1 Wednesday, 18 June 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, Mr. Registrar.
11 Today is Wednesday, 18th of June, 2008. Good afternoon, witness, good
12 afternoon to the accused, the Defence counsel, the OTP representatives
13 and all the people helping us out.
14 First of all I'm going to give the floor to my fellow Judge and
15 then Mr. Karnavas, you may be able to proceed.
16 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Good afternoon, everybody, I would like to make
17 an observation which is not of a personal character, I have spoken to my
18 colleagues, and we all share the same view. It is also not specifically
19 addressed to Defence 1, Mr. Karnavas, but to all parties, but the
20 immediate reason is the hearing of this witness and rather than the
21 hearing, the way the documents that are presented to him are put at the
22 disposal of the Chamber.
23 You must have noticed that we are constantly turning around,
24 fiddling with documents, I am the most lucky of us all because I have an
25 empty chair and I can sort of line them up whereas the president has to
1 reach underneath.
2 It is not just that it is a physical exercise that is not the
3 best fitness training although it may have an element of that, but it
4 does not serve your cause because often we just find the document when
5 you call the next one so that we cannot do much with it and one almost is
6 tempted to suspect, but I do not say so, but one is almost tempted to
7 suspect that you do not want us to read them, which I please do not want
8 to be taken seriously; but I chose where this leads, so I think the
9 Chamber would greatly appreciate if you could give us the documents in
10 the way that you have them yourself and you have them presented to the
11 witness. It would make our work easier and yours more effective. Thank
13 MR. KARNAVAS: I appreciate that observation. I did notice it
14 yesterday, particularly that -- we will try to rectify that. It is not
15 intentionally it's sometimes that not until very late Sunday night that
16 we have rearranged it. It's -- just so you know, Your Honours, the way
17 we prepare our documents is that we look at -- we have them in a
18 chronological order. We go through them and then depending on the number
19 of documents, I rearrange them at the last moment and -- in order to fit
20 the time constraints, but I do recognise the problem; and I assure you
21 that we will try to not let this happen again.
22 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Thank you. I expected this response. Thank
24 MR. KARNAVAS: Now -- if I may proceed, Mr. President, I have
25 another -- I have a matter to raise with the particular document and this
1 is document 1D 02940, hard copies have been provided to everyone. It
2 hasn't been -- it has not been released into e-court.
3 Yesterday at some point as a result of the ongoing conversations,
4 I asked someone in the United States to locate Dr. Silajdzic's actual
5 presentation before the Senate back then, and I was able to get a fax --
6 it was faxed to me late last night. Recognising that this is a new
7 document, I would nonetheless wish to proceed by asking a couple of
8 questions. It's nothing is -- nothing is new concerning the -- we saw
9 the letters but I do wish to bring out a couple of points to the
10 witness's attention especially but not exclusively a response by
11 Mr. Izetbegovic to one of Mr. Akmadzic's letters to Mr. Biden, so with
12 the Court's permission I would like to put a few questions to this
13 witness. So I'm seeking permission.
14 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Prosecutor. Do you have
15 any observations or reservations?
16 MR. SCOTT: No, Your Honour, I -- the Prosecution realizes how
17 these things happen and we have no objection to be used in this instance
18 there might be different circumstances at different times, but on this
19 occasion we have no objection.
20 MR. KARNAVAS: I appreciate that.
21 WITNESS: MILE AKMADZIC [Resumed]
22 [Witness answered through interpreter]
23 Examination by Mr. Karnavas: [Continued]
24 Q. Sir, if we can look at 1D 02940. It has been put before you. We
25 spoke yesterday about you being in New York. We see from the very first
1 page of the document it is dated February 18, 1993. This is the
2 testimony or the statement by Haris Silajdzic the then foreign minister
3 before the subcommittee on European Affairs of the Committee of the
4 Foreign Relations.
5 Now, if you could go to page 50, will you see towards the middle
6 of the page, I think it's notice third paragraph, I will read, it says:
7 "Tragically negotiations in the name of peace have facilitated
8 the intensification of war. The reason for this is very simple. Instead
9 of responding to naked aggression, the United Nations sponsored peace
10 process has increasingly delivered a series of concessions and awards to
11 the aggressor."
12 Now this was the foreign minister speaking on behalf of the
13 Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina. Do you share this observation that
14 Dr. Silajdzic was making before the Senate subcommittee?
15 A. Your Honours, I do not share those views. I received this paper
16 now and the Presidency as a whole did not share those views. All of us
17 in the Presidency were unanimous that under the auspices of the
18 international peace conference on the former Yugoslavia or the London
19 conference as it was called that we should continue with the talks and
20 continue trying to find a solution for peace.
21 Q. Now, if we could turn to another segment. This would be on
22 page -- I believe it's 59. 59 at the bottom.
23 JUDGE TRECHSEL: I'm sorry --
24 JUDGE PRANDLER: May I take the floor. Frankly, I -- when I
25 listen to the witness' statement now, I wonder if the witness is aware of
1 the fact that then, Dr. Silajdzic mainly referred to the Serb aggression
2 and the next paragraph says that, and I quote, "That the hope beyond the
3 process would seem to have been that if enough concessions were given,
4 the aggressor would be satisfied."
5 I mean if enough concessions would be given by the United
6 Nations, it means, then the aggressor would have been satisfied. So I
7 don't know if the witness has -- of course he didn't have the chance to
8 read this whole chapter and parts of it but he may be given the time to
9 have a look at that and then to answer your question. Thank you.
10 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
11 MR. KARNAVAS:
12 Q. That is the disadvantage of not having the document earlier, and
13 I don't wish to telegraph anything because you do have to look this
14 entire statement and then look at what Boutros Boutros-Ghali was saying
15 and what Lord Owen was saying and you will see where it all fits in
16 but ...
17 JUDGE TRECHSEL: If I may use this seeming pause to go a bit on
18 in the same direction. Later on in the paragraphs of this page,
19 Mr. Silajdzic speaks of the government of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
20 That -- what do you say to this, Witness, Mr. Akmadzic? Do you find
21 yourself reflected when he says, "The government of Bosnia and
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I have to say that sometimes the
25 government and the Presidency sometimes as it is in the American system
1 where the government is the head of state in a way, that Mr. Silajdzic
2 actually equates the two, and let me go back to what I said before. The
3 international conference here in a way rewards the aggressor. Of course
4 I'm opposed to that, but as far as those negotiations are concerned,
5 they -- everybody had equal status there. Nobody was rewarded for
6 anything, and we were treated in an equitable manner.
7 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Thank you. That's a nicely precise and direct
8 answer to my question.
9 Just to be sure, what is referred to, according to you by the
10 words "the aggressor"?
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] In this specific case, and in
12 general, in the documents that we have at our disposal, the term
13 "aggressor" always refers to the Serb side or as the Presidency of Bosnia
14 and Herzegovina
15 of Serbian Montenegro, Yugoslavia
16 internal aggression. That is a term as we noted at the time that did not
17 exist in any other war and that's the organised formations of the Serb
18 side within Bosnia and Herzegovina.
19 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Thank you, Witness.
20 THE INTERPRETER: The Serbian Democratic Party, the interpreter's
22 MR. KARNAVAS:
23 Q. If you go to page 59, the third paragraph from the bottom, he's
24 asked a question by Mr. Biden:
25 "Please describe your country's make-up, the maybe-up of Bosnia
1 and Herzegovina
2 ethnic composition and why do you believe you can put it back together
4 This is what Dr. Silajdzic says, "Well, Bosnia and Herzegovina
5 an old country. We all used to be Bosnians. We used to be called
6 Bosnians Catholic, Catholics, Muslims, and orthodox."
7 Senator Biden "Catholics, orthodox and Muslims."
8 Dr. Silajdzic says, "Yes, and Jews. Those are the four groups of
9 people that actually built Bosnia
10 Balkan kingdom that comprised big parts of Croatia and Serbia
12 Now, Mr. Akmadzic, at that point in history, are we talking about
13 a Bosnia
14 and there just happen for particular religious denomination, Catholics,
15 orthodox, Jewish or Muslim? And is Dr. Silajdzic correct in his answer
16 to Senator Biden?
17 A. Dr. Silajdzic's answer to Senator Biden is not correct. Let me
18 point out two or three things. First, of all the Bosnian kingdom as such
19 ceased to exist in 1463, I think, after the Turkish occupation.
20 During the existence of the kingdom that he's talking about and
21 the greatest Bosnian king was King Tvrtko, our opinion today is that he
22 was a Catholic, that he was a Croat, although we don't know what his
23 aloud affiliation was. We think that he died in 1391 so in late 14th
24 century, in the period that is of interest for this Honourable Trial
25 Chamber and for us, Bosnia and Herzegovina has three sovereign peoples,
1 Serbs, Croats, and Muslims.
2 In World War II at the very end of the war, there was a big
3 assembly. A decision was made for Bosnia and Herzegovina -- that Bosnia
4 and Herzegovina
5 decision was that it belonged to all three peoples. It was Bosnian --
6 Croatian, Muslim, and Serbian. The Muslim people was recognised as such
7 in the amendments to the Yugoslav constitution passed in 1974, and it was
8 recognised as the Bosniak people at the Washington negotiations.
9 Q. All right. And if we look at page 96 now, it's the very last
10 page. Yesterday, we saw two of your letters that you sent to
11 Senator Biden and we also saw Senator Biden's declaration or response.
12 Here, we find attached as part of the record a letter submitted by
13 Mr. Izetbegovic and so I want to go with this -- go over this very
14 quickly. It's the very last page, sir, do you have it?
15 A. Yes, I do.
16 Q. And we see that the -- it's dated February 25th, 1993, and it
17 says here:
18 "Dear Senator Biden, this is to inform you that my term as
19 president of the Presidency was extended beyond December 24, 1992 under
20 the constitutional provisions allowing for the extension of the term due
21 to the 'emergency situation.' This was done by the approval of the
22 Presidency as a whole."
23 Is that true or is it false?
24 A. I discussed this with the Judges of the Constitutional Court
25 because I'm not a lawyer myself, and the constitution says that in war
1 and if the state of war has been declared, the president and the members
2 of the Presidency have their term of office extended, but it is also
3 quite obvious that this refers to the members of the Presidency and that
4 they are the ones who have to elect from among their number the president
5 in accordance with the rules of procedure of the Presidency and in the
6 rules of procedure, the term of office is limited strictly to one year,
7 plus another year. And this means that in this letter,
8 President Izetbegovic is not right and it is in particular not correct
9 that the entire Presidency agreed with that because that is simply not
10 the case.
11 Q. All right. So let me be more direct. Is this a true or a false
13 A. Well, this is really a statement made by the president because he
14 signed it but his words are not true.
15 Q. Okay. Now, we go on. It says, "The Presidency represents the
16 Croats, Muslims, Serbs ..."
17 JUDGE PRANDLER: I'm sorry to interrupt you, Mr. Karnavas, but
18 really it is a very important matter. So the -- this issue has come up
19 many times already in this Chamber and we -- I mean the Chamber and the
20 Judges would like to see really how things happened and transpired.
21 Now, frankly, we would like to see some written confirmation of
22 either of the views, who was there, any decision recorded by the
23 transcripts of the Presidency, or there was none. It is my question and
24 I hope that we will find an answer either by the Defence or by the
25 Prosecution, but we have to have a look at the documents themselves.
1 Thank you.
2 MR. KARNAVAS: As far as we know, Judge Prandler, and that's a
3 very good question, and try as we might, we were unable to find those
4 records because as we understand it, those records of those days
5 vanished. They are no longer in the archives. And I leave it to the
6 members of the Trial Chamber to determine where they may be or what
7 happened to them. But we can ask the gentleman whether he presided --
8 whether he was present during any meetings where they decided, based on
9 an emergency situation, to prolong Mr. Izetbegovic's term as president.
10 That may assist us, at least.
11 Q. Mr. Akmadzic, can you help us here?
12 A. Yes. Before leaving for the Geneva
13 of January, 1993, sometime around the 17th or 18th of December, 1992, a
14 few days before the second term of office of President Izetbegovic
15 expired, I discussed this with him. I warned him that he was given a
16 second year in office thanks to the votes of the Croat members in the
17 Presidency and that it was now the turn for a Croat to become the
18 president of the Presidency because in accordance with the rules of the
19 procedure of the Presidency; so we're not talking about the constitution
20 at all but the rules of procedure of the Presidency, he does not have the
21 right to extend his term of office for another year. And he told me,
22 We'll talk about it in Geneva
23 And I warned him that once we were in Geneva, that would be ten
24 days or so after the expiry of his term and he said, I will discuss this
25 with Tudjman. And I told him, You have two Croat members of the
1 Presidency here. I as the prime minister at that time, it is our
2 decision to make, not Tudjman's.
3 He told me, The army would not allow me to step down as the
4 president of the Presidency.
5 Q. Thank you. Now, if we could -- unless there is a -- you have a
7 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Just perhaps for the record.
8 MR. KARNAVAS: Yes.
9 JUDGE TRECHSEL: I find it surprising that we have here the
10 transcript of a hearing of February 18, and we have attached letters that
11 are of a later date which I find a bit strange but maybe it's -- I just
12 want to have it on the record that we have noted, and it is a bit
14 MR. KARNAVAS: Yes. And I believe Judge Trechsel, in the
15 document that I showed you with Mr. Biden's response, he said that he
16 would make it part of the record of the hearing. And I should note that
17 the actual record is about 90 to 100 pages long, this is just the excerpt
18 concerning Dr. Silajdzic's testimony for this whole --
19 JUDGE TRECHSEL: According to the paper I have, the last page of
20 the hearing is page 66 where it says, "That the public meeting was
22 MR. KARNAVAS: I understand. I -- again, I had somebody going to
23 the Philadelphia
24 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Actually it was on page 94 that the hearing was
25 concluded at 5.55 p.m.
1 MR. KARNAVAS: I understand. But -- and I haven't worked up on
2 the hill, but as I understand, and we can see this from Senator Biden's
3 response that he indicated that he would make Mr. Akmadzic's letter that
4 he received after the hearings part of the record; and so I can only
5 suspect that since this is all part of this whole hearing, that's why we
6 have the series of letters because you also have Mr. Akmadzic's letter on
7 the 28th.
8 JUDGE TRECHSEL: I have seen that. When did Mr. Biden make such
9 a statement that he would put this in the record?
10 MR. KARNAVAS: If I may have -- if I may have the indulgence of
11 the Court for one moment.
12 Your Honours, 1D 02847. This was dated February 25th, 1993, a
13 question concerning the Bosnian government. It was a week ago "One week
14 ago the European subcommittee held a day-long hearing on the subject of
15 American policy in Bosnia
16 says, "Yesterday, I received a letter from the prime minister of Bosnia
17 Mile Akmadzic."
18 As I understand it --
19 JUDGE TRECHSEL: The next sentence is " ... which I will make
20 part of the record."
21 MR. KARNAVAS: Right. That's where my memory was slipping.
22 Yeah, because I know for a fact that he indicated and I know how the
23 Senate works a little bit because this is a part of the appendix. If you
24 note on page 95, Your Honours, this is part of the appendix, so this
25 would have been part and parcel of those hearings because obviously
1 Mr. Akmadzic challenged what the foreign minister was saying and also
2 brought to the attention that Izetbegovic was not the president of the
3 Presidency because his mandate had run out.
4 Now, if we would go to the next paragraph.
5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Karnavas, I have not
6 intervened so far. I looked at the document with great interest and I
7 noted that the meeting took place in the SD 562 room of the American
8 Senate and ended at 1629. At 1643, there is another speaker,
9 General Odon. Normally he was to speak to the military aspects of the
10 situation in the former Yugoslavia
11 hearing; but the rest is missing and then we go straight to page 94. It
12 might have been good to know what that General said then. Maybe there's
13 no connection at all with this witness but I noted that in passing. I
14 just wanted to convey it to you.
