Trial record
22 starting at page 21028 continuing to page 21031, Mr. Van der Grinten talks
23 about an ECMM delegation desiring to gain access to the Heliodrom and
24 requesting the permission and approval first from Berislav Pusic. The
25 conditions at the camp they found were poor. As to any discussions about
1 the conditions, the Heliodrom warden, Mr. Bozic, refers the ECMM leader to
2 Valentin Coric -- he says if you really want to talk about this, the
3 people you have to talk about are Valentin Coric, Berislav Pusic, and
4 Bruno Stojic.
5 Josip Praljak also commented on Exhibit P 03209, which is his
6 report -- one of his many reports that the Chamber will recall, many
7 exhibits were put in front of Mr. Praljak, Josip Praljak, where he would
8 say, "I sent these reports up the chain of command all the time. I was
9 saying we have these problems, and I was not getting any satisfaction."
10 One of those is Exhibit P 03209.
11 Coming back down, if you will, the chain of command is Exhibit
12 P 05792, a personal handwritten order by Mate Boban directing Coric to
13 take essential measures to improve conditions at the Heliodrom. "Clean up
14 your act, Coric."
15 That the administration of the Heliodrom detention facility was
16 itself under HVO military police administration is further confirmed, if
17 further confirmation is needed, as testified by Josip Praljak that the
18 administrative unit at the prison was considered to be part of the 1st
19 Company, 5th Battalion military police.
20 I would also refer the Chamber to Exhibit P 03551 indicating
21 Mr. Coric's control over access to the Heliodrom, telling the north-west
22 operative zone that we already have too many people there. Don't send any
23 more people to us right now. Paraphrasing.
24 Refer the Chamber to another example of the reports not only from
25 Josip Praljak but also from the warden Stanko Bozic, Exhibit P 03942.
1 Also Exhibit P 05008. That is one where Stanko Bozic -- excuse me, a
2 report in September 1993 again informs Coric of a number of the continuing
3 problems at the Heliodrom. Five prisoners had attempted suicide. A
4 number of prisoners had been maltreated by members of the 2nd Battalion,
5 2nd Brigade of the HVO. Fifty prisoners were wounded and six killed in
6 August. Bozic says the ICRC was here and complained in August about
7 conditions at the Heliodrom and about prisoners being taken for labour on
8 the front lines, a practice specifically noted by the ICRC as forbidden by
9 the Geneva Conventions. 186 prisoners had been transferred from Ljubuski
10 to the Heliodrom, and Bozic reminded Coric that he, Coric, was being kept
11 informed about conditions and events at the Heliodrom by his, that is
12 Bozic's, daily reports.
13 MR. KHAN: Your Honour, I do apologise to my learned friend.
14 Perhaps at page 58, line 3, there appears to be an error regarding the
15 transcript page. I wonder if that could be clarified. I'm very grateful.
16 MR. SCOTT: I've lost it, now, Your Honour.
17 MR. KHAN: Later on, that's be fine.
18 MR. SCOTT: I would be happy to go back and address -- will be
19 happy to go back and check it and if I'm mistaken, Counsel, my apology.
20 I'll just mention in --
21 THE INTERPRETER: Could the speaker please slow down. Thank you.
22 MR. SCOTT: Yes.
23 Exhibit P 04186, P 04406, and P 05563. And I'll leave the topic
24 of the Heliodrom and go on to Ljubuski.
25 The HVO military police, in fact, had its headquarters in
1 Ljubuski, in the same complex that included the Ljubuski prison, and those
2 having their offices there at the HVO military police administration must
3 have had a daily opportunity to be up close and personal with the -- with
4 the goings and comings and the conduct and events at the Ljubuski prison.
5 Witness E, an HVO military police commander, reported, for
6 example, on the 12th of July, 1993, that 237 Muslims arrested in Rama or
7 Prozor by the HVO military police had been brought to Ljubuski. And that
8 can also be found in Exhibit P 03401, and in transcript pages 22074 to
10 Among other problems and crimes related to Ljubuski was the fact
11 that HVO soldiers, including soldiers from Tuta's units, often entered the
12 prison and mistreated the prisoners without being stopped, without being
13 prevented from that happening.
