1 Thursday, 15 May 2008
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 [The witness entered court]
5 --- Upon commencing at 9.00 a.m.
6 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Registrar, please call the
8 THE REGISTRAR: Good morning, Your Honours. Good morning,
9 everyone in and around the courtroom. This is case number IT-04-74-T,
10 the Prosecutor versus Prlic et al. Thank you, Your Honours.
11 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you very much,
12 Mr. Registrar. Today we are Thursday. My greetings to the witness, the
13 accused, the Defence teams, and the Prosecution. I would also like to
14 greet all the people who are in and around this courtroom and helping us
15 and I would also like to thank the interpreters for their work.
16 Now I hand the floor to Mr. Scott who will continue his
18 WITNESS: DAMIR ZORIC [Resumed]
19 [Witness answered through interpreter]
20 MR. SCOTT: Thank you Mr. President. Your Honours, good morning.
21 To all those in the courtroom, also good morning. And as the President
22 says, good morning and thank you to all of those in and around the
23 courtroom who are helping us do our jobs.
24 Cross-examination by Mr. Scott: [Continued]
25 Q. Good morning to you, Dr. Zoric. Doctor, let's try to see if we
1 can move forward a bit. I would like to go to the period now in February
2 1993. It is correct, is it not, sir, that sometime in February 1993,
3 more approximately the 10th to the 28th of February, there was a major
4 new -- some people called it apparently a census or new registration or
5 reregistration of refugees in Croatia
6 A. I do not remember the exact dates but at the time in cooperation
7 with the UNHCR, we did register the refugees and make a census.
8 Q. And again, touching back on this concept of refugee status and
9 the various rights or protections that flowed from that status, it is
10 correct, is it not, that refugee status is a temporary form of
11 protection. At one point, I believe you said it was for a period of six
12 months, given for a period of six months, that is the status, subject to
13 continuing extensions if the justifying conditions remained the same or
14 continued. Is that correct?
15 A. That is mostly how we operated but the status could be extended
16 for less than three months also.
17 Q. All right. And when this reregistration process was conducted in
18 February 1993, all the persons -- everyone who had been granted refugee
19 status up until that point in time had to reregister and if they did not
20 reregister at that time, they no longer had refugee status; correct?
21 A. I think so. That is what was made public because there had been
22 misuse of that status and at that time, we decided to have photographs on
23 the refugee ID cards; that is, we wanted to be more sure about the
24 identity of the respective persons.
25 Q. And it is also correct, is it not, that as a result or in
1 connection with that reregistration process, the validity period, if you
2 will, the time period for which the refugee status was good, if I can
3 call it that, was in effect, that was shortened to a three-month period;
5 A. I don't remember these details.
6 Q. Well, let me ask you to turn to, please, Exhibit -- in the
7 Prosecution binder which you should have there in front of you, if you
8 can please turn to the tab that's marked P 10419. Once you find that,
9 sir, and again as always -- well, you should find a Croatian language
10 version there available to you and if I can direct your attention and the
11 courtroom's attention to paragraph -- specifically, paragraph 38 of that
12 report. Do you have that, sir? Doctor, do you have paragraph 38? While
13 you're looking at that, for the record, that is an ECMM report dated the
14 7th of February, 1993, which is around the time that we were discussing
15 in the last few minutes, that is, mid-February 1993.
16 Paragraph 38, it says and perhaps you can just follow along and
17 tell me -- I'll ask you if this is essentially a correct statement or
18 summary of what happened at that time. It says that: "On 3 February,
19 one of the coordinating centres, ECMM centres, were told about the
20 announcement by the Office for Displaced People and Refugees that all
21 refugees in Croatia
22 which they will have refugee status for three months. Anyone not
23 registered would be treated as a foreigner. In addition, all unlicensed
24 refugee centres will be closed and more suitable accommodation found for
25 the refugees. The Bosnian government will advise on which areas are safe
1 and which are not and refugees may be repatriated if they come from safe
3 Is that -- that's an accurate synopsis, isn't it, of the action
4 that was taken in February 1993?
5 A. Yes, I think so.
6 Q. Is it also correct, sir, that around this same time, around
7 February 1993, refugees had to begin reporting each month, that is every
8 month, in order to continue their refugee status?
9 A. Yes. Every month, we registered everything that had been handed
10 out as aid, their general condition, their -- the condition of their
11 health, et cetera, and that's why once a month, they were obliged to
12 contact the nearest centre.
13 Q. Thank you, Doctor. Just moving on to some general points in
14 terms of the refugee situation and again, so there's no misunderstanding
15 in the courtroom and perhaps so we don't have to argue about this, I'm
16 not suggesting that and I've never suggested, in fact, Croatia did not in
17 fact take in a substantial number of persons of all ethnic groups that
18 were fleeing from the conditions in Bosnia. There's no question about
19 that. But at the same time, it is fair to say, is it not, that Croatia
20 was not happy, not particularly happy that these people had come. It
21 created a huge burden on the Croatian government; correct?
22 A. I don't think anybody is happy if such a burden is placed upon
23 him or her.
24 Q. Correct. And you testified, in fact, to that point in the
25 Tuta-Stela case, counsel, at page 10965, line 22, "We were not happy that
1 these people had come and that we had to take care of them." And that's
2 an understandable point, at least up to a certain point we can all agree
3 on that. It's not a good situation for Croatia, not a good situation for
4 the refugees. And you've also agreed that, in fact that's my second
5 point, you agree, do you not, that being a refugee is not a good thing.
6 It's not something nice. It's a difficult situation for anyone to find
7 themselves in?
8 A. I agree with you.
9 Q. And in fact you testified on Tuesday that: "Whether everybody
10 there was happy, well, of course not. Nobody was happy because it's a
11 very sad situation being a refugee. And there could have been
12 dissatisfaction." You also found, would it be fair to say, that these
13 people that were coming into Croatia
14 of them came with great fear, fear from what they were leaving behind and
15 what would happen to their homes and fear for what their future held;
17 A. Correct.
18 Q. And you also testified and can we all agree that everything else
19 being equal, it was easier being a Croat in Croatia than being a Muslim
20 in Croatia
21 line 12, "It's a fact that the ethnic Croats found it easier to integrate
22 into Croatian society."
23 We can both agree that that's -- was correct, can't we?
24 A. I believe it is logical that they should have -- they should have
25 a less difficult time.
1 Q. Now, if we can just touch on the topic, and moving to the topic
2 of the movement of persons who had found themselves in Croatia to third
4 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Scott.
5 MR. SCOTT: Yes, Your Honour.
6 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] There's something that I don't
7 quite understand in your cross-examination. You are putting answers or
8 quoting the answers of the witness that he said in -- during the
9 examination in chief. If you are cross-examining it's because you agree
10 with him. Why are you cross-examining with him if that's not the case.
11 MR. SCOTT: Your Honour, there's just certain basic propositions
12 I would like to make sure that we do in fact agree on and it's been very
13 clear on that. I'm laying the foundation, the Chamber can assume that
14 I'm laying a foundation for certain additional questions. I don't think
15 there's any mystery about that.
16 Q. Sir, if we can move to the topic of the movement of persons,
17 again who had found themselves in Croatia
18 countries. The Judges I think at this point -- everyone in the courtroom
19 has heard about there was a process at one point that involved something
20 that's been called getting a letter of guarantee from some destination
21 that these people would go and that that would be coupled with something
22 called a transit visa. These are people coming out of
23 Bosnia-Herzegovina. If they had a letter of guarantee and a transit
24 visa, they would then be able to move on to some third country. Are you
25 familiar with that practice?
1 A. Yes, I am.
2 Q. And can you tell us a bit about your understanding of how these
3 letters of guarantee would be obtained, what that process involved?
4 A. We mostly received those letters by mail. Some people handed
5 them in in person. They had a different shape in different countries but
6 they were also officially certified either by notary public or by the --
7 by some public authority, and it said that a person is willing to take up
8 some other persons and to such people, we gave agreement to go where they
9 were invited to go.
10 Q. And then there was this second document or aspect of this beside
11 the letter of guarantee -- excuse me. There was something that we've
12 heard about, there's been testimony and evidence in this case, there was
13 something that also would go along with that called a transit visa. How
14 would one obtain one of these transit visas to either cross into Croatia
15 or to travel across Croatia
17 A. The ODPR did not issue transit visas and transit visa is a
18 colloquial term anyway. We issued a letter in which we stated our
19 agreement for a certain person to be admitted to Croatia at an official
20 border crossing by the Croatian police to go in a certain direction. So
21 we only stated that we agreed to these people being admitted. It was a
22 sort of recommendation but not a visa.
23 Q. If I could just ask you to look at a couple of documents on this
24 point fairly quickly to see if you -- just if you can assist us any
25 further. Can I ask you to go to P 04941, P 04941 which is an HVO
1 document dated the 11th of September, 1993. I show it to you, just
2 simply if you look at the request, it -- as a point of reference it says,
3 "Request for the release from prison of persons who are in possession of
4 letters of guarantee and transit visa for the passage through Croatia
5 Do you see that?
6 A. These are not documents that we issued.
7 Q. No, I understand that, sir. I'm not suggesting otherwise. But
8 you see, then, that this is a document that has 44 individuals listed
9 for -- to be released if they were in possession of these two documents,
10 a letter of guarantee and what's again called here a transit visa. And
11 based on that, sir, I just simply ask you: Did you become aware that
12 that was, as you said maybe a moment ago, a colloquialism but that's what
13 people were describing these additional travel documents, people were
14 calling them transit visas?
15 A. [No interpretation]
16 Q. Sorry, sir, I heard some answer but it wasn't in the transcript.
17 Maybe I didn't, and if I didn't, I apologise.
18 A. Yes, I'm aware that people called it a transit visa. But transit
19 visa were not issued based on such documents. A letter of guarantee had
20 to come from a person who would take up these people and not from those
21 people themselves.
22 Q. No, I understand that. Again, there were two documents, at least
23 that's what we've all -- people have told us. There was the letter of
24 guarantee that you could -- someone in another country would take you in,
25 some arrangements would be made. That had to be -- had to have that.
1 You also had to have the second document, something that people called a
2 transit visa. And you say that it was something more like a
3 recommendation, at least in terms of your agency; is that correct?
4 A. Yes, but that letter of guarantee didn't have to be from a third
5 country necessarily, it could be from Croatia also.
6 Q. All right.
7 MR. KARNAVAS: If I could just interrupt and make one small
8 observation for future purposes. Here's a good example where the
9 gentleman is indicating that he has prior knowledge, he's aware and he's
10 being asked questions and obviously I'm not objecting. I mention this
11 because yesterday during my direct, there was some objections. Here's a
12 clear example of how a witness when he has prior knowledge and you lay a
13 foundation can be asked questions about events to which he was not
14 personally involved in because he had left the -- that office. He was
15 not a member of the parliament and now he's being asked questions. I
16 mention this, Judge Trechsel, because yesterday there seems to be some
17 reservation on some members of the Bench as to this gentleman not being,
18 you know, qualified to comment about a period of time after March 1993
19 when he was no longer with the ODPR.
20 So I'm making this -- this is a classic example and I commend the
21 Prosecutor for using this technique. I wish to be -- to have the same
22 right accorded to me when I do my direct examination. Thank you.
23 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Witness, I am not so concerned
24 with procedural questions, I like to go to the crux of the problem. The
25 Prosecutor is showing you a document with 44 names. These people are
1 prisoners. They received letters of guarantee and a transit visa. Those
2 people whose names figure on this list, are they, according to you, from
3 the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina, is that their nationality?
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes. This list was obviously made
5 in Bosnia and Herzegovina and that's what the letterhead says.
6 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. So those people are
7 foreigners, basically, with regards to your country.
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] That is right, Your Honour.
9 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] At the time, a foreigner,
10 whether he comes from Bosnia and Herzegovina or Hungary or the USA
11 such a foreigner would come to your country, did he need a visa and a
12 guarantee to stay for a while in your country?
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, a visa was never
14 required for crossing from Bosnia-Herzegovina to Croatia. Foreign
15 citizens, Bosnia-Herzegovinian citizens included, could stay in Croatia
16 and move about up to three months in accordance with the Law on the
17 Movement and Stay of Foreigners. Longer than that if they had some
18 special reason such as medical treatment, et cetera.
19 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. Hypothetically
20 speaking, let's take an example of a Hungarian person, Hungarian national
21 who comes to your country through -- let's say he leaves Budapest by car,
22 he goes through Zagreb
23 person at the time need a transit visa?
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, Your Honour, because the
25 conditions in Hungary
1 any fashion. It was not logical to suppose that anyone from Hungary
2 would apply for refugee status.
3 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. So if I understand
4 you correctly, the transit visa was issued because your authorities
5 believed that these people, because there was a war, needed some
6 financial help and in order to remedy to this type of situation, they
7 were given a transit visa whereas other foreigners who did not want to
8 stay in your country did not need such a document and this is why transit
9 visas were issued and letters of guarantees were given, is that because
10 of a financial or economic reason?
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I think so. Another reason, and
12 not less important, is that we wanted to know who is coming to Croatia
13 from Bosnia-Herzegovina, where they had crossed the border, where they
14 had gone because we needed to establish a database for various services
15 that were searching for people and these databases were the most
16 important resource in this activity.
17 If we hadn't had such registers, we wouldn't have been able to
18 trace people as quickly as we did.
19 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well.
20 Please proceed, Mr. Scott.
21 MR. SCOTT: Thank you, Mr. President.
22 I don't want to belabour it but I do want to make very brief
23 response to Mr. Karnavas's comments which I appreciate. Just so the
24 Chamber knows, I am also trying to be consistent with my own practice and
25 do not believe what I did -- said this morning so far was inconsistent
1 with that. I did not expect the witness to have detailed information or
2 to be able to talk about these 44 individuals. I did put the document in
3 front of him just to give a concrete example of a documentation using the
4 term transit visa so that would be maybe less abstract but I did not take
5 him any further into the document than that and therefore, I just want to
6 make sure -- I want to explain, at least in my mind, I've been consistent
7 on that point.
8 Q. Sir, just to follow up on the President's questions. Since
9 you've said that, well, someone coming from Hungary, for example, would
10 be able to come into the country for a visit without a visa, without
11 something called a transit visa, but then you mentioned specifically,
12 well, we all know that conditions in Bosnia and Herzegovina at the time
13 are quite different than what was happening in Hungary at that time.
14 Therefore, there was a dimension, there was an aspect, there was a
15 difference, there was something different about people coming from Bosnia
16 and Herzegovina
17 what people called a transit visa, whether it was a colloquial term or
18 what, but what people called a transit visa, another purpose of that was
19 to indicate these people were transiting through, they were not staying,
20 there was no intention of them staying in Croatia and that they would not
21 be granted and would not obtain refugee status; correct?
22 A. We never saw those people. In our recommendations, we stated the
23 facts that were found in the letters of guarantee. If they were from
25 applied for people who received letters of guarantee from Croatia
1 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Witness, the question Mr. Scott
2 just put to you is quite interesting and very relevant for that matter.
3 Let's take one of the 44 names, let's take a person on this list and
4 let's say that one of these people has a letter of guarantee to go to
6 minute and he says, Oh, I really like Zagreb, I would like to stay in
8 able to request a refugee status at that point or would you have said,
9 no, you will not get refugee status and did you ever see or experience
10 some of these cases where people decided just to stay in your country?
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] There were many such cases,
12 Your Honour, cases of people who stayed in Croatia after all, many cases.
13 And I will show information to the counsels how many such people such
14 were even after the date mentioned by the Prosecution, I believe it was
15 June 30th, 1992
16 admitted as refugees, how many persons transited, how many returned, how
17 many were refused entry to Croatia
18 the ODPR was not -- had no remit with regard to them.
19 I have all that information on me.
20 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Scott.
21 MR. SCOTT: Thank you, Mr. President.
22 MR. KARNAVAS: I believe the gentleman said 1996 as opposed to
23 1992 but I don't know. He said June 30th -- my colleague here heard
25 MR. SCOTT: I thought he was referring to the questions I put to
1 him yesterday about the 13th July, 1992, decision.
2 MR. KARNAVAS: That could be it.
3 MR. SCOTT: Sure, if he can clarify.
4 Q. Sir, if you could just clarify. You've heard some uncertainty
5 perhaps in what you said a moment ago. The date you referred to, could
6 you just give us that again, do you recall?
