Tribunal Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia

Page 30886

 1                           Thursday, 17 July 2008

 2                           [Open session]

 3                           [The accused entered court]

 4                           --- Upon commencing at 2.16 p.m.

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

 6     case.

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

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

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

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

11             Today is Thursday, 17th July, 2008.  I would like to greet the

12     accused, their Defence counsel, the OTP representatives, as well as

13     everybody assisting us.

14             I will first read out an oral decision on the sealing of

15     exhibit -- before I do so we need to move into private session because

16     this concerns an exhibit under seal.

17                           [Private session]

18   (redacted)

19   (redacted)

20   (redacted)

21   (redacted)

22   (redacted)

23   (redacted)

24   (redacted)

25   (redacted)

Page 30887

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 3   (redacted)

 4   (redacted)

 5   (redacted)

 6   (redacted)

 7   (redacted)

 8                           [Open session]

 9             THE REGISTRAR:  Your Honours, we're back in open session.

10             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well.  Let's bring the

11     witness in.

12             Mr. Stringer, you have used up almost four hours, so you still

13     have three hours and 15 minutes left.

14             We're still waiting for the witness, who must be on another

15     floor.  Here he comes.

16                           [The witness entered court]

17             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Good afternoon, Mr. Buntic.

18             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Good afternoon.

19             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I will now give the floor to

20     Mr. Stringer.

21             MR. STRINGER:  Thank you, Mr. President.  Good afternoon also to

22     Your Honours, counsel, all the parties and the people working in and

23     around the courtroom.

24                           WITNESS:  ZORAN BUNTIC [Resumed]

25                           [Witness answered through interpreter]

Page 30888

 1                           Cross-examination by Mr. Stringer: [Continued]

 2        Q.   Good afternoon to you, sir, Mr. Buntic.

 3        A.   Good afternoon.

 4        Q.   When we finished our work yesterday we'd been talking about your

 5     visit to Zagreb and the meeting with President Tudjman which occurred in

 6     September of 1992, and then I asked you a couple brief questions about

 7     the constitutional court decision which was issued on the following day,

 8     the 18th of September, 1992.  So now I'd like to move ahead to the 17th

 9     of October, 1992, which I think we'll agree was the date of the final

10     Presidency meeting, meeting of the Presidency of the Croatian Community

11     of Herceg-Bosna.

12        A.   That's correct.

13        Q.   I know that there was a good deal of legislation that was

14     discussed and which was enacted or approved by the Presidency in its

15     session of 17 October 1992.  The one piece of legislation that I want to

16     talk to you about now is in your binder, it is, I think, in binder number

17     2, P 00684 -- I'm sorry, it's in binder 3.

18             And, Mr. Buntic, while that document is being located by all of

19     us, I think I said it, let me just make sure that we've established this.

20     As we look at this document which is one of the decisions or decrees

21     coming from the 17th of October Presidency meeting, is it true, sir, that

22     this is the last meeting of the Presidency of the Croatian Community of

23     Herceg-Bosna until, I believe, in August of 1993, at which time the

24     Presidency passed over its powers to the newly formed or established

25     House of Representatives of the Croatian Republic of Herceg-Bosna?

Page 30889

 1        A.   It is correct.  I can confirm that.

 2        Q.   Now, looking at Exhibit P 00684, we have this as a decision on

 3     amendments to the statutory decision on the provisional organization of

 4     executive power and administration in the Croatian Community of

 5     Herceg-Bosna, and I'm passing over using the word "area" or "territory."

 6     I'm going to try to be a little more -- less controversial on that

 7     subject today.  I think the issue has gotten plenty of coverage in your

 8     earlier testimony.

 9             And looking at Article 1 of this decision, sir, it provides or

10     amends the previously -- the previous decisions establishing the

11     executive authority of the HVO, in that this provision provides that:

12     "In the exercise of its powers the HVO may or shall adopt decrees,

13     decisions, dispositions, and conclusions."

14             Do you see that?

15        A.   Yes, I can see that.  It is a decision to amend -- to amend and

16     to supplement -- well, we've already discussed this, that this decision

17     was amended by this one.  That's what I talked about.

18        Q.   That's right.  And in Article 1 we see that definitions are given

19     to the various forms of -- I guess -- well, we see that there are

20     definitions that are given for the decree and a decision and a

21     disposition and a conclusion, all of which are different types of items

22     that can be now adopted by the HVO as part of its authority; correct?

23        A.   That's correct.  This Article does, indeed, regulate all this.

24        Q.   And then in the second-to-last paragraph, just under the

25     paragraph on conclusion, it states:  "'In cases not suffering delay, the

Page 30890

 1     HVO shall adopt enactments falling been the competence of the Presidency

 2     of the Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna, with the understanding that it

 3     shall be duty-bound to submit these enactments for consent to the

 4     Presidency of the HZ HB at the first session of the Presidency following

 5     the adoption of such enactments.'"

 6             Is it correct, Mr. Buntic, for us to conclude based on these

 7     passages in Article 1 that what this document does essentially is to move

 8     the legislative authority or the legislative function of the Presidency

 9     across to the HVO HZ HB?

10        A.   That's correct.  You quoted this article correctly, but I would

11     like to stress that these are legal instruments that were passed in cases

12     where there could be no delays.  So the purpose of those amendments was

13     to deal with situations that are urgent or emergency, and in such cases

14     the HVO could enact decisions and so on that were within the purview of

15     the Presidency.

16        Q.   And in fact, in the months that followed the adoption of this

17     decision in October 1992, the HVO did in fact adopt and enact a rather

18     substantial body of decrees and decisions.  Would you agree with me?

19        A.   Yes, I agree with you, but if I may just make one point.  These

20     are typical situations that occurred in the state of war or imminent

21     threat of war.  The Assembly of Bosnia and Herzegovina passed a similar

22     decision, transferring some of its powers on the Presidency, so the

23     legislative transferred its powers to the executive body.  The reason is

24     because the Presidency, in our case in the Assembly in the case of Bosnia

25     and Herzegovina, could not convene and that is why the decisions -- the

Page 30891

 1     power to make decisions were vested now in smaller bodies that were not

 2     so cumbersome.  So that was the purpose, the objective, behind these

 3     amendments.

 4             And I can confirm as far as the second part of your question is

 5     concerned that a large body of regulations was adopted, as indicated

 6     here, decrees, decisions, dispositions, conclusions, and so on.  So I

 7     believe what you say is correct.

 8        Q.   And I believe we saw at one phase of your direct examination that

 9     at the very end of the tenure of the HVO at the time of the establishment

10     of the Croatian Republic of Herceg-Bosna, in fact all of the legislation

11     that had been adopted by the HVO was submitted to the Presidency, which

12     is then adopted probably as one of its final official acts.  Is that

13     correct?

14        A.   Yes, you are right, Mr. Prosecutor, and this piece of evidence

15     was shown here in court and it was admitted in my examination-in-chief.

16        Q.   Now, would you agree with me, Mr. Buntic, that this particular

17     decree, decision, does not provide that any of the legislation or

18     enactments of the HVO is ever to be sent to the Presidency or to any of

19     the other bodies of the Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina for approval?

20        A.   I can confirm that, but at the same time I have to make a point.

21     All the regulations passed by the Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna, and

22     for all practical purposes both de jure and de facto were verified or

23     confirmed by the Washington and Dayton Accords because it was stipulated

24     that they shall remain in force until they are replaced by federal

25     regulations dealing with that particular sphere.  To my mind, this was a

Page 30892

 1     verification on the part of the international community in an agreement

 2     signed by all the sides in Bosnia and Herzegovina under the auspices of

 3     the international community enshrined in the highest legal instrument in

 4     Bosnia and Herzegovina, the constitution.  All those regulations were

 5     verified and confirmed, and both the Supreme Court and the

 6     Constitutional Court of Bosnia and Herzegovina continue to make decisions

 7     on the basis of the regulations that were passed by the

 8     Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna.

 9        Q.   Okay.  So it's your testimony then that, if I understand

10     correctly, first of all, none of the HVO legislation was sent to the

11     government or government bodies of the Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina,

12     but that, in your view, all of the HVO's enactments were subsequently

13     approved or accepted as part of the peace agreements, either the

14     Washington Agreement or Dayton?

15        A.   This is correct, and I said that the signatories of those

16     agreements were the highest bodies of the Republic of Bosnia and

17     Herzegovina, the Republic of Croatia, the Republic of Serbia, the

18     United States of America were guarantors.  So all those regulations were

19     de jure confirmed and re-affirmed, and de facto the Supreme and

20     Constitutional Courts of Bosnia and Herzegovina continue making its

21     decisions, basing them on those regulations.

22        Q.   However, and just so we're clear, do we agree that the

23     Croatian Republic of Herceg-Bosna, which was the entity at the time of

24     the Washington Agreement and Dayton, that in fact the Croatian Republic

25     of Herceg-Bosna did not survive and did not exist under the framework of

Page 30893

 1     Dayton, for example?

 2        A.   What you say is true, but I think it would be appropriate to add

 3     that those regulations of the Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna were

 4     applied at the same time and equally as the regulations stemming from the

 5     former Socialist Federative Republic of Yugoslavia; and it is true what

 6     you also say, that in accordance with the Washington and

 7     Dayton Peace Agreements the Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna was not

 8     established as such, it was part of the BH Federation.  And in accordance

 9     with the Dayton Accords, Bosnia and Herzegovina was a compound state that

10     comprised two entities, not three.  One of the entities is the

11     Republika Srpska and the other is the Federation, the Bosnian-Croat

12     Federation.

13        Q.   Okay.  So I just want to take a quick step back to recap how the

14     government or how governance in the Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna

15     was organized, and from this period, on the 17th of August, 1992, until

16     August to October of 1993 when the Croatian Republic of Herceg-Bosna was

17     declared.  And I'm going to try to do this very briefly with a chart

18     because sometimes illustrations can be more helpful.  I'm going to refer

19     to a chart that's in evidence as Exhibit P 09689, 9689, and I'm going to

20     use Sanction.  We can all look at this in Sanction, although the witness

21     has the chart also in his binder and he can look at that in his binder

22     because I think that will have a translated version for him.

23             Mr. Buntic, I don't know how well you can even see this.  Are you

24     able to see the chart?  Let me --

25        A.   I can see the chart, but I can't really read because the font is

Page 30894

 1     too small.

 2        Q.   Okay.  I put a square around the thing at the top and we can make

 3     that bigger, it says Mate Boban, president of the HZ HB and supreme

 4     commander.  Okay.  Now --

 5        A.   Yes, I can read what I have on my screen now.  Thank you.

 6        Q.   Okay.  And can we agree, sir, that during this period of time he

 7     was president of the Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna and he was also

 8     supreme commander of its armed forces?

 9        A.   He was the president of the HZ HB and the supreme commander of

10     the armed forces, but, Mr. Prosecutor, not of the state but of the

11     community.  What I heard was of the state, and this was not a state, it

12     was a community.

13        Q.   Okay.  Well, in English I used the word "community," and so there

14     may have been some misinterpretation, but I meant the HZ HB.

15             Now, in addition, as you've testified about earlier, there was

16     for a time during the earlier phase, Mr. Boban was also the president of

17     the HVO, which was the executive branch, if you will.

18        A.   That's correct.  I explained about the period.  I don't know if I

19     have to repeat what I said.

20        Q.   No.  And then he no longer was president of the HVO as from

21     August of 1992 when Mr. Prlic became president of the HVO?

22        A.   That's correct.

23        Q.   Now, I'm going to move over to this part of the chart which

24     relates to the Presidency, and the language that you're seeing in English

25     and I'll read it to you so you can get it in Croatian, under it is from

Page 30895

 1     the actual decree that we discussed earlier.

 2             "HZ HB Presidency 'includes representatives of the Croatian

 3     people either the top functionary in the municipal government or the

 4     president of the municipal HVO.'"

 5             So now, Mr. Buntic --

 6             MR. KARNAVAS:  Mr. President, at this point, before he asks any

 7     more questions I'm going to object to this line of questioning for the

 8     following reasons.  One, this should be translated for Mr. Buntic to look

 9     at in its entirety.  I understand the concept of piecemealing,

10     sectioning, dissecting, which can give an erroneous, global picture at

11     the end.  So that's number one.

12             Number two, it should be translated for the gentleman.  They had

13     ample time to have it translated.

14             MR. STRINGER:  [Microphone not activated]

15             MR. KARNAVAS:  Thirdly, it should be available to the gentleman

16     in a hard copy.  So I would object to just going step by step in this

17     fashion because I do think it is inappropriate and it is taking advantage

18     of the witness.

19             MR. STRINGER:  Well, Mr. President, I think the Trial Chamber's

20     in a better position to judge whether we're taking advantage of the

21     witness based on all of his testimony so far.  It's my understanding that

22     he does have in hard copy the chart in front of him, it's available

23     certainly in the binders, as I'd indicated, and we can --

24             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Stringer, this chart is in

25     English.  Could you please indicate to the witness what are the titles in

Page 30896

 1     this chart that you wish to see so that he can orientate himself in his

 2     own language.  Maybe it's not that complicated.  So I propose that you

 3     say, Here's the title, underneath you can read Mate Boban, that's what it

 4     says in English, and so on and so forth, so as to enable the witness to

 5     follow.

 6             MR. KARNAVAS:  I would also ask, Your Honour, to give the

 7     gentleman an opportunity to study it because what's important is also the

 8     lines because obviously what we're trying to establish here - that is,

 9     the Prosecution - is some sort of command superior/subordinate

10     responsibility by having this chart.  And I suggest that the witness have

11     an opportunity, and I would also ask where they're going to be pointing

12     to some sort of particular box where there is a hierarchy, that is,

13     superior/subordinate relationship, that there also be some documentation

14     tied into it to give the gentleman an opportunity to make sure that what

15     is being purported in this chart is also in line with any particular

16     legislation, that would be de jure, that is.  De facto they can argue

17     whatever they want.

18             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Stringer, you can provide

19     additional information to the witness and tell him that as far as the

20     Prosecution is concerned this is the political and military chain of

21     command of the HZ HB, then the witness will tell you whether he agrees or

22     not with you.

23             MR. STRINGER:  That's fine, Mr. President.  Thank you.

24        Q.   Mr. Buntic, I'm going to use the cursor here and I'll just show

25     you the areas that I'm going to ask you about and then you can look at

Page 30897

 1     those on your version and we can just take it step by step.  Here I've

 2     got the -- I'm going to ask you about Mr. Boban which I've highlighted

 3     there and you can see the same part on the chart in your language.  We've

 4     already covered him.  I'm going to ask you about the Presidency, which

 5     I've highlighted now, which is over on this side of your chart.  And I'm

 6     going to ask you about the HVO, which I've now highlighted here.

 7             And so that's what I'm going to ask you about.  I'm not going to

 8     go into any of the other areas of the chart, and it's simply to try to

 9     summarize, if we can, the different competencies of these three boxes, if

10     you will, during the period from October of 1992, the 17th of October,

11     until the establishment of the Croatian Republic of Herceg-Bosna.  So are

12     you able to follow along on your own version?

13        A.   I can.

14        Q.   Okay.  So now I was asking you about the Presidency here, and

15     again just to -- just to confirm, the Presidency is the legislative

16     branch of governance in the Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna

17     exclusively until the 17th of October, 1992?

18        A.   Just a minor correction.  I had already clarified this.  We could

19     not call it a legislative body in the full sense of the word - I've

20     already spoken about this.  The Presidency was the highest body of

21     control and issued regulations.  We cannot call it a legislative body

22     because it hasn't enacted a single law.