14 Witness E again stated that the prison warden at Ljubuski was
15 subordinate to the military police administration. That's at transcript
16 page 22132 to 22133. Witness E testified to receiving orders, both orally
17 and in writing, from both Valentin Coric and Berislav Pusic to transfer
18 prisoners from Ljubuski to the Heliodrom. Witness E -- and that can be
19 found -- excuse me that can be found at transcript pages 22042 to 45 and
20 22050 to 22053.
21 Witness E also testified that it was a general Practice for the
22 HVO to take prisoners from Ljubuski for forced labour and that Coric was
23 put on notice of this. And that's at transcript page 22013 through 22016.
24 Turning to Dretelj, the 3rd Company of the 5th Battalion military
25 police was in charge of security at Dretelj, and its commander again
1 reported to the military police administration on a daily basis. Valentin
2 Coric himself visited Dretelj shortly after the HVO began bringing Muslims
3 to Dretelj. He had a meeting with a group of officials who were in charge
4 of detention camps in the Capljina area including Gabela and Dretelj. All
5 of this was given in evidence -- includes evidence from Witness C, who
6 confirmed a daily report for the 10th of July, 1993, concerning this
7 meeting, which is also addressed at transcript pages 22417 to 22418.
8 I will also refer the Chamber simply to Exhibits P 0337 and
9 P 03794 as additional exhibits detailing and connecting in various
10 respects Mr. Coric to the Dretelj prison and events there.
11 I'll pause longer on Exhibit P 03630. P 03630 is a report to
12 Coric by Bosko Buntic and Ivica Kraljevic on the 22nd of July, 1993,
13 reporting six deaths at Dretelj, including three persons executed by an
14 HVO military policeman named Vulic. Kasim Kahrimanvic was beaten to death
15 in a solitary cell by an HVO soldier. And there's also reference in the
16 report to the probability that 29 other detainees who could not be
17 accounted for have been thrown into the Neretva River.
18 The report goes on to mention regular physical assaults of
19 prisoners by military policemen at Dretelj with the knowledge of their
21 Witness C provided additional information about the administration
22 of the camp which can be found at transcript pages 22380 to 22381.
23 Turning very briefly to Gabela again one of the principal HVO
24 prison camps, Heliodrom, Ljubuski, Dretelj, Gabela, and here again Muslims
25 who were caught up in the mass arrest in Herzegovina in July and August
1 1993, many of them wound up especially coming from Stolac and Capljina to
2 Gabela. At least some of these persons were specifically transferred to
3 other camps or released from Gabela on Valentin Coric's orders. Some of
4 the relevant exhibits in this regard are P 03057, P 03960, P 04756,
5 P 04838, P 05302, P 03630, P 04921, P 06729, and P 10190. All those
6 relate specifically to the military police and Gabela prison or camp.
7 A different aspect of the problem of holding prisoners, which in
8 part perhaps relates back to the statement in the exhibit I referred the
9 Chamber to earlier, we have no documentation for these people, was the
10 problem of keeping detainees for long periods of time without
11 classification and without separating the prisoners of war from civilians.
12 One example of this can be found in Exhibit P 03663, a report by
13 the military police official Zvonko Vidovic on the 23rd of July, 1993,
14 concerning a meeting the previous day, on the 22nd of July, in Ljubuski
15 attended by Valentin Coric and all chiefs of departments of the military
16 police administration.
17 It was agreed at the meeting that: "All those persons who have
18 been detained but against whom criminal proceedings have not been
19 initiated or against whom a criminal report has not been filed are,
20 according to the order of the chief of the military police
21 administration," that is Valentin Coric, "are 'unknown' to our department.
22 This refers solely to the large number of Muslims who have been brought
23 unselectively to the central military remand prison and who have since
24 been forgotten."
25 The report goes on to note that having conducted interviews with
1 more than 2.000 of the detained persons, of those 2.000 persons none of
2 them, none of them, "were interesting from the standpoint of crime."
3 Mr. President, looking at the clock it may be time for a break. I
4 can tell the Chamber that we will certainly finish today but not before
5 the break. Or if you want to go longer, I'll be happy to.
6 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] No. It's now time to have a
7 break. You are quite right. We will have a 20-minute break.
8 --- Recess taken at 12.08 p.m.
9 --- On resuming at 12.33 p.m.
10 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] We have resumed our hearing.
