1 Thursday, 19 June 2008
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 [The witness entered court]
5 --- Upon commencing at 2.16 p.m.
6 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Registrar, kindly call the
8 THE REGISTRAR: Good afternoon, Your Honours. Good afternoon,
9 everyone in and around the courtroom. This is case number IT-04-74-T,
10 the Prosecutor versus Prlic et al. Thank you, Your Honours.
11 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. Registrar.
12 Today is Thursday, 19th of June.
13 Good afternoon, Witness.
14 Good afternoon to the accused and Defence counsel and the OTP
15 representatives, as well as all the people helping us.
16 A brief reminder, housekeeping matter, the second break will only
17 be 15 minutes long so that we can finish today at 25 past 6.00, so it
18 will be 15 minutes, not 20.
19 Without further ado, Ms. Nozica, you have the floor.
20 MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation] Thank you very much, Your Honours.
21 Good afternoon.
22 Good afternoon to everyone in the courtroom.
23 WITNESS: MILE AKMADZIC [Resumed]
24 [Witness answered through interpreter]
25 Cross-examination by Ms. Nozica: [Continued]
1 Q. [Interpretation] Good afternoon, Witness.
2 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's note: Could all the other
3 microphones be switched off, please. There is a lot of background noise.
4 Thank you.
5 MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation]
6 Q. We looked at a document yesterday, the last one that we looked at
7 was 2D 00228. On the 28th of January, 1993, Mr. Arif Pasalic gave an
8 order to prevent any supply of weapons to the HVO in that document.
9 Could we now please look a the next document, it's 2D 00229, this is
10 already an exhibit which means it's been used in the courtroom before.
11 Can you please focus on paragraph 2. This is another document
12 from the 4th Corps command. Mr. Arif Pasalic signed the document roughly
13 a month before the ban in the other border, or rather, after the
14 transport of weapons to the HVO.
15 Paragraph 2 reads: "On the day of 27th February, 1993, the BiH
16 army 4th Corps main coordinator for logistical security on relation of
17 the 4th Corps of the BH army and the SDA headquarters in Zagreb,
18 Hasan Cengic submitted the documents and no longer wishes to coordinate
19 because of parallel distribution of money by the Supreme Command
20 headquarters. Mr. Safet Orucevic successfully performed our main tasks
21 regarding the entrance of goods with the HVO until now."
22 Mr. Akmadzic, there is a reference here to something that you
23 confirmed in chief. You said there was a logistics centre in Croatia
24 being used for the purposes of sending supplies to the BH army, right?
25 A. Yes, I know about that, there was several such centres, in fact.
1 Q. Yes, that's right. In this document Mr. Pasalic says that
2 Mr. Safet Orucevic was successful up until the month of February
3 negotiating the transit of goods for the benefit of the HVO. In the
4 other document we saw him banning any transports of weapons, mines,
5 explosives, manpower for the purposes of the HVO. Do we see a dual
6 standard at work here on the one hand sending weapons to the HVO through
7 HVO-controlled territory and then on the other hand we see that very same
8 commander issuing another order banning any supplies or weapons from
9 passing through the territory under their control for the purposes of the
11 A. Yes, that's quite right. However, I think there are several
12 persons appearing here and they were not perfectly in agreement among
13 themselves. If you look at this letter I think what it shows is that
14 Mr. Cengic and Mr. Orucevic were not towing the same line as it were.
15 Another thing that this shows is that up until this point the
16 cooperation with the HVO about weapons and other equipment and bringing
17 those in had been very successful.
18 Q. Mr. Akmadzic, does this tally with what you know about
19 developments at the time quite aside from the document?
20 A. Yes, this tallies with what I knew.
21 Q. Talking about the weapons supplies I would like to show you
22 another document, the next document in my binder, this is 1D 2458. This
23 is a letter by the Ministry of Energy mining and industry of the BH
24 government dated the 14th of February, 1993. The letter is signed by
25 Minister Rusmir Mahmut Cehajic. The document is addressed to
1 Mr. Arif Pasalic, the commander of the 4th Corps.
2 Have you ever seen this document, because I realize that it was
3 part of the Prlic Defence proofing with you?
4 A. I'm familiar with this document. I'm not sure if I had a chance
5 to read it, but it looks familiar.
6 Q. In this document Mr. Rusmir Mahmut Cehajic is informing
7 Mr. Pasalic about the circumstances in Mostar. He is telling him about
8 his views or perhaps the government's views on strengthening state
9 authority. That's what the introduction says. Let me ask you something
10 about a portion on page 1 in the English, it's page 2 in the Croatian. I
11 think you have a fairly good Croatian copy on the screen, I'm not sure if
12 you can see it clearly. It's where it says: "Supply of oil products."
13 As prime minister did you know about this communication at the
14 time? It is obvious that it was between this ministry and the 4th Corps
15 command alone, excluding the HVO, they were not part of the process.
16 A. Yes, at the time we were receiving oil, it came in as aid shipped
17 to us by a number of different countries. This is about oil derived --
18 this is about crude oil. We obtained oil-derived products from Croatia
19 among other countries. Mr. Mahmut Cehajic was the energy minister.
20 He had certain powers authorising him to use oil and other types
21 of energy that were available. We did in principle have an agreement
22 about the equal distribution of oil between the HVO and the BH army as
23 well as other citizens of the BH, perhaps Mostar and other such places,
24 and it was also agreed that certain shipments would make it to Sarajevo
1 Nevertheless, if I look at this authorisation, I don't think it
2 entirely denies this right. It is just that the HVO's right to use part
3 of this oil is not specified. Be that as it may, if you look at this
4 letter you can see that Mr. Mahmut Cehajic issued certain orders,
5 disregarding for the moment the political aspect which anyway wasn't
6 something that he was supposed to keep in mind. It's about making sure
7 that the oil got to those places that he specified in good time.
8 Q. Mr. Akmadzic, let me try to underline something that I found to
9 be of particular importance during your examination. This document seems
10 to show unequivocally that oil derivatives -- the document claims that
11 there was sufficient quantities of those to meet the basic needs of the
12 population as well as the state bodies. The oil derivatives belonging to
13 the republic, Bosnia and Herzegovina, were reaching the port of Ploca
14 were being stored in the Energopetrol warehouse there. There is one
15 thing I would like to raise here, this document shows unequivocally that
16 we're talking about the port of Ploca
17 there were warehouses in Croatia
18 be used by the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina and also for the
19 purposes of the military and the civilian population. Is that right?
20 A. Yes, that's perfectly right.
21 Q. Another thing that one can tell if one looks at this document is
22 that this oil was then shipped to areas described by Mr. Mahmut Cehajic
23 as free territory and to Zagreb
24 A. I said to Sarajevo
25 Q. Yes, indeed, to Sarajevo
1 goods to on its way there cross territory that was HVO-controlled, right?
2 A. Yes, it had to cross HVO-controlled territory, but that territory
3 was not considered unfree, quite the contrary; in fact, it was considered
4 part of the so-called free territory.
5 Q. All right. Just about this last thing you said. The letter does
6 not show that the HVO was included in this distribution. You, however,
7 do claim that there was an agreement about this. This letter authorises
8 two persons to sign the distribution order, Mr. Hadjit [phoen] Devic and
9 Mr. Mahmut Cehajic?
10 A. Indeed. The Mahmut Cehajic in this document is
11 Rusmir Mahmut Cehajic's brother or at least that's what I believe. He
12 was in charge of the logistics as well. No HVO members or, indeed,
13 Croats are mentioned in this document. I believe, although I'm not
14 certain, that had there been a request by the HVO pursuant to our
15 previous agreement they would have had no choice but to distribute
16 certain appropriate quantities of oil and other goods to us as well.
17 Q. Fine. I will now move on briefly to another topic that was
18 raised in chief. Can we please have 1D 1521. This is a letter that
19 Mate Boban and you signed on the 18th of January, 1993. My learned
20 friend Mr. Karnavas asked you questions about some portions of the
21 letter, but there's one thing that I would like to ascertain. Towards
22 the bottom of page 1, I think the English and the Croatian copies are the
23 same in this respect:
24 "The Republic of BH defence minister, following our approval,
25 gave an order for all of the three national armies, in keeping with the
1 decisions of the Geneva Conference should withdraw to their own
2 provinces, which should be an effective move in relation to the aggressor
3 Serb army which was also supposed to withdraw."
4 We're looking at an order issued by the defence minister of the
5 Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina. Can we now please go to our next
6 document, it's the next document in that binder, this is 2D 1409. Just
7 by way of confirmation, is this the order that you invoked a while ago,
9 A. Yes, this is the order, it was signed by the defence minister,
10 Bozo Rajic.
11 Q. Thank you very much. Now I'd like to move on briefly, as I said,
12 to something that I had announced, something that was not raised in
13 chief. Mr. Akmadzic, throughout 1992 to be more specific or late in 1992
14 and in 1993 were you in touch with Mr. Bagaric from the health centre of
15 the HVO defence, something to do with medical supplies, medical aid, for
16 both the HVO and the BH army?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. Can you remember anything about that? I'm trying to slow down
19 just to make sure that everything is reflected in the transcript.
20 A. Yes, indeed, I do remember that. We agreed that appropriate
21 bodies in the HVO, as well as appropriate bodies in the BH army, should
22 cooperate in this regard. We also agreed that the health ministry which
23 was part of the government of which I was prime minister would also be
24 working along.
25 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Ms. Nozica, excuse me, on the record I do not
1 find what we're talking about, the number of the document. It seems that
2 it is the next one, 2D 544, but I did not find that in the record.
3 MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I didn't even refer to
4 the document. I'm building up a foundation in order to then be able to
5 continue to ask questions based on specific documents.
6 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Thank you.
7 MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation]
8 Q. Speaking of documents, let us first look at this other document
9 that you told us a little about this is 2D 705, that's the following one,
10 that's the one after 2D 544, this was a letter that was addressed to you,
11 a letter addressed to you by Mr. Bagaric on the 21st of December, that's
12 what we're talking about, isn't it.
13 A. Yes, yes.
14 Q. It follows from this letter that Mr. Bagaric was in contact with
15 Mr. Robert Simon, president of the International Medical Corps of
17 adamant that the aid should go to the BH army, and that is why he wants
18 you to write another letter that he would co-sign together with you as
19 well as the chief medical officer of the BH army. Is that what follows
20 from this?
21 A. Yes, and this is more in reference to future aid rather than the
22 aid that had arrived up until this point, and I think it's more about the
23 two armies, the BH army and the HVO. It's not about the 3rd Army, the
24 remaining army, so to speak, that's why we were required to as good as
25 provide a definition of the war in Bosnia and Herzegovina. We were
1 supposed to say loud and clear in a we were victims of an aggression in
2 order to be able to receive aid like this.
3 Q. So the previous document that we skipped is 2D 544, and it is a
4 document in which Mr. Bagaric is addressing the commander of the medical
5 corps of the Army of Bosnia-Herzegovina, the main surgeon of BH, offering
6 the possibility of the two of them asking assistance from this
7 non-governmental organization together.
8 And this completes the subject matter we've just been discussing;
9 isn't that right?
10 A. Yes, and I took certain steps through our health ministry along
11 those lines, I don't know whether the main surgeon in the BH -- or
12 rather, whether the BH army had that title, but certainly something that
13 corresponded to it, whether it was chief surgeon or something else.
14 Q. Now to round off that topic of oil, weapons, and so on, this
15 document speaks of the existence of cooperation, does it not, between the
16 BH army and the HVO in the struggle against a joint enemy, and that was
17 the Serbs -- or as you said yesterday in response to a question from the
18 Judge, evidence of the partnership in that joint struggle against the
19 aggressor, or rather, against the Serbs during that period of time?
20 A. Yes, I use the term partnership because we didn't have a Joint
21 Command formed at that time. We had two armies that were component parts
22 of the BH armed forces. We had the Supreme Command, which was the
23 Presidency, and the defence minister, we had a joint defence minister, so
24 that in fact we did not have a Joint Command. So that is why I speak
25 about partner armies and not one and the same army. But in fact they
1 were the same armed force, the same armed forces.
2 Q. This was the topic that was touched upon during the
3 examination-in-chief. I'd like to -- that was not touched upon during
4 the examination-in-chief, and now I'd like to go on to another subject
5 which was the subject of the examination-in-chief.
6 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] One moment.
7 One follow-up question, Witness. You have just spoken about the
8 Joint Command and about the parts played respectively by the HVO and the
9 BH army, and I'm not quite satisfied with your answer. I want to know
10 more. The Joint Command, as it was envisaged by the Presidency, if you
11 go back to what can be seen usually on the ground, think of Iraq
13 above it all because there may be a Joint Command, but as such it is
14 necessary to have one not many commanders.
15 Now, in the situation that you experienced, now how could that
16 problem be solved when you had two armies and a Joint Command, wasn't
17 there a need for one single leader? And if there was such a leader who
18 was the civilian superior of the military leader, was it the Presidency
19 as a whole or was it the president of the Presidency?
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, it was the Presidency
21 as a whole, as an entity. The War Presidency, of which I was a member,
22 so I myself was part of the Supreme Command. Now, in response to your
23 question about the Joint Command in the military sense, I had said that
24 we still had not formed a Joint Command in that sense. It was much later
25 on that that Joint Command was formed, quite a lot later.
