1 Monday, 26 May 2008
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 2.15 p.m.
5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Registrar, please call the
7 THE REGISTRAR: Good afternoon, Your Honours. Good afternoon,
8 everyone in and around the courtroom. This is case number IT-04-74-T,
9 the Prosecutor versus Prlic et al.. Thank you, Your Honours.
10 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you. Today is Monday,
11 26th of May, 2008. Let me greet the accused, the Defence counsel, the
12 Prosecutor and his assistants, as well as everyone assisting us in this
14 I'm first going to give the floor to the registrar. He has a
15 number of IC numbers to give us.
16 THE REGISTRAR: Thank you, Your Honour. Some parties have
17 submitted lists of documents to be tendered through Witness Rebic,
18 Adalbert. The list submitted by 1D shall be given Exhibit number IC
19 00795; the list submitted by the OTP shall be given Exhibit number IC
20 00796; the list submitted by 3D shall be given Exhibit number IC 00797;
21 and the list submitted by 4D shall be given Exhibit number IC 00798.
22 Thank you, Your Honours.
23 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you. One piece of
24 information. Tomorrow, the Trial Chamber will issue an oral ruling
25 regarding the guidelines, and that is following the submissions made by
1 Mr. Karnavas, Mr. Stewart, and Mr. Khan last week. They drew the
2 attention of the Chamber on a number of issues. In order to clarify all
3 this, the Trial Chamber will rule tomorrow, will issue an oral ruling to
4 clarify some of the points raised last week by the Defence counsel I've
5 just mentioned. We could have issued this ruling today, but since it's a
6 very significant decision, after considering the matter this morning, we
7 decided to review the text once again, and I will read out the decision
8 tomorrow morning because tomorrow we are sitting in the morning.
9 This is what I wanted to tell you. We have a witness now called
10 by Mr. Prlic.
11 Yes, Mr. Stewart.
12 MR. STEWART: Your Honour, it's just a clarification because on
13 Thursday afternoon, Your Honour invited written submissions. We have
14 prepared written submissions which subject to final checking are ready
15 for filing. May we take it that if we do file this afternoon that could
16 at least be -- well, potentially be helpful to Your Honours and that you
17 would consider those written submissions before you give your ruling
18 tomorrow morning?
19 MR. KARNAVAS: I would also ask -- I would also ask that if the
20 Trial Chamber in issuing its ruling go back to the record and see how
21 often it gave extra time to the Prosecution on direct examination and how
22 often Judges, in particular, Judge Prandler indicated rather robustly
23 about the right of the Prosecution to redirect examination. Last week,
24 what occurred in my opinion was a travesty. There was 20 minutes left on
25 the clock. I had five minutes of redirect examination, and in my
1 opinion, the -- what was displayed last week was not only an
2 insensitivity to the Defence but also a display of a lack of clarity and
3 understanding of the adversarial procedure, particularly when I'm told I
4 can bring the witness back or I should reserve time, like a half an hour,
5 for redirect because there's a whole host of issues why that can't
6 happen. So I welcome Mr. Stewart's and Mr. Khan's written submissions,
7 but again, I must say in the clearest form that I was for once in my
8 entire career ashamed to be in a courtroom with that kind of a ruling.
9 I had to speak with my client afterwards and reassure him that
10 perhaps we will have better days in this court again because he was
11 wondering how is it that Mr. Seselj is getting -- 100 per cent of his --
12 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Karnavas.
13 MR. KARNAVAS: You broached the issue, Your Honour, so I'm just
15 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] You are reopening the
16 discussion, but I've just told you that the Chamber will issue an oral
17 ruling following your submissions. No need to get on your high horses
18 and to start lecturing us. Of course, Mr. Stewart, if you want to file
19 your written submissions, it will be a pleasure for us to read them, but
20 in any case, the oral ruling will be handed tomorrow and will not go to
21 the substance of these submissions.
22 Mr. Stringer.
23 MR. STRINGER: Excuse me, Mr. President. Good afternoon, Your
24 Honours, and counsel. I think the Prosecution, we certainly recognise
25 that it's an issue, a procedural issue of some importance to all the
1 parties and that everyone would benefit from a swift ruling from the
2 Trial Chamber on this point. However, if the Defence is going to be
3 filing written submissions, I think I would, just to be careful or as a
4 precaution, to suggest that the Prosecution may wish to be heard either
5 in writing or perhaps to be able to at least give our position in this
6 orally after we've read the Defence submissions. So I'm not saying that
7 we want to file a written response. It may be that we could simply
8 express our position on this orally after having read the Defence
9 submissions, but in any event, Mr. President, if the Trial Chamber could
10 keep in mind the Prosecution may wish to express its views on this
12 That's all I can say on it at this point.
13 MR. KHAN: Your Honour, of course no objections at all that the
14 Prosecution have a right to be heard on this issue. Perhaps I could be
15 so bold as to suggest that as the matters are not new, they have been
16 subject to quite some submissions by my learned friend, Mr. Stewart, that
17 perhaps the Prosecution, knowing the issue, knowing the parameters of the
18 issue can file something also by the end of today, and Your Honours can
19 consider both submissions prior to whatever decision you make in the next
20 few days.
21 If there are additional issues that arise from whatever is filed,
22 of course Your Honours may give leave to the parties to make very short
23 submissions on those new issues, perhaps tomorrow, but of course, Your
24 Honour, that's a matter for you and your colleagues.
25 MR. STEWART: Your Honours, we would propose to file certainly by
1 4.00 in the normal way. I don't want to impose too much of a burden on
2 the Prosecution, but it may be that they won't find anything especially
3 onerous or time-consuming to respond to. Perhaps if they were to file
4 just later today if they reasonably can, that might do the trick.
5 MR. STRINGER: We're certainly willing, Mr. President, to read
6 the Defence submissions on this. I can consult with Mr. Scott later this
7 afternoon, and we can see whether we can file a written response today or
8 whether a written response is even necessary. It may be that simply we
9 can express our views orally to the Trial Chamber and then put the
10 position -- or put the Trial Chamber in a position to rule even more
12 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Stringer, since
13 Mr. Stewart's submissions will be filed before 4.00 p.m., you will be
14 able to read them, and by the end of the afternoon, if you wish to deal
15 with this matter, you will be able to take the floor and talk about it.
16 But the Chamber has considered the matter this morning and has issued a
17 decision to clarify the guidelines, not to amend them. After reading
18 Mr. Stewart's submissions, we'll consider whether it is necessary to
19 amend these guidelines, but in any case, tomorrow morning we'll issue an
20 oral ruling to clarify - let me repeat it - to clarify and not to amend
21 the guidelines.
22 I'm going to ask the usher to bring in the witness.
23 MR. STEWART: Your Honour, while that's happening, can I just say
24 that we're actually going to send to Mr. Stringer, we will send our draft
25 as it stands because subject to any possible minor tweaks, it's going to
1 be filed very soon, so just to accelerate things, we'll send it to him
2 straightaway. I know he's in court and got other things to do, but he
3 and his team will have it.
4 MR. STRINGER: I'll ask my assistant, Mr. Scott, to review that.
5 [The witness entered court]
6 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Good afternoon, sir. Can you
7 please give me your first name, last name, and date of birth.
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Zdravko Sancevic, born on the 20th
9 of January, 1931.
10 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Do you have an occupation
11 currently, or are you retired?
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I am still employed as the consul
13 general of the Republic of Croatia in our mission to Venezuela.
14 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Witness, have you already
15 testified before a court about the events that took place in the former
16 Yugoslavia, or is it the first time you're going to testify?
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] This is the first time.
18 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I'm going to ask you to read
19 the solemn declaration.
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will
21 speak the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
22 WITNESS: ZDRAVKO SANCEVIC
23 [Witness answered through interpreter]
24 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you very much. You may
25 be seated.
1 A few words of explanation, Witness. You have been called by the
2 Defence of Mr. Prlic in the first stage of these proceedings. You will
3 answer questions put to you by Mr. Prlic's counsel. After that, the
4 other Defence counsel may, if they wish to do so, put questions to you.
5 Then the Prosecution as part of the cross-examination will put questions
6 to you. The four Judges sitting before you may also ask questions.
7 After the Prosecution, the Defence, if it still has some time available,
8 will put questions to you as part of the re-examination.
9 According to the Rules of Procedure and Evidence, every hour and
10 a half we have a break, a 20-minute break, but if at any time you feel
11 unwell, if for some reason you want us to adjourn briefly, please ask us
12 to do so.
13 Having said that, I'm now going to give the floor to Mr. Prlic's
14 counsel. He's going to put a number of questions to you.
15 MR. KARNAVAS: Good afternoon, everyone in and around the court.
16 Examination by Mr. Karnavas:
17 Q. Mr. Sancevic, I understand you served as an ambassador. You're
18 currently have an ambassadorial function. It's my understanding you wish
19 to be addressed as Ambassador Sancevic; is that correct? You're going to
20 have to speak up because we have to make a record. You don't have to
21 lean forward, but if you speak up, we'll pick it up.
22 A. That is correct.
23 Q. All right. You don't have to shout. The mics are pretty good,
24 but -- as I also understand, I heard this coming on the way to the court,
25 that you've had some heart problems and some health problems, and so if
1 you do feel like it's -- this is too stressful, let us know we'll take a
2 break, okay?
3 A. Very well.
4 Q. All right. With the Court's leave and unless there are any
5 objections from the Prosecution, I'm going to briefly touch on your
6 background, and I'm going to ask for you to verify it. As I understand,
7 you were born in Bosnia-Herzegovina in 1931?
8 A. That is correct.
9 Q. That you left around -- 1944 to 1945, you left Bosnia-Herzegovina
10 for Croatia; is that correct?
11 A. That is correct.
12 Q. You and your family moved to Venezuela in 1948; your father had
13 some sort of a business, a lumber business, wood-cutting business, and
14 after the war, everyone moved to Venezuela; is that correct?
15 A. That is correct.
16 Q. And I also understand that you have been educated and received a
17 doctorate in, I guess, petroleum engineering, having first received --
18 having first received your undergraduate and graduate education in the
19 United States.
20 A. My Ph.D is not from the United States. It is from Venezuela.
21 Q. But your bachelor's and your masters are from -- what is it, the
22 University of Colorado? Is that the mining and ...
23 A. No. It is the Colorado School of Mines.
24 Q. All right. Go ahead. Now, as I understand it, from 1953 to
25 1961-62 you worked as an engineer for Shell Oil Company.
1 A. It is correct.
2 Q. And you held other jobs in the oil industry until you retired
3 somewhere around 1990, I believe it was.
4 A. I have been retired as of 1991.
5 Q. Okay. And you've also taught at the university over there in
6 Caracas as I understand it?
7 A. It is correct.
8 Q. Now, I think that's enough of your background prior to the events
9 in Croatia, but as I understand it, in 1990 or 1991, you went to Croatia
10 as a volunteer - I think it was 1991 - as a volunteer to fight in the
11 Croatian Home Guard once Croatia came under attack by the JNA; is that
13 A. That is correct.
14 Q. Thereafter, you briefly worked with or you were assigned to, I
15 believe, the Ministry of Information?
16 A. Not to the -- to the Ministry of the Interior but to the Ministry
17 of Information.
18 Q. All right. And then you were, for a short period, I believe, for
19 about a year, you were the Minister Of Emigration as opposed to
20 immigration, correct?
21 A. Yes. That was during the coalition government of the democratic
22 union throughout the war.
23 Q. All right. And thereafter, you were -- as I understand it, you
24 were appointed towards the end of 1992 as Croatia's ambassador to
1 A. That is correct.
2 Q. And you stayed in that position until about what, 1995, was it or
4 A. Early 1996.
5 Q. Okay. Thereafter, you served, I believe, in the Samobor, and you
6 held one seat in the parliament, a seat that's normally designated to
7 Croats from the diaspora?
8 A. That is correct.
9 Q. And I also failed to mention that at some point, you also worked
10 as the president of the board of directors of the Zagreb University, and
11 that was, I believe, in 1992 to 1993?
12 A. That was the Administrative Council of the Zagreb University.
13 Q. What was that about just very briefly; could you tell us?
14 A. In English, [In English] it was the president of the board of
16 Q. Okay. All right. Well, all right. For those of us who don't
17 know what the board of trustees does, could you just tell us in a few
19 A. [Interpretation] In western universities - because at that time
20 there were also eastern universities - in western universities,
21 frequently, in particular in the United States, there is a board of
22 trustees comprising gentlemen elected to oversee the work of the
23 university. They draft plans for its activities.
24 Q. All right. And I take it one of the reasons that you were part
25 of that board was because you had been a professor in Caracas?
1 A. Yes, except for being a professor, I was a director of the School
2 Of Oil Engineering at the Central University in Caracas.
3 Q. All right. Okay. Now, let's go right into 1991 when you first
4 arrived. Could you please tell us, what did you do with the Home Guard
5 when you first came to Croatia and volunteered?
6 A. When I arrived as a volunteer, I registered myself, and I was a
7 private. I was with the National Guards for four months. Once the
8 four-month period ended, I was appointed minister.
9 Q. Okay. You were appointed minister. What -- minister to where?
10 Is that when you were appointed Minister Of Immigration?
11 A. I was appointed Minister for Emigration.
12 Q. Emigration, sorry. Now, as I understand it -- during that
13 four-month period while you are with the Home Guard, you were also doing
14 some work with the Ministry of Information. Could you please tell us
15 exactly what you were doing?
16 A. When I was seconded by the Home Guards to the Ministry of
17 Information, I had to organise within the ministry a mechanism to receive
18 information in Europe, since all news agencies had been left behind in
19 Belgrade. They had their seat there. In a way, I had to keep the
20 Croatian government and president informed of the events that took place
21 in Europe the previous day.
22 Q. All right, sir. If I understand it correctly, primarily your job
23 was to gather the news information, condense it so Dr. Tudjman, the then
24 president, could have it every morning. Is that what you're telling us?
25 A. Yes. However, it did not only concern news information. It also
1 involved television, radio, and all sorts of information one could gather
2 through the day concerning Europe.
3 Q. All right. And again, why didn't Dr. Tudjman just turn on the
4 radio or the television or pick up a newspaper to find out?
5 A. Well, I believe he wanted to have it in writing. At least that's
6 what I was told. He wanted to have a brief of at least one and a half
7 pages of the recent news in Europe.
8 Q. All right. Now, when you went to the Ministry of Emigration, how
9 was it that you were appointed? I mean, you went to being a retired
10 doctor in petroleum engineering to a volunteer private, and now you're
11 all of a sudden you're a Minister of Emigration. How did that happen?
