Tribunal Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia

Page 28128

 1                           Monday, 19 May 2008

 2                           [Open session]

 3                           [The accused entered court]

 4                           --- Upon commencing at 2.15 p.m.

 5             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Please call the case,

 6     Mr. Registrar.

 7             THE REGISTRAR:  Good afternoon, Your Honours.  Good afternoon,

 8     everyone in and around the courtroom.  This is case number IT-04-74-T,

 9     the Prosecutor versus Prlic et al. Thank you, Your Honours.

10             JUDGE BONOMY:  Thank you.

11             Today is Monday, 19th of May, 2008.  Let me greet the

12     Prosecution, including Mr. Stringer, who is back with us after having

13     left us for quite some time; and good afternoon also to the Defence

14     counsel, to Mr. Khan, it's a pleasure for me to see him again here

15     because we had missed him these past few weeks; let me also greet the

16     accused and everyone assisting us in and around this courtroom.

17             I'm first going to give the floor to the registrar, he has to

18     give us some IC numbers following a number of filings for submission of

19     exhibits by the parties.

20             THE REGISTRAR:  Thank you, Your Honour.  Some parties have

21     submitted list of documents to be tendered through Witness Damir Zoric.

22     The list submitted by 1D shall be given exhibit number IC 00791.  The

23     list submitted by the OTP shall be given exhibit number IC 00792.  The

24     list submitted by 3D shall be given exhibit number IC 00793.  And the

25     list submitted by 4D shall be given exhibit number IC 00974.  Thank you,

Page 28129

 1     Your Honours.

 2             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you.

 3             I believe that Mr. Scott wants to take the floor.

 4             MR. SCOTT:  Good afternoon, Mr. President, each of Your Honours,

 5     counsel, all those in and around the courtroom who are assisting us.

 6             Your Honour, I need to raise with the Chamber, and I hope we can

 7     take it rather briefly because I'm hoping that there won't be -- in light

 8     of the circumstances there won't be any objection to this, in fact.  In

 9     the past several days the Prosecution has received - and again I thank

10     the Defence for providing it - but has received a large volume of

11     material that's either just been translated or not translated yet at all.

12     Since approximately Friday of last week we've received this much

13     material, and, Your Honour, again I'm not saying anything more than

14     that's what we've received.  I'm not saying anything about good or bad

15     faith.  I do appreciate counsel providing it to us.

16             But the bottom line, Your Honour, is that the Prosecution is once

17     again in a position where we cannot possibly prepare to cross-examination

18     this witness this week.  There's just simply too much material that we've

19     received for the first time and we will ask -- we do ask the Chamber to

20     postpone cross-examination to a future date so that we can study this

21     material and obtain it in translation.  Thank you.

22             MR. KARNAVAS:  If I may be heard for the record, Mr. President.

23     On Thursday we provided the Prosecution with a report that was prepared

24     by Mr. Rebic a couple of years ago, and it was only until Thursday that I

25     saw it in translation, that's the report entitled:  "My Report at the

Page 28130

 1     Office for Displaced Persons and Refugees."  So they received it the same

 2     time that I received it to work from it, number one.

 3             Number two -- and that's 1D 02921.  Everyone has been provided

 4     with it.

 5             Number two, if you will see, in the very last line of paragraph 1

 6     it says that this report was done -- the last sentence says was done from

 7     his diary, which consists of around 200 pages.  When I saw that I asked

 8     that Mr. Rebic bring his diary over here in the event the Prosecution

 9     wanted it, unlike other UN agencies, for instance, which have appeared

10     before here and have refused to provide their written notes, we are

11     willing to provide all of this to the Prosecution and to everyone else.

12     Those notes -- and I believe that's 1D 02922.

13             Those notes we are not tendering in as evidence.  They were

14     provided merely in the event the Prosecution wanted to check what's in

15     the notes to see whether the notes are consistent with this particular

16     report that Mr. Rebic did a couple of years ago.  So it was out of

17     courtesy.  I could have easily have deleted this line and not requested

18     the notes and nobody would have been the wiser of it.  And I am saying

19     that because at times it appears in this courtroom that our integrity is

20     being questioned and I won't say by whom.  I'm not suggesting that it's

21     Mr. Scott, but it is a touchy issue with us.

22             So in any event, we -- I have not looked at these 200 pages of

23     notes because they're in Croatian; I cannot read them.  Now, I understand

24     the Prosecution's dilemma.  I would say that it would be highly

25     inconvenient for Mr. Rebic to come here and the Prosecution was provided

Page 28131

 1     with this document.

 2             Next I would say that I find it rather alarming that it's -- this

 3     is raised now, on Monday, when for instance had I been contacted on

 4     Saturday - and I'm making this comment henceforward so everybody can

 5     say - and I don't want to set a precedent for the other Defence, but I

 6     have absolutely no problem with the Prosecution meeting with our

 7     witnesses in The Hague.  So they could have met with him, they could have

 8     asked to meet with them to go over any portions of the diary.  They do

 9     have Croatian speakers on their staff, if they wanted to check anything

10     in particular.  So I would object to this request of the Prosecution.

11     If, however, the Trial Chamber is inclined to take them up on it, I would

12     say that Dr. Rebic would be scheduled to come back sometime in the fall

13     because, simply, we cannot accommodate the Prosecution in the very near

14     future because our witnesses are more or less locked in.  If you look at

15     their positions, it's very difficult to get somebody to commit a whole

16     week of their lifetime without quite a bit of advance notice.

17             So in any event I bring that up and I understand the

18     Prosecution's position, but I want to make sure that they understand that

19     I'm at the same disadvantage as they are, although I do respect their

20     request to have ample time to go through the notes.  And again because

21     there are handwritten notes in addition to I guess some typewritten

22     pages, if they wish to consult with Dr. Rebic I have absolutely no

23     problem with that.  So the offer is there and my objection is on the

24     record.  Thank you.

25             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Let me sum up.  In these

Page 28132

 1     binders here we have exhibits 1D 2921, it's been translated into English

 2     and it's entitled:  "My Work at the Office for Refugees and Displaced

 3     Persons."  This document was prepared by Mr. Rebic.  In the English

 4     version this document has 36 pages to be precise.  If you are familiar

 5     with this case, it should not be tremendous amount of work to read these

 6     36 pages.

 7             Furthermore, I believe that during the examination-in-chief the

 8     Defence through Mr. Karnavas will raise a number of issues developed in

 9     that report.  Furthermore, we have a second document, it's a much longer

10     document, it's Exhibit 1D 02922.  These are notes, personal notes,

11     written in B/C/S, they have not been translated, and it's a total of 213

12     pages.  These are notes that have been handed over to the Defence

13     counsel, who can't speak B/C/S, during the proofing of the witness.

14     Mr. Karnavas who, since I've known him for two years now, has always

15     demanded that witnesses hand over their personal notes; that's why he's

16     now -- he has submitted these personal notes for the Prosecution to be

17     aware of them.  But Mr. Karnavas has added that he would not tender

18     document 2922.  That's the way things stand at the moment.  The Chamber

19     will consider the request of the Prosecution to decide whether the

20     Prosecution will conduct the cross-examination or not.

21             But without further ado, we'll have the witness brought in.

22             Yes, Mr. Scott.

23             MR. SCOTT:  Thank you, Your Honour.  I do want to before the

24     Chamber deliberates on the point, first off I have been very careful.

25     Everyone in the courtroom, of course, is sensitive to their good name,

Page 28133

 1     reputation, and good faith, and the Prosecution is no different in that

 2     respect than everyone else.  And I was once again very careful not to

 3     base any of this on any allegation of bad faith.  But be that as it may,

 4     it doesn't change the bottom line in that the Prosecution has been

 5     provided information that it cannot -- it cannot reasonably deal with in

 6     the short amount of time that it has now to prepare.  I emphasize this,

 7     Your Honour, in light of other issues that we've previously brought to

 8     the Chamber's attention, and I will briefly remind the Chamber not to

 9     consider this issue in isolation.

10             We have a situation where we have been receiving, and

11     Mr. Karnavas knows that he and I have been engaged in ongoing dialogue

12     about this, what the Prosecution continues to consider insufficient Rule

13     65 ter summaries.  They're general.  Again, I understand the difficulties

14     of getting with these witnesses and getting the information, but again

15     the bottom line is Rule 65 ter (g) requires meaningful summaries of the

16     facts that the witness is going to put forward to be summarized and

17     provided to both the Chamber, not just the Prosecution but to the

18     Chamber.  It is not simply a listing of topics, of positions that the

19     witness has held, or the topics that will be explained.  It is the

20     evidence of the witness.  It is a summary of the evidence of the facts of

21     the witness that will be put forward.  Both the Chamber is at a

22     continuing disadvantage and the Prosecution is at a continuing

23     disadvantage when we do not have adequate summaries.

24             Now, compound that with the fact that for most of these

25     witnesses, many of these witnesses, we also do not have any prior

Page 28134

 1     statement of the witness, unlike the Prosecution witnesses in which

 2     statements of these witnesses -- of our witnesses were provided sometimes

 3     years, literally years in advance, unlike here.  So now we have a

 4     situation where we're getting in our view, respectful submission,

 5     inadequate summaries, no statements, and then trying to prepare and then

 6     we get this much material on short notice.  And again, I appreciate

 7     Mr. Karnavas sending it to us in various pieces over the last couple of

 8     days, I appreciate that, but the bottom line, Your Honour, is it does not

 9     provide the Prosecution an adequate opportunity to review this material.

10     It is not -- it is simply the rules -- the rules are the rules, and I

11     made the point the other day that if there are rules that apply to

12     everyone, that applied to the parties and apply to the Chamber.  The

13     rules require a certain process to be followed in terms of disclosure,

14     and this is not -- this is not the process.  It is not up to the

15     Prosecution to scramble, to put the burden on us to scramble when parties

16     don't meet the rules.  And so that is the bottom line.  We cannot do

17     this, Your Honour, it's not fair.  Whenever this happened in the

18     Prosecution case, what the Chamber consistently did was defer the

19     cross-examination until all the material could be studied, translated and

20     studied, and the Chamber did that consistently during the Prosecution

21     case, and I'm sure the Chamber will not treat the Prosecution different

22     than it treated the Defence.

23             MR. KARNAVAS:  If I may just briefly respond because I do wish to

24     get on with the testimony.  When it comes to personal notes, the

25     Prosecution obviously could not compel certain witnesses, albeit they

Page 28135

 1     came in from certain organizations where you would expect there to be

 2     some sort of transparency, he could not compel them to turn over their

 3     notes very well.  Here there is no rule that I have to turn over

 4     handwritten notes to anyone, and I could have easily not done so and we

 5     wouldn't be in this discussion.  However, in fairness because the

 6     gentleman indicated that this report was made from his handwritten note

 7     or his diary I thought, you know, it would be best to turn it over.

 8             I received -- when I received this diary was on Thursday, this

 9     Thursday, when I received it in English.  Without even reading it, I

10     basically glanced at it, my first reaction was:  Turn it over.  There's

11     no prejudice to the Prosecution in my opinion.  Have they read this, they

12     would see, for instance, if they wanted any particular incident they

13     could then go to the note, they have B/C/S speakers.  So it's not at

14     their disadvantage, that's number one.

15             Number two, I know that there's an ongoing dialogue and to the

16     extent the Prosecution wishes additional information, we do provide it.

17     For instance, there was one witness, I won't mention his name because

18     he's a protected witness, but they asked for additional information.  I

19     brought it to their attention that, number one, the OTP took a statement

20     from that particular witness in 1996.  That statement in and of itself

21     covers the entire testimony.  OTP statement taken from a witness over a

22     period of two days in 1996.  That witness also testified and Mr. Scott

23     was the one that cross-examined the witness.  So how can that -- what

24     more do they need?  He's going to be speaking about the events.  The

25     events are locked into a particular set of time, time frame.  With this

Page 28136

 1     particular witness let's be realistic also.  Mr. Zoric testified,

 2     Mr. Zoric was the number two.  If you look at the documents that we

 3     intend to go through with Mr. Rebic, many, many, many of them have

 4     already gone through -- we've gone through Dr. Zoric.  The subject matter

 5     is the same.  So there's -- there are no real surprises.

 6             Now, I understand as a matter of principle, the Prosecution is

 7     laying down their marker for future purposes.  I leave it to the Court's

 8     discretion, but at some point enough is enough.  We have to decide.

 9     We're not -- you -- and I just want to say this and I say it with the

10     utmost respect, I know I have my disagreements with some members of the

11     Trial Chamber, but I'll be very, very blunt:  This Trial Chamber cannot

12     compel me to provide a statement from a witness.  It cannot do so.  It's

13     not called for in the Statute, it's not for in the rules, and it would be

14     ultra vires for this Trial Chamber to do so against Dr. Prlic or anyone

15     else in this courtroom at the exclusion of everybody else who has come

16     before this Tribunal.  It's an adversarial system.  I chose not to go

17     into the mechanics, but Mr. Khan did so in a very eloquent way, but

18     basically this is the way it is.  And so I do provide whatever I'm

19     required to provide.  If they need additional information, I do.  I do so

20     in a timely fashion to the extent that is possible.

21             Now, had I received this document earlier, I would have turned it

22     over earlier, but I understand -- and again, it's not -- this is not

23     directed towards Mr. Scott, but there seems to be an impression that's

24     being created that somehow we are being less than forthright with the

25     parties and the Court.  And I want to make sure that at least to the

Page 28137

 1     extent that I am aware of the Prlic Defence, every single member of the

 2     Prlic Defence is extremely professional, ethical, and honest and if there

 3     is an error I take full responsibility.  But in this instance, when I get

 4     it I turn it over.  And like I said, I saw the 200 pages and my first

 5     reaction was my God, now I've got to turn it over.  And my second

 6     reaction was to my colleague is the Prosecution is more likely than not

 7     going to ask for a continuance of the cross-examination because I know

 8     what their position is going to be.

 9             So I leave it to -- I leave it to Your Honours.  But I would say

10     before you hear -- before you make a decision perhaps we should hear the

11     direct examination, and then I would also urge that we go forward, at

12     least with some cross, so that the gentleman doesn't have to come back.

13     He's very old.  He's had heart surgery.  He has an extremely busy

14     schedule.  It's very difficult for me to meet with him, and I don't think

15     it's convenient for me to be telling every one of my witnesses you're

16     going to have to come back because this is a good way for me to lose

17     witnesses.

18             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] The Chamber will deliberate on

19     this.

20             We've just spent 20 minutes dealing with this, and I have two

21     things to say.  First of all - and this is my own personal opinion - as

22     the Presiding Judge I have to say this.  We have a document here that's

23     216 pages long.  It's a document in B/C/S.  Of course that can be

24     problematic, but when I turn my eyes to the Prosecution desks I see here

25     that we have four representatives of the OTP and one is enough, the

Page 28138

 1     others could very well meet with a staff member of the OTP who can speak

 2     B/C/S and during the examination-in-chief they could work on these 216

 3     pages to find out if there's anything of importance in these 216 pages.

 4             Secondly, this problem is likely to occur time and time again.

 5     I've had a look at Mr. Prlic's witness list until the 3rd of July.  I've

 6     noted that a number of prominent persons will come and testify.  They

 7     probably have personal notes, and we run the risk of being faced with

 8     this situation time and time again.  If a witness arrives and submits his

 9     personal notes to Mr. Karnavas, 200, 400, 1.000 pages of notes, then the

10     Prosecution will tell us, We can't cross-examine.  This situation may

11     occur time and time again because the witnesses we are going to have in

12     the near future are not victims; they are people who held high positions.

13     And if these witnesses come here with their personal notes, we might be

14     faced with documents in B/C/S counting hundreds of pages.  We can't in

15     every case postpone the cross-examination.  These are inherent

16     constraints we have here.  We have to take this into account.

17             Let me remind you that the burden of proof rests on the

18     Prosecution, and based on this principle the Defence is not obligated to

19     anything.  The only thing the Defence has to do is when calling its own

20     witnesses to provide a list of the exhibits and to provide summaries.

21     These are the obligations of the Defence based on the Rules of Procedure

22     and Evidence.

23             What concerns me is about the following witnesses - I'm not going

24     to give their names, some of them may be protected - but I'm concerned

25     that we might find ourselves in the same situation time and time again.

Page 28139

 1     Let me add that anybody who is familiar with this case is in a position

 2     and has to be able to deal with any document.  What do the Judges do when

 3     they arrive at the hearing?  Well, they receive three binders and they

 4     have to be ready to work with these binders; otherwise, they could say,

 5     Oh, we have to stop for two weeks and we'll postpone the hearing for two

 6     weeks.  But why not?  But then the trial would go on for about 20 years.

 7     Each and every one of us has to make an effort here.  Of course some

 8     requests are legitimate, but there comes a time when we shouldn't go too

 9     far.

10             Mr. Scott.

11             MR. SCOTT:  Your Honour, with the greatest respect I must say

12     that I'm shocked by the Chamber's -- by the President's comments just

13     now.  What I've just heard the Chamber say is:  We don't have time to

14     enforce the rules and if the rules can't be complied with so be it.  I

15     will not be put on the defensive on this issue, I will not have the

16     Prosecution put on the defensive this issue.  There are rules to be

17     enforced.

18             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Scott --

19             MR. SCOTT:  I will stop and then I will continue, Your Honour.

20             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] -- there must be a mistake in

21     the translation.  I've never said that -- you always interrupt me when I

22     speak, but before you do so check what I've said.  I've never said what

23     you've just told us about the Rules.  I've said that as part of the Rules

24     of Procedure and Evidence the only obligation of the Defence is to

25     provide the list of the exhibits and the summaries.  That's what I said.

Page 28140

 1     I didn't say anything more.  You are interpreting my words.  Of course

 2     there might be a mistake in the translation, and that's why you may have

 3     not quite understood what I was talking about.