15 MR. KARNAVAS: I did notice that, Mr. President, in my haste when
16 I sent my note my contact to go to the library and search for this
17 document, I specifically asked for the statement by Dr. Haris Silajdzic
18 and he was -- it's not on the internet so he was able to -- he just
19 copied and faxed the portion, but I can certainly make available the
20 entire proceedings which I said I believe is about 90 pages long, that's
21 what I was told somewhere in that vicinity; but that would not be a
22 problem, and I can have that done.
23 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well.
24 MR. KARNAVAS:
25 Q. If the middle of the paragraph going on, the middle of the
1 letter, says, "The Presidency represents" -- going back to the last page,
2 I'm still reading of Mr. Izetbegovic's letter, it says:
3 "The Presidency represents the Croats, Muslims, Serbs and the
4 others in Bosnia and Herzegovina. In addition, all of the members of the
5 Presidency, including myself, continue to hold office under the original
6 mandates by which they took office."
7 Is that true or false? My timing is very limited, Mr. Akmadzic.
8 A. The time Mr. Izetbegovic is talking about is the time when the
9 two Serb members had already left the Presidency. Another two came along
10 who had not been elected. Their legitimacy was questionable.
11 Q. Okay. So is it true or false?
12 A. False.
13 Q. All right. Now, we go on:
14 "Alija Izetbegovic says Dr. Haris Silajdzic is the official head
15 of the delegation of the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina to the
16 ongoing talks sponsored by the conference on the former Yugoslavia now
17 underway in New York
18 the position of the republic and the Presidency of Bosnia and
20 Is that true or false?
21 A. False.
22 Q. And again, just to -- you were the prime minister,
23 Haris Silajdzic was the foreign minister so he would have been under you
24 as part of the government; correct?
25 A. To the extent that a minister can be led by a prime minister.
1 Q. All right. Was Dr. Haris Silajdzic a member of the Presidency?
2 A. No.
3 Q. All right. And by the way, one final question: Were you ever
4 served with a copy of this letter that President Izetbegovic sent to
5 Senator Biden?
6 A. No?
7 Q. All right. Now, if we go back to our documents, we'll need the
8 binder, and we'll pick up where we left off yesterday that's with 1D
9 02314. Again we left off on the issue of Medjugorje and that agreement.
10 So this would be in binder 1.
11 Again to bring to everyone's attention, yesterday we saw from
12 Lord Owen's book on 1D 02037 we saw that as of May 26th, a foreign
13 officer by the name of Douglas Hogg was trying to get Mr. Owen to
14 acknowledge that the VOPP was dead, I mention that highlight May 26th
15 because this document here, 1D 02314 is 27 May 1993, and here this is
16 addressed to a particular legal advisor. And if you look at the very
17 first paragraph, it says:
18 "Lord Owen wants to convene a working group of lawyers who
19 represent all the sides in the coordinating body as soon as possible in
21 Do you see that, sir? It's in paragraph number 1. Do you see
22 it, sir?
23 A. [No interpretation]
24 Q. If you look at document 1D 02314, if we could have the assistance
25 of the usher to help the gentleman find the document. Okay. You will
1 see under paragraph number 1, it says:
2 "Foreseeing the meeting of the coordinating body which had been
3 agreed in Zagreb
4 Lord Owen wants to convene a working group of lawyers who represent all
5 sides in the coordinating body as soon as possible in Geneva."
6 Do you have that text, sir?
7 A. I found it.
8 Q. Now, do you know whether the lawyers did meet based on this in
9 order to draft any legislation?
10 A. I know nothing about that.
11 Q. All right. If we look at the next document, 1D 02322. This is
12 in binder 1, Your Honours. And this is dated 30 May 1993. It's a public
13 announcement. It's from the Croatian Muslim Democratic Party and here it
14 says that they are in the middle of the paragraph, it says, "We see the
15 light in accepting the implementation of said agreements with a strong
16 and permanent union with the Croats." And we see further down where
17 certain people are recommended. Do you see where the five individuals
18 being recommended starting with Dr. Ismet Hadziosmanovic?
19 A. I see that.
20 Q. Do you know whether the -- do you know who the Croatian Muslim
21 Democratic Party is?
22 A. The Croatian Muslim Democratic Party is a Muslim party. Muslims,
23 for the most part, living in Zagreb
24 Bosnia and Herzegovina. This party was not in agreement with the SDA,
25 the party in power, the party that won the election.
1 Q. All right. If we go to the next document, 1D 02468. It's in
2 binder number 2, Your Honours. This is dated 31 May 1993. If you could
3 please look at it. Have you found the document, sir?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. Okay. Just look at it because I'll be referring to it. This is
6 a letter to Lord Owen and Mr. Stoltenberg by Mate Boban where -- and this
7 is in reference to an invitation for a meeting in Sarajevo and
8 essentially Mate Boban is saying, in paragraph 2 that is:
9 "Any new meeting with Mr. Izetbegovic would be superfluous and
10 would mean the continuation of the practice of avoiding the
11 implementation of what has already been agreed on."
12 Can you please explain what Mr. Boban is saying here, if you
14 A. The reference is here to the fact that Mr. Izetbegovic had
15 consistently been failing to implement any agreements. Among other
16 things, the coordination body had never met and had never taken over the
17 function that had been agreed previously at Medjugorje.
18 Q. All right. If we look at the next document, 1D 02904, the very
19 next document. It's in binder 3, Your Honours, and I can assure you this
20 will not happen again. I will make sure we have it. 1D 02904. These
21 are minutes of a meeting of the members of the Presidency of RBiH dated
22 June 15, 1993
23 name is there in the very first paragraph along with Mr. Boras's name.
24 Were you present during this meeting?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. Okay. If we look at the second paragraph it says:
2 "The participants were given draft decree laws (in English) on 1,
3 a coordinative body for implementation, establishing provinces and their
4 bodies, ombudsmen, a court for human rights, international instruments
5 for the protection of human rights, and cooperation with the monitoring
6 mission for human rights ..." and so on and so forth.
7 Now, do you recall ever being given drafts?
8 A. We got those. They were distributed to us they meeting.
9 Q. Okay. And I think due to time we'll move to the next document
10 unless the Court has any questions with respect to this document. I
11 should ask you, on paragraph number 3, it does say:
12 "Before commencing discussions on the offered drafts, Ejup Ganic
13 requested that the situation of Gorazde be considered since it was
14 critical so that the aggression might be stopped."
15 Can you please explain what Mr. Ganic is trying to do here?
16 A. Mr. Ganic is trying and succeeding in a way of postponing the
17 adoption of decisions. He imposes a condition here that normally we,
18 during negotiations, would not have considered a condition for the
19 continuation of negotiations.
20 Q. All right. If we go on to the next document.
21 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Just a minute. We also find on the fourth
22 paragraph Lord Owen pointing out that this was a consulting meeting. So
23 it was not a meeting that was supposed to take to lead to decisions, was
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Lord Owen is right as far as that
1 is concerned, but Lord -- no specific conclusions Lord Owen believed no
2 specific conclusions but negotiations were underway.
3 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Thank you.
4 MR. KARNAVAS:
5 Q. And the meeting had nothing to do with Gorazde which was nowhere
6 near where the Croats and the Muslims are involved in in their
7 discussions; correct?
8 A. There was no HVO in Gorazde. This was no reason for us and
9 Muslims to discuss this except if maybe trilaterally as part of the
10 overall process we decided to bring it up.
11 Q. All right. Now, in keeping with what we just saw, I'm going to
12 show you several documents, and I just need confirmation. 1D 02407. The
13 next few documents, Your Honours, are in binder number 2. This is the BH
14 Presidency proposal on decree laws on provinces. So early in this
15 meeting in Geneva
16 laws, this is what we are talking about; correct? This is one of them?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. If you look at 1D 02408, we have a draft decree law from the
19 ombudsman 's office; correct?
20 A. Yes, that's correct.
21 Q. Then if we look at 1D 02409, we have --
22 JUDGE PRANDLER: Mr. Karnavas, please slow down.
23 MR. KARNAVAS: Sorry.
24 JUDGE PRANDLER: Thank you.
25 MR. KARNAVAS:
1 Q. 1D 02409. This is a decree law on the Court of human rights of
2 the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina; correct?
3 A. Yes, that's correct.
4 Q. Another draft decree is 1D 02410. This is on the adoption of
5 international instruments for the protection of human rights?
6 A. Right.
7 Q. Next document 1D 02411. Draft decree law on cooperation with the
8 international monitoring mission for human rights. That's 1D 02411;
10 A. That's correct. These are all --
11 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreter did not understand the witness.
12 MR. KARNAVAS:
13 Q. These were all the texts that were being discussed at that --
14 these were all draft texts being discussed, correct, as part of the
15 negotiating process?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. Then we go to 1D 02412. Decree law on military council of the
18 Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
19 A. Yes, I see that.
20 Q. And then I think it's the last one, I believe this is the last
21 one, maybe not. 1D 02413. We have a decision to appoint members of the
22 military council of BiH, and we see your name there. Was this part of
23 the negotiating process?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. All right. Now, if we go to the next document, 1D 01940. This
1 is in binder 1, Your Honours. 1940. If you could just look at the
2 document while everybody is getting these, trying to locate it. This is
3 minutes from the session of the RBH Presidency held in Geneva on 16 June
4 1993. We see in the very second page that your name is there along with
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. And if we look at item number 2, we see it says:
8 "In order to implement Vance-Owen Plan as much as possible, the
9 co-chairmen of the peace conference on the former Yugoslavia propose the
10 following six draft laws."
11 And that was the -- those were the laws that we saw; correct?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. If you go to page number 2, we see your name a couple of times.
14 The first paragraph, it says, "Akmadzic said that they thought that the
15 Vance-Owen Plan had not failed." That was your understanding at that
16 time; correct? Is this correct that you still were hopeful?
17 A. Yes. It's not just that I wasn't and there were other hopes that
18 we were entertaining too although we were witnessing increasingly quite a
19 different approach.
20 Q. All right. Now, the second paragraph is interesting, it says,
21 "Akmadzic felt that the coordinating body should appoint a prime
22 minister-elect of the interim government of RBH." And I believe that we
23 already saw a document early on where Dr. Jadranko Prlic had been
24 appointed prime minister. Can you give us an explanation?
25 A. I remained adamant regardless of --, I remained adamant that Dr
1 Jadranko Prlic be appointed prime minister, as had been agreed in
2 Medjugorje on the 18th of May, 1993.
3 Q. Okay. Now, we go further down and we see Silajdzic, he said that:
4 "There was no point in discussing the proposed decrease if the
5 Vance-Owen Plan was being abandoned. These documents cannot be discussed
6 and adopted with reference to the Vance-Owen Plan when we don't even know
7 what exactly it implies."
8 To your understanding, at that point in time, were you, as a
9 member of the negotiating team, aware that the Vance-Owen Plan was being
11 A. No, I wasn't. I was assuming that its implementation depended on
12 our will, whether we would accept it or not.
13 Q. All right. Then we see Mr. Izetbegovic where he says:
14 "That it was difficult to explain it to accept that the side
15 which does not acknowledge BH and which is has not signed the plan should
16 be part of the higher state organs. It is unacceptable that the
17 coordination body has the character of a state organ and then it can
18 adopt binding decisions."
19 Could you please explain what Izetbegovic is saying here because
20 I thought there was already an agreement, coordinating body had been
21 formed. Where is Izetbegovic saying here?
22 A. Izetbegovic is adamant in backing the status quo in order not to
23 have a coordination body in order not to have a new prime minister
24 appointed. And he is also adamant that the Serb side should not be part
25 of the coordination body because in his very words, they were the
2 Q. All right. If we go to page 3, we see the conclusions and the
3 last conclusion says:
4 "The Presidency stands by the support for the Vance-Owen Plan but
5 its readiness to implement it -- and that it is open for further talks."
6 Now was that a correct statement? Was that a conclusion that was
7 actually reached? Because we have Silajdzic saying that it's being
8 abandoned here, there is support for it. Izetbegovic, we said signed on
9 to this coordinating body, now he doesn't agree with it. So can you
10 please explain this conclusion because it's rather confusing?
11 A. Our conclusion was that the talks were still very much along the
12 lines of the Vance-Owen Plan regardless of the fact that not everyone
13 agreed as to what stage the negotiations were actually at.
14 Q. All right. And if we look at item number 5, it says that:
15 "The Presidency sent the proposal by the Croatian Democratic
17 of Ante Cuvalo for ambassador to -- of the Republic of Bosnia
19 May I ask whether Mr. Cuvalo was appointed to the ambassador to
20 the United States pursuant to your initiative or the initiative of the
21 Croatian Democratic Union, which was obviously accepted by the
23 A. It was normal for the parties to provide the initiative. We did,
24 the Presidency took that on board. Despite this, Mr. Cuvalo was never
25 appointed ambassador to Washington
1 Q. All right. There is -- the next document, 1D 02840. Binder
2 number 3, Your Honours.
3 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone for Mr. Karnavas, please.
4 MR. KARNAVAS:
5 Q. This is an announcement --
6 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
7 MR. KARNAVAS: Can I be heard now?
8 Q. This is an announcement pursuant to the request of the
9 co-chairmen of the peace conference he says:
10 "On the former Yugoslavia
11 meeting in Geneva
12 representatives of the Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna met with
13 representatives of the Muslims and Serb side with the aim of coming to an
14 agreement on the new proposals for the resolution of the crisis of BH.
15 In separate talks with the high representatives of the other two peoples
16 in BH, Mr. Mate Boban and his associates expressed the Croatian view of
17 the future arrangement of the state of Bosnia and Herzegovina ..." did
18 that happen? Were you part of this process?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. And it says here, and it would appear that based on this
21 announcement that you are -- and I'm saying you, the Croat delegation
22 along with the Muslim and the Serb delegation are being prompted by the
23 co-chairmen of the peace conference; correct?
24 A. That's correct.
25 Q. Now, we're going to go to another topic.
1 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Karnavas, you still have
2 some ten minutes left.
3 MR. KARNAVAS: Thank you, Mr. President. It's going to be a
4 Herculean effort, but we'll see what we can do. If we go to 1D 02664.
5 This is in binder number 2, Your Honours.
6 Q. Mr. Akmadzic, I would really be most grateful if we could be as
7 quickly as possible and as efficient. Of course I share the blame for
8 this confusion in the courtroom so ...
9 We see this is a tape recording of the Presidency, of a
10 Presidency meeting on the 29th June, 1993. Have you had a chance to look
11 at this document, sir?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. And in fact if we go through it, we see that you are present at
14 the time and you make several observations; correct?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. As I understand it, yesterday or the day before, you made a
17 reference to a Mr. Fikret Abdic who had complained about Mr. Delic --
18 A. That's correct.
19 Q. And we can find it in this particular transcript; correct?
20 A. Yes, that's correct.
21 Q. And because we can read it, and we can see who said what, it
22 would appear also that there was some complaints towards Mr. Izetbegovic
23 in that he was using his position without informing other members of the
24 Presidency and that was an observation made by Mr., I believe, Lasic;
1 A. That's correct.
2 MR. KARNAVAS: Okay. For the record, you were, that can be found
3 on pages 9 and 10 of the document. Okay. Now, we can go on to the next
4 document. I apologise to the Court for not being able to spend more time
5 on this. It was rather self-explanatory, the minutes, that is, the tape
7 If we go to the next document, 1D 02309 it's in binder number 2.
8 Q. Do you have the document, sir? 1D 02309. It's -- we see --
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. It's dated 1 July 1993
11 Secretary of the UN, and you are commenting, we can see on the very first
12 paragraph about an attack that commenced on 30th of June, 1993 in the
13 town of Mostar. Do you recall that?
14 A. I do.
15 Q. And you do express and opinion in paragraph number 4, you say:
16 "The objective of this aggression is to impede the implementation
17 of the already existing peace agreements prevent further development of
18 the peace process, and postpone talks on the future political structure
19 of Bosnia and Herzegovina."
20 Could you please tell us very briefly what happened on June 30th,
21 if you recall?