23        Q.   Okay.  So it enacted legislation -- or it enacted regulations,

24     which I guess have different words under the decisions, decrees,

25     decisions, conclusions, et cetera.  In your view, those are all forms of

Page 30898

 1     regulations that were within the competency of the Presidency to issue?

 2        A.   Correct.  Those are regulations enacted by the Presidency.

 3        Q.   And prior to the 17th of October, 1992, the HVO did not have

 4     authority to enact decrees, decisions, conclusions, et cetera, only the

 5     Presidency could do that; correct?

 6        A.   Correct.

 7        Q.   And then after the 17th of October, 1992, that authority to issue

 8     decrees, decisions, enactments, et cetera, was given to the HVO HZ HB?

 9        A.   Correct.  It's this decision of the 17th October, whereby these

10     powers were transferred to the HVO.  And if -- those were decisions that

11     need to be taken urgently in situations that bore no delay.

12        Q.   Okay.  But as we know, in reality what happened was that the HVO

13     enacted scores, perhaps hundreds of decrees, decisions, et cetera, in the

14     time that followed the 17th of October until the establishment of the

15     Croatian Republic?

16        A.   Correct, and all these regulations are described in that list

17     that has already been exhibited in this case during my earlier testimony.

18        Q.   Is that the Narodni List you're referring to?

19        A.   No, I meant the list of all exhibits --

20        Q.   Okay.  All right.  Now, I mentioned the Narodni List.  We know

21     that there was an Official Gazette of the Croatian Community of

22     Herceg-Bosna in which much but not all of the decisions and decrees were

23     published; correct?

24        A.   I can agree that most of the decisions issued by the HVO were

25     published.

Page 30899

 1        Q.   And it's my understanding that the HVO had the authority to

 2     decide not to publish certain decisions or decrees for reasons of

 3     security or if other justification existed?

 4        A.   Certainly, it was wartime.  There were discussions about many

 5     issues that were sensitive in nature, and publishing them during the war

 6     would have provided information to the enemy about certain things that

 7     were certainly not fit for the public.  But there must have been other

 8     reasons as well.  For instance, it was considered that it was not

 9     necessary to publish less important, minor regulations or decisions.

10     There may have been third reasons as well, but I know that there were

11     reasons why not all the decisions of the HVO were published.

12        Q.   Okay.  But a valid decree or decision of the HVO would still have

13     effect even if it wasn't published; is that true?  It would still have

14     legal validity or validity under the rules that applied to HVO

15     enactments?

16        A.   Depending on the contents of the decision.  In the final

17     provisions, the decision could have said that it enters into force on the

18     date of its issue, but the wording could also have been that it entered

19     into force on the day of its promulgation.  So there were different

20     wordings with different legal effects.

21        Q.   Okay.  So just to finish off this issue then, we have from

22     October 17th, 1992, a system in which the HVO is the supreme executive

23     and administrative body in the Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna;

24     correct?

25        A.   The HVO HZ HB was the highest executive and controlling body,

Page 30900

 1     that is beyond dispute.  But there was also the Presidency as the highest

 2     legislative body that could meet every day and had the possibility to

 3     accept or reject a decision made by the HVO.

 4        Q.   Right.  But we've already established that the Presidency didn't

 5     meet anymore until the end of the Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna.  So

 6     in effect, it was the HVO that was the supreme executive and it was also

 7     the only body that was issuing valid enactments, decrees, decisions, et

 8     cetera, on behalf of the governance of the Croatian Community of

 9     Herceg-Bosna.  Isn't that true?

10        A.   I cannot answer yes.  I'd rather stand by my previous answer.

11     The supreme administrative body continued to be the Presidency of the

12     HZ HB, which could still meet every day and reject or render invalid any

13     decision made by the HVO.  It had those powers and those powers follow

14     clearly from all decisions including this decision of the 18th October,

15     whereby the decision -- whereby the Presidency remains the supreme body

16     with the power of invalidating any decision made by the HVO.  So I can't

17     accept that the HVO was the highest body of control and administration

18     because -- because the Presidency remained in that role, including by

19     virtue of the decision of the 17th October.

20        Q.   Okay.  Let me ask you then, setting aside the de jure function

21     and authorities then.  In practice in terms of what actually happened for

22     about one year, from October of 1992 until about October 1993, the

23     Presidency did not meet.  The HVO enacted decisions and decrees and the

24     Presidency did not nullify any of the decisions or decrees issued by the

25     HVO during that time.  Can we agree on that?

Page 30901

 1        A.   I can say yes if you phrase it that way, but I stand by my

 2     previous answer to the previous question as phrased.

 3        Q.   Now, also at the October 1992 Presidency meeting, this is when we

 4     see the appointment of Messrs. Valenta, Zubak, and Ivanovic, I believe,

 5     as vice-presidents of the HVO HZ HB; is that correct?

 6        A.   It's correct, but in interpretation I heard Jovanovic.  It's not

 7     Jovanovic, it's Ivanovic, with an I.  Valenta, Zubak and Ivanovic.

 8        Q.   Thank you.  And it's my understanding that those gentlemen were

 9     selected at least in part on the basis of the fact that they were living

10     or came from other parts of Bosnia-Herzegovina so that they could balance

11     out or fill out, if you will, from a geographic point of view the

12     composition of the HVO; Mr. Valenta being from Central Bosnia, Mr. Zubak

13     also being from -- certainly outside of western Herzegovina.  Is that a

14     fair statement?

15        A.   Not only outside of Herzegovina, but also outside the hitherto

16     area of the Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna, because if we read

17     carefully the transcript of that session you will see that in that

18     session the Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna --

19             MR. IBRISIMOVIC: [Interpretation] I'm sorry, I'm sorry.

20     Mr. Pusic doesn't seem to be feeling well.  If you would allow him to

21     leave the courtroom temporarily.

22             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] No problem.

23             Do you want us to call a doctor?

24             Mr. Registrar, can you please ask the Tribunal's doctor to come

25     and see the accused.

Page 30902

 1             THE REGISTRAR:  Yes, Your Honour.

 2             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Please proceed.

 3             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] May I continue?

 4             MR. STRINGER:

 5        Q.   You were indicating that I believe the composition of the

 6     vice-presidents was not only from beyond western Herzegovina but was also

 7     beyond the area of the Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna as well.

 8        A.   Correct, because we see from the rest of the record -- in fact we

 9     will see at that session the Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna was

10     joined by the community of Usora from which Zubak came from, the

11     community Soli, and the community Bosnian Posavina, so areas that had not

12     been in the Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna until then and which

13     joined at that session.  Accordingly, vice-presidents of the HVO were

14     appointed from various parts, various areas.  Mr. Zubak from Usora,

15     Mr. Anto Valenta from the area of Travnik, and Mr. Ivanovic, I can't

16     remember this minute, perhaps it will come back in five minutes, I can't

17     remember the locality, so they were outside this of area, yes.

18             MR. STRINGER:  I'm going to move on to another topic unless the

19     Trial Chamber has questions.

20        Q.   Mr. Buntic, I want to direct you to the next exhibit now which is

21     one we've looked at already P 00303, which is in binder number 1.  This

22     is the statutory decision on temporary organization of the executive

23     authority administration in the Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna.  This

24     is the decision of 3 July 1992.

25             We looked at this already but now I want to ask you about some

Page 30903

 1     other parts of this, specifically in Articles 13, 14, and 15.  This

 2     relates to the relationship between the HVO HZ HB and to the other

 3     administrative bodies, specifically the municipal bodies.  Now, in

 4     Article 13 we see here that the HVO has the right and the duty to annul a

 5     regulation passed by a department or administrative body which is

 6     detrimental to the general interest or contravenes established policy.

 7             Article 14 states that the HVO shall supervise the work of its

 8     departments and municipal HVOs and that the HVO may use its supervisory

 9     powers to annul or abolish individual legal acts passed by the bodies

10     referred to in the foregoing paragraph so that the HVO could annul or

11     abolish individual legal acts by its departments and also by municipal

12     HVOs.

13             And then Article 15 states that:  "If a municipal HVO has passed

14     a decision or performed an act violating basic legal provisions of the

15     HZ HB, the HVO has the right and the duty to dissolve the said municipal

16     HVO ..."

17             At which time, if I can paraphrase, the mandate of any such HVO

18     members would be -- would cease to exist.

19             So the point of this, Mr. Buntic, is the following.  Would you

20     agree with me, sir, that the HVO HZ HB did under its legislation or under

21     this decree, decision, have the authority to annul or to nullify

22     enactments coming from the municipal HVOs which it thought were

23     inappropriate or were unlawful?

24        A.   From the provisions you have almost quoted from, faithfully

25     enough, it would seem to follow that the HVO had such powers, it had such

Page 30904

 1     powers de jure.  But it's questionable whether de facto it was able to

 2     function like that, because as you know in the Presidency of the

 3     Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna there were representatives of

 4     municipalities and the HVO was answerable to the Presidency as the

 5     supreme body.  It's true that the regulations stipulated that, but in

 6     practice it couldn't function that way because it was precisely the

 7     representatives of municipalities that sat on the Presidency, the supreme

 8     body, were able to replace the HVO as a whole or in part or any of its

 9     individual members and thus de facto disable the implementation of any

10     provision adopted by the HVO.

11        Q.   And I was going to ask you about that.  You mentioned this

12     earlier, this tension that existed in the legislation.  It seems to me,

13     sir, that on a de facto level, the fact that the Presidency never met

14     anymore after the 17th of October, 1992, indicates to me, sir, that it

15     was in agreement with or certainly didn't have any serious dispute with

16     the legislation or the enactments, I should say, of the HVO.  I mean, in

17     fact and from a de facto point of view, there doesn't seem to have been

18     any tension.  Would you agree with me?

19        A.   If you read the transcripts from that period carefully we can

20     find a series of cautions at HVO sessions, not only by one representative

21     but by many including the chairman, the president, indicating the need to

22     convene a session of the Presidency.  So I wouldn't like it interpreted,

23     nor is it possible to interpret, that the HVO grabbed power that

24     rightfully belonged to the Presidency and that it was not in the HVO's

25     interests for the Presidency to convene.  Because we've seen from a

Page 30905

 1     number of records and conclusions made by the HVO that people warned of

 2     this, they called for sessions of the Presidency, conclusions were

 3     adopted that the Presidency should meet urgently, but the HVO could not

 4     bring that about or convene the session of the Presidency itself.

 5        Q.   And we'll see that in the minutes, but my point actually is the

 6     opposite.  I agree with you.  I've seen indications in the HVO minutes of

 7     a wish or a desire that the Presidency would meet.  What I don't see is

 8     any indication that the Presidency felt the need to meet.  And if that's

 9     the case, it seems to me that there wasn't the tension that you describe

10     in which the HVO felt that the Presidency was unhappy or was disapproving

11     of the enactments.

12             MR. KARNAVAS:  Excuse me, Mr. Buntic, before you answer.

13             The question is asking for the witness to speculate.  Look at the

14     question quite carefully.  How can Mr. Buntic say with any degree of

15     certainty what the Presidency - because we're talking about various

16     municipalities, not some monolithic entity - how could he possibly answer

17     that question?  Now, if he wants to go municipality by municipality,

18     that's fine, but he's asking the gentleman to speculate based on his

19     theory that since they didn't meet ipso facto, they agreed with what the

20     HVO was doing, and so on and so forth.  I think it calls for speculation,

21     he cannot possibly answer that question, and I don't think it's helpful

22     to the Trial Chamber.

23             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Karnavas, if the witness

24     can't answer the question, he's perfectly capable of telling us so.  The

25     witness is a lawyer and let him answer the question.  You get on your

Page 30906

 1     feet as if the witness was completely illiterate, uneducated, but I

 2     believe that he's perfectly capable of answering the question,

 3     considering the senior position he held.  He is perfectly aware of the

 4     level of speculation entailed by a given question.  If we had a farmer

 5     from Arkansas in front of us that would be quite a different matter, but

 6     we're not dealing with a farmer from Arkansas here, we are dealing with

 7     someone who held senior responsibilities, someone who is a lawyer just

 8     like you are.

 9             MR. KARNAVAS:  Your Honour --

10             MR. STRINGER:  Mr. President --

11             MR. KARNAVAS:  -- I take your point.  It wasn't meant to be.  I

12     am entitled to make my record and I'm not trying to demean the witness,

13     obviously, but it does put him in a position where if he is combative

14     with the Prosecution, it gives the impression to the Trial Chamber that

15     he's being less than forthright.  So he has a role to play and I have a

16     role to play, but I do take your point.

17             JUDGE PRANDLER:  I would like only to add, that although I agree

18     with the argumentation of our Presiding Judge, Judge Antonetti, at the

19     same time I have to tell you that I did meet a good number of Arkansas

20     farmers and they are really very nice and really very educated persons as

21     well.

22             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I should have used the example

23     of a French farmer; we wouldn't have had any problem then.

24             Fine, Mr. Stringer, you may proceed.

25             MR. STRINGER:  I'm not from Arkansas, Mr. President, I just want

Page 30907

 1     you to know that.

 2        Q.   Mr. Buntic, I'm going to -- I'll state the question again.  I

 3     think it's, I may say, a fair question based on this tension as I've

 4     described it in the legislation and which you've brought to the

 5     Trial Chamber's attention.  We agree that on paper the Presidency had a

 6     position of supremacy in respect of the HVO.  However, we also know that

 7     after the 17th of October the Presidency didn't meet anymore and it

 8     didn't nullify any of the enactments of the HVO.  So it seems to me, sir,

 9     that in practice the reality was that the tension you have described for

10     us did not exist.  Can you comment on that?  Was the Presidency, based on

11     what you know and what you saw, unhappy or disapproving of the enactments

12     and the work of the HVO?

13        A.   I've already answered in part, by saying that the HVO had no

14     tools, no way to convene a session of the Presidency.  I also said that

15     there were representatives of as many as 40 different localities sitting

16     on the Presidency at a later stage.  I don't know the individual

17     positions of various members of the Presidency on the work of the HVO, it

18     would be pure guess-work.  But one thing is certain, they had more than

19     one single opinion and they had different positions on the decisions of

20     the HVO in various municipalities.  And there are indications that

21     certain municipalities did not follow the regulations enacted by the HVO

22     at all.  They issued their own regulations which were completely contrary

23     to what the HVO described.  There are a number of examples, and I believe

24     some of them are in the exhibits already shown.  And if we were to make

25     an analysis, I believe you can find a lot of evidence that the

Page 30908

 1     municipalities did not consistently implement the regulations enacted by

 2     the HVO, they issued their own regulations that ran counter to the HVO

 3     ones.  I've said a lot about this, but this is all I can say.

 4        Q.   Isn't it also true, however, that the HVO HZ HB enacted decisions

 5     nullifying municipal HVO legislation pursuant to this decision we've just

 6     been looking at?

 7        A.   Well, the question is correct now.  There were such examples.  I

 8     don't think there were that many.  And I'm sure that there were many more

 9     examples of municipalities passing decisions or regulations that were

10     contrary to the regulations enacted by the HVO, but the HVO did not annul

11     them or revoke them.  So I think that now we have a full picture.

12        Q.   Then let's move on to the next exhibit, which is P 00250, it

13     should be in the same binder, 250.  This is the statutory decision on

14     municipal executive authority and municipal administration.  This is one

15     of the earlier decrees.  It's from 13 June 1992.  Now, what this does,

16     Mr. Buntic, can we agree that, looking at Article 1, that this decision

17     provides that:  "Executive authority falling within the rights and

18     obligations of the municipality shall be exercised by the municipal HVO"?