 4             MR. SCOTT:  No, Your Honour, again with great respect what I was

 5     referring to was your comments just a few meant moments ago when you were

 6     concerned that this same procedure, this same situation, can develop in

 7     the future and that if it happened it would result in delaying the trial.

 8     That is my concern.  And what the Chamber has -- excuse me, not the

 9     Chamber, Mr. President, what you were then saying is that because it

10     would delay the trial we can't follow the Rules and that is fundamentally

11     inconsistent as I was beginning to say when I deferred back to the

12     President.  Your Honour, I will not be put in the defensive -- on the

13     defensive on this issue.  I will not have the Prosecution put on the

14     defensive on this issue.  The Prosecution is doing its job.  There are

15     rules to be followed here.  I did not accuse Mr. Karnavas of any bad

16     faith, but the bottom line is the rules have to be enforced and there are

17     disclosure rules and they have not been followed, perhaps in good faith,

18     they have not be satisfied in this case.  I will not be the one in this

19     courtroom to be put on the defensive when I am the one that's only just

20     now received this material, and it is not up to my staff to stand up all

21     night trying to read 213 pages of untranslated B/C/S material just so

22     this trial can go forward when people don't comply with the rules.

23             And I am shocked.  I am shocked by the President's statements.  I

24     hope the rest of the Chamber will have a more reasoned view and that the

25     Chamber will do what it's done in the past and there will be an

Page 28141

 1     opportunity for the Prosecution to have this material in ample time

 2     translated to be able to prepare for cross-examination which is its right

 3     to do.

 4             MR. KHAN:  Your Honour --

 5             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Khan, I can't let Mr. Scott

 6     say that.

 7             Mr. Scott is shocked.  He's very easily shocked.  I don't know

 8     why.  He's shocked hearing me say that when I look at the table of

 9     witnesses who will come and testify until the 3rd of July I find that

10     there are a lot of witnesses who may, who may, bring personal notes when

11     they come to The Hague.  And then in that particular situation at the

12     weekend Mr. Karnavas will submit these notes to the Prosecution because

13     the gentleman will come on the 9th of June, for example, is likely to

14     produce personal notes.  He may do so, he might not do so.  But if he

15     does so, if he submits personal notes we will find ourselves in the exact

16     same situation --

17             MR. SCOTT:  We will, Your Honour and --

18             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] -- I don't understand why

19     you're shocked --

20             MR. KHAN:  Your Honour, I do apologise --

21             MR. SCOTT:  [Microphone not activated].

22             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] -- when I'm talking about

23     something that could very well happen.

24             MR. KHAN:  -- sorry, I do apologies.  Your Honour I do apologies.

25     This is not a jack-in-the-box system of justice in which people can

Page 28142

 1     simply stand up and start responding to the Bench as if there is an

 2     equality between all three parties in the court --

 3             MR. SCOTT:  [Microphone not activated] -- specifically his

 4     comments to me, and I asked to respond directly to the President's


 6             MR. KHAN:  Your Honour, perhaps if I can just say something that

 7     may assist and of course my learned friend can respond with your leave at

 8     the end.  And Your Honour, it is with an endeavour to assist.  One cannot

 9     but help recollect the comments of your learned brother, Judge Prandler,

10     some weeks ago in which he drew attention to the vast amount of time that

11     has been taken to procedural matters.  Your Honour, in making

12     submissions, it behooves us not as laypersons but as attorneys who are

13     licensed to practice and who should have and who have experience as

14     lawyers to follow a somewhat disciplined approach.

15             Now, Your Honour, just looking at this instance in the court for

16     the last half an hour, it views -- it displays, in my respectful

17     submission, a microcosm of one of the maladies that have afflicted, in my

18     very respectful submission, some of the proceedings.

19             My learned friend started off with a specific application, he

20     said it would not take long, and it referred in essence to the documents

21     produced by my learned friend Mr. Karnavas and in particular, perhaps, 1D

22     02922, and that was the thrust of the application.  That was responded to

23     by my learned friend Mr. Karnavas.  Now, the first point I have to make

24     is that under the Rules there is no right of reply to an issue.  All

25     pertinent grounds must be raised in an application of first instance.

Page 28143

 1             My learned friend stood up and in his reply he expanded his

 2     objection to these old chestnuts, if I put it colloquially, about the

 3     insufficiency of a 65 ter statement, his being -- his lament at not

 4     having prior statements.  Your Honours, how many times in a court of law

 5     does it behoove the parties to go over the same ground?  It expands the

 6     ambit of procedural matters completely unnecessarily.

 7             My learned friend has said and his exact words were "rules are

 8     the rules."  He's very adamant the rules are the rules, that I agree.

 9     Well, in that case my learned friend is a lawyer and I do -- I do have to

10     say with the greatest respect, one should refer to the rules and say in

11     what respect is there non-compliance.  Of course the duties of the

12     Prosecution under 66 and 68 are specific, they are different to the

13     obligations of the Defence because they emanate from the burden of proof

14     and their responsibility to bring a case and to prove it.  Your Honour,

15     in this instance of course we don't have, to use that awful phrase, and

16     we don't have a dog in this fight, but in relation to 1D 02922 there's no

17     obligation on the Defence to produce documents that they're not seeking

18     to use.  If my learned friend has produced a document over and beyond the

19     call of the Rules simply to let my learned friend have a view of the

20     case, but is not seeking to use that document, I don't see for the life

21     of me how a party that has no right to such document can be said to be

22     prejudiced.

23             But, Your Honour, be that as it may, I think it only behooves us

24     to be rather disciplined as lawyers in our approach to all matters, legal

25     submissions and responses, but unless we, you know, grasp this nettle

Page 28144

 1     these are going to be very painful proceedings and much longer than they

 2     should otherwise be.

 3             Your Honour, I do apologise to my learned friend for interrupting

 4     him.  It is with a spirit of cooperation.  Of course he can respond to

 5     whatever I have said that may have merit or not have merit and of course

 6     to what Mr. President said earlier with their leave.  I'm grateful.

 7             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Well, Mr. Scott, for the

 8     umpteenth time you have the floor to reply.

 9             MR. SCOTT:  Well, Your Honour, that's really not necessarily

10     either, with all respect.

11             I am quite confident that if the -- that if anyone who cares to

12     take the time to analyse the amount of time spent on procedural matters

13     in this case, I am a hundred per cent confident that the Chamber would

14     find the Prosecution has spent a hugely small, incontestably small

15     percentage of that time.  I will not apologise.  I will not apologise for

16     raising issues which I believe that I'm professionally obligated to raise

17     in the interests of the Prosecution, in the interests of the victims and

18     the international community which we represent.  I will not apologise for

19     that if I think that I'm doing my job, and again I think we have used our

20     time, the record will show, quite sparingly.

21             Now, I did not expand our position except to answer the questions

22     that Mr. Karnavas has raised and then, Your Honour, points that you made.

23     I was speaking in direct response to that.

24             We believe that these are important matters, Your Honour, and

25     it's because I agree with you that this could arise with future witnesses

Page 28145

 1     that it can be dealt with.  If that's the case then Mr. Karnavas knows

 2     who his witnesses are, and these materials can be obtained in advance in

 3     a timely way and submitted for translation.  Now, why -- you know, he

 4     knows which witnesses are coming between now and July, there is a

 5     telephone, he can call them up, have you made prior statements, are there

 6     additional documents that you provided to us, did you keep a diary, and

 7     if so it can be provided.  But, you know, it's not my fault.  Maybe it's

 8     not Mr. Karnavas's completely fault, but it's certainly not the

 9     Prosecution's fault that we only received this material just now and the

10     remedy is not to ignore it.  The remedy is not to dismiss the

11     Prosecution's concerns.  The remedy is indeed to enforce the rules about

12     disclosure and fair conduct.  Fair conduct.

13             I'm a little bit -- I'm a little bit, I have to say I'm a little

14     bit - what should the word should I use?  - perturbed, concerned when I

15     say, Well, the Rules don't require.  Well, I'm sure that everyone in the

16     courtroom -- well, presumably everyone in the courtroom wants to conduct

17     themselves in a fair way and not do the bare minimum, the bare minimum

18     that may perhaps the Rules require.  And that's the position, Your

19     Honour.

20             So let me be very clear with the greatest respect to the Chamber,

21     and I have great respect for all four of you.  But in all fairness I am

22     not apologetic for our position.  I will not be defensive about it.

23     There are rules about disclosure, we have just received it, and we will

24     insist in the future, and if it happens again, Your Honour is absolutely

25     right, I will be on my feet again.  And if it means doing it every time

Page 28146

 1     I'll do it every time for the Rules to be enforced in a fair and

 2     reasonable way.  That's all that the Prosecution has asked for.  Thank

 3     you.

 4             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well.

 5             Let's have the witness brought in.

 6             The Trial Chamber recalls that it has granted four hours for the

 7     examination-in-chief.

 8                           [The witness entered court]

 9             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Good afternoon, sir.  Let me

10     first check that you can hear me.  If you can hear me, please say so.

11             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Good afternoon to everyone.

12             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well.

13             Could you please, sir, state your name, first name and date of

14     birth.

15             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I'm Adalbert Rebic, the 23rd of

16     January, 1937.

17             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I am under the impression that

18     I can't hear the French booth, but I see that you were born on the 23rd

19     of January, 1937.  Can you tell me if you have a current occupation?

20             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I have retired from the Zagreb

21     university where I used to teach at its faculty of theology.  Partially,

22     however, I'm still busy as the director of Krscansk Sadasnjost which is a

23     publishing house.

24             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Sir, have you had an

25     opportunity to testify before a national or international court as to the

Page 28147

 1     events that took place in the former Yugoslavia or is this the first time

 2     you're going to testify?

 3             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] This is the first time I appear

 4     before this Tribunal.

 5             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Please read out the solemn

 6     declaration.

 7             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will

 8     speak the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.

 9                           WITNESS:  ADALBERT REBIC

10                           [Witness answered through interpreter]

11             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you, sir.  Please be

12     seated.

13             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you.

14             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Some brief explanations on my

15     part.  Mr. Karnavas is the counsel you're bound to have met, probably he

16     told you the same thing, but I'd rather say it again.  This is a trial of

17     Anglo-Saxon type, if I may say, and you are to answer, first, questions

18     put to you by Mr. Karnavas, who's on your left.  He is going to ask

19     questions of you and submit documents to you.

20             You have four Judges in front of you.  They too, based on the

21     documents or based on your answers, can ask questions in order to shed

22     light on specific parts of your answers.  The Prosecutor is sitting on

23     your right.  As part of the cross-examination - it may be this week or

24     later, the Trial Chamber will decide later - the Prosecutor will ask

25     questions as part of the cross-examination.  But the counsel representing

Page 28148

 1     other accused because Mr. Karnavas is the representative of Mr. Prlic but

 2     there are other accused, their counsel can after Mr. Karnavas has

 3     completed his examination-in-chief ask questions as part of the

 4     cross-examination carried out by other accused.

 5             You are a professor, so you know better than anyone that you are

 6     supposed to answer briefly, whilst the questions put to you may be very

 7     complex and complicated.  So do endeavour to highlight the most relevant

 8     parts in your answers because everything you are about to say is going to

 9     be recorded.  This is the reason why you have on the screen before you

10     our words as they have been interpreted.

11             If you do not understand the meaning of a question, do not

12     hesitate to ask the one putting the question to you to reformulate it.

13     As a matter of a rule we have a break every an hour and a half and they

14     last 20 minutes.  But if at any time you do not feel, you want to have a

15     break, if you need a rest, there again do not hesitate to say so and I

16     shall call for a break.

17             We're supposed to be sitting in the afternoons until Thursday.

18     On Thursday we will finish at the latest around 6.30 in the afternoon,

19     6.25 or 6.30.  You have just made a solemn declaration; therefore, you

20     are a witness of the Court and you're not supposed to have any contact

21     with Defence counsel or with the Prosecutor, otherwise your testimony

22     would not have the same value.  If at any point in time you feel a need

23     to ask a question of the Judges, we're here to answer any question you

24     may have.

25             This being said, I'm now going to give the floor to Mr. Karnavas.

Page 28149

 1     He has - and I'm looking at the watch - he has four hours.

 2             MR. KARNAVAS:  Good afternoon again Mr. President, Your Honours.

 3     Good afternoon, everyone in and around the court.

 4                                Examination by Mr. Karnavas:

 5        Q.   Good afternoon, Mr. Rebic.

 6        A.   Good afternoon.

 7        Q.   With the Court's permission and unless there are objections from

 8     the Prosecution I would ask some leading questions regarding the

 9     gentleman's background, just the background, to save some time.

10             As I understand it, Dr. Rebic, you hold a doctorate degree in

11     theology or philosophy; is that correct?

12        A.   It is correct.

13        Q.   You got your Ph.D. in the Gregorian institute or the Gregorian

14     Papal University in Rome; is that correct?

15        A.   That is correct; however, my Ph.D. is in theology rather than

16     philosophy.

17        Q.   In theology, that's correct.  And, in fact, you did your

18     dissertation in Germany?

19        A.   That is correct.

20        Q.   And speaking of languages, you speak several languages, including

21     German, French, English, I believe Hebrew, you understand fluently

22     Slovenian, and there might be another language -- and you speak Italian

23     as well?

24        A.   That is right.  I spent eight years studying in Rome; however, I

25     must say that some of my languages are better than others.  I used to

Page 28150

 1     teach Hebrew, for years I taught at the university.  The Hebrew language

 2     that the Old Testament and the Bible had been written in.  I can

 3     understand the Israelites in Israel; however, it is a living language

 4     that they use there and I have a certain degree of difficulty

 5     understanding it since one needs to be immersed into it to be able to

 6     understand it fully.

 7        Q.   All right.  And as I understand it you've published over 20

 8     books, and you've written over 20 books, and you have also translated

 9     over 35; is that correct?

10        A.   That is right.

11        Q.   And with respect to your testimony here today and for the rest of

12     the week, from 1991 to 1996 you were the head of the Office for Displaced

13     Persons and Refugees for the Republic of Croatia; is that correct?

14        A.   That is correct.

15        Q.   And I believe for one year, I believe it was 1995, you served as

16     a minister without portfolio?

17        A.   That is right.

18        Q.   All right.  Now, before we get into the documents I thought I

19     would ask a series of general questions that might be of some importance

20     to everyone and it will lay out more or less the outline for the

21     remainder of your testimony on direct examination.  First and foremost,

22     as I understand it, over the years, 1991 to 1996, you had many

23     opportunities to be with Dr. Tudjman, who was the president of the

24     Republic of Croatia at the time; correct?

25        A.   That is correct.

Page 28151

 1        Q.   You sat at meetings, government meetings, where he presided?

 2        A.   Yes, government meetings and at various meetings at which the

 3     issue of displaced persons and refugees was discussed.

 4        Q.   All right.  Now, it's the Prosecution's theory that President

 5     Tudjman had a vision, a wish, to recreate the Banovina Hrvatska, and in

 6     attempting to do so he was trying to carve up Bosnia and Herzegovina

 7     during the period that you were serving as the head of the Office of

 8     Displaced Persons and Refugees.  Now, could you please describe to us and

 9     tell us based on your insight, based on your association with Dr. Tudjman

10     and your participating -- participation in meetings what you believe

11     Dr. Tudjman's position was concerning the Banovina Hrvatska and the

12     carving up of Bosnia and Herzegovina?

13        A.   Dr. Tudjman was a historian; as such, he knew very well that

14     Croats and Serbs before World War II had agreed to provide greater

15     autonomy to Croats.  In that regard, Croatia had been given a part of the

16     territory of what is today Bosnia-Herzegovina, where they made up the

17     majority of the population.  That entity, the Banovina, fell through in

18     1944 and --

19             THE INTERPRETER:  Interpreter's correction, 1941.

20             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] -- when the independent Republic of

21     Croatia was created, the so-called NDH.  As a historian who was concerned

22     with the fate of Croats in Bosnia-Herzegovina, Tudjman busied himself

23     with an idea of reviving the old agreement between the Serbs and Croats.

24     He didn't break up Bosnia-Herzegovina.  Before Tudjman we had the Serbian

25     aggression, the Serbian aggression caused Bosnia-Herzegovina not only to

Page 28152

 1     come under attack but also to break up.  When the peoples of

 2     Bosnia-Herzegovina decided to become independent, much the same the

 3     Croatian and Slovenian citizens had done before them, it was then that

 4     Dr. Tudjman, who by that time had become the president of the Republic of

 5     Croatia, accepted that fact.

 6             Croatia was the first, if I'm not mistaken, to recognise the

 7     Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina, which became internationally recognised

 8     at some point.  He respected its borders and integrity.  In different

 9     negotiations there were attempts to carve up Bosnia-Herzegovina into

10     certain parts within its state borders, and I have in mind the cantons.

11     It was Tudjman who was always trying to make sure that the Croatian

12     people in Bosnia-Herzegovina should be not left behind since they lived

13     there for 13 centuries and he wanted to ensure their survival alongside

14     the other two peoples, the Serbians and the Bosniaks.  They were supposed

15     to be a constituent part of that state of Bosnia-Herzegovina alongside

16     the other two peoples.

17             It is my belief and my impression he stood by that position until

18     his death.  After Bosnia-Herzegovina had been recognised, he never wanted

19     to tamper with its integrity.

20        Q.   All right.  Now, with respect to the Office of Displaced Persons

21     and Refugees, it has been alleged that it played a part in a joint

22     criminal enterprise in that at some point part of this criminal

23     enterprise was to ethnically cleanse Bosnia-Herzegovina of its Muslim

24     population in certain areas, and your office was used as sort of a

25     transit centre, you used camps as transit centres in order to get Muslims

Page 28153

 1     from Bosnia-Herzegovina as far away from Bosnia-Herzegovina with the

 2     expectation or hope that they would not return.