12 A. Truth be said, I don't know where it came from. But in any case,
13 and as far as I could learn, President Tudjman had read a book which had
14 been written by my father. The book is called "From the Bosnian Forests
15 to Venezuela," since he was involved in forestry and lumber as an
16 industrialist. Upon reading that book, as he said once, he arrived at a
17 conclusion that I was a member of a family which before the war had been
18 well-known and esteemed in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
19 Q. All right. How is it that your father picked Venezuela,
21 A. Well, there was a group of industrialists in Italy right after
22 the war who were involved in forest -- the forest business from the
23 then-Yugoslavia. They were there awaiting free elections in Yugoslavia.
24 However, after almost three years of waiting, they never saw such
25 elections, upon which that group of people decided to go somewhere. The
1 first option they had was Ethiopia. However, Mr. Negus did not
2 contribute his own share in the general capital, and the whole idea fell
3 through. Something else had to be devised.
4 The then Venezuelan minister Henrique Tejeva Paris came and
5 convinced my father to depart for Venezuela.
6 Q. Thank you. Now, getting back to the Ministry of Emigration,
7 could you please tell us exactly -- well, first of all, when you were
8 appointed on or about, and for how long did you serve?
9 A. At the beginning of December 1991 was when I was appointed. I
10 took the oath a few days later in the parliament.
11 JUDGE MINDUA: [Interpretation] Mr. Karnavas, so sorry. In the
12 transcript, just a point of clarification. On page 12, line 22, in the
13 English text, I can see "Mr. Negus [French spoken]." Is this the emperor
14 of Ethiopia, the Negus, or is it somebody else?" Witness?
15 MR. KARNAVAS:
16 Q. Sir, His Honour is asking you a question. When they ask
17 questions, you know, you need to answer them.
18 A. I apologise. Of course, yes, I didn't understand. I didn't hear
19 you too good.
20 Q. The question had to do with going back when your father was
21 planning on going to Ethiopia, and you mentioned a particular minister, I
22 believe, or a Mr. Negus. Who was that individual?
23 A. Mr. Negus was the head of the state of Ethiopia. He was the
24 Ethiopian emperor.
25 MR. KARNAVAS: May I continue? All right. There's no drama
1 here. Very well.
2 Q. And just to be on the safe side, your father was not running away
3 from the authorities, you know, because of any particular affiliation
4 during World War II, and by that I mean having fought on the other side,
5 for instance?
6 A. He was on the right side.
7 Q. Okay. All right. And what side was that, just to be ...
8 A. You know when somebody -- well, when -- my father was of Jewish
9 origin, and that fact alone meant that he was on the right side with the
10 allies. For example, my father's lawyer was a member of the royal
11 government in London. His name was Miro Shulte [phoen], and later on he
12 was a member of the government that was popularly known as Tito's Subasic
13 government. What else can I tell you?
14 Q. I think that's enough because it's sort of a -- it's extra
15 material that we can dispose with for the moment. But getting back to
16 the Ministry of Emigration, what exactly did this ministry do in general
18 A. I had to draft a plan of my future work because that ministry did
19 not exist before, and its main task was concerned with the possibility
20 that a certain number of people who resided outside of Croatia wanted to
21 return to Croatia. The first task was to establish how many such
22 immigrants there were because there were all sorts of immigrants. There
23 are those who left Croatia in the 17th century, and there is also those
24 who left in the 19th and 20th century and so on and so forth. In other
25 words, we had to define primarily who the Croatian immigrants were, and
1 after that we had to see how to facilitate their return to Croatia.
2 Q. All right. Now let me interrupt you here. Did that also
3 include, for instance, Croats who were living in, say, Bosnia-Herzegovina
4 or any of the republics within the former Yugoslavia?
5 A. Yes, generally speaking, but this also included citizens who were
6 not Croats who had left Croatia and were considered Croatian emigrants.
7 First of all, we had to define the term "emigrant," and we did. An
8 emigrant is a person who permanently resides outside of Croatia.
9 Q. Okay. Now as I understand it, you were there from early December
10 1991 until August 1992, correct, in that position?
11 A. Correct.
12 Q. Okay. Now, during that period, did you have an opportunity to be
13 at any meetings hosted by President Tudjman where he presided over?
14 A. Yes. I was present at several VONS meetings. The abbreviation
15 stands for the Council for Security and Defence.
16 Q. All right, and that's V-O-N-S, right? You're shaking your head.
17 We need to make a record.
18 A. Very well, yes. I was present at those meetings.
19 Q. All right. Now, in August -- sometime in August 1992, you were
20 appointed ambassador to Bosnia-Herzegovina; is that correct?
21 A. Correct.
22 Q. How was it, to your understanding, that you were selected for
23 that position?
24 A. When that government stepped down and towards the end of my term
25 as Minister of Emigration, President Tudjman approached me and suggested
1 that I should be good for that position. This was on the very eve of the
2 proclamation of independence of Bosnia and Herzegovina. He himself told
3 me that that decision was based on the reputation of my father, the
4 reputation that my father enjoyed in Bosnia and Herzegovina before the
5 war. My father was a businessman, and as such he was well loved by
6 people in Bosnia and Herzegovina because he was very tolerant and all
7 ethnic groups and religious groups found it easy to accept him. He
8 helped all the religions, actually four of them: the Catholics; the
9 Islam; the Serbian orthodox church; and the Jewish religion, i.e., the
10 Jewish community in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
11 Q. Where did your father come from exactly? Was it in Bosnia and
12 Herzegovina? Where did he come from?
13 A. He was born on Mount Kozara, which was a place famous for rebels
14 during the war.
15 Q. All right. Let me just ask you -- let me just break it down.
16 Was he Herzegovinian, or was he from Bosnia?
17 A. He was from Bosna Bosna.
18 Q. So he was not Herzegovinian?
19 A. [In English] No.
20 Q. All right. Now, when did you actually take up your position as
21 ambassador to Bosnia and Herzegovina?
22 A. [Interpretation] I was appointed, if my memory serves me well,
23 sometime around the 14th of October or thereabouts, and I handed my
24 credentials to Mr. Alija Izetbegovic on the 18th of December, 1992.
25 Q. All right. Now, if we could just very briefly -- I'll show you a
1 couple of documents. I don't know if Madam Usher has presented you with
2 our binders with your documents there.
3 A. Yes. Please go ahead.
4 Q. If you could look at 1D 02926. 1D 02926.
5 A. Yes, I have it before me.
6 Q. All right. Now, do you recognise this document and if so, what
7 is it?
8 A. These are my credentials that I handed Mr. Alija Izetbegovic on
9 behalf of my president, Dr. Franjo Tudjman. This is a copy of my formal
10 credentials appointing me ambassador.
11 Q. Okay.
12 A. A plenipotentiary and the first in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
13 Q. That was my next question. At that time when you were appointed,
14 and actually when you presented your documents, your credentials, I
15 should say, to the president of the Presidency of Bosnia and Herzegovina,
16 were there any other ambassadors serving in Bosnia and Herzegovina?
17 A. I was the first.
18 Q. Now, we see that -- you tell us that sometime in August was when
19 you were appointed, and it's not until the 18th of December, you say,
20 that you were actually presented your credentials. Could you please tell
21 us what took so long?
22 A. No. In August, I was no longer the Minister of Emigration, and
23 the procedure was as follows: First, the Independent Republic of Bosnia
24 and Herzegovina was established, and the process lasted -- actually, the
25 Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina became independent on either the 1st
1 or the 2nd -- actually it was on the 2nd, 1992.
2 Q. All right. Well, let me just move on.
3 JUDGE TRECHSEL: I'm sorry. 2nd, which month?
4 MR. KARNAVAS:
5 Q. Mr. Sancevic, the question I had asked you is what took you so
6 long, and now you said that Bosnia and Herzegovina became independent on
7 either the 1st or the 2nd, but which month?
8 A. Oh, I didn't say the month. In the month of March. In the third
9 month of the year.
10 Q. All right. Now, please tell us. When you got to Bosnia, where
11 did you set up the embassy of Croatia?
12 A. When I arrived in Sarajevo and when I handed my credentials, I
13 talked to Mr. Izetbegovic about the setting up of the embassy, and his
14 advice to me was not to set it up because it would be destroyed the
15 following day by the great Serbian forces around Sarajevo, so he
16 recommended that I should go somewhere else and set up my embassy
17 somewhere else. He suggested Zenica is a good place. But I decided to
18 set up my seat in Neum and to commute, so I became a commuting ambassador
19 or a roaming ambassador.
20 Q. Can you please tell us exactly how long did that last, how long
21 were you in Neum, and while you were this roaming ambassador, what
22 exactly you did and what functions the embassy carried out?
23 A. None whatsoever. My first task was to learn a few things about
24 Bosnia and Herzegovina since I had not been familiar with Bosnia and
25 Herzegovina or at least not enough because I had left Bosnia and
1 Herzegovina as a child. So I did not have any other functions save for
2 learning and getting to know Bosnia and Herzegovina during that period of
3 time, which coincided with the first half of the year 1992.
4 Q. All right. What exactly did you do as the roving ambassador?
5 Where did you go?
6 A. Well, I did not roam that much, but my idea was definitely to get
7 to learn Bosnia and Herzegovina. I made three journeys. Actually, there
8 were three directions that I could take on my travel.
9 Q. Which directions were they? And this would have been in 1993,
10 right, not 1992?
11 A. At the beginning of 1993. One direction was towards
12 Tomislavgrad, another one towards Livno. Actually, that was still the
13 first direction. The second direction was -- let me try and remember.
14 It was in the direction of Prozor and Central Bosnia. And the third
15 direction was mostly along the course of the Neretva River and the
16 beginning of the flow of the Bosna River.
17 Q. All right. What about up in the Posavina? Did you go towards
18 that direction at all?
19 A. I did. I went there, as well, but I did not enter the territory
20 of Bosnia and Herzegovina because it was impossible because that area at
21 the time had been captured by the great Serbian forces.
22 Q. And what was the purpose for these trips? Who was -- what would
23 you do?
24 A. I mostly spoke to the local authorities there, to the mayors, the
25 heads of municipalities, in order to get a feeling for everything that
1 was going on in Bosnia and Herzegovina at the time.
2 MR. KARNAVAS: All right.
3 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Excuse me, Mr. Karnavas. Witness, you have said
4 on line 14, page 19, that you could not enter the territory of Bosnia and
5 Herzegovina. I find that a bit surprising. Did you not come from that
6 territory? Neum was in the territory and Tomislavgrad and the Posavina
7 also. Did you mean that you could not enter the Posavina because the
8 Serbs prevented you from that?
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, that is correct. Access to
10 the free territory of Bosnia and Herzegovina was from the south-west,
11 from the territory of southern Croatia, whereas access from the north was
12 impossible because that was under the control of the great Serbian
14 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Thank you. Thank you.
15 MR. KARNAVAS: Thank you, Judge Trechsel.
16 Q. Now, you said that you met with the officials in those places and
17 were trying to gather some information. What did you do with that
18 information, if anything?
19 A. This information served for my own personal planning and had to
20 do with what I would be doing in the future and where I would be setting
21 up my embassy; and the second purpose was to get familiar with the
22 situation in Bosnia and Herzegovina because I was a rookie there, you
24 Q. Were you sending reports to the Minister of Foreign Affairs or
25 beyond that at that point?
1 A. I sent very short reports with the same contents to the Minister
2 of Foreign Affairs and to President Tudjman.
3 Q. All right. How were you sending this information? Were you
4 typing it up on a computer, e-mailing it? Were you faxing it? What were
5 you doing?
6 A. Unfortunately, I didn't have any of that at the time. I would
7 put together very brief letters containing a few sentences, and I would
8 send them either via courier or whether -- I would take those letters to
9 Zagreb myself whenever I went there. And then I would also have an
10 opportunity to discuss the letter with the Minister of Foreign Affairs
11 and President Tudjman.
12 Q. All right. Now, how long were you in this capacity as a roving
13 ambassador, so to speak, and how long did you stay in Neum before you
14 moved on to the next spot to set up the embassy for Croatia?
15 A. I would just like to say that in Neum, I lived within the circle
16 of the Mostar University, and all that lasted up to August 1993 when I
17 set up my embassy in Medjurgorje.
18 Q. Why pick Medjurgorje in August of 1993? Why not move to
20 A. Well, as I've already told you, President Izetbegovic himself
21 told me to postpone my arrival in Sarajevo because I was under siege, and
22 if I had decided to set up the embassy there, it would have been
23 destroyed by the greater Serbian forces according to President Tudjman
24 himself --
25 THE INTERPRETER: President Izetbegovic, the interpreter's
2 A. -- and why I chose Medjurgorje -- it was convenient because the
3 area was rather calm. You know that Medjurgorje is a sacred place among
4 the Catholic population and that there's no fighting in the area. On the
5 other hand, a lot of different visitors had to pass through Medjurgorje
6 on route to Bosnia and Herzegovina, and a majority if not humanitarian
7 convoys en route to Bosnia and Herzegovina passed through Medjurgorje as
9 Q. If I understand what you're telling us here is that the border --
10 the Croatian border, the border for the Republic of Croatia was nearby.
11 Is that what you're attempting to say, that Medjurgorje was near there
12 and that's why -- one of the reasons that you selected it?
13 A. Yes, but the important thing was the fact that most of the
14 humanitarian aid from Croatia to Bosnia and Herzegovina passed through
16 Q. All right. Now, before we discuss --
17 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Just to draw your attention to the fact that
18 your last question was a very leading question.
19 MR. KARNAVAS: I understand.
20 JUDGE TRECHSEL: And you're aware of it, and you want to avoid
21 that yourself. Thank you.
22 MR. KARNAVAS: Yeah. I was trying to add some clarification.
23 Q. Now, during this -- before we go into what exactly you were doing
24 in Medjurgorje -- well, let me just go back to what was just touched
25 upon. From Medjurgorje to the border of the Republic of Croatia, what's
1 the distance, if you know?
2 A. I wouldn't be able to give you the exact number of kilometres,
3 but I suppose we are talking about 25 to 30 kilometres or a few more.
4 Q. Now, before we talk about what you did there, could you tell us
5 whether you were venturing into Sarajevo at all during this period?
6 A. I went to Sarajevo after having handed my credentials on two
7 occasions, during the second half of 1992 and early 1993.