19        A.   That's correct.

20        Q.   And that:  "The municipal HVO," looking at Article 2, "shall

21     consist of its president, heads of office, and other members who shall be

22     appointed and dismissed by the HVO HZ HB"?

23        A.   That's correct, you can see that in Article 2.

24        Q.   And just focusing on those two articles then, am I correct, sir,

25     that the gist of this decision is to say that things that -- the

Page 30909

 1     competencies that were previously within the competency of the

 2     municipality are now going to be executed at the municipality level by

 3     the municipal HVO?

 4        A.   Article 2 stipulates the structure of the municipal HVO, what it

 5     comprises, not its jurisdiction.  And I couldn't agree with you when you

 6     say that Article 2 stipulates that the municipal HVOs shall take over

 7     tasks that were within the purview of the municipalities, that does not

 8     follow from this article.  What follows from this article is the

 9     structure of the municipal HVOs.

10        Q.   Okay.  Well, I'm -- let's look at Article 1 again then.  Doesn't

11     this mean, sir, that the executive authority at the level of the

12     municipality is to be exercised by the municipal HVO?

13        A.   Well, this question calls for a clarification of the first

14     article, Article 1.  So we had the pre-war structure of the government

15     and municipality.  When we looked at that, we saw that the government at

16     the municipal level consisted of the Municipal Assembly, which was the

17     highest administrative body in the municipality or the body of

18     governance.  It passed various enactments, and in addition to the

19     Municipal Assembly, there was also the Executive Council of the

20     municipality which dealt with executive matters.  So the executive body

21     was the Executive Council of the municipality, and we had this structure

22     in place in each and every municipality in Bosnia and Herzegovina and

23     probably throughout Yugoslavia.

24             Article 1 does not mean that the tasks from the purview of the

25     Municipal Assembly shall be taken over, but tasks from the purview of the

Page 30910

 1     municipal Executive Council.  So the municipal HVO, in the sense of

 2     Article 1, actually replaces the Executive Council of the municipality,

 3     not the Municipal Assembly.

 4        Q.   Well, it seems to me, sir, that Article 1 doesn't make such a

 5     distinction, and that it in fact quite broadly and clearly states that:

 6     "Executive authority falling within the rights and obligations of the

 7     municipality shall be exercised by the municipal HVO."

 8             It doesn't specify Municipal Assembly or Executive Council.

 9        A.   Well -- but it is quite obvious that we are talking about the

10     executive government because the second word you see "executive authority

11     that falls within the rights and obligations of the municipality ..." and

12     that means the Executive Council because executive authority, executive

13     matters, were dealt with by the Executive Council.  And to my mind this

14     definition is quite clear.  There are no dilemmas here.  It's

15     uncontroversial.  It is quite clear that we're talking about the tasks

16     related to the executive government in the municipality.

17        Q.   Now, in June of 1992 when this decision was issued, I believe

18     that in your municipality of Citluk you didn't have a Municipal Assembly

19     by that point, but in fact you had something else called a Crisis Staff.

20     Is that true?

21        A.   In June 1992, I think that the Municipal Assembly did function,

22     that it did meet; and as for the matters that fell within the

23     Executive Council of the Citluk municipality, those matters were dealt

24     with by the Citluk Crisis Staff.  So the executive power or the executive

25     matters because the Municipal Assembly of the Citluk municipality was in

Page 30911

 1     a position, had the power, to dissolve the Crisis Staff of Citluk.  The

 2     Assembly appointed members of the Crisis Staff and it could dissolve it

 3     at any moment.  So it functioned at that time, which does not mean that

 4     the state of affairs prevailed in all the municipalities.  It depended on

 5     the extent to which they were embroiled in the war.

 6        Q.   So then it's your testimony, sir, that under this decision it was

 7     the municipal HVOs that would then assume the authority or the

 8     competencies exercised previously by the Executive Councils of the

 9     various municipalities?

10        A.   On the basis of Article 1 of this decision, this is the

11     conclusion that follows without any doubt.

12        Q.   And these would be the municipalities listed in Article 2 of the

13     amended decision, or also the original decision, proclaiming the

14     establishment of the Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna; correct?

15        A.   We've already said that.  Municipalities or certain parts of

16     those municipalities, there has been quite a lot of discussion about that

17     yesterday, and other communities that joined the Croatian Community of

18     Herceg-Bosna later.

19        Q.   Now -- and I agree with you, we've heard plenty about this

20     already.  Article 1 does not make a reference to parts of municipalities,

21     Croatian parts, Muslim parts.  It simply says "the municipality."  So

22     this is my question, because we know what your views are on this:  Is it

23     possible that someone, say up in Gornji Vakuf or Kiseljak or Jablanica or

24     any of the other 30 municipalities that are listed in the original

25     decision, the decree, that someone up there in one of those

Page 30912

 1     municipalities could just -- might interpret this as establishing

 2     authority for the HVO to take executive control over the entire

 3     municipality, not a part?

 4        A.   Well, we saw different cases.  So if we want to go back to the

 5     structure of military units, we talked about that, we said that in the

 6     Mostar municipality in particular or throughout Herzegovina in the

 7     initial area -- in the initial period there were 30 per cent Bosniaks in

 8     the HVO units.  We talked about the insignia and the emblems that those

 9     soldiers wore.  I failed to mention I guess something yesterday,

10     something that is quite important --

11        Q.   Excuse me --

12        A.   -- and that is that it was tolerated.  Yes, you're excused.

13        Q.   I apologise for not allowing you to finish, but I'm going to

14     insist that you stay with me in my questions.  Counsel will have an

15     opportunity to ask you more questions on re-direct.  I'm sure you'll

16     ultimately have an opportunity to say whatever it is you like, but I've

17     got to hold you to my questions.  Like all the other attorneys, I've got

18     time limitations and so we've got to stay on topic.

19             So the question is this, and I'll put it a different way:  Isn't

20     it true, sir, that throughout the many municipalities listed in Article 2

21     of the original decree establishing Herceg-Bosna, that this and other

22     legislation of the HVO was interpreted to mean or provide for a complete

23     take-over of the executive authority of the entire municipality?  Isn't

24     that how it actually worked on the ground?

25        A.   I don't understand the question.

Page 30913

 1        Q.   All right.

 2             MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, if I may, just one

 3     explanation if you deem it to be of any use.  I think that the witness

 4     really cannot understand this question, and if I may indicate why.

 5     That's because in Article 1 of this decision we're not talking about the

 6     territory, area, or whatever of the municipality, but the rights and

 7     obligations of the municipality which may be exercised over a small or

 8     large area.  And I think this is why the Prosecution and the witness

 9     appear to be at odds.  I'm -- I would be glad if I could really help you

10     with this explanation.

11             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Witness, I thought it might be

12     an interpretation problem.  Could you read out Article 1 in your

13     language.  Could you read out Article 1 and this will be translated by

14     the interpreters.

15             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, Your Honour, this is all about

16     my attitude towards the Prosecutor and his way of asking questions.  And

17     if I may be given one minute to say something about that.

18             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] If you prefer, but I was

19     interested mostly in Article 1.  What did you want to say, Witness?

20             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I want to say that in the course of

21     my testimony here over 500 documents were shown to me containing over

22     5.000 pages.  I was asked to provide short answers, and later on there

23     were objections criticising me why I failed to provide a full answer to

24     some questions.  Today and yesterday I am often interrupted by the

25     Prosecution in the middle of my train of thought.  I have the right to

Page 30914

 1     protest against that.  I am not opposed to the Prosecution asking

 2     questions, but I have to protest against being interrupted in the middle

 3     of my sentence.  These are not yes or no questions.

 4             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well.

 5             Could you please read out Article 1, and this will be deducted

 6     from the time allocated to the Bench.  Please go ahead.

 7             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you.

 8             Article 1:  "Tasks pertaining to the executive authority within

 9     the framework of the rights and obligations of the municipality shall be

10     carried out by the municipal Croatian Defence Council (hereafter:  The

11     municipal HVO)."

12             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Suppose we have a municipality

13     predominantly inhabited by Muslims.  According to this text would

14     municipal authority be delegated to the HVO?

15             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, until the

16     Croat-Bosniak conflict broke out, there never had been any problems about

17     the area where the HVO was operating and the area where the Crisis Staffs

18     set up by the army or the Presidency or the Territorial Defence were set

19     up.  So what I wanted to say, of the members that were in the HVO units,

20     it often happened that Bosniaks would wear the Croatian emblem and the

21     HVO patch on one sleeve and the lily on the other, wearing green berets

22     on their heads, and this was tolerated.  It functioned well.  There were

23     no problems.  Problems occurred the moment when the BH army and the HVO

24     clashed.  So in the initial period the recognition of the HVO or of

25     decisions passed by the HVO were never forced on anyone or any

Page 30915

 1     municipality.  The regulation stands here and it is completely

 2     uncontroversial in its Article 1.  It does not cover any territory, any

 3     area, it does not pertain to any area.

 4             And perhaps I should add that the Mostar municipality HVO had in

 5     its ranks the equal proportion of Croats and Bosniaks.  Such an agreement

 6     was achieved at the level of the Mostar municipality between the SDA and

 7     the HDZ.  So the HVO performed tasks of the Executive Council with the

 8     equal participation of Croats and Bosniaks 50/50.  So I cannot really

 9     give you a yes or no answer to what the Prosecution has asked me.  I hope

10     that now you see why I asked for this clarification to be given.

11             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] The example of Mostar is

12     particularly welcome.  So if it was 50/50 in Mostar, if there were as

13     many Croats as Bosniaks, we would have to look at the latest election

14     results.  But now the Executive Council pursuant to this text is now in

15     the HVO's hands.  So the Muslims play a certain role, but from then on

16     can they still play a role because in this text it is the HVO that is

17     mentioned?  Here's my question.

18             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, this text again

19     pertains only to the executive body of the municipality.  So the

20     Municipal Assembly in Mostar continued to function and its composition

21     was the same as it used to be before the war, and the executive tasks

22     were assumed by the HVO which had the equal representation of Croats and

23     Muslims 50/50.  The situation was similar in other municipalities.  In

24     some municipalities it was possible for Bosniaks to participate in the

25     HVO, in some municipalities it was not possible, and in those

Page 30916

 1     municipalities the HVO functioned only in part of those municipalities.

 2     This is how it functioned de facto, and this follows from this decision

 3     because there's no mention of borders, territories, areas, this is only

 4     about an executive body of the municipality in Article 1.

 5             JUDGE TRECHSEL:  We're a bit back with something --

 6             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well.

 7             JUDGE TRECHSEL:  -- you told us yesterday, Mr. Buntic.  I would

 8     like you to tell me who was -- what was the executive for the part of the

 9     municipality which did not belong to the HVO?

10             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] There was the Crisis Staff set up

11     by the Muslims.  It was called the Staff, the Bosniaks called it the

12     Crisis Staff, and using the term "stab" and in the other part of the

13     municipality it was the Crisis "stozer."  It is the Croatian word for

14     staff, and in most cases that's how it worked.

15             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] You have just added something.

16     In a municipality if you have 50/50 or 40/60 in the Assembly -- never

17     mind.  Pursuant to this text, the executive will be exercised by the HVO,

18     but you seem to state that the Bosniaks at their own level could also set

19     up their own Crisis Staff.  So in that case we would have two structures

20     in parallel.  Is that what you're saying?

21             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Precisely, Your Honour.  That was

22     one of the possibilities, and it actually happened in real life.  One

23     possibility was the 50/50 representation as it was in Mostar, another

24     possibility was to have the crisis "stab," staff, set up by Muslims in

25     part of the municipality and Croats would set up their own Crisis Staff

Page 30917

 1     in the other part.  And you have seen that in Tuzla and in Usora you had

 2     such a situation with the crisis "stozer" in one part of the municipality

 3     and the crisis "stab" in the other part of the municipality.  And this

 4     was what happened in actual fact, and those were the actual options.

 5             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] If I understand correctly, this

 6     text only aims to organize the structure for the Croats and the HVO and

 7     does not apply to the Muslims who have their own structure; is that so?

 8             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I think that you could interpret it

 9     this way, but we have the example of Mostar where both parties

10     participated in the work of the same executive body.  I think that there

11     were some other areas apart from Mostar where this is how it was, but I'm

12     sure about Mostar at any rate.

13             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] And what happened in Citluk?

14             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] As for Citluk, 90 -- 99 per cent,

15     something, of the population was Croats.  So the HVO was structured to

16     reflect proportionately the composition of the population, and there were

17     some other examples where Bosniaks, Muslims, participated in the work of

18     the HVO.  Just to give you an example, in the judiciary of Bosnia and

19     Herzegovina there were over 40 per cent of the Bosniak, Muslims,

20     although --

21             THE INTERPRETER:  The interpreters apologise, could the witness

22     please repeat the percentage.

23             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well.

24             I'm looking at the clock, I think it might be time to have the

25     first break.  It's 20 to 4.00.  We'll have a 20-minute break.

Page 30918

 1                           --- Recess taken at 3.42 p.m.

 2                           --- On resuming at 4.05 p.m.

 3             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] We are back in session.

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

 5        Q.   Mr. Buntic, just to stay with this Exhibit, P 00250, a little bit

 6     longer, you were answering some questions of the Judges before the break.

 7     And if I understood you correctly, you had indicated, if I can put it

 8     this way, there were two possibilities for the municipalities.  I suppose

 9     one could --

10             MR. KHAN:  Your Honour, I do apologise.  Before the question's

11     put, just before the adjournment the interpreters did state that they

12     didn't manage to get the translation, so perhaps -- it's page 32, lines

13     19 and 20.  Perhaps that could be clarified before we go on to some new

14     substantive matter or further matter.

15             MR. STRINGER:  That's right, Mr. President, and I meant to raise

16     that.  I forgot.

17             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes, please proceed.

18             MR. STRINGER:

19        Q.   Mr. Buntic, just before the break you were talking about the

20     percentages of participation.  I'm looking at the transcript.  You're

21     talking about where Bosniaks, Muslims, participated in the work of the

22     HVO.  And then you were giving an example in the judiciary of Bosnia and

23     Herzegovina, I think you indicated that there were over 40 per cent of

24     Bosniak Muslims, but then there was a break and the interpreters

25     indicated that they were not, they did not pick up the percentage that

Page 30919

 1     you had indicated there.  So is it possible for you to just continue that

 2     thought or restate what your testimony was about the level of

 3     participation of Bosniak Muslims in the judiciary in Bosnia and

 4     Herzegovina.

 5        A.   I said that participation was higher than 40 percentage, and at

 6     any rate, it was higher than the relative proportion of Bosniaks in the

 7     territory of HZ HB.  I can use an example of the municipal court of

 8     Mostar, where for the duration of the Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna

 9     there were eight judges, Bosniaks; four Croat judges; and one Serb.  So

10     that was the composition of the municipal court.  At the higher court in

11     Mostar there were eight Bosniaks, six Croats, and two Serbs, which tells

12     us that the Judges, too, continued to work in the courts of HZ HB.  There

13     was no racial discrimination and there were no problems on that score

14     until the outbreak of the conflict.

15        Q.   Now, getting back to this Exhibit, P 00250.  If I understand your

16     testimony correctly, you indicate that there were two frameworks, if you

17     will, through which one could participate in the governance of a

18     municipality.  One would have been through the municipal HVO framework,

19     where you indicated, I think, there was an alternative that was used in

20     some of the more Bosniak municipalities which was the Crisis Staff; is

21     that correct?

22        A.   It's true that such possibilities de facto occurred and operated

23     on the ground.  That was one option that existed de facto and was

24     implemented in the territory of the HZ HB, but also outside that area.