 3             Let me ask this question.  To your understanding, while you were

 4     there as head of the office, was your office used in any way for any

 5     criminal purposes?

 6        A.   No, never.  Our office was a humanitarian entity rather than a

 7     political one.  Our main task was to work under difficult wartime

 8     conditions in the area of the former Yugoslavia, trying to take care of

 9     all those in plight, including our own Croatian citizens who when certain

10     parts of Croatia were occupied, found themselves in dire straits.  They

11     had been expelled from their homes and as early as 1991, towards the end

12     of that year, we had around 400.000 displaced persons.  When the conflict

13     or the aggression directed at the Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina took

14     place, from Bosnia-Herzegovina itself, numerous refugees came who were

15     citizens of Bosnia-Herzegovina seeking refuge in the Republic of Croatia.

16     As the governmental office in charge of displaced persons and refugees,

17     to the extent possible, we provided decent accommodation for them.

18             One needs to bear in mind that at different times we had over 1

19     million of refugees and displaced persons, meaning that some of them were

20     Croatian citizens while others were people from Bosnia-Herzegovina and we

21     had to take care of them.  Approximately that is 12 to 15 per cent of the

22     population of the Republic of Croatia, and that is only the refugees.

23     When we add our own displaced persons to that figure, it rose up to 20

24     per cent.  It would be the same as if, say, today in Germany you had 20

25     million displaced persons and refugees.  Try and imagine how a powerful

Page 28154

 1     economy such as the German one would cope with 20 million of displaced

 2     persons and refugees.

 3             One also needs to bear in mind that Croatia at the time it was

 4     under attack itself almost one-quarter of the country had been occupied

 5     by Serbs and paramilitary Serb units.  The economy was crippled.

 6     However, we did muster courage with enormous support of our own citizens

 7     and assistance of international organizations, first and foremost the

 8     UNHCR and European Union, and we did manage to provide accommodation for

 9     the displaced persons and refugees.  In no circumstances could one say

10     that Croatia was trying to ethnically cleanse Bosnia-Herzegovina of

11     anyone.  That would be playing a very dirty trick upon the Croatian state

12     and its people.

13        Q.   Let me interrupt.  I'm going to ask you a series of questions,

14     rather short answers, and then I can follow up.  Okay.

15             Now, first of all, again general questions.  Displaced

16     persons/refugees, to your understanding did your office make a

17     distinction between, you know, as far as treatment - we understand the

18     legal difference, what a displaced person is and what a refugee - but did

19     your office make a distinction with respect to treatment, whether it be

20     accommodation, whether it be food, whether it be education?  Can you

21     comment on that?

22        A.   To the extent possible for us, there was no distinction in terms

23     of the treatment of those two categories.  To me personally these people

24     were people in plight who needed help.

25        Q.   All right.  Now, what about accommodation, because we heard one

Page 28155

 1     particular witness come here, Azra Krajsek, who had quite a few

 2     complaints, allegations I should say, but let's talk about accommodation.

 3     Did your office reserve, say, the better accommodation for displaced

 4     Croats and then say refugees of Croatian origins from Bosnia-Herzegovina,

 5     and then sort of gave the Muslims or Serbs or whoever else whatever was

 6     left over?  What was the procedure?

 7        A.   In principle, the procedure applied the same way to everyone, the

 8     displaced persons and the refugees from Bosnia-Herzegovina.  However, one

 9     needs to know that Croatia came under attack first, and first we had the

10     displaced persons in Croatia.  During 1991 these people were being

11     accommodated in various available types of accommodation at the time.

12     What I have in mind are lower-ranking hotels, private homes, and the

13     homes of anyone who was willing to temporarily accommodate them.  Of

14     course at the time no one had any idea as to how long the war would last.

15     We all thought that it would cease shortly, and after that we expected

16     the people to be able to return to their homes.  It was only after that

17     that the war in Bosnia-Herzegovina took place.  An enormous amount of

18     refugees flooded over the border from Bosnia-Herzegovina.  At that point

19     we were exhausted.  It was barely possible to find any accommodation for

20     such great numbers of people.

21             One also needs to bear in mind that in 1992 we had around 400.000

22     refugees from Bosnia-Herzegovina, alongside 250.000 our own Croatian

23     citizens who were displaced.  In such circumstances, it became a miracle

24     to find good accommodation.  For the refugees we tried to come up with

25     certain locations along the Adriatic coast which had been used for

Page 28156

 1     vacation spots for workers --

 2             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Witness, excuse me, I have a

 3     problem with the end of your answer.  I'd like you to shed some more

 4     light on this.  You make a distinction between the Serb aggression and

 5     the -- later the war in Bosnia-Herzegovina.  Can we stay with the Serb

 6     aggression first of all.  I'd like to know when this Serb aggression, as

 7     you qualify it, took place apparently in 1991.  At that time was there an

 8     influx of refugees or displaced persons towards Croatia from BiH?  Or you

 9     gave a figure of 400.000 people, line 20, page 27, did those people

10     arrive only when there was a conflict in BiH?

11             To sum it up, I'd like to know the following:  Were there

12     refugees from BiH during the aggression by the Serbs, regardless of the

13     conflict later on in BiH?

14             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, when talking about the

15     aggression, I mean to say that it was done by the Yugoslav People's Army

16     who was controlled at the time by the Serbs and various Serb paramilitary

17     units who attacked Croatia.  The same type of aggression occurred, I

18     believe, in April 1992.  It was just that at that time it was directed at

19     Bosnia-Herzegovina.  The same type of aggression befell our neighbouring

20     state, Bosnia-Herzegovina.  Since that aggression or war, whichever way

21     you want to put it, first happened against Croatia, 1991, it was first

22     the Croatian citizens who were supposed to flee the occupied territories

23     of eastern and Western Slavonia, the area of the Banovina, Knin, and

24     parts of Dalmatia.  They came to the free territory of Croatia where they

25     were accommodated as displaced persons.  In 1992, as of the month of

Page 28157

 1     April and May, that aggression occurred in Bosnia-Herzegovina as well.

 2     One just needs to remember the occupation of Sarajevo and other towns.

 3     It was at that point that the refugees from Bosnia-Herzegovina began

 4     arriving in Croatia.

 5             Temporally speaking, during 1991 we had some 400.000 displaced

 6     persons within the borders of the Republic of Croatia.  After that, many

 7     Croatian citizens also fled to Austria, Slovenia, and Germany.  After

 8     January 1992 when a truce was achieved and the tensions calmed down, some

 9     people began returning to the previously occupied territories from

10     Slovenia and from the free territory of Croatia, slowly bringing down the

11     number of displaced persons in Croatia.

12             In 1992 when the aggression against Bosnia-Herzegovina took

13     place, from one week to the next we had a sharp increase of refugees from

14     Bosnia-Herzegovina.  We had accommodated our displaced persons, our own

15     citizens, during 1991 and we were doing the same thing when it came to

16     the citizens of the Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina, irrespective of their

17     ethnicity, irrespective of whether they were Croats, Serbs, or Bosniaks.

18     There was no difference for us.  We accommodated them at such locations

19     that we had at our disposal.  We urgently requested the Ministry of

20     Defence to put large barracks at our disposal which had been used by the

21     Yugoslav People's Army.  These barracks held good infrastructure and were

22     fit to accommodate a large number of people from Bosnia-Herzegovina.  We

23     also accommodated them in various tourist facilities --

24             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Witness, let me interrupt you

25     because I'm sure that the Defence counsel will deal with that.  I'm

Page 28158

 1     interested in what you've said at line 11.  You are saying that in 1992

 2     when the aggression against Bosnia-Herzegovina took place there was a

 3     sharp increase of refugees from Bosnia-Herzegovina, and I'd like to know

 4     the following because here we are dealing with the heart of the matter.

 5     From that period on, did you see Muslims arrive in Bosnia and

 6     Herzegovina, Muslims coming from Herzegovina?  Was there an influx of

 7     Muslims coming in, people who following the fighting led by the Serbs

 8     left Bosnia and Herzegovina to come to Croatia?

 9             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] There were refugees from Mostar,

10     both Croats and Muslims, because both felt equally threatened by the

11     Yugoslav People's Army and the Serb paramilitary units.  However, most of

12     these refugees in the first few months of the war in Bosnia and

13     Herzegovina came from the eastern parts of Bosnia-Herzegovina, from

14     Central Bosnia, from Sarajevo, and from Eastern Herzegovina.  At the time

15     Western Herzegovina had been attacked at the very outset, at the very

16     beginning of the aggression, but managed to fight off the aggressors and

17     maintain -- it fended off the threat.  The threat stopped at the River

18     Neretva in Mostar so that parts of the JNA owing to the joint forces of

19     the HVO, the Croatian Defence Council, and the Muslims were pushed back.

20             One should also know that in Herzegovina the majority population

21     are Croats.  If I'm not wrong, 96 per cent of the population of Western

22     Herzegovina are of Croatian ethnicity.  There were people from there

23     among the refugees of Bosnia-Herzegovina also, and we accommodated them

24     as well.  Let me repeat once more that in all these events in accepting

25     and accommodating refugees from Bosnia-Herzegovina, we did not draw any

Page 28159

 1     distinctions between them.  We offered the same accommodation to both,

 2     and very often they were accommodated together in the same refugee

 3     centres.  So it could happen, for example, that in Gasinci there were

 4     Catholics together with Muslims, and in Gasinci we had a Catholic chapel

 5     and a mosque for the Muslims.

 6             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Let me stop you here.  We'll

 7     probably deal with this later on through Defence counsel's questions.

 8             JUDGE PRANDLER:  I'm sorry, Mr. Karnavas, and of course I don't

 9     want to stop the proceedings here, but I only have seen one number here

10     which was mentioned by our witness, and Dr. Rebic said that, and I quote

11     him from line 20:  "If I'm not wrong, 96 per cent of the population of

12     Western Herzegovina are of Croatian ethnicity."

13             So of course I'm not so well-versed as far as the geographical

14     terms are concerned about Western Herzegovina, but so far we have seen

15     various approaches and numbers there according to the percentage of

16     Croats and Muslims, Bosniaks, and Serbs.  So therefore, I wonder if the

17     96 per cent relates to a territory which could be a bit closely -- in a

18     more closer way to say which territory you had in mind, Dr. Rebic, about

19     the Western Herzegovina as having 96 per cent of Croats.

20             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, I will tell you some of the

21     towns in that area Medjugorje, which is well-known as the place of the

22     apparition of the blessed Virgin Mary, and the people there are all

23     Catholics; Capljina, is another town; Tomislavgrad, although some people

24     think Tomislavgrad is in Bosnia, the border is not so firm there;

25     Ljubuski is inhabited by Croats.  It's hard to say whether it's 94 per

Page 28160

 1     cent or 96 per cent because when the census was taken some Muslims

 2     declared themselves as Croats.  In Mostar it was already the tradition

 3     for there to be Muslims who declared themselves as Croats.  I personally

 4     saw many documents shown to me by Muslims arriving from

 5     Bosnia-Herzegovina.  These were their school certificates, for example,

 6     where it said Croat by ethnicity.  So it would be very heard, looking at

 7     it from today's point of view, to divide that population into Croats and

 8     Muslims.

 9             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Professor, following up on my

10     colleague's question, I must say that this figure of 96 per cent struck

11     me as well.  But you seem to be maintaining what you've said.  You say

12     that in Capljina the majority of the population was Croat.  You also

13     mention Ljubuski, that's not been recorded properly on the transcript --

14     oh, yes, it has.  So Ljubuski as well.  And that's why I have the

15     following question.  If there were about 100 per cent of Croats, what's

16     the point of ethnic cleansing?  If they make up the majority, what's the

17     point?  Are you sure about your figures?

18             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I don't know what

19     ethnic cleansing you are referring to in this case.  May I ask that, Your

20     Honour?

21             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Ethnic cleansing, it's

22     mentioned in the indictment where it is stated that the HVO forced

23     populations to move, drove Muslims out, in order for the majority of the

24     population to be Croat.  But could that be possible with areas where the

25     population is 96 per cent Croats in the first place?  Do you maintain

Page 28161

 1     your figures?

 2             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.

 3             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Fine.

 4             Mr. Karnavas, sorry for this digression, but there were a number

 5     of points that we needed to address.

 6             MR. KARNAVAS:  Yes, thank you, Mr. President.

 7        Q.   Just one point of clarification, you had indicated that the --

 8     that in 1992 the aggression had stopped at the Neretva river, and I just

 9     want to make sure that we're clear.  It was the HVO along with the Muslim

10     forces that repelled the JNA; that was your understanding, correct, not

11     that the HVO was working with the JNA?

12        A.   No, they were against the JNA.

13        Q.   Okay.

14        A.   Both the Croats and the Muslims were against the JNA.  In 1992

15     there was absolute harmony between the Muslims and the Catholics, I'll

16     call them Catholics now, or rather, the Bosniak Muslims and the Bosnian

17     Croats.  At that time there was absolute agreement among them and

18     harmony, and wherever they could they put up a joint resistance against

19     the occupiers.

20        Q.   And to follow up on another question, in 1992 when you were asked

21     about refugees coming in to Croatia from Bosnia-Herzegovina, would it be

22     fair to say that they were coming from the Posavina area?

23        A.   Yes, they were coming from the Posavina area also; moreover,

24     large numbers were coming from there.  There were large areas of Posavina

25     which were occupied by the JNA which was then under Serb command and

Page 28162

 1     hundreds of thousands, both Muslims and Croats, crossed the River Sava

 2     and arrived in Croatia.  In Croatia we gave them refuge, and that was

 3     when this refugee camp of Gasinci was built because we had to accommodate

 4     thousands of people at very short notice in a single place.

 5        Q.   So to make sure that I understand, in 1992 when they're

 6     coming - and I take it we're talking about the area of what is known as

 7     Slavonski Brod, right around that area, as early as 1992 they were being

 8     placed, these refugees, into Gasinci?

 9        A.   Yes, that's correct.

10        Q.   All right.

11        A.   It wasn't just those who came from the Bosnian Posavina area, but

12     also from the central parts of Bosnia-Herzegovina.  For example, I

13     remember that the first refugees we put up in Gasinci came from Sarajevo.

14     If I'm not wrong, there was seven or eight bus loads.  So if you

15     calculate there were 50 people per bus, there were about 400 people who

16     arrived from Sarajevo seeking accommodation in the Republic of Croatia.

17     And these were the first persons to whom we were able to offer that

18     former military training-ground which had infrastructure.  So we were

19     able to put them up in housing, in buildings.

20        Q.   All right.  Now, at some point we know because we heard testimony

21     that large numbers came to the Republic of Croatia to the point that

22     perhaps you could no longer sustain any more refugees.  My question now

23     is:  Did the Republic of Croatia to your knowledge ever shut down the

24     border for any more refugees, particularly Muslim refugees; in other

25     words, letting the Croats go but shutting down the borders for the

Page 28163

 1     Muslims?  Did it ever shut down the borders or direct them, say, to

 2     Slovenia, go around, go to Slovenia, go to Hungary, but don't come to the

 3     Republic of Croatia because we have too many already?

 4        A.   No.  During the aggression against Bosnia and Herzegovina, in

 5     that whole period of time, we never closed the borders to refugees from

 6     Bosnia-Herzegovina, and never did we send anyone back to

 7     Bosnia-Herzegovina.  That would have meant sending them back to their

 8     death.  As for other countries, under the Geneva Convention we could not

 9     and were not allowed to force these refugees to go to neighbouring

10     countries because under that convention Croatia is the first neighbouring

11     country which is obliged to protect these refugees and take care of them.

12     Had we sent them to Slovenia, Slovenia would not have accepted them.  I

13     remember on one occasion some refugees wanted to go to Slovenia on their

14     own.  They arrived at the border crossing in Bregana, where they

15     protested for two days, but the Slovenian police wouldn't let them in so

16     they had to turn back and we accommodated them in Croatia.

17             One should also bear in mind that throughout this time we were

18     working together with international humanitarian organizations and with

19     the UNHCR.  We always consulted the representatives of the UN, that is,

20     of the UNHCR, we consulted them daily.  We had good relations with them,

21     we took their advice, and in my view their advice was always the

22     following:  You take them in, you keep them here, and we will help you

23     and then later on we will see which countries are willing to receive

24     those refugees you are unable to accommodate.

25             At one point in time in a certain period of time, I think it was

Page 28164

 1     in August and September 1992, and later on in 1993 also, large waves of

 2     refugees, numerous refugees, from Bosnia-Herzegovina, arrived in Croatia

 3     and our government sent an appeal to the neighbouring countries asking

 4     for help in accommodating these refugees.

 5             We received help from Germany, which took in a large number of

 6     these refugees and accommodated them in Germany.  I remember that the

 7     Netherlands, the country I'm in now, sent trains to Karlovac to take part

 8     of the refugees and bring them to the Netherlands to be accommodated.  We

 9     also received help from Austria, Sweden, Denmark, but less from other

10     countries.  Italy accepted hardly any refugees.  France accepted hardly

11     any.  Spain accepted a negligible number.  Belgium hardly any refugees,

12     apart from those who had friends or relatives already working in Belgium

13     so that -- well, we kept records so we have precise lists.

14             Apart from the Republic of Croatia where in 1993 there were

15     250.000 refugees, there were many refugees in Germany.  And I won't go

16     into further details, I won't weary the Chamber, but our office regularly

17     drew up reports on this.  On three occasions we carried out a census of

18     the displaced persons and refugees; we were prompted to do this by the

19     UNHCR which provided us financial assistance to do so.  The first such

20     census was carried out in April, May, and June 1992 when we listed all

21     the displaced persons and refugees --

22        Q.   Let me just stop you here and I'm going to have to interrupt you

23     occasionally so we can keep your answers a little bit shorter.  Of

24     course, we do have some statistics that Hungary as well was very generous

25     in taking in large amounts of refugees.