8 Q. And what was the purpose for those visits?
9 A. My main duty was to maintain contacts with the authorities of
10 Bosnia and Herzegovina, which were in Sarajevo; however, there were
11 periods when the Bosnian-Herzegovinian authorities were in Zagreb, and
12 that's where I would -- when I would go to Zagreb to meet with various
13 ministers and officials of the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
14 Q. All right. Now, let's talk about your activities in Medjurgorje.
15 Please, first of all, tell us what sort of services did the embassy of
16 the Republic of Croatia provide at that location, and we're talking now
17 August 1993 and onwards.
18 A. First and foremost, at that location, I performed a lot of
19 consular services such as issuing certificates, visas, certificates of
20 nationality, passports. In other words, whatever one should expect from
21 an embassy with a good consular service. This is as far as Medjurgorje
22 is concerned, and I have also told you that the political relationship
23 with the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina was something that was
24 maintained either in Sarajevo when I went there or when I came closer to
25 Zagreb where the officials of Bosnia and Herzegovina were at the time.
1 Q. All right. How large of a staff did you have?
2 A. At the beginning, there were four individuals, and then the
3 numbers steeply shot to some 15 staff, but I can't be pinned down to give
4 you the exact figure. At any rate, between several individuals until
5 ultimately 15.
6 Q. And how long was the embassy for the Republic of Croatia in
7 Medjurgorje? How long was it there?
8 A. Until the Washington Agreement was signed. As soon as it was
9 signed, I started relocating the embassy to Sarajevo. The process of
10 relocation lasted from March to the end of April, possibly early May.
11 Q. What year?
12 A. 1994.
13 Q. Okay. All right. Now, before we talk about citizenships and
14 passports and maybe even visas, I want to touch upon what you said, that
15 you were issuing certificates, this concept.
16 A. You mean certificates?
17 Q. Well, that's how it's -- it's translated as certificates in
18 English, but I know it from you to be potvrda. I'm having a tough time
19 with it --
20 A. Yes. That is right. Potvrda.
21 Q. Normally I'm fluent in everything else.
22 A. This was a piece of paper we issued to individuals to enable them
23 to go to Croatia. Now, there were many reasons why individuals wanted to
24 go to Croatia. For instance, there were individuals who had been
1 Q. Let me stop you there. We're going to go step by step. Who --
2 when you say "individuals," who are we talking about?
3 A. Of those who had interests that were out of the ordinary to enter
4 Croatia or to traverse Croatia regardless of their ethnic background.
5 Q. All right. Now, was this some sort of -- what did one have to
6 show or do in order to get this document?
7 A. First of all, the individual's identity had to be verified. You
8 cannot issue an individual with a document before you have ascertained
9 his or her identity, which meant that the individual had to bring a
10 number of documents to the embassy on the basis of which their identity
11 could be ascertained and the document, the requested document issued.
12 Q. Okay. What sort of documents would they need to present?
13 A. Primarily identity cards. There were cases where identity cards
14 had burned, and so on, so forth. If they didn't have an identity card on
15 them, then they had to have some sort of a document with their
16 photograph. If there was none of that to be produced, either, they had
17 to present us with a birth certificate or a marriage certificate or any
18 other sort of document that could serve to identify the person concerned.
19 Q. What if the person had no documents at all?
20 A. Then the person would not be issued by -- with a certificate.
21 Q. Okay. Now, what was the purpose for issuing these certificates?
22 A. You see, Bosnia-Herzegovina and Croatia, though there were
23 admittedly borders between the two countries, ever since the Turkish
24 Empire left the area, ever since 1878, there had not been firm borders,
25 as it were, between the two countries. All of a sudden, a border emerged
1 between the two, and business had to be taken care of, which was the sort
2 of business that is normally carried out between two states that had
3 recognised one another. Order had to be introduced, some sort of order.
4 Q. All right. And for -- with these documents, how long could
5 someone go into Croatia?
6 A. We were quite liberal in that regard. I remember that we were
7 developing the procedure over a period, but normally the approach was of
8 a case-to-case basis. If somebody wanted to cross Croatia in order to
9 join their family in France, then we would give them a longer period of
10 time. Now, if someone wanted to cross into Croatia in order to visit
11 their family or to visit someone who was wounded and was hospitalised, we
12 would give documents on shorter periods of time.
13 MR. KARNAVAS: All right. Unless there are questions -- I
14 will -- no questions, okay. All right.
15 Q. Let's talk about those who wanted to have a passport. What was
16 the procedure?
17 A. Where the individual concerned had a Bosnian passport, we would
18 issue him or her with a visa that would be placed on the passport. Visas
19 could not be issued in cases where the individual did not have a
20 passport. In general, one could apply for Croatian citizenship through
21 our embassy, but the application was forwarded to the Ministry of Foreign
22 Affairs in Croatia, the reason being the law on citizenship, which was
23 already in force by that time.
24 Q. All right. Well, let's talk about that law, then. If we go to
25 1D 02918. 1D 02918. Have you found it, sir?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. Now, do you recognise this document, sir?
3 A. Of course I do.
4 Q. All right. Was this the document -- did you use this document at
5 any point in time back then when you were the ambassador to
6 Bosnia-Herzegovina in Medjurgorje?
7 A. If we look at the date of the promulgation of the law, the 28th
8 of June, 1991, so ever since it had been issued, I applied it in
10 Q. All right. And was it this law that you applied when somebody
11 came and wanted to get Croatian citizenship?
12 A. Of course.
13 Q. If I understood your testimony earlier, and I don't intend to
14 lead you, but it was -- you needed citizenship before you could qualify
15 for a passport? If I understood you correctly.
16 A. Of course.
17 Q. So if somebody already could establish that he had Croatian
18 citizenship, then it was just a formality for you to issue a passport,
19 whereas if there was no evidence of somebody being or having Croatian
20 citizenship, they had to go first establish that, and then the passport
21 would be issued.
22 A. The applicants for a passport had to have either a certificate of
23 their citizenship -- or rather, any sort of certificate which proved that
24 they were citizens of that country, or they had to have a document called
25 domovnica, which is the certificate of Croatian citizenship.
1 Q. That's the specific document that they need to show?
2 A. Precisely.
3 Q. Now, let's just take a hypothetical. An individual from
4 Bosnia-Herzegovina arrives in Medjurgorje and wishes to establish or to
5 get Croatian citizenship. Could you walk us through the procedure step
6 by step? It doesn't matter whether they are a Croat, a Serb, or a
8 A. Nowhere in the law is an individual's ethnicity mentioned. Any
9 person could apply for citizenship, according to this law. The procedure
10 for applying for citizenship was one's origin, one's birth on the
11 territory of the Republic of Croatia; naturalization; and by application
12 of international treaties. Furthermore, other documents were required,
13 and in addition to the ones I mentioned which were required for the
14 verification of an individual's identity, we asked them to produce some
15 other documents. If the person concerned met all the requirements, he or
16 she could apply for Croatian citizenship.
17 The basic article of the law prescribing the requirements for
18 citizenship of Croatia is Article 8, naturalization. That article
19 clearly specifies the procedure according to which one could apply for
20 and be granted citizenship. Where an individual was unable to meet all
21 the requirements under Article 8, there were other articles, such as
22 Article 9, Article 16, and so on and so forth, which I can explain to you
23 if you wish me to.
24 Q. All right. Just give us a very brief explanation so we know.
25 A. About these articles, you mean?
1 Q. Well, in particular you said Article 8, and then I believe
2 Article 16 is also relevant because it makes reference to Article 8.
3 A. Articles 9 and 16 refer back to Article 8: Where an individual
4 could not be granted citizenship under Article 8, he or she was able to
5 apply for citizenship under Articles 11 and 16.
6 Article 11 relates to emigrants, to emigrants or emigres and
7 their descendants. According to this law, they could be granted
8 citizenship without any restrictions in term of their blood lineage. In
9 other words, an emigre or emigrant could have been away from the country
10 for 100 years through his ancestors and could still be granted
11 citizenship under Article 11.
12 Now, Article 16 also relates to the Croats residing outside of
13 Croatia but who are not emigrants.
14 Q. Now, we have a few moments before we take our break, and before
15 we go into the issuance of passports and what have you, I just wanted to
16 ask you whether you were familiar at all with the Agreement on Friendship
17 and Cooperation between the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina and the
18 Republic of Croatia.
19 A. That was the fundamental agreement which was law to me. You know
20 that agreements between two countries takes supremacy in relation to all
21 the other laws of the country; therefore, the Agreement on Friendship and
22 Cooperation between Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina and the Republic
23 of Croatia was considered law, in my view, all the way until the
24 Washington Agreement was signed.
25 Q. If we could look at P 00339. P 00339. Do you have it, sir?
1 A. Yes. Yes.
2 Q. We can see that this document was generated or the agreement was
3 generated on July 21, 1992, and as I understand it based on your
4 testimony, you would have been with the Ministry of Emigration at that
5 time, July 21, 1992.
6 A. No. This followed my term of office in the Ministry of
7 Emigration. The Agreement on Friendship and Cooperation between the
8 Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina and the Republic of Croatia was, as we
9 can see, signed in the month of June, namely on the 21st of June, 1992 --
10 you are right. I'm sorry. I have to withdraw what I stated.
11 Q. All right. That's okay. If you can just look at paragraph
12 number 7.
13 A. Yes. Yes, I have it.
14 Q. Here, we see here "the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina and the
15 Republic of Croatia will reciprocally allow their citizens to acquire
16 dual citizenship."
17 A. Correct.
18 Q. Now, am I to understand that somebody from Bosnia and Herzegovina
19 who had citizenship in Bosnia and Herzegovina could also have obtained
20 Croatian citizenship based on this Agreement on Friendship and
22 A. Correct. Let me just indicate that I have dual citizenship but
23 not that of Bosnia and Herzegovina and Croatia; rather, of Venezuela and
25 Q. All right. And as I understand it, this is the law that you are
1 applying with respect to those who wanted to get dual citizenship at the
2 time, the one that we've been discussing, this law on Croatian
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. All right. Now, once somebody has their paperwork all filled
6 out, is it up to you to make that decision? Are you the one that decides
7 who will or will not get citizenship? Or is that decision made somewhere
9 A. The decision was taken by the Ministry of the Interior of the
10 Republic of Croatia.
11 Q. And was that -- did the Ministry of the Interior have an office
12 there in Medjurgorje, or did you have to send the documents to Croatia?
13 A. We had to send the documents to Croatia.
14 Q. All right. And what kind of a time frame are we talking about?
15 How long would it take the Ministry of Information to get back to you --
16 the Ministry of the Interior to get back to you?
17 A. You see, it varied. At times, they would take a bit longer
18 because they had to go through the identity checks themselves to
19 ascertain the identities of the persons involved. It could take anything
20 between a couple of weeks to a couple of months.
21 Q. All right. Once somebody was approved, what would be the next
23 A. The next step normally was that the person involved would apply
24 for a passport.
25 Q. Okay. And what would be the procedure for obtaining a passport,
1 assuming that the individual got his citizenship?
2 A. The procedure was far simpler because it only required
3 photographs and a document of citizenship and/or domovnica, rather, the
4 official certificate of the citizenship; and of course, there were forms
5 to be filled out.
6 Q. All right. Just a couple of follow-ups to make sure we have this
7 on the record. If you could look at 1D 02919. Do you have it, sir?
8 2919. And then we're going to discuss 2920. All right. If you could
9 look at these two documents, starting with 2919. We see that this is a
10 correction to the Law on Croatian Citizenship. Were you aware of this
11 correction and, if so, to what extent if any did it affect -- did it
12 impact on the law that you had been applying?
13 A. Not much. These were amendments to legislation, and we have
14 quite a few of those passed nowadays. This is the normal procedure, and
15 the amendment we see here was not that significant.
16 Q. Would that be the same for the next document, 1D 02920?
17 A. 2920?
18 Q. Yes, if you could look at that. This is an amendment to the Law
19 on Croatian Citizenship.
20 A. Yes. The amendment relates to children.
21 Q. All right.
22 A. How a child born abroad can acquire citizenship through its -- or
23 rather, the child's origins. If I may be allowed to explain.
24 Q. You have a couple of minutes.
25 A. The Croatian law is quite liberal in some aspects. Why? Because
1 almost the same numbers of Croats reside abroad as can be found in
2 Croatia. I'm speaking of some 4.5 million or thereabouts. For this
3 reason, the intention was to simplify the procedure for the acquiring of
4 citizenship for children born abroad, and it states here specifically,
5 citizenship can be obtained through one's background.
6 When we were speaking of the ways in which one could acquire
7 Croatian citizenship earlier on, we did mention that one could become a
8 citizen of Croatia, a national of Croatia through personal background and
9 provenance, and this is how it came to be formulated in the law.
10 MR. KARNAVAS: Okay. Thank you. I think this would be a good
11 time to take the break, Your Honour.
12 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. Let's take a
13 20-minute break.
14 --- Recess taken at 3.43 p.m.
15 --- On resuming at 4.06 p.m.
16 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] The hearing is resumed.
17 Yes, please proceed.
18 MR. KARNAVAS: Thank you, Mr. President.
19 Q. Now, sir, Mr. Ambassador, before we move on, going back to -- I
20 had asked a question, and I'm not sure whether we're clear on this, and
21 that was with respect to giving Croatian citizenship to anyone who came
22 from the former Yugoslavia, and I wasn't clear whether -- well, my
23 question wasn't that clear, but I want to -- I want you to focus on
24 Article 11 going back to document 1D 02918, 2918. This is the Law on
25 Croatian Citizenship. Perhaps you could look at the last paragraph
1 within Article 3, and I'll read it slowly. It says, "In the sense of
2 paragraph 1 of this Article, an immigrant is a person who immigrated from
3 Croatia with the intention to live permanently abroad."
4 Would this definition apply to Croats who had immigrated to
5 Bosnia-Herzegovina, keeping in mind, now, that you have two separate
7 A. [In English] Could you please repeat -- [Interpretation] please
9 Q. All right. We talked a little about who is an immigrant, and you
10 indicated that those Croats who lived abroad, for one reason or another
11 they had immigrated to either get away from Tito, for instance, or to
12 look for work or had left even well before the, you know -- it could be
13 two or three generations, whatever the case. I had asked a question
14 about whether that definition applied to Croats living in the former
15 republics of Yugoslavia, keeping in mind now that Yugoslavia has
16 disintegrated; you have various different countries, Bosnia-Herzegovina
17 being one of them. So would a Croat who was born in Croatia but now was
18 living in Bosnia-Herzegovina, would he be considered an immigrant within
19 this definition?
20 A. No. In the case of Bosnia-Herzegovina, this article was not
21 applicable, this being Article 11 concerning emigres.
22 Q. Thank you. Now, you said something about visas. And my question
23 now is, did you -- when you were ambassador there in Medjurgorje, were
24 you involved in issuing what has been termed in this courtroom as transit
25 visas, for people to transit through Croatia to go to third countries, to
1 go beyond Croatia? Was that part of your mandate?
2 A. Yes, certainly.
3 Q. All right. And how would one qualify for such a transit visa?
4 Because you indicated before that one could be -- somebody could be
5 issued a certificate, a potvrda, and with that they could enter Croatia
6 to do whatever business, visit family, go to the hospital, or whatever.