7 A. I meant the dates that you mentioned yesterday.
8 Q. 13 July 1992
9 A. Yes, exactly.
10 Q. All right. Just once again, to follow-up on the President's
11 questions, we all know that human beings are complicated, changeable
12 people -- changeable beings, sure, some people arrived in Croatia, got to
14 happened. But when your office received the paperwork, when you
15 received -- when you were looking at these letters of guarantee and what
16 some people called a transit visa for the purposes of passing through
18 when I say "your" not just you personally but ODPR, the Croatian
19 government's understanding and intention was that these people would be
20 passing through Croatia
21 location, and they would not be staying in Croatia as refugees; correct?
22 Maybe some did, but that was not the intention or understanding; correct?
23 A. I believe that that's correct.
24 Q. Now, going back to the other side of this situation if we can,
25 that is where the people were coming from and I wanted to pick up on
1 something that you touched on, I believe, yesterday. That you said
2 something to the effect that depending on where people came from, they
3 could be denied refugee status or entry because you might say, well,
4 there's no reason for someone from that location to be considered a
5 refugee. And in fact, in the Tuta-Stela case, you used the example of
6 Siroki Brijeg and presumably a Croat from Siroki Brijeg, you said that
7 remained a free area, what you considered a "free area" throughout the
8 war and you would not have considered or approved any Croat coming from
9 Siroki Brijeg as a refugee.
10 If counsel wants to check me on that that can be found at 11005,
11 line 10. Is that correct, sir?
12 A. Yes, that's correct.
13 Q. Just so everyone in the courtroom understands these scenarios,
14 you would agree about me, wouldn't you, that a particular area might be
15 safe for some people or one ethnic group and not safe for another ethnic
16 group; correct?
17 A. That is correct too. And we acknowledged well-based fear as a
18 reason for refugee status and there were many cases in which our
19 decisions of a general character were later reviewed and adapted to the
20 needs of the individual person. So, if the office said that persons came
21 from a certain municipality not affected by the war such as
22 Siroki Brijeg, are not entitled to refugee status, still, there were
23 people from these such areas who had received -- who came as refugees but
24 we cancelled their refugee status. But if they could provide plausible
25 reasons for their being a refugee then we would grant that.
1 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Witness, I was listening to you
2 and there is another legal problem that is has just cropped up. This
3 Croat from Siroki Brijeg, I suppose is a national of the Republic of
4 Bosnia and Herzegovina, he is a Croat by ethnicity, nevertheless, he is a
5 national of the Republic of BiH
6 Croats granted dual citizenship?
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It is correct and true that Croats,
8 even though they do not reside in the Republic of Croatia
9 and be granted Croatian citizenship, not only the Croats in
10 Bosnia-Herzegovina but also those living elsewhere if the legislation of
11 the country they reside in allows for that.
12 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. So this Croat
13 person from Siroki Brijeg, an area that is not affected by the conflicts,
14 if they were to apply for Croatian citizenship, could they, being a
15 Croatian national, be regarded as a refugee because I'm under the
16 impression that you can't be a refugee in your own country.
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] We didn't grant refugee status to
18 the people from Siroki Brijeg. The problem may be of a legal nature if
19 the refugees sought Croatian citizenship and were granted it and at that
20 point, they should have been deprived of their refugee status. They
21 could no longer be refugees, rather, they embarked upon a so-called
22 integration process. This was a procedure that we adopted in accordance
23 with the recommendations of the UNHCR.
24 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] One very last question because
25 many of the accused said that they had dual citizenship. I understood
1 that their dual citizenship was granted automatically, you did not need
2 to apply for it, as I understood, but you seem to say that a Croat who
3 lives abroad, outside the country, can have the Croatian nationality but
4 he has to apply for it. So can you enlighten me on this? Is this a dual
5 citizen or a citizenship by right or do you have to apply for it?
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, to the extent I'm able
7 to explain the matter, all the inhabitants of Croatia who resided in
9 that former state automatically became the citizens of the Republic of
11 background. Everyone else had to apply for citizenship including the
12 Croats living outside Croatia
13 prove ...
14 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] If I understand properly, a
15 Croat who lived in Prozor, who went to school there and then moves to
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] That's correct. He could have
18 applied for citizenship in one of the consulates, for instance, that
20 could have been granted citizenship. Otherwise, he could have sought
21 citizenship in the Republic of Croatia
22 MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, can an additional
23 question be put to that because your question was, "Should that Croat
24 from Prozor have to apply for citizenship upon his arrival in
1 witness said that the individual may have, could have applied for
2 citizenship rather than -- it's not a must. So if you could reput the
4 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I repeat, in this case, you
5 have a Croat who lives in Prozor and goes to school there for years and
6 years and then decides to go to Croatia
7 may be. Is he going to be a Croat automatically? Is he then going to be
8 given an ID card, a Croatian passport as a Croatian national or does he
9 have to apply for his Croatian national to be acknowledged before he is
10 given an ID card or a passport?
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, such an individual
12 would be required to apply for citizenship. Citizenship was not granted
13 automatically. I will give you an illustration: Even today there are
14 Croats in Bosnia-Herzegovina who have declared themselves to be Croats
15 but have not applied for and consequently have not been granted Croatian
16 citizenship. One of them was at the recent elections elected one of the
17 members of the BH Presidency and he stated explicitly that he was not a
18 Croat national, he never asked for Croatian citizenship, he's a national
19 of Bosnia-Herzegovina, though an ethnic Croat living in
21 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I thank you for your answers.
22 Please proceed, Mr. Scott.
23 MR. SCOTT:
24 Q. Doctor, now that we've broached this topic, it might be worth
25 while, it might assist everyone, at least some of us in the courtroom on
1 this side of the courtroom and perhaps the Judges to pursue it a bit
2 longer. The impression one has, and you can tell me if I am wrong, is
3 that given the awakening of the national Croatian spirit, the Tudjman
4 government coming into power, the HDZ, there was a desire to promote, if
5 you will, Croatian citizenship, on a global basis that any person
6 considered themselves a Croat in the diaspora living in the
7 United States, Australia
8 wanted Croatian citizenship, and of course had you to jump through some
9 hoops which we'll come to in a moment, but there was a policy to
10 encourage or maybe a fairly liberal attitude to gaining Croatian
11 citizenship for people who were Croats; is that correct?
12 A. No, I would not describe that position as liberal at all.
13 Individuals had to collect the relevant documentation and submit it to
14 the competent office service of the consulate and meet all the
15 requirements under the law. If these were met, then they became
16 nationals. I believe that some people even voiced their displeasure with
17 the slow pace of the procedure.
18 Q. Well, we all understand bureaucracies, I think, in every country.
19 But my question to you is this and if I'm wrong then please set us
20 straight because there may be a number of people in the courtroom who
21 have thought about this. Was there some advantage or different process
22 or different rules for a Croat to obtain citizenship rather than anyone
23 in the world can apply to be naturalized as a citizen. That is, I am not
24 Dutch by ethnicity but if I live here long enough and I want to become a
25 naturalized citizen, I can apply.
1 MR. KARNAVAS: If I may, Your Honour, I'm going to object to the
2 scope of the question on the grounds of relevancy. I don't see why this
3 is relevant, number one, and I think it is also beyond the scope of
4 direct examination. I may wish to be a Swiss citizen, it doesn't mean
5 that Switzerland
6 particular country, you know. Or I may wish to be Greek, I have to go
7 through the procedures but I don't see what this has to do with the
8 direct examination especially given the narrow scope of the gentleman's
10 Now, there will be, I can assure Mr. Scott and everyone else,
11 there will be a witness that will be coming very shortly who was from the
12 diaspora who participated in the events and ultimately became an
13 ambassador for Croatia
14 relevant to ask these sorts of questions. But this gentleman here, given
15 the scope of the direct examination, I fail to see how this line of
16 questioning is relevant and if it is relevant, I would like to know how.
17 And I would like a ruling from the Court.
18 MR. SCOTT: Let me respond first, Your Honour, please, before the
19 Chamber deliberates.
20 First, number one, I'm following up on the President's questions.
21 Mr. President, you raised this area and I think it is relevant, having
22 said that.
23 I think it is relevant to the case because we're dealing with the
24 whole scope of the status and rights of people travelling in and their
25 rights once arriving in Croatia
1 also had Croats going there and I do think that it could be a difference
2 if a person -- if a Bosnian Croat arrives in Zagreb and can easily then
3 obtain Croatian citizenship and stay, because he is a Croat, that may be
4 a fundamentally different situation than what the situation that the
5 Muslim persons arriving in Zagreb
6 MR. KARNAVAS: I don't see how that is part of a joint criminal
7 enterprise or a crime.
8 MR. SCOTT: No one's saying it is.
9 MR. KARNAVAS: I don't see what the relevance then is. What is
10 the relevancy and if I may and I don't wish to take any time from the
11 Prosecution, the question from the Judge, from the Bench and from
12 Mr. Scott was basically somebody coming in and it's very clear, they can
13 come in and stay up to three months and after that, they either have to
14 get permission or they have to seek refugee status if that's the case.
15 That's the base -- now if he wants to limit the scope of his question,
16 fine. I don't wish in any way to interfere with his cross-examination
17 but I don't see how this is advancing either side in getting -- in
18 helping the Court get to the truth.
19 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Well, Mr. Karnavas, you are the
20 one who called this witness to talk about the refugee status of displaced
21 persons. That's a very important legal aspect. Based on that, it is
22 interesting to know what was their procedure to obtain this status of a
23 refugee, to know who would stay and who would go, whether there were
24 cases of discrimination. So basically this is what the Prosecution tries
25 to ascertain with this witness. So these are topics that are relevant.
1 We're not wasting our time, are we?
2 MR. KARNAVAS: Just to make sure that we're very clear because I
3 don't want the Bench assuming -- any one of the members of the Bench
4 assuming that I'm somehow trying to keep you from knowing the facts.
5 I have no objection to that. But as far as who can be granted
6 citizenship and to say had that somehow if someone who is of a Muslim
7 ethnicity or a Slovenian or a Hungarian or whoever who is coming from the
8 former Yugoslavia
9 case. I don't see that. If we stick to issues of refugee status, status
10 as far as staying in the country, benefits, that sort of stuff, I
11 totally -- I have no problem with that.
12 Beyond that, I think we need to have a narrower scope. That's
13 all I'm saying and I just made my objection and I'll sit down for the
14 rest of the period on this.
15 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes, Ms. Nozica.
16 MR. NOZICA: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I should like to fully
17 endorse what my colleague Karnavas stated, that very soon we will have a
18 witness here who was an ambassador of Croatia to Sarajevo during the war
19 and he can explain the matters concerning the granting of citizenship.
20 I'm stating this because the Prosecutor in his latest submission on why
21 he insisted on these questions stated that it was far easier for a Croat
22 who arrived to Croatia
23 than a Muslim.
24 I believe that this witness does not have the required knowledge
25 unlike the witness, the former ambassador to Sarajevo who is soon to be
1 called. It would be far more helpful to listen to the answers of that
2 witness as to how many Muslims were granted Croatian citizenship and
3 we're talking about very high figures during the war and that is
4 something I believe this witness is not familiar with, either with the
5 procedures or with the cases of the citizens of Bosnia-Herzegovina being
6 granted Croatian citizenship.
7 For that reason, I believe that these matters should be raised at
8 the point when the witness with requisite knowledge takes the stand.
9 Thank you.
10 JUDGE TRECHSEL: In other words, Ms. Nozica, you do not say that
11 this is an irrelevant question, do you?
12 MR. NOZICA: [Interpretation] No, thank you, Your Honour, for
13 giving me the opportunity to state that. I do believe that it is very
14 relevant; I am only afraid that we are taking one direction only
15 concerning only Croats having been granted citizenship. I believe that
16 at the same time, we have to also discuss the matter of the Muslims
17 having been granted citizenship and only then shall we have the complete
18 picture of how it worked during the war.
19 MR. SCOTT: Briefly, Your Honour. There was no suggestion that
20 there were not situations where Muslims from Bosnia-Herzegovina were
21 granted Croatian citizenship. I have not stated that position. We are
22 trying to get a better understanding. This is a witness who has been a
23 senior official, an ambassador himself, a member of parliament, a person
24 extensively involved in the coming of people into his country and he may
25 be able to assist us, he may not.
1 I think if I could just ask a few more questions, as they say in
2 the movies, if the Chamber would grant me a bit of latitude, I think we
3 can connect up the relevance to this if the witness can help us. If he
4 can't help us, then we'll go on in a couple of moments.
5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] We think that this is relevant
6 and we took due note of the fact that there were Muslims who could also
7 become Croatian citizens but, of course, it is a possibility, maybe it
8 was also a reality.
9 MR. SCOTT:
10 Q. So, sir, let me go back to -- what I was trying to illustrate
11 simply is we all know -- well, I think we know, I think most people in
12 the courtroom know that most countries provide for a naturalization
13 process that is by which virtually anyone can apply for citizenship in
14 another country, their non-native country. And I simply pick the example
15 of -- I find myself in the Netherlands
16 ethnicity, if there is Dutch ethnicity and I suppose there is, but if I
17 decide I want to stay in the Netherlands
18 can apply for that. I can be naturalized and become a Dutch citizen.
19 But that doesn't turn on me being Dutch, it isn't dependant on my
20 Dutchness, if you will. So are you telling the Chamber that based on all
21 of that, that a Croat who -- a Croat in Australia or the United States
22 in Bosnia-Herzegovina had no other additional rights or better
23 opportunity, if you will, to become a Croat citizen than any other person
24 who would follow the naturalization process?
25 So a Croat in Bosnia-Herzegovina had no better opportunity or
1 more -- a different advantage to obtain Croatian citizenship than a
2 person from -- applying from, let's say, Germany who was not Croat? A
3 German citizen who applies, he's not Croat, he just wants to apply and be
4 a -- wants to become a Croat citizen. So you're saying the Croats from
5 all over the world, the Croats in the diaspora that the HDZ and that
6 Tudjman were reaching out to, they had no more right to become Croatian
7 citizens than anyone else?
8 MR. KARNAVAS: Your Honour, again, now we're going about HDZ and
9 Tudjman. We heard from the first, very first witness, we already have
10 testimony and I will concede the point for the record, I will concede the
11 point for the record, for the first time, Croatia is a nation recognised
12 within international boundaries. Based on their constitution it allowed
13 all Croats no matter where they were, whether they were from Cleveland
15 all of them had a right to apply for Croatian citizenship just as when
17 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Are you testifying again, sir?
18 MR. KARNAVAS: Yes, I'm --
19 JUDGE TRECHSEL: No, you should not testify, Mr. Karnavas. I
20 think this is simply not correct.
21 MR. KARNAVAS: We've had testimony to this and, Your Honour, I am
22 shocked that you have not objected because of the form of the question.
23 The gentleman never suggested that the Croats did not, you know, did
24 not -- had the same footing as others. Look at the previous testimony
25 today. You are very quick to object to me, you are very quick to jump on
1 me and it seems sometimes personal but when it comes to the Prosecution
2 and they are trying to assume facts that are not in evidence, there is no
3 objection. The gentleman never indicated, never indicated and we've had
4 testimony, Your Honour, so it's not me testifying. We've had testimony,
5 we've had the constitution, this came into the Prosecution's case, it
6 came through the very first witness. Croats around the world could get
7 citizenship and of course they had better or more special privileges but
8 the testimony has been that they still had to make an application. That
9 was my reason why I indicated if I wanted to be a Swiss citizen, if a
10 Croat wanted to become a Slovenian citizen they would have to, in the
11 Slovak, a Slovenian from the United States, who would have the better
12 chance? Who would have the more opportunities? Who would have the
13 better privilege of becoming a Slovenian citizen? It depends on the
15 How is this relevant to the case? How is this relevant to the
16 joint criminal enterprise. You jump on me, Judge Trechsel, but I want to
17 know why don't you stop the Prosecution? Why don't you suggest that he
18 is asking questions with facts that are not in evidence or that he's
19 twisting the witness's testimony? This is why I think there is a double
21 Yesterday I was prevented from going into areas, on the
22 assumption that this gentleman, beyond a certain point in 1993, could not
23 testify. Now we're asking him questions of which he is not an expert.
24 You've not objected to him not being an expert but all of a sudden we're
25 allowing it. I'm allowing it because the Prosecution has laid a
1 foundation. I'm merely just showing and I'm frustrated today because
2 there is a double standard in this court. Especially when you come to
3 objecting to me, Judge Trechsel and I think sometimes it's personal.
