Tribunal Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia

Page 28324

 1                           Wednesday, 21 May 2008 2                           [Open session]

 3                           [The accused entered court]

 4                           [The witness entered court]

 5                           --- Upon commencing at 2.20 p.m.

 6             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Registrar, please call the

 7     case.

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

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

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

11             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you.  Today is Wednesday,

12     21st of May, 2008.  Good afternoon to the witness, to the Defence

13     counsel, to the accused, to everyone assisting us in this courtroom, and

14     to the Prosecution.

15             We are going to proceed with the cross-examination of the

16     witness.  We'll start with the Defence counsel, and I believe that

17     Mr. Kovacic will be the first one.

18             MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.  Good

19     afternoon to everybody in the courtroom.

20                           WITNESS:  ADALBERT REBIC [Resumed]

21                           [Witness answered through interpreter]

22                           Cross-examination by Mr. Kovacic:

23        Q.   Good afternoon, Dr. Rebic.

24        A.   Good afternoon to you too.

25        Q.   As you have told yesterday, I'm going to put a few questions to

Page 28325

 1     you.  All of them in connection with the topics that were raised in your

 2     examination-in-chief, and I'm talking only about very short three topics.

 3             In your testimony so far -- I apologise.  Have you received a

 4     document?  Now you're going to receive it I can see.

 5             In your testimony so far, on the first day, on page 95, line 7 -

 6     I'm stating this just for the record - you mentioned a person by the name

 7     of Jakov Binenfeld.  You said that he was the owner of the VIP agency and

 8     that agency performed a job for you, and the job in question was the

 9     third census of refugees and displaced persons.

10             Dr. Rebic, let me remind you that my cross-examination is going

11     to differ from the examination in -- so far.  We speak the same language,

12     and in order to make the lives of the interpreters easier, we should make

13     a short break between my questions and your answer.

14             My first question is this:  Did you have an occasion to meet this

15     person, Binenfeld, in person?

16        A.   Yes.

17        Q.   Dr. Rebic, according to what you know about him, would that be a

18     person of high moral standards, enjoying a high reputation in society?

19        A.   According to what I know, this person has high professional

20     qualities, a capable businessman at the time.  At the time he had his own

21     agency, the name of the agency was VIP.  It was the best agency at the

22     time in the Republic of Croatia and it was for that reason that I, in

23     agreement with UNHCR, or better say on their instruction, I chose him.

24     It was a private agency, and UNHCR preferred private agency over any

25     government agency.

Page 28326

 1             As far as his moral qualities are concerned, I wouldn't go into

 2     that because I don't have any information about that.  In my view, he was

 3     a good man, a good businessman.  I had several occasions to talk to him.

 4        Q.   Thank you very much.  Did you perhaps learn from Mr. Binenfeld

 5     himself or in any other way that he had been a very active and highly

 6     positioned officer in the Zagreb Jewish community?

 7        A.   Yes, he was active in the Jewish community of Zagreb.  He was not

 8     very much engaged, but he was engaged in the Jewish community, and in

 9     that respect he was my friend, because I -- I like Jewish people.  I

10     speak Hebrew.  I read Hebrew.  I often go to Israel.  This coming Sunday

11     I have to go to Israel.  And that's why I socialised with Binenfeld, but

12     this had nothing to do with my decision to choose his agency for the

13     census.

14        Q.   I'm not interested in that part of your decision.  I have no

15     doubt about your right to choose whomever you want based on whatever

16     information you have.  I'm more interested in Binenfeld himself.

17             Did you have an occasion to learn that the same gentleman, Jakov

18     Binenfeld, had organised, i.e., had carried out the organisation of the

19     humanitarian convoys in the course of 1992 and 1993.  And like all the

20     other humanitarian convoys, those convoys were of twofold nature.  One of

21     the purposes was to take people from occupied Sarajevo, and second

22     purpose was to bring humanitarian aid to Sarajevo.  Do you know that he

23     was a person who participated in the organisation of these convoys?  But

24     let me rephrase my question to avoid any objections.

25             First of all, do you know that he was involved in that project?

Page 28327

 1        A.   Yes, I know that he was involved in that project, and sometimes

 2     he would come to the office to receive information with regard to the

 3     situation in Sarajevo and in Bosnia and Herzegovina in general.  He

 4     wanted to know how to get there, how to help and so on and so forth.  He

 5     wanted to receive information from us.

 6        Q.   And my next question arises from your answer.  Are you aware of

 7     the fact that convoys of that sort did actually go to Sarajevo and come

 8     back?

 9        A.   Yes.  Several convoys took humanitarian aid to Sarajevo and took

10     Jews out of occupied Sarajevo, and this was done with his help.

11        Q.   Thank you very much.  I'm not interested in anything else at this

12     point.

13             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Kovacic, the Trial Chamber

14     held that when a subject has not been dealt with during the

15     examination-in-chief, the Defence is perfectly entitled to deal with that

16     subject, but the time used will be deduced from the time allocated to the

17     Defence for its own examination-in-chief, and since we heard nothing

18     about convoys, the time you will spend dealing with that will be deducted

19     from the time you've been granted for your own examination-in-chief.

20             MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, of course this is your

21     decision.  I will abide by that, but if you will allow me just two

22     sentences.  The witness did mention this person, Jakov Binenfeld, in the

23     examination-in-chief.  He explained why he had chosen that agency, and in

24     my view one of the factors which was just confirmed by the witness was

25     the moral standing and the professionalism of that person.  This is what

Page 28328

 1     I wanted to verify.  I had to ask him about the convoys in order to find

 2     out whether that person did have those moral -- that moral integrity.  I

 3     believe that the questions are connected and that they would fall under

 4     the sphere of the cross-examination.

 5             And second of all, and an additional reason why I'm asking this

 6     witness about the convoy, and that was only my last question, was the

 7     fact that on my list, 92 bis witnesses, I have that person and his

 8     statement about those convoys and Praljak's role and assistance with the

 9     organisation of these convoys.  If you are taking that time off my time,

10     then I believe that only the last question should be taken off my time,

11     that question about the convoys.

12             Yes.  My client is reminding me that there is a document to that

13     effect.  In order to avoid wasting any more time, with your leave I would

14     like to move on.

15        Q.   Witness, my learned friend Karnavas showed you amongst other

16     things document D 02610.  You have it in my binder which consists of only

17     two documents.  This is your letter.  You told us about this letter.

18     You're asking the Ministry of Culture and education to provide you with

19     the information about the number of children included in regular

20     education because this is what you had been requested to do by the

21     embassy of the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina.  We've already spoken

22     about that?

23             If you look at the number of this document and the date, and

24     could you please look at my next document which is 3D 01036.  So first

25     let's identify the document.  This is a letter to the government of the

Page 28329

 1     Republic of Croatia, i.e., to the office of the refugees and displaced

 2     persons.  The address is the address of your office.  The date is 18th of

 3     January.  The signatory of this document is Vesna Giradi-Jurkic, Master

 4     of Science, the then Minister of Education.  In the first line of this

 5     text pursuant to your letter number 01904, if we look at the number on

 6     the document that was shown to you yesterday my question, Dr. Rebic,

 7     would be this:  Do you agree with me that this is obviously the answer to

 8     your request dated 12 January?

 9        A.   I agree, although I see this document after 12 years today, but I

10     remember it well, and the number 32.000 students, refugees from Bosnia

11     and Herzegovina were regular students within our education system out of

12     whom 25.000 in primary schools and 6.000 in secondary schools.  This

13     number -- these numbers correspond to the numbers brought by the Office

14     for Refugees and Displaced Persons in their reports based on the

15     registration for refugees.

16        Q.   Okay.  In order to avoid wasting time you have now read item 1 of

17     this letter.  You started talking about numbers here and this confirms

18     what you said yesterday not only with regard to the figures but also with

19     regard to the system.  It says here that the children were included in

20     the regular school system.  That's what we're interested in.  Is that

21     correct?

22        A.   Yes, it is.

23        Q.   Thank you very much.  Would you then agree that this is an

24     authentic document?

25        A.   Yes.  This is an authentic document.

Page 28330

 1        Q.   Thank you very much.  And now I will move on to another topic

 2     that was raised by you.  On two occasions during your testimony so far

 3     you've mentioned in broader terms the cooperation with your -- between

 4     your office and the Ministry of Defence of the Republic of Croatia, some

 5     of which had previously been owned by the JNA.  You wanted to use them

 6     for refugees because they had all the necessary infrastructure.  And then

 7     yesterday, towards the end of the day, you mentioned a situation when you

 8     had been given an HV aircraft to transport you to Split because you had

 9     some problems with refugees there.

10             My question is as follows:  Is it true that your office had

11     various aspects of cooperation with the Ministry of Defence of the

12     Republic of Croatia?

13        A.   Yes, Mr. Kovacic.  Our office had different forms of cooperation

14     with the MOD, not only when it came to taking over some of the

15     facilities, military facilities, i.e., barracks, that we needed to

16     accommodate refugees because they had all the necessary infrastructure

17     and they were not at the time required by the Croatian army.  Besides

18     these facilities still had some personnel, civilian personnel, such as

19     cooks and cleaning staff.  So in that respect we had a logistical

20     support.

21             I remember Mr. Vukina from the MOD who was of a huge help to me

22     when it came to logistics and the accommodation of refugees and displaced

23     persons, and in light of the fact that at the very beginning the army was

24     well-organised in terms of supplies and accommodation.  So we had a lot

25     of help from the MOD.

Page 28331

 1        Q.   Very well, then.  Dr. Rebic, tell us, please, whether these were

 2     the only topics that you dealt with in your frequent contacts, or

 3     whether -- or were there any occasions when the Ministry of Defence or

 4     the HV helped with some incidents, with some complex situations when you

 5     had to deal with the situation immediately if not yesterday?  You did not

 6     have your own people, so did you sometimes turn to the Ministry of

 7     Defence for help because the Ministry of Defence obviously had personnel,

 8     organisation, and equipment?  Can you tell us something about that?

 9        A.   Yes.  This help primarily concerned logistics.  I'm talking about

10     accommodating refugees and organising refugee centres.  This is all the

11     help that we received from the MOD, logistical support.

12        Q.   Thank you very much.  Within the MOD did you have any cooperation

13     with the information and propaganda department?  Do you remember?

14        A.   No.  As far as I can remember, I did not have any contacts with

15     them.  They could receive information from our office if they asked for

16     it, because our information was public and accessible to all.

17        Q.   During your contacts with the Ministry of Defence did you ever

18     meet General Praljak in person?

19        A.   I met General Praljak and I remember that meeting.  It was very

20     early on.  I may not remember the exact date, but I believe that it was

21     in February or March 1992 when we had some problems at the office.  So

22     together with Mrs. Rukavina -- I believe that was her name.

23     Mrs. Rukavina was the head of the regional office for refugees and

24     displaced persons in the city of Zagreb.  We had some problems with

25     accommodation and the attitude of some younger people towards the army

Page 28332

 1     and the refugees, and he was very helpful in dealing with all these

 2     problems.  I remember that Mrs. Rukavina and I met in a very modest room

 3     and that -- that is when I met a very modest person who gave his whole

 4     heart to serving the Croatian defence.

 5        Q.   Just for the record, who are you referring to when you say a

 6     modest person?

 7        A.   I -- I'm referring to Mr. Praljak.  Later on Mrs. Rukavina, who

 8     was a very decent and honest woman had nothing but the words of praise

 9     about him.  Her son fought in the army near Sisak, and at the time

10     Mr. Praljak was the head of that defence.  She had only the word of --

11     words of praise for his firmness and his fair dealings towards his

12     co-fighters.

13        Q.   Thank you very much.  When Mrs. Rukavina told you about the

14     positions around Sisak would I be -- would I jog your memory if I told

15     you that this was Sunja?

16        A.   Yes, you're right there.  It was Sunja.  Sunja at the time was

17     theatre of major conflicts between the JNA, the Serb paramilitaries, and

18     our own Croatian army, and our lads fought very hard to repel the -- the

19     Yugoslav People's Army and not to let them through to -- all the way to

20     Zagreb, because this is not very far from Zagreb for that matter.

21        Q.   You said that Mrs. Rukavina told you how the army and

22     General Praljak helped her in her job.  Do you -- do you perhaps remember

23     an event which took place in 1992, very early in the year, when Mate

24     Granic, as the vice-prime minister promised the European Monitoring

25     Mission that he would give them the hotel in the Jakomir neighbourhood of

Page 28333

 1     Zagreb?

 2             Let me just try and jog your memory and tell you that that hotel

 3     at the time accommodated refugees from Vukovar, and when they were told

 4     that they would be moved or at least there was an intention to do so,

 5     they rebelled.  They didn't want to move, and if I remember the whole

 6     incident well and the papers that I read about the incident, the then

 7     mayor, Marina Matulovic Dropulic, intervened and the whole situation was

 8     compounded because the city had proposed the refugees from Vukovar to be

 9     accommodated in the 7th -- 7 secretaries of SKOJ facility, the whole

10     thing escalated, and then the army proposed some of the hospital

11     facilities in the old Vlaska street in Zagreb.  Is that the incident that

12     you had in mind when you said that there were some problems?

13        A.   Not particularly that one, but I do remember that particular

14     incident.  Unfortunately, this happened on Christmas, and it was really a

15     very sad thing that refugees from Vukovar whom the Serbs had expelled

16     from their own Croatian homes and killed many of them, all these people

17     were very stressed out.  They were already accommodated in the facility

18     before the office, my office, was established, because they had had been

19     expelled from Vukovar in the course of the month of September, October,

20     and November 1991.  And then these facilities were required by the army,

21     which means that the refugees from Vukovar had to be moved from that

22     facility.

23             Both refugees and displaced persons were very sensitive, and they

24     did not respond to any such attempt to move them lightly.  And then

25     Mr. Granic got involved because the Office for Refugees Displaced and

Page 28334

 1     Persons had started functioning only before Christmas.  That's why

 2     Mr. Granic played a somewhat bigger role.  He personally spoke to all

 3     these people and an agreement was reached for them to be transferred,

 4     some of them to Vlaska Street or to the premises of the former military

 5     hospital, and the others were moved to Kozhnice.  This is what you

 6     mentioned under the name of 7 secretaries of SKOJ.  In Kozhnice they had

 7     very good facility, very good accommodation.

 8             I don't know -- I don't remember now whether this was a military

 9     facility or whether this was a facility that belonged to the city of

10     Zagreb.  It seems to me that the facility did belong to the city of

11     Zagreb.  In any case, it was in good order, and later on we did not have

12     any more problems with the refugees there.  They -- they made themselves

13     comfortable both in the hospital and in the Kozhnice facility.

14             I visited them in both these places in Vlaska and in Kozhnice,

15     and I even celebrated the holy mass on Christmas in Kozhnice.  Actually

16     it wasn't on Christmas, it was New Year's, a week after Christmas.

17        Q.   Just to verify something.  You said that it was around Christmas.

18     Was it '92?

19        A.   No, it was 1991.

20        Q.   1991?

21        A.   Yes, 1991, because Vukovar fell in 1991 towards the end of

22     October, on the 21st of October.

23        Q.   And also you mentioned the hospital in Vlaska Street in Zagreb,

24     or at least some of the facilities there.  Was that before the war

25     property of JNA, and then pursuant to a government decree it was under

Page 28335

 1     the control of the Ministry of Defence when the JNA left?

 2        A.   You are right, Mr. Kovacic.  The property of the JNA was taken

 3     over by the Croatian army once Croatia gained independence --

 4     independence, and it is only logical.  The HV did not -- did not need the

 5     hospital, which was very large, and that's why they decided and agreed to

 6     hand over a large part of that facility to the refugees from Vukovar.

 7        Q.   Can we now summarise and say that in light of all these contacts

 8     with the Ministry of Defence, their help and their property, could you

 9     please just briefly in two sentences, because we don't have any more

10     time, could you briefly tell us whether the overall cooperation with the

11     Ministry of Defence concerning the displaced persons and later on

12     refugees, was it good?  Was the Ministry of Defence willing to cooperate?

13        A.   The cooperation was good.  It was very useful to our office and

14     to refugees and displaced persons, and if the Croatian army had not

15     helped us, we would have had much more difficulties when it came to

16     looking after refugees and displaced persons.

17        Q.   Thank you.  Just one more question.  Referring to the incident

18     concerning the displaced persons from Vukovar, do you remember that at

19     one point General Praljak became directly involved in the attempt to

20     convince these people from Vukovar that they should cooperate and that

21     they should move as they were asked to do?  Did you have any information

22     about this?

23        A.   No, I don't remember that because on that occasion I didn't visit

24     the facility myself.  It was Deputy Prime Minister Granic who visited it.

25     That's why I don't remember, because I wasn't actually there.

Page 28336

 1        Q.   Thank you very much, Dr. Rebic.  Those were all my questions for

 2     you.

 3        A.   Thank you, too.

 4             MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, with respect to my

 5     calculation of time, I wish to add to my previous arguments that refugees

 6     from Sarajevo were mentioned during the examination-in-chief yesterday,

 7     and document 2D 00454 was put to the witness.  For this reason, I submit

 8     that all my questions, including the ones concerning the convoy, did have

 9     to do with the examination-in-chief.  The Defence did raise that issue,

10     and it is my standpoint that my questions were within the -- that

11     framework.

12             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well.  Thank you,

13     Mr. Kovacic.  The Chamber will rule on this particular point.

14             Ms. Alaburic, you have the floor.

15             MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours.  I wish good day to

16     you and to everyone in the courtroom.

17                           Cross-examination by Ms. Alaburic:

18        Q.   [Interpretation] Good day, Dr. Rebic?

19        A.   Good day.

20             THE INTERPRETER:  Could there be pause between question and

21     answer, please.

22             MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation]

23        Q.   I am an attorney at law from Zagreb appearing for Milivoj

24     Petkovic.  I will put a brief question to you concerning the convention

25     on the status of refugees, and after that I will put a few questions to

Page 28337

 1     you about a document put to you by the Defence of Jadranko Prlic which

 2     Their Honours were greatly interested in.

 3             My first question concerns the convention on the status of

 4     refugees.  Could you please take a look at my document 4D 01233.  In this

 5     document, if we can look at it together, it says that the government of

 6     the Republic of Croatia issued a decision on the publication of

 7     multi-lateral international agreements, and it says in the introduction

 8     that the Republic of Croatia, as of the 8th of October, 1991, was through

 9     succession a party to the follow international agreements, and under

10     number 35 it mentions the convention on the status of refugees of 1951,

11     and under item 37 the protocol on the legal status of refugees from 1967.