25        Q.   I'm talking about within the HZ HB then.  It sounds to me as

Page 30920

 1     though we're talking about parallel authorities, if you will, existing

 2     side by side, both of which are exerting jurisdiction or authority over

 3     what is probably going to be the same territory.  Was that the situation?

 4        A.   I have to repeat again that the Croatian Community of

 5     Herceg-Bosna did not have borders.  Its territory was not defined.  All

 6     the time it was called a locality, an area, and that's how it was defined

 7     in the decision to establish it.  But I also described how it worked in

 8     reality, that there were various options, various possibilities in

 9     various municipalities, we had different structures.  I said it was

10     correct that in principle it worked that way in the area of a certain

11     mixed municipality Bosniak/Croat.  The HVO operated in one part of that

12     municipality's territory, whereas in another part of that territory there

13     was a Crisis Staff or the municipal War Presidency, depending on how the

14     other side called it.  In practice different names were used, and today

15     speaking about it, it's hard to find one single uniform name because in

16     the documents we've seen we see that in some places it was called the

17     Territorial Defence Staff, in other places it was called the

18     Crisis Staff, in some places it was called the War Presidency, in yet

19     others it was called the HVO.

20        Q.   Okay --

21        A.   Please allow me to finish --

22        Q.   I think you have given a full and sufficient answer if I may say

23     so, Mr. Buntic.  The picture you paint, if I may say so, sounds rather

24     harmonious, a picture in which the various executive authorities in the

25     various municipalities all operate simultaneously within what everyone

Page 30921

 1     apparently understands to be his own defined area of jurisdiction and

 2     that there were no clashes or disputes about which authority could

 3     actually legitimately claim to exercise authority over a given area.

 4     Isn't that how it really was, there was tremendous tension as time went

 5     on between HVO municipal authorities on the one hand and other Muslim or

 6     Crisis Staff authorities on the other?

 7        A.   That's correct.  After a while that state of affairs through a

 8     natural course of things led to a conflict.  The conflict between Croats

 9     and Bosniaks occurred when the Muslim or the Bosniak side, using the Army

10     of Bosnia and Herzegovina and security services, tried forcibly with its

11     army and its police to implement the decree on districts, that's

12     something that the Bosniak side accepted as its own arrangement.  After

13     the Vance-Owen Plan which was accepted by both sides, the Croats and

14     Bosniaks accepted the provinces as defined in the Vance-Owen Plan which

15     were not the same as districts, that is when the conflict occurred, when

16     each side tried to impose their own arrangements.  The Croats -- you're

17     interrupting me again.

18        Q.   Well, I asked you whether there was conflict or whether there was

19     harmony.  I didn't ask you, sir, with respect, to give us your views on

20     what was the event which triggered the conflict.  Can we agree that there

21     was tension or is it your testimony there was harmony?  I'm not asking

22     you about the conflict.

23             MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, with your leave, if I

24     may.  I believe the Prosecution, or rather, my learned friend came to the

25     crucial issue, the most important issue of all, and now when the witness

Page 30922

 1     wants to give a complete answer he is not allowed to do so.  We are not

 2     going to learn the whole story or at least Mr. Karnavas will have to do

 3     an extensive re-direct.  I believe this witness should be allowed to

 4     fully explain his theory.

 5             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] But the problem is that the

 6     Prosecutor has been allocated a certain amount of time, he has his own

 7     case, his own strategy, he's prepared a number of questions, and he's

 8     trying to control the answers of the witness as far as possible.  As part

 9     of re-direct you may decide to come back to the issue of harmony or

10     tension, but what the Prosecutor was trying to find out is whether there

11     was tension or harmony or not.  And the answer we got is that there was

12     no harmony.

13             Now, of course we could spend hours trying to identify the cause

14     of this lack of harmony.

15             Yes, Mr. Kovacic.

16             MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I based my

17     intervention primarily on the question as it was asked, and the question

18     precisely sought the answer that the witness provided.  The first part of

19     the answer is strictly within the question; and the second part of the

20     answer, when the witness started to elaborate why it was so, like:  Is it

21     white?  Yes, it is white because ... and that's the point where the

22     Prosecution no longer finds it convenient to let the witness continue.

23     One of the most important characteristic of your guidance is that you

24     gave some lenience.  We did not stick to the strict common-law system.

25     As long as the witness is answering the question, and I believe he is, he

Page 30923

 1     should be allowed to complete.

 2             MR. STRINGER:  Mr. President --

 3             JUDGE TRECHSEL:  Sorry.

 4             Mr. Kovacic, I can remember that the style when the witnesses

 5     were brought by the Prosecution, and I can very well imagine how the

 6     Defence would have reacted if in their cross-examination they would have

 7     had advice from the Prosecutor which questions they should ask and what

 8     answers they should wait for.  I think this is now cross-examination, and

 9     I'm sure the Prosecution, Mr. Stringer, has some plan and I don't think

10     it is for the witness or for the Defence to make him depart from that.

11     There is a period of re-direct when the Defence can straighten all this

12     out.  But we have heard this witness and he has a tendency to give very

13     long and copious answers.  And I think Mr. Stringer has been patient on

14     the whole and we should leave him continue now.

15             MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation] That's precisely the point:  The

16     Prosecution has its plan.  Of course they have their plan, at least I do

17     hope so and I expect of a colleague of this rank to have a plan.  And it

18     is a part of that plan to refuse a no answer, not to allow a no answer.

19     I did not in any way influence the phrasing of the question.  The

20     question was asked, the answer was given, and I got to my feet only after

21     the witness was interrupted.  So it never crossed my mind to suggest to

22     my learned friend how to ask the question.  He formulated the question

23     the way he wanted to, and the question calls for this answer.  But let us

24     go back to the examination.

25             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Stringer, you may proceed.

Page 30924

 1     If the Judges feel that we need to explore that issue further, we'll do

 2     so.  As you have seen previously, sometimes questions are asked by the

 3     Bench and these questions suit neither the Defence nor the Prosecution

 4     because we believe that a given matter should be explored further.  Yes,

 5     of course about the harmony or lack of harmony, we could try to identify

 6     the reasons for this, the cause for this.  But that may take quite a lot

 7     of time.  So it probably best to leave it at that.

 8             So please proceed, Mr. Stringer.

 9             MR. STRINGER:  Thank you, Mr. President.  I will.  I intervene

10     after some 10 or 12 lines of the answer because I think the witness

11     actually did answer my question very succinctly at the very beginning.

12     He agreed with me, he said:  "That's correct."  Now, he went on to talk

13     about how that led to the war and who, in his view, was responsible for

14     starting the war.  I do believe that was beyond the scope of my question

15     and that's why I intervened when I did.

16        Q.   Mr. Buntic, let me just pass over to the next topic and I'm going

17     to direct you to Exhibit P 00449, which is in binder number 2.

18             Mr. Buntic, I believe you testified about this document before.

19     I think I can correctly state that it would have fallen within -- it was

20     among the various decrees that you were involved in in your capacity as

21     head of the justice department.  This is the decree on application of the

22     criminal code of the Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina and also the criminal

23     code of the former Yugoslavia.  On the territory of the Republic of

24     Bosnia-Herzegovina, the Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna, it's a long

25     name for a decree.  If I understand correctly, this is the decree by

Page 30925

 1     which the criminal codes of Bosnia-Herzegovina and of the former

 2     Yugoslavia then were enacted and applied to the Croatian Community of

 3     Herceg-Bosna; is that correct?

 4        A.   Correct.

 5        Q.   My question on this is as follows.  This decree is dated the 14th

 6     of August, 1992, it becomes effective on the date of its publication --

 7     I'm sorry, I believe it -- yes, it becomes effective on the same day as

 8     its enactment.  On what day did the criminal code of the Republic of

 9     Bosnia-Herzegovina no longer apply in Herceg-Bosna, such that it was

10     necessary for this criminal code to be positively enacted into law?  I

11     can try to restate that because I may not have asked it very clearly.

12             Here is a decree that says the criminal code of

13     Bosnia-Herzegovina applies in Herceg-Bosna beginning today, 14th of

14     October, 1992.  That suggests to me that there was a time, say on the

15     13th of August, when the criminal code of Bosnia-Herzegovina did not

16     apply, otherwise why would it be necessary to enact such a decree.  So

17     tell us, when did the criminal code of Bosnia-Herzegovina stop applying

18     in Herceg-Bosna?

19        A.   The answer is never.  The criminal code of the Republic of Bosnia

20     and Herzegovina and the criminal code of Yugoslavia never stopped to be

21     applied in the territory of the Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna, and

22     we can see from this decree that only one provision of that law, of that

23     code, was modified; namely, the monetary amounts that were denoted in

24     Yugoslav dinars were converted into a different currency.  Nothing else

25     was changed in the criminal codes of Bosnia and Herzegovina, that is,

Page 30926

 1     Yugoslavia.  Everything was taken over, adopted, as was -- except for

 2     this little intervention and I've already explained why this single

 3     intervention was made.

 4        Q.   Well, it seems to me, sir, there would not have been a need to

 5     take this over, as you say, if it remained in effect throughout.  It

 6     seems self-evident to me that the law of Bosnia and Herzegovina applied,

 7     so why is it necessary to take this over?

 8        A.   For the same reason that the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina

 9     adopted the criminal code of Yugoslavia.

10        Q.   Well, I think the Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina adopt the

11     Yugoslavia code because it was now a new state entity.  I mean -- and let

12     me put that to you.  It seems to me that this decision or this decree

13     implies that the Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna thinks it is a new

14     form of entity such that it is necessary to adopt or to accede to other

15     forms of legislation that had previously applied in the territory.

16        A.   This wording was used in the enactment of all regulations, in

17     cases when an intervention was needed in existing regulations, the

18     regulation was first taken over in its entirety and then a modification

19     was made to only that part which needed to be modified.  So I don't see

20     anything special about this decree compared to any other decree or the

21     technique applied throughout the Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna.

22     There is nothing peculiar about this decree that would not be found in

23     any other decree.  I've told you already that this was done the way it

24     was, and I said why.

25        Q.   Just one last point on this one.  You indicated yesterday, I

Page 30927

 1     believe, that after April of 1992 the Official Gazettes of

 2     Bosnia-Herzegovina were not available to you unless somebody was able to

 3     smuggle them out of Sarajevo.  I note that this decree refers to some of

 4     the legislation of the Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina dated June of 1992.

 5     So my question is whether on the 14th of August, 1992, on the date this

 6     decree was enacted you and others in Herceg-Bosna did have, in fact,

 7     access at least to these parts of the Official Gazette of

 8     Bosnia-Herzegovina?

 9        A.   There is a claim in your question that I cannot accept.  I did

10     not say that they were smuggled out.  That's the interpretation that I

11     received.  I don't know what interpretation the others received, but

12     that's not what I said.  I don't know whether this is a

13     misinterpretation.  I said unless somebody managed to get a copy of the

14     Official Gazette of Bosnia and Herzegovina by one means or another.  I

15     think that in this specific case Mr. Zoran Perkovic, who managed to get

16     out of Sarajevo immediately before this period and he had worked in the

17     republican justice ministry as an assistant, he managed to bring with him

18     a certain number of copies of the Official Gazette.  He was aware as a

19     lawyer of the importance of the Official Gazette, so sometime in July or

20     I don't know when, it must have been the end of July, he managed to leave

21     Sarajevo and he continued working in Mostar and he managed to get a

22     certain number of copies of the Official Gazette of the Republic of

23     Bosnia and Herzegovina.

24        Q.   Okay.  So if you said April of 1992 yesterday, sir, would we

25     change that then to move that forward to June, July, August of 1992?

Page 30928

 1             MR. KARNAVAS:  Objection, Your Honour.  This is beyond the scope

 2     of any decency in asking a question --

 3             MR. STRINGER:  I object to that, Mr. President.

 4             MR. KARNAVAS:  No, no, he says "so."  He's trying to draw a

 5     conclusion.  He can save that for his closing argument.  He indicated

 6     that Mr. Perkovic, who was about to testify this week, had managed to go

 7     to Sarajevo and then left Sarajevo on or about June.  That -- and then

 8     with him he brought the Official Gazettes.  When Mr. Perkovic comes here

 9     he will testify to that trip and he will testify as to the details and

10     he's the one that was drafting the legislation.  So the conclusion that

11     is being drawn here, one, is false; and two, is improper.  And I will

12     stand up and I will object to these sort of tactics.

13             MR. STRINGER:  This is cross-examination.

14             MR. KARNAVAS:  No.

15             MR. STRINGER:  The witness testified that he didn't have access

16     to the Official Gazettes after April of 1992.  I've shown him the

17     document, it's dated August of 1992 and makes explicit reference to the

18     Official Gazettes of Bosnia-Herzegovina, at least from June of 1992.  I

19     asked the witness if he wanted to modify his testimony on the basis of

20     having seen this document.  It's entirely appropriate to bring this

21     inconsistency to the witness's attention and to offer him the opportunity

22     to modify his testimony.  That's what I've done.

23             MR. KHAN:  Well, Your Honour, I don't want to drag things out.

24     Of course my learned friend is perfectly entitled to put fair

25     cross-examination and I know he's endeavouring to do that.  However,

Page 30929

 1     perhaps it would be useful to have recourse to yesterday's transcript and

 2     I may be wrong, but it is my recollection that perhaps a distinction was

 3     drawn between the official means of receiving the Official Gazette and an

 4     ad hoc arrangement whereby the odd copy may get into the hands of the

 5     witness or get into the hands of the area concerned.  So, Your Honour, I

 6     think --

 7             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Maybe the witness can shed some

 8     light on that matter.

 9             Witness, yesterday I asked you a question about that.  You stated

10     that the Official Gazette of Bosnia and Herzegovina could not arrive in

11     Mostar because of the situation and so on and so forth.  We have here a

12     document signed by Mr. Boban dated 14 August 1992.  Mention is made of

13     Official Gazette 3/92.  There must be an explanation that you can

14     provide.

15             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I provided an explanation, and I

16     maintain what I said yesterday, every word.  It is true that after

17     April 1992 we were not able to receive the Official Gazette of the

18     Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina by official courier or mail.  The only

19     exception was when somebody was able to bring it using different means,

20     and this is what happened in this case.  There was this person who

21     brought with him just a certain number of copies of the Official Gazette.

22     So I still stand by what I said yesterday and what I said now, and there

23     is no contradiction.

24             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well.

25             Please proceed, Mr. Stringer.

Page 30930

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

 2        Q.   Mr. Buntic, if you could turn to the next exhibit, please, it's

 3     P 01760, 1760.  And this is an -- also a decree related to the

 4     application of the criminal law and also the Law on Criminal Procedure, I

 5     believe.  And this one is signed by Mr. Prlic on the 18th of March, 1993,

 6     and appears to have been published on the 31st of March, 1993.  And a

 7     couple of questions just about this one.  The -- a number of the articles

 8     in this decree relate to changing the numbers in various parts of the

 9     criminal codes.  Can we correctly assume that these are references to

10     fines, that is, monetary penalties, that are found throughout the

11     criminal code that would apply in the case of certain criminal

12     violations?  I'm looking at Article 2 and thereafter.

13        A.   That's correct.

14        Q.   And the changes in the numbers are rather dramatic.  Just looking

15     at item number 1 under Article 2, it's changing 200 into the number of

16     12.000, 50.000 is changed to the number of 3 million.  Is this a

17     reflection of the inflation that was taking place and its impact on the

18     Croatian dinar at this period of time, in March of 1993?

19        A.   It was not inflation that affected only the Croatian dinar.  It

20     was a galloping, hyperinflation that affected both the Yugoslav dinar --

21     or rather, the situation was the most serious for the Yugoslav dinar and

22     less serious for the Croatian dinar.  But it did affect both currencies.