22 A. This was the time when the Muslim forces attacked both in Mostar
23 and in Central Bosnia. This is the time when reached the water shed
24 point with the Vance-Owen Plan which was not being implemented. This is
25 the time when the failure to accept the Vance-Owen Plan and lack of
1 knowledge on the part of the Muslim party means the increasing --
2 JUDGE TRECHSEL: I just draw your attention to the fact that I
3 have now found the document in binder number one and not in binder number
4 2 as you had indicated. So I'm sorry --
5 MR. KARNAVAS: I don't --
6 JUDGE TRECHSEL: I don't feel that I can be blamed. I did not --
7 I was not able to follow at the same time.
8 MR. KARNAVAS: Okay. All right. This is part of the problem
9 with these time constraints but as I indicated, Your Honours, we will try
10 to put it all in order. We've hired extra staff. We're doing it both on
11 electronic version and manually. And I think in the future we will have
12 to hire more staff to do that. You can imagine how difficult it is to
13 read this stuff, put it together.
14 It would be helpful to tell the registry to give us more funding
15 for this. Anyway ...
16 Q. Now that we have the letter, can you briefly tell us again very
17 briefly what happened on June 30th? Please speak slowly, so we have your
18 full answer in the record.
19 A. On the 30th of June, the Muslim forces in Mostar launched an
20 attack on the HVO and the Croatian people in Mostar. And they stepped up
21 the attacks in Central Bosnia. These attacks had started in April and
22 continued afterwards, and we warned about the fact that the Muslim party
23 is hesitant to accept international negotiations. In this specific case
24 we're talking about the Vance-Owen Plan and that it is trying to force
25 some other decisions to be taken by those aggressive tactics.
1 Q. All right. If we go to the next document, 1D 01937. This is now
2 11 July 1993
3 of the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina, it's a statement actually. It
4 begins by saying:
5 "At a session held in Zagreb
6 member Dr. Ejup Ganic, the Presidency of the republic of BH
7 further elaborated the draft of the constitutional order of Bosnia and
9 Then we see towards the bottom of the page that we have I guess
10 what would be the draft constitutional order.
11 If we go to page number 2 under paragraph 9, we see that it calls
13 "The BH constitution is adopted as part of an international
14 conference. The constitution of federal units to be adopted by each of
15 them may not contravene the BH constitution or decisions of the
16 Constitutional Court
17 Then lastly, I just want to point out if I ask you the question
18 on page 3, we see under Roman numeral II:
19 "The principles for constituting federal units: 1, the federal
20 units cannot be constituted on an exclusively ethnic basis. 2, nature
21 and geography, the economy, traffic, culture, and tradition will be taken
22 into consideration in constituting federal units."
23 I believe you were asked a question -- I think it was by
24 Judge Trechsel yesterday concerning your vision of how this should be
25 constituted. Was this your understanding keeping in mind that we may be
1 discussing a different peace plan here?
2 A. Yes, regardless of what the peace plan was, it was our constant
3 position that Bosnia and Herzegovina should be organised as a
4 decentralized state based on the criteria that are listed here, not only
5 in ethnic terms but ethnic, geographic, cultural, historical, and all the
6 other elements must be included. Bosnia and Herzegovina is recognised as
7 a sovereign state, but it consists of the constituent units and
8 constituent peoples.
9 Q. If we go back to page 1. We see Lord Owen and we see
10 Stoltenberg's name. Is this their initiative or is this the initiative
11 of the Vance-Owen Peace Plan. Which of the two?
12 A. This was a new plan that started with Owen and Stoltenberg but
13 the criteria remained the same. The criteria for the setting up of the
14 units and the only difference is how the units were formulated.
15 Q. Okay. Go on to the next topic and I just need a few moments,
16 Your Honours, and I believe I'm going to be through rather quickly.
17 The next binder for the gentleman and we're going to be looking
18 at a document. We will be looking at the -- at a document and it's P
19 05051. That's your first document. This would be in binder number 4,
20 Your Honours. P 05051. Do you have it, sir?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. You've seen this document before in this courtroom. It's dated
23 September 14, 1993
24 and Alija Izetbegovic and if you look at under Roman numeral 2, it talks
25 about the formation of working groups and then if we look at page number
1 3, we see that President Franjo Tudjman appointed as a trustee,
2 Dr. Mate Granic, and President Alija Izetbegovic appointed
3 Dr. Haris Silajdzic. Do you see that, sir?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. Now, based on this joint declaration, were you involved in any
6 working groups?
7 A. Yes, I was involved in the work of one of the groups, and that
8 was the group for the reduction of tensions between the two peoples.
9 Q. What was the reason behind this joint declaration, if you know?
10 A. Well, we saw that the war, and the war in Central Bosnia in
11 particular was continuing and that in spite of our orders, it was not
12 stopping and we tried to find a solution in some other way. The Muslim
13 side in Bosnia and Herzegovina or rather they wanted to deal with the
14 Republic of Croatia
15 representatives of the Croat people in Bosnia and Herzegovina and that is
16 why two representatives were appointed, one by Franjo Tudjman and the
17 other by Alija Izetbegovic who would continue being in constant contact
18 and the establishment of the working groups was yet another way, another
19 effort to solve the problems that could not be solved up until that time.
20 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Karnavas, my fellow Judges
21 are telling me that your time is up.
22 MR. KARNAVAS: All right. I would, with the Court -- with the
23 Court's indulgence, I would ask for the remainder of the period. I
24 understand that we asked for six hours, and if I can't, I would at least
25 like to read into the record the documents that I would have shown in
1 conjunction with this topic and they're not that many but they're all
2 based on this last answer, based on the working groups. So -- I can
3 understand if the Court feels we should move on, we'll move on.
4 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] How many documents are you
5 going to mention?
6 MR. KARNAVAS: The documents that I have I don't really need to
7 discuss too much, you were, because they are part of this working group
8 process. It's 1D 02837, 2898, 2897, 2899, 2900, and I believe it's 1291,
9 1D 01291. They're all basically -- then 2876, these are all based on
10 these working groups to show that this was an ongoing process.
11 Then lastly, I did wish to have the gentleman discuss one part of
12 his transcript which the Prosecution may probably bring up and that's on
13 P 07260, this is the presidential transcript of 19 December 1993 on page
14 24. I'm sure it hasn't been -- hasn't escaped Mr. Scott's eyesight, and
15 I certainly didn't want to think that we were somehow avoiding to ask the
16 tough questions and then lastly, there was one document, 1D 01556 from
17 the -- it's from the Balkan Odyssey but actually this was a communication
18 that was submitted, if the time is up, then I will be moving these
19 documents in by way of a motion. I'm at your disposal.
20 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. Because you
21 probably saw the documents with the witness, who saw them together with
22 you, didn't he?
23 MR. KARNAVAS: Yes.
24 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. Karnavas. I
25 think it is best to have a break now since it's 3.30, and then I'll turn
1 to the Defence counsel and the other Defence teams to ask them whether
2 they have questions. So let's have a break, a 20-minute break.
3 --- Recess taken at 3.30 p.m.
4 --- On resuming at 3.52 p.m.
5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] The hearing is resumed. I
6 shall now ask Ms. Nozica whether she has questions for the witness.
7 There's nobody for the 1D Defence. Here they come.
8 Ms. Nozica, do you have questions? But before I ask you for that
9 to be recorded in the transcript, the Trial Chamber by way of an oral
10 ruling decided that document 1D 02940 would be added to the 65 ter list.
11 So I think it's clear.
13 MR. KARNAVAS: Before Ms. Nozica takes -- I just wanted to thank
14 the witness. I didn't get an opportunity to thank the witness, and I
15 just wanted to make sure that Mr. Akmadzic recognises that we do thank
16 him very, very much for coming here and giving his evidence; and we
17 really appreciate his frank answers in this courtroom. Thank you.
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you.
19 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] 2D, do you have questions?
20 MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour. The Defence
21 2 has some questions but my colleague, Madam Alaburic is going to begin
22 first and then I will follow with my cross-examination. Thank you.
23 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] 3D?
24 MS. PINTER: [Interpretation] Defence 3 does not have any
25 questions for this witness, Your Honour.
1 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. 4D?
2 MS. ALABURIC: Your Honours, good afternoon to you, good
3 afternoon to Mr. Akmadzic, to everyone in the courtroom. Mr. Akmadzic, I
4 am Vesna Alaburic, I am an attorney-at-law from Zagreb, and I'm
5 representing General Milivoje Petkovic in this case.
6 First of all, I would like to provide an explanation about my
7 cross-examination to the Trial Chamber, and I would like to ask you,
8 Mr. Akmadzic, to listen carefully because then you will have an idea as
9 to what I would like to get from you.
10 In the examination in chief where Mr. Karnavas showed to the
11 witness a note, presidential statement from the Security Council where
12 the HVO is described as I quote:
13 "Paramilitary formations of the Bosnian Croats," which gave rise
14 to a letter of protest that this witness wrote to the Security Council --
15 to the president of the Security Council, I would like to ask this
16 witness some questions about the HVO as an element of the armed forces of
17 Bosnia and Herzegovina with equal status with the other elements. The
18 other topic will have to do with the transcript of the meeting of the
19 Presidency of Bosnia and Herzegovina. The date is the 26th of December,
20 1992. The number is 1D 2663. This was shown to the witness yesterday,
21 and I am interested in the part of this transcript or minutes where
22 Sefer Halilovic talks about his deputy, Jovo Divjak an ethnic Serb
23 asking -- or rather discussing whether he was under arrest at that time
24 or not, and I would like to ask the witness to comment on his
25 intervention as it was recorded in the minutes.
1 So, sir, I think that it will not take us longer than 10 or 15
2 minutes. First of all we'll talk about the HVO as component of the armed
3 forces of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
4 Cross-examination by Ms. Alaburic:
5 Q. You told us yesterday and this is recorded in your document 1D
6 2096 that you said to the president of the Security Council that the HVO
7 was a legitimate army recognised by the government and the Presidency of
8 Bosnia and Herzegovina; is that right?
9 A. Yes, that's right.
10 Q. In the document 1D 2664, there's no need for you to go looking
11 for it because I will read all the relevant portions to you, this is the
12 document that can be found in the second binder. It is the minutes from
13 the meeting of the Presidency of Bosnia and Herzegovina. The date is the
14 29th of June, 1993. This is what you are recorded as saying,
15 Mr. Akmadzic. The date was about the issue whether General Rasim Delic
16 was a member of the Presidency ex officio because he was the chief of the
17 general staff of Bosnia and Herzegovina and you said at page 9 in the
18 B/C/S version and page 8 in the English version, you say -- could you
19 please record -- can you please state that I am going on record as saying
20 that Mr. Delic is not a member of the Presidency unless Mr. Petkovic is
21 sitting next to him:
22 "So let's reach a decision, either both of them or neither one.
23 If we cannot vote on this now since military issues are not on the
24 agenda, can we at least then discuss the issue?" End of quote.
25 Mr. Akmadzic, can you please tell us what were you calling for at
1 this meeting of the Presidency?
2 A. I wanted -- what I wanted was that in accordance with the
3 decision of the War Presidency that the armed forces of Bosnia
5 since a representative of the army or representatives in the War
6 Presidency become members, they should have been representatives of the
7 Territorial Defence, but Territorial Defence was no more that either the
8 chiefs of both component parts of the army should sit on the Presidency
9 or neither, but I also indicated that because it was not on the agenda,
10 rules of procedure of the Presidency must be adhered to. I wanted this
11 to be debated and perhaps a decision could be postponed for some other
12 time but until a decision is taken, Rasim Delic is not a member of the
14 Q. Mr. Akmadzic, please tell us whether the president of the
15 Presidency ever tabled this topic, whether this was put on the agenda and
16 did you decide on this issue whether those chiefs of staff would be
17 members of the Presidency or not?
18 A. The president was evasive about this. He asked for Rasim Delic
19 to be a member of the Presidency until we took a different decision. I
20 said no and that was the Presidency decision. He is not a member of the
21 Presidency until we have a decision for him to become one, a joint
22 decision or rather along with Mr. Petkovic or the chief of the HVO staff,
23 whoever this happened to be. In any case, along with Mr. Petkovic.
24 Q. This was all going on in 1993. What about 1992? Were there any
25 initiatives back in 1992 by the Croat members of the Presidency to, for
1 example, set up some sort of a joint command for the two armies, the HVO
2 and the BH army?
3 A. On our part, there was several such initiatives. They were
4 always voiced as part of the work of the Presidency and the government.
5 There were initiatives within the HVO itself. There were even agreements
6 and talks. In a way, and in a formal sense, there was not a joint
7 command perhaps that was set up but there was an agreement on a joint
8 command, however, this never really started operating until the
10 Q. Now that you've mentioned the Washington Agreement, can you
11 please go to my small, small, very small binder. This is 4D 1234.
12 This is a document, it's a letter by Ambassador Sacirbey and
13 Ambassador Nobilo to the Security Council. Attached to the letter is the
15 Mr. Akmadzic, if you look at the copy that is in our language,
16 you will see only a portion of the Washington Agreement as the framework
17 on the BH federation. What I want to know at this point in time is this:
18 Item 6 of the agreement, military agreement. We can have a look. Both
19 parties have agreed to the establishment of a unified military command of
20 the military of the federation. I skip the following paragraph and take
21 it on: "Current command structures will remain in place. Forces of the
22 sides will disengage from one another immediately ..." and then, "all
23 foreign armed forces except those present with the agreement of the
24 Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina or the authorisation of the UN
25 Security Council will leave the territory of the federation."
1 Sir, Mr. Akmadzic, you were involved in the creation of the
2 Washington Agreement; right?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. Can you please help us with this to better understand item 6.
5 This provision here, where it says that a joint military command would be
6 set up, does this mean that this unified military command would be shared
7 by the HVO and the BH army?
8 A. Yes, precisely. The HVO and the BH army should have a unified
10 Q. It is also stated that the current command structures would
11 remain until further notice. Does that this mean that even after the
13 structure as before?
14 A. Not just the HVO. In both the political and the military sense,
15 all the parties would continue to operate in this way until a different
16 kind of agreement is reached, all the structures would be preserved and
17 they would continue to work regardless these agreements until a different
18 system was finally in place.
19 Q. All right. Let's go to another document now, this is also in my
20 binder, this is 4D 8226. This is the law on the proclamation of the law
21 on the defence of the BH federation. What I want to know about is
22 Article 37. We have an English translation on this article.
23 If you look at Article 37 of the BH federation law, we can find
24 the following, 37 paragraph 2:
25 "The federation army shall consist of units of the BH army and
1 the Croatian Defence Council including the core level and the district
3 Mr. Akmadzic, does this mean that much, like the BH army, the HVO
4 continued to operate on its own until this law was adopted? And once
5 this law was adopted, it became a component of the federation army same
6 as the BH army?
7 A. That is absolutely correct. Based on what I know, the HVO is
8 still a segment of the armed forces.
9 Q. What about the HVO soldiers in terms of their rights, retirement,
10 pensions, invalid status, shares and stocks. Was their status equal in
11 every way to that of the BH army members? I'm talking about today in
12 Bosnia and Herzegovina?
13 A. Yes, I think so. I think that it is.
14 Q. All right. That concludes the first portion our examination and
15 now I would like you to comment on the Jovo Divjak discussion? Before I
16 embark on this, may I just say that --
17 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Ms. Alaburic, [as interpreted]
18 the Chamber wonders what is the relevance for this case involving
19 Mr. Divjak. Could you give us some additional information? What are you
20 getting at?
21 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] With pleasure, Your Honours.
22 Mr. Jovan Divjak was Mr. Sefer Halilovic's deputy. In November or
23 December 1992, he was arrested under the suspicion that he had stoked up
24 the clashes between the Croats and Muslims in Prozor on the 23rd and 24th
25 of October 1993 [as interpreted]. This is an incident mentioned in our
1 indictment as incriminating. I think it is essential for us to show you
2 or to try to show you that within the top-most structures of the BH army,
3 there was a top-level commander who was accused of inciting the Croats
4 and the Muslims; and that resulted in a clash since the OTP was saying
5 this was something triggered by Croats and wrapped up by Croats and that
6 they were attacking Muslim civilians, what I'm trying to show you is that
7 that was, in fact, not the case.
