Tribunal Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia

Page 30604

 1                           Monday, 14 July 2008

 2                           [Open session]

 3                           [The accused entered court]

 4                           --- Upon commencing at 2.17 p.m.

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

 6     case.

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

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

 9     Prosecutor versus Jadranko Prlic et al.

10             Thank you, Your Honours.

11             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation]  Thank you very much.

12             Today is Monday, the 14th of July, 2008.  Good afternoon to the

13     accused, to the Defence counsel, to Mr. Stringer and his assistants, and

14     good afternoon to everyone assisting us, among others the interpreters.

15             There are a number of issues that the Trial Chamber would like to

16     deal with, administrative matters.

17             First of all, by a motion of the 9th of July, 2008, Mr. Karnavas,

18     the Prosecution requested the Prlic Defence to provide additional

19     information to the 65 ter summary of Witness Borislav Puljic, who is

20     expected to testify shortly.  Before issuing its decision on this, the

21     Trial Chamber would like to hear the submissions of the Prlic Defence.

22             Mr. Karnavas, can you please tell us whether you intend or not to

23     provide an additional summary?

24             MR. KARNAVAS:  Good afternoon, Mr. President.  Good afternoon,

25     Your Honours.  Good afternoon to everyone in and around the courtroom.

Page 30605

 1             At some point, we will try to provide them with some additional

 2     information.  I really don't understand what it is that they want, other

 3     than what they already have, which is basically what he is going to

 4     testify to, but we will try to provide some additional information.

 5             That said, this particular individual, who was scheduled to be

 6     the very last witness prior to our break, it would appear that it's a

 7     virtual impossibility, if we really want to do justice with -- well, I

 8     use that word loosely -- with the other witnesses because of the timing

 9     purposes.  It would appear that the current witness, Mr. Buntic, is

10     probably not going to finish until tomorrow at the earliest, perhaps,

11     after the first session on Wednesday.  We then have the following

12     witness, Mr. Perkovic, who happens to be in town and ready to go, ready

13     to go.  But even with us going on Friday, it would appear to me that --

14     and if he were to go on Friday, it would take Friday and probably all day

15     Monday to finish him.

16             Now, already we have scheduled Mr. Zuzul for Friday and Monday.

17     If you may recall, that was our first witness, and we were unable to

18     complete him.

19             It would be our proposal that at this point in time, to contact

20     Mr. Zuzul to see whether he can be available for Tuesday of next week, to

21     start Tuesday, and then have Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday for him, or

22     Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday as the buffer, as opposed to starting with

23     Mr. Perkovic, putting him on ice while we deal with Mr. Zuzul.  That way,

24     we don't want to inconvenience these people more than we are already

25     doing so.  They're cooperating.

Page 30606

 1             Now, the one technical problem is with Mr. Zuzul, of course, we

 2     have no means of -- well, we're forbidden to communicate with him, and so

 3     the question is:  Can someone from the witness section communicate with

 4     him or, with the Court's leave, I could -- or Ms. Tomanovic, contact

 5     Mr. Zuzul strictly for the purpose of finding out whether it would be

 6     possible for him to come on Tuesday as opposed to this Friday.  And so --

 7     and if he can't, of course, then we will -- Mr. Perkovic will simply have

 8     to work around it.  Mr. Perkovic does work for the Ministry of Foreign

 9     Affairs in Bosnia-Herzegovina.  He is going to stay longer than he has

10     anticipated.  Today he did contact his ministry to let them that it looks

11     like he's going to be longer here in The Hague than was expected, and the

12     Minister of Foreign Affairs was gracious enough to agree that he should

13     remain here as long as necessary, within reason, of course.  Needless to

14     say, his family would like him back as soon as possible.

15             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation]  Fine.  Mr. Karnavas, the best

16     solution would be for the Victims and Witnesses Section to call Mr. Zuzul

17     in the afternoon to ask him whether he could come to The Hague next

18     Tuesday; that will be done this afternoon at the earliest.  Afterwards,

19     we'll complete -- or we'll add Mr. Perkovic after Mr. Zuzul.  In other

20     words, Mr. Puljic will only come and testify at the end of August.  We

21     won't be able to hear him before that, because for Mr. Zoran Perkovic,

22     you had provided for six hours of testimony, and six hours, you know that

23     it's about two days of hearing, at the minimum.

24             This afternoon, the Victims and Witnesses Section is going to get

25     in touch with Mr. Zuzul.  If he tells us that he'll be here on Tuesday,

Page 30607

 1     then our problem is solved, because we had told him to come on Friday,

 2     but at the time we were not aware that we would be meeting with this

 3     problem.

 4             I'm sure that this provides an answer to the questions of

 5     Mr. Stringer, who wanted to deal with the scheduling of the following

 6     witnesses.  Am I right, Mr. Stringer?

 7             MR. STRINGER:  Yes, Mr. President, I think it does assist us in

 8     our own preparations.

 9             As we understand it, and I think the name of the witness that's

10     appearing in the transcript is not correct.  There are references to

11     Pusic, and I think it's a different -- Puljic.  So it's our understanding

12     that Mr. Puljic will not appear until after -- sometime after the summer

13     recess.  And that being the case, I think we can set aside for the time

14     being the sufficiency or insufficiency of the witness summary that's been

15     provided.  The Prosecution position on that is contained in our

16     submission, and we can perhaps set that aside for now.

17             We can then assume that Mr. Puljic will not appear, and hopefully

18     Mr. Zuzul then will be available to be begin a cross-examination on

19     Tuesday of next week, which we could then take the remainder of next week

20     or -- I guess conditions would allow a full cross-examination without the

21     pressure of having another witness come after him, and so that is

22     acceptable as well to the Prosecution.  And it also allows, I think, for

23     the potential that Mr. Buntic may continue a little bit longer than has

24     been previewed so far, simply because it seems that every day with him,

25     things tend to get a little longer, drawn out.  It's my understanding

Page 30608

 1     that the Prosecution has about seven hours or so for its

 2     cross-examination, so I think that the proposal by Mr. Karnavas is one

 3     that's acceptable, assuming in fact that Mr. Zuzul hopefully can then

 4     become -- can come to begin his cross-examination on Tuesday of next

 5     week.

 6             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation]  Mr. Karnavas, let me deal

 7     again with the summary of Mr. Borislav Puljic.

 8             There are three points that may seem a bit vague on the basis of

 9     the summary you provided.  Apparently he mentioned a crisis staff in

10     Mostar and ADA [phoen] Commission as well, and we don't quite see what

11     this commission is.  And the third point has to do with state-owned

12     companies in the field of reconstruction.  So these three items could be

13     clarified, because they're slightly confusing.

14             MR. KARNAVAS:  We will do that, we will do that.  And as you --

15     when we do provide the additional information, Mr. President, you will

16     see that much of that is already in the evidence already.  But we will

17     provide that so that there's no misunderstanding on any of those three

18     issues.

19             Thank you.  And I should note that he's not going to be our very

20     first witness coming back from the break, and we do intend to provide --

21     we do intend to provide an updated list.  So before the end of next week,

22     everybody will know our batting order, as it were.

23             MR. STRINGER:  Just very briefly, Mr. President.

24             I know that the Trial Chamber is aware of our position.  I think

25     it may be worth stating.  Counsels' summaries are useful in that they

Page 30609

 1     provide a list of topics, I think, which -- that the witness can be

 2     expected to testify about.  It's our position, based on the Rule and the

 3     precedent, the decisions of other Trial Chambers, that in fact more is

 4     required of a witness summary under the Rule, Rule 65, in that not only

 5     are we entitled to a summary or a list of topics, but we're also entitled

 6     to know what it is the witness is going to say.  And of course that's

 7     particularly true, in our view, when there's no witness statement.  And

 8     so that is our position.  It's the position we've set out in our papers.

 9     But, again, we understand that Mr. Puljic will not be testifying now for

10     some time.

11             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation]  One last administrative

12     matter, to respond to the submissions made last week by Mr. Stewart.

13             In order to respond to the submissions made by Ms. Alaburic and

14     by Mr. Stewart, we'll read again paragraph 15 of the decision it issued

15     on the 29th of May, 2008, clarifying the decision adopting guidelines for

16     the presentation of Defence evidence.

17             This is what we stated in that decision, and that should respond

18     to the concerns expressed by Mr. Stewart.  I'm going to read out this

19     very slowly.

20             The Chamber agrees that it is not always easy to distinguish

21     between a subject already discussed with a witness during the

22     examination-in-chief and a subject that could be qualified as new that

23     was discussed for the first time during cross-examination of the witness.

24     It might, indeed, be difficult to distinguish between the different

25     subjects that are discussed.

Page 30610

 1             In order to make recording the time as clear as possible and

 2     facilitate the work of the Court Deputy, the Trial Chamber invites the

 3     cross-examining party to indicate, before the beginning of

 4     cross-examination, the subjects it would like to discuss with the

 5     witness, explaining the extent to which they were already discussed with

 6     the witness during the examination-in-chief.  The Chamber will decide

 7     whether this is a new subject and deduct this time from the total time

 8     allocated for the presentation of the case of the cross-examining party.

 9             The Chamber will ask the Court Deputy to record this time

10     according to guideline 7, paragraph 21(c) of the decision of 24 April

11     2008.  In other words, when counsel begins his or her cross-examination,

12     as will be the case later on with Ms. Alaburic, it's up to counsel to

13     tell us what matters -- what subjects will be dealt with during

14     cross-examination than that have already been dealt with during the

15     examination-in-chief led by Mr. Karnavas.  Counsel, Ms. Alaburic, will

16     have to tell us which subjects she will deal with that have not been

17     raised during the examination-in-chief, and for these matters time will

18     be deducted from the time she was allocated for the presentation of her

19     Defence case.

20             In case of challenges or in case of what I would call borderline

21     subjects, it will be up to the Trial Chamber to tell the Court Deputy,

22     and of course that will be notified to the Defence, it will be up to the

23     Chamber to tell the Court Deputy how time should be allocated.  In other

24     words, it's up to counsel to tell us at the beginning, well, the witness

25     dealt with items A, B, C and D, and "as part of my cross-examination, I

Page 30611

 1     will be discussing items B, C or D, but I will also deal with a new

 2     matter, and these are E, F, G, H," and so on and so forth, and we'll

 3     understand immediately that these new items, E, F, and so on and so

 4     forth, will be deducted from the item of the cross-examining counsel.

 5             This is our response to Mr. Stewart, to give him additional

 6     information and to reassure him as for allocation of time, but in the end

 7     it's always up to the Trial Chamber to decide how time is allocated.

 8     This, I recall, is something we outlined in our decision of 29th of May,

 9     2008, and if all Defence counsel comply with this decision, we should not

10     have any problems.

11             Let me now deal with the time we have left.  I believe that

12     Ms. Nozica has about 50 minutes left, 5-O, and then 4D will have one hour

13     and 30 minutes.

14             Ms. Nozica, good afternoon, again.  You have the floor.

15             MR. NOZICA: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I know I have another

16     50 minutes but according to yours --

17             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I'm so fast that I completely

18     forgot our witness.  And she made the same mistake so let's have the

19     witness brought in.

20             MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation] I think before the witness comes I

21     can say this.  I know I have 50 minutes.  I will enumerate the subjects I

22     want to cover with this witness, and I will ask the Trial Chamber if I

23     apply for another 50 minutes, to allow me to have them, to be deduced

24     from my total time.  And all the subjects I'm going to be covering have

25     been raised in direct examination.  One is, to begin with, the

Page 30612

 1     Central Military Prison.  Then I will move on to the subject of

 2     appointment of prosecutors and judges in Military Courts and

 3     Military Prosecutors Offices.  After that, I will move on to the subject

 4     of reporting in the military judiciary bodies, to be followed by the

 5     subject of financing of military judiciary bodies, and then the subject

 6     of military prisons; namely, who appointed wardens and who controlled

 7     military prisons.  And to end with, I would like to go very briefly with

 8     the witness through certain provisions of the law on the military

 9     criminal procedure, which should shed light on certain points that he was

10     examined on by Mrs. Tomasegovic-Tomic, and some subjects from my

11     cross-examination, so we shall see what the legislation at that time

12     prescribed.

13             I will be very economical in my use of time and will try to go

14     very quickly through anything that might appear as repetition.  But still

15     I am in the hands of the witness, and I therefore hope that you will

16     grant me some tolerance if the examination is a bit lengthier, because

17     before us we have a witness who can give us information from the horse's

18     mouth.

19                           [The witness entered court]

20             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation]  Good afternoon, Witness.  I

21     hope you had a pleasant weekend, that it didn't -- it was not too long.

22     And I'm now going to give the floor to Ms. Nozica, who will proceed with

23     her cross-examination.

24                           WITNESS:  ZORAN BUNTIC [Resumed]

25                           [The witness answered through interpreter]

Page 30613

 1             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you.

 2                           Cross-examination by Ms. Nozica:  [Continued]

 3        Q.   Good afternoon, Mr. Buntic.  I have already greeted everyone else

 4     in the courtroom.  Just to remind you briefly, we have LiveNote and it's

 5     simple for us, but I need to remind you where we left off.

 6             On Thursday, we were going through documents, and we have shown

 7     how the Central Military Prison was established.  We have shown that this

 8     was done in order to transfer military prisoners and prisoners of war.  I

 9     will now ask you to look at a document in my binder, 1D 1976.  Just tell

10     me when you have found it.

11        A.   If it's a report, then I have found it.

12        Q.   It is a report from the Department of Justice for the period

13     July to November, 1993.  I will refer you to the last paragraph in

14     Croatian, and that's the penultimate paragraph in English, which says:

15             "In respect to the enforcement of criminal and misdemeanor

16     penalties, there was only the District Prison in Mostar in the territory

17     of the Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna when the war began."

18             Mr. Buntic, you have already confirmed that this is correct?

19        A.   Yes, correct.

20             JUDGE TRECHSEL:  Just for the clarity of the record and

21     reliability, you have called document 1D 1976, and it's so recorded, but

22     it seems to me that we're dealing with document 1D 1797.

23             MR. NOZICA: [Interpretation] Your Honours, both the witness and I

24     have before us 1D -- 1D -- sorry, 1D 01976.  It's a report from the

25     military -- from the Department of Justice for July to November.  If

Page 30614

 1     Your Honour does not have it, I can give you the English version.  Thank

 2     you.

 3             JUDGE TRECHSEL:  I'll take the opportunity to compliment you on

 4     the way you have organised the documents here.  I was still looking in

 5     the back, and there -- that's why I didn't find it.  I apologise to you

 6     and at the same time thank you for having so nicely organised the

 7     documents.

 8             MR. NOZICA: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.  Your praise

 9     is always welcome.

10             Let us move on to the next sentence.  It reads:

11             "However, during the reporting period, the location of the prison

12     building became the frontline and the prison could no longer serve its

13     purpose, which is why the inmates were relocated to the Heliodrom in

14     Mostar."

15             Mr. Buntic, if you would first confirm what is said in the

16     report.

17        A.   Yes, that's correct.  The decision to establish the Central

18     Military Prison Heliodrom was made in the beginning of September, 1992,

19     and the civilian inmates of the Civilian District Prison in Mostar were

20     relocated to Heliodrom sometime between the 20th and the 30th September,

21     1992.  I'm sorry, I meant military prisoners and prisoners of war.  They

22     were transferred to Heliodrom between the 20th and 30th of September,

23     after the Central Military Prison for the Croatian Community of

24     Herceg-Bosna was set up.

25             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation]  Witness, one quick question

Page 30615

 1     about civilian prisoners.  You are a lawyer, and you will have no problem

 2     answering my question.

 3             As for civilian prisoners, did they have to be detained after a

 4     document had been issued, either a decision by a court, by an

 5     investigating magistrate, or because they had to serve a sentence?  In

 6     other words, when we are talking about civilian prisoners, does it mean

 7     that there was a paper -- a document stating that they were to be

 8     detained?

 9             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I have already answered this

10     question, in part.

11             As we have read, the time when I assumed my position, the

12     District Prison in Mostar was the only prison facility where all

13     prisoners had to be held, where sentences meted out by final sentences

14     were served by all inmates in this prison.  That's in Ricina Street, just

15     behind the building of the Higher Court in Mostar, so it was a civilian

16     prison.

17             I also said that as a result of the circumstances that arose as a

18     result of the aggression and the occupation of Mostar by the

19     Yugoslav People's Army, this prison also held prisoners of all

20     categories, all that the former JNA had taken prisoner and later the HVO

21     and the BH Army, that is, the independent 4th Corps.  All these people

22     were held in this prison.  And I have already mentioned that through my

23     contacts with the president of the Higher Court in Mostar, who

24     familiarised me with the situation, I responded immediately by writing a

25     letter to the Department of Defence, with a request --

Page 30616

 1             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation]  Just a second, Witness.  You

 2     haven't answered my question.  As you can imagine, my question was very

 3     precise.