23     I think that in 1989 the inflation rate was 11.000 per cent.  It was on

24     the average 1 or 2 per cent a day.  Financial experts will be talking

25     about that, but there was hyperinflation of the Yugoslav dinar and

Page 30931

 1     substantial inflation for the Croatian dinar, and this is why the figures

 2     were higher.  So we're talking about millions and this seems like a huge

 3     amount.  I know that this was not the case, but we should best leave this

 4     for the financial experts.  They can make an estimate as to the relative

 5     value in euros.  But I couldn't give you a valuation to tell you how much

 6     it was worth in euros.

 7        Q.   Okay.  I'll accept that.  If I could direct your attention to

 8     Article 1, there are a few more references to the Official Gazette of

 9     Bosnia-Herzegovina, which I think the name of it is the Sluzbeni list if

10     I'm not mistaken.  Do you see a reference to the Sluzbeni list of RBiH

11     number 6/92, dated the 15th of June, 1992, and then there's another

12     reference to one that's dated the 1st of August, 1992.  Then I'm moving

13     down about six or seven lines.  There's a reference to Sluzbeni list

14     RBiH, again 15th of June, 1992, another one dated 12th of July, 1992.

15             Now, this is March of 1993 that Dr. Prlic is signing this decree.

16     Would that indicate that in March of 1993 you and the others who were

17     drafting the legislation had access to the Sluzbeni List of the

18     Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina?

19        A.   No, not at that time except in the way that I described yesterday

20     and today.

21        Q.   Could I ask you to turn to the next exhibit, Mr. Buntic, it's

22     P 00589.  00589.

23             It is in binder number 3, and this is the decree on establishing

24     an office of the Supreme Court on the territory of the Croatian Community

25     of Herceg-Bosna.  I think I can safely use the word "territory" because

Page 30932

 1     that's the word that appears in the original language version.  P 00589.

 2             Mr. Buntic, you've talked a lot already about the establishment

 3     of this office of the Supreme Court, and I've just got a couple of

 4     questions for you on this topic and this decree.  If I could direct

 5     you -- first of all, you were involved in drafting this decree or in

 6     writing it?

 7        A.   I think yes.

 8        Q.   Okay.  If you would look at Article 5, this provides that:  "The

 9     president and the judges of the office are to be elected by the

10     Presidency of the HZ HB upon recommendation of the head of the department

11     of defence of the HVO HZ HB."

12             And we can see at the bottom that this decree is dated the 17th

13     of October, 1992.  So we know that after this day the Presidency of the

14     HZ HB didn't meet anymore, and so can we correctly assume then that the

15     authority to elect the presidents -- sorry, the president and judges of

16     this office of the Supreme Court, that the authority to elect those

17     passed from the Presidency to the HVO itself, or that in fact that

18     authority was exercised by the HVO?

19        A.   Again, I'm not sure about the interpretation --

20        Q.   I can try to --

21        A.   -- because -- or translation.

22        Q.   I'll rephrase.  This says that it's the Presidency who elects the

23     president and judges of the court.  Do we agree on that?

24        A.   That's correct.  That is correct.

25        Q.   And we agree that after this day, 17 October 1992, the Presidency

Page 30933

 1     of Herceg-Bosna didn't meet anymore, at least not for about a year?

 2        A.   That's correct.

 3        Q.   So that in practice when it came time to elect judges to this

 4     office of the Supreme Court, was that done by the HVO HZ HB instead of

 5     the Presidency?

 6        A.   Some of the appointments were done by the HVO of the HZ HB.

 7        Q.   And what body made the other appointments?  I'm talking about

 8     this particular court, the Supreme Court office.

 9        A.   I think -- well, I'm not sure.  Let me get back to what I said.

10     We did not receive the Official Gazette of the Republic of Bosnia and

11     Herzegovina regularly.  I think that some of the judges were confirmed by

12     the Presidency of Bosnia and Herzegovina, some of the appointments.

13        Q.   All right.  And if I understand correctly from your testimony

14     earlier, and I know it related to judges in general, I had the impression

15     that it -- despite what's said in Article 5 here about the department of

16     defence being responsible to recommend judges, that in practice it turned

17     out to be the department of justice that did that more often just because

18     of its own knowledge of judges, lawyers, and their legal qualifications.

19     Is that a -- roughly a correct understanding of how it turned out?

20        A.   That's correct, yes.

21        Q.   Now, Article 6 states that before taking up the duties of judge

22     at this office of the Supreme Court, which is going to be in Mostar I

23     believe, that these judges must make a solemn declaration in the presence

24     of the president of the HZ HB and that it's the president of HZ HB who

25     determines the text of the solemn declaration.

Page 30934

 1             Do you know whether, in fact, the judges who were selected or

 2     elected in fact did take this oath in front of Mr. Boban?

 3        A.   All newly appointed judges that were not judges before the war

 4     and who were appointed to new posts by the decisions of the HZ HB had to

 5     take an oath or a solemn declaration because this is the usual practice.

 6     Any judge before the appointment, before taking up his duties or her

 7     duties, must take an oath.  So we have to differentiate here between the

 8     judges who had been appointed to those posts before the war and whose

 9     post did not change, they remained where they had been before the war,

10     they were not under an obligation to --

11        Q.   Excuse me.  And I hate to cut you off, but my question actually,

12     I think, was a much simpler one which was simply whether -- do you know

13     whether, in fact, the judges who were selected or elected did in fact

14     take the oath before Mr. Boban?  Did that happen?  That's all I'm asking.

15        A.   Newly appointed judges did.

16        Q.   Okay.  Was this just for the Supreme Court or was it for some of

17     the other courts you talked about as well, the district courts, district

18     military courts?  All the new judges took an oath?

19        A.   Well, if you had allowed me to continue my answer there would

20     have been no need for your question.  I wanted to give you an answer to

21     that question.  Yes, all newly appointed judges who were appointed by

22     decisions of the body of the HZ HB to judicial duties had to take this

23     oath.

24        Q.   Okay.  Now, at an earlier part of your testimony, I think on

25     direct examination, you indicated that the HZ HB did not establish any

Page 30935

 1     new courts, no new civilian courts.  Rather, it just took over the

 2     republican law on regular courts.  Is that a correct statement of your

 3     evidence?

 4        A.   Well, that's correct but with an addendum.  I said that with

 5     the -- in addition to the office of the Supreme Court and the regular

 6     courts, and we left aside the military courts which were newly

 7     established.

 8        Q.   So this is my question.  For this Supreme Court office, why was

 9     it necessary then for Mr. Boban to determine text of what would be a new

10     oath if, in fact, it's going to be the same court?  It seems to me that

11     the same oath would apply.

12        A.   Well, these were newly appointed judges.  The earlier oath read

13     that they should comply with the constitution and the laws of the

14     Socialist Federative Republic of Yugoslavia.  So it was no longer

15     applicable.  It was impossible for them to take an oath that they would

16     comply with the constitution and the laws of their enemy, the aggressor,

17     the occupier -- well, that was not realistic to expect them to take this

18     oath, and I expect that you will see why this was not possible,

19     Mr. Prosecutor.

20        Q.   The judges who were appointed here by the HVO, did they have a

21     duty to apply the decisions, enactments, and decrees that were being

22     issued by the HVO?

23        A.   That's correct.

24        Q.   Thank you.  Now, the next exhibit is P 0059 -- oh.

25             JUDGE TRECHSEL:  Mr. Stringer, I would like to ask a question to

Page 30936

 1     the witness.

 2             I see a certain lack of logic, in the fact that on the one hand

 3     you said that judges who had been judges in the former Socialist Federal

 4     Republic of Yugoslavia did not have to take a new oath, that is, they

 5     were accepted as judges to continue in their office although they had, as

 6     you put it, sworn loyalty to the arch enemy, whereas the new ones had to

 7     swear a distinctly different oath.  Why did not every judge have to pass

 8     a new oath with new allegiance to the entity he was now serving?

 9             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, as you can see from the

10     documents, or rather, the regulations, the second option was accepted.

11     The reasons were that it was considered that if a judge remains in the

12     post that they occupied before, that they didn't have to take an oath

13     again because they had already made the oath on the occasion of assuming

14     the post.  But when a person is appointed to a post of a judge for the

15     first time, even in accordance with the laws that were previously in

16     force could not assume the duties of a judge without taking an oath.  I'm

17     just explaining to you what the thinking was at the time and why this

18     solution was selected, because in accordance with the laws that were

19     previously in force the judges could not assume their duties without

20     taking an oath first.

21             JUDGE TRECHSEL:  Thank you.

22             MR. STRINGER:

23        Q.   Mr. Buntic, the next exhibit is P 00589, and it should -- should

24     be quite close to the one that --

25             JUDGE TRECHSEL:  [Microphone not activated]

Page 30937

 1             MR. STRINGER:  Oh, I apologise.

 2        Q.   I should say 00594, so that should just be right behind the one

 3     we've just discussed.  594.  Mr. Buntic, this is the decree on

 4     establishing the public prosecutor's office on the territory of the

 5     Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna, and again I think I'm safe to say it

 6     that way in English because I see the word "teritoriju" in the original

 7     language version.

 8             Now, in Article 2 of this document we see that the department of

 9     the public prosecutor must have at least two deputy republican public

10     prosecutors, of whom one shall be in charge.  And then Article 3 sets out

11     the qualifications, I think.  Article 4 indicates that it's the

12     Presidency of the HZ HB which will appoint the deputies of the republican

13     public -- excuse me, republican public prosecutor's office at the

14     proposal of the head of the defence department.

15             So would it be correct for me, sir, to suggest that it's a

16     similar situation that we saw with the judges on the Supreme Court, that

17     again because this is the 17th of October, 1992, what happened in

18     practice was that the justice department proposed the deputy prosecutors

19     because perhaps it was more in a better position to do so rather than the

20     defence department, and that also it was the HVO HZ HB who actually

21     approved the prosecutors instead of the Presidency?  And if you don't

22     remember, I'll accept that.

23        A.   Well, I do remember and I think that your question is properly

24     asked and I can give you an answer and that's yes.

25        Q.   Okay.  Article 6, then, now refers to the taking of a formal oath

Page 30938

 1     by the deputies of the republican public prosecutor's office, they take a

 2     formal oath before the president of the HZ HB.  And again, here it's the

 3     Presidency that shall determine the text of the formal oath.

 4             Now, my question here is perhaps a little bit similar to the one

 5     that was just asked by Judge Trechsel.  It appears to me that in order to

 6     be qualified or a candidate to be one of these two deputies republican

 7     public prosecutors, you have to already be a deputy republican public

 8     prosecutor, which implies to me that you've already taken an oath

 9     sufficient to discharge your duties as a public prosecutor.  So the

10     question is:  Why would it be necessary now to take another oath, a

11     different oath?

12        A.   None of the elected deputy public prosecutors had been in those

13     posts before.  Both were newly appointed and in accordance with the -- my

14     previous answer I actually repeat the same thing.  If those were newly

15     appointed persons, be they prosecutors or judges, they had to take an

16     oath before taking their office.

17        Q.   And it was -- why wouldn't they ask to take the same oath as a

18     republican public prosecutor would have taken in Sarajevo or in Tuzla or

19     in Bihac, or was everybody taking different oaths?

20        A.   I have no clue what it was like in Tuzla or in Bihac or in

21     Sarajevo.  I couldn't learn except in the way I described a moment ago,

22     that is, if somebody managed to bring from Sarajevo one of those

23     Official Gazettes, that was the only way.  There was no other way.

24     Sometimes, as I said, we managed to get hold of a number of

25     Official Gazettes but not by mail.  Not only we didn't receive them, the

Page 30939

 1     courts didn't receive them, nobody did --

 2             JUDGE TRECHSEL:  Mr. Buntic, I think we've heard a lot about the

 3     Official Gazette.  Maybe the question of the Prosecutor can be clarified.

 4     I'll try that.  You said someone who is new to the post must pass an

 5     oath.  Is someone new to a post when he passes from a lower level of the

 6     same profession to a higher level so that someone who had served his at

 7     least five years in accordance with Article 3 on a lower public

 8     prosecutor's office when he is appointed deputy, that is considered a new

 9     job and he's considered to be new for that level, as a -- let's say a

10     municipal judge who is appointed to a district court would then also have

11     a new post, be regarded as someone who is new to this post.  Would

12     that -- does that strike you as a correct interpretation?

13             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I understand, and what you say,

14     Your Honour, is correct.  In every change of duty from a lower level to a

15     higher level or if a person did not serve before that in the prosecutor's

16     office or in the court at all, he had to take an oath because he was

17     assuming a new duty, that was the criteria, assuming a new duty.  If he

18     had been working as a higher court judge until then, first he had to be

19     relieved from that duty and then by virtue of a decision appointing him

20     judge to the Supreme Court he could assume a new duty.  The same applied

21     to prosecutors.  If a prosecutor worked on the district level and then

22     was appointed deputy republic prosecutor, he was automatically relieved

23     from his previous duty and had to take an oath to assume his new one.

24             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Witness, according to this

25     document, the new judge or the new prosecutor has to take an oath or make

Page 30940

 1     a statement before the president of the HZ HB.  To your knowledge, would

 2     a prosecutor or a judge from Zenica take an oath before President

 3     Alija Izetbegovic at the time?  Talking about the area controlled by the

 4     ABiH, would you say that judges took the oath in that area as well and

 5     before whom did they do so?

 6             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I don't think so.  I

 7     don't think they were even able to because the judges from a division of

 8     the Supreme Court in Tuzla, in Zenica, and Bihac were physically

 9     separated.  It was physically impossible for them to take an oath before

10     President Alija Izetbegovic, and this provision that we have in our

11     decree had its equivalent in the regulations enacted by districts,

12     Zenica, Bihac, and Tuzla the arrangements were similar.  Appointments

13     were made at the proposal of the defence department because it was

14     considered to be a state of war and it was considered that these were

15     temporary divisions to operate provisionally, and appointments were made

16     by the decision of a president of a district.  And this was all a result

17     of agreements and my discussions with Mr. Halilagic, whereby similar or

18     identical arrangements were offered for the duration of the state of war,

19     as on the level of the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina.  The districts

20     had similar arrangements to those in Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna.

21             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] One last question:  How many

22     lawyers were there in Herzegovina at the time?  Can you give us a

23     ballpark figure?  There was at least one, yourself, but how many were

24     there?

25             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Very few, Your Honour, certainly

Page 30941

 1     not enough to meet our needs at the time.  And I believe it has to be

 2     emphasized that just before the war in Mostar, in the municipal court,

 3     and in the higher court there were only eight Croat judges working.  I

 4     had been entrusted with a task of creating 11 judicial institutions, and

 5     I had only eight Croats at my disposal.  This speaks eloquently of my

 6     problem.

 7             To use the example of Tomislavgrad municipal court, throughout

 8     the HZ HB it had only one judge; in another place there were only two

 9     judges.  We had great problems filling the vacancies in Livno.  Slightly

10     better was the situation in Bosnian Posavina, where we managed to

11     establish a full complement of civilian courts, the municipal, the

12     higher, the military courts, but in this area of Herzegovina --

13             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes, but you have not answered

14     my question.  When you have courts, you need judges and you appointed a

15     number of judges.  But for these judges to do their work you need

16     lawyers, defence counsel.  How many of these were there?

17             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] In light of what I said before, the

18     scarcity of judges, we were forced to mobilise lawyers in order to be

19     able to fill vacancies in courts, and somehow, somehow, create

20     preconditions for the judiciary to operate at all.  So we filled

21     vacancies simply by mobilising lawyers, there was no other way.