8 We have an exceptional opportunity here and maybe this is our
9 last opportunity to discuss this transcript and to discuss the part of
10 the discussion at the Presidency about the arrest of Mr. Jovo Divjak
11 whereas the witness, Mr. Akmadzic, said at this meeting that maybe it was
12 as true as well the reason why Jovan Divjak was arrested because after --
13 my question to the witness, I want to show him --
14 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Ms. Alaburic, would you please care to look at
15 page 37, lines 21 and 23. Something must be wrong with the dates. You
16 said he was not arrested in December 1992 for having committed misdeeds
17 in October 1993.
18 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Of course. The other year is 1992
19 as well. Everything that goes on in connection with Mr. Divjak has to do
20 with the incident in Prozor in October 1992. The arrest, the discussion
21 of his arrest and the statement that Mr. Jovo Divjak made and I believe
22 we'll have a look at that as long as that is okay with the Chamber that
23 has to do with late 1992.
24 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. You may proceed.
25 We understand that this is in connection with Prozor. It was not obvious
1 in the documents.
2 This issue was not mentioned during the examination in chief led
3 by Mr. Karnavas so the time you will spend on that issue will be taken
4 out of the time of your examination in chief.
5 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, of course it is for
6 the Chamber to rule on. I just wish to point out that document was shown
7 to the witness yesterday and this document in its entirety I assume will
8 be admitted into evidence. I also believe that my cross-examination
9 about any portion of that transcript must be considered as
10 cross-examination; and as Mr. Karnavas himself said, these transcripts
11 comprise a number of really important statements and observations.
12 However, the Prlic Defence ran out of time, and they couldn't discuss
13 each of these topics. However, the document was used in chief, and I
14 think I should be granted time to examine on this in my
16 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Scott.
17 MR. SCOTT: Thank you, Mr. President, I'm not sure that I've
18 greeted the courtroom this afternoon so I'll do it now. Good afternoon,
19 Your Honours, to all those in and around the courtroom.
20 Your Honour, I just wanted to again to be consistent with the
21 issues the Prosecution have been raising for some weeks now since the
22 beginning of the Defence case, I believe. We just again want to say that
23 we do not consider this -- what we've heard so far to be
24 cross-examination. This is a direct examination of a friendly witness on
25 these point and at all should be considered direct examination and there
1 should not be any leading questions put.
2 Secondly, Your Honours, as a second aspect of the concerns that
3 we continue to raise. When Mr. Karnavas -- I'm not picking on
4 Mr. Karnavas but any party when it was the Prosecution's case, it was the
5 Prosecution, if it's now the Prlic case, eventually it will be the Stojic
6 case, et cetera, we are required -- everyone is required to provide a 65
7 ter notice.
8 This is a perfect example of a topic, the involvement of
9 Mr. Divjak where the Prosecution has had no notice whatsoever, I mean
10 none, zero, not a pair paragraph, not a word, not a jittle or jottle or
11 whatever one might call it; so Your Honour we continue to believe this is
12 a fundamental flaw in the process raising topics that the Prosecution has
13 had absolutely no notice of. I mean Judge Prandler, absolutely no
14 notice, never heard this before. So it's a flaw in the process, Your
15 Honour when there's going to be additional direct examinations by other
16 co-accused of a witness and they must -- and with the greatest respect to
17 my good friend, Ms. Alaburic, she must have known just more than five
18 minutes ago that she was going to do this, and I mean that with the
19 greatest respect. I have I have been working on my cross-examination for
20 days, not just now, although this is a new topic that I now have to deal
21 with overnight perhaps but surely there must be some means for other
22 co-accused examining a witness to provide some notice of what their
23 examinations will be so that everyone can prepare.
24 Part of the problem with the documentation, Your Honours, part of
25 the frustration with the amount of documentation is because you have to
1 prepare great volumes of material potentially that might potentially be
2 used guessing -- trying to guess what might come up.
3 And therefore, it puts everyone and particularly in this case the
4 Prosecution in a position where we, given the lack of prior statement,
5 given the lack of an adequate summary, we have to basically guess some
6 weeks in advance based on the trial calendar when a witness is coming and
7 guess what documents might be relevant; and the Chamber may or may not be
8 concerned about that. It may have no sympathy for the Prosecution
9 position at all, but I submit to the Chamber that it is not -- number one
10 it's not fair to the Prosecution. Number two, it adds to the problem
11 that we all combat with a number of documents and the preparation that's
12 involved. It is all related.
13 MR. KARNAVAS: If I may be heard just for a couple of moments.
14 First and foremost, this topic was indeed on our list because we
15 had discussed it with the gentleman. We didn't get the chance to get to
16 it because we ran out of time.
17 Secondly, the -- if the Prosecutor had looked at the list of
18 documents that we had submitted and these are presidential transcripts or
19 other transcripts that were available to them, they would be able to see
20 where Mr. Akmadzic's name is referenced and look at the documents.
21 Thirdly, I -- I don't recall receiving any sympathy from the
22 members of the Trial Chamber when we were doing our cross-examination.
23 It is what it is. We got a list from the Prosecution when we were doing
24 our cross-examination based on that list we read all the documents. We
25 then did our own searches and from there, further searches, and we would
1 come up with a list of documents and prepare our cross-examination
3 Let me remind the Trial Chamber in the United States in the
4 federal system for instance, the defence does not get anything other than
5 the statement of the accused, nothing from the witness, until after the
6 witness testifies on direct examination which is -- this is true and you
7 know that.
8 MR. SCOTT: It's not true where I practice.
9 MR. KARNAVAS: I don't see where the problem lies. It is
10 incumbent on the Prosecutor to look at the documents that we've
11 submitted, that we indicate we're going to put to the witness and from
12 there on, it is for them to figure out where we're going. And if they
13 are prepared and they should and they are, they know where we are going.
14 Lastly, I want to remind the Trial Chamber that this gentleman
15 did indeed testify in the -- and members of the Prosecution were fully
16 aware of it and one of the Prosecutors, in fact, in this courtroom was
17 engaged, in my understanding, in that particular case. So they had a
18 transcript of this gentleman from a previous testimony, there was also a
19 statement that was taken, I don't know whether they have it or not, but
20 when you look at the transcript, it's obvious. I believe Mr. Scott was
21 involved in that particular case, so I don't see where the drama lies and
22 I think Ms. Alaburic and other Defence teams should be entitled to go
23 into areas whether I omitted to do it because it's not part of my case or
24 I'm trying to work within the time limits.
25 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well.
1 MR. SCOTT: Excuse me, you were, if I could respond.
2 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] What a waste of time but you
3 may go on, Mr. Scott.
4 MR. SCOTT: Your Honour, with the greatest respect, I don't think
5 it's a waste of time. I think the -- my position happens to be and maybe
6 I'm the only one in the courtroom who believes it, but my position
7 happens to be that the international community, the victims in this case,
8 and the Prosecution as a party is entitled to fair process.
9 Now maybe I'm the only one who thinks that.
10 I will mention to the Chamber, I will mention to the Chamber that
11 in reference to the summary, the Rule 65 summary we received, there is no
12 reference about anything about Mr. Divjak. We've raised this before.
13 There are two long paragraphs that are extremely generic, so he didn't
14 testify about in the Kordic case, it doesn't touch -- it's not in the
15 summary and it's a fundamental point of notice, Your Honour, what is so
16 difficult, what would be so unfair or so burdensome so oppressive to the
17 Defence to provide the Prosecution some reasonable notice? Thank you.
18 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I shall consult my fellow
19 Judges. I will give you the floor later on. First I'd like to consult
20 my fellow Judges in order to see whether we will give Ms. Alaburic the
21 possibility to put leading questions on not, whether it's within
22 examination in chief or cross-examination, we'll see about that later.
23 We'll first decide whether she should be authorised to put leading
25 What would you like to say, Mr. Khan.
1 MR. KHAN: Well, Your Honours, it is a waste of time because of
2 course motions, Your Honours are seized of a motion on -- very this exact
3 point about the Prosecution's repeated insistence that cross-examination
4 by other accused should be classed as examination in chief. That's a
5 matter of judice at the moment, and it's continuous repetition and the,
6 no doubt, very sincere and very strongly felt views of my learned friend
7 do not get better in my respectful submission by mere repetition. To
8 that extent, I do respectfully submit that Mr. President, and Your
9 Honours are quite right that it is an unnecessary waste of time.
10 In relation to the atmosphere of the courtroom, it's also -- Your
11 Honours of course are very recently come into this case, but one of the
12 reasons why I think sometimes the atmosphere degenerates is by
13 unnecessary immotive language and it behoves no party to wear either the
14 interests of justice or the interests of victims as if an -- and arrogate
15 those interests themselves. The Defence don't wear on that I sleeve
16 their passion or at least they shouldn't, and I do respectfully submit it
17 doesn't do my learned friend, Mr. Scott, who's a very experienced and
18 very fine Prosecutor and lawyer justice to continuously belabour that
19 point. It doesn't advance the actual submissions that Your Honours have.
20 Your Honour, the third point, of course, it's in your inherent
21 powers to mold and craft rules of procedure that are intended to get to a
22 more fair and expeditious conduct of a trial, but this is not a plenary.
23 The rules are there and Rule 65 ter which my learned friend refers to
24 simply doesn't refer to information that's put in cross-examination.
25 When my learned friend was -- when my learned friend
1 cross-examines, the convention is that prior to cross-examination he will
2 give the documents he intends to put to confront a witness to the other
3 party. That's what my learned friends have done. It's what all Defence
4 counsel do, and I don't see that seeking to get a rule changed that
5 the -- that Your Honours could do in plenary by the back door takes
6 matters further.
7 Your Honour, my learned friend Mr. Karnavas is quite right in
8 relation to the United States practice of course Mr. Scott is a master of
9 his own system. I'm not, I'm not from that system at all. But what is
10 clear beyond paradventure is that in the United States of America, he
11 would be in a far more disadvantaged position than he is before this
12 international court; and he does the Judges of this court a great
13 disservice to bleat on or continuously repeat that this is unfair because
14 he does have access, he knows exactly who is going to be called whereas
15 in the United States, he has no idea who is behind the door and who is
16 the next witness. And, Your Honour, in the United States of America
17 the United States of America
18 information. American lawyers operate with far more -- far less
19 information, and it cannot be said that a lawyer as skilled with the
20 resources of the Prosecution as experienced as Mr. Scott suffers a huge
21 diminution of his experience and his qualifications and his ability to
22 deal with these witnesses simply by crossing the Atlantic. For those
23 reasons, Your Honour, it's my submission that all of this has been an
24 unnecessary waste of time and could have been prevented.
25 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, if I may just two
1 sentences before you start deliberating. I would like to stress that in
2 this transcript, we now have at least five pages dealing with the arrest
3 of Mr. Jovo Divjak, and I would also like to remind my learned friend
4 Mr. Scott that Mr. Stojic's Defence Exhibit 2D 00263 was admitted into
5 evidence a long time ago, and you have it in the binder relating to the
6 examination of this witness and this document discusses the arrest of
7 Mr. Divjak.
8 We cross-examined Prosecution witnesses on this topic. So I will
9 not be asking Mr. Akmadzic any other questions different from what we
10 asked other witnesses. The only difference being that this witness was
11 present at the meeting of the Presidency where this was discussed. He
12 heard explanations proffered by Mr. Halilovic and I consider it to be my
13 professional obligation to seek further explanations from this witness
14 about issues that we discussed with Prosecution witnesses earlier on in
15 this case.
16 MR. SCOTT: Your Honour, one minute, one minute to respond. I
17 watch the clock, and I promise it won't be more than one minute.
18 First of all in response to Mr. Khan. My comments were measured
19 the record will show I wasn't raising my voice and when I think the some
20 of the theatrics that have gone on in this trial in the last two years, I
21 think my comments were measured, calm, no one was wearing their emotions
22 on their sleeve. It was a principal point, and a principal point that I
23 continue to believe very much.
24 Secondly, it's -- I'm not trying to take away counsel's
25 opportunity to go into it but just give us notice. And the proposition
1 for anyone to suggest there are thousands literally thousands of
2 documents in this case and because a document is somewhere in the trial
3 record that the Prosecution should guess and have to anticipate what is
4 going to come up in an examination is simply a completely ridiculous
5 proposition with the greatest respect. Thank you.
6 MR. STEWART: Your Honours, can we just say we support the
7 Petkovic -- we support what Mr. Karnavas and Mr. Khan have said, but I
8 would reassure Mr. Scott, there is certain hyperbolic language, maybe he
9 is the only one in the courtroom that thinks that the Prosecution is
10 entitled to a fair process -- I expect he'd have Mr. Bos with him at the
11 very least. But, Your Honours, we all accept, we never submitted
12 anything so ridiculous is that the Prosecution is not entitled to a fair
13 process. What we do is we do disagree from time to time about what is
14 needed for there to be a fair process, and that is what we are talking
15 about; and as Mr. Khan has indicated, all these issues are in the pretty
16 elaborate written submissions which are before Your Honours following a
17 motion by the Prosecution.
18 Now of course we could all invite Your Honours to give us the
19 ruling as soon as you can manageably do it, and we're sure that you wish
20 to do it but it doesn't add anything to have these oral submissions while
21 we're waiting for that ruling.
22 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Now, Mr. Praljak, you are on
23 your feet. Why?
24 THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation] I would like to ask a
25 question to you, Your Honours, if I may.
1 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] What kind of question? Because
2 my colleagues --
3 THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation] It relates to the constant
4 reiteration on the part of the Prosecution that we are responsible to the
5 international community. Am I responsible to laws or to a political
6 organisation which is termed the international community and which may
7 involve all kinds of things. I would just this to be made clear. Thank
9 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Well, the Judges are going to
11 [Trial Chamber confers]
12 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. The Trial Chamber
13 has discussed the issue. First of all, regarding the intervention by
14 Mr. Praljak. This is a Tribunal that renders justice. It is not the
15 international community.
16 Secondly, with regard to the application by Ms. Alaburic. The
17 questions to be asked based on these two documents must be non-leading
19 Thirdly, the Trial Chamber points out that indeed the
20 Prosecution, during the Prosecution case, had written statements;
21 however, when it comes to the Defence case, we do not have prior
22 statements, only documents are being introduced. In some cases, the
23 Prosecution can legitimately believe that it is prejudiced. That is all
24 we want to say.
25 Ms. Alaburic, you can put your questions, however, I can't tell
1 you whether you're going to have time or not. But put your questions in
2 a general fashion without them being leading and that will be enough just
3 as Judges do when they have their questions.
4 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Thank you very much, Your Honour.
5 Q. Sir, in this transcript, and we should not be wasting any time --
6 don't go looking for it, I'll just make -- give a page reference for the
7 benefit of the Trial Chamber. It's page 01806421 and this is in document
8 1D 2663. I think it is in the second binder provided by the Prlic
10 So Mr. Akmadzic, we're talking about whether Mr. Divjak was
11 arrested or not, Sefer Halilovic provides some explanations that really
12 don't make it quite clear what happened and you say, let me quote from
13 the page that I just referenced:
14 "Are we sure about what the charges are against Mr. Divjak.
15 Allegedly those charges do not stand."
16 So your question is whether there were grounds for Mr. Divjak's
17 arrest in light of the charges against him. Can you please explain to us
18 what was this all about?
19 A. Well, obviously we were talking about two elements in the
20 Presidency. Some members of the Presidency were aware of the situation
21 and others were not. The fact is that Mr. Divjak was arrested. It is
22 also a fact that Mr. Halilovic claimed that this was not an arrest
23 proper. He was brought into custody, something like that. Nobody says
24 explicitly why Mr. Divjak was arrested and no explanation is given as to
25 the circumstances, what actually happened.