Page 28165

 1        A.   Yes, that's correct.

 2        Q.   Whereas as I understand, Slovenia, and we'll get into it,

 3     Slovenia hardly took any, and in fact there's one great incident in this

 4     area called Pineta where they were forcing you to take out refugees from

 5     their own resort which is located in Croatia; correct?

 6        A.   To be quite honest, as regards Hungary in the first wave of

 7     aggression against Croatia, Hungary received a large number of Croats and

 8     members of ethnic minorities, including Hungarians.  They took in about

 9     30.000 people from the Osijek area.  They accommodated them very well,

10     they were very well organized.  On two or three occasions I visited them

11     in Germany --

12             THE INTERPRETER:  In Hungary, interpreter's correction.

13             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I went to visit our refugees in

14     Hungary.  But as soon as the area around Osijek was free of military

15     activity these people all started to come back.  So in late 1992 only 3

16     or 4.000, those who were from Vukovar and eastern Slavonia remained in

17     Hungary because those areas were still under occupation.

18             As for Slovenia, I have to mention with gratitude that at first

19     when Croats were fleeing from Vukovar and other parts of the Republic of

20     Croatia and even Zagreb, we even had refugees from Zagreb in Slovenia

21     because you have to know that the JNA, which was in Serb hands, was very

22     close to Zagreb, it was only some 40 kilometres away from Zagreb.  And

23     every day we heard the detonations.  You could hear them very well in

24     Zagreb from the bombing, and then some people from Zagreb fled to

25     Ljubljana, but they soon came back.  In January 1992 when military

Page 28166

 1     activity outside the occupied areas ceased these people came back and

 2     only about 20.000 Croatian refugees remained in Slovenia and we gradually

 3     had to take them back to the Republic of Croatia.

 4             As regards Pineta --

 5        Q.   We're going to get there.  But I want to just touch on some

 6     highlights.

 7             MR. KARNAVAS:  Your Honours, should we take a break now or should

 8     I continue?

 9             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] As you like it.  We can

10     continue for another five minutes if you like.

11             MR. KARNAVAS:  Another five minutes.

12        Q.   Just -- and very briefly, because we're going to get into all of

13     this in great detail.  We have documents.  We know that in 1993, starting

14     in May, sometime in May, June, July, August, there's tension in parts of

15     central Bosnia and Herzegovina between the Croats and the Muslims.  My

16     question is - and keep it very brief - at that point to your knowledge

17     did your Office of Displaced Persons and Refugees or did Croatia, the

18     Republic of Croatia, at that point, did they deny entry to any Muslims

19     coming from that area that was as a result of the conflict between the

20     Croats and the Muslims; and if they did receive Muslims, did they begin

21     to discriminate against them, in other words, put them in lower-category

22     facilities, deny them proper access to food, access to education?

23             To your knowledge, please explain this to the Trial Chamber, was

24     there any difference during that period when obviously there were

25     frictions and conflicts between Croats and Muslims in Bosnia-Herzegovina

Page 28167

 1     and both were coming in as refugees into the Republic of Croatia?

 2        A.   At the time that you mentioned, we continued taking in refugees

 3     from Bosnia-Herzegovina without discriminating in any way but accepting

 4     Muslims in the same way as Croats from Bosnia.  And then we started using

 5     higher-category hotels on the Makarska Riviera, that is when we started

 6     using these hotels because we simply had no other possibilities.  As the

 7     head of the Office of Displaced Persons and Refugees I asked the head of

 8     the government of the Republic of Croatia to make it possible for us to

 9     use the hotels on the Makarska Riviera, and then we accommodated these

10     displaced persons and refugees who had been expelled from

11     Bosnia-Herzegovina without drawing any distinction between Muslims and

12     Croats, although we were aware of the fact that at that time in

13     Bosnia-Herzegovina, not everywhere in Bosnia-Herzegovina but in parts of

14     it, there was a conflict between the two.

15             MR. KARNAVAS:  And with that we can take a break, Your Honour,

16     and then continue.

17             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Fine.  We're going to break for

18     20 minutes.

19                           --- Recess taken at 3.44 p.m.

20                           --- On resuming at 4.08 p.m.

21             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Before I give the floor back to

22     Mr. Karnavas, the Trial Chamber has to hand down an oral decision,

23     ruling, as to the issue of documents and cross-examination conducted by

24     the Prosecution.  The Trial Chamber was seized of the following

25     difficulty as raised by the Prosecution; namely, that the Defence

Page 28168

 1     disclosed documents 1D 2921 and 1D 2922 and that the Prosecution said

 2     they needed time to cross-examine the witness or before cross-examining

 3     the witness and had applied for the cross-examination to take place in

 4     the fall.

 5             The Trial Chamber heard the submissions in reply by the Prlic

 6     Defence and by the Stojic Defence team.  The Trial Chamber rules that the

 7     cross-examination will take place this week.  In the event that the

 8     Defence would use document 1D 2921, that is 36 pages long and has been

 9     translated into English.  However, if the Defence were to address issues

10     based on document 1D 2922, which has not been translated, in that case

11     the cross-examination will take place in the fall.

12             For future purposes the Trial Chamber advises the Defence that

13     they should disclose as early as possible any report or personal notes

14     from a witness so that the Prosecution should be in a position to prepare

15     for cross-examination within reasonable time-limits.  So there it is.

16             Mr. Karnavas, you're free to raise issues based on 2921, that

17     first document, without any problems since that document has been

18     provided to the Prosecution in English and it is only 36 pages long, it

19     is a chronology of the events; however, if you are to raise issues

20     connected with document 1D 2922, the cross-examination will take place in

21     the fall.

22             MR. KARNAVAS:  Thank you, Mr. President.  And then again for the

23     record let me make sure that everyone understands that we have asked for

24     all of our witnesses to provide us with all of their notes and notebooks.

25     So we've tried to be diligent, and again this was only translated at the

Page 28169

 1     very last moment.  As soon as we got it, we gave it over, and of course

 2     we've had problems with translation.  But we thank the Court for its

 3     understanding and we appreciate the Prosecution's concerns and we will

 4     try to work with them as much as possible in the future.

 5        Q.   Now, Dr. Rebic, as far as education is concerned, the issue of

 6     education, we had again a Prosecution witness, this Azra Krajsek, who

 7     indicated that with respect to education the Muslim refugees were not

 8     exercised their right, their fundamental right, to education at Croatian

 9     schools.  And if you could address that issue, the issue of education.

10     To your knowledge, what sort of education was being provided to displaced

11     persons, refugees, be they Croat, Muslim, or other, because we do know

12     that there were some Serbs that were refugees or displaced persons.  We

13     also know that from Sarajevo a large Jewish community was transported

14     over to Zagreb.  So could you please comment on that issue.

15        A.   In principle, both the refugees and displaced persons had,

16     according to the Geneva Conventions, had the right to education.  For

17     Croatian citizens who were displaced from occupied areas, this was a

18     right that was easier to exercise.  As for the citizens of

19     Bosnia-Herzegovina who were refugees from Bosnia-Herzegovina, this right

20     was somewhat more difficult to exercise for various reasons.  The first

21     would be the fact that these people fled their areas in the middle of the

22     school year and more often than not they hoped that they would soon

23     return and continue education in their own midst.  The second reason was

24     that they were accommodated in such refugee centres where there was no

25     systematic education, i.e., there was no school for them.

Page 28170

 1             So let me put it this way, in principle everybody had the right

 2     to be educated.  We had cases, for example, in Gasinci where refugee

 3     children attended school in Djakovo and according to some data the number

 4     of students completed secondary education in Djakovo either in a

 5     technical school or in some other schools in Djakovo.  Likewise, in

 6     Zagreb it was easier to exercise their right than elsewhere because they

 7     could get enrolled if they wanted to do so in Croatian schools.  I

 8     personally know some Muslims who attended and completed secondary school

 9     and higher education in Zagreb.  They have remained in Zagreb.  I still

10     see them and they are very happy in Croatia.  They have always been very

11     diligent.

12             Also in other places, like, for example, Split, Pula, and others

13     where there were schools available if they so wanted, and I emphasize, if

14     they wanted to continue education, they could do so.  However, since a

15     number of these refugee centres were located outside the urban areas,

16     schooling was possible, we supported that, we organized that, we would

17     establish extra-territorial schools.  Among refugees there were also

18     teachers and professors who got involved in the education process, thus

19     we could establish those extra-territorial schools in the refugee centres

20     all over Croatia.

21             This was part of the purview of our Ministry of Culture and

22     Education and partly it was the purview of the Embassy of the Republic of

23     Bosnia and Herzegovina which could and did help us with that to a certain

24     extent.  On our part there was no hindrance posed on the refugee

25     education.

Page 28171

 1        Q.   All right.  Now, I understand that your office was located in

 2     Zagreb.  Could you tell us while you were the head of the Office of

 3     Displaced Persons and Refugees, whether you visited the various

 4     locations; and if so, could you tell us how often and perhaps where, and

 5     I'm particularly interested in --

 6             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] One moment, Mr. Karnavas.  You

 7     can ask your question later.  I thought you were going to go into the

 8     answer provided by the witness which you didn't do.

 9             Witness, I was going to say Professor, we've had witnesses here

10     who spoke about various curricula.  I'm not interested in university

11     curricula; I'm interested in primary and secondary school education.  You

12     get a high number of refugees come into Croatia, you said so and other

13     witnesses did too; we're aware of the problem.  However, say pupils from

14     elementary school or adolescents in high school, when they arrived in

15     your country, did you set up special classes or curricula that would take

16     into account their own curricula in their country of origin or - and I

17     don't have any information about that - was there a general curriculum in

18     the former Yugoslavia that was applicable and applied in all of the

19     republics or was the teaching specific to a republic; and if so, was that

20     taken on board and into account in Croatia by your ministry for culture

21     and education in order to give young Muslims the same school support as

22     the one they enjoyed in their country?  Were any efforts made in that

23     direction?  Was their school curriculum adapted to their own specific

24     needs?  And I would venture to go even further.  Did you also take into

25     account the possible language differences that may have existed?

Page 28172

 1             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I have partly answered

 2     your question but I will expand.  The task of the Office of Refugees and

 3     Displaced Persons was primarily to accommodate these people, feed them.

 4     After that, allow them to attend school, to have health, security,

 5     psychological, and psychiatric health because many of them needed that.

 6     At the time, Croatia was occupied and faced with war.  The economy was in

 7     the doldrums due to the war, and faced with all that to undertake all

 8     these activities that you have listed in your question would have really

 9     been a very tall order even for a very developed country and a long-term

10     process.  We were faced with major time constraints and we just fought

11     fire and we just salvaged what could be salvaged.

12             As far as the education system in the former Yugoslavia is

13     concerned, there were differences among the republics but these

14     differences were not major so that children from Bosnia and Herzegovina,

15     if they so wished, could continue their education in the Republic of

16     Croatia without any problems or adaptations because the system of

17     education was the same across the board.  As far as the language is

18     concerned, there were no problems because the language that is used by

19     the citizens of the Republic of Croatia is the same that is used by the

20     civilians of the Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina.  In the former

21     Yugoslavia the name of that language was Croatian or Serbian or Serbian

22     and Croatian.  It has to be emphasized that the language that we now call

23     Croatian, since the language has become independent, has its features

24     which are typical of the Croatian language.  In the former Yugoslavia we

25     were forbidden to use some of the words and now we are free to use the

Page 28173

 1     original Croatian language.

 2             I would also like to say that the citizens of Bosnia and

 3     Herzegovina, both Muslims and Croats, speak a language that they

 4     understand and it's similar to Croatian.  There are some differences

 5     primarily in the vocabulary.  There are no grammatical differences so

 6     that no changes were required to the curriculum in that way.

 7             As the general curriculum is concerned, I've already said that it

 8     was the same across the board and it could easily be adapted.  When it

 9     comes to the extra-territorial schools that were organized in refugee

10     centres, we would supply them with textbooks that were funded by the

11     Office for Refugees or the Ministry for Education.  It was within the

12     purview of the Ministry of Education, but we mutually helped each other

13     by way of me providing the Ministry of Education with information and

14     data and they would then act accordingly.

15             In a nutshell in principle, education, particularly primary and

16     secondary education, was possible; however, in the given situation in

17     some refugee centres it was not very practical or almost impossible to

18     organize that.  We did as best as we could.  When we couldn't organize

19     education it was not because of the lack of will to do so.

20             [Microphone not activated]

21             THE INTERPRETER:  The witness's microphone is off.

22             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] But rather, because of the lack of

23     funds, the lack of teachers, the lack of school room, and so on and so

24     forth.  If that refugee crisis had lasted for any longer time, obviously

25     we would have been able to deal with this in a more systematic way.

Page 28174

 1             I would like to point at this moment that in the Republic of

 2     Croatia we have a lot of problem with the system of school education, we

 3     are trying to organize it, but it takes time to put everything together.

 4             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you for this

 5     comprehensive answer.

 6             One moment.  There's a question.

 7             JUDGE MINDUA: [Interpretation] Sorry, Mr. Karnavas.  I just

 8     wanted to check something.  I'm not sure I understood something.

 9             Witness, you said that the language that is spoken in Croatia

10     today has some specific features so that it was forbidden back then in

11     the former Yugoslavia.  Is that so?

12             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your question is not easy to

13     answer.  In Croatia we speak Croatian.  We have spoken it for a long time

14     and it would take me a long way back if I wanted to explain and tell you

15     about the history of the language.  However, in the former Yugoslavia in

16     the Republic of Croatia we had a sort of cultural independence, we had

17     our own education system, both primary and secondary, as well our

18     university and obviously this was in Croatian.  At that time the Croatian

19     language for political reasons it was Croatian or Serbian or in Serbian

20     it was called Serbian or Croatian.  These two languages are rather close

21     to each other; however, let me be very direct in order to help you

22     understand.  Because of the predominance of one language, in this

23     specific case Serbian, there have always been efforts to introduce

24     Serbian variance into the Croatian language which pose problems in

25     Zagreb.  In Bosnia-Herzegovina the situation was the same, the population

Page 28175

 1     spoke the same language as was spoken in Croatia, but the Serbs managed

 2     to push their Serb variance a bit more in Bosnia and Herzegovina and

 3     mostly this refers to the vocabulary and the syntax which is a bit

 4     different between the Croatian and Serbian.  Today that -- we are

 5     independent in the Republic of Croatia.  We use Croatian freely, just

 6     like we did before but we are not oppressed in doing so.  Nobody is

 7     imposing their own vocabulary or syntactic solutions and the same goes

 8     for Serbia.  As for Bosnia and Herzegovina, the case is that influence

 9     has persisted, the influence of the merger between the two languages and

10     I repeat that these two languages are not so different to pose major

11     problems in the two peoples understanding each other.  We understand each

12     other perfectly well, we can love each other in that language, and we can

13     hate each other in that language.

14             JUDGE MINDUA: [Interpretation] Thank you, Witness.  My last

15     question on this issue.  In the schools where there were the children of

16     refugees, what was the language that was used?  Was it the language that

17     you use today, a language that has been freed of the constraints that

18     were prevalent in the former Yugoslavia, or was the language that was

19     then used in the former Yugoslavia used?  Which is the language used in

20     those schools for refugees?

21             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] In the extra-territorial schools in

22     the refugee centres among the Bosniak refugees, i.e., Muslims, the

23     language that was used was the Bosnian or Bosniak variant of the Croatian

24     language, they were free to use that.  They even had religion or

25     religious education and they could freely attend classes of Islamic

Page 28176

 1     religion, they could use their own expressions, their own terms, just

 2     like us Catholics used to use Latin words, the Muslims still use Arabic

 3     words.  For example, our humanitarian organization is called Caritas in

 4     Bosniak it is called Merhamet.  Merhamet is not a Slav word and a

 5     Bosniak -- and an ordinary Bosniak will not understand the word

 6     "Merhamet" but a bit more educated person will understand that Merhamet

 7     is an Arabic word that means mercy just like Caritas in our world means

 8     mercy.  So they were absolutely free to use them and which were Bosniak

 9     language if their teachers or professors were able to use it, and I

10     suppose that most of them were able to use it.

11             JUDGE MINDUA: [Interpretation] Thank you very much.

12             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] You raised an underlying

13     problem.  You spoke further on the issue of education but you also

14     addressed the religious issue.  These young Muslims, young people of the

15     Muslim faith, the Zagreb government, did they do everything that was

16     necessary for them to have just as a young Catholic Croat who could have

17     religious lessons, for them to have imams who would come and help them

18     continue with their religious education?

19             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, absolutely, freely.

20     Among the refugees they had imams that they employed.  In Croatia there

21     is an Islamic community with which the Catholic church maintains very

22     good relations.  I personally have very good relations with Mr. Sevko

23     Omerbasic, the head of the Islamic community in the Republic of Croatia.

24     And together with him I visited some refugee centres which accommodated

25     Muslims.  I visited Varazdin 1 and 2 with him as well as the refugee

Page 28177

 1     centre in Pula.  They had an absolute freedom to worship their religion.

 2     Every refugee centre had a mosque, there was one in Gasinci, there was

 3     one on the island of Obonjan, and everywhere else where there was a

 4     larger group of Muslims accommodated.  We were glad that they were able

 5     to do that and they were doing that because the more a person believes in

 6     God the better person he is.

 7             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well.

 8             Please proceed.

 9             MR. KARNAVAS:  Thank you.  Thank you, Your Honours.

10             And just to touch-up on this because I failed to mention it.

11        Q.   As I understand it, you are an ordained priest as well?

12        A.   Yes, I am an ordained priest of the Catholic church.  I was

13     ordained in 1964, a long time ago, in Rome during the second Vatican

14     council.

15        Q.   And in fact, as I understand it, aside from presiding in mass

16     and -- at the Cathedral in Zagreb, you've also filled in for priests both

17     in Germany and in France at times?