22             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well.  Now things are much

23     clearer.

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

25        Q.   Mr. Buntic, the next exhibit is P 00 -- I'm sorry, P 01137, 1137,

Page 30942

 1     it's in binder 3.  As usual, the President has anticipated my next

 2     question before I even got to it.  Mr. Buntic, these are minutes of the

 3     18th Session of the HVO held on the 15th of January, 1993.  Is that the

 4     document that you have?

 5        A.   I have it.

 6        Q.   Now, the president of the HVO, Dr. Prlic, was there; you were

 7     there; Mr. Valenta was there; others.  I would like to direct your

 8     attention to item number 2, which is on page -- begins on page 2 at the

 9     bottom and it continues over to page 3.  Because it actually relates to a

10     draft provision on the implementation of the Law on the Legal Profession

11     in the HZ HB.  You proposed an amendment to Article 8 which related to

12     the attorneys registered in the directory of the bar association of HZ

13     HB, then Mr. Zubak proposed an additional amendment.  And I don't have

14     the final version of the decision here, but he's proposing an amendment

15     that is adopted that indicates that the words "with the approval of the

16     HVO HZ HB" are to be inserted into the text after the word "attorney."

17             This suggests to me, sir, that the HVO HZ HB regulated the

18     practice of law within the area or the territory of the HZ HB.  Is that

19     correct?

20        A.   That's true.  The bar of HZ HB was established and it was later

21     included and recognised by the bar association at the international

22     level.

23             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Witness, everything that is

24     related to attorneys or lawyers I find interesting, as you can very well

25     imagine.  You just said something that I find very significant.  You said

Page 30943

 1     that the bar association of the HZ HB was recognised internationally.

 2     Who or what are you referring to exactly?

 3             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I mean the international bar

 4     association.  Of course I don't have the document with me, but if the

 5     Court requires it I can submit it later.  The document testifying to the

 6     recognition of the bar association of the Croatian Community of

 7     Herceg-Bosna, that is, the document whereby it becomes a member of the

 8     international bar association.

 9             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] All right.

10             MR. STRINGER:

11        Q.   We've been talking about the courts that you were involved in

12     organizing, and I wanted to ask you, then, in order to be a lawyer and to

13     practice in these courts that you've been testifying about in

14     Herceg-Bosna, would one have to be a member of the Herceg-Bosna bar

15     association in order to get rights of audience?

16        A.   No, that's not correct.

17        Q.   Okay.  Now, if you could move on to item 7 in the same document,

18     this is page 5 of the English, item 7.  There are references to a number

19     of proposals, and the one I want to ask you about is the third proposal

20     there, that's made at the head of the judiciary and general

21     administration department.  There's a reference to Mr. Aid Gla vovic,

22     attorney from Mostar.  He's relieved of his post of the regulations

23     commission.  Mr. Zoran Perkovic then replaces Mr. Glavovic on the

24     regulations commission.  And then you move down a few lines to number 2

25     and you'll see that Mr. Aid Glavovic now is appointed as assistant head

Page 30944

 1     of the sector for the implementation of criminal violations and

 2     sanctions.  Do you see that?

 3        A.   I see that.

 4        Q.   And I believe you testified about Mr. Glavovic already in your

 5     direct testimony.  He was an attorney from Mostar, as it's indicated

 6     here.  He was a Muslim.  And I believe at one point he was acting in the

 7     capacity as your deputy, if I state that correctly.

 8        A.   Everything is correct except that he was a deputy.  He was an

 9     assistant for the enforcement of criminal and misdemeanour sections.  My

10     deputy was Karlo Sesar.

11        Q.   And then continuing on the with the document there's a reference

12     to a proposal by you, I take it, that's adopted and this is on the

13     appointment and relieving from duty judges and public prosecutors in the

14     various courts.  And so we see that you were involved again in proposing

15     and the HVO then is adopting decisions with respect to the appointments

16     of judges and prosecutors.

17        A.   Correct.

18        Q.   And then it continues that:  "In order for the appointed judges

19     and public prosecutors to commence work, it is necessary to draft the

20     text of the oath and to agree upon the exact date and place of taking the

21     oath with the president of the Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna,

22     Mr. Mate Boban, by the end of the forthcoming week."

23             So do you know or do you recall, Mr. Buntic, if ultimately the

24     text of the oath that's referred to here was agreed upon or was adopted

25     by the HVO?

Page 30945

 1        A.   Correct.  As you have seen, the text of the oath was determined

 2     by the president of the HZ HB and without his consent it couldn't be

 3     done.  And as you can see, it was done in agreement with Mate Boban

 4     because that was his responsibility and the date of the taking of the

 5     oath had to be also agreed with him because it was taken before the

 6     president of the HZ HB, I'm talking about newly appointed judges.

 7        Q.   Now, the next exhibit is P 01264, 1264.  I think it's just a few

 8     documents below.  Now, these are minutes of the HVO meeting held just a

 9     week later.  The last exhibit was 15th of January, 1993.  This is one

10     week later on the 22nd of January, 1993, again you're present at this HVO

11     meeting with the others who are indicated there.  And if I could direct

12     you, Mr. Buntic, to item number 2, then, in the text of the minutes.  We

13     see here an indication that one of the various proposed oaths was

14     actually adopted by the HVO, and then the text of the oath is actually

15     set out in the minutes.  Do you see that?

16        A.   I can see that.

17        Q.   And I'll just read it.

18             "Formal oath" -- actually, maybe it's better or safer.  Why don't

19     you read us the text as you see it in the original language document.

20        A.   Yes.

21             "Solemn declaration.

22             "I hereby declare that I will observe the constitution in my

23     work, the laws, and other positive regulations, that with diligent work I

24     will protect the interests and the state system of the Croatian Community

25     of Herceg-Bosna and the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina and that I

Page 30946

 1     will perform my duty and tasks conscientiously.

 2             "As God as my witness."

 3        Q.   Do you know, Mr. Buntic, whether this is the actual text of the

 4     oath that was administered to the judges as you've indicated took place?

 5        A.   As you can see from the minutes, three variants were on the

 6     table; this is the one that was adopted and this is the text of the

 7     solemn oath given by judges before they assumed their role as judges.

 8        Q.   Now, is it possible, sir, that a person who's a Muslim would be

 9     reluctant to swear this oath, as its written particularly with the

10     reference to God, "Bog" in your language, as it's written there?

11        A.   I have spoken about it already before this Court.  It was agreed

12     previously that instead of saying "God" they would say "Allah" and

13     everything else was the same.  There was no problem with that.

14        Q.   The next document is P 0 --

15             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Witness, what about the Muslim

16     judges?  You said there were some Muslim judges, so when they took the

17     oath they said "Allah."  Is that correct?

18             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Correct.

19             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] At the time of the federal

20     republic when the oath was taken, was any reference made to a God?  I

21     don't believe it was the case, but was there such a reference?

22             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Whoever would mention him would end

23     up in prison the same day.

24             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] But what about a judge who

25     would be an atheist?

Page 30947

 1             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Nobody made any problem about that

 2     either.  He could keep silent about that.  We had some Croat judges and

 3     Bosniak judges taking oaths, as well as atheists, and it was said that no

 4     problem would be made about this, no fuss, but some sort of oath had to

 5     be taken.  Originally three variants were proposed, this one was adopted.

 6             This one was adopted without making any problem about this, but

 7     no problem was made either if somebody didn't take an oath at all; they

 8     still continued in their positions.  But this was a customary procedure,

 9     in many other countries as well.  We had to have some sort of text.

10     Three versions were on the table, but no fuss was made if somebody said

11     "Allah" instead of "God" or if they said nothing at all or even if they

12     did not come to take the solemn oath at all.  None of the judges was

13     dismissed for that reason.  They continued in their office as if nothing

14     happened.

15             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Fine.

16             MR. STRINGER:

17        Q.   Now we're talking about judges here, the text of the judges, but

18     it's true, isn't it, that others were required to take oaths, either the

19     prosecutors as we've seen, and others such as members of your department,

20     the justice and general administration department.  Were employees and

21     workers within the HVO also required to take oaths?

22        A.   As I have said before, prosecutors were required to do it but I

23     don't know whether it was required of any other employee in my division,

24     in my department.

25        Q.   Now, if you would turn --

Page 30948

 1        A.   I'm not denying but this would be the first time I hear of it.

 2             MR. KARNAVAS:  Your Honour, perhaps he could restate his answer.

 3     I'm told that he's indicated something other than what was translated.

 4     Perhaps he wasn't heard properly, but if he could repeat his answer.

 5             MR. STRINGER:

 6        Q.   Can you give us that answer again, please, Mr. Buntic.

 7        A.   Of prosecutors and judges who were newly appointed it was

 8     required to take a solemn oath, as was customary.  But I do not know of a

 9     single example that any official in any employment department would be

10     required to do the same.  I don't know of any such case.

11        Q.   We've -- you've mentioned and I've mentioned also now

12     Mr. Aid Glavovic.  Is it true, sir, that in fact he resigned this

13     position as deputy in the justice department because he declined to take

14     an oath?

15        A.   That Aid Glavovic had to take an oath, that's lunacy.  I don't

16     know that he was required or that he was obliged to take an oath.  Of

17     course it is your right to take -- to ask any question that comes to your

18     mind, but this is -- it's inadmissible and it didn't exist, simply.

19        Q.   So you don't know if he resigned rather than take an oath?

20        A.   According to what I know, Aid Glavovic was appointed my

21     assistant.  He was a correct person.  He used to work in the commission

22     for regulations.  On the 15th of January, he was appointed the assistant

23     for the enforcement of criminal and misdemeanour sanctions.  For a while

24     after that he performed his duty.  As far as I know, because of the

25     family reasons, at least that's what Karlo told me, he was the assistant

Page 30949

 1     for judiciary because of an illness in his family.  I think it was his

 2     brother.  He resigned.  I really can't recall now until what time he

 3     worked, but it was for a while after his appointment.

 4        Q.   All right.  If you would turn to P 0335 --

 5             JUDGE TRECHSEL:  Mr. Stringer, maybe I'm again stepping on your

 6     path, but a question you can certainly answer, Mr. Buntic.  Did you,

 7     yourself, when you were appointed head of the department and took that

 8     office, did you pass an oath?

 9             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, I did not and I don't think

10     that any other head did.

11             JUDGE TRECHSEL:  Thank you.

12             MR. STRINGER:

13        Q.   The next exhibit is P 03350, same binder.  Mr. Buntic, do you

14     recognise this as a work report that you made that sets out the work of

15     the department of justice and general administration from the period of

16     1 January to 31 June 1993?

17        A.   Yes, I do recognise it.

18        Q.   Okay.  Paragraph 1 right at the beginning of it makes a reference

19     to Aid Glavovic having been relieved of his duties and having been

20     replaced by Mr. Dragan Barbaric.  Do you see that?

21        A.   Yes, I do.

22        Q.   Now, you don't indicate here when he was relieved of his duties.

23     Do you recall when that took place?

24        A.   Well, I've already indicated that I cannot remember when it was,

25     and I told you why.  First of all, the information I received from my

Page 30950

 1     deputy was that because of an illness in his family Mr. Glavovic was not

 2     at work.  So the time when he stopped coming to work is different from

 3     the time when he was relieved of his duties.  It was probably at a later

 4     date.  I cannot be very specific here, but I think that Mr. Barbaric was

 5     not appointed before June or -- well, late May or early June as the

 6     assistant, and that may have been -- well, first you had to relieve

 7     Mr. Glavovic and then appoint Mr. Barbaric, and I think that this

 8     procedure whereby Mr. Glavovic was relieved of his duties and

 9     Mr. Dragan Barbaric appointed in his place, I think it was in late May or

10     early June.

11        Q.   Okay.  Mr. Buntic, the next exhibit, although I'm not -- you can

12     look at it if you want.  I'm not going to require you to do so, but I'm

13     just going to put this to you and you can comment.  I'm looking at

14     P 10517, which is going to be in the fourth binder.  And while that's

15     being found, Mr. Buntic, representatives of my office interviewed

16     Mr. Glavovic back in the year 2000 after you testified in the Kordic

17     case.  And he gave us a witness statement, and in the witness statement

18     which he signed he states that the main reason why he decided to quit his

19     work with the department of justice and administration of the HZ HB was

20     his disagreement with their policy of requiring an oath of allegiance

21     from their employees.  This is the second paragraph page 3 of the English

22     version.  He said:  "The oath was to be taken for the HZ HB, not the

23     legitimate authorities of Bosnia-Herzegovina."

24             He said the oath was compulsory and that since he considered

25     himself a citizen of Bosnia-Herzegovina he refused to take the oath.  He

Page 30951

 1     gave the names of two other Muslim employees of the department of justice

 2     who also left the department on this question.  He states that the

 3     oath-taking ceremony took place on the 22nd of January, 1993, which is

 4     the same date as the minutes that we just saw in which the oath -- the

 5     text of the oath for judges was approved.  And he said this oath ceremony

 6     was presided over by Mr. Prlic.  And so I'm just telling you that, I'm

 7     putting it to you, isn't that true that what really happened in respect

 8     of Mr. Glavovic, he left the department of justice because he declined to

 9     take a compulsory oath?

10        A.   It is true that my assistant, Glavovic, at one point was no

11     longer working in the department, but everything else is incorrect.  It

12     is not correct that he was asked to make any kind of declaration because

13     no head and no assistant to the head was ever asked to make such a

14     declaration.  As you can see, there were ten dozen of them and nobody was

15     asked to do that.  The same goes for my assistant Mr. Glavovic, and it is

16     absolutely incorrect that Mr. Semir Puzic and Mr. Jugo Mahmut were also

17     officials in the judiciary because they were judges in the division of

18     the Supreme Court and evidence has been called before this Tribunal.  We

19     have decisions appointing them to the division or office of the Supreme

20     Court, both of them.

21             Now, I don't know how you were able to obtain this statement from

22     Aid, but Aid Glavovic would never sign such a statement with all his wits

23     about him.  He is a fair and correct person, and in order to sign such a

24     statement he must have been under duress.  There must have been threats

25     involved.  I don't know what threats were used, but this is definitely

Page 30952

 1     not correct and this is definitely not accurate, this statement.

 2        Q.   Are you aware, sir --

 3             MR. STRINGER:  This is my last question on this, Mr. President.

 4        Q.   Are you aware, sir, that Mr. Glavovic and his family were

 5     expelled from their home in west Mostar on the 9th of May, 1993, they had

 6     to flee over to the east side of the river, where they were still living

 7     in 2002 at the time he gave this statement?  Do you know that's what

 8     became of him and his family?

 9        A.   I know that.  I spoke to Aid after that.  He told me about that.

10     I'm really sorry this happened, but as I've already said my deputy was

11     also captured in this action on the 9th of May, Karlo Sesar, he's a

12     Croat.  He's not a Muslim at all.

13             MR. STRINGER:  No further questions on this, Mr. President.

14             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well.  It's 20 to 6.00.

15     We'll have a 20-minute break.

16                           --- Recess taken at 5.40 p.m.

17                           --- On resuming at 6.00 p.m.

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

19             Mr. Stringer, you have the floor.

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

21        Q.   Mr. Buntic, I can direct you to the next exhibit, which is

22     1D 01978 which is in binder number 4.  I think the next several documents

23     are in this binder number 4.  I'm going to stay a little bit longer with

24     the courts and the prosecutors, as I was asking you about before the

25     break.  You indicated in your direct testimony that at various times

Page 30953

 1     reports were made.  You made reports, you were forwarding reports, I

 2     think, of others on the work of these -- the various courts, civilian and

 3     district military courts.  And do you recognise this exhibit, 1978, as a

 4     report made by the president of the district military court in Mostar,

 5     Mr. Maric, dated the 8th of July, 1993?

 6        A.   I think that's okay.

 7        Q.   And it relates, looking at the very first sentence, to the first

 8     half of 1993 as the reporting period, and I want to -- go ahead, sorry.