12             Dr. Rebic, could you please confirm to us -- well, can you first

13     of all tell us what this date, the 8th of October, 1991, refers to?  Why

14     is that the date when Croatia acceded to these international treaties?

15        A.   If I recall correctly, that was the date when the Croatian

16     parliament -- well, I can't remember precisely, but I know that the date

17     was of importance for the Republic of Croatia, and there were even

18     proposals that it should become a public holiday.  I know that the

19     parliament made an important decision on that date.  Can you jog my

20     memory and tell me what it was?

21        Q.   I'll jog your memory.  Was it then that the parliament adopted

22     the decision that Croatia should become an independent country?

23        A.   Yes, yes.  You're right.  I thought at first that this happened

24     in June, but you are right, it happened in October.

25        Q.   In June the decision was made but then there was a three-month

Page 28338

 1     moratorium, which is why the 8th of October, 1991, is the date when

 2     independence was declared.  Can you confirm, Dr. Rebic, that as of the

 3     first day of its existence as an independent state, Croatia was a party

 4     to these international treaties and agreements?

 5        A.   Yes, that's correct.

 6        Q.   Thank you very much.  The document we discussed most yesterday

 7     bears the number P 10048.  Dr. Rebic, please pay attention to the

 8     monitor.  I believe that this will be sufficient for the purposes of my

 9     examination.  This is a document concerning the taking in of 500 persons

10     from Mostar.  Do you remember yesterday's discussion of that document?

11             In the course of yesterday's examination, I received the

12     impression that you did not understand what it was that Their Honours did

13     not understand in connection with this document.  Am I right in thinking

14     that you were confused?

15        A.   Yes, you're right.  I really was confused, because I didn't

16     understand what sort of clarification was expected of me.  My impression

17     was that Their Honours were not aware of the geographical relations

18     between Bosnia-Herzegovina and third countries and that perhaps they were

19     not fully aware of the geography.

20        Q.   Dr. Rebic, as you are not a lawyer, I'm not going to ask you the

21     same sort of questions about this document that I would ask a fellow

22     lawyer, but I believe I can put some questions to you that you will be

23     able to answer.  Please tell us to whom was this document addressed?  To

24     whom was it sent?

25        A.   This document, as is evident, was sent to the police station in

Page 28339

 1     Vrgorac, to the border police and to the border crossing, Banja Vrgorac.

 2     The document was primarily addressed to the border police so that based

 3     on this document they could let through persons who wanted to go from the

 4     Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina to third countries, and to do that they

 5     had to cross the territory of the Republic of Croatia.  This made it

 6     possible for them.

 7             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Witness, I'm sorry to

 8     interrupt.  Following what you said, for your information, sir, I would

 9     just like to mention that the Trial Chamber went to Bosnia-Herzegovina,

10     and I have personally been there on many occasions, so this is just for

11     your personal information.

12             Please proceed, Ms. Alaburic.

13             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.

14             MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation]

15        Q.   Dr. Rebic, please look at the following:  On the -- at the bottom

16     of the page it also says that copies were sent to the Ministry of the

17     Interior, the migration unit; is that correct?

18        A.   Yes, quite understandably because the document was sent to the

19     border police.

20        Q.   Please tell us, as this document was addressed to the police,

21     does this mean, in fact, that the police addressed your office and asked

22     your opinion on the request of these 500 persons to enter Croatia and to

23     gain temporary residence in Croatia?  So my question is:  Did you send

24     this document to the police because you received an inquiry from the

25     police?

Page 28340

 1        A.   Well, evidently, yes, because otherwise the police would not be

 2     allowed to let these people into the Republic of Croatia without this

 3     document.

 4        Q.   It follows further from this document that your office gave its

 5     agreement to have these persons granted entry and permanent residence in

 6     Croatia.  So it follows from this that some other organ actually issued

 7     the approval for their entry and temporary residence.  Is that correct?

 8        A.   The Office for Displaced Persons and Refugees gave its agreement

 9     and also gave its agreement that for a time these refugees, until such

10     time as the third entity, this was evidently the UNHCR, could accommodate

11     them in the countries to which they wanted to go.

12        Q.   Are you aware under Croatian legislation, or maybe you can see it

13     from this document, after the granting of approval for the entry and --

14     or, rather, was it the Ministry of the Interior which granted approval

15     for these persons to enter the country with your agreement?

16        A.   No, it was not the Ministry of the Interior.  It was the office

17     that decided on this, and we informed the ministry of that, because

18     refugees came under the authority of the Office for Displaced Persons and

19     Refugees not under the authority of the Ministry of the Interior as

20     happens in some other countries.

21             THE INTERPRETER:  Could there be a pause between question and

22     answer.

23             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, because they didn't want to

24     take them in.

25             MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation]

Page 28341

 1        Q.   We'll come to that.  So these persons did not have refugee

 2     status; is that correct?

 3        A.   Yes.

 4        Q.   It follows from this document that these persons had the status

 5     of refugees staying in Croatia based on a temporary residence permit.

 6        A.   Yes, but because they hailed from Bosnia-Herzegovina, they had de

 7     facto care because of their refugee status whether it was recognised de

 8     jure or not.  De facto the Republic of Croatia had to provide them with

 9     everything it provided for refugees.  We could not leave them out in the

10     street.

11        Q.   That's clear.  So these persons are entering Croatia as

12     foreigners based on temporary residence permit, and they were

13     accommodated in the camp in Gasinci; is that correct?

14        A.   Yes.

15        Q.   Are there grounds to conclude then that you participated in the

16     issuing of this document, because these persons were being taken care of

17     in a refugee centre?

18        A.   Yes, that's correct.  And there was an UNHCR office in Gasinci.

19             JUDGE TRECHSEL:  I'm sorry.  About three times the interpreters

20     have asked to make a pause after you've spoken.  Perhaps you've not heard

21     it, but it's really very trying on them, and it will be very nice if you

22     could try to comply.  I very well know how difficult it is.  I have all

23     the understanding, but please.

24             MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Thank you.  In our language we

25     didn't hear -- on our channel we didn't hear these interpreter

Page 28342

 1     interventions.  Thank you.

 2        Q.   Mr. Rebic, I'm not taking for granted that you're familiar with

 3     Croatian legislation and regulations, but I do have to ask you the

 4     following:  Under Article 22, and you don't have this document before

 5     you, of the Croatian law on the movement and stay of refugees, I have it

 6     translated for Their Honours, and if they wish to see it in English it's

 7     ready to be distributed.  For the purposes of my cross-examination, it

 8     will be sufficient for me to say, and this document was used in e-court

 9     during the examination-in-chief, 4D 01232.

10             In Article 22, Mr. Rebic, please listen, the Croatian law states

11     that a foreigner can stay in Croatia based on five legal grounds.  I will

12     list them.  The first is temporary residence, the second is extended

13     residence, the third is residence with a business visa, the fourth is

14     residence pursuant to approved permanent residence, and the third is

15     pursuant to recognised refugee status.

16             Were you aware in principle that foreigners could stay in Croatia

17     on various legal bases?

18        A.   Well, I was primarily aware of the fact that anyone who came from

19     Bosnia-Herzegovina, from Vojvodina or from Serbia also, had the right to

20     stay in the Republic of Croatia with the permission of our office, which

21     recognised refugee status or displaced person status for three months,

22     six months, a year, or on a temporary basis.

23        Q.   So your office made decisions on one of these legal bases for the

24     stay of foreigners in Croatia; is that correct?

25        A.   Yes, that's correct.

Page 28343

 1        Q.   A person could also stay in Croatia due to temporary residence,

 2     which was decided by the Ministry of Internal Affairs.

 3             Mr. Rebic, are you aware whether residence in Croatia on one

 4     legal ground excluded the possibility of a person simultaneously staying

 5     in Croatia based on another legal ground?

 6        A.   No, it was not excluded.

 7        Q.   Are you sure of that?

 8        A.   No, I can't be sure.

 9        Q.   I'll go back to this document now, 10048.  That's P 10048, and

10     you will see it on your screen.  It's to do with the persons arriving

11     from Mostar.  And in the introduction it says in the preamble that these

12     persons are arriving in Croatia and they are being granted temporary

13     residence.  That's one legal ground on which the MUP decides.  That's in

14     the first paragraph.  And in the third paragraph it says:  "Pursuant to

15     this" -- look at the last line, and I emphasise "Pursuant to this these

16     persons do not have the right to request or obtain refugee status."

17             That was the reason I asked whether one legal ground excluded the

18     others.  So these two words, "Pursuant to this," or "In accordance with

19     this," these persons do not have the right to ask for refugee status, and

20     the reason is that their residence in Croatia has already been granted on

21     another legal basis, which is temporary residence; is that correct?

22        A.   Yes.

23             MR. SCOTT:  Excuse me, Your Honour.  Just again so the record is

24     clear on this, and I think just now is a perfect illustration of the

25     problem, we continue to object to leading questions in this context.

Page 28344

 1     This is a friendly witness, a witness entirely friendly to Ms. Alaburic.

 2     He has given no adverse evidence to her client, and the Defence has been

 3     given an unfair advantage by being able to put leading questions,

 4     subjective direct questions to the witness just as the one just given.

 5             I ask the Chamber to look at the transcript, look at the

 6     question.  That is a clearly leading question being put to a non-adverse

 7     witness, and Prosecution continues to object to this practice.  As the

 8     Chamber may know we've filed a -- we've made a written motion -- filed a

 9     written motion on this topic today, and this illustrates the point very

10     well.  Thank you.

11             MR. KHAN:  Your Honour, of course this matter has been subject to

12     a motion filed by the Prosecution.  It's trite to say, however, that the

13     proposition put forward by the Prosecution is entirely novel or very

14     largely novel at least, at the very least, in this Tribunal.

15             Your Honour, it's a matter for --

16             JUDGE TRECHSEL:  I'm sorry if I interrupt, but this is now

17     pending before us and the Defence will have a chance to answer.  I do not

18     think it conducive to any good if we discuss it now.  The Chamber has

19     taken note of the objection, and I think we leave it at that.  I would

20     suggest that we do not take more time for a discussion that could go on

21     for a long time, appreciating your -- what you're saying.  It's not that

22     it's wrong, but I think it is not conducive to our work at this time.

23             MR. KHAN:  Your Honour, so be it.  We will respond in writing.

24             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well.  And I would like to

25     inform everyone that the witness told us that he was going to Israel this

Page 28345

 1     weekend, and in order to make sure that he doesn't have to come back next

 2     week, let's try to avoid wasting time.  And as my learned friend --

 3     fellow Judge said the question is a pending one, and I would like to

 4     invite Ms. Alaburic, if possible, to put neutral questions to the witness

 5     just like the Judges do when they put questions to the witness.

 6             MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Thank you for your instruction,

 7     Your Honours.  I will do my best to put neutral questions to the extent

 8     possible.  If Dr. Rebic were a lawyer, I would put different questions,

 9     but if a lawyer is putting questions to layperson about legal matters,

10     then I believe that a different approach is in order, and --

11        A.   I apologise.  If I may say, Your Honours, I can't be led by

12     anybody.

13             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you very much, Witness,

14     for your answer.  I already said this for other witnesses.  Given the

15     quality of the witnesses, it seems that it is very difficult to

16     manipulate witnesses.

17             Please proceed, Ms. Alaburic.

18             MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] It hasn't been my intention to

19     manipulate anybody.  I believe that we will benefit most from correct

20     answers.

21        Q.   Dr. Rebic, I remind you that we have left it off with the fact

22     that these persons could not ask for refugee status because they had been

23     permitted to stay in Croatia based on some other legal grounds, and in

24     this particular case it was prolonged stay.

25             Tell us, please, whether the status was decided by the Republic

Page 28346

 1     of Croatia or the person arriving in Croatia by way of submitting one or

 2     another kind of request.

 3        A.   The Office for Refugees and Displaced Persons had a say in that

 4     and they decided that in keeping with the situation that brought the

 5     person to Croatia and their own will.  If that person requested a refugee

 6     status in the Republic of Croatia, then that person would be granted that

 7     status.  If they arrived in the Croatian -- in the Republic of Croatia

 8     with an express request to stay in Croatia only temporarily because they

 9     had a place to stay in a third country, then we had no reason not to

10     respect the person's will and granted a temporary stay.  We did not force

11     such a person to stay in Croatia any longer than they were willing to

12     stay.

13        Q.   Dr. Rebic, for example, a refugee from Bosnia and Herzegovina, a

14     citizen of Bosnia and Herzegovina who was fleeing from war, could they be

15     given the refugee status in several countries, for example, in Croatia,

16     Great Britain, France, or was there a rule that regulated that

17     differently?

18        A.   In practical terms somebody who enjoys -- enjoyed refugee status

19     in Croatia and then went on to Croatia and when leaving the Republic of

20     Croatia they did --

21             THE INTERPRETER:  The interpreter's correction, and left for

22     Germany.

23             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] And when leaving Croatia they did

24     not cancel their status in Croatia and requested a status in Germany.  So

25     that person would have dual refugee status, but it was of no use because

Page 28347

 1     they could not enjoy benefits in both countries.

 2             MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation]

 3        Q.   Well, in that case we're talking about manipulation.  Tell me,

 4     please, was it not the rule that the refugee status could only be enjoyed

 5     in one country, and if the status is obtained, for example, in Croatia,

 6     then only through this seat and manipulation were you able to acquire the

 7     same status in a third country.  Wouldn't that be correct?

 8        A.   Yes, it would be correct.

 9        Q.   Could you please now explain for the Trial Chamber, Dr. Rebic, if

10     somebody transited through the Republic of Croatia with an intention to

11     go to a third country where they wanted to be granted a refugee status,

12     would obtaining the refugee status in Croatia impede on that original

13     intention?

14        A.   No, not as far as I know, because that third country would hardly

15     be able to know that that person had already been granted the refugee

16     status in Croatia.  At that time, there was -- the communication means

17     were not as developed as they are today.  There was no e-mails, postal

18     services, and after all, it was war.  There were a lot of refugees who

19     moved all the time from one state to another.  They would go.  They would

20     come back.  There was a lot of movement.

21        Q.   Under the assumption that the documentation is in order, that it

22     was very hard to conceal any information, would it be logic -- logical

23     for a person leaving for a third country and applying for the refugee

24     status there to only pass through Croatia in transit, because otherwise

25     they would not be able to be granted a refugee status in a third country?

Page 28348

 1        A.   Yes, that's understandable.

 2        Q.   Wouldn't it be logical for Croatia to receive transit passengers

 3     from Bosnia-Herzegovina who wanted to be granted a refugee status in a

 4     third country?

 5        A.   Yes.

 6             MS. ALABURIC:  Your Honours, thank you very much.  I have

 7     finished my cross-examination.

 8        Q.   Thank you very much, Mr. Rebic.

 9        A.   Thank you very much, Ms. Alaburic.

10             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] One follow-up question,

11     Witness.  In this courtroom many of us are more or less specialised in

12     refugee statuses, and the questions that you were asked helped to

13     understand clearly the refugee status.  But I would like to put this

14     question for you.  A person that for instance obtains insurances or

15     guarantee letters that Denmark, for instance, is going to grant him a

16     refugee status, your office at that point, or the government of Croatia

17     at the time, were you doing everything in your power to allow this

18     refugee to go to Denmark, or was he going to be granted a refugee status?

19             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I would say that most often it was

20     the refugees themselves who organised their own departure through third

21     countries, for example, Denmark, in cooperation with the UNHCR.  As far

22     as I remember, Croatia did not organise such departures to third

23     countries.  As I say, this is as far as I can remember.

24             It would have been very difficult, because Croatia could not

25     organise a convoy or transportation of any sort to take them first to

Page 28349

 1     Slovenia and then further on.  It was just inconceivable at the time.

 2             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well.  I understand that a

 3     situation was quite complex, but let's suppose that we have a person who

 4     comes from Mostar.  That person no longer has any papers for whatever

 5     reason.  That person comes to your office, is taken care of by your

 6     office because -- and he does not have any papers.  He does not have a

 7     passport of Bosnia and Herzegovina, but let's say he has to take the

 8     plane to go to London, and he has to go through Zagreb and there are some

 9     border crossings that he has to go through.  Is your office going to give

10     him a letter, a safe-passage letter, enabling that person to go to

11     England, for instance?

12             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Such person would receive from the

13     Office for Refugees and Displaced Persons or, better say for one of the

14     regional offices and there were a total of 21 of them all over Croatia,

15     such a person would receive documents that we used to call transit visas,

16     and based on those documents such person would be received by third

17     country, for example, Denmark, because that document provided with a

18     status of refugee.  Those papers showed quite clearly that the person had

19     fled from the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina, that it requested a

20     transit visa in Croatia.  That person did not have any other documents

21     for us either, and we could only believe persons -- the person, what they

22     said, because they did not provide us with any documents, no passport, no

23     birth certificate or anything.  Some of these people had all their

24     documents burnt and all their family killed.  They didn't have anything

25     on them.  They just presented themselves as persons without any

Page 28350

 1     documents.

 2             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Fine.  Mr. Scott, you have four

 3     hours and 15 minutes, or four hours and 20 minutes, but we have another

 4     question from the Bench.

 5             JUDGE MINDUA: [Interpretation] Witness, I have a follow-up

 6     question -- or two follow-up questions after the President's question.

 7     Please try to be very concise when answering.

 8             Which minister did your -- did your office depend on?  Were you

 9     under the Minister of Foreign Affairs or another ministry, or were you

10     under direct responsibility of the head of the government?

11             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, the Office for

12     Refugees and Displaced Persons was established by the government of the

13     Republic of Croatia as its instrument, as it's new ministry of sorts, and

14     it was not under any other ministry.  It was reporting directly to the

15     government at the time.  It was Dr. Mate Granic who was the vice-prime

16     minister in charge of social issues.  In other words, our office had a

17     direct link of communication with the government.

18             JUDGE MINDUA: [Interpretation] Second question.  The mandate of

19     your office was to accommodate and take care of refugees and displaced

20     persons.  Did you have the power to grant refugee status to individuals

21     who were outside of Croatia, or did your power, your authority in that

22     respect, only apply to those individuals who were already in Croatia?