1 So my question was that he was probably charged with something
2 that happened. Why would somebody arrest the deputy chief of -- general
3 staff of the army just like that? And I sought information and the
4 conclusion was that this would be discussed at this session before it
6 Q. Could you please now look at document 2D 263. It's a report from
7 commander Arif Pasalic to his superior Sefer Halilovic and in the first
8 paragraph of this report, this is what it says:
9 "On the 2nd of December, 1992 at 10.30 hours, the Neretvica
10 brigade members in a building owned by Zejnil Delalic an arrest was made
11 and the person was arrested was Jovo Divjak. The reason why he was
12 arrested was the assumption that he was in collusion with the persons who
13 committed a number of crimes in the territory of the municipality of
14 Konjic or rather that Mr. Jovo Divjak participated in issuing orders that
15 were aimed at causing a rift between the Croat and Muslim peoples on the
16 ground, and I now will now skip the rest in my narrative.
17 Mr. Akmadzic, could you please tell me does this tally with the
18 information that you had at the time about the reasons for
19 Mr. Jovo Divjak's arrest?
20 A. No, and this was not the explanation that was given at the
21 Presidency meeting. I have just indicated that it is possible that some
22 of the Presidency members such as Izetbegovic and Halilovic perhaps knew
23 about that, but the rest of us we didn't know that.
24 Q. Could you now please look at 4D 427. Could we perhaps now see
25 whether you received any further information about that? Did you learn
1 that Mr. Jovo Divjak provided a statement regarding his arrest?
2 A. Yes, I heard about that, but I never did receive this statement
3 in the written form.
4 Q. Could you please look at page 3, that's both in the English and
5 the B/C/S version. Mr. Divjak says, as regards the Prozor case and the
6 relations between Croats and Muslims or rather the BH army and the HVO:
7 "I reject any suspicion that I fermented those conflicts. I will
8 go as far as to say that I assisted on trying to calm the situation down,
9 to get people to talk."
10 So does this correspond to what you knew about Mr. Divjak giving
11 such a statement?
12 A. No.
13 Q. Can we then conclude that at that time, you did not receive any
14 information as to why Mr. Divjak was actually arrested?
15 A. I never received any information to that effect at all.
16 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, this completes my
18 Mr. Akmadzic, thank you very much for answering my questions.
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you.
20 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you. Let me come back to
21 Ms. Nozica, I believe.
22 MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honour, thank you. While
23 the binders are being distributed in the courtroom, I would like to say
24 good afternoon to everyone in the courtroom including the witness, and I
25 would like to say that I will be -- that I will have more
1 cross-examination for this witness. I was given some time both by the
2 Defence of Mr. Coric and the Defence of Mr. Pusic, and I want to be
3 certain that if any of this time is subtracted from the time allotted to
4 me for the cross-examination, that that be only my time not the time of
5 my colleagues.
6 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] One moment, please, I must
7 discuss this with my fellow Judges.
8 [Trial Chamber confers]
9 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Ms. Nozica, we discussed this
10 issue because at one point in time, you said that the others had given
11 you some time. The Trial Chamber had pondered this issue and had decided
12 not to allow time being given by other teams; however, on a case-by-case
13 basis, the Trial Chamber may give extra times. We said there would be
14 three hours by the Defence teams altogether now if you are the only one
15 to intervene with Ms. Alaburic if we divide three hours by five you would
16 have had 36 minutes for your own time. But we have time available and,
17 of course, we shall authorise you to do more than 36 minutes but not from
18 the time given by Mr. Pusic or Mr. Coric.
19 Did you understand?
20 MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation] I understand. I understand Your
21 Honour but I find this highly confusing and I simply have to state this
22 on the record. The last time Ms. Alaburic spoke up and said that all of
23 the Defence teams had a total of 15 minutes which divided by 5 would
24 amount to 5 minutes and -- 3 minutes, I don't remember exactly.
25 Judge Trechsel said entire defence all the Defence teams got 15 minutes.
1 How you use it is entirely up to you.
2 This is just what we did today. We sat down together and we
3 reached an agreement. As far as I know, no one save for Ms. Alaburic and
4 myself will be crossing this witness simply because it's a fair thing to
5 do, I talked to my colleagues, I found out that they would not be
6 cross-examining this witness and I informed the Chamber. Therefore, this
7 time is now mine based on what Judge Trechsel said the last time around,
8 I organised my cross-examination. It will be longer than 36 minutes,
9 that's for sure. I hope to receive more instructions now from the
10 Chamber. I have to be allowed to complete my cross-examination because
11 if 36 or 40 minutes is all I'm getting, I will have to pare back, I will
12 have to cut down on what I was planning for originally. Thank you.
13 MR. STEWART: Your Honours, we're confused, whether we're
14 similarly confused or confused in a different way, I don't know.
15 Your Honour, what's happening now seems to us not to accord with
16 the guidelines which Your Honours issued on the 24th of April, 2008. I'm
17 talking about the decisions adopting guidelines for the presentation of
18 Defence evidence because in paragraph 15, it says and this is about four
19 or five lines from the bottom, "Unless the Chamber decides otherwise the
20 teams shall agree among themselves on the allocation of time and inform
21 of Chamber of this in advance." It seems to contemplate exactly that and
22 certainly we do adopt and support what Ms. Nozica has said. It seems to
23 have followed from everything that Your Honours had previously said in
24 the course of what's so far been Mr. Karnavas's case that that was the
1 Your Honours, again we've got some -- all sorts of written
2 material before the courts at the moment on the question of these
3 guidelines, but if a new issue has arisen, then we all need to have a
4 full opportunity of addressing it fully.
5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. We're going to look
6 into this again, of course without prejudice to anybody. We decided that
7 the Defence would have three hours for cross-examination. You can use,
8 Ms. Nozica and Ms. Alaburic the three hours allocated.
9 MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honours. Thank you,
10 Your Honours. At the outset there was one thing that I wished to say. I
11 will be dealing with several topics. I believe that these topics have
12 been raised in chief. I believe this is indeed cross-examination that
13 I'm about to embark on. There is one topic that wasn't raised. It has
14 to do with two documents, 2D 544 and 2D 705. It's about the contact
15 between this witness and the HVO's health department in 1993. I will
16 underline this as soon as I broach this subject.
17 Before I start, I want to say that I ordered my documents in
18 these binders in the order in which I will be examining this witness. I
19 knew ahead of time what Judge Trechsel would be after and I wanted to
20 make his job as easy as possible.
21 In addition to this, I have Defence 1D documents in my binder,
22 therefore you will not be needing any other binders. I know about -- I
23 know all about the weight of Defence 1D's shoulders, and it will probably
24 be just as difficult for me to order my binders in the right way for the
25 convenience of the Chamber but in this situation, it was somewhat easier
1 for me to be facing fewer exhibits, far fewer exhibits, I should say than
2 my learned friend, Mr. Karnavas.
3 Cross-examination by Ms. Nozica:
4 Q. Good afternoon, again, witness. For the record, after all we've
5 met before, haven't we; but my name is Senka Nozica, and I represent with
6 my colleague Mr. Stojic. I would start with a document just to avoid any
7 misunderstandings, this was in Mr. Karnavas's binder. This is 1D 2067.
8 You've got my binder in front of you, sir. This is the statement of the
9 members of the HV Presidency, your statement of the 21st of April, 1993
10 During this trial, we have been using this statement. There was
11 a witness here whose name I'm not allowed to mention. In the further
12 course of my cross examination I will only be focussing on the first
13 portion of this statement. The document says at the meeting of the
14 Presidency members, the prime minister and the members of the government
15 of the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina, the Croat ones held yesterday
16 in Mostar in connection with the acts of aggression carried out by the
17 Muslim forces against the Croats in Bosnia and Herzegovina a statement
18 was adopted that we hereby publish in it's entirety.
19 Mr. Akmadzic, my question would be at the time what sort of
20 information was available to you, prior to the 21st of April, prior to
21 this statement being made public about the military activities of the BH
22 army? Let's try to limit this to Central Bosnia in terms of geography?
23 A. I said this before, but I'd like to repeat this. We're talking
24 about April 1993 and this was one of the most difficult months as far as
25 the situation in Central Bosnia was concerned, one of the worst months if
1 you like. The BH army as one of the component parts of the armed forces
2 of Bosnia and Herzegovina is attacking another component arm of the army
3 of Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina as well as the population of
4 Central Bosnia
5 addressed both directly and indirectly was doing nothing about this. At
6 a meeting that we held, we stated that we were effectively powerless to
7 stop the clashes. We made a public declaration, a statement for the
8 benefit of both the domestic and international public to the effect that
9 we were facing a very difficult situation and that our people were under
11 Q. Mr. Akmadzic, I would like to ask you a very specific question:
12 Did you at any point in time know anything at the time you were making
13 this statement about the army attacks on Zenica and Travnik, that general
14 area in Central Bosnia?
15 A. We were not aware of the attack on Zenica. We were aware of an
16 attack that was launched from Zenica on Travnik specifically, on Bugojno,
17 on Novi
18 attack were areas where there were very important military factories in
19 Bosnia and Herzegovina and armament factories.
20 Q. Yes, when I said on Zenica, I meant attacks on the HVO in Zenica
21 but your intervention was perfectly appropriate. But can you explain
22 this when you say attacks on areas that held the most important military
23 factories in Bosnia and Herzegovina, was that the conclusion at the time
24 or had you already caught wind of the possibility that there might be
25 some activity along these lines in precisely these areas?
1 A. We had caught hints that something like this might happen. I
2 would like to tell the Chamber that Central Bosnia is the very heart of
3 Bosnia and Herzegovina. We talked in answer to different question about
4 the kingdom of Bosnia
6 that the coat of arms of the kingdom of Bosnia
7 I hope so.
8 It is precisely in Central Bosnia as it is that in Travnik, we
9 have a clothing factory for the military. In Novi Travnik and Bugojno,
10 we have factories that produce weapons for the military. In Konjic,
11 there is another such factory that produces weapons for the military.
12 When Jajce fell, the Muslims started moving towards Central
14 I addressed with Mr. Izetbegovic. He said we'll deal with this
15 disbalance or this disharmony in terms of population movement. However,
16 it was quite obvious to me that he was either unable or unwilling to deal
17 with this. We knew about the impending danger looming over Central
19 Q. May I ask you or perhaps remind you because I believe this is
20 something that you actually know. You spoke about all these towns. You
21 spoke about a number of towns with military production facilities. You
22 omitted Vitez, was Vitez not another such town?
23 A. Yes, Vitez was equally important in this context. This was an
24 explosive factory in Vitez and explosives were needed in order to be able
25 to use all these weapons being produced. But we're talking about the
1 aggression being carried out by the BH army at this period of time. In
2 my assessment, and that may be the reason for this omission, Vitez was
3 not at risk to the same extent. It would be very much at risk but that
4 wasn't until a little later, regardless of the fact that there were
5 attacks against Vitez as well.
6 Q. If my understanding is correct, you spoke about this disbalance,
7 how the balance, the population balance was tipped when a large number of
8 Muslims arrived in Central Bosnia and then you spoke about these military
9 factories producing weapons in Central Bosnia. Is my understanding
10 correct, I think you were saying something along the lines that there
11 were expectations that the BH army would be attacking HVO units in these
12 areas. Is my conclusion accurate?
13 A. Yes, we were perfectly aware of the danger, and we warned the
14 Presidency that certain steps should be taken. I talked to
15 Mr. Izetbegovic, and I talked to him about this.
16 Q. Let me now take you through a couple of documents addressing the
17 military situation in Central Bosnia, specifically Zenica and Kakanj
18 areas which is something that you addressed already.
19 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Ms. Nozica, if you want to move
20 on to another document, I have a question on this one dealing with a
21 topic you did not tackle.
22 Dealing with item or paragraph number 3, would you mind looking
23 at it? In a very clear manner, you speak about the fact that
24 Mr. Izetbegovic usurped his Presidency since you said that his mandate
25 had expired on the 20th December, 1992 and therefore he usurped his
1 function and this is something you said on the 21st of April, 1993
2 Upon reading this, I have the following question: The Croat
3 members in the Presidency were of the view that the Presidency operated
4 illegally for a legal ground that you expanded upon but how is it then
5 that you and your fellow Croats, possibly also the Serbs, failed then to
6 tell the international community, because there were a lot of
7 negotiations going on, why did you not say that given that situation, you
8 would withdraw for all negotiations and that the international community
9 had to deal with it only with the usurpers? Why did you not take up this
10 position because then maybe there would have been a problem vis-a-vis the
11 negotiators who would have had only one side facing them and not the
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, we informed the
14 international community about this. We informed the co-chairmen who to
15 us represented the international community. We know the international
16 community is a generic notion, it is not a body in the proper sense, it
17 is not a legal entity. For us during the negotiations, the international
18 community meant the UN and the western European Union. We never went
19 beyond that framework because the co-chairmen were appointed at the
20 London Conference and the scope of that conference was even broader than
21 what I have now been referring to.
22 There is one thing that I would like to share with the Chamber.
23 It wasn't just about us but the difficulties of the Croats in particular
24 were great. The international community, in a manner of speaking, on the
25 one hand had to deal with the Presidency, it had no choice but to deal
1 with the Presidency. On the other hand, there were the three clashing
2 parties which it had no choice but to deal with either.
3 None of us ever questioned the fact that Alija Izetbegovic was a
4 legitimate member of the BH Presidency. None of us ever questioned the
5 fact that he was representing the Muslims of Bosnia and Herzegovina
6 we wished to underline was the fact that the BH Presidency had to operate
7 in keeping with its own rules of procedure, the rules of procedure under
8 which it was established, in keeping with the constitution and the laws
9 of the country. The Presidency had to see us or treat us as a
10 constituent people. We had no insight into any decisions that were being
11 taken, many of them at the same time, actually. It wasn't just the
12 Presidency. We had no access to many of the decisions or their
13 implementation taken by the Presidency itself. This is the background to
14 our reaction. We started with this letter, it's actually not a letter,
15 it's more of a declaration. We started with this and at a later stage we
16 realised that we had not succeeded in achieving what we believed was
18 As I said yesterday, we froze all of our activities in the
19 Presidency and the government in a bid to use any legal avenues available
20 to us in order to get the Muslims to at least start implementing such
21 decisions as had been adopted, and we wanted to get them to cooperate in
22 terms of the talks.
23 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. Thank you for that
25 MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
1 Q. Sir, could you please look at document 2D 00472, that's the next
2 document in line. For the transcript, I would like to say that this is
3 an exhibit. It's an order for an attack, it's a BH army document from
4 the 7th Muslim Brigade, the 2nd Zenica Battalion command, the date is the
5 17th of April and in this order for attack, in paragraph 1, it says, on
6 the axis of the attack of the battalion, the defence is amounted by the
7 enemy strength such and such in order to defend the town of Zenica et
8 cetera and the suburbs.
9 Mr. Akmadzic, could you please confirm that this was the
10 information that you had about the attacks on the HVO, let me be quite
11 specific, in Zenica at that time?
12 A. Yes, precisely and if I may, to clarify to the Trial Chamber this
13 issue, the Croatian Defence Council existed in areas where Croats were in
14 the minority. One of the towns where the Croatian Defence Council
15 existed is Zenica, the town that we have here, but there was the Croatian
16 Defence Council in Sarajevo
17 Defence Council and all the structures of the Croatian Community of
18 Herceg-Bosna as it was at the time existed throughout the territory of
19 Bosnia and Herzegovina regardless of the ethnic composition of the
21 In this specific case that I have in front of me now, this is an
22 attack on the HVO mounted by a much larger force, a superior force, a
23 larger segment of the armed forces, the attacking a weaker segment of the
24 armed forces. We had been receiving complaints from Zenica. We couldn't
25 prevent those attacks. It is my assessment that the reason why we
1 couldn't stop those attacks was because the extremists were out in force
2 in the town of Zenica
3 from abroad, either organised or on an individual basis were joining the
4 BH army, now I'm talking primarily about the Mujahedin. At this time,
5 within the framework of the BH army or perhaps I should say outside of
6 the framework of the BH army, there were other forces operating such as
7 for instance the MOS, the Muslim armed forces, and we couldn't negotiate
8 with them, we couldn't cooperate with them.