18        A.   I have indeed.  I don't know whether this is necessary, but let

19     me say that as a professor in the former Yugoslavia every summer I would

20     spend my summer holidays partly in France with the Carmelite Nuns in

21     St-Germain Anglais Paris, and the other part of the summer I would spend

22     in the Perha [phoen] parish south of Munich where I replaced the local

23     priest.  I would usually spend a month there.

24        Q.   Yeah, and just again because the issue of religion came up in

25     from what I understand it would appear that you are a man that believes

Page 28178

 1     in religious tolerance, is it not a fact that you also teach comparative

 2     religion and you have studied the various religions, not just

 3     Christianity but also Islam, Judaism, Buddhism, Hinduism; is that

 4     correct?

 5        A.   Correct.  I have taught at the school of theology Hebrew, Aramaic

 6     and Arabic languages, and my main subject was the interpretation of

 7     biblical texts of the old testament, their analysis and synthesis, the

 8     biblical theology of the old testament.  As for the electives, I would

 9     offer my students the Judaism, the teachings, rights, and customs, the

10     rabbi literature from the first to the fourth century A.D. and the

11     relationship between Jewish people and Christians throughout history.  I

12     have also published a book on that so that the others can also read about

13     their relationship between Christians and Jewish people.  Sometimes they

14     were good, sometimes they were bad, but this should be known so that the

15     evil may be avoided.

16             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Witness, I've just found out

17     that you're a Catholic priest.  It's something I didn't quite catch at

18     the beginning of this hearing.  When you became the head of the office

19     you had a double function.  You -- is that the case, were you both a

20     priest and the head of this office or were you seconded to the office,

21     did you take leave of your religious duties whilst you were the director

22     of the office?

23             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I continued performing my religious

24     duties in the Zagreb Cathedral because I have been given an apartment

25     from the Zagreb Cathedral, which means that I live in a church apartment

Page 28179

 1     and I have to serve in the Cathedral in return for that.  I used to do

 2     that while I was leading the Office for Refugees and Displaced Persons,

 3     but every time I had to pay for a stand-in person.  All this time I was a

 4     priest and I worked in the office with the permission of my superior,

 5     Cardinal Franjo Kuharic.  Without his permission I could not have become

 6     the head of the government's Office for Refugees and Displaced Persons,

 7     and I remained with the office until the end with his permission, and

 8     when I resigned it was upon the express wish of Cardinal Kuharic who

 9     asked me to return to the university and to place my time fully at the

10     disposal of university because he believed and I believed that once the

11     war was over somebody else could have performed those duties.

12             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] In 1995 when you were a

13     minister without portfolio, were you a priest then?

14             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I was still priest with the

15     permission of Cardinal Kuharic and the papal minister, who was then in

16     the Republic of Croatia, asked me for this provision and he told me.  If

17     your cardinal, your superior, allows you to do so then the Holy See will

18     not oppose it.  If your cardinal is opposed to that then you are not

19     supposed to take the duty and this was done in agreement with the

20     cardinal, so I didn't have any problems or difficulties with Rome.

21             And the explanation for that is fact that this service was of

22     humanitarian nature.  It was not a political duty.  I was not a member of

23     any party.  I was outside any party politics and the only thing I

24     followed was my conscience, and I asked my associates to do the same.

25     None of them were asked to be members of any of the political parties.

Page 28180

 1     In other words, the office was a humanitarian office, it was not a

 2     political office.  At the beginning, the government wanted the church to

 3     deal with issues of refugees and displaced persons because it was too

 4     much of a burden for the state; however, the church answered the state

 5     that it couldn't take the responsibility over because it lacked either

 6     resources or money and at the end of the day it was the responsibility of

 7     the state and that's how the state finally organized this Office for

 8     Refugees and Displaced Persons.

 9             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Please proceed, Mr. Karnavas.

10             MR. KARNAVAS:

11        Q.   As I understand it, it was then that you were asked to organize

12     this office?

13        A.   That is correct.  It was in November, towards the end of that

14     month, when I was asked to organize, together with Mr. Damir Zoric and

15     some others, the office itself.  We started from scratch.  There was no

16     legislation in place before that and we certainly had no experience.  We

17     learned as we went and we have to thank Mr. Comkulato, who was the first

18     UNHCR representative in Zagreb with whom we cooperated extensively.  The

19     UNHCR office spent a few months on the same premises as our office did

20     and we closely cooperated.

21             JUDGE TRECHSEL:  Excuse me, Mr. Karnavas.

22             MR. KARNAVAS:  Yes.

23             JUDGE TRECHSEL:  I thought that you would insist on having a full

24     answer of your previous question.

25             Witness, you were asked whether you had taught comparative

Page 28181

 1     religion including Islam and Buddhism, and you did not answer this

 2     question.  You only spoke of comparative Christian and Jewish religion.

 3     Could you give a more precise answer, please, to the precise question.

 4             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I did not teach the

 5     history of religion; that was taught by a colleague of mine.  It was a

 6     different subject, but since we're on that question, if I may, I wanted

 7     to say that I am the chief editor of the general religious lexicon which

 8     was published in Zagreb in 2002.  It contains about 1200 pages rich in

 9     illustration and that general religious lexicon is something I worked on

10     with my team for about five or six years.  It treats all religions from

11     the prehistoric times, then it covers the central American religions,

12     Asian religions, and the most important religions today of the world,

13     Christianity, Judaism, Islam, Buddhism, as well as all other types of

14     Christianity.  In my modest opinion, and according to the views of many

15     other people, it is one of the best lexicons we have in Croatia today.

16             MR. KARNAVAS:

17        Q.   All right.  Now you mentioned that you were -- you had the

18     assistance of the internationals, you mentioned a Mr. Comkulato, I

19     believe.  If you could just briefly tell us during the period while you

20     were the heard of the Office for Displaced Persons and Refugees, to what

21     extent did you come into contact with these so-called internationals, be

22     they from the European Union -- I guess it was the European Community

23     back then, United Nations, NGOs.  Would you please explain to us your

24     contact and involvement with them.

25        A.   Before I answer I just wanted to say that the gentleman's name is

Page 28182

 1     Comkulato beginning with a C just for the record.

 2             Your question is in place.  There were many humanitarian

 3     organizations that came to Croatia to offer their assistance in

 4     accommodating the displaced persons and refugees.  I had daily contact

 5     with them.  I received them and directed them to various locations where

 6     their assistance was needed.  Some of them organized shipments of food

 7     from abroad, others, for example, the Doctors Without Frontiers, put in

 8     place health care in various refugee centres, there were also

 9     psychiatrists, there were also people from the Arabic world and their

10     NGOs such as Al Haramija [phoen] and Ikasa [phoen] as well as the

11     Merhamet.  From other countries we had good cooperation there as well;

12     however, I would send those to those centres where most of the population

13     were Muslim so that they could assist them as far as possible.

14             In humanitarian terms we were helped the most by the UNHCR.  I

15     mentioned that already, as well as the European Union.  There were many

16     people coming from the European countries with assistance, in particular

17     Croats for the most part working in Germany, our diaspora in Germany is

18     numerous as well as that in Austria and Switzerland.  When the war in

19     Croatia began they were sensitive to our problems.  They exhibited great

20     solidarity, and amongst their community in those countries they organized

21     aid for Croatia which arrived daily and I also met with those people

22     daily.

23        Q.   Okay.  Let me stop you here for a second.  I had posed a question

24     earlier and you were interrupted and that had to do with visiting the

25     various centres, and I had asked you if you had visited the various

Page 28183

 1     centres while you were the head of the office.  Of course, we're most

 2     interested in Gasinci and Obonjan because there have been some

 3     allegations that there was discrimination against the Muslim refugees

 4     that were being kept there.  So I will ask you to what extent were you

 5     visiting centres and did you ever visit those particular two centres?

 6        A.   I toured all refugee centres as well as the centres where our

 7     Croatian citizens were accommodated.  Of course I did not do that very

 8     frequently.  We had system or structure of subordination in place.  In

 9     the Republic of Croatia we established 21 regional offices all over

10     Croatia more or less corresponding to the borders of the counties in the

11     country.  As part of those regional centres, we also had social welfare

12     offices.  In each centre I had at least one or two people under my

13     supervision who dealt exclusively with the issue of refugees and

14     displaced persons.  I, or rather, they fell under my remit rather than

15     the remit of the minister.  I visited some of the centres when there were

16     problems.  For example, you can imagine what problems there were if a

17     centre was placed next to a village of 5.000 because the refugee centres

18     were more or less of that size as well.  I visited those centres when

19     there were important issues to be resolved in terms of accommodation,

20     food, health care.  Both the refugees and displaced persons had their

21     needs and wishes which sometimes could not be met in full and timely by

22     those centres.  It is only understandable.  On such occasions we would

23     try to come up with a solution.

24             I visited Gasinci on several occasions.  I was there once with

25     Ms. Ogata, even, who was the then-president of the UNHCR in Geneva.  We

Page 28184

 1     toured the entire refugee camp in Gasinci.  She was quite pleased to see

 2     what we were doing and the way we were doing it.  She talked to various

 3     people we met on the way.  She was quite grateful to me for everything we

 4     did.  She said, I admire you, you are doing this far better than many

 5     other countries.  We also went to Zagreb together, where I took her to

 6     the refugee settlements in Kruge, in Spansko, and elsewhere.  As for

 7     Obonjan, so that everyone would know what we are talking about, it is a

 8     beautiful island close to Sibenik.  On that island, before that war,

 9     there were scouts who would spend summers there.  The island had

10     infrastructure.  There were also youth meetings, international meetings

11     there, and the name of the island in popular terms was the island of

12     youth.  When the refugee crisis occurred we asked the Ministry of Tourism

13     and the city of Sibenik, in whose territory the island is, to rent it to

14     us.  On the island we accommodated refugees from Bosnia-Herzegovina who

15     were Muslims, but there were some Croats among them as well, as well as

16     the Roma, Serbs, basically all ethnicities of the former Yugoslavia.

17             First we accommodated a certain number of refugees on the

18     premises that existed there, in the buildings that were there.  But as

19     the number of refugees grew, for the first time there we began using

20     tents, as we did in Split and Stobrec for a short while until we were

21     able to come up with a different solution.  People do not like staying in

22     tents, it is quite understandable.  As regards Obonjan, I was there on

23     two or three occasions to visit, especially at the outset when my

24     colleague, who is an attorney, his name is Miso Hribar, organized the

25     accommodation there.  I found no reason for dissatisfaction personally.

Page 28185

 1     Of course people wanted more and better food, but they would also fish

 2     and grill it or to get by in different ways.  As far as I know, nobody

 3     ever went hungry on that island.  Thank God there was enough food.  Of

 4     course there wasn't food to waste, although food was wasted, not in that

 5     centre but in a different centre I arrived there with an international

 6     delegation we came across piles of food that had been wasted.  That is

 7     understandable as well.

 8             Obonjan had a doctor, an out-patient clinic, a dentist, a mosque,

 9     an extra-territorial school, it had everything.  There was also a ferry

10     at the disposal of the refugees, for example, for situations which

11     required other assistance, say, women in labour or people in need of

12     medical -- urgent medical assistance, then they would be transferred to

13     Sibenik by that ferry since it took it only about 20 to 30 minutes to

14     arrive there.  In that regard Obonjan was covered as well.

15             There were also doctors coming from abroad who served as

16     volunteers.  There was also a young French NGO, they worked with children

17     and the youth.  Anyone with good intentions was free to come and assist,

18     of course after gaining our permission.  We wanted to know who was going

19     to the centres and with what intentions.  This is what I can tell you

20     about Obonjan in short.

21        Q.   Now, did you ever receive any complaints from, say, the UNHCR

22     that your office or the Government of the Republic of Croatia was

23     deliberately discriminating against the Muslims that were staying either

24     in Gasinci or this particular island, Obonjan?

25        A.   No.  I never received any express complaints; quite to the

Page 28186

 1     contrary.  We cooperated on resolving certain problems which occurred

 2     from time to time.  For the most part it had to do with food and health

 3     care.  It was the UNHCR which would lend a hand in such cases and would

 4     help in resolving the issues.  It is understandable that there may have

 5     been complaints.  People complain in peacetimes, in towns and villages.

 6     There are demonstrations such as the ones that were in Zagreb, because on

 7     occasion the conditions there are not satisfactory.  Of course there was

 8     a slight degree of dissatisfaction; however, in those circumstances we

 9     couldn't give more than we were able to.  We were quite limited in terms

10     of resources but there was never any bad faith or lack of will to give

11     the refugees what they were due.

12             MR. SCOTT:  Excuse me, Mr. Karnavas.  I was intentionally

13     waiting, Your Honour, just to see if Mr. Karnavas might have a follow-up

14     question because I know last week he suggested that I was on my feet too

15     quickly.  As the Chamber knows, the question of dates and time, timing is

16     quite critical to the case and something that happened in 1992 or 1995 is

17     quite different than what happened in 1993.  And I wonder if -- I wonder

18     if Mr. Karnavas could assist us with the particular dates of the visits

19     to Obonjan and Gasinci, if the witness can assist us.

20             MR. KARNAVAS:  Certainly.  And I appreciate that intervention.

21        Q.   We are going to go through all these documents, but could you

22     tell us when you visited those facilities, those centres?

23        A.   Today, 15 years later, it is difficult for me to recall specific

24     dates.  I know I was on the island of Obonjan when the refugee centre was

25     being set up; it was sometime in 1992.  I also visited it on one other

Page 28187

 1     occasion when Obonjan became overcrowded with the refugees from

 2     Bosnia-Herzegovina.  It may have been in the first half of 1993.  I am

 3     certain I visited Obonjan twice at least.  As far as Gasinci go, I was

 4     there more frequently because some delegations were particularly

 5     interested in it, diplomatic delegations, humanitarian delegations, and I

 6     mentioned Mrs. Sadako Ogata, whom I took there.  I also took there some

 7     German ministers and ministers from other countries.

 8             I went there with Muslims, that is to say the Arabic humanitarian

 9     organizations as well as the German Caritas and other European

10     humanitarian organizations and people who wanted to provide assistance to

11     Gasinci in particular.  For example, Germans and Danes offered to build

12     bungalows there so that the refugees from Bosnia-Herzegovina would have

13     satisfactory accommodation.

14        Q.   Let me stop you there.  We're going to get into these documents,

15     we've seen them before, but there's been an exchange of documents where

16     Azra Krajsek and to some extent Turkovic, who was the ambassador at the

17     time, was sending letters to you.  And of course we're going to go

18     through them in detail.  But could you please tell us whether they ever

19     came to your office, in particular Azra Krajsek who was, as we will see,

20     was writing to her ministry without copying you -- at least that's what's

21     indicated in the letters.  Did she ever come to your office and

22     concretely explain to you what the problems were in either Gasinci or

23     Obonjan?

24        A.   Ms. Azra Krajsek came to Zagreb as an attache of the

25     Bosnian-Herzegovinian embassy, either in early 1993 or towards the end of

Page 28188

 1     1992, I don't know precisely.  I do believe, however, that it was in

 2     March 1993, we stayed there until January or February 1994 or perhaps a

 3     month or two longer.  She came to the Office for Displaced Persons and

 4     Refugees on several occasions.  Our relations were good.  We would

 5     usually discuss the problems in Gasinci and Obonjan.  She seemed to have

 6     focused particularly on those two refugee centres.  She wasn't very much

 7     interested in many other refugee centres where there were many Muslims

 8     and Croats.  I don't know why she exhibited such interest in those two

 9     particular ones.  Well, they may have been specific in some regards and

10     that could explain that.

11             She never came to me with specific problems or complaints of

12     significant degree.  She usually came with the type of problems which

13     were understandable for such situation in which we had centres with 3, 4,

14     5.000 people.  There were problems with the supply.  There were

15     differences among the people living there.  There were people who came

16     from the urban setting, then there were others who came from the

17     country-side, their mentality was different and it was difficult to

18     harmonize all that.  I believe she also found herself in such situations

19     where she listened to individuals.  I also came across such individuals

20     who were always dissatisfied.  Those people came from among the refugees

21     as well as from among the Croatian citizens.  I was in a hotel in Trogir

22     where the Croatian citizens there told us that we are eating bread that

23     is three days old and the soup is bad, the food is bad, and I went there

24     to check their kitchen.  I came there unannounced, and to my opinion it

25     was a good kitchen, a kitchen which would satisfy the need of a

Page 28189

 1     lower-quality hotel.

 2             There were also situations in which cooks were professionals and

 3     educated, but quite often refugees would assist as well in the kitchen.

 4     In Gasinci, unfortunately, there was a food poisoning once and the cook

 5     himself was poisoned alongside his two assistants but no one else was.

 6     That could happen in Zagreb today or in any of the tourist resorts during

 7     the summer.  We tried to deal with such things right away.  We would go

 8     there immediately and deal with it.

 9             I had no particular problems with Azra Krajsek or any other

10     people, at least she was never too outspoken about it.  She could not

11     know of all the instructions I had sent to the various regional offices

12     and she may not have been fully acquainted with the situation.  When such

13     problems would occur I would call Bisera Turkovic and Azra Krajsek as

14     well as Tadic and Raguz and we would sit down and discuss things.

15             For example, on the 11th of April, 1993, we discussed the issue

16     for three hours.  The issue discussed then was the issue of abolishing

17     refugee status and those refugees which were unable to return to their

18     homes did not see their status abolished at the time.