 4             We would like to know the following:  When the prisoner is a

 5     civilian, does he or she have to be detained pursuant to a judicial

 6     decision?  It is a simple question.

 7             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] If it was a civilian, then he could

 8     be held in that prison only based on a final judgement made by the

 9     competent court.  All the other prisoners held there were held there with

10     no legal grounds, and that is why the request was made to adapt or find

11     other premises where that category of prisoners could be transferred.

12             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation]  In case a civilian is in

13     custody without any judicial decision, what is the situation?

14             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] That is a situation where the

15     civilian should have properly been released, and I did ask for all such

16     persons to be released.

17             At that time, the warden was -- just a moment.  It will come back

18     in a moment, hopefully.  But the first time, and I'm talking about the

19     period after September, the first time that the warden failed to act upon

20     a final legal decision, the president of the Higher Court informed me the

21     Department of Justice and General Administration started legal

22     proceedings and relieved the warden, Pero Nikolic, I remember now, of his

23     duties as warden, and immediately notified the civilian police thereof.

24     I'm talking about the regimen and the procedure that prevailed at that

25     time.

Page 30617

 1             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation]  Thank you.

 2             MR. NOZICA: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.

 3        Q.   Mr. Buntic, right now, in response to the question by

 4     Judge Antonetti, you answered that within the jurisdiction of the

 5     civilian courts, civilian prisoners were those who were convicted.  I'm

 6     going to ask you were there also those who were remanded in custody,

 7     against whom proceedings were underway and the judge decided they would

 8     be remanded in custody, pending judgement?

 9        A.   There are two different things.  One category are convicts who

10     have been sentenced by a judgement that was rendered and made final, and

11     the others were remanded in custody, awaiting judgement.

12        Q.   So there were both convicts and those who were remanded in

13     custody?

14        A.   Yes.

15        Q.   Let's go one step further.  Both these groups were transferred to

16     Heliodrom.  You confirmed that already.  Just tell me when.

17        A.   If we are talking about this category, they were transferred to

18     Heliodrom only in May 1993, after a conflict broke out between Bosniaks

19     and Croats in Mostar.  That could have been between the 10th and 15th

20     1993.

21        Q.   All right.  Mr. Buntic, who had control or jurisdiction over

22     those persons who had been transferred from the civilian prison, from the

23     District Prison in Ricina to Heliodrom?  Who was supposed to supervise

24     the detention of these people?

25        A.   If we are talking about the period after May 1993, if we are

Page 30618

 1     talking about the Central Military Prison in Heliodrom, a special

 2     civilian section was set up, and that civilian section was still

 3     supervised by the warden of the civilian prison.  I think it was

 4     Pero Nikolic.

 5        Q.   If I understand you correctly, Pero Nikolic was a warden of a

 6     special section in Heliodrom, where civilians were held.

 7        A.   I think so.

 8        Q.   Let us look at the next paragraph, which is very interesting.

 9     Just give us your very brief comments.

10             Let's note first that from May 1993 onwards, Heliodrom holds

11     prisoners of war, members of the HVO or, more precisely, persons under

12     the jurisdiction of military judicial bodies, and civilians, that is,

13     persons under the jurisdiction of civilian judiciary bodies; am I right?

14        A.   You are right, but I would like to add that jurisdiction over

15     civilians who were convicted by final decisions of civilian courts were

16     there, and there were also people who were in custody.

17             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation]  Wait a second.  You are

18     talking too fast.  Could you speak a little slower, please.

19             JUDGE TRECHSEL:  [Previous translation continues]... to say, and

20     you are also overlapping.  You should make a little pause.  As you are

21     talking the same language, of course you naturally answer immediately,

22     but it causes difficulty for the interpreters.

23             MR. NOZICA: [Interpretation] Thank you.  I will bear that in

24     mind.

25        Q.   In the next paragraph, we read:

Page 30619

 1             "Due to war operations and for reasons linked to other purposes

 2     of these buildings, they were anything but buildings for holding convicts

 3     and prisoners.  Only through acts of self-initiative and decisions of

 4     unauthorised bodies, they were converted into penitential centres without

 5     any supervision by higher authorities."

 6             THE INTERPRETER:  They were turned into detention centres.

 7     Correction.

 8             MR. NOZICA:

 9        Q.   Can you clarify what you meant by this paragraph?  But please,

10     Mr. Buntic, be very concise and brief, because I have very little time.

11        A.   I think the sentence is self-explanatory, because from what my

12     prior evidence showed, it is well known that on these locations, in these

13     centres or prisons, there happened to be a large number of people who

14     were not held there on the basis of any judgement of a competent court or

15     even a decision on remand in custody by investigating judges.  I did not

16     see any justification for that, except in the case of prisoners of war

17     who could be held there without any final judgement for a while.

18             JUDGE TRECHSEL:  I take advantage of the break, with your

19     permission.

20             You have indicated, unless I misunderstood, that you were of the

21     opinion that these prisoners, without title, should be released, but

22     apparently they were not released.  Now, who was deciding against you?

23     You were the Minister of Justice and you said you had the ultimate

24     authority.  How come that you did not simply make an order, ministerial

25     order, prisoners without title are to be released immediately, full stop,

Page 30620

 1     signed "Buntic"?

 2             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Judge Trechsel, you're quite right.

 3     When it comes to the civilian department of the Heliodrom Prison, I had

 4     jurisdiction over that section.  I visited the civilian section of the

 5     Heliodrom Prison, and having observed certain irregularities, I did as

 6     much as I described to you.  We launched disciplinary proceedings against

 7     the warden, who was subsequently removed.

 8             As for the military section of the prison, I had no jurisdiction

 9     over it whatsoever and was unable to take any measures in that respect.

10             JUDGE TRECHSEL:  Mr. Buntic, it's okay to take disciplinary

11     proceedings against the warden.  My question was a slightly different

12     one.

13             If someone is held without title, that's unlawful deprivation of

14     liberty and unlawful imprisonment, and the person ought to be immediately

15     released.  You have not said that they were released, and you have not

16     said why not.  You only said that -- or I seem to have understood you

17     that you thought they should be released.

18             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Following my visit to the civilian

19     department of Heliodrom, all the persons held there without final

20     decisions to that effect were released.  There weren't many of them in

21     that department.  I believe there were only two or three.  I'm referring

22     to what happened during my visit and to what I was able to observe there.

23             JUDGE TRECHSEL:  Thank you.

24             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] You're welcome.

25             MR. NOZICA: [Interpretation] thank you, Your Honour.

Page 30621

 1        Q.   Mr. Buntic, this is also for the benefit of the Judges.  There is

 2     P3350, a document in the binder, which under item 12 confirms precisely

 3     what you've just said; namely, that civilians were transferred to

 4     Heliodrom.  We will not, therefore, deal with this point any longer.

 5             Let us move on to a new topic, i.e., the appointment of

 6     individuals to various judicial posts, in particular in the military

 7     judiciary body and the Supreme Court and Prosecutor's Office of the

 8     HZ-HB.  I hope we shall be able to go through this quickly.

 9             You said that the Defence Department was responsible, in terms of

10     organisation, personnel and finances, for military courts and military

11     prosecutors' offices.  On the issue of appointments, Mr. Buntic, are you

12     able to tell us who, in addition to the head of the Defence Department,

13     nominated military prosecutors and judges in the relevant time period,

14     those who were able to adjudicate cases before military courts?

15        A.   In addition to the Defence Department, nominations for military

16     judges and military prosecutors' office lay within the jurisdiction of

17     the Department of Justice and General Administration as well.  One has to

18     distinguish between two time periods.  The period following the 3 of

19     July, 1992, decree whereby the Department of Justice and

20     General Administration was to be responsible for that, but this one, as

21     we said, was not applied.  According to the 17th of October, 1992,

22     decree, however, the Defence Department was supposed to do that.

23             I said that regardless of the fact that the Defence Department

24     was given this jurisdiction, it was the Department for Justice and

25     General Administration which mostly nominated these individuals, because

Page 30622

 1     this particular department had a great deal of information on the persons

 2     eligible for military judges and military prosecutors' offices,

 3     particularly so because judges were quite in short supply at the time.

 4     For these reasons, it was the Department for Justice and

 5     General Administration that put forth most of the nominations for these

 6     posts, many more than the Defence Department.

 7        Q.   Thank you, Mr. Buntic.  I felt compelled to clarify this because

 8     you were shown document 1D 1898.  We can see it in e-court.  I haven't

 9     prepared it in the binder.  This is the nomination of the head of the

10     Defence Department, Mr. Stojic, dated the 16th of January.  This is a

11     proposal for the HZ-HB Presidency, for the election of judges and

12     judge-jurors in the District Court in -- since we haven't dealt with

13     this, I -- that's why I'm asking you this question.

14        A.   Can I just correct you?  I think you said the candidates -- well,

15     what it says here, it's judges and judge-jurors of the District

16     Military Court.  I believe you misspoke and said "prison" in your

17     question.

18        Q.   Thank you very much.  You're right.  That's quite clear now.

19             Let's go quickly through the document -- through the documents.

20     The first one is 1D 1179.  As far as I know, you have seen all these

21     documents, and we can only confirm that this is the period before the

22     decree was adopted.  The date is the 20th of September, 1992.

23        A.   Correct.

24        Q.   Pages 4 of both versions are the ones where we have the nominees.

25     You've already said, however, that these were the nominees prior to the

Page 30623

 1     issuance of the decree; is that right?

 2        A.   Yes.

 3        Q.   The next document is P00559, P00559.  You were also shown this

 4     document on direct examination, and this document predates the issuance

 5     of the decree as well, does it not?

 6        A.   I don't see the date.

 7        Q.   The 7th of October, 1992.

 8        A.   That's correct.  These were nominations accepted by the

 9     Presidency of the session of the 17th October.  I believe that these were

10     discussed at the same session of the 17th of October, when the decree was

11     adopted.

12        Q.   Mr. Buntic, does the same apply to the following document,

13     1D 2001, that these were also proposals subsequently accepted at the

14     meeting of the HZ-HB Presidency?  The document I'm referring to you is

15     the next one in your binder.

16        A.   All the proposals put forth prior to the 17th of October, 1992,

17     were considered at the meeting of the Presidency held on the 17th of

18     October and adopted as such.  I have this one proposal for the election

19     of the judges that was sent to the SDA in Mostar.  I don't know if this

20     is the one you're referring to.

21        Q.   Yes.

22        A.   It is quite clear, on the basis of this document, that these

23     were -- that some of the judges for district courts were nominated by the

24     Presidency of Bosnia-Herzegovina, the very documents, as well as the

25     subsequent decisions published in the Official Gazette of the Socialist

Page 30624

 1     Republic of Herzegovina.  It follows quite clearly that the Presidency of

 2     Bosnia-Herzegovina recognised the district military courts of the

 3     Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna that they even went on to nominate

 4     certain judges of solely Muslim ethnicity into these courts.  In other

 5     words, the Presidency of Bosnia-Herzegovina accepted that other judges of

 6     Croat ethnicity would be nominated by the relevant bodies of the HZ-HB.

 7     Judging from the names of the judges, it is quite obvious that they are

 8     Muslims.

 9             As for this document, I sent this document to the Party of

10     Democratic Action in Mostar in order to nominate judges -- or, rather,

11     the judges for misdemeanors in Mostar, the president of the Lower Court

12     in Mostar and the president of the District Military Court in Mostar.

13             My apologies, however.  I believe it is necessary to add that all

14     these discussions and contacts were the result of the Tudjman-Izetbegovic

15     agreement signed in Medjugorje on the 21st of July, 1992, and my

16     conversations with Mr. Jusuf Halilagic, who was Deputy Minister of

17     Justice of the Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina at the time.

18        Q.   Mr. Buntic, this explanation you provided to us is very precious

19     for us.  However, I believe that you've already said this during the

20     examination-in-chief.  I do not want to cover ground that has already

21     been covered.  What I want is for you to confirm that this document is

22     part of the preparatory activities for the sessions of the Presidency

23     where a large number of prosecutors and judges were elected.  Is that

24     right?

25        A.   Yes.

Page 30625

 1        Q.   Let us look at that particular meeting of the Presidency briefly.

 2     That's page 12 of your text and page 13 of the English version.  There,

 3     you propose these decrees at this fifth meeting, decrees which have to do

 4     with the military judiciary; is that right?

 5        A.   Yes.

 6        Q.   At page 1, 2D 1262 -- thank you for that caution, document

 7     2D 1262.  Let me just state for the benefit of the Judges and the

 8     Prosecution, there was an error in the translation of this document, and

 9     you should have received the appropriate translation of this document

10     separately.  I hope you have it, but it is not in the binder.  It was

11     sent out separately.

12             Mr. Buntic, on page 1 we can see that you attended the meeting,

13     which was only logical, and I omitted to say that.  On behalf of the

14     Department for Defence, Mr. Bozo Rajic was present; in other words, Mr.

15     Stojic was not there.  Can we confirm that?

16        A.   Yes.

17        Q.   Please look at page 17 of the Croatian version and page 19 of the

18     English version.

19             I'm told that it should state, in the transcript, that the

20     document bears the following number:  2D 1262.  That is fine.

21             Under 19, the document lists the nominations for appointments.

22     Pages 17 of the Croatian and 19 of the English versions contain the names

23     of judges and prosecutors whom you appointed at this fifth meeting of the

24     Presidency?

25        A.   Correct.

Page 30626

 1        Q.   Mr. Buntic, can you tell Their Honours briefly in what way these

 2     proposals reached you, although this becomes quite evident while -- when

 3     one reads the discussions of the various attendees of this meeting?  Tell

 4     us, what was the standard procedure?  How did these proposals reach you?

 5        A.   We gathered proposals from municipalities and through the Party

 6     of Democratic Action and the Croatian Democratic Union.  First we sought

 7     proposals from these two political parties which had won 90 per cent or

 8     more than 90 per cent of votes of the electorate.  We were pressed for

 9     time.  We had to gather information and approvals in order to be able to

10     see these nominations through.

11             As one can see from this document, we asked for the SDA to send

12     in their proposals for judges and prosecutors of Bosniak ethnicity.

13     Proposals were also sought from the municipal HDZ bodies for the judges

14     of Croat ethnicity.

15             Thereafter, discussions were held with Mr. Stojic or his deputy,

16     Mr. Bozo Rajic, in order for us to be able to formulate proposals that

17     would then be forwarded to the Presidency meetings.  This was the

18     customary procedure in place.

19        Q.   Do you agree with me that since the Presidency did not meet

20     regularly, following this particular Presidency meeting it was mostly the

21     HVO that formulated these proposals?

22        A.   Correct.  After the 17th of October, 1992, the Presidency did not

23     meet anymore, and the decisions on appointments of judges and prosecutors

24     were made by the HVO of the HZ-HB.

25        Q.   Mr. Buntic, I will skip several documents now.

Page 30627

 1             P00590, which is precisely the decree on district military

 2     prosecutors' offices in the territory of the HZ-HB, passed on the 17th of

 3     October, where under item 7 it reads that district military prosecutors

 4     and their deputies shall be appointed by the Presidency of the HZ-HB on

 5     proposals from the head of the Defence Department?

 6        A.   Correct.

 7        Q.   The next document is P00592.  It's a decree on district military

 8     courts in the territory of the Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna.  I'll

 9     just recall for the transcript that this is an exhibit, but P00587 is an

10     exhibit under the same number.

11             In para 20, it also says the judges and judge-jurors of the

12     district military courts shall be appointed and relieved by the

13     Presidency of the Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna, and the proposal of

14     the chief of the Defence Department?

15        A.   Correct.

16        Q.   The next document is P00589, a decree establishing the section of

17     the Supreme Court of Bosnia and Herzegovina for the territory of the

18     HZ-HB.  In Article 8, it says that it is the Presidency that makes

19     appointments based on proposals by the chief of the Defence Department?

20        A.   Correct.

21        Q.   And, finally, the decree establishing the section of the

22     Republican Public Prosecutor's Office of Bosnia and Herzegovina for the

23     territory of the Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna.  In Article 4 it

24     says that deputies to the public prosecutor shall be appointed by the

25     Presidency of the HZ-HB, following proposals of the chief of the Defence

Page 30628

 1     Department?

 2        A.   Correct.

 3        Q.   It's document P00594.

 4             Mr. Buntic, to avoid going through all these documents in the

 5     binder individually, one by one, can we note that they confirm that the

 6     military -- that the Department of Justice mostly appointed judges,

 7     prosecutors and deputies?  Can you just tell us, is that true of the last

 8     two decrees; namely, the appointment of judges to the section of the

 9     Supreme Court and appointments of deputies to the public prosecutor?  Is

10     it again the Department of Justice that approached the HVO with its

11     proposals and nominations?

