Tribunal Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia

Page 30704

 1                           Tuesday, 15 July 2008

 2                           [Open session]

 3                           [The accused entered court]

 4                           [The witness entered court]

 5                           --- Upon commencing at 2.18 p.m.

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

 7     case.

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

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

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

11             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. Registrar.

12             Today is Tuesday, the 15th of July, 2008.  Good afternoon to the

13     accused, to the Defence counsel, to the witness, the Prosecutor and his

14     associates, and all the people helping us out.

15             We are to continue with the cross-examination today.

16             Ms. Alaburic, you still have 47 minutes left.

17             MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, good afternoon to

18     you.  Good afternoon to you, Mr. Buntic, and everyone else in the

19     courtroom.  First of all, I would like to thank Their Honours for

20     accepting my suggestion that the witness have a look at the documents we

21     will be discussing today.  I believe that it will help make the

22     proceedings more expeditious.

23                           WITNESS:  ZORAN BUNTIC [Resumed]

24                           [Witness answered through interpreter]

25                           Cross-examination by Ms. Alaburic: [Continued]

Page 30705

 1        Q.   [Interpretation] Mr. Buntic, we stopped yesterday when we were

 2     discussing document 1D 1609.  We left off discussing document 1D 1609,

 3     minutes from the meeting of the civilian HVO held on the 26th of May,

 4     1993.  We can see that you attended the meeting.  The first item on the

 5     agenda was the analysis of the military -- or rather, the second item on

 6     the agenda was the military and security situation, and we can see that

 7     General Milivoj Petkovic was the one who briefed those present on the

 8     military and security situation.

 9             Do you recall the meeting and can you confirm the extent of the

10     minutes?

11        A.   Yes, I do recall the meeting held on the 26th of May.  These are

12     the minutes from the meeting.

13        Q.   Very well.  Let us look at the end of the penultimate paragraph

14     of this section of the minutes under AD1, where it says that the head of

15     the defence department said:  "In the past work of the HZ HB there has

16     not been enough effort in all the areas such as the assistance for

17     civilian, supply of humanitarian aid, and so on and so forth, all of

18     these were given within the jurisdiction of the defence department."

19             Mr. Buntic, can you confirm for us that these were affairs of a

20     civilian nature which were by circumstances, as the circumstances

21     dictated and contrary to the regulations, given to the purview of the

22     defence department?

23        A.   When it comes to the care for the refugees, transportation,

24     material and technical equipment for the needs of a large number of

25     displaced persons who had by that time already started arriving in the

Page 30706

 1     area, I believe that the defence department was in fact very much

 2     burdened by these tasks which were of a civilian character.  The Office

 3     For the Displaced Persons and Refugees had not yet started attending its

 4     duties in terms of care for refugees and displaced persons and I'm well

 5     aware of the fact that these tasks fell within the purview of the defence

 6     department.

 7        Q.   Very well.  The conclusions that follow in the text say that:

 8     "Measures need to be taken in order to ensure continued payment of

 9     salaries for soldiers."

10             Tell us, Mr. Buntic, do you have any knowledge about irregular

11     payment of salaries to soldiers?

12        A.   Over the past days I talked about the fact that throughout 1992

13     and in part in 1993 the municipalities or the municipal HVOs were the

14     ones through which the HVO soldiers were paid their salaries.  I believe

15     it was only maybe in February 1993 that the HVOs, municipal HVOs, got

16     their accounts to dispense their business.  I believe that it was only in

17     early 1993.  Therefore, all the finances in 1992 and the first three

18     months of 1993 went exclusively through municipalities and from

19     municipalities.  Only at that point was the budget of the HZ HB in the

20     making.

21        Q.   Tell us, in the course of 1992 and 1993, were there situations

22     where soldiers hailing from the so-called more affluent municipalities of

23     western Herzegovina received their salaries quite regularly and in quite

24     high amounts, while at the same time soldiers of the HVO, for instance,

25     in Central Bosnia, had been without pay for months?

Page 30707

 1        A.   We even held meetings on the issue and some regulations were

 2     passed for that particular issue.  I know that not the affluent

 3     municipalities, such as Tomislavgrad, but others which had a great many

 4     of its inhabitants temporarily working abroad, for instance, in Germany,

 5     they paid funds to the accounts of the municipalities as aid.  We know

 6     that some municipalities were unable to fund those soldiers, and in

 7     particular the municipalities in Central Bosnia were unable to pay their

 8     salaries unlike the municipalities of Tomislav and Livno which received a

 9     great deal of their funds from the sources I mentioned.

10        Q.   Tell us, do you have any knowledge about such a situation having

11     some sort of bearing on the mood prevailing among the soldiers and their

12     morale?

13        A.   Of course it had a bearing.  If you have members of the same

14     army, some of whom received their salaries regularly and others receiving

15     none, then of course you will have these soldiers communicating and

16     interacting and becoming aware of soldiers, some of whom were receiving

17     salaries, others who were not; and of course those who were not became

18     discontented with the situation.  There were situations where the

19     commanders had to deal with such situation as the front line.

20        Q.   Mr. Buntic, let us look at document 1D 1667 now -- 1D 1167,

21     minutes from the HVO meeting, 28th of May, 1993.  We can still see that

22     Mr. Prlic is still absent because of the obligations that required him to

23     be present in the transitional government.  We look at item 3.

24             THE INTERPRETER:  Can Madam Alaburic please repeat the title of

25     that particular item 3 and can the speakers please slow down.

Page 30708

 1             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, I can confirm.  I was present

 2     at this meeting and I believe that this was one of the two or three

 3     meetings when Mr. Prlic -- which Prlic did not attend because he was

 4     first appointed the prime minister elect who was supposed to form the

 5     cabinet.

 6             MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation]

 7        Q.   At the very end of the minutes it says that at the end of the

 8     meeting support was expressed for the total of the defence effort of the

 9     HVO staff.  Can you confirm that this was the case?

10        A.   Yes, but let me add something briefly.

11        Q.   Mr. Buntic, please, since I'm working under time restraints, can

12     I ask you to leave any explanations for later, if necessary.  Let's look

13     at P 2575 now.  The document is already an exhibit.  Minutes from the

14     meeting -- joint meeting of the civilian HVO of Herceg-Bosna and the HVO

15     of Mostar municipality held on the 31st of May, 1993.  Those present are

16     not listed here and that's why I'm asking you whether you attended the

17     meeting or not.

18        A.   I don't believe I did.  As far as I remember, no.

19        Q.   Then we'll skip that document.  Let's go to the next document,

20     1D 1610, minutes from the meeting of the civilian HVO, the 10th of June,

21     1993.  We see here that Mr. Jadranko Prlic again attended the meetings of

22     the civilian HVO and that you were there as well.

23             I'm interested in the second item of the agenda:  The current

24     military and security situation in Central Bosnia.  We see that the head

25     of the defence department briefed the present members of the civilian HVO

Page 30709

 1     on the situation and suggested at the end that the Presidency of the HZ

 2     HB be -- call a meeting and that a military council be set up comprising

 3     seven to ten members.  How did that come to pass?  Were there discussions

 4     at the meeting of the civilian HVO before such a proposal was formulated?

 5     Was the situation alarming or did the events on the ground call for such

 6     an urgent measure to be adopted?

 7        A.   Between February and June 1993 - and this is reflected probably

 8     in the minutes relating to that period - one can see the difficulties

 9     that the HVO of the HZ HB was faced with.  I'm also referring to the

10     tasks within my purview.  In other words, the conflicts between the

11     Bosniaks and Croats intensified, reached their peak in Central Bosnia;

12     later on they spread on to Mostar and Herzegovina.  In a nutshell, the

13     Muslim forces, through the BH army and the security services in Mostar

14     and Herzegovina and Central Bosnia, tried to impose and implement their

15     decree -- or rather, their objective of how the state structure should be

16     organized.  They wanted to establish their own districts through a

17     military way.  In that context Mr. Prlic was absent from the meetings in

18     order to try set up a government that was based on the agreement which

19     dictated the setting up of provinces.  In other words, there was great

20     fighting resulting in large numbers of refugees and displaced persons

21     from these areas.

22        Q.   Very well.

23        A.   That's the extent of what I can tell you.

24        Q.   Tell us, these proposals for the introduction of urgent measures

25     put forth by the head of the department, were they accepted, do you have

Page 30710

 1     any -- were they implemented, do you have any knowledge of that?

 2        A.   No, they were not implemented.  The Presidency did not meet after

 3     this meeting and could therefore not have appointed such a council.

 4        Q.   Let us look at the following document, 1D 1669, minutes from the

 5     meeting.

 6             JUDGE TRECHSEL:  Excuse me.  Excuse me, Ms. Alaburic.

 7             It would be interesting to know if you can say so why these

 8     proposals were left unrealized.

 9             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It follows from the proposal put

10     forth by the head of the defence department that the Presidency should

11     meet and a council be set up due to the emergency situation prevailing in

12     the areas I referred to, and this is something that can be gleaned from

13     all these documents, i.e., the intensification of the conflicts.

14     However, the Presidency of the Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna did not

15     meet and did not pass such a decision.  Why not?  Well, I find it hard to

16     explain.  None of us were authorised or had the power to call a meeting

17     of the Presidency.  We could only launch initiatives, which we did.  But

18     you will see from the minutes that Mr. Zuljevic and I on several

19     occasions during the meetings of the HVO, as in this particular instance,

20     it was Stojic who asked that the Presidency should meet and take certain

21     decisions.

22             JUDGE TRECHSEL:  Thank you.

23             MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation]

24        Q.   Mr. Buntic, could you tell us, who was the president of the

25     Presidency that you're talking about?

Page 30711

 1        A.   The president of the Presidency of the Croatian Community of

 2     Herceg-Bosna throughout the period that it existed was Mate Boban.

 3        Q.   Fine.  Could we now please look at the next document, that's

 4     1D 1669, the minutes from the meeting of the civilian HVO dated the

 5     5th of July.  We can see from the list of the attendees that you were

 6     present.  Let's look at item 8 of the agenda, report on the military and

 7     security situation in the HZ HB, and I would like to draw your attention

 8     to the fact that this civilian HVO concluded regarding this item that at

 9     the next session the military and security situation in the HZ HB should

10     be discussed at the next session and that the chief of the Main Staff

11     should be invited.

12             My question to you, Mr. Buntic, is:  Do you remember this session

13     and could you please confirm whether the minutes are accurate?

14        A.   Yes, I do remember and I can confirm that.

15        Q.   And could you please tell us whether you know if the chief of the

16     Main Staff was indeed invited to the next session of the civilian HVO?

17        A.   Yes, I do believe that this was the case, but I can't really

18     remember so I can't really make any claims to that effect.  But I believe

19     that at one or two sessions of the HVO he was present, one or two.  I

20     don't know whether it was the next one or any other session, but as far

21     as I can remember he did attend one or at most two of such sessions.

22        Q.   Could we please look at the next document, that's 1D 1672, the

23     minutes from the meeting of the civilian HVO.  The date is the 22nd of

24     July, 1993.  We don't have a list of attendees, and that's why I want to

25     ask you whether you, Mr. Buntic, to the best of your knowledge did attend

Page 30712

 1     this meeting?

 2        A.   This is the 22nd of July, 1993.  I can't really be certain,

 3     Madam, so we have to put some caveats in place here.  I can't be certain

 4     that I attended.

 5        Q.   Fine.  And it follows from these meetings that the chief of the

 6     Main Staff, General Milivoj Petkovic, my client, briefed the civilian HVO

 7     about the military and security situation; and in accordance with the

 8     minutes, that would be the second time that he attended those meetings of

 9     the HVO.  Does this refresh your recollection?

10        A.   Well, I said even before that I know that he attended one or two

11     such sessions or meetings.  I believe that one of those meetings was this

12     one.

13        Q.   Could we please now look at the next document, that's 4D 00471.

14     That's the conclusion from the meeting of the House of Representatives of

15     the Croatian Republic of Herceg-Bosna held on the 30th of September,

16     1993.  What I would like you to help us understand, Mr. Buntic, is item 4

17     in these conclusions and I quote:  "The supreme commander of the army of

18     the Croatian Republic of Herceg-Bosna -- the supreme commander of the

19     army of the Croatian Republic of Herceg-Bosna, the government of the

20     Croatian Republic of Herceg-Bosna, the defence ministry of the Croatian

21     Republic of Herceg-Bosna, and the Main Staff are hereby ordered to take

22     all the measures necessary to defend the Croatian people and its rights."

23             My question to you is this:  To your knowledge, did the House of

24     Representatives have the power to issue such orders?

25        A.   Well, I don't recall having attended this meeting of the House of

Page 30713

 1     Representatives, but I do know that this document was passed and if we

 2     look at the powers of the House of Representatives, it was empowered to

 3     make decisions.  So I think we can agree on that.  But now, whether it

 4     could order or issue commands or orders to anyone, that's a completely

 5     different thing.  So it could issue or make decisions, but to my mind,

 6     orders are not the kind of documents or instruments that the House of

 7     Representatives could pass.  I am aware of these conclusions because I

 8     came across it in my work.  I know about its existence, and as you can --

 9     as you said yourself, what you just noted follows from it.

10        Q.   Fine.  Mr. Buntic, now regardless of the name or title of a

11     decision, was the house of representatives empowered to make decisions

12     that would bind the four bodies to engage in some activities?

13        A.   Well, yes.  As I said before, decisions it could make, yes.

14        Q.   Okay.  Could we please look at the last document on this topic,

15     that's P 5799, it's already an exhibit.  This is the -- these are the

16     minutes from an extraordinary meeting of the government.  The date is the

17     9th of October, 1993.  The only topic is the military and security

18     situation in Herceg-Bosna, and we can see from these introductory parts

19     that Generals Praljak and Petkovic and Mr. Stojic warn about the

20     detrimental -- possible detriment of the improper application of

21     regulations, arbitrary actions by some organs in some municipalities

22     which affect the morale of the soldiers and the combat-readiness of the

23     troops, and primarily because of the fact that the unified financial

24     system is not functioning which affects the equal financial status of all

25     the members of Herceg-Bosna army, armed forces.

Page 30714

 1             Mr. Buntic, does this reflect what we have been talking about,

 2     about this topic?

 3        A.   Yes, this is something that we discussed over the past days and

 4     also today.  You have the specific examples, the specific municipalities

 5     that were, so to speak, more affluent, that had enough funds in the

 6     budget to finance their troops, and this again affected other troops in

 7     other municipalities which did not have those funds and this resulted in

 8     an unequal status among the troops serving in the same armed forces.  And

 9     people talked and they were aware of the situation.  And here obviously a

10     way out is sought to resolve the situation and to establish some kind of

11     order here.

12        Q.   Let me now move on to the topic that has to do with the set of

13     documents marked with 3 in my binder, so if I run out of time I would

14     like to deal with this topic which is quite important to me and I will

15     devote any remaining time to the other topics then.

16             Could we please look at document P 00377.  This is an exhibit.

17     This is an order issued by my client, Milivoj Petkovic, dated the 10th of

18     August, 1992, prohibiting the entry of armed formations into the areas of

19     responsibility and we can see that this order was issued to the military

20     unit in Citluk too.  Could you please tell us, you were the deputy

21     commander of the military unit in Citluk, is that so, while you were in

22     the military HVO?

23        A.   In August 1992 I was no longer the deputy commander, so this is

24     August 1992 --

25        Q.   I am aware of that.

Page 30715

 1        A.   Yes.  On the 15th of May I was already appointed the head of the

 2     justice and general administration department, so before this.

 3        Q.   But on the basis of what you've told us so far and in your --

 4     based on what you said in your testimony in the Kordic case, you did not

 5     take over as the head of the defence department but you remained active

 6     in the military HVO up until approximately the summer of 1992, and you

 7     participated in the actions launched to liberate Mostar and

 8     Dubravska Visoravan and Stolac?

 9        A.   Well, that was about the 20th or the 21st of June, 1992, that was

10     when I took over formally as the head.