9 Q. Mr. Akmadzic, you mentioned something that goes beyond the topic
10 that I wanted to discuss but it would be pertinent. Could you please
11 explain to the Judges outside the territory of the HZ HB, there were HVO
12 units. You mentioned Sarajevo
14 A. Yes in Tuzla
15 in Kakanj. I'm not talking about locations where the population was
16 mixed and where Muslims were in the majority.
17 Q. Could you tell us the HVO units in Sarajevo and in other places,
18 who did they fight against and who did they fight side-by-side with?
19 A. In Sarajevo
20 between the BH army and the HVO. There was full cooperation, and they
21 fought side-by-side against the aggressor as this aggressor was defined.
22 Q. Well, it wasn't like that up until the very end, but I don't want
23 to go into this topic, but this was not the case up until the very end.
24 There was a conflict and there was forcible resubordination to the BH
1 A. Well, there was no conflicts in the real sense of the word.
2 There was some misunderstandings. The BH Presidency as the supreme
3 commander attached or rather joined the brigade of the HVO that existed
4 in Sarajevo
5 Q. Well, we will call a witness that will explain how the HVO
6 functioned throughout the territory of Bosnia and Herzegovina, it's an
7 important topic. But let us know go back to the issue of Zenica. Could
8 you please look at document 2D 101. It's the next document in the
9 binder. Please go ahead.
10 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Excuse me, Ms. Nozica, before we leave this one.
11 In the first paragraph Witness, it is stated the reasons for the order,
12 the background, "Based on recent development of the events, situation and
13 behaviour of HVO troops and with aim to prevent surprise ..."
14 Do you have any information, can you inform the Chamber of what
15 was referred to by the behaviour of HVO troops. You may not know what
16 they referred to, and I completely accept that; but I would like to give
17 you the opportunity to comment on it.
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, I think that this preamble
19 when it mentions the developments, what it mentions the negotiations,
20 political negotiations that were conducting at the time, the political
21 situation in the country. I don't know anything about the conduct or
22 behaviour of the HVO units, but I can assume that there were some
23 problems in cooperation although the HVO did propose that joint command
24 be set up. So I couldn't really say what is meant when the words "the
25 behaviour of the HVO units" is mentioned and they are not talking about
1 the HVO as a whole but only about the unit that they are in contact with.
2 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Thank you.
3 MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour. But I think
4 that we will be able to clear this up with the next document, that's 2D
6 Q. Sir, have you found it?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. This is a report on the organisation of the HVO in Zenica and the
9 events that preceded its neutralization in the Zenica municipality area.
10 This is a report that was sent by Vinko Baresic, the commander of the
11 Zenica Brigade of the HVO.
12 Mr. Akmadzic, let me put some parts of this report to you. The
13 date is the 23rd of April 1993 so it includes the events of the 17th and
14 the 18th of April. And since you have already seen this -- these
15 documents, I would just like to point some elements to you.
16 In the introduction, the commander of the Zenica Brigade of the
17 HVO indicates that he was for all intents and purposes a member of the BH
18 army in Zenica, that in June 1992, he was transferred to the HVO and that
19 the situation was fine until November 1992 as regards the relations
20 between the HVO and the BH army; and that is when the command of the 3rd
21 Corps of the BH army was set up, headquartered in Zenica. The commander
22 goes on to say that this is when the problems began cropping up. He says
23 that the information service of the 3rd Corps usurped all the public
24 media with a plan that they had and the fierce campaign stating that the
25 BH army was the only force fighting for the sovereign unified indivisible
1 Bosnia and Herzegovina.
2 At page 2 of this document, that's in the Croatian version, and
3 for the benefit of the Trial Chamber, this is page 0062 in the English
5 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's correction 61.
6 MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation] And it says here the pressure in
7 Zenica is increasing. I think the answer in this question one asked by
8 Judge Trechsel, there was sporadic killings and abductions where people
9 were being taken away and nobody knows where we are. When we protest
10 about this to the civilian authorities and the BH army, we get the same
11 reply, that is, they have nothing to do with that; and they will do
12 everything if those acts were committed by members of the BH army to
13 investigate this, but they never wanted to admit that they were
14 responsible or to take the blame and they never identified the
16 The indications that we received in the best scenario cases were
17 that those were individuals who were not under their control and that
18 they distanced themselves from those individuals and their media would
19 inform the public that those -- that this was, in fact, lack of
20 discipline on the part of the HVO fighters who would have to be placed
21 under the control of the official and regular army of the Republic of
22 Bosnia and Herzegovina. That is the BH army.
23 The text goes on to say that the HVO in Zenica did have
24 information that the situation was in fact the exact opposite. It was a
25 serious situation. The public was being prepared for the final showdown
1 with the HVO in Zenica, the command of the 7th Muslim Brigade was set up
2 in Zenica; and the document goes on to say that this command was set up
3 to include for the most part foreign volunteers of the Mujahedin who
4 drove around Zenica or ran around the town bearing their religious
5 banners and singing songs in a language that one could or could not
6 understand in a show of force and members of those units did all the
7 dirty work in Central Bosnia for the most part in the free territory.
8 Q. Mr. Akmadzic, was this the information that you had when you
9 talked about the Mujahedin and when you talked about the preparations for
10 this pressure designed to defeat the HVO in this area militarily?
11 A. Yes, I would say --
12 MR. SCOTT: I'm concerned that we're going to spend some three
13 hours with five minute questions and then asking if the witness can say
14 anything about it. That was a five-minute question. I looked at the
15 transcript. And I think we have to break it down and look at the
16 witness's knowledge for this. How does he know about it? Does he -- has
17 he ever seen this document before? Does he actually know anything about
18 it ought all? I mean we seem to be just reading documents.
19 MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation] Your Honour.
20 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] It hasn't escaped me.
21 Ms. Nozica.
22 MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I want with this
23 witness -- well, this document was tendered and was not admitted and now
24 I want to go through all the documents that are relevant for the Defence
25 and find out whether the witness has any knowledge of those events and
1 those documents because that will make our job easier. There is a lot of
2 relevant details in this document I would like to go through it as fast
3 as possible, and what I just quoted from this document confirms what the
4 witness had already said. I would just like the witness to give us a
5 brief answer. I would like to now go through two more details that are
6 contained in this document.
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I want to note for the benefit of
8 the Trial Chamber that I was a prime minister in the government of Bosnia
9 and Herzegovina
10 suggestions as to what I should say, and I will just present my own views
11 to the Trial Chamber the way I see things. I have already said and I
12 would like to say this again to the Trial Chamber that the Croatian
13 Defence Council and the BH army were partners, and they cooperated well
14 over a certain period of time.
15 As I have already said, and this was the view shared by us in the
16 Presidency, the relations got worse because of the aggression against
17 Bosnia and Herzegovina and the overall situation. When we're talking
18 about this document, I don't know what individuals were in the HVO or in
19 the BH army ranks were doing. I know that it was a firm agreement that
20 we all reached that we should defend Bosnia and Herzegovina.
21 In answer to another question, I said that it appears to me that
22 there were extremists in the BH army ranks in Zenica and that regardless
23 of all the agreements, one should never overlook the individuals who are
24 involved and the people who are in charge of some units. Throughout the
25 war we had huge problems with Zenica. The Croatian Defence Council in
1 Zenica was just a small element of the joint armed forces. They were
2 under pressure as this report shows, they were under pressure both from
3 paramilitary formations.
4 I don't know if anyone has told the Trial Chamber, if not, I
5 would like to be the one to tell you this that the presence of foreign
6 organised groups or individuals mostly in Central Bosnia led to great
7 difficulties that continued on into the post-war period because without
8 our knowledge and without our approval, many people were granted
9 citizenship and this caused a lot of problems and laws had to be changed
10 because of that. Then we faced the problem how can one -- how can one
11 strip them of the citizenship that was granted to them and the
12 international community had to intervene.
13 MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation]
14 Q. Mr. Akmadzic, well, you said this in answer to the Prosecution
15 but you are spending my time. I don't want you to be under pressure but
16 you saw that my time is limited. I think that we started an hour and a
17 half ago, but I would just like Your Honours to tell me when there should
18 be a break but perhaps if we could just complete this document?
19 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Maybe we could have a break at
20 half past 5.00 if that suits you. It's up to you. I'm entirely in your
22 MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation] That's fine, Your Honour, but the
23 last break was a little earlier on. I thought now was the right time. I
24 might as well press on.
25 Q. Witness, you tell us that you've seen the document. Let me draw
1 your attention to paragraph 3 in the Croatian version. I am -- I won't
2 be reading it. It's 0063 in the English paragraph 2. The next paragraph
3 after that, says the attack on the Zenica HVO started on the 18th of
4 April at 05 hours, the next page claims that at about 1800 hours the
5 Muslim forces took Zmajevac, this is very important, and the second to
6 last page in the English and page 5 in the B/C/S claims that at the time,
7 the reports were written on the 23rd of April, 1993 in Zenica there were
8 no more HVO units remaining, members of the civilian authorities were
9 under house arrest, most of the soldiers were in prisons apart from the
10 HVO seals, everything else was in the hands of the BH army.
11 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's note, could Ms. Nozica's
12 microphones please be switched on and all the other microphones be
13 switched off as she speaks. The interpreters cannot hear her properly.
14 Thank you very much.
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Of course it is very difficult for
16 me to address each of these elements simply because I wasn't there.
17 However, based on the news that we got it was exactly like that.
18 MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation] Thank you very much.
19 Q. Can we please now look at another document in reference to
20 Zenica, briefly it's the next document 2D 00473. This is yet another
21 order to launch another attack. Please tell me when you've found it.
22 A. 20473.
23 Q. Indeed. This is an order to the commander of the 7th Muslim
24 Brigade as far as I can see, the 7th Muslim Brigade. It's just as we saw
25 in that previous document, isn't it? With Zmajevac was taken. I would
1 like to draw your attention to two salient details in this document if
2 you look at paragraph 1 this is the second to last one not the last there
3 is an attack on Zmajevac facility then if you go to paragraph 3, the last
4 line, "Readiness for attack at 0500 hours on the 18th of April." This is
5 entirely consistent with the report that we looked at. The Vinko Baresic
6 report the commander of the HVO brigade. Is it consistent with your
7 information at the time?
8 A. Yes, it's perfectly consistent with my information at the time.
9 Q. Now for another document a very interesting one this is 2D 01405,
10 this is a BH army document specifically the 3rd Corps. It bears the same
11 date as the previous document, the 17th of April. The latter half of the
12 document reads, the Bosnian Archbishop Monseigneur Vinko Puljic will be
13 visiting the Zenica area over the next few days.
14 Now the commander of the 3rd corps under Hadzihasanovic, if you
15 go to paragraph 2 which is the following order, as part of this visit and
16 generally speaking, any arrests of Croats shall be banned. No buildings
17 or facilities shall be set fire to and no persons shall be mistreated.
18 Mr. Akmadzic, the document speaks for itself doesn't it. It says
19 as part of this visit but also generally speaking. Did you know anything
20 about any further arrests, about the arrests continuing, the burnings
21 continuing or the lootings continuing in Zenica continuing in the Zenica
23 A. Yes I knew about that, but one must say that it is perfectly
24 normal to put a stop to something like this during this visit by Cardinal
25 Vinko Puljic given that Cardinal Vinko Puljic was held in very high
1 esteem both as a religious figure and as a citizen, a human being, if you
2 like. It was certainly not their intention to allow him to see anything
3 like that going on or indeed as a result to make anything like that
5 Q. I will be showing you some things later on during my
6 cross-examination. We will be looking at army documents and we will see
7 what exactly was going on, but let us try to wrap this topic about the
8 attack on Central Bosnia at the time. I'm talking about the 17th of
9 April. Just for the benefit of the transcript. And this ties in with
10 your statement as you said. Fine. This ties in with your statement on
11 the 21st of April, the last document. This is 2D 01404, this is another
12 order by the 3rd corps command. That reads one carry out reconnaissance
13 along the Travnik-Vijenica-Stojkovici Axis the objective being to take
14 that axis particularly the HVO storage facilities there. Is this
15 consistent with what you were telling us about the plan and the attack in
16 April 1993, the attack against the HVO and against Travnik? As we see
18 A. Yes but this was happening, and I think I talked about this
19 before. This is just a detail, a small thing in the general framework of
20 all the attacks going on.
21 Q. Thank you. Thank you very much for this answer. We'll go on
22 about this but we care about all these details because these details we
23 can use as a later stage to put together the overall puzzle?
24 MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation] Thank you very much. Your Honours,
25 maybe this would be a good time to take the break.
1 MR. SCOTT: I'm again going to object to this manner of
2 proceeding, and I ask the Chamber to look at counsel's statements just
3 now. All these details will be helpful we'll be using those in the
4 future. The witness hasn't gone through and confirmed all these details,
5 document are being put in front of this witness. We don't know if he's
6 ever seen them before today or not and there's some pretense that he's
7 confirming everything in the documents about any knowledge about any
8 indication of the foundation for that, which facts he's affirming, which
9 ones he don't; and on several occasions, the witness to his credit, I
10 want to be fair about this, to his credit has said "I really don't know
11 about that." But we just showing him more documents. The Chamber cannot
12 go away with this evidence with all due respect in our submission and has
13 any idea what the witness has either confirmed or not confirmed every
14 detail in a multi-paged document cannot be done, Your Honour.
15 MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation] Your Honours. Your Honours.
16 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Witness, if I understood
17 properly but I may be wrong, the Defence has just shown you a series of
18 military documents from the 3rd Corps. These documents establish that
19 there was a large-scale operation in April launched by the 3rd Corps and
20 it can be seen that the HVO members were arrested for instance in Zenica,
21 Mr. Totic was also taken prisoner.
22 I was under the impression that you were asked firstly whether
23 you were aware of all this and whether the situation matched what you
24 said during examination in chief as to actions by ABiH troops encouraged
25 by Izetbegovic. Did I understand properly or not because the Prosecutor
1 is telling us that all these documents are not known to you so please
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I confirm these
4 documents as such. My observation was about some of the details. There
5 were many more elements which up to now have not been mentioned. There
6 were other orders, there were other attacks in other towns as well. As
7 far as I can tell, this is all about Zenica and Zenica's surroundings,
8 however there were attacks being launched elsewhere as well. There's
9 another thing that I would like to add. I don't know, maybe this wasn't
10 Izetbegovic's order but it was certainly parted of his policy. And maybe
11 there was an order in terms of this being the supreme command. He
12 himself was not there in the area, and he couldn't issue any orders
14 MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation] Your Honours, if I may. Mr. Scott
15 needn't worry we have the transcript, we can see clearly what the witness
16 confirmed and what he denied. I think I built up a foundation for this.
17 I asked him what he knew about what was going on in Central Bosnia. He
18 said he was familiar and then he went on to describe what was going on
19 and then I started using these documents but I think the transcript is
20 there for everybody to see exactly what is going on and then the
21 transcript will show the Trial Chamber exactly what the witness said,
22 what he confirmed and what he denied.
23 Thank you very much.
24 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] We're going to have a 20-minute
25 break now.
1 --- Recess taken at 5.30 p.m.
2 --- On resuming at 5.53 p.m.
3 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] The hearing is resumed.
4 MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honours. To begin
5 with, I would like to apologise to all of our interpreters and
6 particularly to the French booth because I was cautioned. They say I was
7 speaking too fast towards the end. I will try to slow down now to ensure
8 a quality interpretation.
9 Q. Witness, so far we've been talking about April 1993. I would
10 like to move on to June 1993. Can you please look at 1D [as interpreted]
11 01406. I will show you portions of this document and after that my
12 questions will be about the relations between the BH army and the
13 Presidency, about the negotiations that were in progress at the time.
14 This is a proclamation, a letter by the 3rd Corps Command, the date is
15 the 9th of June.
16 The second paragraph of this document reads, "The last talks
17 between powerful players in Europe
18 that we were to live with on our doorstep." This is 2D 1406. There
19 appears to be an error in the transcript.