12        A.   It is obvious from these signatures that it is the Department of

13     Defence that was responsible for appointments, and it is mainly the

14     Department of Justice and General Administration that did that, which is

15     why I gave the evidence I gave.

16             So before this Court and under oath, I stated that if there had

17     been any violations by judges, violations punishable under the Statute of

18     this Tribunal, only the judges, themselves, can be held responsible for

19     them, and I personally can be held, but certainly not the accused in this

20     case.  And I gave the reasons why any of these accused can be said to

21     have made any violations; because they supported and contributed to the

22     work of the courts to the best of their ability, and if there had been

23     any interference and tampering with the work of the courts, then such

24     interference did not come from any of the accused, but, if at all, from

25     third parties who have been already convicted by valid judgements of this

Page 30629

 1     Tribunal.

 2        Q.   Mr. Buntic, could you just please look at the last document in

 3     this binder, named "Appointments."  That's 1D 1612.  Tell me when you

 4     find it.

 5        A.   Can you repeat the number, please?

 6        Q.   1D 1612.  That's just before the tab 3.  You can see it on the

 7     screen.

 8             You have said that after 28th August, you were no longer head of

 9     the Justice Department?

10        A.   Correct.

11        Q.   Since I see that you attended this session of the 28th October

12     1993, and you made certain nominations for the positions of judges and

13     prosecutors - that's page 4 in Croatian, page 3 in English, but for now

14     it doesn't matter - you've already confirmed it's correct, can you just

15     explain what, in your view, does it mean that from August, 28th of

16     August, 1993, you were no longer the head of the Department of Justice,

17     but you still attended sessions, nevertheless?

18        A.   It was a transition period from the day when the

19     Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna ceased to exist and the

20     Croatian Republic Herceg-Bosna came into being.  I believe that in the

21     transition provisions, it was envisaged that the HVO continue to act as

22     the government, pending the formation of the government of the

23     Croatian Republic of Herceg-Bosna.

24             Since this was a package of laws concerning the judiciary, and

25     especially the bill on the judicial council, of whom I later became the

Page 30630

 1     head, I attended this session, and I attended it also because I

 2     participated in the drafting of all these laws, together with Mr. Zubak,

 3     who at this time or perhaps a bit later became Minister of Justice, when

 4     the Cabinet was formed in the Croatian Republic of Herceg-Bosna.

 5        Q.   Mr. Buntic, I understand you well, but do you believe that in

 6     this period from 28th August until the new government was elected, you

 7     had a kind of technical mandate?

 8        A.   You can put it that way as well.  That's a valid interpretation.

 9        Q.   Do you mean that since you are appearing as a lawyer here and as

10     a witness, and I cannot testify myself, do you think it is a position

11     shared by other heads of departments who were not elected to the

12     government of the Croatian Republic of Herceg-Bosna?

13        A.   Yes, all those who were heads of departments in the HVO, after

14     the Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna ceased to exist, they continued to

15     work with a technical mandate until the day when the government of the

16     Croatian Republic Herceg-Bosna was elected.  I believe that candidates --

17     nominees for ministers were known already in September 1992 [as

18     interpreted].

19        Q.   Mr. Buntic, I'd like to move on to the next subject that I hope

20     we can deal with rather quickly; namely, reporting, reports from district

21     military courts and district military prosecutors' offices.

22             From the legislation we enumerated earlier governing this area,

23     we saw that it was the responsibility of the Defence Department to submit

24     these reports to the Presidency of the HZ-HB.  Prior to your becoming

25     head of the Justice Department, was it a practice or did you, as head of

Page 30631

 1     the Department of Justice, together with the Defence Department, did you

 2     make it a practice to submit aggregated reports?

 3        A.   As you can see from these reports and minutes and legislation,

 4     there were various situations.  Reports on the work of courts was

 5     sometimes submitted to the Defence Department, sometimes to the Justice

 6     Department, in some cases to both.  After that, aggregated reports were

 7     made and submitted to the HVO.

 8             In this document which appears first in section 3, there is an

 9     attempt to clarify this issue by instructing misdemeanor courts, military

10     courts and military prosecutors' offices to submit their reports to the

11     competent body, because what happened was that members of the Presidency

12     who were heads of municipalities required the Justice Department to

13     submit to them reports on the work of misdemeanor courts.  We have

14     already clarified this here.  Misdemeanor courts were established by

15     municipalities.  They were financed by municipalities.  Municipalities

16     appointed judges -- that is, magistrates in misdemeanor courts, and it

17     all worked on the level of municipalities.

18             However, an absurd situation occurred where they wanted -- they,

19     municipalities, wanted the Justice Department to submit to them reports

20     on the work of courts which they, themselves, established and which were

21     responsible to them and financed by them.  So these were some of the

22     absurd situations that we faced.

23             We were responsible.  We were appointed by the Presidency.  We

24     were answerable to the Presidency.  They made the requests and demands

25     they made, and this issue is clarified here.  At least there is an

Page 30632

 1     attempt to clarify it.  We gathered reports, and then, through the higher

 2     misdemeanor courts, we unified them in order to make some statistics.

 3     But there still occurred some absurd situations when we were asked to

 4     provide reports on the work of bodies that they formed, they financed,

 5     that answered to them, et cetera.

 6        Q.   For the record and for the benefit of the Trial Chamber and

 7     everyone in the courtroom, you were commenting on the first document,

 8     that is, 1D 2004, just so we know what we are talking about?

 9        A.   Correct.

10        Q.   Can I just guide you with my questions -- in fact, not "may I,"

11     but I have to; it's my duty.  And if I omit something, you will draw my

12     attention.

13             Have you ever seen, Mr. Buntic, the Defence Department, in the

14     annual report to the government, or in any other report, did it ever

15     summarise reports of the military courts and the military public

16     prosecutors' offices and submitted them to the HVO?

17        A.   Not for the duration of the HZ-HB.

18        Q.   All right.  The next document is a report that I'm not going to

19     show to you, but for the Trial Chamber I wish to say that it's P04699.

20     It is already an exhibit, and on page 47 you provide, among other things,

21     the report on the establishment of district courts and prosecutors'

22     offices.

23             I'd like to ask you now:  In your direct examination, you said

24     that the judiciary actually started to work sometime in mid-1993.  I'd

25     like to ask you to look at the next two documents, P1842 and -- that's

Page 30633

 1     the first report from the District Military Prosecutors' Office in

 2     Mostar, and you said correctly from the 10th of April, 1993, it was made

 3     available to you and to the Defence Department.  It's the report of the

 4     first trimester.

 5             Can we conclude that even in this shortened capacity, it

 6     operated, and in that period they received criminal reports, as we read

 7     in the first two paragraphs?

 8        A.   I think I need to correct you on one point.

 9             I did not say that the military judiciary bodies started working

10     in the summer 1993.  I believe I said a few days ago that district

11     military courts started to operate and moved into their new premises

12     sometime in the beginning of March, in the spring of 1993.  That applies

13     to military courts.  Prosecutors' offices started to operate in end 1992,

14     which is obvious from this document.

15             But I fully appreciate the shortness of your time, and I would

16     still like to point out one thing.

17             This report partly answers the question asked a day or two ago by

18     His Honour Judge Trechsel, when he asked me for information about the

19     number of crimes against unknown -- that is, committed by unknown

20     perpetrators, and the ratio of such crimes to the total.  This report

21     contains this information, and I am kindly asking you to read this

22     report, because by reading it, we'll find out a lot about the work of the

23     District Military Prosecutors' Office, if it can go against the time of

24     the Trial Chamber, if that's possible.

25        Q.   If you believe that is important and if you believe it is

Page 30634

 1     important to the question of Judge Trechsel, you can do it against my

 2     time.  We're talking about P1842; correct?  Just tell us which page, what

 3     are you referring to?

 4        A.   Page 1.  It's the report on the work of the District Military

 5     Prosecutors' Office, Mostar, for the first three months of 1993, and it

 6     says that this prosecutor's office received a total of 114 criminal

 7     reports against 1.447 adults, 1 criminal report against four minors, and

 8     6 criminal reports against perpetrators unknown.  So we have a certain

 9     number of criminal reports against unidentified perpetrators.

10             Out of the total criminal reports filed against adults, the

11     military police of the HVO filed 92 criminal reports, the Department of

12     Internal Affairs 18 criminal reports, the military police of the BH Army,

13     the 4th Corps filed three criminal reports, whereas citizens filed one

14     criminal report.  In 20 cases, this prosecutor's office rejected the

15     criminal report, in parentheses, which amounts to 17 per cent of the

16     total number of reports filed, parenthesis closed, against 23 persons, in

17     parentheses, 1.9 per cent of the total number of reports of persons

18     against whom reports were made, parentheses closed.

19             And I would only like to add this is a report of the then

20     District Public Prosecutor, Mr. Mladen Jurisic, who currently occupies

21     the highest judicial position in Bosnia-Herzegovina, he's the president

22     of the highest judicial council, and he has gone through vetting by the

23     independent, International Judicial Commission and the services in

24     Bosnia-Herzegovina.

25        Q.   Mr. Buntic, thank you for the information.  In this report -- but

Page 30635

 1     of particular interest are the criminal reports filed by the military

 2     police, and please look at that paragraph where it says that three such

 3     criminal reports were filed, and another document --

 4             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation]  One moment.  If you allow me,

 5     let's stay with P1842.  Look in your own language at the last paragraph

 6     on page 1.  It seems that the military prosecutor indicated that out of

 7     the 1.302 individuals that were prosecuted, apparently there were 31

 8     individuals that were prosecuted for crimes against humanity or crimes in

 9     international law.  Are you aware of the fact that there were

10     prosecutions for crimes against humanity, against obviously servicemen,

11     because the military prosecutor is competent for military individuals?

12     It would be interesting to know whether or how this number of 31

13     individuals is broken down and for what crimes against humanity.  Was

14     your attention drawn to this number of 31 individuals?

15             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I have already said

16     the extent of what I know about it.  This is a criminal report filed

17     before the prosecutors' office for the case called Uborak, where some 80

18     dead bodies were recovered, and this was an act committed by the JNA.

19     The 31 individuals listed in the criminal report went away with the

20     Yugoslav Army.  They were out of reach and the proceedings were at an

21     impasse.  One could not proceed prosecuting these individuals.

22             To the best of my knowledge, this particular reference has to do

23     with that case, where there was a large number of victims, and a criminal

24     report was filed based on the charges of violations of international law.

25     That's the extent of my knowledge about it.

Page 30636

 1             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation]  So these are JNA numbers, but

 2     does this mean that the military prosecutor -- of course, if Mr. Jurisic

 3     was to come, we could ask him directly, but does that mean that the

 4     military prosecutor never charged for crimes against humanity in files

 5     regarding soldiers who may have committed crimes with a connotation of

 6     crimes against humanity or against international law?

 7             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] As is quite evident from this

 8     document, there were such attempts on the part of the prosecutor to issue

 9     indictments for such crimes.  However, Your Honour, I have to draw your

10     attention to something I've mentioned before.

11             The prosecutors' office became operational at the end of 1992 or

12     in early 1993.  Already in the month of May, there was an outbreak of the

13     conflict between Muslims and Croats.  The prosecutors' office were able

14     to function smoothly for some five months and courts for some two to

15     three months only.  At that point, all these institutions were deprived

16     of their facilities and case files were destroyed.  And I'm referring to

17     the month of May of 1993.  We have a number of documents indicating the

18     efforts that they made.  However, in my view, the times did not allow

19     them to do more.

20             You know when this particular Tribunal was set up and when the

21     first judgement was rendered.  These were very complex crimes, entailing

22     proceedings lasting up to three years in order for a proper judgement to

23     be rendered.  We have to bear in mind that this Tribunal had the

24     United Nations' backing, a large budget, and the backing of this

25     beautiful country, and it had this beautiful building at its disposal,

Page 30637

 1     and yet several years had to pass before the first judgement could be

 2     rendered for the crimes against humanity.

 3             We did not have the expertise that this particular Tribunal

 4     enjoys.  We did not have the necessary documentation.  We did not have

 5     the necessary exchanges of expertise.  The persons who were involved in

 6     that did their best.  You saw that the prosecutors' offices did issue

 7     indictments, and the courts did pass judgements.  However, on charges for

 8     crimes against humanity, which are very complex cases, which carry a

 9     great burden of proof, in the cases where the perpetrators were out of

10     reach, you know that even to this day Karadzic and Mladic remain out of

11     reach of this Tribunal.  What were the resources we had our disposal?

12     Very few and far between.

13             You will see, from this particular report, that there were cases

14     of physical assault and harassment of judges by paramilitary formations

15     of both the BH Army and the HVO.  They worked under very difficult

16     circumstances.

17             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation]  We're going to see a document.

18     Ms. Nozica might speak to it later, 2D 506.  I might be ahead of her, but

19     this is to follow up on what you've just said.

20             In July, the military prosecutor made another report on

21     statistical activities.  We know because we have in the indictment the

22     issue of prisoners disappearing from the Vranica building in May.  How is

23     it that this case could not be registered or recorded in this July report

24     of the military prosecutor?

25             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] From what I'm able to see here, the

Page 30638

 1     first report relates to the first three months of work, that is to say,

 2     from the months of January through March, whereas the second report

 3     refers to the period through to the 9th of July, covering the first half

 4     of the year.  I may have missed your reference.  I'm not sure what you're

 5     referring to, but two different time periods are referred to here.

 6             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well.

 7             Ms. Nozica.

 8             THE INTERPRETER:  Microphone for counsel.

 9             MR. NOZICA: [Interpretation] Thank you.

10             Your Honours, I note the time.  I would like to finish this

11     document and the related area.

12        Q.   We have another brief that reached you and your department, and

13     that's something that you can confirm; is that right?

14        A.   I'm not sure which document you're referring to.

15        Q.   2D 506.  I'm referring to the document Judge Antonetti drew your

16     attention to, the one that you said referred to the first half of the

17     year; that's to say, the 1st of January through to the 30th of June.

18     Let's look at the criminal reports filed by the military police of the

19     Army of Bosnia-Herzegovina.  There were four such criminal reports.

20             Mr. Buntic, can you confirm that in this period of time, the

21     Army of Bosnia-Herzegovina filed criminal reports to the

22     District Prosecutors' Office in Mostar?

23        A.   It is quite evident that these reports are referred to in both of

24     these reports.

25        Q.   Yes.  The first one referred to three such criminal reports and

Page 30639

 1     the second one to four?

 2        A.   Yes.  We were able to see that criminal reports mostly arrived

 3     from the military police, some from the civilian MUP, and some from

 4     members of the armed forces.

 5        Q.   If the Army of the BH, in the report period, believed that crimes

 6     were committed against its members, it would only be logical for it to

 7     have filed or posit criminal reports to the Military Prosecutors' Office

 8     and they would consequently be covered by this report, would they not?

 9        A.   Yes.

10             MR. NOZICA: [Interpretation] I would like to stop here and resume

11     after the break.  I still have several brief areas I want to cover.

12             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation]  Very well.  We will have a

13     20-minute break now.

14                           --- Recess taken at 3.48 p.m.

15                           --- On resuming at 4.11 p.m.

16             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation]  The hearing is resumed.

17             Ms. Nozica, you have the floor.

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

19             Before I continue, I'd like to say two things.

20             First of all, by mistake, on page 27, line 7, we have "1992"

21     instead of "1993," and I would like to draw the attention of the

22     Trial Chamber that according to my calculation, I've used up 95 minutes

23     that you have allocated to me, but I would like your leave to finish my

24     cross-examination, and the time that starts to run now you are to deduct

25     from the time allocated to Mr. Stojic's Defence.

Page 30640

 1             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation]  Please proceed.

 2             MR. NOZICA: [Interpretation] Thank you.

 3        Q.   Mr. Buntic, let us move to the subject of financing now, the

 4     financing of the military judiciary, and let me recall again that the

 5     basis -- the foundation for these questions now is your statement that

 6     the Defence Department was responsible, in terms of organisation, staff

 7     and finance, for the military judiciary.

 8             I would like you to tell us, to the best of your recollection,

 9     how district military courts and district military prosecutors' offices

10     were financed at the time when you were head of the Justice Department,

11     if you remember.

12        A.   Military courts and military prosecutors' offices, if I remember

13     well, were financed from the budget of the Croatian Community of

14     Herceg-Bosna, from the funds allocated to the Defence Department.  The

15     uniforms, the logistics, the inventory, furnishings, equipment, and even

16     buildings were provided by the Defence Department, by requisitioning,

17     among other things, the law school building in Mostar, and the students

18     were transferred to another location.  That's how we had to make do.