11        Q.   What I'm interested in is to your knowledge in the summer of

12     1992, in the municipalities that are listed here with the exception of

13     Mostar, was there a military unit of the BH army present there or of any

14     other Muslim army?

15        A.   Well, I can say with some certainty -- with certainty that with

16     the exception of Mostar or perhaps also Capljina, there were none.  I'm

17     not sure about Capljina so I can't be certain and rule out the

18     possibility that there might have been some unit that was manned by

19     Bosniaks exclusively, that I can't rule out but I can rule out this

20     possibility for all the other municipalities.

21        Q.   Thank you.  You told us about Mostar over the past two days, that

22     in the summer of 1992 in Mostar there was an independent battalion

23     operating there, it was a Muslim unit, Muslim army, but they operated

24     under the command of the HVO in Mostar and in fact they were part of some

25     kind of synchronised military armed force.  Is that so?

Page 30716

 1        A.   Yes, I attended a number of meetings that were attended by the

 2     then-commander of the defence of Mostar, Jasmin Jaganjac, he's a Muslim,

 3     a Bosniak, and I was aware of the situation.  I knew that in Mostar the

 4     HVO and independent battalion were operating jointly, and the 4th Corps

 5     of the BH army grew out of this independent battalion.

 6        Q.   Since this document was shown quite recently in the courtroom as

 7     a document purporting to show that this was meant to prohibit the Bosniak

 8     forces from entering those municipalities, so I would like us to look at

 9     1D 1659, it was shown to you in your examination-in-chief, it was on

10     Tuesday.  Now I would like to draw your attention to the portion of the

11     text --

12             JUDGE TRECHSEL:  May I just ask a little question with regard to

13     this order.

14             Can we take it then that the chief of the army had the power to

15     give orders to the municipalities?  That's what you have here, an order

16     by the commander to the municipalities.

17             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] This is August 1992.  At that time

18     we already had the Main Staff in place and also staffs established in

19     operational zones.  So at that time, yes, the Main Staff did exist, and I

20     don't think that this order pertains to the municipal armies or anything,

21     it pertains to the HVO.  This is an order issued to HVO units.

22             MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] If you allow me, Judge Trechsel, I

23     can ask a follow-up question to explain.

24        Q.   Mr. Buntic, could you please tell us who is this order issued to,

25     who is it sent to?  Who are the addressees?

Page 30717

 1        A.   Well, the addressees are listed on the right-hand side of this

 2     document.  You can see here, it says, To all the commands, to all the

 3     commanders of the military police, and to all the commanders of the

 4     civilian police.

 5        Q.   And from what we can see here where it says in the lower part to

 6     be delivered to, what can we conclude based on that?

 7        A.   Well, the municipalities that this document should be delivered

 8     to.  So to all of those bodies in all of those municipalities, that's the

 9     way I understand it.

10        Q.   Yes.  And if you allow me then to make a conclusion, that means

11     that this order was not sent to the municipalities, meaning the municipal

12     authorities, but it is sent to the military units and police forces in

13     those municipalities; is that so?

14        A.   That's the way I see it and I think that it follows from this

15     document.

16        Q.   If His Honour Judge Trechsel is happy, can we move on to the next

17     document, that's 1D 1659, could we please look at page 9 of the minutes,

18     that would be page 7 in the English version.  You can see here that the

19     head of the defence department made the following warning after the

20     signing of the Tudjman-Izetbegovic Agreement a meeting was held in

21     Sarajevo attended by Mr. Blaz Kraljevic, the then-commander of the HOS,

22     and it was agreed that the HOS should urgently take over the power from

23     HVO in the territories of Capljina, Ljubuski, and other municipalities.

24     The date for these minutes is the 14th of August, 1992.

25             Could you please tell us, Mr. Buntic, do you have any knowledge

Page 30718

 1     about this information, that the HOS was supposed to take over power in

 2     the municipalities of Ljubuski, Capljina, and others.  These are some of

 3     the municipalities listed in this order issued by my client,

 4     General Milivoj Petkovic.

 5        A.   Well, I do know about this.  I know about the tensions that

 6     resulted in the municipalities of Ljubuski and Capljina, where in

 7     particular in Ljubuski there was a threat of large-scale conflicts and

 8     great casualties, because at that time there was an HOS unit in Ljubuski,

 9     maybe 300 to 500 strong, and the conflicts threatened to break out in

10     those municipalities, in particular in Ljubuski.  I know that a great

11     deal of effort was put in to calm those tensions down, to a lesser extent

12     in Capljina, but the worst conflicts threatened to break out in Ljubuski

13     so I know about that for this reason.

14        Q.   Thank you very much.  Let us go back to the topic that is marked

15     with 2 in your binder.  These are criminal proceedings before courts.

16     You are an expert although you say that you're not an expert in criminal

17     law, but I'm sure that you will be able to give me answers to the

18     questions that I will ask you.  First of all, a theoretical question, so

19     to speak.  In criminal procedure law in the former Yugoslavia, was there

20     a distinction between the principle of legality and the principle of

21     opportunity in criminal prosecution?

22        A.   Yes.  The principle of legality meant the application of legal

23     norms as they are formulated, whereas the principle of opportunity, the

24     way I see it, is the principle whereby norms that represent all the

25     qualities or characteristics of criminal offence, if such a criminal

Page 30719

 1     offence does not pose great danger to the society, then it is not treated

 2     as a criminal offence, as a felony, but as a misdemeanour because we had

 3     situations --

 4        Q.   If I can interrupt you since I remember quite well the

 5     definitions from our textbooks and we are the same generation, that's not

 6     how it is.  The principle of legality would imply in criminal procedural

 7     law of the former Yugoslavia that the public prosecutor is duty-bound to

 8     undertake criminal prosecution whenever there is enough evidence

 9     indicating that a certain person perpetrated the criminal offence that

10     must be prosecuted ex officio.  Is that correct?

11        A.   Well, in criminal procedural law, yes.  What I was trying to

12     explain earlier would have to do with substantive criminal law.

13        Q.   Tell us, the Law on Criminal Procedure, which was a federal law

14     applied in all of the republics of the former Yugoslavia, did it apply

15     the principle of legality?

16        A.   Yes, it was contained in the federal Law on Criminal Procedure of

17     Yugoslavia which was taken over as such through a decree passed by

18     Bosnia-Herzegovina and later on by the Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna

19     as we were able to see from the evidence adduced before this Tribunal

20     earlier on.

21        Q.   Tell us, did this mean that according to the law the public

22     prosecutor was duty-bound to undertake criminal prosecution or certain

23     actions, not only on the basis of a criminal report but also on the basis

24     of any other relevant information to the effect that a certain individual

25     had committed a certain criminal offence?

Page 30720

 1        A.   As far as I can remember the definition from the Law on Criminal

 2     Procedure, it stated approximately the following.  Where a prosecutor

 3     comes to learn in whatever way that a certain criminal offence has been

 4     committed, he is duty-bound to take certain actions prescribed by the law

 5     in order to ascertain whether a criminal offence has indeed been

 6     committed; and if so, that the perpetrators thereof be punished.

 7        Q.   Almost a literal quotation.  Mr. Buntic, for Their Honours who

 8     are only now hearing about the criminal prosecution as practiced in the

 9     former Yugoslavia from the various witnesses, can you tell us what the

10     role of the bodies of the Ministry of the Interior in the criminal

11     proceedings?

12        A.   The role was to detect criminal offences committed, the

13     perpetrators thereof, and to file criminal reports against the

14     perpetrators of criminal offences.  Where the latter are not known, then

15     they have to take measures to identify the perpetrators.  Based on an

16     order from the prosecutor, they were duty-bound to take certain actions

17     to gather information as required by the prosecutor, who in turn had his

18     duties and obligations prescribed by the law.

19        Q.   Apart from that, all the state bodies and the officials in those

20     bodies, did they have the obligation to make sure that the crime scene be

21     secured and that all the evidence recovered at a crime scene be properly

22     preserved?

23        A.   All the office holders, even in municipalities, were duty-bound

24     by the criminal procedure law to report an offence if it had been

25     committed in the territory of their municipality.  This was a duty also

Page 30721

 1     held by everyone who came by that information, even if they worked in the

 2     socially owned companies and so on and so forth.

 3        Q.   Since this answer is in full accordance with the Law on

 4     Criminal Procedure, I do not see it fit to waste my time to show

 5     Mr. Buntic the relevant provisions of the Law on Criminal Procedure.

 6     However, I should like to draw Their Honours' attention to the fact that

 7     what the witness has just said is contained in Articles 148, 151, 152,

 8     154, 162, 163, and 164 of the law.

 9             Mr. Buntic, let us see how these obligations were exercised

10     before military courts, in the military judiciary.  I will put questions

11     to you, and if I will think that some of your answers are unclear, we

12     will see how the decree on the district military courts resolved the

13     matters.  Tell us this:  The obligation that we referred to as the

14     obligation of all the state bodies and the officials employed in them,

15     was it in a way translated in the -- into the decree on district military

16     courts as the obligation of the commanders of military units to preserve

17     all the traces, prevent the perpetrators from absconding, and take -- and

18     take all the other measures to ensure that prosecution be carried --

19     conducted?

20        A.   Of course.

21        Q.   Let me just state that Article 27 of the decree on district

22     military courts regulates this.  This is Exhibit P 00592, an exhibit

23     therefore.

24             Tell us, Mr. Buntic, who discharged the role of the body of the

25     internal affairs before the military courts?

Page 30722

 1        A.   According to the decree, if the civilian police appeared before

 2     civilian courts, then by that analogy the military police appeared before

 3     the military courts.  In most of the cases that we were able to see, the

 4     criminal reports that ended up before the military courts was filed by

 5     the military police.  We were able to see that in some cases it was even

 6     the military police of the BH army.

 7        Q.   Let us look at Article 25 of the decree on district military

 8     courts, document P 592.  In the penultimate paragraph it is stated that:

 9     "The tasks of the organs of the interior shall be discharged by the

10     authorised persons of the security organs of the armed forces."

11             Tell us, Mr. Buntic, you mentioned military police.  Were there

12     any other security organs or bodies within the armed forces?

13        A.   To my knowledge, there was the security service in addition to

14     the military police.  I believe that it was called SIS for short.

15        Q.   Very well.  Can we conclude on the basis of the decree that SIS

16     was also authorised to discharge the roles of the bodies of the internal

17     affairs before the military courts?

18        A.   Yes, and this follows from Article 25 of the decree.

19        Q.   Thank you for these answers.  Let me just state that the Law on

20     Criminal Procedure is a document that was used yesterday during the

21     cross-examination led by Madam Senka Nozica under number 4D 01105.

22             MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Can I now ask to be told how much

23     time I have still have left, if any, so that I can organize my

24     examination for the next five or six minutes?

25             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I'm going to ask the registrar,

Page 30723

 1     but it's probably not a lot of time.

 2             MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Can I correct the transcript at

 3     page 9 [as interpreted], line 22, I would like to talk with this witness

 4     for a long time, but five or six months would be taking it a bit too far.

 5             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] To stay here that long?

 6             JUDGE TRECHSEL:  To get the record right, it was page 19, not

 7     page 9.

 8             MS. ALABURIC:  19, yes.

 9             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] You've used one hour and 24

10     minutes, so if I'm not mistaken you have six minutes left.

11             MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President.

12        Q.   Mr. Buntic, I should like to discuss with you events related to a

13     date that at least for the defence of General Petkovic is a crucial date

14     in the case, namely, the 13th of June -- the 30th of June, 1993.  Does

15     this date stand out as of any importance in the relations between Muslims

16     and Croats?

17        A.   I'm trying right now to recall how the events unfolded from the

18     beginning of March onwards in 1993.  Some conflicts broke out even

19     earlier on, at the end of 1992.  However, the 30th of June is a date that

20     I cannot identify in terms of what happened on that day.

21        Q.   Tell us, Mr. Buntic, did you ever hear that sometime in mid-1993

22     the HVO lost control over an area in eastern Mostar, to the north of

23     Tihomir Misic barracks, including the barracks itself, as a result of an

24     attack by the BH army and that Muslim soldiers of the HVO also took part

25     in the attack who simply changed sides overnight?

Page 30724

 1        A.   I'm familiar with these events.  You've just reminded me of that

 2     time.  I'm -- wasn't sure whether this indeed happened on the 30th of

 3     June.  I am, however, aware of that event.  There was a truce signed

 4     earlier on between the Muslim and Croats sides in Mostar.  As a result of

 5     that, the Tihomir Misic barracks was earmarked for the HVO soldiers for

 6     billeting the HVO soldiers, whereas the Muslims were supposed to be

 7     billeted at the Konak barracks.  I'm not sure about the name of the

 8     barracks, however.  I know that such an agreement was signed for the

 9     respective armies to withdraw into the two barracks, the HVO forces into

10     the Tihomir Misic barracks and the BH army forces into the Konak

11     barracks - again, I'm not sure about the name.

12             Shortly afterwards, an attack was launched against the barracks

13     where, according to the agreement signed, the HVO soldiers were supposed

14     to be billeted.  It was much talked about, this attack, in the context of

15     a part of the HVO members of Muslim ethnicity taking part in the attack

16     after having changed sides overnight.  This was an attack from within, so

17     to speak, and the result was the loss of the Tihomir Misic barracks

18     located in -- on the eastern bank of the Neretva in the town of Mostar.

19        Q.   Tell us, Mr. Buntic, did -- had you ever heard before that point

20     that a resident would not be allowed to become a member of the HVO

21     because he was a Muslim or of Islamic religious affiliation and that any

22     sort of discrimination had been implored against the Muslim members of

23     the HVO, of the members of the HVO who had been members theretofore?

24        A.   I can tell you with full responsibility that in the early days in

25     the 1992 the HVO was the only multi-ethnic military force in

Page 30725

 1     Bosnia-Herzegovina.  Among the ranks of the HVO in Herzegovina, some 30

 2     per cent of members were Muslims, Bosniaks.

 3        Q.   Thank you very much for your answers, Mr. Buntic.

 4             MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, my cross-examination

 5     is completed.

 6        Q.   Thank you very much, Mr. Buntic.

 7        A.   You're welcome.

 8             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Witness, I have a question I

 9     would like to put to you with respect to the meeting of the

10     Croatian Defence Council or to the meetings, and we have all the minutes

11     of these meetings because most of the time you attended them.  The

12     Defence counsel has just pointed out the fact that during these meetings

13     civilian matters were also dealt with, and we saw that General Petkovic

14     took the floor during these meetings to report on the situation.  But

15     when you look closely at these minutes you realize that no military

16     operations plan is mentioned in relation to the movements of the enemy,

17     of the ABiH.

18             In your view, were there meetings where strictly military matters

19     were discussed, meetings that would have taken place somewhere else; and

20     if you know, can you tell us who attended these meetings?

21             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I can't remember the precise

22     number, but I believe that there were over 50 meetings of the HVO, of the

23     Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna; and to the best of my recollection

24     the commander of the Main Staff, General Petkovic, attended perhaps one

25     or two of these meetings, as far as I can remember.  And this normally

Page 30726

 1     happened in situations where the military situation was quite complicated

 2     and the attacks of the enemy side were looming, and that's why the

 3     military representative would be invited to brief on the situation.

 4             The civilian HVO which we discussed in the course of the day in

 5     terms of the civilian -- being a civilian body of the HZ HB did not have

 6     the power to issue orders which had to do with operational activities of

 7     the army.  We said that in accordance with the regulations of the

 8     Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna and de facto, such powers were vested

 9     with the supreme commander of the armed forces of the HZ HB, Mate Boban,

10     as the president of the Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna and that these

11     powers of his stemmed from the regulations but they also existed de

12     facto.  He was the immediate superior of the -- to the Main Staff.  He

13     could issue orders to the Main Staff, which in turn could forward these

14     orders to the commanders of the operational staffs and so on and so

15     forth.  Let me not go into the military structure because in June 1992 I

16     did not take part in these activities and I should not like to speak

17     about the structure of the army after the 20th of June, 1992.  But I

18     believe this was the chain of command that existed in reality.