19             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Witness, Mr. Karnavas asked you

20     to speak about the UNHCR, you talked about the ambassadors, you talked

21     about ministers including the German minister.  Listening to you the

22     following question comes to my mind.  What about the Catholic church,

23     your own hierarchy, and the Bishop in Zagreb and up to the Holy See in

24     Rome, were they following the humanitarian situation very closely, the

25     situation of local refugees because there were organizations such as

Page 28190

 1     Caritas on site?  Was the Catholic church involved in these operations?

 2             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It is good that you put this

 3     question since it needs to be clarified as well.  The Catholic church in

 4     Croatia does have it Caritas organization which after the democratic

 5     changes developed significantly.  It assisted greatly the displaced

 6     persons and refugees.  Had it not been for the Caritas it would have been

 7     very difficult to accommodate all displaced persons and feed all the

 8     refugees.  I know what I'm talking about, I know what the Caritas was

 9     doing, and I particularly did not go into that since I wanted to avoid

10     being subjective or biassed.

11             However, I can freely say that the Caritas did a lot.  Priests

12     appealed to their flock to provide assistance.  They distributed food to

13     refugees and they housed many refugees and displaced persons.  They were

14     on good terms and there was never an incident which may have taken place

15     between a Catholic priest and a Muslim.  All Muslims were received well

16     and they received the same assistance.  However, I must say that the

17     Merhamet did not always act the same way, but I'd rather not go into any

18     further discussion concerning the Merhamet.  There were many Muslims and

19     I do understand that the Merhamet took care only of the Muslims and not

20     the Catholic population; that is understandable, however.

21             We were sufficiently well organized to be able to assist the

22     displaced persons of Catholic belief or affiliation.  The church always

23     assisted through its hierarchical system.  I also need to mention the

24     Monsignor Vladimir Stankovic who was the director of the Caritas was also

25     a member of the administrative board of our office alongside the director

Page 28191

 1     of the Croatian Red Cross as well as two people from the parliament and

 2     another two people from the government itself.  He was in the

 3     administrative board of the office acting on behalf of the Catholic

 4     church and the Caritas.  The Caritas was directly involved and was

 5     familiar with the needs.  The Caritas in Croatia received a lot of help

 6     from the German and US Caritas.  In Zagreb there was even an office of

 7     the American -- well, I don't know exactly what the name of the office

 8     was, but they were in charge of taking care of displaced persons and

 9     refugees.  The Italian Caritas had its office in Zagreb, it was

10     Antonietta, a nun who toured such people, in particular Muslims.

11     Although a nun, she was fascinated with Muslims and she gladly assisted

12     them in terms of food, money, she was involved in some construction as

13     well.

14             As far as that goes, there were no divisions, no tension.  Every

15     now and then things might happen as everywhere, but in general I was

16     quite pleased to see how quickly people reacted to assist and with the

17     solidarity I encountered at the time.  Today in Croatia you cannot see

18     any such solidarity, any more such as the one that was in place during

19     the war until 1995.

20             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Witness, in a nutshell was Rome

21     perfectly informed of the situation or not?

22             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, they were informed.  I was

23     visited, or rather, the Office for Displaced Persons and Refugees was

24     visited by a representative of the Holy See who came to Zagreb.  He

25     visited the office and asked me how we were dealing with accommodating

Page 28192

 1     refugees and displaced persons, whether there were any religious

 2     tensions, and so on.  Right now his last name eludes me.  He was the

 3     secretary of state of the Holy See.  I also was visited by

 4     representatives of the Catholic church in Germany, on one occasion

 5     several Bishops.  I know there was the assistant Bishop of Munster, who

 6     used to be a school colleague of mine in Rome, Monsignor Foss came to see

 7     us, so I can say that we did receive support.  Cardinal Franjo Kuharic

 8     did not visit refugee centres and nobody expected him to because of all

 9     his other duties, but he gave me a great deal of support and he always

10     told me I had to work honourably and honestly, with decency.

11             MR. KARNAVAS:

12        Q.   What about Brussels, was Brussels informed?  That's where the

13     EU -- EC was, were they informed because they were also assisting

14     financially?

15        A.   Yes, of course they were very well informed and they join in the

16     SETF, a special programme of the European community of providing supplies

17     to refugees and displaced persons, supplies of food, was active.  SETF

18     was active almost throughout the refugee and displaced persons crisis.

19     That's precisely why we had to make lists, why we had to take censuses,

20     because the European Community and the UNHCR had to know exactly how many

21     displaced persons and refugees we had and how many there were, in what

22     locations, so that they could provide assistance.  We had good

23     cooperation with the SETF to ensure that food always reached a particular

24     location.  We didn't want it to get lost on the way from the warehouse to

25     the refugee centre and be distributed to somebody else.  For that reason,

Page 28193

 1     there was a commission organized by the SETF, the European Community, and

 2     our office jointly, which had the right to stop every truck along the

 3     road and follow it to the refugee centre that was its destination, where

 4     food had to be distributed.  This was a way to avoid manipulation, for

 5     example, the selling of food and so on, because we did hear complaints

 6     that humanitarian aid was being sold on the markets.  But this did not

 7     occur to such a large extent that we could trace it to some high-level

 8     manipulation.  What did happen was that sometimes a refugee would get a

 9     can of food and they would take it along to the market and sell it in

10     order to get some cash, but these were minor incidents.  Some people did

11     this in order to get some cash.

12        Q.   Let me interrupt you here.  And what about Geneva, was Geneva

13     informed?

14        A.   Yes, they were thoroughly informed, both through the UNHCR which

15     was in constant contact with Geneva with Madam Ogata, and I also attended

16     several meetings in Geneva.  I also attended a meeting of the ICRC,

17     Mrs. -- Sommaruga.  On two occasions I was in Geneva together with

18     Mrs. Ogata.  On one occasion this had to do with abolishing refugee

19     status so that the humanitarian organizations and the ICRC and the UNHCR

20     and all the ones that have their headquarters in Geneva were well

21     informed of the refugee and displaced person crisis in the Republic of

22     Croatia.  I keep stressing our good relations within the UNHCR and how we

23     received help from them, but this help was 10 per cent of our overall

24     needs.  However, even 10 per cent is a lot in the situation we were in.

25        Q.   All right.  And I know you've provided me with this report that

Page 28194

 1     you wrote:  "My work at the Office for Displaced Persons and Refugees,"

 2     is 1D 02921, and in it you describe various meetings and personalities

 3     that you met Mazowiecki, O'Shay, Ogata, without going into it, would it

 4     be fair to say that in this report here, this report of yours, you cover

 5     the contacts that you had with the international community concerning

 6     your activities during the period of 1991 and 1996?

 7        A.   Fortunately, Mr. Karnavas, my secretary kept a log-book and she

 8     kept my agenda, and when I left the office my secretary gave it to me.  I

 9     didn't throw it away, I kept it.  I didn't think I would ever need it,

10     but now is the time to look into my agenda and then we can see what we

11     were doing and how we were doing it at the time.  Of course it's not a

12     detailed diary.  There were many delegations who visited who are not

13     mentioned here.  There were many meetings not mentioned here, but still

14     what is really important is noted down and you can see what -- well,

15     people called it my office.  It was the government office actually.  But

16     you can see what number of delegations we received.  On the average it

17     was five delegations a day.

18        Q.   Okay --

19        A.   So that's as far as this document is concerned.

20        Q.   All right.  Now, we're going to move rather quickly.  I just have

21     a couple of quick areas to touch on before we go into the documents.

22     First of all, I would like to know whether your office was issuing any

23     guarantees and whether it had the right to issue any guarantees to third

24     countries.  In other words, someone coming in from Bosnia-Herzegovina,

25     could your office issue a guarantee for that person to, say, go to

Page 28195

 1     Germany or Switzerland or Turkey and did that occur?

 2        A.   Persons who went to third countries had to receive guarantees

 3     from those third countries, not from us.  The -- what refugees received

 4     from the Office for Displaced persons And Refugees was that they could

 5     enter the Republic of Croatia and be accommodated as refugees and

 6     displaced persons.

 7             Further, those refugees who were under the protection of UNHCR

 8     and who went to third countries, we could issue them with a transit visa.

 9     It wasn't a real transit visa.  It was a document confirming that with

10     the permission of the Office for Displaced Persons and Refugees persons

11     under the protection of the UNHCR who intend to go to a third country may

12     stay in the Republic of Croatia in the interim, in the meantime, while

13     they are waiting to go to the third country and they needed this document

14     so that they could show it if there was a police check or something and

15     it had political weight.  So it would provide security or protection to

16     the person who held it.

17        Q.   All right.  Now, to your knowledge and your recollection, did you

18     ever recall a situation where some refugees went to a third country of

19     their own volition, presumably with a guarantee provided by that country

20     that they would receive them; and then those refugees wished to return to

21     Croatia as refugees?

22        A.   Yes, there were such cases.  The reasons were different.

23     Sometimes refugees wanted to go back because they thought the

24     accommodation in Croatia was better than the accommodation they got in

25     Germany or some other country, and those persons actually said that in

Page 28196

 1     the letters they wrote to us.  We always received those persons back

 2     without question because it was our duty as the first neighbouring

 3     country.  We then gave those persons refugee status, accommodated them in

 4     refugee centre or a centre for displaced persons, and they could stay

 5     there for as long as they were unable to go back to Bosnia-Herzegovina or

 6     until such time as the conditions were created for their return to

 7     Bosnia-Herzegovina.

 8             There were instances where the Bosnian embassy accommodated a

 9     group of refugees from Bosnia-Herzegovina in Turkey.  I received several

10     telephone calls from these Bosnian refugees saying they wanted to go back

11     to Croatia because they said it was better in Croatia than in Turkey.

12     They said Croatia was doing a better job accommodating refugees than

13     Turkey was.  They were somewhere west of Istanbul near the border with

14     Bulgaria.  They complained they weren't getting enough food.  They

15     complained that they were accommodated in tents and so on.

16             Well, it's understandable because that country also had numerous

17     refugees.  And Mr. Demeril told me so himself, and a minister of his when

18     we visited Stobrec in Split where there were refugees of

19     Bosnia-Herzegovina who were of Bosniak-Muslim ethnicity, and they were

20     complaining they wanted this and they wanted that, and the minister said

21     to me, Well, we're having the same problems.  In Turkey people are also

22     saying they want this and they want.  A refugee is a refugee.  These are

23     people who are under stress, who are wounded, they are people who have

24     seen other people killed.  A refugee is not happy even when you put him

25     up in a hotel long term.  These are people who had suffered psychological

Page 28197

 1     injuries, and if somebody went around Gasinci and Obonjan and listened to

 2     someone speaking, they would have to know whether that person was under

 3     stress, whether that person had had some kind of psychological trauma, or

 4     whether they were objective or subjective, and so on --

 5             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] One minor related question --

 6             MR. KARNAVAS:  If I could just follow-up on this, Mr. President,

 7     before you pose your question.

 8             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes.

 9             MR. KARNAVAS:

10        Q.   The question is you had indicated some Bosnians, I think that was

11     the way you termed it, went to Turkey and now were calling you.  Do you

12     know whether they were Croats or Muslim or both?  That's question number

13     one.  And number two is:  What did you do?  Did you say, Stay there

14     because we have already enough of you, or did you bring them back?

15        A.   They were Muslims because the Bosnian embassy, as a rule, did not

16     look after Croat refugees.  They always said, Well, that's for the

17     Republic of Croatia to take care of.  I'm saying that as a rule because

18     they did have goodwill towards others and other refugees.  But in this

19     particular case they were Muslims and the Bosnian embassy wanted to put

20     them up in Turkey with the best of intentions in the conviction that they

21     would be better off there.  However, these people called me up on the

22     telephone and said they were not better off there.  Allow me to say that

23     even Israel sent a representative to me and they offered to receive 200

24     refugees, Muslim refugees, from Bosnia-Herzegovina.  They said, We want

25     Muslims, you see, we are Israelis, we have tensions with Palestinians,

Page 28198

 1     with Muslims, and we want to show that we care about Muslims in a country

 2     where they are under threat in Bosnia-Herzegovina.  So about 200 of them

 3     went to Israel and they were accommodated in Jerusalem, and it was very

 4     hard to find them.  In Split we went around the centres asking who wanted

 5     to go to Israel and we could barely get together 150 of them.  They

 6     weren't very enthusiastic.

 7             I visited them in 1993 or 1994 when I was attending a congress in

 8     Jerusalem on the subject of genocide.  On that occasion I visited these

 9     people.  They were mostly rather young because the elderly really didn't

10     want to fly to Tel-Aviv and Jerusalem, and they weren't very happy, they

11     weren't very satisfied.  Because, you know, people always think it's best

12     to be at home, and when you're close to Bosnia you feel better than when

13     you are far from Bosnia.  There is a poem in our language:  The sun of a

14     foreign sky will never keep you as warm as the sun in your own land.  I

15     hope the interpreters understand that.  The poet was Aleksa Santic.

16        Q.   Concretely if you could answer my question, when they called and

17     they wanted to come back from Turkey, did you receive them, did the

18     Republic of Croatia receive these refugees?

19        A.   My answer to those persons was:  If you succeed in organizing

20     transport to Croatia, we'll receive you.  So I said, Well, call the

21     embassy of Bosnia-Herzegovina, they transported you there so they may be

22     able to transport you back because otherwise we would be in a quandary.

23     We couldn't go and interfere in something that the embassy of

24     Bosnia-Herzegovina had tried to resolve.  So that looking back now I

25     can't really remember how the story ended, but as for countries like

Page 28199

 1     Slovenia, Germany, and so on people did come back because it was easier

 2     to travel back to Croatia and they continued being in Croatia as refugees

 3     until they went back to Bosnia-Herzegovina.

 4        Q.   Okay.  Now, speaking of returning, and this is sort of the last

 5     topic before we get to the documents.  With respect to returning refugees

 6     from Croatia, say, back to Bosnia-Herzegovina - in other words, where

 7     they lose their status - can you please explain to us what the procedure

 8     was in general and we're mostly concerned to know whether the Republic of

 9     Croatia deliberately revoked someone's status as a refugee and deported

10     them back to Bosnia-Herzegovina, putting them into harm's way?  And I'm

11     speaking of a period of say in 1994, 1995, late 1993, that's what I'm

12     speaking of.

13        A.   As far as I know, the Office for Displaced Persons and Refugees

14     never forced anyone to go back to Bosnia-Herzegovina.  I know very well

15     that we did have some problems regarding the revoking of refugee status

16     and the revoking of displaced persons status.  Our stand point was the

17     same in both cases, both displaced persons and refugees.  And just as

18     Slovenia, Germany, Denmark, and other countries had done who sent our

19     refugees back from those countries, as soon as the conditions were in

20     place for persons who had been expelled to be able to go back we sent

21     them back right away in Osijek in Croatia, for example, or remember when

22     Western Slavonia was liberated, all our displaced persons went to their

23     destroyed houses in eastern Slavonia and then with the help of the state

24     they rebuilt their houses and started farming their land and tried to

25     heal the wounds of the four-year-long occupation.  And just as today

Page 28200

 1     Serbs are going back to Croatia from which they had fled so that as we

 2     were sending back our own citizens to the places they had fled from when

 3     the situation quietened down, we did the same with refugees from

 4     Bosnia-Herzegovina.

 5             As soon as an area of the Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina was safe

 6     from war and the threat of war, the Office for Displaced Persons and

 7     Refugees issued a decree revoking refugee status so that people could go

 8     back.  And the territories, the towns and places, were clearly designated

 9     to which they could go back.  So we never sent them back just anywhere in

10     Bosnia-Herzegovina, but to precisely designated places.  As the head of

11     the Office for Displaced Persons and Refugees, I issued instructions to

12     the regional offices that they could revoke refugee status only for those

13     refugees from Bosnia-Herzegovina who could go back, whose houses had not

14     been destroyed, who were not in peril in the areas where they had to go

15     back, who were not sick, whose children were in school.

16             So my instructions were quite clear.  There were instances where

17     these refugees could not be sent back.  There was some lack of clarity

18     there in their office and in the regional offices, which is why Bisera

19     Turkovic, Azra Krajsek, Tadic, Raguz and I met and we discussed the issue

20     and agreed.  And then again I sent instructions to all the regional

21     offices and social welfare centres as to how they were to proceed, what

22     refugees had to be sent back, what refugees must not be sent back, what

23     refugees had to have their status prolonged, extended.  And after that

24     there were no more tensions because you can always solve everything by

25     talking.

Page 28201

 1        Q.   All right.  Now, you did indicate that there were refugees that

 2     had left from Croatia and had gone to places like Germany, Switzerland,

 3     Italy, Belgium, and what have you.  Were you -- did the Republic of

 4     Croatia ever come under any pressure at any time to take back its

 5     refugees, irrespective of whether they were -- they had originated from

 6     Bosnia-Herzegovina or Croatia?

 7        A.   No.  Those people simply came back to Croatia.  Many of them

 8     didn't even ask our office whether they were allowed to go back or not.

 9     They simply came back to Croatia, and then they reported.  They knew to

10     whom they should report, to the office for displaced persons and refugees

11     or a regional office, and they were given refugee or displaced persons

12     status, as the case may be, and that was constantly our practice which

13     never changed --

14        Q.   Let me interrupt you --

15        A.   -- we --

16        Q.   -- did there ever come a time when you had to sign an agreement,

17     negotiate an agreement with Germany and others because Germany wanted

18     refugees out of Germany and back to Croatia?

19        A.   Yes.  Germany was very anxious for Croatian refugees to go back

20     to Croatia, regardless of whether they were originally Croatian citizens

21     or Bosnian refugees who had a Croatian passport.  Germany treated all

22     such refugees from Bosnia-Herzegovina who were in Germany as Croat

23     citizens, and they said, Please take them back.  You have given them

24     passports so now take them back, and of course we did.  Bosnian

25     Catholics, Croats, and Bosnian Muslims had such passports.  Many Muslims

Page 28202

 1     were issued with Croatian passports.