11 Before I give the floor to Mr. Scott, I would like the registrar it to
12 move into closed session, please.
13 [Private session]
25 [Open session]
1 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, we're back in open session.
2 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you.
3 MR. SCOTT: Mr. President, continuing on just a few more items.
4 I want to touch briefly, please, on the topic of forced labour,
5 the killing and wounding of detainees while performing forced labour.
6 Again, the Prosecution submits that the Chamber has heard abundant
7 evidence showing that the HVO engaged in a highly systematic use of
8 prisoners and detainees for forced labour, including often under extremely
9 dangerous conditions, often on the front lines. There are -- there is
10 much evidence in the record, both testimonial and documentary, of
11 prisoners being killed while being on forced labour, that is by fire from
12 the other side, prisoners being killed or injured by their HVO custodians,
13 if you will, being beaten, being mistreated in a number of ways. All of
14 this has been amply, we submit, demonstrated by various evidence in the
16 Just a few items for present purposes. Once again, Josip Praljak
17 made reports to senior HVO officials complaining about the taking of
18 Muslim prisoners from the Heliodrom for forced labour and testified that
19 he never received any satisfactory response from either Bruno Stojic,
20 Valentin Coric, or Berislav Pusic. Some of that helped can be found at
21 Exhibit P 04233 and in -- and in the trial transcript at pages 14740 to
22 14741, 14766 to 14769, 14785 to 14786, 14741. Some of that was already
23 included. I think we have -- I think the Chamber has most of that.
24 147815 also page.
25 The military expert General Pringle again testified in particular
1 that based on these reports when he was confronted or shown these reports
2 and asked to comment on them from the perspective as a superior commander,
3 General Pringle testified that such reports at the very least would have
4 put a commander on notice that this required serious attention and further
5 inquiry as to what was really going on, and that evidence can be found in
6 the trial transcript at pages 24096 to 24097.
7 I would also mention several other exhibits. P 05812, P 05874,
8 P 06819, P 06552, and P 06202, which generally again go to the -- to the
9 use of detainees, particularly at the Heliodrom, in forced labour.
10 Exhibit P 08428 is a compilation of military police administration
11 reports concerning the mistreatment, death, wounding and escape of
12 prisoners of war at forced labour sites during the period July 1993 to
13 March 1994.
14 In his report dated the 22nd of November, 1993, which has already
15 been mentioned in various context this morning, which is Exhibit P 06805,
16 Radoslav Lavric, in this particular respect, noted the following in item 5
17 of that document: "It was decreed that prisoners could be used for work
18 (arranging the terrain) with the signature of the commander of the
19 military police battalion or brigade with the mandatory submission of an
20 application and a report after their return. Berislav Pusic was
21 authorised, while Mijo Jelic was the brigade commander."
22 I would also refer the Chamber on this topic to the further
23 testimony of Witness E, which can be found at transcript 22081 to 22083,
24 and Exhibits P 03401, P 04101.
25 Two other particular exhibits are interesting for dual purposes.
1 P 022 -- I have to check this number. I see another -- too many numbers
2 have once again slipped in, Your Honour. I'll have to check this site.
3 Perhaps we can check. 22 -- it must be 02669. And Exhibit P 03345, are
4 reports, and we will get the correct -- we'll verify the correct number of
5 the first exhibit as soon as we can.
6 Both of those documents talk about the movement of prisoners under
7 the control of the military police administration and Mr. Coric. One of
8 them is a request from Mr. Coric to Marijan Biskic, chief of the republic
9 of the Croatian military police administration, talking about the movement
10 of prisoners back and forth between Herceg-Bosna and the republic of
12 P 03445, in particular, is a document on -- dated the 10th of
13 July, 1993, where Coric confirmed that a number of prisoners from the
14 Ljubuski prison were being taken to the Lora prison in Split as agreed
15 with the Croatian army military police.
16 Finally on this topic I would also refer the Chamber to P 002541,
17 an HVO order going back to the 27th of May, 1993, transferring a number of
18 prisoners, most of whom had originally been collected if you will from
19 Prozor and Jablanica, and they were being moved on this location from
20 Ljubuski to Heliodrom on the orders of Valentin Coric and Berislav Pusic.
21 Turning next specifically to the deportation of Bosnian Muslims,
22 and we've talked earlier about forcible transfers and expulsions in
23 general, but now specifically on deportation the sense of moving them
24 across the national border to another country. Here again, and at this
25 point based on much of the evidence that was discussed yesterday and much
1 of the evidence that was presented this morning by Mr. Stringer, the
2 evidence shows that the HVO had a again, once again, a systematic
3 structure in place and process in place to move Muslims from Herceg-Bosna
4 out of the country.