23             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, our authority applied

24     to all people, to all those who were already in the Republic of Croatia

25     and had already requested a refugee status, as well as those persons who

Page 28351

 1     were arriving from a different state, in this particular case,

 2     Bosnia-Herzegovina, and came to us to request refugee status.  We were

 3     the only office that was able and allowed to grant that status to them.

 4             JUDGE MINDUA: [Interpretation] Thank you very much.

 5             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Fine.  Mr. Scott, you have the

 6     floor for your cross-examination.

 7             MR. SCOTT:  We'll be distributing some papers, Your Honour.

 8             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] You have the floor.

 9             MR. SCOTT:  Thank you, Mr. President.  Good afternoon, Your

10     Honours, to counsel, to all those in and around the courtroom, and

11     especially Dr. Rebic.

12                           Cross-examination by Mr. Scott:

13        Q.   Good afternoon to you.

14        A.   Thank you, and good afternoon to you, too, Mr. Scott.

15        Q.   Doctor, I'm not sure, I've been thinking back over the last

16     couple of days and I'm not -- I cannot recall whether I've ever

17     cross-examined a priest before.  I'm just wondering, do I need to have

18     any sort of special dispensation or any special permission to do that?

19        A.   It's not necessary, no.

20        Q.   Good.

21        A.   Because this is not a confession, is it.

22        Q.   No.  We'll see.  We will see.  If we can just touch a bit on -- a

23     little bit more on your agency and, in fact, to follow up on some of the

24     questions that Judge Mindua put to you, and some of them may be similar,

25     but perhaps we can capture as much of this information in one spot.  It

Page 28352

 1     may ultimately assist.

 2             You became involved with the Office for Displaced Persons and

 3     Refugees in Croatia essentially at its inception; is that right?

 4        A.   That's right, yes.

 5        Q.   And we're just touching on the relationship with the Croatian

 6     government.  Do I understand correctly, sir, that in terms of a superior,

 7     if the person who we might consider in colloquial terms your boss, is it

 8     correct that that would have been Mate Granic who, at that time, I

 9     believe was both the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Deputy Prime

10     Minister of the Republic of Croatia?

11        A.   That is correct, but at the time, at the very beginning, he was

12     not the Minister of Foreign Affairs.  He was only deputy prime minister

13     responsible for social issues.  And since the office was basically

14     concerned with social issues, he would have been our boss, as you put it,

15     and through him we would also be reporting to the government.  It would

16     not have been fair for me to contact the prime minister directly,

17     bypassing Mr. Granic's authority.  That would not have been fair, in

18     other words.

19        Q.   All right.  Sir, you're absolutely correct.  Later -- at a point

20     later in time Mr. Granic also became -- or became the deputy prime

21     minister during the time you were still at ODPR; is that correct?

22        A.   Actually, what you were going to ask me I believe is that he

23     later on became the Minister of Foreign Affairs.  He already was a deputy

24     prime minister.  Am I right in correcting you there?

25        Q.   You're absolutely right.  How often did you have dealings with

Page 28353

 1     Mate Granic as your boss?  Did you have any sort of regular weekly

 2     meeting with him?  Did you have to report to him your schedule, your work

 3     plan?  What sort of relationship did you have with Mr. Granic?

 4        A.   Mr. Scott, the OTP are meaning either me personally as the head

 5     of the office or together with my deputy or secretary or some other

 6     person who was in charge of the issues that we wanted to brief Mr. Granic

 7     about.  We would go to meet him.  Those briefings of ours would take

 8     place several times a week.  There were times when we would meet on a

 9     daily basis because that's what the situation called for.

10        Q.   Very well.  And during the period -- we're going to be focusing

11     primarily on 1992 into -- into 1994.  During that time period at the

12     ODPR, who was your principal deputy or right hand, if you will?

13        A.   Mr. Cepin.

14        Q.   And what was the position held by Dr. Zoric?

15        A.   Mr. Damir Zoric was the Secretary-General.

16        Q.   Were the three of you, you, Dr. Rebic, Mr. Cepin, and

17     Mr. Zoric -- Dr. Zoric, can we accurately understand then that the three

18     of you were considered the three senior officials in the agency?

19        A.   One would say the most involved in the work of the office, but

20     Mr. Cepin, my deputy, joined us a bit later when the job outgrew the

21     current personnel, and that's why the government offered me to take on a

22     deputy who helped in dealing with the issues concerning the main office,

23     the regional offices, and all the issues that concerned refugees and

24     displaced persons.

25        Q.   All right.  Now, building on that in terms of your dealing with

Page 28354

 1     other offices, let me ask you.  As you know, there came to be an office

 2     for displaced persons and refugees, an agency by the same name in

 3     Herceg-Bosna, and can you tell us who in your office, perhaps you, but

 4     who in your office had the principal contacts or dealings with the ODPR

 5     outside the ODPR HVO?

 6        A.   From the beginning of war in Bosnia and Herzegovina, the ODPR had

 7     contacts with Sarajevo through Mrs. Omersoftic.  Mrs. Omersoftic arrived

 8     in mid-1992 in Zagreb and asked me to brief her about the job of taking

 9     in displaced persons and refugees.

10        Q.   Thank you.  Doctor, just as Mr. Karnavas did, with my apology in

11     advance, there may be times when I will unfortunately interrupt you

12     because of the time limitations that we have to operate under.  Let me

13     restate my question.  Perhaps it wasn't clear.

14             I was not talking about the agency to deal with displaced persons

15     of the government of Bosnia and Herzegovina.  My question to you

16     concerned the Office of Displaced Persons and Refugees that was set up by

17     the HVO, the Croatian Defence Council, in Mostar, and my question to you,

18     who among your office in Zagreb, who had most of the dealings and contact

19     with the ODPR HVO?

20        A.   That office, the one on the territory of the Republic of Bosnia

21     and Herzegovina where the Croatian Republic of Herceg-Bosna was set up,

22     started operating a little later than the similar office in Sarajevo.

23     Consequently, pursuant to an agreement between the Republic of Croatia

24     and Bosnia-Herzegovina, it was determined that the Republic of Croatia

25     should provide logistical support to Bosnia-Herzegovina, to Sarajevo, to

Page 28355

 1     the Bosniak Muslim side, and also to the Bosnian Croatian side.  At that

 2     time it was decided that the Republic of Croatia would help to organise

 3     such an office on the territory controlled by the HVO.  This was done,

 4     and they just like Mrs. Omersoftic came to obtain the basic information

 5     and instructions on how to go about setting up such an office and then

 6     they set one up in Herceg-Bosna.

 7        Q.   Excuse me, sir.  Let me thank you for that.  Let me ask my

 8     question again a third time.  Who, who -- the people in your office,

 9     yourself perhaps, Mr. Cepin, Dr. Zoric, who in your office in ODPR

10     Croatia, who had the dealing -- principal dealings with ODPR HVO, and who

11     did you deal with -- who was the person or persons that the ODPR HVO that

12     you had your dealings with?

13        A.   All three of us participated in that.  Most often I as the head

14     of the office.  They would come to see me and inform me about the

15     situation, just as Mrs. Omersoftic did to inform me about the situation

16     in Sarajevo.  When necessary, Zoric or Boris Cepin had contacts with

17     them.

18        Q.   All right.  And the other part of my question, sir, is who - at

19     the end other, if you will - who were the persons, who were the officials

20     at ODPR HVO, the Herceg-Bosna agency?  Who were you dealing with there?

21        A.   The first person who we cooperated with was Mr. Tadic.  After

22     him, the second person, the head of the Office for Displaced Persons in

23     Herceg-Bosna was Mr. Martin Raguz.  I'm not sure when exactly he

24     succeeded Mr. Tadic.

25        Q.   All right.  And Mr. Tadic, that was Darinko Tadic, and I take it

Page 28356

 1     he was the head of ODPR HVO --

 2        A.   Yes.

 3        Q.   -- prior to Mr. Rebic.  You'll have to give a --

 4        A.   That's correct, yes.

 5        Q.   Thank you.  Now let me ask you a somewhat different question,

 6     sir.  You've mentioned a couple of occasions perhaps since you began

 7     testifying earlier this week, but can you tell the Judges

 8     approximately -- during the period, let's say from the middle of 1992,

 9     roughly July 1992, until mid-1994, perhaps we can say again July 1994,

10     during that approximate two-year period how often did you go to,

11     physically, Herceg-Bosna?

12        A.   As Herceg-Bosna was not within my remit in any way, it was very

13     rarely, I think maybe only once or, if my memory serves me well, twice,

14     that I visited that office in Herceg-Bosna.  There was no need for our

15     office or members of our office to go there, because they were quite

16     independent in their activities.  They were not our extended arm, so

17     there was no reason for us to go there, because we had no competence over

18     that office.

19        Q.   All right.  Can I ask you if you can be provided -- this will be

20     in one of the Defence binders I believe you were shown the document by

21     Mr. Karnavas, we may need the assistance of the usher, if you can please

22     look at Exhibit 1D 02008.

23             I'm told -- I don't know this, but I'm told by my very good

24     colleague that that could be number 12 in the binder, one of the binders

25     that people have been using.

Page 28357

 1             Do you have it, Doctor?

 2        A.   No, no.

 3        Q.   We'll have it for you in just a moment.

 4        A.   I'll get it now, yes.

 5        Q.   Thank you, Counsel.

 6        A.   [In English] Thank you.

 7        Q.   Now, this is a document that we saw previously, that you looked

 8     at the other day.  According to the information that we were provided,

 9     Dr. Rebic, this is a document that you're familiar with.  You had

10     indicated that Dr. Granic, who you identified as your boss, he informed

11     you about this document and talked to you about it.  There had been a

12     meeting between Mr. Granic and Mr. Prlic because Mr. Granic indeed wanted

13     to define the relations between Croatia and Herceg-Bosna, and Dr. Granic

14     and Dr. Prlic agreed that the Croatian ODPR would cooperate with

15     establishing a similar office in Herceg-Bosna and to essentially, if you

16     will, set that office up and get it running.  That's what we've been

17     told.  Is that correct?

18        A.   [Interpretation] Yes, that's correct.  At that time we didn't

19     have time, Granic and I, that is, to discuss in detail all the aspects of

20     the conclusions he had reached with other officials, but I was informed

21     of this in general terms.

22        Q.   All right.  Now, there's several aspects of this document we will

23     come back to because there's -- hopefully we'll approach our questions

24     and answers in a topical way, and there are some things that I will come

25     back to when it's perhaps more appropriate further into the examination,

Page 28358

 1     but on the current point, if I could ask you -- if I could direct your

 2     attention, for example, to paragraph number 2, paragraph number 5.  You

 3     can just cast your eyes on those.

 4             This is consistent, is it not, with what you told us just a few

 5     moments ago that there would be efforts, ongoing efforts, between the

 6     ODPR Croatia and ODPR HVO to get the latter established and running and

 7     that there would be close coordination, cooperation, between those two

 8     agencies; is that correct?

 9        A.   Yes, but not just that, Mr. Scott.  It was necessary to organise

10     on the territory of Herceg-Bosna accommodation for displaced persons

11     within that area.  That was what the Republic of Croatia had requested.

12     It was not necessary for everyone to cross over into CroatiaSarajevo

13     and Mostar both, and this was one of the conclusions of the friendship

14     agreement between Tudjman and Izetbegovic, it was necessary for both the

15     Bosniak Muslim side and the Croatian side in cooperation with Croatia to

16     take measures themselves to look after their displaced persons, and we

17     would help them where they were unable to do this on their own if they

18     were overwhelmed by the numbers of displaced persons.

19        Q.   Thank you, Doctor.  If you'd look at point number 7.  Perhaps you

20     can help us with this since you were the head of the agency in Croatia

21     and working closely with Mr. Granic.  Perhaps you can assist us.

22             Point 7 says:  "When contacting the Office of the UN High

23     Commissioner for Refugees, ensure centralised access.  The contact should

24     be made only at the HVO HZ HB level, in other words, through an office

25     set up by the HVO."

Page 28359

 1             Now, why in your experience, drawing on your experience as head

 2     of the ODPR Croatia, why would you want access centralised and limited

 3     only at a senior level?

 4        A.   As I understand point 7, the Croatian side insisted that in

 5     Herceg-Bosna also conditions should be put in place assisted by the High

 6     Commissioner for Refugees, and Croatia would also assist in that respect.

 7     The ODPR was in daily contact with the High Commissioner, with the UNHCR,

 8     and there was some information, because I think the UNHCR did not have

 9     its own office in Mostar, so some contacts between the UNHCR and them

10     went through us, but these contacts were not so numerous.  Sometimes the

11     UNHCR got involved in solving the problems of the ODPR in Mostar

12     directly.

13        Q.   All right.  Well, perhaps we'll come to some of those instances.

14     If I can just ask you to look briefly at one other part of the document

15     before we finish with this document, at least for now.

16             MR. SCOTT:  And then, perhaps, Your Honour, it might be time for

17     a break.

18        Q.   If you can look at point 11, same document.  If you can look at

19     point 11, just in passing, so perhaps we don't have to come back to the

20     document, at least in this respect.  Another thing that Dr. Granic and

21     Dr. Prlic apparently discussed at this meeting was the assistance of

22     Croatia in operating the Mostar university; is that correct?

23        A.   That is correct.  The Republic of Croatia gave logistical

24     assistance for the founding of Mostar university so that both Croats and

25     Bosniaks in Mostar could become independent in this respect also rather

Page 28360

 1     than arriving in Zagreb or Sarajevo so that they could have and

 2     university in their own town, and that university still exists to this

 3     day, and our professors from Zagreb, especially from the medical school,

 4     still go to teach in Mostar.

 5             MR. SCOTT:  Your Honour, it may be a good time for the break.

 6     Thank you.

 7             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well.  Let's take a

 8     20-minute break, and we will resume in 20 minutes' time.

 9                           --- Recess taken at 3.45 p.m.

10                           --- On resuming at 4.08 p.m.

11             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well.  The Prosecution has

12     the floor again.

13             MR. SCOTT:

14        Q.   Dr. Rebic, just on the topic of one of the accused in this case,

15     Mr. Prlic, if you could just confirm my understanding, and again this is

16     based on what I -- the information I've been given, if I can just confirm

17     that with you for purposes of the record, you believe that you -- that

18     Dr. Prlic visited Dr. Granic about a month before the fighting began in

19     the Posavina, sometime after the war started with the JNA; is that

20     correct?

21        A.   Yes.  That was when I first met Mr. Prlic in Mr. Granic 's

22     office.  Mr. Granic was then the deputy prime minister.

23        Q.   Can you assist us, please, with any other -- I know it's some

24     time ago, but if you can, can you give us any further information about

25     the approximate date of that, your first meeting with Mr. Prlic?

Page 28361

 1        A.   I can't recall the date.  It might have been in the summer of

 2     1992, maybe even a bit later in the autumn, towards the autumn.  It was

 3     not an official meeting between me and Mr. Prlic.  I happened to be in

 4     Mr. Granic's office.  I had come to see the deputy prime minister about

 5     something we needed.  I can't remember what.  And in the break I met

 6     Mr. Prlic and had a brief conversation with him.

 7        Q.   Let me, in the interests of time, let me just indicate that again

 8     the information that I've been given is that during the time -- if we can

 9     say before or during the war, I'm not talking about -- I'm not talking

10     about 1995 or anytime after that, but before and during the war you can

11     recall meeting Dr. Prlic twice; is that correct?

12        A.   Once I'm certain about.  Whether it was twice I can't be

13     absolutely sure.  I did attend some meetings which were held between

14     representatives of the government of the Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina

15     and Croatia and Prlic was there, but he was in a crowd.

16        Q.   All right.  And just to finish on this, again I understand that

17     you do not recall having any what might be described as substantive

18     conversations or communications with Dr. Prlic during the war, which

19     again for these purposes we'll say 1992 to 1994; is that correct?

20        A.   I had a conversation by telephone with Mr. Prlic.  That I know.

21     That was when there were about a hundred and fifty Bosnian Herzegovinian

22     Muslims in the Zagreb mosque.  On that occasion Mr. Mouchet called me up.

23     He was very sad.  He said, Professor, why are you no longer receiving

24     Muslims?  I said to Mr. Mouchet, this is the first I've heard of it,

25     because we are receiving everyone who comes every day regardless of

Page 28362

 1     whether they are Bosnian Muslims or Bosnian Croats.  He said to me that

 2     there were -- well, he said there were 800 of them in the mosque.  There

 3     weren't that many, actually, as far as I can recall, and then I sent

 4     Mrs. Bozena Les who was then the head of the regional office to go to the

 5     mosque urgently and take a look and inform me of this.

 6             MR. KARNAVAS:  Your Honour, I would insist on the gentleman being

 7     allowed to complete his answer.  It is part of the question that was

 8     being asked of him, and so I think he's entitled to give a full answer.

 9             MR. SCOTT:  No, Your Honour I'm entitled to a responsive answer

10     and that is the conversation with Mr. Prlic.  If the Chamber wants to

11     give me more time then I'll be happy to do that, but my time is very

12     limited.  My question was very specific.  I don't need the whole story.

13             I want to know about his dealings.  He mentioned he volunteered a

14     phone conversation with Mr. Prlic concerning 150 Bosnian Muslims at the

15     Zagreb mosque and I want to go straight to -- we understand that.  I let

16     the witness go on, but let's go straight now to the conversation with

17     Mr. Prlic.

18        Q.   Please, Witness.  You said you had a conversation with Mr. Prlic

19     in this regard.  Can you tell us what the nature of your conversation was

20     with Mr. Prlic in connection with these Muslims being at the Zagreb

21     mosque?

22        A.   When together with Mr. Mouchet I went to the mosque and saw those

23     people there, I asked them what they wanted.  I asked them whether they

24     wanted to go back to Bosnia-Herzegovina or whether they wanted to ask for

25     refugee status.  They were in two minds.  Mouchet advised me to receive

Page 28363

 1     them all and give them all refugee status, which is what we did.  Then I

 2     called up Mr. Prlic, told him what had happened.  I told him about a

 3     hundred and fifty refugees had arrived from Bosnia-Herzegovina and that

 4     we had not been previously informed, so they had to spend three days in

 5     the mosque, and they had not even applied to us, but it was only after

 6     the UNHCR intervened.  Then Mr. Prlic said that he would examine the case

 7     and let me know.