 2             At that time it was enough for a Muslim from Bosnia-Herzegovina

 3     to show the department in the Ministry of the Interior any document, a

 4     driving licence, a school certificate, which said that he had declared

 5     himself to be a Croat at some time and ipso facto he had the right to a

 6     Croatian certificate of citizenship and Croatian documents.  There were

 7     in 1992 very many such Muslims from Bosnia who went to Denmark, Sweden,

 8     Germany, above all, with Croatian passports.  And then when the Germans

 9     had had enough and when they realized they couldn't have 200.000 refugees

10     from Croatia because these people's point of departure to Germany was

11     Croatia, so in their eyes they didn't care whether these were Croats or

12     Bosniaks.  And I went to Germany to talk to Mr. Kanther the German

13     minister and other responsible persons -- the minister of the interior,

14     that is, and I signed a document with them on the return of all Croat

15     refugees to Croatia.

16             This was an agreement on gradual organized return to all

17     liberated places in the Republic of Croatia.  And we had to give them a

18     list as to what places were now free of war and what places were not.

19     And they had that list.  And that was what guided us when we were sending

20     refugees back to Bosnia-Herzegovina, but by that time I had already left

21     the Office for Displaced Persons and Refugees and my colleague, Damir

22     Zoric, continued, but we had a good precedent.

23             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] One moment.  Just to follow up.

24             For instance, on the concerns from Germany, looking at the

25     documents I realized that on the 12th of July, 1993, at 11.45 until 1.00

Page 28203

 1     you received Dr. Angela Merkel.  Do you remember why you met with her?

 2             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Angela Merkel arrived just as many

 3     others.  At the time she did not have the function that she has today nor

 4     was her importance the same as it is today.  She arrived as a member of

 5     the Christian Social Union, I believe that that was her party, and she

 6     was interested in our treatment of Muslims.  Obviously she had heard some

 7     things, read some things, in the media.  Because, let's admit it, at the

 8     time we were accused from all sides, either rightfully or wrongfully,

 9     that we did make some differences.  She asked me why we made a

10     difference, and I said, Mrs. Merkel, it's not us that we make any

11     differences.  We do not treat Muslims any differently than we do

12     Catholics from Bosnia.  They're all refugees to us.  To me they were all

13     refugees.

14             But we do have problems.  Don't have you have them in Germany?

15     Don't you have any problems with the Turks?  And Merkel says, Well,

16     that's our problem.  And I said, Well, this is ours.  I was a bit harsh

17     with Merkel, I must admit, because she had arrived from a different

18     situation and she could speak about those problems differently than I

19     could because I was faced with those problems every day, day in day out,

20     I had to deal with them as best as I could.  Croatia was so much more

21     different than GermanyGermany was rich and well developed.  We

22     provided what we could under the circumstances, but nobody received milk

23     and honey, to put it that way.

24             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] We are going to take a break

25     now unless you have a question, Mr. Karnavas.

Page 28204

 1             MR. KARNAVAS:  Just one follow-up question because I just want to

 2     make sure that the entire Bench is clear.

 3        Q.   Did the Republic of Croatia make a distinction when it came to

 4     providing aid, when it came to providing assistance, when it came to

 5     providing education, when it came to providing health care, did it make a

 6     distinction between refugees that were Croats from Bosnia-Herzegovina,

 7     Catholics be they or Muslims, did they make a distinction?  Because we

 8     have Merkel, but I want to make sure that we're very clear on this point.

 9        A.   The Office for Refugees and Displaced Persons never made any

10     distinctions whatsoever.  If anybody did outside the office, if they made

11     any distinctions, then you should ask them.  But the Office for Refugees

12     and Displaced Persons, its regional offices, there were 21 of them, and

13     all the centres for social welfare never made any distinctions between

14     the refugees.  Under the given situation, under the given circumstances,

15     we treated everybody the same.  We were an office for refugees not an

16     office for refugee Croats or refugee Muslims.  They were all refugees to

17     us and we did not have any right to treat ones differently than the

18     others.

19             MR. KARNAVAS:  I have no further questions.  I invite the Bench

20     if they have questions on this; otherwise, we can take the break.

21             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Fine.  We're going to take the

22     break.  We'll resume around 6.00 p.m.

23                           --- Recess taken at 5.41 p.m.

24                           --- On resuming at 6.05 p.m.

25             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Well, the hearing is resumed.

Page 28205

 1             Judge Prandler has a question.

 2             JUDGE PRANDLER:  Thank you, Mr. President.

 3             I didn't want to interrupt you, Mr. Karnavas, before the break.

 4     But now since you have merely dealt with the contacts with internationals

 5     and also some states concerned, I would like to refer to the document I

 6     believe that you are also going to ask the witness about the documents

 7     you are going to submit, a document which is in binder 2 and the number

 8     has already been mentioned today several times, 1D 02921, 2921, and it is

 9     actually the very submission or report of the witness, Dr. Rebic,

10     entitled:  "My work at the Office for Displaced Persons and Refugees."

11     So it is again just to have -- helping the refugee.  It is in binder

12     number 2 and the number is 2921.

13             So in that report of yours you make a reference to, among other

14     things, your visit to Hungary on page 4 and I do not want to hide that I

15     am Hungarian, but of course I speak not in my capacity as Hungarian but

16     as a independent Judge, but I am also pleased to read that you found that

17     there was a lot of help offered by Hungary during that time, and I can

18     re-confirm that working at that time in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs

19     in Hungary.  And also in -- on page 4 you mentioned that you met UNHCR

20     representatives together with at that time the minister of interior,

21     Mr. Petar Buros [phoen], and the minister of foreign affairs, Mr. Geza

22     Jesenski, and others.

23             Now here there is one small issue which I would like to raise

24     that during this very first part of this sitting and hearing you have

25     mentioned that only 2.500 refugees remained in Hungary, but I believe the

Page 28206

 1     correct number is that -- when you mentioned that out of that number,

 2     that is the number coming from Croatia and other countries, only out of

 3     that number 2.500 returned to Croatia, so not remained but returned I

 4     believe it is the correct interpretation of those numbers.

 5             Now, in the next paragraph you mention, and you mentioned this

 6     before, that together with vice-president Mato Granic you had been to

 7     Geneva to visit the International Red Cross, read ICRC and not IRC and

 8     the High Commissioner for refugees.  And you mentioned there that you met

 9     there Mr. Cornelius Sommaruga, then president of the ICRC, and visited

10     Ms. Sadako Ogata.  Now, of course I mean, it is my question that Hungary

11     arranged at that time several visits by President Sommaruga, among other

12     things, to try to have talks which were held in Hungary at that time

13     between the relevant representatives of Croatia and Serbia at that time

14     at that time the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia.  And just for the very

15     important issue for the exchange of prisoners of war and of course of the

16     other detainees.

17             So I would like to ask you if your office has also been -- has it

18     also been involved with the exchange of persons having a POW status and

19     that of the displaced persons and other detainees between the countries

20     concerned, i.e., between Croatia and then Federal Republic of Yugoslavia,

21     otherwise Serbia?  So it is my question.  Thank you.

22             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, first of all I'd like

23     to use this opportunity to thank you as a Hungarian and to thank Hungary

24     for everything it did for Croatia, not only to assist with the refugee

25     and displaced persons crisis but also to thank you for the very good

Page 28207

 1     relations between Hungary and Croatia in general.  We have no unresolved

 2     issues between the two countries.  As regards your question, I was

 3     indirectly involved in it.  When I say that I mean to say that for the

 4     prisoners, Croatian prisoners that were exchanged, or rather, released by

 5     the authorities of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, were subsequently

 6     taken care of our Office for Displaced Persons and Refugees and were

 7     given the status of displaced persons.  If I'm not mistaken, there were 3

 8     or 400 of them.

 9             I was tasked with receiving them, organizing a meal, and

10     accommodation for them.  I remember it well.  It took place on the 14th

11     of August, just before the Assumption of Our Lady religious holiday, and

12     I ascribed that to the blessed Virgin Mary, and to my mind it was a

13     miracle since it took place just the evening before our great religious

14     holiday.  It is another topic that we will probably touch upon later and

15     I am probably anticipating, but I just wanted to say something that has

16     to do with those who were transferred from Bosnia-Herzegovina having been

17     prisoners before that time.

18             We were received in the Republic of Croatia as refugees; that is

19     to say, we awarded them refugee status.  The transfer itself was done by

20     the UNHCR.  The UNHCR had promised them to leave to a third country and

21     they only requested transit permits from our office.  They asked for the

22     refugees to remain in Croatia in the interim while the UNHCR was working

23     on the issue.  I did, therefore, participate in the process.

24             JUDGE PRANDLER:  Thank you very much, Dr. Rebic.

25             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Witness, with respect to

Page 28208

 1     Hungary, we find that on the 19th of March you went to Hungary to visit a

 2     number of camps, and in your report I realize that there is an office

 3     very similar to yours.  There is an office in charge of displaced persons

 4     and refugees, apparently it's headed by Mr. Markus [phoen] and

 5     Mr. Molnaj [phoen].  You went to a number of camps with these two

 6     individuals and you encouraged people to go home, to go back home.  What

 7     I find interesting here is to see that your office existed also in

 8     another country, in Hungary.  Was it also the case in Slovenia and was it

 9     also the case in Germany?  Did they have an Office of Displaced Persons

10     and Refugees working along similar lines as yours?

11             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, let me clarify one

12     thing first.  The Office for Displaced Persons in Hungary was not our

13     office, it was an office of the Hungarian government.  It was organized

14     along the same lines and following the same principles as ours was.

15     Slovenia had an office like that as well as part of their Ministry of

16     Foreign Affairs.  They had an Office for Displaced Persons and Refugees.

17     We had permanent contact with them as well much like we did with the

18     Hungarian office.

19             As for Mr. Markus and Molnaj, I came to visit them on other two

20     or three occasions and we visited the centres together, Atac [phoen] and

21     Segacut [phoen] where our refugees were accommodated.  The accommodation

22     was satisfactory.  They had no particular complaints.  The only one being

23     that they wanted to go home as early as possible, it was a wish of

24     theirs.

25             They returned once the area around Osijek had been liberated,

Page 28209

 1     when the threat was removed.  It was then that the number of our refugees

 2     reduced drastically, from some 30.000 to 2 or 3.000 that were left.

 3     Those who were unable to go back because they hailed from Vukovar which

 4     was occupied.  Those people remained in Hungary for quite some time.

 5     During their stay in Hungary, they received food, health care, and

 6     everything prescribed under the law that is required by such offices.  I

 7     might also mention that on the 25th of March of that same year, 1992, in

 8     Zagreb in the inter-continental, which is today the Westin, we held a

 9     tripartite meeting.  You mentioned Mr. Molnaj from the Ministry of

10     Foreign Affairs in charge of humanitarian issues.  We discussed the whole

11     day how to help and accommodate refugees and displaced persons.  Hungary

12     also came to our assistance on that occasion particularly.

13             Unfortunately, such tripartite meetings did not take place

14     afterwards.  The humanitarian aid arriving from the neighbouring

15     countries was done more or less on an ad hoc basis and somewhat

16     chaotically.  But upon the Croatian and Hungarian initiative to meet with

17     the UNHCR, that meeting took place and it showed itself to be quite

18     useful.

19             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] One last very quick question.

20     We know, because last -- the witness told us so last week and because we

21     saw a number of documents with -- in line with this that there were more

22     than 1.8 million refugees in your country.  And reading these documents

23     we find that these refugees went to Germany, Hungary, and then further on

24     to the US or to Canada.  This was a major problem.  Don't you think that

25     it should have been dealt with as a priority by the UNHCR and that you

Page 28210

 1     yourself should have just helped this international action, considering

 2     the scale of the problem?

 3             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, at the beginning of

 4     the war we did not have a UNHCR office in Croatia, in Zagreb.  There was

 5     a UNHCR representative who was still in Belgrade at the time, and he

 6     could do nothing for our displaced persons and refugees who had to flee

 7     and go to third countries throughout 1991 and beginning of 1992.  A UNHCR

 8     office was founded in Zagreb as late as January or February 1992.  First

 9     there was Mr. Mendeluce.  He arrived there with a single set of clothes

10     because he managed to flee Sarajevo and the shelling there.  He was

11     followed by Mr. Comkulato and it was she who had the permission of Geneva

12     to establish a UNHCR office in Croatia.

13             As of January, that is to say on the 15th of January, 1992,

14     Croatia was internationally recognised.  It was as late as the 15th of

15     January.  That is when Croatia was internationally recognised.  After

16     that -- the UNHCR office was founded in Croatia.  After that, the UNHCR

17     did take part in these issues, however it was gradual.  I must say here

18     that thank God in January 1992 there were no more combat activities in

19     the free territory of Croatia.  That meant that all our refugees from

20     Slovenia, Hungary, and Austria returned to, for example, Osijek,

21     Karlovac, Sisak, Varazdin, and Zagreb itself because people fled all

22     those cities, they went anywhere to save their hides.  You must remember

23     that Zagreb itself was shelled.  I very much wanted to go back to Zagreb

24     in September 1991, but the first night I spent there I was forced to

25     spend it in a cellar.  Of course everyone wants to go back to their

Page 28211

 1     country even if there is shelling and that was the situation in the

 2     field.  Our people truly wanted to go back to their homeland, and as soon

 3     as it was free of the threat of war they came back.  The 1.800.000 was

 4     the number that existed in a certain particular moment in time, in

 5     December 1991.  However, as early as January 1992 a great deal of those

 6     Croatian refugees returned to Croatia itself.

 7             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Karnavas.

 8             MR. KARNAVAS:  Thank you, Mr. President, Your Honours.  Unless

 9     there are any other questions, I'm going to go right into the documents.

10     And, Your Honours, I had to make some re-arrangements of the documents so

11     they're not quite in the order of which I will be dealing in your

12     binders.  I'll be referring to the numbers but they're not in the exact

13     order because I'm trying to be as efficient as possible.

14        Q.   We're going to start with binder 1.  Binder 1 for you, Dr. Rebic,

15     if we could get some assistance.  Just -- and I'm going to be asking

16     your -- I'm going to be asking Dr. Rebic to ever be so kind to give me

17     short answers, short, so that we can go through these documents.  Nothing

18     causes me more anxiety than the time spent going through documents.

19        A.   [In English] Thank you very much.  You can break me always.

20        Q.   All right.  Just for some technical matters to get out of the

21     way.  If you look at 1D 02584, 1D 02584, that's the very first document

22     in your binder, sir, we see that this is a decision appointing you as the

23     Office of the Displaced Persons and Refugees 11 December -- it says 1891

24     but obviously that must be a mistake, right, it must be 1991; correct?

25        A.   Correct.

Page 28212

 1        Q.   Okay.

 2        A.   But the datum is not correct.

 3        Q.   Okay.

 4        A.   The datum 1891 I see now.

 5        Q.   Okay.  All right --

 6        A.   It should be corrected.

 7        Q.   Now, it's based on this document that you became the head?

 8        A.   Yes.  Yes.

 9        Q.   And then if we look at the next document 1D 02632, we see that

10     this is a decision to relieve you -- to relieve of duty the head of

11     Office for Displaced Persons and Refugees, Dr. Adalbert Rebic, 2 February

12     1996.  This must have been -- this is the document that relieved you;

13     correct?

14        A.   [Interpretation] That is correct.  And again, in the Catholic

15     church it is another holiday concerning the blessed Virgin Mary.

16        Q.   All right.  And I take it this was sort of a happy day for you

17     because you wanted to get back to your occupation?

18        A.   Mr. Karnavas, you are quite correct.

19        Q.   Okay.  All right.  If we -- now I want to go to the -- the next

20     section will be dealing with a few documents related to the laws, the

21     legislation that was -- that we've looked at last week.  But again I just

22     want to make some -- get some confirmation.  First document is 1D 02632,

23     2632.  We see here it's a decree on establishing the Office for Refugees

24     of the Republic of Croatia, and there's a date of 30 August 1991.  Were

25     you familiar with -- is this the decree --

Page 28213

 1        A.   [In English] It is 23 [Interpretation] 23.

 2        Q.   It is 2623.

 3        A.   [In English] Correct.

 4        Q.   And if I could have this -- okay.  And are you familiar with this

 5     decree?

 6        A.   Yes and no because this -- [Interpretation] Excuse me.  This

 7     decree preceded the founding of the Office for Displaced Persons and

 8     Refugees.  This was a decree dealing with the establishment of an interim

 9     office that was supposed to deal with the refugees and displaced persons.

10     As you can see it is the 30th of August, 1991, whereas the office was

11     formed subsequently by another decree.  This was an interim one.

12        Q.   All right.  So if we look at 1D 02637, 2637, and we see it's

13     dated 22 November 1991.  This is a decree of the Office for Displaced

14     Persons and Refugees, are you familiar with this document, sir?

15        A.   Yes, I am.  It is a decree pursuant to which the Office of

16     Displaced Persons and Refugees was founded as part of the Government of

17     the Republic of Croatia.  I am familiar with this document.

18        Q.   All right.  And was it based on this decree that your office was

19     operating on?

20        A.   That is correct.

21        Q.   Okay.

22        A.   We based our activities on this decree and no other.

23        Q.   All right.  Now, if we look at the next document and I'm going to

24     ask you to comment slightly on this, it's 1D 02634, 2634, we see it's 11

25     December 1991 and this is a decision to appoint president, deputy

Page 28214

 1     president, and members of the steering council of the Office for

 2     Displaced Persons and Refugees.  Of course I believe you did make a

 3     comment earlier about one of the individuals on this steering council,

 4     but very briefly could you please tell us what was this steering council

 5     and how was it related to what you were doing?

 6        A.   Mr. Karnavas, the steering committee was a supervisory body in

 7     charge of our Office for Displaced Persons and Refugees; that is to say,

 8     they supervised the work of the office.  The members of the committee met

 9     every two or three months or, if need be, more frequently if there was a

10     problem at hand.