1 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Please proceed, Ms. Nozica.
2 MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
3 Q. Witness, that is the reason why you used the word "partner," if I
4 understood you correctly, precisely because a Joint Command did not
6 A. Absolutely correct.
7 Q. And when the Vance-Owen Plan was evolved, you wanted to establish
8 that kind of Joint Command so that there should not be a conflict let
9 alone that the conflict should start?
10 A. The Vance-Owen Plan did provide for a Joint Command, we insisted
11 on upon that, there was discussion about it, but as I've already said it
12 was to be established only much later on, around the Washington Accords.
13 Q. I'm not going to go back to that. We heard quite a lot about it
14 during the examination-in-chief, and you explained it very well, I think,
15 the reason for which the Joint Command was not established sooner. But
16 this was just a continuation of the explanation of what you said earlier
18 I'd like to ask you now to take a look once again briefly at
19 document 1D 00509, and it has the force of law, a decree with the power
20 of law, on the establishment and work of districts which the Presidency
21 of the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina passed following a government
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. Now, for my cross-examination I'd like us to look at Article 6,
25 please, and we can see how many districts were established and under
1 number 2 we have Bihac district, the Bihac district with headquarters in
2 Bihac, and later on I'm going to ask you something about that particular
3 district. But before we do that, let's take a look at another document,
4 it is 2D 1410, the next document in line. And that document was shown to
5 you by Mr. Karnavas as well. It is an authorisation which
6 Mr. Alija Izetbegovic signed for Zijad Demirovic, president of the
7 Regional Board for the SDA for Herzegovina
8 expert team to be set up by the Regional Board and then undertake certain
10 What I'd like to ask you is this: Since this deals with the
11 establishment of the state of Bosnia-Herzegovina, does this document show
12 that Mr. Izetbegovic preferred to have this establishment done through
13 the SDA, that is to say the political party which he led, was that your
14 experience, rather than through the official organs of the elected powers
15 and authorities elected at the first democratic elections?
16 A. I think that when we're talking about the Muslims the SDA party
17 was victorious so that in that area it was his wish and right to use that
18 channel, to say that the representatives of the Muslim people should hold
19 negotiations with the representatives of Croatian people. And he decided
20 to take that step, and I don't think it was a very auspicious one, not a
21 good one. But he decided to work through the SDA and that was a parallel
22 form of work, actually, within the Presidency that I've already
24 Q. Does this document in fact confirm that during the agreements and
25 negotiation -- or rather, during developing the agreement, does this
1 confirm that it just actually represents the Muslim people?
2 A. Yes, it just represents the Muslim people, and this authorisation
3 we see has just his signature, no stamp, no Presidency mentioned
4 anywhere, and at the top it says "democratic action," not Presidency of
5 the BH. So this authorisation refers to him solely as president of the
6 party and not president of the Presidency.
7 Q. I'd now like to ask you to tell us something about this -- well,
8 a little while ago one of the Judges asked a witness a question here, I
9 can't mention his name, but were there other Presidency members who
10 worked outside Sarajevo
11 Presidency of the Muslim ethnicity? And I'm -- I'm saying Muslim, but I
12 know that after the Dayton Accords that ethnicity was referred to as the
13 Bosniaks. But as we are discussing 1992, that period of time, without
14 insulting anyone I'm using the same terms that you're using. Am I right
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. So taking this period of 1992, from the beginning of the war,
18 let's say April onwards, were there members of the Presidency who for a
19 time acted outside the Presidency, or rather, who left Sarajevo
21 A. Yes, the Presidency passed a decision moreover to the following
22 effect, that some members of the Presidency may leave Sarajevo, although
23 they could not be prohibited from leaving Sarajevo but they could be
24 allowed to do so, in order to organize political activities and a system
25 of defence where they would be going. And in this specific case, in
1 response to your question, from Sarajevo Mr. Franjo Boris left and
2 Mr. Fikret Abdic left.
3 Q. I'd now like to ask you, as my question referred to the Muslim
4 Presidency members, that we focus precisely on Fikret Abdic. Can you
5 tell the Trial Chamber briefly who the man was, what the results were at
6 the first democratic elections, how Mr. Abdic did there, when he left
8 that year of 1992 or 1993?
9 A. I'll try and be brief, otherwise it could be a very long and
10 involved story. During the Yugoslav period, the communist period,
11 Mr. Fikret Abdic was the director of Agrokomerc a large firm in western
13 the SDA party led the campaign but did not have much success until
14 Fikret Abdic joined the party. Once Fikret Abdic had joined the party,
15 especially at the rallies that were held, people came to them, double the
16 amount of people came to these rallies, he was very popular in Bosnia
18 elections for the Presidency of Bosnia-Herzegovina on behalf of the SDA
19 party Fikret Abdic won, Izetbegovic and Ganic -- Izetbegovic as a Muslim
20 and Ganic as the others, and the most votes were secured by Fikret Abdic.
21 And he and many others - I'm not going to say all of them - but many
22 others expected him to become president of the Presidency.
23 Mr. Izetbegovic, as president of the SDA party, won the support
24 in the Main
25 should be nominated as president of the Presidency, and that was what was
1 done, he was. However, Fikret Abdic was bitter about this as far as I
2 know, but he didn't express his bitterness at the Presidency meetings.
3 Q. Can you tell me now whether you know when he left Sarajevo,
4 that's the second part of my question, and whether while he was a member
5 of the Presidency he expressed his disagreement with the positions taken
6 by Mr. Alija Izetbegovic; and if so, what points did they disagree on?
7 A. Mr. Fikret Abdic did leave Sarajevo
8 Q. Just a moment, please. Judge Trechsel has a question.
9 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Without wishing to teach you lessons or
10 interfere, I think you have now several times asked four or five
11 different questions in one, and I was suggesting that one might even gain
12 time if you put them one by one, let him answer; next one. Because as we
13 have seen it is so much that towards the end you have to ask the question
14 again. Just as an attempt at assisting.
15 MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation] Thank you. Thank you. I wanted to
16 move forward faster, but obviously I'm not doing that, so I'll take it
17 one by one.
18 Q. Let me go back to my question. When according to you did
19 Fikret Abdic leave Sarajevo
20 A. I think it was around July 1992.
21 Q. And where did he go?
22 A. He went to Kladusa, where is western Bosnia, whole area of
23 western Bosnia
24 Kladusa and through his activities as a politician he covered the whole
25 of western Bosnia
1 Q. Can you tell us, if you remember, which issues did
2 Fikret Abdic -- or rather, what subjects did Mr. Fikret Abdic disagree
3 with Izetbegovic, on what issues?
4 A. Well, there were quite a few issues. I'd like to stress here
5 that Mr. Fikret Abdic was not satisfied with the way in which the
6 meetings were prepared. He was dissatisfied with the topics discussed at
7 the meetings because he insisted that the Presidency should discuss
8 economic topics, give priority to economics. He was dissatisfied with
9 the discussions over Bosnia
10 dissatisfied with the organization of the army.
11 Q. Did he express his dissatisfaction with the Islamization of the
12 Bosnian army at the time or immediately afterwards in 1993?
13 A. Well, at the material time, the time we're discussing now, he
14 didn't expressly bring that up; however, he did speak about that subject
15 later on and he sent documents to the Presidency, he sent them through me
16 too, because when I was the general secretary that's what I would do, I
17 would convey these documents. And when he became conscious of the fact
18 or when it became obvious that the army was moving towards Islamization,
19 he stood up against it.
20 Q. Thank you. Now let's look at another document, it's 2D, and it's
21 the last document I'm going to put to you, 2D 1408 is the number, and
22 it's a document which was signed precisely by Mr. Fikret Abdic, it is
23 information about some characteristics in the Bihac district -- about the
24 situation in the Bihac district, the date is the 14th of April, 1993
25 think you've seen this document before, haven't you?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. Then we'll just say that he describes the existing situation on
3 page 1 and 2, then he goes on to -- well, this document is linked to the
4 establishment of the districts and the decree that had the force of law,
5 districts and their work and functioning, and he sets all this out in
6 this piece of information. He says that everything is going badly and
7 that the political cadres are paying more attention to themselves than to
8 state interests, but what is important for us here is to be found on page
9 4. That's the Croatian reference. It's page 3 in the English, the last
10 paragraph on that page.
11 Fikret Abdic talks about some problems that were widespread
12 throughout Bosnia and Herzegovina, but these problems are of particular
13 importance to us here. It says:
14 "This idea, this danger that was on account of great conspicuity
15 notice, created, designed elaborated on, well-argued, and most
16 importantly implemented by preserving the rest of commodity reserves
17 foreign currency saved up by the population and by saving up more than 50
18 million mark that the population would have to pay for because of rising
19 prices which would follow as a result. A theory was tabled in opposition
20 to this that this temporary deduction of foreign means of payment was
21 aimed against the Republic of the BH, its sovereignty, meaning against
22 the people. This would have constituted a case of serious manipulation
23 involving the people of the BH, because neither the BH dinar could have
24 been accepted because of the interruption of cash flow, undue
25 interventions, unrealistic foreign currency rate, unequal distribution of
1 funds throughout municipalities, communication blockades with the
2 remaining parts of the Republic of B&H and because of not being able to
3 obtain raw material and auxiliary goods to ensure means of payment
4 outside the Bihac district."
5 Mr. Akmadzic, what seems to follow from this is that Mr. Abdic on
6 a temporary basis introduced the German mark as a means of payment, as a
7 currency, precisely because of the problems he's here referring to, and
8 because of that he was accused of undermining the sovereignty and the
9 people of Bosnia and Herzegovina as well as everything else. He's here
10 explaining a number of technical problems that he was facing with the
11 currency in the Bihac area. Do you remember the situation being the way
12 he describes it?
13 A. Yes, you refer to these as technical problems. They weren't just
14 technical problems, they were problems that went deeper than that. I
15 mean, it wasn't just the Bihac area, it was further afield as well. This
16 goes back to the very beginning of the war.
17 The Yugoslav dinar, which then still existed as a valid currency
18 in Bosnia and Herzegovina, was a worthless piece of paper, that's how he
19 described it. You could only use this currency in Bosnia-Herzegovina.
20 You could purchase the goods and then sell them at a higher price and in
21 exchange for a proper currency elsewhere, outside Bosnia and Herzegovina
22 In Bosnia and Herzegovina it was very difficult to introduce money.
23 Money, currency, was produced abroad and then because of the blockade
24 around Sarajevo
25 difficult to start using it, and this new currency was not something that
1 came from the national bank, it was more like vouchers rather than money.
2 Q. I apologise. To be quite specific, you're talking about the BH
3 dinar, that's what Mr. Abdic is talking about, right?
4 A. Yes, at first it was the Yugoslav dinar and then we had the BH
5 dinar. It was very difficult to get it into circulation because of all
6 these problems Croatia
7 in some parts of Bosnia and Herzegovina as a legitimate currency of
9 Q. All right. Now, let's move on to other problems faced by the
10 Bihac district, if you look at page 6 in the Croatian, and I think in the
11 English the reference is page 5, paragraph 2, what is it saying, what is
12 Mr. Abdic saying there in April of 1994? He says in April 1993 the
13 regulations passed by the highest authorities reached this area a half a
14 year later than they were supposed to. When they eventually reached the
15 area, one could tell that the provisions envisaged in those regulations
16 were impossible to implement because they did not apply to the state of
17 war. They were particularly impossible to carry through in an area that
18 was entirely encircled. There was no communication at all and no
19 directives from the republican bodies.
20 You are aware of the problems addressed here by Mr. Abdic. In
21 purely geographical terms I think everyone here knows about the distance
22 between Bihac and Sarajevo
23 this impossibility to communicate?
24 A. Yes, I'm perfectly aware of those problems. I'm aware of the
25 problems faced by Bihac while I was under siege. I'm aware of the
1 problems that kept occurring as the war went on. I know about the fact
2 that the cooperation between the HVO and the BH army in that area was
3 particularly good, despite the fact that our chief HVO commander in the
4 area had been killed. They were working well together, but this did not
5 shield them from accusations. The accusations came in a way from
7 what they wanted was to join Croatia
8 this is another subject that Mr. Fikret Abdic addressing in this letter.
9 Q. Just two brief explanations just to make sure we're on the same
10 page. What is the distance between -- there is one thing that I wanted
11 to ask you, something else. The period in time that we're considering,
12 what was the ethnic breakdown of the Bihac area and its population?
13 A. I can't say off the top of my head. We have the 1991 census.
14 The entire Bihac area was predominantly populated by Muslims.
15 Q. I will not be showing you other portions of this text talking
16 about problems faced by other regions, not just the Bihac region,
17 therefore I'm just trying to walk you through this to confirm a number of
18 things for me. We have another such document here to do with a member of
19 the Presidency who is a Muslim. The next paragraph is very interesting:
20 Fines, compensation for damages, interest rates and expenses for court
21 proceedings can be determined only on Yugoslav dinars. That's what
22 you've been talking about, right?
23 A. Yes, yes.
24 Q. Prison sentences of more than six months cannot be carried out as
25 the district has no prison facilities that could hold such convicts.