 8             He called me back soon after that.  He told me that he had

 9     investigated the case.  He hadn't known anything about it previously, and

10     that these were people who wanted to leave and go to Croatia to be

11     somewhere safe.  They were all people who had left the HVO, the Croatian

12     Defence Council, the Croatian army in Herceg-Bosna.  He said to me that

13     they had paid for their transport and left because they felt they would

14     be safer, their lives would be safer in Croatia.

15        Q.   All right.

16        A.   That was my contact with him.  That's what it amounted to.

17        Q.   And on that occasion, sir, and this actually goes back to what we

18     were talking about before the break, and I asked you about your dealings

19     with the ODPR HVO, the head of that agency I believe -- I believe around

20     this time would have been Darinko Tadic.  Why did you call Mr. Prlic?

21     What caused you to think that Mr. Prlic was the person that you should

22     contact to deal with this matter?

23        A.   I thought he would provide me with the best information, better

24     than the ODPR, and also we didn't communicate by telephone very often

25     with that ODPR.

Page 28364

 1        Q.   All right.  Let me -- let me go further on that.  You say you

 2     thought he would provide you with the best information.  Why?  Why did

 3     you think that?  Why did you think that it would be Mr. Prlic that would

 4     provide you with the best information in this situation?

 5        A.   Well, firstly because I had already met him personally, so I knew

 6     him.  And secondly, because he was a high-ranking HVO official.

 7     Therefore, he was a person who could give me the best information about

 8     those people.  I wanted to know what sort of people they were and how

 9     they had left Bosnia-Herzegovina.

10             His first reply was that he didn't know anything about it but

11     that he would investigate.  After he had investigated he called me up

12     again and he told me what I just told you.

13        Q.   All right.  I just want to clarify a couple of dates with you if

14     we can.  You mentioned in the course of your testimony that I think

15     between 1992 -- well, no.  I believe between 1993 and 1994 there were

16     three times when there was a survey or a census of the persons who had

17     come to Croatia from other countries during the war.  We can use -- we

18     can use the term "refugee" or "displaced person" generally, not

19     necessarily in a technical sense but people who had moved, travelled to

20     Croatia during that time, and you indicated at one point that the first

21     census was in April, May, and June of 1992, and can I suggest to you,

22     sir, that that would have been -- that would have been the second census

23     in 1993, not in 1992?

24        A.   That's correct.  That's what I said.  In 1992, that was the first

25     census, and it concerned displaced persons in Croatia.  In 1993 there was

Page 28365

 1     the second census -- or, rather, it was the first census of refugees from

 2     Bosnia-Herzegovina, whereas the third census concerned both displaced

 3     persons and refugees and it took place in 1994.  If I'm correct, it was

 4     sometime in June or July.  So there were three censuses in all, one after

 5     the other.

 6        Q.   Sir, there was a census in February 1993.  Isn't at that correct?

 7     And in fact, wasn't that the first census?  That was the first census,

 8     wasn't it?

 9        A.   That's correct, yes.  No, no.  In -- there was a later one in

10     February.  The first one in 1992 was in April and May and it ended in

11     June.  I'm using the Croatian language.  I'm not looking at the

12     transcript to see what the interpreter said.  It was April, May, and

13     June.

14        Q.   So April, June, 1992 was the first survey -- or census.  Then in

15     February 1993 was the second?

16        A.   That's correct.  At about the same time, yes.  The same months

17     that is.  A little later.  I think it was completed in June, because the

18     logistics were better, and the people knew better how to do it.  It was

19     done faster.

20        Q.   Well, sir, the document, sir, the documentation and Dr. Zoric who

21     testified here said that that survey took place in February of 1993.

22     February.  So might you be mistaken?

23        A.   I don't think so.  You can check it in the documents.  It's easy

24     to check.  I don't think I'm wrong.  In 1993 there couldn't have been a

25     census in February.  In 1993, the census could have been taken in April,

Page 28366

 1     May, and June, the same months as the first one more or less.  February,

 2     I think, is a little too early as far as I can recall.  However, it can

 3     be checked in the documents.

 4        Q.   Now, moving to another date that I would just like to correct if

 5     we can, or clarify.  You also mentioned in your testimony on Monday a

 6     meeting with, I think, Azra Krajsek and Mr. Tadic and perhaps Mr. Raguz

 7     as well, said there was a meeting to sit down and discuss a number of

 8     things and you said that meeting had taken place on the 11th of April,

 9     1993.  Can I suggest to you -- would you recall that in fact that

10     meeting -- if you think about that particular meeting, that actually was

11     in April 1994?

12        A.   That's correct.  That's what I said, unless there was some

13     confusion.

14        Q.   Perhaps it was -- perhaps it was some of our confusion.  That's

15     why I needed to ask and clarify.

16        A.   Yes, yes.  So it might have been a misinterpretation.

17        Q.   All right.  April 1994.  All right.  Thank you for that.

18             Let me ask you about some relationships with Franjo Tudjman since

19     you were asked some questions about him.  Again if I can focus your

20     attention primarily on the period -- well, for this -- for this purpose

21     1991, 1994.

22             Can you tell the Judges, please, how many times do you think you

23     had any sort of face-to-face dealings, conversations, meetings with

24     President Tudjman?

25        A.   Not as often as one might expect, because with reference to the

Page 28367

 1     refugee and displaced person situation, the president of the Republic of

 2     Croatia received direct briefings from Dr. Granic, who was my superior.

 3     However, I attended a meeting, for example, between representatives of

 4     Bosnia-Herzegovina and Croatia when relations between the two countries

 5     were being discussed and when the friendship agreement was signed.  I

 6     shook hands with Tudjman on that occasion.  Once I went to see the

 7     president together with the community of displaced persons from Croatia

 8     who were having certain problems regarding accommodation, food, and so

 9     on.  These were Croatian citizens.

10             And then the president invited me to attend the meeting, to hear

11     their complaints and comment on them.  That was a meeting when I was

12     there in an official capacity, and before that I had a face-to-face

13     meeting with the president and I told him that he should know that these

14     were persons who could not be completely objective in their reports on

15     their accommodation and food because they were stressed out, and he told

16     me he knew that.

17        Q.   All right.  Well, again, sir, I need to have -- I need to move

18     forward, and I apologise for that, but again, as everyone knows, our time

19     is limited, and you've already told us about your engagement this weekend

20     which we would like to, of course, accommodate you.

21             So so far you've told us about two meetings.  So during 1991 to

22     1994, you had two meetings with President Tudjman?

23        A.   There were others.  I was interrupted.

24        Q.   Well, sir, how many?  I just -- please answer my question.  I'm

25     going to become increasingly -- I'm going to interrupt you because I

Page 28368

 1     don't need all your belong answers all the time, with my apology.  My

 2     question is how many.  You don't need to describe them.  Do you

 3     understand?  Two, four, ten?  How many times did you meet with President

 4     Tudjman?

 5        A.   Well, face-to-face only with once -- or twice.  Excuse me, twice.

 6     Once with reference to refugees and their accommodation, and secondly

 7     when I resigned and he asked me to come and see him to try to -- and he

 8     tried to persuade me to remain at the head of the ODPR, and I told him

 9     no, I was definitely resigning.

10             If you have questions about these two meetings, I will answer.

11        Q.   Did you ever during this 1991 to 1994 time period meet with

12     Mr. Susak, the Minister of Defence?

13        A.   Yes, I did.  Not face-to-face, but together with other persons in

14     connection with accommodating and securing displaced persons.  Once I

15     went to see him with the minister of health, Dr. Hebrang, and

16     Dr. Kostovic, the Deputy Prime Minister, and Doctor -- what was his name?

17     He was a Doctor too.  I can't recall his last name right now.  That was

18     just before Operation Storm.

19        Q.   So let me ask you, sir, how many times, how many times, a

20     number -- what I'm asking you for is a number.  How many times did you --

21        A.   Once.

22             MR. KARNAVAS:  Just for the record, Your Honour, we're talking

23     face-to-face, four eyes, four ears.  That's what the gentleman is talking

24     about, so we don't have confusion about how many times he was in the room

25     where discussions were being help.

Page 28369

 1             MR. SCOTT:  I'm not saying that.

 2             MR. KARNAVAS:  I want to make sure that we're clear on the

 3     record.

 4             MR. SCOTT:  Well, thank you for that, Counsel.

 5        Q.   I'm not talking about just one-on-one meetings where it was just

 6     and Mr. Tudjman or you and Mr. Susak, but times when you had face-to-face

 7     dealings, there may have been other people in the meeting.  So so far

 8     you've had two with President Tudjman and one with Dr. Susak?

 9             MR. KARNAVAS:  That's incorrect.  Again he's using "face-to-face

10     meetings," and I'm saying that the way you -- you're shaking your head,

11     Judge Trechsel, but hear me out, please.  When the gentleman is saying

12     face-to-face, he's talking one to one, nobody else in the room.

13             MR. SCOTT:  How does Mr. Karnavas know that?

14             MR. KARNAVAS:  I do know that.  Because I do know that.  Now --

15     now -- now.

16             MR. STEWART:  Michael, Michael.

17             MR. KARNAVAS:  Part of it has to do with the language.  Now, the

18     question needs to be rephrased.  When he's talking about face-to-face,

19     that's what's throwing the gentleman off.

20             MR. STEWART:  Michael.  Michael.  I'm going to make a genuine

21     attempt to calm things down.

22             MR. KARNAVAS:  I apologise, but you don't need to calm things

23     down.

24             MR. STEWART:  Michael --

25             MR. KARNAVAS:  We need precision in the courtroom, and the

Page 28370

 1     gentleman is entitled to have precise questions.  I appreciate your

 2     candour and you want to help, but the issue here is:  In his own language

 3     what does face-to-face mean, and it's interpreted differently in Croatian

 4     than it is, say, in English.  So he's talking about meetings.  I think we

 5     need to make a distinction.

 6             MR. STEWART:  Mr. Karnavas, don't start on me.

 7             Ms. Alaburic and I discussed exactly this point.  This is

 8     precisely what we were trying to help with.  Ms. Alaburic has explained

 9     to me what the witness has been saying in his own language.  There is a

10     very simple but repeated and understandable issue which comes up in the

11     interpretation which is that face-to-face in English is less apt than the

12     phrase one to one or one on one.  Face-to-face in English doesn't just

13     mean just two people together, it means as opposed to on the telephone,

14     for example.  It means physically present.  Probably, and I'm as

15     complimentary as anybody about the interpretation here, but probably

16     whatever phrase the witness is using in his own language, as explained by

17     my learned leading counsel, is better translated as one-to-one rather

18     than face-to-face and that would avoid the confusion.

19             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well.  This is obviously a

20     semantical problem.  Mr. Stewart thinks it's better to say one to one

21     while the interpreters were saying face-to-face.  And Mr. Scott, please

22     try to perhaps be a little bit more precise.

23             MR. SCOTT:  Well, Your Honour --

24             JUDGE TRECHSEL:  Just for the clarity, if you look at page 45,

25     line 6, the witness in answering the question of the Prosecutor, which

Page 28371

 1     was to the meetings said, "I did meet Mr. Susak not face-to-face but

 2     together with other persons."  So he gave a clear answer, I think.  And

 3     then the question was whether this was more than once.

 4             MR. STEWART:  Your Honour is absolutely right.  That's what

 5     alerted us to the fact that there was clearly this confusion which we've

 6     tried to help clear up.

 7             JUDGE TRECHSEL:  Thank you, it's appreciated.

 8             MR. KARNAVAS:  But the issue goes to President Tudjman as well,

 9     and you have to look at page 43, 44, and then if you look at the way the

10     question is being phrased, and there's no ill-intention on the part of

11     the Prosecution.  However, something is being lost in translation.  And I

12     understand the line of questioning.  In other words, you haven't met him

13     therefore you can't opine on what the gentleman was thinking.  That's the

14     line of questioning, but I think we need to be fair because the gentleman

15     indicated that he was present in the room.  So the follow-up question

16     might be, Well, how often were you present in the room where things were

17     being discussed?

18             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] The French language may perhaps

19     come to the rescue and solve this issue.  In French the right way of

20     putting the question would be, "When did you see personally Mr. Tudjman

21     or Mr. Susak or individually," and the word individually or personally

22     means that there were only two persons present.  So in other words it

23     goes back to what Mr. Stewart was saying, one to one.  But the French

24     language is a very precise language.

25             So, Mr. Scott, please put your question.

Page 28372

 1             MR. SCOTT:  Thank you, Your Honour.  And just for the record I'm

 2     not excited about any of this.  If there has been in fact -- if there is

 3     a cultural or translation issue, then I appreciate being alerted to it,

 4     but I have to agree with Judge Trechsel.  I heard the same thing and it

 5     seemed to me, listening to witness's answer, that he perfectly

 6     understood - it appeared to me - what was translated and what came on the

 7     screen, that he perfectly well understood, so I had no reason to think

 8     otherwise.

 9        Q.   Let me, Witness, we'll have to take this a bit longer, which is

10     fine, I suppose, as long as the Chamber allows us to move in this way.

11     I'm not limiting my question to you in terms of one to one, and that's

12     not my understanding.  You know a one to one meeting is if you and I were

13     in the room somewhere and it was just the two of us.  Nobody else.

14     That's not what I'm talking, you understand.  That's not what I'm talking

15     about.

16             But I'm talking about times where you were in a meeting, it could

17     be just the two of you, but it also could be -- Susak could have been

18     there, Sarinic could have been there, anybody could have been, and I want

19     you to tell us how many times between 1991 and 1994 were you physically

20     present with President Tudjman in that sort of a way.  And I don't mean

21     in a conference hall with 5.000 people, but in a meeting, personal

22     dealings, direct dealings with him that way.

23             Now, I hope -- you're an extremely well-educated man, you speak a

24     number of languages including English, so I hope you understand what I

25     mean.  Can you assist us?  Does that change your answer?  Was it those

Page 28373

 1     two times or is it -- would you like to add or change, modify your

 2     answer?

 3        A.   I repeat and this may assist you.  I met Mr. President Tudjman

 4     only twice, face-to-face, individually, tete-a-tete.  There were other

 5     meetings, for example a meeting between the two parties when the

 6     agreement on friendship was discussed.  There may have been maybe five

 7     such meetings that I attended.

 8             As for Susak, I never met him face-to-face or individually or

 9     tete-a-tete.  There was always another person or two more persons present

10     who were dealing with some topical issues at the time.

11        Q.   So, the answer is no -- as you say, no individual meetings, no

12     personal meetings with Mr. Susak.  Going back to President Tudjman, then,

13     so hopefully we can move forward, have you now indicated then, based on

14     everything you've heard in the courtroom over the last 15 minutes, that

15     during this time period you may have had five physical interventions, if

16     you will, occasions to be with President Tudjman between 1991 and 1994?

17        A.   I said that there were such occasions, but as I sit here today, I

18     can't recall them all.  One of them was definitely the friendship meeting

19     that I mentioned and the next one.

20        Q.   We know about that.  We have a transcript of that meeting.  Sir,

21     we have a transcript of that meeting.  Everyone knows about that one.

22        A.   Yes.  The other meetings were the one when he was at the session

23     of the government of the Republic of Croatia.  I was there, and that was

24     in 1995.  I was there together with other persons.  I was also with him

25     when I was decorated.  Again there were other people present.  And I

Page 28374

 1     really can't recall any other particular occasions when that happened.

 2        Q.   We'll move forward sir.  Now, you're familiar, are you not, there

 3     was a body in the Croatian government or at the time, and maybe there

 4     still is, something called the Council for Defence and National Security,

 5     I understand sometimes called the VONS for short, abbreviation.  Is that

 6     correct?  Is that correct?

 7        A.   VOS.  I never attended VOS meetings.

 8        Q.   All right.  Well, thank you for correcting me if I was wrong.

 9     That's not the information that I was provided.  But in any event you've

10     seen -- you've gone straight to my question, sir.  Thank you.  You never

11     attended any of those meetings.  And so the Judges know, that was an

12     extreme important body that was primarily involved in the -- setting the

13     defence and national security strategy for Croatia during that time

14     period; correct?

15        A.   That's correct, but I as the head of the of ODPR was not

16     requested as a member of that body or at its meetings.  It was just not

17     necessary for me to be there.

18        Q.   You said on Monday, sir, that --

19             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Praljak.

20             THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation] I apologise, Your Honours,

21     but in order to avoid any future confusion, the abbreviation VOS stands

22     for military and security intelligence service, and what the Prosecutor

23     is talking about is actually VONS which is the council for defence and

24     national security, whereas VOS is the intelligence military service.

25             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, I agree.  You're right there,

Page 28375

 1     sir.

 2             MR. SCOTT:  Thank you, Dr. Praljak.  We can agree on that.  I was

 3     right the first time.  It was the VONS.

 4        Q.   So moving forward then, and we know that you did not attend any

 5     of the meetings of that body.

 6             Now, when you testified on Monday, you said that Tudjman busied

 7     himself with the idea of reviving the old agreement between the Serbs and

 8     Croats.  Now, when you say he busied himself, what did you mean to say by

 9     that?  How do -- number one, how do you know, and number two, assuming

10     you do know something about it, what do you mean he busied himself with

11     the idea of reviving the old agreement?

12        A.   Mr. Scott, when I said he was dealing with the idea of Banovina

13     Croatia, I primarily referred to him as the candidate of the HDZ and as a

14     politician, and at the same time as a historian, as a person who was

15     quite familiar with not only the history of Croatia after the Second

16     World War but also the history before the war, and he was familiar with

17     the agreement between Serbs and Croats dating back to 1939 dealing with

18     the autonomy of Croatia.  This autonomy also comprised parts of the

19     current territory of today's Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina.

20             As the political candidate, in his speeches I remember that as a

21     citizen who listened to those speeches, he would he occasionally mention

22     that idea and he would say that this Banovina of Croatia could be

23     re-established.  However, from the moment when Bosnia-Herzegovina was

24     seceded from Yugoslavia and became an independent state, and Croatia was

25     the first to recognise it as an independent state, and Croatia was also

Page 28376

 1     among the first states that established diplomatic contacts with the

 2     newly created state of Bosnia and Herzegovina, as of that moment on

 3     Tudjman stopped insisting [as interpreted] on the re-establishment of

 4     Banovina, because at the moment when Bosnia-Herzegovina was established

 5     as an independent state within the borders of the former Republic of

 6     Yugoslavia, the issue of Banovina for him became moot and history.

 7             MR. KARNAVAS:  There's a clarification.  I'm told that the

 8     gentleman did not say that Tudjman stopped insisting, that he never

 9     insisted.  And so I would ask that the gentleman be -- look at the screen

10     and be given an opportunity to correct the record.