19        Q.   If you can remember, how were the salaries financed, when there

20     was enough financing, for the judges and prosecutors in military courts

21     and prosecutors' offices?

22        A.   As far as I know, from the budget of the Croatian Community of

23     Herceg-Bosna, through the Defence Department, as far as I know.

24        Q.   Let us look at document 1D 1180.  It's the 41st session of HVO of

25     the 9th of December, 1992.  And if we can look at the last paragraph of

Page 30641

 1     these minutes, both in Croatian and in English.  It says:

 2             "At the proposal of the Department of Justice and

 3     General Administration, the decision was made to allocate the amount of

 4     5.000.000 Croatian dinars for the requirements of civilian, basic and

 5     higher courts and prosecutors' offices, as well as the amount of

 6     1.476.000 for the requirements of the military court and the military

 7     prosecutors' office.  Hereby your request from the HVO to allocate these

 8     funds for the military court and the military prosecutors' office."

 9             Do you remember that?

10        A.   I believe I have spoken about this already, and I believe these

11     funds were needed for the renovation and adaptation of the building of

12     the former Court and Associated Labour for the needs of the

13     Municipal Court, that is, the civilian court.  And in that building, in

14     addition to the Municipal Court, there was also the higher prosecutors'

15     office, civilian prosecutors' office, and the higher military

16     prosecutors' office.

17        Q.   Just a minute.  You told me a moment ago that the

18     Defence Department was in charge, in tactical terms, for the renovation

19     of buildings and the supply of equipment, and now you're telling me that

20     you are requesting funds from the HVO precisely for this technical aspect

21     for military court and the military prosecutors' office?  Just tell me

22     "yes" or "no."

23        A.   I told you what I remember.  In principle, the Department of

24     Justice and General Administration did not finance either the military

25     court or the military prosecutors' office, nor did these funds go through

Page 30642

 1     the Justice Department.  I told you what I meant.  You can see from here,

 2     5.000.000 for civilian judiciary and just 1.476.000, and that could have

 3     been needed for the building of the court of the -- of Associated Labour

 4     which housed all these three bodies.  And we are talking about end 1992.

 5        Q.   Let us look at 1D 2210.  It's the next one in the binder.  This

 6     is a document sent to the government of the HVO HZ-HB, the

 7     Justice Department, personally to Zoran Buntic.  It is sent by the

 8     District Military Court in Travnik and the District Military

 9     Prosecutors' Office in Travnik.  The signature below is the signature of

10     the prosecutor and the president of the Court.  It follows from this that

11     they want you to pay out salaries for March, April, May, and June for the

12     president of the Court, the judges and the administrative staff, as well

13     as the prosecutor and his staff and administration.

14             Do you remember this request, that it was sent to you?

15        A.   I remember that it was sent, but I don't think these salaries

16     came from the Department of Justice and General Administration.  Yes, the

17     request was sent, but I don't think the salaries went through the -- were

18     paid out through our department.

19        Q.   It follows from this letter that they are owed salaries for

20     March, April, May, and June.  Do you know how they were financed before

21     these months?

22        A.   I don't know.

23        Q.   Mr. Buntic, have you had occasion to see the final account of the

24     Defence Department for 1993?

25        A.   No, ma'am.

Page 30643

 1        Q.   Have you seen a single document during your term of office from

 2     which it would follow that the Defence Department financed military

 3     judicial bodies?

 4        A.   I didn't, but I also didn't see any documents stating that the

 5     Justice Department financed them.

 6        Q.   Thank you.

 7        A.   Welcome.

 8        Q.   To sum up this first segment, on the basis of what you said

 9     before this Court, namely, that the military and judiciary were,

10     organisationally, in terms of staff and financially, linked to the

11     Defence Department, is it the case on the basis of the documents I've

12     shown you that you can confirm that in terms of staff, it was not

13     exclusively relying on the Defence Department; can you confirm that?

14        A.   I already have, several times.

15        Q.   On the basis of the documents shown you, can you confirm that the

16     Defence Department did not finance military courts and military

17     prosecutors' offices, either, I'm saying on the basis of the documents

18     I've shown you?

19        A.   I told you, I can neither confirm nor deny.

20        Q.   I'd like to move to the last series of questions relating to

21     prisons, appointments --

22             JUDGE MINDUA: [Interpretation] I'm sorry, Ms. Nozica.  I would

23     like to put a question to the witness.  It is possible that I

24     misunderstood what he said, but maybe he can help me out.

25             In response to a question posed by Ms. Nozica, who was asking you

Page 30644

 1     whether you could remember, on the basis of the documents available to

 2     you, if it was the Defence Department that financed the military courts,

 3     the district courts and the prosecutors' office, you answered, "No," and

 4     you couldn't remember, either, that this was done through the

 5     Justice Department.  Therefore, could you tell us who was financing those

 6     courts as well as the prosecutors' office?

 7             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I have said that I

 8     believe the financing came from the budget of the Croatian Community of

 9     Herceg-Bosna, through the Defence Department.  I said I believed that was

10     so.  I said -- I don't know if it's on the record -- that I hadn't seen a

11     single document that could confirm what I've said.  So I wasn't saying

12     that on the basis of documents or on the basis of legislation.  On the

13     basis of documents, I said I haven't seen a single document of that kind.

14     I don't know how it was recorded, but that's what I said.  So what I have

15     said I said on the basis of the legislation that prevailed and on the

16     basis of my belief that it was so, but I made a reservation, saying that

17     I can't claim I have seen a document to that effect.  That was the thrust

18     of my answer.  I don't know how it was conveyed to you, Your Honour.

19             JUDGE MINDUA: [Interpretation] I thank you very much.  That is

20     what was recorded in the transcript.

21             MR. NOZICA: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.

22             I would like to move to a new subject now, the topic of military

23     prisons.  I want us to be very, very precise.

24        Q.   I'm not going to examine you on centres for prisoners of war but

25     on military prisons.  Let us go back to a document you've seen before,

Page 30645

 1     1D 2004, the first in that chapter.

 2             In item 15 of this document, that's page 4 in Croatian -- have

 3     you found it?  You say the following:

 4             "During the war, the District Military Prison and the

 5     District Civilian Prisons in Busovaca, in Orasje, were established, and

 6     wardens were appointed for them.  Also established was the

 7     District Prison in Mostar and the District Military Prison and the

 8     District Civilian Prison in Gabela.  We emphasise that the supervision

 9     over the work and conditions in the District Prison is provided by the

10     president of the Higher Court, whereas the supervision of the work and

11     conditions in military prisons is provided by the Defence Department."

12             That was the text, and now I will ask you several questions, one

13     by one, about this paragraph, which is very important.

14             You already said you were surprised there's no signature, but

15     first of all, confirm what I've read.

16        A.   I've told you before that I wrote this document myself, and I

17     stand by that answer.  It's not signed, that's true.

18        Q.   Mr. Buntic, can you remember who established the

19     District Military Prison and the District Civilian Prison in Orasje and

20     who -- and at whose proposal appointed the wardens?

21             MR. STRINGER:  [Previous translation continues]... the question

22     is irrelevant, Mr. President, as Orasje is beyond the scope of the

23     indictment.

24             MR. NOZICA: [Interpretation] Your Honours, with your leave, I

25     wish to show something that may be important to the whole picture.  If

Page 30646

 1     you acknowledge this observation, I would like to emphasise especially

 2     the second sentence, which says:

 3             "We emphasise that the supervision over the work and conditions

 4     in the District Prison is provided by the president of the Higher Court,

 5     whereas the supervision over the work and conditions in military prisons

 6     is provided by the Defence Department."

 7             As far as the district prisons in the indictment are concerned,

 8     if we want to know who supervised and controlled them, it is important to

 9     show the entire picture.  If you allow me, I would like to continue.

10             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation]  Please proceed.

11             MR. NOZICA: [Interpretation]

12        Q.   Can you remember, Witness, who established the District Military

13     Prison and the District Civilian Prison in Orasje and who appointed the

14     wardens?

15        A.   If I can remember well, we received a proposal from

16     Bosanska Posavina for the district military and district civilian prisons

17     in Orasje, and the HVO passed a decision to establish the district

18     military and district civilian prisons in Orasje.  I believe there was a

19     proposal for the appointment of the wardens which came from

20     Bosanska Posavina, that is, Orasje, and the decision was made along those

21     lines by the HVO of the Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna.

22        Q.   I'll skip the District Prison in Busovaca.  How about the one in

23     Mostar that was a civilian prison?  It is not important to our story.

24        A.   Yes, no decision needed to be made because it existed already.

25        Q.   The District Military Prison and the District Civilian Prison in

Page 30647

 1     Gabela, do you remember who established them and who passed the decision

 2     to establish this prison and appoint the wardens?

 3        A.   I've already answered this question.  I do not remember that the

 4     HVO made such a decision, and I do not remember that it was promulgated

 5     in the Official Gazette of the Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna.

 6        Q.   All right.  As for what you said, which is important, namely, the

 7     supervision over the district civilian and military prisons, I would like

 8     us to follow the sequence and look at the next document, which is P0 --

 9             JUDGE TRECHSEL:  Excuse me, Ms. Nozica, but I would like to ask

10     the witness a question about this document, and I hope I'm not repeating

11     a question someone else has put before.

12             I would like to know how come that you, the Minister of Justice

13     and Administration, file a report on the Military Prosecutors' Office and

14     district military courts.  I had assumed that you had said that they were

15     separated; the military jurisdiction is under the Minister of Defence and

16     the civilian jurisdiction is under the Ministry of Justice and

17     General Administration.  Then I failed to understand why you would even

18     bother to file a report with such a title and contents.

19             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I believe that the issue is

20     clarified in the first items of this report or, namely, in item 1.  The

21     events took their own course, as item 1 clearly states.  I observe that

22     the -- that a report on the work of the department is sought which

23     normally does not submit reports.  However, acknowledging the intention

24     and the wish to introduce as much order in the state of affairs, and

25     honouring the conclusions from the working meeting, what is meant here is

Page 30648

 1     the meeting of the HVO, the department submits a report on the judiciary

 2     for the aforementioned period.  It is quite evident from this that the

 3     HVO of the HZ-HB ordered the Justice Department to produce a report on

 4     the work of all the courts and prosecutors' offices, regardless of their

 5     civilian or military nature.

 6             JUDGE TRECHSEL:  Well, I take cognizance of your explanations.

 7     I'm still a bit puzzled, because in other situations when the question

 8     was how the situation in prisons were, you were very strict in respecting

 9     the limits of your competencies, as you told us, and I fail -- I frankly

10     fail to see how you improve order by reporting on something which is not

11     within your competencies.  But, I mean, you have given an answer.

12             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Correct, Your Honour.  I've

13     explained why, but it was precisely for this reason that I made this

14     statement, and I stand by it fully.  If there was something unlawful or

15     incriminating in the work of courts and prosecutors' offices, for

16     precisely those reasons I assume upon myself all the responsibility and I

17     invite the Prosecutor before this Tribunal to issue an indictment against

18     me where there are grounds for it, because where it comes to the work of

19     the courts, I can be the sole responsible individual for the period we're

20     discussing up until the 28th of August, 1993.

21             JUDGE TRECHSEL:  Just to be sure I understand you correctly, you

22     say you take all responsibility also for the military jurisdiction?

23             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] For the work of both military and

24     civilian courts, Your Honour.

25             JUDGE TRECHSEL:  Thank you.

Page 30649

 1             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation]  Ms. Nozica, you may proceed.

 2             MR. NOZICA: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I have to go back to

 3     the question you put.  Mr. Buntic quoted the first sentence, where he

 4     says:

 5             "We note that a report is sought from a department to which such

 6     reports are not submitted."

 7             We looked a moment ago at a report, which is document P1842, and

 8     another document, 2D 00506.  These were reports on the work of the

 9     District Military Prosecutors' Office in Mostar for the first three

10     months and for the first half of the year.  As we can see, the reports

11     were submitted both to you and to the Defence Department.

12        Q.   Can you confirm that?

13        A.   I've already done that, I've already confirmed that.

14        Q.   I'm going back to that issue, because there might be some

15     confusion about the party to whom the reports were delivered to, and

16     that's the document 1D 2004.

17             Let's look at another document, P3350.  This is another report

18     which you signed, which you made on the work of the Justice Department,

19     and that's from the 1st of January, 1993, until the 31st of June.  Let us

20     look at item 11, where you confirm precisely what you've mentioned now;

21     the establishment of the district prisons.  Can you confirm that?

22        A.   Yes, I can confirm that.

23        Q.   Let us look at the following document, 1D 1184.  That's the next

24     document in the binder.  These are minutes from the 35th meeting of the

25     HVO, held on the 9th of April, 1993; page 5 of the Croatian version and

Page 30650

 1     the last paragraph of the last page of the English version, which says:

 2             "At the proposal of the Department of Justice and

 3     General Administration of the HVO HZ-HB, as warden of the Military and

 4     Civilian District Prison in Orasje, Ilija Benkovic is appointed, and for

 5     the warden of the District Prison in Mostar, Pero Nikolic."

 6             Can you confirm that this is precisely the situation that you

 7     recalled, and that is that in Orasje, the proposal went through the

 8     Justice Department to Orasje and that's how the appointment was made?

 9        A.   I described precisely what happened.  The proposal arrived from

10     Posavina, from Orasje.

11        Q.   Mr. Buntic, thank you.  We have all of that in the transcript.

12     Let me just say that this document confirms the situation.

13        A.   No, I'm not confirming your question.  It does not confirm your

14     question.

15        Q.   Very well.  Tell me what is wrong in the question I put to you

16     and what the actual state of affairs was.

17        A.   What is erroneous is that the proposal came from the

18     Justice Department or that I sent the proposal.  I said who the proposal

19     came from and answered the question.

20        Q.   Mr. Buntic, there is no need to be incensed about it.  I merely

21     read out what the minutes said.

22        A.   The minutes are erroneous.

23        Q.   Very well.  Let us look at the following document, 1D 1105.  This

24     is a document approving the appointment of the prison staff for convicts

25     of misdemeanor and criminal offences, dated the 2nd of March, 1993,

Page 30651

 1     signed by the president of the Croatian Defence Council, Pero Markovic.

 2     You were shown the document during the examination-in-chief, and you said

 3     that this referred to the serving of sentences for misdemeanor offences

 4     and that it went -- and that it fell within the jurisdiction of the

 5     municipal HVO organs?

 6        A.   Correct.  In accordance with the law on the serving of criminal

 7     and misdemeanor sentences, municipalities can set up prisons for the

 8     serving of such sentences, and this was the case in Capljina, where the

 9     municipality set up a prison for precisely such sentences.

10        Q.   Mr. Buntic, I went back to this document for a very important

11     word which is contained in the heading, which says:  "... granting

12     permission to the misdemeanors prison and the detention facility."

13             Can you confirm that detention falls within criminal sanctions,

14     or can you confirm for us that it was only a judge of either a regular

15     civilian or military court could order detention?

16        A.   As far as I know, a misdemeanors magistrate would not be able to

17     order detention.  He could do so in a summary procedure, ordering

18     detention as an urgent measure, but I don't believe that a summary

19     procedure would include detention.  It would include the immediate

20     rendering of the judgement and the holding in custody of the person

21     convicted.  I don't believe that the misdemeanors court could do this.

22        Q.   Can it follow from this particular document that what was

23     referred to was only a detention facility and not a place where

24     misdemeanor sanctions were served?

25        A.   Yes, one could interpret it that way.

Page 30652

 1             MR. STRINGER:  Excuse me, Mr. President.

 2             I haven't objected yet, I don't believe, to the many leading

 3     questions that have been put to the witness during the course of this

 4     examination, whether we call it a direct or a cross, but this is in fact

 5     a direct examination, in that it is intended to lead evidence that's

 6     favourable.  It's not undermining the witness's credibility or to attempt

 7     to deal with alleged incriminating issues that were led by counsel for

 8     Mr. Prlic on the direct.

 9             So just so we're clear again, and I've said it previously last

10     week in respect of the examination that was conducted by counsel for

11     Mr. Coric, and I just want to put that out there again for the

12     Trial Chamber, we've gone very far afield from what was led in the direct

13     examination.  Sure, the direct examination touched on detention

14     facilities, but we have now and consistently been at a level of detail

15     that is such that it can only really barely be classified as direct

16     examination.

17             Counsel's putting on her case.  She's using her time to do it,

18     and she's certainly doing her job in that respect, but let's just be fair

19     about what's happening here.  These are documents provided to the

20     Prosecution the other day, on Thursday.  We're well beyond, really, the

21     scope of the direct, and I think that in this situation, leading

22     questions are extremely unfair.  And at the very least, I want to point

23     out that the leading questions and the answers that they generate should

24     very definitely be given a reduced probative value by the Trial Chamber.