19             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Does this mean that for all

20     military issues, military operations, deployment of forces on the ground,

21     military strategies or defence or -- defensive or offensive actions,

22     there were other meetings held by Mr. Boban and the military without you

23     or Mr. Prlic or the civilian HVO taking part?

24             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, what I can say with

25     100 per cent certainty is that I myself never attended any such meetings.

Page 30727

 1     I said that after the 20th of June, 1992, that was the case.  I can

 2     speculate or assume, but I cannot tell you anything else apart from what

 3     I've already told you.  But I believe things did unfold as they were

 4     regulated by the decree, and I also know that Boban would not allow

 5     anyone else to exercise command over the army because he was the supreme

 6     commander.  I know, Your Honour, that there existed some units that

 7     neither Boban nor the Main Staff were able to put under their control,

 8     and I know that there were conflicts because of that, a number of

 9     incidents that threatened to escalate into large-scale conflicts that

10     would have major consequences.  I don't know whether this was the thrust

11     of your question, but I'm aware of those incidents.

12             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Witness, you're not quite

13     answering my question.  Let me take an example.  On the 10th of June,

14     1993, there was a meeting that started at 11.00.  Prlic, Zubak, Stojic,

15     you, Tadic, Maric, Didjic [phoen], Kelcic [phoen], and Soljic attended.

16     I named all the participants.  Mr. Stojic reported on the military

17     situation to all the participants, this situation being serious.  Very

18     well, you can imagine Mr. Stojic reporting on it.

19             The participants of the meeting must have asked themselves, given

20     the seriousness of the situation, how they could face it, militarily

21     speaking.  Did they have enough forces to resist the ABiH offensive, what

22     were they going to do, what kind of strategy were they going to adopt,

23     and so on and so forth.  This does not appear in the minutes, so a

24     logical Cartesian mind is bound to conclude or infer that that must have

25     happened somewhere else, there must have been other meetings with other

Page 30728

 1     participants that are going to work out the strategic and military issues

 2     for defensive or offensive purposes.  That's what I want to know.  As far

 3     as you know, were there other meetings held by Mr. Boban with the

 4     relevant military individuals dealing with these operations, otherwise

 5     the impression one gets is that it's your -- everything was settled in

 6     your meetings.

 7             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, as you said yourself,

 8     a sane mind would have to draw this conclusion and my knowledge is based

 9     on my stay in the army, and at that time decisions were made in such a

10     way.  Meetings were held with the Main Staff, they were attended by

11     Boban, and in operational sense, orders were issued at that level, at the

12     meetings that were attended by Mr. Boban, the commander of the

13     Main Staff, and the commanders of the zones, for the most part.  So when

14     we're talking about operational activities of the armed forces, I'm

15     saying that on the basis of my experience, my service in the army.  And

16     after the 20th of June, I no longer attended those meetings.  But I do

17     have this experience to draw on up until that date.

18             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well.

19             JUDGE TRECHSEL:  Mr. Buntic, I would like to ask you a question

20     which may be a bit theoretical and does not relate to what we've heard

21     today immediately.  But I remember having seen a decree on the

22     establishment or law, a draft law, on the establishment of districts and

23     we've been told that that was never materialised, those districts were

24     not in fact created.  On the other hand, as far as the organization of

25     the judiciary is concerned, we have heard that there existed district

Page 30729

 1     courts.  I would be grateful if you could explain what the district in

 2     district courts refers to.

 3             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, this issue was discussed, and

 4     we probably have to now go back to the very beginning, the point of

 5     origin, and that would be the meeting between the two presidents, Tudjman

 6     and Izetbegovic, in Medjugorje where some agreements were reached and I

 7     think that this document is in the possession of this Court.  I assume

 8     that it has already been admitted into evidence and that I should not now

 9     discuss it at length.  But one of the provisions of this agreement

10     stipulated that obligations would be undertaken to bring in line the

11     regulations of the Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna with those of the

12     Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina.  I think that one of the items of

13     this agreement was to that effect.

14             I also testified here that the decree on the establishment of

15     courts dated the 3rd of July was suspended -- its publication was

16     suspended, it was never actually published and it was never actually

17     implemented in practice.  After that I had talks with the justice

18     minister of the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina -- or rather, the

19     deputy minister, not the minister but his deputy, that was so officially

20     but in actual fact he was the minister, where we tried to find ways to

21     establish a judicial system that would be able to function.

22             So I can now say that at the beginning of our talks there was

23     complete rejection of our proposals for the judicial system in Bosnia and

24     Herzegovina to be set up in this manner, but as -- if you follow the

25     developments you will see that the model that was finally applied was the

Page 30730

 1     one that me and Mr. Halilagic actually agreed on.  So on the basis of the

 2     agreement of the two heads of state and the agreement between Buntic and

 3     Halilagic, this was done in this matter.  And because the Supreme Court

 4     could not operate in its seat, the Presidency made this decision to set

 5     up and relocated departments of the Supreme Court for the area of Bihac,

 6     Tuzla, and I think there was another area.  But at any rate, these two

 7     will serve by way of an example and also the relocated department of the

 8     state public prosecutor's office.

 9             So we wanted to set up a judicial system that could function in

10     practice, because it was quite obvious that legal remedies cannot go to

11     and from the Supreme Court in Sarajevo and the military courts.  So this

12     is as far as the Supreme Court and the public prosecutor's office is

13     concerned.  That is why district military courts were set up.  As you

14     could see, we had four such district military courts, the one in Mostar,

15     the district court in Livno, the district court in Bosanski Brod which

16     could not operate there which is why it was physically located in Orasje,

17     and the district military court in Travnik.

18             JUDGE TRECHSEL:  Thank you very much.  Thank you.  That's ...

19             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] It may be good to have a break

20     before the cross-examination by the Prosecution.

21             Ms. Alaburic, the issue of the 30th of June, 1993, was a new

22     topic that had not been dealt with during examination-in-chief.  The

23     Trial Chamber will therefore look into the issue of the time allocated.

24             Well, it's best to have the break now, a 20-minute break, and

25     then -- unless you want to say something now, Mr. Stringer?  Yes.

Page 30731

 1             MR. STRINGER:  Thank you, Mr. President.  I just wanted through

 2     the Trial Chamber to ask the Defence teams one question while we're all

 3     here together that would be of assistance to the Prosecution on an

 4     unrelated matter.  There's a pending interlocutory appeal that relates to

 5     the issue of potential contact between an accused and his counsel during

 6     the time that an accused may be testifying.  And the Prosecution is in

 7     the process of preparing its response because two of the accused have --

 8     I'm sorry, the Prosecution's filed its appeal.  Two of the accused have

 9     filed responses.  It would help us if we knew if additional accused were

10     intending to join or file responses so that we could build into our

11     timing the possibility of filing a single, joint reply to all of the

12     accused.  And so while everyone's here together, I wanted to ask that of

13     all the Defence teams, whether anyone else is intending to file a

14     response.

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

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

17     We have no intentions of either joining or replying in particular.  I

18     think the Court made its decision, the Prosecution is entitled to appeal,

19     and that's that.

20             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well.  That's 1D.

21             2D.

22             MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation] Good afternoon, Your Honours.  My

23     reply would be the same as that of my colleague Mr. Karnavas.

24             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] 5D -- well, first 3D.

25             MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation] Good afternoon, Your Honours.  The

Page 30732

 1     Prosecution mentioned that two Defence teams have filed such motions to

 2     save time, that was the Defence of General Petkovic and the Defence of

 3     General Praljak, so we have already filed responses.

 4             MS. TOMASEGOVIC TOMIC: [Interpretation] Good afternoon,

 5     Your Honours.  We do not intend to file any response.

 6             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] And 6D.

 7             MR. IBRISIMOVIC: [Interpretation] Mr. President, we will not be

 8     filing any responses.

 9             MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] If you allow me, Your Honours,

10     just one explanation regarding the topic of the 30th of June, 1993.  I

11     would like to draw your attention to the fact that this date is related

12     to documents that were shown to this witness in the examination-in-chief,

13     that's the minutes from the meetings of the civilian HVO held on the 19th

14     and the 20th of July, 1993, that pertain to taking care of persons

15     detained in the municipality of Capljina.  The detention of these people

16     started as a result of the events of the 30th of June, so my short and

17     simple question had to do with all the topics related to detention

18     centres that were raised in the examination-in-chief.  Thank you very

19     much.

20             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] The Trial Chamber will examine

21     this very carefully.

22             Well, you've received your answers, Mr. Stringer, there's not

23     going to be any other filing but for the two that have already been done.

24     We shall break for 20 minutes and we shall resume around ten to 4.00.

25                           --- Recess taken at 3.31 p.m.

Page 30733

 1                           --- On resuming at 3.55 p.m.

 2             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Before give the floor to

 3     Mr. Stringer, I'd like to say that the Trial Chamber discussed the issue

 4     whether the 30th of June was going to be a new topic.  Well, the

 5     Trial Chamber deems it is and it adds that it's not because a subject is

 6     mentioned in a document that it allows a Defence counsel as part of the

 7     cross-examination to deal with the topic.  Cross-examination only goes to

 8     topics that have been previously dealt with during the hearing, the

 9     testimony of a witness.  Therefore, the time devoted to the 30th of June

10     is going to be regarded as a new topic.

11             Mr. Stringer, you may proceed.  You have several hours at your

12     disposal.  You may proceed.

13             MR. STRINGER:  Mr. President, could I ask how much time I do

14     have.  I'm under the assumption that it's at least seven hours for

15     cross-examination.

16             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes, based on my calculations

17     you had seven hours and 15 minutes.  You see, I sleep with my calculator.

18     It's very complicated indeed.

19             MR. STRINGER:  Thank you, Mr. President.

20                           Cross-examination by Mr. Stringer:

21        Q.   Good afternoon, Mr. Buntic.  My name is Douglas Stringer, I'm an

22     attorney with the Prosecution, I'll be asking you questions.  You should

23     have -- in your area there are four binders that constitute, hopefully,

24     the universe of documents that I'll be referring you to during the course

25     of your cross-examination.  And before we get into the real meat of your

Page 30734

 1     testimony, I want to go to one more preliminary matter and I want to ask

 2     you to take the fourth binder, binder number 4.  All of the exhibits

 3     marked with a D, the Defence exhibits, are in the -- I believe the last

 4     binder.

 5             Mr. Buntic, if you could turn to 1D 01184, please, 1184.  1184 --

 6        A.   I can't find it.

 7             MR. STRINGER:  Could the usher please assist.  Thank you.  Binder

 8     number 4.  1D 01184.

 9        Q.   Mr. Buntic, these were shown to you during the cross-examination

10     that was conducted by Ms. Nozica, I believe, counsel for Mr. Stojic.  Do

11     you recognise these are the minutes of the 35th Session of the HVO held

12     on the 9th of April, 1993?

13        A.   I can confirm that.

14        Q.   And your testimony yesterday was that these on page 5 at least of

15     the English version, the minutes were erroneous in that there was an

16     indication that individuals had been appointed at the proposal of the HVO

17     department of justice and general administration.  Do you recall that

18     testimony about this being erroneous minutes?

19        A.   I do recall that, and I said yesterday that we had had a proposal

20     from Orasje --

21        Q.   Okay.  Actually --

22        A.   -- with --

23        Q.   -- and I don't mean to be rude, but my question relates less to

24     the substance of the proposal and more to the procedure involved in the

25     making -- in the adoption of the minutes.  And so if I could just ask

Page 30735

 1     you, then, to set that document aside for the moment, that being

 2     1D 01184, which are the -- as you say the erroneous minutes.  And now if

 3     you could go to a different document which is in binder 3 which is

 4     P 02181.

 5             MR. STRINGER:  And while we're going there, Mr. President, I can

 6     assure you that once we get into the flow of things we'll be moving

 7     fairly consistently through the binders without jumping around very much,

 8     but ...

 9        Q.   Now, Mr. Buntic, you were not shown this document previously

10     during the course of your testimony.  Would you agree with me that this

11     is an invitation or an announcement issued by the president of the HVO,

12     Dr. Jadranko Prlic, that relates to convening or summoning the

13     37th Session of the HVO and scheduling that meeting for the 5th of May,

14     1993?

15        A.   I have now looked at the document and I think that this is also a

16     document that originated from the HVO.  I can see that this meeting is

17     announced and that an agenda was put forward.  I can see that it is the

18     4th of May, 1993, but I can't see that this meeting was really held --

19        Q.   Okay, well, if you'll allow me --

20        A.   -- or that any --

21        Q.   If you'll allow me I'll try to take you there.  The question

22     simply is this:  Whether this appears to be -- did you receive in your

23     capacity as head of the department of justice and administration, did you

24     receive documents like this from Dr. Prlic in his capacity as president

25     of the HVO that essentially informed the department heads of the date of

Page 30736

 1     the next HVO meeting, indicating what the agenda would be, and so forth?

 2     This was a very -- a fairly common procedure, announcements on the -- an

 3     upcoming HVO session?

 4        A.   Yes, you're right.  Usually a couple of days before a meeting we

 5     would receive the materials for the meeting with the proposed agenda.  As

 6     you could see from the minutes, it would happen often that the agenda

 7     would be supplemented, amended --

 8        Q.   Okay --

 9        A.   -- this was probably physically done by the HVO secretary.

10        Q.   Okay.  And so then here we have a notice dated the 4th of May

11     informing the members of the HVO of a meeting, the 37th Session that

12     would be held on the 5th of May.  And documents like this were issued, I

13     believe, pursuant to the rules of procedure of the HVO HZ HB; is that

14     correct?

15        A.   I think that was the case.  I think I did explain about the way

16     that the documents were forwarded and how this whole thing functioned.

17        Q.   All right.  Now, item number 1 on this proposed agenda relates to

18     the draft minutes of the 35th and 36th HVO Sessions.  Do you see that?

19     If you can just indicate yes or no and I'll ask you some more about that.

20        A.   It would follow from this.

21        Q.   And then turning to the end of the document, the last paragraph,

22     Dr. Prlic indicates that this document is then accompanied by the report

23     of the 35th and 36th Sessions so that you and the others would have an

24     opportunity to review those minutes before, actually, the commencement of

25     the 37th Session; is that also correct?

Page 30737

 1        A.   That's correct.  That was the usual practice.

 2        Q.   Okay.  So the previous exhibit, 1D 01184, you don't have to look

 3     at it but the minutes of the 35th Session, it appears that those were

 4     provided to you in advance of the 37th HVO Session that was held or to be

 5     held on the 5th of May, 1993; correct?

 6        A.   Correct.

 7        Q.   And I'm raising this because this relates to a question that was

 8     put to you yesterday by Judge Mindua about the possibility or the

 9     opportunity for approval or correction of the minutes.  Now, if I could

10     just send you back to the other binder, the fourth binder there, for one

11     final document on this subject.

12             MR. STRINGER:  I'm sorry, it's the binder that's on the table

13     there.

14        Q.   Now, if you would turn to 1D 1607.  Sir, if you could look this

15     over and tell us, does this appear to be the minutes, then, of the

16     37th Session of the HVO held on the 5th of May, 1993?

17        A.   Correct.

18        Q.   And you were present at this session?

19        A.   Yes, I can see that I was.

20        Q.   And item number 1 on the agenda was the minutes of the 35th and

21     36th Sessions; correct?

22        A.   Correct.

23        Q.   And then turning the page, at least in the English version, item

24     number 1 indicates that there were no remarks to the presented minutes of

25     the 35th and 36th Sessions and that they were then unanimously adopted.