11             Page 52, line 12.  It says that, "At that moment Tudjman stopped

12     insisting."  He's saying that he never insisted.  This is what my

13     colleague tells me, who is a B/C/S speaker.

14             MR. SCOTT:

15        Q.   Sir, you spent the last few minutes telling us that indeed, you

16     confirmed for us, that as a politician, as an HDZ politician, Tudjman did

17     speak about re-establishing the 1939 Banovina.  So apparently he did talk

18     about it at some point.  So did he stop -- did he stop at some point

19     pushing that idea and, if so, when and how do you know?

20             MR. KARNAVAS:  Again I'm going to object to the form of the

21     question.  He never said he pushed the idea.  It's one thing as a

22     politician to express ideas.  This is why I'm going to be on my feet and

23     I'm going to be extremely aggressive at this point.

24             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Witness, you speak many

25     languages, starting with your mother tongue, and you're perfectly able to

Page 28377

 1     express yourself in that language, but you also speak English.  Can you

 2     please tell us again what happened with Tudjman and the Banovina?  You

 3     see that it's a very important matter here and that tensions are ripe

 4     when we deal with this matter, so can you repeat what your feeling was in

 5     terms of Tudjman and the Banovina?

 6             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I said and I will repeat, as a

 7     citizen who was listening --

 8             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Please slow down for the

 9     interpreters to properly translate what you have to tell us.

10             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] As a citizen I was listening to the

11     candidate of the Croatian Democratic Union running for elections in 1990,

12     and I heard him mentioning the fact of Banovina Croatia, which was

13     established in 1939.

14             When the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina was established, when

15     it was recognised by Croatia, which also included him, when diplomatic

16     relations were established with the state, i.e., the Republic of Bosnia

17     and Herzegovina, after that I did not hear him insisting on this idea.

18     On the contrary, he had recognised the borders of Bosnia and Herzegovina

19     within the borders that it had before, and as of that time on this issue

20     for him was history.  I personally never discussed the issue with him.

21             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Witness, in French we have a

22     word, the word "insist," and I see that in English, in the English

23     transcript, the word "insisting" has been used.  In your own language did

24     you use that word?  Did you use the word "insist," or did you use another

25     word, because from a linguistic point of view if you use the word

Page 28378

 1     "insist" it implies that you mentioned the issue in the past but at some

 2     point you stop dealing with it.  So I'd like to know whether it's indeed

 3     the word "insist" that you used in your language.

 4             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No longer insisted, which means

 5     that he no longer pondered upon the idea of re-establishing Banovina

 6     Croatia.  I repeat, he was totally clear on the fact that by having

 7     recognised the new state of Republic of Croatia -- of Bosnia, he as a

 8     politician, he could only talk about something that used to exist but no

 9     longer existed, nor did he want the idea to come to fruition, because

10     that possibility no longer existed.  That happened once he recognised the

11     state of Bosnia and Herzegovina as a newly independent state.

12             MR. SCOTT:

13        Q.   Sir, you just said a moment ago that you never personally

14     discussed it with him, and when you say he no longer insisted, what

15     you're telling the Chamber is you no longer heard him say it publicly,

16     and he didn't say it to you.  Now, that's what you're really telling us;

17     right?  He wasn't saying it publicly, and he didn't say it to you

18     personally.  That's all you can really tell us; correct?

19        A.   I can tell you that he never personally spoke about that to me,

20     and I did not hear him speak about that in public after that.

21        Q.   Moving forward then, sir, I've seen somewhere where you've

22     expressed the view that you -- perhaps you and other people in Croatia at

23     the time thought that the Serbs or the JNA were using refugees and

24     displaced persons essentially as a weapon against Croatia, that is by

25     flooding Croatia with refugees it would be a burden on the Croatian

Page 28379

 1     government and economy.  Is that correct?  Do I understand that

 2     correctly?

 3        A.   You understood me well, and this indeed is correct.

 4        Q.   Now, if I could ask you to go to, please, Exhibit 1D 02277.  It

 5     should be next to you I'm told.  1 -- 1D 2277.

 6             This is a document that I believe Mr. Karnavas showed to you.  It

 7     is a letter from a group of refugees --

 8             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Scott.

 9             MR. SCOTT:  Yes, Your Honour.

10             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] We have a number of binders

11     here.  We have your own binder.  We have exhibits, other exhibits that

12     are loose, and we have another binder, a blue binder.  So can you specify

13     what binder we're talking about here?

14             MR. SCOTT:  I'll try to help as much as I can, Your Honour.  The

15     problem is --

16             MR. KARNAVAS:  It should be in one.

17             JUDGE TRECHSEL:  The blue one.

18             MR. KARNAVAS:  Yes.

19             MR. SCOTT:  Thank you.

20             MR. KARNAVAS:  It should be the number one from ours.

21             MR. SCOTT:  If we refer to a Defence exhibit, it will, perhaps

22     with very limited exceptions, be in the Defence binder.  Obviously we

23     didn't want to copy it yet another time, but we do understand the burden

24     on everyone in the courtroom with juggling these materials.

25             I think perhaps most people have found it.

Page 28380

 1        Q.   Sir, if you can look at that document which again Mr. Karnavas

 2     showed you a letter dated the 7th of March, 1994 to Jadranko Prlic.  Just

 3     a couple of brief questions hopefully.

 4             You've had extensive dealings with the -- with refugee issues and

 5     displaced persons issues, and you've told us in the last few days that

 6     these people -- it's a very unhappy situation for everyone.  They often

 7     have complaints.  I suppose who wouldn't?  But in the middle --

 8     approximately the middle of this letter, and I don't know if the

 9     paragraphs are the same in the Croatian language it would be about -- if

10     I can ask you to look at the fifth paragraph that starts with the words

11     "One school year."  If you see that.  I'll give you that --

12        A.   Yes.

13        Q.   All right.  Thank you.  Skipping -- we'll come back to something

14     else in a moment, but skipping towards the end of that paragraph, you

15     talk about such -- oh excuse me.  I'm sorry.  The letter talks about such

16     things as insecurity, frustration, anxiety, various neuroses, trauma,

17     shock.  I mean, you would agree would you not these are serious matters

18     or not, or are they frivolous?

19        A.   Yes, they are.  You're correct there.

20        Q.   And that would be true no matter if the refugee is a Croat or a

21     Serb or a Muslim?

22        A.   Absolutely.

23        Q.   Now, going back earlier in the paragraph, you mention -- I

24     apologise.  I don't want to keep doing that.  The letter mentions a

25     school year being lost because the children were not able to attend

Page 28381

 1     classes "in their mother tongue," bracket, end bracket.

 2             Now, I'm sure you touched on this during your earlier

 3     examinations.  Can you assist the Judges further?  I mean, how much of a

 4     distinction was there at that time in 1993, 1994, between the Croatian

 5     language, what -- the language that Croats spoke and the language that

 6     the Bosniaks spoke?  As I understand it, correct me if I'm wrong, but as

 7     I understand it they could understand and communicate perfectly well with

 8     each other, for the most part.  Is that correct?

 9        A.   You're right.  They could perfectly understand each other.  In

10     Bosnia-Herzegovina the language spoken there is predominantly Croatian.

11     Actually, the language -- the Croatian language spoken in Herzegovina is

12     what we base our standard Croatian variant on.

13             When I arrived as a student in grammar school, I didn't

14     understand my teachers, but when it comes to the differences between

15     Croats and Muslims, they understand each other perfectly, but let me

16     clarify.  Both in Bosnia and Herzegovina and in Croatian -- in Croatia

17     Croats have a variant of Croatian which we called "received

18     pronunciation," which is somewhat different from the Bosniak language

19     which, during the times of the former Yugoslavia, was under the influence

20     of the Serb language.

21             Now, when it comes to a situation where people are under a lot of

22     stress, even one Serbian word would not go down well with them.  It would

23     not have the same effect on me or my friends, but these are people who

24     were under a lot of stress and even a single word could have annoyed

25     them.

Page 28382

 1        Q.   Well, let me ask you that then, and that's -- it would be

 2     interesting to have a much longer linguistic discussion if we had the

 3     time, but I asked you earlier about these other concerns that were

 4     later -- expressed later in the paragraph, frustration, anxiety, but can

 5     you tell the Judges, how -- was that a serious issue that these people

 6     were not receiving -- children were not receiving classes in their mother

 7     tongue (Croatian).  Was that a serious issue or really it's trivial?

 8             MR. KARNAVAS:  Your Honour, I'm going to object.  How can this

 9     gentleman opine on whether it was serious to those individuals or not?

10     It might be serious to Dr. Rebic, it may not.  You know, it all depends

11     on the individuals and the circumstances.  I don't believe that this

12     gentleman is competent to answer that question.  I think it's -- it's

13     improperly phrased and it's unfair to ask a question of that dimension.

14             MR. SCOTT:  I'll rephrase.  I'll rephrase.

15        Q.   In your dealings with refugees or groups of refugees during the

16     time 1992 to 1994, is this sort of things -- is this something you heard

17     only once or did you hear it on a number of occasions, that is,

18     complaints about not being able to use one's own language?  Or is this a

19     one time -- kind of a one-time situation?

20        A.   One has to be able to understand the text.  The lost year here

21     and the education in the Bosniak language refers to their stay in Central

22     Bosnia, probably in Vares or in Kakanj, under the Muslim control.  When

23     they arrived in Pineta, they had education in their own Croatian

24     language, the language that they had been brought up on in Central

25     Bosnia, Posavina, and Herzegovina.  Even to this day Croats can follow

Page 28383

 1     Croatian television, newspaper, and they speak is the so-called Croatian

 2     proper.

 3        Q.   I appreciate that, sir, and it's like with English.  There are

 4     various dialects, I suppose, and accents of English.  I'm sure

 5     Mr. Stewart thinks that I speak English terribly, but in any event, let

 6     me just -- my point is this:  The point is these children went to

 7     school -- apparently they went to classes.  The classes used a language

 8     that they -- is perfectly well understood.  So what difference did it

 9     make that it was not in "Croatian"?  Was this just a made-up issue?

10        A.   One has to read what these people say in the text.  They say a

11     year was lost because they were -- it was intentionally made impossible

12     for them to attend classes in their mother tongue, Croatian.  The Muslims

13     in Kakanj or Vares were asking of these children who spoke the pure

14     Croatian language at home to suddenly have imposed on them a language

15     which we in Croatia and the Croats in Bosnia and Herzegovina that had for

16     a long time considered to represent Serbisation of the Croatian language,

17     which got on our nerves both in Bosnia-Herzegovina and in Croatia.  And

18     it still does, because they used to talk about the Serbo-Croatian

19     language which does not exist.  There is the Serbian language and the

20     Croatian language.

21             In Bosnia-Herzegovina there are areas which are more under the

22     influence the Serbian language and other areas which are more under the

23     influence of the Croatian language and that's where the Croatians and the

24     Muslims mostly live.

25        Q.   All right.  Well, let's move forward, and for better or worse I

Page 28384

 1     think that's as much time we can spend on that topic unless the Judges

 2     have questions.

 3             Sir, you've mentioned I think perhaps more than once in the

 4     course of your testimony that the Croatian border, that is the border

 5     between Croatia and Bosnia-Herzegovina, was never closed to Muslims

 6     during the -- during the war, and again let's say 1992, 1994.  But you've

 7     also -- let me just tell you, sir, you've also indicated on a number of

 8     occasions that various paperwork, transit visa, permits, approval,

 9     permission, some sort of documentation was required or the border police

10     or what have you would not allow people to come across the border.  Is

11     that correct?

12        A.   Both are correct.  It's correct that when the refugees were

13     crossing the official border crossings between the Republic of

14     Bosnia-Herzegovina and Croatia they had to have documents.  If they took

15     other routes where there was no control of the border, and they did, then

16     they would arrive without being stopped by anyone and find themselves in

17     Zagreb, and somebody would call me up and say, "Hey, wait a minute."

18        Q.   Very well.  All right.  We all understand that in every country

19     people can enter illegal little not going through regulated check-points

20     but if a person were to enter Croatia during this period legally through

21     an established custom point or what he would call it, an immigration

22     point, they would require some sort of paperwork to cross the border; is

23     that correct?

24        A.   Yes, yes.  I would say -- well, I would not say they would have

25     to have paperwork but that they should have had paperwork, if you

Page 28385

 1     understand me.

 2        Q.   All right.  Just a couple of other questions.  I'm just trying to

 3     touch on a few things before we move into some specific topics.

 4             Mr. Karnavas, I believe, showed you document -- I don't think you

 5     necessarily need to look at it.  If you want to I certainly won't prevent

 6     you, but it was 1D 02634, which was a document about the steering

 7     committee of the ODPR for Croatia, and I just -- my question to you about

 8     that, sir, is it correct, that, at least as far as I could tell, there

 9     was -- was there any Muslim member on that steering committee or were

10     there any Islamic charities or humanitarian organisations who were

11     represented on the steering committee?

12        A.   In that committee, Mr. Scott, there was no one of the Muslim

13     faith, because in Croatia there is not a significant number of Muslims.

14     I think they amount to 1 or 1.5 per cent of the population.  But there

15     were very good relations between the ODPR and Merhamet in Zagreb, and

16     there were frequent meetings between Aganovic, who was the head of that

17     Merhamet office, or was legally responsible for that office.  We met very

18     often both in Merhamet and in my own office, especially in relation to

19     humanitarian convoys and humanitarian aid for Muslims.  We were on very

20     good terms.

21        Q.   And in connection with the financing of these efforts, and let me

22     say that no one -- well, I won't speak for everyone in the courtroom, of

23     course, I don't question, I never have questioned, that the Republic of

24     Croatia spent a great deal of money dealing with refugees and

25     humanitarian issues, but just so the record is clear, based on the

Page 28386

 1     information again that I was provided in connection with your evidence,

 2     can you confirm for us for the purposes of the trial record that the

 3     establishment of the Croatian refugee centres, and by that I mean centres

 4     that were operated in the Republic of Croatia supported by the Croatian

 5     government, were paid approximately 80 per cent funded -- funded, if you

 6     will, 80 per cent by the Croatian government with the rest coming either

 7     from the UN or the -- well, what we would now call the EU; is that

 8     correct?

 9        A.   That's correct.

10        Q.   Touching on Ms. Turkovic, she came up a number of times.  Again,

11     and my understanding, sir, is that you met with Ms. Turkovic on a number

12     of occasions.  She would come and visit your office or visit you in your

13     office.  You had good relations with her.  When there were problems she

14     raised them with you.  She may have on occasion had problems with local

15     centres when those centres did not follow your instructions.  Is that a

16     correct statement?

17        A.   Yes, that's correct.

18        Q.   Can you recall and provide to the Judges any information about

19     instances where people in the local centres did not follow your

20     instructions?  Your instruction might be to do A, but the people out

21     there on the ground, so to speak, were not doing what you told them to

22     do.  Can you give us some examples of that?

23        A.   An example of that, Mr. Scott, might be the revocation of refugee

24     status, for example.  Although instructions were sent out from the office

25     to everyone, evidently not everyone read them through with the same care.

Page 28387

 1     There was an overall decision to revoke the status, but there were

 2     certain conditions under which the status would not be revoked but would,

 3     rather, be extended.  I may not need to repeat this, but it concerned

 4     people's whose house had been destroyed, who were ill, who had children

 5     in school, or who lived in areas where there was still tension.

 6        Q.   If I can paraphrase another witness that the Chamber will recall,

 7     is it fair to say, sir, that it's one thing to give directions and

 8     another thing to have them carried out.

 9        A.   That's correct, which is why we decided that these instructions

10     had to be respected.  And we had a meeting with Ms. Turkovic and Krajsek

11     and Ms. Hratokovic [phoen] and Darinko Tadic and Martin Raguz, because

12     when the status was revoked, Mr. Prlic also complained about this as did

13     the Bosnian-Herzegovinian embassy.  Everyone from his own standpoint, of

14     course.  Mr. Prlic was unable to receive large numbers of people who

15     would be welfare cases, and evidently the Bosnian embassy had its reasons

16     also.  Their problem was where to -- where to receive the Muslims, where

17     to accommodate them.  So they were in a more sensitive situation.

18        Q.   Sir, you raised again Mr. Prlic.  Now, is this the same -- is

19     this the same one conversation you referred to earlier, or are you now

20     telling us about another conversation with Dr. Prlic about refugees?

21        A.   Mr. Scott, it's not a conversation.  It's a document, a letter

22     sent by Mr. Prlic to the government of the Republic of Croatia and the

23     prime minister, that is, and then the prime minister forwarded the letter

24     to me for my information.  He probably also copied it to the office.  I'm

25     not sure.

Page 28388

 1        Q.   All right.  Thank you for that.  Sir, in looking at your report,

 2     the document that we were provided which is 1D 02921, titled "My Work at

 3     the Office for Displaced Persons and Refugees," just a couple of

 4     questions on that.

 5             You have an entry for the 13th of November, and I'll have to rely

 6     on everyone to proceed chronologically through the document, but if you

 7     can find your entry for the 13th of November, 1992.  You make reference

 8     to travelling to Belgrade "for a secret meeting with representatives of

 9     Yugoslav authorities.  President Granic was there and some other

10     ministers."  I wonder if you might tell us what that secret meeting was

11     about.

12        A.   This was a secret meeting that was never spoken about in the

13     Croatian media.  It was an attempt to solve some pressing issues which,

14     as regards my office, the ODPR, were refugees, people expelled from their

15     homes.  There were others who were representing the economy or the

16     educational system.  There were several of us who tried in this way to

17     mitigate the consequences of the aggression --

18        Q.   [Previous translation continues] ...

19        A.   -- and to make some shifts --

20        Q.   Sorry.  But why was it secret?

21        A.   Well, if you about back to that time, it was war.  There was

22     aggression, and to speak in public about it would have caused an uproar

23     both in Serbia and Croatia.  It would have had bad consequences, and the

24     meeting would not have been possible at all.  That's why it was secret.