1 Moreover, the degrees entailed in these proceedings remain the same as
2 before the war. The Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina Supreme Court is
3 still the state body in third instance, and there is no contact with it
4 and there has not been since April 1992.
5 These are matters to do with the judiciary, and this is precisely
6 what we've often found ourselves caught up in discussing here in this
7 courtroom. Abdic says, if I understand this correctly, as follows:
8 Confirm that for my benefit, please, that the fines incurred were still
9 being expressed in Yugoslav dinars and there was no communication with
10 the Supreme Court, not even in April 1993; therefore, it was impossible
11 for the judicial system to operate properly. Is that right?
12 A. Yes, that's precisely what Mr. Fikret is saying here, he's
13 talking about a number of problems, he's talking about this problem of
14 separation, in terms of geography and in terms of distance. Bihac is
15 about a five-hour drive away if you don't make stopovers. Sarajevo is
16 encircled. The state did not pass all the appropriate regulations about
17 the financial situation, currency, money, how this money was to be used
18 in practical terms, traffic fines, that sort of thing. The BH Presidency
19 closed down two principal prisons in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Foca and
20 Zenica. Mr. Fikret warns that convicts had nowhere to be sent to. This
21 is a problem occurring throughout his area, Bihac, Cazin, Kladusa, and
22 other neighbouring areas.
23 Q. These are problems, as long as I'm correct, to do with this
24 because the central authorities back in 1993 did not react in good time
25 and did not pass appropriate regulations in good time to deal in
1 particular with this situation, the situation having to do with these
2 areas that were encircled and under siege by the aggressor?
3 A. Yes, that's right, Bihac had been under siege for quite a long
4 time. At the very end of war, in 1995, it was finally liberated. This
5 is when I eventually travelled to Bihac. I visited the area, and I saw
6 for myself how good the cooperation was between the HVO and the BH army.
7 I brought in humanitarian aid in several lorries. It was Mr. Prlic, of
8 all people, who had asked me to please go to that area because I was in
10 been for him. The cooperation was very good. The people in the HVO
11 refused to receive aid that would not have been given to the BH army as
12 well because they wanted everyone to have an equal share.
13 Q. Mr. Akmadzic, we just discussed the example of Bihac.
14 Nevertheless, these problems were occurring throughout Herzegovina,
15 throughout the Tuzla
16 regulations passed by the central authorities in Bosnia and Herzegovina
17 applied throughout the republic, right?
18 A. Yes, that's right, but even districts that were set up then were
19 in fact functioning properly. Therefore, there was a lot of discord, a
20 lot of disagreement as to how regulations were to be applied throughout
21 the area.
22 Q. Mr. Akmadzic, Mr. Fikret Abdic eventually, and this is something
23 that we can find at page 7 of this document, this is page 6 in the
24 English, paragraph 2, paragraph 3 as well, he goes on to sum up the
25 situation as follows: He says the situation has been remedied,
1 legitimate delegates were appointed throughout the district. I think
2 this is a fair summary. Do you know that back in 1993 Fikret Abdic,
3 precisely because of all these problems with the Sarajevo
4 government - and we've been talking about a lot about that, the
5 government, I mean the Presidency, I mean the disagreements with the
6 army, I mean the disagreements with Mr. Izetbegovic - is this not why
7 Mr. Abdic eventually proclaimed the existence of an autonomous western
9 A. Yes. Mr. Fikret Abdic never agreed with the way the state was
10 run or the way the talks were unfolding at Presidency meetings.
11 Mr. Abdic was always in favour of talks. He wanted peace to be achieved
12 through talks. He was fully in favour of the Vance-Owen Plan. He
13 accepted all of the other plans as well. I did spend a great deal of
14 time talking to him, and in Geneva
15 would go to the talks in Geneva
16 very difficult to leave the Bihac area. UNPROFOR once flew in a
17 helicopter to get him out of the area and take him to Geneva. Eventually
18 he chose the solution which he believed was the best one. He set up a
19 provisional government in the Bihac area and eventually it got off the
20 ground and started operating quite well.
21 In fact, there is another thing that I wish to say now, now that
22 I'm talking about this, Mr. Fikret arranged for money to be sent from
23 international aid, to be sent to each and every individual that it was
24 addressed to. For example, you have someone in Germany and they send
25 money to their brother who is still in Bihac, for example, 500 German
1 mark, 1.000 German mark. The important thing was to make sure the money
2 would reach its addressee, and he organized ways for this to happen.
3 Fikret Abdic was a much loved man in his area.
4 Q. And finally, Mr. Akmadzic, did armed clashes erupt between
5 Fikret Abdic's men and the BH army late in 1993 precisely because of
6 these clashing notions that they entertained and how the Republic of B&H
7 should be run?
8 A. Yes, there were armed clashes that eventually erupted. I didn't
9 go to the area and see it myself, therefore I can't say anything about
10 that, despite which Mr. Fikret Abdic was precisely convinced that the
11 Islamic circles headed by Izetbegovic and the people around him trying to
12 frame him and even tried to kill him. He once even went so far as to
13 tell me, I won't let them kill me. He told me this in Geneva.
14 The armed clashes were high-intensity ones and this is one of the
15 typical features of the war in Bosnia and Herzegovina and this is
16 something I haven't been mentioning so far. I told you about definition
17 provided by the Presidency at the very outset. Nevertheless, in Bosnia
18 and Herzegovina
19 at work although the war has a whole could not be viewed as a civil war,
20 specifically I mean what happened in Bihac.
21 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, my learned friend
22 Ms. Senka, I'm sorry, but I think there is an enormous error in the
23 transcript, page 24, line 9, there is a check there which means that the
24 transcript will be completed, but I think for the benefit of everyone's
25 understanding, the Chamber's understanding, it should be said that the
1 witness talked about Islamic circles surrounding Alija Izetbegovic and
2 Alija Izetbegovic himself. I apologise for this interruption to my
3 learned friend, Ms. Senka.
4 MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation] Thank you very much to my learned
5 friend Ms. Vesna Alaburic. I was listening to the witness and I was not
6 following the transcript. Thank you very much indeed.
7 Q. Finally my last question. We spoke about these clashes, this
8 conflict among the Muslims, can you confirm for us - and this is
9 something -- this is a question I have raised several times but let me be
10 as specific as I possibly can - did this conflict arise because of the
11 clashing notions among the Muslims on how Bosnia should be set up,
12 specifically clashes between Fikret Abdic on the one hand and
13 Alija Izetbegovic and the circles around him on the other?
14 A. Indeed so.
15 Q. Thank you very much, Witness, this completes my
17 MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation] Thank you very much, Your Honours,
18 this completes my cross-examination.
19 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Witness, I just have a
20 follow-up question for you. Ms. Nozica mostly spoke about Bihac and
21 Fikret Abdic. I listened to her questions and her -- and your answers,
22 and thought about Herzegovina
23 minister of the government. In every state the government acts via
24 administrations, through decrees and laws, ensures that public order is
25 respected, makes sure that justice functions well, those are the main
1 characteristics of a state. The siege of Sarajevo started probably on
2 the 5th of April, 1992, or let's say during that month of April. And
3 when there's a siege Sarajevo
4 might wonder how the state functioned and what was the link between the
5 government, the municipalities, the districts, the regions, and so on and
6 so forth.
7 You were right in the middle of things. Were you under the
8 impression that the state continued to function or do you believe that
9 there was Sarajevo
10 administrations, but do you think that the municipalities on the outside
11 had to work on their own because they could not rely upon the help from
13 In a nutshell, could you tell me whether you as prime minister
14 believed that your decisions were implemented on the field or were you
15 helpless because every village, every municipality, had to --
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, precisely, Your Honour, that's
17 it. And I'd like to add, although we don't have much time, that the
18 Presidency could not extend its power and authority all over the state
19 for the reasons that you have stated. And secondly, I would like to say
20 that we, the Croat members of the Presidency, asked that it be relocated
21 so that it could function. Had the Presidency gone out of Sarajevo, as
22 were the strategic military plans, that in case of war the capital should
23 be left behind and the Presidency moved to where the supreme authority
24 could function, I mentioned Livno because there were the necessary
25 prerequisites for that, that's the first point. And the second point is
1 that Fikret Abdic for those reasons and also for political reasons with
2 respect to the political set-up of Bosnia-Herzegovina found it and
3 proclaimed in a way the province of western Bosnia, is what he called it,
4 because the Vance-Owen Plan envisaged a western Bosnian province. The
5 names -- took the names of the towns, and so this was the Bihac province.
6 And Fikret Abdic insisted that the Vance-Owen Plan plan be put into
7 effect as well as other plans that came about later on.
8 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. Thank you, sir.
9 I'm now turning to the 5D and 6D, but I understood that they gave
10 their time away. Is that so? 5D?
11 MR. PLAVEC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, we have no questions
12 for this witness and we ceded our time to the Stojic Defence.
13 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you.
14 Mr. Ibrisimovic.
15 MR. IBRISIMOVIC: [Interpretation] Mr. President, we have no
16 questions for this witness. Thank you.
17 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well.
18 So that part of the cross-examination is over. I suggest we have
19 now a 20-minute break so that Mr. Scott can get prepared for his
20 cross-examination. We shall then resume.
21 --- Recess taken at 3.19 p.m.
22 --- On resuming at 3.45 p.m.
23 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] The hearing's resumed.
24 Mr. Scott, the Trial Chamber wants to know clearly what you plan.
25 Do you want to use all the six hours, all of them, or less than six hours
1 or don't you know right now?
2 MR. SCOTT: First off, good afternoon, Mr. President, Your
3 Honours, and good afternoon to everyone and counsel, everyone in and
4 around the courtroom.
5 I would have to guess, Mr. President, that I will use the six
6 hours, but of course if we make more progress than that, then so much the
8 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. You may proceed.
9 Cross-examination by Mr. Scott:
10 Q. Good afternoon, sir. I'd like to start off, sir, asking a couple
11 questions about Mr. Izetbegovic, who has featured rather prominently in
12 the questioning over the past few days. It might assist you if I tell
13 you this, it is of course not my function here to defend anyone, except
14 perhaps the victims of the alleged crimes in the case. I'm not here to
15 defend Mr. Izetbegovic, and I will also tell you that, as the Chamber has
16 heard, everyone knows this was a horrible, terrible war in which there
17 were victims on all sides. There were many Croat victims, and of course
18 I'm sure you know that this institution prosecutes and tries accused from
19 all ethnic groups, Serb, Croat, and Muslim.
20 In that respect, however, just so the record is clear in
21 connection with Mr. Izetbegovic and your dealings with him, I would like
22 to remind you and ask you some questions about what you said in your
23 testimony in the Kordic case, and I'm referring to page 2 -- excuse me,
24 20319 on the 5th of June, 2000, a little more than eight years ago, I'm
25 afraid. And you said:
1 "I'm very good friends with Mr. Izetbegovic. While I was
2 secretary-general we visited Rome
3 although he's a Muslim and I'm a Catholic. He's a Muslim of Islamic
4 faith and I'm a Croat of Catholic faith. Together we visited Tehran
5 knew each other well. I even called on him at home where he lived. He's
6 a good man. He's an honest politician; however, there are interests that
7 transcend individual interest."
8 Now, if you're able to follow along on that, sir, and if you need
9 me to I'll read it to you again. Do you stand by that assessment,
10 description, of your relationship and dealings with Mr. Izetbegovic?
11 A. Yes, I do stand by them. But I can say that perhaps I
12 overemphasized the fact that we were very good friends, perhaps I went
13 too far. We were on very good terms. Perhaps that would be a better way
14 of putting it.
15 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Witness, I have in front of me
16 what you said in the French version. There may be somebody to be added
18 "I am quite a good friend of Mr. Izetbegovic's whilst I was
19 secretary-general we went -- we were in Rome to visit the Pope. I am a
20 Catholic and he's a Muslim."
21 And then you continue:
22 "I am of Islamic faith [as interpreted], and he is a Catholic
23 Christian [as interpreted], that is what is in the transcript."
24 Was that something you added or not?
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] That's what I said, we went to
1 visit the Pope together. We visited Tehran
2 received a private audience, a separate audience with the Pope, it's a
3 private audience as it's called with the Pope. And in Tehran he went
4 without me to see their religious leader, I think it was Hamnaj [phoen],
5 and we went to see foreign minister Vela Jacic [phoen] together, as we
6 did to the president of the republic, Raf-sandjani; we went there to see
7 President Raf-sandjani, and we also visited the mosques together, but I
8 don't think that is relevant for this Court.
9 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well.
10 Please proceed, Mr. Scott.
11 MR. SCOTT: All right.
12 I'm at a bit of a loss, Your Honour, because of the way something
13 was transcribed. On page 29, line 17, what was read to the witness was,
14 I am of Islamic faith and he is a Catholic Christian.
15 Q. Sir, what I have in the Kordic case, and perhaps there was a
16 difference between the English and the French version is that he,
17 Mr. Izetbegovic, is an Islam of Muslim faith, and I, referring to
18 yourself, I am a Catholic, is that correct, a Croat of Catholic faith?
19 A. I am a Croat Catholic. Mr. Izetbegovic is of the Islamic
20 religious faith, and he was very respected in the Islamic world.