5 The Chamber's heard extensive evidence on that. The necessity for
6 getting a letter of guarantee. The necessity of getting a transit visa
7 through Croatia. Groups of refugees and displaced persons, Muslims that
8 showed up in Zagreb thinking they would be taken care of only to be
9 basically abandoned as they got off the bus or the truck in Zagreb with
10 nowhere else to go as one example. Other prisoners and displaced persons
11 being moved to some of the facilities on some of the Croatian islands.
12 The Chamber will recall a great deal of that evidence.
13 Mr. Coric and the military police were right in the middle of all
14 of that. Valentin Coric used his power as chief of HVO military police to
15 unlawfully deport Bosnian Muslims who were imprisoned in HVO camps at
16 Dretelj, Ljubuski, Vitina, and the Heliodrom, and some of the exhibits on
17 that -- supporting that are P 10187 and P 10178.
18 And before I continue, if I can go back and correct the earlier
19 exhibit number. The correct number would be P 02969, the one that I
20 didn't have a moment ago.
21 Returning to deportation, it can be noted generally that Valentin
22 Coric had the power to release prisoners from HVO prisons and detention
23 facilities. I refer you to Exhibit P 02206, which gives an account on the
24 6th of May, 1993, reporting the implementation of an order by Valentin
25 Coric for the release of 87 prisoners from Ljubuski.
1 Again as just mentioned, as part of the HVO plan Muslims who
2 obtained letters of guarantee from a third country could be released from
3 HVO prisons and camps if they left Herceg-Bosna and travelled by transit
4 visa through Croatia to a third country. As chief of the military police,
5 Coric coordinated this plan with Croatian authorities, reported back to
6 the Herceg-Bosna authorities, and was kept regularly briefed by his
7 subordinates in the HVO military police. All of that is supported in part
8 by Exhibits P 02959, P 04297, P 10187, which I'd mentioned earlier,
9 P 10188, and P 10191.
10 Witness E also discussed this system and Mr. Coric's involvement
11 in it at some length at the trial transcript pages 22033 to 34, actually
12 continuing on to 35, 22087 to 22089, also at 22091 to 22092.
13 Exhibit P 04572 is just an exemplar, if you will, one example of a
14 certificate issued by the 4th Battalion HVO military police on the 27th of
15 August, 1993, stating: "This is to certify that chief Valentin Coric
16 issued an order that all Muslim detainees in possession of guarantee
17 letters and transit visas are released from detention."
18 I would also refer the Chamber to Exhibit -- I think I already
19 have, in fact. P 10187 and again P 10188.
20 Again the interesting thing about those two documents that do
21 merit some additional pause is that they give a record, and the way that
22 they are -- the departure of these Muslims are described is they are being
23 "exiled" from Herzegovina.
24 P 10187, for example, says: "In accordance with the law and
25 pursuant to the order of the chief of military police, Mr. Valentin Coric,
1 we ask the command in Dretelj to release all the people of Muslim
2 ethnicity who possess letters of guarantee. The detainees, including in
3 particular a Zulfikar Jazvin and Samir Jazvin, who were in the military
4 prisons in Dretelj or Gabela, should be handed over to the Ljubuski
5 military police because their families are in Ljubuski and they are being
6 exiled from Herzegovina."
7 A couple of, if the Court will allow me, I might call them
8 miscellaneous items. Going back to the topic of forced labour, I would
9 again refer the Chamber, if I didn't already, to Exhibit P 00740. This is
10 a SIS report dated the 13th of November, 1992, in which Josip Praljak
11 confirms that: "Up until 27 October 1992, the process of taking out
12 prisoners to work involved certification of the request by one of the
13 individuals in charge of logistics and verbal notification of Valentin
14 Coric, chief of the HZ HB military police administration."
15 "According to other information contained in that report, Exhibit
16 P 00740, when complaints were raised about the taking out of prisoners,
17 Valentin Coric issued a decision announcing that no one was allowed to
18 take out prisoners without his signature."