4 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Karnavas.
5 MR. KARNAVAS: I hope that it's not the case but it appears this
6 way. It appears and I'm talking about perceptions.
7 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Karnavas, I fail to
8 understand very well what the problem was about, the problem raised by
9 Mr. Scott or yourself. We've had a witness who's held high positions,
10 political administrative positions within this office. He was an
11 ambassador. Therefore, somebody who is able to understand a question and
12 to answer it.
13 Furthermore, in terms of citizenship he is competent because he
14 was an ambassador of his country to Sarajevo. Although there is a
15 consulate, I suppose he had to deal with issues related to citizenship so
16 he knows the matter.
17 MR. KARNAVAS: Your Honour, it is an established fact in this
18 case that Croats around the world could get citizenship. That's a known
19 fact. And everybody else -- so why are we belabouring the point?
20 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I haven't even dealt with that
21 once you're on your feet. You don't even know what I'm going to say and
22 you rise to speak about Croats from the USA who have that citizenship.
23 That's not my topic. I'm interested in knowing what the procedure was to
24 obtain citizenship.
25 Mr. Scott's case, and that was the purpose of his question, was
1 to say that in terms of citizenship in the way it was treated, there
2 was -- there were various reasons to obtain it, that's the question he
3 wanted to put to the witness. It may be that the witness would say no,
4 there was no discrimination, the fact that you were an HDZ member did not
5 give you citizenship. I don't know. I don't even know what the witness
6 is about to answer and you are both belabouring the point on answers that
7 can have legal answers because there were laws and regulations in
9 Let us not forget that in Croatia
10 this through documents, there were hundreds of thousands of refugees.
11 1.800.000 refugees at one point in time. So among these people, there
12 must be people who applied for Croatian citizenship and it may be that
13 the witness can tell us that. He can tell us that as far as he knows,
14 there were Muslims who became Croats or not. Rather than spend too much
15 time on those other issues, I think we should deal with these substantial
16 issues. The Prosecutor will put a question, the witness his answer and
17 then you have the possibility in redirect to come back to this subject.
18 Mr. Scott.
19 JUDGE PRANDLER: I'm going to make an issue and I believe that we
20 are to calm down and to talk about these questions with no particular
21 vehemence, but at the same time, I do agree that this issue, in general,
22 is a topic which could and should be discussed and questions be put about
23 it in our Trial Chamber. I would like to say, knowing the Hungarian
24 regulations, that we do have also citizenship for those Hungarians who
25 left the country before 1945, before 1956, after 1956 and -- but they
1 have to apply for it. They get a passport but with no -- in a way, no
2 equal rights with the Hungarian citizens in situ, who are in Hungary
3 because of course they cannot apply for the same benefits, et cetera,
4 like the Hungarians living in Hungary
5 Now, the same situation doesn't apply to those Hungarians with
6 Hungarian ethnicity who live around Hungary
7 big number of them starting from Vojvodina and also a few in Croatia
8 many of them in Transylvania, Romania
9 Now, the issue I believe that it could be discussed here if there
10 was any kind of discrimination on that basis and therefore I believe that
11 the topic could be addressed too -- it may be a situation that it could
12 be addressed later on when we have another witness here. I do not
13 exclude this possibility which was mentioned by Mr. Karnavas. At the
14 same time, I think that again, I would like to emphasise that they should
15 remain calm about it and of course Mr. Scott should conduct his
16 cross-examination in view of the fact that it is not the, I would say,
17 the major issue here with this witness. Thank you.
18 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Please proceed, Mr. Scott.
19 MR. SCOTT: I certainly never intended that we would get so
20 bogged down in this. I thought that following up to the President's
21 questions there might be a few questions that would assist the Chamber
22 and assist everyone in the courtroom and I had no idea that we would wind
23 up being -- become enmeshed in such a situation. I don't know why it's
24 so troubling to counsel -- I just don't understand why it's such an
25 apparently touchy issue.
1 Mr. Karnavas himself, and I agree with Judge Trechsel as I've
2 said and what counsel says is not testimony and that goes for me too.
3 And simply to make the point and the reason I was asking the questions
4 that I was asking, I was just trying to get some basic answers to,
5 Mr. Karnavas himself answered not in an evidentiary way but just so every
6 in the courtroom knows where we are, on page 25 today starting at line
7 15, Mr. Karnavas said, "Croats around the world could get citizenship and
8 of course they had better or more special privileges in connection with
9 obtaining citizenship."
10 Now that's my whole point. I've never said Muslims couldn't
11 obtain Croatian citizenship. They probably did. I don't dispute that
12 for a second. What we were trying -- all we are trying to establish was
13 because of that policy, the very policy that Mr. Karnavas said exists,
14 the Croats had a different situation, with more privileges, if the
15 witness could just assist us and say apart from the right of any person
16 anywhere in the world to apply for naturalized citizenship, and again I
17 use the example of if I want to become a Dutch citizen, I can apply.
18 Q. But wasn't there, sir, a different procedure by which persons who
19 were Croat or who claimed to be "Croat" could become Croatian citizens?
20 Or they could just apply to become naturalized just like everybody else.
21 It's a very simple question, really. Were there two procedures or was
22 there just one that applied to everybody?
23 A. I'm not sure what exactly your last question was. You asked
24 about a German applying for Croatian citizenship or is it something else?
25 Is it about Bosniaks and Croats?
1 Q. Let me try one more time in the interests of time and I promise
2 the Chamber that if we can't make headway, I'll move on because there are
3 other things that I want to cover with the witness but one last chance.
4 Witness, we all know, I think -- you understand that anyone could
5 apply to become a naturalized -- anyone anywhere could apply to become
6 naturalized Croatian citizen?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. However, we've heard in the case, the Judges have heard, all of
9 us have heard that, you know, people who are Croatian citizens around the
10 world can vote in the HDZ, they can even get elected to parliament
11 because they are Croats and Croats everywhere, you know, have this
12 special relationship. Maybe it's a good thing, the special relationship
13 with their home country, with Croatia
14 naturalization process, did these Croats around other places whether it
15 was Australia
16 there some different, special arrangement that applied for obtaining
17 citizenship other than just the normal naturalization process?
18 A. There is a law in Croatia
19 provides for different categories, different conditions, different
20 possibilities. You could apply for citizenship and be denied it.
21 Alternatively, you could fulfill certain conditions and then be granted
22 the citizenship. An alien who had been living in Croatia for five years
23 without interruption fulfills the basic condition. Then you had to prove
24 that you know the language and customs of the country where you want to
25 live in and another possibility was that citizenship was offered to
1 someone if it was in the interest of the Republic of Croatia
2 public personalities and top sports people, et cetera.
3 So Croatian citizenship could be obtained on different grounds,
4 but all these possibilities were regulated by the law and I agree that
5 under this law, anybody could apply for citizenship but I also agree that
6 not everybody had to be granted citizenship.
7 MR. SCOTT: Your Honour, I promised I would move on so I will. I
8 think the Chamber knows the question that is pending and I guess we'll
9 hope to get from a future witness but I promised I would move on so I
11 Q. Now, you would agree, sir, would you not that in terms of people
12 returning to the -- facing the prospect of returning, the possibility of
13 returning to the place from which they had fled, left under various
14 conditions, they might -- these people might have the right on paper to
15 return, someone might say, "Well, go forth and go back to your home
16 country and be happy," but having that right on paper and actually being
17 able to go back and live in that same situation can be two very different
18 things; correct?
19 A. In some situations, that is certainly what it could have been
20 like. Safety is certainly the first pre-condition for sustainable
22 Q. Safety being as you say, certainly, a first condition. Also the
23 conditions that existed that -- the conditions in that area not just
24 safety but would you agree whether they had anything to return to. Did
25 their house still exist? Would there be jobs there? Would they be able
1 to live there? Was there any community left there or had the community
2 been destroyed? Correct?
3 A. Yes, that's correct. The other condition is the sustainability
4 of that return or the first or all conditions together as well as that
5 the return had to be voluntary. Unfortunately in Bosnia-Herzegovina,
6 there is still many areas without any return and I doubt there will be
7 return to those areas any time soon because the conditions are not
8 favourable. But return was possible at two levels. One type of return
9 is to the very place you had come from and the other type is return to
10 your country. If the conditions did not exist, the conditions you
11 mentioned, if you don't have your house, if you don't feel safe, but at
12 least you could be in your country.
13 I mentioned the example of Croatia. We were called upon by many
14 European countries to receive people from Vukovar to Croatia to take them
15 back again after three or four years or so even though the town was not
16 liberated and their houses had not been renovated, but they returned to
17 their country who continued to take care of them. In the same way,
18 refugees, in some cases refugees from BiH, could return to their country
19 in which case they would no longer be refugees but become displaced
20 persons in BiH and there were many such situations.
21 The first step in the return process is the return to the
22 so-called majority area. The programmes we conducted, I spoke about that
23 yesterday or the day before yesterday, was called "closer to home." You
24 will agree with me, I believe ...
25 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Witness, just to clarify today,
1 in 2008, are there still refugees in Croatia from Bosnia and Herzegovina
2 for instance, coming from Mostar who were unable to go back to their city
3 of origin and that still live in Croatia
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I believe there are
5 still such refugees, several thousand, both the ones and the others.
6 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Today, you said there are
7 several thousand people living in that situation.
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] These are not great numbers, but as
9 far as I know, there are still people with that status in Croatia
10 office is still in existence, it has a different name though, it's an
11 agency in a Croatian line ministry but there are still people in Croatia
12 with that status be it for the reason that reconstruction is not yet
13 completed or because return is not yet possible. The numbers are not
14 great but unfortunately, there are still such people around even so many
15 years after the events.
16 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. Please proceed,
17 Mr. Scott.
18 MR. SCOTT:
19 Q. Dr. Zoric, perhaps just to move us forward as quickly as possible
20 on this point let me refer you back to your previous testimony and just
21 ask you if you agree that that's an accurate assessment. You were
22 talking about refugees and displaced persons at that time, that being
23 people being returned and you said -- counsel, I am looking at page
24 11022, line 24, starting at line 24. You testified, sir, "Where could
25 they go? To devastated areas? To mined areas," that is areas where
1 there are mines, "without reconstruction so it took another two or three
2 years during which it was impossible to return. And besides, during --
3 if you live as one of these type of person, refugee or displaced person,
4 for six or seven years, so many things change in your life, children grow
5 up, get used to living in one place. They've already left some place
6 else. It's very difficult for them to go back."
7 Now, would you stand by that same statement today?
8 A. Yes, I would. I believe that's a very real image you've painted.
9 Q. I'd like to move on to a different topic please, if we could, and
10 that is not the ODPR that you worked in in Croatia but an agency by
11 essentially the same name or in fact indeed the same name, the Office for
12 Displaced Persons and Refugees that was established in Herceg-Bosna, and
13 can you tell the Judges whether in your capacities as an official of the
14 Croatian ODPR, did you interact and deal with counterparts, if you will,
15 people at the ODPR Herceg-Bosna?
16 A. I did sometimes, either with that office or with the office of
17 the Sarajevo
18 was active in Banja Luka.
19 Q. And concerning the people at the ODPR Herceg-Bosna, do you recall
20 and can you assist the Judges with the names of any persons that you
21 dealt with in that agency?
22 A. There was several people who were head of that office
23 successively, one of them was Martin Raguz. I am not sure whether he was
24 the first or the second. And the other's name was Tadic. The gentleman
25 in charge of that office in Sarajevo
1 I know that he -- later on when I was in Sarajevo, I was head of the
2 national bank, but what was his name again, Vladusic, Mr. Vladusic. I
3 believe that was his name.
4 Q. Thank you. Concerning the Mr. Tadic who was the person I think
5 you said in addition to Mr. Martin Raguz who was involved in the
7 A. Darinko.
8 Q. And you were involved, in fact, if you will, recruiting
9 Mr. Tadic, you and I believe another individual, a colleague of yours or
10 a friend named Ciro Grubisic. You and Mr. Grubisic sort of recruited
11 Darinko Tadic to establish the ODPR in Herceg-Bosna; is that correct?
12 A. No, I was in no position to do that. I didn't have the power to
13 do so, nor was it possible for me. No, that is not correct.
14 Q. Let me see if I can prod your memory a bit more and then we can
15 move on. So you don't recall meeting with Mr. Tadic in Zagreb
16 October 1992 for the purposes of discussing the establishment of the ODPR
17 in Herceg-Bosna?
18 A. I do not remember that meeting but I know that Mr. Tadic had a
19 humanitarian organisation in Zagreb
20 from TV that he had become head of that office.
21 Q. All right. Sir, do you recall, in fact after a meeting, if you
22 can recall, just testing your memory a bit further, do you recall after
23 meeting with Mr. Tadic in Zagreb
24 travelled with Mr. Tadic to Mostar where you met with Jadranko Prlic to
25 establish the ODPR in Herceg-Bosna?
1 A. No, I did not travel with Mr. Tadic, that's for sure, and I may
2 have spoken with Mr. Prlic about the need to establish such an office.
3 As I said earlier, it was my intention and my wish for them to do that
4 work themselves and thus, I confirmed that I wanted to help Mr. Prlic and
5 everybody else so that they be able to organise humanitarian aid
6 themselves and everything else that concerns them.
7 Q. All right. You say, sir, that you may have met Mr. Prlic. You
8 may have met him or are you now telling the Chamber that now that you've
9 had a chance to think about it for a few more moments, you did, in fact,
10 meet -- deal with Mr. Prlic on this topic?
11 MR. KARNAVAS: I believe he said I may have spoken as to may have
13 MR. SCOTT: Very well, I'll accept that.
14 Q. You said you may have spoken to him. Did you, in fact, do you
15 recall now in fact that you did speak with him and if so, on one occasion
16 or on multiple occasions?
17 A. I have spoken about that already. It is very difficult for me to
18 recall specific dates. It is not a secret that I did speak to him. And
19 I think that's very logical. Many organisations from abroad came to
21 people in BiH, at least by giving advice. It would have been strange to
22 have done otherwise.
23 Q. Dr. Zoric, I don't see anything strange about it either. I'm
24 just asking just for some information. So when you said that it's no
25 secret that you spoke with Mr. Prlic on this topic, did you speak with
1 him on one occasion or many different occasions?
2 A. I can't tell now but I think it was once or twice and those were
3 conversations in passing.
4 Q. Did you speak with him -- were these conversations on the
5 telephone or did you ever speak with Mr. Prlic face to face, say, in a
6 meeting or something such as that?
7 A. Once I spoke to him for at least two and a half hours because
8 that's how long it takes to drive from Zagreb to Grac and in the winter
9 of 1992, we rode to Grac together. I wanted to tell him about how he can
10 collect more humanitarian aid that he needed and certainly we were not
11 quiet during that ride, we spoke, but I really cannot remember precisely
12 what we discussed.
13 Q. Can you assist the Judges with what was the purpose of you and
14 Mr. Prlic travelling in the car for two and a half hours to Grac
15 together? Why were you going to Grac at that time?
16 A. I wanted him to meet people from Austrian humanitarian
17 organisations which had sent some aid down there and I wanted him to
18 establish direct contact so that they may be in direct contact from then
19 on and receive aid because until that time, we were often contacted by
20 individuals from BiH and that was a burden -- an additional burden in our
21 regular work. I believe that we should do our work and they should do
22 theirs rather than us working for them.
23 Q. Forgive me. If you'll let me stop you there because of time.
24 Can you tell us, please, who did you understand Mr. Prlic to be, sitting
25 in this car with him for two and a half hours? How did he introduce
1 himself? Who did you understand Mr. Prlic to be at that time in terms of
2 any position or functions that he held?
3 A. I believe he held a high position in Herceg-Bosna, but I don't
4 remember which position exactly. But he was certainly a high-ranking
6 Q. And did you have any other communications or conversations or
7 meetings with Mr. Prlic following this trip to Grac?
8 A. Very rarely. I practically didn't see him until I went to
10 planned, they were just in passing.
11 Q. You say until you saw him in Sarajevo that's when you took up --
12 I assume you're referencing when you took up your ambassadorial duties in
14 A. Yes. I was ambassador and he was Minister of Foreign Affairs.
15 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I believe that it is time to
16 take a break so we'll take a 20-minute break.
17 MR. SCOTT: Yes.
18 --- Recess taken at 10.28 a.m.
19 --- On resuming at 10.52 a.m.
20 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Scott, you may proceed.