7 So now the question is, did somebody else -- why would they need a
8 transit visa and not one of those certificates?
9 A. A transit visa could be issued only alongside a passport. There
10 were passports of Bosnia-Herzegovina, of the Republic of Croatia, and of
11 various other nations, in cases of UNPROFOR personnel and in the cases of
12 humanitarian assistance and so on and so forth. For example, at a
13 certain moment, the State of Israel forwarded a number of passports,
14 against which we issued visas to those who were supposed to transit
15 Croatia on their way to Israel. It is a geographical problem. When one
16 looks at Bosnia-Herzegovina being surrounded on three sides by the
17 Republic of Croatia, then of course the issue of transit visas becomes
18 pertinent because they needed such visas in order to go further afield.
19 Q. Thank you. Unless there are any questions on these issues, I'm
20 going to move on to another topic, Your Honour.
21 JUDGE MINDUA: [Interpretation] Witness, if you look at the
22 transcript, page 34, line 2, if I understand correctly, you stated that
23 nationals from Bosnia and Herzegovina did not come under Article 11 of
24 the law we are currently reviewing, the Law on Croatian Citizenship. Can
25 you explain why this law does not apply to them? Because Bosnia and
1 Herzegovina is a country distinct from Croatia, so I do not understand
2 why the law does not apply to the citizens of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It is not that it did not apply to
4 the citizens of Bosnia and Herzegovina. It was necessary for a person
5 who had emigrated, that that person had emigrated from the area of the
6 then-state of Croatia.
7 As you know, during the Austro-Hungarian empire, there was the
8 Kingdom of Croatia, Dalmatia, and Slavonia. If someone moved out of the
9 eastern part of that kingdom while it was still a Croatian state, then
10 that person could be given the status of an emigrant. It is necessary
11 for such a person to move out of there territory of Croatia, which
12 covered a certain territory at that particular time. The territory
13 occupied by the Croatian state changed.
14 JUDGE MINDUA: [Interpretation] Thank you very much.
15 MR. KARNAVAS:
16 Q. Just to follow up on that question, we know that in Bosnia, you
17 had three constituent nations, Croat being one of them. You had the
18 Muslim nation; you had the Serb nation; you had the Croatian nation. So
19 based on the question that was just posed to you, would Croats who were
20 indigenous to Bosnia and Herzegovina, would they have been considered to
21 have immigrated to that -- to Bosnia and Herzegovina from Croatia?
22 A. I don't think we considered such cases.
23 Q. All right.
24 JUDGE TRECHSEL: If I may, still on the same subject. Witness,
25 it is not quite clear to me what it means that Croatians in
1 Bosnia-Herzegovina were not considered after the country had become
2 independent as emigrants. Does it mean that the rule of Article 16 did
3 not apply to them, or what was the effect of this denial of the status of
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] They could ask and receive it under
6 a different Article rather than the Article concerning emigrants, that
7 is, Article 16.
8 JUDGE TRECHSEL: And which article would that be?
9 THE WITNESS: [In English] Article 16, which refers to the --
10 which refers to the foreigners who are asking for Croatian citizenship
11 and don't qualify as emigrants.
12 JUDGE TRECHSEL: And could you, then, point out to the Bench
13 which Article applied to those who were considered emigrants?
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Article 11. It refers to
15 emigrants. In that Article, there is a definition of what or who an
16 emigrant is. It is a person who permanently resides abroad and had left
17 the territory of the Croatian state as it was at that particular time.
18 The territory changed.
19 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Thank you very much. I ought to have found out
20 myself. Thank you.
21 MR. KARNAVAS: Very well.
22 Q. Okay. I'm going to switch topics now, and as I understand it,
23 during this period while you were serving in the various capacities,
24 Ministry of Emigration and then as ambassador to Bosnia-Herzegovina, you
25 participated or sat in various meetings; is that correct?
1 A. It is.
2 Q. Now, I want to draw your attention to document P 02088, 2088.
3 We`ve seen this document before in this courtroom. It's dated April 24,
4 1993. If you look at the first paragraph, or the preamble, you could
5 call it, we see your name, Ambassador Zdravko Sancevic. Do you see it,
7 A. I do.
8 Q. And were you present when this joint statement was issued by the
9 two signatories, which is Mate Boban and Alija Izetbegovic, witnessed by
10 President Tudjman?
11 A. Yes, I was.
12 Q. Now, look at -- just a couple of points -- with respect to this
13 joint statement, we see in paragraph 1 that there was a meeting on March
14 3, 1993, in New York, and it talks about the six members of the
15 coordination body. Then it talks about the work on the implementation of
16 the Vance-Owen Plan to the extent possible considering the character of
17 the provisions and present circumstances.
18 Now, my question is, were you familiar with the contents of the
19 Vance-Owen Peace Plan?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. If we go to paragraph 4, again, I just need a verification.
22 Paragraph number 4, I don't read the whole part of it, but it talks about
23 achievements of political goals and it says, "i.e., the independence and
24 territorial integrity of the territory of the Republic of Bosnia and
25 Herzegovina within the framework of the Vance-Owen Plan accepted and
1 signed by the signatories of the statement and success in the fight
2 against the aggressor who wants to break the state apart, occupy its
3 territory, and annex the occupied territories to Greater Serbia."
4 Sir, was that your understanding that part of the Vance-Owen
5 Peace Plan called for the independence and territorial integrity of the
6 Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina within a certain framework?
7 MR. STRINGER: Excuse me. Mr. President, I object to the
8 question as leading. Excuse me.
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, certainly.
10 MR. STRINGER: If I could ask for a ruling before the witness
11 answers, Mr. President.
12 MR. KARNAVAS: I'll rephrase, Your Honour.
13 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes, please do.
14 MR. KARNAVAS:
15 Q. What was your understanding of the Vance-Owen Peace Plan? Do you
16 recollect, what was your understanding of the Vance-Owen Peace Plan?
17 What did it call for?
18 A. The Vance-Owen Peace Plan was presented in early 1993. It is a
19 plan following the line of thinking of Mr. Ahtisaari, who was appearing
20 on behalf of the European union with the task of studying different
21 possible ways of the internal arrangement of Bosnia-Herzegovina. After
22 having studied - that is, Mr. Ahtisaari and his commission - after having
23 studied the unitary state and then the possibility of a loose federation
24 or a confederation, they arrived at certain conclusions. The idea of a
25 federal state was adopted as regards Bosnia-Herzegovina. The plans such
1 as Cutileiro's and then Vance-Owen's were based, for the most part, on
2 Ahtisaari's selection, which stated that Bosnia-Herzegovina should be
3 arranged on a federal basis, irrespective of whether it will be divided
4 into cantons, provinces, or any others, but the bottom line was a federal
5 state, and the Vance-Owen Plan was based on the notion of federalism.
6 Q. All right. Now, we know that there was a major event in
7 Medjurgorje on May 18, 1993. May 18, 1993. That would have been the
8 period, based on your previous testimony, where you would have been in
9 Neum, headquartered in Neum while you were roving or acting as a roving
11 My first question is, were you by any chance at the meeting that
12 was held on May 18, 1993, in Medjurgorje?
13 A. Yes, I was. That meeting was a result of President Tudjman's
14 initiative for peace. It comprised two parts. The first one was a
15 meeting of President Tudjman on the same day in Split, the 18th, with the
16 Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr. -- I cannot recall the name right now.
17 He was a minister of the Russian Federation.
18 Then, there was to be a meeting with Mr. Petersen, a Dane, who
19 was presiding -- or rather, whose country was presiding the EU at the
20 time. Lord Owen was to be included as well as Mr. Stoltenberg, I
21 believe, although I'm not completely certain about him. In any case, I
22 saw Lord Owen there.
23 Q. Let me stop you here. What happened first at the meeting in
24 Split before the second meeting in Medjurgorje on the 18th of May, if you
25 recall? And I'm assuming that you were present at the time; am I
2 A. I was present at all talks of President Tudjman with these VIP
3 personalities, these world figures of -- these figures of the world
5 Q. All right. What were the discussions about in Split?
6 A. The discussions were about how to achieve peace in
8 Q. Was anything concrete resolved? I mean, there's a lot of talking
9 going on during this period, but was anything concretely resolved at the
11 A. Yes. At the meeting which happened in the afternoon of that same
12 day in Medjurgorje, it was determined that the Vance-Owen Plan should not
13 be abandoned altogether. It was also arranged that there should be an
14 agreement on the most important steps to be taken with regards to the
15 Vance-Owen Plan, i.e., how to organise these initial provinces of the
16 Vance-Owen Plan. How, and in what ways will people of different nations
17 take part in the provincial life and to elect a prime minister.
18 Mr. Jadranko Prlic was elected as the prime minister. He was --
19 I was present when he was elected.
20 Q. All right. Let me stop you here for a second, and let's look at
21 document 1D 0 -- yes?
22 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Excuse me, Mr. Karnavas. Before we leave the
23 previous document, I would like to have -- to put a question to the
24 witness regarding the same paragraph 4 that we have spoken about.
25 In that paragraph, we find on the third line from the bottom in
1 the English version, it speaks of the Vance-Owen Plan, "accepted and
2 signed by the signatories of this statement ..." which would be
3 Izetbegovic and Mate Boban. Do you have any commentary on this reference
4 to accepted and signed by both signatories? Does it mean that there was
5 an equal attitude of all those present vis-a-vis the VOPP?
6 MR. KARNAVAS: This is document P 02088.
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Since I was present there, I could
8 see that after this Split agreement, there was a lot of effort that was
9 being put in. Mr. Petersen was present there on behalf of the EU; Lord
10 Owen was there, as well, and it is there that the participants,
11 Mr. Izetbegovic --
12 MR. KARNAVAS:
13 Q. I'm going to interrupt you here, Ambassador Sancevic. The
14 question from His Honour was about the previous document, not the one
15 that I was questioning you on or was about to question you on but on the
16 document of P 02088. This is the joint statement, and it's April 24,
18 JUDGE TRECHSEL: It is also on the screen in both languages.
19 MR. KARNAVAS: Right. Well ...
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I can see it. It is a -- the
21 joint statement of document 2088.
22 MR. KARNAVAS: His Honour's question was in regards to paragraph
23 number 4, so it's about this document, not about the meeting in Split.
24 This would have been on May 18th. So if you could answer His Honour's
25 question on that particular day.
1 I'm just trying to be helpful.
2 JUDGE TRECHSEL: It's much appreciated, Mr. Karnavas.
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Allow me to jog my memory a bit as
4 regards Article 4. I read it. It is de facto what is contained in the
5 document. In other words, that the signatories wish to stress that the
6 conflict between the units of the HVO and the army of Bosnia-Herzegovina
7 in the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina are contrary to the policy
8 represented by the representatives of the two peoples. That is the gist
9 of the article.
10 JUDGE TRECHSEL: My question was much narrower. It refers to the
11 line which mentions the Vance-Owen Plan and comments, I quote, "...
12 accepted and signed by the signatories of this statement ..." Should
13 this -- does this mean, can we take from this that both the Croat and the
14 Bosnian-Herzegovinian side had what attitude? The same attitude towards
15 the Vance-Owen Peace Plan?
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] At the time, yes.
17 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Thank you. I will not insist.
18 MR. KARNAVAS: Well, if you're not satisfied with the answer,
19 Your Honour -- let me ask -- I'll ask the follow-up.
20 Q. It says that both of them signed on the basis that they had
21 agreed. To your understanding, to your understanding, you being there,
22 had the President of the Presidency Alija Izetbegovic, had he accepted
23 the Vance-Owen Peace Plan and that it should be implemented based -- was
24 that your understanding, or was there some other understanding?
25 A. No. At that time, Mr. Alija Izetbegovic agreed on unreservedly
1 to sign the declaration as well as the Vance-Owen Plan. At that time, he
2 accepted the Vance-Owen Plan.
3 Q. All right. Okay. If we could go to 1D 01595. 1D 01595. Now,
4 before we had gone back to this previous document, we were talking about
5 May 18, and this document appears to be the minutes of the meeting in
6 Medjurgorje, and you did touch upon your understanding of the meeting. I
7 would like to focus your attention to item number 3. We've seen this
8 document before. We don't need to go through it in great detail, but
9 item number three says, "The president of the transition of government of
10 the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina shall be Jadranko Prlic. In
11 agreement with the Muslim side, he shall recommend a balanced government
12 of eight ministerial portfolios of which three shall remain without
13 appointment. In case an agreement is impossible to reach, he shall
14 consult with the co-chairmen of the peace conference."
15 Ambassador Sancevic, when you indicated before that Dr. Jadranko
16 Prlic had been appointed as - I believe you called him prime minister; I
17 think that's what you indicated - this is what you meant, correct? That
18 he was appointed at that time or accepted by both sides as the President
19 of the transitional government for the Republic of Bosnia and
21 A. Pardon me. I don't remember having said minister or prime
22 minister. I wanted to say the prime minister, premier, the president of
23 the government, if you wish. Mr. Jadranko Prlic was not present, but all
24 those who were accepted Jadranko Prlic with enthusiasm, I dare say,
25 because they considered him to be the most appropriate person for the
1 job. There were people there who did not have much to do with the crisis
2 in Bosnia-Herzegovina, but together with those who were present there,
3 they agreed upon that appointment including those who were directly
4 involved in the implementation of the Vance-Owen Plan.
5 I dare say he was the star at the moment.
6 Q. Thank you. Now, if we go to the next document, 1D 02404, 2404.
7 A. [In English] Yes, I have it in front of me.
8 Q. Have you seen this document before, and can you tell us -- or the
9 contents of it, and can you tell us what it is?
10 A. [Interpretation] That is the famous Medjurgorje agreement signed
11 on the 18th of May in the evening or at night. I was present there, and
12 I was impressed with the conclusions reached. It was agreed upon that
13 Mr. Prlic be the prime minister. That was number one.
14 Number two, it was agreed that a temporary or interim provincial
15 government be appointed for Mostar, Travnik, and Zenica. Also, the
16 proportion of Muslims and Croats in that government was agreed upon.
17 Another thing that impressed me was the appointment of an interim
18 public ombudsman, and a coordination body was agreed upon as well as the
19 central government, then the military agreement, and that all those who
20 are detained be released. De facto, it meant that the prisons that
21 existed on both sides were to be shut down.
22 Q. All right. Thank you. And we can see from the very first
23 paragraph that this is -- this was at Hina News Agency that had received
24 this particular text. From you familiar with Hina, the Hina News Agency?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. All right. So can we conclude from this that this was also
2 announced publicly, this agreement, so that the citizens of
3 Bosnia-Herzegovina could see for themselves ...
4 MR. STRINGER: Excuse me, Mr. President. I object to the form of
5 the question. He can ask if it was published.