20 The 3rd Corps released this declaration. We must face the truth,
21 it reads, "We are left to our own devices. We have to turn to our own
22 people." It calls on the citizens to unite and use everything that they
23 had to defend the sovereignty, independence, integrity of the freedom of
24 Bosnia and Herzegovina. This is a public call on the citizens. It is
25 about gathering any weapons that the citizens had in their possession,
1 the deadline given here is the 30th of June, and it also talks about the
2 sanctions that will be imposed unless this is done.
3 They are talking about the area under the command of the 3rd
5 Mr. Akmadzic, this is something that we have discussed here and
6 this is something that you raised in chief. At the time, negotiations
7 were in progress. On the 18th of May, the Medjugorje Agreement was
8 reached. Likewise you were shown a letter by Mr. Prlic dated December
9 1992. This is document 1D 01945. In this letter, Mr. Prlic talks about
10 certain actions taken by Mr. Halilovic that were contrary to what had
11 been agreed on the political level.
12 My question is this: Is there anything you can tell us about how
13 the BH army acted throughout these negotiations surrounding the
14 Vance-Owen Plan, the negotiations that were referred to at the time. Is
15 it true that they were adamant that the military operations should go
16 ahead? And can you please explain the one thing that you said?
17 Mr. Izetbegovic apparently told you in relation to his third term of
18 office that he was willing to step down but the army, he said, wouldn't
19 allow him.
20 Can you tell us more about the BH army as a factor in those
21 negotiations. Can you tell us about its power which apparently was a
22 significant factor affecting the failure to accept the Vance-Owen Plan
23 which is what was being discussed at the time.
24 A. Thank you. First of all, you referred to Mr. Sefer Halilovic.
25 At one point in time, he clashed with Mr. Izetbegovic. Another thing
1 that I wish to point out is this: At Presidency meetings, he would
2 sometimes take the floor and say the army wants this, the army wants
3 that. About this proclamation, he would probably have labelled it a
4 pamphlet, and no more than that. But it was the same situation as I had
5 previously faced in Sarajevo
6 around my house, they were looking for something that they could take
7 from you. They were seizing your vehicles. None of this with any sort
8 of prior approval from the Supreme Command.
9 Along these lines, I could say that the BH army, regardless of
10 the political circumstances in the Presidency itself harboured some views
11 that were more extreme.
12 Q. But if we tried to establish a link between this and
13 Mr. Izetbegovic's statement that he would not have accepted the third
14 term of office, that was not envisaged in the rules of procedure but that
15 the army did not allow him to step down, would that mean that he in fact
16 complied with the positions taken by the BH army?
17 A. Well, I didn't --
18 MR. SCOTT: Objection. It sounds like a leading question to me.
19 MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation] I will rephrase the question.
20 Q. Sir, could you --
21 JUDGE TRECHSEL: May I just give a technical information.
22 Witness, now in contrast to what happened most of the previous
23 days, you are questioned in your own language and you have the natural
24 tendency immediately to answer when you've understood the question.
25 Please bear in mind that we understand the question considerably later
1 because we wait for the interpretation and have a pause before you start
2 speaking. Otherwise it becomes too difficult for the interpreters.
3 Thank you very much.
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you very much for this
6 MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour but when
7 Mr. Scott rose to his feet, I tried to rephrase my question but this is
8 cross-examination, so I don't know why this objection was raised about
9 the leading nature of the question. But let me rephrase it.
10 Q. Mr. Izetbegovic's statement that he would have stepped down had
11 it not been for the army that did not allow him to do so, what was the
12 relationship between the army and Mr. Izetbegovic then? Could you please
13 answer that question? Because the army is in fact a political factor
14 here. Could you tell us something about that?
15 A. Well, I started giving my answer, and my answer will be the same.
16 I did not ask Mr. Izetbegovic what it meant. I did not ask him, and I
17 cannot confirm that he was under any pressure from the army. But I can
18 assume that in a way, the army leadership primarily Mr. Halilovic did
19 tell him, President, do not let this post of the president out your
21 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Witness, the question raised by
22 Ms. Nozica is most interesting because this is one of the first times
23 that we seem to deal with this topic, namely that apparently between
24 Izetbegovic and the army as represented by Halilovic, there would seem to
25 be some kind of dissent. And when I heard the question, I sort of put
1 myself back in January 1993 in Geneva
2 discussions and unless I'm mistaken, I believe that Mr. Halilovic and
3 Petkovic took part in talks with the international community.
4 Could it be that Mr. Halilovic, when he was in Geneva, signed
5 documents, took part in international negotiations, had not been given a
6 clear and precise mandate from Mr. Izetbegovic so that in his back or in
7 a parallel way or contrary would have his own game, could it be that
8 whilst I remind -- recall that you were at some point in time prime
9 minister so I suppose as such you had a word to say in some aspects
10 related to defence.
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes. When we're dealing with this
12 time after the 20th of December, 1992 when the term of office expired for
13 President Izetbegovic, at that time, the relationship between the
14 president and General Halilovic and indeed the relationship between the
15 Presidency and General Halilovic was not controversial. It became a
16 problem later on in the course of the war and this is something that he
17 spoke about, something that he speaks about now.
18 In January 1993 in Geneva
19 signed agreements with the approval of the president because the
20 president never challenged this in any way and never made any indications
21 to that effect. It is my personal opinion that when we're talking about
22 the president's term of office, this was not any pressure from the army
23 properly speaking, it was a proposal, a request, perhaps, that
24 Mr. Izetbegovic blow up a little bit as he explained to me why he wanted
25 to remain in that post.
1 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Ms. Nozica.
2 MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
3 Q. So if we take what you said now as our starting point, this may
4 have been just an attempt of Mr. Izetbegovic to justify himself. But let
5 us move on to the events in Central Bosnia. I said at the beginning of
6 this topic that we are talking about the beginning of June. You were
7 asked questions by Mr. Karnavas, negotiations are ongoing in Geneva
8 agreement was signed in Medjugorje on the 18th of May, and some
9 modalities are being sought for the internal structuring the Bosnia
11 of Bosnia and Herzegovina continued its attacks in this period, it
12 continued attacking Vitez, Travnik and other areas in Central Bosnia and
13 how does this fit in with this whole situation where on the one hand they
14 are negotiating and on the other hand they are pursuing military
15 activities attacking certain towns?
16 A. I would like to stress here that the months of June and July were
17 very tense months in terms of what we were doing at the time. The
18 Vance-Owen Plan was not accepted. It was not being implemented. The BH
19 Presidency met in the country and abroad. There is a great deal of
20 discord among us. We were not in agreement about all of the issues
21 pertaining to the future of our country and the structuring of our
22 country, and I can only assume that this state of affairs was reflected
23 on the armed forces too, it had an impact on them too, and the situation
24 was very serious as it was.
25 Q. My question was: Do you have any information about attacks
1 launched by the BH army in early, let's say, early June in the areas that
2 I indicated, the Lasva Valley
3 information about that and so on?
4 A. Yes. Yes.
5 Q. Could we now please turn to document ...
6 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] One moment, Witness. You
7 didn't quite answer the very interesting question by Ms. Nozica. You did
8 answer, however -- I'm not quite satisfied with your answer. I'm going
9 to tell you why. She told you that in June there were military actions
10 in Vitez, in Travnik, and in Central Bosnia, and Ms. Nozica asked you how
11 such military actions could take place whilst there were peace
12 negotiations going on. It is a very well-put question indeed and
13 everybody is waiting for your answer because there seems to be a
14 contradiction, does there not? Everybody negotiating for peace,
15 everybody is gathering for that purpose and applauding the effort and at
16 the same time, there are military conflicts.
17 You were one of the main players. Therefore, it would be
18 interesting to know your view, to try and understand -- I mean -- because
19 we were not there at the time, and we are trying to understand how there
20 could be at the same time negotiations and an offensive in Central Bosnia
21 because that cannot be denied, there was an offensive by the ABiH that
22 is -- that went on into July, nearly until November.
23 Can you answer? If you can't, just say so.
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Up until November -- I can give you
25 a broader answer. When we are talking about this time period, Your
1 Honours, I said that in my opinion, this discord and tension in the BH
2 Presidency as the Supreme Commander had an impact on the BH army ranks
3 where there was also tension. The uncertain outcome of the political
4 negotiations because at this time, we didn't have the Vance-Owen Plan and
5 the Owen-Stoltenberg Plan was not yet being drafted and this conflict was
6 put in motion so that whoever takes more territory will have an advantage
7 in the negotiations.
8 I think that this is the key element. How to capture as much
9 territory as possible in order to have stronger arguments. So it's the
10 argument of force instead of the force of argument.
11 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I believe you have now
12 answered. So you tried to get more, capture more territory to be in a
13 better position at the negotiating table. Is that what you said?
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] That's right. That's right.
15 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Last question, a very brief
16 one. Given the situation, the Croats who globally were in agreement with
17 the plan that was being created, the Vance-Owen Plan and later on, since
18 you were on that track, at your level, why did you not speak to the
19 international community to say: We agree with you 100 per cent but stop
20 the others because they are the problem. Was anything done in that
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I said this myself on
23 a number of occasions, particularly when it came to the Vance-Owen Plan.
24 Lord Owen himself replied saying: Mile, I'll say in this English. [In
25 English] The Vance-Owen Plan is dead. [Interpretation] Yes. In this
1 sense, and in negotiations that followed about other plans, we accepted
2 everything because 17.5 per cent of the population, regardless of the
3 equal status accorded to this population in the negotiations, is too
4 little to try and persuade the 80 per cent of the population to look at
5 things our way.
6 In addition to the Croat-Muslim relations there was always the
7 third partying, the aggressor party as we called it that had a huge
8 territory under its control, the control of its armed forces -- I'm not
9 going to go into figures now but I think at one point it was 70 per cent
10 of the territory and in these international negotiations we referred to
11 this situation as the fait accomplis. This was the strongest argument in
12 the negotiations, unfortunately, or at least that's how it seemed to us.
13 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you for this answer.
14 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Just really brief and the answer too. Could you
15 date the moment when Lord Owen told you that the Vance-Owen Plan was
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Unfortunately, I can't give you the
18 date, but I think it was this time period that we're talking about. I
19 think it was in July.
20 MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honours.
21 Q. Let us go back to June and I think that we did lay a foundation
22 for this series of questions about military developments so let us look
23 very briefly at some military documents. The next document is 2D 1407.
24 Could you please just tell me when you found it?
25 A. I found it.
1 Q. Well this is a document signed by Tihomir Blaskic. The date is
2 the 9th of June, 1993
3 issued the proclamation. Very briefly I would like to point your
4 attention to the first part, the Muslim forces and the Mujahedin have
5 carried out an open aggression against the Croat areas in the Lasva
7 In this attack, a brigade and some local Mujahedin units were
8 Travnik and Rostovo and elements from the 7th Brigade are taking part.
9 This MOS and Mujahedin attack destroyed and expelled the Croats from the
10 Travnik municipality, but they were not happy with that, they launched a
11 fierce attack on -- in the direction of Zenica, on Guca Gora, and 39
12 Croat villages were emptied out, thousands of Croats, because of the
13 serious situation that the Travnik Brigade faces and in order to protect
14 the lives of civilians, the women and children, we had to evacuate the
15 Croatian civilians.
16 Mr. Akmadzic, in this period, quite a few Croats left this area.
17 Could you please tell me, to your knowledge, was this the result of
18 military operations such as this one launched in June and July as
19 specified yourself?
20 A. I'm not certain how my testimony will evolve from here. Am I to
21 address just this period in time or also what happened later?
22 Regardless, let me say that Central Bosnia, the Bosna River Valley
23 Lasva Valley
24 Central Bosnia
25 there is a stone with the inscription that says the centre of Yugoslavia
1 and militarily, politically and strategically speaking, this was a very
2 important place. For this reason, the focus of the BH army and any units
3 attached to it, and also because of the factories that I mentioned, the
4 Muslim side wanted to take control of this.
5 We've been mentioning some towns, but we have not yet mentioned
6 Fojnica, Kakanj or Vares which saw a lot of the population leave. In
7 Fojnica, there is a monastery which is to all practical intents the
8 keeper of the memory of the Bosnia
9 killed there, friars at this time and friars in times long gone had a
10 good relationship with both the state and the Muslim side.
11 What I see, what I'm looking at causes me no surprise because
12 these are the holiest things to all Croats in Bosnia, churches and
13 monasteries. What the Croats hold dearest. These were virtually
14 destroyed. I can't vouch for this because I didn't go there myself, I
15 didn't see this for myself, but one thing I do know is that at various
16 points they all came under attack.
17 Q. Mr. Akmadzic, you said the Croat population moved. I remember
18 that. But we need to be more specific about that. When you say the
19 population moved, what does that mean in the context of the times and
20 then can we briefly look at 2D 00902. I suppose you've got that in front
21 of you?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. This is roughly the same time, the 11th June 1993. This is a
24 public statement again signed by Mr. Blaskic and it reads:
25 "Today, there is a disaster in progress among the peoples of
1 Central Bosnia
2 homeless persons are looking for refuge in Novi Travnik, Vitez and
3 Busovaca in a bid to escape the soulless Muslim fighters. The Croats are
4 henned in, waiting to be shot. The White Lilies are shelling and ruining
5 our towns. Only last night their -- Vitez was shelled and eight children
6 died as a result.
7 You spoke about the attack on Vitez. Isn't that what this
8 document shows?
9 A. Yes that's precisely what the document shows but the disaster
10 that was yet to follow was even worse than the one you've just described
11 as the year was nearing its end. We have not yet addressed Vares, Buhine
12 Kuce, Krezancevo Celo, the worst was yet to come.
13 Q. Mr. Akmadzic, I will have to ask you to tell us what you know
14 about this. I believe we have that much time left. It would be quite
15 precious to us. Let us try to round this off because all these topics
16 are very important for us. Can we please now look at two army documents
17 that date back to this period. We have been telling the Chamber a little
18 bit what was going on in Kakanj and Bugojno but now let's move on to two
19 army documents describing the position of the Croats in the area at the
20 time. The next document is 2D 00438, 438.
21 This is a document of the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina
22 Supreme Command Staff Forward Command Post, information on civilians
23 being exchanged in the Travnik area submitted to the supreme command
24 staff in Sarajevo
1 Commission members signing this document, I will be showing you
2 some parts of the document that are very important. The commission for
3 releasing prisoners based on an agreement signed on the 6th of October
4 1993 today visited the village of Skradno Busovaca municipality and the
5 village of Mehurici Travnik municipality. The following was ascertained:
6 In the village of Skradno
7 refugees from Velika Bukovica, these are Muslim refugees. It is not
8 unimportant because we know that there were Muslim refugees as well but
9 let me take you to paragraph 2.
10 In the village of may Mehurici we found 247 Croat civilians who
11 were put up in a school gym. They are under the protection of the
12 military police of the 306th Brigade but they are receiving death threats
13 from the so-called Brigade of Death mostly consisting of Mujahedin
14 foreigners based nearby.
15 Mr. Salko Beba from Operation Group West, who was escorting us
16 told us that the day before we arrived, these Mujahedin shot about 50
17 civilians in a nearby village. A single civilian survived. The
18 execution is now among those 47 -- 247 civilians at Mehurici and then it
19 goes on to say that one of members of the 36th brigade in Mehurici told
20 them that the Mujahedin were also mistreating the local Muslims.
21 The next paragraph reads, we are of the opinion that the
22 Mujahedin problem makes the already complex relations between the Muslims
23 and the Croats even more complex in the area of responsibility of the 3rd
24 corps. The president of the Presidency of the Republic of Bosnia
1 or should have the 3rd Corps commander over to Sarajevo for urgent
2 consultations in order to deal with these problems.
3 The last paragraph reads, between Mr. Salko Beba,
4 Mr. Petar Skopljak, the representatives of the HVO, there was an
5 agreement that the next day of the 14th of June there should be an
6 exchange of civilians between the village of Skradno
7 the village of Mehurici
8 of ethnic cleansing, but we are unable to provide any other sort of
9 protection for these civilians in order to keep them from annihilation.