Page 30738

 1     Do you see that?

 2        A.   Yes, I can see that and it is indeed correct.

 3        Q.   So that at least in respect of these minutes of the 35th, I know

 4     you said they were erroneous but you did have an opportunity to review

 5     them; and at the time that you could have changed them you did not change

 6     them.  Correct?

 7        A.   That's correct and that's what I confirmed yesterday.

 8        Q.   And the procedure related to the approval of minutes of previous

 9     sessions, is this the same procedure that applied in general to all the

10     minutes, they would be distributed in advance and then voted upon for

11     approval unless there were objections to them?

12        A.   That's correct, that was the usual practice.

13        Q.   Okay.  Now, if you could put that binder aside, Mr. Buntic, I'm

14     going to take you now to the first binder.

15             MR. STRINGER:  I think we'll be staying in this binder for the

16     time being.

17        Q.   Before I direct you to any specific documents in there,

18     Mr. Buntic, I want to ask you just a few questions about your background

19     and very early time of your association with the structures and the

20     leadership of the Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna.

21             Now, I understand that originally you called Citluk, the

22     municipality of Citluk, as your home, that's where you were raised; is

23     that correct?

24        A.   That's correct, yes.  I was born there, that's where I grew up,

25     and I spent most of my life in Citluk except for the time of my studies.

Page 30739

 1     I studied in Zagreb, and I worked for a short period of time in Zagreb.

 2        Q.   And on your return then from Zagreb to Citluk you established a

 3     law office, and if I understand correctly, you're not really a criminal

 4     law practitioner and have not been in the past.  Your resume or your area

 5     of expertise relates more to the criminal [sic] law.  Is that a correct

 6     statement?

 7        A.   Well, neither of these statements is correct.  I graduated in

 8     1978 in Zagreb, and before I launched my law office I worked in three

 9     companies in Citluk.  That was up until 1989 when I launched my own law

10     office in Citluk.  And from that time until the war I worked as an

11     attorney-at-law.

12             And the second claim is not correct because I think that I've

13     already stated before this Court that I specialize in commercial and

14     trade law and that 90 per cent of the cases that I did as a lawyer

15     pertained to this area and that in my practice I may have dealt with only

16     one or two criminal cases, but those were not any major or famous cases.

17     I think you could term them insignificant.  And I have also testified

18     before this Court that I don't consider myself to be an expert in

19     criminal law.

20        Q.   I thought that was my question, but I may have said it unclearly.

21             JUDGE TRECHSEL:  You have, in fact, misspoken and you said that

22     he was a specialist in criminal law, so that's what the record and my

23     memory say, line 22 on page 35.

24             MR. STRINGER:  Thank you, Your Honour.

25        Q.   Yes, it was my understanding that your specialty is commercial

Page 30740

 1     law or civil law and not criminal law; is that correct?  Just so we've

 2     got it.

 3        A.   Yes, you've got it right now, Mr. Prosecutor.

 4        Q.   Now, turning to the period of the beginning of the conflict in

 5     the former Yugoslavia and in your part of Bosnia-Herzegovina, you --

 6     beginning in 1991 and then further on into 1992, you were not a member of

 7     the HDZ political party, that's -- I believe that was your testimony at

 8     least in the Kordic case?

 9        A.   That's correct.  In addition to that, I also said that I had

10     never been a member either of the League of Communists of the former

11     Yugoslavia or of the HDZ.

12        Q.   You were, however, a member of a different party called the

13     Croatian Democratic Party; is that correct?

14        A.   That's correct.  At the first democratic multi-party elections in

15     Bosnia-Herzegovina, as the representative of the Croatian Democratic

16     Party for Citluk and as such I was on that ticket and was elected into

17     the Municipal Assembly of Citluk with another member of the

18     Croatian Democratic Party.  In a word, we got two seats in the

19     Citluk Municipal Assembly.

20        Q.   And if I understand correctly, General Praljak who I believe you

21     also knew at the time of the conflict in 1992, General Praljak was also a

22     member of the Croatian Democratic Party?

23        A.   That's correct.  I knew General Praljak from my days as a

24     student.  We remained very good friends, we also had family ties.

25     General Praljak is my son's godfather and I believe it only proper that I

Page 30741

 1     should state it here.

 2        Q.   You also were acquainted from the early days of your youth, as I

 3     understand it, with Mr. Mate Boban, who then later was the president of

 4     the Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna; is that correct?

 5        A.   That's absolutely not correct.  I got to know the late Mate Boban

 6     perhaps in 1990 when we were contemplating the idea of setting up a

 7     political party in Herzegovina which would have been called the

 8     Herzegovinian Democratic Party.  I was in charge of most of the

 9     activities revolving around the launching of this party, and Mr. Boban

10     attended some of these meetings which is where we met.

11        Q.   And then in May of 1992, as I understand it, it was Mr. Boban who

12     offered you the position of head of the justice department in what was at

13     the time being formed, that is, the structures of the Croatian Community

14     of Herceg-Bosna?

15        A.   Correct.  That was between the 10th and the 15th of May, 1992.

16     The meeting was also attended by the then-president of the Citluk

17     municipality, Milan Lovric.

18        Q.   And then as I understand it, you didn't actually assume the

19     position of head of the justice department until later, after the

20     successful operation against the units of the JNA, end of June 1992?

21        A.   That's correct.  I said that it was either on the 20th or on the

22     21st of June, 1992, that was when I took up my duties in actual fact.

23        Q.   Earlier in your testimony in this case you indicated that you had

24     been elected to the Crisis Staff in the Citluk municipality and that the

25     Crisis Staff corresponded to the Law on All People's Defence and the Law

Page 30742

 1     of Citluk municipality.  Do you recall saying that?

 2        A.   I do.  It is true that on the critical day when the tanks of the

 3     Yugoslav Army were stopped at Polog near Mostar, an emergency meeting of

 4     the Executive Council of the municipality of Citluk was called and the

 5     Crisis Staff was set up.  It is true that I said that individuals were

 6     appointed to that Crisis Staff in accordance with the Law on All People's

 7     Defence of the Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina.  I can repeat that by

 8     virtue of the duties that they discharged, these included the president

 9     of the municipality, the president of the Executive Council of the

10     municipality, chief of the staff of the Territorial Defence of Citluk,

11     the chief of police of the municipality of Citluk, the chief of the

12     civilian protection staff --

13        Q.   All right --

14        A.   -- and these were individuals - please let me finish my

15     sentence - who in accordance with the Law on All People's Defence and in

16     accordance with the statute of the Citluk municipality had to become

17     members of the War Presidency which would be set up in times of war and

18     in times of an imminent threat of war.  It is also true -- please let me

19     finish - that other members --

20        Q.   And I apologise for cutting across you like this, but you're

21     actually giving us a great deal more detail than I need and I think what

22     the Trial Chamber requires, and if the Trial Chamber wants more

23     information I'm sure they will ask you.

24             My simple question is this:  You were on the Crisis Staff and you

25     considered the Crisis Staff at the time to be the legally constituted

Page 30743

 1     body and municipal body in Citluk based on the law; is that correct?

 2        A.   I was on the Crisis Staff.  This was the Executive Council, and

 3     that was later on confirmed by the Municipal Assembly which had appointed

 4     me to the Crisis Staff.  I do believe that it was fully in accordance

 5     with the Law on All People's Defence and the statute of the Citluk

 6     municipality.

 7        Q.   Okay.  And I read in your Kordic -- your testimony in the Kordic

 8     case that during this period, we're talking roughly about 1991 and into

 9     1992, Muslims and Croats throughout other areas also set up Crisis Staffs

10     in their own municipalities?

11        A.   Correct.  I believe that in the area of western Herzegovina all

12     the municipalities set up their own respective Crisis Staffs between 9

13     and the 15th of May.  I also believe that shortly afterwards other

14     municipalities in Herzegovina also set up their own Crisis Staffs on the

15     similar or -- principle or the principle that was identical to the one

16     used in Citluk.

17        Q.   Okay.

18        A.   For the rest, I do not know.

19        Q.   If I could direct you to an exhibit in the binder, that is

20     P 00070, P 70.  It should be one of the tabbed documents at the

21     beginning.  And I don't know whether you've seen this document before,

22     Mr. Buntic, or not.  You indicated that you had a discussion with

23     Mate Boban in November of 1992 about becoming the head of the justice

24     department.  Is that pretty much your first contact or involvement in any

25     conversations related to the establishment of the Croatian Community of

Page 30744

 1     Herceg-Bosna or its governmental organization?

 2        A.   To be quite frank, this is the first time I see this document.  I

 3     said that I was in contact with Boban in 1990.  I think this is the first

 4     time I see this document.  I haven't read it, I don't know the substance

 5     of it, but I see it for the first time.

 6        Q.   Let's go through it and I'll ask you a couple of questions about

 7     it, recognising that you have not seen it before but also recognising

 8     that you had some discussions with Mr. Boban during this period of time.

 9     This document is called:  "The conclusions of a joint meeting of the

10     Herzegovina regional community and the Travnik regional community."  It

11     was held in November of 1991, on the 12th.  And there are a number of

12     conclusions that then are spelled out in the document, and if I could

13     direct your attention to paragraph 1 under the heading of conclusions.

14     You'll see that one conclusion is that:  "The Croatian people in this

15     region and all of Bosnia and Herzegovina still support the unanimously

16     accepted orientation and conclusions adopted in agreements with

17     President Dr. Franjo Tudjman on 13 and 20 of June, 1991, in Zagreb."

18             And then the passage continues on making reference to other

19     meetings and conclusions throughout other -- the fall of 1991.  And then

20     culminating in a statement that says:  "These two regional communities

21     have unanimously decided that the Croatian people in Bosnia and

22     Herzegovina must finally embrace a determined and active policy which

23     will realize our eternal dream, a common Croatian state."

24             And then it continues with the reference to proclamation of a

25     Croatian Banovina in Bosnia-Herzegovina and holding of a referendum on

Page 30745

 1     joining the Republic of Croatia.

 2             So now my question to you, Mr. Buntic, is -- I guess my first

 3     question on this is whether based on your conversations with Mr. Boban

 4     during this period of time, whether you were aware of these conclusions

 5     and objectives of the individuals represented or referred to in this

 6     document.

 7        A.   I've already said that I haven't seen the document before.  You

 8     should also know that at the time, that is, in November 1991, Boban and I

 9     were political opponents.  He belonged to one party, I belonged to

10     another.  I don't believe that Boban would exchange with me any political

11     views or try to take up a common political position with me because at

12     the time he was a member of the HDZ.

13        Q.   All right.  And at some subsequent time then, after you became

14     associated with the HVO as the head of the justice department, did

15     Mr. Boban or any of the other leadership of Herceg-Bosna share with you

16     any aspirations, any objectives, related to the establishment of a

17     Croatian Banovina for the ultimate connection or linking of these

18     territories to Croatia?

19        A.   No.  I've already testified before this Tribunal as to the

20     documents that were handed to me on the 20th or the 21st of June when I

21     took up my position of head of the justice and general administration

22     department, and I stand by what I said fully.

23        Q.   And would you agree with me, sir, that if that was in fact a

24     policy during this period of time, November 1991, if that was a policy of

25     the Croatian democratic -- I'm sorry, the HDZ in Bosnia-Herzegovina, you

Page 30746

 1     would not have known of that policy because you were not a member of the

 2     party?

 3        A.   I believe that what you said is correct.  In 1991 we were

 4     political opponents and it is not proper to ask of me to interpret the

 5     conclusions or views held by the Croatian Democratic Union in 1991.  I

 6     don't think it will be proper of me to do that.  We were political

 7     adversaries.

 8        Q.   The next exhibit in your binder --

 9             JUDGE TRECHSEL:  Excuse me, just a technical question,

10     Mr. Buntic.  This document speaks of the "Croatian regional community."

11     Are you conversant with this expression, with this term?

12             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] My apologies, Your Honour.  If

13     you're referring to the heading of the document, what is mentioned here

14     is the Herzegovina regional community and the Travnik regional community.

15     Therefore, this is something that preceded the setting up of the

16     Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna.  However, do not expect me to

17     interpret documents which were drafted by other parties at the time, and

18     it would not be correct of me to interpret their views.

19             JUDGE TRECHSEL:  I absolutely accept that.  I was only a bit

20     intrigued by this term, and contrary to what you assume, I did not quote

21     from the title but from the beginning of the conclusion number 1.  That

22     is where you read "Croatian regional community."  But thank you for your

23     answer.

24             MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I am particularly

25     opposed to the use of this document.  If you look at the original

Page 30747

 1     document, the upper left-hand corner reads "transcription of a copy."  I

 2     don't think this is merely an issue of semantics.  As a lawyer, I cannot

 3     even begin to imagine what a transcription of a copy might mean.  What I

 4     can conceive of is that the original is absent.  If you look at the next

 5     page you have allegedly three signatories, the court reporter and

 6     purportedly also Mate Boban, but none of them signed the document.  It is

 7     quite odd that the conclusions from such a meeting would not be signed by

 8     anyone.  If it is a transcription, it is customary practice in our parts

 9     to put the abbreviation VR, meaning as signed.  So this doesn't fit with

10     the customary practice that I'm familiar with.

11             Now, if we look at the heading there are two communities there,

12     the Herzegovina regional community and the Travnik regional community and

13     then the Croatian Democratic Union below that.  Based on my experience

14     from this case and other cases, I have never seen a similar document.

15     Alternatively, the Prosecutor should provide a foundation testifying to

16     its authenticity.

17             Let me also state, Your Honours, that as you were able to see

18     with a great many documents, this document does not bear the stamp of the

19     Croatian state archives, as many others did.

20             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Kovacic, you seem to be

21     challenging the written decision by the -- of the Chamber by which it

22     admitted this document on the 11th of December, 2007.  Unless I'm

23     mistaken, this document was admitted into evidence.

24             Is that correct, Mr. Stringer?  I was about to ask you where this

25     document came from, but now I see that this document was admitted.  I

Page 30748

 1     can't remember it because we've admitted thousands of documents, but

 2     Mr. Kovacic probably challenged the admission and the Trial Chamber

 3     issued a ruling that will be given to me by the Chamber's Legal Officer

 4     within a few seconds.

 5             Am I correct, Mr. Stringer?  The Trial Chamber decided to admit

 6     this document following a written motion.

 7             MR. STRINGER:  That's correct, Mr. President.  The document is in

 8     evidence already, it's been admitted, as you've indicated, by a written

 9     decision of the Trial Chamber.  That's number one.  I can also say that

10     I'm going to be going to another document that I think will also further

11     lend weight to this particular document in terms of its reliability and

12     probative value.  So, I mean, if Mr. Kovacic wants to take the stand, I

13     can cross-examine him about the document because he's testifying about it

14     based on his experience here and elsewhere in other cases.  I don't think

15     it's very helpful, particularly in respect of a document that's already

16     in evidence.  But I can go to another exhibit, which I'm going to do,

17     which I think is going to further support this particular exhibit.

18             MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I only want to

19     reserve the right to make a subsequent filing if necessary.  As I can see

20     from the description of the document, the document was admitted into

21     evidence pursuant to one of your decisions on a motion filed by the

22     Prosecutor for the admission of evidence.  I didn't have occasion to go

23     through our responses, but I'm sure that we opposed the admission of such

24     a document, although I cannot be positive about it.  Even if the document

25     is admitted, I can object to it again based on the elements that I

Page 30749

 1     mentioned, that is, I don't see that it is authentic.  We can present the

 2     relevant evidence later on.  It is now in evidence.  We can challenge it

 3     and then it will be up to you to weigh the probative value thereof.

 4             As for what my learned friend said about me testifying, I

 5     dissociate myself from what he said.  I am not testifying at all.  I'm

 6     merely stating the elements which to me, an experienced lawyer, indicate

 7     that the document is not authentic.  And if this is the case, then it is

 8     up to the party presenting that piece of evidence to prove its

 9     authenticity.  And if we will be having a discussion on this, I will make

10     a written filing on that matter.