19 I would also mention in closing, just to remind in connection with
20 Mr. Coric and his overall role in the joint criminal enterprise, his
21 senior position in that enterprise, the Chamber will recall the evidence
22 that I discussed yesterday where it was in early April 1993, in connection
23 with the meeting about what we do if Izetbegovic doesn't sign the proposed
24 joint statement, and saying in the meeting involving Boban, Prlic, and
25 others, "We will implement it anyway," giving the deadline of 15 April.
1 In connection with that time period, it was Slobodan Praljak
2 accompanied by Mr. Coric, the two of them together, who were sent as the
3 emissaries, if you will, to Central Bosnia to brief Blaskic, Kordic, and
4 others on the most recent developments and the way forward. Praljak and
5 Coric together. The record again of that meeting again is P 01788.
6 I'll close the submission, Your Honour, concerning Mr. Coric with
7 going back again to the presidential transcript evidence, and I have to
8 give the Chamber some better sense of some of this material prepared that
9 I can show you some visual images of this. This is Exhibit P 06581, a
10 meeting of Tudjman and others with the Herceg-Bosna leadership on the 10th
11 of November, 1993. And I said here pages 20 to 29, but to be more precise
12 for purposes of the record, the excerpts can be found at 20 to 21 and 25
13 to 29.
14 There is a number of interesting things, Your Honour, in this
15 particular record, one is that -- the discussion you will see in a moment
16 about Valentin Coric. The more general point is this is a meeting which
17 you will see Tudjman, with the Herceg-Bosna leadership around him, hand
18 picks and approves the next Herceg-Bosna leadership.
19 If we go on -- so Granic says, and we're picking up -- but
20 actually it stops. There's even a third relevant component and that is
21 the destruction of the Old Bridge, the Stari Mostar, a few days before
22 this meeting and that's what leads into this part of the conversation.
23 Dr. Mate Granic, whom the Chamber will recall was the Foreign
24 Minister of Croatia:
25 "I have a proposal, the most important things is what the Spanish
1 Battalion will say as the most authoritative. Therefore, my proposal is
2 that someone who is the most trustworthy go immediately, someone who has a
3 connection. Their statement is of the utmost importance. To have that
4 information, to have everything, because if they give good information
5 that that is an exception," that what happened was exceptional, "because
6 otherwise on CNN ..."
7 And then Tudjman comes in and interrupts Granic and says: "Well,
8 between us, the destruction in the military sense, to whose advantage is
10 "Mate Boban: Ours."
11 Jukic, the new HVO minister of defence, or the person who's about
12 to become Tudjman's selection, the new Herceg-Bosnian minister of defence.
13 Jukic says: "It's my opinion that we should go for the collapse."
14 In other words, that's our story. "So we'll say it was the destruction or
15 collapse of the bridge, since the rain damaged it and so on. We should
16 make an accusation against war events and the complete destruction of all
17 assets in Bosnia and Herzegovina, so that those who provoked and are
18 continuing the war are the ones who can't, it is impossible to simply
19 approach facilities, and therefore the Assembly in Mostar is being
20 destroyed and so forth.
21 "Jadranko Prlic: It is absolutely beyond our control and that is
22 well known. The line is 300 metres in fronts of it. Therefore there is
23 no way that our men reached the bridge."
24 Well, if the Chamber will recall, there was the strip of
25 ABiH-controlled or Muslim-controlled territory on the right bank between
1 the river and the Bulevar, which was indeed something perhaps like 300
2 metres, and which apparently is what Mr. Prlic is referring to.
3 "Well, our men couldn't have actually physically got to the
4 bridge," but of course -- then someone comes in and says, "Well, -- but
5 grenades, shells, and so forth."
6 And then Tudjman comes in and says: "All right. Let's go on."
7 Then they go to the topic of selecting the Herceg-Bosna leaders.
8 "Jadranko Prlic: Then it will have to be done ... for education,
9 culture and sports, it was Jozo Maric up until now. He will have to
10 resign from the other appointments that he holds as president of Grude
11 municipality and everything else, and he must absolutely be here. Now,
12 these four state ministries which are the most important ones and where it
13 is the most difficult to find a solution. For the Minister of Finance, I
14 propose Neven Tomic, who is the current Finance Minister. Minister of
15 justice... finance Minister. I suggested Neven Tomic."