25             If I recall, if I'm not wrong, the prime minister at the time was

Page 28389

 1     a gentleman who had arrived from America.  Mr. Praljak will help me.

 2     What was his name?  Tadic?  Oh, yes, Panic, Panic.  That's right, Panic.

 3        Q.   All right.  All right.

 4        A.   He spoke and lot.  He talked a lot.

 5        Q.   We know a lot of people like that.  If I can still stay in your

 6     report, in early April -- my apology.  In early February 1993, you refer

 7     to the registration of refugees.  It says:  "In early February 1993,

 8     together with UNHCR, we started registering all refugees from

 9     Bosnia-Herzegovina in Croatia."

10             And I just wonder sir, that might refresh your recollection to

11     the questions I put to you earlier this afternoon.  Wasn't that census or

12     survey in 1993 in February?  It's in your report.

13        A.   If it says February, that's an error.

14        Q.   All right.  The report is in error.  So you still --

15        A.   Yes.  It's an error in the report, yes, because the census of

16     1993 was in the months of April, May, and June.

17        Q.   All right.

18        A.   Those three months.  Such errors are always possible when reports

19     are compiled, but we do have documents, precise documents on the census.

20        Q.   And you say in your report:  "UNHCR would cover the expenses of

21     registering as had been the case with the Croatian displaced persons the

22     year before.  We had an excellent experience from that project."  Is that

23     correct?

24        A.   Yes, that's correct.

25        Q.   And if I can jump all the way to February of 1994, you have an

Page 28390

 1     entry which says for the 7th of February --

 2             MR. KARNAVAS:  Could we have page numbers?  It's easier for us to

 3     kind of track.

 4             MR. SCOTT:  Page 20.  Page 20 at least in the English version.

 5     I'm sorry, that's the best I can do.

 6        Q.   But proceeding chronologically through the document, if you can

 7     go -- if you can find -- there's an entry, sir, in your report on the 7th

 8     of February 1994 and it says:  "I went to see Professor Mate Granic.  He

 9     advised me how to behave in Livno where I was going the following day to

10     the all-Croatian Assembly of BiH Croats."

11             First of all, do you recall what this meeting, this all-Croatian

12     Assembly in Livno was in February 1994?

13        A.   This was a meeting of Croats of Bosnia-Herzegovina, a meeting

14     which did not have primarily political connotations but, rather, cultural

15     connotations.  It was a meeting of all Croats together to consider

16     issues, and I can't recall in detail today what these issues were.  I'm

17     sure it had to do with independence.

18        Q.   But, sir, you are again a highly educated man.  Now -- you had

19     now been in your post for some years.  You certainly were very

20     experienced in what you were doing.  How is it that it was necessary for

21     Mr. Granic to advise you how to behave at the meeting in Livno?  What did

22     he tell you?  What instructions did he give you about attending and

23     participating in that meeting?

24        A.   He gave me advice.  He said if I was asked to speak at that

25     meeting that I should speak on behalf of the ODPR in a way that would

Page 28391

 1     avoid any political implications following from my speech.

 2        Q.   Now, February 1994 was right around the time of -- that the

 3     Washington Agreement was beginning to get some traction.  It was signed

 4     later in March, I believe.  Do you recall whether Mr. Granic gave you any

 5     particular instructions on what your position should be at that time in

 6     case the topic of the Washington Agreement came up at this meeting in

 7     Livno?

 8        A.   Excuse me, I didn't understand your question very well.  In

 9     connection with what, the Washington Agreement?

10        Q.   I'll repeat it.  Sorry if I wasn't clear.  Around this time the

11     Chamber has heard extensive evidence that around early 1994 there began

12     to be discussions -- or continued to be discussions, lest there be any

13     objection, about something that came to be known as the Washington

14     Agreement, which I believe was signed in either late February or March of

15     1994.  And I just wondered do you recall any of Dr. Granic's instructions

16     to you touched upon the Washington Agreement, how that should be

17     presented or what stance you should take about that?

18        A.   No.  No, sir.

19        Q.   All right.  Now, moving to the specific questions about refugees

20     in Croatia, which obviously we've talked a great deal about, we

21     understand, sir, and there's already been evidence in the case that in --

22     on or about the 13th of July, 1992, there was a decision by the Croatian

23     government or an announcement not to accept any more refugees from Bosnia

24     and Herzegovina, that essentially Croatia was, we might say, full.  Do

25     you recall that?

Page 28392

 1        A.   Yes, I do recall that, but that was more a cry for help to third

 2     countries rather than a threat.

 3        Q.   And do you recall how long that situation continued; that is, for

 4     how long did Croatia stop receiving additional refugees, and did the

 5     reception of refugees by Croatia then start again at some point and, if

 6     so, can you give us the dates?

 7        A.   Croatia never stopped receiving refugees.  It simply couldn't do

 8     that.  What you say the government decided, I don't remember the decision

 9     in detail or with precision, but I would interpret it now more as an

10     expression of distress, the distress in which the country found itself,

11     and a possible stopping of taking in refugees, but in fact the reception

12     of refugees from Bosnia-Herzegovina never stopped.  We continued taking

13     in refugees every day.

14        Q.   All right.  Well, we'll come back to that in the course of the

15     examination.

16             Let me just ask more general questions about refugees and

17     displaced persons.  Would you agree, sir, that there was a difference --

18     other witnesses and evidence have told us that there was a difference

19     between someone who had -- and I'm now talking in a very technical sense,

20     refugee status, who had been given the legal status of refugee.  That had

21     significance as opposed to someone who did not have refugee status; is

22     that correct?

23        A.   The difference between a person who had refugee status and a

24     person who was not a refugee either because they were not a refugee de

25     facto and didn't need the refugee status because they were well

Page 28393

 1     accommodated and didn't want to be socially branded as a refugee or

 2     perhaps simply did not wish to have that status for reasons of their own,

 3     that was the only difference, but everyone who did have the status of a

 4     refugee or displaced persons had all the rights they were entitled to,

 5     and they were all protected.

 6             May I explain that according to our censuses, about 6 per cent of

 7     the persons who had arrived from Bosnia-Herzegovina had not requested

 8     refugee status.  These were intellectuals, people who were well off,

 9     people who had houses in Croatia, weekend cottages or villas by the sea.

10     They didn't ask for those and there were about 6 per cent of those.

11        Q.   Very well.  But there was an entire legal system, if you will,

12     sir, there were laws, statutes, legislation, there was a bureaucracy to

13     deal with the granting of refugee status, and you either -- at one point

14     in time you either had it -- you either had it under the law or you

15     didn't have it.  And if you had refugee status under the law, that gave

16     rise to certain rights that you did not have if you did not have that

17     legal status; correct?

18        A.   That is correct, but the reason these people didn't have that

19     status was that they simply didn't need to be assisted.  They didn't need

20     the kind of care that refugee status would provide them with.

21        Q.   Sir, I'm not talking -- I don't know exactly what you're

22     referring to, but I'm not talking about this 6 per cent.  I'm -- you're

23     saying that the only people -- are you telling the Chamber that the only

24     people who didn't get refugee status in Croatia, the only people who

25     didn't get it are the ones who didn't ask for it?

Page 28394

 1             MR. KARNAVAS:  Your Honour, that's not what he stated, and I

 2     suggest that perhaps Mr. Scott go back and rephrase his questions,

 3     because I think now we're getting into some murky areas.

 4             MR. SCOTT:  I --

 5             MR. KARNAVAS:  I believe what Mr. Scott wishes to get from the

 6     witness is the benefits that one enjoyed being a refugee versus somebody

 7     who was not a refugee or was not a declared refugee, what sort of

 8     benefits or lack thereof.  I think that's what he's trying to get at.  So

 9     perhaps he could rephrase the questions, but I think now he's putting

10     words into the witness's mouth.

11             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well.  Mr. Scott, please

12     try to reformulate the question since it seems to raise a problem.  I do

13     not share that point of view.  If there's a problem, let's try to solve

14     it.

15             MR. SCOTT:  Nor do I, Your Honour, so I won't use my time to

16     pursue it further.  The witness seems to understand, and I think everyone

17     in the courtroom has understood perhaps.

18        Q.   Let me move on to a specific law.  If I can ask you to look,

19     please, at 1D 02588.  It will be in one of the Defence binders.  First

20     binder I'm told.

21             Actually, we're probably all spending more time finding the

22     document than we really need, but just so everyone knows what we're

23     talking about, that is decree dated the 27th of October, 1992, which

24     Mr. Karnavas showed you, I believe, and you've indicated, I believe, that

25     this -- you consider this to be the law that your agency was applying,

Page 28395

 1     following, in connection with displaced persons and refugees; correct?

 2        A.   Correct.

 3        Q.   And that is your understanding despite the fact that the decree

 4     on its face only applies to internally displaced persons in Croatia and

 5     says nothing about persons coming from outside Croatia?  You agree that

 6     that's what the Statute says on its face?  It says nothing about people

 7     coming from outside.

 8        A.   I did not find an article that would directly mention refugees

 9     from Bosnia and Herzegovina.  However, the definition of a refugee

10     implies everybody who was expelled from Bosnia and Herzegovina and

11     arrived in Croatia.  This decree provided a definition that a refugee is

12     the person who had been expelled from a neighbouring state and arrived in

13     Croatia, and the neighbouring state could have been Bosnia and

14     Herzegovina, Serbia, Vojvodina, or Kosovo.

15        Q.   I apologise for -- I'd rather not have to cut you off.  I'm not

16     trying to be rude, but you say that, sir, but you're saying that's your

17     interpretation, but that's not what the law says.  That's not -- there's

18     no language, I'll represent to you -- everyone in the courtroom can read

19     it ten times.  That's not what the statute says -- the decree says.  Now,

20     let me ask you to go next to 1D 02368 -- excuse me my apology, 1D 02638.

21     It's either, I'm told, in the second or third binder.

22             And once again I'm not really going to go through the details of

23     the statute or the decision or the law, but this is a law on the status

24     of displaced persons and refugees which we understand went into effect

25     sometime around the 18th of October, 1993, and we can see on the page or

Page 28396

 1     in the document, and it's my understanding, sir, that it's your position

 2     or it's the position of the ODPR Croatia that this again -- when this law

 3     went into effect that this was the law that your agency followed and

 4     applied in connection with displaced persons and refugees; is that

 5     correct?

 6        A.   Correct, but we in the office, in keeping with the 1951 Geneva

 7     Conventions, regarded as refugees all those persons who arrived from a

 8     different state of the former Yugoslavia in the territory of the Republic

 9     of Croatia.  If this is not contained in the law, and I didn't have the

10     time to study it, this was still the practice of our office and the

11     practice was clear.  We followed that practice -- practice in our work,

12     and this was the practice that the government had to adopt in adopting my

13     reports, and my reports contained the clear definitions of displaced

14     person as a person who was displaced from their place of origin in

15     Croatia, and refugee was a person who arrived from Bosnia and Herzegovina

16     because they were expelled from there and was received by the Republic of

17     Croatia.  That's why we made this distinction and nobody ever objected to

18     any of my reports saying that I was doing something contrary to the

19     decision or to the law for that matter.

20        Q.   Well, sir, I'm not being critical of you.  Please don't -- please

21     don't misunderstand.  I'm not being critical of what you did.  I'm just

22     trying to --

23        A.   I absolutely understand I'm just trying to clarify things and

24     tell you how we worked, in any case you know that legislation is never

25     perfect, and especially when it's applied in war situations when we had

Page 28397

 1     other things on our minds.

 2        Q.   I understand that, sir.  But the point -- the only point for now,

 3     and I want just to confirm that is the law in fact that you considered to

 4     apply, but once again, and I think that everyone in the courtroom has

 5     already seen that we've gone over this with another -- at least one other

 6     witness.  The statute on its face, the words of the law are only limited

 7     to persons within the Republic of Croatia or people from Croatia who did

 8     flee abroad but from the Republic of Croatia, and it says nothing about

 9     people coming into the Republic of Croatia as refugees from outside the

10     country.  So there again -- what you've told us there's an interpretation

11     that was put on the statute according to you but even though that's not

12     what the statute says on its face; correct?

13        A.   May I be even more specific?  I worked with people, not with

14     papers.  I worked with people under certain circumstances and in certain

15     situations, and those situations were such that people were either

16     displaced within Croatia or had been refugees from the Republic of Bosnia

17     and Herzegovina.  Through my contacts with UNHCR, through my own work, I

18     can tell you that we had -- we established a practice that was quite

19     clear and that reflected in all of our documents and in all of our

20     reports.  If the law was different, then I was governed by

21     humanitarianism, bearing in mind that I was dealing with people rather

22     than with papers, laws, and documents.

23        Q.   All right.  Now, if I could ask you to turn next to 4D 01232,

24     which is the -- I think it's a document that Ms. Alaburic has shown to

25     you.  It's the law on the movement and residence of foreigners.

Page 28398

 1     4D 01232.  And -- I understand that there is a loose hard copy of this

 2     document because there's been at least a partial translation of the

 3     various -- some the various relevant articles.

 4             Sir, this is a law which you've seen before, shown to you and

 5     discussed previously, but this is indeed a law that appears on its face

 6     to, in fact, apply to refugees coming from outside the Republic of

 7     Croatia, and yet if I understand correctly you're saying you did not

 8     consider this law applied; is that right?

 9        A.   That's right, yes.

10        Q.   So what we have here is we have two laws, the 1992 law and the

11     1993 law, who don't apply on their face but you say apply.  And then we

12     have another law, the law on foreigners, who does apply on its face but

13     you say it doesn't apply.  Now why -- can you tell us, can you help the

14     Judges why that is the case?  What explains this situation?  Why doesn't

15     the law on foreigners apply?  By its terms it would appear to.

16        A.   I've already said that once Yugoslavia disappeared a new

17     situation was put in place.  When Croatia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, and Serbia

18     became independent states, new circumstances arose for our Ministry of

19     the Interior, and they had to adopt a certain behaviour towards

20     foreigners who arrived from different countries, Slovenia, Hungary,

21     Germany, to mention but a few.

22             It is my impression that this is a decision that applied to those

23     citizens.  On the other hand, there was a separate law that applied to

24     the movement of refugees, because refugees could not have been

25     encompassed within a law --

Page 28399

 1        Q.   Let me stop you there for a moment.  We have the law, for

 2     example, the second law, the law from 1993, and you've told us for some

 3     days now, and Dr. Zoric told us also for some days, that by -- by the

 4     middle of 1993 there was a huge refugee problem in Croatia, and clearly

 5     it must have been something considered by the Croatian parliament, and --

 6     is the Chamber to believe that the legislators in Croatia didn't know how

 7     to write a law that would apply to people coming into Croatia from

 8     outside the country?  They made exactly the same mistake not once but

 9     twice in writing legislation to deal with this issue?

10        A.   I can't answer your question, because at the time I did not deal

11     with these documents.  The ODPR dealt with looking after refugees and

12     displaced persons rather than with documents about the movement of

13     foreigners.  In any case, in our office for refugees and displaced

14     persons we had a legal department as well.

15             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Witness, precisely I was going

16     to put this question to you since the status of refugees is a very

17     complex legal issue.  I was going to ask you the question if -- precisely

18     this, if within your office you had somebody who was able to bring up the

19     Geneva Conventions of 1951.  Those conventions are very clear.  Did

20     somebody show you various texts of internal law that could be applied to

21     foreigners and to refugees, and that service or that department or that

22     person, were they able to bring you a legal expertise in order to help

23     you to head this office?

24             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, in the ODPR there was

25     a legal service or a legal department, and this legal service dealt with

Page 28400

 1     all those various documents.  At the beginning of our work in the office

 2     we had joint meetings where we analysed things, particularly the Geneva

 3     Conventions and laws that concerned refugees and displaced persons.

 4             This was a time, and I'm particularly referring to the year 1992,

 5     when we actually learned on the job.  We learned the definitions of

 6     displaced persons, refugees.  There were many people in Zagreb who could

 7     not make a distinction.  We learned on the job.  We even invited a lawyer

 8     from UNHCR.  I can't remember the gentleman's name.  I believe it was

 9     either Heinemann or somebody else and this gentleman delivered a lecture

10     on the Geneva Conventions and what it says about looking after refugees.

11     In other words, we embarked on a learning process on how to deal with the

12     issue.  And once when we managed to muster the international law we

13     passed the knowledge on to others, when we were able to fully apply these

14     laws that the Republic of Croatia inherited from the former Yugoslavia

15     and adopted all of them by text that we already saw earlier today.  All

16     these laws, particularly those that concerned DPs and refugees, could be

17     found in our office and they were the foundation of our work.

18             One thing is sure.  Some things arose from the law and from the

19     decree, and even more things arose from -- from our everyday, day-to-day

20     contact with the real situation, with the problems that arose day in and

21     day out.  And this was another source of learning for us.

22             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Fine.  I'm being told by the

23     registrar that we need to break.  We'll break for 20 minutes.  The

24     Prosecutor has used one hour and 37 minutes so far.

25                           --- Recess taken at 5.42 p.m.

Page 28401

 1                           --- On resuming at 6.04 p.m.

 2             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] The hearing is resumed.

 3             MR. SCOTT:

 4        Q.   Sir, if you -- if you still have 4D -- the law on foreigners,

 5     4D 01232 available to you.  Do you still have it there?

 6        A.   No.  I have 233 though.  Oh, yes, I do.  232.  I have it, yes.

 7        Q.   Very well.  Sir, just one final question on this.  A final

 8     question on this topic before moving to some other exhibits, but let me

 9     ask you to go to Article 31 of the law on foreigners.  I'm abbreviating

10     that, but movement and residence of foreigners.  If you go to Article 31,

11     it says that, if you have that, it says:  "A foreigner who has left the

12     country whose citizen he is or in which he was permanently residing as a

13     stateless person in order to avoid persecution for his political views or

14     national origin, racial or religious affiliation, may be awarded the

15     status after refugee."

16             And based on discussions we've had over the past hour or so, sir,

17     given that the status of the legislation in applying a law that doesn't

18     apply on its face, that does not apply on its face, and not applying

19     another law that appears to apply on its face, was there a studied effort

20     by your agency and the Croatian government not to apply the law on

21     foreigners because to do so would recognise that these people were

22     religious, racial, or political persecuted persons?