11             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well.  Let's proceed.

12             MR. STRINGER:  Thank you, Mr. President.

13        Q.   Mr. Buntic, the next document is P 00081.  It's in the same

14     binder.  Now, do you recognise this, sir, as the original decision on

15     establishing the Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna dated the 18th of

16     November, 1991?

17        A.   I have a decision to set up the Croatian Community of

18     Herceg-Bosna under that number, the decision as it was published in the

19     Official Gazette of the Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna.  In other

20     words, it's not the text -- we had two texts here, one before the

21     Tribunal and the other that was passed on the 18th of November, 1992, and

22     we had this decision on the establishment of the Croatian Community of

23     Herceg-Bosna which was amended by virtue of the 3rd of July decision of

24     the Presidency.  In other words, the -- what I have is the decision of --

25     as it was published in the Official Gazette following these amendments.

Page 30750

 1     I don't know if this is true for you as well, if you have that document.

 2        Q.   Well, let's break it down.  Can we agree that there are two

 3     decisions on the establishment of the Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna,

 4     the original decision and then the amended decision that was passed

 5     during the Presidency meeting in July of 1992?

 6        A.   I agree.

 7        Q.   Okay.  And it's my belief or it's my hope anyway that what you

 8     should have in front of you is the initial decision, that's the first

 9     decision not the amended one.  Do you have that?

10             MS. TOMANOVIC: [Interpretation] My apologies.  There must be a

11     misunderstanding here because I know that in e-court under that number in

12     the English version we have the original decision, whereas in the B/C/S

13     we have the 3rd of July decision, so that both the witness and the

14     Prosecutor are right.

15             MR. STRINGER:  I appreciate the clarification.  Perhaps what I

16     could do -- I don't know what the -- well, let's do this.

17        Q.   Let me come back to this one.  We will get the correct

18     Serbo-Croatian version of this document and come back to it, Mr. Buntic,

19     because I don't want, obviously, to ask you about it without it being in

20     front of you.

21             So let's move on for the time being to the next document which is

22     P 00152 --

23             JUDGE TRECHSEL:  Excuse me, I'm a bit confused because the

24     document here in the binder in Croatian bears also the date of the 18th

25     November 1991.  Would the amended version of July be dated in the

Page 30751

 1     introductory paragraph 18 November 1991?

 2             MS. TOMANOVIC: [Interpretation] No, the Croatian version only

 3     refers to the fact that the original decision was passed on the 18th of

 4     November and but that it was amended on the 3rd of July and that now the

 5     consolidated text was being published.  If you want, the witness can read

 6     the preamble of the decision he has in front of him and then you'll see

 7     where the difference lies.

 8             JUDGE TRECHSEL:  Please, yes.

 9             Would you read in Croatian the first paragraph.

10             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] "The decision" --

11             JUDGE TRECHSEL:  I think you should start -- you should start on

12     the top of the page with [B/C/S spoken].

13             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I started reading the preamble,

14     which in my view solves the question that was put, Your Honour.  The

15     question was put about the 18th of November and the 3rd of July, which is

16     why I started reading the part of the preamble which sheds light on that

17     matter.

18             JUDGE TRECHSEL:  I have before me a document which has a number

19     at the bottom and the number is 00299117.  Do you have the same document?

20             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I have this document

21     in front of me on the screen, but in the binder, as I've already

22     indicated, I have a different document.

23             JUDGE TRECHSEL:  Perhaps the usher can assist you.

24             MR. STRINGER:  We can provide the witness with a hard copy of

25     the -- okay.  That clarifies it.  He's not in the correct document.

Page 30752

 1        Q.   Okay.  00081.

 2        A.   Yes, it's fine.  Now I have in front of me the original dated the

 3     18th of November, 1991, and it begins with the words:  "On the basis of

 4     the freely expressed will of the Croat people in Bosnia and Herzegovina,

 5     they are democratically ..."

 6             So that would be the first document, and if you allow me to

 7     provide an explanation by way of answer to His Honour's question --

 8             JUDGE TRECHSEL:  Thank you --

 9             MR. STRINGER:

10        Q.   No, I think we --

11             JUDGE TRECHSEL:  I think that is quite all right.  We have now

12     identified the document and that was all I was wondering about.  Thank

13     you.

14             Mr. Stringer.

15             MR. STRINGER:  Thank you, Your Honour.

16        Q.   Mr. Buntic, I wanted to then ask you if you would for us read the

17     first sentence of Article 2, just read it in your language, please.

18        A.   Article 2:  "The Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna shall

19     comprise the territories of the following municipalities:  Jajce,

20     Kresevo, Busovaca" --

21        Q.   Thank you.  You don't need to read out the names of the

22     municipalities.

23             I want to now skip down to Article 7 because this relates to the

24     organization or the governmental structures of Herceg-Bosna, and this

25     indicates that:  "The supreme authority of the Community," the Croatian

Page 30753

 1     Community of Herceg-Bosna, "shall be the Presidency ..."

 2             And my question is this:  You indicated earlier in your testimony

 3     that really throughout the entire period -- well, I'll ask you.  Is it

 4     true that from this period, in November 1991 continuing through 1992 and

 5     1993, the Presidency of the Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna was a

 6     single-party Presidency, that is, it was a party -- it was a Presidency

 7     constituted by an -- exclusively by members of the Croatian Democratic

 8     Union party?

 9        A.   This follows from the heading of this document, or rather, the

10     preamble that speaks about the democratically elected representatives of

11     the Croatian people elected as such into the Assembly of Bosnia and

12     Herzegovina.  And as is quite well-known in the elections of Bosnia and

13     Herzegovina there were parties such as my own that did not get a single

14     seat in the Assembly of the republic.  So we're talking about the

15     representatives elected by the Croatian people who were at the same time

16     all members of the Croatian Democratic Union.

17        Q.   Okay.  So in order to be on the Presidency one had to be a member

18     of the Croatian Democratic Union?

19        A.   Well, as far as I know, one had to be elected.  So the criterion

20     is not membership of the Croatian Democratic Union; the criterion is that

21     these people had to have been elected into the bodies, those bodies.  So

22     the key term here is "elected representatives of the Croatian people,"

23     not members of the Croatian Democratic Union.  So the key language here

24     is "democratically elected," not the HDZ.

25        Q.   And these democratic elections occurred when?  Tell us when they

Page 30754

 1     occurred and where.

 2        A.   In late 1990, the first democratic elections were held in Bosnia

 3     and Herzegovina.

 4        Q.   So it was on the basis of those elections that then the

 5     membership or the same results of that election, if you will, were the

 6     basis of membership then in the Presidency of Herceg-Bosna?

 7        A.   Well, I presented my interpretation or my view of the preamble of

 8     this decision, where it says the democratically elected representatives.

 9        Q.   Now, getting back to my original question on this, is it true

10     that throughout the remainder of 1991, 1992, and 1993, all members of the

11     Presidency were members of the Croatian Democratic Union; correct or

12     incorrect?

13        A.   Well, I'm not sure but I think there were some representatives in

14     the Presidency of the Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna who were not

15     members of the Croatian Democratic Union.  As far as I know, the

16     representative from the Vares municipality was a member of the Party of

17     Democratic Movement, and I think there were some other Presidency members

18     who were co-opted at a later stage and who were there as members of the

19     HZ HB Presidency; I can't now recall their names.  I think that there was

20     this man from Vares, he participated in the meetings, and I know that he

21     was a member of the SDP.  There were some other examples of that nature

22     but I can't recall them.  So it was not a single-party body.

23        Q.   So you're changing your testimony from earlier in which you said

24     that it's a single-party Presidency?  I can refer you to the relevant

25     part of your testimony if you like.

Page 30755

 1        A.   Well, I can confirm that now.  When it was established pursuant

 2     to this fundamental document, that was the case.  But then I added that

 3     some members had been co-opted at a later stage and that they had

 4     participated in the work, I think it was Petar Ravlija, I can't recall,

 5     but at any rate it was a representative from Vares and I know that there

 6     was a man from the SDP.  So he was co-opted at a later stage.  He did not

 7     participate in the work of the Presidency right at the beginning, but I

 8     can confirm, as I have before, that all the founding members were members

 9     of the HDZ, but later on some other members of the Presidency joined in

10     and they were not members of the HDZ.

11        Q.   These other members of the Presidency, did they join in before or

12     after the 17th of October, 1992, which was the last time the Presidency

13     met?

14        A.   I think it was even before that.

15        Q.   So if in fact they are members of the Presidency, presumably

16     their names would be evident on the minutes of the Presidency meetings

17     that occurred during these times in 1992?

18        A.   I think it would be good to look at the minutes from the meeting

19     of the Presidency dated the 17th of October, 1992, held in Travnik where

20     the Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna was joined by other communities,

21     Bosnian Posavina, Central Bosnia --

22        Q.   All right --

23        A.   -- the Soli community, where representatives or members of those

24     communities were co-opted and became members of the Presidency.

25     Unfortunately, after that time the Presidency never met again, but I

Page 30756

 1     think you can see from the minutes who were the signatories and who

 2     attended that meeting or that session on the 17th of October, 1992.

 3        Q.   And we will be going over the minutes of the meetings, both on

 4     the 17th of October and also the July meeting as well.  So we will get to

 5     that.

 6             Now the next document I would like to show you, Mr. Buntic, is

 7     P 00152, it's behind the tab called 152 in your binder.  Now, we've just

 8     been looking at the initial establishment of Herceg-Bosna dated 18th of

 9     November, 1991.  This document follows a little bit after that, making

10     reference to an emergency session of the Presidency on the 8th of April,

11     1992, and this decision, if you have it, is the decision on the creation

12     of the HVO, the Croatian Defence Council.  Do you see that?

13        A.   Yes, it is correct and I've already stated before this Court that

14     this is one of the documents that was handed to me on the 20th of June

15     when I took over my duty, and I can confirm that this is one of those

16     documents and I have it here in front of me.

17        Q.   All right.  And in this document the HVO was named to be the

18     supreme defence body of the Croatian people in the Croatian Community of

19     Herceg-Bosna; is that correct?

20        A.   Yes, your quotation from Article 1 was correct.

21        Q.   All right.  And at all times throughout the remainder of 1992 and

22     1993, the HVO remained the supreme defence body of the Croatian people in

23     the HZ HB; is that correct?

24        A.   Correct.  But I don't think that we should now embark upon an

25     analysis of the civilian and military segments because this was not at

Page 30757

 1     issue then.

 2        Q.   Okay.  We're going to get there as well.  The next document is

 3     P 00206, 206 in your binder.  Now, Mr. Buntic, this appears to be about

 4     five weeks after the decision establishing the HVO as the supreme defence

 5     body.  This is a decision dated the 15th of May, 1992, which relates to

 6     the provisional establishment of the executive authority, executive

 7     authority, and administration in the territory of Herceg-Bosna.  And is

 8     it true, sir, that then this document indicates or provides that the HVO

 9     now shall carry out the duties of the executive authority in the

10     territory of Herceg-Bosna?

11        A.   That's correct, but I have to say that the armed forces of the

12     Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna operated under the same title or name,

13     so it should be noted here, this difference, it would be proper to do so.

14        Q.   Okay.  For those of us who weren't there, though, for us to read

15     this, would you agree with me that one could logically conclude based on

16     the documents that as of this time, the 15th of May, 1992, both supreme

17     defence authority and executive authority was vested in the same body

18     called the HVO?  You need to give an audible answer so we can get it in

19     the record.

20        A.   Yes, I can agree with you on that, and that's what I've already

21     stated before this Tribunal, that this is how it worked until the

22     regulations were changed, until the establishment of the Croatian Defence

23     Council as the executive civilian body that got its president at the

24     session of the 14th of August, 1992.

25        Q.   Okay.  Now, on Article 3 of this document, P 00206, we again see

Page 30758

 1     that -- an indication that the Presidency has a position of supremacy in

 2     that the HVO is to report to the Presidency; correct?

 3        A.   That's correct.

 4        Q.   And then continuing, this indicates that:  "The president of the

 5     HVO and the vice-presidents, the heads of departments, shall all -- shall

 6     be collectively responsible for the decisions adopted by the HVO."

 7             Did that remain so throughout 1992 and 1993, that is, collective

 8     responsibility of the HVO and its members for the decisions taken by the

 9     HVO?

10        A.   I think that portions of Article 3 were amended pursuant to the

11     decision on the establishment of the Croatian Defence Council, but before

12     this decision was issued, Article 3 was in force in full, as it stands

13     here in this decision.

14        Q.   And we will get to the subsequent decision amending this, so I

15     will take you to that in a few minutes.  My last question on this

16     document, Mr. Buntic, is in Article 7, which is the article that

17     identifies or sets out the specific departments, the administrative

18     departments, of the HVO.  And what I found interesting here was that

19     there was no justice department provided.  There's a department of

20     general administration, but there's no reference to a justice department.

21     And I just was sort of curious about that then, because we will see that

22     in fact a department of justice and general administration was

23     established in the subsequent amendment, and I take that that's because

24     during this intervening period you then became the head and took up your

25     responsibilities as head of that department.  Would you just comment on

Page 30759

 1     that?

 2             MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I apologise to you

 3     and to my colleague, Mr. Stringer, but I think that this is a case of

 4     misinterpretation.

 5             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] May I say something?  I'm not sure,

 6     Mr. Prosecutor, that we are indeed talking about the same document.  The

 7     document that I have in front of me, it's in Croatian, statutory decision

 8     dated the 18th of November, 1991.  In Article 7 it stipulates that there

 9     should be department of justice and general administration and other

10     departments.  So to my mind this is a correct transcription or a copy of

11     the original statutory decision, and I had the opportunity to see it in

12     the original.  And Article 7 here envisages the department of justice and

13     general administration.  I don't know how this is translated into

14     English.  My English is not good enough for me to be able to verify that,

15     but perhaps the registry and the Prosecution and the Defence might check

16     whether this is the same document, or perhaps we're talking about

17     incomplete or incorrect translation.

18             MR. STRINGER:

19        Q.   Okay.  So then your -- if I understand correctly, your

20     understanding -- your testimony then is that there was indeed a

21     department or -- a department of justice and general administration

22     within the HVO from its very inception?

23        A.   That's correct, and that follows from the document that I have in

24     front of me, that you handed to me, the Prosecution handed this document

25     to me.

Page 30760

 1        Q.   All right.  Now, the next document -- actually, it's not a

 2     document.  Mr. Buntic, I'm just going to ask you to set aside the binder

 3     for a minute because we're going to watch a little bit of video footage.

 4     I'm going to ask you some questions about the Presidency meeting that

 5     occurred in July of 1992, I believe it was the 3rd of July.  And you were

 6     shown this video footage during the Kordic case, which was a long time

 7     ago, but my understanding was that you believed this was footage showing

 8     a part of the Presidency meeting that took place in July of 1992.  This

 9     is P 10518.  It's about one and a half minutes, one and one-half minutes

10     in length.  It's not very lengthy, Mr. President.

11                           [Videotape played]

12             THE INTERPRETER:  [Voiceover] "The necessity for bringing certain

13     regulations or filling legal voids that developed with decision of organs

14     or bodies of the authorities in Bosnia and Herzegovina has shown itself.

15     Instead of a Law on Armed Forces or a Law on All People's Defence, an

16     order was issued on the armed forces of the Croat Community of

17     Herceg-Bosna and the decision on the rights and obligations of members of

18     the Croatian Defence Council, a decree on the assumption of ownership of

19     the JNA and SSNO logistics in the territory of the Croatian Community of

20     Herceg-Bosna, a decree on the transfer of ownership of property of the

21     occupier, and a decree on public reparations.

22             "With the bringing of these regulations as well as other

23     regulations that the Presidency of the Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna

24     has passed, the conditions for the normal functioning and other aspects

25     of life have been created."