6 MR. KARNAVAS:
7 Q. Was it published?
8 A. Yes. Yes.
9 Q. Now, if we go on to the next document, and I think -- I just want
10 to skip ahead a little bit, so I'm going to go to document 1D 02932. All
11 right. Now, we see this is a document, originally it was introduced by
12 the Prosecution. They had translated one portion of a newspaper article,
13 and of course they left another part of the article copied on the page,
14 so we translated it, and this relates to Dr. Haris Silajdzic, so we can
15 sort of focus first on that document, on that part of the document, which
16 talks about -- it says, Haris Silajdzic, Minister Of Foreign Affairs of
17 BiH speaks for Vecernji list about the Medjurgorje agreement.
18 Let's see what Mr. Silajdzic says.
19 A. [In English] Could I have the portion of which it refers to?
20 Q. If you turn, it's pages -- it's not paginated.
21 A. [In English] Yes.
22 Q. Just -- one step at a time, sir. If you look at -- it would be
23 the fifth page, hard copy. We'll give it to you in hard copy, sir.
24 Okay. Now you have the -- you're not going to be able to read that, but
25 at least all you'll know exactly what I'm -- you might be able. The
1 print is rather small. But we translated this. This portion was not
2 translated by the Prosecution when they presented this article. He's
3 asked a series of questions. If you look at the first question,
4 "Minister, as a participant of the Medjurgorje talks, how do you assess
5 the agreement reached?"
6 His answer: "If we implement what we have agreed in Medjurgorje,
7 that will be a successful meeting. Because, we have agreed to start
8 implementing the Vance-Owen Plan in the liberated parts of the BiH
9 territory. For a start, it will be implemented in Mostar, Travnik, and
10 Zenica provinces, and I hope that the military delegations have also
11 reached an agreement to, first of all, prevent and stop the conflicts and
12 establish a joint command. I think that all that has been achieved."
13 Let me stop here. Is Dr. Silajdzic correct when he says that
14 there was an agreement to start implementing the Vance-Owen Peace Plan,
15 and when I say an agreement, an agreement between the Muslims and the
16 Croats in Bosnia-Herzegovina?
17 A. Yes, he was right because this confirms the text of the previous
19 Q. Okay. I don't want to spend too much more time on this because
20 we can all read it, but let's go to the second -- to this next part,
21 second page it would be in this printed version. He's asked a question,
22 "Does that mean that the Medjurgorje agreement is a way to eliminate
23 political misunderstandings and to stop the conflict between Croats and
24 Muslims?" Answer: "If the background of these conflicts is of political
25 nature, and it is, then it should be eliminated by virtue of
1 disagreement, but again, I am distancing myself and say that I only
2 believe in results."
3 He's then asked: "Has the procedure of the implementation of the
4 Vance-Owen Plan been set up in Medjurgorje?" Answer: "Yes. One of the
5 procedures is establishing a joint province government, and that is
6 possible to do. The political reasons for not doing it no longer exist."
7 Then he's asked, "How will the Medjurgorje agreement influence
8 the future negotiations in which Serb representatives will be taking
10 Here is what Dr. Silajdzic who is the Minister of Foreign Affairs
11 for Bosnia and Herzegovina says: "The Vance-Owen Plan must be accepted
12 at the UN. It must become an international law. There are two
13 signatures, Croatian and Muslim, but the Serbian one is missing. But
14 even if we have these two signatures, they need to be implemented. One
15 should hope that the Vance-Owen Plan will be implemented peacefully. If
16 it cannot be done peacefully, clearly, force will be applied."
17 Now, I'm going to stop there. To your understanding, sir, was
18 Dr. Silajdzic, Minister of Foreign Affairs for Bosnia and Herzegovina,
19 one of the participants of this event, was he correct in stating that
20 both sides had agreed to the implementation of the Vance-Owen Peace Plan?
21 Are his statements correct?
22 A. They are.
23 Q. Okay. Now, let me switch on another topic that's slightly
24 related to this, and that concerns a goodwill mission, a delegation
25 between the Croatian government and the Turkish government. Are you
1 aware of such a mission and, if so, did you participate in any way?
2 A. I did. I was a member of the Turkish-Croatian goodwill mission.
3 Q. All right. Now, if we can look at 1D 02726. 1D 02726. That's
4 probably a few documents before that, the last one I read. Maybe.
5 A. 2726. Yes, go ahead, please.
6 Q. Now, we see that at the very top, it says 13 May 1993, and we see
7 that this is a news conference by Croatian Foreign Minister Skrabalo.
8 Now, at the time he would have been your boss, correct, to put it in the
10 A. Correct.
11 Q. And briefly, if you could tell us, because we can all read this
12 but if you could tell us, what was the purpose of this goodwill mission?
13 A. First of all, to stop the conflict. Second of all, in rather
14 general terms, to achieve a better level of cooperation between the
15 Muslims and Croats in Bosnia-Herzegovina on the one side and on the other
16 side between the Republic of Croatia and the Republic of Bosnia and
17 Herzegovina. In that sense, the commission wanted to tour a large part
18 of the free territory that was not under the greater Serbian occupation.
19 However --
20 Q. Okay. Go ahead. Okay, go ahead.
21 A. However, the commander of the 5th military area, General Arif
22 Pasalic, prevented the commission's arrival at the free territory, the
23 so-called free territory, to be more precise.
24 Q. Let me stop you there because we're going to go step by step.
25 Let's not get ahead of ourselves a little bit. Let's go to the next
1 document P 02454, and this might assist us a little bit in putting into
2 context what you intend to tell us. P 02454. It's a P document, 2454.
3 That probably would be the next one.
4 We see here that there is a programme of the visit of the Mission
5 of Goodwill to the Republic of Croatia and the Republic of Bosnia and
6 Herzegovina, 19th to 22nd of May, 1993, which would have been, I guess,
7 one day after the Medjurgorje agreement that was reached.
8 If you could look at this document, sir, just very briefly, page
9 through it and see whether to your understanding this was more or less
10 the preplanned agenda for the goodwill mission between the Republic of
11 Croatia and Turkey.
12 A. I can tell you that the plan was not achieved. On the 21st and
13 22nd of May, we remained sitting in Mostar irrespective of the bank,
14 whether the left or the right, and the programme did just not go through,
15 and the reason was the fact that General Arif Pasalic prevented the
16 goodwill mission to move forward.
17 Q. Let's first -- I want to go step by step, okay, because we need
18 to make sure that there is clarity. My first question is to your
19 understanding, was this the pre-agreed upon agenda? To your
21 A. Yes. That agenda was pre-agreed.
22 Q. Okay. Now you've told us that at one part of the agenda was not
23 materialised because of Arif Pasalic?
24 A. He was the main instrument in preventing this programme from
25 going through, and then the goodwill mission appointed me as the person
1 who would go and talk to General Arif Pasalic.
2 Q. Did you go and talk to him?
3 A. I did for over an hour.
4 Q. Was it during that period of time while the delegation was in
5 Mostar or Medjurgorje?
6 A. We were in Medjurgorje, and I spoke with him in Mostar on the
7 west bank, and what I achieved was for the mission to be able to cross to
8 east Mostar, but that was the end of it. We couldn't go anywhere further
9 from east Mostar.
10 Q. During that one-hour meeting, what exactly was said? Do you
11 recall anything significant? Do you recall anything significant that
12 Arif Pasalic said to you?
13 A. Yes, I remember very well what he told me. He told me he had
14 received an order, that he had received an order to take Mostar and,
15 after having taken Mostar, to move on towards the Adriatic and to take
16 the area around Dubrovnik. I was quite shaken by that because the --
17 this is the territory of the Republic of Croatia. He did not manage to
18 take the whole of Mostar despite his attempts. He wanted to go on
19 trying. However, the effort to take the area between Mostar and the area
20 south of Mostar all the way down to Adriatic failed through.
21 The idea, according to him, was to establish a link which --
22 between the countries, the Islamic countries which were supposed to
23 supply both arms and men, the Mujahadin, the Islamic extremists, and in
24 that way Bosnia and Herzegovina would have gained access towards the
25 extremist part of the Muslim world. This is something that he himself
1 told me.
2 Q. All right. Now, you said that you were quite taken aback. Did
3 you report this information to anyone in particular given the content of
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. And we're going to get to it at some point, but are there not
7 references to this sort of -- this conversation, what Arif Pasalic
8 revealed to you in some of the presidential transcripts that you reviewed
9 for your testimony here?
10 MR. STRINGER: Objection to the leading question. If he wants to
11 go there, then the witness should be taken to the transcripts.
12 And may I add, Mr. President, also, I'm just looking at the
13 revised summary of this witness's testimony that was provided to the
14 Prosecution on Friday afternoon pursuant to the Trial Chamber's order of
15 last week. I'm seeing here that there is a reference to Ambassador
16 Sancevic as having participated in a Turkish-Croat mission of goodwill
17 and his being instrumental in arranging for the medical evacuation of
18 Bosnian Muslim soldiers there, but that's all that is said in the summary
19 about this goodwill mission, and I think that the testimony now goes very
20 far afield and is actually quite new and quite prejudicial - if I can put
21 it like that - to the Prosecution in that we had no notice whatsoever
22 that this particular aspect of the goodwill mission would be led on the
23 direct examination.
24 MR. KARNAVAS: Mr. President, first of all, you gave quite
25 explicit direction as to what information, additional information you
1 needed, and that was provided.
2 Secondly, the information that he's just indicated, and that's
3 why the follow-up question was -- because we will get to it. When we get
4 to the presidential transcripts, you will see quite clearly that the
5 gentleman makes reference of this conversation to President Tudjman
6 during a meeting. Those presidential transcripts we got from the
7 Prosecution. It is their documents. It behooves them to read their
8 documents. They could have done a word search, and they would have found
9 at some point Ambassador Sancevic revealed this conversation, and I
10 believe it comes up in more than one occasion. So how could I have
11 ambushed this poor Prosecutor when I'm using their documents based on all
12 their years of investigation? They are the ones that drafted this
13 indictment. We're here. We're answering it. I fail to see what the
14 problem is.
15 MR. STRINGER: And if I could just add one last point,
16 Mr. President. The practice of the parties throughout this long trial
17 has been to give each other the courtesy of a proofing note, even over
18 the weekend, some indication that during the proofing session additional
19 information has come to light or will be led that falls outside the scope
20 of either the witness statement, which of course we don't have, or the 65
21 ter summary. So just so you know, Mr. President, no proofing note was
22 received throughout the weekend about this particular matter.
23 As for the transcripts, Mr. President, we all know the volume of
24 the materials of those transcripts, and we also know that a number of
25 transcripts have been added by the Defence over the course of the last 72
1 hours as they have continued to prepare their direct examination.
2 It's just physically impossible to know and to have instant
3 recall of everything that's said in all of those transcripts, and it's
4 certainly been physically impossible for to us assimilate the materials
5 that have continued to have been added to the direct examination over the
6 last 72 hours.
7 MR. KARNAVAS: If I just -- if I may, Your Honour, because there
8 is one incorrect piece of information that perhaps either Mr. Stringer
9 misspoke or he certainly doesn't appreciate what exactly the Defence did.
10 We did not introduce new presidential transcripts. What we did,
11 what we did, we took their evidence, and we translated portions of the
12 presidential transcripts which they refused to translate for the benefit
13 of the Trial Chamber.
14 I have been the one saying that all these transcripts should be
15 translated in their entirety, but when they cherry-pick and they leave
16 obviously, you know, the information out that is not to their favour,
17 they can't come in later on and say, "Well, gee, I wasn't aware of that
18 information." Presumably somebody in the Office of the Prosecution reads
19 Croatian, and they are the ones that know exactly what sections they want
20 to pull out. I can't read the Croatian, so, I mean, I don't see how -- I
21 know Mr. Stringer doesn't read Croatian. Somebody in their office
22 discriminated what was going to be translated and what was not going to
23 be translated.
24 Now, I suggest the better practice for him is to have his
25 Croatian staff or B/C/S speaking staff go through the material, but it's
1 his material, and it's not sabotage. I'm using the documents. It's fair
2 game at this point.
3 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] We're going to discuss this
4 among Judges.
5 [Trial Chamber confers]
6 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. The Trial Chamber
7 deliberated and renders the following oral decision: The Trial Chamber,
8 having noticed that the summaries were very succinct requested that the
9 Prosecution and the Chamber be informed or send to the party who is
10 developing -- who is calling the witness to develop and to present the
11 summaries in such a way that nobody is surprised or ambushed by the
12 questions that are going to be put.
13 At this point, the Defence of Mr. Prlic complied to our decision,
14 since they have sent a summary that was more elaborate than the previous
15 summary. Upon reading this summary, it shows us that a commission,
16 Croatian-Turkish commission was -- or met, and in the summary, it states
17 that this commission was to talk about the issue of the evacuation of
18 injured soldiers with the exclusion of all other topics, and this is why
19 the Trial Chamber authorises the Prlic Defence only to raise that topic
20 which was stated in the summary. The Prlic Defence is not allowed to
21 raise other issues regarding the eventual involvement of the
22 Turkish-Croatian commission when it comes to presidential transcripts
23 regarding other topics.
24 The Trial Chamber deems that the Prosecution, having read this
25 summary, thought quite rightly that the witness would answer to questions
1 on the evacuation of injured people and not on other topics. This is
2 what I wanted to say on behalf of the Trial Chamber who deliberated.
3 So please go ahead, Mr. Karnavas, bearing this in mind.
4 MR. KARNAVAS: Thank you, Mr. President.
5 Q. Now, let's look at this document, P 02454. This is the
6 programme, sticking with this. There's one item I would like to bring to
7 everyone's attention, and it says here, "On Friday, 21 May 1993," it
8 says, "visits and talks in Jablanica, Prozor, Travnik, and Zenica." Did
9 that occur?
10 A. No, that did not occur. I managed to achieve General Arif
11 Pasalic's permission to visit the eastern part of Mostar, and this is the
12 area that we did visit. I can tell you what we saw, what we experienced
13 in the eastern part of Mostar.
14 Q. That was going to be my next question. Could you please share
15 with us what are your experiences as a result of this goodwill mission?
16 A. When we crossed the river and reached the eastern part of Mostar,
17 we visited people who had been in the western part of Mostar but were
18 within the zone of General Pasalic's command. We spoke to these people,
19 and they told us that in the eastern part of Mostar there was a number of
20 heavily-wounded Muslims who, according to them, they did not want to go
21 to the Croatian hospital from the western side. However, in conversation
22 with the wounded people, we established that they did want to go there
23 but were not allowed to go there.