16 I guess he's repeating himself.
17 "For the Minister of Justice we propose a change. I want to talk
18 to Slobodan Bozic. He is currently the deputy defence minister and he did
19 not accept. There is Mato Tadic from Posavina, from Brcko. Last night we
20 reached the conclusion," this is Prlic talking "my vice-president,
21 Kresimir Zubak, could perhaps take up the post of Minister of Justice.
22 This is that circle of people. There is no controversy; if these two
23 cannot, then Kresimir Zubak is the minister. Kresimir Zubak is from
24 Usora; he was vice-president in the government up to now.
25 "I too was supposed to remain as vice-president, but as things
1 have turned out now, I haven't been able to find Mate Tadic in Brcko and I
2 cannot appoint someone without talking to him."
3 Then there was some intervention. "For what post?
4 "Well, that is for judiciary and administration. In addition
5 there are two ministers left, the minister of interior and the Ministry of
6 Defence. The president proposed Valentin Coric for the Interior Ministry,
7 the defence minister. On the basis of the discussions we are conducting,
8 I think that a change would be good at the present moment. The president
9 said last night that this question should not be settled without reaching
10 agreement with Mr. Susak.
11 "Of the people down there who can do that, in my view, there is
12 Ante Jelavic, the current logistics commander, by all parameters. And
13 after last night's talk with the president, I had another idea which I
14 think would be rather good.
15 "Valentin Coric, who also enjoys general confidence in the army,
16 is now our commander of the military police. By all his attributes," and
17 this is in November of 1993, Your Honours, and I submit to the Chamber to
18 consider the evidence you have heard today about the conduct and the
19 behaviour of the military police and of the camps and of the prisons and
20 of the deportation and of the expulsions. "By all his attributes, I even
21 think he would be a good defence minister. As for the minister of the
22 interior, that is a matter which needs to be discussed, let us get
23 Mr. Mario Plejic now works here in ... He is from down there. He was born
24 in Mostar and he is from those parts."
25 President Tudjman comes in: "For those two ministries, the
1 Ministry of Defence and the Ministry of the Interior, you must appoint the
2 most forceful and most authoritative individuals.
3 "Jadranko Prlic: Valentin is -- Coric absolutely is that, yes.
4 "Mate Boban: I think Valentin as the deputy with Mr. Jarnjak,
5 trained the first Croatian policemen there and since then he has been the
6 commander of the military police.
7 "Tudjman: Good, that is, I think how much is it ...
8 "Mate Boban: But I think he knows the structure of the police
9 especially in war. I think the civilian police should have a defining
10 role in the sense ...
11 "Tudjman: The post of minister of the interior would be a better
12 solution for him if you ..."
13 Someone says: "He is not acquainted with matters.
14 "Jadranko Prlic: It is a good solution except that you always
15 have to -- no one has to take it into account. It is a good solution; he
16 can be both. I even think that he can make a better defence minister.
17 There is always the military, civilian police, one ... I want to say that
18 their chief came from the competition.
19 Then Granic comes back in: "So is it a proposal?
20 "Prlic: I don't know let's see. I think Valentin is ready for
21 both one and the other.
22 "Tudjman: Who is the other candidate for minister of the police
23 and the interior Marijan Plejic.
24 "Mate Boban: He can't. He's here ... He came from Germany.
25 He's a really nice a really nice fellow but he's a quiet person.
1 "President Tudjman: Let me be forthright, gentlemen. I don't
2 know exactly. I don't know all these people. If Perica Jukic is the most
3 forceful person and a person one can count on the most, then I suggest
4 that he be appointed to the position of one of those ministers, either for
5 the interior or for defence, and Coric would be the second and vice
7 "Jadranko Prlic: Our Perica?
8 "Jukic: Yes. I accept at once, absolutely, without any
10 Tudjman goes on and talks about: "As far as I heard and as much
11 as I can conclude, let us consult each other. Because these two
12 ministers, I think Coric can head one" -- these two ministries, excuse me,
13 "I think Coric can head one, it seems to me he can, regardless and
14 precisely because of that, let him unite them; it can also be, I think the
15 Ministry of the Interior, but be that as it may, those state ministries
16 need cooperation. Maybe I would rather be in favour of -- in view of the
17 problems of the army, such as it is, and as various Rajic's and Bozic's
18 appear and cooperation and so forth, perhaps I would rather be in favour
19 of a vice-Premier for the army, because there is the problem of
20 coordination between the government and that command, which is again
21 complicated and so forth. But also there are personal affinities.