21 MR. SCOTT: Thank you, Mr. President.
22 Q. Sir, I'd like to move on to another topic now, please. Before I
23 do that, just to touch on some of your additional background. We
24 understand already that you were elected to parliament in 1993 and served
25 until sometime in 1995; is that correct?
1 A. That's correct.
2 Q. And while you were a member of parliament, I believe you served
3 in the position -- in addition to being a member, you were the
4 vice-president of the Chamber of Counties; is that correct?
5 A. That's correct.
6 Q. Perhaps you can tell us who perhaps know a bit less about it than
7 some in the courtroom, the Chamber of Counties, that is one of the two
8 chambers of the Croatian parliament?
9 A. That's correct.
10 Q. And just so the record is clear, is that considered to be the
11 higher chamber or the lower chamber or maybe that doesn't apply at all
12 but where does it fit into the structure?
13 A. At the time, the Croatian parliament had two chambers whereas now
14 it has only one chamber following the amendment to the constitution.
15 Which of the two was higher or lower, well, they thought that they were
16 the higher chamber and we thought that we were and the debate never
17 ended, in fact.
18 Q. I understand that, Dr. Zoric. Mr. Stringer and I have that same
19 argument all the time. But at the time in -- when you held this
20 position, I realise there was now only one Chamber, but at the time there
21 were two, you said it was the Chamber of Counties, what was the other
22 chamber called?
23 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes, please, you have the
25 MS. TOMASEGOVIC TOMIC: [Interpretation] I think that there is an
1 error in the transcript which changes the meaning of the answer. These
2 are lines 22 to 25 and that's in the following, and that's the witness
3 said that with the amendment to the constitution, it was after the
4 constitution was amended that the Croatian parliament had only one
5 chamber and not that after the change to the constitution there were two
6 chambers and that's when the witness referred to the debate. The debate
7 referred to the situation before the amendment to the constitution
8 because that's the time when there were two chambers. So the debate
9 about which of the chambers was more important was not related to the
10 amendment to the constitution.
11 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Fine. Please proceed,
12 Mr. Scott.
13 MR. SCOTT: Thank you for that, counsel.
14 Q. If we could just proceed to get for purposes of the record what
15 was the name of the other chamber? You were vice-president of the
16 Chamber of Counties. At the time when there were two chambers, what was
17 the name of the other chamber?
18 A. One of the chambers was called the Chamber of Deputies and the
19 other the Chamber of Counties and I was in the latter.
20 Q. All right. And how did you get to be the vice-president of the
21 Chamber of Counties? Can you tell us very briefly just how does one get
22 selected or appointed vice-president?
23 A. The vice-president is not appointed, rather, he is elected at the
24 constituent session. There were two vice-presidents and I was one of
25 them. The deputies elect a vice-president.
1 Q. All right. And at the time that you were a member of the
2 Croatian parliament, you were a member of the Social Liberal Party; is
3 that correct?
4 A. Correct.
5 Q. And that is sometimes abbreviated the HSLS?
6 A. Correct.
7 Q. And at the time, sir, it's correct, is it not, that the HSLS was
8 the largest opposition party in Croatia
9 HDZ which was in power at the time?
10 A. That's correct.
11 Q. And then you've told us that sometime later, you became the
12 Croatian ambassador to Bosnia and Herzegovina; is that correct?
13 A. That's correct, too.
14 Q. And just, and I'm not asking anything sinister about this but
15 just so that the record is clear, were you -- was that -- were you
16 considered the Croatian ambassador to Bosnia and Herzegovina or did you
17 have some position that had ambassadorial functions perhaps associated
18 with it but different than being the ambassador?
19 A. I was the ambassador. I don't know what other function there
20 could have been.
21 Q. Very well. And you held that position for how long?
22 A. Which one do you mean, the ambassadorial?
23 Q. Please, yes.
24 A. A bit under two years.
25 Q. From when to when, approximately?
1 A. January 1999 through to November 2000.
2 Q. All right. Thank you, sir.
3 Now, based on all these positions that you've held including some
4 actually quite senior positions, vice-president of the chamber of
5 parliament, ambassador, a party leader, would you agree with me, sir,
6 that in various of those functions, you've experienced that life, and
7 sometimes in particular political life can be complicated?
8 A. Yes. I tried to be active in politics but I wasn't that good at
9 it, which is the reason why I stopped.
10 Q. That might be a good thing. But when you were in political life
11 or in any life, for that matter, one can have at the same time multiple
12 agendas, multiple goals in life in business or personal life. In fact,
13 one can have competing agendas; correct?
14 A. I don't understand the question. What do you mean competing?
15 Q. Sometimes, I think, would you agree that in life, again, both
16 perhaps personal life and in business or political life, one may have
17 several different agendas or objectives and they may even to some extent
18 conflict with each other but you try to balance them out as best you can;
19 correct? At least I do. I don't know how you live your life but ... or
20 do you just have, at any given point in your life, sir, do you just have
21 one agenda, one objective at a time?
22 A. I had never had only one agenda. I tried to engage in politics
23 but I wasn't that successful at it which is why I stopped. I am good --
24 I'm a good businessman and I decided to engage in my profession and I
25 have remained loyal to my profession. I may not excel at it but I'm good
1 at many things. It is quite difficult and demanding to be a public
3 Q. And I'm not limiting my questions, really, to just political
4 life, sir. I did make a comment about that. But -- and I'm not in any
5 way passing judgement or denigrating your various positions or your work
6 at all. But you would agree with me, would you not, that in business or
7 life or relationships or politics, one can at any given time have
8 multiple different objectives, strategies, again to use the word
9 "agendas" and sometimes those agendas can even conflict with each other.
10 On the one hand you want to do A and at the same time you want to do B,
11 which may conflict with each other but you try to reconcile, you try to
12 balance them out as best you can; is that right?
13 A. If you are referring to my political engagement, then it may be
14 true. Sometimes you have to do things that you like doing; at other
15 times, your party colleagues may ask you to do things that you do not
16 particularly like. Sometimes you have to say things that you don't
17 really mean. Life in the public light has to do with a great deal of
19 Q. Let me ask you -- let me move on from that and come back to that
20 in a few moments. But in terms of your involvement in getting
21 humanitarian -- delivery of humanitarian aid and you've talked about that
22 a bit in your direct examination. If I'm not wrong, you talked about
23 taking some humanitarian aid to Tuzla
24 A. On one occasion, I took it there personally, yes.
25 Q. And in the Tuta-Stela case, you were asked whether your attitude
1 or the attitude of ODPR in Croatia
2 any given time, for example, the Croats and Muslims were in conflict in
3 Bosnia-Herzegovina, that is, did that conflict cause you or your agency
4 to change its practices or policies. You said at the time they did not,
5 I'll just tell you that. You said at the time they did not change.
6 Those circumstances did not change your attitude. Is that correct?
7 A. I don't remember what it was that I said specifically in that
8 case, but I know that the attitude did not change although I do not wish
9 to conceal the fact that it was under psychological pressure.
10 The individuals working in humanitarian organisations are only
11 human beings. They work under pressure. They have their emotions, their
12 perceptions and knowledge. It isn't that easy to witness a scene of
13 massacred individuals.
14 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] [Previous translation
15 continues] ... in the Tuta-Stela case in which the witness testified,
16 please give the page number.
17 MR. SCOTT: I will, Your Honour, and I was about to do that.
18 Q. To be fair to you, witness, and let me just give you the fuller
19 context and then I want to go on from that, building on that, if you
21 Counsel, I'm referring to page 11029, starting at line 23. Just
22 let me read this to you, Dr. Zoric, and counsel for Mr. Prlic has a copy
23 of the same transcript and I'm sure that if I read something wrong, I
24 will be corrected.
25 You said during your testimony at that time, you said, "At
1 times," I'm starting at line 23, "At times there were certain tensions
2 which I tried to calm down and also if I may add, with regard to what the
3 Prosecutor asked," in that case, "whether after the conflict in BH
4 between the Muslims and Croats, there were some changes in our attitude
5 to refugees. I must emphatically say no, that our attitude to them did
6 not change."
7 Then you go on in that passage to talk about, "I was the one who
8 led," at the time you said, "several convoys to Tuzla," and then skipping
9 a couple of lines, and counsel will see those, and you went on to say,
10 "Had my attitude or anyone's attitude to those refugees changed, somebody
11 in Sarajevo
12 My question to you further on that, Doctor, is when you say that
13 if your attitude or your practice had changed at that time, someone in
15 A. Presumably I would not have been given the accreditation had I
16 displayed discriminatory conduct toward the peoples of Bosnia-Herzegovina
17 and the country itself. I was given accreditation to be ambassador
18 there, I was well-received there and I am still travelling to that
19 country frequently. I have many ties with that country and I feel quite
20 at ease in Sarajevo
21 Q. If I understand what you've told us now is your political
22 standing or your acceptance or the peoples' attitude toward you would
23 have changed for the negative if you had changed your practices at the
24 time, if you stopped giving aid because of that situation or said, "Well,
25 now the Muslims and Croats are fighting each other, no more aid."
1 You understood that that would have affected your standing at the
2 time; correct?
3 MR. KARNAVAS: Mr. President, Your Honours, I believe it's a
4 mischaracterisation and if I may, and I believe the gentleman was talking
5 about accreditation when he went to, as we all know, when you become an
6 ambassador, I think that's what he meant, not about the -- if Mr. Scott
7 could please rephrase the question and be accurate with the facts and
8 maybe even ask a non-leading question but I don't think that's what the
9 gentleman meant and I think it's a mischaracterisation of his answer.
10 MR. SCOTT:
11 Q. Let me go back, sir, which is exactly the reason -- rather than
12 characterise something is exactly the reason I simply quoted your
13 previous sworn testimony in the Tuta-Stela case and you said and I'll
14 read it again. "Had my attitude or anyone's attitude to those refugees
15 changed, somebody in Sarajevo
17 I will simply, in light of Mr. Karnavas's comment, I will just
18 ask my previous question again. When you say that someone in Sarajevo
19 would have begrudged you that very seriously, what did you mean?
20 A. I think I've answered that question. Presumably you'd like to
21 know whether I engaged in humanitarian activities in order to paint a
22 better picture of my person in Sarajevo
23 because that was my personal commitment and I did not get any pecuniary
24 reward for that, it was merely something that I wanted to do as a human
25 being. But if I found myself in a similar situation again where there
1 were people who needed assistance that I could provide, I would engage in
2 that activity.
3 Q. Very well. Now, let me go to another topic and then I'll come
4 back and see if we can tie the two together. We've heard extensive
5 evidence in the courtroom and I don't think there's any dispute about it,
6 in fact, that in Croatia
7 a terrible war. We know about the situation in Vukovar which was
8 terrible. The case about that, in fact, was brought in this Tribunal.
9 We know that at the time the JNA or the Serbs occupied approximately
10 one-third of Croatia
11 correct, to say the least?
12 A. Yes. It was a difficult time and you described it well.
13 Q. And in terms of the international political scene, Croatia was
14 also concerned with the continuing integrity of its own borders and in
15 fact reclaiming the territory that was then occupied by the Serbs;
17 A. Every country, including Croatia, wishes to preserve its
18 national -- its territorial integrity.
19 Q. And sir, would it be fair to say that just as you wanted to
20 preserve your best standing, as I suppose we all do, you wanted to
21 preserve your best standing in the political community in Sarajevo when
22 you were ambassador, at the same time in these terrible and difficult
23 circumstances, Croatia
24 international community; correct?
25 MR. KARNAVAS: Your Honour, this is not only out of the scope but
1 now he's asking for some sort of an expert opinion. I don't know how the
2 gentleman can now opine with respect to Croatia itself. You know, with
3 the international community versus what? In what capacity? With respect
4 to Bosnia
5 don't see the relevancy particularly the scope of my direct examination.
6 So perhaps Mr. Scott can tell us a little bit. I don't wish to object.
7 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes, Mr. Scott.
8 MR. SCOTT: If you don't want to object, Mr. Karnavas, then
10 MR. KARNAVAS: I can't help it.
11 MR. SCOTT: To respond to the foundation, Your Honour, that was
12 exactly again which I was careful to go back and review so there would be
13 no doubt of the foundation of this witness. Senior government official,
14 vice-president of one house of parliament, ambassador, party leader, et
15 cetera, et cetera. And if this man cannot voice any view on what was
16 happening in Croatia
17 handful of other people that would have held higher positions.
18 I think it is directly relevant and I think if the Chamber will
19 allow me another couple of questions, you will see that.
20 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Mr. Scott, this may be a very naive question,
21 but do you question this because of the facts you're referring to or
22 because of the credibility of the witness?
23 MR. SCOTT: No, Your Honour, it relates to the substance of
24 positions in this case going to the merits of the case. And I have -- I
25 want to put questions to the witness about things directly related to
1 matters in the case.
2 MR. KARNAVAS: Which period, Your Honour? If it's 1999, I know
3 we heard --
4 MR. SCOTT: 1992, 1993.
5 MR. KARNAVAS: That's -- okay. Well, I was under the impression
6 that we're talking about 1999, I must confess.
7 MR. SCOTT: I don't know why. I said that we're during the time
8 when Croatia
9 MR. KARNAVAS: Very well. You mentioned all of this -- okay.
10 Very well.
11 MR. SCOTT: I will be happy to clarify.
12 MR. KARNAVAS: I withdraw my objection. If it's 1992, 1993, very
14 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Just to make it clear to the
15 witness that you're speaking about the 1992-1993 period.
16 MR. SCOTT:
17 Q. Witness, and to be clear on that, I am referring to the 1991,
18 1992, 1993, 1994, the time that you were in parliament and the preceding
19 time and the very events and circumstances that I outlined to you a few
20 moments ago about which I suspect there is no controversy in the
21 courtroom, the circumstances facing Croatia
22 Now, when I asked you about that, I don't know, we've lost the
23 screen, the question that was last pending before the intervention. But
24 my question to you was this: At that particular point in time, faced
25 with those conditions, I think where we left off was the proposition that
1 the State of Croatia
2 best standing possible in the international community; correct?
3 A. I believe that every government except for the one who desires
4 isolation wishes for that sort of support.
5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Witness, it is a very political
6 question that is put to you, since the Prosecutor is asking you what the
7 position of the government was.
8 I was under the impression that you were in the opposition. So
9 little by little, I'm wondering, you were in the opposition so you were
10 opposed to Tudjman, to the HDZ; yes or no?
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I took up the
12 position, the high ranking position in the government was at the time of
13 the coalition government. In 1991, a coalition government was set up, a
14 government of national unity. There were no confrontations at the time
15 because what was at stake was the very survival of the country.
16 Subsequently, we were confronted -- we confronted one another on some
17 issues and on others, we agreed.
18 As far as I'm concerned, personally, I both agreed with them on
19 some matters and disagreed on others. I was able to voice these
20 agreements or disagreements through a given democratic procedure.
21 MR. SCOTT: If the Chamber might allow me and I apologise,
22 Mr. President, I certainly don't want to cut across the President but if
23 the Chamber might allow me, I intend to get to some of those questions
24 but if I could finish this line of inquiry first, but I do very much
25 intend to touch upon your questions, Your Honour.
1 Q. Sir, my question, following question from all that and I'm sorry
2 that with all the number of interventions, perhaps the flow has been
3 broken a bit, but my point to you, yes, you said a moment ago and I think
4 we may have lost it again, of course every country wants to have - just
5 leaving the screen now - the best standing possible. And my question to
6 you on that is: We've heard an awful lot about Croatia's assistance to
7 refugees and the sending of humanitarian aid into Bosnia-Herzegovina or
8 the transit of humanitarian aid through Croatia to Bosnia-Herzegovina
9 which is not disputed, by the way, is not disputed, but can you tell the
10 Chamber, sir, based on all your political involvements and experience
11 including as an ambassador to another state, what would have happened to
13 basically said, "No more humanitarian aid to Bosnia. We're cutting it
14 all off. No more refugees. We will not send a single additional
15 humanitarian convoy into Bosnia
16 standing have been in the international community if they had taken that
18 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Mr. Scott, is that not a question calling for
20 MR. SCOTT: I don't think so, Your Honour, I think it's any
21 political experienced politician, I think, and I think the Judges, you
22 can probably draw your own conclusions, frankly. What do you think, what
23 do you think the international community -- he's a political leader of
24 that country, Your Honour. Who else can we expect -- who else do we ask
25 that to?