25             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] What do you say, Ms. Nozica?

Page 30653

 1             MR. NOZICA: [Interpretation] Your Honour, let me respond by

 2     saying that this is pure cross-examination.  The document was shown to

 3     the witness, and the witness answered the question to the best of his

 4     abilities.

 5             When it comes to leading questions, I am within cross-examination

 6     and completely in keeping with the Rules.

 7             Let me stress that I am now using up the time allocated to the

 8     Defence of Mr. Stojic, and I was merely putting questions to the witness

 9     on the subjects raised in the examination-in-chief.  There was one

10     subject that went beyond that scope, and as you can see, most of the

11     documents are marked "1D," therefore documents that were used in the

12     examination-in-chief.

13             It is very important to me, and it was rightly put by the

14     Prosecutor, that I find answers to these questions very important, and I

15     would not like to have any technical impediment, such as putting of

16     improper questions to the witness, to get in the way of my examination,

17     so please caution me about it.

18             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation]  Ms. Nozica, you're telling us

19     that since the documents were tackled during the direct examination, you

20     are in cross-examination, this is no new topic; however, you do agree to

21     that time being taken out of your overall time because you went over the

22     time that was allocated?  Have I summarised your position well?

23             MR. NOZICA: [Interpretation] Your Honour, you are absolutely

24     right.  This is cross-examination, but regardless of the fact that this

25     is cross-examination, it is deducted from the time allocated to

Page 30654

 1     Mr. Stojic.

 2             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation]  Put your question again,

 3     please.

 4             MR. NOZICA: [Interpretation]

 5        Q.   Mr. Buntic, if you look at the detail I've drawn your attention

 6     to, can you tell us whether this involves the employment of staff for a

 7     prison where individuals serve misdemeanor sentences or is it also a

 8     facility where individuals are remanded into custody by order of the HVO?

 9        A.   I've already said that this particular decision was in keeping

10     with the municipal regulations.  However, this is also a detention and a

11     facility in Capljina, so the HVO went beyond the scope of their powers.

12     As I've already said, they overstepped the powers granted by the law to

13     the Capljina local authorities.  But the decision is as it is.  It says

14     "for the serving of misdemeanor sentences," and the Capljina barracks are

15     mentioned.

16        Q.   Are you familiar with the first name on the list there,

17     Bosko Previsic?  Do you know whether he was perhaps hired in some other

18     prison in the HZ-HB?

19        A.   I believe that indeed he was.

20        Q.   You can't remember where that was, can you?

21        A.   No.

22        Q.   Let us look at another document concerning the control over the

23     prisons.  We are talking about the establishment and supervisional

24     control over military prisons, and we are referring back to the report of

25     yours, where you said that the supervision of work and state of affairs

Page 30655

 1     in prisons is done by the Defence Department.

 2        A.   If this is what it reads, then it's a mistake.  It should fall

 3     within the purview of the president of the District Military Court.  If

 4     this is indeed what is written there, then it's a mistake.

 5        Q.   Thank you.

 6        A.   When it comes to prisons.  Now, when it comes to the venues

 7     holding prisoners of war, that's where the Defence Department would have

 8     jurisdiction.  Now, where it comes to -- when it comes to prisons, it's

 9     the president of the District Court and the warden of the prison who have

10     those responsibilities.

11        Q.   Then it must have been a slip or an error on your part in

12     drafting the report.

13             Let us look at the next document, 1D 1797.  This is a report from

14     the District Military Court in Mostar, submitted to the Defence ministry,

15     government, administration of the military police and the crime

16     department.  Let's look at the first sentence.  What does the president

17     of the District Military Court say?  On the 6th of November, 1993, the

18     president of the Mostar District Military Court, pursuant to Article 205

19     of the ZKP, performed an inspection of detainees at the VIZ in Ljubuski.

20             Mr. Buntic, we've seen this document before.  Can you confirm

21     that this is precisely the situation where you said that the supervision

22     of the military court lay within the hands of the president of the court

23     with territorial jurisdiction and the warden of the prison?

24        A.   This confirms my statement that I made immediately before looking

25     at this document.

Page 30656

 1        Q.   Can we look at another document, 2D 1412.  This is a document

 2     sent to the Justice Department, to the Department of Justice and

 3     Administration, and to the commander of the OZ Central Bosnia,

 4     Colonel Blaskic, sent by the District Prison Kaonik-Busovaca, signed by

 5     the warden of the prison.

 6             In this letter, the warden of the prison, and undoubtedly it's

 7     the district military prison, says that for safety and legality of the

 8     functioning, the person responsible is the warden, which is only logical.

 9        A.   Yes.

10        Q.   Item 2 says treatment of imprisoned individuals in the section

11     for custody before trial of the District Military Prison is under the

12     responsibility of the warden of the District Military Prison and under

13     the supervision of the president of the District Military Court in Vitez;

14     is that correct?

15        A.   Yes.

16        Q.   Under the administration of the director and under the

17     supervision of the Department for Justice and General Administration of

18     the HZ-HB.  So in the third category, we have convicts.  Do you agree?

19        A.   No.  The District Military Prison could no way have been under

20     the jurisdiction of the Justice and General Administration Department.

21     This is a proposal of Zlatko Aleksovski.  He is just proposing something.

22     It is not an official decision.

23        Q.   Mr. Buntic, according to the legislation that prevailed, and I

24     mean primarily the decree on district military courts, who was in charge

25     and under what legislation were sentences served?  We are now moving into

Page 30657

 1     subjects that I haven't prepared for, but I'm asking you:  Military men

 2     who were convicted by competent military courts, under whose jurisdiction

 3     did they serve sentences?

 4        A.   This matter is governed by Article 30 through Article 35 of the

 5     Decree on District Military Courts of the Croatian Community of

 6     Herceg-Bosna of the 17th October 1992.

 7        Q.   Please answer me.  Do you know under whose jurisdiction were

 8     convicts?  Who was responsible for them when they were serving their

 9     sentences?  We have the decree.  Just answer my question.  Nothing is

10     problematic with the document.  It's already an exhibit.  We can all

11     analyse it.  Who had jurisdiction, in your opinion?

12        A.   Who?

13        Q.   Persons who were legally convicted and who were convicted by

14     district military courts and who are serving sentences.

15        A.   I've already said that they were under the supervision of the

16     president of the District Military Court and the warden or the

17     administrator of the prison.

18        Q.   Thank you very much for that answer.

19             Now, in conclusion, I will avail myself of your presence in the

20     courtroom, Mr. Buntic, to establish certain provisions in the Law on

21     Criminal Procedure, an issue that was raised during your direct

22     examination, and I hope you can be of assistance to the Trial Chamber in

23     explaining how it was stipulated in the period we are discussing.

24             You have a large document in front of you.  It's not in the

25     binder.  It's a separate document.  I think it was given to you.

Page 30658

 1             Could the usher please assist Mr. Buntic, if necessary.  I'm

 2     speaking of the document 4D 01105, and that's the Law on

 3     Criminal Procedure.

 4             Mr. Buntic, can you confirm that it was precisely this law of the

 5     Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina that was taken over from -- that was

 6     taken over by the Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna and applied in this

 7     period?

 8        A.   It's the Penal Code not of the Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina but

 9     the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslav that was taken over, as such,

10     by virtue of the republic decree and further taken over by the

11     Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna and applied in the territory of the

12     HZ-HB.  So it was originally a federal law on criminal procedure of the

13     SFRY that was applied in the territory of HZ-HB.

14        Q.   You explained very nicely these steps.  So after the Republic of

15     Bosnia-Herzegovina was internationally recognised, this law was taken

16     over, and then it was further taken over by the HZ-HB, and it was applied

17     by the HZ-HB in full; is that correct?

18        A.   Yes.

19        Q.   When we were talking about continued prosecution, I want to

20     emphasise certain points.

21             Please look at Article 60 [as interpreted].  Can you look at

22     Article 6 very quickly.  I know you can do it, as a lawyer.  It governs

23     precisely the area you talked about.

24             In every case when the public prosecutor finds there are no

25     grounds for prosecution, the prosecutor informs the injured party that

Page 30659

 1     they can continue prosecution themselves?

 2        A.   Correct.

 3        Q.   In paragraph 3, a situation is described when the public

 4     prosecutor renounces the indictment, and in that case the injured party

 5     may adhere to the indictment or issue a new indictment.  You've mentioned

 6     that, too.

 7        A.   Yes, that's paragraph 3.

 8        Q.   Paragraphs 4, 5 and 6 further elaborate the rights of the injured

 9     party when he finds that the public prosecutor gave up on the case or

10     when he died, so it protects basically all the rights of the injured

11     party?

12        A.   Yes.  They enable the injured party to continue with the

13     prosecution, regardless of the prosecutor's decision to abandon.

14        Q.   You are also familiar with the current legislation in Bosnia and

15     Herzegovina and the Law on Criminal Procedure; am I right?

16        A.   I'm not a specialist.

17        Q.   Can you at least answer this question, if you know:  Does the

18     injured party still have these same rights when the new law has been

19     adopted by the highest standards?

20        A.   Under the new Penal Code in Bosnia and Herzegovina, the rights of

21     the injured party are considerably reduced, compared to the arrangements

22     in the Law on Criminal Procedure that we are looking at and that was

23     applied in HZ-HB, correct.

24        Q.   Mrs. Tomasegovic-Tomic showed you one document that I'm not going

25     back to, but I'm just going to just remind you it was the decision

Page 30660

 1     whereby the prosecutor abandons the prosecution.  It's page -- it's

 2     5D 4175, the first page, and the prosecutor there invokes Article 180 [as

 3     interpreted].  Can you look at Article 180 [as interpreted]?

 4             The legal recourse.  It says the investigating judge shall

 5     terminate the investigation when the public prosecutor informs him that

 6     he abandoned the prosecution.  And it says that the investigating judge

 7     shall inform the injured party of dismissal of the investigation within

 8     eight days.

 9             Was it really like that in practice?

10        A.   Correct, and I believe that's the arrangement that was cited by

11     the Coric Defence, yes, relative to the document 5D 04175.

12             THE INTERPRETER:  Interpreter's correction, it's Article 170, not

13     80.

14             MR. NOZICA: [Interpretation]

15        Q.   I have been told that on page 56, line 16, the article mentioned

16     should be "170" instead of "180."

17             Let us now look at Article 181 of this law that deals with the

18     questions asked by the Trial Chamber; namely, what can the injured party

19     do if no action is taken on the criminal report in which he or she is the

20     injured party?  This article says:

21             "The parties and the injured parties may always file a complaint

22     with the president of the court before which proceedings are being

23     conducted because of procrastination or other irregularities in the

24     course of the investigation.  The president of the court shall

25     investigate the allegations in the complaint, and if the proponent has so

Page 30661

 1     requested, shall inform him of what action has been taken."

 2             This seems to confirm what you have said, Mr. Buntic; namely, the

 3     parties, too, the prosecution and the defence and even the injured

 4     parties themselves, have the right to address the president of the court

 5     whenever they believe that their rights are infringed upon due to undue

 6     delays?

 7        A.   Yes, I believe I said that complaints were possible against the

 8     work of the prosecutor, even, and such complaints were to be addressed to

 9     the higher prosecutor.

10        Q.   I just want to confirm with these provisions which you said;

11     namely, that they are grounded in this law.

12             Let us now look at Article 205.  It's a provision governing the

13     issue of supervision over courts -- over prisons, sorry, and inmates.

14     Have you found it?

15        A.   Yes.

16        Q.   It says:

17             "Supervision over prisoners in custody shall be exercised by the

18     president of the court who is authorised to do so."

19             Para 2 stipulates in which way this is to be done, and para 3

20     states that the president of the court shall do so possibly in

21     cooperation with the public prosecutor.  That's what you said when we

22     were talking about supervision over military prisons?

23        A.   Yes, this confirms all the evidence I've given on this subject;

24     namely, that presidents of courts, if we are talking about military

25     courts, provide supervision, and when civilian prisons are concerned, it

Page 30662

 1     is the presidents of civilian courts.  If I had made a slip of the

 2     tongue, it was just a slip of the tongue.  These things happen.

 3        Q.   Of course, of course.  That is why I am here to establish what is

 4     correct and what is not, and we have all these documents in evidence.

 5             And the last article I want to deal with is 346.

 6             One of the Judges asked you about the legal qualification of the

 7     Act cited in the criminal report or the decision to carry out an

 8     investigation, to issue an indictment and judgement.  Article 346 states

 9     that the judgement may only refer to the person who is indicted, which is

10     logical, and only to the act cited in the indictment and in the trial,

11     and para 2 says the Court shall not be bound by the recommendations of

12     the Prosecutor concerning the legal qualification of the Act.

13             Mr. Buntic, it is unequivocal that the Court was authorised to

14     qualify the act the way they saw fit, based on the description given in

15     the indictment?

16        A.   Yes.  It had to be made on the basis of the description in the

17     indictment which was prepared by the Prosecution, but it was the Court

18     that decided on the legal qualification.

19        Q.   Mr. Buntic, His Honour Judge Antonetti asked you about the filing

20     of criminal reports for war crimes.  I know that criminal law is not your

21     primary field of expertise, but you do have certain knowledge.

22             Do you remember that under the Penal Code prevailing at the time,

23     war crimes encompassed rapes and thefts and forced removal for performing

24     forced labour; all these were elements of the crime of war crime, in

25     fact, during the state of war in the conditions specified?

Page 30663

 1        A.   Yes, they were stipulated by the law as crimes.  To the extent I

 2     remember the Penal Code of the SFRY and the Penal Code of

 3     Bosnia-Herzegovina, they did not qualify these acts as war crimes.  The

 4     police filed criminal reports about what they observed, and they were not

 5     required to compile that report including qualification.  The police had

 6     to file a criminal report based on what they knew, saying that a crime

 7     had occurred.  A criminal report never had to be a formal document.

 8        Q.   That's precisely what I'm trying to say.  If the criminal report,

 9     itself, did not contain a legal qualification, and even the indictment

10     sometimes didn't, the Court was certainly not bound to follow that legal

11     qualification.

12             I have no further questions.  I thank the Trial Chamber for the

13     additional time given me.  I have no further questions.

14             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation]  Thank you, Ms. Nozica.  I

15     believe my fellow Judge wants to put a question.

16             MS. PINTER: [Interpretation] My apologies, Your Honours, but it

17     is my turn before Madam Alaburic.  I announced a short cross-examination

18     of some 10 to 15 minutes and a couple of questions.  The

19     cross-examination will have to do with what Mr. Buntic said --

20             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation]  One moment, please.

21     Judge Mindua has a few questions.

22             JUDGE MINDUA: [Interpretation] Sorry, Counsel, I had asked for

23     the floor before you started.

24             Witness, I have a question for you.  Indeed, when I read page 47

25     of the transcript, at line 9, I was a little nonplussed with regard to

Page 30664

 1     the minutes that were written during meetings, during HVO meetings.  Let

 2     me be more specific.

 3             Regarding -- I'm looking for the document number.  One moment,

 4     please -- 1D 1184, we looked at it a few minutes ago.  This is a proposal

 5     for appointment of a warden, including the Mostar Prison warden, and you

 6     opposed Ms. Nozica's question.  You said that these minutes were

 7     erroneous.  Therefore, I'm asking you how the minutes were taken.  They

 8     were HVO meetings, and more specifically the meeting of the 35th session.

 9     Was it recorded, which were the means available to the participants,

10     including you, because you mentioned as one of them which were the means

11     at your disposal, in order to check the minutes?  For instance, at the

12     following meeting, did you have the minutes available to approve them,

13     oppose them, or possibly amend them?

14             Do you understand my question, because you said that the document

15     was erroneous.

16             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I'm quite certain

17     that in the course of my examination, we presented, as evidence, this

18     proposal which came from Orasje.  I can't recall the number of the

19     document, but I'm sure that it was adduced as evidence during my

20     testimony.

21             This was not my proposal or a proposal I sent.  The proposal came

22     from Orasje and was placed, as such, as an item on the agenda.  As is

23     well known, the district civilian and district military prisons were

24     established as one in Orasje, although -- one, although with separate

25     departments.  The document which came from Orasje and which included a

Page 30665

 1     nomination for the warden of the prison became an item of the agenda and

 2     was adopted by the HVO.  I said that the error consisted in the fact that

 3     it was not my proposal.  The proposal arrived as it was in writing from

 4     Orasje, after it had been formulated in Posavina.

 5             JUDGE MINDUA: [Interpretation] And since then, have you not had

 6     an opportunity to read the minutes and possibly to ask for them to be

 7     amended, because we know you were the head of that department?

 8             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I had that opportunity, and I most

 9     likely missed it.