Page 30761

 1             THE INTERPRETER:  Interpreter's note:  The sound quality was

 2     really very bad.

 3             MR. STRINGER:

 4        Q.   Okay.  I don't have any questions for you about that, Mr. Buntic,

 5     other than just to ask you:  Do you recognise that as footage of the time

 6     during the period of the 3 July 1992 Presidency meeting?

 7        A.   It's correct, it's my image and my voice.  I think that this is a

 8     press conference that followed immediately after the session of the

 9     Presidency of the 3rd of June, or rather, July 1992.

10        Q.   Where did that Presidency meeting take place?

11        A.   In the hotel in Grude.

12        Q.   And I think we saw some images on there.  Mr. Boban was present.

13     I recognised Dario Kordic as another one of the people who were present.

14     So it's fair to say that the Presidency was fairly fully constituted or

15     present at this particular meeting in July of 1992?

16        A.   Well, I'm not sure if all the members were there.  I know that

17     the large majority of the members of the Presidency were there, and it is

18     true, you were able to recognise those people.  I saw the late Boban.  I

19     recognised Dario Kordic and some other members of the Presidency -- well,

20     I don't know them but what you just said is true, Boban and Kordic were

21     present.

22        Q.   Okay.  And now at this particular Presidency meeting it strikes

23     me as being a fairly important one.  Would you agree with me?

24        A.   I think there were a total of five sessions of the Presidency of

25     the HZ HB, and to my mind all of them were equally important because

Page 30762

 1     major decisions were issued at each of those sessions for the first of

 2     all survival, or rather, first of all for the establishment and later on

 3     for the functioning of the Croatian Community.  So I think that each and

 4     every one of them was important.

 5        Q.   One of the decisions adopted at this Presidency meeting was the

 6     decision to amend and amending the decision on the establishment of the

 7     Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna; is that true?

 8        A.   It is true.  This is the document that we've just mentioned, so

 9     the basic decision of the 18th of November, 1992, was amended at the

10     session and the text, the integral version of the text, was then

11     published in the Official Gazette of the Croatian Community of

12     Herceg-Bosna.

13        Q.   Now, this is July of 1992, and as I understand from your

14     testimony, by this point you were actually involved as a member of the

15     HVO.  You had assumed your position as head of the justice department by

16     this time; is that correct?

17        A.   That's correct.  As I've just noted, some 10 or 12 days before

18     that, as I said I assumed my duties on the 20th or the 21st of July -- of

19     June, and this is the 3rd of July, so that was about 10 or 12 days after

20     I assumed my duties at the post.

21        Q.   Were you personally involved in drafting the amendments to this

22     decision?

23        A.   It is true that I participated in the drafting of the amendments

24     to those decisions.

25        Q.   And I want to ask you, first of all, about some words that appear

Page 30763

 1     in the preamble or the reasons in this decision, this amended decision,

 2     establishing the Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna.  This is P 00078,

 3     078.

 4             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] One moment.  Let me go back to

 5     the video footage.  I have two related questions, they're not major but

 6     they might be interesting, I think.  I note, first of all, that there is

 7     a big meeting table with basically only men.  How is it that there was

 8     not even one woman?

 9             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Mr. President, Your Honour, well, a

10     meeting would probably be a much more pleasant and nicer occasion had

11     that been the case, but as we could see the founding members of the

12     Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna, those who established it on the 18th

13     of November, were all men and also the secretary of the Presidency was

14     also a man.  I think his name was Zeljko Galic.  I don't recall who kept

15     the minutes, but yes, of course, the picture would have been that much

16     nicer had there been any women there, in the frame at least.

17             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Fine.  On that footage, but

18     things go very quickly, we see this meeting room, this large meeting room

19     with people dressed in civilian clothes and we see a few individuals

20     dressed in military clothes.  But I noted that there was a second table.

21     There were two tables, probably the most prominent people were sitting at

22     the main table, and next to that table there was another table probably

23     for the assistants of the others.  Can you confirm that?  Can you confirm

24     that on top of these leading officials of the HVO there were at these

25     meetings -- this meeting their assistants, their secretaries, what have

Page 30764

 1     you, who were sitting at this second table.  Is that what we see on the

 2     video?

 3             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, if we went back to the

 4     footage now I would probably recognise some of the individuals.  Judging

 5     from what I was able to see at that moment, I believe that sitting at one

 6     of the tables were journalists, the ones we were able to see in civilian

 7     clothes.  I think I saw two journalists among them.  What we saw was a

 8     brief information intended for the general public after the Presidency

 9     meeting.  And as you saw, I was authorised to give a statement.

10             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] The best is probably to view

11     the footage again.  It may prove significant because we have here the

12     names of the people who attended that meeting, but we may identify other

13     people.  So I'd like us to view this footage again, to play the video

14     again, because I didn't get the impression that these people were

15     journalists.

16                           [Videotape played]

17             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] We see you, you're holding a

18     press conference, and here we have this frame where we see the main table

19     and a table next to it.  We see it here with someone turning his back to

20     us.  Would that be the journalists sitting at this particular table?

21             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] That's precisely what I was

22     referring to a moment ago.  I think that sitting at the table which is on

23     the right-hand side as we're looking at the video there were journalists

24     who attended the Presidency meeting on the 3rd of July.  We can continue

25     playing the footage, and perhaps I might recognise someone.  But I

Page 30765

 1     believe that the individuals seated at the table on the right-hand side

 2     are journalists.

 3             JUDGE TRECHSEL:  May I put the question:  Does one not see right

 4     of the head of the person with a blue -- man with a blue sweater or

 5     something, a microphone?  It looks to me a bit like a microphone on a

 6     socle and that would then not fit with the hypothesis that these are

 7     journalists.

 8             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I said that I wasn't sure but that

 9     I thought that they were journalists because I know that journalists were

10     present.  When I was looking at the footage as it was played a moment

11     ago, I believed that I recognised one of the journalists.  His name is

12     Blasko, I can't recall his family name at this time.  He was a

13     correspondent of the Croatian television, I believe.  The other time when

14     we were watching a clip I recognised him.  And I said that I was certain

15     that I saw some journalists -- well, in fact, I saw him but I am sure

16     that there were others too.  Perhaps his name was Blasko Raguz.

17             JUDGE TRECHSEL:  Thank you.  Thank you.

18             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Well, we can finish playing the

19     video.

20             MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation] Your Honours, it is not my intention

21     to testify, but what Judge Trechsel saw is something that I thought I saw

22     and my colleagues confirm it, it was a bottle, testifying again to the

23     presence of men only, otherwise there might not have been a bottle there.

24     At any rate, we believe it is a bottle, not a microphone.

25             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Let's continue with the

Page 30766

 1     footage.

 2                           [Videotape played]

 3             THE WITNESS:  Yes, this is Mate Boban.

 4                           [Videotape played]

 5             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Unfortunately, I can't identify

 6     this individual at that moment.  I dare not speculate.  I wouldn't want

 7     to make a mistake.

 8             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Fine.  For the record I would

 9     like to specify that at some point in the video we saw people shopping,

10     going shopping, and paying with bank notes.  I don't know if these were

11     Croatian dinars, Deutschemarks, or whatever -- no, but we saw bank notes.

12             Let's proceed.

13             MR. STRINGER:  Thank you, Mr. President.

14             I'm being told it may be time for a break.  I could continue, we

15     could break now; as you wish.

16             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] We'll break for 20 minutes.

17                           --- Recess taken at 5.25 p.m.

18                           --- On resuming at 5.49 p.m.

19             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Fine.  We are back in session.

20             Mr. Stringer, you have the floor.

21             MR. STRINGER:  Thank you, Mr. President.

22        Q.   Mr. Buntic, you should have in front of you Exhibit P 00078,

23     which is the amended decision of 3 July 1992 on the establishment of the

24     Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna.  Do you see that?

25        A.   I do.

Page 30767

 1        Q.   And just before the break I had asked you, and you had indicated

 2     yes, that you were involved in drafting some of the language in this

 3     decision, although you did not indicate which parts you were involved

 4     with.  I take it you were involved in the drafting of this document?

 5        A.   I have confirmed that.

 6        Q.   Now, I want to direct your attention to one part of the preamble,

 7     the third paragraph of the preamble, which begins with the words:

 8     "Pursuant to the Constitution of the Republic of Bosnia and

 9     Herzegovina ..."

10             And it continues on with various recitations.  There's a

11     reference to the inexhaustive right of peoples to self-determination and

12     sovereignty, including the right to association.  And this is the part I

13     want to ask you about:  "And pursuant to the unacceptability of the

14     unitary state model and multi-ethnic societies, the Croat people ..." and

15     then it continues on to indicate "... shall establish the Croatian

16     Community of Herceg-Bosna."

17             This passage:  "Pursuant to the unacceptability of the unitary

18     state model and multi-ethnic societies ..."

19             I'm going to take you to one or two other documents in a few

20     moments, but let me just ask you, sir, those words there, are those your

21     words?  Is that a reflection of your input into this part of the

22     decision?

23        A.   I think that the third paragraph should be looked at in the

24     context of the entirety of the document and not isolated.  The third

25     paragraph is somewhat longer and contains other statements as well.  It

Page 30768

 1     is true that I was a member of the working group that drafted this --

 2             JUDGE TRECHSEL:  I'm -- would you perhaps look again at the -- or

 3     remember the question.  The question was whether you had drafted these

 4     words, not whether this was a long paragraph or what it meant or what the

 5     context was, but just whether you had drafted it and that can be answered

 6     by yes or no.

 7             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I cannot answer with a

 8     yes or no because I said that I participated in the group which drafted

 9     this document; in other words, I was not working on it on my own.  I said

10     that I was a member of the group which prepared the text, and as you

11     know, the Presidency decided to adopt this decision with the text as it

12     is.

13             JUDGE TRECHSEL:  Thank you.  Thank you.

14             MR. STRINGER:

15        Q.   Let me take you to a different document and then I'll bring you

16     back to this.  In the fourth binder, number 4, 1D 01670, if the usher

17     could assist.  The fourth binder, 1D 01670.  Mr. Buntic, this document is

18     the minutes of this Presidency meeting of the 2nd of July, 1993.  And if

19     you go through this document you will see that item number 2 relates to

20     the decision amending the decision on the establishment of the

21     Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna.  And -- actually, just to back up a

22     little bit, I'm looking at the fourth page of the English version.  The

23     minutes are reporting the statements of various members and people who

24     are present, and item number 8 relates to a statement by

25     Mr. Blago Artukovic.  And then underneath that there's a reference to a

Page 30769

 1     statement of you, Mr. Buntic.  And Mr. Artukovic had said that the SDA

 2     and their leaders -- do you have that part of the document in front of

 3     you, Mr. Buntic?

 4        A.   No, but I do remember that.

 5        Q.   Okay.  If you find on page -- I'll take you to page -- the

 6     relevant page of the Serbo-Croatian version, it's the -- begins at the

 7     bottom of a page that ends with the letter -- the number 0455.  Do you

 8     see 1D 32-0455, the bottom left -- right-hand corner?

 9        A.   I've found it.

10        Q.   Okay.  So Mr. Artukovic begins speaking, and then on the next

11     page there is a reference with your name and that's the part I'm going to

12     ask you about now.  Mr. Artukovic says that the SDA and their leaders

13     were advocating a unitary Bosnia-Herzegovina known as a civic one and

14     would not renounce that principle.  And he said the people were

15     inadequately informed of the work and the organization of the HVO and the

16     HZ HB.  And then at this point you said that in reference to his comments

17     that you, Mr. Buntic, "explained that nowhere in the world was there a

18     state which was at once unitary and multi-ethnic.  The HZ HB endorsed

19     this principle and any other manner of work and organization would merely

20     be an experiment such as the former SFRY," the Socialist Federal Republic

21     of Yugoslavia, "was."

22             So that's what made me ask you a couple of minutes ago, whether

23     these words which somehow found their way into the preamble of the

24     amended decision actually were your words because you seem to be saying

25     just that very same thing here as reflected in the minutes, the view that

Page 30770

 1     a unitary state model and a multi-ethnic society is unacceptable.  So

 2     I'll ask you then again.  Those words to the extent they're found in the

 3     preamble of the amended decision, are those your words?  Did you write

 4     that or did you introduce those words into the preamble with the

 5     approval, obviously, of the membership of the Presidency?

 6        A.   Your Honours, I think that the minutes correctly reflect what I

 7     said at the time, that is, the views reflected in the transcript were

 8     mine and were accurately reported.  I also said that I participated in

 9     the group which developed the amendments to the decision establishing the

10     HZ HB.  The views contained in the minutes were mine and were correctly

11     conveyed.

12        Q.   All right.  And just a couple questions about your views on that,

13     sir.  Is it your view or was it your view at this time -- well, let me

14     ask you this:  In terms of a unitary state, what do you mean by that?  By

15     that do you mean a state in which, as we say, there is one man/one vote?

16        A.   I did mean that, but I also had in mind the multi-ethnic

17     communities such as exist in the world.  There are many confederal states

18     or multi-ethnic communities which have confederal or a federal system.

19     As I stated here, I wasn't aware of a single case anywhere in the world

20     where a multi-ethnic community would be organized on the unitary

21     principle or it can be translated into the principle of one man/one vote.

22             We know that Slobodan Milosevic advocated this principle and

23     stood by it firmly.  In my view, this was the reason why the former

24     Yugoslavia was broken up and dissolved, because it was a multi-ethnic

25     community which could not work on that principle.  The Republic of

Page 30771

 1     Bosnia-Herzegovina is also a multi-ethnic community, and as such -- and

 2     it was defined as such in Article 1 of its constitution.

 3             Since we had had the experience of the multi-ethnic Yugoslavia

 4     having been broken up which there were attempts to organize on that

 5     principle of one man/one vote, I believed that this principle would not

 6     be appropriate for the Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna as a

 7     multi-ethnic community.  In my view, the future Bosnia-Herzegovina, the

 8     Bosnia-Herzegovina that had only just been internationally recognised,

 9     could not be organized based on that principle.  This was also consistent

10     with the views expressed by the Badinter Commission, views which had

11     already been made public by that time.

12             This was, therefore, based on the constitution of

13     Bosnia-Herzegovina, on the opinions of the Badinter Commission, on the

14     international documents prescribing the rights of peoples.  I stand by

15     the views I held at the time, and they are correctly reflected in the

16     minutes.

17        Q.   All right.

18        A.   Let me just qualify the fact that I wasn't the only one drafting

19     the preamble; it was drafted by a group of people.

20        Q.   At the time of this amended decision in July of 1992, is it true,

21     sir, that the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina was in fact a unitary

22     state consisting of a multi-ethnic society or population?

23        A.   As I've already said, in its constitution Bosnia-Herzegovina was

24     defined as a state of the Bosniak people, the Serb people, and the Croat

25     people; therefore, as a state of three constituent peoples.  What was

Page 30772

 1     said here was based on those same principles, and I kindly ask you to

 2     allow me to add something.  In my testimony in the Kordic case, on the

 3     issue of these constitutional principles I made a statement that

 4     covered --

 5        Q.   Excuse me --

 6        A.   -- 22 pages -- please allow me to finish.

 7        Q.   I apologise, but I can't allow you to finish.  The Trial Chamber

 8     doesn't have -- we know about your previous testimony, but we're

 9     interested in your evidence as you sit here today.  We can submit your

10     Kordic testimony if the Trial Chamber wants it, but you've got to ask --

11     or you've got to answer the questions that I'm asking you here today

12     rather than the answers that you gave in the Kordic trial.  This is -- I

13     think it's a simple question, it's certainly intended to be one.

14             Isn't it true that Bosnia-Herzegovina at this time was a

15     multi-ethnic society based upon a unitary state model?