1 JUDGE TRECHSEL: He is asked to speculate what would happen if
2 and that is speculation, I would say.
3 MR. SCOTT: Well, if that's the -- Your Honour's conception of
4 speculation, I think I can ask --
5 Q. What do you think would have happened, sir? What do you think if
7 have remained the same, the high-standing -- a supported position in the
8 west and in the UN and the international community? Or might that
9 community have taken a very different view toward Croatia?
10 MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I don't know whether
11 I am entitled to complaining to the questions of the Prosecution in the
12 cross-examination, because this is not my witness, but as a Defence
13 counsel, and a party to the proceedings, I think I can say that if this
14 is not speculation in the area of politics and if a person who albeit
15 with political experience is supposed to say his opinion what would have
16 happened if, for example, my grandfather had been Hungarian, whether I
17 would be Hungarian. What is the point of all this? With all due
18 respect, I don't see the point in all this.
19 I wanted to say this much but I think this is wasting time.
20 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. Mr. Scott, your
21 question calls for speculation indeed, but your question is so obvious
22 that the question is obvious as well -- the answer is obvious as well.
23 So unless you have another follow-up question to tie, to make a link with
24 another topic, I will allow it.
25 MR. SCOTT: Your Honour, if the Chamber's view is that that is --
1 the answer is so obvious to the extent that it would be essentially
2 common knowledge then I'll ask the Chamber to take judicial notice of
3 that fact that we can all understand based on our common experience that
4 it probably have not have improved Croatia's standing in the
5 international community.
6 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] When I say that it is obvious,
7 all you have to do is to look at Burmania [as interpreted][Realtime
8 transcript read in error "Romania
9 humanitarian catastrophe, you see that if international humanitarian
10 organisations do not intervene then there is a problem. Now you're
11 asking a question to the witness and he can only answer and give an
12 obvious answer. It would be interesting to see what he will say but it's
13 all relative. I didn't say Romania
14 MR. SCOTT: Your Honour, I would just -- and I will move on and I
15 would just again say for the purposes of the record that if someone that
16 combines the various positions of this person can't express a view on
17 that, I'm not sure who would be able to. He was a senior official in
18 providing refugee and humanitarian aid. He was a senior party official.
19 He was the vice-president of one house of parliament. He was an
20 ambassador to another country. If he doesn't understand something about
21 international politics and what taking that action would do to the
22 standing of the Republic of Croatia
23 not sure who else could express a view on that. It seems to me directly
24 relevant to the case.
25 Of course Croatia
1 many, undoubtedly many to do the right humanitarian thing, but there was
2 also a political dimension to this as well and it's directly relevant to
3 this case.
4 MR. KARNAVAS: Your Honour, if I may just very briefly. First,
5 the question could have been asked in a leading fashion, perhaps it would
6 not have drawn as many complaints, but more importantly, we've indicated
7 and established that Croatia
8 agreements, they have obligations, so obviously there might have been
9 some repercussions but I don't think -- how is this related to the case?
10 I fail to see unless Mr. Scott is going to show somehow that Croatia
11 not abide by its obligations under the circumstances. I think that's
12 what's at issue. Perhaps if he could just move on but otherwise, it is
13 speculative and I can just draw one example.
14 What would happen if, say, one permanent member of the
15 Security Council were to bomb one of the capitals in Europe? Well, they
16 did, they bombed Belgrade
17 speculative. Everybody complained but at the end of the day, the US did
18 what it wanted to do. Same thing with Iraq, they invaded Iraq
19 occupying Iraq
20 the case? I don't know.
21 MR. SCOTT: I think on that I will move on. I will move on. I
22 hope the point's been made. As Mr. Karnavas has said many times in the
23 last two years, I hope the Chamber gets the point. As to the examples
24 Mr. Karnavas made, that further proves the Prosecution's point. I don't
25 think the standing of the United States in the international community
1 and in Europe
2 what it's done in Iraq
3 effect on the standing of the United States in the international
4 community which proves my point. It is directly relevant, Your Honour,
5 to the case and we will argue at the appropriate time but I'm not
6 going -- we have to move on to other topics.
7 If anyone expects me just because I am an American to defend some
8 of the positions of my government, you are mistaken. I'm sorry.
9 Q. Now, let's go on to another topic, sir. In terms of your
10 humanitarian work, your refugee work, your work as an ambassador, is it
11 correct that you have very good and fair relations with
12 President Izetbegovic?
13 A. Yes, it is correct that I had good relations with him.
14 Q. And can you confirm to the Judges, in fact, that sometime after
15 the war that President Tudjman, in fact, awarded to President Izetbegovic
16 and Haris Silajdzic Croatia
17 A. That is correct. President Tudjman decorated both
18 President Izetbegovic and Mr. Silajdzic with the highest Croatian
19 national decoration.
20 Q. Moving on to another topic arising out of your testimony in the
21 Tuta-Stela case. You said there, and counsel, I'm referring to page
22 10981 starting at line 3. "People were in a way always going towards the
23 centres of their own republics so it was quite logical for people from
24 the Croatian areas in Bosnia and Herzegovina to study in Zagreb
25 and not in Sarajevo
1 Then going on down the page, you say, "The interest was in the
2 life of their own people, nation, not of their own republic."
3 What did you mean by that, sir?
4 A. I think I was interpreting the sociological fact of the
5 affiliation of individual peoples in ex-Yugoslavia. It is a fact that
7 but it's also a fact that it was inhabited by peoples, some that didn't
8 all live in just one republic.
9 Q. Sorry, my apologies for interrupting you, if you will allow me
10 just to correct the record at page 56, line 2, I assume you meant to say
11 it is a fact that Yugoslavia
13 A. Yugoslavia
14 Q. I'm sorry. Can you please continue with your answer.
15 A. There were clear identities. With the arrival of democracy,
16 these identities developed, but Yugoslavia
17 republics, its federal units. As a consequence, tensions arose.
18 As you know, initially, it was Croatia's position that Yugoslavia
19 should be reorganized to become a confederation. Milosevic's position
20 was that it should become a unitarian state. He also thought that in the
21 case of his own people, the ethnic principle should be followed to the
22 effect that all persons belonging to his people should live in one unit;
23 but in the case of Kosovo, he advocated another principle, the historical
25 Q. I'm just waiting for the translation, I'm sorry. I apologise for
1 cutting across you but because of the time constraints that we all have
2 to operate under, my question to you is not so much about Milosevic and
3 the views of various politicians in Yugoslavia at the time, but more at
4 the level of many of the people. Let me be very clear, I'm not saying
5 all people. But your statement in the Tuta-Stela case that I read to you
6 just a moment ago suggests that at least for many people, there was a
7 stronger bond, there was a stronger affinity, a connection, to their
8 people and their nation, and I'm using the two words that you used in
9 your testimony, as opposed to the political entity that they found
10 themselves in; is that correct?
11 A. Yes. There was such groups and individuals, that is correct.
12 It's a sociological fact. And that has been the case for many years and
13 it reflected itself in the destinations of their migrations, where they
14 sought a better life for them and their families. Some people thought
15 that there was no future for them in the areas where they had come from
16 so that they migrated toward their own republic so that many Croats from
17 Bosnia-Herzegovina went into the direction of Zagreb rather than
19 I just wanted to say that the political developments were --
20 could even -- could accelerate that.
21 Q. All right. And just building on that, if I could take you to
22 another part of your previous testimony. Counsel, I am at page 10984
23 starting at line 2, you talk about there the identifying something a city
24 or a town as a capital. And you said -- I'm not directly quoting you
25 here because of the length of the passage but I'll quote you directly in
1 a moment. The point you were making was to identify something as the
2 "capital would mean ..." and now I am quoting you, "... something
3 entirely different for a Serb or Croat not Sarajevo." "So when a Bosniak
4 says Bosnia and Herzegovina, he or she, they do not mean the same thing
5 that Croats do when they say Bosnia and Herzegovina." Can you tell us
6 what you mean by that?
7 A. That is indeed the misfortune of that country that not all people
8 who lived there, who are citizens of that country, who are constitutive
9 parts of that country do not see it in the same fashion. All of them
10 speak about Bosnia-Herzegovina but when you ask them what that country is
11 like or what it should be like, then you see that there are great
12 differences among them and those differences, as you know, had even
13 tragic conflicts as their consequence.
14 I think that conflicts of the kind that took place in BiH
15 unfortunately, but accurately show the amount of differences in that
16 country, which is small, much too small for such huge differences. And
17 at times, it couldn't manage those differences or at least not everybody
18 could manage those differences and that is why such tragic events
20 It is obvious that the country needed the assistance of both
21 neighbouring countries and the international community as a whole. It is
22 good that it received that assistance or aid.
23 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I would just like to intervene
24 to ask Mr. Scott the following. I am slightly astonished, as you know
25 the cross-examination is not -- the scope of the cross-examination is not
1 limited and the Trial Chamber has mentioned it on numerous occasions but
2 the cross-examination should mainly stem from the questions put by the
3 Defence and mainly it should deal with the refugees, humanitarian aid and
4 humanitarian convoys, so on and so forth. But now, you are using the
5 Tuta-Stela transcript, you are quoting what the witness said then. You
6 could have brought this witness actually as a Prosecution witness and now
7 we're talking about something quite different.
8 Time is precious in this case and the topics that you are
9 mentioning with this witness you could perhaps talk about these things
10 with other witnesses and you are quite far from what this witness came to
11 talk about. He came to testify on very precise questions and now you are
12 talking about all sorts of topics. You were given four hours, that is
13 true, but you are not rationally using the time. This, for me, I call
14 this a waste of time. I don't know where you are going to. You are
15 biding for time and you could just ask to have the transcript admitted
16 into evidence, for instance.
17 MR. KARNAVAS: We will be asking to have the transcript admitted
18 into evidence in light of the questioning, Your Honour. We have
19 absolutely no problem with his prior testimony coming in addition to his
20 testimony here today.
21 MR. SCOTT: I could not have taken that -- I was not considering
22 that scenario previously because that's the first of I've heard of that,
23 so of course if Mr. Karnavas wants to do that that's up to him to file
24 his motion. I do submit, number one, in terms of time, I'm -- and I
25 don't want to waste the Chamber's time, but at the same time, I'm well
1 within my time limits. I'm not even close, not even close to the four
2 hours and I do think it's directly relevant. I think it relates to -- I
3 think it relates to the positions and views of this witness, the Chamber
4 should be informed of in assessing his evidence and the weight of his
5 evidence. I think he has information that can assist the Chamber.
6 The Chamber has, in the last two years, heard extensive evidence
7 about the political views and even when sometimes people use the same
8 words, they mean something entirely different. And I thought when I saw,
9 when I reviewed this witness's testimony and what he said in the last two
10 passages that I put to him including even when a Bosniak says the words
11 Bosnia and Herzegovina and when a Croat says the words Bosnia
13 something directly -- that's clearly relevant to this case.
14 Beyond that, Your Honour, relating to the scope, I do believe --
15 number one, I do believe it's in the scope of cross-examination. That's
16 my first position, number one. Number two, I would refer the Chamber to
17 Rule 90 -- excuse me, 90(H)(i) which specifically states ...
18 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] One moment please. I will read
19 what we have stated in our decision on the 24th of April, 2008, on page
20 7, paragraph F. Rule 90(H)(i) of the rules. The cross-examination shall
21 be limited to the subject matter of the evidence in chief and the matters
22 affecting the credibility of the witness and where the witness is able to
23 give evidence relevant to the case for the cross-examination party to the
24 subject matter of that case. The Trial Chamber may request the party
25 leading the cross-examination to explain how is the question put to a
1 witness relevant. The Trial Chamber will not allow that the
2 cross-examination go overboard and may reject all inappropriate questions
3 and all questions that are not credible as well as all repetitive
4 questions and irrelevant questions.
5 This is what we've stated. This is our ruling. This is our
6 decision. So you can raise various topics with this witness, but one
7 must bear in mind that you can say the following: You said this in
8 answer of a question put to you in examination in chief but I am putting
9 this to you, and so on and so forth. You can also put questions relating
10 to the credibility, et cetera, et cetera.
11 So you have to frame yourself with respect to the examination in
12 chief and not go overboard as I'm under the impression now. So please
13 proceed. We will be more vigilant in controlling the proceedings and if
14 we make rulings, we have to apply them.
15 MR. SCOTT: Yes, Your Honour, of course and the passage that you
16 just read a moment ago, it quotes from Rule 90(H)(i), and I refer the
17 Chamber, as I was about to a few moments ago, to specifically that
18 language which is found both in the rule and in the Chamber's guidelines
19 which says, "... and where the witness is able to give evidence relevant
20 to the case for the cross-examining party," in this case, the
21 Prosecution, "to the subject matter of that case." I am well within both
22 the rule and the Chamber's guideline. Now whether it's irrelevant or
23 not, is -- I believe that I've said why I think it is relevant so I'm
24 within the scope of cross-examination, I'm well within my time limits and
25 it is relevant.
1 I agree, if I went on for hours and hours about something, I
2 would agree. I've asked a couple of questions about this topic. I don't
3 think it can be considered abusive. But in any event, I was finished
4 with that topic. To return to the topic in fact that the President
5 raised, I hope, Mr. President, since you raised the topic you will
6 consider it to be within the scope and relevant.
7 Q. Sir, when you were a, again, a member of the Social Liberal Party
8 which was the largest opposition party to Croatia -- excuse me, in
10 thereafter, you were also at that time as we've indicated the
11 vice-president of the Chamber of Counties. Can you tell us who the head
12 of the HSLS was at that time?
13 A. Yes, I can. It was Mr. Drazen Budisa.
14 Q. And within the Social Liberal Party at the time that you were a
15 member of parliament, did it have something -- I don't know how it
16 translates out in English but something called the reduced board?
17 A. Yes, there was such a body.
18 Q. What term -- perhaps there's a better term than reduced board,
19 perhaps you can say it in your own language and the translators might be
20 able to assist us. Or perhaps that's exactly what it's called.
21 A. It was called "malo vijece" in Croatian, which is approximately
22 the small council or literally the small council and I was a member of
23 that body.
24 Q. Would it be fair to characterise that some of us perhaps in other
25 systems or countries might consider that like the executive board or the
1 executive committee, the smaller, real senior managing group; is that
3 A. Yes, that would be correct.
4 Q. And at that time, apart from presumably the party president,
5 Mr. Budisa and yourself, how many other people made up the reduced board
6 of the HSLS?
7 A. I think there were 10 to 15 of us, I'm not sure.
8 Q. I'd like to direct your attention, please, to -- in the binder to
9 Exhibit P 10420. P 10420, if you have that, please. I see that you have
10 it. I can see that you have it.
11 Sir, is it correct, and again building on some questions that the
12 President began to put to you some minutes ago, as the opposition party,
13 in fact, the HSLS was opposed to President Tudjman and the HDZ's policy
14 toward Bosnia and Herzegovina; is that correct?
15 A. At the time, yes, not only regarding this issue. The opposition
16 party has conflicting views on many issues.
17 Q. Of course.
18 A. But we soon -- the -- we soon were in a position where there was
19 disagreement about many issues and then the party was split into several
20 smaller parties. At that time --
21 Q. Let me stop you there because time is precious as the President
22 just reminded us. In the -- Exhibit P 10420 for the record is an article
23 in The Independent, a British publication, dated the 30th of July, 1993
24 And in the second paragraph in the text, it says, "Croatia's President
25 Franjo Tudjman is under increasing domestic pressure to end Zagreb
1 support for irredentist Croats in Herzegovina and to abandon his plans to
2 share in a carve-up of Bosnia
3 showing no signs of yielding to ever-louder demands for a policy
5 Can you describe to the Judges, please, since you were very much
6 in the political world at the time, the vice-president of one chamber of
7 parliament, what was the domestic pressure referenced here concerning
8 President Tudjman's policy towards Bosnia
9 A. Well, the different parties, individuals, and groups voiced
10 different opinions with regard to the situation in Bosnia-Herzegovina.
11 There were various proposals coming either from the local level or from
12 the international community as to how the situation in the countries
13 should be settled. Some of them supported the Vance-Owen Plan, others
14 the Stoltenberg Plan, others were in favour of leaving it down to the
15 local level to solve the situation. There was a flurry of activities at
16 the international level, at the levels of the countries, locally,
17 including Croatia
18 the political parties.