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

11             JUDGE TRECHSEL:  Witness, in your answer, and I wish to test the

12     interpretation and the record, you said something that struck me.  You

13     said you spoke of -- "I am quite certain that in the course of my

14     examination, we presented as evidence this proposal."  This sounds very

15     much like an identification with the Defence.  Did you say that and did

16     you mean it?

17             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I believe that I had the document

18     before me in the days of my testimony which had been sent from Orasje,

19     containing nominations for the warden - that was Ilija Benkovic.  The

20     minutes have accurate information, but as I have said --

21             JUDGE TRECHSEL:  Excuse me, Witness.  No doubt I have badly

22     expressed myself, because you are not answering at all the question that

23     I put.

24             I am speaking of your words on line 5 of page 61, where you spoke

25     of your examination and then said:  "... we presented as evidence this

Page 30666

 1     proposal."  "We presented," who do you mean, "we presented as evidence";

 2     the evidence here that you were presenting together with the Defence or

 3     something else?  I just want clarity.

 4             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I meant the entire Tribunal.  I'm

 5     sorry if I made a mistake.  I meant this particular Tribunal.

 6             JUDGE TRECHSEL:  Thank you.

 7             MR. KARNAVAS:  Okay.  Judge Trechsel, my colleague tells me that

 8     she heard that the gentleman indicated that it was presented, not "we

 9     presented," and again -- so -- and certainly, I mean, if you want to pose

10     the question whether he's our -- identifies with Dr. Prlic, go ahead.  I

11     mean, they're not closely related.  But, I mean, I think what he said was

12     "it was presented."

13             JUDGE TRECHSEL:  Mr. Karnavas, you very directly answered my

14     question, and this is exactly what I wanted to provoke a possibility to

15     clarify any error in the translation.

16             MR. KARNAVAS:  But I'm listening to you in English, and I can

17     understand your English, and I think your English is being translated

18     into B/C/S --

19             JUDGE TRECHSEL:  That's possible.  Of course, it's a constant

20     danger, as we all know who work with translations, and I'm sure it will

21     be verified and rectified.  But this was the purpose of the question.

22             MR. KARNAVAS:  And I think it was a good question.

23             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation]  Very well.  I will now give

24     the floor to the Praljak Defence.

25             MS. PINTER: [Interpretation] Thank you very much, Your Honours.

Page 30667

 1             My cross-examination will have to do with a part of the

 2     examination-in-chief of Mr. Buntic recorded on pages 30245, lines 2 to 6.

 3     That's the transcript of the 7th of July.  That's a portion from the very

 4     start of Mr. Buntic's testimony, speaking of his engagement in the

 5     military HVO, in the Crisis Staff as it was at the time, and its

 6     participation in the liberation of Mostar and parts of the municipalities

 7     of Capljina and Mostar in 1992, between the months of April and June of

 8     1992.  These are the issues on which I will put questions to Mr. Buntic,

 9     since this is cross-examination, after all.

10                           Cross-examination by Ms. Pinter:

11        Q.   Good afternoon, Mr. Buntic.

12        A.   Good afternoon.

13        Q.   In your evidence, you said that you were the deputy commander of

14     the battalion.  Can you tell us who was the commander of the battalion?

15        A.   At the time, the late Pero Pehar was the commander of the

16     battalion, of the Citluk Battalion.

17        Q.   Was the Citluk Battalion -- my apologies, Your Honour.  Yes, I

18     will be mindful.  We have everything on the record.  Fine.

19             Did the Citluk Battalion have subunits or were these individuals

20     originally from the area of Citluk, from that municipality, and what was

21     its title?

22        A.   The title was "Brotnjo Battalion."  It had six companies from the

23     territory of the Municipality of Citluk, an anti-sabotage detachment,

24     sabotage detachment, an anti-aircraft platoon, a signals platoon,

25     technical platoon.  At any rate, all of its members hailed from the area

Page 30668

 1     of Citluk Municipality.

 2        Q.   Can you remember the names of the company commanders, at least

 3     some of them?

 4        A.   I believe I can.  The commander of the 1st Company was

 5     Mr. Blago Pehar.  The commander of the 2nd was Tonco Juric.  The

 6     commander of the 3rd was Mladen Sevo.  The commander of the 4th was

 7     Coric.  I can't remember the first name at the moment.  The commander of

 8     the 5th was, I believe, Mr. Planinic.  And the commander of the 6th was,

 9     I believe, Zjelko Ostojic.  That was the Medjugorje-Bijakovici Company.

10     The commander of the Anti-Aircraft Company was Zdenko Bozic.  The

11     commander of the Anti-Sabotage Detachment was Mr. Valentin Coric.

12        Q.   Thank you very much.  I see your memory serves you well.  Did the

13     Brotnjo Battalion take part in the actions aimed at liberating Mostar or,

14     rather, the surgeon areas of Capljina, Stolac, in the area of the

15     Dubrovnik Plateau, in the area of 1992, let me add?

16        A.   It participated in an action called "Lipanjska Zora," which was

17     launched in the night between the 6th and the 7th of June, by engaging

18     two of its companies, the Anti-Sabotage Detachment and one volunteer

19     company which had been specially prepared for that action and was

20     composed of volunteers from all companies.  The strength was of some 200

21     to 240 men.

22        Q.   Did you personally take part in that action?

23        A.   Yes.

24        Q.   Do you know if Zjelko Ostojic participated in the action?

25        A.   Yes, Zjelko Ostojic, the commander of the Bijakovici-Medjugorje

Page 30669

 1     Company also took part in the action.

 2        Q.   Let us go back from the month of June to the month of April of

 3     1992.  We had occasion here to hear a witness in a document 3D 00595,

 4     which is already in evidence.  For the sake of time, let me just ask you

 5     this:  Do you have any knowledge about the refugees from the

 6     Dubrovnik Plateau, from the town of Stolac and the municipality of

 7     Stolac, Pocitelj, back in 1992, the month of April; and if so, can you

 8     tell us what it is that you know?

 9        A.   I think this was in the month of April and early May 1993.

10        Q.   You mean 1992?

11        A.   Yes, sorry, 1992.  I'm afraid that the fatigue is getting the

12     better of me.  I believe that Their Honours know what the strategic

13     importance of the Dubrovnik Plateau was, which covered parts of the

14     municipalities of Stolac, Capljina and Mostar, and the eastern bank of

15     the Neretva.

16             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation]  One moment, Witness.  Is that

17     the Dubrovnik Plateau or is it something else?

18             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Dubrovski -- Dubrava Plateau,

19     sorry, yes.  It comes from the name of "Dubrava."

20             MS. PINTER: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.

21        Q.   Yes, I see "Dubrovnik" was entered into the transcript.

22        A.   As was probably said already, between the 18th and the 19th of

23     September, the JNA deployed a large contingent of its forces there and

24     captured the plateau.  In the subsequent month or so, it chased away all

25     the Croats from the area and continued its breakthrough toward Dubrovnik

Page 30670

 1     or, rather, towards Slano with one wing of its forces, and the other wing

 2     of its forces went towards Mostar and the Heliodrom airport, where they

 3     landed.  In the following couple of days, they captured the entire

 4     municipality of Mostar and deployed their forces on the boundaries of the

 5     municipality of Mostar.  And I believe that Their Honours are aware of

 6     the fact that the Mostar municipality borders with the Citluk

 7     municipality.

 8             In the months of April and May of 1992, the JNA forced out of the

 9     area all of the Bosniaks, too.  Thus, the situation was such that on the

10     left bank of the Neretva River, there were tens of thousands of Bosniaks

11     that had been driven away from the area by the JNA.  This called for an

12     urgent intervention on our part.

13             A meeting was held of the Command Staff for the Eastern Zone.

14     Mr. Praljak was headquartered in Citluk at the time.  Urgent orders were

15     issued for a makeshift bridge to be constructed across the Neretva in

16     order for us to take in the Bosniaks.  All of that was organised in the

17     course of the night, and we started receiving these tens of thousands of

18     persons who were driven out.

19             On that bank -- rather, that bank of the River Neretva was under

20     the control of my 6th Company, the Bijakovici-Medjugorje Company, the

21     commander of which was Zjelko Ostojic.  The order was issued for the

22     population to be received and for accommodation to be found for them.  As

23     a result, the civilian protection was issued with the orders to put these

24     people up somewhere.

25             I know that subsequently, this was organised in the following

Page 30671

 1     way:  Those individuals who wanted to join our ranks and join our

 2     struggle to take control over the Dubrava Plateau again were given that

 3     opportunity.  Others were put up in the elite hotel resort of Kompas

 4     which could receive 400 individuals.  Two more private homes were set

 5     aside for that same purpose, and some 400 to 500 Bosniak Muslims declared

 6     themselves willing to stay there and join our fight to wrest the Dubrava

 7     plateau from the JNA control.  Those who wished to stay there -- or,

 8     rather, those who wished to leave, including women, children and the

 9     elderly, were given that possibility.

10             In the night between the 6th and the 7th of June, we set out in

11     the -- set out and launched the action of -- that I've mentioned before,

12     Lipanjska Zora.  My company was in such a state that I believed I ought

13     to march ahead of them.

14             It is true that on the 7th of June, we liberated a section of the

15     eastern bank of the Neretva, the area of Sevac Njive, where we had

16     previously had great losses in our companies.  The first one to my right

17     got killed and three of them to my left were seriously wounded.  Now, why

18     did I survive is something I find difficult to explain today, but this is

19     the way things happened.

20        Q.   Thank you for this answer.  Those civilians, those over 10.000

21     civilians that were transferred, were they Croats, or were they

22     Croat Bosniaks, or were they all civilians who were unable to stay?

23        A.   I believe over 90 per cent were Bosniak Muslims, because Croats

24     had been expelled from that area before that.  And out of those whom we

25     put up in this resort, Kompas Medjugorje, I know that we've given them

Page 30672

 1     uniforms and weapons, and we even trained them militarily.  All this was

 2     done so that we could recover the Dubrava Plateau together.  I believe

 3     that those 300, 400 people who were put up in Kompas Medjugorje Resort

 4     later formed the Bregova [phoen] Brigade, composed primarily of the

 5     Bosniak Muslims.

 6             MS. PINTER: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. Buntic.  My

 7     cross-examination is complete.

 8             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation]  Very well.  I think the best

 9     would be to have the break now.

10             I would like to inform Mr. Karnavas that in the afternoon, the

11     Witness and Victims Unit informed us that Witness Zuzul will arrive on

12     Monday evening, which means that he can be cross-examined on Tuesday.

13             We will now have a 20-minute break.

14                           --- Recess taken at 5.34 p.m.

15                           --- On resuming at 5.55 p.m.

16             THE INTERPRETER:  Interpreter's correction, Witness Zuzul will

17     arrive on Sunday evening, not on Monday.

18             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation]  The hearing is resumed.

19             I would like to make a correction to the transcript.  I said that

20     Witness Zuzul would arrive on Sunday, and not on Monday; line 23,

21     page 68.  Witness Zuzul will arrive on Sunday and not on Monday.

22             Ms. Alaburic.

23             MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Good afternoon to everyone in the

24     courtroom.  Good afternoon, Judges.  Good afternoon, my learned friends.

25                           Cross-examination by Ms. Alaburic:

Page 30673

 1        Q.   Good afternoon, Witness.  Before I announce the subject of my

 2     cross-examination, Mr. Buntic, I would like us to tell the Trial Chamber

 3     if we have seen each other before ever, if we have ever discussed the

 4     case at all.

 5        A.   No, we have never seen each other before.  We have never

 6     discussed anything.

 7             MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Now, briefly about the topics of

 8     my cross-examination, which I believe are completely linked to direct

 9     examination.  First of all, we'll have some clarifications --

10             THE INTERPRETER:  Interpreters kindly ask for all extra

11     microphones in the courtroom to be switched off.  We cannot hear

12     Mrs. Alaburic.

13             MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] -- then we have to deal with the

14     actions of the government, that is, the civilian authorities, with regard

15     to the defence of Bosnia.  The third subject will be -- my colleagues

16     tell me that the first topic I mentioned is not recorded, so I will start

17     from the beginning, announcing the subjects of my cross-examination,

18     which I believe are completely reliant upon direct examination.

19             First we will make some clarifications with regard to the actions

20     of the civilian HVO, that is, the government.  Then I will try to discuss

21     with the witness the activities of the civilian HVO, that is, the

22     government, in affairs related to the defence of Herceg-Bosna.  This will

23     be followed by a brief clarification of topics related to the Law on

24     Criminal Procedure and Criminal Prosecution, and this will be followed by

25     a brief clarification about military units that were in the territory of

Page 30674

 1     Citluk and adjacent municipality in the summer of 1992.  After that, if

 2     any time is left and if I conclude that it is still necessary after the

 3     answers Mr. Buntic gives me, I will ask a few questions about exchanges

 4     of prisoners and detention centres.

 5        Q.   So, Mr. Buntic, a few clarifications about the actions of the

 6     civilian HVO, that is, the government.

 7             You have already explained that from the day the

 8     Croatian Republic of Herceg-Bosna was established on the 28th of August,

 9     1993, the HVO continued to operate as the government.  And then you

10     explained the role of the HVO as a ministry.

11        A.   I cannot quite confirm this, in this language.  In the

12     transitional period between HZ-HB and the establishment of the Government

13     of the Croatian Republic of Herceg-Bosna, the HVO continued in a

14     technical mandate.  But from the day the Croatian Republic Herceg-Bosna

15     appointed its own government, the ministers, too, were appointed.  I

16     cannot say with the same powers, because the powers were different.

17        Q.   We'll get to that.  I want to read to you from the document that

18     we have discussed in direct examination.  It is not prepared in my set of

19     documents.  It's the decision to establish the Croatian Republic of

20     Herceg-Bosna.  It's document 1D 1677.  Article 12 of this document states

21     that the functions of state authorities, including appointments, shall be

22     vested in the bodies of government of the Croatian Republic of

23     Herceg-Bosna?

24        A.   Yes, that's what I meant to say.

25        Q.   From that day onwards, we have seen numerous documents, and we

Page 30675

 1     will see many more, which the civilian HVO again signs as the government,

 2     and certain sections of the HVO sign as ministries.  That is indeed how

 3     the bodies signed in that transitional period starting in August, in end

 4     August?

 5        A.   Correct.

 6        Q.   In August 1993, did there occur any change in the scope of work

 7     of the government, that is, ministries, compared to the period prior to

 8     that?

 9        A.   I've already said that under this provisional provision, pending

10     the appointment of the Government of the Republic of Herceg-Bosna, the

11     HVO continued to discharge functions that had been prescribed for the

12     HZ-HB, with the same powers and with those limitations.

13        Q.   In November 1993, the government is formed under the decision to

14     establish the Croatian Republic Herceg-Bosna; is that correct?

15        A.   It is correct, with the proviso, as I've said before, that the

16     names of the future ministers, the ministers to be, were already known in

17     September 1992 [as interpreted].

18        Q.   Tell us, Mr. Buntic, in November 1993 or perhaps earlier, did

19     there occur any changes in the legislation governing the scope of work of

20     the government and individual ministries?

21        A.   No, not that I remember.  The regulations of the HZ-HB continued

22     to be observed until new regulations of the Croatian Republic were

23     adopted.

24        Q.   Now I want to explain to the Trial Chamber certain details about

25     the promulgation of legislation in the Official Gazette.

Page 30676

 1             In the former Yugoslavia, was it a duty of every municipality and

 2     association of municipalities and republics and provinces to promulgate

 3     their legislation in some official gazette?

 4        A.   Yes.  I believe I've said this already.  From the basic

 5     administrative unit, municipality, autonomous province, republic, and up

 6     to the federal state, everyone was duty-bound to make public, in

 7     official gazettes, the legislation they passed.

 8             MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] I'm waiting for the record.  Can I

 9     just say the last part of the sentence "from the municipality to the

10     federal level" is not recorded.  And let me use this opportunity to

11     correct page 72, line 3.  The year is 1993, not 1992.

12        Q.   Tell me, Mr. Buntic, relative to this duty to promulgate

13     legislation, was it the same for enterprises and other entities, even if

14     they published their rules on a board?

15        A.   All companies or legal persons, until 1989, all of them were

16     socially owned.  They were duty-bound to publish their general documents,

17     their statutes, their rules of procedure, their self-management

18     agreements and social compacts, and they did so on advertising boards or

19     their internal gazettes.  Organisations usually had their own internal

20     gazettes.

21        Q.   Mr. Buntic, now in view of all that we have already said, could

22     we agree also with the conclusion that the fact that one territorial

23     community publishes its regulations in an official gazette is no proof

24     that that territorial unit is a state?