24 In addition to that, what we experienced was that when we were
25 supposed to leave by buses from the eastern Mostar, some 30 people from
1 eastern Mostar who were Croats and who were -- who had been beaten and
2 ill-treated got on our buses and lied down on the bus floor and would not
3 be convinced that we would do something for them later on so that they
4 remained lying down on the bus floor. That's how we exited.
5 We also spoke, as I've already mentioned, with the
6 heavily-wounded people. When we reported about all that in Zagreb and
7 the report was submitted by the head of the mission, Mr. Seks, what
8 followed was a joint decision by President Tudjman and the Turkish
9 government to do something for those heavily-wounded Muslims.
10 I was tasked with the mission to bring them out of the city. I
11 was in liaison with the French Battalion in order to obtain a helicopter,
12 with the Spanish Battalion in order to obtain an APC, and also with the
13 HVO in order to obtain their protection as we transported them to
14 Medjurgorje, the idea being that they would be flown by helicopter from
15 Mostar to Split, and in Split, Turkish airplanes would be waiting for
16 them to take them to Turkey for further treatment.
17 With this regard, I wrote a letter, the letter that you see.
18 This is actually a plan that I drafted with a view to taking the
19 heavily-wounded Muslims out of that war-affected area.
20 Q. Let me stop you here so we can look at this. This is P 02682.
21 JUDGE TRECHSEL: May I just one question to the previous
22 document, if you allow me, Mr. Karnavas.
23 MR. KARNAVAS: Sure. Which document would that be, Your Honour?
24 Judge TRECHSEL: Witness, this plan for the mission, do you have
25 an idea as to what time it was drafted? The introductory paragraph
1 mentions a visit of President Tudjman to Turkey, and it says that at that
2 time the plan was conceived. Do you recall at what date this visit took
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honours -- or how should I put
5 it in Croatian. After having seen the president and received the order
6 from him, the order which he agreed upon with the Turkish government over
7 telephone or in some other manner, everything went to Mr. Sukru Tufan who
8 was supposed to procure the airplanes and through me; I was in charge of
9 bringing the wounded in via Split. Both of the tasks were carried out,
10 and over 30 Muslims were in fact flown to Turkey for treatment.
11 JUDGE TRECHSEL: I apologise. I can help myself. Thank you.
12 MR. KARNAVAS: Very well. But if you could direct the witness to
13 the document itself.
14 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Yes. The document is the one that we had last,
15 the document P 02454. And it is the plan not for the evacuation of
16 wounded persons but of the very mission, the mission of 19 to 22 May.
17 That was obviously prepared sometime earlier. Mr. Tudjman is said to
18 have been in Turkey for that purpose. During the official visit of
19 Dr. Franjo Tudjman, president of the Republic of Croatia to the Republic
20 of Turkey, this mission was conceived.
21 The question is: Do you recall at what date that visit took
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I wouldn't be able to tell you
24 that. I was so busy with the task that I received that -- let us not
25 forget that the plan was not achieved. The order for the evacuation of
1 the heavily-wounded Muslims was issued after the goodwill mission. As
2 far as the visit by President Tudjman to Turkey is concerned, I really
3 don't know when that took place.
4 JUDGE TRECHSEL: All right. Thank you.
5 MR. KARNAVAS: The Court may wish to look at 1D 02726, the one
6 document that I had indicated which was the news conference. It is dated
7 13th of May. It talks about the ministers getting together. That may be
8 of some assistance, but it may not, but at least it would seem that the
9 ministers are getting together perhaps pursuant to what was to be
10 arranged at a higher level.
11 Now, if I could focus your direction on P 02682. P 02682.
12 Q. Do you have it, sir? It says June 8th, 1993. We can see that
13 this is from the embassy of the Republic of Croatia in
14 Bosnia-Herzegovina. It's addressed to his excellency Sukru Tufan,
15 ambassador of the Republic of Turkey in Bosnia and Herzegovina, and if we
16 look at the second page, we see that -- we see your name, and we see a
17 signature. Sir, is that your signature?
18 A. Yes, it is.
19 Q. Now, is this the letter that you were talking about?
20 A. Yes. This letter has to do with the plan of the evacuation of
21 the heavily-wounded Muslims to Turkey.
22 Q. All right. If you look at paragraph 3, now, of this letter, you
23 say, "Security protection for wounded while in BH HVO area have been
24 arranged with commanders B. Stojic and V. Coric." Now, first of all, I
25 want to ask you, was -- first of all, I'm going to go step by step, so
1 work with me. Was security protection provided?
2 A. Yes, it was.
3 Q. Who arranged for that? Who made the actual arrangements, you or
4 someone else?
5 A. I spoke to Mr. Coric first of all.
6 Q. Okay. Now, you have him here as commander. Was that your
7 understanding that he held that position at that time?
8 A. No. I have to seek their pardon and that of Their Honours for
9 having called them "commanders" because they were not commanders, and I
10 mean military or something of that sort. This primarily had to do with
11 police protection, and it was in that regard that Mr. Coric helped me.
12 Q. Okay. Well, could you please explain to us. You said "police
13 protection." What kind of police protection was provided that was of
15 A. When the column of vehicles reached Medjurgorje, the heliport in
16 Medjurgorje, the heavily-wounded individuals were taken out of the
17 vehicles, and we had to wait for a long while before the arrival of the
18 French helicopters. They lay on the ground, truth be told. We did have
19 nurses and doctors from Split who were supposed to give them a hand and
20 be of assistance during their trip to Split. All of a sudden, onlookers,
21 individuals who resided in the area around the heliport started gathering
22 out of mere curiosity. It proved a useful thing to have secured and
23 organised protection for them, and it was thanks to the police escort
24 that I received from Mr. Coric that any sort of unpleasant incident was
1 Q. All right. Now, I have to ask you for one other detail. You
2 said that there was a meeting with Mr. Stojic. Do you recall actually
3 recall that meeting and if so, where did it take place; when did it take
4 place; what transpired?
5 A. I knew Mr. Stojic, and as I indicated here, since this was a plan
6 that I was supposed to meet with the security protection, or rather, I've
7 put here security protection for wounded while in the BH-HVO area has
8 been arranged with commanders B. Stojic and V. Coric. [In English] I
9 don't remember Mr. Stojic.
10 Q. Okay. You don't remember him, or you don't remember the meeting?
11 I know we have a document here that says something, but which of the two?
12 A. [In English] No, no. [Interpretation] I don't remember there
13 having been a meeting with Mr. Stojic. As for Mr. Stojic himself, I do
14 remember him.
15 Q. All right. Thank you. If we go on to the next document, 1D
16 01520, and we're back at the goodwill mission. While we're looking for
17 the document -- Mr. Sancevic, Ambassador Sancevic, before we get to that
18 document, I just want to make sure that we're crystal clear. You said
19 you knew Mr. Stojic; you don't recall the meeting. I just want to make
20 sure, was he or was he not a commander, to your understanding, back then?
21 A. No, he certainly was not a commander. I've already said that I
22 should be pardoned for the poor terminology that I used both with regard
23 to Mr. Stojic and Mr. Coric.
24 Q. All right. Now, if we look at this --
25 A. May this please be corrected.
1 Q. Now, if we look at this particular news clip, we see it's dated
2 Medjurgorje, May 20. Again, Hina has come up, and just a couple of
3 points because you were there.
4 It talks about -- we see here, the very first paragraph, "The
5 Croatian-Turkish goodwill mission in Bosnia and Herzegovina carries a
6 message of peace not only to this part of Europe but to the entire world,
7 stated the head of the Turkish delegation, Ambassador Mustafa Askin, at
8 today's meeting in Medjurgorje with the mandatory for establishing a new
9 BiH government, Dr. Jadranko Prlic."
10 Now, is that statement correct to your understanding?
11 A. That's correct.
12 Q. And it goes on to say that "The goodwill mission composed of
13 Croatian and Turkish politicians ..." Is that correct? It was made up of
14 politicians primarily?
15 A. Very well, both politicians and diplomats.
16 Q. And what about where it says, "Turkey as a friend to Croatian and
17 Bosnia and Herzegovina wishes to help in maintaining the territorial
18 integrity of these two countries." Was that Turkey's position as far as
19 you know?
20 A. Precisely that was the position taken by Turkey.
21 May I say something in relation to this?
22 Q. Okay.
23 A. One always talks of the clashes between the Muslims and Croats.
24 I disagree with such generalised statements. In my view, these were
25 primarily conflicts between extreme -- extremist Muslims and extremist
1 Croats. And if I may be allowed to say this, such a generalisation which
2 would imply that all the Muslims and all the Croats were in conflict,
3 that's simply untrue. Throughout 1993, there were periods where the
4 Croats, HVO, and the Muslims, the ABiH army had excellent corporation.
5 Let me just mention Orasije, for instance, Usora, then further down, even
6 Zepce itself, Tuzla. It isn't fair to speak of some sort of a total,
7 all-inclusive conflict between Croats and Muslims.
8 Q. All right. Now in these documents, we see there is another
9 reference to my client. "Dr. Jadranko Prlic welcomed the noble cause of
10 this mission conducted in the atmosphere of Tudjman-Izetbegovic meeting."
11 During this period of time, did you have any dealings with Dr. Jadranko
13 A. I had occasional unofficial meetings with him where -- discussed
14 mainly the topics in which Mr. Jadranko Prlic -- at which he excelled,
15 and these were topics related to the economy because he had a vision in
16 what way Bosnia and Herzegovina was to be salvaged in economic terms in
17 the future, and he had a clear vision of what had to do for the benefit
18 of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
19 I was curious because I was a representative of Croatia in
20 Bosnia-Herzegovina, and the plans and ideas that he would develop for the
21 well-being of Bosnia-Herzegovina were something of interest to me. He
22 was very categorical in wishing all the best for Bosnia-Herzegovina just
23 as I did. My view of Mr. Jadranko Prlic was that of an individual who
24 was supposed to and probably was successful in making a significant
25 contribution to the future of Bosnia-Herzegovina in terms of the economy.
1 Q. All right. If we look at document P 05051, P 05051. Just to
2 speed it up a little bit, if we look at the last page, we see Geneva,
3 September 14th, 1993. Do you have the document, sir?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. This is a joint declaration.
6 A. Correct.
7 Q. Were you aware of this joint declaration?
8 A. Of course I was, but I was not there. I wasn't in Geneva.
9 Q. All right. If we look at paragraph number two on the second
10 page. That would be Roman numeral I, paragraph number 2. "Provide for
11 bilateral and unconditional disbanding of all detainee camps and for the
12 release of detainees in territories under the control of the army of
13 Bosnia and Herzegovina and HVO immediately and by no later than September
14 21, 1993, at 1200 hours and bilaterally assume the responsibility for
15 their protection and care."
16 And then if we look at the last page, we see that there are two
17 trustees, Dr. Mate Granic who was vice premier and minister of foreign
18 affairs, and Dr. Haris Silajdzic, who was the minister of foreign affairs
19 for Bosnia-Herzegovina. Now, with respect to the implementation of this
20 particular paragraph, paragraph number 2, were you involved in any way?
21 A. Yes, I was there. My minister, Dr. Mate Granic, was there, and
22 it was only logical that I should be there. The issue was the closing
23 down of prisons, not only camps. The idea of having these prisons closed
24 dates back as early as the 18th of May as the Medjurgorje meeting where
25 it was mentioned for the first time and then subsequently referred to in
1 several documents underlining the need to resolve the issue as soon as
3 Q. Let me get -- ask you a couple of --
4 JUDGE PRANDLER: Mr. Karnavas, I see some kind of contradiction
5 here. Actually, when our witness first said to your question answering,
6 he said that, "I was not there. I wasn't in Geneva." It is, I believe,
7 line 12. But later on, he said when you asked him that, were you
8 involved in any way? Then in his answer, he said, "Yes, I was there. My
9 minister, Dr. Mate Granic, was there, and it was only logical that I
10 should be there."
11 Now, it is not very clear if he's speaking about Geneva or if he
12 speaks about the follow-up actions where, of course, he was there. Thank
14 MR. KARNAVAS: I was about to -- and I picked that up too, Your
15 Honours, and I appreciate that because the there, there, it is confusing.
16 So my follow-up question was going to be ...
17 Q. Concretely, did you visit any detention centres because you said
18 "there" with Dr. Granic. Is that what you're talking about and if so,
19 where did you go?
20 A. I was not present in Geneva; however, I joined Dr. Granic in
21 touring the camps, or rather -- no, they were not camps. They were
22 prisons which were about to be closed. I was there alongside Dr. Granic
23 trying to provide assistance. There was also the Red Cross there and so
24 on and so forth.
25 MR. KARNAVAS: We can take a break and pick up from here.
1 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] 20-minute break.
2 --- Recess taken at 5.40 p.m.
3 --- On resuming at 6.01 p.m.
4 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] The hearing is resumed, but the
5 Chamber would like to address Mr. Scott -- oh, no, sorry, Mr. Stringer.
6 Mr. Stringer or Mr. Scott. It's one and the same thing.
7 Mr. Stewart filed his submissions at 4.00 p.m. You've probably
8 received them. Could you in ten minutes tell us about your own position?
9 MR. STRINGER: Yes, I believe so, Mr. President. I was just
10 during the break speaking to Mr. Scott and he was -- we had received the
11 submission from the registrar, and he's reading it as we speak, and he's
12 going to send a message to me in the courtroom. So I think certainly at
13 some point before the end of today we'll be in a position to inform the
14 Trial Chamber what position, if any, we have in response to the
16 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Fine.
17 Mr. Karnavas, please proceed with the examination in chief of
18 your witness.
19 MR. KARNAVAS: Very well, and if the Court wishes to reserve the
20 last 15 minutes for oral presentation by Mr. Stringer, we would be happy
21 to accommodate him.
22 Q. Now, Ambassador Sancevic, you indicated when we first began that
23 you had participated in various meetings in the presence -- that were
24 presided by the President of Croatia, Dr. Franjo Tudjman, correct?
25 That's what you told us.
1 A. That is correct.
2 Q. Now, I know that it's been some time, several years since the
3 events occurred, and you were in official capacities as a Minister of
4 Emigration and as an ambassador to Bosnia-Herzegovina, but could you tell
5 us, to your best knowledge, how many times did you actually meet with
6 Mr. Tudjman - first, that is, tete-a-tete, you know, four eyes, four ears
7 - if you can come up with some figure and when? And then secondly, about
8 how many times on average do you think that you met with Dr. Tudjman
9 where he was in -- presiding over meetings? I'm not talking banquets,
10 festivities. I'm talking actual working meetings.
11 A. I had several meetings with President Tudjman alone, tete-a-tete.
12 There was also a number of meetings which I attended, which were of a
13 collective nature. The meetings between President Tudjman and myself
14 alone mainly took place in 1991 and 1992. The rest were group meetings.