 9        A.   That's correct.

10        Q.   Directing you to the first sentence of the third paragraph, it

11     states as follows:  "The Court's priority task is to institute

12     proceedings for crimes resulting from the Muslim aggression.

13     Subsequently, proceedings have been instituted against the commander and

14     other members of Muslim units from Mostar and other places for the crime

15     of armed rebellion under Article 124 ...of the criminal code ...of the

16     former Yugoslavia ..."

17             And then it continues with the specification of additional

18     crimes.  Then I'm going to move down a few more lines to the reference to

19     the crime of instigating an aggressive war under Article 152 of the

20     Criminal Code of the former Yugoslavia.

21             Now, first of all, here this being 8th of July, 1993, is it your

22     recollection, sir, as indicated in this report that the priority of

23     courts in this period -- or this particular court, I should say, was to

24     institute proceedings for crimes related to Muslim aggression, as it's

25     written here?

Page 30954

 1        A.   Well, this is the opinion, as you can see from this, of a

 2     president of a court, it is his report.  I don't recall -- or in fact I

 3     can state quite categorically that I did not issue any such orders making

 4     this a priority.  Now, whether the president received any such orders

 5     from anyone else, I don't know that.  Perhaps this is just his

 6     independent opinion.  So I can state quite categorically that no such

 7     order or instruction was ever issued by me.

 8        Q.   Now, would you agree with me, sir, that the reference here to the

 9     crime of armed rebellion, for me, sir, that implies a crime in which a

10     state is a victim; that is, it's a crime that is directed against a

11     state.  And so the reference here to armed rebellion, isn't that, sir,

12     being instituted as a proceeding based on armed rebellion against the

13     Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna?

14        A.   Well, I can only assume but -- or speculate what the president of

15     this court thought when he wrote this report.  I cannot give you any

16     reliable testimony on this.  I don't think it would be proper for me to

17     speculate as to what the president of this court thought when he drafted

18     this report.  It is his report, it was submitted as such, forwarded.  His

19     views are presented in it, his opinions, and it is not up to me to

20     comment it now, to comment it then, I never did comment.  I never

21     interfered with the independence of the courts or their decision-making.

22     So I think that this follows from a number of my acts and documents that

23     I drafted at the time.  The decisions of the court, I as head of the

24     department could not comment on those decisions and I did not.

25        Q.   Now then at the end of this paragraph this investigation for

Page 30955

 1     instigating an aggressive war, would you agree with me, sir, that the

 2     crime of aggression or aggressive war also implies actions taken against

 3     a state?

 4        A.   I cannot agree with you that I should now try to divine what the

 5     president of the court thought.  You have the document in front of you.

 6     It's a document drafted by the president of the district military court,

 7     so please don't ask me to comment on the court decisions.  Because in

 8     principle, I always advocated the view that nobody should comment it.  It

 9     was my opinion at the time.  I expressed it in a number of documents and

10     I confirm it here before this Tribunal.  I don't want to change it in any

11     way.

12        Q.   The president of the court, Mr. Maric, was he approved by the

13     HVO HZ HB to this position?

14        A.   It is correct.  He was elected the president of the district

15     military court after Mr. Enes Memic resigned, I believe, and then

16     Mr. Velimir Maric was appointed.  I do know that.

17        Q.   And is it fair to say that in appointing Mr. Maric to this

18     position the HVO was satisfied of his legal qualifications in order to

19     take this position?

20        A.   I think that Mr. Velimir Maric has a law degree and that he has

21     appropriate education that would enable him to perform the duties of a

22     judge.

23             MR. KARNAVAS:  Before we get to the next question, Your Honour,

24     just -- I didn't object because I thought that the gentleman was entitled

25     to his answers, but I do object to the Prosecution's interpretation on

Page 30956

 1     the law, what is meant by the crime of aggression as being against a

 2     state or armed rebellion.

 3             It would have been interesting to have asked Mr. Buntic what

 4     happened on, I believe, the late part of June.  This may -- we all know,

 5     that must be -- I mean, you laugh, but being killed in your sleep is not

 6     a joking matter, Your Honour.  I don't -- I'm sure that the victims of

 7     those -- of that aggression by their mates was not a laughing matter and

 8     maybe that's the armed rebellion that's being referred to.  If the

 9     Prosecutor had known the facts maybe he would have put that question to

10     the gentleman and ask him what happened on that particular evening.  In

11     other ways, Ms. Alaburic refers to it as a treacherous act.  We can term

12     it in various different ways.

13             What I do object are the Prosecution's characterizations these

14     crimes, as they're related here, go against the state, therefore trying

15     to imply that the Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna was posing as a

16     state.  In keeping with my objection, I would invite the Trial Chamber to

17     look at these articles that are being referenced because I think that's

18     what the judge is looking at, and I do agree with Mr. Buntic because I

19     did notice a particular facial expression that he is being asked to

20     divine what this gentleman meant.  If the Prosecution wishes, they can

21     call this person as a witness.

22             JUDGE TRECHSEL:  Mr. Karnavas, I agree with your last point, I

23     had the same reaction, we should look at the paragraph, at the article of

24     the law to see what it is.  I apologise if I showed signs of a certain

25     hilarity, it was only because some time ago one of your colleagues

Page 30957

 1     advised the Prosecutor what questions he should ask and I commented on

 2     that and the same thing happening again.  Repetition is, as Mr. Praljak

 3     certainly knows very well, an element of comedy.  So I couldn't help it.

 4     I'm sorry.

 5             MR. KARNAVAS:  I'm not trying to give advice.  I would have told

 6     the gentleman that had he listened, for instance, to my first -- to my

 7     own direct examination, it would not have been necessary to spend a half

 8     an hour on the oath.  The gentleman was very clear.  I try not to give

 9     this particular Prosecutor advice because I'm sure he's more experienced

10     than I am.

11             JUDGE TRECHSEL:  I remain neutral on that.

12             JUDGE PRANDLER:  I'm sorry to interrupt you, Mr. Stringer, again.

13     I would like to say the following, and it is of course not a testimony,

14     but since the -- since Mr. Karnavas raised the issue of the aggression

15     and since I have been dealing with international public law for now for a

16     few decades, I am able to say -- I hope at least that the -- according to

17     the definition which was adopted by the General Assembly in 1974 on the

18     case of aggression, it is -- of course it could be established that

19     aggression is being committed or could be committed against a state or a

20     kind of state entity or a government entity, et cetera, because otherwise

21     it wouldn't have the crime to be committed.  If it were only against

22     certain population, it would have been already genocide or anything else

23     in terms of international humanitarian law.  So it is my comment on this

24     matter, but again I say that I do not want to go into a theoretical

25     debate on the terms of aggression, but it is according to my knowledge I

Page 30958

 1     would be able to say.  Thank you.

 2             MR. KARNAVAS:  Thank you very much, Judge Prandler, but as you

 3     aptly pointed out, you have a few decades of experience in dealing with

 4     this area and I don't think that we can presume that somebody in Mostar

 5     may have the experience that you've had in dealing with the matter.

 6     That's why terms sometimes are being used perhaps in a very sloppy

 7     manner.  I don't know.  I think the articles would give us greater

 8     guidance, but I do take your point and I appreciate your observation.

 9             JUDGE PRANDLER:  Thank you, Mr. Karnavas.

10             MR. STRINGER:

11        Q.   Mr. Buntic, continuing with this document, I'm going to direct

12     your attention to the second-to-the-last paragraph which is at the top of

13     page 2 of the English version.  Actually, I'll just start with the last

14     sentence on the previous page beginning with this statement:  "Basic

15     prerequisite for the court to work successfully is unity.  During the

16     previous period there was no unity in the district military court in

17     Mostar.

18             "The circumstances were such that there were two political

19     factions, HZ HB and the former BH.  This resulted in an absurd situation

20     where a part of the court implemented the general policy of the other

21     political authorities, which is contrary to the one which established the

22     court.  A logical consequence of the situation is organizational

23     problems ..."

24             Now, Mr. Buntic, in your direct examination I believe it was this

25     document that you referred to in which you indicated that the Muslim

Page 30959

 1     judges only showed up at the court on payday.  And my question is this:

 2     Isn't it a fact that Muslim judges were declining or were reluctant to

 3     participate in the activities of the court because they were called upon

 4     to implement HZ HB policy and not the policy of Bosnia-Herzegovina?

 5             MR. KHAN:  Your Honour, I do apologise and I don't want to

 6     disrupt my learned friend, but perhaps in relation to the representation

 7     that's just been put now by way of cross-examination, my learned friend

 8     can refer to the exact transcript regarding what the witness actually

 9     said regarding the Muslim judges and payday.  I think perhaps it's not

10     exactly -- it wasn't exactly put in the manner that my learned friend has

11     attributed to the witness right now.  So perhaps the reference to the

12     transcript would be useful.

13             MR. STRINGER:  I don't have it, Mr. President.  I can come back

14     to it.  I'm happy to do that.

15             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I believe that Mr. Khan is

16     right.  According to what I remember - but I might be wrong - the witness

17     stated that those judges would come on payday only without being there

18     for the remainder of the time.  That's all he said.  Maybe we could have

19     a look at the transcript, otherwise maybe the witness can tell us again

20     what he stated earlier.

21             MR. STRINGER:  Mr. President, I think your recollection is the

22     same as mine.  If I expressed it differently, it wasn't my intent to do

23     so.

24             MR. KHAN:  Your Honour, of course there wasn't an intent.  I'm

25     not alleging any such thing against my learned friend.  I have great

Page 30960

 1     respect for him.  All I'm saying is I think that there was, for my

 2     recollection, some dispute.  My recollection may be faulty, my learned

 3     friend's may be faulty.  In light of that ambiguity, I would ask that the

 4     actual portion of the transcript be put to the witness.

 5             JUDGE TRECHSEL:  Perhaps there is an easier way.

 6             Mr. Buntic, do you recall what you said in this respect?  Maybe

 7     you remember better than we do?

 8             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I remember what I said, but if it

 9     was recorded differently in the transcript.  I thought some, I didn't say

10     all of them, would only show up on payday.  So this was not in reference

11     to all the judges but only some judges, and I still stand by that.  I

12     don't know whether the Prosecutor is going to ask the question again or

13     to answer the question that was already asked.

14             I don't know if you've completed your question, Mr. Prosecutor.

15             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Please proceed, Mr. Stringer.

16             MR. STRINGER:  We'll find the quote, Mr. President.  And I'm

17     looking -- we have it.  I'm looking at page 30488 of the transcript.

18        Q.   And you're describing this document, Mr. Buntic, it's a report of

19     the district military court which was supposed to submit its reports to

20     both the department of defence and the department of justice.  You said:

21     "I assume the responsibility for the work of all the judges in the

22     Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna but do not take responsibility for the

23     work of the judges appointed by the Presidency of the Republic of

24     Bosnia-Herzegovina."

25             You said:  "The reason why is that these judges appeared in court

Page 30961

 1     only once a month when it was payday and we see that from this report."

 2             That's the top of 30488.  So I'll take you back to my question

 3     referring to the text that I read earlier, which is this:  Isn't it true,

 4     sir, that the judges, the Muslims judges or those appointed by the

 5     Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina were unwilling to implement the policies

 6     of the HVO as indicated by Mr. Maric on this report --

 7             MR. KARNAVAS:  Again I'm going to object.  Now he's mixing it up.

 8     Now he's saying the Muslim judges or those appointed by the Republic of

 9     Bosnia-Herzegovina.  Now, earlier he doesn't make any distinction.

10     Somehow the Prosecutor is trying to show -- establish that Mr. Buntic is

11     prejudiced or at least he's made some allegations against Muslim judges

12     vis-a-vis other judges.  He said those that were appointed by the

13     Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina.  Now, Mr. Buntic never said that those

14     judges were all Muslim, nor did he say that those judges that would show

15     up once were only Muslim.  So I would expect the gentleman to put his

16     question forthrightly.  What exactly is he trying to say?  But if he's

17     going to quote from a text, he better quote accurately or I'm going to

18     keep objecting.

19             MR. STRINGER:

20        Q.   Mr. Buntic, judges - and I'll quote the text here that were --

21     well, there were two political factions according to Mr. Maric here, the

22     HZ HB faction and the faction of the former Bosnia-Herzegovina.  My

23     question is this, sir:  You're making reference to judges appointed by

24     the Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina.  Isn't it a fact, sir, that they

25     didn't participate in the court because they were opposed to implementing

Page 30962

 1     the policy that's referred here -- by Mr. Maric, the general policy of

 2     the HZ HB?

 3        A.   My answer is the same as it -- as the one that I gave you before.

 4     I was thinking about the persons appointed by the Presidency of Bosnia

 5     and Herzegovina, not judges of Muslim ethnicity.  I still say that those

 6     persons did very little work in the courts where they were appointed, and

 7     as you can see from this report - because my answer had to do with this

 8     report - the Presidency of Bosnia and Herzegovina had appointed three

 9     judges to the district military court.  It is true that all three judges

10     appointed by the Presidency of Bosnia and Herzegovina were Bosniaks, and

11     it was up to the HZ HB organs to appoint others.

12             It is visible from this report that after the conflict, the war

13     broke out between Bosniaks and Croats in Mostar, that those judges no

14     longer came to work, no longer performed their jobs.  I can agree with

15     that part, and I think that it corresponded to the actual situation,

16     state of affairs, in Mostar.  So after the war broke out, the judges

17     appointed by the Presidency of the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina no

18     longer came to work and they did not perform their tasks in court.  But I

19     still maintain that what I said can in no way apply to all the other

20     judges of the Muslim ethnicity.

21        Q.   In fact, Mr. Buntic, what you've just said is inconsistent with

22     the last paragraph of this report of Mr. Maric in which he states that:

23     "After the combat operations in Mostar on 9 May 1993, complete unity of

24     the court was established in a short time.  All organizational and

25     personnel problems are taken in stride, without any major problems in

Page 30963

 1     spite of the war."

 2             So in fact isn't that really what happened, in that after the war

 3     broke out the judges who were not supportive of HZ HB policy were removed

 4     from the court and were replaced by judges who were supportive of HZ HB

 5     policy?

 6        A.   Nobody was removed from the court, by no decision of any organ or

 7     body of the HZ HB.  Some people left their jobs, the post which they were

 8     appointed by a decision of the Presidency of Bosnia and Herzegovina

 9     voluntarily.  They did so of their own will.

10        Q.   The next exhibit is 1D 0 --

11             JUDGE TRECHSEL:  Mr. Stringer, sorry, I have a question still

12     with regard to this report.  There is something that puzzles me a bit.

13     The first sentence quoted by Mr. Stringer on the first page in the third

14     paragraph says that:  "The courts" -- and I quote:  "The court's priority

15     task is to institute proceedings for crimes ..." et cetera.

16             Now, I'm a bit puzzled.  Normally it is not the task of the court

17     to institute proceedings.  Could you explain this language?  I guess that

18     there is an explanation, but I will -- would like you to give it.

19             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I cannot, Your Honour.  I've

20     already said that this was the position taken by the president of this

21     court.  I can share it or not share it, that's a completely different

22     matter.  But this is a report by the president of the district military

23     court in Mostar and it was written --

24             JUDGE TRECHSEL:  No, I'm sorry, I fully disagree.  This is not an

25     opinion or something.  This is a report, and it starts out saying that:

Page 30964

 1     "The court's priority task is to institute proceedings ..."