21 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes, please continue.
22 MR. SCOTT:
23 Q. And in connection with your references to he's -- he was a good
24 man -- or of course at that time he was still alive. He's a good man.
25 He's an honest politician, accepting for the moment that of course you
1 may have had strong political disagreements with him, again do you stand
2 by your assessment that he was fundamentally an honest and good man?
3 A. His attitude to me and in his attitude as I was able to see to
4 others, he was an honest man, but he was bad in politics and that's what
5 proved to be the case.
6 Q. Well, he may or may not have been a good politician, we can agree
7 with that. You described him in the Kordic testimony, of course, and as
8 you confirmed a few moments ago as an honest politician.
9 With that in mind, let's turn to this topic once again of the
10 Presidency of Bosnia-Herzegovina. And when did you first become the
11 general secretary of that body, because as I understand it you had
12 already took that position or held that position prior to the time
13 following the elections in November 1990 that Mr. Izetbegovic, Mr. Boras,
14 and others took their positions. So when did you first become the
15 general secretary of the -- of that body?
16 A. I see what you wish to hear. When Mr. Izetbegovic came to the
17 Presidency and the other members of the Presidency as well, of course, I
18 was an advisor in the presidential offices of the president; and in his
19 cabinet or offices before Izetbegovic the president was Obrad Piljak from
20 amongst the Serb people.
21 Q. All right. And approximately when, sir, my question, my real
22 question, was simply to put some more time on some of these points, when
23 had you first taken up that position which maybe was described
24 differently at the time, but was or came to be known as general secretary
25 of the Presidency, of that body?
1 A. The posts were named the same. We didn't change anything with
2 the arrival of the new Presidency. An advisor was one position. I was
3 the advisor for press and information, whereas the general secretary of
4 the Presidency was a position for the entire Presidency, and the general
5 secretary led the entire Presidency apart from the political side of
6 course and I was appointed general secretary - I can't give you the exact
7 date - but I think that it was at the beginning of February 1991.
8 Q. And when did you -- when had you first come into the other
9 position that you just described, as an advisor of some sort at the
10 presidential level, if I can describe it that way? When did you take on
11 that responsibility or function?
12 A. I took over that function on the 1st of June, 1990.
13 Q. And at some point during that time were you ever an advisor to
14 Mr. Izetbegovic in his individual capacity, and by that I don't mean
15 privately. But apart from serving the Presidency as a collective body,
16 did you ever consider yourself to be any sort of advisor or staff person
17 to Mr. Izetbegovic?
18 A. No.
19 Q. Now, as a result of the 18 November 1990 elections, there was a
20 seven-member Presidency and just so we can quickly run through them
21 again, the two Croat representatives on the Presidency were Mr. Boras and
22 Stjepan Kljuic; the Serb representatives or members were Biljana Plavsic
23 and Nikola Koljevic; the two Muslims were Mr. Izetbegovic and Mr. Abdic
24 that you spoke about a few minutes ago; and the other, the category that
25 the legislation provided for as other was Mr. Ganic. Is that correct?
1 A. Yes, that is correct.
2 Q. And that body, that -- as so composed, the Presidency functioned
3 in that way or, again, as so composed until approximately March or April
4 of 1992. Is that correct?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. And just so we can begin to hopefully clarify and confirm at
7 least bits of what we can and see what disputes may or may not be left.
8 So there's no question that up until that point in time, March 1992, the
9 Presidency was legal and legitimate in the way that we've been discussing
10 it this week; correct?
11 A. That's right.
12 Q. And then as a result of the increasing and then open conflict
13 with the Serbs, in early April 1992 the two Serb members, Ms. Plavsic and
14 Mr. Koljevic withdrew from the Presidency, and around that time, on about
15 the 8th of April, 1991 -- excuse me, 1992, something called -- some
16 people refer to as the War Presidency or perhaps an expanded Presidency
17 was established; correct?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. Now, before we talk about the expansion of the Presidency, let's
20 also go back and take it step by step in terms of this office called the
21 president of the Presidency. So in December -- in approximately December
22 1990 Mr. Izetbegovic was elected by the other members of the Presidency
23 as president of the Presidency, and again I assume from everything I've
24 heard in the last week or so that there's no dispute about that?
25 A. No dispute about that in the Presidency.
1 Q. And as I understood something you said, I believe it was
2 yesterday if I recall, one of the last couple of days, is that the
3 function of the -- the selection or naming of the president was not done
4 as a result of a popular vote, it didn't come from the electorate as a
5 whole and it was not something governed by the constitution, but it was
6 governed by the rules of procedure of the Presidency; is that correct?
7 A. Yes, that is correct. We called it the rules of procedure of the
9 Q. All right. And how were those rules established, by the way?
10 Who adopted those rules of procedure?
11 A. On the basis of the previous rules of procedure that had existed
12 for the previous Presidency and on the basis of the constitution that we
13 were all well aware of, the professional services tabled a proposal for
14 the rules of procedure for the Presidency, and then at its first meeting
15 the Presidency adopted the rules of procedure for the Presidency, and
16 I've already spoken about that.
17 MR. SCOTT: Mr. President, do we need to take any sort of -- we
18 have a mechanic problem here behind the Bench.
19 Thank you, Judge.
20 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] We may proceed, I think.
21 JUDGE TRECHSEL: That was off the record.
22 MR. SCOTT: We'd all like to have a still photo of that from the
23 video, please.
24 Q. I apologise, Mr. Akmadzic. All right. So we're talking about
25 the rules of procedure, and if the rules of procedure were to be adopted
1 or amended from time to time, I take it they would come before the
2 Presidency and the Presidency would vote on whether to adopt new or
3 amended rules of procedure?
4 A. Precisely.
5 Q. And pursuant to those procedures then, around the 20th of
6 December, 1991
7 was elected by a vote of the Presidency to a second term, which then
8 would have run approximately from about the 20th of December, 1991, to 20
9 December 1992
10 legitimate; correct?
11 A. That's right, and I've already described that.
12 Q. All right. Although I do understand that by that time, perhaps
13 because of the growing conflict or tension, the Serb members of the
14 Presidency as of December 1991, Ms. Plavsic and Mr. Koljevic, voted
15 against Mr. Izetbegovic, so it was not a unanimous vote but a majority
16 decision; correct?
17 A. And Mr. Fikret Abdic voted against, so there were three votes
19 Q. So if there were seven -- if my very basic math -- arithmetic is
20 correct, there were four votes for, assuming if Mr. Izetbegovic himself
21 voted, and three votes against. Is that correct?
22 A. No.
23 Q. No?
24 A. Or, rather, yes, yes, that's right, four were in favour yes.
25 Four votes.
1 Q. Now, moving forward from that we talked already about Ms. Plavsic
2 and Koljevic resigning, their resignations were accepted or acknowledged
3 in the minutes of the meeting on the 9th of April, 1993. And you may
4 recall, I don't know that we need to look at the minutes again, but the
5 Chamber has again recently, with another witness whose name I will not
6 mention, look at the minutes of a meeting held in early April 1993,
7 including on the 8th or 9th, if the courtroom thinks at some point that
8 we should look at those, of course we can. But you were in attendance at
9 those meetings. You recall that?
10 A. I don't know what you have in mind specifically, but I did attend
11 the meeting, certainly.
12 Q. All right. Well, I have nothing really specific in mind, except
13 that according to the minutes of those meetings, which the Chamber has
14 seen before, one set of minutes for the 4th, 5th, 6th, and 8th of April
15 being P 10484, in which you were listed as being present and Exhibit P
16 10485, which is the -- are the minutes for the 9th of April in which you
17 were also present?
18 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Mr. Scott, in the service of equality of arms,
19 would you be so kind as to indicate the number of the binder we have to
21 MR. SCOTT: Yes, I will.
22 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Thank you.
23 MR. SCOTT: It should be in binder number 3, I believe. And I
24 said, I was really not intending to get into those, but just to tell me
25 the witness what I'm referring to. But if it helps, if it helps, we can
1 do that.
2 Q. Sir, if you will look at first of all then at 10484. As I said a
3 moment ago, these are the minutes for sessions on the 4th, 5th, 6th, and
4 8th of April, 1992, and if you'll look on the first page roughly around
5 the middle of the page -- I'm sorry, you're still -- 10484. Perhaps the
6 usher can assist.
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. You'll see that you are listed above the -- a little above the
9 middle of the page as being present. Do you see that, sir? I'm sorry,
10 apparently not. Do you see the record, sir, indicating your presence at
11 those meetings as reflected in the minutes?
12 A. Was that the meeting of the 9th of April?
13 Q. Sir, if you look at P 10484, these are the minutes for the 4th,
14 5th, 6th, and 8th of April, 1992 --
15 A. Yes, I have that in front of me.
16 Q. Thank you. And if you look at the very -- what I hope would be
17 the next exhibit, 10485, I believe that you will see that that is the
18 record -- those are the minutes of the meeting on the 9th of April, 1992
19 and if the record is correct indicates that you also attended that
20 meeting. Is that correct?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. All right. Thank you very much. Now, at those meetings you will
23 recall I believe on the 8th of April, 1992, an expanded Presidency given
24 the imminent threat or existence of a condition of war that was declared
25 on that day, which is reflected in the minutes and also in a decree. On
1 that day an expanded Presidency was established which, is it
2 correct - this is my question to you - in addition to the seven persons
3 that we've identified so far by position, I'm saying by position not by
4 the names of the person holding those positions, but included the
5 president of the government or prime minister, the president of the
6 National Assembly or some might say parliament, and the Chief of the
7 Supreme Command Staff or essentially the senior military professional,
8 the senior commander of the armed forces of the state of Bosnia and
10 members to make up the expanded Presidency; correct?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. And again - and I'm just going to again take this step by
13 step - that was all legal and legitimate; correct?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. Now, if we look at -- what I've done hopefully to save some time
16 and to be as clear as possible if I can find it, if you can turn to --
17 sorry - that has been marked as P 0 --
18 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] One moment, because you're
19 moving onto another document.
20 MR. SCOTT: Yes.
21 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I'd like to remain with this
22 document for a few seconds, which is the minutes of the meetings on the
23 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th, and 8th of April, the latter date being important
24 because that's the day when the imminent threat of war was proclaimed.
25 Witness, I was about to say Mr. Secretary-General at the time
1 because you were there, you're here to authenticate the minutes, I
2 discover that, in fact, there was a recording, an audio recording of the
3 discussions that took place over the four days. That's the last sentence
4 in the text. In fact, what we have here is a synopsis, a summary, of the
5 decisions that were taken.
6 Looking at the B/C/S document, because here we were working on
7 the -- with the English text, but I looked at the B/C/S version, and
8 curiously enough I failed to see your signature, it is missing. Well,
9 normally speaking we all in this courtroom in our previous lives have had
10 to draft minutes of meetings, among other things. So normally when
11 there's a meeting there's at least one person, if not two, signing the
12 minutes of the meeting. So normally you should have signed it, you
13 should have signed the minutes of the decisions that were made; but we
14 fail to see your signature in the B/C/S text. Can you tell me why?
15 Because the document should have been signed by the secretary-general and
16 by the president of the Presidency, but we see no signature at all.
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] With the departure of two Serbian
18 members of the Presidency, a number of Serb workers or people who worked
19 in the Presidency left too, so it was difficult to organize the work, all
20 the technical work, that had to be done, recordings, typing, adoption of
21 the minutes, things like that. The minutes were usually signed after
22 adoption at the next Presidency meeting, and obviously in that time of
23 war, because there wasn't enough electricity and because the conditions
24 under which the Presidency worked in general were made more difficult,
25 matters like that were difficult. And that's why these particular
1 minutes were not signed on time.
2 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes, I heard your answer, but
3 this is the 65th Session which was held on the 4th, 5th, 6th, and 8th of
4 April, and then we have the 66th Session, which was held on the 9th of
5 April at noon
6 no mention is made of that previous -- those previous minutes, no
7 approval is mentioned, but I might be mistaken.
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I can't remember the reason for
9 this. I don't think the minutes were produced at the time, and that's
10 why it couldn't be tendered for adoption. This is something that was
11 bound to happen again because we had reached an agreement at a Presidency
12 meeting that if no minutes could be taken, we should at least try to
13 tape-record the proceedings as frequently as possible. Should those
14 prove impossible to transcribe, they should just be filed away. As soon
15 as the right conditions were in place, we said all the minutes and all
16 the transcripts would eventually get written up.
17 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well.
18 You may proceed, Mr. Scott.
19 MR. SCOTT: Thank you, Mr. President.
20 Q. Sir, let me go back for a moment. I was going to direct you to
21 another exhibit but we'll come to that momentarily. But in connection
22 with the expanded Presidency which we were talking about a moment or two
23 ago, is it also correct, sir, that the constitution also provided that
24 one of the characteristics or functions or features, if you will, of this
25 expanded Presidency was that it had expanded powers? For example, it
1 could carry out what might be described as both executive and legislative
2 powers or functions.