22 "Perico [phoen]: What are you by profession?" This is the person
23 being discussed.
24 Juric -- or Jukic: "I'm an electrical engineer."
25 As I said, Your Honour, several points: The reason that I refer
1 to that transcript at length is number one I think it speaks about the
2 person in the role of Valentin Coric in the joint criminal enterprise, the
3 views about him and the way he was held by his -- the co-members of that
4 enterprise, notwithstanding the evidence that the Prosecution has outlined
5 to you today. Their active endorsement as minister of interior or
6 minister of defence. And I also give the Chamber that evidence as further
7 evidence on the question of Croatia's control over the HVO and the
9 The Chamber has just looked into the -- behind closed doors that
10 Tudjman and Susak and others selecting the next leadership of
12 Mr. President, Your Honours, it's the Prosecution case concerning
13 Mr. Coric that as Mr. Stringer said concerning Mr. Pusic, this was a man
14 who played a high and substantial role in the Herceg-Bosna HVO apparatus,
15 a key member and an integral part of the joint criminal enterprise, who
16 played in a very important role and made substantial contributions to the
17 carrying out and implementation of that enterprise. And in that respect,
18 whether it's either on the basis of a joint criminal enterprise form 1 as
19 involving intended crimes or as a joint criminal enterprise form 3 in
20 terms of other crimes which, if not originally intended, either became
21 part of the intended crimes as the JCE evolved or, if not, were
22 nonetheless foreseeable consequences of the carrying out of the conduct,
23 the behaviour, the policy, and the strategy that the Chamber has heard so
24 much evidence about, and therefore, Mr. Coric and the counts against him
25 should remain in the case on each count of the amended indictment.
1 Your Honour, a couple of other items that I must address, I
2 believe. I will just in passing -- the Chamber may recall that at the
3 conclusion of the submissions made by the Coric Defence the issue of
4 cumulative charging was raised. I think with all -- with all due respect
5 that can be handled quite quickly.
6 Cumulative charging is a well-established and accepted form of
7 pleading at the Tribunal. It has been for many years. There should be no
8 confusion or misunderstanding that there is a difference between
9 cumulative charging, which is absolutely acceptable, and cumulative or
10 multiple convictions for the same behaviour and sentencing. Those matters
11 are to be sorted out in the judgement and in sentencing if the Chamber, of
12 course, gets to that point, and then we'll sort out which counts or which
13 basis, if it's going to be an article 5 charge, crime against humanity, or
14 a grave breach charge or something, which charge the Chamber may
15 ultimately pick as the appropriate charge for purposes of conviction and
16 sentencing. That is by no means a facet or aspect that should be dealt
17 with in the context of 98 bis. It is premature at most or at best to
18 consider any such arguments.
19 Finally, Your Honours, I turn back to what the Prosecution
20 considers may be the surviving aspects, if I can put it that way, or
21 remaining aspects of the Petkovic submissions on several legal points
22 which the Chamber may recall from last week, which again I can make brief
23 response to.
24 The Prosecution position on those points, and that deals with the
25 issue of co-perpetration, indirect perpetration, the pleading of one
1 aspect of the joint criminal enterprise. Those are the issues, and these
2 were in fact addressed in the Prosecution's written submissions filed on
3 the 7th of March, 2007, but let me just take two minutes to emphasise or
4 summarise the basic three points of the Prosecution response to the
5 Petkovic arguments.
6 First, the Prosecution does not agree that certain paragraphs or
7 parts of paragraphs need to be stricken from the indictment. As we said
8 in March 2007, in paragraph 25: "The trial can proceed on the basis that
9 the Trial Chamber will apply the permissible modes of liability under
10 Tribunal jurisprudence." And that remains as true today as it was in
11 March 2007. Of course as to every aspect of the case, the Chamber will
12 ultimately apply the law that it views as the correct and applicable law.