19 Q. Of course, and we know political disagreement is common to
20 virtually every political system, I think, at least where dissent is
22 But if I can ask you to skip a paragraph down to where it says,
23 "On Wednesday, leaders of Croatia
24 first time to oppose Mr. Tudjman's aim of Bosnian partition. 'Croatia
25 policy towards Bosnia-Herzegovina needs a turnabout,' Drazen Budisa," the
1 leader of your party, "the main opposition Social Liberal Party told the
2 daily Vecernji List. 'It is not too late to reach the agreement with
3 Muslims,' he was quoted as saying."
4 Now, in the view of your party, Mr. Budisa, yourself, you were a
5 member of the governing board of that party, why did Croatia's policy
6 towards Bosnia-Herzegovina need a "turnabout"?
7 A. First of all, there's a factual error there, an exaggeration.
9 leaders. We could have considered there to have been four or five
10 significant political parties in Croatia at the time and today.
11 Secondly, isn't it typical for a politician to speak of a
12 turnabout. Barack Obama's main word is change and not support, he's
13 calling for change. Leaders of the opposition always call for change.
14 Therefore, the requests put forth by the opposition leaders are
15 legitimate, they may be more or less acceptable, and it is the job of the
16 head of state to move within certain set limits and as you know, the
17 international community had a very active part to play in that.
18 Q. [Previous translation continues] ... we've heard a lot about
19 that. But my question to you now is very specific and it isn't whether
20 there were 13 opposition parties or 15. That's not my question. It
21 says, "Croatia
22 Now, in order for there to be a turnabout, there has to be, first
23 of all, a current policy, a present policy. What was Croatia's current
24 policy as of 30 July 1993
25 what was the policy which your party said had to be turned about?
1 A. As we were able to see yesterday, in Croatia, the political
2 leaders often times spoke of matters they didn't know enough about, of
3 matters they didn't have firsthand knowledge of. The first delegation of
4 that parliament, a member of which was Drazen Budisa responded to the
5 invitation by Mr. Praljak who sits here and as you are well aware, that
6 party had different opinions on many matters and I personally parted ways
7 with Mr. Budisa because we disagreed. You have that individual still
8 alive and well and you can ask him personally what it was that he meant
9 by saying that.
10 The fact of the matter is that he brooked a failure not success
11 with such political speeches.
12 Q. The point, sir, is not whether Mr. Budisa's position then or now
13 is successful. The question is the -- what was happening at this time.
14 Now, you've told this Chamber in no uncertain terms that the HSLS was the
15 largest opposition party. Mr. Budisa was the head of that party. You
16 were a member of that party and vice-president of the Chamber of Counties
17 and a member of the party's governing board. So when HSLS took this
18 position against being critical of Tudjman's policy toward
19 Bosnia-Herzegovina, I'm sure you knew exactly what the policy was that
20 you were opposing.
21 MR. KARNAVAS: Your Honour, if I may, it's the individual here
22 that's taken -- that's expressing this position as the leader. Now, we
23 don't know whether it's his personal or whether it's the party's, that's
24 number one.
25 Number two, as the witness indicated, the gentleman is alive and
1 now, you know, and he could be called to explain what exactly that
2 individual meant but to ask this witness to opine on what somebody else's
3 thoughts are, I think, he's asking for speculation.
4 MR. SCOTT: I'm not asking for opinion, I'm asking --
5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I don't agree with you,
6 Mr. Karnavas. This witness was part of the executive committee of the
7 party. We have a document of British origin that seems to indicate that
8 there was a political change. Does the witness know? Does he not know?
9 Mr. Witness, you did not answer the question put to you by the
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, all of us in Croatia
12 including the ruling party and the opposition parties wanted the
13 conflicts in Bosnia and Herzegovina to be put to a stop and we wanted
14 normalcy to be restored. The opposition parties including the one I was
15 a member of was not always too happy with the manner in which there were
16 attempts to achieve this or the speed at which this was done.
17 I believe that this -- these were discussions on the eve of the
18 reaching of the Washington Agreement which as you know was signed by
19 representatives of Croatia
20 agreement was a sort of ...
21 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Witness, this was not on the
22 eve of the Washington Agreement, the date of this article is the 30th of
23 July, 1993. 30th of July, 1993.
24 MR. SCOTT: May I continue, Your Honour?
25 Q. Sir, if we can just move forward, then, because perhaps if I
1 refer you to some other part of the article, you can assist us. If you
2 will skip down several paragraphs, you will find a paragraph that starts
3 with the words, "Former associates," and for those following in English,
4 it is the third paragraph on the second page.
5 It says, "Former associates say Mr. Tudjman is obsessed with the
6 division of Bosnia
7 because their financial support helped propel him to power. He rejected
8 the opposition's proposals. Those who proposed changes in policy seek to
9 destabilize both Croatia
10 his Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ) said."
11 What was the reaction, sir, to your party of which you were a
12 governing member to President Tudjman's and the HDZ's reaction
13 essentially dismissing your opposition? What was your party's reaction
14 to that?
15 A. Every party including mine presented such positions as were felt
16 were most favourable for the party at the time. The position of the
17 official policy of Croatia
18 achieve the integration of the Republic of Croatia
19 and with as few victims as possible. One of the aspects related to that
20 was the stabilization of the situation in Bosnia-Herzegovina. Now, was
21 this understood by all the different actors in the politics in Croatia
22 alike, it's very difficult to say. The opinions professed differed. The
23 only thing we can draw upon ultimately are the facts.
24 Q. Yes, that's absolutely the case. If I can direct your attention
25 skipping one more paragraph to the last paragraph and -- excuse me, I
1 have several questions for you about that. It says, "Critics fear that
2 carving up Bosnia
3 which still has its own festering territorial dispute. Serbian rebels
4 control a third of the republic's territory and want to join their
5 Bosnian brethren in creating a Greater Serbia. There are also many
6 Croats who believe Zagreb
8 the Croatian economy."
9 Now, can you assist the Chamber with this? Can you explain the
10 point being made as to what was the basis of the concern that when it
11 says, "There was a fear that carving up Bosnia would set a precedent for
12 the dismemberment of Croatia
14 A. As you know, at the time, one-third of Croatia was under
15 occupation. As you know, the Serbs who were in control of the territory
16 at the time were calling for an independent state of their own.
17 Likewise, it was common knowledge that part of the international
18 community back in 1994 offered the so-called Z-1 plan. Under the plan, a
19 state within a state was to be formed in Croatia whereby the Serbs in
21 attributes and hallmarks entailed; their currency, government, police,
22 army, borders.
23 For Croatia
25 federal Croatia
1 Q. [Previous translation continues] ... I apologise but wasn't the
2 fundamental problem was that in the view of many in Croatia at that time,
3 including the opposition, the various opposition parties, the concern was
4 that Croatia
5 its own territorial interest in terms of preserving its own territory and
6 if -- to the extent that Tudjman supported a carve-up of Bosnia
7 inconsistent with refusing the Serbian carve-up of Croatia; correct?
8 A. In that case, Mr. Prosecutor, I don't know how President Tudjman
9 could have attained his goal. A war is a big game where not everyone
10 needs to win. Very often in 1992, 1993, 1994, the international
11 community offered different agreements and settlements and the
12 statesman ...
13 Q. [Previous translation continues] ... my question to you was very
15 A. I'm answering your question.
16 Q. Please. Please. Wasn't there -- wasn't the position of the
17 critics, here referred to as critics and your party was one of those
18 critics, the position was that there was a fundamental inconsistency with
19 the HDZ policy to carve up one country, that is, Bosnia, while at the
20 same time refusing the Serb's rights to carve up Croatia? If one country
21 can carve up another country then everyone can do it; correct?
22 A. But Croatia
23 a division within the country, yes, it was divided and there were
24 different solutions for how to divide the country internally.
25 Q. I don't want to go through this entire article with you again.
1 But back on the very first paragraph that I directed your attention to,
2 the second paragraph in the article, "Croatia's president, Franjo Tudjman
3 is under increasing domestic pressure to end Zagreb's support for
4 irredentist Croats in Herzegovina
5 carve-up of Bosnia
6 MR. KARNAVAS: Mr. President, may I remind everyone that this is
7 an article written by a journalist. That's the journalist's position.
8 That's the journalist's position. So that journalist can hold whatever
9 position he wishes when he writes the article. Now when he goes to the
10 quotes, there at least we know who said what but this is something that
11 the journalist -- now if he wants to bring the journalist in to vouch for
12 that but he's asking the witness to accept that.
13 JUDGE PRANDLER: I would like to say a few words, only that in my
14 view, of course what Mr. Karnavas said that it was a journalist's
15 opinion. On the other hand, again in I believe in paragraph 4 which was
16 already quoted, it says, and I quote, "On Wednesday, leaders of Croatia
17 15," it may have been, I don't know, probably fewer, "opposition
18 parties," because the doctor has already said that there is no 15
19 opposition parties, "united for the first time to oppose Mr. Tudjman's
20 aim of Bosnian partition." And here is a quotation again, "Croatia
21 policy towards Bosnia-Herzegovina needs a turnabout." It is what was
22 said by Budisa, by Mr. Drazen Budisa, that is the leader at that time, of
23 the main opposition Social Liberal Party to the daily Vecernji List.
24 Now, if Dr. Zoric doesn't want to reply to the Prosecution's
25 question concerning the paragraph which was later on quoted and asked
1 about then I would like to ask Dr. Zoric if what he and the time his
2 party meant and I quote again, "to oppose Mr. Tudjman's aim of Bosnian
3 partition," and Mr. Budisa said "Croatia's policy towards
4 Bosnia-Herzegovina needs a turnabout." So what, in his view, that
5 turnabout meant and how the turnabout could have been implemented? It is
6 my question, Dr. Zoric.
7 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes, Witness, I do support this
8 question asked by Judge Prandler. I wanted to ask the same question.
9 This is at the very heart of the matter when we look at this article, of
10 course it is drafted by a journalist but it seems to make references to
11 political leaders, local political leaders who made specific statements.
12 So please answer Judge Prandler's questions because it is a very relevant
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I believe that this is
15 what happened at the time, the proposals coming from Zagreb and from this
16 group of people in particular were to the effect that the Croats in
17 Bosnia-Herzegovina had to establish cooperation with the Muslims in
18 Bosnia-Herzegovina. And that there was a need to engage in the
19 discussions about how this country would be structured and that these
20 discussions should be different from the discussions that were being
21 conducted at the time.
22 The opposition opposed vehemently the plans put forth by the
23 international community. They repeatedly said that for instance the
24 Vance-Owen Plan was very dangerous for the future of the country.
25 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Witness, you are a diplomat and
1 you answer in a diplomatic manner. This text relates to problems of
2 inner policy, so put aside the international dimension of it. When you
3 read this article, let me convey to you my impression. One is under the
4 impression that there was a specific political attitude or line defended
5 by many opposition parties in Croatia
6 there was an objective, Tudjman's objective which is to partition Bosnia
7 and Herzegovina
8 Now, if we go by this article, there are disagreements in this
9 political line and some political parties, including yours, apparently,
10 seem to say that there is a risk, a danger to go, if we go along the
11 lines of partition, because there could be a sort of boomerang effect on
13 necessary, they say, to change lines, to change policies, to have a
14 turnabout which could account for the political division within this
15 agreement between the political parties. This is what the article says.
16 Do you agree with the fact that partition of Bosnia-Herzegovina
17 had been envisioned; yes or no? Is it because there were Serbs on a
18 third of your territory that some, like you said, "Do not go down that
19 line because it is a dangerous way." With regard to the Croats in BiH,
20 we need to develop another approach. Is this a way in which you can
21 interpret this article? Does this article mirror the inner political
22 debates you had?
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honour. You have
24 interpreted the article correctly. The only thing that I cannot confirm
25 is that the partition of Bosnia and Herzegovina was envisaged or rather,
1 that there was a partition of Bosnia and Herzegovina envisaged officially
2 or that any of the individuals professed that officially. The only thing
3 I can admit is that there were many plans around and as for the opinions
4 of particular individuals, I don't think we should waste any time on them
5 if there were any such individuals.
6 What we have here, after all, is only a newspaper article, in my
7 view. With all due respect, I heard Mr. Prosecutor say that he's not too
8 happy about what his country is doing in Iraq. At the same time, I'm
9 sure that I can find many newspaper articles coming from either his
10 country or other countries who speak favorably of the president of his
11 country just as there are many articles who speak positively of the
12 future leaders of that country and who advocate a positive change of
13 policy in the US of A. What we are having is a discussion on political
14 commitments or views. What I can confirm is that there were never any
15 discussions or activities aimed at partitioning that country and in our
16 view, and this is my view today as well, the plans put forth by the
17 international community were deemed to be dangerous for the future of
19 In my view, that country over there is still divided and it is
20 divided in such a way that does not make matters look up for the future
21 of that country. That sort of division cannot be beneficial for any
22 country including Bosnia-Herzegovina.
23 JUDGE TRECHSEL: If I may, perhaps, last question before the
24 break, come back to the intervention of Mr. Karnavas which I think was
25 fully justified and what I was missing was a kind of a foundation-laying
2 These passages, in particular the one referring to Tudjman being
3 obsessed with the division of Bosnia
4 correct description at that time of the political situation in Croatia
5 is the journalist wrong?
6 Ms. Alaburic, it is a slightly directive question, quite a
7 leading question but it leaves open the answer.
8 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I would like to say
9 something to avoid misunderstanding. This may be a linguistic problem as
10 well as a problem of fact that certain notions are perceived differently.
11 Let us first say what we mean by saying the partitioning of Bosnia
12 do not know what the journalist who is the author of this article meant,
13 but I can tell you that we in Croatia
14 different times of this notion.
15 At one point, we conceived of it as a division of Bosnia
16 country that would have been a single country, therefore, a division into
17 several entities so it would not have been a division of the state of
18 Bosnia-Herzegovina. At other times, what was meant was the division of
19 the state of Bosnia
20 internationally-recognised state. So let us first define what we are
21 talking about before we proceed in our discussion.
22 JUDGE TRECHSEL: I'm not much convinced by that because this
23 speaks of Herzegovina
24 it's really clear. But I would like the witness to answer the question
25 because it's really a founding question. Maybe the witness will tell
1 this is all rubbish and nothing is true, this is an invention and I would
2 like you, Dr. Zoric, to answer my question.
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I will gladly answer your question.
4 President Tudjman was not obsessed with the division of
5 Bosnia-Herzegovina in the sense of breaking it up or annexing a part to
7 He knew the balance of forces on the ground and he had a crystal clear
8 objective he wanted to reach. That objective is a free Republic of
10 To achieve that objective, he had to be patient. He had to
11 resist with weapons to provide armed resistance and he also had to
12 attack. He also had to talk and as you know, he was able to achieve his
14 There are many documents, agreements signed by Dr. Tudjman. He
15 signed them with President Izetbegovic and those documents always mention
16 Bosnia-Herzegovina. They were conducive to bringing about peace in that
17 country. In some of these agreements between Croatia and
18 Bosnia-Herzegovina, mention is made of various proposals for the internal
19 structure or territorial organisation of that country, the remit of the
20 individual parts, et cetera.
21 President Tudjman certainly wanted to preserve the status of
22 constituent people to the Croats there, they had it in the former
24 today. And concerning all these questions that worried the public, I can
25 only repeat that Croatia
1 upon the Croats in Bosnia-Herzegovina, as you know, to vote at the
2 referendum for the independence of that country which independence was
3 advocated by the Bosnian Muslims too.
4 If it hadn't been for that referendum, the independence would
5 have been doubtful from a legal point of view. Croatia, while
6 Mr. Tudjman was president, was amongst the first to recognise the
7 independence of that country and Croatia
8 ambassador there. I believe that these are clear enough indications.
9 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Praljak, what's your
11 THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation] I ask Judge Antonetti as
12 the President of the council to allow me the following question: Did the
13 opposition, when they say the division of Bosnia-Herzegovina, mean its
14 break-up under the Vance-Owen Plan or the status of constitutive people
15 for Croats in Bosnia-Herzegovina?
16 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Well, this question could be
17 put as part of the redirect but anyway, I shall take it up myself.
18 Witness, you've heard what Mr. Praljak has just said. Can you
19 answer his question?
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I think that both options are
21 possible. The opposition, in part, was against the Vance-Owen Plan which
22 could have been an introduction to a negative outcome in Croatia
23 we're discussing newspaper articles, I would like to remind one in which
24 a leader mentioned here spoke or rather said that he can imagine a
25 federal Croatia
1 was made. Some other leaders also joined in with such -- joined in with
2 their respective statements. They were also against the Vance-Owen Plan,
3 against any break-up and for unitarian Bosnia-Herzegovina.