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. All right. And it may be worth just momentarily pausing on
5 Exhibit P 00150, and that should be in the first binder. This is a
6 compilation of three decrees, the first one -- one on the first page, I
7 think you will see this is the decree by which the name of the state of
8 Bosnia-Herzegovina was changed, deleting the word "socialist" from the
9 name of the state. The second is a decree or regulation on abolishing or
10 doing away with the Territorial Defence organization that had existed
11 until the former Yugoslavia
12 and Herzegovina
13 being the proclaimed armed forces of the state of the -- the new state of
14 Bosnia and Herzegovina. And then if you'll see on the third decision
15 being the proclamation of an immediate threat of war which in Article 2
16 again indicates the membership of the Presidency being expanded to
17 include the positions that I had mentioned to you a few minutes ago.
18 All of that is correct, yes?
19 A. I can't actually see this, but I know that what you're suggesting
20 is correct.
21 Q. All right. Well, I'm sorry if you can't, but thank you for that.
22 I don't think there will be any question about that; if there is, I'm
23 sure I'll be corrected.
24 Now, if I could ask you to go to P 10495, and that will be in the
25 third binder, it should be the -- yes. It may be helpful to have that --
1 yes, you have that both in English and there is a Croatian version for
2 the witness and for others.
3 So that we can be as specific as possible and hopefully move as
4 efficiently as possible, I put this information in front of you. Now,
5 based on your testimony so far, I think we can agree, I hope, that as to
6 the time-period on the first -- the first time-period, December 1990 to
7 the 8th of April, 1992, that information appears to be consistent with
8 your evidence this afternoon and there's no dispute about that.
9 Now, if we can then focus on the time-period from the 9th of
10 April to approximately - I say approximately - the 20th of December,
11 1992, under the expanded or so-called War Presidency. This would
12 indicate that in addition to the seven members above, and of course
13 Ms. Plavsic and Mr. Koljevic have left by this time, Mr. Hasan Efendic
14 was named -- not named but became a member of the expanded Presidency by
15 function of his position as head of the armed forces; Mr. Jure Pelivan,
16 who had I think by this time assumed the role of prime minister in the
17 place of one of the Serbs who had left because I believe Mr. Krajisnik,
18 Momcilo Krajisnik, had ceased being the speaker or president of the
19 Assembly and Mr. Pelivan had taken his place -- excuse me, my mistake.
20 Strike that --
21 A. Yes, I think you made a mistake.
22 Q. I did, you're absolutely right.
23 Mr. Pelivan was prime minister, then it was Mr. Krajisnik who had
24 left as president of the parliament or Assembly, and he had been replaced
25 by the Croat, Mr. Ljubic. Is that correct?
1 A. Yes. He was the vice-president of the Assembly or the vice
2 chairman of the Assembly at the time that Mr. Krajisnik was present.
3 Q. So it was logical when Mr. Krajisnik left, Mr. Ljubic as the
4 deputy took that position. Is that correct?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. So at that point in time -- and I've listed you here because you
7 were certainly an important feature, I won't say member, but an important
8 participant in those meetings. So I've just put your name here so we
9 don't forget about you, as I'm sure we wouldn't. But everyone above that
10 point at that moment as approximately the 9th of April, that was the
11 existing expanded Presidency. Is that correct?
12 A. Yes, aside from me.
13 Q. All right. And then I just note and so that there's no confusion
14 about the diagram or chart, whatever one wants to call it, I've indicated
15 that Mr. Sefer Halilovic actually replaced Mr. Efendic quite quickly,
16 just a few weeks later, and so -- but again filled the position of head
17 of the armed forces. And that's correct, isn't it?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. All right. And then below your name, some weeks later I believe,
20 is it correct, do you recall that it was in approximately early June of
21 1992 that new Serb members were named to the Presidency to replace
22 Ms. Plavsic and Mr. Koljevic, and there was Mirko Pejanovic and
23 Nenad Kecmanovic?
24 A. That's correct.
25 Q. All right. And again, my understanding - and correct me if I'm
1 wrong, please - they were named on the basis that in terms of the
2 election in November of 1990 they had been the Serb members, the members
3 of the representatives of the Serb political party, who had received the
4 next-most votes and therefore were in line, if you will, to fill these
5 positions. Is that correct?
6 A. This is debatable, because they belonged to parties that had lost
7 the elections.
8 Q. All right. Do you know how it was that those two particular
9 Serbs became elected or placed on the Presidency at that time?
10 A. The principle was the one that you explained in terms of the
11 votes garnered, they came second, but it was because of the parties and
12 that's why I called it debatable.
13 Q. All right. Very well. And then just to -- they're not members
14 of the -- well, one was, Mr. Efendic and then subsequently Mr. Halilovic,
15 but again just to have these positions on the paper, so to speak, the
16 three senior military commanders at this time - and this is also
17 reflected in the minutes of the meetings that we looked at a few minutes
18 ago, if we need to look at them again - you had Mr. Efendic, quickly
19 followed by Mr. Halilovic as the head of the armed forces, Mr. Siber, a
20 Croat as the number two, if you will, and Mr. Jovan Divjak, a Serb as the
21 operations officer. And those three persons representing the three
22 senior officers of the -- Army of Bosnia and Herzegovina at that time;
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. Now, I'm going to ask you a similar question that I asked you
1 about the top of the page. As its described here, did that Presidency
2 continue to function from approximately the 9th of April, then, of 1992
3 until the end of that year, approximately on the 20th of December, 1992
4 A. No.
5 Q. All right.
6 A. There were other changes.
7 Q. And what were those other changes, please?
8 A. Mr. Kecmanovic left the Presidency, roughly speaking, because of
9 the same reasons as Mr. Koljevic and Ms. Plavsic. I don't think he
10 formally resigned. He just took off and he went to Belgrade -- or at
11 least that's as much as we could learn at the time.
12 Q. All right. Thank you for that. And apart from then the
13 departure of Mr. Kecmanovic, at least physically, any other changes to
14 the composition of that group during that time-period?
15 A. I don't think there were any or at least none that I can spot
16 right now.
17 Q. All right. And then can we agree then, sir, that the -- with an
18 asterisk, if you will, by Mr. Kecmanovic's name, that that Presidency,
19 that expanded Presidency, as represented here, that continued to be again
20 a legal and legitimate Presidency until the end of December 1992?
21 A. As I've pointed out for the benefit of the Chamber a couple of
22 times, I'm not a lawyer. The constitution does not provide for
23 Presidency members leaving. They may resign. The constitution provides
24 nothing for how new members of the Presidency should be elected in this
25 way. Therefore, I cannot really claim that this Presidency is a legal
1 and legitimate one nor, indeed, can I deny that. It operated this way.
2 If you want my opinion, I don't think it was entirely legitimate.
3 Q. And why not? And let me just jump in here, sir, and say for the
4 past several days you've been quite free, and I'm not questioning you in
5 having done so, to express your views as a senior government officials,
6 as someone who was ultimately the prime minister of this country. So
7 putting aside any technical legalese we might call it, please assist the
8 Judges as much as you can with your personal knowledge of the workings
9 and the status of these arrangements. Now, having said that, you've just
10 said that this is an accurate, factual, description I believe if I can
11 put it that way of the state of affairs, but you said a moment ago there
12 might be some question in your mind. Can you please tell the Judges very
13 specifically any question that occurs to you about the legitimacy of this
14 Presidency as so composed.
15 A. We're talking from the 20th of December, 1992, to October 1993.
16 Is that the period of time we're talking about?
17 Q. No, I'm sorry, sir. Perhaps I've misspoken or misdirected you.
18 If I did, I apologise. I'm talking about roughly the middle of the page
19 during the time-period the 9th of April until approximately the 20th of
20 December, 1992. Can we agree that for that period of time the persons
21 that are then listed in the middle of that page, with the additional
22 information that Mr. Kecmanovic did apparently depart for Belgrade
23 some point, that that Presidency as composed was a legal and legitimate
24 one until approximately the 20th of December, 1992?
25 A. Yes, I agree, with the one reservation that I specified. I'm not
1 an expert in matter of law, and I can't confirm the legitimacy of these
2 Serb Presidency members. For this reason, the Serbs who won the
3 elections themselves questioned their legitimacy. I'm no lawyer myself
4 and I'm not going into this. They left the Presidency of their own
5 accord. These other men were then appointed, but it was the Serbs
6 themselves who challenged or questioned the legitimacy of these two
7 Presidency members.
8 Q. And I don't want to take, as you've come to know in the last few
9 days, time is a precious commodity in the courtroom, and I don't want to
10 spend a lot of time talking about the Serbs, but by this time, by the
11 spring of 1992, there is open conflict with the Serbs so there were some
12 Serbs saying there shouldn't be any Serbs serving in this body; correct?
13 A. I think what I said is correct. The Serbs did not interfere too
14 much except for this one thing. They questioned this particular thing.
15 Back in 1992 we didn't spend that much time talking about this, they were
16 Presidency members and they were seen as being on an equal footing with
17 all the other Presidency members.
18 Q. All right. Very well. I think everyone at this point knows what
19 the state of affairs were in Bosnia
20 Now if we can go to the bottom of the page so to speak for the
21 period of 20 December 1992
22 moment - and I assure you we're going to come to it momentarily, so I
23 assure you that - come to Mr. Izetbegovic in his role as president. If
24 you can bracket that for a moment and look down the page, are these
25 the -- was that the composition of members of the Presidency during that
1 time-period? And if I can focus your attention, is it correct that at
2 some time during that period, Mr. Halilovic was replaced by Mr. Delic as
3 head of the armed forces, Mirko Pejanovic continued as a Serb rep member,
4 if you will. Mr. Miro Lasic came on in the place of Mr. Kljuic as a
5 Croat member. Mr. Kecmanovic was replaced by Tatjana Ljujic-Mijatovic as
6 a Serb person.
7 And by that time the person filling the position or at least
8 taking the position of president of the Assembly in the place of
9 Mr. Ljubic was Mr. Lazovic, a Serb, is that correct?
10 A. What you've been saying is correct. Nevertheless, I would like
11 to comments if I may.
12 Q. Please.
13 A. As to Mr. Izetbegovic, we said we'd come to that later on.
14 Mr. Fikret Abdic, a legal member; Mr. Sefer Halilovic or Rasim Delic,
15 given the fact that they were members of the BH army, there had to be
16 along with them someone from the HVO in order to have member number 11
17 along this same principle, because the armed forces of Bosnia and
19 Delic would have been legitimate, with the proviso, however, that
20 Mr. Turkovic had to be there too. Ejup Ganic legitimate, Franjo Boras
21 legitimate, Miro Lasic legitimate because Stjepan Kljuic had just
22 resigned. Mile Akmadzic is a member because he is also prime minister.
23 Mirko Pejanovic, Tatjana Ljujic, we said what we said about those. Miro
24 Lazovic was appointed assembly chairman. The Assembly was not operating,
25 the Presidency was. Therefore, I wouldn't question his legitimacy.
1 Ethnically speaking, Mariofil Ljubic was a Croat, and we had to take into
2 account the ethnic balance in these three state institutions, the
3 Assembly, the Presidency, and the government.
4 Q. Yes.
5 A. Therefore, this is legitimate with the reservation that I voiced.
6 Q. The reservation, and just so the record is very clear and those
7 are two topics that we will be talking about, but the reservations being
8 whether Mr. Izetbegovic continuing as president in the third term and
9 whether -- question whether in your view there should have been HVO
10 representative in terms of the armed forces. Those are your two
11 reservations, is that correct?
12 MR. SCOTT: Excuse me, I don't think we need assistance from the
13 accused in answering the questions.
14 Q. Is that correct, sir?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. All right. Now in terms of the -- excuse me, Mr. President.
17 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] While we're still talking about
18 this document, I have two questions in mind, Witness, maybe you can shed
19 some light on the matter. Mr. Ganic in December -- December 1992 up to
20 8th of April, 1992, he's there as a Yugoslav, so to speak. And we can
21 see between brackets Muslim religion, but I'll come back to that later.
22 In April 1992 he's mentioned as a Yugoslav; however, I'm under
23 the impression that Yugoslavia
24 and Bosnia and Herzegovina were then recognised by the United Nations and
25 by some states. So a member of a legal entity called Yugoslavia is still
1 present there. How come? How -- why didn't he withdraw from the
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I think his legitimacy should not
4 be questioned. Constitution and the electoral law defines this category
5 as others. These others at the time of the 1990 elections meant that
7 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I understand things better now.
8 How come his faith is mentioned, because we're under the impression that
9 there is a religious component? How come we find between brackets Muslim
10 religion? Do you have an explanation for that?
11 MR. SCOTT: Sorry, Your Honour, I have to take credit for that,
12 our responsibility, because I did not want, to be perfectly honest - and
13 I'm glad you raised it because I meant to - I did not want there to
14 someone, anyone in the courtroom, to think that the Prosecution or anyone
15 was hiding the ball that someone might say he was other, but in fact he
16 was Muslim. He was a person of Muslim religion. I don't think -- I hope
17 there's no dispute about that. We used -- perhaps it would have been
18 less questionable to use the word other instead of Yugoslav. My
19 understanding, and again people will I'm sure correct me if I am wrong,
20 the constitution for these purposes may have described this position as
21 other, whereas I understand that Mr. Ganic when he described himself for
22 purposes of the census called himself a Yugoslav. But -- and I think
23 it's a question of labels, Your Honour. We can see other Yugoslav. In
24 terms of the Muslim religion, I wanted to make it very clear that we
25 weren't saying -- the Prosecution wasn't asserting anything to the
2 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. Thank you.