16        A.   Yes.

17        Q.   All right.  And so, what we're seeing is a rejection of the

18     fundamental way in which the state of Bosnia-Herzegovina was organized

19     in -- as of July of 1992, that model was not acceptable to you and the

20     others who wrote and adopted this amended decision; correct?

21        A.   That's correct.

22        Q.   Now, is it true then that what you - and I'll use what we call

23     the royal you, if I may - you and the other leaders of Herceg-Bosna who

24     were writing this, what you wanted was rather a territory, a unit that

25     was governed by Croatian people?

Page 30773

 1        A.   First and foremost, Mr. Prosecutor, the decision establishing the

 2     Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna, or rather, the Croatian Community of

 3     Herceg-Bosna was not set up on state territory of Bosnia-Herzegovina

 4     because at the time of the establishment of the Croatian Community of

 5     Herceg-Bosna, the Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina did not exist.  The

 6     Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna was set up in the territory of what

 7     was at the time the dissolving Yugoslavia.

 8        Q.   Sorry --

 9        A.   That was the opinion of, number one, the Badinter Commission --

10        Q.   I don't think you're answering my question, sir, with respect.

11     This is my question, I'm asking about now July of 1992.  We've

12     established that you and your colleagues writing this decision rejected

13     or would not accept -- do not accept the unitary state model for

14     Bosnia-Herzegovina.  I'll ask you an open-ended question.  What is it

15     that you wanted?  Tell us, what did you want instead?

16        A.   We advocated a Bosnia-Herzegovina as a compound state of three

17     constituent peoples which would have mechanisms aimed at protecting the

18     rights of all three constituent peoples.  As you are well aware, the

19     Croatian negotiating delegation accepted all the three models for the

20     resolution of the BH crisis offered by the international community.  All

21     of the models offered were based on the principles I have referred to and

22     the principles that I was in favour of, that the state should be

23     organized as a community of all the three constituent peoples.  Already

24     at that time a unitary model of Bosnia-Herzegovina was unacceptable to

25     all of us.

Page 30774

 1        Q.   Then you wanted a model in which there would be three constituent

 2     units, if I may use the word, a Muslim unit, a Serb unit, and a Croatian

 3     or a Croat unit, is that correct, all within the territory of

 4     Bosnia-Herzegovina?

 5        A.   Not at all times [Realtime transcript read in error "At all

 6     times"].  As is well-known, the Cutileiro Plan was not based on the three

 7     territorial units, nor was the Vance-Owen Plan - please let me

 8     finish - in the drafting of which I also participated because it was not

 9     based on the three constituent units.  The Owen-Stoltenberg Plan was

10     based on the three constituent units.  The Washington Agreement was based

11     on two constituent units as well as the Dayton Accords, that is to say,

12     they were based on two constituent units.  Therefore, Bosnia-Herzegovina

13     was organized as a compound state of two constituent units.

14        Q.   All right.  But I'm just asking:  What did you want?  I'm not

15     interested in what the international community wanted or was proposing.

16     I'm simply asking you to tell us what you wanted, and specifically did

17     you want there to be three constituent units or entities within Bosnia

18     and Herzegovina?

19        A.   I was very precise and said that the Croat side had accepted all

20     the plans offered it.  Now, what somebody intended to do or wished to do

21     within one's own territory is something that I cannot gauge.  I can only

22     tell you the views that were expressed.  Now, what somebody intended to

23     do or thought of doing is something that my profession doesn't allow me

24     to speculate on.  I said that all the international plans for

25     Bosnia-Herzegovina offered by the international community to resolve the

Page 30775

 1     Bosnian-Herzegovinian crisis were accepted.

 2             MR. KARNAVAS:  If I could just say -- just to correct the record

 3     not to intervene, on page 70, line 18, the gentleman indicated, "Not at

 4     all times."  It doesn't reflect that in the record, so perhaps that could

 5     be clarified.  That was the response to the question, "Not at all times."

 6     That is what my colleague heard, in English that is what I heard, but

 7     that wasn't reflected.  Thank you.

 8             MR. STRINGER:

 9        Q.   Well, the time I'm interested in is the 3rd of July, 1992, and I

10     think that you're actually extremely well-qualified and positioned,

11     Mr. Buntic, to tell us what it was that the leadership of Herceg-Bosna

12     wanted.  At this time when it was rejecting the unitary state model for

13     Bosnia-Herzegovina, did you want to have a Croatian entity or a unit in

14     which there was a territory that would be governed by the Croatian

15     people, and equally so, other territories and units that could be

16     governed by the Muslims for their part and the Serbs as well?  Isn't that

17     what you wanted, that the people should have their own space, the three

18     peoples?

19        A.   Mr. Prosecutor, you're a lawyer by profession, as am I.  In my

20     earlier answer I said that I don't know and am not allowed to say what

21     somebody thought or wanted.  I can only speak about the deeds, and I did

22     speak about it.  All the peace plans were accepted.  These are facts.

23     That's something I can talk about.  If I talked about what somebody

24     wanted or thought, I would enter into a realm of conjecture and surmise,

25     which I don't believe is relevant to this case.  Besides, I don't

Page 30776

 1     consider myself competent to speak about these matters; they rather fall

 2     into the field of psychology and not law.

 3        Q.   All right.

 4        A.   With all due respect, I prefer talking about facts and deeds

 5     rather than thoughts or wishes of individuals.

 6        Q.   When you testified in the Kordic case, Mr. Buntic, you did -- you

 7     were more willing to express at least your personal view at that time.

 8     Looking at page 21123 of the Kordic transcript, and this is what you were

 9     asked.  This is the question from the Prosecutor to you in that case.

10             "Q.  The one point I wanted to ask:  The division of Bosnia into

11     three ethnic groups, as it were, under Owen-Stoltenberg, that is not

12     substantially different, is it, from the basic cantonal division of the

13     party, the Croatian Democratic Party, I believe, that you were

14     initially -- or that you were a member of.  In other words, the three

15     divided ethnic groups was pretty much the pattern that you saw as

16     appropriate for Bosnia; is that correct?"

17             And your answer to that question was:  "If you're asking me for

18     my personal position, I still believe that this was the best plan for

19     Bosnia and Herzegovina, yes."

20             So is that your view, sir, and I'll ask you your personal view

21     then since you're not comfortable speaking about the views of the

22     Herceg-Bosna leadership, was it your own view that the three

23     nationalities, if you will, should be separated and divided within

24     Bosnia-Herzegovina?

25        A.   Again in your question there is a trap which prevents me from

Page 30777

 1     giving you a yes or no answer.  So it was not about the division of

 2     Bosnia-Herzegovina, that's why I can't give you a yes or no answer.

 3     We're talking about the way in which Bosnia and Herzegovina was to be

 4     structured on the basis of the principle with three constituent peoples.

 5     And I maintain what I said in the Kordic case, but again I presented my

 6     own views, my own position, not views or positions of other peoples.  So

 7     I'm fully consistent in what I'm saying.  I'm saying the same thing that

 8     I said in the Kordic case, and I still think, I still hold, that this was

 9     the best plan for Bosnia-Herzegovina.  This is my opinion.  That's my

10     view.

11        Q.   And just so we're talking -- just to we're clear, I want to make

12     it absolutely clear then what it is that you're expressing as your

13     personal view.  You're saying that three divided ethnic groups --

14             MR. KARNAVAS:  Your Honour, I'm going to object to the question.

15     I don't need to hear the rest of it.

16             Excuse me, sir.

17             I don't need to hear the rest of it.  This has been asked and

18     it's been answered.  Now since he doesn't like it, he's trying to twist

19     and turn and formulate a question or put words into the witness's mouth.

20     Might I remind the Trial Chamber that it was the international community

21     that came up with the plans.  Are we indicting the international

22     community?  If so, let's put them in in the indictment; if not, let's

23     move on.  I think it's been asked and it's been answered.

24             MR. STRINGER:  Well, Mr. President, I disagree.  I don't think

25     I'm getting a straight answer or a sufficient answer on this, and I just

Page 30778

 1     think it's necessary for the record to be clear what it is the witness

 2     said.  If he wants to talk about a plan, that's great; if he wants to --

 3     I'm asking him his personal view --

 4        Q.   Whether in your own personal view ethnic separation, ethnic

 5     division among the three groups, was the best solution for

 6     Bosnia-Herzegovina, because that's what I read your testimony as in the

 7     Kordic case.  We can all look at the transcript and read it for

 8     ourselves.

 9             MR. KARNAVAS:  Well, if he wants the entire transcript of the

10     Kordic case to be admitted, we have no objections.  In fact, we fully

11     appreciate it having it been admitted.  Now, how many times does he need

12     to ask the question?  He's been asked it, he answered it.  He's never

13     indicated anything about separation.  He's talking about the internal

14     division inside Bosnia-Herzegovina on a political basis so that three

15     constituent nations can live among themselves and enjoy equal status and

16     equal rights.  He said that over and over again.

17             MR. STRINGER:  We can tender the transcript, Mr. President.

18             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Witness, the Prosecutor is

19     asking you for your personal view on the issue of ethnic separation into

20     three groups.  He's asking you for your personal opinion.  Please state

21     it, it's not that complicated.  Were you in favour of it or against it?

22     Is that a mistake in the transcript?  You're bound to have a personal

23     view.

24             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honours, it is my opinion that

25     I did present my views quite accurately and with some precision.  So it

Page 30779

 1     is my opinion that the internal organization of Bosnia-Herzegovina with

 2     the three constituent units was the best solution or is the best solution

 3     for Bosnia and Herzegovina.  I cannot accept or I cannot even answer a

 4     question that has to do with the division of Bosnia and Herzegovina

 5     because we're not talking about the division, we're talking about the

 6     internal organization.  So I think that I was quite clear and precise in

 7     my answer when I said that it was my opinion, my position, that

 8     Bosnia and Herzegovina should be set up on the basis of three constituent

 9     units.  That's what I advocated.  I wasn't talking about the division, so

10     I cannot accept this imposition in the form of a question about the

11     division when all I'm talking about is the internal organization.  I

12     don't know if I have made myself clear.

13             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] He's answered the question.  In

14     his view, the organization had to take into account the existence of

15     these three ethnic groups.

16             That's what you said, isn't it?

17             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] That's correct.

18             MR. STRINGER:

19        Q.   And so within the intact borders of Bosnia-Herzegovina, because

20     I'm not talking about a division of Bosnia-Herzegovina, I'm talking about

21     the way in which it's organized within its borders, this is my

22     question --

23             JUDGE TRECHSEL:  I think, Mr. Stringer, I think this question now

24     really was answered.

25             MR. STRINGER:  Very well, Your Honour.

Page 30780

 1             JUDGE TRECHSEL:  The President asked and that answer I think

 2     really settles it.

 3             MR. STRINGER:  Very well, Your Honour.  I'll move on.

 4        Q.   Okay, Mr. Buntic, if you could go back to the binder that's on

 5     the bottom, back to the amended decision establishing Herceg-Bosna.  And

 6     if I could direct you, sir, to Article 2.  If I could just ask you again

 7     to read the first passage -- read Article 2 up until the beginning of the

 8     list of municipalities.

 9        A.   Article 2:  "The Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna shall

10     comprise the territories of the municipalities ..."

11             I don't know if you wanted me to go on or to stop here where the

12     names of the municipalities are listed.

13        Q.   No, that's fine because we can all read the names of the

14     municipalities.  Now, my first question is:  As from the first decision

15     in November of 1991 to now this amended decision in July of 1992, do you

16     know if there was any changes made to the listing of municipalities

17     that's found here or did that listing remain the same?

18        A.   As far as I can recall, the list remained the same until the 17th

19     of October, 1992, when some other communities joined this community,

20     Posavina, Soli --

21        Q.   Okay --

22        A.   -- and Usora, I think.

23        Q.   Okay.  But within the initial Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna

24     there was no change?

25        A.   No.

Page 30781

 1        Q.   And the listing of municipalities here we have two that are

 2     unique in that there is some brackets or parenthesis that is after them.

 3     For example, Skender Vakuf, there's a reference to Dobratici and then at

 4     the end for the municipality of Trebinje, there is a reference to Ravno.

 5     And as I understand it, those two municipalities are unique in that the

 6     parts of those municipalities that's referred to are only those specific

 7     parts, that is, for Skender Vakuf it's only the Dobratici area that is a

 8     part of the Croatian Community and not the entirety of the municipality

 9     of Skender Vakuf; is that correct?

10        A.   I think that this is correct, but I think that we need to note

11     here that in paragraph 1 of this article we're talking about the

12     territories of the municipalities.  I want to stress that the term

13     territory is not the same as the term territory, "podrucje" and

14     "teritorija."  These two terms have different meanings in Croatian, in

15     everyday language.  If you're talking about the territory of a

16     municipality, you're talking about the overall area, "podrucje," of a

17     municipality.  And if you're talking about "podrucje," area, then it does

18     not mean the entire territory of the municipality.

19             So in Croatian language these two terms have a different meaning.

20     I gave you the meanings in everyday parlance, but I think that I've

21     already explained that I'm not a linguist and I couldn't give you an

22     expert opinion.  But I presented the view as to what those terms mean in

23     everyday language in Croatian.  Now, I don't know how one should

24     translate that into English.  I don't know whether the translation into

25     English has been correct, but I've explained to you what those terms mean

Page 30782

 1     in everyday Croatian language and parlance.

 2        Q.   All right.  Well, let's --

 3             MR. STRINGER:  With your permission, Mr. President, I'd like to

 4     put up a map that is in evidence that indicates the ethnic composition of

 5     the municipalities not just of Herceg-Bosna but of Bosnia-Herzegovina in

 6     its entirety.

 7        Q.   Do you see the map on the screen in front of you, Mr. Buntic?

 8        A.   Yes, I can see it.

 9        Q.   Okay.  And I can tell you that if you can see the blue border

10     that runs throughout the middle sections of the map and then the blue

11     border again that runs across the north-eastern section, those are

12     representing the borders of the Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna and

13     the border of the Croatian Community of the Posavina in the north-eastern

14     part.  So that's what the blue borders relate to.  And I'm going to ask

15     you about the areas within the borders of Herceg-Bosna.

16             Would you agree with me, sir, that within the territory or the

17     municipalities that are listed in Article 2 of this decision there is a

18     great deal of ethnic diversity?

19        A.   Well, there is great ethnic diversity, but I think that in the

20     areas as they are indicated here, the Croatian people would be in the

21     majority, that's one thing; and I think that there's no need to trick me

22     by showing me those borders because it's nothing but a trick.  The

23     Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna never published or shown a map that

24     would show the borders of the Croatian Community.  So if you want me to

25     confirm this map in this sense, I cannot do it because the

Page 30783

 1     Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna did not have its borders.

 2        Q.   Well, isn't it true, sir, that the Croatian Community of

 3     Herceg-Bosna, as it says in this decision, it consisted of or comprised

 4     these municipalities?

 5        A.   Let me be quite specific and tell you what the decision says.

 6     Areas, "podrucje," of these municipalities, not the overall, the total

 7     territory of those municipalities.  I can't give you a different answer.

 8     If anyone else can, let them do that, but I cannot and indeed no other

 9     answer can be derived from this text.

10        Q.   All right.  So then it's your testimony, sir, that the territory,

11     if you will, the space - I'm trying to use a neutral word - of the

12     Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna only extended to parts of these

13     municipalities but not these municipalities in their entirety?

14        A.   That would be a more correct interpretation.  So not the total,

15     overall territory of those municipalities, but just some areas in those

16     municipalities.

17        Q.   This document, however, doesn't give us any indication of which

18     areas would then fall within the territory or the jurisdiction of

19     Herceg-Bosna with the exception of Trebinje and Skender Vakuf; isn't that

20     true?

21        A.   What is indicated in Article 2 of the decision is correct, and I

22     can't really interpret it in any other way nor is it possible to give it

23     any other interpretation that would be in the spirit of the Croatian

24     language.  So we're talking about the areas of the municipalities listed

25     here, not the territories.  You see Ravno and Trebinje and Dobratici

Page 30784

 1     listed here, and I can give you an explanation as to why but it is not

 2     necessary.  If you want me to do so, I can do that.