15 Q. Well, we're going to go through a set of presidential transcripts
16 where you were present or you were mentioned, so if I could draw your
17 attention to P 01544, 1544. It's in the second binder. Madam Usher will
18 help you, Ambassador Sancevic. She's extremely efficient, and she'll be
19 able to assist you.
20 We see from the very first page that this is a VONS meeting dated
21 24 February 1993, and we see that you are mentioned. Where it says "With
22 the president," we see Sancevic. Was that you, sir? Dr. S. --
23 A. Yes, it was. But it's not S. Sancevic but Z. Sancevic.
24 Q. I take it you've had an opportunity to read this presidential
25 transcript prior to coming here today?
1 A. Yes, I have.
2 Q. Now, time does not permit us, unfortunately, to go through all of
3 these transcripts in great detail because if we were to do that, we'd be
4 here for the next ten years. But at least let's focus on where you were
5 speaking on this one, and I'm looking on the English page. It will be 21
6 of 52, and for you, it's -- if you look at the top right-hand side
7 because you're looking at the Croatian, it's 01867522. Maybe if you look
8 at the last three -- 522, the last three -- it's 01867522. The exhibit
9 number, the exhibit number is P 01544. Okay.
10 I understand you're going to be looking at -- Ambassador
11 Sancevic, you will be looking at the Croatian version. That's why the
12 different pages, okay?
13 Now, we see your name is at the bottom of here in English. It
14 says Dr. Zdravko Sancevic, and here you say, "During my stay in Sarajevo,
15 I started some talks regarding these bilateral relations."
16 Now, let me stop. This is February 24th, 1993. I assume when
17 you're talking about -- well, by this point, had you -- you had presented
18 your credentials to the President of the Presidency of
19 Bosnia-Herzegovina, correct?
20 A. That is correct. It was on the 18th of December that I handed my
21 credentials in Sarajevo.
22 Q. Okay.
23 A. Therefore, by that time I was the ambassador.
24 Q. Okay. And when you say here, "During my stay in Sarajevo ..."
25 what stay are you talking about? Briefly.
1 A. Briefly, I was in Sarajevo when I presented my credentials and on
2 another two occasions.
3 Q. All right. And I believe you told us that on those two
4 occasions, you met with officials; is that correct?
5 A. It is.
6 Q. Now, you go on to say, that, "However, the current situation is
7 totally paralyzed since there was only one Croat minister of the Bosnian
8 government in Sarajevo now ..." Who are you referring to?
9 A. We need to say that it concerns -- well, excuse me, let me see
10 what the date is. It was on the 4th?
11 Q. Okay. If you don't recall, that's fine.
12 A. [In English] In that precise moment [Interpretation] Excuse me.
13 At that moment, there were not enough representatives in Sarajevo;
14 therefore, no bilateral talks could be initiated.
15 Q. All right. Now, what we're interested in is where you go on to
16 say -- the three aspects, you say that -- above that you say, "As for my
17 moving, the place should certainly be determined as soon as possible."
18 And then you go on to say, "The third aspect relates to and is very
19 important and should be dealt with particularly with regard to the
20 president's policy of protecting people in this thing with the enclaves."
21 And then you go on to say that "We have with the exception of three
22 provinces where there is the free Croatian community of Herceg-Bosna, we
23 have the areas of three provinces occupied such as the west part of
24 Bosnian Posavina and Jajce, the people who took refuge mainly in
25 Slavonia. Then we have the Croatian enclaves in the Serbian province of
1 Kotor Varos, Sanski Most and Ivanjska." "Then we have the Croatian
2 enclave in the Mostar Province" -- in the Muslim province, I'm sorry --
3 "in the Muslim province of Usura, Komusina, Zepce, Tuzla, and Vares."
4 Then you go on to say, "Every enclave is specific, and for every enclave
5 we must have concrete projects about what to do in the case of escalation
6 or attack, to avoid a repeat of the situation that took place in Derventa
7 and Bosanski Brod."
8 Then you say, "There we should see about the possibility of
9 evacuation." In English, we see "exchange, return of combat units, if
10 any, et cetera."
11 And as I understand it, Ambassador Sancevic, having read the
12 Croatian version, you want to make a correction to this translation where
13 with it says "exchange." Will you please tell us what it says in
14 Croatian. Read that sentence where it says, "There we should see about
15 the possibility ..." Could you read that? What does it actually say?
16 A. We can see that --
17 Q. If you could just answer my question first. You had indicated --
18 A. [In English] Okay.
19 Q. -- earlier that there needs to be a correction in that sentence,
20 so if you could correct that first, and then I'm going to go to the next
21 part, my next question.
22 A. Okay. [Interpretation] What needs to be corrected is the
23 following: It concerned the changes that were to be introduced in terms
24 of municipal borders. There was no exchange that was discussed in
25 whatever derogatory sense one could understand it. It did not concern
1 the citizens but rather the municipalities.
2 Q. But what did you -- what is actually on the script? Is it
3 "exchange" or "change"? That's what I'm interested in.
4 MR. STRINGER: Excuse me. I object to the leading question.
5 MR. KARNAVAS: There's no leading in this fashion. I've asked
6 the gentleman to read the language and get a translation.
7 Q. Could you kindly please read the one sentence that I pointed out.
8 Then we don't have objections from the Prosecutor.
9 A. I will try to answer your question. It says, "promena" instead
10 of "izmena." [In English] No is exchange, is change.
11 Q. We're wasting time on this one issue. So please explain to us
12 what exactly you were talking about because only you can interpret what
13 you're saying here.
14 A. [Interpretation] It had to do with the possibility of evacuation,
15 changes of municipal borders, and return of combat units, if any.
16 Q. Yes, but earlier on you're talking about three different areas.
17 What did you mean by that? If you look at the above text that I just
18 read, and that was the purpose of reading it. Could you please explain
19 to us what exactly you're talking about, and why is it significant to
20 your understanding?
21 A. Enclaves in Bosnia presented a problem. There were no enclaves
22 in the area of Herzegovina. Each enclave had its own problems. We
23 should explore the possibility of what could take place in each of those
25 Q. Okay. All right. We'll move on to the --
1 JUDGE TRECHSEL: I'm sorry, Mr. Karnavas. I find this
2 interesting. You propose change -- you said you meant change of
3 municipal borders as a solution to the problems of enclaves.
4 Could you explain how a change of municipal borders could bring
5 about the solution of that problem?
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Specifically, I will refer to
7 Usora. Usora, with its municipal borders as they were at the time,
8 included a number of Muslims. The majority were Croats, but there were
9 some Muslims as well. When I had discussed the issue of Usora with
10 Mr. Izetbegovic, he suggested that the Muslims in that municipality
11 should be excluded or left out of the municipality, which required a
12 change in terms of municipal borders. Changes were needed in order to
13 keep the enclave where it was without any problems.
14 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Thank you.
15 MR. KARNAVAS:
16 Q. Now, if I could, picking up on that last example, if we go to the
17 text where it says, "Every enclave is specific, and for every enclave we
18 must have concrete projects about what to do in the case of escalation or
19 attack, to avoid a repeat of the situation that took place in the
20 Derventa and Bosanski Brod."
21 Now, could you please explain to us what you meant by that? What
22 happened in Derventa and Bosanski Brod? What took place?
23 A. In Derventa and Bosanski Brod, what we saw was a stampede, a
24 massive flight of civilians and then of soldiers. It was a significant
25 defeat on the part of the Croatian Defence Council in Bosnia-Herzegovina.
1 Q. All right. And what attributed to this stampede? What caused
3 A. One reason was the way the Serbs were attacking. First, they
4 would shell individual villages in order to drive the civilians out.
5 Then, they would begin shelling the next village and then the village
6 after that, which would initiate a civilian departure. After that, when
7 the soldiers there would see the civilians leave, they would leave the
8 front lines as well.
9 Q. All right. So what was the lesson to learn? How -- in your --
10 to your understanding, how could one go about in avoiding the repeat
11 situation of Derventa and Bosanski Brod?
12 A. We have the example of two enclaves. One was Blotinca [phoen]
13 Slatina and the other one Usora. In Usora, the people who were from
14 there asked me to introduce them to President Tudjman. They wanted to
15 ask him how they were to try and fight in an enclave which is completely
16 isolated. President Tudjman's response was, Please, do not do the same
17 thing the Croats did in Slatina. They sent their children and their
18 wives and families to Croatia. The only ones who were left were the
20 After a while, the soldiers withdrew as well.
21 As regards Usora, he suggested that they should leave [as
22 interpreted] and that the only ones who should be sent away were the
23 elderly and children, of course, accompanied by the mothers and sisters.
24 What does that mean? If a soldier does not have the possibility of
25 leading a proper life, he cannot fight. The idea was that the enclaves
1 could only be preserved by keeping the family structure in place,
2 however, without the children and the elderly.
3 To put it more plainly, the women were supposed to stay, thus
4 enabling the soldiers to keep on fighting.
5 Q. Okay. Just a correction. On page 72, line 22, you said -- well,
6 it's been translated that they are to -- that they should leave. As
7 regards to Usora, he suggested that they should that they should leave.
8 Is that what you meant to say, that they should leave, or that they
9 should stay? Which of the two?
10 A. To stay.
11 Q. Okay.
12 A. To keep the family structure in place.
13 JUDGE TRECHSEL: If I may, just very little.
14 Witness, can I take it from this answer that in all the examples
15 you have made, the population that was fleeing, you referred to Croat
16 populations; is that correct? Or did I misunderstand you? Or was it
17 sometimes Muslims, sometimes Croats?
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Occasionally Croats, occasionally
19 Muslims, and frequently both. For example, the flight from Jajce
20 included Muslims and Croats together.
21 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Thank you.
22 MR. KARNAVAS:
23 Q. In picking up on that, how did you know -- because you make this
24 comment about to avoid the situation that took place in Derventa. How
25 did you know about that? Did you read it in the newspaper? Did somebody
1 tell you about it? Where did you get any information, if any?
2 A. When I was appointed ambassador, President Tudjman sent me to
3 Slavonia. By that time, I wasn't able to go any further because by that
4 time the Serbs had occupied the area. He dispatched me there to try and
5 establish how it was that -- well, how should I put it? How the
6 situation came about in which the HVO had been beaten.
7 I went there, and I talked to the people. I did ascertain why
8 Bosanska Posavina suffered that fate. It was precisely the process I
9 described. First, a shelling; then a massive exodus of civilians; and
10 once they are gone, the soldiers leave.
11 Q. Okay. Thank you. Now if we go to the next document, 1D 02930.
12 This is another presidential transcript. 1D 02930, and it's dated 27
13 March 1993. Again, time does not permit us to go through this document
14 in its entirety, but we notice at least in the English translation on
15 page 32 of 37 you are featured, and I will give you the ERN number so you
16 can look for it in Croatian.
17 You're going to look for the following numbers: 01322427.
18 That's in Croatian now. And you're looking at the top right-hand side.
19 01322427. Do you see that, sir?
20 A. I do.
21 Q. Okay. Now, at that -- here you say -- you say something about
22 receiving a call from the embassy in Rome, and you say that, "They say
23 that there are a considerable number of young men from BH, most of them
24 Muslim who are now escaping to Italy because it seems that their flow to
25 Austria and Germany has somehow been stopped. So this is what they do
1 now. They leave their documents in Istria. The documents are found, I
2 think that your service finds the documents. They leave all the
3 documents, and without any documents, they cross over to Italy, so a
4 problem gradually arises there as to what to do with these people."
5 Can you please expound on that a little bit? What was this all
6 about, and why should the embassy be concerned because it would seem to
7 me that this -- that's an Italian problem. They're not refugees, and let
8 them bear the cost, so what's the problem?
9 A. Just like the Muslims were fleeing, leaving their documents in
10 Italy, the same could have happened to other ethnic groups and people
11 fleeing. The fact was that somebody had to be warned of such cases and
12 that something needed to be done. Otherwise, the Croatian ambassador to
13 Italy would not have called me. This meant that the Italians tabled that
14 issue regarding those who were fleeing Bosnia-Herzegovina, and there were
15 people fleeing Croatia, as well, Muslims or Croats fleeing Croatia.
16 Q. Now, since you were present at the meeting, maybe you could help
17 us a little bit.
18 On page 26 of the English document, the English translation of
19 this document, and we'll find it here for a second. It's page 26, and
20 I'm referring to what Gojko Susak says and you're going to be looking for
21 01322421. 421 are the last three digits. 421. Because I think we can
22 all read it and we can see what's going on between President Tudjman,
23 Izetbegovic, Haris Silajdzic, and here we have Gojko Susak, and he's
24 referring to a situation. If we look at -- right above it, they're
25 referring to Konjic.
1 Here is what Mr. Susak says: "Alija, you have five planes full
2 of goods sitting here in Zagreb, and three are allegedly on their way.
3 Until this is completely solved, I shall not send a single bullet."
4 A. Yes. I was present when Mr. Susak said this.
5 Q. All right.
6 A. Now, what does that mean? That means that the problems that the
7 conflicts entail must be solved. How could you possibly ship weapons to
8 someone who would then use the same weapons to attack you? I believe
9 that there is some logic in what Mr. Susak said.
10 Q. All right. Let's look at the next document, P 02719. P 02719.
11 This is 11 June 1993. I'm going to be referring everybody to page 48 in
12 particular and maybe begin by saying you weren't there but you were
13 mentioned. You're looking for 580. Those are the last three digits,
15 Do you see where your name is? I will read it. This is
16 Dr. Tudjman speaking to Izetbegovic. I mean, we can all read this, and
17 I'm not going to comment on it.
18 JUDGE TRECHSEL: We will be able to --
19 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone for His Honour.
20 JUDGE TRECHSEL: We will be able as soon as we've found it, but
21 we're still looking for it.
22 MR. KARNAVAS: Okay. I apologise. I apologise. It's 48, 48 of
23 75. This is in the --
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Which number is this?
25 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Binder 3, the first document.
1 MR. KARNAVAS: Okay. It's in binder 3, the first document.
2 Q. You're okay. Ambassador Sancevic, you're okay. You're okay.
3 All right. Now, if you're looking at this document, it says here - this
4 is Dr. Tudjman speaking, President of the Republic of Croatia - he says,
5 "I appointed Dr. Sancevic as the ambassador to Bosnia and Herzegovina.
6 He is not Herzegovinian. He is Bosnian, and as a Bosnian, he is
7 interested in an integral Bosnia."
8 A. Correct. That's what he said.
9 Q. All right. Now, I know he said that, but to your understanding
10 was that one of the reasons why you were selected, or is Dr. Tudjman just
11 saying this?