3 Please proceed.
4 MR. SCOTT:
5 Q. Now, just to pick up on a few things, Mr. Akmadzic. Mr. Pelivan
6 was mentioned in the second box, if you will, call it that, at this point
7 as prime minister. And I notice that in the minutes which are Exhibit P
8 10484, these are the minutes for the 4th, 5th, 6th, and 8th of 1992, and
9 again that will be in the third binder if we can just go back with that
10 for a moment or if you recall, perhaps you don't have to look at the
11 exhibit --
12 A. I would actually prefer to consult documents only when I'm not
13 entirely certain that I can answer a question without them.
14 Q. Very well. Thank you, sir. I appreciate that. My question to
15 you then, and you may or may not need to refer to the document and I
16 point it to you for your convenience or to assist you, is that on the
17 7th, I believe, of April -- excuse me, the 6th -- excuse me one moment.
18 Yes, on the 6th of April on page 3 of the minutes -- but in any event
19 Mr. Pelivan tendered his resignation as prime minister but his
20 resignation was rejected.
21 Do you recall that and why do you -- can you assist us in telling
22 us, first of all, why Mr. Pelivan, if you know, tendered his resignation
23 and also why it was not accepted.
24 A. Mr. Pelivan tendered his resignation because of the difficulties
25 he was experiencing in his work, the impossibility of implementing the
1 programme adopted by the government, that was his personal thing. The
2 Presidency did not accept it for a time because the Presidency decided to
3 look into the matter and decide after that.
4 Q. All right. And do you recall when later in 1992 I believe it
5 was, if you can assist us, approximately when was his resignation -- or
6 was, in fact, accepted or became effected?
7 A. Well, I'll tell you without looking at the paper, it was accepted
8 a little before I was appointed. So if I was appointed on the 10th of
9 November, then that means his resignation was accepted sometime in
10 October or that general period of time, and I don't assume you need the
11 exact date.
12 Q. No, that's fine. Thank you very much, sir.
13 Now, in terms of the work of the Presidency, if we can just
14 talk -- if I can just ask you a couple more questions about that. You
15 said a few moments ago, you confirmed that the expanded Presidency had
16 the -- had the ability to exercise what would be called both executive
17 and legislative powers. And in terms of legislation, if we can call it
18 that, it could pass or adopt decrees that have the force of law across
19 the whole territory of Bosnia-Herzegovina within its internationally
20 recognised borders. Is that correct?
21 A. That is correct if those decrees were in conformity with the
22 constitution, because the Presidency could not change the constitution
23 just as the Assembly can't.
24 Q. Very well. All right. Let's move to Mr. Lasic again for a
25 moment, because we saw him and you assisted us in indicating he had come
1 on or you confirmed, excuse me, that he replaced Mr. Kljuic who around
2 that time had resigned. And can you tell us --
3 A. I have to correct something, it was Lazovic, not Lasic, Lazovic
4 is the name.
5 Q. Maybe I misspoke, if I did I apologise. I'm talking about
6 Miro Lasic, the Croat who came on in place of Mr. Kljuic?
7 A. But he wasn't president of the Assembly.
8 Q. That's correct. Sorry if I misspoke. But I'm referring now to
9 Mr. Miro Lasic and do you know by what process he had been selected to
10 come on the Presidency at that time?
11 A. Mr. Kljuic tendered his resignation, that was his own personal
12 affair. Now, for the election of Mr. Lasic, the Presidency changed
13 parts, as far as I remember, I don't remember which parts of the
14 electoral law, so as to enable him to be a legal member of the
16 Q. So if I understand your answer correctly, the members of the --
17 the existing members of the Presidency themselves amended the election
18 laws or procedures so that, in fact, Mr. Lasic could be placed in that
19 position; correct?
20 A. Precisely. The Presidency ...
21 Q. And can you tell us where Mr. Lasic -- what he had been doing in
22 terms of -- if you know, his work and where he lived prior to being
23 placed on the Presidency around the end of 1992?
24 A. Mr. Lasic was a cultural worker. I think he headed a cultural
25 institution in Sarajevo
1 not elected directly, there weren't direct elections, but he was elected
2 member of the Government of Bosnia-Herzegovina.
3 Q. All right.
4 A. Let me add that the Assembly appointed him.
5 Q. All right. Now, Mr. Lasic, was he known -- did you know him --
6 had you known him before he came on the Presidency?
7 A. I knew him because he headed the cadres or personnel commission
8 in the government, and in the Presidency I, myself, was the general
9 secretary in the personnel commission and we cooperated along those
11 Q. Do you recall Mr. Lasic as being a person who was particularly
12 loyal to President Tudjman of Croatia
13 would do or say whatever President Tudjman wanted him to do? Do you
14 recall that?
15 A. I can't really say. I don't think so, but I think he had
16 personal contacts with Tudjman, and he was on better terms with Tudjman
17 than I was but that that wasn't the result of politics but the result of
18 their personal relationship. Just as I was on better terms with
19 Izetbegovic than he was, for example.
20 Q. All right. Do you recall, sir, testifying in the Kordic case in
21 reference to Mr. Lasic when you were asked on that occasion and it was
22 put to you that:
23 "And you accept that he," being a reference to Mr. Lasic, "he
24 would have agreed to do anything which President Tudjman told him to do
1 "A. I don't know whether he said that, but I imagine that if he
2 said that that I could say that that's the way it was."
3 And I refer to your testimony in Kordic on page 20464-65, on the
4 6th of June, 2000, and would you stand by that?
5 MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation] I apologise to my colleague and to
6 Your Honours, but I'd just like to raise a technical matter to see if
7 this is all right. The transcript was in private session and the
8 witness's testimony was in private session as well, so I don't know
9 technically speaking whether parts of the transcript can be quoted in
10 open session because the transcript is still under seal. So perhaps we
11 could clear that up if the Prosecutor wishes to continue quoting parts of
12 the transcript.
13 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Witness, in the Kordic case you
14 enjoyed protective measures. I put the question to you at the very
15 beginning of your hearing, and you explained why you'd asked for them
16 then. You said that you could testify in open session in this case.
17 Ms. Nozica understood the problem and therefore raised the issue, which
18 is a very good question indeed, and you have to provide the answer to it.
19 What would you say? It was in closed session because I asked for it, but
20 now there's no problem if everything I said in the Kordic case is now
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, at the very outset of
23 my testimony - and I'm very grateful to you for telling me that I am
24 testifying to the Tribunal, that I will be of assistance to this
25 Court - so I make no impediment or obstacles to these proceedings being
1 in open session.
2 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I shall ask my fellow Judges.
3 [Trial Chamber confers]
4 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] We believe we understood your
5 answer, but our question was very accurate. This relates to your
6 testimony in the Kordic case, not to this testimony, because now you're
7 testifying in open session, there's no problem about it. This is in
8 relation to what you said when you testified in the Kordic case.
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I agree that my testimony should be
10 public, but then I would like to ask Your Honours that on my part there
11 is no further embargo, that is to say that I can speak openly and
12 publicly about my testimony in Kordic.
13 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] No, there's no embargo at all
14 because everything is public and open, no impediment at all. It's just
15 that the question arises from the following situation. When you
16 testified in the Kordic case you did so in closed session. You were
17 given a pseudonym, and it was in closed session, and anything that was
18 said during the Kordic case is supposed to be unknown to the public
19 opinion, nobody is aware of it.
20 You now testify in open session and the Prosecutor would like to
21 use questions that were put to you in the Kordic case; therefore, the
22 question arises whether what was under seal then can be lifted because
23 you are the only person concerned. When it comes to protective measures,
24 Judges can intervene when they believe that they have to protect
25 somebody, but most of the time it is upon the initiative of the witness
1 in question.
2 So in a nutshell, would you agree to the fact that everything
3 that was said in the Kordic case would become public and would you allow
4 the Prosecutor to put questions to you that relate to the Kordic case, as
5 Mr. Karnavas could do if he so wished during re-direct?
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I have nothing against the
7 Prosecutor asking me questions, but I said, Your Honours, that in that
8 case I can speak publicly about the Kordic case and the statements I made
9 and testimony I made when I was a witness in the Kordic trial. So we can
10 lift completely the ...
11 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Our Trial Chamber has
12 jurisdiction because the Kordic case is completed, is over, so this
13 Trial Chamber is empowered to change the protective measures decided upon
14 by another Trial Chamber. It would have been more complicated if the
15 Kordic case was sosu budise [phoen], but this is not the case, we're
16 fully competent, and we can decide that everything you said in the Kordic
17 case can now become public. That's the reason why I put the question to
18 you. So all problems are solved. Very well.
19 Mr. Scott, you look in agreement, everyone is in agreement.
20 Mr. Karnavas must be in agreement too.
21 MR. KARNAVAS: I am totally in agreement. I would just ask that
22 until the future if references are made to the transcript that we have a
23 page number, page and line, so we can look it up. I do have the
24 transcript here, but I agree I think it should be public.
25 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] But, I believe that Mr. Scott
1 gave the page number, but he can give it again.
2 MR. SCOTT: I will give it again, but let me just say to the
3 Chamber that fortunately I -- my understanding was correct, but I would
4 have certainly regretted that I misunderstood the situation, that it was
5 my understanding and I had gone forward on the basis of the earlier
6 discussion with the witness on Monday had clarified that question. But I
7 can understand why it's helpful and fully appropriate to clarify it
8 further, and I regret that if I caused any confusion on that.
9 I've been referring --
10 Q. Sir, I was just referring a few moments ago, and also I'll refer
11 for the assistance of counsel again to the page in the Kordic transcript
12 being page 20464 carrying over to page 65. And the question, and I know,
13 sir, it's been some moments ago now. Your answer to the question
14 about -- well, let me restate it.
15 The question put to you on that occasion was:
16 "And you accept that he," being a reference to Mr. Lasic, "would
17 have agreed to do anything which President Tudjman told him today
19 "A. I don't know whether he said that, but I imagine if he said
20 that, that I could say that that's the way it was."
21 Is that correct?
22 A. I have to interpret my words here, give an explanation. If
23 Mr. Miro Lasic said, I would do everything that Mr. Tudjman tells me,
24 then that is his personal position which I don't wish to comment upon and
25 make a value judgement, except to say that if he said it, that's up to
1 him, it's his personal affair. I cannot testify as to whether he would
2 do that or would not. Those were his words.
3 Q. Well, let me just -- all right. Well, let me just stay on your
4 previous testimony a bit longer. I think you went a bit further than
5 that in the Kordic case, sir, and you accepted that if that's in fact
6 what he said that would in fact be consistent with your knowledge of the
7 man, that if he said that, I could say that that's the way it was, in
8 fact. Is that correct?
9 MR. KARNAVAS: Excuse me. Where is the transcript? Point to the
10 transcript so the gentleman can see. If he's trying to impeach the
11 gentleman, he should be given an opportunity to look at what he said in
12 Kordic --
13 MR. SCOTT: I will read it again, perhaps the translators can
14 assist us. I don't have it in B/C/S, Your Honours. We don't get the
15 transcripts in B/C/S -- that's fine.
16 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] At least for the part in
17 English you could read it.
18 MR. SCOTT: I will be happy --
19 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] It's very short, isn't it?
20 MR. SCOTT: Yes, Your Honour, I've read it at least twice, but
21 I'll read it a third time.
22 Q. Sir, the question was put to you -- counsel for the third or
23 fourth time --
24 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [No interpretation]
25 MR. SCOTT: Page 20464 to 65.
1 Q. You said -- the answer was -- the question was put to you, excuse
2 me, and again you described him -- you described him at the time as he
3 was a member of the Presidency of Bosnia-Herzegovina, which was then
4 followed with the next question:
5 "Q. And you accept that he would have agreed to do anything
6 which President Tudjman told him today basically?
7 "A. I don't know whether he said that, but I imagine if he said
8 that, that I could say that that's the way it was."
9 Now, I take it, sir, and I put to you, that what you confirmed
10 there was whether you could say whether those were his exact words or
11 not, you were confirming on that occasion that that information would be
12 consistent with what you knew about the man; correct?
13 A. I'm a linguist, as I already said, and I know what the word "if"
14 in English means, I know that full well. Now, what you say, respected
15 Prosecutor, it says, "if he said that, he might do that," but I'm not --
16 I can't say what he was thinking and what -- when he said that, and
17 that's quite normal.
18 Q. It's not hugely important enough to spend a lot of time on, but
19 let me go back and perhaps it's partly my error for not reading an
20 earlier part of your testimony to put it in larger context. And for that
21 I regret.
22 Let me go back up and let me be clear, and this is still the same
23 page citations, counsel.
24 The previous two questions were these:
25 "Q. You know a man called Miro Lasic?
1 "A. Yes, I know him. He was a member of the Presidency of
3 "Q. You know or presumably knew at the time what his attitude
4 towards affairs generally was. Would you accept that he might say in a
5 meeting, not a meeting at which you were necessarily present, but would
6 you accept that he might be saying at about that time, March of 1993,
7 that he was willing to do any task which the president of Croatia
8 have given him?
9 "A. That is the position of Mr. Miro Lasic."