 2             Now, you were the chief of the department of justice, you were

 3     responsible for courts, and you, I think, should know in your position

 4     what the task of a court is.  And to me the task of a court normally is

 5     not that, to institute proceedings.

 6             I see Ms. Tomasegovic Tomic wants to intervene.

 7             MS. TOMASEGOVIC TOMIC: [Interpretation] I would like to assist,

 8     that's one of the things that I'm perhaps not so familiar with.  I'm not

 9     familiar with the Swiss judiciary, but I am familiar with the Croatian

10     judiciary and the Croatian Law on Criminal Procedure which was adopted --

11             JUDGE TRECHSEL:  [Previous translation continues]...  are you the

12     witness now or an expert under oath?

13             MS. TOMASEGOVIC TOMIC: [Interpretation] No, Your Honour.  I

14     merely wanted to tell you what the term "to institute" means.  In our

15     criminal procedure that doesn't mean filing a criminal report because

16     under our Law on Criminal Procedure, the criminal proceedings are not

17     instituted at the moment when criminal report is filed.  That's what I

18     wanted to say.  I think that we have this law on the record, but I just

19     wanted to tell you at one -- at what point criminal proceedings start.

20     That's not at the moment when the criminal report is filed.  I'm not

21     going to say what's the document instituting criminal proceedings because

22     this gentleman is a lawyer and he can tell us that, but this is just a

23     technical legal matter.

24             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Witness, this report seems to

25     be a report from the president of the military court.  This is not a

Page 30965

 1     civilian court.  This is a report coming from a military court.  Do you

 2     agree with this?

 3             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Correct.

 4             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Fine.  And there is a

 5     difference between a civilian judge and a military judge.  A civilian

 6     judge is "more independent" than a military judge or am I mistaken?

 7             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] From the regulations that were in

 8     force, that were applied, that's what follows, that civilian courts are

 9     independent in their work, whereas the organization and structure of

10     military courts was somewhat different, both during the times of the

11     former Yugoslavia, and we can see that from the regulations governing the

12     status of military prosecutor's offices and the courts and that all was

13     adopted by the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina and the HZ HB.

14             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] This military judge has

15     prepared this report, but based on his own area which is to deal with

16     military-type crimes, desertions, rebellions.  Here we have a report that

17     deals with crimes committed within the military jurisdiction, and as far

18     as I understand - but you will correct me if I'm wrong - the proceedings

19     are instigated by the military prosecutor based on reports prepared by

20     the military police.

21             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] That's how it should have been

22     according to the regulations that were in force in the territory of the

23     HZ HB, but as for the priorities in work on cases, the president of the

24     court decided that.  I'm not saying anything new.  We know that from

25     prior practice.  The president of the court, depending on the workload

Page 30966

 1     and the type of cases, decides on what the priorities were going to be.

 2     It doesn't mean that in some other court a different president wouldn't

 3     decide otherwise.  That's why I said, this is the opinion of this

 4     president of the court on the priorities of that court.  I also said that

 5     he never received any instructions from me as to priorities.  It is in

 6     the discretion of the president to set out priorities.

 7             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] But since he was presiding over

 8     military-type cases, were you in a position to give instructions to him

 9     or did it have nothing to do with you?

10             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I did not give any instructions,

11     and according to regulations I was not able to give any.  It was up to

12     the president, and I said I gave presidents no instructions.  It is up to

13     the president to decide what the priorities are going to be at a given

14     moment.  That is within his authority.  All the powers in that sense are

15     vested in the president, and he decided on that independently.  And it

16     doesn't mean necessarily that some other court didn't have different

17     priorities.  To interfere with that part of the work, in my eyes, would

18     have been interference with the work of the court.

19             JUDGE TRECHSEL:  A linguistic question, Mr. Buntic, because we

20     have insisted a lot on the words.  In Croatian does "institute

21     proceedings" and "decide on priorities" mean the same thing?

22             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honours, it does not.  But

23     whether it is just a slip or the actual opinion and position of this

24     president is not up to me to decide or make any statements about.

25             JUDGE TRECHSEL:  Thank you.

Page 30967

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

 2        Q.   Mr. Buntic, the next exhibit is 1D 01974, and this is a report

 3     that you made on the work of the courts, district courts, military courts

 4     for Mostar and Livno municipalities dated the 5th of August, 1993.  Do

 5     you have that document?

 6        A.   I have it.

 7        Q.   And so in this report what you're reporting on are statistics,

 8     the activities of the district court in Mostar, district military

 9     prosecutor Mostar, district court Livno, district military prosecutor

10     Livno, also Travnik district military court.  And I see that in the first

11     section on the district court in Mostar you indicate in your report that

12     for the first quarter, 1993, most requests to conduct an investigation

13     pertain to Serbs from the territory of the municipalities of Capljina,

14     Stolac, Neum, and Mostar for the crime of serving in an enemy army, while

15     in the second quarter the situation changed considerably following the

16     armed aggression of the Muslim army on units in the HVO, namely, in the

17     aforementioned period, a large number of reports were received by members

18     of the Muslim army for the following crimes:  Armed rebellion, genocide,

19     war crimes against civilians, war crimes against prisoners of war, war

20     crimes against the sick and wounded and then instigating an aggressive

21     war.  And then you continue in your report you're providing statistics on

22     the cases, making reference to the K numbers that you described for us

23     during your cross-examination by counsel for Mr. Coric.

24             You go on to describe or to report on statistics for the district

25     military prosecutor's office in Mostar at the bottom of page 2 of the

Page 30968

 1     English version.  These are reports of -- well, let me ask you.  At the

 2     top of the table there's an indication that there were 652 reports that

 3     were received, and those reports indicated or reported crimes alleged to

 4     have been committed by 2.691 people.  Is that a correct interpretation,

 5     652 reports of crimes that pertained to 2.691 alleged criminals or

 6     perpetrators?

 7        A.   This is a compound question.  This is an aggregated report made

 8     up of all the reports filed by courts --

 9        Q.   Right --

10        A.   -- anything else than the figures provided by courts, it would be

11     wrong to say anything about that.  All we can do is do the math.

12        Q.   All right.  Well --

13        A.   Those are all the reports from all the courts in that area.  You

14     can tell me that I did the math wrong, you can hold that against me, but

15     anything else --

16        Q.   No, I -- excuse me --

17        A.   The qualifications given and denominations of various acts are

18     just taken over from those reports.

19        Q.   Well, I understand that you're simply forwarding on the reports

20     that you're receiving from the courts.  We understand that.  However,

21     sir, this is your report.  It appears over your signature.  I think it's

22     fair for us to assume that a gentleman holding the position that you held

23     at the time, that you knew what you were talking about when you reported

24     about the reports of armed rebellion or the reports of aggressive war.  I

25     mean, you knew or you must have had some idea what those crimes involved

Page 30969

 1     at the time you made this report; correct?

 2        A.   That's correct.  However, it is not correct that I was able to

 3     change the qualifications assigned by the courts, and it's not a report.

 4     It's just information.  I could not modify the qualification of a crime.

 5     I copied it as it was written in the report by the court.  I didn't sign

 6     it, actually it's my deputy who signed but it's the same thing.  Neither

 7     he nor I were able to change the legal qualification given by the court.

 8        Q.   I understand that --

 9        A.   Just as I can't change the legal qualifications you assign to a

10     certain crime.  You should be fair.

11        Q.   Well, if you'll allow me, sir, I'm not suggesting that you could

12     have changed these qualifications.  I'm not suggesting that in the least.

13     I'm simply asking you what you were talking about or what your

14     understanding of armed rebellion and aggressive war was when you reported

15     these investigations.

16        A.   I have stated already, this is not a report.  This is a piece of

17     information, that's one.  Two, this is not my opinion.  This is

18     information provided by courts and legal qualifications assigned by

19     courts.  Now you're asking me why didn't I change the qualifications

20     assigned by the courts, well, who would I have been to do that?  The

21     question arises:  Who would I have to be.

22        Q.   Let's move to the next document, Mr. Buntic, 1D 02004.  Now, this

23     is a document, I believe, issued by you on the following day, the 6th of

24     August, 1993.  And again, I recognise you're just reporting on the

25     information that you're receiving from the other courts referred to in

Page 30970

 1     this document.  This appears to be your report on the work of municipal

 2     misdemeanour courts, district military prosecutor's offices, district

 3     military courts in the HZ HB for the period 1 January 1993 to 6 August

 4     1993; is that correct?  Do you have that document, sir?

 5        A.   That's correct, but I want to say this --

 6        Q.   Excuse me.  I get to ask the questions.  We'll make time for you

 7     to make a statement, but only after I've had my time to ask you my

 8     questions, sir.  In this report I am going to refer you to item number 3,

 9     and, again, I understand that you're simply reporting or repeating the

10     information that's come to you from the various courts.  In the second

11     paragraph under item 3, you're reporting on the information from the

12     municipal court for misdemeanours in Livno.  Do you see that?

13             "Municipal court for misdemeanours in Livno did not receive a

14     single request from the defence office ..."

15             Do you see that part?

16        A.   I do.

17        Q.   And then this paragraph continues down.  There's a reference to

18     the municipal court for misdemeanours in Tomislavgrad.  Continuing down,

19     there's a reference to the municipal court for misdemeanours in Citluk.

20     And then about halfway through the paragraph there's a reference to the

21     municipal court for misdemeanours in Mostar.  Do you see that?

22     "... Mostar received from the defence department -- the defence office

23     318 requests ..."  Do you see that text?

24        A.   I did, I do.

25        Q.   And so just to make sure, we're talking about the Mostar

Page 30971

 1     municipal court for misdemeanours, and you're talking about the president

 2     of the court.  And I take it, sir, the president of that court was your

 3     source of information here on the activities of this court.  He stated

 4     that:  "A large number of cases could not be completed due to the parties

 5     being beyond reach because some of the reports concerned persons of

 6     Muslim ethnicity for whom confirmations issued by the army of BH are

 7     recognised according to the official letter of the defence office ..."

 8             And then you say in your report that:  "He," the president of the

 9     court, " ...pointed out the fact that a large number of Muslims had been

10     taken away from their current addresses so it was impossible to serve

11     summons."

12             Do you see that?

13        A.   I do.

14        Q.   Now, this is the 6th of August, 1993.  At this period in time,

15     Mr. Buntic, is it correct that hundreds of Muslims throughout western

16     Herzegovina were being removed from their homes and their flats, not just

17     in Mostar but in other municipalities as well.  And the men, the Muslim

18     men of military age were being taken to camps?

19        A.   Croats, too, were removed.

20        Q.   My question is a different one, isn't it?  I'm asking you whether

21     hundreds of Muslims were being evicted from their homes and their flats

22     throughout the Mostar region at this period of time?

23        A.   That's your question and this is my answer.

24        Q.   Well, I'm waiting for your answer.  I think it's a yes or a no or

25     an I don't know.

Page 30972

 1        A.   I've answered as I answered.  It's true that both Croats and

 2     Muslims were removed, but it's not true that only Muslims were being

 3     removed.

 4        Q.   All right.  So when the reference in this paragraph is to large

 5     numbers of Muslims being taken away, that's a reference, isn't it, sir,

 6     to them being taken away by the HVO and put in camps or otherwise being

 7     driven away from their homes?

 8        A.   Similarly, it is believed that those Croats who were removed were

 9     taken away by the BH army, and it's equally true that it is considered in

10     relation to the Muslims who were removed that they were taken away by the

11     HVO and other Croat units in that area.  But you can't ask a lop-sided

12     question like that.

13        Q.   All right.

14        A.   These things happened on both sides.

15        Q.   And that's the reason why the process, the legal procedures that

16     are being referred to here, weren't working.  Muslims, as he's saying

17     here, he's talking about Muslims.  He's not talking about Croats.  The

18     president of the court's talking about Muslims who can't be served with

19     the papers because they've been taken away; correct?

20        A.   This is taken from the higher court of misdemeanours in Mostar,

21     but I stand by my answer, namely, that the situation was similar on both

22     sides.

23        Q.   Well, does that make it legitimate on either side?  Is that what

24     you're suggesting?

25        A.   I'm not suggesting that, Mr. Prosecutor, by no means.  I'm just

Page 30973

 1     stating the facts that we all knew, all of us who were from that area,

 2     and you cannot just say one-sidedly that Muslims were being removed

 3     without mentioning that Croats were being removed too.  They were removed

 4     just before and during the conflict, but throughout the war 5.000 Muslims

 5     continued to live in the Croat-controlled area, whereas only 74 Croats

 6     continued throughout the war to live in the Muslim-controlled area.  And

 7     now it is up to the Court to make a judgement as to who was responsible

 8     for more removals of people, not you.  It is up to the Court to decide.

 9        Q.   The next document that -- it's actually not in --

10             JUDGE TRECHSEL:  Excuse me, I'm sorry, Mr. Stringer, but my

11     attention is drawn to all sorts of things.

12             Mr. Buntic, in the large paragraph on the second page we read

13     that:  "The municipal court for misdemeanours in Tomislavgrad received

14     333 misdemeanour reports ..."

15             And the end of the next line:  " ...all the cases were archived

16     based on the decision of the municipal HVO."

17             Now, I would like to know how this is to be interpreted, but it

18     looks as if the executive of the municipality interfered with the work of

19     the local municipal court, which was perhaps ever so happy to have less

20     work but that is not the issue here.

21             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It is obvious, Your Honour, because

22     it followed from this report that the municipal HVO instructed the

23     president of the court to act on these cases as he did act.  If we look

24     at that report that came from the higher court for misdemeanours which

25     informs us that it was the way it was done in Tomislavgrad and we only

Page 30974

 1     received information that this was happening.  I think this is consistent

 2     with the information received from the municipal misdemeanours court in

 3     Tomislavgrad.  Yes, it does follow that somebody from the HVO gave those

 4     instructions to the president of the court, but you have to bear in mind

 5     that municipal misdemeanour courts were courts established by the

 6     municipality.  The municipality appoints the judge, the judge is

 7     answerable to the municipality, and the court is financed from the

 8     municipal budget.  So not a single body of the HZ HB had jurisdiction

 9     over municipal misdemeanour courts.

10             JUDGE TRECHSEL:  Thank you.  I let that stand.

11             Excuse me, Mr. Stringer.

12             MR. STRINGER:  Now, Mr. President, I'm at a bit of a breaking

13     point here.  I know it's a few minutes early, but it might be better in

14     the long run if we could break for the evening now rather than moving

15     into the next topic.

16             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well.

17             Mr. Stringer, how much time do you need tomorrow to complete?

18             MR. STRINGER:  I think as much time as I have remaining and

19     possibly some more.

20             JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] The registrar will tell us how

21     much time you have left.  I'll tell you precisely, but I believe it's

22     around one hour.

23             I'm being told that you've used six hours and 37 minutes.  You

24     had been granted seven hours and 15 minutes.  In other words, you have

25     less than an hour left.

Page 30975

 1             Witness, as you know, you will return here tomorrow morning at

 2     9.00 a.m., of course.  We won't finish at midnight, and we should be

 3     able, since we start in the morning, we should be able to complete your

 4     testimony in the morning as well.

 5             I wish you all a pleasant evening and we'll meet again in this

 6     courtroom tomorrow morning at 9.00 a.m.

 7                           --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 6.56 p.m.,

 8                           to be reconvened on Friday, the 18th day of

 9                           July, 2008, at 9.00 a.m.