25        A.   By no means.  We have already seen that even municipalities had

Page 30677

 1     their own official gazettes, and the Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna

 2     is an association of municipalities.  And the public nature and

 3     transparency of work required that all regulations and new rules be

 4     published in an official gazette.

 5        Q.   Could you now tell the Trial Chamber whether municipality in the

 6     former Yugoslavia were organised in such a way as to have an assembly,

 7     which was a kind of legislative body, they had executive councils as

 8     executive bodies, and within their purview they had the right to appoint

 9     judges of local courts or misdemeanor courts?

10        A.   That's correct.  The organisation of municipal authority was

11     structured in such a way that municipalities had their Assembly as the

12     highest body of administration, the body that passed laws that were

13     within the purview of the municipality.  They had their own executive

14     councils, which practically enforced the legislation passed by the

15     Assembly.  Municipalities selected and appointed judges for misdemeanor

16     courts and municipal civilian courts, that is, first-instance courts.

17     They had the right to elect and relieve judges, and they had the duty to

18     finance municipal courts, regardless of whether they were misdemeanor

19     courts or regular first-instance courts.

20        Q.   This division into the legislative, executive and judicial

21     authority, was it -- did it apply to other levels of authority;

22     autonomous provinces, republics, et cetera?

23        A.   It is true that the internal structure of bodies of government

24     was copied from the highest level, the federal state, to the lowest

25     level, the municipality.

Page 30678

 1        Q.   Now, in view of what has been said, could we agree with the

 2     following conclusion --

 3             JUDGE TRECHSEL:  After hearing your answer, I would like to ask a

 4     question.  But, please, I did not want to interrupt.

 5             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation]  But Ms. Alaburic should state

 6     what her conclusion is first.

 7             JUDGE TRECHSEL:  I'm sorry.  The interruption now has happened,

 8     and I have a very, very elementary question.  We hear the word

 9     "misdemeanor" repeated again and again.  Could you tell the Chamber, what

10     is the definition of a misdemeanor as opposed to, what, a crime, or a

11     felony, or a contravention?

12             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] According to the law on minor

13     offences or misdemeanors, misdemeanors were acts of lesser or

14     insignificant danger to the society or acts which resulted in minor

15     consequences.  Usually, in practice, traffic violations that did not

16     cause any grave consequence, such as great material damage, fatality or

17     serious bodily injury were treated as a misdemeanor.  A serious car

18     accident would be a crime if it resulted in a fatality, in serious

19     material damage and serious bodily injury.  All the rest were

20     misdemeanors.  That included speeding, which was the most frequent form

21     of traffic violation; that is, in the field of traffic.

22             Also, all the legislation in the former Yugoslavia, including

23     Bosnia and Herzegovina, stipulated which acts were misdemeanors in a

24     certain category, and the sentences that could be meted out.  Sixty days

25     imprisonment was the maximum sentence for a misdemeanor, and there were

Page 30679

 1     also fines envisaged.

 2             JUDGE TRECHSEL:  Thank you very much.  That's a very precise

 3     answer, and I now know where we are.  Thank you very much.

 4             Excuse me, Ms. Alaburic.

 5             MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] We will return to our territorial

 6     units now.

 7        Q.   After what we've said, my proposed conclusion that I want you to

 8     agree with or not is this:  The fact that one territorial unit has a kind

 9     of legislative, a kind of executive and a kind of judicial authority, is

10     no proof that that territorial unit is a state?

11        A.   I absolutely agree, because these are not the constitutive

12     elements of a state.  I don't think this Court needs an explanation on

13     what the elements of a state are.

14        Q.   No need to explain.  Over the past few days --

15             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation]  One moment.  I do have a

16     question.  Thanks to Ms. Alaburic, I have become cognizant of something

17     very interesting.

18             Through her questions, she elicited from you that judges of basic

19     courts were elected by their municipalities.  I did not know that.  This

20     is something new to me.  In the federal system, that's how things worked.

21     Automatically, judges of basic courts were elected by the municipalities.

22     This is the federal system; is that so?

23             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, that is the way it was

24     in every municipality in the former Yugoslavia, with a proviso that there

25     was a possibility that several municipalities had a common basic court.

Page 30680

 1     Such was the example of the Basic Court in Mostar.  The Basic Court in

 2     Mostar was established for three municipalities; the Mostar municipality,

 3     Nevesinje municipality and Citluk municipality.  In that Basic Court in

 4     Mostar, judges were elected in agreement with all three municipalities

 5     and financed by all three municipalities proportionately to their

 6     respective populations.  That's how it worked in principle.  There

 7     existed some exceptions.  That's why it was called "Basic Court" and not

 8     a municipal court, because there was a possibility that several

 9     municipalities share the same basic court.

10             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation]  Very well.

11             MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation]

12        Q.   Mr. Buntic, over the past days, on several occasions you said

13     that defence had been a priority on several occasions, so that both the

14     civilian and military police forces were engaged in combat activities

15     because the priority was to defend the territory of Herceg-Bosna from

16     attacks by either armies.  Do you recall that part of your testimony?

17        A.   That's correct, and I, as the commander of the defence for

18     Citluk, used the reserve force of the civilian police in order to cover

19     several sections of the frontline which were not fully covered because of

20     exhaustion.  We even had certain cases where we were attacked by toxic

21     warheads.  For that reason, the civilian police had to sometimes be

22     engaged along the frontline, and this was true even more so for the

23     military police, which was engaged even more.

24        Q.   Did the civilian HVO, in other words, the government, take care

25     of the interests of the defence of Herceg-Bosna in its work?

Page 30681

 1        A.   Throughout the war and for as long as there was an immediate

 2     threat of war, the most immediate objective was to defend the part of the

 3     territory of Bosnia-Herzegovina.

 4        Q.   When my friend Karnavas showed you document P00559, which is the

 5     minutes from the 6th meeting of the HVO, held on the 7th of October,

 6     1992, where, among other things, the organisation of courts was

 7     discussed, too.  At that time, there were two versions which were put

 8     forth as a proposal, and His Honour Judge Trechsel had a question to put

 9     to that.  There was an explanation provided along with the second version

10     or variant which proposed the setting up of a system which would be

11     outside of the judiciary system of Bosnia-Herzegovina.  The explanation

12     was, I quote:  "What is at risk is the complete collapse of the defence

13     exercise because of the non-functioning of the courts."

14             My question to you is:  Did the HVO or the government, while

15     organising the judiciary, take into account the interests of the defence

16     of Herceg-Bosna?

17        A.   In the documents I had before me, which were tendered by the

18     Stojic Defence, included, I believe, minutes wherein a discontentment of

19     the head of the Defence Department was expressed because judges had not

20     been previously elected for military courts.  I believe that that

21     criticism was quite justified.

22             The two versions or variants we referred to earlier, I believe I

23     explained extensively.  Version number 2 was proposed earlier on.

24     However, after the Tudjman-Izetbegovic agreement in Medjugorje, dated the

25     21st of July, we, and I mean the deputy -- or, rather, the justice

Page 30682

 1     minister and I agreed and issued a decree on district military courts,

 2     district military prosecutors' offices, departments of the Supreme Court,

 3     and Republican prosecutors' office, because those had been harmonised

 4     with the relevant legislation of Bosnia-Herzegovina.

 5        Q.   Tell us, was the establishment of the Military Prosecutors'

 6     Office also in the service of the defence of Herceg-Bosna?

 7        A.   Correct.  Something that happens in all times of war is

 8     desertion, abandonment of posts, impossibility to mobilise fresh forces,

 9     and whatever normally happens in other parts of the world also happened

10     in that region, and it had to be regulated in some way.  We said that the

11     Presidency of Bosnia-Herzegovina had already placed out of force the

12     federal law on military courts and military prosecutors' offices, and

13     that particular area had to be regulated in some way.  We discussed

14     various versions or variants, but I believe it is quite clear which of

15     these we opted for ultimately.

16        Q.   One of the topics you referred to included the financing of

17     military units.  On the first day of your examination-in-chief, you

18     testified about how military units were organised at the municipal level

19     and financed by municipalities.  Do you recall that?

20        A.   That's true.  It was solely on that principle that the matters

21     worked, especially in the early days.

22        Q.   Since this problem existed of the fact that the system governing

23     military forces was disorganized is not something that we encountered for

24     the first time.  Can you tell us now, as a member of the government,

25     whether the decentralised system of financing helped strengthen the

Page 30683

 1     position of municipalities and municipal authorities in some way, in the

 2     way they were able to control the actions of local military units?

 3        A.   That's true --

 4             MR. STRINGER:  Just a precision, Mr. President.  If we could get

 5     an idea now of the time-frame that the witness is talking about, because

 6     I personally would like to know or to be clear exactly on the time-frame

 7     that he's discussing at this point, what year, what period.

 8             MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I'm referring to the

 9     entire period.  That's why I didn't specify any time-frame.  I'm talking

10     about the period in which military units were established at the level of

11     municipalities.

12             In the set of documents I prepared, you will find minutes from

13     the month of October 1993, where Messrs. Stojic, Praljak and Petkovic, at

14     a government meeting, tried to draw everybody's attention to the problem

15     of financing military units locally, which made effective control over

16     them impossible and created additional problems.  We will come to that

17     later, but my question right now relates to the period of 1992 and up to

18     and until the month of October 1993.  As for the rest, I will be

19     specifying time-frames as needed.

20        Q.   Mr. Buntic, what remains in the record of your answer is:

21     "That's true."  Can you please resume giving your answer?

22        A.   For illustration's sake, I will give you an example from my

23     personal experience.

24             I was the commander of the defence of Citluk at the time when the

25     municipality of Citluk was defending itself on its own.  We had the

Page 30684

 1     Yugoslav People's Army on the southern boundaries of the municipality of

 2     Mostar and, in other words, on the northern boundaries of the

 3     municipality of Citluk.  That was the situation that prevailed until the

 4     end of 1991, when due to the situation that I was faced with, that's to

 5     say, my soldiers were exhausted, there were very many wounded and the

 6     state of affairs in the units in general was very difficult, I was forced

 7     to resign.  We were able to see -- and let me now be precise -- that

 8     evidence was presented before this Tribunal whereby the municipality of

 9     Ljubuski issued a decision, and this was our neighbouring southern

10     municipality, which strictly forbade any of its soldiers to leave the

11     municipality.  So while the municipality of Citluk was bleeding to death

12     under the burden, the adjacent municipality of Ljubuski had this decision

13     in force which banned any of its soldiers from leaving that municipality.

14        Q.   Mr. Buntic, we will be talking about the decentralised system of

15     municipalities a bit later.  I would like to focus on the issue of

16     financing now.

17             MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Let me correct an error at

18     page 80, line 15.  The year was not 1991, but 1992.  We are referring to

19     the year 1992 and 1993, up until the month of October, and the issue of

20     financing military units.

21        Q.   In a nutshell, Mr. Buntic, can we conclude that there was local

22     financing --

23             JUDGE TRECHSEL:  Mr. Alaburic, I think the witness said "1991,"

24     so you should perhaps not yourself testify, but ask him whether it was

25     correct.

Page 30685

 1             MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I'm merely saying

 2     what my learned friend here wrote down for me, and I'm sure that this is

 3     true because my other colleagues were motioning to me that this was the

 4     case.  But we can check.

 5             JUDGE TRECHSEL:  It may be, Ms. Alaburic, but your learned

 6     colleague isn't the witness either.

 7             MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, let us not waste any

 8     more time on this.  We can resolve the matter in the following way.

 9        Q.   Mr. Buntic, you were telling us how you were at the Command of

10     Citluk, and you said that this was the situation that prevailed until the

11     end of 1991:  You were faced with a situation where your soldiers were

12     exhausted and so on and so forth.  Since I really have no direct

13     knowledge about you misspeaking or not, were you referring to 1991 or

14     1992?

15        A.   1991.

16             MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] I apologise, but I was merely

17     relaying another's observation of an apparent mistake.

18        Q.   Let us go back to what I'm actually interested in, which is the

19     financing of the military units in 1992 and 1993, until the month of

20     October 1993, to be more precise.

21             Can we conclude in a sentence whether there was local financing

22     and whether this helped strengthen the influence of the local authorities

23     on the leadership of the local brigades?

24        A.   I'm sure and positive that until the autumn of 1992, the

25     municipal HVOs, in other words, the armies, were financed solely from the

Page 30686

 1     municipal funds.  Thereafter -- well, let me tell you first that I'm not

 2     an individual who knew any of the budgetary details of the municipalities

 3     or of the HVO.  I wasn't interested in that.  But until the autumn of

 4     1992, they were solely financed from municipal funds.  I do not consider

 5     myself competent to speak of what the finances were like thereafter.

 6        Q.   Very well.  We will be discussing that when we come to the issue

 7     of the government meetings which you, too, attended.

 8             Let me go back to a more complex set of questions which have to

 9     do with -- more directly with the defence.  I see that you have received

10     my set of documents, and I believe Their Honours have them as well.  Let

11     me just make this remark about the way the documents were sorted, and

12     they were sorted out in the order in which I intend to put them to the

13     witness.  If I at any point decide to skip any of the documents, I will

14     say so.

15             The first document you have before you, Mr. Buntic, is 4D 00819,

16     which is already in evidence.  This is a Decree on the Armed Forces, the

17     consolidated text from the month of October 1992.  I'm interested in

18     Article 9.  I direct your attention to Article 9, which sets out the

19     tasks of the Croatian Defence Council in the defence of Herceg-Bosna.  It

20     is not my intention to read all nine of the items, but I kindly ask you

21     to cast your eye on them and tell us if, to your knowledge, these were

22     indeed the issues that fell within the purview of the civilian HVO,

23     that's to say, Government of Herceg-Bosna.

24        A.   This article sets out the purview.  Therefore, I do confirm that

25     this was the decree adopted on the 17th of October, 1992 -- or, rather,

Page 30687

 1     it wasn't passed, but it was amended and, as such, promulgated in the

 2     Official Gazette of the HZ-HB.

 3        Q.   Can you tell us, did the civilian HVO or, in other words,

 4     government discharge the affairs from within its purview or not?

 5        A.   I believe that it did to the extent it was able to.

 6        Q.   Tell us, did the reports on the work of the civilian HVO, i.e.,

 7     the government, contain a report on the work of the Main Staff of the

 8     HVO?

 9        A.   I'm not sure.

10        Q.   Very well.  Let us quickly go through several minutes and other

11     documents from the meetings of the civilian HVO, i.e., the government,

12     which were dedicated to the military situation, political and military

13     and security-related situation, in the territory of the HZ-HB.

14             The first document we have in that set is one that you commented

15     upon by saying that it was correct.  That's P1227.  For that reason, I

16     will skip the document.  I don't need it for my question.

17             However, my question will have to do with the following document;

18     namely, P1324, minutes from the meeting of the HVO on the 27th of

19     January, 1993.  You're not listed as having attended the meeting, but if

20     you attended the following meeting, when the minutes were verified, you

21     might be familiar with what was going on at that meeting.

22             Did you ever see the minutes from the 27th of January, 1993,

23     meeting?

24        A.   I'm not sure.  As the minutes clearly show, I did not attend the

25     meeting.  I think I was abroad on business.  That was the 27th of

Page 30688

 1     January, 1993, and I believe that my business trip lasted some 15 days,

 2     although I can't be positive about it.

 3        Q.   We will skip that document as well.

 4             Let's look at P1511, minutes dated the 18th of February, and you

 5     attended the meeting.  Item 8 of the agenda, discussion on unauthorised

 6     mobilisation of conscripts, and a requisitioning of business premises and

 7     materiel and technical equipment from the BH Army.  Tell us, Mr. Buntic,

 8     do you recall this issue being discussed?

 9        A.   As the document shows, I attended the meeting.  However, the

10     lapse of time took its toll.  I can't remember everything that was

11     entered into the minutes, I really cannot.  But if you can jog my

12     memory --

13        Q.   Please look at item 8.  Do you recall that part of the

14     discussion, and do you recall anything that would be of importance to us

15     and which would have to do with the implementation of the regulation

16     concerning the mobilisation of conscripts?

17        A.   With the best of will, I can't.

18        Q.   All right.  Document 1D 1182, 27th of February, 1993, an interim

19     session with just one item on the agenda, "Security and military

20     situation."  It's the territory of Central Bosnia.  There are a number of

21     curious observations here, but we can focus on item 3, which says:  "It

22     is considered to be important, in order to increase the efficiency of our

23     common struggle against the aggressor and to improve the development of

24     Croat-Muslim relations, to form a Main Staff and to relieve of his duties

25     Sefer Halilovic, to make changes in the Main Staff of the BH Army."

Page 30689

 1             Do you remember this?

 2        A.   I remember this issue was discussed, and I also remember why.

 3     There was information that the person mentioned here, a high-ranking

 4     officer of the former Counter-intelligence Service of the

 5     Yugoslav People's Army, was infiltrated as such first into the

 6     Patriotic League and then into the top echelon of the Army of

 7     Bosnia-Herzegovina.

 8        Q.   Thank you for this clarification.  Let's move on to P1627 .  It's

 9     a note from a working meeting held on 8 March 1993.  I repeat the name of

10     the -- the number of the document, P01627.