4 In my opinion, President Tudjman always insisted on the
5 preservation of the status of constitutive people for the Croats in all
6 of Bosnia-Herzegovina. Unfortunately, this is not the solution that
7 prevails today.
8 The first question is whether the Croats are a constitutive
9 people at all. And the other question is whether an ethnic Croat who
10 lives in Mostar has the same right as an ethnic Croat who lives in
11 Banja Luka. The fact is that they don't have the same rights and in my
12 opinion, they should have.
13 This also means that every Serb in Bosnia-Herzegovina should also
14 have the same rights, whether he or she lives in Doboj or in Capljina and
15 every Bosnian Muslims should have the same rights wherever he or she may
16 live. The current situation is such that the people who live there are
17 the ones who are least satisfied with it. People who live in
18 Bosnia-Herzegovina know that this country is very difficult to run the
19 way it is organised now.
20 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] It's 12.30, we're going to
21 break for 20 minutes. I'm looking at the clock. We're going to resume
22 at ten to 1.00.
23 --- Recess taken at 12.30 p.m.
24 --- On resuming at 12.50 p.m.
25 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. Mr. Scott, would
1 you be able to tell us how much more time do you need?
2 MR. SCOTT: Your Honour, under the circumstances, it's extremely
3 difficult to predict because of all the interventions. So far, I've used
4 just barely over half of my total time. I was given four hours. The
5 Defence so far in total including all the follow-up examinations has been
6 four hours and 46 minutes. The Prosecution so far has had two hours and
7 20 minutes so we've had only half as much time as the Defence. It's hard
8 to say. If there was absolutely no interventions, if the witness gave
9 short responsive answers we might finish by 1.45 but it's very doubtful.
10 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. Please proceed.
11 MR. SCOTT:
12 Q. Dr. Zoric, in light of the discussions so far, the testimony so
13 far concerning the article, P 10420, and the answers you've given, I have
14 to put to you that the position that you're -- in large measure, in large
15 measure, the position that you've state to the Court today is quite
16 different than the position that you and your party took in 1993 and
17 1994. And the position you're stating today is a change of heart,
18 perhaps, or a different position than the one you held at the time; isn't
19 that correct?
20 A. The circumstances have also changed and the facts are different
21 so that now, I hold a different position with regard to some issues.
22 Q. Well, precisely. But, you see, Dr. Zoric, you can tell us that
23 and it's fine for you to say, I've changed my mind, but what the Judges
24 need to know and in response to the questions about the exhibit I put in
25 front of you, my questions were not what you believe now, but what you
1 and your party believed at that time in July 1993 and indeed in the
2 months preceding July 1993. So to the extent as you've just indicated,
3 you've given different answers, you've changed your view, then you
4 haven't told us even yet and we don't have probably time, you haven't
5 told us yet what your position was at that time.
6 Now, in that regard, sir, I think the Chamber should know is it
7 correct that in June 1995, you left the HSLS and joined Tudjman's party,
8 the HDZ?
9 A. That is correct. But that wasn't in June 1995.
10 Q. When was it, please?
11 A. Later, in September or October.
12 Q. September or October 1995, you left the HSLS and joined
13 Franjo Tudjman's party, the HDZ.
14 A. Exactly.
15 Q. All right. If we can go on to Exhibit P 10422. This is an
16 article from Globus, a well-known Croatian publication. On the 28th of
17 January, 1994, concerning an interview with the same Drazen Budisa who
18 was your party head and in that sense superior at the time. Again,
19 because of shortness of time, we don't have time to go through the entire
20 article. But if you can please go well into the interview, sir, and for
21 those following in English, to -- toward the top of the third page. If
22 you can find, Dr. Zoric, if you can find please the passage,
23 the paragraph that's starts, that's attributed to Mr. Budisa, it starts
24 with the words, "Because President Tudjman is captured ..." and I want to
25 give you a fair opportunity to find that so please tell me when you've
1 found it. Do you have it yet, please?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. It says there, and I won't read the entire paragraph but,
4 "Because President Tudjman is captured by the concept of rearranging the
5 former old Yugoslavia
6 he has pointed out several times that there is no solution to the Croat
7 issue without an arrangement with Belgrade
8 encompassing of the Croat ethnic territories. This is in itself neither
9 correct nor wrong outside the historical context. Macek, the Croatian
10 signatory of the 1939 agreement founding the Banat of Croatia also acted
11 upon these bases."
12 Sir, building on the testimony that or the topics and the
13 information we've covered so far today, isn't this a further confirmation
14 that what your party was opposed to in terms of Tudjman's policies
15 towards Bosnia
16 desires to establish the Croatian Banovina borders inside
18 A. These are the assertions of one person from the leadership of the
19 party. Even though that person is president, I did not agree with such
20 positions so that a year later we parted.
21 Q. A year later you parted, but that was indeed Doctor -- or excuse
22 me, Mr. Budisa's position as stated here; correct?
23 A. Well, yes, but in politics, some things mature, they take their
24 time. The reasons are not simple. Such statements contributed to my
25 dissatisfaction and not only did I part with him, other people did too.
1 I have already mentioned the party split into three parties due to a
2 disagreement over crucial issues.
3 Q. Dr. Zoric, let me ask you this: There was also -- already a
4 reference to Mr. Macek, the Croatian signatory of the 1939 agreement that
5 established the Banovina. In the next paragraph, there's a reference to
6 a Dragisa, forgive me pronunciations if it's wrong, Cvetkovic --
7 A. Cvetkovic.
8 Q. -- and can you tell us or remind the Judges, please, who was
9 Dragisa Cvetkovic?
10 A. I know that because I have a university degree in history,
11 otherwise I wouldn't be qualified to explain that here.
12 Dragisa Cvetkovic was the prime minister of the kingdom of Yugoslavia
13 Vladko Macek was the president of the Croatian Peasant Party which at the
14 time was the leading Croatian political party that enjoyed the support of
15 the largest number of Croats not only in Croatia but also in
16 Bosnia-Herzegovina and it's a political paradox mentioned in literature
17 that even in some municipalities in Serbia, Macek had voters, people who
18 voted for him.
19 It is generally known that Cvetkovic and Macek signed an
20 agreement about the restructuring of the kingdom of Yugoslavia
21 They thought that agreement would be the solution of the so-called
22 Croatian national question in Yugoslavia
23 the situation showed that -- or rather proved them wrong.
24 Q. In the interviewer's question following the part that I read to
25 you a moment ago, it says, "Do you think that Tudjman is trying to find
1 his Dragisa Cvetkovic (prime minister of Yugoslavia, co-signatory of the
2 1939 agreement mentioned above) in Milosevic?" In other words, Tudjman
3 wants to play the role of Macek and casting Milosevic in the role as
4 Cvetkovic? Correct? That's the question by the interviewer.
5 A. I think that it would be much more practical for this Court to
6 invite the man who said what is -- what we can read here. I am not
7 qualified to interpret his words. I am here to testify about refugees
8 from Bosnia-Herzegovina and the assistance we provided to them.
9 Q. Well, that's not entirely correct, sir, as the Judges explained
10 the rules and the scope of the examination. Sir, let me direct your
11 attention another couple of paragraphs down in the next -- skipping over
12 where Budisa says, "Today ..." Skipping over the next question and then
13 when Budisa starts talking again, down in that paragraph, he says and I
14 put this to you in -- particularly in light of the ongoing questions from
15 this morning, "If the Croatian politics continues to aspire," I emphasise
16 continues to aspire, "towards Herceg-Bosna being annexed to Croatia
17 the question arises how we will retrieve our occupied areas. There is
18 constant talk that the two-thirds of the Croats in Bosnia-Herzegovina who
19 will be left outside the Croat republic of Herceg-Bosna will be equal in
20 all respects."
21 Now, again, that was the issue over which Budisa and your party
22 was taking issue with the HDZ and President Tudjman; correct?
23 A. Yes. We were in disagreement. We failed to understand how that
24 could be prevented from reflecting upon Croatia.
25 Q. Let me next take you, please, then to Exhibit P 10409.
1 MR. SCOTT: Your Honour, I'm told that there was a correction,
2 there was a translation correction and there is a new copy of that
3 document that's loose so hopefully everyone has it in front of them. If
4 you don't then we will certainly assist you.
5 Q. Sir, you've made several references in the last few minutes or
6 some time that, you know, you would like to be confronted with your own
7 words, perhaps, and so I'm doing that. This is an interview that you
8 gave on the 13th of March, 1994 to Vijesnik; do you see that?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. And can we all go forward with the understanding that you agree
11 and confirm that you did give an interview to Vijesnik around this time,
12 the 13th of March, 1994?
13 A. Yes, I gave many interviews at the time, among others, to
14 Vijesnik. When exactly it would be hard for me to say.
15 Q. All right. Now, your position seems to be, and I've read this
16 interview several times, your position in this interview appears to be
17 that the Washington Agreement and this is now the interview is the 13th
18 of March 1994, your position seems to be at the time that the
19 Washington Agreement should be supported; is that correct?
20 A. Yes, I understood that that agreement could put an end to the
21 conflict and make the warring parties sit at a table together. In my
22 opinion, it's better to talk than to wage war.
23 Q. And once again, sir, can you agree with me that the
24 Washington Agreement represented a fundamental shift of what had been
25 President Tudjman's policy up until that time?
1 A. I don't know if it was a shift in his policy, but it's a fact
2 that after talks and several attempts, an agreement was brought about,
3 but it takes two to have an agreement.
4 Q. Sir, in the first paragraph after the box text, if you will, the
5 first paragraph reading down through it, I'm going to touch on various
6 parts of these in turn, but you say, "'The Croatian-Muslim agreement in
8 Damir Zoric, the vice-president of the Chamber of Counties and member of
9 the reduced board of the HSLS. Zoric says that, 'This is maybe really
10 about a strategic turn in Croatian policy.'"
11 So this was a fundamental -- well, I'll use your word, it was a
12 strategic turn from the previous existing Tudjman policy, wasn't it?
13 A. Yes, I do consider that a shift, but a shift is not the same
14 thing as is a turn. A shift means moving from one situation to another
15 and then continue forward. But a turn is something else. It can mean
16 abandoning one position and embracing another instead.
17 Q. At the time, you and your party viewed this or at least can I put
18 it to you this way: Did you hope, did you hope at the time that this
19 represented Tudjman abandoning the policy of partitioning Bosnia
20 establishing the Banovina borders?
21 MR. KARNAVAS: Your Honour, first, he needs to establish that
22 fact. I want him to finish his cross but now this is a fact that's not
23 been established. He needs to establish that that was Tudjman's policy
24 as he understood it.
25 MR. SCOTT: Your Honour, that's the entire Prosecution case has
1 presented that proposition and I've shown you two articles, the two
2 articles that have just said clearly make that point.
3 MR. KARNAVAS: The two articles are discussing somebody else's
4 words. The gentleman is alive. He was here. He could have been brought
5 during the Prosecution's case.
6 Now, he needs to lay a predicate. That's his theory. Fine. He
7 can state it as a theory but not as a fact.
8 MR. SCOTT: I didn't draft these documents, Mr. Karnavas. They
9 say what they say and the presidential transcripts say what they say.
10 Q. Let me put it to you this way, sir.
11 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Scott, please proceed.
12 MR. SCOTT:
13 Q. Let me put it to you this way and I know that the Defence doesn't
14 like this evidence, but when you say --
15 MR. KARNAVAS: I object to that as well. Why don't we tell the
16 witness what the previous witness said on direct examination. Mr. Zuzul
17 said quite clearly that that wasn't President Tudjman's policy. Why
18 don't we say that and then ask him, now, do you disagree with Mr. Zuzul?
19 MR. SCOTT: I assume that if the witness read --
20 MR. KARNAVAS: It's not whether I like it or not. It's proper
21 etiquette in court, lay a foundation, sir.
22 MR. SCOTT: I assume that if Dr. Zoric read in the Croatian media
23 about Mr. Zuzul's testimony he's already heard that.
24 MR. KARNAVAS: Now we're saying that all our witnesses are
25 confabulating. Quite interesting, the Prosecution witnesses come in and
1 tell the truth; the Defence witnesses are confabulating. Sir, set the
2 predicate. Ask the foundational questions and then there won't be any
4 MR. SCOTT: We spent the last two years establishing the
5 predicate, Mr. President.
6 Q. Let me ask you this, sir, let me ask you this to use your own
7 words. Let me ask you this. Let me find if for you. On page 3 of the
8 English translation and I'll have to help you find it, sir. You were
9 asked at one point, if you can find this question, it's under the heading
10 "The fatal Tito's youth." It says, "Does it mean that the HSLS will now
11 be less critical towards the authorities? No, it does not. We did not
12 criticise the HDZ only because of their catastrophic policy towards BiH
13 and inside BiH." So perhaps you can tell us, sir, those are your words,
14 what was catastrophic about Croatia
15 and inside BiH?
16 A. I can answer that question regardless of what the procedure
17 dictates, I wanted to answer your previous question although it was
18 qualified as a speculation, there is no reason why I shouldn't answer it.
19 We were active in the public domain and spoke publicly on various
20 issues mainly through TV broadcasts or newspaper reports. The political
21 infrastructure or rather the infrastructure of the political parties at
22 the time was insufficiently developed in order to enable us to speak
23 specifically on all matters; however, it was part of the political
24 competition where parties wanted to use up as much room as they could and
25 be able to speak.
1 Now, when it comes to this statement of mine you referred to, I
2 believed at the time and I still believe that the Washington Agreement
3 constituted a significant step forward.
4 Q. All right. Thank you for that. I'm sorry that I started to
5 interrupt you. Let me go back to what you said and what you were saying
6 in answer to -- you said my previous question. Sir, you say you're
7 relying on broadcasts, what you read the newspapers, et cetera. Sir, you
8 were and I'm using the word government not in the sense of the executive
9 branch, I'm talking about the government of Croatia as a whole, you were
10 a senior member of that government, a senior member. Vice-president of
11 one of the houses of parliament in the governing board of the largest top
12 opposition party. Now, please, don't tell the Judges that you didn't
13 understand what the politics in Croatia
14 Tudjman's policy was and you knew that you and your party presumably
15 after the reduced board had decided its platform and its policy position,
16 you knew that you, Mr. Budisa and the party opposed Tudjman's policy to
17 partition Bosnia
18 A. Of course I knew. How else would it have been an opposition
19 party had it not been opposed to matters. Opposition parties normally do
20 that. I have tried to answer your question but you keep interrupting me.
21 I can answer every question you put to me even the one that I referred to
22 a moment ago that remained unanswered by me before the break because of
23 procedural issues.
24 There isn't a single reason why I shouldn't answer every one of
25 your questions. I can answer this one as well but please do not
1 interrupt me. I wish to explain to you what my position is and what my
2 answer is.
3 Q. Well, the Chamber knows that the time constraints but assuming we
4 won't finish today in any event, I'll let you go ahead. Say whatever you
5 want to say.
6 A. Your Honours, I do wish us to conclude today because I am a
7 businessman. I have business to attend to.
8 In answer to your question, yes, as an opposition party, we
9 criticised the ruling party in all manners possible. We criticised, and
10 I mean both the leader of the party and the members of the party.
11 Oftentimes when opposition parties criticise the ruling party, this is
12 done in a general way by way of specific illustrations, specific
13 examples. Sometimes we disagree on policy decisions, on legislative
14 decisions. Sometimes we are opposed to those, and I'm referring to
15 Bosnia-Herzegovina now who are opposed to talks, who are opposed to
16 the -- to those who propose certain solutions and I believe this was the
17 case in this case at point.
18 Very often, the political discourse includes platitudes and as
19 I'm able to glean from this, I was the one using them as well.
20 Q. If I can ask you, sir, to go to the part of your interview where
21 you are asked -- and in English it's toward the top of the second page,
22 if you can find the question, sir, please, "What do you think about the
23 confederation of Croatia
24 You say, "Croatia
25 relationships only after they have become sovereign in the whole areas
1 they respectively occupy. Croatian interest is that BiH remains one
2 unique country and that Croats in it be equal with other citizens."