23        A.   Well, this Article 31 in one way or another also applies to

24     refugees that we worked with, although originally it applies to

25     foreigners who were persecuted in their own countries for their

Page 28402

 1     political, racial, or religious affiliations.  In our situation, however,

 2     when this comes to the ODPR, this law could have only been a framework

 3     law in a certain sense, but it was not a law on which our work could have

 4     been based, on which the recognition of the refugee status would be

 5     granted to persons who had fled from Bosnia and Herzegovina.

 6        Q.   Sir, excuse me.  Why?  You say this was not a law on which our

 7     work could have been based."  It's a law.  It's a law in the Republic of

 8     Croatia adopted by, as far as we know -- duly adopted by the appropriate

 9     authorities, the Sabor or whoever, and it's a law.  It's on the books.

10     Your agency, your legal duty, your obligation is to enforce Croatian law.

11     Now, when you say, "This was not law that we could enforce," why not?  Or

12     did your agency pick and choose which Croatian law to apply and those you

13     wanted to apply and the ones you didn't want to apply?

14        A.   Well, I may have been misunderstood.  I said that this law was

15     broader and that it concerned the movement and stay of foreigners in the

16     Republic of Croatia, and that this law was applied by the Ministry of the

17     Interior.  It was enforced by them, and it was not in conflict with the

18     law and the decree that the ODPR applied, and that office primarily

19     received recognised refugee status and cared for refugees.  In any case,

20     this law was primarily applied by the Ministry of the Interior.  It did

21     not contradict what we were doing, but it was primarily applied by the

22     Ministry of the Interior.

23             MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, if I may.  I know from

24     experience where this is going.  I know -- I know it primarily because

25     Dr. Rebic is not a legal expert as we know from his CV, and I really

Page 28403

 1     don't know what is the foundation of the all the Prosecutor's questions,

 2     but what I'm saying is that we have wasted over 15 minutes after the

 3     Prosecution's question on page 72 when he first arrived at the decree on

 4     refugees, which is 1D 02638.

 5             In the first answer provided by the witness, which is on record

 6     on page 72, line 8, the witness started his answer in the following way,

 7     and I have to quote:  "[In English] Correct.  That we in the office in

 8     keeping with the 1951 Geneva Conventions regarding -- regarded as

 9     refugees all those persons who arrived from different state," et cetera,

10     et cetera.  And then the witness provided additional understanding of the

11     law.  And then the questions, answers, questions, answers.  The

12     Prosecution obviously disregard the fact that by this answer, maybe not

13     put as a lawyer would do, but this sentence clearly shows for a person

14     who is like in this, that it was implementation of international

15     convention.

16             Now, I can talk about qualified lawyer and knowing the domestic

17     law.  The Croatian constitution at that time before that time and today

18     as many constitutions in Europe, and I understand in United States, also

19     says that international conventions are obligatory.  They should be

20     implemented directly regardless of the domestic law.  And the witness,

21     not being lawyer, is having obviously some problem to explain us.  But he

22     did mention, and by the way, what is more important particularly having

23     in mind the position of this witness, is de facto, not de jure because

24     he's not a lawyer, de facto, and de facto situation he told us about

25     cooperation with UNHCR, UNHCR sitting in his own office, UNHCR giving him

Page 28404

 1     advice so obviously --

 2             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes.  I get the point.  I get

 3     the point.

 4             Witness, when Mr. Scott asked you an excellent question, I

 5     wondered if you understood the meaning of that question, and Mr. Kovacic

 6     realised the same thing.  Mr. Scott also asked you a number of questions

 7     about the same things.

 8             You know without being a legal expert that there is a Geneva

 9     Convention of 1951, and the former Yugoslavia was a signatory.  There are

10     specific references to the Geneva Conventions in the Civil Code and the

11     Penal Code of the former Yugoslavia.  When Croatia became an independent

12     state it adopted the entire corpus of international law and legislation.

13     That's one thing.

14             So first you have the domestic laws, the Croatian laws, including

15     the law that Mr. Scott showed you.  Article 1 of this law is extremely

16     similar to what we find in the Geneva Convention from 1951.  It is stated

17     in that convention that someone may be granted refugee status if he is

18     persecuted for political, racial reasons.  And Mr. Scott is telling you

19     quite rightly that this law applies to the office, to the ODPR.  It

20     applies to everyone in Croatia.  That was the meaning of his question.

21     And listening to all this I wondered if you had grasped the meaning of

22     the question.

23             Now that you've heard my explanation, do you get the meaning of

24     the question that Mr. Scott put to you?

25             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Although I'm not a lawyer, I

Page 28405

 1     understand what all of you are talking about, but this is precisely how I

 2     answered.  I replied that the law on movement and residence of foreigners

 3     in the Republic of Croatia did not contradict what we were doing.  On the

 4     contrary.  The article that was quoted, and I believe it was Article 31,

 5     was practised in our office as well.  But on top of that, our office

 6     abided by the Geneva Conventions on looking after refugees and

 7     recognising the refugee status for all the persons arriving from a

 8     neighbouring country.  And I've already told you that that's why we

 9     learned about the Geneva Conventions, that we had seminars together with

10     UNHCR, that we had a legal office in our office which was very familiar

11     with all these laws and conventions, and when we had our joint meetings

12     it was present to brief us about any legal problems that we might have

13     had.

14             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Fine.  I believe I understand

15     what you're saying.  Not only did you apply the Geneva Conventions at the

16     office, but you also stated that on top of that you took care of these

17     people.

18             If I understand correctly, not only did your office grant refugee

19     status to a number of individuals, but your office also provided

20     material, health-related assistance, to all these people who arrived in

21     the country.  Is that the way I should interpret your answer?

22             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] That's how my answer should be

23     understood.  And let me just clarify.  If these refugees had arrived in

24     Pakistan, they were not within the purview of my office.  They -- our

25     office would not have been charged with them.

Page 28406

 1             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Fine.  I understand what you

 2     are telling us.

 3             Mr. Scott, you have the floor.  We've tried to shed some light on

 4     this matter.

 5             MR. SCOTT:  Thank you, Mr. President.  I'm -- I'm finished with

 6     the topic.  I think the record will speak for itself at this point.  Just

 7     to respond very briefing to Mr. Kovacic.

 8             First off, I didn't show the witness a single document that

 9     wasn't shown to him by the Defence.  I didn't raise it.  I didn't --

10     these are all documents the Defence put to the witness, so I simply came

11     back across on cross-examination to the same exhibits.

12             We can all agree, of course, that Mr. -- Dr. Rebic is not a

13     lawyer, but he's, again, a highly educated man who from 1991 to 1996 was

14     the head of an agency whose very job was to apply Croatian law in

15     reference -- and international law, and international law, to the subject

16     of refugees and displaced persons.  So I give him the benefit of the

17     doubt that he knew -- knew that what -- what his job was and the laws

18     that did apply, including all the laws on the books of Croatia, including

19     the ones that applied on their face as opposed to the ones which didn't.

20        Q.   Now, sir, if I can direct your attention to P 10406.  P 10406.

21     And that should be in the Prosecution's exhibits, I believe.  P 10 -- I

22     apologise if I misspoke.  P 10406.  All right.  Well, it's in my -- if we

23     could have it on -- if we could possibly have it on e-court, please.

24             Sir, in the interest of time if you will --

25             MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation] Maybe I can be mistaken, but I

Page 28407

 1     don't think so.  It is not a problem we don't have it in the binder, the

 2     problem is it is not on the chart.  So it was not planned.

 3             MR. SCOTT:

 4        Q.   Well, sir, if you can look on the screen and assist us.  This is

 5     a -- this is a press article dated the 13th of July, 1992, and it goes

 6     back to topic that we touched on briefly earlier this afternoon, and that

 7     is that as of the 13th of July, 1992, and I'll just read the first

 8     sentence of the article:  "Croatia said on Monday that it would not

 9     accept any more refugees from war-torn Bosnia-Herzegovina."

10             And what can you tell us about that decision -- how that decision

11     was made?  And I will just indicate to you that at the top of the second

12     page, at least in the English version, Mr. Zoric is quoted in this regard

13     about this:  "It is unbearable.  Its not a question of goodwill.  We

14     don't have anywhere to put these people."

15             MR. KARNAVAS:  Your Honour, I believe it's been asked and

16     answered.  We already covered this ground.

17             MR. SCOTT:  With who?

18             MR. KARNAVAS:  Earlier, earlier today.  Earlier today he was

19     asked about the decision.  He commented.  He commented the reason, and he

20     indicated that this was a plea but that the borders were never closed.

21     That was during the first session.

22             Now, we can go over it again, but I just want to make sure that

23     the Trial Chamber understands that this was asked and answered.  Not this

24     particular document but the essence of it.

25             MR. SCOTT:  Well, that's the point, Your Honour.  I'm coming back

Page 28408

 1     to a particular document on point.

 2        Q.   Sir, what more can you tell us looking at this document about the

 3     decision on the 13th of July, 1992, not to accept any more refugees from

 4     Bosnia-Herzegovina?

 5        A.   Mr. Scott, I really can't remember that the Republic of Croatia

 6     was ever in a situation to decide to close its borders with Bosnia and

 7     Herzegovina because it no longer wanted to receive refugees from that

 8     country.  I did mention that that must have been a statement --

 9        Q.   I didn't say whether you wanted to or whether Croatia wanted to

10     or not.  The motivation is a separate issue at the moment.  We have an

11     article here and we have other testimony in the case that indeed there

12     was a time when Croatia stopped accepting refugees from

13     Bosnia-Herzegovina.  Now, can you tell us more about that -- did you make

14     that decision?  Was that a decision that you made, or who in the

15     government made that decision?

16             MR. KARNAVAS:  Again, I point to the earlier testimony of the

17     gentleman.  He indicated that the border was never closed, that they

18     never refused refugees.  He indicated that clearly in relation to this

19     particular decision.  Now he's being pointed -- he's being pointed an

20     article.

21             MR. SCOTT:  Yes I am.  I'm challenging the witness, Your Honour.

22     I don't have to accept his first answer.  I can challenge the witness.

23     This is cross-examination.  That's what cross-examination is about.  I

24     put documents in front of him.  I have other documents to put in front of

25     him.

Page 28409

 1             MR. KARNAVAS:  Yes, but we have a press clipping.  That's the

 2     point.  The press clipping is hearsay first of all.  We don't have access

 3     to this particular individual.  We don't know what this individual had in

 4     mind when he wrote this.

 5             MR. SCOTT:  Your Honour, press clippings have been coming into

 6     for the last two years.  Now, are we changing the rules here now, again?

 7             MR. KARNAVAS:  So am I understanding that what Mr. Scott is

 8     doing, he's putting his case to the witness that the witness indeed is a

 9     liar?  Is that what Mr. Scott is doing because the answer has been

10     answered -- the question has been answered earlier.

11             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Karnavas, please stop

12     conducting legal or judicial guerrilla here in this courtroom.  We have a

13     press statement coming from Reuters, a very famous agency that does not

14     just publish any -- anything.

15             This relates to a statement made by the senior secretary of the

16     office, and Mr. Zoric mentions financial problems.  It might be relevant

17     to find out why he made that statement.  This will not cause any

18     prejudice to your case.  Furthermore, this is taking place in Croatia,

19     not in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

20             Mr. Scott, please proceed if you believe that we should expand

21     some portion of -- a portion of this document.

22             MR. SCOTT:  Thank you, Your Honour.

23        Q.   Well, let me -- let me see if I can move us forward and then

24     maybe put additional questions to you, but in light of the comments that

25     have been made, if I can direct your attention back to 1D 02008, the

Page 28410

 1     first exhibit we looked at this afternoon in the Prosecution's

 2     cross-examination.  1D 02008.  Binder 1 of the Defence documents.  I

 3     don't have them.  I don't have -- my documents aren't organised in the

 4     same way as the Defence.

 5             Do you have it now, sir?  Dr. Rebic?

 6        A.   The second, please.

 7        Q.   If I can ask you to look on the screen.  This is the document

 8     that we looked at.  This is the record -- the letter that Mr. Prlic had

 9     sent to Dr. Granic about their meeting, the letter dated the 21st of

10     November, 1992, which we've already looked at.  And if I can direct your

11     attention to the text of the enclosure, item number 1, item number 1 and

12     mindful that this is written in November 1992:  "In connection with

13     refugees, it was stressed that Croatia does not have the physical,

14     social, or material capabilities to receive a new wave of refugees from

15     Bosnia and Herzegovina that is expected.  The only possibility is transit

16     to other countries."

17             Now, do you see that?

18        A.   Yes.

19        Q.   And is that an accurate statement as of November 1992?

20        A.   It is an accurate statement.  The Republic of Croatia at the time

21     had been exhausted.  It did not have the physical, social, and material

22     capabilities to receive a new wave of refugees.  However, despite all

23     that, we still received them because we made do as best as we could.  I

24     mentioned on several occasions that we asked from the Ministry of Defence

25     to provide us with new capabilities that he had used to belong to the

Page 28411

 1     JNA.  That's where we accommodated refugees from Bosnia and Herzegovina.

 2             Your Honours, there's one thing when is somebody on behalf of the

 3     Republic of Croatia talks in order to raise awareness amongst the others

 4     and tell them about physical incapabilities of accommodating refugees

 5     from Bosnia-Herzegovina, and it's a totally different thing that de facto

 6     we never turned down refugees from Bosnia and Herzegovina when they

 7     crossed the Croatian border and arrived in Croatia.

 8             I don't remember a single event in which the ODPR turned down a

 9     refugee who came for help from the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina.  I

10     simply cannot remember any such event.  And this is something that I

11     understand as a cry out to the general public to sense -- to raise their

12     awareness and to try and look to Bosnia and Herzegovina and see whether

13     they themselves could deal with the problem of refugees.

14        Q.   Taking for purposes of argument that additional persons were

15     physically allowed into Croatia, across its border, assuming that for the

16     moment, we can debate that later, but assuming that was the case, was it

17     nonetheless the position of the Croatian government if those people did

18     come in after the 13th of July, 1992, they were not being given refugee

19     status?

20             They may have been physically there and they may have been good

21     people who tried to assist them, but they were not given legal refugee

22     status after the 13th of July, 1992.  Now, is that what you're saying?

23     Is that what this decision was saying?

24        A.   In my view, no.  According to the talks in Grude, if I understand

25     you correctly, on the 20th of November, 1992, these were talks in which

Page 28412

 1     Granic pointed out the impossibility or the difficulties --

 2        Q.   Sorry, I'm going to ask you now to go 1D 02608.  It's in the

 3     Prosecution bundle I'm told.  1D 02608.

 4             Sorry, it's in the Defence exhibits.

 5             MR. SCOTT:  Your Honour, I'm sorry.  We're in the same situation

 6     as everybody else, I'm afraid.  There are so many binders.

 7             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] "One time financial assistance"?

 8             MR. SCOTT:

 9        Q.   Yes.  If I can ask you please to look to paragraph numbered 1 of

10     your letter dated the -- or report or what have you dated 29th of

11     October, 1992.  In number one:  "To strictly obey the stipulations of the

12     Government of the Republic of Croatia as regards approving or

13     non-approving the refugee status to those refugees who have arrived to

14     Croatia before July 13, 1992.  It is because there have been some

15     irregularities."

16             Now, you're writing this document some months later on the 29th

17     of October, 1992.  You're nonetheless referring to 13th of July, 1992, as

18     the -- as a date having some significance.  So why are you referring --

19     why in October 1992 are you referring back to -- why is it significant

20     whether they have arrived before 13 July 1992?

21             MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, by your leave I think

22     there is a mistranslation of this document, because in the Croatian text

23     it speaks of refugees who arrived in Croatia after the 13th of July,

24     1992, and it says in the translation "before the 13th of July, 1992."

25             MR. SCOTT:  Your Honour, if our -- I'm sorry.  I apologise.  If

Page 28413

 1     our interpreters can assist us, I'll certainly be -- I will be governed

 2     by that.

 3             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well.  So, Ms. Alaburic,

 4     the best way to proceed is that you read that paragraph in your own

 5     language, paragraph 1, and the interpreters will be able to tell us if it

 6     was after or before.  Go ahead, please.

 7             MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] The sentence begins, I quote:  "We

 8     asked the regional offices to request all centres for social work to:

 9              "1.  To strictly obey the stipulations of the government of the

10     Republic of Croatia as regards approving or non-approving of refugee

11     status to those refugees who arrived in Croatia after the 13th of July,

12     1992.  There have been some irregularities, that is."

13             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well.  So this text should

14     read after and not before.

15             MR. SCOTT:  Your Honour, I fully accept that, and I -- just for

16     the record, this is a Defence exhibit and apparently a translation is in

17     error, but really doesn't in fact -- but doesn't dramatically change my

18     question.

19        Q.   You still refer, sir, to a decision on the 13th of July 1992,

20     whether having a significance, maybe it was significant because something

21     happened before that date or it was significant because something

22     happened after that date, but you still tie this to the July 13, 1992.

23     Why was that?

24        A.   Today after all this time I cannot recall the significance of the

25     13th of July.  However, I see from this document, which I believe I

Page 28414

 1     signed, although I don't see my signature here, and it has to do with a

 2     one-time financial assistance to hosts of refugees from

 3     Bosnia-Herzegovina.  In this document, the regional offices are asked to

 4     deliver to the office a list of all the hosts and the number of

 5     Bosnian-Herzegovinian refugees they are taking in so that we can provide

 6     them with one-time financial assistance of a certain sum per person, and

 7     also requests of the families taking in refugees and refugees asking for

 8     one-time financial assistance should be given this assistance only if

 9     they show the requisite documents.

10        Q.    [Previous translation continues] ... I'd like to move forward

11     unless the Chamber has --

12             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes.  Mr. Scott, before you

13     move on to something else, I once again read paragraph 1, and I also

14     wondered, just like yourself, about the same things, but if you read

15     paragraph 1, one is under the impression that the witness sends an order

16     to regional offices regarding this issue, and he asks them to strictly

17     obey the stipulations or orders issued by the government of the Republic

18     of Croatia as regards approving or non-approving the refugee status to

19     those refugees who have arrived after the 13th of July.

20             So when one reads this sentence, one is under the impression that

21     on behalf of the government of the Republic of Croatia there is not a

22     total refusal with regard to the people who arrived after the 13th of

23     July, because there is this issue of approving or non-approving the

24     refugee status.  In other words, both options seem to exist.

25             So, Witness, is this how we should interpret this paragraph,

Page 28415

 1     because this seems to stem from your own office.