11             The committee was comprised of Bernardo Jurlina, who was the

12     minister for social welfare and family issues.  It took care of the

13     displaced persons and refugees on behalf of the office; however, since

14     the number of refugees and displaced persons was too great for the

15     ministry to deal with because by that time the numbering went over

16     300.000, the government established a separate office.  Then there was

17     Mr. Skrabalo who was in charge of cooperation between the World Health

18     Organization and the Republic of Croatia.  He is a physician by vocation.

19     The third member was Monsignor Vladimir Stankovic, director of the

20     Caritas of the Bishop conference.  He was also in charge of the Croatian

21     pastoral mission abroad.  His purview was over all priests working

22     outside of Croatia.  Most of them were in Germany.  Then there was

23     Dr. Javornik, who was the general secretary of the Croatian Red Cross.

24     He assisted the work in terms of accommodation greatly.  Then there was

25     Primarius Dr. Kostovic, who is a physician and a professor at the medical

Page 28215

 1     school.  There was Dr. Kutle and Ms. Turic who were there on behalf of

 2     the parliament of the Republic of Croatia.  As you can see from the

 3     composition all these people were professionals, competent and

 4     responsible people overseeing the work of the office.

 5        Q.   Now, to your knowledge, was this steering council in existence

 6     throughout the period while you were head of the Office for Displaced

 7     Persons and Refugees?

 8        A.   That is correct, yes, the entire time.

 9        Q.   All right.  Thank you.  If we go on to the next document, it's 1D

10     02588, 2588.  We see that this is a decree that's dated 27 October 1992.

11     It's a decree on status of displaced persons and refugees.  And my first

12     question is:  Are you familiar with this decree; and if so, how so?

13        A.   Yes, I am familiar with this decree.  In relation to the first

14     decree promulgated a year earlier, it became law because the Croatian

15     parliament ratified it and it is signed here by the deputy prime minister

16     Ivan Milas.  This made the decree a law of the Republic of Croatia, and

17     the Office for Displaced Persons and Refugees had to act under that law.

18     It doesn't differ very much from the previous decree.  There are just a

19     few minor changes in it.

20        Q.   All right.  Now, if we look at -- was it based on this decree on

21     the status of displaced persons and refugees that your office determined

22     the status of whether somebody could enjoy the status of being a

23     displaced person or refugee and the benefits that went with that status?

24        A.   Yes, that's correct.

25        Q.   Okay.

Page 28216

 1        A.   It was according to this decree that we established a person's

 2     status.

 3        Q.   All right.  And again 1D 02635, here we see that there is an

 4     amendment to the decree of the Office for Displaced Persons and Refugees,

 5     and were you familiar with this document?  This refers to the decree

 6     establishing your office as opposed to the other one, which was the

 7     status?

 8        A.   [In English] Yes [Interpretation] Yes.  I am extremely familiar

 9     with this.  This decree better defines what departments should be part of

10     the office for care and organized accommodation, for the organized

11     return, that's one department, then the next one is of finance, the third

12     is department for gathering transport and distribution of humanitarian

13     aid, then there's the department for cooperation with international

14     humanitarian organizations, the department for social adaptations, and so

15     on.

16        Q.   Thank you.

17        A.   Thank you too.

18        Q.   If we go on to the next document, 1D 02638, we see this is a

19     decision now, it's dated 6 October 1993 -- it's a law, I'm sorry, it's a

20     law.

21        A.   [In English] It's a law.

22        Q.   Yes, it's the law, I apologise.  And were you familiar with this

23     document?

24        A.   [Interpretation] Yes, I am.  It was signed by the president of

25     the Republic of Croatia because when he signs a law it enters into force

Page 28217

 1     in the Republic of Croatia, and I was bound by this law.

 2        Q.   Okay.  Now, was it based on this law that you determined the

 3     status of an individual, whether he qualified for benefits and the status

 4     of being either a displaced person or a refugee?

 5        A.   Yes.

 6        Q.   Okay.  All right.  Now, we talked a little bit earlier about

 7     education and about the rights that were afforded to individuals.  If we

 8     could just for purposes of an example look at 1D 02610, and I will ask

 9     you to comment on this, 2610.  This is dated January 12th, 1994.  We see

10     at the bottom -- we see at the bottom that your name is mentioned.  Now,

11     if we look at the original version or copy of the original, that is your

12     signature, is it not, Dr. Rebic?

13        A.   Yes, that's correct, it is my signature.  It's in good order.

14        Q.   Now, could you please very briefly explain the contents of this

15     particular document since you were the author.

16        A.   The Embassy of the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina requested

17     from us through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to provide them with

18     precise data on the number of children attending the regular school

19     programme.  Of course I forwarded this document to the Ministry of

20     Culture and Education, asking them to provide this information to the

21     embassy of the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina with a copy or with

22     copies to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and to me.  And this document

23     shows that in the Republic of Croatia refugees did have the possibility

24     of schooling.

25        Q.   All right.  May I ask, why was it that you needed to ask the --

Page 28218

 1     another ministry for that data?  Why was it that your office, the Office

 2     of Displaced Persons and Refugees, did not have that data readily

 3     available?

 4        A.   Because it was the Ministry of Culture and Education that was in

 5     charge of schooling, and only it could provide precise information on

 6     those attending school in the Republic of Croatia.  This was not within

 7     the remit of the ODPR, the Office of Displaced Persons and Refugees.

 8        Q.   All right.  And just a technical question that might be on the

 9     Judges' mind.  What about for extra-territorial schools, where would that

10     data be?  Or did this ministry also have data concerning pupils that were

11     attending extra-territorial schools that were established either for

12     Croats from Bosnia-Herzegovina or Muslims from Bosnia-Herzegovina?

13        A.   With respect to those attending extra-territorial primary schools

14     in refugee centres, it was also the Ministry of Culture and Education

15     that was in charge if those refugee centres were on the territory of the

16     Republic of Croatia.  Mostly, however, the refugee centres and the

17     Embassy of the Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina relied on information

18     coming from the refugee centres because there were teachers there who

19     issued school certificates at the end of the academic year, and of course

20     these certificates had to be recognised by the Embassy of the Republic of

21     Bosnia-Herzegovina.  That's why in the documents they sent to me and in

22     my conversations with them extra-territorial schools were frequently

23     mentioned.  They functioned well in some places, worse in others, they

24     were well-structured in some places, less-well-structured in others, and

25     it all depended on the people we were working with.

Page 28219

 1        Q.   All right.  And finally just one last issue to make sure that we

 2     are on the same page, if we could look at --

 3             MR. KARNAVAS:  This is not in the binders, Your Honour, but it's

 4     in the e-court system, it's 4D 01232.

 5        Q.   You don't have it, it's not in your binder, but it should pop up

 6     on the screen.  Dr. Rebic, Dr. Rebic, it should pop up on your screen.

 7     This was a document that was shown last week.  It's the Law on Movement

 8     and Stay of Foreigners.

 9        A.   Yes, I see it.

10        Q.   28 June 1991, and could you please tell us whether this

11     particular law applied to the refugees coming from Bosnia-Herzegovina?

12        A.   Mr. Karnavas, this law did not apply to refugees from the

13     Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina.  First of all, this law was promulgated

14     in Zagreb on the 28th of June, 1991, before there were any refugees from

15     the Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina.  There were only displaced, or

16     rather, there were refugees from Croatia in Bosnia-Herzegovina at the

17     time.  It was the other way around.  Because at that time the JNA had not

18     yet perpetrated aggression there.  So this law did not concern those who

19     were coming from the Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina; it was -- it

20     pertained to those coming from other countries such as Greece, Bulgaria,

21     where they came even from Pakistan.  We had cases where among the

22     refugees in Croatia in 1991 there were refugees from far-away countries.

23     Excuse me, I misspoke.  The date is the 28th of June -- no, no, no, it's

24     all right.  I didn't misspeak.  I didn't misspeak.

25        Q.   So when they refer to foreigners, they're not referring to - if I

Page 28220

 1     understand you correctly - they're not referring to citizens of

 2     Bosnia-Herzegovina?

 3        A.   No, no.

 4        Q.   All right.  And as far as -- just to make sure, your office was

 5     not -- your office in granting status --

 6        A.   It did not act pursuant to this law, no.

 7        Q.   Okay.  Very well.  Now, we're going to move on to another area,

 8     and we're going to be looking at 1D 02629, if you could find that, that's

 9     the next document in your binder.

10             MR. KARNAVAS:  And again I apologise to Your Honours for not

11     having them in the sequential order.  We had to re-arrange this at the

12     last moment.  I wish I knew.

13             JUDGE TRECHSEL:  [Microphone not activated] It's the last of

14     binder 1.

15             MR. KARNAVAS:  It's the last of binder 1.

16        Q.   We're going to be going through a series of reports, and let me

17     ask this question before we get to this document.  As part of your job

18     being the head of the office, were you obliged to keep statistics and

19     make reports?

20        A.   Of course, Mr. Karnavas, very frequently and very exhaustively

21     and very professionally because we sent that information and those

22     statistic to the UNHCR.

23        Q.   All right.  Now, on this particular document, 1D 02629, we see

24     this is a survey and at the bottom we see who conducted the survey.  Is

25     it fair to say that your office did not conduct this survey; correct?

Page 28221

 1        A.   No, it was not our office that conducted the survey.  It was the

 2     PULS agency which still exists in Croatia.

 3        Q.   All right.  Now, if we turn to page 3, if we turn to page 3 --

 4             JUDGE TRECHSEL:  Sorry, Mr. Karnavas, could the witness perhaps

 5     tell us what is behind this word, pulse, what does it mean, you said it

 6     is the PULS, that is still here to be found.  What is the PULS agency,

 7     please?

 8             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It is the name of an agency

 9     conducting polls, public opinion polls.  It takes its names according to

10     a person's pulse, a person's heart beat.  So it should be understood in

11     the medical sense, pulse.  Whether they really felt the pulse of the

12     people correctly every time, that's a different question; but they are

13     always very active whenever we have elections for a new parliament or a

14     new president, they do opinion polls today still.

15             JUDGE TRECHSEL:  Thank you.

16             MR. KARNAVAS:  Thank you.

17        Q.   And now if we look at page 3 at the bottom we note that your

18     office was involved to the extent of providing data.  It says:  "All

19     necessary permissions and recommendations for implementation of the

20     research have been obtained from Mr. Adalbert Rebic."

21        A.   Yes, that's correct.

22        Q.   Could you tell us a little bit about what was it that you did

23     that enabled PULS, PULS agency, to conduct this particular survey?

24        A.   The PULS agency first needed permission from the Office for

25     Displaced Persons and Refugees to conduct their opinion poll, the

Page 28222

 1     opinions of individual refugees, displaced persons, and other people in

 2     the Republic of Croatia.  They also asked us for information on the

 3     number of refugee and displaced persons centres, their addresses, the

 4     numbers of people in them, and everything else they needed to know for

 5     their statistics.

 6        Q.   Okay.  All right.  And I don't intend to ask any particular

 7     question, but Your Honours may wish to focus on page 12 and you can see

 8     question, for instance, number 5 or number 11 or number 12 may be of some

 9     interest to Their Honours.  And if you wish to ask any questions

10     regarding this, fine; otherwise, I'll move on to the next document.

11     Okay.

12        A.   If I may --

13        Q.   You certainly may.

14        A.   -- Mr. Karnavas and Your Honours.  If I may comment a little.

15     You mentioned question 12:  [In English] "Do the international

16     humanitarian organizations, in your opinion, help more Muslim or Croatian

17     refugees or they help them both equally."  Both equally.

18     [Interpretation] 69 per cent, 69 per cent, said "both equally."  This

19     shows our citizens responded to refugees and displaced persons.  So just

20     as the office did not draw distinctions between refugees and displaced

21     persons but provided the same assistance to both groups, the public did

22     the same.

23        Q.   Very well.  If we go on to the next document --

24             MR. KARNAVAS:  Yes.

25             JUDGE TRECHSEL:  I'm sorry.

Page 28223

 1             To know what this means it would be important to know who were

 2     the persons questioned?  It's the answers of what kind of a sample?  It's

 3     probably somewhere in the document, but the witness probably knows.

 4             MR. SCOTT:  Top of page 5, Your Honour.

 5             JUDGE TRECHSEL:  Thank you.  Thank you.

 6             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, the methodology is there.  The

 7     document had its methodology.  This agency was active at the time in

 8     conducting various opinion polls on political issues, social issues,

 9     national issues.  It was very active agency.  It was by no means a

10     pro-government agency.  It was non-governmental, and they adhered

11     strictly to the principles they held.  They say 335 cases of refusal and

12     so on and so forth.  One must simply read these pages because it is in

13     these pages that everything is explained --

14             MR. KARNAVAS:

15        Q.   Okay, Dr. Rebic.  Thank you for pointing that out to us.  I don't

16     mean to cut you off or be rude, but we need to move on so I hope you will

17     accept my apologies.  If we could look at the next document --

18        A.   Thank you very much.  I do accept them.

19        Q.   Okay.  1D 02627.  It's in binder 1 for the Judges.  1D 02627.

20             Do you have it, sir?

21        A.   [In English] Yes, yes, I have found it.

22        Q.   Okay.  And here we see that this is from the Government of the

23     Republic of Croatia and it's a list and registration of expelled persons

24     and returnees -- refugees, I'm sorry, in the Republic of Croatia in 1994.

25     And if we flip -- if we go to page 2 we see at the bottom of the foreword

Page 28224

 1     section your name.  Could you briefly tell us who prepared this report?

 2        A.   [Interpretation] Mr. Karnavas, the Office of Displaced Persons

 3     and Refugees of the Republic of Croatia compiled this report.  It is the

 4     third census which took place in 1994, the third registration.  The

 5     first, as I said, took place in 1992 in May and June when all displaced

 6     persons in the Republic of Croatia were listed.  In 1993, in May, June,

 7     and July, there was a second census when we listed all the refugees from

 8     the Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina.  This now is the third census in 1994

 9     when we took a census of all of them together, both displaced persons and

10     refugees.

11             It was done on a very detailed sample about.  About 100 pieces of

12     information were taken from each and every person, some more important

13     some less, including their economic situation, whether they had had a

14     house in Bosnia-Herzegovina that they left, was their house burnt down,

15     and so on and so forth.  There is a list of all the persons who worked on

16     this census.  The agency that did it is called VIP.  It was owned by

17     Jakov Binenfeld, a wealthy citizen of Zagreb of Jewish origin, who at

18     that time had the best developed information technology service in

19     Zagreb.

20             It was recommended to us that government IT establishment

21     processed this information, but together with the UNHCR, which

22     co-financed the project, I decided to accept Jakov Binenfeld's offer

23     because he was the only one in Zagreb and Croatia at the time who had the

24     best-developed and the most reliable information technology agency.  The

25     report is elaborated in great detail.  You will see in it how many

Page 28225

 1     displaced persons and refugees there were.

 2        Q.   Okay.  Now, the Judges may have some questions, but before they

 3     pose any if I could focus your attention on page 20 at the bottom of the

 4     page on page 20, the English version.  And in Croatian, because it may

 5     assist you, because there is some -- in Croatia it's --

 6             MR. KARNAVAS:  If we could get Madam Usher to assist us very

 7     quickly to --

 8        Q.   But if you could look at page 20 in English and I'll give you the

 9     Croatian version.  And I'm most interested in focusing your --

10        A.   I'm familiar with this text.

11        Q.   Okay.  I'm not so much interested in the numbers where we see

12     refugees in 1993, 269.000; and then in 1994, 183, I'm not interested in

13     that.  I'm interested in the paragraph that follows, and of course

14     there's some handwritten notes.  But perhaps can you tell us what exactly

15     does this report say in this section?  And we only have about three

16     minutes so you need to limit your answer to three minutes, please.

17        A.   Mr. Karnavas, this report deals with the numbers of displaced

18     persons and refugees and it compares various years.  In 1992 there were

19     247.000 displaced persons, in 1994 there were 196.000; so there were

20     fewer which means that between those two years many displaced persons

21     were able to return to the liberated areas and there is a list of all the

22     places where they were able to return, Osijek and other places.  As

23     regards refugees in 1993 there were 269.000 refugees, and in 1994 there

24     were 183.000.  And the difference is again explained here.  The

25     difference is due to the fact that some refugees from Bosnia-Herzegovina

Page 28226

 1     returned to Bosnia-Herzegovina, both Bosniaks and Muslims.  They returned

 2     to the liberated areas, the safe areas, which were no longer threatened

 3     by war, such as Zenica, Tuzla, and Sarajevo.

 4             One should also mention that at the time, in the last few months

 5     of 1994, 150 refugees were sent back from Sweden, and they were Bosniaks,

 6     Muslims, because they had Croat passports.  Sweden sent them back to

 7     Croatia because they had Croat passports, but they were Muslims.  And of

 8     course we sent them back also because they were able to go back to safe

 9     areas.  If the areas in question were unsafe, we did not send them back.

10             I added a note here saying that 40 to 50 persons per week were

11     being sent back from Sweden.  We had agreed on this with the Swedish

12     government, that they should not all be sent back at once, but that they

13     should be sent back at a rate of some 40 persons per week to make it

14     easier for us to accommodate them in Croatia or to send them on to

15     Bosnia-Herzegovina if they could be sent back safely.  That's it in

16     brief.

17        Q.   Okay.  Thank you very, very much, and I believe it's 7.00 so,

18     Dr. Rebic, we will need to pick up tomorrow where we left off today.

19        A.   [In English] Thank you very much.

20        Q.   Thank you.

21             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Karnavas, I think you have

22     used about two hours, so you have about another two hours tomorrow.

23             MR. KARNAVAS:  [Microphone not activated]

24             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well.

25             Witness, have a good evening.  We shall reconvene tomorrow at

Page 28227

 1     2.15.  Thank you.

 2             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honours.

 3                           --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 7.01 p.m.,

 4                           to be reconvened on Tuesday, the 20th day of

 5                           May, 2008, at 2.15 p.m.