12 A. No. There was a reason why I was appointed ambassador to
13 Bosnia-Herzegovina. The situation in Bosnia differed from the one in
14 Herzegovina. The Croats in Bosnia were rather mixed up with the other
15 populations unlike the Croats in Herzegovina. Oftentimes, it is said
16 that all of them are intermingled. No, this is not the case. Wherever
17 you have two sides and they are intermingled, there is always a chance
18 that one side will dominate over the other. For this reason, the
19 enclaves in Bosnia were very important. There were no enclaves in the
20 main area of Herceg-Bosna, and I'm referring to the area stretching along
21 the southern Croatia. There were no enclaves there because it was a
22 homogenous area. The same applies to the Serbs who are also in different
23 situations in different areas and so are the Muslims.
24 What must be distinguished is the areas where they are
25 intermingled with others and those where they are not.
1 Q. All right.
2 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
3 MR. KARNAVAS:
4 Q. Okay. Now, if we go to the next document, P 03112. P 03112.
5 This is 2 July 1993. This is a VONS meeting. Now, one could spend at
6 least a day on this particular presidential transcript. I'm just -- my
7 first question is -- well, we see your name here. You were present, but
8 we do know that at times mistakes have been made.
9 Do you -- first of all, have you read this document recently?
10 Have you read it?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. And based on your reading of it, do you know whether indeed you
13 were present at this particular meeting?
14 A. I remember that I was present, yes.
15 Q. Okay. And if I could just ask you for just a big general
16 question - and I'll let others if they want to go into specifics because
17 I don't have the time - but could you tell me, by and large, what are the
18 discussions going on between the various parties in relation to Bosnia
19 and Herzegovina? What are they talking about? What are they referring
21 A. There were quite a few matters that they mentioned. Can you tell
22 me more specifically what it is you want to know?
23 Q. Well, I guess with respect to Bosnia and Herzegovina, this is 2nd
24 July 1993, in relation to what should happen to Bosnia and Herzegovina.
25 To your understanding, what are the discussions about in relation to the
1 political set-up or to its geographical make-up?
2 A. The divisions of Bosnia and Herzegovina were discussed, and I am
3 highly critical of that particular term "division" of Bosnia-Herzegovina.
4 There is the external division, the partition carving up, dividing on the
5 outside. And then there is the internal division in administrative and
6 so on and so forth. Unfortunately, in many of the documents, the
7 gentlemen referring to this division do not distinguish between the
8 external and internal division. The external division, that concept
9 implies that the state is to be dissolved, divided. Now, when one refers
10 to the internal division, that's what Vance-Owen, Cutileiro and - what's
11 it called - the contact group were precisely referring to. What was
12 mostly talked about was internal division, which must be distinguished
13 from the other. Applying internal division upon the concept of the
14 external division is to make a terrible mistake in relation to this
15 particular term.
16 Q. All right. But in this particular document, having read it, what
17 division are they talking about in this transcript?
18 A. The internal division.
19 Q. All right. Now -- well, let me just ask you this question now.
20 At times, we've heard this concept of confederation. How does that
21 concept relate to, for instance, the internal make-up of
22 Bosnia-Herzegovina because earlier you talked about a federation. So can
23 you briefly tell us, what does one have to do with the other, if
25 A. There existed the idea of a confederation between a federal
1 Bosnia and Herzegovina and the Republic of Croatia. This was one of the
2 ideas that the Republic of Croatia put forth within the
3 settlement-seeking process.
4 The confederation between the republic -- the Federal Republic of
5 Bosnia and Herzegovina and the Republic of Croatia. Evidently, this was
6 one solution which particularly after the Washington Agreement came to
7 the fore.
8 Q. Now, over here, we have in the transcript on page 79, line 22, it
9 says the Federal Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina. Are you talking
10 about the federation? You say the confederation between the republic,
11 the federal republic -- could you please explain that to us?
12 A. Let me just find that. [In English] the confederation between
13 the republic.
14 Q. Okay. All right.
15 A. [Interpretation] This was one solution brought about by the
16 Washington Agreement. It was a proposition that was tabled. It wasn't
17 just a rumour or a story that circulated. Therefore, the confederation
18 had its significance in its own right.
19 Q. All right. We're going to go to the next document, P 06454, P
20 06454, and --
21 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Let's first ask Mr. Stringer if
22 he has any news for us.
23 MR. STRINGER: Yes, Mr. President. I can inform the Trial
24 Chamber now in probably 30 seconds or --
25 MR. KARNAVAS: I'll sit down.
1 MR. STRINGER: We've -- sorry, Mr. President, I just had the
2 e-mail. I haven't read the submission, but my colleague Mr. Scott has.
3 In respect of the third sort of prayer for relief that's sought by the
4 Petkovic Defence, who I think is the author of the submission, there's no
5 disagreement on the part of the Prosecution, that is, that all times
6 direct and redirect should be counted toward the total time attributable
7 to that accused's case.
8 It is our view that we should be -- that the Defence obviously
9 ought to be treated in the same way that the Prosecution was such that it
10 was not necessary to reserve in advance time that might be needed for
11 redirect. So that's our position.
12 In respect of the two other points raised by the submission in
13 paragraphs -- let me -- I just misspoke. We don't agree -- I'll start
14 over again.
15 We do not disagree. We agree, that is to say, with paragraph 1
16 of the submission. We do, however, want to say that in respect of
17 paragraphs 2 and 3 in which the Defence attempt to be seeking an
18 assurance or a guarantee of time for redirect for every witness, we do
19 not think that that was the case during the Prosecution case in chief.
20 The Trial Chamber may recall the Prosecution did not always get redirect.
21 There were times when the time was such that the Prosecution was not
22 granted as much time as it would have liked for redirect and that
23 essentially it boils down to a case-by-case basis or witness-by-witness
24 basis in which the Trial Chamber should consider whether or how much time
25 to give for redirect based upon the cross-examination.
1 But getting back to the main point. We agree with the basic
2 proposition that the total time is counted to the Defence, but the
3 Defence need not reserve in advance the time that it wants for direct
4 because that was the procedure that was applicable during the Prosecution
5 case, and I apologise for having said all of that so inartfully and
6 longer than 30 seconds.
7 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you very much.
8 MR. STEWART: Your Honour, may I -- well, thank you for the
9 agreement on that particular point, and obviously I understand it's not
10 particularly easy for Mr. Stringer to be reading what his assistant has
11 sent him by e-mail.
12 But just in a nutshell on the observation he made about occasions
13 on which the Prosecution did not have redirect. Essentially, what
14 happened was that they didn't protest it because it follows from the
15 submissions that we made in writing that if the Prosecution had simply
16 protested and put forward the arguments we've put forward in relation to
17 Rule 90(B), that they would and should have had the right to reexamine in
18 every single case when they wanted to, subject to what we do say in our
19 written submission that, of course, there's ultimate control over any
20 examination, examination in chief, cross-examination, re-examination, if
21 it's abusive, irrelevant and so on. But that's -- excuse me one moment,
22 Your Honour.
23 [Defence counsel confers]
24 MR. STEWART: Well, Ms. Alaburic, who's been here throughout the
25 trial, and I haven't, suggests that in fact the Prosecution were never
1 quite put in the position where they wanted to do a re-examination and
2 were actually refused or prevented from conducting a re-examination.
3 Certainly, I do recall occasions when there's been enormous
4 pressure at four minutes to 7.00 not to reexamine when Mr. Scott -- no
5 doubt Mr. Scott's colleagues, as well, but I can distinctly recall
6 Mr. Scott really protesting that he would have wanted to reexamine, but
7 that really goes back to the point I've made that the party has a right
8 to reexamine, and it's been a constant feature throughout this trial, the
9 timing issue. It isn't a justification for refusing a party the
10 opportunity of reexamining that it's, for example, four minutes to 7.00.
11 You are entitled to reexamine.
12 MR. KARNAVAS: If I could just continue.
13 MR. STRINGER: If I could just offer a very brief reply to that.
14 It's my submission, Mr. President, the Prosecution did object or protest
15 certainly when it's four minutes before 7.00, there has to be a
16 recognition of the realities, and the realities are such that the witness
17 in general is not going to be kept in The Hague over the course of a
18 three or four-day weekend or longer in order to accomplish a short -- or
19 certainly a redirect that's shorter than the examination in chief.
20 Our submission is that rather than granting the Petkovic Defence
21 and all of the Defence a general rule guaranteeing in every case a
22 redirect examination, it is ultimately a matter for the discretion of the
23 Trial Chamber, which are the situations in which a redirect is
24 appropriate or needed in the light of the cross, and then furthermore,
25 how much time for redirect should be granted based upon all the facts and
2 So it's our submission that it's a case-by-case,
3 witness-by-witness finding that the Trial Chamber makes based on its
4 discretion in the circumstances and that a general rule applicable to all
5 of the witnesses who will be appearing in this court over the next months
6 should not be granted at this time.
7 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes, Mr. Karnavas.
8 MR. KARNAVAS: May I continue? Okay. If we could look at the
9 next document --
10 MR. STEWART: Sorry, I thought Mr. Karnavas was going to make a
11 -- excuse me.
12 MR. KARNAVAS: Well, I do --
13 MR. STEWART: I wanted to -- no. We were dealing with a
14 procedural issue. If you would just let me offer one sentence on the
15 procedural issue before we go back to the witness. That seems to be the
16 appropriate way of doing it.
17 Just to say that if Your Honours are tempted to adopt the line
18 that Mr. Stringer has suggested in relation to whether re-examination
19 should be allowed at all, then I do invite Your Honours to explain very
20 specifically in your decision, if you do take that course, why it is that
21 Rule 90(B) does not make it actually mandatory to allow re-examination
22 and to explain why, since Rule 90(B) refers to examination in chief,
23 cross-examination, and re-examination, why that same approach to 90(B)
24 wouldn't apply to cross-examination and make that also a matter of
25 discretion of the Trial Chamber. I -- but that point is in our written
1 submissions, but it does directly arise out of the observation that
2 Mr. Stringer has just made, and now I will accede the floor to whoever
3 Your Honours give the floor to.
4 MR. KARNAVAS: May I continue, Mr. President? I know we have
5 five minutes, but -- if we could go to the next document, P 06454. Madam
6 -- it's there. Okay.
7 Q. You need to look at page 01322934, so 934. Everyone else, it
8 would be 44 in the English text, page 44 of 113. Have you found that,
9 sir? Is that a yes? You're shaking your head.
10 A. Yes, I have.
11 Q. Now, if we go back a few pages, we'll see that you're speaking at
12 this point uninterruptedly for several pages, which is -- okay, but the
13 point -- my question is here, we have on page 44, you say, "As for our
14 main body ..." Okay. Sir, you had the page. Madam Usher, if you could
15 just assist us.
16 Mr. Sancevic, you don't need to look through the document. The
17 ERN number is -- the last three numbers are 934. 934. Okay.
18 You say -- and we're going to cover this extensively tomorrow,
19 but you say, "As for our main body, I think in the past it projected an
20 anti-Muslim character. I believe the cause of this was Mostar and the
21 Muslim move towards the sea and there clearly, Arif Pasalic's failure to
22 break through towards the sea, which he had -- he personally told me this
23 as early as when the Turkish commission came that he must have access to
24 the sea. It is not the sea Izetbegovic talks about -- it is not the sea
25 Izetbegovic talks about to swim in or to have a port. The sea is
1 intended as a place where the Mujahadin from all over the world can land.
2 That's why I think this element, we have not used it so far. Maybe for
3 tactical reasons it was better not to mention it. But, look, they don't
4 need to have a complete stretch from the coast up there to Konjic,
5 although they wanted, no doubt, for this road to be secured."
6 I would be ever so kind -- I would appreciate it if we could --
7 because I'm labouring under extreme stress here.
8 MR. STEWART: Apologies.
9 MR. KARNAVAS: Okay.
10 Q. Now, sir, you recall -- is this the incident that you were
11 talking about when you said that you had met with Arif Pasalic and he had
12 told you this stuff?
13 A. This conversation took place during the first Turkish-Croatian
14 mission because it was followed by another one.
15 Q. That's what you're talking about in this transcript?
16 A. Yes.
17 MR. KARNAVAS: For the record, Your Honours, whenever we
18 translate something from presidential transcripts, you will see
19 "unofficial translation." From this document, it's very clear that this
20 part was translated by the Prosection's office. It is not a new
21 translation. It was -- it's their document. I just wanted to point this
22 out lest there be any incriminations as a result of trying to use
23 guerilla tactics, which I don't believe I am using, but in any event,
24 with that I'll have to pick it up from here tomorrow.
25 MR. STEWART: Your Honours, could I just mention? It's actually
1 what we were discussing. I have to say that I've referred throughout to
2 Rule 90(B), and I referred in the written submission to Rule 90(B). I
3 don't know how, I don't know why. It's 85(B). I don't know where I got
4 90(B) from, the imagination or whatever, but if Your Honours would take
5 it that in the last few days whenever I've said 90(B), I've meant 85(B).
6 I hope that's sufficiently clear.
7 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes, it is. Very well.
8 MR. STRINGER: Excuse me, Mr. President.
9 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] We are going to correct this.
10 MR. STRINGER: It's my impression that the Trial Chamber is quite
11 keen on ruling on this issue tomorrow morning at the beginning of the
12 proceedings. In light of the clarification just made by counsel and in
13 light of the fact that we've had to respond to it under these
14 circumstances, it would be my request that the Trial Chamber perhaps
15 allow the Prosecution, if it deems it useful, to file a very brief
16 response to the Defence submission in a very short period of time just so
17 that the matter could finally be joined, if you will, before the Trial
18 Chamber rules.
19 I think this has all happened rather suddenly and swiftly, and it
20 might be that we would all benefit from having it addressed in a more
21 deliberate way.
22 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [No interpretation]
23 MR. STEWART: We can't object to that, Your Honour, certainly
25 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. In any case, the
1 Judges will meet tomorrow morning, very early in the morning, and we will
2 tell you what our decision is. We will rule on this, and we will take
3 into account what you just told us, Mr. Stringer, and we will also let
4 you know whether you will have the authorisation to submit your filings
5 tomorrow morning before the decision is rendered.
6 So Witness, you are now a witness of the Court, meaning that you
7 should not have any contacts with Mr. Prlic's attorney, but I imagine
8 that he must have told you this when you met him.
9 We shall reconvene tomorrow morning at 9.00.
10 Mr. Karnavas, I would like to tell you that you used almost 3
11 hours. The registrar told me that you've used up 2 hours and 58 minutes,
12 so you will have one more hour and 22 minutes -- 1 hour and 2 minutes
13 after the reading of the oral decision tomorrow morning. If we have no
14 oral decision to give tomorrow morning, you will then start at 9.00
15 sharp. Thank you very much, and have a nice evening.
16 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 7.00
17 p.m., to be reconvened on Tuesday, the 27th day of
18 May, 2008, at 9.00 a.m.