11             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation]  Everything is so fast, let's

12     go back to what you have just said, Witness.

13             If I understand properly what you said, unless I'm wrong -- if

14     I'm wrong, please correct me straight away -- Halilovic was an officer of

15     the Yugoslav service and who had to infiltrate the Patriotic League, and

16     that's why he had a senior rank in the Army of Bosnia and Herzegovina.

17     This is the Halilovic you were talking about?

18             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It's about Sefer Halilovic,

19     Your Honour.

20             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation]  And is this the reason why in

21     this document it is asked that his position should be terminated?

22             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Correct, because we had information

23     that the Counter-Intelligence Service, through its officers who had been

24     infiltrated into the top echelon of the BH Army, is trying to provoke

25     conflicts between Bosniaks and Croats.  And to corroborate this theory of

Page 30690

 1     mine, I will show you a proof.  I'll show you evidence from my bag.

 2             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation]  Don't show the evidence, but

 3     what is it?

 4             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It's an exclusive interview given

 5     to "Slobodna Bosna" magazine by the commander of the BH Army or, rather,

 6     its first commander of the Territorial Defence, listing all the officers

 7     of the Counter-Intelligence Service of the Yugoslav Army who had, as

 8     such, been infiltrated into the top echelon of the BH Army.

 9             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation]  Very well.

10             MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation]

11        Q.   Mr. Buntic, we were talking about document 1182.  Let's move on

12     to the next document, P1627.  It's a meeting from -- it's a note from a

13     working meeting of the 8th of March, 1993, discussing tasks for the

14     period to follow.  And in item 2(a), it states:

15             "Establish better cooperation with military units and strengthen

16     military commands in Central Bosnia."

17             Can you confirm?

18        A.   This is the 8th of March, the spring of 1993, a time when

19     Croat-Bosniak conflicts were already beginning in Central Bosnia.  Not

20     long after this, I visited Central Bosnia.  I saw the situation with my

21     own eyes, but I know that already then tensions were high in the area of

22     Gornji Vakuf and in all Central Bosnia, Vitez, Busovaca, et cetera, and

23     the first incidents were occurring between the BH Army and the HVO.

24        Q.   Thank you, Mr. Buntic, so its task in item 2(b) of this document.

25             Let us look at another document, 1D 1664.  It's a record from a

Page 30691

 1     HVO session of the 19th April 1993.  You attended.  Topic number 1 was

 2     reviewing the military and security situation in the Croatian Community

 3     of Herceg-Bosna.  The HVO instructs the Defence Department and the

 4     Main Staff to take all military mobilisation measures with a view to

 5     protecting Croats in Bosnia-Herzegovina.

 6             Do you remember this order of the HVO to the Defence Department

 7     and the Main Staff?

 8        A.   This is 19 April, when the conflict already intensified.  And as

 9     we see, HVO is ordering military mobilisation measures, not specific

10     military action but mobilisation measures; in other words, to carry out a

11     mobilisation.

12        Q.   Just one clarification.  There's no dispute that the civilian

13     HVO, that is, the government, did not issue orders for specific military

14     operations; is that so?

15        A.   Yes, but it was able to pass decisions and documents related to

16     mobilisation.  Every municipality could do that much.

17        Q.   Conclusion number 2 is that all the bodies and services of the

18     HVO of HZ-HB are required to take every possible step in order to defend

19     Herceg-Bosna?

20        A.   That confirms what I've said before; that is, that the first and

21     foremost objective and the very raison d'etre of the Croatian Community

22     of Herceg-Bosna was to defend this territory.

23        Q.   Item 3 gives full support to the measures taken and the overall

24     common action of the commands of the HVO, the military and civilian

25     police forces, and the Main Staff of the HVO.  Do you remember, was that

Page 30692

 1     really so?

 2        A.   Well, this is praise given probably for the work done by then and

 3     the success achieved by then that was real.

 4        Q.   All right.  The next document is P2124.  It's signed by

 5     Mr. Jadranko Prlic as president of the HVO.  He refers to the HVO session

 6     of the 24 April 1993.  And it speaks about the establishment of this

 7     working group, including you, which will visit the war-torn area and

 8     establish the state of affairs, and, depending on that, suggest specific

 9     measures to be taken.

10             Do you remember how this working group was established?

11        A.   I do.  I remember also that this group did accomplish its

12     mission.  We visited Central Bosnia and most of the municipalities in

13     Central Bosnia.  I have already given evidence about that, including

14     details that we learned and that we saw during that trip across

15     Central Bosnia.  I don't think I need to repeat that.

16        Q.   No need.  Let us look at the next document, 1D 1666.  These are

17     minutes of the 17 May 1993.  You attended.  The HVO is reviewing again

18     the military and security situation.  This time there is mention of

19     conflicts in Mostar on the 9th of May and about an attack by Muslim

20     forces against HVO barracks, Tihomir Misic, in Mostar on the 9th of May,

21     1993.  Do you have any knowledge about this attack on the 9th of May,

22     1993?

23        A.   I know that there were skirmishes in Mostar, that from the 9th of

24     May onwards the conflict intensified.  But how exactly it started, I did

25     not have enough information about that.  I didn't know anything other

Page 30693

 1     than what was discussed at Cabinet sessions.  I had no other source of

 2     information.

 3        Q.   In the second paragraph of item 1, there is mention of the

 4     HVO Commission for Exchanging Prisoners.  Tell me, the HVO had such a

 5     commission back in 1992; correct?

 6             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation]  Ms. Alaburic, you're about to

 7     raise a new topic.  I'll go back to the 9th of May, because we have spent

 8     some hundreds of hours on the issue of the 9th of May.  There is still a

 9     lot to say about this topic.

10             Where were you on the 9th of May, Witness?

11             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I was in Citluk, and early in the

12     morning I went to work from Citluk to Mostar, and I was stopped somewhere

13     at a place we called Kobilovaca.  It's a kind of pass when you start

14     descending from Citluk towards Mostar.  There were military policemen

15     standing on the road, and I was informed that there were skirmishes in

16     Mostar and that I shouldn't go in.  They did not say, in so many words,

17     that they forbid me to go any further, but they warned me that the

18     conflict had escalated and that it is inadvisable to go to Mostar, after

19     which I returned home.

20             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation]  Where were you on the 8th of

21     May?

22             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The 8th May, again I think I was in

23     Mostar, at work, until about 3.00 p.m.  And after 3.00 p.m., I commuted

24     every day from Mostar back home in my own car.

25             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation]  Here is my third and final

Page 30694

 1     answer [as interpreted] to you:  Had the HVO launched an attack against

 2     places held by the ABiH in Mostar?  Was it within your purview to be

 3     associated with a general plan by the HVO against Muslim forces, or would

 4     you not have been involved because you were not supposed to intervene, it

 5     was not within your remit?

 6             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I'll tell you about an event which

 7     was typical.

 8             On that day, 9 of May, HVO arrested my deputy in Mostar.

 9             THE INTERPRETER:  The interpreter didn't hear the name.

10             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] ... which indicates that neither he

11     nor I had no prior knowledge of this.

12             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation]  Will you please indicate the

13     name of your deputy, because it was not heard by the interpreter.

14             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] My deputy, Karlo Sesar, who was in

15     the neighbouring building next to the boundary where the skirmishes were

16     happening, in the hotbed of the conflict itself.

17             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation]  Your deputy was your right

18     hand or was he an assistant?  Was your deputy the number 2?

19             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] He was my deputy, my right hand,

20     not assistant.  In addition to him, I had two assistants, but he was not

21     an assistant.  He was a deputy.

22             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation]  And the HVO took him prisoner;

23     right?

24             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I said that he was in the adjacent

25     building, a building right on the border where the fighting was going on.

Page 30695

 1     And as such, he was removed from that area, from that territory.  He just

 2     happened to be in the heart of the conflict.  He was completely

 3     unprepared.  He had no inkling of what was to come.  He had no clue that

 4     a conflict could occur that day.  So he was removed from that territory

 5     not in order to be arrested or detained.  He was just taken away from

 6     that area from his apartment.  He even lived in the next building.  He

 7     lived there, resided there.

 8             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation]  Very well.

 9             MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation]

10        Q.   Tell us, Mr. Buntic, in the last paragraph of page 1, there is

11     mention of the removal of civilians.  Are you familiar with the fact that

12     on that day, the 9th of May, 1993, the civilians who resided in the

13     war-struck areas, those of Muslim ethnicity, had been taken away and put

14     up for a period of some ten days to two weeks in the location of

15     Heliodrom, and that this had been done for their own safety?

16        A.   As I said, my very deputy was removed -- taken out of the area

17     where there were conflicts.  I said that I was in Citluk on that day and

18     that whatever I knew, I heard from the mass media, and I was only able to

19     obtain official information at the next meeting of the HVO.

20             JUDGE TRECHSEL:  Ms. Alaburic, I must say the last question that

21     you put was not only leading, it went beyond leading, because you implied

22     a legal qualification which you just took because it seems to suit you,

23     as you said that they were -- they were put away for their protection.

24     And that, I think, is not a correct way to ask the questions.  You must

25     ask whether they were taken, and then you must ask whether he knew for

Page 30696

 1     what purpose.  That's for the next time.

 2             MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, thank you for your

 3     guidance.  Let me just tell you that I do not believe that I made a

 4     mistake.  My question had to do with the third paragraph of the minutes

 5     from the government meeting, and the minutes mention the removal of the

 6     civilians.  And if you look at the end of the paragraph, it says there

 7     that they were taken out of the bounds of the town for their own safety's

 8     sake.  So my question related to the conclusions contained in the minutes

 9     from this government meeting, and not to any position that I may advance.

10             I hope that this explanation satisfies your -- the issue you

11     raised.

12             JUDGE TRECHSEL:  Ms. Alaburic, I'm certainly not accusing you of

13     trying to play tricks.  I still think that it's not a very good question,

14     but I absolutely accept your explanation.

15             MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Very well.

16        Q.   Let us look at the next document, Mr. Buntic, document 1D 1608,

17     minutes from the HVO meeting held on the 24th of May, 1993.  From the

18     list of those in attendance, we see that you were there, but Mr. Prlic

19     was absent.

20             My first question is:  Was this the first of the three meetings

21     of the HVO you mentioned which Mr. Prlic did not attend after he was

22     appointed president of the transitional government according to the

23     Vance-Owen Plan?

24        A.   To the best of my recollection, that would be the first or one of

25     the three meetings Mr. Prlic did not chair.

Page 30697

 1        Q.   What I'm interested, of course -- what I'm interested in, of

 2     course, is the discussion on the military and security situation.  If we

 3     look at the last paragraph of the minutes, we can see that at the end of

 4     the meeting, the conclusion about all of the activities of the HVO were

 5     issued.  Do you recall these conclusions?

 6        A.   I attended the meeting, and I can confirm that these minutes do

 7     indeed come from that meeting.

 8        Q.   Do you recall the government making a conclusion calling upon the

 9     chief of the Main Staff to come and report on the military and security

10     situation?

11        A.   Yes.  I believe that this occurred at this very meeting.

12             MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] We still have time left for the

13     next minutes, unless we don't have that time, I can continue tomorrow.

14     Thank you.

15             Mr. President, I only have one request of you --

16             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation]  I think that it is better to

17     reconvene tomorrow.  We still have 30 seconds left today.  It is better

18     to resume the hearing tomorrow.

19             Mr. Alaburic, you wanted to put a final question?

20             MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] No, Your Honour.  I fully

21     understand and agree that we should continue tomorrow.

22             However, I should like the witness to be allowed to take the

23     documents I prepared along with him, because we will be working on them

24     tomorrow.

25             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation]  Very well.

Page 30698

 1             Yes, Mr. Stringer.

 2             MR. STRINGER:  I object to that, Mr. President.  This is

 3     cross-examination, and I think that the manner in which this examination

 4     and the others are being led is such that it's not appropriate for

 5     witnesses to be sent home with documents.

 6             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation]  I will consult my fellow

 7     Judges on that issue.

 8             MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, before you decide on

 9     the matter, let me just tell you that one protected witness, whose name I

10     therefore cannot utter in the courtroom, and who is very important for my

11     client, was able to take along all the documents prepared for him by the

12     Defence for Mr. Petkovic.  We were all in agreement about it.  We wanted

13     him to be fully familiar with the documents we would be discussing the

14     following day.  Nobody opposed that, and this was the basis on which we

15     proceeded in our cross-examination.  This was a Prosecution witness who

16     was heard in the month of November of last year.

17             Thank you.

18             MR. STRINGER:  Mr. President, first of all, you know, this is yet

19     another surprise.  No one raised this with the Prosecution previously, so

20     this is completely coming to us from out of the blue, as we say.

21             I don't know about prior precedent.  I don't know about other

22     witnesses.  What I know is that this is not appropriate to raise at the

23     very end of the day, when a stack of papers has been dropped on the

24     Prosecution at about the same moment it's being dropped on the witness.

25     If we're going to establish a precedent of sending all the witnesses back

Page 30699

 1     to their hotels with the documents, it's something that could have been

 2     done much more frequently or in earlier stages of the trial.  There

 3     certainly could have been times when the Prosecution could have availed

 4     itself of a procedure.  But to raise it now and, frankly, to not extend

 5     the courtesy of at least giving the Prosecution some advance notice of

 6     their intention to make this request, we oppose it.

 7             This is not how this trial has been run.  It hasn't been run in

 8     this way in the last year, and we oppose it.

 9             MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, can we move into

10     private session for a moment?

11                           [Trial Chamber confers]

12             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation]  Yes.  What did you want to

13     say, Ms. Alaburic.

14             MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, can we move into

15     private session for a moment, and I will give you the full name of the

16     witness.  Therefore, it will become obvious that this was not a

17     precedent, my proposal.

18             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation]  Let's move into private

19     session.

20             One moment.  This is about a protected witness.  In other words,

21     the witness should not be aware -- made aware of the name of this

22     witness.  That's a problem.

23             Well, we know there's a protected witness.  No need to give his

24     name.  The Judges are going to discuss it straight away.

25             THE REGISTRAR:  I should mention that on record we are now in

Page 30700

 1     private session.

 2                           [Private session]

 3   (redacted)

 4   (redacted)

 5   (redacted)

 6   (redacted)

 7   (redacted)

 8   (redacted)

 9   (redacted)

10   (redacted)

11   (redacted)

12   (redacted)

13   (redacted)

14   (redacted)

15   (redacted)

16   (redacted)

17   (redacted)

18   (redacted)

19   (redacted)

20   (redacted)

21   (redacted)

22   (redacted)

23   (redacted)

24   (redacted)

25   (redacted)

Page 30701











11 Page 30701 redacted. Private session.















Page 30702

 1   (redacted)

 2   (redacted)

 3   (redacted)

 4   (redacted)

 5   (redacted)

 6   (redacted)

 7   (redacted)

 8   (redacted)

 9   (redacted)

10   (redacted)

11   (redacted)

12   (redacted)

13   (redacted)

14   (redacted)

15   (redacted)

16   (redacted)

17   (redacted)

18   (redacted)

19   (redacted)

20   (redacted)

21   (redacted)

22   (redacted)

23   (redacted)

24   (redacted)

25                           [Open session]

Page 30703

 1             THE REGISTRAR:  Your Honours, we're back in open session.

 2             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation]  In open session, the

 3     Trial Chamber reminds Ms. Alaburic that she should have warned us of

 4     this, at least at the beginning of the hearing, and not at 1915, which

 5     forces the interpreters to work an extra 15 minutes, and we are very

 6     sorry to have been faced with this issue at this time of the day.

 7             The Trial Chamber also deems that most of the documents can be

 8     broken down into two main parts.  There are texts that the witness is

 9     supposed to know and meetings which he attended.  As such, there is no

10     particular reason why he should not be allowed to see the documents, be

11     it only to refresh his memory or for him to be more efficient.

12             This decision is not going to be a precedent.  Of course, this is

13     a decision on a case-by-case basis.  The Trial Chamber is therefore going

14     to ask the usher or the Registrar to give the binder to the witness so

15     that he can inspect it tonight and tomorrow morning, since we're going to

16     reconvene tomorrow at 2.15.

17             The hearing stands adjourned.

18                           --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 7.14 p.m.,

19                           to be reconvened on Tuesday, the 15th day

20                           of July, 2008, at 2.15 p.m.