13 This is no different.
14 The Prosecution submits that there's no reason for the Chamber to
15 deal further -- make any specific further rulings on that matter at this
17 Going on to the issue or argument about co-perpetration. It may
18 be a linguistic misunderstanding, Your Honour. It is correct, and as the
19 Prosecution again said in the March -- in March of 2007, the Stakic
20 Appeals Chamber did strike down, if you will, or knock out, however one
21 might put it, a particular form of co-perpetration, a particular form, and
22 if the Chamber and the Judges, if you followed the -- some of these
23 developments over the last few years, the Tribunal certainly has looked at
24 various possible theories of co-perpetration. Judge Schomburg has had
25 some theories and that's what happened in the Stakic case. There's been
1 the evolving jurisprudence of joint criminal enterprise, and it is true in
2 the Stakic appeal one particular form of co-perpetration was stricken, but
3 that is not the form of co-perpetration charged in the indictment.
4 We do not understand the Defence, in particular the Petkovic
5 Defence, to be arguing that there is no form of co-perpetration at the
6 Tribunal. Every legal system, I submit, has some forms of
7 co-perpetration; that is, how two or more persons commit crimes together,
8 and I'm sure no one is suggesting that there is no mode of liability at
9 the Tribunal at which two or more persons can be held responsible for
10 commission of a crime. So indeed co-perpetration continues to exist. The
11 particular form of co-perpetration charged in this case is joint criminal
12 enterprise in its various forms.
13 The same can be said about indirect perpetration. Again I think
14 that if anything, there may be some misunderstanding. I dare say that
15 if -- in most if not all legal systems there is again the concept that one
16 can commit crimes through and by way of other persons even as innocent
17 actors who do not themselves have necessarily the requisite mens rea but
18 are simply a tool or an instrument used by others to commit a crime. That
19 is indirect perpetration. I don't commit the physical act, the actus reus
20 of the crime, but I cause or obtain its commission by someone else.
21 Again, I don't think anyone would say that there is no such form
22 of perpetration at the Tribunal. I suspect that neither Milosevic nor
23 Krajisnik nor Brdjanin nor any of the other leaders physically carried out
24 any of the crimes on the ground but indeed acted through other persons.
25 So that is the basic submission on that point, Your Honour. There
1 is indirect perpetration, just as there is co-perpetration.
2 The final issue on this is the language used in paragraph 226 of
3 the amended indictment which says, and I don't have it right in front of
4 me at the moment, but says something to the effect or can be interpreted
5 as saying -- suggesting aiding and abetting a joint criminal enterprise.
6 And as the Prosecution conceded in March 2007, it is correct that there is
7 no form of liability called aiding and abetting a joint criminal
9 However, the Chamber does look at the language in paragraph 226,
10 we again submit that the Chamber can apply the proper and applicable law
11 and that nothing in that paragraph needs to be stricken or amended in any
12 way in order for the Chamber to apply the appropriate law. At most, at
13 most, the Chamber might consider striking the language about four or five
14 words that -- the portion that says "those systems (or either of them),"
15 to the extent that that might be interpreted as suggesting aiding and
16 abetting a joint criminal enterprise, but that very same language goes on
17 to say "aiding and abetting persons in those matters," and that is
18 certainly clearly a standard statement of aiding and abetting law.
19 "One aids and abets persons in the commission of crime," a person
20 being aided and abetted typically being referred to as the principal, "a
21 person," and paragraph 226 clearly states and can be and should be read as
22 stating in that relevant part "for substantially aiding and abetting
23 persons who participated in them." And the Prosecution respectfully
24 submits there's nothing objectionable or improper about that language.
25 Your Honour, with that, I think the Prosecution has addressed what
1 it considers the outstanding questions and the submissions made by the
2 various Defence teams, and we thank the Chamber, Mr. President, and all of
3 Your Honours, for your attention to our submissions. Thank you.
4 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. Thank you very much,
5 Mr. Scott.
6 So you have ended the submissions with respect to Rule 98 bis with
7 regard to the Prosecution.
8 As you know, the Chamber will hand down an oral decision. You
9 will be informed of the date of that hearing. We are going to make sure
10 that it be handed down as soon as possible. So a Scheduling Order will be
11 given to you, and we will get together or we will reconvene for the
12 reading of this decision. Everything was said. Thank you very much, and
13 this hearing is adjourned.
14 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 1.19 p.m.,
15 to be reconvened sine die