 3        Q.   No, I think we know about that.  I don't think it's necessary for

 4     you to give an explanation on those too.

 5             MR. STRINGER:  For the record, Mr. President, we're on map 9

 6     which is part of Exhibit P 09276.

 7        Q.   Let me move on to just another part of this document, Mr. Buntic,

 8     Article 7 which relates to the organization, if you will, of the

 9     governing bodies of Herceg-Bosna.  You see here that the president of the

10     Croatian -- we're talking about the supreme authority vested first in the

11     president of the Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna, we know that was

12     Mr. Boban who was the Commander-in-Chief as well; correct?

13        A.   That's correct.

14        Q.   And then there's a reference:  "... or also vested in the

15     Presidency of the Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna which shall consist

16     of representatives of the Croatian people in the municipal bodies of

17     authority, the senior official thereof, or the presidents of the

18     municipal Croatian Defence Council."

19             And then it goes on to say that:  "The Presidency then ... would

20     be the legislative body of the HZ HB."

21             Do you see that?

22        A.   That's correct.  You quoted this part of Article 7 correctly.

23        Q.   And then just on to Article 8, it's the Presidency, then, that

24     shall appoint the executive and administrative bodies?

25        A.   Yes, I can confirm, that's correct.

Page 30785

 1        Q.   And would we agree that this is a reference, then, to the HVO,

 2     which is the executive part of the leadership or governance of

 3     Herceg-Bosna?

 4        A.   Yes, you're right, Mr. Prosecutor, because the civilian HVO was

 5     established after this amended decision was passed as an executive body

 6     of the Presidency.

 7        Q.   Now, getting back up to Article 7 on the Presidency, is it true,

 8     sir, that only Croatian people could be a member of the Presidency of

 9     Herceg-Bosna?

10        A.   That's not correct because the wording here did not exclude other

11     possibilities, because presidents of the municipal HVO, so I'm talking

12     about paragraph 2 that you've just read, the Presidency of the

13     Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna which shall consist of representatives

14     of the Croatian people in the municipal authorities which would confirm

15     your argument or presidents of the Croatian Defence Council who need not

16     be Croats.  They could come from other ethnic groups.

17             So the way it is worded, it does not exclude the possibility that

18     non-Croats could participate.

19        Q.   Is it true, though, in fact that there were no Muslim members of

20     the Presidency and there were no Muslims who were presidents of the

21     municipal HVOs during 1992 and up until August of 1993 when the

22     Croatian Community changed into the Croatian republic?

23        A.   The first part of your question or your argument I can confirm,

24     but not the second part.  So I'm not sure, and I think that there were

25     some examples where Bosniaks were presidents of the HVO.  I'm not sure,

Page 30786

 1     but there were such cases.  We saw here some evidence called before this

 2     Court, including a document from the Stolac municipality to the

 3     Republic of Croatia seeking assistance in the effort to get arms.  I'm

 4     not sure whether this document was drafted or signed by the

 5     representative or the president of the HVO or the Party of

 6     Democratic Action.  So I can't give you an answer to the second part of

 7     your question.

 8             So it was possible that somebody -- that non-Croats could be

 9     presidents of the HVO.  Now, whether this was so in practice, I don't

10     know, but it was possible.

11        Q.   Moving you back to Article 1 of this decision, Mr. Buntic, if you

12     could just explain this in light of your previous remarks about the

13     municipalities or parts of municipalities that were falling within the

14     HZ HB.  Article 1 indicates that:  "The HZ HB shall be established as a

15     political, cultural, economic, and territorial whole."

16             Now, that's how the linguists give it to me in English.  Clearly

17     I don't know how now hear it in your language, but that certainly would

18     imply, sir, that there is a territorial aspect to this entity called

19     Herceg-Bosna.  Isn't that true, there was a territory, a physical land,

20     territory, of Herceg-Bosna?

21        A.   Well, it couldn't just hang there up in the air.  Once again let

22     me remind you, we're not talking about territories we're talking about

23     areas.

24        Q.   So --

25             JUDGE PRANDLER:  I would like to say and ask the witness that

Page 30787

 1     even if the two Croatian words are, let's say, different as far as the

 2     territory and the space or whatever are concerned, but I really believe

 3     that the witness cannot claim that it cannot be -- in a way it cannot be

 4     determined as far as the territorial entity is concerned and we all know

 5     that there was a territorial entity which was later on called the

 6     Croatian Republic of Herceg-Bosna and it is also my question, therefore,

 7     that when we saw previous documents it was a very categorical reference

 8     that this Croatian entity has a territorial meaning as well.  I do not

 9     have it before me, but I believe that before the break we had this

10     document to be shown and you spoke about it.

11             So therefore I would like to ask you that:  Do you claim that

12     there was no territorial integral part of the Croatian territory of first

13     the HDZ and later on, of course, the Croatian Republic of Herceg-Bosna?

14     Do you agree with this or would you like to say that because of the two

15     expressions in Croatian you claim that there is not a single territorial

16     entity which was called as Herceg-Bosna or the territory of the HDZ.

17     That is my question.

18             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honours, as is quite

19     well-known every community must be based on some area or territory.  I

20     don't think there should be any misunderstandings about that.  There is a

21     misunderstanding between the question asked by the Prosecution and my

22     answers and it is this.  There was an area that was the area of the

23     Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna, but this did not include

24     municipalities with their total territories.  What this term meant was

25     just parts of those municipalities.  So it could refer to the overall

Page 30788

 1     territory of the municipalities of Citluk, Tomislavgrad, and Ljubuski,

 2     and parts of some other municipalities because the term "podrucje," area,

 3     does not necessarily mean that this was an entire territory of this

 4     municipality.  But the Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna, I'm not

 5     denying that it had the area.  It covered a certain area, but it never

 6     had borders because they were never established.

 7             So you cannot talk about the territory of the Croatian Community

 8     of Herceg-Bosna and it would not be proper for me to talk about something

 9     that never existed, that never was.  And if we're talking about the

10     Croatian Community, later on Croatian Republic of Herceg-Bosna, which

11     never had its borders defined, it was always indicated that this would be

12     established once an international agreement was in place.  So that is why

13     it is not correct to speak about the territory because territories imply

14     borders, and here we're using the terms area, not territory of

15     municipalities.  I don't know if I have been clear.

16             JUDGE PRANDLER:  Thank you for your answer, but frankly it is not

17     very clear, I mean your answer.  Of course I do not find now, in a matter

18     of one minute or two, those documents and laws which you have promulgated

19     and which also called for, for example, for the establishment of kind of

20     border inspections and -- including of course the military units there

21     and also for the customs and other services.  If I am mistaken, I stand

22     to be corrected.  But as far as I know, there were indeed some units,

23     administrative units, which had been established for that very purpose,

24     especially because of the vulnerability of your border.  So therefore, I

25     cannot accept that there was not at all a kind of territorial entity

Page 30789

 1     which would have been called as Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna or

 2     later on the Croatian Republic of Herceg-Bosna.

 3             But let us not have a seminar here but the -- and the --

 4     Mr. Stringer can proceed.  Thank you.

 5             MR. KARNAVAS:  If I may, Your Honour, just to lodge an objection.

 6     I mean, it would appear with all due respect, Judge Prandler, that, one,

 7     you have formulated an opinion prior to the close of the evidence and

 8     that, one, you're calling this an entity likening it to the

 9     Republika Srpska.  That troubles me.

10             Number two, you're calling this the territory of HDZ, that's on

11     page 84, line 1, because you equated that this is the Croatian community

12     or territory of HDZ.  I find, frankly, very alarming that you happen to

13     have some personal views which you bring to court and somehow they get

14     creeped into your questions, such as the one you've just indicated, that

15     you happen to have knowledge.

16             Having said that, it could be that things are being lost in

17     translation, since I do know that English is your second language or

18     third or fourth because I do know that you speak many languages.  But I

19     do wish to point out that we haven't heard all the evidence and the

20     gentleman has indicated that we're talking about areas, areas of

21     course -- when he said to the Prosecutor that it's not hanging up in the

22     air.  But I think to equate the HD -- the Croatian Community of

23     Herceg-Bosna as a territory of HDZ or an entity liking it to the

24     Republika Srpska, which clearly had stated it goals as what it was

25     attempting to do, which is break away from Bosnia-Herzegovina, we're

Page 30790

 1     talking about two different things.

 2             It would seem at this stage - and I say this with all due

 3     respect - it would appear that you are of the opinion midway through the

 4     trial that there is a para-state, a state within a state.  In other

 5     words, you have bought into the Prosecution's case prior to hearing all

 6     of the evidence, and I do wish to give -- I would like for the record

 7     some clarification.  And perhaps I'm being rude by asking for such

 8     clarification, I don't mean to be.  I know that at times I have been less

 9     than appropriate in this courtroom, I acknowledge that, you know, but I

10     think, with all due respect, I'm entitled to vent these issues to make

11     sure that perhaps it is just your way of expressing yourself as opposed

12     to holding fixed views of which then we are in somewhat of a conundrum.

13     Thank you.

14             JUDGE PRANDLER:  Thank you, Mr. Karnavas.  I don't want to have a

15     very long discussion here, but I definitely refuse your qualification --

16     your characterization of my question and my statement in a way which was

17     not a statement but a question explaining my question to the witness.

18     And what I refuse was that -- and I quote here, I believe it is 14:  "In

19     other words, you have bought into the Prosecution's case prior to hearing

20     all of the evidence ..."

21             I definitely refuse this characterization which is hurting my

22     independence as Judge, and it was not -- my slightest indication was not

23     this one and therefore I refuse it.  At the same time, I still -- I said

24     I stand to be corrected.  If you may prove that there was nothing which

25     was in a way similar to kind of territorial arrangements and we have to

Page 30791

 1     look into all the documents and I'm sure that this issue can be settled

 2     and it was not pending in the air like Mohamed's coffin, it is not -- I'm

 3     sorry, I don't want to disturb anybody's religious feelings, but there

 4     was a territory that was an entity and nobody could tell me that this

 5     entity did not exist and nobody can tell me that this territory, however

 6     you call it, that it was not in a way a kind of tangible case there.  It

 7     is quite a different question how to -- what kind of legal consequences

 8     you draw upon it.

 9             But again I say what is my major problem here is that there was

10     certain technical sense something which could be -- which could have been

11     called as territory, that is number one.  Number two, I refuse to be

12     characterized that I was bought in by the Prosecution.  I refuse it and I

13     thank you, Mr. Karnavas, for your very -- in a way, your statement.  As

14     you know, we are not at all enemies to each other.  We are -- first of

15     all, we are here Judges.  You are there as a Defence, and therefore I

16     would like to say that my question had been concentrated on the

17     clarification of the territorial issue, nothing else.  Thank you.

18             MR. KARNAVAS:  And, Your Honour, I meant no offence.  I think if

19     we go back to where we started, it was when Mr. Buntic was shown the map

20     and Mr. Buntic refused to be tied in to the borders of that particular

21     map.  And there may be parts that I agree with what you've indicated, but

22     I think Mr. Buntic was rather clear as far as what he believed when he

23     was shown the map.  Now, I'll leave it at that, Your Honours.  I simply

24     did not mean to be offensive in any way.

25             JUDGE PRANDLER:  Thank you.

Page 30792

 1             MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation] May I, Your Honours?

 2             I also wish to express my concern with regard to some parts of

 3     what Judge Prandler said.  I will focus on some issues.  The witness has

 4     been telling us what he knows about the establishment of the

 5     Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna.  Those of us who speak the language

 6     of the decision clearly see the difference between the terms "podrucje,"

 7     area, and "teritorija," territory.  The witness can speak about what the

 8     intentions of those who drafted the decision were, because had they

 9     wanted to write "territory," they would have been done so.

10             Now, the matter that causes concern is what Judge Prandler says,

11     that a great deal of evidence has been led about the borders and customs.

12     As far as I know, not a single piece of evidence was led -- the evidence

13     was led about the borders and customs between the HZ HB and the

14     Republic of Croatia, which serves to prove that it was not the intention

15     of the HZ HB to become a separate entity because it would not have

16     created that border with Croatia.

17             I do believe that this matter has not been cleared up or

18     clarified and I hope that we shall have the opportunity to do so in the

19     future.

20             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Praljak.

21             THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation] I would kindly ask you,

22     Judge Antonetti, to put this question:  Which territory did the HVO have

23     in Sarajevo, Tuzla, Bihac, in the occupied Trebinje, and it was the HVO.

24     Thank you.

25             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Witness, before my fellow Judge

Page 30793

 1     intervened I was about to ask you a question myself and it probably would

 2     have solved everything.  Unfortunately, my fellow Judge was quicker on

 3     the mark.  My question is very straightforward.  Please read out in your

 4     own language Article 1 of this document.  The interpreters will therefore

 5     translate exactly what is written there in your language under Article 1.

 6     Please turn to the text of the document in your language and please read

 7     out Article 1 very slowly.

 8             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Article 1:  "The Croatian Community

 9     of Herceg-Bosna shall be established as a political, cultural, economic,

10     and territorial whole."

11             THE INTERPRETER:  The interpreter notes, "podrucne."

12             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] If you want me to give you

13     additional explanation, I will; if not, I will stop here.

14             JUDGE TRECHSEL:  Excuse me to interrupt, but I want to address

15     the interpreters.  We have the word "podrucne" at the end of the first --

16     yeah, "podrucne," and we have been told many times that territory,

17     territorial was not a correct translation but that it must be area.  Or

18     have I got it wrong?  I would really invite you to -- or tend to state if

19     you do not agree with these linguistic questions, but I think we should

20     avoid unnecessary difficulties.

21             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Once again my fellow Judge went

22     much faster than I did.  Let me tell you what I heard from the French

23     booth.  This is what the interpreter translated and I think this is very

24     significant.  Here's what he said:

25             "The Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna is created as a

Page 30794

 1     political, cultural, economic, and regional whole."

 2             That's what the interpreter, the French interpreter, translated.

 3     It's not exactly the same in English because in English reference is made

 4     to a whole here and not to territories or anything.  So I'd like to turn

 5     to -- or I'd like to ask the following question.  With respect to the

 6     word "podrucne," could you please tell us what that word means in your

 7     language.

 8             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] For example --

 9             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I'm asking the question to the

10     witness.

11             Can you please define the word "podrucne," what does it mean?

12             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] For example, Bosnia and Herzegovina

13     as a state had a single territory but several areas.  We can speak about

14     the area of Herzegovina, the area of western Herzegovina, the area of

15     Bosnia, the area of Eastern Bosnia, the area of Western Bosnia.  One

16     territory has several areas, that's what I'm talking about, the meaning

17     in the Croatian language.

18             When we're talking about the Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna

19     and with reference to the map that was shown earlier on, some of the

20     communities that joined the Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna are not

21     visible on that map, that's the Soli community from the Tuzla area,

22     Usora, which was also a separate area, not a contiguous area.  And, for

23     instance, Zepce, it was also dislocated.  We are not talking about

24     contiguous territory, we're talking about areas.  I don't know how

25     precise I can be in explaining this, but by trying to present the

Page 30795

 1     difference through examples.

 2             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Fine.  If necessary the CLSS

 3     could translate Article 1 for us.

 4             It's 7.00 p.m.  We'll proceed tomorrow and I don't believe that

 5     we'll conclude the testimony of the witness tomorrow.  We'll have to

 6     continue on Thursday.

 7             You still have some time to spend in The Hague, Witness.

 8             It's 7.00 p.m., the hearing stands adjourned.  See you tomorrow

 9     at a quarter past 2.00.

10                           --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 7.01 p.m.,

11                           to be reconvened on Wednesday, the 16th day of

12                           July, 2008, at 2.15 p.m.