 2             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I agree with you.

 3     That is how it should be interpreted, because at that time there were

 4     false cards showing refugee status, just as there were forged documents

 5     testifying to displaced person status.  That's why I'm saying that the

 6     provisions should be respected as to who had the right and who did not

 7     have the right to that status, because this has to do with financial

 8     assistance which is not small.

 9             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Witness, but the end of the

10     sentence seems to indicate that you discovered that there were some false

11     refugees, in brackets, and that's why you're telling regional centres

12     there have been some irregularities, but you've told us already, and we'd

13     just like you to confirm.

14             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, that's correct.

15             JUDGE TRECHSEL:  I would like to -- to continue on this issue.

16     If we look at the sentence, I think that it is difficult not to

17     understand it in the way that it makes a distinction of refugees

18     arriving.  It does not say from where, but after 13 of July, obviously

19     certain refugees fall to be approved and other fall not to be approved.

20     That is not the question of forged documents.  I could -- it would be

21     difficult to understand it in that way.  There must be a criterion then

22     by which is certain persons coming into the country are recognised as

23     refugees and others are not recognised.

24             Can you remember what the difference is, what the criterion is

25     and explain it to us?

Page 28416

 1             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] This was a situation when in

 2     Herceg-Bosna many areas were absolutely safe for refugees, and they were

 3     able to go back.  However, there were quite a few cases where some

 4     persons living with refugee cards, in spite of the fact that they were

 5     able to go back and had partly been able to go back, I'll give you

 6     specific examples because I remember these cases.

 7             There were members of a family who resided in one of those towns,

 8     Ljubuski, Capljina, or elsewhere, and they had relatives living at -- by

 9     the seaside, and the government was quite strict there because those who

10     were really able to go back to those areas, and Herceg-Bosna is mentioned

11     here, these were Croats then, if they were able to abandon their refugee

12     status and return to their homes and not needlessly burden the budget of

13     the Republic of Croatia, they should go back.  If I explain myself well.

14             JUDGE TRECHSEL:  Yes, that's quite clear and also quite

15     plausible.  Thank you.

16             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Witness, I would still like to

17     clarify this question, because it could have important consequences.  It

18     would seem that on the 13th of July, 1992, is something happened.  Maybe

19     something happened, and what happened is maybe that the Croatian

20     government discovered that there are some refugees who had false

21     documents, who said that they were refugees but they were not refugees,

22     and from that moment on the Croatian government decided to take new

23     measures, and you yourself, you apply these measures, and these new

24     measures do not deal with refugees who have arrived prior to the month of

25     July 1992, the 13th of July, 1992, but it concerns only the people who

Page 28417

 1     arrived after that date.  And you gave your own instructions on the 29th

 2     of October.

 3             Now, this first paragraph is problematic.  There are some --

 4     there's irregularities, there's some abuse, but in the second paragraph

 5     you ask your regional centres, regional offices, to send to your own

 6     office lists with very clear information on families and so on and so

 7     forth, because all of this, of course, has financial consequences.

 8             Now, when we read the second paragraph, doesn't it say that the

 9     way to eliminate these irregularities is by requesting precise

10     information on the refugees?  I see, for instance, that they are

11     requested to give their names, their first names, their last names, et

12     cetera, et cetera, their addresses, et cetera, et cetera.

13             Now, tell us, please, doesn't the second paragraph help to

14     alleviate the irregularities that exist in the first paragraph?

15             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, that's one of the ways

16     in which this was done.  It's one of the ways in which we attempted to

17     check, to monitor the refugees to see whether they had their refugee

18     status in a justified way or in an unjustified way, because there were

19     some instances.  I'm referring to some instances where there were people

20     who were de facto already living in the liberated areas, but they had not

21     given back their refugee status.  They continued using it in order to

22     spend part of their time at the seaside.  That was the case in point.

23             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well.  Mr. Scott, please

24     proceed.

25             Ms. Alaburic first.

Page 28418

 1             MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] [Previous translation continues]

 2     ... but if I may say a sentence as a lawyer hailing from the country in

 3     which this document was compiled.  I only wish to draw the Chamber's

 4     attention to the fact that in this document there is an appeal to the

 5     regional offices to comply with existing regulations in order to avoid

 6     irregularities being repeated.  So there is no new decision or new

 7     regulation.  There is only insistence on compliance with already existing

 8     regulations.

 9             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] That's correct.

10             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well.  Mr. Scott, please

11     proceed.

12             MR. SCOTT:  Thank you, Your Honour.

13        Q.   Sir, if we could next go to P 10407, which is in the Prosecution

14     binder, I believe.  10407.

15             If you have that, sir -- sorry to the interpreters for being so

16     far away from the microphone.

17             Sir, if you have that, this is a document coming from your

18     agency, dated the 9th of April, 1993.  So again now after November some

19     additional, I don't know, five months, something like that, and

20     concerning entry and temporary residence for the following persons, and

21     toward the end of the letter in English on the second page, the top of

22     the second page, there it says:  "Pursuant to the decision of the

23     government of the Republic of Croatia of 13 July 1992, the

24     above-mentioned persons cannot request or be granted a refugee status in

25     the Republic of Croatia."

Page 28419

 1             So, sir, once again, some nine or ten months after July 1992,

 2     you're still referring to this decision in July 1992 as a basis for these

 3     persons not being granted refugee status.

 4             Now, please tell us why these months later -- if it was a dead

 5     letter, if it was a decision but it really didn't mean anything, it was

 6     ignored, people came in any way, whatever, you seem to be suggesting that

 7     well, there was something in July but it really didn't mean much, with

 8     all due respect.  It was nothing.  But that date keeps coming up, and in

 9     this letter that you wrote, or someone wrote over your name, on the 9th

10     of April, 1993, you cite this as the basis of the decision.  "Pursuant to

11     the decision ... of the 13th of July, 1992, the above-mentioned persons

12     cannot request or be granted refugee status ..."

13             Now, please tell us why in April 1993 are you still referring to

14     the decision of 13 July 1992 as a basis for denying refugee status?

15        A.   Because, Mr. Scott, in that law, to the best of my recollection,

16     it said that persons requesting transit or passage through the Republic

17     of Croatia on their way to third countries do not have the right to be

18     granted refugee status.  They could only be granted what they had

19     requested, and in this particular case Anja Puce and Ramiz Puce from

20     Bosnia-Herzegovina were travelling to a third country, and they were

21     asking for permission to enter the country and for temporary residence in

22     the Republic of Croatia.  They were going on.  They had to pass through

23     the Republic of Croatia, but they did not need refugee status.  They may

24     have been travelling to Germany, to Austria, or to Slovenia.  The office

25     therefore issued them with this permission saying that they could transit

Page 28420

 1     through Croatia and that during the time of their transit through the

 2     Republic of Croatia their costs would be borne by Zlatko Fadljevic.  This

 3     was the person.

 4        Q.   We all have the document.  We can read.  You don't need to read

 5     that.

 6             MR. KARNAVAS:  Your Honours, I point to the place:  It's Mostar.

 7     And I point to the date:  We're talking April 1993.

 8             MR. SCOTT:  So?

 9             MR. KARNAVAS:  Nothing was happening in Mostar that would make

10     these individuals refugees unless Mr. Scott knows that to be a fact.

11             MR. SCOTT:  Totally beside the point.

12             MR. KARNAVAS:  It's not totally beside the point.

13             MR. SCOTT:

14        Q.   Totally beside the point.  The point is, and Dr. Rebic on this

15     one I'm not going to cut you quite so much slack, perhaps.  You say,

16     "Well, they didn't ask for it," and they got what they asked for.  Sir,

17     the letter says the "above-mentioned persons cannot request or be

18     granted," so they couldn't request and even if they had requested it

19     couldn't be granted.  That's what it says.

20        A.   Yes, that's correct because the law of the 13th of July, 1992, is

21     referred to here.  Based on that law those persons didn't want refugee

22     status they were travelling on.  They were going to live with their

23     relatives perhaps.  This clause is here in order to comply with the law

24     because otherwise someone might try to bypass the law or to find

25     loopholes in the law.  I am saying that these were persons from Mostar

Page 28421

 1     who were the mediation of Zlatko Fadljevic, were travelling to a third

 2     country, and who had asked for permission to transit through the

 3     territory of the Republic of Croatia saying they would not be requesting

 4     refugee status.  Had these same persons said they wanted refugee status

 5     through Fadljevic, they would have been granted it.

 6        Q.   I'm sorry that's not what the letter says.  It says they cannot

 7     ask for it and if they asked for it, it would not be granted.

 8             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Just a moment.  Is there a

 9     problem, Ms. Alaburic?

10             MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I really don't know

11     if at this stage of cross-examination I may rise to my feet at all, but

12     as this document in its legal essence is identical to the document that I

13     based my cross-examination on, P 10048, and secondly because we know that

14     Dr. Rebic is not lawyer, I only wish to draw attention to the fact that

15     in the preamble to this document it's evident that these are persons to

16     whom the status of foreign nationals in the Republic of Croatia has been

17     granted.  Their status is temporary residence which is one of the five

18     possible legal grounds for persons staying in the Republic of Croatia.

19     One legal ground excludes all the others.  Therefore, because they have

20     this status of temporary residence, these persons cannot be granted the

21     status of refugees.  I think it will be easier for Their Honours to

22     follow the documents if we look at them -- if we look together at

23     documents of the same nature.

24             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you for your assistance.

25             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Witness, this is a couple.

Page 28422

 1     They were born in 1936 and 1937 in Mostar.  But let's suppose that these

 2     people are Mexicans who would want to transit through Croatia to go to,

 3     let's say, to Denmark?  Why Mexicans?  Well, because maybe Mexicans came

 4     from Belgrade, I don't know where from, but let's say that we're talking

 5     about Mexicans.  In order to stay temporarily in Croatia they would have

 6     to have somebody, a sponsor, who would financially take care of them.  In

 7     order to cross the border you would have to give them your approval to

 8     transit through your country and that would be the subject of the

 9     document; is that right?  And this type document, would it be applied to

10     all nationals?

11             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, because it was the Ministry of

12     the Interior that would be in charge of Mexicans.  I mentioned Pakistan,

13     for example, previously.  When referring to Mostar in Bosnia and

14     Herzegovina, these people applied to the ODPR because very often when

15     they applied to the Ministry of the Interior they said to them, "You

16     should apply to the ODPR and they will solve your problem."

17             It may assist if I tell you that the ODPR was faster and quicker

18     and more expeditious in solving these applications for transit than the

19     Ministry of the Interior simply because these people came from

20     Bosnia-Herzegovina.  I can give you plenty of examples of people calling

21     me from Belgrade and asking me if they could transit through the Republic

22     of Croatia.  They applied to the ODPR because they thought it would be

23     quicker and easier for them to get their documents through the ODPR than

24     through the Ministry of Interior.  That was the situation.  It was

25     wartime and there are specific circumstances in every war.

Page 28423

 1             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well.  Since I see that

 2     some references are made to a file, because I imagine that some

 3     references are made regarding family Puce, because we see some numbers

 4     here, 010-04, et cetera, et cetera.  So we only have one part of the

 5     file, but maybe you had another document maybe that was a guarantee given

 6     by a third country, a letter, for instance, telling you that these people

 7     are only asking you to transit your country because they were going

 8     somewhere else.

 9             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, yes.  It's absolutely

10     possible.  And that's not the only such case.  There were many such

11     cases, and for every one of them our office in its archives has full

12     documentation, all the documents needed.

13             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well.  Yesterday we saw a

14     photograph of the office with all the binders, and I suppose if we looked

15     inside those binders and if we checked that number one would be able to

16     find the document in question?

17             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, certainly.

18             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well.  I am not going to

19     do that work because this is something that the Defence and the

20     Prosecution should have done or could have done, but, yes, go on, please,

21     Mr. Scott.

22             MR. SCOTT:  Thank you, Your Honour.

23             THE INTERPRETER:  Microphone for Mr. Scott, please.

24             MR. SCOTT:  Thank you.  I'm just looking, Your Honour, if there's

25     anything I can finish in the next couple of minutes, and I don't -- Your

Page 28424

 1     Honour, I might suggest we stop there.

 2             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well.  Go on, please,

 3     until five past 7.00, and tomorrow we will catch up and stop at 25 past.

 4     Please go ahead in order to finish this topic.

 5             MR. SCOTT:  All right.  Thank you, Mr. President.

 6        Q.   Staying on this topic then, can I ask that the witness go to in

 7     the Prosecution binder P 00757.  If you have that, sir, 757.  This is a

 8     report by the Special Rapporteur Mazowiecki, dated the 17th of November,

 9     1992, a report to the United Nations, and if I can please direct your

10     attention and the courtroom's attention, please, to paragraph number 74.

11     In the English document it will be on page 24.  I'm afraid I can't help

12     you with the page number on the translation, sir, although you may be

13     able to read the English, but you should be able to find paragraph 74.

14             The report there is talking about refugees at Varazdin, which has

15     I think been discussed in the courtroom before, another refugee centre in

16     Croatia.  Going toward the second half of the -- about halfway down

17     through the paragraph 74 it says:  "Many refugees complained that they

18     lacked official refugee status.  In this respect, UNHCR confirmed that

19     the refugees in the centre fall into the category of 'not registered,'

20     following the decision of Croatia of 13 July 1992 not to register

21     refugees from Bosnia and Herzegovina.  This had implications on the

22     assistance side, but also raised protection concerns."

23             Now, sir, once again we have a reference with apparent -- some

24     significance to a decision of the Croatian government on the 13th of

25     July, 1992, not to register refugees, at least not to give them refugee

Page 28425

 1     status.  As you've said earlier today, maybe they were still coming into

 2     the country.  I don't know.  You say they were, but we'll accept that for

 3     the moment, but they weren't being given refugee status, were they?

 4        A.   Mr. Scott, the fact is that these refugees were in a refugee

 5     centre and Mr. Mazowiecki's report speaks about this refugee centre.  I

 6     was aware of that centre.  It is true that it was overcrowded.  It is

 7     true that it did not have sanitary facilities as it should have had, as

 8     some other centres had, because this was a former barracks, a military

 9     barracks.  However, despite the dire financial and physical straits, we

10     provided them with whatever we could.  De facto they were in a refugee

11     centre.

12             As I sit here today, I can't remember whether these people were

13     indeed not registered or maybe they were actually registered.  In other

14     words, I can't remember whether they were not registered because of the

15     law, the 13th of July, 1993, which is very hard for me to believe today,

16     or maybe UNHCR wanted to take these people under their own protection

17     because that also sometimes happened and then transported them or helped

18     them to go to third countries.

19             If I may say, I know Mr. Mazowiecki personally.  I met with him

20     two or three times, once before the war in a different capacity in

21     Warsaw, and during the war Mr. Mazowiecki visited me in the ODPR, and I

22     remember very well that we discussed the issues of refugees but he never

23     mentioned this particular problem to me.  Since Mr. Mazowiecki had known

24     me from before, he invited me to a hotel and then face-to-face,

25     individually, tete-a-tete, he spoke to me as a priest, as a Christian,

Page 28426

 1     and he inquired about any violation of human rights, to the extent I know

 2     about those, either in Croatia or in the neighbouring state of Bosnia and

 3     Herzegovina, and then Mr. Mr. Mazowiecki --

 4             MR. KARNAVAS:  Excuse me, Your Honour, I'm going to insist on the

 5     answer because we have a report from the particular individual that the

 6     witness knew prior the war and now he's being shown a report.  Obviously,

 7     because of their personal relationship, Mr. Mazowiecki would have brought

 8     the issue up and now he's giving a full explanation.

 9             MR. SCOTT:  We don't need Mr. Karnavas to say that.

10             MR. KARNAVAS:  The meeting took place in Zagreb.  That's why I

11     did not object initially when he brought up the issue.

12             JUDGE TRECHSEL:  We've heard this.

13             MR. KARNAVAS:  We need a full answer.  I don't recall an

14     instance, Judge Trechsel, when you -- when you would not allow a witness

15     for the Prosecution to answer fully a question.  Now he's entitled to

16     give a full explanation because he knows the drafter of this report and

17     because of the relationship.  I don't see why all the reaction.

18             JUDGE TRECHSEL:  Well, your reaction mostly, Mr. Karnavas.  I did

19     not stop the witness nor did I intend to, but you seem to like Trechsel

20     bashing.  That has become very clear.

21             MR. KARNAVAS:  No.  I apologise if that seems to be the case, but

22     it seems that you're pounding things.

23             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Witness, you know

24     Mr. Mazowiecki.  You had a conversation with him about human rights

25     abuse.  It's interesting.  What did you tell him, but please be brief

Page 28427

 1     because otherwise we'll go over.  What did you tell him?

 2             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] In a nutshell, I drew his attention

 3     to the aggression that had been committed on the part of the JNA or

 4     today's Serbia in the territory of the Republic of Croatia and Bosnia and

 5     Herzegovina.  I also drew his attention to the numerous violations of

 6     human rights, the expulsion of people from their own homes, the killings

 7     of fathers, brothers, and mothers before the eyes of those very same

 8     refugees in similar cases.

 9             As for the Republic of Croatia, he never expressly asked me

10     whether human rights were being violated in the Republic of Croatia or at

11     least I don't remember that.  Our conversation mostly dealt with the JNA

12     and aggression against the Croatian Bosnia and Herzegovina.

13             I am not surprised by the report that he drafted, because he also

14     had to provide reports about the de facto situation in Varazdin, in the

15     former barracks.  I also didn't find it easy to see these people in such

16     poor accommodation, but there was no other possibilities, and that is why

17     the government had issued this decision to be more strict in applying the

18     refugee status, because the Republic of Croatia and our office wanted to

19     avoid situations in which the refugees would be provided with

20     accommodation below any standards.

21             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Fine.  We need to stop here for

22     today.  We'll resume tomorrow at a quarter past 2.00.  Barring any

23     procedural incidents we should be able to complete the witness's

24     testimony tomorrow.  If it so happens that we can't complete your

25     testimony, you would have to come back, Witness, but let's be hopeful.

Page 28428

 1     Let's hope that you'll be able to complete your testimony tomorrow.  Have

 2     a pleasant evening and I'll see all of you tomorrow.

 3                           --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 7.08 p.m.,

 4                           to be reconvened on Thursday, the 22nd day

 5                           of May, 2008, at 2.15 p.m.