10 I repeat that: "That is the position of Mr. Miro Lasic. I do
11 not want to express my own opinion about that and there is no need for me
12 to express my own view which is different from that.
13 "Q. Do I take it that you're accepting in general that Lasic --
14 tell us, what was Lasic's function at the time?
15 "A. He was a member of the Presidency of Bosnia-Herzegovina."
16 And now we come back to the part that I've put to you now several
18 "Q. And you accept that he would have agreed to do anything
19 which President Tudjman told him to do basically?
20 "A. I don't know whether he said that, but I imagine if he said
21 that, that I could say that that's the way it was."
22 And that was in reference to the previous question that would be
23 put to you: "Was he willing to do any task which the president of
25 And your answer is: "That is the position of Mr. Miro Lasic."
2 A. I said that those were the words. That was the sense of what he
3 was saying. Now I repeat - and you see how long we've been discussing
4 this point, we didn't discuss it at length on the occasion, so we can't
5 come to a precise conclusion then as far as the words I uttered then.
6 That's why I'd like to explain them now and interpret them now.
7 Q. All right. Let's move on from that. Perhaps we'll have occasion
8 to come back to it in a few minutes.
9 MR. SCOTT: Your Honour, I would like to go into private session
10 now, please.
11 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes, let's move into private
13 [Private session]
11 Pages 29669-29673 redacted. Private session.
10 [Open session]
11 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, we're back in open session.
12 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Please wait, Mr. Registrar.
13 [Private session]
14 [Open session]
15 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, we're back in open session.
16 MR. SCOTT: Your Honour, I would just -- if I could -- out of an
17 abundance of caution or paranoia on my part just to go back and I think
18 it's okay for this to be in open session. I have no objection to the
19 witness having a copy of his prior testimony, but of course he is -- he
20 will remain sequestered, he shouldn't discuss it with anyone, of course
21 anyone else while he is testifying; and I'm sure the Chamber will make
22 that clear.
23 Q. Now, sir, we're back in open session now and I do want to, in
24 light of what we were talking about before the break, and that was the
25 topic and the topic wasn't a secret, of the naming or at least the fact
1 that Mr. Izetbegovic continued to serve a third term as president. I
2 would like then, based on everything that we've talked about so far, to
3 in fact refer you to your Kordic testimony. And on this occasion I have
4 an excerpt in both English and in Croatian if the usher could assist,
5 please, by putting that on the ELMO so that everyone can see it.
6 And I refer to -- excuse me a moment, please. I'm referring to
7 page 20469 and 24 -- 20470 of the Kordic transcript. And, sir, is it
8 correct that in the Kordic case in connection with this topic you said --
9 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Mr. Scott, it's on the ELMO but not on our
10 screen yet, so there must be some technical problem.
11 MR. SCOTT: I'm sorry, Your Honour.
12 JUDGE TRECHSEL: I don't blame you for that.
13 [Trial Chamber and registrar confer]
14 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Apparently we have a problem.
15 The document is moving.
16 MR. SCOTT: I've never had this problem before.
17 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Maybe, Mr. Scott, you could put
18 your questions about this document on Monday.
19 MR. SCOTT: Well, it's right at this point unfortunately, Your
20 Honour. I'm not sure why we're having such -- it's the most I always
21 thought simplest piece of equipment in the courtroom. It's not in
22 e-court, it's simply on the ELMO. All right. I can simply read it. I
23 thought it might assist the -- the witness can certainly have --
24 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Go ahead, read the passage out.
25 MR. SCOTT: If you can put it, Mr. Usher, please in front of the
1 witness, in that particular instance it's also in Croatian.
2 Q. And at the reference I gave you earlier, sir, you gave this
3 testimony in the Kordic case:
4 "Mr. Izetbegovic said that he cannot withdraw because of his
5 forces. I promised to him that I would make an effort, that the Croat
6 side accepts that he extends his mandate for a third term because in the
7 constitution it does not say expressly that this is impossible. However,
8 the constitution talks about the members of the Presidency because the
9 president is not elected directly by the people. I think this is very
11 Now, sir, that is the testimony that you gave in the Kordic case;
13 MR. KARNAVAS: Mr. President, in -- for the -- under the rule of
14 completeness I would ask that we read the previous paragraph as well
15 starting from line 6 to line 11 because it's part of the answer to the
17 MR. SCOTT: Well, that's fine, if that -- take my time.
18 Q. Starting at page 6, sir, and you won't have it in the excerpt in
19 front of you and I'm sorry, and I will read slowly I hope:
20 "Mr. Izetbegovic's term was brought into question."
21 No question about that here, we've talked about that this
23 "He promised that he would put this on the agenda of the
24 Presidency meeting because it was the members of the Presidency who were
25 electing the president from amongst themselves for one term or for two
1 terms, but they cannot do it for the third term."
2 Now referring again, in case someone didn't get it the first
4 "Mr. Izetbegovic said that he cannot withdraw because of his
5 forces. I promised to him that I would make an effort that the Croat
6 side accepts that he extends his mandate for a third term because in the
7 constitution it does not say expressly that this is impossible."
8 That was your testimony, sir, and that's in fact what happened;
10 A. Mr. Izetbegovic never placed this on the agenda. I, on the other
11 hand, promised him to make an effort, as this reflects; however, had he
12 placed this on the agenda I don't know what the result would have been
13 because there were other -- another two members of the Presidency. I was
14 the prime minister.
15 Q. And who were the other two members that you're referring to now,
16 just so there's no confusion about that?
17 A. I'm talking about the two Croat members, Franjo Boras and
18 Miro Lasic. Nevertheless, in order for Mr. Izetbegovic's term of office
19 to be extended, he would have required at least four votes in favour. We
20 realized already that Mr. Fikret Abdic opposed this. In this specific
21 case the Serbs were hesitant. We did discuss that, mind you. Therefore,
22 I can't tell you what the result would have been of that vote of the
23 Presidency meeting had the vote ever taken place.
24 Q. But we'll come back to that, whether it was put --
25 Mr. Izetbegovic put it on the agenda as you say or not. But sir, it's
1 correct, is it not, that what you told Mr. Izetbegovic around that time
2 in this conversation, the one that you testified to under oath in the
3 Kordic case, is that the Croat side agreed to extend his mandate for a
4 third term; correct?
5 MR. KARNAVAS: That's not true. That's not what he said. He
6 would make an effort --
7 MR. SCOTT: The transcript says: "I promised to him that I would
8 make an effort, that the Croat side accepts that he extend his mandate
9 for a third term."
10 MR. KARNAVAS: I think he needs to be asked to interpret whatever
11 is put down here --
12 MR. SCOTT: Well, Mr. --
13 MR. KARNAVAS: -- because I think it's a two-step process: Did
14 the Croats accept, that's number one. Because the way the question is
15 being posed is as if Mr. Akmadzic is claiming that the Croats have
16 already accepted and now he's going to make an effort. So I think he
17 needs to be asked concretely, but the record speaks for itself.
18 MR. SCOTT: [Microphone not activated]
19 JUDGE TRECHSEL: I think the first step would be: Did you
20 actually make the effort that you promised that you would make, and the
21 second would be: What was the result of that effort with the Croats.
22 MR. SCOTT: [Microphone not activated]
23 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone for Mr. Scott, please.
24 Microphone, please.
25 MR. SCOTT: -- I don't think that's a fair reading of the
1 transcript, and it's not for counsel to give his interpretation either.
2 I read verbatim the transcript and where the comma appears, and that's
3 not my -- that's not Ken Scott's characterization. I have simply read
4 what his testimony under oath was.
5 MR. KARNAVAS: And just for the record, Judge Trechsel, I would
6 agree with you; however, I would also wish to point out that the
7 gentleman did indicate that it was never tabled. It was never put on the
9 MR. SCOTT: That's a separate question. I made that very
10 clear --
11 MR. KARNAVAS: -- to make an effort.
12 MR. SCOTT: I was trying to be very fair to the witness and to
13 the record and saying I accept your position that you say that
14 Mr. Izetbegovic said it would be put on the agenda and he says -- he says
15 it was not, but that's a separate issue.
16 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Yeah.
17 MR. SCOTT: That's a separate issue. And what I put to the
18 witness was his testimony in the Kordic case, and I'm simply reading it
19 verbatim. It doesn't say, I will try or the Croat side might accept:
20 "I will make an effort, that the Croat side accepts," present
21 tense, "accepts that he extend his mandate for a third term."
22 MR. KARNAVAS: Excuse me.
23 MR. SCOTT: I'm not going to characterize it --
24 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Let me, because I'm hopefully seen as being
25 neutral. Why do we not ask the witness what he meant when he said the
1 words? And it seems that Mr. Antonetti sometimes stresses the importance
2 of the comma and you seem to stress the comma very strongly. But maybe,
3 as we have the witness here.
4 MR. SCOTT: Of course, Your Honour, if you do that. But I
5 again -- just make the record clear, what I've tried to do is to avoid
6 characterizing it and simply read it to the witness as put, and I don't
7 think Mr. Karnavas should argue his interpretation --
8 MR. KARNAVAS: I did not --
9 MR. SCOTT: Excuse me, in front of the witness either --
10 MR. KARNAVAS: Your Honour, if I may be heard for a second. I'm
11 not going to argue anything. I do wish to put on the record, however,
12 that this is not a document that was generated by the gentleman. We have
13 a stenographer and they put the commas, those commas are put there by
14 them, and maybe they thought there should be a comma there, and that's
15 why I believe Judge Trechsel is absolutely correct, and I concur, and I
16 support that.
17 JUDGE TRECHSEL: [Microphone not activated]
18 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Please proceed, Mr. Scott.
19 MR. SCOTT:
20 Q. Sir, this entire situation I put to you was in fact by agreement
21 that Mr. Izetbegovic proceed to a third term, that this was an agreement
22 reached including with President Franjo Tudjman of Croatia, and the
23 agreement in fact was Mr. Lasic, I put to you the Prosecution case,
24 Mr. Lasic who was Mr. Tudjman's man would replace Mr. Kljuic who had been
25 a thorn in Mr. Boban's side and in return for that, Mr. Izetbegovic would
1 get -- would be allowed to serve another term. That was the political
2 deal that was cut; correct?
3 A. Is that a question for me?
4 Q. Yes.
5 A. This is not correct, Your Honour. There was a relationship
6 between Lasic and Tudjman, and the relationship between Lasic and
7 Izetbegovic. I will not address this. It's not my place to talk about
8 that. It is my place to do what I was first cautioned about when I came
9 to this courtroom, to tell the truth, and the truth is Mr. Izetbegovic
10 did not hold the Presidency meeting, he was not willing to hold the
11 Presidency meeting, he was not willing to place his own issue on the
12 agenda. The only promise I made him was this: We would deal with the
13 situation, we would discuss this at a Presidency meeting. If necessary,
14 we would go to our best lawyers to see if this was, in fact, feasible or
15 not. Had it turned out to be possible for a third extension of the term
16 of office - and what I'm telling you here is that there was another
17 Muslim before him, Munib Mesihovic, who had abandoned all his positions
18 because apparently he was adamant that he should enjoy a third term in
19 office. And the rules of procedure that applied to him were the same
20 that applied to all of us.
21 Therefore, there could not have been a third term of office,
22 certainly not without amending the rules of procedure. I do not have on
23 me a copy of the constitution. If there is a copy floating around, I
24 think it would be very good idea to go back to the constitution and see
25 what it says. I think what it says is probably that the Presidency
1 should work under the rules of procedure.
2 Q. And if you could then turn next, please, to Exhibit P 00697,
3 which should be in the second binder, I believe. If the usher can
4 assist, please, I'm sorry. 00697, please.
5 So this is a letter presented to the Security Council of the
6 United Nations dated -- the letter itself I believe is dated the 1st of
7 November, 1992, being transmitted on the 2nd of November, 1992
8 a joint communique issued following talks, it says, between the president
9 of the Republic of Croatia
10 the president of the Presidency of the Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina.
11 Now, directing your attention to the top of the third page of the
12 document, page 3, first paragraph starting on that page:
13 "President Izetbegovic informed President Tudjman on the coming
14 reconstruction of the BH government. The post of prime minister will be
15 entrusted to a nominee of the Croatian Democratic Union of
16 Bosnia-Herzegovina," which I think, sir, was you. "HDZ president
17 Mr. Mate Boban who attended the meeting said that the representatives of
18 the Croatian people in BH had proposed Mr. Miro Lasic as their member
19 within the BH Presidency."
20 All that is correct, is it not?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. And I should have said earlier that actually, you know, there was
23 a, if you will -- not only was there a deal concerning Mr. Lasic and
24 Mr. Izetbegovic, but it was also the fact -- it was also agreed that you
25 would be the one moving into the prime minister spot, correct, as
1 indicated here?
2 A. I didn't attend these talks, not as far as I remember; therefore,
3 I can hardly be expected to comment, can I.
4 Q. The passage I read to you a moment ago says: "The post of prime
5 minister will be entrusted to a nominee of the Croatian Democratic
7 And I put it to you again, sir, that the arrangement that was
8 made was Lasic would replace Kljuic, you would be the Croat prime
9 minister, and Tudjman and everyone would agree to Izetbegovic serving
10 another term, correct, and this was discussed with Tudjman.