10 We, the members of this commission, agree that this exchange should take
12 This is a document that -- where the BH army is telling us what
13 is going on. The date is the 23rd of June. Please let's not comment on
14 this because the next document I have is a mere continuation of this
15 document. The document that I am talking about is 2D 686 and then I will
16 be asking a couple of questions about this.
17 Can you tell me first and this is something I've been mentioning
18 a lot in courtroom, and it would be good for the benefit of the Chamber
19 but for you to tell us. You know who Stjepan Siber was, don't you?
20 A. Of course I do. The same as Jovan Divjak.
21 Q. The 25th of June 1993, in this document, he claims he is the
22 deputy commander and that's the capacity in which he signed this
23 document, right?
24 A. Yes, Divjak and he were both, and I'm not certain about this,
25 assistants or deputies. I'm not sure what it was that was called at the
1 time but they were the -- some of the top men in the army.
2 Q. This document was obviously put together by him and he delivers
3 this document a mere two days later following this document by the
4 exchange commission, he submits this to the president and to the
5 commander of the Supreme Command staff of the BH army personally at least
6 that's what it says, personally as well. He refers to a 15th of June
7 document, he says, "I remain adamant about your visit to Zenica."
8 The document is -- I'm sorry, my colleague is drawing my
9 attention to this, I know that everybody's got this, but the number is 2D
11 If you look at paragraph 2, this is an integral report and I will
12 be quoting some things that I believe are important. Paragraph 2, the
13 26th of May, the president of the municipal authorities Dzaferovic Ramiz
14 faced Siber Kraic and Vranj, and he says as a citizen, I feel I've been
15 let down by the 3rd corps and the top leadership of the 3rd Corps is
16 heavily involved in a crime and robbery. There are some people there who
17 are executing other people after acts of robbery and then let's move on
18 to paragraph 3.
19 Merdan is the main organizer of the religious units known as
20 Suvalic and Puric's the 7th Muslim Brigade. Then we skip another one,
21 another line I think this is the most important thing, and then I think
22 you spoke about this it reads, holding sway over Zenica and the 3rd corps
23 our commanders who are steeped in crime. They don't want to be the
24 Chetniks because they do not derive any benefit from that situation. At
25 the same time, clashes with the HVO are very much in their best interest.
1 I'm skipping to the next page in Croatian. On the 8th of June
2 1993, 35 Croats were shot in the village of Bikosi. Four witnesses were
3 wounded and remained alive. They were shot by the Mujahedin.
4 On the 10th of June 1993, over 30 Croats were shot in the village
5 of Susanj near Ovnak by some army.
6 On the 22nd June 1992 [as interpreted], members of the commission
7 for the release of prisoners, Alihodzic and Negovetic spoke to Salko Beba
8 from OG West only to find out the following then he goes on to describe
9 something and we've been reading that about in the previous documents.
10 I'm not going to repeat that now. He goes on to say everything that
11 we've read already about the shootings and the capture of Croat
12 civilians. Then he goes on and says we would like to emphasise the
13 commander this crime and robbery are our rife. Fighters coming back from
14 further afield are bringing their bags back full and as soon as they see
15 that there is nothing to rob, loot, or take in an area they refuse to go
16 there. The military police of the 36th brigade goes on to say the police
17 from some of the brigades continue to arrest civilians and they beat them
18 up in cellars all over the place. These security service is not
19 cooperating at all which is something that Mr. Ganic could see for
20 himself when he met with the 3rd Corps on the 15th of May 1993.
21 The 22nd of June, 1992, it should be the 22nd of June 1993,
22 that's correct and the page is 88, line 4.
24 JUDGE TRECHSEL: If I may just add, you gave a number which I
25 think is not the right number. The right number is 2D 00686. You have
1 added a 2 which is not part of this.
2 MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation] Thank you very much, Your Honours.
3 I don't think I did. It must have been an error in the transcript. It's
4 2D 00686.
5 Q. Mr. Akmadzic, first let me ask you this generally speaking, these
6 are BH army documents. Were you familiar with this situation that was in
7 progress in the area, the offences committing against the Croats. How
8 informed about this were you?
9 A. This type of information was available to us at the time, it was
10 available to me personally. I can say that the BH army was predominantly
11 made up of Muslims. There were soldiers there from various parts of the
12 former Yugoslavia
13 but I might as well say this, both Mr. Ganic and Mr. Halilovic are from
14 Sandzak. We call them Sandzaklija, the Sandzak people. There were some
15 from Montenegro
16 sensitive the relations between the various ethnicities over where I come
17 from were and here I'm referring primarily to the Mujahedin. The
18 criminal offences described here don't as a matter of fact reflect what I
19 heard was going on at the time.
20 Q. I'm sorry, I'm sorry.
21 A. People were subjected to the worst imaginable kind of torture and
23 Q. Just for the sake of the transcript and in order to avoid further
24 interventions you are saying does not quite reflect everything but I want
25 to know if you know --
1 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's note could the speakers please be
2 asked to speak one at a time. Thank you.
3 MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation]
4 Q. What about these events reflected in these two documents? Were
5 you aware of these events?
6 A. Indeed, I was.
7 Q. Let me now return to a term that you used. You talked about the
8 Croats leaving the area at the time. We have to be very specific about
10 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I would like to ask you a
11 follow-up question based on the previous two documents.
12 Witness, we have just seen two documents. I knew about those
13 documents. One of those documents is addressed to the Supreme Command of
14 the army in Sarajevo
15 about document 2D 438. The second document is 2D 686, it is also
16 addressed to the same people. Those documents clearly show that members
17 of the ABiH army talk about misdeeds committed by the ABiH which shows
18 that the situation is very complicated, indeed. 2D 686 which was drafted
19 by Siber mentions problems. The other document which was also drafted by
20 Ivan Negovetic and Fadil Alihodzic mentions the situation in Mehurici.
21 You stated that you were aware of the situation but from where you stood,
22 did you know that within the command of the ABiH, maybe not everybody
23 agreed. There was no unity. Some people seemed to challenge certain
24 actions so did you know about those discords within the army?
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I cannot be a reliable
1 witness on this but on the basis of the documents and the knowledge that
2 we had, we in the Presidency -- we can conclude that there was some
3 discord. That means that from the -- that it would depend on the
4 leadership of that specific brigade or corps how they would act.
5 I told you yesterday, Your Honours, that it seems to me that the
6 3rd Corps was the most extremist one and that it committed the worst
7 crimes against Croats, and I believe that this is the corps that is
8 referred to here. So in the army leadership in Sarajevo, these
9 developments could be observed, and I myself spoke at the Presidency
10 meetings. I said, "If you're on the top of a hill, you can push a stone,
11 make it roll down the hill but you cannot control it anymore once you do
12 that." I think that some of the BH army units were no longer under
13 control, what little control there was.
14 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] This is your answer, so
15 according to you, some ABiH elements escaped control including control by
16 the Presidency; is that what you're saying?
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, that's my assumption or rather
18 this is my assessment not my assumption.
19 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Ms. Nozica. Sorry for
20 interrupting you, but I wanted to talk about those two documents before
21 we move to something else.
22 MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation] Questions were of assistance I'm not
23 quite finished with those two documents.
24 Q. As a follow-up to the question by His Honour Judge Antonetti who
25 asked but members of the BH army I would like us to go back to the
1 civilians, Croats, people living in that area. Are they moving out,
2 fleeing, or are they being evicted from that area regardless of who is
3 actually doing that? Either members of the BH army who are under the
4 control of the BH army or some other uncontrolled elements. The reason
5 why I am going back to this is because you say that the Croat people
6 moved out of this area so could you please be more specific?
7 A. The Croat people from Central Bosnia --
8 THE INTERPRETER: Could the witness please be asked to repeat his
9 answer, it was not quite clear to the interpreters.
10 MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation]
11 Q. The question is why did they move out?
12 A. They moved out under the pressure and because of the threat of
13 the BH army and other Muslim forces that are mentioned here.
14 Q. Could you please go on? I just wanted to clear this up and could
15 you please continue now.
16 A. So some people moved out to Herzegovina. Others move out again
17 under the same pressure to other places where the war was not so
18 prevalent at that time so for instance they moved to Kiseljak from Kakanj
19 they moved through Kraljeva Sutjeska to Vares and then again they moved
20 out of Vares to Herzegovina
21 My wife, in fact, is from Vares, but she did not live in Vares at that
23 My brother moved out of Vares and moved to Herzegovina. Grave
24 crimes were committed there and huge masses of population, I cannot give
25 you the exact figures now, but we're talking about tens of thousands of
1 people moving out. They moved out under the pressure engendered by the
3 Q. Thank you, Mr. Akmadzic for being so specific. This is what I
5 Now I would like to move on to another topic. I will try to deal
6 with it by 7.00 but I will be guided by the Trial Chamber. If I don't
7 finish it by 7.00 I can either go on until I finish it or do it tomorrow.
8 In early 1993, Mr. Akmadzic, you were the prime minister of the
9 Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina. Now we will be dealing with the
10 topic of arming of the BH army and the HVO the way they procured the arms
11 at that time and before that time and even after that time period. Could
12 you please tell me in the BH government, was there an agreement about how
13 weapons that had been procured or produced, manufactured in Bosnia and
15 A. I have to tell the Trial Chamber at this point that right at the
16 beginning of the war, there was an agreement about humanitarian aid
17 during the war, that humanitarian aid should be divided in three parts.
18 During the war, first the -- in fact, the armed conflict in Central
19 Bosnia broke out because of this shortage of weapons because nobody had
20 enough weapons and the embargo, the arms embargo was in place. In such
21 circumstances, there was an agreement in place. My late deputy confirmed
22 this agreement, Hakija Turajlic because he was in charge of economic
23 relations as I've already indicated. The agreement was to divide the
24 weapons as follows: 50 per cent to the HVO and 50 per cent to the BH
25 army, whenever we could obtain some weapons.
1 Q. Let me show you, well it will be very easy to go through this
2 document that I have already exhibited, that's 2D 147. In fact, your
3 name is mentioned here. Could you please let me know when you found it?
4 A. Yes, I found it.
5 Q. This is a document from the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina,
6 the army of the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina. The 4th Corps
7 Command the date is the 17th of February 1993 and the topic is the
8 manufacture of ammunition and the delivery of this ammunition from
9 Igman Konjic factory -- Igman factory in Konjic, who it was delivered to
10 and so on. For the most part to the 4th Corps or rather all of it was
11 delivered to the 4th corps and to individual brigades.
12 Item 2 on page 2 this is where you are mentioned. Checking with
13 Dzevad Hadjihuseinovic I ascertained that he has a memo from the BH
14 government dated the 31st of January 1993. It does not have a reference
15 number. It is not signed by Mile Akmadzic, but there is a stamp of the
16 BH government where it is indicated that an order issued to distribute
17 all the ammunition that is delivered and manufactured in the ratio of
18 50/50 between the BH army and the HVO, and it is indicated that this had
19 not been done; and it goes on to say having gone through the information
20 about the ammunition delivered in the period between the 1st of January
21 and the 12th of February 1993 you can see that this order was not
22 complied with and this also pertains to the period that Dzevad mentioned.
23 So do you remember this?
24 A. Well, I remember the agreement. I don't remember the order
25 because other people had to comply with the order, but we did have this
1 agreement in place and this gentleman, he's obviously referring to that,
2 to this agreement that the weapons and ammunition should be divided in
3 two equal parts. Obviously the armed forces that were dealing with that
4 did not comply with this agreement.
5 Q. So this agreement was in place, the date on this document is the
6 17th of February, 1993?
7 A. I have to adhere, I do apologise that we did not have a written
8 agreement to that effect. An agreement that we reached was valid even if
9 we didn't have a written contract or a written agreement. We considered
10 it to be in force.
11 Q. But to avoid any confusion, in this document, Mr. Dzevad says
12 that he received on the 31st of January, 1993 something that he refers to
13 as an order or rather having checked with Dzevad, I ascertained that he
14 has a memo from the government without your signature about this kind of
16 A. Well, to make this clear, there is a memo and this memo is
17 accurate, but an agreement between the two sides, it's a completely
18 different thing. The memo is also an authentic thing.
19 Q. Well, this is sufficient for my purposes.
20 Could we please look at the next document in the binder 2D 228.
21 These documents are rather brief, and we'll deal with them briefly. This
22 is a document from the command of the 4th Corps, the date is -- the date
23 precedes the one from the previous document and you indicated that at
24 that time an agreement was in place. It is signed by Mr. Arif Pasalic
25 and in the first part he says, I order hereby that at all the checkpoints
1 controlled by the BH army and the military police, the checks of persons
2 and vehicles should be stepped up and also of any cargo being transported
3 and in relation to this, any attempts to transport weapons, mines or
4 explosives and personnel for the purposes of the HVO should be prevented.
5 Mr. Akmadzic, you saw this document?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. To your knowledge, how -- what's the amount of weapons and
8 ammunition that arrived and was delivered to the BH army? I'm not asking
9 you about the exact figures but how many weapons arrived, reached the BH
10 army through HVO-controlled territory?
11 A. The BH army could obtain weapons in one of the two ways: Weapons
12 were manufactured in defence industry plants in Central Bosnia and in
13 Igman Konjic Plant and the other source is weapons that had to be
14 transported through HVO-controlled territory.
15 Now as to the quantities of those weapons it is difficult for me
16 to say that, but all weapons that the BH army obtained was obtained in
17 these two ways.
18 MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation] Thank you very much Your Honours, I
19 have a very brief document that I want to go through, if we can go
20 through this.
21 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Witness, just a follow-up
22 question. For an external observer this situation seems paradoxical,
23 surprising, amazing. These documents were shown to other witnesses and
24 it seems that the BH army received weapons via the HVO. At the same
25 time, the BH army was engaged in military action against the HVO. So
1 what kind of explanation could you proffer about the situation which
2 seems really astonishing?
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, there are situations
4 that were even more paradoxical, situations that I did not mention.
5 Well, the third source available to them was buying weapons from
6 Republika Srpska. There are so many paradoxical situations in this war
7 but the BH army and the HVO never ceased being partners. There was
8 always some kind of an agreement in place regardless of the fighting that
9 was going on. I myself attended a meeting or a conversation with
10 Mr. Boban.
11 At that time, I was not the prime minister, but Mr. Boban was
12 asked to deliver a certain quantity of weapons, and he promised that he
13 would do so in my presence. I didn't follow up on this, I can tell you
14 now who asked for it but I don't think this is relevant for the present
15 case. So in particular in the first stage of the fighting of the war
16 when the production plants were not running at full capacity and when the
17 technology was not there, the know-how was not there, most of the weapons
18 the BH army obtained it obtained through or from the HVO.
19 Mr. Izetbegovic himself told me that even the town of Sarajevo
20 which was under siege received certain quantities of weapons and since we
21 were on good terms, I asked him how, when it is impossible for a bird to
22 fly into the town itself, and he told me: Mile, it's possible to
23 transport weapons on horseback.
24 Now, whether there were some other channels such as for instance
25 bringing in weapons with the humanitarian relief supplies, well I cannot
1 testify about that because sanctions were in place, and I don't know
2 about that. But it is quite possible that there were such instances.
3 I'm talking about air transport.
4 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. We are forced to
5 stop now. Yesterday, we went extra time. So Witness, we will resume
6 tomorrow at quarter past 2.00. You probably understood that you will
7 probably have to be here on Monday since we're not able to finish with
8 the Defence questions.
9 Ms. Nozica, you have used up 1 hour and 11 minutes.
10 Tomorrow, the Defence will finish cross-examination and then the
11 Prosecution will start its cross-examination. So you will have to be
12 here until Monday afternoon, unfortunately. We could not do anything
13 about it.
14 We will resume tomorrow at quarter past 2.00. I wish you nice
16 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 7.02 p.m.
17 to be reconvened on Thursday, the 19th day of June,
18 2008 at 2.15 p.m.