3 Now, when you say that these things can only be further
4 addressed, "only after they have become sovereign in the whole areas that
5 they respectively occupy," is it correct that you were talking about
6 Bosnia-Herzegovina in it's entire internationally-recognised borders, not
7 only that those borders would be respected but that Bosnia and
9 A. Yes. These are my words and I stand by them today. I have
10 always stood by them and will. Bosnia-Herzegovina ought to be sovereign
11 in every inch of its territory as is the case with Croatia and with any
12 other internationally-recognised country for that matter.
13 Now, once these countries have resolved their fundamental issues
14 and problems, will they engage into discussions about their mutual
15 relations, cooperation, and accession to a higher level association, I
16 believe this is something that can only be wished for at the
17 international level. However, in order to accede to such associations,
18 every country concerned must be -- must have sovereignty over its
19 territory to begin with.
20 Q. You go on, if I can direct your attention to page 4 in the
21 English translation and if you can find, sir, the question that's put to
22 you, "Can the implementation of the Washington Agreement encounter a
23 serious resistance in a part of the ruling party or the opposition?" And
24 you say there, I'm skipping the first paragraph although everyone in the
25 courtroom has it, I'm not misleading anyone, "However, the implementation
1 of the new policy could be very painful in Herzegovina. The policy of
2 the Croatian-Muslim understanding is in the collision with the facts and
3 emotions that presently exist. Therefore, one should be careful that the
4 implementation does not collide with the reality. It is also the
5 question whether the same people can implement two concepts that are so
6 different and that went from war to alliance."
7 If I could combine that, please, and ask you to hopefully save a
8 few minutes, we might be able to finish today, at least my part, I can't
9 speak for anyone else. Toward the bottom -- well, in the English towards
10 the bottom of that page but after the question where it says, "Do you
11 mean Mate Boban?" Then in the third paragraph in your answer, sir, you
12 say, "Nowadays, their political leaders report that there are allegedly
13 no problems in Herzegovina
14 problems in Herzegovina
15 for something, they lost their lives, children, husbands, property. More
16 victims fell in the war against the Muslims than against the Serbs. Many
17 ask themselves today: Why?"
18 In both of those two passages that I just put to you, Dr. Zoric,
19 isn't what you're saying here: This, again, Washington represented a
20 fundamental shift. The people had thought that they were fighting, or at
21 least many people, certainly not everyone, many people including the
22 Herceg-Bosna leadership thought they were fighting for a part of
23 Herceg-Bosna that would join and be part of Croatia and now, now as
25 was going to be difficult for people to accept? That's what you are
1 expressing your concern about; correct?
2 A. No, that's not a correct interpretation. I didn't say that the
3 people fought and died for something that was to become a part of
5 the -- that the majority of people who took part in that struggle did not
6 find the sense in it because they thought that they were creating a
7 better Croatia
8 third entity, the Croat entity of the state of Bosnia.
9 As you know, the notion of a federation is quite something else.
10 It does not include the notion of an entity and the people at large found
11 it very difficult to accept that. They took it emotionally, although we
12 know that one should not rely on emotions, one has to accept matters
14 My view of that settlement was that it was better than the
15 settlements that were being passed around at the time. I did not see it
16 as part of something that would become Croatia but the people are
17 entitled to an opinion, to formulate that opinion, and to advocate their
18 opinions. What remains, of course, to be defined is in what way they
19 want to attain this objective of theirs. In my view of the matter was
20 that it should be through talks with the international community.
21 Q. Dr. Zoric, thank you for that and believe it or not, I am trying
22 to assist you by hopefully moving forward to see if we can possibly
23 complete your testimony today.
24 My final topic, my final question, I suppose, depending on your
25 answer, there might be one or two follow-up questions. I just want to
1 direct your attention to the text immediately following, immediately
2 below the question, "Do you mean Mate Boban?" And you say, well, the
3 question is "Do you mean Mate Boban?" And your answer is, "I mean Tito's
4 youth who rule BiH nowadays. Those who did their best during work-drives
5 to earn shock-workers' badges. Some people who nowadays lead the HDZ as
6 the people's party of the Croats in the BiH and therefore as my party too
7 were in their time bringing in for an interview even the first founders
8 of the HDZ. They are very skillful political executors but they are
9 unskilled with their own people whom they chase from pillar to post,
10 driving finally many of the people in Herzegovina crazy too."
11 Can you please tell the Judges when you refer to Tito's youth and
12 the people who nowadays lead the HDZ in BiH, who are you talking about?
13 A. As you can see, I didn't want to name any names, I wanted to
14 encourage, through my answer, the people in that part of the world to
15 seek new faces. As you know, in young democracies, it is best for the
16 officials to fluctuate. I don't know how far my answer could be deemed
17 to be politically correct, but the term of Tito's youth was not something
18 that was deemed in a positive light at the time and I believe that this
19 would incite them to engage in a process of looking for new people.
20 Q. Well, sir, it's my job that I have to ask you the question
21 whether despite the fact that it may make you uncomfortable, which I
22 might personally regret that, but I am required to ask you what
23 individuals did you have in mind? Please give us, if you can remember,
24 give us the names of the individuals you had in mind.
25 A. I didn't have anyone specifically in mind. As you can see for
1 yourself, I spoke in very general terms. My intention was to give the
2 people in the area food for thought and to tell them that they should
3 carefully look for new people who would lead them.
4 You see what the journalist's question was. His question
5 referred to a specific person whereas I, in my answer, did not refer to
6 any individuals. I know that subsequently, there was change in that
7 quarter, some new people emerged replacing the ones who were there before
8 and I believe that change is always beneficial.
9 Q. Well, sometimes. The question to you was, "Do you mean
10 Mate Boban ?" And of course you could have answered the question very
11 quickly, "Yes," but you didn't. You didn't. You said, "I mean Tito's
12 youth who rule BiH nowadays." Then going down to the next line, "Some
13 people who nowadays lead the HDZ ..."
14 Now, sir, you must have known, I'm sorry, but when you said,
15 "Some people who nowadays lead the HDZ," you knew exactly who you were
16 talking about. So please tell us who those persons were.
17 A. You would definitely not have voted for me, I see. That was the
18 way I spoke in public. I was trying to be active in politics at the time
19 and I told you that I wasn't very good at it and I went back to the job
20 that I am good at. Perhaps I should have given a more straightforward
21 answer here but I did not and I cannot speak in hypothetical terms about
22 what I specifically had in mind 15 years ago.
23 Q. Well, sir, I must say I wasn't laughing at you, I was laughing
24 with you because I know that these things can be difficult, we try to
25 find some humour where we can. But, sir, I have to conclude with this
1 and I will leave it up to the Judges if they want to press you further
2 but I put it to you, sir, that you do in fact know who you were talking
3 about and you just don't want to tell us. Isn't that true? Yes?
4 A. I think it will be highly improper of me to name names here 15
5 years later. I don't think it would be proper on my part and I believe
6 that I achieved as much as I wanted to achieve. If you want me to, I can
7 answer the question that you put to me that remained unanswered from
8 before the break because there was a procedural dispute about it. If I
9 recall well, you asked me -- if that was important for you, I can give
10 you an answer. If not, fine.
11 Q. Let me conclude with this, I will leave you in the Chamber's
12 hands. If the Chamber wants to press you further for that information
13 then the Judges can choose to do so. I want to thank you despite some
14 rather firm questions, I thank you for coming to The Hague and giving
15 your testimony. I wish you a safe return and that concludes my
17 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] We have 12 minutes left for
18 redirect. Do you have any additional questions?
19 MR. KARNAVAS: I do and just picking up on that last question.
20 If the gentleman wishes to go into private session and name names, if he
21 remembers, that may make it more comfortable assuming that he has
22 specific names because that option was not given to him by the
24 So if we were to go into private session, sir, would that make
25 it ...
1 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Witness, we can move into
2 private session if you so wish.
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I don't know what a
4 private session is.
5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Well, private session, that is
6 a situation in which nobody knows what you could say unless -- but for
7 the people who are in this courtroom, of course.
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Let me respond this way: "De
9 mortuis nihil nisi bene."
10 MR. KARNAVAS: We may need a translation for that one.
11 JUDGE TRECHSEL: It means that of the dead, nothing unless it's
12 good. It means that one should not slander persons after they -- one
13 should not say the truth perhaps after they are dead.
14 MR. KARNAVAS: With that I just have some very quick questions.
15 Re-examination by Mr. Karnavas:
16 Q. On page 2 of today's transcript, there was a question with
17 respect to refugee status and at one point you said that there was some
18 misuse of the refugee status and as a result, there was some changes so
19 that that status was only allowed for three months and then that there
20 would be some -- they would have to check in once a month to review their
21 status and what have you. Very briefly, when you said "misuse" were you
22 speaking of Croats and Muslims both, and if so, could you give us just
23 very illustrative, just one example of what kind of misuse you are
24 talking about? Keep it brief because I have 10 minutes, sir.
25 A. I did not have members of an ethnicity specifically in mind.
1 This was not a feature that was unique to one ethnic group only. We
2 tried to prevent these as far as we could. This was not a prevailing
3 practice. If it was, then we prevented it. This was something that
4 could be found among the Croat and Muslim refugees alike who tried to
5 misuse their status by obtaining benefits that did not belong to them in
6 the first place. That is what I had in mind.
7 Q. Thank you. Now, you were asked a question, you were asked a
8 question by the Prosecution and it was somewhere in the -- on page 31
9 about returns and you said words to the effect that safety was one and of
10 course you were pressed with another question and you admitted, yes,
11 accommodation was another.
12 This is today's transcript, it's not in the documents, sir. Sir,
13 it's not in your documents, it's in the transcript.
14 So with respect, you indicated today that trying to return folks
15 back to where they came from, you had to look at safety and
16 accommodation; correct?
17 A. Correct.
18 Q. Now, if we could look at one particular example, for instance, in
19 1D 01593, I have a copy for the gentleman, if I could have the assistance
20 of Madam Usher and I have copies for everyone else. It is in the e-court
21 system and then you could distribute this to everyone else. One to the
22 Prosecution and then the Bench as well.
23 Now, here is an example, for instance, this is a letter dated
24 7 April 1994
25 Dr. Jadranko Prlic, president of the government and it's addressed to the
1 president of the government of the Republic of Croatia
2 Mr. Nikica Valentic. Was Mr. Valentic the president at that time of the
4 A. Yes, he was the prime minister at the time.
5 Q. Now it appears from the letter, if we were to look at it, and in
6 this letter Dr. Jadranko Prlic is indicating that for some reason, there
7 was a lack of coordination and that folks were being returned and that he
8 was concerned that perhaps the areas where they were being returned were
9 not quite ready to receive them.
10 A. Yes, we came across such situations when regarded from Zagreb
11 some areas seemed safe whereas the local authorities knew better. We
12 were looking at the municipalities within their territorial boundaries as
13 at 1990. However, in the meantime, the territorial organisation and
14 structure changed. Secondly, the municipalities covered wide territories
15 and some of the specific locations within the municipality could still
16 have been unfit for return although other parts were fit for that process
17 and the authorities back in Zagreb
19 I believe that this is a request on the part of Mr. Prlic to stay
20 a decision passed by Mr. Adalbert Rebic whereby the population should
21 return to the BH and he states therein that he has the support for this
22 of the people from -- both from Sarajevo
23 Q. Suffice it to say if we look at this letter, it would appear
24 that, at least from Croatia
25 occurring. In other words, they're trying to -- they may think that
1 areas are safe and there's a lack of coordination; am I correct in that?
2 A. Both options were possible. If they were unsafe areas and Zagreb
3 didn't know about it, then we're talking about`poor coordination and
4 communication, but there had been such situations before and there were
5 similar situations after and each such decision could be reviewed and
6 corrections were made. If return to a place was impossible or impossible
7 for some people, then they would stay where they were, the decision was
8 revoked, et cetera. I think this is about such a case.
9 Q. All right. Now, you're not a lawyer; is that correct?
10 A. I'm not and I'm glad I'm not.
11 Q. Okay. Well, very well.
12 Now, you were pressed on some questions with respect to refugees,
13 citizenship and what have you and you gave some answers and having spoken
14 about my client during the break, he had indicated to me that his family,
15 his wife, for instance, who was from Herzegovina went to Croatia
16 citizenship, but at the same time because of the conditions was also able
17 to have refugee status which was important, if for no other reasons, for
18 health care.
19 Now, sir, was that a possibility, do you know? Do you know how
20 the law was structured? And be very quickly about it because I have a
21 couple more questions.
22 A. I don't know of such situations, no.
23 Q. All right. Now, you were asked about Tudjman's policy to
24 carve-up Bosnia and Herzegovina and in the Tuta-Stela case, for instance,
25 you had indicated that it was widely noted in a statement by the high
1 representative of the UN in Sarajevo General Klein, that would be
2 Jacques Klein, that Izetbegovic had offered Herzegovina to Tudjman and
3 Tudjman had declined it. Do you recall that part of your testimony?
4 A. Yes, I remember that part and I remember the statements given by
5 General Klein. Yes, I remember it.
6 Q. And also you indicated, to be fair, that in the press that then
7 came out that Izetbegovic was not denying that but then he was putting a
8 sort of a spin or qualification that "... this was a tactical move to
9 embroil Croatia
10 would never, ever be able to liberate its own occupied territories,
11 Vukovar and Knin, because of some other principles would have applied in
12 that case ..." and I'm reading from the revised transcript, not the one
13 that the Prosecution indicated, but these are pages 11.080 to 11.081.
14 Now, do you stand by that, sir, that you recall Izetbegovic in
15 the press putting his spin that this was just a tactical move in order to
16 embroil Croatia
17 bait, as it were, and then he could use that for tactical reasons?
18 A. This shows that apart from the job of a lawyer, there is another
19 very difficult and demanding job, namely politics and that's why I don't
20 do either. I spoke several times with Mr. Izetbegovic in his office in
22 As far as circumstances allowed, we also discussed political
23 issues. My conclusion was exactly what you quoted. But that's how it
24 goes in politics. Everybody tries to attain their goals and used
25 different means to do so. It is my impression that Mr. Izetbegovic would
1 sign anything he was given to sign just to get another opportunity. He
2 signed a lot of things, first with Boban and then immediately after that
3 with Karadzic, he signed a confederation or federation with Croatia
4 then that idea was given up.
5 His goal was the sovereignty of Bosnia-Herzegovina.
6 Q. One final question here about Tudjman, because I think we want to
7 make sure we fully understand. You indicated that this was a unity
8 government, different factions. Sir, within -- at that time, is it not a
9 fact that Tudjman had a lot of different players with a lot of different
10 agendas, some thinking that the borders should be at the Drina which
11 would have encompassed all of Bosnia-Herzegovina; others, the Banovina.
12 Others wanted all sorts of different variations and isn't it a fact, sir,
13 that Tudjman was playing one side against the other in order to achieve
14 his own goal which was an independent Croatia within its recognised
15 borders? Can you comment on that?
16 A. I think this is an adequate assessment of him. I don't believe
17 that the groups that advocated a Greater Croatia reaching to the
18 Drina River
19 There was some hot heads advocating that not necessarily in the people
20 around Tudjman, but many people were moving around him. He used many
21 people to attain his goal both internally and internationally and I
22 believe that in a rather long period, he was able to achieve his goals.
23 Some people had a much -- didn't -- weren't able to look into the
24 future for -- as far as he did but President Tudjman was aware who was on
25 the other side, who was against him and I believe that he was able
1 eventually to attain his goal. It was difficult but he --
2 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] You have to finish.
3 MR. KARNAVAS: I have no further questions, Your Honours.
4 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes.
5 MR. KARNAVAS: I did want to make one comment about the next
6 witness but I can do so even by way of e-mail.
7 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Fine. Witness, thank you. We
8 are sort of pressed by time but I thank all the parties for making it
9 possible for you to complete your testimony. I know you have other
10 commitments which I understand perfectly well. The Trial Chamber wishes
11 you a safe return to your other commitments.
12 Yes, Mr. Karnavas.
13 MR. KARNAVAS: I just wanted to thank the witness, too, on behalf
14 of everyone here because I didn't get a chance to thank him and I forgot
15 actually but we do appreciate him coming here so we thank him.
16 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] The hearing stands adjourned.
17 We have another witness next week in the same conditions as for this
18 witness. I think it's going to be Dr. Rebic, four hours --
19 MR. KARNAVAS: Five.
20 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I said four. So we shall
21 reconvene next week in the afternoon, 2.15 on Monday.
22 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 1.50 p.m.
23 to be reconvened on Monday, the 19th day of May,
24 2008, at 2.15 p.m.