11 "President Izetbegovic informed President Tudjman on the coming
12 reconstruction of the BH government ..."
13 And that's exactly what happened, isn't it?
14 A. I categorically rule this out. This is not what happened, at
15 least not that I'm aware of. A member of the HDZ, or rather, the
16 representative of the HDZ, its candidate, was Mr. Jure Pelivan who
17 preceded me. According to the tripartite division that I mentioned, the
18 Assembly, the government, and the Presidency, in each of these three
19 there would have been an official belonging to each of the three
20 different ethnic groups.
21 Q. Let's go on to Exhibit P 10464, which should be in binder number
22 3, please. This is a further communication to the Security Council on
23 the 18th of December, 1992, again a letter being filed or submitted by
24 Mr. Nobilo. On the third page of that document -- there's a number of
25 statements in the letter, actually, I think the Chamber may have seen it
1 before, I'm not sure about that. But in the top of the third page it is
2 also -- it is indicated:
3 "It is also clear that any provision of weapons by the Republic
4 of Croatia
5 legitimate Government of the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina would be
6 in accordance with this agreement," making reference to the Friendship
7 Agreement of July 1992, which we will also be discussing at some points.
8 And my question to you, sir: Wasn't it the case that around this
9 time and thereafter, and we can pull out a lot of United Nations
10 documents if we need to, Croatia
11 then-existing government of Bosnia and Herzegovina was legitimate or was
13 MR. KARNAVAS: I'm going to object to the form of the question.
14 Whether Croatia
15 is irrelevant. What is relevant as to whether the government in Bosnia
16 and Herzegovina
17 rules of procedure. Now, that's final argument. It's argumentative, and
18 the documents do speak for themselves. Tudjman was making contact with
19 Izetbegovic all the time and he saw him as the head of state or treated
20 him as such. That doesn't mean that he was head of state. So I don't
21 think that this is proper cross-examination.
22 MR. SCOTT: My question to the witness is:
23 Q. Do you know, sir, from your extensive involvement in this area
24 that you have spent the last three days telling us about, that it
25 remained throughout this period, at least through 1992 and into 1993, the
1 position of Mr. Tudjman and his government that the existing government
2 in Bosnia
3 of Croatia
4 government of that state?
5 A. I don't think the position of President Tudjman is essential at
6 all here, and I don't wish to debate that. Mr. Tudjman was the president
7 of Croatia
8 Mr. Miro Lasic and Mr. Boras were the members of the Presidency of BH.
9 Whatever President Tudjman said, let that be the relationship between
11 Bosnia-Herzegovina, except for the fact that as you had cases that he --
12 well, together with Turkey
13 go-between to try and bring about peace.
14 Q. Can I ask you next, please, to go to Exhibit 1D - it's a Defence
15 exhibit, it's in the third binder --
16 MR. SCOTT: Mr. President, Your Honours, we've tried to put all
17 the documents in the Prosecution binder so we don't have to go back to
18 the Defence binders to make it at least that much easier, a little
20 Q. If you can look - we might need assistance, Mr. Usher - 1D 00942
21 in the third binder. If you have this, sir, you were -- you looked at
22 this, I believe, during your -- well, I'm sure you did, in fact, because
23 I have the transcript reference here. On Monday you looked at this
24 document and you said at that time - and I just want to make it very
25 clear for the record - this was adopted by the full Presidency in June of
1 1992 when, as you told us earlier today, the Presidency was entirely
2 legal and legitimate; correct?
3 A. Am I looking at the right document? I'm not sure. Could you
4 repeat the question, and I'll answer without looking at the paper.
5 Q. Well, I think in this case, sir, it's better if you do. It's
6 titled: "Platform," 1D 00942.
7 A. Yes, I have it now.
8 Q. Sir, that was adopted -- I'll just -- let me simply remind you
9 that you testified on Monday at pages 33 and 34 of the record:
10 "Self-government was defined quite vaguely in the platform. We
11 adopted the platform."
12 And will you confirm further, sir, that, in fact, in June 1992
13 the Presidency, as we discussed earlier this afternoon, as then composed
14 and functioning was entirely legal and entirely legitimate?
15 A. In June 1992 the Presidency was a legal and legitimate organ, in
16 June 1992.
17 Q. Now, let me next ask you to go to -- it should be in the third
18 binder, I believe, let me just -- 1D 02853. Sir, you were asked during
19 one of the examinations by the Defence about this document, which to
20 refresh your memory and the courtroom's memory, so to speak, this was the
21 transmission of an agreement that was apparently signed on the 3rd of
22 March, 1993, by Mr. Izetbegovic, Mr. Boban, Mr. Silajdzic, and yourself,
23 Mr. Akmadzic. Do you recall that, sir?
24 A. Yes, I do recall that.
25 Q. Now, if we look at item number 6 of that document, please, of the
1 annex agreement:
2 "The parties agree that the institution of the Presidency shall
3 be preserved during the period of interim government. There will be nine
4 members on the interim Presidency with three representatives from each of
5 the three constituent peoples."
6 Now -- then if we go to paragraph 9 on the top of the next page.
7 "The parties have submitted the following six names to serve in
8 the interim Presidency: Fikret Abdic, Mile Akmadzic, Franjo Boras,
9 Ejup Ganic, Alija Izetbegovic, and Miro Lasic. The co-chairmen will ask
10 the Bosnian Serbs to propose three Serb representatives to serve on the
12 My first question to you, sir: The six persons that were just
13 named were, in fact, identical to the existing Presidency, correct? So
14 that represented no change whatsoever, it was Abdic, Akmadzic, Boras
15 Ganic, and Izetbegovic, and Lasic; correct?
16 A. Correct.
17 Q. And in connection with the Serb persons who would be selected
18 around this time, do you have any reason to believe that the existing
19 Serb members - if we go back to our original chart - that those same Serb
20 members would have also been named on this interim Presidency?
21 A. Since they weren't legally elected, at least not fully legal as I
22 stipulated today, our agreement with the presiding people who conducted
23 this was that they would hold negotiations for the Serbs completely
24 legally and completely legitimately represent their people in the
25 Assembly. So possibly the presiders thought that those members of the
1 Presidency should be returned who had been elected, but I can't confirm
3 Q. Just to be clear, I now have the document in front of me again,
4 this was Pejanovic, Ms. Ljujic-Mijatovic, and Mr. Lazovic, who was
5 filling the position at least by function of president of the Assembly.
6 And remind you that this agreement at least as stated here doesn't talk
7 about people being -- whether they were legally elected or not, this is
8 supposedly a peace agreement as to how the body will be composed. So is
9 there any reason to believe that those -- these exact six people as the
10 others, that the same three Serbs wouldn't have been named as well?
11 A. As the sentence reads here: "The parties will ask that the
12 Bosnian Serbs propose three Serbian representatives -- the co-chairmen
13 will ask the Bosnian Serbs to propose three Serb representatives to serve
14 on the Presidency."
15 I don't want to say any more than that because it's not a
16 question of us Croats, but the co-chairmen and the Serb side.
17 Q. Now, if we go back to the previous page, Article 7, please, again
18 seemingly quite similar to the previous arrangement.
19 "The nine members of the interim Presidency shall designate one
20 member to serve as President of the Presidency. The President will
21 perform the role of head of State. The position of President will rotate
22 every six months among the three constituent peoples in accordance with
23 the existing sequence of rotation (Muslim, Croat, Serb)."
24 I put to you, sir, as a result of that wasn't it the case
25 Mr. Izetbegovic being a Muslim would have then served another six-month
1 term from March until at least September 1993?
2 A. I don't think you're right on that score. This rotation, Muslim,
3 Croat, and Serb, is stated here. It could have been the reverse. So
4 this does not in any way mean that a Muslim would have to be the first
5 person. But I also have to say that it doesn't mean that a Muslim would
6 not be the first either. And I also have to state that here we're
7 dealing with the application of a plan which need not be completely in
8 conformity of the constitution of Bosnia and Herzegovina
9 Washington Agreements weren't in conformity with that either.
10 Q. Sir, my point to you and I put the question to you, that this is
11 an agreement that you and Mr. Boban and Izetbegovic and Silajdzic signed,
12 and it's quite -- clearly the case that could have at least very well
13 have been, and at least to the six was, the very same persons who
14 composed the Presidency before, possibly with Mr. Izetbegovic by this
15 rotation, and I simply will rely on the language of the persons who wrote
16 and signed the document used, Muslim being listed first. For a Muslim
17 being the president at that time essentially confirming the exact
18 arrangements that were then in place; correct?
19 A. I'd like to state to the Trial Chamber that this is not in
20 conformity with the constitution because the constitution says this
21 precisely. This is in conformity with the international negotiations
22 being held and which were underway and which we don't know how they
23 ended. If the negotiations were to be successful, then everything is
25 Q. Of course, sir, but I'm referring to the document that you signed
1 and Mr. Boban signed and Mr. Izetbegovic signed and Mr. Silajdzic signed
2 and submitted, and submitted, to the United Nations.
3 JUDGE TRECHSEL: May I --
4 MR. SCOTT: Yes.
5 JUDGE TRECHSEL: -- before you leave the document, may I just
6 raise a little point for clarification. At several instances here the
7 co-chairmen are mentioned. Would you tell the Chamber who this refers
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] This refers to Lord Owen and
10 Cyrus Vance.
11 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Thank you. I thought as much, but I want to
12 have it on the record. Thank you.
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I'd like to add another sentence
14 here and it is this. Under point 6: "The parties agree that the
15 institution of the Presidency shall be preserved during the period of the
16 interim government," the interim government, so we're talking about an
17 interim government and I said that international negotiations were being
18 conducted. And when we were on the subject of international negotiations
19 we didn't always rely on the constitution of Bosnia and Herzegovina
20 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I have two follow-up questions.
21 Mr. Scott, you'll deal with the next item next week because we'll
22 soon have to finish, and I'd rather we dealt with this document today.
23 Under item 7 of this agreement it is said -- the sequence of
24 rotation is specified: Muslim, Croat, and Serb. Unless I am mistaken I
25 thought that was the traditional rotation, first a Muslim, then a Croat,
1 then a Serb, et cetera, so that was the logical order which may account
2 for the fact that this is recalled here under item 7. But let me get to
3 item 10. Would you mind looking at paragraph 10. I think it's a very
4 relevant one.
5 "The parties," signatories of this document in other words,
6 "agree that in the interim period there should be continuity and that the
7 legal institutions will be preserved to the extent possible," apparently,
8 "but it should also be compatible with the nine Constitutional
10 So this paragraph 10, don't you think -- I know you're not a
11 lawyer, but don't you think that this indicates that the signatories
12 agree, as it were, that there should be a continuation of the interim
13 period; however, that this period should be compatible with the
14 constitution? What do you think? Because, you know, when you have an
15 agreement there's always a provisional provision indicating the
16 time-period concerned for the application, or then there is an interim
17 period that continues until such and such a date. You were a signatory
18 of this document, so I suppose that you discussed the issue including
19 paragraph 10, didn't you?
20 Can you shed some light on this?
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, this is the
22 application of the Vance-Owen Plan, that's what we're dealing with here.
23 The constitutional principles which we adopted, all three parties, that
24 is to say, in Geneva
25 transitional period here that is mentioned relates to the period from the
1 signing of that plan up until the new constitution of Bosnia-Herzegovina,
2 which would put all that within legal frameworks and regulate all the
3 matters concerned. It is the assumption that this transitional period,
4 however long it be, must reflect the continuity of Bosnia-Herzegovina on
5 the international and domestic level. On the international level it was
6 already a recognised state by the United Nations; on the domestic level,
7 until Bosnia-Herzegovina was established and the establishment entrenched
8 in the constitution, these constitutions as set out here will remain in
10 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] What you're telling us is that
11 this paragraph 10 should be read in the light of the Vance-Owen Plan and
12 not necessarily in relation to paragraph 7 regarding this six-month
13 rotation. This is how I understand your answer.
14 Now has come the time to end the hearing --
15 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Very short additional question. On lines 20, 21
16 of page 84, it's probably disappeared for you, you have said:
17 "And when we were on the subject of international negotiations we
18 didn't always rely on the constitution of Bosnia and Herzegovina
19 And I wonder whether there is a link between this non-reliance on
20 the constitution and the situation of the president of the Presidency
21 which was, as you say, not in line with the constitution. Is there some
22 link or is this nothing to do with each other?
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The link should be like this, in
24 Bosnia-Herzegovina -- well, when negotiating about Bosnia-Herzegovina,
25 without bearing in mind the constitution, except for the fact that there
1 are three sovereign nations and that the state must be internationally
2 recognised. Now, as to its internal establishment and order, we don't
3 take the constitution as the basis. Whether it's going to have
4 provinces, of which there were ten, or whether there were going to be
5 three parts, that's not what is discussed here.
6 JUDGE TRECHSEL: If I may put it in one sentence. This was only
7 meant pro futuro? Thank you.
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Pro futuro, yes.
9 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you. We shall reconvene
10 on Monday at 2.15. Thank you.
11 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 6.23 p.m.
12 to be reconvened on Monday, the 23rd day of
13 June, 2008, at 2.15 p.m.